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December 11, 2009

The state of ClimateGate today, Dec 11 2009. [krakatoa]

(A series of daily-ish roundups of the day's Climate news and commentary.)

This is by no means a comprehensive recap. The stories come from a variety of sources, and I highly recommend exploring the linked sites for more breaking news.

A little early today, but it's Friday and I've got an extra hobo-tag.

(after the break...)

I want to lead off with something of a potential controversy on this side of the debate, albeit one of style rather than substance.

Habitual AGW balloon-popper Lord Monckton goes Godwin. It's ok though, he's a Brit.

No, no it's not ok.

He's on the side of the Scientific method in the AGW debate and has a great grasp of the subject, but I don't agree with this characterization of these generally well-intentioned but deluded people who disagree with him. His propensity for bombast and his willingness to engage in insults are the main reasons I've never linked one of his speeches, even if those speeches weren't individually objectionable.

Yes, the comparison is in some ways apt. It would be also be accurate to compare them to hippies at a sit-in. Choosing the most extreme description only closes ears that might be open to an objective recitation of the problems with AGW claims.

So I'm breaking my personal moratorium this once to demonstrate the sort of rhetoric that, in the grand scheme of things and regardless of the provocation, I don't find particularly helpful to advancing the cause of AGW skepticism.

Of course, this is my opinion, so your mileage may vary.

WUWT stories:

For those who question the "follow the money" aspect of ClimateGate, a personal anecdote from WUWT reader Paul Vaughan:

Last spring when I was shopping around for a new source of funding, after having my funding slashed to zero 15 days after going public with a finding about natural climate variations, I kept running into funding application instructions of the following variety:

Successful candidates will:
1) Demonstrate AGW.
2) Demonstrate the catastrophic consequences of AGW.
3) Explore policy implications stemming from 1 & 2.

Follow the money — perhaps a conspiracy is unnecessary where a carrot will suffice.

WUWT entertains the explanation of "trick" given by CRU director Jones.

The word ‘trick’ was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward. - Jones

So Watts decided to check how often in 10 years of CRU emails this colloquialism was uttered in reference to a procedure used on data.

The answer probably isn't going to surprise you.

AJ Strata follows up on McIntyre's Hide the Decline deconstruction with what some feel is a more understandable version.

Dog bites Man news: UN to ask for 60 billion to fund more Climate Research. Apparently settled science needs a lot of expensive accessories.

By way of Climate Depot:

Copenhagen: The first Global Post-Modern event.


Obama's top Climate Sciencytists testify only hours apart, yet can't get the details straight.

Rep John Shadegg (R-Ariz) notes the discrepency:

“These are the two most prominent--at least from the standpoint of government position--scientists in the nation on this issue, and they can’t agree...

And yet, we’re being told the science is settled, and Mr. Gore is saying there’s no longer a debate. That’s funny, it looks to me like--there may not be a debate, but there certainly is not a consensus..."

And says further, in what should IMO be an amendment to the constitution:

“I don’t think that somebody who is involved in a public policy position can rely on data that is that inherently inconsistent."


The din at the American Physical Society is being ignored by its leadership.

Those physicists calling for a retraction of the APS statement in support of AGW pending a full review of the data are discovering firsthand what a political whitewash feels like.

The head of the existing review process is, by sheer coincidence, the beneficiary of over 20 million in grants dealing with AGW & carbon reduction. This current review was initiated prior to the ClimateGate email scandal exploding.

APS current & incoming presidents have refused to comment. How very sciency.

Luboš Motl notes that AGW alarmist Stephen Schneider has reassured the readers of the Huffington Post, stating that the Hockey Stick has never been disproved, and hey, it's really not that important anyway.

Motl responds with a quick recap of why the hockey stick graphs are mortally flawed, and says:

If you remove the hockey stick graphs, there is really no evidence left that would suggest that the natural temperature swings before the industrial civilization were any different than what we experience these days.

Who's Motl? I have no idea, but the general rule of thumb seems to be that if the source of climate news is non-American, it is naturally imbued with a credibility that Oil-guzzling Yanks just can't match.

(Actually, he's a Czech physicist with a cool site covering stories in a variety of scientific fields.)

(h/t mbabbitt)

Roger Pielke Jr. weighs in on Schneider's claims as well, essentially accusing Shneider of homogenizing the truth.

If climate scientists want to regain lost credibility, and indeed not see it diminish further, they are going to have to stop playing the rest of us for fools. One way to do that is avoid saying things that are not true.

Also on Pielke's blog, a guest post by English Prof Jean Goodwin that voices the position that many of us suspect resides in the hearts of ClimateGate scientists.

Maybe those of us who favor doing something about climate change should admit that our policies aren't going to have a "firm foundation" in this, as indeed in most cases--and start arguing about values and solutions instead?

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