Climategate in the Popular Media

rfarren

New member
May I remind you that the reason why it was such a big deal that those emails were hacked was because it showed that the hockey stick graph of global warming was a total fabrication. In fact, if the scientist in question had been consistent with the data they used, the graph would have shown a cooling of the environment in the last 50 years. The key to this is: the largest piece of evidence behind man-made global warming is that apparently the earth is warming at a faster speed than at anytime we know of (based on ice-core readings, Co2 records in fossils, tree rings etc.) However, it was this hockey stick graph that showed it, and when we re-examine the data, the warming doesn't seem as fast we thought.

Many of the runaway warming scenarios are based on feedback, i.e more ocean in the north so more warming, so more methane gets released, etc. The affect of these variables are entirely based on speculation and models. Mind you, these are the models that can't create hurricanes and didn't predict a cooling of the earth the last ten years. But let's visit the feedback scenario again, and say due to natural causes the earth has been warming since the 1850's. Perhaps these feedbacks accelerated the warming that was due to natural causes. My point is merely: there are a lot of variables that affect the climate and to focus on only one seems foolhardy. When one considers that humans account for less that 3% of the carbon released in the environment, and that the heat trapping properties of Co2 is algorithmic and not linear, I think questioning this all is very healthy, if not rational. Whereas, wholesale buying into what has turned out to be not so peer-reviewed science, comes off almost like religious fanaticism.
 

flyover

Member
Tony Crocker":2sawo7ea said:
The variability in climate is such that, according to one of the references I posted earlier, the simple hypothesis "the world has stopped warming over the past decade" is true so far only at a 75% confidence level.

http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/pr ... 69_en.html

Any thoughts?

Also, businesses are upfront about their biases. . .

I'm sorry, but any industry that can dream up and then market the concept of "clean coal" with a straight face . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uFJVbdiMgfM

I guess "less horrifyingly filthy coal" wouldn't have quite the same ring to it.
 

rfarren

New member
I guess "less horrifyingly filthy coal" wouldn't have quite the same ring to it.

The truth is that the energy sector is not the largest contributer to greenhouse grasses, in fact the largest sector contributing to GHGs is livestock/agriculture. So, if you think people are willing to give up meat, then I think we can begin to talk about real GHG mitigation. Whereas, I believe most people aren't willing to pay more for food, nor are willing to give up their dietary habits. So, if indeed, global warming does start a runaway cycle and the world is in real danger, wouldn't it be more economical and more feasible to engineer to climate.

Sorry, if it sounds like I just read super-freakonomics then yes, I did.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Also, businesses are upfront about their biases. . .
What I mean is that if an electric utility or coal company says, "we can burn clean coal," the natural reaction for an external observer would be to investigate the claim closely, because the proponent has an obvious interest. It didn't take long for me to form an opinion that clean coal is currently in the :bs: category. Science is supposed to be objective, making raw data freely available to independent observers to test. That sure doesn't seem to be the case with these climate models. And now we find that such efforts are actively obstructed.

The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989).
Completely dodges the question. ](*,) ](*,) ](*,) If temperatures rose through the 1980's and 1990's and are flat for the past decade, the above statement is still true, as any third grader looking at a graph could figure out. The inconvenient truth is that these same models in the late 1990's predicted that the temperature rise would accelerate in the next decade, which of course it would if GHG were the dominant driver of climate. Direct quote from New Zealand scientist Kevin Trenberth in the hacked e-mails:
The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't.

Here's what another scientist wrote to Phil Jones:
...the possibility that we might be going through a longer - 10 year - period of relatively stable temperatures beyond what you might expect from La Nina etc. Speculation, but if I see this as a possibility then others might also. Anyway, I'll maybe cut the last few points off the filtered curve before I give the talk again as that's trending down as a result of the end effects and the recent coldish years.

Summary of climategate issues:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/c ... more-13209
More detail:
http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_bri ... -this.html

The truth is that the energy sector is not the largest contributor to greenhouse grasses, in fact the largest sector contributing to GHGs is livestock/agriculture.
Not sure I believe that. At least for CO2 the rise in atmosphere levels corresponds to the fossil fuel burning era. Livestock/agriculture have been around for a long time, and while I'm sure they have been increasing since 1850, not likely at anywhere near the rate of fossil fuel use. I think the CO2 data is cleaner and less subject to fudging than the temperature data.
 

Patrick

Active member
Climategate, only an issue with the skeptics and the interests that don't want a deal like Saudi Arabia.

The stolen emails and except of stuff to try to show the data was manipulate isn't going to discredit 20-30 years of research by thousand of researchers. :brick:

Heck, I bet (if I had time) I could even find some comments of Tony's praising how great Eastern skiing is. :rotfl:
 

flyover

Member
Tony Crocker":19o9mrq3 said:
The decade of the 2000s (2000–2009) was warmer than the decade spanning the 1990s (1990–1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980–1989).
Completely dodges the question. If temperatures rose through the 1980's and 1900's and are flat for the past decade, the above statement is still true, as any third grader looking at a graph could figure out.

Sorry, maybe I don't remember enough of my third grade math classes, but I still don't get it. How can the above statement quoted from the Report (that the 00s are warmer than the 90s and 80s) still be true IF temperatures "are flat for the past decade?" In order for the 2000s to have been warmer than the 90s, there must have been some increase in temps at some point over the last 9 years, right? I understand the graph may be a good deal flatter than it was in the 80s or 90s. I also understand that the flattening of the graph conflicts with the predictions, but if the 00s were/are warmer than the 90s, aren't we really talking about a lack of acceleration in the rate of warming, or better yet, a deceleration in the rate of warming, and not a "lack of warming" over the last 9 years?

I am decidedly not a numbers guy, so I'm asking, not arguing.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
If one set of ten numbers is 91,92,93,94,95,96,97,98,99,100 and the second set is 100,100,100,100,100,100,100,100,100,100 the average of the first set is 95.5, the average of the second set is 100, the first set is increasing but the second set is undisputedly flat. The second set could be 100,99.5,99,98.5,98,97.5,97,96.5,96,95.5, now decreasing, but the average of 97.75 is still higher than the first set and could still be "the highest decade of the past 150 years" or whenever record keeping started.

In the real world the numbers are not smooth during increasing, decreasing or flat decades due to annual weather variability. That lack of smoothness can make it difficult to determine what the actual trend is. Thus the comment that "the past decade is flat" only has 75% confidence by some statistical measure. It is also very easy to manipulate data. Make the first year of your trend El Nino 1998 and the last year La Nina 2008, fit a line to that and you'll say temperatures are decreasing. AGW advocates like to start their trends in the 1970's because temperatures increased by any measure in the 1980's and 1990's while they were mostly flat from 1940-1970. It's often difficult to analyze claims on either side of this issue because an advocate/skeptic doesn't necessarily have to make false statements; cherry-picking the right data is a very effective way to strengthen one's case.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Washington Post article summarizes opposing views of Climategate: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 04511.html
It includes this graph of temperatures, illustrating last decade looking flat even though it contains 9 of the 10 warmest years:
GR2009120500051.jpg

FYI the NY Times and LA Times mention the hacked e-mails, but are dismissive of them in news stories as well as editorials.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Gee, from those 2 papers that's such a shock! :roll:

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Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I doubt the Washington Post is viewed as much if any less liberal than the other two, but perhaps they have higher standards of objectivity in the newsroom. I was often struck by the Wall Street Journal in this regard in past decades. Despite its conservative editorial page, I was often surprised how many of its front page news articles raised issues that could support liberal viewpoints. I haven't seen it much recently, so I don't know if that's still true under Murdoch.
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Both papers, and in particular the New York Times have a recent history of ignoring stories that run counter to their editorial agenda and, when other media have addressed them to death, the paper finally relents but buries it somewhere in the classifieds section or other. Witness many recent versions of Czar-gate.

It's not surprising that the paper is hemorrhaging both subscribers and revenue.
 

jamesdeluxe

Administrator
Admin":29dng95g said:
Both papers, and in particular the New York Times have a recent history of ignoring stories that run counter to their editorial agenda and, when other media have addressed them to death, the paper finally relents but buries it somewhere in the classifieds section or other. Witness many recent versions of Czar-gate. It's not surprising that the paper is hemorrhaging both subscribers and revenue.
Not that I disagree with the editorial poke at the NYT, but name one paper that isn't hemorrhaging money.

So, where do you get your news? And "all of them!!" isn't an answer. :lol:
 

Skiace

New member
Late to the game and minor nitpick: I'd have to check my old notes to be sure, but I seem to remember that the majority of "clean coal" technology focused on reducing particulate pollution and nitrous oxides, as opposed to CO/CO2. So it's "cleaner" in the sense that it reduces local environmental impact compared to old coal plants, but doesn't do as much to reduce greenhouse gases. That's not to say there aren't plenty of people using "clean coal" as a buzzword to capitalize on the current trend towards cleaner energy.

And I think what Patrick was trying to say about petroleum and energy industry poll is that those companies do have their own people spending money to fund climate research in their interest. They may use those people to help lobby the public at times, but they also want to know the truth as much as anyone. If you are a large energy company that derives most of your business from fossil fuel harvesting/refinement/sale, then it's probably worth your while to find out if anthropogenic global warming is the reality.


edit:
Admin":dh2kk4mt said:
Both papers, and in particular the New York Times have a recent history of ignoring stories that run counter to their editorial agenda and, when other media have addressed them to death, the paper finally relents but buries it somewhere in the classifieds section or other. Witness many recent versions of Czar-gate.

It's not surprising that the paper is hemorrhaging both subscribers and revenue.
Czar-gate, really? The only people freaking out over the appointment of "Czars" are the Glen Beck types, aka the same kinds of people that are seriously concerned that Obama wasn't born in the US.
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
I had to look up the term "Czar-gate." I'm inclined to agree it's a partisan issue. The party out of power always thinks the executive branch is trying to expand its power. The left was not exactly bashful in making these same charges against Bush from 2001-2008.

I would personally avoid attaching the "-gate" suffix to an issue unless it involves clear-cut corruption and/or lawbreaking. The existence of a cover-up is also a good indicator. Expanding government spending and bureaucracies doesn't qualify IMHO. And Obama is not exactly hiding his desire to expand the role of government. Climategate? Corruption and vigorous attempt at cover-up.
 

Patrick

Active member
Tony Crocker":kuky8igy said:
Climategate? Corruption and vigorous attempt at cover-up.

What is the percentage of researcher involved? Stuff taken out of context probably. I'll try to post a reply to some of the points brought forward, but political discussion never end and I do have some work (plus I'm at work).
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Patrick":32xu1c6e said:
Stuff taken out of context probably.

Isn't that the standard-issue response for when you're caught with your hand in the cookie jar?
 

Patrick

Active member
Admin":35nn1qhg said:
Patrick":35nn1qhg said:
Stuff taken out of context probably.

Isn't that the standard-issue response for when you're caught with your hand in the cookie jar?

I bet someone could find a good quote from Tony right here. :-"

You're listening to Fox News too much admin, not good for the brain cells. :stir:

Climategate? I guess Fox News can't be wrong in their reporting too? :rotfl:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/video/item ... nd-friends

:rotfl: :rotfl: :lol:
 

Admin

Administrator
Staff member
Patrick":2v19t9fn said:
Admin":2v19t9fn said:
Patrick":2v19t9fn said:
Stuff taken out of context probably.

Isn't that the standard-issue response for when you're caught with your hand in the cookie jar?

I bet someone could find a good quote from Tony right here. :-"

You're listening to Fox News too much admin, not good for the brain cells. :stir:

Neither is the Kool-Aid that's affecting your objectivity. Just keep on drinkin', my friend.
 

Patrick

Active member
Admin":2jzwi1kh said:
Patrick":2jzwi1kh said:
You're listening to Fox News too much admin, not good for the brain cells. :stir:

Neither is the Kool-Aid that's affecting your objectivity. Just keep on drinkin', my friend.

Too lazy to see the clip pointing out to Fox's good math logic? :-"
 

Tony Crocker

Administrator
Staff member
Have lots of :popcorn: :popcorn: :popcorn: ready if Admin and Patrick are going to :sabre fight: politics. :lol:

What is the percentage of researcher involved?
Not that relevant if it's key people at the center of the profession like Michael Mann and Phil Jones. And the number of people actually involved in running these computer models is fairly small. They like to keep it that way as we now know.

Too lazy to see the clip pointing out to Fox's good math logic?
I saw that on Daily Show last night. Jon Stewart is not likely to run out of material anytime soon with the amount of idiocy being spewed from all directions these days.
 
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