Posts Tagged ‘cover up’
Posted by mattusmaximus on August 19, 2012
In a welcome development, the state of California has taken climate science deniers head on. At the website of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, there is a link titled “Climate Change: Just the Facts”. The thing which makes this such a welcome development isn’t that the California governor, Jerry Brown, is promoting the science of climate change and global warming, but this website also takes on the climate science deniers and their claims directly. Take a look and encourage your state government to act in a like manner:
Climate change poses an immediate and growing threat to California’s economy, environment, and to public health. California’s groundbreaking efforts are helping reduce greenhouse gases emissions, which are warming the planet. The state is also taking action to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change, including the increased likelihood of both flooding and drought.
While California is taking action, some of those who oppose the move to renewable energy and cleaner transportation have mischaracterized the science of climate change in an effort to create artificial uncertainty about the existence and causes of climate change.
The fact is that on the key issues, the science is clear: climate change is real and happening now; human-made greenhouse gas emissions are affecting our planet; and we need to take action. Just as we reached a point where we stopped debating whether cigarette smoke causes cancer, we need to end the climate change debate and focus on how to solve the problem.
We have compiled the key facts about climate science, the expert consensus, and some of the common arguments from and responses to those who spread doubt and confusion to prevent action:
Posted in global warming denial, politics | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, California, climate change, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, denialism, denier, Earth, global warming, governor, GW, hoax, hockey stick, Jerry Brown, policy, politics, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on October 24, 2011
[**Update (10-30-11): It seems the deniers have already started to respond to this news. One interesting response is apparently to accuse Prof Richard Muller, the skeptical physicist behind the Berkeley Earth Project, of a Climategate-like scandal (I guess the deniers now view him as a "traitor"): http://news.yahoo.com/skeptic-finds-now-agrees-global-warming-real-142616605.html ]
In a bit of news which kind of goes into the “truth is stranger than fiction” category, I wanted to share with you all the latest in the ongoing drama that is the “Climategate” fiasco. (If you need to get up to speed on the whole “Climategate” thing, just see some of my earlier blog posts here, here, and here)
To date, there have been multiple investigations into the allegations that the worldwide community of climate scientists is somehow conspiring to cover up “the truth” that global warming is really just a hoax, and all of these investigations have shown the exact opposite. However, in true conspiracy theorist fashion, many ideologically-driven climate change deniers (I refuse to call them “skeptics”, because they are not skeptical in the positive sense of that word) have clung to the idea that somehow there is a vast plan on the part of scientists all over the planet to deceive the rest of us into believing that the Earth is warming and that humans are contributing significantly to it.
As such, it seems that there was an effort by many of these deniers to prop up their conspiracy theory by performing their own independent analysis of the climate data. However, in an interesting twist, it seems that upon completing their analysis, the researchers tapped by the deniers actually concluded the opposite of what they had hoped: global warming is indeed real! It’s all outlined in this recent BBC article…
The Earth’s surface really is getting warmer, a new analysis by a US scientific group set up in the wake of the “Climategate” affair has concluded.
The Berkeley Earth Project has used new methods and some new data, but finds the same warming trend seen by groups such as the UK Met Office and Nasa.
The project received funds from sources that back organisations lobbying against action on climate change. …
That’s kind of interesting, isn’t it? The climate change deniers decide that all the science on the topic isn’t trustworthy, so they hire a group of their own investigators to look at the data, and they end up getting exactly the same conclusions as has been stated for years by the international climate science community. It gets better…
… The project was established by University of California physics professor Richard Muller, who was concerned by claims that established teams of climate researchers had not been entirely open with their data.
He gathered a team of 10 scientists, mostly physicists, including such luminaries as Saul Perlmutter, winner of this year’s Nobel Physics Prize for research showing the Universe’s expansion is accelerating.
Funding came from a number of sources, including charitable foundations maintained by the Koch brothers, the billionaire US industrialists, who have also donated large sums to organisations lobbying against acceptance of man-made global warming.
“I was deeply concerned that the group [at UEA] had concealed discordant data,” Prof Muller told BBC News.
“Science is best done when the problems with the analysis are candidly shared.”
The group’s work also examined claims from “sceptical” bloggers that temperature data from weather stations did not show a true global warming trend.
The claim was that many stations have registered warming because they are located in or near cities, and those cities have been growing – the urban heat island effect.
The Berkeley group found about 40,000 weather stations around the world whose output has been recorded and stored in digital form.
It developed a new way of analysing the data to plot the global temperature trend over land since 1800.
What came out was a graph remarkably similar to those produced by the world’s three most important and established groups, whose work had been decried as unreliable and shoddy in climate sceptic circles. [emphasis added]
In fact, below is a copy of that graph: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Berkeley Earth Project, Britain, climate change, Climate Research Institute, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, CRU, denialism, denier, Earth, emails, global warming, GW, hacked, hacking, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, House of Commons, investigation, Koch, Koch brothers, Muller, Phil Jones, Prof Muller, Richard Muller, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature, trick, UK, United Kingdom, University of East Anglia | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on May 28, 2011
You may know that one of the most common arguments used by creationists as they attempt to push their fundamentalist religious beliefs in the public schools is the “teach the controversy” strategy. In this argument, creationists claim there is some kind of scientific “controversy” about the theory of evolution, as if scientists are in disagreement about the theory when in fact quite the opposite is true – there is broad acceptance of evolution among biologists. This style of argumentation is widely recognized for what it is: an attempt to delegitimize science in the public schools because of a rigidly held ideology.
Now it seems that recently there is another kind of anti-scientific ideology rearing its ugly head which is trying to use the same kind of “teach the controversy” approach: climate change denial. And the use of “teach the controversy” in regards to climate change and global warming has now gone beyond mere rhetoric, because the climate change denialists are now pushing this tactic in public schools in the United States…
A school board in California has attracted headlines over the past few days for voting unanimously that a new environmental science class starting this autumn must include “multiple perspectives” on the science of global warming.
Four board members of the Los Alamitos Unified School District voted to list the class – which was taught to 15,000 public school students across California in 2008-09 (pdf of class description) – as a “controversial topic”, meaning the teacher must explain to the board annually how opposing views are to be taught.
Echoing similar efforts at school boards in other US states, the move has been criticised by some commentators. One parent of a pupil at Los Alamitos Unified School told the Orange County Register: “There is consensus in the field that we have global warming happening, it is getting warmer and it is related to what we are doing to the planet. That is not in dispute in the scientific community. It is in dispute in the political community. This is a science class. Teach science.” …
The writer of this article sat down to interview the architect of this anti-scientific move, Dr. Jeffrey Barke, and the conversation is very revealing. I’ll include key excerpts below (the interviewer’s questions & comments are bolded and Dr. Barke’s follow) and follow them up with my comments.
What’s been the feedback since this news was first reported?
The feedback has been primarily from left-wing blogs and zealots who believe that to suggest there is a point of view to be discussed that is different to the dogma of global warming is, in and of itself, controversial. Our perspective simply was we had asked the teachers to present a balanced perspective to the children as it relates to a new course that we brought forward called Advanced Placement in Environmental Science. And this class is one that is most commonly offered at the universities, but some high schools offer it as well.
So, after reviewing the syllabus, we found a lot of information about global warming and man-caused effects on the environment etc. Our worry was the kids would be presented simply with one perspective and we wanted to make sure they had a balanced view so we simply updated a policy we already have on the books regarding controversial issues. It simply asks that when a class is taught containing potentially controversial issues that we ask the teacher not to get the kids to believe in a particular perspective or point of view, but simply that the teachers present both sides of the equation in a fair-and-balanced manner.
Ah, the “teach all views” argument. The problem is that, in science, not all views are equal. Science is not a process driven by simply expressing your point of view and then arguing over it, like in a high school debate. In science, the most accepted views are those which are supported by experimental and observational evidence which can be explained by well-understood theories. The opinion of the scientist (or in this case, the school board member) doesn’t really matter. For example, read more here about how the climate science community is strongly in support of the consensus that global warming is happening and is heavily influenced by human activity. When so many climate science experts are in such strong agreement, then it is a pretty fair bet the science is settled and there is no “alternate viewpoint” with any validity to present.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in education, global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Bjorn Lomborg, California, climate change, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, creationism, denialism, denier, Dr Jeffrey Barke, Earth, education, global warming, GW, Ian Plimer, International Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, school board, schools, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, teach all views, teach the controversy, temperature, United States | 5 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 5, 2011
In the latest update from the Climate Science Wars, it has been shown – once again and for the fourth time - through an independent investigation that climate scientists did NOT manipulate data on global warming, as some global warming denialists & conspiracy theorists have claimed.
In the now infamous Climategate fiasco, it was claimed that scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit had manipulated and even fabricated data to make human-caused global warming seem real or worse than it really was. Of course, we now know that such claims on the part of the deniers & conspiracy mongers are nothing more than so much hot air. However, what many people don’t know is that these anti-science ideologues did not just level their charges at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit; they also attempted to smear climate scientists working for the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
But now, just as with Climategate, a detailed, independent investigation has shown that there is no evidence of scientific fraud, manipulation, or fabrication regarding the climate data…
An inquiry by a federal watchdog agency found no evidence that scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration manipulated climate data to buttress the evidence in support of global warming, officials said on Thursday.
The inquiry, by the Commerce Department’s inspector general, focused on e-mail messages between climate scientists that were stolen and circulated on the Internet in late 2009 (NOAA is part of the Commerce Department). Some of the e-mails involved scientists from NOAA.
Climate change skeptics contended that the correspondence showed that scientists were manipulating or withholding information to advance the theory that the earth is warming as a result of human activity.
In a report dated Feb. 18 and circulated by the Obama administration on Thursday, the inspector general said, “We did not find any evidence that NOAA inappropriately manipulated data.”
Nor did the report fault Jane Lubchenco, NOAA’s top official, for testifying to Congress that the correspondence did not undermine climate science. …
Of course, that won’t stop the ideologues from pursuing their politically or ideologically-driven agenda to misrepresent the science…
… The inquiry into NOAA’s conduct was requested last May by Senator James M. Inhofe, Republican of Oklahoma, who has challenged the science underlying human-induced climate change. Mr. Inhofe was acting in response to the controversy over the e-mail messages, which were stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England, a major hub of climate research.
Mr. Inhofe asked the inspector general of the Commerce Department to investigate how NOAA scientists responded internally to the leaked e-mails. Of 1,073 messages, 289 were exchanges with NOAA scientists. …
… NOAA welcomed the report, saying that it emphasized the soundness of its scientific procedures and the peer review process. “None of the investigations have found any evidence to question the ethics of our scientists or raise doubts about NOAA’s understanding of climate change science,” Mary Glackin, the agency’s deputy undersecretary for operations, said in a statement.
But Mr. Inhofe said the report was far from a clean bill of health for the agency and that contrary to its executive summary, showed that the scientists “engaged in data manipulation.” [emphasis added]
So, because the independent investigation showed that there was NO EVIDENCE of inappropriate data manipulation, Senator Inhofe says that it showed there WAS evidence of such manipulation. Excuse me?!! What’s next, Senator: Are you going to claim day is night or that up is down? What kind of Bizzarro World is this guy living in?
The reaction of Senator Inhofe and other climate change deniers clearly shows the frustration in dealing with people who do not allow evidence & the scientific process to guide their thinking. They come up with a conclusion first, and then disregard any evidence to the contrary – even going so far as to publicly state the exact opposite of what the evidence actually shows, as the Senator so stupidly did above. They, sadly, have deluded themselves into thinking that the universe will somehow – magically – change itself to adhere to what they think it should be like, instead of see the world as it really is on its own terms. These people revel in their ignorance, it seems.
The irony here is that the people claiming that the climate science data are manipulated are themselves the ones guilty of manipulation. It would be a pretty good joke if it weren’t so true & if the potential consequences weren’t so serious.
Posted in global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Britain, climate change, Climate Research Institute, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, CRU, denialism, denier, Earth, emails, global warming, GW, hacked, hacking, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, House of Commons, Inhofe, International Panel on Climate Change, investigation, IPCC, London, Michael Mann, NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NOAA, Oklahoma, Phil Jones, Republicans, Royal Society, science, Senator, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature, trick, UK, United Kingdom, United States, University of East Anglia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on September 1, 2010
Wow, what a difference a decade makes. Those of us who have been following the science of climate change & global warming for the last ten years will recall a book that came out in 2001 titled “The Skeptical Environmentalist” – authored by an economist named Bjorn Lomborg. This book was widely perceived by many to have been the opening shot in what some call the modern “climate wars”; Lomborg was viewed as someone who looked at the growing scientific consensus on global warming and dismissed it. Because of this, for quite some time, Lomborg has been somewhat of a folk hero to global warming deniers…
Well, in a turnabout which rings of truth being stranger than fiction, Bjorn Lomborg is now changing his mind on the issue: he now states publicly, in a new book coming out later this month, that human-induced global warming is “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and “a challenge humanity must confront”. In fact, he is even proposing a multi-billion dollar international fund to tackle the problem directly!
Read more about this in the following Guardian article on the matter…
The world’s most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and “a challenge humanity must confront”, in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby.
Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled “sceptical environmentalist” once compared to Adolf Hitler by the UN’s climate chief, is famous for attacking climate scientists, campaigners, the media and others for exaggerating the rate of global warming and its effects on humans, and the costly waste of policies to stop the problem.
But in a new book to be published next month, Lomborg will call for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. “Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,” the book concludes. …
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in economics, global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Bjorn Lomborg, climate change, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, denialism, denier, Earth, economics, global warming, GW, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, International Panel on Climate Change, investigation, IPCC, Lomborg, science, skeptic, Skeptical Environmentalist, solar, Sun, temperature, trick | 1 Comment »
Posted by mattusmaximus on July 14, 2010
As I’ve posted in the past, the so-called “Climategate” which supposedly threw the science behind global warming into doubt seems to have been little more than hot air, an apparent propaganda campaign by climate science deniers to sow confusion on the whole issue.
Well, as I’ve pointed out in previous posts, there have been a series of three (count ‘em – THREE) independent investigations into whether or not the scientific data behind the climate science consensus are sound. The conclusions of the first two investigations (here and here) were clear: there was nothing in the extensive investigation & analysis of the data to show the scientific community’s conclusions on human-influenced global warming to be in doubt. In short, the science (and related conclusions) are trustworthy.
Now here’s the money shot: the verdict from the third independent investigation is in, and it is consistent with the first two – the climate science data are sound. In a moment of excellent media win, I was quite pleased to see that this news made headlines in a major media outlet over at MSNBC…
An independent report into the leak of hundreds of e-mails from one of the world’s leading climate research centers on Wednesday largely vindicated the scientists involved, saying they acted honestly and that their research was reliable. …
… The panel’s report said the e-mails contained nothing to overturn the case for man-made global warming put forward by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. “We did not find any evidence of behavior that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC,” it stated.
This points out to me the power of the scientific endeavor – while some deniers of climate science will still try to make some kind of hay out of these reports (probably by harping upon the less-than-glamorous language & behavior exhibited in the leaked emails, which shows that scientific researchers are, like the rest of us, human – duh), it should be apparent to any objective observer that the science behind the consensus on human-influenced global warming is now vindicated. Far from attempting to engage in a cover up, the scientists & institutions involved readily submitted to the necessary investigations – as they should when big questions & controversies come up – and I think as a result the science is stronger than before.
But that won’t stop those with an ideological bone to pick with the climate science community – for them, such as with other science deniers (like creationists in regards to their mind-boggling denial of evolution), they will likely downplay or ignore the findings of these independent investigations in an attempt to cloud the science further. Some may even go so far as to imply a vast conspiracy in a lame attempt to rationalize away the results.
On the plus side, as I said, the results of these investigations should put some spine in the backs of researchers within the climate science community. In addition, they should carefully heed the lessons of the “Climategate” debacle in order to, in the future, protect themselves from those who would attempt to tear them down.
Posted in global warming denial, Uncategorized | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Britain, climate change, Climate Research Institute, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, CRU, denialism, denier, Earth, emails, global warming, GW, hacked, hacking, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, House of Commons, International Panel on Climate Change, investigation, IPCC, London, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, Royal Society, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature, trick, UK, United Kingdom, University of East Anglia | 2 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 16, 2010
I blogged recently about the conclusion of one of three independent investigations into the so-called Climategate concerning claims of fraud and cover-up of climate science data. As I mentioned in that first entry (titled “Climategate Ends With a Fizzle”), that investigation found absolutely no evidence of fraud. Now the second investigation, conducted by an international panel of experts in conjunction with the Royal Society, has come to similar conclusions.
Here is the entire report from the Royal Society.
And here are a few key findings…
The Panel was set up by the University in consultation with the Royal Society to assess the integrity of the research published by the Climatic Research Unit in the light of various external assertions. …
We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal. …
We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians. Indeed there would be mutual benefit if there were closer collaboration and interaction between CRU and a much wider scientific group outside the relatively small international circle of temperature specialists. …
It was not the immediate concern of the Panel, but we observed that there were important and unresolved questions that related to the availability of environmental data sets. It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government. …
A host of important unresolved questions also arises from the application of Freedom of Information legislation in an academic context. We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it. …
Now that’s two separate, independent investigations which have cleared the CRU and Dr. Jones of the outlandish claims of various global warming deniers. To date, the response I’ve seen from the deniers tends to be along the lines of…
Posted in conspiracy theories, global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Britain, climate change, Climate Research Institute, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, CRU, denialism, denier, Earth, emails, global warming, GW, hacked, hacking, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, House of Commons, investigation, London, Phil Jones, Royal Society, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature, trick, UK, United Kingdom, University of East Anglia | 7 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on April 7, 2010
If you’ve paid any attention to the issue of climate change in the past few months, you’ve no doubt heard about the so-called “Climategate”. Without getting into the history of the “gate” too much (if you’re really hardcore, read about the entire sordid tale here), the allegation on the part of global-warming deniers goes something like this:
Hackers have broken into the database of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit – and put the files they stole on the Internet. The 1079 emails and 72 documents seem indeed evidence of a scandal involving scientists pushing the man-made warming theory, suggesting conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.
In other words, the deniers were claiming that there was a vast conspiracy on the part of the climate science community to conceal that global-warming was a hoax. There’s a quick, one-word answer to that charge: FAIL
And how do I know this? Very simple, really… a thorough public investigation has been conducted in the United Kingdom about the actions of Dr. Phil Jones and the Climate Research Unit (CRU). And it is worth noting that genuine skeptics, like me, were actually calling for just such an investigation back when the hacked emails were originally leaked – hell, if there was some kind of cover-up, I sure wanted to know about it. And if there was nothing to the allegations, I firmly believed that the science would only be strengthened by an investigation.
But that isn’t what the global-warming deniers seemed to want. All they ever seemed interested in was simply ranting & screaming about The Conspiracy – it was almost as if they were afraid that an investigation would discover that their ranting claims were, pardon the pun, so much hot air. And you know what? That’s exactly what happened.
Read on to see the conclusions of the investigation… (and, btw, you can get the full House of Commons report here)
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in conspiracy theories, global warming denial | Tagged: AGW, anthropogenic, Britain, climate change, Climate Research Institute, Climategate, conspiracy, conspiracy theory, cover up, CRU, denialism, denier, Earth, emails, global warming, GW, hacked, hacking, hide the decline, hoax, hockey stick, House of Commons, investigation, Phil Jones, science, skeptic, solar, Sun, temperature, trick, UK, United Kingdom, University of East Anglia | 3 Comments »
Posted by mattusmaximus on March 31, 2010
In the last week, a storm of controversy has raged concerning the Roman Catholic Church and its ongoing sexual abuse scandal. For almost a decade this controversy has gone on, taking up space on newspaper pages here and there. But now the whole sordid affair has taken on a new dimension with the revelation that Vatican officials, including the current Pope Benedict XVI (whom I call, with good reason, the “Rat in the Hat”), not only knew about such systemic & widespread abuse but also actively worked to cover it up. According to a recent New York Times article…
Vatican Declined to Defrock U.S. Priest Who Abused Boys
Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.
The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.
The documents emerge as Pope Benedict is facing other accusations that he and direct subordinates often did not alert civilian authorities or discipline priests involved in sexual abuse when he served as an archbishop in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal enforcer.
What is almost as horrifying as these revelations of the systemic sexual abuse of children by pedophile priests and the effort on the part of Church officials to cover it up, apparently going all the way to the upper echelons of the Vatican, is the reaction from the Vatican in the last week. Specifically, I am referring to the absolutely staggering level of cognitive dissonance being displayed by the Vatican regarding any responsibility their institution has in this scandal.
Consider, if you will, the various reactions from the Vatican as it attempts to spin its way out of this mess, outlined by this NYTimes Op-Ed…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in free inquiry, religion | Tagged: atheism, belief, Benedict, Benedict XVI, boys, Cardinal, Catholic, Catholic Church, Catholicism, CC, children, cognitive dissonance, conspiracy, cover up, crime, dogma, free inquiry, girls, God, homosexual, investigation, Jesus, New York Times, papal infallibility, pedophile, Pope, priest, rape, Ratzinger, RCC, religion, Roman Catholic Church, scandal, sex abuse, Vatican | 11 Comments »