(Not So Simple) Twist Of Fate

by Gareth on February 21, 2012

Something I didn’t expect: Peter Gleick, the director of the Pacific Institute, a vocal opponent of climate denial and a highly respected scientist, turns out to have been behind the leak of the Heartland Institute board meeting documents that have been creating waves for the last week. Gleick made the admission in an article at Huffington Post earlier today (NZ). He reports that he received:

…an anonymous document in the mail describing what appeared to be details of the Heartland Institute’s climate program strategy. It contained information about their funders and the Institute’s apparent efforts to muddy public understanding about climate science and policy. I do not know the source of that original document but assumed it was sent to me because of my past exchanges with Heartland and because I was named in it.

In order to attempt to verify that document’s contents, he:

…solicited and received additional materials directly from the Heartland Institute under someone else’s name. The materials the Heartland Institute sent to me confirmed many of the facts in the original document, including especially their 2012 fundraising strategy and budget.

Gleick goes on to apologise for what he calls “a serious lapse of my own and professional judgment and ethics”.

As you might expect, the usual suspects are all over Gleick’s admission like a rash, but it’s important to retain some perspective here. The people so ready to decry Gleick’s actions were notably silent about the theft and release of private emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The Heartland Institute was central to promoting discussion of those emails, and continues to paint their contents as a scandal. Their hypocrisy, and that of Watts, McIntyre and the rest of the Heartland fellow travellers, is breathtaking.

Nevertheless, Gleick should not have done what he did. However valuable the public service he performed in exposing the reality of Heartland’s climate lobbying and the roots of its funding — and that information is hugely important to any “rational discussion” of why, more than 20 years after the problem was first identified, the USA and the world remains unable to take meaningful action on emissions reductions — the means he chose were not those we would expect from a respected senior scientist.

However this plays out in the longer term, it’s clear that Peter Gleick played the role of whistleblower, bringing the attention of the world to the nefarious activities of a well-funded right wing lobby group with mysterious “anonymous donors” and zero accountability for their actions. It’s a job that any worthwhile investigative journalist would have loved to have done — and which should have been done long ago.

Together with the sterling efforts of John Mashey, the leaked documents confirm in detail what many had suspected. Heartland have made a career out of subverting the truth, the law, and the democratic process.

Gleick might pay a heavy price for his indiscretion, however laudable his goals. Heartland, its funders and the pet “scientists” on their payroll must be made to pay the higher price. Their actions have condemned future generations to far worse than any lapse of judgement or ethics. The real price of Heartland’s policies will be paid in human suffering, and for that there will be no forgiveness.

See also; The Guardian, George Monbiot on why We need to know who funds these tinktank lobbyists, Union of Concerned Scientists report on How Corporations Corrupt Science at the Public’s Expense, Josh Rosenau on parallels between Heartland’s climate “education” tactics and that of creationists, plus Peter Sinclair on Heartland’s abject pleading for tobacco money as recently as 1999 — and let’s not forget they arer still getting it today, and are happy to have a “smoker’s lounge” on their web site.

[Amongst many, I like KT Tunstall, Jeff Tweedy and Bryan Ferry, but there's also a worthy Diana Krall, and of course His Bobness when he could remember how to sing.]

{ 198 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin Lack February 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

Re: WUWT et al – “Their hypocrisy.. is breathtaking”.

Re: Gleick – “It’s a job that any worthwhile investigative journalist would have loved to have done”.

Very well said on both counts. As per a comment I have posted on Andy Revkin’s NYT article (yet to appear?), it must now be hoped that this will be the beginning of the end for climate change denial; and that we will now see the denialist machine de-railed in the same way it was when acting on behalf of tobacco companies.

As you say, the only trouble is that it will be at least 20 years too late.

Dappledwater February 22, 2012 at 8:57 pm

It’s not true, I actually obtained the documents from the Heartland Institute. I am Peter Gleick!

bill February 22, 2012 at 12:07 am

Perhaps would-be-gloaters might care to toddle over to Peter Sinclair’s piece and attempt to justify Heartland’s efforts for us? No?

Anti-science is anti-science. It’s what they do. It’s also what you’re doing.

Moth Eyes February 22, 2012 at 3:28 am

“The people so ready to decry Gleick’s actions were notably silent about the theft and release of private emails from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.”

I have to disagree with that one. The people decrying Gleick’s action were the main promoters of “climategate”, they were very much all for it, and worked tirelessly to promote any possible quotemine of the contents. Stealing private emails was right, proper, and well justified.

Until it was *their* emails, of course.

Gareth February 22, 2012 at 6:46 am

Well, that’s what I meant, of course. I should perhaps rephrase that sentence…

andyS February 22, 2012 at 9:18 am

The UEA emails were not “private”. They were subject to UK FOI laws.
Whether their release is illegal depends on whether there was a hack or leak, I would imagine.

Furthermore, the emails were checked for veracity and email addresses etc were redacted before they were released.

On the other hand, the Heartland documents are private property, not subject to FOI, and their removal constitutes theft. The documents, including the allegedly faked one, were widely circulated on the internet and their veracity was not checked, even by so-called “journalists”

Martin Lack February 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

Andy, Having looked into this a bit more today, I must admit that the contradictions of Gleick -v- Kaminsky are intriguing but, even if the strategy document is fake (although I do not believe Gleick would fake it and then admit to subterfuge), the Heartland Institute (HI) will never come out of this well: Therefore, whatever happens to Gleick, he has done the World a great service in putting the HI’s political interference firmly in the public domain. I hope the IRS takes them for all they can get.

On the other hand, Climategate was the biggest cynical corporately-sponsored misinformation stunt in history (as proven by the stupidity of releasing a second batch of old emails on the second anniversary).

andyS February 22, 2012 at 9:35 am

Climategate was the biggest cynical corporately-sponsored misinformation stunt in history

Which corporations sponsored climategate?

Martin Lack February 22, 2012 at 9:57 am

I know you implied you don’t know if it was a hack or a leak but, the conspiracy theorists lost any credibility they had as a result of Climategate 2.0.

Most people (i.e. everyone except conspiracy theorists) now accept the whole thing was probably sponsored – or at very least encouraged – by Conservative Think Tanks like the Heartland Institute: It is part of a now-very-well-documented pattern of behaviour. Do yourself a favour and download and carefully read Jacques P. et al (2008), ‘The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism’, Environmental Politics Vol 17 (3).

I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you but, your entire scientific conspiracy is an illusion, whereas the political conspiracy to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate disruption is a well-documented reality.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 10:52 am

I’m sorry to have to be the one to break it to you but, your entire scientific conspiracy is an illusion

What scientific conspiracy are you referring to?

Richard Christie February 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Reduced to point scoring on semantics Andy?

Macro February 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm

And not very well I might add.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 4:33 pm

My point is that Martin is claiming that there are conspiracy theorists on Climategate, whilst himself presenting a conspiracy theory that climate gate was sponsored.

No evidence, just a conspiracy. I guess Martin wil be telling us next that the Moon Landings were a fake and 911 was an inside job.

Martin Lack February 22, 2012 at 7:45 pm

Andy, You seem like an intelligent guy to me, so will you please stop pretending to be so dim? Anyone who believes any of the things in Delingpole’s Watermelons v2 must, by definition, be a conspiracy theorist: The theory being that environmental alarmism has been manufactured – and is being perpetuated – to guarantee research funding and/or facilitate worldwide authoritarian government. Either version of the conspiracy is an illusion.

The reality of the situation is that the denial of ACD is an ideologically-driven campaign – the latest in a long line of such campaigns – to “downplay, dismiss or deny” the reality of an environmental threat. This is not a theory, it is a well-documented historical fact. This is what the petrochemical, power generation and tobacco industries did in the past; and it is what the fossil fuel lobby has been doing for at least the last 20 years.

It therefore seems to me that, rather than bow to this reality, you are pretending not to understand me; or are misrepresenting what I said. However, I trust I have now explained myself fully.

adelady February 22, 2012 at 10:02 am

“the Heartland documents are private property”

But they’re not the standard private property we acknowledge in domestic or business matters. Nor are they the kind of privacy matters we also acknowledge in genuine charity operations where clients personal details must be shielded from external view.

These documents are from an organisation that enjoys total exemption from taxation for its own activities and, as a consequence, people who donate funds also gain tax deductions. It’s very much in the public interest, certainly in the USA, that the subsidies from public funds are being used for appropriate purposes.

My own suspicion is that Peter Gleick is probably kicking himself for not waiting a day or so. If he’d known what Mashey was releasing, he’d probably have been relieved that someone else had done the job for him.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 10:54 am

Presumably we should also feel free to steal documents from activist organisations that use the same charitable status as Heartland, if that is your justification.

Oh hang on, the activists are “good guys”, Heartland are “bad guys”. Different rules apply. Sorry

Macro February 22, 2012 at 11:37 am

Ah! your starting to get it at long last andy!
Yes different rules do apply. It’s called ethical behaviour.
“Which is more important, telling the truth or preventing harm?” A lot depends on context. In some cases, it is probably more important to tell the truth. In others, it is probably more important to prevent harm. A number of factors make up the context, including factors of time and place, the type and nature of the relationships involved, other people’s reasonable expectations, and the relevant history of the situation
Was it right for David to steal the food of the gods from the temple because he was hungry? Was it right for him to steal his neighbours wife?
If someone is indulging in unethical behaviour is it right to obtain documentation to reveal their immorality?
If someone is working for the good of humanity is it right to copy their working documents, and then misquote and slander them in an effort to undermine their work?
You may disagree, and you most likely will, because your mindset can not accept the fact, that an institution which calls itself “Heartland” could be working for anything other than the goodness of mankind..
By their behaviour you shall know them.
Have a good hard look at the behaviours of them both. Peter Gleick and Heartland. Who has owned up? Who has misquoted documentation? There are many other questions to be asked as well, and in the end you have to decide who is acting in the interests of others, and who is acting in preserving self-interest. I consider that there is only one clear answer to that.

Gareth February 22, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Stephan Lewandowsky has just posted a superb piece at The Conversation on the ethical dilemma posed by Gleick’s actions: The morality of unmasking Heartland.

Revealing to the public the active, vicious, and well-funded campaign of denial that seeks to delay action against climate change likely constitutes a classic public good.

It is a matter of personal moral judgment whether that public good justifies Gleick’s sting operation to obtain those revelations.

Macro February 22, 2012 at 2:43 pm

He says it much better than I.
As Kant says in discussing the Categorical Imperative
“Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in the person of another, always at the same time as an end and never simply as a means.”
This places more emphasis on the unique value of human life as deserving of our ultimate moral respect and thus proposes a more personal view of morality. ie act first in the interests of others.

bill February 22, 2012 at 11:55 am

Funny, Andy, I don’t recall any indignation over the theft of a cache of private emails on your part, or their selective and dishonest dicing-and-slicing into chum that has never gone away, and doubtlessly never will – despite multiple debunkings and the highest-conceivable vindications.

No, that was all an ‘opportunity to learn’ wasn’t it?

And may I remind you? To this bloody day.

(Perhaps you could spend some more time in the Smokers’ Lounge. Or take in the sights at Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly? Yep, some folks sure do chuck it around, don’t they?)

And you’re telling me that you and the rest of the gaggle around here wouldn’t go into salivating triumphalist fits if someone hacked Greenpeace’s servers and discovered that George Soros was funding their imminent ‘Kids 4 Climate’ schools outreach plan? Give me a break! You wouldn’t ponder the ethical dimension for 30 seconds!

I’ve said it before; you only look ridiculous on a high-horse.

In such a serious matter the public interest is clearly served by knowing who’s funding Heartland and what they’re trying to achieve by ginning-up yet another ‘scientific debate’ where there isn’t one, and all effectively subsidised by US taxpayers. It’s a pity that the grotesquely lopsided power allowed to corporations – and their various cat’s paws – makes all this so difficult to drag into the daylight without resorting to such stunts.

Again, if this is really all so upstanding and unproblematic, where is the full disclosure from, say, the NZCSC on their funding relationship with Heartland?

Frankly, I find the hypocrisy of you all extremely irritating.

And I’m not alone: one thing this whole episode has really reinforced for me is that there’s a lot of really smart and capable people out there who also appear to have reached the point of having had enough of you all!

Gleick has seriously screwed up, but he doesn’t deserve to be crowed over by a bunch of gloating Pharisees! Beware you’re not facing a ‘Pyrrhic Victory Ahead!’

andyS February 22, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Frankly, I find the hypocrisy of you all extremely irritating.

My feelings entirely.
Remind me how much taxpayers money we are spending on climate activism?

Remember, this is money that could be used to solve real problems, like poverty, hunger and disease.
For example, the climate “fast start” programmes:

NZ contribution SUS 74 million
Australia $US 641 million
EU $10 billion

The folks in Greece who are threatening to kill themselves, or are handing their children into care because they cannot afford to feed them might wonder where this $10 billion is going. Building solar panels and wind turbines perhaps?
Maybe there are some vested interests in those companies. Ones who are creaming in huge profits via subsidies.

Carol Cowan February 22, 2012 at 5:15 pm

“Remember, this is money that could be used to solve real problems, like poverty, hunger and disease.

Don’t be such a fool, Andy, climate change is a REAL problem – bringing poverty, hunger, disease, displacement, destruction … and who knows what else. The money spent on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would have gone a long way to solving those problems, too. The money being spent on developing new power sources and infrastructure has not been taken from the pockets of the starving, eh?

bill February 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Frankly, Andy, I don’t believe you care at all.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Bill, you may ” believe ” that I don’t care at all, but I ” know ” that you do not care at all. The environmental movement is so self obsessed that it is prepared to sacrifice human life in the name of dogma.
This is why Patrick Moore described Greenpeace as ” anti science, anti intellectual, and ultimately anti human”
This perfectly describes my views of the green movement too.

bill February 22, 2012 at 7:40 pm

*wibble* ! imminent meltdown alert !

Sorry, what’s the bit again about us always trying to divert all your precious money to those unworthy Third Worlders? I can’t keep up.

Here’s another guy who also weeps copious crocodile tears for the poor. Yep, I bet it all keeps him awake at night, just like it does you! (His little foundation’s defunct now, incidentally. How sad.)

Do you think anyone here believes,you, Andy; even your ostensible allies? Because I don’t.

Pharisees is right!

Gosman February 22, 2012 at 11:19 am

I agree there is hypocrisy here on both sides.

As stated in another thread I seem to remember Gareth being even reluctant to discuss the CRU e-mail’s because they were apparently stolen. I also remember him making comments along the lines of how private e-mails somehow can be taken out of context and therefore shouldn’t really be discussed

Personally I think this just highlights why information on this matter should be more open to public scrutiny on both sides. This also includes e-mail’s from work related servers. If people have difficulty defending their e-mails then they really shouldn’t be sending them in the first place.

Gosman February 22, 2012 at 11:22 am

I’m actually enjoying the schadenfreude of this whole situation for the AGW Skeptics. Almost karma like.

Rob Taylor February 22, 2012 at 11:51 am

Agreed, Gosman – almost biblical, also.

Australis February 22, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Gleick has confessed to a form of identity theft to gain possession of private board papers. He admits that he uttered a document now known to be a forgery. His stated motive was to do harm to a group of people who disagreed with him.

He now regrets his “lapse of judgment”. Others agree, and his resignations from IGU, NCSE, etc have been speedily accepted. The legal effects will probably reverberate for some years.

Is it appropriate that Hot Topic should continue to give currency to the material in the forged documed – now that it knows the facts?

Gareth February 22, 2012 at 1:53 pm

The subject matter of the document Heartland claim is a fake is corroborated by the board meeting papers – which have been confirmed as accurate by Heartland (at least indirectly). But none of the coverage here has depended on the precise wording of that document, only on the stuff featured elsewhere.

This stuff is now in the public domain. I wish the same were not true of the CRU emails, but neither genie can be stuffed back into the bottle.

Mashey’s work, of course, was compiled from public sources, and in the long run may prove the more damaging because of its implications for the web of right wing/libertarian think tanks funded by the same people who feature in the Heartland roster.

Meanwhile, Heartland is on a hiding to nothing.

bill February 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm

Ooh, pompous!

Last week, someone stole some documents from us and forged a memo claiming to state our ‘strategy” on global warming.

First, parse the sentence above. It’s one of Joe Bast’s. Here. Read it and wince.

‘Alleged’ to be forged is what I believe you mean, until the legal process has completed. Given that the material in the strategy doc is, apparently, fundamentally a ‘sexing up’ of already confirmed material many of us are genuinely curious about what any alleged harms and associated charges will be.

Please indicate the ‘currency’ of the material from the forged document. Read Gareth’s carefully-written articles on the topic for a start. Have you noticed that we don’t actually need the ‘strategy’ doc, nor, ironically – and significantly due to Heartlands own rather-less-than-tactical response – any of the leaked docs at all to run this story anymore?

It’s not like people haven’t been saying it repeatedly.

Now go here. Then we can discuss the word ‘hypocrisy’ yet-a-bloody-gain.

bill February 23, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Further – the Centre For American Progress’ General Counsel responds to Heartland.

Anyone looking to do anything beyond bloviating (or, as seems more likely, parroting some other party’s bloviations) on this topic would do well to actually read it.

cyclone February 22, 2012 at 1:51 pm

No hypocrisy at all here Andy S. Spare us the tears for the Greeks – I doubt you give a damn – besides their problems have nought to do with “fast start” programs. Why not suggest other, and far less moral, sources of money to help the Greeks such as weapons research or Goldman Sach’s bonuses.

Can I just that say that I fully understand why Latonya Harris was chronically truant, she must have found it extremely difficult to work with the climate denier creeps from HI.

John Mashey February 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I’m not sure if this is the right thread, but many people got all excited about Heartland’s proposed attempt to inject its alternate universe into K-12 education. Ho-hum, They’ve been trying for years, ineptly.
I offer Fakeducation For Years From Heartland.
Make sure to watch the 5-minute trailer.

Macro February 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm

They even wheel out Vincent Gray!
Funny how the graphs all start at 1998, or finish before 1980, or have a very exaggerated vertical axis…..
I wonder if these people really believe the lies they spread. (I note a number are emeritus…)
And as some one asked: Is the presenter one of the 10000 “scientists” on Heartlands list? :)

bill February 22, 2012 at 5:39 pm

John M. when you’ve got a moment I’ve got an idea for further possible media interest in your research. Can I contact you via the Techviser link?

John Mashey February 22, 2012 at 7:17 pm

The easiest is to use the email address on the first page of Fake science…

bill February 22, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Ah, missed that! Ta; will do.

bill February 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Do watch the trailer folks – I found it so exemplary I even counted the memes:

After Kristie Pelletier’s remarkable ‘I’m not a scientist but I have worked for one’(!?!) (Coffman, it turns out) – we then get:

The earth stopped warming in 1998 and there has been no statistical increase in the earth’s temperature since then. Instead of warming the earth’s temperature dropped by half a degree Celsius since 2007.

This over a chart that ends in 2008.

Then we get: Tim Ball / Vincent Gray (“The IPCC is a political organization”) / Pat Michaels (“People have to understand that the entire Global Climate Change hysteria is driven by computer models”) / ‘the climate fingerprint is not present’ / ‘climate always changes’ / ‘it’s a natural cycle’ / ‘fewer recent hurricanes [ending in 2000, I note]‘ / Coffman (“The British High court found that The Inconvenient Truth [sic] contains so many exaggerations and scientific errors that it ruled that the video could not be shown in British public schools without a disclaimer that it’s a political film.”) / ‘Greenland is only melting on the edges and thickening on top so there’s only a “slight decline for the entire continent” / ‘It’s the Sun’ with a chart that tracks solar irradiance against Greenland’s [purported] temperature* / “although scientists don’t know yet exactly how it works” / ‘did we mention it’s the sun?’ / “is CO2 even a pollutant?” / No – “it’s a very important nutrient; perhaps the most important one” / Pat Michaels loves it, too! / ‘we humans are too puny to change the mighty climate’ / and we wrap up with Willie Soon telling us that it’s a “complete false picture that carbon dioxide is going to drive the Climate System”

Phew! I don’t know about you, but my Denier Bingo Card is full!

Anyone want to attempt to defend this as anything even approaching a valid educational package?

Actually, I think this will make a fine instructional product in the future; a neat encapsulation of the entire strategy of the charming people who baked your planet, kids! Learn to switch your BS detectors on!

*Check it out! Seriously, it’s labelled ‘a Sun-Greenland Coincidence?’ and it’s tracking temps at friggin’ Ammasalik! Monckton would be proud! Even then the focus tails off the chart suspiciously early as the turn of the Century approaches…

andyS February 22, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Now that Peter Gleick has ended his career in this spectacular fashion, I wonder which next martyr will self- immolate for The Cause.

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Andy – are you now clear about what Climategate wasn’t – or did you not read what I said – or are you just ignoring me?
http://hot-topic.co.nz/not-so-simple-twist-of-fate/#comment-29857

andyS February 23, 2012 at 2:57 pm

You are asking me to comment on Watermelons, which I haven’t read.

With respect to Climategate, I read both The CRUTape Letters by Mosher and Fuller, and The Hockey Stick Illusion, by Montford.

I haven’t seen any indication from either book that there was a corporate involvement

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

What the hell is the difference? They are two sides of the same coin. If one is nonsense they are both nonsense. However, if all you read is conspiracy theorist nonsense, how can you possibly get your facts straight? Climategate was an illusiory scandal precisely because there is no alarmist conspiracy.

And if you want to get your science from a Chartered Accountant then, I suppose you will go to an Acupuncturist to get a prognosis for testicular cancer…

By the way, Lindzen was his usual obfuscatory self; and his talk was unchanged in 21 months (what a joke). Lindzen interrupted me before I could ask my question and, having realised I was not on-message, Monckton (chair) would not let me ask one. I will be blogging about it next Tuesday, following ‘James Delingpole – the ideological sceptic’ (tomorrow) and ‘Climategate – the final nail in the denial movement’ (Monday).

andyS February 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Why are these books nonsense? Neither propose conspiracy theories, and give lots of detail on the incidents leading up to the leaks.

HSI, in particular, was mostly written before Climategate and the emails just confirm what he had written.

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

The starting point of HSI is that ever since the UN and WMO got together to from the IPCC,* there has been a global scientific conspiracy to foist environmental alarmism on a credulous world. Total nonsense. Q.E.D.

You haven’t read Jacques et al yet have you!

* N.B. They didn’t exactly do this, Ronald Reagan designed the IPCC to be his poodle and made sure that it could not publish anything the US Government did not like. Hence all its reports under-state the problem.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm

The starting point of HSI is that ever since the UN and WMO got together to from the IPCC, there has been a global scientific conspiracy to foist environmental alarmism on a credulous world. Total nonsense. Q.E.D.

Utter garbage. Why do you write this Martin? Have you even read the book?

HSI is a detailed book about the Hockey Stick and Paleoclimatology. It goes into excruciating detail about Principal Component Analysis, tree ring data, etc etc.
There is no mention of “conspiracies”

Heck, if you read the other comments from me on this thread, you’d understand that Andrew Montford was the guest of the Met Office at their expense this week, where they had a fruitful discussion.
Richard Betts, a principal scientist at the Met Office, is a frequent commenter on Bishop Hill.

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

No, sorry, Andy, you are the one talking nonsense. Yes I have read the book; and reviewed it on my old blog (no longer active) on the Telegraph website
Montford – forget Hockey; Stick to maths! (16 June 2011)

andyS February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Ok, give me the page number(s) where Montford talks about IPCC “conspiracies” so I can look it up

Macro February 23, 2012 at 4:16 pm

For the casual reader, a complete debunking of andys case and a thorough-going analysis of Montford’s book which andy bangs on about endlessly is here

andyS February 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm

andyS February 23, 2012 at 4:07 pm
Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:59 pm

Martin, having read your “review” of HSI a couple of times, I note the following:

(1) Most of your argument is ad hominem You argue that an accountant with a Chemistry degree is incapable of understanding and criticising Paleoclimatology (a very small subset of what we refer to as “Climate Science”) You argue that someone who is criticising the science must have an agenda.

(2) You argue that someone who has an understanding of the historical context of the Global Warming Scare (Rio Earth Summit, Maurice Strong, etc) is a conspiracy theorist.

I reject both of these lines of argument.
(1) I would never be so presumptuous that someone outside my discipline could criticise my work. In fact I would welcome it. Cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer can be very productive.
(2) A historical understanding of a possible political agenda does not make you a conspiracy theorist. The agenda may well have sound scientific concerns. It does not make it a conspiracy. Likewise, there is a clear agenda in the EU for political and fiscal union of the member states. An understanding of the historical context of this does not make you a conspiracy theorist.

Macro February 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

andy – you do of course realise that a MWP warmer than today would imply a very high climate sensitivity. (CO2 levels being much lower than today)
Yet here you claim that climate sensitivity is over stated.
You can’t have it both ways you know.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Macro February 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm

andy – you do of course realise that a MWP warmer than today would imply a very high climate sensitivity. (CO2 levels being much lower than today)

Your argument assumes that CO2 is the major driver of climate, therefore there is an element of circular reasoning to your argument.

And besides, if CO2 drove the MWP, what drove the LIA?

,

Macro February 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm

Sorry andy but your sophistry doesn’t work with me.

The facts of the greenhouse effect are well established. The result of a doubling of CO2 above pre-industrial levels is undisputed.

Do you, or do you not, accept the conclusions of Dr M Mann et al and the subsequent verification of over 20 other peer reviewed papers on the topic utilising a variety of differing proxies?

andyS February 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm

Macro February 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm
Do you, or do you not, accept the conclusions of Dr M Mann et al and the subsequent verification of over 20 other peer reviewed papers on the topic utilising a variety of differing proxies?

No I do not.
Furthermore, neither do a lot of so-called mainstream climate scientists.
This from Tamsin Edwards, a climate modeller at the Met Office and a self-confessed “super-curious greenie physicist.”

Jonty and I were fairly vocal in defending Andrew and his book, and criticising the dominant paradigm of inverse modelling in palaeoclimate, and I had the feeling the rest of the audience concluded we were saying sensible things and that the HSI was worth a look.

Tamsin

Macro February 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm

So then, you “believe” that the MWP was warmer than today. On what do you base this belief??
And I don’t care what tamsin says – she would still have to confirm that such a belief does IMPLY a very high climate sensitivity. But seeing she corresponds on your favourite site – why don’t you ask her?

Macro February 24, 2012 at 10:29 am

andy I majored in logic. I know what a logical fallacy is.
Either you agree with the conclusions of Dr Mann and others, or you don’t.
You say you don’t – but shirk the reasons for your belief. Because to do so would be to admit the inconsistency in your argument.
The “conspiracy” against Dr Mann, is primarily concerned with his conclusions – for if you want to deny the danger of increasing GHG, you must argue that it’s “all happened before” and the primary example would be a MWP being as warm or warmer than today. Unfortunately, for those who take this position, the facts do not support the theory. So they resort to ad hominem attacks on the primary person who knocks their contention out of the water.
Now do you see why it is important to be honest about your conclusions regarding the science. You either base your beliefs on legend and analogy and wishful thinking, or you accept the science and get on with it.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm

Macro February 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm
then, you “believe” that the MWP was warmer than today. On what do you base this belief??

Why do you believe that I believe that the MWP was warmer than today? What do you base you belief on? Was it something that I said? Or was it something that you inferred from your stereotypical view of what a climate denier (sic) should behave like?

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Now you’re stalling, Andy – or are you a computer program that just repeats back what it cannot parse?

Come to think of it, that would explain a lot….

Tony February 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Macro,

I think we have to throw in the towel, AndyS has got us. Tamsin is a reputable source of information from the Met Office, and I think we need to bow our heads to her views summarised quite nicely in this easy to understand powerpoint display here:

http://bristol.academia.edu/TamsinEdwards/Teaching/23949/Climate_Change_Denial

Macro February 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

“Why do you believe that I believe that the MWP was warmer than today? What do you base you belief on? Was it something that I said?”

Well I’ll play your silly little game this once andy – because yes it IS something that you said.

I asked you quite clearly if you concurred with the conclusions of Dr M Mann et al and the subsequent verification by over 20 other different researchers. You replied quite firmly that you did not. Dr Mann’s research showed that the so-called MWP was not as warm as today (research that has since been verified many times over I might add).

Ergo you must believe that it is.

Therefore I ask my question again. On what do you base this belief?

andyS February 24, 2012 at 8:56 am

Macro February 24, 2012 at 7:45 am

You question is a logical fallacy.
My “belief” in the MWP is irrelevant to the hockey stick affair, and it is most certainly irrelevant to this thread. I only brought up the topic because Martin was badgering me to respond to his review of HSI.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 6:19 pm

Martin Lack February 23, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Martin, since you went to Lindzen’s talk, you might be interested in this writeup in The Independent

The pdf of the slides from the talk is here for those who didn’t make it along.

Carol Cowan February 22, 2012 at 5:18 pm

Peter Gleick is a hero.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Hero? The guy can’t even bring himself to read “delinquent teenager” before giving it a one star review on Amazon. This guy has just scored a spectacular own goal for the climate activist industry.

Rob Taylor February 22, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Andy, have you never heard of Daniel Ellsberg? He exposed the web of lies and deceit regarding the US war against East Asia. By committing a crime (leaking secret documents), he helped end a much bigger crime, that of genocide.

Nelson Mandela committed the crime of armed insurrection against the racist, pro-Nazi Afrikaaner regime in South Africa, and became an inspiration for billions of people across the globe.

Are Ellsberg and Mandela remembered for their crimes, or their heroism? Peter Gleick will be no different, for he has exposed the lie that is at the heart of the denialist-industrial nexus that threatens us all.

andyS February 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm

You might like Fenbeagle’s cartoon of the Noble Knight Sir Gleick

The Green Treens is fun too.

Beaker February 23, 2012 at 4:04 am

Cos if Dellinpole thinks Fenbeagle is a genius then he must be eh andyS.
So, after all this activity here trying to imagine climate change away and concocting reasons against wind turbines, you are now down to funny pictures in an online comic. Should have started and stayed there andyS

bill February 22, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I remember when Reagan labelled Mandela a ‘terrorist’ and placed him and the rest of the ANC on the Terrorist Watch List. And there they both stayed until 2008; only being removed just in time for the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s 90th birthday.

Further, to all who think they’re looking forward to being bloodily vindicated by proxy via some putative legal action, remember the actual verdict in the Scopes trial? No, you don’t, because reason won that contest despite the verdict.

Brendan H February 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm

Martin Lack: “Peter Gleick is to be applauded for what he has done (and for having the decency to admit it).”

I can’t agree. Gleick has been incredibly stupid and made a major error of judgement by indulging in a childish subterfuge.

Charitably, he may be suffering under some personal or professional strain. Nevertheless, he has permanently damaged his reputation and irretrievably damaged the image of climate scientists.

In the past, I have defended climate scientists against sceptics’ accusations of fraud and deceit. I won’t be doing that again.

To paraphrase my old schoolmaster: Gleick has let himself down, he’s let down his family and colleagues, and he’s let down the tyres of the global warming movement.

The warming side now needs to very quickly distance themselves from Gleick’s actions. Those who defend him risk going down with him.

People really need to get their heads around the reality that any more of this sort of behavior is going to break the bank. A good first start would be a whole lot of introspection aimed at losing the tribalism and aggression that characterises too many in the climate movement.

Macro February 22, 2012 at 10:18 pm

‘In the past, I have defended climate scientists against sceptics’ accusations of fraud and deceit. I won’t be doing that again.’

yeah I’ll bet.

bill February 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Better trolls, please.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 3:20 am

Wake up, Brendan. The story is about Heartland, who pay “sceptics” to lie about AGW, not Gleick, who got incontrovertible evidence of this.

Thomas February 23, 2012 at 3:25 am

“People really need to get their heads around the reality that any more of this sort of behavior is going to break the bank.”….
Any more of our relentless assault on the ecosystem will break more than the bank, it will break the planet, peace, prosperity and our chances for a reasonable tomorrow…
When will Brendan and Co get it? This is NOT the tobacco wars (even though it has some of the same players from Heartland to many of the others dark figures in this sorry saga). This is not about your bank or the economy or somebodies right to fill their lungs with tar while others profit. No, this is much much bigger than that.
And pulling the hood from the face of Heartland and their anonymous conspirators is an outcome that is a small step in the right direction.

Brendan H February 23, 2012 at 6:24 am

Rob Taylor: “Wake up, Brendan. The story is about Heartland, who pay “sceptics” to lie about AGW, not Gleick, who got incontrovertible evidence of this.”

Gleick has made himself the story. The story is the all-too-familiar: the preacher commits the very sin he preaches against. And there’s also the standard supreme irony: the transgression is so very pathetic and small, but the consequences are huge, and most of them bad.

Now he’s stuck with it, and we’re stick with him, so we’re stuck with it too. The bottom line for me is that I’m not prepared to defend this action, not only because it’s an ethical lapse but also because of its utter incompetence.
Gleick got fingered within hours, even before he confessed.

And to again paraphrase another commentator: sceptics have for long accused global warming “advocates” of lying and cheating. This guy hands them the evidence on a plate, and maybe more.

If it happens that Gleick also wrote the dubious/fake document, you can add fraud to the list, and you’ve got a trifecta.

You couldn’t read about, but we are.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 8:18 am

Concern troll. Take your crocodile tears elsewhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concern_troll#Concern_troll

Brendan H February 23, 2012 at 10:35 pm

Rob: “Concern troll. Take your crocodile tears elsewhere.”

That’s a complex and multi-faceted argument you’ve got going there, Rob. I may need some time to unpack its many nuances and subtleties.

Meanwhile, I think it’s fair to say that the Gleick fiasco and its aftermath has become a sort of absurdist drama, with everybody shouting which side are you on?

For myself, I made a commitment a while back to stay on my own side, and I’ve found that a mostly successful strategy.

Apart from anything else, it’s an interesting exercise to move away from the tribal thing and free yourself from the cramped orthodoxies of the committed. Makes a change, anyway, and a change is as good as a holiday.

bill February 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Yaaaaawn.

Since you’re clearly the world’s wisest company, feel free to toddle off and keep it…

Brendan H February 24, 2012 at 7:21 am

Bill: “Since you’re clearly the world’s wisest company, feel free to toddle off and keep it…”

Well certainly a lot wiser than Gleick, who’s currently in deep shit.

Another aspect to consider is that what I have said about Gleick is substantively the same as our host’s judgement: “Nevertheless, Gleick should not have done what he did…the means he chose were not those we would expect from a respected senior scientist.”

OK, that comment soft-soaps the reality a bit (especially the blog fallout), and my criticisms have been more hard hitting, but the thought’s the same.

Tribalism is a constant among humans, but on climate – that is, the cultural and political aspects,not the science – it is steadily corroding the issue to the point where there’s not much left apart from effing and blinding and checking to see who’s on side.

The Gleick episode has turned into a bit of a litmus test of critical thinking and ,sadly, one or two people I respect have let themselves down badly.

On the other hand, the response has also revealed the commentators who got it right, or were smarter or more critical, or perhaps enjoyed a different perspective. So maybe there’s a silver lining to this episode, apart from the documents themselves.

Brendan H February 23, 2012 at 6:26 am

Thomas: “Any more of our relentless assault on the ecosystem will break more than the bank…”

“Break the bank” is a figure of speech. It means the global warming people are drawing down the credit of credibility, and people like me are becoming very reluctant to be seen in the same company as some of those who are otherwise on “my side”.

“And pulling the hood from the face of Heartland and their anonymous conspirators is an outcome that is a small step in the right direction.”

The anonymity of big donors who fund political action is a problem, although not one we can solve right here. But “anonymous conspirators” is a step too far, akin to the Agenda 21 claims of some of the wilder sceptics. Heartland is just doing what they are able to do within the system.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 8:40 am

From “The organisation of denial: Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism”:

“Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems, and self-professed ‘sceptics’ claim to be unbiased analysts combating ‘junk science’.

This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language
environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992, are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs).

Further, we analyse CTTs involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them espouse environmental scepticism.

We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism, and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.”

“…environmental sceptics are not, as they portray themselves, independent and objective analysts. Rather, they are predominately agents of CTTs, and their success in promoting scepticism about environmental problems stems from their affiliation with these politically powerful institutions.”

http://ucf.academia.edu/PeterJacques/Papers/71776/The_Organization_of_Denial_Conservative_Think_Tanks_and_Environmental_Scepticism

(Thanks for the link, Martin)

andyS February 23, 2012 at 10:49 am

We conclude that scepticism is a tactic of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism

Wow, so many conspiracy theories, it’s hard to keep up.

Meanwhile, back in the world of the Evil Denier ™, Andrew Montford has had a pleasant engagement with the Met Office. I think they even picked up the expenses tab, and Richard Betts shouted him lunch.

Gareth February 23, 2012 at 10:55 am

A case of keeping your enemies close, perhaps.

Meanwhile, you don’t need to invoke conspiracy theories to explain the denial movement. It’s been extensively documented. See this Jeff Masters post for an overview of some recent books on the subject.

Have you already forgotten about “doubt is our product”? Turning a blind eye to Hearltand’s tobacco advocacy?

Macro February 23, 2012 at 4:38 pm

This is the same Richard Betts the lead author of the recently published “When could Global Warming Reach 4 degrees Centigrade?”
in which it states:
“This paper presents simulations of climate
change with an ensemble of GCMs driven by the A1FI scenario, and also assesses the
implications of carbon-cycle feedbacks for the climate-change projections. Using these
GCM projections along with simple climate-model projections, including uncertainties
in carbon-cycle feedbacks, and also comparing against other model projections from the
IPCC, our best estimate is that the A1FI emissions scenario would lead to a warming
of 4◦C relative to pre-industrial during the 2070s. If carbon-cycle feedbacks are stronger,
which appears less likely but still credible, then 4◦C warming could be reached by the
early 2060s in projections that are consistent with the IPCC’s ‘likely range’.”

I notice in the blog you refer to that he is NOT a frequent commentator but is referred to in passing – a name-dropping exercise by the poster.

ooops sorry about the formatting folks

andyS February 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Betts is a modeller, so his comments that you refer to are based on the outputs of his models.

See here

Most climate scientists* do not subscribe to the 2 degrees “Dangerous Climate Change” meme (I know I don’t). “Dangerous” is a value judgement, and the relationship between any particular level of global mean temperature rise and impacts on society are fraught with uncertainties, including the nature of regional climate responses and the vulnerability/resilience of society. The most solid evidence for something with serious global implications that might happen at 2 degrees is the possible passing of a key threshold for the Greenland ice sheet, but even then that’s the lower limit and also would probably take centuries to take full effect

Macro February 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm

hmmmm a rather unwise statement I might say.
Completely contrary to the view of most climate scientists
as detailed in “Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “reasons for concern” ” published 2009. Note in particular the graphic with the reassessed increases in concern.
Of course “dangerous” is a value judgment, but just last year the USA suffered the most extreme weather in its recorded history Pakistan had severe flooding as did Thailand, the Philippines and Australia, and we have had only 1 degree C of warming. With still more to come.
His own studies point to 4 degrees C of warming by 2060 if we don’t curb GHG emissions. Now that has to be “dangerous”.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 11:43 am

Revkin’s latest on this affair is here

Interesting too that he quotes the peer-reviewed papers that refer to the hiatus in warming for this last decade, an inconvenient fact that people here accused me of lying about

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Andy, there has been no “hiatus in warming for the last decade”, which does suggest that you are indeed a liar, if you keep on repeating such obvious BS.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-stopped-in-1998-intermediate.htm

andyS February 23, 2012 at 1:02 pm

sAndy, there has been no “hiatus in warming for the last decade”, which does suggest that you are indeed a liar, if you keep on repeating such obvious BS.

Rob Taylor, perhaps you could parse this sentence from Revkin’s article and explain it to me.

acknowledge the sequence of scientific papers since that time pointing to a pause or hiatus in the global warming trend, most notably in the 2010 Science paper by Susan Solomon and others that said:

Here we use a combination of data and models to show that stratospheric water vapor very likely made substantial contributions to the flattening of the global warming trend since about 2000.

and then parse this one for me.

And this year, there’s the paper by Gerald Meehl et al.:

There have been decades, such as 2000–2009, when the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase or even a slightly negative trend (a hiatus period).

So, if you are going to accuse me of lying by quoting Revkin’s article which quotes peer-reviewed references, please explain why.

Thomas February 23, 2012 at 7:56 pm

AndyS, your Hiatus in Warming nonsense is just hilarious. If you take the natural climate variability with its ups and downs over time and then add to that a sustained rising trend, what do you get?
You get a curve that goes upwards showing the trend clearly if you average over time scales greater than the period of the natural variability. If you look at the non-averaged data you will see ups and downs, but the ups are steeper and the downs look more like sideways movements.
What exactly don’t you understand when you look at this graph that has been held under nose so many times already by people here:
http://www.skepticalscience.com/graphics.php?g=47

Now please show us some sign of brain between the shoulders and talk about something else than boring us further with the “warming hiatus”.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm

If you take the natural climate variability with its ups and downs over time and then add to that a sustained rising trend, what do you get?

What you get is something that is tracking well below the IPCC projections for climate sensitivity, suggesting to me that sensitivity to CO2 has been overestimated.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 8:15 pm

OK, Andy, you lost that one, so just move on and change the subject… what a clever little (mass) debater you are!

andyS February 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

What you get is something that is tracking well below the IPCC projections for climate sensitivity, suggesting to me that sensitivity to CO2 has been overestimated.

Google “hiatus in global warming”, about 912,000 results returned.

I am sure you can find something in there to fit your preconceived dogma.

CTG February 24, 2012 at 6:56 am

You’re right, Andy, the only sensible thing to do is delay any action on reducing emissions for another ten years to see if the hiatus is real or not. Maybe 20 to be on the safe side. Actually, 30 years would be enough to see if there is a trend.

Although, 30 years is half of a 60-year cycle, and there might just be one of those lurking around, so let’s wait for 60 years. Better make that 120, so that we can see two cycles, just to be safe.

Yes, waiting for 150 years is definitely the right thing to do.

Macro February 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Your argument for a low climate sensitivity is incorrect because it ignores a critical factor: ocean heat uptake. Ocean heat uptake (“thermal inertia”) leads to a time lag of the actual warming behind equilibrium warming. Ocean heat uptake is not just a theoretical
or modeled phenomenon, but a measured fact. Data from about 1 million ocean temperature profiles show that the ocean gained heat at a rate of 0.6 W/m2 (averaged over the full surface of the Earth) for the period 1993–2003. See “Anthropogenic Climate Change: Revisiting the Facts” 2008 stefan rahmstorf pg 40

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Further, Andy, the links in Romm’s piece refer to surface / atmospheric TEMPERATURE, which is not the same as the HEAT CONTENT of the entire Earth system, which is inexorably rising as our greenhouse gases trap radiant energy that would otherwise escape to space, a.k.a. anthropogenic global warming.

[Snipped. Rob, please tone it down. GR]

andyS February 23, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Your attempt to confuse these different physical concepts again proves that you are either a fool, a liar, or both.

I was quoting Revkin’s article verbatim, so if you are calling me a liar and a fool then I suggest you redirect your anger at him.

Macro February 23, 2012 at 1:23 pm

“I was quoting Revkin’s article verbatim, so if you are calling me a liar and a fool then I suggest you redirect your anger at him.”

Ok we’ll just call you a fool.

Revkin is of course an “expert” –

x being the unknown quantity, and
spurt being a drip under pressure.

andyS February 23, 2012 at 1:41 pm

and Revkin was quoting peer-reviewed papers that reference the hiatus in warming (in the land temperature record, just to avoid upsetting anyone).

So maybe should call Susan Solomon a “liar and a fool” too, just to complete the trifecta.

Macro February 23, 2012 at 3:03 pm

I’m sure Revkin is capable of misquoting and misrepresenting Susan Solomon as anyone else.

Macro February 23, 2012 at 3:19 pm

The Susan Solomon who published this “Irreversible climate change due to carbon dioxide emissions” in 2009? – yeah I’m sure Revkin was scrupulous to ensure he quoted her accurately and in context.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm

More BS, Andy – you are quoting out of context, pretending that surface or atmospheric temperatures are a measure of the total heat content of the Earth system.

if you lack the basic school physics required to understand the difference, why are you wasting your time here?

Try this instead:
http://zonalandeducation.com/mstm/physics/mechanics/energy/heatAndTemperature/heatAndTemperature.html

andyS February 23, 2012 at 1:35 pm

More BS, Andy – you are quoting out of context, pretending that surface or atmospheric temperatures are a measure of the total heat content of the Earth system.

So why do we even bother with land and sea temperature series then? Why do scientific papers mention them? Why does the IPCC plot them against their projections?

Remember that some of the commenters on this blog called me a liar by claiming that NONE of the land temperature records showed a hiatus in warming, when several do, specifically the HadCrut3 series.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Think, Andy… changes in climate are only apparent in the long term, so what long term records are available to us?

We’ve had weather balloons and deep ocean buoys for how long, compared to thermometers on or near the land and ocean surface?

How long have the GRACE satellites been measuring ice loss by changes in the earth’s gravitational field?

Also, where do people tend to live and practice agriculture, along with most of the plants and animals important to us, and which part of the atmosphere affects us most?

The answer to the latter, Andy, is on or close to the surface of the land and ocean…

Is that starting to make sense, or is it all too hard for a concern troll?

Macro February 23, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Instead of wasting your time and everyone’s here with you silly links to idiot sites, why not do yourself a favour and go and find out just where all that heat is going?
Concentrating on less than 10% of the actual heating of the earth – just leads you, and all your “hero’s” into error.
Neglecting the most important component is not only stupid, but downright dishonest. Why should the atmosphere be holding more and more water vapour, and the earth experience more unprecedented weather events – more snow (eg NE USA last year and Europe this), and more rain (eg Thailand Pakistan, the Philippines, even Nelson recently) if the Oceans were not increasing their heat content?

adelady February 23, 2012 at 1:13 pm

“the observed globally averaged surface-temperature time series shows little increase ”

I wonder. The ‘globally averaged ***surface*** temperature time series’ does or does not include temperatures from the ocean beneath the ***surface***?

Anyone care to venture an answer? Perhaps the oceans had a turn of millennium meeting and decided that for this decade, and only this decade, they’d not accept or accumulate any heating. Perhaps not.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Let’s not forget the melting of 4.3 TRILLION tones of ice over the last 8 years. Where did the extra heat for that come from, Andy?

andyS February 23, 2012 at 2:18 pm

To get back on topic, The Guardian has this to say.

Not all are supporting Gleick.
Gavin Schmidt says:


“Gleick’s actions were completely irresponsible, and while the information uncovered was interesting (if unsurprising), it in no way justified his actions. There is an integrity required to do science (and talk about it credibly), and he has unfortunately failed this test.”

Richard C2 February 23, 2012 at 2:24 pm

There’s “no significant trend in the 1979–2010 ice sheet” in Antactica (Lenaerts et al 2012) and Greenland SMB only started dropping since 2000ish http://greenland2011.cryocity.org/ (Fig 2, why was that?) i.e. ice melt isn’t extraordinary at present and SSL has been falling since the beginning of 2010 so there’s no flow-on effect there either.

As for OHC, if you are attributing ALL of the build-up to anthropogenic influence you will have to provide the mechanism (peer-reviewed preferably, Peter Minnet’s RC musings don’t cut it). Even Hansen and Trenberth disagree over this and Hansen doesn’t provide a mechanism in ‘Energy Imbalance’ 2012.

Since 2003/4 only 700 – 2000m is exhibiting a rise in OHC so it must be a very interesting anthropogenic mechanism.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm

“ice melt isn’t extraordinary at present and SSL has been falling since the beginning of 2010…”

Richard, which part of “short term VARIATION versus long-term climatic TREND” do you not understand?

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Arctic-sea-ice-melt-natural-or-man-made.htm

Richard C2 February 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Versus? You have problem with both.

We are currently observing an interdecadal oscillation in a negative phase unhindered by CO2 forcing so natural variability has trumped CO2 forcing.

On a decadal scale the only rising metric of any significance is 700 – 2000m OHC (why is that rising and 700m not?) and again natural variability has trumped CO2 forcing.

On a century scale going back to 1850 with HadCRUT3/HadSST2 there’s been a negative inflexion in the long-term trend using EMD (Scafetta’s quadratic is no longer valid). And we need an anthro OHC mechanism (the peer-reviewed kind).

So the question is: where to from here? I don’t know but the next 5 yrs will be interesting because all sorts of hypotheses will be tested e.g.:-

# The omitted variable problem (solar-magnetic)
# 9 yr lag, El Ninos behind solar max., will the next one be a big one? There’s only a 32% of an El Niño in SON 2012 according to CPC/IRI.
# Was post ’98 just a climate shift and are we on the way back to the 90s regime?
# If the big 97/98 ENSO activity did bring on a climate shift what was cause or correlation? This is occupying the minds of the world’s top Earth Scientists right now in an on-going vulcanism correlation discussion along with papers from way back.
# Will CO2 force climate as per scenarios? It hasn’t for a while now.
# Will Greenland SMB loss accelerate or is the recent trend just transient? Besides SSL hasn’t been effected by it.

So basically, a long-term trend means zip unless the climate (all the key metrics) get back on it.

Does that answer your question?

Rob Taylor February 24, 2012 at 5:17 am

Wow, Richard, you sure can cut-and-paste from Watts… now please provide references to back up your claim:

“Will CO2 force climate as per scenarios? It hasn’t for a while now.”
Specifically, how long is “a while”?

BTW, a long-term trend means just that – a long-term trend. Somehow, I doubt that your word salad will magic it away…

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

Nothing from Watts (“word salad” ?)..

Here’s “a while”: http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c01538f6ce0f7970b-pi

And here’s a a long-term trend (MEI): http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/psd/enso/mei/

1950 – 1977 negative, 1977 – 2007 positive, 2007 – ? negative.

The recent negative phase has planetary implications e.g. the running ave of CET is back where it was in 1659:-

http://junksciencearchive.com/MSU_Temps/HadCET_an.html

The previous La Nina failed to recharge the ocean sufficient for an El Nino to develop so what will cause one this year of any significance?

Gareth is looking for a “Possible new global temperature record, if El Niño arrives early enough in the year”.:-

http://hot-topic.co.nz/shapes-of-things-2012-and-all-that/

And Gareth again quoting Dr Hansen “…the next El Niño will increase tropical Pacific temperatures”:-

http://hot-topic.co.nz/2011-a-hot-cold-year/

Both optimistic IMO (the odds are not bright) but time will tell.

One thing is for sure though, without some powerful driver to crank up the metrics your long-term trend means squat.

And CO2 has not been that driver this century.

Rob Taylor February 24, 2012 at 10:48 am

“And CO2 has not been that driver this century.”

Richard, you are simply confusing short-term energy interchanges between components of the Earth system, with the long-term increase in energy due to anthropogenic GHG.

Perhaps this will help you better understand – although, somehow, I doubt it:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/Search-For-Missing-Heat-Confirms-More-Global-Warming-In-The-Pipeline-.html

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

“…long-term increase in energy due to anthropogenic GHG”

Please explain in detail the physics of this with supporting literature (peer-reviewed or conventional physics, I don’t mind) in respect to OHC.

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

To clarify, I’m asking what the missing forcing mechanism is between RP’s analysis and his conclusion (his leap was noted in comments I recall).

And yes I know RP posted an SkS cool-skin article but that was essentially Minnet’s from RC.

Fairall 1996 ‘Cool-skin warm-layer’ documents the ocean-atm interaction but I’m interested in your version because there’s experimental material I could present if you subscribe to RP’s application of it to GHG forcing.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm

This is a million miles off topic in this thread. Please take this conversation to the open thread.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm

OK, Andy, I get it – you’re just an empty-headed PR flack paid to post crap on blogs that accept the evidence of AGW, and have no interest whatsoever in the subject itself.

Sheesh!

RW February 24, 2012 at 7:53 am

Exactly. And leading candidate so far in the 2012 troll contest – to see which one can bore his audience to sleep the most quickly.

Terry February 23, 2012 at 7:07 pm

SO, the man set up an email account claiming to be a board member and convinced a junior staffer to send him some documents. He then sends them, plus a document he claims was received anonymously to a couple of blogs and they go bonzo over the anonymous document. Most now seem to conclude that there are enough factual and stylistic errors in anonymous to at least cast doubt on it, and Heartland refutes it.

This is integrity in science?

Heartland has an agenda. It does not include carbon trading. They have invited Gleick and others to their conferences to debate and explain their views and been refused. Not exactly opposed to debate, or to science.

Dragging in the UEA emails is a red herring. No one has said they were fabricated or denied their authenticity. Were they hacked? Given the content and date sequence, they were most likely pruned from the back-up server over a period of time and winnowed to those released by someone with full access, and given the latest release statement it was not a critic or sceptic.

Rob’s examples also do not work. Mandela was fighting the existing government orthodoxy, as is Heartland. Gleick is not against the prevailing political view, he favors it.

Tax laws are what they are, and following them is neither virtuous nor evil. The US has a free political speech ethos that encourages argument, even outrageous argument.

Hate and disparage Heartland all you want, but try to use caution in praising Gleick. Any means to an end does not have a good history, but it is a long history.

Rob Taylor February 23, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Wrong, Terry, Nelson Mandela fought against an entrenched, wealthy and corrupt elite, not unlike the Republican billionaires and fossil fuel interests who fund Heartland, who then fund the rent boys of the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition.

I notice you don’t mention Daniel Ellsberg, an American hero who is as close a parallel to Gleick as you can get!

andyS February 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm

Back on topic, it seems that DeSmog are claiming that the faked document is real, despite the fact that Mosher sussed it was Gleick that wrote it from the choice of words long before Gleick fessed up.

This is getting interesting.

bill February 24, 2012 at 12:07 am

More boring. Gleick admitted to what, Andy? Never mind.

Did you ever think the guys at DeSmog might be somewhat more clever than, say, oh, I don’t know… you, maybe?!

I confess I have an unfair advantage, Andy, I’ve known several people for whom being sued was just another routine part of life. It is amazing what you can get away with if you hold your line and know the law, and particularly if your opponents only think they do.

(Here’s some advice – Australian context, but still of general interest – I’ve used frequently myself.)

I’m no lawyer, but consider: there has to be a case. There has to be a ‘theft’, not a ‘whistle-blowing’*; you have to have clearly claimed your right to and identified your ‘stolen’ property in a timely manner; and if there’s to be any defamation there has to be a real harm to your reputation, which might be a little difficult if your own past – and ongoing – efforts appear to be so similar as to be hypothetically no less damaging, and if you also failed to take timely steps to mitigate that harm (go back one point).

*And then there’s all that fun 1st Amendment stuff CAPAF is citing. And ‘the Public Interest’.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 9:53 am

bill February 24, 2012 at 12:07 am
Did you ever think the guys at DeSmog might be somewhat more clever than, say, oh, I don’t know… you, maybe?!

Possibly.
A little due diligence on DeSmog reveals this

John Lefebvre (born August 6, 1951), is a Canadian musician, composer, entrepreneur, retired lawyer and philanthropist currently active as a songwriter, touring performer, and recording artist—as well as an activist and advocate who has made extensive contributions to the dialogue surrounding climate change issues.
As an environmental advocate, Lefebvre is a chief benefactor of DeSmogBlog.com ,a whistleblower blog run by Vancouver public relations specialist James Hoggan.

[.....]

Lefevre first garnered public attention in 1999, when he co-founded NETeller (now known as Neovia), an online money transfer facility. Though a publicly traded UK company, the firm’s involvement in transactions serving the then-fledgling online gambling sector led to U.S. charges of possible money laundering against the company and his arrest in January 2007.Lefebvre plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to conduct illegal Internet gambling transactions and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors and testify if necessary.

bill February 24, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Old news. Now, try facing the substance of what I wrote instead of – yet again – wriggling around onto some other topic you feel more comfortable with.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm

Now, try facing the substance of what I wrote

Which was what? That DeSmog might be smarter than me? As I said, quite possibly.

The fact is that DeSmog is a professionally funded PR outfit (read: propaganda). They are obviously deeply in up to their knees on this issue. They are paid to spin up the Global Warming message, to downplay the uncertainties.

We have a lot of these organisations. Bob Ward of the Grantham Institute is another example of a professional spin doctor.

These guys get paid good money to spin the “message”. Heartland, from looking at the documents, are trying to raise some money, probably a lot smaller amount, to counter some of that spin. I haven’t seen anything particularly shocking, or any smoking guns in those documents.

bill February 24, 2012 at 2:15 pm

God, you just don’t get it, do you? What a bloody gift; well, then, what is Heartland, Andy? (You need to try engaging the old cerebral cortex as you’re typing, you know!)

And look, another squirrel!

Shit, cornered! Quick, the 1/2/3 move: 1.Pick some close-ish Denier meme (Doesn’t need to be a good match.). 2. Chuck. 3. Run.

Or perhaps you do get it! Because you really are rattled, aren’t you, Andy? You and so many of your fake-skeptic buddies really thought they were about to get ringside seats at some sort of Warmist bloodbath, and it just isn’t working out that way, is it?

Hey, look, I can play squirrel: here’s another question for you; this Heartland on tax-exempt-charity-status thing – does that strike you as a bit less than independent-of-the-nasty-old-state and not quite ruggedly-self-reliant, and all that? ;-)

andyS February 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

I am sure the IRS will deal with the tax-exempt status as it will with all the other advocacy groups that are using the same status to push the global warming message to the public.

bill February 24, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Now, again, that’s not the question I asked, is it?

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 8:42 am

DeSmog would claim it’s real – if they had a hand in writing it. There’s different language being used throughout the doc and Mosh has attributed some to Gleick but he would be correct to say he was not THE author if he was a co-auther,

This, “Efforts might also include cultivating more neutral voices with big audiences” contains PR language from ‘Planning Written and Spoken Messages’ and Hoggan and Littlemore are both experts. They both cite the (also leaked) Frank Luntz memo to the Repubs,

Luntz memo:-

“Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community……..Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate (page 137)

“It’s time for us to start talking about ‘climate change’ instead of global warming” (page 142)

Fake memo:-

“….the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain” (page 1)

Makes a great whodunnit.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 9:03 am

Whodunnit? Thanks to a tip by Anthony Watts, textual analysis is showing much greater similarities between Heartland writers and the text of the Alleged Faked Doc (AFD) than with Gleick.

See Shawn Otto, and Greg Laden for detail.

My early hunch is being confirmed: the AFD reads very like a Joe Bast piece.

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 9:37 am

I would expect that result given a forger would use HI and Bast’s language along with their own that’s gone through other filter’s such as the Luntz memo or PR material.

And if Bast did write the doc to encapsulate HI strategy he should be fired, or at least sent on a mgt course.

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 10:20 am
Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 1:32 pm

This (Dummies example) is an overall Strategic Plan document including:-

Individual Member Strategic Goals
Agencies and Organizations Strategic Goals

The equivalent HI Plan would be:-

Tobacco Strategic Goals
Health Care Strategic Goals
Climate Strategic Goals
Whatever Strategic Goals

Did the “Board Member” request HI Admin to resend JUST the Climate Strategy memo? It’s odd that it’s in memo form to begin with (where’s reference to the overall strategy? should be cohesive) and surely HI Admin would have forwarded the entire Plan especially given climate is the lessor part of the operation.

That would mean the “Board Member” then had HI’s Tobacco and Health Care strategies as well. Why weren’t they disseminated?

The Board meeting minutes would record whether what was discussed was the Climate Strategy memo specifically or the overall HI strategy.

I’m sure the FBI will sort that out.

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

The HI operations are:-

* Education
* Health Care
* Telecom
* Energy & Environment
* FIRE
* Budget & Tax
* Legal

The ‘Center on Climate and Environmental Policy’ is within the ‘Energy & Environment’ operation.

It is not apparent that there is a further “Climate” sub-operation worthy of a strategy of its own that for some reason is distinct from ‘Climate and Environmental Policy” or even ‘Climate Policy’

http://heartland.org/issues/environment

Then there’s: ‘Environment & Climate News’

“Environment & Climate News is The Heartland Institute’s monthly print publication sent both to paying subscribers and each and every elected official.”

There’s not even separation of News into “Environment” and “Climate”.

Whoever wrote the fake didn’t understand the HI structure (from a mgt perspectrive) that they could discern just by going to the HI website.

But they DID understand PR.

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 9:57 pm

Having gone back and forth between genuine HI docs and the climate strategy memo it is beyond me how anyone can think the climate strategy is genuine given the complete absence of logo, format, numbered strategies and bullet pointed tactical actions etc. The fake stands out like dogs balls but I digress,

Continuing the HI organizational analysis starting at the website (previous comment) and now introducing the ‘Proposed Budget’ and ‘Fundraising Plan’.with 2012 figures.

The structural divisions are DEPARTMENTS – not operational foci. The ONLY operational area from the website allocated a department and budget is 7. Center on FIRE/ Wash DC $715,263.

Outside the departments are 10 MAJOR PROJECTS. ‘Climate and Environmental Policy’ related major projects (sponsored and outsourced from proposals) are:-

B. Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)
H. Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools
J. Weather Stations Project.

B funded by 2 donors approx $300,000 to outsource $88,000 to in-house..
H funded by 8. Editorial Department budget $88,000.
J funded by 8. Editorial Department.budget $75,000.

Both STRATEGY and TACTICS for B, H and J are detailed in the ‘Fundraising Plan’.along with A, C, D, E, F, G and I.

B, H and J is the ENTIRE “Climate Strategy” (from fake) already detailed

There is NOTHING in either ‘Proposed Budget’ or ‘Fundraising Plan’ about “We will also pursue additional support from the Charles G. Koch Foundation” (from fake) for ANYTHING ‘Climate and Environmental Policy’ related..

All of HI’s strategies and tactics are mission-specific (or should be). The mission of The Heartland Institute is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. Such solutions include parental choice in education, choice and personal responsibility in health care, market-based approaches to environmental protection, privatization of public services, and deregulation in areas where property rights and markets do a better job than government bureaucracies.

http://heartland.org/mission

Mission-specific for all HI foci is:-

“….to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems”.

Including with respect to ‘Climate and Environmental Policy’,

“market-based approaches to environmental protection

How is it possible to reconcile that mission with a major-project-only derived mission (from fake) “….leading the fight to prevent the implementation of dangerous policy actions to address the supposed risks of global warming”? They are irreconcilable because the projects although termed “major” are actually relatively minor and peripheral in overall HI context and not necessarily from HI expenses (and the language is disparate).

‘Climate and Environmental Policy’ related ‘Major Projects’ expenses as a percentage of projected total HI expenses (Table 1, $7,746,529): B 0% + H 1% + J 1% = 2%.

Fake and bogus to boot.

Macro February 24, 2012 at 10:39 am

Not only that. It’s Heartland’s modus operandi to deflect and accuse others. It’s not surprising that their first reaction after their initial “stunned mullet” statement was to accuse others of fabrication.

bill February 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm

Further to what I was saying above re the actual case Heartland would have to make, even if this positive match is only the likely result of a collaging of various ‘Bastisms’, read this again, alleged ‘skeptics’. I culled the quotes before.

Why do you think I’ve been rabbiting on about Heartland’s tactical ineptitude? Compare the bloody tone and the language!

Then re-read the almost-certainly-genuine ‘fundraising’ doc. Bear in mind that this was also extensively quoted in the first reaction to the leak.

(What the hell might these people have against teachers? Actually, we all know the answer, don’t we, class? ;-) )

andyS February 24, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Bill, I read your link and I still don’t see what the problem is.

Where is the smoking gun? What objections do you have to Heartland’s strategy?

At the recent ICCC conferences run by Heartland, invitations were sent out to climate scientists across the board, including James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt. All declined except for Scott Denning.

bill February 24, 2012 at 2:20 pm

‘Smoking Gun’? Eh? You can read what wrote. Whether you can make sense of it is not my problem!

And yet another bloody squirrel! It’s like arguing with a 12 year old (and I must apologise to 12 year olds!)

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 9:20 am

Gareth,

I have stated my position on this in that I think information like this really should be made public regardless if it is anti or pro AGW. However I am curious about your position because it seems to be quite flexible.

When the CRU e-mails were released you were incredible reluctant to even discuss them. This is some of the comments you made at the time

‘I’ve been reluctant to weigh in on this issue, because commenting on stolen and possibly edited documents strikes me as unethical.’

‘In a courtroom, improperly obtained evidence is not allowed to influence proceedings, and I would prefer to apply the same standard here’

‘First, the content of the emails. I’m not going to link to them (see above)’

http://hot-topic.co.nz/dont-let-a-thief-steal-into-your-heart/

Now this is valid position to take and I have no problem with it even though, as I stated, I prefer information like this in the public domain. It isn’t the position you seem to have taken with the very similar situation with what now looks like Dr Gleick deceptive aquisition of the Heartland information.

My question to you is why have you seemingly changed your previously ethically based position on this?

I suggest that it does your reputation no favours and is a blot on what is otherwise a very good blog.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 10:22 am

The fundamental difference between the Heartland leak and the CRU emails is that I felt, and still feel, uneasy about discussing private email conversations. They are by nature informal and not intended for public consumption or discussion — comments on work in progress, not the finished work. I also object to the fact that only a careful selection of the emails were released, and that within days they had been quote-mined, taken out of context and trumpeted around the world as showing scientists to be corrupt. Heartland and its network played a huge role in that, as I pointed out in a recent post. “Climategate shows climate science to be corrupt” is now a standard septic meme, part of the climate crank catechism of cliché, and it remains as untrue as the day it was first coined.

Heartland had an expectation that the documents they prepared for their January board meeting would remain confidential. Gleick pre-empted that, and the documents are now effectively in the public domain – just as a subset of the CRU emails now are. Gleick was wrong to engineer the leak, Heartland were stupid to allow it to happen, and the people who stole the CRU emails were also wrong. But the Heartland documents are “finished work”, and do provide interested parties with a very useful look “under the hood” of Heartland’s operations. McIntyre et al argue the same about the CRU emails, of course, but they’re part of the Heartland echo chamber. The leak is obviously embarrassing for Heartland, but given their hypocrisy over CRU I have no sympathy with them whatsoever.

I would also argue that Gleick’s leak serves the public interest in a way that the CRU emails did not. If you accept that current national and international emissions policy means we’re heading for hell in a hand basket, then the exposure of the mechanisms behind organised attempts to derail action serves a global interest. The CRU email theft did not, it was carried out in order to work against it. Read the last paragraph of my post again, if want to know what I think about that. I do recognise however that if you do not accept that proposition, then the public interest defence may not impress.

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 10:50 am

‘If you accept that current national and international emissions policy means we’re heading for hell in a hand basket, then the exposure of the mechanisms behind organised attempts to derail action serves a global interest.’

Kind of suggests you feel the ends justifies the means.

It is also clear from your previous comments on the CRU e-mails it wasn’t just the fact they were private e-mails that you were concerned but the fact they were improperly obtained.

Your position would have been far more consistent if you had restricted your issues previosuly to the fact the docuemnts were private e-mails and not mentioned anything about how they were obtained.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

The CRU emails were not private. They were, and are, subject to the FOI act under UK law. They are, in effect, public property, unlike the Heartland documents which are private and were stolen.

Anyone can request emails from Universities and government departments, and continue to do so under this law.

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 11:13 am

However the CRU e-mails were likely improperly obtained. That is why I think it is a bit rich for people to complain too much about the Heartland documents being released especially if they were comfortable discussing the CRU e-mails.

My issue is with Gareth taking an ethical position on discussing the CRU e-mails and now deciding that his ethics are flexible because of the wider debate when it comes to discussing the Heartland documents. This is not a good look and does him no favours.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 11:24 am

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 11:13 am
However the CRU e-mails were likely improperly obtained

We don’t have any evidence that the emails were leaked or hacked. It is pure speculation.
Secondly, the CRU emails were checked for veracity, and email addresses etc redacted, before the widespread release into the public domain.

The Heartland documents were not checked for veracity, and were released into the public domain anyway, including by the likes of the BBC, who studiously ignored the Climategate leak. This is hardly a surprise to anyone who has studied the BBC’s bias on this topic, particularly the likes of Richard Black.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:27 pm

The CRU emails were stolen. There is no evidence (that I know of) of the involvement of any “whistleblower” beyond wishful thinking at µWatts and around the sceptic echo chamber.

The CRU emails were not “checked for veracity”, they were keyword searched for terms relevant to McIntyre. Email addresses were redacted, but lots of stuff wasn’t: AGU log-in information, for instance.

Heartland has confirmed the accuracy of the released documents, with the single exception of the AFD.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:19 pm

IIRC, the UK FOI legislation does not mandate the release of all emails in every circumstance. There are a variety of exemptions, and it is not clear how they would have applied in this case.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 12:39 pm

This is probably true, and if you can figure out the exemptions in UK FOI law then I take my hat off to you.

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Any number of exemptions can be used to deny access to information from a FOI request if the people don’t want something to get out there. I’m pretty confident that the CRU would have found reasons to remove those e-mails.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

You have no more evidence that they were stolen than there is evidence that they were leaked. Leaking them was far simpler than stealing them and Occam’s Razor should be applied.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I have the evidence of statements made at the time by CRU. The police would certainly have considered the possibility that it was “an inside job”. A “whistleblower” would have been much easier to find than some experienced hacker/s in another country.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

An admission that they were leaked implies that there is someone within the CRU at UEA that was disgusted with what was going on. I do not think that the UEA will make any serious effort to find that whistleblower because the shit will hit the fan if he or she is hauled into court. In fact the UEA is probably very certain, and may indeed know, who leaked to emails. There cannot be too many possibilities. Nevertheless it is expedient for them to continue to bleat about them being stolen. The emails have been leaked in two lots so far. They may be a third lot and if there is the UEA only have to compare the leaked emails to the total file of them to know what is left to leak. My guess is that there are some left unleaked and they hang like the sword of Damocles over the CRU.

bill February 24, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Good Grief! And what’s the ‘Occam’s Razor’ position on all those atmospheric scientists, ocean chemists, biologists, physicists, and scientific associations being involved in some vast conspiracy, Roger?

Further, what’s the ‘Occam’s Razor’ position on all this being done at the behest of Greenpeace and the WWF? To institute some international social!st agenda?

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 11:32 am

‘What climategate demonstrates, and you seem keen to ignore, is that the side that wants to do nothing or as little as possible has chosen to fight that battle by means illegal, dishonest and distasteful.’

This is a reply you gave to me Gareth back in July of 2010 on this thread http://hot-topic.co.nz/climategate-the-missing-context/

Now it is unclear why the same criticism can’t be raised in relation to the release of the Heartland documents other than the actions of Dr Gleick may not have been illegal..

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Gleick’s actions may well be all three things. I do not support what he did. The CRU theft, however, established a precedent. One side chose to fight dirty, and showed no compunction whatsoever in using the fruits of their labours. That someone on “the other side” chose to act unethically is regrettable, but hardly something that Heartland et al should complain about. When Joe Bast starts demanding that the CRU email hackers be arrested and jailed, I might take his rants about Gleick a bit more seriously.

Gosman February 24, 2012 at 12:33 pm

I completely agree with you about the double standards in relation to the complaints about the Heartland document release.

That stated you are not really addressing the change in your position which was previously ethically based but now ethics are expedient so long as you think the greater good is being served. To try and justify this because ‘They started it’ is hardly an appropriate response.

Do you not now acknowledge that it would have been better to have stated previously that while it wasn’t good that the e-mails from the CRU were released the fact they were in the public domain means they were a valid area of discussion? This would have meant you were consistent with your position in regard to the Heartland documents.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:54 pm

I accept that the CRU emails are now in the public domain, and have done since very shortly after their release. The attack lines run by Heartland and the rest needed to be debunked, and so the content of the emails had to be explained and context provided.

The ethics of all this complex – there are lots of shades of grey and shades of opinion (see Stephan Lewandowsky’s recent article for an interesting discussion). My judgement is my judgement. Yours may differ. I can live with that.

Macro February 24, 2012 at 2:16 pm

A rather sanctimonious position for Gosman to take I would have thought.

Compare and contrast with with his stance here??

Here for him the end definitely does justify the means. The means being in this case the NZ Labour Party taking as policy compulsory unionism, the ends being, as Gosman perceives it, the demise of the NZ Labour Party.

Rob Taylor February 24, 2012 at 12:07 pm

As I’m sure you’re aware. Richard, this is a current research topic, so you will have to search the literature.

Start here:
http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/10/global-warming-and-ocean-heat-content/

Richard C2 February 24, 2012 at 12:53 pm

OK, I’ll follow you Rob if you want to pursue it (I do), just leave a pointer to the thread you go to.

In my defense Gareth, the thread was derailed before I joined.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Accepted. Your previous post moved to the last open thread.

bill February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm

Might I suggest that those who do ‘get it’ could spend spend some instructive time over at Heartland’s blog, and read Bast’s posts thereon, reviewing tone and content?

I’ve picked up this gem from just the first climate-related post down the list after the response to the NYT, this one responding to ‘ 31 scientists from universities and colleges in Iowa issued a statement urging GOP presidential candidates to “acknowledge the science of climate change.” ‘:

I’m not interested in what a small and non-representative group of liberal academics BELIEVE. I know you all trusted the United Nations to deliver truthful reports about the science of climate change, and you were fooled. With your careers (and probably political ideologies) now at risk, you will be among the last, not the first, to abandon a disproven scientific theory.

I want to see PROOF that climate models are reliable guides to future climate trends, since surveys of climate scientists suggest large majorities of them believe they are NOT. I want PROOF that the warming of the late 20th century didn’t stop around 2000, even though NASA’s satellites say it did. And I want PROOF that there is anything we can do, short of simply ending modern civilization and forcing billions of people to starve to death, that would have any discernible effect on the world’s climate.

[the SHOUTY bits are in the original]

Or there’s this:

The New York Times will be the last media outlet in the world to admit that it was taken in by the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) delusion. It published thousands of stories saying AGW is a crisis, based on little more than the news releases of environmental activist groups, which enabled it to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue from oil and natural gas companies claiming they are “doing something” about a problem they believed was a myth.

The NYT used the issue to demonize Republicans and idolize Democrats for nearly two decades, and now wonders why Republicans believe it is a myth while only liberal Democrats believe it is a problem. It will forever deny that the science was uncertain and predictions faulty.

Or this, replying to Science‘s concerns about their insinuating themselves into the classroom;

First, the good news: Ms. Reardon reports that an informal survey of members of the National Earth Science Teachers Association found “climate change was second only to evolution in triggering protests from parents and school administrators.” This is great news, since it reveals that parents are rising up against the bias and sheer propaganda that often masquerade as science when climate is discussed in schools.

The reason the teaching of climate change is so controversial is because environmental advocates, many of them coming from the liberal end of the political spectrum, are using the subject to advance their political agendas.

Here the Great Man addresses Nature magazine:

But the irony should not be overlooked that it was Nature’s record of publishing misleading editorials and articles that hide uncertainties or make claims that cannot be replicated by other scientists that made publication of Climate Change Reconsidered necessary. If we err on the side of being too skeptical, it is only because we are trying to restore balance to a ship that is listing so far to one side that it in imminent danger of capsizing.

And, oh, what a pearl -

It’s also the sort of thing you might hear in an elementary or high school classroom, where teachers either simply repeat what they hear on television or consciously advance the agenda of the political party they feel most loyal to.

From the eloquent Is John Hunstman Stupid? Now, can you guess why Mr Bast might think former Republican presidential candidate John Huntsman could be ‘stupid’, boys and girls?

It says everything about Bast that the first time I read his reaction to the NYT post I went our of my way to confirm that the piece really was written by him and this really was Heartland’s blog, not some satire attempting to discredit him!

bill February 24, 2012 at 6:08 pm

You know, I think it’s a great pity no-one on the ‘skeptic’ side is going to attempt to justify this last quoted passage for me because, speaking personally, I think it’s outrageous!

bill February 25, 2012 at 10:55 am

Cowards.

Is it perhaps because you recognise yourselves in this dismal babbling? Shaming, ain’t it?

Terry February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Gareth said “Gleick’s actions may well be all three things. I do not support what he did. The CRU theft, however, established a precedent. One side chose to fight dirty, and showed no compunction whatsoever in using the fruits of their labours.”

Translated: Somebody exposed the CRU emails so it is OK to steal things from a private institution like Heartland which had no discernible involvement in the CRU emails.

Ignored: Read the release statement on the 2nd release of the CRU emails. This is not the primal scream of the skeptics

Moral Lesson: Hot Air supports trashing anyone and everyone, public or private, including theft and deception, as revenge for the release of the CRU emails.

Gareth, you may want to review you approach. I thought you were a passionate but responsible voice on the warm side, which is why I came and still visit. The end justifies the means, winning is everything is not quite the schoolboy ethics of the fields of Eaton.
Terry

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Gareth at Eton? Now pull the other one, it has bells on. A Welsh comprehensive is more likely.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Actually a very fine grammar school in Kent.

bill February 24, 2012 at 6:11 pm

Gee, was that an attempt at wit? ‘Leaden’ is a word that comes to mind. As is ‘classist’.

Well, wherever you were educated, Roger; would you say it took? ;-)

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 6:32 pm

“took” took what?

If you mean ‘did anything stick’, I have to admit that rather less than was expected at the time. However, later, I was able to avail myself of the opportunity to make up for a somewhat wasted, academically, secondary education. For that I am eternally grateful to this country, NZ..

bill February 24, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Sorry to prick your ‘Hot Air’ balloon. Do try to keep up with the debate before reaching for the keyboard.

And please post evidence of your indignant response to the CRU hack.

Your attempt at tone/concern-trolling in the last paragraph is simply risible.

Being perennially humbugged by hypocrites sure does get tiresome…

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 6:10 pm

What a remarkable interpretation of what I have written. Quite unrelated to the facts of the matter. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide whether Terry’s on the money or not.

One point: Hearltand’s “no discernible involvement” included deploying all their network to run with attack lines as soon as the emails hit the web. An example, Hearltand head honcho Joe Bast wrote:

The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 7:41 pm

Steve McIntyre has posted an email exchange between Heartland and Peter Gleick that happened just before this incident here

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 7:49 pm

The threading in these comments has gone all to pot. No idea why or how to fix. I might just disable threading from now on. Any objections? We’d need to be disciplined about referring to the comments being responded to.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 11:24 pm
andyS February 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

The email exchanges have been posted up (with screenshots) at http://fakegate.org

It all looks a bit odd to me.

bill February 25, 2012 at 10:47 am
John Mashey February 25, 2012 at 7:37 pm
Gosman February 27, 2012 at 9:42 am

@ Macro

WTF?!?

How are you somehow equating my view that I’d love to see Labour readopting compulsory Union membership as a policy with an ‘End’s justifies the means’ metality?

What is your warped logic in that statement?

I’d suggest it is a despereate bottom of the barrel aproach and is also diverting from the point of this thread.

andyS February 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm

An interesting little piece of information came my way.
This was that Jeremy Grantham holds 11,309,048 shares of Exxon, buying 1,731,672 shares in second quarter 2011, adding to an existing holding of 9,577,376 shares.
The overall average price per share was $73.70. Based upon the last trade price of $77.47, he has made a return of 5.12%.

Grantham is well know, of course, for bankrolling the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change.

So, Big Oil financing the climate change industry. Who’d have thought?
Makes Heartland’s few millions look a bit paltry in comparison.

Rob Taylor February 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Andy, what is the relevance of this piece of gossip? Exxon is the most profitable company in history, so is sought after by investors.

Are you aware that it was the old “Merchant of Death”, Alfred Nobel himself who funded the Nobel Peace Prize? Does that detract one iota from the work of its recipients?

andyS February 28, 2012 at 12:49 pm

The relevance of this piece of “gossip”, for the cerebrally challenged like Mr Taylor, is that you are continually bleating about Big Oil funding “deniers”, and referring to the likes of myself as “rent boys”.

Yet when the likes of Grantham prostitute themselves by investing in Big Oil to the tune of hundreds of millions, this is deemed OK.

Rob Taylor February 28, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Andy, I struggle to follow your convoluted logic – are you saying that the Grantham Institute is funded by Big Oil to deny the reality of climate change as, say, are Heartland?

Or are you saying that Jeremy Grantham has prostituted himself by investing in Exxon shares?

Or are you just throwing chum into the waters as a hoped-for distraction?

andyS February 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Let me give you an example Rob.
If I were a charity to protect unborn children, I wouldn’t be expected to invest in abortion clinics.
If I were a charity to protect whales from hunting, I wouldn’t expect to invest in whale meat processing companies.
If I were a charity to protect children from exploitation in the sex industry, I wouldn’t be expected to have shares in a strip club.

get it?

Rob Taylor February 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Neither would I do those things, Andy S, but yours is a clumsy attempt to impugn the work of the Grantham Institute by the investment decisions of its founder.

Reminds me of the old “Look, there’s Al Gore in a car / in a plane, so “An Inconvenient Truth” must be bogus!!”

I suggest you reread my comment above re the Nobel Peace Prize.

Macro February 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm

Rob – andy will consistently refrain from acknowledging any argument which is contrary to that of his own opinion. It is in this that his consistency lies – not in his arguments.

Rob Taylor February 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I agree, Macro, but the opinion of other visitors to this site does matter. In that regard, I thank you, DW, and the rest for your tireless efforts to explain and educate against the denialist echo chamber.

andyS February 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I don’t acknowledge Rob’s argument, because it is not a valid one.

Nobel bequeathed his estate to the Nobel foundation after his death, presumably because he felt some guilt at the “Merchant of Death” moniker.

Grantham continues to invest heavily in the fossil fuel industry (to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, orders of magnitude more than the Heartland budget), whilst pursuing the Climate Change Agenda.

The reason for this is obvious. He is hedging for and against fossil fuels. Win-win all round for him.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 2:49 pm

Your guess is worthless. The thieves stole the entire email database from a back-up server, and the first release was a very careful selection, IIRC only 1 or 2 percent of the total haul. The second lot amounted to slightly more, again IIRC. What’s left is a huge bunch of very boring stuff that can’t be made to fit into any Heartland-type agenda.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Not so worthless apparently. I am informed that there is a fat password protected file of CRU emails already circulating on the Internet. My informant has a copy. He just awaits the release of the password which will doubtless occur as soon as something unpleasant happens to the whistleblower. If the files had been stolen, as you suggest, why on earth would some of the files be contained in a password protected file? The only reason to do that is to protect the whistleblower. I suspect that my informant may have a long wait for password. You appear to think that you are fully privy to the internal opinions of the CRU. Conceivably they have misled you as much as they have misled others. You really should be careful to who you give your trust.

andyS February 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

There is a 136Mb file called “all.7z” that was included in the second release of emails that is password protected.

So we have a potential “Climategate 3″ waiting to happen if and when this password gets out

Whether there is anything of interest in the emails is anyone’s guess.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm

I am sure that Gareth will assure that there is nothing of interest. His mates in CRU have told him so! Would they tell him anything else? I am sure though that the whistleblower has enough nous to ensure that there is something of interest there.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm

No, not anyone’s guess. CRU knows exactly what’s in it. It’s what’s left of the full email file after the selections made for the previous two releases, and the chances that it contains anything other than the boring but normal exchanges personal and business email of CRU staff is vanishingly small. If there had been, it would been released.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 4:22 pm

You guess right on both counts.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 5:15 pm

Not vanishing small at all. The password protected file is the whistleblower’s insurance policy. The CRU almost certainly know who the whistleblower is. Since the CRU capable of figuring out what is in the protected file it would be no insurance policy if there is nothing juicy in it. If he releases the password the CRU have nothing else to lose and will see that he is crucified. In the meanwhile they will keep the police on a wild goose chase.

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 6:01 pm

What knots you tie yourself up in! You need to try shaving with Occam’s Razor.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

You are scraping the bottom of the barrel Gareth. You are a fungus farmer. You should go back to Wales and grow species of Boletus, Tricoloma etc for the local market and perhaps you might even be able to sell Cordiceps sp. to the chinese in London. You should not restrict yourself to one species of ascomycete which does not grow in Britain.

Roger Dewhurst February 24, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Is Gareth reaching for his old textbook or has he sold it on the second hand student market?

Gareth February 24, 2012 at 7:34 pm

I have many strings to my bow, Roger. Boletus spp are mycorrhizal and have never been commercially cultivated. Plant & Food Research have produce seedling trees infected with B edulis, but I don’t know of any plantings that have successfully produced.
There are many species of ascomycetae that don’t grow in Britain, and you should know that there are several Tuber melansoporum plantations in the UK – none of which have produced (yet). Prince Philip is a bit pissed off about that – apparently his truffle trees at Sandringham are not producing. He needs to be more patient, but perhaps realises he doesn’t have the time for that.
Now that’s quite enough personal stuff. Let’s keep this thread to the Heartland/Gleick discussion, shall we?

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