Lying about climate change to sell papers

“Climategate” was a load of hooey that featured a bunch of denialists twisting scientific research, fact, and even phrasing in order to push a pro-business agenda. Those who actually thought a few emails that weren’t written for the laymen proved anything about the mounds and mounds and mounds of data supporting anthropomorphic climate change were either being dishonest or getting hoodwinked. Unfortunately, it’s going to stay that way for awhile for a lot of people – even though newspapers are retracting their lies.

In perhaps the biggest backpedaling, The Sunday Times of London, which led the media pack in charging that IPCC reports were full of egregious (and probably intentional) errors, retracted its central claim—namely, that the IPCC statement that up to 40 percent of the Amazonian rainforest could be vulnerable to climate change was “unsubstantiated.” The Times also admitted that it had totally twisted the remarks of one forest expert to make it sound as if he agreed that the IPCC had screwed up, when he said no such thing.

Crazy that.

The record of Ken Cuccinelli

Ken Cuccinelli is a sexually immature, anti-scientific, bigoted conservative who unfortunately holds the high position of Attorney General for Virginia. He has been in the news recently for a few things.

Among the documents Cuccinelli demands are any and all emailed or written correspondence between or relating to Mann and more than 40 climate scientists, documents supporting any of five applications for the $484,875 in grants, and evidence of any documents that no longer exist along with proof of why, when, and how they were destroyed or disappeared.

Pure witch hunt.

I find politicians being involved in science like this especially frustrating given my most recent college semester. I spent a lot of time reading and summarizing a number of scientific papers, so my familiarity with their complexity has only increased. There are a number of things I wouldn’t have understood just a year ago; there are even more things I would have thought I understood, but I wouldn’t have appreciated their importance to the paper. This stuff is not easy. So when people like Cuccinelli pretend like they have the knowledge, qualifications, or honesty to make the accusations they do, it’s frustrating. They have no idea.

Climatic facts

Oh, gee, weird. It turns out Phil Jones’ data wasn’t made up and the world is still warming directly due to human activity.

The House of Commons’ Science and Technology Committee said they had seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming — two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.

One [email] that attracted particular media attention was Jones’ reference to a “trick” that could be used to “hide the decline” of temperatures.

“Hide the decline” was not an attempt to conceal data but was scientific shorthand for discarding erroneous data, the committee concluded. Similarly, Jones intended “trick” to mean a neat way of handling evidence, rather than anything underhanded, the inquiry found.

I found this part to be the most frustrating. The term “trick” was explained over and over to people, but with such little success. The reason, of course, is 1) the intense desire conservatives have to allow corporations to pollute more and more and 2) the general hostility conservatives have towards science. Methinks they would be appalled to read an average scientific paper. “What?! They adjusted for sample size difference?! IT’S FAAAAAKE!”

Republicans hate science. Still.

Republicans move to delay climate bill progress because they hate science and deny it for the sake of petty politics and big business.

All seven Republicans on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plan to boycott next week’s work session on a climate-change bill, an aide said on Saturday, in a move aimed at thwarting Democratic efforts to advance the controversial legislation quickly.

“Republicans will be forced not to show up” at Tuesday’s work session, said Matt Dempsey, a spokesman for Republican senators on the environment panel.

Under committee rules, at least two Republicans are needed for Chairwoman Barbara Boxer to hold the work sessions that would give senators an opportunity to amend the controversial legislation and then vote to approve it in the panel, which is controlled by President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats.

And then there’s the big business love.

Republicans on the environment committee say the climate-change bill would cause significant job losses by encouraging manufacturers to relocate more of their plants in countries that do not have as strict carbon controls.

…aaaaaand the denial.

The senior Republican on the committee, Senator James Inhofe, has been an outspoken opponent of legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, saying there is no sound scientific evidence that the world is suffering due to carbon emissions resulting from human activities.

They make my case for me.