Uh-oh, really inconvenient press

Wow. The Atlantic rips Penn State and Muir-Russell a new one.

Some excerpts follow:

He believes in the issue and likes the carbon tax:

I think climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously. I think energy policy should be intelligently directed towards mitigating this risk. I am for a carbon tax.

But he hates corruption:

I also believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me (and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption.

He gets it, scientists behaving badly help nobody, least of all their cause. Penn State and the Muir-Russell fiascos only compound the damage:

In sum, the scientists concerned brought their own discipline into disrepute, and set back the prospects for a better energy policy. I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus. But no, the reports make things worse. At best they are mealy-mouthed apologies; at worst they are patently incompetent and even wilfully wrong. The climate-science establishment, of which these inquiries have chosen to make themselves a part, seems entirely incapable of understanding, let alone repairing, the harm it has done to its own cause.

At least somebody in MSM is starting to see that whitewash affects climate science, and we aren’t just talking paint.

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88 Responses to Uh-oh, really inconvenient press

  1. Frederick Michael says:

    My favorite from the article:

    Like Pearce, The Economist rightly draws attention to the failure of the Russell inquiry to ask Phil Jones of the CRU whether he actually deleted any emails to defeat FoI requests. It calls this omission “rather remarkable”. Pearce calls it “extraordinary”. Myself, I would prefer to call it “astonishing and indefensible”. I don’t see how, having spotted this, the magazine can conclude that the report, overall, was “thorough, but it will not satisfy all the critics.” (Well, the critics make such unreasonable demands! Look into the charges, they say. Hear from the other side. Ask the obvious questions. It never stops: you just can’t satisfy these people.)

  2. BarryW says:

    When the Atlantic starts dumping on liberals you know it’s reached terminal embarrassment.

  3. Henry chance says:

    Nothing beats a rigorous review by card carrying members of the Mutual Adoration society.

  4. Robin says:

    This is great, but will its message ever penetrate the bastions of UEA policy and more importantly, impact upon our benighted government(s), who seem to be incapable of thinking anything but their own thoughts and wishes.

    How could it best be given wide publicity?

  5. Phil says:

    Let this be an opportunity to de-polarize the politics of this issue. I would submit that it is entirely possible and with great personal integrity to be more supportive of AGW than not and still harbor significant skepticism about the science. Likewise, I would also submit it is possible with great personal integrity to be intensely skeptic about the theory of AGW and still harbor great concern that some or most of the effects predicted might take place.

    The precautionary principle ought to apply not only to the possibility of CAGW, but also to the possibility that the proposed changes in public policy may NOT do any good and may, instead, be extremely and irreversibly disastrous. Thus, a more cautious approach would be to look for things that can be done to mitigate CO2 emissions that don’t carry the enormous costs of carbon taxes, cap and trade, etc., such as converting our passenger vehicle fleet to clean diesel.

  6. Bill Marsh says:

    As far as I know Michael Mann is NOT a paleoclimatologist.

  7. Henry chance says:

    Climateprogress says
    “scientist is curious for life”
    That is packed in with
    “the science is in”

    Folks, slowly they are noticing internal contradiction.

  8. hunter says:

    It is long past time to point to out that people do not behave as the climate science establishment behaves when there is nothing to hide.

  9. Vorlath says:

    Don’t let Abraham find out about this article. He’ll contact Russell for his view on this matter in an e-mail and post the response in an 80 minute presentation that will go viral.

  10. Judd says:

    So Clive Crook is apparently shocked by the UEA & Penn State inquiries. Did he really expect anything other than an exoneration? Just how closely has he followed the AGW issue? Nobody who has followed it is surprised at the e-mails. They’re just surprised that they got out. And in the end it’s always been about the money. How many millions have Mann & Jones brought to UEA & Penn State? Didn’t Mann get 500k in ‘stimulus’ funding to study climate change? And what about those AGW conferences? In Bali? In Marrakech? Now in Cancun? Is that not transparent? What did he think they were gonna do? Give up this taxpayer gravy train with a genuine inquiry?

  11. Glen Shevlin says:

    it really is interesting, the fact that covering up or in this case trying to cover up an issue or bad act is always what causes the BIG problem.

    If the parties concerned had just stood there and said hey this is what we are doing this is how we did it, even if they are wrong, partially wrong or totally correct the facts would stand as facts. By trying to cover up things avoid the issue they now have a headache of historic proportions. It will only get worse as the AG in Virginia is smelling headlines and the start of a real political carreer on the body of Dr MAnn.

    It is time for a real inquiry into the science involved, the people involved, really need clarity on this subject and the longer they try to dodge the bullet the worse the exit wound will be.

  12. Ed says:

    Personally, I don’t think people in the MSM are starting to see sense – but rather that those who do are finally being published and allowed to express their views to their public, which is no less a sea-change in the MSM’s attitudes to the ideology they previously worshipped.

  13. ShrNfr says:

    When the New Scientist comes out and calls the investigation a whitewash, then you know the show is really over.

  14. Ric Werme says:

    OT (climate-wise) OnT (Atlantic-wise)

    The Atlantic recently had a really good article about the Conficker virus (well, worm).

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/06/the-enemy-within/8098/

    Interesting, getting pointed to two Atlantic articles in less than a week, both very good. (I believe there is one egregious error in Crook’s article – the three of four allegations were not dismissed out-of-hand, Muir-Russell was tasked with only studying the fourth. The first three were whitwashed away months ago.)

  15. cagw_skeptic99 says:

    I regularly criticize the Washington Post, where I am still a subscriber, for their one sided reporting on these issues. Seeing a rational critical article in a major publication like Atlantic is real progress.

    Someone asked how to give this more publicity. I suggest communicating with every publication where you are a subscriber about you interest in seeing more balanced reporting. The CAGW crowd is making a huge push to describe any communication questioning their religion as wrongheadedness and support for anti-science. This probably comes from the belief that aggressive offense is the best defense.

    Let the management of the places where you spend you money know that you want more articles like this one. Sometimes managers listen to their paying customers. I am about to cancel my subscription to the Post because they have not listened. Maybe that will be the communication that finally gets a reply or at least a read.

  16. Phillip Bratby says:

    it’s illogical to believe the results of climate science whilst knowing there has been intellectual corruption by the climate scientists.

  17. Dave Dardinger says:

    OT but I was hoping to get ahold of Willis Eisenbach to see if he wanted to comment on a thread on Lucia’s The Blackboard in which I’ve been trying to explain / support his thermostat theory. It’s the 500+ reply post just below the Cherry Sorbet.


  18. I am for a carbon tax.

    Carbon tax may be a good thing, but it’s promoted for the wrong reasons. It wouldn’t surprise me if people in a couple of centuries looking back at the 20th and 21st centuries are amazed by learning that the best thing we could think of doing with the world’s oil and gas was to burn it. (On the other hand, it could be easy to say so when oil has been replaced with something better, a technology that would be much harder to achieve if it wasn’t for today’s use of fossil fuel.)

    CO2 emissions should be reduced, but as a way to stop climate change? Climate changes anyway. If the climate ever stabilises like in the Mann reconstruction, then we should begin asking what we’ve done with it and we might want to panic.

  19. wobble says:

    I had hoped, not very confidently, that the various Climategate inquiries would be severe. This would have been a first step towards restoring confidence in the scientific consensus.

    Don’t you see the Catch 22, Clive? Severe inquiries would have also weakened confidence in the “scientific consensus.”

  20. tarpon says:

    Dancing around the truth gets you no where. These people will find that out.

    Wasn’t science all about he pursuit of truth, regardless where it takes you.

  21. jorgekafkazar says:

    Nice article, as far as it went. The author should learn more about the science and write another. The Climategate papers are not the only evidence of wrongdoing and political pseudoscience. It’s worse than he thought!

  22. Max Hugoson says:

    I’m not THAT surprised. Perhaps 9/11 put the “fear of Allah” into us infidels, but in 1998 the Atlantic published a gutsy article, “What is the Koran”. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/99jan/koran.htm

    It is a very scholarly, objective, history of the Koran…which must certainly must have “offended” 1 Billion Moslems. Compared to that, offending a small clique of “slimate scientists” is NOTHING! (After all, as much as I may personally dislike M.M., I would NEVER imagine him in a “suicide vest” showing, Phil Jones Akbar!)

    I will also point out that the Atlantic published several, seemingly, “pro-nuclear power” articles during the ’80’s. They weren’t really “pro-nuclear power”, but because of their depth of research, and their objectivity, they came off that way.

    Maybe you can be slightly “left leaning” and still have some concept of what “objective evidence, and “hard science” are.

  23. Dave Dardinger says:

    Steinar,

    It wouldn’t surprise me if people in a couple of centuries looking back at the 20th and 21st centuries are amazed by learning that the best thing we could think of doing with the world’s oil and gas was to burn it.

    I’ve seen this idea for decades and it doesn’t make any more sense today than it did then. Just what use for oil and gas can you think of which they won’t be able to do cheaper and easier other ways? They’re just mixtures of mostly simple hydrocarbons. Given energy sources they’re easy to produce from inorganic carbon if necessary. (Think calcium carbide and water, for instance.)

  24. DirkH says:

    Steinar Midtskogen says:
    July 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm
    “[...]
    Carbon tax may be a good thing, but it’s promoted for the wrong reasons. It wouldn’t surprise me if people in a couple of centuries looking back at the 20th and 21st centuries are amazed by learning that the best thing we could think of doing with the world’s oil and gas was to burn it. [...]”

    From time to time i run across somebody who tells me, “oil is much too valuable to simply burn it”. My answer on this is: No, it’s the second cheapest liquid after water (or even cheaper when you want Evian). It’s cheap, not valuable. “But where do we make our plastic from when the oil runs out?” Simple: create new oil or make plastic from other materials, cellulose for instance. “Create new oil? How should that work?” Easy again: Cultivate some E. Braunii. Or anything else that gives you the kind of oil you need. If you don’t want to synthesize the oil anorganically. “But wouldn’t such oil be very expensive?” Maybe. But you started out with the premise that oil is too valuable to burn, so well, after using up all petroleum we might indeed end up with slightly more expensive oil. You’ll be right that oil is valuable, but only after we used up all the cheap oil that we have. (I would count 100 USD per barrel still as “cheap” or “not too expensive to burn”.)

  25. Curiousgeorge says:

    @ Phil says:
    July 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    “Let this be an opportunity to de-polarize the politics of this issue. I would submit that it is entirely possible and with great personal integrity to be more supportive of AGW than not and still harbor significant skepticism about the science. Likewise, I would also submit it is possible with great personal integrity to be intensely skeptic about the theory of AGW and still harbor great concern that some or most of the effects predicted might take place.

    The precautionary principle ought to apply not only to the possibility of CAGW, but also to the possibility that the proposed changes in public policy may NOT do any good and may, instead, be extremely and irreversibly disastrous. Thus, a more cautious approach would be to look for things that can be done to mitigate CO2 emissions that don’t carry the enormous costs of carbon taxes, cap and trade, etc., such as converting our passenger vehicle fleet to clean diesel.”

    The problem is that it has already been completely politicized. When a politician is presented with more than one choice, they invariably select a course of action which enhances their political agenda. Politicians are genetically averse to uncertainty, and will avoid it at all costs.

    Scientists ( or any “expert” ) are not the “deciders” and can only offer an opinion based on their knowledge. Those opinions place no obligation on the person charged with deciding the issue.

  26. R Taylor says:

    If I ever bother to register at The Atlantic, I’ll ask Mr. Crook why the Big Green Lie exists if it is not essential to the agenda he supports.

  27. rbateman says:

    I can only agree with the 2nd paragraph. The Climate Scientists at the helm have all gotten rather drunk on thier own doings.
    To the climactically sober, it’s apalling.
    To continue down such a corrupted path, sown with falsities, would equally generate a corrupted carbon tax, and impose a ball & chain on genuine efforts to be proper stewards of the environment. I would go so far as to say that the obsession with warming & carbon taxes has already crippled progress towards a better place to live.
    For that reason, plus the burden of a carbon tax on productivity leading to insufficient means to realistically address environmental issues, I soundly reject any such tax.

  28. pat says:

    When the cold wind blows, it will turn your head around.

  29. Theo Goodwin says:

    I just read the complete article and, just as your excerpts suggest, it is rightly hard on the investigaors. The comments on the article are oddly interesting in that all of them take up the question of AGW and none of them address the topic of the article. Anyone want to take a guess why?

  30. Dr. John M. Ware says:

    I am NOT for a carbon tax, nor indeed for more taxes of any kind; but a CO2-abatement tax is sheer nonsense. CO2 is necessary for plant life, and more of it means better crops, better growth of other plants, and a greener planet. That science has been known for a long time, and all of us who observe have seen the truth of it: bigger leaves on trees, better growth and bigger blooms on flowers, quite measurable change. Record crops have been reported. The idiocy of trying to sequester or stop production of CO2 would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago. That people are seriously pursuing it now, in spite of plenty of science to the contrary, is frustrating. Apparently they don’t bother to read the relevant literature, or even to think. “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”

  31. 899 says:

    In the second to last paragraph, the author utters this:

    Congress and the administration can get to the right policy — an explicit or implicit carbon tax; subsidies for low-carbon energy — without the greens’ input, so long as public opinion is convinced that the problem is real and needs to be addressed.

    There is a premise in law which effectively states that when something is to be taxed, then all those things which are associated with that ‘something’ are also equally subject to taxation. A sort of ‘guilt by association.’

    In this this case, the author is seemingly blithely unaware that a ‘carbon tax’ could well extend to a breathing tax. Or, more succinctly, a tax on human life.

    It could well extend to virtually all ‘owned’ life such as farm animals and pets.

    You could refer to it as a ‘justify your reason for existence tax.’

    If you think to laugh over that thought, then consider just this: The UN has managed in the past to muster the necessary support to make many treaties a reality, and a number of those treaties are onerous interventions and invasions of personal liberty.

    And then there’s that part about “[...] so long as public opinion is convinced that the problem is real and needs to be addressed.”

    “Public opinion?”

    Since when has ‘public opinion’ ever been the sine qua non of the basis for law?

    Who the hell is the public in ‘public opinion’ anyway? What ever happened to the theme that human rights take precedence over ALL public opinion?

    And just how many other fiats is he willing to toss in with such an argument?

    If you ask me, the proper title for that article should have read: “Tip-toeing through the tulips …”

  32. Gary Hladik says:

    Not a bad article, but it’s still just just a cry in the very large mainstream wilderness.

  33. Stephen Brown says:

    I agree with “Ed says: July 14, 2010 at 12:51 pm”
    It is only now that any sceptical comment will be promulgated by the MSM; previously this was anathema and was not permitted. Now editors and media owners are not so sure of the ground beneath them, the “science” is not as cut-and-dried as they were once led to believe, That is why there is now a greater and growing tolerance of articles such as this one. Dissent from the so-called “main-stream” beliefs is growing, not only in volume but also main-stream acceptance.
    Sites such as WUWT have to take a lot of the credit for this; their diligent, intelligent and, above all scientific approach has left the AGWers grasping at straws.

  34. Whitewash is bad for good science… true, but of course isn’t it very good for ‘Global Cooling’ by reflecting the sun’s rays? So maybe that’s why they’re using it so much.

  35. geo says:

    It is always a very, very sad sight when people get more invested in protecting individuals rather than protecting a cause that they believe is just and right. Usually it is because they manage to convince themselves that somehow the cause can’t survive without those given individuals, but that’s just wrong. There are supposedly how many thousands of scientists in this “consensus”, and they can’t regroup and move forward without disciplining a handful of their number?

  36. Paul Coppin says:

    That’s a bizarre article. While Crook recognizes the obvious in regard to the climategate shenanigans, he, like many of his non-science soft liberalist colleagues still can’t get his head around the science. Nevertheless, he blesses a program for the mitigation of the unknown (and unknowing), referencing, really, only his own opinions as the authority. Many of his commenters suffer from the same malady: I am sentient, therefore I know.
    I’m beginning to believe public education is a bad thing. Too much information and too many ideas are given to too many who do not have the intellectual capacity to understand the limits of what they know :)

  37. Paul Richards says:

    I teach my kids: How long did the dinosaurs last? 365 million years.
    How did they grow so big? Because of the large amount of plant life.
    Why was there so much plant life? Because it was much warmer then.

  38. Stephen Wilde says:

    I’d hazard a guess that throughout the aeons a rise in atmospheric CO2 content has always preceded an explosion of variety and an increase in size of all life forms with never a tipping point in sight until natural processes began to offset the beneficial effects of more CO2 in the air.

    So natural processes initiated warming and a subsequent increase in CO2 so that the main function of more CO2 in the air was to enhance the environment for all forms of life and as a wholly beneficial side effect delay the slide back to cold when the natural processes turned once more.

    That’s how we got animals the size of dinosaurs and the huge volumes of vegetation that produced all those fossil fuels in the first place.

    The vast amounts of limestone around the world are conclusive evidence of the planet’s ability to strip out carbon from the air when conditions suit more oceanic micro organisms.

    Energy efficiency is a laudable aim and well worth expense on research and provision of intelligent incentives (not the bizarre waste of subsidising immature solar and wind energy technologies) but a carbon tax to control the masses and keep the poor subjugated – I think not.

    The author of the piece has started to see the flaws in the science that lie behind the disreputable behaviour but he has a way to go to understand reality.

  39. WA777 says:

    Phil writes (July 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm):

    “The precautionary principle ought to apply not only to the possibility of CAGW, but also to the possibility that the proposed changes in public policy may NOT do any good and may, instead, be extremely and irreversibly disastrous.”

    Sunstein, Cass R. “Throwing precaution to the wind: Why the ‘safe’ choice can be dangerous.” Opinion. boston.com – The Boston Globe, July 13, 2008. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/13/throwing_precaution_to_the_wind

    Main point:

    “Yet the precautionary principle, for all its rhetorical appeal, is deeply incoherent. It is of course true that we should take precautions against some speculative dangers. But there are always risks on both sides of a decision; inaction can bring danger, but so can action. Precautions, in other words, themselves create risks – and hence the principle bans what it simultaneously requires.”

    “In the context of climate change, precautions are certainly a good idea. But what kinds of precautions? A high tax on carbon emissions would impose real risks – including increased hardship for people who can least afford it and very possibly increases in unemployment and hence poverty. A sensible climate change policy balances the costs and benefits of emissions reductions. If the policy includes costly (and hence risk-creating) precautions, it is because those precautions are justified by their benefits.

    “The nations of the world should take precautions, certainly. But they should not adopt the precautionary principle.”.

  40. James Sexton says:

    Carbon tax = production tax. Sorry, but any twit person that believes a carbon tax could be a good thing either isn’t aware of the world’s economy and/or has little regard for his fellow citizens well being. When did it become popular to punish people for being productive? Do people not realize what gives money its value? Or how wealthier nations have higher standards of living?

  41. feet2thefire says:

    This is a great article.

    …When it comes down to it, there really is very little difference between the four whitewash panels’ studies and the scientific thoroughness behind AGW itself:

    They started with a conclusion they wanted to support and then cherry picked evidence to support it while utterly ignoring evidence to the contrary. And they did it all by keeping it all in the family, talking only to people who were on board. It happened that way all the way back in 1986 at the first conference in Switzerland, the one that first declared there to be a consensus.

    Nothing at all has changed.

    Except that Climategate has intervened, pointing out to anyone with half a wit to see what is going on.

    The tide has turned. The tipping point has already occurred. As long as they continue with AGW business as usual, they will continue to lose control of the situation that nine months ago – before Climategate and Copehagen – was their own private puppet show.

    Good for them. The more they continue with the same mindset, the more CO2-induced AGW will get discredited, and the sooner the world can get past this sorry episode. We do have more pressing environmental issues that need attending to. The only regrettable part of the whole thing is that science itself is getting a black eye.

    I myself do separate science from Co2-AGW alarmism, as many here do. But many in the general public might not see the difference. Science will get a bad rap for something these bozos have done in its name.

  42. Roger Knights says:

    Here’s what I posted within a month of The Leak:

    the main outcome of Climategate, IMO, is that the Team is no longer trustworthy in the public eye, and that a cloud of suspicion has fallen over peer review, the IPCC, and the consensus, which seems to have been engineered or manufactured. This is where the real damage has occurred, on an intangible level.
    …………………

    Monbiot has recognized that there is plenty of evidence of wrongdoing, collusion, and butt-covering among The Team, that the public is going to see it that way, and therefore that a timely abandonment of them and their indefensible activity is the only way for warmism to salvage some credibility from this train wreck. The truth of his insight should be obvious ….

    I’m delighted that someone else — i.e., this editor — agrees with me about the importance of the intangible factor of public trust. (And I’m also pleased, from a Machiavellian perspective, with the whitewashes, which are going to irretrievably compromise the warmist-sympathizer establishment.)

    [What has] turned opinion against action of any kind [is] the diminished credibility of the claim that we have a problem in the first place. That is why Climategate mattered. And that is why these absurd “vindications” of the climate scientists involved also matter.
    ………….
    Restoring confidence in climate science has to come first. … The inquiries could have started that process. They have further delayed it.

  43. David, Uk says:

    “I believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me (and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption.”

    Ironic, isn’t it. I mean: ironic, because this journalist who is capable of recognising “groupthink” in others, fails to recognise it in himself.

    Hence he begins with the apology: “I think climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously. I think energy policy should be intelligently directed towards mitigating this risk. I am for a carbon tax.”

    So the same guy who recognises that so much of climate “science” is weak and based on “groupthink” nevertheless takes pains to stress that he places himself squarely in that very same group!

    Groupthink is clearly a powerful force.

  44. Nasif Nahle says:

    Anthony… Thanks for this article. I enjoyed it too much.

    Regarding Mann’s amnesty, it seems something is irreversibly off upstairs, uh?

  45. Billy Liar says:

    Phil says:
    July 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Phil, you seem almost too frightened to live!

  46. RockyRoad says:

    Steinar Midtskogen says:
    July 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    CO2 emissions should be reduced, but as a way to stop climate change?
    ——————Reply
    Beg your parddon, but even as a way to stop climate change, CO2 emissions should never be reduced. That is, unless you want to curtail world population through reduction of food stuffs. And guess what the word for that is? Genocide.

  47. Rhoda R says:

    OK here, a new scare: Is it possible that the amount of Carbon being sequestered naturally might, over eons of time, drop the amount of carbon available for CO2 below the level necessary to support plant life?

  48. pat says:

    google has a 6 -day -old aussie newspaper quote “We find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt” at the very top of the chronological (algore-ithmic) news articles page for a “muir russell” search, but u can at least find this very current piece in the “prestigious” THE so long as u scroll way down past the days-old articles on russell’s report:

    15 July: Times Higher Education: Hannah Fearn : Hidden Danger: Willetts warns scientists to be more transparent
    The “regrettable wariness” about sharing data shown by climate scientists at the University of East Anglia has added to the dangers that science faces from “complacency and arrogance”, according to the universities and science minister.
    Speaking at the Royal Institution last week, David Willetts warned that scientists could “morph from admired public luminaries into public enemies” if they did not behave transparently and allow others “to test and challenge both methods and results”.
    His comments were made after the publication of a report by Sir Muir Russell into the “Climategate” affair…..
    Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, said that he would meet with the Information Commissioner to seek advice on how the FoI laws should be applied to research.
    “Researchers must have freedom within the law to put forward new ideas and controversial or unpopular opinions without the fear of intimidation and threats,” Professor Smith said.
    “We cannot have a situation where researchers dealing with controversial areas of study are faced with a barrage of requests for information on early drafts of research and discussions, with the sole aim of disrupting that work.”
    Trevor Davies, pro vice-chancellor for research and knowledge transfer at UEA, said universities needed clarity on both the timescale for releasing active research data and the kinds of research data that should be covered by the act.
    The problems researchers faced were compounded by the fact that the FoI Act did not allow for fair requests for information to be distinguished from those intended to disrupt work, he said.
    “There is a real danger of important research being ground to a halt because of this difficulty,” Professor Davies said.

    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=412546&c=1

  49. Jeremy says:

    Rhoda R says: July 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    …Is it possible that the amount of Carbon being sequestered naturally might, over eons of time, drop the amount of carbon available for CO2 below the level necessary to support plant life?

    This would require that the earth stop being volcanic. Most people don’t realize that earth’s vulcanism plays a large part in maintaining the atmosphere we have. Yes, events like Pinatubo are devastating, but the alternative is worse.

  50. hro001 says:

    Paul Richards says:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:14 pm
    I teach my kids: How long did the dinosaurs last? 365 million years.
    How did they grow so big? Because of the large amount of plant life.
    Why was there so much plant life? Because it was much warmer then.
    ===

    Shhhh …. some of the alarmists might hear you, and next thing we know, they’ll glom onto this and they’ll add “dinosaurs will take over the planet if we don’t stop all C02 emissions NOW” ;-)

  51. Another Realist says:

    Dr. Ware summarizes very well…Thank you…

    “Dr. John M. Ware says:
    July 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    I am NOT for a carbon tax, nor indeed for more taxes of any kind; but a CO2-abatement tax is sheer nonsense. CO2 is necessary for plant life, and more of it means better crops, better growth of other plants, and a greener planet. That science has been known for a long time, and all of us who observe have seen the truth of it: bigger leaves on trees, better growth and bigger blooms on flowers, quite measurable change. Record crops have been reported. The idiocy of trying to sequester or stop production of CO2 would have been hard to imagine even a few years ago. That people are seriously pursuing it now, in spite of plenty of science to the contrary, is frustrating. Apparently they don’t bother to read the relevant literature, or even to think. “There is none so blind as he who will not see.”…”

    Upon understanding the long established CO2 evidence when combined with the completely fraudulent temperature data (some, the result of laziness and ignorance) 192 degree asphalt ! – exhaust heat from AC units – smoothing over 1200KM grids !

    Being gracious, the AGW community needs to really wake up and start thinking, maybe nothing is really happening after all.

  52. hro001 says:

    Darn … hit post too soon … wanted to mention that speaking of “really inconvenient press”, Newsweek offers a healthy dose of same as well. Excerpts:

    Is the media tide turning? … an interesting view from Newsweek

  53. RoyFOMR says:

    So, doubt within the consensus is a possibility.
    Perhaps a possible restatement is that consensus is a fickle ally when confronted by GrandMa Climate whose watchword is. “I do what I do ”
    Another may sub-set the words that Nature gives not a fig for X-Factor intuitional voting impulses but will faithfully chant the twin mantras; Tricky, this Climate Stuff, really tricky but we can state with total certainty that because Man made CO2 is increasing AND because may be getting Hotter theb because our models (what we have done) tell us ? Then what’s the problem ?
    Oh, and BTW, we’re really clever climatologists, and you lot are just oinks?
    Apology accepted!
    /sarc suspended

  54. Ben says:

    “Rhoda R says:
    July 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm
    OK here, a new scare: Is it possible that the amount of Carbon being sequestered naturally might, over eons of time, drop the amount of carbon available for CO2 below the level necessary to support plant life?

    There is plenty of carbon stored in the Earth, and I doubt without the intervention of some cosmic event that it could reduce CO2 below that level. That is a good point, but I think that is besides the point, the bigger danger of carbon sequestering is it being released suddenly by accident. This could potentially be more dangerous then say a radiation leak. I wonder if this has happened in nature naturally? Does anyone know?

  55. Joe Lalonde says:

    WHO in their right mind would be ALL for a tax?
    They NEVER go for what they were suppose to be intended for.

    We have an ECO-Tax right now that no one has a clue what is being taxed and the amount. Some poor smuck just paid 3.78 for a bag of cement and was slapped with a 3.99 ECO-Tax fee on top of the new sale taxes just implamented.

    A place to stand, a place to grow, Ontareareareo (it’s a song).

  56. Rick Bradford says:

    How’s this for a circular argument from Martin Parry, (who in 2007 was co-chair of an IPCC working group).

    (From The Economist)

    1. [Parry] says there was not a conscious decision to highlight negative effects, but to highlight important ones.

    2. [Parry says] The important effects are negative ones: this is why people are worried about climate change.

    Well, perhaps they wouldn’t be worried about climate change if you’d stop publishing scare stories…..

  57. Theo Goodwin says:

    Crook finds something in the Penn State whitewash that he calls “indefensible.” He quotes as follows: (three paragraphs)

    “This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research…”

    “Had Dr. Mann’s conduct of his research been outside the range of accepted practices, it would have been impossible for him to receive so many awards and recognitions, which typically involve intense scrutiny from scientists who may or may not agree with his scientific conclusions…”

    “Clearly, Dr. Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field.”

    This should be studied carefully by aspiring scientists. If you are good enough at bringing in research funds then you attain a status that renders you free from any questions about your means. Blackbeard the Pirate followed the same principle and taught it to all his men. Given that some Penn State authorities are willing to invoke Blackbeard, I suggest that we should be very wary indeed.

  58. Christoph says:

    I like how his conclusion is but we really need to tax carbon in order to save the Earth.

    Still, give him marks for intellectual honesty in recognizing that the inquiries were not inquiries, they were corrupt cover-ups.

  59. Tom T says:

    So if he wasn’t in favor of a Carbon tax, nothing he has said about Climategate would be valid? How sad it is that in order to have credibility on certain subjects one has hold certain views on the related subjects.

  60. What I find remarkable is the parallels between the whitewashes by the Penn State and Muir Russel “investigations” of ClimageGate, and the recent bailouts of financial institutions. Clive Crook, who comes from the perspective of believing AGW represents a true call to policy action, had hoped that the perpetrators of crimes against the integrity of science would be held to account, so that confidence in the institutions could be restored, and that both science and public policy to then move forward. Perhaps the AGW academic grant machine was “too big to fail”. This argument parallels the criticism by many, including me, that the various bailouts of financial institutions prevented an honest repricing of the assets involved, which would have created a sound floor from which growth could proceed. Instead we have a climate of uncertainty, stagnation, and future collapses virtually assured now that the moral hazard has become policy.

    Whitewashes are a kind of moral bailout. The hidden cost is the creation of a mushy foundation upon which all future endeavors are suspect and at risk of future collapse. While I disagree with Mr. Crook that anthropogenic greenhouse gasses represent a major environmental threat, I can respect and support his desire to maintain the integrity of the academic institutions that purport to inform public policy.

    I think the evidence is already substantially in that if climate science were to be done with integrity, it would not support the policies that Mr. Crook advocates. It would look more like the science that Anthony and others present here.

    Pharmaceutical interests have bombarded the medical literature for so long, and so cleverly, that the medical profession has developed finely honed instincts and tools for detecting when somebody is “hiding the decline.” As a result, most studies in major publications, even those sponsored by the big pharmaceutical companies, are done with integrity today. It was not always so, and even now a few clunkers slip through. I would guess that the integrity of climate research publication is where medical publication was thirty or forty years ago.

  61. Gail Combs says:

    Rhoda R says:
    July 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    OK here, a new scare: Is it possible that the amount of Carbon being sequestered naturally might, over eons of time, drop the amount of carbon available for CO2 below the level necessary to support plant life?
    ____________________________________
    Sure looked as though we were headed in that direction. Things get real dicey at 220 ppm and below. We were getting a bit too close for comfort, certainly close enough to slow down plant growth and interfere with harvest in marginal areas.

    It seems that plants grab all the CO2 available and reduce the levels to about 200ppm in their immediate vicinity.

    CO2 depletion
    “Plant photosynthetic activity can reduce the CO2 within the plant canopy to between 200 and 250 ppm… I observed a 50 ppm drop in within a tomato plant canopy just a few minutes after direct sunlight at dawn entered a green house (Harper et al 1979) … photosynthesis can be halted when CO2 concentration approaches 200 ppm… (Morgan 2003) Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and does not easily mix into the greenhouse atmosphere by diffusion… “ http://books.google.com/books?id=eEy9ftsCqtoC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=co2+depletion+canopy+photosynthesis&source=bl&ots=dq3VDah8tK&sig=4EHJKS5C03VfrI8ZrUGiz4mg_AI&hl=en&ei=bK8KTKfNBoGdlgf64_isDg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CCIQ6AEwAzgU#v=onepage&q=co2%20depletion%20canopy%20photosynthesis&f=false

    WHEAT:
    “The CO2 concentration at 2 m above the crop was found to be fairly constant during the daylight hours on single days or from day-to-day throughout the growing season ranging from about 310 to 320 p.p.m. Nocturnal values were more variable and were between 10 and 200 p.p.m. higher than the daytime values. “

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B757B-4894VM5-8T&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1973&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1359890856&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=2f572559d85a36b56134f8af6e06db91

  62. Theo Goodwin says:

    UnfrozencavemanMD writes:

    “Perhaps the AGW academic grant machine was “too big to fail”. This argument parallels the criticism by many, including me, that the various bailouts of financial institutions prevented an honest repricing of the assets involved, which would have created a sound floor from which growth could proceed.”

    Exactly. Many will suffer greatly because the banks were not allowed to fail. I count my losses daily, so to speak. Most people do not understand. Moral rot has set in deeply with a lot of upper-middle-class families walking away from their mortgage(s). The same exists in science.

    The Penn State statement says directly that if you are a member of the Team then you will be protected from any investigation of your work or other acttivites, such as policy advocacy. The global warming scam is truly a nightmare. The truth of the matter is that there is no climate science at this time. There is an effort to gather a lot of factual information about Earth’s climate, but the number of confirmed hypotheses that can be used for prediction can be counted on one hand. But our citizenry knows too little about science and scientific method to appreciate the fact. So, we are at the mercy of scam artists.

    I really like your last paragraph. It is quite hopeful.

  63. Bulldust says:

    As much as we hate these boys being covered in whitewash, we would hate the alternative even more, right? Would you really like to see them in latex?

    Hang on… were we talking about paint? I’m confused now…

  64. Theo Goodwin says:

    UnfrozencavemanMD,

    Right on the money. Thanks for your hopeful last paragraph.

  65. Kevin_S says:

    The writer is really complaining about the lack of a sacrificial lamb, or two, in regards to the whole Climategate affair. He is upset that because of the whitewash going on, the political momentum has been lost.
    It seems the writer doesn’t realize that the whole issue is based on a lie. Tear at the lie, even sacrificing two lambs, and the whole thing will come tumbling down. The only thing keeping AGW going is the constant repairing being done by the “believers.”

  66. kent Blaker says:

    Several volcanic lakes in Africa released a wall of CO2 killing many villagers… over 2000 in one case and a few hundred in another.

  67. Andrew P. says:

    David, Uk says:
    July 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    “I believe that the Climategate emails revealed, to an extent that surprised even me (and I am difficult to surprise), an ethos of suffocating groupthink and intellectual corruption.”

    Ironic, isn’t it. I mean: ironic, because this journalist who is capable of recognising “groupthink” in others, fails to recognise it in himself.

    Hence he begins with the apology: “I think climate science points to a risk that the world needs to take seriously. I think energy policy should be intelligently directed towards mitigating this risk. I am for a carbon tax.”

    So the same guy who recognises that so much of climate “science” is weak and based on “groupthink” nevertheless takes pains to stress that he places himself squarely in that very same group!

    Groupthink is clearly a powerful force.

    Yes, have to agree with you on that. I think personally think that Groupthink is perhaps the most significant contributing factor to the continued acceptance of the AGW religion/delusion. But then I have long held (admittedly arrogantly) that 95-99% of people are essentially stupid, or just don’t know how to question/think for themselves. (And I happily include graduates, professionals, doctors, journalists etc. in that sweeping generalisation). But it still astonishes me how many otherwise intelligent people (and many of them professional scientists) have gone along with the CO2 AGW thesis, despite the long accepted and strong evidence of previous warm/cold periods in the Holocene, which clearly had nothing to do with levels of atmospheric CO2. Hence Ibsen’s “the individual is always right” quote from ‘An Enemy of the People’ often springs to mind. (And not just with regard to climate science; there are major problems with peer reviewed medical science, particularly in regard to vaccine safety and efficacy; and as for the official explanation for the near free-fall collapse of the three towers, well let’s just say that I give more credence to Newton’s Laws, rather than NIST’s computer models).

  68. ecliptic says:

    Leftgatekeeper:

    Be a pretend friend of liberty then casually drop-in the insidious global tax based on the very lie you pretend to oppose. Nah – won’t work . . .

  69. IanB says:

    July 14, 2010 – 23:10 EST

    After reading the post by Clive Crook “Climategate and the Big Green Lie” from your post “Uh-oh, really inconvenient press”

    I went to Wikipedia – specifically, http://en.wikipedia.org/

    and searched for ‘Clive Crook’.

    I was prompted,

    ‘Did you mean: Clive Brook’,

    below which was listed various entries embeded here and there with the highlighted name ‘Clive Crook’.

    I did not see a dedicated reference to a biography of ‘Clive Crook’.

    So I searched http://en.wikipedia.org/ for

    ‘Ron Jeremy’

    and found that the first entry of my search was a dedicaterd biography to the porn star ‘Ron Jeremy’

    I wondered why ‘Ron Jeremy’ the porn star was given a dedicated biography
    and Clive Crook, whose resume would include,

    Deputy Editor and Chief Economics Commentor of ‘The Economist’ magazine, Columnist for the Financial Times, Senior Editor at The Atlantic Monthly, among many other literery achivements as well as,

    author of ‘Climategate and the Big Green Lie’

    wasn’t.

  70. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    ClimateGate, the gift that keeps on giving! :-)

  71. Amino Acids in Meteorites says:

    I am for a carbon tax.

    I wonder for what reason he would want such an oppressive thing?

  72. pat says:

    13 July: WaPo: Rosalind Helderman : Cuccinelli uses court filing to dispute Mann climate research
    The University of Virginia holds documents relevant to an ongoing fraud investigation–which is the only standard that should govern whether the university must respond to a subpoena for those documents, lawyers for Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli argued in a 41-page brief filed in Albemarle County Circuit Court Tuesday….
    The university must respond to the attorney general’s brief by July 20 and oral arguments have been set for August 20

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/2010/07/the_university_of_virginia_hol.html

    link to the 41-page brief

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/virginiapolitics/AG%20Mann%20file%20July%2013.pdf

  73. Mr Lynn says:

    I suppose this article represents progress, a dim awakening, lit by Climategate, that all is not quite what it seemed in ‘climate science’, that there were some shenanigans going on that if unpunished might cause people to doubt the great danger posed by ‘climate change’.

    And I suppose it is too much to expect that an editor of The Atlantic could possibly suspect that the academics are circling the wagons and protecting their own because their alarmist claims are entirely hollow and without empirical foundation.

    Writes Crook,

    . . . The economic burdens of mitigating climate change will not be shouldered until a sufficient number of voters believe the problem is real, serious, and pressing.

    But of course the voters should believe this, shouldn’t they?

    There won’t be any real progress until the liberal elite like Mr. Crook actually begin to realize that there is no anthropogenic global warming, hence no problem, and that he and his fellows have had the wool pulled over their eyes for a generation.

    /Mr Lynn

  74. stephen richards says:

    Phil says:
    July 14, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    Your argument is totally and fundamentally flawed.

  75. stephen richards says:

    Steinar Midtskogen says:
    July 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Yet another flawed argument. Why must CO² be reduced? You are missing the whole point. You say CO² must be reduced only because you have read the rubbish science as published in the journals.

  76. Mark Young says:

    James Sexton says:
    ” Or how wealthier nations have higher standards of living?”

    More importantly, let’s say we’re all horribly wrong and that the worst projections are dead on. If we are in for an ecological disaster, who is going to get hurt the most? POOR PEOPLE. If you increase taxes on every level of production, you’re going to have MORE poor people. If you decrease taxes and grow the world’s economies as fast and as much as possible, you’re going to have fewer poor (and dead) people in a disaster.

    Again, who dies in a disaster? Poor folks. Rich folks generally do just fine. (go ahead, check any disaster you like, start with Katrina and go back, or the Irish potato famin and go forward) We need more global wealth. Anything that gets in the way of that violates the precautionary principle in the most egregious fashion.

  77. RockyRoad says:

    The Warmers changed their mantra from “Global Warming” to “Climate Change” because it was convenient (embracing Earth’s modus operandi) and because they really didn’t know where things were going regarding the climate. We need to beat the drum that “climate change” is natural–that man has precious little impact on it and no possibility of controlling it, except perhaps impacting it to his detriment. Their embrace of “Climate Change” shows how little they really know about the subject.

  78. Larry says:

    I think this is the third article he has written and I have seen on the climategate mails – although I didn’t think the original 2 were in the atlantic. The first one was basically saying the mails were a concern but he thought the science was basically sound. That also appeared in the ft. The later 2 were far more critical, and weren’t published in the FT. It would be interesting to know what the relationship was there. I have long since given up reading the FT because they appear to just make a sophisticated argument for whatever the beaurocrats want them to say, and since the economist is owned by the same (pearson) group would not really expect them to be any different. I note their chief economist laid into one of their commenters as “right wing” for suggesting a bloated government sector may have contributed to the recession.

  79. John Marincic says:

    Here in Canada we still have to listen to David Suzuki tell us that the climate science is sound, the evidence is overwhelming and being a skeptic is NOT demonstrating intellectual rigour. The following article is carried in all the major newspapers as gospel.

    http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Environment/Suzuki/2010/07/14/14711551.html

  80. Pascvaks says:

    The anger is real. These faux pas’s have totally killed any hope the Extremeist Mob had of World Revolution via the UN and/or Global Treaty using AGW as the key. If you’re whole being had been centered on achieving this end, wouldn’t you be just a little miffed too?

  81. EthicallyCivil says:

    Why would anyone need to create a bureaucracy to tax carbon, when removing subsidies for coal and oil has the same or greater impact on price, and removes a market distortion rather than adding a new one….

    “Curiouser and curiouser…”

    EC

  82. JohnH says: July 15, 2010 at 3:41 am

    They don’t have to worry, Prince Chuckles is on the case.

    I’ve actually got a lot of time for the Prince, for all that he’s misinformed over Climate Science. He’s been beaten with more unjust condemnations than I would wish on my enemies. Not least regarding Diana. So I’m writing to him like I wrote to Father Dease, to give him another chance.

  83. Elizabeth says:

    Interestingly, someone like Clive Crook can express the same ideas as a climate sceptic and whereas Crook’s opinions are taken under consideration, the sceptic is tarred and feathered. Aside from that bit about supporting a carbon tax, may I just point out, we said that first!

  84. stephen richards says:
    July 15, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Yet another flawed argument. Why must CO² be reduced? You are missing the whole point. You say CO² must be reduced only because you have read the rubbish science as published in the journals.

    I meant burning less fossil fuel (regardless whether the resulting CO2 is left in the atmosphere or stored in the ground or whatever). The fossil fuel wont last for many centuries. So we can either make a gentle transition to something else while there is plenty of time, or we can, well, what is your better way?

  85. Larry Fields says:

    Whaddayaknow? Whitewashgate hits the MSM.

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