Why did PBS FRONTLINE electronically alter the signature of one of the world’s most distinguished Physicists in their report “Climate of Doubt’?

UPDATE: PBS admits to this as being a mistake, see below – Anthony

Tuesday night as I watched the program, one of the documents on display during the interview with Dr. Fred Singer (who reporter John Hockenberry treated quite poorly with some editing tricks) caught my eye, because I saw it had been altered by post production video techniques.

I recognized the document, because I’d seen it before, but I could not be sure until I was able to compare the video and the original document side by side. I made a note and promised myself I’d revisit it when/if the full video report became available to check.

Late yesterday “Climate of Doubt” was posted on YouTube, and I was able to review it. Turns out I was right; PBS had altered the document electronically to make the name of one of the world’s most distinguished physicists illegible during their broadcast. Here is what I found.

First, here is the YouTube Video of the “Climate of Doubt” report: 

I direct your attention to the 19:30 mark where Hockenberry segues from the NAS report to an interview with Dr. Singer.

At 20:12 there’s an abrupt audio edit, with the camera on Hockenberry blurting out “Oregon Petition” which sure looks like Singers statement was cut off. That’s stock in trade of aggressive agenda driven editing to make the point of your video report, but what followed was far more egregious.

At 20:15 Hockenberry narrates with this in voice over:

The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document skeptics claim counters the scientific consensus on global warming.

While this graphic is displayed in slow zoom:

Note at 20:29 how the signature is electronically blurred, while other text and the writing “PHYSICS” is quite readable.

I’d seen that document before, and last night, I located it:

The signature is that of Dr. Edward Teller, from the signature card he turned in which can be seen on the very top of the Oregon Petition Project web page here. Clearly, Hockenberry was familiar with the project, citing it, and showing web pages linking to it. With that background at his disposal, there’s simply no way he could not have known that this was anybody but Dr. Teller on that card.

For those who don’t know, Dr. Edward Teller, often listed as the “father of the hydrogen bomb” was described in the PBS report “Race for the Superbomb” this way:

Of all the scientists who worked on the U.S. nuclear weapons program none have led more controversial a career than Edward Teller. Described by one Nobel Prize winner in physics as “one of the most thoughtful statesmen of science,” and by another as “a danger to all that’s important,” Teller was recognized by most of his colleagues as being one of the most imaginative and creative physicists alive.

He worked on the Manhattan project, was director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Among the honors he received were the Albert Einstein Award, the Enrico Fermi Award, the Corvin Chain and the National Medal of Science. He was awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush less than two months before his death in 2003, and yes, he is a signatory of the Oregon Petition.

Hockenberry simply printed the graphic of the signature card above on a B&W laser printer, did a camera zoom over it, and used the electronic blur effect on the signature in post production.

The question is, why? Why would he need to obscure Dr. Teller’s signature?

Dr. Teller is deceased, so it can’t be to protect his identity or career. It is publicly well known and listed in Wikipedia that he is a signatory, and Dr. Teller has never disputed it as it was widely circulated when he signed on.

I think the key in understanding this is in Hockenberry’s voice over:

The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document skeptics claim counters the scientific consensus on global warming.

Quite clearly, he’s trying to diminish the impact of the Oregon Petition by making it seem just about anyone could sign on, not only with the way he was editing Dr. Singer’s response, but also with purposeful obfuscation of Dr. Teller’s signature to prevent recognition of it by viewers like you.

You might ask, “why did he use that signature card, and then go to the effort to obfuscate it?”. The answer there lies in finding other usable examples. You see, being in television and radio news myself for 25 years, I’ve seen many situations like this.

Reporters under a deadline need to get story elements “in the bag” and they often don’t have enough time. It sometimes limits their ability to dig deep, and sometimes makes them desperate when deadlines loom. Missing deadlines is a career ender, bending the truth when nobody notices, not so much. And, since there was this petition card document easily available on the front page of the petition website, the reporter could easily make a request to the post production editor to blur the signature and do no additional work himself. I’m betting that is what happened. It freed him to work on other things than additional research, plus when blurred it fit his narrative, which in my opinion was that “skeptics were bad people doing bad things“.

Watch the video from 20:30 to 20:50 and you’ll see what I mean. Here’s the voice over after the next hatchet job on Dr. Singer’s responses:

It a time-honored tactic by the skeptics, authentic looking documents and reports that don’t stand up to independent scrutiny.

I call bullshit on that, especially when the PBS report purposely alters the documents to prevent most viewers unfamiliar with the issue of figuring out they’ve been lied to by the reporter. It’s PBS journalistic ethics that don’t stand up to scrutiny here.

It makes you wonder what else Hockenberry may have purposely altered in post production.

It is clear to me that Hockenberry simply didn’t want viewers to know that such a prominent and world-renowned physicist had signed on saying he had “doubt” about global warming. That would dilute Hockenberry’s message.

This is beyond slimy jounalistic tactics akin to the sort of thing like NBC News rigging gas tanks on pickups trucks with model rocket engines so they will catch fire, viewers couldn’t tell, but experts did, and NBC paid the price.

Mr. Hockenberry should be reprimanded for his purposeful obfuscation and biased journalism tactics and I encourage readers to complain to PBS about this issue to ask it be investigated.

One final note, if you do a Google image search for “Oregon Petition signature card” you find Dr. Teller’s signature card and one other:

Yes, that’s Freeman J. Dyson, theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.

Hockenberry likely couldn’t use that one either without blurring it.

Heartland’s Jim Lakely discusses many other issues with the quality of the reporting in “Climate of Doubt”.

UPDATE: Dr. Roy Spencer has similar complaints about how he was portrayed via editing:

From 0:18 to 0:21 in this trailer for the show “A Climate of Doubt”, I am seen talking about the U.S. government funding only research which supports global warming alarmism:…yet, the viewer of the entire show will come away with the mistaken impression that I was instead talking about skeptics of manmade global warming being funded by shady organizations.

UPDATE: Here are two messages placed side by side from the live chat (today at PBS website) showing that PBS has reacted to my point about Dr. Edward Teller’s signature. Catherine Upin is a co-writer of the program:

No mention as to the rationale of the “late stage production decision” only that it was a mistake.

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112 thoughts on “Why did PBS FRONTLINE electronically alter the signature of one of the world’s most distinguished Physicists in their report “Climate of Doubt’?

  1. Where else could you get such a CSI-level examination of the PBS Frontline program but here? I thought I had most things covered, but missed those easy-to-miss (by design), vital, and insidious details. As Anthony was kind enough to note, I also broke down the “Climate of Doubt” program … but in different, bullet-pointed ways:

    http://blog.heartland.org/2012/10/thoughts-on-pbs-frontlines-climate-of-doubt-program/

    Jim Lakely
    Director of Communications
    The Heartland Institute

  2. Excellent analysis. Whenever people start deliberately falsifying evidence, it’s a sure sign of desperation. While not absolutely relevant to the issue at hand is the rather charming fact that one of the most original and brilliant thinkers of the 20th century has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics! One doesn’t have to be an expert to have an opinion – what one has to have is an open mind that can rationally review all evidence in order to reach a valid conclusion.

  3. It’s probably policy to distort any signature shown on air to avoid identity theft.
    Try finding the signature of any our chiefs of police in the UK on the web. Letters from the chief constable to the public are usually signed by a minion.

    REPLY: Yes, but when citing a signed document in a news report, it is also usually a policy to name the signer if it is blurred. PBS failed to do this and left the viewer to wonder who signed it, while at the same time speaking of “documents that don’t stand up to scrutiny”. -Anthony

  4. The entire program is tendentious and propagandistic. I don’t know if it’s a new low, but it’s down there with the bottom-dwellers.

  5. Though I agree with your analysis of the programs bias, I think the obfuscation of the signature has a much less sinister cause.

    The person doing the editing probably had no idea who the signatory was. To not overstep privacy boundaries signatures gets blurred.

    HLx

    REPLY: That’s a possibility, but clearly the reporter had significant knowledge of the petition, and set up Fred Singer with the question about entertainers, etc. One of the supposed “fake” signers “Michael J. Fox” isn’t the actor, but a degreed professional. http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/196/10221/

    Either Hockenberry knew this and exploited it for effect anyway, or didn’t do his research. Either way, its pretty sloppy – Anthony

  6. Good catch Anthony,

    Sort of O/T but related, I got a call from a BBC radio 4 presenter the other day, wanting some off the record chat about the police investigation into climategate. The program will go out at 9pm on halloween…

    I got the distinct impression that the underlying message was,

    “We’re going to talk about you, not to you.”

  7. Any truth to the warmunist claim that the Oregon Petition cover letter was intentionally made to look as though it was an official National Academy of Sciences document in order to lend the petition legitimacy?

    note: I did not/will not watch the PBS show.

  8. Adam Gallon says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:52 am
    “…Mind you, just for balance, Dr Mann’s bit was left entirely upon the cutting room floor.
    “@MichaelEMann
    @timmytimj82 Spent half a day w/ them. Talked about #climatechange #denial campaign. It all ended up on cutting room floor “

    It would be interesting to see this footage, my guess would be that he came over so badly that he would have done more harm than good to the message. This is the same Michael Mann that has recently launched an Oscar Wilde style suicidal civil law suit.

  9. The US has PBS we have, and are forced by law to pay for, the BBC. Both are biased and lie through omission of all the facts. See the last report of Arctic ice cover on the BBC. No mention of the Antarctic sea ice record. Certainly the BBC will not mention the now record regrowth of Arctic sea ice.

  10. I used to live the first several decades of my life in a country which could not exactly be characterized as an “open society”. Tricks like this were regular occurrences in Communist media, they simply could not help but bend the truth all the time.

    However, we made a sport of spotting tricks and we became quite good at it. By the end this game got rather amusing, I must admit.

    But these guys never learn, for there was a sour side effect of all this fooling around with purported “facts”. Even in cases when we were unable to identify the trick, we came to default on it anyway. It was simple folk wisdom to suppose they were lying all the time and dismiss every single word as pure propaganda unless proven otherwise by hard facts from independent sources.

    In the current world however, especially in the U. S. of A. it is not supposed to go that way, is it? Clearly identifiable thoughtcrimes against a free society should never be allowed to go unpunished. Have PBS fire the guys ASAP or you do not deserve the freedom inherited conveniently from your great grand fathers.

    For the difference between freedom and slavery is that it is you who should supervise Big Brother all the time, never the other way around.

  11. Conversely, over in the UK, the media tide may be turning. The Daily Mail (right-wing but very popular** middle rung newspaper) has been getting more and more sceptic. But this recent arcticle was their most strident yet.

    The REALLY inconvenient truths about global warming. Last week we explosively revealed a 16-year ‘pause’ in rising temperatures – triggering a bitter debate. You decide what the real facts are…

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220722/Global-warming-The-Mail-Sunday-answers-world-warming-not.html#ixzz2AIlGRxyu
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2220722/Global-warming-The-Mail-Sunday-answers-world-warming-not.html

    Don’t you just love the headlines on these stories. Does this mean that WUWT is ‘explosive’ every other day??

    ** 2 million copy daily circulation.

    .

  12. To Graham Jarvis and others: A better construction would be: A Ph.D. doesn’t automatically make one an expert; nor does a lesser degree make one a non-expert. The Ph.D. (earned in my case, incidentally) speaks to such factors as persistence and luck, but hardly to expert status, as I learned repeatedly through a 40+-year career in academics. True expertise comes from knowledge, experience, and wisdom in a given field or fields, not in credential letters after one’s name. So Freeman Dyson, by his own document, had only a B.A. in his field–does that disprove his expertise? Hardly; it merely shows, along with myriad other examples, that degrees and expertise do not equate on a one-to-one basis.

  13. It does not take a PBS program to inform anyone who examines the issue that the Oregon petition is a load of nonsense with zero relevence to the science of climate.

    Which does not prevent some partisan comentators still wheeling it out as a piece discredited propoganda.

    REPLY: Prove it is “A load of nonsense” just saying it does not make it so – Anthony

  14. It says it all that the warmists refuse to debate with us live and they have to change what we do say in live interviews in order to present their side of the story.

  15. It was obvious this programme was going to be yet another stitch-up job. I really don’t know why I bother ever giving broadcasters like PBS the benefit of my doubt; time and again, when it comes to CAGW, they display an alarming lack of balance, a troubling absence of unbiased reporting. They insult the intelligence of their audience and they throw dirt in the face of their so-called ‘journalistic principles’. It’s an utter disgrace that people like this should even be able to describe themselves as such, when in truth they are little more than useful, indoctrinaire idiots working for the CAGW msm propaganda machine.

    I’m not suggesting PBS should have reported in favour of climate skeptics; far from it. But the fact they made virtually no effort at all to address any of the myriad issues skeptics have highlighted (time and again) in the ongoing CAGW scam simply beggars belief. This was little more than a pro-CAGW propaganda piece masquerading as a ‘documentary’. It was yet another sickening travesty.

    How did journalistic standards manage to sink quite so far into the gutter?

  16. izen says:

    It does not take a PBS program to inform anyone who examines the issue that the Oregon petition is a load of nonsense with zero relevence to the science of climate. Which does not prevent some partisan comentators still wheeling it out as a piece discredited propoganda.

    “Zero relevance”?? What planet do you live on, izen? Because you have no clue at all. And you are the “partisan commentator”.

    The OISM Petition was all about climate science. It clearly shows that the true consensus is on the side of scientific skeptics, and not on the side of the alarmist cult.

    The OISM Petition is co-signed by more than 31,000 professionals, with degrees exclusively in the hard sciences, including more than 9,000 PhD’s. They are stating unequivocally that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. But like all climate alarmists, you just can’t handle the truth.

  17. Berényi Péter says: October 25, 2012 at 2:28 am
    Tricks like this were regular occurrences in Communist media, they simply could not help but bend the truth all the time. … It was simple folk wisdom to suppose they were lying all the time and dismiss every single word as pure propaganda unless proven otherwise by hard facts from independent sources.
    _________________________________

    Sorry, are we talking about the USSR’s PRAVDA here, or the UK’s BBC? I think they must be run by the same management team.

    .

  18. Having a higher degree of any sort certainly does not automatically confer the holder with any modicum of that rare commodity common sense. I am a microbiologist by training and whilst discussing some work I was doing for him was asked many years ago by a world leading authority on mamalian cell antibody expression systems. “how do the bacteria breathe in you screw the lids on the vials”. Truly mind bogling ignorance from someone with more letters after his name than I have letters in my name.
    Anyone know anything about Excel at all I need a line drawn….?

  19. i see clear signatures on documents in the MSM all the time. as the document in question is public. there would be no need whatsoever to blur it.

    because i don’t watch frontline – too spooky for my taste – i had no idea if michael mann was or wasn’t in it. however, i wanted to post yesterday about the “coincidental” timing of the mann lawsuit and the frontline attack on CAGW sceptics, which is what PBS declared it was up front. yes, a nice coincidence. more intrigue…and i’m on neither side in this race:

    24 Oct: Bloomberg: David Mildenberg: Koch-Backed Texan Faces Sierra Club Fueled Bid for House
    A global-warming skeptic backed by energy giant Koch Industries Inc. is squaring off against an opponent supported by the Sierra Club in a Texas congressional district where the largest U.S. oil discovery in decades drives the economy.
    More than $5 million in spending by outside groups has made Canseco’s 23d Congressional District the most competitive House race for a Texas incumbent, according to analysts such as Jim Henson, who teaches politics at the University of Texas in Austin.. .
    Canseco accepted more than $200,000 from “polluters,” backed cutting funds to create alternative-energy jobs and protected tax breaks for companies that send work overseas, according to a television ad from the league (of Conservation Voters) on YouTube.com…
    Canseco’s campaign has gotten cash from individuals and political-action committees in the oil and gas industry totaling about $142,700, according to the Responsive Politics center. It said donors included PACs representing San Antonio-based NuStar Energy LP (NS) and refiner Valero Energy Corp. (VLO), as well as Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kansas. Federal records show NuStar Chairman William Greehey gave $5,000, as did Paul Foster, chief executive officer of Western Refining Co. (WNR) of El Paso…
    “Canseco says there are credible individuals who question the veracity of man-made global climate change,” said Scott Yeldell, a spokesman…
    Gallego has collected more than $70,000 from unions, including the National Education Association and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, according to the Responsive Politics center. It said lawyers, liquor distributors and unions were giving the most to him.
    The conservation league’s money has been augmented by almost $200,000 from a Sierra Club PAC. The league’s board of directors includes John Podesta, an adviser to Obama and a White House aide to President Bill Clinton, as well as Carol Browner, a former EPA head under Clinton and energy policy chief for Obama, and is led by Scott Nathan, a partner and chief risk officer at Baupost Group LLC, a Boston-based hedge fund with more than $24 billion in assets…

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-24/koch-backed-texan-faces-sierra-club-fueled-bid-for-house.html

  20. @izen says:
    October 25, 2012 at 3:03 am

    “It does not take a PBS program to inform anyone who examines the issue that the Oregon petition is a load of nonsense with zero relevence to the science of climate.
    [...]“

    The petition is useful for pointing out that the [climate] “science”isn’t settled.

    BTW and not exactly OT re “settled science,” how’re those runaway temperatures caused by steadily rising CO2 going lately? I thought it was settled back in 1988 that we’d be frying by now, except for those parts of Manhatten that are under water. Color me skeptical.

    P.S. No cookies for you, PBS.

  21. @- D Böehm
    “The OISM Petition was all about climate science. It clearly shows that the true consensus is on the side of scientific skeptics, and not on the side of the alarmist cult.”

    The petition has zero scientific content, it is purely a PR type stunt, no physical , chemical or biological science is confirmed, refuted or contained in getting a small percentage of the people who received the request to sign the petition to sign it. As others have pointed out the open criteria for acceptable signatories means that it represents a very small minority of all the eligible US graduates. Someone calculated that the number of scientists named Michael vastly outnumbers the number of Oregon petition signatories.

    @-”They are stating unequivocally that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. But like all climate alarmists, you just can’t handle the truth.”

    Wrong.
    The tiny fraction of scientists who signed the petition may be endorsing the claims made in the associated document, but that is neither an established scientific ‘Truth’ nor does it establish that rising CO2 either only beneficial or exclusively harmless.
    Good science can establish a scientific theory, a body of knowledge so well supported by observational evidence and logical inference that it would be unreasonable to doubt it, but only religion and mathematics can claim to establish ‘Truth’. To claim otherwise reveals a deep absence of knowledge about the basic epistemology of science.
    Scientific consensus is derived from the consilience of the peer reviewed research in the relevant subject, not the signatures of anyone who claims a hard science qualification.
    Petitions are the tools of political spin, NOT scientific discovery.

  22. D Böehm says:

    October 25, 2012 at 3:28 am

    The OISM Petition is co-signed by more than 31,000 professionals, with degrees exclusively in the hard sciences, including more than 9,000 PhD’s. They are stating unequivocally that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. But like all climate alarmists, you just can’t handle the truth.
    —————————————————————
    I noticed on Freeman Dyson’s petition card he had scratched Ph.D, M.S., B.S. and wrote “BA Mathematics”. I had no idea you could earn a BA in math and I’m stunned Dyson had no graduate degree.

    Nice detective work Anthony. I’m with Romney when it comes to PBS. Stop their government funding.

  23. @ Anthony

    Really? Is this really worth a blog post?

    Quite clearly, he’s trying to diminish the impact of the Oregon Petition by making it seem just about anyone could sign on

    I have an MSc. and am able to sign the Oregon Petition. I have absolutely no scientific expertise in climate science – therefore my expert opinion is completely invalid, yet I am able to sign the Oregon Petition.

    Anyone with a BSc. could sign the Oregon petition, since the vast, vast majority have no expert basis to comment on climate science, I would say that qualifies as “just about anyone”, as someone with a BSc. in Sport’s Nutrition has as much clue as a bin-man.

    REPLY: Since your “expert opinion is completely invalid”, there’s no further need to be commenting here. – Anthony

  24. Izen says It does not take a PBS program to inform anyone who examines the issue that the Oregon petition is a load of nonsense with zero relevence to the science of climate.

    Whereas on the other hand the Doran survey’s 97% figure is absolutely rock solid and 100% reliable, right?

    Gosh, who to believe, Edward Teller, one of the greatest and most influential physiciats of the 20th century, or Izen?

    On yer bike!

  25. I am sorry – but I can no longer stomach the deceit and lies of PBS. My time is valuable as it is limited. And I will not waste it with hack sites. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and informing me of the gross incompetence of the organization.

  26. Very, very good. I noticed the blurring, and thought at first they had just blurred Singer’s signature, which would have been sensible. Then I noticed it didn’t look like Singer, and thought of Teller, but didn’t pursue it further.

    I like HLx’s suggestion that “The person doing the editing probably had no idea who the signatory was.” Ignorance over malice and all that. Another possibility is that PBS didn’t want a Web discussion being hijacked over people’s feelings about Teller and atomic bombs.

    Hey, let’s get this settled down soon – I have a potentially historic to storm get excited about this weekend.

  27. Anthony, thank you for making the propaganda tactics that PBS applied in their Frontline program “Climate of Doubt” so very clear.

    Yesterday I posted a Facebook comment with these observations:

    I watched a few portions of the program. I would not exactly call it a hatchet job, but it was a propaganda piece that presented the alarmist ideology as fact and presented the skeptical view point held by credible and reputable climate scientist as being heretical.

    In other words, it was somewhat like watching the Church putting Galileo on trial, without Galileo being able to defend his view that the Earth is not the centre of the universe.

    It was probably the last such program by PBS I will ever have watched. PBS has lost all credibility with me. If I want to watch propaganda like that, then there would be more entertainment value in watching re-runs of movies directed by Veit Harlan [director of ‘Jud Süß’ (1940), which was made for anti-Semitic propaganda purposes in Germany and Austria.]

    Aside from that, the premise of the program, namely that there is scientific consensus amongst a large number of climate scientists on the theory that global warming is caused by humans is in error: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/23/pbs-frontline-climate-change-special-cites-bogus-consensus/

  28. tallbloke says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:52 am
    Sort of O/T but related, I got a call from a BBC radio 4 presenter the other day, wanting some off the record chat about the police investigation into climategate.
    ========
    Reminds me of an radio interview Monckton did in Oz. He was perfectly happy to have them broadcast him live when he called in, but when they wanted to record him off air for a later broadcast he was “too busy”..

    The reason seemed perfectly obvious. The interviewer was hostile. Monckton skewed him on the live broadcast, showing that the talk show host didn’t have the facts. However, with an off-air recording of Monckton the interviewer could have cut and paste to create any impression he wanted, even a false one.

    The moral would appear to be to as a condition of granting the interview, to require the broadcaster to broadcast the interview unedited, or not at all.

  29. I had the pleasure and great honor of meeting Dr. Teller twice back in the day when I was an undergrad. He was a true genius, a towering intellect and a forceful personality (who took the time to talk with and encourage budding physicists like us), and I can well imagine how he would react to this. He was a man who definitely meant what he said, and you can be sure that his signature on this meant he had studied the issue thoroughly and was confident in his opinion, and there is no way this was an accident IMO. They needed to find a way to trivialize this so the subterfuge. Repulsive.

  30. SOP for our media. Anyone who watched the 3rd prez debates was also amused by the portrayal of BOs head as larger than Romney’s. (7% by pixel count) No less than blatant propaganda.

  31. Yes, all it takes is a bachelor of science degree, and the brainpower to arrive at your own conclusions rather than accepting pronouncements on authority from fatih.

    Would love to see Hockenberry’s face when confronted with the membership requirements for the Union of Concerned “Scientists”.

  32. I noticed that right away too. I figured they had to do it for some sort of legal reason or something.

    I was surprised to find that most liberals don’t like Teller. I showed that document at a talk I gave at my university and the liberal audience guffawed that I would show a document signed “by one of the world’s most hated scientists” (actual quote) in order to make a point about “no consensus”.

    I don’t know why they would blur it out.

  33. Can’t really see why Teller and Dyson would be treated the same way.

    Teller was solidly anti-Communist, even to the extent of ratting on the Soviet spies in the Manhattan Project. Teller was later associated with Reagan. Thus Comrade Hockenberry should have been FEROCIOUSLY EAGER to connect Teller loudly and firmly with the evil denialists.

    But Dyson is generally friendly to leftist causes. It’s easy to see why Comrade Hockenberry would want to erase his name from the evil denialist petition.

  34. For Silver Ralph, who wrote: “Sorry, are we talking about the USSR’s PRAVDA here, or the UK’s BBC? I think they must be run by the same management team.”

    The biggest difference between Pravda and the BBC is that not even Pravda was low enough to knowingly allow a notorious child molester (and possibly an entire ring of child molesters) to operate from inside their own organization for 30 years.

    And even when a handful of honest reporters had had enough of covering up for the rape of underage girls, BBC management *still* killed the report!!!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/world/europe/savile-inquiry-widens-to-others-at-bbc-reports-say.html?pagewanted=all

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/jimmy-savile-scandal-tom-watson-1398159

  35. Despite the protestations from PBS to the contrary, they are at the beck and call of the Federal Government, who provides about 20% of their total funding. Liberals provide much of the rest. Functionally, they perform the same purpose as Tass, Pravda, and the China People’s Daily. They have an agenda, and can’t afford to be unbiased lest they lose much of the funding.
    It is dangerous to have PBS under the control of the party in power.

  36. Romney is right about PBS. I’ll miss Big Bird, but I won’t miss this kind of “malarkey” (to borrow Joe Biden’s favorite epithet). I’m tired of paying for a government-funded propaganda channel, let alone borrowing 40 cents of every dollar used to create this garbage.

  37. Some commentators are attempting to discredit the Oregon Petition by casting doubt on the credentials of the signatories. The argument is that since many/most of the signatories will not be active in climate science their views should carry little weight. This is missing the point. Someone who has a degree in a hard science has the skill set to read and evaluate scientific papers, even in fields with which they are not familiar. They can reach well reasoned judgements on the science without needing to be told what to think by somebody else. The fact that over 31,000 science graduates in the US alone (non-US citizens are not eligible to sign) have publicly declared their opposition to the CAGW paradigm is therefore significant.

  38. Mr. Watts makes a very good point about Hockenberry’s blurring of Dyson’s name: if H is willing to diminish such a simple fact that (presumably) he sees as weakens his point, then what else is there that we do not see that he has done?

    I’ve been in the technical industry for more than 30 years. I can assure everyone that it is almost impossible to technically verify something in a presentation (especially if it is done in PowerPoint); you need to independently think about and background/ground check afterward. That would seem to nullify the value of presentations other than explaining a position, and it is true in any initial dealings with individuals or groups. What you rely on after a while is an “earned credibility”. Once you have determined that the presenter – not so much the presentation – is credible, you follow along, limiting yourself to watching to make sure the presentation is internally consistent and consistent with other truths that you hold. (Of course you always, or always should, think about what was said before you make a committment: the walk back to the office is often more revealing than the time spent in the presentation boardroom.)

    Credibility means you haven’t cheated (or at least been caught cheating). Hockenberry cheated in that he manipulated his audience. His statements are thereby not credible at initial viewing. He may be right, but you now know he may be fooling you.

    Few of us have the time to backcheck, and nor should we. It is not just that additional work is required. A reputation follows you for good reason; a reformed sinner may be respected, but there is always a concern about backsliding. The game in life is all about confidence in what you experience accurately represents reality. That which you don’t expect is liable to bite your butt.

    Tricks – like Mike’s “nature trick” – are the tool of the small and mean. Hockenberry is now on the list of the small and mean for me.

  39. izen says:

    “The petition has zero scientific content…”

    As usual, izen, you are wrong. Here is why:

    These are highly educated experts in their respective fields. They are all professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, and thus they have the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement: CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.

    You just don’t like the fact that your relatively small clique composing the climate alarmist cult has never been able to get anywhere near the same number of signatures as the OISM Petition Project. They have certainly tried. But they failed. That fact by itself proves that your “consensus” is entirely imaginary.

    Having failed to get the signatures they needed to prove they have a consensus, your clique falls back instead on the ridiculous “95 of 97″ number. Pathetic, no?

    Yes.

  40. so how about people here writing a letter to the PBS Ombusman, about this? ( I missed the show on TV, watched it last night on the PBS website; so I haven’t written the letter yet . . . ).

    I’m sure if they got enough mail, they would do a whole new show with completely fair balance . . . ( . . better post ‘sarc’ just in case . . . :-) ).

  41. “Believe the state authority, doubt the Final Authority, because the state is god and God is a made up authority”….oh the irony, especially through libertarian eyes, speaking of which, why did people pay for this?!

  42. While I completely agree that PBS can always be expected to be a shill CAGW, I think you are inventing a conspiracy where none exists. I wouldn’t want my signature to appear any place where a forger could copy it and attempt to steal my identity and I would not display someone else’s signature for fear of that happening and my being sued for damages.

  43. The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document skeptics claim counters the scientific consensus on global warming.

    Grrrrrr. Woof, woof. Then please PBS let us know what the following tells us about the Union of ‘Concerned’ Scientists.

    You don’t even need a degree to be on the ‘Union of Concerned Scientists (who babble on about global warming). You don’t even need to be a human dog, all you need is a wet nose, lots of hair, bark and hold a valid credit card. Woof, grrrrrr, I say. ;-)

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/07/friday-funny-the-newest-member-of-the-union-of-concerned-scientists/

  44. Steve from Rockwood says: October 25, 2012 at 5:36 am
    I noticed on Freeman Dyson’s petition card he had scratched Ph.D, M.S., B.S. and wrote “BA Mathematics”.
    Not yet age of 18 he joined the operational research section at RAF Bomber Command, where he remained for the rest of World War II.
    BA in mathematics from the University of Cambridge and a Fellowship of Trinity College, Cambridge is probably worth two PhDs from some backwater university.

  45. Not exactly “shocked, shocked” to find out that PBS is slanted in their reporting or altering documents for political purposes, considering how they are ignoring the Libyan fiasco that resulted in the deaths of four Americans while there was a live feed of info on what was going on and 7 hours where we may have been able to send in some help of some kind and did nothing! The, of course, the administration lied about it. No news there, I guess.

  46. Yes, that’s Freeman J. Dyson, theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.

    All very well but what does he know, he’s only got a BA according to the card?
    Sarc

    You can have 3 PHDs and still be wrong.

  47. If the science is so overwhelming and the science is on your side then why do you need to blurr and falsify? Because deep down you know the science is dubious at best and most probaly false. It’s called living in denial. Hailing Gleick.

  48. Graham Jarvis says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:24 am

    While not absolutely relevant to the issue at hand is the rather charming fact that one of the most original and brilliant thinkers of the 20th century has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics!

    I knew I was right. (Actually, I just suspected I was.)

    I commented on another thread that I knew one of our noted physicists, Freeman Dyson did not have a PhD and suspected he never got a BSc.

    Adam Gallon says:
    October 25, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Mind you, just for balance, Dr Mann’s bit was left entirely upon the cutting room floor.
    “@MichaelEMann
    @timmytimj82 Spent half a day w/ them. Talked about #climatechange #denial campaign. It all ended up on cutting room floor “

    Having only seen two interviews of Dr. Mann, he came over as a spoiled, petulant child. If I wanted to create a favourable impression of alarmists, I’d have left it on the cutting room floor too.

    DaveE.

  49. I watched about 25 minutes or so of the Frontline program, but found it unwatchable and turned it off. It was just a rehash of the same childish stunts the climate alarmists have been pulling for well over 10 years now. Mainly, they always want to keep the argument to be about whether the climate temperature is changing or not and to cast opponents to their alarmist claims as persons who deny that the “global climate temperature is changing”. This is just scam-artist-type trickery which, unfortunately, too many people get sucked into. Every reasonably cognizant person understands that the world’s average temperature is always changing. It is either increasing or decreasing, but there is NO science that shows it has ever stayed the same for more than maybe some hundreds of years or so. Once they get someone to argue that “The global temperature is not changing”, then they can cast that person as a boob of some sort.

    What they REFUSE to seriously discuss or argue is the real issue,about whether human carbon dioxide emissions are causing an unnatural increase in the global climate temperature. This is because, despite billions of dollars of research funding and a guaranteed Noble prize for anyone who discovers the elusive evidence, there is still not a single shred of empirical scientific evidence that supports the hypotheses that the human contribution to atmospheric carbon dioxide has any measurable affect on the global climate temperature. This Frontline program was just another propaganda piece from the alarmist to keep the “useful idiots” unaware of what the real argument is about.

    .

  50. Don’t worry about Big Bird. Merchandising for Sesame Street alone would fund its continued operations without the government subsidy Romney plans to axe. Big Bird is another Democrat red herring.

  51. @izen says:
    October 25, 2012 at 3:03 am

    “It does not take a PBS program to inform anyone who examines the issue that the Oregon petition is a load of nonsense with zero relevance to the science of climate.

    Of course the 9,000 PHD holders of the Oregon Petition could be wrong just as the 97% of climate scientists (77 climate scientists) could be wrong. At the end of the day consensus does not matter in science. What matters is if you are right or wrong.

  52. @- D Böehm
    “These are highly educated experts in their respective fields. They are all professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, and thus they have the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement: CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.”

    Still wrong.
    They may all be professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, but that certainly does not give them the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement that rising CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the environment. For one thing there isn’t sufficient knowledge of all the possible interactions between rising CO2 and the environment to be able to make such a definite statement. Uncertainty prevents any such conclusion.

    But then of the many millions who are eligible to sign this petition the few thousand that did were NOT endorsing a statement that rising CO2 is beneficial and harmless. That seems to be an invention of your own making. The Oregon petition asks signatories to endorse,
    “…there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in carbon dioxide production produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”
    That does not preclude rising CO2 also having damaging effects upon the natural plant and animal environments. Corn does not thrive in hot droughts.

    But even to determine whether the much weaker Oregon petition statement is accurate would require a very extensive study of the relevant research literature and the development of sufficient understanding of the biology of plants with the ecology of food production to even begin the asses whether this statement is supportable.
    I doubt that the majority of the people signing this petition had madesuch an effort to educate themselves. But if they had they would soon discover that among the body of research into the effects of rising CO2 on the natural plant and animal environments there was a significant propotion that refuted the claim. Certainly I would seriously doubt that many active published researchers into the effects of rising CO2 on animals and plants would be prepared to support the Oregon petition claim, and I am sure that none would accept your stronger claim that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.

    If you want to find out what the human race knows about a scientific subject the best way is to look at the published research. If something is well established it {eventually} gets into the university textbooks. Consulting a petition that can be signed by any US citizen with a degree {around ten million?} promoted by a business selling home schooling kits does not usually get considered as a comparably reliable method of determining the extent or limits of human knowledge.

    The Oregon petiton is raised only by partisan commentators of two sorts. Those so bIinkered by their partisan dogma {motivated rejection of science} that they are unable to see the flaws in the petition and the inadequacy of relying on such a PR technique to confer scientific validity on any idea.

    And those who raise the Oregon petition as an example of the egregious inadequacy and delusional duplicity of the methods used by those rejecting the mainstream science to try and bolster their position. From this partisan perspective it is prima facia evidence of the idiocy of the person using it to bolster their position.

  53. What is bullshit is how they treat Dr. Willie Soon. That SOB hockenberry was right in front of Dr. Soon they even filmed and took a photo of him next to Singer. Why did they not talk to Willie? What are they afraid of? They take a cheapshot at Willie…FOIA him like crazy…and constantly denigrate him. Do they really want us to believe that Dr. Soon is some kind of rich guy making money off of his science? BS! The people getting rich are these mediocre math modelers making shit up all the time…with our tax money. Hockenberry and Kerry’s argument about the skeptic side having more money is complete bullshit!

  54. I tried to comment on the Frontline program a couple of days ago, and I know my comment got through because I got a message saying my comment was under moderation. But many more recent comments have gotten posted, but not mine. I actually am shocked that PBS censored my comment, I’d expect that from Gavin Schmidt, but not from PBS.

    So I’ll post my comment here:

    Link to program:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/climate-of-doubt/

    Comment:

    “My wife and I had looked forward to this program, but after watching it, we felt it was far short of Frontline’s usual degree of both hard inquiry and complete examination of issues. The program certainly succeeded in showing how hard various interests tried, and succeeded, in derailing cap and trade legislation, and we give credit where credit is due. But observers of the program would never know that there are legitimate issues, having to do with:

    1. historical temperature records — how much can temperatures vary naturally, in the very recent past (by historical standards)?
    2. the rate of warming, satellite vs. land based records — how much are we actually warming?
    3. the rate of sea level rise
    4. what actually was Climategate, and what does it tell us about those in charge of the IPCC process?
    5. what the US can do vs. what the developing world is actually doing
    6. what actually can be done, today, to help, that might get international cooperation?

    1. Historical temperature perspectives first. Several new research papers now confirm results from earlier papers, showing that the Medieval Warm Period about 1,000 years ago was just as warm as today. If natural temperature variability can produce temperatures as high as today’s, in the very recent past, it doesn’t say that we aren’t warming the planet, but it suggests that we need to be able to separate out how much warming is due to our emissions (which include not just CO2, but also black carbon and others) from natural variability. Here is one of the new papers, by a mainstream scientist, Jan Esper, and others:

    http://www.wsl.ch/fe/landschaftsdynamik/dendroclimatology/Publikationen/Esper_etal.2012_GPC

    2. Rate of temperature change. To listen to Frontline, you would have no idea that real scientists disagree about important aspects of climate change. You were correct to “out” Fred Singer as a professional skeptic on many topics, but John Christy is not such a person. You missed the opportunity to talk to many “skeptics” who are very good at what they do in showing fault lines in the work of prominent campaigners for immediate and costly action, for instance, Steve McIntyre. Christy and Roy Spencer are responsible for creating the ability of satellites to measure worldwide temperatures. The satellite record of temperature increase is about 1/3 less than the land based record, which is always undergoing adjustments of various sorts, and which is subject to the artificial warming due to the “heat island effect.” The satellite record is even further below predictions of climate models. The satellite record avoids those issues, and Frontline ignored the satellite records. The two different satellite records, going back now about 30 years, show warming of about 1.35 to 1.40 degrees C per century, well below model predictions.

    3. Sea level rose about 1 foot last century, and currently, for as long as we have satellite records for sea level rise (about 2 decades), is still rising at about a foot a century. See:http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

    It made sense to me for the N Carolina legislators to not rush through planning for over 3 feet of sea level rise, by building that into their building code. If the IPCC is right about 3 feet of sea level rise, then in a few years, we should see it ramp up. If that happens, then we can legislate differently.

    4. Climategate. Let’s simply say that among the many things the Climategate emails revealed, was that the people who developed the now debunked “hockey stick” of climate temperatures did everything they could to prevent publication of papers with contrary evidence to the hockey stick, and failing that, made sure they weren’t considered by the IPCC. (See #1 above for part of the debunking, since the “hockey stick” said that there were 900 years of relatively constant, lowish temperatures until temperature started skyrocketing at the beginning of the 20th C). They could prevent the IPCC consideration of other papers and viewpoints because the hockey stick authors were also in charge of reviewing all the temperature issues for the IPCC. It is as if oil executives were in charge of evaluating the Gulf oil spill. This procedure is bound to fail, if your goal is an even handed review.

    On point 5, did you know that China burns nine times as much coal than does the US? And is growing its coal use rapidly? Suppose the US were to burn no coal whatsoever, driving up electricity prices and depressing job creation — what difference would it make? Wouldn’t it make more sense to not harm our economy and jobs at the present time, and hold off on drastic steps until our unemployment rate is low?

    So turning to point 6, there are some things we can do, in cooperation with China and India (also ramping up its coal use). We can agree to reduce black carbon emissions, which also warm the planet. It is much cheaper, and quicker, to do that, and in so doing, we are also helping people live longer.

    Wouldn’t it have been nice if Frontline had lived up to its usual standards?

  55. izen says:

    “They may all be professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, but that certainly does not give them the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement that rising CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the environment.”

    Ridiculous. Then by your own words you yourself cannot understand the subject.

    But as usual, you are engaging in misdirection. The question under discussion concerns your so-called “consensus” claim. Your easily refuted belief is that the climate alarmist clique has the consensus. But I have shown that to be bunkum.

    You true believers have no scientific evidence showing that human CO2 emissions have any effect on temperature, and as a result of that lack of evidence most scientists and engineers are in agreement with the OISM statement that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. You inhabit your own little bubble, which is impervious to facts and reason. But as we see, other readers can and do make up their minds about your “consensus” nonsense.

    Wake me when/if you can get 31,000 engineers and scientists to sign a statement saying that CO2 is not good for the biosphere, and that it causes global harm. Until then, you lose the “consensus” argument.

  56. “Yes, that’s Freeman J. Dyson, theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum electrodynamics, solid-state physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering.”

    Yeah, but by his own admission he only has a bachelor’s degree. And he’s probably never been given a certificate of participation for a Nobel Peace prize, either!

    :-)

  57. Anyone else notice that there’s an alarmist arguing that consensus is all on one thread and another one arguing that consensus means nothing on this thread?

  58. PBS stands for Propaganda Broadcasting Shills. It is long past time to defund them. Let Soros pick up their tab, not the taxpayers.

  59. I LOVE the idea of challenging the true believers to a com-petition. Signing petitions, of course, is tangential to the scientific enterprise, but I think the Oregon petition should be repeated and up-sized to allow signatories from around the world. Heck, there should also be a corollary petition available for scientists who are persuaded by CAGW argument.

  60. Rob Crawford says:

    Anyone else notice that there’s an alarmist arguing that consensus is all on one thread and another one arguing that consensus means nothing on this thread?

    Bwuahhhahahahhaha!

  61. izen says:
    October 25, 2012 at 5:00 am

    Isn’t the consensus just a petition but without the signatures?

    Steve from Rockwood says:
    October 25, 2012 at 5:36 am

    In the UK, Maths is considered an art, not a science.

    DaveE.

  62. From izen on October 25, 2012 at 9:04 am:

    They may all be professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, but that certainly does not give them the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement that rising CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the environment. For one thing there isn’t sufficient knowledge of all the possible interactions between rising CO2 and the environment to be able to make such a definite statement. Uncertainty prevents any such conclusion.

    There is not enough knowledge and too much uncertainty to declare rising CO₂ is harmless and beneficial to the environment.

    But there is enough knowledge and little enough uncertainty that it can be declared that rising CO₂ is harmful and hurting the environment, so “Cough up the money and do what we say or your grandkids will suffer!”

    The state of Climate Science™ according to izen: Good enough for CAGW thuggery, not good enough to be free from it.

  63. D Boehm
    “Ridiculous. Then by your own words you yourself cannot understand the subject.”

    D Boehm, you are wasting your words. Izen is so entrenched in his ideology that he will tie himself in more knots than Houdini in an attempt to escape the logical dissonance – bar set astronomically high for the Oregon scientists, but no bar at all for the 97%.

    If Izen was on the Titanic, and everyone was shouting “she’s going down” he would be replying that in order to make such a statement you would need to make a complete appraisal of all the literature published on marine engineering and then have made a thorough analysis of the construction of the great liner.

  64. Thanks Anthony!

    When I couldn’t stomach the ashow anymore, I went to the PBS website, gave them a quick opinion and then informed them that I intended to ask my government representatives to hold PBS accountable, defund them and perhaps prosecute. On Darrell Issa’s site, I asked for an investigation and suggested that some federal goons from the ‘team’ agencies might’ve also been involved. Below is the comment I supplied to PBS and government reps.

    Your frontline show ‘Climate of Doubt’ is a travesty. You twisted facts and misrepresented science, but from an overall perspective, PBS has perhaps crossed the boundaries of fraud and slander.

    I am copying my Representative (Rob Wittman) and Senators (Mark Warner and Jim Webb) with this comment.

    I ask that Congress defund PBS completely until this abuse of PBS airspace is fully investigated, all behind the scenes machinations are exposed, and any legal ramifications fully prosecuted.

    This episode of frontline was absolute activist advocacy at it’s worst. Honored and respected scientists were belittled, disgraced, abused and falsely represented at virtually every turn and every scene.

    My personal viewpoint was that Doctor Singer was slandered on national Public Broadcasting. Did those twistings of Doctor Singer’s research and findings pass a legal review?

    The effort hours and background collusion with CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) activists must’ve been extensive for PBS to have constructed such a fictional soap opera view of climate science. PBS colluded with these activists to besmirch all of science and non-CAGW-deluded scientists and citizens in particular. Such an approach is fraudulent and perhaps criminally willful abuse of what is supposed to be respectful neutrally presented genuine science on a public broadcasting system.

    As a definite example of fraud; frontline, along with the CAGW activists tried to use a false survey to bolster their claim of consensus. The so-called 97% fraudulent survey where after careful, multiple siftings managed to find a way to misrepresent a tiny fraction (7% or less) of the scientists surveyed as 97%. Does 97% represent the total surveyed? No, not even close.
    What frontline and the activists then performed was a sleight of hand where they ignored a number of petitions coordinated and signed by respected scientists and focused on one particular survey ‘Oregon Petition’. PBS emphasized the loose requirements to sign the petition and then flashed a blurry picture of a sample signature card. Only the signature they purposely blurred to avoid recognition was the signature of the late Doctor Edward Teller who you may better remember as the ‘Father of the hydrogen bomb’ and a proponent of the science behind a viable liquid fluoride thorium reactor. A technology that might finally bring safe nuclear energy to us masses for many years to come.

    Another travesty and sleight of hand regarding the same petition are PBS’s shameful representation that
    “The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list”.

    If PBS had bothered, (neglected perhaps), to look a little further. There is another signature. One Freeman Dyson had also signed the petition. Freeman Dyson listed his field as mathematics and his level of education as a ‘Bachelor of Arts”. Freeman Dyson is an incredibly gifted theoretical physicist and mathematician whose peers have opined that the Nobel committee have fleeced Dyson.

    Summarizing: PBS has put extensive work, and I assume significant public funds, in crafting and producing a frontline show that is an affront to science, scientists and perhaps has crossed legal boundaries to reach their preconceived messages.

    Please Senators: Mark Warner and Jim Webb and Representative Rob Wittman; initiate or support efforts to remove this kind of shameful and harmful advocacy PBS. Stop all funding to PBS and seek investigation into their efforts to make such horrid science.

    Respectfully,
    for privacy

    cc Rob Wittman
    Mark Warner
    Jim Webb
    Darrell Issa
    PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler

  65. John says:
    October 25, 2012 at 9:10 am

    I tried to comment on the Frontline program a couple of days ago, and I know my comment got through because I got a message saying my comment was under moderation. But many more recent comments have gotten posted, but not mine. I actually am shocked that PBS censored my comment, I’d expect that from Gavin Schmidt, but not from PBS.

    Welcome to the real world of skepticism. You should have taken the blue pill. Prepare to be further shocked! GK

  66. @Izen
    “To claim otherwise reveals a deep absence of knowledge about the basic epistemology of science.”

    What is so plentiful in climate alarmism is eschatology, not epistemology. I can tell from your contributions you do not really believe the arguments you are putting forth, you are just repeating arguments you heard elsewhere and hope someone else will prove.

    Izen, you should not rely for seeing on the eyes of another, nor hear through another man’s ears. Open the books and start reading for you have a lot to learn.

    A petition is a time-honoured mechanism for getting a distilled opinion that represents a consensus in the group on (usually) a single issue. Yes, a consensus: agreement in detail on the motion proposed. Some of the most brilliant minds in the history of modern science considered and then signed the document agreeing with the proposition. If it gave it any additional weight at all, I would sign it. It is correct to do so.

    So catch up! You don’t have to be of the Lettered to know that a turd smells. CAGW is a turd of a proposition and it is right to point it out when your wallet is being picked clean. To have PBS fake and twist interviews and charge the public to cover the cost of doing so is a violation of every reasonable expectation of a public broadcaster. That they are shameless about it merely underscores the point.

  67. This is precisely the kind of hard hitting, substantive information that generates the respect WUWT has earned. I also can’t wait for the release of that new study showing half of the global warming in the USA is artificial.
    /

  68. izen says:
    “Good science can establish a scientific theory, a body of knowledge so well supported by observational evidence and logical inference that it would be unreasonable to doubt it, but only religion and mathematics can claim to establish ‘Truth’.”

    Oh, logical inference. Well, what kind of logic do we talk about here. Boolean logic is an axiomatic system; a body formed by the values true and false; and we have bigger bodies than that, the body of the natural numbers and the one of the real numbers. From their logical inferences the climate scientists proceed to set up global circulation models that use the real numbers; in other words, they now try to simulate a chaotic system, the world’s climate, with an iterative simulation of limited precision.

    Now, the definition of chaos is this: The deviation of the state of the chaotic system from the state of a limited resolution simulation of the system grows exponentially over time.

    In other words; any attempt to foresee the climate of the year 2100 is doomed to fail, as we know from experience that even the weather in 10 days cannot be forecast in the general case.

    Izen, what do you say about this refutation of the warmunist (I like that) science that I just LOGICALLY INFERRED.

  69. John@EF says:
    October 25, 2012 at 11:13 am

    This is precisely the kind of hard hitting, substantive information that generates the respect WUWT has earned. I also can’t wait for the release of that new study showing half of the global warming in the USA is artificial.

    Really? The reaction from Warmists would indicate they’d rather see it buried.

    Which division of Trolls “R Us” sent you?

  70. {Grant Brown, DPhil (Oxon) says:
    October 25, 2012 at 8:55 am
    Don’t worry about Big Bird. Merchandising for Sesame Street alone would fund its continued operations without the government subsidy Romney plans to axe. Big Bird is another Democrat red herring.}

    Most people are unaware that at this moment, a PBS governed fund holds over $400,000,000.00 in reserve.

  71. PBS is no better than a “People’s Republic of America” state propaganda organ.

    Mitt is right. Defund PBS now !

    Free people should not have to put up with state-run media propaganda forced down their throats.

  72. “I think the key in understanding this is in Hockenberry’s voice over:

    “The 14 year old petition is not exactly an exclusive club, a bachelor of science degree is all it takes to get you on the list. This document skeptics claim counters the scientific consensus on global warming.”

    Oh, Hockenberry! The percentage of scientists with a Ph.D. who signed the Oregon Petition is much greater than the number of scientists with a Ph.D. who responded to that lame 3 question email survey that was used to invent the 97% consensus number. And the number of scientists who voluntarily supported the statement of the Oregon Petition denying (ha ha ha) that human activity was having a deleterious effect on the earth’s ecology was over 10 times that of those who responded to the email questionnaire. These two surveys, one of sought opinion, the other of volunteered opinion, show that of American scientists who make any effort to show what they believe on the subject, the majority overwhelmingly do not believe the claim of the warmists. I pointed this out to those folks (at Truth Market?) offering $5000 for proof of this as proof of this but I still haven’t gotten the check.

  73. @- Allen
    ” Signing petitions, of course, is tangential to the scientific enterprise, …”

    Yes.
    Petitions are political theatre, not a means of determining the extent of human knowledge on a subject.

    ” …but I think the Oregon petition should be repeated and up-sized to allow signatories from around the world. Heck, there should also be a corollary petition available for scientists who are persuaded by CAGW argument.”

    All the scientific research on the effect of rising CO2 on the climate and plant biology is signed, right back to Tyndall. That body of knowledge that human society has amassed over the last century is a rather more powerfull argument for the validity of its conclusion in the theory of AGW than signatures on a petition, a purely political action. The use of a petition to try and cast doubt on scientific conclusions reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of the scientific consensus and how valid theories are established in science.
    It does not derive from the beliefs of scientists.
    It is a property of the consilience of the evidence.

  74. izen says:

    “Petitions are political theatre, not a means of determining the extent of human knowledge on a subject.”

    Couldn’t agree more. So then, why does your side always bring up the 95/97 argument?

    [BTW, your comment on Tyndall is simply hand-waving bluster.]

  75. Bruce Cobb says:
    October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Really? The reaction from Warmists would indicate they’d rather see it buried.
    Which division of Trolls “R Us” sent you?
    ==============
    Nonsense. I’d like that report released as soon as possible. That’s a great video, BTW. It could re-issued in the 180, tho’.

    My original comment was about the frequent and increasing focus on the trivial.

  76. They’re motive is protecting their investments in “green” energy stock. The entire conspiracy needs a grand jury looking into it. Seems like Rico are applicable? What a racket.

  77. When Hockenberry cast his documentary as skeptics vs. … whom? Us? Scientists? Warmists? – he adopted the language of the AGW climatologists. Hockenberry took the position of the defense that the Climategate e-mails were not revealed by an anonymous whistle-blower, but by hacking and theft. Who would do that, John, and why? He who controls the vocabulary wins the argument.

    Frontline made its program a contest between two wrong-headed positions. The skeptics on the right, portrayed as kooks. Meanwhile the AGW conjecture hovered in the background as assumedly valid science. That AGW is politics and not science is transparent even to scientifically illiterate journalists and most of the public.

    Hockenberry not only obliterated Edward Teller’s name, the only example, to disparage all 31 thousand contesting the consensus, but JH omitted notable climate insiders who challenge AGW, including Lindzen, Spencer, the Pielkes, and Christy.

    The problem can’t be skeptics vs. science because skepticism is a virtue among scientists. AGW climatologists and their peer-reviewed journals overtly reject that virtue, confessing they are challenged scientists.

    AGW is obviously not science because it pretends to rely on a consensus, and a manufactured consensus at that. Notwithstanding the law according to Daubert v. Merrell Dow, science is never decided by vote. Notwithstanding Popper, it is pragmatic. It’s about models with predictive power. It’s about the creation of new models by a lone scientist who upsets a consensus somewhere, published or not. The mere fact that the AGW climatologists rely on their consensus disqualifies their work as science and inflames public suspicions.

    AGW is a failed conjecture. It is statistically impotent, and scientifically wrong. Earth’s climate responds to solar variability, dominated by the dynamic feedback of cloud albedo, and the heat capacity of the oceans. It is a thermodynamic system, represented by global macroparameters, not regional variables, and it is never in equilibrium. Science doesn’t demand that any model emulate real world processes. But in failing to account for so much of physics (beyond the understanding of American Physical Society executives), of system science (feedback, mass balance, equilibrium, cross-correlation), and of causation, and for its internal contradictions, AGW fails to represent climate.

    CO2 is a benign, beneficial gas, and a lagging proxy for global average temperature. The kooks win.

  78. The word “mistake” is another whose meaning is being destroyed by misuse.

    The “mistake” was getting caught.

  79. To address the topic of the thread, the deliberate blurring of the signature of the graphic used in the program of the Oregon petition, could be construed as intended to be derogatory or to avoid conferring some credibility.
    But hypothesis involving malicious intentionality are correlated with the motivated rejection of science… {grin}

    There is an issue with the fact it is Dr Edward Teller as the featured signature on the Oregon petition publicly available graphic image. As others have commented he is a controversial figure. Perhaps that is why the Organization behind the Oregon petition chose him. It seems unlikely they do not have signatures of more contemporary climate scientists. Surely Lindzen, Spencer or another of the handful of those expert and involved in the field have signed and might carry more weight. Perhaps Teller is the scientist with the highest public recognition (who has signed) with the general public.

    The reason for Dr Tellers notority with the scientific community is because he held minority political views amongst scientists and openly declared his political ideology drove his research.
    Someone who researches how to initiate a fusion reaction not because of his curiosity about nature, or because he fell in love with the beauty of the mathematical descriptions of the physics, but because he believed his side should have a bigger and better bomb to use as a military threat against his ideological opponents.
    Given the predominately liberal bias amongst scientists {to match that of Nature?!} and the preference for high minded curiosity as the declared driving force behind the endeavours of scientists it is not surprising to find Dr Teller rather low in those scientific names that would raise admiration with a scientifically literate audience.

    Perhaps the program makers were just trying to spare the Oregon institute any further blushes.

    REPLY: Perhaps you are just an idiot unable to see when bias has replaced factual reporting. They admitted the mistake. – Anthony

  80. D Böehm
    ” So then, why does your side always bring up the 95/97 argument?”

    I doubt this issue is binary with just two sides….

    [BTW, your comment on Tyndall is simply hand-waving bluster.]

    Okay, but it was simple hand-waving bluster intended to covey that the signature that a scientists attaches to a piece of peer reviewed published research carries a little more weight than a signature attached to a petition.

  81. izen says:
    October 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    “To address the topic of the thread,”

    Still waiting, Izen. Let’s ponder some logical inferences, shall we? How do you defend attempts at simulating Earth’s climate to the year 2100? You’re a convinced warmist; you must have a scientific reason for that. What is it? I demonstrated that the GCM’s can’t do the job. It’s your turn.

  82. Sorry Anthony. I appreciate your necessary independent work. Snip whatever is inappropriate for this #1 internet science blog.

    If there is any doubt in the WUWT and logical scientific community, that you and the general public are being psychologically manipulated, to coerce belief in a specific agenda, this WUWT article should serve as proof of fact.

    We need to know what meaning is being used in scientific papers and news articles when the words “Climate Change” are used.

    Re-Brand to, “Climate Changes”, “Climate Changing”, “Human Induced Climate Change” or “Natural Climate Change”, NOT just the words “Climate Change”, or an accepted convention that sane people can understand, to be more scientifically accurate terminology, please.

  83. October 25, 2012 at 5:52 am | ScepticalTom says:

    I have an MSc. and am able to sign the Oregon Petition. I have absolutely no scientific expertise in climate science – therefore my expert opinion is completely invalid, yet I am able to sign the Oregon Petition.
    ——————————–

    Anthony’s dog is a member of The Union of Concerned Scientists … ROTFLMAO

  84. I see a lot of team players here, such as Izen. Mr. Izen, since the Oregon Petition allows for such a general field of scientists to sign it, perhaps you could make a very similar petition and have scientists who support the 300% positive feedback theory sign it. However, my guess is that you are furious because you know that skeptics now outnumber alarmists.

  85. PBS only recognized this as a “mistake” because they got caught red-handed, with their pants down.

  86. What they also failed to recognise is that many a B.Sc (or in Professor Dyson’s cases, B.A. – all Cambridge undergraduate degrees are awarded as Batchelor of Arts regardless of subject) would have a greater ability to judge the science than PhDs.The latter often specialise so tightly that they learn little or nothing outside their core specialisation, and in fact the sheer hard work, dedication and focus required to complete a PhD and post-doctoral work can preclude academic interest in even related fields.

  87. Steve from Rockwood says:
    October 25, 2012 at 5:36 am

    I noticed on Freeman Dyson’s petition card he had scratched Ph.D, M.S., B.S. and wrote “BA Mathematics”. I had no idea you could earn a BA in math and I’m stunned Dyson had no graduate degree.
    ============================================================
    I hope you mean post-grad.
    We had a choice of BA or BSc for our maths Bachelors. Those who were Pure in Thought favoured the A. The other lot (I assume that they found abstraction too demanding) tended to go for the Sc. ;-)
    Strangely, the M only came in the Sc flavour. With only a feeble argument to support it.

  88. If Frontline’s John Hockenberry was an open-minded journalist, I’d suggest that rather than using the Oregon Petition Project as a tool to trip up Fred Singer, he would have instead looked into the origins of the assertion that there were “celebrity names” in it, and might have ultimately traced it back to the original 1998 story and its ties to the enviro-activist group Ozone Action. Something I did just over two years ago when I looked into John Holdren’s ties to the same group – see: “The Curious History of ‘Global Climate Disruption’ ” http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/10/the_curious_history_of_global.html

    But if Hockenberry had done that, wouldn’t it have opened up a Pandora’s Box that Frontline very likely does not want opened?

  89. So, a few weeks ago we had the consensus delete critic Dr Marcel Leroux Wikipage from the web, and now this…. My friends, I do believe climate science has a new meme….. Hide The Deceased!!!!! :-),

  90. Catherine Upin: Tom, I am an unethical activist posing as a journalist and like many of the other lies I have spread in my cause, I thought i could get away with it.

    —————–

    Or at least that is how I read her tweet.

  91. @ izen on October 25, 2012 at 9:04 am
    “@- D Böehm
    “These are highly educated experts in their respective fields. They are all professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, and thus they have the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement: CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere.”

    Still wrong.
    They may all be professionals with degrees in the hard sciences, but that certainly does not give them the context, the background, and the understanding to make an informed statement that rising CO2 is harmless and beneficial to the environment. For one thing there isn’t sufficient knowledge of all the possible interactions between rising CO2 and the environment to be able to make such a definite statement. Uncertainty prevents any such conclusion.”

    In trying to make your clearly ironic point that a petition (a consensus by any other name?) means nothing, you have taken your disagreement with D Boehm’s paraphrase of the Oregon Petition, and opened up the basic fallacy of the CAGW viewpoint – the statement that rising CO2 is harmful to the environment – a claim supported by equally dubious consensus/petition as well.

    Indeed izen – “there isn’t sufficient knowledge of all the possible interactions between rising CO2 and the environment to be able to make such a definite statement. Uncertainty prevents any such conclusion.”

    By your own words – you defeat the CAGW position.

  92. @ izen on October 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm
    “To address the topic of the thread, the deliberate blurring of the signature of the graphic used in the program of the Oregon petition, could be construed as intended to be derogatory or to avoid conferring some credibility.
    But hypothesis involving malicious intentionality are correlated with the motivated rejection of science… {grin}”

    Oh yes, funny – the pathetic assertion of the weaker minded warmists that skeptics reject science. Or perhaps your {grin} is a {/sarc}?

    So I will, for sake of argument, grant you your point that the OP 31k weren’t qualified to comment on climate science, but do you really believe all 31k of these skeptical scientists are “motivated in their rejection of science?”.

    All of your posts need a {grin}/{/sarc} at the end.

  93. The update makes perfect sense. They wanted to make a particular (non political) point and of course the best way to do that was to hide the truth. Of course. Who could possibly object to that?

  94. I posted this on Real Climate, just for grins.
    I fully expect this comment to be moderated out. This blog does not have good record on posting substantive comments, so I’ll be posting this elsewhere too.

    The presentation on “Climate of Doubt” was deeply flawed by the shallowness of this show in discussing the evolution of Global Warming/Anthropogenic Global Warming/Catastrophic Global Warming/Climate Change/Catastrophic Climate Change/Climate Disruption.

    There was not mention of the genesis of the entire subject. Beyond a few articles in a number of journals over 100 years discussing the possible effects of carbon dioxide on the atmosphere, the genesis was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Rio de Janeiro in 1991-, a follow on to an earlier Climate Change Conference in 1989. The UNFCCC was a political organization conceived with a predetermined political agenda.

    (long quote from the UNFCCC treaty highlighting the political nature of the treaty)

    A little further digging would have exposed the fact that the International Panel of Climate Change, another United Nations political organization created to summarize the anthropogenic causes of global warming in order to produce policy recommendations for governments committed some egregious errors over the years. The most famous one is a graph that appeared in the IPCC AR4 report from FAQ 3.1, to be found on page 253 of the WG1 report. They used the “cherry picking” mentioned in the program to purportedly show global warming at faster and faster rates in the 20th century by drawing lines covering different periods. This is nothing but a complete falsehood. The technique is guaranteed to show an increasing rate of change any graph that has cycles in it.

    Since the whole process from the start was a political action, a climate of doubt was almost guaranteed. Folks do not fully trust politicians to make good policies, especially when they also control the science inputs. To paraphrase a famous Reagan quip “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” usually doesn’t inspire confidence.

    The PBS show fails based on its shallow focus and lack of background reporting.

  95. Having just watched the Frontline presentation a few minutes ago, it is very easy to conclude that it was merely a propaganda piece in which a concerted effort was made by Hockenberry to portray “climate skeptics” as idiots who firmly believe that climate never changes. Stupid.

    Give us a break; we only object to the C in CAGW on historical and scientific grounds.

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