NASA Press Office Is Criticized on Climate Reports – Hansen news trend still postive

From the New York Times a story on a GAO report looking into “interference” with public releases of climate science at NASA:

Two years after James E. Hansen, the leading climate scientist at NASA, and other agency employees described a pattern of distortion and suppression of climate science by political appointees, the agency’s inspector general has concluded that such activities occurred and were “inconsistent” with the law that established the space program 50 years ago.

In a 48-page report issued on Monday as a result of a request in 2006 by 14 senators, the internal investigative office said the activities appeared limited to the headquarters press office.

No evidence was found showing that officials higher at NASA or in the Bush administration were involved in interfering with the release of climate science information, the report said.

Read the complete article here

Even with a reluctant NASA press office, it seems Jim Hansen has had no trouble making the news. The trend appears to be about 5000 articles/decade upwards. It seems to mirror the GISTEMP global temperature anomaly trend quite well.

Source: Roger Pielke Jr. Prometheus

Here’s a thought, maybe with Hansen spending so much time with the press, perhaps the press office just became a little bit numb to it all and spent “too much” time on getting the word out on other important science news from the agency?

In any event, Dr. Hansen has been heard far and wide.

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17 thoughts on “NASA Press Office Is Criticized on Climate Reports – Hansen news trend still postive

  1. I guess this thread will do.
    UAH May data is out. The last year follows. I’ll leave to others for the pretty graphs. The key item is that the global anomaly was -0.180 C. That looks like the coldest since Jan. 2000.
    Sorry, Jim.
    From http://vortex.nsstc.uah.edu/public/msu/t2lt/tltglhmam_5.2 :
    MONTHLY MEANS OF LOWER TROPOSPHERE LT5.2
    ANNUAL CYCLE BASED ON 79001-98365 12-MON RUNNING MEAN
    YEAR MON GLOBAL NH SH TRPC NO.DAYS GLOBAL NH SH TRPC DAYS
    2007 5 0.199 0.234 0.165 0.001 31. 0.309 0.434 0.185 0.203 365.
    2007 6 0.203 0.375 0.030 -0.021 30. 0.313 0.436 0.191 0.204 365.
    2007 7 0.255 0.317 0.193 0.074 31. 0.318 0.436 0.199 0.192 365.
    2007 8 0.286 0.325 0.247 0.110 31. 0.320 0.440 0.200 0.182 365.
    2007 9 0.201 0.240 0.162 0.075 30. 0.314 0.428 0.201 0.184 365.
    2007 10 0.231 0.241 0.221 -0.129 31. 0.305 0.419 0.190 0.152 365.
    2007 11 0.209 0.165 0.254 -0.052 30. 0.298 0.407 0.190 0.134 365.
    2007 12 0.114 0.150 0.077 -0.179 31. 0.282 0.374 0.190 0.084 365.
    2008 1 -0.046 -0.114 0.022 -0.212 31. 0.227 0.299 0.156 0.016 365.
    2008 2 0.020 0.247 -0.208 -0.325 29. 0.194 0.260 0.127 -0.041 365.
    2008 3 0.089 0.424 -0.246 -0.489 31. 0.166 0.244 0.089 -0.096 365.
    2008 4 0.015 0.167 -0.137 -0.532 30. 0.148 0.231 0.066 -0.139 365.
    2008 5 -0.180 -0.048 -0.311 -0.579 31. 0.116 0.206 0.026 -0.188 365.

  2. Tropical trend continues its nosedive. The difference this month is that the NH has started to turn south (fig.). If this continues, watch out below.

  3. Hansen in 2004? Actually doing some work? Torturing the data because the trend line was starting to make him nervous? He picked back up in 2005 tho.
    I think he is now starting to sweat and checks the new data daily (hourly?) –
    probably receives, first thing in the morning, the “Threat Matrix”, updating
    the graph(s).
    Ric, et.al.: How many months (years?) before someone (media? Congress? UN? public?) starts noticing a new trend? Will it take a really harsh (extended?) ’08-’09 winter to wake people up?
    And I’ll calm down if temps continue to drop and we have a mild winter.

  4. Global warming to global cooling ratio
    google web hits: 57.2M to 0.8M (71.5)
    google news hits: 35,054 to 4,208 (8.3)
    google blog hits: 6,413,975 to 31,374 (204.4)
    AGW is still way overbought.
    Nobody was stopping James Hansen from publishing his opinions in a blog. What a crock.

  5. A 48 page report, wow! James “I’ve Been Muzzled” Hansen’s positive news trend began when he began his “I’ve Been Muzzled” tour. He went on 60 Minutes, NPR, and several other sympathetic outlets for interviews. It’s too bad that he’s been muzzled, because the whole world should hear what he has to say.

  6. Tom in Texas (20:44:34) :
    “Ric, et.al.: How many months (years?) before someone (media? Congress? UN? public?) starts noticing a new trend? Will it take a really harsh (extended?) ‘08-’09 winter to wake people up?”
    I think the cool conditions have helped keep climate out of the US presidential campaign, probably a good thing as it’s too politicized already. People may already be waking up, price protests in Europe will stimuate interest, and in the US I could see the Lieberman-Warner bill make climate control become a political “third-rail”. Barbara Boxer has grabbed on to it, we’ll see if it burns her.
    I think 2008 will be the year that mass media begins paying attention to both sides of the story, and 2009 the year that the scientific community starts paying more attention to solar forcing.
    A cool summer and fall, coupled with a few crop failures might be part of awakening the media’s interest. Temperature trends and CERN’s CLOUD experiment will get the scientific community’s interest. If cycle 24 doesn’t get going until 2009, which some people expect, that will get both group’s attention. The media will like having a visual subject that is amenable to simple stories.
    I’ll make some relevant comments on http://wattsupwiththat.wordpress.com/2008/06/03/another-record-month/#comments too.
    I am encouraged that some scientists this year have acknowledged that climate’s complexity makes the narrow focus of some papers inadequate. BTW, expect a busy Atlantic hurricane season, Kotzbach & Gray are using a new prediction scheme (the last one didn’t work so gud, eh?) and are calling for 160% of average activity.
    Getting people to understand what’s going on is a bit tricky. One problem with blogs is that in each post there is a huge amount of communal knowledge that the reader should have. I’ve tried to address that with my introductional essay hooked to my name link above, see Science, Method, Climatology, and Forgetting the Basics. This week I added a section on model output as a fifth form of scientific evidence.
    It’s not the sort of thing that people who should read it will stumble across, but it’s also not time that they should read it. Some new event may unleash a flood of interest, that ought to open avenues to get the word out. Suggestions welcome.
    In the meantime, send it to your local science reporter.

  7. How many months (years?) before someone (media? Congress?
    Rule of three.
    Three cold winters. Unfortunately #3 will be after the 2010 midterm elections. (Unless we noise it up! Which we shall attempt.)
    Hansen being ‘muzzled’
    I can see the cartoon now. Hansen (mouth wide open) screaming, “I’m being muzzled,” to the high heavens in front of a huge bank of microphones while dubya stands off to the side doing an eyeroll.

  8. What is it that you guys don’t, for the most part, get about this truly obvious situation? To quote the quote, “Two years after James E. Hansen, the leading climate scientist at NASA, and other agency employees described a pattern of distortion and suppression of climate science by political appointees, the agency’s inspector general has concluded that such activities occurred.”
    So, now you are all saying that the inspector general is lying and creating false evidence of a fabricated cover-up/muzzling pattern that never actually existed?
    Why do you think Hansen has had to go to the media so much? He wasn’t allowed to publish his work in scientific journals or conferences (without changing his conclusions to meet the Bush White House agenda, which he refused to do).
    Joke all you want. That was criminal fraud perpetrated by the administration’s NASA goons. If any University scientist bowed to such pressure while working on a Federally-funded grant, he or she could go to jail for fraud or face other severe penalties when the truth came out. I’m sure you won’t like it much if someone ever muzzles your free speech, and I hope it doesn’t happen, no matter what you believe.
    As for blogging, Harold Vance, you don’t seem to know much about recent employment law if you think that you can’t lose your job for blogging about things that disagree with management policy at your workplace: you can lose your job even if you are blogging anonymously, and it is happening more and more frequently. If you want facts on this topic, read the work of an expert on employment law and blogging: .
    REPLY: “So, now you are all saying that the inspector general is lying and creating false evidence of a fabricated cover-up/muzzling pattern that never actually existed?”
    Sir those are YOUR WORDS, not ours. Don’t ascribe words not said. Poor form on your part.

  9. The tone of comments by the majority of people responding to the post here reflects exactly the sentiment that I paraphrased- with my words. In fact it is the only conclusion I could come to based on the never-ending stream of ridicule found here for the idea that Hansen was muzzled at all. If people don’t wish to evoke such a tone, then a more respectful treatment of the subject is in order.
    If you don’t agree with a man, taking delight in his professional, legal and possibly Constitutional rights being compromised seems to me to be a very suspect approach. This is exactly why I would defend your right to voice your opinions no matter how much I disagree with you, but that doesn’t mean I won’t cut through the smoke-screen to the message that I perceive is being sent very strongly and in no uncertain terms here. If my perception is wrong, why is there no condemnation of the disgraceful and illegal treatment of NASA scientists that is reported in the blog post?
    I certainly hope I am wrong, but I read every word on this page carefully, and I came to this conclusion. I can certainly speculate that many others would conclude the same. I could be very wrong, of course. However, if your aim is to give a different impression, you are, in my view, off target in your attempts to do so. But, I don’t claim to be the last word on anything, so, I’ll simply take you at your word and apologize if I mis-characterized anyone’s views. I look forward to following the discussions and finding out just how wrong I am, and just how much more of an apology I owe everyone. Nothing would make me happier than to be entirely wrong in this case, believe me.
    Sincerely, JKB

  10. nearlynothingbutnovels (18:50:24) :
    “The tone of comments by the majority of people responding to the post here reflects exactly the sentiment that I paraphrased- with my words.”
    Hmm. My post is the longest one in the thread, but it completely ignored Hansen. Well, my data post did have “Sorry, Jim,” but my intent was more to criticize his data abuse, not his muzzlement. Personally, I’m puzzled by his muzzle – of all the scientists who get press time, Hansen seems to me to be top dog by far even though he works at the “National Aeronautics and Space Administration” and not
    agencies one would expect to be involved in climate issues like NCAR, NCEP, or NCDC.
    “If you don’t agree with a man, taking delight in his professional, legal and possibly Constitutional rights being compromised seems to me to be a very suspect approach.”
    I would like to read that 48 page report, but not enough to go looking for it. You say the NASA officials committed “criminal fraud” and then tangentially bring up free speech issues. Does the report say federal charges will be filed against NASA officials? This just feels all wrong. As for the free speech issue, that constitutional right is limited to prevent the government from taking action against citizens who criticize the government. (Federal government at that – state constitutions generally have their own text.) I’m not sure how far it extends to protecting government agents such as NASA employees. It certainly should allow me to criticize shoddy climate work by NASA. My wife is a lawyer who has taken on the State of New Hampshire over related issues. Her stand is that citizens have rights, government agents do not.
    My own “freedom of speech” is limited – I can’t tell you what my new products my employer is working on without running afoul with civil law and contractural issues.
    As for “taking delight” in Hansen’s problems, in all the sorry and sordid political and backstabbing that goes with today’s climate change “debate,” there are only two scientists whose work I have such disrepect for that I will disagree with them and not just their data. James Hansen is one of them.
    It is not delightful, but in Hansen’s case, I’ve concluded that his best contribution to the future of climatology would be to go work in a different field. I rule of thumb for USENET, Email, and blog discussions to avoid saying something about a person you wouldn’t say to him in person. I think I could tell Hansen that.
    Similarly, I’ve decided that I shouldn’t dismiss professional athletes unless I think I could perform better than them. I’m not a scientist, and while I admire his dedication, I could have become a better climatologist than him.
    Instead of studying posts here, please spend some time looking at why the GISS temperature data is so different than similar data. Look at how they backfill missing temperature data, look at how well other people can replicate their work.
    It won’t make you happy, but you will understand, at least after you look into the obstacles in place for people who have arguments against Greenhouse gas warming. Hansen really has nothing to complain about.

  11. Just presume, for example, that a person in Jim Hansen’s position is a self promoting individual, recommending policy actions that go far beyond his position of authority and competence. Would “muzzling” be warranted? Is muzzling ever warranted? How about dismissal? In the genteel world of government employment, perhaps not, at least as judged by fellow civil servants.

  12. Opinions and research results are muzzled all the time. Most articles prepared for publication in major journals don’t make it in. For several reasons: The Editor (who generally is working in the same field but at another government agency) is working on the same thing and doesn’t want his thunder taken. The study is poorly done. The study result doesn’t mesh with the conclusion section (reaches too far). The study results go flat because the study turns out to agree with the null hypothesis so there is nothing new to report. The study is yet another duplication. That one is really crazy. Most authors want their study duplicated but when it is, it can’t get published because “there is nothing new here to report”.
    Trust me, government entities who have research departments ALWAYS practice muzzling. As do private research companies. And no one goes to jail over it. It is what it is. My study was muzzled by one major journal (the Editor was studying the same thing and said that mine did not contain new information) but then accepted by another who came to the exact opposite conclusion, which was the study did contain new material. What actual reason did each journal use to reject or accept it? Don’t know. I do know this: If you want to play the game, you got to learn to play by the rules. And the rules are not written down.
    Needless to say, I was a flash in the pan cuz I got outta the kitchen. Didn’t like the smell of the food. No complaints. Just didn’t want to learn how to play that game. For those who stay and weather the storms and take it in the chin, you be better than me. For those who stay and whine, get over it.

  13. The whole point of most posters is that Hansen is the least “muzzled” of any of us despite the extremely questionable quality of his conclusions.

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