Global warming on blogs outshines MSM in interest

From the Pew Research Center

No Denying the Heat of Global Warming Debate in the Blogosphere

Global warming has of late been a very hot topic in social media, and last week it was hotter than ever. Much of the added fuel came from climate change believers who engaged in the debate that had been dominated by skeptics.

From Dec. 7-11, more than half (52%) of the news links in blogs were about global warming, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That represents the most attention to the subject in any given week this year, and marks the third week in a row that global warming has been among the top four subjects in blogs. It was also prominent on Twitter last week, registering as the No. 3 topic with 14% of the news links.

And while mainstream media have generally covered the issue less than have social media, global warming filled 10% of the mainstream newshole last week, the highest level of coverage since PEJ’s News Coverage Index began tracking it in January 2007.

Over the past few weeks, the social media commentary has been led by climate change skeptics focused on “Climate-gate” — the hacked emails from a British research unit that raised the possibility of climate data manipulation. Skeptics claimed that the actions undermined the science behind global warming and de-legitimized the Copenhagen summit which began Dec. 7. Last week, many of the online commentators continued to voice doubts about global warming fueled by Washington Post op-eds by prominent conservatives and global warming skeptics George Will and Sarah Palin.

But there was a noticeable change in the social media debate last week as those who believe in the dangers of global warming increased their presence. These supporters criticized the emphasis placed on “Climate-gate” and applauded the Environmental Protection Agency’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases.

Following global warming, the rest of the leading stories in the blogosphere represented a wide range of topics.

An investigative report by USA Today revealing that the government’s standards for meat in school lunches were lower than those of most fast-food chain restaurants finished second with 9% of the links.

The subject of Iran finished third (at 9%), triggered by multiple stories including a Fox News report that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the United States of trying to thwart the return of Mahdi, the Imam believed by Muslims to be the savior. Also in the mix was a BBC article about clashes between police forces and anti-government protestors in Tehran.

The fourth biggest storyline (at 7%) was a correction in the Washington Post which some found humorous. The paper acknowledged it had falsely identified a song from the rap group Public Enemy as “9/11 is a joke” instead of the actual title, “911 is a joke.” And a story about a bus crash involving the lead singer of the rock band Weezer finished fifth at 5%.

On Twitter last week, where technology stories usually dominate, Tiger Woods won the No. 1 spot with 18% of the news links.

Reports about the Dec. 7 call to 911 from Woods’ house and the ambulance that then took a woman (later identified as Woods’ mother-in-law Barbro Holmberg) to the hospital gained attention early in the week.

Receiving almost the same amount of attention was President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech (2nd at 18%). Global warming was third at 14%, followed by a story about the privacy settings for Facebook at 9%. And a story about a battle won by a 90-year-old Virginia veteran to keep an American flag displayed in his yard finished fifth, at 7%.

Global Warming

Skeptics of man-made global warming continued to focus on the “Climate-gate” scandal as they have the previous few weeks. They were bolstered by columns from George Will and Sarah Palin questioning global warming science and the motives behind the forthcoming Copenhagen summit.

“The e-mails have popped the credibility bubble of what Roger Pielke Sr. of the University of Colorado, has called ‘the climate oligarchy'” wrote Teófilo de Jesús at Vivificat. “Suddenly I don’t think that I have all the facts, that the sober analysis of competing hypotheses has not taken place, that the global consensus often bandied about is a fallacy — a variation of ad populum argument — and that our nation cannot commit itself to irrevocable courses of actions based on compromised science.”

“The climate change … movement has gone way beyond reasonableness,” added Too Conservative. “The data scandal and burying of conflicting opinions that has recently come to light show that this is indeed more a cultish lemming movement than any scientific phenomenon….”

But Palin proved to be a lightning rod for some on the other side of the global warming debate, who criticized her op-ed piece and the Washington Post‘s decision to publish it.

“I cannot understand how a fringe, ignorant, conspiracy theory imbibing, secessionist is given space in the Washington Post to pen on issues she has no knowledge of, which happen to be the extreme-right wing scandal du jour,” responded Larisa Alexandrovna of at-Largely. “Amazing how anti-science advocates like Palin and her ilk suddenly want ‘trustworthy’ science, is it not?”

Some took aim at the Climate-gate controversy itself.

“An oft-repeated criticism of the theory of human influenced global warming researchers is that they use a small set of data to make predictions about a large phenomena,” wrote Cangrejero at The Midpoint. “The irony of a movement bent on denying all the work done by many scientists because of a few cherry-picked phrases from 1000 emails between colleagues is not lost on me.”

And others applauded the announcement that the EPA was going to regulate greenhouse gases as a threat to human health.

“Finally,” exclaimed James Rowen at The Political Environment. “After years of benign neglect and outright opposition from the Bush administration, the Federal government, taking its cues from a conservative Supreme Court, is finally stepping up to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse emissions.”

The issue of global warming went beyond the blogs as many Twitter users linked to related articles. Palin’s piece was of particular interest to both those who agreed and disagreed with her.

Supporters of the Copenhagen conference were also interested in a page on the site that displayed many innovative advertisements from around the world promoting the cause of fighting global warming.

“We can all save the world. exquisite ads to raise awareness,” tweeted Valentina Wahyu.

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Tor Hansson
December 21, 2009 9:31 pm

Yep, we’re regulating CO2. It’s a crazy world.

December 21, 2009 9:33 pm

But the real conspiracy is revealed:
MSM coverage ignores Weezer accident!

Calvin Ball
December 21, 2009 9:41 pm

But Palin proved to be a lightning rod for some on the other side of the global warming debate, who criticized her op-ed piece and the Washington Post’s decision to publish it.

That says a lot about their approach to dissent, doesn’t it? Kinda like the “team”.

some bloke
December 21, 2009 9:41 pm

Chris Booker, together with Richard North, finally emerged from the UK Daily Telegraph blog and comments sections and into a full page 4 of the Sunday edition with this expose of Pachauris financial interests in Global Warming.
“The head of the UN’s climate change panel – Dr Rajendra Pachauri – is accused of making a fortune from his links with ‘carbon trading’ companies”

December 21, 2009 9:43 pm

“…those who believe in the dangers of global warming increased their presence.” At first this bothered me. But it was to be expected. It would be naive to think the warmers would cocoon.
The reality is that this topic is getting “media” coverage (one way or another) that a few months ago was unthinkable.
The more it is kept in the open the better.

December 21, 2009 9:53 pm

Whatever…. make some progress on the political front.

December 21, 2009 10:03 pm

This is what i was trying to tell you Saturday. You have no idea what kind of an impact you had, but now you see the graph.

December 21, 2009 10:13 pm

Bogus report that missed the trees from the forest.

Polar bears and BBQ sauce
December 21, 2009 10:19 pm

Approaching 30M hits Anthony….. another milestone.

December 21, 2009 10:20 pm

Couple the general distaste of HealthCare bill with Cap & Trade/Global Warming and you have the makings of a total political rout in 2010 midterms.
The rising wave of skepticism is following the loss of favoribility of this administration.

Keith Minto
December 21, 2009 10:21 pm

This is the creativebits site.
Some are bizarre, “Travelling fruits cause pollution”. I am beginning to think that they may have the opposite effect.
I don’t think negativity sits well with the general public, particularly when young children are involved.

December 21, 2009 10:25 pm

Hilarious riff at JoNova’s site titled “Shock: UN Finds Earth’s Thermostat”:

Pat Frank
December 21, 2009 10:38 pm

Larisa Alexandrovna,”to pen on issues she has no knowledge of,…” Does Larisa really think Al Gore knows any more of the actual science than does Sarah Palin? Did Larisa give Mr. Gore a pass all these years? What evidence is there that she has protested his aggressive presence in the debate? Not that I’m defending Ms. Palin, mind you.
For those who have been following the AGW science wars for the past several years, nothing revealed by climate gate is a surprise. We all knew about the data stonewalling, the methodological obscurantism, and the ghoulish and unending revivification of dead hockey sticks (it’s ALIVE!!), although the direct evidence of partisan influence mongering, now revealed by reconstruction of the email chains, was absent. We also knew for years, knew, that AGW so-called science found life only through constant insfusions of high-grade false precision.
All of this has been known public information and readily available for years, by now. So, it’s not without a little cynicism that we view the sudden clamor about the science only following revelation of a political scandal.
The news media are revealed as dominated by shallow sensation hounds; even those who think of themselves as science journalists. Hollywood mentalities, all. With the noted and gratitude-evoking exception of Marcel Crok. He deserves a Pulitzer.

December 21, 2009 10:43 pm

Anthony, thanks for posting these exquisite articles. Very interesting.
Horror of horror! The pendulum of public opinion regarding AGW is swinging dangerously to the skeptic side. It makes sense that the AGW profiteers and the useful green idiots would mount a counter offensive.
I can smell the sweet smell of panic in the air. I mean, if your best tactic is to attack Palin (a strawman) and to urge people interested in climategate to “move along now, there is nothing to see”, then it’s obvious that you’re deathly afraid that people will uncover the nasty truth behind the curtain.

December 21, 2009 10:48 pm

This is encouraging, however IMHO this ideological battleground will not be decided in the blogosphere.
We all have contacts with plenty of Mr. and Ms. Ignoramus. They are not reading the blogs, and the attention span is not longer than 20sec. when you try to explain to them about climatgate. And when you try to describe the connection between the central star of the solar system and the planet they live on, well you lost it.
The Berlin wall fell, not because of the samizdat, but because the masses switched. The AGW-green-left alliance will fall, when the masses need a new circus. And they will get one… / pessimism off 🙁

December 21, 2009 10:55 pm

Global warming dominates the blogs – as it should. It is the biggest, most outrageous scam and fraud in history.
The collusion of scientists, officials and politicians is mind boggling.
And shamlessly they carry on, even after being exposed, as if nothing has happened.
Come out and plead guilty – thats the least you can do.
And you honest but duped masses, wake up. You have been conned and decieved. Dont side with those who are corrupt and want to steal your money.
Its not about controlling pollution, its not about saving the Earth. These are just conmen, who want to steal our money and deserve to be in jail.

December 21, 2009 10:56 pm

retrieve my post please

stop writing posts with so many links and banned words please

December 21, 2009 11:04 pm

Collusion? You bet there is.
Here is some of the unfolding saga from the emails of Climategate, as compiled by Terence Corcoran:
“The 13-year email exchange, while often chaotic and disjointed, follows two main tracks that, in the end, must somehow converge. The first is to develop a convincing history of global temperature going back over thousands of years. The second is to develop models and scenarios that allow the scientists and the IPCC to forecast climate change to 2100 and beyond.”
“What really rocked the paleoclimate work at CRU, and ultimately shook the IPCC, was a seemingly out-of-the-blue email on June 17, 1998, from Michael Mann to Phil Jones, then head of East Anglia’s CRU centre. Before then, no mention had been made in the email cache of Michael Mann, … It is, in many ways, the email that rocked climate science.”
Dear Phil,
Of course I’ll be happy to be on board. I think the opportunity for some direct collaboration between us (me, and you/tim/keith) is ripe, and the plan to compare and contrast different approaches and data and synthesize the different results is a good one. Though sidetracked by other projects recently, I remain committed to doing this with you guys, and to explore applications to synthetic datasets with manufactured biases/etc remains high priority. It sounds like it would all fit into the proposal you mention. There may be some overlap w/proposals we will eventually submit to NSF (renewal of our present funding), etc. by I don’t see a problem with that in the least.
Once the collaboration is officially in place, I think that sharing of codes, data, etc. should not be a problem. I would be happy to make mine available, though can’t promise its the most user friendly thing in the world.
In short, I like the idea. Include me in, and let me know what you eed from me (cv, etc.).

“With Mr. Mann on board, everybody else seemed to go overboard. In the emails, he soon elbowed out Keith Briffa as the prime tree-ring guru. The Mann hockey stick, and the science work behind it, would end up consuming thousands of email hours over the next decade ..”

December 21, 2009 11:17 pm

The unfolding story from the emails from Terence Corcoran-
“Two scientists, one British and the other American, straddle the initial Climategate battle over recent global temperature history. Later, the same two scientists appear to abandon their internal disagreements and join forces to present a united front to fight off critics and put down skeptics. ”
“Over the next 10 years, the emails become a zone of internal conflict and external battles to suppress criticism, ridicule critics and resist all outside interference with the official science story they had assembled: The late 20th century was the warmest in history, and the next 100 years could be a climate nightmare.”
“The epic stories in the emails, in any honest reading, do not produce any concrete results or conclusions regarding the state of the science.
What exists now in the public domain is scientific conflict and uncertainty that goes to the heart of climate change science — past, present and future.”
“Masses of computer code and data are imbedded in the Climategate documents, enough to keep a full science inquiry busy for months, if not years. Exactly who did what with which data requires a full investigation by competent scientists and official bodies.”
Will this happen – when so called responsible scientists are saying there is nothing to investigate?

December 21, 2009 11:21 pm

As long as MSM was towing the line and only reporting one side, the warmists were content to huddle up in protected corridors of sites like Real Climate. Now that MSM has done some new polls and see there truly is a “story” here, the warmists are fanning out in something of a panic. However, they aren’t very good on their own from what I have seen in responses at MSM websites and certainly are bumblers in unfriendly territory like skeptic blogs. That’s to be expected when their battles were fought for them by media for so many years. They don’t have much practice. And skeptic numbers are getting huge online. You are even seeing a decent skeptic showing at HuffPo. That is is saying something.
One can question whether climategate (I still hate that name) contributed to Copenhagen failure. But what is certain is that combining both is a tide-turner. What I would like to see MSM explore is just how many of those 190+ world leaders are actually skeptics themselves. Surely there must be more than a few since the conference was a complete failure. These leaders have children and grandchildren. If they honestly believed those children (or humanity itself) would be threatened in the next 50-100 years, would they have quibbled over a 100 billion dollars? They may be crooks, but they aren’t insane.

December 22, 2009 1:06 am

Re: Gregg E. (23:36:21) :
“This reveals yet again the left’s tactics. Take the least significant item and elevate it to the highest level of importance then attack it while ignoring most everything else.
Palin wrote, what, one post about climategate?”
Yes, Palin’s not even worthy of mention in this debate.
About Larisa Alexandrovna, isn’t she the one from the former Communist republic of Ukraine who supposedly lost a source in a scandal recently that never materialized. Why would the MSM use her as a source on Climategate and climate change? She has no expertise covering the topic.
That article was junk, but the stats it was referring to were significant. In addition to the blogging, #COP15 and #Copenhagen were two of the top Trending Topics last week. I don’t need no BS MSM article to tell me that, and anyway that MSM’s data is from 2 weeks ago, what about last week?

December 22, 2009 2:20 am

I really dont think there is a lot of warmists. Like ‘the team’ they are a small select group often in positions of power. At green demonstrations they are poorly attended and that by rent a crowd. They have worked hard to give the impression they have public support – the reality however is they dont!

December 22, 2009 4:09 am

In karate class I learned that you can use your attackers own force to defeat him. For example, if someone is running towards you to tackle you, instead of trying to push back, you can stand aside and even pull or push them in the same direction they were going. Then they often fall on their face.
Perhaps, with the global warming extremists, we should egg them on. Let them increase their hyperbole, arrogance, lies and extortion until everyone sees them for the clowns that they are.
Oh wait, maybe we are already there.

December 22, 2009 4:42 am

We should demand that all engineers be moved to isolated compounds until they invent an electric jet. Electric jets are cool because electricity comes from a hole in the wall that is attached to a windmill somewhere in Idaho. That may take a little while, so meanwhile let’s all fly back to Copenhagen and protest the drinking of soda because opening one bottle of soda releases more carbon dioxide than owning a pet dog for a year. We should also all move out to the west coast because it is warmer there and we don’t need to burn oil to heat our houses. We only need air conditioning which uses windmill electricity. In fact, there are so many really big houses out in California that all the people in the North East can move in with all the people in California and no one would even know the difference. When we fly back to Copenhagen, we should all hold our breath until we get world leaders to give us what we want. Actually, you should all hold your breath because, I can’t really hold my breath for very long, but I’m sure some of you out there can hold your breath for a real long time. Come on do it for Mother Earth!

December 22, 2009 5:01 am

Come on I saw you breathing. You must hold your breath longer! The glaciers are melting! I saw the picture of melting water on TV! I didn’t actually go to the arctic to see for myself because it is too cold. And I hear that the polar bears are really fierce! They look all cute and fuzzy but they would eat you in a minute. They eat seals you know. Isn’t that terrible? I don’t think they eat baby seals though. I did go to the caribbean once to study the coral. It was so cool, we drove this monster speed boat out to the pristine coral reef. The sun is so hot there I had to put on about 5 layers of sunscreen to bock the UV rays. I’m telling you that It was so much sun screen that I could see a film of sunscreen floating on the water as soon as I got in. I’ve go to protect my skin from UV rays you know. Anyway the coral looked fine. But then we had a problem with the motor a spilled some oil. We went back again the next week and the coral was all dead. Must be from Global Warming.

December 22, 2009 5:22 am

I don’t think the mainstream media can be under any illusion that the sceptics are winning the arguments on their own comment sections, and I have noticed that the moderators have started to allow comments they previously would have moderated. I am a little surprised that the believers haven’t had more impact on the msm comment sections, although I suspect they cant handle the criticism from the other commenters. That is surely the point, that the case for global warming has never really been questioned in the press, allowing them to go beyond what can be defended. The UN, greenpeace and the scientists appeared to speak with one voice, now at the very least the scientists will have to restrict their support to what can be backed up..
Before the climategate scandal I did not believe it was possible to extract such a strong forcing from such incomplete computer models, and didn’t think the quality assurance was up to scratch. Now it really does look like the data was fabricated. It is the scientific bodies which have most to lose here, and they have one chance for a get out of jail free card – we were fooled by the data. I note that in the UK the carbon trust (an arm of government) does a lot of advertising on newspaper sites and companies selling ‘green’ tech, and newspapers are having financial problems. I suspect this is the issue which is preventing the UK media from picking up the story.

December 22, 2009 5:54 am

interesting wording in the email from Mann to Phil

Richard (23:04:29) :
…and to explore applications to synthetic datasets with manufactured biases/etc remains high priority

Henry chance
December 22, 2009 6:15 am

Here is a couple minute clip of Hansen speaking.
He talks about the “EMERGENCY”
Then he says:
“The fossil fuel industry is trying so hard to keep the public uninformed”
James is not honest enough to provide an example of the fossil fuel industry doing that. It is just a fabricated broad brush claim.
James recently is pushing his new book
Storms of My Grandchildren.
The liberals are pushing people hard to be uninformed. Pelosi says natural Gas is not a fossil fuel.
The day before the Democratic National Convention Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) went on Meet the Press and told Tom Brokaw:
I’m, I’m, I’m investing in something I believe in. I believe in natural gas as a clean, cheap alternative to fossil fuels. … These investments in wind, in solar and biofuels and focus on natural gas, these are the real alternatives.

Henry chance
December 22, 2009 6:29 am

– Ten people have died of cold in Poland over the past day, taking the toll since winter set in earlier this month to 79, police said Tuesday.
A national police spokeswoman told AFP that 10 people had been found dead since Monday.
The majority of the victims were homeless men who died while drunk, police said.
Fifty-two of the 79 deaths recorded since December 1 occurred since Friday, as temperatures plunged to minus 20 degrees Celsius (minus four Fahrenheit).
By Tuesday, temperatures had risen to around zero degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit). The web gets out some news. The frigid weather is very deadly.

Mick J
December 22, 2009 6:41 am

The article featured here suggests the numbers are boosted by warmists challenging the evil deniers, here is an example. In the comments section of the recent Christopher Booker column a warmist is drawing attention to a Kitchen experiment conducted for the BBC’s flagship news program (allegedly) where two plastic bottles, one filled with CO2 and the other air, heated by lamps with the temperatures being displayed on a notebook screen. The experiment starts whilst the dialogue convinces the audience of the purpose and evidence produced. Later the camera goes to the notebook screen and the experiment is declared a success and deniers duly routed. Later there is a knock at the door and Lo, Sir David King glides in and talks of melting ice, drowning and so on at which point I paused it. 🙂 But curiosity as to the temperature ranges had me look again. This is where strangeness creeps in. The starting temperatures being:
CO2 34.0
Air 35.6
When next shown to demonstrate the greenhouse effect the temperatures are:
CO2 38.8
Air 34.6
So mixed air radiated and convected more heat than input during this test or someone fiddled with the results and while doing so failed to Hide the Decline? 🙂
BBC link
C Bookers link

December 22, 2009 7:01 am

Aaagh! I can’t stand it any longer! The phrase is “toeing the line” i.e. “not stepping over the line” not ‘towing the line.” Nobody is pulling a line or rope anywhere – and even if such a phrase existed, it would not make sense in the context of the complaints here, that the mainstream media is failing to move forward with investigative journalism. Maxx is not the only one who uses the wrong word.

December 22, 2009 7:34 am

This shows again that ClimateGate is Big although the Mainstream Media is still playing it as cautiously as they can . While the EPA continues with the big lie about CO2 emissions , i would wish that agency also be investigated .

December 22, 2009 7:38 am

I’m quite sure we’ve reached a turning point towards increased scepticism of AGW theory.
I moderate the climateskeptics subreddit on reddit (social bookmarking site) and the traffic and subscriber stats suddenly jumped up from close to nothing to quite sometimes from 21 November (guess what happened on that day):
date uniques impressions subscriptions
2009-12-16 16 204 5
2009-12-15 22 226 13
2009-12-14 29 192 10
2009-12-13 22 161 14
2009-12-12 15 265 11
2009-12-11 26 219 8
2009-12-10 48 1,738 14
2009-12-09 29 131 11
2009-12-08 28 244 12
2009-12-07 25 233 14
2009-12-06 17 198 14
2009-12-05 14 142 10
2009-12-04 16 137 11
2009-12-03 10 19 6
2009-12-02 26 289 12
2009-12-01 65 411 14
2009-11-30 136 319 18
2009-11-29 23 330 20
2009-11-28 4 15 14
2009-11-27 4 21 17
2009-11-26 8 30 5
2009-11-25 3 28 9
2009-11-24 7 78 4
2009-11-23 10 12 12
2009-11-22 10 148 4
2009-11-21 5 25 4
2009-11-20 – – 2
2009-11-19 – – –
2009-11-18 – – –
2009-11-17 – – –
2009-11-16 – – –

December 22, 2009 7:43 am

Climategate is important because it exposed – on the world stage for all to see – the fraud and deceit that has been an integral part of “scientific studies” for the last 50 years (1960-2010).
Former President Eisenhower warned of the dangers of an unholy alliance developing between scientists and politicians in his farewell address in January 1961, but despite his warning that is exactly what has happened.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a private self-perpetuating group, has trained scientists with grant funds the way Pavlov trained dogs with dog biscuits – at least since the time when I started my research career in 1960.
With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo

Pamela Gray
December 22, 2009 8:00 am

I would agree about trumpeting Palin’s post. She doesn’t know Sikkim from _____ about weather or climate in terms of its science but I bet she does know cold from ,”It’s warmer in Alaska because the model and fiddled temperature data says it is.” Lots of rednecks (and I do luv em) get this. Some well heeled science guy working above Starbucks is telling us its warmer in Wallowa County but my pipes and my butt tell me otherwise. Maybe I was wrong, an air-headed prez would have been better.

December 22, 2009 8:22 am

Oliver K. Manuel (07:43:25)
Fifty years of fraud has NOT been
stopped by exposure–
The AGW gravy train did not stop or pause nor will it–
Public opinion and blogs
and scientific research and climate reality
and truth and climategate have no more affect on
govt policy and plans than their effect on
where bailout
expenditures end up or Afghanistan or iraq
(and officially the us “won”in Vietnam)etc.–
The public(and all non-politicians)
be damned IS the policy.
Too nuch money and control is now
Get on the gravy train or get ignored.
This train is not stopping for anything.

December 22, 2009 8:27 am

“…10% of the mainstream newshole…”
What an intriguing term! 🙂

December 22, 2009 8:34 am

I feel very proud to be part of the sceptic movement. Pollution yes, AGW no!

December 22, 2009 9:29 am

Mick J:
I wonder how the BBC, or anyone claiming that CO2 is heating the planet, can explain that further into the past, there is *no* correlation between CO2 levels and planetary temperatures. Look here:
The CO2 level has been several times higher than now, and no “tipping point” was ever reached.

Roger Knights
December 22, 2009 11:05 am

“This train is not stopping for anything.”
On the radio I just heard a Democratic pollster quoted as saying that the Republicans are so far ahead in the polls now that “even Republicans couldn’t screw up badly enough to lose in 2010.” If they come roaring back, emboldened, and with a debt to climate contrarians, there will be, at a minimum, extensive investigations into whether science has been manipulated, and whether it is really “settled.”

December 22, 2009 11:12 am

We all have contacts with plenty of Mr. and Ms. Ignoramus. They are not reading the blogs, and the attention span is not longer than 20sec. when you try to explain to them about climatgate. And when you try to describe the connection between the central star of the solar system and the planet they live on, well you lost it.
No elitism here!

Roger Knights
December 22, 2009 11:18 am

“Then he [Hansen] says: “The fossil fuel industry is trying so hard to keep the public uninformed”
James is not honest enough to provide an example of the fossil fuel industry doing that. It is just a fabricated broad brush claim.”

I printed out and skimmed the UCS (Union of Concerned Scientists) PDF on big oil influence, which many alarmists rely on to make this smear. I also visited the Heartland Institute’s website a few months ago. It appears to me that the links between big oil and skeptical scientists are pretty tenuous. The UCS reports claims that many big-name skeptical scientists are “affiliated” with free-market think tanks, which in turn get some funding from Exxon, etc.
But the affiliations don’t seem to me to amount to much. It’s not that these guys are “Fellows” at the think tanks. Rather, it’s more likely (I guess) that they have received payment for giving a speech to donors to the Institutes, or for having their papers reprinted in an anthology published by the Institutes.
And these institutes are hardly “front groups,” which the UCS report claims. They were mostly formed (I’m sure) without any big donations from Exxon et allies, and don’t receive more than a small portion of their donations from similar sources.
There ought to be a thread on this topic. Or at least, if someone’s already debunked this claim online, someone should post a link to it.

Roger Knights
December 22, 2009 11:20 am

vigilantfish (07:01:10) :
“Aaagh! I can’t stand it any longer! The phrase is “toeing the line” i.e. “not stepping over the line” not ‘towing the line.” Nobody is pulling a line or rope anywhere ….”

Toe the line = (From Wikipedia)
“an idiomatic expression meaning to conform to a rule or a standard. The term has disputed origins. … In days of sail, ‘toe the line’ was used as a command for the sailors to line up along a crack in deck planking, similar to the modern ‘Attention!’ Over the years the term has been attributed to sports, including toeing the starting line in track events and toeing a center line in boxing which boxers were instructed to line up on either side of to start a match. In modern usage, it appears often in the context of partisan or factional politics, as in, ‘He’s toeing the party line.’”

Geoff Stone
December 22, 2009 12:03 pm

For those of you with secondary/highschool children check with the Geography department what they are up to. My daughter of 12 is being shown the infamous AlBore Eco-Nightmare “award-winning” film about melting polar bears etc. Apparently the teacher has shown the first half and the second half is coming up in January. No commentary was given, no mention of what if anything is fact or fiction. I will be trying to stop it, but doubt I will be able to at such short notice. We may be convinced about this insanity but the MMGW fanatics are in the classroom now and our kids are being indoctrinated quietly in the background… (Parent in the Netherlands)

December 22, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: mike odin (08:22:32) :
“…Get on the gravy train or get ignored.
This train is not stopping for anything.”
Mr. Odin, you must have no experience “stopping trains,” and lack the self confidence to do so. Some here have “stopped trains,” and this one is going to be relatively easy to derail. Sit back and watch this thing careen off the tracks.
BTW, f*** the socialists and communists in Britain and the EU. One revelation out of all of this is that Communism did not die 2 decades ago, socialism has it’s intellectual base now in Britain and Western Europe, and China, Russia, and India are now bastions of Capitalism. The U.S. should NOT follow the lead of Britain on this.

Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001)
December 22, 2009 12:38 pm

Considering the known flaws in the pretty graphs so beloved by key proponents of AGW, it is somewhat ironic that in comparing coverage in the blogosphere with that in “traditional media”, the three graphs presented by Pew cover two different periods. Unless the captions are incorrect, it would seem that in the world according to Pew, a “week” in the blogosphere and Twitter (Dec. 7-11) is different from a “week” in traditional media (Dec. 7-13).
But that aside, from the Pew analysis above:
“The climate change … movement has gone way beyond reasonableness,” added Too Conservative. “The data scandal and burying of conflicting opinions that has recently come to light show that this is indeed more a cultish lemming movement than any scientific phenomenon….”
And speaking of “cultish lemmings” … on the CBC site, a Dec. 21 article was open for “discussion”. Suffice it to say that CBC does not make it easy to have a “discussion”; however, I did my best:

Keith Minto
December 22, 2009 1:01 pm

Richard (23:04:29)
Mike to Phil……
“………………… I remain committed to doing this with you guys, and to explore applications to synthetic datasets with manufactured biases/etc remains high priority. ”
Am I reading this right ?? Isn’t this the most alarming admission of all?

Roger Knights
December 22, 2009 1:59 pm

@Keith Minto:
I think it’s probably just about feeding test data to their computer modeling software. If it smelled of something nefarious, critics would be making more of a stink about it.

December 22, 2009 2:57 pm

Dan (11:12:05) :
“No elitism here!”
Sorry Dan if you interpreted my words this way. I just stating the facts how hard is to steer the conversation with people who choose not educate
them-self about the subject. You have to explain everything, start with science politics back to science etc. Very easy to derail the conversation and the audience loose track.
My point is, that you can take the donkey to the water, but can’t make it to drink.
Elitism in my book is come from the socialist/communist ideology who KNOWS what is good for you, and they just shot you if you dare to disagree.
The reds now wearing the green shirts… The end game is not changed, controlling the society. Elitism will ensure the ruling class will not have to follow the rules. Just look Al Gore. The useful idiots will run over by a bus.
An electric one of course 🙂
I know, I lived half of my life under the communist system. It sucks!

Keith Minto
December 22, 2009 3:29 pm

Roger Knights (13:59:50) :
@Keith Minto:
I think it’s probably just about feeding test data to their computer modeling software. If it smelled of something nefarious, critics would be making more of a stink about it.
Could be, guess we need more information,such as…..
Feeding random numbers into a programme and seeing what bias this produces could be the best null hypothesis there is. I believe Steve McIntyre fed random nunbers into Mann’s hockey stick programme and still had a hockey stick. The numbers may be random but they can sure tell which way the programme is biased!

December 24, 2009 11:19 am

Roger Knights:
Thanks – as a historian I appreciate the history lesson. Interesting how many phrases entered the English language via the Navy.

December 25, 2009 2:07 am

Aaagh! I can’t stand it any longer! The phrase is “toeing the line” i.e. “not stepping over the line” not ‘towing the line.” Nobody is pulling a line or rope anywhere – and even if such a phrase existed, it would not make sense in the context of the complaints here, that the mainstream media is failing to move forward with investigative journalism. Maxx is not the only one who uses the wrong word.
I dunno. I’m up on toe vs tow and I think it makes perfect sense.
Line = official position. As in “The current Communist Party Line on Global warming….”
So towing the line would mean supporting the official position through heavy labor. As in “haul on the bowline, we sang that melody….” (those of you of a “certain age” will get the reference).

December 27, 2009 7:02 pm

Is there a global warming conspiracy hiding the facts?
“Especially astonishing are the very short times needed for major warmings. A temperature increase of 5°C can occur in a few decades.” – Greenland Ice Core Project-An ESF Research Programme-Final Report

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