Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A number of stories have appeared recently, claiming that Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump’s position on Climate Change is inconsistent, because he used to support Climate Action. Apparently once you embrace the Climate faith, you are not allowed to become an apostate.
Donald Trump once backed urgent climate action. Wait, what?
As negotiators headed to Copenhagen in December 2009 to forge a global climate pact, concerned U.S. business leaders and liberal luminaries took out a full-page ad in the New York Times calling for aggressive climate action. In an open letter to President Obama and the U.S. Congress, they declared: “If we fail to act now, it is scientifically irrefutable that there will be catastrophic and irreversible consequences for humanity and our planet.”
One of the signatories of that letter: Donald Trump.
Also signed by Trump’s three adult children, the letter called for passage of U.S. climate legislation, investment in the clean energy economy, and leadership to inspire the rest of the world to join the fight against climate change.
“We support your effort to ensure meaningful and effective measures to control climate change, an immediate challenge facing the United States and the world today,” the letter tells the president and Congress. “Please allow us, the United States of America, to serve in modeling the change necessary to protect humanity and our planet.”
In every conceivable way, the letter contradicts Trump’s current stance on climate policy. On the campaign trail, Trump has said he is “not a big believer in man-made climate change.” Last fall, after Obama described climate change as a major threat to the United States and the world, Trump said that was “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics — in the history of politics as I know it.”
The 2009 ad also argues that a shift to clean energy “will spur economic growth” and “create new energy jobs.” But these days, Trump contends that U.S. action to limit greenhouse gas emissions would put the country at a competitive disadvantage. In 2012, he went so far as to claim: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
The Copenhagen conference that inspired the open letter was part of the same two-decade-long U.N. negotiating process that led to a global climate deal in Paris last year. But whereas in 2009 Trump supported the process via the ad, now he wants to sabotage it, promising recently to “cancel” the Paris accord.
So what happened in 2009 which might have changed someone’s mind about the urgency of climate action? One word – Climategate.
In late November 2009, WUWT posted one of the first notices about the CRU hack.
The details on this are still sketchy, we’ll probably never know what went on. But it appears that University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit has been hacked and many many files have been released by the hacker or person unknown.
I’m currently traveling and writing this from an airport, but here is what I know so far:
An unknown person put postings on some climate skeptic websites that advertised an FTP file on a Russian FTP server, here is the message that was placed on the Air Vent today:
Around the same time, journalist James Delingpole coined the word “Climategate”. The story started to topple the orchestrated feel good press releases supporting the Copenhagen Conference.
Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’?
If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That)
Read more (note the original link has been purged by The Telegraph): http://jamesdelingpole.com/2009/11/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
If the Climategate news broke in November 2009, why did Trump still believe in December 2009? The answer might be that he was listening to advice from people who didn’t want him to change his mind. As soon as the Climategate story broke, the Climate establishment went into frantic damage control, doing everything in their power to downplay the story, to reframe it as a “stolen email” story – presumably to protect the Copenhagen Conference (h/t James Delingpole and Bishop Hill).
Inquiry into stolen climate e-mails
Details of a university inquiry into e-mails stolen from scientists at one of the UK’s leading climate research units are likely to be made public next week.
Announcement of a chair of the inquiry and terms of reference will probably be made on Monday, a source says.
The University of East Anglia’s (UEA) press office did not confirm the date.
But a spokesperson said information about the investigation into the hack at UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) would be made public very soon.
By February 2010, knowledge of the magnitude of the “problems” in the CRU was becoming widespread.
For the very first time, the Climategate Letters “archived” the deleted portion of the Briffa MXD reconstruction of “Hide the Decline” fame – see here. Gavin Schmidt claimed that the decline had been “hidden in plain sight” (see here. ). This isn’t true.
The post-1960 data was deleted from the archived version of this reconstruction at NOAA here and not shown in the corresponding figure in Briffa et al 2001. Nor was the decline shown in the IPCC 2001 graph, one that Mann, Jones, Briffa, Folland and Karl were working in the two weeks prior to the “trick” email (or for that matter in the IPCC 2007 graph, an issue that I’ll return to.)
Dr. Phil Jones, director of the CRU, gave his BBC interview, in which he admitted there was nothing statistically special about modern warming.
A – Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?
An initial point to make is that in the responses to these questions I’ve assumed that when you talk about the global temperature record, you mean the record that combines the estimates from land regions with those from the marine regions of the world. CRU produces the land component, with the Met Office Hadley Centre producing the marine component.
Temperature data for the period 1860-1880 are more uncertain, because of sparser coverage, than for later periods in the 20th Century. The 1860-1880 period is also only 21 years in length. As for the two periods 1910-40 and 1975-1998 the warming rates are not statistically significantly different (see numbers below).
I have also included the trend over the period 1975 to 2009, which has a very similar trend to the period 1975-1998.
So, in answer to the question, the warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.
Phil Jones also admitted to in my opinion shockingly bad peer review practices in the climate community. Maybe climate scientists sniff the papers they are asked to peer review, rather than checking the calculations.
Jones conceded that he did not usually publish raw data from weather stations, which was often covered by confidentiality agreements, nor the computer codes he used to analyse the data. “It hasn’t been standard practice to do that. Maybe it should, but it’s not,” he said.
Asked whether other climate scientists reviewing his papers ever required such data, he said, “They’ve never asked.” In response to a specific question about why he had failed to grant freelance researcher Warwick Hughes access to data, he said simply, “We had a lot of work and resources tied up in it.”
And of course, we have the infamous nature trick email, and the in my opinion unconvincing explanations of why the email doesn’t say what it appears to say.
From: Phil Jones
To: ray bradley ,email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000
Dear Ray, Mike and Malcolm,
Once Tim’s got a diagram here we’ll send that either later today or
first thing tomorrow.
I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps
to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from
1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline. Mike’s series got the annual
land and marine values while the other two got April-Sept for NH land
N of 20N. The latter two are real for 1999, while the estimate for 1999
for NH combined is +0.44C wrt 61-90. The Global estimate for 1999 with
data through Oct is +0.35C cf. 0.57 for 1998.
Thanks for the comments, Ray.
Was it Climategate which changed Donald Trump’s mind? We won’t know unless Trump chooses to speak on this issue. I suspect though if you have a lot of money, and scam artists are always circling, you have to develop a pretty well tuned BS meter. There is a lot in the Climategate scandal, to shake the confidence of even the most committed climate activist.