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Memo to media: When the EPA ignores internal non-expert comments filled with falsehoods cut-and-paste from anti-science deniers, that isn’t “suppressing a report.” And why have you completely ignored a major scientific report revealing what a sham that “EPA report” is?

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"Memo to media: When the EPA ignores internal non-expert comments filled with falsehoods cut-and-paste from anti-science deniers, that isn’t “suppressing a report.” And why have you completely ignored a major scientific report revealing what a sham that “EPA report” is?"

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Many of the top climate scientists in the world issued a major synthesis report reviewing the scientific literature since the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).  They found “greenhouse gas emissions and many aspects of the climate are changing near the upper boundary of the IPCC range of projections.”  In short, actual observations show things are much worse than the IPPC found.  Duh! and Duh! and Duh! Media coverage level — bupkis!  Technorati links to report released June 18 — 6.

One EPA economist,  Alan Carlin, cuts and pastes some disinformation from a denier blog post in order to (falsely) assert that the EPA’s endangerment finding is flawed because

  • “In the rapidly evolving field of climate change, by grounding its TSD Technical Support Documents in the IPCC AR4 the EPA is largely relying on scientific findings that are, by early 2009, largely 3 years or more out of date.”
  • “Important developments” since the IPCC cast doubt on its conclusions.

Media coverage level of this crap, whose entire conclusion was vitiated by the earlier synthesis by real scientists — Michael Jackson [adjusted for subject area]!  Technorati links to “report” posted by deniers on June 25 — 61.

THE MEDIA PREFERS FABRICATED DRAMA TO GENUINE FACTS

When a government agency doesn’t incorporate plagiarized disinformation into their work product, is that suppression — or your tax dollars working the way they’re supposed to, with decisions based on sound science?   Deniers like the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Roger Pielke, Jr. say it’s the former, and they have spun some of the more gullible members of the status quo media, like CBS, who reported Friday:

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty “decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.”

Well, this “report” was actually first just “proposed comments” and then actual “Comments on the Draft Technical Support Documents for Endangerment Analysis for Greenhouse Gas Emissions under the Clean Air.”

I worked in a federal agency for five years.  Lots of internal people provide comments on draft documents.  Some of it’s good, some of it’s irrelevant, and some is outright disinformation — typically the latter is from holdovers from a previous administration.  In this case, it actually looks like the comments were

  1. Unadulterated and long-debunked disinformation
  2. From someone unqualified on the subject they are writing
  3. Cut and paste from a blog without attribution
  4. Delivered too late and not actually germane

Such comments should not be incorporated into an official government document — certainly not without a serious inquiry first.  They might, however, be the basis of an advserse employment action, as the euphemism goes.

You can read a thorough debunking of these “comments” at the RealClimate Post, “Bubkes.”  A brilliant piece by Deep Climate showed that this so-called “suppressed report” is

largely lifted from an attack on the EPA published last November in climate science disinformation specialist Pat Michaels’ World Climate Report [WCR]. And all this came without any attribution of the large swathes of copied material to WCR or the original author (presumably either Michaels or sidekick Chip Knappenberger).

I won’t repeat the entire Deep Climate analysis, but let me quote from the central thesis of the WCR November 19, 2008 post:  Why the EPA should find against “Endangerment”:

However, the Endangerment TSD is largely a dated document which relies heavily on the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s AR4 was published in the spring of 2007, but to meet the deadline for inclusion in the AR4, scientific papers had to be published by late 2005/early 2006. So, in the rapidly evolving field of climate change, by grounding its TSD in the IPCC AR4 the EPA is largely relying on scientific findings that are, by late 2008, nearly 3 years out of date.

And a lot has happened in those intervening three years.

And from the EPA “report,” with duplicated language in bold:

Although a real effort has been made to introduce references to more recent CCSP reports, the draft endangerment TSD is largely a dated document which relies primarily on the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A lot has happened in those intervening three years since the input deadline for AR4. The IPCC’s AR4 was published in the spring of 2007, but to meet the deadline for inclusion in the AR4, scientific papers had to be accepted for publication by early 2006. Given the lag between submission and acceptance the real cut-off for new research was even earlier. So, in the rapidly evolving field of climate change, by grounding its TSD in the IPCC AR4 the EPA is largely relying on scientific findings that are, by early 2009, largely 3 years or more out of date. [Emphasis added]

Ouch!

Deep Climate shows that again and again Carlin stole borrowed from WCR — sometimes entire paragraphs verbatim as well as numerous graphs without any attribution whatsoever.  That used to be called plagiarism, but for Roger Pielke, Jr., it makes the Carlin “suppression” equal to the suppression of NASA’s James Hansen under Bush.  But then, Pielke never could distinguish between disinformation and accurate scientific information (see “Why do deniers like Pielke shout down any talk of a link between climate change and extreme weather?“).  In fact, the two cases couldn’t possibly be more different as NASA’s Gavin Schmidt explains here.  I would add one more difference:  Hansen is one of our leading climate scientists and has never been accused of a basic firing offense like plagiarsm, whereas, as Deep Climate writes:

So there you have it. Four key sections of Carlin’s masterpiece, and indeed his central guiding premise, were lifted directly from an intellectually vacuous and misleading attack on the EPA on a blog run by a PR disinformation spinmeister with a long history of links to fossil fuel interests.  And, of course, none of this was attributed to World Climate Report or the author (presumably Pat Michaels or Chip Knappenburger), compounding the shoddy misleading “scholarship” with outright plagiarism….

I fervently hope that now real and hard questions will start to be asked about the role of the major particpants in the shameful orchestrated attack on the EPA, starting with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Carlin himself. And it’s also high time to subject to greater scrutiny the fossil fuel companies and their PR surrogates who are behind the dissemination of so much of the gross misinformation that made up the Carlin report.

As for the EPA itself, it might want to check out some of Carlin’s other past work – who knows what other shenanigans might lurk. The only faintly embarrassing question the EPA needs to answer now is this: How did Alan Carlin ever manage to stay on the payroll for so long?

And Carlin didn’t even copy particularly good disinformation.

As I have shown in many dozens of blog posts on Climate Progress, there is a vast and growing scientific literature since the IPCC stopped accepting new research for its 2007 report — literature that makes clear the situation is much more dire than what the IPCC found.  See, for instance, “High Water: Greenland ice sheet melting faster than expected and could raise East Coast sea levels an extra 20 inches by 2100 “” to more than 6 feet,” which highlights a half dozen studies that sharply increase sea level rise projections above the IPCC estimate — notwithstanding Carlin’s laughable assertion that “The idea that warming temperatures will cause Greenland to rapidly shed its ice has been greatly diminished.”

Carlin’s “analysis” of Greenland is especially disingenuous given his central argument that the 2007 IPCC report overestimated climate impacts.  The ice sheet is suffering staggering ice loss now — see “Two trillion tons of land ice lost since 2003, rate of Greenland summer ice loss triples 2007 record” — which is all the more worrisome because it was not predicted by the IPCC’s climate models, which have largely ignored ice dynamics.  The IPCC underestimated a major impact here.

And that is a central point of the major synthesis report released in June that the media largely ignored.  Unlike Carlin’s crap, this is the real deal:

Since the production of the IPCC report, new knowledge has emerged that furthers understanding of the impacts of human influence on the climate and the response options and approaches that are available to tackle this complex issue. To bring this new knowledge together, the International Alliance of Research Universitiesi organised an international scientific congress on climate change, Climate Change: Global Risks, Challenges and Decisions, which was held in Copenhagen from 10-12 March 2009. Participation in the Congress was open to all. Most of the approximately 2500 people attending the Congress were researchers, many of whom have also been contributors to the IPCC reports. Participants came from nearly 80 different countries and contributed with more than 1400 scientific presentations. Abstracts for all of the scientific presentations made can be found at www.iop.org/EJ/volume/1755-1315/6.

The report has been produced by a writing team comprised of members of the Scientific Steering Committee for the IARU Congress and individuals invited to give the writing team academic and geographic breadth. It is based on the 16 plenary talks given at the Congress as well as input from over 80 chairs and cochairs of the 58 parallel sessions held at the Congress. The names of the plenary speakers and the chairs and co-chairs of the parallel sessions can be found on the inside cover of this volume. The writing team has, in addition to presentations at the Congress, drawn upon recent publications in the scientific literature to create this synthesis.

This report has been critically reviewed by representatives of the Earth System Science Partnership (ESSP)ii, by the parallel session chairs and co-chairs, and by up to four independent researchers from each IARU university. This extensive review process has been implemented to ensure that the messages contained in the report are solidly and accurately based on the new research produced since the last IPCC Report, and that they faithfully reflect the most recent work of the international climate change research community.

You may have noticed a slight difference in the process by which this synthesis report was put together and what Carlin did.  And that slight difference — otherwise known as scientific analysis and synthesis performed by actual scientists and peer-reviewed by other scientists — leads to a somewhat different set of conclusions:

Recent observations show that greenhouse gas emissions and many aspects of the climate are changing near the upper boundary of the IPCC range of projections. Many key climate indicators are already moving beyond the patterns of natural variability within which contemporary society and economy have developed and thrived. These indicators include global mean surface temperature, sealevel rise, global ocean temperature, Arctic sea ice extent, ocean acidification, and extreme climatic events. With unabated emissions, many trends in climate will likely accelerate, leading to an increasing risk of abrupt or irreversible climatic shifts….

Since 2007, reports comparing the IPCC projections of 1990 with observations show that some climate indicators are changing near the upper end of the range indicated by the projections or, as in the case of sea level rise (Figure 1), at even greater rates than indicated by IPCC projections. Grasping the significance of such observations requires an understanding of climate change that goes beyond the warming of the atmosphere….

Current estimates indicate that ocean warming is about 50% greater than had been previously reported by the IPCC. The new estimates help to better explain the trend in sea level that has been observed in recent decades as most of the sea-level rise observed until recently has been the result of thermal expansion of seawater.

One of the most dramatic developments since the last IPCC Report is the rapid reduction in the area of Arctic sea ice in summer….

So EPA was absolutely correct in dismissing Carlin’s too-late, not-germane, unscientific cut-and-paste job.

Yes, the EPA might have handled the affair better, but there is no ideal way of dealing with a civil servant determined to push disinformation into the system.  In my experience, if you try to reject it, the person will inevitably leak it to the media, which never bothers to check the underlying substance when it has a juicy story.  I would not be surprised if Carlin ends up at some denier organization, which may be his purpose all along.

One presumes his bosses know that he is not a scientist and that he has previously published papers arguing absurd things like “Reducing GHG emissions to the extent proposed by advocates, even if achievable, would cost many trillions of dollars, and is best viewed as a last resort rather than the preferred strategy.”  Yes, mitigation should be the “last resort” for avoiding catastrophic global warming.  What is this guy doing at the Environmental Protection Agency?

It is difficult to overstate just how weak Carlin’s comments are from a scientific perspective.  But for completeness’s sake let me excerpt the debunking from NASA’s Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate:

[The] main points are nicely summarised thus: a) the science is so rapidly evolving that IPCC (2007) and CCSP (2009) reports are already out of date, b) the globe is cooling!, c) the consensus on hurricane/global warming connections has moved from uncertain to ambiguous, d) Greenland is not losing mass, no sirree”¦, e) the recession will save us!, f) water vapour feedback is negative!, and g) Scafetta and West’s statistical fit of temperature to an obsolete solar forcing curve means that all other detection and attribution work is wrong. From this “evidence”, they then claim that all variations in climate are internal variability, except for the warming trend which is caused by the sun, oh and by the way the globe is cooling.

Devastating eh?

One can see a number of basic flaws here; the complete lack of appreciation of the importance of natural variability on short time scales, the common but erroneous belief that any attribution of past climate change to solar or other forcing means that CO2 has no radiative effect, and a hopeless lack of familiarity of the basic science of detection and attribution.

But it gets worse, what solid peer reviewed science do they cite for support? A heavily-criticised blog posting showing that there are bi-decadal periods in climate data and that this proves it was the sun wot done it. The work of an award-winning astrologer (one Theodor Landscheidt, who also thought that the rise of Hitler and Stalin were due to cosmic cycles), a classic Courtillot paper we’ve discussed before, the aforementioned FoS web page, another web page run by Doug Hoyt, a paper by Garth Paltridge reporting on artifacts in the NCEP reanalysis of water vapour that are in contradiction to every other reanalysis, direct observations and satellite data, a complete reprint of another un-peer reviewed paper by William Gray, a nonsense paper by Miskolczi etc. etc. I’m not quite sure how this is supposed to compete with the four rounds of international scientific and governmental review of the IPCC or the rounds of review of the CCSP reports”¦.

They don’t even notice the contradictions in their own cites. For instance, they show a figure that demonstrates that galactic cosmic ray and solar trends are non-existent from 1957 on, and yet cheerfully quote Scafetta and West who claim that almost all of the recent trend is solar driven! They claim that climate sensitivity is very small while failing to realise that this implies that solar variability can’t have any effect either. They claim that GCM simulations produced trends over the twentieth century of 1.6 to 3.74ºC – which is simply (and bizarrely) wrong (though with all due respect, that one seems to come directly from Mr. Gregory). Even more curious, Carlin appears to be a big fan of geo-engineering, but how this squares with his apparent belief that we know nothing about what drives climate, is puzzling. A sine qua non of geo-engineering is that we need models to be able to predict what is likely to happen, and if you think they are all wrong, how could you have any faith that you could effectively manage a geo-engineering approach?

Finally, they end up with the oddest claim in the submission: That because human welfare has increased over the twentieth century at a time when CO2 was increasing, this somehow implies that no amount of CO2 increases can ever cause a danger to human society. This is just boneheadly stupid.

So in summary, what we have is a ragbag collection of un-peer reviewed web pages, an unhealthy dose of sunstroke, a dash of astrology and more cherries than you can poke a cocktail stick at. Seriously, if that’s the best they can do, the EPA’s ruling is on pretty safe ground.

If I were the authors, I’d suppress this myself, and then go for a long hike on the Appalachian Trail”¦.

But while plagiarism of denier talking points that have been long-debunked in the scientific literature may pass for important input to government deliberation at the Competitive Enterprise Institute or on the blog of Roger Pielke, Jr., for the rest of us — traditional media included — the only investigation that should be going on is to answer the question Deep Climate posed, “How did Alan Carlin ever manage to stay on the payroll for so long?

UPDATE:  See also the Examiner.com’s, “CBS jumps a Whale Shark,” which comments on the CBS piece I link to:

There are plenty of instances in the traditional media of honest mistakes or just plain sloppy journalism when it comes to science reporting. Then there are times when the only explanation is naked complicity in spreading disinformation. CBS has clearly crossed the line into the latter to a degree that should leave any premium news organization embarrassed.

Hear!  Hear!

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39 Responses to Memo to media: When the EPA ignores internal non-expert comments filled with falsehoods cut-and-paste from anti-science deniers, that isn’t “suppressing a report.” And why have you completely ignored a major scientific report revealing what a sham that “EPA report” is?

  1. Mark Shapiro says:

    Let’s see if I can summarize.

    Alan Carlin, a denier burrowed into the EPA, plagiarizes some junk science, and fraudulently passes it off as science in a draft comment, which is properly rejected.

    CEI, Roger Pielke, Jr., and others then fraudulently claim that this editing was “censorship”.

    CBS and other MSM outlets buy the lie, get spun, and run with the “controversy”.

    Science loses a round to frauds and screamers.

    [JR: Pretty much.]

  2. dhogaza says:

    And, of course …

    A top Republican senator has ordered an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s alleged suppression of a report that questioned the science behind global warming.

    “He came out with the truth. They don’t want the truth at the EPA,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., a global warming skeptic, told FOX News, saying he’s ordered an investigation. “We’re going to expose it.”

    Now that the plagiarism story’s out, Carlin’s martyrdom is assured. Wouldn’t want our RWingnuts engaged in original research or thought, after all!

  3. MarkB says:

    Here is a comment from Alan Carlin from the recent cbsnews ridiculous article:

    “global temperatures are roughly where they were in the mid-20th century. ”

    Say what? And some are upset this clown’s views were dismissed?

  4. David B. Benson says:

    MarkB — Please do not insult clowns. :-)

  5. MarkB says:

    “Please do not insult clowns.”

    Clowns scare me, actually. The thought of grown men dressing up in colorful costumes, performing tricks, and acting goofy to get the attention and trust of unsuspecting children never sat right with me.

    I guess it’s kind of analogous to the global warming denier’s relationship with the general public.

  6. James Newberry says:

    Vested corporate capture of governance at work. Different day, same . . .

    The president is swimming among fuelish advisory sharks who have big media as an ally. So much for “the news.”

    Get ready for “clean” dirty fuels based on the same financial commodities that brought us ecologic contamination and economic collapse (oil at $147), within a lifetime headed toward ecologic collapse, unless we create clean governance.

  7. Sam Spade says:

    WUWT commentators found the contents familiar:

    evanmjones (21:20:57) Jun 25

    “…even our most casual readers are at the least highly familiar with ALL of the points in this paper.”

    ralph ellis (05:16:32) Jun 26

    “It looks to me that the contents of this censored report have all been taken from the pages of WUWT.”

    Wally (15:09:13) Jun 26

    “Reading the draft, it sounded like a summary of WUWT since I began reading it…”

  8. keith says:

    and that’s the problem, James.
    I don’t think we’ll get the clean wise governance we need in time.
    In fact, unless Obama can ratchet up the changes in his tenure, we might be out of time.

  9. hapa says:

    i’m more insulted that i made a poignant comment on WUWT (on the nonexistent right of a sloppy writer to have bad work published because he didn’t have time to improve it) — and not one person responded — the other visitors all got gold razzings. in fact i am outraged. i was hoping someone would try me.

    what’s worse is, alan carlin didn’t include a note from his mother. “the dog ate alan’s scientific validity.” it’s so sad. we could have avoided this whole situation.

  10. Yuebing says:

    Google

    Carlin epa supressed

    40,300 hits, up from 5,300 hits Friday last

  11. Yuebing says:

    Carlin epa suppressed

  12. Yuebing says:

    Googling

    Carlin EPA Censorship

    gets 443,00o hits

    man, these guys are good.

  13. Yuebing says:

    Clicking through the Google returns (as I should have done) it appears that Google is finding references to George Carlin. Some lesson here…

    Anyway, go with the first query:

    Carlin epa suppessed

    40,300 hits, up from 5,300 hits Friday last

  14. dhogaza says:

    Clicking through the Google returns (as I should have done) it appears that Google is finding references to George Carlin. Some lesson here…

    George would have something far more intelligent to say about climate science than Alan, if he were alive.

  15. Yuebing says:

    And Fox News

    Fox & Friends embraces falsehood undermining “hushed up” EPA report

    http://mediamatters.org/research/200906300040

    Lock the doors.

  16. Ben Lieberman says:

    Carlin is obviously enjoying his fifteen minutes.

    I think a more important question is what stance to take to the deniers:

    Ignore them–they do want the attention

    Counter them by rebutting their falsehoods–perhaps necessary to make clear distortions, ignorance and untruths but also gives them air

    Shift the terms of debate

    The frenzy of denier activity may be dangerous in itself but also reflects their panic that something might actually happen–they are also trying to create a false reality for politicians–even in states where the vast majority of the public accepts the reality of global warming the deniers or climate traitors want to create the illusion that the majority believes them.

  17. David B. Benson says:

    MarkB — I suppose there are clowns and then there are clowns. :|

  18. Lou Grinzo says:

    The deniers are finding themselves stranded on an ever smaller ice floe, WAY out in the middle of the (once frozen) Arctic Ocean.

    This means they will get far more desperate and ridiculous, as will those funding them. Assume the current climate bill makes it through the Senate, I will bet anything I own that if there’s so much as one case, anywhere in the country, of someone paying a substantially higher electricity bill (even if caused unnecessarily by a coal company that just wants to make trouble), then the deniers will push it relentlessly and the doofuses in the media will run with it faster than you can say “man bites dog”. Limbaugh will be screaming about “Obama’s Energy Tax” for hours every day.

    Everything we’ve seen so far was just a warm up act, people. Buckle in, adjust your crash helmet, and get ready for the Big Show.

  19. JoeB says:

    Joe, give us people to write to when these injustices happen

  20. Anna Haynes says:

    re Ben Lieberman’s “I think a more important question is what stance to take to the deniers [ignore, counter, shift]”

    IMO they still need to be countered, but someone needs to start keeping – and publicizing – the score. And, IMO, countering them in just one place would free up time for others to shift the terms of the debate.

  21. Jeff Wishart says:

    These deniers are incorrigible. I can see the future now:

    We somehow get the Senate to pass a non-watered-down version of the ACES…
    The parties in Copenhagen miraculously manage to produce a world-wide agreement that includes China and India along with the West…
    We manage to keep atmospheric concentrations below 450 ppm and avoid going over 2 degrees C…
    And the deniers come out of the woodwork and say,”See? We told you that there was nothing to worry about!”

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  23. dhogaza says:

    And the deniers come out of the woodwork and say,”See? We told you that there was nothing to worry about!”

    Well, essentially that’s what’s been said about acid rain in the NE US. And CFCs and the ozone hole.

  24. Anonymous says:

    you are a bunch of clowns Global warming is not a reality and Cap and Trade is nothing but a national energy tax and lets drill here now and pay less!

  25. John Hollenberg says:

    > you are a bunch of clowns Global warming is not a reality

    I would stay anonymous too if I spouted crap like this. Paid denier?

  26. Anna Haynes says:

    Who is paying the inactivist commenters, at this point?
    (someone must know this, it can’t be a secret…)

  27. SecularAnimist says:

    Carlin should be fired for plagiarism, period.

  28. GeneB_NoAGW says:

    John Hollenberg, there is an active scientific debate going on about Climate Change, and specifically AGW. How can you deny this?

    Why do you think that the Skeptic side (why do you continue usin the word ‘denier’?) has to be paid to support their views? I can just as easily state that the Activist side is in it only for the Government funding.

  29. dhogaza says:

    there is an active scientific debate going on about Climate Change, and specifically AGW. How can you deny this?

    People reading the scientific literature, and ignoring the press and blogosphere, would see no “debate” regarding Climate Change.

    Since the scientific literature is where results are published, hashed over, supported, or refuted, such a person would correctly realize that there’s no *scientific* debate over climate change, other than in the details (how much and how fast will it actually warm over the next N years if we continue to spew X tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, etc).

  30. Aaron says:

    Well put dhogaza,
    I still get amazed every time someone calls for a debate. This has been done over and over again for the past 20 years in the scientific literature. Yet somehow everyone with half a brain who hasn’t taken the time to actually read the literature, calls for a debate.

    The fact the there was plagiarism in Carlin’s report is very telling. No reputable scientist would even begin to consider doing this as it opens them up to so much criticism (and embarrassment) within the scientific community, that any findings they had then after would largely be dismissed. But then again, he’s not really a scientist.

  31. gtrip says:

    dhogaza: “George would have something far more intelligent to say about climate science than Alan, if he were alive.”

    George Carlin did have something to say about saving the planet.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw

  32. Aaron says:

    I liked George Carlin, but he’s got some really big misconceptions in his little bit there. For ex. the endangered species comment, “25 species go extinct each day… we should let them go gracefully.” If human beings had no hand in leading to their extinction then fine. But the vast majority of extinctions in this period of the earth’s history are directly related to our species destroying habitat, over hunting etc. In these cases we should fight to save those species, as nature isn’t the cause of their demise, we are.

  33. Chris Winter says:

    GeneB_NoAGW wrote: “…there is an active scientific debate going on about Climate Change, and specifically AGW. How can you deny this?

    Why do you think that the Skeptic side (why do you continue using the word ‘denier’?) has to be paid to support their views? I can just as easily state that the Activist side is in it only for the Government funding.”

    There is an active scientific debate about climate change, but you are not part of it. Neither am I for that matter. What we are taking part in is a political contest, and like most such — and unlike a scientific debate — it is not one in which everyone adheres to strictly factual arguments.

    I believe the facts are on my side. All you, or anyone, has to do to shut me up is to show me some facts which prove AGW is not happening. One valid argument, that’s all I ask. Whoever can show such an argument will be a hero, to both sides.

    But so far all I’ve seen is assertion and misinformation, repeated ad nauseum. That is why I call your side the Denialists, and will continue to do so.

  34. PurpleOzone says:

    Source of “Cooling Earth”?
    this is all over the blogosphere, although Carlin is the only one I’ve seen to claim back to the 50s temperature.
    Flat statements that the earth is cooling down, without attribution.
    Major talking point. Who’s pushing it? All of a sudden it appears everywhere, somebody must be.

  35. Martin says:

    Chris Winter,

    be careful with what you say. When you state that “There is an active scientific debate about climate change” it’s important to be more specific. Some might take that to mean that the scientific community isn’t sure about whether or not AGW is a successful theory. I’ve seen the delayer/denier/skeptic trolls jump on statements like that. It’s important to stress that the fundamental debate is settled. The debate is at the periphery. I like an analogy with gravity. We understand it well enough for most purposes. But the details are far from settled. Certainly doesn’t stop us from putting up buildings.

    Just a quibble.

    Cheers,

    Martin

  36. John Hollenberg says:

    > Why do you think that the Skeptic side (why do you continue using the word ‘denier’?) has to be paid to support their views?

    It is well known that the professional deniers are in fact paid to espouse their views. There is a money trail from the fossil fuel industry to various “Institutes” that then parrot the unsupported denier arguments, all of which have been debunked many times:

    http://skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Some of the deniers even worked for the tobacco industry denying that tobacco smoke causes cancer, emphysema, etc. ExxonMobil is the biggest funder of these professional deniers, although they have cut back their funding to some degree in the last few years. See exxonsecrets.org and “Smoke and Mirrors” from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/ExxonMobil-GlobalWarming-tobacco.html

  37. David says:

    Is Pielke allowed to comment on this site? I believe in open dialogue, not suffocating the debate*!

    (* does that stance make me a denier, too?)

    [JR: I was happy to learn recently (from a Pielke interview) that RealClimate bans him. Their website is run by practicing climate scientists and focuses exclusively on the science, whereas I cover the science, the politics, the economics, the solutions, and the media. The fact that Pielke is banned there tells you just how unscientific his comments are.

    I would add that there's a very good reason Pielke is banned here. Pielke is the Humpty Dumpty of climate -- see excerpt below. One doesn't engage him in "open dialogue" or "debate." You either let him spin his misinformation and disinformation to a larger audience or you don't. I don't.

    Thanks to Lewis Carroll for this description of Roger "Through the Looking Glass" Pielke, Jr.:

    ‘I don't know what you mean by “glory”,’ Alice said.

    Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. ‘Of course you don't – till I tell you. I meant “there's a nice knock-down argument for you!”’

    ‘But “glory” doesn't mean “a nice knock-down argument”,’ Alice objected.

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master – that's all.’

    I could not possibly have said it better myself.]

  38. Chris Winter says:

    Martin, you’re right; I should have qualified that statement. There is an active scientific debate about climate change — but only about the details of future climate conditions.

    As I’ve said before, the broad outlines of the picture are clear: Earth’s climate is warming, and human activities are the cause.