Feed on
Posts
Comments

“At least the number of holocaust deniers only grew by a third.”

The Onion.

FOI requests have been sent to every university in Britain asking for details about animal experiments. The requests were sent by a convicted animal rights activist.

His motivation:

"We’re putting the FOIs in just to find out what is happening with vivisection at the universities. If they’ve got nothing to hide, then it’s not a problem for them to put the information out there."

The researchers are nevertheless concerned. 

"The way these questions are phrased, I don’t think this is an exercise in openness," said Syed Khawar Abbas, veterinary officer at the University of Leeds. "This information can be used for intimidation. In the wrong hands, this information can cause problems for our scientists."

An information officer at a different university, who did not want to be identified, said: "This has caused a great deal of concern among our staff who are worried about receiving threats or worse. Most scientists faced with FOI requests are happy to put stuff into the open and welcome the scrutiny, but in this case they are having to second guess the motives of people who might use this information."

Oh yes, and this sounded familiar:

One university scientist said: "The most likely motivation here is that they want to catch somebody out. If they can find some bad wording in minutes from a meeting, then they can use that to claim we are up to no good."

I think we can go ahead now and add ‘harassment by FOI’ to the activist handbook.

2663431

Winter 2009/2010:

  • 4.0°C above normal
  • Warmest winter since records began in 1948
  • Driest out of the past 63 years, 22% below normal
  • Ontario, Alberta and Saskatchewan had 60% less precipitation than normal

It really has been extraordinary. Says David Phillips, a senior climatologist with Environment Canada:

"I think it’s a combination of a strong El Nino and the shrinking and disappearance of the ice at the top of the world," says Phillips, adding that changing "pressure spots" in the Arctic and Atlantic also played a role. "They’ve all been working in cahoots to create this unbelievable winter."

Oh yes, and it looks like the tulips are coming up already. That could mean poor timing for the Tulip Festival here in Ottawa, May 7th to the 24th. We usually have snow coverage on the ground until early April, which would delay growth, but not this year. As far as the tulips are concerned, it feels like spring.

IMG_1323

(Thanks to Lou for the tip and the headline)

From the Republicans for Environmental Protection website:

‘A Climate for Change:’ A Presentation by Katharine Hayhoe

Katharine Hayhoe, a research associate professor at Texas Tech University and expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, gave a presentation on climate science to REP members via conference call on March 9, 2010. REP members from across the U.S. participated in this call.

This is one of the best presentations I have seen on climate change. Do check out the pdf [link], even if you don’t have time to listen to the audio [link], for an excellent example of science communication. This really is good.

Science in Budget 2010

What does science get from the 2010 budget, after funding cuts of $147 million in 2009?

First, a promise about creating The Economy of Tomorrow [p.55]:

In designing Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Government incorporated measures to help create the economy of tomorrow. In 2010–11, the Action Plan will invest almost $1.9 billion in post-secondary education, infrastructure, research, technology innovation, and environmental protection. This builds on 2009–10 investments of over $2.1 billion to support these strategic investments.
In 2010–11, the Government will provide $1 billion to support deferred maintenance, repair and construction at Canada’s colleges and universities. This investment will help keep Canadian research and educational facilities at the forefront of scientific advancement and will help to ensure that high-paid jobs are maintained and created in Canada.

New shiny labs, jolly good. Operational funding would be even better.

Funding to create the economy of tomorrow will also extend access to broadband Internet in remote communities, develop carbon capture  and storage technology, and fund other strategic investments in science, technology and research.

That’s a bit vague. CCS gets a mention: a technology investment that promises to mitigate the tar sands. Never mind if it doesn’t work.

The Canadian High Arctic Research Station gets a push:

Canada’s Economic Action Plan laid the groundwork for delivering on the Government’s commitment to build a world-class Canadian High Arctic Research Station by providing $2 million over two years for a feasibility study for the proposed facility. Budget 2010 is taking a further step by providing $18 million over five years to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada to commence the pre-construction design phase for the station.

So that’s still more infrastructure funding, and it is still some time away from even being constructed.

“Arctic research infrastructure” overall has $35 million committed under the 2009-2010 economic action plan, and $52 million committed for 2010-2011 [p.247].

There’s “$126 million over five years to strengthen the world-leading research” at TRIUMF, which is something for the operational funding side. And for more like that: the research councils NSERC, CIHR and SSHRC get an additional $32 million per year [p.79]. It breaks down as follows:

  • $16 million per year to the CIHR to support outstanding health related research and development.
  • $13 million per year to NSERC, including $8 million per year to strengthen its support for advanced research, and $5 million per year to foster closer research collaborations between academic institutions and the private sector through NSERC’s Strategy for Partnerships and Innovation.
  • $3 million per year to SSHRC to support world-leading research in the social sciences and humanities.
  • $8 million per year to the Indirect Cost of Research Program. This enhanced funding will help institutions support the additional research activities enabled by the new resources provided to the federal granting councils through Budget 2010.

Small dollar amounts compared to what is going in to infrastructure, and this after last year’s budget cuts.

Genome Canada gets a mention, after being omitted from the previous budget; they get an additional $75 million in 2009-2010 “to launch a new targeted research competition focused on forestry and the environment and sustain funding for the regional genomics innovation centres.”

The Economic Action Plan directed funds toward “Clean Energy and the Environment” [p.245]. And by funds, I mean a staggering $1 billion for the Clean Energy Fund, which includes “$150 million for clean energy research and $850 million for clean energy demonstration projects.” These include the following:

  • $120 million for a Shell Quest CCS demonstration project
  • $315.8 million for the TransAlta Keephills Project to attach CCS to a coal-fired power plant near Edmonton
  • $30 million for the Alberta Carbon Trunk Line project.

I remain to be persuaded that these are good investments. A better investment was made through the ecoENERGY Retrofit-Homes program, which disbursed $205 million under the Clean Energy Fund to finance 120,000 retrofits for Canadian homeowners.

Notable omission from the budget: The Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences (CFCAS). Their funding ends in 2011 and research projects are already being dismantled.

There’s a good argument to be made that with this budget, the government is trying to pick winners, rather than the hands off approach of letting the research councils direct funds. The emphasis on funding practical research with profit potential rings alarm bells; the UK is heading down a similar path, and the scientific community rightly has concerns.

A snapshot of leading Canadian anti-science newspaper rhetoric, February 21st, 2010. 

Lorrie Goldstein in The Sun:

Ten uses of the label “warmists”, including three “global warmists” and one “Canada’s warmist media”.

More verbose:

  • “…intellectual heirs of Chicken Little”.

 

Lorne Gunter in The Edmonton Journal:

Six uses of “alarmists”, including one “climate alarmists” and one “IPCCs alarmists”.

One use of “True Believers”.

Accusatory:

  • “…key climate scientists and the United Nations IPCC have corrupted the scientific process”.
  • “NASA’s climate scientists have hardly more credibility than the CRUs or IPCCs alarmists”.

 

Rex Murphy in the National Post:

Garrulous:

  • “…the Al Gore contingent of The Science is Settled and The Himalayan Glaciers are Toast Church of Global Warming (pre-Climategate Division)”
  • “…post-Climategate-desperate campaigners of the tattered global warming crusade”
  • “…preening carbon-footprint eco-priests”
  • “…carbon footprint heresiarchs”
  • “The IPCC has less prestige now than the Golden Globes”
  • “The IPCC chairman is a rude, busy man who writes erotic novels”.

 

This is the quality of our public discourse on climate change: name calling and flinging accusations and insults, by commenters with a wicked anti-science streak. Edifying and enlightening, it is not.

And how ridiculous that Goldstein would call the Canadian media ‘warmist’, when it prints articles like these almost every single day, in newspapers all across the country. ‘Warmist’? Not from where I’m sitting.

“We’re drowning in climate stupidity”, says Lorrie Goldstein, before going on to unleash a torrent of climate related stupid himself.

Here’s a question Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, who could become our next PM, should ask the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

To wit: How could it possibly get the amount of land in the Netherlands that’s below sea level wrong by a factor of more than 100%?

Goldstein could ask the IPCC directly. Journalists are allowed, you know. But maybe he imagines its a privileged access thing and only Harper and Ignatieff can do it, say when they next meet with the IPCC at Bohemian Grove.

Regardless, Goldstein already knows the answer:

(The inaccurate sea level data originally came from the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, meaning, apparently, nobody checks this stuff.)

Which just doesn’t strike me as being a big deal. Small error, doesn’t change the science, the Dutch provided the erroneous statement in the first place, and nobody in the Netherlands has put their home on stilts because they learned from an IPCC report that they were in fact living underwater. And besides, surely this isn’t even relevant to me, here, in Canada.

The relevance for Canadians is that this is such a basic, stupid, mistake, it raises concerns about what else the IPCC has wrong.

Oh.

Go on…

Pointing out the growing list of IPCC blunders isn’t some climatic version of Trivial Pursuit, as warmists claim.

The IPCC has enormous influence on politicians poised to spend billions of our dollars, allegedly attempting to “fix” man-made global warming.

IPCC reports on climate change are a major reason Canada and the U.S. plan to set up a cap-and-trade market in carbon dioxide emissions, despite the fact it’s been a disaster in Europe that has (a) raised the cost of living for ordinary people (b) funnelled undeserved profits into giant energy corporations and hedge funds (c) incubated massive frauds and (d) done nothing to help the environment.

One IPCC ‘error’ on the geography of the Netherlands, and Goldstein starts ranting about economic apocalypse?

The IPCC, assuming it ever was a scientific body, has now become a lobby group whose “science” advocates central planning run amok and massive wealth redistribution from the developed world (us) to the developing one, using schemes, like cap-and-trade, we already know don’t work.

Now that is just incoherent. The IPCC has a handful of paid, full time employees, and most of its labour is done, for free, by scientists. Who there even has time to lobby? Further, the work that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change undertakes is decided with the world’s governments, with which it is in partnership. The goal of the IPCC “is to provide policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive information on key aspects of climate change”, which is what the governments involved want; if the direction of the IPCC had been changed to lobbying, it would have to have been decided in plenary by the governments involved. It wasn’t.

But never mind all that. There’s a bigger problem here, one for which The Times of London has invented all the evidence Goldstein needs to believe:

The IPCC responded to this latest blunder, as it has all of them, by arguing: Hey, stuff happens, but the science remains “robust,” so no biggie.

Except former IPCC chairman, Robert Watson (1997-2002) says the growing list of IPCC errors is worrisome, suggesting an inherent bias.

The problem, he told the U.K. Times, is that all the errors uncovered to date exaggerate the problems of man-made climate change. If they were all innocent mistakes (as claimed by IPCC apologists), some would likely understate the problem.

“The mistakes all appear to have gone in the direction of making it seem like climate change is more serious by overstating the impact,” noted Watson, now chief scientific adviser to the U.K.’s environment department.

“That is worrying. The IPCC needs to look at this trend in the errors and ask why it happened.”

He said the IPCC should adopt a more open position towards climate skeptics in future reports, and verify its source material.

Except Watson didn’t say that. When asked if The Times had accurately reported his views, he replied:

The article distorted my statements – I was interviewed for an hour and it was obvious that the reporter wanted me to say that the authors were biased – I said I did not believe that.

If an error on Dutch geography and a fabricated quote in The Times is all it takes for Goldstein to fear ‘drowning in climate stupidity’, then I sincerely hope this guy always wears a lifevest when he goes outdoors in the rain.

Parliament may be prorogued, but the opposition parties are keeping busy. I was up on Parliament Hill last week for the Round Table on ‘Improving the Lives of Northerners’. Lots of interesting Arctic policy titbits.

Michael Ignatieff comments:

“An Arctic strategy can’t be only a military strategy.” Spot on. A couple of new icebreakers to keep the rowdy Danes in check would be nice and all, but there’s a lot more to the Arctic than sovereignty issues. As for that: “We have to directly involve Arctic people… we have to reactivate Arctic diplomacy.” The circumpolar region is a culture unto itself and with the ice melting, there’s going to be a lot more marine communication. Let’s keep it friendly.

“We are stewards of the global refrigeration system.” A fascinating line to use, and not all that outrageous, although I had to stop and think about it for a bit. The phrase ‘Global refrigeration system’ appears in An Introduction to Geographical Hydrology, ed. Richard J. Chorley, 1969, so it’s been around a while. Ignatieff first used it in speeches back in 2006. For example:

“The Canadian Arctic is a crucial piece of the global refrigeration system. This system is breaking down. The science is clear. Global warming is happening. Working with other nations in the Arctic Council, we must take leadership in stabilizing the global climate system.

In understanding Canada’s place in the world, we need to think of ourselves not just as defenders of our own sovereignty, but as stewards of the global commons.”

Back to the present: it was gratifying to hear a politician connect the dots on the Arctic. Ignatieff also said: “the Arctic is globally significant. We need to stop going to international conventions on climate change and having nothing to say. We are the stewards of the global refrigeration system. We need to have something to say!” Agreed. At the very least, I would like us to be informed on climate change related perturbations in the Arctic and be in a position to report on them. Permafrost melt, carbon and methane release from land and ocean, changes in boreal forest, tundra, etc. etc.

Also mentioned during discussions:

The Arctic, and Canada, need policies for climate change adaptation. All well and good to offer money for developing countries for adaptation, but the Arctic is already experiencing the effects of climate change. In 2008, a flash flood split the town of Pangnirtung on Baffin Island in two, separating residents from essential services that took days to restore. Tuktoyaktuk is experiencing the fastest rate of coastal erosion in Canada, losing 2m of shoreline every year. The effects of climate change have begun to be felt, and it is the height of irresponsible governance to ignore it right here in our own country.

CFCAS on research in the North:

It is cheaper to get to New Zealand than to Resolute. That poses some logistical problems…

Climate change is significantly affecting the Mackenzie Delta, where there is a lot of infrastructure. We need more knowledge to be able to plan for further changes.

Killer whales will be able to enter the Arctic once the ice barrier is gone. That should make life interesting.

All of CFCAS research ends in 2011, and there’s no more funding in the pipeline.

Food prices:

Food costs a lot more in the North. $10 for a bag of flour, for example. Average price of a basket of food: 44% higher than in Ottawa. Country food remains important in the North, but I think we can count on climate change to bugger up that food supply.

Ghost stations:

As someone mentioned afterwards, lots of infrastructure funding available for building shiny new Arctic research stations, but not a lot of money available for researchers to actually go there and research. Oh well. The ghost stations could be used instead for annual remakes of The Thing.

John England of the University of Alberta had a piece in Nature on Arctic research: we need an overarching research policy, like the States have, and better integration between NSERC and PCSP. Researchers who do get funding to work in the North run into serious logistical problems when it comes to actually conducting their research. Worth a read.

Phil Jones, the climate scientist at CRU whose emails were stolen last November, answered a series of questions for a BBC interview. One of these was a real ‘gotcha’ question:

B – Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12°C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

The questioner already knows the answer. The warming from 1995 to the present has not been statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. It’s close to it, but not at 95%. But does that mean that there has been no warming at all? No. As Jones points out, the trend was positive over that time period (0.12°C). A positive trend is quite different to, say, a negative trend, and quite inconsistent with any statement along the lines of “global warming has stopped!” And clearly it is diametrically opposed to any notion that we are in a period of global cooling.

The last ten years have in fact been the warmest on record. Given a longer period of time, as climatologists prefer to use, rather than starting with a cherry picked interval beginning in 1995 (a start point for which no reason was given by the interviewer), the temperature trend does achieve statistical significance at the 95% level.

Damn the details. Fully qualified pontificator Lorne Gunter at the National Post took the opportunity to fling some poo around.

Consider the remarks Phil Jones, the former head of CRU, made last week to the BBC. Prof. Jones, who has stepped down from his directorship of the CRU pending official investigations into the leaks, told the Beeb there has been no “statistically significant” global warming since 1995 — that’s the past 15 years!

Well, there’s a revelation. Climate scientist Phil Jones honestly represents the statistical significance of his data over a cherry picked time interval.

It’s true, as some climate alarmist sites have pointed out, that what Prof. Jones said in full was that the warming since 1995 is almost significant, but not quite. The “trend (+0.12 C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.”

Gunter manages to choke out at least an acknowledgement that Jones said the trend was positive. What these “climate alarmist sites” may be isn’t explained, but at a guess it would be any site that for reasons truly incomprehensible to Gunter did not choose to misrepresent Phil Jones. For poor, fragile Gunter, that would be alarming.

Admittedly, that is not the same as a complete about-face by Prof. Jones, but neither is it meaningless. When was the last time you recall an alarmist such as Phil Jones admitting there was any doubt at all about warming in the last decade and a half?

Phil Jones = alarmist? Fascinating. I’d have gone with ‘scientist’, but then, I’m not as alarmed by scientists as poor, fragile Gunter here.

Haven’t we had it drummed into us ceaselessly that the past decade has been the warmest ever recorded? Prof. Jones’s admission to the BBC then is very significant.

Do you see what Gunter just did? Let me explain.

The past decade has been the warmest on record because the average global temperature for the year 2005 was the highest recorded and the years 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007 and 2009 are all “in a virtual tie” for the second warmest on record.

It is possible for the past decade to be the warmest on record and for the temperatures from 1995 to the present day to be increasing by 0.12°C per decade, and for the trend not to be statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. If the trend was being calculated over a longer time period, as climatologists do, it would be significant. If there hadn’t been a La Nina in 2008, which resulted in cooler temperatures that year, the trend could have reached 95% significance.

In fact, the past decade has been the warmest ever recorded, and poor, fragile Gunter is the last person to be talking about significance.

Gunter goes on to say:

That’s one of the ways in which Climategate matters: It has made the alarmists far more willing to admit the science isn’t settled.

Yet the only person on record as saying that “the science is settled” is climate science denier S. Fred Singer. Scientists like Phil Jones know the science isn’t settled. If it were, they would stop.

Margaret Wente, fully qualified English graduate and columnist for The Globe and Mail, manages to do worse than poor, fragile Gunter:

Unfortunately for public understanding, the climate debate is usually portrayed as a fight between two extremes – between people who think it’s all a hoax, and people who think catastrophe is imminent if we do nothing.

(Usually portrayed by whom, Margaret? Oh right, that would be by you and your friends in the press. By all means, please do something about that.)

But there’s a third position. Although it’s been largely absent from the climate debate, it’s shared by a surprising number of experts. They endorse the underlying science, which says that climate change is happening and human activity is a factor. But they also say that threats of imminent catastrophe have been wildly exaggerated. In fact, we don’t know much about what might happen in the future, especially when it comes to specifics such as rising sea levels or regional droughts.

Even Phil Jones, the man at the centre of Climategate, seems to take the third position. Several thousand e-mails hacked from his climatic research unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia revealed, among other things, strenuous efforts to withhold data and censor people with opposing views. Many people say that Climategate was much ado about nothing, and that Prof. Jones was the innocent victim of vicious attacks by people who want to discredit global warming. But in a weekend BBC interview, he dropped a bombshell. He acknowledged there’s been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

Phil Jones takes the third way. The way of all right thinking people, the way of the moderates, the way of reasonable, concerned individuals, like dear old Margaret here. And he does it by… acknowledging there has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.

Hello? When other people say that, they’re called deniers.

And rightly so. When other people say that, they could also be called, ignorant, uninformed, or useful idiots. Phil Jones was answering a gotcha question honestly. If you read on you would have seen him say this: “The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.”

He also said (contrary to everything we’ve been told) that the debate is not over. “I don’t believe the vast majority of climate scientists think this. This is not my view. There is still much that needs to be undertaken to reduce uncertainties, not just for the future, but for the [distant] past as well.”

So much for the science being settled. Now what?

Now what? I don’t know. Tell Gunter that contrary to what he, in his fevered imagination, thinks scientists think, just isn’t so. Oh, and tell S. Fred Singer as well.

Next up, how about a little Twainian reportage?

The global warming movement is already reeling from a series of damaging revelations. The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – which set itself up as the final authority – has been caught in several embarrassing mistakes, such as the claim that the Himalayan glaciers would melt by 2035. (One man who approved this claim admitted he did it to sex up the dossier.)

Trollumnists don’t need to check the facts. Meet the lie that travelled halfway around the world before the truth got its shoes on: David Rose, the Daily Mail journalist with a penchant for misrepresenting scientists and making stuff up, claimed Dr. Murari Lal said he left the glaciers error in place to “impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action”. Lal denies having said any such thing. Given Rose’s previous form, I wouldn’t want to repeat anything that Rose says as fact.

Go on then, Margaret. Take it home:

These days, there are two kinds of deniers – people such as Republicans, who believe it’s all a fraud, and true believers, who are in denial that they are witnessing an epic scientific and political train wreck. The good news is that, once we clear the track, perhaps we can admit Phil Jones is right. There’s a whole lot we just don’t know.

Two kinds of deniers: the kind we know so well, represented by U.S. Republicans, and true believers, no names mentioned, in denial that they are “witnessing an epic scientific and political train wreck”. Would the world were that simple, Margaret. Nonetheless I agree that we are witnessing a train wreck. Scientists are ill prepared and on the whole entirely unwilling to engage in no holds barred PR battles with people that will lie about their work, steal their emails and misrepresent their contents, hype up a few minor errors in the massive IPCC reports, and, as dear old Margaret does here, perpetuate incorrect quotes made by reporters that would prefer to make the news than report on it.

Yes, it’s a train wreck. But when the tracks are cleared, the science will still all be there, just as it was before, and perhaps then we can all admit that Phil Jones is right: there’s a whole lot we don’t know, but there’s also a whole lot that we do.

Doppelgangers

For your enjoyment, three global warming-related peoples and their celebrity doppelgangers.

1. Fred Seitz

Frederick Seitz had a stellar career as a scientist, working in solid state physics and becoming president of the United States National Academy of Sciences from 1962-1969, and the president of Rockefeller University from 1968 to 1978.

In 1979, Seitz went to work for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company as a paid permanent consultant. In the 1970’s and 80’s, Seitz helped the company disburse 45 million dollars to fund medical research, carefully avoiding spending any of it on research on the actual health effects of cigarette smoking.  R.J Reynolds frequently ran ads touting their research investments as part of their commitment to science.

Later, Seitz went on to vocally dispute the science of global warming, and in 1998, began gathering signatures for a petition opposing the Kyoto Protocol. Most egregiously, ‘In addition to the petition, the mailing included what appeared to be a reprint of a scientific paper from Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), and a letter from Seitz identifying himself as past president of the National Academy of Sciences.’

Now, if Seitz wasn’t the inspiration for Erhardt Von Grupten Mundt in the movie Thank You For Smoking, then I don’t know who was.

Meet ‘the man they rely on’:

 

2. Richard Lindzen, or Senator Inhofe, or…

…anyone else that says there is “no consensus” on global warming. Hint: there can still be a consensus, even if you, personally, disagree with it.

This is what consensus looks like:

The Science of Climate Change
A joint statement issued by the Australian Academy of Sciences, Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Canada, Caribbean Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, French Academy of Sciences, German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina, Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Royal Irish Academy, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (Italy), Academy of Sciences Malaysia, Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Turkish Academy of Sciences, and Royal Society (UK).

The work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) represents the consensus of the international scientific community on climate change science. We recognize the IPCC as the world’s most reliable source of information on climate change and its causes, and we endorse its method of achieving this consensus.

Given that ringing endorsement, does it really make much sense to give equal weight to viewpoints that dissent from mainstream scientific consensus?

Captain Rum would say yes. Here he is schooling Edmund Blackadder on the equal validity of all opinions:

 

3. Climate Audit’s climate ‘auditors’

One aspect of the CRU email thefts has been the insight into how climate scientists have had to deal with a barrage of Freedom of Information requests. What to make of them: were they an earnest request for information, or just plain vexatious behaviour?

When the requests look like the following, I’d go with the latter option:

FOI_09-97
I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested1]
1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;
2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;
3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that "prevents further transmission to non-academics".
4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,

This pointlessly trolling climate scientists for data and information and doing sod all useful with it when they get it, and the constant, constant, whining for attention, totally reminds me of Stewie Griffin.

So take it away, Stewie.

 

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »