Climategate Backfires on Climate Science Denial Industry by Richard Komorowski – March 1, 2012

Climategate Backfires on Climate Science Denial Industry by Richard Komorowski – March 1, 2012

CFN – Climategate is back in the news again, but not in the way the climate science denial industry would like. It appears that one of the denial industry’s main companies, the Heartland Institute, has had some embarrassing email and document leaks, and is in heavy damage control mode.

When Climategate first broke the news in November, 2009, the Toronto Sun was one of many media voices to echo the allegations of wrong-doing by genuine scientists who were engaged in climate research. Lorrie Goldstein, one of the Sun’s wannabe Ezra Levants, wrote that he’d “been poring over one of many leaked computer files from the ‘climategate’ scandal.” He then goes on, quoting isolated fragments, all designed to promote the myth that man is not causing climate change.

The main “scandal” about Climategate, however, was not the leaked documents and emails, but the hacking of a University of East Anglia server. The truth is that none of these documents were leaked, they were *stolen.* Goldstein, with his allegation that the documents were “leaked” is just adding to the Climategate lie. The documents and emails, which have been massively edited for public consumption, received massive publicity thanks to the fossil fuel industry and Libertarian “think tanks.”

Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute, an extreme-right Libertarian think tank, PR and Lobbying organisation, had this to say about the theft:

“Last week, someone (probably a whistle-blower at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, England) released e-mails and other documents written by Phil Jones, Michael Mann and other leading scientists who edit and control the content of the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“The e-mails appear to show a conspiracy to falsify data and suppress academic debate in order to exaggerate the possible threat of man-made global warming.

“The misconduct exposed by the e-mails is so apparent that one scientist, Tim Ball, said it marked ‘the death blow to climate science.’ Another, Patrick Michaels, told the New York Times: ‘This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.’”

Bast then continued with threats:
“This incident, then, won’t be forgotten. Journalists who attempt to spin it away and politicians who try to ignore it will further damage their own credibility, and perhaps see their careers shortened as a result.”

The Mushroom Cloud

One of the key fragments from the stolen documents that the global warming denial industry has been pushing is the following, from an email written by legitimate climate scientist Kevin Trenberth: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.”

Taken by itself, the way the science deniers intend it to be, it is indeed a travesty.  A single sentence from an acknowledged expert topples the whole science. The real travesty of justice, however, has been the way the denial industry has taken one sentence, isolated it, and twisted it so completely out of context that even an OJ Simpson defence lawyer would be green with envy.

The truth is that Trenberth was commenting about a recent paper he had published, in which he was trying to balance the world’s energy budget, the same way an accountant would balance a set of books. In an ideal situation, heat absorbed by the earth would equal the heat the earth radiates back into space. If this happened, there would be no long term global warming (or cooling). However, the earth reradiates less heat than it absorbs, because rising CO2 levels are acting exactly like a greenhouse, and holding some of the heat back. Trenberth is attempting to correlate a short period in which Earth’s surface temperatures have been marginally lower with the excess of heat the planet is receiving from the sun. His complaint is that we don’t have observation systems accurate enough so that we can work out where the excess heat is going. In other words, global warming is real – it can be measured and it corresponds with the increase of atmospheric CO2, but we still don’t have all the fine details. That’s the travesty.

Clearly, the “mushroom cloud” is nothing more than a puff of stage smoke.

A Terrorist Act

The hacking of the UEA server was more than simple theft. The whole point of hacking the UEA server, and releasing the edited versions of the documents, was to sabotage the Copenhagen climate change conference.

The theft of the UEA documents had nothing whatever to do with exposing “corrupt science”; the motivations were political and financial, in common with terrorist organisations such as al Qaeda. If the world’s governments took climate change seriously, and took genuine steps to try to avert a (not too distant) ecological disaster, many huge stakeholders (particularly the fossil fuel industry) would stand to lose a lot of money. In addition, the actual climate change denial industry, organisations such as the Heartland Institute, and individuals like Fred Singer, would also lose money and credibility. Singer, before becoming a professional climate science denier, worked for the tobacco industry, manufacturing junk science reports stating that cigarette smoke was harmless. Singer is paid $60,000 per year by the Heartland Institute. (Note: this is not to say that Heartland or Singer were involved in the theft in any way, although British and US police forces are ramping up their investigations).

Terrorists typically use violence, or at least the threat of violence, to achieve their aims. Many of the scientists whose emails were stolen did receive physical threats of violence to themselves or their families. Note, too, the implied threat from Heartland Institute President Joseph Bast himself (quoted above), against politicians and journalists who do not agree with his views.

The goal of 9/11 was not specifically to demolish the World Trade Center. The true goals were to terrorise Americans (and the western world in general), to destroy any sense of security, to instill fear and cause suspicion of anything and everything, and to show America and the West who in fact was boss. In short, they tried to destroy American society, and unfortunately, they seem to have succeeded rather well.

Terrorists require publicity to succeed. Climategate received exceptional publicity in both the press and on TV. Most of the coverage supported the denial industry, reporting that climate change is a fake, and in some cases a conspiracy to control the world.

Controlling the Media

Dr. Steve Easterbrook, an IT professor at the University of Toronto, has made extensive studies of the software behind the climate models. He states that the coverage of Climategate by the mass media has been its greatest failure, whereas the climate science denial industry has waged the most successful disinformation campaign ever. These people are “ideologically-driven, pathological liars, who will say almost anything in order to score political points, and will smear anyone they regard as an opponent.”

This industry lives in a world of paranoid fantasies, believing that climate science is some Communist plot to take over the world. They completely ignore the fact that every single credible scientific body in the world (e.g. the Royal Society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and many others) acknowledge that global warming is happening as predicted, and will get worse. They can’t attack the science, so they try to kill the messengers with a devastating and successful smear campaign. Then they get upset and righteous when the scientists they attack “tell them to piss off.”

Incredibly, some “journalists” (e.g. Fox News, both the North and South versions, and Lawrence Solomon of the National Post) are still trying to convince the world that global warming is a fraud. The only fraud is the climate science denial industry, who will do almost anything to discredit the truth.

Dr. Easterbrook continues: “And the result is that, faced with one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, the media got the story completely backwards. Few journalists and few scientists seem to have any conception of how this misinformation campaign works, how nasty these people are, and how dirty they play. They have completely owned the story for the last few months, [note, this was written in 2010, but is still true today], with their framing of “scientists making mistakes” and “scientists distorting their data”. They’ve successfully portrayed the scientists as being at fault, when it is the scientists who are the victims of one of the nastiest public bullying campaigns ever conducted. History will have to judge how it compares to other such episodes (McCarthyism would make a fascinating comparison). And the stakes are high: at risk is our ability to make sensible policy choices and international agreements based on good scientific evidence, to ensure that our children and grandchildren can flourish as we do.”

Dr. Phil Jones, one of the principle climate scientists targeted by the hackers, summed it up all too well in an article written at that time in the UK’s Daily Telegraph. “There were death threats. People said I should go and kill myself. They said they knew where I lived. I did think about it, yes. About suicide. I thought about it several times, but I think I’ve got past that stage now.”

A Willing Media

Research described in the Washington Post has shown that people who are bombarded by lies and misinformation tend to accept them as truth, even though they have been told the truth.

This fact is useful for people who try to mould opinions and public policy, a task the climate science denial industry and politicians understand well. An example would be the constant bombardment of Harper attack ads on Dion and Ignatieff. Although little, if anything in these ads was true, people eventually started to believe them, despite all the evidence they were lies. Unfortunately, a rebuttal of these lies usually strengthens the belief in the actual lie.

People, even when they have learned the truth, still tend to recall the lies when asked about them some days later, thinking the false information is true. These are the people that clever manipulators such as the climate science denial industry are all too ready to exploit.

Typical of the push to exploit the UEA document theft is this article, which appeared on the Canada Free Press website. The byline is Judi McLeod, a former Toronto Sun columnist, who has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com, and Glenn Beck.

The piece quotes extensively from Dr. Tim Ball, one of the Heartland Institution’s “experts.” In it, he says: “The files contain so much material that it is going to take some time to put it all in context. However, enough is already known to underscore their explosive nature.  It is already clear the entire claims and positions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are based on falsified manipulated material and is therefore completely compromised.

“The fallout will be extensive as material continues to emerge.  Reputations of the scientists involved are already destroyed, however fringe players will continue to be identified and their reputations destroyed or sullied.”

This is an interesting comment. At the time this article was published (November 24, 2009), had he actually read the documents in their entirety? Had he at least read enough of them that he could, as a self-proclaimed climate expert, come to his conclusions? If he had, in fact, read the documents (or a substantial part of them), then his own scientific credibility comes under question, given that eight different and independent enquiries have examined the whole situation, agreeing that the science and reporting were all accurate, and there was no attempt to falsify data and conclusions. On the other hand, if he hadn’t at that time read all the documents, what is he doing commenting on them? Not even the most brainless first year undergrad would think of citing a source without at least checking it first.

Ball’s own scientific credentials are, to say the least, confusing. He does indeed have a Ph.D degree, which entitles him to use the title “Doctor”, but he does not have the Doctor of Science degree he claims, otherwise he would be referred to as Dr. Timothy Ball, D.Sc. (Note: very few scientists have this D.Sc. degree, which would put them in the realms of scientific royalty). Nor is he, as he claims, the first Canadian to earn a Ph.D in climatology. His degree is actually in geography. And he has never taught at the University of Winnipeg’s Department of Climatology, as he claims, because the university has no such office.

Denialgate – Revenge of the Nerds

Unfortunately for Joseph Bast, the Heartland Institute, and the climate science denial industry in general, the real science got its own back last week, albeit through some unorthodox means. A number of sensitive Heartland documents were “leaked” to a leading climate scientist, Peter Gleick, detailing Heartland’s budget and many of its activities, including climate science denial and attempts to force K-12 science teachers to teach climate science from their perspective, and lobbying the US Government and elected US officials.

This will be next week’s article.

 

If you wish to contact or sponsor Mr. Komorowski email us at info@cornwallfreenews.com or call our hotline at 613 361 1755

KAV Productions

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26 Comments on "Climategate Backfires on Climate Science Denial Industry by Richard Komorowski – March 1, 2012"

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Tunderbar
Guest

Wow. What a huge steaming pile of disinformation. For the real story I’d suggest an unbiased person go here:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/

Dennis Raschke
Guest
I was very impressed with the clever use of “turnspeak”. But it is clear that Richard Komorowski is not a journalist, nor a scientist. Anyone with an open mind and who really takes the time to read the climategate emails, including the admission that the world has not been warming for many years and that “… this is a travesty. The truth is, we don’t know f_ckall what is really going on”, Peter Glieck is does not practice science. He is a politician… and we all know how we can tell if politicians are lying… something about lips moving. Take… Read more »
Meme Mine
Guest
The new denier is anyone who still thinks anyone will still vote yes for taxing the air to make the weather colder. Those countless thousands of consensus climate change scientists and the millions of other people involved globally in science don’t believe in climate crisis from Human CO2 themselves. If they did, THEY would be the ones marching and joining the dozens and dozens of climate change protesters in the streets we see today. Nothing could be worse than a climate crisis. It’s the ultimate emergency. Climate crisis is a painfully obvious exaggeration it explains how the world of science… Read more »
RJ
Guest

What he said was very clear – there’s been no warming for more than a decade (and this year is shaping up to follow this trend), None of the models predicted this, and they don’t know enough to explain it. Overall, they just don’t know what’s going on.

There’s some climate models predicting doom and disaster, but so far, there’s no real data to substantiate them. However, don’t let that stop the politicians using it as an excuse for more tax.

The Watcher
Member
Tunderbar (do you have a real name?), if you really expect anyone to get anything but lies and disinformation from Watt’s website, you have to be joking. I’m actually laughing at your gall, if, after reading the article (if you really did), you then suggest that the truth could be found on “wattsupwiththat”,one of the major disinformation sites, basically run by Heartland… What planet are you living on? RJ (whoever you really are), did you read the paper that the “travesty” quote was about? Here’s a quote from Trenberth himself, with a link to his full statement and to the… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Richard, You can juggle around the quote from Trenberth all you like, but the fact remains that Hadcrut, RSS and UAH data all show no warming for well over a decade. It’s no use denying this, because attempts are being made to try to explain it, thereby acknowledging its truth.

Few deny that doubling of CO2 could theoretically result in up to a 1.2 degC temperature increase. However, the hypothesis of positive feedback (eg increased water vapour) dominating negative feedback (eg cloud density and location) is not supported by any real data or research.

hailey Brown
Member
Interesting article as well as some great posts!! Sorry butt his post may be a bit long, I hope it’s not a problem. I see Mr Mann is mentioned in this article, Mr Komorowski are you familiar with Mr Manns/IPCC Hockey Stick Temperature Graph on climate change? It makes for some interesting reading. In 2001 a report containing a graph defining the temperatures for the past thousand years was presented by the IPCC. This graph was the basis for the IPCC claiming the planet now is the warmest it has been in the past 1000 years. The graph is relatively… Read more »
RJ
Guest

Hailey – good summary, and there’s much more to it. A very detailed analysis is given in the book “The Hockey Stick Illusion” by Montford. Besides the stats, it also covers the correspondence with Mann to try to get the information. The frightening thing is that the IPCC published this as peer reviewed information, when anyone with any knowledge of climate history could see the absence of the Medieval warm period and Little Ice Age. Note that the graph was discretely dropped from the 2007 report.

The Watcher
Member
@ Meme Mine Did you see this comment in the Washington Post? paulmerrifield wrote 2/16/2012 6:14 PM EST If CO2 crisis were real & not exaggerated, the thousands of scientists would march with the dozens of climate change protesters. Seems like you (whoever you really are) and Paul Merrifield are copying and pasting from the same denial industry talking point. Where did it come from? Heartland or someone else? Because I really don’t think it’s yours, especially as Merrifield’s comment came first. At least Merrifield had the decency to keep his comment short. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/leaked-docs-provide-insight-into-how-climate-skeptic-groups-operate/2012/02/16/gIQAn8BKIR_blog.html?tid=pm_business_pop It just goes to prove that… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member
I do give credit to the people pushing for us to implement better business and industrial practices. The earth can adapt but we should not leave it to her to clean it up. Like so many business practices in the past, climatologists are using human weakness to implement their agenda. A person by the name Phil Jones, head of the CRU, Climatic Research Unit (who resigned after this scandal) was quoted as saying “the science community would come down me with no uncertain terms if I said that the world has actually cooled since1998.” Even Briffa tailored his Yamal 12… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member

Rick
Why the insults, I could ask how can you justify your posts as anything more then anti petrochemical fodder.

I was merely presenting a potential side of the story and see no need for your poor rebuttal. Do you not criticize the media for what they promote?

I believe you called it “A Willing Media” Now you praise them for selling your ideals?. I suggest you use the media as entertainment and not a reliable source of information.

hailey Brown
Member

Shoot hit the wrong button sorry bout that,
Rick
I read the article on the Post, it is in print two years after this came to light in the book I have read. I noticed the name on the page and must admit to laughing a bit at the name,WONLBLOG. It would appear the person here using blogs is you.

The Watcher
Member

Hi Hailey,

To answer one of your questions: yes, I am familiar with Mann’s hockey stick graph. However, I must confess your final two posts: “Why the insults…,” and “Shoot hit the wrong button…” have left me somewhat confused.

If you’d like to clarify, I’ll be happy to respond.

hailey Brown
Member
Sorry Rick,” Hit the wrong button” meant I hit submit causing the two posts rather then one, You called the information I put forth Blog Fodder. I see no reason to call what I read any less accurate than your claims of Global Warming. You sound exactly as the climatologists do when you call others misinformed when they do not agree with you. I can assure you my information does not come from blogs, I also have no clue who Levant is, that is until I read the blog on the post. It is apparent you have little respect for… Read more »
The Watcher
Member
@ Hailey I’ll answer a few of your questions right now, but if I were to cover everything, then this comment would end up being at least as long as the original article. Ezra Levant: I’m assuming you are American, however, if not, please forgive me. Ezra Levant is Canada’s equivalent of Rush Limbaugh. The main difference between the two is that Rush is merely a fool with a very loud mouth and not too much between the ears, whereas Levant is highly intelligent and motivated. True, I do not like him, however I do have a grudging respect for… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Richard, just because you “know how to get the information and put it together in an accurate and easily understandable MANNER” does not make the information itself accurate. The “hockey stick” manner proved to be false.

The Watcher
Member

@Tom

So why do you believe people like Tim Ball, who allows people to actually LIE about his qualifications? And if you’re not sure who to believe (which is understandable given the climate science denial industry’s control of much of the media), follow the money. Who has the most to lose when the real science is finally accepted? A few hundred genuine climate scientists, like Mann et al., or big companies like Exxon/Mobile, who currently make about $40 billion in annual profits.

Pete Dick
Member

Richard, it looks like robo-cons (com-bots) are honing in.
It’s like arguing with a tape recorder.

Tom
Guest

OK, Richard, let’s folllow the money. Who are those companies that pay you to “get their point across”? You seem like a jack of all trades…lol. Are not your masters embarrassed of your comical drivel that only free community newspapers would publish?

The Watcher
Member
I’d be careful about what you say about community newspapers, Tom (I don’t have the guts to give my real name). After all, you’re getting published, and not only in this thread. Who’s paying you to write all the drivel that you’re posting? I must be really making a point and hitting the professional denialists where it hurts for them to give me this much attention. I guess I’ll just have to kick you bullies in the balls (literally, not physically) and keep posting the truth. I figure if I keep going, the people who make the real money denying… Read more »
Shirley Barr
Guest
Perhaps one of the most important contribution to the subject of climate change is the opportunity it offers to have the conversation about how the planet is being impacted by our activity and how it affects us as a human race and how it affects all the species involved. It’s not only a question of science and the facts that are involved such as the effect on the different areas of the world which are the most seriously impacted through flooding and drought and storms. It’s also the moral and ethical dimensions. We need to distinguish between truth and denial.… Read more »
Tom
Guest

Richard, you are too comical to take you seriously.

Shirley Barr, global warming did not work, so it’s climate change now? Guess what? The mother Nature will change you faster than you can change her.

Desertphile (David Rice)
Guest
The cultist “tunderbar” wrote “For the real story I’d suggest an unbiased person go here” and then he gave a link to the most biased anti-science neo-Luddite propaganda site on the internet. That’s hilarious! It is like telling someone to check out the Ku Klux Klan’s web site for unbiased opinions regarding black people. Cultist “tunderbar” in Usenet has stated over 100 times in the past five months that humans have added only 14 ppm CO2 into Earth’s atmosphere, and he refused more than 100 times to look at the evidence showing it’s closer to 111 ppm. And then we… Read more »
Bruce Richmond
Guest
Climategate wasn’t about showing that climate change doesn’t exist but about showing the tactics of some of the main players. Why should I share data with you? Don’t leave data laying around where others might find it. Please destroy all e-mails about …. It showed how some used and abused their positions. It certainly raised the question, “Could they be making things look worse than they are?” Now Peter Gleick has revealed some info about the Heartland Institute. While some like to think of this as turnabout is fair play many see it quite differently. The Heartland Institute already had… Read more »
RJ
Guest
David Rice – what a lot of nonsense you write. Have a glance at the hockey stick and you tell us where the medieval warm period, and Little Ice Age are shown. As for global temperatures, here’s Hadcrut : 1997 0.349 1998 0.529 1999 0.304 2000 0.278 2001 0.407 2002 0.455 2003 0.467 2004 0.444 2005 0.474 2006 0.425 2007 0.397 2008 0.330 2009 0.437 2010 0.468 2011 0.340 2012 0.232 (January only) I’m interested how you can get an accelerated warming trend – “fastest rate in recorded history”out of this data. I look forward to your analysis. I agree… Read more »
hailey Brown
Member
Rick I am not sure why you call people not supporting your beliefs in denial. Many people here have shared evidence that the fad or alarmists could be in err and nothing more than that. Your claiming they are in denial sounds like you have something to hide, can you prove they are in denial? I have provided you other possible scenarios for global warming, have you asked your “two highly qualified scientists” if what I proposed is inaccurate and provide data as proof. You are an ecologist, then being a person of science as well, I am in engineering,… Read more »
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