“I don’t believe in evolution and I’m a shill for Big Oil but you should take my views on climate change seriously.”

21 Jul 2010 11:36 pm
Posted by: Donna

This “Climategate” nonsense is a perfect illustration of committed political operatives using a loud bullhorn to convey a stream of bullcrap intended to confuse and derail the public discourse and succeeding at it. What’s really amazing to me is how right wingers with no compunction about claiming the universe is literally 6000 years old are given credibility to nitpick at scientists for perceived flaws in their research and reportage. Even if said right wingers (obviously) have no clue what they’re talking about vis a vis the science.

The impetus behind “Climategate” is a series of stolen emails that supposedly prove that climate researchers conspired to exaggerate the severity of global warming. They didn’t. At worst, as exhaustive investigations found, they failed to display all their data to critics and the public. Here’s the take of that liberal rag The Washington Times

An independent investigation into the British global warming scientists involved in the “climategate” e-mails concluded Wednesday that researchers did not intentionally skew data, though they did violate freedom of information laws and allowed the dissemination of misleading information.

The report’s authors gave a near-total exoneration of the work of scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

“We find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” according to the investigation, led by Muir Russell.

Now, if you are a right wing political operative, you seize upon the “misleading information” statement (from page 62 in a 160 page report).

37. In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the IPCC TAR), the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in two regards. It did not make clear that in one case the data post 1960 was excluded, and it was not explicit on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together. We do not find that it is misleading to curtail reconstructions at some point per se, but that the reason for doing so should have been described.

Your typical right wing denialist blogger treats this jargon-laden paragraph as a message

The great thing about scientific jargon, for right winger climate change denialists, is that the true believers fall asleep before they can be shown that the denialists are full of crap.


  1. Comment by Timmys Cat on July 22, 2010 10:29 am

    Having read the report, though not in great detail, I come away with the sense this is mostly about scientific rivalry and a need for more upper management involvement and controls with regards to information.
    These stood out for me:
    Sec. 1.3 Findings, pgs 11-12
    Sec. 1.5 Findings, pgs 91-93
    Sec. 10.6 Recommendations, pgs. 94-95
    Rather discouraging that the British take climate change seriously enough to appoint a blue ribbon panel to investigate this matter, while some of our political “leaders” continue to visit the tin foil haberdashery.
    ( link via kos)

  2. Comment by todd on July 24, 2010 8:50 am

    Donna, this needs more coverage – http://littlegreenfootballs.com/page/219952_92_Republicans_Vote_Against_Le

    Franks, Flake, and Shaddeg all voted against this.

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