Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Climategate updates from both sides of the pond

In a post last week, I directed your attention to James Delingpole at the Telegraph (UK), for some of the most cogent, up-to-date coverage of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit fraud.  He's at it again today with a must read column, Climategate: it's all unravelling nowHe summarizes the latest developments in brilliant form.  I have reproduced the first two here.
So many new developments: which story do we pick? Maybe best to summarise, instead. After all, it’s not like you’re going to find much of this reported in the MSM.
1. Australia’s Senate rejects Emissions Trading Scheme for a second time. Or: so turkeys don’t vote Christmas. Expect to see a lot more of this: politicians starting to become aware their party’s position on AGW is completely out of kilter with the public mood and economic reality. Kevin Rudd’s Emissions Trading Scheme – what Andrew Bolt calls “a $114 billion green tax on everything” – would have wreaked havoc on the coal-dependent Australian economy. That’s why several opposition Liberal frontbenchers resigned rather than vote with the Government on ETS; why Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull lost his job; and why the Senate voted down the ETS.

2. Danes caught fiddling their carbon credits. (Hat tip: Philip Stott) Carbon trading is the Emperor’s New Clothes of international finance. It was invented by none other than Ken Lay, whose Enron would currently be one of the prime beneficiaries in the global alternative energy market, if it hadn’t been shown to be (nearly) as fraudulent as the current AGW scam. It is a licence to fleece, cheat and rob. Still, jolly embarrassing for the Danes to get caught red handed, what with their hosting a conference shortly in which the world’s leaders will try, straight-faced, to persuade us that carbon emissions trading is the only viable way of defeating ManBearPig.
It's an excellent article with lots of great links.  Read the whole thing.  (For those of you who don't watch South Park or have teenagers, you can catch up on ManBearPig here.)

Permit me to add a couple of developments from this side of the pond:

1.  From the Penn State Daily Collegian:
Penn State is conducting an inquiry into the controversy surrounding a Penn State professor whose illegally leaked e-mails have sparked an international debate over whether he and his colleagues distorted data on global warming.

The inquiry will determine if further investigation is warranted, a university spokeswoman said Sunday.

On Nov. 21, hundreds of e-mails sent between colleagues at England's University of East Anglia were illegally obtained from a server at the university's climate change research center and posted online. One of the researchers in-volved is Penn State meteorology professor Michael Mann.

The e-mails appeared to indicate that the director of the research unit in question -- Phil Jones -- contacted his colleagues to request they delete certain exchanges.

Skeptics of climate change are calling the ongoing investigation "Climategate" and allege the leaked e-mails suggest the researchers -- including Mann -- had fabricated or manipulated data on global warming.

Penn State said in a statement last week that it did not want to speculate as to the meaning or intent of any of the leaked e-mails in question.

The university will look into the issues at hand, spokeswoman Lisa Powers said, and determine from whatever information is uncovered if further investigation is required.

In this particular situation, a Penn State committee will review every e-mail in question -- a total of about 300 messages, Powers wrote in an e-mail.

This process could take "quite some time," Powers wrote.
2. Senator Inhofe (R-OK) requests hearings on Climategate:
Sen. James M. Inhofe ( R-Okla. ), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, sent a letter today to EPW Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer ( D-Calif. ) requesting hearings on the recent disclosure of emails between some of the world’s most preeminent climatologists—emails that reveal apparent attempts to manipulate data, vilify scientists with opposing viewpoints, and circumvent information disclosure laws.

“The emails reveal possible deceitful manipulation of important data and research used by the US Global Change Research Program and the IPCC,” Inhofe wrote. “For instance, one scientist wrote of a ‘trick’ he employed to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperature trends, as well as discussed attempts to ‘redefine what the peer-review literature is’ to prevent papers raising questions about anthropogenic global warming from appearing in IPCC reports.”

This controversy “could have far-reaching policy implications,” Inhofe continued, “affecting everything from ( to name a few ) cap-and-trade legislation, state and regional climate change programs,” and “the Environmental Protection Agency’s ‘Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202( a ) of the Clean Air Act’…” These policies “will have enormous economic impacts, not least the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding, which, when finalized, will lead to a torrent of new federal regulations that will destroy thousands of jobs and make electricity and gasoline more expensive for consumers and small businesses.”
3. MIT meteorology professor Richard S. Lindzen gives his opinion on Climategate in the Wall Street Journal piece, The Climate Science Isn't Settled, stating in part:
Claims that climate change is accelerating are bizarre. There is general support for the assertion that GATA has increased about 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the middle of the 19th century. The quality of the data is poor, though, and because the changes are small, it is easy to nudge such data a few tenths of a degree in any direction. Several of the emails from the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) that have caused such a public ruckus dealt with how to do this so as to maximize apparent changes.
4.  Two key Obama administration officials were grilled this morning at the House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming hearing:
Two key Obama Administration scientists were grilled this morning about Climategate at a hearing of the House of Representatives Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming this morning. The hearing, originally meant to be a review of climate science before Copenhagen, got personal. The hearing suggests that the release of some 1000 e-mails among scientists at the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) could have long-lasting political implications, as political foes of greenhouse gas controls are citing them as evidence that the science behind the campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is rigged.

Ranking member James Sensenbrenner (R–WI) led the assault, attacking John Holdren, the president's science adviser. Sensenbrenner, a former chair of the House Science committee, quoted an e-mail from 2003 in which Holdren called scientists Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas "amateurs" at interpreting climate data and said that their findings are "flawed."

"How can you be objective on this?" said Sensenbrenner, pointing to the exchange. Holdren said he had come to his views by careful analysis, and his only "bias" was that he had read the Soon and Baliunas paper and found its findings wanting.
I have to agree with Wall Street Journal blogger, Russell Gold,
Who stole the emails is an ongoing mystery and whether they paint a picture of scientific malfeasance or just good old-fashioned venting is a matter of heated debate. This much is known: the debate over global warming is now not a scientific disagreement or even a political debate. It’s all-out ideological warfare.

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