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Global Warmists Dig in Their Heels over Climategate — Kind of

Out of context private communications, prosecute the hacker! Look at this winsome polar bear! GlobalizationHalliburtonFreeMumia! (Updated continuously)

by
David Steinberg

Bio

November 24, 2009 - 10:53 am

Coby Beck, author of How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic (PJM’s fisking of his work here):

I hear the conspiritorial cat is well out of CRU’s bag and the jig is up on the Global Warming hoax. I guess the Greenland ice sheet will be well refrozen by now, and the sea levels have stopped rising. Oh well, it was fun scaring you all while it lasted!

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Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science. (Yes, really.):

Why “ClimateGate” Ain’t Nothing

Global warming deniers are having a field day, because in some of the emails, the scientists are acting like, you know, people. They are also acting like scientists under fire, which is what they were and are. The Climate Research Unit is headed by Phil Jones, who has been involved in the highly public and seemingly unending “hockey stick” battle — and so peering into the emails lets the skeptics and deniers once again claim there was some kind of bad science involved in this one particular study, a claim they’ve been making for almost a decade now. Of course, none of this is at all relevant to the climate issue today. It’s a nasty, ugly sideshow. The science of climate change doesn’t stand or fall based upon what a few scientists said in emails they always thought would remain private. …

The fact is that no matter what a few scientists may have said in emails, we have to go to Copenhagen and deal with our warming, melting planet. That’s what matters. The rest of this is hot air, and — unless it can somehow be channeled to power a few wind turbines — it doesn’t do us or the planet any good.

How are these hacked emails helping my children?

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Atmoz.org:

First: Watergate was named “gate” for a reason. Every other “gate” is just a silly name.

Second: The only emails I’ve read, I’ve read involuntarily as they’ve been posted to Wikipedia. I don’t think it’s right reading the email of others.

Third: I assume the “worst” emails are the ones they’re trying to push.

Fourth: From what I’ve read, this seems much ado about nothing.

I haven’t kept up with the climate blogs/news recently, so maybe my assessment is wrong. But it seems like the email conversations you’d expect scientists to have.

My two cents.

“Delete the emails!” is not the email conversation I would expect scientists to have. Scientologists, maybe. Or James Carville.

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Climatedenial.org (“This blog explores the topic of the psychology of climate change denial … “):

SWIFTBOATING THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS
The theft of 1,000 private e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows that deniers have learned lessons from dirty politics and are running a new campaign to undermine public trust in climate scientists. …

The denial industry (and hordes of climate nerds) has trawled through these e-mails and found sentences which, when removed from context, support their storyline that climate science is being deliberately distorted and exaggerated for a mixed bag of self interested and politicized ends.

Even better for them, some of these quotations come from Michael Mann.

But you could find anything in here. I looked and found lots of references to lunch and fun, 94 to hate, 31 to love.

You may deny our science, but you cannot deny our references to love.

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Climateprogress.org:

Rename Climategate after the crime, not the victim

… we don’t name these things after the victim of these illegal hacks — a livable climate. We name them after the crime or its location a la Watergate. Certainly in this modern version of The Purlioned Letter, a better name would be Hackergate, if only because Nothing-gate isn’t catchy enough to catch on.  But I welcome your suggestions.  The winner of this contest gets … absolute nothing.

Note that Climateprogress.org is “the Web’s most influential climate-change blogger” according to Time. Eh?

Ah, of course: “Climateprogress.org: A Project of Center For American Progress Action Fund.”

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Deltoid:

“Even the tobacco companies never tried to slander legitimate cancer researchers”

Reprinting authentic documents in their entirety? Slandery! Tobacco lawyers Halliburton! Free Mumia!

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DeSmogBlog.com:

Climategate in Perspective, Featuring Isaac Newton

The scandalistas say little about the fact that this breach of security and publishing of private communications is a crime.

Last time I heard this argument, we had just tried to smuggle 14-year-old Guatemalan prostitutes to a safe house and hide the income.

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Grist.org:

… the most controversial comments, plucked out of context, come from a private correspondence between CRU researcher Phil Jones and Pennsylvania State University’s Michael Mann (author of the infamous “hocky stick graph” of rising global average temperatures):

“I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards), and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline,” wrote Jones.

I’ll save you from the science wonkery and allusions here (check out RealClimate for a more detailed explanation), but noisy climate skeptics are jumping on two parts of that sentence. Guess which ones? Yup, “trick” and “hide the decline.” …

A few things to keep in mind throughout this entire “scandal”:

  • People — whether they are world reknowned scientists or your little sister — tend to use much more casual and joking language in emails than they would, for example, in a public statement or IPCC report.
  • It’s easy, though inadvisable, for those of us outside of the scientific community to make sweeping assumptions about discussions of complex data sets.
  • Climate change skeptics are always looking for an excuse to declare peer-review scientific data a “fraud.”
  • How ironic — and convenient? — that this should occur in the weeks leading up to the biggest international climate talks to date.

So, the casual and joking phrase:

Go direct to the publishers and point out the fact that their journal is perceived as being a medium for disseminating misinformation under the guise of refereed work. I use the word “perceived” here, since whether it is true or not is not what the publishers care about — it is how the journal is seen by the community that counts.

… is too complex of a data set to be making sweeping assumptions about. Got it.

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From the BBC’s Open Secrets:

Professor Jones also told me that he concurs with the view expressed by some other academics that freedom of information may be too intrusive into academic matters. He said: “My e-mails were personal. This is all about academic freedom. I’m just a humble scientist trying to do research.”

What about the academic freedom of McKittrick and McIntyre? Or Soon and Baliunas? Or Roger Pielke Sr.? Or the CEI? (Hat tip: Charles Martin)

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From Open Mind:

If anything, the messages prove that there is not any conspiracy, and the scientists at CRU did not fudge data or engage in deceptive practices to push their “agenda.”

Then why did the emails discuss fudging data and engaging in deceptive practices to push their agenda? Just sayin’.

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From The Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media:

There are too many double entendres, too many amorphous interpretations, too many shades of color in those e-mails to yet lead to decisive conclusions.

What do you say we go back to my place tonight, and Hide the Decline … Mmm, Delete the Emails, yes …

David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.
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