Monday, April 22, 2019

Global Warming and the Distortions of Inhofe and Climategate

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Mike is a writer, animator and the creative director of Rebel Dispatch. He works in Washington, DC as a visual effects artist and freelance web designer.

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November 29, 2009
Filed under Politics

Currently, the World consumes at least 84 million barrels of oil daily with the U.S. contributing to a quarter of that consumption. In 2006, the World burned 6,743,786,000 short tons of coal and that is expected to increase 48% to 9.98 billion short tons by 2030.[11] These are extremely large numbers and, if current consumption rates continue and World governments fail to act decisively and cave to corporate and industry interests, our future outlook appears extremely bleak. Think of more extreme weather, longer heat waves, crop failures, food shortages, war etc….

Backed up by research in several fields covering climatology, oceanography, paleontology, dendrology (study of trees) and  geology, there exsists overwhelming, corroborating evidence that climate change is real, has happened before and there is a 90% likely hood that  Humans are contributing to the current warming .



The case made by climate deniers is laughable when compared to the huge body of evidence/research supporting current global warming trends. There is no equivalency between the arguments for and against climate change and the  media should not treat them as such. It only props up the weaker, unsubstantiated argument. The best the opposition can come up with are corporate funded studies and conventions by bought off  “scientists” (with unremarkable credentials and suspect motives) and poltiti-hacks like Republican Oklahoma senator James Inhofe.

Here’s a  nice, little list of climate-denier activists (don’t be shocked if  you find some energy industry donors behind those organizations and names):

The Scientists
Bob CarterJames Cook University, Queensland, Australia
John ChristyUniversity of Alabama at Huntsville
David DemingUniversity of Oklahoma /
National Center for Policy Analysis
David DouglassUniversity of Rochester
Don EasterbrookWestern Washington University
Stanley GoldenbergNOAA
Vincent GrayNew Zealand Climate Science Coalition /
Natural Resources Stewardship Project
William GrayColorado State University (ret.)
Ben HermanUniversity of Arizona
Craig Idsoco2science.orgArizona State University /
Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Richard LindzenMassachusetts Institute of Technology
Roger PielkeColorado State University (ret.)
James A. PedenExtranuclear Laboratories (ret.)
Hans Schreuderilovemycarbondioxide.comRocky Mountain Research Station
Thomas P. SheahenWestern Technology, Inc.
Fred SingerUniversity of Virginia (ret.) /
Science and Environmental Policy Project /
National Center for Policy Analysis
Roy Spencerdrroyspencer.comUniversity of Alabama at Huntsville /
Marshall Institute /
Interfaith Stewardship Alliance
Philip StottUniversity of London (ret.)
Willie Wei-Hock SoonHarvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics /
Marshall Institute /
Fraser Institute /
Science and Public Policy Institute
Brian ValentineDepartment of Energy
The Bloggers
Joseph Bastglobalwarmingheartland.orgHeartland Institute
Edward John Craigplanetgore.nationalreview.comNational Review
Dan Gainornewsbusters.orgMedia Research Center
Steven Milloyjunkscience.comCompetitive Enterprise Institute
Lubos Motlmotls.blogspot.comHarvard University (ret.)
Roger Pielke, Jr.sciencepolicy.colorado.eduUniversity of Colorado
Jon Jay
Marc Sheppardopinioneditorials.comFrontiers of Freedom
Noel Sheppardnewsbusters.orgMedia Research Center
Matthew Sheffieldnewsbusters.orgMedia Research Center
The “Think Tankers”
Dennis Averyhudson.orgHudson Institute
Mike Buritaaccf.orgAmerican Council for Capital Formation
Terry Zealand Climate Science Coalition
Robert Fergusonscienceandpublicpolicy.orgScience and Public Policy Institute
Tom Harrisclimatescienceinternational.orgInternational Climate Science Coalition
Christopher Moncktonscienceandpublicpolicy.orgScience and Public Policy Institute
Craig Ruckercfact.orgCommittee for a Constructive Tomorrow
James Taylorheartland.orgHeartland Institute
The Weathermen
William M. Briggswmbriggs.comstatistician
Richard S. CourtneyCoalTrans International (ret.)
Joseph D’Aleoicecap.usWeather Channel (ret.)
Art Horntheartofweather.comweatherman (ret.)
Alan Siddons
George E. SmithMonsanto, Hewlett Packard (ret.)
James Spannjamesspann.comweatherman, ABC 33/40
Herb Stevensweatherman (ret.)

Inhofe recently claimed that stolen emails from a British University confirm his claims of a mass global warming conspiracy. The real conspiracy lies with those in denial. What he fails to mention is that his lies proof comes from several articles  published in mainly conservative journals and newspapers like Drudge and the Daily Telegraph (which tend to omit important facts when they don’t suit their message).


Here is why I can make this claim: If you read the entire emails, the scientists were  actually critical of their model’s difficulties  in predicting short-term deviations in current warming trends, which almost all of them believe is happening (refer to media matters for more info). They still purport that global warming is real and that they want to achieve greater accuracy in short term deviations. Somehow deniers like the Telegraph and Inhofe conveniently omit these points.

With regards to the so-called “Climate Gate” scandal, several conservative media outlets use the time-old tradition of quote mining in order to frame and interpret facts in ways that support their claims. For example, the most mined quote from the hacked emails used by Inhofe and other climate change deniers is that by climatologist Michael Mann which is as follows:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Phil Jones

which the Deniers are citing as “proof positive” or data alteration , falsification, etc.

Conversely, when one looks at the entire context of the quote and the similar use of such terminology in peer reviewed journals, it seems more like Mann is discussing a clever technique to dealing with and explaining statistical noise. Furthermore, when used to describe mathematical models, scientists often use the word “trick” as a method for explaining a particular subject. The word “trick” is not evidence of scientific heresy but is actually commonly used in scientific literature (especially studies that have large data sets and mathematical models). The real trick being perpetrated here is politicians like Inhofe and other climate change deniers are taking quotes out of context and manufacturing a narrative which simply is not true.

Check out: Potholer54 explains in his video how “trick” is a term regularly used in this sense even in the peer reviewed literature.

Since then we have learned that:

“Mann said the “trick” Jones referred to was placing a chart of proxy temperature records, which ended in 1980, next to a line showing the temperature record collected by instruments from that time onward. “It’s hardly anything you would call a trick,” Mann said, adding that both charts were differentiated and clearly marked.”

and that:

“The “decline” refers to the “divergence problem”. This is where tree ring proxies diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960. The divergence problem is discussed as early as 1998, suggesting a change in the sensitivity of tree growth to temperature in recent decades (Briffa 1998). It is also examined more recently in Wilmking 2008 which explores techniques in eliminating the divergence problem. So when you look at Phil Jone’s email in the context of the science discussed, it is not the schemings of a climate conspiracy but technical discussions of data handling techniques available in the peer reviewed literature.”

Ultimately, issues like global warming have real and serious consequences if we dont act thoughtfully. It is a total shame that  powerful interests groups and ideological fundementalists would rather lie and obfuscate in order to advance their own agenda to the detriment of everyone else. They need to be called out.

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