On the 18th of August, 2008, this newsletter called the concept of anthropogenic global warming not just junk science, or a mistake, or the propaganda enriching a former US politician, but a hoax. Since then, the claim that AGW was and is deliberate lies remained unconvincing to the press and public, with only a minority of people agreeing with the obvious facts. New evidence of the fraud has recently come to light, and there is the distinct possibility that it will be widely acknowledged that many of the leading advocates of AGW have, in talking to each other, revealed their secrets. Those revelations are composed of e-mail messages that discredit the scientists — personally and professionally — and expose their claims as unscientific.
What follows is not a comprehensive review of all the data that are now available, but an introduction to the new information. Links will take you to reports, quotes and commentary; do follow them.
I started this blog venting about the obvious politics of the IPCC and the control that scientists apparently had over skeptic publications. These emails have been incredibly revealing. We who are skeptical will hear no more criticism of our points that top quality skeptical papers cannot pass through review after these emails. There is widespread evidence here of active collusion to prevent papers which could be interpreted as skeptical from being published.
Implications And Truths
As you will see, there is little here that is new as regards the data used by the AGW promoters. No one has found anything in tree rings, ice cores or measurements of temperatures anywhere that needs to be analyzed. Everything that is new is in the “smoking gun” category — tacit admissions by scientists that they have been fudging the data. Those admissions are parts of conversations kindred spirits had with each other. The researchers grumble about AGW “skeptics,” whine about the occasional weblog, warn each other about people who are dangerous (i.e., might reveal too much about what is really going on), discuss how much to change data so they produce politically correct results, ask whether requests for damning evidence made under freedom of information legislation can be resisted, and so on. There are also a few requests from outsiders, scientists who have questions; those go ignored because the answers are embarrassing.
The public is now able to listen in, so to speak, as the hoaxers cooperate to carry on the fraud.
But is that what it is? Is there a true conspiracy to perpetrate a hoax? One weblogger who has been poring over the correspondence says no hoax is involved. Instead, he claims, it is just chatter among True Believers.
He’s wrong. Later in his discussion of the messages, he refers to the original hockey stick graph as a hoax. It is incumbent on him to explain how the second hockey stick graph is somehow different. He cannot and therefore does not.
The scientists chattering in these messages are hiding the data they used to draw their conclusions. They ignore vital questions of other scientists. They admit to changing numbers in order to change conclusions. They maintain secrecy, controlling their information as completely as possible. They conspire to destroy and do destroy evidence, deleting messages they can not afford to give up to freedom of information demands. If that is not how you construct and sustain a hoax, what is?
The revealed e-mail messages are a devastating assault on the hoax, but the AGW cult will rally and claim it’s all just a big misunderstanding.
Whether the True Believers will convince you that somehow all this fake research and unscientific secrecy is appropriate is your decision. If in doubt, explore. Read the messages until you are satisfied that you understand what they mean.
The Facts: Sources And Helpful Quotes
A politically-oriented weblog has a brief post that merits your attention.
A lawyer takes you through some of the most useful messages in the collection, commenting as he goes. It’s very instructive, and TLB fears you might skip the posts, so here are some quotes from the lawyer’s weblog:
The emails are stunning. They are authored by many of the leading figures in the global warming movement: Michael Mann, James Hansen, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Stephen Schneider, and others. They are remarkably candid; these individuals talk to each other with the knowledge that they are among friends.
The emails show beyond any reasonable doubt that these individuals are engaged in politics, not science.
They also suggest that pro-global warming scientists fudge data to get the results they are looking for.
In fact, the e-mails do not at all suggest dishonesty; they make it plain that it is present. Read the messages and you will see.
…emails convey the impression that these theorists are making the “science” up as they go along, with data being manipulated until it yields the results that have been predetermined by political conviction.
The story began when Steve McIntyre, the same researcher who was largely responsible for destroying Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph purporting to show unprecedented warming in the 20th century, turned his attention to a famous article published by Keith Briffa of East Anglia’s CRU in 2000. This article analyzed the diameters of tree rings, including rings from an area called Yamal in Siberia, and conveniently generated another hockey-stick shaped graph. You can read an account of the ensuing controversy here. McIntyre’s work appeared to show that Briffa had cherry-picked trees in order to get the result he was looking for. One fact that this story highlights is that global warming alarmists publish their results in scientific journals, but refuse to make the underlying data publicly available so that the validity of their analyses can be checked.
This strikes me as a damning commentary on the entire alarmist enterprise. Meanwhile, not only are Briffa’s data flawed and seemingly cherry-picked, the assumptions on which the tree-ring studies are based may be bogus in the first place. The email collection includes these two messages from a plant scientist, both within the last 60 days:
What follows at this point is a particularly damning example of how the AGW True Believers deal with those who ask for more information, or clarifications of statements the cultists make. By all means do read the weblog! The quotes here are just suggestions of the information you are missing if you don’t go to the internet for the full story.
Meanwhile here’s a TV advertisement that’s appeared in Australia.
How The Media Have Reacted
TLB does not expect much from the news media, as their overall bias predisposes them to think of AGW as a sacred cause. After all, Al Gore is behind it. Here is a decent summary that appeared in a British newspaper.
While the reaction so far is cool, and while one can expect AGW fanatics to brush off the latest news as they have brushed off so much that has come before (and that allowed TLB to denounce AGW as a hoax long ago), the fact is that this is a scandal of major proportions. It should rock the foundations of science in the free world. Its effects, in the form of a major cleaning out of the stables, should be monumental. One observer said, “Piltdown Man, move over!”
The Only Way To Defeat Junk Science Is To Ignore It
Scientists are excruciatingly sensitive about hoaxes and frauds perpetrated by their colleagues. There is a universal desire to cover them up, prevent news from getting out, downplay the importance of the hoaxes.
As a staff member of this newsletter learned many years ago. The story is worth retelling. Here is his first-person account.
It was a shock to hear the coed tell it: according to her biology instructor (at California State College at Fullerton), a research team had artificially inseminated a female gorilla with human semen, the animal had conceived, a baby was born alive and taken from the mother, only to die of unspecified causes later. I reacted with total disbelief, and forcefully denounced the news as a lie. No one agreed with me; the crazy experiment seemed logical and justified to everyone but me.
I wrote to innumerable publications and universities, asking whether such an experiment had ever been conducted. At the same time I asked the gullible coed — she was an early eco-freak, and believed that the plankton in the oceans were about to be totally wiped out by human activity (this was in the 1960s) — to get more information from her teacher. She agreed, and I was treated to a succession of stories: it happened at the Salk Institute, no it was Harvard, no it was Yale, or I forget where it took place. I spent hours in the pre-internet library. Oh, it was reported in Life magazine (no, it was not). Finally I went to see the biologist, and he confirmed the story. I pretended to believe him, but came away with nothing more than a promise that he would send me more information. Hah!
So I wrote a letter to the father of a fraternity brother, a man who was the chairman of the Biology Department of New Mexico State University at the time. He assured me that the story was “a teaching device.” Then my fraternity brother wrote to me, telling me in very strong terms to drop my search for information, and above all, “Do NOT MAKE WAVES!!” Today I recognize that demand as coming from his father.
The moral of the story is that the rascals won’t ever back down.
That leads to the world’s easiest prediction: because the authors of the e-mails have very little respect for your intelligence, they will whine that their messages are being “taken out of context.” That will be an obvious lie, as the unambiguous messages are all available to you in correspondences. Follow the back-and-forth prose; that’s context complete enough to permit correct interpretation of the embarrassing messages.
After all, what context can explain away the words, “to hide the decline”?
Bad science is like a bad penny; it just keeps returning. It’s up to you to decide what is right and whom to trust.
TLB hopes that these revelations will so weaken the public’s misplaced faith in deceitful scientists that the politicians will be forced to concede that AGW is not true. That would allow them to scrap their plans for confiscatory taxation and the extension of governmental control as unjustified by AGW.
Will that happen? No. Few politicians genuinely care about AGW or ecology. The true conservationists in the crowd support Ducks Unlimited. The AGW cultists seek money first, and power second; a few want to see the destruction of capitalism.
Even if the AGW cult were to collapse, morons like Rep. Waxman would never give up, of course. The hope is that if the public sees the truth, Waxman and his ilk may be removed from power.
Breitbart Challenges — No, Threatens — Team Obama
As this newsletter has repeatedly insisted, ACORN is a criminal conspiracy, guilty of a number of federal offenses, that should be prosecuted under RICO. In recognition of the bad behavior of Obama’s former employer and staunch ally, the Census Bureau has severed its connection with ACORN, and Congress has hastily stripped the community organizing outfit of federal funding. These steps were taken because Andrew Breitbart (information on him that he approves of here, more information from the unreliable and often biased Wikipediahere — take your pick) set up a series of stings and recorded ACORN apparatchiki on video. As you doubtless know.
Meanwhile the Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, has distinguished itself by refusing to prosecute an individual who was arrested for intimidating voters outside a polling place. This criminal was wearing a military-style uniform and carrying a truncheon. Some of his misbehavior was captured on video; witnesses claimed that he made hostile and mocking statements to some voters. His conviction on federal charges was considered a certainty, and questions about why he was not prosecuted have been stonewalled.
The story was reported in this newsletter, numbers 87 and 103, and referred to in number 110. Sources: report here, with videos one andtwo on YouTube, if they have not been taken down. At the time, The Penguin Post said:
If the major media do not demand to know why prosecutions were halted, the propriety of the administration’s action will forever remain questionable, and a durable volatile issue will be created. Obama needs to intervene and proactively mandate full disclosure.
Of course Obama did not act, and of course this newsletter was correct.
Breitbart’s stings were multiple (you recall the “prostitute” and her “pimp” setting up the unprincipled ACORN operatives and getting the goods on them), and he claims he has more videos. He also says that if Holder does not act, he (Breitbart) will hold the recordings until just before the next election, and then they will be the centerpiece of bitter charges against the integrity of the Obama administration. It’s a demand for justice, or else. And it certainly has given Obama and Holder headaches — the men must be absolutely furious, for Breitbart is telling the nation that justice can be obtained only if the governing elite is forced to act to preserve itself. That’s proof that the Department of Justice and the executive branch do not acknowledge their constitutional responsibility to the people.
If Team Obama fights back, the very most it can hope to accomplish is to accuse Breitbart of doing what Mad Mary Mapes and Dan Rather tried to do. But that will only make the administration look hypocritical and very silly. After all, CBS had nothing; the Burkett memos were obvious fakes. But Breitbart is not bluffing. His evidence is almost certainly the most damning of all the videos he obtained with the help of his actors.
The most distressing aspect of this scandal is a horror only sociopaths could welcome. It is the nightmare that could become real if Obama does not take definitive action, and soon. Before long, those who are concerned about the even-handed administration of justice may begin to link events and find a sinister reason why things have been going wrong since Obama and Holder took office.
This is serious, and the White House crew knows it. In days to come, they will try to remain cool, contemptuous and unconcerned. But in Breitbart they have an opponent who is as smart as Team Obama is stupid.
Whether Obama will hand ACORN over to genuine justice is the question. Does he realize what may well happen, if people startconnecting the dots and coming to easy conclusions — explanations that pander to toxic sensibilities? One can only hope that he will not permit himself and his appointees to appear to be vengeful bigots.
Obama has allowed the creation of a situation with terrifying potential. Is he bright enough to realize that?
Now consider what Breitbart posted recently:
There will be consequences if there isn’t an investigation into ACORN. The videos will be shown and at a particular moment. There is nothing illegal about my proposed response to the continued inaction from this justice department, and there’s nothing I’d like more than to have my day in court and let a jury hear why I have gone to such extraordinary measures to tell a major story that the dying, partisan, leftist media has (sic) worked so hard to suppress.
This man will not back down. He honestly feels that he and his country have been betrayed over a prolonged period of time by a selfish, smug establishment that now must be exposed and dismantled. If Obama defends ACORN because that organization is his model for hope and change, he could blunder into a disastrous contretemps. The course of conflict could veer away from ACORN and onto primitive and infinitely more damaging issues.
If Obama is not uncommonly insightful and willing to take wise counsel, he may ignite the worst of all possible domestic conflagrations.