On this week’s show: An assessment of the assessment, The exoneration of Mann, The final nail in the climategate coffin, bad reporting, dishonesty and hate, and the skeptic debunk of the week!
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An assessment of the assessment
The PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency has investigated the scientific foundations for the IPCC summary conclusions of the Fourth Assessment Report of 2007 on projected regional climate-change impacts, at the request of the Dutch Minister for the Environment. Overall the summary conclusions are considered well founded, none have been found to contain any significant errors. The Working Group II contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report shows ample observational evidence of regional climate change impacts, which have been projected to pose substantial risks to most parts of the world, under increasing temperatures.
The exoneration of Mann
The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University. More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.
The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous.
According to a list of grants at The Free Republic, Mann has brought in a total of $4.2 million since he joined PSU in 2006, with a significant portion of that money to be spent over the next several years. From 2006 to 2009, Mann’s grants totalled about $1.8 million. In that same period, PSU’s total research income was $2.8 billion ($2,804 million). As a percentage, Mann’s grants represented 0.06% of the total research money that PSU was granted between 2006 and 2009.
Muir Russell report
On the specific allegations made against the behaviour of CRU scientists, we find that their rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt… In addition, we do not find that their behaviour has prejudiced the balance of advice given to policy makers. In particular, we did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.
And specifically about the claim that has, perhaps, had the most legs in the media:
On the allegations that there was subversion of the peer review or editorial process we find no evidence to substantiate this in the three instances examined in detail. On the basis of the independent work we commissioned (see Appendix 5) on the nature of peer review, we conclude that it is not uncommon for strongly opposed and robustly expressed positions to be taken up in heavily contested areas of science. We take the view that such behaviour does not in general threaten the integrity of peer review or publication.
America’s climate choices NAS reports on climate change, re-affirming the consensus view.
It was not the immediate concern of the Panel, but we observed that there were important and unresolved questions that related to the availability of environmental data sets. It was pointed out that since UK government adopted a policy that resulted in charging for access to data sets collected by government agencies, other countries have followed suit impeding the flow of processed and raw data to and between researchers. This is unfortunate and seems inconsistent with policies of open access to data promoted elsewhere in government.
If anyone needs evidence that the “reporting” crutch of He Said, She Said is still being employed by stenographers masquerading as journalists, here’s Fred Pearce in New Scientist.
No serious effort is made to inform the reader which of the parties is actuallysupported by reality. Note the weasel wording and false balance throughout, e.g.: “some of the researchers involved take issue with a suggestion that greenhouse gases are not primarily responsible for global warming”; “Foster’s team concludes… But de Freitas says”; “The vitriol continues”; etc. It’s a stereotypical example of the “on the one hand, on the other” style that has so distorted the public’s understanding of the issue of anthropogenic climate change.
It’s 2010, FFS. This article should be held up as a model for how reporting should not be done.
Dishonesty and hate
Marc Morano linked to my post, and posted my email on his site Climate Depot. What happened next provides a look at why Morano should not be trusted and the absolute hate that his followers have for people like me who accept mainstream science and are disgusted by inappropriate equivalence to horrible events in recent history that cheapen the experiences of those who survived them…
There is another aspect of this issue that deserves attention. It has been reported that climate scientists have seen an increase of threatening emails since the CRU email leak late last year. One major reason for this is the fact that Morano publishes email address of anyone he is attacking. He published My email address, and it got me plenty of hate mail.
Most were just baseless assaults on my character, but a significant number of them wished me harm, usually in the form of a painful death. Some of them were threats of violence towards me. There were hundreds of emails, and my address was only posted for a few hours. It wasn’t pretty, but didn’t make me worry about my safety. Were I in the same position as Michael Mann or Stephen Schneider I am not sure I could say that, their emails are frequently published, and unlike an unknown like me, deniers are well aware of who Mann and Schneider are. They are frequently mentioned by Morano, and to make matters worse their place of work in public knowledge.
The level of vitriol and hate that Morano directs with his site is astonishing. And he knows it. That he continues to publish email addresses is irresponsible to say the least.
The Skeptic debunk of the week
There are a number of forcings which affect climate (eg – stratospheric aerosols, solar variations). When all forcings are combined, they show good correlation to global temperature throughout the 20th century including the mid-century cooling period. However, for the last 35 years, the dominant forcing has been CO2