Snapple on the Russian Connection

In several recent comments here, the blogger Snapple (Legend of Pine Ridge) has elucidated the indirect connections between Virginia Attorney-General Ken Cuccinelli Jr and Russian oil and gas interests. More recent comments focus on other aspects of the “Russian connection” with contrarian anti-science (see below).

Snapple’s previous comments on the activities of Ken Cuccinelli Sr can be found here and here (much of it overlapping with comments below), with more detail at this post at Legend of Pine Ridge . However, future comments on this subject should be made on this thread only.

Snapple’s recent comments follow.


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38 responses to “Snapple on the Russian Connection

  1. I believe that the Russian fossil-fuel interests also are attacking our scientists and EPA in collaboration with business interests in the West, but for some reason nobody who writes about climate change focuses on the Russian business interests that are closely alligned with and often majority-owned by the Russian government.

    Alisher Usmanov owns the Kremlin-friendly Kommersant. It is no coincience that his paper’s article is cited in RIA Novosti (the Kremlin’s official press agency) right when the EPA makes its ruling against CO2. Usmanov reportedly handles sensitive foreign operations for Gazprom. He also owns metal companies/mines.

    Many of the American organizations who petitioned the EPA cited the RIA Novosti version of the Kommersant article, but the environmentalists don’t seem to mention that huge fact and don’t seem to notice what Russian companies are also doing.

    I think that Gazprom is probably giving money to our denialists and politicians, but it will be hidden by laundering through other businesses or cover-companies that are secretly controlled by Gazprom.

    In Europe, Gazprom is getting control of the politiians. I think that is probably happening here. One sign is that all these denialists are spouting the Kommersant lie that the climate scientists are fudging their data.

    The colonial Tea Party protested foreign control of businesses. Our Tea Party today is financed by Koch. They built Stalin’s oil refineries and then became Libertarians. They fund the Libertarian Cato Institute, which hires Andrei Illarionov–who worked for Putin and Gazprom.

    Koch doesn’t want any control by American government agencies, but they seem to be on the same page as Alisher Usmanov. Kommersant quoted Andrei Illarionov in their attack on the climate scientists.

  2. The Russian RIA Novosti article that is based on the Kommersant article is also in this petition to the EPA. See page 9, exhibit 1.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/Petition_for_Reconsideration_Coalition_for_Responsible_Regulation.pdf

    The RIA Novosti article citing Kommersant is also cited in this petition at footnote 81 and 82.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/Petition_for_Reconsideration_State_of_Texas.pdf

    Again, Kremlin-friendly Kommersant is owned by Alisher Usmanov, a Gazprom political operative, and RIA Novosti is the official press agency of the Russian government.

    The EPA lists all the petitions. I am looking through them to see how many of the petitions cite RIA Novosti’s account of the Kommersant article.

    This document lists all the petitioners. It would be interesting to search all the petitions and see how many are toeing the Gazprom line.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html

  3. Here is another petition to the EPA that cites the RIA Novosti account of the Kommersant article. See footnote 5.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/Petition_for_Reconsideration_Competitive_Enterprise_Institute.pdf

    I think some of the other sources cited in these petitions may be discussing this same article. This article was published by RIA Novosti on December 16, 2009, about a month after the CRU emails were stolen.

    The English RIA Novosti article only cites the Russian Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA), but the Russian-language Kommersant also identifies the IEA’s Andrei Illarionov as a former adviser to Putin.

    Andrei Illarionov is also the expert on climate change for the Cato Institute. Often the Cato is also cited in these petitions.

    I don’t see why we should accept what a Russian economist who worked for Putin and Gazprom says about climate change. He is a Kremlin/Gazprom mouthpiece.

    The Russians are very aware that there is global warming because they can sail on the Arctic and the permafrost is thawing. They have a lot of their oil and gas industry built on that permafrost, so they are perfectly aware there is global warming.

    The KGB has even hired outside analysts to study global warming. They want to know about climate change, but they also want to sell their gas.

    These EPA petitions are very dishonest to cite this IEA mouthpiece and not look at what Russian scientists and the Russians government have said elsewhere.

    For example, in March 2010, Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10) interviewed Yury Averyanov, a member of Russia’s Security Council, about climate change in Russia.

    The interview was held on the eve of a the Security Council’s meeting on the threats and challenges posed by climate change.

    The Barents Observer summarized the Rossiiskaya Gazeta interview in an article titled “National Security Challenged by Arctic Climate Change” (3-23-10).

    Former CIA analyst Paul Goble also summarized this interview in an article titled “Moscow Views Climate Change as a Security Threat, Mulls Creating ‘Climatic Assistance’ Program” (3-24-10).

    Details and links here.
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russia-views-climate-change-as-threat.html

  4. Maybe these EPA petitioners should read what the Russian Security Council said about climate change instead of only the Kommersant propaganda.

    Yury Averyanov, a member of Russia’s Security Council, told Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10):

    Climate change could cause new interstate conflicts related to the exploration and production of energy, the use of marine transport routes and biological resources, drinking water and so on. The risk of conflicts related to water scarcity and food are particularly high in the south.

    According to Averyanov,

    Many cities, thousands of miles of pipelines, roads and railways are in permafrost regions. About 80 percent of BAM [a rail line] runs on permafrost. Its melting…calls for the revision of building codes with respect to a changing climate. A quarter of the homes built in Tiksi, Yakutsk, Vorkuta and other localities will be completely unfit for habitation…[i]n the next 10-15 years.

    The Barents Observer (3-23-10) observes:

    Mr. Averyanov also believes climate change in the Arctic could results in new inter-state conflicts following different countries’ search and exploration of energy resources, use of sea transport routes, bio-resources and more.

    The circumpolar countries, and first of all the USA and its allies, are actively expanding their scientific, economical and military presence in the Arctic in order to get control over Arctic waters […] and seek to restrict Russia’s access to developing its Arctic deposits, Averyanov told the newspaper.

    He also believes that the permafrost melting could significantly hamper the country’s abilities to use military equipment in the region.

    The statements from the Security Council representative are outlined also in Russia National Security Strategy, which was adopted in spring last year. As BarentsObserver reported, the document outlines the shelf of the Barents Sea and other areas of the Arctic as regions of upcoming international competition for energy resources, and that competition and conflict over the hydrocarbon resources might eventually lead to the use of armed force and a disrupted power balance in Russian border areas.

    Details and links:
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russia-views-climate-change-as-threat.html

  5. Here is a link to an article by former CIA Russia analyst Paul Goble about Averyanov’s assessment.

    It begins:

    Russia, as experts around the world agree, is likely to be more profoundly affected by climate change than any other country, and Moscow is now focusing on the security threats global warming may entail not only within the country but in its relations with its closest neighbors.

    http://windowoneurasia.blogspot.com/2010/03/window-on-eurasia-moscow-views-climate.html

  6. The people who sued the EPA make it sound like the Russians aren’t worried about climate change.

    In fact, the Russian and American intelligence have shared information about climate change and the Russian state security (FSB) has studied how climate change will threaten Russia’s oil exports.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/sergei-karaganov-world-around-russia.html

  7. Now that Russia is no longer communist, I’m sure they’ve rewritten the 1848 slogan. It now reads “Kleptocrats of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your obscene profits!”

  8. Russia is complicated. There are these very rich people who often got rich due to their connections with politicians. There are also professional people who try to protect public health and safety.

    Russia has always been like that. They didn’t have socialism; they had corruption. Now, they don’t have capitalism; they have corruption.
    This is because they still have a ruling political party called United Russia. Putin is the head of this party.

    There are also professional experts who discuss climate change. The Russian attitude is that they will adapt. Meanwhile, the people and government really depend on selling that gas and oil. Russian experts know that climate change will have a bad effect on their gas/oil industry because of flooding.

    One big goal is to sell liquified natural gas to the US. That’s why Gazprom officials are against fracking in the US. Perhaps buying Russian natural gas is better environmentally than fracking. I don’t know. It all causes climate change and the Russians jerk people around politically with their gas. Gazprom really watches what the EPA says.

    It’s funny that a Gazprom official (former KGB) was quoted in the NYT saying that fracking is bad for water. But Inhofe says there is no evidence that it is bad for water. Inhofe is not telling the truth based on studies. Other times, it suits Inhofe’s pocketbook to cite Russian sources.

    The Russians say different things to different audiences. It all depends on what sells the gas.

    In Russia, they are builing something to protect Petersburg from flooding due to climate change. They have been building a system of dams since 1979 which will cost billions.

    Here is a post that tells a bit about what the Russians say about climate change. Many Russians got confused because of propaganda directed at foreign audiences about a coming ice age, so the experts had to correct that misperception. Russian authorities don’t like to explain too much about problems if they don’t have an answer, but they sometimes do discuss climate change.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russian-media-moves-to-calm-junk.html

  9. I did run across Ken Cuccinelli, Sr a while back, in looking at recorded donations to VA AG ken, Jr.s campaign.

    While being unsurprised to find the Koch’s, coal folsk, etc, I was slightly surprised to find Questfore Communications, lcoatedin my hometown, Pittsburgh, PA.

    Of course, the connection became clear (Ken Sr), and consulting on gas in Europe is interesting.

  10. Quest Fore also has a presence in Washington D.C. and Cleveland.

    Their website does not say what the elder Cuccinelli consults on, but marketing gas was always his career. He was in the American Gas Association and later at Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG). Here is information about his companies.
    http://www.linkedin.com/pub/ken-cuccinelli/7/2b7/669

    According to the biographical information posted at Quest Fore about the elder Cuccinelli:

    QUOTE
    When he joined Quest Fore in 1999 as chairman, Ken brought with him a wealth of strategic marketing experience. A former head of marketing for a Fortune 500 company (CNG Pittsburgh), Ken was named 1994 Gas Marketing executive and also served as chief operating officer of CNG Energy prior to joining Quest Fore. In addition to his chairman duties, he also serves as president of International Business Ventures LLC, a worldwide consulting and prospect development company that is active in Europe and Latin America. In 2005, Ken earned his ABC (Business Communications Accreditation) from the International Association of Business Communicators.
    UNQUOTE

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/09/attorney-general-cuccinellis-daddy-and.html

    There is also the matter of the accused Florida criminal Bobby Thompson. Was he part of some bigger operation to buy influence with Attorney Generals and state departments of consumer affairs?
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-did-bobby-thompson-give-virginia.html

    Thompson’s former lawyer believes he may have fled to Eastern Europe or the Middle East.
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/has-attorney-general-cuccinellis-sugar.html

    I am really surprised that the Washington Post has never really investigated this family connection to see what is going on here. They should at least ask Cuccinelli questions and report when he doesn’t tell the answers.

    I have written many times to Cucinelli’s deputy and asked my questions, but he doesn’t answer. I even voted for Cuccinelli (big mistake), but now I notice that he persecutes scientists, quotes Kremlin/Gazprom mouthpieces, and gets a LOT of money from mysterious criminals and fossil fuel interests.

    I have a background in Soviet Studies, and these things do not look good to me.

    I think it is possible that the father’s business may have clients who fund denialism and attacks on scientists. I can’t prove it, of course; but I shouldn’t have to. There should be transparency about these sort of relationships. Newspapers should be asking what is happening here. In my opinion, fossil fuel interests have basically hijacked the office of the Virginia Attorney General and turned it into an instrument of persecution–the sword and shield of the Denialist Party.

    Cuccinelli persecutes a great scientist, but he gave an obvious criminal like Bobby Thompson AKA John Doe the benefit of the doubt for a long time.

    Cuccinelli tried to put Virginia’s Department of Consumer Affairs under his office right after he got the money from Bobby Thompson. When that didn’t fly, a politician in his camp got the job.
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/03/fbi-joins-hunt-for-accused-money.html

    I doubt Virginia authorities are trying very hard to catch Bobby Thompson, although he defrauded people in Virginia, and consumer affairs should be investigating. Bobby Thompson’s Washington operation was nothing but a mailbox, kind of like that “Science institute” SPPI run by Bobby Ferguson:

    QUOTE
    Bobby Thompson — which turned out to be a stolen identity — is under investigation by the FBI and several states after the newspaper revealed that Thompson’s Tampa-based U.S. Navy Veterans Association was a sham… Now, after being indicted by an Ohio grand jury, the man called John Doe by authorities is wanted on charges of identity theft, racketeering, money laundering and stealing more than $1 million from Ohio residents alone.”—The Saint Petersburg Times (3-19-11)
    UNQUOTE

    In his EPA suit, Cuccinelli quoted the RIA Novosti version of the Kommersant article that appeared when the EPA made their finding about CO2. Many of the other organizations that sued the EPA used that same article as evidence that the British scientists were cooking the books. The article is also on the Heartland and SPPI sites.

    RIA Novosti is the offiical press agency of the Russian government. Kommersant is owned by a Kremlin/Gazprom operative Alisher Usmanov.

    In Russia the gas/oil companies own many of the newspapers. They are loyal to the Kremlin or they lose their company, newspaper, and freedom.

    Cuccinelli’s brief noted that the article appeared “on the very day” that the EPA made its ruling about CO2. The brief gave the impression that this was some kind of coincidence, but it is no accident that the newspaper of a Kremlin/Gazprom operative attacks those scientists on the day of the CO2 ruling.

    That’s the Russian government influencing US policy. That’s the Russian government attacking the EPA through proxies like Cuccinelli and the others who sued the EPA.

    RIA Novosti cited Andrei Illarionov’s Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA). The economist Illarionov worked for Putin, Gazprom, and more recently the Cato Institute. He is a mouthpiece for the Russia’s gas interests. He claims he had some falling out with Putin, but he runs an institute (IEA) in Russia. People who fall out of favor with Putin don’t run institutes. They just run.

    All that Libertarian stuff is a lot of eyewash. Gazprom is majority-owned by the Russian government. Cato seems like an outpost of Russian state security in my opinion, and that cheesy SPPI is nothing but a mailbox.

    Cato doesn’t like American agencies like the EPA, but Alisher Usmanov has an education and career that suggest an affiliation with Russia’s security agencies. He is reportedly in charge of sensitive foreign operations for Gazprom.

  11. Here is the EPA page that responds to all the petitions against its engangerment finding on CO2.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html

    If you go to the petitions and look through the footnotes, you will see that many of the petitions cite the RIA Novosti/Kommersant article as if this propaganda were “science.”

    I wonder if that organization called The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) coordinates this.

    The New York Times and Climate Progress report that ALEC is writing anti-climate bills in 16 states funded by Big Oil and Kochs. All I ask is that environmentalists also include Gazprom as propagandists since their mouthpiece Kommersant is cited in many petitions to the EPA.

    Joe Romm’ site reports:

    ALEC is “literally writing the anti-EPA legislation” for “15 (and now 16) US states.” The “basic resolution opposing the EPA endangerment ruling being adopted in the 16 states was drafted by ALEC’s Natural Resources Task Force.” The “first of the 16 states to pass its ALEC written anti-climate legislation into law is Alabama, which supports the House version of the anti-EPA bill in congress.”

    http://climateprogress.org/2011/03/28/ny-times-slams-gops-petty-and-medieval-strategy-to-intimidate-academics-like-cronon-and-mann/

    I think environmentalists need to look at the business relationships between Western companies and Gazprom and other Russian fossil fuel entities. Often, when you do business with the Russians, you also have to support their government propaganda.

    Acording to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

    “To conceal its designs, the Kremlin relies on a dizzying web of shell companies nominally owned and operated by Europeans but in reality controlled by Moscow to attack by stealth….In Western Europe, Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries. ”
    http://www.rferl.org/content/Why_The_Russia_Spy_Story_Really_Matters/2095515.html

    I know that Russia’s LukOil paid for the translation of the denialist manifesto published by Czech President Klaus:

    “‘Blue Planet in Green Shackles,’ [is] an anti-global-warming manifesto in which Klaus — who has denounced Al Gore as an “apostle of arrogance” — dismisses manmade climate change as a myth. ”

    Here is what Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty wrote:

    QUOTE
    “Russia’s LUKoil has serious pull in the Czech Republic, and has cultivated ties with many leading politicians…

    Unlike Western firms, which lobby largely in their own interests, Russian state-controlled and private enterprises play an integral role in Kremlin foreign policy, and they’re ‘undoubtedly influencing the behavior of various Czech political parties and politicians,’ [former President Vaclav] Havel said in an interview. ‘I’ve seen several cases where the influence started quietly and slowly began projecting onto our foreign policy. I can only advise serious discretion and great caution.”—RFE/RL (9-25-10)
    http://www.rferl.org/content/Czech_Mate_How_Russia_Is_Rebuilding_Influence_In_The_Former_Soviet_Bloc/2168090.html

  12. I want to correct how I identified the Cuccinelli document that cites the Russian article. This document is not his PETITION to the EPA but his SUIT against the EPA.

    This is the document I mean.

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Cuccinelli/Joint%20Motion%20to%20Remand%20VA%20filed%20with%20clerk%204_15_10.pdf

    I think this is a combination of those EPA petitions or something. Some of the petitions to the EPA cite this same Russian article.

    Cuccinelli’s suit has a small typo on the address of the Russian article–a space or something. I have all the information about what Cuccinelli and the Russian article he cited here.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/10/attorney-general-cuccinelli-ties-his.html

    Here you can find the EPA petitions.
    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html

  13. Pete Dunkelberg

    The Kochs too have a family connection (father) with Soviet / Russian fossil fuel powers. Is there another notable antiscience person with Gazprom ties?

  14. Inhofe cites Andrei Illarionov. He is with the Cato, but he is a former Putin adviser and he also worked for Chernomyrdin (Soviet Gas Ministry/Gazprom).

    President Medvedev is the former CEO of Gazprom, but I think he got that job because Putin put him there.

    Gazprom may execise its influence indirectly–through western partners.
    I’ve been gone, but I will look through the EPA petitions. Quite a few of them cited the RIA Novosti/Kommersant article.

  15. You can see that the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his subordinate C. Andrew Weber also cite the RIA Novosti/Kommersant article.

    These petitions often cite this Russian article, so they must be getting their information from the same place.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/Petition_for_Reconsideration_State_of_Texas.pdf

    The Heartland and SPPI also cite the English-language RIA Novosti adaptation of the Kommersant article. The RIA Novosti is not an exact translation of the Kommersant. For one thing, Kommersant mentions Illarionov by name and notes he was a Putin adviser. RIA Novosti just mentions the Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA).

    http://www.heartland.org/environmentandclimate-news.org/article/26602/Russia_affected_by_Climategate.html

    The “mailbox” SPPI also cites this Kremlin/Gazprom propaganda. They call it “top Russian news and analysis” but really RIA Novosti is the Russian government’s press agency.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/russia-affected-by-climategate

    The SPPI also carries Steve Mcintyre recycling this RIA Novosti propaganda from Alisher Usmanov’s Kommersant.

    http://sppiblog.org/news/russia-hadley-center-%e2%80%9cprobably-tampered-with-russian-climate-data%e2%80%9d

    Alisher Usmanov is a Gazprom operative who has an education and career that suggest he has connections to the old KGB. He reportedly handles sensitive foreign operations. He used to be an operative for the Soviet Peace Committee. This is a job of a political operative.

    This guy is very notorious. It is shameful to cite his paper unless you tell people that this is Kremlin/Gazprom propaganda.

  16. I sincerely hope the supreme irony of Visocunt Monckton ( of ‘watermelon’ slur – greens outside, red on the inside ) and his … um … “organisation” being a willing and serial repeating mouthpiece for Kremlin propaganda becomes common knowledge very, very soon.

  17. Lord Monckton Disscusses ClimateGate On Russia Today Part 1 and 2.

    Near the end of his Russia Today presentation (Part II), Monckton made the incredible claim that Russia was twenty times more democratic than Britain because Russia is ruled by a Duma (the lower house of Russia’s Federal Assembly) and Britain is ruled by commissars from the European Union.

    It is pretty obvious that Lord Monckton provides the official Kremlin view on global warming and “democracy” in Russia.

    “An English-language satellite channel, Russia Today, was launched in late 2005. The news-based station is funded by the Kremlin and aims to present ‘global news from a Russian perspective.’”—BBC, Russia Country Profile–Media

  18. Here is John O’Sullivan on Russia Today. Notice that the interviewer seems to play devil’s advocate, but really he doesn’t.

  19. Here is Piers Corbin on Russia Today. Again, the interviewer pretends to play devil’s advocate but allows himself to be “corrected.” Corbin claims the climate scientists are on a “gravy train.” He claims that changes are called by solar and lunar effects, not CO2.

  20. Cuccinelli’s suit against the EPA seems to mischaracterize the RIA Novosti article it supposedly “cites.” It doesn’t quote correctly.

    The RIA Novosti article claims:

    QUOTE
    Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.
    END QUOTE

    http://en.rian.ru/papers/%2020091216/157260660.html (scroll down)

    The Cuccinelli brief (pages 14-15) is falsely citing the RIA Novosti (12-16-09) article when it identifies the alleged culprit as the CRU, instead of the Hadley Center. Perhaps Cuccinelli had to “fix” the RIA Novosti allegations in his brief to the EPA because the Hadley Center is responsible for sea-surface temperatures and putting the land and sea temperatures together, not land temperatures from weather stations.

    Cuccinelli’s brief claims:

    QUOTE
    On December 15, 2009—the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding—the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (“IEA”) reported that CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data and that the Russian meteorological station data do not support human-caused global warming.
    UNQUOTE

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Cuccinelli/Joint%20Motion%20to%20Remand%20VA%20filed%20with%20clerk%204_15_10.pdf

    The Russians claim that Hadley Center probably tampered with Russian climate data, but Cuccinelli changes that to CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data.

    How did that strange mistake happen”

    One small thing thing I wonder about is that the Russians wrote Hadley Center (not Centre). Russians usually use British, not American spelling. Perhaps this is changing.

    It is really funny that Cuccinelli’s brief claims is some coincidence that the IEA published its report on the “very day” that the EPA made its CO2 finding. That’s no accident. The Russian government watches the EPA very closely.

    Gazprom is carefully watching the EPA on the fracking issue. The Russians say that fracking is bad for the water. Probably it is, but Gazprom is being “green” on the fracking issue because their big goal is to sell the US liquified natural gas (LNG).

    “Not every housewife is aware of the environmental consequences of the use of shale gas…I don’t know who would take the risk of endangering drinking water reservoirs.”—Alexander Medvedev, Director-General of Russia’s Gazprom Export (Suspected former KGB officer)
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/gazprom-goes-green.html

    It may be that LNG is better for the environment than fracking; but if we start buying Russian LNG their political operatives will use their influence on our politicians to make sure we keep buying LNG instead of switching to renewables.

    • Here is a link to the original Russian “study” (from what even McIntyre admits appears to be the Russian equivalent of CEI).

      http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/iea1.pdf

      The study purports to show that Hadley cherrypicked 476 station temperature records from the much broader selection publicly available. There are a *lot* of problems with this analysis, but a particularly egregious one is found in section 6, Maximum completeness (minimum discontinuity) of the temperature series (p. 14).

      The temperature series with the data series completeness coefficient exceeding 90% are used less than in the quarter of all cases (23%). Instead, the half-empty data series (with completeness coefficient below 50%) are used for
      two-thirds (66.7%).

      The translation (and the table) are confusing, but what they mean is that Hadley used only 23% of complete station records available and 67% of the sparse records (less than 50% complete).

      Of course, many of these “complete” records are short-lived and redundant. On the other hand the “half-empty” stations number exactly three, so this is hardly a common situation. In general, of course, longer running stations are of more interest and will tend to be less complete by the above measure. If they had segmented the stations by length *and* completeness (say, by using the total number of months in the series), the result would no doubt have been very different.

      Sheesh …

  21. If I were smart enough to figure out climate science, I would not have voted for that persecutor of scientists Attorney General Cuccinelli.
    I can’t follow all the specialist arguments about weather stations; but the Arctic is melting, so it must be warmer. The Russians aren’t stupid. They have noticed this. Climate change is openly discussed by Russian scientists who advise their government.

    In March 2010, Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10) interviewed Yury Averyanov, a member of Russia’s Security Council, about climate change in Russia.

    The interview was held on the eve of a the Security Council’s meeting on the threats and challenges posed by climate change.

    The Barents Observer summarized the Rossiiskaya Gazeta interview in an article titled “National Security Challenged by Arctic Climate Change” (3-23-10).

    Former CIA analyst Paul Goble also summarized this interview in an article titled “Moscow Views Climate Change as a Security Threat, Mulls Creating ‘Climatic Assistance’ Program” (3-24-10), but the Google translation tool is also helpful for people who like to read Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10) for themselves.

    Mr. Averyanov confirmed that climate change was happening. Asked if climate change was associated with a national security threat, Averyanov told Rossiiskaya Gazeta (3-19-10):

    “Climate change could cause new interstate conflicts related to the exploration and production of energy, the use of marine transport routes and biological resources, drinking water and so on. The risk of conflicts related to water scarcity and food are particularly high in the south.”

    According to Averyanov,

    “Many cities, thousands of miles of pipelines, roads and railways are in permafrost regions. About 80 percent of BAM [rail line] runs on permafrost. Its melting…calls for the revision of building codes with respect to a changing climate. A quarter of the homes built in Tiksi, Yakutsk, Vorkuta and other localities will be completely unfit for habitation…[i]n the next 10-15 years.”

    The Barents Observer (3-23-10) observes:

    “Mr. Averyanov also believes climate change in the Arctic could results in new inter-state conflicts following different countries’ search and exploration of energy resources, use of sea transport routes, bio-resources and more.

    The circumpolar countries, and first of all the USA and its allies, are actively expanding their scientific, economical and military presence in the Arctic in order to get control over Arctic waters […] and seek to restrict Russia’s access to developing its Arctic deposits, Averyanov told the newspaper.

    He also believes that the permafrost melting could significantly hamper the country’s abilities to use military equipment in the region.

    The statements from the Security Council representative are outlined also in Russia National Security Strategy, which was adopted in spring last year. As BarentsObserver reported, the document outlines the shelf of the Barents Sea and other areas of the Arctic as regions of upcoming international competition for energy resources, and that competition and conflict over the hydrocarbon resources might eventually lead to the use of armed force and a disrupted power balance in Russian border areas. ”

    Here is some information/links about what Russian specialists say about climate change.
    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/01/russia-views-climate-change-as-threat.html

    Thanks for the link to the IEA study. I don’t have the eduational background to follow all the science; I just notice that our Attorney General Cuccinelli doesn’t even cite Russia’s official press agency RIA Novosti correctly. I wondered why.

    I am not a scientist, but I know to verify the acuracy of “quotes” from my Soviet Studies background.

    Cuccinelli takes almost a direct quote and changes Hadley to CRU. It’s kind of like what Dr. Wegman does with that textbook he plagiarises from Dr. Raymond Bradley.

    Why do you think Cuccinelli changes Hadley Center to CRU? Is he trying to “fix” the confused RIA Novosti article?

    Is the AG getting “help” from someone?

    It is very strange that Cuccinelli’s suit to the EPA as well as many of the petitions to the EPA would cite the Russian government’s official press agency. Cuccinelli picks this one article which is based on Illarionov but ignores many other Russian sources.

    Illarionov is a former Putin adviser who also worked for Victor Chernomyrdin (Soviet Gas Ministry/Gazprom). He seems to me to be a political operative for fossil-fuel interests, not a climate scientist.

  22. The author of the report you linked from Climate Audit, N.A. Pivovarova, is probably an assistant professor at Astrakhan State Technical University (S. Russia) who is an expert on the gas industry. She seems to be in the Department of Chemical Technology of Oil and Gas.

    http://astu.astu.org/en/science/

    She’s not a climate scientist and neither is Illarionov.

  23. According to Tim Lambert at the Deltoid blog, the “Russian [IEA] analysis confirms 20th century CRU temperatures” (12-17-09):

    “[T]he IEA report does not support the claims made in the news story. I’ve reproduced the final graph from the report below. The red curve is the temperature trend using the 121 Russian stations that CRU has released data for, while the blue hockey stick is from a larger set of 476 stations. I’ve put them on top of the CRU temperatures for northern extratropics. The red and blue curves agree very well in the period after 1950, thus confirming the CRU temperatures. Well done, IEA!”

    The RIA Novosti article is an English-language adaptation of an article in the Russian business daily Kommersant–which is owned by the Gazprom operative Alisher Usmanov.

    http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1293467

    The Google translation tool works pretty well for this article. I am wondering what scientists think of this Kommersant article.

    I am also wondering if any of you have any ideas about why Cuccinelli’s brief mischaracterized what RIA Novosti wrote. Why would he change Hadley center to CRU?

  24. Here is the NYT quoting the Russian scientist Alexander Bedritskiy about the IEA report:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/science/earth/23virginia.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=science

    QUOTE:
    …Alexander Bedritskiy, president of the World Meteorological Organization and the top climate change adviser to President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, said that the Russian report was thoroughly discredited by top scientists in his country more than a year ago.

    “Any scientific discussion on the results, pretending to be science-based, does not make sense,” Dr. Bedritskiy said in an e-mail.

    He also noted that the author of that report, Andrei Illarionov, is not a climate scientist but an economist with the Cato Institute, a conservative research group in the United States.

    Mr. Cuccinelli could not say how he had verified the accuracy of the report, which is written in Russian, but said that his legal complaint had been “heavily researched.” The research did not consist of consultations with scientists, however, he said.

    “We have to have a certain understanding of our context to operate, but that doesn’t require expert witnesses,” he said.
    END QUOTE

  25. The people who quote Andrei Illarionov and the IEA should read what real Russian scientists are saying about climate change in Russia’s Arctic region. The Russian FSB (state security) even hires scientists to study how global warming will impact Russia’s oil and gas industry.

    I have all the links here.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/01/mermaid-hovers-over-russia.html

    Here is an interesting article (in Russian) and a Russian T.V. news report (Vesti.ru, 8-22-09) [see a larger version on Youtube] about an experiment being carried out by the International Space Station.

    The experiment is called “Mermaid” (Русалка), and its purpose is not only to measure the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere but to determine the sources and origins of these gases.

    “Mermaid” is also the acronym of an instrument called “a hand spectrum analyzer of the components of the atmosphere.” One of the Russian scientists explains the features of the “Mermaid” at the beginning of the film. It looks a bit like an old-fashioned camera. In Russian, this instrument, which combines the functions of a camera and a spectrometer, is called Ручной спектральный анализатор компонентов атмосферы, or Русалка. It is pronounced Rusalka.

    The film explains that the permafrost is melting at an accerating pace and shows some of the accidents and damage to infrastructure that occur when the thawing earth becomes unstable. For more information on the problems created by the thawing of Russia’s permafrost, search “permafrost” at Paul Goble’s blog, “Window on Eurasia.” Dr. Goble is a famous expert on Russia who has worked for various government agencies. His credentials are listed on the side of his blog.

    The Russian authorities are very concerned about the economic consequences of the thawing because much of Russia’s natural gas and oil is extracted from the permafrost. Paul Goble (6-20-07) reports:

    QUOTE
    A new study, prepared at the request of the Russian security agencies, concludes that global warming is likely to make it impossible for Moscow to continue to export oil and gas at current rates and thus over the next decade or more will undermine the foundations of Russia’s economic recovery and international standing.

    Entitled “The World Around Russia: 2017” and edited by Sergei Karaganov, one of Moscow’s most influential political commentators, this study includes articles by scholars from the Academy of Sciences as well as other experts on climate change, economics, and other issues (http://news.mail.ru/society/1330715/).

    Its conclusions are stark: Russia, the newly published book argues, faces a variety of threats from global warming, ranging from the possible influx of immigrants from countries becoming too hot to the loss of access to its oil and gas fields as a result of the melting of the permafrost in many petroleum-rich regions of the Russian north.

    And its authors suggest, neither Moscow nor the international community has the ability to prevent this from happening over the next generation or more, even if one or both were to take all the steps that Russian and Western environmental experts now advocate.

    Massive immigration is already a political issue in Russia, but the appearance of this book indicates that the dangers global warming poses for Russia’s oil and gas industries are trends that the Kremlin and the Russian security agencies are paying far greater attention to.

    If the permafrost melts – and several scholars participating in this study argue that this process has become “irreversible” – then it will be extremely difficult and enormously expensive for Moscow to shore up drilling fields and pipelines on hitherto solid territories transformed into large boggy marshes.

    More than any other country, the Russian Federation has extensive experience working in permafrost areas and has developed technologies that allow it to build and operate various facilities in these regions. But if the permafrost melts, as this study suggests it will continue to do, all Russian facilities now on frozen ground will be at risk. [Window on Eurasia (6-2-07). "Global Warming Threatens Russian Oil Exports, FSB Study Warns."]
    END QUOTE

    One of the Russian scientists interviewed on the T.V. program “A Mermaid Hovers Over Russia” is the biologist Dr. Sergei Kirpotin (Сергей Кирпотин), who teaches at Tomsk State University in Tomsk, Siberia. Dr. Kirpotin, who is wearing an orange jacket in the film, is an expert on the thawing of the permafrost; and I have posted a number of articles about his research.

    When Dr. Kirpotin sinks his boot into the bog, he is demonstrating how the methane is visibly bubbling through the thawing permafrost. The Russian permafrost is full of frozen organic matter; but when the permafrost thaws, the organic matter decays and the greenhouse gas methane is released. Dr. Kirpotin believes that this process is accelerating and irreversible, although perhaps it can be slowed down.

    In an interesting English-subtitled video made by Russian Greenpeace, Dr. Kirpotin discusses the consequences of the thawing permafrost. [This is a terrific video, but at times it's not working. Try again later.] Here is a side show that Dr. Kirpotin made about the permafrost. It takes a long time to load. Be patient. The captions are in English.

    If you use the Google translation tool to read the Vesti “Mermaid” article, you will be able to understand most of what the authors are explaining as you view “A Mermaid Hovers Over Russia” (“Русалка” парит над Сибирью”).

  26. Gavin's Pussycat

    > “A Mermaid Hovers Over Russia” (“Русалка” парит над Сибирью”).

    …Siberia?

  27. Sorry–Siberia. I really do read Russian, but sometimes I slip a cog. At least someone reads my screeds.
    The title of the Russian show says “Siberia” (in the instrumental case following the preposition “over”), not Russia.
    http://www.vesti.ru/doc.html?id=311142

    My point is that the Russian scientists are studying climate change. Gazprom and the Kremlin need to know what is going to happen with the not-s0-permafrost, the Arctic, their wheat crop, and massive immigration.

    That McIntyre guy just cherry-picks the Illarionov propaganda. He doesn’t really tell what Russian scientists say. Sometimes I wonder who is really writing some of the “Russian” propaganda. A lot of their AIDS propaganda originated with American conspiracists, according to a CIA report called Operation Infektion.

    Sometimes, Russia’s national leaders actually are fooled by the stupid lies that trickle up to them. They are so paranoid that they believe all the conspiracy theories instead of the science. This is not a new problem in Russia.
    Still, Medvedev is no moron. I think he got really irritated last summer when Andrei Areshev (from a Foreign Ministry drunk tank) claimed right in RIA Novosti that US scientists were causing global warming with secret climate weapons right when NASA was spotting the fires. Medvedev said that some in the foreign ministry were “insufficiently analytical.” He’s more understated than Putin. After Areshev’s impolitic speculations, every third word on RIA Novosti was “NASA says…” They had to tell their people that the Americans were helping them. Unfortunately, Cuccinelli didn’t quote that in his suit.

    The Russians know there is global warming; even the FSB (KGB) commissioned a study about this a few years ago, but they are going to build dikes and adapt to climate change. It’s kind of accepting a slow-motion genocide for lots of people and nations. I don’t like to think that America would accept this now that we know what is happening.

    Russia can’t always come up with a 5-year plan that gets bread into the store, much less a long-term plan for climate change. Plus, they are finally getting to make a little money. Still, if we get going, they may eventually get on board. Plus, the Europeans don’t like getting jerked around by the gas bosses.

  28. At some level, the connection between Russian mouthpieces and the US misinformation network isn’t that surprising. The Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which has been called “the Johnny Appleseed of conservative think tanks”, is apparently behind a number of Moscow policy ‘institutes’. Still, if any of these also turn out to be funded by Russian fossil fool interests, it’ll be nice to know.

    frank

  29. I don’t think the Russian influence activities sponsor or collaborate with organizations based on ideology. They act on what they believe promotes Russia’s political power and financial interests.

    The Kremlin-financed satellite TV Russia Today has clearly promoted the views of Western denialists on their TV–O’Sullivan, Monckton, Pat Michaels. The Russian propaganda made a big deal of Climategate. The fossil fuel companies own a LOT of media in Russia.

    The Gazprom operative Alisher Usmanov published a story about Andrei Illarionov’s IEA report (about Russian temperature stations) in Kommersant. From there it went to RIA Novosti and was replayed by Western denialists to attack the EPA. It seems to me the EPA was the real target. Now you have state officials such as Cuccinelli attacking the EPA. Cuccinelli’s father is a career gas lobbyist who has served “European” and “Latin American” clients, according to the dad’s website. The father’s business gave Cuccinelli 96,000 for his campaign. The Cuccinelli family may make a lot of money by promoting the interests of the gas industry.
    Now they own the top law-officer of Virginia.

    Russia’s top climate scientist Bedritsky has distanced Russian scientists from Illarionov’s much cited report , has noted that Illarionov is not a scientist, and that he works for the Cato Insititute. This was in the NYT. He sent them an email. Here is the NYT quoting the Russian scientist Alexander Bedritskiy about the IEA report:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/science/earth/23virginia.html?pagewanted=2&_r=1&ref=science

    On the other hand, because they want to sell their liquified natural gas in the US, Gazprom officials are saying that fracking will be bad for our water.

    The point is, the Russians are trying to sell gas. If science isn’t on their side, they will spread anti-science. If the science is on their side, they will spread that.

    The Russians study climate change because it is going to affect their fossil fuel industry, flooding of cities, agriculture, and immigration. Even the FSB (KGB) studies this.

    This is about making money and extending influence–not conservative or liberal. They are “conservative” on Climategate and “Liberal” on fracking.

    One question I wonder about is this. If we don’t allow fracking because it is environmentally unsound, will we end up developing renewables or will we end up buying Russian natural gas?

    The Russians supported the denialists on the climate change issue, but they seem to be supporting the environmentalists on the fracking:

    “Not every housewife is aware of the environmental consequences of the use of shale gas…I don’t know who would take the risk of endangering drinking water reservoirs.”—Alexander Medvedev, Director-General of Russia’s Gazprom Export (Suspected former KGB officer)

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/02/gazprom-goes-green.html

    • Snapple:

      I don’t think the Russian influence activities sponsor or collaborate with organizations based on ideology. They act on what they believe promotes Russia’s political power and financial interests.

      I won’t disagree.

      But in effect you’re only saying that ‘If the Russians are funding Moscow think-tanks which are also funded from the US side, then they probably aren’t doing it based on ideology’. I think the more important question to ask is, ‘Well, are the Russians funding these Moscow think-tanks in the first place (for whatever reason)? Can we prove it?’

      frank

  30. Please don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t know anything about the activities or funding of the think tanks you posted.

    I have discussed the propaganda campaign surrounding Andrei Illarionov’s so-called “report.” His report was first published in Alisher Usmanov’s business daily Kommersant.

    Look up Alisher Usmanov. He is a Russian-based Uzbek billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin. He is one of the richest men in the world.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alisher_Usmanov

  31. There is some evidence about the Russian LUKoil paying for the translation of Czech President Vaclav Klaus’ denialist manifesto “”Blue Planet in Green Shackles.”

    President Klaus calls Al Gore as an “apostle of arrogance” and claims that manmade climate change is a myth. Klaus is a lot like Monckton–he attacks the European Union. The Russians like that because they want the EU to be weak so each country has to negotiate for gas instead of the entire EU.

    This article has a lot of detail about Russian influence activities in the Czech Republic.

    http://www.rferl.org/content/Czech_Mate_How_Russia_Is_Rebuilding_Influence_In_The_Former_Soviet_Bloc/2168090.html

    The thing I still wonder about is this question I keep asking. Attorney General Cuccinelli “cites” the RIA Novosti article in his EPA suit, but he actually doesn’t quote the Novosti article correctly.

    Cuccinelli’s brief claims:

    “On December 15, 2009—the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding—the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis (“IEA”) reported that CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data and that the Russian meteorological station data do not support human-caused global warming. It was well established that CRU had dropped many Russian stations in the colder regions of the country supposedly because these stations were no longer maintained. The IEA stated that, on the contrary, the stations still report temperatures but that CRU ignores the results.”

    In fact, the Russian article Cuccinelli “cites” never blames the CRU for allegedly ignoring weather stations. Compare Cuccinelli’s brief or “joint motion” (on the bottom of page 14 and the top of page 15 and “supporting” footnote #12) with what the “cited” Russian article in RIA Novosti (12-16-09) actually says (below):

    “On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

    The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.”

    Scroll down to the Russian article (in English) called “Russia Affected by Climategate.” Note that it cites Kommersant as its source.

    http://en.rian.ru/papers/20091216/157260660.html

    The RIA Novosti article is propaganda, but the article never said that the “CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data.” On the contrary, RIA Novosti claimed that the “Hadley Center for Climate Change…probably tampered with Russian-climate data.” Cuccinelli’s brief isn’t citing RIA Novosti correctly at all. It’s a real mystery how this mistake occurred. Maybe someone was trying to “fix” what RIA Novosti said.

    Here is my post about this mystery and the links to the documents.

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/10/attorney-general-cuccinelli-ties-his.html

    It is really hilarious that Cuccinelli’s brief suggests it is a coincidence that the IEA published its report “on the very day that EPA issued its Endangerment Finding.” I am really sure it was no coincidence that Illarionov’s Report was issued that day and then immediately replayed by Alisher Usmanov’s Kommersant and the Russian government’s RIA Novosti. What happened here seems to me coordinated by the Russian propaganda agencies. There’s nothing coincidental about this at all.

    I get totally mixed up on all the science information, but even I can see that Cuccinelli mischaracterized the RIA Novosti article in his suit against the EPA.

    I really wonder how it happened that Cuccinelli changed Hadley Center to CRU.

    One thing I know from my background in Soviet/Russian studies: always check the quotes.

    [DC: There are a number of possible explanations for the change, but the most likely on ein my opinion is that Ciccinnelli doesn't know the difference between the two organizations, and he was very anxious to further link CRU to possible climate science "fraud". ]

  32. I was hoping that John Mashey could look at what I am trying to explain.
    Maybe he can figure out why Cuccinelli changed Hadley Center to CRU.

    It’s not a normal mistake for a lawyer to make when preparing a brief, and Cuccinelli is suing a federal agency. In the RIA Novosti article, the CRU is only mentioned one time in connection with Climategate. Cuccinelli is an Attorney General–the chief law officer of Virginia, but he put CRU in when the article said Hadley Center. Something funny is going on here. Cuccinelli claims he is citing RIA Novosti, but really his is mischaracterizing what RIA Novosti said.

    One other thing. Cuccinelli’s brief has a space in the footnoted address to the Russian RIA Novosti site, so it doesn’t connect. Don’t important lawyers check their footnoted links when suing the EPA?

    If you close the space in the address, it will connect to this:

    http://en.rian.ru/papers/%2020091216/157260660.html

    Here is the Kommersant article. You have to wait. It’s there. The google translation helps. If you have a question, I can usually tell when the google is wrong.
    http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1293467

    Here is Cuccinelli’s brief.

    http://www.oag.state.va.us/PRESS_RELEASES/Cuccinelli/Joint%20Motion%20to%20Remand%20VA%20filed%20with%20clerk%204_15_10.pdf

  33. I am reluctant to discuss the GazpromInvestHoldings and mining mogul Alisher Usmanov to much, but someone has to ask about Usmanov. The fact that Illarionov’s report appears in Usmanov’s business daily Kommersant is really important.

    [DC: I'm sure Usmanov is nasty work, but I don't see a strong connection here, so I'm limiting this discussion. For example, are there other examples of Kommersant attacking cllimate science and scientists? ]

    Here are posts about Usmanov that appear to be from Craig Murray.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=usmanov

    Here is something that was recopied by a blogger when Murray had to remove his articles.
    http://alisherusmanov.blogspot.com/

    [DC: The discussion is veering a little too far from the topic. You raise some interesting points, but it would be better to stick closer to climate change topics than broad comments on Russian politics.]

  34. [DC: I'm having difficulty understanding the relationship of the case of Russian journalist Ivan Safronov to efforts to attack climate science and scientists. Sorry, I'm going to be editing quite a bit from here on, although I'll let folks follow the links if they want to read about it (it is a shocking example of the murderous pattern in Russia).]

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2007/06/russian_journal/

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2007/03/russian-expert-paul-joyal-spoke-truth.html

    It gives me the creeps to see Virginia’s Attorney General Cuccinelli, an officer of the law, citing the RIA Novosti version of “respectable” Kommersant’s smear of the defenseless UK climate scientists in his attack on the EPA.

  35. DC asks if there are there other examples of Kommersant attacking cllimate science and scientists.

    On the right of the Kommersant article there are many articles about the climate change controversy. As far as I know, these were not translated into English by the Russian government and used in lawsuits against the EPA.

    http://www.kommersant.ru/doc/1293467

    Be patient.

    The point is that Safronov worked for Kommersant but was killed when Usmanov took it over. Also, Kommersant is very powerful if it can openly attack the Russian foreign intelligence.

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