Open Thread, February 2012

Here are a couple of items currently in the news.

Fallout from the Wall Street Journal 16 op-ed continues. The Journal printed a response from actual climate scientists, apparently drafted by NCAR scientists Kevin Trenberth. Meanwhile Patrick Michaels weighs in at Forbes.

There are many other takedowns of the WSJ 16 piece out there; here is one from Media Matters.

There has also been a ragged rollout of the plan for a more rigourous oil sands monitoring program, with attendant confusion about whether there will be independent governance. As far as I can tell, Alberta is willing to go along with this in order to ensure the program’s credibility, but the federal environment minister Peter Kent seems cool to the idea.

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86 responses to “Open Thread, February 2012

  1. Michaels calls Claude Allegre the “lead author” of the WSJ 16. But that’s just because Allegre’s name appears first alphabetically. So there’s still no indication as to who actually wrote this thing.

    • There is a definite hint of Will Happer.
      1) See Daily Princetonian”

      ‘Physics professor William Happer GS ’64 has some tough words for scientists who believe that carbon dioxide is causing global warming.

      “This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda,” Happer, the Cyrus Fogg Brackett Professor of Physics, said in an interview. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. Every time you exhale, you exhale air that has 4 percent carbon dioxide. To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”’

      2) Then Science
      ‘Will Happer, a physicist at Princeton University who questions the consensus view on climate, thinks Mashey is a destructive force who uses “totalitarian tactics”—publishing damaging documents online, without peer review—to carry out personal vendettas. Whereas Mann lauds Mashey for “exploring the underbelly of climate denial,” Happer says Mashey’s tactics are “contrary to open inquiry.”’

      3) Then the WSJ OpEd:
      ‘The international warming establishment quickly mounted a determined campaign to have Dr. de Freitas removed from his editorial job and fired from his university position. Fortunately, Dr. de Freitas was able to keep his university job.

      This is not the way science is supposed to work, but we have seen it before—for example, in the frightening period when Trofim Lysenko hijacked biology in the Soviet Union. Soviet biologists who revealed that they believed in genes, which Lysenko maintained were a bourgeois fiction, were fired from their jobs. Many were sent to the gulag and some were condemned to death. ‘

      Note, re de Freitas, see Pal review, which links back to some of DC’s early work.

    • (a bit late, sorry)

      Allègre received lately the “Atoms for peace” price (don’t ask me why, don’t ask me what it is, I have no idea)

      http://www.atoms-for-peace.org/prize/claureat-2011.htm

      during the interview, the AFP journalist asked him about the WSJ op-ed. His answer was this : “I signed the WSJ op-ed because Richard Lindzen asked me so, I didn’t write it and I didn’t read it in detail”.
      http://www.20minutes.fr/ledirect/874372/nucleaire-claude-allegre-recoit-prix-atoms-for-peace (in French, sorry)

      Of course, we shouldn’t quite get his speech as face value. It is entirely possible he wrote some parts : the Lyssenko thing is one of his favourite (hint : he was a democrat verging on communism at some point, before going all conservative to have a job)

  2. Your “ragged rollout” link does not work.

    There is a very interesting article about the discussions between governments and scientists in the week before the monitoring announcement:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Scientists+historic+battle+over+oilsands+monitoring/6100226/story.html

    And Pembina Institute’s reaction calls for better management as well as monitoring:

    http://www.pembina.org/media-release/2308

  3. Interesting (and refreshingly thorough!) article on the tar sands monitoring. While the independent oversight is obviously critical, the proposed monitoring seems week, IMHO.

    I haven’t seen the monitoring plan, but the article states that they’ll be ramping up from annual sampling (!) to monthly. But as the saying goes, “dilution is the solution to pollution” – any chemicals or compounds leaching into the river will be diluted to beyond detectable levels pretty quickly. What is needed (again, IMHO) is near-continuous water quality monitoring downstream of every tar sands operation to detect pollutants entering the river.

    What about groundwater? Air pollution? Soil contamination?

    • I think the plan itself is solid. As I recall, there could be increased frequency or more dense spatial sampling at certain points when warranted, triggered by certain conditions seen in the regular sampling. Also some of David Schindler’s work looked at detecting air-borne contamination by examining nearby snow, so I think they will have looked at the right contaminants and contaminant pathways.

      I trust scientists like Schindler and Miall to keep the government’s feet to the fire in all aspects including scientific design, transparency and governance. The interesting discussions will be with industry – they’ll be asked to pay more but have less control than they did under the current RAMP program.

  4. The open thread discussion at Deltoid, including Laframboise’ book, led me to check her Amason reviews. On of the newest ones, Jan 19, 2012, was by “Stephen Harper” who has reviewed 8 books there: http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A1WOSPWZI1QJYW/ref=cm_pdp_rev_all?ie=UTF8&sort_by=MostRecentReview

    I don’t think(?) it’s actually the PM, though I bet he would agree with much of what this reviewer says.

  5. Canada should monitor its damage from the tar sands drilling, but you can already see it from space. Opening Google Maps, it’s clearly visible from the North America view in northeast Alberta (Fort Mackay).

    The ashen, cancerous scar grows daily.

    • Speaking from personal experience, it can extremely obvious when observed on the polar route from the US pacific northwest to europe, if there’s no cloud cover and depending on the specific route being flown.

  6. How polite to call Patrick Michaels’ latest piece “weighing in”.

    Just the title of his Forbes piece demeans scientists and cheapens their efforts. We may not know how much Mr. Michaels’ patrons are paying him, but they are getting their money’s worth.

  7. More about an independent commission being appointed to oversee the monitoring:

    http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/Independent+commission+could+oversee+oilsands+monitoring+system/6109937/story.html

  8. The denialosphere is abuzz this morning with a book which is the “final, final absolutely the final nail” in the coffin of AGW. That coffin must be so heavy with all those last nails that it will take every denier and more to even lift it.

    The book is a German book called “Die Kalte Sonne” (the Cold Sun, I hope my German translation is correct). It is supposedly written by a “Professor” Fritz Vahrenholt. If this book is so important it must be written by a leading climate scientist or a leader in the field of solar physics.

    However, a quick Google shows that Fritz Vahrenholt (surprise surprise ) is neither but is the CEO of a subsidiary of the German energy giant RWE AG.

    I wont give any links to denier sites but I’m sure that it will be properly debunked in the many honest sites in a very short time.

    • I see “RC” answered your first question (about being “FOIA”), but not your second (about his possible association with the administrator of sinwt.ru, the site where the second tranche of CRU emails were first uploaded in November 2011).

    • Frank–the RC poster does answer your second question if you scroll down. He says: “(Aside: regarding Frank’s question about the Russian server, let me borrow a phrase from the DeNiro “Ronin” movie: “We went to high school together.”)”

    • Exactly right. I only noticed that after my original comment to the contrary. (Actually, it looks like the answer came after Frank posted here).

  9. RWE gets gas from Gazprom.

  10. It seems to me that Dr. Vahrenholt has a PhD in chemistry, according to this site. http://www.rwe.com/web/cms/en/86244/rwe-innogy/company/management/prof-dr-fritz-vahrenholt/

  11. Will Happer lets that denialist think tank that is in a mail box put in his footnotes for his Congressional testimony AFTER he testifies. Happer seems to be citing Monckton.

    See: Why Did Dr. Will Happer Let the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) Add Footnotes to His February 25, 2009 Senate Testimony?

    http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-did-drhapper-let-science-and-public.html

  12. Did I read somewhere that the Russian site sinwt.ru was actually in Germany?

  13. Dr. Mashey–
    I hope you will read what I noticed about Dr. Happer. I didn’t think his Congressional Testimony was what I would expect from a Princeton professor. It didn’t even have footnotes until the SPPI added them. Some of the citations credited Lord Monckton! Why would a Princeton PhD cite him? At first, I thought that this subsequent footnoting had been done without the professor’s permission, but then I saw that his own site referred readers to this testimony that had the footnotes added after the testimony.

  14. Why does the site have a .ru address if it is in Germany?
    I don’t know anything about how all this works.

    • The domain name is Russian based (.ru is the top level domain name for Russia). “Dot-ru” names are regulated by a Russian registry (and yes there is a .us country top-level domain registry for the US, but nobody uses it).

      But the actual server hosting the website can be anywhere; it doesn’t need to be physically in Russia.

      That was a good catch on SPPI by the way. There’s an interesting story to be told about the SPPI report on temperature data (Watts and d’Aleo), which had a key reference changed from one version to the next. Interestingly, the new reference was a newspaper article that did not even exist at the time of the first version (and in fact the article was about that earlier SPPI version!)

  15. Watts has whipped up the anti-Mann crowd into a frenzy of “unhelpful” votes on reviews of Michael Mann’s new book, along some pretty hateful reviews (some of which are definitely over the line and should be taken down).

    Here’s an example of a recent one that one can only hope won’t last. But it’s a real vote-getter:

    84 of 146 people found the following review helpful:
    2.0 out of 5 stars Mein Mampf, February 8, 2012
    By JAMES J. HILL (Hayden, Idaho)

    This review is from: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines (Hardcover)
    This book goes on the shelf right up there with those on Eugenics, Piltdown Man, Freudian Psychoanalysis, Recovered Memory and Y2K, (all of which were backed by PhD’s and science).

    • And remember the uproar in the same WUWT crowd when somebody wrote a review of LaFramboise’s book without (supposedly) having bought (and thus read) the book?

      Hypocritical is a nice qualification for this kind of behavior. Despiccable comes quite a bit closer.

    • Sometimes I wish industry *hadn’t* spent billions fixing software before Y2K arrived …

  16. Well it’s gone. But James Hill is back with another review with a less incendiary title, but lots more clearly defamatory text.

    1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
    2.0 out of 5 stars Sad story, February 8, 2012
    By JAMES J. HILL (Hayden, Idaho)

    How many scientific theorists have you read about who, when challenged, proceed NOT to reinforce their theories with deeper and better science, but rather attack a myriad of unnamed enemies? Mr. Mann is such a theorist.

    This book does not discuss much science. I find that understandable. This book appears more oriented to keeping its author from being discovered for what he is.

    When we reflect on the costs, wasted decades of misguided education, and the human damage of such science that produced eugenics, Piltdown Man, Freudian psychoanalyis, and recovered memories of infantile sexual abuse, we begin to grasp the depth of the deception Mr. Mann is attenpting to impose upon humanity. He may believe his own baloney. More’s the pity.

    I recommend this book to all. The few dollars it costs will become a small part of a long testament to the ongoing folly of human culpability.

    Some other samples from the reviews (pretty representative of the 10 negative reviews – each line from a different review):

    The Hockey-stick isn’t more than a statistical trick, to hide the decline and to make disappear the MWP for the fake of an AGW. .

    Folks, this bozo is the inventor of the famous “hockey stick” temperature graph, which conveniently wiped out both the medieval warm period and the little ice age and launched the Great Global Warming Hoax.

    Schtick from the Crook in the Stick

    I read the computer code released a couple of years ago and if code that sloppy were written and used in any business, that business would be shut down by the government for fraud.

    Predictably disappointing piece of spin attempting to defend the indefensible.

    Well, it looks like I just had my previous review deleted because I did not like Michael Mann’s, Mann as victim, book. An example of the dirty tricks employed by those who are true believers in CAGW.

    Oh, sure, Amazon’s efforts to remove clearly libelous reviews is proof of a conspiracy by “true believers”.

    On the other hand you can read thoughtful essays from the likes of Chris Colose and John Cook.

    The Amazon page for The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines by Michael E Mann is here:

  17. It’s not at all surprising that has happened, after the shenanigans over Laframboise’s book, where the deniers were gaming the Amazon reviews and posting vitriolic remarks in the comments for every 1-star review of her book.

    I’ll plan to get a printed version of Mann’s book, but one of the reviews there mentioned Curry, and I’ve started wondering if he mentions her in his book. If he does, she’ll probably be ticked off, but she will be even more ticked off if he doesn’t mention her at all.

  18. Sceptical Wombat

    I think that the anti Mann reviews should be left. Their ad hom remarks stand in marked contrast to the more cogent positive reviews. They also of course help to prove the point that Mann is making

  19. I don’t think those moronic, illiterate reviews will impress anyone who is honestly trying to sort this out. Until Climategate, I was confused about climate change; but once I started to pay attention, it didn’t take me long to decide who the honest scientists were. For one thing, criminal hackers and the denialists are in cahoots.
    Even in Russia, Pravda had to get the American 9-11 Truther Gregory Fegel to write about climate change, and then Fegel was cited favorably by so-called “conservatives” in the US.
    Dr. Mashey–I wish I knew your definition of “near future.”

  20. Vivian Krause testified before the Natural Resources committee a couple of hours ago, about foreign money to ENGOS.

    Reporter Peter O’Neil and others tweeted about it, including:

    Then later Kady O’Malley tweeted press conferences by Elizabeth May on foreign government and corporate influences, and by Peter Kent about the commercial development in Jasper National Park. His concern about foreign funding is mentioned:

    Kady’s liveblog of the events is here:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2012/02/orders-of-the-day—shadowy-foreign-influences—-from-all-sides—-lapping-at-our-shores.html

    CBC news report on the park:

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/story/2012/02/09/pol-glacier-walk-assessment.html

  21. Heh, Elizabeth May and the Green Party have come up with a new phrase “the Axis of Oil” or the “China-Harper Axis of Oil.”

    http://greenparty.ca/media-release/2012-02-09/axis-oil-poses-significant-problems-and-questions-canada

  22. More about Krause’s appearance yesterday and an idiot Conservative who is planning a private member’s bill:

    http://www.vancouversun.com/business/foreign+funding+radicals+urges/6131984/story.html

    http://www.pogge.ca/archives/003517.shtml

    • And Harper is in China yapping about “bad” foreign money to ENGOs while pushing for “good” Chinese investment. What an idiot.

      http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/politics/article/1129120–harper-blasts-foreign-money-oilands-debate-while-welcoming-china

    • Brian Jean, MP for Fort McMurray-Athabasca (the oil sands riding) blows the dog whistle about possible payoffs to aboriginal chiefs:

      “I’m not a forensic accountant, but I’d like to know who they direct the money to, whether it’s other charities as you mentioned, or whether it’s bands or chiefs or lobbyists, and how they get it into Canada,” he said at a meeting of the natural resources committee. [Emphasis added]

      Then he, ahem, clarifies:

      “I would certainly hope that is not the case but it wouldn’t surprise me,” he said. [Emphasis added]

      While he said he has no evidence “whatsoever” to indicate chiefs are taking payoffs, he said he has close family connections with first nations in his riding.

      “And I understand the politics of bands and I understand the politics of first nations,” he said.

      “People who are elected chief are no different from white politicians or Anglo-Saxon politicians in Ottawa. People are people and some people are corrupt and some people aren’t.

      “I have found very little corruption in Ottawa, but I understand that has happened before. We saw the sponsorship scandal. We’ve seen other examples of Canadian politicians taking money.”

      Okay, some aboriginal chiefs are corrupt and possibly taking illegal payoffs to opposed Northern Gateway. He has “no evidence” but wouldn’t be “surprised”.

      What’s next? Accusations that climate scientists are taking payoffs from ENGOs to distort the science? It turns out climate science is another thing Jean is unsure of (although he hides it most of the time):

      Feb 3 2005:

      Mr. Brian Jean (Fort McMurray—Athabasca, CPC): I had an opportunity to go to Iceland for part of the ministerial conference, and I have to say I do believe, based upon the evidence I’ve seen, that there is climate change. Whether it’s man-made or not is a question I do not have certainty on. From what I’ve seen, it seems to be a cyclical situation that happens over eons. There has been tremendous change in the climate, especially recently and especially in our north, and there’s no question in my mind that there has. [Emphasis added]

  23. “While he said he has no evidence “whatsoever” to indicate chiefs are taking payoffs, he said he has close family connections with first nations in his riding.

    “And I understand the politics of bands and I understand the politics of first nations,” he said.P

    Err, is Mr Jean accusing just First Nations Chiefs of corruption or saying that he, too, is corrupt? ” he said he has close family connections with first nations in his riding.”

  24. It sounds to me like this guy is making vague allegations about his opposition because he is worried that someone may accuse him of having foreign funding, so he is going to point the finger elsewhere.

    • Well certainly Chinese influence has become a concern in Canada, especially with their growing stake in the oil sands. IIRC, a CSIS officer expressed concern about unnamed Canadian politicians (provincial I think). But I don’t think they would bother with a nobody like Brian Jean.

      This is more about extending the U.S. foreign influence meme to aboriginals (not just ENGOs), something that has been whispered but not openly alleged like this before, according to reporter Peter O’Neil’s (writing in his blog):

      Why did I write about this? I’ve heard completely unsubstantiated allegations relating to the efforts made to advance and oppose Enbridge Inc.’s pipeline. This was the first time I heard a politician raise this publicly, and I decided to write a story about it. I asked him if he’d be surprised if the Chinese government, which has a huge interest in Northern Gateway going ahead, might also be tossing money at First Nations to support the project. He wouldn’t touch that one.

      The upshot? I think Jean’s assertion brings some whispers out of the shadows. And I think his comments might play well to the Conservative base. One of my most abrasive fans accused me of being a “shameless shill for big oil” because I quoted Jean on the matter.

      But I suspect the folks at Enbridge, and the oil patch in general, are horrified by such comments. Northern Gateway is already an incredibly tough sell in B.C., and I suspect that unsubstantiated allegations of corruption will surely make blood boil among the many aboriginals who are genuinely concerned about the potential environmental impact of the project. Enbridge wants to have equity-sharing agreements with the majority of bands along the route by June, and I can’t imagine this helps their cause..

      I thought Vivian Krause’s reaction was interesting. She was shocked – just shocked I tell you – at such allegations.

      “I disagree, I’ve seen no evidence of that,” she said.

      No, of course not. But that hasn’t stopped her asking so-called “fair questions” casting doubt on the legitimacy of grants to native groups from Tides Canada. She’s a dog whistle blower and Jean sure heard it loud and clear.

  25. Diagram of IP addresses known to be involved in SwiftHack 1.0 and 2.0:

    http://ijish.livejournal.com/46112.html

    — frank

  26. What does dog whistle blower mean?

    • Well, a whistle blower is someone who brings unnoticed or hidden bad behaviour to general attention, usually an insider “blowing the whistle” on corrupt colleagues or superiors.

      Dog whistles? Well they are blown too, but not in a clear manner. You have to be attuned to the high frequencies to get the message. McIntyre is a good example – he tries not to use words like “fraud”, “lies” or even “misconduct” to describe climate scientists. But the insinuation is clear enough to those who are attuned to it – like Cuccinelli for instance.

    • Deep Climate, Snapple:

      McIntyre, and climate inactivists in general, should give a straight answer this question: Did FOI2009.zip or FOIA2011.zip reveal any actual, specific, actionable instances of attempts to falsify data or results, or attempts to suppress good, solid science?

      But of course they won’t answer the question — because they know that the true answer is “no”.

      So instead, they make a lot of irrelevant noises about ‘oh noes climatologists said unflattering things about skeptics’, etc. etc. etc. Last I checked, saying unflattering things about people one doesn’t like is in no way a scandal, and in no way a firing offence. But you won’t find people like McIntyre pointing that out. It’s all spin — spin for the purpose of avoiding the key questions.

      — frank

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      Some truths are not very flattering.

  27. Oh, I get it now.

  28. lolwut? A biologist lobs insults with sexual innuendo at a manufacturer of a herbicide with poisonous side effects … and gets away with it:

    The Frog of War; http://motherjones.com/environment/2011/11/tyrone-hayes-atrazine-syngenta-feud-frog-endangered

    — frank

    • Table 5, 2012 Fundraising Plan.pdf:

      ONE anonymous donor gave the Heartland Institute $8.6 million between 2005-2011 to fund anti-global warming propaganda.

    • Oh boy. Big H/T to Robert.

      “Efforts at places such as Forbes are especially important now that they have begun to allow high-profile climate scientists (such as Gleick) to post warmist science essays that counter our own. This influential audience has usually been reliably anti-climate and it is important to keep opposing voices out.” (emphasis added)

      “We have also pledged to help raise around $90,000 in 2012 for Anthony Watts to help him create a new website to track temperature station data.”

      “We will seek additional partnerships in 2012. At present we sponsor the NIPCC to undermine the official United Nation’s IPCC reports and paid a team of writers $388,000 in 2011 to work on a series of editions of Climate Change Reconsidered. Expenses will be about the same in 2012. NIPCC is currently funded by two gifts a year from two foundations, both of them requesting anonymity.”

    • Rattus Norvegicus

      The 88K for Watts is most interesting….

  29. On another note, John Abraham’s submission to the UK Leveson Inquiry into news media practises has been accepted.

    http://www.levesoninquiry.org.uk/evidence/?witness=dr-john-abraham

  30. An excellent post by David Roberts at Grist about climate advocates and analysts, etc., building on posts by George Hoberg and Bryan Walsh and going beyond:

    http://grist.org/climate-change/climate-analysts-are-from-mars-climate-activists-are-from-venus-but-they-both-live-on-earth/

  31. Meanwhile, in Vancouver the AAAS meeting is going on and the scientists are fighting back. There was a symposium about government muzzling of scientists in Canada and the US; and many Canadian mainstream media articles on the topic this evening.

    Here are some links, including a letter sent to Harper and a press package:

    http://www.sciencemediacentre.ca/smc/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=254:ec-feb17-2012&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=49&lang=en

    The recorded symposium plays here, with very good speakers:

    http://hosting.desire2learncapture.com/StellarJay/4/watch/28.aspx

    The #UnmuzzleScience hashtag was working earlier but is not now. It was strange because a tweet from Shell dated Feb 7 that did not have the hashtag kept stuck to the top spot. Maybe now they are getting rid of that tweet, or else maybe Shell deleted all of those posts somehow?

    Anway, the media attention is great, though my main concern is that it is coming at the start of a long weekend (for some Canadians anyway) and I hope they keep up the pressure and the PR going into next week and beyond.

  32. More SwiftHack weirdness:

    Not sure if this is a useful lead, but apparently one of the mail servers for the sinwt.ru domain name is relay.sinwt.ru, whose IP address is 199.168.186.146, which is in Florida.

    http://www.robtex.com/dns/sinwt.ru.html#records

    — frank

  33. Have to run, but the WSJ wasn’t content to let scientists set readers of the previous Op-Ed straight: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html.

    Burt Rutan signs on to this op-ed too, despite a quick look showing that it appears to suffer from some of the same issues pointed out to him at the Scholars and Rogues thread addressing his participation in the previous op-ed (http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2012/01/27/open-letter-to-burt-rutan).

  34. My yardstick is still Glenn Beck saying Al Gore was just like Hitler, but for cars.

  35. Regarding the “theft” of Heartland’s documents… This is a little off topic for some of the other threads but related nevertheless.

    Heartland and just about any other denialist org will have absolutely no qualms with turning themselves into a pretzel in defense of their own actions, while condemning with the utmost moral outrage, anything remotely similar done by science proponents, because this is what denialist organizations do. Particularly when denial is corporatized, as it is in this case. Morality doesn’t enter into it for them. It’s just political strategy.

    Furthermore, much of their strategy is pitting their “skepticism” which they want taught as an alternative (to the mainstream scientific viewpoint) as a scientific alternative in the classrooms. Or at least this is what they claim.

    In actuality, they are more likely trying to create the impression that there is a scientific controversy of some sort. They don’t need to be coherent in order to do so. In fact, in terms of their strategy it may actually be better if they aren’t coherent since this will make it more difficult for teachers to figure out what the actual “controversy” is, having the effect of intimidating teachers out of teaching science that isn’t “settled” (that is, the science that is actually well-established) because some people claim it is controversial and the teacher can’t say otherwise.

    Regardless, they seek to create an equivalence, one where in the eyes of the public those who haven’t the time to decide who is right will regard denial vs. science as a case of he said, she said and those who have already decided they are on the denialist side are made to feel more comfortable with their decision because it isn’t science vs. denial but conservative vs. liberal. Just politics. In their view.

    Personally, I think I can see how the naive(?) scientists are attempting to use this event, through their condemnation of the “theft,” as a vehicle for explaining what Heartland is up to in the guise of asking them to “play fair.” But those who might be able to follow such a criticism aren’t likely to be those who would fall for Heartland and its gimmicks in the first place.

    For those who would fall for such gimmicks this request to “play fair” will, in my view, only play into the very false equivalence that Heartland and other denialists organizations are trying to create in the first place. Or to put this somewhat differently, the scientists are being naive, only not quite as naive as they are trying to sophisticatedly project.

    Heartland Institute is, after all, the organization responsible for the creation of the Cornwall Alliance. That went on to try and equate concern with climate change and for the environment with worshipping the beast and following the antichrist with their “Resisting the Green Dragon” propaganda. Essentially using a belief in Revelation’s End Times and the final cataclysmic battle between Good and Evil as a means of wielding religion as a weapon in the defense of fossil fuel profits, future be damned. This crossed over into sociopathy long ago.

  36. Just posting here to subscribe.

  37. I just finished a Chrome extension that some might find of value. There is a rather amateurish video of it below…

    … followed by a link to where people can download the extension if they are interested:

    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/cnmkjhpnnabjpnblmmedbiokpmfcadme

    Although there are other web services (ip address look up, what have you), mostly its search going off of the internal search engines of which ever websites you are interested in. If you are on a page and you see something you want to look up at one of your favorite sites (assuming you have already entered the site in your preferences), select the text you wish to search for, right-click and then click on CG Detective to see what searches are available. One more click gets you the results.

    Searches for over fifteen different sites, including this blog. I have included over ten climate related sites, such as Nasa, Noaa, Real Climate, Tamino’s, Eli’s, etc. and some more general resources, Oxford English Dictionaries (but not the OED), Wikipedia, (Conservative) Media Transparency, SourceWatch, etc..I figure if people like it, this will bump up traffic for the sites I like, get people to see what kind of information is out there, and make it easier for people who currently mostly read to do their own posts or just comment.

    Don’t worry too much about voting it up. I expect zeros for obvious reasons, but people will discover it through links over time.

    • Perhaps searching on Google Warming 101 could give a quick list of sites to add to preferences?

    • J Bowers,

      Sounds like a good idea. Actually, I believe it is possible to put a Google custom search on the list of searches that are available. Unfortunately you can’t do something like site:nasa.gov as you would with the regular Google search. Something about the protocols. But the Google custom search probably isn’t an issue. I have the Real Climate search, a custom search, and that works.

      Actually I also have a custom search, one simply called Climate Search. I don’t remember how many websites and blogs I put on it (about a hundered, I believe), but I remember it had some limitations. At the time the more sites you put on it, the more shallow the search on the websites that are already there. At least after the first three sites. As you suggested a custom search, I decided to go back and check the behavior. It has improved. You still get only about 100 results, even when it tells you there are millions, but you can refine with labels and additional criteria to get something more specific. I tried this on stratospheric cooling due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. There seems to be some disagreement even between Gavin Schmidt and William Connolley on this issue, and with the Arctic ozone hole that appeared last year this is becoming topical. Probably will be, on and off, for the remainder of the decade:

      Radiative cooling by increasing greenhouse gases by itself causes area-weighted temperature decreases of ~1-2 K poleward of 70° from altitudes of 200 to 50 mb during 2010-2019 in the winter in both hemispheres, relative to the control run. In the Northern Hemisphere, the reduced frequency of stratospheric warmings adds to the radiative cooling, resulting in total temperature decreases within the enhanced Arctic vortex of 5-7 K during December and January. Large ozone losses in February and March exert a sizeable positive feedback, so that modeled temperatures are 8-10 K colder in the greenhouse run owing to combined radiative, dynamical, and chemical influences.

      Shindell, D.T., D. Rind, and P. Lonergan, 1998: Increased polar stratospheric ozone losses and delayed eventual recovery owing to increasing greenhouse-gas concentrations. Nature, 392, 589-592, doi:10.1038/33385.
      http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/abstract.cgi?id=sh04000r

      Judging from the results it appears that the shallowness of the search is no longer an issue. You are still limited in how many results you get back, but it is digging much deeper — as evidenced by searches with additional criteria.

      In any case, I appreciate the suggestion, but I will likely incorporate the custom search itself in the next few days. At the moment I have nearly 25 sites that you can perform site-specific searches on using CG Detective, and that is getting to be a bit much as each site has its own menu item in the right-click shortcut menu. However, with an appropriate update that should be much less of an issue.

  38. J Bowers,

    One other point, though. Just because I haven’t added something yet doesn’t mean that you can’t. With CG Detective the first menu item is CG Management, and under that there is the menu item Options. With Options everything is negotiable. Add and remove as you like, instructions included.

  39. Quick note: At the moment I would say that it is unlikely we are going to have severe ozone loss in the Northern Hemisphere this spring. What would be needed is a strongly positive Arctic Oscillation for severely cold stratospheric temperatures that promote the formation of polar stratospheric clouds prior to dawn. For the month of February 2011 we had 1.58. February 2012 looks more like 0.06, give or take.