Open Thread, July 2012

Some topics of possible interest:

Fueled by the record high heat, this [derscho] was one of the most powerful of this type of storm in the region in recent history, said research meteorologist Harold Brooks of the National Severe Storm Laboratory [website] in Norman, Okla. Scientists expect “non-tornadic wind events” like this one and other thunderstorms to increase with climate change because of the heat and instability, he said.

[Also see this climate scientist roundup: Is it now possible to blame extreme weather on global warming? by Leo Hickman of the Guardian. And Snapple weighs in with Will Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli Learn Anything from the Super Derecho Event of June 29, 2012? ]

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37 responses to “Open Thread, July 2012

  1. Update 1: Also see this climate scientist roundup: Is it now possible to blame extreme weather on global warming? by Leo Hickman of the Guardian.

    That has comments from Kerry Emmanual (MIT), Peter Stott (Hadley Centre), Michael Mann (Penn State), Clare Goodess (CRU at East Anglia), Doug Smith (Hadley Centre), Michael Oppenheimer (Prineceton), Harold Brooks (NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory), and Michael Wehner, staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

  2. Thanks for the plug! Dr. Mann also mentioned this post in a tweet.

  3. Gavin's Pussycat

    That was well-written Snapple… so it suddenly got personal.

  4. It got personal when Attorney General Cuccinelli turned his high office into a political police agency and began persecuting Dr. Mann. Cuccinelli says the EPA doesn’t do its own research, but Cuccinelli gets his “science” from the Kremlin’s official press agency RIA Novosti. It’s right in his footnotes, although Cuccinelli professes to distrust big government. Seems to me that Cuccinelli has no problems with big government as long as they spout lies about climate scientists.

    The FBI recently opined:

    “Foreign researchers may be under pressure to make their research conclude what their government wants it to conclude, or they may be ordered to write completely fabricated studies.”

    This is pretty hilarious, since American climate scientists are also being pressured by politicians, not just foreigners like the Russians.

    In fact, climate scientists are maligned by the FBI the same way that scientists were/are maligned in Russia by KGB propaganda campaigns. I think the FBI was duped when they claimed that Western climate scientists were manipulated. Scientists are going to know if the science is faked. Sometimes Russian scientists are trying to influence their
    politicians, too. They don’t just roll over and play dead all the time.

    If the FBI wants to write about nuclear winter, they should cite their scientific sources. They should put up or shut up. The FBI said they were exposing disinformation, but really they spread disinformation. If a scientific theory is identified as disinformation, it should be possible to say what is true; but the FBI never made it clear what is true and what is a lie. It was a real smear-job.

    The FBI should study their own stupid white paper if they want to see some disinformation.

  5. The FBI writes:

    “Foreign researchers may be under pressure to make their research conclude what their government wants it to conclude, or they may be ordered to write completely fabricated studies.”

    Perhaps the FBI should clearly and unambiguously identify one “completely fabricated study” on climate science. HINT:

    The FBI should tell us exactly what is fabricated and what is the truth, since explaining the exact truth is how one debunks disinformation. The FBI might want to consult climate scientists instead of ex-KGB operatives and journalistic accounts that cite non-climate scientists.

  6. “Foreign researchers may be under pressure to make their research conclude what their government wants it to conclude, or they may be ordered to write completely fabricated studies.”

    The FBI could have cited the Canadian scientists who are under government pressure, too.

    Go FBI!

  7. Wikipedia says this about the disappeared Soviet climate scientist:

    “According to a FBI white paper Alexandrov was a mathematician specializing in computer sciences. In 1976 he was directed to shift his research from gas dynamics and plasma mechanics to climatology. He was sent to USA under a research exchange agreement, and studied at the NCAR in 1978, 1980 and 1982. In 1983 he was directed by Evgeny Velikhov to work on nuclear winter scenarios heading an ad hoc group of 20 scientists.[1]”

    Does anyone know how to fix Wikipedia? I don’t.

    In fact, if you look at the Wikipedia footnote, this is from the CIA, not “a FBI white paper.” It should say “an FBI white paper” since F is pronounced “ef.”

    The FBI NEVER mentions the fate of Vladimir Alexandrov when they write their poorly-sourced white paper about the supposed manipulation of Western climate scientists by foreign scientists under government control. It is a very peculiar omission for a white paper that is writing about foreign scientists being pressured. I don’t know what happened to Alexandrov, but perhaps he got caught in the middle of something–like a new party line. The Russians didn’t report him missing in Spain for months. Chernenko finally actually died around that time.

    The FBI’s only cited source is a biography of a Russian KGB defector called “Comrade J.”

  8. H&K are of course especially famous for John Hill’s 1953 creation of strategy for the tobacco companies. The Council for Tobacco Research was later housed in H&K offices. H&K thus contributed to the 100M deaths from smoking in the 20th century and some of the 1B expected in the 21st.
    See a book I recommend strongly:Golden Holocaust.. My review is the first one there. Note multiple climate connections.
    The tobacco companies loath this book so much they ask courts to disallow its title even to be mentioned in court.

    Most recently, for those following the mess at U VA, we have Helen Dragas, UVA and Hill&Knowlton.

  9. Today’s Death of Scientifc Evidence protest in Ottawa was live-blogged by the CBC's Kady O'Malley. She’s a little long on snark (and short of any meaningful analysis). But it will give you a flavour of what happened at this unprecedented event – scientists taking to the streets to protest science cutbacks and muzzling of scientists by the Harper Conservative government.

    • Holly Stick

      The twitter hashtag #deathofevidence has tweets from many attendees, also from some rightwing shills claiming there were only 200 Council of Canadians activists (I’ve seen estimates from 500 to 6000; yet to be confirmed but at least 1000 seems likely)

    • Most media said “hundreds” and Reuter’s pegged it at 800 (that’s the only specific number I’ve seen from a news org). Kady O’Malley tweeted 600-1000, which is in line with Reuters. There is a so-called “police estimate” of 5-6000 out there, but that sounds dubious and no one seems to have an actual source for this number.

    • Katie Gibbs was apparently an organizer and tweets what the Mounties said:

    • Also this tweet:

  10. And another article on Ethical Oil:

    “The Ethical Oil Institute, a not-for-profit organization that aims to promote Canada’s oilsands industry, has filed its first annual return in Alberta without revealing anything about the money it raised or spent in the past year…”

  11. There was a small scientists’ rally in Calgary today; I might have gone if I had known, but it’s been so hot I mostly just sit and tweet:

  12. Stephen Lautens’ special poster for Death of Evidence:

    Also here are other “demotivational” posters he’s done:

  13. About Carleton U funding:

    ” Carleton University says the $15-million donor agreement for its showcase school of political management, fronted by Preston Manning, does not reflect the university’s academic policies and will be renegotiated.
    The concession comes as the Canadian Association of University Teachers, or CAUT, prepares a broadside at what it calls “unprecedented and unacceptable” provisions in Carleton’s secret deal with Calgary businessman Clayton Riddell…”

  14. Peter Wood on the Penn State scandal and of course dragging unrelated stuff in…

  15. More sleazy slime from Mark Steyn; Mann is taking legal steps:

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