Yesterday, I discussed the latest essay on climate science and politics from New York Times environmental reporter Andrew Revkin (along wirth Joe Romm’s critique). There I had a suggestion for Revkin and the New York Times:
Or come to that, how about looking at the farce playing out in Washington – one in which Patrick Michaels happened to have played a large, if unwitting, role – namely the so-called suppression of the EPA’s Alan Carlin.
Presto! Look at the gift Google Alert delivered scant hours later: a thorough re-examination of the Carlin saga by the NYT’s John Broder. According to Broder, internal EPA documents and other material “paint a more complicated picture” and cast doubt on Republican claims that, as Broder puts it, Carlin was “muzzled because he did not toe the liberal line”.
For the first time, a mainstream reporter has referred to the numerous problems in Carlin’s report, including dubious sources and the lifting of material verbatim. And, for the first time, Carlin has had to answer questions about these problems.
The blogosphere, or at least the climate contrarian part of it, has been up in arms over supposed misconduct and plagiarism on the part of climate scientists. First, there was a minor kerfuffle earlier this summer over NOAA’s citation of the surfacestation.org website instead of an online publication by Anthony Watts. That turned out to be just the latest in a series of accusations of misconduct from ClimateAudit.org.
But that was nothing compared to the furor over the Corrigendum to the Steig et al. paper, “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year” (just published in Nature). Steig et al. were accused of failing to acknowledge the role of Hu McCulloch in identifying an error in the calculation of trend significance. The corrigendum thus was held to constitute an act of plagiarism.
Meanwhile, some of the same bloggers who have risen up in righteous indignation and made groundless accusations against Steig et al, have been strangely silent regarding a real act of plagiarism, namely EPA economist Alan Carlin’s wholesale appropriation without attribution of large swathes of Patrick Michaels’ World Climate Report.
And, of course, an examination of the accusations against Steig et al shows them to be completely baseless. In fact, Hu McCulloch has apparently already withdrawn his accusations, although at present we have yet to see any apologies or retractions from Steig et al’s accusers.
The kerfuffle over the EPA’s so-called “suppression” of Alan Carlin continues apace, with two new commentaries from right-wing columnists. Both syndicated columnist Mark Steyn and the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel cite Carlin in support of the tired contrarian assertion that “global temperatures are on a downward trend”. (Of course, at the risk of repeating myself, this has been debunked thoroughly here, there and everywhere, as John Lennon might have put it)
But, once again, it turns out that Carlin did not write certain relevant key passages himself, and also failed to attribute them to the original author.
[Update, July 8: In another astonishing twist, I have just discovered that Marlo Lewis, the National Review columnist whose piece Carlin lifted as discussed below, is – wait for it – a Senior Fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which just happens to be the right-wing think tank that has been touting the so-called “suppression” of Alan Carlin’s report. I’ll have more on this soon.]
[Update, July 7: I’ve added a comparison of the “updated” chart of global temperature projections and observations given by Carlin, and the original found in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4). As well, an ironic twist to Steyn’s quote from Carlin is noted.]
A couple of days ago, I posted about economist Alan Carlin’s “suppressed” report on the EPA’s proposed greenhouse gas endangerment finding. Not only was the report a pastiche of warmed over contrarian talking points attacking the scientific consensus on climate change, but at least one entire section had been lifted almost whole from longtime disinformation specialist Pat Michaels’ World Climate Report (WCR).
Now further study reveals an even more shocking connection: the “suppressed” Carlin report appears to have been inspired by, and largely lifted from, an attack on the EPA published last November in climate science disinformation specialist Patrick Michaels’ World Climate Report. And all this came without any attribution of the large swathes of copied material to WCR or the original author (presumably either Michaels or sidekick Chip Knappenberger).
A new uproar in the blogosphere has broken out over the supposed “suppression” by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) of an internal review of the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gases. The review purported to show that the latest “research” calls into question the scientific consensus on climate change. It turns out that the report, written by Alan Carlin, with assistance from John Davidson, of the EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics, is drawn heavily from the contrarian blogosphere, especially Ken Gregory of the Calgary-based “astroturf” group Friends of Science.
And in one case, a lengthy “analysis” of a recent peer-reviewed paper has been lifted, without attribution, straight out of World Climate Report, the climate “news” blog run by uber-contrarian Patrick Michaels.
[Update, June 29: In the immediately subsequent post, I’ve now established that the Carlin report’s central premise, along with four key sections, came directly from a November, 2008 World Climate Report blog attack on the EPA proposed endangerment finding on greenhouse gas emissions.]