The headline and deck from Lorne Gunter’s op-ed piece in Sunday’s Edmonton Journal say it all.
Climate alarmists feeling more heat
But discredited data-fudgers have too much at stake to give up now
Once again, columnist Lorne Gunter, Canada’s answer to George Will, has launched an outrageous, libelous attack on climate science and climate scientists. And, once again, his diatribe is remarkably free of any actual facts, and contains several clearly erroneous assertions and accusations. Gunter does manage to maintain balance in one way, however; he gets off a number of whoppers about each of the two most cited global temperature repositories, the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia (CRU), and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at NASA.
The only surprise is that this tripe has appeared in the Edmonton Journal, rather than Gunter’s usual haven in the anti-science newspaper of record, the National Post.
The latest battle over the “hockey stick” has taken quite a turn, one that may finally lay to rest all the absurd claims of its demise made by contrarians (not to mention apparently libelous accusations of scientific malfeasance). In previous posts, we discussed climate blogger Steve McIntyre’s scurrilous accusations of “cherrypicking” against UK dendrochronolgist Keith Briffa, and summarized a a quick technical critique of McIntyre’s work by a dendrchronologist known as Delayed Oscillator.
Now comes new evidence that McIntyre’s accusations were completely false. And not only that, one of the Russian researchers who actually control the raw tree-ring data that McIntyre was mistakenly hounding Briffa for, has apparently confirmed that utilization of a newer more complete Yamal data set has no substantial effect on Briffa’s Yamal temperature reconstruction.
Yesterday I documented the sorry sequence of events resulting in widespread distortion of Kiel University professor Mojib Latif’s remarks at the recent World Climate Conference.
There I focused on a column by Lorne Gunter in the Calgary Herald (newspaper of record in the economic capital of the oil-rich province of Alberta, Canada). In the mean time, George Will, has also weighed in on the so-called predictions of global cooling, as discussed here by Joe Romm. Will, who apparently has read the same number of scientific papers as Gunter (i.e. zero), apparently got some key “information” from an editorial in Investors’ Business Daily (IBD). And guess who was the major source for IBD …
The blogosphere has been atwitter over the latest supposed defection of a climate scientist to the dark side. Once again, the contrarians have been egged on by a well-timed fabrication from Marc Morano of Climate Depot, the anti-science propaganda arm of CFACT (Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow). And once again, Canadian columnist Lorne Gunter has led the charge of the lightweight brigade, with yet another error-ridden and cretinous diatribe against climate science.
[Update, Oct. 6: Read the post and then see the video. Lorne Gunter stars in Climate Denial Crock of the Week: Birth of a Crock. Peter Sinclair delivers another boffo smash.]
Even well-meaning and thoughtful commentators and reporters have misinterpreted the recent comments and work of Mojib Latif, the Kiel University climate scientist whose remarks at a session on prediction at the World Climate Conference in Geneva set off the latest furor. Somehow those writers have managed to overlook the fact that Latif, despite projecting less near-term warming than most climate modellers, is still looking for warming close to 0.2 deg. C in the coming decade.
But those gaffes are nothing compared to the horrendous distortions of the initial confused accounts now circulating throughout the contrarian echo chamber, where literally hundreds of websites and blogs have echoed Morano’s and Gunter’s gross misrepresentations.
It’s high time to correct the record, which I will endeavour to do with the kind assistance of Mojib Latif himself, who has been most generous in answering my queries (our complete exchange can be found here).
Click to view animation
A new “analysis” craze has been sweeping the climate contrarian world of late. Not content with cherrypicking one relatively cool La Nina year (even though 2008 was still in the top 10 in the instrumental record), some of the usual suspects are now using higher-order polynomial fitting in an attempt to illustrate a severe downward “trend” in global temperature.
Chief among them (what a surprise) is Alberta’s very own “fact chucker”, National Post columnist Lorne Gunter (you read that right – LG will not rest until all facts are distorted or removed as seen in recent posts here and here). Roy Spencer (of UAH satellite-derived tropospheric temperature fame) has also jumped on the polynomial bandwagon, and now superimposes a polynomial curve on his monthly update of the UAH record. [Update May 15: Spencer no longer uses the fourth-order polynomial curve in his monthly update]. Can a “scientific” conference on the subject, perhaps jointly sponsored by the Heartland and Fraser institutes, be far behind?
Now it turns out that Gunter, who is mathematically challenged to say the least, has most likely been relying on the wisdom and Microsoft Excel skills of his fellow Albertan, oil industry insider and engineer Allan MacRae (or Allan M.R. MacRae, as he most often styles himself). MacRae is a minor but fast rising star in the contrarian firmament, as we shall see.
When we last left LG, he’d managed to cram four or five howlers into the first paragraph of his latest National Post screed. Fearing the onset of RSI, I decided to take a break. But let’s resume …
Indeed, the drop in temperatures since late-2007 has been so precipitous –nearly a full degree Celsius– that almost all of the global warming that has occurred since the late-1970s has disappeared.
In fact, late 2007 looks cooler than the last month (January, 2009).
In the wake of the kerfuffle concerning George Will’s column on sea ice in the Washington Post, Lorne Gunter has upped the ante in the Canadian daily newspaper National Post with a particularly error-ridden and nonsensical column on a favourite theme – the supposed “intellectual dishonesty” of climate scientists who refuse to accept the “fact” of “global cooling”.
A key issue in the Will case was the apparent failure of fact checkers and editors to catch what should have been obvious errors. Like Will, Gunter appears to lean on tidbits from such reliable sources as U.S. senator James Inhofe’s climate disinformation clearing house (run by aide Marc Morano), or blogs like Stephen Mcintyre’s Climateaudit.org or Anthony Watt’s Wattsupwiththat.com. Gunter then proceeds to somehow mangle even those dubious assertions.