Re: [asa] Ottawa Citizen: The Skeptics Are Vindicated

From: Murray Hogg <muzhogg@netspace.net.au>
Date: Wed Nov 25 2009 - 11:17:47 EST

Hi all,

What I'm finding quite interesting is the way in which discussion of
the CRU e-mails has so many resemblances to arguments over the "real"
meaning of Scripture - given that there's little question that the
"textual tradition" is reliable (i.e. the e-mails themselves are
genuine), we now see exegete after exegete clamouring to offer their
commentary on the most damning verses.

Curiously, however, a piece like the Ottowa Citizen article doesn't
actually engage with "the text" - nor, may I say, have many of the other
critics of the CRU who are insisting the e-mails are so damning. So
here's another parallel with Biblical studies: we have a great deal of
discussion about what "the text" does, or doesn't mean, but in a total
absence of any engagement with "the text" itself.

It's early days yet, but it's already almost a "confessional orthodoxy"
that the e-mails are to be read as revealing monstrous dishonesty on the
part of the entire climate science community - so much so that John
Walley can state, of the back of a piece that doesn't even engage with
the contents of the e-mails, that "defenders look like buffoon
ideologues". Indeed, there's no evidence that the journalist has himself
read the e-mails. Nor that he is himself doing anything other than
reporting on the perceptions of people who themselves show no evidence
of having read the e-mails.

Chinese whispers are all good fun, folks - but not a credible basis upon
which to make strong claims about the integrity of those who suggest the
whisper might have gotten out of hand.

So I find myself in agreement with Schwarzwald that the e-mails
shouldn't be swept under the carpet - but that said, does it strike
anybody else as curious that those making the most noise about the
importance of the contents are actually not doing much in the way of
engagement with same? This, frankly, is why Andrew Bolt of the
Herald-Sun is a very good journalist - he (or, more likely, some
faceless H-S researcher!) went to the trouble of actually citing the
material. But most of the other comment I've seen - including the Ottawa
Citizen piece - has been long on rhetoric, and short on actual analysis.

So, like Schwarzwald, I think certain parties are indeed going to have
their credibility undermined by this debacle - only I wouldn't think
that it's only the advocates of GW who will be made to look as though
they are motivated by something other than purely scientific concerns.

Blessings,
Murray
> Heya John,
>
> Personally, I've started in the middle as far as global warming goes.
> My attitude has generally been that I'm willing to accept the broad
> claim of 'The globe is warming, and humanity has a role in this',
> though I've been skeptical of scare tactics (We're all gonna die if we
> don't pass this law immediately!, etc), some of the proposed
> legislative remedies, etc. On the other hand, "not polluting",
> striving to find better energy efficiency or alternative fuel sources,
> etc, all seemed like reasonable projects to promote. And frankly, I'm
> a technophile and was/am absolutely giddy at algae-based fuels,
> micro-nuke reactors, etc. And I'm also an efficiency-freak, and have a
> natural love of voluntary or market-based pressures in that direction
> (turning to local producers of vegetables and food rather than
> imports, making what is imported more efficiently shipped, etc.)
>
> But, my own two cents on this: People who love to get into the culture
> war aspect of AGW discussions, or who boost AGW in general, better
> realize that circling the wagons on this one and insisting that
> there's nothing of interest in the leaked emails (maybe if you're
> tremendously cynical, or something near-equivalent), or that no one
> should talk about those contents (sorry, it's going to happen - no
> stopping it now, nor should it be stopped) is not going to work. In
> fact, if the primary response to these emails by AGW boosters remains
> what it is, it's going to push at least one person over the edge from
> marginally accepting the consensus on AGW to modest skeptic. The
> frantic "there's nothing to see here, and we must throw these email's
> contents down the memory hole anyway!" defense is not helping against
> the claim that there's abundant political maneuvering and investment
> in this issue.
>
> On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 8:37 AM, John Walley <john_walley@yahoo.com
> <mailto:john_walley@yahoo.com>> wrote:
>
>
>
>
> This is a goldmine of great quotes including:
>
> "It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow. The e-mails
> extracted ... could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced
> that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply shaken by them."
>
> and
>
> "It is amusing to see mainstream media sources such as the New
> York Times, which thinks nothing of publishing purloined
> government documents that will endanger the lives of U.S. soldiers
> in the field, and compromise vital intelligence operations,
> suddenly become all jowly and uptight about publishing the e-mails
> in question because they were "illegally obtained.""
>
> Ok now I am crowing Rich. You defenders of this look like buffoon
> idealogues.
>
> John
>
>
> November 25, 2009
> The Skeptics Are VindicatedBy David Warren
>
>
> A computer hacker in England has done the world a service by
> making available a huge quantity of evidence for the way in which
> "human-induced global warming" claims have been advanced over the
> years.
> By releasing into the Internet about a thousand internal e-mails
> from the servers of the Climate Research Unit in the University of
> East Anglia -- in some respects the international clearing house
> for climate change "science" -- he has (or they have) put
> observers in a position to see that claims of conspiracy and fraud
> were not unreasonable.
>
> More generally, we have been given the materials with which to
> obtain an insight into how all modern science works when vast
> amounts of public funding is at stake and when the vested
> interests associated with various "progressive" causes require a
> particular scientific result.
>
> There is little doubt that the e-mails were real. Even so warmist
> a true-believer as George Monbiot led his column in the Guardian
> yesterday with: "It's no use pretending this isn't a major blow.
> The e-mails extracted ... could scarcely be more damaging. I am
> now convinced that they are genuine, and I'm dismayed and deeply
> shaken by them."
>
> He went on to rekindle his own faith in the "settled science,"
> however, by revealing that he will not give up on the
> global-warming hypothesis until he sees an e-mail that reveals a
> specific conspiracy over the centuries by a
> secret fraternity of "knights carbonic" to seize planetary power
> and install a Communist World Government.
>
> Behind this sarcastic little face-saving joke is a disheartening
> reality. For, as we glean from the hacked documents, supporters of
> the hypothesis have been able to reverse the onus of proof. In the
> last resort, their argument comes down to: We say the planet is
> warming. And anyone who says the contrary must "prove the
> negative" beyond the faintest shadow of a doubt. And we will be
> their judges.
>
> Nigel Lawson (a.k.a. Baron Lawson of Blaby), the former British
> chancellor of the exchequer, who is among prominent persons
> demanding a full and open public inquiry, summarized the content
> of the e-mails in this way:
> "Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have
> emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw
> temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming
> trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the
> raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of
> information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to
> prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned
> journals. ...
>
> "There may be a perfectly innocent explanation," he continues with
> that impartial aplomb for which we have always adored British
> lords, but then he reminds just how much government spending and
> bureaucracy, in Britain and all over the world, has been mounted
> entirely upon this dubious research; and thus how far-reaching the
> implications if the obvious turns out to be true.
>
> For the correspondence that has been hacked is not mere backroom
> gossip. It includes incriminating exchanges between some of the
> biggest names in the "global warming" business. In its attempt to
> resist an inquiry, a British Meteorological Office spokesman
> effectively acknowledged as much. He fell back on the traditional
> clinching argument of persons "dressed in a little authority":
> that the sublimity of their office and the splendour of their
> robes puts them beyond the possibility of suspicion:
>
> "It's a shame that some of the skeptics have had to take this
> rather shallow attempt to discredit robust science undertaken by
> some of the world's most respected scientists. The bottom line is
> that temperatures continue to rise and humans are responsible for
> it. We have every confidence in the science and the various
> datasets we use. The peer-review process is as robust as it could
> possibly be."
>
> The same spokesman alleged it was no coincidence that the
> incriminating materials had been released on the eve of the United
> Nations' Copenhagen climate conference. But, of course, that is
> exactly what the hacker was doing: getting a story out that could
> be released in no other way and at the best possible moment to
> draw attention. Those would be the first two laws of journalism.
>
> It is amusing to see mainstream media sources such as the New York
> Times, which thinks nothing of publishing purloined government
> documents that will endanger the lives of U.S. soldiers in the
> field, and compromise vital intelligence operations, suddenly
> become all jowly and uptight about publishing the e-mails in
> question because they were "illegally obtained."
>
> Other media -- which have played a leading part for years in
> giving credibility to "global warming" claims -- are now
> maintaining the silence of Iago on the revelations. We will see
> how long this can be sustained.
>
> otiosus@sympatico.ca <mailto:otiosus@sympatico.ca>
>
> The Ottawa Citizen
>
>
>
>
>
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Received on Wed Nov 25 11:18:22 2009

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