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Would you allow a sixth grader to perform brain surgery on you? Would you trust a kindergartner to manage your 401K? If you have an ounce of common sense, the answer is most likely - no.

So, when it comes to the "debate" over climate change and the science of its nature and cause, why the hell would you listen to Republicans/conservatives? This is a group of people who have actively decided to reject science, deliberately misunderstand it and vilify its most dedicated investigators.

In his 2005 book "The Republican War on Science," author Chris Mooney devastatingly reveals how "cultural conservatives have disregarded, distorted, and abused science on the issues of evolution, embryonic stem cell research, the relation of abortion to health risks for women, and sex education. In the process, we will encounter more ideologically driven think tanks, more questionable science, and more conservative politicians willing to embrace it." He was absolutely right. In the four years since the book's publication, Republicans and conservatives have used junk science to promote their business friendly, culturally traditionalist agenda and sought to discredit legitimate science and scientists with an orgasmic fervor usually reserved for Pentecostal revivals.

The curent battleground for the 'conserva-pub' jihad against science and intellectualism is climate change. They prefer to call it 'Global Warming' because it narrows the definition to one they believe they can more easily refute. You will frequently hear them cite some cold weather incident and triumphantly declare that it is proof that the Earth isn't getting hotter and any scientist who claims it is must be having sex with Satan AND Al Gore. It goes like this: "Hey, did you hear that it was only 8 degrees above zero today in Buffalo? That's the lowest temperature there on this date in 47 years. Where's your global warming now, huh?" Of course, the ALWAYS fail to take note that on that same day, some other city on the planet it recording it HIGHEST temperature ever for that date. It is simplistic argumentation from simpletons.

Now we have "Climate-gate", those hacked e-mails from a climate research school at a British university. Climate-change deniers are running around like chickens with their heads cut off, shouting from the roof tops, that these e-mails are the smoking gun that climate scientists are fudging the climate numbers and trying to silence dissenting voices. Dim-witted conservative blogger and Fox "News" gadfly Michelle Malkin called it "the scandal of the century." Republican Senator James Inhofe, whose intellectual heft is remarkably similar to a third grader, wants congressional hearings.

Out of 160 MEGABYTES of e-mails and data stolen from the university servers, the most damning quotes that they come up with are:

(NOTE: these experts are clipped from Fox "News" to display how the right wing media is characterizing the quotes)

"Professor Jones talks to Professor Mann about the "trick of adding in the real temps to each hide the decline [in temperature]."..."

"Professor Jones tells Professor Mann: 'If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone" and "We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind.'"

"Tim Osborn, discusses in e-mails how truncating a data series can hide a cooling trend that would otherwise be seen in the results. Professor Mann sent Professor Osborn an e-mail saying that the results he is sending shouldn't be shown to others because the results support critics of global warming. "

What is not shown are the various e-mails that express the certitude about climate change and the quality of the supporting evidence of its man-made causes. More importantly, what is on display here is the fundamental lack of understanding of science on the part of the "gotcha" crowd.

They know nothing of the scientific method and how scientists actually process data and interpret the results. They haven't the vaguest notion of scientific debate and consensus building through the peer review process. They take a few out-context quotes and hysterically fan the flames of this nontroversy into a "scandal of the century" bonfire.  

Did they bother to go to reputable climate scientists and ask for an interpretation of the e-mails? No. They had the 'proof' that they needed that the tree-huggers were playing fast and loose with the truth and that was all they needed. So what do climate scientists say? Read it here. Scientist do not want to silence dissenting voices, what they want is the keep JUNK science out of the discussion. If a "peer-review" journal publishes BAD science, especially if done with a political intention, then it should be disregarded. If there is anything scientific that the conserva-pubs are good at, it is JUNK science.

It seems the conserva-pubs are so set in their mind that - not only isn't mankind contributing to global climate change, but that the change isn't even occuring - that they will stoop to anything, no matter how disreputable, to prove their point.

The question is: when will Americans stop listening to the uninformed speak as experts on subjects they know nothing about, when will we reject fear-mongering and scare-tactics, when will we turn off Fox "News" because it misinforms and distorts, when will we actually rely on smart people with real experience and education to guide us?

For those who still cling to the notion that "Climate-gate" is a real "scandal", my daughter is in kindergarten and I am sure she can spare the time to manage your 401K.

Originally posted to deepthought on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:24 AM PST.


Is "Climate-gate" a real scandal?

58%79 votes
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1%2 votes

| 135 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I say we let Inhofe hold the hearings (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, tr GW, Eclectablog

    so that perhaps the American public can be educated further on the urgent need for climate legislation.  It's probably too late to educate Inhofe though.

  •  Two Kossacks (so far)... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, tr GW

    ...voted for the first option? What. The. Fuck???


    "He's one of these people who doesn't need much, much less much more."

    by Eclectablog on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:38:48 AM PST

  •  Scandal or not, the Right will (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    stick to this story like glue and spread enough crap around until they get people to really believe it.  They will make it the truth...their truth.  We need to stand up to these morons and not let them get the upper hand on GW.

  •  Great poll over at (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RunawayRose, tr GW

    Do you feel the leaked information from a global warming alarmist organization is meaningful?

    [   ] This was an illegal information leak that should be

    [   ] It makes me question my belief in global warming

    [   ] It's an example of dangerous scientific politicization

    [   ] I haven't really heard about the controversy

    Notice what's missing?

    Douche nozzles...

    "He's one of these people who doesn't need much, much less much more."

    by Eclectablog on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:47:48 AM PST

    •  Of course it's missing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      People who "don't believe in" science can't be expected to understand the difference between lying/cheating and arguing over which statistical model is the most rigorous.

      And people who know better, but encourage fact-free living for their own fun and profit, sure as hell aren't going to explain it to them.

      _Karl Rove is an outside agitator._

      by susanala on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:55:26 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know why, but when I was a kid (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    growing up in the 70s and 80s, despite all of the environmental and pollution messages we were getting, i still couldn't bring myself to believe that any of us would be stupid enough to try to deny scientific findings and spin them into some mere political opinion.

    People such as Inhofe, who are willing to do just this, are a genuinely alarming phenomenon, because they are willing to ignore the environmental catastrophe that is clearly, obviously in progress as we watch.

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch; the ocean's dead zones; the melting of artic ise altering our weather patterns; low-lying and island nations facing the prospect of having their populations become landless nations, environmental refugees; the methane deposits on the sea floors and in the permafrost that are melting and, as much, much more potent greenhouse gases, posing a very serious and real threat to our ecosystem as we know it.

    I wonder, sometimes, whether by and large, our species is just too damned stupid to save itself.

    "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary." -Handmaid's Tale

    by Cenobyte on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 08:56:38 AM PST

  •  It's a damn shame all these trolls are voting (0+ / 0-)

    I mean, that's the only way the majority could think that the scientists have a pattern of lying, right? That has to be it.

    Not a Democrat, nor a Republican. This libertarian is a free-thinker.

    by emn316 on Wed Nov 25, 2009 at 01:19:12 PM PST

  •  I think this is more serious (0+ / 0-)

    Its likely that the e-mails were not hacked but leaked by a disgruntled or disillusioned insider. From what I have read of the e-mails and, more importantly, the computer code used to generate the results there is strong indication that:

    1. The climate record deduced from proxies (such as tree rings) for temperatures over the past 1000 years has been deliberately distorted to minimize both the Medieval Warming and the Little Ice Age. Further, there was deliberate truncation of proxy data that showed temperature declines from 1960 onwards that diverged from actual thermometer readings. The ostensible purpose was to minimize past temperature fluctuations in order to exaggerate late 20th century warming. This is the so-called "hockey-stick" graph. This is significant for two reasons. First, the divergence calls into question the validity of the proxies. Why did they show cooling after 1960 when actual thermometer readings showed warming? Do factors other than temperature affect tree rings? Secondly, the generated temperature reconstructions were, in part, used to calibrate and tune climate prediction models. Are these models still valid?
    1. There was a conscious effort to avoid compliance with Freedom of Information requests. In fact, it appears that the e-mails and software that was hacked (or more likely leaked) was gathered in anticipation of having to obey a FOI request. The information only appeared when the FOI was denied.
    1. It is obvious from the e-mails that pressure was applied to prevent publication of contrasting papers in scientific journals. One of the criticisms made against climate change skeptics is that their results are seldom published in peer-reviewed journals.
    1. It also appears that the scientists themselves were doubting their own results. One was almost despondent that the recent cooling could not be accounted for.
    1. I sense an almost incestuous relationship between the subjects in the e-mails and certain environmental journalists and the IPCC. Like they could count on a free pass.

    None of this disproves global warming, whether or not caused by human activities. But is does put some of the leading proponents of the AGW hypothesis under a cloud. We are about to spend billions, if not trillions on fighting climate change. An awesome amount of responsibility on governments to restructure our economies and all the opportunities for corruption that that will bring. Even more alarming are the geo-engineering proposals that could do more harm than the problem they are supposed to ameliorate.

    Finally, the integrity of science and the scientific process could be damaged leaving the field open to superstition, mysticism etc.

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