After a terrible fortnight for the IPCC and its leader, Rajendra Pachauri, we’ve had a couple of days’ respite from the scandal du jour syndrome. This has given the environmental activists time to gird their loins and prepare a response.
In a normal world, you would think they would now be trying to draw our attention to some of the good work being done in climate science, to the still disturbing trends of polar ice (both north and south) and the simple fact that we are leaving more CO2 in the atmosphere.
Nah. That would be too much work. Instead, the usual suspects have retreated to their normal behaviour–attacking the persons who oppose them. This is by no means the first time they have reacted in this way to adversity. And I should hasten to add that it is only the worst among them who do this. But it’s a pretty large group, sadly.
Dr. Edward Wegman is a respected and senior statistician who was called upon to evaluate the work of Michael Mann, now infamous for his role in Climategate, where he sent ill-advised emails regarding the defense of his Hockey Stick chart. Wegman was asked by the Congressional Committee on Energy and Commerce to investigate Mann’s possible misuse of both the data and statistical methods used in creating the Hockey Stick. (In case you’re not familiar with the story, Wegman was harshly critical of Mann’s work, and even harsher in his criticism of the close-knit and incestuous world of paleoclimatologists, predicting that it would end in something very much like Climategate.)
One of these ad hominem specialists is DeSmogBlog. They are attacking Wegman today for his work in 2006, on the grounds that he actually interviewed the people complaining about Mann’s work, which apparently was far too much for the Penn State investigation of Mann just concluded.
Because they have nothing relevant to say about Wegman’s work, they content themselves with attacking him because a Republican administration with a Republican majority had the effrontery to actually have a Republican leading the committee, who actually had the gall to appoint Wegman, instead of someone preferred by activists.
Over at Rabbett Run, Eli Rabett is trying to organise attacks on Steve McIntyre for overwhelming East Anglia Unversity’s Climate Research Unit with Freedom of Information Requests, which must be the reason they were unable to actually keep track of the temperature records that have gone missing. No, wait–they only had three FOI requests before 2009, and the data had gone missing by then…
Rabbett munches his way through a calory free celery stalk of accusing McIntyre of organising a blitz of FOI requests–CRU received about 60 at the same time, as McIntyre’s readers used a template he put on his site to request data regarding privacy agreements with individual countries. So McIntyre is an evil plotter? After all, he may be retired now, but in his youth he actually worked in the energy industry (which obviously makes him an evil tool of the denier conspiracy).
Except the reason they batched their information requests was to insure that each individual request was not too arduous to give CRU an excuse to deny it as being too much work–they were responding to the way the system was set up. CRU director Phil Jones wrote a short, 1,500 word piece explaining the policy about countries’ privacy regulations, posted it on their website, and went back to work losing data or deleting emails, or whatever.
Tim Lambert, resident mastermind at Deltoid, is attacking Jonathan Leake of the UK’s Times, apparently for having the temerity to report on the IPCC’s recent string of blunders. What Lambert is calling ‘Leakegate’ is apparently Leake’s reliance on primary sources rather than people who called him up after his story was printed to complain.
Arguably the most thuggish of all of these is Joe Romm, over at Climate Progress. Like Lambert, he’s taking a different tack, attacking CBS because in a story about Michael Mann’s investigation, they used the jingle produced by Minnesotans for Global Warming based on the 70’s hit Dragging the Line (which they called Hide the Decline). Romm accuses CBS of libeling Mann because they showed about 30 seconds of the video.
The scientists aren’t speechless. In fact, in several instances it is the scientists who called attention to the IPCC mistakes. Their reaction to all of this has been mostly measured and fairly balanced. It’s only the self-appointed spokespersons who have made an internet career out of exaggerating what the science says and viciously attacking others who don’t agree with them who are flailing around looking for something–anything–to say to change the subject.
It isn’t working.
Steve Mosher and I have written a book about the leaked emails that have caused so much controversy. The title is Climategate: The CRUtape Letters. It is available on Create Space here, Amazon here, Kindle here and Lulu here. One Amazon reviewer wrote, “Mosher and Fuller do a good job putting the ClimateGate documents in context, and the book is a riveting read. I received my copy yesterday, and find the book to be faithful to the climate war events that I have followed over a period of years. It reports actual email communications of a small group of paleoclimatologists and their roles in perhaps the biggest scientific hoax since Piltdown Man.”