A ClimateGate Video

Potholer54 just posted a video investigating whether or not the CRU emails actually show faked data/deliberate manipulation/a socialist conspiracy. Enjoy.

If you’re interested in an explanation of all the papers and theories the CRU emails are discussing, RealClimate does a great job.

I hear Peter Sinclair is also working on a CRU video – I’ll embed it here as soon as it’s posted.

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11 thoughts on “A ClimateGate Video

  1. Very good video! I will send it to my skeptic/denier friends.

    What is puzzling to me is why Al Gore cancelled his appearance at Copenhagen. I know they will have a field day with that one also!

  2. This is a pretty good media discussion of the subject:
    http://www.abc.net.au/rn/counterpoint/stories/2009/2757619.htm

    The reason just a few emails got most the radio/TV coverage so far isn’t that those are the most damaging but that those are the most self-contained – they don’t require nearly as much background info to explain as some of the others and are thus better suited for a short TV bit. Easier to summarize, somewhat self-documenting. Most of the emails require too much background context to explain. Who the players are, what the terminology means, what the context is that makes the statement in question significant, that sort of thing. (I tried to explain the context for just one of the telling emails in response to this reddit comment – it was exhausting! Can you imagine doing that for all of them, but cutting the message down to something suitable for a tv-level attention span?)

    I suspect the most damaging emails will turn out to be the ones that discussed evading FOI rules or deleting data. For instance, the one in which Phil Jones asks Mike Mann “Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?” and Mike’s response to that request (1212063122.txt)

  3. Re: David Palermo:

    The deniers still think Gore matters. That’s the only problem here – he never really mattered at Copenhagen. (The real news here is that Obama – who actually holds some measure of power – has rescheduled his trip to Copenhagen to appear at the end of the talks (when his personal influence might matter) rather than at the beginning.)

    There’s also an irony here, particularly on a thread discussing the CRU hack. Search the hacked mails for “gore” and you’ll find a grand total of six references from over ten years worth of mail (some dating back from when Gore was Vice President and others spanning the time An Inconvenient Truth came out). If he mattered to the scientists, you’d expect more references to him, or at least glowing references. Let’s look a bit deeper.

    Of those six references, we see the following (in the order they showed up on the East Anglia E-Mails site):
    1) His name shows up in text quoted from a Pat Michaels editorial (itself quoted from a mail from Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, the editor of Energy & Environment, cc’d to Benny Peiser). The actual discussion in this mail is a conversation thread complaining about the accuracy of Boehmer-Christiansen’s understanding of science by citing McIntyre/McKitrick as experts on dendrochronology (their only publications on the subject have been rebutted many times). The scientists aren’t discussing Gore.
    2) He’s mentioned in *another* quoted denialist screed, and not even mentioned as a major player. The screed is yelling about tree ring data accuracy and the IPCC reports (he gets it wrong, naturally) and tosses Gore’s name out as an example of a “carbon control advocate”, while the scientists are talking about how to properly respond to these allegations and pointing out what’s wrong.
    3) This time it isn’t even referring to Al Gore: His name shows up here as part of the URL of PlanetGore, the National Review’s denialist clearinghouse. (The specific link was from Gavin asking for information about the latest McIntyre attack against the hockey stick, for the record.)
    4) This time it’s *also* quoted from a denialist press release, specifically from Fred Singer’s SEPP. The actual scientific discussion here starts with Ben Santer calling for help against this type of misrepresentation of science. He isn’t complaining about the SEPP itself, but rather about Douglass, Singer and Christy 2009.
    5) The fifth mail *again* has Gore’s name coming up in a quote from denialists (specifically, Christopher Monckton). Monckton is complaining about Gore’s actions directly here (instead of just namedropping), but all Gore did in this exchange was challenge Monckton’s list of skeptical scientists with the Oreskes essay. The exchange between denialists resulted in inviting Mike Mann to the discussion, and he flips out about it – specifically, about their misrepresentations and misreading of the IPCC AR4 (nothing about Gore).
    6) The last time the name “Gore” appears in the mails is in text quoted from an Associated Press article from 2001, reporting on the removal of Bob Watson from the position of IPCC chair (later replaced with Rajendra Pauchari). The article reveals memos (obtained via FOIA) from Exxon-Mobil to the White House requesting Watson’s removal, referring to efforts to “restructure the U.S. attendance at upcoming IPCC meetings to assure none of the Clinton/Gore proponents are involved in any decisional activities.” The mail itself discusses the implications of a change in IPCC chairmanship (and is honestly worth a read, since not everyone disagreed with it).

    That’s it.

    For all his supposed involvement and importance to the scientists, and for all the “smoking guns” present in those mails, there’s a dearth of discussion of Gore – every time he’s brought up, it’s by the denialists, and only one of those is actually referring to things he’s done instead of just namedropping. The scientists themselves simply aren’t discussing him.

    Of course, this just means the Secret Warmist Lawyer/Ninjas have instructed the scientists in staying silent, further proving the conspiracy. I mean, honestly.

  4. Hi Kate,

    I just love Potholer54’s heavily sarcastic tone. I really believe that the normal calm, quiet and measured exposition of the science, by the climate scientists, has seriously changed the percentage of ordinary people (voters) who “believe” in AGW – in a bad way.

    Rhetoric, fallacious logic, lies and low-down debating tactics and Limbaugh’esque mudslinging has convinced up to 50%+ of the US public that there is nothing to worry about/it’s all a fraud. Ordinary people can, and have been, swayed by tub thumping demagogues.

    I have been arguing for a long time that we need to get tough and come out fighting – we need people who can slaughter the opposition verbally. Sneer at them – hold them up to ridicule – laugh at them. It might even be fun.

    The terrible power of unprincipled oratory has caused all sorts of disasters in the past – if we don’t counter it by fighting fire with fire – it will cause even worse disasters in the future.

  5. I’ll have to take your word for it that the whole ten minutes is great. I stopped watching after 4 minutes, when I saw he dodged the issue of hide the decline, just saying it needed study, and because the video still hadn’t loaded enough for me to skip forward. He didn’t bother putting up the charts that show just what it was that was being hidden. Even the public statements from RealClimate, Phil Jones, and others have been contradictory with regards to what this means.

    “No that’s completely wrong…because when you get proxy data… they dont always have the last few years. So one way is to add on the instrumental data for the last few years.”

    But they had proxy data, and replaced it with the instrumental data, which is what RealClimate said.

    There are also other details involving smoothing, but that’s not as relevant.

    [Yeah, I agree that this video skimmed over the Briffa explanation. Peter Sinclair did a better job, but I’m sure there’s more out there. I know RC did a post on Briffa sometime, but I can’t find it…..any other sources that anyone recommends? -Kate]

  6. The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data.

    THis was a statement by Phil Jones to the BBC.

  7. The Phil Jones/BBC statement MikeN mentions can be found in full here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm

    The interviewer didn’t ask the obvious followup question on “hiding the decline” which is: is there a consensus in the literature as to exactly *why* there was a decline? (And if so, what is the accepted explanation? Or if not, how do we know it didn’t happen earlier in the record – does the need to remove this bit at the end cast any doubt on the rest of the chart?)

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