Monday, February 27, 2012

HeartlandGate; FakeGate; DenialGate, what's the real debate

I listened to an interview that disturbed me. 
It highlighted a few core problems/symptoms of today’s crazy climate debate vs. climate science.  Since my perspective wasn’t represented in this discuss 
I’ve decided to make my own essay out of it.

I’ve, sort of, quoted from the broadcast, though with many gaps since in this exercise it’s the broader issues I want to touch on, besides no time for a polished version.  
The program is available at
89.3 KPCC ~ AirTalk online
« Episode: AirTalk for February 23, 2012

Heartland leaker comes clean, stirs ethical debate


 The following is from their website:
... Others say Gleick’s leaking of the Heartland documents has finally exposed the groups methods and motives and least he had the guts to take responsibility for this actions.

Georgia Institute of Technology Professor Judith Curry, however, doesn’t see it that way. She says Gleick has allowed Heartland to claim the moral high ground and destroyed his career in one fell swoop.

So, what’s the real story here? Heartland’s education agenda? Or Gleick’s failure of integrity? Most scientists agree that climate change is real and it’s manmade. If that’s the case, did Gleick’s ends justify the means? And what of Dr. Glieck himself? He testified to congress about scientific ethics, he wrote about the subject a lot. Did he snap?”

Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences, Suffolk County Community College; co-founder of the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, a group that connects climate scientists to lawmakers and the media. 
Judith Curry, Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology

Host: Much talk about Gleick’s actions and it’s impact on him, etc. . .
{I’m skipping all this - seemed more sensational noise than homing in on the real issues.}
~ ~ ~
Mandia:  Heartland has a long history of subverting science.

Host: How big of a setback was Gleick’s indiscretion to climatology?

Curry: {goes on about Peter Gleick}
~ she’s blown away at the apparent hypocrisy of Peter doing something like this ~
~ believes it raises issue for the broader community not just for his personal being ~

{Why?  Why not mention the scientific conferences or studies, research publishing and review and releases? “unorthodox” do take place, and funding is available for those who have the brains and a good point of focus.  But it must be sound science.  The CLOUD study is but one example.

Constant innuendo, but nothing real.

I know this because it is easy to find information about new studies and the data and theory.  There is a whole coherent story supported by decades of evidence and thousands of sincere hard working researchers.

It’s out there, do some internet searches.  Uncertainties revolve around minor details and in no way justify further willfully ignoring what physics and climatology and Earth Observations are telling us.

This brings us to the real scandal of HeartlandGate and what our host ignored:  Why is it OK for Heartland Institute to lie about the state of climate knowledge? }
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host: does this call into question even the research that’s done in climate science...? ~
{... and continues to milk the topic from that perspective.}

{Why isn’t there one attempt made to explain the scientific process for papers being published and discussed at meetings and the open debate within the scientific community?
Why doesn’t Curry talk about the checks and balances within the scientific community? 
What about challenging science in a constructive honest manner, rather than a rhetorical game?

What a double standard ~ Curry expects absolute highest standards from one side but gives the other carte blanche.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Curry:... this whole issue of Heartland being an important player in the US debate on climate change, I think is a mistaken one.  I doesn’t think it’s an important player....

In terms of a lot of the think tanks, the advocacy groups don’t particularly regard the science as being key at this point.  It more about the economics, politics and policies.  And even if it was about science - some of the skeptical bloggers are far more influential like Anthony Watts, McIntyre are really much more influential.”
~ ~ ~
Host: We’re talking about the case of Peter Gleick
 . . .  feeding that kind of a narrative that critics of global warming have that oh a lot of the climate science community is really made up of environmental activists, and that it’s not objective science and that this feeds the notion that it’s really political activism more than good science that has lead the conclusion that human caused global warming?...

“Few scientists that hold other than the orthodox view that”  humans have caused the overwhelming amount of warming we have witnessed this past century. . . . . . .
~ ~ ~
{I don’t understand how a scientist like Curry can present such distorted impression.  I know from my own experiences that she’s blowing smoke here and it’s a shame.
Science meetings and back’n forth, that record is publicly available, to imply it’s some tight little group is utter nonsense.  The open record is there for anyone that wants to look into it. 

Lot’s of ugly things are said, but my own research proves to me the ugly belongs with the willful manipulation denialists perpetrate with impunity, and not with the scientists doing a complicated competent job.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

Host: now back to our discussion about the conduct of Peter Gleick
{Why not a mention of Heartland Institute’s conduct? }

Mandia: I wish Heartland would accept the science and start debating the policy. 
Because that’s actually where we really need to start talking.
But, they consistently undermine climate science, so they need to move forward to be where Dr. Judith Curry wants them to be.  And that is, lets discuss the solutions.
~ ~ ~
{This is a key point:  
Heartland is not engaged in discussing policy -
They are actively engaged in presenting false and misleading impressions of the state of scientific knowledge.}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host: ... if you got someone who would go to this extent to try and get information that he thinks would be harmful to someone who sees the world differently than he does, how can that not reflect back on the science and the rigor that’s required to make sure that the result is an objective one...
~ ~ ~
{What an act of misdirected:  
“someone who sees the world differently” indeed. 
Why not explore Heartland’s different “world view” ?

Heartland Institute believes in its economic philosophy so deeply that it feels it owns the right to repeatedly lie about the state of climatological understanding.  Because to do otherwise would threaten their self interest.  Problem is, the reality of the global situation doesn’t care about any body’s self interest, so we got to stop kidding ourselves.}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host:.. reading the literature about Heartland it didn’t seem surprising that a libertarian that’s skeptical about human caused global warming that they would be raising money from big donors looking to have influence on what’s taught in public schools because they disagree with the contention that human beings are responsible so there is like nothing here that is like man bites dog.  It’s all predictable stuff, so what was the advantage of getting the documents
~ ~ ~
{This is the insidious monster and such a silken misdirection.  
Does a group of ultimately self-interested individuals have the right to lie about science?  Do they have the right to have our public schools peddle their objectively provable lies?

But our host seems to have rolled over and sounds like scientific knowledge is a matter of debate tactics and a big enough megaphone, rather than solid objective work.}

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host: asking Curry about damage done to the science.

Curry: “... the reason Heartland wasn’t talked about is because I don’t really think they were a big player in all this. . .
“I think it will have a negative impact on the perception of climate science and climate scientists, just as we have been recovering from the fallout of ClimateGate. . .

“...Hoping that the IPCC is gonna do a better job this time...and are going to be more transparent than we have this happen.  It’s not helping the credibility of scientist or the trust the public puts into climate scientists and therefore on the science.  It’s hard for the public to understand the nuances of such a complex subject... so they have to trust the experts on some level so and when the experts behave like this then that’s a big loss of credibility on the whole climate science enterprise . . .
~ ~ ~
{Heartland are the folks with that splendid International Conference on Climate Change, that well covered denialist gab fest and they are fundamental to the NIPCC.  They pretend to be presenting science, when it actually boils down to misdirection and obfuscation.  And they are influential far beyond what Curry seems to want us to know.

I’m constantly amazing at misinformed stuff people spout about the IPCC:  the IPCC isn’t transparent; a couple scientists write the whole report; they settle on one party-line and ignore everything else; dissenting views are kept out; none of their projections have been accurate.

Thing is, anyone with the gumption can do a Google Search, look up ~IPCC Search~, and you will behold a world full of information.  The IPCC is packed full of more information that you can imagine.  Yet people constantly get away with claiming stuff that any good-faith investigation will show is false. 

Why not ask why that is?}

Incidentally, FYI:

Fritz Vahrenholt, Der Spiegel:

I Feel Duped on Climate Change... A Review 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Host: Curry, it is my understanding there is this small percent of scientists in this small area, I don’t know maybe three, four percent whatever it is who do take issue with how global warming has been characterized by the majority orthodoxy of the scientific community so is it wrong for that small minority to have any kind of a voice?”

Curry rambled on and on  .,. I think we need to allow the debate to continue and to learn as much as we can learn about the climate system and consider alternate view points. ...
There’s no particular reason that a consensus ... will make it happen...   And this is why we need to have a broad debate and discussion on.  But at the same time there’s a whole lot we don’t understand about the climate system. ...
~ ~ ~
 { It's not wrong for a minority to voice minority opinions.
It’s wrong to support minority opinions with fabrications and lies.

A little research will show contrarian theories and papers receive considerable attention. 
See the thing is some papers and theories simply don’t make the grade.  They overlook details and components that full time climatologists are aware of.  The tragedy is that there’s a group of people who can’t imagine themselves being wrong and they will blame the entire world before questioning themselves.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host:  ...(the money thing) need your research to be funded and so you know the kinds of models that are going to get accepted for funding and which ones not.  So that if you’re in the orthodoxy on climate science, steve’s point is, that he’s heard, you’re going to get funded but if you’re an outlier on it you’re not going to get funding...
~ ~ ~
Mandia: “First of all “orthodoxy” is not the right term, you know Dr. Curry is talking about the IPCC but in 2010 the United State Academy of Sciences... said that humans are warming Earth and that it’s settled fact, it’s kind of like
It’s where the uncertainties are that Dr. Curry mentioned how much warmer it’s going to get how quickly it’s warming
Heartland doesn’t even want to accept that.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Host: This exposes the hypocracy behind so called neutral scientists... can be as vindictive and petty as any other humans...
~ ~ ~
{Talk hypocrisy, he goes on endlessly about Gleick, never once asking whether Heartland had a duty to be honest toward portraying the state of climatology.}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

KPCC: So, what’s the real story here? Heartland’s education agenda? Or Gleick’s failure of integrity? Most scientists agree that climate change is real and it’s manmade. If that’s the case, did Gleick’s ends justify the means? And what of Dr. Glieck himself? He testified to congress about scientific ethics, he wrote about the subject a lot. Did he snap?
~ ~ ~
{Why didn’t the host ask why serial liars can receive top billing for lectures that are political theater not object climate science... Lord Monckton being only the most dramatic example of the parade of performers Heartland supports who misrepresent what is known and what is unknown regarding our planet's climate?}
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

KPCC, Why not ask... 
Why do Heartland Institute folks and funders believe they have the right to lie about science in order to lobby for their economic interests?  Isn’t that worth a show?
~ ~ ~

{Why constantly co-mingle understanding the state of the science 
with the necessary political/economic debate?
The "Science" should inform the political/economic debate, not be dictated by it.  

89.3 KPCC Radio why not ask those questions}

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