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Ken Green on the New ‘Denialists’ (circling the wagons on Climategate)

By -- January 2, 2010

 [Editor Note: This piece originally appeared in the Calgary Herald on December 28th. It should be noted that a new website is devoted to Climategate.]

Responses to “Climategate”–the leaked e-mails from Britain’s University of East Anglia and its Climatic Research Unit — remind me of the line “Are your feet wet? Can you see the pyramids? That’s because you’re in denial.”

Climate catastrophists like Al Gore and the UN’s Rajendra Pachauri are downplaying Climategate: it’s only a few intemperate scientists; there’s no real evidence of wrongdoing; now let’s persecute the whistleblower. In Calgary, the latest fellow trying to use the Monty Python “nothing to see here, move along” routine is David Mayne Reid, who penned a column last week denying the importance of Climategate.

Unfortunately for Professor Reid, old saws won’t work in the Internet age: Climategate has blazed across the Internet, blogosphere, and social networking sites. Even environmentalist and writer George Monbiot has recognized that the public’s perception of climate science will be damaged extensively, calling for one of the Climategate ringleaders to resign.

What’s catastrophic about Climategate is that it reveals a science as broken as Michael Mann’s hockey stick, which despite Reid’s protestations, has been shown to be a misleading chart that erases a 400-year stretch of warm temperatures (called the Medieval Warm Period), and a more recent little ice-age that ended in the mid-1800s. No amount of hand-waving will restore the credibility of climate science while holding onto rubbish like that.

Climategate reveals skulduggery the general public can understand: that a tightly-linked clique of scientists were behaving as crusaders. Their letters reveal they were working in what they repeatedly labeled a “cause” to promote a political agenda.

That’s not science, that’s a crusade. When you cherry-pick, discard, nip, tuck, and tape disparate bits of data into the most alarming portrayal you can in the name of a “cause,” you’re not engaged in science, but in the production of propaganda. And this clique tried to subvert the peer-review process as well. They attempted to prevent others from getting into peer reviewed journals — thus letting them claim skeptic research wasn’t peer-reviewed — a convenient circular (and dishonest) way to discredit skeptics.

Finally, people know that a fish rots from its head. The Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia was considered the top climate research community. It was the source of a vast swath of the information then that was funneled into the supposedly “authoritative” reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

If scientific objectivity is corrupt at the top, there’s every reason to think that the rot spreads through the entire body. And evidence suggests it has. A Russian think-tank recently revealed the climate temperature record compiled by the Climatic Research Unit cherry-picked data from only 25 per cent of Russia’s climate monitoring sites, the sites closest to urban areas, biased by the urban heat island effect. The stations excluded data from 40 per cent of Russia’s total land mass, which is 12.5 per cent of all the Earth’s land mass.

Reid’s indignation about Climategate is beyond ludicrous. “It is wrong,” intones Reid, “to castigate people for things said in private, and often taken out of context.” He equates the response to Climategate with a “lynch mob.” Funny, the professor seems to have highly selective indignation; he is apparently unaware of the unremitting attacks on people skeptical of climate science or policy by climate scientists and politicians.

People skeptical of any aspect of climate change have long been called “deniers,” an odious linkage with Holocaust denial, and various luminaries have called for them to be drowned, jailed, and tried for crimes against humanity. One prominent columnist called skepticism treason against the very Earth itself.

As for indignation about the release of private correspondence, where was Reid’s indignation when Greenpeace, looking for something to spin into an incriminating picture, stole skeptic Chris Horner’s trash? Where was his indignation a few years ago when scientist Steve Schroeder showed a routine letter of mine to another climate scientist (Andrew Dessler), who posted it to the Internet where it was spun into the scurrilous accusation that I was trying to bribe UN scientists? Reid’s indignation is the chutzpah of a man who kills his family then wants pity because he’s an orphan.

The Climategate scandal, like others in biology and medicine erodes the credibility of both the scientists involved, and the institution of scientific research. And it should: it has become evident that there is a lot of rot going on in the body of science, and too little effort made to fix it.

A start could be made. They should start by practicing the scientific method: release all data, and release all assumptions and methods used to process the data at the time of publication. Make it available to researchers (even lay researchers) who are outside the clique so the work can be checked. Had the researchers involved in Climategate done this from the beginning, instead of circling their wagons and refusing to allow outsiders to check their work, they would have taken less hectoring. As a bonus for them, Climategate would never have happened.


Former IPCC reviewer Kenneth P. Green, has his doctorate in environmental science and engineering and is an Advisor to the Frontier Center for Public Policy, ( www.fcpp.org). Green is a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.


  1. Alan F  

    You’ll see more and more coming from Canada as our own Climate Grifters are outed and there’s a scrambling to cover some arses. Our “science” has been controlled by politicians for decades and that’s only coming to light now.



  2. Kate  

    But how do we stop this gigantice engine?

    Nature Magazine published this in their Dec. 24, 2009 issue.

    Newsmaker of the year: The power player
    As a physicist, he found a way to capture atoms and won a Nobel prize. Now he is marshalling scientists and engineers to transform the world’s biggest energy economy. Eric Hand profiles the US energy secretary, Nature’s Newsmaker of the Year. STEVEN CHU

    Look at the money and power he controls. All based on the hockey stick.


  3. Kate  

    Another troubling post from Dec. 19, 2009:

    And so it begins…

    “The shift happens as the United States backed what amounts to the single biggest transfer of wealth from rich to poor nations for any one cause — in a sense offering compensation for decades of warming the Earth.” – Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post, today

    The deal expected at Copenhagen, highlighted back in May when I released my book Air Con, followed up by Investigate magazine and Lord Monckton before catching fire across the internet, has now come to pass.

    No, it is not yet legally binding. But it will be.

    You see, throughout this torturous process in the Danish capital over the last 14 days, the people pulling the strings have clung to their central core themes: wealth transfer, world governance. Climate was actually a distant third on the priority list.

    Anyone wishing to trace back the longer history need only read Air Con, or any number of UN publications buried deep in the UN website with innocuous names that give no clue to the ambitions contained within their pages.

    Here’s why the US$100 billion wealth transfer is the wedge that will fundamentally overhaul the political landscape of planet earth forever:
    It’s not the amount of money that’s the issue, it is instead the infrastructure required to administer the money and oversee its collection and expenditure. By agreeing to provide a vast sum on money in “climate compensation”, the globalists have automatically created the need for a vast global bureaucracy to administer the programme. How else could it possibly be done?

    And which global agency is perched to implant itself as this massive governance organization? Try this one for size. http://briefingroom.typepad.com/the_briefing_room/2009/12/uns-ban-ki-moon-boasts-global-government-coming-like-it-or-not.html

    What’s integral to this is what administering this money will do for the UN. Currently, it has an ‘official’ budget of US$4.2 billion a year. I say ‘official’ because in partnership with donor countries the UN administers several billion more each year through the UN Development Programme and similar entities. But let’s go with $4.2 billion for now.
    For US$100 billion a year, you are talking some serious prestige and power for the UN. Assuming 80% of the funding reaches its destination (probably in the Swiss bank accounts of corrupt Third World leaders), that’s still 20% to pay the wages of a vastly increased UN field staff and ‘peacekeeping’ force to protect them as they administer the programme.
    And of course, $100 billion is only a starting point. The UN and the Third World have talked of up to $1 trillion a year in climate adaptation and compensation.
    Barack Obama talks about the ‘mechanism’ to deliver this pool of funds, that it needs to be global but it need not encroach on sovereignty too much. In principle, it won’t at all – that’s because sovereigns make a free will choice to sign and ratify the agreement and its conditions. They’re still sovereign, but like any contract they are required to keep their promise to allow the UN agency access and control over relevant areas if required. Sovereignty in name only.
    The Third World countries are suspicious because, much as they desire the cash, they know the UN will be demanding accountability for the cash, and perhaps even political reform. In this way, the UN hopes to drag the Third World up closer to the level of the First World, and it hopes to be hailed as a hero for modernizing and democratizing the planet, ready for full global government and the end of nation states.

    This is, of course, is already on the UNDP agenda.

    So while others label Copenhagen a “failure”, I suggest you look a little more carefully. This is not really about specific emissions cuts, the bigger game is to sneak the infrastructure in. And there’s every indication they are well on track to succeed on this.


  4. John Droz  


    I am in perfect agreement with the thrust of your article.

    One disagreement though: “…it reveals a science as broken…” is a slip from the proper focus.

    Science is NOT broken. It has been perverted by self-serving agenda promoters. The reality is that Science has been avoided at all costs by these losers.

    In a simial vein, the Catholic Church is not broken by human failings. Democracy is not broken by the greed and insensitivity of politicians. Etc.

    We need to keep well separated the institution and principles, from the execution by inadequate humans.

    As you subsequently (and rightly) say, the Scientific Method is alive and well, and should be our first test of any of these theories. AGW has not been subjected to the Scientific Method, and until it is, it is no more than a hypothesis.

    That should be the foundation of any real scientist’s position.


  5. Allen Ford  

    “So while others label Copenhagen a “failure”, I suggest you look a little more carefully. This is not really about specific emissions cuts, the bigger game is to sneak the infrastructure in. And there’s every indication they are well on track to succeed on this.”

    This is precisely what Lord Monckton said was the real purpose of Hopenchangen. The science is irrelevant.

    The forces of darkness are simply in strategic retreat, if at all.


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