November 17, 2010
Climategate: One Year and Sixty House Seats LaterBy Marc Sheppard
It’s been one year to the day since hero or heroes still unnamed and unrewarded bestowed upon the world a virtual dossier, the contents of which should have ended the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) debate abruptly and evermore. Remarkably, it didn’t. Despite the revelations exposed in the now public climate huckster’s handbook, one year later the specter of governance and wealth redistribution both national and international based largely, if not solely, on pseudo-scientific hocus-pocus persists.
By all measures, last year’s U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen was an embarrassing flop for those who again tried to sell an international progressive fund reallocation scheme as the “last chance to save the planet” from runaway climate change. But with Cancun’s “last chance to save the planet” climate talks just around the corner, the media is working overtime to explain away previous failures as anything other than the product of bad policy toward unproven hazards that they indeed were.
On Monday, The Washington Post ran a piece about an Oxford University's Reuters Institute study on who attended and how countries covered last year’s U.N. summit. But the paper’s emphasis was somewhat different and clearly divulged in its headline -- Coverage of climate summit called short on science. Yet what truly boggles the mind is their assessment of that which we celebrate today:
Much coverage from Copenhagen instead focused on hacked e-mails from a British university that some skeptics took as evidence of efforts by scientists to ignore dissenting views. The scientists involved have since been cleared of wrongdoing.Ignore dissenting views? How about conspiring to block – not ignore -- the publication of rival scientific evidence? Or the Nixonian plots the communiqués disclosed, including conspirators discussing deleting emails and other documents in order to prevent disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information Laws? Or how access might be prevented to data, source code, and algorithms in an attempt to prevent external evaluation of their conclusions?
Not to mention their arrogant mockery of the peer review process atop a widespread complicity in and acceptance of hiding, manipulating, inventing and otherwise misrepresenting data in a clear effort to exaggerate the existence, causation, precedence and threat of global warming. What’s more, the fact that many of the conspirators were editors, lead authors, and contributors to the U.N’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports on which international climate policy is made put all such reports and policies to question.
Indeed, the documents, source-code, data and e-mails contained in the folder purportedly "hacked" from Britain's University of East Anglia (UEA) Climate Research Unit (CRU) and first uploaded to a Russian FTP server in the wee hours of November 17, 2009 -- and announced that evening as a comment at Air Vent -- revealed a widespread pattern of scientific misconduct amongst the very climate researchers on whose “science” the entire AGW theory and all consequent policy is based.
With trillions of dollars at stake, Climategate, as it was dubbed days later, was and is about potentially astronomical criminal wrongdoing, not petty school-yard rivalries.
And as to those involved being “cleared of wrongdoing,” let’s consider both the tribunals and their actual pronouncements.
On With the Showcase Investigations
Last November was not a good month for climate alarmists, particularly the two primary Climategate conspirators, CRU chief Phil “Hide the Decline” Jones and Mike “Nature Trick” Mann.
As the new-media-led understanding of the Climategate folder’s incriminating contents took wider purchase, with it did the cries for formal investigations, as the evidence of climate fraud appeared both devastating and incontrovertible. On December 1st, against the backdrop of business pending in Copenhagen, the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee sent a letter of intent and preliminary questionnaire to the UEA. The university’s response that it had commissioned its own “independent inquiry” under the auspices of Sir Muir Russell failed to dissuade the Committee’s decision to proceed with its own inquiry.
As the Russell investigation was to focus primarily on policy, the UEA later asked Ronald (Lord) Oxburgh to lead another “independent” team to investigate the scientific methodology of CRU. As if by design, that action allowed many facets of each investigation to be ignored by one while fingers bore down on the other. The Russell report stated that although they didn’t actually examine the science -- such would be Oxburgh’s job -- the science was nonetheless correct. Meanwhile, Lord Oxburgh specifically stated that his inquiry, although named the Science Appraisal Panel, did not look at the science. Oh, and CRU’s was just fine.
By August’s end, the final reports were in from all three “formal” investigations into CRU: The House of Commons Science and Technology Committee [PDF], The Oxburgh Science Appraisal Panel [PDF] and the Independent Climate Change Emails Review under Sir Muir Russell [PDF].
All three examinations took place within the country of physical jurisdiction, Great Britain, and none disappointed those of us anticipating whitewash. Simply stated, all parties were cleared of all wrongdoing other than perhaps sloppy journaling and sophomoric note-passing and all suspensions were lifted. As Andrew Montford summarized in his report, The Climategate Inquiries:
But an investigation was also undertaken by a Pennsylvania State University Inquiry Committee into the specific actions of the institution’s employee -- Dr. Michael Mann. Based in the U.S., the Penn State inquiry offered perhaps the best hope of impartiality. After all, not only was a faculty member implicated at the deepest levels of the misconduct (See Understanding Climategate's Hidden Decline), but also in the attempt to destroy evidence.
Unfortunately, it was Mann’s fellow Penn professors tasked with investigating him.
According to the official report [PDF], following an interview with Mann during which he simply denied all particulars of misconduct against him, Inquiry Committee member Dr. Henry C. Foley “conveyed via email an additional request of Dr. Mann, who was asked to produce all emails related to the fourth IPCC report (AR4), the same emails that Dr. Phil Jones had suggested that he delete.”
So rather than demand a date-stamped e-mail dump from the University’s IT sector (the emails likely reside on their primary server or in some backup format and remain, in fact, the university’s property), the panel requested that the subject of their investigation make the decision which emails were relevant to their investigation. And three days later, he “provided a zip-archive of these emails and an explanation of their content.”
In other words -- Michael Mann was allowed to cherry-pick not only data, but also the emails to be presented as evidence that he did so. Crazier still -- one of the charges Mann faced was that he had deleted incriminating emails.
Given the hilarity of its methods, scant shock was elicited by the Investigatory Committee’s unanimous determination that “Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.”
Mann wasted no time declaring himself “exonerated” and the MSM proved equally efficient in its blathering concurrence.
WaPo Leads the MSM Charge to Support Suppression
There’s little question that the initial silence and ultimate dismissal of the MSM was and remains a factor in Climategate’s surprisingly marginal effect on left-leaning policymakers. But the impacts, both societal and financial, of proposed policies shaped by the misinformation in question are nothing short of astounding. As such, it was the absence of any authoritative investigation, particularly here in the U.S, over the past 12 months which likely provided the greatest cover of all to alarmists both home and abroad.
As Ross McKitrick stated in Understanding the Climategate Inquiries [PDF]:
Perchance the gallant efforts of one man and the removal from Congress of 60 others will provide just that -- and more.
Mann served as assistant professor of environmental sciences at University of Virginia from 1995 to 2005. Back in May, Virginia’s Attorney-General Ken Cuccinelli launched an exhaustive campaign to uncover the truth by filing a "civil investigative demand" for documents. These included five grant applications Mann prepared and any checks, purchase orders or other documents related to the pursuit of or disbursements from grant funds Mann received. Cuccinelli alleges that Mann defrauded taxpayers by obtaining grants from the commonwealth to conduct fraudulent research on global temperatures. To prove it, he has also demanded Mann’s emails, correspondence, or messages to or from a list of some 39 fellow scientists and academics, as well as any computer source code or algorithms created or edited by Mann. All of which will likely reveal so much more.
Not surprisingly, WaPo, which first reported Climategate with the headline Hackers steal electronic data from top climate research center, has been running interference for UVA right from the jump. The paper described “Cuccinelli's faulty investigation of Michael Mann,” which they insisted the university should fight, as an “ongoing campaign to wish away human-induced climate change.”
And when Cuccinelli lost the first round in August by a judge’s ruling that “it’s not clear what [Mann] did was misleading, false or fraudulent in obtaining funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia,” WaPo was downright giddy. Until, that is, the bell rang for round two and the DA came out swinging a reissued civil subpoena, this time limiting his inquiry to just one specific $214,700 state-funded only grant (the judge dismissed the other four as partially federally funded) that Mann received from the university. Cuccinelli’s confidence that his newly focused approach will ultimately prevail did not please his detractors.
In an October 6th article amateurishly headlined Ken Cuccinelli seems determined to embarrass Virginia, WaPo actually accused the investigator of the transgressions of the investigated:
Talk about displacement. In the real world, it was Mann who suppressed “honest research and the free exchange of ideas” and manipulated data “because he does not like what science says about climate change.” And while UVA’s slippery slope argument of "academic freedom" is not entirely without merit, it’s not only light when weighed against the erroneous rewiring of an already flailing international economy (not to mention academic and scientific integrity) -- but also duplicitous.
As Dr. Fred Singer wrote in his Sunday AT Piece:
The University of Virginia is fighting the demand for the data using outside lawyers and claiming "academic freedom" among other such excuses. I cannot comment on the legal implications of the AG's investigation. It should be noted, however, that UVA was quite willing to deliver up the e-mails of Professor Pat Michaels when Greenpeace asked for them in December 2009. It makes the UVA protestations sound rather hypocritical.
Singer has been convinced from the get-go that Mann deleted crucial emails, and wrote in July that they’d likely be found amongst those still housed at UVA, adding that “Cuccinelli’s demand for those emails might put a new light on the whole Climategate affair.” In his ICCC-4 presentation in June, Dr. Singer proffered that all post-1979 “warming” is phony and that divulging the “hidden” 1979-1997 proxy data will likely prove it.
So WaPo took double aim on Monday when its screed decrying a WSJ video decrying the American Geophysical Union’s omission of skeptics in its program to link reporters with scientists during the Cancun conference also targeted Singer. Referring to the renowned atmospheric physicist as “aging” (“but very gracefully, I should note,” Singer wrote with typical grace and good nature in an email), WaPo had the unmitigated gall to claim that “very few climate scientists would describe him as ‘renowned’ for his climate research.”
Nevertheless, should justice trump ideology, the court will deny the October 21st UVA filings asking that Cuccinelli’s 2nd subpoena also be set aside, and the truth the alarmists have fought so hard to suppress will finally be heard. In any event, the battle is far from over.
Imagine -- the same news organization said to define investigative journalism in the ‘70’s now championing deceitful defamation and nondisclosure.
Climate Realists Regain Committee Gavels
Republicans’ Election Day landslide handed them control of the House by a colossal 239 to 186 margin. And, according to and much to the vexation of the George Soros-funded alarmism machine Think Progress, more than half of the 100-plus GOP freshmen “deny the existence of man-made climate change.” Better still, a full 86% “are opposed to any climate change legislation that increases government costs.”
The consequence of the public’s ballot-box repudiation of liberal wealth redistribution policies on future ”climate” legislation was not lost on Think Progress’s Joe Romm. Days after the election, the uber-alarmist wrote a scathing rebuke of Barack Obama’s “failed presidency,” accusing him of “poisoning the well,” explaining that:
Indeed. Not only will alarmist shill Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.) soon surrender the House Energy and Commerce Committee gavel, but over two dozen fellow Democrats who voted for the cap-and-tax bill Waxman co-sponsored were given the boot by enlightened voters who simply aren’t buying the snake oil climate alarmists are selling.
A recent PEW Poll found that while 59% of Americans “believe that the earth is getting warmer,” only 34% attribute that warming “mostly to human activity such as burning fossil fuels.” That’s down from 50% in a similar July 2006 poll. Undoubtedly, that rapidly dwindling number of reality deniers will have an impact both immediate and long term, as surviving House and Senate Democrats absorb its corollary on their fallen cohorts.
What’s more, short the obstructive tactics of the befallen eco-socialist ruling class, the colossal climate fraud uncovered over the past year both here and abroad will finally be scrutinized by the government of the country most affected by it. And not by those wishing to white-wash it, as has been the case elsewhere.
Last year, Oversight and Government Reform Committee ranking member Rep. Darrell Issa condemned that it would be the U.N. and not the U.S. investigating the fraud uncovered in the Climategate matter:
The California Republican will likely be chairing that oversight panel come January, and though he told reporters Monday that much of the investigation will rightfully fall to the Science and Technology Committee, Issa has promised to include the "politicization of science" that led to the corrupt findings released by the IPCC in his 2011 schedule. And he’ll have wind of public opinion at his back, as an on-line Scientific American survey just found that 83.7% of Americans believe the IPCC is “a corrupt organization, prone to groupthink, with a political agenda.”
And Issa’s not alone in seeking true (not Marxist) climate justice. Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI), a likely choice to replace Waxman at Energy and Commerce, has stated that “no real science” exists to support climate policy and has also called for Climategate hearings.
And the investigations won’t likely stop there.
Climategate: The Truth Will Out
Climategate’s initial revelations of corruption at Britain’s CRU (details here, here, here, and here) proved to be just the beginning. In the months that followed, allegations of similar misconduct among alarm-leaning climate scientists throughout the globe arose almost daily. And their affiliations were as momentous as those of Jones, Mann, and Briffa, et al, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) (See Climategate: CRU Was But the Tip of the Iceberg), and ultimately, the IPCC (See IPCC: International Pack of Climate Crooks) itself.
Hopefully, bona fide investigations will follow a similar course, with CRU first on the docket, followed closely by NOAA, GISS and ultimately, the IPCC itself. An InterAcademy Council’s Review of the IPCC found that the panel “needs to fundamentally reform its management structure and strengthen its [existing] procedures,” and to call that a gross understatement would be grossly understated.
Last week, Bracken Hendricks wrote an article for WaPo (I, too, am shocked) claiming that:
What’s most distressing about this statement isn’t the fact that to meet that projection, we’d need to warm every decade for the next 8 by about the about same amount the IPCC claims we warmed in all of the previous century. Nor that we’d need to start warming fast and soon, as the planet is currently in a cooling phase predicted to last for decades.
It’s that Bracken Hendricks was a key architect of the clean-energy portions of Obama’s failed Stimulus Bill and an advisor to Obama’s campaign and transition team. He and the similar likes of Energy Czar Carol Browner, a former member of a socialist group's Commission for a Sustainable World Society, which calls for "global governance," and Energy Secretary Steven Chu, who believes that CO2 caused Hurricane Katrina, and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy John “Ice Free Winter” Holdren, each have Obama’s ear. So does EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who has already put the wheels of carbon regulation in motion and must be stopped (Congress must overturn EPA’s Endangerment Rule) if the economy is ever to be saved.
Now consider the U.N. plan to levy a climate reparations tax on the developed world (read that United States) on everything from airline flights and international shipping to fuel and financial transactions to the tune of $100 billion annually. That scheme is backed by both Obama advisor Lawrence Summers and radical anti-American billionaire George Soros as a means to meet the annual figure “international leaders” agreed to in Copenhagen and will be a primary goal at Cancun in a few weeks.
Will the 112th Congress have the votes to block all such junk-science-based policy? It will.
But of greater magnitude will be its power to assure more durable protection by exposing the whole truth about “climate change.” As we’ve learned in the one year and sixty House seats since we first unzipped FOI2009 -- only full and fully transparent investigations into all of the agencies supplying such “truth” will provide the citizenry the clarity it deserves.
And, it seems, Climategate the commemorative status it deserves.