2011-03-31 11:24:12Thursday House Hearing - looking to be a Climategate-fest
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238

Here's the Hearing Charter for tomorrow's House hearing. An excerpt:

In November of 2009, thousands of emails were leaked from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU). These emails—many of which involved world-leading scientists in positions of influence with respect to key scientific assessments relied upon by policymakers—revealed significant communications suggesting a lack of adherence to basic principles of scientific conduct, openness, and information sharing. The controversy regarding the leaked emails—dubbed “ClimateGate” in the media—called into question the processes used in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as the processes used to create models and data that support claims that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases have caused changes in the Earth’s climate that is beyond natural variability. The significance of and concern regarding the emails has been heightened by the fact that CRU is one of the primary institutions that provide data and information to the IPCC, raising questions regarding the integrity of the models, data and processes, and ultimately the key scientific conclusions upon which climate policies are based.

I expect we'll get a LOT of climategate quotes from politicians to add to skepticquotes - and lots of the sub-climategate arguments that James rebutted.

I'm thinking we assemble all the quotes afterwards, link to the rebuttals and do a summary blog post - "here are all the climate myths from the politicians coming out of the hearing..."

If this sounds like a good idea, I'll add another field to the database: "event" or "article" and we can group quotes to a particular article or event. Then I can program up a webpage that will spit out all the hearing quotes in one easy go - it could happen in real time for future events.

2011-03-31 12:04:51
Alex C

coultera@umich...
67.149.101.148

I find the usage of present participles to be dubious (can't believe I remembered that phrase).  "...*has* been heightened..."?  It appears like there is going to be quite the lack of discussion on any of the eight investigations that have taken place.  I think "had" would be a more appropriate phrase.  Followed up with a "but hey, you know, funny thing..."

Any chance to submit questions again John?

2011-03-31 12:30:08I'm not involved with this hearing
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238

They seem to be well stocked with scientists now so a Brisbane blogger ring-in is unnecessary :-)

2011-03-31 13:05:38
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Good ideas John.  Their charter does not bode well-- for all practicval purposes it could have been gleaned from WUWT.  It is 2011 right?!  They did read the findings of the four or so investigations right?!

2011-03-31 13:08:58
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

John,

Re "They seem to be well stocked with scientists".  The only name on that list that, to my knowledge, offers a glimmer of hope for a reasoned discussion is Emanuel. Is the list in the link that you provided the complete one?

Can't wait to hear Christy talking though his hat about economics etc. again.  They really, really need to call him on that!

2011-03-31 13:36:02
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

They betray their bias from the very start with "leaked" instead of "hacked" or "stolen"

Nothing good will come from that charade

2011-03-31 13:41:02
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Good point Daniel, someone should ask one of the contrarians to prove that they were leaked.  They hacked the RC server and uploaded the stolen files (or treied to?) for God's sakes.  They also tried to hack the NASA (or was it NOAA?) computers in the months leading up to the CRU hack!

 

2011-03-31 13:43:19Dissenting reports
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
60.230.32.10

I'm not familiar with the Congressional system. Can the Dem's on the committee release a minority report or is it just one report carried by the majority?

Muller's testimony will be a good signal of his intentions.

 

2011-03-31 14:48:40Storm Clouds gather
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Reading the charter makes it clear:  This will be a carefully-orchestrated hanging jury, bent on ultimately overturning the EPA Endangerment finding, with its outcome a foregone conclusion.

This is what our Congress does best: Political theatre.

The hearing is for show.

War is upon us.

2011-03-31 15:29:28I'm anticipating this hearing will be a denial fest to dwarf the previous hearings
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238

So I'd like SkS to do a follow-up post featuring quotes from the event. What I'll do is add an extra field to the Quotes database so you can connect a quote to a specific event/article. Then we can connect it to this hearing, then I'll program a page that automatically spits out every quote from the event, along with the photo of the relevant skeptic (scientist or politician). In theory, this could be done live during the event if we had people transcribing quotes during the event. Maybe down the track, SkS could have "LIVE REBUTTING" - similar to live blogging but posting quotes + links to SkS rebuttals in real time. But for now, it'll have to be after the event.

Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas on the quickest way we could harvest quotes from the hearing? There will be a live video feed on the web at http://science.house.gov/hearing/full-committee-hearing-climate-change and it may be on TV.

Thoughts - somehow get a video recording, put it online where we can then crowdsource transcribing quotes onto a google document. Any better ideas?

2011-03-31 15:38:45Live blogging off event
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238

Science are live blogging the hearing, including Gavin Schmidt:

http://news.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2011/03/live-hearing-nasas-schmidt-pews.html

2011-03-31 15:54:38
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

John,

Maybe focus on making comments on the pews live feed.  You posted a couple of your short/tiny URL links there in the previous one and I thought that was great, but it would be nic eif SkS had a more prominent presence this time round.  I'm afraid though that it might mean you having to be up at all hours.  I'll do my best to participate, but it is down to the wire for my final thesis submission. Someone could always uses their video camera to make a recording from their cmputer screen, not ideal i.t.o vid quality, but I have seen others do it and it does allow one the freedom to generate a transcript by viewing and pausing the tape.  Maybe that task could be delegated to volunteers to expedite things and ease the work load rather than one poor sod doing it all themselves!

I encourage others here to please particpate on the live pews thread/blog...critical mass helps.

2011-03-31 18:02:58I think I'll have to give it a miss tonight
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
124.185.238.238

I stayed up for the last one to help provide questions to the House staffers and I was wrecked for a few days afterwards. Anyone can post SkS short URLs really.

2011-03-31 19:37:48
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

I expect Muller will continue to be negative on Climategate.

However, an important issue will be: What does this mean about global warming? I think he will have to state that he thinks AGW is real and needs to be addressed. I think where it gets interesting is the issue of climate sensitivity (he'll probably emphasize the uncertainties) and urgency of action (he'll emphasize the need to get China and India to control the growth of their emissions).

That's my expectation.

2011-04-01 04:11:01infuriating
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

I managed to watch about an hour of the hearing (looks like it's going over 3 hours total).  It absolutely got my blood boiling.

Armstrong flat-out lied about economics the whole time.  There were no other economists on the panel who could refute his misinformation.  I'm going to need to write a post rebutting his crap.

Christy was a complete tool.  Republicans fed him denialist questions, and he gave them denialist answers.  Several times they asked him about the '70s ice age myth, and every time he just responded by saying that the similarity between the '70s and now is that we have a huge amount of ignorance about the climate.  He never took the opportunity to refute the myth.  The entire hearing he was a denialist tool.  I think we need to do another post devoted solely to Christy's testimony.  It was that bad.

The other two Republican witnesses (Glaser and some other guy) were also full of garbage, but for the most part, they weren't asked many questions and most Congressmen didn't really seem to care what they had to say (and rightfully so).

Thank goodness Emanuel was there.  He did a great job cutting through the bullshit.  He was the only one to refute the '70s ice age myth, sea level rise mischaracterizations, etc.  Basically he had to represent the entire honest climate science community on his own, and did a great job of it.

Muller I didn't see much from.  I think he talked about the hockey stick a lot, and got the information wrong, as we expected.  But he also presented his BEST results in written testimony - I don't know how much coverage they got during the live hearing, but he basically confirmed that the temperature record is right and the planet is warming.

There was also a question about DDT.  Most of the Republican witnesses said we should re-introduce its use.  Even Muller said based on what he had read on the subject, he would re-introduce it.  Emanuel was honest and said he didn't have expertise on the subjet.  Christy said he spent time in Africa, which apparently makes him a DDT expert, and he would re-introduce DDT.  The Congresswoman who asked the question then said that she works on an African health committe, or something like that, and that they have almost eradicated malaria at this point without needing to rely on DDT.  I thought that was a funny exchange, with the Republican witnesses toeing the Republican "DDT is great" line, even when they had no expertise in the subject, and then being shown up by this Congresswoman.  The fact that Emanuel didn't answer really showed which of the witnesses were being honest.

2011-04-01 04:14:44suggested response
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Here's how I would suggest we respond to this hearing, once we can get a transcript or something:

1) Put together all the politician quotes, and do a blog post on that

2) Do a blog post response specific to Christy's crap

3) Do a blog post response specific to Armstrong's crap

4) Maybe something with Muller.  I didn't see enough of his testimony to determine if it requires a response

I'd probably ignore the other two Republican witnesses.  I'd make sure to include some quotes from Emanuel's testimony in the response to Christy, because he debunked a number of myths which Christy propagated.

2011-04-01 05:02:49
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

The transcripts of prepared testimony is up

Emanuel Quotes to include:

"Dealing with the risks entailed in climate change will be extraordinarily difficult, and reasonable people will differ on questions of strategy. Citizens will expect their representatives to confront this issue in an open and honest way; making mascots of scientific mavericks or shooting the messengers are not rational options. "

"We revere our forefathers for making material and mortal sacrifices for our benefit. One hopes that our descendents will hold us in similar regard."

 

 

2011-04-01 05:26:40
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

dana,

As someone suggested earlier, what Muller said that was good we should note as well: If we're ever going to have any effect on him, we have to notice when he's doing something right.

2011-04-01 06:14:49agreed
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Agreed, neal.  Like I said, I just didn't catch much of his testimony.  But especially if he put the UHI myth to rest, we should make note of that.

2011-04-01 06:30:10
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

Didn't manage to see the testimony of Muller, but I listened in later and I felt that he was sending a clear message on the problem - co2 is causing warming and this problem should be looked in to. Sensed a bit of disapointment from the one asking the question, when he answered as he did. He doesn't seem to be very much in denial on the important issue on global warming, but then he never has?

Christy on the other hand - he is way out in the woods - his crap should be handled properly!

2011-04-01 06:54:26
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

Yes, focus on Christy!  If Muller is simply repeating stuff we already have ready for our bloggery refutation, I'd just promote his lines that agree with the consensus.  I thought this hearing would be a disaster, but I see a few silver linings there.

 

Also, NealJ nailed this Watts 'problem' early on.  And Watts is graciously walking into the bear trap.  Watts reaction is making Romm's hiccups on the matter look trivial.

Luboš Motl says:March 31, 2011 at 11:54 am

I watched much of the hearings – together with the text-based exhibitions of Gavin Schmidt et al. for the Science magazine.


Concerning BEST, I am confused about yet another thing – the promised transparency about everything. As far as I can see, BEST is currently offering an even worse transparency, at least to me, than any other previous team. Is that just me? I can’t even get the final data. And they’re already presenting “results” to the Congress?


I think that they have done *nothing* out of the things that they have promised.


REPLY: Bingo, Anthony

2011-04-01 07:55:42final data
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

BEST doesn't have final data.  The graph presented to Congress clearly states that it's only using 2% of the available station data.  Amazing these guys are complaining about a lack of transparency while work is still ongoing.  Clearly they're upset they can't control the message.

oslo and grypo - agreed, we need to really take Christy down.  He was just horrific in the hearing.  On par with Lindzen in terms of intellectual dishonesty.

2011-04-01 08:04:09
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

Well, in all honesty, it is a little aggressive to promote something as being a definitive study and then to release preliminary results before it's really final.

On the other hand, they're going to have the hearings anyway, so they may as well be informed.

Isn't Christy a born-again Christian? We really should nail him for dishonesty.

 

2011-04-01 08:31:45Christy
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Not sure exactly what his religious denomination is, but Christy is a very religious guy, from what I've read.  I'm in favor of specifically stating that he was intellectually dishonest in not refuting the '70s ice age myth, for example.  He's behaved this way in two Congressional hearings now, so I don't see why we should pull any punches.

2011-04-01 08:50:49
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

dana,

 

Maybe it would be best to ask John to take him to task for that, <sarcasm>since John is well-known to be a religious fanatic, whereas you are merely a Scientologist </sarcasm>!

In all seriousness, intellectual dishonesty is still dishonesty - and this issue has implications for the present and future peoples of the world. Even if he believes what he believes, how does he morally justify lying about it?

2011-04-01 08:59:33
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

dana1981:

I would advise to be very, very careful on attacking personal beliefs - you don't want to upset religious communities (I'm not saying you intended to).

The arguments by Christy can be taken down on scientific evidence - not on behalf of his personal religious standpoint.

(not religous in any way my self, just to clarify)

2011-04-01 09:02:48religion
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

No no, I didn't mean we should criticize Christy's dishonesty because he's religious.  I was just answering neal's question.  We should criticize Christy for being intellectually dishonest, period.

John and I have discussed how Christy and Spencer can justify their behavior given their religious beliefs and supposed morals.  I think we decided that their ideology is likely trumping their morals.  And I suspect they believe most of what they say, because they're blinded by ideology.  Spencer has admitted that he loves Fox News - 'nuff said.

2011-04-01 09:14:48
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

I'm sure Spencer and Christy is blinded by ideology ;-)

If Sks goes at the morality of the issue (our responsibillity for our children and grandchildren - and the planet) - then we are at target in my opinion.

2011-04-01 09:18:47morality
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

The only morality issue I think we should address is that it's immoral to misrepresent facts and evidence, especially when testifying before policymakers.  It's really just a dishonesty issue.  I think we just frame it as intellectually dishonest and not even mention morals.  Again that was just a side note to neal, since John and I have discussed the subject before.  It's hard to imagine how Christy can sleep tonight after that performance.  Answer - blinded by ideology.

2011-04-01 09:27:44
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.139

Maybe this is what Watt doesn't like:

"We have also studied station quality. Many US stations have low quality rankings
according to a study led by Anthony Watts. However, we find that the warming seen in
the “poor” stations is virtually indistinguishable from that seen in the “good” stations."

(from Muller's written testimony)

2011-04-01 09:32:10
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

dana1981:

Sorry if I jumped in on this, but I have given the issue on religion a bit of thought, and my thinking goes that one should not attack religious beliefs as you has clarified - so as far as I can see we do agree completly on this issue. The dishonest messages from Christy is more than enough to make an argument!

I would like a transcript of what he said regarding MWP - strait out lie as far as I could tell.

2011-04-01 10:08:06
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

I'm afraid I don't agree with either oslo or dana: I think calling attention to someone's immorality is fair game.

I am not talking about attacking religious beliefs: I am talking about failure to live up to ONE'S OWN religious beliefs. Being dishonest, in testimony, on a matter of significance is an ecumenical fail: regardless of specific religion, sect, etc.

I mention John because he has stated that he felt impelled to take action to accord with his own religious beliefs; in particular, to paraphrase, the belief that one should take some degree of responsibility. Whatever Christy's ideology, how does he square simple lying with anything resembling that attitude? Of course, if his religious belief is "Why should I care for posterity? What has posterity ever done for me?", then there's nothing to say: He's acting in accord with that. But I've never heard of any brand of Christianity that knowingly adopted that particular moral compass.

One can be intellectually dishonest about all manner of topics. In many cases, it's disgraceful but has no life-threatening consequences. This case is different.

2011-04-01 10:38:04
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

nealjking:

- I'm afraid I don't agree with either oslo or dana: I think calling attention to someone's immorality is fair game.

I do agree that one should question the morality on this issue - my point is that the issue need support from all communities - including religius communities - this is why my advice is that arguments on Christy is based on scientific evidence and on a morality standpoint (don't destroy the earth) - the personal religious standpoint by Christy is in my opinion not so interesting, well apart from judging how to understand his point of view.

If Sks would like to get the message through (that GHG emissions should be reduced), Sks should question scientific standpoints and not question religious standpoints (well this is getting into a philosophical discussion - perhaps John can clarify his view on this)

2011-04-01 10:51:29
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.31.101

A Christian is in a better position to confront a Christian on hypocrisy than would be a member of a different religion, because they share a common foundation.

2011-04-01 13:16:30
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

His specific branch of Christianity might be worth looking into, at least.  There is a segment of evangelicals in the US that are entangled with the extreme free-market ideology here in the US.  This has created a very bizarre politically confused small economic govt but big social govt branch of the Republican Party.  These people believe that God loves America more than other countries because it is free and exceptional and the idea that God would allow the free-market to contribute to "bad" climate change is abhorrent to them.  This movemment has spawned some very weird political lobbying organizations also, that I know Spencer has been affiliated with, very minimally in some weird anti-science video.  Christy actually sounds like he could be involved with these people.  He may actually believe what he is saying. 

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/CornwallAlliance#p/a/u/2/WqraZawCWsY

2011-04-01 13:49:03Almost fooled
oslo

borchinfolab@gmail...
90.149.33.182

A blogger wrote on a forum today that he got administrative rights on all logins and could check every account.

I'm not very secretive on my personal account (although I use a nick), but he almost got me fooled.

Be aware on april one :-)

2011-04-01 13:59:52
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

From the standpoint of an evangelical Christian I'll weigh in here on Christy & Spencer:

I've heard that they have strong Christian beliefs.  But part of being a believer is walking the talk.  And testifying before Congress and knowingly affirming a falsehood, under oath (do they still get sworn in with a hand on the Bible...I miss those days)...  It's just unconscionable.  It runs contrary to everything a believer is supposed to stand for (if you transgress one, you transgress them all).

Summation:  Christy & Spencer are fair game.  Call them on their hypocrisy.  If their fellow church members knew what those two were withholding from them they would call them on it too.  It is part of the faith for a Christian to call out another Christian under these circumstances.

/Preaching

2011-04-01 18:12:24
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
91.33.123.131

Daniel,

Yes, my point exactly.

It has to be done on a personal, one-on-one basis, by another Christian; otherwise it could be taken as just attacking another's religion.

And it has to be based on what we are sure are actual lies, not just idiosyncratic ideas.

2011-04-01 23:34:16
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.78

How about a quick, short first post on the responses to the DDT question to highlight the diferent responses?

2011-04-02 03:01:02DDT
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

The DDT question was interesting.  Democratic congresswoman asked each if they would re-introduce DDT.  Almost every Republican witness, including Christy (who seemed to feel he was qualified to answer because he's spent time in Africa) said yes.  Even Muller said yes, based on what he's read.  Emanuel and one of the others, Glaser I think, said they were unqualified to answer.

The Democratic congresswoman then informed them that she was working on some African health panel, and that they had almost eradicated malaria in Africa without needing to rely on DDT.  I thought it was a pretty good 'gotcha' moment, plus it revealed who was honest and unwilling to go beyond his expertise (Emanuel).

It's not a climate issue though.  But I suppose we could do a blog post about it anyway.

2011-04-02 03:24:46TreeHugger
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

By the way, TreeHugger ran our blog post on the politicians database.