Who are the real sceptics?

Did you hear about this Climategate 2.0 bullshit? Why are journalists not getting fired for all this ridiculously irresponsible misreporting?

Over the last couple of days, we’ve been graced with the news that 5,000 personal emails exchanged by climate scientists have been leaked to the public. These aren’t recent emails, mind you, these emails cover the same time span as those released in the last ‘shattering’ leak. So hack journalists and parties with vested interests are forcing us to discuss yesterday’s news today.

The mass media is once again doing the public a gross disservice through an unbridled flexing of staggering incompetence. Many reporters are defiantly refusing to even look beyond the now infamous text file (itself consisting almost entirely of shamelessly mined quotes) when writing their stories. What makes this myopia so damning is that in most cases, a fucking glance at the actual email the mined soundbite came from will lay the context bare – effectively refuting the entire article.

There are countless examples of such vacuous hype on Google News. No doubt you’ve already seen some. If you haven’t, you can start with this gem (shared courtesy of none other than Rupert Murdoch’s own glorified histrionic soap box). All we have here are the veritable peacocks of mindless dogmatism splaying dazzling shows of confirmation biases in defence of their stock holdings.

Even the better articles succumb to the deluded trap of giving ‘the opposition’ a voice on matters of science. If high school science was taught the same way, it would sound something like this: “That’s chemistry for today, class; now don’t be late for alchemy after the break!”

You have to stand in awe at the scandalous behaviour of these so-called ‘journalists’. I would love to see a dump of their leaked email exchanges. This is intellectual suicide at its most intrepid.

What can’t be disputed is that the the biggest sceptics of man-made global warming appear to be the scientists themselves, and that’s the way it should be. This is how science is done. We wouldn’t know that the planet is warming if no one tried to disprove it. Thankfully the scientists attack the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis at every angle, and they do so thoroughly; and to our collective despair, AGW has repeatedly proven itself bulletproof.

Frankly, it warms my heart to read about scientists critiquing their colleagues’ work ruthlessly. I like my scientists second-guessing themselves. I also like them doing what they can to stamp out any interference in their research by the militantly ignorant.

Only a public horribly ignorant of the methods of science could possibly be taken in by such a travesty of lazy, biased reporting.

The timing of the leaks is obviously calculated to disrupt the upcoming UN climate change conference in Durban. Representatives of developing countries already affected by global warming are considering ‘occupying’ the talks to try to push for an international action plan. That this isn’t getting more coverage alongside the leaks is another media scandal.

With each new piece of data in the public sphere, I find myself even more dumbstruck by the sheer selfishness of the denier project. Irresponsible reporting makes journalists part of the problem. It’s no wonder that journalists are the least trusted group of professionals in Australia.

That a few people seem to think climate scientist Phil Jones is an incompetent dick is hardly newsworthy, and it says a lot less about the validity of climate science as a whole. Phil Jones has already responded to the latest leaks.

Have the media already forgotten that massive independent study – funded by deniers – that was published last month and showed unequivocally that the planet is inarguably warming? Earlier this month, more data was released indicating that we only have another five years to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avert catastrophic global warming.

The current fixation on what was happening in the world of climate science last decade is also plainly ridiculous. Science isn’t static. Anyone who thinks it is simply doesn’t know anything about science, and therefore isn’t qualified to make credible comments on the work of scientists.

It’s also interesting to note that the contents of the dump totalled at around 5,000 emails. Perhaps the most brazen demonstration of the stupidity of the leakers isn’t that they intentionally quote-mined emails they released alongside the original emails, but that they added this little nugget to their maliciously deficient little text file:

The rest, some 220.000, are encrypted for various reasons.
We are not planning to publicly release the passphrase.

Why the fuck not? I’m sceptical; I want to know these ‘various reasons’. They saw fit to include emails containing little more than holiday greetings and similar banalities. How do these disingenuous tools decide on which emails to withhold? 220,000 emails is an awful lot to withhold.

Even the worst of the so-called deceptions alleged to have been perpetrated by the scientists at the centre of the current propaganda campaign are nothing on those perpetrated by their denialist detractors. I covered some of these demonstrable crimes in my defence of the science behind anthropogenic global warming, which you can read here.


I invite you to look through the emails themselves here. There is a remarkable preponderance of no absolutely evidence of scientists trying to mislead the public. In fact, they appear to have been making every effort to not mislead the public. I know, right?

You can read some worthy coverage here and here.

Update: Check out the RealClimate team’s responses to this whole drama here. (Link thanks to the amazing Tamino.)


12 thoughts on “Who are the real sceptics?

  1. Pingback: What I’m Reading Saturday, November 26, 2011 | Rationally Thinking Out Loud

  2. Pingback: Snippets of Stolen Emails Cannot Make the Earth Flat « Global Warming: Man or Myth?

  3. From Media Matters:

    Raphael Satter of the Associated Press has also has a premature report […] asserting that the emails “appeared to show climate scientists talking in conspiratorial tones about ways to promote their agenda.” […] Satter admits that the context of the emails “couldn’t be determined” because the “Associated Press has not yet been able to secure a copy” of the documents.

    Holy cow. This is surely crossing the line from “stupid” to “criminally stupid”. It’s like someone parroting a pre-fabricated press release before admitting in the final paragraphs that he’s parroting a press release.

    Do journalists have no pride in their work anymore?

    For my part, as you can see from my URL, I’m running a blog Decoding SwiftHack that’s dedicated to, well, figuring out the truth behind the CRU data dumps. My main obstacle is that the .zip files themselves (FOI2009.zip and FOIA2011.zip) aren’t a lot to go on, and I don’t have much information about the cyber-attack beyond what’s available to the general public — since after all I’m not ‘officially’ a policeman, researcher, or reporter working on the case.

    I think if someone’s who’s actually tasked with the case can use the resources at his disposal to ask the right questions, we can get way further towards finding the truth. Alas, that’s not so.

    Well, enough griping for now…

    — frank

  4. Pingback: One More Climategate Post (Best of the Best) | Planetsave

  5. Pingback: Who Are the Real Skeptics? | Planetsave

  6. ” Earlier this month, more data was released indicating that we only have another five years to drastically cut our greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avert catastrophic global warming”

    I never read a dire prediction like this. If we have only five years before catastrophe, then one would expect to see drastic changes today. Climate doesn’t ‘change on a dime’. Berkeley Earth just released their study which is the most comprehensive of all the studies and did find a small rise in surface temperatures over the last fifty years. But Professor Muller stated that we do not know how much of that warming is due to natural processes or by humans. Also, there has never been a time when the earth temperature remained constant.

    Berkeley Earth next study will be on the ocean heat reservoir and on the upper atmosphere temperatures. If, as you stated, we should listen to the experts, then go to YouTube and hear what Prof. Muller has to say instead of spreading you journalistic ….. (I don’t use superlatives to get my point across, only immature journalists do that!)

    • I hope you didn’t get the impression that I meant the climate would change on a dime. I’ve written extensively on climate change elsewhere on this blog, and I don’t think I’ve ever said anything like that. If I have, I’ve made a mistake. To quote from The Guardian‘s article, “World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns” (November 9):

      Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this “lock-in” effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world’s foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous.

      That probably would have made for a better link than the New York Times article I linked to, which I suppose functioned as a Republican-safe version in The States.

      I’m happy to listen to the experts, but I prefer to listen to the bulk of the experts. We don’t live in 1615 any more. The data the bulk of the experts are using is public. If you’re insisting on Professor Muller’s opinions, I’d recommend you look at the following:

      Richard Muller
      BEST October 2011

      Sorry to use the same website for both links, but I trust you’ll find the bibliographies provided adequate if you’re interested in the science.


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