Warning from 255 scientists ignored as world watches shopped cuddly polar bear pic

Back in May, 255 distinguished scientists wrote a letter about the climate and sent it to the esteemed journal Science.

The picture editor at Science unwisely chose to illustrate the letter with a photoshopped picture of a polar bear on an ice floe which is how Telegraph blogger James Delingpole came to tackle the story.  Strong words from the scientists like "Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence." gave way to Dinglepole's deceiptful climate scientists narrative for the umpteenth time. Dinglepole argues that a doctored image shows the writer is being dishonest .

The 255 scientists also put their names to the warning 'There is compelling, comprehensive, and consistent objective evidence that humans are changing the climate in ways that threaten our societies and the ecosystems on which we depend'   But it is the photoshopped polar bear story that went round the world, reproduced numerous times by bloggers and other newspapers. *

November; and Dinglepole's blog looks back at a year since the final nail in AGW's coffin that was the UEA hack illustrating his words with a picture of a tombstone to global warming clearly made using computer wizardry.  Strangely Dinglepole does not deploy the same arguments he used earlier in the year.

*The Daily Telegraph in Australia even manages to get the story wrong twice; erroneously suggesting in their correction that Science had shopped the pic when it was clear ( from Dinglepole's blog and the Science article) that it was a stock shot credited to iStockphoto.com.

P.S. Have had a go myself, here's the results:

When Skepticism Equals Tedium plus Inconsistency

The combined intellects of skeptic/denialists Andrew Montford and Tony Newbery have decided to lobby the BBC over it's science impartiality. And I've been leafing through their submission.

In Paragraph 8 we learn how a "dedicated and vociferous environmental activist" who has also been "a trustee of the World Wildlife Fund" could not provide "either an authoritative or impartial assessment of the current state of the scientific evidence supporting the AGW hypothesis." About whom are we talking ? The eminent physicist and sometime AGW proponent  Lord May of Oxford no less . Thus establishing an important tenet that a person's background is relevant to assessing their credibility.

The BBC's evil warmist plot is nailed at Point 24(c)  
...During the programme Richard Lindzen, a professor of meteorology at MIT, and an authority on the
physics of clouds, was introduced as a climate sceptic. He was then shown
smoking a cigarette while a voice over explained that he had a lot of
contrarian beliefs including on smoking. It is most unusual for anyone to be
shown smoking on BBC programmes now and the sequence was clearly
intended to discredit his sceptical views on climate change. (emphasis added)
Well, as some famous jurist should have said 'When your case is piss-weak looks count for everything.' But seriously,  these two are asking the BBC to hold back on explaining the background information on this pillar of the denialist community. Dr Lindzen's views on tobacco and health might give an insight into his credibility and perhaps his scientific approach. Never mind that his views on tobacco and health are no secret, Montford and Newbery argue that the BBC must censor some of Dr. Lindzen's views whilst promoting his theories on climate. And if they do not get the balance right that's a warmist slant.  Thus establishing an important tenet that a person's background is NOT relevant to assessing their credibility.

Andrew Montford, a great face for radio

The BBC have asked geneticist Professor Steve Jones to conduct the review. Professor Jones I've done the research so you don't have to.

P.S.Could this be the same Andrew W.Montford who made a submission to Parliament dissing the head of the Met Office Board Robert Napier as "too close to environmental groups" and an "environmental activist"? Thus establishing an important tenet that a person's background is relevant to assessing their credibility.

Is my MEP smarter than a 10 year old?

The good people of South East England have elected Daniel Hannan to represent us in the European Parliament , who helpfully blogs on the Daily Telegraph website to keep us all in touch with his thinking on the critical issues of the day. Over to you Daniel Hannan:

"The case for anthropogenic global warming was, as far as I can understand, slightly more convincing a decade ago than it is today, with global temperatures having recently dropped."

Hmmmm, a citation would be useful Dan. So by Mr Hannan's reckoning the case for anthropogenic global warming is made up by the sole factor of whether temperatures are rising or falling. It's a very noisy background , as any GMST graphic will prove. Mr Hannan will have to change his mind every time the line changes direction. If he's being honest.

stuff im shamelessly plagiarizing

"Apparently, last month was the warmest April, worldwide, on record. We’ve also just had the warmest January-April period on record.

What politically correct alarmist socialist nonsense. These ‘scientists’ with their ‘data’ can say what they like, but let me tell you it’s been bloody chilly lately and no mistake.

In other news, later today I shall be disproving the second law of thermodynamics by tidying my desk."
Hat Tip Freemania

Scientists not skeptical enough for the WSJ

Here's a worrying example of just how polarized , and dishonest, reports about climate science have become. First the facts. The esteemed American Geophysical Union a scientific organization offers a Q&A service for journalists . It will not, repeat not, offer a commentary on policy . If you are a journalist and you have a scientific question on the science you can email the service and they will hook up your question with one of 700 experts on whatever field of climate science is troubling you. So it's a resource for journalists, not much of a story I know.

The (Murdoch owned) Wall Street Journal runs a different story though. WSJ hack Anne Jolis contacts Fred Singer, John Christy and Dick Lindzen and argues that the AGU service is corrupted because it does not include their skeptical views . None of these names are new to anyone following the polemic. John Christy graced our tv screens here in the UK recently on Panorama, whilst the skeptical commentaries of Dick Lindzen  (Vice President's Climate Task Force 2001) and Fred Singer (SEPP) are too numerous to mention.

Jolis posits that journalists are being misled by the AGU. But she can contact these names for herself if she needs their opinion, that's what her job is. Nobody can view this story without concluding that the truth has been distorted with somewhere. It's rather sad to see a grown up paper like the WSJ run a story that they are being misled, when in reality WSJ.com is misleading it's viewers .

TheGuardian "US researchers fight to reclaim climate science message"

Stop the forest sell-off !

If you only do one thing today sign the online petition to stop the government selling off the forests.  The background material can be found in this article by the excellent Caroline Lucas. Here is the link to the petition to stop the selling off of the forests. What are you waiting for.

The Optimist Activist

`Time is running out’ wrote two activists in Scientific American in August, `to limit acidification before it irreparably harms the food chain on which the world’s oceans – and people – depend.’

That's a quote taken directly from Matt Ridley's website and Times article which is used to suggest ocean acidification has been exaggerated. I didn't know Scientific American was biased by activism, shocking. Googling the quote finds the piece and the authors Carl Safina and Marah J. Hardt.  They do not describe themselves as  'activists',  the relevant point is they are more eminently qualified to write about the oceans than Matt Ridley . Both are PhDs, Hardt's is from Scripps Institution of Oceanography and both have won awards too numerous to mention. Matt Ridley neatly skips past all that, to him they are just 'activists'.
Matt Ridley likes to describe himself as the rational optimist. That's the title of his book and his website. Optimist yes, but how rational ? Perhaps the answer can be found by reading his paragraph 3

"The trouble is, a shoal of new scientific papers points to the conclusion that this scare is based on faulty biochemical reasoning, unrealistic experiments and exaggeration."

Dr Ridley cites three papers and it is clear this statement is opinion rather than fact. There is nothing wrong with having opinions but if he can't be honest about the weight to attach to the opinions of other scientists why should we attach any weight to Ridley's opinions? I've left a comment on Dr. Ridley's website that all this makes him an activist. He hasnt got back to me.

Astroturfing denied by Koch lackey politician

Many American progressives are wondering how the Tea Party have done it. Has the Tea Party hit upon a magic policy formula which finds favour with the wealthy and powerful yet wins votes too? Or is the spontaneous, popular and grassroots Tea Party as portrayed on Fox something of a canard? A recent article by Jane Mayer in The New Yorker is a revelation.

Follow the money. The vast majority of the millions flowing in to Tea Party coffers comes from two brothers from Wichita Kansas, Charles and David Koch. They also happen to be the billionaire owners of Koch Industries, America's second largest private company, and have much to gain from the agenda pressed by the Tea Party. A recent Greenpeace report names Koch as the “kingpin of climate science denial”  vastly outspending even ExxonMobil in giving money to organizations fighting legislation related to climate change, underwriting a huge network of foundations, think tanks, and political front groups. Nobody quite knows how much money has been spent by Koch on political campaigns but a figure of 37 million dollars is cited just on lobbying alone. Greenpeace have called it the climate denial machine, other observers noting that the Kochs political ambitions are much wider than climate change denial have another name for it "the Kochtopus".

Nobody elected the Koch brothers, but they are hugely influential, and it's impossible to gauge the full reach of the Kochtopus. One commentator describes the phenomenon thus "They have a pattern of lawbreaking, political manipulation, and obfuscation. I’ve been in Washington since Watergate, and I’ve never seen anything like it. They are the Standard Oil of our times.”

But in a democracy it's votes that count so a popular movement of ordinary people is mobilised to press the agenda of the Kochtopus. Enter the Tea Party. There are conflicting accounts of whether the Tea Party is grassroots or not. The recent film (Astro)turf Wars shows a slick well funded machine manipulating a handful of deluded activists.

One journalist who thinks he knows the truth is Daniel Hannan who blogs for the Daily Telegraph.  "The Tea Party is that rare beast, a genuinely spontaneous popular movement." Mr Hannan insists, dismissing the claims of astroturfing.   It's opinion though and not fact so how much it clears the matter up is open to question.

One fact that Mr Hannan fails to disclose to his readers though is that he is surpisingly close to the Koch brothers himself. Mr Hannan addressed the Koch Foundation last year on a pro bono basis. He is quoted on page 7 of the Koch in-house magazine*.  And on top of his business as a paid speaker and a journalist Mr Hannan finds the time to represent South East England as an M.E.P. in the European Parliament. 

"The idea that the Tea Party is “Astroturf” (meaning fake grassroots) just won’t wash" writes Mr Hannan, a point that might carry a little weight if it was being made by someone at the grassroots, but not by someone so close to the Tea Party's backers.  He even defends the Koch Brothers campaign to outspend any opposition "we ought to celebrate political donations"  says Mr Hannan, who likes to give the appearance of an impartial observer whilst propagandising for his paymasters.

Koch have sent approximately a million dollars the way of the  'National Center for Policy Analysis' and the 'American Legislative Exchange Council' (both of which are mentioned prominently in Mayer's article) which shares senior staff with the ironically titled 'Regular Folks United' a Tea Party organizer. These outfits sponsored Daniel Hannan's U.S. tour.

Some might ask just why is the Koch funding of political campaigns so rotten?  "The Koch brothers have been funding free market campaigns since the 1970s without ever sparking anything like this", writes Mr Hannan , indignantly. "The only difference between us and the Kochs is one of scale: the Kochs are wealthy, and good luck to them."  That's fair enough if were talking about David Koch's support of the New York  City Ballet but it's the political slush funds to support the bottom line of Koch Industries which is so distasteful and is at issue.  David Koch stood on the Libertarian Party ticket in the 1980 presidential election,  and now appears to be pushing the United States towards a libertarian agenda .

The Koch brothers back their weltanschauung with millions of dollars, against other ideas which stand or fall on merit alone. Lower taxes for billionaires, less regulation for polluting industries, no public healthcare option are just some of the causes that attract the Koch's money, and Tea Party support with it . “If we’re going to give a lot of money, we’ll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And if they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don’t agree with, we withdraw funding” , says David Koch.

No one can doubt that Mr Hannan's views overlap with the Koch's to some extent, it is widely reported that Charles and David Koch were particularly influenced by Austrian economist F A Hayek's tome "The Road to Serfdom", Daniel Hannan's new book is entitled "The New Road To Serfdom" .

"I have no special brief for the Tea Party" claims Daniel Hannan in an article which asks "If Tea Partiers are such deluded fools, why are they doing so well?" The answer to that has quite a bit to do with the Koch brothers, whom Mr Hannan appears more familiar with than he is letting on.

*Discovery April 2010 http://www.kochind.com/files/DiscoveryApril2010.pdf