Thursday, February 18, 2010

Swift Boating Climate Change


Thers: Stupid Journalist Tricks
Morbidly fascinated in how the British & elsewhere gutter press has been cheering on global climate catastrophe? The gory details.

Also you can and should read this and this. Long story short, attacks on climate scientists = horrible lies, action needed now on climate change, or lots of bad shit happens.
Sully: Swift-Boating Climate Change?

Walter Russell Mead is upset that the NYT hasn't reported on the IPCC pseudogates:

Let me say this again one last time: the story here is that the movement to stop climate change is being swift-boated right before our eyes. And just as Senator Kerry and the journalistic establishment failed to see the importance of the swift boat attacks and develop a counter strategy early, so the Times along with the climate change establishment is, yet again, missing the boat on a major piece of news.

Blake Hounshell sheds some light on the Times coverage.

ChrisinParis (AmBlog): What else should we expect from Utah Republicans?

Duh huh. Duh huh. They're such funny people.

Utah's heavily Republican state legislature has passed a new resolution which condemns climate change alarmism. The resolution lacks any legal authority, but vocally criticizes the anthropogenic global warming community for ignoring recent developments.

The legislation, which resoundingly passed by a vote of 56-17, originally referred to global warming theory as a "conspiracy", but that term was stricken from the measure in favor of "climate data".
Roth (TPM): If At First You Don't Secede ... Sue The EPA: Texas Guv Uses Climate-Gate Emails To Take On Feds

Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is suing the Environmental Protection Agency in a bid to stop it from regulating global warming pollution. The centerpiece of his argument? Those leaked "Climate-Gate" emails.

Last year, the governor -- who faces a contested GOP primary race, which includes a Tea-Party-backed candidate who has lately caught fire -- raised the threat of seceding from the union. And on Tuesday, he opened a new front in his quest to tout his conservative bona fides.

Flanked by his attorney general, Greg Abbott, Perry declared at a press conference that the lawsuit was intended to "defend Texas' environmental successes against federal overreach." And he slammed the Obama administration for "using sweeping mandates and draconian punishments to force a square peg of their vision into the round whole of reality."

Abbott cited the emails to charge that the EPA was using "tainted data" when it ruled in December that heat-trapping gases are a threat to human health and can be regulated by the federal government.

The leaked emails caused a storm on Fox News and right-wing blogs last fall, but did not shift the overwhelming scientific consensus that global warming is a threat. Nonetheless, a "Petition for Review," submitted to the EPA in the name of Perry and other Texas officials and examined by TPMmuckraker, uses what it calls the "disturbing revelations" contained in the emails as the centerpiece of its argument, claiming that the leaked emails have "shocked and appalled policy makers, regulators, scientists, and concerned citizens worldwide."

In its "Overview" section, the petition argues that in making its ruling, EPA relied on the conclusions of the United Nations International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). That body is generally seen as one of the most authoritative sources of information we have on climate change -- but Perry et al. charge that "troubling revelations about the conduct, objectivity, reliability, and propriety of the IPCC's processes, assessments, and contributors" have lately appeared.

What revelations are those?

Previously private email exchanges among top IPCC climatologists reveal an entrenched group of activists focused less on reaching an objective scientific conclusion than on achieving their desired outcome. These scientists worked to prevent contravening studies from being published, colluded to hide research flaws, and collaborated to obstruct the public's legal right to public information under open records laws.

The petition goes on to reproduce many of the emails, including the two that received the most media attention last fall: the one in which a scientist refers to a "trick" to "hide the decline" in temperatures, and another in which the same scientist pledges that he and a colleague will keep papers skeptical of climate change out of scientific journals, "even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" (For a good explanation of why the first email shows nothing nefarious, and why the second, though perhaps improper, doesn't come close to undermining the consensus behind climate change, go here.)

Since the leaked emails appeared, the petition goes on to allege, "there has been a parade of controversies as new examples of improprieties and erroneous information are revealed to the public." As one of several examples, it cites a recent admission by an IPCC official that the group erred in predicting that a Himalayan glacier would melt by 2035, as well as other efforts to challenge IPCC findings. And it accuses the group's chair of having a conflict of interest because he has business ties to companies "in industries that are or will be affected by policies that are based on IPCC conclusions about climate change."

This isn't the first legal challenge to the EPA's ability to regulate global warming pollution. Last week, an alliance of conservative business groups led by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Dick Armey's FreedomWorks filed a similar suit, which also referred to the "Climate-Gate" emails.

Perry is currently locked in a heated GOP primary battle for re-election. He enjoys a healthy lead over Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), but the race has lately been shaken up by Debra Medina, a far-right darling of the Tea Party movement, who has taken off in recent polls.

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