Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
And we couldn’t be prouder. The Heartland Institute, which has hosted six international conferences on climate change since 2008, has gotten under the skin of some who have now been exposed by Climategate of rigging data, hiding declines, and blacklisting peers who don’t toe the line of catastrophic orthodoxy.
First up is an email from Stephen H. Schneider of Stanford University. Schneider is aghast that Dr. Ross McKitrick, an economist at the University of Guelph in Canada, argued — using (gasp!) evidence — that Alaska, Canada and even Erie, PA had not warmed in the last 30 years, but slightly cooled.
Besides, trying to measure global temperature change is a bit tricky. Why? Because climate fluctuations are not exactly global — a theory warmists of Schneider’s ilk have put forth to pooh-pooh the Medieval Warming Period when “Greenland” was named for its greenery, and grape vines were grown for wine in Britain. Think of it as positing that “global sea rise,” even over eons, is a fact — which Bob Carter explained, with compelling evidence at Heartland’s conference in Sydney last year, is just not so.
Schneider had some unkind opinions to share about McKitrick, calling him a “bozo” — the kind of language one wouldn’t expect from a serious scientist. In reply, an “Annie Petsonk” from the Environmental Defense Fund replied:
On Mon, 27 Oct 2003 ???@environmentaldefense.org wrote:
Michael, this was on the Heartland Institute’s website — it is an article by one of the coauthors of the new study, Ross McKitrick. Perhaps you have run across this before?
That’s the end of Ms. Petsonk’s contribution. It’s hard to tell if she was urging Schneider to put up a defense that was not ad hominem. But, as luck would have it, McKitrick himself addressed this email, and defended his piece for Heartland, just the other day (Nov. 25). An excerpt:
Schneider was careless in his reading, remiss in his recollection, and obnoxious in broadcasting his opinion to his colleagues.
OK, some jerk sent an email. What does it matter?
10 years before that email was sent, I was a grad student in economics, planning to do my PhD on carbon taxes. When trying to learn about the physical science issues, one of the first things I read was a 1989 Scientific American article by Schneider. Probably many people first learned about the issue from Schneider’s writings, and over time he had an enormous influence on the way the scientific message was controlled and transmitted to the public and to policymakers. He edited a major journal, wrote UN climate reports, advised governments and generally spoke for his profession for several decades.
That he turns out to have been intensely biased, arrogant and careless with facts matters a great deal.
That was a classier response than Schneider probably deserved.
You’ll be able to discuss some aspects of science re the WG on this day. I’ll send some stuff (or get someone to send something) nearer the time. I think we will be able to resolve the issues. I can see where James is coming from. Colin here is doing some different types of plots.
Keith just mentioned a call from you and the name David Holland. I’ve helped someone at DEFRA several times respond to his letters. Another Brit to watchout for is Douglas Keenan. This one accused Wei-Chyung Wang (who is at SUNY) of research fraud – based on two papers from 1990 (Wang et al, and Jones et al. in Nature). SUNY have taken it very seriously, but they will find in Wei-Chyung’s favour. All related to urban effects on the temperature record.
I’ve also had several FOI requests for the raw station temperature data we use. I’ve given them a list of the sites. Told them to get in touch with the NMSs. All very unsettling at the time, but then that is probably what was intended. I presume you’ve seen that awful Heartland Institute report from 3 weeks back.
At least we had Phil Jones a bit worried. To any scientist confident in his methods and data, allowing access to the “raw station temperature data” should not cause any worry at all. And to be “unsettling” is not what other scientists intend. We all deserve the truth, and that is best pursued by letting peers — especially those whose own research might disagree — verify the conclusions. It’s called the scientific method. And it appears, in that last graph, that Jones was trying to give other scientists who wanted a peek the run-around.
I also find it ironic that Jones was convinced that SUNY would summarily clear the research of Wei-Chyung Wan. That’s what many think of UVA and Penn State’s investigation into Michael Mann’s work. It was a whitewash. I’d like to get Jones’ feeling on that — with this email as background.
In this next email from July and August 2009, a correspondent with Phil Jones named Ken Mourin is skeptical of the findings of the climate poohbahs at the UN’s IPCC, and he cites research in Climate Change Reconsidered (2009) by Heartland fellows S. Fred Singer and Craig Idso. We start with Jones’ mid-stream reply to a multiple-reply email thread:
date: Fri Jul 10 11:30:05 2009
from: Phil Jones <???@uea.ac.uk>
subject: Re: Past temperatures
to: “Ken Mourin” ???@virgin.net
You’ve obviously been to the site, but the page is http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/wg1-report.html
The most relevant chapter to proving the warming is down to us is Ch 9.
The current warming cannot be explained unless climate models are told about increases in greenhouse gases. Without this, with 3 large volcanic eruptions and a slight decline in solar output, we should be cooling.
Only back for today. Away all next week. Here again from July 20.
[From Morin] 20:34 08/07/2009
Dear Professor Jones,
Many thanks for your prompt reply – I’d be delighted to have references to past global temperatures and CO2 levels, for my sources are I suspect secondary, and I haven’t been able to track down the originals. They suggest that only on one occasion, about 125,000 years ago, has the sea level risen above present levels – and that sea levels are now steady.
Your last para says that CO2 levels are rising faster than ever before. This may be totally irrelevant IF CO2 does not cause a rise in temperature. The graphs I have available show that temperature rose 4-1200 years BEFORE the CO2, and the CO2 remained high for up to 20,000 years after the temperature returned to normal. This would suggest that temperature rises caused the increased CO2 release, probably from the sea and the wetlands. One factor I have yet to see mentioned is that the greatly increased energy usage of the last hundred years has resulted in higher heat output from simple thermodynamics – energy expended tends to end up as heat.
So far I remain unconvinced by the IPCC reports – I have downloaded and partly read the one you kindly drew my attention to. I also have previously read most of the Idso and Singer report of the NIPCC at www heartland.org. and the earlier NIPCC counterblast which exposed some of the gross errors ( the J-shaped curve, the fiddling of the figures, the political manipulation of the final report, the false attribution to many scientists who were not really involved, etc.)
Sorry if I sound an unregenerate “denier”, but I am genuinely perplexed, and also fearful of the enormous economic costs of political actions based on what seems to be unscientific and frankly bandwagoning politicians. I also believe that the earth has much more comprehensive corrective capabilities than we currently give it credit for.
Furthermore, as a few East Coast denizens have shown recently, it only requires a few men and a bucket and spade or two (loosely speaking!) to build up coastal defences to stop maritime flooding. More attention to drainage ditches and the slowing of water drainage could help a lot of inland damage too.
Rant over! I look forward to hearing from you further.
Give Jones credit for addressing the science. And give more credit to Mourin for getting informed, thinking for himself, and taking the logic of the warmist agenda to its inevitable economic conclusion.
The last Climategate email in which Heartland is mentioned is so good, so juicy — and so long — I’ll save that for another post.