Posted by: New Class Traitor | February 15, 2010

ClimateGate update: “Phil Jones fesses up” edition

(Back from some stuff in realspace.)

Phil Jones, the head of CRU (the Climate Research Unit) at East Anglia and the nexus of ClimateGate, gave quite an interview to the BBC. Some highlights:

  • whatever “warming” has been observed 1995-present is not statistically significant. (See also here at The Times.) His claim that warming did actually take place is partly based on reasoning that, all else being equal, we should have had mild cooling due to volcanic eruptions (El Chichon in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991).
  • the Medieval Warm Period (which AGW alarmists like to pretend didn’t exist) may actually have been warmer than today. [Obviously we don’t have direct temperature records for the Middle Ages — only ‘proxies’ — but anecdotally we know that wine grapes were grown in England at the time (a commenter here points out that French vintners petitioned the king for a tariff on English wine) and that Greenland actually was green enough to sustain an agricultural settlement. As the climate turned colder again, this colony starved out — as is described in ‘Collapse’ by Jared Diamond.]
  • He does however claim we cannot be sure about the MWP since we have neither temperature records nor adequate proxies for the Southern hemisphere.
  • Far from being unprecedented, today’s “warming”, even if considered statistically significant, is similar to 1860-1880 and 1910-1940.
  • elsewhere, we learn that Phil Jones confesses to being disorganized (OK, many scientists are), having poor record keeping skills (this is less forgivable), and that the ‘hockey stick’ data went AWOL.

Lord Monckton, meanwhile, is taking a victory lap at Pajamas Media.

The former IPCC chairman, however, is not impressed by Pachyderm’s performance: “Professor [Robert] Watson, currently chief scientific adviser to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that if the errors had just been innocent mistakes, as has been claimed by the current chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, some would probably have understated the impact of climate change.” (H/t: Syrah)

Speaking of which, Watts Up With That (h/t JCM) has a jaw-dropping quote from an interview with Pachy in SCIENCE magazine: “Q: Has all that has happened this winter dented the credibility of IPCC? R.K.P.: I don’t think the credibility of the IPCC can be dented. If the IPCC wasn’t there, why would anyone be worried about climate change?

Precisely. That’s the whole point.

UPDATE: Tangentially related, Fenway Nation blogs about the self-contradictory narrative libs have about the ‘anti-science’ right.

UPDATE 2: Gotta love that headline: If The Tree of Global Warming Fell In The Living Rooms of The American Press And No One Reported It Would It Make A Sound?

And Ann Althouse: “To talk about “sceptics” as the ones who will “seize” upon “evidence” of flaws is unwittingly to make global warming into a matter of religion and not science. It’s not the skeptics who look bad. “Seize” sounds willful, but science should motivate us to grab at evidence. It’s the nonskeptics who look bad. It’s not science to be a true believer who wants to ignore new evidence. It’s not science to support a man who has the job of being a scientist but doesn’t adhere to the methods of science.”

UPDATE 3: Some more links:

  • Walter Russell Mead notes that, while the NYT continues to pretend not to see a story, the Washington Post is belatedly stepping up to the plate (e.g., here and here). I especially liked the bit on how climate alarmists, who’ve argued from anecdote for years, are now being hoist on their own petard.
  • Tangentially related, and always good for a bwaahaahaa, is Mark Steyn: “The new conformo-radicalism“.
  • Foreign Policy: Inside the Climate Bunker. The story has lots of links, including to a review of Rajendra Pachauri’s softcore erotica novel in the Times of India. (It prominently focuses on breasts and male self-abuse. The verbal equivalent of the latter is no stranger to either Pachy or ManBearPig…)
  • And while I dislike “Downfall” parodies for “Godwin’s Law” reasons, this one is actually pretty “ouch”. It would have been better if the dialogue had been redubbed with a translation of the subtitles into German or Chaplinesque cod-German (as on display in “The Great Dictator”).
  • More to follow, unless it’s so much that I have to break out a new post 🙂
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Responses

  1. This story just keeps growing.

  2. Heh….thanks for the tangentially related link. I think it’s important for the Dems and the alarmists to keep harping on the ‘anti-science’ narrative as a strawman to divert attention away from how dodgy the science is in the first place

  3. I watched with glee as Fox first reported this Climategate thing back in November. I turned to my office-mates and predicted this was the end of AGW but was met with some suspicious doubts. I can now confirm that my prediction is happening and this story will continue to have legs until it has tampled upon every believing scientist and politician. I’m not bitter; I’m just very thankful to the whistleblower who released the emails and other documents from the CRU at East Anglia. THAT person deserves a “cleaned up” Nobel–perhaps a new version for “Saving Humanity” (the Peace Nobel Prize is tarnished beyone repair).


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