Tom McLaughlin

A former history teacher, Tom is a columnist who lives in Lovell, Maine. His column is published in Maine and New Hampshire newspapers and on numerous web sites. Email: tomthemick@gmail.com

Monday, May 23, 2016

The 21st Century Inquisition


I’m not a scientist, but I’m a climate change “denier” according to Michael Mann. Some readers and one publisher of my last column on the subject called "Stick It, Mike," ask how I can say there is little or no evidence for climate change hysteria spouted by Mann and his ilk when “97% of scientists” contend the evidence is “incontrovertible.” CO2 is a greenhouse gas and one of the gases that causes the atmosphere to warm. I do not believe, however, it is responsible for the catastrophic climate change Mann and his ilk claim. 
Michael Mann is a true believer, the high priest of anthropogenic (human-caused) climate change, a movement which has become more of a religious crusade than scientific “consensus.” He produced the Hockey Stick Graph  — the rallying flag other true believers follow in their battle against the evil “deniers.” Wikipedia offers a partial list of who the “deniers” are. The Heartland Institute offers a much bigger list here, where more than 31,000 scientists including thousands with a Ph.D. have signed  a statement that says, in part:

…There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing, or will in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate…

So, where did the 97% figure come from? It’s repeated often by President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry among others. A Wall Street Journal article by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer, Ph.D. cites surveys by students, concluding that: 

“the assertion that 97% of scientists believe that climate change is a man-made, urgent problem is a fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of [student] surveys and abstract-counting exercises that have been contradicted by more reliable research.”

Then, Salon Magazine and others “debunked” Bast and Spencer’s debunking of the 97% claim. Anyone researching anything related to the climate change controversy can expect to encounter back-and-forth debunking by the left, which pushes anthropogenic climate change, and by the right which doubts it. It’s up to individual readers to decide which “debunkers” and which “authorities” to believe.

Michael Mann was part of a team producing the UN’s third IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report published in 2001 and prominently featuring his now-famous, or now-infamous, hockey stick graph. The graph purports to show the earth’s climate over a period of 1000 years. The shaft of the hockey stick ostensibly represents 900 years of gradual cooling followed by the blade abruptly shooting up during the 20th century to show warming. In my column here, I contend that he ignored the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age when constructing his graph. I’m not the only one to contend this and our claims have been repeatedly “debunked” and “counter-debunked.” 

Since the earth’s thermometer readings only go back to 1880 or so, Mann used “proxy” data, almost exclusively from tree-ring growth, to determine temperatures back to 1000 AD. There are other proxies (glacial ice, coral, etc.) he could have used, but he used only Bristlecone Pines from the Sierra Nevada and a few cedars from the Gaspe Peninsula to construct his hockey stick. By virtually ignoring other tree ring data that conflicted with the outcome he wanted, and giving inordinate weight to data that confirmed it, he constructed his graph. Numerous statisticians lambasted these procedures as deceptive, including Finland’s Dr. Jarl Ahlbeck, Ph.D. who wrote in 2004:

Well, I don't think Dr. Mann came up with his Hockey Stick just because he first discovered MW [Medieval Warming Period] and LI [Little Ice Age] in the data and then wanted to prove that there were no MW or LI at all. He only put a lot of numbers into his computer, played with statistical subroutines for a while and wow, headline-breaking results popped up! Of course he was excited and happy of becoming the man who was able to create a radical shift of paradigm! Good old Bert Bolin [Bert Bolin, Ph.D., first chairman of the IPCC] was almost dancing of joy when he presented the Hockey Stick for the first time. The problem was that nobody could repeat the calculations because Dr. Mann did not provide exact information about the data files and computing procedures. So much for the referee-process, the referees judge the quality of the work according to their personal opinions about what may be true or not, not by double-checking the calculations because it was not possible.

The biggest problem with Mann’s hockey stick graph, however, is not the statistical shell game. The biggest problem is that his proxy data — tree rings — showed temperatures declining after about 1960. This would have made for a very droopy hockey stick, so what did he do? He scrapped the tree ring data and substituted actual thermometer readings that showed a continuous rise for the end of the 20th century. This deception has been called “the divergence problem” and efforts to cover for it called “hide the decline.” The effort to hide it was at the root of the Climategate scandal. Mann knew from the beginning his tree rings showed global temperatures declining after 1940-1960, but very few scientists examined his research closely enough in the first few years after his hockey stick became a worldwide sensation. It was anything but “peer-reviewed” as Mann claimed.

As Australian scientist, Jennifer Marohasy, Ph.D. wrote:

“Of course we know that global temperatures haven’t declined since 1960, or thereabout, so there must be something wrong with the proxy record. This is known as ‘the divergence problem’ and it is a problem, because if tree rings are not a good indicator of global temperature after 1960, how can they be a good indicator of global temperature prior to 1960?”

Exactly.

Yes, there was indeed a radical shift of paradigm, a worldwide sensation, and the IPCC was indeed dancing with joy. Al Gore used Mann’s graph, made the Oscar-winning An Inconvenient Truth, and rode that to the Nobel Peace Prize with the IPCC.  A Skeptical Mind blog claims: “In the UK the Government announced that the DVD of the ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ would be sent to every school in the country as a teaching aid.” Teachers in the USA showed it again and again to millions of students across the country.
In 2008, Barack Obama was elected chanting that his voters would be able to tell their children: “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal!” In October, 2009, he too was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize — for what, no one can say, but he got it anyway. Riding that, he would personally attend the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in December, 2009. It was a very heady time for progressive environmentalists and Michael Mann in particular as author of the catalyst for all this — the hockey stick graph.

Then, in November, 2009, just prior to the big Copenhagen Conference, it all started to unravel. A computer hacker in the UK found some damning emails between and among the principals involved with Mann’s “divergence problem.” The scandal eventually became known as Climategate, involving the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. The phrase “hide the decline” and “hide the divergence” originate in these emails, which go back more than ten years prior to 2009.

Mann and his colleagues sent these Climategate emails back and forth in which they’re trying to stifle Freedom of Information Act requests for their data, which they say they “lost.” They’re also in a panic trying to discredit other scientists who were publishing papers critical of their research finding, their editors who accepted them, and the journals in which the papers are published. “How can we rid ourselves of this troublesome editor?” asks CRU Director Phil Jones about one, mimicking Henry II’s complaint about St. Thomas More — and we know what happened to that poor monk.

A 2009 article by Bob Tracinski in Realclearpolitics is instructive here. He writes:

When another article by a skeptic was published in Geophysical Research Letters, Michael Mann complains [in the climategate emails], "It's one thing to lose Climate Research. We can't afford to lose GRL." Another CRU scientist, Tom Wigley, suggests that they target another troublesome editor: "If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU [American Geophysical Union which publishes the GRL] channels to get him ousted." That's exactly what they did, and a later e-mail boasts that "The GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/new editorial leadership there."

Not content to block out all dissent from scientific journals, the CRU scientists also conspired to secure friendly reviewers who could be counted on to rubber-stamp their own work. Phil Jones suggests such a list to Kevin Trenberth, with the assurance that "All of them know the sorts of things to say...without any prompting."

So it's no surprise when another e-mail refers to an attempt to keep inconvenient scientific findings out of a UN report: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow-even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!" Think of all of this the next time you hear someone invoke the authority of peer review-or of the UN's IPCC reports-as backing for claims about global warming.

This scandal goes beyond scientific journals and into other media used to promote the global warming dogma. For example, RealClimate.org has been billed as an objective website at which global warming activists and skeptics can engage in an impartial debate. But in the CRU e-mails, the global warming establishment boasts that RealClimate is in their pocket.

I wanted you guys to know that you're free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through.... We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you'd like us to include.

[T]hink of RC as a resource that is at your disposal.... We'll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics don't get to use the RC comments as a megaphone.

And anyone doubting that the mainstream media is in on it, too, should check out New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin's toadying apologia for the CRU e-mails, masquerading as a news report.

Climategate emails also reflect panic because world temperatures were not rising as their computer models predicted. Their Cassandra reputations were threatened. Tracinski describes it thus: 

These e-mails show, among many other things, private admissions of doubt or scientific weakness in the global warming theory. In acknowledging that global temperatures have actually declined for the past decade, one scientist asks, "where the heck is global warming?... The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't." They still can't account for it; see a new article in Der Spiegel: "Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out." I don't know where these people got their scientific education, but where I come from, if your theory can't predict or explain the observed facts, it's wrong.

Climategate threatened to derail the entire global, progressive, multi-billion dollar gravy train and it had to be stopped, so the UN and affiliate governments called in their lackeys in the media for a massive cover-up and debunking. Do a net search on Climategate and the first several dozen hits will all refer to it as the “so-called” scandal and citing allegedly non-partisan sites like factcheck.org. Actual and potential anthropogenic climate change dissenters saw clearly what would happen to them if they chose to go off the reservation. They would be smeared as “illegitimate” scientists and their grant money would dry up. Scientific journals would refuse to publish them. Their careers would be over.

If there were any doubt that dissenting academics would see their careers destroyed by Climategate 1.0, they were dispelled when a new batch of 5000 emails was published in 2011 and reported in Forbes here as Climategate 2.0. The new batch revealed cooperation by government agencies like the US Dept. of Energy in stifling data requests by the few dissenters still out there, cherry-picking information that supported anthropogenic climate change, and burying scientific studies that contradicted it.

David Rose conducted an interview with Judith Curry, Ph.D., climate scientist at Georgia Tech and published it in the UK Spectator as a lead up to last December’s Paris Climate Summit:

‘It’s unfortunate, but he [Michael Mann] calls anyone who doesn’t agree with him a denier,’ she tells me. ‘Inside the climate community there are a lot of people who don’t like what I’m doing. On the other hand, there is also a large, silent group who do like it. But the debate has become hard — especially in the US, because it’s become so polarised.’ Warming alarmists are fond of proclaiming how 97 per cent of scientists agree that the world is getting hotter, and human beings are to blame. They like to reduce the uncertainties of climate science and climate projections to Manichean simplicity. They have managed to eliminate doubt from what should be a nuanced debate about what to do.

Scary stuff, but Rose explains why she soldiers on anyway:

Curry’s independence has cost her dear. She began to be reviled after the 2009 ‘Climategate’ scandal, when leaked emails revealed that some scientists were fighting to suppress sceptical views. ‘I started saying that scientists should be more accountable, and I began to engage with sceptic bloggers. I thought that would calm the waters. Instead I was tossed out of the tribe. There’s no way I would have done this if I hadn’t been a tenured professor, fairly near the end of my career. If I were seeking a new job in the US academy, I’d be pretty much unemployable. I can still publish in the peer-reviewed journals. But there’s no way I could get a government research grant to do the research I want to do. [Emphasis mine] Since then, I’ve stopped judging my career by these metrics. I’m doing what I do to stand up for science and to do the right thing.’

That’s what Michael Mann and his pseudoscientific toadies have done: “largely eliminate doubt” about what President Obama and Secretary Kerry call the biggest crisis facing mankind. It’s only the old-timers like Curry and a few others like Professor Ivar Giaever, Ph.D., winner of the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physics. He does not believe CO2 causes global warming. At a 2012 meeting of other Nobel laureates in Germany, he said:

“I’m not really terribly interested in global warming. Like most physicists, I really don’t think much about it. But in 2008 I was on a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it, and I spent a day or so — half a day maybe — on Google. And I was horrified by what I learned… Global warming has become a new religion — because you can’t discuss it, and that’s not right… 

Pseudoscience is a very strange thing, because in pseudoscience you begin with a hypothesis which is very appealing to you, and then you only look for things which confirm the hypothesis. You don’t look for other things. And so the question then… Is global warming a pseudoscience?

We come to the hockey stick graph — which the previous speaker showed in a little different manner — and I have to say I have to rely on HC Anderson and the Emperor’s new clothes. The little boy was innocent: he didn’t see that the Emperor had clothes on. And I am the little boy here: I don’t see that the CO2 is the cause of all these problems.

As you heard, I resigned from the American Physical Society because of this statement: “The evidence is incontrovertible.” The American Physical Society discussed the mass of the proton: The mass of the proton is not incontrovertible… But the global warming is. See, that’s a religion. That’s a religious statement, like the Catholic Church says the earth is not round, and the American Physical Society says that the global warming occurs. I mean, that’s a terrible thing. So, I resigned from the Physical Society and I hope I can get one or two of you to resign as well…”

Then there’s Lennart Bengtsson, who participated actively in the development of ECMWF (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasting) where he was Head of Research 1975-1981 and Director 1982-1990. In 1991-2000 he was Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. Since 2000 he has been professor at the University of Reading and from 2008 the Director of the International Space Science Institute in Bern, Switzerland. Professor Bengtsson has received many awards including the German Environmental Reward, The Descartes Price by the EU and the IMI price from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). He is member of many academies and societies and is honorary member of the American Meteorological Society, the Royal Meteorological Society and European Geophysical Union. His research work covers some 225 publications in the field of meteorology and climatology. In recent years he has been involved with climate and energy policy issues at the Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Although Bengtsson has published research papers, once he voiced his skepticism about anthropogenic climate change, things changed. Then he had the temerity to join the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a group which postulates that man-made global warming is questionable. What happened to poor old Lennart? His very next paper was rejected. Then he abruptly resigned from the GWPF, saying something extraordinary:

I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. (He’s 80 years old) If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expecting such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc. I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expecting anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

Before experiencing the above difficulties, Bengtsson said in 2014:

My interest in climate science is strictly scientific and I very much regret the politicisation that has taken place in climate research. I believe most serious scientists are sceptics and are frustrated that we are not able to properly validate climate change simulations. I have always tried to follow the philosophy of Karl Popper. I also believe that most scientists are potentially worried because of the long residence time of many greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. However, our worries must be put into a context as there are endless matters to worry about, practically all of them impossible to predict.

I have always been sort of a climate sceptic. I do not consider this in any way as negative but in fact as a natural attitude for a scientist. I have never been overly worried to express my opinion and have not really changed my opinion or attitude to science. I have always been driven by curiosity but will of course always try to see that science is useful for society. This is the reason that I have devoted so much of my career to improve weather prediction.

So, unlike Ivar Giaever, Bengtsson couldn’t handle being shunned as a heretic. He buckled. If you stray from the orthodoxy, you won’t be published. You won’t get grant money for research. Your career will be over. And, you lose your friends in the community. Lennard couldn’t bear that last one. I feel sorry for him.

It’s also instructive to recall that it was only forty years ago that international scientists were warning about an imminent ice age. This New York Times article reports: “An international team of specialists has concluded from eight indexes of climate that there is no end in sight to the cooling trend of the last 30 years, at least in the Northern Hemisphere.”

That article ran in 1978. By the 1980’s the global warming scare was on. A recent editorial in Investors Business Daily quotes Ottmar Edenhoffer, former chairman of an IPCC working group who suggests a hidden agenda for the IPCC:

“One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with the environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole. We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.

What was that? The article went on to say:

“For those who want to believe that maybe Edenhofer just misspoke and doesn’t really mean that, consider that a little more than five years ago he also said that ‘the next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated.’

Mad as they are, Edenhofer’s comments are nevertheless consistent with other alarmists who have spilled the movement’s dirty secret. Last year, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change, made a similar statement.

‘This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time, to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the Industrial Revolution,’ she said in anticipation of last year’s Paris climate summit, ’This is probably the most difficult task we have ever given ourselves, which is to intentionally transform the economic development model for the first time in human history.’

The plan is to allow Third World countries to emit as much carbon dioxide as they wish — because, as Edenhofer said, ‘in order to get rich one has to burn coal, oil or gas’ — while at the same time restricting emissions in advanced nations. This will, of course, choke economic growth in developed nations, but they deserve that fate as they “have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community,” he said. The fanaticism runs so deep that one professor has even suggested that we need to plunge ourselves into a depression to fight global warming.”

This is scary stuff. Are these people Marxists in environmentalist clothing? 

To get some idea of the size of the government research grant gravy train, I Googled “How much money is spent on climate change research?” A 2011 Forbes article researching GAO, OMB, and other sources states:

Data compiled by Joanne Nova at the Science and Policy Institute indicates that the U.S. Government spent more than $32.5 billion on climate studies between 1989 and 2009.

If the billions spent on research for green technology, green energy investment initiatives, and tax breaks for green technology purchases are folded in, the cost is several times that:

OMB pointed out that their previously noted agency budget compilations didn’t include revenues lost for the special deductions and tax credits intended to encourage greenhouse gas emission reductions. They attributed to those subsidies a cost of $7.2 billion in federal revenue losses during 2010 alone, ($16.1 billion since 1993), bringing the total since 2003 to $122.8 billion. Then there’s still another $26.1 billion earmarked for climate change programs and related activities within the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (or “Stimulus Bill”).

These figures account for only two years of the greatly increased spending on anthropogenic climate change under the Obama Administration. And, it should be noted here that foreign governments spend many billions more.

In the same Google search, I came up with a more recent 2014 article from Scientific American entitled: “How Money Changes The Climate Debate” which asks: “Why have conservative groups been so successful in casting doubt on global warming?” The figures they cite of money coming from private sources like Exxon, conservative think tanks, and the Koch brothers amount to a pittance compared to government funding for the other side:

For example, from 2003 to 2010, foundations that were partly associated with Mellon fortune heir Richard Scaife gave $39.6 million; the Bradley Foundation of Milwaukee gave $29.6 million; and foundations affiliated with Koch Industries Inc. or its owners, the Koch brothers, contributed $26.3 million.

Notice we’re talking millions here and not billions.

The biggest donor listed is Donors Trust/Donors Capital Fund, which accounted for almost $79 million; individuals can put their so-called donor-advised funds at Donors Trust and then direct the organization to give money on their behalf to nonprofits.

If you want to understand the climate change debate, follow the money. By my math, the totals mentioned by Scientific American don’t add up to even one billion. However, even this relative pittance is under attack by the paranoid climate alarmist community. In a major escalation of their alarmist efforts to stifle dissent as reflected in Climategate 1.0 and 2.0, they have persuaded government to actually criminalize funding for studies that might cast doubt on their “scientific consensus” or “settled science.” It’s instructive to look at one single alarmist researcher: how much he has amassed in grant money and what he’s doing to keep it flowing.

A March, 2016 story in the Washington Free Beacon tells us:

A government-employed scientist calling for a racketeering investigation into climate skeptics may have illegally drawn a large taxpayer-funded salary from a nonprofit group, according to a senior member of Congress. George Mason University meteorologist Jagadish Shukla and his wife received nearly $5.6 million from the Institute for Global Environment and Society between 2001 and 2014, public records show.

The $5.6 million salaries they paid themselves from their “non-profit”  come out of at least $63 million they got since 2001, the earliest date from which records are available. They got even more in the ten years before that. It’s quite possible that Mr. and Mrs. Shukla received more than the $79 million their opponents got from their single biggest donor. They alone control the Institute for Global Environment and Society (IGES), so it would interesting to audit how much of the other $57 million in taxpayer funds may have gone into their pockets. Nearly all the money came from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Shortly after Dr. Jagadish Shukla and other alarmists wrote to President Obama and Attorney General Lynch on September 1, 2015 asking for a RICO investigation of their critics, Congressman Lamar Smith’s House Science, Space, and Technology Committee began investigating the Shuklas. Smith wrote to the NSF to alert them about IGES. When he wrote to the Shuklas asking they not destroy any correspondence with colleagues about their letter to the president, they abruptly shut down IGES.

The Washington Free Beacon stayed on the case, however, and reported that the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) did not support the federal RICO action, favoring state RICO actions instead. That came to pass a few weeks ago when 17 Democrat state attorneys general, including Maine’s, began RICO investigations into climate “skeptics,” an outrageous violation of First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of the press. The Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), one of the first organizations targeted with a subpeona, filed suit against a Democrat Virgin Islands attorney general, one of the seventeen who are initiating actions against 90 conservative groups. CEI’s attorney is Chris Horner.

Horner, who is also a senior legal fellow at CEI, sought records that he expected would show Shukla, Maibach, and other public university scientists working behind the scenes to advance the legal campaign against oil companies and groups that take policy positions contrary to those of the AGs going after Exxon. GMU initially told Horner that there were no responsive documents to open records requests. But he received emails from requests filed with other state universities that included emails to or from Shukla and Maibach. He sued GMU to compel the release of those and other emails. A Virginia court ruled last month that GMU did in fact withhold responsive documents, and ordered their release. The university is appealing that decision to the Virginia Supreme Court, and sought on Friday to prevent the documents’ release pending that appeal.
A judge in Richmond rejected that request on Friday, [May 13, 2016] allowing the documents to be released.

The emails were released, and here they are. This essay is a long piece, and I’m asking you to click the email link and read still more. These emails are stunningly similar to the East Anglia emails of Climategate 1.0 and 2.0, and constitute another 3.0 collection. This time they were obtained legally, and not by hacking.

This climate “skeptic” writer suspects that the Shuklas and their alarmist colleagues were and are so threatened because they know how tenuous their precious “consensus” is — how unsettled their “settled science” may become if those evil “deniers” should come up with any more flaws in their research to “save the world.” Climategate 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 emails gave us a window on their real world. Ask yourself, reader: if there really is such a consensus, why have they criminalized dissent?

This essay explains why so few climate skeptics want to go public with their doubts for fear of the climate alarmist steamroller — a very real thing. I must admit here that I have some trepidation myself about being sued by the suit-happy and paranoid Michael Mann for what I’ve already written. Can I afford to defend myself? I’m not an organization so I don’t have to worry about Maine Attorney General Janet Mills filing criminal charges against me — yet.

I’m just a small-time columnist trying to expose what I see as a major threat to my world — not anthropogenic climate change, but the threat Professor Ivar Giaever identified: “Global warming has become a new religion,” he said. I’m afraid because its 21st century Inquisition may soon have authority to put me in jail as a heretic.

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27 Comments:

OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

Labels. Mann with TWO "n"s. Just like Horace Mann. (separate "education" issue altogether)
That's all I got!
CaptDMO

5/23/16, 6:34 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

Let me respond to that dreadfully drawn out, one-sided mumbo jumbo with the following irrefutable facts.

!) CO2 keeps the Earth warmer than it would be without it.

2) Humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels.

3) After two record setting hot years (2014-2015) It has now been the hottest year to date, with January, February and March each passing marks set in 2015, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Are you really going to argue the validity of any of those 3 facts? If not, then how can you not be concerned, if not for your granddaughters sake, that we should be very concerned about this, and could possibly help. If willing.

5/23/16, 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(Scientific Organizations That Hold the Position That Climate Change Has Been Caused by Human Action)

Academia Chilena de Ciencias, Chile
Academia das Ciencias de Lisboa, Portugal
Academia de Ciencias de la República Dominicana
Academia de Ciencias Físicas, Matemáticas y Naturales de Venezuela
Academia de Ciencias Medicas, Fisicas y Naturales de Guatemala
Academia Mexicana de Ciencias,Mexico
Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia
Academia Nacional de Ciencias del Peru
Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
Académie des Sciences, France
Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences of Canada
Academy of Athens
Academy of Science of Mozambique
Academy of Science of South Africa
Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)
Academy of Sciences Malaysia
Academy of Sciences of Moldova
Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Academy of Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Egypt
Academy of the Royal Society of New Zealand
Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
Africa Centre for Climate and Earth Systems Science
African Academy of Sciences
Albanian Academy of Sciences
Amazon Environmental Research Institute
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Anthropological Association
American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Association of State Climatologists (AASC)
American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians
American Astronomical Society
American Chemical Society
American College of Preventive Medicine
American Fisheries Society
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Institute of Physics
American Meteorological Society
American Physical Society
American Public Health Association
American Quaternary Association
American Society for Microbiology
American Society of Agronomy
American Society of Civil Engineers
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Statistical Association
Association of Ecosystem Research Centers
Australian Academy of Science
Australian Bureau of Meteorology
Australian Coral Reef Society
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Australian Institute of Physics
Australian Marine Sciences Association
Australian Medical Association
Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Bangladesh Academy of Sciences
Botanical Society of America
Brazilian Academy of Sciences
British Antarctic Survey
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
California Academy of Sciences
Cameroon Academy of Sciences
Canadian Association of Physicists
Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
Canadian Geophysical Union
Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
Canadian Society of Soil Science
Canadian Society of Zoologists
Caribbean Academy of Sciences views
Center for International Forestry Research
Chinese Academy of Sciences
Colombian Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) (Australia)
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences
Crop Science Society of America
Cuban Academy of Sciences
Delegation of the Finnish Academies of Science and Letters
Ecological Society of America
Ecological Society of Australia
Environmental Protection Agency
European Academy of Sciences and Arts
European Federation of Geologists
European Geosciences Union
European Physical Society
European Science Foundation
Federation of American Scientists
French Academy of Sciences
Geological Society of America
Geological Society of Australia
Geological Society of London
Georgian Academy of Sciences
German Academy of Natural Scientists Leopoldina
Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences

5/24/16, 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And more....

Indian National Science Academy
Indonesian Academy of Sciences
Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management
Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology
Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand
Institution of Mechanical Engineers, UK
InterAcademy Council
International Alliance of Research Universities
International Arctic Science Committee
International Association for Great Lakes Research
International Council for Science
International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences
International Research Institute for Climate and Society
International Union for Quaternary Research
International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
Islamic World Academy of Sciences
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities
Kenya National Academy of Sciences
Korean Academy of Science and Technology
Kosovo Academy of Sciences and Arts
l'Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
Latin American Academy of Sciences
Latvian Academy of Sciences
Lithuanian Academy of Sciences
Madagascar National Academy of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology
Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts
National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences, Argentina
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia
National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic
National Academy of Sciences, Sri Lanka
National Academy of Sciences, United States of America
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Association of Geoscience Teachers
National Association of State Foresters
National Center for Atmospheric Research
National Council of Engineers Australia
National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research, New Zealand
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
National Research Council
National Science Foundation
Natural England
Natural Environment Research Council, UK
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Network of African Science Academies
New York Academy of Sciences
Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences
Nigerian Academy of Sciences
Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters

5/24/16, 6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And still more:

Oklahoma Climatological Survey
Organization of Biological Field Stations
Pakistan Academy of Sciences
Palestine Academy for Science and Technology
Pew Center on Global Climate Change
Polish Academy of Sciences
Romanian Academy
Royal Academies for Science and the Arts of Belgium
Royal Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences of Spain
Royal Astronomical Society, UK
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
Royal Irish Academy
Royal Meteorological Society (UK)
Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research
Royal Scientific Society of Jordan
Royal Society of Canada
Royal Society of Chemistry, UK
Royal Society of the United Kingdom
Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Russian Academy of Sciences
Science and Technology, Australia
Science Council of Japan
Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research
Scientific Committee on Solar-Terrestrial Physics
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Slovak Academy of Sciences
Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts
Society for Ecological Restoration International
Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
Society of American Foresters
Society of Biology (UK)
Society of Systematic Biologists
Soil Science Society of America
Sudan Academy of Sciences
Sudanese National Academy of Science
Tanzania Academy of Sciences
The Wildlife Society (international)
Turkish Academy of Sciences
Uganda National Academy of Sciences
Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities
United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
World Association of Zoos and Aquariums
World Federation of Public Health Associations
World Forestry Congress
World Health Organization
World Meteorological Organization
Zambia Academy of Sciences
Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences

5/24/16, 6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...but we should believe Tom's partisan, right wing websites instead, of course.

5/24/16, 6:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leading Climate Change Denier Exposed for Taking $1.25 Million from Koch Brothers, Big Oil Companies February 22, 2015

Decades ago, big tobacco tried to claim that smoking was safe. They had scientists and doctors who would publicly testify that smoking was not harmful. Hell, there were “doctor-recommended cigarettes.” Though it’s clear now that these “medical and scientific experts” were nothing more than people who had been paid by big tobacco to use their scientific and medical backgrounds to support their “smoking is safe” propaganda. Today Most people would laugh at anyone who would try to claim that smoking isn’t dangerous. Well, that’s exactly what we’re seeing today when it comes to climate deniers. Big oil and energy companies are pumping billions of dollars into campaigns built on pure propaganda and finding any random “experts” who have legitimate credentials in the scientific community to give them a guise of “legitimacy” to their “climate change is a hoax” rhetoric. Willie Soon, a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics, has been exposed by Greenpeace for accepting around $1.25 million over the last 14 years from various oil and energy companies like Exxon and the American Petroleum Institute, which is a foundation of the Koch brothers.

5/24/16, 8:06 AM  
Anonymous RLK said...

Follow the money??!!??

OK, lets follow the money right to the pockets of the Fat Cats that run Oil and Coal ($257 billion is the profit made in 2014 by public companies involved in extracting, transporting, refining, distributing and trading in fossil fuels in the United States and Canada...yet Despite these massive profits, the fossil fuel industry continues to receive tens of billions of dollars in subsidies every year at the expense of U.S. taxpayers)

THAT is the real money that continues to try and blind and confuse suckers like you, just like they did with tobacco years back. Some folks never learn.

5/24/16, 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Ivar Giaever is a denier. So what? Since there are at least 36 other Nobel laureates who have publicly agreed that man made climate change is a danger, that is about the exact same percentage (3%) of scientists who are deniers.

I'm sure there were also about 3 percent of people who thought the world was flat years after it was proved otherwise.

5/24/16, 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as this column was with all the cherry picking of "experts" that Tom quotes, just imagine how many thousands of pages long the column would have needed to be to represent the vast majority of scientists that have a differing opinion.

A "religious crusade"?

Religion is defined as a cultural system of behaviors and practices, world views, sacred texts, holy places, ethics, and societal organisation that relate humanity to what an anthropologist has called "an order of existence".

So sure, if by "sacred texts" you mean scientific data and factual evidence, and "holy places" means the planet Earth, then yes, I guess so.

5/24/16, 7:25 PM  
Blogger Mike Corthell said...

Koch Brothers? Capitalism oh my! Who funds social programs? Capitalists, certainly not socialists and communists! You have to create wealth before you can dole it out.

Just like FOOD & WATER WATCH IN Fryeburg, Michael Mann et al are using the gullible and goodhearted for their own self-aggrandizement. The TRUTH can be slippery but you can grab hold of it. You just need the strength of will to do so.

5/25/16, 5:27 AM  
Blogger Mike Corthell said...

...and if you want to oppose Tom come on my TV program. 603-986-8110 And have at it, I won't bite!

5/25/16, 5:29 AM  
Anonymous RLK said...

Mike, good of you to try and step in and offer to help out defending Tom from the opposition since it is clear to us all that he is unable to defend himself. Week after week he can regurgitate "information" from his wacky websites, but when holes are blasted in his columns he does not have the deep thinking or capacity to defend it all.

Not sure why you started in about capitalism though. Was it because of the mentioned fact that the big money can be followed to the CEOs? Yes, even though it is evident that many of the Fat Cats have, and will continue, to lie about the truth in order to improve their almighty bottom line, there IS much good to be found in capitalism, but as has been proven with recent financial disasters, it needs to be watched closely and regulated. Obviously.

Continue to try and find the strength of will that will let you grasp onto the TRUTH.

5/25/16, 7:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

About Tom's little petition of thousands of deniers:

OISM signatories represent a tiny fraction (~0.3%) of all US science graduates

According to figures from the US Department of Education Digest of Education Statistics: 2008, 10.6 million science graduates have gained qualifications consistent with the OISM polling criteria since the 1970-71 school year. 32,000 out of 10 million is not a very compelling figure, but a tiny minority - approximately 0.3 per cent.

There are many issues casting doubt on the validity of this petition. On investigation, attempts to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change often appear to have ideological roots, vested business interests or political sponsors. The claims made for the OISM petition do not withstand objective scrutiny, and the assertions made in the petition are not supported by evidence, data or scientific research.

Several studies conducted independently (Oreskes 2004, Oreskes 2007, Doran and Zimmerman (2009), Anderegg et al. (2010), Cook et. al., 2013) have shown that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing the climate to change, and that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are causing global changes to the climate. These views form the scientific consensus on climate change.

5/25/16, 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still trying to bring up "climategate"? Really? Some people never give up on tired old debunked "scandals". But when you got nothing else and are willing to play dirty, I guess that should be expected.

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

5/25/16, 8:28 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Because the allegedly impartial factcheck.org "debunked" it, you think Climategate went away, huh? Naive.

I'm not going to do a back-and-forth with all of you here. I wrote what I think, and I allow you to post what you think even if you hide behind initials and Anonymous. I haven't got time enough for that and I don't feel like it. I would urge you to accept Mike's invitation to debate on TV though. I'm willing to debate any of you in that forum, face-to-face. Somehow though, I don't think any of you have the stones.

If the phone doesn't ring, I'll know it's you.

5/25/16, 8:56 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Do I think "climategate" went away. No, of course not because some people refuse to admit defeat. Don't like factcheck.org? How about politifact, who says:

However, we can say this with certainty: The e-mails do not prove that global warming is a hoax. In fact, there's overwhelming evidence that temperatures have been rising and are continuing to rise . Just take a recent report issued by the United States Global Research Program , an arm of the government that, since 1989, has been coordinating and integrating federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The report states that "global warming is unequivocal and primarily human-induced. ... Warming over this century is projected to be considerably greater than over the last century. The global average temperature since 1900 has risen by about 1.5ºF. By 2100, it is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5ºF."

Are you going to continue to try and discredit neutral fact finding sites when they don't align with your beliefs. Create your own reality?

As for debating on TV, I would love to get some more details. It sounds fun. I will get in touch with Mike about this!

5/25/16, 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Erik said...

Glad you called that DMO guy for heading behind initials!

5/25/16, 12:03 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Here's an interesting analysis of all the "neutral" fact-checking sites on NPR -- a venue I'd consider biased toward your side:

http://www.npr.org/2012/01/10/144974110/political-fact-checking-under-fire

Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post is interviewed with another analyst. Even though Kessler works for the liberally-biased Washington Post, he's pretty much of a straight shooter from what I've observed. He fact-checked my interview with Hillary and found it neutral as I recall. I don't recall the details, but I remember thinking it was fair after reading it. As for the rest? They're all propaganda outlets for the left, pretending to be impartial.

Hope we can do something on Mike's show. If not, I have a show in North Conway. Maybe we can do it there.

5/25/16, 1:05 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Interesting article. I agree that "fact" checking very nuanced arguements that involve opinions is almost impossible, but I didn't see any cases brought up where they were wrong about a verifiable fact. Anyway, surely you are not claiming that the sites you get your information from are not, for the most part, propaganda outlets for the right. They don't even pretend to be impartial.

How does your show work - times, formats, etc?

5/25/16, 3:28 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Who is impartial out there these days? I read and watch both sides but mostly conservative media. Much of MSM political stuff bores me. I think Cspan comes closest to neutrality. I miss Brian Lamb. Who do you think is impartial?

I'm going to a shoot for Mike tonight in Bridgton. Maybe he could moderate a debate. I'll ask him. Could be 30 or 60 minutes.

My show is called "Left and Right." Gino Funicella of Jackson is on the left and I take the right. We each prepare talking points and go back and forth for an hour with a two-minute timer. Then it runs for two weeks until we tape another show.

You could be a guest and we could ask you questions, or the station manager could arrange another shoot with just you and me. Maybe Gino would moderate if I asked him, or we could just do what Gino and I do. Go to my Youtube thing. There are a few shows there. Here's one:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-MbyZTOcoM

Contact me tomthemick@gmail.com if you want to set something up.

5/25/16, 4:49 PM  
OpenID bc64a9f8-765e-11e3-8683-000bcdcb2996 said...

"Glad you called that DMO guy for heading behind initials!"?
That DMO guy has only ONE persona, ALWAYS signs due to the AIM gobbelty gook "name" bit,
has offered to "own up" to the host, and generally...GENERALLY... behaves in a civil manner.
Anyone, who's ANYONE, in the Mount Washington Valley area knows the worst kept secret in the initials DMO (the "Capt" bit is NOT a claim to military/LE rank of ANY kind)
It is a unique cynosure so there's NO confusion, as among assorted "anon" postings.
I COULD make up some other random "name", and post using that, but What difference, at this point, does it make...um.. "Eric"?
CaptDMO

5/25/16, 6:51 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Since I don't get cable and watch TV news I rely a great deal on the Boston Globe. I think they report facts in a straightforward manner. They do seem to have more left leaning columnists than right-leaning, but they do have Jeff Jacoby and some other conservative contributors. To be honest, I very seldom check out MSNBC or anything obviously biased towards the left. I don't see the point. I do check out obviously biased right leaning sources just to try and figure out where they are coming from and to get different perspectives. This is why I check your column out.

Thinking about the debate, it seems that since none of us are scientists, what we will really be arguing about is which scientists to believe - the vast majority or the small percentage of dissenters. This seems boring, but I suppose I would still be willing to participate. When would the filming be?

5/26/16, 10:38 AM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Next shoot is Wednesday at 10:00 am. Contact me via email if you're interested and we'll set something up for then or after.

5/26/16, 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Peter said...

I work weekdays. I keep my email private....the Ron Swanson in me I guess. But something will probably work out one day.

Speaking of media though, have you seen the series "The Newsroom"? I think you might like it. Jeff Bridges plays a likable and principled Republican TV news anchor and makes for a very interesting character.

5/26/16, 9:50 PM  
Blogger Tom McLaughlin said...

Someone named Steve evidently posted a comment on this thread, but for some reason I don't understand, it doesn't appear. I got it in my email, which happens whenever anyone posts on any of my threads. It's thoughtful, so I repost it here:

Steve has left a new comment on the post "The 21st Century Inquisition":

Your response, “who is impartial these days?” is a little too cavalier from someone who’s committed to the partiality that favors Republican story lines and rejects, out of hand, the partiality that favors Democratic story lines. And now, because you read an article challenging the accuracy of fact-checking web sites, you can safely lump them all into the same slag pile as all of the other media outside of Fox news and AM radio. I can think of 6 fact-checking sites: factcheck.org, snopes.com,politifact.com, the fact checker, opensecrets.org and truthorfiction.com. Are you sure they’re all “propaganda outlets for the left,” or are you reaching that conclusion because the NPR article revealed 94 stories from one of the sites had a 3:1 ration against Republicans? The reality is, there is no site or source (that I know of) that tells the whole story. That’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to read as much as possible, pulling from the left and the right, because it’s in that muddled middle where we can piece together the truth. Left-leaning news sources still contain facts, which make some of the conservative story lines from your unassailable conservative sources a little less defensible.

Factcheck.org ran a story a while back about the XL pipeline. One of the topics in the piece was job creation. In the article, Trans Canada – the company that was going to build the pipeline – reported the actual hands-on, construction jobs, would be about 9,000. They further reported the State Department’s estimate was closer to 3,000. The total temporary job creation, as estimated by the State Department, which included all of the ancillary, supportive jobs – lumber yards, hardware stores, dry cleaners, etc, - would be about 48,000 to 49,000 jobs. Those figures were verified in the article’s bibliography, which contained a link to the Trans Canada web site that listed those figures. Interestingly, the 49K figure for total temporary job creation was the State Department’s estimate. Trans Canada didn’t include their own, which suggests to me their own internal figure was less than the State Department’s. My point is, how is that “liberal propaganda?” Those job-creation numbers are reported by the company that is/was going to build the pipeline and posted on their website. Meanwhile, on Fox, one person had the number as high as a million jobs and others hovered around 50K to 200K estimated jobs. Don’t be too quick to dismiss an entire segment of reporting simply because you found an article that challenges it. Sample the journalism from the segment and discover any bias for yourself. Or do dismiss the entire segment and confidently return to the media that convinced you Obama used a teleprompter to address a sixth-grade class and ordered the courts seal his college transcripts. Whatever gets you through the day.

The real danger in the media is not liberal or conservative leaning outlets, because they all have counterweights. I think the real danger is the success of opinion media. Opinion media is like fast food; a little bit every once in a while is all right, but a steady diet of it and we’re just hurting ourselves. People who rely too heavily on the opinion don’t want to know the truth. They want to be lied to, and that’s the real danger.

The irony is not lost on me that you include an NPR story to make your case. You rail against the liberal media at every opportunity, until you find a story from it that makes your case and then that liberal media suddenly becomes credible journalism.

5/28/16, 6:31 AM  
Blogger Paul Smith said...

thanks for sharing this info! I don't consider you a denier! http://bigessaywriter.com/blog/climate-changing-or-main-problem-of-the-21st-century shows everyone that we worry because of nothing, and the real problem is climat changing!

7/18/16, 1:25 AM  

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