Tomorrow the Copenhagen Summit begins. Just a few weeks ago the Climategate scandal broke – something that can only be described as providential. With most of the Western world ready to do a deal with the devil, the revelation of fraud and fake science has heavily put the brakes on things.
Sure, there is still plenty of hype and messianic delusions centring on Copenhagen, but a good deal of the wind has been taken out of its sails, thanks to the exposure of the leaked emails. Climategate remains the most significant story of the year, and ever so slowly the mainstream media is being forced to deal with it.
Of course most of the belated coverage by the MSM is far from objective. It mostly seems to play down the story, shoot the messenger, and pretend nothing has ever happened. Thus articles are now appearing in the MSM in which the whole issue is being shrugged off or rejected.
In response to one such article in a Melbourne newspaper, I sent this letter in: “For weeks the mainstream media has refused to even cover what may be the most remarkable story of the year, if not the decade: Climategate. Now, finally, when it is being covered, it is all in the form of furious attacks and rebuttals. So just who exactly are the real deniers and sceptics here?” I of course don’t expect to see the letter printed.
But remarkably there has been at least one bit of truth telling in the MSM. I refer to an interview done last week on the ABC Radio National program, Counterpoint (30 November). On that program was Aynsley Kellow who is described this way: “Professor and Head of the School of Government at the University of Tasmania. Expert reviewer for the United Nation’s IPPC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change and Key Vulnerabilities.”
He is thus a somewhat important player in the whole climate change debate. But he has been quite taken back by Climategate, and was not afraid to say so. When asked if the sort of behaviour which occurred in Climategate was typical of the scientific community, this is how he responded:
“It’s not the way scientists should behave and, indeed, I must say that most of the climate scientists that I know here in Hobart don’t behave in this kind of way, at least not that I see. But it’s more than just some colourful language between climate scientists. The emails and the data released include some of the computer code that they’ve used to manipulate the raw data, and I’m afraid that they indicate modes of operation that should be anathema to any decent scientist.”
The interview continues: “Michael Duffy: Can I just ask you to explain to our listeners why this code is so important, because I don’t think a lot of people are aware of it.
“Aynsley Kellow: Almost everything in climate science is not raw data by the time we see it, it’s been subject to manipulating using computer code and so on, and there are now some details…listeners who are familiar with the hockey stick controversy might realise that Michael Mann, the author on that paper and one of the people mixed up in these emails, as indeed was Gavin Schmidt of course, so they’re trying to defend their reputations so he would say that, wouldn’t he…but he steadfastly refused requests to make his code available.”
“And now of course we’ve got access to that code and we can see, for example, that they were quite well aware in what they were doing in excluding results from their analysis beyond the 1980s because there was a divergence between what the tree ring proxies were showing and what they knew the temperature to be. And the computer program has written very nicely for us saying that they’re stopping the analysis at 1980 and they’ll fill in the other results since then manually. This is in many ways worse than many of us expected when we knew about this case from the outside without access to these kinds of exchanges.
“So it’s certainly not just the case of some colourful language being expressed in emails amongst scientists. What you have is evidence of a quite clear willingness to manipulate raw data to suit predetermined results, you’ve got a resistance to any notion of transparency, an active resistance to freedom of information requests or quite reasonable requests from scientists to have a look at data so that it can be verified.
“You’ve got evidence of attempts to subvert the peer review process, you’ve got evidence of pressure being placed on editors to reject dissident views on climate science, and then these people of course are then the lead authors in the IPCC report and they’re talking about keeping peer reviewed science that has managed to get into the literature out of the IPCC report and ultimately then talking about making sure it doesn’t find its way into the all-important summary for policy makers, which is about all the politicians and bureaucrats read. So it’s serious stuff and that’s why I think George Monbiot feels betrayed by this and has said that Phil Jones at the Climate Research Unit should be sacked or should resign.”
The entire interview is well worth reading, and I encourage you to do so. Let me offer just one more quote by Kellow, this time dealing with the Australian scene:
“Just by way of an interesting example, Garth Paltridge, who is in Hobart here and has now retired, did a paper looking at all the weather balloon data which is available for about 50 years and couldn’t find much evidence that as the Earth had warmed slightly that vital increase in water vapour was there. He eventually had it published but when it was first submitted for publication it was rejected on the basis that the message that it would send would give too much encouragement to sceptics, which really just draws attention to the need to open up the scientific process, to deal with this kind of attempt to politicise it, to suppress views that are inconvenient, because unless we very quickly establish and re-establish some quality assurance mechanisms in the conduct of climate science then we’re heading for a potentially very costly…either way a very costly set of policy responses based on some science in which we can have much less faith now than we had in the past.”
As mentioned, the shocking revelations of Climategate will certainly dampen the enthusiasm and green zealotry at Copenhagen. But that won’t stop thousands of bureaucrats, rock stars and world leaders from attending. And of course most of them will go at tax-payer expense.
But an interesting article about this just appeared in the Sunday Mail. Here is one quite interesting excerpt: “Environmental groups are concerned the conference, which will draw 15,000 delegates, will add significantly to the problem it purports to solve. Conference organisers have estimated that, excluding air travel, overall emissions will be 40,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide, or 2.7 tonnes per person. The majority of the emissions will come from transporting delegates from hotels to the conference centre and lighting the venue.”
Australians will be especially guilty: “Australia will emit more than 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases in sending one of the world’s largest parties to this month’s Copenhagen climate talks. The Australian delegation is tipped to number up to 90 state, federal and local government politicians and officials, surpassing more populous nations such as Britain. Britain is only sending 38 delegates and support staff. In a conference lasting just 11 days, Australia’s delegation for the climate change gabfest will produce emissions equivalent to nearly 30 years’ output for the average Australian home.”
It sounds like all these politicians and bleeding heart lefties would do the environment a whole lot more good if they simply stayed at home, and stopped jet-setting all over the globe for all these questionable talkfests. But politicians and bureaucrats always love junkets, especially when we poor taxpayers are left footing the bill.
However, the providential revelations coming out of Climategate are a wonderful counterweight to all the mischief and nonsense that Copenhagen is likely to come up with. Thanks to these damning revelations, we can all hope that things at Copenhagen will at least be a tad less bad than otherwise expected.