Climate Scientists Exonerated, Deniers Looking Like Fools

The University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit scientists at the heart of the cleverly named “Climategate” scandal have been exonerated once again. Yesterday, a report from the Independent Climate Change Email Review found the CRU scientists acted honestly and their research is reliable.

In other words, it turns out that despite all the crackpot accusations from the denier crowd, the CRU emails do not undermine the foundations of climate science.

This is the fourth investigation into the email scandal that has concluded that the CRU researchers are innocent of scientific wrongdoing. Taken all together, this is a pretty thorough vindication. And yet, if you were to read only the mainstream news coverage, you might come away thinking a cloud still hangs over the field of climate science.

Take for instance yesterday’s Globe and Mail which ran the headline, “‘Climategate’ inquiry mostly vindicates scientists”.

“Mostly”??? Hang on, this report concludes the CRU researchers’ “rigour and honesty as scientists are not in doubt,” and goes on to say that their review “did not find any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.”

How’s that “mostly” vindicated?

Well, the Globe makes much of the fact that the report chides the scientists for not being completely willing to share their data with climate-science critics. Admittedly, the optics of such ungenerous behaviour are not good and the CRU scientists could have saved themselves a lot of hassle if they’d just handed over their data when first asked (forget that the data in question was freely available from other sources so it looks like the climate critics may have only been requesting the information because they’re annoying assholes).

But then again, maybe the CRU’s reputation would be better off if they’d just obediently handed over their work no matter how devious the intentions of the asker, but would climate science?

Continue reading “Climate Scientists Exonerated, Deniers Looking Like Fools”

Lord of Climate Denial’s Epic Fail

It’s been a bad few months for Lord Christopher Monckton, the British viscount who’s become a darling of the Tea Party movement thanks to his denunciations of climate science.

We’ve been following his rise through the ranks of climate denialdom ever since his visit to Regina last year that was sponsored by right-wing think-tank, the Frontier Centre for Public Policy. (Read some of our Monckton-related coverage here, here, here, here and here; and Carle wrote a piece about his visit in a late October issue of the paper that isn’t archived on-line yet.)

Among the most-recent challenges to Monckton’s rather fanciful (read: false) take on climate science, there are the “Debunking Lord Monckton” episodes from Climate Denial Crock of the Week (here’s part 1 and part 2) and then there was his debate in Australia with Deltoid blogger, Tim Lambert, whose opening comments included a serious challenge to the integrity of Monckton’s research skills (the fun bits are near the end of this and at the beginning of this).

The latest blow to Monckton’s credibility (which, if we lived in a rational world, would be the decisive one) comes via an 83-minute slide-show presentation made by mechanical engineering professor, John Abraham. In painstaking detail, Abraham takes apart a speech made by Monckton at Bethel University on October 14, 2009, and thoroughly eviscerates all of the viscount’s scientific claims.

A bit of trivia: This Bethel University presentation came just one week after he spoke here. So those of you who attended Monckton’s talk and debate and found him a compelling character should find Abraham’s presentation especially revealing.

Continue reading “Lord of Climate Denial’s Epic Fail”

Debunking Monckton Live

Over on ClimateTV.tv, the host of Climate Crocks of the Week, Peter Sinclair, will be presenting the second part of a very special Climate Crock, “Debunking Lord Monckton.” And, it will be broadcast live.

That’s right, Monckton has produced so much anti-factual blather that exploding all the half-truths, errors and misinformation requires a two-parter.

For those who missed the first episode, here it is…

The live broadcast begins at 7pm tonight and as I said before, it’s available at ClimateTV.tv. On that website you can also find DeSmog Weekly, more episodes of Climate Crock and interviews with people like Gwynne Dyer.

And, just because a certain other Saskatchewan blog was propagating that “it’s the sun, stupid” myth in the last few days, here’s the Climate Crock episode, “Solar Schmolar” in which Sinclair explains why solar forcing does not explain away the globe’s current warming.

Ball Busted By UVic Students

Richard Littlemore over at DeSmog Blog reports on an interesting encounter Tim Ball, Canadian climate-change denier extraordinaire, had at the University of Victoria. Ball, in a lecture put on by the University of Victoria Young Conservatives Club, presumably thought he was speaking before an audience comprised of friendly, credulous Harper fans.

But UVic is where Dr Andrew Weaver teaches. He’s the Canada Research Chair in Climate Modelling and Analysis. And what Tim Ball actually encountered was a room full of up-and-coming climatologists.

Here’s how Littlemore describes the scene:

The conversation … went on for two-and-a-half painful hours, with Ball dismissing all climate science as a fiction promulgated by a small group of ideologues and the students – laptops in hand – challenging and dismissing his arguments on the basis of ready information.

And here’s an example of one of the exchanges:

Ball: “You look at the list of forcings [the IPCC has]; it’s only those forcings caused by human activity.”

Student: “You’re saying that volcanoes are caused by humans?”

Ball: “Well exactly. The volcanoes is one and look at the thing I showed you with Milankovich.”

Student: “Yeah, but the IPCC accounts for volcanic activity AND Milankovich cycles.”

Ball: “They identify them, but they do not consider them in their models ….”

Student: “They certainly do ….”

Ball: “No they don’t ….”

Student: “Yes they do. I run models….”

Tim Ball, by the way, is pretty much the gold standard for climate deniers. Well, maybe “gold” is overstating things. “Decent quality but slightly tarnished silver” is probably closer to the mark. Regardless, as a former climatologist out of the University of Winnipeg, he’s one of the first “experts” invited onto talk shows when climate science is to be discussed and his arguments are widely cited within the denialist community.

In other words, this is about the best the climate deniers can do. And as it turns out, as soon as they’re confronted with real climate science, all their tired old canards wither and die.

Anyway, I highly recommend reading the rest of Littlemore’s post. Hopefully, DeSmog Blog will soon have a recording of the entire lecture available for download.

Climate science and the people who deny it

As someone whose education is natural science (biology, ecology), and as someone who worked for a local research group which studies climate change on the prairies (PARC), and as a human being who believes in facts, climate change deniers really irk me.  Like, make-me-twitch-and-send-me-into-a-spiral-of-madness irk me.

It bothers me that childish, unfounded, fear mongering, opinions are pitted against peer-reviewed, data-intensive, scientifically-rigourous, objective, research as though they are comparable… and the only thing that bothers me more are people who blindly believe the lies.

Luckily there are smart and thoughtful people who stand up for what is scientifically accepted as fact, who take up the challenge of debunking the “debunkers”.  Take for example Peter Sinclair who posts his climate “crock of the week” videos challenging the claims made by climate change deniers.

Enjoy this, his latest installment: