Archive for the ‘Science’ Category
This morning, I was interviewed by KSTP’s Tom Hauser. Before going further, I’ll just state that Hauser was polite and professional during the interview. Tonight, KSTP ran this story highlighting the virtually empty ISELF building. They also included this video of the segment:
Here’s how LFR was mentioned:
A conservative blogger and frequent critic of spending at SCSU says taxpayers are getting “ripped off” after spending $45 million from the 2011 bonding bill to pay for ISELF. Gary Gross, writing in his “Let Freedom Ring” blog, features pictures of many empty spaces in the building he says were taken by an unidentified professor who questions the building’s use. Gross blames university leaders “for selling legislators a grand vision that they didn’t think through.”
I’ve been a frequent critic of the University’s spending because they’ve made some questionable financial decisions. Further, I’d add that I’m not alone in this thinking.
Most importantly, I’m skeptical of the timeline for filling ISELF because SCSU is facing some significant budget cuts. At the most recent Meet & Confer meeting, the administration announced that they’re cutting their budget for this year “by $2.9 million.” That’s the minimum they’ll cut, however. It’ll be significantly higher that $2.9 million.
It’s important to remember that the administration virtually admitted that they don’t have the money to finish the Hockey Center renovation. It’s imperative to remember that it’ll literally cost the university hundreds of thousands of dollars to properly equip ISELF. That’s before talking about how much money it’ll cost to install a topnotch security system. Without the right security, CEOs won’t have SCSU do their research. Speaking of which, some CEOs were interviewed for the article:
Ned Tabat, CEO of Semaphore Scientific, says his company is close to signing an agreement with the university. His business card already features the address of the ISELF building. “There are capabilities here for doing advance nano-fabrication which is the cornerstone of some of the devices we’re developing,” Tabat says. His company is also hiring interns from SCSU.
The CEO of another St. Cloud company, Brad Goskowicz of Microbiologics, says his company has been working with university professors and students for several years, even before ISELF. They’ll likely expand that relationship. “They have expertise in areas that we don’t have and that helps us grow a lot faster,” says Goskowicz.
Mr. Goskowicz just admitted that they were working with SCSU prior to the construction of ISELF, which raises the question of whether ISELF was needed. Would a less expensive option have been a better option?
Beyond what was in the interview, the administration hasn’t answered some troubling questions. First, during the video, they showed Dr. David DeGroote cutting the ribbon. He was relieved of his ISELF responsibilities in March, 2013. First, why was he removed from those responsibilities? Second, why did President Potter give him the prestigious responsibility of cutting the ribbon at their high-profile event?
It’s possible to properly equip ISELF while cutting the SCSU budget by $3,000,000-$5,000,000 this year. It just isn’t the wisest decision because it’d significantly hurt other departments. Robbing Peter to pay Paul might make Paul your ally but it comes with a steep price. In this instance, there’s reason to think Potter would have to rob Peter and Paul to pay to properly equip ISELF.
When Gov. Dayton signed the bonding bill that funded the building of the ISELF building, aka the Integrated Science & Engineering Laboratory Facility, on St. Cloud State’s campus, it was a big deal. Here’s the key part of the statement St. Cloud State issued about ISELF:
The 100,000 square-foot research and teaching facility will be built at 8th Street South and 2nd Avenue on the site of the 801 Building. Classrooms and labs are slated to serve mostly upper-level and graduate-level science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medical technology and radiology classes.
Research in ISELF will support Minnesota companies that are global leaders in medical devices, pharma/biologics, animal science, bio-agriculture and renewable energy. St. Cloud State faculty and students will be able to do more collaborative research with businesses and earn more National Science Foundation grants, said David DeGroote, dean of the College of Science and Engineering.
“ISELF is about putting people in the same physical space to interact and collaborate around projects that are cross-disciplinary,” DeGroote said. “That’s how work gets done in the real world.”
Dr. DeGroote was fired this winter and replaced by Dan Gregory, who is now the interim dean of the College of Science and Engineering, aka COSE. I guess that’s “what happens in the real world.”
Fast forward to today. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in mid-August. Here’s what Minnesotans got for their “$44.8 million dollars”:
That looks impressive. Let’s take a walk inside. What do we have here?
Wow. I wasn’t expecting a big, empty room. Surely, someone’s using the facility. Let’s check another room:
Another empty room. What’s with that? Maybe I’ll find people in a conference room:
Seriously, Minnesota taxpayers got ripped off. Spending $45,000,000 on an empty building is outrageous. I don’t fault the legislators who voted for ISELF. I fault President Potter and Dr. DeGroote for selling legislators a grand vision that they didn’t think through.
There’s little doubt that President Potter and Dr. DeGroote put together a dazzling presentation for the legislators. There’s no doubt that they didn’t do the work to turn their vision into a functioning facility. There weren’t any departments that moved into the building. It isn’t anticipated that any departments will move into the facility any time soon, either.
President Potter’s time as president is littered with the building of shiny new buildings. Five Alive, Coborn’s Plaza, ISELF, a major remodeling of the National Hockey Center and a new parking ramp at the north end of campus were built during President Potter’s time as president. Meanwhile, the school’s enrollment dropped dramatically. Finance directors have come and gone. St. Cloud State is losing between $1,125,000 and $1,500,000 a year on Coborn’s Plaza.
What has President Potter touched that hasn’t turned into lead?
UPDATE: I just looked at the scheduling webpage to see if ISELF was being utilized. According to the spreadsheet, the only room utilized in ISELF is Room 110. Also, a loyal reader of LFR sent this picture of the exterior of ISELF:
Obviously, the shiny exterior hides from the public the reality of an empty building.
UPDATE II: A commenter noted that the flier that St. Cloud State used to advertise the ribbon-cutting ceremony for ISELF was actually a picture of the National Hockey and Event Center. This picture shows the flier:
Clearly, the administration got this badly wrong.
Technorati: ISELF Building, Bonding Bill, Earl Potter, David DeGroote, College of Science and Engineering, Five Alive, National Hockey Center, Coborn’s Plaza, Parking Ramps, Enrollment Declines, National Science Foundation, St. Cloud State
When I read Anti-Energy Secretary Chu’s comments, it explained this administration’s energy policies. Here’s what Chu said back then:
In 2008, Chu had argued that raising gasoline prices, through taxes, would make solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies competitive with fossil fuels.
Doesn’t it sounds like Chu thinks “solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies” won’t be competitive without government interference? Doesn’t it sound like Chu thinks it’s ok for families to experience a significant increase in their cost of living? With campaign season upon us, though, Chu’s singing a different tune:
Energy Secretary Steven Chu reversed his stance on high gasoline prices, telling a Senate committee Tuesday, “Of course we don’t want the price of gasoline to go up. We want it to go down.”
If the election were behind us, Chu’s statement would change dramatically. It’s impossible to think that a true believer would abandon his beliefs. Here’s what Dr. Chu really thinks:
Also on Tuesday, Chu staunchly defended the Energy Department’s loan programs for alternative fuels, as he has since Fremont solar power firm Solyndra went bankrupt last year. He predicted that within 15 years, renewable energy will be able to compete with any new sources of traditional fossil fuels.
“There will come a day; I don’t know whether it’s in this decade or within a decade and a half, but it is not 30 years from today, renewable energy…will be the same as any new form of energy, it will be as competitive,” Chu said.
Dr. Chu is a former “UC Berkeley physicist and Nobel laureate”, which means he understands the difference between emotion-based opinions and scientifically proven facts. It’s impossible for Chu, or anyone else for that matter, to know whether alternative energy will be competitive. It’s possible for Chu to speculate but it’s impossible to know.
In Dr. Chu’s own words, he admitted that alternatives would never be as inexpensive as fossil fuels without direct government interference through excessive taxation or draconian restrictions on drilling. Without that type of intervention, fossil fuels will remain the cheaper alternative, with the exception of nuclear power.
While Dr. Chu says he’d like for gas prices to drop, industry experts don’t see that happening:
As an energy analyst acknowledged by top manufacturers, distributors and end users in the vast and fast-growing U.S. fossil fuel and renewable energy industry, I dispute the conclusions conveyed in the article that suggested the $5 cost per gallon of gas at the pump is fading as a nationwide probability.
My contrary contention, backed by former CEO of Shell Oil John Hofmeister, is not only due to the geopolitical threats posed by Iran, but also the turmoil in Syria, and the loss of production from Egypt, Libya, Iraq and Nigeria, all of which are experiencing oil production threatening internal problems.
In other words, thanks to Dr. Chu’s anti-drilling policies and President Obama’s decision to halt the Keystone XL Pipeline project, Americans will face difficult situations this summer.
President Obama’s and Dr. Chu’s sunny talk are worthless. Their actions say everything that needs to be said.
Earlier this am, I wrote that Mitt’s tax policies sound like liberal social engineering:
At a town hall in Iowa Thursday, Mr. Romney took it further: “For me, one of the key criteria in looking at tax policy is to make sure that we help the people that need the help the most.”
A few minutes ago, I read Jim Hoft’s post highlighting President Obama’s debate quote with ABC’s Charlie Gibson. Here’s the video Jim posted:
ABC ANCHOR CHARLIE GIBSON: You have said, however, that you’d favor an increase in the capital gains tax. As a matter of fact, you said on CNBC, and I quote, “I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was 28%.”
It’s now 15%, which is almost doubling if you went to 28% but actually, Bill Clinton in 1997 signed legislation that dropped the capital gains rate to 20% and George Bush has taken it down to 15% and in each instance, when the rate dropped, the revenues from the tax increased.
The government took in more money, and in the 1980′s, when the tax rate was increased to 28%, revenues decreased. So why raise it all, especially given that 100,000,000 people in this country own stock and would be affected”?
SEN. OBAMA: Well Charlie, what I’ve said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
With Mitt and with President Obama, it’s apparent that the tax code is a tool in their social engineering toolbox. That’s intellectually disgraceful. It’s shoddy tax policy, too. Mitt’s statement isn’t what the GOP presidential nominee should say. It’s the type of thing that TEA Party activists and GOP primary voters should reject with a whithering wave of criticism.
People are discovering that Mitt’s political armor is riddled with holes. With each discovery, they’re realizing that he isn’t the real deal. They’re realizing that he should be trusted as much as the ministers of junk science. Mitt’s as trustworthy on tax policy as people like John Holdren and Paul Ehrlich are on climate change and population control.
According to this NBC article, Chris Christie will endorse Mitt Romney:
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will make a surprise appearance Tuesday to endorse Mitt Romney for president, a week after Christie said he had decided not to run.
Christie is planning a joint press conference with the former Massachusetts governor at 3 p.m. in New Hampshire, NBC News has learned.
This isn’t a surprise, especially considering the fact that Mitt and Christie agree with the global warming junk science:
Says Christie: “I’m certainly not a scientist, which is the first problem. So I can’t claim to fully understand all of this, certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it’s time to defer to the experts.”
There are many attributes and characteristics I like about Chris Christie. Chief among them is his willingness to fight the media and the unions.
I wasn’t clamoring for Christie to jump in and be the Republicans’ savior. Christie’s endorsement won’t change the fact that Mitt’s a liberal who’s attempted to create a conservative image for himself by repackaging himself more times than people should be asked to count.
Mitt’s still a phony. Despite his protestations, Mitt’s still a believer in socialized medicine.
What this genuinely changes is today’s news coverage. People like Sean Hannity and other members of the Shiny Object Media will latch onto this story and tout this as a prized get.
They’re right. To the media, Gov. Christie is a prized get.
After that, though, it all comes down to whether Mitt’s policies will be appreciably better than President Obama’s. It’s a given that his policies will be better than President Obama’s because President Obama’s policies have stunk. It doesn’t take alot to clear that benchmark.
The question that the GOP establishment doesn’t want to ask is whether Gov. Christie’s endorsement means that Mitt Romney’s finally committed to fighting for conservative principles. If Mitt isn’t, which I suspect he isn’t, then the economy will likely marginally improve but the debt crisis likely won’t improve by an appreciable amount.
Endorsements are certainly a significant part of the election process.That can’t be argued. That said, they can’t change the underlying truth of who the candidate is.
If Mitt got the endorsement of every Republican governor and senator, it still wouldn’t change the fact that Mitt’s a liberal with a troubling history of flip-flopping after supporting liberal policies.
Earlier this week, the St. Cloud Times ran this article outlining Sen. John Pederson’s recommendations regarding environmental rulemaking and other common sense sugggestions. Here’s the heart of Sen. Pederson’s recommendations:
Pederson’s proposed water-rule moratorium may have garnered the most criticism of his contributions to the bill.
Rebecca Flood, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, has said it could prevent the agency from completing water-rule revisions in which it already has invested considerable time and resources.
Since he introduced the moratorium as a stand-alone bill, Pederson said exemptions have been added to the moratorium provision in the omnibus bill, which aim to address those concerns.
But its purpose remains the same: to keep water rules static while the state studies all its agencies that regulate water. The point of such a study, Pederson has said, would be to lay groundwork for consolidating environmental agencies.
Dan Fabian’s HF1 legislation was signed into law. HF1 streamlines the permitting process and necessarily opens the door for regulatory reviews. Sen. Pederson’s bill simply says that, with the exception of the MPCA completing their water rule revisions, regulators shouldn’t start with new regulations until the 5 agencies iron out the overlap.
Naturally, environmental extremists oppose Sen. Pederson’s provisions because it would prevent them from getting their wish list enacted:
The bill has caught the eye of environmental groups, who worry that it’s part of an effort by Republicans, who gained control of the Legislature in the last election, to roll back protections for Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and forests.
Steve Morse, president of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, says proposals like Pederson’s are on the vanguard of that rollback.
“Some people feel it’s open season on protection of our great outdoors,” Morse said.
What a drama queen. You’d think that Sen. Pederson had just introduced legislation that would repeal the Clean Water Act and called for total deregulation of the environment. That isn’t what Sen. Pederson is doing.
Because of Morse’s comments, I called Sen. Pederson. Sen. Pederson said he’s asking the Department of Administration to sit down with the five agencies to eliminate the overlap in responsibilities, inspections and to reivew the permitting fees. The five agencies that deal with water regulation are the DNR, the MPCA, the Department of Soil and Water, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health.
I’d question Mr. Morse’s objectivity after saying that “Some people feel it’s open season on protection of our great outdoors.” If all they’re doing is eliminating bureaucratic overlap in the permitting process, what’s the basis for Morse’s grandstanding statement?
Sen. Pederson specifically cited the fact that rulemaking that’s already underway is exempted from the moratorium. The moratorium only affects the making of new rules.
“Most people agree: We have all these agencies dealing with water. There’s a significant amount of overlap,” Pederson said.
Not everyone agrees. Sen. Linda Higgins, DFL-Minneapolis, called Pederson’s proposal “ill-advised” in a recent news release.
That provision and the Lake Pepin provision, Higgins wrote, “take a wild swing at improving the state’s permitting process by undermining…rules created to protect one of Minnesota’s greatest resources.”
I’ve known Sen. Pederson for a couple years. Saying that he’s taking a wild swing at anything is hyperbole Al Gore, Howard Dean or Alan Grayson would be proud of. Sen. Higgins’ comments are questionable considering this information:
Pederson’s proposal would shape rules now being drafted by the MPCA to regulate phosphorus levels in Lake Pepin, by requiring state officials to back rules that focus on the lake’s phosphorus levels during warm-weather months only.
Pederson says he proposed the measure after meeting with St. Cloud city officials.
The city’s Public Utilities Director, Pat Shea, oversees St. Cloud’s wastewater facility. Shea says some have proposed phosphorus standards for Lake Pepin that could require St. Cloud, and other cities with wastewater plants that empty into the Mississippi River, to treat their wastewater for phosphorus year-round, instead of only during warm months.
Terry Stone is a policy analyst based in Northern Minnesota. I wrote him for his opinion on this matter. Here’s his response:
Pederson could not be more correct in his environmental initiatives. Lake Pepin is in Minnesota and directly within the purview of Senator Pederson. Senators are elected to perform a legislative function for Minnesota. Pederson was not elected to legislate for District 15; he serves the people of Minnesota and represents the people of Senate 15 in doing so. His interest in Lake Pepin is most appropriate.
The issue here is eutrophication of the 40 mi. lake with an average 18-foot depth. Agricultural activity puts phosphates into the lake. Agricultural activity is seasonal in Minnesota, so phosphate levels affecting eutrophication is seasonal.
Stone further replies:
An intentionally well-kept secret is that watersheds including river protuberances like Lake Pepin receive a wholesale flush and cleansing with each spring run-off.
Finally, he included this information:
Some years back, a continuous source of phosphates in wastewater was laundry detergent. Phosphates were banned in the U.S. in 1993 and the European Union in 2004. The banning of dish soap phosphates is being done locally with a national ban all but certain. Detergents now make wide use of zeolites that does not contribute to eutrophication.
Based on this information, I’d argue that Mr. Morse’s inference that the GOP legislature is interested in declaring an open season on the environment is intentional mischaracterization. I’m not basing that on my expertise in this matter because I’m not an expert. I’m basing that opinion on this statement:
An MPCA scientist who’s helping draft the Lake Pepin rules, Steve Heiskary, said he expects Pederson’s provision would have no impact on the agency’s plan for protecting the lake.
Morse says that “legislators should let scientific experts working in state agencies handle the details of environmental policy.” I couldn’t agree more.
It’s important that Morse get out of the way and let Mr. Heiskary handle the details of environmental policy.
Technorati: John Pederson, Regulations, Watersheds, Mississippi River, MPCA, DNR, Permitting, Moratorium, Phosphates, Lake Pepin, Reforms, MNGOP, Linda Higgins, Steve Morse, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Status Quo, Environment, DFL
Let’s be clear from the outset that when I question the UN’s IPCC report, I’m questioning the agenda behind the headlines. This post by Newsbusters’ Noel Sheppard includes a transcript that’s both enlightening and infuriating. Here’s what I’m talking about:
NZZ AM SONNTAG: The new thing about your proposal for a Global Deal is the stress on the importance of development policy for climate policy. Until now, many think of aid when they hear development policies.
OTTMAR EDENHOFER, UN IPCC OFFICIAL: That will change immediately if global emission rights are distributed. If this happens, on a per capita basis, then Africa will be the big winner, and huge amounts of money will flow there. This will have enormous implications for development policy. And it will raise the question if these countries can deal responsibly with so much money at all.
NZZ: That does not sound anymore like the climate policy that we know.
EDENHOFER: Basically it’s a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization. The climate summit in Cancun at the end of the month is not a climate conference, but one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War. Why? Because we have 11,000 gigatons of carbon in the coal reserves in the soil under our feet, and we must emit only 400 gigatons in the atmosphere if we want to keep the 2-degree target. 11,000 to 400, there is no getting around the fact that most of the fossil reserves must remain in the soil.
NZZ: De facto, this means an expropriation of the countries with natural resources. This leads to a very different development from that which has been triggered by development policy.
EDENHOFER: First of all, developed countries have basically expropriated the atmosphere of the world community. But one must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy. Obviously, the owners of coal and oil will not be enthusiastic about this. One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore, with problems such as deforestation or the ozone hole.
Clearly, in Edehoffer’s thinking, the highest priority of the IPCC is wealth redistribution. Climate control is just a secondary priority.
In fact, the key word in that phrase is control. With that control comes the opportunity for third world corruptocrat enrichment. Notice how Edenhoffer says that “Africa will be the big winner” if “global emission rights are distributed” “on a per capita basis”?
Notice, too, that “the climate summit” isn’t “a climate conference”, that it’s “one of the largest economic conferences since the Second World War.” Let’s take the blinders off and understand that the IPCC is about redistributing wealth and exercising control over superpower nations like the United States.
The only way to stop these corruptocrats is by defeating Obama in 2012, replacing him with someone who’ll fight for our sovereignty. This crisis isn’t going away just by wishing. It’ll take a serious commitment to the principles laid out in our founding documents.
If other nations make bad decisions, that’s their problem. It isn’t like other nations help us out when we make bad decisions. And we make more than enough mistakes.
The bottom line is this: one of the leaders of the IPCC has admitted that their report isn’t based on the desire to limit pollution. It’s based mostly on wealth redistribution. It’s now our responsibility to expose the UN and the IPCC for being in the wealth redistribution business.
George Will’s column on climate change is the best explanation of what went wrong with the science supposedly supporting climate change. Here’s a blast that’s certain to leave a mark:
The Financial Times’ peculiar response to the CRU materials is: The scientific case for alarm about global warming “is growing more rather than less compelling.” If so, then could anything make the case less compelling? A CRU e-mail says: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment” — this “moment” is in its second decade — “and it is a travesty that we can’t.”
The travesty is the intellectual arrogance of the authors of climate change models partially based on the problematic practice of reconstructing long-term prior climate changes. On such models we are supposed to wager trillions of dollars, and substantially diminished freedom.
Some climate scientists compound their delusions of intellectual adequacy with messiah complexes. They seem to suppose themselves a small clerisy entrusted with the most urgent truth ever discovered. On it, and hence on them, the planet’s fate depends. So some of them consider it virtuous to embroider facts, exaggerate certitudes, suppress inconvenient data, and manipulate the peer review process to suppress scholarly dissent and, above all, to declare that the debate is over.
There’s no proof that these ‘scientists’ go where the information takes them. For these ‘scientists’, every tidbit of data is proof of global warming. Fortunately, some people appear to be taking the scientific process seriously:
The Met Office plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.
The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.
The Met Office database is one of three main sources of temperature data analysis on which the UNâ€™s main climate change science body relies for its assessment that global warming is a serious danger to the world. This assessment is the basis for next weekâ€™s climate change talks in Copenhagen aimed at cutting CO2 emissions.
The next paragraph is the most telling:
The Government is attempting to stop the Met Office from carrying out the re-examination, arguing that it would be seized upon by climate change sceptics.
That paragraph is what fear sounds like. It’s also what a guilty conscience sounds like. Al Gore and his followers in the scientific community have told us that the debate is over, that consensus of the (supposedly) most brilliant minds on climate change had been reached and that the world would end if their recommendations were followed like they were etched in stone on Mount Sinai.
Anytime a skeptic pointed to data that ridiculed their findings, the scientific community ridicule the scientists rather than argue the merits of their findings. The Met Office sounds like they aren’t even certain that the underlying data is accurate, which casts their conclusions in doubt. Let’s prove this by illustration.
Let’s suppose, instead, that a physician is given information from diagnostic test. The physician uses that information and the relevant case histories to determine a diagnosis. If the physician suddenly learns that the information from the diagnostic test might be significantly inaccurate, it isn’t unreasonable to think that that physician might rethink things. That physician might even start over.
Let’s return to the climate change scientists. Since their public position is that everything points to global warming that’s sure to end the world unless we dramatically change our habits, no re-examination happens. Their remedies don’t change. Their remedy constantly remains the same: a massive redistribution of wealth through an oppressive cap and trade bill is THE ONLY THING that will save Planet Earth.
People are increasingly skeptical of the all-data-points-to-the-end-of-the-world worldview. The net result is that Cap and Tax is dead in the water for the next 3-5 years minimum.
I can’t do better than Will’s summation so I’ll just leave you with this:
Copenhagen is the culmination of the post-Kyoto maneuvering by people determined to fix the world’s climate by breaking the world’s, especially America’s, population to the saddle of ever-more-minute supervision by governments. But Copenhagen also is prologue for the 2010 climate change summit in Mexico City, which will be planet Earth’s last chance, until the next one.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
It isn’t often that I agree with Eugene Robinson but this time, I agree with him. His column E-mails Don’t Prove Warming is a Fraud is actually right, though not for the reasons he says.
Stop hyperventilating, all you climate change deniers. The purloined e-mail correspondence published by skeptics last week, portraying some leading climate researchers as petty, vindictive and tremendously eager to make their data fit accepted theories, does not prove that global warming is a fraud.
He’s right in that the e-mails alone don’t prove that AGW is junk science. The fact that they’ve had to delete emails with contradictory information proves that AGW is junk science. The fact that John Holdren first discredited, then admitted that Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon were right that Michael Mann’s infamous Hockey Stick Graph is wildly inaccurate is proof that AGW is junk science.
Mr. Robinson’s column is predictable. He’s one of the most reliable, and brain dead, shills within the progressive movement, rivalling even Eleanor Clift, Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd in that respect. That reliability is how he can say this without hesitation:
To plot temperatures going back hundreds or thousands of years, long before anyone was taking measurements, you need a set of data that can serve as an accurate proxy. The width of tree rings correlates well with observed temperature readings, and extrapolating that correlation into the past yields the familiar “hockey stick” graph, fairly level temperatures for eons, followed by a sharp incline beginning around 1900. This is attributed to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in heat-trapping atmospheric carbon dioxide.
While it’s true that scientists weren’t recording temperatures and patterns in 1000 A.D., when the Hockey Stick Graph starts, other data exists to prove that there have significant fluctuations in the earth’s temperatures. The Medieval Warm Period didn’t happen if you trust Dr. Mann’s Hockey Stick Graph. The MWP was followed by the Mini-Ice Age, which doesn’t exist according to the Hockey Stick Graph, either.
Considering the fact that Dr. Mann, Dr. Jones and others propose shutting out scientists that disagree with their analyses from the peer-review process isn’t dissimilar from Al Gore’s wild allegations, then his refusal to debate serious people on the subject. The people that suggest that they know more than other accredited scientists are blowhards and political ideologues.
Had Dr. Mann and Dr. Jones not used such extravagant trickery, they still would’ve been ridiculed. There are wild inaccuracies in their studies, inaccuracies that still haven’t been explained to anyone but the most devout AGW believers.
It would be great if this were all a big misunderstanding. But we know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, and we know the planet is hotter than it was a century ago. The skeptics might have convinced each other, but so far they haven’t gotten through to the vanishing polar ice.
What we don’t know is whether one has to do with the other. Until there’s proof that one is caused by the other, we don’t have anything. Just because a group of ideologically-driven scientists say so doesn’t mean anything to John Q. Public.
Until these scientists start making decisions based SOLELY on proof, not politics, people will be justifiably skeptical.
Cross-posted at California Conservative
Based on this reporting by CFP’s Tim Ball, “Obama Science Czar John Holdren is directly involved in CRUâ€™s unfolding Climategate scandal.” If that’s substantiated, no spin will prevent Holdren from falling on his sword. Here’s what CFP is reporting:
â€œThere is a multitude of small but frightening stories in the massive files,â€ Ball writes. â€œFor example Iâ€™ve known solar physicists Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon for a long time. Iâ€™ve published articles with Willie and enjoyed extensive communication. I was on advisory committees with them when Sallie suddenly and politely withdrew from the fray. I donâ€™t know if the following events were contributing factors but it is likely.
â€œBaliunas and Soon were authors of excellent work confirming the existence of the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) from a multitude of sources. Their work challenged attempts to get rid of the MWP because it contradicted the claim by the proponents of anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Several scientists challenged the claim that the latter part of the 20th century was the warmest ever. They knew the claim was false, many warmer periods occurred in the past. Michael Mann â€˜got ridâ€™ of the MWP with his production of the hockey stick, but Soon and Baliunas were problematic. What better than have a powerful academic destroy their credibility for you? Sadly, there are always people who will do the dirty work.â€
Michael Mann’s infamous Hockey Stick Graph was challenged by scientists who were actually concerned with fact-checking. When Baliunas and Soon questioned Mann’s work, Holdren came to Mann’s defense:
â€Iâ€™m forwarding for your entertainment an exchange that followed from my being quoted in the Harvard Crimson to the effect that you and your colleagues are right and my â€œHarvardâ€ colleagues Soon and Baliunas are wrong about what the evidence shows concerning surface temperatures over the past millennium. The cover note to faculty and postdocs in a regular Wednesday breakfast discussion group on environmental science and public policy in Harvardâ€™s Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences is more or less self-explanatory.â€
This is where Nick Schulz, the editor of Tech Central Station (TCS), jumps into the discussion, questioning Holdren in this email exchange:
In a recent Crimson story on the work of Soon and Baliunas, who have written for my website [techcentralstation.com], you are quoted as saying: My impression is that the critics are right. It s unfortunate that so much attention is paid to a flawed analysis, but thatâ€™s what happens when something happens to support the political climate in Washington. Do you feel the same way about the work of Mann et. al.? If not why not?â€
In other words, Holdren is talking out of both sides of his mouth, first questioning the findings of Baliunas and Soon, then being quoted as saying that Baliunas and Soon are right.
On the campaign trail, that’s known as a flip-flop. In DC, that’s known as spin. In the real world, that’s known as lying.
The blogosphere and talk radio isn’t going to let go of this story. In fact, this CFP article will just add fuel to the fire. Whether the Agenda Media picks up on this is fairly irrelevant. People questioned the validity of AGW prior to this scandal. Now they’re reading emails between agenda-driven scientists that say that they’re changing up their data to fit their conclusions.
This isn’t dissimilar in principle to a jury rendering a verdict right after the opening statements, then viewing the evidence and listening to the cross-examinations after the verdict has been reached.
This WSJ editorial shows how Mann and others rigged the game from the outset:
As anonymous reviewers of choice for certain journals, Mr. Mann & Co. had considerable power to enforce the consensus, but it was not absolute, as they discovered in 2003. Mr. Mann noted to several colleagues in an email from March 2003, when the journal “Climate Research” published a paper not to Mr. Mann’s liking, that “This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the ‘peer-reviewed literature’. Obviously, they found a solution to thatâ€”take over a journal!”
The scare quotes around “peer-reviewed literature,” by the way, are Mr. Mann’s. He went on in the email to suggest that the journal itself be blackballed: “Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.” In other words, keep dissent out of the respected journals. When that fails, re-define what constitutes a respected journal to exclude any that publish inconvenient views. It’s easy to manufacture a scientific consensus when you get to decide what counts as science.
This is the equivalent of calling someone who opposes President Obama’s health care legislation a racist. Mann is essentially saying that anyone who disagrees with him isn’t worthy of respect. How convenient that the scientist who’s been corrected is the scientist that determines what is or isn’t a respectable scientific viewpoint.
If Dr. Mann is the great scientist he says he is, then let him defend himself with more than temperamental diatribes and blacklisting those who disagree with him. In short, it’s put up or shut up time for Dr. Mann and his exposed colleagues.
Cross-posted at California Conservative