Climate Change Ethics: Prof. Muller’s Study and Media Incompetence

At  issue is not whether global warming is occurring, or even whether it is man-made. The issue is how incompetent, biased and astoundingly uncritical the media coverage of the issue has been and continues to be. Now major news publications and respected columnists are participating in yet another global warming ethics train wreck, which helps nobody and nothing.

Here’s is Prof. Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist, toward the conclusion of his 2003 paper on global warming data:

“Let me be clear. My own reading of the literature and study of paleoclimate suggests strongly that carbon dioxide from burning of fossil fuels will prove to be the greatest pollutant of human history. It is likely to have severe and detrimental effects on global climate.”

Now here is the Washington Post’s Brad Plumer, on a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed by Muller announcing the results of his research:

“Back in 2010, Richard Muller, a Berkeley physicist and self-proclaimed climate skeptic, decided to launch the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project to review the temperature data that underpinned global-warming claims. …So what are the end results? …As the team’s two-page summary flatly concludes, “Global warming is real.”

Note that the reason Plumer believes Muller’s study is worthy of special notice, and is elevated to a level of presumed objectivity and credibility, is that he is, Plumer says, a “self-proclaimed skeptic.” Does his 2003 statement sound skeptical to you? Did it seem skeptical to Plumer, or any of the many, many media sources that took his lead—“”Climate-change skeptic: ‘You should not be a skeptic.’(Atlanta Constitution-Journal); ‘Climate Skeptic Sponsors New Climate Study, Confirms ‘Global Warming Is Real’ (Popular Science); ‘Skeptic Talking Point Melts Away as an Inconvenient Physicist Confirms Warming’ (New York Times); and many more?

It didn’t seem un-skeptical, because Plumer and the other reporters didn’t read it, so eager are they to show common cause with environmentalist….you know, the good guys. The non-conservatives. Either that, or they did read it, and decided to withhold it from their readers,  so their readers couldn’t make up their own minds whether Muller was really a skeptic, or just a canny self-promoter who knows how to move his research to the front of the line. OR perhaps they read it and can’t understand English. Those are really our only options regarding Plumer and the rest of the journalists who aped the “skeptic” misrepresentation. They are:

a) lazy and biased

b) dishonest and biased

c) stupid, or

d) All of the above

They also didn’t read the interview Muller did on the website Grist in 2008, in which he said things like:

“The bottom line is that there is a consensus — the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] — and the president needs to know what the IPCC says. Second, they say that most of the warming of the last 50 years is probably due to humans. You need to know that this is from carbon dioxide, and you need to understand which technologies can reduce this and which can’t. Roughly 1 degree Fahrenheit of global warming has taken place; we’re responsible for one quarter of it. If we cut back so we don’t cause any more, global warming will be delayed by three years and keep on going up….”
…Back in the early ’80s, I resigned from the Sierra Club over the issue of global warming. At that time, they were opposing nuclear power. What I wrote them in my letter of resignation was that, if you oppose nuclear power, the U.S. will become much more heavily dependent on fossil fuels, and that this is a pollutant to the atmosphere that is very likely to lead to global warming.”

Does that sound like a skeptic to you? As for Plumer, I repeat: lazy, dishonest, or stupid. Take your pick.

In assessing Eugene Robinson, the Washington Post’s official Obama flack columnist who once won a Pulitzer Prize somehow, I vote for “all of the above.” Three days after blogger Don Surber posted the Grist interview, Robinson offered a column (today) that proclaimed the global warming debate over because a “skeptic” had completed a study that proved “global warming is real.”

Do they have Google over at the Post, Brad? Eugene? Just wondering.

If the journalists who jumped up and down in joy over Muller’s study had bothered to do minimal research—seventh grade level, really—they would have discovered that Muller’s research project BEST has long been viewed among climate change skeptics as a set-up for exactly this. You can read Climate Depot’s extensively documented criticism of Muller in April of this year here. That’s April, Eugene. This is October.

Even this is not the worst of this spectacular display of incompetent reporting. The majority of rational climate change skeptics do not question that the earth’s temperature has been rising, but that the rise has been sufficiently linked to man-made causes, that scientists have the data to accurately predict whether the rise will continue,  and that proposed measures to combat it will have the desired effect, or are necessary at all. And what did Muller’s study show on these issues? Oh, just nothing:

“Muller is claiming in a October 21, 2011 OPED that skeptics of man-made global warming fears no longer have any basis to doubt “global warming” because his new study confirms that the Earth has warmed since the 1950s! Muller seems to imply that the terms “global warming” and man-made global warming are interchangeable and any warming is somehow “proof” of human causation.” [Climate Depot]

That’s still good enough for news media climate change flacks, 99.9% of whom couldn’t decipher any of the data if their lives depended on it (and neither could I) but who just know that the global warming advocates are correct. And what about the critical “man-made” part of the equation?

“It is true that Muller made no attempt to ascertain “how much of the warming is due to humans.” Still, the Berkeley group’s work should help lead all but the dimmest policymakers to the overwhelmingly probable answer,” writes Robinson.

If you say so, Eugene.

This is why climate change skeptics don’t trust the studies, don’t trust reports, and don’t believe the media. They detect, quite accurately, a wide-ranging effort to cook the data, over-state findings and misrepresent the argument.

Lazy, dishonest or stupid.

Take your pick.

57 Comments

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57 responses to “Climate Change Ethics: Prof. Muller’s Study and Media Incompetence

  1. I would say you need to test the battery in your ethics alarm, as it clearly isn’t working. Also, I suspect that, when it comes to climate science, you personally have not the faintest clue what you are talking about. On the contrary, someone has convinced you that the whole thing is a conspiracy to halt Western progress and/or achive worldwide socialist government (let me guess – was it John R Bolton by any chance?). Unfortunately, climate change is not a hoax, a scam, or a false alarm; and it is now happening faster even than the IPCC predicted.

    You are merely repeating the lie that the 1% want you to repeat – so that nothing changes; and we keep on with business as usual. Please wake up and, for once in your life, get it straight in your head exactly who it is that has been lying to you for the last 20 years. If in need of help, please visit [link deleted as spam] for an oversize clue.

    • tgt

      Ugh. People like this give science a bad name.

      • YesYesYes. If we could just get some rational, non-politicized analysis without cheerleading from dolts on the sidelines, maybe there could be some progress. Lack is typical of both polls on this issue, and completely useless–worse than useless, because they make people like me want to take the opposite side just to avoid being identified with them. But I fight the impulse! I do!

    • What a silly, insulting, irrelevant comment! You don’t address the post at all, and misrepresent it: I’m betting you didn’t even read it. And you slip in a link to a book ad, which was probably the reason for the comment anyway. What “lie” am I repeating? Where do you get off asserting what I should do “for once in my life”? You are typical of the ideologically-driven bullies who resort to abuse and insults rather than allow science to proceed with integrity and at an appropriate pace. If there are skeptics who think there is a conspiracy (I do not and have never said or written that there was–you ass–) it is because of rhetoric like this.

      The post was about whether this scientist could possibly be called a skeptic, in light of his past comments. The answer is no. You don’t rebut it. You don’t even discuss it, You just want to peddle a book. Pathetic.

      Go away.

      • Jack,

        Sorry, it was a bit OTT but, yes, I did read your post and, yes, I did actually learn something (i.e. that Muller has been conceding that climate change is real and that we are causing it for quite a few years now).

        I am sorry that you felt it necessary to delete the link to a book (in which I have no financial interest – but one that does explain my critique of your position). I appreciate that you did not actually say any of the things I suggested but, to be clear, the point I was trying to make is that if AGW is a hoax (etc), who do you think is behind it and why? Furthermore, I was also trying to make the point that the alternative hypothesis (that the fossil fuel lobby and energy companies are behind a campaign to make you think AW is a hoax etc) is actually much more likely (and the book provides the evidence).

        Once again, I apologise for my ill-considered words (you may well like me have more than one Degree to your name and more than one area of expertise) but, arguably, you should not dish it out if you can’t take it in return (although two wrongs don’t make a right).

        • Thanks. BUT
          1) I do not believe, not have I said, that AGW is a hoax.
          2) How does a website with an ad for a book about politics and science explain your critique of “my position”, when you didn’t discuss my position, which is that the media reporting on the Muller study was idiotic, misleading and wrong? The post was about journalism. I would have written it the same way if Muller had been a climate change denier who was posing as an advocate and wrote an essay saying his study showed that global warming was a hoax. Get it? I said the beginning of the post that it was not about global warming at ALL.
          3) So to people like you, rightly questioning dishonest reporting in favor of global warming equals rejection of global warming, because the right thing to do is to encourage dishonest and incompetent reporting as long as it advances your ideological views. Is that it? MY ethics alarms need checking?
          4) What am I supposed to “take”? I “dish out” a pretty clear example of biased and inept reporting, so that means I should accept happily a nasty, factless, comment such as yours, that accused me of saying what I did not and believing what I do not?

          • Jack,
            Thank-you for not spamming me after my first comment (in retrospect you might well have done).
            Now your forensic skill in picking-apart my comments comes to the fore and so, I admit, I overlooked the fact that the main focus of your anger was the journalists rather than environmentalists. However, in my defence, I would say that you appeared to stereotype environmentalists as necessarily being “non-conservatives”. If I am to be entirely honest, this was the statement from which I extrapolated your probable position as being in favour of “business as usual”. If I was wrong, I am genuinely sorry.
            The book to which I referred details the ongoing conspiracy to deny, downplay and/or dismiss all environmental concerns (on the basis that they challenge the presumption that free-market economics and Capitalism should be allowed to proceed unfettered in any way by concerns about sustainability and/or pollution). However, now it is your turn not to jump to conclusions because, I am not a socialist. Quite the reverse, in fact, I am naturally conservative in nature; but accept that because we can do stuff like burn fossil fuels does not mean we should – especially when evidence is mounting that doing so is causing all our environmental problems. I hope you would agree with that.
            However, either way, I agree with you that Muller is an enigma (especially given his track-record of comments that you have illustrated). I am intrigued by his often-repeated criticism of the so-called “Hockey Stick” graph that appeared on the front cover of the IPCC’s 2001 report but which is now validated by his review of the data. What I would therefore like to know is when he changed his mind; and when he is going to apologise for accusing others of scientific fraud and/or malpractice.
            For the avoidance of any doubt, you are absolutely right to criticise sloppy journalism (I do so regularly). However, in the final analysis, even if I was wrong (and I was) to jump to conclusions, I think my central question (“Who do you think is lying to you – big business or a bunch of scientists?”) is a valid one. It is a question every one that is – in any sense of the word – “sceptical” needs to consider long and hard. However, once again, I apologise if I wrongly identified you as one of those people.
            I hope I am now forgiven,
            Martin.

            • tgt

              Non sequitor attacks don’t go over well here. I often comment on issues not the topic of the post, but they are issues that are at least taken in the post, like “I disagree that X is a valid example” or “you improperly assume Y is bad.”

              Jack didn’t attack global warming here or discuss it’s legitimacy. Your central question was irrelevant.

              • I have conceded that the question may well have been mis-directed but, have I not apologised enough? Surely, you do not deny it is an important question?

                • It’s an important question. It is not germane to the topic at hand.

                  • Jack – I have re-read your article and would like to make a few comments that hopefully are germane:
                    1. You characterise a lot of journalists and/or journalism as “astoundingly uncritical” and I would agree but, in the UK at least, it is the “sceptical” journalists that display this trait not those seeking to promote environmental concern and/or sustainable development.
                    2. In describing Muller as a “self-proclaimed skeptic“, I believe the journalists you criticise were in fact referring to exactly the point I make about Muller repeatedly siding with those that think the so-called ‘Climategate’ scandal was proof of scientific malpractice (and of a WMO-UN-IPCC conspiracy).
                    3. I think that, if you were to ask them, everyone from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists to the Zoological Society of London would probably assume the statement “a wide-ranging effort to cook the data, over-state findings and misrepresent the argument” was a description of what climate change “sceptics” have been doing for at least 20 years. Therefore, in my himuble opinion, anyone who would attribute these motives to those backing the scientific consensus view comes perilously close to invoking the above-mentioned conspiracy.
                    P.S. I wish I had said this the first-time around! :-)

            • Gosh I don’t think I have often seen anything written so stunningly and shockingly ignorant of the subject and with such disregard for the text of the original article as well. Muller’s work is a review of the recent thermometer-based records. The hockey stick is a reconstruction of more distant past temperatures from proxies. So how can Muller’s work have anything to say about the hockey stick?

              Then you ask “Who do you think is lying to you – big business or a bunch of scientists?” As this is an ethics blog, I think it is fair to ask why you think people can be stereotyped to the degree necessary to make any answer of that question “obvious”? Since scientists can make money and get prestige in their careers from supporting whatever the current prejudices of society may be, it is reasonable to assume temptations must exist for scientists. They exist also for big business people – but not always (or even often) in the direction you seem to assume. Since you seem to think that business people are immoral, doesn’t the possibility of trading on market where the majority of trades are fraudulent seem like a good way to make money? Or taking gov’t grants for renewable projects, or selling windmills, etc? But my key question to you in this regard is: why do you think people can be ethically categorised solely by their choice of occupation? The same might be asked about journalists. Why should not the kudos for reporting in favour of society’s prejudices be enticing to them as a group also?

        • Michael

          Mr. Lack,

          Although there is a consensus that the increased CO2 should almost certainly result in elevated temperatures, there is no consensus on exactly how much that should be. With the scandal at East Anglia University that showed that much of the data has been fudged, overhyped, or just plain fabricated, a little bit of skepticism about global warming alarmism is more than warranted. With current work by NASA and CERN showing that the models used to predict climate change have serious flaws such as (1) vastly underestimating the amount of heat lost to space, (2) underestimating the ability of plants to partially mitigate global warming (a 15% error in temperature data), and (3) not understanding how clouds form, it is demonstrated that climate change prediction is still young and imprecise.
          Having the media and political forces circumvent the normal scientific process will not get us closer to the true picture of climate change and that is why it is unethical. Science is about finding the truth, not justifying anyone’s personal point of view. Jack is exactly right that the story was misleading and unethical. We may not agree exactly on the matter of global climate change, but he was 100% right on the reporting.

          • Michael – I think it would be more appropriate for you to ask me such questions on my own blog (as we are in danger of getting seriously off-message) but, for the record, Climategate was the criminal leaking of cherry-picked and wilfully-represented emails; as is now proven by Muller’s review of all the data. However, if you are inclined to dipute this, please do not repsond before viewing the next post to be published on my blog at midnight GMT/UTC.

    • Elizabeth

      I have said this before and will say it again. (1) There is a difference between climate and weather. Half the writers and reporters on this topic confuse the two. One warm winter and aauugghh!! Proof of global warming! One really cold winter… and dead silence from the same writers. Pick your belief and make the facts fit, right?

      We have polluted lakes and rivers (and in many cases, like Lake Erie, have cleaned them up. We had our industrial revolution and now we tell third world countries they can’t have theirs and progress financially because of what we’ve done in the past. Is that our place? Are we really able to keep them “third world?”

      My major point is that Earth is a living organism, and we can help it or hurt it. We should do our best not to hurt it. But climate changes over the aeons have had nothing to do with human consumption of energy. Are earthquakes caused by global warming? Volcanoes? Come on. We humans have this ridiculous idea that Earth is fine just the way it is and that somehow it is completely within our power to keep it that way. What hubris.

      All this, and the fact that two years ago we had the scandal of PHONY DATA emanating from presumably believable scientific sources (pro-global warming), makes the discussion a lot more complex than you make it out to be, Martin.

      And Jack’s right on an important point: Since when is a change of mind by a “self proclaimed skeptic” worth the price of beans? “Self-proclaimed” being the descriptor of note.

      • tgt

        I have said this before and will say it again. (1) There is a difference between climate and weather. Half the writers and reporters on this topic confuse the two. One warm winter and aauugghh!! Proof of global warming! One really cold winter… and dead silence from the same writers. Pick your belief and make the facts fit, right?

        I find that pretty common with the denialists. FOXNews and Drudge yucking it up when there’s a snow storm.

        My major point is that Earth is a living organism, and we can help it or hurt it. We should do our best not to hurt it.

        Please tell me this is an anology.

        But climate changes over the aeons have had nothing to do with human consumption of energy.

        No, but that in no way implies that current changes are not partially man-made.

        Are earthquakes caused by global warming? Volcanoes? Come on.

        Actually, yes. Changes to the climate do effect the system. Next you’re going to say that making changes to the size of the moon wouldn’t affect tides.

        We humans have this ridiculous idea that Earth is fine just the way it is and that somehow it is completely within our power to keep it that way. What hubris.

        Well, the Earth IS fine for us how it is, and we do have some power over the changes.

        All this, and the fact that two years ago we had the scandal of PHONY DATA emanating from presumably believable scientific sources (pro-global warming), makes the discussion a lot more complex than you make it out to be, Martin.

        Citation needed. I don’t remember any phony data. I remember some misleading emails, but the data wasn’t in question.

  2. Bill

    Lets assume for a minute that global warming is being caused by humans. What do we do to stop it? Humans are not going anywhere so unless we have a major part of the human race die off then its going to happen and there is nothing we can do to stop it. EVERYTHING we do affects our enviorment. For people to run around thinking that if I drive the right car, or eat the right food, or wear the right clothes I wont have an affect on the envorment around me is idiotic.

    • Chase Martinez

      Most scientists who believe in ACC appear to agree with you, though I should note that even a reduction in emissions can help make the problem more manageable. If one person buys a hybrid, not much effect. 100 million? 200? You’re looking at a bigger effect. Still, much of the talk of stopping it is driven towards large-scale solutions, from political ones like international treaties and industrial regulations to more out there solutions like spraying sulfur compounds into the upper atmosphere to mimic a megavolcano (and presumably making the whole world smell of rotten eggs.)

    • tgt

      off topic, but…

      For people to run around thinking that if I drive the right car, or eat the right food, or wear the right clothes I wont have an affect on the envorment around me is idiotic.

      This is a strawman. The goal is to limit activities with known negative impacts, not to avoid all impacts on the environment.

  3. Michael

    Bill, you are right and there are a variety of schools of thought about that. One guaranteed way to fix the problem is just to reduce the world population down to something ‘reasonable’. Of course ‘reasonable’ is up for debate, with some people going as low as 1 million people. Other ways are just to use more carbon neutral and less carbon emitting technologies. These will become cheaper as new research and product development occurs. Ethanol from cellulose is just about market competitive right now and if gasoline goes up a little bit, it will be. Solar panel costs have decreased by 75% for the cutting edge designs, but these are not widely available just yet. I think the true solutions will come about naturally as the technology develops (but a little extra R&D funding wouldn’t hurt) and will be evolutionary in nature rather than revolutionary.
    If I had a flex fuel car and ethanol was $2/gallon, that is equivalent to $3/gallon gasoline (in $/mile). With gas at $3.40/gallon, I would be filling up on ethanol because it is cheaper. With electricity costs going up, if I could get a grid-tie solar panel system that would pay for itself in 5 years, I would do it. I am probably not alone. As I said, the technology and investment in consumer-level delivery isn’t there yet, but when it is, people will do it because it is cheaper, not because it is better for the environment.

    • Elizabeth

      Re reducing the population of the world to “reasonable” proportions… this is a new and relatively major new conspiracy theory. See The Bilderberg Group.

  4. It really was – and is – not my intention to become a Troll on Jack’s blog, so I will just say this and then no more (if any of you wish to discuss AGW with me further you know what to do)…
    Humanity needs to get off its carbon habit and the sooner we do it the easier, cheaper, and better it will be for all those that come after us. Failure to try will be the ultimate act of human selfishness; a bit like sticking two fingers up at all the Earth’s future inhabitants. This is not environmental alarmism. It is atmospheric physics we have understood for over 100 years.
    As Edward R. Murrow used to say, “goodnight and good luck

    • Michael

      Having read the articles, I see nothing that validates the hockey stick graph that has been widely debunked and furthermore, see some troubling issues. This hasn’t been reviewed yet. It hasn’t been published yet. People who hold press conferences to talk about the significance of their work before it is published often have an agenda they are pushing or they are too impatient (Fleishman and Pons).

      • tgt

        People who hold press conferences to talk about the significance of their work before it is published often have an agenda they are pushing or they are too impatient (Fleishman and Pons).

        Citation needed. Discussing a paper prepublication is pretty standard.

      • If the mountain won’t come to Mohamed… “hockey stick graph… widely debunked” in your dreams. The only way you can claim this is by invoking a very widespread conspiracy theory involving collusion between scientists, governments and the UN that makes no sense whatsoever (and for which there is no evidence). Conversely, the elite-driven conspiracy to deny that climate change is a problem makes perfect sense and, indeed, is very well documented. For example, in Peter Jacques’ book Environmental Skepticism (2009)

    • “This is a commercial message, and does not necessarily reflect the views of the management.”

    • Humanity needs to get off its carbon habit and the sooner we do it the easier, cheaper, and better it will be for all those that come after us.

      The only way to do that is to get humans to stop breathing, because humans exhale greenhouse gases.

      • I know I said I would not comment further here but this is ridiculous. What is at issue is not any imbalance between respiration and photosynthesis; but an imbalance between fossil fuel formation (over millions of years) and our current rate of combustion of it (at about 3 million years worth per year).

  5. Pingback: Muller not a skeptic in 2003, either | JunkScience.com

  6. Seems like its getting hot in here.

  7. Dwayne N. Zechman

    Having an Ice Age can really ruin your day.

    Global Warming is GOOD.

    –Dwayne

  8. He he,

    Muller is NOT a skeptic.It is a lie that dishonest incompetent people like to peddle.For the purpose of shackling real skeptics.

    To then make it appear that skeptics have given away to the alarmist camp.It is a classic propaganda maneuver,worthy of a Romulan.

    It is doomed to failure because it is stupid and a lie.

    Meanwhile their few testable predictions (IPCC reports and James Hansen’s 3 scenarios) have failed and the AGW hypothesis after 20+ years remains unverified.But that is no longer being actively considered.They have changed to the con and lie game now.

    Recall the new litany,

    That ANY weather event is proof of global warming.Even the record cold and snow have been hailed as proof of global warming.That is the developing alarmist con game.To replace the pseudoscience of the IPCC reports.Because the alarmist camps KNOW they are losing that argument.So they are pushing the propaganda angle more and more.

    The media themselves constantly sell doom and gloom.They have been able to con many people on the lie of an accelerating sea level and temperature rise.The official data centers does not show the evidence.

    Most people are unaware of the NULL HYPOTHESIS concept.It is devastating to the entire AGW hypothesis.

    The many alarmist claims have not been shown to exist outside of the prevailing climate trends of the last 150+ years.

    That is why real skeptics like me and Jack Marshall have to set up forums and blogs.For the purpose of combating the determined lies and distortions.To help people be aware that the skeptic side is real and growing.

    • Hansen’s model (and every other constructed since) predicts that with a warming atmosphere comes increased frequency of all kinds of previously-extreme weather phenomena (i.e. hot, cold, wet and dry). Furthermore, as Muller/BEST have demonstrated, the warming post-1950 is already twice that seen the preceding 200 years (i.e. 1750-1950). You would therefore appear to be living in a parallel Universe to the one that I am observing.

      • Hansen’s model (and every other constructed since) predicts that with a warming atmosphere comes increased frequency of all kinds of previously-extreme weather phenomena (i.e. hot, cold, wet and dry). Furthermore, as Muller/BEST have demonstrated, the warming post-1950 is already twice that seen the preceding 200 years (i.e. 1750-1950). You would therefore appear to be living in a parallel Universe to the one that I am observing.

        Like entire nations disappearing ?

        Miami Herald – July 5, 1989 – 2E SCIENCE

        GREENHOUSE WARMING NATIONS MAY VANISH, U.N. SAYS
        A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000z,. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of “eco-refugees,” threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the United Nations U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP. He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the…

      • LOL,

        still not going to accept the HadCrut temperature data.The ones the IPCC likes the most.

        http://www.globalwarmingskeptics.info/forums/thread-1103-post-8790.html#pid8790

        There it shows three very similar warming periods since the mid 1800′s.

    • Elizabeth

      Understand and agree. See my other replies.

  9. Michael

    tgt,

    Pons and Fleishman.
    http://newenergytimes.com/v2/reports/MistakesOfFleischmannAndPons.shtml

    In science, holding a press conference or writing an article for a newspaper about your unpublished conclusions is not considered professional, but grandstanding. You could write an article about working on a problem, but an article stating conclusions that have not been published…no. Discussing your work at an academic conference is considered different because the audience is considered ‘peer review’ to an extent and it is recognized by all in attendance that the presentation may be based on preliminary (yesterday’s e-mailed in at the last minute) results.

    • tgt

      The cold fusion issue doesn’t line up really well with this one for a couple important reasons:

      1) This study verifies existing studies. It’s not a new result.
      2) This study was shared with peers

      The Berkeley study is going through the appropriate scientific channels. The press conference didn’t replace pre-publication review.

      A press conference noting confirmatory results that doesn’t obfuscate the study is not out of line.

  10. Here is a good example of media incompetence:

    Glacial George

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2011/10/24/glacial-george.html

    There George Monbiot make a few claims that are easily shown to be absurd.

    A scientist responds.

  11. Michael Boyd

    Theories? Propaganda? Conspiracy? Facts? Published? Ignorance? The theory of relativity is being challenged. Opinions vary.

  12. Earth is warming up… and i have no doubt of it…

    • Yes, that’s about the level of sophistication of most activists and reporters on the topic too.

      • I am sure NONE of them realize that this modern warming is nearly over if it continues to follow the climate pattern of the past few THOUSAND years.

        The Roman warming period came around 900-1000 years after the Minoan warm period did and the Medieval warming period came along around 1,000 years after the Roman warm did and now the modern warming came around 900 years after MWP did.It is a 900-1100 warm periodic cycle that is clearly visible in the Greenland Ice cores.

        http://globalwarmingskeptics.info/thread-188-post-3123.html#pid3123

        As show very clearly there is a dominant cooling trend for at least the last 3,000 years in it.The Milankovitch cycle is ongoing and now we are in what is called climate Autumn and slowly marching into the new glacial winter.

        The warm periods seems to last around 350 years and the modern warming period is almost that old.It is sobering thought that the cooling is nearly on us….. IF it continues to follow the climate patterns of the last few thousand years.

        Until it changes this chart shows what we can expect over the next few decades based on the dominant prevailing cycling pattern that is very evident:

        http://globalwarmingskeptics.info/thread-1103-post-8791.html#pid8791

        It is possible that the Modern warming period could be the very last significant warming trend we have to enjoy and it will afterwards become dwarfed by dominant cooling trends from now on right into the Glacial winter phase of the Milankovitch cycle.

        Remember that major warming periods occurs every 900-1100 years.But we are already in the Autumn climate part of the Milankovitch cycle.It is a sobering thought.

    • Yes it is true that the warming trend that started in the late 1670′s or so and very obvious since the 1850′s is real.

      The question is how much of it is natural and how much is caused by man’s activities on the planet.The evidence shows that nature is the main cause of warming because of its undeniably vast scale it has to make it happen.

      The observed warming TRENDS since the 1850′s are very similar and that is according to noted warmist Dr. Jones.I pointed this out in some detail in a forum here.It is a single post I linked to but there are more following it with more details:

      http://www.ai-jane.org/bb/thread-3546-post-211840.html#pid211840

      There is a link to Dr. Jones replies to questions put fourth in an interview by Roger Harrabin in my post for anyone to read.

      The warming trends have been more significant than the cooling trends that explains why there is over all slow warming ongoing.When there is a significant climatic shift to a cooling regime like it was for the LIA then the cooling trend will become predominant until then we have to assume that the current warming is still the ongoing trend.

      But mankind does affect the climate too because of air pollution,distorting local wind patters,UHI effects,land use changes and a few more.Some of it promotes cooling and probably the rest promotes warming.

      But the scale of mankind’s effect is small as compared to what the prevailing effects in the planets natural world has to work with.

  13. Pingback: Jennifer Marohasy » Ten of the Worst Climate Research Papers: 5 Years On

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