Unethical Headline of the Month

From the Scientific American website:

“Should Global-Warming Activists Lie to Defend Their Cause?”

"Hmmm... that's a real brain-teaser!"

The fact that this question can even be asked in seriousness, or be deemed worthy of debate in scientific circles, tells us all we need to know about why climatologist Peter Gleick decided to use deception and theft to try to discredit the Heartland Institute, a vocal critic of global warming research. It also makes it impossible to know who to trust and when, in the global warming debate and others.

Great.

Nice job, everybody.

44 Comments

Filed under Around the World, Character, Government & Politics, Professions, Science & Technology

44 responses to “Unethical Headline of the Month

  1. Yeah. I caught that story too, Jack. This is what happens when what should be a question of honest scientific debate gets hijacked by money and politics. Free inquiry goes out the window… particularly if your committed position starts to show major discrepancies.

    • That’s really too bad. You’re left not knowing what to believe. Follow the money.

      • That’s always the wisest course. It’s educational upon discovering what an darksome underground of wheeling and dealing is involved in the procurement of grants for scientific research. The extent to which the system has been corrupted by it is a real eye-opener. Politics, ego and money seem to have trumped the concept of honest inquiry.

    • tgt

      If you have any evidence of free inquiry going out the window, please share it. Casting general aspersions does no one any good.

      • Are you for real, TGT?? How’s that for an aspersion?

        • tgt

          What free inquiry has been thrown out?

          • When you fake evidence to forward a conclusion that you want (for the sake of grant loans) and you help to institutionalize the process, then “free inquiry” is only one of the casualties.

            • tgt

              Who faked evidence? Can you support this statement?

              Also, individual cases of faked evidence do not throw out free inquiry. You would need a refusal to allow people to look into the evidence for that to occur.

              • I’d say you don’t have to look much further than the East Anglia scandal for that one. It hardly stops there, though. I repeat; where academic corruption exists, credible research (and with it, free inquiry) suffer. The standards are necessary to maintain that vital trust and integrity.

                • tgt

                  The East Anglia “scandal” did not show any evidence was faked. Can you point me to an example of something that was faked, or are you just that misinformed?

                  • Can you point to me at what, if any, limits exist on your prodigious powers of denial?!

                    • tgt

                      A call for evidence met with a general attack on my character. Well done!

                    • 1. I wish you guys could resist the lure of ghettoes of narrow ideological contention, and spread your polar insights hither and yon.
                      2. That failing, can I publish the tgt-Pilling debates as an Ethics Alarm archive? An exercise in futile cross-communication?

                    • tgt

                      1. I attack bad arguments on both sides. Letting SMP get off scot-free woouldn’t be right.

                      2. I’m down, but I think you misinterpretted something. I believe I understand SMP’s arguments fine. Also, while I respond directly to SMP and counter his arguments, he isn’t really my audience. My audience is anyone who happens by and is on the fence about any topic. I don’t expect SMP to listen to reason, but any rational person who reads the arguments should be able to see what postions are supported and which aren’t, and also who is trying to get to truth and who is just trying to convert people/validate their beliefs.

  2. Mike Martin

    Maybe the warmers should take follow the lead of the solar power people…. Oh, yeah… Solyndra… Strike that!

    • tgt

      This is so misinformed, it’s beyond words.

      • No, TGT. It’s right on the money. The Left (and you along with it) have “overinvested” in the Green Movement… only to find that the bulk of it is junk science that serves only to defenestrate the American economy. If you back off, you alienate a block voting group. If you continue to embrace it, you defy logic and risk a voter backlash if the conservatives succeed in showing how you’ve wrecked our livelihoods for the sake of utopian ideology. When you’re caught in a lie, the choices are either to confess your sins or lie more to cover the lie. Congenital amorality and ego constrain liberals from the first option.

        • tgt

          Global warming is supported by the science. Calling them “warmers” is an attempt to denigrate truth to the level of opinion. Solyndra wasn’t a success, but it wasn’t the screw up it’s being called. It also was a tiny piece of the green energy market.

          There was no part of Mike Martin’s comment that was in any way accurate.

          As for your comments. There has not been overinvestment in green energy, so backing green energy is not illogical.

          When you’re caught in a lie, the choices are either to confess your sins or lie more to cover the lie.

          Now that’s Chutzpah.

          Congenital amorality and ego constrain liberals from the first option.

          Poisoning the Well. False accusation. I couldn’t create a bigger caricature than you are.

          • Junk science… with its adherent being caught in lies and half gtruths again and again as they manuever desperately to defend what is fast becoming an indefensible position. Now they’re in a position where they can’t retreat from it either without exposing themselves for what they are.

            As for Solyndra; it merely set off a domino effect of busted Green Schemes… all at great taxpayer expense.

            No false accusations. And it was the Left that poisoned the well first. Speaking of that, when are you going to let the farmers in California have their water back? More “green” lunacy.

            • I’m waiting impatiently for the backlash against global warming conjecture. Most people aren’t in favor of “raping” the planet but when it comes down to the wire it’s going to get nasty if they find they are being asked,no forced, to sacrifice at an altar of lies..

              • It comes down to the broad difference between environmentalism and conservationism. The former is a left wing political movement that uses “environment” issues- either real or manufactured- as leverage for political power and, in some cases, a Clower/Priven-like tactic for collapsing the economy. The latter advocates a healthy stewardship of natural resources sans politics. The hallmarks of the environmentalist movement have been global cooling (starting in the 1970’s), then global warming (per some of the same former advocates of cooling!) and now- to cover all bases- “climate change”.

                As a geologist, I can tell you that the planet has see a LOT of climate change- the vast bulk of which occurred before Man ever walked the earth. Even today, our effects are localized and feeble compared to nature itself. That is, of course, no excuse to pollute freely. Unfortunately, due to the environmentalists, it’s come to the point where it’s difficult to pick out where legitimate concerns lie and what is a lot of the-sky-is-falling hogwash. That’s because academia has largely embraced environmentalism, sacrificing its integrity in the process.

                But not all. More and more professors and researchers are risking their careers to come forward to challenge Al Gore’s outrageous claim that “the science is done”. The tide HAS turned against the environmentalists in public opinion. Now, instead of the barrage of bombastic claims that we were once subject to, they’ve resorted to subtle sniping from the sidelines, as they are politically unable to back off from their previous, largely refuted claims. They’ve expended too much political and financial capital in the effort.

                • Gore,the prophet of the environmental movement,not only made false claims but he doesn’t even practice what he preaches,as do none of the hyperventilating enviro-elite. They began with global warming until it was discovered that the earth contradicted many of their findings so the name was changed to climate change. Any scientist who,in good faith,dares to question one iota of the so-called established facts publicly, forfeits his career in some cases so those who do question keep quiet.

                  • Gore has been so blatantly hypocritical, it’s a wonder he’s even referenced anymore by his own adherents. The “carbon footprint” left by his own private jet should have, by his own standards, melted all the glaciers in Switzerland! Then came his buying that huge beach mansion in California which, by his own caluculations, will be underwater in a dozen years or so. Right on, Al! The good news is that, increasingly, honest researchers are coming forward as the intimidation factor of the Left diminishes.

              • tgt

                I agree. Of course, your comment is irrelevant since the science is not lies. Were you by chance talking about religion?

                • When scientists use computer models that they know aren’t accurate( if a lay person can see that then a scientist surely should),when their emails expose them fudging,as Jack said” some of whom seemed more interested in suppressing minority scientific studies than finding the truth”,and that they would even consider lying shows that they are biased and their findings most likely are too.
                  The question is,how can we trust them? I don’t mean all scientists but there are those that seem suspiciously to have an agenda.

                  • I confess to feeling like I’m Through the Looking Glass in this whole debate. On one hand, it seems so obvious that the certainty of projections are over-hyped, and that legitimate dissent is being suppressed, that the media is actively biased and uncritical on the topic, and that political measures are being driven by people who haven’t a clue whether the science is valid or not (like Al Gore.) On the other hand, the Inhofe/talk radio contingent that maintains that the whole global warming issue is a “fraud” and a “conspiracy” is so obviously biased and in denial that they make reasoned argument futile. Combine that with the fact that I regard spending billions of dollars on speculative solutions for uncertain future conditions so clearly reckless, illogical, foolish and most of all, politically impossible that I can’t comprehend how activist and politicians get away with advocating them without being physically restrained. Calling reasoned skeptics of the over-hyped theories “Deniers” is offensive, and makes me want to side with the anti-global warming crowd out of spite. Hearing that group display such total ignorance of science makes me want to lobby for the Kyoto protocols.

                    I have come to detest the entire topic, and everyone involved in it, on all sides.
                    Including me.

                    • tgt

                      I agree with nearly everything here, except:

                      On one hand, it seems so obvious […] that legitimate dissent is being suppressed […]

                      What legitimate dissent?

                      Calling reasoned skeptics of the over-hyped theories “Deniers” is offensive,

                      I actually agree with this statement, but the reasoned skeptics are few and far between. They tend to actually be part of the global warming consensus in general, but the media (doing more horrible science journalism) doesn’t understand the difference between these people and Inhofe.

                  • tgt

                    When scientists use computer models that they know aren’t accurate( if a lay person can see that then a scientist surely should),

                    Citation needed. I’ve seen journalists misuse the models, but I haven’t seen climate scientists do such.

                    their emails expose them fudging,

                    There was no fudging of data found from the East Anglia emails.

                    as Jack said” some of whom seemed more interested in suppressing minority scientific studies than finding the truth”,

                    What scientists are doing this?

                    and that they would even consider lying

                    But not about their evidence or methods…

                    shows that they are biased and their findings most likely are too.

                    None of your premises are accurate, so this conclusion isn’t called for.

                    The question is,how can we trust them? I don’t mean all scientists but there are those that seem suspiciously to have an agenda.

                    Which? Who? Casting general aspersions like this does nothing to improve the conversation. All it does is lay the groundwork to deny anything you want to deny and say that all counterexample do not apply.

                    • “Which? Who? Casting general aspersions like this does nothing to improve the conversation. All it does is lay the groundwork to deny anything you want to deny and say that all counterexample do not apply.”
                      Do you live under a rock,tgt?

                    • tgt

                      Do you live under a rock,tgt?

                      No, but I haven’t seen this occur.

                      You and SMP seem to erroneously think the East Anglia emails show fudging of the data, and this is completely false. Until you provide evidence for your position, it looks like this is just regurgitation of talking points, talking points that are not true.

                    • Climategate email: “So while not endorsing this attempt at undermining our basis for current exceptional global warming, I must say I find myself in sympathy with much of what Will Hutton writes. In particular his conclusion that the debate around climate change is fundamentally about power and politics rather than the environment seems undeniable. There are not that many “facts” about (the meaning of) climate change which science can unequivocally reveal. I am copying this to Asher Minns, since Asher has been giving the issue of “sound science” and Tyndall’s reaction to it some thought recently”. Mike [Hulme]
                      “Phil, Here are some speculations on correcting SSTs to partly explain the 1940s warming blip. If you look at the attached plot you will see that the land also shows the 1940s blip (as I’m sure you know). So, if we could reduce the ocean blip by, say, 0.15 degC, then this would be significant for the global mean — but we’d still have to explain the land blip. I’ve chosen 0.15 here deliberately. This still leaves an ocean blip, and i think one needs to have some form of ocean blip to explain the land blip (via either some common forcing, or ocean forcing land, or vice versa, or all of these). When you look at other blips, the land blips are 1.5 to 2 times (roughly) the ocean blips — higher sensitivity plus thermal inertia effects. My 0.15 adjustment leaves things consistent with this, so you can see where I am coming from. Removing ENSO does not affect this. It would be good to remove at least part of the 1940s blip, but we are still left with “why the blip”. [Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer] Fudging
                      “There is another side to this which you don’t mention –the first attempt to expand by
                      factors of 10, different so-called “global temperatures” was in the 1975 GARP report,
                      Understanding Climatic Change. In that, for the last 1000 years they used Lamb’s
                      eastern European winter severity index. This version then got reproduced and further
                      mangled in several later publications, as shown in Tom’s chapter. I am as guilty as the
                      rest–I made up something from a corner of my brain on p.33 of my paleoclimatology
                      book! But I did say schematic…!” [Ray Bradley] Made it up?
                      Tiim Osborne 4007

                      Also we have applied a completely artificial adjustment to the data after 1960, so they look closer to observed temperatures than the tree-ring data actually were

                      Tim Osborne #2347

                      Also, we set all post-1960 values to missing in the MXD data set (due to decline), and the method will infill these, estimating them from the real temperatures – another way of “correcting” for the decline, though may be not defensible!

                    • tgt

                      Karla,

                      In the formatting of this post, it’s unclear what is email and what is not, so I’m going to make the following assumption: Everything there except “Climategate email:”, “Mike [Hulme]”, “[Tom Wigley, to Phil Jones and Ben Santer] Fudging”, and “[Ray Bradley] Made it up?” is emails.

                      A smoking gun they are not. Lets go through them 1 by 1.

                      The first piece appears to be a discussion about the politics of the situation that doesn’t undermine climate change.

                      The second is not fudging, it is an attempt to improve the model. You know, what science is supposed to do.

                      The third is evidence of an unintentional error. Nothing more.

                      The fourth and fifth could feasibly be an issue, but out of context mean nothing. I can quote mine myself to make it look like I’m extremely religious. These actually look like criticisms of work to me, not efforts to fool people.

                • I was, by no chance at all, talking about the fall of credible research on the altar of money and political correctness. Christian virtue is the antithesis of this.

            • tgt

              Junk science… with its adherent being caught in lies and half gtruths again and again as they manuever desperately to defend what is fast becoming an indefensible position.

              You’re talking about creationism, right? The scientists who have explained the process of global warming have not been caught in lies or half truths about global warming. This is simply false.

              As for Solyndra; it merely set off a domino effect of busted Green Schemes… all at great taxpayer expense.

              Why is this a “green scheme”? What other “green schemes” have been busted?

              No false accusations.

              Really? You made even more false accusations in this post.
              And it was the Left that poisoned the well first.

              Ooo, a they-did-it-first argument. I don’t think you understand what poisoning the well is.

              • TGT: All you offered above was hysterical blather. Not worth my time.

                • tgt

                  Facts that contradict your false statements are “hysterical blather”. Pointing out the errors in your argument is “hysterical blather”.

                  This is why I created that boilerplate about your argument long ago. You are not interested in actually engaging on the issues. You dismiss holes in your logic and contradictory evidence, when anyone arguing in good faith would either refute such (if they could), or grant that their previously espoused beliefs were wrong.

                  • “Facts” that you fail to gather. Don’t talk to me about “logic”, either. Ever since I’ve been commenting on Jack’s site, you’ve been sneering down your nose at all others with an obviously elevated opinion of your personal intellect. But some things are of higher worth than intellect. Even your’s! Humility is one.

                    Placing one’s self at the center of a private, Godless universe can result in a shakey throne, TGT. You reveal it when some of us refuse to bow down to your empty logic and are undeterred by your equally empty verbiage. Hypocrisy, for one… as your last sentence makes abundantly evident. But also, as I pointed out, your getting rattled when caught in a morally indefensible position and not being given a lane of retreat.

                    • tgt

                      Placing one’s self at the center of a private, Godless universe can result in a shakey throne, TGT.

                      Why do you keep making stuff up? You can’t really believe I think I’m the center of the universe, can you?

                      You reveal it when some of us refuse to bow down to your empty logic and are undeterred by your equally empty verbiage.

                      Yet again I ask for one single place where my logic was incorrect. One place. You have never been able to answer this challenge before. Lying about me does not make evidence magically appear for your original position. Without examples, what you have here actually IS empty verbiage.

                      Hypocrisy, for one… as your last sentence makes abundantly evident. But also, as I pointed out, your getting rattled when caught in a morally indefensible position and not being given a lane of retreat.

                      My last sentence makes what clear? How am I a hipocrite. You haven’t found holes in my logic and you haven’t provided contradictory evidence that I have knowingly failed to tackle. Evidence please. I have though retracted statements when the evidence goes against what I have said.

                      I also don’t believe I have been caught in any morally indefensible positions. I’ve proudly averred positions that are counter to your Christian morals, but it’s your Christian morals that tend to be indefensible.

  3. Proam

    Is there anything obvious I have been missing in the climate info-wars, or have Anonymous and Wikileaks just not yet gotten around to exposing the “dark secrets” in the conflicting bastions of advocacy?

  4. You haven’t been caught in morally indefensible positions?! You’ve offered little else. If you “haven’t been caught” (per se) it’s because you’re as slippery as an eel when it comes to verbally dodging the consequences of what you espouse. When cornered, your final resort is to take a swipe at Christian values. That’s the old “you’re another” manuever- always popular with those who have nothing to offer in the way of virtue that any sane person would recognize as such.

  5. Ulrike

    Isn’t global warming simple math? I don’t get the debate going on about it.
    Fossil fuels (coal and oil) where once green plants maaaaaany many years ago, they got compressed deep down in our earth maaaany many times for over millions of generations of green plant lives. Green stuff, as we learned in biology class, eats CO2, sunshine and H2O and makes O2. So the CO2 kinda accumulates in the green stuff and is stored within the plant. There is only so much green stuff that can grow at one time on the surface of our planet. So as we dig up maaaaany many generations of green stuff aka fossil coal and oil from deep under the surface where it was stored savely away, out of our atmosphere, and burn it – all that CO2 is released at once. But there is only so much green stuff growing on our planet’s surface at the moment to store this CO2 away again…
    That is the mathematical dilemma. On the hand we have millions of plant generations with stored CO2 (the fossil stuff) and on the other we have one!!! actual plant generation that can do the CO2 eating thingy right this moment.
    If you release more than you catch – one can see how it would accumulate.
    Mmmmh…
    Sorry for the sesame-street approach. Thought it was cute.

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