Monday, November 30, 2009
I copied the following e-mails from the Global Research Website in Canada. They are correspondence between scientists in Britain and the US discussing nothing less than lying about climate change and obstructing opposition to their deliberately flawed research. The comments following each e-mail have been added by a commentator either from Global Research or the originator of the e-mails, Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper- the author is not made clear in the article I copied though the term "Climategate" was coined rather unimaginatively by a climate change sceptic on the Telegraph's staff.
Here are a selection of quotes from the e-mails stolen from computers at the University of East Anglia. Many involve Phil Jones, head of the university's Climatic Research Unit.
From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
"I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."
Critics cite this as evidence that data was manipulated to mask the fact that global temperatures are falling. Prof Jones claims the meaning of "trick" has been misinterpreted
From Phil Jones To: Michael Mann (Pennsylvania State University). July 8, 2004
"I can't see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
The IPCC is the UN body charged with monitoring climate change. The scientists did not want it to consider studies that challenge the view that global warming is genuine and man-made.
From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't... Our observing system is inadequate"
Prof Trenberth appears to accept a key argument of global warming sceptics - that there is no evidence temperatures have increased over the past 10 years.
From: Phil Jones. To: Many. March 11, 2003
“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.”
Prof Jones appears to be lobbying for the dismissal of the editor of Climate Research, a scientific journal that published papers downplaying climate change.
From Phil Jones. To: Michael Mann. Date: May 29, 2008
"Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise."
Climate change sceptics tried to use Freedom of Information laws to obtain raw climate data submitted to an IPCC report known as AR4. The scientists did not want their email exchanges about the data to be made public.
From: Michael Mann. To: Phil Jones and Gabi Hegerl (University of Edinburgh). Date: Aug 10, 2004
"Phil and I are likely to have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots in the near future."
The scientists make no attempt to hide their disdain for climate change sceptics who request more information about their work.
Supporters of "anthropogenic climate change" (climate change caused by human behavior) have responded to these e-mails by pointing out they were obtained illegally, that they illustrate scientific methods in all their every day ugliness, that their authors are excessively passionate, that they don't alter the fact that polar ice caps are melting. However no one denies that the evidence that human activity is causing climate change is now most definitely up in the air.
Even though I have been sceptical myself that humans are responsible I continue to support the notion that better stewardship of the world's resources is critical- be it money, petroleum, clean water, clean air, trees or endangered species. The authors of these e-mails and their flawed scientific approach have made all that much harder to achieve, because in the politically charged atmosphere of economic meltdown and ecological catastrophe in which we live, we have one other source of previously reliable information we can no longer trust. A pox on them.
Cultures that don't celebrate Thanksgiving find the New World habit of giving thanks rather quaint. For myself I am always grateful to have escaped the dreary monotony of the Old World so I am quite fond of Thanksgiving. If I could find one I might put a bumper sticker on my Nissan if it read something like" Glad To Be American" or "Cheerfully American." I find all those suggestions of pride to be tempting fate, and rather rude frankly (Matthew 23:12). If it weren't ungrammatical I might like a bumper sticker that read "Thankfully American" or "Hopefully American" but all I ever see on the roads are the repetitive "Proud To Be American" stickers, so I make up for my loss with large portions of food on the anointed day.
I don't think the Puritans who reputedly bellied up to the first Thanksgiving would have thought much of some horseman who showed up to the meal with "Proud To Be A Colonial" branded on the rump of his horse. Pride was not part of the package back then, as wasn't alcohol music dancing or gambling. Gluttony was definitely off the menu, but luckily not many of us are strict historians or else Thanksgiving, even 70 miles out in the middle of the ocean, would not look like this:It would be invidious to discuss my own level of gluttony but happily I had the presence of mind (much to the amusement of my dinner companions) to record the moment for posterity. This was round one, and Puritans be damned as seconds were available for everyone: Ham, turkey, mashed sweet potato, potatoes with a cheese sauce and beans in a casserole, mushrooms in breadcrumbs and stuffing and gravy (and hearts of palm, olives, gherkins and roasted red peppers for a pre-banquet snack) so we didn't suffer at all despite our distance from civilization. We ate apple crumble pies and pumpkin pies and sprayed whipped cream and mixed wine and beer and rum and we invited in two German tourists; confused they were, poor young women, by the concept of gratitude as a national holiday; and two Americans, stranded on a desert island with strange natives. Matt was the youngest member of our party, sixteen and coping manfully with the onslaught of adults:
Dan was one of our strays from Maryland, sitting next to Rebecca, a teacher colleague of my wife's. He gets my eternal thanks for introducing me to a delightful elixir called Bud Lime, a beer from the execrable Budweiser school of gnat's piss, made delicious by the addition of lime. Sarah from Fort Lauderdale was Dan's buddy from Up North (she dressed in black on the edge of the picture) and they got together for a little vacation in the Keys. Then they blundered into us. Oh well, Kathy sitting next to Sarah tried manfully to put her at ease. Bud Lime might possibly have helped.
Sunday, November 29, 2009
"The weather has to have cleared up by the morning," I said with all the confidence of a man who has no idea what the hell he's talking about.
The rain continued to come down in fits and starts and we tried to assemble our tents. My wife and I managed to mis-time our tent erection to a moment when wind and rain started gusting through the campground with particular intensity and fury and we did manage to get a few buckets of water inside the tent, though our stakes were solid enough it did not blow over in the subsequent hellfire squall. However Jed Clampett made his way over in the lull and informed us we were too close to the trail so with the help of our friends we raised the damp tent and lurched across the campground to a more suitable spot. Then we retreated to the covered docks and watched the rain pitter patter into the harbor.
We spent the afternoon exchanging pleasantries with park personnel, our spirits rising as the rain tapered off, then sinking as another squall blew through and drenched the landscape some more. "Good for our cisterns," the helpful young ranger from North Carolina pointed out with a cheery grin. The fort still uses many of the original cisterns, as many as aren't broken to collect rainwater for the National Park personnel stationed at the fort. Personally I felt the drought could have hung on few more days with no harm done.
We made a picnic on the dock, under cover as darkness fell and the rain with it. It seemed to be unceasing. "This is not how it's supposed to work." "This sucks." "If I wanted this crap I'd move to the Pacific Northwest." The grumbling went on as we scarfed pre-Thanksgiving food and drank wine and sipped rum and contemplated a night spent on the floor of the information room on the dock. Finally the rain let up and we dashed to our tents,mopping up the worst of the damp with towels and bundling ourselves in our damp bedding.
"Sweetheart, " I said to the morose bundle next to me, " if this isn't any better in the morning we go home." Her hands were like claws from the effects of the cold and damp on her arthritis. She grunted. I slept.We crawled from our tents like survivors of some disaster, groping for sternos and coffee pots and struggling to articulate our joints. Happily the fort is built on sand which is bad for the Civil War era building's foundations, but is great for dissipating moisture. We stood on the barely moist sand and studied the omens. Jan had never used sternos before so he read the instructions with care:And the familiar logo of the local coffee company helped put us in the mood for a hot cup of joe:Our neighbor took a meditative walk and I have no idea what thoughts she brought back to her camp but I thought the weather looked mildly promising:My wife and I agreed it was worth staying on, as things seemed to be improving with patches of blue overhead as we cleared up the breakfast things:There was some mild sun on harbor waters:I think these dudes, who were everywhere are terns or warblers or something. The previous occupants of our site had left some rather rank pieces of fish on the barbeque. Not a problem, these guys had it all cleaned in minutes.