How to lose what little credibility you had

I wrote a while back about “Wind Concerns Ontario,” the NIMBYist anti-wind turbine group run by ex-Ontario Liberal staffer John Laforet and their connection to the dubious pseudo-science of “wind turbine syndrome.”

Well, now they’ve upped their crap level by republishing an article straight from the climate change denialist (and creationist columnist for the Calgary Herald) Lorne Gunter.

Gunter comments on the recent “climategate” scandal of supposed “cooked data” and claims again that the world’s been cooling for years now. This is crap since the top 11 warmest years on record have been in the past 13. Never mind the fact the whole scandal is overblown and doesn’t actually discredit any real science that’s been done by countless climatologists working the world over.

So WCO: You’re not Progressive, you’re demonstrably anti-science, and you are setting this country back. It’s time to stop now.

Next thing you know we’ll see Laforet endorsing Harper and Prentice’s attempts to derail the Copenhagen talks. Perhaps he’ll even join the Blogging Tories since his denialism and anti-environmentalism will fit right in.

Now, countdown till the Defenders of the TruthTM return.

Update: My countdown lasted only an hour. Also, see this website for a great dissection of the so-called scandal (h/t Brian D.).

8 thoughts on “How to lose what little credibility you had

  1. Click on you link to, “This is crap since the top 11 warmest years on record have been in the past 13.”

    Go to the second paragraph of the article.

    Read the first sentence of that paragraph.

    Here, I’ll get it for you, “The University of East Anglia and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre have released preliminary global temperature figures for 2007, which show the top 11 warmest years all occurring in the last 13 years.”

    Now, which university and which Met Office are front and centre to this scandal again?

    Id10t error.

    Cheers,
    lance

    1. Lance, similar conclusions can be held by looking at GISTEMP (NASA’s temperature record) or either of the analyses of the (completely independent) satellite record.

      Of course, admitting this would be breaking The Rules, so you’ll never correct your mistake…

  2. Thanks for writing this and your previous column on WCO. As someone who has supported wind power and seen it in Europe and thought the turbines were cool and didn’t notice any particular noise just hiking by them. But I have not lived with them and really did not know how seriously to take WCO.

  3. The timing is particularly amusing, given the National Post’s recent editorial facepalm. Note that this is accepting the science but disputing the policy – always a more rational position than disputing the policy by denying the science.

    By the way, Gunter was also one of the bigger voices spreading the more recent “warming takes a break” meme – essentially to the point of being its originator. You can see his distortion here.

    A side note to Lance: See that? That’s deliberate distortion, right there. See what is *not* present in the “SwiftHack” *, by comparison? You can always go back to the source material, which seems to be a weak spot for right-wing ideologues.

    *The tactics are more similar to Swift Boating than to Watergate, so I use the more accurate name.

  4. Brian,

    The beauty of the CRU TS2.1/3.0 datasets was that they used proxy data to recreate the climate record. Ice cores, tree rings, recorded analogue temperatures, etc. They gave context to the recordings being made in today’s digital age.

    That context can only be seriously questioned given what the code is doing to those historical numbers. Without that context, or even with serious questions regarding the accuracy of that context, by what reason can you say satellite data that has at best 30 years of data can verify that 11 of the last 13 are the warmest on record? Sure, a record of 30 years…but no more.

    Do I doubt the temperature readings from the satellites? No, that would be asinine. Do I question whether the CRU TS2.1 and 3.0 datasets are an accurate historical record? Very much so now.

    So yes, I question.

  5. @Ian, I agree with the major thrust of your post. That said, I would suggest sticking to long-term climate trends to avoid being side-tracked (see below).

    @lance, Any given 10 or 11 years of climate data on its own may be meaningless. The data varies too much from one year to the next. What matters is that over many decades, temperatures are rising as established climate change theory predicts. Our children and grand-children will look not at the climate over one decade but over their lifetime, and compare it to ours. They will judge us accordingly.

    For example, despite the recent hype about supposed cooling over the past decade,

    “The AP [Associated Press] sent expert statisticians NOAA’s year-to-year ground temperature changes over 130 years and the 30 years of satellite-measured temperatures preferred by skeptics and gathered by scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

    Statisticians who analyzed the data found a distinct decades-long upward trend in the numbers, but could not find a significant drop in the past 10 years in either data set. The ups and downs during the last decade repeat random variability in data as far back as 1880.

    [...]

    “[John] Grego John [a professor of statistics at the University of South Carolina].produced three charts to show how choosing a starting date can alter perceptions. Using the skeptics’ satellite data beginning in 1998, there is a ‘mild downward trend,’ he said. But doing that is ‘deceptive.’

    “The trend disappears if the analysis starts in 1997. And it trends upward if you begin in 1999, he said.”

    More at canoe.ca, “Global cooling? Statisticians reject climate claims” [emphasis added in the above quote].

    For a nice graph based on NASA data, see realclimate.org, “A warming pause?”

    Again, the data is consistent with the expected anthropogenic warming trend over the decades. Our children’s and grandchildren’s future is at stake.

    [Important Notice]

  6. I haven’t seen anything this disturbing since the “Leave Britney Alone!” video. ;)

    My goodness me. If anything convinces me that this has nothing to do with science but rather cultish zealotry, this is it. It appears this blogger has made gods out of the AGW scientists and advocates and anything these idols do is sacred and holy.

    It’s a giant snowball hurdling down a mountain. Truth had better get the hell out of the way!

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