the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

More Impact from Climategate

Posted by Jeff Id on March 14, 2010

Having the blog on which Climategate was noticed is kind of fun.  At my request, my immediate family and friends don’t tell people about it though – haha.  It didn’t stop the big-brother British anti-terror cops from finding me.  Everyone in the media assumed that the tAV crowd doesn’t believe in warming at all, and despite my efforts the media portrayed the whole thing as a denier site/sites.  Anyway, I love reading stories like this, it makes all the huge effort over the past year and a half worth while.

Minister’s global warming nursery rhyme adverts banned for overstating the risks

However, most of the readers at tAV were already involved in reading global warming science, and many were more so than myself.  I suspect there are enough of you that the emails didn’t contain surprises, only proof of the corruption we knew existed.  There is this quote at the end of the article.

The emails, which dealt a severe blow to the credibility of environmental science, were seized upon by global warming skeptics as evidence that academics were massaging the figures.

Since the leak, belief in global warming has fallen from 41 per cent to 26 per cent.

I don’t really know if Climategate emails had an effect on global warming of informed readers, but I wonder….

33 Responses to “More Impact from Climategate”

  1. M. Simon said

    For me it was suspicions confirmed. I had been hanging out at Climate Audit for a very long time (in Internet years) and knew all about the FOIA denials.

  2. Bad Andrew said

    Stone-Cold Denier prior to, during and after.

    Andrew

  3. Schiller Thurkettle said

    I voted “made no difference”. The emails not only confirmed suspicions I’d had for over a decade, but shocked and horrified me. I thought things were rotten, but they’re actually so rotten I almost feel sorry for these poor b@$t^rd$. Good grief. And meanwhile, anyone notice they still haven’t officially responded to any FOI requests?

  4. jknapp said

    I was skeptical but on the edge of believing. The e-mails really drove home the amount of confirmation bias in the field of climate science and thus made me less ,likely to believe “new evidence” and become a believer.

  5. dearieme said

    It’s one thing to have inferred that they were a bunch of clowns and crooks; it’s another to see the confirmation. And to see them explaining the mechanisms of conspiracy to each other.

  6. PhD Geology said

    My first post: I have been skeptical of the anthropogenic, and “it’s a crisis”, aspects of the global warming debate forever (at least since my geology undergrad days, BSc 1982, where we learned all about how the Earth was coming out of an ice age, and had been way hotter in the past, etc, etc). My career continued in research (PhD isotope geochemistry), and I have been frustrated for years with the pseudo-scientific alarmist nonsense that makes it into the mainstream media about climate change (and many other issues related to earth sciences for that matter). And I continue to be shocked by how political/socioeconomic agenda-driven the “scientific” debate on climate is, on both sides. The Climategate emails, more than anything else, distressed me with how people ostensibly involved in scientific research could seem to get so wound up in political advocacy that they forgot some of the basics of what scientific research is supposed to be about: developing an hypothesis, doing measurements and testing (no cherry picking of the data unless you explicitly explain what you have excluded and why) and publication of your results – all your results – so others in research can build on and/or refute these results.

  7. PhilJourdan said

    Solidified my position. The arguments did not make sense before, climategate explained why (suppression of dissent).

  8. […] Bank – scamming the masses, Green government propaganda banned, More here, Bermuda data on a holiday, Global warming destination […]

  9. KimW said

    I too am a geologist(MSc Hons) and also rather interested in history. Global warming and cooling are simply natural happenings – Younger Dryas etc – and this AGW idea was simply more hysteria from the partly informed – it was another cause such as DDT, Communism and little fluffy animals.

  10. Mark T said

    It must admit, the email scandal made no difference to me. It was simply confirmation of what I already had suspected based on plenty of other information that was already available. Anyone that has been reading CA for more than a year or two would have had the same information, and I’ve been a regular there since just after its inception.

    Mark

  11. Derek said

    Climategate has meant that what the skeptics have been questioning, now has to be taken seriously.

    I particularly noted the emails pertaining to Richard S Courtney paper in 1999, where the climate models cooling factors where admitted (and therefore proven as after the fact fudge factors to get the desired “right” answers from the models. ie, fraud.
    But what did we the public get shoved down our throats in the same year, that that spawned (quite rightly and brilliantly) Climate Audit, the Hockey Stick.

    It was there in 1999 proven as fraud, but not untill climategate do many take the issue seriously as flawed.
    Unbelievable, inexcusable.

  12. JimD said

    My background is BSc MSc PhD applied biology (i.e. it to feed people) – I was a lukewarmer, regularly reading Lomborg’s works and flinching at the silliness of dross like ‘The Age of Stupid’ – but having read the Climategate emails and associated files, I was stunned, appalled and physically sickened by the way these criminals have abused my profession in some bizarrely misguided glory hunt. I’m angry, and Reading Andrew Montfort’s book has sealed the deal for me. It’ll take burning bush in my bedroom to make me ‘believe’ anything these propagandists churn out now – and even then I’ll be using a fire extinguisher first (CO2, of course).

  13. Derek said

    The 1999 Richard S Courtney paper I mentioned in post 11 can be found at,

    http://multi-science.metapress.com/content/b2130335764k31j8/

    Part of abstract,
    ” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has accepted that output from the Hadley Centre transient climate model is “evidence” that man-made global warming is occurring. This paper explains that the model output only indicates that the Hadley Centre climate model does not emulate climate changes in the real world. The IPCC and the Hadley Centre have presented the GCM model’s input data as being its output. This proclamation is not true and contravenes the principle of science that hypothesis are tested against observed data.

    Elsewhere he has explained what the paper contains / shows as,
    ” My 1999 paper reports that the Hadley Centre GCM showed an unrealistic high warming trend over the twentieth century, and a cooling effect was added to overcome this drift. The cooling was assumed to be a result of anthropogenic aerosol. So, cooling was input to the GCM to match the geographical distribution of the aerosol. And the total magnitude of the cooling was input to correct for the model drift: this was reasonable because the actual magnitude of the aerosol cooling effect is not known. This was a reasonable model test. If the drift were a result of aerosol cooling then the geographical pattern of warming over the twentieth century indicated by the model would match observations. However, the output of this model test provided a pattern of geographic variation in the warming that was very different from observations; e.g. the model predicted most cooling where most warming was observed. This proved that the aerosol cooling was not the cause – or at least not the major cause – of the model drift. The Hadley Centre overcame this unfortunate result by reporting the agreement of the global average temperature rise with observations. But THIS AGREEMENT WAS FIXED AS AN INPUT TO THE TEST! It was fixed by adjusting the degree of input cooling to make it fit! However, this use of supposed ‘aerosol cooling’ to compensate for the model drift means that any input reduction to anthropogenic aerosol cooling must result in the model providing drift which is wrongly indicated as global warming. In any other branch of science this ‘aerosol cooling’ fix would be considered to be incompetence at best and fraud at worst Importantly, this one fact alone proves – beyond any possibility of doubt – that the climate models provide incorrect indications of global warming. My paper reported this in 1999, and no subsequent dispute of it has been published. “

  14. Jimchip said

    I voted made no difference. What did change was that I now call myself a “lukecooler”.
    Here’s another report to relish:
    BREAKING NEWS: Top Aussie climate scientist goes feral on skeptics and fellow scientists

    During the hour long media briefing, Lowe

    * ridiculed the scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider, saying money would be better spent by climate scientists
    * argued that for propaganda purposes the media should hype-up individual weather events – such as floods in Mozambique – as proof of climate change
    * claimed Hurricane Katrina was clearly caused by climate change
    * claimed a conspiracy of white, Anglo Celtic elderly males was behind the skeptic movement
    * with NZ government social scientist Karen Cronin advocated researching how to foment enough anger in the public that governments who refused to take climate action could be “pushed out of the way” in a political upheaval

  15. I voted other. Although it did not change my opinion / views on the AGW issue climategate emails did confirm much of what I and others have been saying all along. Hence, there was a change… conformation. The change, however, thus not being in opinion.

  16. […] More Impact from Climategate […]

  17. RomanM said

    I have to say that they made me more skeptical.

    Up until then, I recognized that the constant exaggeration was simply unbelievable, but I attributed the over-the-top propaganda to non-scientist activists with agendas to grind. I had not realized just how actively involved the supposedly genuine “climate scientists” were in the production of the spurious information and intentional misdirection and suppression of contrary viewpoints to which we were all subjected.

    Reading their own doubts on what they actually knew regarding what was happening corroborated my suspicions that the real evidence was even slimmer than we thought.

  18. John Norris said

    I voted no difference. On the Steve McIntyre verses the Climate Science world, I thought what I read at CA for 4 years was presented factually, transparently, and he did not cower from criticism. Realclimate and the rest of the team demonstrated the opposite. Given that, I could not see how they would be right and CA would be wrong.

    None-the-less, it was still stunning to read the e-mails. If someone tried to cook up e-mails that substantiated the CA side of the story they could not have written them as comprehensive and damning as the actual e-mails were. Stunning.

  19. woodNfish said

    I wou;d rather have seen a choice for “confirmed my suspicions”. I don’t remember exactly when I began to think AGW was bunk, but it was at least 10 years ago. I do remember reading the alarmist reports and thinking “what?” None of the nonsense they were talking about was occurring. I knew then something else was going on and it had nothing to do with objective science. Maybe it began with the BS about the ozone hole.

    I used to worship NASA when I was young. No more. Now I think the best thing will be for them to be completely shut down. They are nothing but frauds. Same thing for the EPA, but I never worshiped them.

  20. David JP said

    No difference for me with regards to changing my opinion on AGW. But like many others, I had been reading blogs for years on this topic.

    But I did write this on the ‘Gutting the credibility’ thread:

    “I would have predicted a different, and less desirable outcome from the release of the emails. Perhaps I’m too pessimistic?”

    So I’m glad the effect of Climategate turned out so surprising for me.

    PS. I’d still like to see some feedback on my thoughts about reforming the way public science is funded (also posted in the Gutting thread, #22).

  21. MMLJ said

    Jeff,

    So far – you have dodged the bullet amongst the Left-o-sphere.

    According to the Australian version of Paul Krugman – Prof John Quiggan – Steve McIntyre is the unindicted co-conspirator.

    http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2010/03/12/climategatethe-smoking-gun/#more-8331

    If nothing else – Climategate has certainly stepped up the rant of the True Believers.

  22. timetochooseagain said

    I too am in the “suspicions confirmed” camp, for the most part. I think what really did change for me had little to do with any of my beliefs, but rather my sense of willingness to believe that there was anything sinister going on. I’m a firm believer in what is called Hanlon’s razor, to wit: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.”

    However, what I saw in the emails was that there was a definite malicious attitude in at least some scientists. This was rather shocking, actually, and disheartening. But I still tend to believe that stupidity remains the driving force at work, with the bad actors having risen to such heights through some less visible person or persons’ incompetence.

  23. Cement a friend said

    Nice to see the honesty about background in the posts above. I have pointed out that all the geologists I have met (and that is hundreds from many countries)know that climate change is natural. Maybe some have guessed that I am a chemical engineer with knowledge and experience in heat transfer particularly combustion. I have said that the idea of CO2 forcing is utter nonsense. The driver of heat transfer is temperature difference. Temperature in the atmosphere above the surface is less than the surface so CO2 will only radiate to space which in turn reduces its temperature. The physicists who mention the Stefan-Boltzmann law only have half (or less) of the technology- go and read some of the books on heat transfer. The theory backs the geologists and others who find that CO2 has insignificant or no effect on climate.

  24. […] More Impact from Climategate « the Air Vent […]

  25. PaulM said

    As many others have said, climategate made no difference but to my opinions but increased my confidence that my opinions were correct.

  26. Peter B said

    The emails made no difference to my opinions on global warming. What they did was to confirm my worst suspicions as to what was going on behind the scenes with that crowd. The main players, especially Mann and Jones, turned out to be exactly the kind of people one could already have guessed from the evidence already available before the emails were released. The emails only eliminated any inclination to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  27. Leonard Weinstein said

    #23 Cement a friend said,

    I am a skeptic, but please understand that you are wrong on the fact that the presence of absorbing gases does not affect the ground temperature. The radiation heat transfer has a term T hot to the fourth power minus T cold to the fourth power. The net heat transfer is hot to cold, but the cold region does matter due to the second term. This is in fact the basis of the claim of radiation from CO2 to the ground (it radiated in all directions). There is just more net radiation upwards. When we reach the edge of the atmosphere, the radiation out is essentially all lost (the effective temperature of space is so low the second term is effectively zero).

  28. CarlGullans said

    For my part, I was skeptical based on nothing other than claims being obviously exaggerated*. As I read about proof of FOIA denials, absolute garbage science in MBH, etc., I became more skeptical. I am slightly less skeptical than that now, now that I know about the underlying physics.

    *In 8th grade on a NY state exam (I forget which subject), there was an essay question showing a picture of a latin american boy crying next to his destroyed house, with some overlay of a map showing a factory’s exhaust (in the U.S.) swirling into a hurricane. The question was something like, “Is global warming dangerous”? You could not make a better propaganda piece than that. I wrote something like “this is bs, blah blah, even if global warming made that hurricane stronger, do you really think his hut [shown in the picture] would have withstood a 139mph storm instead of a 140mph storm?”.

  29. BarryW said

    I voted other because it didn’t change my opinion of AGW but did change my opinion of the major players from being wrong to being criminally wrong.

  30. nc said

    I would have liked the wording to be man caused global warming, not just global warming. A better fit for the survey I believe. The survey is to black and white for me. It seems you are either in or you are out. Do we look at the climate globally or do we look at it regionlly.

    In icecap I like this, read, Six myths about “deniers” Any thoughts on this out there.

  31. Jason said

    Jeff,

    There was a category missing. “Turned me from a skeptic in AGW to a skeptic in everything the mainstream media tells us”.

    /Yes, my friends do think I’m looney tunes now, thanks for asking.

  32. Jeff Id said

    The pole turned out to be fairly interesting. I didn’t expect as many opinions to be changed but even Roman’s comment in #17 turned out to be a change in attitude.

    There was a more serious loss of credibility than this blogger realized. My vote would have been for no change, although some of you made me think differently. Climategate is a huge problem for climate science ‘solutions’ – which IMO is fantastic news for us because there are no real solutions yet only ineffective regulation and taxation.

  33. Jim Berkise said

    The publication of the Climategate emails didn’t change my beliefs, but it did turn me into a fairly avid follower of
    about a dozen sites. I NEVER used to get any of my “information” from the “wild west” part of the internet. I’ve got a degree in library science (and one in computer science, and a BS in EE) and I’ve always preferred dealing with the (predictable) shortcomings of the published media to the less structured world of the internet. I’ve worked with online information sources since the days of 300 baud modems and packet switched networks, but they’ve been the online versions of established print publications. Since there was virtually no coverage of post Climategate developments in the US news media I was forced to turn to sites like this one, (and Climate Audit, and Watts Up With That and…)and I have to say it’s been a lot of fun. No longer will I say I’m too lazy
    to get any of my information from the internet.

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