Tag Archives | Climate Denial

The Climate Change Denier Who Became The Voice Of Hurricane Sandy On Wikipedia

We all rely far too much on Wikipedia without questioning the veracity of the source. As a reminder of the fallibility of the user-generated entries, Dan Nosowitz exposes the climate change denier Ken Mampel at PopSci:

“All I am is a contributor. I have no title, I’m just a Joe Blow,” says Ken Mampel, a currently unemployed 56-year-old living in Ormond Beach, Florida. He’s also largely responsible for the Wikipedia article about Hurricane Sandy. If it isn’t already, that article will eventually become the single most-viewed document about the hurricane. On the entire internet.

In an unpaid but frenzied fit of news consumption, editing, correction, aggregation, and citation, Mampel has established himself as by far the most active contributor to the Wikipedia page on Hurricane Sandy, with more than twice the number of edits as the next-most-active contributor at the time this article was written.

And Mampel made sure that the Hurricane Sandy article, for four days after the hurricane made landfall in New Jersey, had no mention of “global warming” or “climate change” whatsoever.

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It’s Global Warming, Stupid

We’re going to be seeing a lot of headlines like this one (from BusinessWeek), but is it really so simple?

Yes, yes, it’s unsophisticated to blame any given storm on climate change. Men and women in white lab coats tell us—and they’re right—that many factors contribute to each severe weather episode. Climate deniers exploit scientific complexity to avoid any discussion at all.

Clarity, however, is not beyond reach. Hurricane Sandy demands it: At least 40 U.S. deaths. Economic losses expected to climb as high as $50 billion. Eight million homes without power. Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated. More than 15,000 flights grounded. Factories, stores, and hospitals shut. Lower Manhattan dark, silent, and underwater.

An unscientific survey of the social networking literature on Sandy reveals an illuminating tweet (you read that correctly) from Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. On Oct. 29, Foley thumbed thusly: “Would this kind of storm happen without climate change?

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Why Didn’t Obama or Romney Mention Climate Change at the Debates?

Picture: Victor Korniyenko (CC)

Because they’re both honest men not taken in by the Global Warming fraud, of course.

Eugene Robinson writes at Truthdig:

Not a word has been said in the presidential debates about what may be the most urgent and consequential issue in the world: climate change.

President Obama understands and accepts the scientific consensus that the burning of fossil fuels is trapping heat in the atmosphere, with potentially catastrophic long-term effects. Mitt Romney’s view, as on many issues, is pure quicksilver—impossible to pin down—but when he was governor of Massachusetts, climate change activists considered him enlightened and effective.

Yet neither has mentioned the subject in the debates. Instead, they have argued over who is more eager to extract ever-larger quantities of oil, natural gas and coal from beneath our purple mountains’ majesties and fruited plains.

“We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years,” Obama said in Tuesday’s debate.

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Are Climate Skeptics More Likely To Be Conspiracy Theorists?

The Guardian reports on new research finding that climate skeptics also tend to support conspiracy theories such as the moon landing being faked:

It’s time to come clean: climate change is a hoax. And the moon landings were faked, 9/11 was an inside job, and the CIA is hiding the identity of the gunman on the grassy knoll.

It might seem odd to lump climate change – a scientific theory supported by thousands of peer-reviewed papers and hundreds of independent lines of evidence – with conspiracy theories like these. But new research to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found a link between the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the rejection of established facts about climate science.

In a survey of more than 1,000 readers of websites related to climate change, people who agreed with free market economic principles and endorsed conspiracy theories were more likely to dispute that human-caused climate change was a reality.

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The Fossil Fuel Industry’s Conspiracy Exposed

The inside story of climate scientists under siege, at Wired:
It is almost possible to dismiss Michael Mann’s account of a vast conspiracy by the fossil fuel industry to harrass scientists and befuddle the public. His story of that campaign, and his own journey from naive computer geek to battle-hardened climate ninja, seems overwrought, maybe even paranoid. But now comes the unauthorized release of documents showing how a libertarian thinktank, the Heartland Institute, which has in the past been supported by Exxon, spent millions on lavish conferences attacking scientists and concocting projects to counter science teaching for kindergarteners...
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‘Climate Deniers’ Follow ‘Creationists’ to Undermine Public Education

Arctic_sea_ice_loss_animationVia Common Dreams:

The Heartland Institute, a right-wing think tank funded by the Koch brothers, Microsoft, and other top corporations, is planning to develop a “global warming curriculum” for elementary schoolchildren that presents climate science as “a major scientific controversy,” according to a report by Think Progress.

Today’s report reads in part:

[The Heartland Institute's] effort, at a cost of $100,000 a year, will be developed by Dr. David E. Wojick, a coal-industry consultant.

“Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective,” Heartland’s confidential 2012 fundraising document bemoans. The group believes that Wojick’s project has “potential for great success,” because he has “contacts at virtually all the national organizations involved in producing, certifying, and promoting scientific curricula.” The document explains that Wojick will produce “modules” that promote the conspiratorial claim that climate change is “controversial” [...]

Wojick will receive $25,000 per module, with four modules produced a year.

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Climate Skeptic Admits He Was Wrong

Muller demos a Van de Graaff generator.

Muller demos a Van de Graaff generator.

You have to admire a scientist who stands up and admits he backed the wrong strain of dogma. The LA Times reports on Richard Muller’s change of heart:

Remember when scientists who had cast doubt on global temperature studies boldly embarked on an effort to “reconsider” the evidence?

They have. And they conclude that their doubt was misplaced.

UC Berkeley physicist Richard Muller and others were looking at the so-called urban heat island effect — the notion that because more urban temperature stations are included in global temperature data sets than are rural ones, the global average temperature was being skewed upward because these sites tend to retain more heat. Hence, global warming trends are exaggerated.

Using data from such urban heat islands as Tokyo, they hypothesized, could introduce “a severe warming bias in global averages using urban stations.”

In fact, the data trend was “opposite in sign to that expected if the urban heat island effect was adding anomalous warming to the record.

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New Study Says Global Warming Is Real

Author:  Robert A. Rohde (CC)

Author: Robert A. Rohde (CC)

CNN labels the study a “blow to skeptics”:

An independent study of global temperature records has reaffirmed previous conclusions by climate scientists that global warming is real.

The new analysis by the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project examined 1.6 billion temperature reports from 15 data archives stretching back over 200 years in an effort to address scientific concerns raised by climate skeptics about the data used to inform reports published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Researchers found “reliable evidence” of a rise in average world land temperatures of one degrees Celsius since the mid-1950s.
“Our biggest surprise was that the new results agreed so closely with the warming values published previously by other teams in the United States and the UK,” professor Richard A. Muller, Berkeley Earth’s scientific director said in a statement.

“This confirms that these studies were done carefully and that potential biases identified by climate change skeptics did not seriously affect their conclusions,” Muller added…

[continues at CNN]

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Rick Perry Believes Climate Change Can Be Solved With Prayer

Rick Perry. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

Rick Perry. Photo: Gage Skidmore (CC)

That and more revelations from Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry via Rolling Stone:

No politician who aspires to the Oval Office has shown any courage when it comes to talking frankly about climate change – President Obama won’t even say the words. But Perry’s view that the consequences of a changing climate – such as the hot, dry weather that has devastated farmers and ranchers in Texas and driven wildfires that have burned up millions of acres – is best handled by praying to God for relief puts him in a category of his own. Craven political move or sign of a return of the Dark Ages? Either way, it’s safe to say that a man who believes he can solve drought with prayer is not going to be big on pushing any kind of government action to reduce carbon pollution. “If Perry was President, one of the things I’d not worry about is a carbon tax,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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Scientists Vow To Fight Back Against Climate Skeptics

Neela Banerjee of the Tribune Washington Bureau reports that The American Geophysical Union plans to announce that 700 researchers have agreed to speak out on the issue. Other scientists plan a pushback against congressional conservatives who have vowed to kill regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Via the Los Angeles Times:

AmericanGeophysicalUnion

Faced with rising political attacks, hundreds of climate scientists are joining a broad campaign to push back against congressional conservatives who have threatened prominent researchers with investigations and vowed to kill regulations to rein in man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

The still-evolving efforts reveal a shift among climate scientists, many of whom have traditionally stayed out of politics and avoided the news media. Many now say they are willing to go toe-to-toe with their critics, some of whom gained new power after the Republicans won control of the House in Tuesday’s election.

On Monday, the American Geophysical Union, the country’s largest association of climate scientists, plans to announce that 700 climate scientists have agreed to speak out as experts on questions about global warming and the role of man-made air pollution.

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