[Update: I've just noticed that Gardner's article goes back to May, so it predates some of the findings about how the Oxburgh report was put together. I'll leave the post here anyway, because it's still instructive to see what Dan Gardner said in the light of what we know now.]
There's an interesting piece on global warming sceptics in the Ottawa Citizen, by Dan Gardner. I've never heard of Mr Gardner before but the Telegraph's Tom Chivers called him "the wonderful Dan Gardner" so I thought I would take a look at the article, which is called "Weighing the evidence".
It's well worth it because it turned out to be silly enough to get me laughing out loud.
Could biodiversity loss be the next big thing for scientific scaremongers and their allies in Big Green? It certainly looks that way from the BBC's latest seminar. Richard Black, the Beeb's online green PR guy was in the chair, alongside a guy from London Zoo and another environmental consultant from PriceWaterHouseCoopers. The video is here and there's an associated blog posting here.
It's Richard's slack-jawed acceptance of the premise of the piece that I find so interesting. I mean, don't we pay the guy to question what greens and scientists are telling us? Do you think a seminar in which the views of the biodiversity crisismongers were challenged might illuminate things more than what we see here?
To me, this looks very much like the BBC staff being briefed on the next narrative. There is no sense of BBC journalists being asked to consider different sides of a scientific debate, no sense that the assembled journalists are meant to question anything. We simply have one scientist saying what he thinks the problem is and another telling the journalists how to convey that scientist's message to the public.
The planning of a propaganda campaign in full public view? What do you think?
Biodiversity loss the next big thing? Surely not.
Bolivia Bella has some more on the "millions of dead fish" story. Apparently there has been some speculation that the deaths may have been caused by chemicals, but this idea looks as though it is a non-starter.
This is interesting:
Greenpeace needs ‘to bring in more than $700,000 a day just to keep the lights on’
I've always thought that there was something of a flaw in the green business model. Environmental groups depend fundamentally on capitalism - they need it to generate the surplus wealth that leads to donations
Greenpeace is heavily funded by many foundations, among which are the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Blue Moon Fund, the Columbia Foundation, the Compton Foundation, the Minneapolis Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Scherman Foundation, Ted Turner's Turner Foundation. The organization has also drawn support from numerous celebrities, including singers Sting, Tom Jones, and Elton John, who have sponsored its "save the rainforest" campaigns.
Anti-capitalism, which is at the core of environmentalism, is always eventually going to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
Ross McKitrick has been getting through a power of work. In recent weeks we've had a paper on the quality of the surface temperature record, and now there's the forthcoming paper on the trend in tropospheric temperatures. The latter looks as though it may drive a coach and horses through the IPCC's position on fingerprinting studies.
And now there's this, a detailed report on the UK inquiries into Climategate. I'm not sure I can keep up.
UEA have issued a press release noting that they have received an apology from the BBC. The kerfuffle was over a Today programme piece back in December 2009, in which John Humphrys said:
The facts are that the emails were stolen and they revealed that some researchers in the university's Climatic Research Unit had been distorting the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be.
The BBC explain that they were open minded on the question of whether data was manipulated and that this doubt over the guilt or innocence of the CRU scientists at the time would have been clear from the rest of the programme. So I think the BBC is probably right to apologise in this instance, since when serious claims are made it is right that they don't appear to have prejudged any investigation.
Of course, now that Muir Russell has pronounced Mike's Nature Trick as "misleading", we know that Humphrys was right all along, but that's another question.
The Mail picks up the story here.
Interesting to see the success of the Our Climate iPhone app - Anthony reports that it has made the front of the US iTunes store, despite efforts to denigrate it at the Guardian.
All I need now is for Graun to print a really bitchy review of HSI to send my sales stratospheric...
Nature Geoscience is trying its darndest to move on from Climategate, with an editorial declaring the affair closed and accompanying articles looking at where we go from here (although the latter are behind a paywall, one is discussed at Klimazwiebel).
There is an interesting point made about climate scientists at CRU, the ones whose "rigour and honesty as scientists" has been found to be beyond reproach...
[I]n an exchange in late July 1999, climate scientists discussed how to present projected climate change scenarios to best serve the purposes of the WWF (who had apparently expressed concern that the initial presentations were more conservative than those from other sources and asked for one section to be 'beefed up' if possible). Such considerations should not enter into scientific debate.
Indeed they should not. Honest and rigorous scientists do not change their presentations for the benefit of environmental campaigners. I wonder how Nature Geoscientist reconciles the contradiction between the findings of the Russell panel, which it appears to support, and its observations about the conduct of the scientists in this instance?
Australians' views on climate change have changed, according to a poll conducted by Gallup. As the poll says, Australians appear to be among the best informed populations on the subject so they can be seen as something of a leading indicator.
In the wake of Climategate, only 44% now believe recent changes in the climate are caused by humans, down from 52% a couple of years ago.
I emailed Professor Steve Jones, who is heading the BBC review of science coverage. Prof Jones has said that the rumour of its cancellation is incorrect and I've now had this confirmed by a third party who has discussed the issue with the BBC direct. Apparently the review is "proceeding with vigour".
But without any input from critics of the BBC's science coverage.
This is probably a good point to bring in this transcript of a meeting of top journalists back in 2005. I chanced upon this while looking for something else. These top truthseekers were discussing how to deal with coverage of global warming and I certainly found it fascinating to see Jon Snow cheerleading for the AGW cause and a man from Greenpeace on hand to make sure that everyone is getting the correct message.
Is it any wonder that the mainstream media is on the wane?