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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Joseph Romm: Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist

Dear Readers,

What follows is so awful that I hesitated to put this on the blog, but the truth should be known about Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre and the people who applaud them and what they do, because they all have a sickness of mind that is difficult to look at.   What they did is so appalling that I really do not have the words to describe it.  I just sit here and mumble and shake my head, because it is so awful.


Wow. Just Wow. Desperate Deniers Sink to All-Time Low to Smear Uber-Vindicated Penn State Climate Scientist

Climatologist Michael Mann works at Penn State.  Penn State is going through a horrific and inexcusable child-sex-abuse scandal.  Ergo…
Yes, two of the top climate science deniers on the web, Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit and Anthony Watts of WattsUpWithThat, actually went there.
Nobody should be shocked about Watts.  Last year, when a demented, violent individual, James Lee, held people hostage at gunpoint in Maryland, Watts wrote this amazing headline:
And the first line of his post was “Well, you filthy readers, see what happens when we don’t acquiesce?“ He has still never retracted this.  Watts is a guy who just a few weeks earlier had demanded that others on the web “dial back the rhetoric.”
But it was Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit who launched this smear Thursday (click here if you have a strong stomach).  As long-time Climate Progress commenter MapleLeaf wrote at the long thread on this at DeepClimate:
No words can describe my anger at this uncalled for action by McIntyre who is knowingly trying to capitalize on (and benefit from) the suffering and pain of sexual assault victims. Absolutely disgusting in the extreme.
I can almost understand why McIntyre and Watts made such a desperate attack.  They’ve utterly lost the argument on the merits.
Watts’ entire denial career was based on finding gremlins in the land surface temperature record that would somehow show scientists had overestimated warming.  But it turns out that not only could no one else see the gremlins Watts claimed to find, but a Koch-funded analysis by skeptics that he himself was closely associated with found recent warming “on the high end” and speeding up.
McIntyre’s entire denial career was based on discrediting Mann and the work proving recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (so the temperature history looks like a Hockey Stick).
But the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below).  As the journal Nature summed up the National Academy of Science’s National Research Council report on the Hockey Stick in 2006, “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph.”  Most recently, the NSF Inspector General concluded its investigation of Mann, “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”
So McIntyre and the deniers have nothing left whatsoever but the most over-the-top character assassination imaginable.  McIntyre’s case against Mann has become so weak that he actually cites an egregious (and retracted) blunder by someone else:
Clive Crook of the Atlantic Monthly mercilessly criticized [sic] Penn State for their fatuous findings that success in bringing revenue to the university and accolades from peers necessarily meant that misconduct was precluded:
The Penn State inquiry exonerating Michael Mann — the paleoclimatologist who came up with “the hockey stick” — would be difficult to parody. Three of four allegations are dismissed out of hand at the outset: the inquiry announces that, for “lack of credible evidence,” it will not even investigate them...
You think I exaggerate?
Yes, setting aside the wrong link, McIntyre seems completely unaware of the fact that Crook’s statement in boldface is false, I debunked it, and Crook retracted it!!!  Talk about “difficult to parody.”
As I explained here at the time:
Crook seems completely unaware that the inquiry he links to was a second investigation of Mann by Penn State.   The first three allegations were thoroughly examined and dismissed in Penn State’s first review of Mann.
Had Crook actually read the link he provides, he would know that since it clearly states that after  thoroughly reviewing all of the relevant material, “The Inquiry Committee determined there was no substance to this allegation and further investigation of this allegation was not warranted,” for each of the first three allegations.
I have no idea where Crook came up with the phrase he puts in quotes “lack of credible evidence”…
Crook’s original is here.  The “correction” is here.  For reasons that defy explanation, the Atlantic has left that erroneous post up even after Crook (lamely) retracted his mistakes (but not the conclusions that were based on those mistakes).
McIntyre should simply retract his entire piece and apologize.
Watts states, “Steve McIntyre writes about what many of us have been thinking about Penn State’s failures at investigating its own, such as the appearance of a whitewash investigation done about Dr. Michael Mann and Climategate.”
Really?  Many deniers have been thinking about this shameless and utterly nonsensical link?  Many deniers have been thinking about the claims that McIntyre makes about the Penn State investigation of Mann even though they were erroneous, debunked and previously retracted?
Well, I suppose Watts would know the state of denier “thinking.”  And to go by his commenters, he clearly does.
Recent Studies Vindicating the Hockey Stick:
  1. Temperatures of North Atlantic “are unprecedented over the past 2000 years and are presumably linked to the Arctic amplification of global warming” — Science (2011)
  2. GRL (2010):  “We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.“
  3. JGR (2010):  “The last decades of the past millennium are characterized again by warm temperatures that seem to be unprecedented in the context of the last 1600 years.”
  4. Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds (2009)
  5. Unprecedented warming in Lake Tanganyika and its impact on humanity (2010)
  6. Current Global Warming Is Unprecedented Compared to Climate of the Last 20,000 years, Study Finds (11/11)

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