Coverage of Climategate and Climategate 2, Respectively

November 29, 2011

From a liberal perspective: “Climategate: What Really Happened?”, Mother Jones, April 21st, 2011.

From a conservative perspective: “Scientists Behaving Badly”, National Review Online, November 28th, 2011.

Bonus: “Nothing Has Changed Post-Climategate”, the Corner, National Review Online, October 28th, 2010.

Hat tip to the Reformed Pastor.

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4 Responses to “Coverage of Climategate and Climategate 2, Respectively”

  1. Tevyeh Says:

    Having read both articles, I feel a little bit like Goldilocks, except I’m still waiting for the article written by Baby Bear. The Mother Jones article, while not exactly giving the climatology bigshots a “free pass,” seems to bend over backwards to defend them. If anything, the author seems to sympathize with the climatologists’ struggle to balance scientific integrity with “doing the right thing” (i.e. promoting a particular agenda.) She seems to acknowledge that the old “science has spoken” narrative has been legitimately debunked (or at least called into question), while simultaneously lamenting this development. Moreover, she lays out in detail the affiliations and economic backing of AGW skeptics and “lukewarmers” (implicitly suggesting bias), with nary a word (that I can remember) about the (arguably more complicated) political and economic incentive matrices of the AGW Nomenklatura.

    The NRO article plays fast and loose with words like “fraud,” “lie,” etc., and overall seems not to even make an effort at objectivity. I’m not comfortable making many judgments based on some of the cited email quotations, as the author’s tone suggests that he would not be above quoting out of context, deliberately or otherwise. One quotation that particularly troubles me:

    “At one point, Jones admits that the ‘basic problem is that all of the models are wrong.’”

    I’m not familiar with the context of this quote, nor do I plan to look up the email, but I certainly don’t see in it a clandestine concession of defeat, as the author attempts to portray it. “Models” are *by definition* “wrong.” Models that attempt to explain complex real-world phenomena in terms of a manageable number of variables will inevitably be imperfect. Or, as my Simulation Modeling professor put it “all models are wrong, but some are useful.” I’m not sure whether this is where Phil Jones was going, but I’m not going to swallow Lacey’s interpretation either.

    What I find most amusing is that both authors seem to reveal their prejudices. Sheppard is an AGW “believer,” and seems to be troubled by indications of uncertainty in the scientific data. Lacey is a “denier,” and passionately sinks his teeth into the ethical failings of the climatology who’s-who as evidence that AGW is a giant fraud. I guess that’s human nature—uncertainty makes us uncomfortable, so we adopt narratives to fill the gap, and it’s like pulling teeth to get us to modify our cherished opinions.

    “I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a a stiffnecked people” (Exodus 32:9)

  2. Snoodickle Says:

    Instead of covering “Climategate,” perhaps this is more relevant.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/05/science/earth/record-jump-in-emissions-in-2010-study-finds.html?hp


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