Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Jaw-droppingly, the BBC have apologised for the contents of a Today Programme. Not the one that caused poor, deceased Dr David Kelly so much embarrassment, God rest his soul. No, the one that featured the breaking of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal :-

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/bbc_apologizes_to_university_o.php

The BBC picked the wrong scandal story to run with, it appears.

The real scandal of Climategate is how the scientists’ e-mails were “liberated” from the University of East Anglia, and then annotated to give heavily biased interpretation, then released to the general public via the Internet, and how the Media were taken in.

Certain people at the BBC chose to go with the fake scandal, it seems – the narrative fabricated and dictated to them by Climate Change deniers.

Anyway, now the BBC have made an apology, of sorts. Better late than never, but all the same, it would have been better earlier rather than later.

Thankfully, despite the late apologies, this particular alleged witch-hunt didn’t end with a suspected suicide. Although it did include reports that Professor Phil Jones had, in fact, contemplated suicide; the reporting of which just added to his completely groundless public humiliation at the hands of the Press. Which they should apologise for, in my humble opinion. Just as good (old) George Monbiot had the good grace to offer some regret for :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7180154/Climategate-Professor-Phil-Jones-considered-suicide-over-email-scandal.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/rebuttalsandcorrections/johnhumphrys

“BBC apologises to University of East Anglia for “incorrect” remark”

“The BBC has apologised for an “incorrect” remark made by John Humphrys that UEA researchers had “distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be”.”

Continue reading Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Phil Jones : Back At Work

Glad to see Professor Phil Jones is back at work and enrolling students for the autumn on the Climate Change MSc postgraduate degree programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) :-

http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/courses/msc-climate-change

This course would probably be useful for a number of mainstream media journalists to follow. Even if they don’t have an appropriate background in Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental studies or similar, it could be of benefit to ameliorate their world view.

They could learn something from the lectures and coursework – that the Science of Climate Change is a serious and rigorous endeavour – unlike the apparently lax behaviour of their own profession over the last year or so.

Investigative journalism without the “investigation” part appears to be a mishmash of unverifiable facts and unfounded opinions. You need to know who is credible at the very least, and you can’t get that from following the vindictive views of public contrarians.

If you want to understand Climate Change, you need to study the Science, not just read denier-sceptic web logs or talk to Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton, and think that you have thereby become sufficiently informed.

“Climategate”-style attacks on Climate Change Scientists by negatively-motivated commentators are completely unacceptable. Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.

Amazongate Scientist : Enduring Chaos

Arindam Samanta of Boston University was one of the scientists behind the challenge to “Amazongate” : the false theory that the Amazon can not only withstand, but flourish under increased levels of drought :-

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009GL042154.shtml

“GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, L05401, 5 PP., 2010 : doi:10.1029/2009GL042154 : Amazon forests did not green-up during the 2005 drought… There was no co-relation between drought severity and greenness changes, which is contrary to the idea of drought-induced greening. Thus, we conclude that Amazon forests did not green-up during the 2005 drought.”

And now he’s back, describing some of the “one way only” changes to the Earth System from Global Warming brought on by increasing Carbon Dioxide emissions from mankind’s activities :-

http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010EI325.1

http://cybele.bu.edu/download/manuscripts/samanta-02.pdf

“Physical Climate Response to a Reduction of Anthropogenic Climate Forcing : Earth Interactions d Volume 14 (2010) d Paper No. 7 : …Here, using a simple set of experiments employing a current generation numerical climate model, the authors examine the response of the physical climate system to decreasing CO2 [Carbon Dioxide] concentrations following an initial increase. Results indicate that many characteristics of the climate system, including global temperatures, precipitation, soil moisture, and sea ice, recover as CO2 concentrations decrease. However, other components of the Earth system may still exhibit nonlinear hysteresis. In these experiments, for instance, increases in stratospheric water vapor, which initially result from increased CO2 concentrations, remain present even as CO2 concentrations recover…While this asymmetric response does not necessarily impact the global mean surface temperatures, it does suggest that certain components of the full Earth system could experience nonlinear hysteresis as CO2 concentrations return to their current levels…”

Even as we make moves to reduce our Carbon Dioxide emissions, we cannot expect everything to immediately – or always – come back to normal.

Amazongate : Jonathan Leake Retracts

Another chapter in the ongoing saga of the exhausting struggle to educate the mainstream media journalists to check their Climate Change stories thoroughly before publishing.

You may have heard of “Amazongate” – the Amazon would seem to be capable of withstanding more frequent drought caused by Global Warming – according to one interpretation of an isolated piece of research.

However, if you believed that take on things, you’d be very much mistaken in doing so. And the person you’re most likely to be able to have believed on this story would be Jonathan Leake, writing in The Sunday Times.

An article that he wrote, published on 31 January 2010 has been retracted after a submission to the Press Complaints Commission by Dr Simon Lewis. The link to the original article has been removed from the Times Online website :-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7009705.ece
“UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim”

Searching for this article title using Google produces thousands of pages that refer to the original publication :-

http://www.google.co.uk/search

The retraction is apparently published here, but I have no access to it, because it requires subscription, which I will not register for, so I do not know what it says :-

http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/article196428.ece

Continue reading Amazongate : Jonathan Leake Retracts

Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

The Climate Change “sceptics” are calling it “Amazongate”. I’d rather like to rename it “Investigate”, because of the appalling lack of investigative journalism that surrounds latest news of the Science of the Amazon basin.

Why is it that so many mainstream newspapers repeat the same lazy accusation that somebody has uncovered “yet another error” in the IPCC report ? This looks like a flawed attempt to create a narrative of scandal, where there is actually nothing to find.

Many expert commentators have tried to explain that, yes, the IPCC had a couple of problems, where they have used information that was not peer-reviewed Science, and findings that other experts disagree with. But no, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report still stands, and is still the best statement that Sciencekind can give on the subject of Climate Change.

There is no evidence of the kind of wrongdoing in the work of the IPCC that the Climate Change “sceptics” claim. So why do the journalists carry on with the narrative of doubt ? Could it have something to do with the fact that they don’t check the facts ?

And why do most of the mainsteam news organisations take the same line, with the same sloppy thinking and poor arguments replicated in article after article ? Could it be that there is no investigative journalism left these days ?

Why does it have to fall to the independent web loggers to point out the facts ? Why can’t the newspapers at least hire Environment writers who have studied Climate Change Science ?

Continue reading Amazongate : Why Investigate ?

Amazongate : Media Entanglement

[ UPDATE 15 MARCH 2010 FROM JOABBESS.COM ]

There’s this crazy effect in sub-atomic Physics, where bits and bobs (to give them their proper names) get “quantum entangled” under certain scenarios, and can affect each other at a distance, immediately, without any apparent need of communication.

This effect seems to happen in the Media, too. Perhaps journalists talk to each other. They certainly all read the same Press Releases and draw research from each others’ articles.

This must explain why the Daily Telegraph repeats all the errors of other articles this week about the Amazon and Climate Change :-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7437016/UN-climate-change-claims-on-rainforests-were-wrong-study-suggests.html

AND THE DAILY EXPRESS, OF COURSE :-

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/162987/Climate-fanatics-are-totally-wrong-about-rainforest-

“CLIMATE FANATICS ARE ‘TOTALLY WRONG’ ABOUT RAINFOREST : Climate fanatics are ‘totally wrong’ about rainforest : Monday March 15,2010”

Read my corruscating, scintillating, penetrating analysis of the “greeniness” of the Amazon, here :-

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/03/12/amazongate-redux-jonathan-leake-still-misguided/

Amazongate Redux : Jonathan Leake Still Misguided

I was going to entitle this little web log post “Yet More Proof Journalists Can’t Read” but I thought that might seem a little too rude, and anyway, I wanted to be clear about the subject of the content of the post in the title, so I changed it.

I have just received an e-mail from Jonathan Leake of the Times of London and the Sunday Times. By order of his e-mail signature, I am not permitted to share entirely the contents of that e-mail with you, however, I can relate to you that it concerns the latest Climate Change “sceptic” bunkum story, to which you can find extensive reference plastered all over the Internet like some ugly, testosterone-fuelled teenage graffiti :-

http://news.oneindia.in/2010/03/12/amazonrain-forests-were-unaffected-from-once-in-a-centuryd.html

“Amazon rain forests were unaffected from once-in-a-century drought in 2005 : Friday, March 12, 2010”

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100311175039.htm

“New Study Debunks Myths About Vulnerability of Amazon Rain Forests to Drought : ScienceDaily (Mar. 12, 2010)”

Continue reading Amazongate Redux : Jonathan Leake Still Misguided