NC Media Watch

A quest for reason and accuracy in letters to the editor, guest editorials and other issues of interest to the citizens of Western Nevada County.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Global Warming Update: Sac Bee Bravo Sierra.

Here is a classical reason that I stopped my subscription to the Sac Bee, their Editorials are full of Bravo Sierra.

Editorial: Abuse of power, Congressman harasses scientists

Lets look at the details:
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, represents the worst of an anti-science attitude in a lobby-dominated Congress.
No, he is asking for the data that was suppose to be posted to a public web site including the computer program that generated the graphics for the “hockey stick” These programs, and data collected, was accomplished using public money, but Mann claims his model is proprietary, and he does not have to release the program, here. The program he did release is flawed. Details here.
Barton worked in the oil industry before he was elected to Congress in 1984, is consistently among top five recipients of oil industry campaign contributions and openly caters to oil industry interests.
Typical liberal trick, attack the messenger. Many Congressman in Texas had a job before being elected, this one happen to be in the oil industry, one of the largest industries in Texas.
Worst has been his attack on scientists who study climate change.
Barton has launched a full-fledged investigation of three climate scientists who study the temperature history of the Earth. Their sin? They published papers concluding that Northern Hemisphere temperatures in the last decades of the 20th century were the warmest in 1,000 years.
This as a request for public data. Mann and company's sin was to publish this junkscience [a study that can not be replicated by anyone who was not on the Mann research team] in the UN IPCC, which became justification for the Kyoto Protocol, and legislation in California that will cost us all millions, and lost jobs.
Fortunately, at least one Republican congressman is willing to stand up to Barton. That is Rep. Sherwood Boehlert of New York, chairman of the House Committee on Science. He recently called Barton's investigation of climate scientists "misguided and illegitimate."
Well, this is mostly an ego attack. It seems that Rep Boehlert was blind sided by Bartons’s request.
Boehlert notes that Barton's investigation is unprecedented and unnecessary to gain access to scientific data or balanced information on the scientific debate about climate change. "The only conceivable explanation for the investigation," Boehlert observes, "is to attempt to intimidate a prominent scientist and to have Congress put its thumbs on the scales of a scientific debate."
When is it intimidation, when you are asking for information that belongs to the public domain, data collected and computer programs generated using funds provided by US tax payers. It is not Mann and companies private property. It is public property.
Scientific research about climate change is constantly evolving. Data and conclusions get challenged all the time in the scientific literature. The data of the scientists targeted by Barton are on public Web sites, freely available to all researchers to access and draw their own conclusions.
This is the worst Sierra Bravo. It is only available if you have the right password or it is just not there. It is only open to controlled list of scientist that Mann, et.al. approve. It is not open to professionals who are skeptical of their work. More details (here) and (here.)
Barton apparently is using criticisms from Stephen McIntyre, a mining industry executive with no formal training in climate research, and Ross McKitrick, an economist with no scientific training, as the excuse for investigating climate change scientists. Boehlert asks the right question: "Are we going to launch biased investigations each time a difference appears in the literature?"
More Sierra Bravo combined with more liberal attacks on the messenger. McIntire is an expert analyst of the complex data using in mining proposals and exploration. As an economist, McKitrick is also an expert in analyzing complex data. They have never claimed to be climate experts, rather experts in data analysis. They have raised some troubling questions about Mann’s analysis of tree ring data. Data that totally ignores well documented warming and cooling periods over the last 1,000 years.
Shameless pandering to old fossil fuel interests is one thing; using the oversight power of Congress to harass scientists because you disagree with their conclusions is another.
Mann and company have refuse to comply with a well established scientific data archiving procedures. What are they hiding? That their analysis it flawed? That this phony analysis is junk science which is being used to extract millions from tax payers pockets. We will never know if they are using junk science until Mann and company release the data and the computer programs they used to analysis it. Barton is looking out for you the taxpayer!
House speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., should step in and call off Barton's witch hunt of climate scientists. Barton is way out of line.
More Sierra Bravo. Let us see the proof, lets see the data, lets see the computer program. That is all Barton wants. This not an attack on science! Barton in his own words (here,)

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