by Judith Curry
A few things that caught my eye this past week.
Heartland seizes the moral low ground
Heartland has a post “Our Billboards“:
Billboards in Chicago paid for by The Heartland Institute point out that some of the world’s most notorious criminals say they “still believe in global warming” – and ask viewers if they do, too. The first digital billboard – along the inbound Eisenhower Expressway (I-290) in Maywood – appeared today.
An article in the Guardian sums up my initial reaction: It really is hard to know where to begin with this one. But let’s start with: “What on earth were they thinking?”
My second reaction was yes, Peter Gleick really did waste his bullet. On a previous Gleick post, Why Target Heartland?, I provided an argument for why I thought Gleick wasted his bullet. This latest billboard escapade reinforces my original impression, since the billboard escapade will discredit the organization much more than anything Gleick did.
After the Gleick episode, it seemed that Heartland had temporarily seized the moral high ground in the climate ‘wars’. The billboards and the blog post are on an intellectual and moral par with ThinkProgress’ article Norway Terrorist is a Global Warming Denier, although Romm didn’t post his on a billboard. Heartland has unambigously seized the moral low ground with this stunt.
For better or worse, such episodes arguably have little impact on the larger scientific and policy debates. It will be interesting to see how the list of speakers at the forthcoming Heartland Conference reacts to this.
Scientific consensus stronger than scientists thought?
Yale Climate Media Forum has an article Scientific consensus stronger than scientists thought? Subheading:
An innovative sampling of a small group of climate scientists’ perspectives suggests their views may be more commonly shared among their science colleagues than they had thought.
Not sure how “innovative” this sampling was; I certainly wasn’t asked. A suggestion for their next study: survey mass murders and terrorists for their opinion on global warming. Who is right, Romm or Heartland, in terms of which “side” claims the most dangerous adherents? I’m not placing bets on this one.
Mann vs ATI
Some interesting developments in ATI’s struggle to get access to Mann’s UVa emails, see this post at the ATI blog. Things didn’t go too well for Mann at the latest hearing. The interesting issue is the disparity with Wegman’s emails, which were released by George Mason University (which is also in the state of Virginia). Somewhere I read (help, I can’t find the link) that Mann cited Wegman’s emails extensively in his hockey stick book. Mann didn’t seem to object to Wegman’s emails being made public.
Hit job on Richard Lindzen
It is difficult to describe this NYTimes article “Clouds’ Effect on Climate Change Last Bastion for Dissenters” as anything but a hit job on Richard Lindzen. The only thing that made sense to me was this statement:
The questions that scientists still need to answer are voluminous. For instance, they want a better idea of how clouds form at a microscopic scale, how their behavior varies under different atmospheric conditions, and how sensitive they are to higher temperatures.
Britain plans to make publicly financed research freely available
Finally, some sanity. From an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education:
Throwing its weight behind open access, the British government has declared it wants to make all research paid for with public money freely available online. If it succeeds, the move is likely to have significant consequences for publishers, and will boost the international momentum of the open-access movement. But the government won’t share details about how it will make the plan a reality.
Cartoon by Josh
Josh has a good cartoon that was posted at BishopHill. However, he omitted the lunatic fringe on the Sceptic Isle (e.g. the people at Heartland that came up with the billboards).