The Manufactured Doubt industry and the hacked email controversy

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:07 PM GMT on November 25, 2009

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In 1954, the tobacco industry realized it had a serious problem. Thirteen scientific studies had been published over the preceding five years linking smoking to lung cancer. With the public growing increasingly alarmed about the health effects of smoking, the tobacco industry had to move quickly to protect profits and stem the tide of increasingly worrisome scientific news. Big Tobacco turned to one the world's five largest public relations firms, Hill and Knowlton, to help out. Hill and Knowlton designed a brilliant Public Relations (PR) campaign to convince the public that smoking is not dangerous. They encouraged the tobacco industry to set up their own research organization, the Council for Tobacco Research (CTR), which would produce science favorable to the industry, emphasize doubt in all the science linking smoking to lung cancer, and question all independent research unfavorable to the tobacco industry. The CTR did a masterful job at this for decades, significantly delaying and reducing regulation of tobacco products. George Washington University epidemiologist David Michaels, who is President Obama's nominee to head the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), wrote a meticulously researched 2008 book called, Doubt is Their Product: How Industry's Assault on Science Threatens Your Health. In the book, he wrote: "the industry understood that the public is in no position to distinguish good science from bad. Create doubt, uncertainty, and confusion. Throw mud at the anti-smoking research under the assumption that some of it is bound to stick. And buy time, lots of it, in the bargain". The title of Michaels' book comes from a 1969 memo from a tobacco company executive: "Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy". Hill and Knowlton, on behalf of the tobacco industry, had founded the "Manufactured Doubt" industry.

The Manufactured Doubt industry grows up
As the success of Hill and Knowlton's brilliant Manufactured Doubt campaign became apparent, other industries manufacturing dangerous products hired the firm to design similar PR campaigns. In 1967, Hill and Knowlton helped asbestos industry giant Johns-Manville set up the Asbestos Information Association (AIA). The official-sounding AIA produced "sound science" that questioned the link between asbestos and lung diseases (asbestos currently kills 90,000 people per year, according to the World Health Organization). Manufacturers of lead, vinyl chloride, beryllium, and dioxin products also hired Hill and Knowlton to devise product defense strategies to combat the numerous scientific studies showing that their products were harmful to human health.

By the 1980s, the Manufactured Doubt industry gradually began to be dominated by more specialized "product defense" firms and free enterprise "think tanks". Michaels wrote in Doubt is Their Product about the specialized "product defense" firms: "Having cut their teeth manufacturing uncertainty for Big Tobacco, scientists at ChemRisk, the Weinberg Group, Exponent, Inc., and other consulting firms now battle the regulatory agencies on behalf of the manufacturers of benzene, beryllium, chromium, MTBE, perchlorates, phthalates, and virtually every other toxic chemical in the news today....Public health interests are beside the point. This is science for hire, period, and it is extremely lucrative".

Joining the specialized "product defense" firms were the so-called "think tanks". These front groups received funding from manufacturers of dangerous products and produced "sound science" in support of their funders' products, in the name of free enterprise and free markets. Think tanks such as the George C. Marshall Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been active for decades in the Manufactured Doubt business, generating misleading science and false controversy to protect the profits of their clients who manufacture dangerous products.

The ozone hole battle
In 1975, the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) industry realized it had a serious problem. The previous year, Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina, chemists at the University of California, Irvine, had published a scientific paper warning that human-generated CFCs could cause serious harm to Earth's protective ozone layer. They warned that the loss of ozone would significantly increase the amount of skin-damaging ultraviolet UV-B light reaching the surface, greatly increasing skin cancer and cataracts. The loss of stratospheric ozone could also significantly cool the stratosphere, potentially causing destructive climate change. Although no stratospheric ozone loss had been observed yet, CFCs should be banned, they said. The CFC industry hired Hill and Knowlton to fight back. As is essential in any Manufactured Doubt campaign, Hill and Knowlton found a respected scientist to lead the effort--noted British scientist Richard Scorer, a former editor of the International Journal of Air Pollution and author of several books on pollution. In 1975, Scorer went on a month-long PR tour, blasting Molina and Rowland, calling them "doomsayers", and remarking, "The only thing that has been accumulated so far is a number of theories." To complement Scorer's efforts, Hill and Knowlton unleashed their standard package of tricks learned from decades of serving the tobacco industry:

- Launch a public relations campaign disputing the evidence.

- Predict dire economic consequences, and ignore the cost benefits.

- Use non-peer reviewed scientific publications or industry-funded scientists who don't publish original peer-reviewed scientific work to support your point of view.

- Trumpet discredited scientific studies and myths supporting your point of view as scientific fact.

- Point to the substantial scientific uncertainty, and the certainty of economic loss if immediate action is taken.

- Use data from a local area to support your views, and ignore the global evidence.

- Disparage scientists, saying they are playing up uncertain predictions of doom in order to get research funding.

- Disparage environmentalists, claiming they are hyping environmental problems in order to further their ideological goals.

- Complain that it is unfair to require regulatory action in the U.S., as it would put the nation at an economic disadvantage compared to the rest of the world.

- Claim that more research is needed before action should be taken.

- Argue that it is less expensive to live with the effects.

The campaign worked, and CFC regulations were delayed many years, as Hill and Knowlton boasted in internal documents. The PR firm also took credit for keeping public opinion against buying CFC aerosols to a minimum, and helping change the editorial positions of many newspapers.

In the end, Hill and Knowlton's PR campaign casting doubt on the science of ozone depletion by CFCs turned out to have no merit. Molina and Rowland were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1995. The citation from the Nobel committee credited them with helping to deliver the Earth from a potential environmental disaster.

The battle over global warming
In 1988, the fossil fuel industry realized it had a serious problem. The summer of 1988 had shattered century-old records for heat and drought in the U.S., and NASA's Dr. James Hansen, one of the foremost climate scientists in the world, testified before Congress that human-caused global warming was partially to blame. A swelling number of scientific studies were warning of the threat posed by human-cause climate change, and that consumption of fossil fuels needed to slow down. Naturally, the fossil fuel industry fought back. They launched a massive PR campaign that continues to this day, led by the same think tanks that worked to discredit the ozone depletion theory. The George C. Marshall Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Heartland Institute, and Dr. Fred Singer's SEPP (Science and Environmental Policy Project) have all been key players in both fights, and there are numerous other think tanks involved. Many of the same experts who had worked hard to discredit the science of the well-established link between cigarette smoke and cancer, the danger the CFCs posed to the ozone layer, and the dangers to health posed by a whole host of toxic chemicals, were now hard at work to discredit the peer-reviewed science supporting human-caused climate change.

As is the case with any Manufactured Doubt campaign, a respected scientist was needed to lead the battle. One such scientist was Dr. Frederick Seitz, a physicist who in the 1960s chaired the organization many feel to be the most prestigious science organization in the world--the National Academy of Sciences. Seitz took a position as a paid consultant for R.J. Reynolds tobacco company beginning in 1978, so was well-versed in the art of Manufactured Doubt. According to the excellent new book, Climate Cover-up, written by desmogblog.com co-founder James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore, over a 10-year period Seitz was responsible for handing out $45 million in tobacco company money to researchers who overwhelmingly failed to link tobacco to anything the least bit negative. Seitz received over $900,000 in compensation for his efforts. He later became a founder of the George C. Marshall Institute, and used his old National Academy of Sciences affiliation to lend credibility to his attacks on global warming science until his death in 2008 at the age of ninety-six. It was Seitz who launched the "Oregon Petition", which contains the signatures of more than 34,000 scientists saying global warming is probably natural and not a crisis. The petition is a regular feature of the Manufactured Doubt campaign against human-caused global warming. The petition lists the "Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine" as its parent organization. According to Climate Cover-up, the Institute is a farm shed situated a couple of miles outside of Cave Junction, OR (population 17,000). The Institute lists seven faculty members, two of whom are dead, and has no ongoing research and no students. It publishes creationist-friendly homeschooler curriculums books on surviving nuclear war. The petition was sent to scientists and was accompanied by a 12-page review printed in exactly the same style used for the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A letter from Seitz, who is prominently identified as a former National Academy of Sciences president, accompanied the petition and review. Naturally, many recipients took this to be an official National Academy of Sciences communication, and signed the petition as a result. The National Academy issued a statement in April 2008, clarifying that it had not issued the petition, and that its position on global warming was the opposite. The petition contains no contact information for the signers, making it impossible to verify. In its August 2006 issue, Scientific American presented its attempt to verify the petition. They found that the scientists were almost all people with undergraduate degrees, with no record of research and no expertise in climatology. Scientific American contacted a random sample of 26 of the 1,400 signatories claiming to have a Ph.D. in a climate related science. Eleven said they agreed with the petition, six said they would not sign the petition today, three did not remember the petition, one had died, and five did not respond.

I could say much more about the Manufactured Doubt campaign being waged against the science of climate change and global warming, but it would fill an entire book. In fact, it has, and I recommend reading Climate Cover-up to learn more. The main author, James Hoggan, owns a Canadian public relations firm, and is intimately familiar with how public relations campaigns work. Suffice to say, the Manufactured Doubt campaign against global warming--funded by the richest corporations in world history--is probably the most extensive and expensive such effort ever. We don't really know how much money the fossil fuel industry has pumped into its Manufactured Doubt campaign, since they don't have to tell us. The website exxonsecrets.org estimates that ExxonMobil alone spent $20 million between 1998 - 2007 on the effort. An analysis done by Desmogblog's Kevin Grandia done in January 2009 found that skeptical global warming content on the web had doubled over the past year. Someone is paying for all that content.

Lobbyists, not skeptical scientists
The history of the Manufactured Doubt industry provides clear lessons in evaluating the validity of their attacks on the published peer-reviewed climate change science. One should trust that the think tanks and allied "skeptic" bloggers such as Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit and Anthony Watts of Watts Up With That will give information designed to protect the profits of the fossil fuel industry. Yes, there are respected scientists with impressive credentials that these think tanks use to voice their views, but these scientists have given up their objectivity and are now working as lobbyists. I don't like to call them skeptics, because all good scientists should be skeptics. Rather, the think tanks scientists are contrarians, bent on discrediting an accepted body of published scientific research for the benefit of the richest and most powerful corporations in history. Virtually none of the "sound science" they are pushing would ever get published in a serious peer-reviewed scientific journal, and indeed the contrarians are not scientific researchers. They are lobbyists. Many of them seem to believe their tactics are justified, since they are fighting a righteous war against eco-freaks determined to trash the economy.

I will give a small amount of credit to some of their work, however. I have at times picked up some useful information from the contrarians, and have used it to temper my blogs to make them more balanced. For example, I no longer rely just on the National Climatic Data Center for my monthly climate summaries, but instead look at data from NASA and the UK HADCRU source as well. When the Hurricane Season of 2005 brought unfounded claims that global warming was to blame for Hurricane Katrina, and a rather flawed paper by researchers at Georgia Tech showing a large increase in global Category 4 and 5 hurricanes, I found myself agreeing with the contrarians' analysis of the matter, and my blogs at the time reflected this.

The contrarians and the hacked CRU emails
A hacker broke into an email server at the Climate Research Unit of the UK's University of East Anglia last week and posted ten years worth of private email exchanges between leading scientists who've published research linking humans to climate change. Naturally, the contrarians have seized upon this golden opportunity, and are working hard to discredit several of these scientists. You'll hear claims by some contrarians that the emails discovered invalidate the whole theory of human-caused global warming. Well, all I can say is, consider the source. We can trust the contrarians to say whatever is in the best interests of the fossil fuel industry. What I see when I read the various stolen emails and explanations posted at Realclimate.org is scientists acting as scientists--pursuing the truth. I can see no clear evidence that calls into question the scientific validity of the research done by the scientists victimized by the stolen emails. There is no sign of a conspiracy to alter data to fit a pre-conceived ideological view. Rather, I see dedicated scientists attempting to make the truth known in face of what is probably the world's most pervasive and best-funded disinformation campaign against science in history. Even if every bit of mud slung at these scientists were true, the body of scientific work supporting the theory of human-caused climate change--which spans hundreds of thousands of scientific papers written by tens of thousands of scientists in dozens of different scientific disciplines--is too vast to be budged by the flaws in the works of the three or four scientists being subject to the fiercest attacks.

Exaggerated claims by environmentalists
Climate change contrarians regularly complain about false and misleading claims made by ideologically-driven environmental groups regarding climate change, and the heavy lobbying these groups do to influence public opinion. Such efforts confuse the real science and make climate change seem more dangerous than it really is, the contrarians argue. To some extent, these concerns are valid. In particular, environmentalists are too quick to blame any perceived increase in hurricane activity on climate change, when such a link has yet to be proven. While Al Gore's movie mostly had good science, I thought he botched the treatment of hurricanes as well, and the movie looked too much like a campaign ad. In general, environmental groups present better science than the think tanks do, but you're still better off getting your climate information directly from the scientists doing the research, via the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report. Another good source is Bob Henson's Rough Guide to Climate Change, aimed at people with high-school level science backgrounds.

Let's look at the amount of money being spent on lobbying efforts by the fossil fuel industry compared to environmental groups to see their relative influence. According to Center for Public Integrity, there are currently 2,663 climate change lobbyists working on Capitol Hill. That's five lobbyists for every member of Congress. Climate lobbyists working for major industries outnumber those working for environmental, health, and alternative energy groups by more than seven to one. For the second quarter of 2009, here is a list compiled by the Center for Public Integrity of all the oil, gas, and coal mining groups that spent more than $100,000 on lobbying (this includes all lobbying, not just climate change lobbying):

Chevron $6,485,000
Exxon Mobil $4,657,000
BP America $4,270,000
ConocoPhillips $3,300,000
American Petroleum Institute $2,120,000
Marathon Oil Corporation $2,110,000
Peabody Investments Corp $1,110,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $980,000
Shell Oil Company $950,000
Arch Coal, Inc $940,000
Williams Companies $920,000
Flint Hills Resources $820,000
Occidental Petroleum Corporation $794,000
National Mining Association $770,000
American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity $714,000
Devon Energy $695,000
Sunoco $585,000
Independent Petroleum Association of America $434,000
Murphy Oil USA, Inc $430,000
Peabody Energy $420,000
Rio Tinto Services, Inc $394,000
America's Natural Gas Alliance $300,000
Interstate Natural Gas Association of America $290,000
El Paso Corporation $261,000
Spectra Energy $279,000
National Propane Gas Association $242,000
National Petrochemical & Refiners Association $240,000
Nexen, Inc $230,000
Denbury Resources $200,000
Nisource, Inc $180,000
Petroleum Marketers Association of America $170,000
Valero Energy Corporation $160,000
Bituminous Coal Operators Association $131,000
Natural Gas Supply Association $114,000
Tesoro Companies $119,000

Here are the environmental groups that spent more than $100,000:

Environmental Defense Action Fund $937,500
Nature Conservancy $650,000
Natural Resources Defense Council $277,000
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund $243,000
National Parks and Conservation Association $175,000
Sierra Club $120,000
Defenders of Wildlife $120,000
Environmental Defense Fund $100,000

If you add it all up, the fossil fuel industry outspent the environmental groups by $36.8 million to $2.6 million in the second quarter, a factor of 14 to 1. To be fair, not all of that lobbying is climate change lobbying, but that affects both sets of numbers. The numbers don't even include lobbying money from other industries lobbying against climate change, such as the auto industry, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, etc.

Corporate profits vs. corporate social responsibility
I'm sure I've left the impression that I disapprove of what the Manufactured Doubt industry is doing. On the contrary, I believe that for the most part, the corporations involved have little choice under the law but to protect their profits by pursuing Manufactured Doubt campaigns, as long as they are legal. The law in all 50 U.S. states has a provision similar to Maine's section 716, "The directors and officers of a corporation shall exercise their powers and discharge their duties with a view to the interest of the corporation and of the shareholders". There is no clause at the end that adds, "...but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public safety, the communities in which the corporation operates, or the dignity of employees". The law makes a company's board of directors legally liable for "breach of fiduciary responsibility" if they knowingly manage a company in a way that reduces profits. Shareholders can and have sued companies for being overly socially responsible, and not paying enough attention to the bottom line. We can reward corporations that are managed in a socially responsible way with our business and give them incentives to act thusly, but there are limits to how far Corporate Socially Responsibility (CSR) can go. For example, car manufacturer Henry Ford was successfully sued by stockholders in 1919 for raising the minimum wage of his workers to $5 per day. The courts declared that, while Ford's humanitarian sentiments about his employees were nice, his business existed to make profits for its stockholders.

So, what is needed is a fundamental change to the laws regarding the purpose of a corporation, or new regulations forcing corporations to limit Manufactured Doubt campaigns. Legislation has been introduced in Minnesota to create a new section of law for an alternative kind of corporation, the SR (Socially Responsible) corporation, but it would be a long uphill battle to get such legislation passed in all 50 states. Increased regulation limiting Manufactured Doubt campaigns is possible to do for drugs and hazardous chemicals--Doubt is Their Product has some excellent suggestions on that, with the first principle being, "use the best science available; do not demand certainty where it does not and cannot exist". However, I think such legislation would be difficult to implement for environmental crises such as global warming. In the end, we're stuck with the current system, forced to make critical decisions affecting all of humanity in the face of the Frankenstein monster our corporate system of law has created--the most vigorous and well-funded disinformation campaign against science ever conducted.

Have a great Thanksgiving, everyone, and I'll be back Monday--the last day of hurricane season--with a review of the hurricane season of 2009.

Jeff Masters

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So perfect...and so terrible.
Please tell me the perfect monster typhoon isn't going to hit anything -- a big prayer of Thanksgiving and gratitude should be sent up if that were so.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
399. chawk
Dr.Masters, I have relied on your weather blog for years and find your forcast discussions to be very well thought out and accurate, however I think you are using the "manufactured doubt industry" story to cast doubt on the validity of the covered conflicting information discovered by the hackers. Politicians are not credible but Scientist are supposed to be not only credible but also factual. I'm not a scientist and I do not know enough about Global Warming to make a pitch either way. What I do know is that Several very respected scientist documented politically motivated decisions to alter or withold data. I already doubted most politicians (both parties) Now I have to doubt a group of professionals I once considered the most reliable. If it is not sound honest judgement, do not write it in an email, do not think it, and do not share it. I hope there can one day be an open to the world think tank comprised of reputable scientist on both sides of this issue so the worlds laymen can see an honest effort to agree on whether there is a man made problem or not. Scientist need to stay out of politics and vs versa.
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398. k9ez
OK I am throwing the BS flag here. Comparing the Tobacco industry to weather? Really? Also throwing on the CFC issue? I am sorry but you have lost me here. I USED to believe in what you posted, but no longer.

You call anyone that disagrees with you a "Contrarian". As a scientist I would think you would have an open mind as to at least look at these "contrarians". But no, you cant even do that. You have bought into the BS that Al Gore and the like are spewing.

SHAME ON YOU!!! I am off of this site as you obviously are a shill and cannot comprehend the true meaning of the emails that were released.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Kinda reminds me of when I was growing up and my mother decided she wanted to be a blonde. Bleached her hair and it all fell out. That summer went up to Pa to visit my grandparents and lo and behold, my grandmother had done the same thing and lost all her hair too.LOL. Made me decide to stay a brunette and thankfully at my ripe old age of 53 I am still without any gray.
Well Ya'all have fun, I am out for the night. Something to think about...The FDA (GOVERNMENT BODY) says what is good or not (hair color) food, fast food etc. and now they (the government) are fast approching control over all medical procedure.....Just gotta ask...what would the founding fathers (let's throw in the pilgrims too). ( didn't the pilgrims leave beacause of issues)...Holy mackeral.... I am going to be in so much trouble by the governing bodies
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390. Uh, yeah, Shalom and Happy Thanksgiving to you, anyway.
I will say Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
And I had the German-born Mommy who practiced that every day, and made sure we did, too.
Dust bunnies, Be Gone!
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting eyesontheweather:
Kinda makes ya wonder huh? What worries me (as a husband) what does that stuff do....It is on your skin for cryin' out loud...to your body
My 16 year old granddaughter decided last night to dye her hair and her hands are still brown and she had on gloves.
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Quoting stormwatcherCI:
Kinda reminds me of when I was growing up and my mother decided she wanted to be ablonde. Bleached her hair and it all fell out. That summer went up to Pa to visit my grandparents and lo and behold, my grandmother had done the same thing and lost all her hair too.LOL. Made me decide to stay a brunette and thankfully at my ripe old age of 53 I am still without any gray.
Kinda makes ya wonder huh? What worries me (as a husband) what does that stuff do....It is on your skin for cryin' out loud...to your body
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:

Thank you, you too! I just read some back posts; you had me rolling on the hair dye, and the mishap, and miscommunication!
Some of those dyes are rougher than others; some actually make your hair feel softer.
True Story: Born Blonde gave me a couple very bad days, but a great laugh. We were walking dogs, I had the Pom. One of my neighbors stopped her car to say hello, and her little girl said, "look Mommy, their hair matches."
Gave Clairol 1-800 number an earful when they opened on Monday; they gave me a fix. BTW, that stuff stinks and I'm sure it would burn your hands, sure did hair.

Oh, the weather...I don't like Nov. much. Rainy, grey mostly. Feb. is colder but sunny, usually, even if sun is bouncing off the ice -- it's pretty!

Phew, thanks for stopping by! (I'm the yakky ol' lady today.)
Kinda reminds me of when I was growing up and my mother decided she wanted to be a blonde. Bleached her hair and it all fell out. That summer went up to Pa to visit my grandparents and lo and behold, my grandmother had done the same thing and lost all her hair too.LOL. Made me decide to stay a brunette and thankfully at my ripe old age of 53 I am still without any gray.
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391. xcool
yeah i hate cold weather
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How does showing the Tobacco industry manufacturing their own faulty claims about smoking have ANYTHING to do with AGW? Nothing!

Dr Masters, it saddens me that you go out of your way to promote such evil hoaxes such as AGW....John Cristy, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, etc....are all EXTREMELY well qualified meteorological scientists/climatologists...It only takes ONE experiment to prove a theory wrong...I could show you a whole list of 2 variables that have been increasing with time and make the foolish claim that they are both cause and effect!...

There are a whole host of questions the AGW crowd cannot answer....Their childish antics will help the world to suffer more as a result of a purely fabricated evil indoctrination!

What the world needs is Christ! Not sadistic legislation! We've corrupted and ruined this world with our filthy sinful lives! This is what we all need:

The Reason Why
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Quoting xcool:
god so cold in outside

Welcome to our "regular" weather. ick.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
swCI -- Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! Do you still have Turkey in Paradise? (hmm, weird Jimmy Buffett song...)

Say, do you still hear from JFV/WS?
Say Happy Turkey Day to him (and him, and him, and...) from the WU blog -- it's a day for good will, so what the heck.
Yes, we still have turkey here but it's not a holiday and not as good as in the US. Still hear from JFV but he is pretty busy at school and seems like he is trying to get over a broken heart. I kinda feel sorry for him but I guess one day he will grow up. Anyway, have a great Thanksgiving everyone. I have mostly just been lurking since the conversation lately has been WAY over my head.
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
Hello Awake nice to see you. and a very happy Turkey back at you

Thank you, you too! I just read some back posts; you had me rolling on the hair dye, and the mishap, and miscommunication!
Some of those dyes are rougher than others; some actually make your hair feel softer.
True Story: Born Blonde gave me a couple very bad days, but a great laugh. We were walking dogs, I had the Pom. One of my neighbors stopped her car to say hello, and her little girl said, "look Mommy, their hair matches."
Gave Clairol 1-800 number an earful when they opened on Monday; they gave me a fix. BTW, that stuff stinks and I'm sure it would burn your hands, sure did hair.

Oh, the weather...I don't like Nov. much. Rainy, grey mostly. Feb. is colder but sunny, usually, even if sun is bouncing off the ice -- it's pretty!

Phew, thanks for stopping by! (I'm the yakky ol' lady today.)
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
386. xcool
god so cold in outside
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Quoting AwakeInMaryland:
swCI -- Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! Do you still have Turkey in Paradise? (hmm, weird Jimmy Buffett song...)

Say, do you still hear from JFV/WS?
Say Happy Turkey Day to him (and him, and him, and...) from the WU blog -- it's a day for good will, so what the heck.
Hello Awake nice to see you. and a very happy Turkey back at you
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Quoting gordydunnot:
God Aussie I wish for those years.

I also have a 6y.o at school
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Last comment tonight, don't all cheer at once. If 25 to 28% of the people in this country can continue to obstruct progress we are all doomed to follow the dinosaur. Happy Holidays and I mean that most sincerely.
Good point...Only One question. What is progress...continued depedancy or self suficiancy?
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swCI -- Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! Do you still have Turkey in Paradise? (hmm, weird Jimmy Buffett song...)

Say, do you still hear from JFV/WS?
Say Happy Turkey Day to him (and him, and him, and...) from the WU blog -- it's a day for good will, so what the heck.
Member Since: August 19, 2008 Posts: 32 Comments: 1918
God Aussie I wish for those years.
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Last comment tonight, don't all cheer at once. If 25 to 28% of the people in this country can continue to obstruct progress we are all doomed to follow the dinosaur. Happy Holidays and I mean that most sincerely.
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Quoting hydrus:
Because of the tremendous amount of money American oil companies would lose, imagine if the whole country was green tomorrow. the repercussions would be huge.Many companies going bankrupt almost instantly.
I understand your thought. What I do not understand is that fossil fuel becomes limited..Is the end in sight nobdy knows, some reports say yes others say no. Numerous companies have re-aligned their interst to stay in business. Why are we americans allowing the the tail to wag the dog so to speak..... We should be demanding alternative energy asap...Simply from the standpoint of not having our money leave the country
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Just wanted to sayto everyone and hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Aussie did you read docs comments today.

I gave them a quick glace. pretty hard when i have a 3y.o to keep an eye on.
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OK here is a thought...whether you believe in GW or not. We send a large portion of our money over seas for fuel, so does most of the world. The world has seen a recent recesion virtually all countries have felt the effects. One exception is Brazil, who as stated earlier decided after the 70's oil embargo. What this seems to show is that if you are able to take care of your own, with your own money your in a better position. A simmple example is a household. If you can produce and take care of your household with your own produce/wind energy/solar energy and produce your energy for transportation would you not be richer simply by virtue of not having to purchase energy which at this time is what all other costs are a slave to.
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Currently, Dr. Jeff Masters is among my top five favorite people in the world, the ones ahead of him being my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Regarding the GW issue, there is a bill that just passed the House and is headed for the Senate explained here:
H.R. 2454--111th Congress: American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-2454
Obama says he will not make any global committments until we pass something at home.
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Quoting eyesontheweather:
I am trying to wrap my brain around this. Maybe you can enlighten me. Recent studies have shown that there are unknown reserves of fossil fuels. meaning very limited. And the world as a whole could find themselves in very short supply soon. China has become a big player in the consumption of fossil fuels. They are currently get exclusive contracts from oil producing nations which could put the rest of the world at a serious disadvantage at full filling their needs. South America has established a fuel they use that is renewable, possibly the only country to do that and the decided to put that policy into effect after the 70's oil embargo. My Question is regardless of a person's opinion on global warming, why are we (the US not trying to establish energy systems that do not require the purchase (and sending our money overseas). I have seen reports that say we have the ability to produce incredible amounts of energy from wind, solar. and why do we not have more serious effort at trying to convert algee or other cost effective means into fuel... wasn't the diesal engine first designed to run on peanut oil. Just wondering...It seems to me that we could be so much further ahead if the energy companies would start establishing true time lines for introducing alternative fuels. if I was a business man in a field like this I would want to have a "plan B' in effect
Because of the tremendous amount of money American oil companies would lose, imagine if the whole country was green tomorrow. the repercussions would be huge.Many companies going bankrupt almost instantly.
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Thanks Dr Masters, the whole smoking controversy is eerily similar to what is going on right now with the healthcare reform. The insurance industry is scared to death that a "public option" will severely handicap their future profits, so they have paid huge sums out in campaign contributions to congresspersons (mainly Republicans) to help them fight any kind of reform. It shows us how much these "politicians" really care about their constituents. They would rather protect the insurance industry, rather than protect the health of their voters. Pitiful.....

On the weather front.....to try and be topical.....

Here in Ft Meyers, we had about 4½ inches of rain the local TV Mets said. It sure was raining hard at times. I wish it had rained more actually. As we know, this is our dry season here in SW Fla.
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BREAKING: NZ's NIWA accused of CRU-style temperature faking

The New Zealand Government's chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn't there.

The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain's CRU climate research centre.

In New Zealand's case, the figures published on NIWA's [the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research] website suggest a strong warming trend in New Zealand over the past century:

But analysis of the raw climate data from the same temperature stations has just turned up a very different result:
Gone is the relentless rising temperature trend, and instead there appears to have been a much smaller growth in warming, consistent with the warming up of the planet after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.

Why does NIWA's graph show strong warming, but graphing their own raw data looks completely different? Their graph shows warming, but the actual temperature readings show none whatsoever!

Manipulation of raw data is at the heart of recent claims of corrupt scientific practice in climate science, with CRU's Phil Jones recently claiming old temperature records collected by his organization were "destroyed" or "lost", meaning researchers can now only access manipulated data.

Link

"..Those adjustments were made by New Zealand climate scientist Jim Salinger, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who started work on the series when he was with the University of East Anglia, the centre of the Climategate scandal. (Salinger was dismissed by NIWA this year for speaking without authorisation to the media.)..."
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Local forecast I made for my area at 6:00PM tonight.

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Aussie did you read docs comments today.
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369. Xyrus
Quoting reedzone:
Post 114.
I believe Global Warming is a complete hoax, and that people are making it real just for the money.


First, save your belief for religions. Science is based on fact and observations. Belief doesn't enter into the matter.

Second, really? For the money? Really? That's the best you can come up with for a conspiracy?

If a climatologist were REALLY after money, he/she would join one of the contrarian think tanks or work in a different field altogether. In the US, the average climatologist makes $75K which is less than what an average sysadmin makes. You do not get rich being a climatologist, and there are plenty of viable fields that someone smart enough to get a Ph. D in climatology or related field can get into and earn more. A lot more.

Research money for climatology is astoundingly low as well. For 2009, it was just over $2 billion, and the only reason it was even that much was because a couple of new satellites are going up (the satellites consume the vast majority of that sum). Or to put it in perspective, climate research funding makes up a whopping .1% of the US budget and that includes the funding for developing, launching, and maintaining/monitoring satellites.

So where is all this money that the scientists are conspiring for?

~X~
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I don't pretend to have the knowledge to discuss GW ,so I will refrain from meaningless comment.I do remember through my exposer to life's learning lessons two interesting comments. Figures don't lie but liars figure. And from a CPA who worked for less than scrupulous people. There has never been a written sentence that can not be interpreted any why you want it to be ,it just depends on who is doing the interruption. So argue on.Just remember what is truly important help the ones you can or at least do no harm.
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Quoting Chicklit:
What's interesting about the upcoming conference in Copenhagen is finally, a world body is looking at deleterious environmental effects on populations. For example one priority of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC) is deforestation.
To find out more, go to http://unfccc.int/2860.php.
I am trying to wrap my brain around this. Maybe you can enlighten me. Recent studies have shown that there are unknown reserves of fossil fuels. meaning very limited. And the world as a whole could find themselves in very short supply soon. China has become a big player in the consumption of fossil fuels. They are currently get exclusive contracts from oil producing nations which could put the rest of the world at a serious disadvantage at full filling their needs. South America has established a fuel they use that is renewable, possibly the only country to do that and the decided to put that policy into effect after the 70's oil embargo. My Question is regardless of a person's opinion on global warming, why are we (the US not trying to establish energy systems that do not require the purchase (and sending our money overseas). I have seen reports that say we have the ability to produce incredible amounts of energy from wind, solar. and why do we not have more serious effort at trying to convert algee or other cost effective means into fuel... wasn't the diesal engine first designed to run on peanut oil. Just wondering...It seems to me that we could be so much further ahead if the energy companies would start establishing true time lines for introducing alternative fuels. if I was a business man in a field like this I would want to have a "plan B' in effect
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Aussie is that your thinking or do you have some reference, not that it matters on this or for that matter any other blog.

Look up Oregon Petition
Link
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Quoting gordydunnot:
Aussie is that your thinking or do you have some reference, not that it matters on this or for that matter any other blog.


bad science and references are an oxymoron anyway...
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Aussie is that your thinking or do you have some reference, not that it matters on this or for that matter any other blog.
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What's interesting about the upcoming conference in Copenhagen is finally, a world body is looking at deleterious environmental effects on populations. For example one priority of the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC) is deforestation.
To find out more, go to http://unfccc.int/2860.php.
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362. HadesGodWyvern (Mod)
Japan Meteorological Agency
Tropical Cyclone Advisory #31
TYPHOON NIDA (T0922)
9:00 AM JST November 26 2009
===========================================

SUBJECT: Category Five Typhoon Near Marianas Islands

At 0:00 AM UTC, Typhoon Nida (905 hPa) located at 14.5N 140.7E has 10 minute sustained winds of 115 knot with gusts of 165 knots. The typhoon is reported as moving northwest at 11 knots

RSMC Dvorak Intensity: T7.5

Storm Force Winds
===================
70 NM from the center

Gale Force Winds
================
180 NM from the center

Forecast and Intensity
=====================
24 HRS: 16.7N 139.1E - 115 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
48 HRS: 18.0N 138.7E - 105 kts (CAT 5/Very Intense Typhoon)
72 HRS: 18.8N 138.6E - 95 kts (CAT 4/Very Strong Typhoon)

--
still at 7.5 O_o
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Bring it on Jeffs as we need it before the dry season sets in.
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Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

A review of the research literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th Century have produced no deleterious effects upon global weather, climate, or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates. Predictions of harmful climatic effects due to future increases in minor greenhouse gases like CO2 are in error and do not conform to current experimental knowledge.
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Wish I had seen Dr. Master's blog earlier as I was writing Executive Summary on U.S. Global Warming Policy and H.R. 2454 today for a grad course in public administration at UCF.
Thanks, Dr. Masters. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated.
Please tell me your blog is still being carried by the NY Times!
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357. Xyrus
Quoting Barefootontherocks:
I don't like to call them skeptics, because all good scientists should be skeptics. Rather, the think tanks scientists are contrarians, bent on discrediting an accepted body of published scientific research for the benefit of the richest and most powerful corporations in history.

Any thinking person can and maybe ought to be a skeptic. For now, I remain skeptical on both sides of this issue.


There's being a thinking skeptic, i.e. someone who has reviewed the science and comes away with questions and criticisms. Then there's being a clueless idiot "skeptic" who has no idea about the science and doesn't want to and is governed by their own truthiness on the matter.

The thinking skeptic is very worthwhile to have around and should be encouraged to engage in the scientific debate. They should be writing papers for respected peer-reviewed journals. They should be contributing to the IPCC report.

Unfortunately, the clueless idiot skeptics, the "it done be 30 degrees in my backyard, ain't no warmin'" skeptics, vastly outnumber the thinking skeptics. The idiot skeptics have made it so that the thinking skeptics have a MUCH more difficult time being heard. From the skeptic side, there is an incredibly low signal-to-noise ratio.

Thinking skeptics don't point to a single error in a large data set and scream all of the climate research is a hoax (thanks Steve McIntyre). Thinking skeptics perform research like any other scientist.

I agree with the current body of scientific research on the matter. I have no problems with thinking skeptics either ( I happen to work with one and the scientific debates are interesting). But the idiot skeptics have done nothing but screw everything up by taking the focus of the science.

By the way, this also applies to the clueless idiot supporters, the "it dun got to 'undred degrees, its teh global warmin'" supporters.

~X~
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I don't think he meant plural.
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Quoting NRAamy:
Gamma...eyes isn't a troll...he's ok in my book....

:)

just another clueless male...

;)
Thank You, kind friend I think.....clueless?????
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Quoting NRAamy:
"man tools"?

what, like the remote control???
HAHAHAHAHA! boy did I leave myself open for that...Actually I was probably building something...Like a house that people will live in... See how I'm covering for that...Can't say doll house or dog house etc.
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Only comment on Nida thank God for the information we have today. As we would not want to be on a boat at the wrong place at the right time if you know what I mean.
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Gamma...eyes isn't a troll...he's ok in my book....

:)

just another clueless male...

;)
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Quoting seflagamma:


See,that is why you are such a wonderful friend!


Taking up for me from a nasty ugly troll

and yes I get the Best "gentle" color on
my

BLEACHED BLONDE HAIR!!!


hahahah

(I almost said that I sleep with my hair dresser but I fear that would get me banned!)


some people here are just too much

Thank you Amy!

I am sorry, I am not a troll....Amy and I are friends and I certainly did not mean to make you feel picked on....I was just askin...Amy is a sweetheart. And I certainly do not wish to have you think me ugly at you.
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"man tools"?

what, like the remote control???
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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.