The Sciences

Climate change attacks followup

Bad AstronomyBy Phil PlaitMay 20, 2010 11:00 AM


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Last week, I wrote about a second investigation clearing climate change scientists from any wrongdoing in the horrid manufactured controversy of climategate. In that post, and an earlier one, I mentioned that Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli was starting a witch hunt, investigating the work of scientist Michael Mann while he was at the University of Virginia. Cuccinelli's actions are transparently driven by political bias; Mann has been shown repeatedly to have worked honestly and above-board. I'm not the only one who thinks that. Chris Mooney at The Intersection has quotes and links from a scathing Washington Post editorial, condemning Cuccinelli for his actions. And the Post doesn't hold back, even calling UVa out, telling them to get a spine and stand up to this attack. Chris put up a second post about how scientists themselves have picked up this banner. Oh, and here's a third post about the AAAS condemning Cuccinelli as well. Ironically, Cuccinelli claims his investigation is because he thinks tax money was wasted or that Mann defrauded the tax payers... but it's Cuccinelli's investigation that's the true waste of taxpayer money. This attack by him started after Mann was already exonerated, making Cuccinelli's motives pretty clear. Oh, did I say "ironically"? I meant Orwellian. On top of the Washington Post's call, over 250 members of the National Academy of Sciences -- the U.S.'s premier and most prestigious organization for science -- have publicly condemned these attacks as well:

Many recent assaults on climate science and, more disturbingly, on climate scientists by climate change deniers, are typically driven by special interests or dogma, not by an honest effort to provide an alternative theory that credibly satisfies the evidence.

I couldn't have said it better myself. I urge everyone to read both the WashPo article and the full statement by the NAS. And for you deniers who plague the comments of every blog post I make on this topic, loading it with obfuscation, noise, and distraction from the actual topic: these posts by me are not politically driven. In fact, given the opportunities for new businesses and new technology, preventing global climate change should be a major plank of the Republican Party, which claims to stand for such things. So instead of blindly assaulting me with trivially ridiculous accusations, you might want to examine the motivations behind the political attacks on real science. Many of you claim to be skeptics. Well then, be skeptical, but be real skeptics. I am, and always have been -- I've examined the claims, the science, and the techniques, and have come to the conclusion that global warming is real, and that humans are overwhelmingly the most likely cause of its recent acceleration. I know I can say this all I want and it won't help; the Noise Machine is impervious to logic and reality. But when you read those comments, you might want to keep this image in the back of your mind:

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