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Miffed Climatologists want UW-Madison to Revoke Global Warming Skeptic's PhD
By MacIver Institute on December 1, 2009 6:51 PM
By Bill Osmulski
The MacIver Institute
"Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him." -Ben Santer, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Some prominent Climatologists who subscribe to the theory of man-made global warming want the University of Wisconsin to consider revoking Patrick Michaels' Doctorate, according to leaked emails uncovered as part of the brewing 'climategate' scandal.
Who is Patrick Michaels?
Michaels received his PhD in ecological climatology from UW-Madison in 1979 after he earned his A.B. and S.M. degrees in biological sciences and plant ecology from the University of Chicago. Since then he's served as a climatologist for the state of Virginia, a professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia, and was a contributing author and reviewer of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He's currently a senior fellow at the CATO Institute and is a Distinguished Senior Fellow in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University.
According to his official biography, Michaels' writing has been published in the major scientific journals, including Climate Research, Climatic Change, Geophysical Research Letters, Journal of Climate, Nature, and Science, as well as in newspapers such as The Washington Post, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Houston Chronicle, and Journal of Commerce. He was an author of the climate "paper of the year" awarded by the Association of American Geographers in 2004.
With all these bona fides, why would his peers contemplate waging a campaign to undermine his credibility?
Michaels is also a global warming skeptic.
Questioning Man Made Global Warming
In September, he wrote an article for National Review accusing Phil Jones, a climatologist at the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia, and his colleagues of losing or destroying surface temperature data they used to develop their theories. You can read the whole article by clicking here.
The Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia explained on their website "Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data."
That data was incorporated into a report by the IPCC in the 1990s, which in turn was used by the EPA in drafting its "Endangerment Findings." The endangerment findings determined that greenhouse gases are at unprecedented levels and are endangering the health and welfare of the public.
Now, Michaels and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are petitioning the EPA to reopen the public comment period, because the data supporting the findings are unreliable.
That allegation did not sit well with Phil Jones and his colleagues.
Ben Santer, a climatologist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, told Jones in an email on October 9, 2009 "I'm really sorry that you have to go through all this stuff, Phil. Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I'll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted."
In an interview with the MacIver Institute on Tuesday, Michaels said that was not the first time Santer had threatened him with bodily harm. Michaels explained he and Santer have been critical of each other since the mid-1990s.
The feud dates back to at least 1996 when Santer, Jones and others published a paper in the academic journal Nature entitled "A Search For Human Influences On The Thermal Structure Of The Atmosphere." The authors believed it was supposed to settle the global warming debate once and for all.
Michaels said "It was a blatant attempt to manipulate public opinion." He went on to write an article for Nature about the questionable scientific practices behind Santer and Jones' work.
It is clear Jones, Santer and others continue to hold a grudge against Michaels. Examples of that grudge can be found in emails leaked from the University of East Anglia. On October 8, 2009, Santer emailed Rick Piltz, director of Climate Science Watch, questioning Michaels' own research methods.
Santer wrote "I'm sure that Pat Michaels does not have the primary source data used in his Ph.D. thesis. Perhaps one of us should request the datasets used in Michaels' Ph.D. work, and then ask the University of Wisconsin to withdraw Michaels' Ph.D. if he fails to produce every dataset and computer program used in the course of his thesis research."
Michaels told the MacIver Institute "The funny thing is I could reproduce every data set. It's not that complicated."
As the recently-revealed email conversations continued, Santer defended the reliability of the IPCC study.
"The integrity and reliability of this story does NOT rest on a single observational dataset, as Michaels and the CEI incorrectly claim," Santer emailed. "Michaels should and does know better. I can only conclude from his behavior - and from his participation in this legal action - that he is being intentionally dishonest."
Defending Jones, Santer wrote "The sad thing here is that Phil Jones is one of the true gentlemen of our field. I have known Phil for most of my scientific career. He is the antithesis of the secretive, 'data destroying' character the CEI and Michaels are trying to portray to the outside world."
The UW Connection
But the issue of Michaels' PhD from the University of Wisconsin continued to come up in subsequent emails. The next week, emails from other climatologists continued to speculate about the possibility of revoking Michaels' Doctorate.
One email asked "Perhaps the University of Wisconsin ought to open up a public comment period to decide whether Pat Michaels' PhD needs re-assessing?"
This week the MacIver Institute filed an open records request with the University of Wisconsin to see if any formal effort against Michaels was undertaken.
In response, John C. Dowling UW's Senior University Legal Counsel, wrote, "According to the current Chair of the Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, there has been no correspondence concerning the Ph.D. granted to Patrick Michael in 1979."
The intrigue continues, however. Just today it was reported that Phil Jones has stepped down from his position at the University of East Anglia, pending the results of an investigation of allegations, stemming from the leaked emails, that he overstated case for man-made global warming.
The MacIver Institute will continue to report on developments of this story, including other Wisconsin connections to the controversy.
A UW Connection to Climategate?
By MacIver Institute on November 30, 2009 12:08 PM | 1 Comment | 0 TrackBacks
A brewing controversy surrounding efforts within the environmental science community to manipulate data and intimidate skeptics includes ties to the University of Wisconsin, the MacIver Institute has learned.
MacIver has discovered that several UW researchers were included in group email conversations that discussed masking data, incorporating false trends into climate research, and blocking efforts to correct that. Equally alarming, we found that UW grad Pat Michaels, a prominent skeptic of the theory of man-made global warming in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University who is also senior fellow at the Cato Institute, was the target of a campaign of intimidation because of his views.
"At best UW employees appear to have been privy to efforts to mask or manipulate data," said MacIver Institute President Brett Healy. "Our investigative reporter is in the process of filing open records requests to determine the extent of Wisconsin taxpayer-paid individuals' participation in such efforts. Furthermore, we're looking into whether efforts to undermine Dr. Michaels' University Doctorate escalated into anything more than petty sniping and speculation."
Communications between Ben Santer, a climate scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Rick Piltz, founder of Climate Science Watch and from Tom Wigley of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research include speculation of ways in which the University of Wisconsin could reexamine Dr. Michaels' thesis, for which he received his Doctorate from the UW in 1979.
MacIver's investigative reporter, Bill Osmulski, has been analyzing emails from the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, which were recently made public and have been the subject of international scrutiny. Osmulski is in the process of officially requesting additional documents from the University of Wisconsin, specifically correspondence from individuals who were included in those emails as well as any communications regarding Dr. Michaels' thesis and Doctorate.
The MacIver Institute will continue to follow this story in the days ahead.
Anti-Business 'Global Warming' Bills in Madison Soon By MacIver Institute on November 11, 2009 11:02 AM |
Wisconsin State Rep. Jim Ott (R) spoke to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee on Tuesday.
During his presentation, Ott warned that a series of bills recommended by Governor Doyle's Global Warming Task Force may be introduced as soon as this week.
Ott believes these bills may include mandating Wisconsin's participation on a regional "Cap and Trade" exchange (should a national effort fail), unrealistic new renewable energy standards and other anti-business, job killing regulations.
While certain of their negative impact on Wisconsin's economy, Ott, who is also a meteorologist, doubts they can impact the global climate.
MacIver's Bill Osmulski reports.
For more background, watch a previous report we did regarding Wisconsin's debate over "Climate Change."
Midwest Manufacturing in the Cap and Trade Crosshairs
By MacIver Institute on October 26, 2009
What happens in Copenhagen and Washington, DC could have a huge impact on small Midwestern communities like Oshkosh and cost the State of Wisconsin tens of thousands of jobs.
The entire region, which is more reliant on coal for its electricity production than either of the coasts, would be hard hit by efforts to put a price on carbon emissions.
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce estimates 74,000 jobs could be lost in the Badger state alone.
The latest report in our series, "Storm Clouds Ahead: Politics, Science and the cost of Climate Change Policy," includes interviews with leaders in Wisconsin manufacturing and energy, and explains how a "Cap and Trade" scheme could devastate the Midwest.
Al Gore's High Hopes and High Stakes in Washington, Copenhagen
By MacIver Institute on October 16, 2009
Al Gore hopes to not only see Cap and Trade pass the US Senate this fall, but also an international treaty come out of a climate conference in Copenhagen this December. Critics say that treaty could make him a billionaire at the expense of the US economy.
More to the story of Al Gore's Big Dodge
Environmental Journalists Accused of Not Being Journalists
By MacIver Institute on October 13, 2009 12:00 AM | 3 Comments | 0
This video report by MacIver's Bill Osmulski, "Daring to Question Al Gore" continues to reverberate across the globe.
Former Vice President Al Gore addressed the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual conference in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, October 9, 2009 and the MacIver Institute was there. A question and answer period followed Gore's brief address. However, the former Vice President of the United States was not in the mood to answer any questions from skeptics of global warming. When one film maker dared ask a tough question, we captured the ensuing controversy.
Since then, dozens of news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, and papers in Europe and Australia, have run the report or referenced excerpts thereof. The Drudge Report linked to the video. The controversy was featured on Hannity and The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News. Hundreds of blogs (including large, national blogs like Powerline) embedded the video and provided commentary regarding it. At last check, the video was viewed nearly 200,000 times, making it the #9 top rated news video on YouTube in the last week.
Why all the attention? Well as Osmulski explains here in a follow up report, it had as much to do with the actions and attitudes of the 'journalists' who attended Gore's speech as it did with those of the speaker himself. (By the way, Gore was less than honest in his response to the inquiry in question, but more on that later).
Environmental Journalists Accused of Not Being Journalists
By Bill Osmulski
The MacIver Institute
Environmental journalism is dictated by the environmental movement's agenda and not by the principles of journalism, concluded one panelist at the Society of Environmental Journalists' convention in Madison on Friday.
Dan Miller, executive vice president of The Heartland Institute, was invited to sit on a panel discussing economic issues relating to the environment. The focus was on energy independence, green jobs and the stimulus. Miller said he was invited to offer a different opinion.
Miller explained "What I really wanted to do was present a rational, calm voice from a skeptic."
Miller said he was shut out of the discussion by his fellow panelists when he challenged the dominantly held beliefs in the room. He said it started when he tried to establish a definition of what a green job is.
"[The entire discussion was conducted] through the prism that green jobs are good and how many millions of these can we make," Miller remarked. "There was no critical analysis of what a green job is."
Miller said after that he was pushed to the fringe of the discussion. A couple of times during the session he butted in "Wait a minute there are three panelists here!"
Miller said he realized it didn't really matter, because the audience showed no interest in what he had to say.
"It was an audience that was preprogrammed to support anything that supports the government's command and control of the economy when it helps the environment," said Miller.
Earlier in the day, Al Gore gave the conference's keynote address. Gore started by congratulating President Barack Obama on his Nobel Peace Prize. The room broke out in applause.
"All these journalists were whooping and stopping their feet," recalled Miller, who then knew what he walking into. He noted other journalists around the country were far more critical of the president receiving the award after only nine months in office.
After Gore's address, he conducted a brief question and answer session. Some reporters used the opportunity to express their concern over the decline of traditional media in America, and questioned how they can get their message out more effectively.
It was during that Q and A, Phelim McAleer, an independent filmmaker, confronted Gore about inaccuracies in "An Inconvenient Truth." Gore evaded the questions and moderators disconnected McAleer's microphone when he pressed for an answer to his question.
"What I am surprised at," said McAleer, "is at the conference of environmental journalists, the reactions of the journalists was to shut down the journalist and protect the politician."
"Unfortunately environmental journalists seem to think their job is to protect environmental organizations and promote environmental organizations," he said. "It's one of the few strands of journalism that works like that."
"This was not a group of journalists looking for ways to balance their coverage to restore their credibility with the public," Miller concluded.
Daring to Question Al Gore
By MacIver Institute on October 9, 2009
Former Vice President Al Gore addressed the Society of Environmental Journalists' annual conference in Madison, Wisconsin on Friday, October 9, 2009. A question and answer period followed the brief address. However, the former Vice President of the United States was not in the mood to answer any questions from skeptics of global warming. His appearance was highly scripted, and when one filmmaker dared ask a tough question...well, just watch this report.
Wisconsinites Say No To Higher Taxes For Global Warming
By Fred Dooley on September 29, 2009 8:
WisBusiness.com released results on a survey about global warming and the opinions of Wisconsin residents.
WMC: Wisconsin voters oppose costly, Wisconsin-only global warming legislation
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
James A. Buchen, (608) 258-3400
Scott Manley, (608) 209-0568
Over 60% say Global Warming is a National, International Issue
MADISON - With jobs dominating the public's mind, a statewide poll of voters found over 60 percent say Wisconsin should not enact its own global warming policies, favoring national and international approaches, WMC reported Monday.
Also, voters oppose global warming proposals that hit them in the pocketbook with increased energy prices or potential job losses, the poll found. In 2007, Governor Jim Doyle convened a Global Warming Task Force that called for numerous new regulations to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The Legislature is likely to consider some of those proposals later this session.
The scientific survey of 500 Wisconsin voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies of Alexandria, Va. The survey has a margin of error of 4.38 percent. Voters were surveyed by telephone Sept. 15 and 16.
Wisconsin Voter Attitudes on Global Warming Proposals
* 62 percent of voters said they believe global warming is not Wisconsin's problem to solve; 27 percent say it's a crisis that Wisconsin should address.
* 37 percent say jobs and the economy are the top issue for their family; 1 percent said global warming.
* 68 percent of voters oppose increased renewable energy mandates when told of increased costs on their electric bill.
* Voters are unwilling to pay as little as $25 a month to pay for policies aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions by a 3-to-1 margin: 55 percent to 17 percent.
* 72 percent oppose restrictions on Canadian crude oil that would drive up gasoline prices.
* 73 percent oppose paying increased fees on utility bills to pay for energy efficiency programs for low-income families and businesses.
Storm Clouds Ahead:
Politics, Science and the Cost of 'Climate Change' Policy
By MacIver Institute on September 28, 2009 1
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy has produced a series of reports surrounding the controversial efforts to regulate carbon emissions. Over the last several weeks, representatives of the MacIver Institute have interviewed scientists, state and national policymakers, industry representatives and business owners. As an introduction to the series, MacIver's Bill Osmulski interviews Dr. Stephen Vavrus and State Representative Jim Ott who offer contrasting views on the existence of man-made climate change.
Dr. Stephen J. Vavrus is a senior scientist at the Univeristy of Wisconsin's Center for Climatic Research. Dr Vavrus, who received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997, believes recent weather events support the argument that man-made greenhouse gases have contributed to significant climate change.
After receiving his Masters of Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1975, Ott began a lengthy career as a broadcast meteorologist. Ott, who also received a law degree from Marquette, is skeptical that any short-term variations in weather patterns can point to any change in climate, much less one that is man made. He has served in the Wisconsin State Assembly since 2006.
a.. Leaked #climategate emails reveal UW grad threatened with physical violence, revocation of PhD http://tinyurl.com/yl45sxy 1 day ago
b.. MacIver investigates a possible UW connection to Climategate scandal. http://tinyurl.com/ydojvco 3 days ago
c.. Doyle/Barrett Opposition to Zoo Interchange Work Now Causing Real Problems for Southeast Wisc. http://tinyurl.com/ykbfmf8 10 days ago
d.. Everyone is talking about the need to reform MPS. Here's why. http://maciverinstitute.com/2009/11/mps-situation-report-1.html 13 days ago
e.. Everyone who believes in Free Market Democracy should read this speech by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis) http://tinyurl.com/yb6hahm #tcot 21 days ago
20975 Swenson Drive, Suite 125 · Waukesha, WI 53186 · 414-755-0032
Posted: 07 Dec 2009 08:11 PM PST
(Since Daniel Greenfield/Sultan Knish could not post today, we instead present this article from noted climate researcher, Dr. Burton Wallace)
If We Don't Stop Global Warming Immediately, Everyone Dies!
Dr. Burton Wallace PhD
If you ever picked up a copy of Newsweek, shop for groceries or attend a local elementary school-- you probably already know that Global Warming (peal of thunder) is the most terrifying not all made up crisis to hit the world since the Y2K bug and the Swine Flu epidemic that has already claimed millions of lives.
You might be sitting in your above water home right now and scoffing at my words, but you'll be scoffing out of the other side of your mouth when the icebergs melt and you're sharing your basement with a very angry Polar Bear. Believe me I have spent months of my life living in Antarctica side by side with very angry Polar Bears and I can promise you that you won't enjoy the experience.
I realize that the leak of private emails from the Anglia Climactic Research Institute has undermined some people's confidence in the charts and graphs we show people on television. And I really do understand why. It's because you people are ignorant swine unfit to kiss the boots of brilliant scientists like me. You probably think the earth is still flat and that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny. People like you persecuted Galileo, hounded Newton and picked up torches and burned out Dr. Frankenstein's laboratory. You understand nothing of science. Nothing!
Yes we destroyed all our raw data, used statistical tricks to manipulate our presented data and suppressed the work of anyone who disagreed with us. But what you ignorant swine completely fail to understand is that this is how science works! If you prevent us from manipulating our data to fit our preconceived conclusions and driving dissenters out of academia-- there will be no science anymore!
Why if we made our raw data available to anyone who wanted to use it to reach different conclusions, the result would be sheer chaos! There would be multiple interpretations and possibilities. What would happen to Scientific Dogma and Orthodoxy in such a horrible mixed up world. Because if there's anything that science is diametrically opposed to, it's open debate on a theory.
Can you imagine how tedious and boring it would be for us to test every possible hypothesis and then use experimentation to determine which is right? It would take ridiculous amounts of time. What we've done instead is streamlined the process by 'making stuff up' and then manipulating the data to fit. We get grants. The economy is destroyed. And everyone is happy. Except you people. You're never happy.
Do you want to go back to the way they used to do science when they actually tried to discover things for real? That's ridiculous. What would happen if the conclusions didn't fit our hypothesis. We would have to sign our name to ideas we completely disagree with or get real jobs. The role of a real scientist is to conform his or her work to the conventional political and scientific orthodoxy. These days that means proving that man is a virulent pestilence whose presence is destroying the planet. And then they give us our grant money. Why can't you people understand that?
Yes in the olden days the scientific method was about discovering the truth. Well in the olden days democracy was about popular representation. You don't see that around anymore, now do you? All those old fashioned ideas are going the way of the dodo. The future is us. We are change. And it's time you changed with us. Sure we understand that you're hopelessly backward and ignorant. You probably still believe in God. You think life has some kind of meaning. You think your many times great-grandfather wasn't an ape. But we know better. And Big Bang Theory help us, you're going to know it too.
The bottom line is that Global Warming (ominous peal of thunder) is real because we say it is. And we're scientists. It doesn't matter whether Global Warming (drum solo) is objectively real, so long as it's subjectively real. Because objectively speaking the planet is suffering from too much pollution and overpopulation, and so if we have to make up some imaginary environmental crisis you can believe in to make you all go along with fixing those problems, we'll do it. Because we're scientists, which means we're obligated to make stuff up for the public good.
The bottom line is you need us. Without us, who would issue a study telling you that drinking chocolate wine is healthy one week, and then issue a contradictory study the next week telling you that drinking chocolate wine will kill you before you're twenty, leaving you confused and afraid. Scientists, that's who. Who can spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a probe to Mars that crashes because we failed to tell apart Meters from Feet. Us scientists, that's who. And failures like that just mean we'll be taking another few hundred million dollars from you to do it all over again. Who can create climactic data models based on nothing more than pure hatred for humanity while destroying the raw data? You got it. Scientists!
Because doing science is all about progress and grant money. And you can't make any progress without making mistakes and then lying about them so no one knows any better, until centuries later finally someone comes along to tell us we're wrong... and we run him out of town or burn him at the stake.
2500 years ago, Pythagoras coined the Pythagorean Theorem and then built a cult around his mathematical findings that forbade his followers from eating beans. Thomas Edison stole all his inventions and Kurt Godel thought everyone was poisoning his food until he finally died of malnutrition. But that's science people. And science is often crazy. Sometimes it's paranoid or based on a complicated tissue of lies in which our entire grand theory turns out to be based on assumptions that fit other assumptions that fit a set of assumptions we made back in 1914, when we thought that Mars was covered in canals made by aliens because there bugs crawling across the lenses of our telescopes. But it's vitally important that we respect the process, by which I mean, "Shut up and do what we tell you, because we have PhD's and you don't!"
Sure we could have listened to Galileo, instead of locking him up. We could have listened to Semmelweis when he claimed that doctors shouldn't do autopsies and birth babies without washing their hands in between. And sure thousands and thousands of mothers died because we wouldn't listen. But what's a few thousand poor dead women when it comes to the dignity of the scientist. Yes, no doubt we could have listened to Doppler, instead of waiting until he was dead. We could have taken Robert Goddard seriously, instead of arguing that rockets can't possibly travel into space because there's nothing for them to push against in vacuum. But who has time to listen to loons like that anyway?
We keep ignoring most of Einstein's ideas about the universe in favor of Quantum Mechanics, even though Einstein keeps being proven right. The Law of Conservation of Energy? We ridiculed the very idea. X-Rays, a hoax! Radio has no future! We testified for the prosecution at Alexander Graham Bell's trial when he was charged with fraud for raising money to build something that clearly couldn't exist-- a telephone. Two brothers who ran a bicycle shop in North Carolina flew a plane. We made fun of those ridiculous Wright Brothers. Not a single scientist agreed to come and see their supposed "plane" fly. Scientific American magazine published an article calling them the "Lying Brothers" and claimed that anyone who saw the plane fly was crazy. And you know science was proven right, because planes can't fly. Planes can't fly!
That's science people and it's time to accept it. So grab your recycled toilet paper, put a diaper on your cows, shut down all your heavy industry and most importantly stop breathing. Stop breathing at once because all the carbon coming out of your mouth is destroying the planet. Stop asking to see our raw data or questioning our methods. We're scientists, that means our only method is to create charts that look good to people who barely passed the bar exam but somehow managed to get voted into office. That's science.
And if you happen to see a plane flying overhead, pay it no attention because planes can't fly. At least they can't, once we ban them and everything else to save the earth from Global Warming (horrified scream).
Dr. Burton Wallace PhD is a verified scientist who has published papers proving that the North Pole will melt 5 years from the date anyone reads his paper. He drives a Volvo that runs on cooking oil and melted squirrels which makes him better than you.