Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Ms. Affiliation

Eli was reading Skeptical Science's takedown (it should be) of the Wall Street Journal 16 letter, when he noticed that one of the signers was listed as

James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University

Now everyone knows that this must mean the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University aka Virginia Tech, which is located in Blackburg and about as far from civilization as you can get on the US East Coast. McGrath is the Ethyl Corporation Professor at VaTech, and a polymer chemist, but that was curious, so the bunny pointed it out and went on. Today Eli was looking at another discourse on the farce which quoted William Nordhaus

The piece completely misrepresented my work. My work has long taken the view that policies to slow global warming would have net economic benefits, in the trillion of dollars of present value. This is true going back to work in the early 1990s (MIT Press, Yale Press, Science, PNAS, among others). I have advocated a carbon tax for many years as the best way to attack the issue. I can only assume they either completely ignorant of the economics on the issue or are willfully misstating my findings.
The quote originally came from Andy Revkin, but Eli was simply shocked at how shocked Andy was, after all, you lie down with the Pielkes and you catch denialism. Whodda known. Anyhow, a thought occurred, who else had they managed to get the attribution wrong on. Well how about Roger the Elder's good friend

Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service and
Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris;

that should be the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) and the Institute of Geophysics

There may be a few others, but what this has is the stink of a letter put together by the same PR shop that provided the OISM petition but this time they outsourced the work to India (naw, the Indians speak English better than the Americans), but somewhere else. It also raises the question of whether the authors actually SAW the letter before it was published. The Rabett Hole you are associated with catches your eye on a letter you signed.

Not very important, but fodder for Willard UPDATE: and perhaps for the British police investigating Murdoch's shenanigans. He has only a few key people that he keeps moving about the world. If Eli were so inclined, perhaps he would wonder if there were a connection between Data Pool 3 (see link) and some recent computer searches known to us.


John said...

Panic is hardly in order as the WSJ is, of course, now part of the Murderdoch Misinformation Miasma.

Are you saying that the other dozen (was it?) alleged letter signers were properly identified with correct scientific attribution?

John Puma

Arthur said...

Well, you know, for people who've been retired or should have been for the last few decades, keeping track of what the place you used to work for calls itself, or used to call itself, can be trying.

I mean, up here in NY every SUNY campus seems to be in the midst of their fourth or fifth official name change - now that SUNY is in charge of community colleges too apparently nobody really wanted SUNY in their name or something. Odd system.

Martin Vermeer said...

Somebody pointed out that they even got the name of one of the signatories wrong: "Antonio Zichichi" should be Antonino.

Anonymous said...

Well, for Allegre, it is not *that* wrong. The French name is Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, which is litteraly translated as Institute for Physic studies on Earth. However geophysics is not the forte of IPGP, although they have extremely brilliant geophysicists far above my meager talents (Pascal Bernard, Nikolai Shapiro), and you find strong geochemistry and volcanology components - translate that into "Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris" is not a big stretch, although there are several Paris universities and several geology labs. Nitpicking, but translations are always tricky - and we can safely assume Allegre provided himself the translation.

And you can bet Allegre read the letter and fully supports it - and its consequences as a scientific caution to the Republican follies. He said worse in his books, believe me.

EliRabett said...

John, the others look ok, but in something like this missing even one or two is a mark of haste and amateurism, and yes, as far as Eli can see the others are ok, but some are only partial as if whoever placed the letter was up against a deadline and didn't know how to use the Google.

Anonymous said...

Hopping along past the school names, who are the candidates for the letter's author? A hired hack? Who submitted it to the WSJ? Would they say if asked?

Pete Dunkelberg

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

So the temperature in the past 150 years has gone from 288.0 kelvin to 288.8 kelvin.

Also, I didn't see Eli post anything about the fake story about sharks mating with different breeds. There were probably at least 10 articles that said it was due to global warming.


Michaels has been chestbeating about WUWT at Forbes , with one of his crew , sociology lecturer Robert E. Phelan’s, adducing the theory that it is “an absolute falsehood “ that Watts Up With That bans critical comments,

To test it, I posted the following on WUWT :

Burt Rutan’s views on climate history, notes Wired magazine, reflect his taste in architecture. The aerospace pioneer dwells ‘in a white pyramid on the edge of the [Mojave] desert… I Robert E. Phelan’s side…a floor-to-ceiling mural depicting three large white pyramids glowing against a lush tropical background; toward the front, a strange creature strides across a white veranda. The mural was painted a week ago, and everyone is ogling it.

"Giza plaza, 17,000 years ago," he explains. "See, I think the pyramids were made by aliens before the last ice age, and the ice destroyed them and they were just put back together by the Egyptians." Is he serious? "I've seen them and I'm an engineer, and you can't tell me that the technology is ancient Egyptian. If you were a superior race and you knew your time on Earth was ending, wouldn't you build something really big so people would know you'd been there?"…

Rutan turns to the mural and says, "You know that face on Mars? NASA did the dumbest thing. They said it wasn't a face, it was a pile of rocks. If they'd said it was a face, they'd have full funding!"

As expected, it elicited the following response
Russell Seitz says:
January 31, 2012 at 10:25 pm
[snip I'm sorry Dr. Seitz, you've been banned for abuse of WUWT policy long ago (like shape shifting with multiple email addresses) and you know it, and for continuing to plaster your "weapons grade vitriol" about everything and anyone who happens to post or comment here. If you don't like Mr. Rutan, please do take it up with him, perhaps you and he can argue about whether aliens wear bow ties.
In the meantime, please do be as upset as you wish. I'm done with you and your prickly condescending attitude towards people you disagree with.
Such a fine example for Harvard you set, sir. - Anthony Watts]

Why Watts should reckon Wired’s verbatim quotation from Burt, (whom I have known since our mutual involvement in the 1988 America’s cup defense), “weapons grade vitriol “ eludes me, but it is good to know that at least one Sacramento TV weatherman still regards Yosemite Sam as a role model.

John said...

The WSJ did publish a letter to the editor in reply to the Op-Ed under discussion ... from actual climate scientists!? It's here:
but since I do not see a "permalink," the full text follows. John Puma

Full list of signers in second post

"Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate"
Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

You published "No Need to Panic About Global Warming" (op-ed, Jan. 27) on climate change by the climate-science equivalent of dentists practicing cardiology. While accomplished in their own fields, most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert. This happens in nearly every field of science. For example, there is a retrovirus expert who does not accept that HIV causes AIDS. And it is instructive to recall that a few scientists continued to state that smoking did not cause cancer, long after that was settled science.

Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record. Observations show unequivocally that our planet is getting hotter. And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean. Such periods are a relatively common climate phenomenon, are consistent with our physical understanding of how the climate system works, and certainly do not invalidate our understanding of human-induced warming or the models used to simulate that warming.

Thus, climate experts also know what one of us, Kevin Trenberth, actually meant by the out-of-context, misrepresented quote used in the op-ed. Mr. Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean and other aspects of the short-term variations that always occur, together with the long-term human-induced warming trend.

The National Academy of Sciences of the U.S. (set up by President Abraham Lincoln to advise on scientific issues), as well as major national academies of science around the world and every other authoritative body of scientists active in climate research have stated that the science is clear: The world is heating up and humans are primarily responsible. Impacts are already apparent and will increase. Reducing future impacts will require significant reductions in emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused. It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses. In addition, there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D.

Distinguished Senior Scientist

Climate Analysis Section National Center for Atmospheric Research

La Jolla, Calif.

et al ...

John said...

Signers above letter, 1 of 2:

Kevin Trenberth, Sc.D, Distinguished Senior Scientist, Climate Analysis Section, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Richard Somerville, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Katharine Hayhoe, Ph.D., Director, Climate Science Center, Texas Tech University

Rasmus Benestad, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, The Norwegian Meteorological Institute

Gerald Meehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Michael Oppenheimer, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences; Director, Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy, Princeton University

Peter Gleick, Ph.D., co-founder and president, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security

Michael C. MacCracken, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Climate Institute, Washington

Michael Mann, Ph.D., Director, Earth System Science Center, Pennsylvania State University

Steven Running, Ph.D., Professor, Director, Numerical Terradynamic Simulation Group, University of Montana

Robert Corell, Ph.D., Chair, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment; Principal, Global Environment Technology Foundation

Dennis Ojima, Ph.D., Professor, Senior Research Scientist, and Head of the Dept. of Interior's Climate Science Center at Colorado State University

Josh Willis, Ph.D., Climate Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

John said...

Signers of above letter, 2 of 2:

Matthew England, Ph.D., Professor, Joint Director of the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Australia

Ken Caldeira, Ph.D., Atmospheric Scientist, Dept. of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution

Warren Washington, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Terry L. Root, Ph.D., Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

David Karoly, Ph.D., ARC Federation Fellow and Professor, University of Melbourne, Australia

Jeffrey Kiehl, Ph.D., Senior Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

Donald Wuebbles, Ph.D., Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois

Camille Parmesan, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, University of Texas; Professor of Global Change Biology, Marine Institute, University of Plymouth, UK

Simon Donner, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Canada

Barrett N. Rock, Ph.D., Professor, Complex Systems Research Center and Department of Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire

David Griggs, Ph.D., Professor and Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University, Australia

Roger N. Jones, Ph.D., Professor, Professorial Research Fellow, Centre for Strategic Economic Studies, Victoria University, Australia

William L. Chameides, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, School of the Environment, Duke University

Gary Yohe, Ph.D., Professor, Economics and Environmental Studies, Wesleyan University, CT

Robert Watson, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Chair of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia

Steven Sherwood, Ph.D., Director, Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Chris Rapley, Ph.D., Professor of Climate Science, University College London, UK

Joan Kleypas, Ph.D., Scientist, Climate and Global Dynamics Division, National Center for Atmospheric Research

James J. McCarthy, Ph.D., Professor of Biological Oceanography, Harvard University

Stefan Rahmstorf, Ph.D., Professor of Physics of the Oceans, Potsdam University, Germany

Julia Cole, Ph.D., Professor, Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

William H. Schlesinger, Ph.D., President, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Jonathan Overpeck, Ph.D., Professor of Geosciences and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Arizona

Eric Rignot, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory; Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine

Wolfgang Cramer, Professor of Global Ecology, Mediterranean Institute for Biodiversity and Ecology, CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury with a Ph. D. in Idiotics, are you saying that bullshit is best countered by equal and opposite bullshit?

Like, you know, that stuff about mufti of Jerusalem in the Ancient Islamic Kingdom of Palestine or whatever?

Why on earth do you like bullshit so much?

-- frank

Rattus Norvegicus said...


Apparently Rutan picked up on your post at WUWT and posted this in an attempt to clear his name. He most definitely is not an Ancient Aliens/UFO type crank, he is a crank of a more exotic variety!

Steve Bloom said...

Russell, of course Watts is no sort of intellectual and so is intimidated by the finishin' school/Ivy League rhetorical style, which forces him to resort to his dictionary with embarrassing frequency.

Anonymous said...

Information ht Deep Climate:

Hayden Cooper: "The article that followed was a letter signed by 16 scientists who believe the rush by governments to act is a mistake."

- Rush to act? hallucination

"Well, a number of us have been discussing this issue over many years, the fact that there is this alarmism about global warming which we believe is unjustified and so the opportunity came to put something to the Wall Street Journal which we did and we are quite happy to put my name with it."

" the opportunity came...."

This is sort of consistent with the observation that the letter looks rushed. But still, who wrote it? Who provided the opportunity, and why at this time?

Pete Dunkelberg

FanceRat said...

Another mis-affiliation among the 16, perhaps. Australian, which is my territory:

William Kininmonth, "former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology" was the Science Administrator in charge of the National Climate Centre at the Bureau of Meteorology, and a person who does not trust these new-fangled computers. (He started working at the Bureau of Meterology in about 1960).

I do not think this counts as head of "climate research" - administration is not research. The main message from him that I have heard is "don't trust the computer models".

Another fairly rich old man.

Roger Jones said...

William Kininmonth is mis-affiliated. Research at the BoM was the Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre. Bill ran the National Climate Centre for about six months between heads (he was 2IC), not long before he retired. They were in charge of data archiving, quality and distribution.

J Bowers said...

A link to the response letter from the sane to the WSJ, at Climate Communications.

J Bowers said... Half the authors of a controversial Wall Street Journal opinion piece denying the Earth's warming trend have ties to the oil and gas industry

J Bowers said...

And a permalink to the WSJ response letter, for John.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.


okay well there are numerous holocaust survivors who wanted the Mufti brought to justice. They wanted him detained and put on trial during the Nuremburg trials.

Just curious, why bother to post that oil companies give a pittance of money as compared to the funding the true believers receive, when they support your side also?

"It is easier and more politically expedient to support a cap-and-trade approach, because the public will never figure out where it is hitting them,” said Tillerson. “They will just know they hurt somewhere in their pocketbook,” he added, pointing out that he disagreed with this convoluted method of introducing a carbon tax, arguing instead that it would be more successful to openly propose a straight carbon tax."
-Rex Tillerson CEO of Exxon Mobil

JBowers do you not think that people know these things by now? I always get a good laugh because you complain about millions, while your side receives billions. You're right, it just isn't fair. True believers should be receiving trillions.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Jay Cadbury, phd.

Is there anyone here willing to call out Warren Buffet? I mean, you do all realize Obama blocked the oil pipeline from being built so they have to ship the oil on Burlington Northern's rail cars, which happens to be a part of Berkshire Hathway, imagine that.

I know you know I'm right, your silence says it all. You are terrified of alienating the base, like JBowers.

Anonymous said...

On Kininmonth's not-quite-so bona fides:

If Kininmonth was possessed of actual bona fide substance himself he'd have long ago, and repeatedly, corrected the record.

Bernard J. Hyphen-Anonymous XVII, Esq. (with lashings of whipped cream, and quite a few real bona fides that don't need listing in an already listing signature...)