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This Blog is designed to be a Diary of Events illustrating Global Climate Change, and where it will lead.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Deniers Do Their Own Research

Borrowed Liberally from Climate Progress:

I should point ot that this Group isn't the Wild Eyed Idiots (DENIERS) who would Deny their own mother if she suggested there was anything to AGW - these are people who had genuine doubts, and didn't trust the usual Climate Scientists.

The goal of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature Study was to assemble some clever scientists and statisticians “to resolve current criticism of the [global] temperature analyses, and to prepare an open record that will allow rapid response to further criticism or suggestions.”

For a study supposedly aimed at boosting credibility in the surface temperature data record, however, its flaws in conception and operation were beyond head-exploding:

1. It was co-chaired by Richard Muller (author of widely debunked books, blog posts and Wall Street Journal op-eds). Muller himself has actually worked to undermine credibility in well-established science and doesn’t have a great grasp of basic climate science.

2. Muller got co-funding for the study from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation! It’s hard to imagine a more irresponsible and anti-scientific person than Charles Koch. CP and CAP have long detailed the role of the billionaire brothers of Koch Industries, Charles and David Koch, in destroying American prosperity. We now know Koch Industries outspends Exxon Mobil on climate energy disinformation.

3. BEST claims its team includes “climate experts,” but the only climatologist listed is Judith Curry, one of the most debunked climate scientists (see Schmidt and Annan and Steig and Verheggen, and CP for starters). Curry mainly seems on the team to give Muller the thinnest veneer of climatology credibility, since she herself has written, “I participated loosely in this project, mostly as a resource person calling their attention to any new papers or blog posts that I thought were relevant and as a sounding board for ideas. As they have begun analyzing the data, I have completely refrained from commenting on the process or preliminary results, I have only made suggestions regarding where they might publish their analyses, etc.”

4. In a remarkable demonstration of bad judgment, Muller installed his daughter Elizabeth Muller, as project manager!

5. In even more remarkable demonstration of bad judgment and conflict of interest, it turns out Muller has a consulting company, GreenGov.biz, part of Muller & Associates, whose aim is to “provide politically-neutral counsel that is broad in scope while rooted in the hard facts of state-of-the-art science and engineering” in energy and climate policy. Richard Muller is President and Chief Scientist. Who is the CEO? Elizabeth Muller! Two other members of the BEST team are technical advisors to Muller & Associates.

So it looked to several climate scientists that the BEST effort was stacked with confusionists and funded by deniers in order to push a dubious message and advance Muller’s for-profit consulting business.
The problem for Muller, however, was that there’s really no way to turn the surface temperature data into something that it isn’t. Even hard-core deniers haven’t been able to put a dent into it.

And BEST isn’t run by hard-core deniers, the kind who don’t have any professional scientific reputation and hence can just make crap up.

So their results aren't really all that surprising to anyone with a trace of sanity:

Climatologist Ken Caldeira, who helped fund the group, but didn't participate, sent out the following email message for publication this weekend:

I have seen a copy of the Berkeley group’s draft paper, which of course would be expected to be revised before submission.

Their preliminary results sit right within the results of NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU, confirming that prior analyses were correct in every way that matters.

Their results confirm the reality of global warming and support in all essential respects the historical temperature analyses of the NOAA, NASA, and HadCRU.

Their analysis supports the view that there is no fire behind the smokescreen put up by climate science deniers.

It will be interesting to see if Muller can find a way to use this unsurprising result into something that can generate media attention and business for his consulting company.

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