December 5, 2009

Non-Blog Post

I’m not sure what’s becoming more amusing—or perhaps frustrating—in the ongoing global warming saga: the length at which some “researches” have gone to manipulate and hide data or the ways in which their supporters are defending them.

It was recently revealed that much of the raw data from the 1980s was intentionally destroy but the “value-added” data was kept. “Value-added” data are data which were “quality-controlled and homogenized” (these are the Climate Research Unit’s own words). Essentially, the numbers which were not destroyed are the numbers which were filtered through the researchers’ quality-control system. Who would have ever thought that raw numbers needed to be “quality-controlled”?

As if that isn’t unnerving enough, the continual line of defense is one that would have made even people like Newt Gingrich and Bob Ley—if not Ken Lay—proud.

Over and over again I’m seeing the use of the terms “taken out of context” and “non-story” or “non-issue.”

The phrase “taken out of context” is quite laughable because even when entire e-mails have been used to illustrate a damaging comment from any of the researchers in question, the defenders are still referring to the e-mail as being “taken out of context.” From this point on, I now realize, if anything questionable that I’ve ever written is used against me in its entirety, I’ll simply be able to say that it’s “taken out of context” and it’ll be okay.

The term “non-story” and “non-issue” is another fun line of defense because I’ve noticed that things are “non-stories” or “non-issues” whenever people don’t like what’s being said.

I found the following comment on one of the news stories about the destroyed raw data and it illustrates my point. For this guy—whose name and blog URL I’ve redacted because I don’t think he deserves any more site traffic than what he has now—the whole story is a “non-issue” because he doesn’t like the end result. I have a gut feeling that if a story broke in which he liked the end result, it would suddenly become a “story”—and an important one at that. The prosecutions which he’s referring to are not for the scientists whose e-mails have made this an issue, but rather prosecutions for those who leaked the e-mails.

He doesn’t give a shit about altered data, destroyed data, or destroyed e-mails which should be part of the public record. His anger is directed toward those who exposed the perpetrators.

This reminds me a bit of the Sarah Palin censorship story that was reported last year during the 2008 presidential campaign. It was discovered that in 1996, then-mayor of Wasilla Palin had “rhetorically” asked her public library director about censoring library materials. A fake list of books that Palin supposedly wanted banned then became viral on the Internet. Even though the question of censorship actually took place on Palin’s part, I had a family member—a Palin supporter—who called the entire story a “non-story” because the list of books was fake. His reasoning was that since one small part of the story was a hoax, the entire story could be dismissed.

Now the anthropogenic global warming crowd is more than happy to adopt the same philosophy. In a move that is akin to most Fox News viewers, they look to things that affirm their world view and wish to simply dismiss anything that challenges that world view.

Once again we see that there’s no difference between the ideologies.

Goldstein, Lorrie. “Climate Scientists: Dog Ate Homework.” The Toronto Sun. 2 Dec. 2009.

Stuart, Paul. “Palin: Library Censorship Inquiries ‘Rhetorical.’Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman. 18 Dec. 1996 (reprinted 5 Sept. 2008).


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