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Letter to Newsweek

Editors-

Oh, the delicious irony.

As a skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming, I was disturbed to see that Newsweek in its August 13, 2007 issue (The Truth About Denial) had equated me with a Holocaust denier.  There are so many interesting scientific issues involved in climate change that it was flabbergasting to me that Newsweek would waste time on an extended ad hominem attack against one side in a scientific debate.  I was particularly amazed that Newsweek would accuse the side of the debate that is outspent 1000:1 with being tainted by money.  This is roughly equivalent to arguing that Mike Gravel's spending is corrupting the 2008 presidential election.

However, fate does indeed have a sense of humor.  Skeptics' efforts of the sort Newsweek derided just this week forced NASA-Goddard (GISS) to revise downward recent US temperature numbers due to a programming mistake that went unidentified for years, in part because NASA's taxpayer-paid researchers refuse to release their temperature adjustment and aggregation methodology to the public for scrutiny.  The problem was found by a chain of events that began with amateur volunteers and led ultimately to Steven McIntyre (he of the Michael Mann hockey stick debunking) calling foul.

The particular irony is that the person who is in charge of this database, and is responsible for the decision not to allow scientific scrutiny of his methodologies, is none other than James Hansen, who Newsweek held up as the shining example of scientific objectivity in its article.  Newsweek should have been demanding that taxpayer-funded institutions like NASA should be opening their research to full review, but instead Newsweek chose to argue that Mr. Hansen should be shielded from scrutiny.

Warren Meyer

Posted on August 9, 2007 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

Comments

Thanks for sending that letter to Newsweek. I get this rag as thanks for helping a kid with his school fundraiser. Saw that article and felt exactly the same way. Didn't even bother looking at the rest of the mag - strait to the trash.

Posted by: TakeFive | Aug 9, 2007 3:12:15 PM

Great Letter! must have been a joy to compose! I am inspired to continue my part of the surface station survey.

Posted by: L Nettles | Aug 9, 2007 4:47:36 PM

Great Letter! must have been a joy to compose! I am inspired to continue my part of the surface station survey.

Posted by: L Nettles | Aug 9, 2007 4:47:52 PM

Great Letter! must have been a joy to compose! I am inspired to continue my part of the surface station survey.

Posted by: L Nettles | Aug 9, 2007 4:47:55 PM

Great Letter! must have been a joy to compose! I am inspired to continue my part of the surface station survey.

Posted by: L Nettles | Aug 9, 2007 4:48:00 PM

Mr. Meyer,

Thank you for your service. I have never read your site before but it refreshes me like a cool breeze on a hot August day here on Constitution Ave in D.C. Thanks again kind Sir; may I have another?

Posted by: Unquiet | Aug 9, 2007 4:48:35 PM

How can there be respect for the Scientific Method if the "method" is withheld?.
And "peer review" is no panacea: group-think is a well examined phenomenon.
Human Nature's a beach.

Posted by: Randy Williams | Aug 9, 2007 4:54:54 PM

Irony or deliberate reframing of the argument? Hansen's team was informed weeks ago of McIntyre's discovery.
Plenty of time for a phone call placed to a willing propaganda department for a quick muddying of the waters.
This episode shows the difference between people who don't play by the rules of full disclosure, and those who do.
The one gets the hagographic full glossy edition butt cover, the other gets DDOS attacked into silence.

Posted by: Papertiger | Aug 10, 2007 2:28:38 AM

Great letter. I am penning one of my own.

Posted by: The Dirty Mac | Aug 10, 2007 11:07:26 AM

Oh, and how about citing the triple digit temperatures in Las Vegas as evidence of global warming. With anecdotal evidence like that, you can sell snow to the eskimos.

Posted by: The Dirty Mac | Aug 10, 2007 11:10:19 AM

For a party that loves to hedge, (Durbin is now saying the surge is working)climate change is the perfect political lie. We dearly need to make any government employee personally pay the price for playing fraudulent politics with America.

Posted by: DL | Aug 11, 2007 3:58:42 AM

NASA needs to investigate Hansen. Start with sworn testimony to determine who decided to keep the data and formulae secret. I smell criminal misconduct.

Posted by: Walter E. Wallis, P.E. | Aug 13, 2007 7:28:22 PM

This is unrelianle data. go ask your matriarch for better info. waaaphhhfff

Posted by: jvg | Oct 31, 2007 1:19:09 PM

This is unreliable data. go ask your matriarch for better info. waaaphhhfff

Posted by: jvg | Oct 31, 2007 1:21:21 PM

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