Conspiracy of silence

The Union of Concerned Scientists has claimed that there is a conspiracy by the Bush administration to intimidate and censor climatology scientists in the United States on the topic of Global Warming.

It’s a conspiracy, all right, just not the one the real conspirators Union of Concerned Scientists claim it is. Read the whole thing at Real Clear Politics, but here’s the intro:

In trying to prove that the Bush administration is throttling research into global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists rolled out some breathtakingly bad science.

The group unveiled a supposedly scientific survey of more than 1,600 federal climate scientists as evidence that the administration was engaged in “wide-ranging political interference in research related to global warming.”

“The new evidence shows that political interference in climate science is no longer a series of isolated incidents but a system-wide epidemic,” Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program, said in a press release. “Tailoring scientific fact for political purposes has become a problem across many federal science agencies.”

Grifo obviously doesn’t’ appreciate the irony when he trots out a poll that is so flawed that it is manifest evidence of exaggeration, incompetence or dishonesty on his group’s part.

You don’t have to be a social scientist to understand that the survey was deceptive, for example, when it lumped into the same category scientists who said they actually experienced the alleged tampering and scientists who simply “perceived” that it happened to someone else. For example, the group’s press release said “Forty-three percent of respondents reported they had perceived or personally experienced changes or edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their scientific findings.” But turn to the study’s appendix, and you’ll find that only 15 percent of the respondents said that they had actually experienced such interference.

The Statistical Assessment Service (STATS) at George Mason University is mentioned in this article, but not linked. It should have been, so I’ll correct the oversight.

In counterpoint to the Union of Concerned Scientists we have actual State intimidation of climatologists being practiced in Oregon: Global warming debate spurs Ore. title tiff

Should the state climatologist lose his title?

His opinions conflict not only with many other scientists, but with the state of Oregon’s policies.

So the governor wants to take that title from Taylor and make it a position that he would appoint.

In an exclusive interview with KGW-TV, Governor Ted Kulongoski confirmed he wants to take that title from Taylor. The governor said Taylor’s contradictions interfere with the state’s stated goals to reduce greenhouse gases, the accepted cause of global warming in the eyes of a vast majority of scientists.

“He is Oregon State University’s climatologist. He is not the state of Oregon’s climatologist,” Kulongoski said.

Kulongoski said the state needs a consistent message on reducing greenhouse gases to combat climate change.

The Governor says, “I just think there has to be somebody that says, ‘this is the state position on this.'”

Governor, you just did. Why a scientist has to agree with you on a matter of expertise, his, not yours, is unclear. The scientific method demands that theories be subject to open debate. Theories that are not falsifiable because of religion – for example, creationism, cannot be called scientific. Making anthropogenic global warming into a religion will not get around that. But, just like Kansas seems to keep considering making the teaching of creationism mandatory, Oregon is free to make Kyotoism the State doctrine.

Good luck with that. I look forward to Oregon’s achievement of its proportional Kyoto reductions in the very near future.
H/T Drudge Report

In closing, here’s a very brief summary of changes in major IPCC predictions between 2001 and 2006.

Temperature increases down one-third.

Radiative forcing down to 1.6 watts per square meter from 2.43 watts – also down by one-third.

Maximum sea-level increases down one-half.

What’s up is the “certainty” of human activity as the cause for warming we haven’t been able to detect for the last 5 years. From 66 to 90 percent. Up almost one-third.

I’ll bet when the certainty reaches 100% we’ll find the temperature, sea-level and radiative forcing numbers drop to statistically insignificant levels.
H/T A Dog Named Kyoto