I happened to see a clip about the Wizard of Oz and remembered the whole wizard hiding behind a curtain scene where the viewer realizes that in reality, the Great and Powerful Oz is nothing more than a rather ordinary older man, harmless really, who just creates this scary facade to make himself appear more powerful than he really is. The threat is all just a lot of smoke and fire and levers and pulleys.
Which got me to thinking about analogies and the like.
Over at CA, McI has an interesting post up. Clearly unsatisfied with the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the CRU Emails, and of course, 3 of the 4 aspects of the Mann inquiry, McI is doing his own inquiry, rehashing some of the issues he feels were inadequately addressed in the UK Inquiry.
What struck me about his post is that it’s clear he spent a great deal of time mining the emails looking for evidence to support his views. What has he come up with?
That Phil Jones and colleagues tried to stymie skeptics’ attempts to get data that was already publicly available or was not subject to release because of confidentiality agreements? He alleges that Jones forced subordinates to make untrue claims (about IPCC procedures and availability of reviewer comments etc. — same ol same ol) and asked subordinates to delete emails relating to AR4. He ponders why the inquiry did not question Jones about his state of mind when he asked underlings to tell untruths and delete documents.
The post is quite long and detailed and rather boring when it comes right down to it — nothing that we haven’t already read at CA. Yes, there’s some questionable behavior going on — but McI’s post reminds me of dear Lady Macbeth protesting too much.
In the end, does it really matter?
Is the temperature increasing due to burning of fossil fuels or not? That’s what matters.
That is precisely not what McI focuses on.
So far, no one has found in McI’s favor. There’s still a couple of inquiries to come but the skeptics have not come out on top in the inquiries to date. Mann is exonerated on 3 of 4 counts reviewed in the inquiry about his conduct. Jones has his reputation restored and the finger is pointed at UEA instead of CRU according to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry. Other than on contrarian blogs, and the denialosphere, and among Repubs and the right wing, no one really cares about the CRU emails.
What people do — or should — care about is whether there really is global warming and how serious it is, and from what I understand, McI has done nothing to contribute to that.
All he and the others have done is raise murky concerns about a few bits of data and a few emails that suggest there was a turf war and tribalism in climate science — concerns that have shed no light about the issue at hand — the real issue — global warming.
Had he and his kind been interested in the real issue, they could have done something of value. The data was available in other sources and locations even if they couldn’t get it from CRU. If McI and any skeptic wanted to replicate the temperature record, they could have done so but it would have taken time and effort and cost some money.
But we all know that this group of so-called auditors and self-proclaimed skeptics weren’t really interested in replicating the results the way a bona fide climate scientist might. They were looking for holes in order to cast doubt. They have done nothing scientific with the data they have obtained. The whole project appears to be to raise doubt in the best tradition of tobacco denial. The skeptic papers have traction only on denialist blogs and in the right-wing media and all been soundly trashed.
So what does all the Sturm und Drang add up to?
Nada. Nilch. Nichts.
He’s had the data now for a while but what exactly has he been spending his time on? Attacking various climate scientists. Writing blog posts that make sly innuendo and outright claims about their motives and which question their veracity and suggest fraud. It seems to me that he doesn’t care one whit about the science except to prove it wrong and show the scientists to be frauds or worse, criminals.
Why does anyone give this man the time of day? Why is he included on a CNN news report?
Tip of the ear to Eli Rabett for this link to the CNN news videos of McI and McCracken. It’s clear that the Inquiry pretty much wrote off the concerns of skeptics and found that focus on Jones was misplaced. It even found that Dr. Jones’ reputation was not harmed and yet, McI claims the opposite. He tries to spin the Inquiry’s findings 180 degrees from what it did find.
Each week more evidence comes out that indicts the burning of fossil fuels on the increase in GHGs and global temperature increases. Each week more evidence comes out that global warming is real and a threat and yet what do contrarians and denialists focus on? What do the self-appointed auditors focus on? The overblown comments of a few climate scientists who felt hounded by denialists and felt threatened, personally and their careers. A few minor errors in data or in literature.
It’s not about science. It’s about politics and ideology and money.
The latest CA post whinges about what the Inquiry didn’t do — it didn’t focus on three elements McI feels should have been addressed. Issues he’s bashed on about before several times.
All right all ready. We got the point. I’m sure we all understand that he doesn’t accept the findings of the Inquiry.
McI has always cast himself as the simple auditor, interested in checking the numbers, solving puzzles, acting in complete good faith, horrified by the evils he’d uncovered in the dark halls of climate science.
I’d like to see all his emails with various players among the skeptics. One gets this sense that he’s doing a very good job of holding in his real views in public forums. I’d like a peek behind the curtain.
In the Wizard of Oz, The Great And Powerful Oz, in between bursts of fire and smoke, demands that Dorothy and her companions “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”
Interesting analogy, no?