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April 2nd, 2010
09:00 AM ET

Mixed messages from climate review panel

(CNN) – They were the e-mails read around the globe, leaked communications from a scientist. Skeptics called them proof of a conspiracy to mislead the public into believing in global warming.

Now, the first formal investigation into Climate-gate is over. To break down these developments we were joined on Friday's American Morning by Michael MacCracken, chief scientist for climate change programs at the Climate Institute, and Stephen Mcintyre, editor of climateaudit.org.


Filed under: Controversy • Environment
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. lyra

    news flash - there is no "debate" 99% of climatolagists in the world agree, climate change is here, If you think its not and dont have a degree in a relevant science, your opinion doesnt matter. And if you want to challenge the facts for real, go get a degree and then make your argument, Until then nothing you say has any merit.
    P.S. what would be the goal of this whole climate change "conspiracy" you claim is going? to make the world a healthier and safer place to live in? God forbid.....

    April 6, 2010 at 4:47 pm |
  2. GramM

    When we are all freezing and starving in the dark, the nay-sayers (right-wing radicals?) will still insist there is no climate change.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  3. Richard

    Man produces 100 times the amount of methane than we do of CO2, 100 times and it is 21 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 and it is just simply ignored.

    And the major producers of methane, landfills, commercial slaughter houses and coal mines.

    Its all about spin not science.

    April 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
  4. wittgenstein

    E-man and others: first, you paint environmentalists, by implication, as some extreme weirdos (uh, being in favor of a clean and healthy environment has become passe, I guess...better to have a dirty and toxic one...), and then, having done that, tie climatologists to the former, and that, somehow, by this forced association (yours), has put them into useless non-objectivity. My friend, have you ever actually read any of the countless research papers being done in this field? Not the McIntire 'interpretations', which is like having Palin choose the Fields medal winner. The public 'debate' about 'climategate' is, sadly, a distraction from the real issues, which are myriad and rapidly accumulating data clearly showing a disturbing change in the climate, especially in the northern latitudes (where the sensitivity is greatest). There are Mienkovitch cycles (and others) which have occurred for eons. These do not, however, account for the sudden, rapid increase in temperatures and accompanying ice/permafrost melts, animal migration etc. The difference is the rapidity of the change, which is clearly linked to the anthropogenic surge in co2. Using only natural cycles, we cannot account for the changes we are seeing, both in scale and time. Anthropogenic alone cannot either. But, in CONCERT, they do. That is what is being missed in your (and others') 'analysis'. It is the human input on top of the natural effects that is so dangerous. And yes, Andrea, methane hydrates are becoming more important in scientists' minds and attentions; related, the methane from permafrost melting is a possible (more likely a probable) super-enhancer of the warming effect (methane is far more potent as a greenhouse gas, a brief but potent initiator, that then becomes co2 et al). If it is released in quantity, including the continental shelf methane (from earthquake/landslide, as in the mega-event some thousands of years ago off Norway), then we are in even worse trouble. The sad, 'common-sense' argumentation seems reasonable for the deniers, but the reality, grounded in actual science, speaks volumes to the developing climate change. I'm sorry. I wish it were otherwise. I have children and worry for them. But it is what it is. Wishing otherwise won't change facts.

    April 6, 2010 at 10:59 am |
  5. Centrist

    Spider – there is ample evidence that second hand smoking is harmful. Kids stuck in cars with smoking parents have appreciable levesl of nicotine and its metabolites in their blood. Do you have the evidence to provve this is harmless??

    Similarly with regard to the climate, we are increasing CO2 levels by 2 ppm per year, or about a million-fold the natural rate. Where is the science that proves this is of no consequence??

    April 5, 2010 at 4:52 pm |
  6. buke56

    Lets see here, a shelf of ice about the size of Manhattan broke off of the South Pole, The ice mass has melted so much up at the north pole that the Arctic Ocean is full of corpses of polar bears, brush fires are larger than they were due to less moisture on the ground, more moisture is being absorbed into the atmosphere causing longer colder months during winter. Why would anyone think there is any severe climate change.

    Scientists have been studying air & water pollution and its effects on our enviroment since the 70s and they have told us many times of the possible consequences. Now 10 years into the new millinium some of these warning signs have come to be. The GOP and conservatives like Drugs Windbaugh laugh and scoff at these these scientists and their well researched findings because if big business were regulated to protect enviromental health it would effect their profit margin. Instead of implementing more regulation in this matter Dubya actually DEregulated big business from having to follow any guidelines concerning enviromental protections, said it was unfair to big business. If youre not angry its because youre sleeping. Its later than you think.

    April 5, 2010 at 4:03 pm |
  7. e-man

    there are certainly place that are hotter than before, but it doesn't mean that fossil fuels are causing it. When you add acres of tar roofs, cement and asphalt to an area, they are bound to retain more heat that the open fields that were there before. Take a low altitude flight in a small plane and you will understand.

    The real problem is with the conclusion that this is all CO2 related. There are plenty of other theories that correlate much better than the CO2 data. The problem is these "scientists" refuse to release their work or consider other possibilities.

    The oceans have been cooling for the past 10 years (oceans cover most of the planet). Huse shelves of ice have broken off of the side of Antartica, but the other side has added DOUBLE that amount for a net GAIN in ice.

    These climate "scientists" got tied to environmental activists, and can't be objective anymore.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  8. Howard

    Spider, only a smoker who doesn't want to be inconvenienced would deny that second hand smoke is not dangerous.
    What's especially dangerous is irresponsible comments lie yours
    There IS evidence of this.

    April 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  9. SSN

    "Whether a few climatologists got tired of the nay-sayers and hung on to their data too hard or not, climate change is here, is real, and will do what it will no matter how much denialists rant about it."

    "climate change is here" As more than natural cycles, it's not.

    "is real" And has been for at least 10,000 years..

    and will do what it will no matter how much professional alarmists rant about it.

    April 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm |
  10. SSN

    "How about creating stored mechanical electrical energy that is created by using wind turbines to wind -up a coil spring wheel which creates electricity by using regenerative braking."

    How about a million hamsters with their running wheels hooked to little tiny turbines?

    April 5, 2010 at 2:10 pm |
  11. street smart

    Lets see a chunk of ice the size of Manhattan broke off the South Pole, brush fires get bigger every year due to thermal warming causing more precipitation to be absorbed into the atmosphere making the winters colder and last longer, the icy shelf of the North Pole has shrunk so much that the polar bears have less & less land mass to live on and are drowning in great numbers. The arctic ocean is filled with their corpses. Why would anyone think that there is any climate change?

    Scientist since the early 70s have been investigating this potential disaster at great length, It is only now with all these fiascoes that have resulted from climate change that you hear more & more about it. Scientists have been talking about how all the air pollution from factories emitting toxic gases into the atmosphere can cause global warming and how severe climate change can result. Thats why the GOP and people like Drugs Windbaugh scoff at any evidence of climate change. They have always been for big business and big business will have a severe loss of profit margin if they were to be regulated by the govt for pollution. There was regulation set but Dubya had it removed, said it wasnt fair. to big business. A good rule of thumb to go by whenever you have a hard time figuring out if the right wing is lying is anytime they make fun of something its probably because its true and they dont want the public knowing about it. Palin in 2012 y'all!

    April 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
  12. Jim

    spider,

    There is proof that second hand smoke kills, there have been numerous studies that link second hand smoke to cancer, not just statements. You can look it up, it's all over the place. No, not all lung cancer is caused by smoking and no one that is reputable has said it is.

    Yes, there are people trying to mislead, but the IPCC has done a good job (despite "glaciergate") in stating the issue and probabilities of future change. Some even say the IPCC understate the seriousness of the problem.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  13. Fairdinkum93

    Spider – Oh yes, breathing second hand smoke is harmless!! Why then do second-hand smokers have the same mutations in their lungs than smokers?? I bet you once said smoking was harmless, until it became impossible to deny.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:43 am |
  14. Matt

    Here's the message - it's so hard for scientists to say - "We don't know what's going on" with respect to climate change.

    April 5, 2010 at 10:27 am |
  15. WHM

    Regardless if climate change is correct or not the use of fossil fuels must be diminished. People a thousand years from now may made need oil and coal as a back-up energy source that is if an alternative energy source is found.

    How about creating stored mechanical electrical energy that is created by using wind turbines to wind -up a coil spring wheel which creates electricity by using regenerative braking.

    April 5, 2010 at 5:50 am |
  16. Spider

    "a conspiracy to mislead the public into believing in global warming"

    Say it ain't so!!! There's a possibility that someone is intentionally misleading the American, nay, the entire planet's, public?

    Anyone remember Y2K? The sky was falling then also. We were told our entire infrastructure was gonna collapse at midnight December 31st. The fear was used to give the public and major corporations that extra push they needed to accomplish all the changes that needed to be made, before the last minute.

    How about second hand smoke? Absolutely no scientific evidence. Just statements like; "There were 6000 deaths last year from lung cancer. 4000 of those were smokers. Therefore, 2000 people died from second hand smoke." That's not proof. That's an assumption that all lung cancer is caused directly or indirectly by cigarette smoking, something the scientific community has been completely unable to prove for a century. But, the fear of "second hand smoke" has caused a decline in smoking nationwide. That's a good thing.

    So, now some folks in the scientific community might be overstating the importance and ominous portend of "global warming"? What's the worst thing that can happen? We all become more environmentally conscious? What's the complaint?

    Accept it people. Someone will always be trying to mislead you if it will further their own personal, or professional, agenda. Hey, remember the bipartisan change agent, that promised to fix our economy and bring worldwide peace, that we elected?

    April 5, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  17. wittgenstein

    Whether a few climatologists got tired of the nay-sayers and hung on to their data too hard or not, climate change is here, is real, and will do what it will no matter how much denialists rant about it. Climate change doesn't give a fig about their fist shaking. In ten years, there will be zero dissenters of any stripe. I post a virtual wager...that once the data accumulates for another decade, the debate will cease. If I lose, hurray, we're not in such danger. If I win, then you all had better have a plan B. Don't hold your breath for the first option.

    April 4, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  18. Limnologym

    Climate-gate was a completely manufactured controversy designed to misinform and mislead the public.

    April 4, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
  19. andrea silverthorne

    Why is there no discussion on methane hydrates and their effect on both global warming and cooling?

    April 2, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  20. Ed_B

    I don't see what is so hard for CNN to grasp... you are being misled on Climate Change by a whole host of spin doctors.

    for example.. Mike McCracken spun the CRU findings into "nothing to see.. everything is fine.. global warming is still on".. and you did not challenge him on his statements..

    in particular.. the panel was not set up to evaluate the science, so why did you allow him to suggest that the panel said the science was OK?? Seems to me you needed to have insisted that he is taking the findings over a bridge too far. You got "spun"

    McIntyre was accurate and precise. You seemed bored by hearing what he had to say. Are you not interested in hearing HIS submission on the "trick"?

    On the "trick".. you got spun on that by McCracken. Imagine someone essentially saying that the data has to be evaluated and then ignored if is not suitable. The data is data.. it cannot be thrown out if you do not like it! How about the drug companies being allowed to throw out or "hide" the bad data,.. ie that people are dying during the drug trials??

    You blew it!

    April 2, 2010 at 6:37 pm |