Global Warming: Man or Myth?

Scientists can also wear their citizen hats

Vermont State Climatologist: Why Is That Link Still There?

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Update - May 20, 2010: The Fraser Institute document link has been removed from the VSC page.  Mission accomplished.

On Monday, November 2, 2009, I was directed to the Vermont State Climatologist (hereafter referred to as VSC) Home Page by a comment posted on the climate blog Open Mind.  I was shocked to see a link to a Fraser Institute document titled Understanding climate change – Fraser Institute  listed prominently on the VSC page.  The images below show the page as of May 1, 2010 and is the same as I saw it on November 2, 2009.

Screen Capture Dated May 1, 2010 of the VSC Home Page

Understanding climate change - Fraser Institute listed prominently on the VSC page

I was shocked because the Fraser Institute is a well-known front group for oil and other interests that have waged a misinformation campaign against climate science.

I have already documented this organization on my Global Warming Denial Machine page and there are many others who have done the same.  See:

                Understanding climate with the Fraser Institute and Michael Chernoff – DeepClimate

                Fraser Institute – DeSmog Blog

                Fraser Institute – Sourcewatch.org

                Fact Sheet: Fraser Institute – Exxonsecrets.org

                Fraser Institute – Wikipedia

The most notorious document by the Fraser Institute is Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM) published on Feb. 5, 2007, just after the release of the IPCC AR4 Summary for Policy Makers (2007).  The Fraser Institute’s politically-motivated ISPM was filled with many errors and has been thoroughly debunked.  See:

Independent Summary for Policymakers – Sourcewatch.org

Fraser Institute fires off a damp squib – Realclimate.org

Understanding climate change is essentially a shortened version of the ISPM.  It is quite obvious that Fraser Institute is intentionally misleading the public about climate change and is being well-funded by oil and others interests to do so.

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK THERE?

The Vermont State Climatologist is Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Ph.D.; Associate Professor with degrees in climatology, GIS, hydrology, and physical geology. It seemed odd to me that she would have the Fraser Institute link on her page let alone as the first link in her list of “Climate change articles & resources”.

I sent the following email to her on November 2, 2009:

Dr. Dupigny-Giroux,

I am very curious why the first Web link on your home page listed under the category Climate change articles & resources is to a Fraser Institute document that is filled with very misleading and incorrect information regarding the current state of climate change science.

The link in question is:  http://www.fraserinstitute.org/COMMERCE.WEB/product_files/Understanding_Climate_Change_2008.pdf

Do you support the conclusions of this document which are contrary to the conclusions of the overwhelming majority of experts?”

After eight days with no response I alerted her Chair to the issue via email and also spoke with the Chair via phone.  It appeared that Dr. Dupigny-Giroux did reply to my initial email but my college’s email server treated Vermont’s mail server as spam so her reply did not reached me.  Dr. Dupigny-Giroux’s email was forwarded to me eventually by her Chair.  Dr. Dupigny-Giroux’s reply appears below (emphasis mine):

                “Dear Dr. Mandia

Thank you for taking the time to contact both my Chair (Dr. Meghan Cope who I have copied on this reply) as well as myself about the PDF document from the Fraser Institute.

The document was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system. I have been working with a student all semester of the upgrade and redesign of the Vermont State Climate Office website. This will include the addition of other projects that I worked on (e.g. the new EPA climate change website), the re-arrangement of matrials(sic)  and the provision of the contextual background for certain pages, including the climate change and climate science literacy information.

Again, thank you for your concerns. Dr. Cope and I wish you a successful end of the semester.

Sincerely

Dr. Lesley-Ann L.P. Dupigny-Giroux”

What?  How can a climatologist state that the Fraser Institute document “was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system”?  Furthermore, there was no mention that she intended to remove the offending link.

My reply to her and her Chair:

“Dr. Dupigny claims that “The document was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system.”  As I have stated  previously, the Fraser Institute document is specifically designed to MISLEAD the general public about the current scientific consensus regarding climate change.  The Fraser Institute has a long track record of this type of misleading information.

I can only conclude that this document was not carefully screened before being added to the site or that Dr. Dupigny does not support this consensus.  I am sorry that this may sound undiplomatic but I can see no other choice.  The fact that the link STILL appears after I have alerted you both about its dubious nature, makes me wonder.  It  takes a few seconds to remove a link.  It is important that our students and the general public not be misinformed about this vital issue.

Dr. Dupigny-Giroux’s response:

As Dr. Cope clearly pointed out in her message, I am in the midst of redesigning the entire VTSCO website. I would like to reiterate that I shall be addressing your concerns at that time.”

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

Of course, I was not satisfied with that response.  Climate change science and scientists are under attack and we certainly do not need our State Climatologists’ Web sites assisting the anti-science crowd by prominently listing Fraser Institute documents!  I then contacted Nolan Doesken, President, American Association of State Climatologists.  I alerted him to the issue.  He described Dr. Dupigny-Giroux as a gifted and motivated climate educator with a strong desire to improve climate literacy at all levels.”  Well, the Fraser Institute document sets climate literacy back so I had trouble understanding his sentiments. 

My reply to Mr. Doesken:

The bottom line is that the link is still there and it should never have been there in the first place.  I would accept that perhaps Dr. Dupigny did not carefully read the document before posting because we all make mistakes in haste.  However, she has told me in an email that “The document was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system.”  I suppose one might equate that argument to the following comment from the hypothetical Vermont State Evolutionist: “I chose to use the document from the Intelligent Design University because there are parts of this document that show key aspects of evolution.”  I can only conclude that the Fraser Institute document is supported by Dr. Dupigny.  A link takes less than one minute to be removed.  It is a shame – there are so many worthy documents that could be used instead that are not designed to undermine the science.

Before we speak, I ask you to view the Fraser Institute’s: Understanding Climate Change: Lesson Plans for the Classroom available at:  http://www.fraserinstitute.org/researchandpublications/publications/6819.aspx

The lesson plans are experts pieces of propaganda and include many of the oft-debunked arguments such as: CO2 lags not leads temperature, intense debate about the role of CO2 in global warming, human emissions are a fraction of natural emissions, carbon cycles are not well understood, models are unreliable, etc.  These lessons are being sent to our children!  These folks have no shame and are willing to sacrifice our children’s future to save a few bucks today.

I am used to seeing propaganda like that of the Fraser Institute on ideologically-driven Web sites but not on an academic site, especially one from the State Climatologist of Vermont.  If our own scientists are being fooled, then how can we defend out children from this pseudo-science?”

The last I have heard from Nolan Doesken is November  12, 2009.  He stated that he would look into the matter but apparently it was not that important to any of those involved but me.  Six months ago I alerted the VSC that she had a piece of anti-climate science consensus prominently displayed on her site.  Six months ago she claimed to be redesigning the site and the site is still the same.

As we all know, it was about one week later (November 19th) that the e-mail hack referred to as Climategate was the top news story.  And, as we all know, those that refute the scientific consensus tried to spin Climategate as an indictment against all of climate science and its scientists.  Furthermore, I blogged about the fact that Climategate Coverage was Unfair & Unbalanced. One would think that the VSC would be very sensitive to preserving the good name of climate scientists around the world by removing a blatantly anti-consensus document from her site.  So, again I ask:

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

The VSC claims that Understanding Climate Change  “was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system.”  Strange.  Why would the VSC use a document from a well-known denialist organization instead of a climate science document from a well-known scientific body such as some of those I list in my Suggested Reading on Climate Change page:

Or, she could have referred readers to Realclimate.org’s Start Here page which lists many such informative pages divided into sections labeled: For complete beginners, Those with some knowledge, Informed, but in need of more detail, and Informed, but seeking serious discussion of common contrarian talking points.

Given all of these other choices, one has to think that Understanding Climate Change by Fraser Institute must be an example of world-class easy-to-read climate science literature!  Unfortunately, and I bet you guessed it, the document is far from that status.

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

Analysis of Understanding Climate Change with Page Numbers Noted

Understanding Climate Science is a brilliant piece of propaganda that highlights climate science uncertaintites while minimizing or completely ignoring the near certainties.  The document contains many misleading statements and many errors and is missing many key points of information.  It appears that the author is a student of the tobacco industry executives that understood “doubt is out product”:

“Doubt is our product since it is the best means of competing with the ‘body of fact’ that exists in the minds of the general public. It is also the means of establishing a controversy.”

Or perhaps the author is a student of Frank Luntz, Republican strategist, who wrote the following:

The scientific debate remains open.  Voters believe that there is no consensus about global warming within the scientific community. Should the public come to believe that the scientific issues are settled, their views about global warming will change accordingly. Therefore, you need to continue to make the lack of scientific certainty a primary issue in the debate, and defer to scientists and other experts in the field.”

The author of Understanding Climate Science is Nicholas Schneider.  He is a policy analyst with an M.Sc. in Economics!  He has published no peer-reviewed scientific articles!  Wow, talk about being low on the credibility scale.  Any objective person should immediately be suspicious of material in this document.  So…

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

Emphasizing the Uncertainties While Minimizing the Well-Understood:

Pg. 8 – “Feedback processes are complex and are difficult to quantify… and in some cases may go in the opposite direction.”

Yes, there is uncertainty in the fast feedbacks, especially the lapse rate (-0.84 ± 0.26 W/m2/K) and cloud (0.69 ± 0.38 W/m2/K) feedbacks.  When combining the water vapor feedback (1.80 ± 0.18 W/m2/K) and Surface Albedo (0.26 ± 0.08 W/m2/K) feedback there is high confidence that, overall, feedbacks are positive.

Pg. 9 – “…therefore changes in atmospheric water vapour are an important climate feedback, albeit one that is difficult to predict.”

Not true.  The water vapor feedback is very well understood and it is strongly positive.  See values above.

Pg. 11 – “The influence of greenhouse gases on climate is considered by the IPCC to be well understood, but the scientific understanding of all other factors ranges from medium to low.” and “While some of the largest forcings are well understood, scientists have a medium to low understanding of most of them.”

On this page Figure 4 shows an adapted version of Figure 2.20 from IPCC (2007).  Compare both.

Fig. 4 from Understanding Climate Change

Fig. 2.2 from IPCC (2007)

Now why do you suppose Understanding Climate Change cropped off the section that shows Total net human activities?  Could it be that it shows the reader that even if the forcings are all on the low side of the error bars, there is still a net positive forcing?

Pg. 24 – “Overall, the IPCC notes that since its last report in 2001, model performance has improved, though errors and biases remain.”

Pg. 25 – Summary: Climate models are important for understanding and predicting possible climate changes, but the challenges of representing small-scale climate and weather processes, and the continued discrepancies between projected climate conditions and observations, are important limitations. Since models are used not only for projecting the future, but also for diagnosing the human influence on the current climate, it is important to understand their inherent uncertainties.

Here is what the IPCC really says (emphasis mine):

There is considerable confidence that climate models provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at continental scales and above. This confidence comes from the foundation of the models in accepted physical principles and from their ability to reproduce observed features of current climate and past climate changes. Confidence in model estimates is higher for some climate variables (e.g., temperature) than for others (e.g., precipitation). Over several decades of development, models have consistently provided a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases. (IPCC, 2007)

For more information about models and accuracy please visit my Climate Models & Accuracy page.  So I ask again…

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

Incorrect/Misleading/Missing Information:

Right off the bat in the Preface, Understanding Climate Change makes the following absurd claim:

“Understanding Climate Change is organized to largely follow the sequence of topics in the most recent IPCC report. The Fraser Institute also published a more detailed summary of the IPCC Report called the Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM), which serves as a longer and more technical summary than Understanding Climate Change. Readers can therefore refer to the full IPCC report (http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/) and the ISPM (see http://www.fraserinstitute.org/ commerce.web/publication_details.aspx?pubID=3184) when they are interested in gaining a more detailed knowledge of any one topic area.”

Let’s compare the ISPM reports to the IPCC reports to see if they should be considered “comparable”:

  IPCC ISPM
Credentials of Coordinator(s) Scientists Economist
# of Authors 450+ lead, 800+ contributing 10
# of Referenced Articles Thousands 37
# of Countries that Endorse Document as Describing the Current State of the Science 130 0
# of Major Scientific Bodies that Support Conclusions of Report ALL None

The VSC could just have easily linked to IPCC 2007 FAQ, or even the IPCC Summary for Policymakers.  Both are easy to read, fairly short, and contain the current state of the science.  So I ask again…

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

Pg. 6 – Understanding Climate Change in the section Causes of Climate Change states:

“…or because of anthropogenic(human-caused) changes (e.g., large-scale modifications of the land surface and atmospheric composition of greenhouse gases).” and “During the last 100 years, anthropogenic factors have increased considerably. Large sections of continents have been deforested and cultivated, and various emissions to the atmosphere are associated with the growth of world population and industry.”

True but misleading.  By describing land-use change first in both statements, the reader is led to believe that land-use changes are more important than increased emissions of GHGs.  The IPCC (2007) states (emphasis mine):

“The primary source of the increased atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide since the pre-industrial period results from fossil fuel use, with land-use change providing another significant but smaller contribution.”

During the 1990s, the IPCC (2007) estimates that emissions of GHGs due to land-use change was about 22% of the total but there is a large uncertainty.

Pg. 7 – In the Summary of Causes of Climate Change, there is NO MENTION AT ALL OF AGW!  Instead the reader is treated to:

                “Over billions of years, as the earth has changed, so too has climate.”

Pg. 9 – In the Greenhouse gases section the reader sees:

“Carbon Dioxide – The level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere has increased by 36% since the time of the industrial revolution, and is still rising due mainly to emissions from fossil fuel combustion.”

No mention that CO2 levels today are higher than the past 650,000 years and that an increase of 36% in a few hundred years is unprecedented?  Wow!  No mention of that 800 lb gorilla in the air.

Pg. 10 – Historical reconstructions of solar activity show that the sun’s energy output has intensified since the 1700s, which explains at least some of the climate changes since then. A number of different reconstructions of solar output over the past four centuries are discussed in the IPCC report, with varying implications about the extent to which they can explain climate trends in recent history.”

Very misleading.  Changes in solar radiation cannot explain the recent warming.

Pg. 13 – “Many weather stations continue to operate in cities or at airports, where the high concentration of buildings and human activities often causes these areas to be more than a few degrees warmer than the surrounding rural areas. This is called the urban heat island effect, and is not related to greenhouse gases. A series of studies in recent years presented evidence that as much as half the increase in the average of temperatures over land since 1980 can be attributed to a failure to fully correct for local urbanization and other land surface changes, as well as other data quality problems (de Laat and Maurellis 2004, 2006; McKitrick and Michaels 2004, 2007). In its recent report, the IPCC acknowledged these studies but dismissed the findings. However, the IPCC did not present any counterevidence.”

Not true in the least!  The UHI and micrositing concerns have been studied at length.  I have a page related to the topic called Fiction: Surface Temperatures are Unreliable (UHI).  The fact of the matter is that satellite-inferred temperatures that do not use thermometers measure essentially the same rates of warming as surface thermometers.  Ocean observations have no UHI and they also show similar trends.

The IPCC (2007) does discuss studies of UHI and the conclusion is:

“Urban heat island effects are real but local, and have not biased the large-scale trends. A number of recent studies indicate that effects of urbanisation and land use change on the land-based temperature record are negligible (0.006oC per decade) as far as hemispheric- and continental-scale averages are concerned because the very real but local effects are avoided or accounted for in the data sets used.”

Pg. 13 – “Climate models all predict that greenhouse gases should have their strongest effect in the troposphere over the tropics, a large layer comprising half the lower atmosphere. A variety of satellite series, as well as data from weather balloons, have failed to detect such a change.”

Not true and also misleading.  The MSU satellite data considered by this document was tainted by including lower temperatures due to stratospheric cooling.  However, one of the two satellite-based tropical tropospheric estimates (RSS) shows a trend of 0.18°C per decade which matches the other data sets.   Models predict amplified warming in the tropical upper troposphere, not the tropical troposphere as a whole.

Pg. 13 – The North Pole has experienced the greatest surface temperature increase in recent years, while there has been no measured increase at the South Pole over the last few decades. For the Southern Hemisphere as a whole, the trends from both land-based and satellite-based data are only about one-half to one-third as large as those in the Northern Hemisphere.”

Misleading.  As noted by the IPCC (2007) the southern hemisphere shows a smaller trend because the surface is mostly ocean which does not change temperature as quickly as do the continents.  This difference is accurately projected by IPCC models.

Pg. 14 – There is little evidence of a strong, long term change in precipitation patterns, either globally or regionally.”

False or misleading at best.  The IPCC (2007) concludes:

  • Increased precipitation over land in north of 30°N since 1900 [AR4 3 ES, 3.3.2, FAQ 3.2]
  • Decreasing precipitation in the tropics since the 1970s [AR4 3 ES, 3.3.2, FAQ 3.2]
  • Substantial increases in heavy precipitation events [AR4 3 ES, 3.3.2, 3.8, FAQ 3.2]
  • Increased drought, especially in the tropics and sub-tropics, since the 1970s [AR4 3 ES, 3.3.4, FAQ 3.3]

Pg. 15 – “The available data imply an increase in the average temperature measured at the earth’s surface over the last 150 years, but not consistently over time or equally in each region. There is evidence that temperature data collected over land at the surface are affected by modifications to the land surface, especially over the last 25 years. Temperature data measured by weather satellites show less change over that interval, especially in the tropics where climate models predict the strongest warming.  There seem to be no strong long term trends in precipitation patterns, although there is considerable regional change and variation over years and decades. Overall, the lack of reliable long-term records of extreme and rare events such as heat waves, intense storms, cyclones, and tornadoes often makes assessing trends difficult.”

As clearly shown above, these statements are incorrect, misleading, or missing key information.

Pg. 16 – “However, the IPCC notes that sea ice thickness is one of most difficult climate variables to measure. A study by NASA scientists, published after the IPCC report, concluded that cyclical patterns in the Arctic Ocean circulation, rather than global warming trends, explain many of the recent changes seen in the far North (Morison et al. 2007).”

Incorrect and misleading.  Sea ice thickness is declining.  It may be difficult to measure precisely but the trend is down with great certainty.  The Morison et al. paper is not a paper about sea ice thickness!  It is a paper about ocean bottom pressures.  In fact, the authors conclude:

“Since the 1990s, some trends, such as decreasing ice extent, have continued in spite of a relaxation of the AO to lower levels, and they raise concerns that global warming is driving the Arctic to an ice-free state.

Pg. 16 – “In summer 2007, sea ice in the Arctic Basin fell to its lowest level since 1979, but by January 2008 had fully recovered to its 1979-2000 average.”

The deception here is barely disguised.  Of course in the summer/fall there will be lowest sea ice extent due to the greatest melting during the warmest months.  And of course, January will feature a return of sea ice due to much colder weather.  The author is comparing apples to oranges and is exhibiting classic cherry-picking by choosing a single month in a single year while ignoring the long-term decreasing trend in sea ice extent.

Pg. 17 – “Data have been collected for relatively few glaciers worldwide…regional patterns are complex, and there are places where glaciers have been advancing in the past decade.  The thickness of the glacier on top of Mount Kilimanjaro has not changed much over the 20th century, although the ice is retreating at the vertical walls. Solar radiation has been identified by the IPCC as the main driver of this decrease.”

Misleading.  An honest assessment of glacial extent would state that there are hundreds of glaciers being monitored and   90% of these worldwide glaciers are retreating.  Many of the few glaciers that are advancing are suffering volume/mass loss.  Solar radiation is NOT the cause of recent glacial melt for most glaciers – AGW is.

Pg. 18 – “The average temperature of the global ocean between the surface and the top 700 meters is estimated to have risen by 0.10ºC between 1961 and 2003. High rates of warming were observed between 1993 and 2003, but the IPCC notes that since 2003, the oceans have started to cool.”

False.  The IPCC does NOT state oceans are cooling since 2003.  Furthermore, papers included in the IPCC (2007) were dated 2005 or earlier to make the cutoff submission date.  Even if 2004 and 2005 are considered, two years does not come close to defining a trend.  The current data shows a long-term increase in ocean heat content which the IPCC (2007) does state.

Pg. 20 – “Atmospheric CO2 levels tend to rise and fall with changes in temperature. The CO2 levels, however, do not start to rise until several hundred years after temperatures increase, which suggests that CO2 increases responded to temperature changes, but were not the cause of the initial temperature increase.”

Misleading.  The CO2 Lags T argument is a common one used by climate change contrarians.  The argument is moot in today’s climate.  See: CO2 Lags Temperature

Pg. 22 – “Compared to its 2001 report, the IPCC’s 2007 report made less definitive claims about whether the Northern Hemisphere is warmer now than during the medieval era. This section of the report continues to be the subject of intense debate.”

False.  The IPCC (2007) concluded:

 “The warmest period prior to the 20th century very likely occurred between 950 and 1100…The evidence currently available indicates that NH mean temperatures during medieval times (950–1100) were indeed warm in a 2-kyr context and even warmer in relation to the less sparse but still limited evidence of widespread average cool conditions in the 17th century”.

More importantly, the IPCC (2007) also concluded:

“Paleoclimate information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1300 years.”

There is not “intense debate” within the scientific community that today’s climate is warmer than that of the MWP.  Most temperature reconstructions using many varied proxies shows that the MWP was not warmer than the past several decades.

Pg. 22 – “…some natural temperature records do not match known instrumental temperature changes in recent decades.”

Very misleading.  It is likely that this claim is based on the well-known and well-studied tree-ring divergence problem.  Tree rings since 1960 do not track well with actual measured temperatures.  Tree rings do match well with thermometers and temperature proxies before 1960.

At a recent Congressional hearing regarding climate change, Dr. Chris Field, an ecologist at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and co-chair of the “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability” chapter of the forthcoming IPCC report, discussed physical and biological indicators that allow scientists to infer that climate change is happening. Out of 29,436 independent temperature e indicators extending back at least 20 years examined, 94% of trends in physical systems (e.g. glaciers) and 90% of trends in biological systems (i.e. budburst) were consistent with a rapidly warming climate.indicators extending back at least 20 years examined, 94% of trends in physical systems (e.g. glaciers) and 90% of trends in biological systems (i.e. budburst) were consistent with a rapidly warming climate.

Pg. 25 – “Despite much research, the range of climate sensitivity estimates has not changed much over the past few decades.”

True but actually strengthens the argument for positive feedbacks!  Climate sensitivity is the term used to describe the equilibrium global surface air temperature change due to a doubling of CO2 from 280 ppm (pre-Industrial Revolution) to 560 ppm. It is usually given as a oC change per W/m2 forcing. According to the IPCC (2007): “climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2 to 4.5oC with a best estimate of about 3oC, and is very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C. Values substantially higher than 4.5oC cannot be excluded, but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values.”

Climate sensitivity cannot be measured directly but estimates can be made by observing climate change in the past or from short-term changes caused by volcanic eruptions. Beginning in the 1960s early climate models showed a sensitivity in the range of 1.5 – 4.5oC. Current models show a range of 2.1 – 4.4oC. This confirms that model simulations of climate feedbacks are quite robust.  The lower value of climate sensitivity of 2oC is fairly well constrained which means that if emissions are not stabilized very soon, significant global warming is inevitable.  Only the upper bound is uncertain.  So the question again…

VSC: WHY IS THAT LINK STILL THERE?

When asked, the VSC stated Fraser Institute’s Understanding Climate Change:

 “was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system.”

I think it is pretty clear that statement fails every credible test.  The VSC chose to link that document first thus assigning it the most merit.  She was alerted to the fact that Fraser Institute has a long history of waging a misinformation campaign against climate science.  The document was written by an economist.  The document is described as a shortened version of the Independent Summary for Policymakers (ISPM) which is essentially a collection of incorrect, misleading, and missing information that can only be described as deliberate.  It takes less than one minute to remove the link.  She has had six months to do so.

Please comment and tell me what you think is going on here?  Why is that link still there?

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Written by Scott Mandia

May 14, 2010 at 10:17 am

Posted in Uncategorized

44 Responses

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  1. > “…tell me what you think is going on here?”

    Acknowledging both Occam’s razor, it’s cousin Hanlon’s razor and that fact that without any direct evidence it is a cheap shot (even on a blog) to propose such a thing without direct evidence (of which I have none other than the vague and scientifically inaccurate response from a well qualified scientist that is involved)…at this point, it is prudent to consider the possibility of payola IMHO.

    The again Dr. Dupigny-Giroux may be extremely busy (aren’t we all) and has placed an inappropriate amount of faith in, and responsibility on the abilities of “the student”.

    arch stanton

    May 14, 2010 at 11:52 am

  2. Excellent work Scott, I’m working on a similar strategy for my city council. Getting it in writing is important. I am also pointing out that lack of action or delayed action is irresponsible. It is so easy for politicians to use such tactics, such as we are in the process of redesigning our web site (which could take… years).

    The reliance on the ambiguous in the face of clear scientific evidence is unfathomable, and in this case will likely prove largely unforgivable.

    Getting a paper trail started with government organizations is needed. I will also email a comment on this to the http://www.climatelobby.com group.

  3. I think the link is still there because the Vermont State climatologist see truth in the “Understanding climate change” document. Simple as that.

    It clearly offends your climate change dogma, but I hope the VSC stand their ground and resist whatever pressure is brought to bear. Someone has to.

    klem

    May 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm

  4. Hmmmm, eine kleine Google:
    http://www.google.com/search?q=climate+change+global+warming+%2B“Dupigny-Giroux”

    Eleven pages of hits; I got through the first two and the very last few items on the eleventh page. I don’t find a link to the webcast listed last in this response, which might be the most interesting thing to find.
    ——-

    Dupigny-Giroux, Lesley-Ann and Cary J. Mock, eds. 2009. Historical Climate Variability and Impacts in North America. Springer.

    I found it mentioned here: http://www.aslionline.org/news/news10March.pdf (That’s Atmospheric Science Librarians, March 2010, list of new and upcoming books; her co-editor’s web page is here:
    http://www.cas.sc.edu/geog/people/mock.html
    ———

    That’s this book:
    http://www.researchbooks.org/9048128277/HISTORICAL-CLIMATE-VARIABILITY-IMPACTS-NORTH/
    Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, Cary J Mock
    Historical Climate Variability and Impacts in North America, 2009; Springer; 9048128277

    “Climatologists with an eye on the past have any number of sources for their work, from personal diaries to weather station reports. Piecing together the trajectory of a weather event can thus be a painstaking process taking years and involving real detective work. Missing pieces of a climate puzzle can come from very far afield, often in unlikely places. In this book, a series of case studies examine specific regions across North America, using instrumental and documentary data from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Extreme weather events such as the Sitka hurricane of 1880 are recounted in detail, while the chapters also cover more widespread phenomena such as the collapse of the Low Country rice culture. The book also looks at the role of weather station histories in complementing the instrumental record, and sets out the methods that involve early instrumental and documentary climate data. Finally, the book’s focus on North America reflects the fact that the historical climate community there has only grown relatively recently. Up to now, most such studies have focused on Europe and Asia. The four sections begin with regional case studies, and move on to reconstruct extreme events and parameters. This is followed by the role of station history and, lastly, methodologies and other analyses. The editors’ aim has been to produce a volume that would be instrumental in molding the next generation of historical climatologists. They designed this book for use by general researchers as well as in upper-level undergraduate or graduate level courses.”

    ———

    Here’s a video explaining climate change
    http://www.vpt.org/programs/emergingscience_episodes.html
    under her name among others:
    http://www3.vpt.org/flvs/emergingscience/episodes/102/

    Found here:

    “Episode 2: Weather and Climate Change

    View the full episode

    “Scientists from UVM, Lyndon State College, and the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury explain how the earth’s climate system works and explore the impact of global warming.

    Featured experts: …
    * Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, associate professor, geography, University of Vermont, and Vermont state climatologist ….”

    (It might be interesting to look up the other featured experts also listed, quite a few are listed for that video)
    ——–

    A program note here:
    http://learn.uvm.edu/osher/?Page=springfield.html&SM=locations_submenu.html
    “March 9
    WHAT’S HAPPENING IN OUR OWN BACKYARDS:UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE LOCALLY
    Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux,Ph.D., UVM Associate Professor of Geography, and Vermont State Climatologist
    This talk delves into the hot topic of today – global warming and climate change and how this is relevant to Vermont and northern New England. Dr. Dupigny-Giroux will discuss the anomalous nature of the last few years and place them in the context of climate variations. She will also address why climates in the North Country are so variable and speak about her use of farmers’ diaries and other historical documents in quantifying how our climates change.”

    ——–

    Listed among the contributors to this teaching guide on climate science:
    http://wiki.esipfed.org/images/f/f8/CL-Lit_Brochure_final_draft_v7f_s.pdf
    “Climate Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts
    This Climate-oriented guide to teaching science standards was developed with input from recent workshops and discussions and reflects the current efforts in defining climate literacy….”
    ——-

    She is cited for two points in the last IPCC WG2 report here: http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/AR4/website/14.pdf

    ——-

    Author of this:
    http://bellwether.metapress.com/content/9g773g51v15x216t/
    Introduction—Climate Science Literacy: A State of the Knowledge Overview
    Journal Physical Geography
    Publisher: Bellwether Publishing, Ltd.
    ISSN: 0272-3646
    Issue: Volume 29, Number 6 / November-December 2008
    DOI: 10.2747/0272-3646.29.6.483
    Pages 483-486
    Online Date Monday, March 16, 2009

    ——-

    This page: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/natlabday/examples.jsp

    mentions this:
    Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC)—Contributing to Geospatial Climate Education and Literacy
    Photo of Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux

    Principal investigator: Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, University of Vermont & State Agricultural College and Vermont state climatologist
    http://www.uvm.edu/~geograph/documents/BlueSky-publication.pdf

    “The Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) project at the University of Vermont (UVM) is two-year, professional-development program aimed at enhancing the competency of K-12 science and mathematics teachers. The primary SWAC partners are teachers from participating schools in Vermont…..”

    ——-

    Listed among the advisors to this website:
    http://www.j-newvoices.org/site/story_grantees07/vermont_climate_witness/

    ——-

    Cited in: http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/scientific-assessment/Scientific-AssessmentFINAL.pdf

    ——-

    Whew. And that’s just a selection from the first two of eleven Google pages of hits.

    This is one busy woman. That alone may explain the lack of quick response.

    Well, jumping ahead to the last page of hits, there’s …. this might be worth a look:

    VPT Public Square PUBLIC SQUARE is a VPT initiative addressing issues of concern to Vermonters. Mixing documentary footage, thoughtful insight, in-depth panel discussions and more, we’ll keep you informed about local events and issues that affect your lives.

    Climate Change

    Thursday, March 27th at 8:00 pm
    This month’s “Public Square” will feature highlights of a public conversation with John McClaughry and Bill McKibben called “The Changing Climate.”

    McClaughry is president of the free-market public policy research and education think tank called the Ethan Allen Institute. McKibben is an environmentalist, writer and scholar in residence at Middlebury College. The two held a lively exchange on whether global warming is the result of human activities or natural changes …..
    In addition, the program will be accompanied by a live webcast and chat with Vermont State Climatologist, Lesley-Ann L. Dupigny-Giroux. Both the webcast and chat can be accessed at http://www.vpt.org.

    (no link, but you might be able to find it)

    Hank Roberts

    May 14, 2010 at 3:09 pm

  5. Just posted a bunch of bits found searching
    http://www.google.com/search?q=climate+change+global+warming+%2B“Dupigny-Giroux”
    (or at least I hope it posted; it disappeared with an error message).

    Hank Roberts

    May 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm

  6. I guess that post has gone missing.

    Well, a few high points from the search below.

    After reading part of eleven pages of hits, I think she may be a very, very, very busy person who has handed off (or doesn’t actually have) the editing responsibility for that web page. None of the rest of what I find is consistent with someone who’s denying the science. She’s cited in the last IPCC WG2 in two places, among much else.

    A few:

    http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/natlabday/examples.jsp

    Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC)—Contributing to Geospatial Climate Education and Literacy
    http://www.uvm.edu/~geograph/documents/BlueSky-publication.pdf
    Photo of Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux

    Principal investigator: Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux, University of Vermont & State Agricultural College and Vermont state climatologist
    http://www.uvm.edu/~geograph/documents/BlueSky-publication.pdf

    The Satellites, Weather and Climate (SWAC) project at the University of Vermont (UVM) is two-year, professional-development program aimed at enhancing the competency of K-12 science and mathematics teachers….

    ——
    http://www3.vpt.org/flvs/emergingscience/episodes/102/

    —–
    http://www.co2smart.com/greenhouse-gases/uv-radiation-and-greenhouse-gases

    Emerging Science joins Vermont state climatologist Lesley-Ann Dupigny-Giroux as she explains one of the major planetary components of climate change: greenhouse gas. The ozone layer protects us from UV radiation, but with increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the “greenhouse effect” is increased, warming and deflecting more solar radiation back to the earth.

    Hank Roberts

    May 14, 2010 at 3:40 pm

  7. ACK!thpftt!

    From the Fraser Institute document caption of the chart they chopped off, as mentioned above — they chopped off the caption along with the bottom of the chart, and retyped it. Wrong:

    Radioactive Forcing (W m-2)
    Figure 4 ….

    “Radioactive Forcing” — gack.

    I emailed the state climatology office on that one, figured it was just too grossly illiterate to go unremarked.

    Mandia: {facepalm] – How did I miss that one!

    Hank Roberts

    May 14, 2010 at 4:07 pm

  8. Scott,
    This is indeed a curious affair.

    Hank, Google Scholar turns up about 13 publications, including about 6 since 2005. Most pertain to drought or historical climatology. However, Google also turns up a few interesting TV videos which definitely show that she understands the basics of the greenhouse effect and global warming.

    Her use of the Fraser Institute document is just weird, and like you I cannot fathom why they have not yet removed it. “Radioactive Forcing” indeed! Keep after them…

    A Bryant

    May 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm

  9. Scott, might be a 2-column comparison would be easier to read, and would break the bad/good comparison up into small easily read chunks.

    If my guess is right — a far-too-busy ‘state climatologist’ failing to read enough of a student intern’s choices — could be the same student/intern is reading your summary and not doing very well with it.

    It’s probably considered a really unimportant website — evidence being that nobody’s looked at it carefully til you did!

    Hank Roberts

    May 14, 2010 at 5:32 pm

    • It does appear that she is very busy but the question still remains why was that link placed there in the first place?

      She stated clearly that she believes “The document was chosen for its explanation of the key elements of the climate system.”

      Even so, if you were in her shoes and somebody pointed out the problems with the document would you not find a way to remove it? Intern or not?

      This is just so strange. My gut tells me that she is not a denier and I really do not believe she was paid to endorse the document.

      Scott Mandia

      May 14, 2010 at 11:59 pm

  10. Scott and Hank, I think you guys are right with your “she’s very busy” hypothesis. There seems to be no evidence to back up my “consider payola” musing. It was premature for me to even mention it.

    I‘ve spent too much time reading comments over at Saint Anthony’s. :(

    arch stanton

    May 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

  11. > Saint Anthony’s
    for anyone coming in late who doesn’t recognize the in-joke, that’d be the ‘Watts Up With That’ blog, where conspiracy theory is part of the background for a great many readers. Eschew. Is awful. Try the shadow site: http://wotsupwiththat.wordpress.com/
    ——-

    On topic:

    I got a polite reply from the State Climatologist’s office just now (I’ll reply and cc Dr. Mandia in my reply).

    In part:
    _______________________
    “Thank you for contact me about the link to the Fraser Institute article. The Vermont State Climatologist website has been redesigned and streamlined and will be released sometime later this week. Please check back for the updates…..”
    _______________________

    This reads to me like my hunch is right — someone’s very busy, and not in touch with the science blogging stuff much.

    I’d say y’all can surely imagine that after the various kerfuffles out there, the very thought of attracting public attention to a climate site must be chilling. They certainly don’t want to appear to yield to any kind of pressure to hurry, in fact they’d be smart to have frozen the old page during the redesign.

    We know it has problems. They could attract far worse problems by blowing the redesign.

    The passive voice, too (“The document was chosen ….”) is a clue for me that whoever put the page together the first time — intern? student? nobody really knows? — was likely tasked “go find us something that has a summary of the key elements and put it on the page” and, heh, nobody looked carefully at it. Cough “Radioactive” cough.

    I’d imagine that person was likely not tasked with being suspicious and not necessarily someone who had the highest level of familiarity. Like I said above, the thing _looks_ like it’s a summary of the IPCC, until you look carefully at the spin being applied throughout it.

    So while I agree completely with Dr. Mandia and am glad he caught it, I’d also say there are a couple of lessons.

    One lesson is — debunking can be overwhelming; presentation matters; most people likely don’t want to know details. So find the fatal flaw and point hard on that, in the simplest possible terms in the clearest way, and persist til you get the attention of someone who gives a damn.

    (what ever happened with that other page that had the same Frasier thing as a reference, some NOAA page was it? in Texas? See, I’ve forgotten completely ….)

    The other lesson is the old one that rust never sleeps, corruption creeps in, and not everyone is watchful or even convinced there’s anything to be watchful for. Yet.

    Object lesson. How many more are out there?

    Hank Roberts

    May 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    • “Thank you for contact me about the link to the Fraser Institute article. The Vermont State Climatologist website has been redesigned and streamlined and will be released sometime later this week. Please check back for the updates…..”

      I am getting a strong case of deja vu.

      Scott Mandia

      May 17, 2010 at 9:19 am

  12. Well, it’s Monday, we’ll see in a few days.

    I recall when Kennedy got into the White House, he commented that one of the biggest surprises was finding things were as bad as they’d been saying they were in the campaign.

    I think one of the bigger surprises for those of us who’ve been worried about climate for a long while — as it has been for worries about tobacco, and asbestos, and lead, and hormone mimics — is that the denial and disinformation campaigns have truly been as effective as we’ve feared.

    I know I’ve been through this before in my 60 years, and my dad before me trying to educate people on radiation biology in the rah-rah-Civil-Defense winnable-nuclear-war years certainly had the same experience.

    People’s attachment to ideas is tightly held and not given up immediately on being shown they’re wrong. Denial, bargaining, anger, depression, and then — often — a rebound to even more fiercely defending what they wanted to believe. That’s the good science about correcting errors, remember, facts don’t make people change their minds often.

    And in an organization or office, each person goes through those stages, and it can cycle, or new people can come in …. we don’t know what’s going on behind the wall there.

    It’s Monday. Later this week will come soon enough.

    One regret, if the Fraser people Google themselves, is they’ve likely gotten into action defending their bogus document’s position. I doubt we’d ever know, but imagine.

    Hank Roberts

    May 17, 2010 at 10:46 am

  13. p.s.: this:
    http://www.unc.edu/~sanna/ljs07aesp.pdf
    Metacognitive Experiences And The Intricacies Of Setting People Straight: Implications For Debiasing And Public Information Campaigns

    is a research papers that shapes how I approach denial and confusion when trying to educate, if I’m being smart at the time. It’s very hard to do.

    Hank Roberts

    May 17, 2010 at 11:39 am

    • The paper Hank referred to is a must-read but a difficult read. I am not familiar with this psychological terminology but I gave it a go. A nice Belgian brew helped me get through it. To save you time, here are some statements that stood out for me:

      On the obvious side, it suggests that frequent repetition of the information that one wants to convey to the public is a good idea. All information campaigns attempt to do so, although usually based on the assumption that frequent exposure facilitates successful learning and message retention (McQuail, 2000; Rice & Atkin, 2001; Tellis, 2004). From a metacognitive perspective, frequent exposure also facilitates increasingly fluent processing of the message and increased perceptions of familiarity, which, in turn, increase the likelihood of message acceptance. Rhyming slogans and presentation formats that facilitate fluent processing will further enhance this effect. On the counterintuitive side, this logic implies that false information is better left alone. Any attempt to explicitly discredit false information necessarily involves a repetition of the false information, which may contribute to its later familiarity and acceptance. Although this problem has been known since Allport and Lepkin’s research (1945) into wartime rumors, the idea that false information needs to be confronted is so appealing that it is still at the heart of many information campaigns. Like the debiasing strategy of “consider the opposite”, it derives its appeal from the assumption that judgments are based on declarative information—and it fails because it underestimates the power of metacognitive experiences.

      Once memory for substantive details fades, familiar statements are more likely to be accepted as true than to be rejected as false. This familiarity bias results in a higher rate of erroneous judgments when the statement is false rather than true, as observed in the present study. On the applied side, these findings illustrate how the attempt to debunk myths facilitates their acceptance after a delay of only 30 minutes.

      In sum, providing participants only with the facts had the intended effects on participants’ attitudes and intentions, both immediately and after a short delay.

      Attempts to inform people that a given claim is false may increase acceptance of the misleading claim. In addition, such attempts may also have the unintended effect that the false claim is eventually associated with a highly credible source. Because messages from high credibility sources are more influential, as known since Hovland and Weiss (1951), this will further enhance the acceptance of the false claim—including its acceptance by others, who are told that one learned it from a credible source.

      Next, participants learned that some statements were taken from the National Enquirer (a low credibility
      source) and some from Consumer Reports (a high‐credibility source). Their task was to guess which source had originally reported which statement. As predicted, a given statement was more likely to be attributed to Consumer Reports than to the National Enquirer the more often it had been presented. Thus, frequent exposure does not only increase the acceptance of a statement as true, as reviewed above, but also facilitates the attribution of the ‘‘true’’ statement to a highly credible source. This source attribution, in turn, may increase the likelihood that recipients convey the information to others, who themselves are more likely to accept (and spread) it, given its alleged credible source (Rosnow & Fine, 1976). These examples suggest that countering false information in ways that repeat it may further contribute to its dissemination by associating the information with a credible source, either through source confusion or through erroneous inferences of source credibility.

      In most cases, however, it will be safer to refrain from any reiteration of the myths and to focus solely on the facts. The more the facts become familiar and fluent, the more likely it is that they will be accepted as true and serve as the basis of people’s judgments and intent ions.

      So, now what do I do about my “Global Warming Misinformation” page? Ugh!

      Scott Mandia

      May 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm

      • Thanks for the major effort of not just reading but summarizing.

        > what do I do …

        I wish I knew. Not repeating the bad info is a real task. Repeating it (‘throwing it back in his face’) is such a strong compulsion we see it done all the time. Yet the science tells us we’re hurting the effort to educate people by doing that.

        Maybe “Soandso says a lot of things that are wrong in that interview/on that show/in that posting is wrong. You’ll likely see those claims copypasted over and over. I won’t dignify the misinformation by repeating it again here — instead, I’ll tell you what’s known from the science and how to find it.”

        Hank Roberts

        May 17, 2010 at 9:20 pm

  14. Oh, man, you think it can’t get worse, then you see something like Green & Armstrong on “AGW Analogies”

    Tip of the hat to Marco for the link, over at:
    http://deepclimate.org/2010/05/14/how-to-be-a-climate-science-auditor-part-2-the-forgotten-climategate-emails/#comment-3676

    Hank Roberts

    May 17, 2010 at 11:49 am

  15. No change yet, but it’s only Tuesday.

    It occurs to me — what they want in that top spot is a link to a replacement document that _actually_ provides what someone _thought_ that Fraser doc provides — an explanation of the basic elements of the climate system, referencing the IPCC AR1 but aiming for the average literacy/reading level.

    Glance over the Fraser doc with your critical thinking off and your eyes slightly out of focus, and it _appears_ good.

    Could we be helpful?

    What _would_ be good there? I could start digging, and come up with some ideas, but perhaps someone here has a good suggestion, in case the Vermont folks read this far while working on their redesign.

    Hank Roberts

    May 18, 2010 at 10:15 am

  16. And — look at this:
    http://sackler.nasmediaonline.org/2007/ile/jeremy_jackson/jeremy_jackson.html

    Look at/listen to the slide captioned “Cap carbon emissions and achieve large reductions in 20 years.”

    “But if we don’t — there’s a guy down the hall, I never knew what he did, I mean, he’s a chemist and I don’t talk to chemists, and then he came and he gave a lecture to our conservation course this summer about the standardization of the pH of the surface ocean globally, which he’s in charge of, and they measured a 0.1 decrease in pH and it’s exactly what they’re expecting from the increase in CO2, and you can plot the graph and you know when you’re going to get there.”

    “For all of you thinking about conservation on the land …. contemplate how diversity changes over distance … but when you change the rules to the point that there are no more forests, then you’ve sort of jacked the stakes up a whole lot. And that’s where we are on the oceans.”

    Hank Roberts

    May 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm

  17. I am glad you have had the determination to pursue this Scott and do so diligently and professionally, thank you.

    mspelto

    May 19, 2010 at 5:15 pm

  18. http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.uvm.edu%2F~ldupigny%2Fsc%2F+fraser

    It’s gone from the new web page (‘Fraser’ shows only in the Google cache today)

    Aside (these might also just be in Google’s cache, I didn’t open the pages) — several faculty members, not including Dr. DuPigny, do mention the Fraser Institute on their pages: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.uvm.edu%2F+fraser+institute

    Of course that may be the case for any college site you might want to search.

    I haven’t had time to look at the redesigned website, beyond noticing this one improvement and an overall much brighter and more readable visual impression on its face.

    Hank Roberts

    May 20, 2010 at 11:39 am

    • Hank, thanks for the heads up. I just posted an update at the top of this blog. :)

      Scott Mandia

      May 20, 2010 at 11:55 am

  19. Chuckle. No ‘wisdom’ button in Google, I should’ve clicked on those; one of those mentions is from 1901! I doubt it’s the same organization:

    “… December 1901 to the newspaper La Patrie an eloquent plea for a public library in Montréal: “… the Cabinet de Lecture, the Fraser Institute, and the McGill University Library…..”

    Hank Roberts

    May 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

  20. > Mission accomplished.

    Let’s give the people there credit for doing a good job, there’s a lot more changed there than just dropping the one bogus paper and the level of explanation and accessibility of good links seems to me to be way up — speaking as an amateur reader on a quick page through it.

    It’ll take time to decide if this has become a go-to site.

    As an aside, I’ve emailed probably more than a couple of dozen website maintainers and editors over the past three years about similar issues on their pages. It’s always a challenge to be “on their side” while commenting critically, and followup matters. We never got _real_ hypertext that connects both ways and updates itself, so this kind of personal poking at one another’s pages is how we all improve one another’s work.

    Rust never sleeps, stuff gets old, we all are way too busy. It’s good to see improvement.

    Hank Roberts

    May 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm

  21. Congratulations, Scott.

    As for the Fraser Institute, this link on the Fraser’s ISPM is pretty telling, IMHO (full disclosure – I wrote the article):

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Independent_Summary_for_Policymakers

    Deep Climate

    May 20, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    • Yes, DC. As you will note, that link was prominently mentioned in my blog post. :)

      Scott Mandia

      May 20, 2010 at 2:45 pm

  22. Congratulations Dr Mandia. Diligence and hard work pays off.

    To Dr. Dupigny-Giroux: Thank you for your attention to this issue. I appologise sincerely for my unfounded remark in the first post.

    Always nice to see another conspiracy theory bite the dust, even if it is my own.

    To Hank: Thanks for the meticulous Googling and follow-up (as always).

    arch stanton

    May 20, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    • Arch, thanks for the promotion but I am only a lowly M.S. I hope you will still respect me. :)

      Scott Mandia

      May 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

      • Of course.

        Actions speak even louder than degrees when it comes to some kinds of credibility. + bonus points for humble.

        Make sure you get your pay raise.

        arch stanton

        May 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

  23. Scott (and Arch),

    So Dr. Dupigny-Giroux arranged to fix the official website. Thank you, madam, and thank you Scott.

    Keep at it. Now let’s put this strange incident behind. As someone who fishes and birdwatches and climbs mountains near the geographic epicentre of the “Fraser Institute”, I long ago learned not to trust anything published by that organization.

    Scott. I hope there is a good supply of maple syrup this spring…a maple-beech forest can be most beautiful…and gee whiz, 27 species of wood warblers?

    Andrew (formerly from Lennoxville)

    A Bryant

    May 20, 2010 at 5:39 pm

  24. perhaps it’s still there because the professor in charge is of an open mind, and willing for her students to see things from both perspectives, and possibly quite possibly because the IPCC documents are full of bad science and misinformation and she is more concerned about her students seeing truth than going with the old boy school of show them what we want them to know and hide the rest mentality.

    Mandia: Most likely not. She probably didn’t put it there in the first place – a student likely did so. She removed the link because I clearly showed how bad that document really is. All of her other links suppport the scientific consensus and I am sure that VSC does also. It was a mistake that just took too long to correct. Better late than never.

    Shame on anyone in academia who shuns another professor for shunning both sides. It is as ignorant and closed minded as those who are only willing to teach evolution as religious dogma rather than teaching intelligent design.

    Mandia: Intelligent design is not science. It does not follow scientitic method. It is pseudo-science. I have no issue with ID being taught in a theology setting but certainly not science.

    1personofdifference

    May 21, 2010 at 10:18 am

  25. Well, 1person, judging from the material you’ve posted at the top of your blog, you need research to inform your opinions. Try http://www.google.com/search?q=“nixon+bowing”+”reagan+bowing”

    Hank Roberts

    May 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

  26. [Snip] Heads of state bowing is OT. Stay on topic please.

    1personofdifference

    May 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    • with all due respect, why don’t you snip your pal hank’s comments since I was refering to his ad homonym attack on my statement.
      Are you going to be biased in whom you snip and whom you don’t?
      Hank didn’t discuss my comments on this thread he attacked my blog comments. I did not bring my blog into this he did.

      1personofdifference

      May 22, 2010 at 2:16 am

  27. Oh my, this will go nowhere, prove nothing and accomplish nothing (except raise 1’s site in the Google rankings).

    Haven’t we all done this before?

    arch stanton

    May 21, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    • to what are you refering Mr. Stanton?
      Care to elaborate rather than making it windier that it already is?

      1personofdifference

      May 21, 2010 at 4:03 pm

  28. > ad homonyms

    ProfMandia, you can get Killfile enabled for your blog, and it would be a real favor to those of us who use Firefox. I think you just have to ask and be patient.
    http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/4107

    Hank Roberts

    May 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm

  29. So, I was offline much of June, any assessment on the new Vermont page?

    Hank Roberts

    July 1, 2010 at 3:38 pm


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