pageok
pageok
pageok
Placing Oil CEOs on Trial:

Noted climatologist James Hansen, one of the foremost proponents of apocalyptic global warming, and is calling for more than greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Special interests have blocked transition to our renewable energy future. Instead of moving heavily into renewable energies, fossil companies choose to spread doubt about global warming, as tobacco companies discredited the smoking-cancer link. Methods are sophisticated, including disguised funding to shape school textbook discussions.

CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature. If their campaigns continue and "succeed" in confusing the public, I anticipate testifying against relevant CEOs in future public trials.

Uthaw:
This is the man who has been putting his thumb on the scale at NASA.

See also:

whatever motivations NASA had for picking the 1951-1980 baseline undoubtedly have some valid scientific basis. Yet, when the data is calibrated in lockstep with a very high-profile and public political philosophy, we should at least be willing to ask some hard questions. Dr. James Hansen at GISS is the person in charge of the NASA temperature data. He is also the world's leading advocate of the idea of catastrophic global warming, and is Al Gore's primary climate advisor. The discrepancies between NASA and other data sources can't help but make us consider Einstein's advice:

"If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts."


Politicizing science, indeed.
6.23.2008 10:43pm
Oren:
Wow, it's amazing that you can even take Einstein out of context.
6.23.2008 10:44pm
Malvolio:
Assuming we lived in Hansen's parallel dimension where policy disagreements are criminalized, if the campaigns continued and succeeded, it would be Hansen himself who would be on trial for his life.

Scientific truth, like history, is written by the winners.
6.23.2008 10:46pm
therut:
Who would have thought a global warmist extremist being extreme.
6.23.2008 10:52pm
The General:
I hope it isn't too cold at the re-education camps.
6.23.2008 10:54pm
sbw (mail) (www):
Someone needs to reread their Karl Popper. Science is a method not to prove something is true, but to recognize when something is necessarily false.

Perhaps that someone should also study the history of the pursuit of witches. All the good witchhunts were backed by the best science and intellectual rigor of the day.

No one in a dark age would believe their age to be dark, and that goes for Hanson and his personal quest.
6.23.2008 11:06pm
spring (mail):
"Methods are sophisticated, including disguised funding to shape school textbook discussions"

The National Science Foundation paid for the textbook rewritings post sputnik that took us to the moon. We should support any federal science $$$$$$$$$. There would be many benefits for HS science labs. Good science teachers across the nation will MASSAGE the message in the textbooks according to the other reliable data.
As a taxpayer and retired HS science teacher, I support any funding available for my former colleagues in the trenches. Science Teaching as a subversive activity will take the money and run with the best science and prepare our kids to conserve our natural resources.
6.23.2008 11:08pm
Curt Fischer:

Special interests have blocked transition to our renewable energy future.
...
CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.


At least one fossil energy CEO that I've heard does talk very eloquently about the energy problems facing the country, including the need for global warming and decarbonization. It's tough for me to see how exactly such CEOs' views would constitute high crimes against humanity and nature. (I'll leave it to the lawyer commenters to try to parse what exactly a high crime against nature is, and what court would have jurisdiction in a trial.)

It's also sad for me when activists who from my corner look like they have the right end of the debate resort to suggesting that their policy and scientific opponents are criminals. Unfortunately, statements like this undermine the good work that many climate scientists have done and will continue to do on the problem. Hansen's words here do a disservice to free scientific inquiry as well as to the quality of public discourse on the issue.
6.23.2008 11:41pm
cirby (mail):
The National Science Foundation paid for the textbook rewritings post sputnik that took us to the moon.


That was two generations ago. If you want similar end results, you're going to need a whole different set of scientific organizations (that haven't been swayed by he fairly easy money in climate research).

Just about any moron can make a set of models, run them through a computer, hide the initial data, and claim accurate predictions for 50 years in the future, without getting much resistance from real scientists, or serious questions from the press.

Until Hansen starts looking at serious jail time for his recent temperature-manipulation frauds, all bets are off. The first question someone needs to ask him (under oath) is "how much money do you have invested in carbon-offset schemes?" Nobody at the big news organizations seem to be asking Al Gore that question, either.
6.23.2008 11:42pm
MnZ:

Assuming we lived in Hansen's parallel dimension where policy disagreements are criminalized, if the campaigns continued and succeeded, it would be Hansen himself who would be on trial for his life.


Parallel universe? How about Russia circa 1935, China circa 1960, Cambodia circa 1975, etc.?

There is a certain segment of the political spectrum that either refuses to learn their history or is eager to repeat it.
6.23.2008 11:52pm
Kazinski:
I'd like to see an investigation of Hansen for falsifying data. Serious charges to be sure, but NASA, under Hansen, has been revising its data with no explanation. It has been revising older data downwards, and newer data upwards which of course has a tendency to make the delta more pronounced:


In order to visualize the changes, I overlaid the 2007 version on top of the 1999 version, above, and a clear pattern emerged. The pre-1970 temperatures have been nearly uniformly adjusted downwards (red below green) - and the post 1970 temperatures have been adjusted upwards (red above green.) Some of the yearly temperatures have been adjusted by as much as 0.5 degrees. That is a huge total change for a country the size of the US with thousands of separate temperature records.

How could it be determined that so many thermometers were wrong by an average of 0.5 degrees in one particular year several decades ago, and an accurate retrofit be made? Why is the adjustment 0.5 degrees one year, and 0.1 degrees the next?

Describing this more succinctly, the 2007 version of the data appears to have been sheared vertically across 1970 to create the appearance of a warming trend. We can approximate shear by applying a small rotation, so I tried "un-rotating" the 2007 graph clockwise around 1970 until I got a reasonably good visual fit at six degrees.

What could be the motivation for the recent changes?

Further examination of the NASA site might give us a clue as to what is happening.

NASA staff have done some recent bookkeeping and refined the data from 1930-1999. The issues has been discussed extensively at science blog Climate Audit. So what is the probability of this effort consistently increasing recent temperatures and decreasing older temperatures? From a statistical viewpoint, data recalculation should cause each year to have a 50/50 probability of going either up or down - thus the odds of all 70 adjusted years working in concert to increase the slope of the graph (as seen in the combined version) are an astronomical 2 raised to the power of 70. That is one-thousand-billion-billion to one. This isn't an exact representation of the odds because for some of the years (less than 15) the revisions went against the trend - but even a 55/15 split is about as likely as a room full of chimpanzees eventually typing Hamlet. That would be equivalent to flipping a penny 70 times and having it come up heads 55 times. It will never happen - one trillion to one odds (2 raised to the power 40.)

(Authors note: Several readers have astutely pointed out that the probability calculation is incorrect. A proper statistical calculation of coin toss probabilities shows greater than four sigma deviation - which places the odds of a random 55/15 distribution at closer to "one out a million," rather than "one out of a trillion" as originally reported.)

Particularly troubling are the years from 1986-1998. In the 2007 version of the graph, the 1986 data was adjusted upwards by 0.4 degrees relative to the 1999 graph. In fact, every year except one from 1986-1998 was adjusted upwards, by an average of 0.2 degrees. If someone wanted to present a case for a lot of recent warming, adjusting data upwards would be an excellent way to do it.

Looking at the NASA website, we can see that the person in charge of the temperature data is the eminent Dr. James Hansen - Al Gore's science advisor and the world's leading long-term advocate of global warming.


There may be a perfectly innocent explanation of course, but it doesn't seem too much to ask for an explanation for why previously published data is being revised, especially when it is being used to support trillions of dollars in taxes and regulations, and the person ultimately responsible for the changes is calling for heresy trials for doubters.
6.23.2008 11:56pm
pmorem (mail):
Hansen testifying under oath would be a beautiful thing.

... not as beautiful as the discovery leading up to it, though.

Does anyone have a good feel for how the Hatch Act relates to his statements of intent to campaign against politicians he feels have not been sufficiently active on his behalf?
6.24.2008 12:06am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Methods are sophisticated, including disguised funding to shape school textbook discussions."

Yes, we call these "sophisticated methods," scientific inquiry. Does Hansen think Freeman Dyson is in the pay of the fossil energy companies? How about Roger Revelle, Claude Allegre, Reid Bryson, David Bellamy, Zbigniew Jaworowki? How about the more than 31,000 scientists who have signed The Global Warming Petition Project?

Highly recommend Shaviv's posting on the climate sensitivity factor. His whole site has a lot of interesting stuff on global warming. Go to the section on weather physics. I guess Shaviv had better be careful not to enter the US as he could get charged with crimes against humanity and nature. As an Israeli he's already suspect to people like Hansen.

Hansen must really be worried about the integrity of AGW science. If the news article is not taken out of context and really represents Hansen's thinking, then I would say he's coming apart.
6.24.2008 12:07am
Kazinski:
Curt Fischer:

At least one fossil energy CEO that I've heard does talk very eloquently about the energy problems facing the country, including the need for global warming and decarbonization.


Anybody that has spent anytime in Seattle this summer can talk eloquently about the "the need for global warming". But assuming that is not what you meant, Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling used to talk a lot about the dangers of global warming too. But the glow from the dollar signs in their eyes could heat a small city. Why is it when a CEO says what you want to hear they just became Mother Teresa, no matter how much smoke they are blowing up your ass. There is a ton of money to be made from global warming hysteria, just as there is a ton of money to be made from drilling for oil and digging coal. The key is the science, there is not even a preponderance of evidence yet that humans are causing significant climate change, let alone that any changes in climate (natural or not) can be reversed or even slowed by the policy prescriptions proposed, or that there aren't more pressing concerns to spent a few trillion dollars on.
6.24.2008 12:16am
CDU (mail) (www):
So basically James Hansen thinks that the threat of global warming justifies trashing the First Amendment so we can prosecute people who articulate an opinion different than his?
6.24.2008 12:26am
Paul McKaskle (mail):
I propose a special venue be created to try those who deny global warming: Salem Massachusetts!

Perhaps the Salem penalty system can be used as well: Dunking until drowned!

Too bad Tomas de Torquemada isn't available to be the judge, jury and executioner!
6.24.2008 12:27am
Kevin P. (mail):
Hansen's views are not reported out of context. See his op-ed:

http://www.worldwatch.org/node/5798

Money quote:

CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.

But the conviction of ExxonMobil and Peabody Coal CEOs will be no consolation if we pass on a runaway climate to our children.
6.24.2008 12:33am
Curt Fischer:

Anybody that has spent anytime in Seattle this summer can talk eloquently about the "the need for global warming". But assuming that is not what you meant, Ken Lay and Jeffery Skilling used to talk a lot about the dangers of global warming too.


Err, thanks for spotting my typo and correcting me, so, erm, forcefully.
6.24.2008 12:51am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
It would be far easier, and much, much, much cheaper to just adjust the data in the opposite direction. Then, no one has to do go jail because they allowed us to drive to work today (ok, I walked, but still...)
6.24.2008 12:54am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Kevin P:

Thanks for the link. Indeed his remarks are not out of context. One poster there had this to say:
My dear colleague Professor Hansen, I believe, has finally gone off the deep end. When you have dedicated the bulk of your career to a cause, and it turns out the cause has been proven false, most people cannot bring themselves to admit the truth. It is truly sad to read the rantings of this elderly man and see that they contain neither reason nortruth when compared to the volumes of daily literature being published in scientific journals today on climate change.


...Instead, he employs the following tactics, none of which are relevant to science: 1. The "consensus" card. I feel sorry for this human being. ...Errant, capricious statements. 99% certainty on global warming? This sounds truly more like a senile senior citizen that a lucid scientist. ... 3. A truly desperate, alarmist tone and wording. ... 4. Attacking a scapegoat, presented as the very source of evil itself, namely petroleum companies, and attributing the lack of agreement between scientific data and his views to a vast, conspiratorial cover-up by "them". ... 5. Ultimatums. Act now or you die. ...The manifesto above sounds more like Lenin, Mussolini, or Hitler than I care to admit. ...Get the facts. There are many places to start, but you are welcome to start at.
6.24.2008 1:17am
Kazinski:
Thanks Zarkov,
I didn't need that map you linked to to know that summer isn't coming this year to the Pacific Northwest. But it sure helps put it in context that it is one of only three places on the globe where temperatures are more than 40C degrees below normal. The scale isn't actually labeled, but based on how cold its been here the "<4" must mean "less than 4 (x 10)", unless it is a logarithmic scale and it is < 4^10, which also would fit my observations.
6.24.2008 2:11am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hansen is the logical outcome of the whole shebang.
He's about to be exposed--exposed more--as a liar. Those who've used his data will be lucky if they can get away with claiming they were fooled instead of lying with NASA's credibility to back them up.
So we see desperation. Between this and some commentators in, so far, Australia who think denying AGW should be a crime, the whole thing amounts to kicking over the board when about to be checkmated. More will take this tack; any way to avoid allowing people to notice the wheels came off long ago.
6.24.2008 7:13am
Dr. Weevil (mail) (www):
Hansen should probably avoid talking about "crimes against . . . nature". According to Wikipedia, seven states still have laws on the books punishing "crimes against nature", and they have nothing to do with the environment. They're in the same class as the South Carolina statute forbidding "the abominable crime of buggery", which has nothing to do with collecting butterflies. In fact, if you think the earth is overpopulated, you should be encouraging oral and anal sex, not forbidding them.
6.24.2008 8:23am
Eli Rabett (www):
Lest people don't know, when Uthaw quotes


whatever motivations NASA had for picking the 1951-1980 baseline undoubtedly have some valid scientific basis.


The motive was that in climatology one picks a 30 year baseline to calculate differences from. These differences are called anomalies and the point of doing it that way is that while it makes little sense to compare the temperature in New York with that in Melbourne, you can compare the changes on an annual or seasonal basis. Since anomalies are differences from the baseline average, it pretty much does not matter which baseline you pick although people are welcome to wear any tinfoil hat they want on this.

The problem is that different groups choose different baselines, and you actually have to RTFR to figure out what is going on. Some groups want to keep the same baseline to allow comparison with previous work, others slide the baseline as time passes (it almost always starts on a year ending in 1 and ends thirty years later).

What is important is the shape of the curve and the differences between periods, however, many bad comparisons have been made over the years by people who did not realize that different baselines were used in different series.
6.24.2008 8:26am
Michael B (mail):
James Hansen, one of the authorities du jour, and his logic here, given his underlying certitude and self-righteousness, is absolutely impeccable.
6.24.2008 8:41am
Eli Rabett (www):
Ah yes, Zarkov brings out a few beauties


Does Hansen think Freeman Dyson is in the pay of the fossil energy companies? How about Roger Revelle, Claude Allegre, Reid Bryson, David Bellamy, Zbigniew Jaworowki? How about the more than 31,000 scientists who have signed The Global Warming Petition Project?


Freeman Dyson
is a mathematical physicist, and knows about as much about climate as a novice in a nunnary. If you think that Roger Revelle belongs in this group, Fred Singer has some penny stocks you might be interested in.

Those interested in Claude Allegre could read more here. David Bellemy is a "renowned British botanist" and frankly Zbigniew Jaworowski, winner of the Golden Horseshoe Award, today appears to be the chief scientist to the LaRouche Movement and in no way belongs in the company of the others in this list who have major accomplishments, just not many (with the exception of Bryson) in climate.

Finally one inquires about the Oregon Petition Project's 31K signatures. A fine list if you are looking for a dentist or quack.
6.24.2008 8:47am
Al Maviva (mail):
Methods are sophisticated, including disguised funding

So what Hansen is saying, is that if a scientist's source of funding is questionable or disagreeable, the scientist's findings are unreliable.

One wonders what to make of Hansen's media campaign, which has been funded by George Soros, with amounts approaching $700k allegedly changing hands.

Oh noes, sorry, forgot. George Soros, convicted felon, is trying to save America. So he's okay and the scientists he bought and paid for nobly helps out, are utterly reliable and trustworthy when they say we need to empower FedGov to direct radical changes in our lives, or else the world will end soon.

Gosh, don't you just love populist millenarian arguments in favor of installing a totalitarian government? Sure beats armed revolution.
6.24.2008 8:51am
GG (mail):
It's a good thing for the energy company CEOs who are being proposed as ciminal defendants, that our constitution prohibits bills of attainder. Because I don't think there's a statute now under which their policy arguments would constitute a criminal act.

GG
6.24.2008 9:20am
rarango (mail):
Even if Hansen is absolutely correct about global warming, this kind of stupidity does major harm to the underlying message--This guy is starting to resemble Linus Pauling and other scientists who need access to a prozac salt lick.
6.24.2008 10:20am
Fub:
Dr. Weevil wrote at 6.24.2008 7:23am:
Hansen should probably avoid talking about "crimes against . . . nature". According to Wikipedia, seven states still have laws on the books punishing "crimes against nature", and they have nothing to do with the environment.
No problem. These CEOs have taken a wide stance on the issue, doing business as usual and just tapping their toes while sitting on the seats of power. Wasn't a U.S. Senator already convicted for that a while back?
6.24.2008 10:42am
Ben Franklin (mail):
As an engineer, I can say that climatologists are held in very low regard by the scientific community as a whole. They make claims about systems that are clearly too complicated for them to understand, based on data that does not support those claims and then they give a policy prescription fueled by their emotional involvement in the subject. In the scientific hierarchy they are somewhere above phrenologists but below weathermen, who at least ackowledge the limitations of their understanding.
6.24.2008 10:46am
Richard Nieporent (mail):
Freeman Dyson is a mathematical physicist, and knows about as much about climate as a novice in a nunnary (sic).

Being a mere mathematical physicist he is of course incapable of understanding the science of global warming, right Eli? I guess he just doesn't have the necessary intelligence or knowledge to be able to understand and critique the journal articles.

The funny thing is that not only is he a leftist in good standing (He is a member of the Board of Sponsors of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists) but he actually agrees with the general theory of anthropogenic global warming.

"One of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas.[16]."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson

However we cannot allow even believers to stray from the strict party line.

[H]e has argued that existing simulation models of climate fail to account for some important factors, and hence the results will contain too much error to reliably predict future trends.

" As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organized unpredictability. The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen. You might say that if something is predictable then it is not science. When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science.[16]

It we allow any taint of heresy to be expressed who knows where that might lead, right Eli.

Finally one inquires about the Oregon Petition Project's 31K signatures. A fine list if you are looking for a dentist or quack.

Of course Eli by definition they must all be quacks. No real scientist would question global warming. But think how useful this list will be to the Climate Police. When do the arrests start?
6.24.2008 11:02am
davod (mail):
"What is important is the shape of the curve and the differences between periods, however, many bad comparisons have been made over the years by people who did not realize that different baselines were used in different series." Is this related to the discredited "Hockystick effect."
6.24.2008 11:05am
Mad Max:
I just love the way we're asked to make trillion dollar decisions that will profoundly affect our economy and society based on low-quality computer models filled with questionable assumptions. Did any of the vaunted climate models that have been around since the late 1980s predict a decade of cooling starting now? If they do not have a track record of accurately predicting 10-15 years into the future, why should we accept as gospel truth (I'm sorry, "settled science") what they say about the next 100 years? And why should we take immediate and drastic action on the basis of flawed computer models? Seems to me that the larger the changes they want us to make, the better the models should have to be.
6.24.2008 11:05am
davod (mail):
If Hansen's work is so scientific, why won't he release the underlying data. He is after all a public servant (Albeit one being also rewarded by private soures).
6.24.2008 11:09am
ejo:
Fub must be a climatologist-he makes an emotional point backed by no science whatsoever. perhaps he could get Soros to write out a check for a few hundred g's based on that keen analysis.
6.24.2008 11:19am
ejo:
Fub must be a climatologist-he makes an emotional point backed by no science whatsoever. perhaps he could get Soros to write out a check for a few hundred g's based on that keen analysis.
6.24.2008 11:19am
Mike Gallo (mail) (www):
6.24.2008 11:37am
sonicfrog (mail) (www):
...Freeman Dyson is a mathematical physicist, and knows about as much about climate as a novice in a nunnary...

Einstein was a patent clerk when he came up with the idea of relativity when he was a patent clerk, therefore, by Rabett-logic, that theory must be false.

I can never quite grasp why the "true believers" think they have some mystical powers to decode the dark mysteries of the climate, that are unknowable and unobtainable, unless, of course, one happens to call themselves a climatologist. But,then agian, I'm not a climatologist...

By the way, the good Dr. Hansen does not hold a degree in climatology.

Neither does Mr. Hockey Stick guy,Dr. Michael Mann.
6.24.2008 11:43am
pmorem (mail):
Hansen has finally released at least some of his data.
The source code can allegedly be found here.
As best I can tell, nobody outside GISS has gotten it to compile and run. You can try reading the code yourself.

I do safety-critical software. I wouldn't risk someone's life on code that looked like that. He's asking us to risk our lives based on its correctness.
6.24.2008 11:47am
ejo:
but, you don't have to be a climatologist if you agree/believe to a degree of religious faith in global warming. you only have to be one if you disagree or confess to some doubts on the topic. you also don't have to have actual date to support your claim if you are the former.
6.24.2008 12:07pm
Charlie (Colorado) (mail):
Freeman Dyson is a mathematical physicist, and knows about as much about climate as a novice in a nunnary.

Because, of course, climate modeling involves neither mathematics nor physics, right?

So, Eli, since your opinion is informed, what do you think of Shaviv's work on sensitivity? What's you're position on Mann et al and their use of Preisendorfer's Rule N? How do you answer the observation that the statistical methods applied will result in an apparent observation of "global warming" with an inflection around 1900 even when applied to noise?
6.24.2008 12:21pm
sonicfrog (mail) (www):
Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit is having a go at the code. It's in the ancient FORTRAN computer language. It's so outdated, you practically need a Rosetta Stone to decipher it and make it work. He's a braver man than I, Gunga Dinh!
6.24.2008 12:25pm
Some Guy II- This Time It's Personal (mail):
Hansen's theory isn't some wild extremist speaking out of context. Enviros have been trying to silence their opponents for a few years now, using thwe courts.

Check on Comer v. Murphy Oil in the Fifth Circuit, if you're interested in an example.

Personally, as an industry enviro law guy, I kind of do hope they eventually get the courts to allow for a "misrepresentation" or "fraud" exception to the First Amendment right to petition. I would have so much fun with NRDC and Sierra Club, it would make your head spin.
6.24.2008 12:42pm
Jeffrey Hall (www):
Curt Fisher said: "I'll leave it to the lawyer commenters to try to parse what exactly a high crime against nature is, and what court would have jurisdiction in a trial."

I'm not a lawyer (not that there's anything wrong with that.) But I can tell you that there is some precedent for Nature as a legal party.

C.f. Iolanthe

LORD CH. Now, sir, what excuse have you to offer for having disobeyed an order of the Court of Chancery?
STREPH. My Lord, I know no Courts of Chancery; I go by Nature's Acts of Parliament. The bees--the breeze--the seas--the rooks--the brooks--the gales--the vales--the fountains and the mountains cry, "You love this maiden--take her, we command you!" 'Tis writ in heaven by the bright barbed dart that leaps forth into lurid light from each grim thundercloud. The very rain pours forth her sad and sodden sympathy! When chorused Nature bids me take my love, shall I reply, "Nay, but a certain Chancellor forbids it"? Sir, you are England's Lord High Chancellor, but are you Chancellor of birds and trees, King of the winds and Prince of thunderclouds?
LORD CH. No. It's a nice point. I don't know that I ever met it before. But my difficulty is that at present there's no evidence before the Court that chorused Nature has interested herself in the matter.
STREPH. No evidence! You have my word for it. I tell you that she bade me take my love.
LORD CH. Ah! but, my good sir, you mustn't tell us what she told you--it's not evidence. Now an affidavit from a thunderstorm, or a few words on oath from a heavy shower, would meet with all the attention they deserve.
STREPH. And have you the heart to apply the prosaic rules of evidence to a case which bubbles over with poetical emotion?
LORD CH. Distinctly. I have always kept my duty strictly before my eyes, and it is to that fact that I owe my advancement to my present distinguished position.
6.24.2008 1:11pm
Fub:
sonicfrog wrote at 6.24.2008 11:25am:
Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit is having a go at the code. It's in the ancient FORTRAN computer language. It's so outdated, you practically need a Rosetta Stone to decipher it and make it work. He's a braver man than I, Gunga Dinh!
FORTRAN per se isn't the problem. Spaghetti FORTRAN is no worse to decipher than spaghetti C, though either should be a capital offense.
6.24.2008 1:22pm
ray_g:
I don't know much about climatology, but I know a lot about computer modeling, which is why I've always been very skeptical of the catastrophic AGW scenarios. I know from personal experience that even when you are trying very hard to be objective that it is so easy to bias the results of your simulation to what you think the answer "should" be. It is the computer simulation version of experimenter bias. Based on their statements and behavior, I don't think the proponents of catastrophic AGW are trying all that hard to be unbiased. And, after a quick look at the links to attempts to analyze the code, I'm even more skeptical than before, if that was possible.

Where (assuming they exist) are the results of the testing of the code? Any independent validation or verification of the models? Is there any documentation of the models and the algorithms that implement them? How intelligible is such documentation? If we are going to pass laws, promulgate expensive regulations, commit large amounts of taxpayer money, put heretics on trial etc, I don't think it is too much to ask for these questions to be answered in a public forums, for example in a Congressional hearing, and televised on CSPAN.

You can talk about evil corporations and big business much as you want, but people like Hanson have just as much of a self interested agenda as the corporations do, and should be looked at just as closely.
6.24.2008 1:55pm
Piano_JAM (mail):
If Hansen's work is so scientific, why won't he release the underlying data. He is after all a public servant

This is the big problem, and not just from Hansen. These 'scientist's' fight tooth and nail to not have their data made public, when it is us, the public, which is providing their grant money and they are supposed to archive this. McIntryre and other Climate Audit folks are also trying to pry under the skirts of the IPCC report. They refuse to provide communications between reviewers.

We are just supposed to believe these heroic researchers, braking their backs working for the benefit of mankind. Sorry, I am a statistician producing forecasts for a Fortune 10 company and I want to see the data, not a report from Kofi Annan.
6.24.2008 2:01pm
davod (mail):
"This is the big problem, and not just from Hansen. These 'scientist's' fight tooth and nail to not have their data made public,..."

The foundation upon which the IPPC was built was the Hockey Stick effect, and that has been proven false. Trillions are being spent on an error.
6.24.2008 2:17pm
Rod T (mail):
@sonicfrog &fub

FORTRAN is bad enough, but at least he didn't write the code in LISP!
6.24.2008 2:34pm
Brian Mac:

the Hockey Stick effect, and that has been proven false.

That wasn't the journal Nature's view. But hey, you're more credible.
6.24.2008 2:56pm
rarango (mail):
As Piano Jam points out, it seems to be increasingly difficult to get the data underlying the very controversial studies released; eg: the Burnham study on Iraq casualties.

The gold standard of science is replicability; and if the proponents of studies do not release their data including their coding, their studies cannot be replicated. (and are thus GARBAGE) Anyone remember cold fusion?
6.24.2008 3:25pm
LM (mail):
The public debate on global warming, like the one on the Iraq war, is dominated by absolutists on both sides who never seem to ask themselves, "What if I'm wrong?"
6.24.2008 3:28pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):
Of course they won't release the underlying "data". As soon as we see this "data" AGW goes all to pieces. Trillions of dollars are stake here and AGW-religionists will not tolerate dissent.
6.24.2008 3:41pm
EIDE_Interface (mail):

LM (mail):
The public debate on global warming, like the one on the Iraq war, is dominated by absolutists on both sides who never seem to ask themselves, "What if I'm wrong?"
6.24.2008 2:28pm


Name me the last public debate in the history of mankind that was rancor and bias-free...
6.24.2008 4:01pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Eli Rabett:

I notice that you attack people and not their arguments. That's precisely what Hansen is doing. Freeman Dyson has very specific criticisms with respect to problems with the cloud physics, and the cloud physics is the really weak point in the GCM. Tell me where Dyson and the others are wrong instead of flinging insults.
6.24.2008 4:16pm
Volokh Groupie:
Much of the code written for sims/programs in astronomy/physics and climate sciences are in FORTRAN (and some of it is in F90 or F95). While it may not be in vogue in the private sector it gets the job done when it is used.

And I'm pretty sure what Eli was trying to emphasize was that Freeman Dyson isn't exactly an expert in climate sciences and that his knowledge of mathematical physics doesn't automatically qualify him in any math/physics related science. That's like asking Eugene to analyze maritime or tribal sovereignty law because he's an expert lawyer. The specializations in science are definitely very important (that said, its bad policy to also automatically dismiss somebody who may have the capability to pursue specialized research and to automatically dismiss them).

In any event, going back to the original post Hansen's comments are stupid and frustrating for anybody who believes in free discourse and principles of free speech. Unfortunately they aren't out of character for him either as he's made incendiary remarks in the past. It's a shame because it detracts from his scholarship--which is immense.

His public remarks also seem very out of touch with his scholarship on the subject, which are much more tempered -- while I understand dealing with guys like Inhofe can force one to pull their hair out, it'd be nice to have a less polarizing face of conveying the AGW theory than Hansen or Gore.

And Zarkov--the 31000 names don't really tell us that much. If you want credible voices who might not agree with hansen read pielke or mcintyre's blogs. However, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read realclimate along with those.
6.24.2008 4:30pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Hansen's use of FORTRAN coding is a bad sign. In this day and age why would anyone use FORTRAN for scientific calculations when Matlab, R, and Mathematica are available? The R package is free and runs on all commonly used platforms, and has pretty much become the standard platform for academic statisticians. The Matlab package, which is essentially an enhanced interface to LINPACK, is very widely used for engineering and scientific calculations. Mathematica has much better control over the numerics than anything else including FORTRAN and C. In Mathematica you can use rational arithmetic so 1/3 x 3 == 1 absolutely. In some cases you need to do rational arithmetic to control numerical round off error. I had a calculation involving multivariate cumulants get utterly destroyed by round off. A answer that was actually almost zero came out 10^12!

One major advantage of using these packages is the coding becomes much more transparent. A logical blunder can stand out like a sore thumb instead of hiding in the spaghetti.

More and more Hansen looks like amateur scientist.
6.24.2008 4:41pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"... the 31000 names don't really tell us that much. If you want credible voices who might not agree with hansen read pielke or mcintyre's blogs. However, you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't read realclimate along with those."

I do read realclimate and climateaudit (MacIntire's blog). Go look at how the realclimate guys treat Shaviv, look at his responses. I brought up the 31,000 names list to provide a counter example to Hansen's assertion that AGW critics are in the pay of the fossil fuel companies. Ditto for Freeman Dyson and the others. They could be wrong, but at worst they're misguided, not whores.

Why don't you go actually read what Dyson says about their models instead of saying he's not a climate scientist? You don't need to be a climate scientist to see certain glaring mistakes. You have to be smart and Dyson is a smart guy, way above someone like Hansen.
6.24.2008 4:53pm
Crust (mail):
pmorem:
Hansen testifying under oath would be a beautiful thing.
Note that he testified before Congress yesterday, so presumably his comments were under oath.
6.24.2008 5:07pm
SANDMAN (mail):
Hi Everyone!

Reality check! You guys do know the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant--and the warming is ongoing and accelerating.
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf
Your endless tired moth eaten eructations can now come to an end--you are obsolete!

Have a Nice Day
6.24.2008 5:10pm
hey (mail):
Climatology is one of the most inherently interdisciplinary problems, yet there are so many that deem it to be the sole province of a specific group of scholars. That's not just idiotic, it's contrary to current practice.

Good, honest, researchers acknowledge their limitations and bring in a team to work on a problem. You get a few number theory people, some CS people, some stats people, and some modelers, to work out exactly how to structure the model. Then you get a wide selection of scientists to bring the most current knowledge and approach from their disciplines. That gets you a good model, rather than just a few people working on a hacked together model. All of the different parts CAN be handled by one person or a very small group, but they shouldn't be. The large group ensures that you're not relying on half-remembered theory from one's undergrad days, but on the most current work and best practice. FORTRAN use is an example of this - old school guys who just haven't caught up.
6.24.2008 5:15pm
EPluribusMoney (mail):
Can we put Hansen, Gore, et al on trial if they prove wrong?
6.24.2008 5:37pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Zarkov, it's called heritage code, you use FORTRAN because you have zillions of lines written in FORTRAN from way back when and you don't have zillions of dollars to pay for re-writing and debugging them. There are lots of large scientific programs with FORTRAN embedded in them, and there is probably more accounting software in COBOL.

What people who actually work pay attention to is seeing where the program spends most of its time during execution and rewriting those parts, usually these days to take advantage of parallel execution.

If you wanted to say something intelligent you would have criticized the code for having FORTRAN II components (it probably does)

IF (ZARKOV LOOKING FOR A STICK TO BEAT HANSEN WITH) link here, link there, link everywhere
6.24.2008 5:42pm
LM (mail):
Volokh Groupie:

His public remarks also seem very out of touch with his scholarship on the subject, which are much more tempered

... making him the Spike Lee of climate science.
6.24.2008 5:58pm
Curt Fischer:
I also reject the attack on the use of FORTRAN put forward by A. Zarkov and others. First of all, the attack is unfounded because FORTRAN is still today the language of choice in some supercomputing applications, including climate modeling. See Wikipedia on this point if you don't believe me. Nothing about FORTRAN use is inherently outdated or indicative of subnormal skill in the art.

Secondly, whether a simulation is written in FORTRAN in no way relates to the correctness or usefulness of the simulation. A. Zarkov's attack thus seems to be more of an immaterial ad hominem on Hansen's computer programming preferences than a rebuttal of the resulting climate data (funny for a guy who said "I notice that you attack people and not their arguments" in this very thread).

Plenty of uncertainty and nuance is out there, ready to be leveraged against AGW extremists. Why undermine all the effective criticisms by piling on baseless arguments like, "He used FORTRAN, his work is no good," though?
6.24.2008 6:45pm
Fub:
Eli Rabett wrote at 6.24.2008 4:42pm:
Zarkov, it's called heritage code, you use FORTRAN because you have zillions of lines written in FORTRAN from way back when and you don't have zillions of dollars to pay for re-writing and debugging them. There are lots of large scientific programs with FORTRAN embedded in them, and there is probably more accounting software in COBOL.
Exactly. It's been literally decades since I did scientific and statistical programming and data wrangling for a living. Even back then one was often working with heritage packages.

If there is enough data to write home about, running a data set through a canned analysis package is often the easy part. The data wrangling and massaging to set up data for analysis is what requires the cold code. That's where FORTRAN, ALGOL, and even COBOL shine.

Also most analysis packages were originally written in FORTRAN or ALGOL, and were intended to be user modified. BMD and SPSS, back in the day, were endlessly hackable, and hacked. Yes, roundoff and truncation issues arise when there is enough data, but rational arithmetic isn't a cure for many of them. Linz summation is.
If you wanted to say something intelligent you would have criticized the code for having FORTRAN II components (it probably does)
Ahem. I'll take FORTRAN II over any FORTRAN since. Easy to read; compiles to nice simple assembler; and very easy to optimize. But then I'm cranky that way.

You can write bad code, or obscure code, in any language. And you can fudge data the same. The complaints I see about this code is just that it's lousy code, and maybe mysterious data. Neither of those are caused by any particular language.
6.24.2008 6:53pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Zarkov, it's called heritage code, you use FORTRAN because you have zillions of lines written in FORTRAN from way back when and you don't have zillions of dollars to pay for re-writing and debugging them."

That all depends on how much of the legacy code are standard numeric stuff, and how much are specialized routines. You can always compile the specialized application specific legacy code and link it in. You write your new stuff in a higher level language so development goes quicker and you end up with a hybrid. Moreover, it's not like MATLAB just became available yesterday, it's been out for over 15 years.

Without transparent coding, how do we check his work? There are big time consequences to these results and Hansen evidently feels no need to communicate clearly what he's done. Michael Mann also resisted releasing his code until Congress put on the pressure. Go read the Wegman report.
6.24.2008 7:17pm
LM (mail):
EIDE_Interface:

The public debate on global warming, like the one on the Iraq war, is dominated by absolutists on both sides who never seem to ask themselves, "What if I'm wrong?"

Name me the last public debate in the history of mankind that was rancor and bias-free...

I didn't say there were any, and I'm not sure what rancor has to do with it. Regardless, are you defending closed-minded absolutism?
6.24.2008 7:23pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Fub:

I didn't say Hansen's results were wrong because he used FORTRAN, I said it was a bad sign because it makes his work (which could be correct) less transparent. If the FORTRAN were carefully documented that would be fine. But according to McIntyre, the FORTRAN is a mess. Hansen would have less of a credibility problem if he freely released his work and didn't think his critics should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.
6.24.2008 7:30pm
Curt Fischer:

A. Zarkov: In this day and age why would anyone use FORTRAN for scientific calculations when Matlab, R, and Mathematica are available? [...] The Matlab package, which is essentially an enhanced interface to LINPACK, is very widely used for engineering and scientific calculations.


First, LAPACK is now apparently the preferred successor to LINPACK, and secondly, guess what languages both LINPACK and LAPACK are written in?


Hansen would have less of a credibility problem if he freely released his work and didn't think his critics should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.



Amen to that. On this point we seem to be in complete agreement.
6.24.2008 8:15pm
Fub:
A. Zarkov wrote at 6.24.2008 6:30pm:
I didn't say Hansen's results were wrong because he used FORTRAN, I said it was a bad sign because it makes his work (which could be correct) less transparent.
Good FORTRAN code is as clear as good code in any other language. It's a perfectly reasonable choice for numerical work, and later FORTRANs are particularly good for array processing, if that's what's required here. So, I don't see that choice as bad. But, as Rod T noted at 6.24.2008 1:34pm, if he'd used LISP, calls to remove his head for examination might make some sense.
If the FORTRAN were carefully documented that would be fine. But according to McIntyre, the FORTRAN is a mess. Hansen would have less of a credibility problem if he freely released his work and didn't think his critics should be put on trial for crimes against humanity.
Spaghetti is a true crime against humanity, or at least against whoever has to fix it when it breaks. I agree that lousy (but not broken) code can lower credibility at first impression, and certainly broken code will drive credibility to zero.

So we agree that bad style can be indicator of potentially bad substance. I think we also agree that the bottom line is: Did the code do what it was supposed to do (or claimed to do)? And was the data what it was claimed to be?

I think bad style is just a speed bump on the way to the bottom line.
6.24.2008 8:29pm
Taltos:
Reality check! You guys do know the Supreme Court has ruled that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant--and the warming is ongoing and accelerating.

Just because the supreme court says something stunningly stupid doesn't make it any less stunningly stupid.
6.24.2008 9:15pm
Smokey:
Eli Rabett's whole schtick is always along the lines of saying, "He's only a physicist! What does he know about the climate?" Pure ad hominem.

Well, then, Eli Rabett is only a chemistry teacher.

And since I'm a big believer in visual aids, here's a recent chart of four different government graphs of global temperature records. Note that NASA's data is included.

And if anybody wants them, I can post similar charts going back ten years, a hundred years, 15,000 years, 400,000 years, 700,000+ years, 4.5 billion years, etc. They all show the same thing: we're in a natural cycle, and there has never been 'runaway global warming' -- even when CO2 levels were ten times higher than they are today.

The truth is starting to emerge.
6.24.2008 9:29pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"First, LAPACK is now apparently the preferred successor to LINPACK, and secondly, guess what languages both LINPACK and LAPACK are written in?"

LINPACK was originally a free library of FORTRAN subroutines for doing linear algebra. Using it required tedious coding in FORTRAN source code. MATLAB provides all the LINPACK functions and much more. Coding in MATLAB goes about 10 times faster, and produces far more readable and compact source, and requires fewer comments then FORTRAN to make it intelligible. It matters little what actual language lies under the hood. Modern versions of MATLAB are actually written in C. The user of can also link in complied C and FORTRAN code, so you can also code something in C or FORTRAN and have it appear as a callable function in MATLAB.

How good is LINPACK and MATLAB? Pretty good, but they can fail. As a stress test try computing the determinant of a 15x15 Hilbert matrix. MATLAB fails (or did fail in the version I tried), and so will a FORTRAN code using the LINPACK or LAPACK library. On the other hand, Mathematica will do the calculation perfectly.
6.24.2008 9:36pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
Eli Rabett:

How much FORTRAN coding have you done? I have written many thousands of lines of scientific programs in FORTRAN. How much experience do you have with C, MATLAB, R, Splus, Mathematica? I have used all of them extensively for years.
6.24.2008 9:47pm
Splunge:
Zarkov, I've written large amounts of big scientific simulation code, pretty similar to global circulation models. No one in their right mind would even attempt to use Mathematica, Matlab, or the like for that kind of thing. You might as well run your program on a PDP-11 from a museum.

When you run big simulations, like global climate models, what you need more than anything else is sheer scalar speed. These are enormous simulations. You write the code in Fortran because no other high-level language gets you faster code. That's partly because Fortran compilers and libraries have had 50 years to be tuned to a ferocious level of speed and efficiency, and partly because Fortran is inherently "close to the metal," i.e. the logic and structure of a Fortran program isn't much different from the underlying machine code it gets turned into. Only hand-tuned assembler can beat Fortran code in speed and efficiency.

Although I agree Hansen may be full of shit, this picking on the language of his simulation is a red herring. Indeed, I'd be suspicious if it were not written in Fortran (or maybe C). That would tell me these are not serious simulations.
6.25.2008 12:06am
musefree (www):
Ah well, the extreme fringe.

Global warming is real; the science proves it. However, equating the actions of Oil company CEO's (or tobacco CEO's for that matter) with actual crimes against humanity displays an astonishing lack of understanding of the words involved and a terrible disregard for the freedoms we hold dear.
6.25.2008 12:44am
Volokh Groupie:
@smokey

the argo buoys' data are a separate issue which would deserve their own discussion but the idea that the existence of previous cyclical variation of global temperature somehow minimizes the importance or possibility that there may be unique new driving mechanisms for current increased temperatures is lazy.
6.25.2008 12:45am
pmorem (mail):
The actual source is 124 kB of FORTRAN, 40 kB of C and 31 kB of Python. It's basically a batch processor, not a simulation. It shouldn't be hard to read or maintain, yet it is.

Here is an analysis of how Step 2 (Homogenization) actually corrupts the data. (via comments at Anthony Watts).
6.25.2008 12:45am
Volokh Groupie:
@Zarkov

I'll make it clear that i'm not trying to dismiss Dyson or the substance of his critiques. If/When I read them I will decide about that. I was trying to clarify what the point I think Eli was trying to make. In fact, at the end of the sentence I even mentioned that.
6.25.2008 12:54am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Splunge:

I thought we were talking about the reduction of weather station data not running GCMs.
6.25.2008 2:12am
Splunge:
We are? Oops. Well if so, then you're right. Only an idiot would write Fortran for such a trivial task.
6.25.2008 2:22am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Volokh Groupie:

You can read some of Freeman Dyson's comments here. The following is an excerpt.
My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in.
He has also written two book reviews that deal with global warming here.
6.25.2008 2:25am
TokyoTom (mail):
Jon, first, let's not forget that Hansen is specifically addressing not only oil cos but also the coal firms like Peabody and Massey - firms that are leaving massive messes because either they deal in publicly owned and bureaucratically administered land or because they've managed to capture the police, prosecutorial, judicial and political machinery where they operate, as well as the favor of the administration and federal regulators.

Second, all of his words about public trials notwithstanding, Hansen is obviously waging battle in the courts of public opinion, which is obviously something he has every right to and, far from infringing libertarian principles, seems entirely consistent with them. As Gene Callahan has recently noted,
One way negative externalities can be addressed without turning to state coercion is public censure of individuals or groups widely perceived to be flouting core moral principles or trampling the common good, even if their actions are not technically illegal. Large, private companies and prominent, wealthy individuals are generally quite sensitive to public pressure campaigns.


After all, if libertarians had their way and government stepped out of the roads and regulatory businesses, it's long been the libertarian position that private actions, including lawsuits against road owners, would lead to voluntary collective actions and large damage suits that would better manage resources by incentivizing reductions in pollution and other externalities. (In this context, there are, of course, private action suits now under way against the major fossil fuel firms for climate change damage; these face obvious hurdles, but a libertarian might wish for success, simply to breathe a little more life into common law remedies and take the pressure off of the demands for state action.)

Libertarians do not, as a matter of principle, object to informal public pressure. It is simply Hansen's implication that criminal trials are more appropriate than the common law tort mechanism - which is sadly not too well known and admittedly rather withered due to the success in polluters in subverting injunctive remedies and in capturing the resulting regulatory process - that offends.

On the policy end, of course Hansen does have a statist proposal, but it is probably the cleanest one out there: the carbon tax and 100% rebate proposal, which would put all carbon tax revenues back in the pockets of Americans and than cut short alot of the rent-seeking and pork-management efforts now underway. That's why George Will has recently concluded that a carbon tax is the best approach.
6.25.2008 4:54am
davod (mail):
"Jon, first, let's not forget that Hansen is specifically addressing not only oil cos but also the coal firms like Peabody and Massey - firms that are leaving massive messes because either they deal in publicly owned and bureaucratically administered land or because they've managed to capture the police, prosecutorial, judicial and political machinery where they operate, as well as the favor of the administration and federal regulators."

It's the police state all over again. My, how did Hansen make it to Congress. Then again, was it really Congress, or just a sham to keep us in our boxes.
6.25.2008 7:18am
Fub:
A. Zarkov wrote at 6.25.2008 1:12am:
I thought we were talking about the reduction of weather station data not running GCMs.
Splunge wrote at 6.25.2008 1:22am:
We are? Oops. Well if so, then you're right. Only an idiot would write Fortran for such a trivial task.
Yikes! That do put things in a different light. I wouldn't go so far as to say only an idiot, though. Heck, ALGOL compilers have been written in COBOL, in a situation where it made perfectly good sense.

I'd say it depends on available s/w &h/w, and the nature of the data and the required massage. For example, if you're prepping huge datasets frequently, and the massage needs an array processor to keep runtimes sane, then a FORTRAN with hooks to the array processor would make sense to me. I don't think I'm an idiot, but maybe I am.

But I would never defend writing sloppy and ill documented FORTRAN, or anything else. Especially if you're going to present the results as basis for making massively disruptive changes to the world economy. In scale, that's tantamount to using sloppy code to make thermonuclear launch decisions.

You'd think that the rich learning experience of losing a Mars lander to a code bug, or the earlier example of the patient-killer bug in the Therac-25, would have planted at least a small clue in some minds.
6.25.2008 12:43pm
lucia (mail) (www):
Tokyo Tom:

It is simply Hansen's implication that criminal trials are more appropriate than the common law tort mechanism - which is sadly not too well known and admittedly rather withered due to the success in polluters in subverting injunctive remedies and in capturing the resulting regulatory process - that offends.


What's the purpose of "simply" and "only" in that sentence? Why call an direct statement an "implication".

Yes. Hansen's direct to charge and convic people who disagree with his views offends lots of people. Absolutely.

People are offended because his proposal is offensive.

No: Libertarians do not object to people trying to exert public pressure. Moreover, they are perfectly willing to exert public pressure and suggest that congress should ignore Hansen's absurd and offensive proposals. With luck, they may be able to exert pressure on Hansen himself to stop calling for suspension of people's rights under the first amendment.

I don't know why Hansen has decided to sound like a demagogue. I suspect this is a poor decision. People will be so distracted by guilt by association smears, and calls for criminalization free speech, they won't pay any attention to other policies he might hope to promote.

Maybe if someone Hansen trusts points out how counterproductive this sort of speech is, he will stop calling for suspensions of civil liberties and focus on his suggestions for carbon taxes.
6.25.2008 6:49pm
LM (mail):

What's the purpose of "simply" and "only" in that sentence?

"only"?
6.25.2008 8:34pm
lucia (mail) (www):
LM-- whoops! :)
6.25.2008 9:25pm