Let’s see, we’ve still got some of those old emails kicking around here. There must be some more of them we can pull out of context and distort. That worked pretty well to confuse the media, just in time for the Copenhagen Climate summit – and there’s that next meeting coming up in Durban…..why not?

So, out of context emails – check.

Loaded on Russian server – check.

Notify the usual denialist nutjob websites – check.

Relax and watch Fox and Friends cover the non-science. It’s Miller Time.
And, sure enough, our first “journalist’ weighs in, James Delingpole, longing for those halcyon days before people found out he was pseudo intellectual hack.

James Delingpole – Uh, Oh, Global warming loons! Here comes Climate Gate II!  –

“..what these emails confirm is that the great man-made global warming scare is not about science but about political activism.”

BBC

Now, as then, the release comes shortly before the annual UN climate summit.

The university has yet to comment on the document cache, which is posted on a Russian server.

A text file included with the batch, apparently written by someone involved in the release and headed “FOIA 2011 – Background and Context”, reads: “‘One dollar can save a life’ – the opposite must also be true. “Poverty is a death sentence. Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels.”

It then picks a number of phrases from the email batch, whose senders and recipients – if the batch is genuine – include UEA’s Phil Jones and Michael Mann from Penn State University in the US.

Reviews of “ClimateGate” in the UK, of the IPCC, and of Michael Mann’s work by Penn State authorities, have all cleared scientists of fraud and malpractice, although recommendations were made on increasing openness.

The writer of the “FOIA 2011” file claims to have 220,000 more emails, but says he/she will not be releasing them. (PS – well, hell no – the vast majority of the emails don’t contain anything even remotely distortable – not even by Fox News standards..)

I guess the question will be, since the mainstream media gets it now that they were completely punked by this shadowy and now completely transparent gambit – which has since been examined and found to be of no substance by, how many investigations? 7? 8? – are they willing to play the game again – as the planet continues to warm, (2 of the warmest years in the record since the original hack “proved” that AGW was a fraud, and recent further confirmation of the supposedly tampered temperature records), or will they  see through this and begin asking the real question – who is doing this, and why are they slandering the best scientists on the planet?

Most apropos reaction so far comes from the Climate Science Rapid Response Team’s John Abraham:

“While Texas experiences record droughts that cost $9 billion and while the evidence of climate change becomes more clear, the denialists quit discussing the science.  Instead, billionaire oil tycoons continue their personal attacks against scientists. ” 

UPDATE: Joe Romm quotes scientist one climate scientist, this is “Two-year old turkey from Thanksgiving 2009.”

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Drawing a dramatic contrast between his position and the waffling, flip flops, and science denial of the GOP presidential field, President Obama has, for the first time in many months, forcefully underlined his commitment to combatting climate change in an address to the Australian parliament.  (full address here)

Mr. Obama told the Parliament, “..we need growth that is sustainable, and this includes the clean energy that creates green jobs, and combats climate change – which cannot be denied.”

Implicitly making a sharp contrast with GOP presidential candidates who almost universally deny the overwhelming scientific evidence and consensus on global climate, the President, while acknowledging the issue was “not without controversy..” – to some laughter in the gallery – declared that,  “as countries with large carbon footprints, the United States and Australia have a special responsibility to lead.”

Compare to Mitt Romney’s recent  brain-dead declaration that “I exhale carbon dioxide, and I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard”, and Newt Gingrich’s acrobatic, amoral evasions on the issue.

Last week, Bill Mckibben asked “Has Global Warming Become a Campaign issue?” , noting the President’s recent Keystone Pipeline decision.

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Peter Gleick in Forbes:

When scientific findings have big consequences for policy and politics, anti-science ideology and denial flourish. Religious ideology led the Church to deny Galileo’s scientific findings about the motion of the planets and stars and has fed the continuing denial of evolution in favor of fundamentalist claims of creationism. Stalinist ideology denied the science of genetics and led to a crippling of Soviet agriculture and biology for decades. And a mix of anti-government, pro-fossil fuel, and anti-environmental ideology underlies current denial of human-caused climate change.

Evidence and reality have little influence on some (as this humorous New Yorker piece describes). A sizeable number of Americans still deny the reality of the American moon landings. Polling consistently shows that around six percent of Americans (nearly 20 million) think we’ve never made it to the lunar surface, while another five percent are uncertain. A 2009 story in Newsweek showed that these numbers have been steady since 2001 when the Fox television network (itself a media stalwart in the field of climate-change denial) aired a straight-faced program called “Conspiracy Theory: Did We Land on the Moon?”

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BBC

Geese, ducks and swans that spend winter in wetlands of Northern Europe are changing their migration patterns as temperatures rise, say scientists.

Researchers in Finland found some waterfowl delayed migrations by up to a month compared with 30 years ago.

The Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) says that numbers of some very familiar species are decreasing in the UK, as many birds do not fly as far.

The study is published in the Journal of Ornithology.

NASA:2008 – Natural Systems show warming

A new NASA-led study shows human-caused climate change has made an impact on a wide range of Earth’s natural systems, including permafrost thawing, plants blooming earlier across Europe, and lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period. The study, to be published May 15 in the journal Nature, concludes human-caused warming is resulting in a broad range of impacts across the globe.

“This is the first study to link global temperature data sets, climate model results, and observed changes in a broad range of physical and biological systems to show the link between humans, climate, and impacts,” said Rosenzweig, lead author of the study.

Observed impacts included changes to physical systems, such as glaciers shrinking, permafrost melting, and lakes and rivers warming. Biological systems also were impacted in a variety of ways, such as leaves unfolding and flowers blooming earlier in the spring, birds arriving earlier during migration periods, and plant and animal species moving toward Earth’s poles and higher in elevation. In aquatic environments such as oceans, lakes, and rivers, plankton and fish are shifting from cold-adapted to warm-adapted communities.

The team conducted a “joint attribution” study. They showed that at the global scale, about 90 percent of observed changes in diverse physical and biological systems are consistent with warming. Other driving forces, such as land use change from forest to agriculture, were ruled out as having significant influence on the observed impacts.

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Feed your mind on music like this, and nobody will drag your spirit down – at least not for long.

If you ever, ever, ever, get the chance to see Eric Bibb live – don’t let nobody turn you ’round.

Bonus track below.

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In “Confessions of a Climate Change Convert”,  D. R. Tucker explained the change in consciousness that came to a conservative writer after seriously looking at the evidence for  anthropogenic climate change.
Today, he offers another insight into the conservative’s climate quandary.

The first book I read after completing the IPCC report that changed my philosophical climate on global warming was Chris Mooney’s “The Republican War on Science.” I remember when the book first came out in 2005; I was curious about reading it at the time, but never actually found the time to do so. When I saw the book’s title back then, I thought to myself that such a book should never have been written, because the GOP should never have allowed itself to be viewed as “anti-science” by the general population. (Don’t ask how I squared that view with my belief that Al Gore made up global warming; to be a conservative in America is to embrace extreme ideological contradictions.) Five years later, I couldn’t wait to read the book.

“The Republican War on Science” enlightened me in a way no other book on political science has. With rhetorical skill and intellectual vigor, Mooney traced how the GOP began to scorn scientific principles and findings in the name of fulfilling specific ideological and fiscal goals. Dogma had replaced reality in the Republican brain, Mooney forcefully argued, and the country and the world had suffered as a result.

The late environmentalist and businessman Ray Anderson once said that reading Paul Hawken’s “The Ecology of Commerce” was a “spear in the chest” moment that made him realize the error of his philosophical ways. “The Republican War on Science” was my “spear in the chest” moment, making me realize just how much anti-science claptrap I had absorbed in my years of listening to conservative talk radio and reading right-wing punditry.

Despite extreme weather events predicted by climate scientists, and despite Charles Koch’s accidental validation (by way of physicist Richard Muller) of the accuracy of the global temperature record that came under attack in the “Climategate” pseudo-scandal, the denial demon continues to possess the GOP, causing Republicans in the House and Senate to do and say very strange things. The Republican presidential candidates aren’t much better, with contender after contender embracing the drill-baby-drill vision that the Deepwater Horizon spill should have dimmed.

What’s a Republican “warmist” to say, when the GOP tells green folks to go away?

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Shouldn’t someone in the GOP be concerned that broadsides like this practically write themselves?

Paul Begala

How did we devolve to the point where a leading Republican candidate for the presidency can’t count to three? Whatever happened to conservative intellectuals?

John Stuart Mill famously dismissed mid-19th-century British conservatives as the “stupid party.” But in the America of my youth, it wasn’t true. Conservatives looked up to intellectuals. William F. Buckley set the tone with his sesquipedalian erudition. George F. Will was a must-read, and my conservative classmates at the University of Texas in the Age of Reagan could all quote Milton Friedman.

No more. Today’s conservatives are more likely to mimic Rush Limbaugh than Buckley, and they probably know more of the work of Salma Hayek than Friedrich Hayek. To be sure, Will still commands respect, and intellectuals like David Frum and Bill Kristol carry the torch ably. But today’s Republican Party is more the party of Sarah Palin’s defiant know-nothingness than the brainy conservatism of Bill Bennett. The GOP is a party of ideologues, not ideas.

Turns out – some on the right do find this embarrassing, and are more and more willing to talk about it.

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Climate Questions from the Minnesota GOP’s Tractor Pull Parson. Hilarity begins at about :35.

Don Shelby in the Minnesota Post:

The Minnesota Senate’s most notable authority on global warming comes from East Bethel. Michael Jungbauer was once its mayor. He is in his third term at the state Legislature and he has fashioned himself into a force of nature when it comes to the environment.

But Jungbauer doesn’t believe the planet is warming. In fact, he told me, “I think the earth is going to cool.” From his position on the Senate Energy, Utilities and Telecommunications Committee, he has the power to change the way Minnesota approaches the issue. And his influence is apparent. The Minnesota Legislature has been busy undoing much of Minnesota’s nation-leading policies enacted to deal with global warming.

Sen. Jungbauer is fond of making pronouncements from on high regarding the scientific weakness of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He takes positions in direct opposition to 98 percent of published and peer-reviewed climate, atmospheric scientists and glaciologists. But the water and sewer treatment specialist by day is, apparently, quite knowledgeable on all manner of science. It certainly appears to be. He uses big words and cites studies in his lectures.

No scientist
The problem is, he is not a scientist. Even though his published biography lists his higher education credits from Moody Bible Institute, Anoka Ramsey Community College and Metropolitan State University and that he is working on his master’s degree in environmental policy and that he has a background in biochemistry, it turns out he has never graduated from college. He doesn’t have a bachelor’s degree.

He is an ordained minister, of sorts. But, although his official biography says he has a degree from Moody, he does not. In direct answer to my question, Jungbauer responded: “No I did not graduate. But I have a certificate.”

The truth is that Jungbauer was ordained by Christian Motor Sports International out of Gilbert, Ariz. His Senate biography says the organization provides “chapel services, pastoral care, outreach and Christian fellowship at car races, car shows, cruise-ins and tractor pulls.”

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Science:

Scrat, the fictional saber-toothed squirrel from the Ice Age films, may not be so fictional after all. Researchers have discovered the fossil remains of a 94-million-year-old squirrel-like critter with a long, narrow snout and a pair of curved saber-fangs that it would have likely used to pierce its insect prey. The creature, pieced together from skull fragments unearthed in Argentina and dubbed Cronopio dentiacutus, was not ancestral to us or any living mammal. Instead, researchers report online today in Nature, it belonged to an extinct group called dryolestoids, a cadre of fuzzy mammals that scurried about in the shadow of long-necked dinosaurs, as in the artist’s impression above. The new discovery extends the known record of the dryolestoid mammals in South America back 60 million years from what was previously known. There were no acorns around at the time though, so Cronopio—like Scrat—would have had to do without them.

The “Scrat” character, of course, plays a pivotal role in one of my recent videos, below:

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If you haven’t seen one of Paul Stamets talks, or even if you have, – get some coffee, settle in, and prepare to have. your. mind. blown.

Stamets is a mycologist. Yup, a mushroom guy. That’s all I’m gonna say. You can thank me later.