[Coral-List] global warming

Greg Challenger gchallenger at msn.com
Mon Nov 20 13:02:50 EST 2006

I do not challenge your post at all Mr. Risk, I point out that it is better for scientists to focus the debate on the technical merit of the data.  This is, of course, my opinion.   

I am a consultant who works on oil spills as you point out, which is also not relevant to the technical merits of any argument.  I do not know why you find it ironic that a consultant feels that scientific debate should stick to science. I am also a consultant who who works for the UN, Environment Canada, and other government agencies.  I have never been aware of any oil company involved in an oil spill that has funded anyone to produce propaganda.  If you check around with your government colleagues, I am certain they will say good things about my company. It serves no purpose for myself or my clients to do anything but present the best possible technical data.  If anything I did were ever anything less than truthful to the best of my ability, I would have no value to my clients and would not work again...not a risk I am willing to take for people I do not know when I have kids that need to go to college.  

I am glad you agree that arguing the data is the only way to conduct intelligent debate. Please note that I agreed that good scientists have technical rebuttals in my post.  I also agree that the evidence is clear man is contributing to the problem.  Sadly you assumed I do not agree with the human causes of global warming, even though I never said anything indicating this position. 

Greg Challenger

----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Michael Risk<mailto:riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca> 
  To: Greg Challenger<mailto:gchallenger at msn.com> ; coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov> 
  Sent: Monday, November 20, 2006 9:42 AM
  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] global warming

  It seems ironic indeed to have my original posting challenged by a
  consultant who works on oil spills. 

  To respond in part to Mr. Challenger: true, BP and Shell have proven to
  be relatively progressive, and have profited greatly as a result. Good
  for them. They are also European companies. The major player funding
  the nay-sayers is EXXON, the largest US oil company.

  Now, let us be clear as to what I said. "Paid for by the oil companies"
  means PROPAGANDA, not RESEARCH, paid for by the oil companies. (As far
  as I know, Big Oil funds no research into causes of climate change.)
  One of the strengths of the CBC special was the effort they made to
  uncover the financial links by which global warming skeptics are funded
  by oil money. Those links are far from being up-front. This is not NSF
  we are talking about here, where competition is intense, results are in
  the public domain, and papers subject to peer review.

  I have made the effort to follow up on the press release Gene sent us
  all. First of all, Senator Inhofe's speech was an example of why both
  words in "American politics" are in worldwide disrepute. A nasty
  combination of stupidity, ignorance, and selfishness. (Don't worry, I
  am equally hard on Canadian politicians.)

  I then looked into the "expert testimony." All 70-odd Powerpoint
  slides. The major points seemed to be:

  1. cities and urban areas are "heat islands" whose inclusion in
  temperature records distorts the real trends. (Sigh. This has been
  known, and handled, for 20 years.)

  2. the system is vastly complex and hard to model with CERTAINTY (my

  3. the global-warming debate is being driven by ideoloques in
  universities who receive major global-warming funding, from (among
  others) "the left-leaning Packard Foundation." (See what you can

  4. William Grey (whose ideas have repeatedly been shown to be wrong)
  asserts that the global warming trend we see now is a result of slowing
  of the thermohaline ciculation loop. (Not true.)

  ...and finally, of great interest to those of us on coral-list: the
  experts conclude that, in fact, THE OCEANS ARE COOLING. 

  This is what Exxon is buying.

  I could not agree more that we must deal with real data and real
  results. Our own research group has published a pile of stuff on
  rapidity of climate change, thermohaline circulation and long-term
  proxy records. I suggest, Mr. Challenger, you read some of them.


  On Fri, 17 Nov 2006 12:05:15 -0800
   "Greg Challenger" <gchallenger at msn.com<mailto:gchallenger at msn.com>> wrote:
  > While there may be compelling evidence for man's contribution, "paid
  > by the oil companies" does not constitute a technical argument
  > against the data presented by the skeptics.   If scientists disagree
  > with conclusions, they should address the data.  BP and Royal Dutch
  > Shell accept man's contribution and even endorsed the 1997 Kyoto
  > Protocol, which is also not evidence of the validity of any data. To
  > some, "paid by the oil companies" may sound like  "I don't have a
  > rebuttal to their technical argument".    Plenty of good scientists
  > have rebuttals....stick with them.
  > Greg Challenger
  >   ----- Original Message ----- 
  >   From: Gene Shinn<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>> 
  >   To:
  > coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>
  > ;
  riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca<mailto:riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca<mailto:riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca<mailto:riskmj at univmail.cis.mcmaster.ca>>
  >   Sent: Friday, November 17, 2006 6:37 AM
  >   Subject: Re: [Coral-List] global warming
  >   Dear Mike, It all makes for good press regardless which side you 
  >   choose. Flip a coin.  No one is arguing that the earth has not been
  >   warming since the little ice age. What seems to be lacking is 
  >   undeniable  evidence that increased Co2 is the major cause.  Models
  >   based on theory may be acceptable to many but to geologists aware
  > of 
  >   previous periods of warming (before SUVs) remain a little
  > suspicious. 
  >   Was it modelers who promised us an intensive Atlantic hurricane 
  >   season this past summer?  Is an advertisement for a CBC TV special
  > a 
  >   good source of scientific data? Here is a reply to the CBC TV
  > special 
  >   that came out in the press just yesterday. It would seem there are 
  >   financial motives on both side of the coin.  Gene
  >   *Who is James Hoggan? *
  >   *Terence Corcoran *
  >   *16 November 2006*
  >   *National Post*
  >   To viewers of last night's edition of CBC-TV's The Fifth Estate, a 
  >   "documentary" titled The Denial Machine, the name James Hoggan will
  >   be familiar. Mr. Hoggan is the talking head who loomed late in the 
  >   program to issue lofty pronouncements on the science of climate 
  >   change. His main role, though, was to provide a Canadian link in
  > the 
  >   program's grand conspiracy theory about scientists who are
  > skeptical 
  >   of global warming. For non-viewers of last night's presentation, 
  >   here's a hint of the show's theme: Exxon did it.
  >   Not much was said about Mr. Hoggan. He's mostly just allowed to run
  >   on with his story, which by no coincidence is exactly the story The
  >   Fifth Estate told. For a first-rate demonstration of dishonest 
  >   manipulation masquerading as investigative journalism, it's hard to
  >   beat The Denial Machine. Using smear-a-minute techniques, host Bob 
  >   McKeown, under executive producer David Studer, advances the idea 
  >   that one or two U.S. global warming science skeptics --
  > particularly 
  >   Fred Singer and Pat Michaels -- have single-handedly turned the 
  >   media, plus the Bush and Harper governments, into climate change 
  >   deniers.
  >   Now, there isn't space here to snip away at all the anti-corporate 
  >   threads woven through Bob McKeown's warped tale. In brief: Exxon
  > has 
  >   paid money to groups and organizations connected in some way with
  > S. 
  >   Fred Singer, a distinguished environmental scientist and
  > atmospheric 
  >   physicist. In 1990, he founded the Science and Environmental Policy
  >   Project (SEPP), dedicated to exposing junk science. SEPP has
  > produced 
  >   science reports on second-hand smoke, CFCs and ozone depletion, 
  >   ultraviolet radiation and cancer, plus much work on climate change.
  >   In each case, Mr. Singer has taken contrary positions. His latest
  > is 
  >   a book, Global Warming: An Unstoppable 1,500-Year Cycle, just 
  >   published by the Hudson Institute, also a likely recipient of Exxon
  >   Foundation funds, as are the Brookings Institution and hundreds of 
  >   other U.S. organizations.
  >   As a recipient of corporate funds, directly or indirectly, Mr.
  > Singer 
  >   is painted by The Fifth Estate to be a hack scientist for hire, a
  > man 
  >   without credentials or expertise or integrity who should be ashamed
  >   of himself for fronting for the likes of Exxon. Mr. McKeown
  > confronts 
  >   Mr. Singer with the CBC's high moral rectitude: "Isn't that 
  >   misleading the public? Isn't that letting us think that it's coming
  >   from an objective source, but it's not?"
  >   The smear here is the implication that Mr. Singer is not an
  > objective 
  >   scientist because some corporate money supports his work, even
  > though 
  >   the money may be only remotely linked. This is standard 
  >   anti-corporate fare, deployed to discredit ideas and people one 
  >   doesn't like. The main theme is that no corporation should be
  > allowed 
  >   to support any activity anywhere that might coincide with a 
  >   corporation's agenda.
  >   As an aside, the fact that BP, Shell, the nuclear industry, giant 
  >   ethanol firms and others all support climate theory for their own 
  >   self-interested purposes seems not to bother environmental
  > activists. 
  >   Confusingly, although not mentioned last night, Fred Singer is also
  > a 
  >   big proponent of nuclear power, which he thinks is safe and 
  >   economical and would benefit from a major plan to put Exxon and
  > coal 
  >   out of business. How does all that work in the conflict arena?
  >   This brings us back to Mr. Hoggan. The Fifth Estate follows the 
  >   currently hot green story line -- science skeptics are funded by 
  >   corporations, therefore science skeptics are dishonest fronts who 
  >   cannot be trusted. Scores of reports from green groups and leftist 
  >   media in Canada and abroad have pushed the idea. Earlier this year,
  >   The Globe and Mail ran a lengthy piece by Charles Montgomery, 
  >   featuring Mr. Hoggan, claiming that the oil industry was behind 
  >   Canadian climate skeptic Tim Ball. Essentially the same story, also
  >   featuring Mr. Hoggan, appeared in This Magazine, home of Canada's 
  >   left. Headline: "Playing dirty: Coming clean on climate change spin
  >   -- how the PR industry sold the 'made in Canada' solution to global
  >   warming."
  >   Mr. Hoggan told This Magazine writer Zoe Cormier and the Globe's 
  >   Charles Montgomery (who rents space in Mr. Hoggan's office) the
  > same 
  >   message. Essentially, "ethical" public relations firms and 
  >   corporations should not be engaged in "manipulating public opinion"
  >   in important matters of public policy. If corporations do try to 
  >   fight policy, they run a risk. "If you don't want to end up looking
  >   like those cigarette executives standing in front of Congress a few
  >   years ago ... don't fight something that you are inevitably going
  > to 
  >   lose." It is no surprise that the cigarette executive image is a 
  >   visual tipping point in The Denial Machine's nasty little piece.
  >   The essence of Mr. Hoggan's message is that PR agencies and 
  >   corporations should not be able to support and fund climate science
  >   that runs contrary to the official global government science. "I 
  >   don't think that the people who are involved in this should be able
  >   to get away with it."
  >   So who is James Hoggan? He's a public relations man, based in 
  >   Vancouver. His firm, James Hoggan and Associates, is positioned as
  > a 
  >   feel-good local operation with clients in all the "right" public
  > and 
  >   private sectors. He also sits on the board of the David Suzuki 
  >   Foundation.
  >   One of his side efforts is a blog operated out of Hoggan and 
  >   Associates. Funded by retired Internet bubble king John Lefebvre,
  > the 
  >   blog has one full-time and three part-time staff. They spend their 
  >   time tracking down and maliciously attacking all who have doubts 
  >   about climate change and painting them as corporate pawns.
  >   There has been no mention on the blog, nor on The Fifth Estate, of 
  >   James Hoggan's client list. They include or have included the 
  >   National Hydrogen Association, Fuel Cells Canada, hydrogen producer
  >   QuestAir, Naikun Wind Energy and Ballard Fuel Cells. Mr. Hoggan, in
  >   other words, benefits from regulatory policy based on climate
  > change 
  >   science.
  >   But it is as a climate commentator that Mr. Hoggan gets carried
  > away. 
  >   On The Denial Machine, Mr. Hoggan is allowed to go on at some
  > length 
  >   about how climate skeptics are not true scientists, are not 
  >   qualified, or have no expertise.
  >   That takes some gall. Here's a totally unqualified small-town PR
  > guy 
  >   making disparaging comments about scientists he says are
  > unqualified 
  >   while he lectures the rest of us on the science. "If you look in
  > the 
  >   scientific literature, there is no debate," he tells Mr. McKeown.
  > It 
  >   doesn't seem to bother Mr. McKeown that Mr. Hoggan has no
  > expertise. 
  >   It is also a little rich to have a member of the Suzuki Foundation 
  >   board pronounce other scientists unfit and unqualified for climate 
  >   assessments, while geneticist David Suzuki roams the world issuing 
  >   barrages of climate change warnings at every opportunity.
  >   When I called Mr. Hoggan yesterday and asked, among other things, 
  >   whether he thought David Suzuki is qualified to comment on climate 
  >   issues, Mr. Hoggan said, "I'm not interested in doing an interview 
  >   with you. Thanks very much for your call."
  >   At the end of The Denial Machine, Mr. Hoggan confidently declares 
  >   that most of the 60 scientists who signed a letter earlier this
  > year 
  >   asking Prime Minister Stephen Harper to reopen the climate science 
  >   issue are science hacks. The letter was first published on this
  > page 
  >   last April 6. "We looked into the folks who were on that, and all
  > but 
  >   19 were Americans and most of them are kind of infamous characters 
  >   from the states who worked for the tobacco industry."
  >   In fact, only 12 are Americans and at most two, counting Mr.
  > Singer, 
  >   have done past science work on tobacco. About 20 are Canadians,
  > while 
  >   others are from about a dozen other countries, from France to
  > Norway 
  >   to Australia and the Netherlands. Readers can check the names on
  > the 
  >   letter, which we've reposted today as an Online Extra at 
  >   www.nationalpost.com<http://www.nationalpost.com/<http://www.nationalpostcom<http://www.nationalpost.com/>> .
  >   Through the whole episode, The Fifth Estate did not do one bit of 
  >   science verification. No mention, for example, of Mr. Singer's role
  >   as one the first to notice that the United Nations' claim that we
  > are 
  >   living through the hottest period in 1,000 years had to be 
  >   statistically wrong. Without spending one second looking at the 
  >   science, the CBC crew smeared and discredited the skeptical 
  >   scientists with corporate associations. Exxon did it. James Hoggan,
  >   however, is the real villain.
  >   >I can always depend on Gene to turn my crank, but this time I will
  > hold
  >   >my tongue. Instead, I will direct -listers to:
  >   >
  >   >http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/denialmachine/index.html
  >   >
  >   >-which is a CBC TV special shown last night, tracing the histories
  > of
  >   >those scientists who are global-warming "skeptics." It may be
  > viewed
  >   >on-line, and for those who have access to CBC TV, will be repeated
  > at
  >   >some future times.
  >   >
  >   >Turns out there are no surprises, and some surprises.
  >   >
  >   >No surprises: the skeptics aren't skeptical at all, they are
  > funded by
  >   >Big Oil, in most cases through channels that are hard to uncover.
  >  They
  >   >are paid to say what they say, no matter what the science. Amongst
  >   >serious climate scientists, the debate is over. Was over a decade
  > ago.
  >   >
  >   >One surprise, at least to me: many of these so-called "skeptics"
  > are
  >   >retreads from the Great Tobacco Court Cases! Remember all those PR
  >   >firms, and those "scientists", who kept saying "correlation is not
  >   >proof?" Well, their job was to delay action while the cigarette
  >   >companies raked in more dough. The same people now show up as
  > "climate
  >   >skeptics." Their role, again, is to delay action. It's a dirty
  > game
  >   >here.
  >   >
  >   >Mike
  >   >
  >   >On Thu, 16 Nov 2006 14:27:55 -0500
  >   >  Gene Shinn <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>>>
  > wrote:
  >   >>    Co2 global warming advocates might find this of interest.
  >   >>
  >   >>  --
  >   >>
  >   >>
  >   >>  No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
  >   >>  ------------------------------------
  >   >>  -----------------------------------
  >   >>  E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
  >   >>  University of South Florida
  >   >>  Marine Science Center (room 204)
  >   >>  140 Seventh Avenue South
  >   >>  St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  >   >>  <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>>>
  >   >>  Tel 727 553-1158----------------------------------
  >   >>  -----------------------------------
  >   >>  _______________________________________________
  >   >>  Coral-List mailing list
  >   >>
   Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov<mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>>
  >   >>
  >   >
  >   >Mike Risk
  >   >Marine Ecologist
  >   >PO Box 1195
  >   >Durham Ontario
  >   >N0G 1R0
  >   -- 
  >   No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
  >   ------------------------------------
  > -----------------------------------
  >   E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
  >   University of South Florida
  >   Marine Science Center (room 204)
  >   140 Seventh Avenue South
  >   St. Petersburg, FL 33701
  >   <eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu<mailto:eshinn at marine.usf.edu>>>
  >   Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 
  >   -----------------------------------
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  Mike Risk
  Marine Ecologist
  PO Box 1195
  Durham Ontario
  N0G 1R0

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