Matt Patterson & The New York Post Clueless About The Climate

Warming Not: Climate-change theory faces sudden collapseI was glancing through my mom’s edition of the NY Post today and I saw an op-ed by a fellow named Matt Patterson entitled “Warming Not: Climate-change theory faces sudden collapse” and then when I took a look at a google new feed I keep on “global warming” I saw that the top story there a Fox Nation Report Global Warming Theory Faces Sudden Collapse which was just a re-titled version of the same NYPost op-ed.

I thought,…you’re kidding me right?

Wadda bunch of hooey.

Before I take this op-ed apart for what it is or should I really say it isn’t a little bit about Matt Patterson. A quick check around the net tells me he’s a political writer (aka propagandist) for a number of right wing web sites in the Brietbart network as well as writing for the more respectable but still hard right American Thinker. Now for my ad hominem,… the guys a manipulative lying jerk (well maybe that isn’t an ad hominem since I going to establish why he’s a manipulative liar).

If you breakdown Patterson’s piece he’s basically saying Climate Change Theory is on the ropes facing collapse because of two recent developments (somehow he manages to completely ignore the recent news that global warming denier challenges to the paleoclimate temperature record, the hockey stick, took a near fatal body blow this past spring when the great white hope Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project gave a preliminary report before congress that reported that the temperature record is accurate. See the L. A. Times article for a peek at what that is all about:

Critics’ review unexpectedly supports scientific consensus on global warming

A UC Berkeley team’s preliminary findings in a review of temperature data confirm global warming studies.

The two points that Patterson says (that he thinks) are going to overturn everything are:

  1. The work of Charles Monnett who lead the polar bear research project that Al Gore cited in "An Inconvenient Truth" which said the polar bear drownings could be on the increase thanks to polar ice melting in the Arctic has been called into question and…

  2. Recent work by Drs. Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell has found that the greenhouse effect has been vastly overestimated by climate scientists.

To the first point with a quick check around the net I find that there is no scientific challenge to Charles Monnett’s Polar Bear Research and that the controversy is all about him being suspended for problems in how he manages the project financially. AP reports that Scientist suspension is about project’s management. This is essentially a red herring, a type of straw man argument that Patterson is creating out of some real questionable financial management moves that Dr. Charles Monnett has made. While we don’t know yet what the investigation will bring, Dr. Charles Monnett may very well be a crook or he may be just an incompetent manager or he may be innocent of all charges but nothing I can find anywhere indicates that the scientific data and analysis he produced is in question. For all we know right now there is no connection between his problematic management and the science than there would be if we found out he had hundreds of dollars of unpaid parking tickets. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Enforcement and Regulation even issued a statement saying Dr. Monnett was being investigated for administrative matters, involving “collateral duties involving contracts.” Indeed there might even be some questions as to whether Dr. Monnett has been setup and the investigation is all part of an effort to speed up the issuing of Arctic drilling permits (Something Does Not Add Up).

On the second point Patterson is again being very deceptive. One single paper (unless it is startlingly spectacular is not going to take down the current thinking and opinion of the worlds climate scientists in one fell swoop and given the criticism this particular paper is getting from the scientific community (not the denial press and blogosphere mind you) it doesn’t look like this paper is that important at all.

Patterson makes the point that the paper was accepted and published in a peer reviewed journal but the journal Remote Sensing is a geographers journal not one dedicated to atmospheric and climate science and there are also complaints about the statistical integrity of the paper since there is little or no discussion of the uncertainties involved (in other words no consideration of the likelihood of results really being real) nor were the methods used in the paper discussed to the point where they could be replicated and tested by others. And according to Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University "He’s taken an incorrect model, he’s tweaked it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not correct."

Cutting to the chase the overwhelming majority of the scientists in the climate science community are very critical to completely dismissive of the paper. In fact Stephanie Pappas, in her article for LiveScience, Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast, on the Spencer Braswell paper wrote that "no climate scientist contacted by LiveScience agreed". The paper was for the most part ignored until James Taylor a lawyer (not a climate scientist) who writes political climate change disinformation on behalf of the Heartland Institute (a libertarian, public policy think tank that argue that global warming is not occurring and, further, that warming would be beneficial if it did occur) wrote an op-ed piece for Forbes. Patterson (a James-Taylor-Hearltand-like wannabe who I have written about before here years ago) picked up on it and echoed it.

There is no new science here in either bit whatsoever but the Taylor’s and Patterson’s who have politicized the science write the crap they do to try and manipulate and shape public opinion, not to educate it.

Patterson’s implication that this is an earth shaking paper is nothing but his own attempt creative propaganda writing.

Articles of interest worth reading on Dr. Monnett’s problems…

Articles of interest worth reading regarding the new Spencer and Braswell paper.

Comments on some of the other disinformation Matt Patterson generates can be found here: Matt Patterson | Media Matters for America

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6 Responses to Matt Patterson & The New York Post Clueless About The Climate

  1. klem August 3, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    “the overwhelming majority of the scientists in the climate science community are very critical to completely dismissive of the paper.”

    That’s terrific, but since the paper was published in a peer reviewed journal, those who criticize it must publish their criticisms in peer reviewed journals. We are waiting for that . Until they get there criticisms peer reviewed and published, the paper stands.

    Climate change is dead.


    • Ben August 3, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

      The Spencer paper was not is a relevant journal or subject to real “peer” review. I’d say he went out of his way to avoid their attention…

      But you can shout it from the rooftops for a few months if you like.

      • Jerrald Hayes August 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

        Ben wrote:

        "The Spencer paper was not is a relevant journal or subject to real “peer” review. I’d say he went out of his way to avoid their attention…"

        That was my thinking too. I’m thinking did he publish in Remote Sensing becuase he was looking for a journal he could slide it into.???

      • klem August 4, 2011 at 10:30 am #

        “The Spencer paper was not is a relevant journal or subject to real “peer” review.”

        That’s quite a claim. I’m sure the folks who run the particular journal would have something to say about that.


  2. Jerrald Hayes August 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    Thanks for commenting klem but where you write:

    "That’s terrific, but since the paper was published in a peer reviewed journal, those who criticize it must publish their criticisms in peer reviewed journals."

    That’s not at all necessarily true although it might very well happen given just how much criticism the Spencer-Braswell 2011 paper On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance is getting. But as I alluded to in my post above the paper was published in a geographers journal not a for climate and atmospheric scientists.

    In fact Dr. Kevin Trenberth writing the article Real Climate: “Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedback” said:

    "The paper has been published in a journal called Remote sensing which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published."

    My favorite bit of criticism of Spencer-Braswell 2011came from Barry Bickmore’s Just Put the Model Down, Roy

    That’s a big problem, because Spencer’s entire argument is statistical in nature, but he has made no attempt to find out how sensitive his model fits are to the different parameter values. If the model fit is about equally as good with low or high climate sensitivity, after all, then the modeling exercise has given us NO INFORMATION about the relative plausibility of either scenario. It does not count as evidence for ANYTHING, in other words.

    Supposing Spencer does try to go back and quantify parameter sensitivity, then good luck with that, because his newer models all have MORE THAN 30 FULLY ADJUSTABLE PARAMETERS (alpha, beta, and diffusion coefficients for heat transfer between layers). After Tim Lambert over at Deltoid read my review of Spencer’s book, he posted a quotation from the famous mathematician, John von Neumann.

    With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

    Well, give me more than 30 parameters, and I can fit a trans-dimensional lizard-goat and make rainbow monkeys shoot out its rear end.

    I am in no way a climate scientist or even a scientist but I can very certainly read what the scientists are writing (as opposed to political writers like Patterson & Taylor) and I would have to say that the overwhelming majority of them all think the paper is flawed.

    But again my post really wasn’t directly about the Spencer-Braswell 2011 paper, it was about how Patterson writes as though this, or should I say these two things , are consensus shattering news and they very certainly aren’t.

    I would describe Patterson’s writing as much ado about nothing.

    James Taylor’s gave us a headline Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny all the way back in the Chicago Sun-Times on June 30, 2007. I guess that wasn’t true then either. (RTOL – Taking a look at another piece of trash from the Global Warming Denial Bag of Tricks)

    Your claim that "Climate change is dead." is just as vacuous, disingenuous, and meaningless as theirs.

    Cheers to you too.

    • klem August 4, 2011 at 10:31 am #

      Blah blah blah…snore…

      Climate change is dead


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