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Posted at 10:30 AM ET, 01/29/2009

Science Group Erred Giving Hansen Top Honor

By Andrew Freedman

* Calmer Weather But Still Cold. Storm Next Week? Full Forecast *

It normally does not make news when the American Meteorological Society (AMS) gives out awards at its annual meetings, but this year is an exception. At their 2009 meeting in Phoenix earlier this month, the AMS bestowed its highest honor, the "Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal," to James (Jim) E. Hansen of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. Hansen is arguably the country's (if not the world's) most prominent climate scientist, but he also is a well-known climate activist who has been pushing for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Keep reading for more on Hansen, and why AMS was mistaken in granting him its top honor...

By honoring Hansen, the AMS has raised questions about the proper role of scientists in a world that is facing complex challenges that mix science and politics. A key issue is whether it is appropriate for prominent scientists to serve dual roles as researchers and advocates for political change, or if must there be a clear separation between the two. In Hansen's case, the line between science and politics has been blurry, as I discussed in a column last summer.

In bestowing the Rossby medal upon Hansen, the AMS cited his "outstanding contributions to climate modeling, understanding climate change forcings and sensitivity, and for clear communication of climate science in the public arena."

jameshansen.jpg
Dr. James Hansen. Courtesy NASA

His body of work is not at issue, as Hansen is widely admired in the climate science community for his breakthrough advances in climate modeling and for his contributions to the knowledge of changes in atmospheric composition. Rather, the problem arises due to the AMS' recognition of Hansen's public communication work on climate change.

On the one hand, Hansen has done more than any other scientist to bring the challenge of global climate change to the public's attention, starting with his congressional testimony in 1988 when he stated unequivocally that human activities were causing the climate to warm up. But his tactics and tone have sharpened considerably as policy makers have moved slowly (much too slowly, in his view and the view of many others) to enact emissions curbs.

Last year, for example, Hansen testified in a British court in support of six Greenpeace climate activists who were on trial after they scaled a smokestack at a coal-fired power plant and painted the name "Gordon" down the stack (in reference to the U.K. Prime Minister, Gordon Brown). The activists were cleared of charges in September. Hansen has called for a global freeze of coal fired power plant construction due to the associated carbon dioxide emissions, and issued a public letter [pdf] to the Obama administration containing his scientific views and policy recommendations. Further examples of his politically-oriented work can be found on his Columbia University web site.

Some AMS members have taken issue with Hansen's outspokenness and political advocacy on climate change, and the reaction from some meteorologists has been harsh. Meteorologist Joe D'Aleo was quoted on the New York Times' Dot Earth blog as saying that the AMS' decision to honor Hansen was "a sad day and embarrassment for a once great society that has lost its way." D'Aleo, like many meteorologists who specialize in day-to-day weather rather than long-term climate trends, is skeptical that human activities are causing climate change, and indeed has disputed whether the climate is warming at all. However out of step he may be with mainstream climate science, he represents a significant constituency of the AMS.

Remarkably, NASA issued a press release regarding the Rossby Medal that lauded Hansen's role as a spokesman for climate science. This is the same agency that tried to squelch his free speech during the Bush administration, in a controversy that blew up on the front page of the New York Times.

"The debate about global change is often emotional and controversial, and Jim has had the courage to stand up and say what others did not want to hear," stated Franco Einaudi, director of the Earth Sciences Division at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "He has acquired a credibility that very few scientists have. His success is due in part to his personality, in part to his scientific achievements, and in part to his refusing to sit on the sidelines of the debate."

RISKS AND REWARDS OF ADVOCACY

In general, scientists tend to steer clear of political advocacy, in part because of the risk that their subsequent work will be seen as conforming to their political agenda rather than being based on scientific evidence. Hansen's vocal support for steep greenhouse gas emissions cuts and a ban on coal-fired power plants has caused some critics to dismiss his scientific findings as biased in favor of his political goals.

Such sentiment was expressed by Craig James, an AMS member and retired television meteorologist who discussed his views on the "Icecap" blog. "I believe Dr. Hansen's political ideology has taken over his science and renders him no longer qualified to be the keeper of the global temperature data," James said.

Personally, I am torn by Hansen's situation. He is an eminent scientist who has spent decades studying the global climate system, only to grow more and more alarmed by what he has been observing. Yet at the same time, many politicians have failed to heed his and other researchers' warnings that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced. In the face of this situation, it's understandable that he has turned to more activist-oriented activities in order to avoid the potentially disastrous fate that his scientific research predicts.

But the AMS, which is a scientific society comprised of about 12,000 atmospheric scientists who mainly specialize in weather and have disparate views of climate science, erred in honoring such a lightning rod of controversy, despite the tremendous value his research has been to the scientific community.

The AMS failed to recognize that by giving him the Rossby medal and citing his "clear communication of climate science in the public arena," they may have actually sanctioned his political advocacy. Such advocacy, which is Hansen's right as a citizen, threatens to paint the AMS as having a political agenda too.

The AMS would be wise to publicly set the record straight on where it stands regarding the separation between a scientist and a political advocate, and how that relates to Hansen's award.

By Andrew Freedman  | January 29, 2009; 10:30 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change, Freedman, Science  
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Comments

Andrew, I don't exactly understand your point. I would rather have scientists like Hansen in the forefront of the political discussion about climate change than anyone else. If it's not scientists doing advocacy about climate change based on their own findings, who is going to do it? People who are politicians first and climate advocates second, who are more willing to apply spin to their arguments instead of data for the sake of expediency?

I think the risk of being seen as "too political" is a risk Hansen needed to take in order to get this important message out of the lab and out of smoke-filled rooms and onto the front page of the newspaper where people can see it. I wish there were more good scientists involved in the politics of this issue which is as inherently political as it is inherently scientific.

Inherently political because the solution to global climate change may well require a reordering of economic systems, trade, infrastructure, etc., which have to be dealt with by national and international governments, informed by close conversation with good scientists of all stripes.

If AMS had passed him over as a fantastic scientist due to nothing other than his political activity on climate change, would not AMS have been taking just as strong a political stance in the other direction?

Posted by: LaurainNWDC | January 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hansen long ago morphed from respected scientist to political "activist" hack. He's lost all credibility.

Posted by: shoveit | January 29, 2009 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The problem in mixing politics with science is that it almost always leads to exxagerated conclusions and hardened opinions.

I personally feel that Hansen's activism should make a prudent observer question his objectivity, something no credible scientist wants.

Posted by: RMVA | January 29, 2009 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Have you seen what Dr. Hansen's former boss had to say about him?

James Hansen’s Former NASA Supervisor Declares Himself a Skeptic - Says Hansen ‘Embarrassed NASA’, ‘Was Never Muzzled’, & Models ‘Useless’

And have you read what your own paper has written about former VP Gore and his testimony before Congress yesterday?

The lawmakers gazed in awe at the figure before them. The Goracle had seen the future, and he had come to tell them about it.

The scam is unraveling.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 29, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

How can a man who did turn around and claim to be muzzled? It defies belief! Most people took a hint from that rather large clue he provided.

What I want to know is when was he actually working?!?! And what were the taxpayers paying him for?

All of you AGW believers should have had the common sense to start distancing yourselves from Dr. Hansen and his work the minute he did that. I mean, seriously. Could it have been more obvious?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: TheMot | January 29, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

As far as taxpayer funding for Hansen's political advocacy activities goes, he has stated many times that he conducts all such activities outside of his work hours on his own dime, using his own personal resources.

LaurainNWDC, you make several good points. I agree with you that having Hansen speak out is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I applaud him for it. However, I don't think that this should be the model of a scientist that the AMS should recognize at this time, especially due to the significant degree of skepticism that exists among meteorologists. The AMS needs to be educating its members about climate science, and I fear the award may make members less receptive to hearing climate science messages from the AMS, because it will make them more suspicious that climate science is simply politics in disguise.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in Andrew's view on Gore's testimony yesterday in the Senate, perhaps in a future column. I'm not a climate change "skeptic" by any means, but I thought Gore was a little over the top. Dana Milbank's caricature in his Sketch column today (Mr. Q apparently misses the toungue in cheek nature of Milbank's column) actually protrayed it pretty well.

When people don't see houses falling into the ocean in a couple of decades, they are going to wondering why they had to pay all that extra money in electric bills.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 29, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Hit submit too soon. Thanks to over the top publicity hogs like Gore, people are expecting tidal waves, dramatic artic ice melts and sea levels rises, and all manner of catastrophic impacts. As a result, they will miss all the gradual small but cumulative impacts of climate change - and there will be a backlash against policymakers for instituting expense climate legislation.

Posted by: SouthsideFFX | January 29, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Andrew:

With respect to your statement that since 1988 Hansen has done more than anyone else to bring the matter of global warming to the public's attention, are you forgetting, or unaware, that back in the 1970's, he was sounding the alarm that the planet was about to undergo global COOLING? He is an astonomer by training, not a climate scientist or earth scientist, and he has never produced a forecast for which he has been held accountable. Furthermore, he has lied about his data on more than one occasion, and manipulated the data on other occasions...the most recent being a substitution of September 2008 tempertures for missing stations in the October calculations. It is no coincidence that NASA GISS temperatures are the warmest of the 4 data sets upon which this discussion is conducted. As Al Gore's former science advisor, should any of this come as a surprise? As a former member of the AMS, having resigned last autumn due to my displeasure with the AMS's intimidation tactics with respect to the climate change opinions of broadcast meteorologists, I salute you for your you observation that Hansen was the wrong man for the Rossby medal. No fraud should ever win am award of that magnitude.

Posted by: nobogey | January 29, 2009 5:23 PM | Report abuse

SouthsideFFX: Thanks for the suggestion re: Gore's testimony. Gore seems to be serving the role of scaremonger-in-chief, but it must be emphasized that his basic conclusions on climate change -- that it is primarily human-induced, and is a major threat that requires urgent action -- are well-founded in the scientific literature. His rhetoric can be problematic, as I explored in a past column, and as you pointed out in your first comment.

nobogey: Can you please provide citations for your accusation that Hansen supported the global cooling hypothesis? As for his scientific background, you can view his CV here.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | January 29, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I can answer the question for nobogey, but you could have answered it yourself Mr. Freedman. A simple
dr. hansen +"global cooling"
Google was all it took.

IBD reported that your paper, the Washington Post, reported it back in 1971.

Speaking of IBD and Dr. Hansen, and your insistence that he "conducts all such activities outside of his work hours on his own dime, using his own personal resources" (riiiiiiight. all 1,400 of them? I am reminded of a quote attributed to PT Barnum), have you read this IBD editorial?

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 29, 2009 6:47 PM | Report abuse

I have reservations about the balance of political advocacy vs. scientific objectivity however that doesn't automatically refute one's findings. It does produce red flags or at least it should.

As to his reported statements in 1971 this would be in reference to the possible role of aerosols in cooling vs. the impact of greenhouse gases in heating. According to "The Myth of the 1970's Global Cooling Scientific Consensus" (http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf):

It was James Hansen and his colleagues who found what seemed to be the right balance between the two competing forces by modeling the aerosols from Mount Agung, a volcano that erupted in Bali in 1963. Hansen and his colleagues fed data from the Agung eruption into their model, which got the size and timing of the resulting pulse of global cooling correct. By 1978,the question of the relative role of aerosol cooling and greenhouse warming had been sorted out. Greenhouse warming, the researchers concluded,was the dominant forcing (Hansen et al. 1978,Weart 2007).


I've found no journal article to support the statement attributed to Hansen in 1971. But, I did find his response to the reference to the article and the response it created. That's found here: http://climateprogress.org/2007/09/27/james-hansen-ice-age-myth/


Google is very helpful at providing links to information. You just have to read it.

Posted by: John-Burke | January 29, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

TheMot, thanks for the kind words. And thank you for the link. That is an excellent read! If anyone has not followed TheMot's link and read the article/column, I highly recommend it. It is well worth the time. Be forewarned that it is long. But it is good. It gets really good around about the 19th paragraph.

John-Burke wrote, "You just have to read it."

I have read his response. I read it word for word and sentence by sentence. It is a great non-denial denial.

Dr. Hansen's response is here.

Go read it carefully. Find the sentence where he states the accusation is false. You won't, because it isn't there.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 29, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

I appear to have ganked the link. Sorry.

Dr. Hansen's response is here.

Find the sentence where he states the original Washington Post article is false.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | January 29, 2009 8:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not clear what Hansen's position on the global climate in 1971 has much to do with his position on it today, other than providing background. In 1971, smoking wasn't habit-forming. In 1971, getting a blood transfusion didn't pose a significant risk of getting a human immunodeficiency virus. And on and on...

What is the IBD article proof of? That Hansen had a different opinion nearly 40 years ago than he does today? Big deal. Would you rather all scientists maintain their original position throughout their careers no matter what? Or that they not come forward with their findings unless they are 100% correct?

With respect to Andrew's article, I'm fine if he does not believe that Hansen is not deserving of a major award because he has compromised data, performed "bad science", etc. But the premise of his article is that scientists shouldn't "politicize" their findings, which is not only a dangerous assertion but virtually unavoidable. First of all, presenting scientific findings to the science community is the ONLY responsible thing to do in science, so it can be scrutinized, tested, analyzed, debunked, or supported. And if scientific findings have an inherent political meaning, how else should it be presented but honestly? If I did research and found that a certain chemical produced by a major chemical company caused cancer in people, how can I avoid creating a political impact by presenting my findings? If we didn't do that, we'd still be saying that nicotine isn't habit-forming and that cigarettes aren't THAT dangerous.

Posted by: mr_weatherman_2000 | January 29, 2009 8:42 PM | Report abuse

The article has some interesting claims that are not backed by anything factual. It makes the claim that Hansen was silenced durring the Bush administration. Not according to his recently retired boss Dr. John S. Theon. In an open letter Dr. Theon says that he was never censored from saying anything.

The article also makes the claim that Dr. Hansen is well respected. Hmmm. I guess dr. Theon must be mistaken when he called him an "embarrassment."

According to George Deutsch, a colleague of Dr. Hansen, most of the other scientists think he is a “rogue.” Some have even said he “exaggerates the evidence to back his hypothesis.” Some at NASA even say Dr. Hansen is “kind of crazy” and “difficult to work with.”

Dr. Hansen's "work" is nothing more then alarmism. He is the only one that shows a warming since 1998 while every other respectable climate agency shows nearly steady and a slight cooling since 1998.

It is a disgrace that Dr. Hansen would get any type of honor for exaggerating and playing around with the numbers to make them fit his hypothesis. Same as it was a disgrace for the IPCC and Al Gore to win a Nobel Peace Prize for spreading what the evidence is increasingly showing to be a failed hypothesis.

The only award Dr. Hansen deserves is an Pulitzer for best science fiction writer.

Posted by: matt911 | January 29, 2009 10:25 PM | Report abuse

"In Hansen's case, the line between science and politics has been blurry..."

Respectfully, even his science and the motivations of it have been, at times, blurry or worse.

He said, in the summary to an appendix on climate-forcing scenarios in "Can we defuse the global warming time bomb?" published Aug. 1, 2003, in naturalScience:

"Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as 'synfuels,' shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration.

"Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions."

What struck about this was that he appears to say that extremist statements were warranted to get people's attention, but now, as of mid-2003, scientists and others had best use "demonstrably objective" information.

My translation, though as an engineer, not scientist or politicized scientist: We'd better start telling the truth now that we've scared them sufficiently with our intentional exaggerations.

Maybe I've overstated this.

But since reading this, I've never truly trusted anything he's said. Nor, really, those who subscribe to him so.

And I still find that what he said angers me, in that it's just this type of distortion that's infected and poisoned the public, political and even scientific debates on catastrophic anthropogenic global warming and skewed the public's understanding of it.

FWIW, I do take exception to his use of the taxpayer-paid platform we support for his political science.

Posted by: 1legacy | January 29, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Just 2 of the many Hansen misrepresentations posted above: Who exactly are John Theon and George Deutsch?

Posted by: CapitalClimate | January 30, 2009 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Jim Hansen has recently "doubled-down" by declaring in an interview that the global temperature will break the warm record in the next one to two years. This will be interesting to watch! Matt Rogers, CWG

Posted by: mrwx1 | January 30, 2009 7:55 AM | Report abuse

There is no question but that the famous "muzzling" incident really did occur. A minor political appointee with no scientific background was identified as having tried to rewrite scientific releases to avoid stating their real conclusions, and tried to prevent scientists from speaking publicly about climate change research results. The reason it didn't actually muzzle him is that Hansen is too widely-known and too respected for an effort like that to succeed. Just because the guy failed in his attempt to muzzle Hansen, it doesn't mean that the attempt did not occur. It failed, because Hansen was willing and able to risk the consequences of bucking a corrupted system.

Posted by: ScienceTim | January 30, 2009 8:21 AM | Report abuse

So if this alleged "muzzling" did occur under Bush, did it also occur under Clinton as well? Did it happen under Bush 41 also? Dr. Hansen claims he is being muzzled by every administration since Bush 41. He is a flat out liar when he says he is being silenced. People with a some what sane train of thought also want him to be quiet.

I am not saying that AGW theory is right or wrong at this point. The evidence would suggest that it is wrong, but with such a complex system no one knows for sure. All I am saying is that Dr. Hansen is an embarrassment to serious scientists and did not deserve an award.

Posted by: matt911 | January 30, 2009 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Andrew-
I'm not sure what you're getting at with the phrase "disparate views of climate science." While I'm sure that's literally true, as a long time member of the AMS and attender of many sessions on climate science, I'm confident that at least 95% of the membership would agree with the following: Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide over the past hundred years have caused a measurable warming of the earth's mean temperature. Continued unrestricted emissions will cause the earth's climate to change in ways that will take it beyond the realm of the natural variability of the past million years. Therefor conservative public policy would call for restrictions on CO2 emissions. For a full official statement of the AMS position on climate change, go to: http://www.ametsoc.org/policy/2007climatechange.html

In short, I'd argue that the large majority of AMS members are happy to honor Hansen, and are glad he speaks as he does. After his address at the American Geophysical Union this fall, I heard similarly supportive comments from the crowd. Of course the members of the opposing minority who don't agree with what I've written above are going to be angry with him, but I don't think the AMS needs to give disproportionate weight to their views.

Dan Kirk-Davidoff
University of Maryland

Posted by: dankd | January 30, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

dankd,
You have a good point, but meteorologists, especially weather forecasters, have been particularly slow in understanding the climate story. A survey just published in the AGU's EOS, for example, found that 97% of the actively-publishing climate scientists answered "yes" to the question:

Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

Among all scientists, however, the lowest agreement was from (surprise!) economic geologists (47%) and meteorologists (64%). Notwithstanding those percentages, however, the Rossby Medal is not a popularity contest. Either the work is technically qualifying for recognition or not. Denying the honor as punishment for being active in the policy arena (Andrew's post naively conflates policy advocacy with partisan politics) is just as wrong as denying certification to meteorologists who are not public advocates. Since the author has declared in the past that he agrees with the latter statement, his current position seems particularly cynical and hypocritical.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | January 30, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

With due respect Mr. Kirk-Davidoff, I don't believe a consensus makes a theory accurate. In the early 1900's there was a consensus that said Einstein was wrong. It took a few very determined scientists quite a long time to prove that Einstein's theory of Special Relativity was indeed correct.

We can go back even further to Copernicus who proved that the Earth revolves around the Sun, but the consensus (all be it driven by religious ideology) was that the universe revolved around the Earth. Then when Galileo once again proved Copernicus correct the consensus said he was wrong also. It took well over a century to convince the consensus that they were in fact wrong.

Just because there is a consensus among scientists does not mean that the theory is correct. Scientists are only human and can be flawed, but data does not lie.

Posted by: matt911 | January 30, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Andrew, this is a very throught-provoking piece. I do not know what the criteria is for awarding the Rossby Medal, so I cannot comment on whether Hanson should have received the award.

However, regarding scientists becoming advocates is a whole other isssue, and is no different from any other professional person using their expertise to raise awareness and inform the develeopment of sound government policy.

The key is that this person or group maintains high integrity in the provisions of information and that the information is supported by evidence. It's sad when an overzealous approach and an exaggeration of the facts to engage an audience ultimately leads to the message being ignored, with tragic consequences.

Posted by: wiseowl30 | January 31, 2009 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Some interesting comments here. My apologies for not getting to them sooner, I have been traveling for the past two days.

First, to respond to Dan Kirk-Davidoff's point that most AMS members would agree with the group's climate change policy statement, I would like to think that you are correct in that assertion. However, I think "capitalclimate" made the important point that recent polls have shown the meteorological community to be skeptical of the IPCC consensus viewpoint on the causes of recent climate change. This is particularly true for TV meteorologists.

Capitalclimate: I've never advocated "denying [AMS] certification" to meteorologists who are not "public advocates," as you wrote. Rather, I have written that TV meteorologists have a responsibility to communicate climate science information in an unbiased (i.e. non-advocacy, and apolitical) manner. That's far different from what you have alleged.

Posted by: Andrew-CapitalWeatherGang | January 31, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Andrew,

First of all, I wouldn't take Joe D'Aleo's comments too seriously. If he wants to find something really embarrassing, he need look no further than some of the stuff that is up on his ICECAP website. I have to constantly explain to people the cherry-picking of data and other graphical deceptions that go into the graphics that they produce there!

In response to "Mr Q": You clearly do not know what Mie scattering code is. I do, having written such code myself. And, attributing the conclusions of the Rasool and Schneider in their paper on global cooling to Hansen because they used his Mie scattering code is sort of like attributing their conclusions to Newton because they used the calculus that he invented. Actually, one can argue that the attribution to Newton is more direct in the sense that Newton actually invented calculus, whereas what Hansen did was just to codify into the computer formulas that had been worked out by Mie more than 60 years earlier (although this would not have been nearly as easy a task back in the early 1970s as it is today when it is easy to find code to do a lot of the most difficult pieces...such as calculating bessel functions and Legendre polynomials...for you). [There is also no evidence whatsoever that the conclusions that Rasool and Schneider reached were due to any defect in Hansen's Mie scattering code.]

I also see that "1legacy" brought up Hansen's "extreme scenarios" comment, which has been widely used in the blogosphere to discredit him. However, if you read it in context, it is clear that what he is talking about are EMISSIONS scenarios. And, what he is saying is that at one time it was realistic to imagine emissions scenarios in which we really went to town, burning all conventional and unconventional fossil fuels, but that now that there is public awareness that this would be extremely detrimental, it seems unlikely that such emissions scenarios represents a realistic future. Ironically, if many of those who actually bring this comment up had their way, we probably would do this! Hansen just has more faith that the rest of humanity won't let people with so little good judgment and foresight rule the day.

Posted by: joelshore | January 31, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

joelshore wrote, "In response to "Mr Q": You clearly do not know what Mie scattering code is. I do, having written such code myself. And, attributing the conclusions of the Rasool and Schneider in their paper on global cooling to Hansen because they used his Mie scattering code is sort of like attributing their conclusions to Newton because they used the calculus that he invented. Actually, one can argue ..."

"joelshore" you clearly stink at reading comprehension. Please go back and read this entire thread again. You will find the following -
1. I did not bring up the 1971 incident, nobogey did.
2. I responded to Mr. Freedman's query to nobogey and chastised Mr. Freedman for his not bothering to do a simple Google query.
3. It was the WASHINGTON POST that printed the original article/accusation. I suggest you direct your ire at them and not me.
4. I pointed out this curious tax write off by a George Soros institute.
5. I provided a DIRECT LINK to Dr. Hansen's rebuttal and I pointed out that Dr. Hansen's rebuttal did not include an actual denial of the facts as asserted by the original Washington Post article.

In short, I provided an answer to Mr. Freedman's query, provided a direct link to Dr. Hansen's response, and pointed out that his response did not actually contradict the facts as originally reported by the WASHINGTON POST.

I await your apology.

Mr. Q.

Posted by: Mr_Q | February 1, 2009 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Mr Q: The point is that you wouldn't think a denial were necessary if you actually understood the substance of what the Washington Post was reporting (or what Hansen explained that he provided...which you can also verify by looking at the actual Rasool and Schneider paper in Science: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/sci;173/3992/138 ).

And, you didn't link to the original Washington Post article by the way. What you linked to something on the IBD editorial page (which, judging from your other links there, you seem to believe is some sort of revealed gospel). That editorial went on to say things like "Hansen has some explaining to do. The public deserves to know how he was converted from an apparent believer in a coming ice age who had no worries about greenhouse gas emissions to a global warming fear monger." There is no basis in fact for their implication here that Hansen was "an apparent believer in a coming ice age". It simply does not follow from the fact that Hansen supplied them with a Mie scattering code. If you understood what Mie scattering code is, you'd presumably understand that.

So, in short, I don't see why any apology is needed. The only thing I think I should modify is that my comments ought to have applied to nobogey too.

Posted by: joelshore | February 1, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

joelshore,
You're wasting your time arguing science with anyone who finds everything they want to believe in the IBD editorial pages. For anyone who's seriously interested, the entire Rasool-Schneider issue was thoroughly aired out at Deltoid over a year ago, including a much easier to understand analogy:

Apparently the IBD thinks that if someone uses a program you wrote as a tool in their analysis you must agree with their conclusions. By their logic, if I borrow a pen from you, you must agree with everything I write with your pen. The public deserves to know how people this stupid get hired to write editorials.
I would extend the concept to ask: Are Dell, Microsoft, and Verizon responsible for every dumb post at CWG made with the hardware, software, and networking that they supplied?

Of course, the whole thing is a red herring, since the scope of the conclusions of the paper itself have been wildly distorted.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | February 1, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Getting back to the original issue, frequent DotEarth commentator Elizabeth Tjader sez, in a highly recommended post (11 readers):

Dr. Hansen, as does any other scientist, has an obligation to tell us the consequences of our actions, and solutions too, especially when those actions will cost ALL of life on this planet to suffer unimaginably. Andrew Freedman is just pissed off Dr. Hansen maintains an integrity and practices it to a standard worthy of honor. Freedman just happens to fall far, far beneath that bar.

Posted by: CapitalClimate | February 2, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss the post where you called for revoking a Charney Award?

Posted by: CapitalClimate | February 5, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

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