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Skeptics win one! NOAA/NCDC to pull the CCSP report

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Watts Up With That?
Thursday, Aug 21, 2008

Regular readers may recall on August 1st a posting where I stated my views on the NCDC report being produced by Dr.’s Karl and Peterson of NCDC (National Climatic Data Center) called Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. They also had a little help from Susan Hassol, writer of the HBO Special Too Hot Not to Handle, produced by none other than Laurie David. That explains the “emotionally based graphics” in a science document.

I wrote then:

To say the least, I’m shocked that NCDC’s leadership has changed from being the nation’s record keeper of weather and climatic data, to being what appears to me now as an advocacy group. The draft document reads more like a news article in many places than it does a scientific document, and unlike a scientific document, it has a number of what I would call “emotionally based graphics” in it that have nothing to do with the science.

About the same time, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. revealed that Ms. Hassol appeared to simply move some of her website’s claims into this self-proclaimed official U.S. government “highly influential scientific assessment.”

In that posting, Dr. Roger Pielke Jr also noted that we had a post outlining how NCDC had used a photoshopped image to illustrate flooding. Something of a no-no in  “science” document:

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Image above taken directly from the CCSP report. Read more here

And finally you may also recall the posting where I advertised for comments on the NOAA CCSP report, shown below:

Dr. Ben Herman of the University of Arizona was kind enough to offer a guest post outlining the flaws of this document. You can read his essay here.

Dr. Herman writes:

It is my feeling that these bullets and the additional detail discussions contain much information that requires further input due to it being still controversial, incomplete, and in some instances very misleading.

Readers were invited to submit comments to NCDC about the CCSP Report, and I’m pleased to report that many of you did. The National Chamber of Commerce also got involved, and submitted a very strong rebuttal to this document.

Chris Horner writes on NRO Planet Gore:

…the U.S. Chamber pointed out that a preponderance of the 21 reports that had purportedly been “synthesized” had not actually been produced yet. Sure, that sequence sounds odd in the real world, but is reminiscent of the IPCC, to which the USP appealed as the authority for certain otherwise unsupported claims (though the IPCC openly admits that it, too, performs no scientific research). This is a point we also made in our comments. I’m informed that NOAA has now agreed to publish the underlying documents first and then put out their desired USP. The Chamber should have a release out soon.

…Key absurdities included breakout points in the Executive Summary of “Urgency of Action,” “Irreversible Losses,” “The Future Is in Our Hands” and ‘Tipping Points” (even though nowhere else did the document actually offer a discussion of “Tipping Points” that could be summarized), as well as calls for adoption of a certain policy agenda, all in a supposedly scientific document.

What a concept; publish the basis for the claims first, THEN publish the document that outlines the claims (The CCSP report seen above). But nobody is rushing anything, right? “Tipping points” with no definitions, calls for policy? That’s advocacy, not science.

We’ll keep a watchful eye on this as there remains potential to “synthesize” abuse of the public trust.

My sincere thanks to everyone from this blog who provided comments and insight. And lets give the U.S. Chamber of Commerce a salute for taking point on this. Lots of people contributed to forcing this change; including Pielke Jr and Senior, Joe D’Aleo of Icecap, Fred Singer, Pat Michaels, Steve McIntyre, Chris Horner, Marlo Lewis, and  dozens of bloggers who helped get the word out, plus thousands of readers.

Warning, strong opinion follows: This report’s contents and the “cart before the horse” way it was produced is the biggest official “crock” perpetrated on the American public I’ve ever been privy to. On a personal note, there are days when I struggle to keep doing this, at times I think I’ll just shut down the blog, turn off the surfacestations website, and return to a normal and hassle free life. Days like this keep me going.

This article was posted: Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 2:45 am

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