October 30, 2011

‘Solidarity Forever’? Try ‘Broke School Districts Forever’

Filed under: Education,Ohio Economy,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:53 pm

Watch (HT Bytor at BigGovernment.com and 3BP):

The “impact map” found here indicates that the average teacher’s salary in the Cleveland Municipal City School District was $65,518 in 2010, an 8% increase over five years earlier. The relatively nominal increase doesn’t consider the generous benefits described in the video, and still leaves the district paying at least 20% more than the statewide average ($51,343 in 2009).

Climategate II? ‘Science-Settling’ Study ‘Proving’ Global Warming Allegedly Shows None (See Update: ‘Hide the Lack of Increase’)

PolarBear1011A week ago (at BizzyBlog; at NewsBusters), I noted how Charleston Daily Mail blogger Don Surber quickly determined through all of a few minutes of Internet research that Berkeley professor Robert Muller, who convinced Washington Post Plumline blogger Brad Plumer that he was a “climate skeptic,” has been a believer in human-caused global warming since the early 1980s.

Muller’s pretense to have held beliefs differing from his true past may be the least of his problems. A story breaking in the UK contends that results obtained by the prof’s BEST (Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures) project team, instead of “settling the debate” in favor of warmists, showed that global warming “has stopped.” If so, this is potentially as explosive as the “hide the decline” conspiracy uncovered almost two years ago when the Climategate emails surfaced.

The bombshell arrives via David Rose at the UK Daily Mail (HT to Benny Peiser’s indispensable daily CCNet email from the Global Warming Policy Foundation [GWPF]; internal BBC link added by me; bolds are mine):

Scientist who said climate change sceptics had been proved wrong accused of hiding truth by colleague

Professor Richard Muller, of Berkeley University in California, and his colleagues from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperatures project team (BEST) claimed to have shown that the planet has warmed by almost a degree centigrade since 1950 and is warming continually.

Published last week ahead of a major United Nations climate summit in Durban, South Africa, next month, their work was cited around the world as irrefutable evidence that only the most stringent measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions can save civilisation as we know it.

It was cited uncritically by, among others, reporters and commentators from the BBC, The Independent, The Guardian, The Economist and numerous media outlets in America.

The Washington Post said the BEST study had ‘settled the climate change debate’ and showed that anyone who remained a sceptic was committing a ‘cynical fraud’.

But today The Mail on Sunday can reveal that a leading member of Prof Muller’s team has accused him of trying to mislead the public by hiding the fact that BEST’s research shows global warming has stopped.

Prof Judith Curry, who chairs the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at America’s prestigious Georgia Institute of Technology, said that Prof Muller’s claim that he has proven global warming sceptics wrong was also a ‘huge mistake’, with no scientific basis.

Prof Curry is a distinguished climate researcher with more than 30 years experience and the second named co-author of the BEST project’s four research papers.

Her comments, in an exclusive interview with The Mail on Sunday, seem certain to ignite a furious academic row. She said this affair had to be compared to the notorious ‘Climategate’ scandal two years ago.

In fact, Prof Curry said, the project’s research data show there has been no increase in world temperatures since the end of the Nineties – a fact confirmed by a new analysis that The Mail on Sunday has obtained.

David Whitehouse at the GWPF (“BEST Confirms Global Temperature Standstill”) elaborates:

Professor Richard Muller, leader of the initiative, said (to the BBC) that the global temperature standstill of the past decade was not present in their data.

“In our data, which is only on the land we see no evidence of it having slowed down. Now the evidence which shows that it has been stopped is a combination of land and ocean data. The oceans do not heat as much as the land because it absorbs more of the heat and when the data are combined with the land data then the other groups have shown that when it does seem to be leveling off. We have not seen that in the land data.”

My first though would be that it would be remarkable if it was. The global temperature standstill of the past decade is obvious in HadCrut3 data which is a combination of land and sea surface data. Best is only land data from nearly 40,000 weather stations. Professor Muller says they “really get a good coverage of the globe.” The land is expected to have a fast response to the warming of the lower atmosphere caused by greenhouse gas forcing, unlike the oceans with their high thermal capacity and their decadal timescales for heating and cooling, though not forgetting the ENSO and la Nina.

Fig 1 shows the past ten years plotted from the monthly data from Best’s archives. (Click on the graphic to enlarge it in a new tab or window — Ed.)

BESTtempsData0101to0510

It is a statistically perfect straight line of zero gradient. Indeed, most of the largest variations in it can be attributed to ENSO and la Nina effects. It is impossible to reconcile this with Professor Muller’s statement. Could it really be the case that Professor Muller has not looked at the data in an appropriate way to see the last ten years clearly?

Indeed Best seems to have worked hard to obscure it.

Read the whole thing.

So what will come first — Christmas Day or the “numerous media outlets in America” noting that, at a minimum, Muller’s work “settles” nothing, and at worst is a fraudulent as the “hide the decline” enterprise known as Climategate?

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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UPDATE: Prof. Curry has a blog post which appears to have gone up just before this post was drafted (but before graphics were completed). Excerpts –

“Hiding the truth” in the title is definitely misleading, I made it pretty clear that there was uncertainty in the data itself, but the bigger issues are to analyze the data and interpret it. I made it clear that this was not a straightforward and simple thing to do.

I told Rose that I was puzzled my Muller’s statements, particularly about “end of skepticism” and also “We see no evidence of global warming slowing down.”

I did not say that “the affair had to be compared to the notorious Climategate scandal two years ago,” this is indirectly attributed to me. … There is NO comparison of this situation to Climategate. Muller et al. have been very transparent in their methods and in making their data publicly available, which is highly commendable.

That still leaves Whitehouse’s assertion: “It is impossible to reconcile this (graph of the past decade above) with Professor Muller’s statement (‘we see no evidence of it having slowed down’).”

No, it’s not “hide the decline,” but it’s definitely “obscure the lack of increase.”

Sunday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (103011)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 7:45 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder follows. Other topics are also fair game.

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Hot Air – “Flier at Occupy Phoenix asks, ‘When should you shoot a cop?’”

Daniel Halper at the Weekly Standard“There comes a point when a spokesman is spinning so hard one wonders if his wheels will come off. That happened today to White House press flack Jay Carney when he was questioned by Fox News reporter Ed Henry at the press briefing about President Obama’s connections to lobbyists.” Of course, he has taken contributions from them while pretending he hasn’t.

Robert Bluey at Heritage“Year After Obama Lifted Drilling Ban, Pace of Permitting Is Worse.” Specifically, “The Obama administration is approving only 37 percent of the deepwater drilling plans submitted this year — a figure that falls below even last year’s low approval rate. It’s also taking federal bureaucrats an average of 115 days to approve the plans, nearly double the historical average.” After a year of delays with no improvement, it’s long past time to abandon any belief that this is accidental, or merely the product of incompetence.

The point George Will is making in his WaPo column this morning (“Mitt Romney, the pretzel candidate”) bears frequent repetition — “(Mitt) Romney, supposedly the Republican most electable next November, is a recidivist reviser of his principles who is not only becoming less electable, he might damage GOP chances of capturing the Senate: Republican successes down the ticket will depend on the energies of the tea party and other conservatives, who will be deflated by a nominee whose blurry profile in caution communicates only calculated trimming. Republicans may have found their Michael Dukakis …” Read the whole thing.

Contrived“Occupy Wall Street Spreads to Iran.” Sure. Notice the “homemade” signs at the link.

“Occupy Madison Loses Permit” — Go to the third paragraph at the link to see why. Yeah, they’re just like the Tea Party (/sarc).

Positivity: Pope Benedict canonizes three new saints

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:01 am

From the Vatican:

Oct 23, 2011 / 04:37 pm

Pope Benedict XVI canonized three new saints at an Oct. 23 ceremony in St. Peter’s Square. He described the heavenly triumvirate as “a model for all believers.”

“Let us be attracted by their examples, let us be guided by their teachings, so that our whole existence becomes a witness of authentic love for God and neighbor,” the Pope Benedict said to tens of thousands of enthusiastic pilgrims Oct. 23.

The three new saints are Sister Bonifacia Rodriguez y Castro, Archbishop Guido Maria Conforti and Father Luigi Guanella.

Sr. Bonifacia was born in the Spanish city of Salamanca in 1837. She dedicated her life to the welfare of poor female workers. In 1874 she co-founded the Servants of St. Joseph, who offered work to poor unemployed women.

Archbishop Guido Maria Conforti was born near Parma in Italy in 1865. As a young man he dreamed of becoming a foreign missionary but his poor health caused various religious orders to turn him away. His solution was to found his own missionary order, the Xaverian Missionaries, in 1895. He also served as bishop of Ravenna and later of Parma.

Fr. Luigi Guanella was born in the Italian province of Como in 1842. He dedicated his life to the care of the poor and needy. He founded the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence in 1881 and Servants of Charity in 1908.

Drawing upon today’s Gospel in which Christ tells a Pharisee the second greatest commandment is to “love your neighbor as yourself,” the Pope said that “the visible sign that the Christian can show the world to witness to the love of God is the love of their brethren.” …

Go here for the rest of the story.