Open thread Feb. 20, 2018 Dan Crawford | February 20, 2018 7:51 pm Tags: open thread Comments (6) | Digg Facebook Twitter |
I think we meed a Mueller for Climategate. The two might run into some familiar people.
“One Saturday morning in June, two days after the president had announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, Michael Mann was tweeting about Donald Trump.
Mann, a Penn State professor who is one of the world’s most prominent climate scientists, was thinking about the daily barrage of revelations surrounding Russia’s efforts to help Trump win the previous year’s election. The hacked Democratic documents posted on WikiLeaks. The media craze over private emails that had been ripped out of context. Smear campaigns circulating on social media.
“#Russia #Wikileaks #HackedEmails #Sabotaged #ClimateAgreements,” tweeted Mann. “Why does this story sound so darned familiar?”
Seven years earlier, Trump was riffing on a very different set of hacked emails. The real estate mogul had called into Fox News after a blizzard to declare that climate change was a hoax. Trump claimed that “one of the leaders of global warming” had recently admitted in a private email that years of scientific research were nothing but “a con.”
Trump was referring to the 2009 Climategate scandal, in which emails from climate scientists were hacked and disseminated across the internet. Climate change deniers claimed the messages showed scientists engaging in misconduct and fabricating a warming pattern that didn’t really exist. Multiple investigations ultimately exonerated the researchers, but not before a media firestorm undercut public confidence in the science—just as world leaders were meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark, to attempt to rein in greenhouse gas emissions….
At the time, some observers openly wondered whether Russia might have orchestrated the Climategate hack. Investigators and other experts haven’t found much to support that hypothesis—the true culprit remains a mystery. Mann himself has pointed to the incident’s “curious connections” to Russia and WikiLeaks, but he, too, notes there’s no specific evidence that Moscow was to blame. Still, Mann sees other ways in which the episode was similar to what Hillary Clinton experienced in 2016. Both hacks, he notes, were “intended to impact the global political scene in a significant manner.”
Lotta smoke here, someone should check it out.
“Doubt as a product
There has long been a consensus in the scientic community that human activities are primarily responsible for global warming. The physics is understood, the evidence is clear and overwhelming. Scientific academies and professional organizations from all over the world have clearly stated this. The doubts about climate science, which are still widespread among lay people, are a product with an industry behind it. Hundreds of millions of dollars are pumped annually by (mostly fossil) interest groups into “think tanks” which promote doubts by parading self-styled “experts” and pseudo-studies. Some are the same PR folks who previously tried to portray the harm from smoking as scientifically unproven.
The British author George Monbiot recently wrote in a highly recommended article :
I first encountered the machine when writing about climate change. The fury and loathing directed at climate scientists and campaigners seemed incomprehensible until I realised they were fake: the hatred had been paid for. The bloggers and institutes whipping up this anger were funded by oil and coal companies.
The oil company Exxon knew, 40 years ago, how harmful their products are to the climate. In the US, public attorneys are currently investigating because Exxon systematically deceived the public about these findings.
But Trump, who owns holdings in oil companies, has now appointed former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. Tillerson has received a friendship award from Putin, and in 2012 he has sealed a $ 500 billion oil drilling deal in the Russian Arctic, which is currently blocked because of sanctions over the annexation of Crimea – one of the plausible motives for Putin to support Trump in the election campaign. (A number for comparison to those 500 billion: Russia’s total military spending was $ 66 billion in 2015.) Trumps administration is expected to aggressively push fossil fuel business – at the cost of the stability of the climate and people suffering from the increasing droughts and extreme events all over the world.
The flood of paid or politically motivated propaganda is not just a threat to democracy. It is a danger to humanity’s livelihood: a stable climate, reliable crops, a life-giving biosphere. It is a relapse behind the time of scientific enlightenment.”
“two, two, two mints in one.”
two, two, two posts in one
Can’t swing a dead cat in the US without hitting a russian.
“Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel has compared US President Donald Trump’s move to censor environmental data with former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin’s control of science in the USSR.
Speaking at a Chief Scientists’ roundtable discussion at the Australian National University on Monday, Dr Finkel made his comments saying he was “going off topic” as “science is literally under attack”.
Dr Finkel said: “The Trump administration has mandated that scientific data published by the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] must undergo review by political appointees before they can be published.”
In the first week of his presidency Mr Trump’s administration informed the EPA it could not send out press releases and no blog messages could be published. The EPA was also told “no new content can be placed on any website”.
The Chief Scientist told an audience at the ANU’s Crawford School of Public Policy that this political control was comparable to Stalin’s promotion of Trofim Lysenko’s ideas on genetics and evolution in the USSR from the 1920s.
Dr Finkel said: “It is reminiscent of the censorship exerted by political officers in the old Soviet Union.”
“The price of oil and Russia’s economy have the opposite relationship. When oil prices drop, Russia suffers greatly. Oil and gas comprise over 60% of Russia’s exports and make up over 30% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The effect of the 2014 oil price collapse on Russia’s economy was fast and devastating. Between June and December 2014, the Russian ruble declined in value by 59% relative to the U.S. dollar. At the beginning of 2015, Russia, along with neighboring Ukraine, had the lowest purchasing power parity (PPP) relative to the U.S. of any country in the world. A declining PPP lowers living standards, as goods purchased using the native currency become more expensive than they should be.
Moreover, Russia does not receive much of an economic benefit from lower pump prices as the U.S. does, as Russians consume much less oil and gas than Americans. Less than 30% of the Russia’s oil production is kept for domestic use; the rest is exported.
Oil prices also affect imports for Russia, as was seen in 2014. Because the country is a net importer of almost every good except oil and vodka, the sharp increase in import prices caused by a falling ruble touched off major inflation, which the Russian government attempted to tamp down by raising interest rates as high as 17%. As the U.S. discovered in the early 1980s, a sudden and significant interest rate hike can precipitate a deep recession.
Fending off dual threats of sharp economic contraction and rampant inflation is a tenuous proposition for policymakers in any nation; for Russia, it is an unfortunate reality when oil prices decline.”
Read more: How does the price of oil affect Russia’s economy? | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/030315/how-does-price-oil-affect-russias-economy.asp#ixzz57l41TChO
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And whoever does this should take the advice of Deep Throat.
“follow the money”.