Earlier in the year, Roger Pielke Jr. was named as a contributing writer for Nate Silver’s newly re-launched FiveThirtyEight site. Shortly after that, Pielke, a climate policy scholar and political scientist at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, published an article at FiveThirtyEight headlined, “Disasters Cost More Than Ever–But Not Because of Climate Change.”Salon, HuffPo, Slate, CJR: all pillars of peer-reviewed climate science.
Critics pounced immediately in blogs and on Twitter. That harsh reaction was then reported and commented on at Salon, Huffington Post, Slate, the Columbia Journalism Review, and elsewhere.
I recently conducted a Q & A with Pielke about this episode and the aftermath. The links in my questions are from me. I asked Pielke to provide his own links.Pielke is one of the experts on hurricane damage and economic loss, and was notoriously misquoted in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report:
KK: It’s been noted on Twitter that you are not listed on the main contributors page for FiveThirthyEight. Does this mean you no longer write for the site? If so, can you explain what happened?
RPJR: That is correct, I no longer write for 538.
Remember, one of the scandalous (no other word will do) errors in AR4 claimed increasing magnitude of weather related damage. The scandal wasn't that this was wrong, but that the IPCC was told of this by a reviewer, who was ignored:If the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming were sound, evidence for it would be littering every street corner. Instead, scientists are censored if they report an inconvenient truth. You might wonder why scientists would do this:
It was all but certainly this passage that survived the review process and appear in the final report:
A previous normalisation of losses, undertaken for U.S. hurricanes by Pielke and Landsea (1998) and U.S. floods (Pielke et al., 2002) included normalising the economic losses for changes in wealth and population so as to express losses in constant dollars. These previous national U.S. assessments, as well as those for normalised Cuban hurricane losses (Pielke et al., 2003), did not show any significant upward trend in losses over time, but this was before the remarkable hurricane losses of 2004 and 2005.What did Pielke think about this? Good question, easily answered. The IPCC never asked, but that did not stop the IPCC from making up an answer for me, which it did in its response to Zwiers (here in PDF, at p. 121):I believe Pielke agrees that adding 2004 and 2005 has the potential to change his earlier conclusions – at least about the absence of a trend in US Cat losses....
So not only did the IPCC AR4 WGII egregiously misrepresent the science of disasters and climate change, but when questions were raised about that section by at least one expert reviewer, it simply made up a misleading and false response about my views.
How a Club of Billionaires and Their Foundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPAYou might wonder that it's nothing but filthy lucre. I couldn't possibly comment.
A new report was released today by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, and it is damning. All this time that climate skeptics are accused of being in the employ of “big oil” is nothing more than a projection of their own greed.
Over 7.9 BILLION in funding between these groups.