Green Weenies Everywhere: An All-Star Edition

This week we’re having to break out an Oscar Meyer eight-pack of Green Weenies to give away.  First, the Keystone (Pipeline) Kops have attracted the notice of New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, who writes the following this week in “How Not To Solve Climate Change”:

In fact, this should be a no-brainer for the president, for all the reasons I stated earlier, and one more: the strategy of activists like McKibben, Brune and Hansen, who have made the Keystone pipeline their line in the sand, is utterly boneheaded. . .

As Adam Brandt, an energy expert at Stanford University, pointed out to me recently, so long as the demand is there, energy producers are going to search for new supplies of fossil fuel — many of them using unconventional means like tar sands extraction. “With growing global demand, the economic pressure to develop unconventional resources is enormous and not going away,” he said. “Can environmental groups expect to win a series of fights for decades to come, when the economic forces are aligned very strongly against them in each round?” The answer is obvious: no.

Second, anyone remember the bit in the Climategate emails scandal of 2009 about how scientists talked of keeping skeptics and dissidents out of peer reviewed journals, “even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is,” as East Anglia ringleader Phil (“hide the decline”) Jones put it?  Well, it seems the editors of the journal Global Environmental Change are doing just that, bouncing Roger Pielke Jr. off its editorial board only halfway through his supposedly fixed term on the journal’s masthead.  What did Roger do to deserve this special attention?  He had the temerity to criticize an article that had appeared in the journal recently.  (The article he criticized is a real doozy, too.)  So when the climateers say that skeptics (which Roger isn’t, I always hasten to add—he just calls BS on sloppy and unfounded claims by the climateers, which they hate worse than skepticism) don’t appear in peer-reviewed journals, we have one more bit of evidence how they assure this result.  Roger is typically phlegmatic in his commentary:

I am of course happy to make way for other scientists to “gain the experience of editorial duties.” However, if my critique of a GEC paper is in any way related to my removal from the editorial board, then the message being sent to those other scientists is pretty chilling. For my part, I value my academic freedom to offer critique as I see things far more than being allowed into certain clubs.

Finally, kudos to Lynn Dicks, an environmental researcher at Cambridge University, who writes in Nature this week to note how testimony she had given to a Parliamentary inquiry about the advisability of banning several insecticides might affect the decline in bee populations was distorted by—wait for it—the media:

The assertion that a ban on neonicotinoids in Europe will save bees from extinction is absurd. There are bee species around the world in genuine danger of extinction, such as the once-common rusty-patched bumblebee in the United States, which has vanished from 87% of its historic range since the early 1990s. Diseases, rather than pesticides, are suspected of driving that decline. And although there have been dramatic falls in the numbers of managed honey bee Apis mellifera colonies in some countries, it remains a widespread and common bee, not in imminent danger of extinction.

Well-meaning exaggeration is common. The Guardian, a pro-environ­ment British newspaper, mangled my parliamentary evidence on moths and beetles to claim that three-quarters of all UK pollinator species, including bees, were in severe decline. . .  As a scientist involved in this debate, I find this misinformation deeply frustrating.

So do the rest of us, Lynn.


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