Saturday, October 30, 2010

Attorney General Cuccinelli Ties His Shoelaces ... Together!

"In Western Europe, Moscow has operated by making lucrative arrangements with foreign energy companies that become de facto lobbyists for the Kremlin within their own countries."---"Why The Russia Spy Story Really Matters" (RFE/RL, 7-9-10)


UPDATE (3-4-12): Since the link to Attorney General Cuccinelli's brief against the EPA went bad at some point, I have updated this post by adding a current link. I think it is the same document.



Attorney Generals should not be mischaracterizing the evidence they bring before a court because they are in a position to damage innocent people's reputations or even send innocent people to prison.


I wonder if the United States Court Of Appeals For The District Of Columbia Circuit and the Virginia Bar Association have noticed that Virginia's Attorney General Cuccinelli’s brief against the EPA [new link here] mischaracterizes the allegations of one of his his "cited" sources---Andrei Illarionov's Russian Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA)---as cited in RIA Novosti (12-16-09) via the Russian business daily Kommersant. The authors of the Kommersant article are Oleg Sapozhkov (Олег Сапожков) and Dmitri Butrin (Дмитрий Бутрин).


Kommersant is owned by the Gazprom-connected, Russian-based Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov and known on the World Wide Web by the ubiquitous stock epithet "respected Kommersant." Scroll down to the article "Russia affected by Climategate." According to RIA Novosti, their article is based on an article in Kommersant, although the articles are not identical.


Here is the Kommersant (12-16-09) article on which the RIA Novosti article is based. The founder of the IEA is identified by Kommersant as "former presidential adviser Andrei Illarionov," who does double-duty as an adviser on climate change for the Libertarian Cato Institute in Washington D.C. RIA Novosti omits Mr. Illarionov's name in their version of the story, as does Cuccinelli's brief against the EPA.


Cuccinelli’s brief against the EPA [new link here] “cites” the claims of the Russian IEA as they appear in the official Russian press agency RIA Novosti (12-16-09) as "proof" that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Center (CRU) is faking evidence of global warming because they failed to count all the Russian weather stations (See pages 14-15 and footnote 12) [new link here]. However, the Russian IEA never said this. The IEA clearly was making these propagandistic allegations against the Met Office Hadley Centre, not the CRU.


Let us overlook the strong possibility that the Russian economist Andrei Illarionov's IEA may not be an entirely independent or reliable source of credible information on the science of global warming. After all, this economist is a "former presidential adviser" to Vladimir Putin and to the late Victor Chernomyrdin (the former head of the Soviet Gas Ministry and its post-Soviet reincarnation Gazprom). After he reportedly had a "falling out" with Putin, Mr. Illarionov went to work for the Koch-funded Cato Institute. [According to Greenpeace U.S.A., Koch Industries helped Stalin develop the Soviet oil industry, and today Koch funds climate change denialism.] Still, Mr. Illarionov must have had a remarkably soft landing after his "tiff" with Putin if he is quoted in Russia’s official press agency RIA Novosti on "the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding," [new link hereas Cuccinelli's brief observes with unintentional irony.


The RIA Novosti article Cuccinelli supposedly "cites," which is titled "Russia affected by Climategate," actually makes a different claim:


Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.


The Cuccinelli brief (pages 14-15) [new link here] is falsely citing the RIA Novosti (12-16-09) article when it identifies the alleged culprit as the CRU, instead of the Hadley Center. Perhaps Cuccinelli had to "fix" the RIA Novosti allegations in his brief to the EPA because the Hadley Center is responsible for sea-surface temperatures, not land temperatures from weather stations. Perhaps RIA Novosti's unnamed Russian "experts" are propagandists who did not really understand the difference between the Hadley Centre and the CRU. Tellingly, RIA Novosti did not quote Putin's former economic adviser Illarionov by name, and they did not quote any Russian scientists who are climate experts, either.


Cuccinelli's brief claims:


On December 15, 2009---the very day that EPA announced the Endangerment Finding---the Russian Institute of Economic Analysis ("IEA") reported that CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data and that the Russian meteorological station data do not support human-caused global warming. It was well established that CRU had dropped many Russian stations in the colder regions of the country supposedly because these stations were no longer maintained. The IEA stated that, on the contrary, the stations still report temperatures but that CRU ignores the results.


The Russian IEA never said any such thing about the CRU. Cuccinelli’s brief is not very reliable because he bases his evidence on a Russian political operative who accused the Hadley Center of ignoring weather stations, while Cuccinelli---who claims he is citing this Russian---blames the CRU for ignoring weather stations. It is strange that the Russian "experts" cited by RIA Novosti accused the Hadley Center of dropping Russian weather stations because the Hadley Center records sea-surface temperatures (SST) while the CRU records land temperatures.


The Russian article Cuccinelli "cites" never blames the CRU for allegedly ignoring weather stations. Compare Cuccinelli’s brief or "joint motion" (on the bottom of page 14 and the top of page 15 and "supporting" footnote #12) [new link here] with what the “cited” Russian article in RIA Novosti (12-16-09) actually says (below):


On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.

Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.

Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.


If Cuccinelli actually read the accusation he "cites" in RIA Novosti, how did he ever manage to write CRU instead of the oft-named Hadley Center, or Hadley Centre according to the British Spelling?

The RIA Novosti article is propaganda, but the article never said that the "CRU probably tampered with Russian climate data." On the contrary, the Russians claimed that the "Hadley Center for Climate Change...probably tampered with Russian-climate data." Cuccinelli's brief isn't citing his "authoritative" Russian IEA source correctly at all. It's a real mystery how this mistake occurred.


According to Tim Lambert at the Deltoid blog, the "Russian [IEA] analysis confirms 20th century CRU temperatures" (12-17-09):
[T]he IEA report does not support the claims made in the news story. I've reproduced the final graph from the report below. The red curve is the temperature trend using the 121 Russian stations that CRU has released data for, while the blue hockey stick is from a larger set of 476 stations. I've put them on top of the CRU temperatures for northern extratropics. The red and blue curves agree very well in the period after 1950, thus confirming the CRU temperatures. Well done, IEA!
The red and blue curves do diverge in the 19th century, but the one that provides more support for anthropogenic global warming is the blue hockey stick. The red curve shows warming in the 19th century before there were significant CO2 emissions, so it weakens the case that global warming is man-made. If CRU (not HAdley as claimed in the Russian news story) have "tampered" with the data, it would seem that they must have been trying to make a case against AGW.
The IEA analysis is, in any case, misguided. CRU has not released all the station data they use, so the red curve is not the CRU temperature trend for Russia at all. If you want that, all you have to do is download the gridded data and average all the grid cells in Russia. You have to wonder why the IEA did not do this.
Since Russia is a pretty fair chunk of the land north of 30 degrees north, the CRU graph above is a rough approximation of the what the CRUTEM3 trends for Russia is, and you can see that it looks like the blue curve and not the red one.
Steve McIntyre will no doubt be demanding the IEA's data and code for their study. No doubt. [See the entire article and the graph.]
For the record, scroll down to read the entire RIA Novosti article (which is also total BS):

Kommersant
Russia affected by Climategate


A discussion of the November 2009 Climatic Research Unit e-mail hacking incident, referred to by some sources as "Climategate," continues against the backdrop of the abortive UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen (COP15) discussing alternative agreements to replace the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that aimed to combat global warming.

The incident involved an e-mail server used by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich, East England. Unknown persons stole and anonymously disseminated thousands of e-mails and other documents dealing with the global-warming issue made over the course of 13 years.

Controversy arose after various allegations were made including that climate scientists colluded to withhold scientific evidence and manipulated data to make the case for global warming appear stronger than it is.

Climategate has already affected Russia. On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.

The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory.

Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country's territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports.

Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

The HadCRUT database includes specific stations providing incomplete data and highlighting the global-warming process, rather than stations facilitating uninterrupted observations.

On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.

IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.

The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world's land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.

Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.

RIA Novosti is not responsible for the content of outside sources.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Scrooge said...

What a tangled web the greed for oil and money weave. The tea party which is just a reincarnation of Kochs John Birch Society and McCarthyism and used to look for commies under the the bed are now in bed with the Russians. I wonder if Cuccinelli knows what he is doing or are the Kochs and Russians just playing him for a fool?

2:00 PM  
Blogger Snapple said...

I agree with this, but I think many of the Tea Party rank-and-file are just disgusted with deficit spending. They probably don't understand the motives of the money behind their movement.

As for the Cuccinellis,I think people can rationalize a lot when there is money involved.

I was always a Republican, but I always felt there was a role for government. These Libertarians want weak government so they don't have to pay taxes or obey any rules.

8:00 PM  

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