Caught in carbon capture’s credibilty gap

Not sure how my mouse and I arrived at the scene of this particular indication of my virtual crimes (we were Googling something or other and I followed a link!) But for some reason my quiet little corner of the blogosphere seems to have attracted the attention of  The Carbon Capture Report (CCR) circa May 2, 2010. While CCR didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know, CCR did tell me a lot of things they don’t seem to know :-)

The disclaimer that appears front and centre on all their pages for each reported “domain” e.g. me ‘n my blog or “organization” e.g. University of East Anglia is:

This profile page summarizes all known activity of the organization [name of organization] related to [topic, in this instance:] Climate Change. This organization may have appeared in articles supporting this topic, against it, or in a separate context: this biographical entry simply demarks this organization as appearing in content suggesting contextual association with Climate Change.

But I must say I found it somewhat disconcerting to find that my “overall tone” (rated at 0.74) appears to be on the reddish side of green – which no doubt contributed to my abysmally red “attention” rating of 3.83.

Not sure how often their data-gatherers update their records; but the last date CCR recorded as having visited my “domain” was August 15, 2011. Then again, how could one possibly hope the compete with CCR’s attention to tracking of the illustrious University of East Anglia (whose “attention” rating is 88.16 and which evidently began accumulating on March 29, 2009 – and was last seen on August 31, 2011). The March 29, 2009 “capture” is somewhat notable (on the part of Carbon Capture) considering their domain registration details:

Domain ID:D155833522-LROR
Domain Name:CARBONCAPTUREREPORT.ORG
Created On:08-Apr-2009 23:40:27 UTC
[…]
Registrant Name:Kalev Leetaru

FWIW, the tone of Kalev Leetaru’s bio suggests that modesty is not one of his attributes … and guess what, folks, he’s a “modeller”:

Today, Kalev has more than twenty global projects underway on news flows and public perception. One involves modeling all global news interactions across all countries in the world over the last several decades, resulting in tens of trillions of connections. Using some of the most advanced computation techniques and resources available, such work aims to significantly enhance the understanding of both global news flows and societal interactions.

Nonetheless, I’m sure that any familial influences would not have had any impact on the programming of his “models” (or the algorithms that contribute to the work of carboncapture.org):

Collaborating again with his father, a researcher in carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) at the Illinois State Geological Survey, they presented their first coauthored study on the state of global media coverage of climate change and CCS in 2006. 16 One component of this study analyzed the ownership of the websites of the top 100 Google search results for CCS, examining potential biases in the information presented to the public. A second collaboration traced the last half-century of national news coverage of climate change, characterizing the evolution of energy in the public consciousness and the interconnection of coverage with external factors such as federal funding priorities. Building on this work, Kalev ultimately launched the Carbon Capture Report 17 in March 2009 to monitor global news and social media coverage of climate change and the energy sector on an ongoing basis.

But more importantly, when Kalev Letaru’s profile of Steve McIntyre’s ClimateAudit (“overall tone”, greener than my 0.75, at 2.34) – according to CCR – yields an “attention” rating of 0.79 (compared to my blog’s “attention” rating of 3.83), and Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc has an “attention” rating of 8.57 – and Andrew Montford’s Bishop Hill rates a mere 0.79 “attention” rating – the pixels in his pretty pictures are somewhat peculiar. Perhaps Kalev’s Karbon Kapture Kould rekwire some serious reKalibration!

In light of the above – and considering that the Carbon Capture Report touts itself as being:

one of the world’s premiere sources of daily news and public perception reports of carbon capture and sequestration, climate change, and the energy sector around the world, 365 days a year. Based on more than a decade of research on global information discourse, the Carbon Capture Report has become the “go-to” resource for governments, companies, environmental groups, law firms, venture capitalists, researchers, and even private citizens, with subscribers in more than 120 countries.

It’s a very good thing that the very fine print at the very bottom of each page on Kalev’s site indicates that this “service of the University of Illinois” provides “no guarantees of any kind […] regarding accuracy or completeness”

One can only hope that Kalev will accomplish this much needed reKalibration before the likes of Anderegg et al produce their next contribution to the “peer reviewed” annals of hokey statistics.

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