Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Is Science Itself At Risk?

UPDATE, below: In the embedded Wall Street Journal sponsored "Journal Editorial Report" below, Paul Gigot talks about the overall context of this weeks Copenhagen climate conference, and the various implications thereof, in light of the unfolding scandal at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. Arising out of the recent massive release of e-mails, and other evidence, much of the documentation suggested subversion of the peer review process, detailing of deliberate efforts to refuse to comply with FOI requests, recommendations to "lose" data, and even actual data manipulation in the modeling process itself.

Gigot queries the Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger, Kimberly Strassel, and Bret Stephens about their takes on meaning of the various aspects of the scandal.

Henninger begins by saying that in light of indications of public opinion shifting to a view that suggests scientists in general are manipulating data, the "rest of science" -- those outside the climate science community -- should speak out publicly and "defend the people who are trying to get more transparency into the [climate science] process."

Strassel makes the singularly important point that, from her perspective, it is not just the exposure of pettiness (as was indeed revealed in the e-mails) or even the implications of politicization therein that matters most. She says that the most disturbing evidence is what strongly suggests actual data manipulation being written right into the code of the computer models themselves. She notes that in conversations with statisticians and others, they "say it is an absolute mess, full of lots of fudges and little sleighs-of-hand, all designed to plump up the case for rising temperatures."

Stephens reiterates that these revelations show what amounts to "sausage factory methods" being used by some of these scientists, picking and choosing some data, while ignoring other data, in order to arrive at conclusions that, after all, attempt to show what are really relatively tiny differences in the temperature record over the decades. In other words, it hasn't taken much in the way of manipulation to create these supposed shifts.

Here is the Wall Street Journal clip:

Andrew Bolt has posted an additional point of interest today, one coming from the "guru" himself, Al Gore, who, when questioned about the impact of the e-mail release, in an interview by John Dickerson posted on Slate, attempted to dismiss the entire controversy by suggesting that it is much ado over nothing but ten year old e-mails!

Really Al?

Here is a link to a searchable version of the entire set of the exposed CRU and East Anglia e-mails. As anyone can see, the considerable number of e-mails range over a more than ten-year period -- 1996 thru 2009 -- with many of the latest and most significant e-mails being a mere one or two months old -- ones from October and November of 2009!

Below is just one recent example, the full exchange of which is laid out here. It is the Phil Jones e-mail response to fellow scientist, Keith Briffa, reacting to a recent re-request for tree ring data supporting a Briffa study. The very specific data request had come from Dr. Don Keiller, who refers to a post of Steve McIntyre at Climate Audit (CA) (new site) in his request.

The blatant recommendation by Phil Jones to stonewall Dr. Keiller, and refuse to appropriately respond to his request is quite manifest:
From: Phil Jones
Subject: FW: Yamal and paleoclimatology
Date: Wed Oct 28 16:04:00 2009


There is a lot more there on CA now. I would be very wary about responding to this person now having seen what McIntyre has put up.
You and Tim talked about Yamal. Why have the bristlecones come in now.
This is what happens - they just keep moving the goalposts.
Maybe get Tim to redo OB2006 without a few more series.
Al Gore simply loses all credibility when making comments like the one he made above -- alleging that the controversy is all just about ten-year old e-mails! The released e-mail record throughout the years is replete with ones as damaging as this less than two month old one written by Phil Jones.

In his piece, Andrew Bolt pointedly noted that Gore falsely claimed three times during the interview that the controversy was only about ten year old e-mails. So, you also really have to wonder what it says about John Dickerson of Slate, who let Gore get away with those complete misrepresentations without calling him on it at any point! Maybe he never read the e-mails either?

In other news, it looks like Laura Nichols, a student reporter for the school newspaper at Penn State University, the Daily Collegian Online, has broken details of the story about how Penn State has indeed also launched an investigation into Michael Mann's role in the explosive "ClimateGate" scandal, ht, Climate Audit, here. The University of East Anglia had previously announced an internal investigation regarding the scandal that has hit its Climate Research Unit (CRU) as a result of the e-mail dump.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey, at HotAir, posts about the effects that the
"homogenization" process at the NOAA’s Global Historical Climate Network had on the temperature readings.
The possible implications are simply stunning, and yet consistent with concerns raised in the e-mails . . . the process literally "falsified climate declines into increases" as Ed noted in his headline. You should read the whole thing.


At 7:44 PM, December 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your ability to be obtuse and ignore the facts are beyond my comprehension. I have to bracket your editorial references (I quit the WSJ a couple years ago)with fact based reporting by Media Matters for America and reports that the Polar Bear will be extinct between 2013-2020. It simply breaks my heart that you refuse to look beyond the right-wing authoritarian sources you so desperately cling to for information. Even if you completely throw out CRU data there are still two (2) remaining databases for climate change data.

Your talk of a climate change conspiracy rings hollow to me. I have seen conspiracy in the Iraq war for profit with my own two eyes. I have felt the sting of treason in my heart while dining with corporate "nobility". I have witnessed the treachory of those seeking quick corporate profit at the expense of US blood and treasure. I see none of that here. I see a technology that can be marketed to the world. I see a science that has endured peer review and over a decade of corporate/political misinformation. I see my kids dealing a problem they had little to help create.

It's not so much fun reading you any more Trochilus. For almost as sure as I say what I have seen, you will call me a blind man.

Got Kids

At 11:52 PM, December 13, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was blind but now I can see. All I needed was to get the Sunspots out of my eyes.

This would be funny were it not so damn serious!

Got Kids

At 1:49 AM, December 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops! Seems I stumbled upon another gaping whole in your argument. The "homogenization" of climate data that is supposed to be the second shoe dropping on the "climate conspiracy", is the reality that climate scientisits 130 years ago didn't know or expect that their data would be or could be compared to the technology of today, soooo here it is.

Like the author of this article, I'm getting a headache.

Got Kids

At 1:36 PM, February 14, 2010, Blogger Trochilus said...

Well, Got Kids, I'm sure you must be reeling from some of the recent revelations regarding "global warming" causation and "climate change" projections, that have recently surfaced.

Heck, the weather alone over the past few weeks must have sent you into an intellectual tailspin!


But in case you missed them, just check out some of what lawyers viewing evidence like to call admissions against interest by Phil Jones, the (temporarily?) former science head of the climate change unit at East Anglia University in the UK in this new BBC interview with him.

Seems he is conceding, among other things, that the Medieval Warm Period may have actually been warmer than conditions today.

Uh oh! Bye bye "Hockey stick!"

He also says he is bad at paper work. Geebus! . . . makes you kind of wonder how he got his job in the first place, huh?

Here's betting he didn't proffer that information on his resume . . . you know, when he originally applied for the job running one of the accuracy-dependent, complex and critical data and record-keeping positions on earth?

Perhaps even more to the point, check out the sources in this Times (of London) story entitled, "World may not be warming, say scientists" by Jonathan Leake.

And, look at this, too! It is entitled, "Former NASA scientist defends theory refuting global warming doctrine."

Ouch! That had to leave a mark, no?

Gee, I'd like to say I've really missed you recently, Got Kids, and that I really enjoy reading your comments, but . . .

Well, in an effort to accentuate the positive, I will say that I very much appreciate the frequent expressions of essentially untenable positions that you take. It automatically gives me a sounding board from which to respond.

Have a nice Valentines Day!


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