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November 24, 2009

Networks, Media Blacking Out ClimateGate Story; ABCNews Instead Runs Headline, "Worse Than the Worst: Climate Report Says Even Most Dire Predictions Too Tame"

Well!

Hot Air notes a good write up that ran on CBSNews. Well, their website, at least. It's a start.

Last week's leaked e-mails range from innocuous to embarrassing and, critics believe, scandalous. They show that some of the field's most prominent scientists were so wedded to theories of man-made global warming that they ridiculed dissenters who asked for copies of their data ("have to respond to more crap criticisms from the idiots"), cheered the deaths of skeptical journalists, and plotted how to keep researchers who reached different conclusions from publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

One e-mail message, apparently from CRU director Phil Jones, references the U.K.'s Freedom of Information Act when asking another researcher to delete correspondence that might be disclosed in response to public records law: "Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise." Another, also apparently from Jones: global warming skeptics "have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone." (Jones was a contributing author to the chapter of the U.N.'s IPCC report titled "Detection of Climate Change and Attribution of Causes.")

The CBS article next quotes a long email by a programmer, basically informing his superiors that the datasets are utterly unreliable and the coding itself a bloody useless mess.

...

Programmer-written comments inserted into CRU's Fortran code have drawn fire as well. The file briffa_sep98_d.pro says: "Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!" and "APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION." Another, quantify_tsdcal.pro, says: "Low pass filtering at century and longer time scales never gets rid of the trend - so eventually I start to scale down the 120-yr low pass time series to mimic the effect of removing/adding longer time scales!"

It's not clear how the files were leaked. One theory says that a malicious hacker slipped into East Anglia's network and snatched thousands of documents. Another says that the files had already been assembled in response to a Freedom of Information request and, immediately after it was denied, a whistleblower decided to disclose them. (Lending credence to that theory is the fact that no personal e-mail messages unrelated to climate change appear to have been leaked.)
...

[G[roups like the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute, the target of repeated derision in the leaked e-mails, have said: "We have argued for many years that much of the scientific case for global warming alarmism was weak and some of it was phony. It now looks like a lot of it may be phony."

ScienceMag.org published an article noting that deleting e-mail messages to hide them from a FOI request is a crime in the United Kingdom. George Monbiot, a U.K. activist and journalist who previously called for dramatic action to deal with global warming, wrote: "It's no use pretending that this isn't a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging."

Complicating matters for congressional Republicans who'd like to hold hearings is that East Anglia, of course, is a U.K. university. The GOP may intend to press the Obama administration for details on how the EPA came to rely on the CRU's predictions, and whether the recent disclosure will change the agency's position. Another approach lies in e-mail messages discussing grants from the U.S. Commerce Department's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to East Anglia; one says: "We need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn't make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven't spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious."

The irony of this situation is that most of us expect science to be conducted in the open, without unpublished secret data, hidden agendas, and computer programs of dubious reliability. East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit might have avoided this snafu by publicly disclosing as much as possible at every step of the way.

Um, that's not "irony." It is not "ironic" that when you are hiding data, disguising errors, and keeping secrets, that the disclosure of that behavior proves embarrassing. That is simply -- what's the word? -- obvious cause-and-effect.

JackStraw sent me a link the other day, and I replied, pretty much, like so: "To be honest, I don't really understand that article, but what I find jaw-dropping is that critics continue to have to beg for these guys' data, for their models, for their assumptions. JESUS LORD GOD ALL MIGHTY WHAT THE HELL KIND OF "SCIENCE" KEEPS ITS DATA, METHODOLOGY, AND ASSUMPTIONS "SECRET"?

That is not science. There are lots of emails from these guys where they say things like "There's no point giving our data to the climate skeptics; all they want to do is punch holes in it."

Well... yes. This is how science is done, you see. You make a claim; you present your evidence; other people try to punch holes in your claim and your evidence. If your claim and evidence stand up to the fire, congratulations, you just advanced science. If not -- well, you also advanced science by failing. Not as much as success would have advanced science, but still -- a failed theory, disproven, also advances science. At least it eliminates one bad theory from consideration.

But what these guys are doing -- and this is the real scandal that no one wants to address -- is merely presenting their claims as naked assertions, with charts and displays to "back them up," and then when people ask for the data, methodology, and assumptions that went into creating those displays, they simply refuse.

And no one calls them on this. The media and the rest of the cocksucking left, which claims to be so "logical" and "pro-science," apparently has no idea that when you present claims, you're supposed to disclose your data and assumptions and methodology.

Science is in the business of reproducible results. That is the central point of it. That results must be reproducible by anyone following the same procedure.

But they refuse to disclose what procedure produced these results, so no one can reproduce them. At least -- no one except their buddies, chatting together in secret email lists, telling each other what "tricks" to use to "hide the decline."

And no one points out: This is not science. Science is not secret. It is open, it is conducted openly, information -- the goal of science -- is to be disseminated, not hoarded and kept under lock and key.

These dirty motherfuckers are doing the exact opposite, guarding their data and methods like it's the Coke formula, like it's a business.

Because it is a business. It is not science. It is a money-making for-profit enterprise, so trade secrets are implicated.


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posted by Ace at 04:06 PM

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