Several people have asked me to write a summary for laypeople of the entire CRU hacked emails and files affair, since it is so complex. They wanted something they could send to mom, dad, aunts, uncles who haven’t a clue about the hockey stick, CRU, HadCRUT, PCA, and YAD061.
I started to do so, but noticed that a blogger in my own hometown, Lon Glazner, who writes “Commission Impossible” dealing with local issues, had written up a pretty good summary on the issue, so I asked if I could print some excerpts of it. He gladly obliged. Here are excerpts from his post “Men behaving badly“.
What’s the hubbub? It all comes down to men behaving badly. Emails and files related to top scientists that support man made global warming theory were released in the hacked files. These scientists have authored/co-authored many of the studies relied on by the UN IPCC, and world governments. The studies have been used to pronounce global warming an immediate, and therefore taxable, threat.
Here are some of the highlights of the documents released.
1. The scientists colluded in efforts to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests (across continents no less). They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific internet sites. Big brother really is watching you. He’s just not very good at securing his web site.
2. These scientists publicly diminished opposing arguments for lack of being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the background they discussed black-balling journals that did publish opposing views, and preventing opposing views from being published in journals they controlled. They even mention changing the rules midstream in arenas they control to ensure opposing views would not see the light of day. They discuss amongst themselves which scientists can be trusted and who should be excluded from having data because they may not be “predictable”.
3. The scientists expressed concern privately over a lack of increase in global temperatures in the last decade, and the fact that they could not explain this. Publicly they discounted it as simple natural variations. In one instance, data was [apparently] manipulated to hide a decline in temperatures when graphed. Other discussions included ways to discount historic warming trends that inconveniently did not occur during increases in atmospheric CO2.
4. The emails show examples of top scientists working to create public relations messaging with favorable news outlets. It shows them identifying and cataloging, by name and association, people with opposing views. These people are then disparaged in a coordinated fashion via favorable online communities.
What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real. They don’t preclude many studies from being accurate, on either side of the discussion. And they should not be seen as discrediting all science.
Kudos to Anthony for being there, online, and being prepared to handle the traffic this topic generated. I would hope that this event would precipitate a greater openness regarding publicly funded research. It would be nice to see better adherence to scientific method. At the very least it has exposed some well funded, ivory tower thinkers, behaving very poorly.
I should mention that we all owe Lon Glazner a debt of gratitude, because it was a discussion with him on the science and engineering of thermometer systems that got me thinking about the surface measurement systems in place today used to record climate, and the problems they might have.
See it here, one of my early blog posts: In search of the perfect thermometer.
About two months after that discussions, the surfacestations.org project started.
Be sure to drop a note of thanks for building that fire under me on Lon’s blog, he deserves a traffic flood ;-)