PEERs rush in: Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

Andrew Revkin reports today on the engagement of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) to the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund created by Professor Scott Mandia, aka “Supermandia” as he sees himself in the photo below.

Professor Scott Mandia - Founder of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

From Scott Mandia’s blog-he captions this photo at left: The Caped Climate Crusader: Battling the evil forces of global warming deniers. “Faster than global T rise, more powerful than a stranded polar bear, able to leap over rising seas in a single bound.”

I was really rather surprised that Revkin covered this nonsense, particularly since the “fund” is primarily about Mandia’s adoration of Dr. Michael Mann, and his desire that his public emails from the University of Virgina not be exposed to scrutiny by the State Attorney General of Virginia to determine if he used research funds properly or not. PEER has made a number of public pronouncements defending Mann and claims that scientific integrity would be damaged if the attorney general is allowed to view those emails written on the public dime.

This probably explains why Mandia needs to wear hip waders as part of his costume.

The University of Virginia reportedly has spent upwards of a million dollars keeping those emails on double secret probation, so it would seem the old adage of “where there’s smoke there’s fire” might truly apply here.

In Revkin’s Q&A e-mail interview with Jeff Ruch (video interview), the longtime executive director of PEER, it emerges that they have some pretty odd thinking on FOI as it applies to universities:

Q: Finally, when the issue is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), there’s a murky line between what is fishing and what isn’t. Many FOIA requests of green groups over the years could be cast as such. This is one reason the Union of Concerned Scientists, for example, has walked a fine line in its statements on abuse of FOIA. Should a researcher using a state university e-mail address and working under federal grants be entitled to presume his/her correspondence is “private” (as described below)?
A: The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. Generally, scientific articles submitted in the author’s name with a disclaimer that the work does not represent the institution falls outside what is official business. Our main concern is that industry-funded groups and law firms are seeking to criminalize the peer review process by obtaining internal editorial comments of reviewers as a means to impeach or impugn scientists.

The grants themselves and the grant reports are public but a federal grant does not transform a university lab into an executive branch agency – which is the ambit of FOIA.

By the way, as an adjunct to our whistleblower practice, PEER makes extensive use of FOIA to force disclosure of matters other wise buried in agency cubicles. A good example of one our science-based FOIA [requesets] is this.

Bishop Hill writes of this passage:

“…seeking to criminalize the peer review process by obtaining internal editorial comments of reviewers as a means to impeach or impugn scientists”? Huh?

It can’t be said often enough. If you want public money you have to accept public oversight.

I agree. It seems the issue here is simple; they want the money, but they don’t want to answer any questions about how that money is used.

This is part of the “entitlement mindset” that has pervaded public employees in recent years, and it is becoming tiresome.  Sunlight on the process is the only way accountability can be maintained.

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67 Responses to PEERs rush in: Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

  1. Thomas Holmbom says:

    A funny thought. Has anyone estimated the cost per sent email?

  2. Frank K. says:

    “It seems the issue here is simple; they want the money, but they don’t want to answer any questions about how that money is used.”

    Nothing new here. Climate “science” has ALWAYS been about the Climate Ca$h ™. Isn’t billions in government stimulus and grant money enough for these people???

  3. JJ says:

    Q: Finally, when the issue is the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), there’s a murky line between what is fishing and what isn’t.

    Doesn’t matter. If the people want to go fishing in publicly owned waters (i.e. publically funded work), that is their perogative. That is one of the things that FOIA is for, not a valid reason to break the law and obstruct FOIA.

    A: The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. Generally, scientific articles submitted in the author’s name with a disclaimer that the work does not represent the institution falls outside what is official business.

    Then communicating about it using public communication systems and/or on public time is wrong, and probably illegal. These guys want to sit in their publically funded offices, talking on their publically funded phones and publically funded computer systems, doing work that is not within the purview of their public funding? That is prima facie evidence in favor of investigating those communications!

    The “logic” these clowns employ is astounding.

  4. John Marshall says:

    If my taxes help pay for some research then I am entitled to scrutinize that research, or get it scrutinized for me. This should be part of the grant process. Fair’s fair.

  5. Jeremy says:

    The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. Generally, scientific articles submitted in the author’s name with a disclaimer that the work does not represent the institution falls outside what is official business. Our main concern is that industry-funded groups and law firms are seeking to criminalize the peer review process by obtaining internal editorial comments of reviewers as a means to impeach or impugn scientists.

    Criminalize the peer review process? Criminalize a process? What does that even mean? The mind boggles at trying to understand what was going through the brains of whoever came up with this paragraph. I can accept that they don’t want Mann’s e-mails to become public. But I can’t accept that they don’t know exactly why this is bad for them. I’m forced to conclude that deep down they know exactly why Mann’s emails might be bad for them. The know they might have to face the fact that some of his conclusions must be abandoned, and the meme of settled science and their whole belief system might come to represent illegitimate scientific shortcuts in the public eye.

    These people are now behaving as sheer religious fanatics, intent on twisting their own lifelong logic and reason before abandoning a cherished saint.

  6. chris y says:

    A modest proposal-

    Any work that is exempt from FOIA cannot be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.

  7. Oatley says:

    Forget the legal questions, If “scientific” models OF AGW predict global catastrophe requiring global response, one would think that a complete public review of the science would be in order.

    Too rational, I guess…

  8. More Soylent Green! says:

    I think I read about this thing where people can share information with anybody. I think it’s called “The Information Superhighway,” or “AOL,” or something like that.

    Anyhoo, they have it on computer now, which seems like it would make it really easy to make that information available.

    ~More Soylent Green!

  9. More Soylent Green! says:

    It’s not like these guys are working with national secrets, like how to build an ICBM guidance system, or how to build a smaller, more reliable nuclear weapon. There are no national security concerns, or industrial secrets (intellectual property) concerns here. They just don’t want to be accountable.

  10. Mark Bofill says:

    “This probably explains why Mandia needs to wear hip waders as part of his costume.” — Thanks, this one has kept me chuckling most of the morning.

    Ironic that PEER lists this as one of their accomplishments:

    “9) Repeatedly vindicated the public’s right to know through scores of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits. In just the past few months, our FOIA lawsuits have exposed unsafe dams and levees on the Rio Grande, a corrupt investigation swept under the rug that destroyed the last authentic Indian trader, and OSHA whistleblowers blowing the whistle on the agency?s own whistleblower program. Guided by insider sources, PEER now has the most robust FOIA practice in the country with a new FOIA lawsuit filed on an average of once a month”

    FOIA; good when we use it, bad when the skeptics use it. Go figure.

  11. Garry says:

    “A: The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. ”

    Nope. The central issue is that *only* public business should be conducted on government computers in government offices by government employees. Period. “Peer review” discussions about the weather don’t get special exemptions.

    I think these degenerates have discovered that the arrogant presumption called “academic freedom” no longer gets a free pass from the public, and so now they are posturing with the equally deceptive lie called “peer review.”

    I love the “peer review” revealed in Climategate 2, such as when Wigley and Jones plot how to stuff the ballot box so that they can get free trips to lux tropical conventions, or scheme how to evade FOIA by putting their email files on thumb drives.

  12. Russell C says:

    In case there is any doubt about the motives of this PEER group, we have their news item here where EPA was muzzling two of its own employees who griped that President Obama’s cap-and-trade plan “will not accomplish its goals, let alone effectively curb climate change.” http://www.peer.org/news/news_id.php?row_id=1277

    Lovely. EPA didn’t want it known how biased its own people are, and PEER apparently wants such government employees to be AGW activists.

  13. Joe Bastardi says:

    He should spend his time fighting the global temperature drop

    http://policlimate.com/climate/cfsr_t2m_2011.png

  14. slow to follow says:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/1/23/what-the-greens-spend-their-money-on.html

    As I understand it GWPF are a registered educational charity, so they are bound in law by the Charities Act and regulated by the Charities Commission:

    http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/About_us/default.aspx

    As such they will have to publish Annual Reports and keep auditable records:

    http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/About_us/default.aspx

    I might accord Revkin some respect if he also shone his spotlight on unregulated grey bodies such as this:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/about/

    (AFAIKT they exist with no public accountability – unless a sign in page to Science magazine counts as “clear to anyone who asks”)

    …or if his article(s) included any evidence of critical thinking of any kind…

  15. Ned says:

    “The University of Virginia reportedly has spent upwards of a million dollars keeping those emails on double secret probation”

    If even remotely close to true, how can this Michael Mann live with himself? Money that could have gone to, I don’t know, maybe educating kids, but obfuscating is more important.

  16. slow to follow says:

    Apologies – Above comment should have started with this link:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/1/23/what-the-greens-spend-their-money-on.html

  17. Rogelio Escobar says:

    As Bastardi points out the ONLY relevant issue concerning AGW is that temps are NOW below anomaly so again there is no global warming trend, aka no global waming no AGW etc…

  18. Russell C says:

    One more bit to show how PEER embraces AGW: This page http://www.peer.org/campaigns/obama/issue.php has them saying, “Obama has embraced a watered-down climate change bill that Dr. Jim Hansen and other experts warn will do too little too late” and the latter part of the sentence links to an NY Times article where Greenpeace attached its infamous anti-Obama / Stop Global Warming banner on Mt Rushmore.

    PEER is all for defending a pair of EPA people who were muzzled by the EPA for protesting that Obama’s cap-and-trade plan didn’t go far enough, but drop the name “Carlin” – as in Alan Carlin, the man who complained EPA needed to re-think its AGW position and who subsequently got muzzled by EPA – and you get no results.

  19. Matthew W. says:

    “The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. ”
    No it’s not !!!
    It’s a tax funded activity.
    We most certainly have the right to review ANY of their activity if we are paying for it.

  20. Milwaukee Bob says:

    …Mandia needs to wear hip waders as part of his costume.
    Priceless!!

    After many years now of dealing directly and indirectly with tax funded entities, the vast majority of people therein DO NOT care, rationalize, understand, know, etc. where the money comes from that pays their way. They “believe” it to be THEIR money! And they are accountable (for it) ONLY to themselves – – and maybe their immediate supervisor. They are blind beyond it coming from the “University” or the “Government.” So why should they be accountable to anyone for what they do or share what they produce? Especially when the source (the government, unversity or wherever) of that money seldom cares enough to follow-up on how it was spent! OR side with the public, (taxpayer, victim) when it is clear to all that something is amiss!

  21. Theo Goodwin says:

    JJ qotes:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    “A: The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. Generally, scientific articles submitted in the author’s name with a disclaimer that the work does not represent the institution falls outside what is official business.”

    Spot on, JJ. Supermandia and friends should ask people who are employed by government if they get to declare some of their emails as private. The law today is clear as a bell. Your employer owns all of your communications that were made while you were on the job or using employer equipment. Salaried employees are always on the job. Your employer can erase all of your saved emails including any that you declare private. Your employer can automatically reinstall the operating system on your employer owned portable. It happens daily. Employees might be very unhappy but they have no legal recourse.

    Supermandia’s thinking has its source in the traditional privileges of academia. If Supermandia would visit his university’s attorney he could learn just how limited those privileges have become in the electronic age.

  22. TheGoodLocust says:

    Sounds like progress to me – they realize the process is criminal.

    The next step is for them to realize that the crime isn’t justified (i.e. “post-normal”).

  23. Dave says:

    Hey, even fishermen have to show their catch to the game warden when asked. FOIA does not apply when there is a question of whether the caught fish are in season or large enough…

  24. Werner Brozek says:

    “Faster than global T rise”
    That does not exactly set the bar very high! For almost 15 years, HadCrut3 and RSS have shown no global T rise.

  25. slow to follow says:

    AW and Milwaukee Bob – !! :-) – brown hip waders too!

  26. R.S.Brown says:

    Ned, et al,

    Let’s keep the record straight here, folks.

    The University of Virginia did not, I repeat NOT spend
    one million dollars of the University’s or tax or tuition generated
    dollars to keep those emails on double secret probation.

    They have been using a largess of moneys donated and services provided to
    them by a group of UVa alumni and outside “interested” parties.

    The University of Virginia may not even know exactly who’s been keeping
    the money crock pot bubbling, or what, if any non-govenment organizations
    are quietly prompting the actors from behind the curtain.

    Injecting the “public employee” work rights concept (and it’s variations) into
    the discussion of the public’s “right to know” under FOIA is another sleight of
    hand attempt to obfuscate the core issue.

    If Mike Mann’s claim of “ownership” of the UVa emails and his right to keep
    them “private”, there will be no way we, the public, will ever get to see what’s
    behind “The Green Door !

    “Green Door, What’s that Secret You’re Keeping ?”

  27. Smokey says:

    “…Mandia needs to wear hip waders as part of his costume.”

    As someone pointed out in an earlier thread, Mandia’s hip waders were transparent when he put them on.☺

  28. Bernal says:

    I thought this site would never stoop to flogging climate porn for more hits!!!!!!!

    Have you no decency.

    I…can’t…get…it …out…of…my…HEAD!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. More Soylent Green! says:

    Matthew W. says:
    January 25, 2012 at 8:51 am
    “The central issue is whether the subject of the inquiry is public business. ”
    No it’s not !!!
    It’s a tax funded activity.
    We most certainly have the right to review ANY of their activity if we are paying for it.

    Many of us work in jobs where it would be against company policy to conduct non-company business with company computers. Why does that not apply to these bozos?

  30. eyesonu says:

    JJ says:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:14 am

    ==============

    Very well put.

  31. pwl says:

    If the “Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)” members actually used experiments and independently verifiable evidence and analysis according to the highest standards (e.g. chemistry, physics, information science, …) of the scientific method maybe climate science would have progressed much further along rather than being stuck in the various statistical ruts that lead to belief based dead ends for those who “believe in science” rather than doing science according to the scientific method.

    If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” – Ernest Rutherford

    No theory is carved in stone. Science is merciless when it comes to testing all theories over and over, at any time, in any place. Unlike religion or politics, science is ultimately decided by experiments, done repeatedly in every form. There are no sacred cows. In science, 100 authorities count for nothing. Experiment counts for everything.” – Michio Kaku, a professor of theoretical physics at City College of New York.

  32. Resourceguy says:

    Yes, this does appear to be the Charlie Sheen defense strategy.

  33. Snotrocket says:

    slow to follow says on January 25, 2012 at 9:27 am:

    “AW and Milwaukee Bob – !! :-) – brown hip waders too!”

    STF…They weren’t brown before he started wading in the sewage that is AGW!

  34. PaddikJ says:

    “Our main concern is that industry-funded groups and law firms are seeking to criminalize the peer review process.”

    Standard Climate Change Cabal mildly paranoid smear (and don’tcha just love the conspiratorial vagueness of “industry-funded”? Takes me back to my college days of the early ’70s) followed by wildly paranoid utter nonsense.

    And some people here wonder who wrote it? Does not the Manntra “industry-funded” have a certain familiar pungent bouquet about it? Do we not see it (or something very similar) in just about everything written by a certain celebrity pseudo-scientist?

  35. Resourceguy says:

    As the antics of AGW grow more desperate and pathetic you will notice a cold silence from the political users of the fraying movement. That silence will represent the caution of continuing to harvest votes from this questionable segment while not wanting to be seen as ever being associated with it in the first place. Silence is key in political behavior of parties and administrations. That silence is also golden for measuring status of the systemic conditions.

  36. Brian H says:

    Despite all the apologetics, viz Judith Curry and others, Revkin here reveals the true intent and bent of “Post Normal” evaluation of science and its practitioners. Bottom line: if any “science-y” activity aligns with the self-selecting-Guardian-elite-approved goals, it gets special exemptions.

  37. Theo Goodwin says:

    R.S.Brown says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Did you actually think that you could make this claim without showing the evidence? Well, you cannot. Until you show the evidence, you have no claim. Testimony does not count as evidence in this matter.

    Are you asserting that the university’s law officers have not worked on this case? They are not payed by alumni for performing their duties.

  38. More Soylent Green! says:

    My first question is whether these PEER guys are improperly using their government computers to work on this crap. My second question is whether they are working on this while on the job.

  39. Bryan A says:

    Don’t tell me, These are the PEERs doing the PEER review for the AGW/Global climate change/ Climate disruption papers in the PEER review process

  40. R. Shearer says:

    So basically, he’s as swift as a snail.

  41. PaddikJ says:

    chris y says:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:35 am

    A modest proposal –

    Any work that is exempt from FOIA cannot be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.

    A less modest proposal – I’ve posted this in other forums, and even written to my congress-critters. No traction yet; maybe this time will be different:

    An iron-clad Federal law to the effect that “No pubic policy with an economic impact greater than X% of the GDP shall be enacted except that any and all research supporting such policy shall be reviewed & certified by not less than three (3) qualified private-sector engineering firms, working independently and in isolation from each other.”

    I like this because it neatly circumvents the impossible task of de-corrupting public-sector research (government, academe, NGO’s, etc), and because who could possibly object? No private sector entity would dream of building a mine, chemical plant, etc, without a similar QC effort; surely we can do no less with a trillion-dollar set of policies affecting the entire world? (and there is the related issue that licensed professionals are required for the design & construction of all private sector and most public sector projects – you need a license to catch a fish or cut someone’s nails, for God’s sake – but for a project that dwarfs every other project in human history, we’re willing to accept the recommendations of a bunch of unlicensed academics, because they’re “really smart, really good people”? This is lunacy, pardon my rant.)

    Engineering firms only – Engineering is the only profession I trust anymore. Reality is forced on them almost every moment of their professional lives.

    And while this less modest proposal would be an end-run around the swamp of public sector research, I’d bet that it wouldn’t take more than a half-dozen dry-but-damning engineering reports (“We could not replicate the results.”; “The statistical procedure is unknown to us & appears to function as a data-mining program.”; “The data were half-missing, and what remained were too disorganized to be of use.”), and these soi-disant scientists would slink back to their cushy tenured professorships, government labs, NGOs, and STF-up.

    Goodness, two posts in one day; that’s as many in as many months for this mostly-lurker. Missed my morning coffee & still grumpy 7 hours later.

  42. Charles.U.Farley says:

    People like Mandy there remind me exactly why the climate crackpots have absolutely no scientific credibility.
    Beam you up Scotty.

  43. DJ says:

    The A. ….”Generally, scientific articles submitted in the author’s name with a disclaimer that the work does not represent the institution falls outside what is official business….” opens up an interesting can of worms for researchers trying to make this escape clause, or universities trying to dodge the FOIA…

    In fact, most universities that receive grants from ANY source take a slice off the top. In the case of my university it’s about 44cents on the dollar. That is, for every dollar coming in as a grant, the U takes $.44/1.00 (often referred to as “Indirect Cost Recover”) to cover keeping the lights on, taking out the trash, …. operating and maintaining the SERVERS… and otherwise making sure the researcher has a comfortable chair and a telephone. This “overhead” money goes into the general fund (which also buys footballs) and represents a profit to the university.

    That’s what makes the university complicit, and prevents them and the researcher from making a clean disconnect.

    Whether it’s absconding with grant-funded materials that end up on the researcher’s patio, an associate coach’s predilection for little boys, or perverting some scientific endeavor, the U has every motive to store those emails,,,, for their own protection.

  44. Dan in California says:

    From PEER: “By the way, as an adjunct to our whistleblower practice, PEER makes extensive use of FOIA to force disclosure of matters other wise buried in agency cubicles.”

    But this is exactly what they are fighting against; the use of FOIA to force disclosure of data, methodologies, and decision processes other wise buried in UVA cubicles.

  45. More Soylent Green! says:

    PaddikJ says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    chris y says:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:35 am

    A modest proposal –

    Any work that is exempt from FOIA cannot be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.

    A less modest proposal – I’ve posted this in other forums, and even written to my congress-critters. No traction yet; maybe this time will be different:

    An iron-clad Federal law to the effect that “No pubic policy with an economic impact greater than X% of the GDP shall be enacted except that any and all research supporting such policy shall be reviewed & certified by not less than three (3) qualified private-sector engineering firms, working independently and in isolation from each other.”

    I like this because it neatly circumvents the impossible task of de-corrupting public-sector research (government, academe, NGO’s, etc), and because who could possibly object? No private sector entity would dream of building a mine, chemical plant, etc, without a similar QC effort; surely we can do no less with a trillion-dollar set of policies affecting the entire world? (and there is the related issue that licensed professionals are required for the design & construction of all private sector and most public sector projects – you need a license to catch a fish or cut someone’s nails, for God’s sake – but for a project that dwarfs every other project in human history, we’re willing to accept the recommendations of a bunch of unlicensed academics, because they’re “really smart, really good people”? This is lunacy, pardon my rant.)

    Engineering firms only – Engineering is the only profession I trust anymore. Reality is forced on them almost every moment of their professional lives.

    And while this less modest proposal would be an end-run around the swamp of public sector research, I’d bet that it wouldn’t take more than a half-dozen dry-but-damning engineering reports (“We could not replicate the results.”; “The statistical procedure is unknown to us & appears to function as a data-mining program.”; “The data were half-missing, and what remained were too disorganized to be of use.”), and these soi-disant scientists would slink back to their cushy tenured professorships, government labs, NGOs, and STF-up.

    Goodness, two posts in one day; that’s as many in as many months for this mostly-lurker. Missed my morning coffee & still grumpy 7 hours later.

    We can’t get Congress to read bills before enacting them into law.

  46. Jeremy says:

    DJ says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    …most universities that receive grants from ANY source take a slice off the top. In the case of my university it’s about 44cents on the dollar. That is, for every dollar coming in as a grant, the U takes $.44/1.00 (often referred to as “Indirect Cost Recover”) to cover keeping the lights on, taking out the trash, …. operating and maintaining the SERVERS… and otherwise making sure the researcher has a comfortable chair and a telephone. This “overhead” money goes into the general fund (which also buys footballs) and represents a profit to the university.

    Wow, why again should I not consider Universities to be one of the greater bastions of dishonest money hoarding in our nation?

    I mean, if a university is taking 44% out of every grant, that essentially INFLATES the grant money required to do anything with expensive equipment. This grant inflation would most likely translate into a cost passed on to the federal government (the biggest grant source), which in turn is essentially another money grab by tenure-protected employees from taxpayers.

    I am appalled at that percentage. I understand the need to help offset grant administration costs, but seriously… 44%? disgusting.

  47. 1DandyTroll says:

    Don’t people create a legal defense fund when they’ve dragged to court for doing something wrong?

    So what has the crazed climate communist hippies done so utterly and evilly wrong that they think they need a legal defense fund for?

  48. David Jones says:

    Is Mandia as nuts as he appears in the photograph of him?

    Where, oh where, are the men in white coats when they are needed?

  49. Follow the Money says:

    ““…seeking to criminalize the peer review process by obtaining internal editorial comments of reviewers as a means to impeach or impugn scientists”? Huh?””

    That language is clearly written by a lawyer. Message: the deciding judge has or may in the future view the emails in camera. Message: there’s a problem with the “internal editorial comments of reviewers”, the lawyer is conceding the point the judge, but argues there should be no legal grounds for disclosing the emails anyway. Or the lawyer is just guessing.

    BTW, there is an issue that Penn State (and other Pennsylvania colleges) has less duty to the public than would universities in other states. It’s come up in the Sandusky matter, about how the president and VP of the school conducted themselves. I’m not saying it is anything related to climate stuff, just pointing out that various states can have different standards.

  50. All I have to do is Dream says:

    COALITION AGAINST STATISTICAL FRAUD
    About Us.

    The Coalition Against Statistical Fraud believes there has not been enough research into climate change in the absence of human intervention. The view that recent climate change could be due to natural causes has been suppressed by peer pressure groups within the science community. Enough is enough; it is a ridiculous proposition that recent changes are not natural simply because there is limited data to put the present changes into a longer context. We firmly believe the orthodox view of climate science unfairly skews the balance of probabilities in the absence of critical data, leading to strong conformation bias. We seek to defend the position there is not good enough evidence to attribute recent climate changes to human induced climate change, and to ensure the general public is aware of the great uncertainties and problems regarding climate change (which may never be resolved). As defenders of statistically based science, we find that the UN’s IPCC has committed statistical fraud by unfairly treating the balance of probabilities in the absence of critical data.

    Since climate change (human induced or not) is a very serious issue regarding the health and well being of all sentient beings, we demand that all perpetrators of statistical fraud who have unfairly skewed the balance of probabilities in the absence of critical data be charged with crimes against humanity. Such action is required to unsure the international community and ever growing population of planet earth, who are subject to deadly climate related weather events, receive the best possible unbiased information where great ignorance exists.

  51. DJ says:

    Jeremy said: “I mean, if a university is taking 44% out of every grant, that essentially INFLATES the grant money required to do anything with expensive equipment. ”

    The actual percentage varies according to different factors… as of 2010, here’s the official UNR overhead, now referred to as F&A…

    http://www.unr.edu/ospa/forms/policies/UNR%20OSP%20Policy/Policy_on_FA_Waivers.pdf

    I sat in numerous meetings where diverting or avoiding the F&A was discussed in order to justify getting a piece of equipment, or how to “pad” the grant to make sure that there was 100% of the money needed to procure it. It was a HUGE bone of contention by both the Principle Investigators (PI) and the university administration where the money went and how much the U got from the profit pie.

    (VPR is Vice President of Research. He makes a LOT of money.)

  52. D. J. Hawkins says:

    DJ says:
    January 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    …In the case of my university it’s about 44cents on the dollar. That is, for every dollar coming in as a grant, the U takes $.44/1.00 (often referred to as “Indirect Cost Recover”) to cover keeping the lights on, taking out the trash, …. operating and maintaining the SERVERS… and otherwise making sure the researcher has a comfortable chair and a telephone…

    When I first read this, in my head I automatically put a decimal point between the “4’s”. That amount of overhead is staggering. Before I saw this, I vaguely assumed it might be 10 cents on the dollar, but WOW!! I mean, if you have a research project that uses a bomb range, OK, but a guy smacking a keyboard in the corner of his office???

  53. Tom Harley says:

    I can’t wait for FOIA to release #Climategate 3.0…pass the popcorn.

  54. Smokey says:

    WUWT mentioned on The Blaze.

  55. PiperPaul says:

    “Engineering is the only profession I trust anymore. Reality is forced on them almost every moment of their professional lives.”

    Thanks for that, it’s now my new Slashdot sig.

  56. LazyTeenager says:

    It seems the issue here is simple; they want the money, but they don’t want to answer any questions about how that money is used.
    ———-
    I don’t think it is simple at all. I get the impression that initial relations were cordial but that climate scientists came to believe that their interrogators were not acting in good faith.

    If climate scientists came to believe that any information they provided was going to be misinterpreted either accidentally or on purpose and misrepresented to others with the intent of discrediting their work or themselves personally, then you can obviously expect considerable resistance.

    Consider the climategate emails for example. Much effort had been expended to attach interpretations to these emails to justify preconceived positions. No effort at all has been expended to identify emails which contradict these preconceived notions. The latter strategy would get closer to the truth. So the intent of the whole exercise is clear.

  57. LazyTeenager says:

    R S Brown says
    Let’s keep the record straight here, folks.

    The University of Virginia did not, I repeat NOT spend
    one million dollars of the University’s or tax or tuition generated
    dollars to keep those emails on double secret probation.
    ———-
    I was wondering about. Whenever someone in climate skeptic land starts to speak breathlessly about trillions or billions or millions of dollars, accompanied of course by lots of hamming it up moral outrage, I get the urge to do some fact checking.

    When I do that I find that it’s made up.

    So what evidence are you basing your claim on?

  58. LazyTeenager says:

    Theo Goodwin says
    The law today is clear as a bell. Your employer owns all of your communications that were made while you were on the job or using employer equipment.
    ———
    I find this hides a paradox. On the one hand everyone knows that Americans are crazy about freedom. But it’s a weird kind of freedom, since it seems you can, in effect, sell it to your employer.

    It seems for example that some of your right wing capitalism obsessed politicians are highly antagonistic to the idea that workers should have some degree of freedom and favor the good ole autocratic style.

    Personally I favor the work hard, do your best for the company, but I still have a life style. So the law should be changed so employees have some degree of a personal life at work, including personal emails.

  59. Jessie says:

    PaddikJ says: January 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm
    PiperPaul says: January 25, 2012 at 8:00 pm
    “Engineering is the only profession I trust anymore. Reality is forced on them almost every moment of their professional lives.”

    Thanks for that, it’s now my new Slashdot sig.

    HUH
    Nov 2010 – January 2011 Floods in Queensland, Royal Commission called 17 Jan 2011
    The media interchanges terms between …… dam engineers ……… flood engineers …… dam managers …………………….

    23 Jan 2012 What the floods inquiry didn’t hear: Wivenhoe ‘breached the manual’
    ‘A RAFT of official internal documents produced by senior public servants during Brisbane’s devastating flood in January last year show the Wivenhoe Dam was mismanaged in a serious breach of its manual for two crucial days.’

    24 Jan 2012 Missed again: unearthed emails point to Wivenhoe Dam breach
    ‘AN email exchange between two of Queensland’s most senior water officials seems to confirm that the wrong strategy was being used to manage Wivenhoe Dam, just one day before massive releases of water that flooded Brisbane.
    The emails were found yesterday in a large document not put on public display by the royal commission-style inquiry into the dam’s management, and are understood to have gone unnoticed until now.’

    26 Jan 2012Wivenhoe Dam boss took Anna Bligh floods job
    ‘A TOP public servant was seconded to a senior new job advising Premier Anna Bligh on the floods inquiry after he had provided documents to the inquiry that suggested flood engineers were using the wrong strategy to operate Wivenhoe Dam.’

    26 Jan 2012 Anna Bligh vows to uncover dam truth after backlash over election delay
    ‘QUEENSLAND Premier Anna Bligh has called for the full force of the law to apply to anyone found to have covered up mismanagement of Wivenhoe Dam in the days before last year’s devastating Brisbane floods.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/elections/anna-bligh-vows-to-uncover-dam-truth-after-backlash-over-election-delay/story-fnbsqt8f-1226253902294
    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/flood-inquiry-muddies-the-waters/story-e6freoof-1226253868712
    Dam bursts on new evidence as Queensland flood inquiry is recalled
    Whiff of a cover-up changes politics

    It is surprising that the 1997 Central Valley, Californian floods, (9 deaths, US$1.6 billion, 20,000 homes damaged or destroyed) and noted by the Environmental Defense Fund and Friends of Rivers, was not read or discussed by experts of NGO or those in the employ of the Queensland [Qld] govt, Australia.

    Damage bill for the Brisbane, capital city of Queensland http://www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/file/0007/2032/Merthyr_Village_Shopping_Centre.pdf and Ipswich city approx AUS$5 billion. For the State of Qld much more $ due to loss of primary industry (eg coal, agriculture) and transport/export of produce etc.
    Total loss of human life: 35 source: http://www.shine.com.au/pages/floodinsurance.aspx
    http://www.floodcommission.qld.gov.au/media/extra-hearings-for-floods-commission-of-inquiry

    Perhaps the lungfish and proxy control measures on development, population and sprawl was more interesting?
    International Rivers Network
    http://www.internationalrivers.org/files/WRR.V12.N1.pdf

    http://www.edo.org.au/edoqld/edoqld/new/Bulletin%20Jul-Sept%2009.pdf
    ‘Up to 150 rare lungfish are being swept to their deaths through Wivenhoe Dam’s gates every time authorities release water, scientists say…..’
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/wivenhoe-lungfish-woes-follow-traveston-warnings-20101027-173z0.html

    ‘Dr Kind said the lungfish would have been trying to breathe in an “oxygen film” on top of the saltwater but said it should recover.’
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/dinosaur-fish-found-in-brekky-creek-20101027-173au.html

  60. RockyRoad says:

    Am I supposed to believe the fishing boots worn in the photo (with the cape) are supposed to fend off the rising tides, or to be used when mucking around in the cesspool of climate data caused by all sorts of unthinkable adjustments, omissions, substitutions, fudges and folly?

    No wonder these guys don’t like FOIA! (The law or the whistleblower–it doesn’t matter!)

  61. Jeff Alberts says:

    chris y says:
    January 25, 2012 at 7:35 am

    A modest proposal-

    Any work that is exempt from FOIA cannot be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.

    I go you one better. Any work that isn’t open and honest should not be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.

    Doesn’t matter if it’s publicly or privately funded. If it can’t be replicated by independent parties, then it’s simply a gratuitous assertion, which can be gratuitously ignored.

  62. Blade says:

    chris y [January 25, 2012 at 7:35 am] says:

    “A modest proposal-

    Any work that is exempt from FOIA cannot be used in the scientific argument for policy choices, laws or regulations.”

    Damn good thinking.

  63. Larry Fields says:

    It’s easy to think of charities that are more worthwhile than PEER. How about the Catholic Priests Legal Defense Fund? /sarc

    Seriously though, this does not pass the sniff test. It raises another potential topic for investigation: Are public employees being pressured by their supervisors into contributing to PEER? PEERgate, anyone?

  64. ozspeaksup says:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/23/climate-sceptic-lawson-thinktank-funding?CMP=EMCENVEML1631

    now isnt this cute(sarc)
    I followed the link from the item to see whos picking up the tab for this..takes you to a rather evasive site that does get funding from Millenium dev funds..rather a LOT of funds too.

    they seem to want to use FOI to fight prior FOI???
    stalling tactics…so obviously they DO have a lot to hide. or why bother?

  65. Robert Austin says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 25, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Sorry, Lazy, your limp justification for the obfuscation by these scientists does not convince. The initial “cordiality” turned to “resistance” the moment that they discovered that those requesting the data were scientifically and mathematically competent and clever. Also consider that one can still be an accredited warmist without being an apologist for the scientific hooliganism revealed in the Climategate emails. Even Monbiat decried the Climategate machinations and Muller criticized the “hide the decline” trick.

  66. D. J. Hawkins says:

    LazyTeenager says:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    …Personally I favor the work hard, do your best for the company, but I still have a life style. So the law should be changed so employees have some degree of a personal life at work, including personal emails.

    I don’t think so, laddie. Unless you’re the kind of person who thinks it’s perfectly OK to hack you’re neighbor’s broadband connection, ’cause, you know, you NEED it.

    Companies provide computers, fax machines, printers, plotters and all the infrastructure that makes them go to further the company’s business interests. If you personally don’t pay for it, how on earth are you entitled to use it for personal reasons? You want pesonal e-mail at work? Buy a Droid or similar smart phone and have fun at lunch. Yes, at lunch, because if you’re sending personal tweets, texts, e-mails or whatever on the company’s time you’re stealing a different resource, the productive time they pay you for. Man, talk about an entitlement mindset.

  67. jonathan frodsham says:

    Classic, what a di-ckhead.
    Love the hockey stick.
    Sorry, but, really this is a joke, right?
    If it is true, please god “Help me”

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