Biased climate survey sent to all NOAA employees

UPDATE: It appears NOAA has realized the folly of this survey and has taken it offline. The satirical Question #16 (posted by a commenter) parodies the survey. The responses (which probably aren’t far from that) they got to it from employees might have had something to do with it:

How likely are you to keep your job if the public is informed that climate change will not affect them or their descendents in a negative manner?

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

Dr. Roger Pielke Senior writes on his blog:

I was alerted by Marc Morano to a survey that NOAA is sending out to its employees. The first e-mail is to Marc apparently from a NOAA employee.

Here’s the letter via Morano:

Mr. Morano:

NOAA employees today were asked to participate in a Climate Knowledge Survey.  I have included the inviting email below.  In order to take the survey, however, you must have a valid NOAA email account, so I have cut and pasted the Survey itself and the key to the ‘correct’ answers below for your reading pleasure.  As you can see, there are certainassumptions larded throughout this survey, such as what many climate scientists believe is ‘true.’   Thought you might be interested.

Regards,

Here’s the letter announcing the climate survey sent to NOAA employees:

All,

Climate has connections to many scientific and societal issues. To characterize NOAA’s level of climate literacy and assess interest in climate training materials and other resources, a NOAA climate capacity-building team has been established.  The team’s overall goal is to enhance the ability of NOAA staff to effectively communicate about climate science.

As part of this process, I encourage you to consider completing the team’s Climate Knowledge and Needs Assessment Surveys by February 15. The first survey characterizes the current level of climate literacy among respondents, and the second assesses the need for climate-related professional development resources or opportunities. Each survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete, and your responses will be completely anonymous.  You can access the surveys by clicking here:

Climate Knowledge Survey

Needs Assessment Survey

The capacity-building team will use the survey results to identify and provide opportunities for NOAA staff to become more conversant about NOAA’s climate products, information, and services.

Your participation in these surveys will greatly assist with this NOAA-wide effort. Participation in these surveys and taking advantage of future opportunities is voluntary. If you have any questions or comments about the surveys or the goals of this climate team, please contact Diane Stanitski at 301-427-2465 or diane.stanitski@noaa.gov.

Dr. Pielke has the entire survey Q&A here on his blog and he comments on many of the questions. It is a real eye opener worth reading. He concludes with:

The survey is actually a policy advocacy document, as well as an evaluation of the loyalty of NOAA employees to the perspective of individuals such as Tom Karl and Tom Peterson.

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122 Responses to Biased climate survey sent to all NOAA employees

  1. Philhippos says:

    It has already been taken down – I wonder why!

  2. Gator says:

    “… the second assesses the need for climate-related professional development resources or opportunities.”

    In other words, re-education.

  3. Alvin says:

    The survey’s are now offline. Word gets out.

  4. pat says:

    Childish, designed to weed out the intelligent, and ridiculously wrong in some areas? The tree ring answer is particularly striking.

  5. Fred 2 says:

    That was quick.

    Here’s what I got when I clicked both links

    Climate Needs Assessment Survey
    We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues.

    Thank you

  6. Peter Miller says:

    It didn’t take NOAA long to take both their surveys off line.

    An action that doesn’t smack of either honesty or integrity to me.

  7. Gator says:

    Apparently the links for the suveys have been disabled

  8. Darkinbad the Brightdayler says:

    Reminds me of the Loyalty Oath narrative in Catch 22

  9. TheGoodLocust says:

    Question #15:

    Which “greenhouse gas” has the most direct impact on the climate?

    Question #16:

    How likely are you to keep your job if the public is informed that climate change will not affect them or their descendents in a negative manner?

  10. Gary Pate says:

    Witchhunt!

  11. Richard Sharpe says:

    Heh, circling the wagons.

  12. Jakehig says:

    Not exactly an objective appraisal: it is more an attempt to try and corral the troops and keep them “on message”.
    Qu 10….I thought the highest CO2 emitter on a per capita basis was Australia which is not in the list of possible answers?

  13. David Oliver Smith says:

    The surveys have been taken down. Tsk, tsk Roger and Anthony. Look what you made them do.

  14. Hmm… “We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues. “

    Looks like they noticed the criticisms.

    Your Tax Dollars At Work.

  15. Ric Werme says:

    Pity there wasn’t a check-all-that-apply question “Which web sites do you use to further your understanding of climate change?”

    The list and the answer would have been far more informative than the rest of this survey. :-)

  16. redneek says:

    They took the survey down. Must not have been going their way.

  17. trbixler says:

    A bureaucracy protects itself and expands its agenda at all costs. Tax money is thought to be endless. So far they are right.

  18. David B says:

    Und you vill follow zee party line.

  19. Beesaman says:

    Climate Knowledge Survey
    We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues.

    Thank you

  20. Grant says:

    Numbing.
    Look for the survey to be blended into NOAA job application form.

  21. Ric Werme says:

    6. Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of increasing global temperatures over the last century?

    This suggests that global temperatures have increased throughout the last century when we all know people had no impact on climate before 1979 or so, when the most recent rise started. (/sarc)

    Picky? Perhaps, but if so then there should have been:

    6a. Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of decreasing global temperatures over the last century?

    —-

    Oh yeah – Go Pats!

  22. Rogelio says:

    Survey has been removed

  23. Camburn says:

    This is certainly not a credible survey. And to think, US tax dollars went to pay for this rubbish.

    That is the slanderous part of all of this.

  24. Mariss says:

    I got the following message when I clicked on the Climate Knowledge Survey link:

    “Climate Knowledge Survey
    We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues. Thank you
    This survey is not currently accepting responses.”

    Maybe the technical issue has something to do with the replies the survey drew.

  25. p gosselin says:

    Sounds like the first step in a largescale purging of undesireable views among the NOAA. Are the questionaires really anonymous?

  26. mark f says:

    Gawd, what a way to either lie or have one’s career limited.

  27. crosspatch says:

    I’d say that Stanitski needs to be sacked. Immediately.

  28. Funny: They took the surveys down “due to technical issues.”

  29. DirkH says:

    “How likely are you to keep your job if the public is informed that climate change will not affect them or their descendents in a negative manner?”
    Rich. Reminding their employees that they better keep up the alarmism. Maybe time to make that clear in their mission statement?

  30. crosspatch says:

    “The survey’s are now offline. Word gets out.”

    I’d say the cockroaches always scatter when someone turns on the light. Light has been shown on this attempt to indoctrinate employees through a “survey” and it has suddenly be “disappeared”.

  31. Mark T says:

    I would not be surprised if they were threatened with legal action from one or more “denialist” employees. That’s what I would do.

    Mark

  32. Allan MacRae says:

    6. Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of increasing global temperatures over the last century?

    Check one:
    a. Burning of evil fossil fuels
    b. Burning of evil fossil fuels
    c. Burning of evil fossil fuels
    d. Burning of evil fossil fuels
    e. All of the above

    6A. Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of DECREASING global temperatures THIS century?
    Check one:
    f. Aerosols
    g. Dust
    h. Volcanos
    i. Absence of dinosaur farts
    j. Burning of evil fossil fuels

  33. Matthew W says:

    Ric Werme says:
    February 5, 2012 at 9:25 am
    Pity there wasn’t a check-all-that-apply question “Which web sites do you use to further your understanding of climate change?”
    =================================================================
    Heck, why not just check their browsing history and cookies from their WORK computers??

  34. Louise says:

    Is it really such a good idea to include Ms Stanitski’s telephone number and e-mail address?

  35. R Taylor says:

    David B says:
    February 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

    Und you vill follow zee party line.
    ____________________________________
    Unt you vill like it.

  36. crosspatch says:

    “Is it really such a good idea to include Ms Stanitski’s telephone number and e-mail address?”

    Yeah, we probably shouldn’t go around holding our government officials responsible for their actions. Particularly so for the unelected Kommissars.

    /sarc

  37. Ric Werme says:

    crosspatch says:
    February 5, 2012 at 9:44 am

    > I’d say that Stanitski needs to be sacked. Immediately.

    There’s a good chance that she’s an administrative assistant who was given the task of getting the poll out. She’s probably gotten enough hate mail to make her Monday a Monday.

    Nope, I’m wrong (well, maybe not about the hate mail). http://www.climate.noaa.gov/index.jsp?pg=./cpo_pa/coms/index.html says:

    Climate Observations and Monitoring

    The Climate Observations and Monitoring (COM) Program’s mission is to design, deploy, and sustain an integrated global network of oceanic, atmospheric, and Arctic observing instruments to produce continuous records, as well as value-added products, of a number of essential climate variability and change parameters.

    Program activities aim to:

    1. Build and sustain a global climate observing system according to climate monitoring principles
    2. Develop and maintain long time-series indicators of climate variability and change
    3. Develop and maintain standard data sets for initialization and evaluation of climate forecast models, assessments of climate change, and informed risk management
    4. Perform diagnostic studies of observed patterns of climate variability and change on global to regional scales

    The resulting global climate observations and products contribute to other NOAA Programs aimed at understanding, modeling, and forecasting of the climate system, as well as developing targeted information to better inform society about climate impacts and response options. Access to these global observations and science-based analysis of climate data has provided our Nation with unique abilities to minimize climate related risk and maximize climate-related opportunities. The program also provides data and information management support for national and international climate assessments. The COM Program supports and coordinates its observing efforts with other activities in NOAA, other federal agencies, as well as international partners.

    Email: oar.cpo.com@noaa.gov

    Contact:

    David M Legler, Division Chief
    [See web page for phone #s]

    Diane Stanitski – OceanSites, Moorings

    Candyce Clark – Tropical Moored Buoys, JCOMM, etc

    Sidney Thurston – International Development

    Joel Levy – Carbon Observing systems

    Steve Piotrowitcz – Argo Program Manager

    John Calder – Arctic, Program Manager

    Kathy Crane – Arctic, Program Manager

    Chris Miller – Climate Monitoring, Program Manager

    Bill Murray – Climate Monitoring, Program Manager

    “Carbon Observing systems” – perhaps that’s source of the CO2 centric point of view.

    “Argo Program Manager” – I’m tempted to ask him about what he contributed to the survey. (Hopefully it was just criticsm.) Or maybe ask how much the global temperature has changed during the ARGO program as measured by the ARGO flotilla.

  38. Bengt Abelsson says:

    Pure 1984 – Winston Smith would recognize it. NOAA – the new Minitrue.

  39. H.R. says:

    ” and your responses will be completely anonymous.”

    uhhhh… ya think so?

  40. Jenn Oates says:

    Those questions are very familiar to me…like I’ve taken the survey before.

  41. jimbojinx says:

    “How likely are you to keep your job if the public is informed that climate change will not affect them or their descendents in a negative manner?”- As I read it, the question implies that there ARE no negative consequences due to “climate change”-its just that the public does not know it yet ! [And it is l your job to make sure they never do !].

  42. Ric Werme says:

    Another page at CPO:

    http://www.climate.noaa.gov/index.jsp?pg=./cpo_pa/objectiveIV.html says:

    Strategic Climate Objective: IV Promote Public Climate Literacy

    Climate change and climate variability bring potential for adverse impacts as well as opportunities for commerce. Climate change and variability affect the nation’s security, economy, natural resources, and public and environmental health. To help protect ecosystems and build sustainable communities that are resilient to climate change and variability – including extreme weather and climate events – NOAA is actively working to foster a climate-literate citizenry.

    A climate-literate person is someone who has a fundamental understanding of how Earth’s climate system works, the relationships and interactions between the living and non-living environment, and has the ability to understand and utilize scientific evidence to make informed decisions regarding climate-related issues. Over the next 5 years, our Objective is to establish a robust Communication, Education, and Engagement (CEE) Program that is guided by the needs of our publics, and that integrates the latest, most authoritative climate information from across NOAA, and its partners, into a cohesive framework.

    This Objective aims to support three key aspects of NOAA’s Climate Goal:

    1. the agency’s and its partners [sic - this page possesses possessive impossibilities] climate science missions and milestones;

    2. the agency’s and its partners climate services missions and milestones; and

    3. characterize our publics’ needs, wants, and expectations for access to NOAA’s and its partners’ climate science and services.

    Our three main near-term foci are to:

    1. Evolve the prototype NOAA Climate Services Portal (www.climate.gov) into an operational website called Climate.gov. Evolution will be based upon user feedback and the effort will be integrated across all of NOAA to provide a single, authoritative online point of entry whereby the public can access the agency’s and its partners’ climate data, information, and services.

    2. Boost the climate literacy of NOAA’s and its partners’ personnel, and build their capacity to communicate with, educate and engage our publics. Advances in this initiative will be made by leveraging our extension networks (e.g., SeaGrant, NERRS, the National Weather Service, State Climatologists, and our Regional Climate Service Directors) and providing a consistent, well-rounded suite of professional development opportunities and resources that all can draw upon.

    3. Expand the use of NOAA’s and its partners’ climate services in our publics’ decision-making contexts. This effort begins with a solid characterization of stakeholders’ needs for climate data, information, and services using the results of previously conducted needs assessments (to minimize the burden on our stakeholders). We may develop and conduct new assessments where none have been conducted previously. Then we will determine what needs can be met by existing capabilities, and we will identify gaps where development of new climate data, information, and services are needed.

    Objective Lead:
    David Herring, Director
    Communication and Education Program
    NOAA’s Climate Program Office

  43. David Ball says:

    They are circling the wagons, but they are shooting inwards,…

  44. Mike Jackson says:

    I distrust anything that comes from a “capacity building team”, likewise anything that is addressed to “stakeholders” or seeks to “empower” people.
    I’ve played too many games of ‘Bullsh*t Bingo” in my life!

  45. Mohatdebos says:

    When will they establish re-education camps or deniers get sent directly to gulags or concentration camps.

  46. Bill Wood says:

    “How likely are you to keep your job if you embarass your boss? Your boss’s boss?”

    Rule #1 of dealing with government:
    “never emabarass a bureaucrat”

  47. Xen says:

    Louise says:
    Is it really such a good idea to include Ms Stanitski’s telephone number and e-mail address?
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Why? Do you think that balanced, fair-minded, truth seeking, honest people have anything to fear?

  48. JJ says:

    “To improve our ability to draw valid conclusions from the survey without identifying individuals, please enter a unique five digit number that you will remember and use again on related surveys (for instance, you might choose the last five numbers of your personal phone number).

    No attempt will be made to identify you. Your number will be used only to match results to related surveys or pair before and after scores if you take this survey again.”

    LOL.

    We won’t attempt to identify you, but just in case we can’t match you to your answers using the IP address of your government issued computer, why don’t you just go ahead and give us the 5 out of the 7 ordered digits of your personal phone number that uniquely ID you…

    Chutzpah!

    I hope somebody saved the survey questions and answers, before they were taken down. I would really like to see them …

  49. wermet says:

    From Anthony’s updated blog entry:
    UPDATE: It appears NOAA has realized the folly of this survey and has taken it offline. Question #16 and the response they got to it might have had something to do with it:

    How likely are you to keep your job if the public is informed that climate change will not affect them or their descendents in a negative manner?

    Please keep in mind that this question was *NOT* part of the NOAA survey! “Question 16″ was added by a commenter as a satirical statement. The survey actually ended with:

    15. Please share any comments or recommendations you have regarding this survey.
    Thank you for your time

    I feel that it is of the utmost importance that we not impugn our own integrity by misquoting or adding to the misguided silliness of others!
    – wermet

    REPLY: I’ve edited the text to make this clear – Anthony

  50. pesadia says:

    We suggest that You use a simple code which you can then use for any further questionairs that we mihjt produce in the future. Your comments and answers will of course be anonymous but you might like to use the last five digits of your personal phone number which of course we could never trace even if we wanted to.
    What

  51. Bill Wood says:

    Consider if you will:

    Ms.Stanitski is in charge of ocean moorings.

    And you wonder why the basic data from NOAA is suspect?

  52. tty says:

    The weird thing is that the survey was obviously put together by somebody who is quite remarkably ignorant of the subject. There are questions that are completely wrong,and others where none of the alternative answers is correct, Examples:

    5. Over the last 10,000 years, during the time humans developed the ability to raise crops, global climate has been:
    colder than any other time in Earth’s history
    warmer than any other time in Earth’s history
    more stable than previous periods
    more variable than previous periods
    Don’t know
    Other:

    The only reasonable alternatives here is “Don’t know” or “other”, the first four are definitely all wrong.

    13. Recent research shows that the acidity of ocean waters is increasing.

    The ocean is alkaline!

    14. By monitoring conditions within and above the Pacific Ocean, climate scientists have identified a pattern called the El-Niño Southern Oscillation.

    El Nino has been well known for centuries (millenia?) by people living on the west coast of South America.

  53. James Sexton says:

    No one actually thought NOAA was an unbiased scientific endeavor, did they? They are a government funded advocacy group. The difference between them and the lunatic NGOs are who signs their paychecks.

  54. Louise says:

    Xen says: Why? Do you think that balanced, fair-minded, truth seeking, honest people have anything to fear?
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    Going on past history – yes

  55. JJ says:

    “We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues. “

    It is telling that this is a lie.

  56. George E. Smith; says:

    #1 Is it OK to print out their employee survey and then pee on it ?

    #2 Well is it OK to pee on it, so long as you don’t video it and put it on the internet ?

    #3 All of the above !

    #4 Other ?

  57. David Ball says:

    As an employee you would follow the party line to keep your job, but as an American, wouldn’t you be seething inside?

  58. Richard Keen says:

    NOAA employees would be advised to find the answer key before doing the survey. “Climate Literacy” is knowing, or at least answering, the correct answers.
    Back in the good old says, Stalin’s ministers and generals who gave the wrong answers when called in to give advice (in confidence and anonymity, of course) were greeted with a muffled pistol shot as they left the boss’s office, and had their faces erased from group photos.
    We live in more enlightened times, so the consequences would likely be, as “Gator” says, re-education. Some photos might be erased, however.

  59. John Garrett says:

    I can’t tell you how offensive the automatons who run this kind of mindless indoctrination are. One can’t help but wonder if a mandatory lobotomy is a condition of employment with the U.S. government or NOAA or NPR.

  60. Jaypan says:

    At least the … /self-snip/ … ah persons, who invented and confirmed #16 should be fired immediately.

  61. JJ says:

    “1. Which of the following statements about global climate change is true?

    Note: the phrase “global climate change” refers to observations such as increased global temperature, decreased presence of ice, and changes in precipitation patterns.

    Most climate scientists agree that global climate change is happening

    Most climate scientists are undecided if global climate change is happening

    Most climate scientists agree that global climate change is not happening

    Don’t know

    Other:”

    Note that they leave anthropogenic cause out of the operational definition for the question, but it is clearly implied by the question (climate is always changing, and all – not merely most – climate scientists agree with that). This represents either:

    1) a serious confusion regarding climate change and anthropogenic global warming on the part of those who created the survey, or

    2) an attempt to induce that confusion in those taking the survey, or

    3) both.

  62. Owen says:

    Given that the NOAA is not unbiased, fair or evenhanded when it comes to so-called Global Warming, that is, they are in the camp of Al Gore and his insane theories, I believe the NOAA jury rigs or even falsifies its data to verify their false theories, thus they have no credibility whatsoever. The NOAA is just another government funded global warming propaganda machine geared towards scaring the masses into following ecofascist policies designed by the Greens. Their slanted, onesided survey/quiz doesn’t surprise me in the least.

  63. Jean Parisot says:

    I’ve seen many of these questions (or very similiar) before, not as a NOAA document.

    [REPLY: If you can remember where and provide a link, it would be helpful. -REP]

  64. AFPhys says:

    Anthony Watts:

    I just took a screen shot of the current display of these links

    Climate Needs Assessment Survey

    We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues. Thank you

    This survey is no longer accepting responses

    I suggest you do the same and post a link to it here.

    Please contact me if they have changed it. This is quite revealing as well as disgusting.

  65. Gary Hladik says:

    “11. Which of the following are among the expected impacts of global climate change? Check all that apply.

    Shorter growing seasons
    Cooler nighttime temperatures
    Heavier downpours when it rains
    Decrease in area affected by drought
    Changes in the ranges of wildlife and plants
    Increase in coastal flooding due to sea level rise
    Don’t know”

    Since the undefined term “global climate change” could mean just about anything, the correct answer is “all of the above”, including “Don’t know”. :-)

  66. David Davidovics says:

    ….And this would be why alarmists should NEVER be muzzled. Let them talk, since they are very qualified in the art of shooting one’s foot off.

  67. Bob, Missoula says:

    Has anyone emailed Diane?

    [REPLY: WUWT does not encourage e-mailing for the purposes of vilification or harassment. Public humiliation would be enough. -REP]

  68. Gary Hladik says:

    Xen says (February 5, 2012 at 10:43 am): “Louise says:
    Is it really such a good idea to include Ms Stanitski’s telephone number and e-mail address?
    ————————————————————————————————————————–
    Why? Do you think that balanced, fair-minded, truth seeking, honest people have anything to fear?”

    Actually, in the current political “climate” (ouch!), those are exactly the people who have the most to fear.

  69. George says:

    Just in time for an introductory stats course class on the importance of word choice in surveys! Thanks! (Since comments are closed for this topic on Roger Pielke Sr.’s site, I’ll leave my thanks here for him, too!)

  70. JJ says:

    2. Most scientific studies that have looked into the cause behind the increase in global temperature over the last 50 years indicate that it is…

    Caused mostly by human activities

    Caused equally by human activities and natural changes

    Caused mostly by natural changes

    Random, so it cannot be attributed to a specific cause

    Don’t know

    Other:”

    Most scientific studies that have looked into the cause? What is the domain of that response? In order to have generated an answer, they would need to have a list. I’ll bet they don’t. If they do, I’d really like to see it.

    At any rate, the question’s use of the highly unscientific ad populum argument represents either:

    1) a serious deficiency in logical reasoning on the part of those who created the survey, or

    2) an attempt to induce that deficiency in those taking the survey, or

    3) both.

  71. JJB MKI says:

    Question 16 is a weird one. Anyone think NOAA might be preparing for an about-face and attempting to measure its potential impact on employees / dependents of AGW dogma? Why would they ask that question? It would be very interesting to see the responses.

  72. Bruce says:

    Matthew W: “Heck, why not just check their browsing history and cookies from their WORK computers??”

    Already being done.

  73. Ludwig Rudolf says:

    There is a somewhat similar “online poll of scientists about climate risk” by “a group of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University”, named “Vision Prize”.
    See: http://visionprize.com .

    It also has an alarmist (and statist) flavor, sample: “If governmental policies do not change, in the year 2050, what will be the increase in global average surface temperature relative to the year 2000?”.
    See Poll Questions: http://visionprize.com/appendix .

    Kinda “Mission” page with a beautiful headline:
    “Earth and Space Scientists – Help Frame Collective Thinking About Climate Risk.”
    See: http://visionprize.com/call .

    As Richard Sharpe says (above, at 9:20 am): ‘Heh, circling the wagons’ – ain’t it?

  74. This is one of those “what were they thinking” moments. Who would have been dimwitted enough to think that someone would not make this available to the public?

    If I was a NOAA employee, I would assume that “wrong” answers could affect my future with NOAA. I’m not so sure that NOAA, with the taxpayer funded resources that they have, could not trace “wrong” answers back to the respondent.

    It would appear that this NOAA “climate capacity-building team” effort is aimed at assuring that all NOAA employees are singing the same tune on CAGW–that NOAA becomes an even more effective propaganda machine.

  75. JJ says:

    4. Studies of natural records such as tree rings and layers of ice in glaciers:

    give a precise and consistent record of how global temperature has changed over time

    provide a relatively consistent picture of how global temperature has changed over time

    show relatively inconsistent results, so they are unreliable for estimating past temperatures

    provide estimates for precipitation over time, but they don’t reveal anything about past temperatures

    Don’t know

    Other:

    “Studies of natural records such as tree rings and layers of ice in glaciers?” Another undefined domain. “Such as” implies more than is present. Are they including corals? Boreholes? Plant stomata? Sediment cores (both rightside up and upside down?)?

    And they don’t say “All studies”, or even “most studies”, just “studies” – so, consistent with this question is the situation where you only consider those studies that conform to the answer that you want to be chosen. The question also assumes that the only criterion determining the validity of the proxies is their (ambiguous) “relative consistency” with each other. No possiblity for assessing the reliability of the proxies by comparison to instrumental records is provided.

    In other words, this is the “Hide the decline” question. This represents:

    1) a serious misunderstanding regarding the status and proper use of temperature proxies,

    2) an attempt to induce that misundertanding in those taking the survey, or

    3) both.

  76. Ric Werme says:

    Jean Parisot says:
    February 5, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I’ve seen many of these questions (or very similiar) before, not as a NOAA document.

    [REPLY: If you can remember where and provide a link, it would be helpful. -REP]

    I tried looking for references based on #6 figuring that not too many people would refer to a cetury’s worth of warming. However, I found nothing promising.

    These are generic enough greenie questions that I suspect similar forms have been written many times before.

    Jenn Oates says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Those questions are very familiar to me … like I’ve taken the survey before.

    You too! Maybe if Jenn and Jean got together and compared browsing histories….

  77. Brian H says:

    “Circular firing squad: Ready, Aim, FI–gggggghh.”

  78. DirkH says:

    First rule for any employee.
    Never underestimate the cunning of the HR department.
    They DELIGHT in telling the cattle they won’t track them; that’s the first thing you do if you want to track somebody.

  79. Ken Harvey says:

    It is not rubbish. It is not very well thought out, but nevertheless effective, manipulation, a close cousin of propaganda.

  80. Douglas DC says:

    Reading a history of the formation and development of the Luftwaffe prior to and during WW2.
    Politcal ability to brown no.., er ,brownshirt , Hitler was more important than actual production
    and ability. This caused as much problems for them as the Allied war effort.
    Self defeating if you will.
    This attempt by NOAA is similar..

  81. DesertYote says:

    Gator says:
    February 5, 2012 at 9:03 am

    “… the second assesses the need for climate-related professional development resources or opportunities.”
    In other words, re-education.
    ####
    … and farther more …

    “The team’s overall goal is to enhance the ability of NOAA staff to effectively communicate about climate science.”

    In other words, propaganda.

  82. The Climate community seems incapable of understanding bias within opinion surveys. This follows from the survey that concluded “97% of climate scientists think humans contribute to global warming”.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/21/gmu-on-climate-scientists-we-are-the-97/

    In the first year of my economics degree I covered the problem of bias in opinion surveys. It was stated very clearly that questions have to be purposely framed (and tested) to ensure neutrality. This was a precursor to the more complex, and less evident, problems of data bias that were covered in the more advanced statistics and econometric courses later on. I would submit that this failure to understand the problems of bias in a discipline that is, arguably, more empirically-based than economics, provides strong circumstantial evidence that long-term predictions from complex statistically-based models are similarly biased and unreliable.

  83. JJ says:

    5. Over the last 10,000 years, during the time humans developed the ability to raise crops, global climate has been:

    colder than any other time in Earth’s history

    warmer than any other time in Earth’s history

    more stable than previous periods

    more variable than previous periods

    Don’t know

    Other:

    LOL. Colder/warmer than any other time in Earth’s history? Really? The earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old.

    Note that of the four defined answers, the first two reference the magnitude of the temperature over a defined (if stupidly so) period. The second two reference the variability of climate (not specifically temperature, but left completely ambiguous) over undefined period(s). Such a poorly formed answer space indicates a question formed around a poorly defined “pat answer” by those who created the survey. And these are the “scientists” to whom the ad verecundiam fallacy is supposed to be applied?

    Also of interest is the fact that whereas all of the questions have as one of their possible responses:

    [I, the survey taker] Don’t know.

    None of the questions have as a possible response:

    You Don’t Know. or

    Nobody Knows

    This implicitly denies any position of scientific scepticism or even scientific agnosticism. This represents either:

    1) a serious arrogance and misunderstanding of the epistimology of science on the part of those who created the survey, or

    2) an attempt to induce in those taking the survey fawning compliance with the self selected objects of fallacious ad verecundiam warmist arguments , or

    3) both.

  84. joe says:

    This happens all the time in every industry. The health care industry did the exact same thing with their bureaucracy to protest Obama care. The tela communications industry does like wise. Wall Street Banks are the only group that refuses to coerce their employees to act in the banking industries best interest if doing so would put their employees future at risk.

  85. ecoGuy says:

    If I lived in America ‘d be sending this to my elected government representative and asking them to find out:

    1. Who or whom really wrote it in the first place;
    2. Who or whom approved it for circulation (given was to the whole of NOAA – that approval should be quite high up, you just can’t email everybody as you like);
    3. Who or whom independently verified it as a valid survey that was fit for purpose (i.e. ensured it was written to as accurately as possible capture the required information within the constraints of operating an operation wide survey in the NOAA context) – I’m sure this will come up against federal privacy issues.

    To be honest, given the tone and intent of the survey I suspect it was:

    – an ‘amateur hour’ effort. Obviously written by those looking for certain answers and not looking for the whole truth – asking open questions that lead to a truer representation of those being surveyed is quite an art!
    – not fully approved by those high up in the NOAA organization; looks like it could have got a ‘nod’ to go ahead without a full comprehension of the details of the questions; i.e. approval to do it without a final ‘Go/No Go’ detailed review stage…

    I think FOI request targeting the approval process could be quite interesting..

  86. Gary Pearse says:

    Was there any input from NOAA climate scientists in composing this questionaire? If so, then it is actually a survey of NOAA scientists’ ineptitudes and biases. Remember the old agency official boast about understanding everything about climate from the top of the atmosphere to the land, waters and ice and to the depths of the oceans. Some honorable person replaced this with a more modest statement concerning efforts to understand these things.

  87. JJ says:

    6. Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of increasing global temperatures over the last century?

    Volcanic eruptions

    The hole in the ozone layer

    Clearing forested / vegetated land

    Livestock and ranching operations

    Exhaust from gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles

    An increase in the amount of energy emitted by the Sun

    Burning of coal, oil, and natural gas to produce electricity and heat buildings

    Regular changes in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of energy it receives from the Sun

    Don’t know

    Other:

    “…has been idenified as the most significant cause …” ????

    Identified by whom? Leaving that bit out of the question implies that there is only one correct answer to that question. As if there was not merely a consensus, but a unanimous agreement. This is the kind of leading question used in “push polls”, the point of which is not to communicate the answer, but to cement the assumptions of the question.

    An additional nefarious component to #6 is that, even if you accept the notion that the “consensus opinion” is unanimously agreed upon, there is no way to answer this question correctly!

    Which of the following processes has been identified as the most significant cause of increasing global temperatures over the last century? Well, according ot the “consensus view”, there are two correct answers to that question:

    1) Only the burning of fossil fuels (during the latter half of the last century), and

    2) Everything except the burning of fossil fuels (during the early half of the last century).

    And the magnitude and rate of warming from those two is approximately equal. The question does not allow for a different cause of temp increase over different periods of the last century. This represents either:

    1) a serious misunderstanding of the “consensus view” on the part of those that created the survey, or

    2) an attempt to induce that misunderstanding in those taking the survey (to imply a longer period of AGW and avoid the obvious inconvenient questions about two periods warming for different reasons), or

    3) both.

  88. J Calvert N(UK) says:

    The underlying message is, “Scientists and people with enquiring minds are not wanted at NOAA and had better leave”

  89. Jeff Alberts says:

    tty says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:49 am

    I’ve taken certification tests like that. Where they ignore the parameters or limitations of their own software (e.g. case sensitivity, programming language subset, etc)

  90. polistra says:

    Bravo to the whistleblower! Hope he doesn’t get “taken down” too.

  91. Mike D. says:

    Calamity Jane Lysenko litmus tests her gummit underlings. Much hilarity results.

  92. jorgekafkazar says:

    redneek says: “They took the survey down. Must not have been going their way.”

    We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues. Our red button has malfunctioned, resulting in several respondents being immediately splattered all over our carpet, instead of on the linoleum outside in the corridor. We will notify you when the red button’s delay relay is again operational. Note: New carpeting will be installed using money from deceased employees’ savings plans. This is only fair, since their faulty answers were responsible for the problem.

    Nota bene: the above is sarcasm. It is NOT a quote from the NOAA website or survey. Not this year, anyway.

  93. Barbee says:

    Must be some layoffs coming.
    Good way to decide who to keep.

  94. Rosco says:

    They have Climate Products ??

  95. Ben U. says:

    The climate-related “Needs Assessment Survey” for planners appears not to be new thing in one or more localities.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=NOAA+climate+%22Needs+Assessment+Survey%22

    Here’s a NOAA Coastal Training Program in Washington State “Needs Assessment Data Summary – Climate Training Topics”
    http://nerrs.noaa.gov/Doc/pdf/training/needs_assessment_data_summary.pdf

    Some organization “Sea Grant” at U of Washington has a report “From Covert to Overt: Adaptation Action to the Forefront in Washington Coastal Communities.” It comes up in the Google search.

  96. Andrew30 says:

    In order to take the survey, however, you must have a valid NOAA email account.

    To improve our ability to draw valid conclusions from the survey without identifying individuals, please enter a unique five digit number that you will remember and use again on related surveys.

    No attempt will be made to identify you.

    Pre-survey question 1.
    Email addresses can be used to identify people. True or False

    Pre-survey question 2.
    IP source addresses can be used to identify people. True or False

    Pre-survey question 3.
    I understand the humor in the following Dilbert comic. True or False
    http://dilbert.com/dyn/str_strip/000000000/00000000/0000000/000000/20000/8000/600/28638/28638.strip.print.gif

    Pre-survey question 4.
    I am smarter than a bag of hammers. True or False

    If you have answered True to any of the above you should go see Mr. Hatchet in Human Resources (Room G-1271), and bring your coat.

  97. jaymam says:

    “We have temporarily removed the survey while we resolve some technical issues.”

    But there is still a SUBMIT button. When I clicked it, I got a message “Thank you. Your response has been recorded”

    Have I broken something by clicking on it?

  98. _Jim says:

    NOAA, the same people who run the NOAA Weather Radio system of which the 162.400 MHz station in Dallas which presently has ‘hammered’ audio (due to running the program source into a ‘clipping’ somewhere along the audio delivery circuit, maybe at the transmitter itself)? This began some weeks ago after some sort ‘maintenance’ of the transmitter or audio delivery circuit one afternoon and the sound has been crappy ever since.

    I would say they should stick to assuring operations to the public are running (and sounding) smoothly before embarking on ANY silliness, internal or external …

    NOAA ‘supers’ (literally: supervisors), are you reading this?

    .

  99. kcom says:

    Ludwig, I can answer this question:

    If governmental policies do not change, in the year 2050, what will be the increase in global average surface temperature relative to the year 2000?

    Ans: Nobody alive on Earth today knows.

    And anybody who is certain they do know is smoking something powerful.

  100. crosspatch says:

    ” and your responses will be completely anonymous.”

    uhhhh… ya think so?

    It’s pretty trivial to set a cookie when user logs in and then check the cookie when the submit the form. I would say it is only anonymous if the user can log into the system without cookies enabled.

    Heck, Google even does that. If you are logged in to gmail or youtube or google+, they know who you are when you hit a web site that uses google ads. That’s why you will see ads that relate to recent search queries or topics in your email or google+ conversations. Those activities are monitored in order to decide which ads to show you, that’s how Google makes their money, they are fundamentally an advertising company that scans your internet behavior in order to decide which ads to show you.

  101. markus says:

    Who’s that clown that was talking about vaudeville the other day?

  102. DonS says:

    Everybody remember to copy diane.stanitski@noaa.gov with your remarks,.

    REPLY: Only send remarks that have on-topic value and are courteous, please don’t create any flames – Anthony

  103. _Jim says:

    To improve our ability to draw valid conclusions from the survey without identifying individuals, please enter a unique five digit number that you will remember and use again on related [follow-on] surveys (for instance, you might choose the last five numbers of your personal phone number).

    No attempt will be made to identify you. Your number will be used only to match results to related surveys or pair before and after scores if you take this survey again.

    Hmmm … a unique number to ‘track’ upcoming re-education ca.. –er– retraining program effectiveness.

    Nothing untoward.

    Luke just needs to get his ‘mind right'; clear up those “failures to communicate” from the head honcho(s) on down to the ‘line’ employees so to speak …

    .

  104. KnR says:

    All things done in the name of ‘the cause ‘ are justified. Science has nothing to do with it .

  105. Jarrett Jones says:

    Heard this on PBS radio today. They are very concerned.

    Tapeworms love global warming.

    http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=12-P13-00005&segmentID=5

  106. Alan Wilkinson says:

    Long may bureaucratic idiots continue to put their unedited thoughts in writing for posterity. They will provide a rich vein of humour for future generations.

  107. observa says:

    Management fully support the suggestion box that we introduced 3 months ago and highly value the feedback we have been getting and further wish to issue a statement that there is no truth to the rumour that the latest round of redundancies have all been prolific suggestion box users.

  108. observa says:

    Addendum to Bulletin 3463- A32:
    Management would also like to point out that the security camera provided for the OHSW benefit of all our valued employees in the vicinity of the suggestion box was installed well before the suggestion box.

  109. JPeden says:

    Dumbkoffs! They totally forgot about NOAA’s “Four Pillars Of Climate Science”!

  110. Theo Goodwin says:

    No doubt the survey was put in final form by a team of bright new graduates of a Graduate Degree Program in Science Communication! George Mason University has a flagship program of that sort, don’t they?

    Don’t you wish that you could have studied Science Communications instead of Science? But just a decade or two ago there were no graduate programs in Science Communication, right? Now the government has a big need for Science Communicators but no need for Scientists. In the long run, government work is the best. /sarc

  111. JJ says:

    7. Indicate if the following statements are True, False, or you Don’t Know.

    A. If the amount of energy put out by the Sun decreased, Earth would get cooler.

    B. Global climate change will eventually eliminate the differences between summer and winter.

    C. Climate scientists have a good understanding of the basic physical processes that control Earth’s climate system.

    D. Today’s computer-based climate models have successfully projected the trend and magnitude of observed global temperature for the last century.

    E. As the ocean warms, its waters expand, raising the elevation of the sea’s surface.

    F. Melting of glaciers and ice sheets on land has little or no effect on global sea level.

    G. Temperature measurements of Earth made from satellites are generally consistent with temperatures measured by ground based instruments.

    With this one, the answers they are looking for are as important as the questions. I’d wager a lot that they aren’t close to the truth.

    A. True.

    B. Yes. Eventually, the universe will either succumb to entropy or cycle thru another Big Bang. The global climate will then be either absolutely cold, or infinitely hot, year round. :)

    C. False. We have no closed heat budget for the earth. Approximations of that rely on using CO2 sensitivity and aerosol effect as fudge factors, and we have no clue about the magnitude of those. We dont even know what net effect clouds have. We have no closed carbon budget for the earth.

    D. False. They demonstrate no predictive skill, and that is where that question is leading.

    E. True. Assuming all else equal…

    F. True. All sources of sea level rise together amount to about 2mm per year, which fits the description “little to no effect”, let alone the tiny part of that attributable to ice melt. :)

    G. False. And “generally consistent” is one of those weasel terms used to gain agreement for a point that is then is then given a sharply narrowed definiton for other purposes – the fallacy of equivocation.

  112. Allan M says:

    Ric Werme says:
    February 5, 2012 at 10:24 am

    Joel Levy – Carbon Observing systems

    Is this someone paid to count the diamonds in Al Gore’s safe each morning?

  113. FYI: “Each survey should take approximately 10 minutes to complete…” is code. It tells the employees that they are NOT authorized to charge this time on their time sheets. Policies vary, but usually anything less than 15 minutes is considered incidental and nonchargeable. So the employees are expected to truly volunteer this involvement. Make of it what you will.

  114. hunter says:

    AGW extremists are truly creepy.

  115. Mark Smith says:

    Most of this survey is argue over the definitions and preassume things.

    Which of the following best describes the relationship between climate and weather?

    Climate and weather are different words for the same thing

    Normal high and low temperatures of climate control a region’s daily weather

    Weather occurs on a local to regional scale; climate occurs at the global scale

    Weather describes short-term conditions; climate describes long-term conditions

    Weather that occurs across a region is not necessarily related to the region’s climate

    Don’t know

    Other:
    I really have to disagree with R.A. Pielke Sr (here because he doesn’t allow comments).
    There is no science saying what is climate is a climate system as he specifies- that’s a definition that you’ve made (I call it the Earth surface). Climate is simply general conditions over a some long period at a place on Earth. How long and big the place is a matter of practical use and personal judgement e.g. horticulturally climate is a year or a few years- if conditions change enough that your vegetable become marginally then its changed. This question is meaningless discussion of definitions.

    BTW
    7. Indicate if the following statements are True, False, or you Don’t Know.

    A. If the amount of energy put out by the Sun decreased, Earth would get cooler.
    Could be false- we know very little the centre of the centre of the Earth so a change in nuclear process could easily balance the reduction by the sun by accident. Geoscientist have just found (what petrogeologists knew and could have expected for decades in their minor penetrations) by actual penetration of the crust that it is much more hetrogenous than they originally thought.

  116. Resourceguy says:

    The scary part is in the possibility that this organizational thinking permeates their HR hiring process as well. Sign zee papers comrade to be considered and hired while we scan and sanitize the existing workers.

  117. Neo says:

    Participation in these surveys and taking advantage of future opportunities is voluntary.

    NO PRESSURE.

  118. SCSkeptic says:

    I worked as a contractor in a NOAA office for more than ten years (about ’99-’09). As climate gained purchase as the issue celeb, I would sometimes find myself sitting in a meeting questioning the assertions that were made about climate. I realized at the time that I was not following the designated drummer and was likely damaging my career at NOAA with each impertinent question. Using the fear of expected budget cuts as an excuse (silliness in the face of the sky rocketing federal spending), the office instructed the contractor to lose some weight. Several of us were laid off. It was immediately obvious, that the several (about 10% of the contractors at the site) had been (were still) the skeptics. These were highly technical IT types that understood data collection and management. We working with NODC and NCDDC data routinely. Unacceptable risks. That was in 2009.

    Back then, the purifying of the workforce was pursued more subtly. It appears they’ve shifted gears. These surveys are not about assessing staff knowledge and professional development. From the ‘messaging’ point of view, the message has been sent. They never need to put the surveys up, again. Every NOAA employee, federal of contractor, who saw either of those surveys knew exactly what they meant, instantly: “follow the CAGW drummer.”

    Message delivered!

  119. JJ says:

    10. Which country listed below currently emits the most carbon dioxide per person?

    Note: This question is about per person emissions rather than total emissions.

    United States

    Germany

    China

    Japan

    India

    Don’t know

    This is a fun one. The question has two odd components:

    1) It refers to per capita CO2 per country, not total CO2 emissions per country. Why? Global warming theory doesn’t have anything to do with per capita CO2. The atmosphere doesn’t care how many people generate the CO2, radiative forcing depends only on the resulting total concentration. This question isn’t about science that NOAA employees need to know, this is political ideology. And what is that political ideology? Lets see…

    2) The list of five countries from which the respondant is to choose the highest per capita CO2 emitter does not include any of the top ten per capita CO2 emitters! Why? Because the point of this question is not to find the nation with the greatest alleged effect on “global warming” via their total CO2 emissions (see #1). Nor is the purpose of this question even to find the nation whose citizens individually have the greatest alleged effect on “global warming” via their per capita CO2 emissions – though that is clearly the subtext being communicated by this question. No, the point of this push poll question is to make the US look bad, and to make the NOAA employees feel guilty for being US citizens.

    This isn’t scientific knowledge, this is political ideology. This represents both:

    1) a serious politicization of those “scientists” that created the survey, and

    2) an attempt to induce that politicization in those taking the survey.

    Why are public resources being used to promote the personal politics of some NOAA employees?

  120. Dave Worley says:

    Once again…the best answers are “don’t know”. Hope folks are honest.

Comments are closed.