The IPCC And Proprietary Rights – Does The Law Trump Justice?

Nothing is so burdensome as a secret. French proverb

Guest essay by Dr. Tim Ball

Attempts to get critical information from agents of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) meet with little success. Why? They claim immediate response to their work is mandatory for planetary survival and time is running out. Here is what Slate reported on March 30 2014.

In a new U.N. report released on Monday morning (Japan time) scientists come to a stark conclusion: Unless the world changes course immediately and dramatically, the fundamental systems that support human civilization are at risk.

If true, surely the world has the right to know every bit of information used for this conclusion, but that hasn’t happened. There’s a contradiction between orchestrated publicity raising the threat, but silence, obfuscation, and outright denial regarding questions about important data, process, and methodology. Suspicions are driven by natural curiosity and desire for complete openness in science, but also by their behavior to date.

What have they got to hide? A great deal, as the leaked Climate Research Unit (CRU) emails attest. CRU countered challenges to their views by setting up the PR web site RealClimate and controlling information such as William Connolley’s editing of Wikipedia entries. Publicly they played the victim card claiming they were ordinary scientists trying to do their work but overwhelmed, possibly deliberately, by Freedom of Information requests. The requests occurred because they refused to provide answers and information. A siege mentality was apparent from the start. The Wegman Report investigation and analysis of the hockey stick fiasco provides an example in the critical paleoclimate group.

Additionally, we judge that the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that this community can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

The latest effort to get information released was thwarted by a court ruling regarding Michael Mann’s material. It said Mann’s work was protected from Freedom of Information (FOI) requests due to the “proprietary nature” of the information. How this impinges on the Amicus Brief, filed by a consortium of media in Virginia to obtain the same information, remains to be seen. The real issue is the data he is withholding, but that is not the Amicus concern. The opening paragraph of the Argument explains,

Exemptions to VFOIA (Virginia Freedom of Information Act) must be narrowly interpreted to comply with the legislative intent behind the law and to ensure the public and the news media sufficient access to the government to promote an understanding of its operations. Public universities are necessarily included in VFOIA and the media has a strong interest in being able to monitor University spending operations. While truly proprietary information in the possession of a public university should not be subject to request under VFOIA and in fact is properly exempted, email among professors is not entitled to a blanket treatment as proprietary. Instead, such communications are an essential part of the functioning of the University and must be subject to public scrutiny. Because such communications have been held not to implicate academic freedom, and because the type of email at issue here does not include unpublished information in which the professors or the University have a competitive interest, it must be subject to VFOIA. The lower court’s broad definition of “proprietary nature” cannot stand if VFOIA is to retain any meaning.

Openness and access for the media are important but abrogation of that responsibility by the mainstream media (MSM) allowed and encouraged CRU and IPCC behavior.

An appeal is necessary because of the nature of the material; taxpayers funded its production; and it is the basis of globally changing policy. State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli used the “Fraud against Taxpayers Act” against the University of Virginia when seeking Michael Mann’s work. When an author receives compensation does the ownership of the article belong to the payee, unless otherwise agreed? Did any of the IPCC participants contract retained ownership of their work? Participation in production of a public document with global policy implications implies you will provide full details in its derivation.

Leaked CRU emails indicate important players, like Phil Jones, CRU Director, anticipated the questions. He advised people how to hide and avoid FOI requests. Here is an email he sent on 2 February 2005.

Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time! And don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. Does your similar act in the US force you to respond to enquiries within 20 days? – our does ! The UK works on precedents, so the first request will test it.We also have a data protection act, which I will hide behind. Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that. IPR should be relevant here, but I can see me getting into an argument with someone at UEA who’ll say we must adhere to it!

On 10 December 2008 he wrote to Ben Santer;

Haven’t got a reply from the FOI person here at UEA. So I’m not entirely confident the numbers are correct. One way of checking would be to look on CA (Climate Audit), but I’m not doing that. I did get an email from the FOI person here early yesterday to tell me I shouldn’t be deleting emails – unless this was ‘normal’ deleting to keep emails manageable! McIntyre hasn’t paid his £10, so nothing looks likely to happen re his Data Protection Act email.

Anyway requests have been of three types – observational data, paleo data and who made IPCC changes and why. Keith has got all the latter – and there have been at least 4. We made Susan (Solomon) aware of these – all came from David Holland. According to the FOI Commissioner’s Office, IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI. Even if UEA holds anything about IPCC, we are not obliged to pass it on, unless it has anything to do with our core business – and it doesn’t! I’m sounding like Sir Humphrey (bureaucrat in English TV comedy series) here!

And then a devastating postscript in a 21 February 2005 email to Michael Mann, cc’d to Bradley and Hughes.

PS I’m getting hassled by a couple of people to release the CRU station temperature data.

Don’t any of you three tell anybody that the UK has a Freedom of Information Act !

On 21 January 2005 Phil Jones responded to concerns about FOIA from Tom Wigley, former Director of the CRU, grandfather overseer of the IPCC central characters.

As for FOIA Sarah isn’t technically employed by UEA and she will likely be paid by Manchester Metropolitan University. I wouldn’t worry about the code. If FOIA does ever get used by anyone, there is also IPR to consider as well. Data is covered by all the agreements we sign with people, so I will be hiding behind them. I’ll be passing any requests onto the person at UEA who has been given a post to deal with them.

 

IPR is Intellectual Property Rights and similar to the Proprietary Rights (PR) Michael Mann used to prevent release of his material. Jones suggests it is the final fall back position and so far it seems to work for Mann.

The Virginia media group Amicus Brief may redress problems created by Mann’s use of PR. Mann knew that as a “public figure” he was subject to a different level of what was defamatory. Shouldn’t that also apply to his PR? He tried to downplay the challenge claiming he was a ”reluctant public figure”. This reluctance didn’t prevent him promoting public adulation and recognition by bragging about and falsely claiming he was a Nobel Prize winner. Actually, the Nobel Institute gave it to the IPCC for their contribution to world peace. This categorically implies the IPCC work had global implications and therefore much greater consequence.

Mann consistently advances the importance of his work and the threat it confronts. He makes the link in such works as, “Do Global Warming and Climate Change Represent A Serious Threat To Our Welfare and Environment? He pushes the same message in many television appearances. These are hardly the activities of a “reluctant person.

In my opinion this changes the standard of disclosure for his data and work. What is the basis for such an alarmist message that demands world-changing action with economic and social upheaval? Taxpayers who funded and are impacted have a right to know.

Earlier I said the PR was the final fall back position, but that only applies to legal actions. Phil Jones used a few unscrupulous tactics successfully. He convinced the University of East Anglia (UEA) that they should not have to reply to request from Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit. He did it by denigrating and demeaning them with phrases like types of people in his 3 December 2008 email to Wigley,

 

When the FOI requests began here, the FOI person said we had to abide by the requests. It took a couple of half hour sessions – one at a screen, to convince them otherwise showing them what CA was all about. Once they became aware of the types of people we were dealing with, everyone at UEA (in the registry and in the Environmental Sciences school – the head of school and a few others) became very supportive.

Jones anticipated FOI request for emails by advising erasure. On 2 February 2005 he wrote,

If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.

Did this attitude cause him to use the second defensive technique of losing the data? On 29 May 2008 he advised Mann and others to erase emails.

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith (Briffa) re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

Apparently, Mann’s material or data is not erased or lost yet. Presumably he believes the PR ruling provides all the protection he needs.

Data Mann withholds was used to create the “hockey stick” handle and data Phil Jones lost created the blade, an event he said was “not acceptable”. The graph dominated the 2001 IPCC Report as Ross McKitrick detailed. The Report was pivotal in convincing the world that human produced CO2 was causing global warming. The hockey stick graph became the poster child.

Justice demands that Mann’s claim of Proprietary Rights be offset by the way in which the data and work was funded, produced and used. Funding was public at all levels, the IPCC is a UN agency globally funded, their work received maximum public approval with a Nobel Prize, their work was consciously directed and promoted to influence public policy through the Summary for Policymakers that profoundly altered national and international policies for energy and economies. If they believe the work done is so valuable, why do they persist in keeping it from the public? It is another example of the gap between justice and the law, especially as it relates to climate and the environment.

About these ads

89 thoughts on “The IPCC And Proprietary Rights – Does The Law Trump Justice?

  1. You’re right. If someone could prove the end of the world was coming, wouldn’t they put everything out on the table? Wouldn’t they desperately want to be wrong? Wouldn’t you let anybody and their dog go over the calculations, programs, and data, just hoping for a way out?

  2. It is not supported by law, the cult has misplaced the real law of reason, all they have is power.
    They use it for their own evil ends. Just say no.

  3. Unfortunately it is not a joke. Normal law is that if you are contracted to do work for someone, whatever you find, or invent, or design, or write, on that subject is the property of the person you contracted for, and is the intellectual property of that person.

    What this really means is that a University of East Anglia degree should be treated as worthless, ditto University of Virginia, and possibly other US universities that employ these “types of people” since the Universities do not stick to proper academic standards, and in fact allow the Hockey Team to engage in Pseudo Science (See “The Pseudo Science Wars).

  4. “…IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI.” This attitude shows some of the dangers for countries who give up their sovereignty to international organizations like the UN.

  5. Does the fact that the IPCC is an international organization mean that the laws of the individual member nations are irrelevant? I would think that the US, as a member of the UN would have an expectation that its own laws would not be abrogated by the IPCC, and thus the rights of society to information and legally protected disclosure would not be overturned by being part of an international organization. Otherwise why would our society be positively served by membership in that organization? We join up so that our own laws can be subverted? If so I can see why some people think we are fools for being members of the UN.

  6. Could people in the IPCC or working for the UN or its other agencies (including ICLEI, and purveyors of Agenda 21, the UN totalitarian scheme, in general) possibly be required to register as agents of foreign governments, as lobbyists for other governments are? Under UK law? Does anyone have an answer to this?

  7. May 4, 2014 at 8:16 pm | fobdangerclose says:

    It is not supported by law [ ... ]

    When the SCOTUS is owned by the socialists does it matter what the Law says? Recent decision to uphold the EPA cross-border air pollution edict is a prime example. The Law is an ass.

  8. The IPCC’s true goal is to use *any* means possible to bring about a U.N. one world government somewhat communist/marxist/lenninist or extreme socialist in nature, and they clearly don’t care how many lies they propagate to achieve their true goal.

    Lord Monckton leaked some documents to Fox News some years ago which showed the UN/IPCC agenda.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/09/08/years-setbacks-looks-world-leader/

    http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/austria_retreat_papers.pdf

    These U.N. anti-freedom control freak petty tyrants must never be allowed to succeed.

    Conspiracy Theory – I think not!

  9. >>State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli used the “Fraud against Taxpayers Act” against the University of West Virginia when seeking Michael Mann’s work.

    Should that be “University of Virginia” instead of “University of West Virginia”?

    [fixed, thanks -mod]

  10. Just to make ambiguous statements doesn’t explain why they think the way they do. Where was the UN when serious human rights were abused? South Africa, Zimbabwe, China, and it is really a conclave for third world countries to claim their environment is threatened by Industrial nations and should be compensated. It is a hot bed of corrupt politicians and officials. Just remember these principal so called scientists, have got funds under false pretensions, and as the temp hasn’t increase but appears to be cooling, the world has far more to worry about with a possible incoming glacial period, than a few increases of C’s. We need rain in most countries, and as it cools this will drop off in some regions. Lessening of evaporation rates.

  11. “…IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI.”

    Really, since it is an international organization, it should be subject to the equivalents of each member nation’s “freedom of information” laws … Each and every nation, individually, has the right to demand that information. Logically, one nation’s demand is sufficient; it does not logically follow that all nations need to demand the information, nor a consensus, nor even a majority. One “freedom of information” request is all it should take.

  12. The problem with law is presently we appoint judges from a pool of lawyers, the requirement of a good lawyer is to find and argument around the law no matter how fallacious the argument is, the question is not what is written it how I interpret it at this time and can I convince you at this time it is how I think it is written, good forbid as a judge we might research what the people whom wrote the law though is should be applied. Is it a small wonder that judges buy into lawyer fallacious arguments. What we need it Judges with and English Major background not a law background. Judges only need to judge the language and what the language as written is saying not what one thinks the language might be saying or how I can twist it to say what I want it to say. The problem with lawyers is they really do believe and been trained to believe it is what you think is is.

    • “…IPCC is an international organization, so is above any national FOI.”

      Brian said:

      “Really, since it is an international organization, it should be subject to the equivalents of each member nation’s “freedom of information” laws … Each and every nation, individually, has the right to demand that information.”

      Since the US has always – or recently at any rate – demanded extraterritorial recognition of its laws, then there could not be any possible consideration of the UN or IPCC stating that IPCC information is sacrosanct and is not accessible as a result of a FOI demand in the USA..

  13. May 4, 2014 at 9:12 pm |bushbunny says
    ——-
    Ah, Bushbunny, but think of how successful the socialists have been to limit fossil fuel supply … via Obamma’s ineptitude the oil output from the Middle East has been strangled by civil war and terrorism, and the supply of cheap gas to Europe from Russia is also threatened. Price of crude through the roof and cost of natural gas similarly disposed.

  14. Reports, recommendations, assertions etc coming out of black boxes isn’t science. Science is method.. If the data is black box then anything they say can be ignored. A share trading ponzi offering incredible claims is black box [it has to be] and is discovered when it ‘blows up’.. If they saying their data is black box then it can be be claimed to be just another ponzi [which because of the predicted/measured divergences is already blowing up]

  15. “…the IPCC is a UN agency globally funded, their work received maximum public approval with a Nobel Prize, ”

    It is a pity if people think the IPCC and Al Gore got a Nobel prize for their science. They won the Nobel Peace Prize, which is a politically motivated award, and has nothing to do with [science].

  16. ConTrari says:
    May 4, 2014 at 11:50 pm
    They won the Nobel Peace Prize, which is a politically motivated award, and has nothing to do with scince.

    Or with science.

  17. People intuitively know that when the facts support the argument they are made readily available, and when they do not, they are hidden.

    Consensus science as published by the IPCC is a series of opinions needing no facts. In contrast skeptic science requires hard data, because no skeptic worth their weight in osmium, would accept an argument without checking whether the facts support it.

    So skeptic science cannot exist without the data being available. Consensus science on the other hand, doesn’t need any data at all – it just needs “the right people” to be saying “the right things”.

  18. “Is it a small wonder that judges buy into lawyer fallacious arguments …” Mark Luhman 9:44 pm

    Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels:
    “Judges… are picked out from the most dextrous lawyers, who are grown old or lazy, and having been biased all their lives against truth or equity, are under such a fatal necessity of favouring fraud, perjury and oppression, that I have known several of them to refuse a large bribe from the side where justice lay, rather than injure the faculty by doing any thing unbecoming their nature in office”.

  19. you have ‘proof’ that your local hospital will burn down potential killing everyone in it , do you
    A , make your proof public as often and has much as possible , and make a point of hiding nothing ?
    B. keep your proof ‘secret’ , refuse to share it and employ has may some and mirrors has you can?

    Well compared to this storyline , AGW is far more urgent , with a far bigger impact , or so we are told by the alarmists. So its a good question why its option B every time for AGW proponents, an approach which can only hinder any chance of changes and is very odd given this claimed to be ‘settled science’

    Therefore, you can suggest that the reason is perhaps because if they make all the ‘proof ‘ public , using no smoke and mirrors, they know that in fact their claims will fail and so ‘the cause ‘ and their own careers with it . Indeed the very use of this ‘hide and seek approach is a dead give away they selling BS . For why else would you employ this approach , if the proof is as good and the need as urgent as they claim ?

  20. Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
    It is not just that the science supporting man-made CO2 catastrophic warming or even climate changes, is inadequate. It is indeed very weak, almost missing-in-action in some areas, and substantially unsupported by actual evidence.
    Here, it is revealed that the IPCC ignore all that and make politically motivated claims which they expect the rest of the world to accept as mandatory.

  21. Streetcred, Gosh I don’t think it is ‘just’ socialists, what about Fascists. Anyway guys must go and have my dinner, so keep writing.

  22. Hi KNR.
    Your B. Was it a serendipitous Mistake.
    Keep your proof secret,refuse to share it and employ has may some and
    mirrors has you can.
    Like cracked mirrors of their souls.

  23. Mark Luhman: “What we need it Judges with and English Major background not a law background.”

    The problem with judges is not that they are selected from among lawyers–many of whom actually were English majors, by the way–but that the lawyers from among whom they are selected are people and that they were selected by people, and people have their limitations.

    It’s not that judges are selected from among lawyers, it’s the lawyers that were selected. If you voted for George W. Bush, you tended to select good lawyers, although there were exceptions. If you voted for Obama, well, the less said he better.

  24. bushbunny says:
    May 5, 2014 at 1:23 am

    The Nazi Party were National Socialists and Fascist at the same time. Totalitarian is a unifying precise description of both extremes

  25. “If they believe the work done is so valuable, why do they persist in keeping it from the public”

    So people don’t find anything wrong with it? The pigs on animal farm knew how to do this, if you keep information from everyone else, you can make it say whatever you like.

  26. The shenanigans of team members to keep data secret, shows they do have something to hide. Their work is not reproducible without it. So there is no way to validate their claims. We are supposed to believe, on faith alone, they are not incompetent.

    it is not science they are hiding. But the “mysteries” of their religion.

  27. Gol-durn it, I come here for for amateurish, disingenuous attempts to disprove global warming by misinterpreting and cherry-picking, not for bizarre conspiracy theories. I want my money back!

  28. One of the far reaching results of this episode of data denial is that the EPA has promulgated their “carbon policy” on unsubstantiated science and then dodged the required in house confirmation of it with the excuse “We don’t have time or money to repeat these tests that have already passed peer review” when if fact no one could reproduce the results without the same data and access to the process used.

  29. What bothers me about “proprietary data” is that the owner of the data may claim proprietary rights to it, but who is the owner? The citzens of Virginia pay the expenses of the university AND it’s professors, thus the “owner” of the data is not the university or Mann, but the people of Virginia. If the University and Mann wish to claim proprietary rights, then they should be paying back to the citizens of Virginia all funds that they used to acquire the data. They are not a privately funded organization, thus they have no more “rights” to the data they create than does any other government worker working for a government. The federal government shrouds data under “national security,” but I can’t see how the University OR Mann can shroud the data under such a hideaway heading. The data belongs to the citizens of Virginia, as such, and it can’t be proprietary unless the citizens of Virginia claim it to be so. SO, how can a “court of law” claim otherwise? Only if someone bought it off.

    • Of course it’s National Security. The National bodies espousing CAGW would have their security in tatters if the data and codes and their workings were exposed to knowledgeable members of the public.

  30. Every environmental alarm I hear prompts me to ask the question “Where is the Fire?”
    The answer is usually found to be that what seems to be a cloud of smoke somewhere is more often than not a cloud of dust, raised by a crew of workers dragging tree limbs to cover their tracks.

  31. Until someone successfully files a criminal or civil RICO suit (preferably after the 2014 midterms), These people are going to get away with feeding at the public trough for millions and presenting their purported “findings”. Some claims will get you over the “hump” and some won’t. RICO probably trumps because it is a claim based on a criminal or “quasi” criminal activity.

  32. Palindrom (6:17 am) misses the point entirely because he ignores the fact that this site would not be necessary or likely even exist without what he calls a “conspiracy theory”. The sad part is a conspiracy is a secret plan and this was not done secretly as I explained in the following article titled “Daylight Robbery”.

    http://drtimball.com/2012/climate-change-of-the-ipcc-is-daylight-robberyclimate-change-of-the-ipcc-is-daylight-robbery/

    But then, unless Palindrom contributed to WUWT financially, he wants money back he never paid.

  33. @Tom O, the ownership of the materials is set down in a contract that exists between the university and anyone who works there. This is standard practice, only overwritten by law or common law, should the agreement contravene it.

    @Dudley Horscroft
    >Normal law is that if you are contracted to do work for someone, whatever you find, or invent, or design, or write, on that subject is the property of the person you contracted for, and is the intellectual property of that person.

    That is how it used to be. A short number of years ago the law in the USA was changed to strengthen the rights of people who worked for a company and whose IP rights had been signed away by contract. The Courts felt this was unfair. Inspired by this change a lot of countries changed their default copyright terms, for example. Your photos belong to you exclusively without lifting a finger. A person who signs away their ownership rights in the US actually retains some portion as the courts have ruled such an agreement unfair.

    There is however an over-riding law in the US that in general anything paid for by ‘public money’ has to be made available free to the public unless blah blah blah for security. That is a condition, indirectly, for all publicly funded research and I don’t see an easy way out of it for something as innocuous as climate data and processing methods. I can’t see the university surviving their position much longer.

    My hope is that Mann, once the info comes out, will repent and expose the rest of the sorry tale.

  34. Bill Moyers said “There are honest journalists like there are honest politicians – they stay bought.”

    Right now there are too many of both!

  35. Call them for what they are – liars. Until they can prove otherwise of course, even if this requires recourse through the courts…… hmmmm, catch 22 eh?

  36. I remain unconvinced of any overarching conspiracy. The combination a “Chicken Little” lack of common sense, excess confidence in their personal abilities, and the entertainment value of the apocalyptic vision to the media are adequate for almost everything. That plus a dose of self-interest in maintaining funding flows covers nearly all the core “conspiracy.” Along the way, like a sticky hairball rolling along a rather filthy alley, the core accumulates politicians, grifters and cons, “activists” and the occasional idealist looking to score additional political points and money, influence opinion, and even save the world.

  37. Justice demands that Mann’s claim of Proprietary Rights be offset by the way in which the data and work was funded, produced and used.

    =====================================================
    I’m just a layman here but it seems to me that “Proprietary Rights” would only apply to those that have something to sell…….

  38. The world will end soon unless you send me tons of money; however due to the of Proprietary Rights of my work, you can’t verify this, just trust me and send me the money !!!!
    Please send it to:
    Rob U. Blind
    P.O. Box 7734
    Ripoff Bend, VA 22301

  39. Funding was public at all levels, the IPCC is a UN agency globally funded, their work received maximum public approval with a Nobel Prize, their work was consciously directed and promoted to influence public policy through the Summary for Policymakers that profoundly altered national and international policies for energy and economies. If they believe the work done is so valuable, why do they persist in keeping it from the public?

    Because it’s a fraud?

    Let me stop beating about the bush. The leaked CRU emails are crystal clear, we were dealing with biased climastrologists who were worried about their continued funding and status. As for the rest of the fraudsters it was about using the Team to further their dishonorable goals to be Masters of the Universe. Meanwhile Maurice Strong (former UN guy) is in China after someone mistakenly gave him a $1million check. He says he has never cared about money, even when he worked in Big Oil, he never got paid and today he is NOT a millionaire.

    http://www.canadafreepress.com/2005/cover120905.htm

  40. Tim Ball @9:58 — On the contrary, you miss MY point.

    I am an astronomer, and astrophysics shares a large amount of science base with climate science. I have been a research scientist for decades, and published well over 100 peer-reviewed articles. I have taught the principles of science to thousands of students. I am not a climate scientist, and have never made a dime off climatology. All I have is the deep knowledge of science and the scientific community accrued over a long career.

    My professional judgment is that my colleagues in the earth sciences who tell us that this is a serious, looming problem are entirely justified, and that if anything they are being conservative. I know many of the people that this blog routinely demonizes. They are first-rate scientists and their work is excellent. They are vastly stronger scientists than the pretenders that this blog touts.

    This site is, frankly, hilarious. Any decent scientist reading it can tell very quickly that it’s the amateur hour. A site that would publish Nikolov and Zeller’s “Unified Theory of Climate” for anything but pure comedy value is, well ….

    You can moderate this out, or leave it. Your choice.

  41. palindrom says:
    May 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Well, your comment is left in. Good. Our practice here is to leave such comments visible.

    Your comment is also proved dead wrong. The so-called “scientists” you claim to admire have been proved wrong in their claims by the 17 years of steady temperatures while CO2 increased, and the 30 years between 1945-1975 when CO2 rose, but temperatures declined.

    I pity the youth you claim pride in instructing.

    Show us evidence – not of an increase in global temperatures, since those have been increasing since 1650. Rather, show us proof that increases in man’s use of energy and release of CO2 cause an increase in global temperatures.

    By the way, today: Just the “excess” Antarctic sea ice alone is 93% the size of Greenland. At the rate it has increased since May 2010 (4 years ago) Antarctic sea ice will block the Magellan Straits and Cape Horn to shipping traffic within 8-12 years………

  42. “palindrom says:
    May 5, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    Tim Ball @9:58 — On the contrary, you miss MY point.

    I am an astronomer, and astrophysics shares a large amount of science base with climate science. I have been a research scientist for decades, and published well over 100 peer-reviewed articles. I have taught the principles of science to thousands of students. I am not a climate scientist, and have never made a dime off climatology. All I have is the deep knowledge of science and the scientific community accrued over a long career.

    My professional judgment is that my colleagues in the earth sciences who tell us that this is a serious, looming problem are entirely justified, and that if anything they are being conservative. I know many of the people that this blog routinely demonizes. They are first-rate scientists and their work is excellent. They are vastly stronger scientists than the pretenders that this blog touts.

    This site is, frankly, hilarious. Any decent scientist reading it can tell very quickly that it’s the amateur hour. A site that would publish Nikolov and Zeller’s “Unified Theory of Climate” for anything but pure comedy value is, well ….

    You can moderate this out, or leave it. Your choice.”

    Why don’t you share your superior wisdom with this community and teach us something?

  43. RACook — Heh heh. Your entire post is PRATTs (Points Refuted A Thousand Times). To pick but one grossly misleading statement, while it may be accurate that the excess Antarctic sea ice is 93% the size of Greenland, there’s no comparison whatsoever in volume — Greenland is land ice, thousands of feet thick.

    One question for the readership: Why do essentially none of the points of view expressed here get traction in the professional literature? I know quite a few earth and atmospheric scientists. They are extremely competent. They are not crooks. They are not intellectually dishonest. If a good argument came along that refuted AGW, and which stood up to challenge, they would accept it, with a good bit of relief. But there is, unfortunately, no such argument that is held to be valid b by people outside of the blogular echo chamber. And it’s not a matter of politics. Barry Bickmore is a conservative Republican, and there are others.

  44. “Why don’t you share your superior wisdom with this community and teach us something?”

    The subject is huge, and I’m frankly not a deep expert. But I can tell you who a few people whom I believe know what they’re doing —

    — Ray Pierrehumbert has superb physical insight and is deeply knowledgeable. His Physics Today article on “Infrared Radiation and Planetary Temperature” is as close to my field as climate science gets, and it’s a real tour-de-force. He has a beard. He sometimes makes funny videos. So what?

    — Tamino gets things right pretty much all the time, and keeps his eye on the ball.

    — Gavin Schmidt is also excellent. I once had the opportunity to speak to him face-to-face for a couple of hours. Numerical modeling has a long and deep history in astrophysics, and from my familiarity with this, I came away persuaded that Schmidt has a deep understanding of what models are and what they are not.

    — And even if Michael Mann were a crook, a liar, a cheat, and a swindle — which he isn’t — his work has been reproduced so many times that obsessing over his “hockey stick” is, well, ridiculous.

    My main points: Scientists are not crooks. They are not in this to get rich. They are not even especially political. They are sounding the alarm in good faith because their best information tells them that civilization is heading for serious problems.

    I’m sorry, but this is reality. I recommend, by the way, Bruce Bartlett’s article in “The American Conservative”, entitled “The Revenge of the Reality-Based Community”. What’s going on here is not reality — it’s Potemkin-village science combined with a grossly cynical, and often downright bizarre, misreading of the nature and motivations of the scientific community. It’s nonsense.

  45. R deHaan —

    Of course politics is involved in the response to global warming — it has to be.

    My point is that the scientific conclusion that the globe is warming due to human activities has nothing whatsoever to do with politics. Many on this site will disagree completely, since one has a hard time explaining the unanimity of the scientific community without some kind of weird conspiracist backstory, but it’s true.

    You also don’t have to be a Democrat to think that Maxwell’s equations are a correct description of classical electromagnetism.

    • hard time explaining the unanimity of the scientific community

      Unanimity? Would that be the Doran/Zimmerman study that surveyed 10,257 scientists, with 3,146 responses and broke that down to 75 of 77? (violates Statistics 101).

      Or would that be the Cook study that did not even get the simple math correct, but found only 64 of 12,000 papers that supported that position?

      There is no unanimity. But there is a lot of bad science.

  46. RACook —

    “I pity the youth you claim pride in instructing. ”

    Why? Do you think I told them that stellar evolution proves that communism is right? That thermodynamics proves that the free market doesn’t work? That Newtonian mechanics guarantees the dictatorship of the proletariat?

    The nearest I got, I suppose, was when I was teaching about charge separation in insulators, and said it was all about the dielectric of material.

  47. OK “palindrom” i’ll bite. You say you teach science. I ask you as a fellow (anonymous) “science guy”.
    1. What is the null hypothesis for AGW?
    2. When was it falsified? (be specific and name the paper[s])

  48. john — It’s really hard to know which is the “null hypothesis”, given how many different versions of of it one finds. Is it that it isn’t getting warmer (e.g., it’s all a heat-island effect?) Is it that humans are not responsible? (e.g., “It’s the sun! Natural cycles!”)

    Since I have other things to do (e.g., teach physics) I’ll refer you to the vast number of citations on SkepticalScience (which I know is considered by many here to be a running dog lackey of the capitalist imperialist state … sorry, the left-wing greenie conspiracy to raise taxes and take away our freedoms) and also to the lengthy discussions on RealClimate (ditto).

    But the short story is:

    – There is a vast amount of empirical evidence that the climate is getting warmer at a rate that is historically extremely unusual (as I said above, Mann could be the devil incarnate — which he isn’t — and the hockey stick would still be correct There are simply too many mutually independent lines of evidence to entertain serious doubt on this. Look up the pages2k collaboration article in Nature Geosciences).

    – There is also an ironclad physics case that additional CO2 raises the equilibrium temperature (see Pierrehumbert’s review article in Physics Today). Water vapor feedback complicates this, but at this point there’s little doubt that the sign is positive, and that Lindzen’s hypothesis that cloud feedback saves us is insupportable.

    – There is a lengthy punch-list of possible other causes — solar variations, what have you — that fail to explain the unusually rapid rise.

    – Finally, finely detailed calculations of the response of the climate system to the CO2 forcing match the observations quite well. The “17-year pause” is not really a pause — the oceans are continuing to warm, and the arctic ice is indeed melting. There is no claim that climate calculations have any power to forecast random events, such as the El Nino. Claims that model calculations must be wrong because they don’t show this so-called pause are silly.

    • @palindrom – there is only one null hypothesis on the subject of AGW (CAGW, CC, DCC, or the nom du jour). If you cannot name it, you have no idea what you are discussing.

  49. Duster says:
    May 5, 2014 at 12:00 pm
    “I remain unconvinced of any overarching conspiracy.”

    Start with Maurice Strong and his 1972 Stockholm UN summit on the environment where he carted all Green NGO’s to protest for global control.
    Continue with the 1975 Stanford conference “Our endangered atmosphere” in which Lovelock, Schneider, Mead and Holdren decided that CO2 was to be the culprit.
    Throw in the Club Of Rome’s “Limits To Growth”, 1970 or so, and maybe you’ll start seeing the picture.

  50. @palindrom

    Ok, I’ll help you. The null hypothesis is that the current rate of change (of multiple variables – atmospheric and ocean temperatures, ice extent/thickness, “extreme weather” events, sea level rise and so on…) is normal. Natural. i.e. Not caused by man.

    CO2 alone (in a closed chamber) will cause warming. Nobody argues against that. But the Earth’s climate is a very complex multivariate system. CO2 cannot and does not act alone. Feedbacks exist.

    Once one get’s past the press and political speeches, one learns that “extreme events” aren’t increasing. Global ice is a “normal” levels. The rate of sea level rise is slowing. Atmospheric temperature is currently stable. And no, I don’t believe in “immaculate convection”.

    You say “There is a vast amount of empirical evidence that the climate is getting warmer at a rate that is historically extremely unusual” With respect, that’s BS. Where are the citations? Educate me.

    The only 97% “truth” in climate science is that 97% is about the percentage of climate models that are running too hot. Why is that? Could the CO2 warming theory (with assumed feedbacks) be wrong? I ask you again to point me to a peer reviewed and published paper showing a definitive causative link between atmospheric CO2 level and temperature outside the laboratory.

    Until then the null hypothesis stands.

  51. You say “There is a vast amount of empirical evidence that the climate is getting warmer at a rate that is historically extremely unusual” With respect, that’s BS. Where are the citations? Educate me.

    “With respect, that’s BS”.

    With respect? Whatever.

    You could start here with the pages2k collaboration:

    http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/full/ngeo1797.html

    Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia

    (abstract)
    Past global climate changes had strong regional expression. To elucidate their spatio-temporal pattern, we reconstructed past temperatures for seven continental-scale regions during the past one to two millennia. The most coherent feature in nearly all of the regional temperature reconstructions is a long-term cooling trend, which ended late in the nineteenth century. At multi-decadal to centennial scales, temperature variability shows distinctly different regional patterns, with more similarity within each hemisphere than between them. There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between ad 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century. The transition to these colder conditions occurred earlier in the Arctic, Europe and Asia than in North America or the Southern Hemisphere regions. Recent warming reversed the long-term cooling; during the period ad 1971–2000, the area-weighted average reconstructed temperature was higher than any other time in nearly 1,400 years.

  52. CO2 alone (in a closed chamber) will cause warming. Nobody argues against that. But the Earth’s climate is a very complex multivariate system. CO2 cannot and does not act alone. Feedbacks exist.

    A closed chamber? That’s not even relevant.

    When all is said and done, the earth’s temperature is set by the equilibrium between solar input and infrared emission. Appeals to the complexity of the system have some validity, but in the end miss this elementary point. The theory of radiative transfer through a layered, semi-transparent medium with opacity varying rapidly as a function of frequency is difficult, but is by now extremely mature, driven largely by stellar atmospheres work going back nearly a century. This theory shows beyond any doubt that CO2 puts a giant thumb on the scales toward a warmer equilibrium. Exactly how much warmer, and exactly what consequences this will have, are of course not known with precision, but the overall picture is by now blindingly obvious to everyone who has the relevant technical expertise and who is not carrying an ideological torch.

  53. I apologize for the use of the term “BS”.

    You wrote: “…a warmer equilibrium. Exactly how much warmer, and exactly what consequences this will have, are of course not known”

    We agree (as do most readers I assume) on the above statement, as does the IPCC – they have changed the equilibrium sensitivity with each successive assessment report, and it varies by a factor of 3 in the current assessment report. You’re not talking against a wall here.

    Feedbacks – positive and negative, are the issue.

  54. Well now, Palindrom, what was the first palindrome ever?

    Also, what do you think of the dendro-paleoclimatology of Mann, Briffa, Gergis, and others?

    Also, you come on like the typically closed-minded AGW fanatic that poor-mouths skeptics and refuses to give even slight consideration to any data that does not support your point of view.

  55. OK, I have work to do, so I’m outta here. But

    Also, you come on like the typically closed-minded AGW fanatic that poor-mouths skeptics and refuses to give even slight consideration to any data that does not support your point of view.

    Perhaps that’s how I come off. But it’s not exactly fair. I think the way I do because I have seen one anti-consensus talking point after another collapse under the scrutiny of real experts. I have enough experience and competence in science to understand the arguments and counterarguments, and in my scientific judgment, there is no contest.

    One can argue about the “97%” figure, but to me the proof of the pudding is in the fact that the number of scientific articles published over the last decade or so that refute the consensus picture is vanishingly small, and they have in all cases immediately been refuted by good scientists using good data and appropriate theory. As one who has published and refereed papers for decades, I find this to be very persuasive evidence that there are no valid anti-AGW arguments — or at least, that none have been discovered. The only alternative explanation for the complete absence of support for the anti-AGW position in the literature is that the entire edifice of science has been corrupted by some shadowy conspiracy. While this may be an attractive hypothesis for many on this site, I find it, on the basis of my personal acquaintance with a good number of geoscientists, to be completely preposterous.

  56. john — Of course, feedbacks are the issue. Just two points:

    – There’s not much doubt left that the sign is positive, at least;

    – Uncertainty in the feedback does not automatically mean it is at the low end of the range. It could also be at the high end of the range. The low end would already mean serious problems in the future; the high end would mean far more serious problems, sooner.

    Pretending that everything is fine, out of some odd belief that free markets and libertarian principles will somehow make everything work out, does not strike me as reasonable.

  57. “There is no unanimity. But there is a lot of bad science.”

    The people I know in the field — sea and land ice experts, atmospheric physicists, and so on — say that 97% is, if anything, an underestimate. There simply is no good argument against AGW that stands up to scrutiny. One can pick holes in studies of papers, and what have you — but where are the papers that give coherent, defensible alternatives to AGW? True, there are exercises like Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s little screed from a few years back, but that is probably the most hilariously bad scientific paper I’ve ever seen.

    • @palindrom – you need to broaden your horizons. I doubt you are going to find a million scientists, but I can find you over 30k that do not agree. so either your scientists friends are not too smart, or you are lying.

  58. philjourdan –

    Are you thinking, by any chance, of the Oregon Petition? 30,000 fools claiming to be scientists on the intertubes do not, in my opinion, outweigh the mass of meticulously researched and vetted literature, and the careful, expert work of the real scientific community

    My scientist friends are very, very smart. I am not lying. Have you considered that you might be listening to amateurs, propagandists, and cranks who are certain that the scientists are wrong because of ideological reasons, and are therefore finding every possible bogus reason they can to believe stuff that isn’t actually supportable? Essentially every professional scientist who understands the problem disagrees with the sources your believe. Have you considered that after all that selection through school, all that rigorous training, all those years of research — they might actually know what they’re doing better than, say, Monckton?

    • @palindrom – so you reveal your true nature. Those who agree with you are ‘scientists’, while those that do not are ‘fools’. But this is not “Palindom’s world”. In other words, you do not make the rules. I do not care if you like them or not. They ARE scientists, and they just blew your ignorant opinion apart.

      Actually, I was reading your gibberish before that comment. Now I know I can ignore it. You have no facts, no data, and no evidence. What you have is a very bigoted opinion of everyone you do not agree with. And lots of talking points, but no intelligence.

      You blew it. But then trolls usually do. Nice going. You have just destroyed your entire credibility and made sure no one is going to be even the least bit persuaded by some 3rd rate sheep that cannot even bleat the message correctly.

    • @palindrom – oh, and your bigoted “my lawyer acquaintances” line will get you no where. No one cares if you can paraphrase a stupid line from a play 40 years old.

  59. @palidrom

    You are making repeated appeals to authority and appeals to consensus. Both are irrelevant to scientific discovery. You should know this if you teach science.

    You say:
    “Uncertainty in the feedback does not automatically mean it is at the low end of the range. It could also be at the high end of the range.”

    The data emphatically points to the low end, does it not?

    You say:
    “The low end would already mean serious problems in the future…”

    That is unsubstantiated. Also, why we always have to ignore known positives is odd. Greening of deserts and increased crop yields seem like good things to me.

    Pleasure talking with you, but I don’t make a habit of arguing on the internet, so I’ll leave it at that and bid you adieu. Have my own work too. Best.

  60. You are making repeated appeals to authority and appeals to consensus. Both are irrelevant to scientific discovery. You should know this if you teach science.

    Well, of course. But I know the authorities. some of them even personally. I understand their methods, their training, and their competence, having lived in the same world as they do for many years. I can check a good fraction of what they say against my own expert knowledge. And at every point that their work overlaps my own professional expertise, I can independently see that they’re doing things right. There is some extrapolation involved to the parts in which I am not as expert, but it’s a pretty small leap.

    For a good takedown of this line of reasoning, have a look at this from Orac’s blog:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2010/03/24/hostility-towards-a-scientific-consensus/

  61. So what, this AGW is becoming ridiculous, science is all about discussion and providing some proof of a hypothesis or hypotheses. Skeptics or other qualified scientists have refuted the data and there is more in the press etc., at name calling than before, because the tables have turned. Orac’s blog, weren’t they those nasty creatures who tried to kill those off in the trilogy of Lord of the rings. No Orcs sorry. LOL.

  62. bushbunny — Science is indeed about providing proof of hypotheses. However, as an astronomer, I don’t spend a lot of time wrestling with the question of whether the heliocentric model of the planetary system is correct.

    And when you say “Skeptics or other qualified scientists have refuted the data …. ” — I’m sorry, but none of these claims has stood up to scrutiny. This blog provides a torrent of such claims, which is meant to give the impression that there’s real debate about the validity of AGW among qualified scientists, but quantity is no substitute for quality — there is simply no real debate. The proof of this is that not a single coherent argument against the basic picture of AGW has appeared in the professional literature in a long, long time.

    This is not because scientists are ideological, or hoodwinked by groupthink, or whatever — it’s because the actual scientific debate is long since over with.

  63. @palindrom Apologies for the ad hominem rants directed at you. Some people cannot stay civil and polite.

  64. palindrom says:
    May 6, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    philjourdan –
    Are you thinking, by any chance, of the Oregon Petition? 30,000 fools claiming to be scientists on the intertubes do not, in my opinion, outweigh the mass of meticulously researched and vetted literature, and the careful, expert work of the real scientific community
    ==============================================================
    Actually go to the OP site. All your slander is effectively debunked. However the Oregon petition does not dispute the CS of doubled CO2 within a reasonable range. (So in this sense they are part of the 97% studies which are very poorly done., in that they ONLY agree that humans activity have contributed to some GW.) That, BTW is the only consesous, and it is meaningless with regard to the “C” in CAGW.
    I suggest you read the NIPCC state of the climate report. There you will find thosands of references to real world observations and experiments (peer reviewed) which effectively castigate the “C” in CAGW. BTW, the G and the W are currently MIA for the past two decades as well.

    Do not tell me how smart you and your friends are. That is meaningless drivel. All it may prove is that you can more readily assimilate a complicated wrong theory. Getting the wrong answer quickly is nothing to brag about.

  65. Wow. Just, wow.

    One last time (though jourdan will accuse me of lying of I decide to comment again) — There is not a single coherent argument against AGW theory that stands up to expert scrutiny. If there were such an argument, it would be in play in the professional literature.

    M. Bourbon — Thanks – have a good day!

    • Wow just wow – You said it. When you lie, your lie is apparent.

      There is not a single argument you have made that has disproven the null hypothesis. Ergo, there is no argument to be made against AGW as it is not a theory! it is not even an hypothesis!

      And you purport to teach? No wonder Johnny can’t read. No wonder our education system sucks.

  66. Palindrom, gosh I hope you are not related to Sarah Palin? LOL. Pollution, (anything that is caused by human activity) agricultural sustainability, fresh water supplies contaminated unnaturally, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, disease, tornadoes or hurricanes, cyclones, typhoons, and famine, kill people in their thousands. Political and war displacement of small farming communities, causes famines,and as we are seeing in Nigeria right now girls kidnapped by terrorists. Where was the UN then, and now. Did they intervene? No! They pick on the developed countries because we can offer aid to their UNCCF.

    Pollution, agricultural sustainability, fresh water supplies contaminated, famines, yes they are human made. But human activity can not globally change the climate, nor the weather that kills us.

    Pollution especially air pollution can be corrected, fresh water supplies a bit more difficult if it is subterranean water, surface coal fires can be stopped, (very very expensive though) and agricultural sustainability can be greatly improved in most countries.

    But one can not ignore, Earth is an ice planet, and through our geological history, before humans became a fixture, we have gone through cycles of ice and cold periods, warmer interstadials or interglacials, and these weather events that kill people, have been around forever. Disease of course has increased. Although science is combating the real killers, that are mostly water born.

    And to say nothing has been published by skeptics is unusual for an academic. I’ve read lots.
    So if it is published, it can be discussed openly and challenged Whatever one’s point of view or world view. The thing we are discussing is not that what has been published is correct just because it is published! But the availability of the so called science that has formed that hypothesis. You know quite well, that corrupting the data to prove the hypothesis, goes on in academic circles. And if data is rushed before evidence is universally examined and taken into account, a one sided hypothesis, (a no no in academic circles) that has been picked up by the UNIPCC with strong underlying agendas, mainly social/political/economic, is not proof of human made climate change. We just aren’t that powerful despite our numbers.

    • Just been reading “The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science” (A W Montford, Stacey International, London, 2010) again. Palindrom should read this – it destroys utterly the Hockey Stick reconstruction of past temperatures of Michael Mann, and the papers allegedly supposed to confirm his conclusions.

      Palindrom should also read “Heaven and Earth”, and “How to get expelled from school” by Professor Ian Plimer (University of Adelaide, Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne. The latter book is published by Connor Court Publishing, Ballan, Victoria, 2011, and includes a list of additional references published since the former book (also Connor Court). It is basically an update of the former, but written for parents and school children to counteract the bad science being foisted on them at school.

      For light reading try “The Weather Makers Re-examined: Tim Flannery’s best seller under the spotlight of climate change realism” by D Weston Allen, Irenic Publications, Duranbah, NSW, 2011. This goes over Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” (2005) with a fine tooth comb. As Mr Allan states in the preface: “If ‘The Weather Makers’ ‘ core message is correct, and we fail to act now, our great-great-grandchildren face a bleak future. If we now act on its advice, and it is essentially wrong, we too face a needlessly impoverished future. We therefore need to know whether it is right or wrong, where it is right or wrong and why. That is the aim of this comprehensive and in depth analysis of ‘The Weather Makers’.” “This review critiques “The Weather Makers” chapter by chapter and paragraph by paragraph, even where it is repetitive.” “

  67. I admire Anthony because he allows the other side to have their turn and voice. But I find most are without substance and somewhat infantile. Because it just makes us skeptics more resolved to shoot them down (hypotheticaly) because as we know we’ve heard their whinges and nastiness before and before, and before. By allowing them to have a voice, gives us an insight not only in their mentality but their bias and lack of knowledge on the subject.

  68. Dudley Horscroft says:
    May 8, 2014 at 12:08 am

    First of all, palindrom should read Dr. Ball’s book and refute it, instead of hurling insult form a position of ignorance.

  69. Thanks Tim. I enjoy your reasoned comments. The blinkered nuts will rant, but, of course, anyone who won’t show the data supporting their position, is to be ignored.

  70. O/T Anthony I got one reply from my Fed MP about UWA refusal to share data. One MP said it belonged to the MP in charge of tertiary education more than him, he has a portfolio on industry and environment. Will wait for the reply with interest.

Comments are closed.