Climate Audit is down

While we are on the subject of hardware failure (such as has hit the DMSP satellite NSIDC and Cryosphere Today use) Climate Audit is down due to a file system or HD error. It happens. I’m on my way to the Colo (90 miles away) to effect a repair. Comments may be delayed for a few hours if other moderators aren’t online.


The Climate Audit server is in fact RAIDed, I built it that way for just such an emergency, but some corrupted data was written before the one disk of the array failed. Since I could not stay at the CoLo all day, I’ve brought the CA server to my office for repairs. Hopefully the RAID rebuild goes smoothly (it takes several hours) and I’ll be able to repair the problem areas. Hard drives were both new, RAID quality units, with 3 year warranty. One failed 1.5 years into the warranty – that’s Murphy for ya.

Wish me luck, otherwise I have to rebuild from scratch and restore from backups which is also a chore.

Just for those who like to know about hardware, here is what Climate Audit runs on:

3.4 GHz Intel Pentium D CPU


RAID1 Dual Western Digital 250GB SATAII drives with 16MB cache ram

Running Linux with WordPress in LAMP config

1u Intel Server enclosure like this one:



Thanks to those who hit the tip jar.


One hard drive of the RAID failed. Now before you panic let me say I anticipated this (but like 2 years from now) and this was a RAIDed system with two drives setup to mirror. Normally when one drive fails, I can unplug the other and reboot the system and it will come up and run on the one, then I can install a new second drive and rebuild the RAID, and off we go.

I’ve done that dozens of times in my own systems. It is why I built the CA server the way I did. It is an identical server to 15 others I’m running here.

But for some reason known only to Murphy, this time when the system failed sometime last night, it appears it wrote corrupted data to the “good” drive before the full hardware failure. So at the moment the system is unbootable.

The good news is that most everything should be recoverable, but it takes time. If I can’t repair the boot sector on the good drive, then we have to rebuild two new drives from scratch, mount the one good drive, and pull files over. Though I don’t know just yet how much corruption there is and how much of it can be fixed.

The annoying thing is that these mirrored Western Digital 250GB drives had only 1.5 years on them, and less that 10% full. They were brand new when I purchased and installed them specifically for CA. They have a 3 year warranty. They’ve been in a temperature controlled and dust controlled environment at the CoLo. For one to totally fail now is quite the surprise. I wasn’t all that worried about regular backups due to the RAID mirroring, now the RAID fails with the drive.

I was able to rebuild the RAID, but it appears that the boot sector is corrupted. This will require a mount from a CDROM boot and fix the file system and make copies that way.

Best laid plans….

I anticipate it will be Monday evening before CA is back up and running.

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February 21, 2009 10:06 am

Off Topic!
Did you realise this site is now the repository of all wisdom and knowledge on the truth of global warming?
The UK Telegraph says so 😉

Hugo M
February 21, 2009 10:24 am

Anthony, telling from the diagnostics appearing on my screen when accessing CA, the problem is a read-only mounted filesystem for /tmp and /var.

John G. Bell
February 21, 2009 10:41 am

Actually the OS has made those filesystems read only likely due to some sort of filesystem error. That could easily be due to hardware error, disk, memory, power or the like. The OS is trying to save the filesystem from further corruption by preventing writing.

February 21, 2009 11:37 am

Quite important the article in the UK Telegraph, now WUWT is in the front line against wrong data. GWrs must be trembling!

Fred Gams
February 21, 2009 11:40 am

RAID is your friend, use it!

February 21, 2009 11:44 am

Trust WUWT to be first with the news. I was about to post a message asking if anyone else was having trouble.
Is it worth blogging about?
You bet it is.

Paul Penrose
February 21, 2009 12:09 pm

Thanks for dropping everything and running out to repair it Anthony. Your efforts are very much appreciated.

February 21, 2009 12:12 pm

Have a safe trip!

February 21, 2009 12:13 pm

Remote administration is a pain especially when you have to physically go to the site for what will probably turn out to be a 10 minute job.
One of my computers is in an inaccessible place so I used a motherboard with Intel Active Management features. This allows me to remotely cycle the power and select a device to boot from (via a web browser). I’ve put in a DVD that boots a full linux system so if it gets into a state whereby it cant boot from the hard drive I can remotely boot it from the DVD. So far I’ve had to use it twice, both due to power failures, and I managed to get on it both times to repair the filesystem.
Its something you might want to consider, after all, think of all those CO2 emissions from the 180 mile round trip.

February 21, 2009 12:23 pm

Hugo M (10:24:09) :

Anthony, telling from the diagnostics appearing on my screen when accessing CA, the problem is a read-only mounted filesystem for /tmp and /var.

Stupidly I didn’t log the error output. He who’s name we must not mention would be very unhappy with me.

February 21, 2009 12:48 pm

Why not do what other climate sites do; go ahead post corrupted data and only bother to correct it if someone notices? 😉

February 21, 2009 1:13 pm

Hey, this is almost a relevant thread for:
Blog Stats
* 9,000,454 hits
and counting…
Congrats, many happy returns and many happy readers, but remember you
can’t please everyone. 🙂
BTW, above that text, the headings are:
[select category]
When you get a chance, please restore “A” to whatever it was months ago.
I hope the CA repairs go well.

February 21, 2009 1:15 pm

Seems like the real “team” hangs around WUWT and CA! Donation is to help defray some of the expenses.

Pierre Gosselin
February 21, 2009 1:48 pm

Concerning the excellent Telegraph report, it’s obvious that the Beeb and like media are politically motivated and could give a rat’s butt about verfiying information. We’ve entered a new media disinformation era. They really think they can establish a new reality by repeating lies.
I’m glad to say that I was involved in calling the NSIDC for what it is: a institute that is in shambles.
But I’ll respect Anthony’s request that we be respectful of Dr. Meier. Personally, the NSIDC doesn’t deserve the respect as they have made their bias clear months ago.
Thank you UK Telegraph!!
You’re website is a daily must visit for me.

February 21, 2009 1:57 pm

The only thing that makes me nervous about this article is that the guy who is writing it has shown some interesting views on other scientific ideas:
Via his long-running column in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, Booker has claimed that man-made global warming was “disproved” in 2008[1], that white asbestos is “chemically identical to talcum powder” and poses a “non-existent risk” to human health[2], that “scientific evidence to support [the] belief that inhaling other people’s smoke causes cancer simply does not exist”[3] and that there is “no proof that BSE causes CJD in humans”[4]. He has also defended the theory of Intelligent Design, maintaining that Darwinians “rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions”.[5]
His scientific views have resulted in the initiation of the “Christopher Booker Prize 2009” [6] offered for producing clap-trap about climate change.

Reply to  Mark
February 23, 2009 5:19 am

that “scientific evidence to support [the] belief that inhaling other people’s smoke causes cancer simply does not exist”
It doesn’t exist. Or rather, about 6 out of 7 studies indicate no risk, and in a few cases show a positive benefit.
He has also defended the theory of Intelligent Design, maintaining that Darwinians “rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions”.
Booker recently wrote about the adulation heaped upon Darwin, and some of the difficulties with the theory of evolution. It did not amount to a defence of Intelligent Design.
Personally I don’t have any problem with the theory of evolution. But I’m pretty thoroughly sick of Darwin sycophancy in general, and Richard Dawkins in particular. To that extent, Booker’s debunking of Darwinists came as a welcome change. Particularly since he joined it with an attack on global warming simplemindedness.
Finally, both the neutrality and factual accuracy of the Wikipedia article about Christopher Booker are disputed.

Hugo M
February 21, 2009 2:16 pm

Well, MartinGAtkins, the name of the ancient god you are refusing to articulate is certainly Lucifer — stemming from lat. “lux” and “ferre”: he who brought the light to mankind …

February 21, 2009 2:17 pm

think of all those CO2 emissions from the 180 mile round trip.
Especially with all those big heavy batteries Anthony lugs around in his car. :o)
I think we should have a whip round for the tip jar. Whose in?

Leon Brozyna
February 21, 2009 2:29 pm

Hi Yo Silver, Away!

February 21, 2009 2:29 pm

The number of times I’ve warned clients to BACK-UP the DATA! Of course, all my backups are up 3 months old…. but no one is hanging on my every syllable or meme. I may have more to say about “memes” later. Talk about pseudo-science!

Mark T
February 21, 2009 2:46 pm

Did I read that correctly, the server is in Colorado? If so, there are at least a few of us that live here (MrPete and I are in Colorado Springs).
Repy: Colo as in Colocation Center. ~ charles the moderator

Mark T
February 21, 2009 3:15 pm

Gotcha. I did misread that then.

February 21, 2009 3:20 pm

rephelan (14:29:29) :
The number of times I’ve warned clients to BACK-UP the DATA! Of course, all my backups are up 3 months old…

There are two types of computer user. Those who have lost data, and those who are going to…
My faithful old tosh lappy died at Christmas time. My backup was three months old too…
When CA comes back up I’ll drop something in the tip jar there too, towards the RAID system someone mentioned ^upthere.

Larry Sheldon
February 21, 2009 3:20 pm

“colo” — “co-location” — datacenter with for rent or hire rack-space/rackspace-eit-computer, and so on.
If I remember my California Geography, I’m thinking the colo must be in Sacramento or Suison of Fairfield.

February 21, 2009 3:23 pm

Perhaps we could get someone like Sun Microsystems or IBM to sponsor some hardware with remote console access. I never leave home without it, or rather I never leave home because of it.

February 21, 2009 3:29 pm

A whip around the tip jar?
That remark alone is worth $20 !

Sam the Skeptic
February 21, 2009 3:57 pm

Read Booker & North’s book “Scared to Death”. I’m not sure about his take on Darwinism which I think is only meant to be a bit provocative(!) but there are cogent arguments for the other things you mention.
The biggest survey ever carried out on the second-hand smoke scam was commissioned by the American Cancer Society which “forgot” to publish the results when it came up with the “wrong” answer.

February 21, 2009 4:04 pm

Ceolfrith (10:06:17) :
The UK Telegraph says so 😉

You couldn’t make it up if you tried !!! Brilliant incompetence:
From the referenced article by a famed climate columnist
This scientific howler provoked much amusement and derision on expert US blogs, such as Anthony Watts’s Watts Up With That – since “negative feedback” would lower temperatures rather than raise them. The BBC soon pulled its video.
NEGATIVE FEEDBACK LOWERS TEMPERATURE!!!! (it stabilises temperature!)
How long before this howler gets corrected/pulled

February 21, 2009 4:28 pm

The co-location center is run by somewhere near Sacramento, so Anthony has to drive 90 miles in order to boot the server in single user mode and use fsck
I wonder if he’s driving 90 miles in his electric car? Can it reach there on one charge?

Mr Green Genes
February 21, 2009 4:32 pm

Mark (13:57:12):-
“His scientific views have resulted in the initiation of the “Christopher Booker Prize 2009″ [6] offered for producing clap-trap about climate change.”
True, but since that was instituted by George Monbiot who is one the most colossally stupid people ever to write on the subject of climate change, that is really a plus point. The Grauniad has many odd people writing for it; Monbiot is definitely amongst their number.

February 21, 2009 4:46 pm

Negative feedback only stabilises according to a classification which seems to be unique to Earth Sciences.
According to engineering and mathematics (disciplines that have a record of making things that work in practice), feedback can be stable or unstable, whether positive or negative.
Let’s try not to be too harsh on the journalists for being confused by the terminology.

February 21, 2009 4:50 pm

John A

The co-location center is run by somewhere near Sacramento, so Anthony has to drive 90 miles in order to boot the server in single user mode and use fsck

See my comment at 12:13:00. Its cheap and it works.

Just want truth...
February 21, 2009 5:15 pm

“Paul Penrose (12:09:28) : Thanks for dropping everything and running out to repair it Anthony. Your efforts are very much appreciated.”
I second that. Thanks Anthony!

February 21, 2009 5:48 pm

Bad news about the Server! Hope it gets sorted fine and no data loss!
I have a question. Would it be possible to create regular articles which could be sent to leading newspapers world wide or perhaps to members of WUWT in different countries who can forward these to the major newspapers of their countries. I ask this because that is what our nemesis is doing. The people at IPCC are sending their reports to every newspaper in the world! and it gets syndicated and millions of people get to be brainwashed. It’s cooling now and there is still propaganda coming out. And I approach people and tell them it’s all false, it’s propaganda, and people think I’m loopy.
We need to get our voice out and correct this false ideology that we are causing the planets downfall. It’s in so pervasive in popular culture that all the brain-dead Main Stream Media Info feeders are seriously scared about getting toasted the day after tomorrow.
I have been writing articles for a few of the major newspapers in South Africa referencing stuff I see on this site, but my writing is appalling and I probably do more damage than good.
I would appreciate if we could perhaps have a fortnightly or monthly article with evidence and important events that I could forward to all the editors of the major newspapers in South Africa. They are all keen to put articles in, and as far as I can see are open to debate regarding AGW.
I would like to get something like this going and I’m sure other Climate Change Activists would be happy to forward these articles to relevant media outlets in their area.
many thanks for this wonderful resource.

February 21, 2009 6:26 pm

Maybe the server was too close to a barbeque grill.

February 21, 2009 7:13 pm

90 miles sounds like maybe Sacramento? If you could benefit from some added hands or eyes on the problem, let me know. Done more ‘dead of night colo hardware reconstructions’ than I care to think about. Generally good with everything from PCs to Suns to mainframes…
Built up a 16 processor Sun server one weekend. They ‘client’ asked me to ‘bring up his server’ (insert boot CD, answer config script think I) but neglected to tell me it was a bunch of boxes of ‘repair parts’. He had discovered he could buy parts cheaper than a whole new machine. There were a few ‘release level’ issues but I did manage to make a 12 processor box go… Things you run into as a ‘consultant’…
Mark (13:57:12) : Via his long-running column in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph, Booker has claimed that man-made global warming was “disproved” in 2008[1],
I’m OK with that. A little late to the party, but substantially right.
that white asbestos is “chemically identical to talcum powder” and poses a “non-existent risk” to human health[2],
What? I think… from the wiki’s on talc and asbestos we get:
white asbestos is: Mg3[Si2O5](OH)4
talc is: Mg3Si4O10(OH)2
Mighty darned similar… A bet less Mg per silicate and a bit fewer OH, but close enough to be at least thought of as first cousins… (Or more Si2O5 and less OH per Mg)
Further down under Talc safety we get:
Several studies have established preliminary links between talc and pulmonary issues,[4] lung cancer,[5][6] skin cancer and ovarian cancer.[7] This is a major concern considering talc’s widespread commercial and household use. In 1993, a US National Toxicology Program report found that cosmetic grade talc caused tumours in animals (animal testing), even though it contained no asbestos-like fibres.[5] Scientists have been aware of the toxicity of talc since the late 1960s, and in 1971 researchers found particles of talc embedded in 75 percent of the ovarian tumors studied.[8] However, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers non-asbestiform talc, that is, talc which does not contain potentially carcinogenic asbestiform amphibole fibers, to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for use in cosmetics. [9]
So it looks like talc and asbestos are similar…
Yeah, so maybe he messed up a ‘talc and asbestos have similar risks’ into ‘asbestos is safe’ when he ought to have gotten ‘talc is not safe’. But with the FDA giving an OK I have to say he has ‘peer review’ on his side 😉
that “scientific evidence to support [the] belief that inhaling other people’s smoke causes cancer simply does not exist”[3]
Well, last time I looked they didn’t. Now I’m a rabid anti-tobacco person (I swell up, turn red, and ‘have issues’ if I don’t clean up after a night of bar hopping) and I’m all for banning the stuff anywhere I might be; but the expectation that 2nd hand smoke causes cancer is more a projection than an established fact. It’s highly confounded by other issues (like shared food, housing, radon, etc…). The possibility exists that cancer has a ‘threshold dose’ and that 2nd hand smoke is below that threshold.
(Heck, there is even some evidence that small amounts of some toxins and carcinogens stimulate more immune response than they cause problems: i.e. they are mildly protective. Now I don’t want folks to know that too much because I like smoke free air, but, well, the 2nd hand smoke issue is more about politics than facts…)
and that there is “no proof that BSE causes CJD in humans”[4].
It is speculated to cause variant CJD, but it’s not exactly like you can go shooting people up with BSE juice to prove it… CJD has at least 2 factors (one is genetic, the other is likely a prion) and maybe 3 (random protein folding error). Good luck sorting out causality in that stew. So ‘proof’? Not much. Strong correlation? Probably. Confounding causes? You bet (at least one genetic fault leading to variant folding of the protein and at least a few cases caused by spontaneous (radiation?) bad folding.) Oh, and animals other than cows may be an issue too… Would I eat a BSE steak? Not on your life. Proof? Too high a standard, but not proven yet; just very very strongly correlated. (Well, ‘yet’ in this sentence is as of 5 years ago when I was on my BSE ‘kick’ and attending presentations about it by then current researchers. Maybe by now they have more than then…)
He has also defended the theory of Intelligent Design, maintaining that Darwinians “rest their case on nothing more than blind faith and unexamined a priori assumptions”.[5]
Darwinians are not the same as Darwin. Oddly, Darwin was a creationist. He felt that evolution was simply a means by which God elaborated His creation. “Darwinians” vs “Intelligent Design” is, in fact, an oxymoron. There is no real conflict between Darwin and his God…
So once you get past the idea that Darwin asserted spontaneous generation of life (when he did not), well, “Darwinians” who assert God does not exists are not basing that hypothesis on Darwin! What they are basing it on is left as an exercise for the student…
So, where does this leave me? Booker seems like a generally smart fellow who has most of his facts straight and is maybe a bit too skeptical of what is ‘established science’ but frankly, his positions are more correct that the opposite of each of the above hypotheses. (AGW is proven, Talc is completely unlike asbestos, CJD comes only from BSE, Darwin proved there is no God and no Creation).
Sounds to me like a bright guy with whom it would be fun to have a long discussion of the world… (Though I would have to tell him to put away the talcum powder and avoid the asbestos underwear …)
His scientific views have resulted in the initiation of the “Christopher Booker Prize 2009″ [6] offered for producing clap-trap about climate change.
“My enemies enemy…” I’d buy him a beer.

February 21, 2009 7:13 pm

So much for Linux Reliability.

February 21, 2009 7:26 pm

Being a Systems Admin myself I sympathize with your ordeal. RAID rebuilds and restore from backup are never fun but sometimes necessary. Try not to stare at the progress bar for too long 🙂
I came across a mention of the NSIDC “sensor drift” via drudgereport… sadly, no mention of you or WUWT calling it out first.

Antonio San
February 21, 2009 7:35 pm

Best luck to climateaudit repairs…

February 21, 2009 7:38 pm

So much for Linux Reliability. (What criticism of Linux is not allowed here?)

February 21, 2009 7:42 pm

RAID 1 – a mirror? OK, I’d use RAID 5 and a third disk, but a mirror is usually OK, just the recovery takes longer… and sometimes it isn’t so clear to the OS which disk is the good one until after the OS has duped the bad data onto the good one… but i think you may be discovering that 8-}
You ought to be able to get three disks into the enclosure (you might need to use physically smaller sized disks). Maybe not worth it if this is just a once every 2 years thing…

February 21, 2009 7:43 pm

At times like this I am grateful for knowing nothing about computers. Well, ok, not quite nothing, I know where the on button is and how to use the little rodent thingy (although why it has clicky things on both the left and the right will always be a mystery).
In the early days of my own feeble blog I mentioned that I didn’t know how to create links. A very kind soul, and regular reader and contributor here, went to great trouble to explain it to me. I felt so guilty because he might as well have written it in Swahili for all it meant to me.
Those of you who understand these things should be grateful for the ignorant like me. We provide you with work and give you an admiring audience.
Not that I am glorying in my ignorance. I save that for my comments about “global climate warming change” as it should now be known.

Larry Sheldon
February 21, 2009 7:50 pm

If the colo is in the old Pacific Telephone Revenue Accounting Center on Watt, the problem could be the lawn on the roof leaking again.

February 21, 2009 8:23 pm

With Climate Audit being down Gavin Schmidt will have nothing to read.

February 21, 2009 8:26 pm

I’m getting withdrawal symptoms…

February 21, 2009 9:18 pm

Anthony, “yer a good guy and a bookworm”, as we used to say in high school (“gentleman” and “scholar” were sort of beyond our ken in the 60’s…) maybe it’s time Steve upgraded to running two servers with a roll-over capability. I used to really hate that monopoly which should never be named, but I’ve had good experiences with their server products and they actually have programs (promotions, not digital instruction sets) that will let you lease thousands of dollars worth of software for about $300 per year. You and Steve both are becoming a bit too important for single-server operations…. maybe even single site operations. The hardware you are describing has to be less than a grand, so let’s hit the tip jar, folks!

February 21, 2009 9:25 pm

OT: an AGW leaning survey found 36% meteorologists are against AGW

Paul Penrose
February 21, 2009 10:26 pm

Who cares? Science isn’t about consensus, even if you agree with it.

February 21, 2009 10:59 pm

Raid 5 if possible, yes.

Brendan H
February 21, 2009 11:58 pm

EM Smith: “Oddly, Darwin was a creationist. He felt that evolution was simply a means by which God elaborated His creation.”
Darwin’s religious views – whatever they were – are irrelevant to the theory of evolution. Science is based on methodological naturalism, and therefore evolutionary theory does not address the existence or otherwise of God or a creator.
“Darwinians” vs “Intelligent Design” is, in fact, an oxymoron.”
“Darwinians”, ‘Darwinism’ and ‘Darwinist’ are often used as code words by creationists and IDers to refer to the theory of evolution. Booker seems to be using the terms in this way.
This wordplay tries to imply that evolution is an ideology, and by extension tries to create a false equivalence between evolutionary theory and intelligent design. No such equivalence exists. Evolution is a theory about how life evolved. Intelligent design is an attempt to establish the existence of a creator.
It’s true that some evolutionists use the theory to promote atheism, but that is not the practice of science and one need not be an atheist to accept evolution. However, one needs to be a believer of some sort to accept intelligent design.
Booker’s questioning of evolution does not necessarily show that his views on other scientific matters are bogus, but it does bring into question the quality of his understanding of science.

February 22, 2009 12:40 am

In an inspired ten minutes I wrote an absolutely brilliant piece that scientifically completely demolished the whole concept of AGW. Unfortunately it seems to have failed to land at the CA server and I forgot to keep a copy. Can I still have a Nobel prize please?

February 22, 2009 3:07 am

Anthony, if the level 1 RAID system is one of those dedicated IDE cards which pin on to the motherboard’s IDE headers and does the mirroring – beware. I had the same disc corruption problems running SuSE on an X86 publicly accessible webserver 8 years ago. Surely there is a skeptical ISP CEO out there who would like to donate some extra rack space for a dedicated external RAID box mirroring WUWT and CA?
Keep hitting the tip jar people, we need Anthony and Steve to keep these services running for us.

February 22, 2009 3:28 am

Oh for shame! YOu didnt back up. One of the most common raid deaths is catostrophic hard drive failure. It happens a lot more than you would think and usually its the stinkin drive 0. It is so not difficult to set up a daily back up, to a different machine, and have it save days seperately, that do not overwrite for a week. That way if you data is pooched on the latest back up, you can step back, up to 7 days to get ahead of the corruption and at least rescue the majority of your data. But also check with WD, they may have a trick or two on their site.

February 22, 2009 3:34 am

Beware hijacking of this thread by the Evolution / Creation shindig.
But it would be nice to run something along these lines under its own thread (with extremely strict moderating like Breathe Deeply Ten Times First, Ad Homs will be Shot, Fundies Go Home) because I think there too, open and creative debate, whereby each side can usefully learn from the other side, has been hijacked by fundamentalists, and it would be nice to see both fundamentalisms thoughtfully deconstructed.
Now please, back to thread topic. CA and WUWT are too precious. Can we distribute the load, backup or mirror material? How curious, just as we find NSICS problems, it hits here too. I found this very interesting blog duplicating a couple of QUQT posts a couple of days ago. It set me thinking about possibilities. I try to pull my weight (click on my name, go to our forum) but I’m not a heavyweight.

February 22, 2009 3:37 am

Jordan (16:46:22) :
Negative feedback only stabilises according to a classification which seems to be unique to Earth Sciences.
According to engineering and mathematics (disciplines that have a record of making things that work in practice), feedback can be stable or unstable, whether positive or negative.

Negative feedback that causes instability has turned into positive feedback by phase change. It is no negative feedback any more in my simple engineer’s brain!
Let’s try not to be too harsh on the journalists for being confused by the terminology.

Look, he’s the one to complain and mock the BBC for their use of negative instead of positive feedback. All he has done is inverted the error and therefore deserves all the same mocking!

February 22, 2009 4:06 am

A true scientist must question. They have too or they wouldnt be a scientist.
Questioning Something, can be a good thing. it forces people to find the facts that prove their hypothesis.
Science questions, once there is an Apparent answer, it stops being science., and becomes dogma. (code of beliefs accepted as authoritative, Which is what they are saying AGW is.) So the people running the fear of agw, are no longer scientists. they Never question, Whether this is due to fear of loss of job, or blindness. These people are no longer scientists in the truest sense of the term.

MS in Illinois
February 22, 2009 4:30 am

We had some drive failures a couple of years ago. At the time, we had a mix of manufacturers, but one particular manufacturers drive were failing much more often then others. Did some research, and found others had similar experiences. I will not mention who it is, but we now avoid this particular manufacturer and use Seagate drives if possible.

Reply to  MS in Illinois
February 23, 2009 5:06 am

Hmmm…after having various HDD’s as well, a Seagate one was the first that crashed after only 2.5 years of standard office use……

February 22, 2009 4:53 am

Brendan H, without getting far from climate, which is the purpose of WUWT:
It’s very appropriate to discuss the prevalence of “true believers” in science.
To discuss this in evolutionary terms, we need to be a bit more precise. First, let’s leave speciation (micro-evolution) aside. That’s not a question of origins of life. And that involves simple (?!) observation.
Now, with respect to evolution of life — from non-life to life, the question of origins. Such “general” evolution is an extension of the speciation model well beyond our ability to calibrate. Very similar to what is being done with GCM’s.
Examining the record of scientific publication, you will find in recent years a very similar trend to what we are seeing in climate science. As various theories are raised, and disproven by the facts, the “true believers” have become ever-more strident in asserting that facts don’t matter, and in proposing ever more fanciful theories to support their deeply held convictions about origins.***
That sounds like people acting on a set of beliefs to me. It looks very much the same certain arenas of climate science as well.
This is a common theme in science. The existing “consensus” has a hard time switching from what they have long believed, to a new understanding. I’m old enough to remember the switch to continental drift — particularly because one of my best friends in high school in the 1970’s had an uncle who got a lot of grief as he worked to publish evidence for plate tectonics theory.
It’s interesting how often the crackpots of yesteryear eventually are discovered to have discovered something significant.
*** So far, they’ve found there were no “billlllions of years” (~50m max last I checked), there was no primordial “soup”, there are problems everywhere you look. One of the emerging “mainstream” hypotheses is a punt: life originated so quickly here, it could not be evolutionary… so it must have been brought here by intelligence from outer space. [And how did it get _there_?] If you would like to read up on a surprising, truly scientific set of falsifiable hypotheses regarding naturalistic vs supernaturalistic origins, check out I was surprised — didn’t think it was possible. Extensive mainstream journal references. These guys are not crackpots by any stretch.

February 22, 2009 5:35 am

I saw that the reference number of the comments changed and emailed Steve about that suspecting data base corruption. Steve repied that that due to deletions of posts, the comments were renumbered. This is not practical as people ofte refer to each others comments. That this software fuction like that stands out to me as suspect.
If it this way it really works, I believe snipping is a much better way to go.

February 22, 2009 5:53 am

I previously stated this fault of blogs versus archived literature.

February 22, 2009 6:26 am

I’m with E.M.Smith & others.
RAID 5 is the way to go but obviously there may be problems in a 1U box.

February 22, 2009 6:31 am

Mark ref Booker: Booker is right that white asbestos as used in asbestos cement products is not the dangerous version, other than the usual necessary precautions if machining it and producing dust, but that applies to dust in general. It is fibrous blue asbestos used in pipe lagging that is the danger but lawyers see dollar signs when they see the word asbestos. I wouldn’t use it instead of talc though!
There is absolutely no proof that BSE in cattle ever produced vCJD in humans and the numbers affected are so small that it could always have been there but is now monitored and recorded.
There is no proof that second hand smoke causes cancer in the general population. Individual smoking of tobacco does not directly cause cancer, it increases the risks. If it were cause and effect, everyone who smoked would get cancer and that is patently not the case.

February 22, 2009 7:14 am


There is no proof that second hand smoke causes cancer in the general population

In fact, there is ample evidence that second-hand smoke does not cause cancer in the general population.
The type of lung cancer prevalent among smokers (squamous and oat-cell carcinomas) exhibits a very strong dose-response to the amount of tobacco smoked, whereas the type of lung cancer prevalent among non-smokers (adenocarcinomas) exhibits a zero dose-response.
This was first established in the 1950’s by Sir Austin Bradford-Hill, whose research first established the link between smoking and cancer.

Fred Harwood
February 22, 2009 7:36 am

Thanks, Anthony. Glad to hear that it was just hardware.

George Patch
February 22, 2009 7:41 am

This is the one problem with replication… what if you replicate corruption or a mistake?
I think you had the right solution given the situation, just a bit unlucky.

February 22, 2009 7:57 am

Andrew (19:38:50) :

So much for Linux Reliability. (What criticism of Linux is not allowed here?)

Linux is software. Hardware is hardware. The RAID level for file systems, clustering issues, and other redundancies are an economic decision. Amazon has different requirements and resources than do free blogs.
If ClimateAudit were a megabuck a day business, they might have a VMS cluster and support staff. Given that it’s volunteer time and tip jar supported, an imperfect low cost solution that doesn’t offer five 9s reliability makes sense.
To answer your question, I don’t know of any criticism of Linux that isn’t allowed here, at least as long as it’s on topic. I use Linux at home and work, but there are good reasons to recommend preinstalled systems like Windows and MacOS for non-computer savvy use. I have coworkers with 30 years of computer experience who use both (and multiple Linuxes, multiple Unixes, etc.)
I do like to have hardware close to me – the sound of a failing disk bearing is more important than most preventative maintenance. We often call that provocative maintenance anyway.

February 22, 2009 8:09 am

Raid is o.k. but better to keep a frequent automatic backup. Linux has got a utility called rsync. You can use it for keeping a number of daily (or hourly) backups without using extra diskspace for identical files. (It uses Unix/Linux’s hardlinks).
Suggest you set up a twice-daily rsync to a server in a different physical location (HD does not need to be much larged than your data.) I am using this to backup home folders to a small cheap NAS box.
example, rotation through 9 backups:
cd /mount/nas
rm -rf backup.9
mv backup.8 backup.9
mv backup.7 backup.8
mv backup.6 backup.7
mv backup.5 backup.6
mv backup.4 backup.5
mv backup.3 backup.4
mv backup.2 backup.3
mv backup.1 backup.2
mv backup_home.0 backup.1
rsync -a –delete –progress –exclude-from=/home/xxxxxx/exlude_
list.txt –link-dest=../backup.1 /home/ backup.0/

February 22, 2009 8:45 am

I appreciate the discussion involving my original post about Booker and his credentials ie Abestos and dust, second hand smoke not causing cancer, etc. This is why I love this site. I learn quite a bit about much that I know nothing about. Thanks!!

Pamela Gray
February 22, 2009 8:46 am

However, Candice Pert later discovered that white blood cells gone crazy (via mutations) are the source for smoker-related lung cancers, even in those exposed to second hand smoke. The body’s natural tendency to send white cells (and produce more of them) to the lungs as they are assaulted with smoke and other foreign matter means that there is a greater chance of these cells mutating and becoming cancerous. That also explains why lung cancer is the number one metatastic cancer. White blood cells, be they cancerous or not, live in the bloodstream. That is their home. And they roam the body through this liquid highway. It is likely that before a lung spot is found, cancerous cells, or cells becoming cancerous, have already spread. Most such cells likely die as single cells. But some stop along the way and grow where they are planted. The other thing about white cells is that they can mutate into more than one type of cancer.

February 22, 2009 9:03 am

TCO (05:53:37) :
I previously stated this fault of blogs versus archived literature.

If blogs are remotely archived, such as if they’re not blocking, then they are archived. Shall we quibble about the meaning of “literature”?

February 22, 2009 10:02 am

Checking at (wayback machine):
Most recent entry is dated February 8, 2008
“Material typically becomes available here 6 months (FAQ: ‘or more’) after collection”

Not sure
February 22, 2009 10:18 am

I just started using smartmontools on my server on a friend’s recommendation. He says it gave him early warning of impeding doom with some of his hard drives. Interestingly, his drives were still under warranty too. I wonder if they were Western Digitals?

John G. Bell
February 22, 2009 12:22 pm

Don’t you have a file named backup_mbr in your /boot subdirectory?
/boot> ls -la backup_mbr*
-rw——- 1 root root 512 2008-01-15 15:44 backup_mbr
If so the command to restore the mbr as root if your boot device is /dev/sda is:
dd if=backup_mbr bs=448 count=1 of=/dev/sda
I have also seen:
dd if=backup_mbr bs=512 count =1 of=/dev/sda
The latter includes the partition table information and I would try the former first as it is more conservative. I could not find this in any of my books and haven’t fooled with this for years so be careful. Good luck!
REPLY: I’m sure it does…but Linux is my second language, and for sucha delicate repair I’m waiting for my Linux Guru in Chief to come in to the office Monday morning since I don’t want to make any mistakes – Anthony

Scott Finegan
February 22, 2009 1:41 pm

From experience, Raid 5 is not a panacea.
Drives fail.
Controllers fail and take out the drive(s).
Dedicated Raid Controllers become obsolete, if your system lives long enough. Try to locate a replacement on Saturday evening… or at all.
Backups fail because everyone assumes they are good. Test Test Test!
Backups are real good at saving previously corrupted data.
Corrupt data/programs may cause hardware failure. —> Loop

Nigel Sherratt
February 22, 2009 1:59 pm

A small typo explains a great deal about George Monibot.

February 22, 2009 2:16 pm

I agree with several posts suggesting RAID 5, at least.
Shure I’ve lived about 15 years with a Tandem Nonstop CLX-R, drives had RAID 1.
Never had problems with that ole gadget.
In the last six years, administering quite a bunch of application servers – basically like the one which spoiled your weekend – I’ve had some hard days/nights with that stuff.
Sometimes they are really freaky. May be it’s related to some models / some type of drives, i.e. 36.4 GB Drives in some models did drive me mad, 18.2 GB drive were never a big issue when it came to problems. Have an old Compaq Prolinat server as home server in the cellar. Is running 8 years now. Six 18.2 GB drives.
Never had problems with that, no exchange of drives.
The 36.4 and 78.x GB Drives is another story. At my work, on 2 SAN’s equipped
with them and a total capacity of 1.6 TB, about 2 times per month, we have a drive
which is bad or is starting to become bad.
RAID 1 is only single fault tolerant. RAID 5 is a small step better.
For applications with high reliability, I suggest two fully mirrored servers.
I feel sorry for you, and too, for SaintMc.
Hope the re-build goes smoothly.

February 22, 2009 2:26 pm

thefordprefect (03:37:39) :
Let’s not have a bunfight. If journalists want to mock eachother, then so be it. I don’t want to defend anybody.
The point I wanted to make is that Earth Science strayed from good standard definitions of feedback, and it needs to shoulder some of the responsibility for any resulting confusion.
The mathematical/engineering approach is so simple: in negative feedback, you take one signal away from the other: postive you add them.
Stability analysis can follow with the type of feedback taken as a property of the system – and both types can be stable or unstable (or marginally stable in the specific case of an ideal integrator)
I know what you mean about phase shift, but it would be terribly confusing to talk about negative at some frequencies, positive at some frequencies, and somewhere in between at other frequencies.

Larry Sheldon
February 22, 2009 2:26 pm

Back upstream somebody mad a “so much for infallibility of Linux” remark and I let it go for a while, but I can’t leaveit any longer.
The OS probably had noting what ever to do with it.
And as a “sysadmin” that has scars from before anybody used that stupid term, RAID and Mirrors (not interchangeable terms) are good and at todays prices every high-volume operation ought to use both.
But there are other tools conceptually available, but not being used much it appears.
We used to use periodic backups to safe media and kept “audit trails” (tape records of every transaction as “before” and “after” images).
In the event of a hardware failure (and they don’t all have to be “catastrophic”) repair or replace the hardware, reload from the most recent backups, replay the activity since picking the afterlooks off the audit trail, go back on the air as of seconds (or less) before the failure.
Renegade program? Run the audit trail backward applying beforelooks back to where the trouble started.
Cheaper and people-less is not always “best”.
None of the preceding is a finding of falt with Mr. Watts or his efforts, especially when you consider what he gets paid for his work here.

February 22, 2009 2:32 pm

re, my (KlausB (14:16:36))
I forgot to mention, the SATA drives, especially 2xx GB and bigger,
seem to be worse, we allways have spare parts at our location.
Looks alike, IMHO, as bigger in capacity drives get, and as cheaper they get,
reliability goes down.

February 22, 2009 2:37 pm

And a last one:
The type/size of server, you are describing:
We name them ‘pizza-server’.

February 22, 2009 2:40 pm

REPLY: I’m sure it does…but Linux is my second language, and for such a delicate repair I’m waiting for my Linux Guru in Chief to come in to the office Monday morning since I don’t want to make any mistakes – Anthony
BEFORE playing with boot records and attempting to reboot, the first move is to mount the drive to another system and backup the data partitions.
I once properly mangled a disc with a duff MBR which mounted /root to the swap partition. Not pretty.

John G. Bell
February 22, 2009 3:13 pm

The usual thing to do is to jumper write protect on the old drive and copy what you need over to the new drive that you will replace the original with. Do no harm is one of the first rules of data recovery and the best way to observe it is to only read from the original. This is old hat for a “Linux Guru in Chief”.

John Silver
February 22, 2009 3:36 pm

RAID 1 can not be substituted for back-up.
An important site like this need one extra RAID 1 system for back-up.

Alan Wilkinson
February 22, 2009 4:46 pm

tallbloke, if the mirror has already been rebuilt then there is already a backup. Just don’t mount both drives until you know it is working properly.
Does Raid 5 offer much more? If the software starts writing bad data Raid 5 will be corrupted just as fast as Raid 1?

Joe Black
Reply to  Joe Black
February 23, 2009 4:10 am

There are solid state drives that are still a little expensive for me, but would likely be an improvement to the eventually disappointing spinning drives. In the interim, I’m using little IDE interfaces to SD and flash cards (available at newegg) along with some of the 16GB USB thumb drives for in-computer archive file (typically read only) storage. So far so good.

Joe Black
Reply to  Joe Black
February 23, 2009 8:20 am

Compact Flash. These have worked the best for me. 8GB ones so far.

February 22, 2009 4:51 pm

Maybe a dumb question, but what distro are we talking about?
REPLY: Ubuntu

February 22, 2009 5:58 pm

This is probably redundant to Tallbloke’s observation, but redundancy is the heart and soul of good recovery. When a system fails, Install the drives as secondaries in a good system and copy everything. Don’t fiddle around. Do NOT try to access files on the disk, but DO run diagnostics. Return the drives to the original system and THEN try to recover. I often start my recovery efforts with a boot disk using a different operating system, just to check the hardware. A windows 98 recovery disk will boot on almost any hardware but will not be able to alter anything on a drive unless you tell it to… as John Bell noted above… “first, do no harm”. If windows 98 can’t find your drive at all, it’s probably no longer there.
RAID may provide redundancy, but it’s not BACKUP. A striped drive is fine for bad clusters, but if the drive fails…. automatically writing boot-sector changes to a secondary drive is just bad practice. John Silver was right as far as he went (can I be Ben Gunn?) but secure backup is transmitting data (and DATA only!) to another server and to off-line media that can be remounted.
I hate to be a shill for a monolithic software company, but there is a product out there that allows you to run a number of “virtual servers” on a single piece of hardware. Each virtual server can have its own net address and will look, for all intents and purposes, like a real box. It even has an “undo” feature, meaning that if a bad configuration gets implemented, the whole problem just be evaporated (ahhh.. along with whatever data was created during that time period…) BUT you can link a number of virtual servers into a server farm living on two or more physical pieces of hardware and have them replicate to each other.
Technology can be good.

Mark Smith
February 22, 2009 5:59 pm

As others have said, WUWT and CA are so valuable to us. I’ve no idea if it would help, but I have 500 gigabytes of unused space in my Dreamhost account, and I’d certainly be happy to offer it as a place to back up these important sites. What size of data would we be dealing with?
I’m sure others would do the same – we could end up with a widely distributed and redundant backup situation. Those of us with suitable facilities could even automate the process of distributing the backups, so that the WUWT/CA would only need to make one or two backups, which would then propagate around all the volunteers…wouldn’t matter if some failed or disappeared. Could be encrypted if Anthony and Steve are concerned about it being misused…
A couple of cron jobs on the WUWT/CA servers and all the valuable data is safe…
The offer is there in principle, anyway.
REPLY: Thanks Once it is back up and running we’ll explore the options. – Anthony

John Silver
Reply to  Mark Smith
February 22, 2009 11:21 pm

I volunteer!

Reply to  Mark Smith
February 23, 2009 12:34 am

Another volunteer here, plenty of room on my hosting account.

Brendan H
February 22, 2009 10:30 pm

Mr Pete: “Now, with respect to evolution of life — from non-life to life, the question of origins.”
At the moment, as far I understand it, the origin of life is somewhat speculative, although there’s no particular reason why life could not have arisen from inanimate matter – after all, living things are composed of matter.
Once again, science operates on a basis of methodological naturalism. If you start including speculations about non-naturalistic influences, you’re not doing science, you’re doing something else such as theology or philosophy.
“If you would like to read up on a surprising, truly scientific set of falsifiable hypotheses regarding naturalistic vs supernaturalistic origins, check out”
Thanks for the link. I will check it out.

Geoff Sherrington
February 23, 2009 2:20 am

Climate Audit still down? Maybe they tried nested comments too, but ones that work the other way by deleting the previous level and replacing it with a blank.

February 23, 2009 4:42 am

“I anticipate it will be Monday evening before CA is back up and running”
It won’t be Monday, it’s going to be longer than that.

February 23, 2009 4:48 am

ClimateAudit tried nested comments a long time ago, but soon got rid of them. Whatever the disadvantages of referring to previous posts by number, it is much easier to catch up with a long flat thread.

February 23, 2009 7:17 am

There seems to be a spate of sites of conservative leaning with hardware issues. American Blogger has been down all week. I wonder if it is not time for certain sites to start hosting outside the US. With the EPA moving to regulate CO2, I don’t see sites such as WUWT being looked upon in a benign way. America is becoming the land of the less free.

February 23, 2009 8:11 am

If GWers are trembling, it’s because the denialists have succeeded so well at suspending the laws of physics when applying them to AGW that the chance to avoid serious tipping points is slipping away.

J. Peden
Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 9:39 am

Walt, you are projecting, just as you were in your comments at CA regarding Mann’s infantile outburst vs Lawrence Solomon [ = “Mr. Lawrence”, h/t Anthony], which you essentially then replicated by similarly attacking CA!
What do you ~ “think you are accomplishing” by bashing and blaming others, when they are really only a projected proxy for yourself and AGW’s weak science? All you are doing is talking about yourself and AGW’s weak science, and it’s really quite easy for others to see! Has a real tipping point been reached concerning your own personal psychodymics and “scientific” thinking, or, hopefully, can you walk them back toward reality?

Robert Austin
Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 4:01 pm

Walt has just thrown in the towel. No loss to the AGW faction though. Walt does not use scientific discussion to persuade, but merely attempts to bludgeon us with the chimeric tipping point boogieman. Sorry Walt, go back to the dugout and send in some heavier hitters.

February 23, 2009 8:27 am

Yes, RAID your drives, and mirror them, too.
Also, I recommend you mirror your system on-site, and have an off-site hot site ready (Comdisco, or other).

christopher booker
February 23, 2009 9:20 am

May I first apologise to Anthony that the serious problem with Climate Audit has got rather entangled on this thread with a discussion about my column in the London Sunday Telegraph (which regularly cites WUWT for obvious reasons).
But may I also thank those readers who rushed eloquently to my defence against the garbage which has been inserted into my wikipedia entry and elsewhere on the net, grotesquely caricaturing my statements on various scientific issues. The origins of this sabotage lie in the fact that I have aroused the ire of those who make money out of various asbestos scams in the UK. They have now won the support of our leading journalistic AGW fanatic, George Monbiot (aka Moonbat) of the Guardian, who has swallowed whole the scientific confusions behind the asbestos scare just as he has those used to promote climate alarmism. The one thing I have to hand to these people, however, is that they are very clever in rigging both wikipedia and Google, which is why their scientific illiteracy (and malevolence) gets a much wider circulation than it deserves.
Meanwhile, we all send our best wishes to Steve in getting CA back on line. CA and WUWT are both doing an invaluable job for the planet in this new dark age we are living in and we are immensely grateful to them.

Reply to  christopher booker
February 23, 2009 12:32 pm

Mr Booker
I appreciate your comments on climate change. There is a lack of balance in the coverage of the debate, and that leaves an under-represented body of opinion, in my view.
Your sentence is nearly correct and I would not go so far as to call it a howler. I could also excuse the BBC if it finds this all a little bit too confusing.
From an engineering/mathematical perspective, negative feedback provides a countervailing force to an imput force. Pull on a spring and the spring extends. But it also develops a force proportional to extension. The spring will therefore reach an equilibrium length when the reaction balances the input force.
The crucual deremining characteristic is that negative feedback is based on the difference between two signals (or forces, or whatever). Positive feedback adds them.
You said “negative feedback” would lower temperatures rather than raise them. Almost correct. In the context of a force which tends to raise temperature (after all, is that not what global warming is all about) negative feedback must mean a reaction which tends to cool and therefore counteract the warming force. It would have been better to have said “negative feedback would *tend to* lower temperatures”, but that’s not really such a big deal in my opinion.
On the above thread, a poster claimed that negative feedback stabilises temperature.
To an engineer (or mathematician) that statement is incorrect. It comes to the point I have made a couple of times. For some reason (heaven knows why) Earth Science seems to have adopted a strange classification of feedback. Not a very useful classification either – because I don’t think the Earth Sciences classification of positive feedback really destabilise (in a mathematical sense)
I should just say it to be clear – according to the mathematical/engineering convention, stability is never guaranteed. Both positive and negative feednack can be stable or unstable.
I can promise you that anybody who wishes to attempt a proper analytical study of feedback in the climate system will need to forget the Earth Science classification and adopt the mathematical convention.
So is there confusion? You bet!
And I have my own view about where things started to go wrong.

Reply to  Jordan
February 23, 2009 1:18 pm

ps sorry about the typos (like “imput”)

February 23, 2009 10:05 am

J. Peden,
It doesn’t matter any more. You and the other obstructionists “win.”
Your children and their children will reap the “reward.”
Further discussion is utterly futile.

Joe Black
Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 11:34 am

“Your children and their children will reap the “reward.””Since the AGW alarmists and you refuse to voluntarily reduce their/your Carbon footprint by 90% or more immediately, my kids will just have to “suffer” with a MWP.

February 23, 2009 10:06 am

I have enjoyed your efforts to counter-balance the catastrophic AGW drumbeat but I hasten to say that CA’s main contribution has simply been to push for access to data and code used in a certain set of climate related studies. IMHO he and other contributors have done a tremendous job shedding light on some rather poor practices in this particualr research area, viz., the HS and the current Nature article on the warming of Antarctica. If that is what you mean by “dark age” then I agree. I would hesitate, however, to characterize SM’s view of AGW in general.

February 23, 2009 1:09 pm

Was I right, or what?

February 23, 2009 1:13 pm

Joe Black,
Enjoy your time to make light of this crisis which will redefine man’s relationship with his only planet in ways that future generations will be helpless to avoid. The thanks will go to those who were alive today and chose to suspend laws of physics only where AGW was concerned, who were capable of rational thought except where AGW was concerned, and who learned and loved science except where AGW was concerned.
When you take carbon which nature needed MILLIONS of years to store, and you “un-store” it in a century, you are taking over the major influences on the climate. As Hansen puts it, man is now in charge of climate. The only problem is, he has no idea what he is doing. Thus he is utterly blind to the consequences of his own actions.
There is zero scientific basis to assume that CO2 is not an enormous forcing on climate. Paleological evidence is conclusive that it always has been. The same evidence assures us that the planet can be ice-free, that sea levels can be hundreds of feet higher than they are today, and that abrupt sea level rise of a meter or more per century can happen.
Your only hope is that some unknown mechanism will prevent that from happening again. It is a fool’s hope.
Whatever does happen in the end, it is somewhere close to insanity to pretend that you know it will all be alright. Yes, the planet will be alright. It was alright in an ice free state before and it will be again.
It’s life as we know it that must undergo dramatic change in a paleological eye-blink.
To you and the other obstructionists, again I say: Congratulations. You have successfully assured that it will happen.
Based on which, man quite deserves to be rendered extinct, and surely will be.
Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

Joe Black
Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 1:43 pm

Well, great.
If it’s such an emergency, you have obviously rearranged your life to minimize your impact (or gone off to starve yourself to save Gaia). Since you would have done so to both save Gaia and to be a leader, lighting the way to enlightenment, please advise as to the steps you have personally taken.

Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 2:49 pm

The thanks will go to those who were alive today and chose to suspend laws of physics only where AGW was concerned, who were capable of rational thought except where AGW was concerned, and who learned and loved science except where AGW was concerned.
When you take carbon which nature needed MILLIONS of years to store, and you “un-store” it in a century, you are taking over the major influences on the climate.

What you are saying here is a contradiction.
You are saying the physics behind CO2 forcing is invalid and the people promoting it are irrational and are using something other than science to promote it. Yet in the next paragraph you say it is a major influence on the climate! Obviously there is no science to back this up.

There is zero scientific basis to assume that CO2 is not an enormous forcing on climate.

And, from your first paragraph, there is zero scientific basis to assume that it is, just an irrational belief system! So, if there is no scientific basis one way or the other then the effect on the planet could be good, bad or nil.
“If everybody walked backwards it would decrease CO2 emissions.”
There is zero scientific basis to assume that the above statement is not correct.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 23, 2009 3:44 pm

**There is zero scientific basis to assume that CO2 is not an enormous forcing on climate**
Can you give me the name of one scientific study which MEASURES the amount or percentage of the heating or cooling caused by CO2?
All you have is a graph which shows temperatures rising and CO2 increasing. Note that TV sets and cell phone are also increasing in number.
Note that models are just that – models.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
February 24, 2009 7:23 am

Do you understand these terms?
1. Persistence
2. Acceleration
3. Forcings
4. Feedbacks
5. Tipping Points
Get back to me when you THOROUGHLY understand them and how they relate to your question.
Drop me a line at

Alan Wilkinson
February 23, 2009 2:22 pm

Walt, a hysterical, fatuous rant.
Trying to fix something you don’t understand properly is ridiculous and futile. Pretending you do understand it when you don’t is stupid. Wasting vast amounts of money with no achievable objective is criminal.
Supporting poorly established conclusions in the face of contrary and conflicting evidence is unscientific.
Take your certainties to your place of worship or your political soapbox. They have no place in science which must always celebrate and preserve skepticism, questioning and further careful exploration and examination.

Reply to  Alan Wilkinson
February 24, 2009 7:21 am

I think you must be learning-impaired.
Perhaps YOU do not understand the power of CO2. Others do.
Your solution for things you don’t understand is to keep doing them?
OK then. Chalk up one more piece of evidence why man will surely go extinct. Once more, he is just too dumb to recognize the consequences of his actions.

February 23, 2009 2:22 pm

The case you’re using looks rather cramped. Make sure that you have enough or way too many fans cooling everything down. Unlike the climate change crisis discussions controlling the climate in a computer case is a lot more straight forward. You essentially want to create a near ice age in the case especially around the cpu, ram, and of course the hard drives and power supply. You’d definitely want to put small thin fans directly on the hard drives if there is room in the case for the fans and the airflow. You’ve gotta move that heat out of there. Another defense is collecting weather data on the climate change in the case. Linux can be set up with system health monitors that track the temperature of all the components that have temperature data. Adding your own thermometers may be a good idea in a tight case like that; place them strategically near or on critical components and in the intake and outgoing air flows. This allows you to monitor the external temperatures of the server room and the total heat being generated by the case in real time. Sometimes adding additional heat vents near or above hot spots to improve the heat dissipation can make a huge difference – get the heat out the new hole rather than move it through the case. This of course assumes that you box isn’t sandwiched in between other cases generating tons of heat themselves. In our server room we keep a good air gap between all cases – no cases ever touch. There are also large fans moving the air around the server room away from the boxes by directly blowing on them.
I prefer larger cases with plenty of fans (at least 6 120mm fans) and ventilation holes. They also can hold more drives so that you can have a live backup set of drives on an independent RAID unit, or you can have that in a second redundant server box (but that tends to increase your colo fees).
Controlling micro climate change is difficult. Leaving hot spots is very likely to lead to premature failures.

February 23, 2009 2:41 pm

On a personal note, we in Canada wouldn’t mind it being warmer as that would save us money heading to the tropics in the winter months. The main downside to a warmer climate for us will be learning how to make homes out of wood and brick rather than ice. 😉
As for obstructionists, that’s a weird term and meaningless.
(1) If the alarmists are correct, and that’s a huge whopping if, then there is little that anyone can do as all the solutions need to be done on a planetary terraforming scale. You know, like they did in Aliens II or in Total Recall on Mars.
(2) If the alarmists are incorrect, more likely it seems as time goes on, then there is nothing to obstruct.
(3) It’s crucially important to know which because we’d not want to alter our environment intentionally when we are not the cause.
So, yes, I’ve replaced the old light bulbs in my home and save a huge amount of cashola and, well hydroelectric generated power. Yes, I drive less now the last few years, usually only a few times a week. Yes I even sometimes wear a wool tuke (winter hat) while at home and keep the heat set lower. So I’m saving energy and have lowered by consumption of goods and fuel hydrocarbons. It’s not only extreme environmentalists aka the awg alarmists that like living hear on Earth, our mutual precious, us normal humans (the ignorant masse) like it here too.
Would somebody turn up the heat in Canada already? Brrr… these damned ice ages…

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  pwl
February 23, 2009 3:38 pm

Come on, it was not that cold. Winnipeg had only the third coldest December-January in history. We just forgot to burn the coal. The sun was shining, so how can you beat that?

Joe Black
Reply to  pwl
February 23, 2009 4:16 pm

Those who live north of Canada (Check a map) agree.

Reply to  Joe Black
February 23, 2009 5:46 pm

Meet Joe Black who lives to the North of Canada. (Ok, maybe you don’t live there … It’s more fun if you do though so… )
Ok, Joe where do you live? Iceland? Alaska? While bits of those are north of most of Canada the only land that is North of Canada is the northern tip of Greenland, and only by a the tiniest of smidgens.
So you either live on the north most tip of Greenland or you’re living on the ice pack somewhere?
Say high to Santa for us, unless you really are Santa?
Oh, you could be living on a ship or nuclear submarine?
Or maybe you live here on the northern most island? But it’s not inhabited.
Canada’s most northern community is here: . Well actually Alert Bay has the distinction of being the most northerly community anywhere (on land) here:,_Nunavut . And Alert Bay is almost at the Northern most tip of Canadian land. Of course it only has five permanent(ly insane) and many temporary(ily insane) inhabitants.
“Alert lies just 817 km (508 mi) from the North Pole. Alert is located 12 km (7.5 mi) west of Cape Sheridan, the northeastern tip of Ellesmere Island.”
“Alert has a polar climate. This means it is very cold and, on average, has snow cover for 10 months of the year. The warmest month, July, has an average temperature of just 3.3 °C (37.9 °F). The climate type also means that Alert is very dry, averaging only 153.8 mm (6.06 in) of precipitation per year. Most of the precipitation is snow and occurs during the months of July, August and September. On average there is 16.1 mm (0.63 in) of rain which occurs between June and September. Alert sees very little snow during the rest of the year.”
No I don’t live there, it’s a bit too cold for me. I did live in Edmonton during eight of it’s coldest years in the 1970s – they don’t close the schools until it’s minus 45c! Brrrr and Grrrr, BrrGrrrrr… at them… since it hovered around -30c to -40c for very long periods – months. I had to walk up hill to school in -40c and uphill back home in -40c with a wind blowing in my face. BrrGrrrr… A -20c day after that was t-shirt weather, seriously we’d play outside in our t-shirts throwing nice packing snow in -20c weather! It is one of my sweeter memories of Edmonton.
Here are the rankings by country.
1) Greenland, Kaffeklubben Island, 83°40’N
2) Canada,Cape Columbia, Ellesmere Island, Nunavut, 83°06’N
3) Russia, Cape Fligeli, Rudolf Island, Franz Josef Land, Arkhangelsk Oblast, 81°51’N
4) Norway, Rossøya, Svalbard, 80°49’N
5) United States, Point Barrow, Alaska, 71°23’N
6) Finland, Nuorgam, Utsjoki, Lapland, 70°05’N
7) Sweden, Treriksröset, Kiruna, Lapland, 69°04’N
8) Iceland, Kolbeinsey, Eyjafjarðarsýsla, 67°08’N
9) Faroe Islands, Cape Enniberg, 62°23’N
10) United Kingdom, Out Stack, Shetland Islands, 60°51’N
What impresses me is that part of the United Kingdom is North of 60! Wow. Canada had a tv show celebrating those who live way up there North of 60:
What is your lat and long Joe Black, or at least of the place you were speaking of?
Well I checked the map and found only one place, an uninhabited island that is the most northern tip of Greenland. At 817 km from the North Pole, Alert Bay, Canada is the winner as it actually has people living on land! They might be few and insane but they live there. Shivers just thinking about it.
Who can beat that? 😉

Larry Sheldon
Reply to  Joe Black
February 23, 2009 8:24 pm

I’ve been north of Canada and didn’t leave the USA.
On other trips I’ve driven the big truck south into Canada.

Reply to  Joe Black
February 23, 2009 11:42 pm

Larry, it sounds like you were driving a big rig on the ice while remaining within the borders of the USA 200 mile limit. In that case there would still be part of Canada north of the USA! (Unless your on a submarine or some ship that is considered US territory).
What is an example lat long?

Joe Black
Reply to  Joe Black
February 24, 2009 2:39 pm

Well, It looks like there are places in the following states that are directly North of (some part of) Canada:
Alaska, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire & Maine.

February 23, 2009 3:30 pm

Walt Bennet,
You know I rather suspect that our children (mine have just recently graduated) and their children (if they choose to have any) may indeed curse us in the future but possibly more for the carbon output reducing state of the economy that we seem to be sprinting towards than for any issues of failing to manage the unmanagable.
It is amazing how long things take to build up – civilizations, warm periods of beneficial climate – and how quickly they can be destroyed – humans chasing unrealistic politically created objectives, ice ages.
At this rate all those who call for an 80% reduction in CO2 output by 2050 will see it by 2015. If that happens things will get very ugly indeed, for all of us.
On the plus side, for you at least, one should expect to see the your perfect scenario for saving the planet in its full glory. Heck of a way to forget the banking crisis though.

Reply to  GP
February 24, 2009 7:18 am

I have no scenario for saving the planet. Hansen has presented all the evidence we need to know that the planet will be ice free. It won’t care, it will carry on just fine.
Life as we know it will cease to exist.

February 23, 2009 3:37 pm

“The thanks will go to those who were alive today and chose to suspend laws of physics only where AGW was concerned, who were capable of rational thought except where AGW was concerned, and who learned and loved science except where AGW was concerned.”
The blame, then, must go to those who were alive today and chose to suspend debate on the science where AGW was concerned, who were only capable of irrrational thought where AGW was concerned, and who hid the results of their “scientific” efforts where AGW was concerned.
And as to this statement:
“As Hansen puts it, man is now in charge of climate. The only problem is, he has no idea what he is doing. Thus he is utterly blind to the consequences of his own actions.”
I agree. Hansen DOESN’T know what he is doing. And he IS utterly blind to the consequences of his own actions.

Reply to  henry
February 23, 2009 5:59 pm

Not only that, think of all the scary scenarios of terraforming Earth, the one place we can exist in the known universe! It’s simply a bad idea terraforming the only place you can exist without knowing the consequences of our actions!
By “simply a bad idea” I mean probable suicide.
Scientists Rank Global Cooling Hacks
Oh gee, they are actually planning to terraform the Earth without knowing WTF they are doing… this could start actual wars – seriously.
This is why it’s important that the politicians get out of the way and that everyone let the debate rage on till the science is rock solid (if that’s even possible) and proven.
“Those who fear questions of their science are no longer scientists, they are politicians and activists. Question their science even more intensely!” – pwl

Reply to  henry
February 24, 2009 7:17 am

This will be the only time in your life that I address you directly.
Your dismissal of Dr. Hansen is all I need to know about you. Those who attempt to undermine the good work of knowledgeable people are the least relevant of all the hyenas barking from the sidelines.
No offense, but you are utterly useless. If there are enough of you – and there may be – then you will take the species down with you.

February 23, 2009 5:42 pm

Here in Southern Australia our biggest problem is not temperature (although there has been record-breaking heat in the current summer) but lack of rainfall. It might be a climate shift, or it might not. If it is it might be due to GW, perhaps even AGW. We don’t know, and I have seen enough to be mistrustful of anybody saying they do know.
What happens if we reduce our CO2 output? Some predict economic disaster, with no climatic effect. Some predict it will trigger the next ice age. Interestingly, I do not remember any predictions from the AGW people about what will happen if we get CO2 back to (say) 1950’s levels – I imagine they think the climate will return to 1950’s patterns. Or perhaps they know they don’t know.

Geoff Sherrington
February 23, 2009 6:50 pm

The January 2009 minimum temperature average at melbourne central was the coldest for 5 years. The average for that month was the coldest for 4 years.
Strange how a few abnormal days make it feel like something permanent has happened.

John G. Bell
February 23, 2009 7:23 pm

I jogged around Town Lake on Austin’s hike and bike trail in 113F weather and loved it. You sweat like crazy but the humidity was low and it was great! People are amazing in their ability to adapt to and even enjoy a wide range of climates. I used to jog home from school a couple miles on snow and ice when I was a kid in Maryland and missed the bus. It strikes me that we are talking about a couple of degrees change over a hundred years and that not even certain. Don’t we have something more important to talk about than how to solve a fantasy problem.
Climate change is real, is natural, and is something that humans are particularly well adapted to resist and animals and plants have dealt with for millions of years.

Reply to  John G. Bell
February 24, 2009 7:13 am

John G. Bell,
Please provide for us your no-doubt riveting account of the last time nature spewed millions of years of carbon into the air and water, and then of course let us know what was the result of that.
(P.S. It has actually happened.)

Reply to  Walt Bennett
February 24, 2009 8:19 am

nature spewed millions of years of carbon
What the heck is that supposed to mean?

February 23, 2009 8:00 pm

Personally, I prefer big box floor sitters for servers, as you can jam them with drives (including a nice live spare) and fans and huge power supplies that never come near their limits. Of course a COLO usually offers racks only but 1U is pretty tight fit for what a single server solution needs. Raid 5 can take more than 3 drives (3 is minimum), and is the easiest raid config to add capacity to. Also, memory has gotten so cheap that it should be maxed out to what ever the OS/MB will take.

February 23, 2009 8:02 pm

CA is Up in MA on Comcast. Can’t speak for any other DNS. Thanks Greatly AW.

Scott Gibson
February 23, 2009 8:18 pm

Climate Audit is back up!

Larry Sheldon
February 23, 2009 8:20 pm

It works.
Good job, people.

Gerald Machnee
February 23, 2009 8:28 pm

RE: pwl (17:46:41) :
Just a little correction. Alert is in Nunavut on Ellesmere island. Been there.
Alert Bay is off Vancouver, Island in British Columbia. See the site below. Have not been there.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
February 23, 2009 11:38 pm

I stand corrected. You are correct Gerald. Thanks for correcting me on that.
So what is Alert like? Not much eh?
What were you doing up there? For fun? Just living? Family? Science? Military? Commercial?

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  pwl
February 24, 2009 6:51 am

I worked for Environment Canada at Resolute – got a ride to Alert on resupply trip. Got to see the elements, ice, glaciers, etc from the air and ground.

February 23, 2009 10:14 pm

Anthony, curious – what server OS are you running?
REPLY: Ubuntu FF

February 24, 2009 7:26 pm

Gerald Machnee, what is your take on the whole climate debate?

Gerald Machnee
February 25, 2009 6:36 pm

pwl (19:26:08) :
Re Your question on the debate. I am reading a lot now.
Many moons ago as a member of an organization we showed the public a film on the coming ice age. It was based on ice cores and a few other things. I would like to find that film now. At that time we showed the film but I had not looked into warming or cooling one way or another. And the Canadian government was more concerned with cooling than warming at that time(70’s). National Geographic had an article in 1976 that was sort of split on the issue.
So my point now is that I want to see some real calculations and measurements. All we have is two graphs of temperature and CO2, but no direct proof of causation.
So I have the two questions a) Where are the measurements of how much warming or cooling is caused by CO2 and b) Where is the engineering quality calculation of how much heating or cooling a doubling of CO2 will cause? The second question is easily recognizable from Steve McIntyre at CA.
So we have a lot of arm waving, but two important questions have not been addressed by IPCC.

Gerald Machnee
February 25, 2009 6:43 pm

pwl (19:26:08) :
In my response I missed one point. The big danger to mankind is not warming due to greenhouse gases but pollution of the land, water, air and our food. CO2 is not a pollutant. We are in greater danger of doing away with ourselves but that is not a topic for these blogs.

Gerald Machnee
February 25, 2009 6:50 pm

Walt Bennett (07:23:19) :
There is no point in me replying in reference to those terms. I gave you my question and I stated one more in my reply to pwl. You or anyone else has not responded to those. I and others do not understand why you feel so strongly about being an echo for Hansen. Check David Archibald’s paper on how the effect of CO2 decreases exponentially as it increases.

February 26, 2009 5:48 pm

I wonder if anyone else has asked this: Why all the talk about CO2 output? Why, if CO2 output is bad, don’t we develop ways to capture CO2 out of the atmosphere? If we know how much we put out each day, why can’t we develop capture stations to capture that much out of the atmosphere each day?
That would develop jobs, instead of killing them, wouldn’t it?
And, what harm would it do?

February 26, 2009 6:06 pm

“…if CO2 output is bad…”
See, Richard, that’s where the misunderstanding comes in. CO2 is beneficial, it is not “bad.” And more CO2 is desirable.
Once you begin thinking correctly, everything falls into place.
You think like you do because you’ve been bombarded with “CO2 is bad” propaganda. The people putting out that propaganda have a vested financial interest in people believing what they’re selling.
CO2 is beneficial plant food, and when CO2 levels rise, plants benefit. When plants benefit, animals, including humans, benefit.
And finally: as CO2 levels rise, the planet is not warming. Therefore, the “global warming” scare stories are falsified. QED.

February 26, 2009 6:25 pm

Hey Smokey,
Sorry, but I’m not thinking that CO2 output is bad. I said, if CO2 output is bad, what about capturing it out of the atmosphere? It’s a question, not a statement of fact.
I am a computer and cable guy who once took a meteorology class in college, not a climatologist. I’m on the same side as the scientists who are willing to ask the questions. All the questions. Even at the risk of being compared with a “holocaust denier”.
Science, as I learned it in High School, is the collection and classification of facts. The hypothesis is a way of developing tests to determine where facts lead, not a way of stopping debate.
Anyway, I think my question goes really to rethinking the debate: Is stopping the “pollution” the only way of addressing the “problem”? Isn’t removing it also a valid way of addressing it? And wouldn’t it be a better way? What harm could it do?

February 26, 2009 6:39 pm

Sorry Richard, I must have mis-read your post.
CO2 is already captured out of the atmosphere by increased plant growth. This site had an article showing exactly that: click
Plants are already busy efficiently removing “excess” CO2. We need do nothing.
In addition, anything we do to remove CO2 from the atmosphere will be stupendously expensive and counter-productive. “Sequestering” CO2 underground has to be the most monumentally stupid idea to come down the pike in this whole sorry debate. We would be better off paying people to dig 10X10X10 foot holes in the desert, then moving those holes twenty feet north every six weeks until the holes converge on the geographic North Pole and provide a large access hole for the flying saucers’ easy ingress and egress.
CO2 is NOT a pollutant! And the harm done by treating CO2 as a pollutant will be done to your personal bank account, when $Trillions are wasted trying to fix a non-problem.
[Richard, you should post on a current thread. You’ll get more replies that way, and you can decide among the different points of view presented. I wouldn’t have responded, but I was looking for something else and noticed your post. If you wish to carry on this conversation, I’ll be on the current page.]

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