The Weekly Standard: Scientists Behaving Badly

An excellent summary and editorial, well worth the read. Note that Hayward apparently reads WUWT, as he references the “CRUtape Letters”, first published here after being coined by Steve Mosher. – Anthony

Excerpts of: Scientists Behaving Badly

A corrupt cabal of global warming alarmists are exposed by a massive document leak.

by Steven F. Hayward

Slowly and mostly unnoticed by the major news media, the air has been going out of the global warming balloon. Global temperatures stopped rising a few years ago, much to the dismay of the climate campaigners. The U.N.’s upcoming Copenhagen conference–which was supposed to yield a binding greenhouse gas emissions reduction treaty as a successor to the failed Kyoto Protocol–collapsed weeks in advance and remains on life support pending Obama’s magical intervention. Cap and trade legislation is stalled on Capitol Hill. Recent opinion polls from Gallup, Pew, Rasmussen, ABC/Washington Post, and other pollsters all find a dramatic decline in public belief in human-caused global warming. The climate campaigners continue to insist this is because they have a “communications” problem, but after Al Gore’s Nobel Prize/Academy Award double play, millions of dollars in paid advertising, and the relentless doom-mongering from the media echo chamber and the political class, this excuse is preposterous. And now the climate campaign is having its Emperor’s New Clothes moment.

In mid-November a large cache of emails and technical documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain were made available on a number of Internet file-servers for download by the public–either the work of a hacker or a leak from a whistleblower on the inside. The emails–more than 1,000 of them–reveal a small cabal of scientists who, in the words of MIT’s Michael Schrage, engaged in “malice, mischief and Machiavellian maneuverings.” In an ironic twist, one of the frequent correspondents in this long e‑trail (University of Arizona scientist Jonathan Overpeck) warned several of his colleagues in September, “Please write all emails as though they will be made public.” Small wonder why. It’s being called Climategate, but more than one wit is calling them “the CRUtape Letters.”

As in the furor over Dan Rather’s fabricated documents about George W. Bush’s National Guard service back in 2004, bloggers have been swarming over the material and highlighting the bad faith, bad science, and possibly even criminal behavior (deleting material requested under Britain’s Freedom of Information Act and perhaps tax evasion) of a small group of highly influential climate scientists. As with Rathergate, diehard climate campaigners are repairing to the “fake but accurate” defense–what these scientists did may be unethical or deeply biased, they say, but the science is settled, don’t you know, so move along, nothing to see here. There are a few notable exceptions, such as Guardian columnist George Monbiot, who in the past has trafficked in the most extreme climate mongering: “It’s no use pretending that this isn’t a major blow,” Monbiot wrote in a November 23 column. “The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. .  .  . I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them. .  .  . I was too trusting of some of those who provided the evidence I championed. I would have been a better journalist if I had investigated their claims more closely.” Monbiot has joined a number of prominent climate scientists in demanding that the CRU figures resign their posts and be excluded from future climate science work. The head of the CRU, Phil Jones, announced last week that he will temporarily step down pending an investigation.

The behavior of the CRU circle has cast a long shadow over the entire climate science community, and many honest scientists will now undeservedly bear the stigma of Climategate unless a full airing of the issues is conducted. Other important climate research centers with close ties to the CRU–including NASA’s Goddard Institute and the Climate Change Science Program at NOAA–should not be exempt from a full-dress investigation. Such a reevaluation must begin with an understanding of the crucial role the CRU circle has played in the global warming drama.

Even as the IPCC was picking up Mann’s hockey stick with enthusiasm, Briffa sent Mann a note of caution about “the possibility of expressing an impression of more consensus than might actually exist. I suppose the earlier talk implying that we should not ‘muddy the waters’ by including contradictory evidence worried me. IPCC is supposed to represent consensus but also areas of uncertainty in the evidence.” Briffa had previously dissented from the hockey stick reconstruction in a 1999 email to Mann and Phil Jones: “I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago.” Even Malcolm Hughes, one of the original hockey stick coauthors, privately expressed reservations about overreliance on their invention, writing to Cook, Mann and others in 2002:

All of our attempts, so far, to estimate hemisphere-scale temperatures for the period around 1000 years ago are based on far fewer data than any of us would like. None of the datasets used so far has anything like the geographical distribution that experience with recent centuries indicates we need, and no one has yet found a convincing way of validating the lower-frequency components of them against independent data. As Ed [Cook] wrote, in the tree-ring records that form the backbone of most of the published estimates, the problem of poor replication near the beginnings of records is particularly acute, and ubiquitous. .  .  . Therefore, I accept that everything we are doing is preliminary, and should be treated with considerable caution.

Mann didn’t react well to these hesitations from his colleagues. Even Ray Bradley, a coauthor of the hockey stick article, felt compelled to send a message to Briffa after one of Mann’s self-serving emails with the single line: “Excuse me while I puke.” One extended thread grew increasingly acrimonious as Mann lashed out at his colleagues. He wrote to Briffa, Jones, and seven others in a fury over their favorable remarks about a Science magazine article that offered a temperature history that differed from the hockey stick: “Sadly, your piece on the Esper et al paper is more flawed than even the paper itself. .  .  . There is a lot of damage control that needs to be done and, in my opinion, you’ve done a disservice to the honest discussions we had all had in the past, because you’ve misrepresented the evidence.”

To Briffa in particular Mann wrote: “Hopefully, you know that I respect you quite a bit as a scientist! But in this case, I think you were sloppy. And the sloppiness had a real cost.” Mann’s bad manners prompted Bradley to reply: “I wish to disassociate myself with Mike’s comments, or at least the tone of them. I do not consider myself the final arbiter of what Science should publish, nor do I consider what you did to signify the end of civilization as we know it.” Tempers got so out of hand that Tom Crowley of Duke University intervened: “I am concerned about the stressed tone of some of the words being circulated lately. .  .  . I think you are all fine fellows and very good scientists and that it is time to smoke the peace pipe on all this and put a temporary moratorium on more email messages until tempers cool down a bit.” Mann responded with his best imitation of Don Corleone: “This is ultimately about the science, it’s not personal.” If the CRU circle treat each other this way, it is no wonder they treat skeptics even more rudely.

One of Briffa’s concerns about Mann’s hockey stick is that some of the tree ring data–Briffa’s specialty–didn’t match up well with other records, so Mann either omitted them (in some versions of the hockey stick) or changed their statistical weighting in his overall synthesis to downplay the anomalous results of the raw data. This, by the way, is the origin of Phil Jones’s “hide the decline” email; after 1960 tree ring data suggest a decline in temperatures, while other datasets show an increase. (This is one of many sources of intense controversy about temperature reconstructions.) Jones’s and Mann’s treatment may be defensible, but is problematic to say the least.

Starting in 2003 two mild-mannered Canadians, retired engineer Stephen McIntyre and University of Guelph economist Ross McKitrick, began making noises about serious problems with the by-then iconic hockey stick graph. The dispute between McIntyre, McKitrick (M/M as they became known in the shorthand of the climate science world) and the hockey team was highly technical, involving advanced methods of data selection and statistical analysis that are almost impossible for a layperson to follow. But one key point was access to the original raw data and complete computer codes that Mann and CRU had used, rather than the adjusted data reported in their final studies.

The CRU scandal is only the tip of an unmelted iceberg of politicized science, though the “hard” sciences until recently have been generally thought immune (or at least resistant) to the leftist bias and political correctness of the universities. Some scientists are quite open about their leftward orientation. In 2004, Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin wrote in the New York Review of Books: “Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals, although it is by no means obvious why this should be so. Despite the fact that all of the molecular biologists of my acquaintance are shareholders in or advisers to biotechnology firms, the chief political controversy in the scientific community seems to be whether it is wise to vote for Ralph Nader this time.” MIT’s Kerry Emanuel, as “mainstream” as they come in climate science (Al Gore references his work, and in one of his books Emanuel refers to Senator James Inhofe as a “scientific illiterate” and to climate skeptics as les refusards), nonetheless offers this warning to his field:

Scientists are most effective when they provide sound, impartial advice, but their reputation for impartiality is severely compromised by the shocking lack of political diversity among American academics, who suffer from the kind of group-think that develops in cloistered cultures. Until this profound and well-documented intellectual homogeneity changes, scientists will be suspected of constituting a leftist think tank.

Perhaps the most damning email from the CRU circle is this July 2005 message from Phil Jones to climatologist John Christy of the University of Alabama: “As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.” Jones’s attitude may not be exactly political, but it is certainly unscientific. The denial of political bent is also hard to square with the emails revealing that several of these scientists worked closely behind the scenes with alarmist advocacy groups such as Greenpeace, which really deserves to be shunned by serious scientists.

Climate change is a genuine phenomenon, and there is a nontrivial risk of major consequences in the future. Yet the hysteria of the global warming campaigners and their monomaniacal advocacy of absurdly expensive curbs on fossil fuel use have led to a political dead end that will become more apparent with the imminent collapse of the Kyoto-Copenhagen process. I have long expected that 20 or so years from now we will look back on the turn-of-the-millennium climate hysteria in the same way we look back now on the population bomb hysteria of the late 1960s and early 1970s–as a phenomenon whose magnitude and effects were vastly overestimated, and whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil (such as the forced sterilizations of thousands of Indian men in the 1970s, much of it funded by the Ford Foundation). Today the climate campaigners want to forcibly sterilize the world’s energy supply, and until recently they looked to be within an ace of doing so. But even before Climategate, the campaign was beginning to resemble a Broadway musical that had run too long, with sagging box office and declining enthusiasm from a dwindling audience. Someone needs to break the bad news to the players that it’s closing time for the climate horror show.

Read the complete article at The Weekly Standard

h/t to WUWT reader Ken Methow

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61 thoughts on “The Weekly Standard: Scientists Behaving Badly

  1. I believe Moshpit (S. Mosher) laid claim to “CRUtape Letters” back on CA on about the 19th?
    Either way, congrats and thanks to you mods and Anthony and S. McIntyre for your tireless work.
    .
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  2. Hats off to Steve-the best summary to date. It is easy to get distracted with all of the released e-mails and files and Steve knocks it out the park. The central issue is that Mann et al had to find a way of mitigating the medieval warming period (MWP) to show the world that warming only took off when industrialization accelerated. Very few people are comfortable working with principal component analysis or linear algebra and so it took someone with McIntyre’s skill to uncover how they misled the world.

  3. “The CRU scandal is only the tip of an unmelted iceberg of politicized science” – ain’t that the truth!
    Interesting the article mentions the ‘population scare’ of the 60’s/70’s:
    “whose proposed solutions were wrongheaded and often genuinely evil (such as the forced sterilizations of thousands of Indian men in the 1970s, much of it funded by the Ford Foundation)”….
    because, I was just thinking about John Holdren (Obama’s ‘science czar’) and how he advocated putting ‘something in the water’ to reduce human fertility in the book he co-authored in the 70’s, called ‘Eco Science’. Oh yeah, he was predicting a coming Ice age at the time. Oh, so was Stephen Schnider.
    And these are the leading…. Scientists?

  4. I read this article this morning and was blown away by it – by far and away the best distillation of the story so far.
    Well worth emailing around/blogging the link.
    If you haven’t read this article – its a complete killer and gets right to the heart of the issue – now is a good time to get ahead of the herd and get as far away from AGW hyped stocks as you can.
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-investor/investment-ideas/features/the-buy-side/dont-let-climategate-melt-down-your-portfolio/article1389653/

  5. I always knew the global warming hoax would end someday, but I assumed it would die a slow, quiet death.
    I had no idea it would get hit by a Mack truck.

  6. Why,Oh why do we citizens tolerate the leftist, self agrandizing and most particularly, dangerous alarmists who blindly weave their exaggerated half truths, drunk on getting to be included in a smug,elitist sorority?
    Political hacks and others who have smelled the irristible chance to profit in money and power should rightfully be put in a public spotlight when all the cards are played. Let nature handle nature and let puny man adapt to climate change as always.

  7. Open-source it all, that’s what I say. Data, code, methods of analysis – all freely available on the internet. A true global, peaceful, people-led endeavour.
    Any ‘establishment’ is open to corruption. Money, global ‘syndicates’, etc.. Oligarchs, ‘well meaning’ billionaires and ‘philanthropists’.
    Scientific establishment, political establishment, medical establishment – all the same – manipulated by monied and corporate interest groups.
    Greenpeace, WWF, etc, etc. Thousands on the streets today as well (if you believe the BBC’s figures). Ordinary people, demanding ‘climate action’ at Copenhagen.
    (They produce the problem. You provide the reaction. They provide the solution. Simple!)
    They must be glad, I mean, they’ve really got it sewn up: bought and paid for ‘scientific establishment’, compliant media pumping out scare stories and terrifying children, and the people themselves coming out on the streets and demanding the government ‘do something’. And they will. In Copenhagen. They will say it is the people’s will. And people will be too busy watching sport and soap-operas to give a damn.
    It’s like a woman said to me at work: “oh, they’ll get their taxes anyway, whatever it is…”, and: “you’d be better off just watching Coronation Street and Big Brother”.
    So, while some of us may be aware that an interesting article was published in The Weekly Standard the other day, most people will be completely oblivious – “but the ice caps are clearly melting”, they will say….

  8. I just finished the full article and it is by far, the best summary on climategate I have read to date.
    We should send a copy to everyone going to Nopenhagen.

  9. The Washinton Post article is just a whitewash.
    There is no mention of artificially altered data, and destroyed or “lost” data.
    The truth is we do NOT HAVE ANY TEMPERATURE RECORD that we can trust.
    All the models, indeed, even the calibration of satellite instruments, is contaminated by bogus methods.
    It will take years just to re do the science, paper by paper, issue by issue.
    AGW is a science with a rotten foundation.
    To speed things along, we need criminal investigations on both sides of the Atlantic. It is time to put the fear of jail into those that “adjusted” the records. They need to come clean.. show what they did, when they did it, who asked them to do it, and what papers used their work. Anything less than complete honesty would be obstruction of justice. And the crime? It is called fraud and criminal conspiracy.

  10. Another excellent distillation for the non-scientist. As a technician, taught to be the “eyes and ears” of the scientist, and to adhere to the scientific method, it has been gratifying to see former scientists who have moved into the charlatan camp, get their comeuppance. As many of us “lower on the totem pole” support types can attest, scientists are very contrary individuals, prone to all of the many human failings that the rest of us are. Many of them don’t like to believe that. They are so intellectual and unemotional, doncha know? As these emails prove, if they perceive one of their little toes to be stepped on, some will not just push you away, they will come after you. I have worked with so many fine individuals, that when you see some of them running amok and getting away with it for so long, even though, honorable individuals like McIntyre and Inhoffe are tarred and feathered, it is schadenfreude I guess, although in this case, they have brought their misfortunes on themselves.
    And of course, I still say, Follow the Money!. I’m just itching to see some forensic financial type get into an analysis of the money trails of individuals like Albore and all the others up and down this chain of charlatans.

  11. It finally clicked this morning. It seems every decade we get anxious about the tenuousness of our place in the universe and have to express it in apocalyptic terms! 1960, population bomb. 1970 new ice age, 1980, well it was one long bit of anxiety, or was it Nuclear Holocaust? 1990 WWIII with the fall of communism, 2000 it was Y2K, 2010 Climate Change. Wonder what it will be for 2020. O well, by then this will be a vague memory and the tyranny of the urgent will be on us again. O frail humanity!

  12. FWIW –
    Our local paper, The Puebo Chieftain, carried an editorial Friday about Climate Gate that was on the mark. For a smaller community of 110 thousand or so, not too bad.
    IMO – If Obama does anything more than pay lip service to AGW (which he’s admittedly good at) in Copenhagen, his chances of being re-elected go in the dumpster, and he’ll take the democratic party with him. This leak (that word used rather than “hack”) is gaining some steam, and will result (I hope) in a complete re-examination of the methods, processes and programs used.
    Who knows, if the Pielke’s are correct, the Arbor Society could experience new green growth. (sorry for that shameful pun! – NOT!)
    Mike

  13. Anthony, I have been looking for a connection between CRU and Dutch institutions and found two hockey stick graphs produced by the Dutch see tdutch.pdf.
    showing the Dutch Summer and Winter temps from 1200 – 2000
    In an e-mail between Jones and Man (966015630.txt) some interesting statements are made:
    In short:
    “1. Recent paleo doesn’t show warming”.
    “It is possible to add the instrumental series on from about 1980 (Mike
    sought of did this in his Nature article to say 1998 was the warmest of
    the millennium – and I did something similar in Rev. Geophys.) but there
    is no way Singer can say the proxy data doesn’t record the last 20 years
    of warming, as we don’t have enough of the proxy series after about 1980”.
    “http://www.co2.science.org/edit/editor.html takes the argument further
    saying that as trees don’t see all the warming since about 1960 the
    instrumental records recently must be in error (i.e. this group believes
    the trees and not the instrumental records). This piece by Idso and
    Idso seems to want to have the argument whichever suits them”.
    “2. Everyone knows it was cooler during the Little Ice Age and warmer in
    the Medieval Warm Period”.
    “The typical comments I’ve heard, generally relate to the MWP, and say
    that crops and vines were grown further north than they are now (the
    vines grown in York in Viking times etc). Similarly, statements about
    frost fairs and freezing of the Baltic so armies could cross etc. Frost
    fairs on the Thames in London occurred more readily because the tidal
    limit was at the old London Bridge (the 5ft weir under it). The bridge
    was rebuilt around the 1840s and the frost fairs stopped. If statements
    continue to be based on historical accounts they will be easy to knock
    down with all the usual phrases such as the need for contemporary
    sources, reliable chroniclers and annalists, who witnessed the events
    rather than through hearsay. As you all know various people in CRU
    (maybe less so now) have considerable experience in dealing with this
    type of data. Christian Pfister also has a lifetime of experience of
    this”.
    “There is a paper coming out from the CRU conference with a
    reconstruction of summer and winter temps for Holland back to about
    AD 800, which shows the 20th century warmer than all others. Evidence is
    sparser before 1400 but the workers at KNMI (Aryan van Engelen et al.)
    take all this into account”.
    Cheers
    Phil
    Conclusion:
    The have looked for external back up for the Hockey stick graph and the KNMI delivered it with their Summer/Winter temp graph from 1200-2000
    They have used manipulated surface data to construct the sharp rising temps form the period between 1960 and 2000
    The have supported the hockey stick graph by two publications in scientific magazines claiming that 1998 was the warmest year on record.
    From the way it is written we can conclude this is not according the truth but to kill opposing reports and conclusions. These guys are really obsessed and very dishonest.

  14. Plato’s Globe and Mail link is well worth reading. Mandelman’s advice about dumping all climate investments is good. His comparison to the dot.com and derivative bubbles is quite good also.

  15. Let just keep on focusing on the main point.–If the warmists cant show that the last 100 or so years were exceptionally warm, then C O2 cant be relevant. If carbon dioxide isn’t relevant, they lose their socialist leaning re-ordering of the worldwide economy.

  16. “Slowly and mostly unnoticed by the major news media, the air has been going out of the global warming balloon.”
    Was it a hot air balloon?

  17. At a Green Party conference, (in the UK a left wing (what else) environmental group), a delegate told the assembly (to their agreement apparently) that the population of this country (UK) would have to be halved to 30 million; though she failed to explain how this would be achieved.
    This anecdote goes to the heart of the climate chage debate, as lunatic environmental warmists would prefer that we return to a medieval feudal crop rotating society rather than put another gram of CO2 into the atmosphere in order to ‘save humanity’. As humans are massive emitters of CO2 by eating food and burning it to produce energy, clearly achieving the (some would say over ambitious) emissions (CO2) targets in the EU and UK by 2020 would have to involve a degree of culling.
    As the lights would go out by 2016 along with CO2 generated forms of heating, the targets could be realised before the specified date; but would this apocalyptic scenario be acceptable and compatible with the caring socialist views of Mssrs Brown, Milliband and the data perverting boys at the CRU.

  18. Great summary of events – can’t wait for more to unfold.
    The last two of my small circle of friends have both come into the ‘sceptical’ camp in the last few days, without any pressure from me – AND they’re both as green as the centre court at Wimbledon!
    Climategate has got people asking questions again, and they are not at all happy with the platitudes they are hearing from the BBC, in fact it is confirming their suspicions that the whole bogus CAGW theory is a political ploy. We want the truth and we want the criminals who misled and defrauded the public punished.
    This has set the whole of science back at least a decade. Swift action by the scientist’s professional bodies to censure the miscreants is the only way to prevent even longer-term damage to their credibility.

  19. Had FOX News Chanel on a little while ago, they were interviewing one of the ad visors to the President. His take was that the HADCRU was a small hack job and didn’t change any thing. That the data had been confirmed by many
    other sources. Then the statement that the US data was correct and was the basis for all the decisions made by the administration. The suggestion was made by the interviewee that the President was to make a commitment to a 17% reduction of CO2 emissions. It appears that with the current administration the train is firmly on the tracks and welded to the rails. With the track record of or NOAA, NASA GISS,and NCDC with the claim by James Hansen and Gavin Schmidt it will take us several weeks to release our methods because we have to simplify them to make them understandable to anyone. (The requester was one of the preeminent statistical annalist of our times in my opinion SM) The changes to the historical records in the US to match the models noted on this blog. The participation of the possibly #2 man Gavin S. in the blocking of disagreeable research findings and the disenfranchising of the freedom of communication by blocking opposing opinions and inconvenient questions on the blog Realclimate.org. Doing all this while on the US taxpayer’s dime. Yep we can really depend on the US data to be accurate. They are in my humble opinion as guilty as those at Hadley.
    The research needs to be investigated for criminal intent, (I believe it can be proved). Falsification of Government records, and fraudulent use of federal funds. This just for starters.
    It is time for elected government officials in the US to understand that they work for the people. Bureaucrats are unelected and should have no power to make law or enforce such law. That we the electorate expect full openness in public funded research. We expect findings to be replicable by public or private individuals. We EXPECT THE TRUTH FROM THOSE THAT ARE FUNDED FROM THE PUBLIC, FUNDED BY TAX PAYER DOLLARS.
    Bill Derryberry

  20. As many who already commented on this thread have perceptively noted, this Weekly Standard piece is one of if not THE best objective and factual summary of ClimateGate so far; definitely a ”keep & save-local” candidate.
    And; yeah: As Frank K. noted, the mag cover art for that piece is priceless.
    Plus the fact that the Washington Post put ClimateGate on the front page in both today’s print and web editions is IMO significant, even if their coverage did have the usual obvious slant in the AGW direction (and their glaringly misleading ”A Hot Streak” graph is absolutely atrocious).
    But unfortunately there is IMO still a problem:
    While this Weekly Standard piece and similar are just what those of us who are engineers / techies and policy wonks want, sadly even this relatively concise level of detail is I fear beyond the attention span of a large majority of the general public. How to effectively condense this down to more of a ”sound-bite” that can (hopefully) break thru into the MSM conciousness if not the LSM I leave for now as an exercise for those who majored in communications instead of electrical / software engineering.
    FOOTNOTE: Thanks to Anthony for the gracious hat tip, but all I can claim credit for is noticing that this piece popped up on realclearpolitics.com ”front page” for today.
    SIDEBAR: The Methow Valley is a unique place way back in the high country of the North Cascades, not a name. That’s how ”Methow Ken”.
    :-]

  21. A little while ago I thought I’d lost a very good friend after we’d had a discussion about AGW; he thought that the IPCC was the be-all-and-end-all authority and I disagreed strongly. But, he’s a long-serving Police officer like me and a few weeks ago he simply had to come and ask me where was my “evidence” for my “denier” position. I gave him some pointers, WUWT being one of the sites I aimed him at.
    Yesterday he approached me and asked me what I thought of this Climategate controversy. I equivocated and asked him what he thought. He said, and I quote with his permission, “This climate change is a load of bollocks.”
    He thinks that the leaked information from the CRU contains sufficient information for any competent Police officer to compile files for presentation to the Crown Prosecution Service for permission to arrest and charge.
    My friend is a highly regarded Detective Chief Inspector who deeply regrets that the CRU is not within his area of jurisdiction.

    • Stephen Brown:

      My friend is a highly regarded Detective Chief Inspector who deeply regrets that the CRU is not within his area of jurisdiction.

      Perhaps he can contact someone who does have jurisdiction?

  22. @Kelly Meek
    There are no comic book villains. A few might be doing it for fame and money but the majority (including the supporters) are doing it because they believe it the right thing to do. As does everyone. Evil is banal, it’s good intentioned.

  23. Scientists behaving badly, eh? Well it’s partly right. I may not know what the consensus definition of a scientist is but I would hope it includes using the scientific method and allowing access to and open criticism of your work – not just your conclusions.

  24. Obama is going to pick up his “medal” and come home. Then, hop back aboard(another chance to re-read GQ mag.) and head back to the conference. Guess how much carbon those trips will put out. No matter the news, the cap and trade is too big to let slip by. Something they want will probably come out of this meeting -damn the news.
    Cheers

  25. Quote of the week ?
    “Someone needs to break the bad news to the players that it’s closing time for the climate horror show.”

  26. [emphasis mine]

    In 2004, Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin wrote in the New York Review of Books: “Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals, although it is by no means obvious why this should be so.

    Not obvious? Maybe it is because many, if not most, university administrators lean to liberal points of view, and so, conservative applicants for professorship/teaching positions are selectively deselected and/or never get tenure. ‘spose?
    And why may that be so?

  27. I just read the article and yes, it was very good at summarizing what was going on. Is it just me and my obsession, but there was not a single word mentioned in the summary article about any consideration of solar radiation variations? How can we account for that? Are the “hockey stick” crowd so oblivious to the mounting evidence that there is an observable correlation between sunspots or lack thereof and temperatures/climate/weather on earth? Why do the Al Gore crowd spend so much time digging up ice core samples at great cost instead of brushing up on solar historical data, which by now is many centuries old? Why is it that the main driver of temperature and weather on this planet is routinely ignored by the media? I just don’t understand the way in which the Hansen Hockey Stick crowd have hijacked all critical dialogue in favor of their new found religious tenets? How did this come about?
    I am all in favor of going off of fossil fuels as soon as possible. I am also in favor of all possible ways the world body can bring pressure to bear on Columbia and Brazil to bring effective enforcement to Amazon rain forest destruction. There has to be a balance in the dialogue; while I am not in favor of protecting Exxon, Mobil or Gazprom, I am very impatient for other actors to be held accountable.

  28. SumGi (12:30:50) :
    @Kelly Meek
    There are no comic book villains. A few might be doing it for fame and money but the majority (including the supporters) are doing it because they believe it the right thing to do. As does everyone. Evil is banal, it’s good intentioned.

    95% of the general public in the western world are educated by 30 second news grabs. Those with the largest voice and “Credibility” win with this audience.

  29. fred houpt (16:22:00) :
    I am all in favor of going off of fossil fuels as soon as possible.

    Very noble. I am sure that this would be the desire for 99% of the world population.
    If you stick around here at WUWT for long enough you will find threads and posts that will let you know that this is not viable for the current world population. The reality is that modern civilian is inextricably linked to fossil fuels.
    That’s the real aim of CopenHoaxen – stifle civilsation and population.
    Hasn’t Holdren already advocated this?

  30. Phil Jones is incredibly naive if he thinks that his actions cannot be construed as political. Whether or not they are selfish is irrelevant. The litmus test of political behaviour is whether your behaviour has a material impact on political decisions of significant importance. By any standards, Jones’ work and activities since 2000 must be judged as political according to that test….
    Scientists ‘when acting in their capacity as professional scientists’ are at their best giving impartial advice. That is not necessarily true. They are most valuable to politicians when they act thus, since the politicians in general are not trained in science and therefore do not have the technical nous and background to be players in the smoke ‘n’ mirrors parts of the scientific horse-trading. It is far from the case that Einstein’s best contributions to humanity came when writing to US Presidents – they came when writing seminal, earth-shattering scientific papers early in the 20th century as a relatively young man.
    I think the thing which now has to be settled though and settled by concensus over as short a time period as is reasonable, is this:
    Even if data sets from CRU, GISS and other places are neither perfect, nor have they been manipulated scientificallly and even if Siberian tree studies are not perfect either, does the body of scientific data remaining represent a strong enough case for a warming phase of world climate to proceed with political activity, or does the whole house of cards start falling down.
    1. What would be the key divergences of political action if:
    i. Climate is expected to continue warming due to carbon dioxide; vs
    ii. Climate is expected to continue warming due to other factors.
    OR:
    iii. Climate is expected to cool, but the cooling will be lessened due to rising carbon dioxide; vs
    iv. Climate is expected to cool and that cooling will be totally independent of carbon dioxide levels.
    OR:
    v. We have a 30 year hiatus in warming expected due to weaker solar predictions alongside increasing carbon dioxide, but warming will increase rapidly thereafter; vs
    vi. Any warming after 2030 is likely to be unaffected by carbon dioxide.
    Here are some key questions:
    1. If CCS technology is developed anyway, will there be useful applications even if atmospheric clean-up is unnecessary?
    2. Why does Copenhagen have to be about anything but sustainable construction practices, recycling practices and reafforestation policies, since on those three areas, concensus is almost certainly possible?
    3. Given that Iraq was about oil, we knew it was about oil, the politicians told us 1000 times it was NOT about oil, why should politicians expect us to believe them when they tell us the same story about climate science being driven by carbon dioxide??

  31. Third Party (06:49:33) :
    An interesting, short document for review:
    http://www.informath.org/pubs/EnE07a.pdf

    Indeed not only is the document you reference interesting, but so is the one referenced within that document at at http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5620/b19.htm
    When I was in graduate school (1976-1980) it was apparently common knowledge among graduate students that a few of their peers had fabricated data for use in theses or dissertations. We also knew of at least one instance of a prof plagarizing the work of one of his peers. At the time I thought of this behavior as an occasional aberration, but there is now enough evidence of it in almost all fields of science that I wonder if nearly everyone hasn’t been either a victim or perpetrator of unethical academic activity, or has had to help sweep some of it from public view.
    We cannot know for certain how common activities like fabrication, duplicative publication in multiple journals, plagarism, abuse of peer reviewer status by way of leaking pre-publication materials or helping to spike publications, or holding potential publications hostage in exchange for citations, are because the academic world lacks transparency. Few people ever try to replicate work.

  32. Third Party (06:49:33) :
    An interesting, short document for review:
    http://www.informath.org/pubs/EnE07a.pdf

    Indeed not only is the document you reference interesting, but so is the one referenced within that document at at http://www.informath.org/apprise/a5620/b19.htm
    When I was in graduate school (1976-1980) it was apparently common knowledge among graduate students that a few of their peers had fabricated data for use in theses or dissertations. We also knew of at least one instance of a prof plagarizing the work of one of his peers. At the time I thought of this behavior as an occasional aberration, but their is now enough vidence of it in almost all fields of science that I wonder if nearly everyone hasn’t been either a victim or perpetrator of unethical academic activity, or has had to help sweep some of it from public view.
    We cannot know for certain how common activities like fabrication, duplicative publication in multiple journals, plagarism, abuse of peer reviewer status by way of leaking pre-publication materials or helping to spike publications, or holding potential publications hostage in exchange for citations, are because the academic world lacks transparency. Few people ever try to replicate work.

  33. Moderator–I have no idea what WordPress does with comments at times, but I have attempted to send one now twice on this thread, and it simply vanishes…
    [Sometimes WordPress is a mystery. Your comments are rescued and posted now. ~dbstealey, mod.]

  34. Just a technical point I’d like to make:
    Could the person who posts these articles please note the difference between a hyphen and a dash? When I am reading I do not know whether “-” is a hyphen or a dash because they are both used identically. In the interest of greater clarity, please put white space on either side of “-” if it’s to be a dash, or better yet, use “–” to represent a dash. Example:
    Instead of
    The emails–more than 1,000 of them–reveal a small cabal of scientists who, in the words of MIT’s Michael Schrage, engaged in “malice, mischief and Machiavellian maneuverings.”
    Write
    The emails – more than 1,000 of them – reveal a small cabal of scientists who, in the words of MIT’s Michael Schrage, engaged in “malice, mischief and Machiavellian maneuverings.”
    Thanks!

  35. Another correction: it seems as if I we are not allowed to use double hyphens to represent a dash. Just use white space then! Sorry moderators!

  36. Anthony G. (18:27:03) :
    “In the interest of greater clarity, please put white space on either side of “-” if it’s to be a dash, or better yet, use “–” to represent a dash.”

    The problem is that WordPress converts a double hyphen into a single hyphen (as you no doubt saw when you posted your comment)—and thus it’s not possible to create one by typing two hyphens into its text box. (In the sentence I just wrote, which I created in Word, I’ve used a true dash character. We’ll see if WordPress displays it properly.) Thus it seems that inserting spaces on either side of the “dash” is necessary here, and perhaps elsewhere on the Net.
    Copy editors are trained to eliminate spaces adjacent to a dash, which amateur writers usually insert, but it may be that the amateurs’ practice should be tolerated or adopted. By making the dash stand out better, the spaces add clarity.

  37. HAHA. Thanks Anthony and CTM
    Free the code;
    Treemometer
    Run for the ice
    Quatloos for climate betting
    Piltdown Mann
    Crutape letters
    I just wish Lukewarmer was mine, but alas somebody else at CA thought of it.
    Moshpit rules.

  38. Stephen Brown (12:00:24) :
    He thinks that the leaked information from the CRU contains sufficient information for any competent Police officer to compile files for presentation to the Crown Prosecution Service for permission to arrest and charge.
    My friend is a highly regarded Detective Chief Inspector who deeply regrets that the CRU is not within his area of jurisdiction.

    I know the turf is jealously guarded, and the case will have ‘kid gloves’ stamped on the dossier, but wouldn’t it be great if some lowly bobby were to feel Jones’ collar.
    “Phil Jones?”
    “yes”
    “You’re nicked me old beauty”
    “On what charges?”
    “It says ‘ere, conspiracy to misappropriate research funds, conspiracy to destroy records requested under the FOIA, and being dressed in a pink shirt whilst wearing brown trousers and a corduroy jacket.”

  39. There are about 20 links to obscure articles on Climategate posted at the American Power site linked to above. I’ve copied the block of them into a Word file for later perusal. Others might do the same.

  40. i have a paper i would like to send you telling you how we can save our country
    and put more people to work.
    please send me an email address to send it to you

  41. Most academics are left-leaning because they have chosen academia over doing scientific work in the private sector (i.e. they are self-filtering) and they are paid for out of the public purse (and therefore vote left-wing out of self-interest which they then justify by adopting the politics of the party it is in their interest to support).
    Scientists seem to have developed an increasingly Messianic approach to world affairs. However, if Climategate shows us anything it is that scientists are not “gods” whose statements are the output of logical analysis and must be looked up to, admired and indeed feared. They are driven by exactly the same animal emotions as the rest of us, and are therefore no less fallible.

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