Peer-to-Peer Review: How ‘Climategate’ Marks the Maturing of a New Science Movement, Part I

Posted by Patrick Courrielche Jan 8th 2010 at bigjournalism.com

How a tiny blog and a collective of climate enthusiasts broke the biggest story in the history of global warming science – but not without a gatekeeper of the climate establishment trying to halt its proliferation.

It was triggered at the most unlikely of places. Not in the pages of a prominent science publication, or by an experienced muckraker. It was triggered at a tiny blog – a bit down the list of popular skeptic sites. With a small group of followers, a blog of this size could only start a media firestorm if seeded with just the right morsel of information, and found by just the right people. Yet it was at this location that the most lethal weapon against the global warming establishment was unleashed.

The blog was the Air Vent. The information was a link to a Russian server that contained 61 MB of files now known as Climategate. Within two weeks of the file’s introduction, the story appeared on 28,400,000 web pages.

Not entirely the “death of global warming” as many have claimed – what happened with Climategate is much more nuanced and exponentially more interesting than the headlines convey. What was triggered at this blog was the death of unconditional trust in the scientific peer review process, and the maturing of a new movement – that of peer-to-peer review.

This development may horrify the old guard, but peer-to-peer review was just what forced the release of the Climategate files – and as a consequence revealed the uncertainty of the science and the co-opting of the process that legitimizes global warming research. It was a collective of climate blogs, centered on the work of Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, which applied the pressure. With moderators and blog commenters that include engineers, PhDs, statistics whizzes, mathematic experts, software developers, and weather specialists – the label flat-earthers, as many of their opponents have attempted to brand them, seems as fitting as tagging Lady Gaga with the label demure.

This peer-to-peer review network is the group that applied the pressure and then helped authenticate and proliferate the story.

Now, as expected, the virtual organism that is the global warming establishment resisted release of the weapon. At the first appearance of the Climategate files, which contained a plethora of emails and documents from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, the virtual organism moved to halt their promulgation. Early on, a few of the emails were posted on Lucia Liljegren’s skeptic blog The Blackboard. Shortly after the post, Lucia, a PhD and specialist in fluid mechanics, received an email from prominent climatologist Gavin Schmidt from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It said in part, “[A] word to the wise… I don’t think that bloggers are shielded under any press shield laws and so, if I were you, I would not post any content, nor allow anyone else to do so.”

In response to my inquiry about his email, Schmidt posited, “I was initially concerned that she might be in legal jeopardy in posting the stolen emails.” Gavin Schmidt was included in over 120 of the leaked correspondence.

Gavin_SchmidtGavin Schmidt

When asked if she thought the Climategate documents were a big deal at first sight, Lucia responded, “Yes. In fact, I was even more sure after Gavin [Schmidt] sent me his note.”

Remember these names: Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Jeff “Id” Condon, Lucia Liljegren, and Anthony Watts. These, and their community of blog commenters, are the global warming contrarians that formed the peer-to-peer review network and helped bring chaos to Copenhagen – critically wounding the prospects of cap-and-trade legislation in the process. One may have even played the instrumental role of first placing the leaked files on the Internet.

Read the rest of the story here.

h/t to Ed Scott from a correctly admonished charles the moderator

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135 thoughts on “Peer-to-Peer Review: How ‘Climategate’ Marks the Maturing of a New Science Movement, Part I

  1. Hmmm. Mann and Schmidt look an awful lot alike. I suppose one could say ‘great fraudulent minds look alike’…

  2. The liberation of the Climategate files was a real eye-opener for me. I work in the business world, but I make use of academic papers from time to time. Engineering was my career choice, but I could have ended up in the academic world. I suppose I was naive to assume that all scientists were simply searching for knowledge and truth. I have a belief that there is a right way to behave, and now that I have discovered that my tax money is being used to fund the behaviour revealed by the Climategate files, I am not happy.

  3. It is not just climate science peer review process that is under fire. The British Journal Lancet has also found a number of fraudulent researches passed through the peer review process. Hope the Bristish scientific coummunity will also look at their climate research establishments publications in the same manner as Lancet.

  4. Shortly after the post, Lucia, a PhD and specialist in fluid mechanics, received an email from prominent climatologist Gavin Schmidt from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). It said in part, “[A] word to the wise… I don’t think that bloggers are shielded under any press shield laws and so, if I were you, I would not post any content, nor allow anyone else to do so.”

    In response to my inquiry about his email, Schmidt posited, “I was initially concerned that she might be in legal jeopardy in posting the stolen emails.”

    Of course you were concerned Gavin. How could we ever doubt you?

  5. Very interesting how Schmidt appears to insinuate his every fibre into containing leaks about AGW. What with all his time spent at Real Climate and sending notes to people freely publishing publicly funded documents – when does he get to work for NASA? Or is that just a stained cloak he wears? And shouldn’t NASA’s front office look at what he’s been up to?

    What Gavin is going to discover is that veiled threats against good people doing a civic duty – will not be overlooked. This email to Lucia will come back to haunt him – like Marley’s ghost.

  6. Ah well, you wanna get rich and famous, if it takes lies and manipulating the recorded temperature history of the entire earth, so what. If you gotta pile some intimidation on top of it, so what.

    I only ask myself how moderate warmers like von Storch and maybe Mojib Latif are still able to justify for themselves their own (slightly less cacophonic) scaremongering, now that the gangleaders are known to be crooks (at least to those who care to look).

  7. Thank you, Lucia Liljegren, for having the courage to break this story, and thank you Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Jeff “Id” Condon, and Anthony Watts for keeping the ball rolling.

    I should also thank Gavin Schmidt from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) for playing his role so well.

    As more climategate unfolds, don’t be surprised if you eventually uncover these words from a secret meeting about December 9, 2000:

    “OK, GEORGE, YOU BE USA PRESIDENT; I’LL BE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD!”

    That’s what it looks like now,
    OLiver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  8. Unfortunately the bigjournalism website is censoring posts. In response to a comment that the data, though removed from the CRU site, was still available, I posted links to 3 stories in MSM that discussed the CRU statement regarding their removal of the original data. The post including links was deleted, a follup post discussing the refusal of the CRU to supply the station names that were used was allowed to stand.

  9. First Gavin S. tries to warn Lucia off with possibly off the cuff legalese and then goes on the record to all and sundry saying that there is nothing in these emails that are of any consequence.

  10. SouthernMan (01:52:58)

    Follow the money and the 1000:1 ratio in research spending (State
    pro AGW : private skeptical).

  11. Keep that snowball rolling. Hopefully it’ll roll right over a large number of politicians.
    Here in the USA, some Democrats are already announcing they’re retiring, leaving open seats for free-for-all elections this year. Same for a few of the RINO (Republican In Name Only) politicians.

    P.S. How cold is it? Jurassic Parka! http://sale.images.woot.com/Jurassic_ParkapjeDetail.png

  12. This whole scandal reminds me of a quote attributed to Stalin:

    “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.”

    In the world of global warming this can be translated to:

    “It’s not the temperature readings that determine the science. It’s the scientists who adjust the temperature readings.”

  13. “Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Jeff “Id” Condon, Lucia Liljegren, and Anthony Watts.”
    First of all, THANKS to these individuals.
    Yet, I find the signals coming from the CRU investigation to be disturbing, as I feel they are investigating the wrong matters. I wouldn’t want to be in Jeff Id’s shoes right now. Even if it was a whistle-blower on the inside, the Law may not see it that way. Illegally accessing information can be done by downloading with key strokes, or getting it through someone inside. The result is the same – illegal possession.
    Of course – this is not what the story ought to be about. The question is: Are we dealing with an out-of-control government and justice or not?
    We’ll soon find out.

  14. ad (02:18:34) :

    If you don’t toe the Algore, Mann, Schmidt, Romm religious party line you are worse then a “skeptic”, you are a “denier” of the holy cause of AGW. Once you you approach the disscussion from that POV everything else fall in line. So to them yes Jeff Id and Lucia are skeptic’s and deniers, since they don’t believe the earth is going to end if we don’t do something now, nOW, NOW!

  15. Les Francis (02:15:49) : edit

    First Gavin S. tries to warn Lucia off with possibly off the cuff legalese and then goes on the record to all and sundry saying that there is nothing in these emails that are of any consequence.

    Well he would wouldn’t he. Being up to his neck in the whole affair.

  16. FWIW, the paragraph:


    Not entirely the “death of global warming” as many have claimed – what happened with Climategate is much more nuanced and exponentially more interesting than the headlines convey. What was triggered at this blog was the death of unconditional trust in the scientific peer review process, and the maturing of a new movement – that of peer-to-peer review.

    Looks to me like it is repeated twice… [Reply: Thanks, fixed. ~dbs]

    Also, BTW, I think the more powerfull process is “Peer to PUBLIC” review. Forget all this Editor as Gatekeeper and peer review stuff. It is straight up Joe Sixpack Review that is turning up the truth.

    “The truth needs no Gatekeeper. -E.M.Smith”

    From just another joe sixpack…

    {BTW, I like Pilsner most… but Sam Adams is good too ;-) and I really meant it when I said ‘just another joe sixpack’ … }

  17. Otter (01:48:23) :

    “Hmmm. Mann and Schmidt look an awful lot alike. I suppose one could say ‘great fraudulent minds look alike’…”

    One thing I’ve noticed is that Schmidt always looks to be well wrapped up against global warming. And Mann is always sitting amongst a pile of logs for the wood burning stove. One thing’s for sure: trees make for better fuel than they do thermometers.

  18. Science, that great bastion of Western endeavour that has prolonged our lives, given us a comfortable existence and eliminated many of the desperate counters to a civilised society, has been sullied by these cheap, myopic, idealogical fools.

    A decade hence, the Team ‘scientists’ will be remembered for nothing more than how not to do science.

    The reputation of science itself will take much longer to be restored and that is the real tragedy of the AGW fallacy.

  19. Cliamtegate has had an even more profound impact here in the UK on the way in which the public perceive the Science-Government-Industry Complex. Like most educated lay-persons – I had generally assumed that the Science establishment was fundamentally honest – that the universities were independent and that researchers would not falsify data to achieve the results which industry or government demanded. Climategate has opened people’s eyes to the fact that the entire ‘system’ is driven and controlled by politicians and environmental and industrial lobby groups.

    Sherlock Holmes has a famous story, the gist of which was ‘The Dog Which Did Not Bark in the Night’. The question I would like answered is why the entire university and science establishment in the UK fell in step behind the CRU crowd and launched such a unified barrage of attacks on sceptics. I may be missing something but I cannot recall ANY British academic or university taking a strongly sceptic position – either before or after Climategate. All of the genuine open-mindedness is coming from across the Atlantic – from the USA and Canada – or from Australia and New Zealand.

    Over here in the UK we are seeing a military-style co-ordination of all major government funded institutions – who all issue the ‘Party Line’ at every opportunity: every government department from Industry to Education; all the universities, the MET Office, the Royal Society, the RSPB, the National Trust, all the wildlife bodies; all local authorities. It is astonishingly uniform -and reveals the enormous depth of political and financial patronage which the government employs to ensure a rigid adherence to the Catechism of the new Global Warming Religion.

    I am not a professional scientist but the massive flaws in the AGW hypothesis are self evident wherever one turns in looking at the evidence. So what REALLY annoys me is that famous organisations like THE ROYAL SOCIETY – stuffed to the gunnels with eminent scientists – is so utterly conformist and un-sceptical.

    The UK Science Establishment will NEVER be forgiven for “selling its birthright for a mess of pottage” – and jettisoning the 400 year reputation for logic and sceptical Science laid down by Locke, Newton, Rutherford, Maxwell, Crick & Watson – and a hundred other great scientists.

    We will NEVER trust any government-funded university department ever again; it is clear that they are just ‘cogs in the machine’ which is funded and greased by £billions of government cash to ‘produce the results demanded’.

  20. E. M. Smith: May I slip my one-liner under yours?

    “The truth needs no Gatekeeper.” -E.M.Smith

    “There is no concern of man, either real or imagined, which cannot be manipulated for profit.” -Roger Carr

  21. Quote: Borderer (03:08:59) :

    “Climategate has had an even more profound impact here in the UK on the way in which the public perceive the Science-Government-Industry Complex. Like most educated lay-persons – I had generally assumed that the Science establishment was fundamentally honest – that the universities were independent and that researchers would not falsify data to achieve the results which industry or government demanded.”

    Very sadly I must admit that I watched helplessly as the integrity of science gave way to the need for research funds in NASA’s space science program for the last four decades (1969-2009).

    NASA hid or manipulated any data that suggested the Sun is anything but a ball of hydrogen (H) heated by H-fusion [which is empirically false]. NASA was in no position to express an opinion when global warming propaganda came into vogue, because NASA could not even explain solar cycles!

    Before Climategate, I had no idea that the corruption I experienced in NASA and in the Geophysics Division of NAS was so widespread.

    As climategate unfolds, I expect more corruption will be exposed.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  22. Thank crunchie Al invented the interweby thing. Darwin had to endure months, years event, between letters and papers to peers. Now it takes nano-seconds.

    Once again, thanks Al!

  23. It’s clear to me that the “silent majority” are wising up to the AGW nonsense. The more people like Al Gore, Mann, etc. talk or publish the bigger the hole they are digging for themselves. In time they will have to realize how stupid they look.

  24. Borderer (03:08:59) :

    It is astonishingly uniform -and reveals the enormous depth of political and financial patronage which the government employs to ensure a rigid adherence to the Catechism of the new Global Warming Religion.

    Have you not noticed that all of the EU is behind the band wagon of AGW? We all ready have made Al Gore et al rich with carbon trading for goodness sake!

    What has been happening with the academia of the west is the centralization of research financing and the decision of what is good and what is bad science is up to scientific bureaucrats in some central spot. For EU it is Brussels. They do have committees, but who decides on the committees? centralized bureaucrats.

    This has resulted in two detrimental for science results:
    1) Independent budgets for academia have been reduced, certainly not augmented
    2) hierarchy within the universities (and research institutes) is destroyed . The fellow who can write good proposals and shovels in the money has the power.

    This has created the means by which a cabal could take over climate studies by controlling a few central bureaucracy decisions on who gets financed.
    Politicians, particularly in the EU are out on every occasion parroting AGW. Who trained them?

    This centralized method of financing has destroyed the independent schools of research according to universities that gave the necessary intellectual competition of differing research results and theories. Large inter university collaborations are encouraged in order to get more money. One more nail on the coffin of independent research. That is why the mantra of AGW can be found in the most disparate funding proposals: it is a way of getting the project through the bureaucrats and getting funded.

    I think the only solution would be to start financing seriously the universities independently. The departments within the universities should distribute the money according to proposals with internal peer review from all disciplines within the university. This will leave researchers free to do research instead of spending half their time in filling up bureaucratic forms asking for money and defending the spending.

    It is not that in this case some research could not be high jacked by a monomaniac like Mann and go off the rails. It is that there will be many independent university researchers who could check and balance the monomaniacs. In addition, no research result could acquire this mantle of “science is settled” when there will be many schools with different nuances on the science.

  25. onlyme (02:11:46) :

    Unfortunately the bigjournalism website is censoring posts. In response to a comment that the data, though removed from the CRU site, was still available, I posted links to 3 stories in MSM that discussed the CRU statement regarding their removal of the original data. The post including links was deleted, a follup post discussing the refusal of the CRU to supply the station names that were used was allowed to stand.

    Umm, I found what looks like your post, going by your description of the reply to it. A link, the words “CRU removed raw data, kept only adjusted.”, followed by four links.

    For one thing, if replying to a comment then use the reply button, keeps the threads orderly and it quickly identifies to readers what you are replying to.

    For something else, the Breitbart sites (except the video one) use the Intense Debate comment system. Which is… quirky. ID uses automatic word filtering software, which is a pain. A “bad” word normally trips an automatic “This comment must be approved by the administration before appearing publicly” message, although certain ones get “This comment has been deleted by the administration” as soon as you hit the “Submit Comment” button.

    The word lists used are… strange, and currently vary between the sites. They often are set to capture spam posts, and the software hunts out words (actually the sequences of letters) within other words. Thus on Big Government, a political site, people kept getting the “must be approved” messages for using “socialist” because the ID system was blocking “Cialis,” the drug name. ID will even complain if they are within URL’s.

    Otherwise, there is no censorship on the Breitbart ID sites. Period. There is automatic word filtering. People can hit the “Report” button and complain about something offensive and the admins may delete that comment. But active monitoring by humans, selectively deciding which posts to allow and which to delete? Censorship by definition? Never saw it, doesn’t happen. The sites, as in Intense Debate, are just not set up for it.

  26. I liken this to the outing of Catholic priests as child molesters. The majority of the faithful forgave them, a minority of the faithful questioned their faith and those who were delivering the message unto them while a small sect in the hierarchy of that religion worked at casting doubt on the accusations of children.

  27. It is really signicficant that the establishment views are being challenged by thousands of individuals working collectively using blogs. The timing of the Climategate info on to the blogosphere was very convenient and helped to get the corruption into the media who are often too slow to report these heretical stories.

    Climategate has also stimulated political (rather than science) blogs to dig up the political aspects of Climategate and these stories are now coming into their own. The political aspect of Climategate is now reaching the media; tonight expect more to come out this weekend in the Sunday Telegragph from the team of bloggers working with Richard North on EUreferendum.

    Again the stories have arrived at an opportune moment because the extreme cold in the UK is already a topic of conversation amongst ordinary folk and people are wondering how it can be blamed on extreme weather caused by AGW.

  28. Just read the Sunday Telegragph story has been put off a week because:

    “The Sunday Telegraph, in common with other Sunday newspapers, is having to scale back production and cut back the size of their papers. Our piece, therefore, has been held over until next week.

    That said, we have some stunning revelations to make – we have clearly landed some blows and there are white flags flying in certain quarters, with “Patchy”, as he likes to call himself, squealing with indignation about a “vendetta.”

    However, perforce, I am in purdah for the time being. My lips are sealed and the blog must remain silent for a week on Patchygate, not through any legal intervention – white flags are being run up the mast in that quarter as well – but simply, I have to give the newspaper the first crack of the whip.”

  29. anna v (04:23:46) : “Have you not noticed that all of the EU is behind the band wagon of AGW? …”
    Much to think about in this short essay, Anna. Thank you.


  30. Patrick Davis (03:53:48) :

    Thank crunchie Al invented the interweby thing. Darwin had to endure months, years event, between letters and papers to peers. Now it takes nano-seconds.

    Well, more than nanosceoconds really; just try a ‘ping’ of the website here for instance:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ping www.wattsupwiththat.com

    Pinging wattsupwiththat.com [72.233.2.59] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=52

    Ping statistics for 72.xxx.xxx.xxx:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 19ms, Maximum = 21ms, Average = 20ms

    Average time: About 20 milliseconds.

    So, the “papers to peers” time (getting info before another reader’s eyeballs) would seem to work out to be to be at least 20 ms ( which was established experimentally above) and more likely 20 ms x2 (this yields round-trip time of poster->web_sitesite->reader) _plus_ moderator approval time (which seems to be a _lot_ longer than 20ms!)

    Therefore the “papers to peers” time would at a minimum be:

    “papers to peers” = ( 20 ms * 2 ) + Moderator_approval_time

    .
    .

  31. eo (01:55:46) :

    It is not just climate science peer review process that is under fire. The British Journal Lancet has also found a number of fraudulent researches passed through the peer review process.

    I put together a post for the London Telegraph due to someone claiming that the “emails” indicated nothing untoward re. peer review and while doing so came across a few links that may be of interest.
    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/med-journals-adopt-new-disclosure-rules/ It discusses new requirements for personal as well as other elements of disclosure.

    “Editors at leading medical journals have agreed to adopt a new standard conflict of interest disclosure form that probes deep into the financial and nonfinancial interests of published authors”

    Also came across this NYT article of a couple of years ago.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/02/health/02docs.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1


  32. onlyme (02:11:46) :

    Unfortunately the bigjournalism website is censoring posts. In …

    Nay; Your post is showing up over there now.

    Time stamped ATTM as “10 hours ago”.
    .
    .


  33. Oliver K. Manuel (02:11:04) :

    As more climategate unfolds, don’t be surprised if you eventually uncover these words from a secret meeting about December 9, 2000:

    “OK, GEORGE, YOU BE USA PRESIDENT; I’LL BE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD!”

    Why didn’t Algore (and George) come to a decision sooner? As it was, the Supreme Court rendered their second and final ruling on Tuesday night, December 12 and Algore finally conceded on Wednesday Dec. 13th after thirty six days of political and legal turmoil.

    What information specially indicates the “9th” for you; did I somehow miss out on another conspiracy theory? (Perhaps I missed the sarc tag in which case “never mind”!!???)

    Timeline of events for 2000 Election and after up through Gore Concession

    .
    .

  34. And AGW has produced so much snow the newspapers cannot be delivered.

    anna V – I agee with what you say

  35. “_Jim (05:23:15) :

    Patrick Davis (03:53:48) :

    Thank crunchie Al invented the interweby thing. Darwin had to endure months, years event, between letters and papers to peers. Now it takes nano-seconds.

    Well, more than nanosceoconds really; just try a ‘ping’ of the website here for instance:

    C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator>ping http://www.wattsupwiththat.com

    Pinging wattsupwiththat.com [72.233.2.59] with 32 bytes of data:

    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=21ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=19ms TTL=52
    Reply from 72.xxx.xxx.xxx: bytes=32 time=20ms TTL=52

    Ping statistics for 72.xxx.xxx.xxx:
    Packets: Sent = 4, Received = 4, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
    Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
    Minimum = 19ms, Maximum = 21ms, Average = 20ms

    Average time: About 20 milliseconds.

    So, the “papers to peers” time (getting info before another reader’s eyeballs) would seem to work out to be to be at least 20 ms ( which was established experimentally above) and more likely 20 ms x2 (this yields round-trip time of poster->web_sitesite->reader) _plus_ moderator approval time (which seems to be a _lot_ longer than 20ms!)

    Therefore the “papers to peers” time would at a minimum be:

    “papers to peers” = ( 20 ms * 2 ) + Moderator_approval_time

    .
    .

    Is this post tongue in cheek? Compared to Darwin, yes nanoo-nanoo seconds for us today.

  36. Scientific peer review is a be-atch. It’s no wonder the Team members developed a bunker mentality and decided they needed to “redefine the peer-review process”. Here, unauthenticated, but quite possibly actual footage from inside the CRU:

  37. Is it time to drop the “gate”? The CRU affair is much more significant than just being caught doing something we all know they do anyway. They could have walked away with a “fair cop gov” and their tails between their legs, but they’re too big to admit defeat. A “grad” is the all-or-nothing defence of the indefensible. And the parallels of being encircled by reality on the frozen steppes are cherries waiting to be picked. So given that hubristic overreach is inevitably followed by epic downfall, would “Climategrad” now be more apropos?

  38. Kadaka, Jim, thx for the correction. Guess I need to wait longer than I did for any review process to complete. My bad, and apologies to the Breitbart folks.

  39. Oops, sorry, I only meant to post the link. Mods, forgive me, without a preview function, I know not what I post.

    S.

  40. “Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Jeff “Id” Condon, Lucia Liljegren, and Anthony Watts”

    There are a few others, but I want to thank the above named.

    I’m an engineer who has worked with climate for more than 40 years. I have a few stats of my own. I HAVE A FEW OF MY OOOOOOOOOWN

  41. Our local (formerly major) daily newspaper, the Kansas City Star has not yet printed a single news article about Climate Gate or its impact. They did publish an editorial saying Climate Gate was a non-issue.

    I suppose they didn’t publish any news about it because it was a non-issue? Its meaningless, so no needs to write about it? Funny that it rated an editorial, isn’t it?

  42. Borderer,

    An excellent post. This is exactly how the New Labour project works. I recommend Simon Raven’s novels of the late ‘fifties where he foretells the saprophitic nature of the left-liberal takeover of our Universities and by extension the whole scientific process.

    But stand by for the whole rotten structure to fall apart as the money ain’t there any more.

    And, one has to make the point that the great past science you quote was done mainly by private individuals usually working alone, but in correspondence with each other. In other words real science is not actually dependent on large government-funded teaching institutions with their formal hierarchies and politics, and will survive the equivalent of ‘the dissolution of the monasteries’

    We have all had enough of the hermetic bulls***t that passes for intellectual progress in such places as UEA and CRU. Enough of this secretive ‘consenting adults in private’ stuff.

    And now with the web, we can hopefully look forward to the re-emergence of the kind of science practiced in the time of Faraday, which was done in front of adults in public.

    PS for someone who did start ‘barking in the night ‘.. I suggest you try Prof. Philip Stott’s excellent blog:

    http://web.mac.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Archive.html

  43. This post is very insightful in pointing out that the “peer review” process, or at least the ability of warmists to wave peer review as a talisman to ward off criticism has been changed by Climategate. Warmists chronically touted papers that supported their position as pure science and above challenge because they were peer reviewed. The papers may have contained unproven hypotheses and untested models but because they were peer reviewed the warmists felt they were scientifically rigorous. Climategate demonstrated to all that the peer review process in climate science was corrupted.

    Even in non-corrupted areas of science peer review does not insure that a published paper contains truth. The posting below recounts how there are multiple contradictory versions of string theory in physics journals, all of which passed peer review and virtually all of which must be false. It describes what peer review is and is not and states that merely passing peer review is a very bad basis for making public policy.

    http://chicagoboyz.net/archives/10481.html

  44. Interesting how Gavin would like to censure [edit, snip, etc.] others from giving opinions, as his “RealClimate?” site does on a regular basis. Of course it’s under the “real science” cover, or you ignorant fool ( multiple engineering degrees, patents, national & international papers) don’t bother us.

    -17 F, -34F windchill this A.M., where is Al when you need him?

  45. Bob: “-17 F, -34F windchill this A.M., where is Al when you need him?”

    Sorry, Bob, but that IS the Gore effect. Better to place him permanently at either pole so it stays frozen forever (or alternate him with the seasons so the N. Pole is extremely cold in that hemisphere’s winter and move him to the S. Pole so it’s extremely cold in that hemisphere’s winter). I don’t think he’s welcome in Copenhagen anymore.

  46. yeah,

    julian in wales, you can’t tease us like this and then not tell us. I read the telegraph all of the time so i don’t want to miss it.

  47. Hilarious that a climate scientist is trying to hide behind the legal profession! Meanwhile, these guys are feeding the right wing of tomorrow because it’s all going to collapse eventually and, so far, it’s pretty much the right wing fanatics that are pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

  48. Let me be perfectly clear:

    We have started another cold war.

    Snow and ice vs the B.S. from the warmists

    thousands of schools closed in Britain. How can they teach about that white wonderfull warming when the kiddies stay at home?

  49. Climate change activists have defended themselves by accusing critics of three things:

    “not in the field”
    “not peer reviewed”
    “anti-science”

    None of these made much sense.

    Is a statistician in the field of climate which is statistics of weather?
    Is peer review functionally a double checking of results?
    Is disagreement over one subject a rejection of the scientific method?

    I must say, it is the weakness of climate change activist’s arguments that is so troubling. If they had something more solid to back up their case, why aren’t they using it?

    However, these three defenses in effect boil down to a claim that climatology is somehow “special”.

    Climate change activists like to claim that skeptics nitpick. Climate change activists claim that skeptics are unreasonable for expecting “perfection”.

    And yet, the big three defenses (“in the field”, “peer review”, “the science”) are stated by climate activists as if they were perfect answers and absolute blocks to any criticism.

    Once they play “not in the field” card, they act like they no longer need to listen; case dismissed!

    They say skeptics are unresonable for expecting perfection, whilst they themselves act as if their three blocks are indeed perfect.

    But skeptics aren’t asking for perfection anyhow, we’re asking for practical and workable knowledge.

    Basically, climate change activists are part of a movement to “change the world” and maybe its got all sorts of interests, and maybe it’s just a generational thing (average people with inflated egos), but “maturity” here means divorcing science from vested interests and agendas.

    Of course, everyone can be biased to some extent, and I am biased, simply because I as a human have a culture and a point of view. Others have other points of view. Cultures and sub-cultures have “perceptual filters” and points of view.

    That isn’t to say that knowledge is not possible. The antidote is openness and checking. Get as many different views involved, and as much checking and double checking as possible.

    Peer review is just one form of checking. There need to be multiple forms of checking. Climatology is just one science. There need to be multiple disciplines involved (having the word “climate” in the title has no bearing on anything). And there needs to be more interest in pure science for its own sake, rather than how it supports “the agenda”.

  50. Peer review is not the problem – the way the peer review process was perverted is, and that is a problem with people not systems. Peer review seems to work fine enough in other arenas of science.

  51. “Roger Carr (03:10:01) :

    E. M. Smith: May I slip my one-liner under yours?

    “The truth needs no Gatekeeper.” -E.M.Smith

    “There is no concern of man, either real or imagined, which cannot be manipulated for profit.” -Roger Carr”

    Let me add one more that applies:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. ”
    -H. L. Mencken

  52. Remember these names: Steven Mosher, Steve McIntyre, Ross McKitrick, Jeff “Id” Condon, Lucia Liljegren, and Anthony Watts. These, and their community of blog commenters, are the global warming contrarians…

    Except that Steven Mosher and Steve McIntyre aren’t “global warming contrarians”. Poor reporting.

  53. someone mentioned the “government-science-industry complex” above, but i think you’re forgetting that media is as big a part of this as any other…

    i liked how crichton described it in state of fear, as the “politico-legal-media complex” or PLM

  54. Roger Carr (03:10:01) :

    E. M. Smith: May I slip my one-liner under yours?

    “The truth needs no Gatekeeper.” -E.M.Smith

    “There is no concern of man, either real or imagined, which cannot be manipulated for profit.” -Roger Carr

    Here’s another one a buddy of mine, John “Hondo” Hicks, used to go around announcing at every odd opportunity, or completely out of the blue, back in 1963:

    “It’s fun to be fooled, but it’s more fun to know the truth.”

  55. supercritical (07:37:16) :
    Borderer,
    An excellent post. This is exactly how the New Labour project works. I recommend Simon Raven’s novels of the late ‘fifties where he foretells the saprophitic nature of the left-liberal takeover of our Universities and by extension the whole scientific process.

    Here’s a link to the Simon Raven page on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Simon+Raven&x=0&y=0

    Carl Brannen (08:33:50) :

    Meanwhile, these guys are feeding the right wing of tomorrow because it’s all going to collapse eventually and, so far, it’s pretty much the right wing fanatics that are pointing out that the emperor has no clothes.

    If scandals continue to grow (with “Choo-Choo” maybe being the next domino to fall), if the MSM continues in denial about Climategate with Fox news (etc.) being the only outspoken outlet, if the current cooling trend (or blip, if you prefer) continues until November, if a few more scientific bigshots like Freeman Dyson speak out against AGW, etc., then the GOP will have a winning issue. (Although they may not explicitly become disbelievers yet, out of prudence. I.e., they may let activists not formally associated with the party carry the ball.)

    The more long-term effect, if this cool blip turns into a trend, and the alarmists’ talking points (glaciers, sea levels, etc.) are more and more widely discredited, is that the “have-a-problem? / get-a-program!” left will be have an albatross around its neck for decades. (E.g., they will be tainted by their association with their bullyboy Joe Romm, as the GOP was by its association with Joe McCarthy.) It’s amazing to me that some of their strategists haven’t sensed the fantastic risk of riding this issue if they are ever forced to dismount it. It’ll be hard for them to peel off this tarbaby, with so much of the documentation of their commitment to it embedded in the amber of the Internet.

    They can’t escape by claiming that Al Gore was a GOP agent provocateur. (Can they?)

  56. I am glad to see the light of day for ideas that come from people that do not fit the mold, required to submit to the peer review process.

    What about the well founded and timely researched ideas that come from Joe public, that do not attend a University, are not on faculty lists, or supervised by a PhD who is on the faculty at a major university. (Thus not eligible for funding and grants).

    What recourse do these people with good ideas have, but to struggle alone, working day jobs while they contemplate the greater marvels of how the universe works. Einstein worked a desk job as a patent clerk for years until he was able to get someone to listen to what he thought about all day long.

    The process of getting into collages and universities, to start with in fraught with stumbling blocks for the economically disadvantaged geniuses, who are overlooked for the preppy well to do kids, who are sent automatically into the best schools, where they just party and come out with a degree, that guarantees them a job, doing that other who are more interested, would be better able to do.

    Gate keeping starts in the applications process, and continues in the schools and PhD programs post grad. Conforming to the prejudices of the teacher wins them favored positions and better grades, when some time the “True” answer is not the one the teacher is looking to hear.

    There have been a lot of good studies, that did not find what the reviewers were expecting to find, so were not further funded, or not followed up on, until at some point, funding for whole areas of inquiry were just not available, and to mention certain key words in applications for funding automatically rejected them.

    This unjustified bias to some areas of study, still affect decisions on what is funded, published, and added to textbooks, and subsequently taught to beginning level students, for inclusion into accepted schools of thought.

    In meteorology in the 50’s the concept of building models to forecast the weather gained steam, then when the first computers came on line, over riding the search for some sort of repeating patterns, in the weather based on natural cyclic variables. The struggle for funding for buying computers shifted to the modelers side of the argument, less attention was paid to the search for the fabled “Natural Analog” weather forecast.

    As the years went by the claims of usefulness, from using models became the battle cry for funding grant applications, selections of those to be promoted into management positions were based on their papers written on models and applications.

    Today the individuals in the whole upper echelons of the weather services in most countries were put into place due to their respective ability to use and further develop improved models, and techniques.

    Climate models are just the extension of this mode of thinking, and as such still bear with them all of the problems inherent, in the assumptions made, because they are needed to pare down the data inputs, to a manageable size, in order to get them to run at all.

    Somewhere along the way, the tracking of the scent of the full spectrum the real forces driving the weather was lost, and is still not understood well enough to make the current models work past 7 to 10 days. The problems seen in the CRU team at EA are just another manifestation of the frustration inherent in using a flawed process, to replicate natural processes.

    It is only by finding the real atmospheric driving forces of nature, that we will find the relationships, between the laws and the effects, that make the weather and it’s long term average, the climate predictable.

    New ideas and new paradigms are needed, instead of continued rehashing of the incomplete set of parameters, that need to be considered to get it right, for a change for the better to occur. This new open atmosphere of peer to reader review, and compilation of new prevalent methods, is what is going to save us, not more big government programs and controls, by funding input guidance.

  57. Invariant,

    I couldn’t manage to finish the article as I began to slowly get alienated – I started to notice certain presumptions, certain judgments.

    What is it I should be looking for – you give the quote, which I didn’t get to, is it that?

    I want to bring up this flat earth business that keeps coming up – I have the impression that not only do we have complicated mathematical evidence that the world is round (I think sextants are also involved!) but there actually are pictures of earth from space. Or is it supposed to be that we don’t believe them? Isn’t there something about Gore saying we also all think the moon landing was staged in the Arizona desert?

    I’m totally sick of this attitude – there may very well be flat-earthers around, people who find it important to believe the earth is only 6000 years old, whatever. But the implication that there is no layperson like me out in the real world who isn’t a victim of some kind of propaganda, incapable of intelligent critical thought, is wearing me down.

    And somewhere even Intelligent Design is brought in? Isn’t that a whole different thing? Doesn’t that have to do with theories of beginnings?

    Some of us would just be happy to know what actually is. We are capable of handling conflicting theories. But we want facts and evidence. Especially when it becomes a question of power and authority. Some of us also want facts and evidence just because we like to know things.

    Right now, everyone has to drop whatever they were doing and learn about the things that are being used to control them. For me, it’s a pleasure too, as I’ve discovered theories that entrance me, such as Svensmark’s. I guess that old saw, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely is the operational theme. But I’m just lucky in that. What about the people who wanted to paint, to garden, to contribute in some non-scientific way? No, they have to drop it all or accept control by liars.

    But what a world when we have no time to concentrate on what we wish to learn, for our own pleasure and growth, because the controllers never stop. It takes all your energy just to keep on top of finding out the basis for the next totalitarian scheme.

    I did notice in the article the issue of trust was brought up, excuse my being judgmental but it seemed condescending. Well, faith has been broken for sure. I found that out, though, several years ago in issues that only affected a minority of us – I say “only” with some sarcasm – every life ruined for whatever reason is still a life. Now we have an issue of global proportions – still, each life affected is an individual life.

    I AM furious. I thought science could be trusted and my contribution or at minimum neutral in its effect, hopefully positive in small ways, existence on earth could be spent following my own pursuits, with honor, trusting that those following other stars did the same – with the occasional rotten apple quickly rooted out.

    Well, shall I try to finish the article or will it just get worse?

  58. A rarely noted aspect of COP15 is the way the time lock was used before the meeting; “We must act now”, “time is running out” and so on and so forth, ad nauseam.

    The time lock is a sales technique (“limited time only,” “only three models left at this price,” etc. etc.). Whenever it is seen you can be quite certain that the persons implicated have abandoned all scientific rigor, and are out to strong-arm public opinion.

  59. Julian doesn’t seem to have looked in again yet.

    His reference is to the Blog “EUreferendum” whose owner, Richard North got his fangs into Pachauri’s arse very early, and right up to his gums.

    Richard has a big article to be published in the Sunday Telegraph. It was to be published tomorrow, the 10th, but has been held over for a week.

    By the time it appears, the piece should be even beefier.

    A Happy New Year to all here.

  60. Richard Holle:

    “I am glad to see the light of day for ideas that come from people that do not fit the mold, required to submit to the peer review process.”

    As one who’s has some scientific background-not used in my carreer choices.
    I agree,The internet has had a lot to do with this change.Like the printing press,
    it is that driver of revolutionary ideas.Think Ben Franklin,Tom Payne,John Adams.

  61. Folks, the one thing that I don’t get is why so many scientific professional societies have come out with statements supporting AGW – and they’re apparently for the most part still standing by those positions for their societies. I understand fully that some (most? all?) of those positions are likely coming from the board or some committee and not any polling of membership – but still having troubles wrapping my little mind around why such bodies would categorically come out in support of AGW. What’s the motivation? Can anyone enlighten me? Is this really just all piling onto the bandwagon? That in and of itself would be quite disturbing coming from scientific professional societies, so I tend to discount that as being the likely explanation…. I’m even more dumbfounded considering the utter debunking of the hockey stick graph and much more recently the tree-ring proxies (perhaps tree ring debunking still too recent to have affected prof. society position statements).

    These society boards can’t all or even mainly be part of the ‘good ‘ol boys’ Hockey Team club, I wouldn’t think, so what is going on? Thoughts?

  62. onlyme (06:17:50) :

    Kadaka, Jim, thx for the correction. Guess I need to wait longer than I did for any review process to complete. My bad, and apologies to the Breitbart folks.

    The Intense Debate system is “quirky,” and intensedebate.com seems overloaded to where assorted outages are all too common. A “normal” one is where it stops working on an article for awhile, leaving a bare unthreaded WordPress comment page coming from Breitbart. But it also drops comments, which may or may not come back. Others get unattached, usually at the high-volume breitbart.com news stories. All of the comments there can vanish. They may appear later, but elsewhere, and it was becoming almost ordinary at breitbart.com to see an ancient block of comments, many months old, suddenly appear with a new article.

    Your comment could have been mislaid. However, the reply to it should have gone as well. The only normal “review process” comes with the “must be approved” message, and then it shouldn’t have shown up to be replied to. Without that or the “deleted” message, the only delay in posting is how long it takes to file it on the servers, which goes from instantaneous to perhaps twenty seconds when things are very busy.

    Thus, as you were an unregistered commenter, I must surmise something was keeping you from seeing your comment. There was a reply to it, others saw it, but it was blocked from displaying on your end. I am registered, I don’t get the display problem you had, thus it seems related to being unregistered.

    You might consider registering with Intense Debate. Not only do you get a nifty personal page that keeps track of all your comments, you also get a handy “Edit” button, usable until someone replies, and a “Delete” button that doesn’t leave a visible trace if you had no replies. This may help avoid similar comment displaying problems in the future.

  63. Marc – yes it is a lot more about Pachauri – if you look at the thread on EUreferendum (30 pages now) you will see how the bloggers all contributed to putting the jigsaw together. This sort of group investigation is very new.

    What I find so interesting and new is the way the forums have developed their individual strengths and gathered together groups of experts to work as teams on problems. On the WUWT forum a lot of scientists and engineers and statisticians and computer programers seem to tackle data together and find weaknesses in the science as well as suggest new points of view. I suppose this sort of thing must go on inside universities but on a forum like WUWT thte process is very open to the public (like me)

    On Richard’s blog something equally important and interesting is going in in the political sphere. I find interesting to compare the way WUWT and EUref have each found their own voices and gathered their own groups.

    Then there is a dialogue going on between the groups. What is exposed on WUWT is being picked up by EUref and from that we got the Pachauri scandal.

    If you are a scientist you really want to keep out of politics. In a way that is what went wrong at the Uni of EA. Politics and science mingled and it produced pseudoscience.

    I expect it would be possible for Pachauri financial affairs to be picked up by a groups of investigative accountants if such a blog exists and they would be even better that EUref (who are mostly political) at digging out the story and getting to the truth.

    These open self-motivated self-organising groups that pass jobs from one to the other makes me optimistic. It seems to me (a small business person by the way) a much better system than peer to peer, groups of experts often all come from one field of science and are trapped into circles of group think, but the introduction of outside disciplines breaks that apart and brings in new attitudes.

    I believe commercial businesses are now closing research departments and running competitions to find answers to problems. It is often the little guy on the outside who sees the solution first.

  64. Additional information on:Oliver K. Manuel (02:11:04) :

    ‘As more climategate unfolds, don’t be surprised if you eventually uncover these words from a secret meeting about December 9, 2000:

    “OK, GEORGE, YOU BE USA PRESIDENT; I’LL BE PRESIDENT OF THE WORLD!”

    That’s what it looks like now,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo’

    For additional information on the Al Gore/US Government alliance, see:

    1. Biography of Vice President Al Gore

    a. http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/EOP/OVP/html/Bio.html

    b. http://clinton1.nara.gov/White_House/Keepers/html/Keepers.html

    “This WWW server is being operated and maintained by the Office of Science and Technology Policy”

    2. Also read: Al 2008 Gore Support Center

    http://www.algoresupportcenter.com/aboutal.html

    “About Vice President Al Gore” explains December 9, 2000 events:

    “He ran for President in 2000 . . . but was denied the Presidency when the United States Supreme Court halted all legal recounts in the state of Florida.”

    Looks worse now,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  65. Re. Gavin:

    Q:
    In your opinion, what percentage of global warming is due to human causes vs. natural causes?

    [Response: Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling, and so the warming there has been (and some) is caused by a combination of human drivers and some degree of internal variability. I would judge the maximum amplitude of the internal variability to be roughly 0.1 deg C over that time period, and so given the warming of ~0.5 deg C, I’d say somewhere between 80 to 120% of the warming. Slightly larger range if you want a large range for the internal stuff. – gavin]

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=1853#comment-142358


  66. 2. Also read …

    Looks worse now,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

    Nothing specific, eh, Oliver? Oh, you were paraphrasing maybe in that first post?

    Ref paraphrasing:
    a) Paraphrasing Quotations

    Usually, paraphrasing makes more sense if:

    o the words in the quotation are not powerful
    o the source of the quotation is unknown or dubious
    o you are capable of making a good paraphrase without making it seem like plagiarism.

    b) Integration of Quotes/Paraphrasing

    To avoid plagiarism, you must be sure to (a) use your own words whenever you don’t use quotation marks or block a quote

    c) How to Punctuate Quotations

    7. A short quotation can be merged with your sentence. Use quotation marks to indicate that it is not your own writing.

    .
    .

  67. An alternate title I’d suggest for this might be “The Schmidt has really hit the fan now.” 8^)

  68. Julian in Wales (11:19:47),

    Excellent points. Those who intend to limit freedom of speech to only government-approved speech now have their sights set on the internet, which they refer to as “alternative media”.

    “Alternative media” is a term used to describe various information sources that provide a forum for interpretations of events and issues that differ radically from those presented in mass media products and outlets. [source]

    And of course, government bureaucrats will decide what ‘differs radically’ from their tame pets in the ‘mass media’.

    It is clear to WUWT readers that the mass media [the MSM: mainstream media] has been co-opted. They report in lock step what they want people to think, and they relegate to pages buried deep their scant coverage of the climategate issue — while reporting daily in alarming hyperbole on AGW scares — scares based on zero empirical evidence, but which provide a pretext that will result in drastically curtailed freedom, taxes raised by the $trillions, greatly expanded government bureaucracies, and national sovereignty forfeited to an opaque, unelected, unaccountable and kleptocratic world government.

    Does anyone think that is an exaggeration? If so, please explain why the mass media is doing its best to cover up the biggest financial scam in world history; a scam, based on a repeatedly falsified conjecture, that makes Bernie Madoff look like a small time piker by comparison. I, for one, would like to hear a rationale for the deliberate negligence of our once free press, which used to compete with its peers to investigate and report on government scandals and fraud, but which now cooperates to shill for that fraud.

    Now that the job of investigation is done by the internet, it has become a threat to the agenda of those who intend to control the citizenry by greatly restricting their personal freedom, and confiscating their wealth based on repeated lies. Look for upcoming schemes to regulate, and eventually to censor internet use that is deemed to be out of the government-approved “mainstream”.

  69. anna v (04:23:46)
    “Politicians, particularly in the EU are out on every occasion parroting AGW. Who trained them?”

    Rational Debate (10:45:57)
    “Folks, the one thing that I don’t get is why so many scientific professional societies have come out with statements supporting AGW…”

    I don’t think they need training, I think they see it as being in their own self-interest. I read something somewhere (didn’t keep the link) that the AGW bandwagon is a pretty good thing for a politician/scientist to hop onto.

    It gives him instant credibility with a number of groups: environmentalists & greens of all strips, socialists, other anti-capitalism groups, the Al Gore crowd, etc. Said Pol also gets to avoid the withering fire directed at the skeptic view. Assuming any given Pol starts from a neutral position (big given, I know) then the Warmist position becomes very tempting. Even if he’s aware of the skeptical view.

    Then, of course, there’s the money issue. Lots and lots and lots of money. Don’t forget Power, fame, or glory either. Power’s even more tempting than money.

    Galen Haugh (08:25:27)

    “Sorry, Bob, but that IS the Gore effect. Better to place him permanently at either pole so it stays frozen forever…”

    That’s a darn good idea! I second the motion. All in favor…

    Kendra (10:22:01)

    “…the implication that there is no layperson like me out in the real world who isn’t a victim of some kind of propaganda, incapable of intelligent critical thought, is wearing me down…”

    I agree totally. It’s one of the reasons I like blogs like this one as opposed to some others where questions aren’t allowed.

  70. Rational Debate (10:45:57) :

    Folks, the one thing that I don’t get is why so many scientific professional societies have come out with statements supporting AGW – and they’re apparently for the most part still standing by those positions for their societies. I understand fully that some (most? all?) of those positions are likely coming from the board or some committee and not any polling of membership – but still having troubles wrapping my little mind around why such bodies would categorically come out in support of AGW. What’s the motivation? Can anyone enlighten me? Is this really just all piling onto the bandwagon? That in and of itself would be quite disturbing coming from scientific professional societies, so I tend to discount that as being the likely explanation…. I’m even more dumbfounded considering the utter debunking of the hockey stick graph and much more recently the tree-ring proxies (perhaps tree ring debunking still too recent to have affected prof. society position statements).

    These society boards can’t all or even mainly be part of the ‘good ‘ol boys’ Hockey Team club, I wouldn’t think, so what is going on? Thoughts?

    A valid question.

    I will attempt an answer from my personal experience. I am a retired particle physicist. This means I have a lot of grounding in mathematical physics and also a long experience in using and evaluating models with computer programs. Until two and a bit years ago I had not been aware of the global warming band wagon except as a third hand story from news or some article briefly glanced through. Certainly I had no reason to doubt the integrity of the scientists proposing it, as I would not expect climate specialists to doubt my exposition on elementary particles. Had I been elected in a scientific body and somebody brought a supportive statement for global warming, I would have read through the blurbs and supported that action should be taken if possible, because I would be trusting on the scientific integrity of the people who proposed the theory on all levels: honesty in data handling, honesty in critical thinking, honesty in gauging the probabilities of truth in the propositions.

    I think that is what has happened to the world’s scientific bodies. And once they have stuck their necks out, they do not want to lose face.

    In my case, I started doubting the “science” in “climate science” gradually. First, hearing that there would be a six meter rise in the sea levels, I started worrying about my holiday cottage and started noticing news articles that had to do with global warming. Then noticed that they were talking of unprecedented warming ( hockey stick). Now it was fairly recently in the news, also because of global warming, that a hunter was discovered mummified in the Alps. For me, it was self evident that the present warming was not unprecedented! I started digging. When I reached the IPCC AR4 physics justification report I was stupefied at the deceptions and glossing overs and generally low level of scientific integrity in presentations.

    Now the people in the committees have not gone through this road to change their minds. Possibly climate gate will open more and more scientist’s eyes as a shortcut to the long way it took me to stop trusting “climate science”.

  71. Borderer (03:08:59) : “…Like most educated lay-persons – I had generally assumed that the Science establishment was fundamentally honest …”

    As did we all at one time. Science as a pure discipline has died, starting many decades ago. There are tens of thousands of corrupt papers, most of which passed peer review without dissent, and some of which are still being quoted as holy writ in various fields. A few hideous early examples are described in the link below:

    http://www.narth.com/docs/TheTrojanCouchSatinover.pdf

  72. @Rational Debate

    Society and people change, and one of the things that changes is people’s values and core beliefs, and how they see the world.

    A person living in serfdom in the Middle Ages will be different to an entrepreneur living in Silicon Valley today. A person living in a shack in a township in South Africa today will have a different world view to a person living in authoritarian China. There are a number of psychology models that are like maps to these different worldviews.

    One of the things that’s been found is that in the West about 50 years ago, a new world view arose, a sort of new current in culture, and that current manifested as Post Modernism in academia, as interest in New Age alternatives, in people traveling the world to “find themselves”, in Buddhism coming from the East, and so on. The details vary considerably, but on the whole, you can discern something changed around that time which shares a common pattern or core system of values.

    Thing is, this is one current, alongside other currents, so not everyone changes. Typically it is confined to certain portions of certain generations in certain countries. But what it does, is it gives a large group a very common core belief and core values system. If you lookup Spiral Dynamics you can see the map and descriptions which they have produced from their research.

    Basically, there’s no “conspiracy” as such, it is just that there are many people in academia in the West who’ve grown up with green values, and they can take that to various extremes. So you can have say, a whole generation of climatologists who happen to share a core green extreme culture, then what happens? well, they discover data, as any scientist does, but how they interpret that data, both individually and collectively by “peer review”, is affected by their core cultural beliefs and values.

    Put it to you this way, if a modern Genghis Khan knew about climate change, his interpretation would be something about how to use it to starve his enemies. Green scientists on the other hand use it to talk about “saving creation”. Two utterly different takes on the same data.

    Skeptics can be just as interested in raw data as anybody, but because we differ in our interpretation about what to do about climate change, even if it was man made, we get accused of being “anti-science”. We’re not anti-science, we’re anti a particular cultural current of beliefs about certain notions of “justice”. But for the green scientists who don’t realise they’re embedded in a particular green culture, they take it as “anti-science”. The irony is that they accuse everyone else of being embedded in capitalist greedy culture, and that we can’t see the data because of that. No, we see data. We just don’t interpret it through their culture of green “justice”.

    What I find quite fascinating about Spiral Dynamics model, is that whilst it identifies green culture and its ascendancy over the last 50 years, they have data that indicates that a new wave of culture is already starting to emerge in the new generations. Being a new level or stage, it is beyond the previous stage, which gives it more perspective on the faults of the previous stage, the green stage.

    The timing is kinda sweet. Just as the greens are getting into politics and trying to build a world government for “climate justice” and “for the children”, the children are heading off to a new project.

    One of the criticisms of green in Spiral Dynamics is that it tends to value sensitivity so much that it becomes impractical and ineffective. You can see this everywhere. Here in the UK they’re tripping over themselves because they want to build a new high voltage line to the wind farms, but it runs across some very scenic beautiful countryside.

    According to Spiral Dynamics, the new wave that’s starting to come in is ten times more effective at getting things done than greens. I’m pretty green myself and so I kinda know what they’re talking about.

    This means that it won’t take many people at the new level to get far more done than the greens could ever manage. Expect to see a lot of “sensitivity” projects slashed in favor of what actually works and solves problems.

    The new values are about flexibility and effectiveness, about recognising the complexity of the world on a much bigger level of scale and subtlety.

    That’s the theory, anyway, as far as I can tell. Any misrepresentations and errors are my own.

  73. Speaking of all this, one of those emails advocates setting up an “ethics panel” to regulate peer review.

  74. charles the moderator

    Here is the latest on Mann-made global warming.
    —————————————-
    Climate expert in the eye of an integrity storm
    By Faye Flam

    Inquirer Staff Writer

    http://www.philly.com/philly/news/homepage/20100109_Climate_expert_in_the_eye_of_an_integrity_storm.html

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Michael Mann switched from physics to climate science back in graduate school because he thought climate offered a better chance to work “on a frontier.”

    He got his wish, and now, as the director of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center, he has experienced an aspect of frontier life more like the Wild West – a bounty on his head.

  75. evanmjones (12:56:50) :

    Speaking of all this, one of those emails advocates setting up an “ethics panel” to regulate peer review.

    Then we’ll need a panel to monitor the Ethics Panel, then another committee to monitor that panel, then another….

  76. Stefan (12:55:44):

    So you can have say, a whole generation of climatologists who happen to share a core green extreme culture, then what happens? well, they discover data, as any scientist does, but how they interpret that data, both individually and collectively by “peer review”, is affected by their core cultural beliefs and values.

    Beliefs and values have no place in promoting the AGW hypothesis. Empirical data, methods and experiments, openly shared, is what matters. The data leads to conclusions, but the “green” scientists dishonestly assign a result [AGW], then look for any empirical data to support it. Finding none, they “adjust” the data — or completely fabricate it — until it fits their preconceived conclusions.

    Please explain why these climatologists refuse to abide by the Scientific Method, which doesn’t just suggest a course of action; it requires those putting forth a hypothesis, such as CO2=CAGW, to fully and completely cooperate with other scientists in falsifying their hypothesis.

    Indeed, it requires those putting forth a hypothesis to do their best to personally falsify their own hypothesis in any way they can. Scientific truth can only be derived by stripping out everything that can not be verified. What remains is as close to the truth as we can get. And the truth is all that matters in honest science. That is why everyone concerned has a duty to try to falsify any proposed hypothesis.

    But rather than follow the Scientific Method, government and university scientists blockade requests for their data and methods, asking why they should share their methodologies, code, raw and adjusted data with those whose purpose is to try and ‘find something wrong’ with it.

    That is not science. That is pure self-serving propaganda. Scientific skepticism is an absolute requirement of the Scientific Method, yet these same dishonest scientists and the sycophants who defend them here demonize the time honored term “skeptic.” The only honest scientist is a skeptic. The rest are just promoting an agenda for their own advancement and for financial rewards. They are not skeptics, they are writing propaganda in return for money and status.

    If you disagree, tell us why the Scientific Method, which has resulted in fantastic advances in human health and wealth, is now being trashed by scientists who know better.

  77. Stefan: “What I find so interesting and new is the way the forums have developed their individual strengths and gathered together groups of experts to work as teams on problems.”

    I agree that blog science is an interesting development, but I dispute that it represents anything fundamentally new in science. People from outside a particular scientific field have always published their views in one way or another through pamphlets, books, letters etc. The internet is just a more immediate and wide-ranging medium for this practice.

    Where these various informal means of publication fall down is in the areas of quality control and systemic development. Blog science is no exception.

    WUWT and other blogs have published many studies by interested parties, but there’s little indication as to which studies make the grade and which fall by the wayside. This promiscuity penalises the better studies while supporting the poorer ones. And science is systemic, a process that takes place within social and organisational contexts.

    As such, if an outside challenge to the scientific orthodoxy is to be successful, such a challenge would need to replicate the functions of the orthodoxy. In effect, that means that blog science would have to become the mainstream. Therefore, the underlying problem – how to overturn the orthodoxy — still remains.

  78. simon (06:17:27) :

    [Is it time to drop the “gate”? … the parallels of being encircled by reality on the frozen steppes are cherries waiting to be picked. So given that hubristic overreach is inevitably followed by epic downfall, would “Climategrad” now be more apropos?]

    I have to agree Climategate was the opening breach of the battle for climate truth. I believe what we are seeing is the beginning phase of Climategard. Nice symbolism, good job.

  79. Roger Carr (03:10:01) :

    E. M. Smith: May I slip my one-liner under yours?

    “The truth needs no Gatekeeper.” -E.M.Smith

    “There is no concern of man, either real or imagined, which cannot be manipulated for profit.” -Roger Carr

    You guys make me laugh so hard I missed my H1N1 shot!

  80. Smokey:
    If you disagree, tell us why the Scientific Method, which has resulted in fantastic advances in human health and wealth, is now being trashed by scientists who know better.

    Yes, I don’t disagree. What seems to have happened though, is that green culture has a certain amount of “ego” in saving the world. It is like their self worth is about whether they as individuals can “make a difference”. That’s kinda noble in one sense, but it can also be an ego trip in another. I mean, I’m just one person amongst six billion. That just crushes the ego. But make my life about “saving creation”, and there’s an ego project worth holding onto to. I am important because I can help save the world! My ethical choices as a consumer, are no longer about what brand of coffee I like the smell of, it is about what brand of coffee saves the poor from oppression!

    OK, there is some truth to that, but it is not nearly as significant as ego-greens would like to believe, at least, it doesn’t seem that significant to me. There are far bigger forces at work influencing the state of the poor and their development than whether I buy one brand or another. But that’s how greenies see it.

    “Can chocolate save the world?”
    http://www.developments.org.uk/articles/can-chocolate-save-the-world/

    But that just ain’t true. A well known mathematician wrote a piece about this regarding alternative energy (sorry don’t recall the name, you’ve probably read it), he said that the typical green notion was that “a lot of small changes add up to a big change”. But no, that’s wrong. A lot of small changes, he said, add up to a small change. Personally my ego is OK with that, but greens I can think of, they would throw up.

    Now, as for science, I just googled “ethical scientist”. Remember, acting ethically is to some extent, an ego project. The first hit I get is to http://www.sgr.org.uk/

    “promotes ethical science, design and technology, based on the principles of openness, accountability, peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability”

    I just get the impression that it is no longer OK for any green cultured scientist to just research without questioning the application. Think about the horrors of nuclear bombs and biological warfare. No, green scientists are sensitive, and want to be ethical, some are probably even Buddhists or Evangelicals, and believe in earning an ethical livelihood. So the purpose of research is not just research for the sake of impartial knowledge, it is research for the sake of helping humanity.

    So it quickly slides into a cultural and values project. It becomes about educating the public so you can move towards ethical lifestyles.

    But personally I agree that research needs to be cold and objective. Then the moral implications can be assessed separately.

    I guess what I’m saying is, if you really want to know what’s happening with the climate, the last person to ask is a greenie.

  81. The Hitler video is amusing. Too bad, though, that the caption writer put “pawned it off” (onto graduate students) instead of the correct “palmed it off”. [It’s a card-cheat expression.]

    IanM

  82. Alan F (05:02:59) :

    I liken this to the outing of Catholic priests as child molesters. The majority of the faithful forgave them, a minority of the faithful questioned their faith and those who were delivering the message unto them while a small sect in the hierarchy of that religion worked at casting doubt on the accusations of children.

    —————

    What absolute hateful rubbish. The majority of faithful, including priests, are appalled by those elements in the Church hierarchy that have covered up for child molesters. This was done without the knowledge of the faithful, and had we been informed about this strategy, there would have been a massive revolt. As it is, in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and elsewhere, certain Archbishops chose to ignore the problem or hide it without dealing with it. Others, such as in the archdiocese where I grew up, immediately removed the priests from positions in which they interacted with the public, and dealt with the issue. Priestly abuse of children has been a scandal to the faithful – and where you get the idea that these criminals have been forgiven I know not! Not by ordinary folk. The hottest anger is directed at the complicit archbishops and Cardinals (like Cardinal Law) who should face criminal sanctions. Under Pope John Paul II, there was no will to do this, because this was a rare blind spot for this pontiff: the communists in the Soviet Bloc used to tar priests with accusations of homosexuality and pedophilia as a means of discrediting the religion and alienating the populace from the faith, so Pope John Paul II saw these accusations from the perspective of his experience under communism. Unfortunately, the problem was also compounded by the liberal movement within the Catholic Church, which has viewed the faith through Freudian goggles, and saw the appropriate measure for abusive priests to be psychological counselling and supposed rehabilitation.

  83. Rational Debate (10:45:57) :

    Folks, the one thing that I don’t get is why so many scientific professional societies have come out with statements supporting AGW – and they’re apparently for the most part still standing by those positions for their societies. I understand fully that some (most? all?) of those positions are likely coming from the board or some committee and not any polling of membership – but still having troubles wrapping my little mind around why such bodies would categorically come out in support of AGW. What’s the motivation?

    Anna V:

    Had I been elected in a scientific body and somebody brought a supportive statement for global warming, I would have read through the blurbs and supported that action should be taken if possible, because I would be trusting on the scientific integrity of the people who proposed the theory on all levels: honesty in data handling, honesty in critical thinking, honesty in gauging the probabilities of truth in the propositions.

    I think that is what has happened to the world’s scientific bodies. And once they have stuck their necks out, they do not want to lose face.

    Here are additional angles:

    1. Members of these societies who might be dubious about AGW were afraid to stand up against the fire-breathing activists and vicious, close-minded fatheads who would be mightily offended if anyone tried to stand in the way of their quest for an endorsement.

    2. And dubious members they knew they lack the “ammo” and citations to respond to the alarmists’ dozens of talking points.

    3. The activists sold their POV by marginalizing dissenters are cranks or crooks, the same way that Jones marginalized McIntyre to the FOI investigator. (To me, this was the most objectionable aspect of Climategate.)

    4. The societies were fed a a document containing seemingly conclusive counterpoints to skeptics’ objections, and the societies dug no deeper.

    5. The activists marginalized dissenters as “anti-science” types akin to deniers of the link between smoking and cancer, objectors to fluoridation, creationists, etc. This was a smart (though despicable) technique guaranteed to elicit a knee-jerk response.

    6. The activists presented an analysis of the situation that looked scientific in that it depended on measuring lots of data, computing a budget based on interacting forces, modeling the system’s behavior, etc. It LOOKS like physics. Since a lot of science bigwigs arrogantly think that science can solve any problem, given time and tools, society officials probably didn’t stop to ask whether this was one of those fields where things are too complex and there are too many potential unknowns for a billiard-ball approach like current climatology to be useful. They just figured, “it walks like a duck,” so “cheers.”

  84. “Stefan (15:38:58) :

    @BrendanH

    I think you’re replying to

    Julian in Wales (11:19:47)”

    So I am. Apologies for the error.

  85. anna v (12:22:00) Your personal story …

    You make a very good case and I will add that I too did not pay much attention to the global warming band wagon in part because I was busy with other things and I had only a dial-up connection to the internet. We signed up for a DSL connection in September of 2008 and within a few weeks I was a full C-AGW skeptic. The high speed connection provided information that the magazines, newspapers, and earth science publications I received did not. One of the first things I did was go to the Chair of the Physics Department of the local U. and ask for a copy of a modern physics textbook so as to brush up on my old science. That also allowed me to search for information using the correct terms. It helped a lot.

  86. Quote: jorgekafkazar (12:26:41) :

    “Science as a pure discipline has died, starting many decades ago. There are tens of thousands of corrupt papers, most of which passed peer review without dissent, and some of which are still being quoted as holy writ in various fields.”

    One example, “The supernova trigger for the formation of the solar system,” simply ignored experimental data from 1975 that would have falsified the now-popular model:

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    With kind regards,
    Oliber K. Manuel

  87. Sharon (06:19:30) : Mods, forgive me, without a preview function, I know not what I post.

    There is a brilliant “Greasemonkey” application which gives a preview function to “Submit Comment” using Firefox for WUWT?
    I picked it up from Climate Audit, but cannot find the story there today.
    Click this line for a start.

  88. It is intriguing as to why most politicians and press globally are uncritically pro-AGW.

    One suggestion I read is that it is a cover for the fact that we are past ‘peak oil’, which will require similar ‘green’ initiatives, but could cause panic if aired as fact. It was interesting to see that the French carbon tax was thrown out because all the exemptions meant that it only really applied to large oil users.

    Another possibility is that influential people and companies, such as the Wall Street banks, are making huge amounts of money from it.
    —————————————————————–
    I accepted AGW as fact until I saw the UK’s Channel 4 documentary ‘The Great Global Warming Hoax’ [I live in the UK]. It seemed cogent and factual. A few days later a ‘comedian’ [Marcus Brigstocke] appeared on a BBC radio comedy show and basically harangued Channel4 for showing it … the producer was rubbish, the program was rubbish, etc. and ‘How very DARE they suggest global warming is not man made’! I then spent 6 hours on the web and my vote went to Channel 4. At the time I just supposed that the warm-mongers were simply mistaken, and not propagating a blatent fraud as now seems apparent.
    —————————————————————–
    On Friday’s BBC World Business Report it said the UK government would be awarding a £160 billion contract for wind turbines later that day. I did not see anything on the later news programs so I do not know what happened. I think these turbines are supposed to supply 17% of the UK’s energy. Several coal-fired power stations are due to be decommissioned in 5 years time with no replacements planned so it may be that Gordon Brown [‘Saver of the World’] intends the turbines to replace these! Another contributor pointed out that the UK’s biggest turbine had been becalmed for the past three weeks! I can see a very unpleasant future here in the UK! In the upcoming elections all three main parties are fanatically pro-AGW so no choice there. The BBC recently said that over 50% of the UK ‘still’ did not believe in AGW. I suspect that might be rather higher now, especially if Piers Corbyn’s prediction that the cold ‘snap’ will last well in to February.
    ——————————————————————
    The ‘green shirts’ worry me – we may be creating a band of fanatical terrorists who could do far more damage than Al-Queda ever could if things start going against them.
    ——————————————————————
    Apologies for a waffly post!

  89. Kendra (10:22:01) : … Well, shall I try to finish the article or will it just get worse?
    Cannot advise on that, Kendra, but can say it was worthwhile if only because it generated your very interesting and thought-provoking comment. Thank you.

  90. Roger Knights (09:50:46) :

    Roger – I concur with your observation on the AGW “powers that be” continuing to ride on forcefully despite an obvious turn of events. I agree that there is considerable risk politically and academically if this movement implodes in the near future. Frankly, I amazed more have not jumped off the AGW train, to at minimum – stand by the tracks for awhile and see what happens…

  91. Roger Carr (17:41:27) :


    There is a brilliant “Greasemonkey” application which gives a preview function to “Submit Comment” using Firefox for WUWT?
    I picked it up from Climate Audit, but cannot find the story there today.
    Click this line for a start.

    Testing testing.

  92. Roger Carr (17:41:27) :

    There is a brilliant “Greasemonkey”

    It installed, but I cannot get it to put any pages on its scripts choice. So it is not working.
    I have windows XP home edition so maybe that is the problem.

  93. anna v (21:30:21) :

    It installed, but I cannot get it to put any pages on its scripts choice. So it is not working.
    I have windows XP home edition so maybe that is the problem.

    Greasemonkey is what the application at Climate Audit runs on.

    Here is the link for “CA Assistant,” pointing at the comment from the programmer announcing the latest version.

    I already posted about it on “Tips and Notes” after finding out the new version works on WUWT as well. However, I also found out the cool buttons for certain HTML tags look nice, the result with Preview will look pretty, but when you really post here you will only get whatever HTML the site will allow you to have. So the superscript and subscript will show in Preview but not after posting, might be a few others working the same.

    Oh, and it works on Firefox, whether on Windows or Linux. It works on certain variants, such as Iceweasel with Debian Linux as I have. So having XP Home is (likely) not the issue, you just need the CA Assistant script.

  94. Stefan (12:55:44):

    I myself have wondered in the past whether to mention anything about Spiral Dynamics (SD), but in most threads here, it would seem OT.

    What you don’t say (and this isn’t a criticism! :-)) is that people in different states of what one might loosely term “psychological disposition”, according to SD, are allocated different mnemonic “Colours”. At any given time, broadly speaking, most people within a given society are deemed to be in a characteristic state (on average). In Western societies, for instance, the average state may currently be somewhere around Orange, or Green (not to be confused with the usual connotation of “Green”, though the two frequently coincide), having come out of a preceding Orange state. Orange probably started to become prevalent in Europe around the Enlightenment and led to the development of modern capitalist, democratic, technological societies. Then, as you say, probably with the post-war baby-boomer generation, we started to see the rise of the Green meme.

    It’s important to realise that there have always been some individuals in all epochs, however few, who have been in states more “advanced” than average. These have often been the movers and shakers, those who have had enormous influence on the evolution of human societies. They were the first in earlier periods to see the world in novel ways; we forget that the average mediaeval person, for example, wasn’t like us, just happening to live centuries ago. No: s/he actually perceived the world differently, wasn’t able for dear life to see things as we take them for granted today.

    In non-western cultures, we still see predominantly pre-Orange societies – such as Blue and even Red. Blues tend to be conservatives with a small “c”, and are often conventional religionists; they deem scripture/ideology-inspired morality important. In the West, at least in Europe, we see less and less of Blue, but in the States, it has a substantial constituency. This may be why Creationism is such a big issue there, but much less so in Europe. Red, incidentally, is where the likes of Ghengis Khan were at: Reds don’t give a monkeys about issues of morality (it’s more to do with pride/shame) or about seeing things from any other point of view than their own. We still see them today in tribal societies.

    We all have a bit of the different Colours in us, and each Colour can be expressed in a positive or a negative way. Ken Wilber, the great guru of integral studies, bangs on about “The Mean Green Meme” (MGM), which seems to be having a field day in present times. Yes, the good aspects of Green include sensitivity and inclusivity, but on the mean side, it gives rise to things like Political Correctness and unquestioning acceptance of AGW – or any suitable Trojan Horse. This feeds its tendency to categorise any who (seemingly) disagree as being mentally deficient Neanderthals. This may be the source of the appalling hubris of those who think:

    1. Human beings are the most potent force in nature.
    2. Many human beings are purposely stymieing their agenda.
    3. Only they hold the right opinions and attitudes.
    4. Their ends, doubtless well-intentioned, are much more important than the means used.
    5. Knowledge is relative; this links in with “post-normal science”. To some extent, they may be right about the relativity of knowledge, but that doesn’t imply that any scientific theory is as good as any other. Science doesn’t work like ideology.

    You won’t find Mean Greenies bothering themselves to study the science in detail, or with a completely open mind. They don’t actually care much about the science: they’re much more focused on it as a useful tool to get them, and everyone else, where they think it’s best to be. They can’t really appreciate the importance of the truth of the means; they’re much more concerned with the truth of the ends.

    And those ends are probably noble: one important (and positive) aspiration of the Green Meme is to have an egalitarian world focused on spiritual rather than materialistic values. I dare say there’s a little bit of positive Green (or possibly even a lot) in many WUWT readers; but what turns them on most is the truth of the means, if I might put it that way.

    I for one care passionately about the truth/untruth of AGW, and want to understand the science as best I can so that I can make up my own mind about it. This is because I have a very strong belief that the best possible action one can perform is the one based on truth. The best truth I am aware of at the moment is that AGW is very far from settled science and that we shouldn’t do anything precipitously to combat human CO2 production. Maybe those with superior scientific understanding than mine are able to take it further – and feel they can justifiably say AGW is *definitely* wrong. I have a strong *suspicion* it is, but can’t be 100% sure.

    I think it’s useful to be aware that others who aren’t primarily Green are also in the mix. I think I see the mean sides of Orange – and maybe a bit of atavistic Blue and even Red – in the CRU emails. Pure mean Blue may be represented by those out to make money, at the same time seeing the world and its “endless” resources as having been created by God to be exploited by man. Mean Reds may be represented by third-world dictators who saw Copenhagen as a chance to enhance their power and benefit their tribal kleptocracies.

    So, according to SD as I understand it, there is something rather complex going on in human society right now, maybe in its own way just as complex as climate itself. We tend to look at things from our own POV, and find it mysterious that there is such seeming polarisation on the issue of AGW. Yes, there are two sides, and many choose one or the other without adequate consideration of the science (but not all do).

    We’re all looking at the same data, but the difference is, we are looking at it from different angles and have different motivations. However, there’s a regrettable tendency on both sides to demonise the other, to tar it with the same, monochromatic, brush. So all AGWers may be seen as New-age nutcases, and all sceptics as uncaring money-grabbers in the pay of Big Oil. But in reality, it is far, far more nuanced than that. And it’s only because the issue is of such great moment that it is so noticeable, and so many people have such strong feelings about it.

    The stage after Green is Yellow, the start of what Wilber et al. regard as the “integral” stages. I don’t want to go there, because I think he and his acolytes seem to have rather superior opinions of themselves despite asserting that all the Colours or Memes have some validity and should be honoured. I suspect quite a few of them are actually pretty close to mean Greenies themselves.

    None of what I’ve said should be taken as an expert analysis of SD, and my mistakes (there are bound to be some) are my own. Nor am I touting SD as actually being correct; only that it has a certain amount of useful explanatory power that can get one thinking out of the box a little.

    In my opinion, what I see at WUWT and other sceptical blogs is a community of people amongst whom there are sizeable numbers who are focused, above all else, on discovering the truth. I have less often detected this on pro-AGW sites, but I won’t say it’s completely absent; sincerity isn’t the exclusive preserve of sceptics.

    At the end of the day, we’re all human beings with human faults and failings, and in some areas, most of us are capable of acting on the “mean” side of any given meme according to specific circumstances (come on – I’ll bet you’ve acted tribally on occasion, or conspicuously taken the ideologically-driven “high ground”, for instance). If we can keep this in mind, then we can perhaps look more charitably at those who “oppose” us and get less wound up by them. After all, being wound up is, strictly speaking, irrelevant to any search for truth; and may, if we let it, get in the way of our finding it.

    On a final point, there is a difference between “container” and “content” in SD. The same underlying world view (content) may come in superficially different containers. Greens are frequently passionately concerned about the environment, but not all of them will necessarily accept AGW as the main issue. Some may focus on such things as biodiversity or population control, for example. Some of them are on the good side of the meme, and can be very caring and sensitive people with sensible suggestions. And the same goes for all of the different “Colours”. A well-balanced human being would be able, according to specific circumstances, to draw on the good side of each; and as for the rest of us, well, as I’ve said, we may lapse into meanness in any of them.

  95. Most of the press and other MSM have been in the control of a small number of people, who use it to influence the public regarding their own agenda. With a few exceptions the ‘freedom of the press’ was lost some years ago, and the resultant tame pussy cat pushes propaganda and false memes.

    This resulted in the rise of the Blogosphere as an organ or free speech and investigative journalism. It also provided a meeting ground for like-minded people to exchange information and views anonymously.

    Without the Blogosphere, many scandals would have been buried by the MSM, and I expect we wouldn’t have heard much about the sceptics view of AGW or the Climategate documents if it didn’t exist.

    It is my view that while subverting the peer review process was bad enough, the CRU/Hadley/GISS/IPCC cabal real crime was subverting the whole scientific method, and turning the whole of climate science into a political football.

    There are three kinds of lies – lies, damned lies, and Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming.

  96. kadaka (22:21:22) :

    Greasemonkey is what the application at Climate Audit runs on.

    Here is the link for “CA Assistant,” pointing at the comment from the programmer announcing the latest version.

    I installed the CA Assistant

    Lets see if something happened

  97. Roger,

    That may be about the best compliment I ever got! Thank you.

    I’d like to also join Indiana – I love a good laugh too (not planning H1N1 shots but do have to be careful with the coffee).

    I’d like to use your line, only with de facto attribution of course or do I need permission?:

    “May I slip my one-liner under yours?”

    Well, off I go to see what other wonderful news and comments there are today (late Sunday morning here).

  98. Thanks to everyone for the kind words. When the whole story is told there will be some other people to thank here. The nice thing about a community project is that there is plenty of thanks to go around, an army of davids where we rely on each other to get things done. My role, all things considered, is slight, PUNY, compared to the years of work that anthony and stevemc have put in. really puny. Hopefully a few good phrases you can use to communicate your ideas more forcefully or funnily. delight and instruct.
    different ways of looking at things, hopefully constructive.

    Also, most people here and at CA and at Lucia’s know I’m a Lukewarmer. That’s secondary to my commitment to open data; open code; and open debate. basically, that means I’m open to have my mind changed. If they open the data and open the code and I move toward the cool side of the debate, it will be because of the evidence. If I move warm ways, again because of the data. here is what I see: The minute I call somebody a denialist, I basically sour any hope of reasoning with them. The same goes for calling whole classes of people frauds. Err, the Piltdown Mann joke didn’t win me many friends. opps. my bad. I’m pretty sure I’ve called some people sun spot nuts here and there. opps. my bad.

    Being a Lukewarmer means I get it from both sides. But you know what?
    People who disagree with me here at WUWT treat me a heck of a lot better than my opponents at RC or Tammy’s place. Thanks for that.

    Reply: I have no idea how you ended up caught in the spam filter, but here it is released. ~ ctm

  99. Kendra (02:48:46) : (to me) Roger, I’d like to use your line, only with de facto attribution of course or do I need permission?
    Permission not needed, nor attribution, Kendra. No ego involved; I just wish to see this dragon slayed.

  100. @Michael Larkin

    I’m glad you’re on this forum and I agree with everything you wrote.

    In particular, I felt that the tone you convey in your post, is about the importance of respecting other views, that whatever values meme we might be dealing with in a debate, that people still have a right to be who they are, and deserve to be respected.

    For me, the multiple lines of Integral model, where cognitive development can be far ahead of moral development, (ie. the clever nazi) is where the humility comes back after reading weighty tomes that state, “if you get this book then you’re probably got some Turquoise active” … yeah… cognitively. Meanwhile my mean little Red and Blue motivations and sub-personalities are running around in the basement. Just to give an example—a bit of a sidetrack but relevant in a way—a friend one day criticised his partner for having behaved outrageously at a party, but her reply was that he was just being “sexist”, for had she been a man, he would have no doubt congratulated her for being so “assertive”.

    It is just one of those things that reminds me, how do you understand what someone really wants at their motivational core, when, as you say, the content might be quite different to the container? When a Robert Mugabe claims his country is being ruined by British Imperialism? Or when George Monbiot writes in The Guardian that “Climate change denial is spreading like a contagious disease.” What is the core motivation in each case?

    David Ball keeps asking, what do you, the climate change people, really want? What kind of world do you want? I think that’s a really interesting question.

    If I recall, Don Beck and Chris Cowan wrote in Spiral Dynamics that a way to understand better, is to begin by asking a person what they want, and then asking them why they want that, and after each answer, keep asking in turn, and why do you want that? Eventually you may both discover the core motivation, the core value, that is active, for that person, on that issue.

    For example, two people might both refuse medical advice. On the surface it looks like the same decision. But underneath, one has a Red motivation that nobody is going to put them into an institution (hospital) where their life will be controlled, and the other person has a Green motivation where they’d rather spend time bonding with family and look at the quality of their life. (There must be better examples, I just made that one up.)

    The difficulty with the climate change debate, is that on the one hand there are elements that have chosen to pursue highly polarizing tactics. I would suspect that George Monbiot is genuinely morally concerned for the welfare of African poor, but cognitively hasn’t got available a better model for addressing the complexity of that problem, so it is merely anti-capitalist-exploitation. That’s just a guess. People would really need to have a dialogue and see what he says is his core concern.

    On the other hand, the debate is very complex, precisely because there are so many different values and mental models in play. There’s an article by Don Beck where he suggests using global warming as an issue to use to speak to multiple values simultaneously, as a superordinate goal, because it affects all values. So there’s even more complexity if some of what is going on is say, the United Nations trying to use Spiral Wizardry and Yellow values to “handle” the world. Could this be the fabled Mean-Yellow?

    One way or the other, Climategate seems to be serving an important function, it seems to be about depolarizing the debate. Climategate may be of greatest service in this respect. It frees up people to have more nuanced conversations. Then perhaps we can begin to learn what all the voices really want.

  101. Blogs and Forums have re-established an old institution of what led to the American Republic: Committees of Correspondence.

    The original committees, formed from the mid-1760s on, spread truth to and about the power of the time. They planned and coordinated the Continental Congresses, and eventually “proclaimed Liberty throughout the land”.

    Thanks to the Internet with blogs like this one, the word may be spread far more swiftly than paper on horseback. It does not even require a tax stamp.

    Scant wonder that Prince Waxman wishes to grasp control of the Internet. Let us pray for a resolution similar to that of the Stamp Act, but without blood this time.

  102. There are some great quotes here so let me add a quote that I’ve oft thought about in view of glowbull warmongering and the unholy alliance of guvmint, academia, media and those so-called ‘leading scientists’.

    In President Eisenhower’s farewell address, his reference to the ‘military-industrial complex’ is the one that always seems to be remembered first and quoted. However, just a few sentences further, he offers another and in my view a more serious warning…..’Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.’ Sounds quite apropos considering those players at the heart of climategate (or climediagate as I’m more inclined to call it).

  103. kadaka (22:21:22) :

    Thanks for the tip, the preview works, but I find that I am missing most of the thread. It says there are 125 entries and I only see maybe 10 . I tried to find whether there is a page counter, with no success.

    Help again?

    thanks

  104. Kadaka

    ignore my last ( not the thanks !).

    Just noticed the Settings link on the top right, and changed it so I could have all the comments again.

  105. I think this presentation by Professor Bob Carter
    pretty much sums up the Refutnik stand on AGW:
    (I prefer “Refutnik” to “Sceptic” because of the link to the USSR )

    Four episodes;

  106. Stefan (04:15:22) :

    Yes, I too am glad there’s someone else here who is looking at things with an awareness of SD, and welcome your amplification of the container/content principle. As you indicate, you may look at the container and label it as one thing, but the underlying content may belong to some other meme, quite possibly the mean side of it. I’m sure that there are Blues and Oranges masquerading as Greens (perhaps fooling themselves no less than others), not to mention Greens masquerading as Blues or Oranges because they’re focused on ends rather than means (and in this case, is there sometimes rather more conscious deception involved?).

    George Monbiot really intrigues me. Like him, I have an upper second-class honours degree in zoology, and yet we see the world so differently. He has the integrity to discern the dishonesty of the CRU people, and the intellectual ability/scientific training to understand the science at least as much as I do.

    And yet, he doesn’t seem to take a step further to try to identify his own internal motivational dynamics. I think he wants to see in place the positive Green world of egalitarianism and spiritually-orientated human action (although he might not use the word “spirituality” per se). Maybe he’s conflicted: on the one hand, he has some scientific training and awareness, but on the other, deep-seated utopian yearnings, and is immensely disappointed and frustrated that others don’t seem to want to fall in line.

    But why is that? Is it because they’re foolish, “deniers”? Or is it because at least some of them are a little bit more integrated, which means that they may be a little bit more pragmatic? The most impressive Greens by far are the pragmatic ones, the ones who are often out there in some African village, for example, wanting to balance the aims of biodiversity with the very real needs of the inhabitants to create for themselves a decent standard of living. If you ever want to see some of these people, I recommend the last episode in the BBC TV nature series “Planet Earth”. Yes, there’s a bit of over-the-top AGW proselytism in that episode, but also some impressive examples of the constructive Green Meme in action.

    In our personal development, we all have to go through the different stages. As “terrible two-year-olds”, we are about as Red as red can be, and before puberty may be true Blues going on Orange. Then we may become idealistic Greens. But as we go along, we don’t lose the capacity to act from prior motivations. Mean Green may be as much about the “pure” Green meme being contaminated with memes that appeared earlier in individual/societal development as anything else.

    People like some of the scientists in the CRU emails seem to me to be concerned with their Orange credentials, but somewhere along the line, Red pokes its head out. It’s about “me” and my ego, not about dispassionate and objective science. Looking back on my life, I’ve been there and done it myself, but luckily for me, the fate of the world has never rested on what I’ve thought and said.

    Had it done so, what would have been my reaction? Would I have dug my heels in lest my ego be demolished in front of literally all of humanity, or had the good grace to admit to more uncertainty than I had formerly evinced? The more important and influential the issue, the more face has to be saved, and in their position, any of us could act the same way. There but for the grace of God, and ask not for whom the bell tolls…

    The AGW issue seems to be potentially something that could lead to a breakthrough: a turning point in human affairs that future historians might identify as being as important as the Reformation, Enlightenment or Industrial Revolution. The current zeitgeist has a somewhat surreal quality about it that I definitely haven’t experienced in my lifetime before; it’s been gnawing at the edges of my awareness for some time now.

    There may be something more than just the AGW debate going on, something that seems to be touching on many different human concerns, some of them possibly yet to be articulated. At an unconscious level, this may be why groups like WUWT have sprung up and attracted so many people. They may be like nuclei around which some “cloud” or other is forming, something which, to extend the metaphor, is going to alter the weather (or maybe even the climate! :-)).

  107. Michael Larkin: “And yet, he doesn’t seem to take a step further to try to identify his own internal motivational dynamics.”

    I once did an exercise to try to identify my internal motivational dynamics. Never again. What I encountered was pure mean-red, utterly evil.

    I have no explanation for this, although I notice that my blues and greens seem to spend a lot of time in the attic rather than where I think they belong, in the basement, so that might account for it.

    My other concern is that the oranges are forever getting underfoot, impeding my spiritual progress.

    This is all quite distressing, and my feeling is that if I can just get my colours into their rightful place, the resulting clarity will help to bring this global warming issue into proper focus.

  108. @Brendan H

    Integral Institute adds “shadow work” as a core thing, just as, if not more important than, other kinds of work. It’s really changed my impressions about this stuff.

    I guess… yes the lower memes/stages/levels/altitudes are by nature more selfish, and “more evil” as it were. Orange capitalism is more selfish than genuine Green bonding. But shadow work can, I gather, help to own all those impulses at those lower/earlier levels. May as well own them as they are there anyway. Its like owning the fact that I need to eat. Food only benefits my own body, so it is “selfish”, but my body won’t survive otherwise. It needs what it needs. Likewise the baser drives to power—again, without power nobody can get anything done. Without control the ego can’t keep the house tidy. In their place these are all healthy, when owned.

    Well, the climate change activists are very keen to call others selfish greedy capitalists. I begin to wonder that there isn’t a bit of shadow projection going on there. I mean, they may even be consuming more capitalist goodies than I do, and yet they call everyone else greedy? Have they owned their own power drives, selfish drives, and consumerist drives? Are they aware of their own darker needs? Or are they forgetting their own hunger, and pretending that they can do without it—as if we could do without coal and nuclear and oil even without any alternatives available that can fill the demand—can they really do without all these things? Or have they merely forgotten their need for these things, and having forgotten their need, are left accusing others of having it?

    When the IPCC head says “there are people who are going to want to use this to discredit the science and further their own interests” (words to that effect), is he not perhaps engaging in a little shadow projection of his own?

    I guess if he is aware and is counting his personal gains with glee, then there’s no shadow projection, just some *cough* healthy power drives in full swing. But if he genuinely believes what he’s saying…

  109. Stefan: “I mean, they may even be consuming more capitalist goodies than I do, and yet they call everyone else greedy? “

    This is true. The green meme tends to be suffused with hypocrisy when it’s not being smugly superior about living off the grid and growing its own yoghurt. Clearly, there’s a lot of shadow work needed there, especially where, in my view, the purple meme can often be confused with shadow requirements.

    However, I have personally found shadow work far from plain sailing. I am currently dealing with a young person who is frankly more “shady” than shadowy, which is causing me some angst.

    When I quiz her on this, she insists that “the shadow always knows”. I suspect she is gaming the system, and am considering introducing a counter-meme in the form of something like “spotlight”, in order to eliminate the shadows.

    But I wonder whether that sort of action would just introduce a whole new meme of “underground” or some such, where such behaviour would be completely out of my control.

  110. Interesting link on Drudge about the U.S. Congressional presence at the Copenhagen summit last month: click

    They explain their waste & gluttony by saying they wanted to show that they’re ‘serious about climate change.’ Hypocrisy in action – at our expense.

  111. CLIMATEGATE
    THE TRACK RECORD OVER FOUR DECADES
    a.n.ditchfield
    My environmental awareness was aroused in mid 1971, when I was invited to a meeting of the Club of Rome in Rio de Janeiro. It first struck me as a constructive publicity move of FIAT, the sponsor. At intervals of a few months the Club of Rome invited noted scientists and intellectuals to meetings at tourist attractions like Rio de Janeiro, with all expenses paid. They were asked to meditate about the predicament of mankind and to listen to progress reports of a team of young MIT engineers who were using a computer model to project the impact on the planet of expanding economic activity. The results of the study were stated in the 1972 book, Limits to Growth, of which some 12 million copies were printed. The launching of the book was a masterpiece by editorial standards and its contents still remain central to such thought, including that of John Holdren, science adviser of Obama.
    One of the new tools used in the study was the feed-back algorithm developed by Prof. Jay Forrester, of MIT, to portray the unfolding of complex systems over long timelines. All relevant factors are displayed in elaborate flowcharts and their interplay shown in a succession of stages like snapshots, in which the end of one stage is the beginning of the next. The idea is much like that of cinema, in which the rapid display of successive photos creates the optical illusion of movement. Forrester used his feedback innovation to the study of location problems of industry (Industrial Dynamics) and to explain the decay of metropolitan cities in America (Urban Dynamics). The new effort applied Forrester’s technique to demonstrate the Club of Rome proposition that a finite planet cannot support growth of population and economic activity at the pace seen for two decades after World War II. The conclusion was ready; it needed rationalization with a computer model to give a scientific look to what was the belief of the sponsors, FIAT chairman Aurelio Peccei and the renowned scientist Alexander King.
    Limits to Growth had a large number of gloomy forecasts, speculative thought as such, but not science, and time rejected their validity. The earliest of the kind, the Malthus Essay on the Principle of Population published in 1798, foretold a grim 19th century. The population of Britain, stable at 5 million until the middle of the 18th century, had grown to 8 million and was expanding at a geometrical rate, while the supply of food expanded at a lower arithmetical rate. As Malthus saw it, population was bound to collapse to a sustainable level through famine, disease and war. But during the 19th century the population of Britain became four times larger and the economy sixteen times greater, an expansion supported by the Industrial Revolution. Most Britons entered the 20th century well fed, clothed and healthy, housed in cities with good sanitation. Gone were the days of the “dark satanic mills” of the early 19th century. The technology that had expanded industrial output also provided the means to end squalor.
    Malthusian thought was discredited but remained dormant until the 1968, when resurrected by Paul Erlich with his equally grim Population Bomb. This time world population was bound to collapse on a planet that was running out of arable land to feed it; he reckoned that over the next two decades hundreds of millions would die of famine. The reasoning was crude and was superseded by the more sophisticated approach of the Club of Rome that put in motion the PAT idea, a formula that summarizes the impact of human activity on the environment I = P×A×T. In words: Human Impact (I) on the environment equals the product of population (P), affluence (A): consumption per capita; and technology (T): environmental impact per unit of consumption. Population was still at the root of coming doomsday, and its impact on the planet is multiplied by growing demand for non-renewable resources (fuel and minerals) to sustain better living standards. Food scarcity was only one factor among many driving mankind to destruction.
    I made three objections to the assumptions underpinning the Club of Rome study.
    • Population forecasts are uncertain. What had come about in mid 20th century was the dramatic fall of mortality while fertility remained the same. I held this to be exceptional. Nothing warranted the assumption that this imbalance would persist indefinitely as projected in the study. Indeed, UN world population forecasts now show stability to be reached in the 21st century.
    • Given the vast land area of the planet the idea of an excessive population is farfetched. Overcrowding is a local problem. It is evil in Calcutta and has been successfully coped with in many metropolitan cites.
    • The concept of non-renewable resources was untenable. Most of the crust of the earth remains unknown. The Club of Rome assumption was that mineral reserves stated in sources like the Minerals Yearbook of the U.S, Bureau of Mines were all that remained and, given the naïve arithmetic, most would be depleted by the end of the 20th century.
    Dennis Meadows, the project team leader, conceded that simplifications were made to make the World Model fit into the humble IBM 1130 computer, but these did not invalidate the axiomatic idea that a finite planet cannot support infinite growth. I challenged the axiom too. If Meadows reasoned at limits, I had equal right. I claim that all human consumption does not subtract one ounce from the mass of a planet subject to the Law of Conservation of Mass. Theoretically, everything can be recycled. The limitation is one of energy, and fusion energy reactors will make it available in practically unlimited quantities. It may be argued that we cannot count on technology not yet developed, but we must not discount it either. That is the flaw of Malthusian thought: the assumption that technological development will cease and stagnate forever at current levels.
    What amazed me was the sight of the elderly sages of the Club of Rome accepting the computer printouts and graphs as sayings of a pagan oracle. To my mind they just illustrated the truth of the adage: [garbage in] = [garage out]. I know the content of the Forrester programs in the intimacy of FORTRAN statements, so I was not awed by the mathematics or by the computer of the MIT team. As an engineer, I had a professional interest in the Forrester programs because I was then engaged in location studies for large industries.
    Eight weeks after the Rio de Janeiro Club of Rome meeting I traveled to New York on a business mission, after an absence of five years, and felt that I had landed on a different planet. On the ride from airport to Manhattan I was surprised by the sight of leafless trees in full summer. The cab driver explained that a pest was killing the trees and a court order had banned the use of pesticides; New Yorkers were exchanging their trees for a collection of insects. I found fleas in the subway, cockroaches in my hotel room and flies galore everywhere. I learned that the new Environmental Protection Agency, in one of its first acts, had banned the use of DDT with no scientific evidence to back the claim that it was harmful to human health. Over the previous decade the Silent Spring book of Rachel Carson had demonized it to the American public until it became politically correct to curse all chemical products used by modern farming. The anti-scientific ban was to have consequences beyond the discomfort I was experiencing. It stopped a world wide drive to eradicate malaria, as was done with polio and smallpox. Over four decades 40 to 50 million preventable deaths can be laid at the door of the promoters of this environmental cause. One of them was Alexander King, leader of the scientific team at the time of World War II that gave the world large scale availability of DDT, and the hope of eradicating insect-transmitted diseases. In his memoirs King let slip a senile remark: “my chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it greatly added to the population problem.”
    I realized the strength of the grip of this new misanthropic attitude when I strolled down Lexington Avenue and stopped at a grocery that displayed boxes of worm-infested peaches on the sidewalk – sold at premium price! I entered for a word with the grocer. He claimed that he sold what the customers wanted: the presence of worms was taken as proof of legitimate “natural” fruit. To me it proved that fruit flies had sat on the peaches. I laughed. Someone with the wits to sell rotten peaches at high prices has the talent to sell anything at any price. I advised him to sell the grocery and move a few blocks west, to Madison Avenue, the hub of the advertising business, where he would earn a fortune as a gifted liar.
    The mindset of America, and indeed of the Western world, was being shaken by a tectonic shift. For two centuries the Industrial Revolution had bestowed bounty on much of the world and was fast banishing the specter of dire want everywhere. Industrialization was fostered everywhere, and a national steel mill and national airline were emblematic of newly independent countries. Progress, once a universal aspiration, was now being challenged by contrarians of a new breed, not by the reactionaries of some failed Ancien Regime, of which the world still has plenty. The picturesque hippies of San Francisco who rejected progress and aspired to a life of idleness and poverty were only an echo of a wider movement that was engulfing the academic sphere and especially social studies. It was postmodern doctrine with its rejection of science, progress and of rational thought itself.
    Prof. Alan Sokal, a physicist of New York University saw through it and concluded that there ain’t no thing called a social science. Anything goes, provided it is well written, scholarly-looking, in tune with the prejudices of the editor, and proved his point with publication of his paper, titled “Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity”. The paper would have been perceived as a hoax by an engineering student, but was published as serious in Social Text. In one statement the number PI had a value of 3.141592… because it was arbitrated by the current social context; future generations in a different context would give it another value, because all is relative. Sokal didn’t invent such postmodernist nonsense; it is supported by more than 100 references to what had been published about hard science by social “scientists”. Engineers and scientists stopped being pinup boys and were vilified as robots mindlessly herding mankind to the cliff edge. It was claimed that the higher knowledge of postmodernist government was needed to avert disaster.
    During the decades dominated by Thatcher and Reagan a limit was put to the politics of envy that exploited the cynical saying that “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul”. This was laid to rest by market economy reforms that returned power to Victorian values that rewarded hard work, enterprise and ingenuity instead of political craftiness. Neither Blair nor Clinton dared tamper with reforms that worked well. The market economy was accepted all over the world because it was more efficient in meeting the needs of mankind than any alternative.
    In the shadow of that time Environmentalism became a big business with a myriad of non-governmental organizations that evolved into a huge extortion racket, protected by law and supported by ample funds and publicity. With the turn of the political tide the racket is out for its own grab for power.
    • Its objective is to place energy production under control of governments, and ultimately of an international body. Energy consumption would be rationed. Taxing the air you breathe will no longer be a figure of speech; it will be world wide policy to submit the acts of every human being to central control.
    • Its technique is the one of the Club of Rome: rationalization with computer models to give a scientific look to what is an unproved and non provable belief: that anthropogenic global warming would end civilization (no longer attributed to overcrowding and exhausted resources). One finds the UN Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change In the old role of the Club of Rome, with vastly expanded propaganda resources.
    • Its instrument is the postmodern Precautionary Principle: where there is a deadlock in understanding, bureaucratic whim trumps science.
    The instrument carries the threat of being lethal to democratic institutions. Its first notable use was ushered in by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the tenure of Carol Browner, during the Clinton years, to implement her anti-tobacco project with the justification that second hand smoke caused cancer in non-smokers. Numerous medical studies commissioned by the Agency failed to deliver the justification. The studies had been done under the stern rules of Food and Drug Administration with double-blind reviews. Big Tobacco hired lawyers to state their case and these resorted to expert testimony of scientists – exactly what the other side did. The pot called the kettle black. One cannot expect advances in science to emerge from such partisan conflict. Carol Browner circumvented the deadlock with a legal dodge of the Precautionary Principle: “if an action or policy has suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of a scientific consensus that harm would not ensue, the burden of proof falls on those who would advocate taking the action.” This opened the gates to endless mischief. On December 7th 2009, the day that lives in infamy, Obama decreed that carbon dioxide a pollutant dangerous to health, when it is the nutrient that sustains the food chain of all that lives on the planet. EPA rulings, not acts of Congress, are now the law of the land. America was turned into a Bobama Republic ruled by decree. Carol Browner is now energy adviser to Obama, not for her knowledge of the field but for her expertise in chicanery. Her achievement in the field was banning the drilling for oil on the continental shelf of Florida.
    At the Copenhagen Climate Conference Hugo Chavez blamed global warming on capitalism and got a standing ovation from delegates of 191 sovereign states. Evo Morales blames Americans for the summer floods of Bolivia. They have the support of the Castro brothers, Amhadinejad, Kim Jong-il and of Osama Bin Laden. With friends like these, does Obama really need enemies?
    In November 2009, three thousand documents with FORTRAN source codes and one thousand private e-mails were placed in the public domain, revealing peer-reviewed climate science as a joke on which rests the proposed expenditure of trillions of dollars. Climategate may come to rank with the climacteric events of World War II, as an event that changed the course of world history.

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