McKitrick: Understanding the Climategate Inquiries

By Ross McKitrick, Ph.D
Professor of Environmental Economics, University of Guelph, Canada

Introduction

News broke on or around 19 November 2009 that a large archive of emails and files from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in the UK had been released on the internet. The contents of the files were sufficiently disconcerting to the public, governments and university administrations that a number of inquiries were established. Several of my research projects were discussed not only in the so-called “Climategate” emails themselves, but also in the investigations, and I made detailed submissions of evidence to three of the panels.

Consequently I take considerable interest in the outcome of these inquiries, especially with regards to whether they approached the issues impartially, investigated thoroughly and drew valid conclusions that fully reflected the evidence.

As of 30 August 2010 all five had issued their reports. The overall impression that has been created is that the scientists and their work were vindicated. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chair Rajendra Pachauri declared in a recent interview1

“the doubts raised have proved to be unfounded.”

Considerable reliance is being placed upon the outcome of these investigations. As I will
show, for the most part the inquiries were flawed, but where they actually functioned as proper inquiries, they upheld many criticisms. But a surprising number of issues were sidestepped or handled inadequately. The world still awaits a proper inquiry into climategate: one that is not stacked with global warming advocates, and one that is prepared to cross-examine evidence, interview critics as well as supporters of the CRU and other IPCC players, and follow the evidence where it clearly leads.

Altogether there were five inquiries or investigations, conducted by, respectively, The UK House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, The Oxburgh panel, the Independent Climate Change Emails Review under Sir Muir Russell, Penn State University and the InterAcademy Council. The first three were established in the UK and focused on scientists at the CRU. The fourth was focused on Michael Mann of Penn State University, a major correspondent in the Climategate archive. The fifth was
commissioned by the IPCC itself as a review of its policies and procedures.

Many accusations and insinuations began flying around during the uproar after the climategate emails were released. I would distill the main concerns down to the following questions.

1. Did the scientists involved in the email exchanges manipulate, hide, invent or otherwise misrepresent evidence in IPCC or World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reports so as to mislead readers, including policymakers?

2. Did the scientists involved delete emails or other documents related to the IPCC process in order to prevent disclosure of information subject to Freedom of Information laws?

3. Did the scientists involved in the email exchanges express greater doubts or uncertainties about the science in their own professional writings and in their interactions with one another than they allowed to be stated in reports of the IPCC or WMO that were intended for policymakers?

4. Did the scientists involved in the email exchanges take steps individually or in collusion to block access to data or methodologies in order to prevent external examination of their work?

5. Did the scientists involved in the email exchanges take steps individually or in collusion to block publication of papers, or to intimidate or discredit journals, in order to prevent rival scientific evidence from being published?

My examination of the Climategate inquiries centers on the extent to which they succeeded in providing credible answers to the above questions. As will be shown, the various inquiries reviewed evidence that leads to an affirmative answer in each case, and in many cases the inquiries themselves report affirmative answers, yet they couched such conclusions in terms that gave the opposite impression. In other cases they simply left the questions unanswered. In some cases they avoided the issues by looking instead at irrelevant questions.

Two further questions follow from these, pointing to issues larger than Climategate itself, which many people have asked in the wake of the inquiries.

6. Is the IPCC a reliable source of information on climate change?

7. Is the science concerning the current concerns about climate change sound?

I will return to these questions in the concluding section to show that the inquiries support a negative answer to the former and are uninformative on the latter.

Read the complete report here (PDF)

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105 thoughts on “McKitrick: Understanding the Climategate Inquiries

  1. Having worked in the civil service (silly service), it was well known that the first job of any consultant hired by the Government was to find out the conclusions the sponsors wanted to hear. The job then was to complete the rest of the “analysis” to support these conclusions.

    How else does one expect to get another (lucrative) contract from the Government?

  2. Gaahh!!! Another 50 page pdf to read!!! But being familiar with the subject matter, Ross, you’re correct. The answers to the first 5 questions are in the affirmative. Negative on the last 2.

  3. The problem with McKitrick is that when the opposition goes against him in a battle of WITS, they are “unarmed”. I think a lot of WUWT readers have engaged in technical writing of one sort or another. Therefore they would know that these 50 pages were not written overnight.

    Alas, we wish we could make the same statement about the “Inquiry groups”.

    Max

  4. If you didn’t have predetermined answers to your own questions as following:
    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) yes
    4) yes
    5) yes
    6) no
    7) no
    then I doubt you would even have bothered writing this report, let alone posting it on this blog. Why don’t you just drop the pretense of open-minded questioning and admit that this is just another attempt to discredit the science?

  5. No one has investigated or answered the question:

    “What was in the emails that Jones et al deleted regarding the IPCC AR4?”

    Why did the co-conspirators delete these emails? What was in them? Was there a IT forensic investigation to fine the contents in back-up tapes?

  6. Will the other emails…..the ones that have never been released, ever be released to the public? I think a complete history of the players correspondence would be devastating and would show all the stories they have told since the release of the emails – some of these in statements to the climategate inquirers – were really a significant effort to cover up. The proof of an effort to cover up for themselves would probably be more impactful than the issues raised in the original climategate email release.

  7. Ross McKitrick, Ph.D;

    I am half way through your report. I find it significant. You have a lucid writing style.

    Thank you.

    John

  8. Has anyone here ever heard of this email?

    “Dear Eleven,

    This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
    dis-service. To someone like me, who knows the science, it is
    apparent that you are presenting a personal view, not an informed,
    balanced scientific assessment. What is unfortunate is that this will not
    be apparent to the vast majority of scientists you have contacted. In
    issues like this, scientists have an added responsibility to keep their
    personal views separate from the science, and to make it clear to others
    when they diverge from the objectivity they (hopefully) adhere to in their
    scientific research. I think you have failed to do this.

    When scientists color the science with their own PERSONAL views or make
    categorical statements without presenting the evidence for such
    statements, they have a clear responsibility to state that that is what
    they are doing. You have failed to do so. Indeed, what you are doing is,
    in my view, a form of dishonesty more subtle but no less egregious than
    the statements made by the greenhouse skeptics, Michaels, Singer et al. I
    find this extremely disturbing.

    Tom Wigley”

    Tom Wigley here is not talking to a skeptic; he’s talking to someone who was circulating a statement designed to “bolster or increase governmental and public support for controls of emissions of greenhouse gases”. This email clearly shows a commitment to proper scientific values, at least on his part. But this email never gets quoted by anyone, anywhere.

  9. The answer to your questions is “worse than we thought”!

    I want to thank you for your recentless search for the truth.The stakeholders in this is the entire political establishment on one side and the democratic intrest on the other.
    UN especially is on the line…they took upon a risk they didnt evaluate enogh…its a win or loose it all situation for the UN byraucrats!
    P.S Do you ever sleep??? :)

  10. What a lovely Dissection & Summary of the 5 attempted Cover ups by supposedly responsible public figures who were presumably paid by the Tax payers to find & tell the truth about Climategate.
    Hats off to Ross McKitrick for such a clear & concise round up of the poor state of these so called “Investigations”.

  11. I think that we all knew that these investestigations were designed to be white washes, even before the results were returned. And we also knew that the IPCC would use these as an indication that the AGW credibility had been restored. Nice job of summing it all up by Ross, however.

    Anthony, I believe that the CLOUD experiments at CERN have been under way. Have you heard anything about any results from them? I think that those are going to turn out to be extremely important to the overall debate.

  12. Another question I’d like to see Acton asked (with due notice, and under oath) is “Did a UEA employee compile a folder of emails and code and name it “FOIA.txt”, and if so, for what purpose? I remain suspicious that the purpose of creating the folder was to compile emails to be OMITTED from an FOI response, should other means of frustrating the request fail.

    If Acton says No, and he’s wrong, he faces the prospect that the liberator will some day emerge to contradict him, and that would be serious for him.

    If he says Yes, it will be fascinating to hear his account of the compilation’s purpose.

  13. I just tried to download the PDF.

    “Internet Explorer can not download….”, twice. Funny how often this stuff is “blocked”………

    Just because I am not paranoid it does not mean that they are not out to get me……..

  14. @Tom: ‘Tom Wigley here … This email clearly shows a commitment to proper scientific values, at least on his part. But this email never gets quoted by anyone, anywhere.’

    One swallow doesn’t make a summer.

  15. Another clear and concise report regarding the various soft-shoe dances around the criminal behavior of several climatologists. Can we get an alarmist scientist here to try and refute the specifics of these reports?

  16. Tom says:
    September 15, 2010 at 7:41 am
    Has anyone here ever heard of this email?

    “Dear Eleven,

    This is a complex issue, and your misrepresentation of it does you a
    dis-service.
    […]
    ============

    I certainly have heard of this one, Tom. In fact I quoted it (and the E-mail to which Wigley was responding):

    http://hro001.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/the-fog-of-uncertainty-and-the-precautionary-principle/

    Wigley was responding (albeit too late to make any difference, because he’d missed a Nov 19/97 deadline) to an E-mail entitled: “ATTENTION, Invitation to influence Kyoto”

    That’s how they built “consensus” back then, you see: good, old-fashioned chain e-mails – asking people to endorse stuff when it was “too late” to make any changes if anyone disagreed with the content.

    Hope this helps.

  17. So what has ever been discovered about how the emails and Harry_Readme files got released in the first place?

    No discovery as yet, believe PC Plod of Norfolk is still working on it, this was a convenient excuse for the UEA not to release the emails to Muir for his inquiry and he conveniently did not push the point.

  18. Tom says:
    September 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    If you didn’t have predetermined answers to your own questions as following:
    1) yes
    2) yes
    3) yes
    4) yes
    5) yes
    6) no
    7) no
    then I doubt you would even have bothered writing this report, let alone posting it on this blog. Why don’t you just drop the pretense of open-minded questioning and admit that this is just another attempt to discredit the science?

    ————–

    Tom,

    I would admit it (McKitrick’s report) is a highly effective & successful attempt to discredit bad climate science. It looks like normal scientific process to me.

    You are witnessing, by the very act of Dr. Ross McKitrick’s writing and posting this report on WUWT, the self-correcting nature of science. By the tone of your comments here on this post, it is apparent that to you this self-correcting process of climate science represents some moral struggle of the climategate scientists against someone bad. I think that shows you are too personally involved to objectively and coldly assess the corrections in climate science that are happening and which are accelerating.

    Climate science is in need of correction and clearly in need of total public knowledge of all its previous aspects.

    John

  19. Tom says:
    September 15, 2010 at 7:41 am

    “Has anyone here ever heard of this email?

    “Dear Eleven,……”
    =========================================================

    Tom, I seem to have a vague recollection of reading that elsewhere. It does seem that Dr. Wigley was trying to urge some to a higher sense of responsibility and integrity. It is sad that many will be painted with the same brush as others whom are blatant criminals.

    That said, the climate science community has had ample time to clean up their own act. Their silence was deafening. I know Dr. Wigley knows how to communicate to the media. Yet, outside of one e-mail, I’ve heard nothing from him regarding the misdeeds and criminal activity of his colleagues.

    Sorry, the attempt at vindication doesn’t wash with the ‘I knew about it but did nothing to prevent it.’ defense.

  20. Al Gore, when discussing geothermal power, claimed the Earth’s core was very hot, like millions of degrees. He also used a graph in his movie showing CO2 and Temp over a large time scale. He labled the lines backwards, but hey, that doesn’t affect his conclusion at all. Michael “2 minutes for playing with a broken hockey stick” Mann writes an algorithm that eliminates well documented historical warm and cold periods. Not only that, his al-gore-ithm is so incredible it produces a hockey stick shape when random numbers are used as input. That is solid science there. Phil Jones, of sCRU U, managed to lose original datasets, leaving only a massaged and manipulated warmed up dataset for all other scientists to play with. The IPCC started with the conclusion that CO2 was a killer and to prove it loaded their summary reports with references to the science provided by the likes of Greenpeace and the David Suzuki foundation.

    These are the types who the Climate Saviours would have us kneel before.

  21. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 6:55 am “The answers to the first 5 questions are in the affirmative. Negative on the last 2.”

    I would actually disagree! The answer to the first 5 questions is NO. Why? Because the persons involved in those discreditable activities were NOT scientists. A scientist rejects theories that conflict with the facts. These miscreants may have had some scientific training, or even have been employed as scientists at some time previously, but throughout this sorry affair they were acting as paid propagandists and ideological sophists. The AGW scam is not science. As a scientific hypothesis it was conclusively falsified thirty years ago.

  22. I am convinced there is an element of British national pride here getting in the way as well. CRU is one of a handful of pre-eminent authorities on the subject in the world, and the ruling-class element of the Brits cannot bear to have it cuffed around too much. Instinctively they understand it would be if a real independent inquiry with actual investigative tools (subpoena power and testimony under oath) and the resources and time to use them.

  23. Tom says:
    September 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    “If you didn’t have predetermined answers to your own questions as following:………….”
    =========================================================

    Tom, this isn’t science. (Where impartiality is a requisite.) These are statements of evidence. (Where impartiality is impossible.)

    A crime, rather, many crimes have been committed. Dr. McKitrick is an aggrieved party. (Along with the rest of the world.) It is quite evident that scientists have conspired and subsequently members of inquiries have conspired to hide misdeeds of scientists. I’m not sure how they view this across the pond, but in the U.S. it is called conspiracy to commit fraud. It is a violation of U.S. code TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 19 > § 371.

    Whether the evidence will ever be shown in a court of law remains to be seen, but it doesn’t make the actions any less criminal.

  24. A huge amount of work to produce this well written, lucid account of the recent whitewash inquiries. If only our legislators would read it and act appropriately.
    No-one who is familiar with the writings of M and M, Lindzen ,Spencer, Pielke etc, etc could not fail to be convinced that AGW is a scam.

  25. Geo says: ‘There is an element of British pride here…’ I do not think so. What I see, as a Brit, is incestuous scientific, political and pecuniary self interest at work. All the inquiries, including the Penn University one , followed the same pussy footing approach .
    It became clear to me, as a complete layman, what was going on. There was never any intention that any real truths would emerge. In all five inquiries, the committees were loaded with members , most of whom were acquainted with each other and were therefore unlikely to upset the applecart.
    It is suggested that there should be an independent inquiry. Since only qualified scientists who are going to be either warmists or skeptics, can understand and analyse the data how can any conclusion be taken as independent.

  26. We should start a count down of days from 19th November 2009 until we hear once more from the leaker at CRU (known by some as a ‘hacker’). It can’t be that far down the road.

  27. It is amazing that we have three people involved who have the same characteristic: meticulous attention to detail and the facts – Ross McItrick, Steve McIntyre and Andrew Montford.

    It is no contest really because they are up against an opposition which is the complete opposite: sloppy and careless. Name one “climate scientist” or anyone involved in the inquiries who shows meticulous attention to detail and the facts. There aren’t any.

  28. Ian C says:
    September 15, 2010 at 9:40 am

    We should start a count down of days from 19th November 2009 until we hear once more from the leaker at CRU (known by some as a ‘hacker’). It can’t be that far down the road.

    —————

    Ian C,

    The anniversary of the CRU email release would be excellent timing for the formal/comprehensive police investigation reports to come out.

    As to additional email releases, hopefully any releases will be either from FOIA requests or releases from the climategate scientists owning up.

    John

  29. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

    “it is called conspiracy to commit fraud – It is a violation of U.S. code TITLE 18 > PART I > CHAPTER 19 > § 371”.

    Indeed. And in English law a conspiracy comes into existence when two or more persons agree to pursue a course of action which would, were it carried out, necessarily result in the commission of the offence.

    I’m sure people could be prosecuted for what went on (deletion of emails, etc..) and the evidence could be found – or the conspiracy charge would stand on the existing evidence. But the political will is just not there, especially when Prince Charles actually turns up at their gaf just to lend them moral support.

    Absolute respect to tireless workers like Mr McKitrick. I am very grateful for all of their efforts to get the truth more widely disseminated.

    People like Mr Ross McKitrick are a complete thorn in the side of the establishment – we need people like him. Where would we be otherwise?

  30. Tim says:
    September 15, 2010 at 6:39 am (Edit)
    “Never hold an enquiry unless you know the outcome beforehand.”

    And

    “If you want to avoid having to give awkward answers, keep ’em asking the wrong questions.”

  31. I think everyone can recognize Dr. McKitrick’s source of bias on this subject – that is everyone except Dr. McKitrick. He may well have some legitimate grievances brought out by these illicitly exposed private e-mails but, considering his claims as an injured party, he would hardly be an impartial judge to any investigation’s outcome.

  32. Dear Tom,

    The “Climatologists” discredited the “science” on their own. McKintrick is merely confirming that for us.

  33. This is the moral equivalent of Professor Jones acting as the accused and the defence and the prosecution too, in front of a jury of his close friends and acquaintances.

    Of course he was acquitted. These investigations never, at any point, even attempted to establish the truth, but spent all their time (less regular lunch and other breaks) attempting to prove the integrity of Jones and were highly selective with the limited evidence examined in order to make their case. So selective in fact that they asked the accused to select the evidence for them. Even then they did find evidence of anti-science in the form of secrecy, collusion and poor (inaccurate) record keeping.

    It would be like a defendant in court being asked to select which evidence the prosecution is allowed to use to try its case.

    The Climate Gate emails and supporting data files remain prima facie evidence of corruption, fraud, conspiracy to defraud and the debasement and total perversion of the scientific method to create “evidence” supporting their pre-conceived theory in support of their political agenda.

  34. Benjamin P. says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Another who will not rest until he get his predetermined answer! Go get’em tiger.
    =========================================================

    lol, yet another drive by from Benji. Care to show where any of the statements in this report are false? Just like you were asked to do yesterday, by your silence in that report, I would assume you could not. But here is yet another report that essentially makes the same statements. This is very odd because the perspective is different. Dr. McKitrick has been intimately involved. He has been directly aggrieved. What does this tell you? Two separate perspectives reporting almost identical views with statements which none, apparently, can refute.

    Care to stay and engage? Alarmists seem to be getting fewer and fewer these days.

  35. Until a competent authority, with the full legal authority of the law, properly and publicly addresses the issues raised, this will never be settled, and the damage to science and the public confidence of science will continue.

    Lame defence’s, spin and the sort of tripe that sites like Real Climate serves up as complete exoneration of THEIR team will only prolong the agony. With so many critical eyes watching and searching, it is only a matter of time till the next scandal is exposed.

    Time for some to do some soul searching and open up from the inside to finally set this to rest. Incompetent or white wash inquiries won’t do!! From there, the science then has some rebuilding to regain confidence and put in place checks and balances to ensure, that science that is used or intended for use by government agencies for planning, mitigation of risk or political development, is vetted and assessed as fit for purpose.
    Otherwise it will always be open for civil litigation, or manipulation for political rather than scientific advancement.

  36. The Last but not the Least Question to be made: Are you or have you ever been serious?
    Once upon a time we thought you were serious, now we are absolutely convinced YOU ARE A JOKE.
    Do you hear the kids laughing?…. they laugh about Global Warming:

    HE INVENTED THE INTERNET!
    HE INVENTED GLOBAL WARMING TOO!

    Please don’t invent anything else or we’ll die from laughing!

  37. Chris Wood says:
    September 15, 2010 at 9:40 am
    “…..
    It is suggested that there should be an independent inquiry. Since only qualified scientists who are going to be either warmists or skeptics, can understand and analyse the data how can any conclusion be taken as independent.”
    =========================================================

    One doesn’t have to be a climate scientist to understand malfeasance.

  38. Reply to; Ian C, Sept 15, 29:40 am;

    No, they’ve run about with their little investigation, they’ve made a big scene at CRU, updated server security and left a trap with which to identify the leaker should it happen again.

    There’ll likely be no more information through that channel.

  39. They followed the scientific method!

    Aim: To prove the actions of mankind are harming this planet by burning of fossil fuel.
    Method: Assume that it is and produce data that concurs.
    Apparatus: Lots of stuff but mostly a computer or three.
    Results: Its worse than we thought.
    Conclusion: Robust, when you hide the decline:-).

  40. When the previous labour Government practiced its whitewashes on the Iraq war and WMD, they at least examined all sides before producing the biased whitewash.

    In this case, these inquiries did not even examine the opposing view at all.

    Whether McKitrick has his own bias or not, it does not alter the fact that NONE of these inquiries examined the underlying science, NONE of them interviewed critics and skeptics and they ALL failed to hold an unbiased examination.

    These were the equivalent of a court not allowing the prosecuting team into the court and asking the defendants what evidence the court can accept.

  41. GeoFlynx says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I think everyone can recognize Dr. McKitrick’s source of bias on this subject – that is everyone except Dr. McKitrick. He may well have some legitimate grievances brought out by these illicitly exposed private e-mails but, considering his claims as an injured party, he would hardly be an impartial judge to any investigation’s outcome.
    ========================================================
    True, but impartiality isn’t necessary for submission of evidence. The scientific methods are not applied when investigating malfeasance. Dr. McKitrick is offering proof of malfeasance.

    Presently, the only judges are the greater public. Further, Dr. McKitrick isn’t the only one to offer such documentation. Not that any was really necessary, in that we all have followed the several sordid affairs day after day, but it is nice to have two separate chronicles publicly offered one day apart that lists the same events.

    To my knowledge, none has stepped forward to refute either chronicle.

  42. GeoFlynx says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

    “these illicitly exposed private e-mails”

    You must be joking! Certainly cannot be said to be private emails anyway.

    And are you saying whistleblowing is now illegal (“illicitly exposed”)?

    Oh, but we don’t know if it’s hacking or wistleblowing yet, do we?

    No, because the plod are still ‘investigating’, along with the Domestic Extremism Unit.

    And nobody expects the … oh never mind, sorry.

    But seriously, GeoFlynx, do you believe that? Seriously, you want your public employees – at the highest level – to just not be accountable to the people; they can look at your email but you can’t look at theirs?

    Or are you just a paid troll, sent into cyber-battle to counter the ‘growing awareness’ – sow those seeds of doubt and double doubt in the fertile psychosoil of cyberspace?

    I seriously advise anyone who is sceptical of the existence of large numbers of paid trolls sent into cyberspace to further a geopolitical (or even domestic) agenda to do some internet research on the subject. And no, I’m not saying that is going on here, I’m just saying it’s something to keep an eye out for. It does happen.

    I know, I just fed the troll…

    Probably on a bloody list now…

  43. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Care to stay and engage? Alarmists seem to be getting fewer and fewer these days.
    ———————-
    It is the Son of the Inquiry of the inquiries? Maybe there is some fatigue
    and unwillingness to invest more time in this. It is a question of perspective
    also. The skeptics think this really has some effect on the scientific message
    of IPPC. The majority scientists draw the opposite conclusion.

  44. What’s with all the concerns about bias? Investigations, enquiries, politics, law are generally meant to be adversarial. There should be bias! I see the Mckitricks, Montfords, etc as our advocates. It’s the only way to get the truth.

    cheers David

  45. James Sexton said : Care to stay and engage? Alarmists seem to be getting fewer and fewer these days.

    I agree James. It’s so much more fun when the greenie beenies stay for a chat.

  46. And are you saying whistleblowing is now illegal (“illicitly exposed”)?

    Oh, but we don’t know if it’s hacking or wistleblowing yet, do we?

    No, because the plod are still ‘investigating’, along with the Domestic Extremism Unit.

    No No No it’s the Domestic Science Unit. At UEA, you know

  47. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Care to stay and engage? Alarmists seem to be getting fewer and fewer these days.
    ———————-
    It is the Son of the Inquiry of the inquiries? Maybe there is some fatigue
    and unwillingness to invest more time in this. It is a question of perspective
    also. The skeptics think this really has some effect on the scientific message
    of IPPC. The majority scientists draw the opposite conclusion.
    ========================================================

    Really? That’s funny because even the IPCC has recently stated they need to rework the way they do business. But then, I’d really love to the a recent polling of “scientists”. I don’t even want to know where you pulled that assertion from. Mikael, are you really defending the actions of those people? The flaunting of laws? The scientific misbehavior? Really? And then to spew something about “majority scientists” is laughable.

    Maybe I should have qualified the invitation to engage to the point of stating something credible in the attempted engagement.

  48. Ross.

    Could you delete that *.pdf about the enquiries. Bishop will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – bit of a piss-up in London.

    Can you also email Steve and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

    We will also be getting McShane and Wyner to do likewise.

    Cheers
    Phil

  49. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    “The skeptics think this really has some effect on the scientific message
    of IPPC. The majority scientists draw the opposite conclusion.”
    ==============

    Well, therein might lie the root of your problem, Mr. Pihlström: you seem to believe that the IPCC has a “scientific message”. I’m not sure that it ever did – but at this point in time, it certainly does not. As Shapiro’s IAC report clearly demonstrated, the “scientific message” of the IPCC is very much polluted/diluted by its unscientific methods.

    Considering that there is little – if any – evidence that the “majority [of] scientists” have actually done any independent investigation of the so-called science behind this “scientific message” (peer review doesn’t count, because not unlike all 3 investigations, peer review does not include any examination of the underlying “science”) one can hardly put much credence in their “conclusion”.

    Btw, I find it curious that in their latest attempt at damage control, CRU appear to have either moved the goal-posts or adopted a slightly different spin (or perhaps both!). The U.K.’s Daily Mail quotes a UEA spokesperson as saying:

    “there is an overwhelming scientific ­consensus that the world is ­warming and that humankind is having a marked effect on the rate of warming. ” [emphasis added -hro]

    http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/199607/Climate-change-Failures-of-global-warming-probes-let-down-public

    Let’s compare this with the actual “scientific message”. According Hulme, this “overwhelming scientific consensus” that isn’t [see http://hro001.wordpress.com/2010/06/18/honey-i-shrunk-the-consensus/%5D consists of the following:

    “warming of the climate system is unequivocal and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid 20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    Certainly no mention of any “rate of warming”. Indeed, not even that noble institute, the Union of Concerned Scientists, doesn’t mention any “rate of warming”.

    Although it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the UEA was relying on the “scientific message” of the largely ignored “Copenhagen Diagnosis” – in which the “scientific message” to the effect of “it’s worse than we thought (because the computer models tell us so)” was replaced by “it’s happening faster than we thought (because the computer models tell us so)”

    However, considering that UEA are evidently also now claiming that their “published outputs … remain open to anyone”, one should probably take anything they say with a very hefty grain of salt!

  50. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Listen, man, you folks said that the original investigations where no good because the folks were “pro-agw” and had “be determined” answers to their investigation.

    Welcome to the other side of the coin.

  51. McKittrick is one of the heroes who exposed Mann as incompetent with statistics. One incompetent with stats is simply NOT a scientist. A scientist does not actually have to understand the subject terribly well himself–but if not, he chooses software that was designed by able people and uses it appropriately and correctly.

    That sai–it is entirely possibly that Mann’s hokey stick graph is correct. No, not about the warming–you don’t grow grapes in Canada today, so we know “Vinland” was founded in a warmer period. Remember, all the screaming is about warmiung, but we cannot measure temperatures from previous times, and must use a proxy.

    Mann’s proxy was tree ring growth. That is enhanced by higher temperatures (why are we complaining????) and by precipitation, by atmospheric CO2 and other factors. CO2 has been high in the latter 20th century and so far in this one. That has a bigger effect than temperature. We may really be seeing a big increase in the growth of trees–and in that case, other plants as well.

    The big question is–how did that come to be bad?

  52. Benjamin P. says:
    September 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    “Welcome to the other side of the coin.”
    =========================================================

    Ben, you’re confusing the roles. This pdf isn’t an investigation. It isn’t a prelude to a trial or a hearing. It is a chronicle of events that shows the investigations and hearings to be exactly the pre-determined white-washes they were made out to be. It would be one thing if these facts were subjective, they are not. It would also be another thing if the facts were simply from one man’s perspective. They are not. The other pdf from yesterday states almost exactly what this one states. Why? Because they only recorded sequences of events. And I still haven’t seen one refutation of the listed facts of either chronicle. My guess is that the silence is under the advice from a lawyer. But, that is a subjective statement. See the difference?

  53. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 11:42 am

    True, but impartiality isn’t necessary for submission of evidence. The scientific methods are not applied when investigating malfeasance. Dr. McKitrick is offering proof of malfeasance.

    GeoFlynx – It would seem that the documented evidence Dr. McKitrick submitted was not sufficient to prove malfeasance in any of the (four?) “Climate Gate” investigations. Perhaps the reason Dr. McKitrick’s academic achievements did not receive the proper acclaim, he himself thinks they deserve, lies more in the force of their content rather than the result of academic conspiracy. Often a player, when freshly cut from the team, blames the coach rather than focusing on improving his play. Science is difficult and some of the most cited and worthwhile papers have had a hard time getting published. Realizing this, there is little to be gained by crying foul.

  54. There is a sequence here. I hope others see it.

    Whent the attempt to discredit the science fails.

    Then there is an attempt to discredit the scientists.

    When the attempt to discredit the Scientists fails

    Then there is an attempt to discredit the reviewers and the review.

    Where do we go from here?

    There is one point which I take very strongly from this document.

    “(i) I take real exception to having simulation runs described as experiments (without at least the
    qualification of ‘computer’ experiments). It does a disservice to centuries of real
    experimentation and allows simulations output to be considered as real data. This last is a very
    serious matter, as it can lead to the idea that real ‘real data’ might be wrong simply because it
    disagrees with the models! That is turning centuries of science on its head.”

    Just exactly how do you “experiment” with the World Climate????? Apart from digging up the billions of tons of carbon locked up in the ground and releasing it into the atmosphere?

    There is a level of “common sense” required when dealing with new and groundbreaking science. This comment fails the grade!

    Lets be honest here. A theif stole a subset of thousands of emails. These emails were then massaged and a further subset of them were released “out of context” to make a story. This “story” has been investigated and found to be false.

    The “story” ends.

    The attempts will not.

    It will all become moot in the end anyway so not really worth getting into a lather about.

  55. @GeoFlynx: ‘Science is difficult and some of the most cited and worthwhile papers have had a hard time getting published.’

    Especially when “peer-reviewed” or overseen by the Hockey Team perhaps?
    “The other paper by McKitrick and Michaels is just garbage—as you knew. De Freitas is the Editor again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well—frequently, as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the “peer-review literature” is! ”
    Email 1089318616:
    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/1089318616.txt
    From:
    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/

  56. There is only one possible resolution to this debate and that is for both sides, the sceptics and the ‘warmists’, to present themselves in a properly constituted Court of Law.
    The ‘warmists’ would, by their own assertions, have to be the Defendants; they are asserting a position, claiming certain evidence to support that assertion and it is that assertion which is under test.
    The sceptics are the Litigants, desiring to test the validity of the assertion being made: “Are the actions of human-kind having a deleterious effect on the various climates under which human-kind lives?”
    Evidence, palpable and provable will have to be brought by both sides; the evidence produced will have to withstand forensic scrutiny before being admitted for consideration. Only matters of fact can pass such a test, no opinions can cross such a bar.
    I would dearly like to witness such proceedings!

  57. It would seem that the documented evidence Dr. McKitrick submitted was not sufficient to prove malfeasance in any of the (four?) “Climate Gate” investigations.

    Judging by your cited standards of evidence as practiced by “any of the (four?) ‘Climate Gate’ investigations,” there is no conceivable amount of evidence satisfactory to those inquiries capable of demonstrating that tea is a beverage frequently consumed by the populace of England or East Anglia.

  58. GeoFlynx says:
    September 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm
    “It would seem that the documented evidence Dr. McKitrick submitted was not sufficient to prove malfeasance in any of the (four?) “Climate Gate” investigations……..Science is difficult and some of the most cited and worthwhile papers have had a hard time getting published.”
    ========================================================

    Nice sleight of hand. Did you even read the Dr. McKitrick’s chronicle? The evidence Dr. McKitrick is presenting today has more to do with the “investigations”. Or are you defending the actions of the scientists? I would point out, too, that Dr. McKitrick is indeed published. If you did read the chronicle, you’d see it has very little to do with his being published. Maybe, you approve of fabricating evidence and think it is scientifically acceptable to mislead policy makers of the world. You would have fit right in with the other panelists. That said, you would still be just as wrong. I would just state, that before any evidence can be deemed sufficient or not, it must considered first. Apparently, his input was not. GeoFlynx, you could actually read the pdf first, before commenting on it.

  59. A group of environmentalist activists from a third rate university are caught calling what they do “science” whilst stretching the bounds of credibility of evidence etc. beyond even what would be considered OK in many arts subjects … dare I even say politics.

    So, what did they do wrong? Many people use the word “science” without really meaning hard science … like “UFO science”, and “Alien abduction science”, even homoeopathy “science”. Science isn’t a trademark, it isn’t a term that is legally protected, and it is perfectly OK for any old third rate environmentalist course to assume the title “science” without ever having any intention of sticking the rules of real science.

    So … what’s all the fuss about?

  60. @ Stephen Brown says:
    September 15, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    “There is only one possible resolution to this debate and that is for both sides, the sceptics and the ‘warmists’, to present themselves in a properly constituted Court of Law…. I would dearly like to witness such proceedings!”

    I would dearly like to find a judge willing or capable of sitting on the case.

  61. NeilT says:
    September 15, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    “There is a sequence here. I hope others see it.”……”It will all become moot in the end anyway so not really worth getting into a lather about.”
    ========================================================
    We do see a sequence, its called duck, dodge, and hide.

    Neil, you’re taking exception to one of the panelists of the Oxburgh inquiry, Michael Kelly, Professor of Physics. While you may have attempted to read the pdf, apparently you didn’t understand what it was stating. But, while we’re on the subject, I’ll indulge you. I believe what Prof. Kelly was stating, is that a computer run doesn’t rise to the level of evidence. It isn’t the same as observations. The reason is because we don’t know all of the factors and values of inputs. Consequently, we know all computer runs and simulations will be wrong. When a scientist combines to elements and observes a chemical reaction, then documents and then replicates and then offers the same to others and others do the same, we know those observations to be correct. I believe that is what Prof. Kelly was stating.

    This is one of the reasons this issue won’t go away. You see, even the panelists that attempted to vindicate their colleagues know they are wrong. They can’t justify the unjustifiable.

    Thanks for pointing it out, though, it bares repeating.

  62. Mikael Pihlström says:
    September 15, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Care to stay and engage? Alarmists seem to be getting fewer and fewer these days.
    ———————-
    It is the Son of the Inquiry of the inquiries? Maybe there is some fatigue
    and unwillingness to invest more time in this. It is a question of perspective
    also. The skeptics think this really has some effect on the scientific message
    of IPPC. The majority scientists draw the opposite conclusion.
    —————————

    Speaking of fatigue, aren’t the CAGW supporters tired of coming here and making this same comment over and over again – as they’ve been doing for nearly a year? “The science has not been affected by Climategate”, “The Science has not been affected by Watts’ Surface Stations Project,” “The Science has not been affected by E.M. Smith’s expose of the closing down of surface stations” “the Science has not been affected by the discovery of the distortions in the IPCC IV Report” etc etc etc…. Meanwhile, we can all see evidence that the CAGW position has shifted enormously and those confident projections of catastrophe have been toned down in most of the MSM. It will take a while for a majority of scientists to feel confident enough to break away from CAGW given the bullying that has been carried on in academic science. (Tell me about bullying – I had to sit though one hell of a departmental meeting yesterday, and it’s a sin how a small number of bullies can silence and control a room full of otherwise reasonable and responsible academics.) But the time is coming when the evidence will be so evidently thin that alarmism will be silenced and science can be carried on with greater freedom and less attention to politically correct posturings.

  63. Jan says:
    September 15, 2010 at 7:12 am
    Released is the new expression for stolen?
    ______________________________________
    If I pick a dime up off the sidewalk, did I steal it? If a passerby gives me a dime, did I steal it?

  64. By the way, an excellent and lucid report, Dr. McKitrick. It succinctly brings together the shortcomings of the inquiry and most of the failings of CRU and the IPCC revealed through the Climategate e-mails and analysis of the misleading claims in the IPCC report. It will make a valuable contribution for future historians trying to understand this fiasco, and hopefully before then will draw the attention of legislators and other scientists. Keep up the good fight!

  65. Lots of people need to be sending articles like this to the PBS Ombudsman, asking WHY we hear nothing of these matters on our tax supported PBS NewsHour.
    http://www.pbs.org/ombudsman/feedback.html

    I don’t know what the solution is for the rest of the MSM but if enough people keep up the critique of the publicly funded NewsHour it will eventually make a difference.
    Letters to the editor of your local paper would be a good idea, also.

  66. GeoFlynx says:

    “It would seem that the documented evidence Dr. McKitrick submitted was not sufficient to prove malfeasance in any of the (four?) “Climate Gate” investigations.”

    And the bloody glove was insufficient to convince the OJ Jury. I presume you therefore believe he was innocent.

    The whole point here is that copious evidence which was readily available to all enquiries was wilfully ignored. It is grossly insufficient to simply ignore , for instance, Doug Keenan’s or Steve McIntyre’s allegations, without at least acknowledging that they have been examined, and setting out why they have been rejected. To pretend they simply didn’t exist, which is the common stance of both enquires, is to wilfully refuse to consider the very matter they were tasked with investigating .

    Bias doesn’t enter into it. Both of the very fine reports under discussion simply document the evidence that appointees of the British “establishment” will return the findings they are expected to, regardless of how blatantly they need to ignore or twist the evidence they are presented with.

    But the most amazing thing of all is – they think they are untouchable, and that no matter how preposterous their pronouncements, they will be accepted because of their establishment credentials.

    Thank god for the internet, and for people like Ross and Andrew, who refuse to let the bastards get away with it!

  67. Why do the warmists keep referring to the aquired CRU emails as being stolen? As far as I am aware no one other than the person(s) who aquired them know whether they were stolen, hacked or obtained in any other way. The most likely answer is that they were passed on from someone within the CRU -who else would know of their existence?- who was anxious to blow the whistle on the fraud that they knew was being perpetrated and the profound effect that such fraud was having in directing and manipulating the thinking of governments across the world with the attendant possibility of catastrophically expensive action being taken against us all. It was right and proper that the manipulated information being put out by the CRU should have been made available to the public, and it is reprehensible that various pro-warming committees of enquiry that looked into the incriminating evidence in the emails should go out of their way to defend the perpetrators of such criminal activity. If they believed in genuine scientific research with the results available for everyone to see, the critics of those who released the information would be grateful that the falsehoods contained therein have been exposed. It is only those who have been seriously embarrassed by the ‘leak’ who try to muddy the waters by screaming ‘theft’. Thank God there was someone in the know who was prepared to go public with the information and to whom all right minded people should be eternally grateful. If their action hasn’t yet steered the ship away from the iceberg, at least it has slowed the engines down with a strong possibility that the ship will stop before it crashes and sinks all of us.

  68. James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    I’ll indulge you. I believe what Prof. Kelly was stating, is that a computer run doesn’t rise to the level of evidence. It isn’t the same as observations. The reason is because we don’t know all of the factors and values of inputs. Consequently, we know all computer runs and simulations will be wrong. When a scientist combines to elements and observes a chemical reaction, then documents and then replicates and then offers the same to others and others do the same, we know those observations to be correct. I believe that is what Prof. Kelly was stating.

    —————————————-

    What a naive statement. Observations are never “correct”. Anyone who has done any “observations” in science knows that observing anything is always fraught with uncertainties (chemistry is a great example actually). And that is taken to the extreme in trying to observe the climate. As someone involved in climate modelling one of our biggest challenges is validating against a climate we are struggling to observe. Is the model wrong or are the observations wrong? The answer is that they are both wrong… that’s a given of experimental methods and something you grapple with daily in any scientific field.

    Now before someone excitedly points out that this proves climate change science is “broken” please remember how science has worked through history. The “tools” scientists have used to do experiments always start off as crude and inaccurate though of course at the time they are considered “cutting edge”. Early observations of the universe used some pretty crude instruments compared to what we have today. And yet those crude tools provided some evidence, all be it fuzzy, that informed our understanding of the universe. As the tools improve, so does our understanding, sometimes will theory changing, paradigm shifting consequences. Perhaps such a theory changing tool will emerge in the climate science in the future.

    So yes, as any modeller will clearly state, the output of a model is “wrong”, just as the measurement of a weather station is always “wrong”. But as NickT points out, how else do we do this? How else do we understand our climate? Any suggestions from those of you who are ripping the models apart? At the moment, these models are the best tools we have to try and understand the admittedly fuzzy evidence we have and the results of these experiments do seem to point to AGW. Yes, the picture is fuzzy, hopefully we can work towards better models and understanding and the picture will come into better focus. It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…

  69. The whole premise to these inquires is not to dig and find answers but to give that public the impression that the scince is fine and hope this dies out and goes away.
    Everyone knows that the public have a very short attention span.

  70. Jackaranda @ 3:36 am.
    We are aware that models and observations can be flawed. That’s the point. The IPCC and the AGW crowd don’t admit the models are flawed. Indeed the models are right according to them and the observations are flawed. The models say there is a hotspot over the equator. The radiosondes and satellites can’t find the hotspot so they are wrong. We would give the models more credence if the modellers were humble enough to say ” this is our best guess at the moment but we may well be wrong because the earth isn’t heating as we expected”. When we see that alongside a computer prediction we might begin to give you some credit.

  71. Jackaranda says:
    September 16, 2010 at 3:36 am
    “At the moment, these models are the best tools we have to try and understand the admittedly fuzzy evidence we have and the results of these experiments do seem to point to AGW. Yes, the picture is fuzzy, hopefully we can work towards better models and understanding and the picture will come into better focus. It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”

    With all due respect, climate models are NOT “experiments”. This seems to be the biggest misunderstanding climate “scientists” have. The sooner these “scientists” understand what a true experiment is, the sooner they will be able to advance the true science.

    Secondly, I submit that the reason the models “point to AGW” is because the models hold that hypothesis to be a fact. In other words, the models are developed around the concept of AGW hence the models will “support” the thesis. It is a self fulfilling “experiment”. I also submit that when new evidence is found which is contrary to the hypothesis of AGW, then the “scientists” find some way to massage the data or “tweak” the models to continue to force the desired output.

    Finally, the parallel with Galileo is appropo since the models of our solar system at that time held that earth was the centre of the universe and when evidence was found which contradicted that “law”, the models of the day were tweaked by the “scientists” of the day. Galileo saw through the increasing complexity of the models and simplified them by making the sun the centre of our solar system. (I am not suggesting that simplifying the climate models of today.)

    Give up the models. They are broken. Continue to improve measurement systems. Continue to gather raw data. Continue to document the data. It is much much too early to claim any true understanding of the earth’s incredibly complex climate. No model will ever be developed which will accurately predict the earth’s climate.

  72. Jackaranda says:
    September 16, 2010 at 3:36 am

    James Sexton says:
    September 15, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    “What a naive statement. Observations are never “correct”. ”
    ========================================================

    Observations are always wrong? My statement may be naive, but it isn’t absurd. Ok, chemists, In the thermite reaction, Al reduces Fe2O3 to Fe. What am I talking about? Welding. Then tell me how the observation is wrong. Or how about the formation of sodium chloride? I guess you missed the part where I stated documented, shared and replicated.

    Jackaranda, you can blather all you want about computer modeling. But it doesn’t rise to the level of observed evidence. A computer run is nothing more than a disprovable hypothesis. EVERY ONE OF THEM. Of course, as I pointed out, if you still need clarification, you can take it up with Prof. Kelly from one of the whitewash panels.

  73. AllenC says: “It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”

    Nice summary of your long statement. Alarmist like words like “killed”. Nobody is complaining about the instruments, just the conclusions. If Galileo had said, “my gosh, there are other planets out there, they could hit the earth and destroy it, quick, let us double the tax on the population so we can save the planet.” for that we would dislike Galileo, however he die not do that, and as Mckitrick points out, these climate scientist are not Galileo’s.

  74. Jackaranda says:
    September 16, 2010 at 3:36 am
    “At the moment, these models are the best tools we have to try and understand the admittedly fuzzy evidence we have and the results of these experiments do seem to point to AGW. Yes, the picture is fuzzy, hopefully we can work towards better models and understanding and the picture will come into better focus. It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”

    ————–

    Jackaranda,

    Toolkit Bias – Is there a history of default toward an expert tool used by an academic? Is so then we should probe the possibility of toolkit bias. From Craig Loehle’s book ‘Becoming a Successful Scientist’: “Political advocacy is well-enough known that people can be on guard about it, but there are other more subtle forms of advocacy that also affect expert advice. One type is the toolkit bias. If someone has become an expert on a certain set of tools, they may advocate for the use of those tools whether they are the best for the job or not. A modeler may advocate for building a model to solve every problem.”

    I am starting to realize the need to scrutinize the climate model situation for bias from modelers advocating the promotions their expertise as the best tool.

    NOTE: I am not implying in any way that Craig Loehle shares my view of toolkit bias by climate modelers.

    John

  75. 86.david says:
    September 16, 2010 at 5:12 am
    AllenC says: “It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”

    David, Please correct your attribution!!!!

    The quote you have associated with me originates from Jackaranda – not me!

  76. AllenC says:
    September 16, 2010 at 5:01 am
    “Finally, the parallel with Galileo is appropo since the models of our solar system at that time held that earth was the centre of the universe and when evidence was found which contradicted that “law”, the models of the day were tweaked by the “scientists” of the day. Galileo saw through the increasing complexity of the models and simplified them by making the sun the centre of our solar system.”

    Although I agree with most of your comment, Galileo was not the hero he is made out to be (nor the Church the villains). The scientists of the day (mostly Jesuits) were well aware that the standard geocentric theory was a mess, and were actively examining various alternatives. Everyone knew that a heliocentric model would make the most sense, if only they could get it to work. Unfortunately, Copernicus’s model was demonstrably inferior to the geocentric model, requiring more epicycles to reach the same accuracy. It was more complex, not less. Worse, it wasn’t even centred on the Sun, but on clear space some way off from the Sun; not even the centre of mass of the solar system, but a point that seemed completely arbitrary. Not until much later, with Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion and Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation, did it become possible to replace the old geocentric theory with a workable and superior alternative. To put it bluntly, Copernicus and Galileo were wrong. They glimpsed, dimly, a better way to view the solar system, but they were not the only ones to do so, or even the first. As speculation, what they said was uncontroversial and unexceptional; to the science of the day, it was old hat.

    Unfortunately, Galileo, like many well-respected old scientists, was rather arrogant, unwilling to listen to reason. That’s why he persisted in his blatantly erroneous theory of the tides, which denied the influence of the Moon and put it all down to the Sun. It was not enough to him to argue that the Copernican theory was probably along the right lines; he would insist on claiming to have proved it. But he hadn’t. His observations of the moons of Jupiter did not prove what he thought they did. They were entirely consistent with the geocentric theory. What he saw was that these moons remained close to Jupiter and appeared to circle it; from a modern perspective – post Newton – the obvious conclusion would be that they were orbiting Jupiter under the planet’s own gravity. But they didn’t know about universal gravitation then. At that time all it meant was that the dance of those particular heavenly bodies happened to be such as to keep them in attendance on Jupiter. It did not imply that Jupiter controlled them. (You can see this with carefully choreographed dances on stage – the dancers seem to be circling each other in complex patterns, but what they are actually doing is following the specific steps they’ve been taught, ignoring the other dancers yet relying upon them to follow their own moves correctly so they don’t collide). So although Galileo’s observations were suggestive (as the other scientists admitted), they were not by any means conclusive. In making wildly excessive claims for his observations and the Copernican model, Galileo was playing into the hands of cranks and mystics like Bruno who (like today’s militant atheists) misused science as a tool to attack the Church; so the Church had little choice but to discipline him.

    • Forgive me if this seems a little bit silly, but how does anybody know that Galileo was wrong in his assumption that the Earth was at the center of the Universe?

      My understanding is that the universe is infinite, by definition, and it extends out to infinity in all directions. The Universe is anisotropic indeed, but it is infinitely anisotropic. That surely makes Earth to be at the center of the Universe. In fact you could, presumably, refine that further and say that each one of us is at the center of the Universe.

  77. James,

    I don’t think that even politicians are daft enough to believe that we can successfully carry out experiments with the entire climate of the Earth in physical real time.

    Hence the comment is both moot and a waste of time.

    I live in a world where we create theories, test them, time box them, move on and then check reality against the tested theories as we progress.

    Let me give you an example of computer modelling in a small environment. If you look at any aircraft built before the mid 80’s you will see loads of small plates of metal riveted onto the wing. Why you might ask. Because it was impossible, before the advent of enough computer power, to do enough calculations in a short enough time, to fully model the airflow over the wing and change the design so that the air would flow smoothly.

    With the Airbus that became reality and the first aircraft wing designed by computer which performed exactly as expected when put into a wind tunnel.

    The planet and it’s climate on the other hand are of such an exponential order of magnitude greater in heat/cold/air/conduction/convection actions; that it is impossible to determine the day to day actions of weather and climate with the computing power at our disposal.

    So what physical experiments (which would be representative), could we possibly do? To answer my own question, only one. The one we’ve been carrying out for at least 200 years and are nearing some kind of “result”.

    You don’t have to state the blindingly obvious especially when every piece of evidence shown in the assessment has “model” in the name.

    Anyone can pick fault with anything. It’s easy to do nothing and harp on about the failings of those who do something.

    It might not, though, be so easy to live with the consequences of doing nothing though…..

  78. @Jackaranda 3:36 am
    “It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”
    No.
    We would have killed him if he studied the planets with a tree-stump or a pencil and subsequently claimed the world was going to die so taxes should be quadrupled…

  79. Jan says:
    September 15, 2010 at 7:12 am
    Released is the new expression for stolen?

    IF you have evidence that these emails were “stolen” then I am sure there are many people/organisations that would be pleased to see your evidence. Starting with, but not limited to, the Norfolk Constabulary!

  80. NeilT says:
    September 16, 2010 at 7:55 am

    James,

    “I don’t think that even politicians are daft enough to believe that we can successfully carry out experiments with the entire climate of the Earth in physical real time.”
    ========================================================

    Yeh, thanks for that and all of the rest. I don’t believe anyone was advocating real time global experiments. And none of what you stated addressed my assertions. But now that you did bring up politicians……….. We do know they are daft enough to believe computer models (in climate science) reflect reality. I know they don’t, you know they don’t, others here defending the use of computer modeling know they don’t, but the politician do. Why? Because some unscrupulous individuals intentionally mislead the policy makers into believing they reflect reality. In terms of forecasting, they are probably our best tools. I didn’t suggest we should stop using them. What was stated by a panelists of the Oxburgh inquiry, Michael Kelly, Professor of Physics is clearly obvious. The reasons are obvious. We don’t know all of the inputs, outputs, weights, and residuals to be able to accurately model our climate. It simply doesn’t not rise to the level of observable experimentation and should not be considered as such. It isn’t the same as stating “look at what happens when sodium and chloride combines…..!” If you know anything about programing, then you know the program is only as good as the programmer. In other words, garbage in = garbage out. There is no way in hell someone can state, we know we don’t know all factors of either side of an equation but we think the model is correct. That’s lunacy, more, its lunacy to have policy makers pass laws based on knowingly flawed assumptions.

    Neil, you can have all the computer power necessary and we’ll still get the wrong answer, because we don’t know the right questions yet.

  81. Tom says:
    September 15, 2010 at 6:59 am

    If you didn’t have predetermined answers to your own questions as following….

    then I doubt you would even have bothered writing this report, let alone posting it on this blog. Why don’t you just drop the pretense of open-minded questioning and admit that this is just another attempt to discredit the science?
    _____________________________________________________-

    OK Tom why don’t YOU write a report – sticking to the actual facts and ALL the facts – about the subject.

    Personally, as a chemist, I am ashamed to call myself a scientist given the actions of these people. The continuing cover ups do nothing to elevate the status of science to its former place in the eyes of lay people. This is a disservice to civilization which depends on science and technology. The Climategate scientists like Mann and Jones should hang their heads in shame given the damage they have done to the name of science.

    As far as I am concerned the originial Watergate scandal was a tempest in a tea pot compared to the far reaching consequences of Climategate.

  82. Jackaranda says:
    September 16, 2010 at 3:36 am
    “At the moment, these models are the best tools we have to try and understand the admittedly fuzzy evidence we have and the results of these experiments do seem to point to AGW. Yes, the picture is fuzzy, hopefully we can work towards better models and understanding and the picture will come into better focus. It feels like a lot of you guys would have killed Galileo for using such an inferior telescope…”

    ————–Amazing that a warmist should talk about ‘fuzziness’ and ‘the hope of getting better models and understanding’ of AGW. Have we not been told that’ the science is settled’ and that there is a ‘consensus with majority of scientists’ on that point? And what a silly analogy with Galileo’s telescope. His telescope was an incredible invention even though it was poor compared to today’s more refined models. Furthermore, his sound science was not falsely leading the world into spending multi billion £s to combat his findings as the AGW fanatics are.

  83. George Lawson says:
    September 16, 2010 at 12:42 pm
    “Amazing that a warmist should talk about ‘fuzziness’ and ‘the hope of getting better models and understanding’ of AGW. Have we not been told that’ the science is settled’ and that there is a ‘consensus with majority of scientists’ on that point? And what a silly analogy with Galileo’s telescope. His telescope was an incredible invention even though it was poor compared to today’s more refined models. Furthermore, his sound science was not falsely leading the world into spending multi billion £s to combat his findings as the AGW fanatics are.”

    OK, except that Galileo did not invent the telescope and his science was not actually sound (though not as unsound as the warmists’).

  84. NeilT,

    It isn’t about computer power at all, but at our total understanding (or lack thereof) of climate forces. The greenhouse effect is well understood, but there are hundreds, or more probably, thousands of other factors that play a part in the formation of climate.

    Can the modern models claim to account for all of them? Or even half of them?

    Worse yet is what we don’t know. We literally do not know what we don’t know. Before understanding how the myriad forces effect climate, we need to be able to list all the factors that can effect climate. We cannot even do that yet.

    Finally, to say that our tools (climate models) are not refined enough, but we should use them anyway because we don’t have anything better is akin to saying that, lacking a hammer, a bologna sandwich is the best tool for hammering in a nail, because its the best thing we have to do the task.

  85. Lady Life Grows says: September 15, 2010 at 2:04 pm
    Mann’s proxy was tree ring growth. That is enhanced by higher temperatures (why are we complaining????) … how did that come to be bad?

    Hi. To all those wondering “what is the big deal if temperature rises anyway?” please read Mark Lynas “Six Degrees” for a well researched and entertaining summary of potential effects should temperatures rise 1C, 2C, 3C etc. Feel free to stop reading at 3C. Many likely outcomes are far from benign.

  86. After reading the paper and verifying the facts it is readily apparent to this Retired LEO that none of these individuals were interested in obtaining the facts of the matter. No one addressed the ROOT PROBLEM of this whole mess.. CLOSED CIRCLE PEER REVIEW!

    They let Phil review and allow the papers they read…. this is the equivalent of allowing an armed robber to make the prosecutions witness list…

  87. Its amazing that individuals who have PHD’s can be so inept at basic scientific process.. Or maybe this was on purpose, which is much more frightening a thought…

  88. Not read all comments so maybe these points have been made.

    Much has been made of illegal release of e-mails.

    I cannot definitively say so, but I suspect the release would be a crime subject to summary court & therefore subject to a statute of limitations of 6 months!

    Why then has the perpetrator not revealed him/herself?

    Unless of course the perpetrator has more to lose.

    DaveE.

  89. NeilT says:
    September 16, 2010 at 7:55 am (Edit)

    James,

    I don’t think that even politicians are daft enough to believe that we can successfully carry out experiments with the entire climate of the Earth in physical real time.

    Hence the comment is both moot and a waste of time.

    I live in a world where we create theories, test them, time box them, move on and then check reality against the tested theories as we progress.

    Let me give you an example of computer modelling in a small environment. If you look at any aircraft built before the mid 80′s you will see loads of small plates of metal riveted onto the wing. Why you might ask. Because it was impossible, before the advent of enough computer power, to do enough calculations in a short enough time, to fully model the airflow over the wing and change the design so that the air would flow smoothly.

    With the Airbus that became reality and the first aircraft wing designed by computer which performed exactly as expected when put into a wind tunnel.

    …—…–

    And one of the early production Airbus airplanes crashed into the woods during an airshow. Because the computer controlled surfaces and engine speed interfaces locked out at low altitude as a “safety feature”. As in “too close the ground” + low speed + low altitude = (obviously) = you’re going to land, so don’t increase your engine speed too much”. So (we, the programmers) won’t let you increase your engine speed.

    Yeppers. That there latest and greatest and completely tested computer program controlling them there flight surfaces sure did work good ……..

  90. A quote from Sir Humphrey from Yes Minister.

    The purpose of a public enquiry is not to find the facts, it is to protect the reputation of officials.

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