New Ice Age Aphorisms
In this new ice age, whilst engaged in a snowball fight with the neighborhood AGW believer, it’s a good idea to bring one’s dog along for that special something extra.
The Fred Pearce piece is grossly misleading when it speaks of the volume of requests for data sent by sceptics. The vast majority of FoI requests sent to UEA related to a single set of information, namely the agreements with Met Offices around the world that the UEA said prevented them releasing their temperature data to sceptics. In the event they were only able to produce three agreements of any kind (with Bahrain, Norway and Spain) none of which would have prevented release of data to someone who was going to use it for academic research.
The fact is, they just didn’t want to release the data.
I have a bit of a problem with your comparison of climate change research to vaccine research.
In the case of climate change, while fraud hasn’t been established, there are multiple instances of arrogance and sloppy research at high levels – which is just unnaceptable when the stakes are this high.
In the case of vaccines, it’s completely different – it’s the research attacking vaccines that has been shown to be biased, tainted, and worthless.
“Virtually any skeptic with even the shadow of a plausible case is going to get a hearing before this is done.”
You sanctimonious windbag. Climate skeptics haven’t been getting a hearing for the past 10 years. The skeptics have been derided as deniers, idiots, paid shills, And they still aren’t getting a hearing. Penn State investigates Mann? How about we spend a couple of million and go back and try to duplicate Mann’s results?
Phil Jones? How about we go and double check his results?
But we can’t because they have ‘lost’ their data and won’t release their methodology.
Meanwhile, rather than defend their scientific positions the AGW crowd have endlessly stated that the science is settled, the debate is over, it takes to much time to prove our positions and you have to trust us. The AGW crowd runs from debate, but never hesitates to use appeals to authority and ad hominem attacks to defend their position. And lets not talk about how they have corrupted the peer review process.
You sir wouldn’t not make a purchase from a salesman using these tactics, yet you consider them to be business as usual when it comes to science.
Mann, Jones, et all should be arguing that we duplicate their studies to prove their points. Why not, the science is settled, right? Yet instead, they refuse to release their data and methods and demand, DEMAND, that we trust them.
There is a reason why the Revenue Services, the SEC and other financial regulators demand audits. To make sure that the principles are telling the truth.
There is a reason why CRU, Mann, Jones, et al. are refusing to submit to an audit, and it isn’t time constraints.
Bad science colliding with politics can leave some bad policy behind. You haven’t really mentioned the science behind the contention that HIV would make the jump into the hetero population which was a hot button issue not that long ago. HIV, of course, never did make the oft-threatened jump. But it did leave, in its wake, quite a dent in taxpayers’ wallets.
From this perspective, HIV-alarmism has some strong parallels with Climate-alarmism, namely the willingness to be less than forthcoming, if not outright deceitful, in the grab for grant dollars and other funding.
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I have a degree in physics. I understand the scientific process very well. What Mann, Jones and their ilk have done is not “science” by any definition of the term I know of. Their immediate and shrill attempts to cut off debate, destroy the careers of skeptics and hide their data, methodology, algorithms and computer code has been known and fought for a decade. To gloss over the obvious unethical and criminal acts of these people is more than sanctimonious, it borders on willful ignorance.
All branches of science have an elite who control the debate. In physics at the turn of the last century that elite was Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg and others. For the past two decades in climate science, that elite has been Jones, Mann and others. They WROTE the UN’s IPCC climate change reports. They CONTROLLED the publication of papers. They DESTROYED the careers of those who did not follow them. The staggering implications of this sort of behavior in a field that is driving TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS of public money and could beggar ENTIRE NATIONS due to conclusions reached on clearly fraudulent grounds makes this one of the greates crimes in all of human history.
And you act as if it’s just another day at the office for some poor, downtrodden scientists who need some admin support.
Shame on you. You are part of the problem. A BIG part of it.
Hey Jack, did you even bother to read the piece before attacking the guy? It’s a not polical, non-scientific analysis of when science studies and public policies meet and clash.
Why the hostility? Walter is completely right.
And I particularly think his observation that a more democratic world will oppose unproven “science” with very real consequences for the little guy is astute.
Before all is said and done, the left will hate democracy and wish they could merely shove their policies down our throats wholesale. We already see it in the NYT, where Thomas Friedman regularly wishes the US could be as authoritarian as the communists in China.
I found it quite illuminating.
There’s an error in the initial illustration of this article.
The AGW “scientists” are not those who are trying to convince the public of the great body of research showing no link between autism and vaccines…
The AGW “scientists” are those pushing their baseless position based on their life experience or ideology and refusing any proof against and taking great pains to fake proof in support.
CRU, NASA, IPCC, Penn State… every institution, educational and governmental, who has had their hand in this, has perpetrated the largest theft in the history of mankind.
Pure garbage. Start to finish. Those involved need to be thrown in jail.
The politics of science. Interesting. But Man Made Climate Change isn’t science. Never has been, never will be. It’s about money and control. So how about you do your next article on the Politics of Lying?
You lost me at “populist critics of the science consensus”.
Climate change is a religion not science.
Just so all readers know, and not everyone does these days, the alleged “…meeting of the Flat Earth Society of idiot deniers with the brave and resourceful Christopher Columbus. That is sometimes all too true..” is not true at all. The royal advisors were against the trip, because their calculations showed, correctly, that the earth’s circumference was too great for the expedition to get to Asia without starving to death. It was America they were ignorant of. Columbus had to game his data to convince the Queen. The Spanish court records are perfectly clear on this.
There are reasons for security in military activities such as the R&D of atomic weapons in WWII. That war was an existential fight for survival of all allied countries. Leaked information could have led to attacks on our program by enemy powers, delay of our program, or success in programs by enemies (although at present that last item is thought unlikely, at the time it was a real worry).
All the US soldiers who did not have to attack the Japanese mainland due to the use of the A-bomb, and lived to continue their lives, might see a purpose in obsessive security over the program.
I second the motion put forth by CosmicConservative. I have a doctorate in clinical pharmacy. If a pharmaceutical company seeking approval of a new drug went before the FDA or the Medicines Board, and presented the kind of “data” that Mann and Jones have generated, that company would be laughed out of the hearing room.
Drs. Mann and Jones seem not to have learned a lesson that the rest of us picked up back in grade school, namely: “The dog ate my homework” is not a valid excuse.
Finally, Mr. Mead, some historical perspective on this would be helpful, as in: anthropogenic climate change = Piltdown man.
It seems non-scientists have an awful understanding of what actually happens in science. Over the past few years I have noticed many non-scientists call for open data access, for scientists to give out their computer code, for scientists to give out their methods, and on and on. Science does not work that way! It takes years to nurse an idea, find funding, hire and train graduate students, and publish. No one in their right mind would give that all away in an instant because of an email request. Sorry, science is a brutal business and scientists can not handicap themselves.
And if I may quibble with another misconception about science. Scientists are almost always wrong, probably close to 99% of the time. Not on the bits and pieces of data and information they collect but on the hypotheses and theories, the ‘big picture’ stuff. In climate science we have already seen two big shifts, from the 70’s contention of a little ice age to the present view of the world.
The crux of the problem lies in the first sentence of the next to last paragraph: “It’s deeply naive to think changes as sweeping and even wrenching as the climate science community wants to see …”.
The scientist is supposed to be dealing with what is. When he puts on the hat of what he wants done he’s done being a scientist and becomes an advocate. All these people became way too invested in advocacy and lost sight of their discipline.
Climate Science is not really science at all in the way physics, nuclear physics, et al. All they can do is observe the past and try to make mathematical models to make predictions. And these models have been completely wrong; they are complex, but when you get down to it, they are making assumptions left and right on starting points, and the multipliers on their various factors.
You can’t try experiments and prove certain laws as you do in real science.
The one piece of real science that can be and is used in studying the climate is statistical analysis. And it does not seem that most of the climate “scientists” are that well grounded in this science – the statistical analysis errors and omissions that have been pointed out are voluminous. The errors on gage R&R are staggering. Yet they make these “corrections” to the data without good explanations, always in the same direction, to the point where the corrections are larger than the temperature rise we are supposed to be worried about.
That does not even take into account all of the unscientific cherrypicking of the data sets – excluding much of the siberian weather stations, the chinese weather stations, the canadien weather stations in the arctic circles or above a certain altitude. And excluding all of the tree ring data sets that don’t tell the narrative.
Studying tree rings is a science??
The other area you did not really touch on is the total corruption of the science by the money trail.
I agree with all of Jack’s comments except the opening sentence, calling Mead a windbag. I also agree with Cosmic Conservative, except for the ad hominems directed at Mead. I believe both of these commenters are misreading Mead’s piece. It is meant, as I read it, as attempting to open up the dialogue and to get the interested reader to agree with the proposition that scientific pronouncements are not always right, and that we should all open up to much greater scrutiny of climate science. He praises Fred Pearce for probing where Pearce has not gone before. Pearce still announces that the science is sound on global warming, but the fact that he is helping with the attempt to bring more sunlight to the subject is going to help, especially if it results in an honest attempt to measure surface warming, paleoclimate issues, and other aspects of the subject that have been hijacked by the greens and Mann/Jones.
So I like reading the strong denunciations of climate science fraud, but those strong denunciations are not the only tool that can be used at this point.
Jack is right. I am not a scientist, and believe in allowing science be science. But when the leading proponents of climate change admit they cook the results, admit they threw away their original data, and openly manipulate the peer review process, there is a problem.
I am not saying their conclusions are wrong, but serious work must now be re-done, and an open mind must be brought to what is now a very polical debate.
What a load of global warming this article is.
“190 plus nations, each with different interests and different political structures, are not going to reach an agreement on fundamental changes in industrial and energy policy without some pretty intense reviews of the underlying data. ” — Really, then what where the steam roller attempts at Kyoto & Copenhagen about?
“The findings of climate science will (and should) be held to a much higher standard of accuracy and certainty than normal scientific studies” — So far the globull warming hoaxers haven’t been help to any standards, otherwise how did the imfamous hockey stick sneak by the peer review process?
“This isn’t because people are stupid and irrational (although, let’s admit it: all of us are stupid and irrational some of the time, and some people seem to behave this way most of the time).” — ah, yes, us little people are too stupid and must bow to our global masters who are totally rational.
“I sympathize with the scientists faced with these time consuming and intrusive requests” — yeah, it is always a pain to comply with the law.
Face the facts, the global warming hoaxers were caught by their own words lying, falsifying data & destroying evidence.
Well I thought your article was well thought out and made for an interesting read. I once asked a Christian why he thought fundamentalists were fighting so hard for a 7 day creation, being that they caved in on the flat earth theory in the face of overwhelming scientific proof. He was very thoughtful in his response and said “well I guess with out original sin there would have been no reason for Christ to have died for our sins.” I walked away from that conversation with a whole new understanding of fundamentalists, this was a fight for their survival.
I kinda have to agree with the sanctimonious windbag comment.
My PhD is in Economics, and I suppose that colors my perspective somewhat (my primary field is Econometrics). My concern is with your attempt to link the AGW debate to the autism issue (the latter of which I have deep personal interest in). The former was bolstered by dozens if not hundreds of (now apparently suspect) scientific studies, while the latter had only one. Which, by the way, was soundly refuted five years ago.
The common thread (if there is one) in both cases is the evident rent-seeking at the expense of the status quo ante. Neither is good science, but more importantly they neglect to address the attachment of special import to type 1 errors in hypothesis testing. While the possibility of a false negative (in either case) is horrible to contemplate, little to no attention has been given to the cost of type 1 error (which now apparently dwarves the cost of type 2 in both cases).
Mead’s argument is disingenuous in that regard. It assumes facts not in evidence: That policy makers and scientists alike have considered the cost of their errors in making decisions about people’s welfare.
Also, the cost of making data available now appears to have been a red herring. I know of no professional journals that are not prepared to make raw data (and even programs) available for subscriber perusal. It is not simply a matter of professional courtesy, it is absolutely necessary to keep scientific research honest and transparent.
Such is not the case in the “Climate Science” field.
I can appreciate your effort to be fair minded. However, the proponents of AGW “Science” do not deserve it.
I have approximately 10 years experience in modeling and simulation, 20 years in system analysis/engineering, and almost 30 in R&D. When I heard the claims these “scientists” were making, and read there ad hominum attacks in response to scientifically normal, standard and appropriate requests for data and explanations of methodology, my fraud meter pegged.
To correct the record:
1. The harshest critics of these frauds have been experienced scientific and technical professionals who largely began by wanting to check the work and verify the conclusions on their own.
2. There is no such thing as a scientist who isn’t skeptical. It is an essential element of the scientific method, and as such comes with the territory. The use of “skeptic” as a dismissive pejorative only constitutes more evidence of the AGW fraud.
3. The appeal to “consensus” is an admission that that the results won’t bear up under scrutiny. Which, by the way, is the reason they stall, delay and eventually claim the “dog ate my data.” They either conceal the data, or risk exposure of the fraud.
4. The Climategate leaker/hacker knew what the issues were. The most damaging aspect of the whole affair is the leaked data, showing just how they distorted the evidence in order to “prove” AGW.
5. A large part of the outrage over the exposed behavior of the AGW frauds is the damage they have done to science. Contrary to the inference I drew (perhaps unfairly) from your article, they AGW frauds stand on the side of the “vaccines cause autism” crowd in using junk science and hysteria to influence public opinion.
Your points on the hazards of and to science when politics is involved are well made and taken. And G-d knows scientists are as prone to human weakness and failure as any other human. But precisely because of the dangers that become possible when science and politics mix, there can be no tolerance for the unscientific behavior of the IPCC, Gore, Pachauri, Mann, Schmidt, Jones, Romm, et. al.
Most people interested in climate science are still overlooking the climate alarmists’ assumption that is most questionable — namely that global warming would be a bad thing. The predicted warming pattern — tropics about the same, poles warmer — means more land fit for human habitation, longer growing seasons, more mineral resources exposed as the polar ice caps melt, and so on. Possible sea level rises may not be a significant problem, as shown by Holland and Venice, to name two societies that have in the past used medieval technology to adapt and prosper on land below the local sea level. As actual evidence that a warmer climate would be good news, consider that historically it is associated with flourishing civilizations and population growth, while global cooling is associated with the opposite. Walter Mead is exactly right to point out that global warming hysteria is a bad marriage of science and public policy. All science can hope to do is to say whether the climate is warming and whether CO2 is a significant and decisive cause; deciding whether warming would be good or bad is public policy. Just bear in mind that, no matter what they say in public, the climate alarmists themselves do not really fear global warming, because the policy they push, CO2 reduction, is even by their own theories a slow and partial solution. Every time a climate alarmist says that in several years it may be too late to start reducing CO2, because there will already be too much in the atmosphere, remember that this observation is based on an estimate — meaning that, by the alarmist’s own theory, it may **already** be too late for CO2 reduction to produce significant cooling. Their proposed fix to what they claim to be so alarmed about is thus not really made in good faith. This point alone would be a good reason to discount their policy proposals…
A very nicely written and balanced article. I strongly agree that the proponents of AGW will and should be subject to much more scrutiny as we move forward.
If the climate science community cannot stand increased scrutiny and being held to a higher standard of transparency, the changes being proposed should not and will not be implemented.
The reason why climate science is on trial is because it has become pretty clear that their evidence does not exist and/or their conclusions are demonstrably false.
Walter, you’ve created another straw-man argument here. The FOIA requests didn’t just request the massive data files on climate records–they also wanted a look at the computer models that the AGW folk were using for their dismal forecasts. These are *tiny* files, and the assumptions they embody are essential to the whole AGW case.
Some of the model code has been leaked, and it’s now obvious that a) the models have been hardwired to override the actual data and yield bogus results, and b) the actual code is embarrassingly amateurish and sloppy.
The “scientists” who created these models insist that they had a right to keep their algorithms secret. That might be true if it was a true privately-funded trade secret, like the formula for Coca-Cola. But the development of these models was entirely funded by public money. There’s no possible excuse for objecting to FOIA disclosure.
Jack and Cosmic, I think you’re too hard on Walter, even while I agree wholeheartedly with your points about Mann, Jones, et al. Mead is simply trying to explain what Science SHOULD do, and how it should view itself in the endless debates it becomes involved in. I think he had a larger point here, while you guys are focusing on the egregious sins of the climate scientists. Walter is NOT part of the problem…he fully acknowledges the serious lapses, but, to his credit, is proposing solutions so that this kind of nonsense doesn’t get repeated.
Your comparison of the autism scare with the global warming scandal is unfortunate. The autism scare has been thoroughly debunked using accepted methodologies in epidemiology. The anthropogenic global warming hypothesis has been neither debunked nor firmly established; the latter is more than we have a right to expect, or its proponents a right to claim, given that climate research is a new field in which trustworthy methodologies do not yet even exist. This is not necessarily the fault of the researchers or the field. It is simply the nature of a new field of science.
You minimize the one thing the two do have in common: Both have been characterized by misconduct. The Lancet autism study has been retracted because of clear scientific misconduct. The stolen emails from CRU provide compelling evidence both of violations of law and of good standards of scientific conduct. One does not assess the quality of data on the basis of which data support one’s hypothesis; one does not adjust one’s analysis until it gives the desired result; one does not put pressure on journals to reject articles that disagree with the favored conclusions.
Misconduct at CRU does not disprove the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis, which remains interesting and plausible; but it ought at least to sound a warning bell that the consensus on AGW is less solid than it has sometimes been portrayed.
Well reasoned approach to a controversial topic that is fraught with emotion. Understanding human nature and it’s inherent flaws takes the mystique out of science. It is only a discipline that has a better track record than theology or philosophy, but, when in the hands of humans, is far from infallible.
Thank you for the reasoned discourse.
Did the first two commenters read the same article I did? I am a “moderate” AGW skeptic myself, and the word I would use for this piece is “realistic.” As a political professional I think Mr. Mead has got the practical political psychology about right.
I didn’t read this piece as a defense of the Warmists. You guys need to take a step back for a little wider view. The truth is in the process of “outing” even as we speak.
Energy from the sun arrives as electromagnetic waves. The critical science is how that energy reacts at the earth and in the atmosphere, yet it is largely ignored. The complexity of the energy dynamics involved is truly staggering.
In the middle of all that vast ignorance the climate of the earth is deemed to depend on carbon dioxide which is 0.04 % of the atmosphere and is the ultimate source of all of the food you eat and the oxygen your breathe.
Are you reasurred when politicians want to control carbon dioxide that you need for your life? Are you reassurred that the actual science is vast, complex and largely unknown?
Scientists should not be allowed to hide their data citing the people who want to see it are hostile. The data must be able to stand up to scrutiny. Also, any alteration of the data prior to publication must be explained.
I disagree with the previous two commenters. The author presents the reality of the situation and does not argue for the status quo. This paragraph by the author is the most important regarding the climate science process:
The findings of climate science will (and should) be held to a much higher standard of accuracy and certainty than normal scientific studies. Scientists can be wrong about the lesser spotted skink for twenty years and then change their minds; no harm, no foul except maybe to the skinks. But if the implications of the work of climate scientists lead to serious proposals for the entire world to make dramatic shifts in its basic patterns of energy usage, it would be utterly naive and idiotic for scientists to expect that there wouldn’t be lots of people second guessing their work and checking over it in the hope of discovering mistakes.
Wow, I count myself an AGW skeptic, but didn’t find myself as outraged as the previous commenters.
Dr. Mead is undoubtable right that those would intrude everywhere with carbon regulation need to expect lots of “second guessing”. One of the weaknesses of the climate change argument is the question of falsifiability: is there a test that would let us verify if the phenomena is actually occuring? The models don’t seem to work in the sense of loading conditions from year X and then being able to replicate the observed climate since that year. The models predict tropospheric warming that isn’t happening. For me, the alarmists haven’t demonstrated that their scenarios for 2100 don’t amount to “Garbage-in-Garbage-out”. Now, even the notion that there has been 20th century warming (or at least the extent of such warming) is being strongly challenged by credible allegations of selective data collection and local weather station siting errors.
The opening paragraphs of this blog lay-out the possibility that the alarmists may be wrong. As a skeptic myself, the current scandals have an “it’s about time” feeling to me. At least Dr. Mead is leaving that door open in his analysis.
The second half of his piece is a more “Lomborgian” in the sense that IF warming is taking place, it’s a political question on how to deal with it. Returning to an 18th century standard of leaving might address the carbon emissions problem, but it’s politically impossible. As skeptic whose opinion is not in the majority (even if it’s gaining), my political strategy would be to persuade more people the science is faulty (at least until my own objections are satisfied), but also to seek tactical alliances with those who buy the trend, but have reservations about cost and scale so they don’t support the dramatic measures promoted by the more aggressive actors on this question.
The science that I grew up admiring was about a search for Truth, whatever it was. In the past few decades political activists (and trial lawyers) have transformed science into a weapon to beat down opponents. Many “scientists” and “science writers” are clearly political actors. A pox on all their houses.
The only solution that I see and that appeals to me is Open Science where all data and methods are put on the Internet for anyone to analyze. This is the scientific method that we teach our children. We tell them, you don’t have to trust an expert, you can look at the data yourself. When did we get lost and decide that Science is really a process of trusting experts like we use to trust priests?
” I sympathize with the scientists faced with these time consuming and intrusive requests, and think maybe the British government needs to provide more clerical support to its universities if it is going to keep such far reaching freedom of information requirements. ”
Sorry, no if ands or buts. Your bigger point that posulate AGW carries the responsibility to make the basis open to skepticism.
India, of course. How can this be a question?
“And it will be political facts on the ground rather than purely scientific considerations that ultimately shape policy.”
Thank God for that.
My problem hasn’t been the issue of whether or not the earth is warming or whether or not humans are to blame.
I, in general, “believe” that man has influenced the climate. However, I’m fairly certain that we shouldn’t rush to do anything about it, lest we screw up the ecosystem further or screw up the economy in a way that would delay the development of cleaner technologies.
I think mine is, in general, the third way, one that is automatically decried by many climate change proponents. The Kyoto Protocol was an absurdity (at best, delaying higher temperatures for a few years), and I feel that such schemes will stifle innovation.
I’m pro-human and firmly believe that, with the proper application of willingness and technology, we can raise the standard of living for all mankind to a reasonable level, where birth rate evens off and nobody is starving to death. I’d give all the glaciers in the world for that.
The hydrogen bomb was the ultimate genie in the bottle, which was ultimately the game ender for a century of military technology.
Climate change was mere Marxism in green clothes. The scientists were the naive idealists (faculty lounge Marxists) who thought they could ruin peoples lives without a fight. The journalists and politicians were the Walter Durantys who talked blithely of other people’s eggs being broken. They all saw themselves as a new elite replacing an old elite who would reorganize society and the world economy. Having failed at economics, race, feminism, and now the climate you would think that Marxism would finally just go away. It won’t, it keeps reinventing itself
The climate science fraud has also exposed the University system as a scholastic anachronism. It does after all retain many of its medieval roots. But the peer review, tenure, and professional consensus has degenerated into a mere job protection and rent seeking racket.
This was a fine article, Thank you.
Uhhh… I realize I’m just a dumb hick who needs to defer to his betters, but wasn’t one of the leading articles about the dangers of vaccinations published in the Lancet? I might be mistaken but I thought that was a scientific journal. I know they published reports that the United States Marines had killed 100 million innocent Iraqis during the Iraq war, and I don’t recall any intellectual types objecting to those reports so I just assumed that it must be some kind of super intellectual scientisty kind a magazine or somethin.
Great post, Walter. To any “science is settled”, in reality true-believers, this post should be a good wake up call explanation.
I’m surprised by the Jack’s insults to you, even tho I agree with his key point–so far the climate skeptics have NOT gotten even close to a fair hearing.
I take this post as a shot across the bow of elitist intellectuals as to why they better have really high standards for their science. And of course, they don’t.
In looking at comments on Drezner’s site, it’s amazing how fast the demonization of Christians is. Yet there was little discussion of the “Population Bomb” scare, perhaps the first scientific best seller-making catastrophe — that failed. And each time the UN forecasts future population, it’s a lower forecast than the prior one — since the mid 70s.
Club of Rome Malthusian gloom & doom, in psuedo-science, is always popular:
a) because the true-believers get to feel intellectually superior to the others, and
b) there is almost always a Bigger Gov’t policy that the gloom & doom scenario supports. MORE Power for the rich and powerful.
But Drezner asks how can science do better? In Climate, it’s easy:
a) A website full of the RAW DATA. In excel tables, downloadable.
b) Open access to DATA ADJUSTMENTS. Either the raw data, only, is used, or it is adjusted. For virtually all science, there are adjustments — but which ones to use or not are matters of opinion.
c) Open access to Data Models — so everybody who wants to download them, can do so, and can then adjust the models as they see fit.
It’s not that hard.
(but I don’t want to register now for Dan’s site.)
If your doctor claimed you needed major surgery immediately or you would die by 2035, wouldn’t you like to see your doctor’s data before submitting to the surgery? If your doctor couldn’t produce any of the test results on which he based his recommendation for surgery, wouldn’t you hesitate before following his advice?
The IPCC has been exposed several times as an incompetent (or worse) doctor for the earth and we should all be sceptical of the IPCC by now. I wonder how many more times the IPCC will have to be exposed as incompetent before Al Gore and his followers recognize global warming sceptics have valid points of concern.
Climate Science is on trial because sceptics listened to the age old advice and followed the money… and it led to a ompany that stands to make billions from carbon trading.
This analysis completely misses the issue of motivation. There were financial and political incentives for these scientists to promote false claims or claims with no evidence (Himalayas, Amazon). Their actions were aimed at gaining billions in funding and political prestige and power for a field of science of marginal interest before these claims of “crisis”. They were quick to attack their opposition as “oil industry shills” but the evidence clearly shows that they were much more influenced by gain than their opponents.
“The biggest case of scientists losing control of the policy process happened when Albert Einstein told Franklin Roosevelt about the possibility of building an atom bomb. Einstein gave the president a piece of scientific data; what was done about that information was entirely up to the political and military authorities. “
Did you think this comparison through, Mr. Mead? The “climate scientists” did not lose their “control of the policy process” when they gave the governments “a piece of scientific data”. Rather, a small subset of “climate scientists” very successfully controlled the public discussion and public policy with the help of governments, institutions and the media. It was exactly the opposite, i.e. legitimate doubts about their “piece of scientific data” and the validity of their methods that brought up the current investigations and hopefully, loss of control of the public discourse.
Also, do you seriously believe that the bomb would have ever gone off if the underlying data and the applied scientific methods were as crappy at Los Alamos or Oak Ridge as they quite obviously are at the CRU /UEA and elsewhere? I don’t think so.
Trofim Denisovich Lysenko and his absurd and economically devastating control of the agricultural establishment in Stalin’s Soviet Union would have been a more fitting—though more obscure—analogy if you really needed one. And once we get into historical comparisons, the 1962-64 accusations of scientific misconduct against Lysenko are probably the closest equivalent of the current attacks against Jones et al.
I don’t think this article was addressed to these commenters. There are in fact real scientists who work on climate science, and they are far more likely to respond to a quiet demurral than a screeching voice.
The next step in this ongoing argument is to supplant the bureaucrats with real scientists, a step that the ‘skeptics’ don’t appear to want to take. IMO, the winning argument may well be that it shouldn’t matter what the cause of ‘climate change’ is, if it exists and is dangerous, we should do something about it, but of course it may turn out like the acid rain dispute of the Carter years — the NAPAP concluded (after spending half a billion dollars) that acid rain could be substantially eliminated by spreading lime around the shores of the finger lakes in NY, at a cost of about $10 million.
Being by nature a conservative libertarian, I also don’t believe in putting the cart before the horse — IOW, the proponents of ‘doing something, anything (as long as it benefits our wallets)’ should have to prove first, scientifically, i.e. repeatably, that climate change exists and is dangerous, and any measure that they propose to take should be vetted to make sure it won’t do more harm than good. There’s quite a lot, e.g. developing energy resources, which would benefit us regardless of whether climate change is a problem, so why aren’t we just plunging ahead with our ideas? Well, maybe we are, and the media just don’t find it interesting enough to make a story.
Look up the start of modern “Chaos Theory” and Professor Lorenz.
The IPCC was flawed from its very beginning. It was not created to study global climate, but only to investigate [possible] human influence on climate. So, from the start it diud not look very much into solar, ocean current, water-vapor, or many other non-anthropogenic influences. Then, its scientists relegated even some human influences to the darkness – production and release of, say, helium regardless of any effect had even less probability of being measurable than the ubiquitous release of CO2 and CO. Studying only one small subset of totality, the studiers naturally felt their contribution to science to be important: this rapidly morphed into believeing ONLY their field to be important.. With the consequence of doing whatever seemed desirable in stressing said iinportance.
This is not unique. Even Einstein refused for years to consider his colleagues investigations of qyantum mechanics, no matter the evidence/mathematics, a Mann or Jones would be unuasual if able to resist ignoring possibly contradictory evidence.
Alas, they seem to have gone much further than ignoring evidence from other fields. The first 1000-year graph of global temperature published by the IPCC included the Medieval Warn and the Little Ice Age, but the second – from Mann – first was actually only for 900 years – cutting out the Warm – and “smoothed” to wipe out the Little Ice Age. In response to immediate queries, the first “defense” was that both periods were only Atlantic-coast European, not global. When it was pointed out that records from Mediterranean areas showed them, well, that was still Europena/MiddleEast anamoly. When it was then pointed out that Chinese records also showed them, well, at most it was Northern Hemisphere. Then proxy records from Africa and South America – well, you get the gist. And not releasing his methodology? Had Einstein not showed tha math supporting E equals M C-squared we probably would never have heard of him, but it seems the science of investigating human/climate interaction is different.
All of which does not mean that human output of stuff like CO2 does not have an influence. Certainly we may ask about where the cedars of Lebanon went, and what happened to the [“local”] climate… But it certainly should also be asked just how great that influence is and whether there are other – possibly greater – influences.
I found this article to be reasonable and fair explanation as to how and why things change when science enters the political realm and why scientists should expect a fair amount of skepticism as a result.
I don’t understand the reason for the hostile comments by Jack and CosmicConservative. Personally, I’m very skeptical about anthropogenic global warming leading to catastrophe and I don’t think this article undermines my position.
The scientific method has proven to be a wonderful tool for the last 350 years. It is a tool that, over time, uncovers substantial truths about the natural world in which we live. Any science depends on opening up communication between all who could comprehend the work in wide networks that stretch around the world, with high productivity, compared to the closed secretiveness of investigators before 1660. But any tool can be misused.
A screwdriver is a good tool for screws, but it can also be used as a pry bar, a hammer, a chisel, and a scraper. However, after using it for those purposes, it often doesn’t turn screws at all well. We are seeing the same thing happen to the scientific method.
Once the scientific method got a good reputation for enabling a good predictive ability, by predicting the movements of the heavenly bodies with enough accuracy to allow good navigation, it became more and more prestigious to fund science as a professional field, and then to proclaim that one’s desires are aligned with the results of science. As success followed success, the scientific method came to be used not only in making intellectual decisions, but in political policy decisions and in the minute regulatory decisions surrounding our lives. Bureaucrats and politicians now often justify their policies and decisions using the imprimatur of science, and use it to advance their personal positions within governmental hierarchies.
This had become common as early as 1910, and has exploded over the last 100 years. However, in using the scientific method to advance the careers of hierarchs, whether scientists or politicians or both, the scientific method was being misused, like a screwdriver being used as a scraper, dulling its blade.
The scientific method blossomed when means were available and used systematically to communicate its inputs it methods and its outputs to as wide a range of people as could comprehend it. When the hierarchs got involved, that expansion of communication began to slow, and has become channeled into narrow “professional” boundaries.
Once those channels were established, it became inevitable that some humans, who were in a position to benefit from it, were willing to bend the channels to fit their careers, their intellectual beliefs, and their politics. This is what we have seen in Climate Science. Among other things, government researchers agreed that keeping national climate data secret was OK, when it violated the very basis of the scientific method, by obviating the chance of replicating the work of climate science professionals.
Similar things are charged in the vaccine controversy. IMHO, this assuages parents with the hope that “it isn’t their fault” that their children are autistic, nor their responsibility for funding the results. I have lived with Aspergers for nearly 6 decades, and have run into a consistent desire to say “it wasn’t *my* genes”. Still, looking at past cultures, you find that as the industrial revolution accelerated, the neurotypicals stopped killing us so young. Many of us were recently put in programming cubicles next to each other, given huge amounts of money, and encouraged to have kids. We had more kids, and two aspies have a much higher chance of a severely autistic child. That’s what will expand a population of Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
Conspiracy to restrict peer-review for publication, and worse to restrict the peer-review of funding for work opposing “the mainstream”, now bedevils science. In cancer research even researchers complain that breakthroughs are not followed up with enough funding, because those don’t fit with what “the mainstream” of research is looking at. In diabetes research it is happening as well. In each case, hierarchs are putting their position in a hierarchy at a higher value than extending and enriching the intercommunicating networks that have always made science so productive.
This has happened easiest where monospony or oligopsony prevails. When there is only one, or a few buyers of scientific research dominating a field we find restriction taking place, because of what economists call “Agency Cost”. This is where the “agent” of a hierarchy puts his own purpose above that of the purpose of the organization in funding a wide range of research. The cure is to break up the monopsony and oligopsony of science, while expanding the avenues of publication of results, methods, and data which are now so restricted as to cause suspicion about decisions made from knowledge gained thereby.
Pearce describes the attempts by scientists at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit and elsewhere to avoid the intrusive and expensive process of handing over mountains of data to critics who they correctly believed to be hostile?
On what basis do you claim that it is “intrusive and expensive” for scientists to share their data with anyone who asks for it? I can tell you that any scientific researcher who gives a damn about the integrity of his work will secure his raw data like its his first born child (which makes laughable the claim that the East Anglia researchers “lost” their primary data when they moved). Moreover, you will keep backups, including digital backups, that can be easily copied to a CD. How much money did the East Anglia Climate Science team spend on acquiring their data? At absolute minimum a few million pounds. How much would it cost them to gather and send their primary data to anyone who asked for it? Maybe a couple hundred pounds. Not expensive. And the request is only “intrusive” if you have some reason to keep it secret. I’ve got a doctorate in chemistry and have run research projects in both academia and industry. And I’ve had plenty of interactions with scientists who disagreed with me. You don’t withhold your data, or consider requests for it “intrusive” because your interlocutor disagrees with you. That is science. That is the job of the scientist, particularly the publicly funded scientist. Share your data. You’re way off base in your attempt to understand why a scientist would find public disclosure of his work too expensive or intrusive to be tolerated.
Norm: Please reread my comment. I’m not particularly outraged, just disturbed by Mead’s pontification and ill-reasoned thesis.
There is absolutely no reason to believe that skepticism would be weighed equally against AGW consensus. I myself am agnostic on the subject of the truth or falsehood of the hypothesis, but very concerned about the absence of a adequate weighting for the likely costs of type 1 error. It is a truism in Political and Economic theory that rent-seekers work to consolidate gains accruing to smaller and better organized special interests against the larger (but more dissipated) general interests, with resultant deadweight losses. Farm subsidies and trade quotas are a good example.
If science itself becomes complicit in setting low standards for accepting the AGW alternatives, we have entered a dangerous and potentially self-destructive period in our nation’s (and world) history.
An interesting and reasoned analysis, but you gloss over the implications of public policy decisions. Whether it be cap and trade or mandatory vaccinations, the result is the same; the choices of a free people are limited under force of law.
I may be wealthy enough to travel, but restrictions on carbon footprints limit my ability to journey far from home. This despite the fact that fuel in plentiful and I have the ability to pay for it. In a similar vein, I may fully intend to vaccinate my children against life threatening or maiming diseases but don’t wish to vaccinate against simply inconvenient diseases like the flu or chicken pox. In New Jersey, such vaccinations are mandatory and there is no exemption for philosophical objections. If I don’t follow the schedule, I can’t enroll my kids in pre-school or elementary school and may be reported to child protective services. New Jersey has the most restrictive vaccination schedules in the US and also is the corporate home to numerous pharmaceutical behemoths. The only way to ensure those two facts aren’t related is to mandate the intersection of science and public policy be fully open and transparent.
The revelations of the last few months have made it clear that the AGW scientific establishment has not been open. It does not matter if the reason is fraud, arrogance, or plain old incompetence; it is inexcusable in a free society. Since our leaders use the “science” to justify restrictions on our behavior, the governed have the right and duty to demand transparency.
I wonder if we will ever know who it was that turned the question of AGW on it head by hacking the email’s and data from the CRU. My guess is that he/she had full knowledge of how the duplicitous schemes were hatched and finally decided to act. The act is equivalent to any number of great scientific discoveries (polio vaccine, for example).
” Pearce describes the attempts by scientists at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit and elsewhere to avoid the intrusive and expensive process of handing over mountains of data to critics who they correctly believed to be hostile.”
It’s not that hard to send someone a data file. If you’ve been doing analysis on it yourself, you have it in usable form, probably with a single main data file and a number of smaller subsets of that data for particular purposes. At worst, it’s on a tape or CD that you can make a copy of. If you can’t find your data again easily, that is a very bad sign for the likelihood that you were careful in doing the analysis.
In my field, economics, the kind of obstruction that happens in climatology would never be tolerated. It is routine for a researcher to give his data, on request, to someone who is at least a scholarly rival, or even a personal enemy. Often the whole point is to find flaws, and it is actually a bit flattering that somebody cares enough about your research to try.
ClimateGate is giving the eduated public a view of scholarship that I think and fervently hope is false. If I’m wrong, then at least I can take comfort in the fact that we in economics are the only true scholars left.
The world is about 4.5 billion years old. Judging by such things as the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age together with previous events it seems that there is significant ‘Climate Change’ two or three times every thousand years. This means there would have been about 10/15 million such warming or cooling events in Earth history.
There are two schools of thought (and it is scientists on both sides not scientists v non-scientific sceptics):
1. The sceptic camp say that all of these 10/15 million climate change events are natural.
2. The AGW camp say that all but one of these 10/15 million climate change events are natural. What they don’t explain is why natural climate change has taken a holiday just this once.
Norm, you state, “the notion that there has been 20th century warming (or at least the extent of such warming) is being strongly challenged by credible allegations of selective data collection and local weather station siting errors.”
The notion that there has been 20th century warming has no evidence for it at all. It is not that there is evidence for warming somewhere, but credible counterarguments have been made against it. There is simply no evidence. There are no actual temperature records in existence at the CRU, and such records as do exist elsewhere have been shown to be altered. Altered records simply cannot be admitted as evidence. No scientific consideration should be accorded to any evidence which has been doctored. Thus, there is no evidence available that warming has occured.
Jack, the first poster, is correct to refer to Mead as a “sanctimonious windbag.”
It has to be upsetting to the politically correct crowd, including Mead, that the web has provided access to a wealth of information that they, the PC crowd, cannot control.
Matt Drudge has to be one of their most feared demons.
As apparently have others posting here, I’ve followed the AGW/CRU scandal fairly closely since its inception in “The Telegraph,” the Cousins’ paper.
The pushers of AGW have lost all creditability and AGW has become a joke, IMO.
Another problem is the degradation in the whole concept of “an expert”. It used to be enough to have a fancy degree and do “recognized” work in the field. Now, there are lots of experts, and many other people are quite well-educated, and aren’t quite so willing to defer to an expert in another field solely on the fact that he’s seen as an expert – particularly if the expert is demanding some radical policy.
The ancient saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof is more true now than ever, since arguments from authority will become less and less accepted. And if your “proof” stinks of sloppiness mixed with coverup, you’re hozed.
The AWG alarmists are fond of predicting some calamity or another in 30 or 50 or 100 years – a time frame so far into the future that no one remembers the original prediction or is held accountable for it. Well, Hansen started making predictions of AWG driven disasters in the late ‘70’s and early 80’s, Gore has been making similar predictions since the late ‘80’s and the IPPC has made them with every report ever issued. So, it is time to ask, where are the disasters that can be clearly shown to be outside natural events or trends?
The answer is there are none. The oceans are rising now at the lowest rate in 10,000 years. No islands or coastal cities have been flooded. There is no increase in severe hurricanes or tornadoes; in fact, severe storms are at a 30-year low. There has been no increase in severe storm related deaths; they are at an all time low. There have been no prolonged heat waves or droughts, or deaths from the same.
We have not passed any of the tipping points that were eminent in the ‘80’s, the ‘90’s, or anytime in the last decade. Average temperatures are not increasing at a rate higher than that of the last several thousand years, nor are ocean temperatures increasing at an unusual rate. In fact, both are stable or dropping.
Nor will the Himalayan glaciers be gone by 2035; nor is the Antarctic Ice decreasing, nor are temperatures rising in the Antarctic, nor is the arctic ice decreasing (there has been significant reductions in the summer minimums but even there the ice has increased during the last three years. Nor are the rain forests threatened by either increases in temperature or CO2, in fact, they are thriving. (Any moron knows that CO2 is food for plants, not an air pollutant, not withstanding the EPA and the idiot judge who ruled otherwise.)
I would have to agree with Kevin Trenbert, it is truly a travesty that the AWG’s have been so completely wrong in all of their predictions and the greatest travesty of all is that none of them will be held accountable or suffer any consequences.
I assume the author sides more with the the beleivers than the skeptics, but as one of the latter, I found the article a reasonably even-handed assessment the “climate” surrounding this topic.
Moreover, I’d say had such an attitude prevailed among the AGW crowd to begin with (rather than having the likes of Al Gore proclam “the debate is over!”) we might all be further long in resolving the matter.
So like it or not, warmists, we aren’t buying this used car until we kick ALL the tires and have a mechanic that WE trust look it over real carefully.
Global Warming Theory is a FRAUD!
It is purely political propaganda used as a means to funnel billions in the form of research grants to those propagating this criminal scheme.
What everybody else said. And this: you sympathize with the poor hounded scientists who face intrusive and time consuming requests for data? Wow. Science is ALL ABOUT providing your data so others can replicate or debunk it. You’re supposed to publish your data when you publish your findings. The AGW cabal broke with that procedure for a very clear reason: their work is fraudulent and they know it.
In line with CosmicConservative, I too am a scientist – Ph.D. molecular biology. When I first started looking into AGW, I was met by both sides by irrelevant instances – polar bears, and so on. My inquiry was generally met with, “if you have to ask and don’t trust us as lab coat wearing, coffee drinking scientists, then you must be either Palin-voting, Tea Party loving, creationist, or, a pinko commie fill-in-the-blank.
I came across the IPCC technical summary and it looked like a “not unreasonable” conclusion, but as an intellegent non-expert, far from finding it conclusive.
I now find there has been NO real debate, no consistent rigorous review, and behavior I expect more of politicians and secretive corporations.
The data may actually be fine. But there is now no way to know this. What needs to be done – ala health care – is to breakdown all the data and see where the IS agreement of its validity. Then go on from there.
the problem I think is that the physics behind GW is just too simple: CO2 traps heat; there is more CO2; and the temp is going up. Like wow, could it be any simpler, I don’t know.
seems to me the big problem that the GW deniers have is they have no data, so the only thing that they can do is to coomplain that the transcribed data of Mann et al is not there any more. But in fact, the primary data is there, it has never been touched. Why don’t the GW deniers just go there and repeat the analysis, (with their own funding of course)? Because, they know, as we know, they will get the same result, like everyone else who does this stuff. And no matter what the results of the 80s (which is what all the ado is about) it wont change the results of the 90s or the 00s, there still will remain the next to hottest (90s) and the hottest (00s) on the instrument record.
But the GW deniers are not after the truth they are after the gotcha. You say that the arctic ice has melted, that is it below 4 std deviations from the norm (99.99% that it is real), and they say that the Antarctic (that is in the hemisphere where hardly anyone lives) is increasing, even though it is not statistically higher than the norm. So the plan is always, always obfuscation not understanding.
In the case of the IPAA, in a 2ndary document (we are not even talking about the primary report!) 1 or 2 pages out of 3000 (!!!) have a mistake, and this is a serious problem. Really?
But, truly, if you really want to see mistakes and deliberate obfuscation, just go the heartland’s climate deniers conference, it is coming up soon…
The AGW proponents have a glaring inconsistency in their position that should cause any reasonable person to take notice.
They claim that if we do not take action, the world is doomed. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the only concrete action which can plausibly avert the impeding disaster is nuclear power. Yet the AGW camp has not said a word about building more plants, bigger, better, smaller, tamper proof, etc.
Instead, they focus on solutions that have one thing in common, more government control and less individual freedom.
That alone is enough reason to question loudly and in detail every aspect of their agenda.
Hi, WM. I think the evidence for the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age is solid. We’re no longer in the Little Ice Age. So we’ve had some level of warming over the last couple of centuries. NOAA has one set of numbers that you don’t believe and I’m skeptical of. There is a report available that I suspect you would agree with here: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf that concludes the 20th century warming that they can identify is so small that it’s just statistical noise. I’m open to those arguments. If we had a Little Ice Age, and we’re warmer now than the LIA, and we had no 20th Century Warming, then the warming mostly occured in the 19th Century. That poses a new question, what led warming to stop in the 20th Century?
Maybe the warming stopped, or maybe the warming continued, albeit at a slow rate. I think there is lots of genuine science to be done until we reach the point where improved climate models can replicate the historical record of climate. Then we might have more confidence in what those models would tell us about 2050 or 2100.
Where we agree is that science is not sufficiently conclusive to determine that an AGW crisis is upon us that demands costly solutions.
Yes the “scientists” at the CRU were horribly concerned that “handing over” their data for verification would be costly and time consuming.Absolutely. What could the silly skeptics be thinking. In a world designed for and by infantile, left wing ideologues we all would have simply surrendered modern life to them without checking first.But in this one, I’m afraid they just have to make the time to substantiate their claims unless they wish to be considered witch doctors instead and thus exempted from this bothersome process
This is an interesting essay and comment thread. Frankly we have now clearly reached the point where people find it harder and harder to defend the Global Warming Catastrophe. Mead, who really demonstrates here that he should keep his day job and leave issues of global warming fanaticism alone, can’t give us a, as the song says, reason to believe. He apparently graduated from the Chicken Little School of Climatology. And the lack of supporting, replicable, peer reviewed data and findings, other than pre-programmed “climate models” won’t make him reconsider his belief system. Also, times really are changing. Does anyone believe that if a wishy washy global warming essay such as this had been posted several years ago, the comment thread would have been anything other than a long series of ad hominem and pejorative-filled attacks on deniers and skeptics? And now? In the end though the problem clearly is that the “science” of measuring and projecting global weather has been captured by politicians and NGOs, aided and abetted by corruptible “scientists,” those who will follow orders and arrive at the politically correct conclusions in exchange for continued access to grant money, who want to use this theory as a weapon to reshape the world under the direction of anti-capitalist, statist ideology. That is why this one subject, uniquely among scientific debates surrounding dominant theories, elicits such passionate laymen response. It’s because the end product of the Catastrophists efforts could mean the death knell of the unprecedented worldwide prosperity for us and our descendants that our ancestors worked hard to create.
Climate Science is on trial because some of the Climate Scientists are liars and they have been exposed. The should be locked up with Madoff or Martha Stewart.
No one is really surprised that global warming was just a lot of hot air! What’s surprising is that so many of our “hot air” experts: media and politicians, didn’t recognize it. But maybe they just were making too much money to question the nonsense?
What trafamadore doesn’t understand is that the IPAA “2ndary” document is the document used to sell AGW
It is what people wave in front of the Congressional committees. It is the document quoted to the media. That is the document that *used* to be thrown in the faces of skeptics.
Of course now that it is know to be full of half truths and questionable sources, it’s only a “2ndary” document.
You should also consider the possibility that, like countless times in the past, the scientific consensus has been WRONG. I am not staking a position on warming or vaccines here, but while it may be convenient for most people to operate on the assumption that a majority “scientific” consensus is correct, it is also sometimes wrong. And the only way to find out if a consensus is wrong is for people (the minority) to constantly test the theories with new data, tools and alternative theories.
Science is not about building consensus and blindly following it.
Science is about constantly testing our beliefs (whether we call them truths, facts or beliefs) against reality – and acknowledging that our perception of reality itself is constantly changing.
Science is, ultimately, recognizing that we are not omnipotent gods – we get things wrong, no matter how many people think it is right.
One could also argue that EU agricultural policy on GMOs is “superstitous” since, similarly, no evidence has been found that eating GMO foods has any negative effect.
Its not that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is that the size of the atmosphere increases when liquid fuels are turned into gas. The thicker atmosphere insulates the poles better when they are without sun for half the year. The more temperate poles will allow longer growing seasons, causing this entire “crises” to be a temporary situation, as plants will return the gas to a liquid as they grow through photosynthesis, and decay and become oil again.
There is no need to use this naturally balancing situation as an excuse to redistribute wealth.
oh cool: //scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/originals/surface_temp.pdf . Its a paper published on the web. Hey, it must be real. I explains how all those dumb scientists where wrong. I mean, a business man like Monckton must certainly be more knowledgeable about the Medieval Warming. Like right. Maybe they can get it pub’ed in JIR!
The physics may be simple but it is obviously over some people’s head. Physics tells us that the absorption bands of CO2 and water vapor overlap and that the primary CO2 absorption band is virtually saturated. Any increase in atmospheric CO2 will have an asymptotically smaller impact on the earth’s temperature. And may have almost no impact at all if recent studies proving the negative feedback of water vapor are validated. The same physics tells us that any possible atmospheric temperature rate of increase do directly to CO2 is logarithmic. Since the physics escapes some, this means that it takes an enormous increase in CO2 to effect even a small increase in air temperature. And while we are talking about water vapor, it accounts for about 95% of the ‘greenhouse effect’ and CO2 about 2 to 3%. Anthropogenic CO2 accounts for about .2%.
“The ’scientific consensus’ has often been wrong in the past”
Oh really? Name one.
Got some bad news for you.
Oooopd, seems CO2 isn’t quite the culprit.
Burden of Proof is on the Alarmists.
I am about a year out from finishing my Ph.D in biology, but have a background in business, marketing & pr, as well economics studies. I’ve been advocating for some time for graduate students in science to receive a solid grounding in policy, econ & communications. It’s ludicrous to request public funding (most of us need at least some of this unless we go into industry, and even then, the basic research is often publicly funded in some way or other), and then expect to not have to explain or defend oneself. We owe it to the public and to our science to be ready to give a defense, and to be judged on the quality and strength of our work.
I worked on dams in Tajikistan in 2006, the dams which divert the water from reaching the Aral Sea, so imagine my surprise when I saw Al Gore’s movie suggesting the Aral Sea dried up because of global warming. I guess Al also never heard of the Kara Kum canal, the canal which diverts the Amu Darya (Oxus River) from near the Tajik-Uzbek-Afghan border all the way to Ashgabat near the Iran border.
I was also quite surprised when I heard in 2007 the glaciers were suddenly melting, and would be gone by 2035; nothing in the hydrological studies for the dams I was working on suggested that. Of course, now we know from “Glaciergate”, that the year 2035 was unresearched opinion, and what extra melting is occuring in Asian glaciers is caused by soot, not an increase in global warming. (Please note we have had global warming and retreating glaciers since the end of the last ice age, 10,000 years ago. In that period of time, the average temperature has risen 15°C, and the oceans have risen 120 meters!)
The Russian Economic Institute analysed the temperature stations the CRU used for Russia, and found the data from 40% of the surface area of Russia, mostly from rural high latitude areas had been discarded, in favor of urban, southern, and sometimes discontinuous data sets. (I located and read the original Russian version of this report and read it myself.)
With the release of the files which had been held from true peer review, we now know these experts have been using tree ring studies which do not correlate with thermometer readings, and they have been using the counter-intuitive practice of selecting temperature data from areas most affected by urban heat island affect, and discarding temperature data from rural areas!
The climate reearchers in the US have also dicarded global temperature data from areas at high altitudes and high latitudes!
There is also massive incompetence. A respected meterologist, Anthony Watts, has revealed that the temperature stations are more often than not, compormised by adjacent heat sources. The housings have recently been painted in fast-drying paints which absorb heat. Some are located on rooftops and near the edge of airport runways where jet aircraft idle waiting for take-off. Many reliable thermometers were replaced with digital thermometers, but because the power and data cables were too short, they moved the stations too close to buildings, air conditioner exhausts and parking lots. we are looking for trace changes in global temperatures, with thermometers which may be off by several degrees!
A British documentary noted that in the famous Vostok ice core data, CO2 lagged temperature by 400 years on average. I personally downloaded the Vostok graph from a US government website to see for myself, and they were right; CO2 lagged temperature! Al Gore intentionally skewed his graph in his famous movie. Two years later I tried to find the same graph on the US goveernment website, and it had been replaced with graphs which used the same “trick” Al Gore had used; make the pen width so wide you can’t see the 400 year antithesis. Undaunted, I hunted the internet for the unadulturated data. I found a chart on a UK website that futzed with the scales, and shifted the CO2 downward with respect to the temperature, then had the chutzpah to declare that yes, CO2 followed temperature, but at the bottom of the chart was in front of temperature, and therefore had started the temperature rise! Apparently they are that confident people are stupid and can’t understand graphing unrelated scales. This was when I realized it wasn’t just one dufus, Al Gore, but rather a vast conspiracy to defraud. For me the recent revelations are anti-climactic.
Dr. Michael Crichton, author, Harvard MD (he did have a science background gave an invited talk at Cal Tech in 2003 titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming.” One of the topics he discussed was the use of computer models to predict events 90 years in the future. He also discussed the Drake equation in which the unknowables in the equation render the equation meaningless. Some of his comments on computer models follow. A link to a transcript of his talk is provided below.
“To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: “These results are derived with the help of a computer model.”
“But now, large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world-increasingly, models provide the data.
As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs. This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well.
Richard Feynmann called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands. Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we’re asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future?
And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds? “
The transcript of Dr. Crichton’s talk may be found at: http://www.s8int.com/crichton.html
Climate science in not on trial; the trial is over and the AGW Chicken Littles have been found guilty. Public opinion polls in the US and Europe indicate belief in AGW is tanking and it’s at the bottom of most voters lists of prioirties. And justly so. The only facts scientists have proven are that the earth is warming (even that’s now questionable in view of IPCC’s cherry picking of data) and CO2 levels have increased in the last 150 years. That’s it! There’s no definitive proof that Man is the primary driver behind CO2 level increases, or that CO2 is the primary driver behind the warming. And why should we be surprised? AGW is just the latest in a series of fear-mongering tactics by the Left to terrify people into supporting draconian change that’s not in their interests.
Common sense does not seem to affect socialist pacifist lefty nutty enviros housed in the Dem Party and in the WH. So when it snows 30 inches in DC, it is of course, wait for it: Bush’s fault and a part of global warming and climate concerns. All of this climate baloney has been a brainwashing effort on college campuses for now over 25 years. It goes on down to elementary schools. Lefty profs like Dem pols, lie about all of this. Enviros today in Ca. did not want to drill for oil though our energy resources are huge and needed now. Not dependence on the ME , Chavez or some silly green inanity. BTW, no military will ever run on Green. None. We have oil, gas, coal, and safe nuclear energy plants available but the enviro nuts , Gore, the liars who are supposedly scientists, and of course, the Liar in Chief, Obama are pushing this nonsense to make sure capitalist innovations are not tried and because they do not want those companies to make money. Oh yeah. It is those very companies who actually create private sector jobs.
Steve McIntyre, proprietor of ClimateAudit.org, the bane of CRU researchers is mentioned by name in the purloined emails as East Anglia’s harshest critic. He’s retired after a career in mining wherein he was involved in the industry’s number-crunching — thus his demonstrated knowledge of statistics — as well as the due diligence required of those operating in a publicly-owned company, and that was in Canada, not the US with the multiplier of Sarbanes-Oxley.
What surprised him and amazes me is the poor record-keeping within the scientific establishment. If the climate folks are indeed working on something of such importance, one would think that they’d have a robust method of organizing and archiving their data and methods.
A typical corporation has defined processes for handling finance and accounting data, sales projections, tax information, etc., numbers and data of all types used in building products, supplying services, regulatory filings, ad infinitum. There are in-house auditors to be fed regularly and external auditors for annual tests.
If the firm happens to produce a product — think Toyota — or provides custom software development or architectural services , there are specifications galore to be prepared, studied, applied, tested, and then stored for later reference for maintenance or lawsuits. Ask to see the drawing package, to include the mechanical systems, for the building where you work for a hint of the level of detail that the real world deals with.
Satisfying the skeptics is actually a trivial exercise if the researchers treat there data as any engineer or corporate must in the real world. What ClimateGate and folks like McIntyre and the other skeptics have found is that the researchers’ claims as to processes they follow and the provenance or stability of the data they use are not supported when independently examined.
I think it is interesting to note how many comments here are arguing about AGW, rather than commenting on the intersection between politics and science. The single most important point in this essay: “Moreover, once a controversy leaves the realm of pure science and moves into the realms of policy and politics, scientists aren’t — and can’t be — in charge anymore.”
Science cannot decide what is the best public policy in regard to any question, there are cultural and human factors outside the scope of science.
When supporters of a particular political agenda or program claim that Science! requires you to accept their plans uncritically, keep one hand on your wallet.
I agree with the author that the AGW scientists have to be open to scrutiny and can expect that here on out. I am not a climate change scientist but I have a doctorate in environmental engineering and based on the articles I have been keeping up with over the last 8 years, there is ample evidence and numerous lines of evidence that point to warming. However, I dont agree with the AGW alarmists in that I think the science is not settled! This is important and I think the AGW community needs to acknowledge that. I am skeptical of some of the claims of the IPCC in this regard. I believe it will take several more decades before we have a better handle on the problem. Until then, a “conservative” position on the environment will be to cut GHG emissions (for developed nations) to the extent possible without significantly impacting the economy. I think this is possible, and it is a matter of how we do things. I believe we can make reductions without impacting GDP growth significantly (renewable energy, nuclear, efficient buildings, hybrids, etc.). I am open to the idea of a carbon tax or market based approaches but if we are able to make that fly politically, we can still continue to encourage carbon footprint reduction to the extent possible. As we do that over the next couple of decades, hopefully, our climate science would have generated an improved “more settled” climate model.
On a separate note, most of the AGW skeptics I have seen have a scientific background but are political conservatives/liberatians who do not like taxes, governmental controls, and liberals. I think it is good for the science that these highly motivated AGW skeptics are giving this science a good critical review. I agree that some of the climate researchers (academia) have been defensive over the years and have not been open. This is often true of academia in general but here we are dealing with a field that has significant political implications. I understand their defensiveness which is related to being harassed by the AGW skeptics. The political opposition can be brutal because they do not like the political implications of the research. I think climate change researchers have to learn to be more open and cope with that. I think they can and will do that in the future. I do not think East Anglia and Mann are the only people doing climate research. Some mistakes were made including in the IPCC report and they will be improved upon in the next version 2013?. But none of these mistakes fundamentally changes the potential risks with AGW be it in 50 years or 100 years. It would be prudent to control GHG and I think it can be done without too much harm to the economy.
Clearly the AGW skeptics have a loud, prominent voice right now. The world is not just extreme AGW believers and extreme AGW skeptics. I think a large majority of the scientifically informed population have views that are moderate and reasonable. To me, the AGW skeptics have not proven anything significant yet other than saying that the science is not entirely settled and the AGW folks have made a few mistakes.
A good read about the time line of AGW:
A good read about scientific consensus:
So, Mr. Mead, do you plan to respond to these comments or are you going to continue stroking your chin and wonder what all the fuss is about?
JMartJr, here is one view on that intersection: (and the harm that is done when movements take over science)
The AGW crowd is comprised of two groups. The first group (the followers) includes the uninformed, the gullible, the well intentioned but naive, the sincere but mislead, many journalists and researchers, and yes, the just plain stupid. I would think it safe to say that these people all believe that most of the recent global warming must have been or was caused by human activity – primarily CO2 emissions and that wind farms fix the problem. These people are not evil, they are just wrong. How anyone could rationally think that the IPCC fairytales prove their position is beyond hope and not worthy of debate.
The second group (the leaders) includes primary, government funded researchers, left leaning political leaders, activist and environmentalist leadership, and, of course, the Hansens, Gores, Manns, Briffas, Pachauri, and the rest of the extremists with which we are burdened. To the surprise of those in the first group, but not at all to the rest of us, these people do not necessarily believe or, for the most part, even care if global warming is anthropogenic. And, unlike the first group, these people are not only evil and wrong but also dangerous. They are not out to save the world but to gain political power and financial control over individuals, businesses and countries.
There are legitimate environmental issues. Surly we must continue to fight for and to find a way to protect our environment, reduce stress on fisheries, manage water, land and forest resources, protect endangered species if possible and were practical, and a myriad other environmental issues and crises we face. The real tragedy of the AGW shibboleth is that it will destroy the credibility of legitimate environmental movements, divert needed funding away from them, and make the efforts of those movements even more difficult. And this is why the people of the first group, if and when they ever figure it out, should forever condemn those of the second.
The rest of us already have.
It is precisely this “intersection between politics and science” where Jones, Mann and their peers have perpetrated their most heinous crimes. I am constantly amazed at how completely oblivious otherwise rational people are at the magnitude of their criminal acts. And they are criminal acts. They are not some understandable accidents of absent-minded professors. There is deliberate and documented COLLUSION between these people to create a POLITICAL result, not a SCIENTIFIC one.
I’m not even commenting on the existence or lack of actual warming. That’s not the point. These people were following an IDEOLOGICAL AGENDA to promote SPECIFIC PUBLIC POLICY and conspired to commit SPECIFIC CRIMINAL ACTS to do so.
What the hell is wrong with people like Walter Russell Meade that he doesn’t connect the dots here?
The archeological record of the Norse settlements on Greenland is a grim story of declining calorie intake as weather worsened in the Little Ice Age. Tree stumps in the Urals carbon date to the MWP but exist above the current tree line. Historical records document some grape cultivation in medieval Britain that disappears. Restoration London celebrated a winter festival on the frozen Thames. Mayan culture went through a collapse occasioned by drought that coincides with the LIA. This is all evidence that contradicts the notion of an earth without the MWP/LIA, the central finding of Mann’s “hockey-stick” graph. .
The substantial core of the charges against Mann and the NOAA data set is “cherry-picking” data to fit the desired narrative. Mann used a tiny fraction of the tree rings available for his climate proxies. (I genuinely wonder what the graph would look like with all the tree rings included) NOAA ignored 99/100 Canadian weather stations above the 65th parallel. The siting of weather stations in a area is critical, along with the appropriate adjustments for urban heat island effects. The actual and adjusted figures for Darwin, Australia are a scandal.
In my own experience, my family departed for a vacation early one summer morning (3:00 AM) and in the course of driving from the rural outskirts of our metropolitan area through the center of town (where the weather station is located) and out the other side, the center of town was 12 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the outskirts, a distance of 20 miles and only a couple hundred feet in elevation difference above sea-level.
What Dr. Mead recognizes is that the cumulative effect of false and poorly sourced data has damaged global warming’s “brand”. In some ways this is like the Tylanol poisonings back in the 1980s. Even if only a few of the pills were contaminated, the industry had to take steps to assure the safety of all the medicine. Likewise, the scale of expense for proposed policy changes plus the documented malfeasance in some pro-AGW data means the AGW “industry” has to go the distance to recertify all their data and account for the criticisms.
I trust scientists more than politicians, although as is pointed out scientists can be dead wrong. I don’t trust scientists who have become political advocates and activists any more than I trust lying scheming manipulating politicians. Especially ones that hide, distort, manipulate, and fabricate data!
This article is simply the product of a proponent of global warming who has not the slightest measure of intellectual curiosity.
If AGW were indisputable, then why haven’t the AGW proponents welcomed with open arms any and all who would dare find fault? Would not the most devastating evidence of AGW be that opponents could only replicate the results of the AGW proponents?
Ah, but such is not the case. All five of the temperature data bases have now been found to have unacceptable flaws. New Zealand cannot produce a single document explaining a single “adjustment” they have made. RCU conveniently deleted/destroyed all of their original data. NASA has been shown to have Cherry picked weather stations, and the IPCC has been show to be little more than armatures in conducting analyses.
Sorry, but AGW is toast–just as it should be.
I was a bit surprised at the level of vehemence here. I read the article and saw it as a mild reproof to the AGW community that comes down to “If you think the whole world economy has to change, why would you be surprised that people want to check your data?” Basically, stop the “denialist” talk – any rational person should question something this big.
@trafamadore – 2 things
– The physics is not simple, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be understood. Everything in the atmosphere interacts, when there is more CO2 there is less of something else – it relates to Avagadro’s number. Atmospheric gasses are in solution in the ocean – changes effect both the biology of the ocean and the water vapor in the atmosphere. Water vapor has a much stronger effect on radiation absorption than CO2. It’s interesting stuff – try it.
– You have the Mann et al data debate backwards – people are requesting the primary data and that is what the researchers are saying is no longer available.
CosmicConservative, just a minor matter of courtesy, our host’s name is spelled Mead, not Meade.
To your substantive point, I think there is good evidence that at least some of the most prominent AGW advocates have done exactly what you charge. After a court trial in Britain, Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth has to have a disclaimer highlighting the errors before it’s shown to school-children. Does every researcher deserve that criticism? That’s a stretch. A good scientist follows his data, but data may be wrong or subject to misinterpretation. To believe that every AGW advocate is in the plot is as implausible as to believe all skeptics are complicit in a conspiracy.
Once an idea leaves science and becomes the realm of politics, it is difficult to get it back perhaps, but can still be guided by new revelations in that science. That’s what’s happened with “global warming” (which actually began based on “global cooling” (i.e. next Ice Age) in the 70’s. Political groups, always looking to capitalize on something (yet most hate capital economics for some hypocritical reason) gained ownership when it was realized the public could be swayed with practically no hard science behind it. For the movement to now be cratering in the public’s eye is not surprising–there are enough charlatans in this new-fangled cult that call themselves “Climatologists” (although no university anywhere offers a PhD in the discipline) to upend their self-righteous credibility. Is the earth warming? I hope so, since we’ve just come out of the Little Ice Age (geologically speaking). Are there benefits to anthropogenic CO2? Undoubtedly; the deserts are blossoming as the rose. I personally like roses. Lots of ’em.
Norm: Sorry about the Meade/Mead thing. Frankly for some reason I can’t see what I’m typing on the left of the input screen on this site. As far as who is complicit in the crimes I am talking about, you must have missed my point about virtually all branches of science being led by an “elite” who set the agenda, dominate the publications and create a mindset for the community to follow. As I pointed out, in the 1900s for physics that was Einstein, Bohr, Heisenberg, etc. Their impact on physics was incalculable and drove physics research and development for most of the next century. In Climate science for the past few decades that “elite” group of agenda setters have controlled the debate and the flow of funding through deliberate ILLEGAL means. I repeat myself, why every scientist on earth is not demanding the head of Phil Jones on a platter is a mystery to me. The man has not only commited crimes with the impact of TRILLIONS of dollars to the economies of the world, but he and his defenders have alleged that his CRIMINAL ACTS are COMMONPLACE and are just “regular science.” Any scientist who doesn’t feel insulted and slimed by that charge is simply not understanding what is being said.
Imagine, just imagine, if the press had found that there were similar criminal acts and conspiracy on the part of corporations. The screams for prosecution would be deafening. As they should be.
I don’t know what it will take to make people understand what damage Jones and his ilk have done to this world, to our public policy and perhaps most importantly, to the hard-won social contract under which REAL SCIENCE operates. It is mind-boggling.
Follow the money. The alarmist used that tactic to discredit anybody that disagreed with them… “they are shills for big oil…” regardless if it was true or not.
Follow the money. Look how many millions (or possibly billions?) that the oil companies have paid to the warmist cause to curry favourable public relations? BP, Exxon, Dutch Shell et al have all paid big dollars to green-wash their operations. Then look at companies like G.E. that have played politics at very high levels to profit from Government grants and largess in the holy grail of renewable energy projects…all of which are heavily subsidized by the taxpayer. Al Gore and his friends at Enron who cooked up the Carbon Trading Exchange… Dr Pachuri (sp) and his web of conflicts of interest. How deep does the rot go? I’m guessing we have barely scratched the surface. Before Cap & Trade starts to take money out of my wallet, I’m gonna be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with a lot of other people wanting answers. This whole debate has the stench of U.N. corruption and elitist hegemony.
Follow the money.
AGW proponents say that “deniers” are the enemies of science. When it is all said and done, the true enemies will be those who have smudged the border between science and advocacy, and misused science to advance nonscientific agendas. In my opinion, AGW as promoted by the IPCC, Gore, Mann, Hanson et al has in fact caused great damage to Science.
For the record, I allow that AGW is a serious possibility, but reject the doomsday nonsense and wild, worse-case scenarios. The scientific “consensus” seems too passionate and aligned with political goals.
It is time for a independent, unbiased, top-to- bottom review of the data and methodology.
Scrap “Cap and Trade” and all other proposals and schemes until we can get an honest appraisal. No one should object to that.
“..seems to me the big problem that the GW deniers have is they have no data, so the only thing that they can do is to coomplain that the transcribed data of Mann et al is not there any more….” Comment by trafamadore
This is fallacy #1 Skeptics are not required to come up with a theory or prove a thing – period.
The climate scientists who came up with the CO2 causes Catastrophic Warming have to PROVE they are correct or their theory is no better than my theory that the goddess is angry and heating us with her glare.
As others have said, the falsification of temperature records, the goat ate my homework excuse and all the rest of the dirty linen now coming out about the IPCC puts not only Climate Science on trial but ALL science.
As a chemist with thirty years of experience, I have seen falsified data too many time to count. That is why I am skeptical of ANY information that is not independently verified.
Any scientist that works on a problem and finds that there is no problem and states such loses research grants. Therefore it is in the scientists best (personal) interest to manufacture any evidence that obfuscates the truth and keep that free taxpayer cash rolling. This is the new norm for science, keep screwing those that fund the science so that scientists can continue to collect “welfare” at the publics expense. These scientific “welfare queens” are no more than terrorists using their positions to terrorize citizens on a global scale. In the US we have a place to house terrorists. Send these “queens” to gitmo. That will end this sharade of conmen masquerading as scientists.
“Oh really? Name one” about science consensus being wrong in the past.
Just one? OK. For more than half a century the consensus in medicine was that gastritis & gastric ulcers were caused by stress and poor diet. It was also the consensus that they could not have infectious causes because bacteria couldn’t live in the presence of stomach acid.
In the early 1980’s Dr’s Marshall and Warren introduced research showing that bacteria could live there, and that most cases of gastric ulcer and gastritis were caused by a strain of heliobacter pylori. They were attacked and ostracized by the medical research community and almost saw their careers ended.
They were also right, and in 2005 won the Nobel Prize.
While I fall mostly on the side of those who deny AGW, I find no fault with Mr. Mead’s take in this article. It is an important truth for proponents of AGW to seem to accept: Simply because a scientist — or even thousands of scientists — proclaim something to be true, doesn’t make it true. And even if it is true, it does not mean we must immediately cede control of our lives and our economy and our governments to those scientists. Discovering observable facts and uncovering the workings of the universe is the job of science. Running a country is not. Would you turn over your car to your mechanic to do whatever he wishes, whenever he wishes, and then tell someone who might get stuck with the bill to be quiet and let the experts work? Of course not. If you are a stakeholder in the outcome of a situation that would greatly impact your life, you would want a say in the matter, regardless of how smart a so-called expert might be. So it is with AGW.
AGW supporters are very good at telling us all about the potential catastrophes that are sure to result from climate change. They also are most talented at pointing out the visible signs of climate change. However, they have yet to make their case that human activity is causing this, much less that the entire economy of the world must change or cease to exist to prevent the end of civilization as we know it.
The realization that this is a political question — not a scientific one — has yet to dawn on a great many of them, excluding those who have grasped onto the AGW theory as a means of claiming totalitarian control over the world. Articles like this might just help these reason-starved “geniuses” learn to make this distinction — or at least choose to clearly reject the notion that we as citizens should have control over our own lives. Either way, at least it would lead to a more honest and robust political debate.
arctic_front-Feb. 5, 2010 @ 5:58 says “Follow the money.” The Sunday Indian which is the largest English language Sunday news magazine in india did. The following quotation from an article headlined “R.K. PACHAURI How this man is destroying the credibility of science” underscores the wisdom behind that recommendation.
“What is most shocking is the astonishing network of interests that Dr Pachauri has built around the world (see info-graphic). He is on the boards of various companies, NGOs, institutions and banks. As a chairman of IPCC, this certainly creates conflicts of interest. He had been member of the Board of Directors of IOC, ONGC and power company NTPC, which are India’s largest public sector companies. They contribute to the increasing carbon footprint of the country. Pachauri-led TERI also floated OTBL (an ONGC-TERI joint venture company). Pachauri said, “I have made my position very clear already. The decision was taken at the behest of ONGC itself. I wasn’t even present in the board meeting in which this decision was taken.”
Pachauri has interests in several companies and organisations that either benefit from the global scramble to counter climate change or are actively involved in businesses that have giant carbon footprints. He established an oil company in the US, GloriOil, which is in the business of exploiting fossil fuels for profit.
Moreover, Pachauri never divulges anything about the Tata group’s role in TERI. In fact, TERI says through a press release that Tata group has no relationship with it. This disregards the fact that TERI was known as Tata Energy Research Institute till sometime back. And of course, TERI was founded by Tata chemicals – this is a fact TERI now accepts.
Former minister for petroleum and natural gas Santosh Gangwar had complained in writing about TERI getting into a joint venture with ONGC even when Pachauri was on the board of the public sector company.
TERI was the preferred bidder for Kuwaiti contracts to clean up the mess left behind by Saddam Hussein in the country’s oilfields. The $3 billion contracts were awarded by the UN. Pachauri has also been appointed the head of Yale University’s Climate and Energy Institute, which receives millions of dollars in US state and corporate funding. Interestingly, none of these organisations publish data related to remunerations paid to Pachauri.”
The entire article can be found at http://www.thesundayindian.com... and is worth dealing with a somewhat slow server to read.
When Einstein constructed his theories he relied on other scientists to conduct empirical tests around eclipses to verify the theorems. A true scientist welcomes scrutiny and verification as a path toward the “truth.”
The climate community has violated these principles at their core. They have substantially damaged the credibility of all scientists by striving for their political aims and/or monetary pursuits.
This period is equivalent to the “steroid era” in American baseball. None of the records are believable, none of the players are trustworthy, and the entire period should be ignored. We need a fresh start in climate science: new data, new methods, new scientists.
Cosmic, I have the same problem with the left margin disappearing.
In oneof the other Green blogs, I suggested a taxonomy of Greens where the “Tammany Greens” consisted of businesses looking for privileged positions and scientists who put their grant status ahead of understanding nature. I think we share a disapproval of those greens. The Climategate e-mails and recent scandals have provoked serious consideration of criminal prosecutions and it looks like Dr. Jones escaped arrest based only on a statute of limitations expiry.
Clearly you hold strong convictions. Criminality is strong charge. Perhaps it’s just my style of argumentation, but I shy from conflating bad judgement and wrong-headedness from criminality. Someone above made a distinction between followers and leaders. I would suggest there is even a distinction btween the leaders who are honestly mistaken and those who know better. The damning thing about the Climategate e-mails is that it gives us a windowtounderstand that Jones and his associates were suppressing contrary data and not meeting the opposition on their merits. In the absence of that sort of revelatory data, I tend to give the other side the benefit of the doubt that they are wrong instead of evil.
Cosmic Consvervative is right on.
Mead goes after these guys with velvet gloves when they were actually guilty of crimes anyone of us not connected to government (or providing government officials with the pretext they desire to regulate every aspect of our lives) or who work in business for profit would be fired and even thrown in jail for such conduct.
But the intentions of bureaucrats and ambitious lying politicians are “pure” and “not motivated by self interest.”
Idiots who this line of “reasoning” are brainwashed.
Scientific Method is a total leveler. Theories are evaluated on their ability to predict observable evidence. You do not have to be a scientist to evaluate predictions. In addition, there is an ethical component to science. Scientists are required to reveal their methods and data so that others may attempt to replicate their work. Failure to provide data and methods is no less a moral failing for a scientist than lying about data and methods. Whatever else might be said about Phil Jones and company, as scientists, they are moral failures of the highest order.
I’m not a scientist by vocation, I’m a programmer studying to be a physician. So, while I may not be able to come up with studies and formulas, I’m pretty good at reading a technical paper and crunching the numbers to either reproducing or disprove their mathmatical results. And there are millions just like me.
If the Climate change scientists want to be taken seriously, then they should open their data and I, or some folks like me, will verify it.
No, I’m not a scientific “peer” in the sense of being a physicist. But I am a “peer” of anyone proposing to pass a law, because as an American I’m 1/60 millionth of a vote to legislate on the matter. Therefore, I am their peer and expect to be treated as one.
Bravo for having the courage to say something unpopular.
If science were held to the same level of responsibility and accountability as the Catholic Church (or any other institution that causes real harm when it screws up), trust would not be an issue today.
Science has a nasty habit of absorbing its critics. You’d think that science invented ideas like, for instance, the idea that treating humans with dignity can make a real difference in the quality of their end-of-life care. Yet hospice was NOT discovered by science, but rather by enemies of science. It was only later – after the POLITICAL battle was won – that science was able to verify that, yes, they had made a mistake. But they never took any responsibility for the traumatized families whose loved ones were stripped of all humanity and reduced to drooling piles of bile-spewing flesh. Science does not ever take any responsibility for the lives it trashes in its forward quest toward ever-greater knowledge, and that is why it is wise, not irrational or stupid, to be skeptical, when your interests are the ones being thrown into the fire.
Mr. Mead brings up a good point about the intersection of climate science and politics. To add to his point a clear distinction should be made between the two. Namely that on the one hand politics, and politicians, often require certainty over the options available to them before embarking on a policy course while on the other, scientific evidence is driven by overall uncertainty and doubt which characterizes the scientific method.
Read more at
I keep reading in this and similar threads that the AGW skeptics have not proven their case, or have not presented any convincing evidence. Sorry, but the Scientific Method place the full burden of proof on those proposing the new hypothesis. In this context, the new hypothesis is that this one most recent case of warming is not due to the same natural causes as the thousands of centuries of previous warmings and coolings, but rather is due to human activity. The role of the skeptics need only be to subject the “evidence” to critical review.
Anytime a scientific idea will lead to the governement confiscating billions of taxpayers money my nose starts itching! Because I know there is a good likelyhood of fraud at work. This climate change debacle was a good example of that, I nearly scratched the thing off!
I am about a year out from finishing my Ph.D in biology, but have a background in business, marketing & pr, as well economics studies. I’ve been advocating for some time for graduate students in science to receive a solid grounding in policy, econ & communications.
Perhaps the chairman of the IPCC would benefit from some PR training, so that in future he won’t make statements such as that he hopes people who disagree with him will rub asbestos in their faces.
“…were suppressing contrary data and not meeting the opposition on their merits…..”
No offence to you, but lying by omission is still lying.
Hiding, downplaying or omitting contrary (to the narrative being promoted) data is dishonest, and if done deliberately, with all that is at stake, then fraudulent in nature because it is deliberate. In my country, Canada, breaking the law ‘with intent’ is a far more serious charge , and often a conviction is levied, as opposed to a similar crime where ‘intent’ is not proven.
The INTENT was what makes it a serious crime.
In climategate, I think we can agree that there was long-standing intent to deceive. Suppression, obfuscation, illegal compliance to FOI requests, destruction of primary data, conspiracy to undermine and control peer review, character assassination of colleagues, data manipulation, conflict of interest and of course intimidation. Lets not forget using the above ‘techniques’ to garner millions of dollars in taxpayer money to fund their research.
I’d say ‘criminal’ is a very appropriate word and they should be treated as such before a judge and jury.
Can you imagine the fury if a multinational corporation was found to have resorted to those tactics (read tobacco or pharmaceutical) and the whole sordid story was ignored by the main-stream media? The public would be outraged. “heads on a stick” outraged. Why should this be any different?
The complicity of the U.N. and most governments in this sad story is most telling indeed. The UK, USA, AU, EU… all on-board for a carbon-trading scheme.
What is their real agenda? Certainly not global warming. Not if the biggest emitters and the entire 3rd world are not going to play along.
As I read somewhere recently by some unknown source:
The is ‘issue’ is never the real issue… just smoke and mirrors, slight-of-hand, a distraction.
What is really going on?
Follow the money….
Let’s keep it simple:
Climate change is here to stay. It is neither good nor bad.
We do not/cannot control climate in any significant way.
What we can do is adapt.
We must thank the author of this article for writing it and the publishers for printing it. This is because this has elicited responses that are far more meaningful to the subject of “climate change” than the article itself. The article is nothing more than a smoke screen. Climate Scientists are liars who, to their monetary and professional advantage, have perpetrated a hoax on on the world. I would not hire one of these scoundrels to sell used cars. They have already, by spreading falsehoods, enriched themselves at the expense of many and most probably have caused diversions of resources which will cost people their livelihoods and, in some instances, their lives.
Dante wrote about the nine levels of hell. Some day a visitor to the ninth level of that region will find Phil Jones, Al Gore and their ilk residing there. Perhaps even some of those in the media who knowingly run interference for these charlatans will be chosen to keep company with them as a reward for their “perceptive” analysis of “climate science”.
We have abdicated the job of science to “experts.” Science is everyman’s responsibility. Whether it’s the monitoring of migratory birds or the observing of variable stars, everyone physically capable should be involved.
Newton, Messier, and Herschel were not members of elite university faculties or government foundations.
So many of science’s pioneers, were actually searching for god.
Mead’s main argument is convincing, but his treatment of the climate science dispute is a bit misleading. He gives the impression that the public is drawn into the dispute (and rightly so) because it will be so heavily affected. True enough, but the real dynamic of the dispute — the dynamic without which public skepticism and resistance would be weak — is among scientists, not between scientists and the public. The basic fact, which the MSM hides/denies, is that there is tremendous skepticism about, resistance to, AGW among scientists. The number of prominent, eminently qualified scientists who are skeptical of AGW, or resist it outright, is large, impressive, and growing. The claim of the warmists, and of the media, that “the science is settled” is totally bogus. The public, with no help from the MSM, has become aware of that. And they’ve become aware that the AGW side is tarred with a huge scandal, undermining its scientific credibility. These facts drive the climate dispute, not a simple dichotomy of science vs. public.
Agreed, Don, great thread after the original article.
Many great opinions voiced and with no typical name-calling. A breath of fresh air.
forgive the anger of some of my fellow AGW skeptics, but you must understand our frustration. There has certainly not been fair debate or fair media coverage of this issue. It’s worse than that, the whole thing has been frighteningly Orwellian, from Gore to Hansen to Mann to our media elites. I hope that your increasing involvement and commentary will move things in the right direction.
this is hardly the place for us to be proving skeptic arguments. If you sincerely value truth, you will conduct your own research into this topic. I recommend http://www.icecap.us for starters. Consider the main argument for AGW: that CO2 drives climate change. Then research how valid that claim really is, with special consideration of what ice core samples reveal about past climate changes…
Wow, this article was founded on stupidity. The author assumes the same critics of vaccines are the same critics of climate change without doing any research on that assumption. Dont link separate groups of critics with one another. I would say the science of how climate change is not man made is overwhelming, yet “scientists” who are now coming out more and more to actually be activists choose not to see the science that does not push thier agenda. They have been shown to lie to and manipulate everything in thier path to get the very agendas passed that they have been pushing for a hundred years. This article = FAIL
Someone asked for an example when a notable scientist has been wrong. Well, Copernicus was wrong. He believed that the planets had circular orbits. His error (and it was indeed an error) was corrected almost a century later by Kepler.
“Someone asked for an example when a notable scientist has been wrong”
hahahaha, wow. I cant believe someone actually asked for examples of when a notable scientist was wrong. hahahaha. This is what is wrong with all the people that accept climate change. Every single scientist in history has been wrong about something. Newtons laws of gravity were incorrect for large masses at high speeds. Einstein, who corrected the gravity formula was most likely wrong about some of his assumptions of the black box and and theories of light. Now these men were far more brilliant than our “climate scientists”/activists. The thing is, scientists are supposed to accept being wrong. They are supposed to hypothesize and test then draw conclusion, yet scientists today draw conclusions and then test to prove, then throw out anything that does not prove that conclusion they are aiming for. Example? How about you research the temp gages that were used to calc global temps before 1990 and since, and you will find that many higher elevation gages (typically colder areas) have been abandoned.
It seems to me that one core problem in assessing AGW theory is that most of the key data are in the hands of the defenders of the faith.
Jones at CRU and Hansen at NASA-GISS are AGW true believers — yet it is they who control two key sets of temperature data.
Those data need to be available to the public without having first to go through the filters of Jones, Hansen et al.
If the true believers want to adjust the data, that’s fine — so long as anyone who wants to do so can compare the raw and adjusted data. The AGW proponents will lack credibility unless and until sulight falls upon their numbers and how they arrive at them, and others can freely attempt to replicate those numbers..
BTW, kudos to the poster who asked the important question about whether warming necessarily would be all that bad. We need to discuss costs and benefits, rather than pretend that if there’s really AGW we need to devote all available resources to it. Even IPCC admits that a degree rise in temp in North Am would raise crop yields considerably.
I basically agree with most of this, but the call for more scientific “certainty” is misplaced. The state of the science leads to certain levels of uncertainty about certain facts. When we go the whole way from economic regulation to environmental impact, the chain is deeply complex and it’s impossible to constrain it perfectly. All we can do is estimate risks. Decisions of consequence are rarely made with perfect information.
I agree that the climate field will have to formalize. I hope the public understands that either costs will go up or productivity will go down as a consequence. Times being what they are it will likely be the latter. So even the reduction in uncertainty that might be in some sense on the table will be hard to achieve.
You make the best you can of the information you have. Science is doing a better job of acquiring the information than of conveying it, but even inside the ivory tower there are doubts, some of which are terrifying. It’s important to understand that the scenarios painted by IPCC are far from the worst case that is plausible under present evidence. Things might be much easier than expected IPCC scenarios, but they might be much harder. This is part of the context of this century that we have no choice but to cope with.
Wishing for much better science will not be enough to create it. Even paying much more for much better science is not a sure thing, though it improves the odds.
An excellent and well thought out article. I am passing it around to a lot of folks.
For at least two centuries it was the “consensus” of the scientific community that the Earth traveled through an aEther in space.
It took the Michelson/Morley experiment of 1888 to finally kill that one.
The German Physicist Max Plank once said that
Science advances one funeral at a time
For those who have said that my accusation of criminal conduct on the part of Phil Jones and his cronies is over the top, is it even remotely possible that you people don’t realize that it is the BRITISH GOVERNMENT who has said that they have committed crimes, but that the statute of limitations has run out so they can’t prosecute them? Are you even aware that the British parliament is starting an investigation that could lead to criminal charges?
Seriously, are you unaware of this?
They are CRIMINALS. They broke the law to promote an ideological agenda. They CONSPIRED to do so. And they profited financially and professionally from their criminal acts.
This is not an OPINION from CosmicConservative. This is an actual CHARGE from the British authorities who have looked into the matter.
These people are charlatans and flim-flam men. That’s what they are. What has to be done and proven to make you people realize that YOU HAVE BEEN HAD!?
Great article. Interesting that so many “deniers” took offense to it. I guess unless you are planning on confirming their beliefs… you’re never going to make them happy.
Just to be clear guys… nearly every major scientific body on the planet concurs that climate change is at least partially driven by human activity, and the few that have held off, do not disagree. They simply say we need more evidence.
There is however significant evidence, and other reasons to boot so turn off the friggin lights, and conserve energy/resources, so get with the program.
“We can expect more of these pitched battles between those seeking to make large policy changes on the basis of scientific findings and those opposed to those changes for various reasons who seek to undermine or rebut the scientific arguments behind the policy proposals.”
Mead’s modernist assumption that scientists merely study data and report findings impartially is absurd. Why are opponents of the policy implications of the climate findings the only ones he assumes can have political agendas? I agree with Mead that these scientists must be more open to criticism of their methods and findings, but we must also dispense with this notion that the scientists involved are de facto objective. That too needs to be an open question to be explored.
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Science is settled when the engineers take over and start to design things with it.
AGW is a scam, pure and simple. It will take years,but people WILL go to jail over it. Rightly so.
Snow when the President was having his Inaguration, snow when the people were marching in Washington about Global Warming, snow up to 30 inches drove people out of DC today, and we just have to mention snow in AZ and FL.
Sure we have Global Warming problems. I’m seeing it under the two feet of snow in my front yard today.
And you wonder why people doubt you?
for being a professor you should really learn your history better. especially to put a comment like this in a published article.
Scientists and intellectuals often think of confrontations between lay skepticism and scientific results as a meeting of the Flat Earth Society of idiot deniers with the brave and resourceful Christopher Columbus.
you do know the only time that the world was flat had ever been mentioned was in a book written about columbus. but beyond that anyone who even know rudimentary history knows the globe was even invented prior to his sailing to the new land.
in fact its also why when he landed he called the natives indians, because they assumed it was a shorter route to the far east. there just happened to be a very large chunk of land blocking the route.
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The reason for my antipathy towards Mr. Mead’s article is because of his conciliatory approach to the issues involved and his, apparent, willingness to write some of the controversy off to a lack of administrative help.
Mann, Jones, et al. have done is not science.
Science is not spiking your critics’ papers.
Science is not ‘losing’ your data.
Science is not framing the message.
Science is not deleting data to avoid an FOI request.
Mead and all of us should be absolutely outraged at the conduct of these people. Their conduct is not ambiguous. This isn’t a different interpretation of the data, this is fraud.
Nor is it the job of the skeptics to prove that AGW is false, it is the job of to prove that it is true, and part of that job is to show the work.
The world has been told again and again and again that Mann, Jones, et al. don’t need to show their work, that we should trust them, that everyone agrees, that the science is settled, and to shut up, cause we just aren’t smart enough.
I knew that Mann’s hockey stick graph was wrong just by looking; there was no medieval warm period. Many others saw this right off as well. Yet the fraud continued for years.
No one here would buy a business without performing an audit, but you can’t perform an audit without the cooperation of the subject, at least not in science. The fact that Mann and Jones devoted a lot of time to preventing an audit of their work should tell every one something.
That Mann, Jones and crew have something to hide. If you aren’t outraged by their conduct, like Mead, you are part of the problem. The proper response to this fraud is NOT to give Mann and Jones even more money to hire file clerks.
Oh, and a response to the guy who talked about science being a very cut throat business and that scientists can’t release their data as it would invalidate a life’s work. YOU IMBECILE! If such is the case, how is it that Mann, Jones, et al don’t have this data locked away safe some where? Their data was so precious and important to their life’s work that they have lost it!
I know, I should be more civil, but at a certain point, plain, blunt language is called for. I am not trying to get along. I aim to misbehave.
I’ll make no comment about the article, but I would just like to thank participants here for many stimulating and thoughtful comments.
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There appears to be both malfeasance and fraud involved in this matter. Obviously large sums of public money were used to support these activities and to hide them illegally (FOIA disregard) from public view. Skip the science argument for now. Time for a criminal investigation and prosecution.
“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”
~ Albert Einstein
Public funding of science leads to the politicization of that issue. Look at Nixon’s “war on cancer” and the billions spent since. Cancer rates have not changed. Today, virtually all cancer research is chasing the same, government supported, theory of mutation. There are other theories, but following them will not bring in the generous government grants and prestigious academic appointments. Which would you choose?
The free market, with very limited government intrustion, is the only solution.
All you need to know before you read the article to understand where the writer is going and what conclusions he will support, is to look at his examples: South Africa incident, Nigerian Muslim Rebels, and an author from the Socialist newspaper The Guardian.
Enough said for his whitewash.
So it seems trafamadore was a “Drive By” commentor. Seems he’s had several rebuttals but his evidence is a little lacking.
Will the media please stop referring to these hacks as “scientists”. I’m so tried of reading “scientist’s say….”. What absolute BS. Some twit with a degree in journalism is going to tell us what “scientist’s say”. They must name their sources and not group all scientists as one group just because their hero Al Gore says there is a “consensus”. Did any of these “journalists” ever attempt to trace down the source of the claim of “consensus”? Or did they just blindly help build a self-fulfilling echo chamber? I did track the source down and the whole notion is a joke. I am a scientist and I sure as hell am not part of this “consensus”. Yet these media jokers all fell in line and now they just look stupid. Just brain dead stupid. This whole mess started due to political expediency and so skeptical REAL scientists were shown the door, mocked, and ridiculed. The media is still too arrogant and condescending to admit they have been duped and some outlets seem to just rather go extinct from their low ratings and loss of credibility than to admit they not only were extremely biased but picked the wrong side. Ten years or even five years ago I would have tolerated the Warm mongers if they just admitted they may have exaggerated the issue. Now, after all the abuse the skeptics have had to endure (and real scientists are skeptical by nature) I hope all proponents of AGW burn in hell for what they have done to the credibility of science and the resources they have wasted that could have been put to real environmental issues. Burn in hell you selfish arrogant evil twits. I can only hope you guys get more than a little taste of your own medicine. The media has no excuse as they have fallen for climate scare stories since the printing press and never learn. It’s time they just try to report the news and not pretend to understand it. Leave that to their readers who are more qualified to understand it or certainly not any worse.
biased garbage. you can tell immediately by the hyperbole about vaccines.
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You can bet that beyond the acknowledged criminal acts committed by Jones et. al. that there are currently a group of scientists and editors hiring lawyers to pursue civil charges against this cadre of con men who conspired to wreck their careers and slime their reputations.
To read garbage like this article which tries to whitewash what these reprobates have done boils my blood. As I said in my original comment, people like Walter Russel Mead are part of the problem.
This might also help to explain the position of the BBC and UK academia. 13 Trillion Dollars.
“The group currently has over 50 members, including some of the largest pension funds and asset managers in Europe, and represents assets of around €4trillion. A full list of members is available on the membership page”.
The IIGCC are not alone. On 14th January 2010 an association of similar groups published at statement calling for more action, quicker, ‘cos they’ve got investments to protect… I mean, to save the planet. And UNEP have their fingers in that as well.
The world’s largest investors released a statement calling on the U.S. and other governments to quickly adopt strong national climate policies that will establish a stable investment climate and thus spur low-carbon investments to reduce emissions causing climate change. At December’s Copenhagen Climate Change Summit it was estimated that private-sector investors will need to finance more than 85 percent of the global transition to a low-carbon economy.
The Investor Statement on Catalyzing Investment in a Low-Carbon Economy, http://www.Unepfi.org, 14 January 2010, calls for rapid action on carbon emission limits, energy efficiency, renewable energy, financing mechanisms and other policies. The statement was endorsed by four groups representing more than 190 investors with more than US$ 13 trillion of assets – Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) and the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).
James Lovelock: “Perhaps one day the children we shall share with Gaia will peacefully co-operate with the great mammals of the ocean and use whale power to travel faster and faster in the mind, as horse power once carried us over the ground.”
Gaia A new look at life on Earth, by James Lovelock (1979) http://www.marxists.org/reference/subject/philosophy/works/us/gaia.htm
Johan Rockstrom, cited in “A Failed System: The World Crisis of Capitalist Globalization and its Impact on China” by John Bellamy Foster http://www.oid-ido.org/article.php3?id_article=808
“In addressing capitalism as a failed system I have focused first on the deepening economic crisis. But this is not the worst of the world’s problems. The greatest peril is the growing threat of planetary ecological collapse. Here the danger is much greater than in the case of the world economy”