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ClimateGate?
November 20, 2009 4:14 PM   Subscribe

The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit suffered a security breach this week. Hackers made off with thousands of email correspondences between some of the world's top climate scientists, and posted them to the Internet1.

Tony Hake has posted an article at The Examiner, highlighting what he feels are the most egregious examples of scientists manipulating and hiding data to support the established theories about Climate Change. Some of the scientists involved counter that the quotes are taken out of context, and that "People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way".

1 I'm not going to link to them, but the Examiner article mentions where to get them.
posted by Who_Am_I (146 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Idiotic messangers kill important and valid message through stupid behavior. Humanity suffers as a result.
posted by lalochezia at 4:24 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Disclosure: I work for NOAA, so this story involves some people that I know in a professional sense. I'm a programmer, not a scientist.

In my opinion, the Examiner article is full of blatant cherry-picking and intentional misrepresentation. The line "As we all know, this isn't about truth at all, its about plausibly deniable accusations." clearly refers to attacks targeted at climate scientists, not scientists fudging data. A lot of the talk about denying requests for data seems to be about figuring out what can be legally distributed. Data collected by the US is subject to our FOI laws (and is usually very very easy to get, without even making any sort of request), but we also have data collected by other countries, and we're not allowed to give that out to people. etc., etc.
posted by Who_Am_I at 4:28 PM on November 20, 2009 [18 favorites]


New York Times article.
posted by Who_Am_I at 4:31 PM on November 20, 2009


Andrew Bolt has several of the most incriminating memos. Judge for yourself whether they are "scientific terminology quoted out of context".
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 4:34 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


To be honest, though, a good number of these seem totally legit. Data is modified often in the course of a study due to mistakes or newly-surfaced information. Additionally, these people are climate modellers. Do people really think that models aren't constantly modified to try to better fit the data? That's entirely the point.

That said, some of these emails do seem to point at some ethics violations, but I am largely agreeing with the scientists that these are taken unfairly out of context; data doesn't always come no-strings-attached, and when you have to pay for it you don't often have the right to redistribute it. It's a shame the effect this has the potential to have on the climate "discussion" which is in a sad state of affairs already. But, maybe this is an opportunity to better the dialogue?
disclaimer: I am feverish and only have access to the excerpts in the text if the examiner aricle. This may have led to me being too hopeful on all fronts
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 4:34 PM on November 20, 2009


I have a feeling that the idea that these emails expose something sensationally scandalous is going to utterly overtake attempts to analyze what they actually say. As a member of the lay public, I don't understand what these emails are really saying, since I don't understand the references or the context. Sure, they may be scandalous, but they might also be benign, and, from where I sit, it's hard to tell the difference.

But I understand that won't stop people from drawing whatever conclusions they are predisposed to draw.
posted by Ouisch at 4:37 PM on November 20, 2009 [4 favorites]


Graham Cluley, a computer security expert, suggested that December's key climate summit in Copenhagen, which has made headlines around the world, could have increased the university's profile as a possible target among hackers.

So when all those scientists meet in Copenhagen is it going to be really really awkward?
posted by wundermint at 4:39 PM on November 20, 2009


It's pretty clear that the "damning" language comes from a desire to twist the quotes into the worst possible interpretation, e.g., cleaning up code == hiding data.

OTOH, it does appear that there might be some curve smoothing going on to hide outliers, and that is potentially problematic. If only the "good guys" get the real info, then their in danger of developing a mind set that keeps two sets of books, one for the people with the authorized point of view, and one for everyone else.

Frankly, people arguing about whether a computer model matches by 1/4 degree when you have data like this, makes no sense at all.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 4:39 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Stopped reading that Andrew Bolt link when I hit the word "warmist". Heh.
posted by Leon at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Andrew Bolt has several of the most incriminating memos.

Andrew Bolt, for those who don't know him, is basically what would happen if you crossed Glenn Beck with Paul Hogan.
posted by mightygodking at 4:44 PM on November 20, 2009 [13 favorites]


There's a pretty levelheaded and reasoned response over at "supposedly neutral climate change website" RealClimate (scare quotes courtesy of parenthetical statements in the Examiner screed).
posted by gompa at 4:48 PM on November 20, 2009 [6 favorites]


Gompa's link is a good read:

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though. (emph. added)

Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


From the Examiner article comments:

besides, isn't it rather anal to expect the Arctic to remain a frozen, dangerous wasteland for centuries, as if "that's the way it has been therefore that's the way it must be"?
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 5:05 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wow, if that's the best they can find to claim conspiracy, there is definitely not one. Nothing in those examples sounds like anything more than standard science and presentation. You want to emphasize what you get right and you want to elide what you get wrong, especially if you know why you get it wrong and it's not relevant to the rest of what you are saying. And because modeling is hard and data is complex, sometimes you need to think about it and because it's not like everyone always agrees. This is so painfully a non-story.
posted by Schismatic at 5:17 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


oil companies poison, mutilate and kill people for the sake of raising another refinery in the middle of Amazons, why wouldnt they pay to swiftboat --aka, plant false evidence among real one-- so they can discredit their biggest threat to date?
posted by liza at 5:43 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


There never been a more political scientific problem than climate change, and there's rarely been science that is as complex as climate science. Wherever the objective truth may lie, the stakes are so high that both sides must feel considerable pressure to massage the data whenever they feel its justifiable.

Some of this is trivial stuff quoted out of context. But some of it is going to be damaging. Read the emails at the Andrew Bolt link. If you can't bear to read Andrew Bolt then just read the emails and skip his commentary.
"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate"
posted by memebake at 5:53 PM on November 20, 2009


The key line from the linked New York Times piece:

[T]he evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so broad and deep that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.

A bit buried, unfortunately, in paragraph 10.
posted by namasaya at 6:00 PM on November 20, 2009


"The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate"

The CERES satellites measure the solar radiation reflected/absorbed by the Earth. What this is saying is that going by that data, there should be enough heat to make the Earth warmer than what we're actually measuring down here. Therefore it is [likely] that the satellites' data is wrong, since we trust, you know, actual temperature measurements more than a handful of satellites in space.

Either that or there's something else going on, which I'd make an offhand guess there probably is. The initial sentence is likely just expressing frustration at not being able to find that something else.
posted by Zalzidrax at 6:21 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Climatic Research Unit

That's what he said!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:21 PM on November 20, 2009


If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him. —Cardinal Richelieu

Imagine what Richlieu could do with an entire hacked email server.

Well, you don't need to imagine it, you can watch.
posted by edheil at 6:21 PM on November 20, 2009 [10 favorites]


Andrew Bolt has several of the most incriminating memos. Judge for yourself whether they are "scientific terminology quoted out of context".


Some of this is trivial stuff quoted out of context. But some of it is going to be damaging. Read the emails at the Andrew Bolt link


For the love of all that's good and holy in the world, dear mefites, never click on anything associated with that name, I implore you.

Bolt is a lobotomised morlock who has discovered that a certain portion of the population will pay him for the patterns his syphilitic spittle makes on paper - much like those painting elephants at the zoo, except I believe the elephants understand some simple english words, are generally quite lovely, and have tremendously large brains.

Reading Bolt is the visual equivalent of burning a turd, then waving it around in a thurible so the rank, greasy stench covers everything near you. Reading the comments on his site goes one step further and is like pushing turds through pupils of your eyes directly into your brain.
posted by smoke at 6:23 PM on November 20, 2009 [17 favorites]


I'm not saying we need to read anything by Bolt, its just that he has the most 'interesting' emails on his page. Like I said, skip his bits of commentary if you want. But, you know, its worth looking at some of the emails that this whole controversy is all about.
posted by memebake at 6:35 PM on November 20, 2009


he has the most 'interesting' emails on his page.

Yes, because the context of an email exchange can hold indefinitely when you take one message out of an ongoing, threaded conversation.

Of course it can. Plus, it's some crazy shit, just look at this!
posted by setanor at 6:49 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm so glad that powerful vested interests and political parties don't give a shit about my area of research.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:53 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you want sane context for the conspiracy-theory rantings of the Andrew Bolts, allow me to second (third?) gompa's RealClimate link and the discussion that follows it.
posted by namasaya at 6:54 PM on November 20, 2009


My work involves modeling a certain kind of neuron called a "GM cell". I have often said to my colleagues that I don't believe they exist, because all my models spike too fast (and my models are perfect, because I am a genius). I've probably put that in e-mails too, I can't be bothered to check. Thank goodness that there isn't any wealthy GM cell denialist political faction, because if they ever got ahold of the shit I've said, damn, game over. I will refrain from publishing the (to me) heartbreaking series of e-mails recently exchanged between me and a collaborator as we realized that most of the "results" we had were not statistically significant when treated correctly, and we searched for a way to salvage them (didn't work, dead end).

So yeah, personal e-mails between scientists are filled with posturing bullshit, attempts to squeeze results out of noisy data, and generally half-baked ideas. Really only papers should be taken seriously, MAYBE talks. If any of the e-mails has someone say, "hey, let's fake our data", then that would be interesting, otherwise, meh.
posted by Humanzee at 6:55 PM on November 20, 2009 [8 favorites]


Memebake, Realclimate has most of those quotes as well. There is literally never a good reason to visit Bolt's septic tank.
posted by smoke at 7:08 PM on November 20, 2009


This is highly irritating.
posted by kuatto at 7:38 PM on November 20, 2009


A lot of the talk about denying requests for data seems to be about figuring out what can be legally distributed. Data collected by the US is subject to our FOI laws (and is usually very very easy to get, without even making any sort of request), but we also have data collected by other countries, and we're not allowed to give that out to people. etc., etc.
if something ends up hurting hadley it will be the foia requests. looking at the email it looks like scientists fought back against the bureaucrats in order to keep data secret. that doesn't look very good.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:39 PM on November 20, 2009


If you want sane context for the conspiracy-theory rantings of the Andrew Bolts, allow me to second (third?) gompa's RealClimate link and the discussion that follows it.
real climate is run by the people who are implicated in the emails so you should definitely read it to get their side of the story but understand that real climate is going to give you a very one sided interpretation of the emails.

here is an email by them discussing real climate:
guys, I see that Science has already gone online w/ the new issue, so we put up the RC post. By now, you’ve probably read that nasty McIntyre thing. Apparently, he violated the embargo on his website (I don’t go there personally, but so I’m informed).

Anyway, I wanted you guys to know that you’re free to use RC in any way you think would be helpful. Gavin and I are going to be careful about what comments we screen through, and we’ll be very careful to answer any questions that come up to any extent we can. On the other hand, you might want to visit the thread and post replies yourself. We can hold comments up in the queue and contact you about whether or not you think they should be screened through or not, and if so, any comments you’d like us to include.

You’re also welcome to do a followup guest post, etc. think of RC as a resource that is at your disposal to combat any disinformation put forward by the McIntyres of the world. Just let us know. We’ll use our best discretion to make sure the skeptics dont’get to use the RC comments as a megaphone…
posted by drscroogemcduck at 7:47 PM on November 20, 2009


Well, theoretically all you need in anything is one side. The correct side.
posted by Zalzidrax at 8:00 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


That wording 'Mike’s Nature trick...' that's one of the highlighted supposedly damning extracts doesn't even need to be explained as 'science' speak - in colloquial usage in bits of England I grew up or worked in I could well imagine me or someone saying something like, 'that didn't work so I tried my trick of hitting it with a great big mallet' for a bodge solution to a carpentry problem or whatever but not a trick in the sense of any deception.
posted by Abiezer at 8:08 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a searchable database of the emails.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:23 PM on November 20, 2009


you should definitely read it to get their side of the story

Especially given their "side" is rational, right and correct. Definitely.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:39 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


"implicated"???

So they (Realclimate) say, in am email; "feel free to post to our website, we'll moderate the thread so it doesn't get out of control and respond where we're able, but you might like to respond where you're able to give people a clearer picture"

Oh my God!!! THAT'S SO SHIFTY!!! NOBODY EVER MODERATES A BLOG.

The reactions around this, where denialists are talking about blog entries and personal conversation as some kind of smoking gun, as opposed to, I don't know THE SCIENCE!!! really illustrates to me both the fundamental disconnect people who don't believe in global warming have - where blog posts and comments and amateur detective work substitute for peer-reviewed research, university-aligned scientists - and the anything-it-takes mentality devoted to "taking down" opponents of the cause.
posted by smoke at 8:41 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Same here, smoke - I read through the comments at the RealClimate blog expecting that there may well be some substantially embarrassing revelations in ten or however many years' worth of back and forth communication, but the upshot was the tone and content of the denialist commenters with that familiar pig-ignorant inability to even conceive of possibilities outside their own pre-determined narrative only discredited them further.
posted by Abiezer at 8:50 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Note to passionate global warming skeptics: if you want to convince me that global warming is not happening, or is not anthropogenic, there are three things you have to do.

1) Go to your local university and get schooled in atmospheric science, earth science, environmental economics, or maybe statistics. Science grad school is usually free and most states have at least one excellent research university, so this really shouldn't be a problem.

2) Find specific, demonstrable flaws in existing research on climate change. A good way to start is to try to replicate a simulation using freely available data and tools, then see if your results match published results. Alternatively, you can concede that climate change is happening and try to demonstrate that the cost of preventing it does not outweigh the benefit.

3) Write it up in a convincing scientific paper, with sections for methods, data, and analysis. I'll admit that if the peer-review process really is biased against skeptics, you probably won't be able to get it published. But if you put it on the Web and e-mail me a link, I promise I'll read it.

Stealing e-mails, then reading ridiculous accusations of fraud into normal back-and-forth office banter, provides absolutely no evidence either way about climate change.
posted by miyabo at 9:25 PM on November 20, 2009 [23 favorites]



These emails seem really tame. Reading through the denialist's comments, it seems like they would all be SHOCKED if they were to actually listen to how scientists talk in person, and similarly shocked to learn that 1) we do seek funding, it's how we feed ourselves and 2) scientists have opinions, and that fact doesn't invalidate the scientific process.


Seconding dirigibleman, I'm glad there are no angry groups of people with opinions on dust destruction in supernovae, and I can feel somewhat safe in that nobody is going to make a scandal out of my emails.
posted by kiltedtaco at 10:12 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


Stealing e-mails, then reading ridiculous accusations of fraud into normal back-and-forth office banter, provides absolutely no evidence either way about climate change.

True but emails among the AGW crew puzzling why there hasn't been warming for a decade because their models said it would be has gotta raise a question or two.

Then again, someone screamed "Andrew Bolt" and that's as good as screaming "racist" now or "communist" in the 1950s. It means someone is invoking the signal to tune out anything that'll contradict the accepted wisdom.
posted by codswallop at 10:13 PM on November 20, 2009


"implicated"???

So they (Realclimate) say, in am email; "feel free to post to our website, we'll moderate the thread so it doesn't get out of control and respond where we're able, but you might like to respond where you're able to give people a clearer picture"

Oh my God!!! THAT'S SO SHIFTY!!! NOBODY EVER MODERATES A BLOG.
err no. i was saying the authors on RC are some of the authors of the emails and i showed an email where they were discussing their control over RC. i don't think there is anything wrong with what they are doing in RC. however, I do think there are some issues raised in some of the emails especially regarding compliance with FOIA requests and I think completely trusting RC to explain the emails is a bit naive.

i should also note last time i checked the RC comments on this issue problems with FOIA requests were basically glossed over with "i'm not sure. i wasn't a party to this. i have no idea". i don't think what is going at RC is wrong. but it is very good PR. they are addressing allegations that are easy to dismiss while ignoring allegations that are hard to dismiss.
posted by drscroogemcduck at 10:13 PM on November 20, 2009


The allegations that are hard to dismiss are irrelevant to the scientific validity of what they are doing. Being scientists, it means they really don't care about them all that much.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:20 PM on November 20, 2009 [2 favorites]


In the modern world there can be no honest debate.

ALL debate is vulnerable to viral malicious attacks and therefore all honest debate is doomed to be a LOSING debate. If you desire to move ahead an agenda it's imperative that shady tactics be used (Bambi is dead).

Because of that attacking either side on shady tactics is a fallacy itself.

The only way to approach truth is to be diligent in acknowledging and perceiving the bullshiat from BOTH sides.

The Left has yet to learn this.
posted by HTuttle at 10:36 PM on November 20, 2009 [1 favorite]


True. The left does seem to have insufficient mastery of shady tactics.
posted by Zalzidrax at 10:38 PM on November 20, 2009 [5 favorites]


The only way to approach truth is to be diligent in acknowledging and perceiving the bullshiat from BOTH sides.

BOTH sides are equally bad!

So vote Republican!
posted by dirigibleman at 11:18 PM on November 20, 2009 [3 favorites]


Let’s say you’re a scientist. You and your team have just completed a months-long project costing tens of thousands of dollars. For various complicated reasons, you think (but do not know) that the data is crap. What do you do? You publish the data. You write a paper in such a way that will obscure, as best you can, the holes in your argument. You use whatever statistical methods will give the cleanest picture. You do not lie, you obfuscate. If you have to, you aim for a low-rank journal that either won’t notice or won’t care. Why do you do this? Because you have to. Because grant money is awarded, in large part, based on a steady history of results, not the productive advancement of the field. Because, as a career scientist, it is more important to produce something than to produce something good. It’s not a question of reaching for undeserved success. It’s a question of survival. Without money, your lab folds, and then the important projects—the ones worth funding, the ones with data you believe in—all end. Throwing money away on a botched project is not an option. And it kills you a little to do it, because this is not why you became a scientist, but you do it anyways. Because that is the world we live in. Because that is how science gets done in a system such as ours.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:33 AM on November 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


Then again, someone screamed "Andrew Bolt" and that's as good as screaming "racist" now or "communist" in the 1950s. It means someone is invoking the signal to tune out anything that'll contradict the accepted wisdom.

Oh man, I am so sick of denialists trying to claim status as some kind of persecuted minority, fighting the good fight against a tide of fascists. Word to the wise dude, when you're getting bankrolled by some of the biggest mining, logging, oil companies, and your supporters include 99% of the republican party, you aren't in some kind of wild card maverick minority.

"Help, I'm being oppressed!" Get over it.
posted by smoke at 3:27 AM on November 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


I'm an environmentalist, and I'm a big supporter of looking at rationalism and science as opposed to ideological hand waving. And I think the 'scientific method' is one of the best tools we have in this world.

But the scientific method as applied to, say, early 20th century physicists exploring properties of sub-atomic particles - with easily repeatable experiments - is very different to the 'scientific method' as applied to climate science - which basically boils down to peer review of papers that deal with large complex data sets from many different sources.

A lot of the 'climate denier' stuff does seem to be just shrill finger-pointing that doesn't look at the bigger picture. But if you look at some of the more reasonable analysis by sceptics, there are some valid points to consider. (Nigel Lawson's Appeal to Reason is a good short summary - I wouldn't agree with all his points, but some are reasonable).

It seems feasible that there is bias in the way the IPCC puts together its reports. It seems feasible that scientists might cherry-pick their data or their analysis of the data in a way that could be biased, and that such distortions could easily pass through peer review. Although fantastically complex, our climate models have significant holes in them - e.g. how to treat clouds, or the heat-storing properties of oceans - that are big enough that the resulting uncertainty probably offsets most of the data we get out of them.

As Anthropological Climate Change becomes more accepted politically, it seems to me that the scientific debate has entered a new phase. As the likelihood of real political action grows, people are going to look back over the climate science in fine-combed detail. That a lot of problems with data and methodology are apparently coming to light now, just when it was all supposed to be 'settled' should be no surprise. The stakes are very high in both directions, and everything is going to be scrutinised like never before.

I say problems apparently coming to light, because for me personally, it is very hard to validate the scientific arguments being made on either side. Take, for example, the Hockey Stick controversy - RealClimate's handling of it (see articles from Dec 2004 and Aug 2006) has the feel and tone of a solid rebuttal. But the defence, inevitably, always has to consist of defending one paper of fantastically complex climate science by pointing to another one that is equally complex.

Without taking a degree in climate science, a masters in statistical analysis, building my own supercomputer climate model, and personally visiting all of the data gathering stations to see if they are working right, there is no way for me personally to validate any of this.

So it just comes down to which side you believe in. And to me, both sides have the smell of bias and the feel of higher political beliefs that are interfering with clear thinking. Which isn't that surprising given the stakes.

As an environmentalist, I feel that even if Anthropological Climate Change does turn out to be not happening (on balance, unlikely but definitely possible, in my view), some sort of environmental limit or feedback is definitely going to get us eventually. You can't just endlessly expand resource usage without hitting some sort of crisis point in a closed system.

So I think we definitely do need to change our large-scale behaviour as a species. But proving whether Anthropological Climate Change is happening or not is way beyond us at the moment. We are not experiencing the last frail complaints of a minority against an overwhelming consensus - the scientific debate here is so complex that it is going to run and run and run and run.
posted by memebake at 3:56 AM on November 21, 2009 [11 favorites]


Even if this batch of out-of-context emails had revealed a giant conspiracy (which it doesn't), it wouldn't change the fact that the Arctic is disappearing and bushfire season in Australia is getting longer and deadlier.

Climate models aren't quite right? No worries, we've got the historical data which tells us what's happened already, and basic physics and chemistry which tells us how carbon dioxide and methane behave. Climate change science doesn't rely on the models from just one group, or just one university. It's being observed world-wide.

And yet the conspiracy theorists are getting supported by the fossil fuel lobby, who have already faked letters of support from veterans in the USA, and managed to suppress information in government reports, so it's not unlikely they targeted this attack on East Anglia. The conspiracy theory will gain traction with the mainstream... right up until the firestorms kill more people, or a shipping lane is opened up through the Arctic.

And mightygodking's description of Bolt is entirely accurate.
posted by harriet vane at 4:29 AM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


We are not experiencing the last frail complaints of a minority against an overwhelming consensus...

Not that it matters, because science isn't decided by popular vote, but yes we are, actually. There are about 6 scientists with even a passing acquaintance with climate science who claim that either global warming isn't happening, or that it is happening but it's not our fault (it's the sun! no, it's volcanos!). And then there are the thousands of climate scientists who have produced the data which show warming trends across the globe, have ruled out causes like the sun and volcanoes, and are working on figuring out the details of how much of a mess we've made and what it would take to get us back to a stable point.

If you include people who aren't trained in climate science, but do have scientific qualifications, then the numbers of anti-AGW-theory supporters increases dramatically. But not as dramatically as the numbers of people who have grasped the basics of the theory and find it not only plausible, but a good explanation for observed phenomena in their own fields. As just one example, there were biologists wondering why frogs were disappearing from their habitats, moving their ranges up mountains, and so on - they could find no reason for this until the climate scientists revealed there was a problem. The frogs were looking for somewhere cooler to live because even a slight change in temperature made them unable to survive where they were.

I agree with you that if it's not climate change, it'd be peak oil, or fisheries collapse, or atmospheric pollution, or deforestation, or some other factor that would do us in. But you're wrong when you state there's no majority consensus among scientists.
posted by harriet vane at 4:41 AM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


harriet vane: singular phenomena like Arctic ice and bushfires do not show much about what is happening at the global scale. Though obviously they are worrying developments.

Yes we have historic data of various types, but there are potential or alleged problems with pretty much any dataset you care to point at. Yes, I know the basic chemisty of CO2 and CH4, but you dont base global climate predictions on basic chemistry combined with observations of tree rings or whatever. You need to combine all the different datasets and phenomena together in a holistic way that takes account of the many interactions and feedbacks between the different mechanisms. Which is what the scientists are trying to do, but its damn hard because its a huge chaotic system.

on your second post: One of the frequent complaints against the IPCC is that of the thousands of scientists who work together to form the IPCC consensus, a lot of them are not climate scientists (estimates are that about 20% of them have some dealing with climate). So the same criticism that you level at the anti-AGW-theory people could also be levelled at the IPCC. The head of the IPCC is an economist, for example.

You might be right that there are only about 6 bona-fide climate scientists who are openly anti-AGW. I havent looked into that.

re: the leaks.
I had a look at the leaked archive. There's about 1000 emails, dating back to 1996.
More interestingly, there is also 150 megs of what appears to be raw data from various different studies. And also a whole bunch of Fortran 90 code that was presumably used for some of the stats work. It could be that the data that was subject to the FOI requests is in there somewhere, I suppose it will take some time to actually understand what most of the leaked material is.
posted by memebake at 5:06 AM on November 21, 2009


I was slightly off by saying there were only 6, it's actually more like 8, if you also include meteorologists, atmospheric scientists and an environmental scientist.

Here's the list of individual skeptics. Of the 54 listed (which is a list of prominent people who have gone on the record, not a global survey), the 8 with any relevant qualification are: Tim Ball, Robert C Balling, Bill Gray, Richard Lindzen, Patrick Michaels, Garth Paltridge, Roy Spencer and Wolfgang Thune. Some of them deny it's happening, some say it's actually cooling, others say it is warming but it's not our fault, others that it is and it's our fault but it's a negligible amount. If you want to be a purist, only Ball and Lindzen are actual climatologists.

The remaining names on the list are geologists, a famous botanist (Bellamy), engineers, astronomers, journalists, politicians, lawyers, economists and professional think-tank participants. To be fair to the 8 I've named above, they only took money from fossil fuel lobby groups *after* they came out as skeptics, whereas many of the others seemed to get the money first and then start taking an interest in the issue.

My understanding of the IPCC is that yes, it's a multi-disciplinary group. Which I think would be necessary if you want to understand if/when/how the climate will impact other aspects of our world. Not all climatologists are members of the group. There are quite a lot of them, and far too many for me to name. It really is a case of there being an incredibly vocal minority against a consensus.

As for the tree rings and the physics, I'm just saying that there's more than one way to come to the conclusion that there's AGW going on. We're not relying on just one source of information here, it's a broad and deep body of knowledge. The problems with the datasets are all alleged by people on that list above, and more frequently by randoms on the internet. The only proven error was from one NASA satellite set, which was discovered by NASA itself and which turned out to give a warmer result when corrected. The rest have not been proven, which doesn't stop the skeptics from dragging out the same accusations over and over again.

You can quibble over details, which is what these emails look like to me, but the overall hypothesis stands until someone can come up with something better to explain the observed effects.

I'm off to bed though - it's late on this side of the world!
posted by harriet vane at 5:45 AM on November 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


"People are using language used in science and interpreting it in a completely different way," which we see all the time when people claim that evolution is "just a theory." (So's gravity!)
posted by autoclavicle at 5:48 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


As a scientist whos work intersects pretty heavily with climate change related stuff, I could see almost nothing in these emails that was the least bit nefarious. Some of the FOI-related stuff seemed a bit weird, but I deal with strange data-sharing agreements with stakeholders on a day-to-day basis, so I'm willing to assume they knew what they were doing. Also, there can be a culture, at times, for scientists to guard their own hard-won data very closely, and only share it when they get some kind of mutual benefit. They may not be "hiding" the data because there's something wrong with what it says, they may simply be trying to keep it close so someone else doesn't go and get credit for analysis done on it. I can't say I personally agree with this stance, but it certainly happens.

The main thing I take from this personally is that while we scientists can be quite formal and exacting in our writing when we publish papers, when it comes to off-the-record interpersonal communication, we can actually be quite loose and informal. Loose lips sink ships. My mind is now turning back to correspondence I've had with colleagues where I've used terms like "statistical tricks" and "fixing the data" and "enhancing the graph". It's generally shorthand for actual well-defined analytical methods. I've made jokes at the expense of creationists and climate change sceptics. Now I'm slightly worried that someone, somewhere is going to completely misinterpret all that stuff - scientists are often head-in-the-clouds types who don't have the strict legal-minded discipline of someone working in politics or private enterprise when it comes to their written record. When the stakes are this high, we need to be a bit more savvy.

Talking of private enterprise - I'm now waiting for someone to hack some oil and coal companies, and release archives of the emails detailing payments made to some of those climate sceptics...
posted by Jimbob at 6:49 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


But you're wrong when you state there's no majority consensus among scientists.

And consensus isn't how science works, anyway.

Science isn't a case, as the media sometimes make it out to be, of "the truth lying in the middle". The fact that creationists are arguing with evolutionary biologists doesn't mean that, in fact, life is half-evolved, half-created. The fact that there are a few "sceptics" who challenge the idea of anthropogenic climate change doesn't mean that climate change is only half right.

One side has the evidence, the other doesn't.
posted by Jimbob at 6:52 AM on November 21, 2009 [8 favorites]


One of the frequent complaints against the IPCC is that of the thousands of scientists who work together to form the IPCC consensus, a lot of them are not climate scientists (estimates are that about 20% of them have some dealing with climate). So the same criticism that you level at the anti-AGW-theory people could also be levelled at the IPCC. The head of the IPCC is an economist, for example.

Why is this a problem? The IPCC reports aren't just about climatology, but also about economic modelling, adaptation, mitigation, etc. There are three working groups, and only one is about the physical science.
posted by daveje at 8:01 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


^ daveje: I'm not saying its a problem. Just pointing out that both sides of the debate have plenty of non-climate scientists.
posted by memebake at 8:55 AM on November 21, 2009


Does it really matter one whit what denialists do? The sad truth is that the climate train is being pulled along by an over-stoked locomotive and the engineer is dead: we're out of control, hurtling ever-faster down the mountain track, and are going to crash and burn regardless anything we endeavour to do. All the denialists might accomplish in the end is to delay our futile efforts to slow the train down.

Within the next decade there will no longer be any possible way to deny that the climate has changed. Maybe at that point we'll start to consider how our behaviours now are going to affect things a century or two from now. But for the time being, don't expect radical change.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 AM on November 21, 2009


It's almost as dangerous to take the view that since the Earth is already warming, our actions don't really matter as it is to deny that the Earth is warming due to human activities. While we may not be able to make much of an immediate impact, what we do now could very well drastically affect the ultimate outcome. There's probably a point where global warming will do enough damage to our food supply that modern civilization will become untenable. If we continue to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, that point is going to be reached eventually, however. For all we know we may even be past it. But it sure is a heck of a lot better to put the brakes on sooner rather than later.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:21 AM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


As a scientist whos work intersects pretty heavily with climate change related stuff, I could see almost nothing in these emails that was the least bit nefarious

That's because these are only a sampler; the complete lot to be revealed at a later date surely contains a lot more Gore-y details about the conspiracy, including, for example, how those evil scientists managed to convince the Ilulissat glacier to accelerate its discharge of ice in the last few years. Stay tuned!
posted by Bangaioh at 9:59 AM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


While we may not be able to make much of an immediate impact, what we do now could very well drastically affect the ultimate outcome.

Drastically? I don't think so.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 AM on November 21, 2009


In fact, I don't think I've ever seen anything reputable that would indicate we can have a drastic effect of any sort.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:56 AM on November 21, 2009


Even if this batch of out-of-context emails had revealed a giant conspiracy (which it doesn't), it wouldn't change the fact that the Arctic is disappearing and bushfire season in Australia is getting longer and deadlier.

But I think the "conspiracists" are arguing that these scientists are distorting facts about climate change in such a way that it's not as severe as they otherwise are claiming.

Denalists, at least from talking to a few, aren't so much against the science, per say, but the economic and policy implications thereof. I'd say there's a minority that has some philosophical objection to the idea that man is destroying the Earth (Objectivists come to mind) but most really don't want to be taxed directly or indirectly to combat climate change.
posted by champthom at 11:58 AM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Denalists, at least from talking to a few, aren't so much against the science, per say, but the economic and policy implications thereof.
Which to me is fair enough and a legitimate political question, so let's have a political debate. But the sense is many of them feel it's somehow unfair that science has even presented this problem, and rather than debate responses they'd like to wish the issue away.
posted by Abiezer at 12:34 PM on November 21, 2009


Denalists, at least from talking to a few, aren't so much against the science, per say, but the economic and policy implications thereof.

Exactly. Hence senior Australian Senator Nick Minchin declaring last week that "Environmentalism was just a replacement for Communism as the ultimate aim of the Global Leftist Conspiracy". Climate change denialism is nothing more than a right-wing reds-under-the-bed political move. These people are deeply, deeply concerned that a bunch of smelly hippies seem to have taken control of the political debate - conveniently ignoring the fact that smelly hippies aren't driving this, highly respected scientists are.
posted by Jimbob at 1:47 PM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conveniently ignoring the fact that highly respected scientists aren't driving this, climate change is. Only the most obstinately ignorant people are continuing to insist that things aren't changing; everyone else sees that it quite clearly is changing, and has changed significantly during our lifetimes.

Where denialists are utterly out to lunch is in thinking dealing with climate change now is going to be any more expensive than it will be to do it later. Problems seldom become cheaper to fix the longer the fix is put off. To not put money and effort into creating solutions starting today is stupid and foolish.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:56 PM on November 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I suggest that the Climate Change Skeptics also release their email, in the interests of mutual transparency.

Wait, that will never ever ever happen.
posted by Freen at 5:28 PM on November 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


When you have multi-billion dollar companies politicize science, what do you think you get? Scientists that are political.

The thing is this: every single scientist that you can name is, by definition, an iconoclast. The way to get famous, to get funding, and to make your name in science is not to follow the herd. Einstein essentially told all of the physicists of his day they were wrong, and that he was right, and had the evidence to prove it.

We don't remember lamarck, but darwin. Who came up with Flogiston?

Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Bohr, Planck, etc. etc. etc. All massively disrupted the conventional wisdom of their respective fields with a more accurate, more predictive, empirically testable, and repeatable evidence for theories that at the time were radically different than the status quo.

The first scientist that finds conclusive rock solid evidence that a) global warming doesn't exists b) isn't caused by carbon dioxide and c) Our current global economy will not significantly alter our future global climate, that scientist will be a rock star. To date, it hasn't happened, despite the collective rational self interest of the single most important, most traded, and most profitable commodity on the planet earth providing as much funding for research as is even remotely needed.

It hasn't happened, the same way no one has won a million dollars from James Randi by sumbmiting their paranormal abilities to scientific analysis.


That said, even if climate change isn't real, that has little to no effect on what makes efficiency important. In a world where there are 10 billion of us, the country that is both energy independent and energy efficient will be victorious. Also, I don't think we want to be funneling any more money, power, or geopolitical influence to middle eastern theocrats than absolutely necessary. We literally could not invade Saudi Arabia: our Apache helicopters would be sitting on the tarmac without any gas.

There are no shortcuts around the first law of thermodynamics, and the next decade, heck, maybe even century is going to be even more about energy than ever before.

Literally, climate change skeptics are advocating enriching the house of Saud. This should be loudly repeated to all climate change skeptics.

The space race is why America was a global leader in technology. We are loosing the green race because of think tanks funded by Exxon. It would be as if GE had a PR agency trying to stop NASA in the 50's and 60's.

Efficiency is the future for ecological, economic, and geopolitical reasons.

Also, while the price of flood insurance for buildings in manhattan (and any oceanfront city) has gone through the roof, you don't see those emails, or the actuarial tables for oceanfront flood risks. Ever.

Also, there is no more snow on Kilimanjaro, and you can't stand on the north pole these days: You'll have to be wearing your swimming trunks.
posted by Freen at 6:04 PM on November 21, 2009 [16 favorites]


Freen for world leader. You've got my vote.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:06 PM on November 21, 2009


Galileo, Copernicus, Kepler, Bohr, Planck, etc. etc. etc. All massively disrupted the conventional wisdom of their respective fields with a more accurate, more predictive, empirically testable, and repeatable evidence for theories that at the time were radically different than the status quo.

This is really wrong. Copernicus and Galileo, in particular, had models that made significantly less accurate predictions than the elaborate Ptolemaic model they hoped to supercede. In general, the idea that normal scientists spend their careers trying to overthrow dominant worldviews bears no connection to existing scientific practice. Are biologists all trying to disprove evolution by natural selection? Do physicists generally try to overthrow the standard model? No, by and large, scientists try to clarify, elaborate, and strengthen the prevailing model, which they learn from textbooks and confirm in model experiments as undergraduates.

The outmoded and inaccurate Popperian view of heroic scientists having a kind of constant mass brawl of clashing theories is harmful insofar as when actual scientific practice comes to light, as in the publication of these emails, it appears indefensible. If a more realistic view of scientific work were widely known then this leak would be less harmful.
posted by stammer at 7:10 PM on November 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


...you can't stand on the north pole these days: You'll have to be wearing your swimming trunks.

At the risk of being pedantic, you can stand on the North Pole these days. Sea ice pretty much covers the Arctic Ocean by late-November.
posted by plastic_animals at 7:50 PM on November 21, 2009


Note to passionate global warming skeptics: if you want to convince me that global warming is not happening, or is not anthropogenic, there are three things you have to do.

Yes, thank you. And not only that, you have to do it again and again, and you also have to explain why the previous predictions which worked with previous models no longer apply. And then you have to get others to expand on your work, and so on.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:27 PM on November 21, 2009


This doesn't validate the deniers at all, but it does support a lot of the claims that the "skeptics" like Steve McIntyre have made -- that the "tricks"/methods they've used aren't necessarily based on statistical or scientific reasons, but rather to make the charts look better or better fit their other models. Some emails also show how dedicated the group can be in the fight against the skeptics, between boycotts of journals and FOI requests.

As others noted above, it's not like these things don't happen in other fields. But these little fights gain a lot more importance when included in things like the IPCC reports suggesting massive global changes to governments and regulations.

Frankly I don't understand the incredible animus towards McIntyre. I don't regularly read him, and he's an amateur in the field. But he has pointed to multiple errors that these guys have made and subsequently fixed. None of those errors have been on the scale of "climate change models are wrong." They've been relatively minor issues of overstating their case.

This "ClimateGate" isn't about the science. This is about the people behind the science being jerks who would rather delete data than let an enemy nitpick it. They would rather make an effort to oust an academic from a position rather than abide a skeptical paper be published. And it's certainly not everyone in the field, just a small few who are at the top of the field. They are behaving in a way that true scientists should not behave. They are behaving like typical impetuous academics.
posted by FuManchu at 11:34 PM on November 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


"ClimateGate" is an idiotic distraction from the terrific calamities that are going to be caused by climate change. This is about making sure that nothing gets done.

I am completely dismal about the probable outcome of all this: to wit, I think that regardless what we do, we're in for an epic human disaster, one that may come as close to extinguishing the human race as previous disasters have. But, good gods, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to prevent it.

And preventing any change seems to me to be the main outcome of the denier's actions, which I can only interpret as being their desire. They want to minimize short term pain, without concern for making the least effort to mitigate the long term costs.

I just can not see how they are working to make the world any better a place.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:21 AM on November 22, 2009 [2 favorites]


fff,

Nor can I see how the most hardcore activists are making the world a better place by trying to ensure billions of people remain poor in the developing world. Don't pretend like there aren't serious tradeoffs.
posted by FuManchu at 12:28 AM on November 22, 2009


What? The climate change activists I know are working damn hard to ensure that the Copenhagen agreement includes funding to developing countries to help them get new green technology so they don't have to use polluting old methods. The Clean Development Mechanism in the Kyoto Protocol was meant to do that too, but it was politicians who turned it into a joke, not activists.

At the moment, developing countries don't get nearly enough (or the correct type) of assistance they need. Activists of all stripes (climate as well as traditional types trying to get health supplies, aid, better trade conditions) are doing their best to improve that situation. Don't blame the messenger, blame the politicians who don't really give a shit.
posted by harriet vane at 1:40 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm not at all sure where you're heading with that one, FuManchu.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:50 AM on November 22, 2009


FuManchu: trying to ensure billions of people remain poor in the developing world

It is us (the developed countries) who must become "poorer", not the developing world. The contraction and convergence approach intends to allow them to increase their emissions temporarily. Obviously they will never reach our present levels of wasteful consumption since the current situation is already unsustainable as it is.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:37 AM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


harriet vane, Bangaioh: Great -- those programs recognize the tradeoffs that will certainly be subject to negotiation. This means the need for honest evaluation of the science and economic tradeoffs.

The emails in the OP show a few scientists who are behaving dishonestly, preventing people who have contributed towards the field (even if only nitpicking) from publishing or even accessing their data, simply because they have deemed them enemies. Therefore you should both agree that the behavior shown in the emails should be criticized, right?
posted by FuManchu at 7:45 AM on November 22, 2009


Assuming there really was dishonesty, of course it should.

My point is that whatever less acceptable behaviour or even fraud might be proved by these emails, it probably isn't enough to invalidate the totality or even a significant part of the current understanding of climate. Moreover, it appears a lot of the controversy is about quotes taken out of context and other irrelevant details. Tax evasion and insulting dissenting scientists aren't nice things to read about, but it doesn't affect the science.

It's really no surprise there are less scrupulous individuals on either side, and I don't condone any of it. It just seems to me that, in scientific terms, not much has changed, and that this is just yet another tactic to further confuse the public and delay mitigating action.
posted by Bangaioh at 8:42 AM on November 22, 2009


Sonofabitch. So this jackass is getting major media exposure in my area.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 AM on November 22, 2009


Regarding the now-infamous "trick" email, there's nothing particularly hairraising to me about the word in this context. It is, as many have observed here and elsewhere, the way scientists (and engineers, and programmers) talk on a day-to-day basis.The phrase "to hide the decline" is a good bit more dubious but I'll give it bare pass. But overall, the multiple references in these emails to (charitably, taking the most positive interpretation) "improving and clarifying" the presentation of the data remind me pretty forcibly of something every science grad student has seen, a sheet usually titled something like "Useful Research Paper Phrases (With Translations)." Specifically useful phrase no.7: Typical results are shown. (The best results are shown.)

When people hear about that sort of thing going on in one of the silly projects that get IgNobel nominations they go hee hee and get a quick mental image of Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and then they move on and forget it. But in the case of something that (according to both leading researchers and heads of state) is the most important research topic now in play, involving (possibly) the Fate of the World; (probably) immense, unwelcome lifestyle changes for everyone on Earth; and (certainly) the diversion of trillions upon trillions of [fave unit of currency here] through government hands from those who now have it to other ends, purposes, and possessors--well, IgNobel-style daily science-as-usual won't do. Sorry guys, no sloppy beer-talk, no stonewalling requests for detailed (replication-level) methods, modeling software or raw data, no evading legal FOIA requests, no careerist roadrage or enemies lists. If the emails show nothing else, they show all of these in action and taking their toll. If the scientists themselves aren't embarrassed enough to clean house their administrators and funding bodies certainly will be, and I can't think that's a bad thing.

Oh, and what am I to think of folks who imagine email is secure and private? Even ten years ago? It's like writing what you really think of the Dean on the chalkboard and then being surprised when it gets back to him.

Useful Research Paper Phrases (With Translations)

1. It has long been known                                   I didn't bother to look up the original reference

2. A definite trend is evident                              Matlab will fit a curve to anything

3. Of great theoretical and practical importance            Interesting to me

4. While it has not been possible to provide                The experiment didn't pan out, but maybe
   definite answers to these questions                      I can still get a publication out of it

5. three of the samples were chosen for detailed study      The results of the others didn't make any sense

6. A careful analysis of obtainable data                    Spilled beer on lab notebook, three pages illegible

7. Typical results are shown                                The best results are shown

8. These results will be included in a subsequent report    I might get around to these some day

9. The most reliable results are those of Jones (1987a)     He was my graduate assistant

10. It is believed that                                     I think

11. It is generally believed that                           A couple of other guys think so too

12. Much additional work will be required before a 	    I can't explain these results
    complete elucidation of the phenomenon is reached

13. Correct within an order of magnitude                    Wrong

14. It is hoped that this study will stimulate further      This is a lousy paper, but so are all the others 
    investigation in this field                             on this miserable topic

15  Thanks are due to J. Jones for assistance with the      Jones did the work and Smith explained to me what it meant
    experiment and to S. Smith for valuable discussions

posted by jfuller at 12:10 PM on November 22, 2009 [10 favorites]


This is about the people behind the science being jerks who would rather delete data than let an enemy nitpick it.

Says people who illegally hacked into a network to steal emails and release them on the Internet, so that they could character-assassinate climate scientists.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:14 PM on November 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


...preventing people who have contributed towards the field (even if only nitpicking) from publishing or even accessing their data, simply because they have deemed them enemies.

Do you have any proof at all that they're preventing people from accessing data because "they've deemed them enemies"? I don't think you do. I think you're reading your own prejudices into the situation.

My understanding is that you can't just give data away, that it's subject to ownership issues same as any other workplace data. There are processes that you're supposed to go through first, and you need to ask the person who owns the data, not just any employee or colleague who may have access to it.
posted by harriet vane at 5:21 AM on November 23, 2009


Naomi Klein: The only way to stop global warming is for rich nations to pay for the damage they've done - or face the consequences
posted by homunculus at 9:37 AM on November 23, 2009


World's largest ice sheet melting faster than expected: East Antarctic sheet shedding 57bn tonnes of ice a year and contributing to sea level rises, according to Nasa aerial survey
posted by homunculus at 12:50 PM on November 23, 2009


+1 jfuller, love those Research Phrases - I googled them, and some of those have been doing the rounds for at least 50 years
posted by memebake at 2:35 PM on November 23, 2009


My god, those scientists are even more corrupt than I could have possibly imagined:
If you own any shares in companies that produce reflecting telescopes, use differential and integral calculus, or rely on the laws of motion, I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the calculus myth has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after volumes of Newton’s private correspondence were compiled and published.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 11:59 AM on November 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


Cluegate? There is more than meets the eye here. Oh metafilter, when did you lose your objectivity. I think the knuckleheads who dwell on the for / against (gw) merits are missing the big picture. Entertain for a minute that economics play a larger part of your little world, more than you care to admit. Maybe our programming wizards here can take a look at the code? This guy over at zh put together a good redux. Or are suggestions to delete info / emails related to FOIA requests another on of the "tricks" regularly practiced by the scientific community?

From the link (please take a look before you've dismissed the importance of the information)

Climate Research Unit FORTRAN code backs up claims of fraud and corruption

Neal from Climate Audit writes:

"People are talking about the emails being smoking guns but I find the remarks in the code and the code more of a smoking gun. The code is so hacked around to give predetermined results that it shows the bias of the coder. In other words make the code ignore inconvenient data to show what I want it to show. The code after a quick scan is quite a mess. Anyone with any pride would be to ashamed of to let it out public viewing. As examples [of] bias take a look at the following remarks from the MANN code files:"




function mkp2correlation,indts,depts,remts,t,filter=filter,refperiod=refperiod,$
datathresh=datathresh
;
; THIS WORKS WITH REMTS BEING A 2D ARRAY (nseries,ntime) OF MULTIPLE TIMESERIES
; WHOSE INFLUENCE IS TO BE REMOVED. UNFORTUNATELY THE IDL5.4 p_correlate
; FAILS WITH >1 SERIES TO HOLD CONSTANT, SO I HAVE TO REMOVE THEIR INFLUENCE
; FROM BOTH INDTS AND DEPTS USING MULTIPLE LINEAR REGRESSION AND THEN USE THE
; USUAL correlate FUNCTION ON THE RESIDUALS.
;
pro maps12,yrstart,doinfill=doinfill
;
; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.

This is a wake-up call, my friends.
posted by AllesKlar at 8:08 PM on November 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll see your zero hedge and raise you a DenialDepot!
posted by Bangaioh at 10:04 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Climate change denialists are some of the dumbest fuckers living on the face of this planet. Good god.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:40 AM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


George Monboit has called for Phil Jones to resign in his post.
posted by sien at 3:31 PM on November 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Because As We All Know, The Green Party Runs the World.
posted by homunculus at 12:08 PM on November 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


As one of the dumbest fuckers living on the planet, I am appalled at the emotional verbiage put out by the truly enlightened ones who know the way.

Please help me oh wise ones, to see the world through your enlightened eyes. Please show me the polar bear disappearing, and the huge and terrible storms so that I too, can become as you.

On second thought, don't. I would rather that those of us who don't believe in climate change be able to discuss rationally and openly why and how our observations differ. Not spout the comments about how someone is a "turd" or how others are dumb fuckers because they don't share your beliefs.

The code comments are damning, no question. While some would say that the computers were hacked illegally, the data contained therein was obtained through public funds - and the CRU could have eliminated this through simply allowing access to the code. Several times Steve McIntyre asked for it - and each time was denied. This isn't scientific methods. Its obfustication, protectionism, and egotism run rampant. Why deny a polar bear population expert an opportunity to chair a conference on the polar bear population? Because his message does not agree with the MSM's spoon fed news. How about the Caitlin expedition? Another poorly managed, non-scientific endeavour (to say nothing of the fact that the participants darn near froze to death). We can't even believe the damn temperature records, because urban sprawl has resulted in poorly located sensors. (adjacent to air conditioning vents, and barbeques for example)

If we are gonna do this, let's damn well do it right. Let's do it transparently, openly and with rigid scientific methodology. When Al Gore starts acting like this is a crisis (by not jet setting and down sizing his own house) then I will believe it is a crisis. If it is a true case of global warming, I will allow you to tax me simply for exhaling CO2. You can tax me everytime I purchase something, and for every BTU of energy that my house uses in the winter. You can tax my kids for CO2 exhalation, and tax those nasty big oil companies until they bleed. You can also subsidize the solar and bird-killing wind power companies until they are profitable - and can generate enough heat for my house at -40. Even if my house has to remain at 42 degrees during the winter and 105 degrees in the summer.

Until then, I will be a denier.
posted by fox_terrier_guy at 10:16 PM on November 28, 2009


I like how people expect to be able to easily discern the impacts of climate change in their daily lives. It's like watching two colliding galaxies through a telescope and wondering why they're not moving at all.

Also, it bears repeating: climate science is NOT contingent on Michael Mann's code and hockey stick graph (even if they're actually a fraud, which probably aren't). Hmmm, I wonder why all the national science academies haven't yet retracted their statements on climate change, since these leaked emails are obviously such damning evidence of a massive hoax...

Here's someone saying it better than I ever could, though.
posted by Bangaioh at 4:27 AM on November 29, 2009 [2 favorites]


On second thought, don't.

And I won't, because there is no point in talking to people who are wilfully, stupendously, deliberately ignorant. One can perhaps make a case for the change not being attributable to humans, but there is no way to rationally deny that there has been a change in the climate. You just have to be Plain. Fucking. Stupid. to go there.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:38 AM on November 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


And I won't, because there is no point in talking to people who are wilfully, stupendously, deliberately ignorant. One can perhaps make a case for the change not being attributable to humans, but there is no way to rationally deny that there has been a change in the climate. You just have to be Plain. Fucking. Stupid. to go there.

The earth warms. It cools. Greenland used to be green. There was this thing called the ice age. There was another thing known as the Medieval Warm period.

The Sun goes through different stages and thus the earth experiences different temperatures.

Man made global warming is a hoax and anyone who falls for it based on a couple of bullshit government approved scientists and a documentary by a scumbag politician is just plain fucking stupid.

Do the god damn research for yourself and have the balls to admit that you were fooled (like the rest of us).
posted by GrooveJedi at 6:17 PM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is it you are afraid of happening if we act on climate change and then find out it was a mistake?

Because I'm seeing cleaner air, new jobs in renewable energy industries, an improved farming system that removes the cruelty to animals inherent to our current system, as well as reducing our reliance on oil (via fertilisers and pesticides), changes to our transport system to reduce the reliance on oil, protection of ancient forests, and some groovy new architecture and urban planning. If we did all that and then found out it wasn't 'necessary', I wouldn't actually feel all that foolish. We'd be better off and we'd still have the ability to burn coal and oil until they ran out, with a backup system already in place.
posted by harriet vane at 7:30 PM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do the god damn research for yourself and have the balls to admit that you were fooled (like the rest of us).

Hey, fuckwit, I do do the research myself, seeing as I'm a scientist, and I can say for sure that you've been fooled by a couple of right-wing corporate shills and a documentary by a scumbag who's bought-and-paid for by the oil industry. Please, please tell me how many actual research papers you've read on the topic, and then tell me how many climate-change denier "opinion" articles you've read in order to form your beliefs, and we'll work out where the facts really lie.

No, actually, fuck you. As I said in a previous thread, climate-change denial is in the same league as people who think the moon landing was faked, and you deserve to be Buzz Aldrin'd on this issue, not debated.
posted by Jimbob at 7:55 PM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jimbob et all; I respect your opinions, if not your eloquent discourse. So if one were to agree that global warming (read temp increase) is occurring, and at times cooling; since you are versed on this topic, is this research spurious? Personally, I don't think this subject is important enough given the grand scheme of things. Am I the only one that imagines the slippery slope of taxing an element universally? Sure, you pay bottled water tax now, which is more or less arbitrary. Here's a green job! Install insta reporting water usage meter. Step right up, simply present your unique rfid water card and we'll charge your account accordingly. Thing big my friends, to be quite honest, I'm totally digging this air...

Carbon Dioxide -- CO2 -- 0.0314% Oxygen -- O2 -- 20.9476% Nitrogen -- N2 -- 78.084

(shamelessly lifted from about link)

Nitrogen is used for many things, helpful things like fertilizer. Hope a new tax isn't drawn up on that!

Seriously, must there be this dichotomy?
posted by AllesKlar at 12:59 AM on December 1, 2009


One might note that the issue of carbon taxation is a completely different argument than climate change denial. Only those of a time-cubist mind can look at the physical facts and still deny that significant change is happening.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:25 AM on December 1, 2009


Nitrogen is used for many things, helpful things like fertilizer. Hope a new tax isn't drawn up on that!

Nitrogen is a separate issue already.
posted by Bangaioh at 5:20 AM on December 1, 2009


Prof Phil Jones, director of CRU has temporarily stepped down.

Please stop calling each other names.
posted by sien at 2:12 PM on December 1, 2009


Hey, fuckwit, I do do the research myself, seeing as I'm a scientist, and I can say for sure that you've been fooled by a couple of right-wing corporate shills and a documentary by a scumbag who's bought-and-paid for by the oil industry. Please, please tell me how many actual research papers you've read on the topic, and then tell me how many climate-change denier "opinion" articles you've read in order to form your beliefs, and we'll work out where the facts really lie.

No, actually, fuck you. As I said in a previous thread, climate-change denial is in the same league as people who think the moon landing was faked, and you deserve to be Buzz Aldrin'd on this issue, not debated.


This is laughable. Nothing but ad hominems and emotional outbursts. How do you expect anyone to take you seriously? Nobody is denying climate change. We are denying the lie that is MAN MADE GLOBAL WARMING. I can explain it to you in scientific terms if you need.

Look, you can go ahead and continue to side with the IPCC scientists who have now been proven to be nothing but a bunch of blowhard criminals. The rest of us will just watch the weather and decide for ourselves.

How any of these global warming hoaxers can get away with telling us the earth is warming when it's been cooling for the last 9 years is nothing short of preposterous.

You spout off so confidently that we've been fooled by a couple of right wing corporate shills and a documentary bought and paid for by the oil industry. The discerning of the readers of this site are laughing at you as you've done the exact same thing you accuse me of. I can say for sure that you've been fooled by a couple of left-wing corporate shills and a documentary by a scumbag who is bought and paid for by the new green energy industry. I'm not even a conservative and far from right wing. I look at every issue individually. The hypocrisy of your statement is so monumentous it doesn't even deserve a response.

And really... fuck me? Really? Is that the best you can do?

Man does not make the earth warmer. The earth warms and cools as it has done so naturally for TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS. There's this yellow thing in the sky that's called the Sun. It plays a major role in climate change, as does the clouds, cosmic rays and other factors. Medieval warm period anyone? Or does that just not exist in the new global warming science.

The fact that CO2 makes up such a tiny percentage of the atmosphere is irrelevant to you so called scientists.

The scam is up. Either get with the real data or continue deluding yourself.

Either way, your response speaks for itself.
posted by GrooveJedi at 5:02 PM on December 1, 2009


How do you expect anyone to take you seriously?

Well as I said, I don't expect you to take me seriously. I don't care what you, personally, think, since your attitude of ignoring clear indicators of risk puts the future of my child in danger.

Look, you can go ahead and continue to side with the IPCC scientists who have now been proven to be nothing but a bunch of blowhard criminals.

A number of IPCC scientists are friends of mine - you're using emails that you don't even understand, nor have context for, from a single university institution, to declare hundreds of people are fraudulent. Meanwhile, I've seen and discussed first hand how these models work, how the people working on them are seeking to improve and calibrate them, the efforts they go to in their statistics in order to get as close to the truth as possible. You are relying on a bunch of right-wing reactionary bloggers' and opinion-writers' interpretations of out-of-context emails to decide that "Man made climate change is a hoax". Talk about failure to grasp the reality of the situation.

How any of these global warming hoaxers can get away with telling us the earth is warming when it's been cooling for the last 9 years is nothing short of preposterous.

What metric are you using to measure that cooling? Annual average? Annual average of daily maximum? Annual average of daily minimum? Count of days over a threshold? How are you looking at that data spatially - globally averaged? Averaged over land? For the northern hemisphere, southern hemisphere, tropics? Are you saying that trend is occurring for each meteorological station, or most of them, or some of them? Are you using ground-based measurements of satellite-based measurements?

You might want to read this, although as far as you're concerned it's probably written by some criminal leftist conspirator writing for some kind of commie journal.

Nicholls, N. (2006) Detecting and attributing Australian climate change: a review. Australian Meteorological Magazine 55, 199-211.

From the abstract:
Mean maximum (daytime) temperature has increased over most of Australia, with cooling in the northwest (very strong in summer) and along the south coast ofWesternAustralia (in most seasons).
• Mean minimum (night-time) temperature has increased over nearly all of the country except for cooling in some parts in the inland northwest (in all seasons except spring, although the location of the cooling varies between seasons).
• Annual rainfall has increased in the northwest (a summer phenomenon), decreased in the southwest (a winter phenomenon) and along and inland from the east coast (Queensland in summer; New South Wales in winter).
• Pan evaporation has declined about three per cent since the mid-1970s.
Detection and attribution studies of Australian climate indicate that:
• The widespread warming is very likely to be due to increased greenhouse gas concentrations.
• The rainfall decrease in southwest Western Australia is likely due to a combination of increased greenhouse gas concentrations, natural climate variability and land-use change.
• The increased summer rainfall in northwestAustralia may be due to increased aerosols resulting from human activity, especially in Asia.
• The apparent decline in pan evaporation is mainly due to changes in instrumental exposure.
• No study has attributed a cause to the rainfall decrease along the east coast.
Please note that the sources you use make claims like "OMG THE EARTH IS REALLY COOLING!!!", while real researchers provide nuanced analysis of smaller-scale changes, and the varied factors that may be causing them.

And really... fuck me? Really? Is that the best you can do?

Yes, fuck you. It's the same thing I say to holocaust deniers, who do dodgy math to prove that there's no way the Nazis could have killed that many Jews, in an effort to defend an ideological position that does no good for mankind.

The earth warms and cools as it has done so naturally for TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

It appears that you're incapable of understanding that equations can have more than a single input. Here's a brief lesson - a number of factors drive the earth's climate - solar input is but one of them. Concentration of atmospheric gasses is another. Vegetation and topography is another. It's entirely possible for trends to be overlaid on top of cycles. Not too hard to understand, I presume? The medieval warm period does, indeed exist, and factors that drove it are all included in the models that inform our current understanding of how the earth works.

The fact that CO2 makes up such a tiny percentage of the atmosphere is irrelevant to you so called scientists.

Do you believe that CFCs are capable of destroying atmospheric ozone? Or do you deny that too? Go and look up atmospheric CFC concentrations before we started reducing their usage, and ask yourself why you're interpreting these things in absolute terms. Carbon Dioxide is the second most important greenhouse gas. It will be double it's long-term historic level in only a few years from now. Why on earth would you think it's unimportant, unless someone was feeding you bullshit?

You won't read these rebuttals, since you're interested in defending a destructive ideological position rather than learning anything, but I'll go ahead anyway:

Where the hell did you get the idea the earth has been cooling?

Here's a list of evil environazi organizations hell-bent on bringing about the rise of a New World Order through promotion of the Climate Change Hoax:

* NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
* National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
* Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
* National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
* State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
* Environmental Protection Agency (EPA):
* The Royal Society of the UK (RS)
* American Geophysical Union (AGU)
* American Meteorological Society
* American Institute of Physics
* National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
* American Meteorological Society (AMS)
* Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)
* Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
* Royal Society of Canada
* Chinese Academy of Sciences
* Academie des Sciences (France)
* Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
* Indian National Science Academy
* Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
* Science Council of Japan
* Russian Academy of Sciences
* Royal Society (United Kingdom)
* National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
* Australian Academy of Sciences
* Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
* Caribbean Academy of Sciences
* Indonesian Academy of Sciences
* Royal Irish Academy
* Academy of Sciences Malaysia
* Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
* Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Oh and here's a bit about your famous Medieval Warm Period, and those natural cycles.
Global warming is part of a natural cycle’—This idea is one short step above appealing to magic First, skeptics need to identify the mechanism behind this alleged natural cycle. Absent a forcing of some sort, there will be no change in global energy balance. The balance is changing, so natural or otherwise, we need to find this mysterious cause.

Second, they need to come up with an explanation for why a 35% increase in the second most important greenhouse gas does not affect the global temperature. Theory predicts temperature will rise given an enhanced greenhouse effect, so how or why is it not happening?
Have you got an answer for that? If this is all part of some mysterious natural cycle, please explain what's driving it.

Either get with the real data or continue deluding yourself.

I've got the real data, actually - writing this comment has taken half-an-hour away from time I was spending running models on 40-years worth of daily meteorological records from 8,000 weather stations across Australia in order to assess changes in risk of severe wild fire occurrence. You show me one fucking spreadsheet of "real data" that you've looked at, and I'll reassess my opinion of you.
posted by Jimbob at 8:04 PM on December 1, 2009 [6 favorites]


The fact that CO2 makes up such a tiny percentage of the atmosphere is irrelevant to you so called scientists.

At this point, I'm hoping you are an paid shill trolling community sites for your employer. The alternative is far more disturbing in its implications regarding your education.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 PM on December 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Science doesn’t work despite scientists being asses. Science works, to at least some extent, because scientists are asses. Bickering and backstabbing are essential elements of the process. Haven’t any of these guys ever heard of “peer review”?
posted by Artw at 11:20 PM on December 1, 2009


Honestly, it's not even worth the time, but I will comment. Your emotional attitude speaks volumes as to what kind of supposed scientist you are. It is clear that even if I did provide any data, you would shout your way around it and blast anyone who disagrees with you as an idiot or a range of other ad hominems. You're not interested in debate, it is obvious to anyone that your goal is to shout everyone into silence that may disagree with even a PORTION of your hysteria.

Scientists don't let their dogma override everything logical about the scientific process. Just keep believing in Santa Claus, Mickey Mouse, Muslim Hijackers with boxcutters, Global Warming nonsense and whatever other fairy tales you believe in. I'll stick with the scientists dealing with the raw data.

In other words, I will see your measly 52 (not hundreds as you claim) IPCC government scientists and raise you 31,486 (in the U.S. only - Global Warming Petition Project). I will see your "lost or deleted data, not subject to peer review" and raise you peer reviewed study after peer reviewed study. I will call bluff on your pathetic University Scientists with profits on the line and obvious agendas. I've read the e-mails, the facts are obvious. You can't take THOUSANDS of e-mails out of context. You cannot run from science and the truth even with the MSM and fascism on your side.

By the way, did you see all that snow dump on El Paso, Texas yesterday? More than they've had in a long, long time. I will admit that I am no scientist but my bullshit detector is top notch and I can smell a government scam and a shill from a mile away. Continue on with your emotional ramblings of doomsday scenarios, the sky is falling, very intriguing of a scientist to say the least. I'll continue to listen to the scientists who use actual DATA and you keep playing with your silly little community models and scoff at those ignorant peasants who aren't smart "scientists" like you. You ask about Metrics, averages, data points and how they are measured? Like I said, I'm no scientist and unfortunately a message board is not a forum regurgitate the data. I can turn around and ask each of these questions right back at you.

Only difference is that you use "computer models" instead of raw data.

http://www.climatecooling.org/

The fact that global warming hoaxers are so terrified to even continue the debate should end the discussion right there. The plain fact that you jump to blame everything on a grand right wing conspiracy (again, very bizarre for a so called professional scientist) while standing in absolute oblivion to the left wing conspiracy you are a part of would be laughable if it wasn't so sad.

In closing, I would like to point out to the readers of this page your absolutely fantastic attempt to group anyone who disagrees with your silly little computer models as a Holocaust Denier of all things. What are you going to call me next, a mass murderer? I really was hoping to reach the end of this without resorting to ad hominems as you have but you know what? After that whale of a holocaust reference I can will gladly say Fuck off with that bullshit.
posted by GrooveJedi at 1:25 AM on December 2, 2009


If you disagree with global warming computer models you are akin to a holocaust denier. So rich! This is the definition of HYSTERIA, PEOPLE!
posted by GrooveJedi at 1:27 AM on December 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


The rest of us will just watch the weather and decide for ourselves.

Flagged as utter bollocks.
posted by Bangaioh at 9:15 AM on December 2, 2009


By the way, did you see all that snow dump on El Paso, Texas yesterday? More than they've had in a long, long time.

Jesus fuck. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Local climates ≠ global climate.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:38 PM on December 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ozone makes up only 0.000004% of the Earth's atmosphere, therefore it can't possibly contribute to blocking of solar UV radiation.

The above comment is sarcasm. I feel I need to say this, because equally absurd comments have been posted, apparently in earnest.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:50 AM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


For those who didn't catch that, GrooveJedi is denying global warming and 9/11 in the same post.

AllesKlar linked to a very nice Web page by a math professor at UC Riverside which persuasively argues that global warming is happening.

fox_terrier_guy seems to be denying climate change because, if it were happening, it would be expensive. Interesting reasoning.
posted by miyabo at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2009


Over 31 thousand scientists (in the U.S. alone) disagree with the Global Warming Scam including some of the type climatologists in the world.

But go ahead and keep ignoring that and telling us that the sky is orange and not blue. Who you gonna believe? Al Gore and millions of lemmings or your own lying eyes? :P
posted by GrooveJedi at 3:57 PM on December 4, 2009


"The 30,000 Global Warming Petition is Easily-Debunked Propaganda"
posted by Bangaioh at 5:13 PM on December 4, 2009


Of course it is. Goes without saying, really.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on December 4, 2009


I will admit that I am no scientist but my bullshit detector is top notch

And yet you think 9/11 is some kind of hoax or cover-up. Your bullshit detector needs recalibrating.

Seriously, you're not a scientist, yet you feel entitled to critique people who've spent their entire life studying these issues? Your arrogance is astounding. I suppose you tell your electrician/plumber/mechanic/lawyer/doctor how to do his job too.

A lot of the Aussies here will have seen this already, but in case you haven't come across it, I'll link to The Rules, as a reminder of how futile it is to argue with someone who claims to be a skeptic, yet is not open to the evidence right in front of them.
posted by harriet vane at 12:53 AM on December 5, 2009


Not open to the evidence in front of me? You mean the same way you global warming alarmists are ignoring the actual temperature on a day by day basis outside your own windows? The earth has been cooling since 1998. Keep trying though.
posted by GrooveJedi at 6:34 PM on December 8, 2009


"The 30,000 Global Warming Petition is Easily-Debunked Propaganda"

Even those figures still account for more scientists (including climatologists) than the IPCC report does. In other words, even the smallest percentage of that petition still equates to more scientists that don't believe the theory than those scientists who signed the IPCC report who do believe in Global Warming.

So, if you look at both reports, by your own numbers, there are more scientists on the side of global warming skepticism than there are for those who promote it.

But keep believing the big lie if it helps you sleep better at night, no sweat off my back. :)
posted by GrooveJedi at 6:40 PM on December 8, 2009


You are unrelentingly asinine.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on December 8, 2009


Sarah Palin "wrote" an opinion piece about this for today's Washington Post.
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 4:46 AM on December 9, 2009


Obviously not written by her. I wonder how much the oil industry paid her to put her name to it.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:40 AM on December 9, 2009


Definitely not as much as the oil and energy industries pump into your silly little global warming hysteria machine. I'm not a fan of Sarah Palin by any means but I call a spade when I see one. The Fact is that global warming hysteria has seen HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of dollars come from Big Oil and other big industry but you folks conveniently ignore that and insists on just calling people names. Funny thing is, just two weeks ago I was on your side of the fence until I realized that this entire matter is a fraud. Keep calling me names though, it speaks volumes about your position.
posted by GrooveJedi at 9:50 AM on December 9, 2009


The earth has been cooling since 1998.

So, if you look at both reports, by your own numbers, there are more scientists on the side of global warming skepticism than there are for those who promote it. [pdf]
posted by Bangaioh at 9:52 AM on December 9, 2009


Palin's "Boycott Copenhagen" Op-Ed: Annotated
posted by homunculus at 1:01 PM on December 9, 2009


All these references to Post-Op Palin have been very confusing.
posted by Artw at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2009


10 Facts and Myths about Climate Change

http://current.com/19l2q4c
posted by GrooveJedi at 1:17 PM on December 10, 2009


Give it up. Every single thing you have claimed has been shown to be false. This time will be no different.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:36 PM on December 10, 2009


Not a chance in hell. Man made global warming is the biggest scientific fraud in the history of mankind and I will not give up spreading the word to those who are open minded to consider the possibility that they just might have been lied to.
posted by GrooveJedi at 10:46 AM on December 11, 2009


I'm gonna stop you there, man made global warming fraud is okay but the moonlanding is the biggest scientific fraud in the history of mankind in the history of mankind ever.
posted by Artw at 10:49 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will not give up spreading the word to those who are open minded to consider the possibility that they just might have been lied to.

What makes you so confident we're the ones being lied to and not you?
posted by Bangaioh at 12:16 PM on December 11, 2009


Nu-uh. The moonlanding is a helluva fraud, I'll grant you that, but this whole spherical earth thing is the biggest fraud of all. Flat earth, man, it's a flat fucking earth. You've been lied to all your life!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:28 PM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna stop you there, suppresion of flat earth is educated evil, but suppresion of Gene Ray theories on nature's harmonic simultaneous 4-day time cube is the greatest intended EVIL against humanity.
posted by Artw at 4:45 PM on December 11, 2009


Ben Goldacre on climate change.
posted by Bangaioh at 4:33 AM on December 12, 2009


In Bolivia, Water and Ice Tell of Climate Change
posted by homunculus at 10:48 AM on December 14, 2009


What makes you so confident we're the ones being lied to and not you?

Good question. I guess the answer is that I was on the other side of the fence very recently and am now realizing how foolish I was. ;)
posted by GrooveJedi at 7:56 PM on December 14, 2009


That doesn't seem very reassuring. Sounds more like faith to me; since you've decided to believe in a giant left-wing conspiracy, why wouldn't you believe in the opposite? A PR campaign by a few companies to spread FUD about climate change sure seems a lot more likely than a massive conspiracy involving scientists around the world.
posted by Bangaioh at 9:16 AM on December 15, 2009


Logic and common sense says that man has a tiny effect on the weather when factoring in the massive factors of the Sun, Oceans, Vegetations, Volcanic Activity, Clouds, Cosmic Rays, etc etc etc. People just refuse to accept the fact that the earth has seen much warmer periods and much higher levels of CO2. This is a plain fact that won't go away no matter how many government paid scientists sell their souls to pitch such a fantastic lie.
posted by GrooveJedi at 9:35 AM on December 15, 2009


Oh, logic and common sense, no need for any cites for that. Or too even really define what you are talking about rather than just waving at it vaguely.
posted by Artw at 10:09 AM on December 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


People just refuse to accept the fact that the earth has seen much warmer periods and much higher levels of CO2.

Do you honestly believe scientists don't know/refuse to acknowledge this?
posted by Bangaioh at 12:17 PM on December 15, 2009


Of course they know. They're all in on it together!
posted by five fresh fish at 3:23 PM on December 15, 2009


“It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair
posted by GrooveJedi at 12:11 AM on December 17, 2009


If that quote is meant as a "yes" to my question, I'd really like to know what science have you been reading, ie, where have you seen a climate scientist ever deny "the fact that the earth has seen much warmer periods and much higher levels of CO2". Because they're the ones who, you know, have been studying it for years and came to that conclusion.

A recent FPP links you to a good resource; if you can be bothered to spend 5 minutes of your time reading this and this perhaps you'll realise why the claim that "climate is always changing" is irrelevant. As for your other objections, they're dealt with elsewhere in that site.
posted by Bangaioh at 4:15 AM on December 17, 2009


The very well paid people whose salary depends on people like GrooveJedi not understanding things are certainly earning their money.
posted by Artw at 9:39 AM on December 17, 2009


Laughable. The idea that any scientist needs to PROVE that man made CO2 emissions is NOT causing Global Warming has got to be the most ridiculous position I've ever heard. The onus is on YOU to prove that it is the driving force in climate change, which of course is silly.
posted by GrooveJedi at 3:16 PM on December 17, 2009


Laughable! Laughable, I say!

Muuuuahahaha!
posted by five fresh fish at 7:06 PM on December 17, 2009


The idea that any scientist needs to PROVE that man made CO2 emissions is NOT causing Global Warming has got to be the most ridiculous position I've ever heard.

"Without the greenhouse effect, the average surface temperature on Earth would be -180 C rather than the equable +150 C that has nurtured the development of life.

Carbon dioxide is a minor greenhouse gas, responsible for ~26% (80 C) of the total greenhouse effect (330C), of which in turn at most 25% (~20C) can be attributed to carbon dioxide contributed by human activity".


Taken from your previous link, which BTW is full misleading statements and loaded language.

It goes like this:
1. we know CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
2. we know we're putting more of it in the atmosphere
3. we know the planet is in an energy imbalance, which was expected due to the rise in CO2 concentration
4. we know all other known positive forcings (excluding increased CO2) do not account for the observed energy imbalance.

I think it is fair that whoever doubts AGW should "prove" what exactly is causing the rise in global mean temperature AND how come higher CO2 levels are somehow not contributing to it.
posted by Bangaioh at 3:35 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


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