Free Markets, Free People

The Significance Of The Growing Climate Scandal

Whether you prefer “Climategate” or “Warmaquiddick” or “Climaquiddick” (most seem to prefer something with “quiddick” v.  “gate” for some reason) as a name for the developing scientific scandal, the fact is that the emails revealed this week from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit are significant and damning.

Why are they significant?

The leaked documents (see our previous coverage) come from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in eastern England. In global warming circles, the CRU wields outsize influence: it claims the world’s largest temperature data set, and its work and mathematical models were incorporated into the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report. That report, in turn, is what the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged it “relies on most heavily” when concluding that carbon dioxide emissions endanger public health and should be regulated.

To me that’s more than enough reason to step back, call a halt to all this talk about global treaties and take a good hard look at the science involved in all of this. What should be obvious to everyone is that more than enough questions have emerged over the past year to seriously question the conclusions reached by the CRU.

This data is the source of the EPA’s decision to regulate CO2. The fact that the data may be false or fudged then throws into question not only the conclusions of the IPCC’s report, but the EPA’s decision. If, in fact, they indicate scientific fraud as they seem too, then it also calls into question any other science or decisions made based on their conclusions. We’re literally talking about trillions of dollars hanging in the balance and a massive shift in government power (through regulation and taxation) and intrusion in our lives.

Yet, despite the fact that this story has been circulating for at least a week, some media outlets have declined to pursue it and have done the journalistic equivalent of yelling “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” by publishing editorials and articles which talk about the threat of global warming. Thankfully their readers, in some cases unmercifully, clue them in. The Washington Post, one of the few media outlets to even acknowledge the scandal, essentially blows it off in an editorial ironically entitled “Climate of Denial”, preferring to pretend that there’s really nothing of significance to the emails except perhaps, the CRU should have been a little more transparant than they were. It also refers to the emails as “stolen”.

In fact, it appears that the revelation of the emails may have been the work of a whistleblower, who, unlike WaPo, saw the real significance of what was being concealed:

It’s not clear how the files were leaked. One theory says that a malicious hacker slipped into East Anglia’s network and snatched thousands of documents. Another says that the files had already been assembled in response to a Freedom of Information request and, immediately after it was denied, a whistleblower decided to disclose them. (Lending credence to that theory is the fact that no personal e-mail messages unrelated to climate change appear to have been leaked.)

Interestingly the media exception to that is Declan McCullagh at CBS’s blog “Taking Liberties”. He does a pretty good and indepth job of looking at it all. I’ve linked ot his piece above (about the significance of the scandal). Make sure you read the emails concerning the programing and the data base. If that alone doesn’t set off alarm bells and tell you that what CRU produced might have some very serious problems, I’m not sure what will. Also read Phil Jones attempt to explain away the “hiding the decline” comment in one of his emails as meaning something colloquial which, of course, he claims doesn’t mean what in means otherwise. Very poor.

With all of that said, and ending with citing the Jones quote, I present for your entertainment, “Hiding The Decline”:



40 Responses to The Significance Of The Growing Climate Scandal

  • I’m sure Obama is pushing the Europeans for agreement on a treaty.  I don’t think he could approach the Senate without at least the Europeans on board.
    With this treaty, AGW will no longer just be a scientific make work, political grandstanding,  and government intrusion scheme but have real impactive consequences.  Faced with that treaty, the Europeans will lead the way in acting on ‘climate-gate’.
    Just my guess.

  • McQ, you have some messed-up coding in the block quote.  I think you were looking to link back to an earlier post?

  • I suppose we all notice the things we understand best. In my case, it was the revelation that the code often deals with error conditions by simply ignoring them. That makes *any* output from the programs automatically suspect.

    Simply resuming execution after ignoring an error is never done by a code writer unless they are (1) totally incompetent at coding, or (2) very inexperienced and ignorant of the side-effects. 

    • I suppose I should qualify that a bit. There are edge cases in which errors are known to be inconsequential and safely ignored. I find it hard to believe calculation routines would fit that category.

      • Billy, let me guess, you’re one of those danged guys who checks for write errors and read errors and tries to prevent divides by zero, etc, etc, etc.  Hey man!  It compiles!  What more did you want????!!!!!
        Although I have to say, one of my most entertaining jobs involved reviewing (and rewriting….) code that  upon encountering fatal (either data or process fatal) errors would grab the condition, shove the process stack around a little, pick up at the next instruction  or to an interrupt wait and then DO NOTHING.  The guys who coded it thought it was very important that programs not stop, so the processes would stay up and sit idle.  Satisfies the casual observer checking to see if everything is running ya know, and that was important!!.

      • Yeah, we both know the deal is a good coder KNOWS when they can be safely ignored and usually says so in the code in some way either by instruction or by comment.   Too much is written for an ideal world where nothing bad happens during processing (hello microsoft blue screen of death).
        One of my favorite error routine displays in some SS7 code was in an exception routine that should (famous last words) never execute.  I heard from the guys who wrote  it that it did once in the real world, and the code handled it after displaying the error code & the word “Insanity” on the ops console.

        • …and that, boys and girls, is where Easter Eggs come from

        • One of my favorite error routine displays in some SS7 code was in an exception routine that should (famous last words) never execute.

          I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve written the comment “I don’t see how it’s possible to ever get to this line of code, but just in case…”

  • Whether you prefer “Climategate” or “Warmaquiddick” or “Climaquiddick” (most seem to prefer something with “quiddick” v.  “gate” for some reason)

    From what I gather from some other blogs a -gate scandal surrounds a media bete noir(e) who can expect a virtual colonoscopy from said media.  A -quiddick scandal, by contrast, involves a media darling.  Accordingly, the journalist and pundit nabobs covering the story will try their darndest to minimize the damage to their “boy” as much as possible.   Indeed, with the exception of Fox and a certain blogger at CBS this story is being held under a blanket.

  • Here is a very long and very comprehensive look at some of the emails, which gives the impression that there was not only an active plan to circumvent FOI requests, but that some of the FOI office personnel who were in charge of handling those requests may have been compromised.
    I’ve seen some people (including some of those involved in the scandal) insisting that many of the accusations are based on quotes and emails taken out of context.  Yet when the emails are compiled into a chronological record (ie, when they are placed in context) the story they tell is even more damaging that any individual email or comment.  See PowerLine Blog for more of these reconstructions.  And still not a single person has stepped forward to indicate that any of the emails are fraudulent, either.

    • That’s a long read, but it’s devestating to the East Anglia hacks (I am no longer willing to call them scientists).

      It’s also depressing in the following sense: it’s an indicator of the increasing politicization of, well, just about everything. Science is supposed to be apolitical by nature. Certainly that lofty goal was never completely reached, but it seems those in certain scientific fields now no longer even pretend to try.

      Along with politics intruding into sports coverage, religious sermons, awards ceremonies, performances, etc, ad nauseum, we have now reached an era in which politics trumps just about everything. For those of us who wish we could just live our lives and enjoy our families and work without such nonsense, it’s distressing. I’d talk more about that, but Jay Nordlinger has already covered that are quite well.

  • We tend to put scientists on a pedestal, but forget that they’re human. They’re just as susceptible to greed as anyone else. Why are we surprised that ultra-competetive scientists, who have staked their professional reputations on AGW, cooked some data to support their theories? Man, there are careers at stake here. Fame, fortune, and billions of dollars. And once the politicians and Leftist MSM hacks teamed up with the “scientists” we were in real trouble. Ten years from now AGW will be viewed as the Salem Witch Hunt of our era.

    • Yeah, 10 years ago it was “End of the World via Y2K bugs!”  OMG!
      (duh! We should have known the Mayans would have made note of that in their calendar, how silly we were!  it ends in 2012, everybody knows that!)
      And having said that, notice a large segment of humanity seems bent on scaring the shit out of themselves with boogie men even if they have to invent a world threatening crisis to accomplish it?  My entire life has been spent hearing the end was around the corner – Atomic War, Ice Age, End of  the Oil supply, (what was it we were supposed to be scared of when Reagan was in office? Oh, yeah, Reagan…), Y2K, Global Warming.    Sometimes the tales of terror run concurrently.

      • Fantasy author, Terry Goodkind called this The Wizard’s First Rule:

        “People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People’s heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”

        It never ceases to amaze me how often I’m able to apply this rule.

      • The response to the Y2K should not be thought of as either a hoax or a case of misplaced effort.  It was a real problem that stayed real until addressed by patching or replacing a lot of code and chips.  I witnessed a very minor such effort, when the company where I work realized a system it had sold several hundred of would quit running right when the year rolled over unless some PROMs were changed–so new PROMS were burned and mailed out, and everything got handled by1999.
        If there had been no “hype” about Y2K then the code probably wouldn’t have even been looked at, and a lot of plastics extruders would have quit or made bad batch reports.
        This wouldn’t have been a big issue for the people making blisterpacks for food, but the pharma people who by law must make serialized dated batches would not have been happy.  Not at all..and the FDA would not have been happy with them either.
        And that was one product that had gone obsolete like 12 years before.
        Other places would have had much worse problems if Y2K had not been addressed.
        It was a handled problem, not an overhyped one.

        • Respectfully, I must disagree.   In short, businesses that failed to address that problem are no different than businesses that don’t address any problem that drops their system on a normal day, any day of the week, any week of the year.
          I, still, work on call and have for the last 30 years, on systems that, critical or not to keeping people alive, have to be on-line and operating, usually with something like 99.9999% up time.  More than my share of conference calls over the years with 20 VP’s in charge of Paper Clips (and frequently The Pope, AND HIS DOG) on the skwuak box wanting up to the second updates on our progress in restoring the system to operation. 

          I totally agree, manageable problem,  taken seriously by the DP community, and dealt with.  That doesn’t explain scaring people into believing they should buy 50 gallon plastic trash cans to store water, or convincing them to buy a 4 week supply of canned goods, or survival gear, to get them through the Y2K crisis.  There were way too many hucksters like Al Gore in operation in 1999.

          • “That doesn’t explain scaring people into believing they should buy 50 gallon plastic trash cans to store water, or convincing them to buy a 4 week supply of canned goods, or survival gear, to get them through the Y2K crisis. ”
            Last I heard, it was a good idea to have those on general principles, Y2K or not.  Scaring people into doing the right thing?  I’ve heard of worse “hoaxes”, like the AGW fraud…
            For the 6 people I live with, I have about a 6 week store before we have to scavenge for food, and I’m seriously considering raising that to a years worth, albeit mostly in rice, wheat and beans.

  • “Climategate” or “Warmaquiddick” or “Climaquiddick”
    I suggest “Global Whoring”.

  • An hour or so ago I was listening to my local PBS radio station and they had a report on thewse stolen emails. The pro AGW position was’ mainstream’, ‘consensus’, and ‘centrist’. The big thing about the emails was, according to this report, that the AGW folks were using ‘hardball’ tactics to prevent the publication of ‘erroneous’ and ‘misleading’ papers in the journals. 

    So what’s the big deal?


  • I’m not sure if this has popped up anywhere yet, but it occurred to me. Until we know the identity of the hacker/leaker (if we ever do), I think he should be referred to as Martin Luther.
    His actions bare more than a passing resemblance to those of Luther way back when. Posting those e-mails where everyone could read them, possibly disgruntled over corruption, dogma and the selling of indulgences.   Drawing first blood on an overbearing, over-politicized religion.

    Martin Luther…

  • My personal favorite nom de plume for this scandal has been Mann Made Warming

  • More government equals more lies!!!

  • A year ago, I stumbled on a very interesting paper on the subject of IPCC scientific dishonesty written by Dr. Zbigniew Jaworowski, a Polish MD and PhD expert in air pollution.  He contends in this interesting paper

    that the IPCC pre-industrial CO2 baseline is incorrect and further that they, motivated by politics, cherry picked temperature/atmospheric CO2 data sets to make Professor Mann’s model project a rapid increase in temperature.  He also discredits ice core data methodology. 

    If you are interested in this subject, download the PDF.

  • I read this somewhere else.
    –  gate implies a scandal.
    -quiddick implies a scandal that the mainstream media will cover up and hide.

  • It now appears that the climate outfit in New Zealand did some serious data cooking as well.

    Watts has that.

    The raw data was massaged to show a nice upward slope in temperatures over a century. Without the massage, the raw data shows, well, nothing of significance, at all. Watts says that the guy responsible is associated with the CRU in East Anglia.

  • Does the main stream media find more evidence for a conspiracy to protect the global warming theory or evidence for global warming itself?  So far there appears to be more evidence for a cover up than for global warming.  Maybe the main stream media was never taught the necessity of their role in the ole freedom of the press theory? 

  • Howdy from Texas….
    Most bloggers are calling it ____-quiddick instead of ____-gate because of the media response (or lack of it). 
    _____-gates create a media frenzy.    _______-quiddicks are important, yet are ignored. 

  • At some point, the mainstream media will be forced to start covering this story, as much as they’d rather not. The internet is on fire with it, as are the right-wing radio talk shows. (As much as they might not like to admit it, about 1/3 of the country listens to those shows on a regular basis.) The mainstream media didn’t want to cover the turnaround in Iraq and the success of “the surge” either, but eventually they had no choice but to do so.
    Another reason this story isn’t going away is that there’s a lot in that 61 MB of leaked documents aside from those incriminating e-mails that’s just now being analyzed in depth for the 1st time. There’s no telling what else they’re liable to find there.

  • Just like the liberals, it’s time to get a federal bench judge who will stop the USEPA dead in it’s tracks concerning the suspect “facts” on which the USEPA has based it plan to move forward with regulating CO2. This judge must be beyond reproach, but driven to get to the bottom of this huge scandal of the AGW scare mongers. To bad the bureau has been compromised, they might be able to help dig into Mr. Mann, “alleged scientist”.