As I wander the blogs and the net reading about the scandal that has gripped the “science” around the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia I continue to see defenses of the so-called “settled science” of AGW pushed by that group that center on the implication that those calling their data into question either aren’t smart enough or qualified enough (or both) to make the determination that the CRU’s data is wrong.
I’ll admit, up front, to both charges. I’ll also tell you that it isn’t necessary to be either as smart as some scientists or as qualified in their field to question their science. Why? Because as a schoolboy I was taught what the “scientific method” is and how vitally important that method is to the credibility of science. For those of you needing a refresher, have a look:
As you can see, there is a very important box outlined in blue among all the other boxes in the flow chart. The words “Reproduce (by others)” refers to other scientists, just as qualified as those who’ve produced the hypothesis, testing and attempting to reproduce the results that the original scientists claim. It is one of, if not the most critical step in validating a hypothesis and turning it into a “scientific theory”. It is that independent reproduction of the same results using the methods and data of the original scientists that provides scientific rigor and credibility necessary for it to go from hypothesis to theory.
That is the step that has been consistently missing in the AGW controversy. Other scientists have, for years, been asking for and been refused the original data on which the CRU based its hypothesis of man-made global warming. We see pundits defending the science claiming the emails don’t prove AGW to be a fraud. Maybe, maybe not – but what they do show is a consistent effort to avoid providing the data requested to others who would like to test it. That alone should raise a sea of red flags to any real scientist. The last thing those who are sure of their hypothesis and their science should be doing is actively trying to keep the data which underpins their hypothesis from being tested as demanded by the scientific method.
Another reason to be skeptical without having to be an atmospheric scientist has to do with other findings which have found to be wanting. Mann’s “hockey stick” turned into a hockey puck when the data was examined. We’ve seen cherry-picked tree ring data used to claim massive warming when, in fact, the complete data set showed nothing of the sort. And then there’s the undisputed fact that the earth has been cooling over the last 10 years in the face of predictions by this same group that it would be warming.
All of that (and more) is certainly enough for any layman to find the science involved less than acceptable and demand in very detailed look at its core methods and data. And that’s especially true since it is the basis of a world-wide attempt by governments to institute massive and economy killing restrictions on CO2 and other emissions which, if skeptics are correct, are completely useless and would be of marginal value at the very best.
There is a very simple solution to this mess – to those that are under fire and under scrutiny: show your work. That’s it – put it out there. Doing so is at the very center of the scientific method to which all real scientists supposedly adhere. Let other scientists poke and prod both your methods and data. If it is as solid and “settled” as claimed, it shouldn’t take long to verify that. And if it is correct then even we non-scientific skeptics will have to admit there is a problem. We may still disagree on the solution, but at least the claim of “settled science” will finally have some validity as the warming hypothesis will move into the realm of scientific theory.
All of that said, my guess is that will never happen – reading the emails tells me there is a real desire to avoid that. And that makes me suspicious of the “science”. In fact, it tells me quite a bit about the “science” of the hypothesis involved without having to know any of the scientific details. Given that, you certainly don’t have to be an atmospheric scientist or a genius to be skeptical. In fact, you have more reason than ever to remain so.
Anthony Watts has the story.
The New Zealand Government’s chief climate advisory unit NIWA is under fire for allegedly massaging raw climate data to show a global warming trend that wasn’t there.
The scandal breaks as fears grow worldwide that corruption of climate science is not confined to just Britain’s CRU climate research centre.
The charts explain it quite well. Here’s the NIWA chart:
Notice the relentless rise in temperature depicted on the chart.
Now, here’s the raw data from the temperature stations:
As Watts points out:
Gone is the relentless rising temperature trend, and instead there appears to have been a much smaller growth in warming, consistent with the warming up of the planet after the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850.
The revelations are published today in a news alert from The Climate Science Coalition of NZ:
Straight away you can see there’s no slope—either up or down. The temperatures are remarkably constant way back to the 1850s. Of course, the temperature still varies from year to year, but the trend stays level—statistically insignificant at 0.06°C per century since 1850.
Got that? 0.06°C per century since 1850?! Absolutely statistically insignificant (especially given that 1850 signaled the end of the Little Ice Age) and certainly nothing which supports the dire prediction of the Chicken Little crowd.
Read the entire Watts article. And for some additional reading, try this piece at American Thinker about the programing problems at the University of East Anglica’s CRU. I understood about half (not being a programmer) but it certainly made me understand that there were serious problems with their calculations.
As an aside, I’m going with the “quiddick” suffix vs. the “-gate”. As CR mentioned, “-gate” refers to a story the media will relentlessly pursue while “quiddick” refers to a story the media will do its level best to ignore. I think, given the current “coverage” that it is obvious “quiddick” is more applicable – although I do like another suggestion about a name for the whole AGW movement – “Global Whoring”. Fits.
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.
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”:
At least in Europe. And it is the only thing about this controversy that’s warming. One of the main warmist propagandists has been forced to concede that the revelation of the emails from within the CRU is a damning bit of evidence that things are not right (or ethical) with the results produced there:
It’s no use pretending this isn’t a major blow. The emails extracted by a hacker from the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia could scarcely be more damaging. I am now convinced that they are genuine, and I’m dismayed and deeply shaken by them. Yes, the messages were obtained illegally. Yes, all of us say things in emails that would be excruciating if made public. Yes, some of the comments have been taken out of context. But there are some messages that require no spin to make them look bad.
There appears to be evidence here of attempts to prevent scientific data from being released, and even to destroy material that was subject to a freedom of information request. Worse still, some of the emails suggest efforts to prevent the publication of work by climate sceptics, or to keep it out of a report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I believe that the head of the unit, Phil Jones, should now resign. Some of the data discussed in the emails should be re-analysed.
George Monboit then goes on to try to salvage the theory by downplaying the significance of the find. According to him, it’s only about three or four scientists and one or two lines of evidence out of hundreds. Of course “one line” of incorrect or fudged evidence is more than sufficient to crash a theory. In an article that can only be characterized as goal post shifting, Monboit claims skeptics would have to produce evidence of a much wider conspiracy to fudge or hide evidence before he’s willing to concede AGW is a scam. He writes a rather sarcastic faux email to demonstrate the level of evidence necessary as far as he’s concerned.
However, one has to recall that the CRU’s data was part of the basis for the UN’s IPCC report that is being used to move these absurd and costly climate change treaties, such as Copenhagen, forward. When even alarmists like Monboit are forced to concede the CRU emails are damaging, that provides more than a reason to stop this mad rush to do stupid and unnecessary things and, as he says, “re-analyse” the data. This time by real scientists, in the open and with all the data. One other thing Monboit and I agree on – Phil Jones should resign. Too bad he can’t take Al Gore with him.
Christopher Monckton, a leading warming skeptic, is mad:
The tiny, close-knit clique of climate scientists who invented and now drive the “global warming” fraud — for fraud is what we now know it to be — tampered with temperature data so assiduously that, on the recent admission of one of them, land temperatures since 1980 have risen twice as fast as ocean temperatures. One of the thousands of emails recently circulated by a whistleblower at the University of East Anglia, where one of the world’s four global-temperature datasets is compiled, reveals that data were altered so as to prevent a recent decline in temperature from showing in the record. In fact, there has been no statistically significant “global warming” for 15 years — and there has been rapid and significant cooling for nine years.
Worse, these arrogant fraudsters — for fraudsters are what we now know them to be — have refused, for years and years and years, to reveal their data and their computer program listings. Now we know why: As a revealing 15,000-line document from the computer division at the Climate Research Unit shows, the programs and data are a hopeless, tangled mess. In effect, the global temperature trends have simply been made up. Unfortunately, the British researchers have been acting closely in league with their U.S. counterparts who compile the other terrestrial temperature dataset — the GISS/NCDC dataset. That dataset too contains numerous biases intended artificially to inflate the natural warming of the 20th century.
Finally, these huckstering snake-oil salesmen and “global warming” profiteers — for that is what they are — have written to each other encouraging the destruction of data that had been lawfully requested under the Freedom of Information Act in the UK by scientists who wanted to check whether their global temperature record had been properly compiled. And that procurement of data destruction, as they are about to find out to their cost, is a criminal offense. They are not merely bad scientists — they are crooks. And crooks who have perpetrated their crimes at the expense of British and U.S. taxpayers.
There you have a representation of the two sides at the moment – the AGW side forced to admit the significance of the scientific misbehavior of some of the primary scientists behind the warming theory and the skeptical side, feeling vindicated but angry. Stay tuned for more developments, but don’t look for them in the US media. They seem to be preoccupied with much more important things – like the Obama’s first state dinner (in a tent, no less).
World in recession?
Wheels coming off the science of AGW?
High unemployment continuing to rise?
2010 an election year?
Senate historically opposed to international treaties that hurt the economy?
Great – why not go to the UN’s Copenhagen treaty summit and offer some totally unrealistic and probably unachievable cuts in greenhouse gas emissions so we can feel like one of the cool kids?
President Barack Obama is considering setting a provisional target for cutting America’s huge greenhouse gas emissions, removing the greatest single obstacle to a landmark global agreement to fight climate change.
This is absolutely perfect for the talker-in-chief. Go. Promise. Bask. This is how you turn a useless conference which will most likely never accomplish a thing in reference to its primary goal into one all about the president.
Nigel Lawson points out the obvious:
But the meeting will still be declared a great success. Politicians do not like being associated with failure, so they will make sure that whatever emerges from Copenhagen is declared a success, and promise to meet again next year. This will at least give our political leaders the time to get themselves off the hook.
“Off the hook” in Obama’s case will be bringing a provisional treaty back with cuts he’s promised included and trying to get the Senate to ratify it. Kyoto went 98-0 against and is widely recognized – given the utter failure of other countries to even get close to their promised targets – as the smart move of the time.
Copenhagen is to go one step further. As PM Gordon Brown declared last week:
Copenhagen must “forge a new international agreement … [which] must contain the full range of commitments required: on emissions reductions by both developed and developing countries, on finance and on verification”.
Meaning? Meaning the idea is to stop developed countries from “outsourcing” their carbon emissions to “developing” countries. And to put those developing countries – in the middle of a global recession – on a restricted carbon diet.
It. Is. Not. Going. To. Happen.
Developing countries may agree the industrialized countries need to go on that diet, but they’re not going to hobble themselves unless massive transfer payments are involved. Massive. They are going to have to be satisfied that this sort of agreement causes them no harm economically. Good luck with that.
And, of course, with the lion’s share of the transfer payment bill and his promised cuts in hand, President Obama has to come back and convince the Senate, in a re-election year, that giving away even more money we don’t have and further crippling our economy for, at best, a marginal effect on the climate, is a good idea.
Cap-and-trade is on hold until at least the spring of ’10 in the Senate. Depending on what Obama does in Copenhagen (being loved means giving away the farm if necessary) it could be DOA when it is taken up again in the Senate. Senators, at the time, are going to be sticking their political fingers into the wind and assessing the popularity of an economy killing bill in the midst of a full bore scientific scandal about AGW’s science, continuing high unemployment and negative economic numbers. Most are not going to like what they see or hear – especially with November 2010 approaching for a third of them.
Despite the mounting questions about the science involved with theory of AGW, the reason most nations, especially “developing” nations, support the theory lock, stock and barrel is because they stand to receive a great deal of money and they don’t have to do a thing.
Central American nations will demand 105 billion dollars from industrialized countries for damages caused by global warming, the region’s representatives said on Friday.
Central American environment ministers gathered in Guatemala to discuss the so-called “ecological debt” owed to them and to set out a common position ahead of climate talks in Copenhagen next month.
Guatemalan environment minister Luis Ferrate said the 105-billion-dollar price tag was “an estimate” of the damage done by climate change across 16 sectors in Belize, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Panama.
This is all about looting the “industrialized” countries for every penny they can get and they don’t have to prove a thing since the industrialized countries have also ignored the dubiousness of the science and set themselves up to be looted.
The only thing I’d like to know is how they arrived at the price tag?
Uh oh … in advance of Copenhagen when this government will try to give away what little is left of your earnings, reality is beginning to dawn:
Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents.
That last sentence should tell you all you need to know about the AGW scam – if they can’t figure out what’s causing this cooling event, how in the world can they be relied upon to forecast the future? The fact is they use models which are, in the big scheme of things, technologically crude and force certain types of climate variables while minimizing or leaving out altogether numerous others. They can’t, in fact, model what has happend in our history, much less what is coming – and yet, by some, they’re taken as scientific “proof” of impending doom.
Now they have to deal with something their models didn’t at all predict:
The Earth’s average temperatures have stopped climbing since the beginning of the millennium, and it even looks as though global warming could come to a standstill this year.
Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. “There can be no argument about that,” he says. “We have to face that fact.”
As for “settled science” and consensus:
“It cannot be denied that this is one of the hottest issues in the scientific community,” says Jochem Marotzke, director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg. “We don’t really know why this stagnation is taking place at this point.”
Or maybe we do:
Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.
Again, that “settled science” canard of Al Gore’s is out the window. Not that there won’t be warmist deniers:
But a few scientists simply refuse to believe the British calculations. “Warming has continued in the last few years,” says Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). However, Rahmstorf is more or less alone in his view. Hamburg Max Planck Institute scientist Jochem Marotzke, on the other hand, says: “I hardly know any colleagues who would deny that it hasn’t gotten warmer in recent years.”
But, as is obvious and is now being admitted, it hasn’t.
So back to the drawing board boys. When you can put a model that can duplicate the past with fidelity, then we might accept what it has to say about the future as “proof” of something. But trying to pawn off the results of those you now use in the face of the real temperatures and trends we’ve undergone (which are wildly different from the models) seems at best anti-scientific. The theory’s the models force have been disproved – or at least heavily damaged. Try, try again.
Unfortunately, even while the scientific community begins to understand the huge scam that has been pulled on them, politicians are blinkered creatures who, having now made up their unscientific minds that global warming is happening, and being a part of a caste which has as a juvenile part of its job description a desire to save the world, will meet in Copenhagen and try to strike a global monetary redistribution scheme to do so.
Facts – they don’t need no stinkin’ facts to give your money away. See “national debt”.
UPDATE II: Remember the UN’s IPCC report that Copenhagen is going to be based upon? Uh oh:
A scientific scandal is casting a shadow over a number of recent peer-reviewed climate papers.
At least eight papers purporting to reconstruct the historical temperature record times may need to be revisited, with significant implications for contemporary climate studies, the basis of the IPCC’s assessments. A number of these involve senior climatologists at the British climate research centre CRU at the University East Anglia. In every case, peer review failed to pick up the errors.
It is getting tougher and tougher for the alarmist warmists to maintain their “settled science” mantra. In fact, it’s getting tougher and tougher for them to even call what has been foisted upon the world “science” at all.
Question: How long will it take the media here (the stories are coming out of the UK and Australia and have been picked up by blogs here) to cover the story and, assuming they do, will it have legs are get the page A35 treatment?
[HT: Hot Air]
If the article in Der Spiegel is any indication, the answer is “yes”. Lead paragraph:
US President Barack Obama came to office promising hope and change. But on climate change, he has followed in the footsteps of his predecessor George W. Bush. Now, should the climate summit in Copenhagen fail, the blame will lie squarely with Obama.
What, he can’t blame Bush? Surely he can find a way. I guarantee one thing – he will blame it on Republicans and then the Senate.
But the disappointment in Obama is not only palpable, it is obvious:
Barack Obama cast himself as a “citizen of the world” when he delivered his well-received campaign speech in Berlin in the summer of 2008. But the US president has now betrayed this claim. In his Berlin speech, he was dishonest with Europe. Since then, Obama has neglected the single most important issue for an American president who likes to imagine himself as a world citizen, namely his country’s addiction to fossil fuels and the risks of unchecked climate change. Health care reform and other domestic issues were more important to him than global environmental threats. He was either unwilling or unable to convince skeptics in his own ranks and potential defectors from the ranks of the Republicans to support him, for example by promising alternative investments as a compensation for states with large coal reserves.
Obama’s announcement at the APEC summit that it was no longer possible to secure a binding treaty in Copenhagen, is the result of his own negligence. China, India and other emerging economies have always spoken openly about the fact that the US, as the world’s largest emitter of CO2, has to be proactive in commiting itself to targets agreed on by way of international negotiation. But that is not America’s style. The US is quite happy to see itself as the leader of the Western world. But when it comes to climate change, America has once again failed miserably — for the umpteenth time.
To that I say, “thank goodness” for the umpteenth time. This is all a load of blarney and those who’ve looked at the science and considered the findings of scientific skeptics know that not only is the science far from settled, there’s no “scientific consensus” in its validity.
That said, it’s interesting to see how quickly Mr. “Citizen of the World” Obama gets thrown under the bus by Europe. Anyone who has observed Europe over the years would have anticipated this – perhaps not this quickly. But there was no “reset” with the rampant anti-Americanism that lives there. There was only a pause – mostly because they disliked George W Bush so much. But this particular article – among more and more I’m seeing lately – signals a return of the Europe we’ve all known and loved for so long – anti-American, disdainful of all things American and proud of it. Climate change is simply their latest excuse to take shots at the US and its leadership.
It’ll be interesting to see how the administration reacts to this building criticism. My guess is, given how they’ve reacted here, it won’t be pretty.
So, the deal was supposed to work like this: The government takes over Chrysler, then sells a big chunk of it to Fiat. In return, Chrysler would give us all these cool, American-made electric cars that would turn the planet sparkly, and make the unicorns smile.
If you’re tooling around in a Chrysler electric vehicle in a few years, you’ll still be driving an American car.
While some other companies are looking to foreign battery suppliers, Chrysler said Monday that it’s going to stay all-American. It announced it is choosing A123 Systems, a Massachusetts company, as its battery supplier. A123 will make the battery packs for Chrysler’s wave of electric vehicles at a new plant in Michigan. The first will hit the streets in 2010, says Lou Rhodes, vice president of advanced vehicle engineering for Chrysler. With Monday’s announcement, Chrysler is “that much closer” to getting its vehicle on the road.
Of course, the news that it could generate more American jobs could play well in Washington, D.C., where Chrysler is under the gun from the Obama administration to close its deal with Italy’s Fiat and take other drastic steps if it wants up to $6 billion in additional government loans.
How’s that working out for us?
Chrysler has disbanded the engineering team that was trying to bring three electric models to market as a rush job, Automotive News reports today. Chrysler cited its devotion to electric vehicles as one of the key reasons why the Obama administration and Congress needed to give it $12.5 billion in bailout money, the News points out.
The change of heart on electric vehicles has come under Fiat. At a marathon presentation of Chrysler’s five-year strategy, CEO Sergio Marchionne talked about just about everything on Chrysler’s plate last week except its earlier electric-car plans. With the group’s disbanding, Chrysler’s electric plans will be melded into Fiat’s. Marchionne is apparently no fan of electric power:
He says electrics will only make up 1% or 2% of Fiat sales by 2014 and that he doesn’t put a lot of faith in the technology until battery developments are pushed forward.
Now, the unicorns are crying. And considering the money we shelled out, we should be, too.
It looks like the looming Copenhagen Climate Summit is shaping up to be a bust:
British officials preparing for next month’s UN summit in Copenhagen said the best that could be hoped for was that national leaders would make “political agreements” on emission cuts and payments to help poor countries to adapt to climate change. These agreements would be non-binding, however, and could later be revised or rescinded by national parliaments.
The admission that no treaty will be signed at Copenhagen marks the failure of the process agreed at a UN meeting in Bali in December 2007, when industrialised countries agreed to deliver a binding climate-change agreement within two years. The delay has angered developing countries, which say they are already suffering from man-made climate change.
No surprise that “developing countries” are angry about this – their opportunity to loot the richer countries has again been delayed. They’re angry because the payday is guaranteed since the “developed” nations have foolishly, in the past, agreed they’re the cause of the problem and should pay the “developing” countries for that.
Artur Runge-Metzger, the European Commission’s negotiator on climate change, said in Barcelona that the absence of commitment from the United States on emission cuts was a key factor contributing to the delay, although other countries were also to blame. He said that without a treaty the EU would agree to cut its 1990 emissions by only 20 per cent by 2020, whereas with a treaty it would agree to a 30 per cent cut.
And they can’t even blame Bush for this one. My question is, if Europe is so hot to trot on this idea, why they don’t take the lead for once and ratchet down their emissions to 30% unilaterally?
I’ll tell you why – because they know what effect it will have on their economy and won’t do anything without being assured everyone is sharing in the suffering.
The one good thing that may come out of this is the economy of Copenhagen may see a nice little economic up-tick as representatives from 190 countries fly in and hit all the posh hotels for a week or so. I wonder what the carbon footprint of that event will be?