ClimateGate: the gift that keeps on giving

In the German sense of “Gift” (poison), that is. (PJTV ClimateGate roundup.) My own top picks on the subject:

  • Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club: “Homogenized, sterilized, and pasteurized data”. Must-read as always. With bonus Michael Crichton (RIP) video.

In my previous post on Climategate I blithely said that nothing in the climate science email dump surprised me much. Having waded more deeply over the weekend I take that back.

The closed-mindedness of these supposed men of science, their willingness to go to any lengths to defend a preconceived message, is surprising even to me. The stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering. And, as Christopher Booker argues, this scandal is not at the margins of the politicised IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] process. It is not tangential to the policy prescriptions emanating from what David Henderson called the environmental policy milieu. It goes to the core of that process.

Eduardo Zorita, a researcher on past temperature trends at the Institute for Coastal Research in Germany, is calling for prominent Climategate reseachers, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, and Stefan Rahmstorf, to be banned from any future work on the Intergrovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s reports. But Zorita makes an even more interesting and very disturbing observation:

By writing these lines I will just probably achieve that a few of my future studies will, again, not see the light of publication. My area of research happens to be the climate of the past millennia, where I think I am appreciated by other climate-research ‘soldiers’….

I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files. They depict a realistic, I would say even harmless, picture of what the real research in the area of the climate of the past millennium has been in the last years. The scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.

These words do not mean that I think anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. On the contrary, it is a question which we have to be very well aware of. But I am also aware that in this thick atmosphere -and I am not speaking of greenhouse gases now- editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations,even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed. In this atmosphere, Ph D students are often tempted to tweak their data so as to fit the ‘politically correct picture’. Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture. I had the ‘pleasure’ to experience all this in my area of research.

Zorita evidently expects to be punished by reviewers and journal editors for his call for scientific honesty.  It will be interesting to see many more researchers will now step forward to discuss the subtle and not so subtle biasing of climate change research. Stay tuned.

Whole Zorita statement here.

Anthem of the heart, anthem of the mind.
A funeral dirge for eyes gone blind.

Update: (via Correspondence Committee ): Document reveals UN’s goal of becoming rule maker in global environmental tasks.

Environmentalism should be regarded on the same level with religion “as the only compelling, value-based narrative available to humanity,” according to a paper written two years ago to influence the future strategy of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), the world’s would-be environmental watchdog.

Good. Fecking. Grief.

“An army of Davids” going after the ClimateGate Goliath

Thus Glenn Reynolds (author of the book of the same name) describes the picking apart of ClimateGate.

More ClimateGate links:

I’d rather trust a man who doesn’t shout what he’s found
There’s no need to sell if you’re homeward bound
If I choose his side
He won’t take me for a ride….

(Genesis, “The Chamber of 32 Doors“)

Postscript: Heh. (H/t: Ace)

62 years ago to the day

In Jerusalem (and several other Israeli cities) there is a “kaf-tet be-November” (November 29) street. It is not uncommon for a street to be named after an important date in such a history-conscious country, but unusual for the Gregorian (rather than the Hebrew) date to be employed.

November 29, 1947 was of course the date on which the UN voted to partition the British Mandate of “Palestine” into a Jewish and an Arab state.

Below Suzy Eban (the widow of former UN ambassador and foreign minister Abba Eban) reminisces about the vote, accompanied by some archive video.

Here you will find an interview with Abba Eban himself.

Andy Revkin turning on AGW true believers?

Ian Wishart (hat tip: James Delingpole at the Daily Telegraph, who’s been tracking ClimateGate quite closely) notes that AGW evangelist Andy Revkin (famously called ‘unpredictable’ in the ClimateGate emails) has joined George Monbiot in criticizing his own side:

“This whole concept of, ‘We’re the experts, trust us,’ has clearly gone by the wayside with these e-mails,” said Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology.

She and other scientists are seeking more transparency in the way climate data is handled and in the methods used to analyze it. And they argue that scientists should re-evaluate the selection procedures used by some scientific journals and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the panel that in 2007 concluded that humans were the dominant force driving warming and whose findings underpin international discussions over a new climate treaty.

[Comments Ian: But it’s not just Judith Curry. In the past 24 hours, senior climate scientist Mike Hulme has confessed the UN IPCC Copenhagen stunt has become far too politicized:]

[It] is about raw politics, not about the politics of science. But in the Internet worlds of deliberation and in the ‘mood’ of public debate about the trustworthiness of climate science, the reverberations of this episode will live on long beyond COP15. Climate scientists will have to work harder to earn the warranted trust of the public – and maybe that is no bad thing.

But this episode might signify something more in the unfolding story of climate change. This event might signal a crack that allows for processes of re-structuring scientific knowledge about climate change. It is possible that some areas of climate science have become sclerotic. It is possible that climate science has become too partisan, too centralized. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organization within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.

It is also possible that the institutional innovation that has been the I.P.C.C. has run its course. Yes, there will be an AR5 but for what purpose? The I.P.C.C. itself, through its structural tendency to politicize climate change science, has perhaps helped to foster a more authoritarian and exclusive form of knowledge production – just at a time when a globalizing and wired cosmopolitan culture is demanding of science something much more open and inclusive.

Read the rest.

Eric Raymond again on ClimateGate

‘Open Source’ guru Eric Raymond, who is “armed and dangerous” with the pen as well as with the sword, is opening up with both barrels again (make sure to visit his blog for many more posts about ClimateGate):

AGW alarmists, led by the “hockey team”, have dismissed criticisms that urban heat-island effects have been distorting surface temperature measurements upwards. Now Vincent Gray, a reviewer of the 2007 IPCC report, says this: not only is the single paper on which this dismissal is based fraudulent, the hockey team knows it’s fraudulent and keeps citing it anyway!

Paleoclimatologist Eduardo Zorita writes: “I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files.”

A Franco-Russian geomagnetics research group who was rebuffed when it tried to get primary temperature datasets from the CRU has assembled its own series of average temperature efforts by going back to ground-station measurements that the hockey team has never had an opportunity to “correct”. The result?

Aside from a very cold spell in 1940, temperatures were flat for most of the 20th century, showing no warming while fossil fuel use grew. Then in 1987 they shot up by about 1 C and have not shown any warming since. This pattern cannot be explained by rising carbon dioxide concentrations, unless some critical threshold was reached in 1987; nor can it be explained by climate models.

The report on this is well worth reading, as it goes into some detail on how the geomagneticians’ statistical methods produced a different — and much higher quality — result than the IPCC did. Among other things, they used daily rather than monthly averaging and avoided suspect techniques for statistically inferring temperature at places it hadn’t actually been measured.

Interestingly, their calculation of average temperature in the U.S. says “The warmest period was in 1930, slightly above the temperatures at the end of the 20th century. “. Could this inconvenient warm spell be what the VERY ARTIFICAL correctionwas intended to suppress?

I can almost pity the poor AGW spinmeisters. Perhaps they still think they can put a political fix in to limit the damage from the CRU leak. But what’s happening now is that other scientists who have seen the business end of the hockey team’s fraud, stonewalling, and bullying are beginning to speak out. The rate of collapse is accelerating.

The “Lincoln moment” of AGW? (“You can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time.”)

I personally regard myself as an AGW agnostic. It may well be that AGW is indeed a major perturbation on climate; or it may be a minor perturbation compared to some man has no control over; or it may get buried in the noise. Studying it more and deeper, and in more detail, will only benefit us all. And there are plenty of non-AGW reasons to get serious about looking for clean and renewable energy resources. (Among other things, finite oil supplies will one day be far more valuable as feedstocks for the chemical industry than as fuel.)

The behavior of the ‘strong AGW’ camp, however, is increasingly becoming a negative role model for any intellectually honest scientist. “Dear G-d, bring me in the company of those who seek the truth and spare me from those who have found it.”

Eric S. Raymond on ClimateGate

Reboot Congress (hat tip: Insty) has a summary of the thoughts of ‘open source’ software guru Eric S. Raymond (he of The Cathedral and The Bazaar) on the ClimateGate scandal. It’s all must-read material: let me give one or two teasers:

There is only one way to cut through all of the conflicting claims and agendas about the CRU’s research: open-source it all. Publish the primary data sets, publish the programs used to interpret them and create graphs like the well-known global-temperature “hockey stick”, publish everything. Let the code and the data speak for itself; let the facts trump speculation and interpretation.

We know, from experience with software, that secrecy is the enemy of quality — that software bugs, like cockroaches, shun light and flourish in darkness. So, too. with mistakes in the interpretation of scientific data; neither deliberate fraud nor inadvertent error can long survive the skeptical scrutiny of millions. The same remedy we have found in the open-source community applies – unsurprisingly, since we learned it from science in the first place. Abolish the secrecy, let in the sunlight.

and “On 11/26, esr examines the Facts to fit the theory:”

On 12 Oct 2009, climatologist and “hockey-team” member Kevin Trenberth wrote:

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.

Eyebrows have quite rightly been raised over this quote. It is indeed a travesty that AGW theory cannot account for the lack of warming, and bears out what I and other AGW critics have been saying for years about the fallaciousness and lack of predictive power of AGW models.

But the second sentence is actually far more damning. “The data is surely wrong.” This is how and where most scientific fraud begins.

Scientific fraudsters are not, in general, people pushing theories they know to be false. Outright charlatanism is not actually common, because it’s relatively easy to detect. Humans are evolved for a social competitive environernt and are rather good at spotting lies, except when they’re fooling themselves because they want to believe.

Again, read the whole thing. Better still, go straight to Eric’s blog and keep scrolling.

A more humorous note is being struck by Iowahawk.