Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The biggest news in the battle over hearts and minds that is climate debate, is the so-called Climategate story. The Climate Research Unit of East Anglia University was hacked and thousands of emails from prominent man-made global warming scientists (IPCC contributors) was released to the internet. After frustrated efforts of those requesting information and data under the Freedom of Information Act were stymied, a hacker inside or outside the government-funded institution used their own freedom to access the information themselves. While the CRU admitted that the data, documents and emails had been stolen, it is difficult to be sure of the accuracy of said files. Certainly the emails regarding resistance to FOI requests are consistent with their actions.
I obtained a copy of the thousand or so files and confirmed for myself what has been printed elsewhere. A good overview of a selection of documents can be found here.

Today, the CBC didn't question the validity of either the hacked information, or the IPCC, or the CRU or the scientists involved or whether man made global warming was proven with misleading data. Instead, the CBC 's only climate related news was that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere had increased from a per year rate of change of 19 molecules per 10 million molecules of atmosphere to 20! See story here. The story also incorrectly states that "CO2 is the main greenhouse gas," (it trails water vapour by an order of magnitude!) Congratulations CBC, don't report the biggest science scandal in years but instead propagate misinformation. The worst part is that I pay for this news service. I suspect British taxpayers have similar complaints.

If ignorance, misinformation, and news censorship is the best other mainstream media outlets can offer, then I guess everyone pays for it.


and then the_doctor said...

"I'm involved in 102 of the e-mails," Trenberth said. "I don't see anything embarrassing to me particularly. There are a few things that can be taken out of context, and they have been."

That includes the line about a "lack of warming," which Trenberth says was part of a longer message intended to highlight shortcomings in scientists' understanding of recent temperature fluctuations.

"We've always had some problems with the observing system," he said. "It's obviously not as good as we would like, and that's true of the temperature record, as well. What this is saying is we need better observations. What it's not saying is that global warming is not here." -NYT Nov 24 2009

So, to put your email in context, if the data doesn't support your theory, the observations must not good? Actually Mr. Trenberth, thats exactly what I got from your email!! lolz

and then the_doctor said...

Trenberth said it's telling that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found evidence of climate change to be "unequivocal" in its 2007 report. -NYT Nov 24, 2009

Nice circular defense since the IPCC used your data and analysis! Epic logic fail!

Vincent said...

This post says a congressional probe may be in the offing, and cites some pretty bad stuff from the computer code end of the docs.

And read here to to see RealClimate(sic) founder Gavin Schmidt pre-emptively accuse people of cherry picking from the emails while laughably introducing the straw man "no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy... no 'marching orders' from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords".

Sorry about the (sic) - was just making my HoL pitch to a potential reader :)

Kevin Aschim said...

I think this is just the beginning because this casts a long, dark shadow over the integrity of all scientific endeavours.

Every scientist working for a publicly financed institution is going to face scrutiny over his or her work as to its objectivity and as to how it panders to its funding interests.

Hey Big Pharma, meet your new cell mate...

and then the_doctor said...

"meet your new cell mate"

I laughed for a good while Kevin!

Thanks for the links as always Vin.

starcat said...

The biggest problem with the data sets at CRU East Anglea (as well as UKMet) is that the data are commercial commodities (blame the Tories and privatization). Meaning it is relatively trivial to deny a FOI request for the info. Second, not all of the data are CRU's to give out. Add in a healthy dose of McIntyre being an ass to Jones, and there really isn't a mystery here.
This isn't a problem in the States, though. NASA GissTemp data and code are freely available, as is the raw data at NOAA. Which McI has gone over with a fine-toothed comb already.

As for Trenberth: he was talking about the having no good explanation for weather-noise. Which is an order of magnitude larger than the warming signal in a given year. You need decades of temp data to see a climate signal because of weather. But, to the question "why does the temp not rise for years in a row?", "Weather" is a zeroth order reply. He wants better monitoring of convection, more coverage of the oceans, a greater ability to predict ENSO, etc.

starcat said...

A paper this year from T. The abstract:
Planned adaptation to climate change requires information about what is happening and why. While a long-term trend is for global warming, short-term periods of cooling can occur and have physical causes associated with natural variability. However, such natural variability means that energy is rearranged or changed within the climate system, and should be traceable. An assessment is given of our ability to track changes in reservoirs and flows of energy within the climate system. Arguments are given that developing the ability to do this is important, as it affects interpretations of global and especially regional climate change, and prospects for the future.

rainswept said...

Limey lemmings flung into increasingly totalitarian future. Instead of Disney, this time the turntable belongs to Al Gore.

Vincent said...

...and across the 'Channel the Danish parliament just passed legislation which will give police sweeping powers of 'pre-emptive' arrest allowing cops to detain people for up to 12 hours whom they suspect might break the law in the near future. "This law creates an image of anyone concerned about climate change being a criminal."

starcat said...

The Grauniad may have mangled this, but from the article it appears Denmark can already detain suspects for up to 6 hours - this law extends it to 12.
Ms Nyboe ("this law creates an image...") is being a bit duplicitous. Over at Climate Justice Action, I find this:
"Our goal is to disrupt the sessions", "groups inside the Summit will start to disrupt the sessions". Good luck on doing that non-violently! That whole post is pretty funny.
The pdf linked to in the article, from the Copenhagen police, states that they will allow peaceful unarmed unmasked protestors that give them at least 24 hours notice. We'll see if they honour that. Wager? :)

starcat said...

Wow, that's the second link I've posted that's been moved.
The CJA post's date was changed (to keep it on top?). It's called A Call to Action - Reclaim Power!

rainswept said...

Ms Nyboe ("this law creates an image...") is being a bit duplicitous.

Quite likely. But I quoted it because I believe it to be the case.

The point I'm driving at is the abuses to which climate hysteria is put. Governments take the crisis and use it to destroy freedom and independence.

Is the crisis real? All that matters to me is that governments are behaving like it is... and that is what is unacceptable.

Even if the argument "global warming is real AND is a dangerous crisis AND can be fixed by pouring on government authority" was true, it wouldn't create an exception to the charge that ends cannot justify means.

and then the_doctor said...

"the data are commercial commodities (blame the Tories and privatization). Meaning it is relatively trivial to deny a FOI request for the info."

An institution that appropriates millions of dollars from others is accountable to those people AT THE LEAST. I take exception that this is trivial. If this money is being used for propaganda rather than science, people have a right to know. Every scientist OUGHT to be outraged by this if not for it's own sake but for their sake as it undermines their own work regardless of what they study or what theories they hold. Regardless of the excuses for many emails I have seen, what can not be excused is a deliberate attempt to delete information and stymie those to whom you are accountable to. Those actions speak louder to me than post hoc excuses and clarifications.

and then the_doctor said...

"Planned adaptation"

If this doesn't scare you more than 1 degree of warming, I don't know what will!


I was waiting for starcat to defend this one, glad you waded in!