Naming and shaming the AGW fraudsters

James Delingpole, in Climategate: Time for the Tumbrils, noting the public collapse in credibility of AGW “science” utters a fine rant summed up in this wise (parochial references to British political figures and organizations omitted):

I’m in no mood for being magnanimous in victory. I want the lying, cheating, fraudulent scientists prosecuted and fined or imprisoned. I want warmist politicians booted out and I want fellow-travellers who are still pushing this green con trick to be punished at the polls for their culpable idiocy.

For years I’ve been made to feel a pariah for my views on AGW. Now it’s payback time and I take small satisfaction from seeing so many rats deserting their sinking ship. I don’t want them on my side. I want to see them in hell, reliving scenes from Hieronymus Bosch.

I too long to see the frauds and the fellow-travellers in the hell they’ve earned for themselves. But revenge, while it’s a tasty dish that long-time public “deniers” like Delingpole and myself are now thoroughly enjoying, isn’t the best reason to hound them and their enabling organizations out of public life. The best reason not to relent, to name and shame the fraudsters and shatter their reputations and humilate them — ideally, to the point where there’s a rash of prominent suicides as a result — is this:

If we don’t destroy them, they’ll surely ramp up yet another colossal, politicized eco-fraud to plague us all.

To explain why I’m sure this is so, let me start by reprising a comment I wrote in late November in response to someone who asked whether I bought conservative Senator James Inhofe’s theory that the climate scientists are all involved in a monolithic AGW conspiracy. Here’s what I said at the time:

If Inhofe actually believes that the entire scientific community is embroiled in monolithic AGW conspiracy, he’s an idiot; I agree with that. What I believe is actually going on is a lot more complicated and ambiguous than that. There are a lot of players in this dance. I’ll round up a few:.

First, the scientists. Most are caught up in, or struggling against, an error cascade of humongous proportions. What’s an error cascade? Somebody gave one of the type examples upthread, over the mass of the electron. This is not conspiracy, it’s a result of a tendency to use seniority or authority as a shortcut when it’s technically difficult to evaluate evidence and socially difficult to be skeptical. All humans do this, even scientists.

Next, the Gaianists: a term I made up for people in whom “Save the Earth!” has psychologically substituted for traditional religion (in more or less chiliastic forms). They mean well, they really do; they recycle as an act of virtue, they worry about composting and buying local produce – and they’re totally subject to being manipulated by the other players, which is important since most of the action is going on in democracies. They’re not usually manipulated directly by the scientists, except occasionally a very wealthy one (er, think dot.com millionaire) might get hit up for funding. The Gaianists aren’t a conspiracy; they’re not organized enough. There’s some overlap with the scientists at the non-chiliastic end of this group.

Next, the green-shirts. These are political hacks of all varieties who just love the ideas of more carbon taxes, more regulation, and the general expansion of state power, especially if they can posture as virtuous eco-saviors while they’re arranging this. They’e not a conspiracy either, just a bunch of careerists who compete for the Gaianists as a voting bloc. They sometimes behave a bit like a conspiracy, but only because their behavioral incentives tend to push them all in the same direction. Er, they’re not scientists. They’re Al Gore, or they’d like to be, only with political power too.

Any conspiracies in sight? Yes, actually…

Conspiracy #1: Most of the environmental movement is composed of innocent Gaianists, but not all of it. There’s a hard core that’s sort of a zombie remnant of Soviet psyops. Their goals are political: trash capitalism, resurrect socialism from the dustbin of history. They’re actually more like what I have elsewhere called a prospiracy, having lost their proper conspiratorial armature when KGB Department V folded up in 1992. There aren’t a lot of them, but they’re very, very good at co-opting others and they drive the Gaianists like sheep. I don’t think there’s significant overlap with the scientists here; the zombies are concentrated in universities, all right, but mostly in the humanities and grievance-studies departments.

Conspiracy #2: The hockey team itself. Read the emails. Small, tight-knit, cooperating through covert channels, very focused on destroying its enemies, using false fronts like realclimate.org. There’s your classic conspiracy profile.

My model of what’s been going on is basically this: The hockey team starts an error cascade that sweeps up a lot of scientists. The AGW meme awakens chiliastic emotional responses in a lot of Gaianists. The zombies and the green-shirts grab onto that quasi-religious wave as a political strategem (the difference is that the zombies actively want to trash capitalism, while the green-shirts just want to hobble and milk it). Pro-AGW scientists get more funding from the green-shirts within governments, which reinforces the error cascade – it’s easier not to question when your grant money would be at risk for doing so. After a few times around this cycle, the hockey team notices it’s riding a tiger and starts on the criminal-conspiracy stuff so it will never have to risk getting off.

Overall, is this conspiracy? No. Mostly it’s just people responding to short-term incentives, unaware that they’re caught up in an error cascade and/or being politically fucked around. Nobody involved is what you could reasonably call evil – well, except for the zombies. It would be pretty evil if the hockey team had planned all this, but I’m not cynical enough to believe that. Not yet, anyway, but I haven’t read all the emails either.

OK, now it’s months later and I’ve read enough of the emails to be fairly sure that the “team” did not in fact plan all this. Nor, I’m pretty sure, did the green-shirts or the zombies; they merely exploited an opportunity to do what they wanted to do anyway. The key point — and the reason the AGW frauds need to be shamed and punished — is that the political background conditions favoring this kind of fraud are still in place.

That is, the zombies and green-shirts still have a powerful interest in magnifying scientific errors that suit their agendas into politicized crusades that could produce error cascades just as huge. Somewhere out there, there are now-innocent scientific research groups who could become the next decade’s version of the “team”, degenerating into fraudulent conspiracies as careerism draws them in, the political villains cheer them on to rationalize the power-grab of the week, and the Gaianists gamely but stupidly try to do the right thing.

I’m even prepared to hazard a guess where the next fraud would be ginned up from: environmental toxicology and what are called “endocrine disruptors”.

The most effective way to prevent a recurrence is for there to be real penalties — political, social, and criminal — attached to playing the environmental-panic con game. It’s not a good outcome for any of us if the scientists who committed criminal data fraud and denied FOIA requests get a soft landing to positions elsewhere in academia. And the green-shirts who used that fraud as cover for their ambitions should absolutely be hounded out of public life so that politics in future will be a bit less toxic.

As for the zombies — well, hanging them all from lamp-posts would be ideal, but distinguishing them from their more-or-less innocent dupes is difficult. At least, by destroying the reputations of everyone who promoted this fraud, we might impair the zombies’ past ability to operate Gaianist organizations like so many sock puppets.

The most optimistic take on the long-term outcome is that the collapse of the AGW fraud might at least partially immunize us against future attacks of environmental junk science. I wish I were in fact that optimistic, but I’m not. In any case, a round of public excruciations of the villains in this one is certainly called for, pour encourager les autres.

UPDATE: I thought of killing myself, says climate scandal professor Phil Jones. Instead, this fraud and bully plays the tearful-victim card. The man truly has no shame.

111 thoughts on “Naming and shaming the AGW fraudsters

  1. ideally, to the point where there’s a rash of prominent suicides as a result

    Wtf. Bloodthirsty much? That’s a bit harsh.

  2. My take on AGW: it’s a quasi-religion made up to channel the political ambitions of the SWPL herd in a harmless direction. But it’s just a part of a multi-pronged assault on, let’s face it, the European majority (soon to be minority) in the US and Europe. There’s also feminism, creating infertile societies in the long run. Mass immigration, acting as ethnic displacement battering rams (no, I don’t think the immigration problem in Europe has anything to do with islamofascism or Eurabia theories, it’s just plain old “divide et impera” from the elites). The bankrupt economic system, draining out the middle class and creating government dependence. The worship of the Holocaust, elevating a historical event to a sacred theological doctrine to shame European populations into docility (Joschka Fischer said that Auschwitz is the Genesis of the German Federal Republic). “Anti-fascism” and “anti-racism” which are just codewords for europhobic, and never seem to apply to say pro-Black or pro-Latino organizations. And I could go on and on (don’t even get me started on the media…)

    Basically, you are right about the whole Cultural Marxism underpinning of Western society these days but you seem a bit myopic in your focus (ie you seem to be talking mostly about environmentalism, socialism and Islam) some times.

    Obtw, check out Paul Gottfried’s books, I think you might like them:
    After Liberalism: Mass Democracy in the Managerial State
    Multiculturalism and the Politics of Guilt: Towards a Secular Theocracy
    The Strange Death of Marxism: The European Left in the New Millennium

  3. “Bloodthirsty much?”

    I certainly hope so. These people have nearly succeeded in derailing a powerful economy, and have already substantially reduced standards of living and severely infringed personal liberties, indirectly causing misery and death for millions.

    One small note: the groups ESR identifies as green-shirts, and particularly zombies, I’ve seen called elsewhere “watermelons”, green on the outside and red on the inside. The ideas are so insidious that most people have no idea that what they accept as truth is in fact commie propaganda. The term “capitalist” is itself Marxian, yet entrepreneurs and free-marketers widely self-identify as such.

  4. Harsh? Hardly harsh enough.

    These people would have been responsible for a vast increase in government control of all our lives, and a tremendous increase in human misery.

    Consider what might have come to pass: Want heat in the winter? Sorry, your family of 4 is over the carbon limit and you cannot have (or afford) the energy to hear your home this year. Wear a sweater, but you cannot use synthetic materials because they are not eco friendly.

    Massive millions, no billions of dollars have been spent on these fraudsters that come from yours and mine tax dollars. That’s theft of the worse sort.

    No, not harsh enough. No, I’m afraid our host here might think these scum have enough self respect to do the honourable thing.

  5. Well, I guess violence just makes me queasy :)

    I actually don’t have any personal stakes in the whole environmentalism. I believe in some of the causes (animal conservation for instance) and disbelieve others (like AGW). I also believe in finding alternatives to fossil fuels, but that’s more due to survivalist beliefs than environmental ones.

    Capitalism may be a term popularized by Marx, but it IS a useful one. “Free market” and “capitalism” are not synonyms, see for instance this: http://www.mutualist.org/

  6. >One small note: the groups ESR identifies as green-shirts, and particularly zombies, I’ve seen called elsewhere “watermelons”, green on the outside and red on the inside.

    Not quite. I’m familiar with the term “watermelon” as you use it, but I’d reserve it for the zombies operating under Gaianist cover. The green-shirts are less ideological, on the whole.

  7. The slogan I’ve heard is “green in the shell, red underneath, brown at the core”. I don’t give it much credence. I mean there are true wingbat eco-fascists who want to genocide most humans, like Pentti Linkola, but I believe most people are just using environmentalism to signal status and feel good about doing something, instead of waking up to the real issues.

  8. The most effective way to prevent a recurrence is for there to be real penalties — political, social, and criminal — attached to playing the environmental-panic con game.

    OK. How? How do we gin up enough popular support to get the juries to convict, the voters to oust, and the people to shun, when the zombies have a stranglehold on the most influential media?

  9. I’m not sure I’d drive them to suicide. Simply destroying their scientific credibility to the point they need to get jobs doing honest work – like, say, driving a truck – would suffice for me.

  10. >OK. How? How do we gin up enough popular support to get the juries to convict, the voters to oust, and the people to shun, when the zombies have a stranglehold on the most influential media?

    Well, I’m doing what I can by writing the things I write. Just making people aware that the zombies exist, and have far too much influence for anyone’s good, is a start.

  11. Just give me back incandescent bulbs and I will be happy. Oh, and put the AGW folks on rows of treadmills with the pausarius in the back pounding out ramming speed. We need the power during these dark winter evenings.

  12. >Just give me back incandescent bulbs and I will be happy.

    Screw that, they’re hot and inefficient and have crappy lifetimes. Bring on the high-yield LEDs, man. (I agree that fluorescents suck, and that having them mandated sucks worse.)

  13. You left out the IPCC, which I think is most definitely a conspiracy by its organizers to amass lots of money and power, driven in part, by the arrogant belief that the UN constitutes some kind of world government. If you read the latest revelations about their reports, anything, however outlandish, was grist for the manufacture of environmental hysteria. They didn’t really get traction until 2000 with the publication of the hockey stick and the ascendence of Al Gore to full time status as EnviroProphet.

  14. As long as the LED bulbs are small enough to actually fit into my light fixtures, sure. Until then, I want to get back ones that don’t requitre me to improvise lampshades.

  15. Well, I’m doing what I can by writing the things I write. Just making people aware that the zombies exist, and have far too much influence for anyone’s good, is a start.

    You are, it is, and believe me, I’m damn glad there’s an extrovert out there saying these things and taking the resulting crap so I don’t have to. It’s just that in a world* where being a non-pinko among journalists or humanities dons is a bit like being a “good nigger” among racists, I don’t see it reaching far enough to cause the downfall of this particular bunch of scumbags.

    Bring on the high-yield LEDs, man. (I agree that fluorescents suck, and that having them mandated sucks worse.)

    In the words of Larry Wall: tell it, brother, tell it!

    *voice of Hal Douglas or the late Don LaFontaine optional :)

  16. Wtf. Bloodthirsty much? That’s a bit harsh.

    Once upon a time, people of conscience would feel shame for such fraudulent behavior. Shame for the disgrace they bring upon their name. Shame for the imputations they foist upon their families and posterity. In this context, a shame of such magnitude that only the honorable act of suicide would unequivocally demonstrate penance.

    These bastards are attempting to derail humanity. It’s so super-villainous even sharks are shaking their frickin’ laser-armed heads in disbelief. This is a betrayal of the entire Homo genus. Death is hardly ‘too harsh’ a punishment for such scum.

  17. I’ve seen called elsewhere “watermelons”, green on the outside and red on the inside.

    Somebody else called them “stoplight environmentalists”, I think – greens that are too yellow to admit they’re red :)

    ESR says: That would be Viscount Monckton. I quoted him here.

  18. Screw that, they’re hot and inefficient and have crappy lifetimes. Bring on the high-yield LEDs, man.

    When we can make LEDs that output a similar spectrum to the Sun, I’ll be all over them. Until then, tungsten is my god ;)

    ESR says: Looks like this one’s solved. Now we just need a hefty dose of capitalism to bring the production costs down…

  19. “How do we gin up enough popular support to get the juries to convict, the voters to oust, and the people to shun, when the zombies have a stranglehold on the most influential media?”

    Well, you could possibly (a) thoroughly discredit “influential media” to the point where alternative sources have sufficient reach and impact (something that has been in the process of happening for awhile) and (b) make life utterly miserable for the zombies (many of whom are, as esr said, in academia) with various legislation, such as students’ “bill of rights” type laws which allow them to legally harass academics who indoctrinate instead of teaching.

    “Screw that, they’re hot and inefficient and have crappy lifetimes. Bring on the high-yield LEDs, man.”

    Right on. Colin Humphreys at Cambridge is doing some interesting work with gallium nitride.

  20. “Error cascade” — I feel like I’ve just been told the name of the thing that is responsible for many of the world’s phenomena.

    What should I read to understand this principle better?

  21. I will note that LEDs (and CFLs) are not ideal replacements for incandescent bulbs in some circumstances, in particular, traffic light replacement. Unlike incandescent bulbs, CFLs and LEDs don’t produce waste heat. This means that using LEDs to replace traffic lights doesn’t work well in icy or snowy weather, since the traffic lights don’t have separate heaters to melt the accumulated ice or snow. Incandescents did that very nicely as a side-effect of generating light…

  22. ESR says: Looks like this one’s solved. Now we just need a hefty dose of capitalism to bring the production costs down…

    Wow. Very cool stuff. For extra awesomeness points, can they modulate the spectrum to match the shifts that occur throughout the day? Imagine reading/hacking with clear daylight, and relaxing with a sunset….no need to ever leave the fortified bunker ;)

  23. This means that using LEDs to replace traffic lights doesn’t work well in icy or snowy weather, since the traffic lights don’t have separate heaters to melt the accumulated ice or snow. Incandescents did that very nicely as a side-effect of generating light…

    [insert Global Warming joke here]

  24. Seeing as one meme arising from the CRU fud was that naughty scientists joked about the death of a contrarian, calling for mass suicide seems more than a little hypocritical.

    In fact calling for (or even privately wishing for) the actual death of people with whom you disagree is about the most anti-human, medieval sort of thinking imaginable.

    Sorry Eric, but its frankly disgraceful.

  25. I agree with Tom. I think it’s poor taste and blow-hard if you’re just joking, which I hope you are…

  26. Not much chance of a big, cathartic show trial here. The Left loves show trials, but only assembles Kangaroos for political enemies and for judgments that don’t mutilate it’s own pretexts for future action.

    But more importantly, what mechanism would claim the authority to try and punish them? While hauling Mann et al into the Hague and subjecting them to the ol’ “enemies of civilization” treatment might be gratifying in the short term, the bad guys would only use a trial as another power grab, even further blurring the line between science and politics. There’s so many crooks involved here, it’s almost certain a large mass of the crooks will be serving as the judges, juries and executioners, and then immediately herald themselves as the global crucible of science; the gates through which all “good science” must pass.

  27. …calling for (or even privately wishing for) the actual death of people with whom you disagree is about the most anti-human, medieval sort of thinking imaginable

    (a) It’s a rhetorical device called “hyperbole” that people like you have an acute sensitivity for selectively detecting when circumstances are favorable to your ilk…..being the nuanced masters of context & satire that you are.
    (b) Nobody is merely calling for the deaths of “people with whom we disagree”. Disagreement is something else entirely….what these people have done is committed a vicious crime against science and humanity itself. They are the ones that are akin to medieval throwbacks. They are the ones fueling an anti-human agenda.

    They are the ones that I would not shed a tear for if their consciences drove them to suicide. These people should spend the rest of their wretched lives being spat upon.

    ESR says: Dan has it exactly right here.

  28. >When we can make LEDs that output a similar spectrum to the Sun, I’ll be all over them. Until then, tungsten is my god ;)

    Actually the almost bluish white of “daylight” or even “Grow-lite” bulbs is nicer. It’s close to the light of very bright shade – which is where anyone with sense spends most of their time when outdoors during the day. It also feels brighter than the yellower CFLs, much less incandescents, which helps with my SAD. Incandescents do have one very good use – closets and similar situations where the light is only going to be on briefly; turning fluorescents on and off quickly wastes a lot of energy in the ballasts and tends to burn them out more quickly as well.

  29. > They are the ones that I would not shed a tear for if their consciences
    > drove them to suicide. These people should spend the rest of their
    > wretched lives being spat upon.

    Hari Kari is only possible for those who feel actual shame. From what I can grasp of the Hockey team though their appearances, public statements and private emails, most of them are far too practiced in self-deception to feel anything close to this sentiment. Well, maybe Christy. And the CRU leaker, of course, whoever he or she might be.

    In lieu of watching Phil Jones croon “O wretched Virtue, thou were but a name,” dagger in hand, it would be acceptable and probably a thousand times more helpful to simply defund them, exclude them from peer review process and toss their life’s work down the woodchipper. The latter is probably an inevitable consequence of all this, anyway.

  30. (a) It’s a rhetorical device called “hyperbole” that people like you have an acute sensitivity for selectively detecting when circumstances are favorable to your ilk…..being the nuanced masters of context & satire that you are.

    The rhetorical device called hyperbole and the similar rhetorical device called satire generally beg for someone to be naturally offended. It’s why most people find rants they disagree with offensive. Eric’s language evokes Olbermann in it’s fury. Olbermann usually looks furious and sounds furious. Not sure what Eric looked and sounded like when typing, but I really don’t care. Wishing that your opponents would commit suicide is too much. It’s wrong.

    This is particularly true when Eric has just explained how future innocent scientists could easily become enmeshed in future scientific / political scams. The same thing very typically happens to social scientists and economists, among others, in a wide variety of situations. Humanism, like Gaianism, has an innocent affection for human progress. Christianity, Islam and other religions have an innocent affection for human children. Come up with a false scientific finding showing a threat to human progress or human children and the same dynamic will leap to the fore.

    Look, somewhere there is a computer scientist with a false idea he thinks is true for promoting beautiful code. Some dot com millionaire (formerly billionaire, but he has some money left) is funding that computer scientist. Do we really want him to commit suicide when it turns out his not-so-brilliant idea has ruined millions of lines of code? Come on!

    Yours,
    Tom

  31. “In fact calling for (or even privately wishing for) the actual death of people with whom you disagree is about the most anti-human, medieval sort of thinking imaginable.”

    We could simply put them in the iron maiden…

    ESR says: Right, because that would be so much more civilized

  32. >It’s why most people find rants they disagree with offensive. Eric’s language evokes Olbermann in it’s fury.

    I don’t mind being thought as furious as Olbermann, but Goddess please save me from being the blithering idiot he is. :-)

  33. >Goddess please save me from being the blithering idiot he is

    Goddess helps those who help themselves.

  34. > I don’t mind being thought as furious as Olbermann, but Goddess please save me from being the blithering idiot he is. :-)

    I think Olbermann is a blithering idiot because he is always furious at people who disagree with him. He is naturally smart, but when ones first, second, third, fourth and fifth impulse is to be furious at someone you disagree with it’s hard to learn from them.

    Yours
    Tom

  35. esr Says:

    Screw that, they’re hot and inefficient and have crappy lifetimes. Bring on the high-yield LEDs, man. (I agree that fluorescents suck, and that having them mandated sucks worse.)

    How about the right bulb for the job. They’re all good at some things and the all suck at others.

  36. Incandescents don’t really look like sunlight. That’s why sunlamps of the sort used to treat people with seasonal affective disorder have full-spectrum fluorescent or LED lamps in them.

    As for traffic lights, you know those heating wires that keep frost off your car’s rear window? Why use those on the surface of the lamp lens for winter use? It’s more energy-costly than the lamp alone, but probably a whole lot less than incandescent lamps over the lifetime of the traffic light.

  37. There must be some law somewhere that states that any compiled list shall be incomplete and that random people will line up to point it out. In any case, you forgot a group:

    Corporate bullshit profiteers: Now I have no problem with profits in general, but some large corporate interests have latched onto AGW and pushed it harder and deeper into the public consciousness in order to make huge bucks off of it. I’m not talking about t-shirts, or even the frigtarded Toyota Prius which at least gets above-average gas mileage. I’m talking about when General Electric uses their erstwhile NBC division to push AGW propaganda every chance it gets while GE sells lobbies for government subsidies for windmills and smart grid upgrades that nobody would ever buy without the political pressure. If a “corporate death sentence” was ever warranted, GE would be near the front of the line.

  38. >right bulb for the job. They’re all good for some things and they all suck at others.
    krygny nailed it.
    I can still get incandescents at the hardware store. I suppose that shyster bull-shucking a few years ago raised the price.

    Eisenhower giving the German General Staff a choice between a hangman’s noose and a bayonet in 1943 may have been a good idea, whether it prolonged the war. I’d still like to be watching Al Gore preach against prison rape ten years from now: It’s a genuine disgrace to the Republic for prison rape to be so common that Jay Leno makes safe jokes about it: It won’t go away until someone with a lot of clout makes a fuss: Al Gore has the pomposity, the wealth, the pomposity, the connections, the pomposity, and the power to provoke universal disgust at the image of his person being violated. Also the pomposity.

    Also, he’s a felon who should do hard time in jail.

  39. Y’know, if your house is properly insulated you can go a long way toward heating it with incandescent bulbs. And if you live up north where its cold, you’re going to have to heat your house. So whether incandescent bulbs are good or bad can depend on where you live. One size does not fit all.

  40. These AGW scammers are a disgrace. I don’t know if they should be hung from lamposts, however.

    But they should be fired. These people have perpetrated a fraud, and they knew what they were doing. Not to mention violating FOIA. Why do they still have jobs?

    Where I work, if you steal something, you get fired. No questions asked.

    These guys need to have their careers ended, at least in their current gigs. They have disgraced themselves.

    This speaks to one of the biggest problems of government and academia: people are not held accountable. These environments are a refuge from the real world where ideas are tested against reality.

  41. > These people have perpetrated a fraud,

    False. Punditry don’t make it so, friend.

  42. “We could simply put them in the iron maiden…

    ESR says: Right, because that would be so much more civilized…”

    Gosh, no-one gets my obscure movie references. Not a Bill And Ted fan, Eric?

    ESR says: You misunderstand. I was being sarcastic at the person who huffed that wishing the fraudsters would do themselves in is beyond the pale.

  43. >These environments are a refuge from the real world where ideas are tested against reality.

    LOL what? While there is bad academic research, the majority of scientific work going on in academia is held to very high standards. Do you even know the first thing about how academia works?

  44. Yes, Wowper. I do know how it works. The Climategage emails have showed us all how it works.

    They are held to such high standards, they fake data and make stuff up, and refuse to share data so it can be tested by others.

    If you are such an expert Wowper you tell me: why have these people not been fired in disgrace?

  45. Here’s a question? Could a situation be created such that the Universities issuing their Ph.D.’s would resend the honor?

    I can’t think of a more appropriate or professionally terminal action, and if it where MY University and they had the power to do so, I’d be lobbying hard to have it done. Their behavior clearly demonstrates they did not learn the the basics of scientific research that I would think is a requirement for such honors.

    Just a thought.

  46. …Do we really want him to commit suicide when it turns out his not-so-brilliant idea has ruined millions of lines of code? Come on!

    Tom, that isn’t even remotely similar. Epic strawman fail.

  47. Dan,

    Considering the usual sound and fury when a vi vs emacs, PC vs Mac, Windows vs Linux or any other computer related controversy hits the intarwebs, I would not be suprised if there are some people who wish their computing opponents would commit suicide.

    Are you sure my example isn’t pretty similar, rather than remotely so?

    Yours,
    Tom

  48. I think we should be content with trashing their reputations and making them change to another career, like maybe mail delivery.

    Any penalties should clearly be for committing fraud and conspiracy, not for merely being wrong.

    I think we should avoid anything more for the same reason we manage to avoid prosecuting politicians for official acts once they leave office. If leaving office will be personal and family disaster then many politicians will do anything to stay in.

    We want to encourage others to back down as soon as it becomes apparent they might have made a mistake. We want Feynman style honesty in science.

  49. >Any penalties should clearly be for committing fraud and conspiracy, not for merely being wrong.

    Of course. I don’t think anyone has suggested otherwise.

    >We want to encourage others to back down as soon as it becomes apparent they might have made a mistake. We want Feynman style honesty in science.

    Which is a good reason not to advocate actual violence against scientists who commit fraud, not that anyone’s done that here either.

  50. Are you sure my example isn’t pretty similar, rather than remotely so?

    Yes, Tom, I’m sure of the remoteness of similarity between your analogies and my damnation of the Climategate fraudsters.

    This has nothing to do with a pissing contest, personal preferences, deep convictions, or merely being wrong about something.

    This is about the deliberate undermining of arguably the most important bedrock of humanity – science.

    I can scarcely imagine a more profound and evil crime than that which attempts to derail the most successful model any species has ever devised for understanding its reality and forging its future….and for what? Ideological masturbation. They would betray their own species for the smug & mindless satisfaction of seeing governments armed with even more power to enslave mankind in accordance with their pantomime vision of environmentalism.

    I think we would have a healthier future if we could proceed without such people among us…

    (I would also like to call for the suicide of all people that rush to coin a label for scandals using the suffix “gate”)

  51. Fraud? There is still no evidence of that, no matter how stridently you shout it. After all the stink raised about the whole deal, the only charge that has stuck is the refusal of FoI requests (which is illedal, but not scientific fraud). Oh, and one of the working groups in the IPCC made a mistake. Not the primary source, and not even the group responsible for the “physical science basis” section either (that would be working group one). The fact that many other groups have independently arrived at the same conclusions seems to have got lost under the shouting as well. There’s one notable thing missing from all the “sceptics” – actual, hard evidence that the science is wrong. There have been attacks on integrity, programming quality, motivations, suggestions of conspiracy etc. but the science has held up just fine. It’s as if you’re leading a murder investigation and have suspects, possible motives and suspicious behaviour – but nobody has died.

    I don’t expect for one minute that you’ll actually change your mind. But maybe years in the future when all this has blown over, you’d care to look back and reasses your attitudes.

  52. Craig:

    Don’t forget all of the trouble the antivaxxers have caused in the last 12 years. Andrew Wakefield’s research may have been completely discredited, but the rise in measles cases can be directly attributed to the anti-vaccine panic he created. Turns out he was really in it for the money — he had patented an alternative to the MMR vaccine, and he was just waiting to cash in. Unfortunately it will probably take decades to eradicate the false religion of antivax.

    You are absolutely 100% correct on the statement it will take decades, if ever, to eradicate. If you’re familiar with gun control in the USA, a gun control study made by Dr. Kellermen in 1986 which was likewise thoroughly discredited is still cited today as a basis for public policy in many gun control circles. So like a zombie, expect the antivaxxers to continue to shamble in long after they should have been shot in the brain and burned.

  53. Rich> The fact that many other groups have independently arrived at the same conclusions seems to have got lost under the shouting as well.

    Wrong. It isn’t lost. That’s the basis for the “error-cascade” that ESR talked about. Because nobody got to see the original error, and everybody is working off of the same flawed data set, the error is reinforced. Same thing as the artificial sweetener scare of the 80′s. Somebody has to do the basic research over again, from scratch, in order to root-out the fraudulent false data.

    And if a researcher destroys his original data so that nobody can check his work, he’s either committing intentional scientific fraud, or he’s the most careless imbecile in the profession. You CANNOT reinforce somebodies scientific work unless you can verify the original data. Period.

    Why do you think everyone here is so pissed off about the fact that only the “value-added” data set was kept and the original data and transformations were thrown out? If we were all mindless zombies want to drive SUVs and burn down forests willy-nilly, why would we even CARE about the original data?

    As Eric said a couple months back, the only way to save themselves is to open-source the entire thing. Original data, transforms, notes, everything. We now know that even this isn’t possible, because they’ve admitted they threw all that stuff away. There is no possible redemption.

    There have been man-millennia wasted on this project, not to mention trillions of dollars in efforts that were at best futile, and now we cannot trust the data that was used to make these decisions. And the deception that makes the data untrustworthy is intentional. Regardless of their motivation, this is by definition FRAUD.

    You are completely wrong.

  54. >Fraud? There is still no evidence of that, no matter how stridently you shout it.

    Oh. really? Not when the IPCC has been caught retailing claims about catastrophic glacier meltback from a student paper based solely on anecdotes from mountaineers? And Chairman Pachauri knew this source was bogus but sat on it through the Copenhagen Conference?

    That one ought to have pierced even your shell of denial. Man, when you’ve lost George Monbiot, you’ve lost the war.

  55. dgreer: I don’t know where you get the idea that everyone is working off the same data set. That’s not true in the slightest. It wouldn’t even be possible in principle, given the wide variety of measurements and modelling that forms the basis behind AGW theory.

    >You CANNOT reinforce somebodies scientific work unless you can verify the original data. Period.

    Of course you can. You get your own data independently and do your own analysis on that, which is exactly what has been done. What you say is the opposite of the true situation – in fact, you can’t reinforce someone’s work by using their original data. You could simply be duplicating their error. Never fully trust a result until it’s been reproduced, and that means independently.

    esr:
    >Oh. really? Not when the IPCC has been caught retailing claims about catastrophic glacier meltback from a student paper based >solely on anecdotes from mountaineers? And Chairman Pachauri knew this source was bogus but sat on it through the >Copenhagen Conference?

    I mentioned that. Firstly, the IPCC is not a primary source so a mistake by them doesn’t mean a mistake by scientists. Secondly, the working group who said that was *not* the one responsible for the “physical science basis” part of the report. It was in fact working group 2, who were responsible for “Impacts, Adaption and Vulnerability”. Poor work by one group does not imply poor work in the other, and certainly not fraud in separate organisations entirely. If the IPCC never existed the scientists would still be talking about AGW as much as now.

    Given the sheer quantity of work in the field, I wouldn’t be surprised in the slightest if a few turned out to contain mistakes, although we haven’t seen any big ones yet by the original scientists. Nobody’s infallible. But that doesn’t detract from the validity of the rest or the evidence as a whole.

  56. Rich, you’re hoping to dissolve the exposed fraud of a few in a tide of scientists’ work. It won’t wash.

    The fraud has occurred at such a low level that every single ‘study’ that leans on the tainted data is undermined. GIGO. Do you think that every scientist has their own global network of thermometers? Of course not. Anyone wishing to do research on such data has to go to a few ‘authoritative’ sources for _derivative_ data – they’re not handing out the raw data, remember? If they would do so, we could really clear up this mess.

    The fact that only FOIA charges have been leveled at certain people is not an exoneration in any sense. Doing shonky science is not illegal (yet)…refusing a lawful FOIA request is. These are likely the only charges that can be leveled at them in a court of law. That doesn’t mean they are excused for their other sins.

  57. > Man, when you’ve lost George Monbiot, you’ve lost the war.

    My understanding was that Monbiot had indicated his disapproval regarding the FoI issues. Is this what you mean?

    ESR says: Keep reading. He’s broadening his attack now.

  58. > It wouldn’t even be possible in principle, given the wide variety
    > of measurements and modelling that forms the basis behind
    > AGW theory.

    But AGW, like Wonderland, is a fantastic realm where all outcomes are possible. There is a very good reason for that. It is because their models and corrections are larded with such broad assumptions about mitigating variables UHI, solar variance and non-forcing GHGs like water vapor that its impossible to separate the wheat from the chaff. The only impossibility in principle or practice is a false prediction. The furthest they will travel in recognizing a failure of observation is to crown it with some Orwellian title, like “The Anomaly.”

    The result constitutes an ever-shifting miasma of untestable, self-agreeing theories to fit any outcome or data set. If the atmosphere is warmer, that is a matter of carbon forcings. If it’s cooler, that is a matter of carbon forcings. If sea ice is receding, carbon. If it’s advancing, also carbon. If your big toe aches, your car won’t start and your fiancé runs off with your scheming half-sister? That’s carbon emissions, my darling.

    > If the IPCC never existed the scientists would still be talking about AGW as much as now.

    Perhaps. But, who would be listening?

  59. > ESR says: Keep reading. He’s broadening his attack now.

    What, like this?

    Eric, I think you might be missing something.

    ESR says: That’s two months old. Try reading his more recent columns on the topic.

  60. >Yes, Wowper. I do know how it works. The Climategage emails have showed us all how it works.

    Do you realise what a simpleton you are being? If there was bad research in one place, that does not mean you can tar the whole of academia with that brush. The fact that you think academic science is not strictly refereed simply demonstrates that you have no knowledge of its workings. There are bad apples in every industry and field of work.

  61. > Eric, I think you might be missing something.

    > ESR says: That’s two months old. Try reading his more recent columns on the topic.

    Do you have a link? On Monbiot.com, the most recent piece tagged “climate change” is headed “Requiem for a crowded planet”, dated December 21. Somehow I doubt that’s what you mean.

  62. >Rich, you’re hoping to dissolve the exposed fraud of a few in a tide of scientists’ work. It won’t wash.

    Again, where is the fraud? Where is the evidence that not only is a significant piece of published work wrong, but is deliberately so?

    >The fraud has occurred at such a low level that every single ’study’ that leans on the tainted data is undermined. GIGO. Do >you think that every scientist has their own global network of thermometers? Of course not.

    a) Which data set is tainted, and why? What is the nature of this “flaw”? I’ve heard *accusations* that there are things wrong, but the vast majority that I’ve seen have been, frankly, bollocks. Is there some amazing new piece of evidence that there’s a problem? Or is it yet another “fling it and see what sticks” attack? Given the record of red herrings that have been produced by the sceptics, I’m going to want a solid paper showing that the alleged problem actually is a problem, not just hand waving and FUD-spreading. The only possible flaws I’ve seen are for a small portion of a much larger data set, and certainly nothing which a large number of studies depends on.

    b) There are in fact several instrumental temperature record databases. No, not one per scientist, but several nevertheless. Are they *all* wrong, and all wrong in the same way? As I said, given how data much there is I wouldn’t be surprised if there were flaws in a small percentage of it. That doesn’t affect the validity of the vast majority of the data or the science as a whole – the whole point of doing multiple independent and diverse studies with *different* data sets and analysis methods is to avoid problematic data or interpretations leading you up the wrong path. This is how robust science is done, and is the opposite of the “cherry pick things you agree with and only investigate superficially” approach of the typical sceptics.

    > That doesn’t mean they are excused for their other sins.

    I was not referring to legal charges. The FoI stuff is the only valid charge of any kind, legal or scientific, which is what I expected to be the case when the story first broke.

    Anyway, we shall see in a few years, won’t we? I fully expect nothing to come out of all this, and that AGW will still be the mainstream theory in 2015 and 2020. If I’m wrong, so be it, but if we were talking in person I’d put money on being right. Which is a shame, because I hope I’m wrong, and that AGW is not a problem. Sadly, I doubt it.

    Re: Monbiot, this is what he has to say. “These scandals have done tremendous damage. This is not because they threaten the canon of climate science – that would require similar exposés of tens of thousands of scientific papers – but because they create an atmosphere of opacity and evasion.”

  63. I’m not interested in debating this with you, Rich. I’m stating my opinions. I don’t imagine there’s anything I can say to you that will result in you rethinking your position, nor do I care to try.

    I hope that this doesn’t get stonewalled and swept away once the generally minimal attention span of the public has been exhausted. I hope pressure continues to mount until it unequivocally breaks wide open. I hope careers are justly smashed. I hope that the treachery is put to the torch.

    I hope these things come to pass in order to salvage the remainder of climate science (of which AGW is but one, albeit prominent, part) from the shameful effluent it has become mired in.

    As you say….we shall see.

  64. >Yes, Wowper. I do know how it works. The Climategage emails have showed us all how it works.

    Do you realise what a simpleton you are being? If there was bad research in one place, that does not mean you can tar the whole of academia with that brush. The fact that you think academic science is not strictly refereed simply demonstrates that you have no knowledge of its workings. There are bad apples in every industry and field of work.

    We are not talking about all science here, we are talking about these AGW researchers at East Anglia. They most certainly have perpetrated a fraud and everyone now sees these liars and crooks for what they are.

    The whole thing was a political agenda dressed up as science.

    Thomas Sowell recently wrote a book about intellectuals and society, you should use it to educate yourself.

  65. >I’m not interested in debating this with you, Rich. I’m stating my opinions.

    I don’t think it’s reasonable to hold an opinion with such certainty if you’re unwilling to defend it rationally. That’s the mark of a fanatic. But then I suppose you wouldn’t care what I think about it.

    >I don’t imagine there’s anything I can say to you that will result in you rethinking your position, nor do I care to try.

    Of course there is a way to get me to rethink. You could provide links to reliable, thorough reports, with data and analysis, showing that the bulk of the climate science basis is flawed, and showing that the true situation is different. Of course, this would mean overturning a *lot* of science, which was rather my point. To prove fraud, just show convincing evidence of a scientist deliberately publishing data and conclusions that he knew to be false.

    Nobody has yet managed to do this.

    Funnily enough I didn’t used to believe in global warming. What changed my mind was actually doing a physics PhD and gaining a better understanding of how science was done, what is and isn’t valid research and how easy it is to fool yourself with preconceptions (fooling yourself is easier than fooling someone else). I changed my mind once and I can change it again, if the evidence appears. I suspect it won’t.

  66. PhysicistRich says:
    “What changed my mind was actually doing a physics PhD…”

    Interesting. A (rather wretched, unqualified) appeal to one’s own authority? Num quid sacri?

    Arguing the unspecified, unscientific vagaries of his two posts above would be as fruitful as assailing pure vapor. A scientist makes positive, testable statements of fact; something that Mann would have been well served doing while he was off hobnobbing with his friends in Hollywood and the U.N. The average high school Science instructor knows that “prove me wrong” is not a scientific argument if the methods themselves are in question (they are), if the results don’t conform to the predictions made (they don’t) and if the underlying thesis is unproven (it is).

    Looking at Rich’s comments’ it’s impossible to determine which particular aspect or hypothesis of climatology he is defending? There are many, after all, and there is much disagreement even among the AGW crowd about the particulars of their rain dances and astral coefficients. More likely he is not defending any one theory or paper, but rather the ominous “something bad is happening, and we are causing it” meme. This defense requires no specific training of any kind, as can be seen in the also disintegrating junkyard of antivax “science.”

    > If I’m wrong, so be it, but if we were talking in person I’d put money
    > on being right. Which is a shame, because I hope I’m wrong…

    Not sure how “talking in person” makes a theory more or less right, but I do know the aroma of gluckschmerz when I smell it, no matter how cleverly disguised. There are righteous, steaming piles of it being served all around at the moment, and I see no end in sight. It is delightful.

  67. Propose a specific bet, Rich, if you want to put money on it. Maybe you’ll get takers.

    If you want links to papers and good scepticism, try http://climateaudit.org/ and http://wattsupwiththat.com/.

    My brother, a working scientist who stopped at a Masters, told me that science is mainly based on trust, not verification. Who has time to independantly verify all these things? I believe in scientific error cascades.

    Yours,
    Tom

  68. >We are not talking about all science here, we are talking about these AGW researchers at East Anglia. They most certainly have perpetrated a fraud and everyone now sees these liars and crooks for what they are.

    Let’s look at what you said:

    >This speaks to one of the biggest problems of government and academia: people are not held accountable. These environments are a refuge from the real world where ideas are tested against reality.

    You were _not_ talking about the ‘AGW researchers at East Anglia’; you were taking a broader swipe at academia. Now that you’ve backpedaled this far I suggest you promptly shut the fuck up about an environment you obviously know nothing about. There are good and bad publishing venues, and rigorous and not-so-rigorous fields in academia. You know, like everywhere else.

  69. jrok Says:
    > If I’m wrong, so be it, but if we were talking in person I’d put money
    > on being right. Which is a shame, because I hope I’m wrong…

    Not sure how “talking in person” makes a theory more or less right,

    Actually I think he’s saying he’s not gonna put a bet on unless he talks to you in person, rather than the theory is going to be wrong unless he talks to you in person.

  70. > Interesting. A (rather wretched, unqualified) appeal to one’s own authority? Num quid sacri?

    Just a statement of fact. It was doing scientific research for myself that let me to change my mind. I was responding to the accusation that I wouldn’t change my mind in the face of evidence.

    >Arguing the unspecified, unscientific vagaries of his two posts above would be as fruitful as assailing pure vapor. A scientist >makes positive, testable statements of fact;

    And indeed they do, it’s just that the predictions are for years in the future. They are predictions nevertheless. If they hadn’t predicted various damaging effects as a result of CO2 emissions, there wouldn’t be all the fuss, would there? The whole big stink is in fact about the predicted effects of CO2 emissions.

    This is also a caricature of science at best – science is about explaining observed phenomena (“postdictions” if you like) as well as predicting new ones. This is inherently a trickier business however as you’re always open to accusation of rigging or tweaking your models to fit the data (“fitting elephants”, as the saying goes). Both doing this and critiquing it are hard, and require subtlety and care, something notably lacking in the public debate over the issue.

    >something that Mann would have been well served doing while he was off hobnobbing with his friends in Hollywood and the >U.N.

    It’s particularly ironic that you accuse me of not being specific and scientific when your posts are nothing but extremely vague accusations of flawed methods and lack of predictions as well as personal attacks.

    > Looking at Rich’s comments’ it’s impossible to determine which particular aspect or hypothesis of climatology he is defending?

    It should have been clear that I wasn’t defending the scientific aspects of climatology here. I was responding to accusations of fraud, misconduct and error by asking for some actual evidence of the same. I don’t need to defend the science, as actual scientific attacks by sceptics don’t stand up for long. Accusations of conspiracy, fraud, incompetence, ulterior motives are much more persistent and can’t as easily be falsified, alas. Put simply – the climate scientists have a hell of a lot more evidence of AGW than the sceptics do of fraud or misconduct.

    > If you want links to papers and good scepticism, try http://climateaudit.org/ and http://wattsupwiththat.com/.

    Well, if that’s your idea of good scepticism… I have in fact seen many things from those sites in the past which were easily shown to be wrong. So easily, in fact, that the mere fact that they put the ideas forward shows incompetence on their part. Good scientists demand the same (greater, really) quality from their own work as from other people’s and won’t publish until they’ve checked and double checked everything – I’ve been at paper preparation meetings where there was an hour-long debate over one sentence. These bloggers should have caught their mistakes themselves. I’m not too inclined to look again at known poor sources, but if I feel bored sometime I’ll have another go.

    > Propose a specific bet, Rich, if you want to put money on it. Maybe you’ll get takers.

    Since there’d be no realistic way of collecting it, how? Hence my “in person” comment.

    > My brother, a working scientist who stopped at a Masters, told me that science is mainly based on trust, not verification.

    Well, you trust that the experimenter is honest and has a basic level of competence, but that’s about it. Even if he isn’t and hasn’t, it will be discovered when nobody can reproduce the result. And if it’s a significant new result, people *will* try to reproduce it and people with their own pet theories will try their best to prove you wrong. So I can’t agree with your brother. Maybe it’s true for doing mundane, non-controversial measurements of things but anything near the edge of research will be subject to lots of scrutiny to say the least.

  71. Wowper Jasperwood SAys:

    >We are not talking about all science here, we are talking about these AGW researchers at East Anglia. They most certainly have perpetrated a fraud and everyone now sees these liars and crooks for what they are.

    Let’s look at what you said:

    >This speaks to one of the biggest problems of government and academia: people are not held accountable. These environments are a refuge from the real world where ideas are tested against reality.

    You were _not_ talking about the ‘AGW researchers at East Anglia’; you were taking a broader swipe at academia. Now that you’ve backpedaled this far I suggest you promptly shut the fuck up about an environment you obviously know nothing about. There are good and bad publishing venues, and rigorous and not-so-rigorous fields in academia. You know, like everywhere else.

    So are you defending this? Are you suggesting that this AGW is not a fraud?

    And I am not backing off of anything, this is a problem in academe. You sound like one of the pious frauds that push this rot.

    How do account for intellectuals and academics who have consistently been wrong throughout history? Like the people who were encouraging Britain to disarm herself while Hitler was arming to the teeth? Or by people like Noam Chomsky pushing leftwing bilge? Ward Churchill?

    Yet these types were somehow not discredited by what happened. Reality is not allowed to intrude.

    Of course there are some good people out there doing good work. I never said there were not. But this is a problem, deny it all you wish.

    So why don’t you shut your effeminate piehole and get back to grading papers.

  72. Seems like we’ve come around 180* to the point where the AGW supporters are now actually the “deniers” regarding the reality of some really shoddy “science” and the quite possibly fraudulent and criminal behavior on the part of some so-called climatologists. And then there’s Al Gore.

  73. >So are you defending this? Are you suggesting that this AGW is not a fraud?

    I am not making an argument one way or another. I am pointing out how dumb you are for making ignorant attacks on academia.

    >And I am not backing off of anything, this is a problem in academe.

    For every academic fraud you can name, I can name one out in industry or politics. What this comes down to is your irrational hatred of academics because deep down you know that for the most part it is inhabited by people doing work you will not understand if you spend the remainder of your years studying it.

    >You sound like one of the pious frauds that push this rot.

    In what way am I pious? For not being afraid of people who understand things that I don’t? I am not defending AGW because frankly I don’t give a fuck. However, your assertion that academia is some kind of special category in the way of nutters and delusionals is ignorant and incorrect. I have worked in industry and academia, and I can tell you industry is full of its own kind of delusional idiots. I guess it takes a bigger man than you to get past your black-and-white world of categories and generalisations.

  74. Wowper, why don’t you shut up?

    I too have worked in academe and industry and I know exactly what I talking about.

    There are frauds everywhere indeed. You sir are one.

    And you are not taking a position on AGW, huh? Well that is the topic of this thread is it not? Waiting for more evidence to come in? Gosh you are so open minded I think your brain fell out.

    I do not have an irrational hatred of academics. I am quite rational in the ones I do hate. They hate America, after all. And don’t say that people like Noam Chomsky don’t hate this great country, they certainly do.

    Now go away and quit being a troll before I have Eric ban you.

  75. So, you admit that you have no argument and your original comment was ignorant? Good to hear it.

  76. >Arguing the unspecified, unscientific vagaries of his two posts above
    > would be as fruitful as assailing pure vapor.
    > A scientist >makes positive, testable statements of fact

    >> And indeed they do, it’s just that the predictions are for years
    >> in the future. They are predictions nevertheless. If they hadn’t
    >> predicted various damaging effects as a result of CO2 emissions,
    >> there wouldn’t be all the fuss, would there? The whole big stink
    >> is in fact about the predicted effects of CO2 emissions.

    Ah “it’s just that the predictions are for years in the future.” Yes, indeed they are. Always a comfortable brace of years in the future, such that by the time a stated benchmark comes and passes, the original claim is replaced by a host of new bolder claims. Hansen’s own benchmarks have passed many times since he began making predictions based on GISSTEMP. Of course, they have failed by even the most lax and forgiving standards. Of course, we haven’t yet met Al Gore’s NPS benchmark of “5-7″ years for the arctic sea ice, nor the 2035 benchmark for the end of Himalayan ice caps (and with it,perhaps, the end of Indian civilization).

    But no matter. When they come and go, we can have the researchers themselves propose yet another paradigm for accurate measurement. No need to punish theories simply because they repeatedly fail to prove any of their claims. That’s “old science.” All that is required is for them to “explain” observable phenomena, not prove through rigorous, reproduceable methods that it is caused by something in particular. For instance, when it rains, that is merely the angels crying. And when thunder strikes, that is God bowling.

  77. We actually have a nice set of very specific predictions from Dr. James Hansen, presented to congress back near the very beginning of the AGW scare in 1988. He presented three future scenarios (A, B, and C) reflecting future increases in temperature based on various crash programs in the reduction of carbon emissions – the “C” scenario indicating drastic cuts. Despite the fairly minimal amount of carbon reduction that’s taken place in the US and Europe (which is more than offset by increases in Asia) the real world measurements came in well below the “C” scenario.

    Chart in pretty pastel colors here: http://rankexploits.com/musings/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/hansencomparedrecent.jpg

    The validity of any theory is based entirely on its ability to predict future events and behaviors. Pretty much every specific prediction from the AGW crowd (for example – we’ve been supposed to be hammered by tons of super-hurricanes a la Katrina for the last few years – oops) within the time that’s passed has been an epic failure. There are several more that pretty clearly aren’t on going to make it either – such as kids in the UK not really knowing what living with snow is like by the year 2020 is because the UK will have been snow-free in their lifetimes.

    Their response, of course, is to push their predictions further and further out so that they can’t be tested. For example, AGW is now on hiatus or something (perhaps, like most government creations, it belongs to a union and is taking a vacation or something) until 2020 or 2050, depending on which set of settled science you believe.

  78. > Re: Monbiot, this is what he has to say. “These scandals have done tremendous damage. This is not because they threaten the canon of climate science – that would require similar exposés of tens of thousands of scientific papers – but because they create an atmosphere of opacity and evasion.”

    Right. So pretty much the opposite of what Eric was implying with “Man, when you’ve lost George Monbiot, you’ve lost the war.”

    Not that I expect a retraction.

  79. >Not that I expect a retraction.

    I wrote “Monbiot is broadening his attack”. He’s now writing that “The hacked emails shows that Phil Jones, after 20 years of failing to issue a correction, isn’t the only one who should resign”. He’s also actually noticed the glacier-meltback flimflam.

    Another priceless Monbiot quote: “I have seldom felt so alone. Confronted with crisis, most of the environmentalists I know have gone into denial.”

    I amplify: when even a water-carrier as reliable is Monbiot recognizes that pro-AGW environmentalists are in flight from reality, definitively abandons the line that the CRU wrongdoing was normal scientific cut and thrust, and can actually bring himself to write sentences like “It’s now clear that, actually, the IPCC’s claim was voodoo science”, you’ve lost the war.

    I have to give the man credit. He’s rising a bit above his history as a repellent left-wing hack here. I wouldn’t have thought he had it in him, and am glad to be wrong about that much.

  80. Eric, here’s Monbiot’s final three paragraphs from the same article:

    “On the other side of the debate, people are in denial not only
    about the science of climate change but also about manipulation and
    deception by other climate change deniers. They stoutly ignore far
    graver evidence of falsification and fabrication by their own side,
    even when there is smoking gun evidence that their champions have
    secretly taken money from fossil fuel companies to make false claims.
    They make no attempt to hold each other to account or to sustain any
    standards of truth at all.

    In fact, as Fred Pearce has shown, even their claims about the
    material in the hacked emails are almost all false.

    The vast body of climate science still shows that manmade climate
    change is real and that it presents a massive challenge to human
    survival. But those of us who seek to explain its implications and
    call for action must demand the highest possible standards from the
    people whose work we promote, and condemn any failures to release data
    or admit and rectify mistakes. We do no one any favours – least of all
    ourselves – by wasting our time promoting false claims.”

    So, again, Monbiot’s stated position is pretty much the opposite of
    what you’re attempting to claim in this thread.

    For those following along at home, here’s
    the link to the Fred Pearce piece that Monbiot refers to, by the way.
    It’s called “How the ‘climategate’ scandal is bogus and based on
    climate sceptics’ lies”.

    (And yes, that would be the same Fred Pearce who broke the IPCC glacier story).

  81. >Eric, here’s Monbiot’s final three paragraphs from the same article:

    Rome wasn’t burned in a day. He’s retreating from his previous dogmatism slowly. But the fact that he — of all people — has retreated as much as he has already means you’ve lost the war. Because when a flaming zealot of hard-left PC orthodoxy like Monbiot says “It’s now clear that, actually, the IPCC’s claim was voodoo science”, it make it socially OK for the majority less left-wing than he is to notice that there are no clothes on the emperor. The AGW fraud is being stripped of its political cover.

    And yes, I am gloating. Shamelessly.

  82. Nope. You’re still wrong.

    Maybe you misread the paragraphs quoted above.

  83. > Maybe you misread the paragraphs quoted above.

    The article seems pretty straightforward. Monbiot is saying that, rather than engage in ludicrous contortions to handwave CRU as “a tempest in a teapot,” he is saying that the AGW faithful need to police their own ranks and come down as hard on these crooks as the skeptics do, if they have any hope of maintaining their credibility. This would be similar to a papal decree advising bishops to root out the pedophiles in their diocese, lest their congregations lapse into atheism.

    No, it does not mean that Monbiot has turned into an Alexander Cockburn-style heretic. But it certainly demonstrates progress, and perhaps even a streak of fearful reason. Existing as he does at the core of the alarmists’ propaganda wing, Monbiot is perhaps more sensitive to how subtle fissures in the public can explode into raging floods, in a way that the jetsetters, technocrats and climate hacks can never be.

  84. > Well, if that’s your idea of good scepticism… I have in fact seen many things from those sites in the past which were easily shown to be wrong. So easily, in fact, that the mere fact that they put the ideas forward shows incompetence on their part. Good scientists demand the same (greater, really) quality from their own work as from other people’s and won’t publish until they’ve checked and double checked everything – I’ve been at paper preparation meetings where there was an hour-long debate over one sentence. These bloggers should have caught their mistakes themselves. I’m not too inclined to look again at known poor sources, but if I feel bored sometime I’ll have another go.

    I did not say that those were free of bad scepticism. I’m sure, due to their wide open nature, that they are full of bad scepticism. As a long time consumer of mass media, I’m used to filtering out large amounts of poor quality work. The internet, where no one knows who is a dog, is like that. In some ways thats why argumentation via links is always spotty.

    > For every academic fraud you can name, I can name one out in industry or politics.

    Exactly! I’ve been in large government organizations and large private organizations. Half the people in any job are below average, right? Shoddy work is pretty much unavoidable. Politics is rampant. People seize on bad ideas that look good with hidden fatal flaws all the time. When that person is a CEO of a big company BAM! half a billion dollars down the drain. When that person is President BAM! half a trillion dllars down the drain. And when that person is a respected scientist BAM! he leads his whole field astray for decades.

    Welcome to the human condition, baby!

    Yours,
    Tom

  85. Regarding the RAW data… you can get full instrumental records at UCAR. Still missing the intervening steps, such as station selection and adjustment.

    Here’s where I see something that indicates fraud in the process… Take the GHCNv2 monthly data, both adjusted and non, for all stations. Calculate adjustments. Average across all stations for each year and plot it. There is a definite trend in the information. I’ve done the calculation and posted a graph ongoogle docs. Since most stations are unaffected, and I artificially zeroed adjustments if data was flagged as bad, the scale of the adjustments is probably understated because of the zeroes. The fact that the adjustments have a definite warming trend in the 20th century, which is adding a signal to the data, indicates that they either didn’t sanity check their procedures, or deliberately used a flawed method to adjust data, or there is some rational explanation why adjustments should show an upward trend on average which has never been given. Would you agree this is highly suspicious, and completely undercuts complaints that the Darwin station was cherry picked? If the other adjustment and selection steps have the same bias, it could significantly impact final temperature values. GISS does not use GHCN adjusted values anymore, but it is unknown exactly what their adjustments are. My personal suspicion is that they used some sort of smoothing process which picked up the warming trend in the overall data and imbedded it in the adjustments, creating a feedback system.

    I’d like to link the stations actually used by CRU and see how just those station adjustments look, but it’s quite difficult to do as the list of stations uses that McKintyre was able to acquire had no direct link to the station identifiers provided by GHCN.

  86. The AGW debate is hardly the battle of industry vs. academia that the far left has made it out to be, as if academia and industry were somehow completely separate and isolated from each other. Where do you think all the skilled white-collar workers come from? Where do you think industry scientists and technologists come from? If you want a job as an engineer, a software developer, a metallurgist, a lawyer, or even a CEO, guess what? If you don’t have a college degree, your chances of getting hired these days are about nil. Most of the key decision makers in industry spent their due in academia; even low-level managers these days have MBAs.

  87. Morgan,

    I think this speaks somewhat to the overcredentialization going on in our society today.

    If you don’t have a degree, it is hard to get companies to even look at you.
    But one learns about work by working.

    It is ridiculous.

  88. I think this speaks somewhat to the overcredentialization going on in our society today.

    As someone with bachelor’s degree in information systems, I have to agree with you on this statement; on your third statement, however, I think things are starting to change. School are creating new curricula to address the needs of students who intend to use what they learn in the world of business. These new curricula are created with input from business leaders and tailored to meet the needs of industry. Additionally, schools are rising up to meet the needs of working professionals who need a degree for career advancement.

    I think there are a few societal problems that have led to the situation we’re seeing today. The traditional K-12 education system does not prepare students for work, Furthermore, employers are increasingly reducing their on-the-job training programs, internships, etc. They want employees who are already skilled; plug-and-play so-to-speak. Of course, such things are fairy tales. Read any IT job description out on the job sites today: they want very, very specialized skills, and usually they want someone whose already familiar with their industry. The general stuff that needs no highl degree specialization (like help desk support or general software development) is increasingly getting farmed out to India and other 3rd-world mud-holes.

    My point, though, is that the distinction between industry and academia is increasingly becoming blurred. Industry is using academia as a sort-of “minor league” from which to recruit their players.

  89. Rich, we can certainly infer from the behavior of the scientists in their efforts to keep competing theories that they had committed some fraud and were trying to keep it from coming to the light of day. If your room is piled knee-deep in bullshit, you know there’s a bull somewhere around even if you can’t see it.

  90. Rich, the other thing is that there’s plenty of evidence that the globe has warmed and cooled within the ranges predicted by AGW over 63 times … every 1500 years +- 500. So yeah, there’s plenty of evidence that the earth is warming … again … just like always … and will soon go back to cooling again regardless of whether we destroy our economy or not.

  91. Darrencardinal Says:
    If you don’t have a degree, it is hard to get companies to even look at you.
    But one learns about work by working.

    There’s two parts to that that i’ve seen.

    One is that society as a whole (at least in Australia, i daresay the same is occuring to some extent in the US) is pushing from an early age that if you don’t have a degree then your options are ditch digger or garbage collector. It’s at best incorrect and at worst a self-fulfilling prophecy but there you have it.

    Secondly, (and in part probably related to point one) many things which probably should be apprenticeships (programming being a very good example) have been instead turned into bachelor degrees. I firmly believe that we’d be better off if we turned programming into an apprentice system rather than a degree system.

    The end result is that HR has been conditioned to expect degrees or extreme experience (the must have 5 years experience in dotnet technologies 1 month after its release is a hilarious example) preferrably both. Not to mention of course the “old boys club” style effect of “oh hey two people with much the same experience but this guy went to the same uni I did. UOF rules!”

  92. The IPCC and their models NEVER make predictions. When doing post-normal science it is vital to remember that it is about debate and perceptions and feelings, and that the definitions are very important. Ignoring this could get that nice Mr. Pachauri into trouble.

    These definitions are contained in the AR4 WG1 Glossary, and should be consulted and used, even if they perhaps do not mean quite what people think they mean. viz.

    Climate prediction
    A climate prediction or climate forecast is the
    result of an attempt to produce an estimate of the actual evolution
    of the climate in the future, for example, at seasonal, interannual
    or long-term time scales. Since the future evolution of the climate
    system may be highly sensitive to initial conditions, such predictions
    are usually probabilistic in nature. See also Climate projection;
    Climate scenario; Predictability.

    Climate projection
    A projection of the response of the climate
    system to emission or concentration scenarios of greenhouse
    gases and aerosols, or radiative forcing scenarios, often based
    upon simulations by climate models. Climate projections are
    distinguished from climate predictions in order to emphasize that
    climate projections depend upon the emission/concentration/
    radiative forcing scenario used, which are based on assumptions
    concerning, for example, future socioeconomic and technological
    developments that may or may not be realised and are therefore
    subject to substantial uncertainty.

    Climate scenario
    A plausible and often simplified representation
    of the future climate, based on an internally consistent set of
    climatological relationships that has been constructed for explicit
    use in investigating the potential consequences of anthropogenic
    climate change, often serving as input to impact models. Climate
    projections often serve as the raw material for constructing
    climate scenarios, but climate scenarios usually require additional
    information such as about the observed current climate. A climate
    change scenario is the difference between a climate scenario and
    the current climate

    Predictability
    The extent to which future states of a system may
    be predicted based on knowledge of current and past states of the
    system.
    Since knowledge of the climate system’s past and current states
    is generally imperfect, as are the models that utilise this knowledge
    to produce a climate prediction, and since the climate system is
    inherently nonlinear and chaotic, predictability of the climate
    system is inherently limited. Even with arbitrarily accurate models
    and observations, there may still be limits to the predictability of
    such a nonlinear system (AMS, 2000)

    Projection
    A projection is a potential future evolution of a quantity
    or set of quantities, often computed with the aid of a model.
    Projections are distinguished from predictions in order to emphasize
    that projections involve assumptions concerning, for example, future
    socioeconomic and technological developments that may or may
    not be realised, and are therefore subject to substantial uncertainty.
    See also Climate projection; Climate prediction

  93. OK Chuckles….so they’ve swaddled themselves with impenetrable incoherent bullshit.

    It’s a great way to set up the con ;)

  94. @Dan: Yup. You hit the head right on the nail. That’s exactly what con artists do. They use words in a way that deliberately confuses people, but sounds good. Having known con artists, I speak from personal experience, but haven’t we all been hoodwinked or at least attempted to be hoodwinked by someone? Anyway, if you don’t know what I mean, watch the very humorous TNT show Leverage, which is about one of the only TV shows I watch regularly because I really enjoy the humour. The script writers might be exaggerating the effect some for the sake of levity, but this really is how con men operate.

  95. > Since knowledge of the climate system’s past and current states
    > is generally imperfect, as are the models that utilise this knowledge
    > to produce a climate prediction, and since the climate system is
    > inherently nonlinear and chaotic, predictability of the climate
    > system is inherently limited. Even with arbitrarily accurate models
    > and observations, there may still be limits to the predictability of
    > such a nonlinear system

    Haw haw haw that’s a good one, Chuckles. Eric, are you sure this “post-normal” beast is falsifiable? How can it be? Given that the above statement (a definition co-signed by the core Hockey team) and the statement about projections essentially remove every last shred of science from the findings. Taken together, the above statements quite literally say that “Climatology is not science.”

  96. >Eric, are you sure this “post-normal” beast is falsifiable?

    It isn’t. That’s the point, I think. “Post-normal” science has all the earmarks of a tool designed to legitimize the re-definition of reality for political ends.

  97. > Post-normal” science has all the earmarks of a tool designed to
    > legitimize the re-definition of reality for political ends.

    Right. I think that’s what I’m saying too. Climatology is “post-normal”; and not in a “fuzzy math” sort of way. We aren’t talking about a few Lorenzian Mathematicians trying to beat Vegas either. So much of this research swan dives into pure fantasy around the edges ( melting Himalayan ice caps, drowning polar bears, super hurricanes, mosquito population explosions, etc.) that I think it’s easy to miss how the heart and guts of the theory is pure bullpuck, from a statistical standpoint. What’s posited is basically thus: when we’re right, we’re Right and when we’re wrong – well, it’s a chaotic system so cut us some slack. The IPCC and the Hockey Team essentially admit this, then keep slouching on toward Bethlehem. Simply outrageous.

    More leaks, please. Penn State would be lovely.

  98. @Dan – Many a true word spoken in jest….:)

    @jrok – Those definitions are straight cut and paste out of the IPCC AR4 report Glossary. ALL of this stuff is done via the use of words and phrases defined and re-defined as above. Note the qualifications and shadings in those definitions…..

    http://www1.ipcc.ch/glossary/index.htm

    e.g. The phrase “Climate Change”.
    Let us posit that you. jrok, are challenged that you deny climate change. You protest that of course you believe in and accept climate change. Everybody does.

    Bad move. “Climate Change”, by definition, means human caused climate change. i.e. AGW, and ONLY AGW.
    Naturally caused change is “Climate Variability”.

    Much of the debate and the pronouncements of AGW/CC are subtle shadings and usage of these definitions.

    Regarding falsifiability, predictive statistical models are never falsifiable, so the situation does not arise. They deal in probabilities, and of course, projections and scenarios.

    Any fule kno that. It’s just us ageing engineers that have a problem

  99. Whoops, got sidetracked there, bit like the thread. What I actually wanted to post was an interesting illustration and expansion of one of Erics’ subjects in the post. N.B. this is NOT a simple anecdote, but I believe it provides a unique and fascinating insight, and one that is only possible with the use of this here intarwebby thingy.

    Some days ago a Wisconsin woman sent of some requests for pro-AGW debaters for a get together in her small town. She was apparently rebuffed, and by whatever means, she ended up with a posting of her story on Pajamas Media. A pro-AGW blogger saw the post, and wrote about it on his blog. In a somewhat unwise/unfortunate manner some felt.

    Another blogger posted a suggestion that this was unwise, and well, it’s downhill from there. With a cast of thousands, we pick up the story on this cautionary post.
    Follow-ons are below.
    I’d recommend following the links and reading all comments to get the full flavor and goodness. Must be several doctorates and a Business School case study in there.

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/how-not-to-respond-to-skeptics/

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/the-debate-invitation-politely-worded/

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/how-to-respond-to-an-invitation-to-debate/

  100. Sorry Chuckles, there’s no way I’m wasting my life reading through that torrent of bullshit. The primary posts were modestly interesting, however.

    I spent 10 minutes wading downstream in the comment section of the first post. Typical AGW-thread jibber jabber. Pointless.

  101. @Dan: C’mon, you’re missing the good stuff! There’s some hilarious stuff in here. Pass the popcorn. I like this one:

    Kimberly Simac (PJs lady):

    If my career had been based on investigating something and I was so certain of my data, why would I not want to defend it?

    Michael Tobis (Climatologist):

    [T]his is obviously trickery. Science is not data. We are not collecting fingerprints. We are describing what is actually happening. The data are of course a consistency check, but this isn’t a question of data at all.

    Lucia (anti-AGW blogger):

    Data are only a consistency check?!! And “this isn't a question of data at all”? Is the antecedent for “this” “science”? Is it “What is actually happening?” The unstated “AGW”? I'm wracking my brain, but I can find no way to read those words so that their meaning is not utter nonsense.

    People familiar with the words of the late Richard Feynman will recall he seemed to have a somewhat higher regard for the role of data in science and wrote,

    It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong.

    Michael Tobis (Climatologist), then backpedals on his blog:

    [note: he highlights the 'but this isn't a question of data at all' phrase] This, however was an out-and-out blunder. “Science is not data”. OK. I stand by that. Data is part of science, but science is more than data. “It’s not a question of data at all” is wrong and silly, though.

    No kidding, it’s silly and wrong! But notice that he doesn’t back off his statement that data is just a check. Data is not just a check. Like Feynman said, if your data doesn’t match your predictions, you’re just plain wrong. Why the sudden negative reaction to any mention of the data if there’s no data to hide?

  102. @Dan, morgan g,

    I agree it’s unbelievably heavy going at times, but it holds some interesting nuggets, as morgan notes, all the way up to the point that it finally dawns on the protagonist that the comments are not attacking but trying to offer some fairly good and pertinent advice.

    It seemed to be to also paint a picture of a pro-AGW approach that felt isolated and besieged, and with a considerable fear of Morano, and what he may do or say.

    And of course streaks of enlightenment, backslide, redemption and grace, etc etc.

    And ‘Person disses mom and apple pie on blog, ignores and disparages advice from adversaries, is cheered on by friends and compatriots, but right triumphs in the end’ doesn’t really capture the nuances.

    Very difficult to describe, hence my interest in others interpretations, which unfortunately requires some wading.

  103. Chuckles (and Morgan), you seem to have a good eye and handle on it…..if you wish to offer a comedic precis of the fustercluck, I’m sure i’ll enjoy your effort ;)

  104. I’m even prepared to hazard a guess where the next fraud would be ginned up from: environmental toxicology and what are called “endocrine disruptors”.

    The EU has already recognized the dangers of endocrine disruptors and is actively monitoring and regulating them. PBDEs are banned.

  105. The Third Nail In The CRU/IPCC AGW Coffin

    Published by AJStrata under All General Discussions,Climategate II,CRU Climategate,Global Warming

    Update At End

    Major Update: Well, well – it seems Tim Osborn admits to the artificial adjustments used by CRU (and shown at the end of this post) in a Dec 2006 email to coworker Thomas Klienen (email #4005):

    Unfortunately we haven’t yet published the details of how the gridding and calibration were done. Also we have applied a completely artificial adjustment to the data after 1960, so they look closer to observed temperatures than the tree-ring data actually were — don’t rely on the match after 1960 to tell you how skilfull they really are!

    Looks like Osborne just confirmed my analysis of Osborn-Briffa for me! – end update

    Since the Climategate 2 emails have come out I have been able to gain a lot more context on the workings (or should I say shenanigans) of the Hockey Team and their efforts to hide the fact the science was rapidly pointing away from their claims of historic recent warming. Not only was the CRU temperature record completely unverifiable and unmaintained (see here), the premise behind tying today’s temperature back 1500 years via tree rings was also a fool’s errand and completely unfounded (see here).

    These two revelations alone are enough to deem the AGW science D.O.A, since the CRU gridded data sets cannot be replicated even by CRU (let alone independent analysis) and the foundational principle that supposedly connects tree rings (and other biological proxies) to local modern temperatures cannot be applied. Mathematically the story is a mess.

    In these posts and others I have laid out how the Hockey Team responded when faced with the realization that the science was not confirming their ideology. Instead of rejecting their conclusions and following the data, they attempted to cover the problems up, obscuring the problems from the science community. And in this post I show how bad it really got.

    Continue Reading »

    Tags: Briffa, Climategate, CRU, Esper, Global Warming, Hide the Decline, Jones, Mann, McIntyre, Osborn

    18 responses so far

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