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More on Climategate

There are some takeaways from the recent Climategate shenanigans. One of those takeaways is not that it disproves global warming. Sure, it shows a concerted effort to hide data, manipulate results, and pressure folks into groupthink but it’s not a giant conspiracy to bring a new world communist order. Simpler explanation for conspiratorial minded folks would be it’s about getting money. That said, I perused around looking for someone that I generally trust but who holds a different viewpoint from me on the issue to see what they said, which has been hard because they usually just call critics flat-earthers and say nyuh uh. But then it occurred to me who I could read. And that person was Tim Lambert. Tim and I had a few back and forths years back over his criticisms of John Lott and Fumento. While I can find only a few issues we agree on, I’ve generally trusted Tim. So, I went to see what he had to say. He notes that some of the coding accusations are unfounded, that the BBC didn’t get all the emails early, and criticizes people for this whole communist government angle, while explaining the trick thing. Frankly, those have been some of the few rebuttals I found worth reading because the rest seem to consist of nyuh uh.

I will note that the folks screaming it’s a giant commie plot aren’t helping. Your opponents just have to minimize your accusations because you are, after all, screaming about a commie plot. They’ll even call you the frothing at the mouth lower half. While telling you that ZOMG!!!11eleven! we’re all gonna die over minute changes in temperature. But minute temperature changes omitted from studies are insignificant. I don’t expect alarmists and deniers to get along or agree but you can figure out which people from either side are worth listening to.

Other Climategate stuff:

Network news won’t cover it but Jon Stewart will.

Eric Raymond has a bunch of posts on it.

Michael Mann under investigation. Like Phil Jones.

28 Responses to “More on Climategate”

  1. Hartley Says:

    Interesting, for sure, but Mr. Lambert also seems to enjoy name-calling, snark and nyuh-uh bombast – albeit at a lower volume than many..:-)

    What’s killing me was the absolute deafening silence from the alarmist camp when they are asked to disclose their data, assumptions and analysis. Now that a big chunk of their rather messy datasets and programming problems have seen the light of day, we are being told that “it’s OK, that was just a tiny adjustment” or “well, they made some assumptions here and we still think they’re valid so it’s OK”. If the science was so defensible, why didn’t they release it years ago?

    I don’t have anywhere near the scientific training to interpret the depths of this stuff, and I doubt very many other people do either – but we can sure as heck interpret actions and attitudes.

  2. Rivrdog Says:

    Let’s use some horse-sense science here. If minute temperature changes towards the colder side are to be ignored, as the AGW alarmists want to ignore them, then why have they built their entire case on minute changes to the warm side?

    I have yet to see ANY science that says catastrophe happened the previous 13 times global warming happened (that we know about), and there was a “Tipping Point”, beyond which a minute change created the catastrophe. There is just no micro-paleontological evidence of a tipping point. The AGW alarmists HAVE to convince us that there is, so they sit in the technical chairs while disaster flix like “Day after Tomorrow” are made.

    I don’t believe that there MUST be a socialist plot behind this. If there was such a plot, someone would have blabbed by now. I think it’s more about power and money, like you said. Everyday power for a scientist now comes from how big his/her grants for study are, not how good his/her science turns out to be.

    The politicians are the ones with the control issues, and it’s the Left who has seized on AGW as another tool to advance their brand of political control. Since they control some purse strings, they’ve bought some scientists, and so those scientists have created “science” that makes their masters happy.

    Follow the money, always das gelt.

  3. BobG Says:

    Things are getting even more interesting.

  4. elmo_iscariot Says:

    I’m with Hartley. I don’t have the background to interpret the situation based on the evidence, but the petty, extreme abuse the commenters are lobbing at anybody who doesn’t instantly and unreservedly agree with them does very little to give me confidence in their position.

  5. ned Says:

    I recommend reading Jerry Pournelle’s website (the oldest blog ever – and it’s appearance shows it)

    Jerry was an aerospace engineer and an operations research analyst, which makes him more qualified than I am to judge this, and later a prominent science fiction author.

    His take is that 1) the earth’s climate has been warmer than this in the past, and 2) the models do not explain known temperature changes in recorded history, so 3) the models are not trustworthy enough to use them as the basis for horrifically massive changes in our economy. We need more research, the real kind – not what they have been doing at IPCC.

    My opinion is that the frauds who have been lying, fabricating, and fudging to get the result they want should be invited to stay in prison for many years. Taking public money under false pretenses is always a crime.

  6. Dougetit Says:

    I disagree. The takeway DOES disprove AGW as all data published for the past 150 plus years becomes suspect. This leaves us only with sattelite (UAH) data which shows that global temperatures have risen a mere 13 hundreths (.13)of a degree over the entire 31 year history. Worse still for the warmies is that temperatures have trended down now for over a decade, (since Jan 1998), while Co2 continues to rise. These facts prompted so-called scientists to “hide the decline-Manipulation of data” which has resulted in the largest fraud of any kind ever perpetuated in human history, to the scale of which would make Bernie Madoff appear as a criminal parking space stealer.

  7. comatus Says:

    You know, an amazing amount of mischief in the world actually can be attributed to commie plots. I would not discount them in the least.

    Perhaps “Useful Idiot Plot” is more germane.

  8. Unix-Jedi Says:

    it disproves global warming

    And there you make a huge mistake.

    What it disproves is the proof of Anthropogenic Global Warming. AGW. The warming “caused” by our activities. (And presumably, the warming that we would prevent if we stopped doing some of them.)

    It also disproves the models of how “bad” things will get unless ZOMG we do something now. It demonstrates that the people who have been claiming “settled science” can’t even begin to come up with a clear theory, and when their hypothesis fail, they shim them with rigged data.

    They might still be right, but it’s not due to scientific scrutiny. It’s a part of the puzzle that had already been getting put together – the famous tree ring proxies that appeared to have been cherry-picked more than Greg Packer by the NYT…

  9. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    You’re getting a lot of nyuh uh because you’re not accurately characterizing the facts of the case. There’s not really any other way to say it. With even a cursory examination, there’s not really any solid indication of “concerted effort to hide data, manipulate results, and pressure folks into groupthink” at all.

    Instead of reading blogs and columnists, why not read the work of people who work in the physical sciences instead?

    Here’s a pretty good and even handed take from a geochemist who’s decidedly not a climatologist who’d be “in on the take”. He’d most assuredly point out that your premises fail (and that this doesn’t prove or disprove anything, except maybe that guys like Jones and Mann are human, and didn’t respond politely or politically correctly in PRIVATE EMAILS that were ILLEGALLY HACKED).

  10. straightarrow Says:

    The untrustworthy scientists involved in this are most probably not intentionally part of some sort of conspiracy, communist or otherwise. Much more likely they are simply dishonest and realizing the desired outcome of climate studies funded by others proceeded to provide those predetermined results in order to gain grants, employment and other financial rewards. In other words they are simply dishonest dogs for anybody who will hunt with them and give them treats for expected performance. Doesn’t make them conspiracists, doesn’t make them acceptable either.

    As to the “others” who provided the funding, there is every reason to believe that they are interested in and conspired to gain total political control of the world’s economies, communistic control or not. I don’t think it can be legitimately argued otherwise.

  11. DirtCrashr Says:

    How about that Kilimanjaro, eh? There may be global warming but it’s mainly hubris (and millions in various Foundation’s research and Government study-grants, and trillions in carbon offsets in a rigged market) that clams mankind is at fault. Because to claim and exert that principality, then the money keeps flowing.

  12. Stranger Says:

    The science is not that hard to comprehend. If there were no greenhouse effect the earth’s temperature would be around zero F. Greenhouse gases raise that temperature by some 58 degrees. And warm is good! It makes the crops grow.

    There are two major greenhouse gases. Water vapor, normally in concentrations of 10,000 to 40,000 molecules per million; and carbon dioxide, at 380 parts per million.

    The median concentration of H2O is 15,500 ppm, and each molecule of H2O has the same greenhouse effect as 7 molecules of CO2. So in effect we have 15,500 parts of greenhouse effect from H2O, but only 52 from CO2.

    Under the worst possible circumstances, if we burned everything burnable, we MIGHT get to 1,500 ppm of CO2. For a greenhouse effect equal to just 215 ppm of H2O.

    So why is the earth getting warmer? The short answer is that it isn’t. If you look at the temperature proxies from the last ice age to the present, you will find warming and cooling periods alternating on a roughly 800 to 900 year cycle. Other proxies tell us that the sun is responsible for those cycles.

    And, if you graph the proxies all the way from the last ice age to the present, you will find that solar activity has been slowly declining. We are just leaving the “modern warming period,” which was cooler than the “medieval warming period,” which was cooler than Hadrian’s “Classic warming period,” which was warmer than the “Ancient warming period.”

    And even the cooling period that drove Uriah the Hittite to take the King’s penny was warmer than the “little ice age” often called the “Maunder Minimum” and the Dalton Minimum.

    Climate is one thing. And the real science is actually settled. AGW does not exist. On the other hand, reading the Emails makes the motive of the HadCRUT team and those associated with them more than abundantly clear. You don’t make those comments unless you are a beliver.

    For more, and a scientifically accurate review of the subject, try this simple language discussion:

    You may have to scroll down a bit.


  13. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Stranger: that’s nice, but it’s not the view that actual scientists actually have. The consensus view is simply not that observed trends can be explained away by natural variability.

    Even the die hard skeptics like Singer and Lindzen aren’t trying to argue the earth isn’t getting warmer, per se. They’re just trying to posit other forcings besides anthropogenic CO2 concentration increases.

    It would be nice if any of the things you said were true, but it’s been shown conclusively that it ain’t the sun, it ain’t cosmic rays, and there ain’t anyway to explain observed trends without CO2 (and you’re ignoring other GHGs, like methane).

    Read the IPCC report. Start there and you might have a good base to really start digging in. And here’s a good primer on why CO2 concentration increases are an issue.

  14. Chas Says:

    What’s the best university to get a degree in data massaging? Maybe some left coast establishment with a paranoid sense of political correctness and a self-servingly sloppy sense of ethics that revolves around the ends of the Marxist cause justifying the means.
    I want a piece of those multi-million dollar research grants. Seems it’s easy to get them if you can produce politically correct results, but it takes a sophisticated approach to produce a defensible result. And a lock on the raw data. And really, really, really good email security.

  15. SayUncle Says:

    You’re getting a .. groupthink” at all

    That’s exactly what seems to have happened and why many of them are now being investigated.

  16. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    You’re seeing investigations because people want to avoid even a hint of anything that could be construed as looking the other way or ignoring allegations that sound pretty serious.

    That an investigation is happening doesn’t mean the charges you’re making are meritorious. As I pointed out elsewhere, there’s no indication of any untoward data massaging, manipulation, or conspiracy.

    Just saying that there is doesn’t mean there is. If you’re gonna level that sort of accusation, you should have some specifics.

  17. Sebastian-PGP Says:

    Now, there are plenty of right wing spin machines and hacks like McIntyre making exaggerated claims to that effect…

    But that doesn’t mean there’s any merit. Seriously did you read ANY of the links I’ve provided? At all?

  18. SPQR Says:

    SayUncle, of course the emails and suspicious coding does not disprove AGW. But the whole point is that the AGW proponents, especially those whose core claim is the uniqueness of recent warming, are not behaving as scientists. They are hiding data, cherry picking data ( the Yamal tree core series scandal ), suppressing dissent by intimidating journals into refusing to publish contradictory work, violating disclosure and archiving requirements of journals and grant agencies and refusing to cooperate in the analysis of their work.

    That is not the conduct of real scientists. And the behavior itself indicates a corruption of the scientific process. If their science is as good and conclusive as the AGW proponents claim, there is no reason for their conduct.

    And since they are claiming that we should adopt policies that have immense impact on human welfare, the standards that they should be held to should be far higher than those of more mundane science.

  19. SPQR Says:

    Sebastien-PGP, your comment is illustrative of the ad hominem attacks being conducted by the AGW proponents against skeptics. That conduct, and your echoing of it, is simply more examples of propaganda rather than science.

    And there is indeed evidence of manipulation, and has been long before the East Anglia CRU disclosures.

  20. Stranger Says:

    Sebastian, how many climate scientists do you drink coffee with every week? How many do you talk to in a week? A month? A year?

    Yes, I have read the IPCC farce. And I have discussed the issue with both solar and climate scientists. Much of that information went into the 2004 item at the link. Which was itself a rewrite of a 1989 article of mine.

    And – if you follow the link I left and read the first part – today’s sunspot number is Zero. None. 2009 will probably set a new record for days of solar inactivity, or “blank sun.”

    As Sir William Hershel noted in 1808, few sunspots mean cool summers, poor crops, and expensive corn. Ask a few North Dakota farmers about this year’s harvests.

    Temperature? The earth’s current temperature is 57.45 degrees. Well below the “normal” for the period between 1965 and 1998. Check it out – here:


  21. SayUncle Says:

    No, you’re seeing investigations because reasonable people think the emails indicate a problem with scientists putting politics ahead of science.

  22. straightarrow Says:

    “The consensus view is simply not that observed trends can be explained away by natural variability.”-PGP

    The whole statement above is a lie. It is a lie because its premise is false. There was never a consensus, not one day during this entire time. To call it a consensus by ignoring all the real climatologists who disagredd only makes it a lie. The conclusion is also false and our climatological history proves it since before man ever walked the earth. Yet none of the models these religionists propose can even duplicate what we know has already happened, but we’re supposed to believe they can predict the future? Get real!

  23. Tomcatshanger Says:

    It’s awesome that folks either don’t understand what a conspiracy is, or are lying for reasons I can’t figure out. These folks conspired to lie, via email, concerning their research. This isn’t rocket surgery.

    I’m not saying it was a part of a LARGER conspiracy, but it is a conspiracy. And it’s wacko to say it isn’t.

    You know when the ATF charges folks with criminal conspiracy to violate the NFA? It generally involves ONE or TWO people.

    Please, use the English language in a way that conveys the meaning of the words you are using. Or at least stop lying.

  24. Number9 Says:

    When the United Nations and thousands of scientists use fraudulent data to impose cap and trade taxes worldwide and withhold power plants to third world nations that is a conspiracy. When those scientists openly intimidate and threaten other scientists who disagree with them it is a conspiracy. When governments only give grants to support this AGW theory it is a conspiracy.

    It may not be an organized world wide socialist conspiracy. But it is some type of conspiracy. The idea that we should play nice and not say the “c” word doesn’t make any sense. It is a conspiracy against free trade and capitalism. It is a conspiracy against coal, oil, and nuclear power. It is a conspiracy to grant the United Nations unprecedented power.

    So where did this stick your head in the sand and not call it what it is come from?

    To tell people you have to play by their rules doesn’t make any sense. Call it what it is.

  25. Dougetit Says:

    OK… I’m confused.. The global temperature data-set least effected by climategate email whistleblower
    show that global temperatures have been trending down for over a decade now (since Jan 1998) Was there any computer model that has predicted this? Anywhere? anybody? What happened? Should we suspect that UAH satelite numbers were “Fudged” also? Can someone expalain please?

  26. Number9 Says:

    Should we suspect that UAH satelite numbers were “Fudged” also?

    That is the next stop.

  27. SPQR Says:

    Here is a good overview of the Yamal tree core scandal which also involves East Anglia, specifically Briffa, but predates the CRU email leak.

    People who want to focus solely on the CRU email leak, and pretend that the emails are an isolated problem that does not disturb the “consensus” are simply wrong. The emails show a behavior that is consistent with all of the rest of the obstructionist conduct that skeptics have been pointing out for many years now.

  28. Number9 Says:

    What is more fascinating than the science of Global Warming is the science of human manipulation. This is Orwell brought to life. The premise is that man is all powerful and can change climate because the little box in our living room with talking heads says so. A theory repeated so often it becomes accepted fact. We believe this because Big Brother tells us so. And we have always been at war with Eastasia.

    As mentioned above this theory of C02 Global Warming is very old. But so is the theory of alchemy. The automobile is perhaps the most liberating invention in history. It provides a degree of freedom before unknown. Yet in this newspeak the automobile is the enemy of Gaia, who may be Big Brother. We must change our lives and willingly sacrifice our freedom and prosperity because the talking heads tell us so. They are infallible and all knowing.

    Eco-totalitarianism cloaked in the guise of saving the children. Based on an old theory that Big Brother tells us that satellites have confirmed from space. Like the talking heads the satellites are all knowing and cannot lie.

    Only by sacrificing our freedom and prosperity can we save the Earth, the children, the bunnies, and the rainbows. Those sacrifices will keep the oceans from rising. We have the power the talking heads tell us. We are all powerful.

    But Orwell was right, the sacrifice of the Proles is done to amuse and enrich the Inner Party. As it has always been.