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Rob Kailey is a working schmuck with no ties or affiliations to any governmental or political organizations, save those of sympathy.

More on "climategate"

by: Jay Stevens

Tue Dec 01, 2009 at 18:33:24 PM MST

Just a couple of links to augment the "climategate" discussion from yesterday:

The raw data from CRU is not "lost":

So what did happen? CRU took the raw data from various primary sources, aggregated it and then made adjustments. It is some of the aggregation that they threw out when they moved a few decades ago. This means that the original data still exists at the primary sources and can be reaggregated. In fact, CRU is busy doing that just now.

Where did I get this information? From one of the largest thorns in the AGW community's side, Roger Pielke Jr., who seems completely satisfied with their explanation.

Mikkal Fishman reminds us that scientific data is often jealously guarded by scientists when new discoveries are made, or hypotheses. "Climategate" may actually benefit climate change science by forcing climatologists to "develop a standardized way of disseminating their data and models to the public," which will be a good thing.

The NYTimes' Andrew Revkin notes that the controversy has, at least, caused CRU to make their data available. Still, as an Illinois climatologist notes, the exposed emails served as "a complete distraction from the body of evidence pointing to a human hand on the planet's thermostat." After all, even the harshest, "rational" critics make no bones about the substance of climatology's findings, just the style of  scientists....

...which brings us back to yesterday's post, which noted that it's the kind of behavior you'd expect from folks who have been on the receiving end of a massive, years-long, corporate-funded disinformation campaign.


Jay Stevens :: More on "climategate"
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Pielke Jr (0.00 / 0)
I see where you repeat the "skeptic" label.  Dr. Pielke responded to that back in Sept.:  http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot....

15 September 2009
Are You a Climate Skeptic?!
Further evidence that climate science is deeply troubled. In a conversation on the difficulties of sustaining intensity of public opinion on climate policy, I cited the Knight et al. BAMS piece in conversation last night in a small group of professional colleagues, mentioning that it said that global temperatures had not increased in a decade, and that this sort of thing worked against sustaining intense public support. It seemed like a fairly obvious point, and uncontroversial.

However, one colleague, a scientist working at the climate science-policy interface who I met for the first time this week, looked at me incredulously when I mentioned the 10-year period of no warming and asked, "What are you a climate skeptic?!"

I said, "No I'm not, I'm just citing a paper in BAMS I saw today."

He accused, "You said ten years; That is selective."

I replied, "Well, that is just what the paper says. I'm just explaining what it said."

He again accused, "No, you said 10 years!"

Um, OK.

When stating facts reported in peer reviewed journals that are in articles justifying continued concern about warming results in being called a "climate skeptic" by a colleague, then you know that the community has some deep issues.

I have read Dr. Pielke's previous Prometheus blog for several years.  One thing he is not is a skeptic.  One thing he shares with his father is being a true scientist.  He wrote this back in 2006:  http://sciencepolicy.colorado....

From my perspective, a view that bad policy arguments should be acceptable so long as they help us "win" in political battle is exactly the sort of thinking that motivated the Bush Administration's selling of the Iraq War. Not only did a bad policy result (i.e., one that has not achieved the ends on which it was sold on), but it has harmed the ability of the President to act (maybe a good thing in this case), and certainly diminished the credibility of intelligence. The exact same dynamics are at risk in the climate debate when scientists support their political preferences with bad policy arguments, or stand by silently while others speak for them.

It's politics that demand "either you are with me or against me."  It's science when following the data to transcend the rhetorical politics.

I too have followed his blog (0.00 / 0)
and you fail to mention the follow up thread....Pielke was questioning the motives of another scientist who essentially said so what if people believe Katrina was a result of global warming...that particular scientist further went on to explain that misinformation like that is occurring on both sides of the global warming argument and he has accepted that it will occur and will continue to occur and all he can do is say it is not accurate and move on...misinformation is a distraction from getting the factual data out there.

Craig, maybe I'm wrong, but if I were a scientist and I spent the last 15-25 years gathering data and studying my interest, and that data had some real world consequences, my agenda would be telling the world what those consequences might be. I do not think Pielke would have any problem with that.

[ Parent ]
my point... (0.00 / 0)
...is that climatology has been polluted by bogus arguments paid for by industry with a clear motive for muddying the waters on climate science. I can easily imagine why a scientist, after dealing with "peers" paid by oil companies to conduct studies showing climate change isn't happening, might snap at someone going down the usual b.s. path of cherry-picking data.

Is it a good strategy? Of course not! Does it make the science any less reliable? Of course not!

There's an irony here. First, we're demanding that scientists stick to a strict regimen of science. That is, we expect them to conduct all of their arguments and discourse within the strict confines of the scientific method. But now they're subject to extra-scientific attacks -- motivated by business and politics -- and fought in the media in a battle they're losing, and we expect them to not respond in kind.

That's not to say science hasn't been plagued by its gatekeepers who run the show like some sort of closed fraternity, where, if you don't have the right sort of credentials, you aren't allowed an opinion. That's been a problem for years. On the other hand, a lot of folks without credentials don't know what the h*ll they're talking about...

But, again, that has little to do with the science behind climate change. Just because scientist can be a pack of jealous, money-grubbing back-stabbers doesn't mean their science is suspect.  

[ Parent ]
Regarding your "pack of jealous, (0.00 / 0)
money-grubbing back-stabbers doesn't mean their science is suspect." argument, it is discussed here:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/200...

One of the claims in this hacked CRU email saga goes something like "Well, the scientists acted like jerks, but that doesn't affect the results, it's still warming."

I got intrigued by one of the hacked CRU emails, from the Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth to Professor Wibjorn Karlen. In it, Professor Karlen asked some very pointed questions about the CRU and IPCC results. He got incomplete, incorrect and very misleading answers. Here's the story, complete with pictures. I have labeled the text to make it clear who is speaking, including my comments.


As to money grubbing, the WSJ has this:  http://online.wsj.com/article/...

Then look at what's happening in China:  http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot....

What does this mean? If Michael Wara's assertion is taken as in fact the case then the EU has sent to China $1 billion in support of actions that would have occurred anyway. This means that the EU is able to claim credit for reducing emissions by about the equivalent of 2 years worth of Portugal's emissions (EEA data), but from a global perspective nothing has actually happened differently than it would have otherwise. Except of course for that transfer of $1 billion from the EU to China.

Reminds me of the claim of "saved or created."

The corruption in all of this undermines advocacy arguments.

[ Parent ]
You two can talk (0.00 / 0)
corruption all you like...that does not change the real world situation at all...

As real world changes take place it becomes clearer and clearer that we have a problem.... If you want to argue that human activity has NO role in climate change you would be wrong...it is impossible for it not to...and if there is a solution it can only come from one place...humans.

Talk about junk science, and corruption, are distractions to keep from acting on a serious problem...

[ Parent ]
not at all... (0.00 / 0)
"The corruption in all of this undermines advocacy arguments."

Not at all. Science shows that global warming is real, and man-made. How industry and government choose to react to that news is where the corruption comes in, not the least of which is coming from fossil fuel industry looking to confuse the public about a very real danger that's already having adverse effects in places like Montana. Uptick in wildfires? Bark beetle infestation? Drought? Check, check, and check.

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

[ Parent ]
The burden of proof (0.00 / 0)
for approaches like Cap and Trade to justify the investment and bend the curve is on the advocates.  

As to C02's % of the atmosphere look here:  http://www.srh.weather.gov/srh...

As to the anthropogenic contribution to total C02, look here:  http://www.geocraft.com/WVFoss...

A trillion $$ mitigation teacup dipped in Flathead Lake will reduce the total volume, just so infinitesimal as to being meaningless.

Even Dr. Hansen, one of Obama's chief scientists, questions the utter futility of Obama's and the UN's Cap and Trade scheme. http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm...


The fraudulence of the Copenhagen approach - "goals" for emission reductions, "offsets" that render ironclad goals almost meaningless, the ineffectual "cap-and-trade" mechanism - must be exposed. We must rebel against such politics as usual.

Bjorn Lomborg advocates putting resources where they will have the greatest result in advancing humanities interests.  For example, instead of trying to recreate New Orleans in the same indefensible hazard zone, move it. Do what we can to survive and prosper, adapt, in an uncertain world.

[ Parent ]
whew! (0.00 / 0)
Craig, usu. you're a rational man, but you've just done one of the most annoying things Climate Deniers do: post a bunch of phony anti-climate-change theories here, and put the burden of rebuttal on me.

Luckily Grist has a one-stop-shopping page of rebuttals, called "How to talk to a climate skeptic," which indexes the scientific rebuttals to these kind of claims.

Let's see. Water vapor...ah yes! Look at that! While water vapor is the main contributor to warming, it increases as temperature increases. So as man-made CO2 heats up the Earth, its effect is compounded by increased water in the atmosphere. (Here's a nice article about water vapor in RealClimate.)

As for the link pointing out that CO2 makes up a small percentage of the atmosphere, I'm not sure what you're getting at. It's not "important" enough to cause global warming? Here's a link about CO2's connection to warming...that should rebut your figure.

As for the last article...did you really just post Denier fodder here, and back it up with an argument saying global warming's advanced too far for cap-and-trade to have any effect? Well, which is it? Global warming's not happening? Or it's too far along?

[ Parent ]
Using pejorative epithets (0.00 / 0)
ends the conversation so far as my involvement here on this topic.  

[ Parent ]
er... (0.00 / 0)
Wait! You drag in the canards of five-and-dime conspiracy theorists without bothering to fact check, and you get mad b/c I call it "phony" and Scientific American calls it "nonsense"?

We're toasting our planet. And I think all the energy you use dredging up half-baked theories against climate change anyway would be better spent looking for solutions...

[ Parent ]
Scientific American... (0.00 / 0)
...actually address both the CO2 and water vapor claims in its first of seven answers to "Climate Contrarian Nonsense."

[ Parent ]
Climate data (0.00 / 0)
All of the data should be released -- but it won't be easy to do. I once sought to obtain the National Weather Service's historical records for the major stations in the Flathead River basin. It would have cost me thousands of dollars to obtain data that were collected by a government agency funded by the American taxpayer; data that cost virtually nothing to store. This is the result of an act of Congress, which I suspect was acting at the behest of the private weather forecasting industry.

By contrast, the U.S. Geological Survey makes all of its current and historical streamflow data available online for no charge.

Unless national security is involved, and it seldom is, all data collected by government, and that includes public universities, should be available to anyone and everyone, no questions asked. But that's the ideal. In the real world, data that morally and legally should be in the public domain often are hoarded and locked-up by researchers who are afraid to subject their work to public scrutiny, often with the acquiescence and connivance of the leaders of the institutions with which they are associated. That needs to change.


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