Clive Hamilton

ABC News, April 1st: by Clive Hamilton

It was the “final nail in the coffin” of global warming science, declared James Delingpole of London’s Daily Telegraph, the moment you should start dumping shares in renewable energy companies.

Lord Monckton announced that it proved beyond doubt “the abject corruption of climate science”.

“The reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished”, thundered Lord Lawson and in the United States Senator James Inhofe went so far as to recommend that all those involved should be chased down for criminal prosecution.

Our own Lord of Blog Andrew Bolt declared it “a scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science”, an outrage in which leading scientists were guilty of “conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more”.

Across the globe, denialists were cock-a-hoop. At last, the leaking of emails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia had vindicated everything they believed, even the conspiracy theories about which they were a little embarrassed.

Except that the leaked emails that sent the denial industry into a heart-stopping frenzy have turned out to be the mouse that squeaked. That roar we heard was generated in the denialist echo chamber.

Today the Science and Technology Committee of the British House of Commons brought down its report into “Climategate”. What did it find?

1. There was nothing untoward behind the “trick” used to “hide the decline” in the temperature record. The phrases were colloquial terms without any sinister implications. The Committee found that the “evidence patently fails to support” the claim that these words reveal a conspiracy to hide evidence that does not fit with global warming, and that CRU Director Professor Phil Jones has “no case to answer”.

2. The results and conclusions of CRU research have been independently verified by other methodologies and other sources of data. The Unit’s analyses “have been repeated and the conclusions have been verified”.

3. There is no evidence to suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process.

4. While 95 per cent of the CRU data have been publicly available for years and some of the remainder is subject to confidentiality agreements with overseas organisations, the report did find that CRU scientists had refused to hand over their data to climate “sceptics” and the University may have breached the Freedom of Information Act.

Despite this finding, the Committee wrote that it “can sympathise with Professor Jones, who must have found it frustrating to handle requests for data that he knew—or perceived—were motivated by a desire simply to undermine his work.”

The University of East Anglia had submitted that in “July 2009 UEA received an unprecedented, and frankly administratively overwhelming, deluge of FOIA requests related to CRU”, which helps to explain why the Committee noted a “culture at CRU of resisting disclosure of information to climate change sceptics”.

The Committee blamed the failure to release data on the relevant officers at the University who should have stepped in to over-rule the scientists. “We believe that the focus on CRU and Professor Phil Jones, Director of CRU, in particular, has largely been misplaced”, concluded the Committee, and recommended Jones be reinstated.

So, no conspiracy, no collusion, no manipulation of data, no corruption of the peer-review process, no scandal; just an understandable reluctance to hand over data to dishonest people with a history of misrepresenting it.

Squibs don’t get much damper than “Climategate”. The most worrying aspect of the drama was the way in which most of the media ditched any attempt at assessing the claims and became caught up in the frenzy, when a couple of hours spent reading the emails and talking to one of two of those involved would have made the conclusions of the House of Commons inquiry entirely predictable.

Clive Hamilton is an Australian author and public intellectual.

 

29 Responses to "Climategate: The lion that squeaked" – Clive Hamilton

  1. Owl says:

    Mr. Hamilton,
    I do beleive that 36’000 American Physisists seem to have a slightly different opinion of the matter. Odd that.
    That we are witnessing a “whitewash” by interested parties was only to be expected but it will not be accepted.
    I serious doubt that you have read the emails concerned. I have, and they tell a very sad story. Sad for science and sad for the human race.
    I wonder what vested interests you have to join in the whitewash.

    • J.Roff says:

      I do beleive that 36′000 American Physisists seem to have a slightly different opinion of the matter. Odd that.

      Which 36,000 ‘physisists’ are these?

      Considering the sheer number of scientists that endorse a consensus on climate change, I guess it is pretty odd that “American Physisists” hold a counter position:

      * American Association for the Advancement of Science
      * American Astronomical Society
      * American Chemical Society
      * American Geophysical Union
      * American Institute of Physics
      * American Meteorological Society
      * American Physical Society
      * Australian Coral Reef Society
      * Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
      * Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO
      * British Antarctic Survey
      * Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences
      * Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
      * Environmental Protection Agency
      * European Federation of Geologists
      * European Geosciences Union
      * European Physical Society
      * Federation of American Scientists
      * Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies
      * Geological Society of America
      * Geological Society of Australia
      * International Union for Quaternary Research (INQUA)
      * International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics
      * National Center for Atmospheric Research
      * National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
      * Royal Meteorological Society
      * Royal Society of the UK
      * Academia Brasiliera de Ciencias (Brazil)
      * Royal Society of Canada
      * Chinese Academy of Sciences
      * Academie des Sciences (France)
      * Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
      * Indian National Science Academy
      * Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
      * Science Council of Japan
      * Russian Academy of Sciences
      * Royal Society (United Kingdom)
      * National Academy of Sciences (USA) (12 Mar 2009 news release)
      * African Academy of Sciences
      * Cameroon Academy of Sciences
      * Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences
      * Kenya National Academy of Sciences
      * Madagascar’s National Academy of Arts, Letters and Sciences
      * Nigerian Academy of Sciences
      * l’Académie des Sciences et Techniques du Sénégal
      * Uganda National Academy of Sciences
      * Academy of Science of South Africa
      * Tanzania Academy of Sciences
      * Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences
      * Zambia Academy of Sciences
      * Sudan Academy of Sciences
      * Royal Society of New Zealand
      * Polish Academy of Sciences

      A letter from 18 scientific organisations to US Congress states:

      “Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. These conclusions are based on multiple independent lines of evidence, and contrary assertions are inconsistent with an objective assessment of the vast body of peer-reviewed science.”

      (More over at Skeptical Science)

    • J.Roff says:

      Wait, do you mean the Institute of Physicists? You are right, they are a complete whitewash:

      The Guardian has established that the institute prepared its evidence, which was highly critical of the CRU scientists, after inviting views from Peter Gill, an IOP official who is head of a company in Surrey called Crestport Services.

      According to Gill, Crestport offers “consultancy and management support services … particularly within the energy and energy intensive industries worldwide”, and says that it has worked with “oil and gas production companies including Shell, British Gas, and Petroleum Development Oman”.

      Industry money funding skeptical agendas. Who would have guessed? It is sad for science and sad for the human race. You are completely right, it was to be expected and should not be accepted. In fact, one of the IOP members even threatened to boycott his own institute for exactly this reason:

      In an open letter to the institute, Andy Russell, an IOP member who works on climate at the University of Manchester, says: “If the IOP continues to stand by this statement then I will have no other option but to reconsider my membership.”

  2. Phil M says:

    I do beleive that 36′000 American Physisists seem to have a slightly different opinion of the matter. Odd that.

    I dont know whether denialists are just the kind of people that are duped easily, or they know its untrue what they are saying & as Klem has said on this site, its about perception, not science…when it comes to denialists. They know its untrue & just hope that if they throw enough mud, quickly enough, people will just remember the mud.

    Owl the 36,000 IOP members were not even aware of the statement until it was plastered all over the denialist blogosphere. It was created by a petroleum industry consultant:

    http://www.climateshifts.org/?p=4785

    And the members knew nothing about it:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/a-mistaken-message-from-iop/

    The inquest exonerated Jones & rightly so because.

    98% of the data was available to anyone who wanted it. The remaining 2% was under strict agreements with other institutions, but still under the right circumstances available. McIntyre & fans like Eschenbach knew there was a pressure point here to exploit for sensationalism & as a pr strategy, but for no good scientific reason. They spammed the CRU with 60 FOI requests in one month. Clauses in the FOIA make allowances for vexatious requests & 60 FOI requests in one month from bloggers, most of who wouldnt have known what to do with the data if they got it, is vexatious. If Jones were to start abiding by those requests it would have taken all his staff months to just process the 1 month of FOI’s. Clearly, if McIntyres trick had of worked, they could have done this month after month indefinately. McIntyres complaints about the FOI’s & the censoring of the peer review process was unfounded.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/04/05/mcclimategate-continued-mckitrick-wrong-on-ipcc/

    McIntyre, McKitrick & Eschenbach had got it wrong many times before, but when shown where, they dont correct, they simply perpetuate the myth. Whereas when the IPCC, CRU, NASA & others have found to have errors, they immediately correct it & announce the corrections.

    That we are witnessing a “whitewash” by interested parties was only to be expected but it will not be accepted

    What we saw was expected justice concerning a theft & an unfounded smear campaign by right wing organizations & industry lobbyists.

    I serious doubt that you have read the emails concerned. I have, and they tell a very sad story. Sad for science and sad for the human race.

    I have & agree with the findings of the inquiry. Bloggers simply stole thousands of emails, took a few out of context & hoped that if they splashed them over the internet, that the layman would just concentrate on the words “decline” & “trick” & forget about what context they are used in.

    That is the real sinister thing out of this whole fiasco.

  3. Phil M says:

    Additionally Owl. Ironic that the IOP refused to reveal who all the authors of their document were…while complaining about the lack of transparency of CRU.

    Pot calling the kettle black?

  4. Owl says:

    Interesting. The Guadian admits that it supports (takes it’s orders?) from Realclimate. Vested interests again.
    The funding of the various institutions is also quite interesting. Global warming is big business and people like to keep their jobs.
    It was quite humourous to witness Gordon Brown offering 1.5 billion of tax payers money to keep up the scam. The returns must be enormous for those that control the markets.
    Oh, by the way, the Artic ice is larger than at any time since 2001. Must be being caused by global warming I assume.
    Also Andy Russell is just a well known global warming activist who likes to keep his blog site going. Big deal, he is out of line and he knows it, but even an climate academic needs funding.

    • J.Roff says:

      Hi Owl,

      Interesting. The Guadian admits that it supports (takes it’s orders?) from Realclimate. Vested interests again.

      The IOP’s ineptness has nothing to do with the Guardian, but good attempt at diverting attention from the “36′000 American Physisists” statement.

      The funding of the various institutions is also quite interesting. Global warming is big business and people like to keep their jobs.
      It was quite humourous to witness Gordon Brown offering 1.5 billion of tax payers money to keep up the scam. The returns must be enormous for those that control the markets.

      As opposed to the documented links of climate change deniers to big oil?

      Oh, by the way, the Artic ice is larger than at any time since 2001. Must be being caused by global warming I assume.

      Arctic sea ice has been retreating over the last 30 years. Yes, likely caused by global warming. But don’t assume anything, go out there and seek the science yourself.

      Also Andy Russell is just a well known global warming activist who likes to keep his blog site going.

      Where does ‘Andy Russell’ come into this?

      Big deal, he is out of line and he knows it, but even an climate academic needs funding.

      Huh? How does a blog get an academic funding? You aren’t making sense.

  5. Owl says:

    Hello JR,

    Mentioning the Guardian and Andy Russel was in reference to your post from 3:10 pm.
    The reports concerning the growth of ice in the Arctic are from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. This rather contradicts the predictions (scare stories) we are used to.
    You seem to have some sort of hang up with “deniers” and references to oil companies. I work for a bank and can assure you that “green” money is the current gravy train, not oil.
    Your use of the term “denier” is totally misplaced and insulting as this term was normally used in conjunction with the holocaust. The victims of said holocaust deserve more respect.
    Scientifically, a thesis is is offered and has to stand up to critical investigation. Scepticism is welcomed and the thesis should stand in it’s own right as the proof can/should be shown by repetition (eg. of an experiment).
    In this, Global warming does not uphold the normal scientific approach which is unacceptable. Judging by your posts, your attitude suggests more of a defense of religious rather than scientific beliefs.

    • J.Roff says:

      Hi Owl,

      Mentioning the Guardian and Andy Russel was in reference to your post from 3:10 pm.

      You still haven’t responded to the complete debunking of the “36′000 American Physisists” statement.

      The reports concerning the growth of ice in the Arctic are from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado. This rather contradicts the predictions (scare stories) we are used to.

      You are missing the point: the arctic ice is still below the 1979 to 2000 average extent. Here is what the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre have to say about it:

      The late-season growth was driven mainly by cold weather and winds from the north over the Bering and Barents Seas. Meanwhile, temperatures over the central Arctic Ocean remained above normal and the winter ice cover remained young and thin compared to earlier years.

      You tell me, is this a scientific prediction or a scare story?

      You seem to have some sort of hang up with “deniers” and references to oil companies. I work for a bank and can assure you that “green” money is the current gravy train, not oil.

      Can you provide any sources, or do we have to rely on your assurances?

      Your use of the term “denier” is totally misplaced and insulting as this term was normally used in conjunction with the holocaust. The victims of said holocaust deserve more respect.

      Oh come on, this is getting silly…

      Scientifically, a thesis is is offered and has to stand up to critical investigation. Scepticism is welcomed and the thesis should stand in it’s own right as the proof can/should be shown by repetition (eg. of an experiment).

      Every good scientist is a sceptic by nature. However, you seem to go a step further and ignore (or indeed, deny) each piece of evidence presented. Which (by my reckoning) makes you a denialist, not a scepticist.

      In this, Global warming does not uphold the normal scientific approach which is unacceptable.

      Sorry, but you don’t understand scientific theory. How exactly does global warming ‘not uphold the normal scientific approach’?

      Judging by your posts, your attitude suggests more of a defense of religious rather than scientific beliefs.

      Instead of hand waving and accusations, let’s stick to the science.

  6. David Horton says:

    Mr Owl has all the jargon doesn’t he? Denier means only Holocaust denier and so you naughty people mustn’t use that term. Sorry Owl, if the cap fits … And then “climate change is a religion” (a subset of the “green religion” nonsense), unlike of course, denialism which is just a cold hard look at the facts, more in sorrow than in anger, certainly no ideology or belief structure there. And then we have Arctic ice “increasing”, the latest piece of misinformation sweeping Deniaworld. And finally the bizarre proposition that “the proof can/should be shown by repetition (eg. of an experiment).”. Not sure how Mr Owl suggests an experiment be conducted (other than the basic physics which of course, no matter how many times you repeat it, still has CO2 as a greenhouse gas) when there is only one Earth, nor how he is going to explain to sciences like marine biology, geology, anthropology, cosmology, evolution, that they are not sciences. They just, you know, make observations, erect hypotheses, make further observations, and so on.

    This kind of rubbish can only come from someone absolutely ignorant of science. That’s fine, takes all sorts, but what is not fine is wearing that ignorance like a badge of honour, and being an enthusiastic part of the echo chamber of denialism that is helping prevent action on greenhouse gases until it is far too late.

  7. Owl says:

    JR,
    I meant, of course, the IOP.

    The open letter from the American Physical Society (APS) was in December 2009 and was signed by the following:
    Bob Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton
    Hal Lewis, emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
    Will Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton
    Larry Gould, Professor of Physics, Hartford
    Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil
    While not representing the official APS and all members, the letter was highly citical of the so called scientific methods behind global warming. I apologise for any confusion caused.

    Concerning the growth of the Arctic ice, I have to point out that you are missing the point. According to global warming “science” it shouldn’t be happening at all. In fact, it has been widely reported that the Arctic ice will disappear by 2013.
    It looks like another Himalayer glacier cock and bull story again.

    If you think that my comments regarding your use of the term denier are “silly” then I accept your opinion but mine is that you are out of touch with reality.

    I am still waiting to see the irrifutable evidence to back up the science. All I get is claims based mainly on doubtful computer models and a great deal of speculation. The science is not at all settled and you don’t seem too keen on investigation. The main bodies involved in the climategate scandel are now conducting their own investigations which is a scandel in itself. How on earth can Lord Oxburgh (director of Globe) be expected to conduct an objective inquiry into CRU? The whole situation is a joke and an insult to intelligence.

    Add carbon credits (Globe) into this and I am very sceptical of the whole show.

    I would like to add that I respect your opinion, even when I disagree with it. I just find name calling a bit purile.

    • J.Roff says:

      Hi Owl,

      I’m going to try and avoid the politics and stick to the science:

      Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil

      ExxonMobil? Don’t you see this an obvious conflict of interest?

      While not representing the official APS and all members, the letter was highly citical of the so called scientific methods behind global warming.

      So wait, is this 5 people or 36,000 people? I’m confused.

      Concerning the growth of the Arctic ice, I have to point out that you are missing the point. According to global warming “science” it shouldn’t be happening at all. In fact, it has been widely reported that the Arctic ice will disappear by 2013.

      No, I think you are missing the point: the prediction was for Arctic summers being free of ice, not the entire Arctic. Again, you’ve completely ignored the comments from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre:


      Meanwhile, temperatures over the central Arctic Ocean remained above normal and the winter ice cover remained young and thin compared to earlier years.

      It looks like another Himalayer glacier cock and bull story again.

      The IPCC made an mistake in their citation. The science is hard to disagree with: :

      What does the peer reviewed science say about Himalayan glaciers? The ice mass over the Himalayas is the third-largest on earth, after the Arctic/Greenland and Antarctic regions (Barnett 2005). There are approximately 15,000 glaciers in the Himalayas. Each summer, these glaciers release meltwater into the Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra Rivers. Approximately 500 million people depend upon water from these three rivers (Kehrwald 2008). In China, 23% of the population lives in the western regions, where glacial melt is the principal water source during dry season (Barnett 2005).

      On-site measurement of glacier terminus position and ice core records have found many glaciers on the south slope of the central Himalaya have been retreating at an accelerating rate (Ren 2006). Similarly, ice cores amd accumulation stakes on the Naimona’nyi Glacier have observed it’s losing mass, a surprising result due to its high altitude (it is now the highest glacier in the world losing mass) (Kehrwald 2008).

      While on-site measurements cover only a small range of the Himalayas, broader coverage is achieved through remote sensing satellites and Geographic Information System methods. They’ve found that over 80% of glaciers in western China have retreated in the past 50 years, losing 4.5% of their combined areal coverage (Ding 2006). This retreat is accelerating across much of the Tibetan plateau (Yao 2007).

      I am still waiting to see the irrifutable evidence to back up the science.

      Why are you waiting? What do you define as ‘irrifutable’?

      All I get is claims based mainly on doubtful computer models and a great deal of speculation.

      What qualifies you to say the claims or computer models are either doubtful or contain ‘a great deal of speculation’? Can you be more specific?

      The science is not at all settled and you don’t seem too keen on investigation.

      If you answered any of my points, you’d notice i’m happy to investigate and debate the science.

      I would like to add that I respect your opinion, even when I disagree with it. I just find name calling a bit purile.

      Honestly? I’m sure you are a great guy in real life, but I have no respect for your opinion, as seems to be nothing more than ideology masquerading as science.

  8. OveHG says:

    Dear Owl,

    My guess is that you will probably have trouble responding to J.Roff and PhilM. I believe, however, unless you can answer those points, then what you have written it is literally a bunch of hand-waving and unsubstantiated accusations. And not very useful to this discussion.

    Just on another point. You write that the world’s most respected climate scientists are being affected by how they are funded.

    This is a ludicrous notion given that it would be much more profitable at this point in time to be a highly qualified scientist who has signed on to the denialist lobby. Even people without track records in the peer-reviewed literature such as Bob Carter and Lord Munckton are paid tens of thousands of dollars to give talks. All documented.

    Currently, applying for an Australian Research Council grant has a 5-10% chance of being funded. On the other hand, if I went to work for some fossil fuel companies or perhaps Koch industries, I would literally be showered in funding if I were willing to forgo scientific truth and support the notion that climate change isn’t happening.

    Unfortunately, us poor scientists are not in it for the money! If we were, we wouldn’t be in science.

    Regards,

    Ove

  9. Owl says:

    Hello Ove,

    Firstly, thank you for your intersting article.
    Secondly, thank you for your concern.

    I have no problem at all responding to either J.Roff or PhilM even though your note does sound a little condescending (you do give the impression that you think I am out of my depth).

    Your statement “unless you can answer those points” is a little confusing as I am not sure which points you are refering to.

    If I was somewhat sceptical before debating here, I am rather more so now as I don’t think my points were fielded in a satisfactory or even convincing manner.

    • J.Roff says:

      Hi Owl,

      If I was somewhat sceptical before debating here, I am rather more so now as I don’t think my points were fielded in a satisfactory or even convincing manner.

      Apologies if you feel somewhat aggrieved.
      I did respond to each of your posts, but you ignored my response and instead raised a completely different objection.
      How’s about we start again: why don’t you list your points, and in turn respond to them?

  10. OveHG says:

    Dear Owl,

    I’m not being condescending. I am perhaps showing a little frustration and irritation. People like yourself seem to throw accusations left right and centre yet have little peer-reviewed literature to back up your statements. You also seem to be moving the target every time we respond. A classic debate tactic but not one that will lead to any useful discussion.

    There are many points made above that you need to answer, for example, J Roff asked you “Which 36,000 ‘ physicists’ are these?”. He wants to know after listing the enormously long list of the world’s best scientific academies where are your 36,000 physicists? A good question and one deserving a response. When I go through the conversation above, there are many other unanswered points like this.

    Meanwhile, I see that J Roff has asked you to put your position as the list of points. If you can do that in a brief way, we can continue to discuss your issues.

  11. Owl says:

    Admin,

    “Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil”

    Of course I saw the obvious. He also happens to be a PhD and I just wrote the names that signed the letter even though I expected that this would be jumped on. Seems more political than scientific of you.

    “So wait, is this 5 people or 36,000 people? I’m confused.”

    No your not. The 36’000 was obviously a reference to IOP. How many people should sign an open letter, isn’t 5 enough? It was sent to the other members of the APS. I do not know how many agreed to it’s contents but there is obviously a very sceptical group within APS.

    Concerning the growth of ice in the Arctic, I was refering to the following statement from 2007:

    ‘Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif., projects a blue Arctic Ocean in summers by 2013.’

    Re-reading my post, it would seem that I gave the impression that I was refering to the total ice. I apologise, that wasn’t what I intended.

    As regards the IPCC “citation” about the Himilayen glaciers, I would see it as a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. I have also read about how they arrived at this gem.

    As for the actual state of the Himilayen glaciers, I really appreciate the information you supplied. I will need time to do some investigation on this subject.

    My comments concerning the computer models comes out of 40 years experience in computer science including chaos theory and modelling.
    Getting a model working correctly requires the knowledge of all components known plus a concept of the unknowns which goes into some very grey areas. The number of variables involved makes it an unexact science (fuzzy logic). Prognosing 20, 50 or 100 years into the future using a computer model is a bit like looking into a crystal ball.
    Using this as a scientific basis is somewhat more than courageous.
    I just cannot understand how these can be taken too seriously, that’s all.

    Your statement that you have no respect for my opinion sums up a very arrogant point of view. You do not have to agree with it but respect in any debate/discussion should be a matter of “of course”.
    I must assume that you are quite young.

    I wish you all the best.

    • J.Roff says:

      Hi Owl,

      Of course I saw the obvious. He also happens to be a PhD and I just wrote the names that signed the letter even though I expected that this would be jumped on. Seems more political than scientific of you.

      This is my entire point: this is more politics than science. ExxonMobil are documented to fund campaigns of disinformation and agenda. Apparently he’s worked at ExxonMobil since 1978, but what’s more interesting is that he’s now a management consultant with a a carbon sequestration company (globalthermostat). You know, one of those people you mentioned that is on the ‘green money gravy train’ you mentioned earlier now that ‘Global warming is big business and people like to keep their jobs’. You can’t sit on both sides of the fence here.

      No your not. The 36′000 was obviously a reference to IOP. How many people should sign an open letter, isn’t 5 enough? It was sent to the other members of the APS. I do not know how many agreed to it’s contents but there is obviously a very sceptical group within APS.

      You mentioned the IOP then started talking about the APS, it was a little confusing… either way, 5 is very different to 36,000. Still, the 36,000 seems discredited now, too.

      Re-reading my post, it would seem that I gave the impression that I was refering to the total ice. I apologise, that wasn’t what I intended.

      The long term trend is a decline in Arctic sea ice. Maslowski may yet be vindicated here, and even if his predictions are a little too soon, the trend still indicates ice-free Arctic summers are inevitable.

      As regards the IPCC “citation” about the Himilayen glaciers, I would see it as a deliberate attempt to mislead the public. I have also read about how they arrived at this gem.

      You are splitting hairs here. Regardless of how you perceive this, the science remains solid (which is all that matters, right? unless you are aiming to smear the IPCC process by disinformation). Either way, finding mistakes should be expected in a document that size.

      As for the actual state of the Himilayen glaciers, I really appreciate the information you supplied. I will need time to do some investigation on this subject.

      Good to hear. Let us know how you go. By the way – the information was straight from Skeptical Science.

      Using this as a scientific basis is somewhat more than courageous.

      I just cannot understand how these can be taken too seriously, that’s all.

      This isn’t the sole scientific basis, and it’s far from courageous. I’m not sure you understand how this works.

      Your statement that you have no respect for my opinion sums up a very arrogant point of view.

      I don’t have much respect for your opinion, as I explained. This isn’t arrogance. It doesn’t mean my opinion is in any way, shape or form better than your opinion.

      You do not have to agree with it but respect in any debate/discussion should be a matter of “of course”.

      Right. But if you said “The sky is red, and i’m going to believe that no matter what you tell me. Of course i’m not going to provide any evidence, i’ll ignore everything you say in the meanwhile, and oh, by the way, i’m shutting my eyes so I can’t see the sky anymore”, then respect is no longer a matter of course. Earlier on you mentioned Gordon Brown – do you respect him? I disagree with his ideas, and have little respect for the man. Respect is earnt, it’s not a given.

      I must assume that you are quite young.

      Sorry, but age has nothing to do with this (or respect).

  12. Phil M says:

    Oh, by the way, the Artic ice is larger than at any time since 2001. Must be being caused by global warming I assume.

    Classic thing about denialism. They never admit they are wrong about anything, they simply move onto the next claim.

    Anytime since 2001? What is it with denialism & short term trends?

    I work for a bank and can assure you that “green” money is the current gravy train, not oil.

    So people with billions at their disposal think , ahh what the hell, I’ll stick with oil & get less of a return, that makes good economic sense.

    Also Andy Russell is just a well known global warming activist who likes to keep his blog site going.

    And Anthony Watts & Steve MCIntyre are not denialist activists interested in keeping their blogs going?

    Your use of the term “denier” is totally misplaced and insulting

    But I bet you find it ok to use the terms alarmist, warmist, warmologist or catastophist? Strange how deniers love to dish it out, but the receiving they dont think is so hot.

    as this term was normally used in conjunction with the holocaust. The victims of said holocaust deserve more respect.

    The operative word there is “holocaust”, as in holocaust denier. I dont think Ive ever heard anyone anywhere say the term “denier” in isolation of any topic & the other party automatically assuming they are talking about the jewish holocaust.

    I just find name calling a bit purile.

    Provide a link to a blog in the past where you have berated a follower of your side of the debate for using the terms alarmist, warmist, warmologist or catastophist & we will believe you.I’m willing to bet money, you only find it an issue when its your side copping it.

    Just on another point. You write that the world’s most respected climate scientists are being affected by how they are funded.

    Owl, on this note of Ove’s, do you think that scientists were begging on the streets & all conspired together to invent AGW so they could get some grant money & cruise off into the sunset in their beamers? Science , research & grant money was around hundreds of years before AGW became such a political topic & if it were to dissapear tomorrow, the scientists would still be doing science, research & getting grant money. Nothing would change. Why arent you on the back of scientists in the pharmaceutical industries? In comparison, whats in it for climate scientists? Theres few patents like in the pharmaceutical industries for scientists to suppliment their salaries, so its just a salary.

  13. Owl says:

    I have spent today reading some of your articles on the Internet. Very interesting and enlightening. Thank you.
    I would like to set a few things straight regarding some of the comments made on this blog.
    I am not a “denier” in the context used here. I am looking for answers to difficult questions and am quite prepared to challenge anyone if something doesn’t seem right. It has nothing to do with red skies or blue ones for that matter. I have no connections with any “denier” groups or oil companies etc. I probably belong to a fairly large group of interested people who are less than happy with political agendas masquerading as science.
    Clive Hamilton is a former Green party candidate for government who is a self acknowledged Global warming activist. He is not a scientist, but you quote his article in full. Unfortunately, I and many others would have liked to see the Government Inquiry address such questions as the alledged manipulation of peer processes, deletion of the post-1960 tree ring data and, what would have interested me most of all, the alledged manipulation of the software used to evaluate the data.
    I have only seen parts of this but what I saw was, at the least, very unprofessional. Why were these and other issues not even approached?
    As to how they managed to lose (delete?) their raw data beggars belief.
    The statement that things had to be done in a hurry before the next election is no answer as this would just suggest that the whole exercise was worthless, except as a whitewash.
    Clive Hamilton’s suggestion that everything is settled so back to business as usual, is naive.
    One of the problems is that “good” science may well end up being rejected along with “bad” science as more people are increasingly offended by political agendas running science rather than the other way round.
    Another thing is that Clive Hamilton also supports censorship of the internet which doesn’t exactly endear him to people who are already concerned with the erosion of freedom which we see especially in the UK.
    I have nothing whatsoever against honest scientists regardless of their conclusions (except some Pharma funded idiots i.e. bird flu, swine flu etc. which were only good for business).
    Having lived through the 1970′s I remember well serious scientists warning us to prepare for the imminent next ice age, well, I’m still waiting!
    The responses of some people on this site will only tend to alienate people like myself.
    Climate change is a given, man made is debatable. I bet you a beer that in 30 years the arctic ice is still there!
    Give my best wishes to “red sky” and co.

  14. [...] Science and Technology Committee. Clive Hamilton also wrote an excellent piece that can be found here, which went into more detail of the [...]

  15. J.Roff says:

    Hi Owl,

    I have spent today reading some of your articles on the Internet. Very interesting and enlightening. Thank you.

    No problems.

    I would like to set a few things straight regarding some of the comments made on this blog. I am not a “denier” in the context used here. I am looking for answers to difficult questions and am quite prepared to challenge anyone if something doesn’t seem right.

    Good to hear.

    It has nothing to do with red skies or blue ones for that matter.

    Great. But dialogue is works both ways – if you challenge someone and they respond, it’s probably best to acknowledge their response instead of ignoring it and changing topics. It gives the impression that you’ve ignored their effort to respond, and instead shifted the point at hand to something entirely different.

    I have no connections with any “denier” groups or oil companies etc. I probably belong to a fairly large group of interested people who are less than happy with political agendas masquerading as science.

    Also good to hear. Quite a few people who have been responding to the debate over the past few months have some thinly veiled ‘vested interests’. But… your statement of ‘political agendas masquerading as science’ is so far completely unfounded. When we’ve debated this, you’ve simply diverted attention away from my responses.

    Clive Hamilton is a former Green party candidate for government who is a self acknowledged Global warming activist. He is not a scientist, but you quote his article in full.

    Here’s this shifting baseline thing again – you keep addressing new points without discussing any of my responses. Can you be more specific in your problems with Clive Hamilton’s article? We often post stuff here that isn’t directly from scientists.

    Unfortunately, I and many others would have liked to see the Government Inquiry address such questions as the alledged manipulation of peer processes, deletion of the post-1960 tree ring data and, what would have interested me most of all, the alledged manipulation of the software used to evaluate the data.

    Here’s a link to the report. Where exactly are your disagreements? The reason the report didn’t mention ‘manipulation of software’ is because it’s largely made up accusation by the blogosphere.

    I have only seen parts of this but what I saw was, at the least, very unprofessional. Why were these and other issues not even approached?

    Wait a second, you’ve only seen part of this, yet you are saying this is ‘unprofessional’? Shouldn’t you read the entire document before discussing this and being so critical?

    As to how they managed to lose (delete?) their raw data beggars belief.

    Which data did they lose? Again, you are making some pretty general accusations here.

    The statement that things had to be done in a hurry before the next election is no answer as this would just suggest that the whole exercise was worthless, except as a whitewash.

    Too many accusations, too much hand waving…

    Clive Hamilton’s suggestion that everything is settled so back to business as usual, is naive.

    The only naive point is the suggestion that the issue would die down. In scientific circles and political arenas it really is business as usual.

    As for the blogosphere who seem to have a chip on their shoulders about something they percieve (rather than what actually happened), I don’t see that dying down any soon.

    One of the problems is that “good” science may well end up being rejected along with “bad” science

    Kinda agreed. This is where CRU didn’t do themselves any favours.

    as more people are increasingly offended by political agendas running science rather than the other way round.

    …and here lies the nutshell of your problem: you aren’t paying any attention to the science. So far this entire monologue has been based upon politics and ideology.

    Another thing is that Clive Hamilton also supports censorship of the internet which doesn’t exactly endear him to people who are already concerned with the erosion of freedom which we see especially in the UK.

    What? Clive Hamilton supports the censorship of the internet? Where did you get that gem from? I’m a British expat living in Australia, and am constantly aware of the erosion of freedom in the UK. In this instance though, I think you are comparing apples (climate science) and oranges (erosion of freedom). There really is no link here at all.

    I have nothing whatsoever against honest scientists regardless of their conclusions (except some Pharma funded idiots i.e. bird flu, swine flu etc. which were only good for business).

    I laughed so hard I spilt my tea. Sorry. I have nothing at all to say to this.

    Having lived through the 1970’s I remember well serious scientists warning us to prepare for the imminent next ice age, well, I’m still waiting!

    Not for much longer, ey? (by the way, the ‘predictions of an ice-age in the 1970s’ meme is debunked here). The 1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increasing CO2. Are you willing to admit that this statement is bunk, or will you ignore my response?

    Shouldn’t you be blaming the media for hyping the situation (not unlike the media hype surrounding the ‘climategate’ debacle), rather than blaming ficticious ‘serious scientists’? What exactly is a ‘serious’ scientist anyway? Are there any ‘not so serious’ scientists?

    The responses of some people on this site will only tend to alienate people like myself.

    Most likely. If you aren’t willing to discuss, debate or acknowledge things, then you are going to become increasingly more alienated as your position becomes increasingly more fringe.

    Climate change is a given, man made is debatable.

    In a nutshell, you aren’t doing a great job at debeating and you don’t understand the full issues at hand. Educate yourself – In the blogosphere, start off at Real Climate, Tamino, Deltoid, Climate Shifts. Head over to Watts up With That if you real feel that they provide a ‘balanced’ viewpoint. Read the IPCC reports, become familiar with the science. Those articles I linked that you said that were “Very interesting and enlightening. Thank you.” I lifted straight from Skeptical Science (www.skepticalscience.com) – probably the best website out there for scientific debate.

    I bet you a beer that in 30 years the arctic ice is still there!

    Of course it will be! No ‘serious scientist’ will bet you a beer that it won’t. Summer sea ice is a different story. If you think it won’t be, show us why?

  16. Phil M says:

    I have no connections with any “denier” groups or oil companies etc

    Owl, 99% of commenters on blogs from your side of the debate probably dont either. But the issue that gets up proponents of AGW’s nose is, the propaganda & PR war being waged by industry & political groups in aid of product defence & perceived politcal votes. The 1% who generate this propaganda are well documented & have done it with many products over the years. The tobacco industry, namely Brown & Wlliamson & Phillip Morris set the template for any industry wishing to wage the pr war. They successfully held up legislation that would hurt their profits for over 40 years. The history on that & how precisely the same techniques are being used today by industries trying to stave off legislation that would hurt their profits can be found here:

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/2009/08/19/where-theres-smoke-the-climate-change-denial-lobby/

    Video on it here:

    http://video.google.com.au/videoplay?docid=522784499045867811&ei=FLlHS6X5LZ-GqQPfrZXgBA&q=exxon+global+warming&hl=en#

    The right wing propaganda machine:

    http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2009/02/17/marc-morano-jokers/

    Only has to saturate the air waves & blogosphere with enough material & convince people of these main themes that the tobacco lobbies set as a proforma:

    1.…research indicates many possible causes of [......];
    2.…there is no agreement among the authorities regarding the cause of [......];
    3.…there is no proof that [......] is one of the causes;
    4.…the validity of the statistics is questioned by numerous scientists.

    The tobacco lobbies & front groups ( which still operate under Heartland & Cato) were able to convince the general public for over 40 years that their product was good. They had an armada of scientists & doctors who could unequivocally state that smoking was good. That was just 2 companies that achieved all that back then. Its now hundreds doing the same with climate change.

    I probably belong to a fairly large group of interested people who are less than happy with political agendas masquerading as science.

    The majority of people who disagree with AGW are shown to be conservatives. I have somewhere the other countries, but cannot find it now, but here is Australia:

    http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/files/2009/11/viewbyparty.PNG

    It would be hard not to when every single conservative radio & T.V station denies AGW & virtually every conservative political party opposes it also. This is now about perception & votes, not so much the science.

    Which is why you probably have a problem with this:


    Clive Hamilton is a former Green party candidate for government who is a self acknowledged Global warming activist.

    But not so much of a problem with the fact that virtually every scientist on the denier side is either working currently, or has been working for the fossil fuel or mining industry.

    He is not a scientist, but you quote his article in full

    Neither is Christopher Monckton or Willis Eschenbach, yet they feature regularly on WUWT & CA, as well as Fox News & dozens of conservative radio outlets….quoted in full.

    I and many others would have liked to see the Government Inquiry address such questions as the alledged manipulation of peer processes

    I & many others would like to see an enquiry open the books of pr & lobby groups associated with AGW denial & also grant us access to the last 10 years of their emails.

    see the Government Inquiry address such questions as the alledged manipulation of peer processes

    Which I already provided you the link for & will do so again:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/04/05/mcclimategate-continued-mckitrick-wrong-on-ipcc/

    deletion of the post-1960 tree ring data

    What, one of the proxies when all the others said the same thing:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/fig2-21.htm
    http://maps.grida.no/go/graphic/temperature-trends-and-projections

    Another thing is that Clive Hamilton also supports censorship of the internet which doesn’t exactly endear him to people who are already concerned with the erosion of freedom which we see especially in the UK.

    What has that got to do with anything? Sounds like an attempted smear.

    Having lived through the 1970’s I remember well serious scientists warning us to prepare for the imminent next ice age, well, I’m still waiting!

    This is one of the problems with the denial machine. They punch out all these baseless “facts” & people never bother to look them up to see if they are true.

    This paper by Thomas C Peterson shows just how many scientists actually published papers back then on global cooling in comparison to global warming:

    http://ams.confex.com/ams/pdfpapers/131047.pdf

    Good video on it is here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/potholer54?blend=1&ob=4#p/u/6/EU_AtHkB4Ms

  17. Mike G says:

    Owl, your most recent contribution is a perfect illustration of why you’ve been labeled a denier.

    While we’re glad to know connections to denier groups or oil companies, I don’t think any of us ever suspected that you did. However, in the process of “just asking questions” you’ve repeated a host of the most common denialist talking points, including the meme of the week about Arctic sea ice. That gives a pretty clear indication that you didn’t come up with these questions independently (i.e. they’re coming from websites that DO have connections to denier groups and oil companies) and that you haven’t put much effort into investigating the basis of the claims you’re repeating. They’ve already been addressed numerous times in numerous places, yet you insist that they’re unanswered, biting questions. That is denial.

    Unfortunately, I and many others would have liked to see the Government Inquiry address such questions as the alledged manipulation of peer processe

    Then read the House of Commons report as this question is addressed there. “We are content that the phrases such as “trick” or “hiding the decline” were colloquial terms used in private e-mails and the balance of evidence is that they were not part of a systematic attempt to mislead. Likewise the evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers.” See pages 25-27 for more.

    deletion of the post-1960 tree ring data

    What deletion of post-1960 tree ring data? Keith Briffa still has it. The fact that some subsets of tree ring data do no match with known temperatures since 1960 has been the subject of multiple papers, including in Nature, since the 1990s when the reconstructions were first compiled. It has never been hidden in any way. See:

    Briffa et al, “Reduced sensitivity of recent tree-growth to temperature at high northern latitudes”, Nature, vol 391 (1998), pp 678-82

    Cook et al, “Dendroclimatic signals in long tree-ring chronologies from the Himalayas of Nepal”, International Journal of Climatology, Vol 23 (2003), pp 707-32

    Briffa et al, “Trees tell of past climates: but are they speaking less clearly today?”, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences, vol 353 (1998), pp 65-73

    what would have interested me most of all, the alledged manipulation of the software used to evaluate the data.

    Again, see the HoC report as it is addressed there. “Those codes are from a much earlier time, they are from the period about 2000 to 2004. [They] do not relate to the production of the global and hemispheric temperature series. They are nothing to do with that, they are to do with a different project [...] that was funded by the British Atmospheric Data Centre, which is run by NERC, and that was to produce more gridded temperature data and precipitation data and other variables. A lot of that has been released on a Dutch website and also the BADC website.63″

    “…it was unnecessary to provide the exact codes that he used to produce the CRUTEM3 chart. The Met Office had released its code and it produced exactly the same result.61″

    Why were these and other issues not even approached?

    Clearly they were, but as noted in the HoC report, the scope of the investigation conducted for this report was rather limited. The two upcoming reports will answer additional questions.

    As to how they managed to lose (delete?) their raw data beggars belief.

    I’m not sure why that should be the case as CRU is not a data archive or a meteorological observatory. They analyze data collected by others and produce a value-added product. The worst they can do is delete their COPY of the raw data. The same raw data is available from the meteorological organizations that produced it- the same place CRU got the data in the first place and the same place CRU told the FIO requesters to get it. This has already been pointed out innumerable times online, including in the HoC report and on this very thread.

    Having lived through the 1970’s I remember well serious scientists warning us to prepare for the imminent next ice age, well, I’m still waiting!

    You may indeed remember as much, but as J Roff’s link above demonstrates, such a concern was not reflected in the scientific literature.

  18. Owl says:

    I have to disagree as quite often I am replying to more than one poster and my observations are often related. I could also make the accusation that you take single sentences and comment on them losing there real sense as the following related sentences are ignored.

    This is an example of what I mean. The statement relating to Clive Hamilton’s affiliations is an extension of my reference to Political agendas. I am refering to politicians not scientists obviously. I am also refering to the article which was the initial base of the discussion so why didn’t you wait for the topic expansion. As for being specific about the problems with it, well, the sentences that followed were exactly that.

    Because I have seen part of it (I mean programs not documents) and I am a computer professional. The coding I saw was mildly put, unprofessional. In laymans terms, it was crap. I wanted to know if this was genuine or not. The report only appears to have asked Phil Jones himself about it and has the reply that it is old code from another project. The statement from John Graham-Cumming who is presented in the report as a computer programming expert is as follows:
    “the organization writing the [other] code did not adhere to standards one might find in professional software engineering. The code had easily identified bugs, no visible test mechanism, was not apparently under version control and was poorly documented. It would not be surprising to find that other code written at the same organization was of similar quality. And given that I subsequently found a bug in the actual CRUTEM3 code only reinforces my opinion.65″.

    Mr. Cummins saw standards of programming that would not be accepted in any business which is exactly what I saw as well so nothing new.
    Mr. Cummings suggests that the CRUTEM3 project was also substandard. I would have liked the situation to have been cleared up completely but the subject then is dropped! Why? This is very important.

    “66. Critics of CRU have suggested that Professor Jones’s use of the words “hide the decline” is evidence that he was part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that did not fit his view that recent global warming is predominantly caused by human activity. That he has published papers—including a paper in Nature—dealing with this aspect of the science clearly refutes this allegation. In our view, it was shorthand for the practice of discarding data known to be erroneous. We expect that this is a matter the Scientific Appraisal Panel will address.

    This summation of the “colloquial uses” of “hide the decline” and “trick” makes me wonder if I really received a good British education. They literally changed the meaning of words to suit. That this will be referred to another “Panel” is not surprising but I don’t feel very convinced that this is being given the due diligence that it deserves.

    “73. The evidence that we have seen does not suggest that Professor Jones was trying to subvert the peer review process. Academics should not be criticised for making informal comments on academic papers. The Independent Climate Change Email Review should look in detail at all of these claims.”

    Once again, they are washing their hands of another serious subject and “passing it on” to another panel.

    No, as an interested onlooker, I am not at all happy with this commitee which has just left things hanging in the air.

    As I mentioned before, I think time should be made for a correct investigation and, from my position, it leaves a strong sense of whitewash. I doubt if I am alone on this or even a fringe inhabitant. Most of my working collegues with whom I have discussed this feel the same regardless of their views on AGW. We would like more clarity.

    I was refering to it deletion on the IPCC graphs which have been widely discussed by “deniers” and would appreciate it you could give some light on this.

    Common knowledge, just check Wiki if you want to. It shows a couple of references. Of course, it’s all for the sake of the children but being an expat you should be quite accustomed to the mantra.

    You state that there is no link between climate change and erosion of freedoms. I would dare to suggest that our politicians do not see it that way, especially the brave new world versions.

    Thank you for your kind words but I started my odessey at RealClimate so the circle closes. But not quite, as you also recommended looking at the Skeptical Science website. I did but was very surprised at what I found. It shows a poll of “earth scientist” regarding concensus on 1. has temperature risen since 1800 and 2. is mankind himself significantly responsible. 3146 scientists replied and it show in nice colours that climatology scientist who have published works on climate change are around 97-98% in agreement with points 1 and 2. I just wondered why it wasn’t 100%. Then I looked at the poll details. Only 5% of the repliers were climatologists (approx. 157) which made them a minority group with the poll but they and their publications were enough to get the highest chunk on the graph. It eventually boiled down to approx. 90% yes on the first question and only 82% on the second. A large majority but hardly unanimous. Then I looked at the petition against (disagreeing with) AGW which they also have on their site. The petition has been signed by over 31’000 scientists from America alone (over 9’000 with PhDs). There were also 39 climatologists!

    This makes the idea of a concensus rather difficult to beleive and makes me wonder why they have it on their site. They can’t all be paid lackeys of the oil companies surely?

    Please come to my side of the table and see how difficult it is to form an opinion when, it would appear, the scientists who we look to for guidance are hardly in agreement.

    I may not have addressed all your points but I also work for a living so I try to do my best in the time available. I have also only partially referred to some points made by Mike G. I would just like to say that the “new ice age” was mainly media hype in the 1970′s based on about 7 scientific papers as opposed to many more opposing this theory. The general public was presented with this as being from “serious scientists”, which I assume the glorious 7 were, but that was my whole point. I think something about “once bitten twice shy” might be an expected reaction.

    Mike,

    When I read this sort of statement then I despair. I have probably read just about all the websites that a resonable person could from both sides. I started at RealClimate and have travelled through WattsUp etc. I have also read Delingpole and Monbiot. So what!
    I like to look at all sides to a question, don’t you?
    Obviously what I read will also colour what I ask, my reading might just be a bit broader than you think. You assume too much.

  19. Phil M says:

    I cant see what he put in the inverted commas.

  20. Phil M says:

    The statement relating to Clive Hamilton’s affiliations is an extension of my reference to Political agendas.

    Still dont get what point you are trying to make here Owl. You think there is only a political agenda coming from the greens side? What about Nick Minchin, Tony Abbott, Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Monckton, Bob Carter, James Inhofe, Alan Jones, Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck, Jonathan Leake? Theres just a few to chew on.

    Because I have seen part of it (I mean programs not documents) and I am a computer professional.

    Ok, first you led us to believe that you are across financial transactions around the world by making us believe you are a banker.Remember this?

    I work for a bank and can assure you that “green” money is the current gravy train, not oil.

    So now you are a programmer? ]

    The coding I saw was mildly put, unprofessional. In laymans terms, it was crap.

    I run an IT firm & have had dozens of programmers work for me. I dont think I have ever had one that has said “thats a fantastic bit of code”, or “its perfect”. They pretty much disparage every bit of code that they didnt create themselves.

    The report only appears to have asked Phil Jones himself about it and has the reply that it is old code from another project.

    Even if you took CRU out of the picture, you would still have other independent sources of data, like RSS, UAH & GISTEMP.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Satellite_Temperatures.png

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/

    Are you somehow hoping that if one is wrong, it somehow makes all the others wrong as well?

    You state that there is no link between climate change and erosion of freedoms.

    That is simply conservative paranoia. Similar to the plans to de-industrialze the west.

    The petition has been signed by over 31′000 scientists from America alone (over 9′000 with PhDs). There were also 39 climatologists!

    The Oregon petition? The one where out of nearly 13 Million scientists in the US 31,000 signed a petition, like Michael J Fox & Ginger Spice? The one where there were no phone numbers or addresses so the names couldnt be verified? The one where the scientists who’s names WERE recognizable were asked if they put their names on there & said no?

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/scrutinising-31000-scientists-in-the-OISM-Petition-Project.html

    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2009/climate-change-a-consensus-among-scientists/

    Please come to my side of the table and see how difficult it is to form an opinion when, it would appear, the scientists who we look to for guidance are hardly in agreement.

    You know of workplaces or industries where everyone is in agreement 100% of the time?

  21. Mike G says:

    Just FWIW, I can’t see what’s in the inverted commas either, so I’m just guessing what you were replying to based on the context in your reply.

    Because I have seen part of it (I mean programs not documents) and I am a computer professional. The coding I saw was mildly put, unprofessional. In laymans terms, it was crap. I wanted to know if this was genuine or not.

    In general, scientists aren’t computer professionals. We don’t aim to produce professional code. We aim to produce code that is useful to us, and only occasionally to others. I don’t know of anyone in the natural sciences who would brag about their programming skills. I would certainly be the first to tell you that my own programs are poorly commented, not at all streamlined, and in some cases have minor bugs. They are in layman’s terms “crap”… but they work. There is no incentive for me to pretty them up given that A) I won’t end up actually using most of them in publications and B) most of them are never intended to be seen or used by anyone but me.

    You see, for most scientists it’s pretty unusual for someone to want to see your code. You’ve already spelled out the methods in your paper and any interested party should be able to reproduce your algorithm from that. In fact, my population ecology course consisted almost entirely of trying to code models to reproduce the results of published work based on their methods. We only got to see the code (most of which wasn’t pretty, and which sometimes had bugs) AFTER we’d already gotten our results. Every single one of the models and its results was reproducible without seeing the code, and that was the point. The fact that you can get the same result without seeing the code itself but by knowing the method verifies the result. As Phil points out (and a point made in the HoC report as well), even without seeing the HadCRUT code, the results are already verified by NCDC, GISSTemp, RSS, and UAH, which despite using varying methodologies arrive at the same conclusion. Even if HadCRUT was the worst program in the world, its results are very similar to (though actually a bit cooler than) those published by GISSTemp, the code for which has been available online for years. The fact that the methodology of GISS does in fact give the result they claim has been confirmed numerous times. See: http://clearclimatecode.org/gistemp/

    This summation of the “colloquial uses” of “hide the decline” and “trick” makes me wonder if I really received a good British education. They literally changed the meaning of words to suit.

    I can’t speak for British Education, but in American education we were taught to interpret the meaning of words based on their context within a sentence.

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
    If they were discussing a decline in temperatures that they wanted to hide, how would adding in the real temps help do that? Are you going to tell us that by “real temps” they actually meant “fake temps?” Besides, there was no decline in temperatures from 1961 or 1981 to 1999 in any of the instrumental or satellite records. If you’re really paying attention, you might even realize that Keith is Keith Briffa, who wrote a paper in Nature showing that one set of trees he tried to make a reconstruction with showed a decline starting in 1961 and therefore shouldn’t be used beyond that point. There are also several places in the data files that warn that the tree ring data should not be used beyond 1961 because of what the code author calls “the decline.”

    So you have a couple very high profile papers written in 1998 and 1999 by a guy named Keith showing that there is a “decline” beginning in 1961 indicated in a subset of one type of proxy, and warning that those data are unreliable beyond that point. Then you have a guy, who created a graph, which cites said paper, saying he hid the decline starting in 1961 from some guy named Keith’s data by adding in real observed temperatures.

    It almost sounds like Phil Jones paid heed to Keith Briffa’s warning not to use his data beyond 1961 and instead filled in the gap from 1961-1999 with instrumental temperatures- not in a peer reviewed article or the IPCC even, but for a cover picture on a WMO brochure.

    Where is the “trick” as in deception there? Could it be that “the [hidden] decline” since 1961 in Keith’s data was the decline since 1961 that Keith Briffa’s tree-ring reconstruction (which was the source cited by Jones in the WMO graph)showed? It’s almost a stretch of the imagination to think it’s anything else. Is it a “trick” to throw out data that is demonstrably wrong and fill a gap with data that is of higher quality?

    Once again, they are washing their hands of another serious subject and “passing it on” to another panel.

    The evidence for the allegation pretty much amounts to “he said mean things to me” and a handful of emails illustrating that Jones did indeed say mean things to or about other authors. As pointed out in the HoC report, the papers he said mean things about were published already and they later appeared in the IPCC report, despite the fact that Jones didn’t like them. It’s hard to subvert the review process when commenting on it after the fact. And Jones was hardly alone in his feelings about some of these papers. One paper that he said mean things about was so bad, in fact, that its publication prompted half of the editorial staff of the journal to leave in protest, including the editor-in-chief, who is a “skeptic” himself. It would also be highly unusual to find a working scientist who didn’t say mean things about the work of other scientists in private emails, given the competitive and highly skeptical (in the true sense of the word) nature of scientists.

    As I mentioned before, I think time should be made for a correct investigation and, from my position, it leaves a strong sense of whitewash.
    I’m fairly certain that anything except wholesale confirmation of Jones’ guilt would leave you with a strong sense of whitewash as you’ve already made up your mind and are unwilling to consider the evidence.

    Specifically, what could any panel say about the emails that would convince you that there was in fact no cover-up, no malfeasant manipulation of data, and no subversion of peer-review?

    I was refering to it deletion on the IPCC graphs which have been widely discussed by “deniers” and would appreciate it you could give some light on this.

    Actually the IPCC graphs which used Keith Briffa’s reconstructions including the post-1960 decline. However, because the post-1960 data was known to be erroneous at the time, Jones didn’t include it in a graph he made for the cover of a WMO brochure and instead filled the gap with temperatures as measured by thermometers. It had already been demonstrated that from 1961 onward Briffa’s reconstruction did not track temperature trends, so it made no sense to leave the divergent portion of the line in the graph intended to illustrate temperature trends.

    You can still see the complete graph with post-1960 decline in Briffa’s papers or in the IPCC report if you’re concerned that it has been lost or otherwise hidden from public view.

  22. Mike G says:

    Just FWIW, I can’t see what’s in the inverted commas either, so I’m just guessing what you were replying to based on the context in your reply. I could be replying to wildly different points than what you actually cited.

    Because I have seen part of it (I mean programs not documents) and I am a computer professional. The coding I saw was mildly put, unprofessional. In laymans terms, it was crap. I wanted to know if this was genuine or not.

    In general, scientists aren’t computer professionals. We don’t aim to produce professional code. We aim to produce code that is useful to us, and only occasionally to others. I don’t know of anyone in the natural sciences who would brag about their programming skills. The extent of my formal programming education is 4 semesters in high school, which is about 4 more than most scientists have. I would certainly be the first to tell you that my own programs are poorly commented, not at all streamlined, and in some cases have minor bugs. They are in layman’s terms “crap”… but they work. There is no incentive for me to pretty them up given that A) I won’t end up actually using most of them in publications and B) most of them are never intended to be seen or used by anyone but me.

    You see, for most scientists it’s pretty unusual for someone to want to see your code. You’ve already spelled out the methods in your paper and any interested party should be able to reproduce your algorithm from that. In fact, my population ecology course consisted almost entirely of trying to code models to reproduce the results of published work based on their methods. We only got to see the code (most of which wasn’t pretty, and which sometimes had bugs) AFTER we’d already gotten our results. Every single one of the models and its results was reproducible without seeing the code, and that was the point.

    As Phil points out (and a point made in the HoC report as well), it’s not sifting through the code line by line looking for errors that gives us confidence in the process and results- it’s the fact that other people get the same answer using similar methods, or better yet, an independent method. Even if HadCRUT was the worst program in the world, its results are very similar to (though actually a bit cooler than) those published by GISSTemp, the code for which has been available online for years. That the methodology of GISS does in fact give the result they claim has been confirmed numerous times. See: http://clearclimatecode.org/gistemp/

    This summation of the “colloquial uses” of “hide the decline” and “trick” makes me wonder if I really received a good British education. They literally changed the meaning of words to suit.

    I can’t speak for British Education, but in American education we were taught to interpret the meaning of words based on their context within a sentence.

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
    If they were discussing a decline in temperatures that they wanted to hide, how would adding in the real temps help do that? Are you going to tell us that by “real temps” they actually meant “fake temps?” Besides, there was no decline in temperatures from 1961 or 1981 to 1999 in any of the instrumental or satellite records. If you’re really paying attention, you might even realize that Keith is Keith Briffa, who wrote a paper in Nature showing that one set of trees he tried to make a reconstruction with showed a decline starting in 1961 and therefore shouldn’t be used beyond that point. There are also several places in the data files that warn that the tree ring data should not be used beyond 1961 because of what the code author calls “the decline.”

    So you have a couple very high profile papers written in 1998 and 1999 by a guy named Keith showing that there is a “decline” beginning in 1961 indicated in a subset of one type of proxy, and warning that those data are unreliable beyond that point. Then you have a guy, who created a graph, which cites said paper, saying he hid the decline starting in 1961 from some guy named Keith’s data by adding in real observed temperatures.

    It almost sounds like Phil Jones paid heed to Keith Briffa’s warning not to use his data beyond 1961 and instead filled in the gap from 1961-1999 with instrumental temperatures- not in a peer reviewed article or the IPCC even, but for a cover picture on a WMO brochure.

    Where is the “trick” as in deception there? Could it be that “the [hidden] decline” since 1961 in Keith’s data was the decline since 1961 that Keith Briffa’s tree-ring reconstruction (which was the source cited by Jones in the WMO graph)showed? It’s almost a stretch of the imagination to think it’s anything else. Is it a “trick” to throw out data that is demonstrably wrong and fill a gap with data that is of higher quality?

    Once again, they are washing their hands of another serious subject and “passing it on” to another panel.

    The evidence for the allegation pretty much amounts to “he said mean things to me” and a handful of emails illustrating that Jones did indeed say mean things to or about other authors. As pointed out in the HoC report, the papers he said mean things about were published already and they later appeared in the IPCC report, despite the fact that Jones didn’t like them. It’s hard to subvert the review process when commenting on it after the fact. And Jones was hardly alone in his feelings about some of these papers. One paper that he said mean things about was so bad, in fact, that its publication prompted half of the editorial staff of the journal to leave in protest, including the editor-in-chief, who is a “skeptic” himself. It would also be highly unusual to find a working scientist who didn’t say mean things about the work of other scientists in private emails, given the competitive and highly skeptical (in the true sense of the word) nature of scientists.

    As I mentioned before, I think time should be made for a correct investigation and, from my position, it leaves a strong sense of whitewash.
    I’m fairly certain that anything except wholesale confirmation of Jones’ guilt would leave you with a strong sense of whitewash as you’ve already made up your mind and are unwilling to consider the evidence.

    Specifically, what could any panel say about the emails that would convince you that there was in fact no cover-up, no malfeasant manipulation of data, and no subversion of peer-review?

    I was refering to it deletion on the IPCC graphs which have been widely discussed by “deniers” and would appreciate it you could give some light on this.

    Actually the IPCC graphs which used Keith Briffa’s reconstructions including the post-1960 decline. However, because the post-1960 data was known to be erroneous at the time, Jones didn’t include it in a graph he made for the cover of a WMO brochure and instead filled the gap with temperatures as measured by thermometers. It had already been demonstrated that from 1961 onward Briffa’s reconstruction did not track temperature trends, so it made no sense to leave the divergent portion of the line in the graph intended to illustrate temperature trends.

    You can still see the complete graph with post-1960 decline in Briffa’s papers or in the IPCC report if you’re concerned that it has been lost or otherwise hidden from public view.

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