Home > Environment > Climategate revisited

Climategate revisited

February 11th, 2010

Now that the main charges of scientific misconduct arising from the hacking of the University of East Anglia email system have been proven false, it’s possible to get a reasonably clear idea of what actually happened here. For once the widely used “X-gate” terminology is appropriate. As with Watergate, the central incident was a “third-rate burglary” conducted as part of a campaign of overt and covert harassment directed against political opponents and rewarded (at least in the short run) with political success.

The core of the campaign is a network of professional lobbyists, rightwing activists and politicians, tame journalists and a handful of scientists (including some at the University of East Anglia itself) who present themselves as independent seekers after truth, but are actually in regular contact to co-ordinate their actions and talking points. The main mechanism of harassment was the misuse of Freedom of Information requests in an effort to disrupt the work of scientists, trap them into failures of compliance, and extract information that could be misrepresented as evidence of scientific misconduct. This is a long-standing tactic in the rightwing War on Science, reflected in such Orwellian pieces of legislation as the US “Data Quality Act”.

The hacking was almost certainly done by someone within the campaign, but in a way that maintained (in Watergate terminology) “plausible deniability” for the principals. Regardless of what they knew (and when they knew it) about the actual theft, the leading figures in the campaign worked together to maximize the impact of the stolen emails, and to co-ordinate the bogus claims of scientific misconduct based on the sinister interpretations placed on such phrases as “trick” and “hide the decline”.

The final group of actors in all this were the mass audience of self-described “sceptics”. With few exceptions (in fact, none of whom I am aware), members of this group have lost their moral bearings sufficiently that they were not worried at all by the crime of dishonesty involved in the hacking attack. Equally importantly, they have lost their intellectual bearings to the point where they did not reflect that the kind of person who would mount such an attack, or seek to benefit from it, would not scruple to deceive a gullible audience as to the content of the material they had stolen. The members of this group swallowed and regurgitated the claims of fraud centred on words like “trick”. By the time the imposture was exposed, they had moved on to the next spurious talking point fed to them by the rightwing spin machine.

To keep all this short and comprehensible, I haven’t given lots of links. Most of the points above are have been on the public record for some time (there’s a timeline here), but a few have only come to light more recently. These Guardian story brings us up to date, and names quite a few of the key players (see also here). For the role of allegedly independent journalists in all this, see Tim Lambert’s Deltoid site (search for “Rosegate” and “Leakegate”).

Update I should have mentioned that much the same team had their first outing in the controversy over the Mann et al “hockey stick” graph. All the same elements were there – supposedly disinterested citizen researchers who were in fact paid rightwing operatives, misuse of accountability procedures, and exceptional gullibility on the part of the “sceptical” mass audience. Details are here (h/t John Mashey). Note in particular the role of Edward Wegman, who had the great appeal of being an apparent cleanskin without the kind of paper trail associated with the majority of delusionist “experts”. Here are my comments on Wegman’s silly and dishonest critique of Mann.. It was obvious at the time that Wegman had agreed in advance to do a hatchet job, a fact confirmed by his later appearance on delusionist petitions. But until now we didn’t have the details of the connection.

Categories: Environment Tags:
  1. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 11th, 2010 at 06:37 | #1

    My god you are biased.

  2. February 11th, 2010 at 07:00 | #2

    TerjeP: How about changing your designation to Pot?

  3. gerard
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:12 | #3

    My god you are biased.

    Terje demands that truth and lies be given equal time. Let us make up our own mind!

  4. jeff
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:15 | #4

    i wonder how often there are police investigations into leaks

  5. Michael
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:15 | #5

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Biased towards facts and evidence perhaps?

  6. jeff
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:16 | #6

    the false “leak” that made ralph willis look like a fool near the 1996 elelction (sorry about the date, shaky memory on dates) was never investigated as far as my shaky memory tells me

  7. jquiggin
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:28 | #7

    @jeff
    Your “leak” terminology implies an inside job, as opposed to a purely external hacking attack. My best bet, following the Guardian article is that it was a bit of both, but we will probably never know for sure.

  8. Freelander
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:28 | #8

    I prefer the term “implausible deniability” because, lets faces it, no one really believes the denial. (Except, if anyone takes Terje’s post seriously, Terje.)

  9. February 11th, 2010 at 07:29 | #9

    @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Who isn’t?

  10. Donald Oats
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:39 | #10

    Bias, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. When M&M decide to critique some of Monckton’s more egregious errors of fact on climate science, when the poor man’s Smarties M&M decide to investigate the forever changing narrative by Carter, Plimer et al about the cooling since 1998, when they do some field work like Lonnie Thompson, Richard Alley, and a zillion other climate scientists, and then go to the bother of making their raw data and preprocessing decisions available for all to criticise, when Hell freezes over, then I might reconsider my view that they are no more value than a bad case of haemorrhoids.

  11. jeff
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:43 | #11

    @jquiggin
    thanks john – not to hijack your post or get you off-topic for too long – do you rememebr the incident concerning ralph willis in 1996 or so? i remember his appearing before the TV cameras with letters purported to be the then opposition’s dastardly plans, but were then proved to be fake, and he was roundly criticised for it and some people said it was a major low point in that campaign for labor

  12. jquiggin
    February 11th, 2010 at 07:48 | #12

    I do remember the Willis incident, Jeff, and it came up recently, though I can’t recall the exact context. I believe there were accusations that a Liberal staffer had passed off the fake, but they were never proved and I’ve never seen any convincing evidence against anybody (not that I’ve looked).

    Now, back to Climategate

  13. Paul Williams
    February 11th, 2010 at 08:25 | #13

    @Donald Oats

    “when the poor man’s Smarties M&M decide to … do some field work like Lonnie Thompson, Richard Alley, and a zillion other climate scientists, and then go to the bother of making their raw data and preprocessing decisions available for all to criticise, when Hell freezes over, then I might reconsider my view that they are no more value than a bad case of haemorrhoids.”

    Hell froze over in 2007.

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/12/a-little-secret/

  14. Paul Norton
    February 11th, 2010 at 08:51 | #14

    I have sat on disciplinary panels at my university which have expelled students for hacking into university computer systems. It speaks volumes for the denialists’ ethics that they don’t condemn such behaviour in this instance and some even regard it as praiseworthy.

  15. cbp
    February 11th, 2010 at 09:43 | #15

    In the case that the emails were ‘leaked’ as opposed to ‘hacked’, does anyone know the exact legality of this in the UK? Specifically, if I work for a university and I stumble upon my colleagues personal emails, what sort of trouble would I be in if I then published the emails on the web?

  16. Tony G
    February 11th, 2010 at 10:14 | #16

    Paul Norton @ 14

    “An effectively functioning society is founded upon educated individuals who would then act to restrain the excesses of government or the reckless actions of a mass of people”.

    When ‘the Revenue Lobby*’ are touting a ‘consensus’ based on fraud as scientific evidence, with the view to feathering their own nest (i.e a mass publicly funded ‘conspiracy’ by ‘the Revenue Lobby’); then it is up to “educated individuals” to exposed the fraud by any means possible…. Although, whistle blowing thus far, is all that has happened at the University of East Anglia and it should not be illegal.

    *The ‘revenue lobby’ (comprising the ATO, the Treasury and their allies in politics, ACADEMIA, the media and the welfare industry) is alive and well.

  17. Eat The Rich
    February 11th, 2010 at 12:37 | #17

    Shorter Tony G:
    Has gun and has vote. Will shoot if necessary.

  18. wilful
    February 11th, 2010 at 12:52 | #18

    I must say, as a fully paid-up* member of the climate change believers club, I have a lot of trouble giving a rat’s arse about the ethics of the hack and releasing the emails. Yes they were private, yes it’s a crime, yes they were open to misinterpretation, but let the sunshine in I reckon. As it happens, it was all a complete beat-up and nothing was found. A real conspiracy would have had some evidence there, surely!

    If this was a rational, evidence based debate, then it would have been seen as an own goal by the denialists. Of course, Andrew Bolt and the various charlatans don’t play by those rules…

    *shh, don’t tell Tony G.

  19. Pedro X
    February 11th, 2010 at 12:58 | #19

    Ths s bsltly tr.

    Th nvstgtn by th Hs Rpblcns hs clrd ll mplctns f wrng dng by th Nxn dmnstrtn frm th tps.

    Srsly, ths s hlrs. Th cgntv dssnnc n ths pst s fntstc. t’s lk th rq nfrmtn mnstr syng tht th mrcns r nwhr nr Bghdd.

    t’s nt jst ths, th whl rprt f WG2 s bng sht t pcs.

    D y lk t th Grdn, th Lft Wng ppr n th K?

    Hv y sn th plls n th K?

    Frm th BBC:
    http://nws.bbc.c.k/2/h/scnc/ntr/8500443.stm

    Th mst cmmn vw n th K s nw tht clmt chng s hppnng ( s t LWYS hs ) bt tht t sn’t mstly d t hmn ctvty.

    Thr s nw mnng fr ‘dnr’. t’s smn wh hs fld t rcgns tht th jstfctn fr lrg scl c02 mssns rdctns s gn.

    disemvowellment to spammers! JQ

  20. ewe2
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:14 | #20

    Ah, pedro. Deniosaur Central is working hard today I see. Must be those secret herbs and spices.

  21. Grim
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:24 | #21

    “My god you are biased.” [TerjeP]

    Yep, your god would be biassed, you did make him after your own image, right ?

    Sorry Terj, but you do make such a big, slow moving target of yourself.

  22. Mobius Ecko
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:31 | #22

    Pedro X cross posting the exact same post across several blogs I see. Really become shrill and desparate.

  23. jethro
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:35 | #23

    Now that the main charges of scientific misconduct arising from the hacking of the University of East Anglia email system have been proven false [...]
    The provided link refers to a PSU investigation of Michael Mann. Isn’t there also an investigation conducted by UEA into the CRU scientists (IIRC Phil Jones stepped down pending the results) ? If so, has it reported any findings?

  24. Stephen L
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:37 | #24

    I think “climategate” and the single mistake detected in 1600 pages of IPCC report will be featuring a lot more in the denialist buzz. There single biggest claim for a long time has been an absence of warming for a few years, sometimes hyped to claims of cooling.

    I’m willing to bet already that 2010 will be the hottest year since instrumentation began*, based on the January data, the general trend and the fact this is an El Nino year. The denialists know they’ve only got a few more months to use the claim temperatures have platued, so they’ll be relying on things like “climategate” which cannot be graphed to refute them.

    *Yes I am fully aware that one year’s temperatures do not prove climate change. However, the denialists have run so hard on looking at short term trends having this knocked out from under them will be a problem in terms of selling to the public.

  25. smiths
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:42 | #25

    Have you seen the polls?

    killing joke right,
    and questioning a corrupt and dishonest political class makes a paper left wing does it?
    whereas a propaganda tube like murdochs empire is what, right wing?
    a sensible and constructive comments policy restrains me from explaining my feelings towards you pedro x and terje

  26. DMHope
    February 11th, 2010 at 13:59 | #26

    Michael Mann is still under investigation by Penn State University.

    http://live.psu.edu/story/44327

    “In looking at four possible allegations of research misconduct, the committee determined that further investigation is warranted for one of those allegations. The recommended investigation will focus on determining if Mann “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities.”

    In the investigatory phase, as in the inquiry phase, the committee will not address the science of global climate change, a matter more appropriately left to the profession. The committee is charged with looking at the ethical behavior of the scientist and determining whether he violated professional standards in the course of his work.”

    UEA Climatic Research Unit faces an independent review headed by Sir Muir Russell. The first review point is,

    1. Examine the hacked e-mail exchanges, other relevant e-mail exchanges and any other information held at CRU to determine whether there is any evidence of the manipulation or suppression of data which is at odds with acceptable scientific practice and may therefore call into question any of the research outcomes.

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2009/dec/CRUreview

    Some current and former IPCC authors have condemned the IPCC as politicized and tainted by advocacy. Some have called for its abolition.

    This is one of the most significant and far-reaching scientific scandals ever.

  27. Doug
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:09 | #27

    The question is where does the scandal actually reside?

    Inside or outside the University?

    An account of the Penn State investigation on makes clear the the Univesity administration had to try and get to clarity that the critics outside had not provided as to the issues at stake and that they wer trying to make sense of a mass of incoherent material that in itself did not add up to a clear charge of anything.

    The University is bending over backwards to apply an appropriate process to deal with nobody knows quite what.

  28. Paul Williams
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:16 | #28

    @jethro

    I don’t think the UEA inquiry has released any findings yet, jethro. There is also still a charge against Mann that is going to be further investigated.

    The charges against Mann have not been “proven false”. The Inquiry Committee says that no credible evidence exists, which is not the same thing.

    In fact the inquiry report reads like a whitewash. The questions asked of Mann are not posted on the PSU website, neither are Mann’s responses, or the list of emails that are supposedly the ones Phil Jones asked him to delete.

    Apparently the only outside people interviewed were North and Kennedy, both prominent warmists.

    It seems they asked Mann if the allegations were true, he said “No way!” and they accepted his word.

    One could also ask why the committee felt the necessity to address the “hide the decline”/temperature splice to cover up the proxy decline issue, given it happened before Mann was at Penn State.

  29. February 11th, 2010 at 14:18 | #29

    Somehow DM Hope manages to leave off the part that although they found no evidence Penn State, would let an investigation start on the fourth point since that was something for a group of faculty to look into, rather than the administrators who had conducted the preliminary investigation which found Mann completely blameless.

  30. Alex
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:28 | #30

    @Stephen L

    Your point that the denialosphere will move on to ‘climategate’ as the new talking point was illistrated perfectly by

    @DMHope

    Who’s claim that “This is one of the most significant and far-readching scientific scandals ever” comes prior to any finding of the sort being made.

  31. Alex
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:30 | #31

    illistrated = illustrated
    Who’s = whose

    My communist indoctrinated education interfered with my learning.

  32. Donald Oats
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:39 | #32

    As I’ve posted before, the global temperature anomaly data from GISS shows that for the instrumental record 1880 — 2009, the year 1998 has been thrashed by 2005, beaten by 2009 and 2007, and tied with 2002. Of the 30 hottest years, all but 3 are from the most recent 30 years. Of the hottest 10 years, all but one (the exception being 1998) are from the most recent 10 years. That makes a mockery of the claim that the climate is cooling (since 1998 according to the misinformation spruikers). Top 30 years listed here (No. Year Anomaly):

    1 2005 0.63
    2 2007 0.57
    3 2009 0.57
    4 1998 0.56
    5 2002 0.56
    6 2003 0.55
    7 2006 0.54
    8 2004 0.49
    9 2001 0.48
    10 2008 0.43
    11 1997 0.4
    12 1990 0.38
    13 1995 0.38
    14 1991 0.35
    15 2000 0.33
    16 1999 0.32
    17 1988 0.31
    18 1996 0.29
    19 1981 0.26
    20 1983 0.26
    21 1987 0.26
    22 1994 0.23
    23 1944 0.2
    24 1989 0.2
    25 1980 0.18
    26 1973 0.14
    27 1993 0.14
    28 1977 0.13
    29 1986 0.13
    30 1992 0.13

    That is the temperature anomaly record. Those are the facts. So what do the “sceptics” do? They say oh that organisation, I don’t trust their data so your facts are wrong. And then they claim to use the same data to show “cooling”. What a joke.

  33. Ernestine Gross
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:44 | #33

    DMHope , Paul Williams

    Except possibly for you two, most people who visit this blog-site can read all by themselves. Your interpretation of the findings on Dr Mann, which have been published on this blog-site some days ago, is therefore totally superfluous.

  34. wilful
    February 11th, 2010 at 14:51 | #34

    DMHope, must try harder.

    I mean really, just how thick do you think we really are?

  35. Ernestine Gross
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:01 | #35

    @Paul Williams

    You write:

    “The charges against Mann have not been “proven false”. The Inquiry Committee says that no credible evidence exists, which is not the same thing.”

    First of all, it is Dr Mann and not “Mann”.
    Second, there were to “charges”. There were allegations. Not the same thing.
    Third, what are you accusing Dr Michael Mann of?

    No weasel words, please. Either you have a clearly formulated accusation or not. So come clean.

  36. Nick
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:18 | #36

    @wilful
    I agree there’s nothing in the emails,and the public is welcome to them,but what is unacceptable is that some ethically retarded individuals have seen fit to publish and/or promote for sale their paranoid and slanderous estimations of what the correspondence means. Their behavior has breached ethical standards on consultation in the preparation,intellectual copyright,and is clearly defamatory. This should be followed up with legal action by the email authors.

  37. Doug
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:19 | #37

    Background on the alegations about Dr Mann

    At the time of initiation of the inquiry, and in the ensuing days during the inquiry, no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official. As a result, the emails and other communications were reviewed by Dr. Pell and from these she synthesized the following four formal allegations. To be clear, these were not allegations that Dr. Pell put forth, or leveled against Dr. Mann, but rather were her best effort to reduce to allegation form the many different accusations that were received from parties outside of the University.
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/michael-mann-exonerated.html

  38. Tim Macknay
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:25 | #38

    The charges against Mann have not been “proven false”. The Inquiry Committee says that no credible evidence exists, which is not the same thing

    What you are implying, Paul Williams, is that if I accuse you of, say, murder, without any credible evidence whatsoever, unless you can prove you did not commit the murder I can still regard you as guilty.

    Extraordinary.

  39. fred
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:26 | #39

    We are still playing the game of the denialist propagandists.

    In that we are responding to their false claims and arguing the validity and credibility of such as if they have some sort of either.
    Thus we are playing on their oval, with their ball, according to their rules.

    Lets play a different game.

    There are a couple of others available.

    One of them is the science and reality game.
    Does the science etc show that the globe is warming and that AGW is at the root of that and we need to do something yesterday about the impact?

    That game is essentially over.
    The score is in.
    AGW won in a landslide.

    Another game is to look at the credibility, validity and integrity of the denialists.
    Its the same game we have been playing up till now but in reverse, we can put the magifying glass on the other team.

    How do:
    Monckton, Plimer, Watts, Bellamy, Fielding’s coterie, Heartland ….. et al
    stack up when it comes to:
    sources, funding, quoting in context, credibility, accuracy, integrity, facts, research …. etc?

    Hmmm?

    I suggest that game is over as well.

    At least in real terms but, unfortunately, not in propaganda terms.

    So anytime the denialists come up with a confected claim as they have in the past and doubtless will manage to continue to do so in the future, lets put them under the spotlight of criticism.

    If they cite Monckton ask:
    do they support Monckton’s claim that the Arctic was iceless in the early 15th century and we know such because a Chinese fleet visited the Arctic in 1421 and saw no ice?
    Facts and research please and comment on such and the resultant issue of Monckton’s integrity.

    The ‘put up or shut up’ approach [as illustrated by Ernestine and others above].

    Repeat same for all those denialist champions who make wild claims.

    Put up or shut up.

  40. Tony G
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:31 | #40

    Donald @ 32 (this is off top but it demonstrates AGW fraud)

    In reality Don those temperature readings do not mean much.

    Only a micro fraction of the atmosphere is measured for temperature and a fictitious extrapolation is then obtained to ‘guess’ the temperature for the rest.

    If we use the Karmen line as our boundary (the boundary is actually a lot further) we get a figure of about 51,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic meters.

    Can you tell me Donald, how many cubic metres of the atmosphere do we have a thermometer in and how many cubic metres do we extrapolate (guess) the temperature?

    I think we can extrapolate (guess) the answer to being, thermometers are in a very very small fraction of the atmosphere.

  41. Doug
    February 11th, 2010 at 15:48 | #41

    Tony G

    On that line of argument we could not rely on rainfall measurements because the gauges only cover a small fration of the land mass.

    and your substantive point is?

  42. Tony G
    February 11th, 2010 at 16:09 | #42

    Come on Dougie they can’t measure atmospheric temperature to the tolerance that Don is on about; they don’t measure 99.999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere so they have to guess.

    Next you will be saying an Australian ETS is going to stop carbon increasing in the atmosphere at the rate 1.5ppm per year..ha ha lol. AGW and its cure is all BS.

  43. February 11th, 2010 at 16:35 | #43

    In which John Quiggin makes an interesting and totally irrelevant point with regard to the ‘Climategate’ scandal.

    The unfortuante reality is that the politics of climate change is being lost. IPCC, rightly or wrongly, is no longer credible. The science – in the eyes of the public – is uncertain (which imho is the whole point, but that is a longer discussion). The politicians’ resolve is unconvincing. The strategy emphasising international agreement over national solutions failed at Copenhagen.

    In the middle of all that, we are invited by JQ to consider the morality of hacking, alleged right-wing bias and the degree of its organisational capabilities. Well, what’s bias to some is conviction to others. Something the climate change argument sorely lacks at the moment.

  44. gerard
    February 11th, 2010 at 16:40 | #44

    The charges against Mann have not been “proven false”. The Inquiry Committee says that no credible evidence exists, which is not the same thing.

    {internet meme}
    Did Paul Williams rape and murder a girl in 1990?
    Why won’t he prove that he didn’t?
    {/internet meme}

  45. Colin Webb
    February 11th, 2010 at 16:57 | #45

    Ilya @43
    You may be right about the politics – you are certainly right about the politicians and their unravelling resolve. You may even be right about the public’s view of the science (although I find it hard to give much credibility to generalised claims to know how “the public” sees things).

    Doesn’t mean the evidence is wrong. Doesn’t mean we can walk away from it. Doesn’t mean your hands are clean of the future.

  46. wbb
    February 11th, 2010 at 16:58 | #46

    You are a scientist aren’t you, Tony G?

    Well, a statistician, then?

    No?

    Lucky.

  47. Paul Williams
    February 11th, 2010 at 17:10 | #47

    @Ernestine Gross

    “Second, there were to “charges”. There were allegations. Not the same thing.”

    Our host called them “charges”. That’s good enough for me. If you have a problem with that, take it up with him. Didn’t you say you could read? Why not try it?

    Re Tim Macknay and gerard”s comments;

    Is this the level of debate you encourage John?

  48. Donald Oats
    February 11th, 2010 at 17:38 | #48

    @Paul Williams
    Well I agree with you that that is at least a start, so I’ll retract at least the haemorrhoids comment for now. In all seriousness, do you know where they’ve put the results of the core data they gathered? I’d like to have a look.

  49. Ernestine Gross
    February 11th, 2010 at 17:41 | #49

    @Paul Williams

    My question was: What are you accusing Dr Michael Mann of?

    I rephrase it:

    Are you alleging Dr Michael Mann has committed scientific misconduct?

    Yes or No?

  50. Colin Webb
    February 11th, 2010 at 17:50 | #50

    I went to the see the doctor the other day. Regular check up, plus a few things worrying me, not as I expected them to be. The doctor ordered some tests – quite a few actually. He sent me to people who were experts in measuring the things he wanted to get some data on. The test results came back – this one was normal, this one was right at the top of the ‘normal’ range, and this one was well outside what he said he would expect for a healthy person of my age.

    Did I believe him? Had he looked at every cell in my body? No. Had he studied every limb and every system in my body? No. Did he have a completely accurate understanding of every possibly relevant symptom, every pain, every idiosyncrasy of my waking and sleeping hours? No. I was sceptical.

    He said he needed to do more tests to get more information that would help to either confirm his tentative diagnosis or suggest another line of possibilities. He told me he could only go on whatever evidence he could gather and his professional knowledge about what it might mean.

    Even after the second, and third round of tests, it was obvious to me that we were still making educated guesses. While the doctor says “I’m pretty sure you are suffering from the very serious illness xxx”, it could just be a combination of swallowing too much air with my food, the way I sit, and the tightness of my collar. Or it could be serious illness yyy. Or a mutated form of an incredibly rare disease he’s never seen before. I guess I’ll get a definitive diagnosis when they do an autopsy.

    Can I see someone else, get a second opinion? Should I do this? Sure, he says – that’s what I would recommend.

    Same sort of diagnosis – a few different interpretations, but same story.

    What am I going to do? I could wait until it gets a whole lot worse – although the doc says it’s too late to do anything about fixing or delaying it once it gets much worse. Maybe I could stick with my scepticism and just see if he’s wrong – I guess if he is, I’ll be pretty chuffed, and if he isn’t, I’ll just have to accept that I was wrong. He says it’s not a nice way to die.

    And maybe I could ask my kids and grandkids if they want to sign a pact to die with me, if he does turn out to be right. Some of them are telling me not to worry, doctors often get it wrong. I’m glad they are being so brave.

    Update: I decided to go with the treatment recommended by the doctor. He has shares in the hospital where I will have the operation, so maybe he’s just lying to increase his own wealth – but like just about every other person I know, I think I have to go with what he’s telling me, based on the evidence he’s got.

    I guess we make these sorts of decisions all the time – weigh up the information we’ve got, and decide what’s the sensible thing to do. Could be wrong, but on the weight of probability …

  51. Paul Williams
    February 11th, 2010 at 18:32 | #51

    @Donald Oats

    Donald, I think there is a link to the data in the “secret” post I linked to. If not, look on his main page and there is a data link on the side.

    @Ernestine Gross

    Sorry, I was laughing too much.

    I’m not accusing him of anything. Why should I?

  52. Donald Oats
    February 11th, 2010 at 18:36 | #52

    @Tony G
    1) That reply of yours is exactly what I expected from a delusionist like your good self. To quote myself first:

    So what do the “sceptics” do? They say oh that organisation, I don’t trust their data so your facts are wrong.

    And to quote your reply in full (because it is so off-world):

    Donald @ 32 (this is off top but it demonstrates AGW fraud)
    In reality Don those temperature readings do not mean much.
    Only a micro fraction of the atmosphere is measured for temperature and a fictitious extrapolation is then obtained to ‘guess’ the temperature for the rest.
    If we use the Karmen line as our boundary (the boundary is actually a lot further) we get a figure of about 51,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic meters.
    Can you tell me Donald, how many cubic metres of the atmosphere do we have a thermometer in and how many cubic metres do we extrapolate (guess) the temperature?
    I think we can extrapolate (guess) the answer to being, thermometers are in a very very small fraction of the atmosphere.

    My bolding of text in the above. ’nuff said on denier tactic talking point.

    2) I’m stunned; They don’t measure air temperature high up in the stratosphere for global surface temperature, because they are reporting surface temperature!
    It may surprise you to learn that we don’t actually need to measure the temperature at each and every point in the spacetime continuum if all we want is a statistical mean called the global (surface) temperature (anomaly). In fact, because temperature at the Earth’s surface is not generally discontinuous, and certainly a thermometer reading is already a local average temperature, we can exploit the continuity of the surface temperature field to interpolate the surface temperature using statistical methods. In fact, it is possible to determine the local and global errors in doing this. As Hansen did empirically by examining the robustness of results when a random subset of the temperature measurement “stations” are removed from the sample.

    3) I’ve already noted the fairly obvious point that whole of atmosphere temperature measurements are rather unnecessary if you just want a surface temperature; nevertheless, I’ll walk the extra mile with you Tony, and note that beside balloon measurements and aircraft measurements – every commercial airliner routinely measures temperature – satellites are capable of measuring radiation at specific wavelengths, and from that a mathematical reconstruction of the temperature distribution with altitude may be performed.

    @Tony G
    To quote you Tony:

    Come on Dougie they can’t measure atmospheric temperature to the tolerance that Don is on about; they don’t measure 99.999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere so they have to guess.

    WTF?? You’re the arch-sceptic Tony; if it can’t be observed by your own eye it isn’t good enough as evidence.

    Happy trails,
    Don.

  53. Freelander
    February 11th, 2010 at 19:35 | #53

    @Colin Webb

    Colin, if you were a climate change denier you would have substituted your own diagnosis and probably asked for your money back and the medicare payment on top! What would these experts know that a conceited Tory Lord wouldn’t know by birth right.

  54. Ernestine Gross
    February 11th, 2010 at 20:25 | #54

    @Paul Williams

    .Thank you for your answer.

    You are saying you are not accusing Dr Michael Mann of anything.

    Given that you are not accusing Dr Michael Mann of anything, there is nothing that needs to be whitewashed concerning Dr Mann.

    You wrote: “In fact the inquiry report reads like a whitewash”.

    What is it that might have required a report that reads ‘in fact’ like a whitewash?

  55. Jill Rush
    February 11th, 2010 at 21:54 | #55

    It appears that there are many delusionists who are happy to take the moral high ground but without any need to worry about their own integrity. This is not a new phenomena which is described in common language as taking a speck out of the eye of another whilst ignoring the log in one’s own.

  56. Paul Williams
    February 12th, 2010 at 06:45 | #56

    @Ernestine Gross

    Apparently some people complained to Penn State about the good doctor.

    You’re not really keeping up with this, are you?

  57. Ken
    February 12th, 2010 at 09:30 | #57

    It’s a victory for Deny, Doubt, Delay. The science of climate hasn’t shifted an iota because of these emails but politics and public perceptions have – which is still a significant, if Pyhrric, victory.

    It’s enough to help delay policy action, which will see the world continue to entrench even greater reliance on fossil fuels. The lag time between emissions and climate impacts is going to be the real killer; the economic impacts are likely to be severe before we even begin to see serious bipartisan efforts and by then the economic costs of urgent action will be even greater. Which means those efforts will continue to be sapped by the urgency of short term economic imperatives.

    May the people who advocate Doubt, Denial and Delay enjoy their little victories now, because AGW isn’t going to go away and I expect that they will end up being vilified for their misguided efforts. As, I suppose, will the nation that is the world’s biggest exporter of coal and gas and which steadfastly stands by it’s right to continue expanding it’s exports of GHG’s no matter that we know that it’s wrong.

  58. Ernestine Gross
    February 12th, 2010 at 09:51 | #58

    Paul Williams :@Ernestine Gross
    Apparently some people complained to Penn State about the good doctor.
    You’re not really keeping up with this, are you?

    1. “Apparently some people complained to Penn State about the good doctor”

    As I said in my first response to your post, the original Penn State uni report had been posted on this blog-site some time ago. For your information, here is an excerpt:

    “Beginning on and about November 22, 2009, The Pennsylvania State University began to receive numerous communications (emails, phone calls and letters) accusing Dr. Michael E. Mann of having engaged in acts that included manipulating data, destroying records and colluding to hamper the progress of scientific discourse around the issue of anthropogenic global warming from approximately 1998. These accusations were based on perceptions of the content of the widely reported theft of emails from a server at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in Great Britain.
    Given the sheer volume of the communications to Penn State, the similarity of their content and their sources, which included University alumni, federal and state politicians, and others, many of whom had had no relationship with Penn State, it was concluded that the matter required examination by the cognizant University official, namely Dr. Eva J. Pell, then Senior Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. The reason for having Dr. Pell examine the matter was that the accusations, when placed in an academic context, could be construed as allegations of research misconduct, which would constitute a violation of Penn State policy.”

    “At the time of initiation of the inquiry, and in the ensuing days during the inquiry, no formal allegations accusing Dr. Mann of research misconduct were submitted to any University official. As a result, the emails and other communications were reviewed by Dr. Pell and from these she synthesized the following four formal allegations. To be clear, these were not allegations that Dr. Pell put forth, or leveled against Dr. Mann, but rather were her best effort to reduce to allegation form the many different accusations that were received from parties outside of the University. The four synthesized allegations were as follows

    Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to suppress or falsify data?

    2 | P a g eRA-10 Inquiry Report: Case of Dr. Michael E. Mann February 3, 2010

    1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions with the intent to delete, conceal or otherwise destroy emails, information and/or data, related to AR4, as suggested by Phil Jones?

    1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any misuse of privileged or confidential information available to you in your capacity as an academic scholar?

    1. Did you engage in, or participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research or other scholarly activities? ”

    Dr Michael Mann has been cleared of the allegations (ie put the questions in the form of a statement of claim and you get the conclusion that the allegations are dismissed because of lack of evidence. In a system where a person is assumed innocent until proven guilty this is the best possible outcome to ‘prove’ that the allegations are false.). Term in brackets added.

    Source: http://www.research.psu.edu/orp/Findings_Mann_Inquiry.pdf

    I do not wish to be disrespectful when I ask: Are you contributing anything except what looks like rumour mongering?

    2. “You’re not really keeping up with this, are you?”

    I am possibly one of the worst subjects for communications strategists and media management people. The rumour is that such experts get close to tearing their hair out because of my resistance to having my head managed by their messages. (Now you have a reason to have a giggle.)

    Here is an update. In terms of media messages, the alternative to IPCC introduced in Australia in the recent past, is Emeritus Professor Ian Plimer (who refused to answer questions about his book on national television) and a Lord Christopher Monckton. The said Lord has a BA in classics. The said Lord is listed in the reference list in JQ’s post. Monckton’s conspiracy theory has been torn to shreds in a few lines (ie elegantly) by our host JQ, in an article published in the Australian Financial Review.

    The news is that Lord Christopher Monckton has or still is under the weather in South Australia. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the good Lord is suspected to have suffered a heat stroke.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-diary/climate-denier-under-weather-20100210-nsd3.html

  59. Tim Macknay
    February 12th, 2010 at 11:02 | #59

    Paul Williams @47: I demonstrated the stupidity of your claim by reductio ad absurdum. I’m sorry you find that level of debate too sophisticated for you, and are unable to answer it. Perhaps if you refrained from making unsupportable statements, you wouldn’t get upset when people pointed out how nonsensical they are.

  60. Tony G
    February 12th, 2010 at 11:25 | #60

    Don;

    They do not measure the actual surface (ground) temperature. According to ‘the GW theory’ they get their average ‘surface temperature’ by averaging the temperature primarily for the troposphere, which goes up from the surface between 6 to 20ks. Also , 70% of the surface area doesn’t have hardly any stations on it as it is water. So the measurements a skewed to what is happening over land.
    If we use the top of the troposphere as our boundary. that still gives us 10,200,000,000,000,000,000 cubic meters of which only a few hundred cubic metres are measured and the rest is made up, interpolated, extrapolated or guessed. i.e they still don’t measure 99.999999999999999999999% of the atmosphere; which ever way you care to look at it, 99.999999999999999999999% is interpolated (guessed)

    WIKI

    “Deriving a reliable global temperature from the instrument data is not easy because the instruments are not evenly distributed across the planet, the hardware and observing locations have changed over the years, and there has been extensive land use change (such as urbanization) around some of the sites.
    The calculation needs to filter out the changes that have occurred over time that are not climate related (eg urban heat islands), then interpolate across regions where instrument data has historically been sparse (eg in the southern hemisphere and at sea), before an average can be taken.
    There are two main global temperature datasets, both developed since the late 1970s: that maintained by the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia [3] and that maintained by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies “

    Considering the recent events @ UEA it would be safe to conclude their 50% of the data set is either tainted or doctored.

    All I am putting to you Don is that there is a lot of uncertainty in the assumption that Global temperatures are actually rising. If you are going to ban cheap coal derived power to third world countries, thus condemning billions to poverty and death, you need a bit more proof than fancy extrapolated guesses.

  61. Doug
    February 12th, 2010 at 11:45 | #61

    Your last comment ignores the fact that billions in the third world are facing extreme poverty at the moment and assumes that effective development for many people requires the standard high carbon path of industrialisation.

    I am bemused at the sudden concern with the poor by people arguing your case.

    Many of these people are already facing the impact of climate change. The ecological impacts of climate change are already real and pressing. Most development agencies are already documenting these changes in communities with whom they are working across the globe.

  62. Paul Williams
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:04 | #62

    @Ernestine Gross

    We seem to be talking at cross purposes.

    I did get that you were upset that I didn’t give Mann his honorific. Just so you know, I often call the Prime Minister “KRudd”, so Mann didn’t do too badly!

    @Tim Macknay

    Tim, why not quit before you dig your hole any deeper? Unless English is your second language, in which case I congratulate you on your mastery, but suggest you hire a lawyer before entering into any legally binding contracts.

  63. Tim Macknay
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:21 | #63

    Paul, you have in no way countered my demolition of your ludicrous assertion. Why is that, I wonder?

    Considering your demonstrated lack of understanding of the notion of the burden of proof, it’s a little rich for you to be bringing lawyers into it. Your resort to insults is an admission of failure.

  64. Tony G
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:24 | #64

    “Many of these people are already facing the impact of climate change”

    Dougie that is alarmist propaganda. The climate is always changing and there is no
    proof that people can control the weather or climate. It is also yet to be proven that humanity can either increase or decrease the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

    “I am bemused at the sudden concern with the poor by people arguing your case. ”

    What bemuses me is spiritually bankrupt urban environmentalists, who have never gone without a high standard of carbonised industrialised life style, forcing billions into poverty and death, by denying them the same technology and resources they enjoy.

  65. Doug
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:41 | #65

    Tony G

    Wrong and Wrong again – it is the documented experience of people across the globe. I have talked to numbers of people from the ppcfici Islands and southe east Asia who have first had knowledge of what is happening.

    Your display of concern for the poor has all the conviction of crocodile tears and displays a patronising tone which carries no conviction.

    The people you refer to are not being force into extreme poverty – they are already there.

  66. Tony G
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:49 | #66

    “The people you refer to are not being force into extreme poverty – they are already there.”

    And they will stay there as long as there are people like you Dougie, people that value the lives of flora and other fauna over their own species.

  67. John Mashey
    February 12th, 2010 at 12:54 | #67

    And for the gory detail on the Wegman Report, in context, with a lot of reference material, see : plagiarism-conspiracies-felonies-breaking-out-wegman-file, and look at the latest attachment at the bottom, which is V1.0.1.

  68. Doug
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:03 | #68

    Climate change has changed the weather pattern. This has reduced the age old six seasons into three. The summer is becoming longer and hotter every year. The monsoon period is becoming shorter and more intense. The streams, rivers and canals are drying up – which are the source of irrigation, agriculture and drinking water… These changes were gradual during the early eighties and have taken a fast and visible stride over the last decade. The brunt of the climate change can be felt very distinctly now, as this has affected crop production, food security and the rural economy. There is great internal migration into the cities, as people go in search of sustainable income and livelihood that has become unpredictable and risky in the rural agricultural economy.

    Case study Bangaldesh

    Dealing with the reality of climate change offers the only way forward for sustainable development.

    The rest of the rhetoric about my valuing the lives of flora and othe rfauna over my fellow human beings is nonsense.

    Deal with the issues – not implying views to bpeople that they do not have.

  69. Nick R
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:11 | #69

    Doug- hmm it is strange to hear AGW denialists fret about poverty. As they are numerous and almost exclusively on the political right I suspect that they also favour tax cuts for the rich, reductions in public/welfare spending, cuts in aid/transfers to poorer countries (except under the guise of war) etc…

  70. TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:12 | #70

    Tony G – when you measure the temperature of a room the thermometer only occupies a tiny percentage of the room. Yet we accept the reading. I think there are difficulties in measuring global temperature reliably over time but I don’t think this is due to anything inheriently wrong with the theory of sampling. Indeed there is a point at which extra sampling will provide little in the way of improved accuracy. Also in terms of surface temperatures across the oceans we have 1000s of robotic samplers now in operation. They sample temperatures at the surface as well as at depth. They also monitor currents, salinaty, pressure and the like. To be sure the historical data isn’t as rich but we do have a lot of data these days.

  71. wilful
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:19 | #71

    Tony G :
    It is also yet to be proven that humanity can either increase or decrease the amount of carbon in the atmosphere.

    Tony G, I realise it’s entirely fruitless debating you, facts glide over your arguments, but we are 100% certain that the additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is anthropogenically sourced, due to isotopic signatures.

  72. February 12th, 2010 at 13:27 | #72

    This from J Bowers on the Guardian Thread:

    “How many read ClimateAudit?

    Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM

    I suggest that interested readers can participate by choosing 5 countries and sending the following FOI request to david.palmer at uea.ac.uk:

    Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2009 at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A CA reader notified me offline that he requested agreements involving Russia, China, India. I already requested Canada, United States, Australia, U.K., and Brazil.

    Please keep adding to the inventory of FOI requests to CRU.

    Here’s the form letter he wrote for everyone to use:

    Dear Mr Palmer,

    I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested]

    1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;
    2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;
    3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that ?prevents further transmission to non-academics?.
    4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,

    I am requesting this information for the purposes of academic research.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Yours truly,

    yourname

    Note the line:
    I am requesting this information for the purposes of academic research.
    Was it for academic research? Is that true?
    EAU got just under 60 FOIA requests in less than a week!”

    This shows how McIntyre at Climate Audit set up the deluge of spam FOI requests, knowing that CRU wouldn’t be able to deal with them, and that, with a bit of luck, communications from the Unit would reveal their desperate attempts to handle this flood of bogus requests. And then, of course, hack the emails, and cherry picking words, use the FOI response generated to pretend that Phil Jones and crew were trying to cover up, hide things. This has been a very clever Black Ops scam.

  73. Fran Barlow
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:52 | #73

    @Tony G

    All I am putting to you Don is that there is a lot of uncertainty in the assumption that Global temperatures are actually rising.

    Apart cfrom the direct sampling we currently NASA has measured the radiative balance — the patterns’ of incoming and outgoing radiation at the stratosphere. When these are in balance, temperature is maintained. When outgoing exceeds incoming, then we cool and when incoming exceeds outgoing, we warm. It’s actually called an energy budget.

    Examination of that budget affirms that we are indeed warming. Not only that, an examination of the spectra of outgoing longwave radiation changes maps exactly to the changes in atmospheric CO2 inventory over the last 40 years providing us with an exact fingerprint of the drivers of the climate anomaly. We don’t need to guess, and so we don’t.

  74. Fran Barlow
    February 12th, 2010 at 13:54 | #74

    oops! my first line above should read …

    Apart from the direct sampling we currently do, NASA has measured the radiative balance …

  75. Chris Warren
    February 12th, 2010 at 14:03 | #75

    TonyG

    You are being boring. All thermometer readings are samples.

    Rain gauges are samples too.

    Ultraviolet radiation readings are mere samples too.

    It appears that it is the accusers and their fellow travellers who are guilty of political misconduct.

    here is the latest exoneration: Climate Scientist Innocent

  76. February 12th, 2010 at 14:58 | #76

    And so the process continues http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/12/climate-change-climategate-nature-global-warming – Editor of Nature forced to resign from panel looking at the emails because he had dared to express the opinion that there clearly wasn’t a problem. The Editor of Nature “forced to resign after sceptics questioned his impartiality”.

  77. Ernestine Gross
    February 12th, 2010 at 15:35 | #77

    @Paul Williams

    1. You are making an assumption about what upsets me, which, if you had asked me, I could have told you it is wrong. Moreover, you have no evidence to the contrary.

    The Prime Minister has staff. I assume if you calling the PM KRudd would upset the Prime Minister then they would let you know. It is not my business.

    2. Please note I have asked you a question about the purpose of your posts on this thread. In the absence of an answer I assume the answer is ‘no’

  78. Tony G
    February 12th, 2010 at 15:42 | #78

    Terje,

    A room is a bit different to the variables of the troposphere, you can control the temperature in a room and physically monitor nearly 100% of it. Where as only a micro of the troposphere can be monitored and its dimensions are huge. You also have nearly an infinite number of variables that effect the temperature, like the changes in pressure, water content and the movement of large volumes of air constantly changing temperature with height differentials, all of which need to be evaluated and these variables can not be controlled. Anyway you guys can ‘believe’ that they can accurately measure it and deduce a warming from the highly interpolated time series provided, but sorry I don’t share your faith.

    It is agreed they are collecting a lot more data now days, but if they do not have similar calibre of data going back for the last 50 years, it is hard to draw a categorical conclusion that it is warming or cooling.

    Wilful;
    When volcanic eruptions occur and parts of the crust become molten, fossil fuels are burned. How are you a 100% certain the fossil fuel isotopic signatures you allude to are 100% anthropologically sourced?

    Fran’
    “Examination of that budget affirms that we are indeed warming”
    no it just means they can not account for some of the radiation; prove it is evidence of warming or anything else for that matter.

    “xamination of the spectra of outgoing longwave radiation changes maps exactly to the changes in atmospheric CO2 inventory over the last 40″

    Fran, exactly how long have they been doing this type of monitoring?

  79. wilful
    February 12th, 2010 at 16:04 | #79

    Tony G, you couldn’t buy a clue. WHAT THE F*CK do you think all of the coal and oil that has been burned has turned into? Here, learn something.

  80. Paul Williams
    February 12th, 2010 at 16:10 | #80

    @Tim Macknay

    “Paul, you have in no way countered my demolition of your ludicrous assertion. Why is that, I wonder?”

    I realise some of the kiddies who follow John Quiggin think every word he writes is infallible, but you should know that when he says the charges against Mann have been “proven false”, he’s possibly indulging in wishful thinking.

    “Proven false” is more stringent than “lack of evidence”. Outside of this blog, most people accept that. I’m sure you wouldn’t consider a lack of evidence for AGW as being proof that AGW is false?

    The Penn State inquiry finds a lack of evidence, and as far as I can see, it asks us to take their word for that. Do you imagine John would have used the words “proven false” if the charges were against John Christy, and the only outside interviewees were Ian Plimer and Bob Carter? Try reading the findings substituting those names, and see what you think.

  81. Chris Warren
    February 12th, 2010 at 16:18 | #81

    @wilful

    The link is not working? at least for me.

    What is the url?

  82. Tim Macknay
    February 12th, 2010 at 16:56 | #82

    Paul Williams, I realise you are wilfully misunderstanding what I wrote, and I admit I don’t expect you to conduct yourself in an intellectually honest manner. Nonetheless, I’ll reiterate my point.

    John Quiggin’s choice of words was and is irrelevant to my point, which is the absurdity of your implication that a finding that no credible evidence exists to support an allegation of wrongdoing is somehow not an exoneration of the accusee. In any fair tribunal, a finding that no credible evidence exists for the accusation is a claim that the accusation is groundless. The absurdity is highlighted by substituting the parties and the facts for some other scenario, which I did in my original comment.

    Your statement would be equally absurd if the investigation was into an allegation against Christy and was judged by Plimer and Carter as you suggest (although the comparison doesn’t make sense, since they are all from different universities). The words John Quiggin would choose to use are irrelevant to this point, as is the question whether or not the inquiry’s findings (which I have actually read, I might add) are honest.

    Feel free to debase yourself further by throwing in some more irrelevant insults.

  83. Alice
    February 12th, 2010 at 19:52 | #83

    @wilful
    Wilful- please read the discussion policy and stop using the F word with three stars after it.

  84. February 12th, 2010 at 20:27 | #84

    Proven false – wheres the proof – nothing was proven false but the facts are there to see – FOI were withheld, data was adjusted, etc etc you lose your credibility by making baseless claims

  85. Tony G
  86. Marion Delgado
    February 12th, 2010 at 21:59 | #86

    Tim, when you argue with the sociopath, you’re giving positive stimulus, so the behavior will continue.

  87. February 13th, 2010 at 07:24 | #87

    Andrew Lacis, a physicist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and colleague of James Hansen.

    Education:
    B.A., Physics, 1963, University of Iowa

    M.S., Astronomy, 1964, University of Iowa

    Ph.D., Physics, 1970, University of Iowa

    Publications, Go to bibliography

    RE, Chapter 9 of the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) Which basically says Global Warming is Madmade.

    here is Andrew Lacis’s comment on the Executive Summary of Chapter 9 of the IPCC’s AR4.
    WHICH WERE CONVENIENTLY DELETED.

    There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn’t the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community—instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.

    Hows that SOLID 3000 year temp.record coming on btw, I am still waiting to see one.

  88. Chris Warren
    February 13th, 2010 at 07:54 | #88

    @Sean Morris

    So Lacis’s call for a huge deletion (the executive summary) was itself deleted. Seems fair.

    Anyway it was a unscholarly, politicised rant and deserved to be deleted.

  89. wilful
    February 13th, 2010 at 09:50 | #89
  90. Paul Williams
    February 13th, 2010 at 10:05 | #90

    @Tim Macknay

    A bit unkind to say that John’s choice of words is irrelevant. I hope he’s not offended. I imagine he prides himself on his choice of words. (“Delusionist” seems a particular favourite.)

    It was John’s choice of words I was commenting on, had he said there was no basis for further investigation, it would be nearer the mark. What the inquiry stated was that it did not find any credible evidence to substantiate the first three allegations. (Or to use John’s carefully considered word, “charges”, but don’t tell Ernestine.)

    How hard did the Committee look for evidence? Maybe they really did consider all the evidence, but it is difficult to tell from the report. They should release the actual information they used to reach their decisions, otherwise there will likely be allegations of a whitewash.

    John also said the “main charges” have been proven false. The fourth “synthesized allegation” has been referred to the investigatory phase of the process. This fourth allegation is not exactly chicken feed. The aspect of it that may cause some problem for him relates to data presentation and replication of results, the issue at the heart of the controversy.

  91. Michael
    February 13th, 2010 at 11:29 | #91

    @Paul Williams
    This is another trivial sideshow. I’d like to see some credible evidence that people like you would change your mind if all your current objections were satisfied.

  92. Ernestine Gross
    February 13th, 2010 at 11:54 | #92

    @Paul Williams

    @8, p2, I wrote to you:

    “I do not wish to be disrespectful when I ask: Are you contributing anything except what looks like rumour mongering?”

    @27, p2 I wrote to you:

    Please note I have asked you a question about the purpose of your posts on this thread. In the absence of an answer I assume the answer is ‘no’”

    Nothing has changed.

  93. Paul Williams
    February 13th, 2010 at 18:53 | #93

    Congratulations, John Quiggan!

    Will being quoted in Quadrant increase your credibility?

    http://www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2010/02/climategate-in-the-twilight-zone

  94. Freelander
    February 13th, 2010 at 19:00 | #94

    @Paul Williams

    Whether being quoted in Quadrant increases your credibility depends on whether you are quoted approvingly or not. If you are quoted approvingly your credibility may tend to be shot. Disapproval, however, does your credibility no damage at all and may be considered a badge of merit.

  95. Paul Williams
    February 13th, 2010 at 21:01 | #95

    @Freelander

    I think they were having a shot at the conspiracy theory tenor of John’s post.

  96. Tony G
    February 13th, 2010 at 21:12 | #96

    Wilful;

    Re your link @ 39 isotopes;

    Fossil fuel emissions of CO2 are not the only 13C depleted sources that enrich the atmosphere in 12C. Volcanic CO2 emissions, being 13C depleted also enrich the atmosphere in 12C. This makes the CO2 emissions of volcanic origin isotopically identical to those of fossil fuel emissions. It is therefore unsurprising to find that Segalstad (1998) points out that 96% of atmospheric CO2 is isotopically indistinguishable from volcanic degassing. If you believe we know enough about volcanic gas compositions to distinguish them chemically from fossil fuel combustion, you have indeed been mislead. The number of active volcanoes is unknown, never mind a tally of gas signatures belonging to every active volcano. We have barely scratched the surface and as such, there is no magic fingerprint that can distinguish between anthropogenic and volcanogenic sources of CO2.

  97. wilful
    February 13th, 2010 at 22:26 | #97

    that’s right Tony G, the directly observed increases in CO2 concentrations are mere happenstance, purely coincidental to the fact of our consumption of fossil fuels. Good grief man, give up.

  98. Freelander
    February 14th, 2010 at 00:58 | #98

    @wilful

    All the CO2 comes, miraculously, from under the ocean. I have that on very good authority (Pilmer). Miraculously, because it comes from undiscovered volcanoes and it does not appear to touch the water on its way to the surface, as the water shows no sign of these quantities of CO2 being bubbled through them. Clearly, Scully and Mulder gave up just when we needed them most!

  99. robert (not from UK)
    February 14th, 2010 at 15:01 | #99

    The following is somewhat off-topic, but is there going to be a Weekend reflections section for this weekend, as there usually is?

  100. Paul Williams
    February 15th, 2010 at 09:37 | #100

    Apparently Phil Jones is a bit of a sceptic.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1250872/Climategate-U-turn-Astonishment-scientist-centre-global-warming-email-row-admits-data-organised.html?ITO=1490

    “The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.”

    That’s not very reassuring when the world is spending billions of dollars of public money based, to a large extent, on Phil’s work.

    Then there’s this.

    “Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.”

    And it just gets better.

    “Sceptics believe there is strong evidence that the world was warmer between about 800 and 1300 AD than now because of evidence of high temperatures in northern countries.

    But climate change advocates have dismissed this as false or only applying to the northern part of the world.

    Professor Jones departed from this consensus…”

    WHAT THE..!!

    Did they just say “Professor Jones departed from this consensus…”?

    He must be some kind of delusionist.

Comment pages
1 2 8312
Comments are closed.