92 thoughts on “Monday Message Board

  1. Terje Says:

    It seems to be based on some form of Marxist class issue.

    I’m afraid that I’m going to have to repeat myself.

    Teh stupid… it burns.

  2. As far as science is concerned, political ideologies should be completely irrelevant. Those scientist at East Anglia forgot to apply this principle into their practice when communicating with their fellow colleagues.

    This corruption of science by the ideologies and their ideologues goes on all the time no matter what ideology you aspire to. I would expect same on all sides, when the pressure is on from the pollies to provide scientific evidence and consensus it is hard not to overstep the mark out of the of the world of science and into politics and its associated ideologies. Removal of rewards for such behaviour by parties who don’t understand that science is its own master, can minimise the problem, but it is the emotional connection with ones ideology which is the greatest polluter and contributor to politically corrupted science.

    Politicians should be passive observers, not pollute science by sheer force, for their own ends. Leave the scientist to do there job without a compulsion to deliver for their paymaster but rather to deliver results for benefit of society.

    To blame Libertarians is to completely miss the point, you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins. The Libertarians will always be skeptical of the sheer force with which a political system imposes itself on all aspects of our society including “the science”.

  3. “as far as science is concerned, political ideologies should be completely irrelevant”

    “you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins”

    Everything is political and subjective, even the hard sciences. What you choose to research, who funds the research, who determines research agenda, how you deal with uncertainty in data and results (and all hard science contains uncertainty), how you present your results etc. There isn’t a black and white line. Society just needs to manage this reality appropriately.

    Ignoring this reality is a sociology 101 fail.

  4. @TerjeP (say tay-a)
    Yeah, funny how it was Bush that slipped through the “Data Quality Act”. Have a read of Chris Mooney’s opinion of the act and its intended consequences. Meanwhile, of course, Bush was deregulating the pre-GFCers who ran with it all the way to the bank – and nearly cost the bank(s) because of their actions. Na, I’m not in the mood to discuss politically motivated regulation as though it is prudent regulation.

    On the issue of RealClimate and the lawsuit against Gavin Schmidt: Chucking lawsuits at AGW-friendly websites in order to shut them down is distasteful in the extreme. In any case though, I cannot understand one of their points of contention – they go on about RealClimate being moderated by Gavin during his workhours, as though that is a problem.

    I don’t know about the USA, but in several of my jobs in the Australian science scene my work conditions had notional hours of work with flexible conditions, but the overall amount per week should at least match the notional. Usually it is way over and that is the case for many scientists – Pr Q has himself admitted to overcommitment on the workfront – so it is hardly exceptional for scientists to work beyond any notional working week. Furthermore, for senior roles my experience is that activities such as public education and outreach are part of the organisational goals, and they form part of annual performance objectives. Finally, senior staff are typically on contracts that have 24×7 requirements; eg, I was under the constraint that any invention, patent, etc that I wish to pursue outside of work is actually by default the IP of the organisation, unless they have explicitly granted me an exclusion. In other words, the work contract has no “off period”.

    Surely in the US senior scientists would have similar work contracts, in which case the contention about whether Gavin does website moderation during notional work hours or some other time, is really a moot point. Outreach and education are an expected part of the senior scientist’s role I would have thought.

  5. Iain, all you need to acknowledge is that those emails have implications far greater than the interest of adding to research in climate science. I also added this is something that I expect happens quiet often when politicians try to push the scientific agenda. This applies equally to scientist who have a political agenda. You clearly have failed to understand my point. You can disagree, but failure lies with the one who feels the most insecure and your defensive blogging only highlights this.

  6. lol, I’m pointing out a reality to you. You can ignore reality if you so chose.

    Go to Pielke and McIntyre and sprout your nonsense about politics and science being two completely separate spheres. thanks.

  7. @Alice

    Well Don, Malcolm in the middle had a win against the lunatics in his own party.

    Actually he sold them on accepting less than what they would ultimately have been forced to accept if Rudd had had a modicum of spine and more political acumen …

  8. Ubiquity,

    Politics and science aren’t completely separate. No amount of wishing on your behalf will change that reality.

    “you should be blaming the scientists and politicians who forgot were science finished and politics begins”

    There isn’t a black and white line. Society just needs to manage the reality that scientists are human beings appropriately.

    Ignoring that this reality exists (or wishing that it didn’t exist) isn’t productive.

  9. Alternatively, just point out where (you think) the line is and where (exactly) you believe it was crossed.

    Also, don’t forget to slander and “blame” scientists based on your interpretation of stolen emails whilst you are at it.

  10. Trenberth was talking about modelling for weather, not climate.


    No he wasn’t Chris. He made explicit reference to climate systems and the fact that they did not have a good grip on what was happening. Nowhere did he mention weather or weather models.

    You are still failing to understand the difference between climate and weather. Climate is the statistics of weather. So a climate model is something that produces statistics of weather since climate is statistics of weather. Anything that produces more than statistics, such as a forecast of actual events like El Niños, is doing more than climate modelling and is producing a weather forecast. This is one point where climate science denialists are being deliberately dense: El Niño etc. are weather events, not climate events.

    Are you ignorant or just telling fibs for the fun of it?

    No, but you’re being deliberately dense.

    Either way it’s a bad look and you should stop.

    Your look is absolutely appalling, like the look of the conservative parties.

  11. @Chris O’Neill

    And if you look at the Trenberth quote, it refers explicitly to CERES in the lead up to his observation about “travesty”. This is an important piece of qualifying context which many journos missed.

  12. @Fran Barlow
    Yes, that is one of the examples I have had in mind as a complete misrepresentation of what Trenberth meant. This scouring through emails by the denserati, looking for signs of dark intent, is crazy when they don’t even know enough to understand the scientific meaning – or English meaning – to make an accurate call. The ones who do know better, and who for example are perfectly aware of CERES, should not have clipped the quote so as to miss that. Furthermore, as far as I can see Trenberth is saying that in spite of the radiative imbalance over the last few years, since the temperatures have almost plateaued – albeit at higher than long term average global temperatures – the energy must be going somewhere into the system yet they don’t have adequate tracking of that currently. If the energy was primarily going into melting ice then that would be one explanation as why temperatures are not rising as rapidly now. Trenberth wants to improve the tracking so that questions like this are immediately answerable from the observational record or simulation, if I have understood the point correctly.

  13. Iain, A voluntary code of ethics that has wide consensus in the profession and those who depend on the profession is a good start such as,

    National Association of Science Writers

    @ http://www.nasw.org/about/ethics.htm


    “The British government’s chief scientific advisor has set out a universal
    ethical code for scientists.
    Professor Sir David King has outlined seven principles aimed at building
    trust between scientists and society”

    “Code endorsed

    The scientific profession generally has high standards of integrity, and many scientists have a social conscience, according to Professor King. But there is no formal code of ethics.”

    Act with skill and care, keep skills up to date
    Prevent corrupt practice and declare conflicts of interest
    Respect and acknowledge the work of other scientists
    Ensure that research is justified and lawful
    Minimise impacts on people, animals and the environment
    Discuss issues science raises for society
    Do not mislead; present evidence honestly”


    A brief google search for a political code of ethics didn’t bring up much but I guess I didn’t expect much.

    Also in your reply you addressed the following to me:

    “Also, don’t forget to slander and “blame” scientists based on your interpretation of stolen emails whilst you are at”

    your comments are slanderous and presumptious.

    At no point did I suggest a “black line’ a grey line is fine but I can see why it would make a consequentialist bitter, but rest assured I am a existential libertarian at heart.

  14. Ubiquity,

    Why are you saying we should blame the scientists? What are you blaming them for?

    On what basis? Please clearly outline why they should be blamed?

    It is slanderous for you to lay blame at the scientists based on the evidence so far. Or do you have evidence that no one else has?

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