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  1. It’s really sad that climate scientists are perfectly and rightly willing to hold themselves to such a high standard that deniers are so keen on abusing. Sad too is that political leanings, not the ability to discern science from PR, determines people’s take on the issue.

    Nibbling at the edges of a issue whose core has been decided is good enough for those whose economic theories offer no solution to the Tragedy of the Commons.

    Comment by Dennis J. Junk — 6 Mar 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  2. This is beginning to look like the E&E “hijack”…

    Comment by Ben Lawson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 12:20 PM

  3. Insitute of Physics criticism of CRU climate research based on interview with fossil fuels consultant: http://bit.ly/OilmoneyIOP

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 12:30 PM

  4. How far our conservative friends go with the denial of reality can be found here.
    http://www.conservativeblogwatch.com/tag/gavin-schmidt/

    Some may find this material to be rather confusing, even, oh horrors, quite mistaken!

    But Real Climate IS recommended reading:
    “*****Update: Readers are STRONGLY encouraged to watch the scrambling going on at RealClimate.”
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/#comments

    One thing is for sure. This site is being watched like a hawk.

    If you read carefully with both eyes and an open mind perhaps you can tease out the truth of it.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 6 Mar 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  5. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/05/climate-emails-institute-of-physics-submission

    If this is indeed correct than it stands to reason that many scientists outside of climate science seem to have an issue (or agenda) with the religious fervour of AGW that some media outlets, bodies, professions seem to be pedaling. I would summise that this has now become a absurd politicial hot potato with the left and right going at it hammer and tongs.

    The IOP are in serious error and should have balleted all members before releasing such a statement which now in itself is being used in politics.

    Comment by pete best — 6 Mar 2010 @ 12:55 PM

  6. I think that statistics, geophysics, and computational biology are currently considerably more reproducible than climate science.

    Please google papers on “reproducible research” by Claerbout, Donoho, and Gentleman.

    What climate science needs to strive for is the equivalent of http://ftp.ncbi.nih.gov, where all kinds of different raw datasets are publicly available.

    Right now we have an inverted pyramid structure in which trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit. We need open data sets and immediate release of all raw data like in genomics.

    Comment by berkeley_statistician — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:00 PM

  7. Ibuki should help a lor to resolve the issue of methane. Check the lash CH4 map.

    http://www.gosat.nies.go.jp/eng/gallery/FTS_L2_SWIR_CH4_gallery.htm

    Comment by Yvan Dutil — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:06 PM

  8. Given the charged nature of the debate, this might be an opportunity to create a model that can serve other disciplines as well. The key ‘new’ instrument is the internet, and incorporating the changes it brings will be just as useful to astrophysics and dendrochronology.

    If you were to design data collection, archiving and dissemination procedures for all of science today, I presume they would be different than procedures that have served the community for the past few centuries. With the attention given climate change now, perhaps a design (the construction of which included some of your critics) that addressed issues of longevity, transparency, quality control checks and availability might be compelling enough to get funding. If done well, it would certainly get at least one category of critics off your back–and who knows? It might help science as well.

    If you are able to ignore the messenger and concentrate on the message, you can see that the concerns raised by IOP do not come out of the blue and could serve as a starting point. You may, of course, adopt the method used by some skeptics and focus on the details surrounding their message and its dissemination and succeed in keeping the issue confused for some period of time. In my opinion, the worst thing you could do is to maintain that current procedures and adequate to the task on hand, that those proposing changes are enemies of science and that there is nothing material to discuss.

    Three options for one decision is not at all bad–you have actual choices available, they are not overwhelming in terms of numbers or scope, and there are sources of counsel and support available.

    You could look at this as good news.

    Comment by Tom Fuller — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:22 PM

  9. berkeley_statistician says: 6 March 2010 at 1:00 PM

    Right now we have an inverted pyramid structure in which trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit.

    You didn’t know it until right now, but you desperately need to read this

    The Discovery of Global Warming

    before you cement and waste the reputation of your pseudonymous personality as that of fool.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:55 PM

  10. #4 from the second article on gavin….Snow also omitted the left-wing affiliation of RealClimate.org, a website she mentioned during her report.

    Thanks, Tim. I got my laugh the day. I really don’t understand the “left-wing affiliation” quip, though. Did I miss some nasty rumor?

    Comment by JiminMpls — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:57 PM

  11. berkeley_statistician said

    “Right now we have an inverted pyramid structure in which trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit. We need open data sets and immediate release of all raw data like in genomics.”

    I just don’t see that … what are you talking about? There are thousands of climate scientists at work all over the world, the numbers of papers published annually also runs into thousands. The IPCC report is a sober rendering of the contents of those papers over a number of years. The vast majority accept AGW…. are you saying they are all written by three people?

    Comment by Toby — 6 Mar 2010 @ 1:58 PM

  12. > If you are able to ignore the messenger
    But you want to consider whether the messenger is spinning PR
    > the concerns raised by IOP do not come out of the blue
    True, they’re talking points from the industry members
    > and could serve as a starting point
    You consider the industry talking points a reliable place to begin.
    Hmmmmmmmm.

    As Kees van der Leun said earlier here, just above:

    Insitute of Physics criticism of CRU climate research based on interview with fossil fuels consultant: http://bit.ly/OilmoneyIOP

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:05 PM

  13. #6

    “I think that statistics, geophysics, and computational biology are currently considerably more reproducible than climate science.”

    Reproducible? Are we to go back in time and reset the atmosphere and oceans to their previous states and re-run the “experiment” to see if the same thing happens, a la “Groundhog Day”?

    “Right now we have an inverted pyramid structure in which trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit.”

    Right, there are only three people currently engaged in climate-change research. Three evil puppet-masters controlling everything!

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  14. I think the problem at the IoP is that they haven’t got their policy submissions system sorted out, making it painfully easy for a rather small group (possibly even one person) to subvert the process. There’s a consultation in this months Physics World mail-out for an improved process.

    I wrote an irate letter: http://bit.ly/bOSDxl

    Comment by SmallCasserole — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:15 PM

  15. I’m a bit disappointed in this post.  When I wrote last week in the Guardian a plea for the movement towards openness in science should be embraced more eagerly by climate scientists. I thought, naively, that this would not be very controversial. The number of comments on that post is now over 220 and still rising, though most of the comments generate more heat than light.
    In the longer version of that article, on my blog, I recommended Andy Russell’s site and this one as sources of reliable information about climate change. I was therefore astonished to see that Russells’s site, and to a lesser extent this one, attacking the Institute of Physics for advocating openness about data and analysis code. It s particularly odd to see an attack on the IoP here, given that quite recently you were grumbling that a competitor would not hand over his code.
    In other areas, some journals are now insisting as a condition of  publication tha all raw data be made available on request, and a minor industry is growing up to develop standards that will allow people to read more easily other people’s data from the web.  By appearing to resist this admirable trend, climate scientists seem to be shooting themselves in the foot.  You are just giving the deniers another cudgel to beat you with.
    It seems that climate scientists have developed (perhaps not surprisingly) a siege mentality.  There s a tendency to conceal things not only from the enemy but also from your friends.  The matter of climate change is too important for that sort of behaviour. Please grow up.

    [Response: Please don't put words in our mouths. No one is arguing against transparency, and no one is complaining about the IoP being for transparency. What is being pointed out here is the hypocrisy of the IoP in this instance. And the larger point that the claim that climate science has not been transparent in the first place is extremely misleading. In your article you write, " There is a growing trend for researchers in a variety of fields to place all original data and analysis methods openly on the web. That trend does not yet seem to have reached all of climate science yet, but it is the only way forward." Where on earth do you get the idea that this trend is reaching climate science more slowly than other fields? You are merely speculating, based on quotes from one person, Phil Jones -- someone that cannot possibly be blamed for feeling just a bit "under siege" at the moment -- and assume that this somehow applies to the entire field. Yes, of course, scientists must be ruthlessly honest and open about data, but the suggestion that this is not standard practice is just wrong. There are reams and reams of raw data out there, and always have been, for anyone that wants to look at it.--eric]

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:35 PM

  16. Berkley Statistician says, “Right now we have an inverted pyramid structure in which trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit.”

    You know, it this statement weren’t pure propaganda, I might be concerned about how wrong it is.

    I mean there isn’t a single critical aspect of climate science that is predicated on only three groups of studies, let alone 3 individuals. The temperature trends are reflected in 4 independent temperature products…plus all the phenological and ice-melt data that provide quantitative support to them. There are literally dozens of studies of CO2 sensitivity by multiple groups looking at a dozen independent lines of evidence. And all of this evidence has been vetted by indeptndent committees at the National Academies and in professional academies of scientists (including the American Statistical Association). And on and on. One might wonder where our “berkeley statistician” could have gotten such woefully incorrect information.

    However, the way you know that his whole missive is propaganda is by the meme suggesting that “trillions of dollars” of expenditure are contingent on a flimsy basis. The vast majority of the expenditure needed to mitagate climate change would be necessary in any case to build a new energy infrastructure–and that is not optional. So given all this, I wouldn’t pay any more attention to berkeley statistician than I would to Tom Fuller.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:37 PM

  17. Tom Fuller says: The key ‘new’ instrument is the internet…

    Scientists sharing data on the internet? Novel!

    If you were to design data collection, archiving and dissemination procedures for all of science today, I presume they would be different than procedures that have served the community for the past few centuries…

    There is no evidence that current procedures for data collection, archiving, and dissemination are inadequate. Online data are voluminous and adequate for anybody to reproduce the main results of climate science, e.g., Tamino’s latest effort. Only intellectual laziness prevents critics from doing the work to convince themselves this is so; inevitably, these critics displace onto scientists their own moral failing.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:39 PM

  18. I do hope that many IoP members will write irate letters.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:45 PM

  19. Berkeley… What. In the world. Are you talking about? Three person research unit? Get it together, my friend.

    Comment by robert davies — 6 Mar 2010 @ 2:53 PM

  20. From Pete’s link:

    Evidence from a respected scientific body to a parliamentary inquiry examining the behaviour of climate-change scientists, was drawn from an energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion, the Guardian can reveal.

    The submission, from the Institute of Physics (IOP), suggested that scientists at the University of East Anglia had cherry-picked data to support conclusions and that key reconstructions of past temperature could not be relied upon. …

    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”.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 6 Mar 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  21. Tom Fuller says: The key ‘new’ instrument is the internet…

    Scientists sharing data on the internet? Novel!

    Maybe we can get someone at, oh, let’s think for a moment … yeah! CERN! … to invent a new internet protocol to make it easier for scientists to share data! We could call that new protocol … Hyper-Text Transport Protocol! HTTP in acronym form!

    Comment by dhogaza — 6 Mar 2010 @ 3:06 PM

  22. David Colquhoun:

    I’m a bit disappointed in this post. When I wrote last week in the Guardian a plea for the movement towards openness in science should be embraced more eagerly by climate scientists. I thought, naively, that this would not be very controversial.

    That’s not controversial. What gets people annoyed at you are what you actually wrote in the column, things like:

    By going to ground, and by denying Freedom of Information Act requests, the university gave the impression of guilt, quite regardless of whether there is really anything to hide

    The FOIA requests were properly rejected because, as has been endlessly pointed out, CRU does not have the right to distribute the bits of the requested data that aren’t already freely available from the GHCN site.

    As long as you keep getting your facts wrong, you’re going to get people upset with you.

    Or this …

    I have never come across anything in my own field that would qualify as fraud, or even dishonesty (well just once it was close), and I have never been asked by an editor to come to a particular decision when reviewing a paper. Our analysis programs are free, on the web.

    Which is a total misrepresentation of what was going on, which was a reviewer had already told the editor that they’d recommend rejection, and that the editor was merely reminding the reviewer that a *detailed* rejection was required (and apparently was late). It wasn’t a case of the editor asking a reviewer to reject a paper, it was of an editor asking a reviewer for details as a follow-up to the rejection *already made* by the reviewer.

    Do you understand the difference?

    Do you understand why the climate science community is justly tired of these misrepresentations by you and others in the press?

    Do you understand that this isn’t about “openness in the climate science community”, but about lies about how open the climate science community is in comparison with the rest of science?

    [Response: Thank you. That's exactly the point. (Though actually I would make the point a bit differently. Saying "we are more open than other sciences" is a bit silly. It may be true, but it wouldn't be good enough if other sciences were not open at all, would it? But the point is that everyone seems to just swallow the lie that "climate science isn't open" when this isn't true now, and has never been true.)--eric]

    Comment by dhogaza — 6 Mar 2010 @ 3:15 PM

  23. The Guardian’s distortions are looking ever more bizarre – here’s one from Feb 15 2010, a strange headline indeed:

    “Climate scientists withdraw journal claims of rising sea levels.”

    Wow! Sea levels are no longer rising? Well – actually – no. This is about the withdrawal of a paper in Nature Geosciences that predicted a sea level rise of “7cm and 82cm by the end of the century.”

    Lower, in the fine print, we find:

    Martin Vermeer of the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany published a study in December that projected a rise of 0.75m to 1.9m by 2100.

    Okay, let’s try a new headline for our editor, who is either a recent transfer from the Britney Spears circuit, or is a shameless spin artist:

    “Climate scientists withdraw estimate of lower sea level rise.”

    Regardless, the reporter on the story also included this, unchallenged and hanging:

    “Siddall said that he did not know whether the retracted paper’s estimate of sea level rise was an overestimate or an underestimate.”

    Huh? Right – so he’s saying that there’s a good chance that the non-retracted 0.75m – 1.9m estimate is completely wrong?

    Notice also that the last IPCC report – that Sidall ‘confirmed’ – didn’t take into account the more recent acceleration in Greenland – and there’s plenty of supporting work there:

    Straneo et al. “Rapid circulation of warm subtropical waters in a major glacial fjord in East Greenland” Nature Geoscience 3, 182 – 186 (2010)

    That has some impact on the issue of seabed methane emissions, too. Not only the headline, but the body of the story appears contrived to confuse, not enlighten, the reader.

    Even more astonishing was this Guardian piece targeting the “lack of transparency” of climate scientists:

    “Climate scientists must be ruthlessly honest about data” – astonishing indeed. Double standards, maybe? Just a little?

    Comment by Ike Solem — 6 Mar 2010 @ 3:51 PM

  24. @dhogaza

    I’m not sure who is doing the misrepresentation here. The second quotation said that UAE appeared to go to ground and it did. Jones vansished for weeks and the vice-chancellor seemed to stall and said little.

    Having myself have every FoI request I ever sent to a university (nothing to do with climate) rejected on flimsy grounds, I’m a it sensitive about excuses for not complying. The fact that some bits of the data may have been ‘owned’ by someone else merely sets back the problem one step. Why weren’t the ‘owners’ of the data willing to have it released by UEA? give? Were they asked? And if they refused, what excuse did they?

    From the point of view of someone looking at the row from outside it gives the appearance of being secretive and whether or not that perception is right, it has a disastrous effect on the reputation of the good guys.

    In your second quotation from me, I was merely stating my own experience, which is that such misbehaviour is rare in my own field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules). I was trying to defend the idea that dishonesty is rare. You seem to have interpreted that as an attack on UEA. It clearly wasn’t.

    It seems from the outside that the Bush era of corruption of science, and the appalling political attacks on climate science, have left the subject in such a paranoid state that they attack even what are intended to be helpful remarks from their friends.

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 3:56 PM

  25. #15 David Colquhoun said

    “Please grow up.”

    Presumably this statement is part of your campaign to generate light, rather than heat.

    Comment by Jerry Steffens — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:10 PM

  26. Some more interesting views on climate change from mr Peter Gill, the IoP’s Source, and (according to LinkedIn) Member of the Energy Sub Group of the IoP’s Science Policy Board : http://bit.ly/Gillview

    Some highlights:
    - pre-industrial CO2 was 335, not 270 ppm (the famous EG Beck!)
    - for most of earth’s history, CO2 was higher than it is now
    - human CO2 emissions were much larger in the past than they are now!
    etc. etc.

    Mr Peter Gill is Chair of the London & Home Counties Branch at Energy Institute, which is a merger of the Institute of Petroleum (where mr Gill’s Crestport regularly takes part in management teams) and the Institute of Energy.

    Well, well, IoP certainly knows where to find their experts!

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:11 PM

  27. @dhogaza

    I’m not sure who is doing the misrepresentation here. The second quotation said that UEA appeared to go to ground and it did. Jones vansished for weeks and the vice-chancellor seemed to stall and said little.

    Having myself have every FoI request I ever sent to a university (nothing to do with climate) rejected on flimsy grounds, I’m a bit sensitive about excuses for not complying. The fact that some bits of the data may have been ‘owned’ by someone else merely sets back the problem one step. Why weren’t the ‘owners’ of the data willing to have it released by UEA? give? Were they asked? And if they refused, what excuse did they?

    From the point of view of someone looking at the row from outside it gives the appearance of being secretive and whether or not that perception is right, it has a disastrous effect on the reputation of the good guys.

    In your second quotation from me, I was merely stating my own experience, which is that such misbehaviour is rare in my own field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules). I was trying to defend the idea that dishonesty is rare. You seem to have interpreted that as an attack on UEA. It clearly wasn’t.

    It seems from the outside that the Bush era of corruption of science, and the appalling political attacks on climate science, have left the subject in such a paranoid state that they attack even what are intended to be helpful remarks from their friends.

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:13 PM

  28. Tom Fuller,

    I look forward to you argueing strongly for more funding for the kind of QA/QC issues you mention.

    You write: “If done well, it would certainly get at least one category of critics off your back” That I think is not necessarily true. If it were, why are people getting all worked up about hidden data that aren’t hidden, and the attackseem to be getting only stronger the mode data/code is made available? Many (though perhaps not all) of the criticism about transparency issues are not driven by a desire to improve the science, but rather by a desire to stop it in its track and lower its credibility by any means necessary. The behaviour of said ‘critics’ gives a clue for that.

    Comment by Bart Verheggen — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:14 PM

  29. #6 “trillion dollar decisions are being based on a three person research unit” – the frightening thing about this comment is that I am quite sure that the commenter actually believes this. Has drawn from the MSM, and denier web sites, and radio shock jocks, the idea that climate change research was somehow all based at CRU and that since they have been “caught out cooking the books”, discovered as a result of a lone whistle blower spilling the beans, er, emails, climate change is revealed to be the big scam that Mr Berkeley always knew, in his heart of hearts, it was. The even more frightening thing is that I am quite sure that Mr Berkeley is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Comment by David Horton — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:15 PM

  30. > David Colquhoun

    You know, the answers to the misleading questions you ask can be found easily.
    E.g., contracts limited redistribution of some data sets; requests were made to providers and are ongoing. But is it possible you didn’t know that already?

    Your website claims you have expertise in misleading science.

    I guess so.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:16 PM

  31. “I was therefore astonished to see that Russells’s site, and to a lesser extent this one, attacking the Institute of Physics for advocating openness about data and analysis code.”

    I don’t think anybody is attacking the IoP for calling for more openness.

    The IoP is being attacked for pre-judging the results of the enquiry into the hacked emails and playing into the hands of global warming deniers. The Daily Mail ran a story claiming that the IoP had said that CRU “manipulated” data. This is not a word used in the IoP statement, which talked about “doubts as to the reliability of some of the reconstructions and raise questions as to the way in which they have been represented”, but this accusation has not been examined by the enquiry. What happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    It is also being attacked for calling for complete openness and yet not being open about who wrote their statement.

    The Guardian’s global warming coverage sadly disappoints, with notable exception.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/05/climate-emails-institute-of-physics-submission

    Comment by Donald — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:21 PM

  32. They won’t say who’s behind the call for transparency.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    Comment by Jeffrey Davis — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:21 PM

  33. The fact that some bits of the data may have been ‘owned’ by someone else merely sets back the problem one step. Why weren’t the ‘owners’ of the data willing to have it released by UEA? give? Were they asked? And if they refused, what excuse did they?

    But you didn’t report that, did you? You didn’t report that McIntyre was *told* he’d have to go back to the original sources, and that he didn’t do so, did you?

    Even here, you’re ignoring that from the point of view of FOI requests, it doesn’t *matter* why the owners aren’t willing to have it released by UEA. It’s their data, not UEA’s. They can hold it proprietary for whatever reason they want. You could’ve written that while reporting on this, but you didn’t, did you?

    As it turns out, they hold it because it’s commercially valuable and they SELL IT to people making commercial use of it. You’re a reporter, you should be able to find that out on your own. You should be able to discover that YOUR OWN COUNTRY’S UK Met Service *requires* those who receive UK Met data for research purposes to DESTROY THEIR COPIES when they’re done working with it, unless they get prior written permission to keep the copy around.

    You’re a reporter. You could call up the UK Met Office and find out why they take this view, rather than continue to smear UEA CRU and Professor Jones. Uncovering the logic (make money, I’m sure) behind the UK Met Office’s rules regarding reception of data might help you understand why other countries like Sweden do the same.

    Let me flesh out that quote a bit more:

    By going to ground, and by denying Freedom of Information Act requests, the university gave the impression of guilt, quite regardless of whether there is really anything to hide. That brings the university into disrepute: it is a matter for resignations.

    Why should the proper rejection of a FOI request lead to resignations?

    And, if in some bizarro-world it should, who should resign? The compliance officer? The officer who handled the appeal and upheld the rejection? These are the decision makers, not the scientists at CRU.

    In your second quotation from me, I was merely stating my own experience, which is that such misbehaviour is rare in my own field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules). I was trying to defend the idea that dishonesty is rare. You seem to have interpreted that as an attack on UEA.

    One of the denialist attacks based on the stolen e-mails has been based on a claim that a journal editor requested that a reviewer return a rejection, i.e. that the editor a priori decided to reject it rather than wait for the review process.

    When you wrote:

    I have never been asked by an editor to come to a particular decision when reviewing a paper.

    It was clearly in the context of that claim. Perhaps you didn’t intend it to be read as I read it:

    [unlike in climate science], I have never been asked by an editor to come to a particular decision when reviewing a paper.

    But it sure sounds like it. You say nothing there to discredit the claim that such an event took place, that is certain.

    Comment by dhogaza — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:37 PM

  34. The last bit in this article (“it’s a paradox that the IoP based the statement on stolen private e-mail exchanges, while putting disclaimers about confidentiality”) is pretty lame. One might almost see it as implying consciousness of the weakness of the remainder of the argument. “Unintended-recipient” boilerplate is very widely tacked on at the bottom of email correspondence, apparently in the belief (probably mistaken) that the notice places an obligation on an unintended recipient that would not exist if the notice weren’t present. But it is not as though the Institute of Physics were speaking out in favor of hacking into private email files. Instead, the statement concerned the matters revealed by the revelation, despite the dubious its source. (Imagine making the argument that no one could properly comment on The Pentagon Papers published in the New York Times during the Viet Nam era, on the grounds that the papers were disclosed contrary to official-secret laws.) Surely you understand this.

    Perhaps the Institute’s statement may validly be criticized for omitting to clarify the standard of transparency that is being recommended for scientific endeavor. But even without offering a codification of those standards, it is germane to observe that Prof. Jones’ admittedly “awful” emails fell below any reasonable standard. And now, of course, there is the issue of whether he has been misrepresenting the supposed confidentiality of Swedish climate data.

    I would suggest that you just acknowledge freely that the CRU failed miserably in its disclosure obligations and avoid further defensiveness.

    Comment by Leighton — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:42 PM

  35. OK, I need to apologize for one misunderstanding:

    Prof David Colquhoun is a professor at University College London. He also writes DC’s Improbable Science blog where there is a longer version of this blog.

    I had understood that David Colquhoun was a science reporter with a previous background in science who writes for the Guardian, not a professor who writes about science for the Guardian as a sideline.

    So perhaps my expectation that he do the kind of fact-digging we once expected of journalists is unrealistic.

    Comment by dhogaza — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:43 PM

  36. To be more precise on mr Gill’s petroleum links: in December 2003 he said the following about his company Crestport (http://bit.ly/Crestport): In recent years CPSL has worked especially with oil and gas production companies including Shell, British Gas and Petroleum Development Oman. [...] CPSL works in a variety of ways to best meet our clients needs. Increasingly CPSL`s consultants become interim members of the client`s management team.

    Comment by Kees van der Leun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:46 PM

  37. David Colquhoun,
    Maybe I should explain a little bit about how scientists view data. I work in a field where data are scarce–we never have enough. So over the years, I have developed a network of contacts at government labs, universities and in private industry. They share their data with me and I share my statisitical analyses of it with them. What I cannot do is pass the data on to anyone else who wants it. My contacts want to know what is being done with their data. They want to know that it’s not being used irresponsibly or incompetently, because when something blows up (literally in my case), people are going to want to know the basis of the decision and the data on which it was based.

    If I passed data on indiscriminately, I would soon have no contacts and no arrangements. In science, it is customary when you want data to go to the custodian of the data and do something radical like ask nicely. You’d be amazed how often that works. However, the custodian of the data usually likes to know who has copies–’cause if something goes wrong based on the data (e.g. if it is used inappropriately without errors taken into consideration, etc.) they’ll be the ones to answer for it. Does that make sense?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  38. “”"”One thing is for sure. This site is being watched like a hawk.”"”
    _________________________________________________________________________
    Yes, so too is Gavin. “Nice” little ad hominem attacks on Gavin personally and also RealClimate.org at Fox (“fair and balanced”) instead of concentrating on the science…

    Those who destroy a nation’s science, will destroy the nation’s ability to compete.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/03/05/myron-ebell-climate-change-new-york-times-hansen/

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:02 PM

  39. “the IoP will not disclose who were responsible for the original statement”

    There are unconfirmed suggestions by IZEN on March 04, 2010 at 08:47pm here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/christopherbooker/7332803/A-perfect-storm-is-brewing-for-the-IPCC.html

    that “this was a statement composed by a very small number of people on the energy sub-committee which was apparently ignored by the main board members.
    I strongly suspect that the founder and head of the IoP energy sub-committee had a hand in this.”

    This refers to Terri Jackson, who makes the most extraordinarily ill-informed and misleading statements in the following letter and interview:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2786

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/database/Vested%20interests%20scary%20as%20any%20climate%20change%20scare.pdf

    Comment by Slioch — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:11 PM

  40. For David Colquhoun, in case you missed the information:

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22note+that+we+are%2C+however%2C+proceeding+with+efforts+with+the+international+community+to+secure+consent%22

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:12 PM

  41. Why are you concerned as to what the Guardian has to say? If your facts are right and backed up with decent science then you should be able to present them to anyone surely?

    Comment by M Paul Lloyd — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:15 PM

  42. ah, Tom Fuller again.

    If you were to design data collection, archiving and dissemination procedures for all of science today, I presume they would be different than procedures that have served the community for the past few centuries.

    cheap data storage, “open source” approaches and the internet are already changing things and have changed things in the past. the 2sceptics2 have missed the most of this. and now try to give self-full filling advice for the future. nice.

    If you are able to ignore the messenger and concentrate on the message, you can see that the concerns raised by IOP do not come out of the blue and could serve as a starting point.

    yes, let us ignore that theletter was written by a “energy industry consultant who argues that global warming is a religion”.
    funny, that Tom Fuller just a few days ago posted a message, that denies the influence of “big oil” on the subject. (in an answer to the new Oreskes video)

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php#comment-2326286

    You could look at this as good news.

    a completely false and misleading and intransparent press release from an organisation? good news?

    ahm, no?!?

    Comment by sod — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:21 PM

  43. RE– Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 March 2010 @ 3:56 PM:

    I am having a little problem with your claim of being a scientist. I expect a little more research, or just asking a few questions before making bold statements that disparage scientists in another discipline.

    The UK Freedom of Information Act specifically states that the act doesn’t apply if information requested is proprietary and also if it is already available in the public domain. The requesters could have obtained the tiny bit of data they wanted from the meteorological offices who owned it. If you think the various country met offices should not hold proprietary data you could, for example, contact the Russian government and ask them to support their data collection activities rather than making their met office sell it to support themselves.

    You are acting like you are either a part of, or a dupe of the denial industries’ disinformation campaign.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:55 PM

  44. David Colquhoun,

    You must have seen my post in response to your article re – McIntyre’s template and the fact that one of his troopers didn’t actually add the countries?

    I asked you to what extent you understood that the climate science community was under attack. I checked in last night but saw no sign of a reply.

    Do yourself a favour, mate, and go on Amazon & get a copy of Climate Cover-up, and have a couple of days off to read the bloody thing. Lend it to Fred Pearce afterwards. Monbiot already has a copy, me likewise though I like to have it handy. Then you will start to figure the magnitude of this manufactured debate that has materialised. The real question is – why are you not apoplectic about that, given what’s occurring right now?

    Yours annoyedly (!!) – but interested to read your response nevertheless – John

    Comment by John Mason — 6 Mar 2010 @ 5:58 PM

  45. Its a good thing that this topic has now got a thread to itself. If you wish to catch up , there is Rasmus’s link to “irony of this affair” ,where Stoat has devoted three threads to it already (don’t miss the other two or the comments on them). I shall use some of them in what follows:

    Re: The Annex to the original submission submitted by Peter Main.

    To justify this Annex as a plea for openness in science is highly inaccurate.

    The title which contains “integrity of scientific research” already indicates that what follows is trying to be momentous, much more ambitious than a plea for openness. It should be compared and contrasted with possible statements which might be made by other professional UK organisations such as the General Medical Council. The difference is that they have strict ethical rules for the way they behave if they wish to suggest misconduct.

    The central conclusion of the annex is contained in item 4 ,i.e.

    “there is need for a wider inquiry”

    The authors appear to be concerned to undermine the status of the four such inquiries (two in the US ,one at the UEA one by the Royal Society) before they are complete, and to promote a case within the fifth inquiry (in Parliament) for a sixth inquiry somewhere else. Even if the four inquiries find no evidence of misconduct, this submission will remain in the House of Commons so that it can used as argument to suggest the opposite.

    The demand for yet another inquiry would have to be backed up by quite strong suspicions and this annex appears to consist of an attempt to promote such suspicions. But asking for an inquiry can also be used as a method of spreading distrust without having to provide any evidence. There are no references or sources. The fact that it stops just short of making direct accusations makes it easier for the authors to disclaim responsibility after the harm has been done. They could claim that they were just leaving the details to the inquiry.

    Its arguments are full of innuendo such as “reveal doubts” ,”worrying implications for the integrity of scientific research” (second time round but still unsubstantiated),”may represent only a part of the raw data” , “…statistical processes may lead to different conclusions, (rehash of disproved mathematical section of Wegman report),”This possibility was evidently the reason..” ), potential …… manipulation.” , “pre-formed conclusions” , ”

    Is the IOP going into social science? How did this sentence get in?

    “networks of like-minded researchers effectively excluding newcomers”

    Answer: plagiarised by Wegmann in his report (see Deepclimate’s blog)

    This Annex is not about openness but another illustration of “doubt is our product ” .

    The net effect is that we have a small sub-group of non experts who are exploiting their position within the IOP to create doubt about the integrity of others who may even be in the same IOP.

    Much of this has an uncanny similarity to the demands made by Nigel Lawson on BBC2 Newsnight just before the submission appeared.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 6 Mar 2010 @ 6:41 PM

  46. Slioch says: 6 March 2010 at 5:11 PM said:

    !I strongly suspect that the founder and head of the IoP energy sub-committee had a hand in this.”

    This refers to Terri Jackson, who makes the most extraordinarily ill-informed and misleading statements in the following letter and interview:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2786

    Thanks for the link.

    Ye Gods, how can anyone within the hierarchy of the institute of Physics hold such views? A cold winter in Canada refutes AGW?

    Your link got me searching. Doing a site search of the IoP (site:iop.org Terry Jackson IOP global warming) leads to some interesting pdfs, one of which includes “A personal view from Peter Gill” (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_6839.pdf) which is a response to an IoP sponsored paper (in the form of a booklet) called ‘Climate Change Prediction, A challenging scientific problem’ which was written by ex Hadley Centre Director, Professor Alan J Thorpe.

    Gill’s responses include:

    “So if one is explaining the rise or fall in global mean temperatures by rises and falls in carbon dioxide and methane levels one has to consider both the production and absorption of these gases by natural processes. One would also have to debunk the alternative explanation that the
    rises in levels of these gases are a consequence rather than a cause of global warming as a result of some other mechanism.”

    and…

    “By the way we are now a little overdue for another drop into a major ice age with or without the intervention of mankind!”

    and…

    “The other stated aim is that it is anthropogenic activity that is likely to be causing global warming. Whether you are convinced on this score depends on your confidence on the present climatic models.”

    and finally…

    “If mankind’s activities are indeed the reason for the recent increase in average global temperatures then the main factor is the size of our population.”

    Is Gill volunteering to be culled?

    I’m wading through the other search results to see if there’s anything else there that’s interesting.

    Comment by Dave G — 6 Mar 2010 @ 6:51 PM

  47. Steve Fish says:
    6 March 2010 at 5:55 PM
    RE– Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 March 2010 @ 3:56 PM:

    “I am having a little problem with your claim of being a scientist. … You are acting like you are either a part of, or a dupe of the denial industries’ disinformation campaign.”

    You guys really need to chill with the insults. David is a good guy, a good scientist, and certainly nobody’s dupe.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 6:55 PM

  48. Piers Corbyn keeps cropping up in the Energy Management Group of the IoP’s newsletters (he’s in three of the 5 I’ve looked at so far). Peter Gill saw a presentation by Corbyn and enthused about it and got Corny to give a presentation to the EMG. Perhaps Corbyn has convinced Gill that it’s all the Sun’s fault.

    Comment by Dave G — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:09 PM

  49. The Iop’s Energy Management Group looks to be packed with deniers. Here’s something written by Richard Bloodworth, who, for this issue (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_26538.doc) at least, is the editor of the EMG newsletter:

    “We are all familiar with the idea that the climate is changing because of human activities. The IOP has had several recent events on this ,one on the “debate” and this is the idea I want to discuss. The word “debate” is usually used when issues are complex with no right or wrong answer such as Parliamentary debates but I feel it is inappropriate for this issue. As scientists, we should decide such issues by the quality of the evidence supporting the theory rather than entering into a media circus with 2 sides, for & against. We have all seen statements such as “ the majority of the world’s scientists support the global warming theory” -but a theory does not rest on a majority vote but on the strength and quality of the evidence for it. In particular, a theory should make a prediction which can be tested by experiment or, in this case, by observations. Those predicting anthropogenic climate change should be prepared to make specific predictions which can be tested by observations. If they cannot do this, then the theory is not scientific and should not be used by politicians to increase fuel taxes on energy we all need in our daily lives.

    As far as I know, no-one has made such a prediction, for example global average temperatures or rainfall .We all know the climate varied on all possible timescales thousands of years in the past when there were no fuel consumers around-so any prediction has to subtract these natural climate drivers (e.g. Milankovitch) from their prediction. This is a complex process heavily dependent on computer models which can give widely varying outputs according to the initial assumptions fed in. Recently I attended a talk by Henrik Svensmark on the idea that cosmic rays influence climate (see review of his book below). I found the talk interesting but what struck me was the reaction of some of the audience during questions after the talk. There was some really hostile reaction which surprised me but shows how entrenched peoples’ views on this subject have become. Those predicting the end of the world as we know it should be prepared to make definite predictions which can be tested. Scientific topics should not be decided by media or political pressure.”

    Richard Bloodworth EMG Committee

    Comment by Dave G — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:15 PM

  50. I’m very skeptical about the entire AGW issue and the way it has been “sold” to the public. I believe it has been over hyped purposely by both well meaning scientists and crooked money men looking to capitalize on the vast amount of taxpayer money that is at stake. The question I have for all of the well meaning people here on this thread is this:

    How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?

    I think we can correctly assume that profiteers and crooks will be in the mix of the political discourse and Internet threads working to ensure their own profits. How do we spot the rotten apples in the barrel?

    Comment by Doug S — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:27 PM

  51. One of my replies got rejected as apam (heaven knows why, but I hope it will appear soon.

    I doubt I’ll write about this topic again, At least in my own field, normal standards of civility are maintained,

    I find it bordering on the unbelievable that anyone can say, as Steve Fish does, that by advocating openness “You are acting like you are either a part of, or a dupe of the denial industries’ disinformation campaign.”

    Remarks like that do your own cause great harm. They alienate even your allies. I started out on this exercise by believing, as much as any non-expert can, that there was a serious risk from AGW. My aim was to contribute to ways in which you could persuade the public of that. I still believe that AGW is a serious risk, despite the best efforts of some of you to defend secrecy and abuse anyone who tries to point out the harm done by the UEA affair, and how it might have been avoided.

    In reply to John Mason’s equally impolite question, yes of course I realise the extent to which the climate community is under attack. I’ve just lived through 8 years of George Bush’s attempts to corrupt science, How could I not be aware? I have been writing about that for years now (though in the biomedical field, not climate), I abhore it but try not to get too apoplectic (some of the comments here are so suffused with rage, I can’t even be sure which side they are on). That is not how you win friends and influence people.

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:29 PM

  52. Doug S (50) — Frst learn enough of the science to separate the wheat from the chaff. I started with climatologist W.F. Ruddiman’s popular “Plows, Plagues and Petroleum” and then his textbook “Earth’s Climate: Past and Future”. You’ll find a link to “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart first thing in the science section of the sidebar.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:50 PM

  53. The EMG even have an article by Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen in one of their newsletters (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_6838.pdf).

    Oh, and an article by Richard Lindzen in another! (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_21729.doc)

    Oh, and an article by Zbigniew Jaworowski here: (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_31726.pdf)

    Comment by Dave G — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:58 PM

  54. David Colquhoun (51) — The internet is best effort with no guarantees; sometimes submitted comments are simply lost. The spam filter here is odd, not allowing embdded drug names but at least it warns you that you have such; so for example I have to put the hyphen in ultra-mafic (as in rock type) because otherwise there is an embedded patented drug name.

    Now regualars here have been over and over and over every aspect of CRUhack and are beginning to grow a bit testy in having to repeatedly point out that various national met offices own some of the data and it is not CRU’s to give out; anybody who wants it must obtain it from the curating national met office, possible via purchase depending upon national law.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 7:58 PM

  55. In this issue of the newsletter (http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_26513.pdf), Peter Gill writes an article called “Extremely Inconvenient Truths?”:

    “Al Gore’s influential film has done its work. It now matters little that the detail of the ice core record shows that carbon dioxide and methane levels follow temperature and not the other way round.”

    and…

    “Furthermore there is evidence to show that carbon dioxide levels derived from the ice core record have been under-corrected for the huge difference in solubility between carbon dioxide and the two main atmospheric gases, nitrogen and oxygen (carbon dioxide is something like 30 times more soluble in cold water than the main atmospheric gases). Other evidence also suggests that losses due to fractures in the ice cores as they are extracted have not been properly accounted for in the derived gas levels. This means that the statement that carbon dioxide levels now are higher than at any time in the past 400,000 years could be suspect.”

    Comment by Dave G — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:06 PM

  56. > (some of the comments here … I can’t even be sure which side they are on)

    Yeah, all of us readers probably wonder about that from time to time. You’ve read the troll faq? There are people who create that kind of confusion as a sport, sometimes working as a tag-team.

    But if the Contributors blocked more of them, you’d hear more complaints of ‘censorship’ — no question there are people going nuts on all sides.

    It helps (me, anyhow) to see John Pearson’s reminder to look more carefully at your work, David C.; it’s hard at first to tell who’s just echoing the current IOP campaign aimed at Jones and who’s actually thought about this.

    Patience or impulsivity — this goes deep.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2005.10.024

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:09 PM

  57. Sorry I have not read all the posts up until now, but the original article does not mention that the IOP has issued this clarifying statement:
    http://www.iop.org/News/news_40679.html

    Comment by canbanjo — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:18 PM

  58. Dave G (55) — Here we see temperaturess following CO2 down for the past 5 million years:
    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/wiki/File:Five_Myr_Climate_Change_Rev_png
    and during the last 650,000 years of that, CO2 and temperatures swinging closely together:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon-dioxide-temperature-plot.svg
    (Note time progresses towards the right in this graphic.)

    So we can now expect something like Pliocene conditions
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pliocene
    with such elevated levels of CO2. And by the way, genus Homo evolved during the cooler temperatures existing during the following Pliestocene:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pleistocene
    i.e., the curent ice age of Terra; check again the first link in thiis comment.

    Comment by David B. Benson — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:31 PM

  59. Doug S asks: How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?

    Try this: Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:32 PM

  60. Also for David C.:
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/the_iop_fiasco.php#comment-2325556

    You’re coming new to an area that, like the PCB, chlorofluorocarbon, lead, asbestos, tobacco, and BPA issues, has had a whole lot of paid advocacy science inserted into conversations for a long time. Expect some serious people to ask you to read background material like I linked to in an earlier response, to the extent your points match the misleading points made by the IOP. You may not _be_ actually reciting what they said, you may have somehow missed the same information they don’t want to admit even after they were told. But you can look this stuff up for yourself.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:33 PM

  61. Doug S (50) wrote:
    “I think we can correctly assume that profiteers and crooks will be in the mix of the political discourse and Internet threads working to ensure their own profits. How do we spot the rotten apples in the barrel?”

    You’re absolutely right to think that wherever there is money to be made, some level of corruption and disinformation is likely to infect. I hope you realize how much money is being made every day by those who profit by our inaction regarding AGW. I’ve heard (don’t know if it’s true) that there is the equivalent of $100 Trillion worth of fossil fuels that could be burned (combination coal, oil, oil shale) if people ignore the threat of AGW.

    If you completely ignore the blog-sphere and stick to actual peer reviewed scientific journals, the evidence for AGW is clear. Even if you don’t have sufficient education to understand the numerous journal articles, you can read the abstracts and get a pretty good gist of things.

    Comment by Ken W — 6 Mar 2010 @ 8:53 PM

  62. David Colquhoun, others,

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll be more explicit. What is so ironic about this whole thing is that it is not science that is failing, but journalism. Fact checking. Basic fact checking. Proper, accurate quotes in context. A truly balanced treatment of issues (as opposed to faux balance, by contrasting the views of a trained, professional scientist with an amateur dabbling in the field, or even an English aristocrat, thereby giving them the seeming of equal footing and reliability).

    Part of the problem is clearly the rise of the amateur journalist, like bloggers or scientists turned commentators. They have neither the professional training, nor the inclination to follow the traditions of the profession. Sadly, however, real journalists actually perform worse, purposely ignoring their professional training and obligations so that they can generate a more interesting, dramatic and “news worthy” story.

    It’s as if doctors where to tear of the Hippocratic Oath and purposely make people, because more sick people mean more paying customers.

    Your comments here even highlight this. The flaws are subtle and hard to catch (although many previous comments have pointed them out), but a variety of unspoken words and innuendos serve to paint a false picture.

    It’s both sad and frightening to me that people are putting all of this energy into “calling out” the scientists, when it’s the journalists and the media who are purposely failing in their assigned role.

    Comment by Bob — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:30 PM

  63. David Calquhoun says of attacks on climate science: “…yes of course I realise the extent to which the climate community is under attack. I’ve just lived through 8 years of George Bush’s attempts to corrupt science, How could I not be aware? ”

    David, the problem is that these attacks are not a thing of the past. We have legislators abusing their power and office to try and persecute scientists even now:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/sister-soljah-moment.html

    We have creationists trying to link climate change and creationism. Science has never faced a harsher or more vicious attack from anti-science, and climate science is the front line right now.

    The problem with the IoP statement is that it utterly fails to mention the extraordinary openness already practiced by the climate science community. It fails to take into account attempts by anti-science forces to harrass and intimidate scientists.

    Take a look at the utter rubbish that has been produced elsewhere by members of the energy group.

    Also, I would note that several people here have tried to engage you in a civil manner and have been ignored while you have instead decided to focus on posts you consider to be impolite. That is your choice, I suppose, but I do not see how it is helpful.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:45 PM

  64. I am a reader of David Colquhoun’s blog and this one, and I am surprised by the attitude he has had in this thread. He has made some claims (such as to do with FOI requests) that are actually not true, and dhogaza and others have called him out on it and shown he is wrong. Yes, some have got very tetchy round here, and people shouldn’t respond with comments like “You are acting like you are either a part of, or a dupe of the denial industries’ disinformation campaign”, but that doesn’t excuse how David has also responded. I would expect him to have recognized his error and apologize for harming the reputations of certain climatologists based on allegations that aren’t true. Instead at #51 he makes no reference to what facts others have pointed out to him, instead saying he was just “advocating openness” and that people here are “[defending] secrecy and abuse anyone who tries to point out the harm done by the UEA affair”. But how many times does it have to be pointed out that there has been no secrecy, that there is openness? All non-commercial data is available. What part of that don’t you understand?

    David, you are better than this.

    Comment by Alex — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:46 PM

  65. To the original point of the posting. IoP statement was not cleared with members. I am a member of the APS, ACS, and NAS. None of their climate science related statements were cleared, or voted on by their members. Typically all the organizations draft statements by a small, even tiny group of members which is approved by a small subgroup. Most members discover the content of the statements when they are released. The APS is experimenting with some openess, but none of the others do.

    Comment by andy123 — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:49 PM

  66. I also included membership is AAAS in the original note, but it somehow was dropped in the moderation copy. All my comments equally fit the AAAS.

    Comment by andy123 — 6 Mar 2010 @ 9:50 PM

  67. RE– Comment by John E. Pearson — 6 March 2010 @ 6:55 PM:

    The problem is that your friend has been supporting all the calls for openness and expressing concerns about the appearance of the CRU scientists when in actual fact they have been open and honest. In doing so he is supporting a disinformation campaign and has, therefore, become a part of it. I explained some of the facts that demonstrate this reality which you chose to leave out of your quote of my post. If Dr. Colquhoun is an honorable scientist he will reevaluate his statements in light of what the facts actually are. One shouldn’t criticize scientists for the “appearance” of wrongdoing when this is manufactured false information.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 6 Mar 2010 @ 10:28 PM

  68. As far as I can tell, societies rarely have their member vote on statements, since after all, they don’t settle science questions mby having the whole membership vote on it.
    More likely, they either have some standing committee (like POPA in APS), which either does a statement, possibly by gathering relevant folks who actually know about the problem, or else commissioning a separate committee that actually knows the turf.
    To be clear, the APS isn’t asking for a vote, it’s asking for feedback…
    I would guess that they will get some very negative feedback from teh ~200 or so people who signed the APS Petition.

    Now, of those, at least 2 (both nuclear physicists, one retired, the other shifting to market analysis)have written books claiming to refutre climate science. They both devoted several pages to the work of E. G. Beck, accepting it as clear truth that proved {climate scientists were bad.} One also cited G&T.

    To what extent should the “votes” of such people count? In real science, no matter how intensely they believe, their votes don’t count for much … actually, not at all. A third APS2009 signer wrote a book that seems to have plagiarized the Wegman Report, which seems to have plagiarized material from Ray Bradley, in each stage hacking Bradley’s material more, and reversing more of what he wrote. How much is that author’s vote worth?

    As a particularly good counter-example (i.e., and example of doing it right, at least in selection of a committee to draft a climate statement), consider the Geological Society of America. They put out a Draft, and asked for feedback, but I think *that* committee actually knows something about the topic. Had they had a team consisting of YoungEarthCreationists, perhaps it would have looked different.

    The problem is that the wrong group in IOP was doing this, and there weren’t enough checks in their process. This is somewhat akin to the way Monckton got that paper published in APS FPS in 2008.

    Comment by John Mashey — 6 Mar 2010 @ 10:41 PM

  69. David Colquhoun: “I still believe that AGW is a serious risk, despite the best efforts of some of you to defend secrecy and abuse anyone who tries to point out the harm done by the UEA affair, and how it might have been avoided.”

    Reading all the comments, I don’t think anyone here has defended secrecy. Perhaps you could shed some more light on that accusation?

    I would also be interested in knowing why you seem to ignore the significant issues that have been brought up with your writing on the subjects of FOI requests and presentation of editorial misbehavior with a review when apparently there was none. Since these kinds of issues are an integral part of denier rhetoric nowadays, getting them right deserves extra attention.
    If I were you, I’d take this as invaluable feedback. It seems that some key facts simply aren’t being transmitted in your coverage and that this gives the message a quality you don’t intend. Imagine the reaction you would have if someone printed something erroneous not only about your work, but about the way your field works, which fed into a massive public controversy and public disinformation campaign against the work you do. Would you care for your corrections to be labeled as “defending secrecy,” or such-like?

    Comment by Wheels — 6 Mar 2010 @ 10:56 PM

  70. The IoP was hijacked by climate deniers to propagate a message which on the face of it would appear to be a consensus or at least a majority opinion of polled members. Now we see the shot heard round the world was a subterfuge by dishonest members manipulating the voice of an honored society.

    And now the prestigious institute refuses to openly disclose who submitted the damning charge, all the while insisting that open disclosure be de rigueur for the climate sciences?

    Utterly astounding!

    The whole sorry episode just points to how much of the climate denier movement is based on and riddled with misleading fabrications, mendacious propaganda and fraud.

    Members need to formulate a “not in my name” document to counter the denier’s overly influential submission to a parliamentary inquiry by the IoP.

    The IoP must openly disclose and censure the individuals who used the organization and its members to spread the view of a distinct and less than favored minority. Less than this undermines its own credibility and completely subverts its authority to suggest advice to anyone, let alone people in high office.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 6 Mar 2010 @ 11:04 PM

  71. [Stupid brain cramp]

    The unintelligible portion of post 62 should have said (in reference to how journalists are handling climate science):

    It’s as if doctors were to tear up the Hippocratic Oath and purposely make people sick, because more sick people mean more paying customers.

    Comment by Bob — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:02 AM

  72. If, as David Adam in the Guardian suggests, Peter F. Gill is involved with the IoP submission then there’s a serious issue of conflict of interest. Peter wrote this as a response to an article on the Times Higher Education suppliment website on the 22nd of November last year:

    “When you get back from your most recent walkabout Mark try googling CRU and Phil Jones. Poor old CRU have been seriously hacked. The e-mails and other files are all over the Internet and include how to hide atmospheric cooling, how to deal with freedom of information requests and other stuff that I feel sure you will find of interest. All the best as always.”

    How the IoP could have let someone with such obvious extreme views shape their submission to the Commons is beyond me.

    Comment by Eamon — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:21 AM

  73. John Mason says:

    “”"David Colquhoun,

    I asked you to what extent you understood that the climate science community was under attack. I checked in last night but saw no sign of a reply.

    Do yourself a favour, mate, and go on Amazon & get a copy of Climate Cover-up,”"”

    And while you are at it read a book about the climate change politics by a Pulitzer Prize winner, Boston Globe Ross Gelbspan, “The Heat is On” available at Amazon.com.

    It was required reading at a pilot climate change course I took at the University of Denver.

    By the way (and I did not make this up), the Boston Globe had to issue a statement that yes, Gelbspan did indeed receive the Publizer Prize after the contrarians publicly claimed that he had never received it. It is like a house of mirrors.

    See Gelbspans website for his photocopied evidence.
    http://www.heatisonline.org/

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:18 AM

  74. re. 50 Doug S says:

    “”"I’m very skeptical about the entire AGW issue and the way it has been “sold” to the public”"”"”

    I can’t send the post because of the spam filter.

    However, you need to read science and not politics. Anything ad hominem should be disregarded. You should read the journal articles. The abstracts will tell you all you need to know.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:02 AM

  75. Azolla. This is the tip of the iceberg. We are so screwed (IMHO).

    Comment by Garrett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:52 AM

  76. #70, it’s all politics. That’s what the oil industry wants.

    Trust me on this, the oil industry knows damned well that GC/Gw is for real. Think about it. They WANT to mine the Arctic reserves. What better way to do it than make sure nothing is done toi stop it! Hence, the political campaign to get Joe Sixpack to vote NO on doing anything about it.

    This is what is happening in spades, and they are winning.

    I predict nothing will be done about it. So, all we can do is watch and say neener neener and their Joe Sixpackers will say its all “cycles” and whatever (like epicycles of days of yore).

    My opinion, game over, humanity lost. I think the Artic outgassing of methane is the tip of the iceberg and the start of a true tipping point which my children and grandchildren will have to deal with in spades.

    Lets face it, the political battle is lost. Nothing will be done to curn this. All we, as scientists, can do is to record the evidence and what is happening to hope that maybe, someday, there will be knowledge of what really happened and maybe they can use it for their benifit.

    Sorry to be so macabre, but it is what it is.

    Comment by Garrett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:02 AM

  77. #50 Doug S asks, “How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?”

    Get thee to a scientific education. I’m sorry, I’m not trying to be offensive, but it has become overwhelmingly obvious in recent years that the frightening level of public scientific illiteracy is a huge problem in this respect.

    Spencer Weart’s book “The Discovery of Global Warming” is often suggested as an introduction.

    As for “profiteers” … by far the greatest incentive to obfuscate and delay lies with those for whom the status quo provides comforts and for which change presents challenges. That includes the fossil fuel companies and the communities of people they employ who are being told that much of what they have spent their lives prospecting for and extracting will have to be left in the ground. That is a far more real prospect for far more people than any group of entrepreneurs who hope to make future profits from the changes ahead. That is where the overwhelming incentive to produce “outright propaganda” lies.

    Comment by Slioch — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:11 AM

  78. The media needs to be on the ball. They need to know more about science and need to report more soberly.

    Comment by rasmus — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:22 AM

  79. The political battle is lost. There is now no way to convince Joe Sixpack that something needs to be done to stop this problem.
    All we can do now is record the data for future generations. It is our duty.

    The right wing used a brilliant strategy. They attacked the integrity of the people that research the work. They invaded private space, to steal
    confidential information to exploit, regardless of context. This is how theese people operate.

    They convinced Joe Sixpack that the same science that gives them this and that and the other thing that makes their lives what it is has failed on them for climate warnings is bogus based on some opinions in emails. As if these opinions somehow invalidate thousands of man years of research. As is some comments in computer code invalidate all observation from the greatest technology in our history. As if being off for the arrival time to the apex of the Voyager 2 encounter to uransus was 2.8 seconds is acceptable, yet, all the data collected by our instruments is so wrong because some guy was ticked off at some other guy because of disagreements. This is politics. This is what voters buy.

    There is no way science can compete with this when big money anti-regulation forces are at work. The right wing of our country is doing everything it can to stop any kind of regulation to stop this disaster in our immediate future.

    It is a sad state of affairs, but I will have to concede that they have won.

    [Response: The "sad state of affairs" you refer to has nothing to do with "they" having won anything (they haven't), but rather with the fact that you believe they have. No offense but I wouldn't want you with me in a fox hole with your attitude, because it can lead to only one result--defeat. When you're in a battle you don't go around saying "we're all gonna die". Put down the whiskey bottle, turn off the sad violin music, and go read some Joe Romm, or Ghandi, or even Yogi Berra.--Jim]

    There is no glbal warming or climate change. We have always been at war with Eurasia.

    Regardless, Scientists, keep up the good work for posterity.

    Comment by Garrett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:24 AM

  80. #24 David says: “The fact that some bits of the data may have been ‘owned’ by someone else merely sets back the problem one step. Why weren’t the ‘owners’ of the data willing to have it released by UEA? give? Were they asked? And if they refused, what excuse did they?”

    Weather data is owned by someone. In practically all countries it is owned by the taxpayers who pay for its acquisition. National laws and regulations are in force concerning how this public property is distributed, to whom and under what terms and conditions.

    The data has obvious commercial value. When fresh, airlines, airport operators and weather forecasters buy it. When old, it is a key input to environmental impact statements required for permitting of major industrial plant, strategy decisions by various industries, development of safety plans, etc. To take just a few examples of wide commercial intrests involved.

    So, the taxpayer’s repsentatives may well decide that users of such data are charged a part of the cost of data acquisition. “User pays” is a very common rule in all walks of life.

    A lot of the data appears to be freely circulated, but that is not without strings attached. There is a very long tradition that distribution is governed by international exchange agreements, based on the condition that similar data is made available by the recipient. Often sub-licensing to bona fide research purposes is allowed. If a private person or a blogger with no relevant scientific publication record can be considered, may be a bone of contention.

    The result is a compromise after extensive negotiations. Nothing extraordinary in it.

    Comment by Pekka Kostamo — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:40 AM

  81. I will say one last thing, and leave it at that.

    Joe Sixpack 50, 100 years from now will be the one paying for all this inaction now. JS will be asking “why didn’t they do anything about it?” JS will be wondering, one day, why did half the population die off becasue of famine and disease. JS will ask, why have your foraksen us? there will be no answer becasue the JS of our time ridiculed the science. Because, in our time, we knew we were at a tipping point, where we had the tech to detect the problem, and because of our age old political differences, we decided to do nithing about it, for OUR status quo.

    Problem is JS 50-100 years from now will be paying for it. Starvation, global wars for meagre resources. Horrible death as 80% of the world population dies to estaglish some sort of resource equilibrium.

    The fools that dicatate that “all is well” will be the people responsible for this mess.

    [Response: Give it a break man. You're saying future generations are going to look back and blame us for doing nothing, and in the very same breath saying "Game over, we lost, nothing we can do, it's all going to hell, the world sucks, etc, etc." Nobody wants to hear it frankly. Pull your head out.--Jim]

    Comment by Garrett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:02 AM

  82. OK, maybe the best thing now is for the science community to concede, declare no GW/GCC and continue to take measurements for future generations. Give the right wingers their “victory” yet continue to monitor and report what is really going on. It’s all we can do any more.

    [Response: Wouldn't collective suicide be quicker and simpler?--Jim]

    Comment by Garrett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:07 AM

  83. Slioch says: 7 March 2010 at 3:11 AM

    That includes the fossil fuel companies and the communities of people they employ who are being told that much of what they have spent their lives prospecting for and extracting will have to be left in the ground.

    And the “left in the ground” part is a lie, also. Just because petroleum is extracted does not mean we have to burn it. Look at polyethylene; great stuff, no weird elements from the chlorine column waiting to attach themselves to our metabolisms, just good old hydrogen and carbon, and what a useful substance. Bury it out of sight of sunlight and it’s effectively gone, too.

    Trouble is, if we don’t burn this petroleum oil companies will have to get their money over centuries instead of decades and that’s just terrible for quarterly results if the demand is being pushed down from the decades consumption timespan toward the centuries scenario.

    It should be needless to say, but of course once we’ve burned all these wonderful hydrocarbons, our need for polymers will not magically vanish and then we’ll need to actually -pay- to jam atoms of hydrogen and carbon together, in energy and money, further exacerbating our hydrocarbon replacement problem.

    Oil producers and marketers are -really- poor stewards of this resource, about as bad as we could imagine.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:16 AM

  84. “You guys really need to chill with the insults. David is a good guy, a good scientist, and certainly nobody’s dupe.

    But does he have the merest clue as to the historical context of the CRU ‘awfulness’ — the years of harassment from nonacademic climate ‘sceptics’, culminating in a barrage of FOIs — or is he just being reflexively, rigidly sanctimonious based on his own experiences with FOI requests from universities re: homeopathy, an entirely unrelated field?

    He may be a good guy and a good scientist, but I suspect he’ll be what Marx called a ‘useful idiot’ to a denialist blogosphere happy to exploit any scientist criticizing the CRU. That’s how much this has become about PR, rather than science.

    Comment by Steven Sullivan — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:49 AM

  85. JEP: “David is a good guy, a good scientist, and certainly nobody’s dupe.”
    Being a nice guy doesn’t exclude you from having to think.

    The comments against him are for uncritically lapping up talking points from the loudest voices and ignoring any attempt to check.

    Where is his vaunted scientific skepticism?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 7 Mar 2010 @ 5:05 AM

  86. “How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?”

    Easy: When someone tries to alarm the public with threats of economic collapse if we do anything about AGW, then they are the profiteering propogandists.

    A free service offered to those with genuine questions to clear up any confusion they may have.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 7 Mar 2010 @ 5:07 AM

  87. #76 Garrett says:

    “My opinion, game over, humanity lost. I think the Artic outgassing of methane is the tip of the iceberg and the start of a true tipping point which my children and grandchildren will have to deal with in spades.”

    As a scientist what do you define as a ‘tipping point’ and what peer reviewed studies support this opinion?

    Comment by John devlin — 7 Mar 2010 @ 5:45 AM

  88. Re #52 David Colquhoun:

    :In reply to John Mason’s equally impolite question, yes of course I realise the extent to which the climate community is under attack. I’ve just lived through 8 years of George Bush’s attempts to corrupt science, How could I not be aware?”

    Firstly, I’m sorry if my rather forcefully-put suggestion came across as impolite. That was not the intention.

    All I can say is that despite having an awareness of the denial campaign appearing to be quite organised, I was still nevertheless astounded by the degree of organisation that I discovered when I read the cover-up book.

    What you are seeing here is a background of seething anger regarding the way in which some scientists have been picked out and treated – the smears, death-threats, threats of prosecution and so on and so forth. This is why many of us vent a bit of steam now and then!

    Cheers – John

    Comment by John Mason — 7 Mar 2010 @ 6:16 AM

  89. Garret

    This is not the first hard struggle that men and women have faced, and it won’t be the last. Why do you think courage and endurance have evolved amongst humans if not that they have survival value?

    But I will let Arthur Hugh Clough (1819-1861) answer you:

    Say not, “The struggle nought availeth,
    The labour and the wounds are vain,
    The enemy faints not, nor faileth,
    And as things have been they remain.”

    If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars;
    It may be, in yon smoke concealed,
    Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
    And, but for you, possess the field.

    For while the tired waves, vainly breaking,
    Seem here no painful inch to gain,
    Far back, through creeks and inlets making,
    Comes silent, flooding in, the main.

    And not by eastern windows only,
    When daylight comes, comes in the light;
    In front, the sun climbs slow, how slowly,
    But westward, look, the land is bright!

    Comment by Slioch — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:00 AM

  90. Ray Ladbury writes:

    “The problem with the IoP statement is that it utterly fails to mention the extraordinary openness already practiced by the climate science community.”

    Absolutely correct. Advocates of “openness” are remiss in not pointing out the examples of NASA-GISS and researchers like Mike Mann. Having the extra data and updated analysis is all great for those of us who are interested in the science and argue from a scientific standpoint, but it is naive to think that “openness” will in any way silence the critics. They would just move on to new arguments that sound high-minded. Calls for “openness” are merely one tool in the “inaction” campaign.

    Comment by Deech56 — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:45 AM

  91. #73 Richard Ordway:

    I’m sorry, Ross Gelbspan did not win a Pulitzer Prize. He put together the team and was an editor on the project that won but it was the writers who were awarded the prize.

    See the Pulitzer page:

    http://www.pulitzer.org/awards/1984

    “Local Investigative Specialized Reporting

    Kenneth Cooper, Joan Fitz Gerald, Jonathan Kaufman, Norman Lockman, Gary McMillan, Kirk Scharfenberg and David Wessel of The Boston Globe
    For their series examining race relations in Boston, a notable exercise in public service that turned a searching gaze on some the city’s most honored institutions including The Globe itself.”

    It may be “just a technicality” but Gelbspan is not listed and thus did not win a Pulitzer Prize.

    Comment by movielib — 7 Mar 2010 @ 8:46 AM

  92. re posts 84 and 85:

    I have no objection with anyone attacking David’s opinion. I object when people attack him personally. Besides being reprehensible it does not help anything. You want David on your side.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 7 Mar 2010 @ 9:00 AM

  93. A person or persons on either the main IoP board, or the IoP Science and Technology Committee (STC) (whichever actually wrote the submission), thought that the Energy Management Group (EMG) should have an input into the submission. Whoever made that decision must (or should) have known that the EMG was full of deniers of accepted science, because those views had been freely expressed in the EMG newsletters.

    So maybe it’s not just the EMG which has been infiltrated by deniers, but also the board or the STC.
    I think the IoP has some questions to answer.
    Who wrote the submission?
    Who decided who should write the submission?
    Was the submission fact-checked by those with direct scientific knowledge of the subject?
    Have the IoP sent copies of all of the versions of their “clarification” to the Commons Inquiry?

    The IoP is backtracking, but it’s not backtracking enough. The submission still stands as the official IoP view. They either need to withdraw their submission or totally rewrite it, preferably without the input of the EMG.

    Comment by Dave G — 7 Mar 2010 @ 9:49 AM

  94. Of course openness will not silence critics of the Fox Mews variety, because they are not interested in data or truth, but rather in paying no tax and unseating Obama.

    Nevertheless the simple fact of the matter is that the mishandling of the emai affair by UEA handed a propaganda victory to the bad guys and that should never have happened.

    It seems that the constant and vicious attacks on climate scientists have produced such a defensive siege mentality that some of them can no longer see what’s good for their cause. It isn’t people like me that you have to persuade, but moderate politicians (such people still exist, at least in Europe). Most politicians in most parties in the UK take the GW problem seriously. If you continue to act as though you had something to hide (even when you haven’t) you will alienate them. Then you really will have lost. That would be tragic, but it’s a real possibility if you don’t calm down and spend a bit of time working out how to be as open as possible,

    Ray Ladbury says “Calls for “openness” are merely one tool in the “inaction” campaign”. Remarks like that threaten the whole effort to win over moderate politicians. Have you guys got a death wish?

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 7 Mar 2010 @ 9:54 AM

  95. David Colquhoun says:

    One of my replies got rejected as apam (heaven knows why, but I hope it will appear soon.

    I doubt I’ll write about this topic again, At least in my own field, normal standards of civility are maintained,

    Calling for the resignation of people who’ve properly rejected FOI requests because they don’t own the requested data and don’t have the right to release it is considered “civil”?

    In my country we call it “McCarthyism”.

    I find it bordering on the unbelievable that anyone can say, as Steve Fish does, that by advocating openness “You are acting like you are either a part of, or a dupe of the denial industries’ disinformation campaign.”

    It’s not because you advocate openness, which several of us have made very clear to you, so please stop repeating it.

    Look up “concern troll”. Then look in the mirror. Thank you.

    Comment by dhogaza — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:07 AM

  96. Doug S wrote: “How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?”

    Are you aware that you are slavishly cutting-and-pasting a verbatim, boilerplate talking-point that has been spoon-fed to you by ExxonMobil’s multimillion-dollar propaganda machine, via the phony-baloney “conservative” denialist media?

    See, here’s how it works:

    ExxonMobil spends tens of millions of dollars, year after year after year, funding various cranks, frauds, liars, propaganda mills masquerading as “conservative” think tanks and so on, to churn out pseudoscience, sophistry, outright falsehoods, and most recently vicious attacks on the integrity of climate scientists.

    ExxonMobil does this in order to delay and obstruct the urgently needed phaseout of their products — from which they reap about FORTY BILLION DOLLARS every year. They well understand that the New Industrial Revolution of the 21st Century, based on the proliferation of clean, sustainable, powerful high technologies for harvesting a vast and endless supply of FREE solar and wind energy, will lead to a massive transfer of wealth from corporations who profit from extracting and selling a limited supply of toxic and destructive fuel. And every single DAY that ExxonMobil can delay that transition, means another hundred million dollars in profits.

    However, ExxonMobil’s ongoing funding of deceit and denial, obstruction and delay, has been pretty well exposed by now. A clear public perception that ExxonMobil is putting humanity at grave risk, for reasons of greed, would defeat their propaganda effort. Clarity must therefore be obscured, and the waters muddied.

    So, how does ExxonMobil respond? With more propaganda, of course.

    According to ExxonMobil, you see, it is those “profiteering” scientists, and those “profiteering” alternative energy companies, and above all that evil mastermind “liberal” uber-profiteer Al Gore, who are trying to deceive the public with the “great global warming hoax” so that they can get rich. And all of us ordinary “Joe Sixpack” types who understand the science and recognize the reality and urgency of the problem and are demanding policies to address it, are just the gullible dupes of Al Gore’s vast propaganda machine.

    Sure, when you spell it right out that way, it is comic book stuff. So ludicrous that it’s hard to imagine anyone would fall for it.

    But fortunately for ExxonMobil, the so-called “right wing media” has long since created a cult of Ditto-Heads, who will gullibly and slavishly believe whatever drivel about AGW (or anything else) they are spoon-fed by talk radio, right wing websites, the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, Fox News, etc.

    And so they show up here, repetitively typing up their scripted talking points, flaunting their arrogance, ignorance and belligerence, spewing pseudo-science, pseudo-ideology and slander, and proclaiming themselves “skeptics”.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:08 AM

  97. Regarding Gelbspan and the Pulitzer… It should be noted that Gelbspan himself does not claim to have won the prize. Over at theheatisonline.org, you can find this statement:

    In his capacity as special projects editor, he conceived, directed and edited a series of articles on job discrimination against African-Americans in Boston-area corporations, universities, unions, newspapers and state and city government. The series won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.

    Comment by caerbannog — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:13 AM

  98. David Colquhoun

    I have not been rude to you so perhaps you could kindly revisit your own remark at #15 where you write:

    I was therefore astonished to see that Russells’s site, and to a lesser extent this one, attacking the Institute of Physics for advocating openness about data and analysis code:

    I have read the IOP Annex as well as Andy Russel’s open letter, and find that we must have been reading different versions of both documents.

    (a) Andy Russell writes

    There is clearly a need for rules regarding openness in relation to data

    Whats going on here? Perhaps you did not mean Andy Russell’s Open Letter? If not then that precise wording looks perilously close to spin. I have not had time to read the comments which follow Andy Russell’s Open Letter. The effect of your remark might be to discourage some people from supporting the Open Letter. Why? Are you in favour of the IoP Annex?

    (b) the IoP has buried a plea for openness in a document called the Annex which they have never retracted and has quite a different agenda. You have not replied to my comment at #45 which explains this. The authors are advocating a sixth inquiry and are using this advocacy as an excuse to damage the reputation of scientists without regards to natural justice.
    The innuendo is not just that they have lacked openness but that they may have been guilty of scientific malpractice (no evidence given). This is not the normal behaviour of a professional institute.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:20 AM

  99. John Devlin (87), you can answer your own question. Just do a Google Scholar search of “abrupt climate change,” which is what tipping points are all about. You will find plenty.

    Comment by Ron Taylor — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:27 AM

  100. Arctic temp below normal,
    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Arctic sea ice extent 14.35 sq. km., and appears still growing,
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

    and almost into 1 std. dev. of 1979-2006 average.
    http://arctic-roos.org/observations/satellite-data/sea-ice/ice-area-and-extent-in-arctic

    [Response: ...and then there's this one, and this one --I'm sure you just overlooked them.--Jim]

    Comment by J. Bob — 7 Mar 2010 @ 11:02 AM

  101. This should be contrasted with the statement of the Royal Society of Chemistry, which Eli contrasted (need the hits folks)and, among other things (which you really should read by following the link) points out that

    Encouraging scientists to openly engage with the public can only be achieved if researchers are given the necessary backing in the face of any unfounded arguments against their work. This support must come from the highest levels,

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 7 Mar 2010 @ 11:36 AM

  102. #94 climate scientists have produced such a defensive siege mentality

    What mentality do you suggest for those under siege? Live and let die?

    Comment by JiminMpls — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:11 PM

  103. > 92 John E. Pearson says: 7 March 2010 at 9:00 AM
    > re posts 84 and 85:
    > I have no objection with anyone attacking David’s opinion.

    John, do you know David well enough to get his attention? Please draw his attention away from the nitwittery (whether sincere or trollish shitstirring).

    Most of us posting aren’t addressing David’s _opinion_. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion.

    We’re addressing his _mistaken_factual_claims_. And he’s not got that yet.

    It seems he’s fallen for the “two sides of a debate” frame, a real error.
    You focus on the same thing (“You want David on your side.” that he does:

    > … climate scientists …. some of them can no
    > longer see what’s good for their cause …

    —> A plea to you and to him. Back away slowly from the netwittery.
    —> Science doesn’t have a side. It has an effort to determine facts.
    —> You’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.
    —> We are asking David to correct factual errors underlying his opinions.
    —> After that it’s his choice what his opinions are.
    —> He can look up the facts.

    May I recommend this as a _great_ opportunity to invite someone like John Mashey, who’s been looking hard at this, and who has a long public track record of getting things right, to consult with you and David and write a new story here — the story documenting how the “facts” are being spun, and how easy it has been to get taken for a spin?

    This is really one worth documenting, methodically, and getting right.

    If you have any leverage with David, please ask him to back off, and look.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:18 PM

  104. Mopvielib states:

    “”"”"I’m sorry, Ross Gelbspan did not win a Pulitzer Prize. He put together the team and was an editor on the project that won but it was the writers who were awarded the prize.”"”"

    Thank you, I stand corrected!

    “As special projects editor of the Globe, Gelbspan conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984.”

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:20 PM

  105. At least one deniers also infiltrated the Canadian Met. and Oceanographic society (CMOS). This person then forwarded private email correspondence to “Friends’ of Science (a denier group) and Tom Harris, who then took it upon themselves to make veiled threats to the CMOS board. The denier mole has recently left CMOS. This is serious and probably not limited to CMOS and IOP.

    It seems something similar has happened at IOP, but on a much larger scale.

    Dr. Colquhoun fails to see the hypocrisy, subverted IOP demanding openness and transparency from CRU and others, while at the same time hiding behind a cloak of secrecy. That is, IMO, the biggest issue people have with the original IOP statement, that and some fallacious allegations that were made.

    She should not be surprised as to why some here have been so testy with him. Colquhoun keeps repeating the same old tired comments about openness, and keeps making unsubstantiated allegations.

    There is immense openness on the AGW file, but there will never been enough for the likes of McIntyre. Dr. Colquhoun also ignored the limitations place don CRU and others by data sharing agreements. that said look here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

    Dr. Colquhoun’s comments are in a very similar vein as to those of Dr. Curry’s. Both disappoint me immensely. They both know, or should know better, but their gross generalizations and cavalier statements of late are not consistent with the reality of what is happening and has happened on the ground in the sustained assault on science and scientists. I do not understand the reason for Colquhoun keep repeating nonsense like “despite the best efforts of some of you to defend secrecy and abuse anyone who tries to point out the harm done by the UEA affair”.

    The scientists at CRU and elsewhere are being found guilty based on fallacious statements placed on internet blogs. I, for one, will respect Sir Russell’s ruling on the CRU affair, as well of those of PSU, and UK Parliament.

    I would also suggest that Dr. Colquhoun should stop applying what seems to be one-directional skepticism. He should be skeptical of the motives, behaviour and antics of McIntyre, Watts, Morano, Lindzen, Singer, Spencer, Christy. They are the ones who should be held to account for bad behaviour. Yet, Colquhoun turns a blind eye to their transgressions and makes unsubstantiated allegations against real AGW scientists. Why is he and the media not holding them to account? For example, see requests for Watts to apologize for making libelous statements against NOAA and others? Why does he not blast their monumental errors all over the net? So far Watts has refused.

    Comment by MapleLeaf — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:27 PM

  106. It seems that the constant and vicious attacks on climate scientists have produced such a defensive siege mentality that some of them can no longer see what’s good for their cause. It isn’t people like me that you have to persuade, but moderate politicians (such people still exist, at least in Europe).

    It would help if folks writing for the press, like yourself, told the *truth*. You still aren’t addressing why people have been annoyed with your writing. Calling for the resignation of people due to their having properly and legally rejected FOI requests – tch, tch.

    Blame the victim much? Apparently …

    Comment by dhogaza — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:34 PM

  107. David Colquhoun claims I said that calls for openness are merely “one tool in the “inaction” campaign”.”

    David, would you care to point to where I actually said this? I will save you the trouble. It wasn’t me that said it but rather another poster. I know that posts are coming your way, but I would contend, David, that it is precisely this type of sloppiness that causes people to buy into the meme–that climate scientists are hiding data and methods–rather than the reality–that the level of openness in climate science is in fact unprecedented in science.

    What other branch of science has been so closely scrutinized–by independent panels (National Academy, Royal Society, Professional Societies…) or has made so much of its raw data and even code available?

    And has this unprecedented openness been greeted with praise and choruses of Kumbaya by denialists? No. We still hear the same unsubstantiated allegations that scientists are hiding something. We’ve seen not a single published analysis by climate denialists using the data and methods.

    So, David, while I am glad that you finally responded to me, I just wish you’d responded to something I actually said. Likewise, I wish you had written about the reality of the position of climate scientists rather than buying into denialist memes.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  108. Is this assurance of openess or compliance with FOI ???

    “It has come to our attention, that last Monday (March 1), Dr. Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (CRU), in a hearing with the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee made a statement in regards to the alleged non-availability for disclosure of Swedish climate data.

    Dr. Jones asserted that the weather services of several countries, including Sweden, Canada and Poland, had refused to allow their data to be released, to explain his reluctance to comply with Freedom of Information requests.

    This statement is false and misleading in regards to the Swedish data.

    All Swedish climate data are available in the public domain. As is demonstrated in the attached correspondence between SMHI (Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute), the UK Met Office and Dr. Jones (the last correspondence dated yesterday March 4), this has been clearly explained to Dr. Jones. What is also clear is that SMHI is reluctant to be connected to data that has undergone “processing” by the East Anglia research unit.”

    STOCKHOLM INITIATIVE
    Göran Ahlgren, secretary general
    Kungsgatan 82
    12 27 Stockholm, Sweden

    Comment by bill — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:54 PM

  109. I’ve seen Canadian, Swedish, and Spanish met office “license agreements” that impose limits on the redistribution of temperature data. It would be nice to have a complete collection of such agreements in one location that journalists etc. could be referred to. I’ll be doing a bit of Googling myself to see what I can turn up — maybe others could do the same…

    Comment by caerbannog — 7 Mar 2010 @ 12:55 PM

  110. David Colquhoun:

    I don’t think I’ve been rude here, but maybe my comment just got lost to you among all the others on the page. Could you please go back and give some kind of response to #69? Specifically, how has anyone here defended secrecy?
    While you’re at it, I would also be interested in an answer to #33, the actual meat of #43 about the UK FOI law, #64, #95, #98, and probably a few others I missed while skimming, where people point out what they perceive as factual errors in your framing of the issue and why they think it’s important to get those corrected. From what I can see you aren’t addressing anything factual, but griping about the fact that people are disagreeing with you, skipping over their issues entirely. That’s no good.

    We already get that you think a “call for openness” is innocuous, so there’s no need to retread that ground, just please talk about some of the points they raise rather than their apparent attitude. Instead of bemoaning a “siege mentality,” how about some substantial discussion of the problems people here are bringing up? Less talk -about- the debate and more debating.

    Comment by Wheels — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:02 PM

  111. Weather data and weather forecasts are worth money. And, these days the good ol’ Met Office in the UK is expected to earn an income.

    Now when I look up the Met Office website to check wind direction for my work, there are adverts for cheaper deals on domestic heating gas (winter here) and road rescue services (may get stuck in the snow). Used not to be like that.

    Comment by Theo Hopkins — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:12 PM

  112. > 108, bill
    > SMHI

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/weird_stuff_from_the_swedes.php

    You’ve been had, Bill. You’re not alone, but you’re late to catch on. You’re posting the lies, while others have been documenting them as lies.

    Catch up, eh? What source are you relying on for this misinformation you post?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:20 PM

  113. caerbannog – One place to start for European data

    Comment by flxible — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:21 PM

  114. #97 caerbannog -

    I don’t dispute that Ross Gelbspan doesn’t himself claim he won a Pulitzer Prize but there are some strange things going on. My understanding is that the first edition of his first global warming book, The Heat Is On (1997,) calls him a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist (or some such language) on the dustjacket or back cover. One thinks he would have been asked to approve that comment about himself. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt there and say they slipped it by him.

    But look at the back cover of his second book, Boiling Point (2005), eight years later:

    http://www.amazon.com/Boiling-Point-Politicians-Journalists-Crisis/dp/0465027628/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpi_1#reader_0465027628 (click on “Back Cover”)

    It says: “Ross Gelbspan was a longtime reporter and editor at The Washington Post and The Boston Globe where he won a Pulitzer Prize…”

    Apparently this is still the edition in print and for sale at Amazon.

    Apparently he doesn’t do much to dissuade people from thinking he won the Pulitzer.

    Comment by movielib — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:24 PM

  115. “All Swedish climate data are available in the public domain. ”
    http://www.ecmwf.int/about/overview/
    “The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF, the Centre) is an independent international organisation supported by 31 States. Its Member States are:
    Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom .

    We have concluded co-operation agreements with:
    Czech Republic, Montenegro, Estonia, Croatia, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Morocco, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia.”

    http://data-portal.ecmwf.int/data/d/license/era40/
    ” The datasets available on this server are provided solely for research purposes. Before retrieving data please read the conditions below and acknowledge that you accept them.
    Conditions

    1. Data from the projects available on this server is provided without charge and may be used for research and education only. Commercial use of the data is not permitted.
    2. Research is understood as any project organised by a university, scientific institute or similar (private or institutional), for non-commercial research purposes only. A necessary condition for the recognition of non-commercial purposes is that all the results obtained are openly available at delivery costs only, without any delay linked to commercial objectives, and that the research itself is submitted for open publication.
    3. Although every care has been taken in preparing and testing the data, ECMWF cannot guarantee that the data are correct in all circumstances; neither does ECMWF accept any liability whatsoever for any error or omission in the data, or for any loss or damage arising from its use.
    4. Any person extracting data from this server will accept responsibility for informing all data users of these conditions.
    5. Data must not be supplied as a whole or in part to any third party without the authorisation of ECMWF.
    6. Articles, papers, or written scientific works of any form, based in whole or in part on data supplied by ECMWF, will contain an acknowledgment concerning the supplied data.”

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:26 PM

  116. RE: 115

    Character assassination in play. You must be proud, but sadly, wrong. I would say take your lies and stuff them.

    Mother Jones Interview with Ross Gelbspan 2005:

    “MJ.com: What kind of response has your reporting received from the deniers?

    RG: The first response that I had was a web-based campaign to impugn my professional integrity. They basically came out and said that I was a résumé fraud. I had said that I was a co-recipient of a Pulitzer prize and they said, “No, Gelbspan never had a role in a Pulitzer prize.” That was pretty hurtful; I was proud of that prize. I was an editor at the Boston Globe and we did a big series looking at racial discrimination in greater Boston. When the Globe won the Pulitzer for this project, the publisher said to me, “This is your series. You conceived it, you directed it; so we are designating you as recipient on behalf of the Boston Globe.” I didn’t feel like I was distorting it by saying I was a co-recipient. When I stepped back and reflected on it, I felt pretty good about it because I realized there was nothing wrong about the book that they could critique, so as a result they resorted to character assassination instead.”

    Indeed. Still.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 7 Mar 2010 @ 1:56 PM

  117. re 79 Garrett says:

    “”"The political battle is lost….
    The right wing used a brilliant strategy. They attacked the integrity of the people that research the work. They invaded private space, to steal
    Confidential information to exploit, regardless of context. This is how these people operate…
    It is a sad state of affairs, but I will have to concede that they have won.”"”"

    Well, I think you are eloquent and sum the problem up nicely. However, remember, that humanity *did* win the ozone hole solution in time by listening to science in time and luckily the anti-science people did not win that.

    Every little bit we can do on human-caused climate change helps- however little it may be. It will still help save some people, some parts of civilization and build a base for action for when the inevitable realization hits by 30-100 years from now for our future kids in spite of the, in my opinion, current political attempts at nationcide,
    Our success on the ozone hole:

    By comparison however, many in the climate science community note that a rough parallel to the human-caused climate change situation was successfully solved by listening and acting on the published peer reviewed science: the human-caused ozone depletion (“ozone hole”). It was solved through international cooperation, policy makers and industry acting on the published, peer reviewed science and ending up in the International Montreal Protocols.

    (WMO, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, 2006; Andersen et al. UNEP, 2002; Hammitt, J.K. 1997)

    http://www.rff.org/Publications/WPC/Pages/09_06_01_Successful_International_Response.aspx

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  118. Brian Dodge@115 – Most enlightening WRT McK and others “auditing” the science: “A necessary condition for the recognition of non-commercial purposes is that all the results obtained are openly available at delivery costs only, without any delay linked to commercial objectives, and that the research itself is submitted for open publication.

    Comment by flxible — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:09 PM

  119. bill says:
    7 March 2010 at 12:54 PM

    “Dr. Jones asserted that the weather services of several countries, including Sweden, Canada and Poland, had refused to allow their data to be released, to explain his reluctance to comply with Freedom of Information requests.”

    Dr. Jones asserted that the weather services of several countries, including Sweden, Canada and Poland, had refused to allow their data to be released by CRU! That statement is true and doesn’t say anything at all about whether the data is available from the owners of the data, or not.

    Comment by Dave G — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:12 PM

  120. #100 – Jim, Nope. And then there is this,
    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/daily.html

    and this

    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.arctic.png
    http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.area.arctic.png

    Comment by J. Bob — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:13 PM

  121. Denialosphere: Global warming’s a hoax. Climate scientists beat their wives and torment kittens. Prestigious physics body calls for inquiry.

    IOP: The reputation of science is in danger. A wider inquiry is needed to see if climate scientists have stopped beating their wives yet.

    RealClimate: We never did! That’s tendentious rehashing of bogus allegations. (And why’s your wife wearing dark glasses?)

    Professor Colquhoun: I’m disappointed that RealClimate attacks those pleading against domestic violence.

    Did I miss anything?

    Comment by CM — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:14 PM

  122. Re#108 and 115
    Neither a denialist nor a warmist be: look for the data !
    http://www.smhi.se/polopoly_fs/1.2956!/m%C3%A5nadstabell_temp.pdf

    Comment by bill — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:22 PM

  123. You could very usefully spend an hour watching Naomi Oreskes’ one-hour talk called “Merchants of Doubt”. Oreskes (and her co-worker, Eric Conway) will see their book on denialism in climate science published this year.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

    Comment by Toby — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  124. You’ve been had, Bill. You’re not alone, but you’re late to catch on. You’re posting the lies, while others have been documenting them as lies.

    Actually, Hank, bill has been told this already, but that didn’t stop him from repeating the lie here.

    The claim that swedish climate data is in the public domain is a lie, in case people don’t care to chase the link Hank provided.

    From the SMHI website:

    3.2 The Licensee owns no right to use the data or products provided under this agreement for commercial purposes and not for development or production of meteorological, hydrological and oceanographic value added-value services. The licensee does not own nor authorized to redistribute, sell, assign or otherwise transfer data products or documentation without further processing to third parties unless the parties have received written permission from SMHI.

    Bill and others “interpret” this to mean that Jones was lying when he said he didn’t have permission to release raw data owned by SMHI.

    Comment by dhogaza — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:31 PM

  125. Moviebib says: “It says: “Ross Gelbspan was a longtime reporter and editor at The Washington Post and The Boston Globe where he won a Pulitzer Prize…”

    Apparently he doesn’t do much to dissuade people from thinking he won the Pulitzer.”
    __________________________________________________________________________
    I feel like we are getting off topic and heading toward deliberate character assassination again here.

    Because of the RealClimate spam filters, it won’t let me link to Gelbspan’s letters which state that he *did* get the Pulitzer prize.

    The Boston Globe acknowledged Gelbspan’s role in the project by printing his photograph and a brief biography under a headline reading: Profiles of Globe Staffers Who Won Pulitzers.

    The Mayor of Boston sent Gelbspan an official letter congratulating him on the Pulitzer Prize.

    When the industry campaign surfaced, the lead reporter on the Pulitzer Prize-winning series (who had since moved to the Wall Street Journal) wrote a letter to The Washington Times denouncing the campaign and confirming Gelbspan’s role.

    So apparently, it is an *extremely* fine line on whether he can say it or not…and it is not totally incorrect to say that he got the Pulitzer Prize.

    The letter from Jonathan Kaufman, the lead reporter on the Pulitzer Prize-winning series states: To the Washington Times:

    “You erred and did a grave injustice to Ross Gelbspan, author of “the Heat is On” by printing the spurious charge (August 14)that “he is claiming a Pulitzer Prize he never won”…no one can challenge his claim.”

    So let’s *not* character assassinate him too, please along with Tom Wigley, Ben Saunter, Kevin Trenberth, Gavin Schmidt, Michael Mann, and lots of other people. I can’t stand McCarthyism.

    http://www.heatisonline.org/files/wsj2.pdf

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:32 PM

  126. The IOP’s initial submission will continue to be used by climate change deniers no matter how many clarifications are issued. In the light of this, I think the IOP must disclose the authors of the report and the methods used to prepare it. It is vitally important that an organization which is now described on the website “Climategate” as “the voice of tens of thousands of honorable scientists unhappy with climatologists”* purge itself of the possibility that it may have been used as a tool by carbon-based industry groups to sow doubt. Lest anyone think this is not possible, please refer to the Union of Concerned Scientists report at: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf

    Members of the IOP who do not agree with the present situation of a report representing them having been created in secret by an unknown committee of authors should write to Prof. Main at the address:
    physics@iop.org
    and express their opinion. Without direct action, the members become part of the “silent majority” evoked so often by former President Reagan. Further, they risk the IOP itself joining the ranks of the “front organizations” of dupes used by the energy industry to sow disinformation. Resigning from the IOP will leave it to the dupes. Demanding clarity and transparency in a process by which the Institute represents it full membership in a politically and globally important issue may produce results.

    * http://www.climategate.com/the-institute-of-physics-condemns-junk-climate-science

    -Gustav Derkits, Ph.D. (Physics)

    Comment by gustav derkits — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:34 PM

  127. 83, Doug Bostrom

    It’s incidental to this thread, but substantial varieties of plastics can now be made from cellulose, and cellulose itself is used in tires and other stuff. We could leave the oil in the ground, and I think it would be valuable in the long run if we left a lot of it in the ground.

    China is now a larger presence in the international oil market than the US is, so it probably does not matter what we think, globally anyway.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:51 PM

  128. Doug S (#50), you should listen to this talk:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

    Oreskes makes the point that trust is essential in all walks of life. We don’t demand verification on a daily basis .. if we hire an architect to build a house, we do not demand the test data on the strength and safety of the materials he is going to use.

    She points out that generally people (encouraged by a dumbed-down mass media) expect “proof” from science, whereas all it can provide is a high standard of truth, not absolute certainly. And that is fine for people when they deal with their gynaecologist, or their oncologist. This, it is easy to keep picking away at science, because when a person sees a “disputed” fact (even though the dispute is fictitious) they assume immediately that the science isn’t settled, whereas we know it is.

    Oreskes shows how these tactics have been used to support denialism in a number of fields, but the major one was Tobacco, where the companies for years fought a rear-guard action mostly along the lines of “the science is not settled”. She makes the killer point that the Montreal Protocol on CFCs was agreed only AFTER Dupont felt it had perfectly adequate substitutes for CFCs and withdrew its opposition to the Protocol. It is a terrible example of how corporate wealth can cloud a public policy decision based on good science.

    It has been amazing to me that with all the schools turning out science journalism and science communication majors, the basic fact of what science is, and how it works, has not been communicated to the public.

    Basically, science should not have to “sell” anything. The science should feed into numerate and rational policy-makers, who can explain it to the public, assisted by people who can effectively communicate complex issues. Opponents should (naturally) debate the science, but have no right to do so “ad infinitum”, or oppose the science on ideological grounds. Once the science is agreed to be sound, the Precaution Principle demands that reasonable steps be taken to protect against future catastrophe. Again, political debate is allowable, but no faux-scientific “disputes”. Naturally, the science is refined and deepened in parallel.

    Comment by Toby — 7 Mar 2010 @ 2:52 PM

  129. Leighton: I would suggest that you just acknowledge freely that the CRU failed miserably in its disclosure obligations and avoid further defensiveness.

    Paraphrase: Confess, Gavin! Confess! Confess! Or… Cardinal Fang! Bring out the comfy chair!

    [Response: Not the comfy chair! - gavin]

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  130. > Pulitzer

    Richard Ordway has this correct — it’s the _work_ (book, newspaper series, music) that is nominated for, and awarded, the Pulitzer. The newspapers, consistently, list everyone — not only the named writers who put the series together — in reporting that their publication received the award.

    Looking at the flurry of repostings of this ancient attack on Gelbspan, it would appear someone’s added it to some talking/posting points list recently.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:09 PM

  131. Doug S: How can the taxpayer discriminate between honest alarmism by truly concerned climate scientists and outright propaganda by profiteers?

    BPL: You have to trust the experts unless you’re willing to study the science yourself. Without becoming a professional climatologist, there’s plenty you can pick up quickly if you apply yourself.

    Emphasis on the last four words.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:10 PM

  132. David Colquhoun (51),

    Listen up: NOBODY HERE IS ADVOCATING SECRECY. Quit with the straw-man arguments. The whole point about CRU is that 95% of the data they use is public domain and the other 5% doesn’t belong to them. They didn’t do anything wrong. So stop with the accusations, especially the false accusation that people here want to preserve a mysterious “secrecy.” It’s denier propaganda.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:12 PM

  133. “92
    John E. Pearson says:
    7 March 2010 at 9:00 AM

    re posts 84 and 85:

    I have no objection with anyone attacking David’s opinion. I object when people attack him personally.”

    For the cheap seats here, JEP, can you point out what and where there was a personal attack?

    (bonus points: point out where David has done the same).

    Comment by Comeplely Fed Up — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:26 PM

  134. I had an unremarkable UK grammar school education. There I learnt the fundamentals of science, mathematics, history, geography, languages and music. My subsequent degree was in applied mathematics and physics.

    Happily, as a result, I can usually complete The Times crossword every morning in less than an hour. To be able to do so is an index of what I believe it means to be “educated”. (Do by all means disagree).

    But for me, no educated person could possibly be unaware that the possessive “its” includes no apostrophe. (Nor indeed do the other possessive pronouns: theirs, yours, hers and even, surprise surprise, his).

    Gavin commits this egregious error repeatedly, which for me is a shame, because otherwise I might be able to respect him as a scientist who pays punctilious and pedantic attention to detail. Sadly this evidence says not.

    What’s more, The writings of those who cannot spell eg “lose” or use inanities like “en addendum” to suggest they have a (manifestly spurious) claim to classical scholarship should for me be dismissed out of hand without further ado.

    So guys, shape up and get your act together if you want the world’s intelligentsia to be on your side, never mind the merely “educated” like myself.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 7 Mar 2010 @ 3:48 PM

  135. In his own field of receptor biophysics, Dr. Colquhoun is fairly renowned, and he has long been generous in making his own software and other research materials freely available. He is a careful and serious scientist, not a global warming ideologue. If things are looking bad to him, you should really think carefully about what can be done to improve the situation. I think that he may have a point regarding the danger of developing a “siege mentality.” It is tempting to push back against a demand when the people making the demand are obviously doing so for political rather than scientific reasons. Nevertheless, the value of greater transparency needs to be considered on its own merits, divorced from the motivation of those who are currently exploiting real or perceived lapses in transparency in an effort to create doubt about the science.

    Comment by trrll — 7 Mar 2010 @ 4:29 PM

  136. Published in September 2009, for WG1:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/supporting-material/ipcc_good_practice_guidance_paper_anthropogenic.pdf

    IPCC Expert Meeting on Detection and Attribution Related to Anthropogenic Climate Change
    The World Meteorological Organization
    Geneva, Switzerland
    14-16 September 2009

    Good Practice Guidance Paper on Detection and Attribution Related to Anthropogenic Climate Change

    “Executive Summary
    The reliable detection and attribution of changes in climate, and their effects, is fundamental to our understanding of the scientific basis of climate change and in enabling decision makers to manage climate-related risk. This paper summarises the discussions and conclusions of the joint Expert Meeting of Working Group I and Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC WGI/WGII) on ”Detection and Attribution related to Anthropogenic Climate Change”, which was held in Geneva, Switzerland on 14-16 September 2009. It seeks to clarify methods, definitions and terminology across the two working groups and is intended as a guide for future IPCC Lead Authors. This paper also outlines guidelines for how to assess the relative quality of studies and provides recommendations for good practice in detection and attribution studies. In this respect, it discusses criteria for assessing confidence, outlines data requirements and addresses methods for handling confounding factors….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Mar 2010 @ 5:43 PM

  137. 79: Garrett: “The political battle is lost. There is now no way to convince Joe Sixpack that something needs to be done to stop this problem.
    All we can do now is record the data for future generations. It is our duty.

    The right wing used a brilliant strategy. They attacked the integrity of the people that research the work. They invaded private space, to steal
    confidential information to exploit, regardless of context. This is how theese people operate.”

    No, mate. Every time I see a new lie, distortion, misdirection, accusation, quote-mine, smear, and then another lie, I get a fire in my belly, and my belly ain’t that small. More and more honest people are stepping up to the plate, and more pro-science blogs are sprouting up.

    Here’s the thing: Facts are facts. All of the above can always be countered by facts, and every email taken out of context can be put back into context. In the long run, facts talk. The purveyors of the above are starting to falter and grasping at straws, even resorting to bigger lies which are even easier to pull apart as time goes by.

    They thought they were impervious to retort and could get away with their methods because they had loud voices, but it’s all beginning to backfire on them, and they look even more ridiculous as each week passes by. Four months ago, when a seeming scandal from the pages of the AR4 sprang up it would take a while before the reality of the actual facts filtered through. Now, it takes about an hour before the rebuttals are out and the accusers are having to defend their claims. Even after all of this time they still have nothing, only rhetoric and biased opinion, and a few paragraphs of honest mistake.

    The denialsphere’s a series of jokes, it can just take a while for everyone to get the punchlines, and they’re not always that funny.

    Comment by J Bowers — 7 Mar 2010 @ 6:03 PM

  138. #116,125 -

    Wow, how am I engaging in character assassination when everything I said is strictly the truth?

    This is only the second time I have ever posted on this site and I can see why I stopped after the first time.

    Comment by movielib — 7 Mar 2010 @ 6:45 PM

  139. berkeley_statistician #6:

    I think that statistics, geophysics, and computational biology are currently considerably more reproducible than climate science.

    I’m still a relative novice at bioinformatics but in getting out my first paper involving 2 data sets I ran into the following:

    a result reported in a paper with a different version of the software than that available for download as part of the supplementary materials and hence different in its outputs
    a data file submitted to a repository that had the wrong content
    an unanswered request for data that I could have used to compare my results with other known results
    an author who had moved and hence his data files were no longer on his previous home server
    unclear data formats that required explanation from the originator

    Yes, it’s true that there are massive genomics databases out there that are expertly curated, but that’s not the whole picture. To paint computational biology as a paragon while claiming climate science is dominated by a small secretive clique is rubbish – as you would know if you simply clicked on the data sources at the top of this page.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Mar 2010 @ 6:55 PM

  140. Dave G #49:
    You have to wonder what Richard Bloodworth is smoking to say

    Those predicting anthropogenic climate change should be prepared to make specific predictions which can be tested by observations. If they cannot do this, then the theory is not scientific and should not be used by politicians to increase fuel taxes on energy we all need in our daily lives.

    As far as I know, no-one has made such a prediction, for example global average temperatures …

    What does he think climate scientists are actually doing, as summarised by the IPCC, and frequently discussed on this site? Secondly, on the question of consensus (not a word he used but he’s referring to that obviously), all science except possibly pure mathematics is decided by consensus. Newton’s Laws are not mathematically proven; they have been shown to be a great approximation to nature until you get down to the quantum scale or hit relativistic effects by many, many repeated experiments. Arriving at that consensus is of course a result of agreement that the evidence lines up. That is where science differs from political debate: consensus is a product of evidence, not opinion.

    The bunch who are treating science as a “debate” in the political sense are the denialists, who, in the style of tobacco wars, are trying to turn science into a matter of opinion. Why? Because they have no contrary theory, or basis for arguing on the evidence that the existing theory is seriously flawed.

    Comment by Philip Machanick — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:03 PM

  141. Haven’t we learned the lesson from other bubbles?

    This is the latest from the New Scientist.

    However, written evidence submitted by the Institute of Physics in London claimed the hacked emails had revealed “evidence of determined and coordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions” through “manipulation of the publication and peer-review system” and “intolerance to challenge”.

    My bold. It appears that some people claim to have privileged access to ‘evidence’ denied to the rest of us. Instead of the money-bubble which eventually burst, we now have an evidence-bubble being blown up by manipulators and the media. It needs to be punctured or the damage done to all the sciences will be incalculable.

    Some people feel uncomfortable about modern science, especially when they read about the measurement problem (“Schrodinger’s cat”) or “dark energy”. It is also surprising that the Daily Mangle has not yet launched an attack on imaginary numbers. The only way to be sure about these matters is by means of more inquiries. The chairmen will of course have to be neutral between the ‘sides’. How about experts in medieval Latin?

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:08 PM

  142. It’s interesting the way that sea-ice extent/area/anomaly/whatever is brought up by those who deny, whenever such information briefly gives them an opportunity to shout : ‘Look, it’s higher today than the last couple/few/several years ! Global Warming isn’t happening !!’
    For the majority of the time, when the figures are not what they need to believe, they don’t mention sea-ice extent/area/anomaly/whatever.
    Strange that, eh ?
    No, I suppose not, but you’ve got to laugh or else you’ll cry.

    Comment by JMurphy — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:39 PM

  143. RE #5, & “…many scientists outside of climate science seem to have an issue (or agenda) with the religious fervour of AGW that some media outlets, bodies, professions seem to be pedaling.”

    If at all religious fervor were needed for something, AGW is it (and the world’s religions seem on the whole to be quite dull indeed about AGW — shame on them). Anyone not in a religious fervor over reducing their GHGs and getting others to do so, is a cold-hearted so&so, probably headed for a much hotter place than a globally warmed world, unless they repent, reform, and start preaching mitigation.

    I understand scientists have to be objective and detached when doing science, but I’d hope between times they’d have plenty of religious fervor for mitigating AGW.

    The real problem for me is despair, not religious fervor. I’m tempted to despair more and more over what we’re doing to life on planet earth, and over all those lost denialist souls.

    I felt like crying when I read this post about those physicists hiding behind the facade of science and a respectable organization, and writing that statement. They need our prayers, man.

    Here’s a little ditty I came up with years ago when I was more in my religious fervor over AGW than the sadness and despair that seems to overwhelm me today:

    Do not cause global warming, for fear of shame,
    for harming life on earth you will take the blame.
    And when you get to heaven the Lord will say,
    What about all those greenhouse gases you emitted every day.
    And when you say you do not know,
    the Lord will say please step below.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 7 Mar 2010 @ 7:42 PM

  144. RE: #50: What I said on a comment on another article is that (to my knowledge) there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case. Most of the good summaries pretty much start with the assumption that the reader already believes. That doesn’t work, b/c the skeptics stop reading… Someone qualified (not me) needs to step by step prove that a) MAN has caused most of the c02 increase, b) co2 is the main gas that retains warmth (earth would be x degrees cooler w/o any co2) and c) it has been getting commensurately warmer, in line with the increase in co2. Lastly, the arctic ocean in summer will soon be ice-free. That is the most visible and completely irrefutable piece of evidence (that I am aware of). Lots of other ice is melting, that is true, and lots of other stuff is happening, but all of that gets complicated quickly. Put that and only that on ONE PAGE. Most people and the media (particularly broadcast) are too “ADHD” to handle more that one single CRISP page. Crisp, clear, self-contained (don’t rely on hyper-links the reader needs to click on; ok to ‘footnote’ and put links on a separate page).

    The lead paragraph should acknowledge that people are genuinely skeptical (a good human trait, actually) and many are just unsure, (understandable given all the noise published; doesn’t make anybody ‘stupid’.) What needs to happen is to get more people to get that ‘Oh Shucks Moment’, where they realize a) we’ve caused some major changes to happen to the earth and b) we only get one earth. That’s all you want on page 1. At the end of page 1, it’s OK to say “we don’t yet know all about all of the consequences”. However, 10 years ago, ‘we’ thought it would take a lot longer for the arctic to melt and now it’s almost upon us. It’s happening way faster than ever expected.

    A page 2 could be a rebuttal to the more popular criticisms of the science. Here are a couple: 1) the number of weather stations used in the analysis has been greatly reduced, they are now lower altitude on average (therefore automatically warmer), and have been compromised by urban heat islands. 2) More glaciers are growing than shrinking and those that are shrinking are doing so b/c of snowfall changes, of course completely unrelated to man. 3) the little ice age and the MWP prove that natural variability on a global scale comparable to last few decades has occurred ‘recently’. 4) The oceans are getting colder (and the measuring methods showing otherwise are incomplete/distorted similar to land). 5) This winter FURTHER PROVES that warming has reversed itself (conveniently omitted is that the southern hemi had a scorching summer). Hit the Top 10, but be sure the most compelling arguments are included! (Don’t forget, data destroyed, fabricated, withheld, massaged by programmers, suppressed, etc.)

    NOW, if someone knows of ONE PAGE documents that cover pretty much what I am saying, please tell me; it needs to get massively recirculated. I HAVE searched. I find lots of really detailed stuff that is very technical/scientific and that is great, but that isn’t winning the battle of public opinion. If not, I’ll offer to either write it (if someone provides me with accurate data) or edit it to fine-tune it to the target audience.

    So let’s ask the question, WHY am I spending such a nice, WARM winter day writing this? I had 2 teenagers in my house recently say, quite emphatically and without any question, “… now that global warming has been PROVEN to be a hoax….” This kid’s dad is an engineer at Boeing; he’s a bright kid and goes to a fairly good school. I was in a state of COMPLETE shock. I can understand that there has been some additional cause to be skeptical, but like a lot of other right-wing garbage, the victory by the deniers has been COMPLETE in the minds of many people and that is very sad.

    Don’t think what I am asking is to dumb down anything, or to stoop to a lower level. Just realize you gotta greatly simplify/summarize and re-climb the hill you thought you’d already climbed. Frustrating, yes, but totally in line with the normal ebb and flow of getting a population to shift their collective beliefs about anything important. Needs to be media-ready and yes, sound-bitable, otherwise you lose too many ‘real americans’ who swallow the whole Fox belief system hook, line and sinker.

    Please don’t rebut anything I’ve said. If you have ONE-PAGE (or even 2 page) documents that you think fit the bill, please advise; don’t give me a laundry list of massive scientific studies. I’ve read them (and I read “Mom Rabbit”). I get it. I’ve read the IPCC summary stuff and that’s pretty good, but again, too conclusory and too expansive to convince a skeptic. If you think what I suggest is unnecessary, please do not reply with that either. Spend the time you would otherwise use writing a reply re-reading and thinking about what I’ve said. Thanks for reading. My great-grandchildren thank you in advance.

    Comment by Mike M — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:21 PM

  145. RE #79, & “The political battle is lost. There is now no way to convince Joe Sixpack that something needs to be done to stop this problem…It is a sad state of affairs, but I will have to concede that they have won.”

    Yes (I’m more and more tempted to the same despair), but it is a pyric victory.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:26 PM

  146. RE: #121: CM, I think you get it.

    RE: #128: Toby, I disagree that science shouldn’t have to sell anything. The job is to reach conclusions and to continuously reach new conclusions and solidify previous ones. Concluding is persuading which is selling. When you want ‘the masses’ to believe what you say in the face of a really clever and entrenched attack machine, you gotta embrace the job of selling. Gravity/electricity: EASY. Tobacco/DDT/PCB’s: TOUGH. AGW: off the charts.

    As a side note, remember, unless we’re skiing, most of us hate winter. If I can have a shorter/warmer winter without consequences, bring it on. That’s part of what you’re fighting.

    Comment by Mike M — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:45 PM

  147. “and other IoP members was obviously not very impressed”
    sentence does not make sense.

    Comment by naught101 — 7 Mar 2010 @ 10:46 PM

  148. #77 Slioch

    Here’s the danger the way I see it Slioch. Have you noticed how the savvy business organizations have adopted the rhetoric of “Global Warming” in their talking points? This is being done to advance their business interests. The media campaign that Al Gore and others created, complete with all the extreme exaggerations, was almost successful in creating a singular acceptable social position that people must adhere to.

    The campaign did a masterful job of creating a situation where criticism or skepticism of any kind typecast the doubter as having a selfish, eco-unfriendly attitude. This is a threat to all phases of science and a threat to the political and economic health of our nation. Our country’s scientific institutions have thrived on openness and skepticism. “Global Warming” has been promoted to the general public by this media campaign using a political and marketing strategy that shuts out debate, shuts out skepticism and creates a single acceptable position.

    In doing this we leave ourselves vulnerable to carpetbaggers of all kinds who will exploit this situation for their own gain. In the same way that the best intentions of “Everyone in America should own a home” was co-opted by carpetbaggers and thieves, the same possibilities for exploitation exist in the singular rhetoric of Global Warming. We must have a diversity of opinion and vigorous debate.

    Comment by Doug S — 7 Mar 2010 @ 11:39 PM

  149. [edit - too far]

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:16 AM

  150. 145
    Lynn Vincentnathan says:
    7 March 2010 at 10:26 PM

    “but it is a pyric victory.”

    It is actually a pyrrhic victory. Named after King Pyrrhus of Epirus.

    Comment by Richard Steckis — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:24 AM

  151. “”"”"Please don’t rebut anything I’ve said. If you have ONE-PAGE (or even 2 page) documents that you think fit the bill, please advise; don’t give me a laundry list of massive scientific studies. I’ve read them.”"”"”
    —————————————————————————
    Duh, big duh, bigger duh and biggest duh. Science has never worked that way since the 1600s. It works on evidence.

    I will rebut that. You have no choice but to trust the best vetted experts on the planet who have to prove what they say and who have devoted their lives to climate change with the best, open vetted qualifications you can get. ALL the deniers, every single damned last one of them, don’t have qualifications.

    The IPCC scientists and the IPCC itself all have open and the best qualifications on Earth that you can check in the world. It is the way science has worked since the 1600s and it has not let us down…unless we stupidly ignored it like New Orleans.

    It saved our butts for the Ozone hole and your butt too. That’s why the scienific process was created. Nothing better exists.It works on evidence. You have to prove it. Science is telling you there is now an emergency on climate change. Period. End of story. Final. Fin. Ignore it at your own peril and your kids’ peril and your country’s peril, like we did Katrina.
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    I’ll try your little game… here are a page and a half or so of unrebutted phrases in juried peer reviewed scientific journals that explain a lot about about climate change. If fake they would have been rebutted. They have not been so are valid evidence that has held up to world wide scrutiny.

    If you don’t like that, then welcome to Katrina… except that the whole United States becomes a New Orleans. Chao…I hope you know how to swim…and blame the contrarians who are killing you, science and know damn well what they are doing to you and your kids.
    __________________________________________________________________________

    People, the below is science…not a talk show host, a news channel, a person talking politics, a blog, a magazine or
    whatever. This is what civilization has depended on to protect it and let it flourish since the 1600s. It has been vetted
    in print by the world, unlike the above sources.

    The below published peer-reviewed articles which hold up over time in reputable science journals/panels by author’s
    whose work has held up over time of which the articles have held up over time, are a sort of smoking gun (the premise
    that humans are causing the global warming/climate changes has not been even slightly sucessfully rebutted over time
    in the world wide peer review system…although researchers are constantly trying).

    The following studies contain words or phases that state as fact that human-caused global warming is happening
    and/or that the human-caused global warming science is factual and are quoted below.

    The basic premise of human-caused climate change and/or its mechanisms, which these articles state as fact by
    their words or phrases, have not come even close to being countered in the juried, refereed, world-wide peer-reviewed literature. All of these following studies have had more than enough time to be rebutted in the world-wide juried,
    refereed literature and come from reputatable scientific journals. I did not list any publications more recent than
    2008 to give them time to be rebutted.

    V Ramanathan – Science, 1988 (abstract says it)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/240/4850/293
    “Since the dawn of the industrial era, the atmospheric concentrations of several radiatively active gases have been increasing as a result of human activities. The radiative heating from this inadvertent experiment
    has driven the climate system out of equilibrium with the incoming solar energy.” [NOTE - THIS NEATLY SUMMARIZES HUMAN-CAUSED CLIMATE CHANGE/GLOBAL WARMING AS FIRST WRITTEN IN 1824- FOURIER]

    KP Shine, PMF Forster – Global and Planetary Change, 1999 (free, full download)
    http://www.dvgu.ru/meteo/library/19990087.pdf
    “Human activity has perturbed the Earth’s energy balance by altering the properties of the atmosphere and the surface.”

    PR Epstein et al., Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 1998 (free, full download)
    http://www.decvar.org/documents/epstein.pdf
    “The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that there is “discernible evidence”
    that humans—through accelerating changes in multiple forcing factors—have begun to alter the earth’s climate regime.”

    TC Johns et al., Climate Dynamics, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://xweb.geos.ed.ac.uk/~dstevens/publications/johns_cd03.pdf
    “In this study we examine the anthropogenically forced climate response over the historical period, 1860 to present, and projected response to 2100…”

    Oreskes, Science, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/5702/1686?paged=78
    “Such statements suggest that there might be substantive disagreement in the scientific community about the reality of anthropogenic climate change. This is not the case…”

    “The scientific consensus is clearly expressed in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    (IPCC)… In its most recent assessment, IPCC states unequivocally that the consensus of scientific opinion is that Earth’s climate is being affected by human activities: “Human activities … are modifying the concentration
    of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … [M]ost of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    “The IPCC is not alone in its conclusions. In recent years, all major scientific bodies in the United States whose
    members’ expertise bears directly on the matter have issued similar statements.”

    Nature, CD Thomas, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/117/1/thomascd2.pdf
    “Anthropogenic climate change seems set to generate very large numbers of species level extinctions.”

    JT Houghton, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2001 (free, full download)
    http://74.125.155.132/scholar?q=cache:e8FODCXyJ4AJ:scholar.google.com/&hl=en&as_sdt=4000
    “Anthropogenic climate change will persist for many centuries.”

    “The warming over the last 50 years due to anthropogenic greenhouse gases can be identified.”

    “Concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and their radiative forcing have continued to increase as a result of human activities.”

    “…global average water vapour concentration and precipitation are projected to increase during the 21st century. By the second half of the 21st century, it is likely that precipitation will have increased over northern mid- to high latitudes and Antarctica in winter. At low latitudes there are both regional increases and decreases over land areas.”

    “…it is very likely that the 20th century warming has contributed significantly to the observed sea level rise,
    through thermal expansion of sea water and widespread loss of land ice.”

    “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”.
    (NOTE HOW CONSERVATIVE THE IPCC IS- ALL 130 COUNTRIES HAVE TO UNANOMOUSLY VOTE ON EVERY SINGLE WORD (WORD BY WORD) ON THE ABOVE SUMMARY FOR POLICY MAKERS).

    JT Houghton, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 1995 (free, relevant parts viewable)
    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=0x2nRMq24OYC&oi=fnd&pg=PP9&ots=gFo2-HJZOe&sig=LofDrGTwWEcSfAEtTnvJuGxfzJ4#v=onepage&q=&f=false
    “The first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 concluded that continued accumulation of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere would lead to climate change whose rate and magnitude were likely
    to have important impacts on natural and human systems.”

    “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate”.

    “Increases in greenhouse gas concentrations since preindustrial times) ie. Since about 1750) have lead to a
    positive radiative forcing of climate, tending to warm the surface and to produce other changes of climate.”

    “Many greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a long time) for CO2 and N2O, many decades to centuries)…”

    “Future unexpected, large and rapid climate system changes (as have occurred in the past) are, by their nature, difficult to predict. This implies that future climate changes may also involve “surprises”. In particular these arise from the non-linear nature of the climate system. When rapidly forced, non-linear systems are especially subject to unexpected behavior.

    (NOTE-THE IPCC IS NOTORIOUSLY ON THE CONSERVATIVE SIDE BECAUSE ABOUT 130 COUNTRIES HAVE TO UNANAMOUSLY VOTE ON THE ALREADY PUBLISHED PEER-REVIEWED SCIENCE).

    Karl, Trenberth, Science, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://kfrserver.natur.cuni.cz/global/pdf/2003_climate%20change.pdf
    “Modern climate change is dominated by human influences, which are now large enough to exceed the bounds of natural variability.”

    “The main source of global climate change is human-induced changes in atmospheric composition.”

    A Haines, RS Kovats, D Campbell-Lendrum, C, The Lancet, 2006 (free, full download)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1294362/pdf/jrsocmed00091-0029.pdf

    “The concern now is about the enhanced green-house effect
    which is occurring as a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    “There are a number of feedback mechanisms which may play a role… in determining the response of climate to increases in greenhouse gases.”

    “Dramatic reductions in fossil fuel use will be necessary in developed countries in order to stabilize greenhouse gases at the same time as permitting some developing countries to increase their energy use.”

    PM Vitouseket al., Science, 1997 (free, full download)
    http://people.oregonstate.edu/~lintzh/Vitousek%20et%20al_%201997.pdf
    “Increased CO2 represents the most important human enhancement to the greenhouse effect; the
    consensus of the climate research community is that it probably already affects climate detectably and will drive substantial climate change in the next century…”

    “the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30 percent since the beginning of
    the Industrial Revolution;”

    “Humanity adds CO2 to the atmosphere by mining and burning fossil fuels, the residue of life from the distant past…”

    “Conflicts arising from the global use of water will be exacerbated in the years ahead, with a growing
    human population and with the stresses that global changes will impose on water quality and availability.”

    V Ramanathan – science, 2001 (free, full download)
    http://www-cas.ucsd.edu/personnel/vram/publications/Ram_etal_Sci_2001.pdf
    “The role of GHGs in global warming will increase because of their accumulation in the atmosphere.”

    “It is important to differentiate the decadal to centennial time scales involved in GHG warming from the time scale of aerosol lifetimes, which is only several days.”

    “Greenhouse gases absorb upwelling infrared (IR, also referred to as longwave) radiation and reduce the outgoing long-wave (.4 mm) radiation at the top-of-the atmosphere (TOA). The TOA radiative forcing (that is,
    the change in the outgoing longwave radiation), due to the observed increase in GHGs since the early 20th century, is about 2.4 W m22”

    PA Stott, DA Stone, MR Allen, Nature, 2004 (abstract says it)
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v432/n7017/abs/nature03089.html
    “…we estimate it is very likely (confidence level >90%) that human influence has at least doubled the risk of a
    heat wave exceeding this threshold magnitude.”

    RB Alley et al., Science, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2003/2003_Alley_etal.pdf
    “…it is conceivable that human forcing of climate change is increasing the probability of large, abrupt events… Amplifiers are abundant in the climate system and can produce large changes with minimal forcing.”

    PJ Beggs – Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15479264
    “Human activities are resulting in increases in atmospheric greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, and changes in global climate. These, in turn, are likely to have had, and will continue to have, impacts on human health. …Despite this, a number of studies have revealed potential impacts of climate change on aeroallergens that may have enormous clinical and public health significance.”

    FS Chapin et al., Nature, 2000 (free, full download)
    http://fiesta.bren.ucsb.edu/~gsd/resources/courses/bio-chapin.pdf
    “We have more than doubled the concentration of methane and increased concentrations of other gases that contribute to climate warming. In the next century these greenhouse gases are likely to cause the most rapid
    climate change that the Earth has experienced since the end of the last glaciation 18,000 years ago and perhaps a much longer time.”

    P Schwartz, D Randall, Department of Defense, 2003 (free, full download)
    http://famguardian.org/Subjects/Environment/Articles/ClimateChange-20090131.pdf
    “Warming of the climate system has been detected in changes of surface and atmospheric temperatures, temperatures in the upper several hundred metres of the ocean and in contributions to sea level rise.
    Attribution studies have established anthropogenic contributions to all of these changes. The observed pattern of tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling is very likely due to the combined influences of greenhouse gas increases and stratospheric ozone depletion.”

    “Anthropogenic forcing is likely to have contributed to changes in wind patterns, affecting extra-tropical storm tracks and temperature patterns in both hemispheres. However, the observed changes in the Northern
    Hemisphere circulation are larger than simulated in response to 20th century forcing change.”

    J Zalasiewicz et al., GSA Today, 2008 (free, full download)
    http://www.ftsnet.it/documenti/260/Antropocene.pdf
    “There is now scientific consensus that anthropogenic carbon emissions are the cause.”

    King, Science, 2004 (free, full download)
    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/303/5655/176 or
    http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?id=4566&method=full
    “Global warming due to increased greenhouse gas emissions poses the most severe problem for governments today.”

    “Climate change is real, and the causal link to increased greenhouse emissions is now well established.”

    “In less than 200 years, human activity has increased the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases by some 50% relative to preindustrial levels.”

    “Moreover, it’s a myth that reducing carbon emissions necessarily makes us poorer. Taking action to tackle climate change can create economic opportunities and higher living standards.”

    “But we already know enough about the problem to agree on the urgent need to address it.”
    (REMEMBER, THE ABOVE PUBLICATION HAS HELD UP UNDER OPEN, REFEREED, JURIED WORLD-WIDE PEER
    REVIEW SINCE 2004…THIS IS HOW SCIENCE HAS BEEN DONE SINCE THE 1600s.)

    PJ Crutzen, Nature, 2002 (free, full download)
    http://academics.eckerd.edu/instructor/carlsopr/Papers/Anthropocene.pdf”
    …substantial increases in the concentrations of ‘greenhouse’ gases — carbon dioxide by 30% and methane by more than 100% — reaching their highest levels over the past 400 millennia, with more to follow.
    So far, these effects have largely been caused by only 25% of the world population. The consequences are, among others, acid precipitation, photochemical ‘smog’ and climate warming.”

    Bradley, The Holocene, 1993 (abstract says it)
    http://hol.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/3/4/367
    “Climatic changes resulting from greenhouse gases will be superimposed on natural climatic variations.”

    JA Patz et al., Nature, 2005 (free, full download)
    http://summits.ncat.org/docs/patz_nature_2005.pdf
    “The World Health Organization estimates that the warming and precipitation trends due to anthropogenic climate change of the past 30 years already claim over 150,000 lives annually.”

    JE Hansen and M Sato, National Academy of Sciences, 2001 (free, full download)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/98/26/14778.long
    “This warming is, at least in part, a result of anthropogenic climate forcing agents.”

    J Hansen, M Sato, P Kharecha, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A, 2007 (abstract says it)
    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1856/1925.abstract
    “Recent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions place the Earth perilously close to dramatic climate change that could run out of our control, with great dangers for humans and other creatures.
    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest human-made climate forcing…”

    Timothy M. Lenton et al., PNAS, 2007 (free, full download)
    http://www.pnas.org/content/105/6/1786.full
    “Our synthesis of present knowledge suggests that a variety of tipping elements could reach their critical point within this century under anthropogenic climate change.”

    Ramanathan V, Feng Y, Proc Natl Acad Sci, 2008 (free, full download)
    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2008/09/v-ramanathan-and-y-feng-on-avoiding.html
    “The committed warming is inferred from the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates of the greenhouse forcing and climate sensitivity.”

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:44 AM

  152. Mike M says: 7 March 2010 at 10:21 PM

    “What I said on a comment on another article is that (to my knowledge) there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case.”

    Sorry, friend, but that’s never going to exist, it can’t and in any case it would be pointless.

    A single page “proof” of the type you mention results in a redaction that is completely porous to critical thinking and thus is not proof of any kind. In any case, a real skeptic would not balk at reading 50, 100 or 500 pages in order to follow an argument.

    On the flip side, a person so dull or ignorant as to believe a one page “proof” is ipso facto going to be equally persuaded by the very next “proof” they’re told; such a person is shown to be completely malleable by their acceptance of such a faulty demonstration, so no permanent change in perception is possible.

    Synthetic, situational paranoid psychosis is what’s blocking progress in this matter, a anthropogenic psychological artifact. The antidote is so far undiscovered.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:47 AM

  153. RE- Comment by simon abingdon — 7 March 2010 @ 3:48 PM:

    I am very sorry to have to explain to you that the intelligentsia can actually tell the difference between substance and what a copy editor does. This is so embarrassing.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:53 AM

  154. Doug S, I have detected misapplication of reasoning in your post #148 that indicates some intent to rescind required activity that would result in a better life for most of the people on the planet, but a worse life for the few who make a lot of money off fossil fuels.

    You want the money, Doug.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:03 AM

  155. “144
    Mike M says:
    7 March 2010 at 10:21 PM

    RE: #50: What I said on a comment on another article is that (to my knowledge) there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case”

    I can give you the proof in three sentences, Mike:

    1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.
    2) The sun shines bright in the visible, the earth shines in the IR.
    3) We have produced stupendous amounts of CO2 in burning fossil fuels.

    Give me a ONE PAGE PROOF that these are not extant here and therefore no proof of AGW.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:05 AM

  156. “135
    trrll says:
    7 March 2010 at 4:29 PM
    He is a careful and serious scientist, not a global warming ideologue. If things are looking bad to him,”

    Maybe he should be more careful and serious about investigating the truth, then.

    Not one thing that has been said in his defence either by him or his mates here has addressed post 33 (http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/03/a-mistaken-message-from-iop/comment-page-1/#comment-164834).

    Why not?

    Because his actions and words are indefensible.

    So you go on the attack.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:09 AM

  157. bill says:
    7 March 2010 at 2:22 PM

    “Re#108 and 115
    Neither a denialist nor a warmist be: look for the data !
    http://www.smhi.se/polopoly_fs/1.2956!/m%C3%A5nadstabell_temp.pdf

    But Phil Jones didn’t say that the Swedish data is not available from the Swedes themselves. Jones said that Sweden, amongst others, is preventing CRU from releasing the Swedish data on the CRU site. Can’t you understand the difference between those two positions?

    Comment by Dave G — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:23 AM

  158. Pictures sometimes teach better than text.
    Good(!) images here: http://climate.nasa.gov/stateOfFlux/index.cfm

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:25 AM

  159. I partially agree with Mike M’s request for a one page outline of the evidence – on its own though this would be meaningless. What might help would be a series of outlines of the evidence, each more detailed than previous one and building on it. This would then allow anyone genuinely interested to choose the level of detail they are comfortable with. It would also address accusations of ignoring the subtleties – if anyone feels that a particular level of evidence oversimplifies the problem they could just look at the next level.

    I don’t know who would provide the bottom turtle though.

    Comment by OliverP — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:02 AM

  160. I’m a bit late in responding in this thread but here goes anyway.

    Firstly, I think the IOP are right to call for openness regarding data and methods. I thought that this would go without saying but clearly not.

    Here is what I said in the letter:

    “In my view, it is unfair to criticise the CRU on the basis that they did not comply with data sharing standards that, at present, don’t exist. There is clearly a need for rules regarding openness in relation to data and methods but it is foolish to retrospectively admonish people for not following them!”

    A lot of people seem to have interpreted this has me saying that scientists should not be transparent about their work. I still can’t see how you’d come to that comclusion from my quote.

    What I am saying is that, in relation to the IOP’s evidence submission, it is unfair to accuse the CRU scientists of “intolerance to challenge” and “excluding newcomers” because they did not follow a standard that the IOP propose in their submission. This is a poor argument that takes no account of the particular issues relating to a small percentage of the data used by the CRU.

    This type of non-evidenced judgement is typical of the IOP evidence submission as a whole.

    Comment by Andy Russell — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:07 AM

  161. #144 Here’s ONE PAGE. Crisp, concise, easily understood by anyone with a fifth grade reading level.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/basicinfo.html

    Comment by JiminMpls — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:54 AM

  162. @ David Colquohuon and others, you might be interested in this article by Robyn Williams, the presenter of the ABC’s science show – a radio broadcast that has been run since pussy was a pup (ie for just about ever).

    This is an abridged version of the 2010 Commonwealth Day address he gave today to a lunch organised by the Commonwealth Day Council .

    His strong words are warranted in my view, and scientists who say things that appear to support the skeptics bluff and bluster – like ‘they should be more open’, when climate science is the most open and transparent of any science, should take note.

    As a taster, here is an extract:

    At times such as these, we expect goodwill, a sense of national urgency, and a respect for evidence. Bipartisanship, if we’re lucky.

    Instead, we have a shambles. Science itself is under attack. It is being relegated to a relativistic sideline, where any opinion must have equal merit, where you can bury Darwin, trash the value of vaccination, take herbal unguents instead of science-based medications and avoid GM everything in case it makes you grow horns or give birth to an alien.

    Or do we have a complete shambles? Actually, not quite. As with so called fundamentalist views among Muslims or Christians, it is a loud minority attracting all this attention, a persistent few in the blogosphere, overwhelming those of you with commonsense and erudition. A recent survey conducted by the Federal Government (in Oz) and presented at ICONN (the nanoscience conference two weeks ago) reveals that 84 per cent of us feel that science and technology are improving society. This survey is one of several that show a majority of us do not wish to occupy the extremes of political opinion or invective.

    So why does the opposite seem to prevail? Three reasons, I suggest.

    One is that the scientists themselves have been naive, even lazy. When I asked Tim Flannery and Philip Campbell, editor of the journal Nature, their opinion of so called deniers like Ian Plimer, or the incongruous toff Lord Monkton, they just shrugged and said “the climate debate has moved on.” Well, it hasn’t. It’s gone backwards. Not least because the scientists, in the main, have been passive, restrained and much too polite. And after Climategate – too much mea culpa. It’s time for them to get their skates on. To be aggressive in the cause of truth.

    (My bold for emphasis – because it’s also what I firmly believe and have stated on several occasions.)

    Comment by Sou — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:56 AM

  163. Every time I see a new lie, distortion, misdirection, accusation, quote-mine, smear, and then another lie, I get a fire in my belly, and my belly ain’t that small.

    I’m getting that way again after going quiet for a while too, and I really don’t have a lot of time to spare. But the national broadcasting service here in Australia (ABC) just had a series of blog posts on various aspects of climate change politics which brought out the local denial squad. I’m no climate scientist but I’ve got a half-useful brain and a reasonably functioning bulldust-detector, and I spent quite a bit of time pointing out inconvenient facts and inconvenient gaps in their “logic” – precisely because I get a fire in my belly when people peddle obvious bulldust.

    Comment by Lotharsson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 7:20 AM

  164. Mike M (144): there really isn’t a single ONE-PAGE document anywhere that really PROVES the case.

    BPL: That’s because science doesn’t PROVE anything. It can only disprove. And if you think that’s a weak power, you know nothing about science.

    Want a quick precis of the argument and the evidence for AGW? Here it is.

    1. Greenhouse gases warm the Earth’s surface (Fourier 1824, Tyndall 1859, Arrhenius 1896, etc.).
    2. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas (Tyndall 1859).
    3. CO2 is rising (Keeling et al. 1958 on and ice core data).
    4. The new CO2 is coming mainly from fossil fuels (Suess 1955, Revelle and Suess 1957).
    5. The Earth is warming (NASA GISS, Hadley CRU, RSS TLT, UAH MSU, glaciers, sea level, etc.).
    6. The rise in temperature closely matches the rise in CO2 (http://BartonPaulLevenson.com/Correlation.html).

    Which of those points do you dispute, and why?
    Which would you like more information about?

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:07 AM

  165. #134: Spelling lessons from people who fail to capitalize proper nouns are often ignored.
    ;)

    Comment by CM — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:09 AM

  166. “simon abingdon”, proper nouns should be capitalized.

    [Response: Ok, enough from the grammar police whether ironically intended or not. - gavin]

    Comment by Nick — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:56 AM

  167. RE: 149

    Hey dhogaza,

    I have been in the communications technologies, applications and systems field for nearly 50 years now and I have yet to accomplish your humble ability: “Thank God I’m a humble software engineer who just needs to make shit work.” Care to define how you do it… How do you get software to accomplish such a feat…?

    Sad to say when what appears to be intelligent people getting their information from the popular press it greatly sorrows me. However, by the same token, when the science references and their application are not documented in a paper or requires an amendment to be issued directing subsequent questers to the information we are not helping matters. To go further to not include the experimental or analytic protocols, we justly may have our collective feet held to the fire. However, if that were the case both the Peer Review process and the access rights regarding the sharing of information or data bases needs to be re-examined.

    To see former data which was in text or ASCII format to now require the use of C code, python, java, mathlab or a mainframe tcl/tkl tool to extract the data moves access out of the hands of the general population. This action does not serve science well. Access to data and the use of common tools to be able to replicate the works for the purpose to “see for themselves” is not the same as having someone peering over your shoulder. For many this is a means that the general population can see the real evidence and therefore it helps them to understand it. Nearly 30% of the population can only believe by doing, to expect them to trust you is asking too much, trust me….

    Cheers!

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:05 AM

  168. Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely, so Ray Ladbury’s perspective on “how scientists view data” is not the same as mine.

    I should perhaps qualify that by saying that it still rare to ask, or to be be asked, to supply raw data, but on the occasions when it has happened, it has never been refused. Our analysis programs are free, on the web, and anyone who wants the code can have it. Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal in biological, and already some journals make it a condition of publication that all data should be made available on request.

    I think that part of the motive for this development is an increasing concern that competitive pressure may lead to distortion, and that openness is the best way to ensure honesty.

    I’m not very impressed by the financial arguments. A major source of dishonest behaviour been pharmaceutical companies, who have only too often suppressed unfavourable data and refused to release it. (I’m speaking here of the regular pharmaceutical industry, not the alternative medicine industry which usually has no data: they just make it up.)

    I think that if climate people want to increase their credibility (and I certainly hope that they will) they’d be advised to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data.

    I suppose that what I an saying is that you can never have objective science when money is involved. (That isn’t true of tecbnology of course, because it is much easier to test the truth of claims in that area. If your mp3 player doesn’t work, you know it straight away.)

    I simply don’t believe that anyone has the strength of mind to be objective about the outcome of an experiment if they have a direct financial interest in the outcome. That is why I’m not inclined to believe anything written about climate by an oil company. But it cuts both ways.

    Comment by David Colquhoun — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:37 AM

  169. Re Lynn 143 “and the world’s religions seem on the whole to be quite dull indeed about AGW”

    See http://www.ecobuddhism.org and “A Buddhist Response to The Climate Emergency” Wisdom publications 2009.
    Extract from “Universal Responsibility and the Climate Emergency by The Fourteenth Dalai Lama

    “The kind of consumer society we take for granted today is so toxic to the enviroment that continuing business-as-usual is a grave threat to our survival. To address out obsession with consumerism we need differetn perspectives that open up other possibilities. New technologies cannot save us without a new worldview, one that replaces our present emphasis on never-ending economic growth and technological growth with a focus on healing the relationship between our species and the Earth”.
    “To a large extent, our ecological situation today is a greater and more fateful version of the perennial human predicament. Collectively as well as individually, we suffer from a sense of self that feels disconnected from other people and, and from the Earth itself”.

    For each of us to try and practice following the ten commandments and the Golden Rule addresses the real cause of all our problems.

    Comment by Hugh Laue — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:40 AM

  170. “168
    David Colquhoun says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely, so Ray Ladbury’s perspective on “how scientists view data” is not the same as mine.”

    Please post your FTP site so I can download your data.

    All of it, please, including intermediate code and development snapshots of all code used. Please include the source code of applications used, including the Microsoft OS of the computer you’re using.

    (see how it can be, now?)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:43 AM

  171. “159
    OliverP says:
    8 March 2010 at 6:02 AM
    What might help would be a series of outlines of the evidence, each more detailed than previous one and building on it. ”

    Which would be argued as being incomplete and missing out the alternative views until the mob has decided that they can go back to “GIVE ME ONE PAGE PROOF!!!!” and we start the denialist tango once more.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:46 AM

  172. 1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.

    I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions, but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere. Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2). You guys get this, right?

    Comment by Ken Coffman — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:56 AM

  173. Richard (#150), it’s not spelling mistake. I meant “pyric.” I did call the denialist wins and scores pyrrhic victory before, until I realized their ultimate win of perhaps even causing runaway warming will also be “pyric” (from the Greek for “fire”).

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:05 AM

  174. @David Colquhoun.
    From what you’ve said, I’m thinking you probably generate all your own data or maybe occasionally use data from others who you know and with whom you collaborate. (How often to you get asked by an internet blogger for data that you got from another party?)

    In climate science, a lot of scientists (probably the vast majority) take direct measurements and generate their own data. However, scientists whose research involves analysing global weather records rely on data collected by third parties and maybe fourth or fifth parties.

    That means these scientists rely on the goodwill of the organisations / nations from whom they obtain the data. If those who collect the data (often national organisations) set conditions, then the scientists either abide by their conditions or don’t use the data at all.

    Although from some people’s perspective it may be desirable, it’s not always possible for scientists “to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data” without compromising research into global climate.

    Having said that, most national agencies that hold weather records offer it to any party on request, sometimes for a fee and often not. So it’s not as if the data is not available at all.

    An occasional request for data from a colleague or even a non-scientist is a far cry from multiple requests every day from non-scientists who are mischievously making frivolous queries and more often than not don’t even know what they are asking for.

    Comment by Sou — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:08 AM

  175. David Colquhoun finally gets closer to the meat of the matter …

    Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal in biological, and already some journals make it a condition of publication that all data should be made available on request.

    And the same has been true in climate science. There’s a great deal of whipping the dog to make it do what it’s already doing going on here. The first version of the GHCN data was made available for download in 1992, just a few years after the term “data warehousing” was coined. That puts climate science quite early in the race to make data available for free over the internet, I believe.

    Am I wrong?

    Since then we’ve seen more and more data come online, for the most part not due to flogging by the likes of McIntyre, the IOP, or you, but because of the evolution of technology and notions of how to use it by research communities.

    I think that part of the motive for this development is an increasing concern that competitive pressure may lead to distortion, and that openness is the best way to ensure honesty.

    Personally, I think it’s mostly technology-driven, but that’s just opinion.

    I’m not very impressed by the financial arguments.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re “impressed” or not. What matters is that they exist, and they exist largely due to political pressure on national met services to cover costs through the sale of data.

    And what especially matters is that it’s not UEA or Phil Jones who are making the financial argument. They are being bound by agreements imposed by those national met services who make the financial argument. UEA and Phil Jones are bearing the brunt of criticism and, as you have done, calls for resignation because they refuse to break legal agreements.

    Think about this (and for once, consider addressing it). You are calling for the resignation of people for properly rejecting a FOI which asked them to break legal agreements.

    I think that if climate people want to increase their credibility (and I certainly hope that they will) they’d be advised to free themselves of agreements that prevent them from releasing data.

    NASA GISS only uses the freely available GHCN data for computing their GISTEMP product. Ironically, until last November, the denialsphere argued that GISTEMP had less credibility than HadCRUT.

    Why? GISTEMP only used freely available data, and by your way of thinking, that should’ve added to their credibility, right?

    GISTEMP was declared not credible because it gives a slightly higher warming trend than HadCRUT. No other reason than that. That’s blog science for you …

    This brings me back to the fact that you’ve been writing authoritatively in the Guardian despite being somewhat ignorant of reality. If you’re going to write authoritatively, you should have enough background to write “I wish UEA CRU only used GHCN data, as does NASA GISS, because they could then have been spared this entirely made-up, bogus controversy over the fact that they don’t own distribution rights to all of the data they use”. And that “it’s proper for UEA to reject FOIs asking them to release proprietary data owned by others, and a reasonable person would’ve been satisfied by the rejection letter that stated that UEA was working with those organizations to get the right to distribute it to others”.

    And a bunch of other stuff, rather than the misinformed stuff you have written.

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:21 AM

  176. “172
    Ken Coffman says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:56 AM

    1) CO2 traps IR but not visible light.

    I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR.”

    I wonder what you think your blanket does with all that absorbed heat from your body.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:23 AM

  177. PS, what does this mean?

    “but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere. ”

    There’s no mechanical connection. A gas is not a linked system.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:28 AM

  178. RE #169, Hi Hugh. I think nearly all the world’s major religions have made wonderful statements about how we need to mitigate AGW, that it’s a moral duty and responsibility of all people. But I don’t see that being translated into significant action on the part of the followers on the whole.

    Take America, for instance. It’s supposedly a “religious” nation with most people belonging to the various religions that call for reductions in our GHGs, but have we actually made such reductions since nearly all mainstream religions called for us to mitigate 15 to 20 years ago? I think we’ve instead increased our emissions by 20% over the past 20 years. (Now, there could be some mainly Buddhist countries that are making greater strides on mitigating, and I understand that the Vatican is striving to be the 1st carbon neutral state, so there are a few good adherents to the various religions.)

    Of course RE America, I’ve NEVER (since I was in grammar school in the early 50s) considered it to be a religious or moral country, and I guess I’ve been proven correct. So maybe I shouldn’t diss religion, since very few actually practice it.

    I should have said, “and those who claim to adhere to the world’s religions seem on the whole to be quite dull indeed about AGW…”

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  179. Comment by Ken Coffman — 8 March 2010 @ 9:56 AM

    Start here:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:31 AM

  180. Eppur si muove – Yet it moves

    Fight for science.

    Comment by Endre Varga — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:34 AM

  181. David Calquhon,
    Now again, please show me where I’ve ever spoken against sharing data. At most, I’ve pointed out that data sharing from secondary sources can be a vector for error propagation.

    I’m iffier on sharing code, as 1)it can propagate errors; 2)undermine independent analysis; and 3)slow progress of science.

    David, I presume that in your field, you generate most of your own data. Therefore, when someone comes to you, you can give them access with a clear conscience. However, what would you do if you had data from a colleague and someone requested it? I presume that you would ask your colleague’s permission before handing over the data, or more likely suggest to your requestor that he make his request of your colleague, no? This is after all only professional courtesy. And would your reaction be different if the request came not from a scientific colleague, but in the form of a FOI from an animal rights group bent on bringing research on lab animals to a halt?

    I would point out that CRU had already pointed out that the data they could distribute were available on the web. They had further notified the individual who requested the data of its availability and explained why they could not release the rest. That the individual involved subsequently spammed CRU with over 40 FOI requests in a weekend indicates to me that his interest was not in furthering the scientific process.

    So, really, David, openness is not the issue. Everyone is in favor of openness. CRU has been moving in that direction to the extent that their limited staff allows (I’m sure you understand this concern). The real issue is whether we will stand up forcefully to those who would undermine science–not just climate science–but science in general.

    Science is a relatively recent human endeavor. It would be easy given the extent to which it has revolutionized human society to think it’s place is secure. Based on the harrassment of climate scientists, I contend that would be a mistake.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:36 AM

  182. Ken, you really need to read the simplest explanation of the greenhouse effect. Seriously, even your mom could understand it.

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:45 AM

  183. Ken Coffmann says “I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions…”

    Strike one! Most CO2 relaxes in the troposphere via collisions with other molecules (mostly nitrogen and oxygen).

    Ken: “…but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere.”

    Steerike two! When the excited CO2 molecule couples to the rest of the atmosphere, the energy flow is predominantly to the atmosphere.

    Ken: “Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2).”

    Steeeerike three! Yer out! Ken, Dude, this is wrong in oh so many ways. All of the heat transfer from Earth’s climate system is due to radiation, or if you disagree, do please explain how convection or conduction would remove heat from Earth into the inky blackness of space.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:46 AM

  184. > David C
    > Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this
    > freedom of information universal ….

    I refute it thus: http://www.google.com/search?q=open+access+physics

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:49 AM

  185. 168 David wrote: “Well I work on a field (stochastic properties of single ion channel molecules) where data and code are normally shared freely” and “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal”

    Hi David. I’m not sure I agree that data is shared any more freely in the single molecule world than anywhere else. I’ve had requests for data turned down on more than one occasion. Students that I’ve worked with have had requests for data ignored. One person told me that Elsevier held the copyright to their data. Others have said that it was too much trouble to find the data. Although annoying, I never thought that having my requests for data turned down/ignored was part of a conspiracy. It always felt like the normal state of human affairs. Scientists aren’t always the most organized people in the world. Regarding making all data available I’ve discussed this with a colleague who gathers immense amounts of data with a 500 frame per second camera. Making the data that comes out of that thing publicly available is tough. For each paper he writes someone would need to provide close to a terrabyte of storage for the raw data.

    Regarding “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal”

    Walter Goad who was a principal in founding genbank in the late 70s was a physicist.

    “As one of the earliest bioinformatics community projects on the Internet, the GenBank project started BIOSCI/Bionet news groups for promoting open access communications among bioscientists. ”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GenBank

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:50 AM

  186. Also, David Colquhoun, do you receive government grants? If you can’t produce all of your data, intermediate calculations, and source code versions, you may be prosecuted by Sen. Inhofe.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:59 AM

  187. More for David C.: I hope you’re following the updates closely here.
    Rule one of database management — many pointers, not multiple copies.
    William seems to have the best collection of pointers, updated often, on this subject. You really can inform yourself, if you’re willing to risk changing your mind and amending your published statements. I hope.
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/03/weird_stuff_from_the_swedes.php#comment-2331425

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 11:11 AM

  188. Re:151 Richard Ordway says: 8 March 2010 at 1:44 AM
    “… here are a page and a half or so of unrebutted phrases in juried peer reviewed scientific journals that explain a lot about about climate change. If fake they would have been rebutted. They have not been so are valid evidence that has held up to world wide scrutiny.”

    Hey Richard, good stuff!

    I’m trying to get the climate pages on my old website up to speed. My web-mistress is teaching this old dog some new tricks since she doesn’t want to do code,

    I haven’t updated in ages.

    May I cut and paste the references you have put together under something I’ll tentatively call:
    Richard Ordways References and Guide to Enlightenment- with a link
    …on my website: http://groundtruthinvestigations.com/climate_change.html

    I’d probably make a new page. Your comments add insight into what one will be seeing.

    As you see, mine are (too) neutral, references only web pages provided for those of us needing ready access to research documents and literature advancing the understanding of climate change.

    I would welcome anyone to peruse the links and suggest links to add. Some links may have expired. If you see one let me know via the contact page, please, if you have the time. Any positive, instructive suggestion would be welcome.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 8 Mar 2010 @ 11:59 AM

  189. New interdisciplinary journal on climate change http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/123201100/home
    Copy of editorial available at http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresArticle/articles.html?doi=10.1002%2Fwcc.3
    From which this is taken:

    TABLE 2 The 14 Knowledge Domains Around Which WIREs
    Climate Change Is Structured, Together With the Editor Responsible for
    Each Domain
    Domain Title Domain Editor
    1 Climate, history, society, culture Jim Fleming
    2 Paleoclimates and current trends Neville Nicholls
    3 Climate models and modeling Hans von Storch
    4 Assessing the impacts of climate
    change
    Tim Carter
    5 Climate, ecology and conservation Lee Hannah
    6 Perceptions, behavior and
    communication of climate
    change
    Irene Lorenzoni/
    Loraine
    Whitmarsh
    7 Climate economics Gary Yohe
    8 Climate, nature and ethics Dale Jamieson
    9 Integrated assessment of climate
    change
    Brian O’Neill
    10 Vulnerability and adaptation to
    climate change
    Jon Barnett
    11 The carbon economy and climate
    mitigation
    Roger Pielke Jr.
    12 Climate and development Daniel Murdiyarso
    13 Climate policy and governance Harriet Bulkeley/
    Michele Betsill
    14 The social status of climate change
    knowledge
    Myanna Lahsen

    Comment by Hugh Laue — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:07 PM

  190. Chu defends scientific process, challenges climate skeptics
    http://www.eenews.net/climatewire
    03/08/2010
    Lauren Morello and Colin Sullivan, E&E reporters

    Energy Secretary Steven Chu has challenged climate skeptics to use “real data and make their analysis transparent” when denouncing the science of global warming.

    Addressing recent revelations that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report contained at least two errors, Chu said he believes those mistakes don’t negate “the huge amount of data” that supports the notion that human activities are a major cause of climate change. Nor, he said, have they affected his faith in the IPCC.

    “There are times in science when some groups do things that are sloppy,” Chu told E&E Friday at a conference in Santa Barbara, Calif., organized by The Wall Street Journal. “It’s frustrating, but scientists are human beings.”

    The best defense against such errors, he said, is peer review, including the IPCC’s recently announced plan for an outside review of its 2007 report.

    “Scientists love to scrutinize each other,” Chu said, describing peer review as “a feedback mechanism that says ‘If you’re wrong, I’m going to get you.’”

    Chu’s comments come as many prominent climate scientists find themselves defending the broad conclusions and purpose of the IPCC and re-examining how they communicate climate science to the public.

    Some have taken aim at media coverage of the IPCC errors and e-mails that were apparently stolen last fall from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit.

    “The media has certainly portrayed the University of East Anglia situation as a crisis,” Bob Watson, a former IPCC chairman who is now the chief scientist for the U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, told a House of Commons committee last week. “In my opinion, there is absolutely no adverse effect on any of the conclusions of the IPCC.”

    Others say fending off skeptics’ criticism is now a part of doing climate science, for better or worse.

    “We all get hate e-mail,” Richard Somerville, a climate scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, told reporters last week. “But I think that that just comes with the territory now. There is an ugly side to it, but I don’t overrate it, and I don’t think it’s a major concern at all.”

    Tim Reeder, a scientist with the U.K. Environment Agency, said he was “surprised at how quickly public opinion seems to have moved” on climate in recent months.

    “We were running up to Copenhagen with people on board, and then, for whatever reason — the e-mail, ‘Climategate’ issue came up with the University of East Anglia, and then we had IPCC issues with the Himalayans melting — I think that tied in also with the cold weather,” Reeder said. “And reaction perhaps to events at Copenhagen. I think it’s very unfortunate, and I’m surprised how quickly opinion seems to have moved.”

    A ‘slightly dull occupation’ seeks new communication skills

    In the United States, some recent polls show concern about climate change is fading. One survey by George Mason and Yale universities found a jump in the percentage of Americans who think global warming is a hoax. Across the Atlantic, a BBC poll last month found 25 percent of those polled did not believe climate change was happening — a 10 percent increase from an earlier poll in November.

    Mark Maslin, director of the University College London Environment Institute, said he believes climate skeptics are becoming more aggressive in part because governments around the world are moving to enact national and international policies related to climate change.

    “Climate change challenges how we make energy, how we actually live our lives, how we distribute resources around the world. It suddenly becomes increasingly important to several groups of people, so what we’ve seen now is a huge increase in lobbying in the United States against climate change,” Maslin said. “It’s become much stronger because they see there’s an implication to climate change.”

    The difficulty for scientists is determining how to respond to skeptics, said British Antarctic Survey head David Vaughan.

    “It’s a very fine line that we tread in not being overly scaremongering,” he said. “To some extent, [science] is a slightly dull occupation we have — communicating fact, rather than feelings or emotions or enthusiasms for perhaps certain policies. … You may appear to be a slightly gray person.”

    Vaughan said scientists need to do a better job of understanding how the general public thinks of climate change and tailor their message accordingly.

    “We do have stuff to learn, and we do have to understand why people find it easier to take up some messages and not others,” he said. “We’re not spin doctors, but we need to listen to the questions people are asking and answer them directly — not just stick to the stuff we’re most comfortable with.”
    Sullivan reported from Santa Barbara, Calif.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:08 PM

  191. I really appreciate you guys helping to make my point.

    Ken Coffman says “I often wonder what you guys think the almighty CO2 molecule does with absorbed IR. Sure, it generally absorbs IR from one vector (earth outward) and re-radiates in all three dimensions…”

    RL: Strike one! Most CO2 relaxes in the troposphere via collisions with other molecules (mostly nitrogen and oxygen).

    KLC: Right, exactly. And this is a bidirectional process…most of the heat of all CO2 molecules is caused by colliding with nitrogen and oxygen and molecules like water vapor.

    Ken: “…but surely you realize most of the CO2 molecule’s temperature is due to mechanical connection to the rest of the atmosphere.”

    RL: Steerike two! When the excited CO2 molecule couples to the rest of the atmosphere, the energy flow is predominantly to the atmosphere.

    KLC: Exactly so. And when the CO2 molecule’s neighbors are warmer, then they couple heat to the CO2 and that’s where CO2 gets most of its energy.

    Ken: “Our average temperature determines what we radiate, but the dominant factor in our earth’s average temperature comes from the sun heating water which in turn heats nitrogen and oxygen. Heat is most readily moved around by conduction and convection (and this includes the most prominent method of heating CO2).”

    RL: Steeeerike three! Yer out! Ken, Dude, this is wrong in oh so many ways. All of the heat transfer from Earth’s climate system is due to radiation, or if you disagree, do please explain how convection or conduction would remove heat from Earth into the inky blackness of space.

    KLC: I’m well aware of our hot water bottle floating in space…all energy into and out of the system is via radiation. But the radiation is caused by our atmospheric temperature…everything all summed together (don’t you love superposition? I do.) It’s very interesting that IR absorbed by CO2 is a factor, but that factor is very small.

    I agree with the insulating blanket analogy mentioned above. The cozy sleeping bag traps warm air…radiation has very little to do with my comfort. My body heats the air via conduction (and to a smaller degree by convection and to an even smaller degree by radiation) and the foam or down trap the warm air. Take away all of the CO2 in my sleeping bag system and I won’t even notice.

    [Response: This is worthy of posting only to serve an example to the rest of us. Someone who thinks that the 'greenhouse gas is like a blanket' analogy is a statement that blankets keep us warm because of the radiative effect of CO2 is beyond parody (and reason). Please do not respond to this post, and Ken, please note that all further discussion of your confusion is OT. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken Coffman — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:33 PM

  192. New interdisciplinary journal out on Climate Change
    Editorial for free download here
    http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresArticle/articles.html?doi=10.1002%2Fwcc.3
    gives an outline of scope. 14 “domains” covered, each with its own editor.

    Comment by Hugh Laue — 8 Mar 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  193. RE: Ken Coffman says:
    8 March 2010 at 9:56 AM


    Yes he always says this. Of course, the whole forcing and feedback scenario is lost on him too. I know this from experience. Sadly. We have publishing disagreements as well. Coffman uses the same model there: vanity. Nice job, Ray Ladbury.

    Comment by Mark A. York — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:06 PM

  194. “Tim Berners-Lee is credited with having created the World Wide Web while he was a researcher at the European High-Energy Particle Physics lab, the Conseil Européenne pour la Recherche Nucleaire ( CERN), in Geneva, Switzerland. A tool was needed to enable collaboration between physicists and other researchers in the high energy physics community.” http://www.hitmill.com/internet/web_history.html

    “Physicists seem unaware of the strong movement to making this freedom of information universal” David Colquhoun — 8 March 2010 @ 9:37 AM

    “David is a good guy, a good scientist, and certainly nobody’s dupe.” John E. Pearson — 6 March 2010 @

    “I’m not sure who is doing the misrepresentation here.” David Colquhoun — 6 March 2010 @ 3:56 PM

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:08 PM

  195. Hugh, 189, 191:

    The whole thing is free! All PDFs are available for download, with HTML for online viewing. This is great, especially if it stays this way. I hope a lot of important submissions wind up here. I appreciate Ray’s advice to try the library, and it helps, but nothing beats the ease of download/read/concentrate/learn.

    I think I’m going to start with “State-of-the-art with regional climate models”, and peruse “The idea of anthropogenic global climate change in the 20th century” and “Theory and language of climate change communication” when my brain starts to hurt.

    Thanks, Hugh.

    Comment by Bob — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:18 PM

  196. Hugh Laue says: 8 March 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I don’t know if it’s only a temporary thing but Wiley’s new climate journal sports to full text of papers without a login.

    Refining Hugh’s link slightly to point to the “cover”, find it here: http://wires.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WiresJournal/wisId-WCC.html

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:25 PM

  197. 185: Pearson blathered about genbank.

    After posting 185 it occurred to me that perhaps the climate science analogue of genbank is in order. I’m sure Senator Inhofe would support funding openness in climate science, or maybe he wouldn’t, but a central repository run by people who know how to do it is not a bad idea. Such a thing can’t be done as a hobby. It would take, time, money, effort, and full-time people to run it,
    just like genbank.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Genbank/

    Whether or not someone accessing data from genbank or the protein data base is a scientist with a “legitimate” interest in the data is simply not an issue. If you get curious about something you can go and start down-loading data immediately. You’re not swamping some poor professor who is trying to do science, teach, and juggle hundreds of FOI requests for data. It would not only take all the fun out of it for the malicious and it would facilitate the science.

    Comment by John E. Pearson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:28 PM

  198. David, I’m waiting for your data. And your emails. I have a couple of people in certain groups who would very much like to see all your BIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENTS and the reasoning you have for your mutilation of life.

    Well, that’s how they put it.

    Come on, you have nothing to hide and you don’t want to appear to be hiding any nefarious experiments on living creatures do you?

    (see how it gets creepy when you could be opened up to the partisan gaze of the fringes of the ALF, for example…)

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 1:59 PM

  199. Re: Post 151 by R. Ordway, March 8.

    For the many folks who, like me, visit this blog primarily as readers to develop more in-depth knowledge of the climate sciences literature, Comment 151 on this Post is a tour-de-force contribution and I strongly commend it to you.

    So, from the outer ring of readers/discussants: thanks for your help Mr. Ordway.

    As a policy analyst, what’s noticeable for me at RC and other blogs is a lack of exploration and professional familarity of key social science literatures relevant to climate policy: law, management science, political science, environmental economics, governance studies, policy studies, etc. Work that sheds light on the unique challenges and difficulties the climate sciences are posing for government, law, and policy, national and international, society, and economies.

    One drawback/consequence of this situation, perhaps, is the undue prominence given to what strike me clearly as *muddled* and at times *furtive* evaluations of policy/political/community of science issues surrounding AGW that have been launched and pursued by a very few, such as Drs. Piekle Jr. and Curry.

    Dr. Oreskes seems to be emerging as a prominent antidote to this problem, but there are many other observers whose work needs greater exposure because it is research and analysis that is and will increasingly be essential to hammering out viable law, policy and executive actions.

    The relative invisibility of relevant social science research and policy analyses seems to be an artifact and a serious weakness of credible (RC, Policy Lass) or well-intended (dot.earth) blogs devoted to climate science and policy.

    Comment by Sloop — 8 Mar 2010 @ 2:10 PM

  200. @126 What does http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf have to do with science? “Like Big Tobacco before it, ExxonMobil has been
    enormously successful at influencing the current
    administration and key members of Congress.”
    Ummh, Obama’s rhetoric about “those who deny the science of climate change” and the Cap & Trade bill somehow didn’t cause a blip on your radar screen? Anti-corporate rhetoric and poisoning the well comparisons with “Big Tobacco” are the ultimate examples of “Smoke & Mirrors”. I admit I’m not so young. The newspaper including my birth announcement way back in Jan. 1964 carry a front-page story announcing the Surgeon General has officially determined that smoking is dangerous to your health. 46 years ago, the science was settled. As long as I can remember,this warning has been clearly printed in black and white on cigarette packaging.It isn’t plausible that a well-funded, powerful Big Tobacco lobby could not manage to defeat this requirement.
    Anyway, this is now off into red herring land. Just realize that this is the ridiculous propaganda that triggers legitimate skepticism.

    Comment by Smitty — 8 Mar 2010 @ 2:26 PM

  201. The problem with being on the pro AGW side is that if you’re not 100% scrupulous in your approach then the Deniers jump all over you and claim it as proof of their case. I suspect the tone of the IOP submission was designed to demonstrate that nothing but absolute professionalism & integrity is acceptable on the pro side of the issue. Unfortunately the Deniers then immediately claimed the submission as justification of their case and the pro’s got upset because they felt it was too harsh. The IOP then issued a clarification intended to shut the deniers up & pacify the pros. This gets the conspiracy theorists hyper and leaves the Deniers, who never let the truth get in the way of their claims, still claiming IOP support.

    Comment by Bob B — 8 Mar 2010 @ 2:44 PM

  202. To all the decent contributors on this forum: please collectively try to put a stop to the person who (wisely) hides behind the name of Completely Fed Up.[edit]

    [Response: We regularly delete comments that target other commenters (on both sides) or use intemperate language. These practices are not encouraged by us, and we will continue to police it (albeit imperfectly). Threads that devolve into endless streams of comments about other commenters' practices or personalities are not interesting. If people do not wish to engage with others for whatever reason, then just do not engage. More reflection before posting would help improve almost everyone's contributions. PS. discussion of this policy is similarly un-interesting. - gavin]

    Comment by AxelD — 8 Mar 2010 @ 2:54 PM

  203. Okay, Ken Coffman looks like a poster child for the problems we’re facing.

    First, he comes to a site which is run and frequented by professional scientists, and presumes to tell them how science (a very basic and accepted aspect of science) works.

    When he is corrected, he misunderstands the corrections, won’t accept them, digs in his heels, and again points out to everyone how he is right and they are wrong.

    You just can’t make this sort of thing up, and I’m not sure how you reach that sort of person, or if you even can.

    But I’ll fall back on a previous complaint. Most people’s (Americans?) foundation in math and science is so abysmally weak that they have no chance. They must trust scientists, and that trust is being poisoned (although Ken seems to have some grasp of the science, but is confusing himself with the little that he understands).

    Which I guess is my real point. I love RC, and it serves a good purpose, making the science and the scientists available to the public, but I don’t think “explaining the science to Joe Sixpack” is ever going to work, because he not only has no chance of understanding, but he’s arrogant enough to think that what he believes is true, and he trusts himself and various pundits more than scientists.

    [Response: These are not universal characteristics of lay people - and in fact I find the exact opposite. Do not confuse the often strident and confused people who show up in blog comments with the much larger populace. - gavin]

    But, on a good note… despite the doom and gloom of my earlier post about the lengthy phases we’ll go through to actually achieve climate action, I do think people will return to trusting science as temperatures rise and irrefutable visible effects (as opposed to temperature measurements, which the propaganda has succeeded in miring in that same distrust) continue to manifest.

    The thing is, no matter how much the anti-crowd plays this game, they are going to lose, and when the degree of their deception becomes obvious, the backlash will probably be fierce. People are not going to like having been duped on something so important. They will blame big oil, and the media, and maybe even scientists for not forcing them to see through the lies.

    The only people they won’t blame are themselves.

    Comment by Bob — 8 Mar 2010 @ 2:59 PM

  204. [edit - original comment deleted, and so is commentary on it]

    The next thing I would recommend is to take a step back and consider what additional transparency measures would strengthen your friends, help to sway the uniformed and undecided, and make the task of your truly dishonest opposition more difficult. For example (and please don’t take this as criticism of how Jones or anybody else handled the situation, hindsight is 20/20, and this is merely an example of a strategy), if a list of data sources, their origins, and contact information for raw data producers had been publicly available online to point to for cranks (and more importantly, journalists listening to cranks), then that particular line of attack would have been closed off.

    You can reasonably object that responsible scientists should not have to spend time and money on projects like this, for which the payoff in terms of scientific progress is likely modest. Indeed, this is true. On the other hand, the amount of time consumed by the fallout of this affair has likely proved even more of an impediment to progress. Of course, the trick, going forward, is to anticipate such vulnerabilities and close them off in advance, bearing in mind that your true opponents (who are not scientists such as Dr Colquhoun) are neither reasonable nor honorable.

    Comment by trrll — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:00 PM

  205. Sloop says: What’s noticeable for me at RC and other blogs is a lack of exploration and professional familarity of key social science literatures relevant to climate policy: law, management science, political science, environmental economics, governance studies, policy studies, etc.

    You may want to hook up with Andreas Bjurström in other recent RealClimate threads. He’s very interested in getting this kind of exploration into IPCC.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:02 PM

  206. When I was a teenager and the only internet we had was BITNET, EUNET, JNET, DARPA, MILNET, etc., scientists were freely sharing data via the internet. I helped scientists with some of that, in fact. Back then the hot-button stuff would have been about ozone depletion in the polar regions.

    The shills say scientists are not sharing data because they are committed to spreading the lie about the people prominent in climate research, not because they’re confused. They know the circumstances by now … the thinly veiled concern troll posts are completely cynical attempts. They know we don’t buy it, but it looks nice to have posted it as if you cared about the public or science when your goal is to lie to the former about the latter.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:04 PM

  207. I read the IoP statement and found it outrageous to accuse the stolen emails of indicating malfeasance on the part of Professor Jones. It seems entirely unreasonable to have to answer harassment FOI requests – especially when the requests only want to find mistakes in the data or conclusions.

    IoP is a large body that knows the difference between doing good science and doing science to meet irrational demands. I continue to see no reason for climate scientists to submit their entire data sets, code and methodology to a handful of recalcitrant non-scientists bent on falsifying the conclusions.

    Comment by Roger Hayward — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:11 PM

  208. John Pearson, I am outraged by your characterization of John Pearson’s contribution about Genbank as blathering! Indeed, I am outraged by my own outrage, and I need to stop typing immediately and catch my breath!

    And since Poe’s Law seems to apply to climate science, I will add:

    JUST KIDDING!!!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:16 PM

  209. Do not confuse the often strident and confused people who show up in blog comments with the much larger populace. – gavin

    May I add, though it often requires the patience of a saint don’t write in naive, reflexive response to the strident, the rhetorically facile, the irritatingly wrong. Write instead in a way that reaches those who don’t post here but instead just read. By all means do respond to degeneration, just don’t be dragged flailing and spluttering into the gutter. Of course I suggest restraint even as I sometimes fail to keep my own lid on but we can at least strive to be better!

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:44 PM

  210. John E. Pearson, interesting point about GenBank. This effort required several streams of funding and the NIH to administer it (as an aside, my brother was the NIH project officer for the contract).

    Of course, only the sequences are entered – if there were DNA deniers involved only the original sequencing gels and pre-splice sequences would suffice. We know that gene sequences have errors (mutations) and unless one can see the code of the programs used to join the sequences one cannot be absolutely, 100% sure of the product. The mind boggles. I can just see the auditing that would need to take place to verify all the genomes (step 1 – get sample from Craig Venter).

    Comment by Deech56 — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:52 PM

  211. Marion Delgado:

    When I was a teenager and the only internet we had was BITNET, EUNET, JNET, DARPA, MILNET, etc., scientists were freely sharing data via the internet

    The big difference today is public access to the internet. I think you’re right that most of those complaining don’t realize that scientists began sharing data over these restricted-access networks from the very beginning.

    The irony of all this is that to a large extent, the denialsphere has Al Gore to thank for the fact that there’s a public access internet available for them to download from sites like GHCN, even if he is fat!

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Mar 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  212. Re: #205

    As a science advisory process, the IPCC is unprecedented in its global scope, scientifically and diplomatically.

    It is successfully building key parts of the foundation upon which will be constructed a global climate and C02 reduction framework treaty and related institutions. Perhaps in a more rational world this would be moving more quickly and smoothly; but it’s going to happen.

    I personally just work on water resources in a New England state. Enough to be done here as it is.

    Comment by Sloop — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:29 PM

  213. AxelD, there’s usually a flurry of complaints when I post something that punctures the bubble you are busy huffing up in front of everyone so your posting after this post:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/close-encounters-of-the-absurd-kind/comment-page-19/#comment-165110

    and 154 and 155 on this thread, it is completely expected.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 8 Mar 2010 @ 4:39 PM

  214. Smitty says:
    8 March 2010 at 2:26 PM
    @126 What does “”"”http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/global_warming/exxon_report.pdf have to do with science? “Like Big Tobacco before it, ExxonMobil has been enormously successful at influencing the current
    administration and key members of Congress.””"”

    Well, you have a point that the UCS is indeed a special interest group and that unless they are quoting juried, peer reivewed vetted documents in a system that humanity has used since the 1600s and has worked…that we should perhaps ignore it. This is not to beat up on one single administration and I am sure big industry does this in all administrations to one extent or another.

    However, the following documented evidence about big industry’s lying and delaying tactics is in two legitiimate (two legitimate peer reviewed sources, Lancet and American Journal of Health) peer-reviewed science journals and had time to be rebutted:(it is quite valid evidence- legitimate… and the facts so far in these journals have not been sucessfully challenged in an open system that we have relied on since the 1600s)…and anyone including economists and oil executives have participated in the peer review systems (McKitrick, McIntyre 2005).

    “Political interference in science is hardly a new phenomenon,
    but the suppression, manipulation,disrespect, and disregard of our federal science and scientists has become widespread and pervasive (Bush 2).”

    “The current administration (Bush 2)has exerted political muscle—
    sometimes blatant and other times almost unnoticed—on such
    wide-ranging scientific issues as global warming,international
    health, endangered species, childhood lead poisoning, mercury
    emissions from power plants, condoms, and mountaintop
    removal mining.”

    “Recent attempts (Bush2 years) at political interference
    can be roughly grouped into 4 types: suppressing,
    distorting, or otherwise misusing scientific information;
    controlling federal scientists; limiting public access to scientific information; and changing the way scientific information
    is incorporated into the decisionmaking process.”

    “Perhaps the most notorious examples of this type involve the
    issue of climate change. As the US Environmental Protection
    Agency (EPA) prepared its 2003 Report on the Environment, White
    House officials tried to substantially alter the section on climate
    | Kathleen M. Rest, PhD, MPA, and Michael H. Halpern, BA Politics and the Erosion of Federal Scientific Capacity: Restoring Scientific Integrity to Public Health Science change, which referred to studies showing the significant contribution of human activity to climate
    change.”

    “A less public but no less egregious example involves mercury
    and human health. In 2002, the administration (Bush 2) sought to suppress
    EPA data showing that 8% of women aged between 16 and 49 years have mercury levels in their blood that could lead to reduced IQ and motor skills in their children. In 2005, the EPA’s inspector general reported that senior agency management had instructed staff members to arrive at a predetermined conclusion favoring industry.”

    “Later, in a story that made the front page of the New
    York Times, a White House lawyer formerly employed by the
    American Petroleum Institute significantly edited another EPA climate
    change report.11 The subsequent furor led to his resignation
    and his departure for Exxon Mobil, a major corporate sponsor
    of global warming skepticism.”

    “Our nation’s health and prosperity are based on a
    foundation of independent scientific discovery. Yet in recent
    years (Bush 2), political interference in federal government
    science has become widespread, threatening this legacy.”

    “Good government and a functioning democracy require
    public policy decisions to be informed by independent
    science. The scientific and public health communities must
    speak out to defend taxpayer-funded science from political interference.”

    “Controlling Federal Scientists Information can also be controlled
    by muzzling scientific experts. A widely publicized example
    involved James Hansen, PhD, director of the National Aeronautics
    and Space Administrations’s (NASA’s) Goddard Institute
    for Space Studies. A vocal spokesperson on the urgency of
    taking action on climate change, Hansen was warned of “dire consequences”
    by a low-level agency public affairs political appointee
    if he continued to make such statements.”

    “Other federal climate scientists have reported similar pressure. Despite congressional hearings and sustained media attention on the
    suppression of global warming scientists, in March 2007, US
    Fish and Wildlife Service scientists were prevented from answering
    questions at an international conference about the
    impact of climate change on polar bears.”

    “The ability of federal scientists to participate in scientific
    exchange also has been curtailed. In April 2004, for example,
    the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) implemented a new policy requiring that an HHS political appointee approve all experts
    before their participation on international scientific panels,
    including those convened by the World Health Organization.”

    “A more recent policy requires the political vetting of Centers for Disease
    Control and Prevention scientists who are given foreign assignments,
    delaying the process by 2 to 3 months.30 A statement from the American Sociological Association summed up the potential danger of this
    practice:the inevitable result will be fewer invitations for US scientists
    to contribute to scientific discourse at the international
    level and the consequent lessening of US influence and
    relevance.”

    REMEMBER, THIS HAS BEEN OPENLY VETTED IN A 200 YEAR OLD SYSTEM AND HAS NOT BEEN REFUTED

    “Limiting Public Access to Information: Other troubling efforts have
    limited public access to previously available scientific, health,
    and safety information. A recent example that produced substantial
    outrage involved EPA’s closure of significant parts of its network of libraries, including the Prevention, Pesticides and Toxic Substances Chemical Library used by its own scientists.”

    “… investigation found that the
    administration (Bush 2) had effectively placed off-limits critical health
    and safety information, including some data on quality and vulnerability
    of drinking water supplies, potential chemical hazards in communities, and safety of airline travel.”

    “…have provided further evidence of political interference in our critical health and environmental agencies. Of the more than 1800 federal
    scientists who responded to these 5 surveys, 699 scientists
    reported that they fear retaliation for openly expressing concerns
    about their agency’s work—a number that really should be zero. Within the FDA alone, more than one third of the 997 respondents did not
    feel they could express safety concerns even inside the
    agency, and 145 scientists reported having “been asked, for
    non-scientific reasons, to inappropriately exclude or alter
    technical information or their conclusions in a FDA scientific
    document”

    “Our country’s legacy of scientific innovation and investment
    has brought us sustained economic progress, sciencebased
    public health policy, and unequaled scientific leadership
    across the world. The implications of political interference
    with science in the context of public policy are significant and
    serious, threatening not only public health, safety, and the environment
    but also the government’s long-term ability to address
    these critical issues.”

    “Controlling tobacco use is the highest immediate priority for global health, while climate change is the biggest threat to health in the medium and long term.”

    “There are many similarities between tobacco use and climate change. In addition to causing huge damage to population health, both cause substantial adverse social, economic, equity, and gender effects. Both have long lead times between cause and effect, and both require long-term policies and monitoring systems.”

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2809%2961959-0/fulltext?_eventId=login

    http://www.ajph.org/cgi/reprint/97/11/1939.pdf

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:13 PM

  215. According to this site there is apparently a mountain of evidence to show that global warming is happening, enough theory to understand and explain the mechanism and also prove that man is responsible.

    But then I read a BBC Q&A session with Prof. Phil Jones CRU who appears to state that

    a) the warming between 1975-1998 was not significantly different from the periods 1860-1880, 1910-1940 . i.e.any recent warming is not unprecedented

    b) from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    c) From 2002 to the present the trend is negative (-0.12C per decade) i.e. it’s got very slightly cooler.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm

    if Phil Jones says this then why is anyone who expresses skepticisn (a valid scientific position) still refered by posters here as a denier, denialist etc.

    [Response: These topics have been discussed to death in a number of posts and other blogs that hopefully some readers will point you to. I will just say that regarding your point (b), the odds ratio of a warming vs a cooling trend over that time period are, very roughly, about 19:1, even if the 95% significance level that Phil Jones was referring to in his statement, is in fact just barely missed--Jim.]

    Comment by phil c — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:36 PM

  216. CFU @213: readers in the US may not realize what a deeply unpleasant and criminal organization the ALF is, in the UK at least, and are therefore prepared to let you continue. [edit]

    [Response: Get a grip. There are no 'veiled threats' there. Though I don't want to get drawn into a debate on this (since it isn't my comment in any case), it is clear to me that this was simply an argument by analogy that demonstrates that complete openness to anyone who asks is not a good general rule that everyone should follow, and that given this, it is easy to make hay about how scientists are being secretive with the data. It might not have been the clearest argument ever made, but it does make the point. Please deal with that point (if you care to), rather than carrying on about how horrible the ALF are (which no one here is going to dispute). - gavin]

    Comment by AxelD — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  217. #207
    It seems entirely unreasonable to have to answer harassment FOI requests – especially when the requests only want to find mistakes in the data or conclusions.

    Why he was under so much pressure from FOI requests?

    The law is clear,you get a FOI request you release the data unless the data is not yours to release in which case you the refer the person to the owner of the data. A few standard replies handled by admin staff should have sorted the whole thing out.

    And if others can actually find mistakes in his work he should be grateful for the help. If he is confident in his work he should be happy to let others try to pull it apart.

    Comment by phil c — 8 Mar 2010 @ 5:41 PM

  218. phil c says:
    8 March 2010 at 5:41 PM

    “The law is clear,you get a FOI request you release the data unless the data is not yours to release in which case you the refer the person to the owner of the data.”

    Nonsense. The recipient of the FoI request is under no obligation to refer the requester to the owner of the data. The recipient just has to show that he doesn’t own the data and that’s the end of the request. The requester can go and find out who owns the data for himself – scientists are not gophers.

    “And if others can actually find mistakes in his work he should be grateful for the help. If he is confident in his work he should be happy to let others try to pull it apart.”

    If anyone wants to get the raw data, then download the Met Office’s software and then follow the methodology in the paper, they can test whether there are mistakes or not. You don’t need the raw data to be gift wrapped for you. You don’t need Jones’ original software. You can show that his conclusions are wrong (if they are) without either of those things. And it’s the conclusions that really matter, not small mistakes that don’t affect the rightness of the conclusions.

    Comment by Dave G — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:29 PM

  219. > The law is clear
    And it’s not what you think it is. Please look up the facts and stop posting talking points that misstate what happened, what the law says, and what the record shows about the decisions. You’re engaging in malicious fantasy here.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 6:30 PM

  220. Response: These topics have been discussed to death in a number of posts and other blogs that hopefully some readers will point you to.

    I take your point Jim, but you do you not think that terms like denier are now less than helpful.

    [Response: IMO, categorizing large groups of people with a single term is always fraught with trouble. It would be good if we could all be as precise as possible, and it almost always exacerbates problems to mis-characterize another person, especially intentionally. Denier is sometimes very appropriate and other times not.--Jim]

    and even if the topic has been discussed to death to most of the general public it sounds like Phil Jones is saying there is no global warming. Could you point me to a clarification of what he is really saying

    [Response: Here, and please no more discussion on FOIA issues. It has gotten very tedious. - gavin]

    Comment by phil c — 8 Mar 2010 @ 7:01 PM

  221. Ray (L),

    There seems to be a good deal of confusion about what cools the entire Earth system, versus what cools the Earth’s surface. For the surface, conduction and convection (and evapotranspiration) are important, though still not as important as radiation. Of course, you’re quite right that as far as transferring heat to space goes, the Earth can only radiate–not conduct or convect. Or not measurably, anyway. (Does it even make sense to calculate convection or conduction in the interplanetary medium?)

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 7:03 PM

  222. Phil C:

    But then I read a BBC Q&A session with Prof. Phil Jones CRU who appears to state that

    b) from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming

    But, he also said it was *almost* significant.

    Someone has run the numbers, and came up with a confidence level of 92.3%. Yes, that’s less than 95%, but not much. 95% is a rule-of-thumb standard for the phrase “statistical significance”, it’s not ironclad in deep statistical theory or the like.

    And why was 1995 chosen?

    1995 is the earliest year when the statistical significance of the trend from that year to 2009 safely fails. Since 1994, you would get a technically significant trend.

    So the time period’s been cherry-picked as the longest someone could find that (just barely) fails to be statistically significant. In a world where climate trends are typically discussed in a 30 year time frame, the fact that in a particular 15 year time frame the observed warming trend of 0.12C/decade doesn’t quite reach the level of statistical significance is no surprise.

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Mar 2010 @ 7:51 PM

  223. The IOP submission, and the Inhofe blacklist, need to be taken together. Monckton was touring Australia – perhaps still is – and during that tour he made some allusions to Climate Scientists being about to face criminal charges, and also to peak academic bodies having some very interesting submissions to make to the UK inquiry. I don’t know whether the IOP submission or Inhofe’s blacklist were already in the public domain when Monckton made his comments (as digressions in either his talks or interviews; I don’t recall precisely) or whether he was aware ahead of time, but I’ll say this: usually I’m up with the latest stuff very soon after it is made public, yet I missed these two rather big items.

    From what I’ve seen, Monckton, Plimer, Carter, etc are in frequent enough contact with each other and the organisations that circulate fud as their strategy, that I’m fairly confident Monckton knew ahead of time and was basically boasting. It sux.

    Comment by Donald Oats — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:01 PM

  224. Phil C

    and even if the topic has been discussed to death to most of the general public it sounds like Phil Jones is saying there is no global warming. Could you point me to a clarification of what he is really saying

    It only sounds like that because people like yourself leave out the “+0.12C/decade of warming” part of the statement. I doubt that most people reading the full answer to the question would come away with the understanding that he said “there is no global warming”.

    Comment by dhogaza — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:38 PM

  225. Regarding the curiously pinpoint selection of 1995, DeepClimate has some background:

    Lubos’s involvement should surprise nobody, but this seems like a new low for Lindzen.

    Comment by andy — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:38 PM

  226. http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/02/round-and-round-we-go-with-lindzen-motl-and-jones/
    http://www.google.com/search?q=deepclimate+lubos+lindzen+1995

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:47 PM

  227. BPL@221
    Hmm, well, how about energy loss due to loss of Helium? It’s a convection of sorts–or at least a diffusion, but not significant. Might be an interesting question, though–particularly if we were to ever get fusion working and start creating a lot of helium. How much helium would we have to release into the atmosphere to provide significant cooling at the TOA? Anybody giving a planetary atmospheres test any time soon?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:50 PM

  228. Andy says, “…but this seems like a new low for Lindzen.”

    Nah! Lindzen’s been bottom feeding for at least a decade now. I lost all respect when he suggested that warming on Mars, Jupiter and Pluto might have the same cause as warming on Earth in his closing argument in a public debate. He knows better. He quit doing science a long time ago.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:53 PM

  229. Jim’s inline response: “IMO, categorizing large groups of people with a single term is always fraught with trouble.”

    Which is why I sometimes use the term “tin-hat conspiracy theorist”.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 8 Mar 2010 @ 8:55 PM

  230. Whoops, Hank got it.

    Comment by andy — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:04 PM

  231. http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/shortsharpscience/2010/03/which-climate-changes-can-be-b.html

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:21 PM

  232. The problem with being on the pro AGW side is that if you’re not 100% scrupulous in your approach then the Deniers jump all over you and claim it as proof of their case. … Unfortunately the Deniers then immediately claimed the submission as justification of their case and the pro’s got upset because they felt it was too harsh.

    Unscrupulous spin artists don’t care what you do or don’t do – they will find a way to dump crap on you EITHER way. Trying to be 100% scrupulous rather than 99.99% because of this dynamic is probably ultimately a waste of time. You might be better off tackling the false meme they use head-on and pointing out that 100% is not possible, but genuine scientists are a LOT closer to it than the deniers .

    Or as it’s often put in the commercial world – “manage expectations” sometimes stated “set appropriate expectations”. Don’t allow unrealistic expectations to sink in, or to be implicitly or explicitly set as a benchmark.

    Comment by Lotharsson — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:34 PM

  233. “”"”Nah! Linden’s been bottom feeding for at least a decade now. I lost all respect when he suggested that warming on Mars, Jupiter and Pluto might have the same cause as warming on Earth in his closing argument in a public debate. He knows better. He quit doing science a long time ago.”"”

    Not to beat a dead horse, however the book the “Heat is On” by Gelbspan, who conceived, directed and edited a series of articles that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1984 for the Boston Globe, goes extensively into Richard Linden’s psyche and documents Richard Linden’s history including his motivations (available at Amazon.com)…

    It ties in closely to what peer reviewed author Naomi Oreskes is currently documenting in her book Merchants of Doubt…Both Oreske’s and Gelbspan’s works compliment each other in a facinating way. Oreskes gives an overview of the strategy, the brains, and history of the operation and Gelbspan gives the point of view from the trenches of one of the hired soldiers(at least gathering from what Naomi Oreskes says in a lecture).

    Gelbspan did not have access to the whole picture when he wrote his “Heat is On” several years ago. Oreskes fills in the missing parts with about five years worth of research.

    In a lugubrious sort of way, it is a fascinating documented story of how a small dedicated group of people built a brilliant (if you are into that sort of thing) organization from an idea and dominated the largest superpower on Earth’s politics and policies for about 50 years…not to mention the world’s agenda…absolutely amazing.

    It needs to be made into a movie or play…it certainly has all the elements…and it will end like a Shakepearian drama at this rate as well… filled with irony and paradoxes. You couldn’t ask for a better movie plot.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 8 Mar 2010 @ 9:53 PM

  234. To David Colquhoun:

    Your repetition of denialist talking points about CRU is not civil. Your tone is irrelevant to the fact that you continue to misrepresent the FOI issue, and you have no excuse, by now for not knowing better. Therefore, whatever standards of civility you’ve maintained in your own environment, in the past, are abandoned, therefore, by you, whether or not also by the people who tried to get you to acknowledge facts and reality and an accurate history of this campaign.

    What part of the answers you’ve received to your petitio principii questions was wrong, and why? “I don’t know” is now an excuse, not a justification.

    Comment by Marion Delgado — 8 Mar 2010 @ 10:13 PM

  235. Can we get back to science?

    Two of five is great if one is a major league batter, but it stinks for RealClimate to have only two of the five features on the current page relating to actual science.

    The other three are complaining about people complaining, and how unfair it all is. If I wanted opinion pieces about how climatologists are being maligned, there are plenty of sources for it; but RC seems to be the only scientific site that has the right balance of science terminology and common vernacular in its summaries.

    Small hint: playing the victim or grandstanding righteous indignation is not persuasive. It is only affirmative to those already in agreement and empathetic by default.

    Comment by Frank Giger — 8 Mar 2010 @ 11:00 PM

  236. A generalization about over-generalization.

    1) A while ago, I posted a discussion of why people don’t believe climate models”, where the specific reasons varied by discipline, but the base reason was over-generalizing from a specific discipline’s constraints and behavior to others, without realizing that.

    2) The same thing happens with software in general: the more specialized someone is, and the longer they have been working in that specialty, the more likely they are to assume that other areas of software work the same.

    3) And finally, the same thing is true of data.

    I suggest a parallel between the arguments that finally yield the post where a biochemist just could not accept that climate models might not work, and it took a while to understand why.

    Anyway, I think some of the arguments with David C are of this sort. I have run into other (good) scientists whose initial reaction is “share the data of course, what’s their problem?”: because they haven’t looked into the context carefully enough.

    *Context* is really important.

    Comment by John Mashey — 8 Mar 2010 @ 11:27 PM

  237. The previous political decade had a right wing government muzzling climate scientists and their reports to keep the citizenry in the dark regarding new findings.

    Now that they’ve been voted out of power for that sort of thing the denier’s tactics exploit FOIA to keep the climate scientists busy with… busy work. And of course defending why they weren’t getting out what we weren’t supposed to see fast enough.

    Comment by Tim Jones — 9 Mar 2010 @ 12:15 AM

  238. 203: “These are not universal characteristics of lay people – and in fact I find the exact opposite. Do not confuse the often strident and confused people who show up in blog comments with the much larger populace. – gavin”
    Sorry, Gavin, but I think Bob is closer to right than you are. Most Americans are disrespectful of intellectuals; and they believe some very impossible things. If I elaborate, I am sure to get edited, so I will instead ask again that you add some social science professors to the RealClimate team. Do you [Gavin] live in a college town where the average opinion is more than usually influenced by the college? Try taking a poll out here in the sticks.
    Bob is also correct that we will win the argument eventually. It is just that it will be too late by then.
    Better education would certainly be helpful as well, but again, we don’t have centuries in which to turn the situation around. We are stuck with people as they are.

    My question is: Would I be better off giving up on humanity and concentrating on finding a way to move to Mars? That way I could watch from a safe distance while Earth becomes another Venus. That would be Depressing. But perhaps a dozen people could survive. I think I know why E.T. has not arrived yet. They did the same thing most people are doing and went extinct. We have such a slim chance of becoming the first species in our galaxy to avoid/evade/overcome the GW/fossil fuels trap.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:54 AM

  239. 183, Ray Ladbury: All of the heat transfer from Earth’s climate system is due to radiation, or if you disagree, do please explain how convection or conduction would remove heat from Earth into the inky blackness of space.

    I think that you mean “empty blackness”. If it were like ink, convection and conduction would work fine.

    That’s supposed to be humorous. I couldn’t resist.

    Comment by Septic Matthew — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:59 AM

  240. #223 Donald Oates said, “I’m fairly confident Monckton knew ahead of time” about the IoP submission.

    Have a look at this article.

    http://climaterealists.com/attachments/database/Vested%20interests%20scary%20as%20any%20climate%20change%20scare.pdf

    If you haven’t thrown a brick through your screen before you get to near the end you will see that “Terri Jackson, MSc MPhil founder of the Energy Group at the Institute of Physics” refers to “my colleague Lord Monckton”

    Comment by Slioch — 9 Mar 2010 @ 5:25 AM

  241. I think that Ike Solem has occasionally issued warnings about the energy * world.

    The IoP’s fiasco illustrates the difference between energy research and climate research. The former is most important, and includes some excellent work but the cultures are quite different. The energy world consists of good and bad all together, lots of opinion and speculation, economics often of the right wing neoliberal kind, subsidies from industry, good technology, arguments about priorities and money. People have to get involved with it, but I think a clear line should be kept between all that stuff and climatology, both in the books and in the better blogs.

    The bureaucrats at the IOP have failed to keep this distinction clear. The result is that some people from the energy world have been allowed to speak for the whole energy world and even for the physics and climatology world. Don’t they have enough controversy and uncertainty of their own?

    In a similar way, I am in favour of a default policy in Realclimate to oppose the inclusion of comments about the relative merits of fusion,fission, solar,wind and the use of the free market etc. and whether it is easy or hard to convert to renewables. The validity of global warming science has nothing to do with such questions whatever the contrarians say. RC’s strong point is climate and its high reputation depends on that. An outstanding exception is when it comes to geoengineering which might affect the climate.
    ———————————
    [* A trivial point; even the terminology is different; global warming occurs because of energy conservation but the fuel world's problem stem from the fact their energy (e.g. Gibbs free energy) is not]

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 9 Mar 2010 @ 6:36 AM

  242. “RE: 168

    Dear Mr. Colquhoun,

    Data Integrity
    I just checked out the first two paragraphs of your blog in regards to the recent
    issues. My first knee jerk reaction was “Snake Oil Salesmen” dressed in medical
    coats in regards to cloning and cancer research. I stopped to think a bit about
    your post above and I considered that medical research is likely a prime example of
    how a study can reflect erroneous conclusions based on data. Over the years there
    has been many papers touting this or that in regards to the ways to be healthier or
    to live longer. But, in the end the result is still going to be terminal.

    This is no different with the general Earth, Physical or Chemical Sciences. In
    nearly every case you will find that there may be data that points in different
    directions; however, in the end the overriding indication is that the data leads to
    a frank conclusion. Time and additional information will out…

    At issue here is not that the terminus of the conclusion is wrong; but, the method
    of building the system to examine the data. For the un-initiated, the scientific
    peer review process was an outgrowth of the former National Scientific Committees,
    Academies and Societies. (Most of which pre-date the Medical equivalents.) That
    the initial works were kept in check by a relative few who desired to maintain a
    status quo and political power were finally pricked by the free press and the
    ability to publish with only a review by experts in the respective fields. This
    process has served science well for over two centuries.

    Financial Gain
    That there is a great liberalization with anyone with a keyboard and a public access
    account can now publish has put a crimp on many media outlets, the prime one being
    the print media. The problem is that the abilities in this industry have not
    translated well to the modern media. Copyrights have in essence left the building
    as have the ability to protect them. That financial or other benefits had been
    related to the print media and the “rights” had gaged the potential compensation
    there, the point is this is no longer the case in the new media environment.

    Access
    What I see many skeptics crying about is the lack of access is unjust. What I see
    on behalf of the scientists or researchers is that their work is being hijacked with
    commercial gain made and they are not compensated for their contribution. When you
    discuss the pharm’s you discuss their “hiding” of data or studies.

    What you do not discuss is the flip side or the gains they make off the works of
    researchers. What would happen if all formulas for medicines and the preparations
    of them had to be made public? To go even further, what if all the equipment and
    chemicals used in the preparations had to be available to anyone who wanted them…

    Before we go much further with the freedom of access to data and the ability to
    replicate experiments or analysis let us start matching up apples with apples… As
    I have suggested before, please let us be more careful before drinking the KoolAid
    (CR)…

    Cheers!”

    My Thanx,

    Dave Cooke

    Comment by L. David Cooke — 9 Mar 2010 @ 9:55 AM

  243. Geoff Wexler says:

    In a similar way, I am in favour of a default policy in Realclimate to oppose the inclusion of comments about the relative merits of fusion,fission, solar,wind and the use of the free market etc. and whether it is easy or hard to convert to renewables. The validity of global warming science has nothing to do with such questions whatever the contrarians say. RC’s strong point is climate and its high reputation depends on that.

    I think a far better idea is to insist that the energy research scientists adopt the same standards as climate research scientists when it comes to release of instrumental data, paleoclimate data, computer model codes, and anything else related to their research. Hence, if RC is going to discuss energy research, it must apply the same standard of analysis that it does to any climate science topic – and that, RC has failed to do, understandably enough.

    Without much exception, energy research scientists these days are doing applied work. There is still very little money available for basic research into renewable energy generation – the only funding agency is the DOE, and while reporters refuse to take the time to analyze the DOE budget, I have – and there’s almost nothing there for public university research financing for renewable energy programs – which is why you won’t find an Institute of Renewable Energy on any major university campus in the United States – although you will find dozens of ocean science institutes, earth science institutes, departments of petroleum engineering, and so on. This is because the federal government controls the purse strings for university research, and due to the powerful influence of fossil fuel lobbyists, the funds for renewable energy research were quickly eliminated from the DOE a few years after the DOE was formed in 1976.

    The basic issue is that renewable energy spells the end of the fossil fuel industry, and with it much of the wealth than banks have come to enjoy over the 20th century. The reason is simple, and thus widely ignored – but perhaps you need to know the history of the fossil fuel & nitrogen fertilizer industries. The industry managers worked off an inversion of an old saying, something like this:

    “Sell a man a fish, make a tidy profit. Teach a man to fish, put yourself out of business.”

    With renewable energy, you are converting the energy of wind and sunlight to electricity and stored chemical potential. Fossil fuels are just the stored chemical potential of sunlight – locked away in isolated locations. If you can control access to the isolated location, you can then sell the product to those who don’t have any other options. Since sunlight is globally distributed (with an advantage for the equator), there’s no way to control access. You don’t get to sell power, just equipment to harness natural power.

    No problem, you say – the businesses will just manufacture electric cars instead of gasoline powered cars, and everything will continue as before. However, the industry has always known that the real money is not in the cars, but in what feeds the cars. If the cars can feed themselves using sunlight – well – what then?

    Obviously, from the Exxon CEO view, there’s a huge need to prevent technological innovation from undermining fossil fuel profits – and that need was met by ensuring that the federal government wouldn’t finance real renewable energy research. The main drivers here are probably the large banks and holding companies, who typically have investments in fossil fuels at least ten times their investments in vehicles, etc. For example, Barclay’s holds $14 billion in Exxon, $1 billion in Ford. If Ford started making a lot of all-electric cars that people liked, they might rise in value, but Exxon would plummet. Similar deals exist with the investors in power utilities, coal mines, and coal-hauling railroads – much of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway business is involved in such deals. Are they going to invest in a solar project that undermines all that? Unlikely.

    So, those are the kinds of political pressures that come into play at the DOE – which is a highly politicized body, much more so than the NSF or NIH, whose director is not a Cabinet Secretary. In fact, there’s a good argument that the DOE should be an independent agency like the NIH or NSF – one that disperses funding to research programs instead of to private contractors with highly dubious records.

    One conclusion is that climate scientists should be very happy about the overall quality of their work, particularly in comparison with the energy research field.

    As an illustrative example: One of the main claims made over the past decade or so is that clean coal, carbon capture and sequestration, and the resulting ‘zero-emission coal-fired power plants’ were going to allow us to burn coal for electricity without emitting any CO2.

    Any request for proof of such claims runs into the brick wall of public-private partnerships and proprietary information. You can’t send a request to a private company – at least, they don’t need to respond. You’d have to subpoena them in court. This is despite the federal government pouring billions of dollars in funding into such research – the proprietary restrictions take precedence over any notion of scientific transparency or the open exchange of information. This model of research… well, it was the mainstay of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institutes of preWWII Germany, the public-private corporate model. That worked out great, didn’t it?

    To understand the issue, imagine if the code for all the climate models was protected the same way MS source code was protected, and the raw instrumental data was handled the same as raw drug trial data? That is, kept hidden behind lock and key?

    Nevertheless, despite their obsession with scientific integrity and complete transparency, when it comes to examining the “CCS research” of the past decade – you don’t hear anything at all. This goes for the IOP as well – they’re not going to conduct an independent analysis into CCS claims, I’m guessing.

    Comment by Ike Solem — 9 Mar 2010 @ 11:01 AM

  244. “I know of none that is more transparent than climate science, and in large part that s due to the IPCC. ”

    This claim may well be true but ignores how selective the IPCC is, or rather how selective of whom and what the governments are that fund climate research.

    [Response: The selection is based on experience and merit. Please keep in mind that the IPCC is supposed to represent the best knowledge we have on climate science. Hence, the IPCC needs to work with the best scientists. -rasmus]

    The IPCC critics/ sceptics I know and respect, have not been funded adequately if at all, certainly not by the oil&gas industry who, by the way, have not been losers in the energy game over ‘decarbonisation’.

    [Response: The IPCC doesn't fund science or scientists. The contribution to the IPCC work is voluntarily, and funded by respective countries/governements. The question then is: Why are they not funded? And who are they? It's impossible to judge this comment without more specific details. -rasmus]

    A problem with IPCC science that is published in the full reports after peer review is that the peers that are taken note of (almost anybody can make comments!), are selected by ‘cliques’ – you may prefer communities- of authors. (I was a peer reviewer once and know of research into this subject)

    [Response: The science published in the IPCC reports represent the publications in the scientific literature. The IPCC assesses the state of the climate science. Any relevant peer reviewed article should be discussed. Do you mean that some are missing? Please provide specifics. -rasmus]

    More important in undermining the IPCC ‘s claim to be representative of all science relevant to climate is that the selected science (selected to predict warming) is then summarised and further simplified into the ‘Policy-makers’ summaries. These short and precise publications are importnat for policy and propaganda, I mean advocacy. They are negotiated simplifications that serve the objectives not off science, but of the global energy agenda of a handful of governments (the majority of governemnts are being bribed to join in). All sides present gain, as long as teh science lobbies fulfil their part of the bargain – a happy symbiosis in which only the truth suffers. The truth is uncertainty and ignorance about the what ‘really’ climate is and how it changes over time, and with what effects.

    [Response: I believe that the SPM provide a reasonable overview of the main reports. I also think that the policy is to provide the best available knowledge bout our climate to the society. Fairly sinister, eh? But if you disagree, please provide specifics. -rasmus]

    Comment by Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen — 9 Mar 2010 @ 1:44 PM

  245. Gee, Sonja, maybe if the “skeptics” ever published anything in a real peer-reviewed scientific journal (as opposed to E&E) they might actually get funded.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  246. 244 Rasmus,

    I agree that scientific expertise are important when selecting IPCC authors, yet this is not the only criteria and authors are not selection by the scientific community. It is Governments that propose authors. The selection is hence not free from political concerns, it would be naive to believe that governments are only interested in scientific expertise. Moreover, IPCC take explicit consideration to geographical representation. Hence, also geography are important selection criteria that has nothing to do with scientific expertise, but much to do with some kind of “democracy” in science. IPCC is a hybrid organisation between science and policy, that is important to not forget.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:33 PM

  247. http://www.ipcc.ch/activities/activities.htm#1

    “… the IPCC also seeks the widest selection of experts. Not only are nominations from governments and participating organizations sought-out, but self-nominations are also possible from qualified experts who can participate in the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report and act as Coordinating Lead Authors (CLA), Lead Authors (LA) and Review Editors (RE) for the report.

    The nomination period opened on 15 January and is closing on 12 March 2010! We urge everyone with scientific technical expertise to apply for the nomination process ….”

    Click the link for more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 9 Mar 2010 @ 2:47 PM

  248. #165 #166

    …sorry guys, beyond the pale, I´m afraid.

    Comment by simon abingdon — 9 Mar 2010 @ 3:20 PM

  249. A lot has been is being said about the CRU E-mails in this context. Has anyone looked at

    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/

    There is much that is speculation in there, but also much that puts the E-mails in a damning light. Has anyone tried to come up with a point by point rebuttal that is more than just a character assassination of the author?

    Comment by Joe — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:26 PM

  250. re 244 Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen says:
    9 March 2010 at 1:44 PM
    “I know of none that is more transparent than climate science, and in large part that s due to the IPCC. ”

    “”"”This claim may well be true but ignores how selective the IPCC is, or rather how selective of whom and what the governments are that fund climate research.”"”
    __________________________________________________________________________
    Sonja, I know you are scared of big government, and you want a laissez faire government, and you are opposed to government regulation in all forms like your mentors Robert Jastrow (Astrophysicist), Fred Seitz president of NAS- consultant to RJ Reynolds), William Nierenberg (nuclear physicist) and I honor that.

    However, what you are doing is wrong- plain and simple. It is backfiring. It will ironically result in a big government takeover anyway because of no other choice to combat the coming human-caused climate change emergency which you personally helped to create as a result of your 30 year delaying action on climate change.

    The Carter administration was ready to start action on human-caused climate change in the 1970s. Had that happened without political interference from your party (You know what I mean…and it is not the Republicans, either) and as a result of your party’s delaying tactics like in case of the ozone layer [boy, were you lucky on that one], tobacco, acid rain, and DDT, small government (that you like) could have phased in global warming regulations slowly and you could keep your small government.

    I know you mean well, but you are wrong to be doing what you are doing.

    I am sorry you had all the problems with your original form of government from where you originated..it must have been terrible…however, I doubt the USA would turn into that form of government with all of our checks and balances…

    Sonja, the more you and your party keep delaying remedial action on human-caused climate change, the worse it will get even faster… and the more and more likely it is that the big government takeover that you fear will happen…don’t you see that?

    You were lucky on the ozone layer (it wasn’t too late to solve it by the time your delaying actions ended)…but now you have catastrophically miscalculated on human caused global warming…it’s a lot worse and happening a lot faster then you had originally calculated…and your wish came true…delayed action…now it might be too late to avoid catastrophe and a massive (as in ma_tial l_w) possible future government takeover… of the very thing you were trying to prevent.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:31 PM

  251. I found this July 2008 one with a “nice” article entitled “Reliability of CO2 Ice Core Studies” by one Zbigniew Jaworowski (in/famous?), here: http://www.iop.org/activity/groups/subject/Energy/Newsletter/file_31726.pdf

    Comment by melty — 9 Mar 2010 @ 4:50 PM

  252. “…the selected science (selected to predict warming)..” Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen — 9 March 2010 @ 1:44 PM
    Is Greenland ice sheet mass loss accelerating, or are van den Broeke et al “selectively” reporting the science? http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/326/5955/984?
    Is Arctic ice extent declining, or is William Chapman “selectively” reporting the science? http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seasonal.extent.1900-2008.jpg
    Is Arctic sea ice thinning, or is Katharine Giles “selectively” reporting the science? http://www.esa.int/esaCP/SEMTGPRTKMF_index_0.html
    When Schwertdfeger (1976), Raper et al. (1984), Jacka (1990), Weatherly et al. (1991), King (1994), Jones (1990), Jacka and Budd (1998), King and Harangozo, (1998), Jones et al. (1999), van den Broeke (2000), and Vaughan et al. (2001). are essentially unanimous in their finding that the Antarctic Peninsula has warmed since the 1950s, are they just “selectively” reporting the science? Did that “selective” reporting cause collapse of the Wilkins and Larsen ice shelves?
    Are glaciers losing mass, or is Mauri Pelto “selectively” reporting the science? http://www.nichols.edu/departments/glacier/global%20glacier%20mass%20balance.htm
    Are global temperatures rising, or when Roy Spencer says “February was second warmest in the 32-year record, behind Feb 1998 which was itself the second warmest of all months.” is he “selectively” reporting the science? http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/UAH_LT_1979_thru_Feb_10.jpg

    Dr. Stephen Colbert famously said that “reality has a well-known liberal bias”- is it selectively altering itself to match alarmist predictions?

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 9 Mar 2010 @ 7:07 PM

  253. See: http://www.cognitivepolicyworks.com/2010/02/23/obama-tea-parties-and-the-battle-for-our-brains/

    Good ideas from the psychology department. But how do we implement them?

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 9 Mar 2010 @ 8:48 PM

  254. Joe says: 9 March 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Sorry, I bogged down when the polemics became waist deep and further progress into his morass of wild conjecture proved impossible. Without wading further into the swamp, what he reveals of his prejudice by his own expression is more than adequate to form a conclusion as to the utility of his speculative fiction here in the material world.

    As to surmising on the author’s character outside of his writing as he presents himself, I could not care less.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 9 Mar 2010 @ 9:22 PM

  255. Greetings all.

    Sorry to join the debate late but as a Physics graduate the steam is still coming out of my ears over this one.

    Has anyone had any official answers from the IoP yet about their infamous Energy Sub-group and why it contains (or has contained) the likes of Terry Jackson and Peter Gill or why they are allowed to spout deneir propaganda in the name of the IoP?

    Comment by Martin Porter — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:37 AM

  256. Joe says: 9 March 2010 at 4:26 PM said:

    “A lot has been is being said about the CRU E-mails in this context. Has anyone looked at

    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/

    There is much that is speculation in there, but also much that puts the E-mails in a damning light. Has anyone tried to come up with a point by point rebuttal that is more than just a character assassination of the author?”

    You warn me against resorting to character assassination and then link to a piece which begins by calling the main characters “conspirators”! I couldn’t be bothered to read it all, mainly because the author appears to want scientists to be something other than human. They are not allowed to hold opinions on any other science, or any other scientist, without becoming a part of some massive conspiracy.

    Does anything on that page refute the basic science? No, but that’s not the aim is it? The aim is to insert doubt into the “debate” by smearing those who the author disagrees with. Hence the selectivity of the quotes. If there are two emails, one of which looks damning and another which explains the first email and undamns it, Costella only mentions the first email and totally ignores the exculpatory email. He isn’t looking for the truth.

    Comment by Dave G — 10 Mar 2010 @ 4:47 AM

  257. This piece is “sour grapes”. CRU has been criticised, I think legitimately, and the author does not like it. Tough.

    The main point made here seems to be:
    “But everybody else does it…”

    Good grief, you sound like my 8 year old daughter!

    We need more responses like the Met Office who are endeavouring to make some sense of the multitude of data sets, looking hard for past errors (rather than trying not to) and correcting them in a very public way.

    When this data is finally shown to STILL produce a warming trend, as of course it will, then that is the best way to silence the critics.

    Just as most of the public and press seem to be getting more sceptical of AGW I personally am getting more and more convinced. However grumpy bad tempered responses to legitimate criticism like this are not helping the AGW case.

    I am where I am because I have been reading the science – but I have had to looke elsewhere to find it. Get back to the purpose of this blog guys. CRU screwed up and they deserve to be hauled across the coals. As a disinterested external observer I recommend this blog should wise up and move on.

    More science please!

    Comment by Matthew L. — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:13 AM

  258. 250 Richard Ordway,
    Interesting. That reminds me of Ayn Rand, her aggression and quasi-philosophical thinking, all motivated by her hatred of communist russia…

    But the problem is not the blind fanatism of the Ayn Rands of the world, but the blind fanatism of the Rand-roids

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:23 AM

  259. “257
    Matthew L. says:
    10 March 2010 at 5:13 AM

    This piece is “sour grapes”. CRU has been criticised, I think legitimately, and the author does not like it.”

    Only if you’re right and the criticism is legitimate.

    HINT: You’re wrong. It’s not legitimate.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:10 AM

  260. Matthew L.,
    First, you have 4 independent datasets that all show roughly the same warming trend.

    Second, the so-called FOI requests were clearly abuse of process, as is indicated by the fact that the senders never intended to use them for research, were told where to find available data and what data required permission and then proceeded to spam CRU–with its staff of 13 people–with over 40 FOI requests in a weekend.

    My, but the revisionist historians start early, don’t they?

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:19 AM

  261. When this data is finally shown to STILL produce a warming trend, as of course it will, then that is the best way to silence the critics. – Matthew L.

    No, it will not silence the “critics”, because their denialism is not based on rational grounds at all, but on combinations of financial interests, ideology (usually “libertarian”, but in the case of Alex Cockburn for example, cornucopian Marxist), conspiracy theories, and compulsive contrarianism. You have become more and more convinced because you are prepared to look at the science and accept what it tells you, but that is simply not the case with the vast majority of “critics”. To understand denialism – in a wider context than climate science – I strongly recommend the blog http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/, particularly the “About” and “Denialists’ Deck of Cards” sections.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:12 AM

  262. @ Nick Gotts.

    You are right. I have posted on a libertarian forum for years, and arguing about global warming with them is like banging your head against a wall. I haven’t met a single libertarian who isn’t a denier. Their absolute fall-back position, which they use when all else fails, is that scientists are funded by government and are therefore untrustworthy. Pointing out that plenty of good science has come from government funded research doesn’t affect their certitude at all – AGW is different because it is being used as a pretext to install a world government with increased control of people’s lives and far higher taxation. All of this is stated as if it were fact and these “facts” permit them to ignore any evidence at all.

    On the same forum, there used to be a poster who argued that nuclear power and weapons did not exist, notwithstanding the USA’s use of two nukes at the end of WW2 and all the nuclear power stations around the world. Libertarians joined me in ripping this idiot’s arguments to shreds on the basis that it would need a conspiracy of immense proportions. But those same libertarians now allege, without a trace of irony, a conspiracy of similar proportions with regard to AGW.

    Comment by Dave G — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:54 AM

  263. re. Andreas Bjurström says:
    10 March 2010 at 5:23 AM
    250 Richard Ordway,
    <<>

    I was tracking some of this at the place that I used to be. Naomi Oreskes, a respected peer reviewed scientist whose work holds up over time, has a lot of this in her upcoming book of five or so years of research, Merchants of Doubt.

    Comment by Richard Ordway — 10 Mar 2010 @ 11:58 AM

  264. #261 Nick,
    “No, it will not silence the “critics”, because their denialism is not based on rational grounds at all.”

    A fair point, but that is not a reason not to look hard at the data and try and find errors in it. [edit]

    [Response: Who ever claimed it was? - gavin]

    I am a bit of a fan of the UAH satellite data particularly this site:
    http://discover.itsc.uah.edu/amsutemps/execute.csh?amsutemps+002
    The fact that the data gatekeepers, Christy and Spencer are skeptics (I think “deniers” would be unfair in their case) is probably a good thing as they are continually testing the data to see if it can yield a reason why the blindingly obvious global warming that it does show could be mistaken. Occasionally they do find errors and fix them.

    [Response: Perhaps you'd care to ask them if their raw data and code are available on a public website so that you can check all their workings? Or you can explain why that is ok for them, but not for CRU. - gavin]

    We need a few more climate scientists willing to test and stress the surface data record in the same way. You don’t need to be a skeptic to do this and it looks like the UK Met Office are making a good start with their proposals. Shame it took Climategate to make it happen.

    [Response: Nonsense. People have been examining and correcting these data for years. - gavin]

    Comment by Matthew L — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:40 PM

  265. > libertarians
    http://www.ginandtacos.com/2008/08/31/atheistsfoxholes-libertariansairplanes/

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 12:58 PM

  266. Dave G.,
    You know, you really have to wonder about an ideology that requires rejection of science as a prerequisite for its validity, don’t you?

    Soviet Communism and Lysenkoism?

    YEC and Creationism/ID.

    Libertarianism and climate science.

    You’d think the latter two would draw some conclusions based on the first.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 1:01 PM

  267. 263 Richard Ordway,
    Yes, Oreskes is a good researcher. Her new books seems very interesting. Thanks for suggesting it (I watch her talk at http://climateprogress.org)

    (to bad that Nick Gotts can´t like this good and useful book and must deny all the empirical studies that it is based on, since Oreskes is somewhat STS related. Must deny all STS … :)

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 10 Mar 2010 @ 3:55 PM

  268. @ Ray Ladbury

    Maybe libertarians have a cunning plan, involving point blank denial of AGW, which results in insufficient action being taken to combat the warming, which leads to the predicted bad things happening, which causes social unrest, which results in the overthrowing of government. And then everybody embraces libertarianism and lives according to dogmatic principles ever after. It’s about the only chance they have of ditching the apparatus of government.

    If that is their cunning plan, and all of that does come to pass, then I hope the remaining people remember who opposed the measures which might have averted the warming.

    But I suspect their attitude is more about an inability to admit that governments may be able to do good things which benefit humanity.

    @ Hank Roberts.
    Thanks for the link, Hank. It was an entertaining read. I think I’ll post it on the libertarian forum that I use and watch them try to find reasons why libertarianism isn’t really like that.

    Comment by Dave G — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:26 PM

  269. Perhaps you’d care to ask them if their raw data and code are available on a public website so that you can check all their workings? Or you can explain why that is ok for them, but not for CRU.

    I have never seen the “free the data! free the code!” people go after UAH. Not that I’ve looked all that hard but this really sticks out.

    Comment by dhogaza — 10 Mar 2010 @ 5:30 PM

  270. “Perhaps you’d care to ask them if their raw data and code are available on a public website so that you can check all their workings? Or you can explain why that is ok for them, but not for CRU.”

    Has anyone ever asked them for it? Gavin, are you claiming that you asked them for it and they refused?

    [Response: No. But then I don't work on that subject and I don't usually bother people for no reason, and more importantly, I'm not the person demanding that every piece of code ever used for anything must be made available to anyone at the drop of a hat. I'm just enquiring as to whether the commenter above held everyone to the same standard. - gavin]

    [edit]

    [Further Response: For some background, read this testimony from 2006 (search for the passage beginning "I want to ask Dr. Christy"). - gavin]

    Comment by Reasonable Observer — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:15 PM

  271. Matthew L — do have a look, maybe you can find it.
    I tried for a couple of minutes with Google and Scholar, no luck.
    But I couldn’t honestly request access since I can’t do anything useful.
    Perhaps you can.

    Apparently this guy did; at least it turned up when I tried searching:

    HISTORY, POLITICS, AND CLAIMS OF MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING
    JD Lewis – Social Philosophy and Policy, 2009 – Cambridge Univ Press
    “… In 1989, NASA scientists Roy Spencer and John Christy developed the first global temperature data set from satellite microwave data. Satellite data collection remains the most comprehensive and reliable global measurement method. … …. ”

    That’s a Google search snippet; the paper is paywalled so I don’t know for sure what he looked at or where he found it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:32 PM

  272. This is a bizarre post. In answer to a series of substantive points raised by the IoP, you:

    1) Shift focus from the transparency of climate scientists to whether critics are transparent enough.

    2) Shift focus from the transparency of climate scientists to the transparency of other disciplines.

    3) Shift focus from the IoP’s recommendations for climate science to whether or not the IoP meets said recommendations.

    Is this what RC has descended to? The IoP made a host of claims and recommendations, included some that pertain to substantive scientific matters (not just transparency issues), and this is all you have to say in response?

    Comment by Joe Duarte — 10 Mar 2010 @ 6:40 PM

  273. RE- Comment by Joe Duarte — 10 March 2010 @ 6:40 PM”

    All three of your points are perfectly logical ONLY if the science of climate scientists at the CRU has NOT been transparent. The IoP statement stands as an accusation of non-transparency not unlike a political ad exhorting an honest person to be honest. All of your points are perfectly consistent with someone, or climate researchers in this instance, that have been wrongfully accused in this manner. Please show some evidence of wrongful conduct by the CRU scientists, otherwise your comment are just a part of the denial business enterprise.

    Steve

    Comment by Steve Fish — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:23 PM

  274. > Joe Duarte
    > substantive points

    Were addressed, such as they were. The openness request is to the publishers, you realize? You read the links above about the open archiving that goes back for many years and the contention with publishers over paywalling articles?

    You realize IOP is a publisher? Try this: what do you see?
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=IOP+%22Institute+of+Physics%22

    Ironic?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:23 PM

  275. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/images/si/Science%20Idol%2009/James_MacLeod_web.jpg

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:39 PM

  276. Joe Duarte, perhaps you missed this post on the first page. I don’t speak for RC, but personally I give IoP’s opinion all the respect it deserves.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:53 PM

  277. Joe Duarte says, “The IoP made a host of claims and recommendations,…”

    Yes, it’s a masterful effort of creative writing. However RC prefers to keep things based in reality.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 8:59 PM

  278. Matthew L. says, “We need a few more climate scientists willing to test and stress the surface data record in the same way.”

    Uh, Dude, there are always little tweaks being done to the data–corrections, filtering, etc. Denialists keep claiming that this is the entire source of the warming (ignoring the fact that melting ice and phenological data also indicate warming). Now you come along and claim they aren’t looking at all? Sheesh!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:04 PM

  279. I’m not often surprised, or offended, but comment 250 really is too much. What’s this [edit] martial law stuff? Surely not because Sonja is German?

    Comment by HotRod — 10 Mar 2010 @ 9:39 PM

  280. In the IoP statement, the following was written:

    “2. The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital. The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner. This extends well beyond the CRU itself – most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other international institutions who are also involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change.”

    I stress this section for one and obvious reason. The Information Commissioner(I.C.) finds lack of compliance and it extends beyond the CRU itself.

    The implications are quite apparent and the logic of the I.C. is spot on. Forget about finger pointing and name calling, etc. This statement is a call for the scientific method to bear the weight of the truth and not the wishings of a few men to convey a certain truth that they wish to project into the scientific community.

    This statement by the IoP for open exchange of data and procedures never should have had to be made. The hacked e-mails surrounds the possible reason why the emails were hacked in the first place. A man of some integrity, but lacking scientific knowledge asked for data to be submitted for review and he was subsequently treated in ways, as mentioned in those emails, quite negatively.

    If the scientific method had truly been applied here and the data been revealed to be scrutinized and reviewed and tested, the scientific community wouldn’t have to defend itself. Yet, for reasons that are not forthcoming, all of science now bears the weight of scrutiny for the lack of openness.

    Science. Without it we would had never made the advancements in todays society without it. Science can’t be shamed or embarrassed of its truth. It just is. But a few men decided not to reveal the truth, or exaggerate the truth or not reveal the whole truth, solely for purposes that over time, we might begin to understand.

    This statement by the IoP will help achieve a step in the right direction to that understanding, of how men of science, ventured away from the scientific method and how science as a whole may feel vindicated by upholding to the standards of science that were established hundreds of years ago, yet may still live on today, because of this statement.

    Good Day,

    David Alan

    [Response: If the statement had just stuck with calling for openness and transparency, it would not have received the attention it did. No-one disagrees with the basic principle. But the passage you highlight conflates a number of issues and casts completely unwarranted aspersions on the international community of researchers and the IPCC. Please explain how anyone in the US for instance, is bound by any UK FOI request? No possible issue that the IC may have had with how one person's UK FOI request was handled at CRU has any relevance to the international community of scientists or how IPCC's conclusions were arrived at. This paragraph simply takes an widely reported (but rather ambiguous statement) by the IC and spreads guilt by association to everyone whose email was hacked. This is a completely inappropriate statement for the IoP to be making, especially since they appear to have performed no investigation of the issue themselves. - gavin]

    Comment by David Alan — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:44 PM

  281. Comment 270, Reasonable Observer: I believe that Inferno at Denial Depot has requested Spencer’s code and received no reply: http://denialdepot.blogspot.com/2010/01/satellite-raw-data-is-adjusted.html#comments

    (and yes, Inferno is not a serious researcher, but one could argue that most of the “skeptics” that keep pestering Mann and CRU and so on are not serious researchers either, in a different way. I have vague recollections of Lucia at the Blackboard making a request of this type, but am very unsure of that…)

    Comment by Marcus — 10 Mar 2010 @ 10:59 PM

  282. > Hotrod
    Active imagination? you’re the first to use the N-word, accusing someone else — who didn’t. Fantasy control please.

    Yes, we’ve got plenty of people saying climate can’t be a problem because the only answer would be action implemented by government and business outside the libertarian limits.
    Life’s like that sometimes.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:02 AM

  283. “The Information Commissioner(I.C.) finds lack of compliance and it extends beyond the CRU itself.”

    Apparently not.

    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/ICOcorrespondence

    Oh, and the FOI request currently of concern appears to be about *e-mail*, NOT *data*.

    Much of the remainder of your argument appears to rest on … somewhat contended assertions.

    Comment by Lotharsson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:26 AM

  284. Can we get back to the issue of this article, please, which was the IoP submission?

    Has anybody heard any news from the IOP? Have they given any clarification on the statement and on the authors of the statement? Have any of the Science Board Members clearly stated if they support or disagree with the statement? Have their been any internal reviews in IoP how this happened, how to get better quality control in future and how to be more transparent in their memoranda?

    Look at what’s happening in this discussion: Here are serious questions about how IoP handles the whole thing, but the comments here are mostly the same standard fights that you can read in hundreds of blogs, while the IoP seems to be completely forgotten and just walks away and behaves as if it has nothing to do with them. How convenient!

    Comment by Stephan — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:15 AM

  285. re 282 Hank

    Hank – there were better ways of making the point in 250 that he wished to make without the not-so-veiled references to German political history to make an ad hom attack on Sonja, and malign her motives. Whoever it was should learn to debate more respectfully.

    Comment by HotRod — 11 Mar 2010 @ 5:11 AM

  286. David Alan,

    You might be interested to learn that no decision has been made by the ICO about the CRU – let aolone anything extending “beyond the CRU itself”, and no allegations had been put by the ICO to the UEA as of 1 February. You can see the correspondence between the UEA and ICO on the matter at Correspondence between University of East Anglia and the Information Commissioner’s Office. It was, incidentally, the Deputy Information Commissioner who made the statement to the Sunday Times, without having the courtesy to inform the UEA he was going to do so. The IoP statement thus contains outright falsehoods.

    I would have thought, that as a “man of science”, you would have taken the trouble to acquaint yourself with these facts. (By the way, I believe there are even some women of science these days.)

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:03 AM

  287. #264 – In line responses from Gavin to my post
    “A fair point, but that is not a reason not to look hard at the data and try and find errors in it. [edit]
    [Response: Who ever claimed it was? - gavin]

    Well I did, in the bit of my post you edited out where I stated that I thought Jones was more guilty of carelessness (admitting to losing RAW data among other things) than obfuscation. Maybe Jones had been actively looking for errors in his own data and processing, but I doubt it. I think it no coincidence that the Met Office found a serious error affecting practically the whole data set just after it took over looking after Crutem3 and HadCrut3.
    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/crutem3/jan_2010_update.html

    Anyway there are Government and police inquiries going on and if Jones has done absolutely nothing wrong then that will no doubt come out in the reports.

    Re: Christy and Spencer:
    [Response: Perhaps you'd care to ask them if their raw data and code are available on a public website so that you can check all their workings? Or you can explain why that is ok for them, but not for CRU. - gavin]

    Not being a scientist I would have no idea what to do with it. You would have more clout than a member of the public. Perhaps you could do the request and post the answer to the request here? Maybe you have done so already. I would be genuinely interested to see their response. My opinion of them would definitely be reduced if they did not give a reasonable answer.

    Their data is still very interesting though, particularly the clear evidence it provides of a warming troposphere at the same time as a cooling stratosphere – a clear signal of greenhouse gas accumulation. Maybe they don’t release their raw data, but you can review all the processed data on a daily basis.

    [Response: And you can review the CRUTEM3 data on a monthly basis (it being a monthly series). Daily data are available via NCDC. So why the double standard? Either you have some principle you are defending or you are deciding ad hoc based on something completely arbitrary. - gavin]

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:07 AM

  288. Matthew L (257): CRU screwed up and they deserve to be hauled across the coals.

    BPL: No, they didn’t and they don’t. They were made to look that way by a concerted disinformation campaign orchestrated by Steve McIntyre and others and spread across the blogosphere by dupes like you.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:27 AM

  289. Andreas Bjurström,
    I am by no means opposed to empirical studies of scientific practice such as that of Oreskes. The history of science and technology, and the recent field of scientometrics (which is how I would classify Oreskes’ work), are both fascinating and important. What I do oppose is the sort of relativist and extreme constructivist nonsense the term “Science and Technology Studies” usually covers – Michel Foucault, Steve Fuller, Bruno Latour, Harry Collins etc. – which claims to study science and technology while ignoring, if not denying, the strong constraints which extra-societal reality places on scientific findings and technological developments. Interestingly, Latour himself has come to recognise the dangers of the relativist and extreme constructivist approach:
    Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 6:28 AM

  290. a quick update on the IOP submission for anyone interested:
    I asked them which IPCC graphics they were referring to in point five of their submission, which mentions suppression of data.
    They just responded: Figure 2.21 in chapter two of WG1 in the third assessment report. (you can probably guess what that is)

    [Response: For reference, Fig 2.21. Discussion starts here. "Several important caveats must be borne in mind.... " - gavin]

    Comment by david adam — 11 Mar 2010 @ 7:10 AM

  291. Re 285–

    HotRod, I think you’re reading something in that isn’t there/wasn’t intended.

    As I read it, the Richard’s post (@250) is not insinuating anything: it is arguing in a straightforward fashion that:

    1) the various forms of science denialism mentioned are historically continuous with climate denialism, constituting the ideology of a (presumably) informal quasi-political “party” which is strongly opposed to big government–which wouldn’t characterize the Nazis, would it?–and that

    2) in the case of climate denialism, there is likely to be a paradoxical effect, whereby the shortening of the timeline for mitigation and adaptation imposed by denialism, combined with the severity of the stresses which climate change will impose upon society, will make severe actions (up to and including martial law) by government inescapable.

    I don’t see any “ad homs”–a somewhat bitter and intemperate tone perhaps, but I think Richard sticks to his point. Of course, I could be wrong–it’s happened before, here and elsewhere!–but such a reading seems much more straightforward to me than the insinuating and tortured construction you make in which the words “your party,” combined with a German name, are supposed to conjure up images of the Third Reich.

    Perhaps the issue is that the outcome of martial law seems implausible to you, which prevents you from considering the scenario Richard proposed. All I can say about that is that his past posts lead me to believe that he certainly believes them to be plausible and even likely.

    I’m not so pessimistic as he is, but I sure hope he’s wrong. Unfortunately, it’s not easy to bound the risks of climate change–that’s a big part of the responsibility of the IPCC, after all. And unbounded risks are not the friends of a complex technological society highly dependent upon expensive and vulnerable infrastructure.

    Can we say that food and fresh water insecurity, major economic dislocation, displacement of millions of climate refugees and serious environmental degradation won’t result in martial law somewhere–perhaps many “somewheres?” I don’t see any way at present to be sure that such things won’t or can’t happen, and I think it’s unquestionably true that denialism raises the chances of such an outcome by making it very difficult to look at the question objectively.

    (How many thousands of hours have been spent addressing zombie arguments such as the “saturated CO2″ argument, or the “CO2 lags temperature” argument? If you know the history of the science, they’ve have been dead for decades or more in a scientific context–even if they live a ghastly half-life in the blogosphere. Those hours could have been devoted to much more intrinsically productive uses. But here we are. . .)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:40 AM

  292. Anyone who follows Matthew L’s link@287 will see that the vast majority of stations are completely unaffected, contrary to the impression he gives.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:47 AM

  293. #287 BPL
    I don’t read McIntyre’s blog, mainly because it is as dull as ditchwater. I do read the papers though and it is clear from this letter from the Information Commissioner’s Office published on the University of East Anglia’s web site:
    http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/ICO+response+to+UEA
    that there is a prima facie case to answer that is not being prosecuted only because it is time barred.

    I note you think Jones was misrepresented but it is clear that the ICO have major misgivings. The inquiry will decide whether or not he has a case to answer. How are you so certain that “they didn’t and they don’t”? If it is so clear, why is there an inquiry going on at all?

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 8:58 AM

  294. Matthew L, you’re reading it wrong.

    That was a statement that merely stated in the same sentence that

    a) Disobeying a law like FOIA is illegal.
    b) That it the statute of limitations has run out.

    Nothing there saying that illegal disobedience of FOIA happened.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:10 AM

  295. [Response: And you can review the CRUTEM3 data on a monthly basis (it being a monthly series). Daily data are available via NCDC.
    I know, I do my own graphs and amateur fiddling with their (processed) data myself.

    So why the double standard? Either you have some principle you are defending or you are deciding ad hoc based on something completely arbitrary. - gavin]

    I don’t have double standards, I think you have missed the point of my post. I would expect UHA to be as open as UEA/CRU. If they are not that is a bad thing.

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:11 AM

  296. “292
    Nick Gotts says:
    11 March 2010 at 8:47 AM

    Anyone who follows Matthew L’s link@287 will see that the vast majority of stations are completely unaffected, contrary to the impression he gives.”

    I believe I posted on another thread that this is SOP for denialism. Doesn’t matter what the link says, just give it and say what you like.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:14 AM

  297. #292 Nick,
    You misunderstand. My point is that virtually every monthly data point in the series is affected, not every weather station. I know this because I plot the data myself and it was a (minor) pain to have to download the whole series again rather than just update the latest couple of years (they usually make corrections over two years as extra data is added).

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 9:21 AM

  298. #264 CFU
    Aha, I see the RealClimate police are patrolling… ;-)

    My impression of the content of the letter is a bit different from yours. In particular this sentance:
    “The prima facie evidence from the published emails indicate an attempt to defeat disclosure by deleting information. It is hard to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence.”

    Definition of Prima Facie evidence: On first examination, a matter appears to be self-evident from the facts.

    You need to have prima facie evidence to pursue a case. Your statement that “Nothing there saying that illegal disobedience of FOIA happened.” is of course true as the only place where a statement that “illegal disobedience happened” can be judged properly is a court of law.

    However the fact that there is Prima Facie evidence means that there is a case to answer. Unfortunately for the ICO “the matter cannot be taken forward because of the statutory time limit”. I think this is unfortunate for Prof Jones as well, as if he has been misrepresented he does not now have a chance to defend himself and we are all left with the “prima facie” evidence rather than a legal judgement.

    I will let the reader decide which of us is getting the message from the letter that the ICO intended.

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:02 AM

  299. Kevin if I misread it I apologise to whoever it was that wrote it.

    I found this piece interesting, somewhat related.
    http://www.slate.com/id/2247487/

    Comment by HotRod — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:56 AM

  300. Matthew L.

    @297:
    Then “affecting practically the whole data set” was a very sloppy way to express your point.

    I think you may be right about the message the ICO intended; however, that institution is not immune from criticism any more than the CRU. It was grossly unfair of the Deputy Information Commissioner to give the statement he did to the persistent journalist Leake, without even the courtesy of informing UEA or the affected individuals he was going to do so; and must cast some doubt on his objectivity in this matter. You may also note that the ICO’s investigations are under way, and a decision will take some months to arrive at. A pity the Deputy Information Commissioner did not simply say that to Leake. All the nonsense about the ICO having no responsibility to correct media misinterpretation is a remarkable abdication of responsibility by a public body.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 10:58 AM

  301. Matthew L. says: However the fact that there is Prima Facie evidence means that there is a case to answer.

    No data or emails were deleted; no crime was committed.

    Hacking UEA was a crime, and when the perp is found, much will be revealed.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:26 AM

  302. “The prima facie evidence from the published emails indicate an attempt to defeat disclosure by deleting information. It is hard to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence.”

    There is no evidence of deletion of information.

    The emails are no proof, no more than if I email someone “I could kill that bloody dog who keeps pooping in my garden” is proof I have killed animals.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 11:33 AM

  303. #299, 300 Jim, CFU
    How do you know that no data or e-mails were deleted? Surely that is what the the ICO was going to investigate had it not been time barred – and what the inquiry is still looking into?

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:06 PM

  304. Matthew L.
    The ICO is investigating, as the very letter you linked to says. The time limit for a possible prosecution has passed, that does not prevent an investigation.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:28 PM

  305. “303
    Matthew L. says:
    11 March 2010 at 12:06 PM

    #299, 300 Jim, CFU
    How do you know that no data or e-mails were deleted?”

    How do we know you’ve stopped beating your wife?

    We don’t know any data or emails were deleted, and emails that were PURPORTED to be deleted are available in the very same stolen archive. As have several datasets that have been described as having been deleted.

    Given that several cases exist where the statement “emails and data has been deleted” is proven wrong, the onus is on you to show that some data has gone.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 11 Mar 2010 @ 12:28 PM

  306. #300 Nick
    I think “very sloppy” is a bit harsh. Maybe the correct word should have been “series” rather than “set”, but it is a pretty fine distinction.

    What is your view of the fact that it was not just one mistake but six sets of mistakes that were being corrected?
    – Normals for stations in Australia and New Zealand
    – Standard deviations
    – Additional stations in the US
    – Re-cycled Canadian station ID
    – Incorrect latitude and longitude values
    – Missing minus sign: Baruunturuun, Mongolia

    I think “very sloppy” would be better applied to the work that led to these mistakes.

    Clearly somebody at the Met Office Hadley centre has undertaken a quite in depth audit of the data since they took it over from UEA/CRU. I would not be surprised if it was finding these errors that led to this much overdue announcement:
    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2010/pr20100224b.html

    A fair point about the ICO and bad manners. However, I don’t think you can call their objectivity into question. I would be very surprised if the ICO had any “denialist” agenda :-)

    Just the usual British over-zealous bureaucracy at work.

    Comment by Matthew L. — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:03 PM

  307. Not directly on IOP’s, but relevant to another misguided U.K. committee submission, namely that of Steve McIntyre (also includes the forthright rebuttal of spurious claims from CRU’s Tim Osborn).

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/10/mcclimategate-continues-yet-another-false-accusation-from-mcintyre-and-mckitrick/

    How do they get away with it? That’s the inevitable question as I examine one of the most specious – and despicable – “climategate” allegations from contrarians, namely the oft-repeated claim that climate scientists at East Anglia University’s Climate Research Unit inappropriately adjusted certain tree-ring temperature proxy data to provide a better match with instrumental temperature record.

    In an extraordinary interview with FoxNews in December of last year, economist Ross McKitrick alleged that scientists were “faking the match” between proxy and temperature data. McKitrick averred this was “not being honest with the reader” and even invoked a comparison to falsified experimental medical research. Stephen McIntyre of ClimateAudit recently claimed that the “artificial correction” seemed “to have entered the CRU toolkit” (in his submission to the U.K. parliamentary committee examining allegations arising from stolen CRU emails, no less).

    Yet a close examination of the computer code and ensuing research bears out the key contention of the firm rebuttals from East Anglia University, as well as CRU scientist Tim Osborn, namely that the specific adjustments in question were for private exploration only and never incorporated into CRU scientists’ subsequent published research. So, once again, McIntyre and McKitrick have made odious and unfounded accusations, based on non-existent evidence. They should withdraw these specious allegations immediately.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 11 Mar 2010 @ 1:54 PM

  308. “I stress this section for one and obvious reason. The Information Commissioner(I.C.) finds lack of compliance and it extends beyond the CRU itself.” David Alan — 10 March 2010 @ 10:44 PM

    “The Information Commissioner’s Office decided that UEA failed in its duties under the Act …” Jonathan Leake @ http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7004936.ece

    In correspondence with The University of East Anglia, Deputy Information Commissioner Graham Smith has confirmed that Leake was lying.

    “As stated above, no decision notice has yet been issued and no alleged breaches have yet been put to the University for comment. That matter has yet to be addressed, but it will be over the coming months.”
    “Errors* like this are frequently made in press reports and the ICO cannot be expected to correct them, particularly when the ICO has not itself referred to penalties or sanctions in its own statement.”
    Graham Smith http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/ICO+response+to+UEA

    *Spock: “Ah! Mr. Scott. I understand you’re having difficulty with the warp drive. How much time do you require for repair?”
    Scotty: “There’s nothing wrong with the bloody thing.”
    Spock: “Mr. Scott, if we return to Space Dock, the assassins will surely find a way to dispose of their incriminating footwear, and we will never see the Captain or Dr. McCoy alive again.”
    Scotty: “Could take weeks, sir.”
    Spock: “Thank you, Mr. Scott. Valeris, please inform Starfleet Command that our warp drive is inoperative.”
    Valeris: “A lie?”
    Spock: “An error.” tnmc.homestead.com/Q20StarTrek6.html

    Comment by Brian Dodge — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:45 PM

  309. ML@306 – Your interpretation re “finding these errors” appears a bit cavalier: “The new analysis will add to, and refine, the existing data sets which all show global and continental-scale multi-decadal trends of increasing temperatures, following on from the pioneering work of the University of East Anglia (UEA) over the last 30 years.”

    Comment by flxible — 11 Mar 2010 @ 2:53 PM

  310. Just to be really clear who was saying what
    — the first 2 lines of 308 above are quoting from the posting David Alan wrote here at RC (March 10th, 10:44pm). David Alan was there quoting the IOP’s statement to Parlaiment.

    The IOP statement was wrong, per the quote in 308 from Graham Smith

    The IOP got it wrong;
    David Alan repeated the IOP error.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 11 Mar 2010 @ 3:51 PM

  311. Matthew L. says: 11 March 2010 at 10:02 AM said:

    “You need to have prima facie evidence to pursue a case. Your statement that “Nothing there saying that illegal disobedience of FOIA happened.” is of course true as the only place where a statement that “illegal disobedience happened” can be judged properly is a court of law.

    However the fact that there is Prima Facie evidence means that there is a case to answer.”

    There is only a case to answer if a crime has been committed. As the Deputy Information Commissioner talks of “a potential offence”, it is clear that he is undecided about whether an offence has been committed. Does “prima facie evidence” relating to a “potential offence” amounts to “a case to answer”? Not in any reasonable legal system, or any reasonable person’s mind.

    Comment by Dave G — 11 Mar 2010 @ 5:50 PM

  312. @ #286 Nick Gotts says: “I would have thought, that as a “man of science”, you would have taken the trouble to acquaint yourself with these facts.”

    You say I should acquaint myself with the facts. The section of the IoP statement that I address is where it says: “The lack of compliance has been confirmed by the findings of the Information Commissioner.”

    You also make mention of an article in the Sunday Times.

    I don’t know if this is the same article you are referencing, but in it, and here’s an excerpt from that article:

    Professor Jones denied that he had tried to prevent alternative views being published by influencing the process of peer review under which scientific papers are scrutinised.

    He said: “I don’t think there is anything in those e-mails that supports any view that I have been trying to pervert the peer review process . . .” He added that it “hasn’t been standard practice” in climate science for all data to be disclosed.

    Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Conservative Chancellor and a leading climate sceptic, said that those who wanted to check the university’s research should not have been forced to resort to making requests under the Freedom of Information Act.”

    Phil Jones himself mentions that he influenced the process, but not to prevent alternative views. So he says. The fact remains. He acknowledges he attempted to influence the peer review process.

    Thats the facts.

    [Response: Every time any scientist writes a review they influence the peer-review process. When did "influence" become a dirty word? Plus this has absolutely nothing with the FOI request in question. - gavin]

    In addition, Hank Roberts in comment #310 says: ” The IoP got it wrong; David Alan repeated the IoP error.”\

    Gentlemen, I feel this is one of those elephants in the room moments. If Phil Jones says he tried to influence the peer review process and the I.C.O. says that he wasn’t in compliance, where can you sit there and say there is an error by either me or the IoP ? I don’t know how it can be more concise.

    [Response: The issue is not conciseness but relevance. Are you of the opinon that the ICO is supposed to be policing journal reviews? Or that FOIA is designed to improve peer review? - gavin]

    Let me remind you gentlemen.. and ladies, that the statement made by the IoP and my remarks regarding this whole affair are not to place blame, but to bring back credibility were credibility lacks because of this self evident disclosure. ‘Men of Science’, and I include myself in this discussion, must learn from the mistakes of others or we are bound to repeat them. The scientific method must be applied to all sciences, even climate science, as I am surely aware Phil Jones is at this very moment.

    David Alan

    Comment by David Alan — 12 Mar 2010 @ 12:15 AM

  313. “I would be very surprised if the ICO had any “denialist” agenda :-)

    Comment by Matthew L.”

    There’s no need for an agenda just to be wrong.

    And the deputy here was wrong.

    As are you.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 12 Mar 2010 @ 3:56 AM

  314. # Dave G.
    we are getting way OT here. But seeing as you ask…
    “There is only a case to answer if a crime has been committed.”

    Not always. It quite often happens that a criminal case will turn not on whether a particular person committed a crime, but whether their actions constituted a crime or not.

    A person’s defence may be that they admit to the action, but that the action was legal (or at least not criminal). In these instances the “case” that needs answering is whether or not a crime has been committed.

    The ICO has prima facie evidence that a crime has been committed. They will investigate and see whether one has or hasn’t in their opinion. It might well be that the ICO thinks an action by the CRU was criminal, but the CRU’s defence may be that it was legal.

    Comment by Matthew L — 12 Mar 2010 @ 5:07 AM

  315. The comments section at

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/41965

    is conducting a kangaroo trial. The Annex to the original IoP submission used a dog-whistle and the dogs are now holding a rally.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 12 Mar 2010 @ 5:53 AM

  316. Well, there’s a big opportunity for everyone to correct some misinformation.

    Physicsworld.com (a website of the Institute of Physics) has an article on the IoP submission. Check out who’s first in the comment list banging on about deleting proxy data, etc.

    ‘Concerns raised over Institute of Physics climate submission’ March 11.
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/41965

    It takes a minute to sign up. I’m quite gobsmacked by some comments already made there.

    Comment by J Bowers — 12 Mar 2010 @ 7:17 AM

  317. #313 CFU
    Nick was questioning not whether the ICO was “wrong” but whether they are “objective”.

    In this case to be “objective” means “undistorted by emotion or personal bias”. I don’t know about emotion (he seems a bit angry) however I doubt whether you could accuse him of bias. As I said, I doubt whether he is bothered either way about the science behind global warming.

    You can be “objective” and wrong as well as “subjective” and right.

    Comment by Matthew L — 12 Mar 2010 @ 7:43 AM

  318. Matthew L says: 12 March 2010 at 5:07 AM

    “The ICO has prima facie evidence that a crime has been committed.”

    Not unless they know that emails were actually deleted. If no emails were deleted, no crime was committed and evidence, prima facie or otherwise, becomes irrelevant.

    Comment by Dave G — 12 Mar 2010 @ 8:15 AM

  319. ML 315: “In this case to be “objective” means “undistorted by emotion or personal bias”.”

    Nope, it means be objective. As in don’t accept one side’s story.

    The emails are an edited subset of a theft of much larger data volumes preselected to imply whatever denailists need to be seen.

    The Objective way to look at the data is to see if there really is a problem.

    This neither the Deputy ICO nor you have done.

    [edit]

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 12 Mar 2010 @ 8:38 AM

  320. PS re 317 where did “Nick” come from?

    “I would be very surprised if the ICO had any “denialist” agenda :-)

    Comment by Matthew L.”

    is a comment by you, ML, not Nick.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 12 Mar 2010 @ 8:39 AM

  321. # 320 CFU
    PS re 317 where did “Nick” come from?
    The post I was commenting on when I made this statement was #300 Nick Gotts, where he states:
    “It was grossly unfair of the Deputy Information Commissioner to give the statement he did to the persistent journalist Leake, without even the courtesy of informing UEA or the affected individuals he was going to do so; and must cast some doubt on his objectivity in this matter.”

    and I reply in #306

    A fair point about the ICO and bad manners. However, I don’t think you can call their objectivity into question. I would be very surprised if the ICO had any “denialist” agenda :-)

    Anyway I think we have flogged this one to death. I have made my point and you have made yours. Feel free to have the last word.

    Comment by Matthew L. — 12 Mar 2010 @ 11:41 AM

  322. I just love this– irony so thick and gooey and dripping all over, it threatens to suffocate:

    In a statement, the IOP says it regrets that its submission to the inquiry has become the focus of what it calls “extraordinary media hype” and that the evidence “has been interpreted by some individuals to imply that the IOP does not support the scientific evidence that the rising concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is contributing to global warming”.

    “Extraordinary media hype”, “interpreted by some individuals to imply”. Delicious. Beautiful. You can’t make this stuff up.

    Eat crow, sloppy, careless IOP. Now walk in the other person’s shoes.

    Read the rest of the IOP’s eerily familiar words here:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/41965

    BTW, I don’t think I was the first to point out on this site that IOP’s “evidence” would explode, messily. Sure enough.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Mar 2010 @ 3:37 PM

  323. You wrote, “The IoP statement, however, fails to note that the issue of transparency is far more general applicable than just to mainstream climate science. It should also involve the critics of climate change, as noted by New Scientist.”

    The only question here is the data and methods used to publish articles in scientific journals. These must be publicly available. Don’t confuse any document with an article in a scientific journal.

    You also wrote, “The irony of this affair is that the IoP will not disclose who were responsible for the original statement, thus not living up to the standards they set for others.” There is no irony here. There is a big difference between asking for data and methods for an article in a scientific journal to asking the names of people who wrote a report. The first is to reproduce scientific resulsts, but the second is for a witch hunt.

    Comment by addis — 12 Mar 2010 @ 4:46 PM

  324. addis: ” There is a big difference between asking for data and methods for an article in a scientific journal to asking the names of people who wrote a report. The first is to reproduce scientific resulsts, but the second is for a witch hunt.”
    Actually in this case, the 2nd is to identify the witch hunters. The accused have the right of knowing the origin of the accusations IMO.

    Comment by flxible — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:17 PM

  325. addis says: 12 March 2010 at 4:46 PM

    There is a big difference between asking for data and methods for an article in a scientific journal to asking the names of people who wrote a report.

    An anonymous attack on the character of individuals who in turn sign their name to their own work is inherently defective with regard to accountability and credibility, “addis.” If the authors of the report believe what they wrote and have no credibility issues of their own, they should have absolutely no problem being accountable for their work.

    Comment by Doug Bostrom — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:46 PM

  326. Re addis: “Witchhunt” against IoP? That’s rich.

    Comment by Jim Galasyn — 12 Mar 2010 @ 6:47 PM

  327. addis, I believe that the members of IoP have a right to know who is speaking in their name, don’t you?

    I for one would be quite curious about how such a wildly imaginative document as the “IoP statement” could have come out with the IoP impramatur. No, this isn’t a witchhunt. We know witches don’t exist. Dishonest energy execs…they do exist, in spades.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 12 Mar 2010 @ 7:19 PM

  328. 289 Nick Gotts,
    Oreskes is a professor of History and Science Studies. It is telling that you have to do an definition exercise to exclude science studies from her expertise to be able to conclude that you can accept her research.

    (I very much agree with your critique of extreme relativism).

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 13 Mar 2010 @ 10:35 AM

  329. It is interesting to observe the opprobrium being heaped on the IoP because it relied on its normal internal procedures to produce its statement and did not ballot everyone of its members. Previously many august institutions such as the American Institute of Physics and teh Royal Society have produced statements supportive of the “consensus” view using exactly the same processs, i.e. without balloting all their members and the reaction here was, well nothing.

    [Response: The issue is not the issuing of statements, but whether they made enough effort to know what it was they were talking about. No one is calling for a ballot on every issue, but the backlash the IoP is feeling is a strong indication that this statement was not in line with the informed opinion of their membership. You didn't see a reaction to their statement on climate science, or the AGU statement, or the AMS statement etc., because these were. That is what 'consensus' means. - gavin]

    Comment by Arthur Dent — 13 Mar 2010 @ 1:02 PM

  330. 329 Arthur Dent
    I’m not sure the point has been made here yet but there is a big difference in a professional society making a statement on a scientific issue such as AGW and making a submission on emails stolen from scientists and taken out of context. It is impossible to draw and conclusions from emails as to whether good or bad scientific practise had been or was being carried out at CRU. The IOP should surely have rather said that it was outside of their area of competence to comment. At the very least a competent dendrologist should have been consulted on the “hide the decline” statement. The IoP statement was ill-considered at best.
    But the self-righteous manner in which denialists are spinning this proves once again their complete lack of scientific and moral integrity. And read this http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/03/over-reach.html

    Comment by Hugh Laue — 13 Mar 2010 @ 2:06 PM

  331. @Completely Fed Up @ 11 March 2010 at 11:33 AM

    [i] The emails are no proof, no more than if I email someone “I could kill that bloody dog who keeps pooping in my garden” is proof I have killed animals.[/i]

    A more appropriate analogy is if you emailed several people saying:
    “Please help me kill that bloody dog who keeps pooping in my garden, and pass the request along”.

    This would still not be proof that you have killed animals but it would be evidence in support of your role in a conspiracy (in the legal sense and not the tinfoil hat sense) to harm animals. Whether you were serious or if this constituted an actual offence in your jurisdiction would remain to be determined. But it would hardly be considered trivial.

    And whether the emails were inappropriately released by someone with legitimate access (eg a concerned colleague in a poorly access controlled environment) or hacked into by animal rights activists might affect whether a crime had been committed through this disclosure, but when the emails were recognized as authentic by the authors the facts remain to be addressed.

    The analogies used is debates like this tend to oversimplify. But it is a little more problematic when analogies that may be apt in one narrow sense lead reason well astray in other significant respects.

    Comment by peterr — 15 Mar 2010 @ 9:26 AM

  332. peterr: “A more appropriate analogy is if you emailed several people saying:
    “Please help me kill that bloody dog who keeps pooping in my garden, and pass the request along”.”

    Nope, that’s nothing like as close an analogy.

    And if the dog is still alive 8 years later, that is rather proof that YOUR email was hyperbole.

    Or is it Schroedinger’s Dog?

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 15 Mar 2010 @ 9:57 AM

  333. peterr says:
    15 March 2010 at 9:26 AM

    “A more appropriate analogy is if you emailed several people saying:
    “Please help me kill that bloody dog who keeps pooping in my garden, and pass the request along”.

    This would still not be proof that you have killed animals but it would be evidence in support of your role in a conspiracy (in the legal sense and not the tinfoil hat sense) to harm animals. Whether you were serious or if this constituted an actual offence in your jurisdiction would remain to be determined. But it would hardly be considered trivial.”

    To continue your analogy, the dog wasn’t killed, though. I understand that some of the emails which Jones suggested should be deleted, were actually amongst the hacked emails (and were thus not deleted). Until evidence emerges that emails which were the subject of FoI requests were actually deleted, I don’t think a crime has been committed.

    Comment by Dave G — 15 Mar 2010 @ 10:48 AM

  334. Oreskes is a professor of History and Science Studies. It is telling that you have to do an definition exercise to exclude science studies from her expertise – Andreas Bjurström

    On the contrary, it is telling that you distort what I have said, and the history of your own subject. If you look into the latter, you will find that “Science studies” is an older and more comprehensive term than “Science and Technology Studies” or “STS” – which is what I have referred to as objectionable. STS was founded in the 1980s by scholars committed to a relativist methodology. As Wikepedia says: “In the 1980s, a turn to technology occurred as science studies scholars such as Trevor Pinch and Steve Woolgar argued that technology could be examined using the principle of symmetry.” The so-called “principle of symmetry” is that science (and technology) should be studied in a wholly relativist fashion: “that science studies scholars should remain neutral with respect to the truth claims science makes: they should explain the success or failure of a scientific theory in the same terms. According to the Strong Programme, the outcome of all scientific controversies—successful or not—should be explained by social factors.” Oreskes, very obviously, does not work within this ridiculous constraint – hence she does not use the terminology “STS” or “Science and Technology Studies”, which are closely associated with it.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 15 Mar 2010 @ 12:12 PM

  335. Worth a read: “Institute denies censoring ‘global cooling’ article”, in the Times Higher Education supplement.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storycode=407763

    Terri Jackson, Peter Gill and Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen having a ding-dong with others in the comments section.

    “# Terri Jackson 31 August, 2009
    there is overwhelming evidence that the earth has been cooling since 2002 having been static since 1998. look at the proceedings of the World conference on climate change held in New York in March last and you will see that they all agree with me. these include Lindzen, Akasufu and other world names the very cream of climatology. several nobel laureates etc Look at the papers by Easterbrook, Corbyn etc. any warming effect there may be is NOT caused by humans.
    [...]
    # Peter Gill 22 November, 2009
    When you get back from your most recent walkabout Mark try googling CRU and Phil Jones. Poor old CRU have been seriously hacked. The e-mails and other files are all over the Internet and include how to hide atmospheric cooling, how to deal with freedom of information requests and other stuff that I feel sure you will find of interest. All the best as always.”

    Really.

    Comment by J Bowers — 15 Mar 2010 @ 8:21 PM

  336. 334 Nick Gotts,
    You dwell in the past. Much have happened within science studies since the 1980´s. Besides that, I´m an Human Ecologist.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Mar 2010 @ 2:42 AM

  337. You dwell in the past. – Andreas Bjurström
    That’s a very odd thing for someone supposedly interested in the history of science to say. Evidently your own presuppositions, and their historical roots and use to assert authority, are not to be questioned – only those of natural science. I was simply pointing out your misrepresentations, specifically your inaccurate conflation of “science studies”, which refers to an entire discipline, with “STS” or “science and technology studies”, which involves a commitment to the ridiculous “principle of symmetry”.

    Besides that, I´m an Human Ecologist.

    I couldn’t care less what you call yourself. I’ve criticised the views you have advanced and your claims to an expertise equivalent to that of climate scientists, when you are clearly ignorant both of elementary aspects of climate science – such as how GCMs are constructed and used – and the origins, aims and strategies of AGW denialism.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 16 Mar 2010 @ 5:28 AM

  338. “Besides that, I´m an Human Ecologist.”

    I had a look on ISI WoS but the only A. Bjurstrom I could find was an Anders (two papers including: Agren et al. (2007) Effective brain connectivity in social anxiety disorder – A Bayesian approach BIOLOGICAL PSYCHIATRY Volume: 61.) I’d be interested in seeing what Andreas has published in the field of Human Ecology though.

    Comment by Chris S — 16 Mar 2010 @ 7:05 AM

  339. 337 Nick Gotts,
    Every time I say something, you are attacking the straw man, but I don´t like him either. I agree with very few of the things you attribute to me.
    For example, I don´t believe in the principle of symmetry, or social reductionism, and science studies is not a discipline but a broad interdisciplinary field rooted in many different disciplines, and I don´t conflate science studies with STS in the way you claim I do (and bibliometrics is NOT part of science studies, but a discipline in its own right). I have not claimed “equivalence” whatever that means, different disciplines have diferent expertise, these are not equivalent. Do you want me to go on? Or perhaps time to bury your straw man?

    338 Chris S,
    Perhaps I´m an undergraduate student in my early 20´s or an old teacher that never have published anything? I wander why you are interested in me?

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 16 Mar 2010 @ 10:10 AM

  340. While even I, a non-expert, have noticed the egregious distortion in many statements from “skeptics”, I find it most unfortunate that doubters are sometimes met with accusations. On one hand, one has to accept that the situation is not so clear for the uninitiated, and they are needlessly put off by the accusations. There is usually no easy way to know who is actually dishonest when they repeat the spins and distortions or ask questions clearly based on misinformation or even conductive to further disinformation.

    On the other hand, one should have the wider readership in mind when writing responses. There will always be many more people reading without posting, and many who have not read all the earlier posts. Each question, and every misleading statement, is also an opportunity to talk to the audience. One should not be afraid of repeating oneself; one should explain things anew with endless patience, because the most important audience is just those who have not seen it before. Each such opportunity should be used to hone skills in explaining and putting right whatever need to be explained and put right. In light of this it does not matter at all if the original poster deserves your anger. Everything should be written with the silent audience in mind.

    Few things can be more unsettling to those who decide they would like to know more about this dispute, which they have seen in the media, and come to sites like this to have a glimpse of what is going on, what the discussion looks like, etc, than this barrage of mutual accusation. If instead one side is consistently polite, that will have much more lasting effect than a few points not made because one did not find the polite yet snappy way to explain it. One could fear that the readers do not discover how misleading the questions themselves are, or that they do not discover the dishonesty behind a question, but then one is easily led to overrate how long such damage lasts. An impression of honesty, integrity, real authority, etc, has an effect that lasts several times longer, so even if one does not manage to make such an impression each time, one can still win if one keeps trying.

    The public never really decides such questions based on scientific data. The public uses whatever they understand of the dispute to determine who they believe, that is, who they trust. Then they accept the judgment of those they trust.

    Comment by Enrique P — 17 Mar 2010 @ 3:07 AM

  341. I don´t conflate science studies with STS in the way you claim I do – Andreas Bjurström

    On the contrary, that is exactly what you did by claiming that I could not appreciate Oreskes’ work, on the grounds that “science studies” is included in her professorial title, whereas I had only ever disparaged “STS”.

    I have not claimed “equivalence” whatever that means, different disciplines have different expertise, these are not equivalent.

    You have most certainly claimed an equivalence of status between the expertise of natural scientists posting here, and that of such as Pielke Jr. Others have shown on the “Brown is Green” thread how completely unjustified this is. More broadly, there is a clear epistemic distinction between climate science and science studies (and the human sciences generally): the study object of science studies includes scientists themselves, who have extensive knowledge of what they do and why they do it: the climate, clearly, has no such self-knowledge. Obviously, individuals’ self-assessment should not be taken at face value; but nor should it be contemptuously dismissed as in your claims that natural scientists have no expertise relevant to science studies: simply by virtue of being practising scientists, they do.

    Do you want me to go on?

    No. I’d much rather you took the time to educate yourself on both climate science and the strategies, aims and history of denialism, before pontificating any further on matters where you are ignorant.

    Comment by Nick Gotts — 17 Mar 2010 @ 6:30 AM

  342. Yes, there is no equivalence, but a epistemic landscape where each researcher is very limited in their core expertise. Pielke know some things well that most physical scientists are ignorant about and vice versa. The problem is epistemic hierarchies: that disciplines like physics thinks they know much more than they actually do in areas outside their core expertise because they belong to holier than thou disciplines. That amplify ignorance. It is common that natural scientists think they understand society by being human beings, yet never studied any social science. Few social scientists claim expertise on the physical world from such an ignorant basis. Non-equivalence, in knowledge and power etc.

    Comment by Andreas Bjurström — 17 Mar 2010 @ 8:01 AM

  343. “340
    Enrique P says:
    17 March 2010 at 3:07 AM

    While even I, a non-expert, have noticed the egregious distortion in many statements from “skeptics”, I find it most unfortunate that doubters are sometimes met with accusations. ”

    However, you have just done exactly that yourself there, Enrique.

    All you’ve done is not named someone. This is no difference.

    Comment by Completely Fed Up — 17 Mar 2010 @ 8:23 AM

  344. IOP Energy Group founder is featured speaker at upcoming Heartland conference

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/03/18/iop-energy-group-founder-featured-speaker-at-upcoming-heartland-conference/


    The controversy over the Institute of Physics biased submission to the U.K. Parliamentary Science and Technology Committee’s investigation of the stolen emails from East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit is about to get a whole lot hotter.

    Terri Jackson, IOP Energy Group “founder” and a key proponent of various IOP pro-skeptic initiatives, is using her past association with the group to advance her new career as a “climate realist”. Her IOP affiliation is hammered in every interview and profile, and was listed with her signature to the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Challenge open letter to the U.N. Not only that, it’s the sole affiliation given for her upcoming stint as featured speaker at – wait for it – the upcoming Heartland Institute sponsored climate conference in Chicago, where Jackson will join U.K. contrarian heavyweights like Piers Corbyn and Lord Christopher Monckton.

    Meanwhile, disturbing indications have emerged that the IOP submission may have been leaked in advance to Monckton, raising new questions about the legitimacy of the submission and the process behind it. It’s high time the IOP stopped clinging to the pretense that all is well and started cleaning up this mess.

    Comment by Deep Climate — 18 Mar 2010 @ 8:14 PM

  345. Isn’t it time that some effort was made to discover the criminals responsible for the hacking? We are spending inordinate amounts of time and money in a defensive posture, and so little attention is being paid to this aspect of the attack. It would be a good thing to see the tables turned, especially if you consider the ‘law and order’ mentality of the likely perps.

    Comment by Andrew Carson — 2 Apr 2010 @ 10:34 AM

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