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Second CRU inquiry reports

Classé dans: — gavin @ 14 avril 2010

The Oxburgh report on the science done at the CRU has now been published and….. as in the first inquiry, they find no scientific misconduct, no impropriety and no tailoring of the results to a preconceived agenda, though they do suggest more statisticians should have been involved. They have also some choice words to describe the critics.

Carry on…


1,421 Responses to “Second CRU inquiry reports”

  1. 351
    Ray Ladbury says:

    John Peter, I am not saying that climate science or even climate change is simple. I’m saying that if you look at all of the evidence, it is simply an inescapable conclusion–and since science requires us to look at all the evidence, the rejectionists (more acceptable than denialists?) are of necessity anti-science. Scientists can no more treat with them than they can with creationists or moon-landing hoaxers. The reason for this has nothing to do with the “purity” of science. Rather it has to do with the inevitable tendency of anti-science wingnuts to turn every reasoned, evidence-based argument into a personal attack on the credibility of scientists and of science in general. Science works. It has proved its mettle. Those who reject its methodology are trying to become arbiters of truth based on an entirely unproven and indeed ad hoc mothodology. And that we as scientists must not allow.

  2. 352
    John Peter says:

    Bob @309

    Rupert Murdock owns Fox and much, much more. You’re right, tey don’t need any money

  3. 353
    Hank Roberts says:

    > John Peter
    > Quants

    Sorry, they fooled you (and the financial markets) by lying, not by being smarter:

    http://tech.mit.edu/V130/N18/dubai.html

    “… I assumed BCG would train me, and that as it had been with MIT, intelligence and hard work would prove sufficient. Still, I wondered what I would do if for some reason it turned out that I couldn’t get my head around the analysis? In hindsight, analytical skills should have been the least of my worries….”

    Your ‘Golden Rule’ is pure libertarianism, isn’t it? If so, why bother.

  4. 354
    John Peter says:

    dhogaza @310

    Judith believes in GW, all scientist’s must, the evidence is too strong.

    Judith is a bona fide academic climate scientist, believes the public has accepted AGW, is concerned by erosion of IPCC creditability with the public, and is pushing transparency as a solution.

    The public is fighting for the opportunity to invest in “green” projects and suspects IPCC of being another UN operation, tainted by corruption.

    I agree with Judith about the importance of reliable transparent data. I agree with you that we don’t know how to do that.

  5. 355
    Anonymous Coward says:

    The Democratic partisans here are in denial.

    Bob wrote: “Now is when the Democrats finally seem to have a chance to move on climate, but they can’t do so because the denialist movement has made it politically dangerous, so they really can’t move on it until after the mid-term elections.”
    How is the “denialist movement” stopping the Dems from doing whatever they like? What part of the US constitution entitles them to anything other than whining?
    It’s not only Fox and the other pro-Republican organizations which are pushing this “movement”. CNN lies too, as it did about Iraqi WMDs and any number of unrelatd issues. Go to opensecrets.org and look up who finances Dems such as Baucus. Didn’t Obama just open the US Atlantic coast for drilling? Climate inaction is evidently a bipartisan policy.

    BPL says that the Tories take climate change seriously in the UK. But what have they (or Labour for that matter) done about it? Did they invade Irak to make sure the oil stays in the ground?

    Saudi Arabia supports denialism and yet it did more to curb CO2 emissions than any of these political parties. It’s about power and money, not science.

  6. 356
    John Peter says:

    Bob@311

    Judith is looking at the politics, not the scientific facts.

  7. 357
    Rod B says:

    BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience?

  8. 358
    Rod B says:

    BPL, ps: though that hyperbole pales in comparison with your next stereotype post….

  9. 359
    Matt Bulger says:

    #341 BPL – Engineers build things. Scientists investigate nature.

    Now come on, you can’t really believe this can you? Are all scientists sitting in a library doing Hilbert Transforms while all engineers are building bridges?

    Where do JJ Thomson & Ernest Rutherford fit into this worldview?

    These types of silly statements are made often on climate websites on either side of the bruhaha & they make all hard-core advocates on either side look like bumpkins. BPL you are too smart to say things like this, please take better care of your credibility.

  10. 360
    dhogaza says:

    BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience?

    By embracing pseudoscience outside their field. For example, rejecting evolutionary biology in favor of pseudoscientific intelligent design creationism doesn’t impact an engineer’s ability to build a bridge or design a microprocessor.

    Ditto a belief in astrology, GCR-driven climate change, etc.

  11. 361
    caerbannog says:


    BPL, C’mon! How is it that engineers build things that work if they embrace pseudoscience?

    Why don’t you go to Texas or Louisiana and ask some creationist civil and petroleum engineers that question?

  12. 362
    Jim Galasyn says:

    caerbannog asks: Why don’t you go to Texas or Louisiana and ask some creationist civil and petroleum engineers that question?

    I worked at Boeing Commercial for a number of years, and I was surprised to find a couple of excellent aeronautics engineers who were also creationists. It’s a weird disconnect.

  13. 363
    Ray Ladbury says:

    Rod B., It does your credibility no good to distort what BPL said. Science and engineering are distinct. I would be no more inclined to fly in an airplane designed and built by scientists than I would to believe a theory constructed by engineers working outside their discipline. There are certainly plenty of engineers who understand science. There are plenty of scientists who work in applied fields and do engineering (myself included). The problems arise when someone with technical training (note that I do not say “education,” which connotes broad understanding) thinks that they can apply the tools of their trade well outside of their expertise WITHOUT going to extraordinary effort to learn the subject matter. Intelligence does not preclude being a fool–it merely makes one a more ingenious and innovative fool.

  14. 364
    John Peter says:

    Ray@351

    I agree that an attack on all scientists or science would be ill advised.I just don’t see how anyone can deny simple thermodynamics, we’ve been engineering using it for decades. My proposal is to debate folk like Monckton with my simple logic. He can’t deflect it and even the great majority will see it.

  15. 365
    John Peter says:

    Chris@324

    I agree – right on!!!

  16. 366
    John Peter says:

    ghost@335 (313)

    You say: “…As an aside, one anecdotal thing I’ve noticed among my peers is that the “contrarians” among them appear to be tiring of denial-hoax overload. Repetition of the same unsupported attack points coupled with the year-over-year absence of true rebuttal of the body of literature supporting the AGW hypothesis appears to be wearing on these people. They also had/have a ho-hum reaction to the CRU email thing, being quite familiar with how easy it is to be embarrassed by e-messages they have written. Maybe it matters; maybe it doesn’t.”

    Your more moderate statement above seems me to be just what Judith means when she opines

    “…In 2006 and 2007, things changed as a result of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” plus the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, and global warming became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. The reason that the IPCC 4th Assessment Report was so influential is that people trusted the process the IPCC described: participation of a thousand scientists from 100 different countries, who worked for several years to produce 3000 pages with thousands of peer reviewed scientific references, with extensive peer review. Further, the process was undertaken with the participation of policy makers under the watchful eyes of advocacy groups with a broad range of conflicting interests. As a result of the IPCC influence, scientific skepticism by academic researchers became vastly diminished and it became easier to embellish the IPCC findings rather than to buck the juggernaut. Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil

    Do you still believe that …the author’s hovercraft is full of eels as far as I’m concerned…. ?

  17. 367
    Ray Ladbury says:

    John Peter, Unfortunately, it does not work to engage anti-science in debate–we’ve seen that repeatedly wrt creationists and biologists. The problem is that scientists have to stick to the evidence and present it with all its qualifications and ambiguities or they aren’t doing science. The anti-science types are free to play Calvin-ball. The starkest example of this was when Richard Lindzen used his concluding remarks in a debate to bring up the canard of “warming” on Mars, Jupiter, Titan and other planets and moons. Now Lindzen is way to smart a guy not to realize that what goes on on these bodies is utterly distinct from what goes on in the inner solar system! I was shocked! It was right then that Lindzen stopped being a scientist in my view.

    The thing is that there is much more to science than “logic”. There is empirical evidence and the methodologies for interpreting it–in other words, expertise. If laymen are to be the judges of who wins the debate, then they have to understand the subject matter sufficiently to do so, and that is a very tough order. No. Scientific debate takes place in journals and conferences–and here the rejectionists have had nothing substantive to say for decades.

  18. 368
    John Peter says:

    BPL@342

    I thought BB supported BO in 2008. AIBTB. 8^)

  19. 369
    John Peter says:

    dhogaza @344

    I thought Judith said “auditor”, not “researcher”. My thesis adviser insisted I not make mistakes in cojtent (or even spelling) ;>)

  20. 370
    John Peter says:

    Geoff Wexler@345

    That’s exactly what Judith was trying to tell us.

  21. 371
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts@353

    Lying or telling the truth, quants follow the golden rule

  22. 372
    simon abingdon says:

    #351 Ray

    “I’m saying that if you look at all of the evidence, it is simply an inescapable conclusion–and since science requires us to look at all the evidence, the rejectionists (more acceptable than denialists?) are of necessity anti-science”

    Not so Ray. I think many sceptics are simply disagreeing with the interpretation of the science.

    CO2 doubling results in about 2-4deg warming, unarguably. Accepted, but only assuming a large net positive feedback from the (?enhancing) effects of water vapour etc.

    Ray, you scientists haven’t nearly sorted out the true effect of clouds yet, let alone a myriad of other chaotic effects. Who knows what the resulting feedback really is?

    In terms of real evidence, all the public sees is global temperature on a plateau for the last decade while CO2 emissions accelerate. Might not this recent (admittedly short-term) “experiment” be expected to start giving a reasonable person some pause?

  23. 373
    Walter Manny says:

    To Ray’s:

    “The debate between science and anti-science”

    “It was right then that Lindzen stopped being a scientist in my view”

    To reduce affairs to these sort of simplistic, black-and-white phrases is to try to define the debate into a dunk shot. There is no doubting the sincerity of such views, and how comforting to think it’s so blisteringly obvious that only a fool could see things otherwise (or in Lindzen’s case, a smart liar). But there are, in fact, scientists who disagree with each other in this field, and Lindzen is a bona fide, published scientist. What non-scientists here want to make of Lindzen is their choice, but he represents contrary science, not anti-science.

  24. 374
    Steve Bloom says:

    Re #366: This passage from Judy contains several large eels:

    ‘Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre. The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil…’

    Big oil funding for deniers did not dry up at all. ExxonMobil did shift much of its funding from specific think tank denial projects to general funding, with a net functional difference of precisely zero. See also some of the recent light cast on Koch family funding.

    Social scientists who actually study the media, e.g. Max Boykoff, disagree strongly that they ever “supported the consensus.”

    The only thing new about McIntyre was his use of the term “auditing” to describe his activities of picking out what he thinks are weak points in climate science and then arguing for much broader implications of the flaws he claims to have found. I rather doubt that’s the approach taken in the business world.

    If Judy is such a big believer in auditing, she ought to ask to see an audit of McIntyre’s finances before taking his word that he doesn’t receive any funding from big oil et al. For a scientist, she seems to like to jump to a lot of unsupported conclusions and take rather a lot on faith.

  25. 375
    John Peter says:

    Ray @367

    One more try:

    Climatologists, should they debate with X before the general public, should KISS. That’s what Lindzen did which so frustrated Hansen before Congress. Lindzen, with few facts, won even though Jim had many, many more facts.

    My solution is to use Ram’s zero dimensional model instead of Trenberth’s more complete, more complex one dimensional version. Both work, but Trenberth’s is more difficult – number one and has more easily attacked features, e.g. clouds – number two. Lindzen or any people savey jerk will tear you apart.

    Ram’s zero dimensional model is simple and has only three dependencies:

    1) Conservation of energy. All of the thousands of goodies that the audience uses were designed over the past century or so by engineers using this first law of thermodynamics.

    2) Boltzman’s radiation law. Undeniable. Solved thousands of astronomical science “problems” and many earthly device designs over the last couple of centuries.

    3) CO2, we’re wallowing in it. Carefully tracked for half a century.

    Stop there. That’s all you need to prove GW and win

    With simple extension, but only if necessary, AGW.

    Try to tell the whole truth and you’re skewered. Trenberth’s one dimensional model, whose numbers change all the time depending on which climate scientist is presenting, is always in agreement with Ram’s so your’re honest using Ram’s. May not be very scientifically exciting but you win. Even Monckton will be stuck, forced to “Hitler Youth” or some other insult or debating trick, easily recognized by your audience for what it is.

    Keep It Simple Stupid

  26. 376
    John Peter says:

    Matt Bulger@359

    You can’t investigate nature, sitting in a library.
    Most science is experimental. Ask Nobel – he left no prize for Hilbert Space mathematicians.

  27. 377
    dhogaza says:

    I thought Judith said “auditor”, not “researcher”.

    Let me generalize, then, to suggest that I wouldn’t want her as an advisor if she took watts and mcintyre as serious *anythings* other than PITAs doing their best to monkeywrench process in order to prevent any action to cut back CO2 emissions growth.

    Is that better?

  28. 378
    Judith Curry says:

    Several RC readers have emailed me, and after a quick perusal of the comments regarding my post at Bishop Hill, I have a few comments to make.

    I haven’t come across any posts in the blogosphere with my name on that were not written by me. I haven’t posted anything on RC in several years, although I did invite RC (gavin) to post something on my “Part II: Towards rebuilding trust” essay. Gavin declined, although he did email comments to me on the essay. I have not made any public statement regarding my not posting at RC. I post mainly on sites where I feel there is an opportunity to provoke people to think and challenge their own prejudices on a particular topic. I have posted on blogs ranging from climateprogress to wuwt, and I have received a broad range of responses, with highly negative responses coming from across the spectrum. I don’t stay away from blogs that aren’t “friendly” to me, and I rarely spend time trying to preach to the converted.

    So what am I up to? I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research. The charges of “groupthink,” “cargo cult science,” and “tribalism” have some validity in my opinion. The field of climate research faces some unique challenges owing to the extremely high relevance of our science for policy, and the scientists and the institutions that support the science have not yet adapted to dealing effectively in this highly charged and politicized arena. We need to have a broad discussion on how to improve this situation.

    As to whether I have gone over to the “dark side.” First, I’m not sure why we are talking about “sides” (that tribalism thing); we should be talking about science and how to improve the integrity of science. With regards to the “dark side,” there are people making politically motivated attacks against climate research (Marc Morano and Myron Ebell come immediately to mind). And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford). To dismiss all criticisms of the climate establishment (e.g. IPCC, RC, etc) as the “dark side” and to be dismissed is hampering scientific progress and diminishing the credibility of climate science. So yes, I talk to people that many RC readers would classify as the “dark side”: the skeptical bloggers, “mainstream” skeptical scientists, and even some people from the libertarian think tanks. Regarding my personal opinion on where I stand regarding climate science as presented by the IPCC. I place little confidence in the WG2 and WG3 reports; these fields are in their infancy. With regards to the WG1 report, I think that some of the confidence levels are too high. During the period Feb 2007 – Nov 2009, when I gave a presentation on climate change I would say “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say” and then went on to defend the IPCC process and recite the IPCC conclusions. I am no longer substituting the IPCC’s judgment for my own judgment on this matter. So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”.

    Gavin’s statement “-especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations against scientists that have been hitting the internet in the last few months-“ makes the mistake of dismissing all accusations/criticisms. I agree, it is difficult to sort through all the crazy statements and identify the substantive arguments. So I will help you out. I have seen no mention on RC of Andrew Montford’s (Bishop Hill) book “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” If Montford’s arguments and evidence are baseless, then you should refute them. They deserve an answer, whether or not his arguments are valid. And stating that you have refuted these issues before isn’t adequate; the critical arguments have not hitherto been assembled into a complete narrative. And attacking Montford’s motives, past statements or actions, etc. won’t serve as a credible dismissal. Attack the arguments and the evidence that he presents. I for one would very much like to see what RC has to say about this book.

    [Response: You are certainly correct in arguing that any substantive points that the 'auditors' have brought forward have been completely obscured by the mean-spirited flotsam that seems to accompany any of their contributions. However, forgive me if I don't take seriously the endless requests to check out the allegations or accusations that are to be found just around the corner (on that blog/in that book/in that online presentation/in that submission etc.) but that on further inspection evaporate like the Cheshire Cat's grin. This passing of the buck simply serves to propagate memes that end up being something that 'everyone knows' but when pressed, no-one can articulate. For example, Montford was interviewed on the BBC World Service the other day and was given copious time to expound on what he thought the most crucial neglected issue was. He chose to discuss McKitrick's problems in getting his repetitive and singularly unconvincing papers on the (non-)impact of socio-economic variables published. If this is the worst example available, the IPCC process is in fine shape.

    Looking at the bigger picture, the only issue of major importance is whether the IPCC reports give a reasonable summary of the state of the science - including the level of uncertainty. In any of the sections where I have good knowledge of the underlying science (mostly WG1), this is fulfilled in spades - and I have yet to find any substantial group of scientists who disagree (and this is borne out in the various surveys of the scientists that have been done). Issues of process are of interest only insofar as they affect the science assessment. "Does it matter?" is the key question - and as far as I have seen, the answer is no for any purported issue that I have investigated. You might have a different opinion, but I have yet to see any justification for that. - gavin]

  29. 379

    I analyzed the coverage of Climategate vs. Exonerations in my latest blog post titled: Climategate Coverage: Unfair & Unbalanced

    As expected, the coverage of the accusations far outweighed the coverage of the exonerations.

    Scott A. Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences
    Selden, NY
    Global Warming: Man or Myth?
    My Global Warming Blog
    Twitter @AGW_Prof
    “Global Warming Fact of the Day” Facebook Group

  30. 380
    dhogaza says:

    I have seen no mention on RC of Andrew Montford’s (Bishop Hill) book “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” If Montford’s arguments and evidence are baseless, then you should refute them. They deserve an answer, whether or not his arguments are valid.

    Why? Should physicists refute every crank who claims to have invented a perpetual motion machine that doesn’t violate the second law? Should biologists refute every thumper with a bible in hand?

    You said:

    I agree, it is difficult to sort through all the crazy statements and identify the substantive arguments. So I will help you out

    What is substantive about Bishop Hill’s claims? You’re not helping anyone out by simply saying “Bishop Hill!” without telling anyone *why* his claims are substantive. C’mon, what is in there that’s worth the waste of time involved in reading his book, not to mention the fact that buying it lines his pockets?

  31. 381
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “But there are, in fact, scientists who disagree with each other in this field, and Lindzen is a bona fide, published scientist.”

    So was Fred Seitz.

    However, have a look here:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/greenman3610#p/u/8/Py2XVILHUjQ

  32. 382
    dhogaza says:

    Also …

    we should be talking about science and how to improve the integrity of science. With regards to the “dark side,” there are people making politically motivated attacks against climate research (Marc Morano and Myron Ebell come immediately to mind). And then there are people questioning many aspects of climate research and the IPCC process and making arguments based upon evidence (e.g. Steve McIntyre, Andrew Montford).

    Just because you claim that there’s a qualitative difference between the people you mention, doesn’t mean that, in practice, there is.

    What evidence do you have, for instance, that McIntyre and Montford aren’t politically motivated?

    And why in the world should anyone take Montford, in particular, seriously?

    To dismiss all criticisms of the climate establishment (e.g. IPCC, RC, etc) as the “dark side” and to be dismissed is hampering scientific progress and diminishing the credibility of climate science.

    Strawman, no one does that. You’ve seen people like Gavin, for instance, state that Jones’s e-mail asking people to delete stuff was “ill-advised”. LIkewise there has been informed criticism of the IPCC among the climate science community. I could go on. The fact that people dismiss *some* criticism as being baloney doesn’t mean that people dismiss *all* criticism as being baloney. The fact that people can differentiate between reasonable criticism and baloney doesn’t “diminish the credibility of climate science”.

  33. 383
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “In terms of real evidence, all the public sees is global temperature on a plateau for the last decade while CO2 emissions accelerate.”

    You mean a plateau where the trend is up 0.12C per decade when the sun is in an unusually long quiet phase and the average is expected to be 0.17C per decade?

    Now how could the public see a plateau with all that going on?

    Because people are lying to them.

    People like you.

  34. 384
    Completely Fed Up says:

    “C’mon, what is in there that’s worth the waste of time involved in reading his book, not to mention the fact that buying it lines his pockets?”

    Maybe, in order to educate us, Bishop will buy the books himself out of his own pocket and give them away?

  35. 385
    dhogaza says:

    So if the readers here assess that this constitutes going over to the “dark side” then so be it; my conclusion will be that the minds seem to be more open on the “dark side”.

    I’m astounded that someone can say this with a straight face. It’s clear beyond any doubt whatsoever that the denialsphere is *full* of people who will, under no circumstance, accept the basic fact that pouring GHGs into the atmosphere will warm the planet.

    McIntyre’s convinced that leading researchers are guilty of scientific misconduct and fraud and should be fired (isn’t it nearly a decade since he went after Lonnie Thomspon?). Watts … I can’t even type that name without breaking out into hysterics when I think of what you’ve said regarding open minds. Bishop Hill? Perhaps the most pompous and in the running for most uninformed and certainly among the most close-minded of the bunch.

    On and on. Who are these “open-minded” people you’re talking about?

  36. 386
    Hank Roberts says:

    > Gavin’s statement “-especially in the light of the tsunami of baseless accusations …“ > makes the mistake of dismissing all accusations/criticisms

    Dr. Curry, what puzzles me is why you read this as dismissing _all_ the accusations.
    If I dismiss the black sheep, am I dismissing all the sheep, including white and brown?

    Or, asked another way: Do you think _any_ of the accusations have been baseless?

    I’d like to see you and they come up with some talking points you agree on.

    But have you looked at the blurbs for those Stacey International books? This one?
    http://www.stacey-international.co.uk/v1/site/product_rpt.asp?Catid=331&catname=

    The people whose rhetoric outreaches the science are on all sides.
    But the level of rhetoric seems to lean toward one side more than another.

    I try to jump on nonsense wherever I see it, and I see the RC scientists doing that as well.
    (I just this morning noticed an advocacy group has a page up saying an ice free summertime arctic in five years is likely, and tried to call them out — advocates ought to be using current time series trends for data, not 3-year-old outliers. I’ve seen other scientists leaning hard on people on all sides about getting facts right and sources correctly cited.)

  37. 387
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts@353

    If you want to know what quants really are google quants wall street

    If you’re in a hurry, try http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/10/science/10quant.html

    8<{

  38. 388

    Judith Curry,

    Thanks for your coment here. You wrote that you used to say: “don’t believe what one scientist says, listen to what the IPCC has to say”, but no longer do. Why not? What has changed? Isn’t it merely the perception of a portion of the public that has changed (the ‘lost credibility’), or did something more fundamental change or come to light? If the IPCC process is still the best we have in terms of broadly supported (by scientists) scientific assessment? If so, it would be best to stress that point. If not, what would be a better alternative?

    [Response: Bart, this touches on a bigger issue. Almost every scientist will prefer to rely on their judgment rather than that of a committee like the IPCC. But the reason why IPCC and all similar bodies are set up in the first place was to allow policymakers to distinguish between individual judgments of particular scientists (which are often contradictory) and the general consensus in a field. Assessment reports are vital for that function and any argument that suggests that policymakers should go back to listening to a very small number of individuals over a heavily peer-reviewed assessment document is just doomed. IPCC might not be perfect (for instance, I think it could be a lot more policy-relevant than it is), but if it didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent it. - gavin]

  39. 389

    #378 Judith, I have yet seen the validity in preaching to those who relish in reading stolen E-mails. All while Multi-year 10 year ice goes extinct
    over the Arctic ocean. Your talents are needed here, to explain incessant polar warming, despite rising and waning oscillations. Despite the occasional sensitivity related very over publicized mild cooling in the rest of the world. The Arctic melts. For me, what is needed is a greater effort at debating the “Dark night” warming mechanisms in order to improve models, especially ice models, rather than dabbling at debating with the hopeless. Its all about science not politics, forgive if I hang out with the tribe of scientists.

  40. 390
    Adam R. says:

    Judith Curry: “So what am I up to? I am trying to provoke people to have open minds and think critically about climate research.”

    Concern troll is trolling.

  41. 391
  42. 392
    Hank Roberts says:

    But on topic — I’d urge anyone who’s leaping to post their opinion to first go back and read the inline response Gavin added to Judith Curry’s post.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/04/second-cru-inquiry-reports/comment-page-8/#comment-171284

    Listen to what he’s saying. Shouting louder isn’t helpful.
    Listening is.

  43. 393
    steven mosher says:

    Gavin,

    I would gladly donate an excerpt from my book as a blog post and maybe even add some details.

    I suggest the treatment of Amman’s paper by Briffa in Ch 06 of Ar4.

    [Response: I'll make some points in response below, but this example is typical of the non-issues that are being brought up. The point of the an assessment is to get the science right and the Amman and Wahl paper was completely apropos in demonstrating that the impact of McIntyre's points amounted to nothing very much. All this brouhaha about how the specific paper was handled is completely irrelevant to that fact. - gavin]

    Here is what the record establishes:

    1. The paper in question was given special treatment by briffa, overpeck, and the journal editor in charge of it

    [Response: Lots of papers get 'special treatment' because issues sometimes arise. Ho hum. - gavin]

    2. The paper relied on another paper that was not published until after the IPCC report.

    [Response: No. It cited another paper that, for various reasons, was held up. If you think that the IPCC report would have been substantially different if there hadn't been this cite, you are very much mistaken. - gavin]

    3. Briffa consulted with Wahl outside of and in direct violation of IPCC processes that he was aware of.

    [Response: The IPCC report was a two year plus process and there was no injunction about discussing it with other colleagues. This imagining of mysterious inviolable rules in a process which reinvents itself every time is just post-hoc whining. Sorry. - gavin]

    4. Briffa utilized writings of Wahl without proper citation, with full knowledge that he was violating the procedures and was consciousness of the improper nature of the act.

    [Response: Oh please. The comment was a correct statement. Are you suggesting that you'd prefer an incorrect response instead? The point here is to be correct. - gavin]

    5. Jones suggested that the paper be backdated to avoid discovery.

    [Response: Nonsense. You are completely wrong on this one. Jones' comment was a joke related to the fact that there is a typo on the Amman and Wahl paper which says the submission was "Received: 22 August 2000" which is clearly a misprint. - gavin]

    6. Hollands FOIA request for Briffa’s, ammand,s and osborne’s correspondence about this paper and the communications that violated the open IPPC process, caused Jones to ask that people delete their emails.

    [Response: It is very unclear that personal emails are FOIA-able (something I'm having a lot of fun in the US context for instance ;) ), but regardless Jones' request (as I've stated many times) was ill-advised. There is a huge difference though between FOI requests for data and for requests for personal communications between close friends, colleagues and co-authors that were written with absolutely no expectation that they could be made public. - gavin]

    7. The ICO has reason to believe that Holland’s request for information was improperly handled.

    Those are the facts. Now, I don’t think these facts have anything to do with the reliability of climate science. They go to the credibility of the people involved.

    [Response: Sure... And it's nothing to do with casting aspersions over a report simply because you don't like what they concluded. - gavin]

    Not the science, but the behavior of a small group of scientists who argueably perceived that they needed to bend administrative rules to preserve a certain un-settled scientific position. Their behavior doesnt make their position wrong, but neither is their behavior something that you can condone and expect to be trusted by a doubting public.

    [Response: Nothing needed bending to preserve 'a position'. There simply isn't some huge mass of evidence that somehow contradicts the statements in the IPCC report related to multi-proxy reconstructions. Whether the Amman and Wahl paper was or was not cited is pretty much immaterial. It was relevant and therefore was cited, but the implication that this was somehow crucially important or that it's absence would have lead to some hugely different outcome is simply fantasy. - gavin]

  44. 394
    John Peter says:

    It’s clear to me that IPCC WG1 is pretty good science and a useful link between, say David Archer’s “The Climate Crisis”, and the climate science literature. It’s also useful, especially in a science like climate change to have meaningful “knowledge” checkpoints.

    It’s not clear to me that the other sections of xARn are all that necessary or even that they add positive value. Global governance is probably impossible at this stage of our development and embedding any science, even the best science, within an unacceptable governing structure probably lessens the value of both. I’ve only glanced at AR4 WG2 and3 and the other reports of AR4, so it’s unscientific or worse of me to reject them out of hand, but I strongly suspect they will be the source of the criticism and calls for reforms in the IPCC process.

    I’m not saying that WG1 should not be more regional and more up-to-date; it’s just that I feel that’s not where the problems, if any, are with IPCC.

  45. 395
    John Peter says:

    Gavin, note @388

    Policymakers that can’t distinguish shouldn’t be policymakers. You can not replace individual production with group production and maintain quality.

    If IPCC process was workable, I personally believe that Jim would not need to get himself arrested and Ram would find better use of his time than retraining grandmothers to cook greener.

  46. 396
    The Lawyer with a physics degree says:

    #389

    In English law you cannot steal an email. It is not tangible property. At worst you can copy it or delete it without permission. There is a complicated conflict of laws here among the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Cutting through that, it is clear that the vast majority of the CRU material that entered the public domain belonged there under the FOIA. Some may have been withholdable under the DPA, but most of it should previously have been disclosed in response to FOIA requests. The thing about the FOIA is that generally the motive behind the request is irrelevant; there is a right to copies of most publicly held information in the UK, period. So, unless you are going to construct some reverse Robin Hood argument along the lines that even though the material was wrongfully not disclosed, the rights of the holders to wrongfully withhold disclosure are greater than the rights of others to take a ‘Robin Hood’ approach to the failure to comply (which I think is as ridiculous as it sounds), then I suggest you dispense with the emotive language.

  47. 397
    John Peter says:

    dhogaza @385

    For each and every instance of your seventeen accusations:

    The presumption of innocence – being considered innocent unless proven guilty – is a legal right that the accused in criminal trials has in many modern countries. The burden of proof is thus on the prosecution, which has to collect and present enough compelling evidence to convince the trier of fact, who is restrained and ordered by law to consider only actual evidence and testimony that is legally admissible, and in most cases lawfully obtained, that the accused is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In case of remaining doubts, the accused is to be acquitted. This presumption is seen to stem from the Latin legal principle that ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat (the burden of proof rests on who asserts, not on who denies).

    that’s what’s “wrong” with what you’re doing.

  48. 398
    Skip Smith says:

    These comments prove Judith right.

  49. 399
    John Peter says:

    Hank Roberts @391OT

    “…I fully expected them to tell me that the problem was that the alarms were blaring and red lights were flashing on the risk machines and greedy Wall Street bosses ignored the warnings to keep the profits flowing…

    is right, whether the those who worked for those same bosses would tell him or not.

  50. 400
    Raven says:

    For most people this comes down to a question of ‘who do you trust?’

    There is a subset of the population who choose to put scientists on pedestals and assume that they do not suffer from the failings of other professionals like policemen, lawyers, teachers, bankers, journalists et. al. For this group of people the CRU emails mean nothing because there is no ‘proof beyond reasonable doubt’ that would require them to question their faith in scientists.

    The rest of the population is sceptical and does not automatically assume that scientists are motivated purely by a desire to find the truth. For this group of people the CRU emails are evidence that the public claims are scientists are strongly influenced by things that have nothing to do with science. You can argue until the cows come home about how there is nothing in there that conclusively proves the claims wrong but the claims have never been proven correct either. This means accepting the claims requires that one trust the professional integrity of the scientists – something that is difficult to do after reading the emails and understanding the true context.

    What has happened is not only do we have evidence that scientists don’t always put scientific concerns first when making public statements we have the spectacle of two inquiries which insist that letting politics interfere with the public presentation of science is perfectly acceptable. The only consequence will be a further erosion of trust in climate science and the institutions that support it.

    The bottom line is trust is earned – not demanded and once lost is tough to get back. Nothing will change until the climate scientists acknowledge this and start to work at earning back the trust that has been lost.


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