Hacked Climate Scientists Emails Reveal Truth

you-control-climate-changeThe University of East Anglia mail server was hacked earlier in the week and a string of private correspondences between esteemed climate scientists were published.  In addition to some juicy internecine gossip becoming embarrassingly public, a few of the messages seem to reveal doubts about the evidence for global warming and at least one refers to a statistical “trick” being used to hide lower-than-predicted surface temperatures in recent years.  James Delingpole dubs this “Climategate” and pronounces it “the final nail in the coffin of ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming.'”  Andrew Bolt calls it evidence of a scandal involving most of the most prominent scientists pushing the man-made warming theory – a scandal that is one of the greatest in modern science.  Michelle Malkin terms it “The global warming scandal of the century.”

Andrew Revkin of the NYT — himself a subject of some of the emails in question — summarizes the controversy:

The e-mail messages, attributed to prominent American and British climate researchers, include discussions of scientific data and whether it should be released, exchanges about how best to combat the arguments of skeptics, and casual comments — in some cases derisive — about specific people known for their skeptical views. Drafts of scientific papers and a photo collage that portrays climate skeptics on an ice floe were also among the hacked data, some of which dates back 13 years.

In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.”

Some skeptics asserted Friday that the correspondence revealed an effort to withhold scientific information. “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud,” said Patrick J. Michaels, a climatologist who has long faulted evidence pointing to human-driven warming and is criticized in the documents.

Some of the correspondence portrays the scientists as feeling under siege by the skeptics’ camp and worried that any stray comment or data glitch could be turned against them.

The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument. However, the documents will undoubtedly raise questions about the quality of research on some specific questions and the actions of some scientists.

In several e-mail exchanges, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and other scientists discuss gaps in understanding of recent variations in temperature. Skeptic Web sites pointed out one line in particular: “The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,” Dr. Trenberth wrote.

Ronald Bailey, though, warns, “Before jumping to conclusions, remember that many of us write private emails that we might not want to see publicly distributed.”

Indeed, an unsigned post at the RealClimate blog (which I presume was written by NASA’s  Gavin Schmidt, given parallels with the Revkin story) argues,

Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. People working constructively to improve joint publications; scientists who are friendly and agree on many of the big picture issues, disagreeing at times about details and engaging in ‘robust’ discussions; Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable.

No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded “gotcha” phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”—see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

Given what I know about academia, research, and science, this strikes me as eminently plausible.

Ed Morrissey sees evidence in the emails that the scientists in question are rejecting data that goes against the prevailing consensus and concludes, “That’s not science; it’s religious belief.”   But producing research findings that conclusively shatters the prevailing wisdom is the gold standard of science.  It’s the stuff of Nobel Prizes and eternal fame.  That’s how the handful of scientists known to every schoolboy (Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc.) got there.

But one doesn’t want to publish findings claiming to shatter the consensus only to have one’s work revealed as shoddy.  So, scientists having a Eureka! finding are likely to test and test again before going public.  And, sadly for them, they’ll likely find that their novel finding was a not so novel error.

Climate change, while an important topic, is one that I follow only at the periphery.  Frankly, it’s an incredibly specialized field and I lack the time to keep up with the literature, the training to understand it, and the motivation to change either of those facts.   My biases and general impressions on the matter, however, are as follows:

  • There’s overwhelming consensus among the experts on this subject
  • Conspiracies involving hundreds of people over several decades are next to impossible to pull off
  • There’s next to zero incentive to perpetrate this conspiracy on the part of scientists
  • There are enormous incentives for people wanting to influence government to leap from the scientific data to grandiose public policy solutions

Because of the above and biases that spring from my academic training and political ideology,

  • I tend to believe the vast preponderance of scientists who say the climate is changing and that human technology is a significant variable in said change
  • I tend to be skeptical of radical government-mandated fixes

Story links via memeorandum.  Graphic via Green Irene.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Science & Technology, , , , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Sine Nomine says:

    Failure to share data regarding published

    material, Resisting FOIA requests, are NOT proper

    use of scientific methods! Recently a journal

    for physicists refused to print an alternate

    viewpoint supported by 160 of their OWN members!

    Maybe man is to blame but the “SCIENCE” that is

    being pushed down our throats is NOT conclusive

    or final!

    Sine Nomine

  2. Patrick T McGuire says:

    •There’s overwhelming consensus among the experts on this subject
    •Conspiracies involving hundreds of people over several decades are next to impossible to pull off
    •There’s next to zero incentive to perpetrate this conspiracy on the part of scientists
    •There are enormous incentives for people wanting to influence government to leap from the scientific data to grandiose public policy solutions

    In the 70’s, the “overwhelming consensus among the experts” was that we were entering a new ice age. Consensus doesn’t make fact. And there is a very big incentive for scientists to perpetrate this conspiracy: lucrative government grants to study it some more.

    Mark Twain nailed it when he said “Everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.”

  3. G.A.Phillips says:

    There’s overwhelming consensus among the experts on this subject.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    Go to bottom of page and take a took at the petition:)see who singed it and see if you consider them to know any thing on the subject:)

  4. G.A.Phillips says:

    Conspiracies involving hundreds of people over several decades are next to impossible to pull off

    Um, how about evolution, Global warming hysteria is a side effect:)

  5. sam says:

    [T]here is a very big incentive for scientists to perpetrate this conspiracy: lucrative government grants to study it some more.

    Right. Sarah Palin can see snow from her back porch. We don’ need no stinkin’ science.

  6. JKB says:

    Given that you can’t get a grant if your hypothesis is that there is no global warming, I’m skeptical of the consensus everyone touts. For 20 years, that I know of, if your research theory was that there was no man-made increase in temperature, your grant application was rejected out of hand. Or as the grant administrator who told me this said, “Because it’s just not true”.

    When the conclusion is decided beforehand that’s not science. When the “researchers” refuse to release their raw data so others can replicate their work, that’s not science.

  7. G.A.Phillips says:

    There’s next to zero incentive to perpetrate this conspiracy on the part of scientists

    Could this not be done unknowingly, by way of indoctrination from childbirth into the lie of evolution?

  8. G.A.Phillips says:

    When the conclusion is decided beforehand that’s not science. When the “researchers” refuse to release their raw data so others can replicate their work, that’s not science.

    Exactly. look at it this way.

    99.9% of these dudes would want to fight if you say that God’s global flood is true, the same dudes would also what to fight you if you say that their predictions of a global flood to come is not.

    This is not science, it is a tunnel visioned reactionary fanatical defense of an offshoot discipline of their religion.

  9. G.A.Phillips says:

    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.” Albert Einstein

  10. James, interesting use of the word truth in the title of this post.

  11. Anon says:

    When the “researchers” refuse to release their raw data so others can replicate their work, that’s not science.

    Actually, that very much is how science is practiced in the real world. In general, scientists do _not_ naturally share data. Why should they? It takes effort to release data, and there is no benefit to the scientist.

    Most funding agencies such as the NSF, however, very much want to change this practice. But it’s hard. The primary hurdle is that there is no benefit to the scientist who collected the data. To counter this, many agencies “require” that funded research release data, typically after an embargo period. This is to allow the original scientist time to write any publications that may result.

    But even this requirement is poorly enforced; for a large variety of reasons.

    People respond to incentives, which is something that most conservatives should understand very well. When you ask a scientist to relese data, you are really asking them to give away for free something that they worked very hard to obtain.

    I should point out that I don’t favor this approach to science. It’s just that I understand very well why it exists.

  12. Anon says:

    Oh, I should point that this reluctance to share data does not normally preclude replication. In fact, replication of results is most convincing when the data itself is recollected.

    So, to all those against global warming, I would say: Fine. Do something about it. Fund data collection so that the data you need will be collected and available to anyone. You’ll probably need to do it for about five-ten years before you have a long enough period of measurements. (You should have started ten years ago, but too late for that now.) It will probably cost at least a few million per year, maybe much more. (I don’t follow the climate change controversy, so I have no idea how much it would cost.)

    If there is any data that you need that is further back in the historical record, again, same thing. Fund it.

    And of course, to avoid increasing the deficit, it should all be funded privately. (Would prizes work for this?)

  13. odograph says:

    I think some people like to talk about fuzzy issues, not as true or false, but as probabilities. P=0.3 might mean that they have doubts (on a scale 0-1).

    It’s too bad we can’t look at it this way for issues of science and policy. If AGW is not proven, but is sitting out at P=0.6 or P=0.7, maybe there are some commensurate actions that we could take.

    Heck, even if AGW was P=0.3 and the result was dire, there would be low cost actions which would be justified.

    If we are really apt P=0.8 or higher, we should get serious.

    Aside: I’ve said before that the fact that some want to disbelieve the scientists on evolution is not unrelated. Nice to see it illustrated above.

  14. Anon says:

    Or as the grant administrator who told me this said, “Because it’s just not true”.

    Jkb, what funding program was this for? Can you post a link to the proposal solicitation? Was it in e-mail, or in conversation?

    I don’t doubt that it can be harder to get something funded that goes against the crowd. However, I am surprised that a program manager would state it. Usually, they are quite circumspect, as they should be, since they have an official capacity and need to avoid any appearances of favoritism or conflicts of interest.

  15. odograph says:

    BTW, you don’t buy insurance for your house because P=1.0 for your house burning down. A much lower P justifies a yearly premium.

  16. Anon says:

    It’s too bad we can’t look at it this way for issues of science and policy. If AGW is not proven, but is sitting out at P=0.6 or P=0.7, maybe there are some commensurate actions that we could take.

    It is too bad. The problem is that determining that P number is currently very subjective.

    One thing that seems to get overlooked is that intuitively, it would be more surprising if AGW did not exist. The reason is simply that we are making huge changes to the atmosphere. A priori, I would expect that to have some effect on the climate. I would consider the more surprising result to be that dumping all those greenhouse gases has no effect.

  17. odograph says:

    Doesn’t 9:1 scientists “believing” translate into a pretty fair P=0.9?

    At a first pass, I think so. We could ask scientists in the field, poll them for their P’s, and then find the distribution. That would be interesting.

    But just asserting that P is low, is not very convincing.

  18. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I downloaded the file available on the web. I am in the process of reading both the emails and documents. What I have found is a group of people who have come to a conclusion and are using and manipulating data to prove their conclusion. To defend this behavior is like being invested with Bernie Maddoff. Some got rich most got taken. I am not suprised by Dr. Joyners defense (he will claim he is not defending) of acadamia. After all, he became a priest in the religion that is modern education. I wonder at what level one loses their ability or desire to think freely? I suggest it is somewhere between and associate and bachelors degree. Beyond that you must comform to the thinking of those who sign off on your passage into the priesthood. You want an example of this oxymoron? A union member with a masters degree.

  19. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Anon, instead of yaking about what science is or is not, why not download the file and read the information for yourself. The file is listed as FOI2009. Google it.

  20. odograph says:

    Zelsdorf, can you imagine yourself for a moment as a scientist with a personal P=0.9? Take a moment longer to consider what you would feel like if not only were that GW outcome likely, but also dangerous to your friends, family, nation ….

    Would you really be disinterested in “making the case?”

    Don’t you care about your country?

  21. Ghostzapper says:

    “Climate change, while an important topic, is one that I follow only at the periphery. Frankly, it’s an incredibly specialized field and I lack the time to keep up with the literature, the training to understand it, and the motivation to change either of those facts.”

    Climate change is the rule, not the exception. Just check the history of earth. Also, in terms of man’s impact, if apparently it is not increased human C02, a low number in the overall equation, that is the cause, what is the quantitative definition for man’s impact on climate? Seems that the Sun would be a reasonably significant player in this process, for example and do not think man is impacting the Sun.

  22. Anon says:

    Doesn’t 9:1 scientists “believing” translate into a pretty fair P=0.9?

    Well, I think we would disagree about the accuracy of it. But I don’t disagree that it would be useful, and I don’t disagree that it would be great if we could compute an objective P value.

    My personal belief? I have no frickin’ idea. 🙂

    Call it a rational ignorance if you will. For me to develop an informed opinion would take me much more time than I’m willing to spend. However, I definitely wouldn’t invest in any property on a coral island.

  23. […] James Joyner has a good round-up of blog responses to “Climategate.” James Delingpole at The Telegraph: If you own any shares in alternative energy companies I should start dumping them NOW. The conspiracy behind the Anthropogenic Global Warming myth (aka AGW; aka ManBearPig) has been suddenly, brutally and quite deliciously exposed after a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (aka Hadley CRU) and released 61 megabites of confidential files onto the internet. (Hat tip: Watts Up With That) […]

  24. ggr says:

    Could this not be done unknowingly, by way of indoctrination from childbirth into the lie of evolution?

    Not to mention the lie that electrons exist (show me one), that quantum mechanics is true (throw a marble against a wall, let me know when you see one tunnel through). Science is all about indoctrination, none of it can be proven. You’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, its all lies.

  25. One thing that seems to get overlooked is that intuitively, it would be more surprising if AGW did not exist. The reason is simply that we are making huge changes to the atmosphere.

    Are we making huge changes to the atmosphere? People tend to underestimate how big our planet is and thus correspondingly overestimate how much of an effect we have on it.

    So yes, we emit 2.8*1010 tons of carbon dioxide each year and people think we must be making “huge changes” to the atmosphere. But then you find out the earth’s atmosphere contains 5.1*1015 tons of gas. Is a change of less than one thousandth of one percent in the composition of the atmosphere really a “huge change”?

  26. At a first pass, I think so. We could ask scientists in the field, poll them for their P’s, and then find the distribution. That would be interesting.

    But just asserting that P is low, is not very convincing.

    Science is not the process of sticking a bunch of “scientists” in a room and having them vote on what they think the truth is.

  27. odograph says:

    I think Stormy you bring us back to the “do you go to a doctor?” argument. “Do you get a second opinion?”

    Is your second opinion (to refine that P) from another doctor? Or from some crank in the back pages of a blog?

    I know AGW deniers want to have equal rank with scientists in the field, but there’s a word for that: stupid

  28. Note those numbers should be 10^10 and 10^15 respectively. Outside the Beltway apparently doesn’t like <SUP> tags in comments.

    Particularly annoying since they show up correctly in the comment preview, but get eaten when you actually post.

  29. When I do go to the doctor, I expect that him to run sort of test (an experiment, essentially) and then make a decision based on the results. Not whistle everyone in the examination room and go “Hey, how many of you think this guy has tuberculosis?”

    That’s how science works. What matters is how convincing the evidence is, not how many officially designated experts claim to be convinced by it. But the pro-AGW crowd doesn’t really want to discuss their evidence (indeed, I think the far more damning emails are not the discussions of how to modify their algorithms, but the ones discussing destroying data or avoiding attempts for other organizations to see it). They just want us to accept “trust me, I’m a scientist”

  30. odograph says:

    Stormy, you don’t think climate scientists, and atmospheric scientists, and atmospheric chemists have been doing tests?

    You can go to Google Scholar and read many of their papers.

    What you may not find is someone to play blog-argument with you about them. AGW deniers hope to get that “blogs are as good as science” thing going any way they can. Luring some idiot into a peer-to-peer argument is one way to do that.

    I have not spent 20 years studying climate, so I am not going to play that game. I have not got my PHD in a related field. Have you?

  31. Cicero says:

    There is a very strong incentive to generate publishable material. That’s a scientist’s rice bowl if you will.

    In statistics you can manipulate your model and methods until you arrive at statistically significant results. But this is improper. Instead you should use the model and statistical model that makes theoretical sense- if this gives you inconclusive results then it means you need to revisit your theory- or admit that it’s inconclusive. But that’s not going to get you published. Every scientist that uses models and statistics faces this temptation.

    On the issue of Global Warming you have an environment that for the last 20 years has favored for publication and giving grants to those who support the man made Global Warming theory, and penalizes opponents (this is due to the political benefits governments gain from such a theory). This requires no grand conspiracy- just the aggregate effect of individuals acting in their own self-interest.

    This all combines to the use of rather shoddy statistics. Yes the Earth is warming, but associating causation with CO2 is not correct. For one thing it does not take into account obvious auto-correlation. An easily overlooked flaw in statistics (particularly by non statisticians).

  32. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    So, Odograph, you worship at the alter of Ph D.? The evidence these men were less than ethical and honorable in their work is available to any and all as the cat is out of the bag. Unless you want to start playing the game of what is is. One question for you. Why was it cold in Wisconcin in July? If there is global warming is it not supposed to get warmer?

  33. I’m not Albert Einstein either. But when people are discussing, say, the theory of relativity, they will point to specific experiments like the measurements of the precession of Mercury, timing experiments with atomic clocks placed on satellites, astronomical observations of gravitational lensing, etc. They discuss the evidence. They don’t just say “The UN published a report saying relativity exists, who do you think you are to doubt scientists?” The former is a scientific argument. The latter isn’t.

    Compare this to odograph’s argument, which is typical of the pro-AGW people. He doesn’t mention a single experiment to provide evidence for his argument. Indeed, the CRU emails show a concerted effort to make sure the details of their study are unavailbe to anyone else. We’re just supposed to accept that we’re stupid to understand their work and should just trust whatever they tell us because they’re the experts. Even if they are right, that isn’t a scientific argument and the person making it is not acting as a scientist, whatever they may do with the rest of their time.

  34. Ghostzapper says:

    It is a scam that has wasted alot of time and money. Just good that we are finally moving on as just for starters, CO2 is needed by the planet. These global warming non-deniers caused considerably damage to further a political cause. It was never really about global warming and then since that did not make sense climate change, which cannot be quantitatively defined. It is about government control. If you are successful in taxing carbon a basic element, it is the mother lode. It allows government to control everything.

  35. odograph says:

    You know, James has done posts in the past that touch on the anti-intellectual threads in modern conservatism.

    That’s what all this “don’t trust the scientists” reduces to.

  36. There’s a disctintion between not trusting the scientists and not trusting the science. The fact you are completely unable to muster anything beyond simple appeals to authority is a form of anti-intellectualism as well.

    If the scientists are right, it is because they have evidence they are right, not just because they say so. Why can’t you discuss any of the evidence?

  37. odograph says:

    Stormy, your position is that if some random person that you meet in a blog is not a climate expert, then you cannot trust the majority of PhDs who work in the field.

    Is that your logic?

  38. Brett says:

    In the 70’s, the “overwhelming consensus among the experts” was that we were entering a new ice age.

    Utter nonsense. The scientific consensus at the time was that they didn’t know enough to make an accurate prediction, which turned towards a warming trend in the later 1970s and 1980s as they continued to examine the data.

    The fact that you repeat this reflects more on your poor abilities to do any type of rudimentary research than on anything else.

    On the issue of Global Warming you have an environment that for the last 20 years has favored for publication and giving grants to those who support the man made Global Warming theory, and penalizes opponents (this is due to the political benefits governments gain from such a theory).

    Oh, please. If the environment is just so hostile to skeptics, how come Patrick J. Michaels as well as Soon & Baliunas continue to get grants, and publish? If anything, the incentives work the other way – were a scientist to decisively refute something related to global warming, it would be a major scientific discovery, and governments would embrace (because it would mean that they don’t have to do anything costly to prevent the rise of CO2 and temperature).

    I’ve always found the “financial incentive” argument from the skeptics to be dripping with irony, when you consider how many of the skeptics got funding from groups with a very clear political and financial motive for preventing any action or recognition of the threat of climate change. Shall we drag up the American Petroleum Institute, or that instance following the release of the IPCC 2007 Report where the American Enterprise Institute offered a good chunk of money to any scientist willing to write reports critical of the IPCC Report?

    They discuss the evidence. They don’t just say “The UN published a report saying relativity exists, who do you think you are to doubt scientists?” The former is a scientific argument. The latter isn’t.

    The arguments are out there to pretty much anyone with 70 seconds to google. Go to Realclimate.org and read up, or go read the IPCC Report (it’s on the web in its entireity).

  39. No, my logic is that whether or not a scientific argument is true or not is based on the content of the argument, not the identity of the person making it. I don’t understand why you can’t understand the significanct difference between “Most PhD’s believe theory X is true because of the results of experiments A, B, and C” and “Theory X is true because most PhD’s believe it is”. Again, the first is a scientific argument. The latter is not.

  40. odograph says:

    I asked you earlier:

    “Stormy, you don’t think climate scientists, and atmospheric scientists, and atmospheric chemists have been doing tests?

    You can go to Google Scholar and read many of their papers.”

    You went from there to asking me to defend the science. That is either a weak tactic or crazy thinking.

  41. Maybe I don’t feel like being drafted as the odograph research desk because you’re too lazy to make your own argument. If your argument is so obvious that only some anti-intellectual blog guy could fail to see it, why don’t you provide us with a high level summary of some of the tests?

    And yes, I’m sure they are doing tests. It would be nice if they talked about them instead of deleting them whenever they think someone is asking about their work.

    To use your doctor example, when I go to the doctor they do blood tests and give me a printout of all the results. Now I’m not qualified to say whether a particular HDL level is good or not, but I could go research that if I wanted to. Which is why I tend to trust my doctor, because he’s open about what evidence he’s basing his decision on. If I had a doctor who said, “Well your blood tests came back, so you need to take this really expensive medicine. No, I can’t explain why, just trust me the tests say you need it. No I can’t show you the tests. Just trust me, I’m a doctor,” I might start getting suspicious.

  42. Eric Florack says:

    But one doesn’t want to publish findings claiming to shatter the consensus only to have one’s work revealed as shoddy.

    By whom? See, there’s the thing. Until recently there wwere damned few who were willing to question this ‘consensus’

    I always knew, and said several times at my place, that if we ever managed to get into some of the internal documents, and the real behind the scenes discussions of the global warming crowd, that the whole thing would be clearly revealed as a fraud. Turns out, I was right.

    What we have here is the left’s equivalent of ‘the pentegon papers’, with the left playing the Nixonian point of view. In reality, the contents of these emails should put the stake through the heart of the global warming nonsense. Thing is, it won’t. The same leftists, remember, who are pushing the global warming mantra, are still convinced that Communism will work, if given a chance. Ignoring, of course, that it never has.

  43. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Odograph, there is a vast difference between intellectualism and group think. What is intellectual about banning or discounting that which does not agree with your point of view? To be viewed as an intellectual, which was once based upon ones knowledge, an individual must pass muster of those who already have assumed the title. Those documents which are genuine seem to indicate not only unethical but illegal activities. Motivation? Huge grants. Do just a little investigation and you too can become and intellectual. Not!

  44. […] Outside the Beltway, James Joyner stipulates that the kind of “conspiracy” claimed by Delingpole “involving […]

  45. Brett says:

    I always knew, and said several times at my place, that if we ever managed to get into some of the internal documents, and the real behind the scenes discussions of the global warming crowd, that the whole thing would be clearly revealed as a fraud. Turns out, I was right.

    Hardly. The whole “fraud” bit centers around a misinterpreted word and the recommendation (coming from the actual authors of the study in question) that they not use a certain data set after 1960 because it didn’t work out.

    What we have here is the left’s equivalent of ‘the pentegon papers’, with the left playing the Nixonian point of view. In reality, the contents of these emails should put the stake through the heart of the global warming nonsense. Thing is, it won’t. The same leftists, remember, who are pushing the global warming mantra, are still convinced that Communism will work, if given a chance. Ignoring, of course, that it never has.

    I must have missed the parts in the e-mails where Al Gore talked about the secret Global Warming Cabal to sell alternative energy and force Americans to buy smaller cars. Oh wait – it wasn’t there. Turns out conspiracy theory thinking is bullshit as usual.

  46. floyd says:

    It is possible that no conspiracy need be sustained in the presence of peer pressure and job loss,generated by political correctness.
    Whether true or not, this issue would be better served in an “atmosphere” of open debate, instead of an “atmostfear” of intimidation and enforced silence against one side.
    Cue the shout down!

  47. Wayne says:

    James
    Stating that “There’s next to zero incentive to perpetrate this conspiracy on the part of scientists” really hurts your credibility as an objective and\or reasonable thinker.

    Besides the grant there are cases like Wthe eatherman that was fired speaking out against global. Many of the so call expert consensus are from scientist whose expertise is not the climate. Then there the peer pressure, money to be made from cap and trade,green projects, etc.

    I do agree with “There are enormous incentives for people wanting to influence government to leap from the scientific data to grandiose public policy solutions”. Most being those who support Man Made Global warming theory.

  48. Wayne says:

    One more thing, there have been many cases where the science has been debunk. The MSM are reluctant to give them much coverage while willing to repeat even debunk science such as 1998 being the warmest year in recorded history.Amazing how effective the MSM are at brainwashing people.

  49. Social comments and analytics for this post…

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  50. anjin-san says:

    Amazing how effective the MSM are at brainwashing people.

    True. Fox obviously got you.

  51. Wayne says:

    Anjin-san
    I put Fox through the same scrutiny as any other Network. I often disagree with even the conservatives on that show and willing to consider any rebuttal to what they say.

    Unfortunately you can’t say the same. Often you will say something is fact because others that you like say so.

  52. G.A.Phillips says:

    Not to mention the lie that electrons exist (show me one), that quantum mechanics is true (throw a marble against a wall, let me know when you see one tunnel through). Science is all about indoctrination, none of it can be proven. You’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg, its all lies.

    lol, the first and second laws of thermal dynamics are pretty obvious, thus I believe them, with just a little explanation:)

    Both laws totally destroy evolution, so I don’t believe it, or it’s offshoot global warming. One not exactly because of the other, but it helps cut past the poop when you understand certain things:)

  53. G.A.Phillips says:

    “As the circle of knowledge expands, so does the sphere of darkness that encompasses it.” Albert Einstein

  54. Pete says:

    Have all you Einsteins seen this?
    http://www.oism.org/pproject/

  55. Joseph Zupo says:

    While trying to inform myself on the subject of climate change I learned one basic fact that does not ever seem to be addressed.

    1850 is used as the starting point for the industrial revolution and the human impact on the atmosphere. But it was also the end of a 300 year mini ice age.

    So the question is how much the temperature should have risen without any influence from humans (plus rising temperatures heat the ocean which then produces more CO2).

    Until someone satisfactorily answers that question I will be a skeptic I will believe that the issues is more about money i.e. research dollars.

    As a banker and accountant for almost 30 years I have learned that when basic and simple questions are not answered there is a reason and the reason is usually not a good one.

    Joseph A. Zupo

  56. odograph says:

    Isn’t it strange how dependent deniers are on their kabuki? There is a form to their stagecraft. They know their argument doesn’t stand on its own two feet. They know they are not winning in the halls of science.

    So, their game is to make whereever they are into the new hall.

    Don’t like the answer NASA gives you? Hey! This thread right here at OTB is just as good, right? We can ague it ourselves!

    It is tragically obvious why they do that. They need a small pond, where they can hope to be a big fish.

    And Zelsdorf, if it wasn’t obvious, that is a “groupthink” .. among the small fish in the small pond.

  57. anon says:

    You coward.

    They lie to your face to take your liberty and property and you bend down and lick their boots.

    Shame on you. Coward.

  58. ggr says:

    lol, the first and second laws of thermal dynamics are pretty obvious, thus I believe them, with just a little explanation:)

    So you’re doing the same thing as the evolutionists, believing laws because they’re convenient. Give me a handful of entropy and I’ll believe you have something, until then its just a bunch of silly math symbols people use to indoctrinate children and adults.

    All of science is this. When was the last time you saw a jet plane getting shorter because it was moving? Or time slow down near a dense piece of lead. Its all a conspiracy.

  59. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Odograph. Have you done the work? Have you read the emails and other documents? Are you just running you mouth, so to speak? FOIP2009 is the file. Find it on the web, download it, read it. Then come back here and tell me the same things you have said. Me, I plan to file suit agains Al Gore under the False Claims Act. Everything in that movie of his was false.

  60. odograph says:

    As I said, you desperately want fish on your small pond.

  61. Eric Florack says:

    I must have missed the parts in the e-mails where Al Gore talked about the secret Global Warming Cabal to sell alternative energy and force Americans to buy smaller cars. Oh wait – it wasn’t there. Turns out conspiracy theory thinking is bullshit as usual.

    really? Have you looked into his investments of late?

    James
    Stating that “There’s next to zero incentive to perpetrate this conspiracy on the part of scientists” really hurts your credibility as an objective and\or reasonable thinker.

    Sure there is… they’re called “Government Grants”. They invariably tend to flow more easily when the ‘science’ you’re pushing is in lockstep with the mantra of the people in power.

  62. G.A.Phillips says:

    Have all you Einsteins seen this?
    http://www.oism.org/pproject/

    I tried to show them more then once:)

  63. G.A.Phillips says:

    So you’re doing the same thing as the evolutionists, believing laws because they’re convenient. Give me a handful of entropy and I’ll believe you have something, until then its just a bunch of silly math symbols people use to indoctrinate children and adults.

    have you ever seen new energy created, or everything not die and turn to dust? No symbols needed just common sense and eyes, ears and a nose, and if you must touch and taste……

  64. ggr says:

    have you ever seen new energy created, or everything not die and turn to dust? No symbols needed just common sense and eyes, ears and a nose, and if you must touch and taste……

    You’re kidding, right? The sun creates new energy all the time. So does every volcano and earthquake. The sun, moon and stars don’t seem to have changed at all, let alone turned to dust. Neither have the mountains, continents or ocean. In fact, the hill just outside looks exactly like it did in a picture from the 30’s. Eyes, ears, nose, and common sense say a lot of stuff isn’t changing, and new stuff is being made all the time.

  65. ggr says:

    People are acting as if scientists possibly fudging up data is a new thing. Mendel may have played around with his data, so you can throw out all of genetics from day one. Same thing with Milikan and his oil drop experiment which supposedly proved the quantization of charge, you might as well forget about quantum mechanics as well, its all a conspiracy.

  66. glasnost says:

    Lazy, pathetic wankers make actual climate skeptics look good. You know, the ones who go around howling “look, this warming trend matches this sunspot trend!”. At least these people are trying to use actual data.

    What do we have here? A bunch of BS that amounts to “no climate scientist has ever stopped by, my house, personally, with a powerpoint to explain how CO2 creates global warming, so there must be no evidence!! If there is REALLY evidence, then how come you, blog commenter, can’t show it to me?? If you can’t show it to me, than it must not exist!!!

    Sure there is… they’re called “Government Grants”.

    Welcome to a bizarre fantasy world where anyone who says “hey, look, I found some global warming in my closet!” will be handed money from the government. If you really think it’s that easy, I encourage you to go try it yourself. If you want a government grant for climate change, hate to break it to you, you do in fact have to collect data, document how you collected it, where you collected it, and yes, how you corrected the data to acount for various well-understood, to specialists, known error sources that are inherently introduced into the data. It’s no different from how, for example, providing the “raw data” for your test on finding a certain type of quark, the total list of all particle velocities recorded, whatever it may be, is *completely useless*. You have to filter it according to whatever procedure has been demonstrated as correct by *prior tests*.

    Forrrrr example:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/11/22/806704/-Trickn

    Now, everyone knew what I meant just now when I wrote trick, right? Nothing deceitful, simply the method used to get an answer to a math problem. With that in mind, let’s look at this 1999 email purporting to be evidence of fraud among some climate scientists:

    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

    The email is one of thousands sent over a period of ten years by climate researchers and other scientists, journalists, lobbyists, and the occasional flake, stolen from a university network a few days ago. DeSmogBlog has more on the theft. Obviously, emails don’t change the observed reality of human assisted climate change in the cryosphere and elsewhere. Nevertheless, climate change denialists have combed through them looking for anything they can pull out of context and pass off as evidence of a global conspiracy. They’re getting some media mileage out of it. Even though, so far, the best they’ve been able to come up with is examples like the above.

    The “Mike” is Michael Mann, “hide” means to account for (See also this comment), and the trick referred to is how to resolve a question involving two sets of data. One set is the “real” actual temperature readings, the other is by proxy, tree-rings, corals, ice cores and the like. When reconstructing the temperature record going back a thousand years or more, proxies are all you get — there were no super accurate thermometers handily placed around the globe during medieval times! But proxies only give an approximation, hence the large variance in the now familiar reconstruction graph affectionately known as the Hockey Stick represented below as shading around the blue and red lines.

    But as time rolls by, and proxy data become more plentiful, the error bars (i.e. the variable shading) shrink. Eventually, thanks to the invention of modern thermometers and ships to carry them, precise temperature readings from all over the world become more widely available and increasingly reliable, and there is a relatively short interval where both the proxy reconstruction (blue) and the instrumental record (red) are used. The proxy record ends (1980), but the instrumental record continues through 1999. That was the issue being discussed in the emails: why end the plot in 1980 when there’s instrumental data through the 90s? In the original 1998 paper published in Nature, Mann et al showed the instrumental data through the 1990s to complete the plot. The emailer was following suit in his own work. That’s “Mike’s Nature trick”. It really is that simple.

    Moreover, both instrumental and proxy records were clearly labeled and delineated in the original papers and many since, so there was no opportunity for any ambiguity as to what was being shown. It makes sense that “Mike” Mann would be mentioned, he has worked extensively with both kinds of data, actual and proxy, and was one of the original paleo-climatologist who developed the Hockey Stick using them. The email is just a tiny snippet of several colleagues in the midst of discussing these points and others.

  67. G.A.Phillips says:

    You’re kidding, right? The sun creates new energy all the time. So does every volcano and earthquake. The sun, moon and stars don’t seem to have changed at all, let alone turned to dust. Neither have the mountains, continents or ocean. In fact, the hill just outside looks exactly like it did in a picture from the 30’s. Eyes, ears, nose, and common sense say a lot of stuff isn’t changing, and new stuff is being made all the time.

    lol…..

  68. davod says:

    “I encourage you to go try it yourself. If you want a government grant for climate change, hate to break it to you, you do in fact have to collect data, document how you collected it, where you collected it, and yes, how you corrected the data to acount for various well-understood, to specialists, known error sources that are inherently introduced into the data.”

    Mann’s hockey stick data was not peer reviewed.

  69. […] the New York Times and other mainstream outlets to task for their decision to not republish the stolen emails from climate scientists on the grounds that they were illegally obtained and written with the expectation of being kept […]

  70. […] Hacked Climate Scientists Emails Reveal Truth (outsidethebeltway.com) […]

  71. WestRight says:

    OTB is a waste of time regarding the CRE/AGW scandal. The poofers here are lamely trying to defend MM-CC/AGW just like the fraudster group of 41 climate criminals that have produced the IPCC on behest of the UN/Social democrats everywhere. The jig is up!
    The defenders of MM warming and bad, bad CO2 appear to me as the dinosaur herd that is looking skyward as that meteor glow approaches. Wakeup tools, there’s much more to come from that 160MB of info! Time to get right with your God, baa, baa!

  72. […] Joyner | Sunday, November 29, 2009 The controversy over the hacked climate change emails continues to gain steam, forcing the East Anglia team to reverse course and promise to release […]