November 20th, 2009

Climatology and AGW: who are the hoaxers, who the hoaxed?

It is way too early to know whether the just-released emails and other papers purporting to be from University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU) are real or fake.

If real, they represent a sort of Pentagon Papers-ish revelation, exposing the prominent AGW scientists involved to possible charges of any or all of the following:

…[c]onspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.

If fake, they would constitute an anti-AGW hoax of major proportions.

The facts that the files are so voluminous, and that Hadley CRU’s director Phil Jones has confirmed that files there have been hacked into, seem to point more towards the authenticity of the information. But it’s very early yet in this developing story, and we must be careful. Parts may be fake and parts real, and things may not be quite what they seem.

[NOTE: More from Ed Morrissey, who predicts (perhaps correctly) that even if the emails are real, the MSM spin will be that they were wrongly hacked. Wonder if those same people would emphasize that Daniel Ellsberg violated his oath of secrecy when he disclosed the Pentagon Papers to the press? Of course, the Pentagon Papers didn’t actually mean what the press said they did, anyway. Perhaps that will end up being true for the Hadley information as well—both sides of the AGW controversy are very politicized, and that’s one of the reasons it’s been so difficult to wade through the science and attempt to come with the truth.

More here and here.]

81 Responses to “Climatology and AGW: who are the hoaxers, who the hoaxed?”

  1. physicsguy Says:

    Go to wattsupwiththat.com to see some of numerous emails, etc. that people have gleaned out of the large volume of data in the file. Most interesting reading under the comments in that thread.

    I’m still a bit sceptical that this is real. If it is, then I would guess this is more on the order of a leak, rather than a hack.

  2. stan Says:

    In the pajamas media article you link, the author misses the point on the “decline” in Phil Jones’ trick. Jones is referring to the decline in tree ring thickness which was a major divergence from measured temps after 1960. How can tree rings tell us about temps a thousand years ago if they don’t reflect modern temps accurately? His trick was how he fudged the decline by mixing apples with the oranges.

  3. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    With the release of Briffa’s data that was used in the famous “Hockey Stick” chart it was plain that many AGW believing scientists and the IPCC were cherry-picking their data to promote an agenda of fear of an apocalyptic climate event in the not too distant future. This was all covered quite well at WattsUpWithThat @ http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/30/yamal-treering-proxy-temperature-reconstructions-dont-match-local-thermometer-records/#more-12283

    Now we get e-mails and further evidence that they were not just following the data where it went. They had an agenda. As Al Gore said, “I’m offering you the choice of life or death. You can choose either blessings or curses.”

    For those of us who have been studying this issue for years now, this is no surprise. I would like to believe that it is the beginning of the end of the myth of AGW as a mortal threat to humans. However, there is a lot of money and political power at stake. These folks are not going to go down easily, particularly when you consider the Lamestream Media is pretty much on their side.

    As the details become more available we must all help to spread the word by e-mailing it to our correspondents, writing to our Senators and Representatives, writing letters to the editors, and commenting on blogs far and wide. This alone could kill the Cap and Tax Bill. (to be devoutly hoped for.) We must see to it that this does not die from lack of exposure.

  4. huxley Says:

    I’m still a bit sceptical that this is real. If it is, then I would guess this is more on the order of a leak, rather than a hack.

    physicsguy: I’ve consolidated all the emails into one file and am poring through it now. Combined with the data, code, and misc doc/pdf files, I’m confident that it’s 99.99% legit.

    It’s possible that there has been a tiny bit of salting with incriminating info, but I doubt it. I bet you’re right — it’s more of a leak (some disgruntled researcher) rather than a hack.

    In aggregate the material doesn’t seem as damning as reading it in snippets. What comes across from the participants, who are some of the major names in global warmingology, is a certainty they are right, a casual contempt for anyone who disagrees, a hostile approach to sharing data, and a somewhat cynical attitude for polishing up the data to suit their purposes.

    It’s the sort of backstage chatter of people involved in academia or technical projects.

    The material is embarrassing and demonstrates bad faith but I doubt it’s the smoking gun that some, including myself, hoped for.

  5. Tim P Says:

    If this is true and based on what little I read last night, it seems to be, but I’ll reserve judgement until more facts are in.
    However, as I said, if true, I think the media will take the same angle of attack that they did when some of Senator Rockefeller’s e-mails were leaked when he was sitting on the senate intelligence committee. (Now there’s an oxymoron.) He discussed the democrat’s plans to politicize the war in Iraq for partisan advantage. The press ofcourse focused almost entirely on who leaked the e-mails.

    Huxley, if you have compiled everything together, is there a link or ftp site we can go to to download them? Nice work by the way.

  6. Perfected democrat Says:

    “… both sides of the AGW controversy are very politicized…”

    Not in the same kind of way; this is definitely a battle between the hysterical demagoguery of the left versus a responsible pragmatism from a bottom line, but ultimately responsible business world. Having read several thousand pages on the topic, at this point, it’s very clear that the left-wing central planners are champing at the bit to do what they inevitably do to everything else they end up controlling; screw things up, and make everyone poorer in the end. There are endless case studies…

  7. Artfldgr Says:

    one cant let truth get in the way of utopia.

  8. huxley Says:

    Huxley, if you have compiled everything together, is there a link or ftp site we can go to to download them? Nice work by the way.

    Tim P: I’ve only compiled the emails for my own purposes so I could effectively search them, and I haven’t put it up anywhere. I don’t have an anonymous server setup to release it, so I probably won’t but I’m sure someone will soon.

  9. Artfldgr Says:

    “Gentlemen, comrades, do not be concerned about all you hear about Glasnost and Perestroika and democracy in the coming years. They are primarily for outward consumption. There will be no significant internal changes in the Soviet Union, other than for cosmetic purposes. Our purpose is to disarm the Americans and let them fall asleep.” — Mikhail Gorbachev
    .
    “In October 1917, we parted with the old world, rejecting it once and for all. We are moving toward a new world, a world of Communism. We shall never turn off that road.” — Mikhail Gorbachev
    .
    “The threat of environmental crisis will be the ‘international disaster key’ that will unlock the New World Order.” — Mikhail Gorbachev, quoted in “A Special Report: The Wildlands Project Unleashes Its War On Mankind”, by Marilyn Brannan, Associate Editor, Monetary & Economic Review, 1996, p. 5

    ah… you didnt realize it was a hoax when the worst polluters in history of mankind were talking green?

  10. Artfldgr Says:

    physicsguy: I’ve consolidated all the emails into one file and am poring through it now. Combined with the data, code, and misc doc/pdf files, I’m confident that it’s 99.99% legit.

    but yet, all the other conspiracies dont exist.

    this is par for the course for communists, who are still pushing the zion stuff, and so on. and dont say its not communist. lenin, stalin, mao… their writings use the term socialism, not communism.

    and dunn liking mao
    ayers a stalinist.

    so your finding out that there are really really huge plots that are so large as to be unbelievable.

    the archives of AGW are no where near the size of the archives you can read from the Soviets, the CPUSA, and other sattelite countries.

    your statement as to how you can tell its 99.99% is the same way i know that what i know is right. across many sources with different agendas, the truth has a way of being concordant and correlated.

    now what? now we know that we ahve been screwed around for more than 20 years, what happens?

    nothing. why?

    because now the thing will be, thats just one thing. the idea that there are thousands of such things all over the world at differen levels, ideas, sides, and facts… hasnt seeped in yet.

    to such people totalitarianism IS utopia
    to the rest of us, it isnt

    so when the say we, are they talking to you, or those in the know?

    boy it takes a lot to even make people roll over not even wake up.

    just think of where the logic and reasonableness would be if someone else wasnt unreasonable enough to break into a computer and give you the gun?

    oh… youi would have still been arguing the reasonableness of a false ideological position made to soudn reasonable and have equal oppositions by design (so the issue cant be resolved).

    but like acorn, a little bit of unambiguous truth, and the unreasonable actions of thse people become clear. then we compartmentalize it

  11. Artfldgr Says:

    and yet lysekoist history wasnt enough for us to realize how big a scientific socialisms (communist) games with reality can actyually be

  12. gcotharn Says:

    neo says: “both sides are highly politicized”

    I have difficulty characterizing the issue succinctly.

    Climate change cannot accurately be characterized as a “problem”. Climate change is a “circumstance”. No one knows if the circumstance represents a problem.

    AGW exists as a teensy proportion to the overall circumstance of climate change.

    Lets say someone does, someday, discover that climate change is a problem. Efforts by man could – at humongous expense – make a teensy reduction in the teensy proportion of AGW which does exist as a part of overall climate change. Would the reduction be significant? No one knows. My gut says no. But no one knows.

    Until someone knows whether or not climate change is a “problem”; until someone knows whether or not a teensy reduction in an already teensy AGW portion of climate change would be significant: we are fools to expend resources on a chimera.

    Now, how to succinctly communicate the above? If I say: AGW is manure!, then I am, technically, mischaracterizing things. AGW does exist as a teensy proportion of the circumstance we call “climate change.” If I say “Climate change is natural; is a circumstance but not necessarily a problem; and man’s effect on it is minuscule and possibly or even probably insignificant,” would anyone read through to the end of the sentence? I suspect few would.

    Back to neo: “both sides are highly politicized”

    Is there an organized anti AGW movement? I’m aware of the courageous long term actions and statements of Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma. However, he seems more interested in truth, and he doesn’t seem to have attracted an organized group of confederates.

    Can a smattering of individuals – regarding this issue – be “highly politicized”? They could be, but I don’t see that they currently are.

    Instead, I see a scattered group of skeptics who – like me – have a difficult time succinctly communicating the issue. We resort to a technically untrue description: “AGW is manure!”, which technically untrue description might be read as if we are acting out of politicized motive. Yet, I assert, we are, largely, acting of out desire to discover truth; and we are stymied by our inability to succinctly communicate about the issue.

  13. DirtyJobsGUy Says:

    As an old time modeler in the nuclear business, this is all completely believable. These guys wanted to be important and recognized (all the old SciFi movies the scientist projecting doom was ignored!) by the public. And when the powers that be saw this was something to be used grant money followed.

    But if you are looking for very small changes in noisey data to prove your point, it is very hard. The temptation to fudge the models is very high.

    What this does is confirm that there is no current proof in actual measurements that the climate will do one thing or another.

  14. jon baker Says:

    The new EU President just admitted Coppenhagen (Global warming treaty) is a step toward “Global Management of our planet” better watch the video I link to below for I fear it shall quickly disapear:

    http://video.aol.co.uk/video-detail/new-eu-president-confirms-new-world-order-desire-19nov09/17989978

  15. jon baker Says:

    NEO, you are an excellent writer, yet you have been silent on how the Lisbon Treaty was pushed thru to consolidate the EU after the European voters rejected the “EU Constitution” and how Copenhagen is an extension of that. Do you not see it?

  16. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Huxley said,
    “What comes across from the participants, who are some of the major names in global warmingology, is a certainty they are right, a casual contempt for anyone who disagrees, a hostile approach to sharing data, and a somewhat cynical attitude for polishing up the data to suit their purposes”
    Just so!

    I used to frequent the Warmers web site – Real Climate – http://www.realclimate.org/
    The contempt for any who disagreed, a hostile approach to sharing data, and an attitude of: “Listen to us because we are the only true climate scientists,” was very apparent. So much so that I realized they were not just following the science wherever it led, but had an agenda. When I started leaving comments about how difficult it would be to decrease CO2 emissions without crippling the western world economically, they banned me from the site.

    Unless the MSM has the honesty (which I doubt) to pick up on this, the AGW as apocalypse scenario will continue to be promoted.

    That is why we, the members of the alternative media, must push this information out to where it gets a chance to be understood by enough people to stop this speeding train that is going to cripple or kill our economy.

  17. chuck Says:

    I like the analogy to the Zimmerman telegram better than to the Pentagon Papers. But that might just be wishful thinking. BTW, there is a searchable database for those who want to spend the weekend looking for dirt.

  18. huxley Says:

    Tim P: Awesome web page for searching the CRU emails:

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/search.php

  19. ahem Says:

    “… both sides of the AGW controversy are very politicized…”

    Yes; one is puling for truth and the other is pulling for falsehood.

  20. Occam's Beard Says:

    a certainty they are right, a casual contempt for anyone who disagrees, a hostile approach to sharing data, and a somewhat cynical attitude for polishing up the data to suit their purposes

    Can’t get better “scientists” than that.

    I would say they’re not scientists, but technologists. Technical knowledge alone does not a scientist make.

  21. expat Says:

    JJ: I too have the impression that many are not willing to follow the science. I don’t like their selling out to Al Gore and the NGOs. Once they do that, they can’t self correct without losing prestige and grant money. My husband is a scientist, and I know that when he and his colleagues find something that doesn’t fit their predictions, they love the challenge of finding out why.

    This is so far removed from the global warming mania we see now. First of all, there are far too many hangers on–scientists who think they can get a grant if they predict that house flies will overrun northern England in 2050 if we don’t do something NOW (that’s a real report I saw a few years ago). But the truly frightening people are those who propose to solve the problem such as the pols and activists. Most are ignorant and incapable of factoring in economic problems, technical problems and possibilities, and plain old human nature. They invest everything in their one big solution and can’t afford to change. These are the people who influence the curriculum in our schools and get plenty of airtime. They are not kind to heretics.

  22. huxley Says:

    J.J.: Yeah, I’ve had comments deleted at RealClimate too. I wasn’t impressed.

    RealClimate now has a topic on the CRU hack: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/the-cru-hack/

    They are not deleting hostile comments … for now.

    RC and CRU are going to brazen it out — just private emails taken out of context in the hurlyburly of fast-moving science. They will largely succeed I think.

    But they have taken a hit. Their word has been tarnished. They have lost control of some of their data and techniques. We know when they have been bluffing, e.g. about the current lack of warming. The more technical skeptics can take a closer look at the data, code (mostly fortran — yikes! — and prolog) and documents, and counter-respond.

    Who knows? Maybe it will push the global warmingists into doing science the real, open way.

  23. Thalpy Says:

    The religious fervor in this is chilling. Our political hacks will continue to shove cap and trade down our throats irrespective of scientific fact. But then, it isn’t fact, it’s belief.

  24. huxley Says:

    neo: The question of whether these materials are genuine looks settled. No one at Hadley or RealClimate is disputing that the materials are falsified in any way.

  25. huxley Says:

    Here’s a marketing tool from the CRU Hack for selling climate change:

    http://www.climatechangefraud.com/climate-reports/5632-the-rules-of-the-game

  26. RickZ Says:

    huxley Says:

    No one at Hadley or RealClimate is disputing that the materials are falsified in any way.

    As opposed to their falsified “data.”

  27. rickl Says:

    I’ve believed that AGW was a complete crock from Day 1. Its entire purpose was to facilitate the destruction of capitalism and pave the way for world socialism. I have never wavered from that opinion.

    Granted, that’s not exactly a scientific assessment, but I daresay I’m closer to the truth than the AGW proponents.

  28. Artfldgr Says:

    none of this matters since obama will sign next month and our sovereignity is gone..

    nothing we can do….

    we were completely reasonable in giving them a chance, rather than meritocritous and mean in no 38th chances ever.

  29. RickZ Says:

    rickl Says:

    I’ve believed that AGW was a complete crock from Day 1.

    I agree. When anthropogenic global warming/climate change snake oil salesmen never mention the sun’s effect on the changing climate of the earth (Maunder Minimum, anyone?), I knew it was a scam. When such “scientists’ fail to mention the largest greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmonsphere is water vapor, I knew this whole Gorebull Worming crap was a con. Eisenhower was right in warning us about the scientific/political complex.

  30. Occam's Beard Says:

    I absolutely guarantee, sight unseen, that the models are wrong, perhaps grievously so. I have no idea how they’re wrong, but that they are is a given in my book.

    Consider the Hubble telescope fiasco, or the recent space exploration screw up caused by some using metric units, and others Imperial (forgotten the details), or the recent report that an asteroid was going to come dangerously close to the earth…retracted two weeks later when the authors sheepishly admitted that they forgotten to include a term or two, and the asteroid was going to come no where near us. Oops.

    The point is that each of these clangers arose in areas with settled science (and I mean really settled, not AlGore settled – we’re talking Newtonian mechanics here).

    Now translate to a nascent science where doubtless some variables remains to be discovered, not to mention coefficients to cross-terms between them, where the potential source of variables ranges from astronomy through atmospheric physics to oceanography, geology, and even botany, to extrapolate the results out a mere century, and then to take them seriously? Please. It is for to laugh.

  31. rickl Says:

    RickZ Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 7:53 pm

    When such “scientists’ fail to mention the largest greenhouse gas in the earth’s atmonsphere is water vapor, I knew this whole Gorebull Worming crap was a con.

    Ding Ding Ding! That’s right: water vapor is by far the most important greenhouse gas.

    I’ve always found it amusing when proponents of hydrogen-powered vehicles brag that their exhaust is water vapor. Well, if AGW were true, that would be worse than spewing CO2 into the air.

  32. huxley Says:

    a certainty they are right, a casual contempt for anyone who disagrees, a hostile approach to sharing data, and a somewhat cynical attitude for polishing up the data to suit their purposes

    Can’t get better “scientists” than that.

    Occam’s Beard: There’s a lovely quote from Feynman on “scientific integrity” which applies with a vengeance to the RC and CRU people:

    There is one feature I notice that is generally missing in “cargo cult science”… It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty — a kind of leaning over backwards… For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it… Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.

  33. rickl Says:

    I’ve said it before, and this is as good a place to repeat it as any.

    There have been many periods in Earth’s history when the climate was hotter than today, and many periods when it was colder. None of that had anything to do with human activity. There is no such thing as a “normal” temperature.

    Looking towards the future, there are only two possibilities:
    1. The climate will get warmer
    2. The climate will get cooler

    I can state with utter certainty that it will not stay the same.

    Looking at human history, the vast majority of people will be better off with a warmer climate. We would do much better to look for ways to adapt rather than trying to prevent the change.

  34. RickZ Says:

    rickl Says:

    Looking at human history, the vast majority of people will be better off with a warmer climate.

    Well sure. Trying to plant crops in the snow sucks and tends to have a low yield.

    I’m always amazed at how none of these AGW conspiracists (can we finally call it a conspiracy now, and not just a religion?), never think about ancient Rome. Those people created a civilization, conquering the known world, wearing togas and sandals, not exactly Thinsulate parkas and boots. If it wasn’t warm, or at best very temperate, they would have frozen to death, and we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

  35. Michael Says:

    The bottom line is that we will not know the truth of the matter until Al Gore tells us.

  36. Artfldgr Says:

    Just a few weeks ago, Britain’s Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research added more fuel to the fire with its latest calculations of global average temperatures. According to the Hadley figures, the world grew warmer by 0.07 degrees Celsius from 1999 to 2008 and not by the 0.2 degrees Celsius assumed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And, say the British experts, when their figure is adjusted for two naturally occurring climate phenomena, El Niño and La Niña, the resulting temperature trend is reduced to 0.0 degrees Celsius — in other words, a standstill.

  37. huxley Says:

    Global warming, we can debate; global cooling, i.e. the next ice age, is inevitable and coming soon — we’re overdue — to a blue spinning globe near you.

    It will be far more serious than an increase of a few degrees centigrade or a few feet of sea level rise. We’re talking about ice a half-mile thick and more in Canada and the northern US.

    Unless we learn to control climate, and in a few centuries I believe we have a shot at that, human civilization will be devastated by the next, inevitable ice age.

  38. Artfldgr Says:

    Despite their current findings, scientists agree that temperatures will continue to rise in the long term. The big question is: When will it start getting warmer again?

    If the deep waters of the Pacific are, in fact, the most important factor holding up global warming, climate change will remain at a standstill until the middle of the next decade, says Latif. But if the cooling trend is the result of reduced solar activity, things could start getting warmer again much sooner. Based on past experience, solar activity will likely increase again in the next few years.

  39. huxley Says:

    Artfldgr: Even before the CRU hack, I’ve had my eye on Hadley since I was following the lateness and problems of their September numbers.

  40. Artfldgr Says:

    The files, which in total amount to 160MbB of data, were first uploaded on to a Russian server, before being widely mirrored across the internet. The emails were accompanied by the anonymous statement: “We feel that climate science is, in the current situation, too important to be kept under wraps. We hereby release a random selection of correspondence, code and documents. Hopefully it will give some insight into the science and the people behind it.”

    letting the cat out of the bag is a wonderful way to destbilize things when the leaders follow their scripts ignoring the leak but the people dont.

    Greenpeace said: “If you looked through any organisation’s emails from the last 10 years you’d find something that would raise a few eyebrows. Contrary to what the sceptics claim, the Royal Society, the US National Academy of Sciences, Nasa and the world’s leading atmospheric scientists are not the agents of a clandestine global movement against the truth. This stuff might drive some web traffic, but so does David Icke.”

  41. betsybounds Says:

    I have said from the beginning that this global warming cant is not science. Here’s a cut from something I’ve posted at a couple of other sites that explains why:

    Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, did seminal work on what science actually is, and how it goes about investigating and explaining the natural world. Science operates by ruling things out. Data are gathered, and based on those data, explanatory hypotheses are advanced. The hypotheses are used to make predictions–ideally, unique predictions that nothing but the advanced hypothesis could possibly explain, and which observation must then try to prove false.

    Popper proposed a thought experiment as an example: The scientist observes a large number of swans, and notes that the ones he sees are all white. So he proposes a hypothesis: All swans are white. Popper then suggested that the way to test that hypothesis is not to go about counting white swans, because no matter how many white swans any investigator counts, it will not serve to prove the hypothesis–there may still lurk, somewhere and undiscovered, a non-white swan. The thing to do, instead, is to mount an exhaustive search for a single non-white swan–say, a black swan. In other words, you do not try to prove the hypothesis. Science is advanced by attempting to disprove the hypothesis, to rule it out. So–in science, nothing is ever proven. Hypotheses are advanced and tested, and they are then either ruled out by evidence or they are not. That which has not been ruled out remains possible. This process explains why skepticism is so important in science: It allows us to doubt what has been accepted wisdom, and to formulate falsifiable hypotheses to explain observation.

    The global warming-CO2 crowd has ignored this stricture of scientific method. Instead, they go around collecting bits of data that support their hypothesis that CO2 causes global warming, and yell, “Oh look! Our theory predicts this observation here, and this one over there–it must be true!” They call this proof. The only thing they have proven is their own ability to be highly selective with data, while failing to advance any falsifiable hypothesis. It amounts to a search for white swans–when white swans are, after all, the prediction.

    These guys act as though there were no other possibility (atmospheric CO2 content) that might explain their observations. But this is not true. There are other possibilities. Milankovitch cycles, which associate sunspot patterns with terrestrial climate, are only one of these. They have not troubled to try to rule out any of the other possibilities. In my own field of geology, we learn that in the earth’s geological past there have been many periods of widely varying climatic conditions–including warm periods during which there was no glaciation anywhere on earth. None of these warm periods has anything to do with human activity (obviously–since they were pre-human) .

    Al Gore and his gang have made not the first effort to accommodate this fact. Recent analysis has pretty well established that CO2 is a lagging, not a leading, indicator of past-climate warming events–that is to say, the temperature increases happen first, and the atmospheric CO2 increases come afterwards. Our ability to increase observational resolution enables us to see this fact in the geological record. No one knows why this relationship between terrestrial temperature and atmospheric CO2 content obtains, and the climate-warming crowd is apparently uninterested in trying to find out.

    It seems to me that the global-warming wizards have hitched their wagon to the (dubious) star of climate models. Now, we have known for some time that models are imperfect because they are necessarily incomplete, particularly with respect to systems that are as poorly and incompletely understood as terrestrial climate. But let’s accept, for the sake of argument, their model constraint on observed conditions. They have used this method to predict things that have not happened–their predictions have not been borne out in true life.

    Thus, based on the data set they themselves have advanced, their hypothesis has been ruled out. None of the models they rely on predicted the current 10-year pattern of cooling, which has been observed by ocean temperature data and land data. Therefore, I would say that their hypothesis has been ruled out according to their own terms. None of them predicted the current cooling. So they scramble to explain it by such idiocy as saying that the current cooling is merely serving to mask the underlying warming. Well. This is a bit like saying that the current above-normal precipitation in the American southeast is merely masking the underlying drought. But that doesn’t work. Who’s to say what things would be like if they weren’t what they are–to say nothing of why?

    In short, the global-warming nonsense is beginning to unravel–and not a minute too soon. It’s good to rely on science, but if that’s what you’re going to do, it’s also essential to understand science for what it is, and to use it that way.

  42. huxley Says:

    betsybounds: Indeed. One of the fascinating tidbits in the CRU emails:

    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.

    My brainy European friend who is currently staying with me explained that the reason the EU governments are so big on global warming is that they need huge carbon taxes to make up for the shortfalls that are inevitably coming. The US is not far behind.

    Sounds right to me.

  43. rickl Says:

    huxley Says:
    November 20th, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    My brainy European friend who is currently staying with me explained that the reason the EU governments are so big on global warming is that they need huge carbon taxes to make up for the shortfalls that are inevitably coming. The US is not far behind.

    That makes perfect sense, and is probably as good an explanation as any I’ve heard.

    On the other hand, they could always cut spending and reduce the size and scope of government.

    /What am I saying? That’s crazy talk!

  44. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    betsybounds,
    Fantastic comment!

    I searched for the e-mail from Kevin Trenbarth of NOAA but couldn’t find it. Wish I had bookmarked it. It was sent just in the last few weeks and was lamenting the fact that the weather in Boulder, CO has been colder than any record cold they could find. He seemed almost ready to concede that, yeah, it really isn’t getting warmer like our models predicted.

    A good site for seeing many of the e-mails summed up by category is:
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/

    Rickl said, “There have been many periods in Earth’s history when the climate was hotter than today, and many periods when it was colder. None of that had anything to do with human activity. There is no such thing as a “normal” temperature.”

    That fact is what got me interested in investigating AGW. When asked about this the Real Climate bloggers always brushed it off as not applicable to the present problem. They always promoted the idea that “this time it’s different.” Which always struck me as a way of avoiding the issue. They also worked very hard to debunk the Medieval Warm Period (MWP) because it thrust doubt on their correlation of warming and man’s usage of fossil fuels. More avoidance of looking for the Black Swan.

  45. betsybounds Says:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J.,

    Exactly. That’s what these guys have spent their professional lives doing: Avoiding looking for the black swan.

    It’s a political and a funding matter for them–grant money is at stake, and in a great many cases the grants follow the politics these days.

    They fear having their notion ruled out because their support depends upon its continuing viability.

  46. betsybounds Says:

    J.J. formerly Jimmy J.,

    Incidentally, thanks for the compliment.

  47. huxley Says:

    J.J: Here’s a link to the Kevin Trenbarth email:

    http://www.anelegantchaos.org/cru/emails.php?eid=1048

  48. Perfected democrat Says:

    In reference to betsy’s commentary about “black swans”, by coincidence I happen to just now be a chapter into Nicholas Taleb’s “Black Swan”, some of you may want to check this book out, if you’re not already familiar with it. It’s quite fascinating. Here is an interesting link about the book, statistical modeling, etc.: http://www.stat.columbia.edu/~cook/movabletype/archives/2007/04/nassim_talebs_t.html

  49. Gray Says:

    The Earf…. She is cooling.

    As I’ve said on more than a few previous threads here, particularly arguing with Mitsu:

    “Global warming” is an artifact of data reduction. It is not a physical phenomenon.

    It is nonsense. It is a lie. There is not a scintilla, nor a chinchilla, of truth to it. It is complete bullshit. It is fantasy.

    People need to believe in it for a variety of personal reasons, but it is not “science” and it is not occuring in any fashion.

    It is not based on reason nor evidence. It is “faith-based”. Once it is thoroughly discredited scientifically, and it will be, it will be fascinating to discover the reasons why people needed to believe in it.

    We are still subject to the passions and social paroxysms of witch-hunts, religious revivals, pogroms, inquisitions, crusades, and other incidents of mass-hysteria. The human limbic system will not be denied.

    Belief in Global Warming is just another social pathology; another reaction to uncertainty and mortality. Now we clothe it in “scientific” ideas and disseminate it at light speed to a larger audience, but it is the same old nonsense, for the same old reasons.

    If Global Warming didn’t exist, would it be necessary for us to invent it?

  50. Gray Says:

    If you are still doubting that Global Warming is complete nonsense, then answer me this:

    How did the human ability to gather data, process it and build gigantic predictive computer models happen to coincide perfectly with a great crisis based on predictions of those models?

    Now answer this:

    Have our extensive computer models ever, ever, predicted anything beneficial to humans?

    Of course not.

  51. Gray Says:

    Our most recent computer models, based on years of temperature data, predict rivers of milk and honey in a climate conducive to great human expansion. Days of wine and roses are coming.

    Governments around the world are going to need a helluva a lot less of your income. Good times coming for you and your generations.

    Hahahahah!

    K’ I’m done.

  52. Beverly Says:

    Andrew Bolt, the Aussie contrarian, also has a scandalous, generous sampling of the emails in question.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/hadley_hacked/

    I doubt this will have enough pressure to escape the contrarian silo. The Lickspittle Media have walled us off too effectively.

  53. rickl Says:

    Sounds like it’s about time for a revised and expanded edition of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds.

    It would indeed be Providential if these new revelations end up derailing Cap & Trade and Copenhagen. The timing couldn’t be better. Of course, government and Old Media are ‘all in’ at this point and will fight tooth and nail.

    Old Media still has enormous power and the ability to influence the thinking and behavior of vast numbers of people, as was starkly demonstrated in November 2008. But the Internet allows individuals to read and analyze information themselves, and is potentially stronger still. The old paradigm of centrally disseminated information and opinion can’t hang on forever. Maybe this will prove to be another nail in its coffin.

  54. Artfldgr Says:

    it will be fascinating to discover the reasons why people needed to believe in it.

    because in us we have faith and faith cant be turned off. the guys doing this for over 100 years know this. this is why they seek to destroy the things that people have faith in, for that is what gives them power. when all other faiths are gone, then only theirs remain for you to fixate on.

    in the absence of one faith, we seek other lesser faiths and loyalties. remove culture, which we are born into and have faith, we start wandering. we find religion. remove the religions that teach independence, merit, and faith as a strength (and a place to sink it positively), and they keep looking. offer liberation theology, or islam, its parallel to the thinking you want, and they can have a choice but its always a vegitable.

    in the absence of a well formed belief in god, faith attaches to other things, most of which do not deserve such.

  55. Artfldgr Says:

    oh… thats why they make you doubt more than any other thing. you dobut about capitaism, greed, your future if you earn to much, and so on. leaving only one thing your allowed not to doubt, even if its fantastically wrong… your faith will make you belong. you go from lonely to love bombed ,and the same things as in a cult come into play. you have a life, meaning, faith, friends, etc.

    i said it was a process… and not what you all think it is. betsy bounds with chambers piece says she s realizing this, as chambers tells us.

    we are all reasonable. they are willing to die.
    the end was written way before in willingness to act when acting was not much, and loss not at all.
    they are going to take things to the wire because thats the point as chambers says. to deflate our faith and willingness,and so before people of such convition, wrong or not, we fall.

    a capitalist no matter how rich, cant own a country
    but to own a continent takes being a politician, and no fee need be paid as they will pay you to take it from them

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    and to occam
    obama doesnt have latvian rifle corps to keep away other countries while he finishes things.
    the others never intended him to finish like he and they believe. every one is gearing up. to list out the material, what types, and the military treaties being signed (we are not paying attention to), the bomber runs. we are heating up to have a conflict, our genius whose decisions are informed by their ideology invention (which they use as a tool, and he believes), against the people he is pretending to be like. they do a better immitation of themselves than he does. lithuania, poland and the ukraine see it coming. russia has changed to a pre-emtive nuclear strick position.

    if he is too weak, we are too weak, what does weakness bring?

  57. Richard Aubrey Says:

    Just last week, I was talking to a well-educated (in the natural sciences) woman who works for the Nature Conservancy.
    I told her I doubted. She said “You won’t convert me!”
    I pointed out she’d used the word mostly reserved for religion and not science.
    I don’t know if I should call her this weekend. Gloating is fun, but not necessarily family-friendly.

  58. Scottie Says:

    It’s interesting that the argument between AGW proponents vs critics is very similar to an argument between proponents of science vs proponents of religion.

    Only in this case, the AGW *scientists* are in the role of defending their religion, and the AGW doubters are playing the role of the heretic…..

  59. Matthew M Says:

    Out of 4.5 billion years, how did the temperature around 1900 become the sweet spot? How do you even determine an average temp? Is the concept even useful when different regions of the earth can have varying trends? Anyone who contributed to the AGW hysteria should be shunned like an early 20th century eugenicist.

  60. E Says:

    The thing that I find fascinating about global-warming adherents is not so much their religious mania about the phenomenon, but their inexplicable conviction that they can actually do something about it.

    This is typical of the progressive heresy that man is God and that it’s possible to create heaven on earth. Frankly, I find it creepy.

    Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like I drive a Hummer limo and hurl garbage around whilst drinking from a styrofoam cup – like most people, I’m mindful of energy use. Our household’s recycling output is bigger than our trash output. I draw the line at compact flourescent bulbs, however, which make my skin look like old Gouda cheese.

    I just don’t think it’s feasible for mankind to go back to living in mud huts to satisfy the urges of the progressive nannies to Make A Difference.

  61. rickl Says:

    E Says:
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:40 pm

    I just don’t think it’s feasible for mankind to go back to living in mud huts to satisfy the urges of the progressive nannies to Make A Difference.

    Ah, but the progressive nannies have no intention of living in mud huts themselves. Those are for you and me.

    I actually do have some compact fluorescent bulbs in my house. I use them in some of the lamps that are turned on most often. They’re also good to use in lights I leave on when I’m not home. But I bought them voluntarily, not because the government forced me to.

  62. Ozyripus Says:

    betsybounds,

    Yes! Good old T.C. Chamberlain’s 1897 argument that one tries to disprove one’s hypotheses, not prove them, is what is missing from the AGW argument.

    You make that scientific-procedure point interestingly and effectively. It is what drove “molecular biology’s” great successes in the ’60’s and later years, and what is missing from the AGW cant.

    Nice to see “field science” methods (attitudes) still more powerful than computer programs!

  63. E Says:

    Rickl, I think mud huts must look infinitely worse by the light of a compact florescent bulb…

  64. rickl Says:

    E: But mud huts don’t have electricity. So no problem. 🙂

  65. huxley Says:

    Powerline’s John Hinderaker has written the single best post on the CRU emails I’ve seen. (Unzipped the emails comprised over one million words. When does Hinderaker find time to do his job and his blog and sleep?)

    Hinderaker doesn’t quote a scattershot “greatest hits” of the CRU emails, as many have. Instead he drills down through a sustained set of exchanges about the recent Yamal tree-ring controversy to show how the big-name global warming scientists responded with bluff and political maneuvering rather than meeting McIntyre’s criticisms.

    Hinderaker concludes, “What they are doing is politics, not science.”

  66. Artfldgr Says:

    From 1934 to 1940, under Lysenko’s admonitions and with Stalin’s approval, many geneticists were executed (including Isaak Agol, Solomon Levit, Grigorii Levitskii, Georgii Karpechenko and Georgii Nadson) or sent to labor camps. The famous Soviet geneticist Nikolai Vavilov was arrested in 1940 and died in prison in 1943).[2].

    Genetics was stigmatized as a ‘bourgeois science’ or ‘fascist science’ (because fascists — particularly the Nazis in Germany — embraced genetics and attempted to use it to justify their theories on eugenics and the master race, which culminated in Action T4).

    If the field of genetics’ connection to Nazisms wasn’t enough, Mendelian genetics particularly enraged Stalin and other atheists due to its founder Gregor Mendel’s being a Priest, a fact that flew in the face of the Marxist ideology that religion was backwards and evil.

    Despite the ban, some Soviet scientists continued to work in genetics, dangerous as it was.

    In 1948, genetics was officially declared “a bourgeois pseudoscience”; all geneticists were fired from work (some were also arrested), and all genetic research was discontinued. Nikita Khrushchev, who claimed to be an expert in agricultural science, also valued Lysenko as a great scientist, and the taboo on genetics continued (but all geneticists were released or rehabilitated posthumously). The ban was only waived in the mid 1960s.

    Thus, Lysenkoism caused serious, long-term harm to Soviet biology. It represented a serious failure of the early Soviet leadership to find real solutions to agricultural problems, allowing their system to be hijacked by a charlatan — at the expense of many human lives. Lysenkoism also spread to China, where it continued long after it was eventually denounced by the Soviets.

  67. J.J. formerly Jimmy J. Says:

    Huxley,
    Thanx for th link to Trenbarth’s e-mail.

    Also, thanx for the comment about Hinderaker’s essay. His insight into the tree ring controversy is spot on. That came up in October when someone anonymously sent Steve McIntyre Briffa’s data that was used to construct the “Hockey Stick.” McIntyre discovered that the only way they could get the “Hockey Stick” shape was to cherry pick the data. At the time I thought this was going to put a stake through the heart of the idea of catastrophic AGW. Silly me. I go on a three week trip to China and Vietnam and when I get back there is almost no mention of that revelation in the blogosphere and none in the MSM. Thank goodness for these e-mails. Detailed evidence of their agenda driven “science.” But it will not make it into the general public’s consciousness unless it is forced out there by the alternative media. ie Us!

    For those who have the time (37 min.) I highly recommend this series of You Tube interviews with Lord Monckton. He makes a very good case against warming hysteria in a very accessible way. (Any layman can grasp what says.)
    It’s here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2zaPCYgovg&feature=PlayList&p=BC2D71C7AB28A6C8&index=0

  68. Ilíon Says:

    Already, the ubiquitous “-gate” suffix is in use, rendering this to-do as “Climategate” (even in the UK, I see).

    How about we conservatives insist upon calling it “Climatequiddick?”

  69. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    If fake, they would constitute an anti-AGW hoax of major proportions.

    You don’t fake 100+ megabytes of data/information/ and over 1000 emails. Especially the emails.

  70. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    A RICO suit here or even, as I saw one commenter suggest, the charge of a “crime against humanity,” if you consider the extent of government control and funding, the massive dislocations and possible “unintended consequences,” including things like famines and death likely to occur if we put into effect world-wide efforts to “remedy” supposed AGW.

  71. SAB Says:

    New documentary debunking Al Gore’s inconveneniet…bunk.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/11/21/new-documentary-challenges-gores-inconvenient-truth-global-warming/?test=latestnews

  72. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Let’s face it. The far Left has captured our Federal Government, and with the help of its almost total control of the MSM, Academia and Hollywood, is trying to ram its totalitarian and collectivist program through, under the guise of fixing various mostly manufactured and/or grossly exaggerated world-shaking “Crises”; it used to be past crusades over the coming “Ice Age,” then the “Population Bomb,” crusades over things like “DDT and Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,”” “Alar on our food,” then, the “Hole in the Ozone Layer,” and recently “Anthropogenic Global Warming,” reframed–now that things are obviously getting colder–as “Climate Change,” as their vehicle in the environmental area, paralleling their crisis vehicles in Health Care, Energy and our Capitalist system.

    These “vehicles” have to be fought on two levels—the “science” and the politics. I suspect the hack this weekend was an inside job, else how to know which among so many files to hack? Whatever the case is, we owe the hacker an enormous debt of gratitude.

    Many of us not being scientists, it is our job to see to the political side, and see how many truly conservative members of Congress and members of state and local governments we can elect, and how many Democrats and RINOS we can defeat. The vote on the Senate’s health care bill should settle any doubts about the ultimate allegiance of all Democrats to the Democrat’s far Left agenda, however much some Democrats—the Blue Dogs, for instance–talk of their moderation and “doubts.”

  73. Occam's Beard Says:

    It’s looking pretty real at this point. The possibility of salting the files with some choice emails can’t yet be discounted, but not even the putative culprits are claiming that. Looks bad. Very bad.

  74. betsybounds Says:

    It’s real, all right. It’s also bad. Very bad.

    The biggest question I have at this point is why any reasonably alert, sentient being is even vaguely surprised. These guys have been very open for a long time about their opinion that belief in this tripe is a species of virtue, that inciting general fear and dread of it amongst the population is a necessary tool, and that those who question is should be destroyed–up to and including credential revocation and general professional discrediting.

    The only thing remotely surprising to me is that it has taken so long.

  75. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    It suddenly occurred to me that this series of videos were strangely appropriate in illustrating our fate if Obama & Co.’s various major initiatives in Health, Energy and Education become law (see http://www.eatmedaily.com/2009/11/deep-fried-turkey-disaster-videos-youre-doing-it-wrong/ ).

  76. huxley Says:

    Occam’s Beard: The CRU Hack not enough to derail AGW but it is an easy and nasty pushback any time CRU Team gets uppity or makes claims without providing the full means to replicate or when anyone like Gore or Obama declare that “the science is settled.”

    In the meantime it seems that Al Gore has jumped the shark — here he is being dissed on Saturday Night Live.

  77. betsybounds Says:

    I see on Drudge that climate change is pushing poor women to prostitution. Well, it’s certainly pushed some prosperous scientists to prostitution, so why not poor women?

  78. Occam's Beard Says:

    Huxley, yup, AGW is not completely derailed, but it cannot henceforth get away with oracular pronouncements without rock-hard supporting data made publicly available. That’s a huge victory for..uh…truth. If there’s anything to AGW, we need to find out. If it’s crap, we need to find that out too.

    So whoever leaked this stuff has done us all a huge service, because from here out we’ll have the means to make a rational determination of the validity of the AGW assertions.

    Meanwhile, editors of Nature and Science should be taken out and shot for incompetence for not insisting on public availability to all of the data. Traditionally those data would have been provided as supplementary material; that those editors did not insist on provision of those data as a pre-condition for publication is more than grounds for their termination.

  79. huxley Says:

    Occam’s Beard: I share your indignation. The scientific establishment has been unforgiveably negligent in not demanding all of the data and methodology to replicate the AGW claims.

    In principle it’s the right thing to do; given the stakes, or so we are told, of global cataclysm it’s absolutely a necessity.

    Instead the AGW scientists have treated their work like it was a guild secret for solving quartic equations or manufacturing Coca-Cola, something jealously guarded to further their power and remuneration.

  80. Oblio Says:

    OB is right. It is time to name names and make the behavior of the editors at Nature and Science the issue. It is indefensible. Heads should roll.

  81. huxley Says:

    Well, it’s quite possible that the CRU hacker isn’t done releasing further materials.

    Some people are now turning over the rocks in the fortran code and finding all sorts of wormy stuff in the comments.

    Apparently one of the reasons the CRU scientists haven’t wanted to release their data and code is the poor quality and all the hackery that went into splicing the data together.

    No. If we are going to have these big life-and-death discussions of global warming, the datasets and the code that handles them should be in a universal repository that all have access to.

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