The Apple Of God's Eye

December 5, 2009

Science Is Dying

Editors Comment: The following article from the December 4th Wall Street Jounal encapsulates a runaway train of doubt in science, as the accounts of the East Anglia emails become mainstream. Science is at a crisis point, and as th article points out, it has become just another faction – politicized and messy.


Science Is Dying, Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2009

Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.

I don’t think most scientists appreciate what has hit them. This isn’t only about the credibility of global warming. For years, global warming and its advocates have been the public face of hard science. Most people could not name three other subjects they would associate with the work of serious scientists. This was it. The public was told repeatedly that something called “the scientific community” had affirmed the science beneath this inquiry.

Global warming enlisted the collective reputation of science. Because “science” said so, all the world was about to undertake a vast reordering of human behavior at almost unimaginable financial cost. Not every day does the work of scientists lead to galactic events simply called Kyoto or Copenhagen. At least not since the Manhattan Project.

What is happening at East Anglia is an epochal event. As the hard sciences—physics, biology, chemistry, electrical engineering—came to dominate intellectual life in the last century, some academics in the humanities devised the theory of postmodernism, which liberated them from their colleagues in the sciences. Postmodernism, a self-consciously “unprovable” theory, replaced formal structures with subjectivity. With the revelations of East Anglia, this slippery and variable intellectual world has crossed into the hard sciences.

The Climate Emails

This has harsh implications for the credibility of science generally. Hard science, alongside medicine, was one of the few things left accorded automatic stature and respect by most untrained lay persons. But the average person reading accounts of the East Anglia emails will conclude that hard science has become just another faction, as politicized and “messy” as, say, gender studies. The New England Journal of Medicine has turned into a weird weekly amalgam of straight medical-research and propaganda for the Obama redesign of U.S. medicine.

The East Anglians’ mistreatment of scientists who challenged global warming’s claims—plotting to shut them up and shut down their ability to publish—evokes the attempt to silence Galileo. The exchanges between Penn State’s Michael Mann and East Anglia CRU director Phil Jones sound like Father Firenzuola, the Commissary-General of the Inquisition.

For three centuries Galileo has symbolized dissent in science. In our time, most scientists outside this circle have kept silent as their climatologist fellows, helped by the cardinals of the press, mocked and ostracized scientists who questioned this grand theory of global doom. Even a doubter as eminent as Princeton’s Freeman Dyson was dismissed as an aging crank.

Beneath this dispute is a relatively new, very postmodern environmental idea known as “the precautionary principle.” As defined by one official version: “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.” The global-warming establishment says we know “enough” to impose new rules on the world’s use of carbon fuels. The dissenters say this demotes science’s traditional standards of evidence.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s dramatic Endangerment Finding in April that greenhouse gas emissions qualify as an air pollutant—with implications for a vast new regulatory regime—used what the agency called a precautionary approach. The EPA admitted “varying degrees of uncertainty across many of these scientific issues.” Again, this puts hard science in the new position of saying, close enough is good enough. One hopes civil engineers never build bridges under this theory.

The Obama administration’s new head of policy at EPA, Lisa Heinzerling, is an advocate of turning precaution into standard policy. In a law-review article titled “Law and Economics for a Warming World,” Ms. Heinzerling wrote, “Policy formation based on prediction and calculation of expected harm is no longer relevant; the only coherent response to a situation of chaotically worsening outcomes is a precautionary policy. . . .”

If the new ethos is that “close-enough” science is now sufficient to achieve political goals, serious scientists should be under no illusion that politicians will press-gang them into service for future agendas. Everyone working in science, no matter their politics, has an stake in cleaning up the mess revealed by the East Anglia emails. Science is on the credibility bubble. If it pops, centuries of what we understand to be the role of science go with it.

November 28, 2009

Climategate: Lying Scientists, Esoteric Interpretations And Mystical Lore!

I read this article about the march of the world’s politicians towards Copenhagen, which continues in the face of the scientific scandal dubbed “climategate”. The author in the Toronto Sun gives the reason as the alliance of Big Government, Big Business and Big Green, which shrug off legitimate science. He suggests they stifled their own doubts about recent global cooling not explained by their computer models, manipulated data, plotted ways to avoid releasing it under freedom of information laws and attacked fellow scientists and scientific journals for publishing even peer-reviewed literature of which they did not approve.

The goes another step further and publishes some of the more than 1,000 e-mails, released last week after servers of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (cru) were hacked and the information was posted on the internet.

Investigate magazine’s TGIF Edition tonight confirmed the story with the director of Britain’s Climate Research Unit, Phil Jones, who said that his organization has been hacked, and the data flying all over the internet appears to be genuine.

“Jones said, ‘We were aware of this about three or four days ago that someone had hacked into our system and taken and copied loads of data files and emails.'”

Here’s the entire story and below are some sample from the e-mails, with all of them here in searchable format:

  • Doctored data:

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.

  • Frustration with facts that do not support the global warming theory:

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. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong. Our observing system is inadequate.

  • Destroying evidence:

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.

  • Blacklisting scientists who disagree:

I think we have to stop considering “Climate Research” as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board…What do others think?”

I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.

It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ.

The Hacker

The hack is believed to have been the work of a cru insider who has essentially blown the whistle on their operations. Some are calling the Climategate scandal the greatest in modern science. The documents definitely appear to confirm long-held suspicions of skeptics: that the global warming theory is a politically motivated farce.

The Wall Street Journal has tried to contact many of the scientists who sent and received the e-mails in question. It reports,

Some of those mentioned in the e-mails have responded to our requests for comment by saying they must first chat with their lawyers. Others have offered legal threats and personal invective. Still others have said nothing at all. Those who have responded have insisted that the e-mails reveal nothing more than trivial data discrepancies and procedural debates.

Yet all of these nonresponses manage to underscore what may be the most revealing truth: that these scientists feel the public doesn’t have a right to know the basis for their climate-change predictions, even as their governments prepare staggeringly expensive legislation in response to them.

Telegraph columnist James Delingpole has been alerting his readers to the shaky foundation under the global warming theory for years. On November 20, he wrote:

In September—I wrote the story up here as “How the global warming industry is based on a massive lie”—cru’s researchers were exposed as having “cherry-picked” data in order to support their untrue claim that global temperatures had risen higher at the end of the 20th century than at any time in the last millennium. cru was also the organization which—in contravention of all acceptable behavior in the international scientific community—spent years withholding data from researchers it deemed unhelpful to its cause. This matters because cru, established in 1990 by the Met Office, is a government-funded body which is supposed to be a model of rectitude. Its HadCrut record is one of the four official sources of global temperature data used by the ipcc. …

Climate Is Hijacked

We already know that the climate change nonsense doesn’t work because  Europe’s five-year-old cap-and-trade (a.k.a. cap-and-tax) market — the Emissions Trading Scheme — has done nothing to make the world cooler. The entire scheme does nothing more than “make hedge fund managers, speculators and Big Energy giddy with windfall profits, while making everyone else poorer by driving up the cost of energy, and thus of most goods and services, which need energy to be lighted, heated, cooled, grown, constructed, manufactured, produced and transported.”

Unfortunately, we’ve a long, long way to go before the public mood (and scientific truth) is reflected by our policy makers. There are too many vested interests in [anthropogenic global warming], with far too much to lose either in terms of reputation or money, for this to end without a bitter fight.

I’m thinking this was not the work of a hacker, but rather a disgruntled insider and there is, apparently, enough evidence in the papers & emails to be seriously embarrassing to the climitista alarmists. In my opinion, someone should give that ‘insider’ a Nobel Prize! Watch for a lot of spin being created to counter the impending dose of sunlight.

Further Links On The Subject

  • BBC story (confirms hacking, nothing about the content)
  • The Guardian (confirms; says skeptics think it proves a collusion)
  • George Monbiot (a top AGW champion): shaken by a “major blow”; Jones should resign
  • Hans von Storch: they should resign, science fixes itself (moderate climate boss, read the “News”)

  • Real Climate (confirms hacking, suggests that the climate scientists are frustrated angels)
  • Glenn Beck YouTube Video on Climate Change cover-up
  • Lateline video about this global warming cabala

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