Nov 29 2009, 03:27 PM
Joined: 13-September 06
Member No.: 49
I notice there I no threads in this sub-forum specifically about the huge scandal that is sweeping the world while being totally ignored in the mainstream media (with the exception of Fox).
Here's a good read ...
Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Climategate denial foundering on army of Davids
By: Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Sunday Reflections Contributor
November 29, 2009
Last week a hacker -- or, perhaps more likely, an inside "whistleblower" -- leaked huge amounts of data from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in Britain. The leaks demonstrated that many "insider" scientists were conspiring to block publication of dissenting views in peer-reviewed journals, while suggesting that there was data-fudging, and deliberate evasion of Freedom Of Information requests, perhaps even including deliberate destruction of data.
Worse still, the computer models themselves appear to be jerry-rigged and deeply flawed. As Declan McCullagh reported on the CBS News website, independent programmers were appalled:
“As the leaked messages, and especially the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, found their way around technical circles, two things happened: first, programmers unaffiliated with East Anglia started taking a close look at the quality of the CRU's code, and second, they began to feel sympathetic for anyone who had to spend three years (including working weekends) trying to make sense of code that appeared to be undocumented and buggy, while representing the core of CRU's climate model.
“One programmer highlighted the error of relying on computer code that, if it generates an error message, continues as if nothing untoward ever occurred. Another debugged the code by pointing out why the output of a calculation that should always generate a positive number was incorrectly generating a negative one. A third concluded: ‘I feel for this guy. He's obviously spent years trying to get data from undocumented and completely messy sources.’
“Programmer-written comments inserted into CRU's Fortran code have drawn fire as well. The file briffa_sep98_d.pro says: ‘Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!’ and ‘APPLY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION.’ Another, quantify_tsdcal.pro, says: ‘Low pass filtering at century and longer time scales never gets rid of the trend - so eventually I start to scale down the 120-yr low pass time series to mimic the effect of removing/adding longer time scales!’”
None of this inspires confidence. As Megan McArdle noted on the Atlantic Monthly's website: "The IPCC report, which is the most widely relied upon in policy circles, uses this model to estimate the costs of global warming. If those costs are unreliable, then any cost-benefit analysis is totally worthless. Obviously, this also casts their reluctance to conform with FOI requests in a slightly different light.”
Yes, they're acting as if they've got something to hide. But the establishment's response has been to ignore the problem and hope it goes away.
Climate Czar Carol Browner responded: "I'm sticking with the 2,500 scientists. These people have been studying this issue for a very long time and agree this problem is real."
The problem is that the "2,500 scientists" she refers to were relying on data and models that, it now appears, may have been fake. Garbage in, garbage out. Plenty of scientists believed in Piltdown Man, too, for a while.
Big media are downplaying the problem too -- while Declan McCullagh has done great reporting on CBS's website, the network's broadcast coverage has been quite different. Likewise, the New York Times and Washington Post, while covering the matter, have downplayed its significance.
It seems clear that the Obama administration, and the folks in traditional media, think this is a story better ignored.
It won't work. While Big Media folks ignore the story, the alternate media are all over it...
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