Nov 29 2009, 04:27 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...
Jan 9 2010, 03:22 PM
Group: Core Member
Joined: 18-February 07
From: Maryland, USA
Member No.: 633
Whether the man-made climate change danger is real is an important question. Whether anything we do will have an effect on global temperature trends is another important question. A few pilfered emails that seem to indicate less than scrupulous adherence to the ethical standards that ought to apply to any serious science isn't enough to make me jump into bed with those who have been proven liars on the payroll of Exxon Mobile and big oil and coal. While I must admit that my confidence is shaken (which has been the goal of the latter during this entire debate) now is the time to demand some clarity. Deteriorating ice shelves in the Antarctic demand some explanation. Good science has to be applied and the scientists who may have falsified or distorted data to bolster an agenda must be called to account. My first commitment has been and remains to the wise and frugal use of resources that are finite and to minimize the impact of humankind on the very ecological systems upon which we and those who share the globe with us ultimately depend. The disappearance of coral reefs, acquatic and land species, and rain forests are serious matters no matter what is happening with sunspots. Pollution has effects that are not good for anyone. You only have to dive on a dying coral reef and compare it to a healthy one that is remote and thus relatively unaffected by our impact on the bodies of water near which we live to see where our 6.5 billion people multiplying rapidly is taking us.
It is a question for honest science, not politics, and the corporate shills who are paid to throw as much dust as possible in the eyes of science in order to preserve doubt about the question so their being called to account have nothing to contribute, and they pollute the debate just as they have poisoned our environment. I live near what was termed in my lifetime the "greatest protein factory in the world", the world's largest estuary. It is almost dead. Huge dead zones appear each summer. Oysters barely survive, and its bounty of shell-fish, crabs, and other species is dangerous to those who eat too much of the ones they can catch, due to mercury. This body of water is one of the most "protected" anywhere, but it doesn't compensate for the impact of the increase of the population in the watershed.
The 9/11 community is evidence driven. Let's demand honesty and downplay the politics of these questions. I will be relieved if the global warming predictions are overstated but it won't cause me to go out and buy an SUV or cease to support solar and wind energy or conservation.
This post has been edited by maturin42: Jan 9 2010, 03:25 PM
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