Hide the Decline

Why government-funded scientists should release their documents

In this country, even a global warming denialist with a carbon fetish and bad intentions has the right to see the inner workings of government.

Or, at least, he should.

When leaked e-mails recently exposed talk of manipulating scientific evidence on global warming, Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at The National Center for Atmospheric Research, argued that skeptics and other evildoers had cherry-picked and presented his comments out of context.

To rectify this injustice, I sent Trenberth (and NCAR) a Freedom of Information Act request asking for his e-mail correspondences with other renowned climate scientists in an effort to help contextualize what they've been talking about.

Surely the tragically uninformed among us could use some perspective on these innocuous comments by Trenberth: "We can't account for the lack of warming at the moment, and it is a travesty that we can't"; "we are (not) close to knowing where energy is going or whether clouds are changing to make the planet brighter."

Trenberth, lead author of the 1995, 2001, and 2007 assessments of climate change by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, obtains approximately 95 percent of his funding through the federal government, via the National Science Foundation.

Well, soon after my request was fired off, I was informed by NCAR's counsel that the organization is, in fact, not a federal agency—because its budget is laundered through the National Science Foundation—and thus is under no obligation to provide information to the public.

"Why don't you put all your e-mails online for everyone to see?" Trenberth helpfully suggested to me. "My e-mail is none of your business."

Now, generally, I would agree. It's every American citizen's hallowed duty to mind his or her own freaking business—except in those rare instances when one of those citizens happens to be a taxpayer-funded eco-crusader utilizing his appointed station in life to promote policy that sticks its nose into the lives of every American.

I'm afraid snarky columnizing, on the other hand, is not federally funded—at least not yet.

In fact, Trenberth's work is one reason the nation is moving toward rationed energy use via cap-and-trade legislation. His work is one reason the Environmental Protection Agency, through its endangerment findings on carbon emissions, can regulate industry by decree. It is Trenberth's government-financed science that drives public policy across this country. Yet Trenberth has less accountability to the public than the local parks department.

He is not alone. The Competitive Enterprise Institute—one of those troglodyte-funded, big-screen-television-loving outfits—was forced to file three notices of intent to file suit against NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, demanding the organization provide documents and raw data that were requested under the Freedom of Information Act three years ago.

Chris Horner, an attorney and senior fellow at CEI working on the NASA case, says of NCAR: "Without government, these jobs would not exist; that is a reasonable threshold test to determine whether documents should be available to the taxpayer."

Public confidence continues to fall on the global warming alarmism front. But if the evidence of coming tragedy is as incontrovertible as we're told, taxpayers certainly should not have to beg those they pay to hand it over.

At the very least, taxpayers should be able to hold government-funded scientific institutions to the same level of accountability to which they hold their local dog pounds.

David Harsanyi is a columnist at The Denver Post and the author of Nanny State. Visit his Web site at www.DavidHarsanyi.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 THE DENVER POST
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  • ||

    I'm afraid snarky columnizing, on the other hand, is not federally funded—at least not yet.

    Yeah, but I bet you drive to work on PUBLIC ROADS!

  • ||

    Public roads that are primarily funded by the state not the federal government, genius.

  • ||

    I am crayon, and I am here to ask you a question:
    Is a scientist not entitled to the data of his own work?

    No, says the cunts at "Reason." It belongs to ExxonMobil because they pay us well.
    No, says the shithead at Conservapedia. It belongs to God.
    No, says the cockmongler at RNC. It belongs to global warming deniers!

    I rejected those answers. Instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose...
    Rapture!
    A web site where the posters would not fear the censors.
    Where the scientist would not be bound by petty pigfucking global warming denier claims.
    Where the great would not be constrained by the small.
    With a click on your browser, you don't have to send your data to be raped by Liberturdians as well.

  • TallDave||

    Sure, let the scientists keep their [profanity] data. Just don't ask us to spend trillions of dollars based on data you won't show anyone.

  • ||

    Instead, we'll buy oil from sand-niggers that'll use the oil money to wage Jihad on us!
    BRILLIANT!
    Suck my ass, National Security!

  • JoshInHB||

    Crayon we found you're daddy son

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    As soon as he sobers up, can go for a visit.

  • ||

    "We found you are daddy son."
    What does that even mean?

  • ||

    Traditional well reasoned Democrat's progressive logic and polemic skills

  • MattXIV||

    It is standard practice to provide data sets to anyone who asks for them to repeat your calculations - this practice is important since many frauds have been uncovered over the years by it. It is legally required to provide data sets that fall under the scope of FOIA or comparable legislation in other countries, which the data sets in question do. So by both the internal norms of the scientific community and the law of the land, yes, they should disclose their data.

    Ignorant and incoherent is no way to go through life, kid.

  • ||

    Fat, stupid, and Republican is not way to go through life, son.

  • ||

    Fuck you!

  • Snarky columnist||

    .. and your point is?

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    I demand alt-text on that pic.

  • ###||

    The amount of raw data on climate change on the web is amazing. Far more than anyone could hope to process. Even if they worked on it full time.

  • ||

    The amount of raw data on climate change on the web is amazing. Far more than anyone could hope to process. Even if they worked on it full time.

    But presumably teams of people could process. If not, then it seems like you're saying that the scientists themselves whose full time job it is to process the data can't possibly do their jobs. Maybe that is what you're saying.

  • ||

    Depends on what you mean by process.

    Anyone can copy data into a spreadsheet and graph it.

  • Me||

    I can't.

  • Tony||

    So do you want their emails, or their data? How will their email correspondences "contextualize" their research? More likely it's bound to confuse it, even if you're not scrounging through them looking for something to blow up into a fake controversy.

  • ||

    sigh

    If the scientists say that the emails that were leaked misrepresent them because they are out of context, then the logical thing to is to present the rest of the emails so that they are not misrepresented.

    Since science is based on repetition and peer review of experiments, making the data public would insure that everyone trying to review their research is starting at the same point.

    Especially since 95% of the money for his organization comes from the public, this doesn't seem unfair.

    Pretty fucking obvious, Tony.

  • Tony||

    Again, you're slipping "data" in there while talking about emails. What data is being kept secret?

    And how will email correspondence between individual scientists help anyone understand the science better?

  • The Expatriate||

    And how will email correspondence between individual scientists help anyone understand the science better?

    It doesn't matter, Tony. If they are sending emails on networks that are paid for by tax dollars, then citizens should have the right to see them for whatever reason.

    If they want to discuss something and have it off the public record, then they should correspond with each other using private email accounts.

  • ||

    They will do just that from thid point forward. The only reason they did not in the past was because they thought it "was private" .

    If there is nothing to hide then show it all. E-mails and the data!

    If they can't or won't do atleast that, then they have something to hide, plain and simple.

  • ||

    God your stupid.

    Yes Tony, emails and data are two separate things.

    The rest of the emails (the ones not leaked to the public) would provide what's known as "context" so that the leaked emails would not be "out of context." When one complains that emails don't represent the entire story because they are "taken out of context", the solution to that problem is to reveal the context.

    Just as climate scientists don't want to provide the context for their emails, they are also not transparent with their data - which is often requested under FOIA.

    They present to the public the doctored (for whatever reason) data sets and we are to assume that whatever they did to doctor the data is scientifically valid.

  • ||

    No, no, this is all cool.

    If Trenberth doesn't want to divulge all of his email, then we'll just go off what we have, which makes him out to be a 3rd rate scientist (but a first rate bureaucrat) and a liar to boot.

  • ||

    that should be *you're*

    pretty hypocritical when I'm calling someone stupid...

  • ||

    What data is being kept secret?

    Plenty of data is being kept secret. The "uncorrected" temperature measurements, especially historical data, is being kept secret. The CRU guys claim that most of that is because the foreign governments that collect the data make them sign NDAs.

    That's possible, but it's still pretty retarded.

    What about source code to the programs that process the data and "correct" it, or performs the analysis. That is being kept secret. I believe in open-source science.

  • Drew||

    "That's possible, but it's still pretty retarded."

    This is an inadequate response. The CRU guys are not just claiming it: it's true. If you don't like it, then you need to lobby the various governments which require it, not complain that CRU is legally complying.

    And this is especially dishonest given that most articles on this controversy all manage to neglect mentioning this fact, thus leaving the impression that the CRU has no actual reason for not making the raw data public OTHER than to hide their tracks.

  • ||

    As important as data is in validating scientific findings, so is the credibility of the scientists doing the research. If they're going to claim their emails are taken out of context, then the burden is upon them to do whatever is necessary to restore their credibility; otherwise, they may as well be disregarded. Releasing all of the emails would go a long way towards restoring (or further destroying, which seems more likely) their credibility and thus making their findings worth heeding.

    Besides, would you really think you have a valid argument if your boss asked you to show your work and work-related correspondence and you declined because you didn't believe it to be necessary?

  • ||

    Well, the folks in question are the ones who claim to have been "quoted out of context". So asking for the context seems quite reasonable.
    And scrounging through government-funded correspondence looking for evidence of malfeasance is pretty much what the FOIA is all about, isn't it?
    Or are we all just ignorant peasants who should listen to our betters?

  • Hank||

    Tony, if we cut our emissions in this country by what figure? and India and China continue to increase their emissions at their current rates, how much will it lower the average global temperature by 2020? Or Chad?

  • Tony||

    As it stands, India and China are doing far more than the U.S. to cut emissions voluntarily. So what is your point exactly?

  • ||

    Ah, so did Eastern Europe; all it took was the collapse of communism.
    Both China and India are going through drastic improvements in prosperity levels which pretty much automatically lower per-capita carbon output.
    The US is a pretty mature economy, so neither of those options are available.
    What is your point.

  • Hank||

    Well, I am unaware of India and China cutting their emissions, so if you would be so kind as to provide some information on that I would appreciate it. You and Chad seem to be the resident experts on global warming, so I was looking for some info. It seems to me that the development in China, for instance the transition from bicycles to cars and new coal fired power plants coming on line at a rapid pace, is and will continue to increase carbon emissions significantly. India's development is having and will have the same effect. My point is: considering some of the negative consequences of energy legislation and/or regulation in this country, do you think it's prudent to push through these policies without rapidly developing countries on board? You see, I am skeptical about our understanding of climate change and the causes, but assuming, say, Hansen is correct, agw is going to be catastrophic, I worry about harmful legislation in this country that would have little effect on the average global temperature.

  • Zeb||

    This is the most important point to be made in this debate. Even assuming that the worst case scenario comes to pass, it is far from clear that:
    -there is any chance that CO2 control measures will actually be at all effective, and
    -assuming they could be effective that they are the best way to use our resources.

  • ||

    As it stands, India and China are doing far more than the U.S. to cut emissions voluntarily.

    India and China are touting the same sort of "carbon intensity" decreases that Bush touted.

    US carbon emissions grew very slowly under GWB, and due to timing I believe the final calculations will show that GWB left office with less carbon emissions than he started with. OTOH, Clinton's Administration was terrible for carbon emissions by the same metric. Luckily, no one actually cares about carbon emissions, they just care about politicians seeming like they care.

  • ||

    EPA Greenhouse Gas Inventory from 2009, with data from 1990 to 2007.

    If you want to talk about the resultant greenhouse gas emissions, and voluntary emissions cuts, then it's clear that the GWB Administration should be beloved by AGW believers compared to Clinton's.

    Of course, most environmentalists don't actually want to be seen praising recessions for their greenhouse gas limiting effects, though.

  • ||

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechan.....02-508.pdf

    The emissions graph shows more emmission on Bush's watch than Clinton's.

  • ||

    Not that it matters.

  • ||

    Tony you need to stop drinking the koolade.

    India and China polute more and more each year, as they "grow" into the world markets. They are just some of the people looking for a US tax payer funded pay out to "help mitigate" the change.

    Wake up man! Its about making us pay to help them raise their standard of living up closer to or in their perfect world above the U.S.

    I for one aint going to pay for world "welfare".

  • Freddie Mercury||

    I want it all, and I want it now.

  • Marrion Berry||

    Hey Tony. Suck on this:

    CLIMATE CHANGE IS NATURAL: 100 REASONS WHY

    http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/146138

  • Tony||

    I've already read that mind-numbing litany of bullshit from the European Foundation. Now how about you go suck on some real science for a while and stop reading politically motivated denier talking points? It would be the fair thing to do.

  • ||

    Yes, because giving data to a bunch of ill-willed retards without any science background will make things so much better.

    Bad faith requests are in bad faith.

    Here are some of your libertarian friends questioning evolution in the same shitty way:

    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Lenski_affair

  • ||

    Why is asking for some transparency such a big deal?

    How is this any different than the Catholic Church during middle ages going "No No, the Bible says this. Just trust us."

    And who says that none have a science background?

  • ||

    To simply let every creationist/libertarian/global warming denying idiot have access to the data so that they can spread their lies is just a recipe for disaster.

    Just click on the link, please:
    http://rationalwiki.com/wiki/Lenski_affair

  • ||

    So the official liberal/progressive position on the matter is..."We're going to control information because we can't trust people who disagree with us to use it "correctly?"

    You're a scumbag.

  • Tony||

    Deniers have proven themselves to be acting in bad faith every step of the way. In general I'm pro-transparency. But not if the only purpose of transparency is to confuse people and give crackpots with an agenda the means to undermine science.

  • ||

    How do the emails leaked from CRU not prove that the climate scientists have been acting in bad faith?

    As far as confusing people, even the fucking scientists don't know what's going on!

    Liberals are some of the most intolerant jackasses...

  • Tony||

    You're obviously confused, as are most of the people posting on this site. I think my point is clear.

  • ||

    Yes, I'm delirious and confused.

    When are you, crayon, and the rest of the popular liberal establishment going to start rounding us up and "treating" us to cure our delirium?

  • ||

    Your point is clear. And wrong.
    Neither you nor anyone else gets to edit what I see of the results of my tax money.

  • ||

    I seriously doubt that CO2 causes AGW. I'm a science PhD (chemistry). I don't act in bad faith - I drive a hybrid to reduce my footprint on the planet. It's a moral choice. Government should generally butt out of morality.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Serious question: Why do you believe that driving a hybrid to reduce your footprint on the planet is the correct moral choice if you don't buy into the AGW hypothesis?

    What are the negative consequences of your transportation footprint that you think are worth reducing?

    (I can think of several potential reasons, I was just curious about yours).

  • ||

    Good, then request access to the data and see if your credentials are good enough.

  • ||

    I'm a taxpayer; my credentials are sufficient.

  • ||

    If taxation is nothing but theft according to you liberturdians,
    why do you expect honor from the thief that is government?

  • ||

    crayon,
    We Libertarians do call taxes theft, especially when the people who take them will not answer where and for what the money taken goes for. And only says "trust us".

    And I do not expect any honor from any Government thieves
    , because they have none from the start. But that should not stop everone from questioning them every step of they way.

    Or we could be like you and just blindly follow.....

  • Chad||

    Which part of freshmen chemistry do you reject, yonemoto?

    CO2 absorbs IR. It is not saturated across its entire spectrum. Therefore more CO2 will absorb more IR, resulting in higher temperatures. Higher temperatures will shift the equilibrium between water vapor and the ocean, increasing the vapor, which absorbs more IR, setting off a feedback that only ends because it eventually gets overwhelmed by the T^4 relationship expressed in Boltzmann's law.

    Who is wrong? Beer, van'Hoft, or Boltzman?

  • ||

    You are a dickhead.Just like Obama, you have the cocksure rectitude that bespeaks some aggrandized and perceived sole ownership of the truth.
    As such, go shit in your hat.

  • ||

    And, of course, you're making a circular argument from facts not in evidence:
    "But not if the only purpose of transparency is to confuse people and give crackpots with an agenda the means to undermine science."
    If we don't see the data, how are we to know whether it is science being practiced?
    Sorry, transparency isn't something *you* get to select because *you* might not like the outcome, no more than free speech is conditional on *your* approval.
    Neither you nor any of the CRU folks have yet to be appointed Emperor.

  • ||

    No, it means that you don't give a sharp knife to any vicious little retard and you don't give climate data to any "conservative" shithead with a blog either.

    If the data were to be publicly available, the global warming deniers would try to put all the data in an old version of Excel, complain that they were only given 65535 rows and go on Fox News to complain about censorship!

    If you're an actual scientist, ask for the data.
    If you're a flat-earther/global warming denier, go fuck yourself in the name of science.

  • ||

    Tony|12.16.09 @ 1:44PM|#

    Deniers have proven themselves to be acting in bad faith every step of the way. In general I'm pro-transparency. But not if the only purpose of transparency is to confuse people and give crackpots with an agenda the means to undermine science.

    You are a partisan hack.

  • Tony||

    Maybe, but at least I'm not a science denier.

  • ||

    No, it just means that if you're an actual scientist, you can have access to the data.

    If not, you're probably a cunt acting in bad faith, so fuck off.

  • The Expatriate||

    Dear crayon,

    As a linguist, I must inquire if you, as well, are a professional linguist (theoretical or applied), translator, or language educator. If not, I ask you to stop using the data of English (or any other natural language) phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, as you are using them in "bad faith".

    Thank you.

    p.s. Fuck off.

  • ||

    You're just as bad, if not worse, than the right wing Christians who try to legislate religion.

    When do you start burning books?

  • ||

    psssst James...you're arguing with a witless excretion that fancies itself as one of the dumber trolls.

    Please stop feeding it.

  • ||

    Yes, I know. It's a knee jerk reaction.

  • ||

    All those who have not tasted the Marzipan-flavored ass of RON PAUL and liked it are trolls!!!!
    Trolls are not in the Constitution, so they are fair game!
    RON PAUL!

  • The Expatriate||

    creationist/libertarian/global warming denying

    What do these three groups have in common, other than "crayon doesn't like them"?

  • ||

    They're idiots with a tenuous grasp on reality.

  • Zeb||

    That's some fucking evil shit, crayon. People should have access to information relevant to something supposedly so important. I hope you are performance art.

  • ||

    Why?
    So you can print them out and shit all over them with the diarrhea you call "common sense" and "folksy wisdom",
    you cockmongling turdfelcher?

    Fuck you and go back "reading" Sarah Palin's memoirs.

  • ||

    Ok, you have a right to be less than polite to me seeing as how I referred to you as a scumbag, but you really need to stop harassing people who have been nothing but civil to you.

  • ||

    "That's some fucking evil shit, crayon." and "I hope you are performance art." is not what I'd regard as something spewed forth from the keyboard of a paragon of civility.

    Then again, this is Libertardia a.k.a the perfect echo chamber where all dissent is regarded as trolling and all criticism is regarded as insulting.

  • Jordan||

    No, only people whose first comment consists of calling everyone who disagrees with them a retard. Don't want to be called a troll? Why not try a substantive comment, then?

  • ||

    I'm sorry, I didn't know you were the forum moderator.

  • Jordan||

    I'm sorry, I thought you were actually upset about being considered a troll. Troll on, then!

  • ||

    Anyone who disagrees with Libertardian dogma here gets to be labelled "troll", so I'm used to it.

  • ||

    That wasn't a personal attack. Zeb commented that what you said was "some fucking evil shit" and then said he hoped you were kidding.

    And you called Gilbert Martin below an "uneducated cunt" when he didn't even address you.

    Learn some manners.

    I'm done feeding.

  • ||

    Well, he is an uneducated cunt.

  • ||

    And only an educated cunt like you two would know.....

    Grow the fuck up! If you really had facts and true moral issues to stand on you would not be a name calling little baby. That can only call every one who disagrees with you a retard.

    Before you start throwing slanderuos words around maybe you should stand on some solid ground. Maybe if you do that long enough your head will dry out.

  • Carston||

    So would you consider Richard S. Lindzen (MIT, Atmospheric Physics) a "creationist/libertarian/global warming denying idiot" unworthy of the CRU's data?

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Exactly how does the Lenski Affair (way to link to a reputable source, btw... *rolls eyes*) have anything what so ever to do with libertarianism?

    Seriously, I'm really gonna have to start bitching about these trolls.

  • anon||

    ECONOMIC GROWTH BAD!!!

    PRE-INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION LIVING CONDITIONS GOOD!!

    HURR! DURR! HURR! DURR!

  • ||

    So do you want their emails, or their data?

    I think peter wanted the emails to look for himself if the other emails were out of context and cheery picked.

    Still does anyone really think it is a bad idea that tax funded employees should have secret email accounts that are not open to the public?

    This isn't just climate scientists. Unless there is compelling reason to keep these messages private (military, and criminal investigations) i don;t see why i should not be able to read the dog catchers email written on government accounts, on government computers, during work hours. What is the problem here? In the private sector an employees email is open to viewing by her employer. Why are publicly funded emails protected from public viewing?

    Anyway to answer your question if i had to choose i would take the data over the emails. Any skeptic worth a crap would give you the same answer.

  • Chad||

    Actually, I don't think government employee's work email accounts should be public at all. They should only be made so with a court order.

  • ||

    Why? What does the public gain from keeping government work secret?

  • Burrow Owl||

    Bullshit Chad.

    Everything they do on the publics dime should be freely available to those of us who are footing the bill.
    If they (or you) don't like it, then they/you can damn well try making a living in the private sector.

  • ||

    i've been reading harsanyi since he was a metro guy in denver. his mission in life is to piss of anyone who works for government or gets a penny from government. i'm sure he was happy that he didn't get the emails.

  • ||

    * piss off

  • ||

    That's excellent advice. You first.

  • ||

    So he's an ethical sort of guy? Glad to hear it.
    It's a heck of a change from 'journalism-by-government-press-release'.

  • ||

    is mission in life is to piss of anyone who works for government or gets a penny from government.

    Well, "afflict the comfortable" and all that, no?

  • ||

    Hmm. Not surprising that Trenberth thinks his methods of climate divination are beyond question and that he is not obligated to disclose them. It is the behavior of a high priest who curries favor with the emperor.

    In ancient China, the emperor's priests developed a mathematical calendar model upon which directives were issued from the emperor regarding seasonal decisions such as when to harvest. The calendar model was kept secret, under pain of death, so that the government could maintain unquestioned control over certain economic decisions (ref: Daniel Boorstin's 'The Creators'). Unsurprisingly, the correct harvest dates were given first to the emperor's strongest supporters.

    This is what we have now, a dogmatic scientific class which has been co-opted by the government by money for the publishers of the intended dogma, and intimidation for those who would challenge the dogma. The "scientific" processes used high priests of climate doom prediction are well protected by the emperor and his minions, but if our FOIA is beyond their ability to subvert (I'm pessimistic on this hope), perhaps we will get the see the sacred texts...and find out they are just as corrupted as those at CRU.

  • Mary Stack||

    I still think that the person who released the data is the most intriguing part of the story (aside from the actual data). "The amount of raw data on climate change on the web is amazing. Far more than anyone could hope to process. Even if they worked on it full time." I can't help but think it is a scientist who released it and someone who has worked on it full time. That person must be fascinated by the discussions that he/she has originated and probably is reading as many as possible.

  • ||

    One thing that's getting swept under the rug about Climategate is "Who did it?" The Warmers just blame the Russian cyber-mob or whatever and call it a day (I've heard the conspiracy theory that Exxon hired evil Russian hackers to tar the poor, poor scientists).

    But forensically, it doesn't make any sense. 169MB of data was released, and the university claims that is the size of the breach, and it happened three days before the first attempted posting of data at realclimate.org.

    The servers these tasty tidbits were pilfered from undoubtedly contain gigs and gigs of data. I bet like in most of the world's workplaces, just the pirated shit (music, chimpanzee fart videos, illegit Office copies etc.) is well over 100GB across a network that size.

    But the "hacker" pulled only the "best" 169MB out of this vast data set. Off of both a code repository server and an Exchange server?

    Bullshit. Whoever got that data was intimately familiar with that network, and where everyone keeps everything - which folder to look in and all that. Either that, or someone's not fessing up that "Russian hackers" were just browsing around CRU's whole network for weeks and weeks beforehand, filtering out all the (I'm sure) virtuous stuff for the titillating bits that their Exxon masters were paying for.

    Here's an Inconvenient Truth for the Warmers...they appear to have a Judas in their midst, somewheres at East Anglia. And whoever is getting away with this is being aided in that getaway by the very compartmentalized and intellectually lazy world he exposed at East Anglia.

    Nobody seems to care about figuring out who actually did it...including East Anglia.

  • Tonio||

    TZ, the whodunit question is irrelevant from a policy-making standpoint. Even CRU admits that the data and emails were authentic.

    Sure, the identity will make for interesting reading when when all the dust settles, but at the moment it's just not worrying about.

  • Mary Stack||

    Tonio,"irrelevant from a policy-making standpoint". The person who did it took a awful chance to bring what they know to be a scam to light. It is not irrelevant at all. It says I have studied/had access to this for years and it is one big Ponzi scheme.

  • ||

    I think the question there is pretty relevant, especially since their primary mode of research is...a bunch of networked computers and the data sets they run. Those computers are their scientific instruments; a hacker in such an environment is equivalent to a muckraker throwing pennies on the circuit-breakers at CERN...they could be manipulating your experiment.

    Since these guys live and die by their computer simulations, data integrity (version control, security, trackability) should be paramount...and actually emphasized more than on your standard run-of-the-mill office network frankly.

  • ||

    There is some speculation that the data set was compiled by East Anglia for the purpose of responding to the FOIA requests. They of course were holding out to the bitter end because they are so damaging. If it was all collected in one big file on some server, it would take less expertise to get it than to collect it the way you talk about.

    Even still, a hacker wouldn't know where that file was on the system. I think it was defeinitely an inside job.

  • Mary Stack||

    TheZeitgeist,"they appear to have a Judas in their midst". Screw that. I prefer "Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom."

  • ||

    This is pure speculation on my part, but I'd say Ian Harris (from Read_Me_Harry fame). The requests for FOI releases weren't going away and he'd have otherwise made the perfect scapegoat ("We had the data but our idiot programmer screwed it up."). This release pretty much exonerates him by making clear that the data problems were with the senior staff.

  • Mary Stack||

    Bill, A CYA pre-emptive strike is plausible but hell my idea would make a better movie

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "except in those rare instances when one of those citizens happens to be a taxpayer-funded eco-crusader utilizing his appointed station in life to promote policy that sticks its nose into the lives of every American."

    This principle should apply to ALL government funded research of any type - not just climate related research. The taxpayers are paying for it so the public has a right to see all the data.

    The only exception to that that I can think of would be national security concerns related to classified military technology.

  • ||

    And what will you then do with the data, you uneducated cunt?

  • ||

    Elitist much?

  • ||

    No, only better than you.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Prove it.

  • ||

    I don't act like Andrew Schlafly of "Conservapedia" fame, trying to gain access to data he doesn't understand so that he can use his Excel sheet of might and magic to "disprove" science he doesn't understand.

    Good enough for ya, Rocket Man?

  • ||

    Can we all send you our resumes so that you can review each one and tell us what we are capable of understanding?

    Also, this is data and code we're talking about, not cultures of E. Coli.

  • Tony||

    Also, this is data and code we're talking about, not cultures of E. Coli.

    Code? Do you know what you're talking about? I'd say the evidence in climate science is even less portable than petri dishes.

    As if someone is gonna give you pages of "code" and you're going to sit there and decipher it for the sake of a better understanding of science.

    More likely you're going to wait until whichever heavily funded think tank scours the data looking for things it can misrepresent, and delivers its talking points to you.

  • JW2||

    I've seen the CRU code and I wouldn't be the first programmer to find major issues and evidence of fraud.

    You assume only a select few scientists can understand statistics and fortran. Typical elitist mindset.

  • ||

    Also, aren't you exhibiting a bit of jonanism?

  • ||

    No, you're all different.

    Stupid and ignorant in your own special way.

    You are all tax-dodging, inadequate, petty, selfish, pitiful, incoherent, cowardly, spoiled but unique snowflakes.

    Of the many jokes history has played on us, yours is by far the most rugged and individualist.

    I can only thank Darwin that no nation has been stupid enough to attempt implementation of your uniquely individualist ideology, because the end -result would be a disaster that would make communism look like a reasonable choice.

  • marker||

    crayon, you are king of the ad hominem attack

  • Ted ||

    Um Crayon the One Major Nation who has come closest to a Laissez-faire Goverment has been the U.S. and it's the biggest empire the world has ever seen (that's not even mentioning Hong Kong). And please provide a link or source showing that Libertarians have manipulated Climate change data. Until you do, you're full of shit. It's pretty obvious your God (the IPCC) has no problem with manipulation. How can you defend these emails?

  • ||

    Is killing people and taking their property an integral part of a Laissez-faire economy?

    Seizing land is wrong and NOT Laissez-faire.

    It doesn't matter if you call it eminent domain or manifest destiny.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Nope.

    You haven't proven a thing.

  • ||

    Yuo haven't proved you ought to have access to climate data you clearly don't understand.

    Except for the whole "I'm a taxpayer" shtick, which in Liberturd lingo means "victim of theft", which somehow means that the evil Government, this mean, ol' thieving bastard, should do everything you want it to.

    Well, if the Government is this evil entity, then why should it care about what you little victims of taxation have to say about global warming and access to data?

    DERRP?

  • ||

    So what if they don't "understand" the data? Why should that bother you? Any arguments they make would be specious, and a genius like you would have no trouble refuting them.

    Frankly, I suspect that what you guys really fear is that someone with critical thinking skills will get his hands on this data, and start asking your heroes uncomfortable questions that they can't answer just by whinging about "deniers" and showing pictures of polar bears.

  • ||

    What will happen is that some right-wing foundation sponsored by Exxon Mobil/Shell will release a study that will be full of lies and then this report will be fuel to get the right-wing noise machine (Fox News, Wall Street Journal, etc.) into overdrive.

    But keep telling yourself this is all about the truth instead of asking yourself why "Reason" is so aggressively pursuing global warming denial.

    Here's a partial list of donors to "Reason" that may explain why "global warming is a lie":

    American Petroleum Institute,
    American Plastics Council,
    ARCO Foundation,
    BP Amoco,
    Chevron Corporation,
    ENRON (R.I.P ODB),
    Exxon Mobil,
    Koch Industries,
    Shell Oil,
    Western States Petroleum

    The world is getting warmer,
    the wallets of the Reasonistas are getting heavier,
    and Leon's getting larger!

  • ||

    So, you're saying that you can't persuade people of the truth even with the facts on your side? That you can't out-debate boneheads like Sean Hannity? Even with the federal government, the president, Al Gore, and most of the media and Hollywood on your side?

    The last time I heard such a ridiculous argument, it came from neocons with their Straussian bullshit about the legitimate need for Bush/Cheney to use "noble lies" to drag the country into their fucking wars. It was the same "you can't handle the truth" horseshit.

  • ||

    No, I'm saying that outshouting and outspending the opposition like the oil companies do does not equal a debate or discussion.
    And that "Reason" is part of the right-wing noise machine, since they are funded by the same companies (see above list.)

  • Tony||

    Truth is often more complicated than demagoguery, and thus harder to sell to people who don't know any better.

  • ||

    One would think that those who are so in love with capitalism would understand "follow the money."

    Then again, Libertardians don't really love capitalism, they love a platonic ideal of capitalism.

  • Zeb||

    Stick it up my ass. What the fuck difference does it make. It is a set of numbers that costs practically nothing to copy or distribute. There is no reason why it should not be readily downloadable by anyone. This is not a live bacterial culture. It is bits of data. That we all paid for.

  • Tony||

    You mean that people who stole your money from you paid for. ;)

  • ||

    And what will you then do with the data, you uneducated cunt?

    What business is it of yours? The data belongs to the public to do with as they see fit.

  • ||

    I want you to go to the Department of Energy or the Department of Defense and try your little "I paid for your data and I demand to know" shtick.

  • ||

    Personally, I've already run a low-res simulation with the NASA GZ code available over at Goddard that I downloaded last night, just to check it out. You can too. They even have a quick start guide to help you out.

    Go back to eating your crayons now.

  • ||

    Tony, I can answer that question for you: The emails are part of the data since they describe how the raw data were massaged to yield the data set used to perform the calculations.

    Not that this matters one whit, as noted by others above, since this information (data, emails, code) are all public property and subject to disclosure under FOIA.

    And if some of the information turns out to not be public, we're under no obligation to consider that in decision-making.

  • ||

    For being such a bunch of alleged computer nerds what with supercomputers crunching earth sims and all that, they sure have poor data security on their network. Not even smart enough to keep their emails encrypted, or at least on gmail.

  • Tonio||

    TZ, it's actually not surprising to me. I've done IT support for science researchers, and other highly-skilled knowledge workers. They are totally oblivious to best practices for IT security and data management. They also pull the worst sort of newbie end-user tricks which blow away their own data then whine to IT about "poor safeguards."

  • ||

    Your two examples, the local parks department and the local dog pound are not subject to the FOIA, either.

    By your same test the big banks (or car companies) all the way down to entrepreneurs with small business loans would have to make all of their emails public. It is an odd position for a libertarian to take that the government's laws should be interpreted in the most liberal context to extend to anyone who has accepted money from the fed.

  • ||

    You bet the banks and the auto companies need to cough the data up when asked. They're public entities at this point.

    And as far as small business loan recipients being held to the same standards...that isn't fair. After all, the SBA guy is allegedly going to pay the government back with interest. The Warmers appear to have no issue with keeping the money...

  • ||

    By your same test the big banks (or car companies) all the way down to entrepreneurs with small business loans would have to make all of their emails public.

    The government should not be making loans. If their emails were open to the public then it would greatly discourage the private sector from taking those loans. I really do not see how that would be inconsistent with libertarians.

  • ||

    First off this article is very hypocritical. The private sector cherry-picks data as well. I'd like to point you to Clair Patterson's fight against the lead industry from the 60s to his death. The industry went out of its way to discredit him and refused to acknowledge his new–and better, way of detecting lead contamination in the environment. For you, Mr. Harsanyi, to sit there and pen such an article demanding that you need to see their emails and huffing and puffing over this entire ordeal just shows your clear bias against anything that's related to the government and intentional ignorance of any wrong doing on behalf of the private sector.

    Saying that a person's personal e-mails should be released to the public is going a step too far in the wrong direction. You should respect the scientists' privacy. Now I completely agree that they should make the raw data available, even that which may hurt their cause because that is only right to give people a more fair and balanced looked at the science. However, I feel you need to slow your role in demanding that their privacy be violated, because demanding that is not at all a part of the libertarian tradition, no matter who they work for. Asshole.

  • Tony||

    It seems that even a dogma centered on freedom can't escape the eventual need to say "show me your papers."

  • Ska||

    Because scientific data is analogous to an ID card, you putz.

  • Jordan||

    Actually, since taxpayers paid for it, the correct wording would be "show me my papers."

  • ||

    If taxation is nothing but theft according to you liberturdians,
    why do you expect honor from the thief that is government?

  • Another Phil||

    They are public employees using taxpayer-funded mail servers. They have no reasonable expectation of privacy for those e-mails. Furthermore, read all of the comments above. Asshole.

  • ||

    There are many instances of the government fucking with the privacy of a recipient of their funds, and using the funds as both the carrot and stick to do it. Why do we all discover the ethics of privacy only when we want to hide something?

  • Tony||

    Why do you all of a sudden disregard the ethics of privacy when you want to hit scientists with sticks for saying something you don't want to believe?

  • Tonio||

    MrJ your first paragraph is completely irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    Your second paragraph shows that you actually know nothing about libertarian thought, particularly the notion of ownership.

    But the more you people dig-in and whine about privacy, piracy, and other irrelevancies the more it convinces the rest of us that there is indeed an effort to hide something. Keep up the good work.

    And it may well have been before your time but left of center folks had no problem with leaks which benefitted their cause, ie Watergate, the Pentagon Papers, etc.

  • ||

    However, I feel you need to slow your role in demanding that their privacy be violated, because demanding that is not at all a part of the libertarian tradition, no matter who they work for. Asshole.

    How are the emails produced on government computers using government email accounts during work hours at jobs that pay them with public funds private?

  • Al Gore||

    One thing that's getting swept under the rug about Climategate is "Who did it?"

    Argh!! I can't stand it anymore!

    It was me! God have mercy, I did it!!

  • ||

    Yes, Anonymous Guy above seems very testy about anyone challenging his assertion that scientists on the government dole 1) should have the same expectation of email privacy as private citizens, and 2) should be held to the same standard of scientific integrity as a company selling penis enlargement products on TV at 3am.

    Such defensiveness indicates that he thinks government enterprises using our tax dollars do not have a higher standard of scientific accountability than private businesses who follow the laws of disclaimer when peddling questionable products.

    Notice there is no disclaimer on the IPCC AR4 report. If there was, it should read:

    "The IPCC takes no responsibility for the accuracy of the predictions in this report, especially since they were derived from scientists who were only funded because they promised to find evidence for a predetermined conclusion of man-caused climate catastrophe."

    I can dream, can't I?

  • ||

    I always kinda dug the CEO SarbOx plea that starts with "forward looking statements" being read before Al Gore tells us Earth will melt in 2025 without his fixes.

  • ||

    Yes, Anonymous Guy above seems very testy about anyone challenging his assertion that scientists on the government dole 1) should have the same expectation of email privacy as private citizens

    Actually he is saying government employees should have a higher standard of privacy then private citizens as anyone who works for a private company knows all his email is open for their employer to read. The public employs these guys so why can't the public, like any other employer, read their emails?

  • Tonio||

    I do so love the spectacle of traditional supporters of open-government (hint: D....) backpedalling and changing their tune when the disclosure of public data is injurious to their cause du jour.

    Tony, Crayon, et als: Remember how you all were (rightly) sceptical about the alleged WMDs that Saddam Hussein had? Remember how you were demanding open data then?

    Pwned, as the kids say.

  • ||

    I wouldn't be surprised if the CIA and Homeland Security were more transparent than climate research at this point.

  • ||

    Jonanism

    Jo·nan·ism -noun

    The belief that everybody you hate is exactly the same.

    [Origin: c. 2008, from 'Jonah Goldberg' and 'onanism']

  • RM||

    Oh, so you aren't a liberal, you're a statist?

  • Neu Mejican||

    I agree that publicly funded research should be available to the public. Of course, the "public" is a complex concept when we are talking about international collaborations. For instance, doe US citizens have a valid claim to make against CRU?

    Most public research funding in the US comes with well specified requirements about transparency and data-sharing. Does anyone have evidence that these were not followed in the realm of US climate research?

    Different regulations control international data sets. On a case by case basis I don't see much evidence that rules are not being followed in terms of data sharing.

    For the most part, the field is very open about their data and willing to facilitate sharing. As is quite evident here. . .

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/

  • ||

    In my own perusals on the subject you actually find good data, and open dev environments (I love the Goddard Quick-Start Guide, by computer dorks for computer dorks...very pimp) if you're willing to actually go look. Its very rewarding though, at least if you like arcane computer shit. One of the best knocks I've seen Warmers have on Deniers is the Deniers don't seem to scrounge for data.

    But there is a problem here regarding public discourse. We're supposed to protect whistleblowers in a way...but political factions seem to pick and choose when that matters. Take Anglia's emails for instance. Everyone on the left talks about "theft" and all this. But 22 million "lost" emails from the Bush Admin were found this week. I don't see lefties crying privacy-foul or anything like that. They want the meat. I guarantee the Obamaboys are trudging through that mess as we speak filtering out any inadvertent Donkey-bombs and then the unauthorized "leaking" of mails will begin. We all cool with that but East Anglia's mail pilfer was "theft."

    Also, East Anglia kind of made the same mistake Tiger Woods has of late: When the shit hits the fan hide your head in the sand, and it hope it goes away. TMZ don't go away though, only way out is to come clean.

    Like it or not, Climategate sucked the wind right out of the sails of Copenhagen and the Global Warmer cottage industry, and made manufactured stuff timed to generate alarm for that conference (like the Consensus) seem suspect...all the while Al Gore and Co. pretending Climategate never happened, or didn't mean anything. Right. Really stupid way to go about a public relations disaster and feed the fire at the same time.

  • Tonio||

    [Do] US citizens have a valid claim to make against CRU?

    I have no idea how the UK's equivalent to our FOIA is written. However, as I noted above I don't think that we're obligated to pay any mind to data that doesn't meet US FOIA standards.

    One question for all warmists: why should historical weather data be secret, anyway?

  • Neu Mejican||

    why should historical weather data be secret, anyway

    It shouldn't be and doesn't seem to be.

  • Tonio||

    NM - OK, I haven't delved into the details, but in discussions with CRU supporters and apologists on other blogs, they always refer to alleged non-disclosure agreements (NDA's) which CRU is supposed to have signed with "other" governments to obtain their climate data.

    Would really like to see these agreements. Revealing the names of the countries which required the NDAs might shame those contries into reconsidering the secrecy.

  • Neu Mejican||

    My understanding of thes non-disclosure agreements is that they are not about secrecy, but profits. CRU got free access to the data, but the sources typically charge money for that access. Anyone who wants it can pay for it.

  • ||

    It's worth noting that the non-disclosure agreements themselves were subject of of FOIA. When it became obvious that CRU was playing games and hiding data (i.e. we have non-disclosure agreements but we won't tell you who they are with) this touched off a plan of writing FOIAs to get the non-disclosure agreements themselves

    Now, the spin masters can try to make points about FOIAs not allowing scientests to do their jobs, but if CRU had simply made public which stations were under non-disclosure the process would have been much less painful for them.

    As it was, their non-disclosures agreements were yet another thing they couldn't produce under FOIA. Yup, nothing suspicious there is there ? We can't give you the data because it's under non-disclosure and we can't give you the non-disclosure document that forbids us from giving you the data. Uhh huh, nice.

  • Neu Mejican||

    It is certainly possible that the non-disclosure agreements included a provision not to disclose who the agreement was with.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I don't think that we're obligated to pay any mind to data that doesn't meet US FOIA standards

    What could this possibly mean?
    FOIA standards are not set up to facilitate science. Scientific institutions needs to monitor the integrity of the work and demand an appropriate level of transparency. Sure, the public should be considered the owner of any publicly funded research, but ignoring international data that is collected using different standards is a sure way to have an incomplete picture of the state of the science.

  • Tonio||

    [I]gnoring international data that is collected using different standards is a sure way to have an incomplete picture of the state of the science.

    Maybe. Maybe not.

    What if the most egregious massaging was done to the "secret" data? We'd never know if we were getting an accurate prediction.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Standard replication of their results by an independent team is far more useful in revealing the value of their findings. The claims being made are not (or should not be) so sensitive to specific data preparation of fractions of the data set that their finding depend upon them. If they do, this will be revealed when replication fails to confirm their findings.

    I would reemphasize that it is up to the scientific institutions to police this process and reveal fraud. The standard for this should be designed to assure that enough independent teams can replicate experiments to confirm results. The FOIA standards are not designed to address the important issues.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I like the way this frames these issues.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/op.....9887.story

  • Neu Mejican||

    The real scandal illustrated by the e-mails is not that scientists tried to undermine peer review, fudge and conceal data, and torpedo competitors, but that scientists and advocates on both sides of the climate debate continue to claim political authority derived from a false ideal of pure science. This charade is a disservice to both science and democracy. To science, because the reality cannot live up to the myth; to democracy, because the difficult political choices created by the genuine but also uncertain threat of climate change are concealed by the scientific debate.
  • ||

    That's why I dig an open-source-distributed-cloud GPL approach to handling this data. Another awesome innovation in climate research would be to actually deploy ten or twenty thousand standardized climate stations around the globe.

    Where's George Soros's philanthropy when you need it? ARRRGH!

  • Tonio||

    The problem with that is that we'd need at least 20 years of data, which we wouldn't have until 2030 even if we could magic those thousands of standardized climate stations into existence and deploy them during the next two weeks.

    We do have some good, consistent, clean (ie, non-secret) historical data from US spacecraft, going back roughly 50 years. Don't know how complete the data set is, though.

  • ||

    The biggest advantage in a new climate instrument network would be:

    1. Learning some bizarro things no one was expecting once we actually start looking...that always happens in science.

    2. Even two or three years in, you'd have a data-set from controlled instruments to compare with the ongoing legacy data sets which are currently employed. And need lots and lots of mathematical tinkering to integrate (like precipitation in China, three incongruous data-sets over different times and measured in different places are used, and must be "integrated").

    You could use your new data to place some interesting controls and margins relative to the ancient data, therefore honing the precision of the model in question.

  • ||

    Another awesome innovation in climate research would be to actually deploy ten or twenty thousand standardized climate stations around the globe.

    We in the know call them satellites. And they have been producing standardized temperature data for the past 30 years.

    http://www.remss.com/about_rss/about_rss.html

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/20.....-50-deg-c/

  • Tonio||

    The real scandal illustrated by the e-mails is not that scientists tried to undermine peer review, fudge and conceal data, and torpedo competitors.

    FTFY

  • nerdybaldguy||

    Does NCAR generally publish their models and data? If so, I think FOI requests for personal e-mails could easily get out of control. If you can see the data and the models and read the paper, then you can replicate the science. What they say in their person e-mails is not relevant from a scientific point of view, IMHO.

  • Neu Mejican||

    I have made this point in previous threads. It tends to fall on deaf ears.

    cheers, another nerdy bald guy.

  • ||

    I'm hardly a big-time Warmer, but that makes perfect sense. Consistent repeatability with identical data and process is the essence of the scientific process and where the experiment stops.

    Still loved the emails though...tasty!

  • ||

    I agree. I admit, I haven't found the time to dig into this as thoroughly as I'd like, but it seems to be the case the scientists aren't releasing the models or explaining everything in the papers.

    They just go "See! Look at this graph! The Earth is warming!"

    If they take the raw data and change it in someway, then the justification for that change should be included with the paper. I'm under the impression that the data being presented in the papers isn't the raw data - as it should be.

  • ||

    There is no lack of transparency in access to the data or base code of the models these researchers are using. That notion is a misconception.

    Where it gets ambiguous is what these individual research groups do with the data and models to get their numbers. The most "damning" thing I see in the emails from the CRU is it exposes a bias impulse in their research, and they don't want to admit that.

  • ||

    "Where it gets ambiguous is what these individual research groups do with the data and models to get their numbers. "

    This is what I would like to be transparent. If a research group comes out and says "We've proven X", then the paper presenting those findings should include all the information needed to reproduce the experiment.

    "The most "damning" thing I see in the emails from the CRU is it exposes a bias impulse in their research, and they don't want to admit that."

    I agree. I would be highly interested if any other climate research institutions would be willing to submit to an independent audit of their processes and experiments.

  • Chad||

    One hardly ever presents "raw data". Hell, what IS the "raw data"? Surely not the temperature...no device measures that. Instead, they usually measure electric currents or photon counts. Now is it ok to convert that to a temperature before presenting it? Do I need to present the calibration with every paper or presentation? Do I need to present the calibration of the instrument that I used to do the calibration, tracing all the way back to some NIST standard?

    Heck, my presentation would be 30 pages long just to get to the first plot.

    The entire point of presenting results is to condense the information down to something digestable by the reader. Details can be included in supplements or provided if asked for. Throwing up a zillion ones and zeros is not doing science.

  • ||

    I would consider the temperature readings to be the raw data. I would also include the tolerance for the sensor that was used to measure the temperature. There's your raw data, how hard was that? If something didn't add up, looking at the electrical schematics of the instrument may be helpful depending on what the problem is.

    Documenting that your equipment is calibrated on an appropriate basis would also be important. If an instrument isn't calibrated, then you can't really trust what it's telling you.

    Yes, as a EE, I have read corporate reports on studies in the lab on phenomena that go through 30 pages before getting to the meat of the issue.

    The entire point of presenting results is to show the public the conclusions of your experiment and why those conclusions are valid. I don't consider manipulation of data sets a "detail."

  • ||

    Perhaps they shouldn't be using the publicly-financed server to send personal emails. Any employee in the private sector knows not to send emails via the company server that they don't want their boss reading.

  • Untermensch||

    But the problem is if those emails contain proof you've been cooking the books and models in your paper. Then they are highly relevant, since for someone to replicate research based on past data sets and arrive at a correct interpretation requires that they actually have the right data, not a cooked set of data. You have to know that you've got good data going in or everything else falls apart.

    I'm not arguing about whether AGW exists, but pointing out that saying that the papers are enough isn't true.

  • Neu Mejican||

    saying that the papers are enough isn't true

    But they are.

    If the data was cooked, then replication based on the published literature will fail. If the published papers don't include the important data preparation details, the replication will fail.

    None of this requires the emails.
    Either the published results hold up under standard scientific practice, or they don't. There is nothing special about climate science in this respect.

  • TallDave||

    Replication only fails is everyone is using independent data, which they aren't.

    Look at surfacestations.org and consider the collapse in the number of weather stations. There really aren't even enough reliable stations left to do an independent evaluation.

    That's why the satellite records are so important. They say warming is a mild .1 degrees per decade, nothing to worry about.

  • Chad||

    Are you saying the weather station data is wrong, or HADCRU's analysis of the data is wrong?

    HADCRU's analysis matches everyone else's analysis. The emails have nothing to do with the dozens of agencies and organizations that are actually monitoring the stations.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Talldave,
    You may want to read this...
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot......rends.html

    Be sure to read the discussion in the comments.

    http://www.blogger.com/profile/08229460438349093944

    This one sums things up pretty well...


    As of IPCC 2007 (as far as I know) surface temperature trends were slightly above satellite lower tropospheric temperature trends. They were close enough that they could be stated to be, "consistent within their respective uncertainties." But the surface temperature trend was still slightly higher. Your paper essentially explains why the surface temperature trend was still slightly higher.
  • ||

    And as Read_Me_Harry made clear, their own internal people were NOT able to replicate the data set that the studies were based on.

  • Tonio||

    And I'm honestly a catastrophism skeptic, not a warming (possibility) denier, but the CRU debacle has caused me to feel that we need to go back to the beginning and re-run all the numbers using only publicly-available data, and with no involvement whatsoever by anyone even remotely associated with the CRU incident.

    What they say in their person e-mails is not relevant from a scientific point of view, IMHO.

    This isn't about personal emails, it's about their professional emails. And since the emails explained how they massaged the data, they are hugely relevant to understanding what was going on.

  • Chad||

    Fortunately, NASA, NOAA and a number of organizations HAVE been running the numbers...and gotten the SAME ANSWER.

  • ||

    Fortunately, NASA, NOAA and a number of organizations HAVE been running the numbers...and gotten the SAME ANSWER.

    Actually no. NOAA numbers have diverged from the lower CRU and GISS numbers and satellite numbers are consistently lower then all three.

    But pointing out that NOAA CRU and GISS are "similar" is not a big deal in that they use the same instrument data set. Especially when the data set is severely flawed.

  • ||

    Neither India nor China have agreed to cut carbon emissions. They have agreed to discuss cutting the rate of increase of their emissions, which, as other posters have pointed out, would happen anyway. In other words, they have paid some lip service which costs them nothing.

    Phil Jones, lead scientist at CRU has had DOE grants for decades so yes the US government has some say so over his work.

    FOI (as they are called in the UK) were made to CRU by many bloggers from Climate Audit. CRU didn't know/refused to say which countries had NDAs. The most likely answer: very, very few have NDAs. Climate data is fungible and what's the value in knowing about yesterdays, or decades old temperatures?

    Real Climate is as open as a Star Chamber. None of the trolls have read the emails - please, take about an hour and read a chunk of them. If you are rational, you cannot be anything but appalled - especially if you take AGW as seriously as you claim to do.

  • ||

    FOI (as they are called in the UK) were made to CRU by many bloggers from Climate Audit. CRU didn't know/refused to say which countries had NDAs. The most likely answer: very, very few have NDAs.

    You did not get the whole story. After the CRU declined to provide the data on the grounds that NDA's prevented them from doing so people filed FOI requests for the NDAs...and the NDA were not given out because the CRU had lost the NDAs.

    This is the sort of bullshit Neu and Tony and Chad and MNG are trying to defend.

  • Chad||

    Who givs a hoot. If you really cared what was in the data (rather than caring about having something to whine about), you could FORK OVER SOME CASH and BUY IT YOURSELF, just like CRU did.

  • ||

    you could FORK OVER SOME CASH and BUY IT YOURSELF, just like CRU did.

    Don't you mean the US Department of Energy who payed for it?

    I would not pay for it for the same reason i do not donate to NPR or PBS...become I already payed for it.

  • Neu Mejican||

    This is the sort of bullshit Neu and Tony and Chad and MNG are trying to defend.

    When have I defend this sort of bullshit?

    You are full of shit on that one.

    What I have said is the concerns you are expressing do not have an important scientific impact. That to use the nit you are picking to claim that AGW is a fraud is not backed up by the literature on the topic.

    I have said that you and others are making a tempest in a teapot, a mountain out of a molehill, are off you rockers for thinking that the impact of this stuff is significant in terms of the science.

    That is not the same as defending the bad behavior...it is an attempt to put a value on that bad behavior. The behavior...bad. The effect? Quite trivial in the end, as far as the science is concerned.

  • Neu Mejican||

    coniston,

    Please take the time to follow that realclimate link above. It is just a collection of links to the publicly available data sources. Anyone who claims the data is being hidden needs to start there to get a sense of what is actually available. Sure would be nice if someone with less political baggage would put together a similar resource so that the condemn the messenger impulse wouldn't stop people from exploring in more depth.

  • ||

    Anyone who claims the data is being hidden needs to start there to get a sense of what is actually available.

    The data and methods asked for in FOI requests are not available and are hidden.

    Neu: Hey look there is data over here.

    Skeptic: That is not the data i want. I want specific data and methods used in this study.

    Neu: There is other data over here. So your request is meaningless.

    Skeptic: Do you even read the things you write?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Joshua,

    Those are two different complaints.

    Skeptic: The data is all secret, behind walls. I want the raw data.

    Me: The raw data is available.

    Skeptic: I don't mean that raw data, I want the raw data they are hiding.

    Me: but everything you would need to replicate the study is available.

    Skeptic: but I want the data they are hiding.

    Me: if you mean the data that they have NDA for, you can buy that, but they aren't allowed to share that with you. Good thing you don't need it to replicate the findings from the study.

    Skeptic: but I need to know what they are hiding so I can prove that their answer is a fraud.

    Me: you can prove them wrong without their cooperation. In fact it would be better to prove them wrong using an independent data set.

    And on and on. The point being there is a difference between claiming THE DATA is hidden, and the complaint you are making. And more importantly, the concern you have over that particular fraction of the data is a distraction from your goal. If you want to prove them wrong, use the readily available public data sets to replicate their study and show that it is hogwash. If their study results rely on something that they are not sharing, you will have succeeded when the replication doesn't work.

    There is absolutely no scientific need to have access to the data you are complaining about.

  • ||

    Remember, these are the same idiots who want Obama's "real" birth certificate to be published, even though it's been shown, over and over again, that he was born in Hawaii.

  • Neu Mejican||

    And Joshua,

    You clearly need to read what I wrote and respond to the content. I was responding to this...

    Real Climate is as open as a Star Chamber.

    A comment, not about CRU data at all...

    So, I think the one who is using the "look over there" distraction would be one Joshua Corning.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Topic: does the climate science community employ enough transparency.

    Neu: Here is a load of publicly available data.

    Joshua: He look over here, I found evidence that there are some scientist who aren't sharing every single bit of their data.

  • Neu Mejican||

    "Hey look over here," that would be.

  • ||

    Yeah Tonio, the warmists do not distinguish between personal and professional emails for the same reason they don't distinguish between global warming skeptics and anthropogenic global warming skeptics...to strawman the opposition with misleading characterizations for whom they hope is a very dense, irrational, and gullible public.

  • ||

    I am enjoying how this has exposed the left as anti-scientific, and anti-democratic.

    The scientific method requires that information be open and public so that results can be verified and replicated. Tony and Chad and MNG oppose this.

    Democracy requires that information be open and public so that voters can be informed. Again Tony and Chad and MNG oppose this.

    AGW must be really really bad as it is hard to see how sacrificing democracy and science could improve the world.

    That or they are simply political hacks with no real motive other then cheering for their team regardless of what gets destroyed in the process.

  • Chad||

    Josh, virtually all the data is out there. Virtually all the code is out there. Virtually anything anyone could ever want is out there. Any paper published nowadays is appended with a zillion gigabytes of data. You guys are completely awash with data. You are drowning in it.

    DO SOMETHING USEFUL WITH THE 99.9% THAT YOU HAVE!

  • ||

    All the code and data is out there...not 99.9% of it. What's missing, where the obfuscation enters into this, is in how these research groups utilize the data to get their numbers.

    Any paper published nowadays is appended with a zillion gigabytes of data. You guys are completely awash with data.

    Its appended with gigabytes of output from whatever they did to the model. On any given model there are hundreds of user-input variables that determine what it spits out. Where the science breaks down is that I can read these papers and go over data, but in no way can I replicate what they did, because they do not fully disclose that. The IPCC puts these reports together by taking these various outputs and arguing about them at conferences...a decidedly political approach that is not very scientific. That's the problem.

  • Chad||

    You are treating "reproducible" too much as a binary concept. Rather, it is a matter of degree. If someone started spamming me with FOIA requests asking questions like "What size beaker did you use for the 3rd replicate of the one hour data point on the graph on p13 of Chad et al...", they could both grind my life to a halt and would gain nothing from it.

    There is only so much detail one can include in a paper, and only so much one can include in a supplement. Sometimes, you just have to figure it out for yourself, and if you get data that doesn't match what's in the paper you are following, you follow up with either more experiments, contacting the author, or both.

    Plenty of people have been reproducing HADCRU's work to varying degrees of exactness, and EVERYONE GETS THE SAME ANSWER. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that there is some important bit of code or methodology that is missing.

  • ||

    You are treating "reproducible" too much as a binary concept. Rather, it is a matter of degree.

    You are confused. The choice of the method used by the reproducer of scientific work is not the choice of the original author. If a person wants to go step by step through the work or if he wants to reproduce it using basic concepts really does not matter. What matters is if all the data and all the methodology used is available.

    In the case of Mann's work and much of the work done by climate scientists this standard of availability is not being met.

    Of course if you are an author who cooked the numbers i can understand why you would not want to release exact data and methods used as a step by step reproduction would expose the fraud.

    I can also understand why you defend keeping data and methodology from critics as you are a political hack who does not care about the scientific method and only wants to cheer for your team.

  • Chad||

    What are you talking about? All the temperature data IS available, either through HADCRU directly or from the organizations they got it from. Now, obviously, things like tree-ring data can only be reproduced by people going out and collecting new samples, but you are perfectly welcome to do so (others have, including some skeptics).

    When it comes to explaining methods, one cannot literally explain everything that one did in infinite detail. It is up to the reader to figure some things out, and try them. If the reproducer FAILS to reproduce the original data, then there is a problem that needs to be resolved. But in this case, people have been taking the same data, or very similar data sets, and getting the same answer over and over and over and over and over and over and over. At some point, one can conclude that the answer is robust, given the assumptions everyone is making.

  • Neu Mejican||

    ZT,

    I appreciate your point here, but I do think it conflates the idea of repeatability of an experiment and replication of results. It is far more useful, scientifically, for me to replicate a finding using different methods and different data than it is to redo someone else's experiment using the same methods and the same data. It is the difference between demonstrating a reliable result and a valid result. The nit-picking over CRU's data sharing seems to be focused on reliability rather than validity. Validity is the more important question. It seems there is certainly enough publically available data to address the validity question.

  • ||

    Nue "It is far more useful, scientifically, for me to replicate a finding using different methods and different data than it is to redo someone else's experiment using the same methods and the same data."

    And if using different methods and different data a different result was found, the cry would be 'but you didn't use my methods or my data' and my data is better than yours because we are the "CRU'!

  • ||

    Except the CRU dataset is used for other research. And their own internal people can't replicate the dataset. That's hardly a trivial weakness. And to turn around and say, "Well, use a different dataset." doesn't answer the fundamental question of whether the subsequent research is based on faulty data.

  • ||

    My tax dollars payed for it all. I should get it all.

    Plus I could take out 0.01% of the Nixon tapes and make it look like they are recordings of an honest President doing a good job.

    You bullshit defense is bullshit.

    Science in order to be science must disclose all data and methodology used so it can be verified and replicated. The work of Jones and Briffa and Mann and others does not provide its data and methods and is therefor not science.

    If your interest was in the science and for the truth then I don't see why you want to deflect from this fact. It is obvious your motives have nothing to do with science or the truth.

    You are a partisan hack and nothing more.

  • Chad||

    You apparently have not read Mann's papers. They contain as much supplements as anything I have ever seen.

    Hell, a crackpot showed up on here on the Reason blog and REPRODUCED THE HOCKEY STICK GRAPH from stratch.

    How hard is it for you to understand that these papers have been reproduced countless times by countless people?

  • ||

    How hard is it for you to understand that these papers have been reproduced countless times by countless people?

    In the case of Mann's paper countless flaws were found in the methodology. One flaw is if you feed red noise into the calculations used by Mann you get a hockey stick. This was only done after extensive diligence by Steve M and others were forced to reverse engineer most of the work and had to fight Mann for every scrap of data they got.

    Of course this does not matter as it is obvious that the AGW crowd has been well documented in the emails and elsewhere with obstructing access to data and methodology.

    Pointing out the successes of skeptics to break through the climategatekeepers to get the data and methodology does not help your case.

  • Chad||

    These "flaws" aren't as significant as you make them out to be...there is back and forth in the literature on that stuff. In any case, the science has long since moved on anyway. Why are you so fixated on the size of the error bars on a 12-year-old graph?

    The answer is obvious: it is all you have.

  • ||

    Chad|12.16.09 @ 6:59PM|#
    "....Why are you so fixated on the size of the error bars on a 12-year-old graph?"
    Because that "12-year-old (bogus; you forgot that part) graph" was used to influence government policy for quite a while, with billions of dollars in the balance.
    And getting the data to *prove* it was bogus was, it seems, every bit as difficult as getting *this* data.
    Is this beginning to ring a bell?

  • Chad||

    There are much newer versions of the same graph, using updated data. There is no reason to worry about the old one.

  • TallDave||

    "a global warming denialist with a carbon fetish and bad intentions"

    My ears are burning.

  • Chad||

    How about we trade NASA's and Trenberth's emails for those of Inhofe, Watts, the entire Exxon leadership, etc.

    Now wouldn't that be a hoot! We could compare a real conspiracy to your tempest in a teacup!

  • ||

    This is a *great* strategy!
    If you don't have an argument, make up some hypothetical fantasy about a strawman!
    I'll bet your mom thinks you have a point.

  • Chad||

    I have plenty of arguments. Which one do you want to start with?

  • ||

    Any one you please; hogwash such as you posted is worthless.

  • ||

    Most basic research is government-funded. Forcing scientists (across all areas of science!) to release all their emails on request would destroy science as an endeavor. The argument that there is no privacy for scientists because research is government-supported, 'proves too much' and would be incredibly damaging to the US and the world if accepted.

  • ||

    Hogwash. Plain BS.
    If you accept funding, you accept that your data belongs to those funding the effort.

  • ||

    You didn't address my comment. First, "your data" doesn't include all emails you send, so your argument falls on its face.

    My point is different. As a practical matter, if you want to have scientists, you cannot force all scientists to release their emails. They will go get jobs that pay double in industry, where they have some privacy, and don't have to waste their time on helping others violate it. And everyone will be the poorer for the lack of scientific progress.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    Russian IEA claims CRU tampered with climate data – cherrypicked warmest stations

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/200.....-stations/

  • Ted ||

    And there you go....hope Crayon and Tony see this.

  • Tony||

    The denialism is settled!

    Because the Russian IEA, whatever that is, a nonscientific body, as reported on denier blogs, is more credible than all the real sources of information you refuse to even acknowledge--because it can me used to help your case. That's some scientific mindedness there.

  • ||

    Tony, some quotes:
    "March 2004, is an email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann.
    Recently rejected two papers (one for JGR and for GRL) from people saying CRU has it wrong over Siberia. Went to town in both reviews, hopefully successfully. If either appears I will be very surprised, but you never know with GRL.
    Cheers
    Phil"

    Next:
    "Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data."

    And:
    "They ignored data covering 40% of Russia and chose data that showed a warming trend over statistically preferable alternatives when available. They ignored completeness of data, preferred urban data, strongly preferred data from stations that relocated, ignored length of data set."

    Oh, and your "...IEA, whatever that is, a nonscientific body..." sorta suggests that only a 'scientific body' can detect malfeasance? That'd be interesting to a guy name of Randi.

  • G Mc||

    So, because a scientist is urging the government to adopt a certain policy stance on an issue, he should waive his privacy rights to satisfy your petty and disingenuous request?

  • Ted ||

    well when there have been leaked emails showing said scientist has been dishonest (on taxpayers money) then yes, he should have to prove the source material of which he objects to being taken out of context. It's common sense. Duh?

  • G Mc||

    So because scientists in East Anglia sent naughty e-mails to each other this American scientist should pay?

  • ||

    No, because a scientist is feeding at the public trough (my money), I own his output, just the same as anyone working for the owners anyplace.
    And he owes me his emails showing his "petty and disingenuous" actions, just so you know.

  • G Mc||

    You don't think that would have disastrous implications for scientific research in this country? Do intellectual property rights disappear if you recieve a dollar of public money? Are there truly no reasonable means of accessing the information backing up the studies as it stands now?

    All of these questions should be considered. This article is political, not reasonable... like most of the AGW discourse.

  • ||

    G Mc|12.16.09 @ 7:09PM|#
    "Do intellectual property rights disappear if you recieve a dollar of public money?"
    Show me a 'climate researcher' who receives $1. Sorry, hypotheticals need not apply. t
    Those whose research is funded by the taxpayers have no 'property rights' to their data. I paid for it, I want it.

  • G Mc||

    Well they would probably tell you: "Hey go look at that study I published."

  • ||

    Wrong answer.
    I want the original data, the provenance of that data, the code used to process that data and a statement of the logic used to derive the conclusion.
    Or, you're fired.

  • G Mc||

    Generally, when a scientific study is published, all the necessary data for the replication of that study is made available. You want what you already have.

  • ||

    If that's the case, how come Mr. Jones is cooling his heels? Have you followed the issue? Data has been held against release for years.
    And your appeal to authority (below) is touching, but authorities (including scientists) lie like everyone else.

  • G Mc||

    You may have a fair point about this specific case, as I have not followed it in detail.

    I was responding to Mr. Harsanyi's more general message.

  • G Mc||

    I mean really, how do you think the Global Warming theory gained so much respect and support in the scientific community? By disregarding all this? I don't think so.

  • ||

    He doesn't owe you shit, you hillbilly motherfucker.

  • ||

    Troll feed! Right here, right now!
    Watch the troll approach the feeding station! Watch the troll, well, troll!

  • ||

    Oh, and I didn't know she was *your* mother; I'd have passed.

  • ||

    HUUUUUURRRRR DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRR
    THE GOVERNMENT OWES ME EVERYTHING
    I'M A RUGGED LIBERTARIAN
    I DON'T BELIEVE IN GOVERNMENT
    GIMME GIMME GIMME DATA, GOVERNMENT
    HEEEEEEEEEEEEEERP DEEEEEEERPI DERP

  • ||

    Perhaps the government-funded "researchers" could instruct us all as to what "context" we should put their "cherry-picked" comments in? Their theories do not hold water. Should we be going green? Absolutely! Just point to the obvious reasons as to why. We do not understand what influences the weather and temperature. We do know that carbon emissions (by mankind) should be eliminated as much as possible, without bankrupting the world.

  • ||

    I miss W...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    I miss better trolls.

  • vulgar moralist||

    I don't know about emails, but every aspect of science research - government supported or not - should be made available to inspection by anyone and everyone. What's the down side?

    The problem with CRU and their brethren at NASA, NOAH, etc., is that - as the dreary acronyms indicate - they are really scientist-bureaucrats. They have the pride of intellect of the former and the primal hunger for turf and prestige of the latter.

    See "The war on the weather":

    http://vulgarmorality.wordpres.....e-weather/

  • abercrombie milano||

    My only point is that if you take the Bible straight, as I'm sure many of Reasons readers do, you will see a lot of the Old Testament stuff as absolutely insane. Even some cursory knowledge of Hebrew and doing some mathematics and logic will tell you that you really won't get the full deal by just doing regular skill english reading for those books.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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