Monday, November 23, 2009

ClimateGate

Climate fraud finally made it to the New York Times.
Hundreds of private e-mail messages and documents hacked from a computer server at a British university are causing a stir among global warming skeptics, who say they show that climate scientists conspired to overstate the case for a human influence on climate change. In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as “idiots.”
The NYTimes also nails the likely reaction, which you can see amongst establishment wannabes like Marginal Revolution, and Jane Galt.
The evidence pointing to a growing human contribution to global warming is so widely accepted that the hacked material is unlikely to erode the overall argument.
Since everyone knows it's real, who cares if it's shown to be a fraud?

The nonsense that Steve McIntyre's been dealing with for years directly matches my experience in some of the most prestigious university departments on the planet. Of course, my work was pretty inconsequential, but the dollars and prestige (Gore, Nobel Prize Committee, Democratic Party, every European Government etc.) means that the mask could not afford to slip there. And now it has.

That said, I think the Times still has it right. So what if it's all bogus?

5 Comments:

Blogger getyourselfconnected said...

Never let facts get in the way of a good story, so they say. There is an economic recovery, housing is rebounding, and global warming is real. Move along.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

As far as I can tell, there is a case that there MIGHT be anthropocentric global warming, but the logic of the science is questionable, and the evidence is not convincing in the historical record, and seems somewhat contrary to what appears to be a period of cyclical cooling.

A movement to reduce pollution, in order to give ourselves the option of further understanding, is different from a movement to justify dramatic government intervention, and the greatest increase in taxes since the income tax, and the greatest redistribution from the first to the third world, in human history.

Furthermore, since 80% of greenhouse emissions appear to come from electricity generation, and a combination of nuclear power plants, electric heat, electric cars, would create a new employment base, and remove our necessity for maintaining a global dominance of the air and sea, in order to guarantee the oil trade.

The last reason is reason enough.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Greg said...

I havent read the article (I've seen a critique of it elsewhere) but the excerpt showing the highlighted words trick and idiot IS interesting.

They are obviously using the word trick to imply that while one thing was being shown, they had a trick to make it look otherwise. This is only one possible use of the word trick and here it is used perjoratively.

How about the use of the word trick as an example of an intellectual shortcut, useful because the user has learned something that most people do not know. I'll give an example; If I were a teacher and I wanted to do a demonstration of statistics for my class I could divide them up into two groups and have one group flip a coin a thousand times and record the results. The second group I would ask to simply record random results without actually flipping the coin. How likely would I be able to determine group A from group B.
Very likely. Why? Because I have a "trick "for looking at such charts and knowing which one more likely reflects true randomness. In the true flipping chart it is very unlikely that there would be a 50/50 split. It is also very LIKELY that there would be some fairly long runs of alll heads or all tails, maybe up to 10-15 in a row. If I didnt see this that would be another clue. So my trick is not deceitful simply some inside knowledge that helps me to distinguish the authenticity of a set of supposedly random happenings.

This is how the word trick should be judged in this article. These climatologists had bunches of data (some that was known to be spurious just because of the nature of human measurement methods) and needed to know how and whether they could ascertain patterns in them. There are tricks available to statisticians which are not the result of nefarious plots to pull the wool over the eyes of oil consuming primates.

This is akin to the Intelligent Design "idiots" using the word "theory" as proof that evolution cant be true because even scientists call it a theory (we however know OURS to be true because god told us)

Im a little disappointed Winterspeak that you would use this article as an argument against AGW. It seems so below your usual level of intellectual honesty here.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Greg said...

Winterspeak

I feel the need to go a little further in explaining the end of my previous comment. Your site has been a valuable resource for me in my searches around the blogosphere the last 1-2 yrs. I always appreciate your wit, intellect and understanding of some fairly complex issues.

I know you are not big on the AGW community and have some serious questions. I tend to take much of Curts view above. Our energy need on this spinning orb are being currently met by a quickly diminishing resource that is controlled by, while not truly evil people, people who stand to lose a lot of money by a move away from the resource they control. You of all people, the guy who introduced me to Chartalist thinking (thanks BTW) should know that the true economic issue is scarcity here. Do you not buy the peak oil arguments. Ive seen many and they are pretty strong.

We need to keep our eyes on the ball. The key is becoming independent of needing oil to run our lives. The AGW deniers club is ONLY interested, in my view, in keeping the oil interests in charge of energy distribution. If there is a conspiracy (not a big tin foil hat guy myself) thats where it lies.

6:39 AM  
Blogger mk said...

We need to keep our eyes on the ball. The key is becoming independent of needing oil to run our lives. The AGW deniers club is ONLY interested, in my view, in keeping the oil interests in charge of energy distribution. If there is a conspiracy (not a big tin foil hat guy myself) thats where it lies.

9:38 PM  

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