Yes, there has definitely been a chill around climate science in recent weeks. Brrr!!
Patrick J. Michaels, who used to study and write about climate, comments on Climategate:
After Messrs. Jones and Mann threatened a boycott of publications and reviews, half the editorial board of Climate Research resigned. People who didn’t toe Messrs. Wigley, Mann and Jones’s line began to experience increasing difficulty in publishing their results.
This happened to me and to the University of Alabama’s Roy Spencer, who also hypothesized that global warming is likely to be modest. Others surely stopped trying, tiring of summary rejections of good work by editors scared of the mob. Sallie Baliunas, for example, has disappeared from the scientific scene.
GRL is a very popular refereed journal. Mr. Wigley was concerned that one of the editors was “in the skeptics camp.” He emailed Michael Mann to say that “if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official . . . channels to get him ousted.”
Mr. Mann wrote to Mr. Wigley on Nov. 20, 2005 that “It’s one thing to lose ‘Climate Research.’ We can’t afford to lose GRL.” In this context, “losing” obviously means the publication of anything that they did not approve of on global warming.
Soon the suspect editor, Yale’s James Saiers, was gone. Mr. Mann wrote to the CRU’s Phil Jones that “the GRL leak may have been plugged up now w/ new editorial leadership there.”
It didn’t stop there. Ben Santer of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory complained that the Royal Meteorological Society (RMS) was now requiring authors to provide actual copies of the actual data that was used in published papers. He wrote to Phil Jones on March 19, 2009, that “If the RMS is going to require authors to make ALL data available—raw data PLUS results from all intermediate calculations—I will not submit any further papers to RMS journals.” (Wall Street Journal, December 17, 2009)
Now, in assessing Climategate, I must begin by making clear that I have no axe to grind. The planet could be warming up, and human activity could be partly responsible. I am all for ecology; I just wish most of the people fronting environmentalism in my zone were not fashionable urbanites who can’t imagine that our ecology, which has existed since the close of the last local Ice Age , may be sturdier than they think.
To say nothing of ambitious politicos looking to gain power that a constitutional monarchy or republic would not normally permit.
Actually, according to the Canadian Museum of Nature, we – at any rate – are still in an Ice Age (Quaternary Period). Well, that maybe explains why we don’t grow bananas here, though we import plenty.
Meanwhile, here’s another of the burgeoning mass of stories on the Climategate scam:Quoting from Rionovost agency (“What Russian papers say”),
On the whole, climatologists use the incomplete findings of meteorological stations far more often than those providing complete observations.
IEA analysts say climatologists use the data of stations located in large populated centers that are influenced by the urban-warming effect more frequently than the correct data of remote stations.
The scale of global warming was exaggerated due to temperature distortions for Russia accounting for 12.5% of the world’s land mass. The IEA said it was necessary to recalculate all global-temperature data in order to assess the scale of such exaggeration.
Global-temperature data will have to be modified if similar climate-date procedures have been used from other national data because the calculations used by COP15 analysts, including financial calculations, are based on HadCRUT research.”
-James Delingpole, “Climategate goes SERIAL: now the Russians confirm that UK climate scientists manipulated data to exaggerate global warming” (Daily Telegraph, December 16, 2009)
By all means, read the rest at the Telegraph site. It is pretty enlightening.
So what have I learned?:
– Climategate naturally causes me to wonder how much “science” is similarly corrupt. Darwinism might be the biggest bubbles on the surface of a boiling pot. (Important, to be sure, but hardly the whole story.)
Look, when I am buying raspberries, I inspect the clear plastic containers on all six sides. If I see a berry with mould fuzz growing out of it, I pass the whole container by – even though most of the berries are probably sound. But I can’t know for sure, can I? Mycelia, the roots of mould fungi, are invisible, so I have no way to know.
– My biggest loss of confidence came when big science organizations tended to defend the status quo instead of demanding inquiries headed by non-interested parties. See, for example, the American Association for Advancement of Science’s statement that
“The vast preponderance of evidence, based on years of research conducted by a wide array of different investigators at many institutions, clearly indicates that global climate change is real, it is caused largely by human activities, and the need to take action is urgent,” said Alan I. Leshner, chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the journal Science.
AAAS expressed grave concerns that the illegal release of private emails stolen from the University of East Anglia should not cause policy-makers and the public to become confused about the scientific basis of global climate change. Scientific integrity demands robust, independent peer review, however, and AAAS therefore emphasized that investigations are appropriate whenever significant questions are raised regarding the transparency and rigor of the scientific method, the peer-review process, or the responsibility of individual scientists. The responsible institutions are mounting such investigations.
Fine, but – under the circumstances – why am I supposed to believe that climate change is real? Those people could all be funning* us, but some were caught.
And, especially, why should I believe that the “responsible institutions” are the right folk to mount these investigations? I’d bring in outside help, myself. That is routine when we don’t know who’s party and who isn’t.
The whole thing feels like the grocer telling me I must need my head read if I think that that gray thready stuff surrounding the berry is really fungus, or that fungus spreads. After all, his produce manager agrees with him that it is not fungus, and anyway fungus doesn’t spread and isn’t harmful, and anyway –
Anyway I better shop somewhere else hereafter, right?
*It’s odd how events in Canada replicate those in the United States, but often in a different area. When the Canadian Human Rights Commission permitted employees/freelancers to impersonate Nazis on the Internet, in order to target and convict people who were drawn into corresponding with them, one outcome is that they contaminated the sample. I have no idea now how many Nazis there are in Canada. I suspect that half or more work for the government, getting a salary and benefits, and they belong to the public service union. Hitler, wherever he is, must be just thrilled.
It would, of course, be easy for a director general of the civil service to prevent or shut down these “James Bond, legend in his own lunch room” antics. But no such boffin bothered. So then, the boffins can ruddy well live with the results: Their credibility is in ruins because no one knows what to believe.
And I say the same for the climate lobby. If we don’t believe them, it’s because Climategate and its aftermath cast doubt on their credibility. Not because anyone wants to wreck the planet.