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House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the this-won't-change-your-mind dept.

Earth 650

dwguenther writes "The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved. The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit ... had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming." According to the article, the head of committee which produced the report "said the lawmakers had been in a rush to publish something before Britain's next national election, which is widely expected in just over a month's time"; two further inquiries are to examine the issue more closely. The "e-mails appeared to show scientists berating skeptics in sometimes intensely personal attacks, discussing ways to shield their data from public records laws, and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed journals," but the committee concluded that East Anglia researcher Phil Jones was not part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that weakens the case for global warming.

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650 comments

No evidence is actually required (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31691928)

The appalling quality of the software used to model the situation (not flagging errors, but carrying on regardless) makes any conclusion pretty much worth less than the paper on which it is written

Re:No evidence is actually required (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692078)

lol!!

Same can be said of Windows, *yet* no one is questioning you wrote your gibberish now and it wasn't a software bug?

Pretty sure they have been tracking this (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692126)

for a while by hand. Not to mention they are not the only climate scientists. You fucking deniers are morons, thanks for fucking us all over asshole.

Re:Pretty sure they have been tracking this (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692252)

What dumbass can't accept the fact that their code arbitrarily tosses data out due to data exceptions? You think this is ok and therefore the rest of us are deniers? What kind of fucktard defends this kind pile of shit code and then calls everyone else names. You dumb fucktard. What an asshat.

First! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31691932)

Lies Lies Lies! We're going to hellll!

Warming is not bad (2, Insightful)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 4 years ago | (#31691940)

But, fact remains that the Earth has been warmer and the Earth has been cooler. It WILL change. We may not like that but it is a fact. I would MUCH more prefer global warming than global cooling. You want a disaster? Try an ice age! Even a mini-ice age like happened in the 1800's and other centuries causing mass starvation and migration.

Re:Warming is not bad (4, Interesting)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31692128)

While I agree that cooling would in all likelihood have more negative results, I can't agree that global warming is a globally positive effect. First, I believe the science to be accurate enough from what I do understand of it. While higher CO2 and temperatures might lead to higher crop yields in some regions, it might also lead to major shifts in rainfall patterns, either drying out current crop growing regions or drowning them, which can also cause mass starvations and migrations. And that is just one effect I can think of. Loss of usefulness of coastal regions which provide food for millions, disturbance of ocean acidity and thereby the whole oceanic ecosystem and the possibility of runaway feedback loops like the dissolution of methane clathrates are other possible problems.

The rational response to the possibility of severe consequences like those would be to focus our research on those consequences and on possibilities to adapt to them. The CO2 reduction goals that are talked about at the moment are probably illusionary. The easily reachable fossil fuels are gonna be burned - if not by the West, then by China or by industrializing third world countries. The goal has to be preparing for possible consequences.

Re:Warming is not bad (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 4 years ago | (#31692260)

The rational response to the possibility of severe consequences like those would be to focus our research on those consequences and on possibilities to adapt to them.

No. The rational response would be to find out what's actually happening instead of wreaking our economy trying to avoid problems we don't even know exist. Just because you can imagine a whole bunch of doom-and-gloom scenarios doesn't mean that they're possible, you know.

Re:Warming is not bad (5, Insightful)

The End Of Days (1243248) | about 4 years ago | (#31692308)

How does working to increase efficiency and reduce pollution wreck the economy? Last I saw, every technological advance drove our economy forward in ways no one even imagined beforehand.

Seems to me that the common sense approach is to invest heavily in technology to fix the problem, not invest heavily in public relations aimed at extending the problem. That way, we all win no matter what the truth is.

Re:Warming is not bad (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31692330)

The possibility of those scenarios is out of the question. If you doubt that, you ignore all the science. What I concede to be open, is the probability for those scenarios. Now, in risk assessment, you basically look at probability*cost and on that basis, you build your strategy. The probability term is being constantly refined by improved models. You might claim that the economy is getting ruined, but in fact, the cost term has not been reasonably assessed by now. Knowledge of both the cost and the probability term allows us to formulate rational strategies.

Re:Warming is not bad (2, Interesting)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 4 years ago | (#31692446)

Being prepared to adapt is a lot different than trying to adjust the climate of the world as a whole, while letting some countries continue as they have and holding others to economically crushing scrutiny. I'd rather see research, or hell even funding for moving large quantities of water across the country, similar to the power grid, but for water. Also, since solar power can be utilized to separate the Hydrogen in water, it can be a relatively safe power storage medium. The key is being able to mobilize the water resources to areas with more sunlight, such a system could be adapted, if widely distributed enough to account for many shifts in climate throughout the country (or continents for that matter). It could help farming and agriculture as well. Planning for varying future results is quite a bit different than beating the rhythm drums and praying.

Re:Warming is not bad (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#31692214)

You want disaster? Try a 2 degree C warming across all our most important foodbelts! Even a minor, persistent decline in ecological carrying capacity will cause serious production issues.

You want disaster? Try halving the amount of precipitation (rain and snow) available to a few dozen major watersheds across the globe. Even a minor, persistent decline will lead to all kinds of resource conflicts, quite possibly even the shooting kind.

Bottom line? When you build a complex, resource-intensive society of ~7 billion people, and run that society really close to the margins of earth's carrying capacity (as we are today), then arbitrarily messing around with a bunch of climate parameters is a stupid idea. It might work out okay, or it might not.

Re:Warming is not bad (1, Informative)

The Spoonman (634311) | about 4 years ago | (#31692420)

Ah, the old "climate has changed before" mantra. I thought that one had long been explained to the deniers (I note the bias in the article calling these people "skeptics"). The climate changes you're referring to have to with Milankovitch cycles [wikipedia.org] which are predictable cycles. The problem with the "it's been hot before" hypothesis is that we're on the downward end of a Milankovitch, meaning temps should be going down, but instead they're going up.

Thorough and unbiased (3, Insightful)

XanC (644172) | about 4 years ago | (#31691946)

Well if the House of Commons can't find it, it doesn't exist!

Re:Thorough and unbiased (1)

MrHanky (141717) | about 4 years ago | (#31692326)

Like your comment, and the two guys who found it "insightful" and "interesting"?

Re:Thorough and unbiased (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692436)

As compared to yours that only has this shitting out of it.

Re:Thorough and unbiased (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31692458)

Climate change deniers do not make logical arguments, they shout talking points and appeal to emotion.

Re:Thorough and unbiased (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#31692426)

Well if the House of Commons can't find it, it doesn't exist!

"Lawmakers stressed that their report -- which was written after only a single day of oral testimony -- did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still pending."

But still, the original hysteria and fingerpointing was based on a few e-mails out of 1,000+ distributed by an anonymous source. The lack of context, coupled with the public's general ignorance about science, provides a ready made tempest in a teapot.

Let me put it another way: how many different investigations (and from whom) would be required to convince the doubters?

Re:Thorough and unbiased (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 4 years ago | (#31692530)

Well if the House of Commons can't find it, it doesn't exist!

Remember, the House of Commons are experts at data tampering, as proved by their expertise in using public funds to clean their private moats, over-claiming for council tax on second home, subsidising property development, claiming expenses while living in grace and favour homes, etc. Just to name a few off the top of my head.

As expert practitioners of data tampering, they would have spotted any mischief. Kinda sorta like using a thief, to catch a thief.

As a matter of fact, the British team is expected to take the Gold this summer in the South Africa in the "Data Diddling" competition.

All the members of the team are also MPs!

Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (4, Funny)

Zondar (32904) | about 4 years ago | (#31691960)

Well, that's enough for me. I'm convinced!

One day of oral testimony (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692092)

I hope some of them got Al Gore's autograph as least...

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (2, Informative)

ajaxlex (658555) | about 4 years ago | (#31692208)

Well, if you bother to look at the evidence (including the 'most damning' elements held up by the 'skeptics'), you realize that a day of testimony is more than enough to put this witch hunt to rest. _There are very few sincere skeptics among AGW skeptics_

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (3, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#31692302)

You think this is actually going to rest? What is actually going to happen is the same thing that has been happening all along: those with an interest in denying anthropogenic climate change will selectively quote those things that suit their purpose (the fact some evidence of impropriety was raised) while selectively ignoring those things that do not (the fact those improprieties were disproved).

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (1)

sheph (955019) | about 4 years ago | (#31692384)

Oh? Well if you say so then it must be true. I guess using mocked up data to trend against is inconsequential and provides a sound basis for the proving of this theory. Anybody who would question it is clearly off their nut.

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (1)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31692496)

Why do you keep on lying when the report is right there, disproving your lies? It's not as if these guys represent even a fraction of climate scientists, so what do you say to the vast majority of climate scientists whose data and methods are valid?

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (1)

ajaxlex (658555) | about 4 years ago | (#31692526)

Anyone who would question it without looking at the context and rebuttals would be a skeptic-poseur!
I find again and again that 98% of AGW "skeptics"never dig any farther than the last argument that supports their tribe.
_there are very few sincere AGW skeptics_

Re:Wow... a WHOLE DAY of testimony? (4, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 4 years ago | (#31692532)

Anybody who would question it is clearly off their nut.

No... Informed skepticism is required in science, it is the ignorant, maligned and malicious screaming and wailing that is nutty. Unfortunately, the GP is right, very few AGW "skeptics" have any real idea of what the hell they're talking about.

Very Strange (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31691976)

That is strange.

Phil Jones admitted it.

Re:Very Strange (5, Informative)

IICV (652597) | about 4 years ago | (#31692374)

Oh, do you mean in this [bbc.co.uk] article, where he admitted that there has been no statistically significant evidence of warming since 1995?

Being a man of integrity, he of course answered that question truthfully. Here's his full response:

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods.

It's funny, because whoever wrote that question did their homework; 1995 is the latest year at which, if you run the calculation, there's no statistically significant warming until 2009 - though I'm sure that'll change when we get the 2010 data. Of course, if you run the same calculation from 1994, you do get a statistically significant result at the 95% significance level. Further, if you decrease the significance level from 95% to something like 85%, the warming trend is again significant. The thing is that a mere fifteen years is just not enough time to do actual climate science. Generally, you have to look back at least thirty years to get reasonable statistical significance; the fact that there's such a strong signal even if you start in 1995 should be good evidence in itself.

Don't worry (0, Flamebait)

WiiVault (1039946) | about 4 years ago | (#31691988)

The Deniers never really cared about silly things like evidence, or the opinions of pretty much every expert in the field. The whole "Climategate" was just a warm fuzzy excuse to be proud of their intellectual bankruptcy. Now that this red harring is off the table I hardly expect these enlightened thinkers to change course and face reality. Thank god I have some karma to burn, because I'm certain there will be a denier with modpoints.

Re:Don't worry (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692088)

Just because you are correct doesn't mean you should lower yourself to using ad hominem name-calling. Rise above, my friend.

Re:Don't worry (5, Interesting)

jav1231 (539129) | about 4 years ago | (#31692094)

RTFA, it does find that they had a keen interest in stonewalling critics. So much for peer review, taking some criticism, and I dunno integrity?

Truth should be easy to defend. There's not much scientific integrity if you have to stifle descent.

Also FTFA: "Lawmakers stressed that their report — which was written after only a single day of oral testimony — did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still pending."

As Winston Wolfe said: "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet, Gentlemen."

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | about 4 years ago | (#31692438)

Exactly. Especially in mediums that are only (or at least primarily) going to be read by educated people, there's no reason to prevent debate - the facts will speak for themselves.

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#31692462)

RTFA, it does find that they had a keen interest in stonewalling critics.

Right but there is a point at which any person just gives up on his critics. Whether it be one persistent critic or an internet full of critics, you just get sick of it and concentrate on what actually matters: your work. And then when this happens suddenly you're "stonewalling." Or "unable to defend your statements." I don't know all the details and I'm not going to get into my own anecdotal stories but at some point you just don't care what they think and you get tired of having to engage in rebuttals and 'discussions' if they are inane or offtrack.

For what it's worth (not to defend this), the above phenomenon can also lead you to opt not to release your data because your critics can either pour over it to find more ammunition or use it for their own devices. Thankfully the House of Commons called for the release of all data and all source code and hopefully soon we'll be pointed into a better direction about who is the most correct in their analysis.

Re:Don't worry (1)

khallow (566160) | about 4 years ago | (#31692558)

Right but there is a point at which any person just gives up on his critics.

That's too bad. The debate about global warming isn't a bar room argument. If the scientists "give up", then that means they've left the field to the opposition.

Re:Don't worry (5, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 4 years ago | (#31692574)

Truth should be easy to defend. There's not much scientific integrity if you have to stifle descent.

You'd think the truth that cigarettes cause cancer and emphysema would have been easy to defend too, but look how long the tobacco industry strung out that debate. They even went so far as to lie, under oath, in front of Congress.

And climate change is infinitely more complicated than "smoking is bad for your health," while having much more money involved.

Re:Don't worry (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692102)

The Deniers never really cared about silly things like evidence, or the opinions of pretty much every expert in the field.

Likewise, the Believers never really cared about a silly thing like evidence but instead settled for the opinions of pretty much every expert in the field.

Re:Don't worry (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692240)

Deniers settle for whatever makes them feel better driving.

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | about 4 years ago | (#31692572)

No, we believe because of the evidence. You believe despite all evidence. We start from theory and test it against reality, you start from fantasy and find data that fits. In science, the truth always wins out in the end. In science, if you can prove that everybody else is wrong and you are right, you will be the next Einstein and your name will go down in history forever. So, when all the experts agree, that's pretty good evidence that none of them could make a huge name for themselves by disagreeing. And with the HUGE amounts of money that corporate polluters are pouring into this debate, not only would anyone who proved climate change be famous, they would be very, very rich.

Re:Don't worry (0)

zeronitro (937642) | about 4 years ago | (#31692114)

If you think comments like this help a healthy scientific debate then by all means continue.
However, if you like to be the same as the side you berate and hurl insults with whatever you pull out your arse then please proceed.

Re:Don't worry (3, Insightful)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | about 4 years ago | (#31692180)

Modpoints here, not a denier but I'm still tempted. Painting all skeptics with the same piss-soaked brush doesn't help, it just makes YOU look like a fanatic.

Re:Don't worry (1)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31692490)

While I generally agree, you have to keep in mind that not all whom one might call "deniers" are actually "skeptics". Skepticism is not just "Yeah, Whatever, don't believe it. [Citation Needed]" - Skepticism requires bringing forth arguments. Many arguments from the "climate skeptics" side are long since debunked and still repeated all over the place. Not saying that there are no valid arguments against anthropogenic global warming or especially against the resulting politics - but not all of it deserves the "skeptic" tag. Goes for both sides, of course, as always.

Re:Don't worry (2, Interesting)

phoenix321 (734987) | about 4 years ago | (#31692524)

I'm glad we get back to real, actual science on this issue. With potentially falsifiable claims, experiments, theoretical, provable predictions and the possibility for all peers to independently verify each experiment, statistical analysis and data collection effort.

Not like in bogey-science, where opposing views are heretics, underlying data is top-secret, claims are even theoretically falsifiable only after waiting at least 30 years, all anecdotal evidence in favor is significant and all anecdotal evidence to the contrary is just coincidence.

Which would be a shame to bet billions of Dollars on, to reduce 30% of the countrie's share of about 10% of emissions of a molecule that has a 0.001% share in the entire atmosphere and of which only 10% is human-made at all.

And while we're in science-land, we probably can explain how heavier-than-air molecules are supposedly floating in the upper levels of the atmosphere for extended amounts of time while preventing the oh-so-precious heat loss of our planet. I'm not even talking about how 0.001% of all air molecules could stop a significant fraction of all infrared radiation or how these molecules supposedly always reflect their absorbed energies back towards the Earth instead of reflecting them in all random directions including sideways or deflected into space, despite rolling around in what is a perfect Brownian motion. Just tell us how molecules that are quite a bit heavier than air manage to stay up in the stratosphere for long enough to have any substantial and lasting effect. I'm very interested in hearing this since that would revolutionize air travel when we can lift airships with cheap and abundant CO2 instead of pesky H2 or expensive He.

About damned time... (1, Troll)

garyisabusyguy (732330) | about 4 years ago | (#31692038)

that the bullshit noise that fox news and deniers spread around got quashed by some actual investigation.

I think that the crap that the right wing manages to pass off as 'facts' has done a lot to hurt any attempt to debate issues openly with any chance of keeping the discussion rational and factual

Re:About damned time... (3, Insightful)

pastafazou (648001) | about 4 years ago | (#31692156)

what I find amazing is that anyone can actually believe that one wing, left or right, is telling the truth and the other is lying. Newsflash for you busy gary, POLITICIANS ARE LIARS! Nothing they say can be believed!

Re:About damned time... (5, Insightful)

Mindcontrolled (1388007) | about 4 years ago | (#31692238)

While rising one level above the simplemindedness of the left-vs-right mindset, you have not reached enlightenment, young padawan. There are no easy answers. "The left is correct", "The right is correct" - those are simple answers and therefore in all probability wrong. "All politicians are liars" - this is also a simple answer - and therefore in all probability wrong. The habit of judging statements not on their merit, but on their source is what is destroying political discourse, young grasshopper. No go and meditate. BUT DO IT OFF MY LAWN!!!

Re:About damned time... (1)

feepness (543479) | about 4 years ago | (#31692520)

The habit of judging statements not on their merit, but on their source is what is destroying political discourse, young grasshopper. No go and meditate. BUT DO IT OFF MY LAWN!!!

You're old so you just don't get it, man!

Re:About damned time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692416)

So believe the scientists. OMG evolution and creationistm are both lies!

Re:About damned time... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692162)

So a whole day of "investigation" is enough to convince you that something which was called "global cooling caused by fossil fuels" just 36 years ago is real?

Re:About damned time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692196)

But the debate is closed. There is consensus.

Re:About damned time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692200)

your own bias is spewed out in what you call a post. more like an ignorami proving himself.

Re:About damned time... (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 4 years ago | (#31692230)

So you consider collective ad hominem attacks and attempts to poison the well as an "attempt to debate issues openly with [some] chance of keepting the discussion rational and factual"? Physician, heal theyself.

Re:About damned time... (5, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | about 4 years ago | (#31692246)

Let me give you a hint.

The instant you show you're only concerned with your political party being 'right' ... thats the instant everyone with a clue just stops bothering with what you said and moves on.

No one really gives a shit what political fanboys think, you included. Its not about democrat or republic, its not about left or right, its about doing the right thing, which apparently to you means whatever democrats are ranting for this month.

You are just as retarded as the republican ranters.

Both groups are ignorant fucks who don't deserve the right to vote.

Its not a fucking football game. Stop fucking ranting and cheering for your political party, open your fucking eyes and vote for the right person for the job, not because they are wearing red or blue this week.

Re:About damned time... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692386)

Fucking Amen.

Re:About damned time... (2, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | about 4 years ago | (#31692262)

that the bullshit noise that fox news and deniers spread around got quashed by some actual investigation.

Certainly is annoying although I'm sympathetic. A hundred gabillion trillion dollars and the future of the human race are at stake here. So a lot of people's gut reaction is "not possible" for the sake of not having to deal with such moral predicaments. I'm American. I buy crap made in China. I know how we like to sweep moral predicaments under the rug instead of facing them head on.

Luckily (as mentioned in the article) this whole media charade may result in something positive:

The committee said that climate scientists had to be much more open in future — for example by publishing all their data, including raw data and the software programs used to interpret them, to the Internet. Willis said there was far too much money at stake not to be completely transparent. "Governments across the world are spending trillions of pounds, or trillions of dollars, on mitigating climate change. The science has got to be irreproachable," he said.

So, this is the part where I predict the future. They're going to open up all the data by force or by free will and then all the code slowly after. A lot of people are going to become armchair statisticians (good thing) and draw their own conclusions by manipulating the data in bizarre ways (bad thing). Then a decade down the road it'll come to light that the climate is very probably changing too fast for it to be a naturally occurring cycle. And you'll win a few more people over to accept the idea that we need to slowly adapt to the new problem. But you're still going to have something like half your opposition claiming the data itself is now flawed in how it was collected. If it's not one thing, they'll drum up another. Why? Because a hundred gabillion trillion dollars and the future of the human race are at stake here and they don't want to face up to either. So they'll take the convenient route and continue to hold on by their fingertips to whatever they can to justify a splurging lifestyle.

That's a prediction on my part, not necessarily 100% true.

Re:About damned time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692492)

My prediction for the future is that while resources and debates are based on CO2, which can be reabsorbed and has been around for billions of years, all the other artificial crap we are dumping into sea land and air will make us sterile half idiots who need therapy just to survive, under total control of a globalized infrastructure where democracy choice and ideals are just empty propaganda items.

Re:About damned time... (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 4 years ago | (#31692298)

I know, they keep trying to say it hasn't gotten warmer since 1998 or that there are longer cycles that mimic the warming/cooling cycles as they are. There are even some that think global warming might be a good thing!!! trying to say milder summers in Siberia or Canada might make for more inhabitable and fertile land.

Re:About damned time... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | about 4 years ago | (#31692480)

that the bullshit noise that fox news and deniers spread around got quashed by some actual investigation.

Ha... As if a bunch of people intent on ignoring reality in favor of their own economic religion would ever be swayed by facts... This investigation will be ignored by the right and decried as one more piece of the massive evil conspiracy against oil companies...

Vindication (0, Troll)

Bemopolis (698691) | about 4 years ago | (#31692060)

So I guess I can look forward to public apologies from all of those Phil Jones bashers...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! Look at me, expecting people to do the right thing.

Re:Vindication (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692332)

Why?

He was never accused of having tampered with the data. He was accused of combining data in unscientific ways and applying unscientific methods to get results he clearly had a great deal of sympathy for - such as grafting an unreliable proxy record onto a temperature record, and "normalising" that unreliable proxy record in an scientifically dubious way.

I would apologise if he had been cleared of doing anything I had accused him of. Bad science is self-evident - you cannot do "accurate scienc"e when even a full-time statistical researcher writes 700 pages of frustration and ultimately gives up on your data set and methodology.

Re:Vindication (3, Interesting)

jtorkbob (885054) | about 4 years ago | (#31692474)

Why would I apologize? Not that I'm a basher, more of a civilized critic. This report, while it doesn't implicate him in a "conspiracy", also readily admits that he's been treating people with my point of view as mere obstructions to his mission. My impression of Mr. Jones is that he believes firmly that something must be done about CO2 and the problems that come with it, all for very good reasons.

I also suspect that he knows that the normalization of the data would not hold up to scrutiny, but in his view there is too much at stake to risk the public airing of that laundry. His heart is in the right place, but I happen to believe quite firmly that the growing apathy regarding climate change is a perfect example of why we can't put all our environmental eggs in one basket. Why can't we just focus more on particulate emissions, groundwater contamination, and dozens of other issues which have clearly visible impacts on the biological world?

Show me the data (4, Insightful)

ATestR (1060586) | about 4 years ago | (#31692064)

The problem with the whole Global Warming panic was not that these scientists were distorting the data. The real issue was that they didn't allow public scrutiny of the information. If another group of scientists can't reproduce these results, that the results are not science. Let other climate scientists have the raw data, and we'll see what they say. If you can get a whole bunch of people reproduce the same conclusion, then the study can be taken as credible. Until then, I reserve judgement.

Re:Show me the data (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692206)

Exactly. If only true believers are allowed to see your data, then you are not doing science.

Re:Show me the data (5, Informative)

CogDissident (951207) | about 4 years ago | (#31692226)

Actually the data from weather research posts is freely available to the public. All you have to do is find the relevant website (I don't have it on hand at the moment). One of the weather-scientist associations provides access to it I believe. As part of a final project for my weather science class in college, we actually had to analyze data from four different stations around the world and correlate our findings with local geographical data. Almost every student in the class found evidence of the global temperatures rising over the last 80 year period.

Re:Show me the data (4, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#31692466)

I want the data actually used.. which means the data post-adjustment (because thats what climate scientists use) .. and then I want those adjustments explained and justified in detail, and the adjustments verified.. which means also having the data pre-adjustment.

Until I have that, I cannot verify jack shit.

Re:Show me the data (1)

michaelwigle (822387) | about 4 years ago | (#31692504)

I think the problem and question is which data is freely available? Here's a link http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/are_we_feeling_warmer_yet/ [icecap.us] that shows differences in the raw data versus the adjusted data. I understand the argument of needing to adjust for different issues, but people rarely know if they are being given adjusted or unadjusted readings. Some of the stonewalling of information that these scientists didn't want to reveal was the original temperatures and the process through which they created the adjusted readings. I'd call that mighty significant information to provide.

Re:Show me the data (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692506)

You missed the point. The deniers do not want to actually go out and get data. They want to point out it wasn't published in every paper on global warning. And even if it was published, they'll argue it wasn't complete enough, or people used mercury thermometers that probably were re-calibrated every 2 min. etc. etc. etc..

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=raw+historical+weather+station+data

But don't worry, this will be modded as troll because it shows you can actually get *real* historical data this easily!

Re:Show me the data (1)

jtorkbob (885054) | about 4 years ago | (#31692568)

Some of the data on which the CRU's models are built was collected and then 'normalized' to account for the varying quality and change over time of the sites. The contention of skeptics is that since the 'raw' data and the methodology for the normalization are not clearly known in some cases, this brings the data into question. CRU and people who support it say that the normalization is sufficiently accurate. I, for one, am not satisfied.

Re:Show me the data (2, Informative)

scottbell (114847) | about 4 years ago | (#31692586)

Actually the data from weather research posts is freely available to the public.

Professor Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of UEA, says it's not [bbc.co.uk]. The full quote:

When challenged about the contents of one of the stolen e-mails in which Professor Jones told a critic of his work that he would not make information available because the data would only be used to undermine his findings, he admitted that he had written a number of "very awful e-mails". Professor Edward Acton, vice-chancellor of UEA, told the committee that it was not possible to make the entire international data set available because of a "commercial promise". He explained that a number of contributing nations - including Canada, Poland and Sweden - had refused to make their segments of data publicly available.

I still think AGW is most likely true, but UEA had some pretty sloppy practices with data.

Re:Show me the carfax (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692352)

NASA's reproduction of these same results doesn't seem to count for anything anymore.

Re:Show me the data (1)

ajaxlex (658555) | about 4 years ago | (#31692370)

Skeptical Science maintains a database of links to peer-reviewed papers. There is currently discussion about which journals are 'peer-reviewed' but this is a good step towards providing information for everyone.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/resources.php?peer=1 [skepticalscience.com]

I'll warn you though - unless you have strong statistics chops, some of this stuff is hard to plow through. But, there is plenty out there for any _honest_ skeptic.

quid pro quo (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about 4 years ago | (#31692066)

I heard about this yesterday and it seems like a deal was struck. Phil Jones steps down, and the house of commons declines to charge him. We'll never know, of course.

Re:quid pro quo (2, Insightful)

EnglishTim (9662) | about 4 years ago | (#31692578)

That makes no sense. The House of Commons wouldn't get to charge him anyway. It's not a court; it's a legislative body.

Re:quid pro quo (1)

jtorkbob (885054) | about 4 years ago | (#31692580)

Did I miss something, or isn't it temporary, and he might be re-instated once the investigation is complete?

Oh My God! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692074)

The sinister World League of Scheming Climatologists have corrupted the House of Commons!

What evil will they not resort to to keep their grant money coming?

Why can't people simply accept what the fossil fuel companies, their lobbyists and assorted astroturf operations tell us is true? They certainly don't have a financial stake in this, unlike those greedy scientists.

Drat! If it wasn't... (0, Flamebait)

eagee (1308589) | about 4 years ago | (#31692080)

for you darn kids and your "science" no one would have ever known that global warning deniers are totally FOS.

Re:Drat! If it wasn't... (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 4 years ago | (#31692284)

I'm curious what evidence it was that convinced you that global warming is happening, is caused by humans, and will lead to catastrophic results. I'm agnostic on the first, because I've seen no reliable evidence given the problems with the global temperature data sets, but on the other hand it makes sense that the planet would be warming given that we're still coming out of the Little Ice Age. I've see essentially no credible evidence on the other two points at all. So what was it that convinced you that such claims (that is, the claims made by the global warming activists) are true?

Conflict of interest (4, Insightful)

dfenstrate (202098) | about 4 years ago | (#31692084)

Global warming is used as a justification to tax (carbon taxes) and control (cap and trade, various environmental regulations.).

There's nothing a government body wants more than money and control. Ergo, it's in the interests of the House of Commons to say 'yep, everything's legit here, and because it is, we're taking more of your money and restricting your lives & business even more. Gotta save the earth, ya know. It's for your own good.'

(The astute reader can guess my position on the matter of anthropogenic global warming, but the above statement is independent of the scientific truth of the matter.)

Re:Conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692194)

get out of here you green hippie!

Re:Conflict of interest (2, Insightful)

spleen_blender (949762) | about 4 years ago | (#31692224)

Is is accurate to say driving a car is used as a justification to tax (road maintenance) and control (traffic laws, requirement to own insurance)?

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

da cog (531643) | about 4 years ago | (#31692440)

(The astute reader can guess my position on the matter of anthropogenic global warming, but the above statement is independent of the scientific truth of the matter.)

Wait... what? If we really can guess your position on the truth of AGW based merely on a completely unrelated statement on the bias of a government agency, then this suggests that your position on AGW is somehow influenced by your opinions of government agencies, which is silly.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | about 4 years ago | (#31692494)

The fact that they let a government (and therefore extremely biased) group decide this severely harms the credibility of the decision. The fact that they only gave one day to hearing debate on it only further damages their credibility. When we're talking things that will have massive impacts on people's lives and countries economies all over the world, it's worth being as close to 100% sure as you can before making a decision.

Re:Conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692534)

And your opinion on the political ramifications (and legit concerns) is irrelevant to the science backing anthropogenic global warming.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692120)

What's rational and factual about the end of the graph of the WMO report on Global Climate in 1999?

It's not about the naysayers, it's about a lack of academic integrity. It doesn't matter what the issue is, cooking data is wrong!

Vindication? Deceitful obfuscation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692124)

No 'vindication' at all.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/27/cru-inquiry-seeks-changes-in-uk-law-citing-failure-of-crus-foia-officer/

"The emails which are now public reveal that Mr Holland’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act were not dealt with as they should have been under the legislation. Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information. Mr Holland’s FOI requests were submitted in 2007/8, but it has only recently come to light that they were not dealt with in accordance with the Act.

The legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place, so by the time the action taken came to light the opportunity to consider a prosecution was long gone. The ICO is gathering evidence from this and other time-barred cases to support the case for a change in the law. It is important to note that the ICO enforces the law as it stands – we do not make it."

All the world's a stage. When a messenger comes in and you shout, "HE CARRIES A VINDICATION, HE CARRIES A VINDICATION", you are creating reality as much as you are describing it.

The Ultimate Commentary (1)

bamboo7 (1411009) | about 4 years ago | (#31692160)

"...had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process". Butthead: "Huh-huh, you said perverted."

For those unfamiliar with UK .gov investigations (5, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | about 4 years ago | (#31692164)

No UK government investigation has found any evidence of any wrongdoing for anything in at least the last ten years - even when the previous six weeks have been wall-to-wall damning evidence reported in every UK newspaper, TV channel and website regardless of its usual political stance.

Re:For those unfamiliar with UK .gov investigation (1)

jo_ham (604554) | about 4 years ago | (#31692486)

So you missed the results of the expenses enquiry then. Sort of hard given all the news coverage it got.

Plus, newspapers don't contain "damming evidence" they contain editorialised content designed to sell newspapers.

Those two groups will NEVER get along! (1)

Sloppy (14984) | about 4 years ago | (#31692338)

The e-mails appeared to show scientists berating skeptics .. and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed journals

If only scientists and skeptics had some sort of common ground, maybe these kinds of conflicts could be avoided.

Den of snakes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#31692360)

News flash: a den of snakes says it is safe to enter and no harm will come to you little mouse.

These people are serial liars and clueless, their credibility is LOWER than the charlatans at East Anglia.

Part of the problem is funding (2, Insightful)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | about 4 years ago | (#31692388)

You find some correlation with Climate Change, you get more funding to investigate. If you disprove something, you're done.
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