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Climate Researchers Fight Back

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the best-defense-is-a-good-offense dept.

Canada 641

tomduck writes "The Guardian reports that climate researcher Andrew Weaver is suing the National Post newspaper in Canada in a libel action for publishing 'grossly irresponsible falsehoods.' The Post claimed he cherrypicked data to support his climate research, and tried to blame the 'evil fossil fuel' industry for break-ins at his office in 2008 to divert attention from mistakes in the 2007 IPCC report. This comes fast on the heels of another Guardian article describing lessons learned from the exoneration of UEA scientists involved in the so-called Climategate affair. Are climate scientists finally fighting back against their critics, who they were previously more inclined to ignore?"

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641 comments

Your dead great grandmother doesn't fight back! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31959912)

When I'm fucking her eyesockets!

Who exactly is fighting back? (4, Insightful)

eagl (86459) | more than 4 years ago | (#31959936)

Real climate scientists have been fighting for years... It is the climate evangelists that have been ignoring everyone else up until now.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960002)

I don't give a crap about the "climate evangelists" (whatever exactly that is). But if the National Post is simply playing fast and loose with the facts surrounding a scientist, and basically libeling him in the process, I hope they pay, and pay dearly. If you want to debate the merits or faults of a scientific theory, you debate the merits or faults, you don't go around invoking conspiracy theories, and if you are going to stoop to that level, you probably shouldn't actually go accusing the scientists directly, but rather keep it all nebulous. The pseudo-skeptics need to take a page from the anti-evolution crowd. When talking about the evil conspiracy, don't name names, don't make specific accusations, keep it nice and general and that way nobody can go to a lawyer and drag your ass into court.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960164)

Bear in mind, the National Post is the closest thing Canada has to a Fox News network. I've seen numerous instances of the NP playing fast and loose with facts and using lightly-camouflaged op-ed to subtly (or not so subtly) discredit people.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (3, Insightful)

ccarson (562931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960440)

It's ironic we're talking about "fast and loose with facts" when the topic at hand is how the climate warming/cooling (which is it folks?) researchers who for years distorted findings for additional research money and to regulate private industry under the auspices of championing environmental agendas.

Their credibility is shot.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960790)

It's climate change, idiot. The climate will become more extreme, as more energy is pumped into a chaotic system. Their credibility has been exonerated, if you read real instead of faux news sources you would know that. If private industry tries to crap in our air, they will be regulated. I don't crap in their corporate headquarters. Corporations need to be held responsible for their actions, and pay for the damage they force on others. If you don't like it, tough. We all have to share this planet, and we all get a say in what we do with it. Why cede control to a bunch of greedy, sociopathic corporations? This is our planet, and we are not going to let short sighted, selfish, greedy individuals screw it up.

You want to advocate for the right of the powerful to harm the powerless, be my guest, I support free speech. And I'm sure you'll support my right to say, "fuck you, I'm not taking this lying down." This is war, man. They declared war on us when they started polluting and not paying for the consequences. But we will finish it, and in the end, the people and groups that caused the harm will be forced to pay for the solutions. That's called justice, it's a nice useful concept you might want to look into.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (3, Informative)

ryantmer (1748734) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960460)

Not sure why this is modded Troll... Unfortunately, it's quite true. While not blatantly stupid as FOX News, the National Post does use its fair share of twisted facts. In addition, it's well-known as the more right-wing national newspaper in Canada (the Globe and Mail being more left wing), and would therefore be more inclined to present facts in a right-wing-friendly way. Got to love the "free" press.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (2, Informative)

SiaFhir (686401) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960590)

Let's not forget the National Post was created by Conrad Black. Nuff said.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (0, Offtopic)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960786)

And who had the most unbiased coverage of the US presidential election?

Fox

All media is biased to some extent.
Just look at magazines at any newstand right before the last US election.
I once walked in and could right away see about 10 magazines with Obama on the cover.
And how many had McCain?
0

My point being, any news company will want more subscribers/viewers. But I prefer to read/watch news from a company that
reports on both sides of the debate and then lets me choose what I believe.

But if someone reads the Globe and Mail, I don't care.
They are as liberal as you can get when the Liberals are in power.
And when the Conservatives are in power they are "centrist".

While the NP reports regularly on both sides of the climate debate, the rest of the media rarely does.

My view is that both sides of the climate debate have liars.

There are lies,damned lies, and statistics.

But I guess it's different when you have statistics which were collected by people who later destroy the original data.

a bit naive... (0, Flamebait)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960214)

The national post are already bankrupt, so whatever they have to pay out will come from their backers - the oil industry - which means we'll all pay for this needless dalliance with truth and justice. Look at how much the oil industry have had to pay to take over governments, dismiss science, and promote "the responsible truth as it pertains to the maintenance of oil industry profits". It's not like they dig this money of the ground - they extract it from you and I. The longer you resist, the more you will suffer.

Re:a bit naive... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960300)

The higher they raise their prices, the more hybrids/electrics/bicycles get bought.

Re:a bit naive... (2, Insightful)

cluge (114877) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960432)

> they have to pay out will come from their backers - the oil industry

Do you any evidence of this, or do you just "know"? If I was to put on your conspiracy hat and "follow the money" I see trillions of dollars and power going to government agencies, scientists that "study" the problem are getting more and more funding. Western governments desperately need money to pay for social programs that are unsustainable, and "climate science" is a perfect excuse to tax more. Who exactly is using who?

> Look at how much the oil industry have had to pay to take over governments

You seem to confuse taxation with "pay off".

>dismiss science

Science is a methodology, what's being dismissed is evidence that contradicts the pervasive theory.

> The longer you resist, the more you will suffer.

Whose therapist said that?

-cluge

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960394)

There is truth but we'll never know it because we are seeking it through a flawed strategy, namely Scientific Theory itself. In the end, information is only information because of faith. Is that general enough, or will I be sued? ;)

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (3, Insightful)

megamerican (1073936) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960450)

I am not defending what the National Post did in any way but their libel nor does the findings by the House of Commons completely exonerate the scientists of the UAE.

While the House of Commons showed there was no proof of "tampering" of the data in the climategate sample it was because the UAE deleted [timesonline.co.uk] all of the raw data in question.

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

There was no way to prove if the data had been tampered with because the data was deleted. The only thing that was left was their "value added" data.

I don't know if what the UAE did could be considered science because science is supposed to be an open and completely transparent process. When you throw out your raw data instead of releasing it when legally and morally obliged to you shouldn't be able to be called a scientist any more.

That's why the head of the CRU at UAE resigned his post.

They also engaged in trying to get skeptics from being published in scientific journals, among other things.

I absolutely wish we could debate the science and be 100% objective in its analysis when you put humans into the equation it simply isn't possible.

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (0, Troll)

dmwst30 (463874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960720)

So when 'believers' call someone at all skeptical of their beliefs a 'climate change denier' and say they're funded by Big Oil and Big Energy, that's also libel, right? ....right?

How dare you? (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960772)

How dare you, using the word 'loose' correctly like that on /.? Astounding arrogance, who do you think you are?!

Re:Who exactly is fighting back? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960668)

The Chicken Littles have to protect their funding sources. Heaven forbid if their grant money is spent instead on someone working on a cure for cancer, ebola, etc.

Real climate scientists? (1)

Benfea (1365845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960802)

You mean like Ross McKitrick [crookedtimber.org] ? Or do you perhaps mean one of the guys who actually manages to be less qualified, less prominent, and less competent than even McKitrick?

Hmm. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31959998)

So you could say that... the situation between climate scientists and the anti-climate-change crowd is heating up?

Re:Hmm. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960268)

YEEEEAAAAAAAH!

Re:Hmm. (-1, Flamebait)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960426)

No. Heating up locks the scientists up into something that can be dis-proven. The correct phrase here would be "The situation between climate scientists and the anti-climate-change crowd is changing.

Shocking really. Who knew that things might sometimes change.

Re:Hmm. (2, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960788)

I'd say relations between the two are cooling.

Are climate researchers.... (3, Funny)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960010)

...going the way of Scientologists ? http://www.xenu.net/ [xenu.net]

IMHO, if the guy's data is on target, it should stand on it's own without needing backup via lawsuits.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (5, Insightful)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960066)

It would stand on its own, were the media to actually report what the data says. Since they seem to pay no attention to facts, I don't see a problem to poking them with a sharp lawyer and seeing if they'll pay attention to that.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960646)

Right, let's sue everyone who gives false information. That's a great way to get your side of the story out. They should do what most scientists do, afaik, publish corrections and send letters, and try to educate people, and stuff alone those lines.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960784)

Right, let's sue everyone who gives false information.

I think that sounds like a really good idea, actually.

The willful misinformation of the American population is causing us a lot of problems. Making people accountable for their public lies spread through media would be a step forward.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (3, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960078)

So people can just say whatever they want about him, with him having no recourse whatsoever (lest he make you think that maybe he really does have something to hide, if he objects to a newspaper publishing that he is a fraud)?

Re:Are climate researchers.... (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960128)

The National Post is free to publish anything it likes critiquing climate change. What it can't do, any more than anyone can do, is libel someone in the process. If I attack child molesters, there's nothing with that. If I declare that you're a child molester, well, that my friend is actionable. They're declaring this guy a fraud, in the general community a pretty serious charge, but in the scientific community it's the most serious charge, and unless they have actual evidence to back up their claims, they very well could be forced to pay damages and publish an apology for their statements. Editorialists and columnists do not have unlimited privilege to libel people.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (2)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960186)

"Forced to publish an apology"... now that is something I'd love to see, a judge/magistrate forcing an apology out of a media outlet as part of a punishment. Of course, the judge better be sharp enough to demand it's an above-the-fold apology. None of this "the sky is red" front page headline then "sorry the sky is blue" on page D-19 under the high school prom announcements.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (2, Informative)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960308)

Isn't this somewhat routine in libel cases?

Re:Are climate researchers.... (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960456)

I've never seen a front page headline that says "We are sorry, We lied." Have you?

Re:Are climate researchers.... (2, Insightful)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960558)

Consider that it's pretty damn hard (and should be) to get a newspaper for libel, at least outside the UK, so it's not something you'd see often (and I'd expect, as you note, that it would be in the fact corrections area or letters to the editor)

More generally, requiring apologies in cases of slander/libel cases is standard, as it allows the guilty party to repair the victim's reputation, at least to some degree.

Consider that most of us in academia would rather be caught killing someone than forging data. Though in this case, the rest of the scientific community knows that the allegations are false anyway.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (2, Informative)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960814)

Well, they're not going to say, "we lied", but news retractions are fairly common. A high profile case was CBS news retracting Dan Rather's statements. You can google [google.com] numerous other examples, large and small.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (1)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960832)

If I declare that you're a child molester, well, that my friend is actionable.

Unless, of course, the accusation is true.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (4, Insightful)

kf6auf (719514) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960348)

The newspaper, not surprisingly, has the ability to reach a lot wider audience with what it says that this guy does. The libel laws are there for cases like this when someone lies / misrepresents the truth. Even arguing that he can inform the public of his side easily on the internet, what about everyone who read it in print, or who won't read what he writes because it won't be picked up by newspapers they read?

There needs to be an incentive to not lie about things in print. Saying that lies can be corrected doesn't necesarily fix the harm that was done.

Re:Are climate researchers.... (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960552)

The difference is the matter of resources. The CoS had far more resources than the individuals it harassed with lawsuits. The fact that this is an individual filing a lawsuit against an organization makes it harder to make that comparison.

For non-Canadians (3, Informative)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960012)

The National Post is Canada's newspaper equivalent to the US Fox TV news... We don't have an equivalent right-wing TV news. The Post has been bashing the notion of climate change (and other liberal facts they don't like) here for quite a while. I suspect this case won't really go anywhere, but it is interesting.

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960056)

I guess you don't get Global, it was faux before there was faux. Only in Toronto could a TV station with a 100km broadcast range call itself "global".

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960142)

I could get Global in Parry Sound in the 80's you fool... 100km my ass.

(While true, this is meant to be sarcastic)

Re:For non-Canadians (2, Informative)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960778)

Nice try. Parry Sound didn't have electricity in the 80s, much less TV. I spent some time up north in those years, nothing but bikers, whores and hockey players. Staring stoned at your goldfish bowl is not TV, but is a bit more informative than Global.

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960210)

I've found Global to be a few steps up on CTV when it comes to objectivity ... not that either of them should be held up as shining examples of journalistic rigour.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960218)

Global and The National Post are owned by the same people

Re:For non-Canadians (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960086)

I've just got to ask, what's a "liberal fact"? Facts don't have political leanings. Facts aren't ideological. That's like saying gravity is right wing or red shift is centrist.

This has been the most vile aspect of the Conservative war on science. Anything that disagrees with the corporatist-social conservative-fundamentalist Christian confederation that is modern conservatism is labeled as "leftist" or "liberal". I've debated guys who insist biological evolution and geology are "liberal" sciences. It's absurd.

Whether or not anthropogenic climate change is actually true, it is a scientific theory. It is a-religious and a-political and just generally a-ideological. It's like trying to attach an ideology to hammers or torch wrenches.

Re:For non-Canadians (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960162)

"Reality has a well-known liberal bias." -- S. Colbert

Re:For non-Canadians (1, Interesting)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960216)

> It is a-religious and a-political and just generally a-ideological. This is not always the case. While the *theory* on paper isn't ideological, the reasoning behind the conclusions and how the theory was formulated, and the agenda for pushing whatever the results of the theory are IS very political. Your argument is like saying guns and missiles are just chunks of metal, they aren't political, therefore the war in Iraq is a-political and there is no agenda behind it.

Re:For non-Canadians (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960320)

Your analogy is bizarre. War is a political exercise. Chemical or nuclear explosions are not. They can be used in a war, but they are a-political. The fact that you can produce a large explosion that can kill people doesn't mean the forces and materials involved have a political bias, any more than a strip of wood does, even if its used to make a bow that can kill people.

Re:For non-Canadians (2, Insightful)

quantumplacet (1195335) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960376)

along those same lines: facts are apolitical, but any given interpretation of those facts is unlikely to be as unbiased.

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

ThermalRunaway (1766412) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960462)

Yes exactly, I'm saying that the facts of temperature data, etc, aren't political (well unless they were altered). But the theory of man made climate change is not a-political, even if the facts it is based on are. My point is, an explosion is also a-political, but the use if that explosion may not be. So you can't just make a blanket statement that a "scientific theory" is a-political like the original poster did.

Re:For non-Canadians (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960842)

The theory essentially states that the input of large amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases that have been sequestered for millions of years in the space of just a few centuries contributes directly to climactic changes, and that those changes will become more pronounced in the future.

Now we can debate the merits of the theory, we can debate whether the theory actually explains the data and whether or not the theory's predictions are valid. There is nothing ideological about any of it. The theory may be wrong, but not because a general ideological grouping declares it false, it will be wrong because it does not explain the data and does not properly make predictions about what we can and will observe.

How people use the theory is another thing entirely. Theories, or at least their names, have been co-opted for ideological ends before (genetics was condemned by the USSR as a corrupt western science during the Stalin era and everyone knows about social Darwinism, which has little or nothing to do with Darwin's actual theory).

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960834)

Here where I live we have CARB (California Air Resources Board). These guys issued a report on diesel particulates that claim it kills thousands of Californians a year. Written by a guy with a doctorate from a website run by a pedo on the run in Israel. When the head of the board found out she hid it and pushed ahead legislation based on the report that is going to kill off companies. She is biased and it is happening in more places than just here.

Re:For non-Canadians (3, Insightful)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960402)

The theory is apolitical. The reasoning behind the conclusions is apolitical. The theory was formulated by examining facts, trying to figure out how they fit together, and gathering more facts. The motivations were the usual scientific motives of desire for truth, prestige, and grant money. (Prestige is not only satisfying to the ego, but helps in getting a job one likes.) Note that the desire for truth is usually pretty strong, as in general anybody smart and disciplined enough to be a scientist could make a lot more money doing something else.

There is a lot of politics going on around climate theory, and there are very legitimate disputes about what to do about it, but it is generally accepted among honest and informed people that the burning of fossil fuels since about 1850 has caused more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which has warmed the planet a little, which has caused various changes in climate.

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960484)

Facts and theories are, in fact, a-political. How they are arrived upon and used are quite often political.

The guns in your example are equally a-political. It is the cause behind the war that is dependent upon politics.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960278)

Good points, but I'm sure he means facts favoured with attention by liberals, as opposed to facts favoured with attention by conservatives; half stories, rather than balanced.

Pity he got tagged as Troll. I would have thought it worth pointing out the NP's slant with an American example. Perhaps he should have tried a car analogy.

Re:For non-Canadians (1, Flamebait)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960302)

The worst part about this manipulation of language is that you cannot have a debate with these people because their bias is tightly ingrained into their language. E.g
me: The evidence for human-influenced climate change looks interesting.
other: It probably came from a liberal source. Where do you get your 'facts'; here subscribe to my sources.
The insidiousness of this, is that the manipulation of language has shut down their cognitive thought process. The argument is over before it began because it doesn't coincide with their pre-established views. Climate analysis is no longer a science, but a politically charged war for natural resources and the large sums of money that are involved.

Re:For non-Canadians (0, Redundant)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960330)

The problem is that truth has a liberal bias;P

Re:For non-Canadians (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960694)

The truth is that liberals have a liberal bias.

Re:For non-Canadians (-1, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960434)

Oh please. the IPCC documentation clearly showed they wanted to skew the way the data was presented. You can argue the data all you want but the "scientists" in this case had a clear agenda to stifle critics. Truth should withstand the scrutiny and that's the fact they lost site of. Now they're whining. I've said from the beginning that politics muddied the water on climate change and as it turned out it wasn't just politicians doing the politicking. My advice to the climatologists is: Go the hell back to the lab and stay out of the camera eye where you as a scientist will find you're just as human as the rest of us and will spread your 15minutes of fame all over your body like a faux tan!

Re:For non-Canadians (0, Troll)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960454)

Correction: The exposed emails clearly showed they wanted to skew the way the data was presented.

Re:For non-Canadians (4, Informative)

zz5555 (998945) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960762)

Most of the thousands of climate researchers are out of the public eye and, guess what? They get the same answers as the results from researchers in the public eye. The amazing thing is that you can throw away all the data that came from the climategate researchers and it doesn't change things at all. It's also amazing that there have been lots of people trying to refute the climate change theories over the last 100 or 150 years and they've never been successful. And after reading all those climategate they haven't been able to find any evidence of the researchers trying to skew the data.

By the way, I know you changed your reference to IPCC later, but you're correct that the IPCC skewed the data that was presented. I know that at least in the data on the expected sea rise that they took more conservative values than are generally accepted, and then applied that a point before 2100 rather than take the rise all the way to 2100. They didn't want to be alarmist :).

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

Belgaren (172248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960436)

I've just got to ask, what's a "liberal fact"? Facts don't have political leanings. Facts aren't ideological. That's like saying gravity is right wing or red shift is centrist.

Ask Ruby Dhalla, MP.

In a recent letter [torontosun.com] to the editor in the Toronto Sun she accused one of their writers of disseminating "incorrect facts" about a bill she had proposed.

Forget political leanings, here in Canada facts can, apparently, be wrong!

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960452)

I've debated guys who insist biological evolution and geology are "liberal" sciences.

To be fair, that doesn't sound like a debate. It sounds like you were talking at them while they focused as hard as they could into not comprehending anything you said.

I'm not sure which would be worse.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960554)

Calling cherry picked data science is what is ridiculous. The studies that have come forward saw "science" being based for 4 or 5 readings out of thousands because those 4 or 5 were the only ones that "proved" their fact. Throwing out 99% of the data has nothing to do with science. Making a few observations and coming up with a fairy tale that fits it isn't science either.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960604)

Red shift is generally regarded as leftist. For some reason conservative states are "red states" though the "red scare" refers to fear of communist infiltration. Further research on the doppler effect in relativistic systems will be needed to clear this up.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960110)

The Post has been bashing the notion of climate change (and other liberal facts they don't like) here for quite a while.

"liberal facts"????

Re:For non-Canadians (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960134)

Parent was playing on the "reality has a well known liberal bias" joke. Sans inflection.

Re:For non-Canadians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960228)

Must be a decent newspaper.

Exonerated? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960096)

How exactly were the scientists exonerated?
Seems to me the emails still said what they said, and they still did what they did, despite the cursory report, headed by people who stand to make gobs of money off of climate change legislation, that focused only on the statistics performed on the presented data.

Ultimately (4, Insightful)

symes (835608) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960102)

It is good peer reviewed journal articles and making the data available for public scrutiny that will determine right from wrong, in as far that there is a right from wrong in such matters - I doubt a court room would come close to what other scientists can do to each others work. Do they really think a lawyer could even get close to understanding the statistical models these guys use? The other issue is public perception and the potential damage false accusations can inflict. And I also doubt that a court room would appease public sentiment. I can understand why they might feel aggreaved and hope they win - I just don't think the excercise will cover the big issues.

Re:Ultimately (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960262)

Public scrutiny is an interesting concept. I wouldn't, for instance, have the vaguest idea what to do with the raw data coming out of CERN, would you? Meaningful scrutiny comes from people with the skills to scrutinize. While I'm all for public release of data, one of the fears of scientists in this case is that you'll get a whole bunch of people who don't really have the skills to interpret the data making wild declarations, or possibly worse, people who do know how to interpret the data overstating or inventing problems with sufficiently clever arguments to fool layman. This is what has happened in the anti-evolution movement, where a few reasonably skilled anti-evolution types like Michael Behe have in fact used their skills to create bogus arguments that sound scientific.

Re:Ultimately (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960344)

Maintaining ivory towers isn't going to make public reactions to bluster any more robust.

(whereas release of the data can pretty much only increase serious scrutiny; Like anything involving humans, it will be messy at the edges, but that isn't a potential problem with it, it is something that comes with it, no matter what)

Re:Ultimately (2, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960428)

I never said we should maintain ivory towers, but if the fraudsters in the anti-evolution movement are any indication, a lot more pure unadulterated bullshit is going to come down the pike once those numbers are made available. The chief difference is that the fraudsters in the anti-climate pseudo-skeptic community are backed by some of the largest corporations on the planet, where with the anti-evolution crowd its largely moron school boards and a couple of millionaires funding outfits like the Discovery Institute.

Re:Ultimately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960666)

Yes there would be BS that would be generated and people would probably manipulate the data to suit their needs. But right now without that data one can only assume that is what is going on. With the data it would be easier to prove your case.

Re:Ultimately (2, Insightful)

The Spoonman (634311) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960686)

whereas release of the data can pretty much only increase serious scrutiny

How do you figure? How precisely does giving the People of Walmart [peopleofwalmart.com] access to scientific data increase scrutiny? The one thing I find most amazing about Climategate is this apparent perception that the climate change issue is a new one. Like it hasn't been thoroughly researched over the last 40ish years by scientists in many disparate disciplines. As the parent suggests, the deniers have access to the published papers, and they still fail to "believe" in climate change. How is having raw statistical data going to change that? And, frankly, if they're so concerned about the quality of the data couldn't they....hmmmm, I dunno...collect their own? Why do the actual scientists have to do the work so deniers can just tear it down?

Re:Ultimately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960530)

one of the fears of scientists in this case is that you'll get a whole bunch of people who don't really have the skills to interpret the data making wild declarations

Are you talking about Al Gore?

Re:Ultimately (4, Informative)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960274)

Good peer reviewed journal articles may determine the right from the wrong on the science.

However, if you are an ordinary citizen, hack journalist, or politician, you don't read those. No, the headlines determine the "truth."

Besides, there were allegations here that went beyond the meat of the science and into workplace ethics. If some rag says you sexually harassed your coworkers or embezzled money, and you didn't, you sue. That is what is happening here.

Re:Ultimately (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960276)

The point is to deter shit-stirrers from getting away with saying anything they want. The actual science is far less important to the public than public policy implications - where they can be influenced through the perception of fraud, cover-ups or general FUD.

Re:Ultimately (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960536)

The problem is, you aren't ever going to get that.

Disclosure of the full dataset that is available doesn't get you much, because the model (the programs) is so complicated. So you have something that is unintelligible to anyone that isn't working on it. That is a large part of what the whole "climategate" furor was over. The data wasn't released because it was impenetratable and obtuse, when it was relased it was found to be impenetratable and obtuse - and very, very hard to understand in the "right" way.

Peer review? Ha. Right now there are two sides to this and neither one is being terribly objective and forthright. Each side is pretty much saying that the data either shows something terrible or it doesn't show that at all. Nobody is taking a "scientific" approach to it, mostly because the results from the data aren't really reproducible. Again, this is because the data and the model are very obscure and complicated. There is also a lot of tweaking and processing going on with the data.

Whether or not this tweaking is generating the results or the data stands on its own is something that nobody is really interested in right now. Just about everyone already "knows" the answer and is sure the other side has ulterior motives. Science by conjector, science by concensus and science with irreproducible results isn't really science. But we've known that for a long time.

If things are as bad as some people believe, why aren't they taking action? If every car, every airplane, every factory, every power plant is pushing things further and further into what was quoted recently as a 200 foot rise in sea level, why aren't the believers (and the scientists themselves) stopping every flight they can? Why don't we have guys in coal powerplants taking them over ala China Syndrome at gunpoint to shut them down?

There is either a serious lack of courage of conviction, or the folks saying the sky is falling aren't really all that convinced. When I see action I might be more encouraged to believe that they really know something.

"The time for study is over" (5, Informative)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960116)

Said Canada's environment minister John Baird in 2006. He then proceeded to eviscerate all government funding for climate research.

Re:"The time for study is over" (2, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960234)

... which is a form of honesty, when you think about it.

inevitable... (1, Flamebait)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960150)

if you make your living lying, and someone else makes their living telling people that you're lying, inevitably there will be battle.

i consider removing data points because they don't fit the proposed model as lying.

Climate lobby (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960152)

"exoneration of UEA scientists"

No one is buying the white wash. Just so you know.

Are climate scientists finally fighting back against their critics, who they were previously more inclined to ignore?

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.

Global Termonuclear War Game (0, Redundant)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960206)

Is a game that once you start to play, everyone loses, including you, and everyone you ever care about. Rigging or making look rigged climate data is a move in a very similar game in the potential final consequences, but yet some people try to play that game,

Exonerated? (2, Insightful)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960208)

They had 1 day of testimony. And their results still aren't reproduceable.

That doesn't mean that global warming isn't happening, but UEA can't prove it's happening.

What climagate ? (2, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960230)

there was no 'climagate' but private interests and right wing news organizations (ie fox news) picking and exaggerating on some piece of criticism in climate research. the kind of inside criticism in scientific community which is not only normal, but generally mandated to be there, in order for a research to be considered valid and scientific.

the same kind of news organizations which easily went as far to say 'what global warming, it is snowing here' while doing serious news pieces.

Re:What climagate ? (2, Insightful)

Areyoukiddingme (1289470) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960578)

the same kind of news organizations which easily went as far to say 'what global warming, it is snowing here' while doing serious news pieces.

That would be where they have people fooled. Fox "News" broadcasts very little news at all, even according to its own opinion. The vast majority of their programming is officially editorial, by their own statements.

That's not to say they have any qualms at all about lying during actual news pieces either, since they went to court to defend their right to do precisely that, and won.

Re:What climagate ? (3, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960830)

Quit focusing on "Fox News". The fact is, original data was destroyed, and the metadata has been manipulated. Questions about these things have yet to be adequately answered. This has nothing to do with Fox News. And it's a shame that Climate Scientists have not been more open, it generates distrust about a very real problem (Global Warming) and allows Global Warmings' detractors to gain footing.

Where the Money Goes Matters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960286)

We're spending so much on climate research and exactly how much on planning for the fallout?

Man made or not, climate change is inevitable, history proves it. Where is the best use of the billions going to research the cause?

I'd think some planning and building and maybe even relocating would be a good idea.

Re:Where the Money Goes Matters (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960372)

Nah, we have to spend more time arguing about global warming. I mean, we have ocean acidification, fragile monolithic electricity grids, and an escalating oil crunch all of which point towards doing most of the same things we would have to do to fight global warming. If we don't sit around arguing about bar charts, we might actually have to get off our asses and go do some of that stuff.

I don't see the relevance... (0)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960326)

In climate data, that "suggests" global warming, and then the assumption that it is our doing. Yes I know industry releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but considering the short time that we have been monitoring climate data as a species can we really make the statement that we are responsible for global warming based on the current length we have been keeping climate data? For all we know the climate shifts in this manner on it's own. We know the poles have shifted before, and will in all probability do it again, this global warming could be just a precursor to this, or who knows what. Could be nothing. I believe that global warming is happening, but I'm not ready to jump on a band wagon and shout that it is our fault without more data to back up that claim.

Re:I don't see the relevance... (3, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960468)

Of course we can't; not until the planet is uninhabitable will we know with absolute certainty (ie. can make the statement). We do know the effect of greenhouse gasses, and that we are pumping an unprecedented level of them, on a continuous basis, into the atmosphere, and that the environment is warming.

The best evidence that the environment is warming is the sudden interest in Arctic ownership and access. The same governments and businesses which undermine climate change are jockeying for rights and access here. Do they know something we don't?

Re:I don't see the relevance... (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960564)

Short time?
You mean 750,000 years of data? That's not a short time.

Plus, there is a ton of data. Read up. Culd new data come in? maybe but you don't sit around and wait for data to support your theory. YOu go with th data you have and modify as new data cmoes in.

Would this make sens:
I believe gravity is happening, but we shouldn't go around saying its because mass bends space until more data comes in.

Re:I don't see the relevance... (5, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960674)

I don't see the relevance... In climate data, that "suggests" global warming, and then the assumption that it is our doing.

Either you're hopelessly biased or you don't understand science. Science is the process by which we hypothesize various things, then test to see which one has the most support, via a semi-formal method. Science never "proves" anything absolutely. It doesn't prove that gravity exists or how it works. It just very, very strongly suggests it.

In order for a rational person to believe anthropogenic global warming is not happening they need to either reject science entirely or they need to have a competing theory with more support. You just hypothesized that the changing climate is the result of natural processes, but if you're being rational, you can't believe that until that theory has more scientific evidence than global warming being largely the result of human influence. That is simply not the consensus of the experimentation and modeling I've seen to date, by a huge margin.

There is always room for an alternate model of global warming. Creating such a model and then creating falsifiable tests to see if it holds up has been a large endeavor among many very well funded scientists. The thing is, none of them have panned out or produced results that compare favorably to man-made global warming. For you to not accept that global warming is most likely strongly influenced by human actions you have to picking and choosing as to when you believe in the scientific method and when you don't.

CRYSTAL BALL TIME (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960378)

Everything I stated here to libtard slashdolts thru the years has come to pass-

-the so called climate research data is corrupt and is a geopolitical hoax
-the perpetuation of this faux science was simply to perpetuate funding streams and now has
  gone on to the degree that those who engage in this flawed science, are clinging to their
  own lies
-the prime motivation is still what its always been, the create new financial "tools" to rape
  the prosperous taxpayer and redistribute to not only the so called poor but conveniently,the
  men behind the curtain working the machinery of what are they calling it now, oh
  yes "Climate Change" since Human derived Global Warming did not pan out

Now as one measely volcano on the surface of a planet full of them spews ash into the sky and shuts down northern europe for a week with no ability to really know what the future brings in regard to more ash and sun blocking, volcanism and solar activity have become the obvious answers to climate drivers for even the most intellectually challenged on the street.

All of course except for the so called "scientists" who are really nothing but massage artists and belong working in a brothel

What has been will always will be in human terms you fucking ninnies and I fucking told ya so.

Now go on and continue to hold the idiotic positions you do on many topics but especially science and politics and suffer the consequences of your own fucking sutpidity and dishonesty.

You deserve whats coming since you voted for it.

Re:CRYSTAL BALL TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960626)

addition to the parent AC:

how funny is it to consider that if the temperatures did rise, people would be still using the term GLOBAL WARMING. the dangers of correlation as causation and the politicizing of science.

people have been lousy at predicting weather for hundreds of years... but human arrogance knows no bounds (especially when propaganda movies are involved).

That Old Tune? (1, Informative)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960412)

Anyone that's done a little research knows the scientists there really did some questionable stuff. They would also know that they've (CRU/IPCC) been taken to task by others in the scientific community for doing so. This suit is about bad journalism. But it does not change the facts about the shenanigans at the CRU.

Re:That Old Tune? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960582)

what shenanigans? you means the stuff peopel don't understand and therefore they believe uit was wrong? Like leaving data out that wasn't used in the analysis?

This is a mocktraversy

Re:That Old Tune? (0, Flamebait)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960800)

No, like crappy software and the fact that they can't reproduce the same results with their data. I would say that's kind of a big deal. But I'm just one of those idiot skeptics right?

Lies, and Damn Lies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960442)

I'm amazed how many of you don't seem to care about falsified research.

If and when these fakers release their raw data so I can do my own modeling, I'll place a credence level of greater than zero on what they report.

Until then it's just a bunch of lies. Nothing but. And the National Post is still to the left of the Times, for those of you who think it's some kind of Canadian Fox News.

Pathetic.

   

Far from exonerated (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31960776)

The British House of Commons met for about 2 hours before they let him off.

He openly stated in the emails that he blocked FOIA requests, not to mention skewed data, and yet he was exonerated in under 2 hours.

About as investigative as apparently his research.

Free Speech (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#31960836)

Let anyone say anything. HOWEVER, the media should be required to state clear disclaimers before reporting "facts" which they have not attempted to verify.

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