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Second Inquiry Exonerates Climatic Research Unit

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the wash-behind-your-ears dept.

Science 764

mvdwege writes "After being cleared of charges of misconduct by a parliamentary committee, now the CRU has the results of the inquiry (PDF) by a panel of scientists into their scientific methods. Here is the CRU press release. Criticisms: The statistical methods used, though arriving at correct results, are not optimal, and it is recommended future studies involve professional statisticians if possible; and the CRU scientists are lacking somewhat in organization. A very far cry from the widespread allegations of fraud. It seems 'Climategate' is ending with a whimper."

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dildoes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094602)

first lol

Doesn't matter. (5, Insightful)

Gerafix (1028986) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094614)

All the skeptics are just going to cry cover up. All the people who accepted climate change will just go on accepting it. And nobody will do anything about anything because apathy rules.

Yeah! APATHY RULES! (4, Funny)

warrax_666 (144623) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094624)

Woo-hoo!

APATHY RULES? (4, Funny)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094732)

Who cares?

Re:Doesn't matter. (2, Insightful)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094646)

The Climate "Sceptics" will refuse global warming even when the Earth is burnt to a crisp. Denial is a powerful thing, and need a bit more than diplomacy to break through.

Re:Doesn't matter. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094660)

All the environmentalists are just going to cry corporate smear we told you so. All the people who bought into doctored statistics will just go on accepting the conclusions based on them. And nobody will do anything about anything because perception is more important than reality.

Re:Doesn't matter. (2, Insightful)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094730)

Says the AC.

If you listen to FOX "News", the CRU covered up a lot.
If you read the leaked email IN CONTEXT, there are no cover up, or fraud at all.

Fox "News" are a bunch of partisan frauds who are paid to lie through their teeth, and they are very good at it.
They and a lot of other stations took single sentences out of context and added their own agenda.
 

Re:Doesn't matter. (2, Informative)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094832)

"Fox "News" are a bunch of partisan frauds who are paid to lie through their teeth, and they are very good at it."

Theres a few sites on the net that look at the corporate backgrounds of most of Fox's "Experts". Almost all of them are in some way linked to the corporations they comment positively on (Ie defense experts who get on recomending america should buy a certain missile, then it pans out they are being paid off by the missiles manufacturer, or health experts claiming cigarettes are harmless who pan out to be employed by a PR company working for tobacco firms, and so on).

Its like they don't actually hire anyone at all qualified to comment, but instead let their advertisers nominate "experts".

Fair and balanced my arse. Fox is an astonishingly biased news. Remember folks, these same people complain about "liberal bias", despite study after study demonstrating a conservative lean in american news reporting.

Re:Doesn't matter. (3, Insightful)

icannotthinkofaname (1480543) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095026)

If you don't mind, I'd like to see these background checks. I wanna have a solid argument to produce next time my father and I get into a discussion about whether or not Fox is to be listened to.

In summary and conclusion: [citation needed]

Re:Doesn't matter. (0, Troll)

LoadWB (592248) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095092)

I am trying to understand why everything which spews from the mouths of one side of the arena is "taken out of context," or a regrettably misspoken statement which, given the opportunity, would be stated differently, and phone calls are made to people like Jessie Jackson, Al Sharption, the Special Olympics, and that makes everything okay. The other side, however, gets crucified.

The double standard would be amusing if so much was not at stake.

Frankly, I prefer not to be considered a "denier," but as supporter of Cyclical Earth Processes, and everyone else is a Cyclical Process Denier. Or, how about a supporter of the idea of Solar Influence, and everyone else is a Sun Denier. I like that.

By the way, I formed a consortium of 9/11 conspiracy theorists. We can conclusive prove with our peer-reviewed papers that 9/11 was an inside job. Our peers, of course, being other members of our consortium.

When I worked for a support department, we issued ourselves awards printed with The PrintShop v54. We then advertised ourselves as "Award Winning Support."

Ad nauseum.

If you take the entire global climate change (uh, climates change... ISTR being taught how several deserts in the world used to be quite lush) or global warming picture as a whole, you can trace it back to see where it started, where scientific "consensus" began to be encouraged *cough*extorted*cough*, where evil rich people who consume much much more, and subsequently excrete a larger "carbon footprint," than the average citizen they vilify stand to make millions upon millions of dollars. You know, at some point it sounds quite reasonable that human arrogance reigns supreme on several fronts.

By your logic, these people should also be held in contempt as they stand to make money from lying to you. MSNBC, CNN, and others should also be held in contempt for supporting and expounding the lies, since they stand to make money from it. In particular General Electric, which owns NBC, stands to make a shit load of money from several government proposals, which would normally make most anti-corporation types go absolutely ape shit.

Anthropogenic Global Warming/Climate Change is a fucking scam. I sat on the other side of the fence for a while then on the fence for a short time. But the more I looked into it for myself (Google that shit... I'm not doing your homework for you) the more I became convinced that the scientific process has been corrupted and bastardized, and the majority of the support for it is emotional and based upon "facts" which refer to themselves. Al Gore is a fraud and should be held accountable for his part. Anybody who promotes this scam should be held with high skepticism.

One of my favorite quotes about global warm/cli(fuck it) came from an episode of "King of the Hill," in a clip sent to me by a colleague. One of the characters is selling "carbon credits" and explains it as a way for those who are worried about the environment to not have to actually do anything about it

Faux (0, Redundant)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094896)

If you listen to Faux "News"

There. Fixed that for you.

Re:Doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094688)

They don't need to cry cover up, because those leaked emails are already un-cover-up-able. For those who've seen the emails directly, this judgment is simply null, because we can all evaluate that evidence directly and that evidence is inconsistent with this judgment.

Unless the investigation found that the email evidence is not at all accurate, there is still plenty of reason for people, and not only the skeptics, to be concerned by this episode and what it says about the scientific integrity of these researchers.

Re:Doesn't matter. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094838)

For those who've seen the emails directly, this judgment is simply null, because we can all evaluate that evidence directly and that evidence is inconsistent with this judgment.

Wrong. No "leaked" emails exist. As regards the stolen ones, I've seen them "directly" and I thought it was pretty clear that they didn't make out any case of fraud. An unhealthy resistance to FOI requests, feeling (probably justified) of persecution, sure. But scientific misconduct? Where?

Not in scraplets of discarded code that were never actually used. Not in terms like "trick" nor in "hide the decline" (which btw never referred to a decline in temperatures). Sure if you are already sucked into the denialist mindset these are going to be like red rags to a bull. But in fact the "trick" and the decline hiding were already out there in published papers. And sure you can argue about whether that is the appropriate way to deal with the problems in the tree-ring data, but there was nothing new in the emails.

But you are correct about the emails, there "un-cover-up-able." Now let me reformulate your claim. For anyone who 1) was familiar with the basic science of the published controversy regarding tree-ring data, and 2) who read the emails and 3) who didn't read them from a denialist confirmation POV, -- the findings of this committee were a foregone conclusion.

Re:Doesn't matter. (-1, Troll)

love2putmypenisthere (1804486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094978)

you say stolen, I say leaked. up yours you homo, they found your shitty emails and this research is a fraud.

Re:Doesn't matter. (3, Insightful)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094696)

Or alternatively,
People who disbelieved the mountains of different evidence supporting anthropogenic climate change will put this latest piece of evidence in the same mountainous pile of ignored evidence.
People who have taken the somewhat less convenient path of rationally assesing the available scientific evidence will still accept the evidence, and and would have continued to even if the CRU had been found guilty of intentional gross fraud and conspiracy.
Then again CRU could have been one cell in a world wide scientific fraud conspiracy group intent on world domination. But this inquiry and the other one found that they wern't - which makes sense : if scientists had wanted to have power and money they wouldn't have studied science over politics or finance.

Dare call it CONSPIRACY? (4, Insightful)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094882)

Then again CRU could have been one cell in a world wide scientific fraud conspiracy group intent on world domination.

Clearly it was! First it was the environmentalists. We knew they were up to no good because, well there environmentalists!

Then the scientists said the environmentalists were actually correct. Now we knew the scientist (except for the brave few who agree with us) had joined the conspiracy (if they weren't in on it all along.)

Then when our Russian hacker friends in the Kremlin helped us expose these evil conspiring scientists by cracking the email serves. First a UK parliamentary inquiry clears them. So the UK parliament and the independent judges are also clearly in on the conspiracy.

Now an academic inquiry also tries to white wash joins in. So we know all academics (except for the brave few who agree with us), are in on the conspiracy too!

I'm telling you man, this is BIG!

Re:Dare call it CONSPIRACY? (1)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094908)

argh ... they're

Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (5, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094770)

The Panel was not concerned with the question of whether the conclusions of the published research were correct. Rather it was asked to come to a view on the integrity of the Unit's research and whether as far as could be determined the conclusions represented an honest and scientifically justified interpretation of the data. The Panel worked by examining representative publications by members of the Unit and subsequently by making two visits to the University and interviewing and questioning members of the Unit. Not all the panel were present on both occasions but two members were present on both occasions to maintain continuity. About fifteen person/days were spent at the University discussing the Unit's work.

So... we didn't look into whether their numbers were right. We looked over their published papers and chatted with them a couple of times and they seem like forthright folks. We won't tell you who was there each time - that would be too much disclosure.

No whitewash here. Oh, no. Further:

We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the dendroclimatological work, but it seems that some of these criticisms show a rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by CRU.

So people who want hard numbers, underlying datasets and provenance of data are being "uncharitable".

In the latter part of the 20th century CRU pioneered the methods for taking into account a wide range of local influences that can make instrumental records from different locations hard to compare. These methods were very labour intensive and were somewhat subjective.

The methods were subjective? This is science? Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't understand the term "science".

We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional statisticians.

Here we go. That's an axe to the groin there.

We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it.

Ah, but then they don't need to provide provenance or data. That's so comforting.

I am so mollified by this report I'm left without speech. It seems perfectly reasonable, rational and diligent to me. Let's close this case and begin the Cap&Trade.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094808)

Mod parent up. Claiming exoneration at this point, or insisting that with enough context one can possibly explain the malfeasance behind the climategate emails, is wishful thinking and simply talking points handed out by realclimate.org.

Look, if all the CRU well wishers would just read the code itself (http://www.anenglishmanscastle.com/HARRY_READ_ME.txt), maybe your inner geek can overcome your outer AGW supporter. These guys have been cooking the numbers with crappy code for years, period. I've got more faith in the code quality of Duke Nuke'm Forever than the garbage these guys have been spewing.

Anyway, mod this troll/flamebait/whatever, but the parent deserves at least informative for quoting TFR.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095070)

Not to forget teh UN Treaty nobody could read until the last minute via a leak. Did you read how fucked up and open ended it was?

It's not just CRU the problem here.

It's the UN, the IMF, and the criminals running Big Banks, all want tax and trade Carbon, while shitting our nations sovereignty into the toilet.

It's the monitoring stations and their electronic sensors (the electronic sensor parts questionable as well) built right next to Black Asphalt, Concrete, Air Conditioners and all kinds of stupid shit like Burning Garbage Barrels, sprinklers etc..

The EPA is brainwashed by this shit. Which is why the UN is putting pressure on LOCAL governments since they couldn't trick the fucking federal government at Copenhagen.

Arnold out in California will invite them after Mexico. And they will get ANOTHER CHANCE.

Between the False Flag Ops and this Man Made Climate Horseshit, the fucking Banksters, the oath breaking Senators, the globalists have unlimited chances at destroying the United States. We are fucking doomed if we don't get these fucking FASCISTS out of our government.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095150)

You know, I just used to believe in the science of climate change. But after reading your post I can see how wrong I was!

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094878)

Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't understand the term "science".

Bingo!

Wish I could upmod you (1)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094880)

... but I've already commented and haven't had mod points in months, maybe years.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (1)

sithkhan (536425) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094926)

Best post in this thread.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (2, Funny)

alexibu (1071218) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094934)

That's an axe to the groin there

Since your posting on slashdot depends so heavily on english, grammar, logic and computer use it is surprising your work has not been carried out in close collaboration with professional linguists, logicians, philosohers and computer scientists.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094956)

'The methods were subjective? This is science? Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't understand the term "science".'

Science isn't mathematics. In the most fundamental case, I would argue that any imprecision implies some degree of subjectivity, and no measurement made by a human has infinite precision.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (1)

FarHat (96381) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095090)

Science isn't mathematics. In the most fundamental case, I would argue that any imprecision implies some degree of subjectivity, and no measurement made by a human has infinite precision.

Objectivity doesn't imply infinite precision. In fact, infinite precision is impossible, and we can still have extremely objective theories and measurements in quantum mechanics.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095042)

The Panel was not concerned with the question of whether the conclusions of
the published research were correct. Rather it was asked to come to a view on
the integrity of the Unit's research and whether as far as could be determined
the conclusions represented an honest and scientifically justified interpretation
of the data. The Panel worked by examining representative publications by
members of the Unit and subsequently by making two visits to the University
and interviewing and questioning members of the Unit. Not all the panel were
present on both occasions but two members were present on both occasions to
maintain continuity. About fifteen person/days were spent at the University
discussing the Unit's work.

So... we didn't look into whether their numbers were right. We looked over their published papers and chatted with them a couple of times and they seem like forthright folks. We won't tell you who was there each time - that would be too much disclosure.

No whitewash here. Oh, no. Further:

We have not exhaustively reviewed the external criticism of the
dendroclimatological work, but it seems that some of these criticisms show a
rather selective and uncharitable approach to information made available by
CRU.

So people who want hard numbers, underlying datasets and provenance of data are being "uncharitable".

In the latter part of the 20th century CRU pioneered the methods for taking into
account a wide range of local influences that can make instrumental records
from different locations hard to compare. These methods were very labour
intensive and were somewhat subjective.

The methods were subjective? This is science? Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't understand the term "science".

We cannot help remarking that it is very surprising that research in an area that
depends so heavily on statistical methods has not been carried out in close
collaboration with professional statisticians.

Here we go. That's an axe to the groin there.

We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it.

Ah, but then they don't need to provide provenance or data. That's so comforting.

I am so mollified by this report I'm left without speech. It seems perfectly reasonable, rational and diligent to me. Let's close this case and begin the Cap&Trade.

Dear God it's like a freep post. Nothing substantial, just snark and a nice little self-righteous sarcastic everyone-else-is-retarded-but-me ending.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095182)

GOD HAS NOTHING TO FUCKIN DO WIT IT!

MAN DOES.

Science still won't cover Aerial Spraying in regards to Climate, nor will they cover H.A.A.R.P. and it's operations.

Maybe we should talk about the electronic sensors used, their electronics, their thermal considerations, their placement and location next to AC, Parking Lots, asphalt, Garbage Burning!

NONE of this shit is science if this is left out. If it's classified, it's left out. If it's a state secret, it's left out!

However I turn my attention to a more important problem.

Your clearly a (D) I can tell by your use of the word "freep" meaning freepress'ers , and which refers to users of the Freepress Website [freepress.net] .

And because your still stuck in a (D) vs (R) mentality, the oath breaking, theft of elections, destruction of the monetary system, un-ending wars and the constitution will NEVER GET FIXED. FASCISM WILL CONTINUE . PROPAGANDA WILL CONTINUE

Fuck D's
Fuck R's

Turn off your fucking TV and get out there and SEE how fucked up things are getting!

The next thing you know you'll be agreeing with Katie Couric that the 40yr old WHITE MEN from the TEA PARTY are the terrorists!

Did you read the README HARRY doc? (maybe) Do you Code? (no)
what the fuck is your problem, your the one who has nothing substantial.

ANYONE FOLLOWING THIS ISSUE CAN SEE THAT.

and to everyone that don't like highlighted words and Caps FUCK YOU.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095068)

We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who

collected it.

Ah, but then they don't need to provide provenance or data. That's so comforting.

You may be seeing more conspiracy than there is. Because I’d call that: Job security ;)

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095080)

We looked over their published papers and chatted with them a couple of times and they seem like forthright folks.

Conducting investigative interviews is not 'chatting with them'.

The methods were subjective? This is science? Maybe it's me. Maybe I don't understand the term "science".

You don't. Science is not, and does not claim to be completely objective. That's why there is peer review, debate, disagreement, etc.

We agree with the CRU view that the authority for releasing unpublished raw data to third parties should stay with those who collected it.

Ah, but then they don't need to provide provenance or data. That's so comforting.

That's how most of academia works. More people are arguing it should be more open, as it receives government funding, which is a good thing, but it's a slow process.

I am so mollified by this report I'm left without speech. It seems perfectly reasonable, rational and diligent to me. Let's close this case and begin the Cap&Trade.

Never let reality get in the way of a good conspiracy theory.

Re:Let's go ahead and quote from the report: (-1, Flamebait)

didaho (1239704) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095164)

I guess all those climate change die hards missed Dr. Jones admission that there's not been any evidence of global warming since 1995. that he admitted writing email in discussion trying to avoid producing his data to Freedom of Information requests. And then once before that POLITICAL panel, he winds up not producing any of his hockey stick data at all. He just plain lost it. Poor guy.

You all must have missed the story that the IPCC "scientists" approve one report language as to conclusions if any, and the politicians rewrite the report conclusions. Hmm. Na, that wouldn't happen, would it?

Yup, you can be all proud and feel safe at night knowing that nothing was found wrong by a POLITICAL panel, since Dr. Jones turned over no data. Can't prove data was manipulated if there's no data to examine. Yup, the entire history of the scientific method thrown right out the window.

So much for scientific scepticism that poor Dr. Jones just couldn't find his original hockey stick data that made him famous. You know the one that fails to show any Midevil warming period, no mini-ice age. The one that stops right at 1961, and doesn't show -- what the tree ring data -- you know that data that shows the warming and cooling periods since 1961. Or that the IPCC hand picked one pattern of data and weighed 390x over the others. (yeah, just some minor problems with the statistics, right. A huh!)

ALL to exaggerate the import of .5 degrees Celsius' rise at a low point in Earth's temperature and CO2 history. All to claim there's a CO2 connection when there is no connection. It's just that pesky solar radiation, you know the activity that was at a historic high. (Did I read it was an 8000 year high. No it couldn't be, that would be .... gasp.... contradicting to the global warming religion.)

Those Martians, Jovians, Titans, and Plutonians -- with their SUV's and all -- warming each of those planets during the same period of high solar activity. And dont you think that its strange that none of these places have "green house" gases, well unless you count Titan's liquid methane oceans.

Gosh I get goose bumps all over, as I am so terrified about the earth ... now that it's begun cooling again -- what -- these past 10 years.

What ever you all are smokin, just keep smokin it. The same BS was going on by some of the same people in the 70s, then predicting this hell all freezing over.

Re:Doesn't matter. (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094854)

My problem with these scientists (as revealed in the leaked emails) was two things:

1) It showed that the scientists have a very real agenda. While I understand that everyone feels strongly about things sometimes and scientists are only human, when a good scientist notices that he favors a hypothesis, he will test it more rigorously, to make sure it is not his feelings that are distorting his view. This seems to be the opposite approach to what these scientists are taking: they are happy when people who disagree with them die. They show a willingness to try to suppress contrary evidence, even if it means changing the peer review process. Not good stuff, and it makes it hard to trust them.

2) The presentation to the general public is different than the presentation to scientists. When they publish in peer reviewed publications, they are careful to qualify their statements and not make unsupported conjectures (at least according to the review mentioned here, which I have no reason to doubt). When they speak to the public, the statements are often more dire, and not necessarily supported by the science. You see the results of this kind of stuff a lot, like with the Himalayan glaciers melting completely within the next 30 years (which turned out to be false) or if you talk to the average person about global warming, they will think that New York is going to be submerged, which is not supported by any peer reviewed research.

In essence, these scientists have lost my trust, even if they have not crossed the line into fraud (which I am happy they didn't: this field of science would have been a real mess if they had).

Re:Doesn't matter. (2, Insightful)

wwwald (1452511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095066)

Regarding communication: that's completely normal. Have you ever tried making carefully qualified statements when explaining scientific research to the public? It does not work. The public expects definite statements from science, it doesn't want to hear what uncertainties are involved or what data is lacking for more certain conclusions.

This study might be interesting in this context: http://arxiv.org/abs/1004.5009v1 [arxiv.org]

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095142)

Seriously, why does everyone feel like they have to pick sides? The correct answer is to try to figure out what is right, and not focus on who is right. That is the scientific way, and we should all try it.

Re:Doesn't matter. (4, Insightful)

hao3 (1182447) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095112)

My problem with these scientists (as revealed in the leaked emails) was two things:

1) It showed that the scientists have a very real agenda. While I understand that everyone feels strongly about things sometimes and scientists are only human, when a good scientist notices that he favors a hypothesis, he will test it more rigorously, to make sure it is not his feelings that are distorting his view. This seems to be the opposite approach to what these scientists are taking: they are happy when people who disagree with them die. They show a willingness to try to suppress contrary evidence, even if it means changing the peer review process. Not good stuff, and it makes it hard to trust them.

Yes, when they talked about the death of denialists and changing peer review, they were being totally serious. /sarcasm

2) The presentation to the general public is different than the presentation to scientists. When they publish in peer reviewed publications, they are careful to qualify their statements and not make unsupported conjectures (at least according to the review mentioned here, which I have no reason to doubt). When they speak to the public, the statements are often more dire, and not necessarily supported by the science. You see the results of this kind of stuff a lot, like with the Himalayan glaciers melting completely within the next 30 years (which turned out to be false) or if you talk to the average person about global warming, they will think that New York is going to be submerged, which is not supported by any peer reviewed research.

Scientists don't write newspapers, journalists do.

Re:Doesn't matter. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094890)

Apathy is good. Just like Gred, as Gordon Gekko teached us.

Apathy + Greed gives the best reasults.

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094996)

And you can thank your processed food industry for that.

(This reminded me of how the children in that school where Jamie Oliver was always fell asleep and were always so apathetic and tired... which went away as soon as they started to eat actual food. The same thing happened in Super-Size Me. And the same thing is true in my personal experience. Bad food, and you’re a sloth bear. ;) Which is quite obvious, as you wouldn’t expect a gasoline car to run good on diesel with two-stroke oil or something like that, would you?)

Re:Doesn't matter. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095012)

And nobody will do anything about anything because apathy rules.

And also... really, what can you do? Bike everywhere while praying the coal industry will actually develop real-no-foolin'-seriously-this-time-it's-not-just-a-marketing-scam clean coal?

Here is how you do science. (5, Insightful)

dbc (135354) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094622)

1. Make all your data available to anybody.
2. Make all your analysis software available to anybody.

The point of science is to let other try to replicate your experiments and analysis to see if they get they same answer. When CRU starts doing these things, wake me up. I'm not really interested in what blue-ribbon committees of politicians think of their science.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1, Insightful)

doishmere (1587181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094652)

I agree; results are meaningless if you can't review the process and attempt to replicate the results.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094654)

In an ideal world......in the real world competition, the need to publish, the need to be the one who is first or has the best model means people hold out from collaborating and keep their methods to themselves until they are 2-3 steps past.

Re:Here is how you do science. (5, Insightful)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094746)

Meanwhile, that smart kid at a competing lab who has the intelligence to make an even better discovery doesn't see the data and can't run the experiment/analysis until it's far too late, and the world has committed itself to bad policies based on bad science. Fifty years later, they correct the mistake at great expense, and say it was all based on the best we could do at the time.

Closed research considered harmful.

I'm not going to comment on whether this specific case is valid or not, but openness is requisite!

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Insightful)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094814)

Yes, I agree, but how do we manage the funding issue? Give the same to everybody, and so reward the slackers? or give more to more productive teams, according to publication results, which is basically the only thing scientists produce? *Gettting* data requires a lot of effort and money, but does not guarantee any publication. *Analysing* the data can sometime be quickly and easily done and does guarantee publication if it is well done. So what do people who spend a lot of time, effort and money to get data? They hoard it, for the most part, even the data acquired through publicly funded studies, and they analyse it themselves and publish. Only once the data has been well and truly analysed to death does it become public, and even then after a long time. In many cases never, or only small portions of it.

Find a fair solution to this problem, go ahead! Another instance of pesky reality getting in the way of nice principles.

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Insightful)

solanum (80810) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094680)

And I shall look forward to publishing my own version of reality once I have my hands on the LHC data.

In principle free access to data and analysis is great, in practice science is a wide area and it isn't always worthwhile or straightforward. No one is going to release their data before they have published, if you have to do that why would you bother with collecting it? By the time you have published then the data is often already out of date and the little interest there might be in it won't justify the time/cost in organising and hosting that data. Furthermore, in many areas of science there are commercial and patent reasons why you can't release the data.

In the case of areas like climate modelling, generally much of the data doesn't belong to the scientists analysing it and it wouldn't even be their decision.

So whilst I agree with you and would like to see more data sets publicly available, as a scientist, I also recognise that it is a principle that is impossible to implement as general rule.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1, Flamebait)

JavaBear (9872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094692)

Making all their data freely available is ludicrous, there is just too much of it. When you have this much data to work on, you only make it available to people who have a chance of understanding it; in this case fellow scientists.
You don't see CERN release all their data either, at least not to the public.

And you don't see CERN telling people... (0)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094764)

... where to get off on multi-trillion dollar decisions.

This is a whitewash. Like the other recent "investigation", they didn't bother asking any of the IPCC's substantive critics what was wrong with their methods, failed to observe that, years after the Wegman report, that their recommendations still hadn't been heeded, and that fundamental problems with process, data, and code remain.

for your thoughts. (1)

jisou (1483699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094812)

says the person sitting on the biggest compilation of data ever to exist (aka the internet). sayings there's to much of it is no excuse. one of the main reasons why we are held back technologically is the fact that scientists consider themselves to be in this vip exclusive club. things like the debacle of Jan Hendrik Schön [wikipedia.org] could have easily been caught more quickly if more eyes where able to peer over it.

The dog ate my homework. (1, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094818)

Making all their data freely available is impossible, because they "misplaced" it.

Seriously, we've got mirrors of centos and maven that must be terabytes upon terabytes of ISOs...you think CRU has too much data for the world to handle? Really?

Re:Here is how you do science. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094718)

blue-ribbon committees of politicians

From page 7 of TFA:

APPENDIX A
PANEL MEMBERSHIP
Chair: Prof Ron Oxburgh FRS (Lord Oxburgh of Liverpool)
Prof Huw Davies, ETH Zürich
Prof Kerry Emanuel, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Prof Lisa Graumlich, University of Arizona.
Prof David Hand FBA, Imperial College, London.
Prof Herbert Huppert FRS, University of Cambridge
Prof Michael Kelly FRS, University of Cambridge

Re:Here is how you do science. (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094972)

In case anyone is wondering about these people (because I was, and thus checked):

* Prof Ron Oxburgh FRS: a geophysicist, strongly worried about climate change. Worked with Shell and has ties to a number of alternate energy companies.
* Prof. Huw C. Davies: Works in the Institute of Atmosphere and Climate, is a climate modeler. Couldn't find any industry links for him.
* Prof Kerry Emanuel: Professor of Atmospheric Science, is extremely interested in hurricanes and cyclones. Seems to disagree with the IPCC position that hurricanes are increasing because of global warming.
* Prof Lisa Graumlich: Director of the school of Natural Resources and the Environment. Doesn't seem particularly an expert on global warming, but if you want to know what effect a changing climate would have on agriculture, ask her.
* Prof David Hand: a statistician. He's done statistic work for a lot of companies. Doesn't seem to know much about climatology, but he knows more about statistics than I even dreamed existed.
* Prof David Hand: Professor of Theoretical Geophysics. Has publicly criticized the Mann Hockey Stick graph. Also really likes math.
* Prof Michael Kelly: spent a lot of time researching semiconductors. Seems to have no relation to climate science at all, but he is the part-time Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department for Communities and Local Government, whatever that is.

Seems they chose a good variety of people, and the chances of these guys being part of a conspiracy are low. Also, they are a smart group, and I would not try to trick them.

Re:Here is how you do science. (3, Funny)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095040)

* Prof David Hand: a statistician. He's done statistic work for a lot of companies. Doesn't seem to know much about climatology, but he knows more about statistics than I even dreamed existed.

* Prof David Hand: Professor of Theoretical Geophysics. Has publicly criticized the Mann Hockey Stick graph. Also really likes math.

Clearly a talented guy.

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095114)

Whoops, I messed up on that second to last line, got the wrong person. Should have been:

* Prof Herbert Huppert: Professor of Theoretical Geophysics. Has publicly criticized the Mann Hockey Stick graph. Also really likes math.

Re:Here is how you do science. (-1, Troll)

pkphilip (6861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095006)

Oxburgh's credibility has already been trashed because of his association with bodies which will gain from all the climate scaremongering. Kerry Emanuel had this to say about CRU even before the inquiry started:

"What we have here," says Kerry Emanuel, are "thousands of emails collectively showing scientists hard at work, trying to figure out the meaning of evidence that confronts them. Among a few messages, there are a few lines showing the human failings of a few scientists" Emanuel believes that "scientifically, it means nothing," because the controversy doesn't challenge the overwhelming evidence supporting anthropogenic warming. He is far more concerned with the well-funded "public relations campaign" to drown out or distort the message of climate science, which he links to "interests where billions, even trillions are at stake..." This "machine has been highly successful in branding climate scientists as a bunch of sandal-wearing, fruit-juice drinking leftist radicals engaged in a massive conspiracy to return us to agrarian society"

This was said during an MIT debate months before the CRU investigation started. So he had already made up his mind about everything to do with CRU even before the investigation.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095034)

I can’t remember who said it, but a committee opinion is the softest/lowest kind of “evidence” there is in science. The hardest obviously is hard mathematics, then comes raw and pure empirical proof. And only then, a long way down the road, comes committee views. It’s usually what only a marketing department would use to advertise with as having “scientific proof”.

I am not saying that they are right or wrong. I am saying that a committee opinion is worth just about nothing to me. It’s way too much down in the truthiness world. If I’d wanted that, I’d go to FOX News, or read locked articles on Wikipedia.

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Insightful)

DrFalkyn (102068) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094782)

I have not encountered a scientist that publishes "all of their data", there is just way too much of it.

And even if they did, so what. The way fraud gets ferreted out is when people try to replicate their results.

Re:Here is how you do science. (2, Insightful)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094842)

***I have not encountered a scientist that publishes "all of their data", there is just way too much of it.

And even if they did, so what. The way fraud gets ferreted out is when people try to replicate their results.***

Are you sure that you have thought this through? This isn't Chemistry where anyone can go into the lab and try to repeat the experiment. The results in question are based on analysis of historical data. In the case of the CRU the data was "massaged" in undocumented ways and summarized prior to release. Exactly how the hell would you propose to replicate (or fail to replicate) their results?

As I understand it, the CRU handled two data sets -- tree ring data and surface temperature data. Apparently, the tree ring data was mostly from external sources and is not at issue. The issue is their sloppy and apparently quite dubious handling of the temperature data.

Re:Here is how you do science. (3, Insightful)

vtcodger (957785) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094786)

***When CRU starts doing these things, wake me up. I'm not really interested in what blue-ribbon committees of politicians think of their science.***

Amen.

It appears that the University of East Anglia is both unable to do science properly, and unable to review their own work competently. The failure of the CRU to make its data and methods available for review really says it all. What they were doing might have been interesting. It's even possible that their conclusions are correct. What it wasn't, was science.

From the report "CRU accepts with hindsight that they should have devoted more attention in
the past to archiving data and algorithms and recording exactly what they did."

That's not an exoneration. It's an indictment.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1)

Actinide (772269) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094870)

Oh FFS. The overwhelming majority of the data are available. If you think CRU are wrong, run your own analysis and see if you can come up with a significantly different answer. No-one has been able to do that yet, as pretty much any way of analysing the data comes up with pretty much the same answer. For instance excluding all the skeptics' hand-picked poorly-sited stations (surfacestations.org) gives exactly the same answer for US temperature: http://www.skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html [skepticalscience.com] So are the skeptics too stupid, too lazy, or already done it and know that CRU is correct?

Re:Here is how you do science. (5, Informative)

quokkaZ (1780340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095160)

It seems some "skeptics" have (finally) got off their arses and made an honest attempt to make their own global temperature reconstruction using the NCDC dataset. Which is a great improvement over the morons who think filling in form letters for vexatious FOI requests has something to do with science.

And what a surprise! They find that their record pretty much agrees with the CRU compiled record. If anything it shows a little more warming.

It is discussed here http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/global-land-temps-cru-style/ [wordpress.com]

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Insightful)

Sir_Sri (199544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094936)

and how long do you keep your data for, and available, who is going to pay to make it available and supported? I worked in a lab that had equipment with computers from, I kid you not, 1983 in storage. Unfortunately none of this equipment still worked, or had any meaningfully recoverable data on it, nor was the person who knew how to operate this equipment still employed, as he had been retired for the better part of a decade.

If your data is, (for example) climate data from 100 stations recording data every hour for 10 years you have close to 9 million data points (assuming everything worked perfectly), you aren't just going to print that off and hand it out with your paper. What do you do when you got your PhD in 1980 where your data is from somewhere else (say you take data from the oh so fictional national department of measuring things people might want), and it's now 2010, can you be expected to reproduce that data? Should the department of measuring things provide it? What liability do you have if they don't provide it (or can't)? Who should host the data? You, or the instutition where the work was done (for how long?).

Lets say you stored all of your data on hard drives in 1983, wrote your paper, and then didn't do anything with the drive but put it in storage, which has since gone loopy. What do you do about that data, which, in the specific case of climate change might be a problem since old info might be relevant?

What about process then? Well wait, if I just spent 4 years of my life writing this piece of software, and am now working very hard to get tenure (and 5 more papers naturally) out of it, if I just give it away for free one of my competitors who isn't teaching 5 courses and isn't even from my country can then use my software (analysis etc..) to churn out papers without so much as putting my name as an author on the paper, and even if it's possible to sort out any potential ethics violation and get myself credit I'm now long past due for getting tenure and SOL. Besides, don't let other scientists be lazy, if you give them your software and they use it, and come to the same result you haven't actually learned anything other than your software works the same on several computers, you want to write a paper (algorithm, pseudo code whatever you want to call it) level description of the process you think you implemented, and let someone else first asses the process they think you implemented, and then compare to the process you actually implemented as the next step.

The real world of academia is hardly as simplistic as you would like it to be, politicians love blind ideologue statements about improving transparancy (what political party doesn't) but when it comes to the details of how exactly one goes about this. Which is why there are a lot of names of professors on the research reports - sort of by definition a blue ribbon committee doing what it does by definition; staying independent of politcal influence and using their expertise to judge a topic on it's merits. There's nothing in the snippits of the reports which I have time to read which indicates anything other than the scientists accomodated all reasonable requests for data and process as best they could. There is a big weakness in UK law in dealing with FOI and academic research. Essentially should a researcher be allowed to be bogged down with FOI requests? If so, what should that mean for their professional career? Requests for data take time to respond to, but how do you manage that with the expectation that the researcher is going to do something other than just be a data delivery clerk (and if you want data delivery clerks who is going to pay them)?

Ideally you want data from multiple sources and independent analysis from multiple sources and compare - then you go after the process to see where the differences are (or might be). This comparison in science is a glorious excersie in statistics rarely understood in detail by anyone but statisticians (and even then half of them are of questionable use), who are of course, concerned with developing math, not climate science or whatever it is you're doing that isn't math research. But even that academic method relies on a basic assumption, which is that you can find someone qualified enough, and interested enough, to bother to do the comparison, and that several competing theories arrive close enough together for that to be possible. Otherwise people just wander on in their research and by the time anything is discovered wrong with their work it has either long since been fixed or forgotten about as a topic since the funded grant topics are now something else entirely. For all of it's imperfect style academia produces remarkably good results, including in climate data, it's not nearly as fast as we'd like it, and it's wildly misrepresented by the media on a daily basis, but most of what you want is accessable in a reasonable fashion, eventually, for a while, until the research grant runs out anyway or the guy retires.

I will say that climate science in particular is problematic because it spans careers, technologies, generations, governments, empires, laws, measurmeent systems and the evolution of a lot of basic science. If you're looking for trends over 100 years, which could be a very serious problem, you have a lot of things that have happened in 100 years to mess with both the data, and your ability to keep, access, and distribute it. That doesn't make it invalid data, or an invalid question, or any less important, but it is sadly difficult.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1)

drolli (522659) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094960)

Don't make the software available. An independent check is better.

Re:Here is how you do science. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094986)

In science, it is enough to be able to explain your experiments well enough that others can replicate them and verify the results (as you mentioned). If they can do this by saying, "go collect your own data" and explaining how they collected it, or by saying, "go make your own analysis software" and explaining how they did it, then that is enough for the purposes of science. I wish they would make the analysis software available too, but it really isn't necessary (also, the raw data IS available easily, you don't even have to travel around the world to collect it in most cases).

Re:Here is how you do science. (4, Insightful)

quokkaZ (1780340) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095038)

Indeed you do need a wake up from your zombie state, for that is the condition of those who endlessly echo zombie arguments about climate science throughout the blogosphere. A zombie argument is one that endlessly presents an illusion of life no matter how many times it has been shown to be just plain wrong.

Let us start with the availability of raw temperature station data from the CRU. Nearly all of it is and has been for several years freely available from the Global Historical Climatology Network maintained by the National Climate Data Center (US Department of Commerce). Here it is: ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ghcn/v2/ [noaa.gov] Some station data held by the CRU was not made available publicly because it is the intellectual property of some national meteorological services around the world and subject to non disclosure agreements. Moves are afoot to change that situation. Move along - no conspiracy here.

The NCDC station temperature data set is used by NCDC to produce their global temperature record. It is also used by NASA GISS to produce their temperature record. All three of the temperature records - HadCruT (from CRU), NCDC and NASA are all in close agreement. Furthermore the satellite temperature records produced by UAH and RSS from entirely different data and using entirely different methods are also in agreement with the surface temperature record. All of this stuff is freely available (including code). Do we see a pattern here?

Lest the OP still feel deprived of data, the RealClimate web site (run by real climate scientists) provides a handy page of links to freely available data and code: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/data-sources/ [realclimate.org]

Notably, this page also contains a link to the NOAA Paleoclimate site which make oodles of paleo climate data available including multiple studies and their multiple data sources that broadly support the famous hockey stick.

The reality is that climate science has had excellent public and free access to data (and code) and the situation is improving all the time.

So could we please get on with the science and the enormous tack of implementing solutions rather than dealing with the echoes of zombie arguments that stagger around aimlessly on the Internet.

Get back to me... (4, Insightful)

azaris (699901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094644)

...when they're exonerated by a panel of scientists who are NOT connected to renewable energy sources, environmentalist groups, conservation movements, carbon trading etc. That is to say, physicists, statisticians, and real mathematical modellers. In general people who are not doing science because it suits the environmental fancy they picked up in the 1980s and who are not willing to overlook glaring problems with their results (like a disappearing medieval warm period) simply because the results confirm their preconceived notion of impending catastrophe.

Re:Get back to me... (4, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094750)

but of course you'll listen to "experts" such as washed-up weathermen, hack UK politicians, and "scientists" bought and paid for by Big Oil.

Re:Get back to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094912)

How is being paid by Big Oil any different from being paid by Big Climate?

Getting flooded with funding for anything you do in direct proportion to the alarm your reports create is not a very different situation from being flooded with funding for anything you do in inverse proportion to the alarm your reports create.

Re:Get back to me... (0, Flamebait)

rmushkatblat (1690080) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094920)

The idea that scientists are bought and paid for by "Big Oil" is total nonsense. Scientists are only bought and paid for by the government.

Re:Get back to me... (2, Insightful)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095094)

Scientists never work for corporations? Really?

Re:Get back to me... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32095226)

Actually it was the experience of listening to one of the pro-AGW guys that caused me to start examining the issue myself instead of just accepting what the experts were saying. My own training is in human evolution and linguistics, with supporting work in philosophy of science. I have had quite some experience with debating 'creation scientists' who most people in my field long ago started just putting on the ignore list, and I always liked debate even when I had to argue positions I didnt agree with I found that mentally stimulating, and I likewise sometimes find creationists thought processes are interesting (not always, but some are pretty smart, and trying to understand where they are coming from is fun while correcting their misunderstandings about evolution is occasionally rewarding.)

So anyway when I started having conversations with this guy I quite naturally was interested in what he was doing, what the theoretical underpinnings were, what areas were more or less well understood - the same things I am interested in whenever I speak with anyone who does something interesting. And over time I started noticing how strikingly similar his own thought processes in certain areas were to those of the creationists. I quickly noticed a number of tendencies that were, to put it mildly, at odds with accepted principles of science. The more we talked, the more convinced I became that he viewed his role not as searching for truth, but (in his own words) 'defending orthodoxy.' He had an unshakable conviction that human activity was destructive to the planet, that the human race, or at least our civilisation, was like a cancer in the body of the earth, and his goal in generating data was never to test that hypothesis, only to support it. Any questioning of his conclusions or methods was always dismissed with an air of insufferable superiority. Basic mental exercises I was taught to test all of my ideas against (for example, asking "what other possible explanations, however unlikely, could fit this data?" and making as long a list of possible of them) were so alien to him that even the mildest hints along those lines drew very angry responses. Eventually I discontinued our conversations simply because the anger made them pointless.

Now it would be naive to think that you wont find people like that other disciplines, of course - scientists are humans too, and given to human failings. But my conversations with this guy eventually lead me to look more and more at his field, and the more I looked the more it seems to be a field that has considerably more than its share of his outlook. And while in every field, the easy path is to provide support for the pet theories of those who can advance your career, this field seems clearly to have gone further in that direction than most. Questioning prominent theories in archaeology or biology may not be the easiest route to a fellowship but it is still done all the time without real fear of being blacklisted because of it. Yet several climate students I have spoken with were clearly convinced that if they openly challenged AGW their prospects of finishing their degree would be endangered, and of getting respectable employment afterwards would drop to approximately zero.

I dont have the background to understand each and every technical issue. And I dont have the time to read every paper or do my own review of all the data (even if that were possible, as hopefully everyone is aware by now much of the raw data has never been published.) But what I can access and understand is enough to leave me deeply skeptical at this point. I read through a few percent of the CRUtape stuff and found things that, in my own field, would put a rather dark cloud on anyones career and conclusions. It clearly revealed that much of what was published was deceptive, and even if there is no proof that they *intended* to be deceptive (I dont think they did, I think they are all true believers trying desperately to convince everyone of what they honestly believe to be true) that does not justify it. At best it would seem to show incompetence, but when ALL the fudging goes in a single direction it really looks deliberate. It looks, in short, very much like the results of the better sorts of 'creation science' where you have very ernest true believers who *know* that their case is true, in a way that I was taught a scientist must never believe he knows anything, who *know* that ultimately the data must reflect that truth, and thus find it very very easy to rationalise whatever manipulations are required in order to make the data reveal the important truth that simply *must* be there.

In that context this lightweight "inquiry" reads more like damage control than anything else. It's not going to convince me and I doubt it is going to convince any skeptic. (As an aside, btw, when did 'skeptic' become a bad word? When I was trained being a skeptic was considered a necessary prerequisite to being a scientist of any sort.)

None of this means AGW is false, of course. Even a stopped clock is right once a day. But I cant say I have any faith that the current AGW 'consensus' does not suffer from serious, even fatal, defects.

(And yes, I am posting AC for my own protection. I dont need this to come back and cost me my job later, and while the chances might be relatively low they are not zero and it's just too important to take the risk right now.)

Re:Get back to me... (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094966)

...when they're exonerated by a panel of scientists who are NOT connected to renewable energy sources, environmentalist groups, conservation movements, carbon trading etc.

Add to that they (and politicians) have shit-piles of money, live in large estates, ride in SUVs, and jet around the world just to show face for some half-assed AWG meeting. The level of hypocrisy is insulting!

Re:Get back to me... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095166)

Back already!

Seriously, read the article. Yeah, I must be new here. Sure the panel contains some climate scientists. It would be a bit dumb not to. It also contains a statistician and a physicist.

But now I've just spoiled your latest notion, you'll have to find another bogus reason to disbelieve it.

Definitely a whimper (0, Flamebait)

IICV (652597) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094662)

It's ending with a whimper all right - a whimper is all that will show up on the news media outlets that trumpeted the e-mails to high heaven.

This is what always happens. "Amazing discovery! Free energy within five years!" gets front page headlines, but "Scientists retract bullshit claims that nobody in the field believed in the first place" gets put on page 40, right after the obituaries.

That's okay though, because the e-mails have already served their purpose; I'm sure we'll be hearing that moronic refrain of "hide the decline! Hide the decline!" for the next three or four years, regardless of its basis in reality. All that really matters is that the initial narrative was sufficiently plausible to gain a life of its own.

Re:Definitely a whimper (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094694)

All that really matters is that the initial narrative was sufficiently plausible to gain a life of its own.

The incubator being the CIA-controlled media, or whatever controls it now (the evangelical christians, I don't know). Whom, depending on the day--among other factors--may decide to cause the public opinion to sway in favor of belief in manmade climate change or against it. Some of them maybe want to start WWIII or the apocalypse. Some people just want to prevent the sea from rising 10m. Others are already on high ground and away from any primary targets ;)

statistical methods (0)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094682)

The statistical methods used, though arriving at correct results, are not optimal, and it is recommended futures studies involve professional statisticians if possible; and the CRU scientists are lacking somewhat in organization. A very far cry from the widespread allegations of fraud.

uhhhhh... the "widespread allegations of fraud" we regarding the data-points removed from the sample set that didn't fit the proposed model. the report states that the methods used to decide which points to remove were non-optimal to the point they were non-professional, as stated by the report authors suggestion to hire a professional statistician if they have the means to do so. so, if anything, it seems the widespread allegations of fraud have been confirmed, but attributed potentially to ignorance.

Re: you have a a strange way of reading reports (5, Informative)

Cochonou (576531) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094824)

Fraud you say ? Don't you think your view lacks a bit of perspective ?

From the report, on dendroclimatology:
"Although inappropriate statistical tools with the potential for producing misleading results have been used by some other groups, presumably by accident rather than design, in the CRU papers that we examined we did not come across any inappropriate usage although the methods they used may not have been the best for the purpose. It is not clear, however, that better methods would have produced significantly different results. "
"With very noisy data sets a great deal of judgement has to be used. Decisions have to be made on whether to omit pieces of data that appear to be aberrant. These are all matters of experience and judgement. The potential for misleading results arising from selection bias is very great in this area. It is regrettable that so few professional statisticians have been involved in this work because it is fundamentally statistical."
"After reading publications and interviewing the senior staff of CRU in depth, we are satisfied that the CRU tree-ring work has been carried out with integrity, and that allegations of deliberate misrepresentation and unjustified selection of data are not valid. In the event CRU scientists were able to give convincing answers to our detailed questions about data choice, data handling and statistical methodology. The Unit freely admits that many data analyses they made in the past are superseded and they would not do things that way today."

On historical instruments reports:
"Like the work on tree rings this work is strongly dependent on statistical analysis and our comments are essentially the same. Although there are certainly different ways of handling the data, some of which might be superior, as far as we can judge the methods which CRU has employed are fair and satisfactory. Particular attention was given to records that seemed anomalous and to establishing whether the anomaly was an artefact or the result of some natural process."
"The Unit has demonstrated that at a global and hemispheric scale temperature results are surprisingly insensitive to adjustments made to the data and the number of series included. "
"Recent public discussion of climate change and summaries and popularizations of the work of CRU and others often contain over-simplifications that omit serious discussion of uncertainties emphasized by the original authors."

In the conclusions:
"We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely that we would have detected it."

Re: you have a a strange way of reading reports (1)

Michael Kristopeit (1751814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094968)

i didn't say fraud... i just pointed out that the report didn't say there wasn't fraud or malpractice, just that there wasn't "deliberate" malpractice... a very telling choice of words.

never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

but then if you act stupid no one can confidently claim you're evil... even if you are.

Re: you have a a strange way of reading reports (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095024)

Ellie Arroway [imdb.com] : Is it possible that it didn't happen? Yes. As a scientist, I must concede that, I must volunteer that.

Sadly... (5, Insightful)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094740)

No matter how much evidence you provide for the innocence of these researchers, the paranoid will simply decry the people conducting the investigation as "part of the conspiracy".

That's the major problem with the anti-AGW group. If they could point to any legitimate research that was submitted to peer review and survived dissection by experts which punched holes in AGW, they would have done so by now. Instead they rely on simply muddying the waters with screams of deceit and conspiracies, essentially propaganda to confuse the laymen. And unfortunately those who are simply inclined to not want to spend any more money, whether it be to save the environment or provide for the health of the poor, will lap up the lies and spit them out as if they were gospel.

I see the same ridiculous, already debunked arguments used by anti-AGW people on this forum every time one of these articles comes up. They don't read for information. They post and run away. There are many moderators who simply mod informative posts down just because the science completely disagrees with what they want reality to be. There's no pleasing them.

Re:Sadly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094856)

Except that the Climate Crowd including recruited evangelist scientists have already showed that anyone who opposes them will be subject to extremely strong social sanction including death wishes (no, not death threats, just death wishes) from former colleagues.

Since the entire system depends on scientists being able to state their opinion, a system whereby the majority of recruited evangelisers institute social sanctions against those who dissent is not one that is suited to analysing facts in a dispassionate sense, thereby making both the peer review process and this "inquiry" (of which we have been given only the press release of the accused party to see here) fails. This is a problem that cannot be overcome easily.

Re:Sadly... (5, Insightful)

hsthompson69 (1674722) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094860)

The real problem here is that the pro-AGW group is going about science all wrong -> they're trying to prove their point with more data that buttresses their theory. They look around, find scads of data that fits their model, and with enough data, declare the "debate is over".

Except that's not science. It's not even bad science, it's just simply not science. You don't prove your point by finding more data that agrees with you, you prove your point by looking hard for data that does *not* agree with you, and not finding it. It's a subtle point, but one that is profoundly misunderstood by the masses. You can always find more data to support your theory, if you're willing to ignore data that does not support it.

So the anti-AGW folk have it easy -> they just need to "cherry pick" data that refutes the AGW theory. Their search for data has a much, much lower bar because they don't need to have 10,000 refutations, or a million refutations, they just need one refutation. Just one bit of data that breaks the model, and the model must be changed, or abandoned.

The bigger problem of all this is that when it comes right down to it, the pro-AGW folks haven't really stated a falsifiable theory. They have in fact scrupulously avoided a falsifiable theory (warm winter? Global warming! cold winter? Global warming!), and have instead created a political movement rather than a scientific discussion.

For those pro-AGWers who want to mod down, fine. But do me a favor and come up with a falsifiable hypothesis while you're at it.

Re:Sadly... (-1, Flamebait)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095010)

They look around, find scads of data that fits their model, and with enough data, declare the "debate is over".

Don't forget that if the data _doesn't_ fit your model, you get to 'adjust' it until it does.

'Global warming', sorry, 'climate change' is now potentially a multi-trillion dollar global industry if the banks get their 'crap and trade' laws passed. Does anyone really think that a little thing like the truth is going to be allowed to get in the way of those fat profits and bonuses? Ten years from now we'll be shivering in the dark because the price of power and heating has been massively increased to make fat-cats like Al Gore even richer, sorry, to prevent 'global warming'.

Re:Sadly... (1)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095096)

How the hell is this drivel modded insightful? I would have modded Flamebait or Troll if had mod points left.

They look around, find scads of data that fits their model, and with enough data, declare the "debate is over".

Don't forget that if the data _doesn't_ fit your model, you get to 'adjust' it until it does.

'Global warming', sorry, 'climate change' is now potentially a multi-trillion dollar global industry if the banks get their 'crap and trade' laws passed. Does anyone really think that a little thing like the truth is going to be allowed to get in the way of those fat profits and bonuses? Ten years from now we'll be shivering in the dark because the price of power and heating has been massively increased to make fat-cats like Al Gore even richer, sorry, to prevent 'global warming'.

Uh yeah because global warming was invented by Al Gore and the banks to make a buck. Thousands of scientists worldwide are in on the conspiracy. Sure.

Sarcasm aside, people will try make a buck out of anything. It's a logical fallacy to declare something false because someone has found a way to cash in on it.

Nevermind that cleaning up the planet necessarily has to be a viable business model, otherwise it won't work without draconian measures. Capitalism got into this mess it should almost as easily get us out of it without resorting to a totalitarian world government or something.

Re:Sadly... (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095228)

Oh stop with the over use of quotes. You probably know very well why the name was changed. If not read on. Global warming is called global warming because it is about the rise of the average global temperature by a surprisingly small amount.

This causes large local climate changes. Some places get colder. So, they are the same thing. The name 'climate change' will hopefully make fewer idiots (including fine national tabloids like the UK's Sun) claiming global warming is fake because it was cold last week.

Re:Sadly... (5, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095100)

They have come up with a falsifiable theory. The problem is it is presented differently to scientists and to the general public.

To scientists, the theory is this: adding CO2 to the atmosphere will somewhat warm the atmosphere. This may cause some minor changes in the earth's climate system. This hypothesis is fairly well accepted by every scientist, even the anti-AGW ones.

To the public, the hypothesis is presented as: DISASTER!!!!!!!!!!!! Polar bears dying, glaciers melting, millions dying, wars, catastrophe!!

This disconnect between the science world and the general public world reminds me of Y2K, which was treated in journals with studies about how much fixing it would cost, and boring things like that. Whereas in mainstream press it was represented as literally the end of the world. I had someone ask me at the time if all the power plants were going to explode. That wasn't even in the realm of reasonability in the scientific press.

Re:Sadly... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095022)

That's the major problem with the anti-AGW group.......Instead they rely on simply muddying the waters with screams of deceit and conspiracies, essentially propaganda to confuse the laymen.

This is the problem with the human race. Any argument anywhere you will find people on both sides acting this way, including global warming. If you are only seeing it on one side, you are only exposing your own personal bias by not being able to see it in the people you support.

I wish on Slashdot we could get past this and focus on facts and reality, but unfortunately we often break down into the same irrationality you describe. Including this story: if you actually look at the people who were on this panel, it's hard to believe they were all biased.

Re:Sadly... (1)

drmerope (771119) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095138)

Consider Judith Curry's recent remarks:

Criticisms of the Oxburgh report that have been made include: bias of some of the members including the Chair, not examining the papers that are at the heart of the controversies, lack of consideration of the actual criticisms made by Steve McIntyre and others, and a short report with few specifics that implies a superficial investigation. When I first read the report, I thought I was reading the executive summary and proceeded to look for the details; well, there weren't any. And I was concerned that the report explicitly did not address the key issues that had been raised by the skeptics.

My thoughts indeed, and here we have a post that trumpets CRU as exonerated. The post gives two links one leading to a CRU press release and the second to a scant five page report.

Elsewhere [blogspot.com] Professor Curry continues:

The primary frustration with these investigations is that they are dancing around the principal issue that people care about: the IPCC and its implications for policy. Focusing only on CRU activities (which was the charge of the Oxbourgh panel) is of interest mainly to UEA and possibly the politics of UK research funding (it will be interesting to see if the U.S. DOE sends any more $$ to CRU). Given their selection of CRU research publications to investigate (see Bishop Hill), the Oxbourgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion. ... The corruptions of the IPCC process, and the question of corruption (or at least inappropriate torquing) of the actual science by the IPCC process, is the key issue.

Hear Hear (1)

BenJCarter (902199) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094802)

1. Make all your data available to anybody. 2. Make all your analysis software available to anybody. It's called science. Show Spock the money.

In other news... (0, Offtopic)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094806)

Hans Reiser led the police to body of the ex-wife he murdered.

Conclusion 2 says it all. (4, Interesting)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094830)

The issue was that emails from insiders showed that the CRU was sufficiently politicized that the credibility of the institution was destroyed, and that put the research of the CRU in question. Instead of releasing the data, methods and code for their analysis, we are being asked to believe experts, paid by the institution, that the CRU's work is beyond reproach.

All we are given is a press release and a report that contains little to no real data, but does ironically suggests in conclusion 2 that the CRU should release more data and work with professional statisticians. This is the PR equivalent to the Jedi Mind Trick (tm), and will only result in even more scrutiny, and will result in climate change being questioned by even more people. This is why personal integrity and decorum is important in science: this research could be important to humanity's survival but the public now does not believe the research because the researcher's motives and communications seem questionable. Not because the research was bad, but because the way the CRU carried itself.

Re:Conclusion 2 says it all. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095020)

This is the PR equivalent to the Jedi Mind Trick (tm)

Seems more like the Chewbacca Defence to me.

Re:Conclusion 2 says it all. (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095046)

This may be the best comment on the whole thing, I have read. You hit the nail on the head.

It’s so sad, when people destroy such important things in such stupid ways with such tiny pieces of wrongness.

I'm not saying the CRU are Nazis... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094884)

...but they haven't exactly denied it. Strange, hmmmmm?

Statistics (4, Insightful)

Improv (2467) | more than 4 years ago | (#32094892)

Show me a scientific field that *wouldn't* be improved by having professional statisticians. Having done neuroimaging studies, I've often been unsure whether we truly were using the best research methods and statistics available. I did, of course, believe that we were doing the studies well, but improvement is certainly possible - this is true in many fields.

Re:Statistics (2, Informative)

wwwald (1452511) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095158)

Completely agree with this.

Statistics is more often than not used as a "tool on the side" to illustrate study conclusions, while it should be at the very heart of any scientific analysis, all the way from the initial measurement planning to the model validation and further. Too often, the scientific process is still largely based on subjective judgement instead of robust statistics. While experience helps to avoid glaring errors, the process is doomed to produce erratic research as long as decent statistics are not involved. Judgement can be deceived, numbers can't.

Quite interesting in this regard: http://www.sciencenews.org/view/feature/id/57091/title/Odds_are,_its_wrong [sciencenews.org]

Still fraud! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32094950)

...The statistical methods used, though arriving at correct results, are not optimal ...

I beg to differ!

First of all, they have NOT arrived at the correct results! - There are still lots of very well qualified experts that seriously question both methods, data and conclusions. The exact same data was used - often by the same experts - in the 1980's to prove that we were heading for a new ice age, i.e. the exact opposite of the current popular theory. That makes both the experts and their data highly questionable, as well as their methods of using them.

Also, nobody in the cult of global warming has made any attempt at explaining the known variance in the planets historical climate (both the ice age cycle and minor fluctuations) except blame it on the Sun, which they say have nothing to do with the current change they see in their data...?! - That does not compute! - The Sun is obviously the only thing separating us from the deep freeze of deep space so variations in its output will cause variations in the Earths climate - that's beyond any question!

And second of all, 'not optimal' is an understatement! - Manipulating data more or less randomly outside the scientific method in order to prove a point is quite simply fraud. Nothing more, nothing less. Science needs to be more like justice, i.e. blind. Just follow the data and see where it leads. It seems to be far too easy to pose a theory and then 'tweak' the data to 'prove' it (although in real science you cannot prove a theory; you can only disprove it or conclude that nothing disproves it and thus it seems justified and 'true'). And there's lots of data that disproves man-made global warming, including the recent winter. If that's within the limits of the theory, then any warming (much less severe) is as well. In other words: No change beyond natural 'noise'.

Who needs gates? (4, Insightful)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095052)

I don't care about the environment and I don't care about fraud, just stop putting "gate" at the end of everything!

Climategate was political theater (4, Insightful)

presidenteloco (659168) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095078)

It's not surprising that the climategate allegations have been shown to be false on examination.

The whole thing was a manufactured crisis, in exactly the same sinister sense that the 1 year "WMDs hand-wringing" lead-up to the Iraq War was a manufactured crisis.

It's not surprising that this sort of tactic happens, in a high-stakes political battle (there's trillions of oil dollars at stake after all, hmmm. Sound familiar?)

What is lamentable is the rampant gullibility/willful ignorance of the mainstream media, and hence of much of the general public.

Remember when you couldn't fool all the people all the time? Well, fooling people is now a highly paid, highly skilled profession, so maybe you can now at least fool the majority of the electorate for a long enough time to accomplish the goal, whether you are engaged in an illegal war for control of some oil resources, or a global warming denial disinformation campaign, for control of the right to keep burning as much oil as you feel like.

hi (0, Offtopic)

nicolesaba (1804594) | more than 4 years ago | (#32095106)

We’re all waiting for your next article of course. Dubrovnik Holiday [welcome-to-croatia.com]
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