Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Climategate's Final Days

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the miami-vice-violated-no-research-norms dept.

Earth 872

The Bad Astronomer writes "Climategate may be on its way out. An investigatory committee at Pennsylvania State University has formally cleared climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann of any scientific misconduct. Mann was central in the so-called Climategate scandal, where illegally leaked emails were purported to indicate examples of scientists trying to cover up any lack of global warming in their data. This finding by the committee (PDF) is another in a series of independent investigations that have all concluded that no misconduct has occurred."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

We All Wish (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774296)

Yeah Right

Climategate's Final Days

Bullshit. If you think this means it's over, you're not familiar with the debate.

Immediately following Climategate Nature [nature.com] released an editorial saying no controversy found in the e-mails. That didn't seem to matter at all.

The more respected global warming papers have been published and accepted in peer reviewed journals. Point out any global warming denialist papers that have done the same. I think the most you'll find are papers that suggest global change could result in positive things in some areas. I don't know of any saying that climate change is not happening.

Your fundamental problem in arguing with a person who denies global warming is that they use erroneous logic. They find one uncertainty or minor flaw in a study and suddenly volumes of studies -- even those unrelated -- can be thrown out and dismissed. If it isn't in Mann's research, if it isn't in the East Anglian e-mails, it's somewhere else. You just have to face that logic and move on past them. Oh, and for future articles, Bad Astronomer, using cute otter lolcats to fire back at your opponents [discovermagazine.com] isn't exactly the hallmark of a logically sound debate. It's little more than an ad hominem attack.

If you think this is the 'final days' of this mess, you are sadly mistaken. Not until first world countries find it hard to get by will the majority of them step up and realize it. The election of Virginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli shows you got a whole state who would like to sweep this inconvenience under the rug and want you to stop trying to hinder their economy with your "research and science."

Re:We All Wish (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774348)

Global warming denial is like creationism, it's based on blind faith and its supporters will never give up.

Re:We All Wish (1, Troll)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774560)

The earth has been both hotter and cooler than it is now.

So obviously if the earth is getting hotter, man must have incurred Earth's wraith and we shall be DOOMED TO ETERNAL FIRE AND STARVATION if we don't make amends IMMEDIATELY!

I'm all for taking better care of the planet, but the global warming nuts haven't really provided much evidence and they're the ones making the allegations.

The way I see things, if you make a bunch of claims, the burden of proof is ON YOU... not the people you're speaking to.

Re:We All Wish (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774754)

Like I always tell people when it comes to global warming:

Believe that we are the only thing impacting the climate is fucking stupid. At the same time, believing that we aren't having any impact at all is just as stupid.

I never understood why it's so hard to find other people who don't subscribe to one extreme or the other when it comes to climate change.

Re:We All Wish (5, Insightful)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774938)

Wait, who have you ever heard say that humans are the only thing affecting climate? I have literally never ever heard that, except perhaps from deniers mis-characterizing their opponents.

Re:We All Wish (-1, Flamebait)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774982)

There are a couple of lefties at work who keep insisting that any and all climate change currently happening is due to our actions.

Granted, these are the same people who think an unloaded gun is just as dangerous as a loaded gun, so...

Re:We All Wish (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774954)

I never understood why it's so hard to find other people who don't subscribe to one extreme or the other when it comes to climate change.

As somebody who agrees with you completely:

It's because we're not the ones yelling at the top of our lungs, and we're driven away from the debate by people on both sides, who scream at us for being morons who can't understand the 'simple thing' they're shouting.

Re:We All Wish (5, Insightful)

schon (31600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774774)

The earth has been both hotter and cooler than it is now.

Yes, that's exactly the kind of erroneous logic eldavojohn was talking about. Thank you for providing such a good example.

the global warming nuts haven't really provided much evidence

Climate scientists have provided volumes of evidence. Just because you don't like the fact that it proves you wrong, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Re:We All Wish (-1, Flamebait)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774842)

Oh anointed one, please bless us with your divine knowledge about global warming so that we might be better judged when the end of days cometh!

In all seriousness, can you at least post some reputable links refuting my statements. I want to learn more about Jesus, err, I mean global warming.

Re:We All Wish (5, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775060)

"Refuting" your statements? You make it sound as if you presented a series of sound, rational arguments that demand a point-by-point rebuttal.

What you did in actuality was to toss around a few smug insults and then go on to deny the existence of the reams or peer-supported research that exist on this issue.

You don't deserve a refutation. You deserve to be sent to the corner and made to wear a pointy hat.

Re:We All Wish (1, Interesting)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775070)

The earth has been getting warmer for thousands of years. Right now, where I am sitting, there used to be 2KM of ice. That ice is clearly gone now. That glacier has melted. Our current glaciers are just continuing to melt.

If the global trend was a cooling one, and then after industralization it started warming, there might not be so much controversy, but that is not the case. The earth has been warming for quite some time now; way before humans had their fancy machines.

While I am confident that humans are making a negitive impact on the earth, I am not confident that C02 is worthy of the focus that it is getting. I think that we should be more worried about heavy metals, radioactive coal dust, dioxins, and excess fertilizer usage than we should be worried about C02.

Re:We All Wish (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774814)

See? This is what eldavojohn was talking about. You make a baseless assertion that the 'global warming nuts' have no evidence. Well, you are wrong. In fact, the amount of comprehensive, cohesive evidence supporting global warming is astounding. Why do you say it isn't? You obviously have no idea how much evidence is out there and you haven't read any of it. In fact, the evidence is so great, the burden of proof is now on those who deny global warming. So, where's your proof that this literal mountain of evidence is either wrong, or does not exist?

Re:We All Wish (-1, Flamebait)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774924)

I'm not the one making claims about doomsday and how we're all going to die if we don't "see the truth."

Again, since you apparently missed it, the burden of proof is ON YOU ASSHOLES to prove your claims of impending doom.

Re:We All Wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32775002)

Nor is any respected scientist in the climate field making such claims. See? There is no problem except the one you are pretending. These are your words; the hyperbolic exaggerations of the media (typical) and the deniers.

Re:We All Wish (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775028)

It is there, it has been presented. If you don't want to read it, how is the burden of proof still on us?

Re:We All Wish (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775066)

We aren't assholes, and we have proved our claims. It is not our problem that you have not read or understood the proof.

Re:We All Wish (1, Interesting)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774942)

this literal mountain of evidence

Can we have a literal picnic on that mountain? Any literal mountain goats on it? Where is it physically located?

P.S. Those were rhetorical questions mocking your misuse of the word "literal"when you clearly mean "metaphorical".

Re:We All Wish (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775054)

Perhaps you are under-estimating how much evidence there really is. If you were to print it off, you probably COULD climb it AND have a picnic on it.

Re:We All Wish (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775058)

Obligatory XK. . . awww screw it.

Correct... but irrelevant [Re:We All Wish] (5, Insightful)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774852)

The earth has been both hotter and cooler than it is now.

That is correct... but irrelevant to the question.

Anthropogenic global warming is not instead of natural variations-- it is in addition to natural variations. Natural variations don't suddenly vanish now that we add carbon dioxide to the air.

...I'm all for taking better care of the planet, but the global warming nuts haven't really provided much evidence and they're the ones making the allegations.

The way I see things, if you make a bunch of claims, the burden of proof is ON YOU... not the people you're speaking to.

By "global warming nuts," you apparently mean "the scientists who actually study the problem."

By "the burden of proof is on you" you apparently mean "...to prove the correctness of scientific results to people who aren't willing to take any effort to look at the actual science, but will believe any criticism with no skepticism whatsoever."

There is a lot of science... this is not made up. (And it dates to way before Al Gore, who's not a scientist.) Have you actually read, for a start, the IPCC Fourth Assessment Working Group I Report on Physical Science Basis of Climate Science [www.ipcc.ch] ? What? No? Because you already read in a blog somewhere that it's a hoax, so you don't need to read it?

So, uh, if you won't actually read the evidence, how can any possible amount of evidence convince you?

Re:Correct... but irrelevant [Re:We All Wish] (0, Flamebait)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775032)

No, I meant global warming nuts, i.e. most of the other responses on this thread.

Yours at least posted a link to interesting information to corroborate your opinion, instead of merely condemning me as a pagan unbeliever.

I'll read the report, it looks interesting enough.

Re:We All Wish (3, Funny)

Myopic (18616) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774874)

the global warming [scientists] haven't really provided much evidence

You obviously pay very close attention. Kudos for your attention to available information.

Re:We All Wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774940)

So obviously if the earth is getting hotter, man must have incurred Earth's wraith and we shall be DOOMED TO ETERNAL FIRE AND STARVATION if we don't make amends IMMEDIATELY!

Straw man arguments are lies.

Re:We All Wish (1, Troll)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774588)

Science is not produced through consensus. We'd still be insisting on the Ptolemaic universe, if that were so.

Global warming support is like creationism, it has no repeatable experimental methodology, from the entire cycle of data collection, through model construction and testing of hypothesis.

"Peer review" does not mean "I respect his degree, and assume his methodology is correct, because he's constructed a well supported paper."

"Peer review" is also NOT "Take his data, and his model, and I get the same result".

"Peer review" is independent reproduction of results, and validating assumptions made. This INCLUDES independent gathering of original source data.

Supposed evidence for "Global Warming" is derived from pseudo-scientific, statistical manipulation of suspect and cherry-picked data, which in the end, serves a Malthusian social agenda and results in taxing the very air you breathe.

Re:We All Wish (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774934)

Science is not produced through consensus.

Unless you want to receive a degree in science, or publish a paper in a peer-reviewed journal. In both scenarios you will face "gatekeepers" who have little to no interest in anything that deviates from mainstream consensus views. Oh and once you get that degree, if you want to be funded by grant money you again can't deviate too far from consensus views because you will be considered fringe and unworthy of funding.

Whether it was intended to do this or not, it's a system designed to preserve the status quo as much as possible and to ensure that it changes as slowly and gradually as possible. That's a good thing if you believe that "rocking the boat" is to be avoided at all costs, that society already has difficulty absorbing the rapid rate of technological advancement, etc. That's a bad thing if the next tremendous scientific advancement is delayed indefinitely because it would require questioning too many things that we think we "know".

In that sense it's very much like what the two-party system is doing to American politics, where "change" means "becoming more so" (whether it's Contract with America or Obama). I mean that as a poor analogy only, but I wish that both systems would be more honest about their worship of the status quo and their obsession with ensuring it does not deviate from its present course.

Re:We All Wish (1, Informative)

edremy (36408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774972)

"Peer review" is independent reproduction of results, and validating assumptions made. This INCLUDES independent gathering of original source data.

This sentence alone indicates that you have no comprehension of how science is done at all. It is most certainly *not* independent reproduction of results- that's utterly absurd. When given something to review, you don't drop everything, set up the experiment and rerun it- nobody has the time, the funds, the lab space or anything else.

Peer review is a sanity check. The reviewer should be very familiar with the field the paper is in. What you do is look the paper over- are there theoretical mistakes? Has the experimenter accounted for known sources of error with the methods and equipment used? Does it agree with the sources that they are citing? Is the data strong enough to support the conclusions they are trying to draw? Is it clearly written and easily readable, at least for the intended audience? (Sadly, less common than you might expect) If so, go ahead and publish, or send back with suggestions for revisions.

It is not, and has never been, an attempt to reproduce the experiment done. Where you got this idea I have no idea.

Re:We All Wish (1)

Mad Leper (670146) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775064)

Indeed, the history of science shows that "scientific consensus" inevitably gets turned on its head by upstart researchers and scientists who seek to find the real truth.

Can anyone identify any "scientific consensus" that has resisted any and all challenges for any appreciable amount of time?

Re:We All Wish (1, Interesting)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774630)

Global warming denial is like creationism, it's based on blind faith and its supporters will never give up.

No it's not, it's based on other research that says man's contribution to a natural process is mostly insignificant.

I wouldn't call myself a "warmer", but I also don't know how encyclopedias can print as fact that 95% of CO2 in the atmosphere comes directly from volcanos, rain, and plant matter decay.

If the entire remaining 5% is strictly from man, I just can't see that being a significant contributor to the speeding of this natural process.

Finally, I always like to mention to the AGW folks that 10,000 years ago the place where I live was completely covered by a glacier. I'm very glad for global warming, because where I live is now a beautiful region inhabited by a multitude of species both migratory and permanent.

Re:We All Wish (5, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774738)

It's weird how people think they can add to a debate with experts while being absolute non-experts themselves.

Tell me, can you apply some of your good old common-sense reasoning to the search for the Higgs boson? How about helping out with the search for the proof of the Riemann Hypothesis? At the very least, you should be able to look over the existing efforts and put forth some of your "just can't see" wisdom to filter out the dead-end proofs.

If you can't apply your aw-shucks logic to these problems, then why do you think climate science is any different?

Re:We All Wish (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774828)

The Egyptian civilization was created as a result of devastating Climate Change (Sahara savannah becoming a desert)

The Egyption Old Kingdom was destroyed as a result of Climate Change (Nile stopped flowing over due to less rain upstream)

http://discoveryenterprise.blogspot.com/2009/09/why-ancient-egypt-fell.html [blogspot.com]

(I believe that is the correct program)

Re:We All Wish (3, Insightful)

norminator (784674) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774644)

Your fundamental problem in arguing with a person who denies global warming is that they use erroneous logic. They find one uncertainty or minor flaw in a study and suddenly volumes of studies -- even those unrelated -- can be thrown out and dismissed.

Not to mention you have right-wing pundits who don't understand*** the science, the statistics, or the processes involved, and when something like "Climategate" comes along, they don't understand the context or what the "scandal" really is. Suddenly everyone is a scientist and they can all understand things they've never even been interested in studying before.

And the sad thing is, people who believe everything these people say (like my mom and several of my neighbors), go out and forcefully repeat it all anytime something tangentially related comes up in a conversation.

***Most likely, they could understand, but they choose not so they can deny the facts and get away with it.

Re:We All Wish (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774678)

I'm guessing that this will end "climategate" about as well as further scientific research has managed to shut up the mercury-militia/autism-antivaxers.

This is to say, not at all.

Re:We All Wish (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774722)

To be fair to Phil, he said pretty much said the same thing in the actual post linked in the summary.

Re:We All Wish (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774788)

In other news, BP's internal investigation turned up no evidence that BP was in any way at fault for the Deep Horizon oil spill.

Re:We All Wish (1)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774836)

Oh, and for future articles, Bad Astronomer, using cute otter lolcats to fire back at your opponents [discovermagazine.com] isn't exactly the hallmark of a logically sound debate. It's little more than an ad hominem attack.

OMG that's so cute!

Wait, what were we arguing about?

Re:We All Wish (3, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774846)

I'm sure the newspapers and TV stations will be all over it. The headlines tomorrow will be nothing but apologies for dragging him through the mud for months on end and how the climatologists are right after all.

Re:We All Wish (-1, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774898)

Wait, wait, wait: global warming? Y'all been frozen in a block of ice since 1999?

Presumably you're typing this from inside the ice, since the Goodthink now is "climate change", not anything as refutable as "warming", "global" or otherwise. You know, since the naughty old planet has stubbornly refused to actually warm up since 1990 or so, despite all the Top Men wagging their beards and declaring that it really should have done so, because they have Official Climate Change Computers that tell them that it must have.

Didn't you get that memo? Bah, you're as reactionary as that pesky climate, always stuck in the past. Please get with the program, lest we have to declare you a Climate Change Denying Extremist.

Re:We All Wish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774980)

www.climatedepot.com

Follow the money. I'm afraid you're wrong, eldavojohn...

Re:We All Wish (5, Interesting)

fermion (181285) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775006)

These 'debates' end basically when the people who are used to profiting off the old ways die, and new stakeholders have the opportunity to recast their position in a new light. For instance, cigarette smoking was known to cause cancer in the late 1800's. It was relatively well established by the 1950's. The only reason the debate went on another generation or two was to give the corporations time to restructure the business model. Now smoking is bad, and some people still choose to do it.

Go further back to the way blood circulates in the heart. In 1533 Michael Servetus published a paper saying the heart pumped the blood, as opposed to previous western belief that blood flowed like the tides, which some religious people put mythical significance to, and made part of their superstitions. If blood was pumped, then it would in some way continue to assert the superiority of science in furthering the human quality of life. By the early to mid 1600's William Harvery showed that the heart pumped blood. Here is the interesting debate. In the very early years of the Common Era, many philosophers though that the heart had an active role in pumping blood, but if you read the history, it seems like there never any consensus prior to Harvey, and that the tide theory was a valid conjecture.

The point is that as advance as we think we are, we are only a few hundred years out of the supertitious muck in which we tortured and drowned little girls to prove they were not witches. In which we would not wash our hands to save children. Some us may see it as 500 years since Galileo saved us from the myths, but in practical terms it has not been nearly that long.

Re:We All Wish (4, Insightful)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775016)

They find one uncertainty or minor flaw in a study and suddenly volumes of studies -- even those unrelated -- can be thrown out and dismissed.

Tellingly, the same tactic is used by Creationists to try and discredit Evolution.

Re:We All Wish (2, Informative)

Feyshtey (1523799) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775094)

[quote]The more respected global warming papers have been published and accepted in peer reviewed journals. Point out any global warming denialist papers that have done the same.[/quote] That's a brilliant circle of logic.

There aren't any peer-reviewed publications because those who control the publications wont publish dissenting opinion, and you can prove there's no validity to the dissenting opinion by pointing to the lack of peer-reviewed publications....

Maybe, just maybe... (2, Funny)

PmanAce (1679902) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774324)

Maybe they were holding it wrong?

This won't stop the denialists (3, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774340)

One can never satisfy a conspiracy theorist.

Re:This won't stop the denialists (4, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774508)

Actually, you CAN, but it's something they are trying to cover up.

Re:This won't stop the denialists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774698)

Actually, you CAN, but it's something they are trying to cover up.

Is that what THEY told you?

Re:This won't stop the denialists (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774616)

It's not a conspiracy theory. It's an orthogonality problem. If you have a Medieval Warming Period (MWP) -- then temperatures *aren't* unprecedented and become mathematically decoupled from CO2. Mann's "Hockeystick" graph erased the MWP -- problem is, the approach is worthless, and while Mann may believe it (again not conspiracy theory), it isn't true. Thus we still have the MWP (and the RWP, the Minoan, and the Holocene optimum) -- all of which were warmer than today and none of which had AGW contributions.

A challenge to the geeks at slashdot -- read "HARRY_README.txt". If you believe a single thing that comes out of CRU after that, I've got a bridge to sell.

Justice Department investigated waterboarding.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774724)

Turned out waterboarding was not torture and the DOJ Lawyers did nothing wrong.

This proves it! (1)

RazorSharp (1418697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774356)

Conspiracy! The witch floated, he must be a witch!

Re:This proves it! (1)

Minion of Eris (1574569) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774386)

No, he wieghs less than a duck, therefor he is a witch!

So fox declares chickenhouse safe? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774364)

Well, OK then.

What a relief! (0, Offtopic)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774376)

The Climategate hotel can finally go back to business as usual. Woohoo!

It won't matter (1, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774396)

These are the same kind of people still insisting that Obama has not proven he is an American citizen because they do not have his birth certificate in their hands, that there isn't an unbroken documented chain of custody for that document and having its validity is sworn by Jesus himself.

Re:It won't matter (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774904)

nonsense. Skeptics aren't birthers (or truthers). How about a little research before you start with the ad. hom. Sure, there's bozo's on every bus (like oh, Joe Romm on the CAGW side), but people like Dr Pielke Sr, Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Spencer et. al. aren't them -- and the science isn't even close to "settled".

That group is the same as the Warmists (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774952)

These are the same kind of people still insisting that Obama has not proven he is an American citizen

Rather backwards; the Warmists are people trying to alarm us with something unproven, just as the idiotic Birthers and Truthers do as well.

All of them are posting things they simply cannot prove but trying to claim they are so.

And the response from the right will be... (2, Insightful)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774404)

... of course those stuffy liberal academic types at Penn St. cleared him. They're liberals! They're protecting their own!

Re:And the response from the right will be... (-1, Troll)

Winchestershire (1495475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774498)

To be honest, they are liberal academic types, so I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they did clear him to protect their own interests and government grant sources.

Re:And the response from the right will be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774792)

Ummm... PSU is a pretty consertive school, as far as universities are concerned.

Re:And the response from the right will be... (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774880)

Ummm... PSU is a pretty consertive school, as far as universities are concerned.

So still pretty damn liberal?

How charmingly naive (1)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774412)

No, no. This isn't the end. Not even close.

Illegally leaked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774444)

I simply find it interesting that the legality of the means used to procure the emails has any relevance here when you hardly hear about whether it's legal or not for a soldier to reveal war crimes or a government official to leak top secret information.

Taking down "the man" condones illegal behavior where challenging the credibility of a scientist or his research can only be done while obeying all laws?

Denialism uses the same arguments (2, Informative)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774462)

Creationists, climate change deniers, the tobacco industry ... they all use the same arguments. You can go through The Fine Art of Baloney Detection and find the examples right to hand.

At least the tobacco industry has mostly given up claiming smoking isn't bad for you. Now their shills are working for the climate change deniers. Yes, it's the same shills.

RationalWiki (unfinished) comparative example: A comparative guide to science denial [rationalwiki.org] .

Uh... no issues? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774464)

I seem to recall that
1.there were emails clearly indicating that they were politically involved, ie they'd exagerate to scare people. Hardly a scientific attitude
2.there was some pretty perverted data analysis to get to "expected results"

There's no denying there are climate changes going around. But
1.calling it man-made is complete speculation at the current point(yes it is, there's correlation at best, no proof of causality)
2.calling it warming is kind of fucked up since it's warming in some places, and cooling in others
3.no proof either that anything we do can change anything about it.


Oh and there is a non negligible part of the climate scientific community that *disagrees* with how things are being presented.

Climategate? (3, Insightful)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774476)

How about they study pollution and find a way to stop the billions of tonnes of garbage that still get dumped into our landfills and seas every year? Won't pollution and deforestation will kill and harm us a whole lot more than a few simple degree changes in our atmosphere?

I'm sorry, but isn't getting sick with dieases like cancer from a contaminated environment deserving more funding for research than climate research? Why are they getting all that attention and research dollars? Are we being played into fools to keep on looking up at the sky at the weather instead of the ground we're standing on and the quality of air we breath?

Re:Climategate? (2, Insightful)

linumax (910946) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774642)

Because we have too few researchers and can only focus on one area at a time?!

Re:Climategate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774756)

Pollution research: yep, that's garbage. Ok, more garbage. Yep, that's garbage. Ok, more garbage here, write that down. In other words, easy.

Trying to accurately measure global mean temperature? Ridiculously hard.

Getting political will to do anything about either? Also hard, but shouldn't be the job of researchers. Beyond their responsibilities as citizens, that is. The fact that scientists have had to become climate-change activists is a sad testament to the way the oil companies and friends have been able to control the debate.

Re:Climategate? (2, Informative)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774770)

Won't pollution and deforestation will kill and harm us a whole lot more than a few simple degree changes in our atmosphere?

Deforestation and pollution help cause climate change. And increases in global temperatures accelerate desertification, increasing deforestation. Increasing global temperatures also are predicted to cause significant droughts throughout the world. Significant droughts reduce the available amount of food. Reductions in the available amount of food mean starvation and/or wars to procure resources. And then there's the probable destruction of most coastal cities due to rising ocean levels.

The risk from starvation and violence related to the effects of climate change are far greater than the risk of getting cancer. The Pentagon (that bastion of squishy liberalism) has included climate change in their strategic planning documents as a key driver of security issues in the future.

So, to summarize, we shouldn't be dumping shit into the environment, but you should be more worried about changing the climate than possibly getting cancer from drinking from a plastic bottle, cause the consequences of that are liable to kill you the old fashioned way - through starvation and violence.

Re:Climategate? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32775048)

cause the consequences of that are liable to kill you the old fashioned way - through starvation and violence.

You couldn't make it up. This is the classic scare-mongering that us "denialists" are complaining about. Very few of us don't believe that humans are having *any* effect on the environment, but neither do most climate scientists believe the human effect is massive. The massive effects supposedly will come from the earth's feedback systems. This is the point that never seems to be adequately explained. The feedback systems involved in the earth are extremely complicated, and we still don't have a clear idea about which are positive and which are negative.

As someone who studied complex dynamic systems, I can tell you that even with the ability to make changes and test things in a real system, it's extremely difficult to make an accurate model that can be used to adequately predict the real model's response to stimuli. And these climate scientists have no way to experimentally test their models, no way to change variables in the real system. All they have is an extremely limited set of observations on which to make their predictions, the political response to which will impact (and is impacting) billions of people around the world.

Re:Climategate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774816)

You Sir, have absolutely no clue what you talk about.

Research is needed on different things. Climate research does not, by far, get the most of your tax dollars. Do some research on the numbers before you make unfounded claims that trap the mods in pushing the Insightful button.

Re:Climategate? (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774878)

Nope, we already have solutions to that, research funds should be spent on things for which we don't presently have an answer. Garbage is easy, don't buy so much useless disposable crap. And as for deforestation, that's also an easy one to figure out, don't buy things made by unsustainable logging.

Sure you then have to put into place policies to make it happen, but it's not exactly difficult. It's dealing with the morons that seem to think that there isn't a problem that represents the real challenge. And no amount of scientific research will deal with that.

Re:Climategate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32775036)

Thank you for mansplaining (using only incredulity!) how unworthy climate research is. I'm sure the experts have no idea what they're doing and can be easily corrected by someone's imagination (pfffffff, who needs to understand a topic?).

The headline belies the content... (4, Interesting)

ojintoad (1310811) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774484)

Nor will it stop the deniers at large. Expect the comments below to be filled with changing goalposts, poisoning of the well (something along the lines of "scientists shouldn’t be investigating scientists", even though what they were investigating was Dr. Mann’s scientific conduct), distractions, diversions, and just general noise — anything to bury the cold fact that the scientists involved with modeling global warming did not cheat, did not fake any data, and the bigger issue that climate change is real.

Come on. Stop with the bullshit and be hoenst. (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774494)

There is absolutely no way that humans are the only reason for climate change. Truly believing that we have doomed the Earth is ignorant at best, and fucking stupid at worst.

That being said, there is absolutely no way that humans haven't affected things somehow. We may not be causing the planet to implode, but that doesn't mean our actions have had zero effects. I point you in the direction of the Gulf if you need proof of that.

To sum it up: We aren't dooming the planet, but we aren't blameless either. Why is it so hard for people to understand that our actions affect the planet, but aren't necessarily wrecking it? I leave you with a quote:

"The planet is fine; the people are fucked." -George Carlin

Re:Come on. Stop with the bullshit and be hoenst. (2, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775018)

There is absolutely no way that humans are the only reason for climate change. Truly believing that we have doomed the Earth is ignorant at best, and fucking stupid at worst.

So?

That being said, there is absolutely no way that humans haven't affected things somehow. We may not be causing the planet to implode, but that doesn't mean our actions have had zero effects. I point you in the direction of the Gulf if you need proof of that.

Ok, good...

To sum it up: We aren't dooming the planet, but we aren't blameless either. Why is it so hard for people to understand that our actions affect the planet, but aren't necessarily wrecking it? I leave you with a quote:

Citation needed. And the conclusion doesn't follow. Just because birds ocassionally shit into the pool, and kids ocassionally pee into it doesn't mean you can empty a septic tank into it, then claim that the former two things mean it's not your fault it's a cesspool now.

"The planet is fine; the people are fucked." -George Carlin

Good quote, but doesn't favour your position. It's precisely what worries me. The planet will keep on existing, life will survive and even thrive in the most poisonous environments. [wikipedia.org] But just because some bacteria can live in such conditions doesn't mean I can, or even if I can find a way it doesn't mean it's going to be pleasant. And I'd rather have a pleasant life.

Re:Come on. Stop with the bullshit and be hoenst. (5, Insightful)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775074)

People on the right (not necessarily applying that label to you, mind) seem really hung up on the question of whether human action is causing global warming (those that are able to get past arguing over whether it's even happening, that is).

I'm not as interested in that question, frankly. The way I look at it is this: every single homo sapien that lives or has ever lived has been on this one planet. As far as we've been able to tell, homo sapiens is the only "intelligent" life that's ever evolved anywhere, certainly in local space. I'm of the mind that that's fairly important and worth preserving. And this planet is the only one we know of that can support homo sapien life on some of it's surface some of the time, and even then we're on a climactic knife-edge. A little bit of change in any direction and we have reasonable concerns that the whole semi-stable equilibrium we're in will skew off wildly. It looks like that's what happened on Mars, and there's no reason to assume it can't happen here.

Taking all that in mind, until we have a way to live and thrive off-planet, we absolutely have to do what we can to keep this planet healthy, where healthy is defined as "able to support a large human population". If Earth winds up looking like Mars, knowing the planet is just going through a normal geological cycle that we didn't cause is not much comfort. Not that there will be any complex life anywhere in the Sol system to mourn us.

The damage has already been done (4, Insightful)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774514)

As far as the lay public is concerned, the damage has already been done. They were already convinced that these were a bunch of self-serving interests promoting their cause, and the leaked emails affirmed it for them.

Re:The damage has already been done (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774624)

The real problem was never the leaked emails (as bad as the leaked emails look). The real problem was (and still is) that no one who doesn't 100% believe in anthropogenic climate change can get access to the data. If you can't get access to the data, you can't analyze the results. If no one but the proponents can look at the data, then it's not science. It's a religion. Worship global warming and you will get access. Doubt and you will be denied. That's not science, and the results shouldn't be treated as such.

Re:The damage has already been done (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774990)

Important caveat: the data on tree rings (in the Sudan? I forget, and I'm too lazy to google.) Access to the data has been controversial, because according to academic etiquette, the data in question is controlled by Russian scientists. But the tree ring data is not really part of the main case for climate change. In fact, the mystery for those studying the tree ring data was how to get the temperature data to match the overwhelming evidence from other sources. That's where these "tricks" come into play---they are models which attempt to make things consistent.

Just a bit of bias there (4, Interesting)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774580)

You article author says this about himself:

"Since Day 1 of this I have been calling it a non-event, a manufactured controversy by global warming denialists trying to make enough noise to drown out any real talk on this topic. "

Hardly an unbiased observer. I, for one, really hope that there isn't anything to 'ClimateGate' but if you've read anything about it at all, you know that the problem wasn't the emails, but in the leaked data sets and source code. The emails show typical petty human behaviour. The data and source code suggest the possibility of cherry picking of data, and mathematical modeling to reach a predetermined conclusion. That is what worries me, but I admit I don't have the expertise to make a determination on my own.

Sunshine and openness is only way to ever end this debate over global warming. All research, results, and data sets should be publicly available. Is that really too much to ask?

Necron69

Re:Just a bit of bias there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774808)

The only way to end this debate is to kill all humans.

Re:Just a bit of bias there (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774840)

No, the leaked data has the location of robot Hitler's secret underground lair where he waits and bides his time for his chance to get his revenge on the world. And the code has the cure for cancer, proves P=NP, and also has the complete source of Duke Nukem Forever. And I have exactly as much support for my claims as you do for yours. Though mine won't get modded up, as they're not Slashdot's favored flavor of crazy.

Re:Just a bit of bias there (3, Insightful)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774922)

Yes...openess will always allow dissent and that is not allowed. I believe that the earth is warming and also that man has contributed to the warming trend. Having said that I find the nutiness on the side of climate change to be as bad as that against. I find it strange that the "enlightened" believers in science can see the ridiculous behavior on the side of the deniers and ignore that same kind of behavior in their own camp. I've heard some of the most ridiculous claims by climate change advocates about how we're all going to be dead in a decade or two, how we'll see the oceans rise to cover almost all the land masses and other extreme nonsense. Yes the earth is warming, yes we should try to alter how we do things to reduce our contribution to the warming, No we don't have to destroy our entire way of life to do it. It's not the facts I reject, it's the extremism that says I have to give up my quality of life or we'll all die.

Re:Just a bit of bias there (1, Troll)

Scareduck (177470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774998)

No kidding. ALL -- every last one -- of the "investigations" subsequent to the release of the Climategate data were whitewashes. This one is no different.

University panel declares university innocent (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774618)

News at 11.

Hardly an independent panel. And really, they did say he was incorrect to not have real statisticians working on the results - which invalidates much of the published work.

You can say he was cleared, but that's only of purposeful intent to mislead - what the report is basically dancing around is that he misled through poor application of scientific principals. And isn't that what really matters here, that the scientific method is carefully applied instead of fitting data to a pre-concieved conclusion?

Re:University panel declares university innocent (4, Informative)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774822)

Universities regularly find faculty guilty of various forms of misconduct. Check out the Ward Churchill case, for example. Or any number of the recent data falsification scandals in Physics.

It's in the university's best interests to appear to support honest investigators. Not doing so reduces applications, donations, and ability to land grants.

The best inetrests (0, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775026)

It's in the university's best interests to appear to support honest investigators

Ahh, but in this case it's by far in the best interest of the university to be able to keep the Global Warming money train arriving on time at the university station, since that is such a large lump sum of money to work with...

That is to say, you can't bring up monetary incentives as proof of accuracy without noting that there's a lot of money going both ways - which is true in the meta-sense of the global warming debate. There are literally trillions of dollars, not to mention the very notion of who controls industry, at stake in this discussion.

Re:The best inetrests (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775086)

The money train will stop, not just for Mann, but quite probably for a lot of Penn State researchers, if it turns out that the Penn State investigation was not doing due diligence and lied about the findings. So I again say: it's in Penn State's best interest to come out with the truth, not lie.

Re:University panel declares university innocent (1)

jfoobaz (1844794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775078)

Hardly an independent panel.

Why? Because they're academics? Unless you have a specific reason to find them other than independent, you're committing the logical fallacy of poisoning the well.

they did say he was incorrect to not have real statisticians working on the results - which invalidates much of the published work.

That's incorrect. The conclusions are in no way automatically invalidated because a statistician was not working on the results. Non-statisticians do statistical analysis of data all the time, and produce valid results. This is not to say that statisticians should not review the analysis for problems, but to say the results are automatically invalid is stupid.

And isn't that what really matters here, that the scientific method is carefully applied instead of fitting data to a pre-concieved conclusion?

No, what matters here is if the conclusions from the analysis of the data are validly drawn. Science works to find support for theories, which are pre-conceived. Let me repeat that - having something you'd like to show by experiment and analysis is key to science.

It's funny that you seem so willing to accuse Mann of doing sloppy work, given the clear biases in your own thinking about the matter.

And Cuccinelli will go .. la la la can't hear you (2, Insightful)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774626)

The VA State Attorney General still has his own investigation (which TFA mentions) which is supposed to root out Mann's monetary fraud when he was at UVa. Yet this is the same AG who claims his own anti-Healthcare lawsuit [timesdispatch.com] against the Federal government won't cost the state more than the $350 filing fee. Somehow I don't think that he gets the irony of this situation.

And yes I do realize that this comment is more fitting for Craigslist than /.

Illegally Leaked? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774636)

It still bugs me greatly to not see more complaints from this crowd about the constantly used term "illegally leaked" to describe the release of these emails. Rarely, if ever, do I see that term used when describing what Wikileaks does. This has nothing to do with which side you take on anthropogenic global warming. Sorry just my little rant about something that I believe is used to deflect attention away from these researchers that used very questionable tactics (not talking about whether data was correct or not and etc) to discredit or block people with a different political agenda than themselves.

News stories were retracted, as well (4, Interesting)

2muchcoffeeman (573484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774640)

The story in The Sunday Times of London that kicked all this off has been fully retracted [newsweek.com] with several uses of the phrase "We apologise." The German newspaper that reported that the IPCC erred in its assessment of climate impact in Africa also retracted that story [wissenslogs.de] .
 
Speaking as a journalist, the most damning phrase I see in The Times' retraction is this one (boldfaced emphasis mine):

A version of our article that had been checked with Dr Lewis underwent significant late editing and so did not give a fair or accurate account of his views on these points. We apologise for this.

So what really happened there? It sounds suspiciously like somebody high up at The Times or News Corporation didn't like the point of view presented and changed it to fit his or her own worldview, facts be damned.

And in related news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774670)

An investigatory committee at Vatican City has formally cleared the Catholic Church of any sexual misconduct.

No coal, oil, gas, now!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774692)

Climate change is real. We must get off of fossil fuels immediately!!

Move along (1)

tiny69 (34486) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774728)

Obi-Wan: [with a small wave of his hand] You don't need to see his identification.
Stormtrooper: We don't need to see his identification.
Obi-Wan: These aren't the droids you're looking for.
Stormtrooper: These aren't the droids we're looking for.
Obi-Wan: He can go about his business.
Stormtrooper: You can go about your business.
Obi-Wan: Move along.
Stormtrooper: Move along... move along.

Independent (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774730)

"You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

'Science' as religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774820)

A lot of people around here mock religion but blindly follow and believe anything they perceive to be 'scientific.' If the 'scientific method', as commonly understood, was actually adhered to that may not be a problem but since it rarely is it's a big problem (even a bigger problem than meddling fundamentalists, IMO). For all of you 'science is my religion' people:

- Take a STS (science and technology studies) class or two. Not the easiest thing to find but it's a growing field.

- Do a little research on the implications of peer review for publication and grant funding - there is a great deal of academic literature on the topic.

- Read a technical paper and ask yourself if, a) the 'scientific method' was followed and b) if the conclusions represent the data. You'll be surprised at both in *many* cases.

Anyone using the term 'denialist' is an instant dumb-ass. Look up 'Nullius in verba' and learn how science is supposed to be conducted, then think about the problems surfaced by the above suggestions.

So...a bunch of academics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32774884)

...who have everything to lose if the notion of academic credibility on climate change is not upheld, have sat and heard evidence during a series of secret meetings where perjury is not a punishable offense, and have released a statement that 'everything is okay'.

Yes, let's end the debate now.

Follow the money, people. (2, Insightful)

techvet (918701) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774964)

Mann gets millions from NSF and Penn State doesn't want that to stop. What a shock they exonerated him! Once again, the scientific community shows that when it all comes down to feasting on taxpayer money, they don't let the truth get in the way. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704541004575010931344004278.html?mod=rss_opinion_main [wsj.com]

Re:Follow the money, people. (2, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | more than 4 years ago | (#32775030)

And if the NSF discovers that Mann was committing fraud and Penn State did nothing... what do you think the NSF will do to not just Mann's funding, but everyone else's at Penn State? It's in Penn State's best interest to be extra careful over allegations of fraud (especially very public ones that the NSF is certainly aware of), not try to wave it away.

Your conspiracy theory, while I'm sure it lets you ignore contrary evidence well, doesn't make any sense.

I'm disappointed here... (0, Troll)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32774978)

Come on now this story has been up how long and nobody has yet blamed this directly on Obama? Clearly the climategate - and global warming itself - is all part of his great planned socialist takeover of the entire solar system, right?
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?