back to article Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP

Parliament was misled and needs to re-examine the Climategate affair thoroughly after the failure of the Russell report, a leading backbench MP told us today. "It's not a whitewash, but it is inadequate," is Labour MP Graham Stringer's summary of the Russell inquiry report. Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons …

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  1. Bruce MacDonald
    Flame

    Get back to Lindsay Lohan ...

    Here's a question for all of you out there, whether you are in the 'skeptic' camp or the 'hippie-tree-hugger' camp: What would it take for you to change your mind?

    Seriously, what would it take? If you consider yourself a 'skeptic' (rather than a denialist) you are implicitly saying that you could be convinced but you haven't heard that convincing argument yet. Similarly, if you are in the tree-hugger camp, you could (presumably) be convinced if someone provided the appropriate scientific evidence.

    To illustrate: someone much smarter than me once said he would be convinced of the falsity of evolution if anyone finds mammal fossils in the precambrian.

    If you say that agw doesn't exist or won't be a problem or whatever, what would it take to convince you?

    If you are convinced of agw etc, what evidence would it take to make you a non-believer?

    Flame icon: open to interpretation.

    1. Luther Blissett

      Malthusians go to the head of the queue

      I'm of the view that CO2 plays a very small part in a process involving the solar system which, over the geological time scale, is not well understood. So I am convinced of AGW and the behaviour of molecules at infra-red wavelengths - more so than of the claim say that a butterfly in the Andes can cause a monsoon in India (coo).

      But my answer is more honest than your question. What you are better asking is - how much are you prepared to stump up for your belief? And - given the concept of opportunity cost - would you be happy to mortgage your grandchildren? Someone else's grandchildren?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Simples

      I will be convinced with whichever climate theory shows the strongest correlation on the strongest evidence. A correlation is a good start but it isn't enough, we need to know what all the factors do, and roughly how they interact.

      With the greenhouse theory most of the feedbacks are pure guesswork and one-way. They admit they know bugger all about aerosols or very much about solar wind. That isn't science.

      Some theories like Svensmark's map better over long time scales than manmade greenhouse, which is out of sync at the moment and can offer no explanation of where the heat is supposed to be.

    3. Captain Save-a-ho
      Boffin

      Here's what it always takes

      Skeptic or not, any truly scientific research must be reproducible and open to peer review. CRU failed on both accounts. Personally, I consider myself a skeptic, but not because I don't want to believe in a human cause for climate change. I'm a skeptic because I don't just believe what I'm told, but want to examine facts for myself (as much as I have the ability to).

      In the case of the Climate Change debate, anyone willing to stand up with a hypothesis has to be prepared for skepticism on all fronts, including for, against, and neutral to Global Climate Change. That's not the view of a person wanting to push a political agenda (which is really the problem with the current debate). That's the view of the topic through glasses tinted with the Scientific Method. Without an open debate of all parts of the study (assumption, data collection, interpretation, revise assumptions, and repeat over and over again), there is no real debate, just people spouting political rhetoric in hopes of being heard over the rest of the idiots in the crowd.

    4. JimC

      I'd like to se some decent science

      Historical Not different ways of estimating historical temperatures being picked and chosen and then stuffed in a single graph

      A sensible explanation of why the medieval warm period was a strictly local phenomenum and evidence of other such local events happening.

      Reproducible tests

      the trouble is decent science may not be possible due to the lack of data...

    5. Yamal Dodgy Data
      WTF?

      Never have the useful idiots been so idiotic

      @Bruce MacDonald: So in a nutshell, your really saying "mummy make him stop talking about it". Now where's that Grauniad reader lynching Andrew Orlowski icon.

    6. heystoopid
      Boffin

      G.R.A.C.E

      A satellite called G.R.A..C.E. , tells all with icy cold precision of large numbers and that one should not confuse floating seasonal sea ice with that which is on land.

    7. peter_dtm
      Headmaster

      A good start

      Would be to have the original data & the methods used to create the hypothesis.

      That's just basic science.

      No original data - no hypothesis - that's just basic science too

    8. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Alert

      I'll be satisfied ...

      ... when someone can tell me why I should be attempting to change a natural process (climate change), and why, and - most importantly - how. Of course, that is not going to happen, because the planet is not a static system. That doesn't mean that I don't want us to move to more efficient means of power production for its own sake, or that I don't want to do something about real pollutants such as mercury and other actual nasties.

      I am sick and tired of being preached at by people with some sort of guilt complex who believe that anything we do will stop climate change. We can't.

  2. Swarthy Silver badge
    Go

    Hardly much at all

    When the climate is understood to the point that accurate weather predictions can be made >10 in advance, then I will be prepared to believe that they have an inkling of what will occur in >10 years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Weather does not equal climate

      Why do you think it does?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Weather does not equal climate

        Yes, OK, but substitute "climate prediction" for "weather prediction" and you have exactly the same point being made in terms that presumably don't offend your sense of pedantry.

        In the same vein, I seem to recall that some wag once remarked that they'd believe predictions for the next hundred years when the same models could predict the previous hundred years as well. At the time the remark was made (early 90s) it was spot on. Now we find that we don't even *know* the last 100 years terribly well because CRU has deleted the data.

        1. JonHendry

          Climate prediction is easy

          "Yes, OK, but substitute "climate prediction" for "weather prediction" and you have exactly the same point being made in terms that presumably don't offend your sense of pedantry."

          Climate prediction is easy. We can predict the average temperature of January 2015 in Moscow with pretty good accuracy, if we assume no persistent temperature rise in the meantime. Seasons are very predictable. There might be an unusually warm or cold day here or there, but a freak warm day in January in Moscow doesn't mean you start saying that's representative of January.

          Likewise, we can predict that climate generally gets warmer as you approach the equator and cooler as you get farther away.

          Weather is hard because it's noisy, changing day by day and hour by hour. Climate is more of a running average, which smooths out the variation and thus becomes more predictable.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Swarthy

      As others have pointed out climate <>weather.

      However with current weather forecasts dropping below random guesses within 5 days a 10 day (You did not provide units for your ">10" item) would be a *major* improvement on the state of the art, implying an increase in sensor density (and/or better placement) and (I suspect) a *much* tighter regression analysis of current models to identify *systematic* errors in ranges and accuracy of variables currently being measured and the possible identification of variables which have *never* been measured.

      I would love to seen some "Clean room" general circulation models built which recognise we live on an oblately spheroidal Earth preferably with triangular area elements (so things don't get silly at the poles)and the best available data, chemistry and physics models but *not* built by some group with a funding interest in "proving" it takes place and benchmarked against say the last 5-10 years.

      Weather and climate modeling is tricky. The sensor net is *grossly* distorted and in some cases the readings seem to have been averaged *across* sites. 1 sensor for 1000s of sq. miles of the US? I don't think so.

    3. h4rm0ny
      FAIL

      Re: Hardly much at all.

      The argument that we can't predict the weather ten days in advance means it's silly to think we can predict events a hundred years in the future is a very flawed argument. If I give you a coin to toss (I'll want it back, mind), can you predict whether it will come up heads or tails? No? But if I tell you to toss it a thousand times, can you predict that you'll get something close-ish to 50:50? Yes. Long term trends are often easier to predict than short term outcomes.

      Now just because some people tend to see an argument on one side or the other and assume a load of other arguments are made, I'll say that I'm actually a skeptic of AGW. But I'll shoot down poor logic and analogies wherever I find them.

      1. Shakje

        @h4rm0ny

        The coin toss is actually even better, because the further in the future you predict the 50:50 result, the closer it will be to 50:50.

      2. Tequila Joe

        Bit more to it than a coin toss

        Nothing to do with analogies - lookup the Lorenz Attractor if you're interested.

  3. Anomalous Cowturd
    Boffin

    Old boy network still alive and living in East Anglia. News and pictures at ten...

    Seems to me that what we all need is a little truth, openness, and humility.

    What we keep getting is bitching between the opposing factions, with a fair bit of self-congratulatory back slapping from the vested interests involved.

    Green taxes are just an excuse for getting more money out of us, on the pretence of saving the planet "FOR THE KIDDIES!" Money that we have to spend. We are all just slaves to the machine that is big business.

    Consumerism kills planets. Probably.

    It's not rocket surgery.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    A Massive Fraud

    But the establishment has closed ranks and has no intention of listening to it's critics. Thus, has it ever been. With government media in the form of Auntie all too willing to resolutely tow the line (gotta protect that license fee in these hard times, after all) I really can't see how legitimate critics of AGW, the IPCC and ClimateGate can get their message heard clearly.

    Slowly, and before our very eyes, the pro-AGW establishment, after a nasty little scare to their well-laid plans, are realigning media and comment back 'on message'.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Very Little

    I'm on the fence as I haven't read anywhere near enough actual scientific papers on the subject.

    I am however fervently against pseudo-scientists who spout whatever drivel will shore up their preconceived notion of the "truth" whatever that "truth" might be ; it's doublethink and it cheapens science. Talk papers or fuck off.

    I'm with you on the evolution comment. Science is always in flux. There ain't no truth, only models.

  6. Apocalypse Later

    Not science

    That's the point. Science investigates using the scientific method. These guys did not, period. I don't have to take any theory seriously when it is not supported by scientific evidence. I don't even need to argue about it. It's just guff.

    Anyone who thinks these guys did science doesn't understand what science consists of. That doesn't surprise me, as we have now had several generations of people that have been indoctrinated rather than schooled.

    1. Rogerborg
      FAIL

      SCIENCE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY

      "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."

      Because. That's. How. Science. Works.

      If this ecomental honestly doesn't understand that scientific method is ALL ABOUT fully disclosing your data and method and challenging hostile researchers try and disprove your hypothesis, then his work is utterly worthless. The more hostile the challenge, the better for you.

      If this charlatan has ever received so much as a penny of my tax money, I want it back. I want it back NOW.

      1. Stephen Jenner
        Black Helicopters

        Alchemists

        These people aren't scientists though...

        These people are mediaeval alchemists, and they are attempting to turn a (mind boggling) buck for the sake of their paymasters in (world) government.

        Global warming has been happening for the last couple of hundred years, and the "climate" has "changed" throughout the history of the planet, but this exercise is nothing to do with the weather.

        It's all about control and coercion.

  7. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Flame

    You want *absolute* truth?

    Read the holy book of your chosen deity.

    You want the best known (as of right now) model of the physical world. Do Science.

    But *if* you choose that option make sure you see *all* the caveats, uncertainty limits, gaps in theory etc.

    1. cartoonasaurus
      FAIL

      I'm not sharing with YOU - you're a JERK!

      WHY are you a "jerk?" Because you have caveats, you will point out major uncertainties, major gaps in theories, understandings, etc... In summation, any NON BELIEVER is a jerk...

      Sound familiar? A jerk is a heretic. And heretics, why, they dare to question the holy research. Well, if this were science, it would be fine, but clearly we've jumped that shark long ago...

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Thumb Up

        @cartoonasaurus

        "I'm not sharing with YOU - you're a JERK! "

        And in fact they were *not* being asked to share, merely to make available a copy of the data.

        But your point is *very* well made.

        Transparency of both the data and the methods used to derive the hockey stick graph (remember as a *derived* product the procedure is *every* bit as important as the raw info)

        1. Shakje

          They clearly were idiots...however...

          The arguments from the sceptics side (while there are reasonable people out there) seems to have an unhealthy dash of creationist-style angry people. I've spent a fair bit of time arguing with creationists, and the way that they "prove" creation is by finding "flaws" in evolutionary theory and then jumping on it and saying it's proof of creation. Ignoring that huge leap of logic, most of the flaws that they point out are things which have been argued down over at least the last 100 years, and shown to be fallacies or errors.

          Let's just remember this, there's a mass of evidence for man-made climate change, and picking out one or two points and suggesting that it means there is no such thing doesn't invalidate the whole theory. The important thing now is working out what the scale of the problem is, and not whether it exists, to see if we need to do something about it instead of misleading the public about a long-term scientific consensus.

  8. David Pollard

    E-mail deletions? Availability?

    Whatever may have happened at East Anglia, information seems to have disappeared on the other side of the, er, debate.

    The 'Discussion, calculations and references' appendix to the double-page spreads that Christopher Monckton wrote for the Telegraph a while ago, 'Apocalypse Cancelled', seems to have disappeared entirely from the internet. Copies had been around after the Telegraph dropped it, but these now seem to have gone too.

    As an example of its relevance, it's here that Monckton asserted, in evidence for the Medieval Warm Period, "In 1421 a Chinese Imperial Navy squadron sailed right round the Arctic and found no ice anywhere."

    The equations with which he purports to show that carbon dioxide does not cause significant climate change some may find equally outrageous and more indicative of his lack of comprehension of basic science than anything else.

    The disappearance of Monckton's 40-page warm-refs.pdf may not have much effect on climate science but it would be a shame if this remarkable work was to be lost to future commentators.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      and?

      What was the Antarctic like? N.W. America? Central Europe/Asia?

      This is global climate change, not merely regional.

      cf. 'The Little Ice Age'

      Also 'there's no proof that smoking causes cancer' which is what same advertising agencies that are now saying 'there's not proof that AGW is taking place' told us 40 years ago.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Alien

      'Lord' Monckton

      I'd prefer to listen to someone who has some expertise in the topic, rather than some looney who's claim to fame is that he managed to copy shorthand at 100 words per minute at 100% accuracy to earn his Diploma in Journalistic Studies,

      Its all a left-wing plot he tells us, he exposed the dastardly plot hatched at the Copenhagen conference for an unelected government to take over the world, and saved us all from the end of the free market and unlimited taxes.

      However I would like to congratulate him on his treatments - "Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI."

      Man from Mars logo - because he makes more sense.

  9. James Pickett

    Non sequitur

    "Ron Oxburgh.. did not reassess the science, and now says it was never in his remit. "

    So why was his team called the 'Scientific Assessment Panel', I wonder?

    According to the UAE's website, Oxburgh's panel was set up 'to examine important elements of the published science', but since they signally failed to comment on it, one can only assume that when they looked, it wasn't actually there...

  10. Stiggy
    Boffin

    The religion trundles on...

    So, the science was shielded from peer review, and the subsequent enquiry was a closed door affair.

    Business as usual from the cult of carbon, then.

  11. Jim Black 1
    Linux

    On Climategate

    Questions for the AGW crowd. According to the paleoclimatic record, there have been multiple periods of ice age followed by warm periods followed by ice age .... roughly about 110,000 years per cycle, over the last two million years. Lots of perturbations along the way but the cycle is roughly the same. Why did those cycles occur? Was Malankovitch correct? According to the best evidence, such as glacier marks on bedrock in Central Park of New York City for example, the northern part of the United States was covered in glaciers until about 10,000 years ago. Why the glaciers? Why did the glaciers melt? If the glaciers were present when Neanderthal Man was active in Europe, did his campfires emit enough CO2 to cause the earth to start warming?

    I see SCIENTIFIC evidence indicating the many cycles of heating and cooling, which makes it very difficult to convince me that there is anything mankind can do to stop or change the current cycle of warming. About the only climatic data today that I can have faith in is the sea temperatures measured by satellites - the ground units are so often affected by the sensors being badly placed the data is not reliable within any reasonable measure of accuracy. All of us are familiar with the phrase "garbage in garbage out."

    As another commenter has already noted, the current AGW effort is a political subjugation movement, not a scientific effort, at least according to my definition of scientific. After the three investigations of the EAU climate activity, I doubt there is a pint of whitewash left in all England.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: whitewash

      That's okay, I understand Micheal Mann is getting together an emergency shipment to be airlifted in tonight.

      ------

      Most of the time I love my ala mater, but Mann is clearly a low point.

  12. PhilK
    Grenade

    Climate change is inevitable

    I'm all for climate change, after all the climate hasn't exactly remained the same even during recorded history. So why are we so foolish as to think that it is going to stay the same as it was 100 years ago? I have a problem with people who are of the opinion "The climate is changing only due to what we do" because while yes there are demonstratable cause and effect scenarios around the world where we have messed stuff up locally, mother nature does more to change the climate globally than we ever could (unless we launched every nuke simultaneously). But then when has logic and reason ever prevailed in the circles where decisions are made?

    Do everything in moderation and don't be an ass, that way the world will be around for a long time for the coming generations to enjoy.

  13. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    "A leading backbench MP"

    What exactly is one of these? Do you have house we-don't-actually-do-anything leaders in UK politics? I'm not good enough to be given responsibility but they still think I'm swell? I'm a backbencher but I crave attention?

  14. Wilco 1
    Thumb Down

    Another straw clutched by climate change deniers

    It's funny to see how desperate climate change deniers are becoming. Rather than doing their own research and come up with hard evidence to support their irrational beliefs(*), all they can do is claim conspiracies where there are none. Now that 3 different independent reports conclude there was nothing wrong with the behaviour of the climate scientists and their science (beyond a few minor things), it is of course a huge conspiracy and white wash!

    Show me some actual science that proves the ice caps are not melting, that glaciers are not retreating faster than ever before, that the average temperatures are not increasing (with actual sattelite and weather station data), that sea level is not rising, and then people might actually take you guys seriously.

    (*) Irrational because it should be 100% obvious to anyone with a brain that we humans have an enormous impact on Earth, including its climate. Let's see, we're poisoning the sea, we're polluting the air, we're burning the forests, we're killing many species, we're changing the albedo with our sprawling cities and roads, we're digging up and shamelessly burning up our natural resources. And all that has absolutely no effect whatsoever? Just like how we had absolutely nothing to do with creating the ozone hole?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      @Wilco 1

      "Now that 3 different independent reports conclude there was nothing wrong with the behaviour of the climate scientists"

      Neither of those statements is correct. None of the investigations appears to have been "independent" in the sense most people would understand that term. The ICO report *was* critical of their behavior toward handling FOI requests.

      "and their science (beyond a few minor things), it is of course a huge conspiracy and white wash!"

      *None* of the investigations has considered the science underpinning the software (and there seems to be a *lot* of software, developed in a *very* slipshod fashion. I'd guess *any* Reg reader who was paid to develop software and delivered it to CRU "Standards" would not last a month before being fired) which they used to create their conclusion graph. That alone makes their methodology *very* suspect. If challenged to produce the data *real* scientists do so.

      "Show me some actual science that proves the ice caps are not melting,"

      That should read *net* melting, as ice caps recede and *expand* annually. I had failed to factor in that the Artic and Antartic ice caps have different seasons at the *same* time. I'm not sure if some climate change scientists didn't either.

      " that glaciers are not retreating faster than ever before,"

      Depends if they are sliding over a rubble strewn land mass or sliding over water does it not?

      " that the average temperatures are not increasing (with actual sattelite and weather station data), that sea level is not rising, and then people might actually take you guys seriously."

      Both seem in part to be matters of interpretation..

      I actually believe that AGW *is* happening. However the way this "research" has been conducted (and the software used to process the raw data and hence *generate* the conclusions) has more in common with the development of various systems using "secret" encryption systems. The *unstated* but pretty arrogant assumptions of "Trust us, we are *experts*. We can't show you the data or what software we used to process to get this result but *trust* us, its pretty bad for the human race.

      *Real* science does not *need* trust. This issue is *too* big to be steered by a *very* small group who seem to owe their influence over their control of the raw data and their interpretation of it.

      BTW I once did a rough calculation of the energy in a hurricane. UK generating capacity is about 50GW. A hurricane releases roughly 1000 GW. The energy is often distributed but the Moon and the Sun inject a *lot* of power into the Earth's weather machine.

      However if you would like to lighten the environmental load on the planet in a useful way please feel free to end your life ASAP and arrange for your remains to be anaerobically digested, thus lowering the energy burden of the rest of us.

      The rest of us will continue to look at other ways to deal with the situation.

    2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    3. lawman
      Thumb Down

      Show me some actual science that proves the ice caps are not melting

      If it was given to you then you'd only deny it.

      AGW is a religion. And people believe what they want to believe.

  15. Miklos Zagoni

    Problems with IPCC 2007 energy budget

    Please find below links

    - to a paper pointing out several problems in the IPCC 2007 energy budget,

    - to official emails proving that the observed data fit to the proposed new values, and

    - to a recent publication showing that the updated distribution supports the idea of a stationary greenhouse effect in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    http://miskolczi.webs.com/kt97_comments.pdf

    http://miskolczi.webs.com/mails.htm

    http://miskolczi.webs.com

    Yours sincerely,

    Miklos Zagoni

    physicist

    Budapest, Hungary

    miklos.zagoni@gmail.com

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "Why [..] make the data available to you, when your aim is to [..] find something wrong with it."

    Uh, well maybe, just maybe, because that is the scientific method ?

    Publishing your results if fine, but it is meaningless if you do not publish the data as well as the method, because that is what allows fellow scientists to evaluate your results, reproduce them, and validate them.

    Science is not an "I have the answer" sort of affair. Science is a "This is what I found based on this data with this method, check it out" affair. Collaborative.

    That the CRU used such a moronic attitude to sharing its data speaks volumes about the reliability of its personnel and its conclusions.

    I refuse to consider anyone in the CRU as a scientist worthy of the name.

    I refuse to give in to the current GW hysteria as long as such shenanigans continue to take place.

    If it is true, then science can validate it. GW should not be a religion, it should be fact. Facts are established by data, not by spouting dogma and covering up or tweaking data to suit the conclusion.

  17. JohnG

    Champions of climate change

    The problems start when people are hired to be champions of a particular theory, viewpoint or policy. If people are hired with the express purpose of proving or justifying a particular policy, you are hardly likely to end up with unbiased research.

    Given that policies to prevent or slow climate change are likely to have a substantial impact on everyone, there is a need to have genuine unbiased research as justification for the pain that will follow. Instead it has been turned into a religion of believers and non-believers, with many prepared to bend or suppress the truth to suit their own beliefs.

  18. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Phil Jones is not a scientist. He's an author at best.

    He asked "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."

    The answer is simply "Because that is Science". If you can't let other people try to find something wrong with your data, method and conclusions, then you are not doing Science.

    Sir Russel was clearly incompetent, because that single line is highly indicative that he has insufficient "rigour and honesty as scientists".

    (Unfortunately we don't have context, which might make it less damning)

    The concept of Science is "Publish or be damned". (Note the or!)

    If you don't publish your methods and data for others to check and (maybe) find problems with, then your conclusions are quite simply, bunk.

  19. Physics Grad

    Jones is a fraud

    In 2004 Jones had declined to give out data that would have permitted independent scrutiny of their work, explaining that "We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."

    ------------------------

    Well Jones - because this challenge of your results is exactly what real peer review is supposed to be. If you are afraid of this challenge then either you are not a real scientist, or you know that you are a fraud and you have something to hide.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear

    Quite a good summary of scientific principles when applied to CRU, I think. But clearly they did very much fear having their methods examined by others. Whatever else it covers up, the report makes that quite clear. Indeed, CRU went to extraordinary lengths, perhaps even verging on illegality, to hide their methods and data.

    To a scientist, that is all that matters. Clearly they have something to fear, and that something is that others may show their methods to be inadequate. No true scientist should ever publish results believing that their methods are inadequate and fail to declare that fact, never mind try to prevent others from examining the facts. That is like an auditor refusing to publish accounts; it immediately tells everyone that they are likely to have been falsified.

    This is one of the most heinous crimes a scientist can commit, because scrutiny of scientific results by peers is the ONLY thing that separates science from superstition and other forms of bigotry. The only defence I can see for CRU is that they did not understand that simple fact, but that alone should prevent them from ever receiving another research grant. In reality, I fear their motivations were more sinister than mere ignorance of the way science works.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Desperation.

    So the inquiry was not a whitewash but needs to be re-done --- until he gets the answer he wants I presume. So very ZaNuLabour!

  22. Wilco 1

    @John Smith 19

    Questioning the independence of the investigators is grasping straws. The claimed links are circumstantial at best, and implying that a scientist couldn't do an impartial investigation of other scientists is like rejecting all science. Who would you believe then? It seems to me that no matter who would be doing the investigation, if it doesn't conclude that the scientists are frauds and climate change is a conspiracy then the investigation must be a fraud too...

    Yes there was some criticism of the behaviour of the scientists involved regarding of the FOI requests. Some were hounded by a few persistent sceptics (who would often misrepresent the information they were given). So while it was wrong, I'd have to admit, I'd likely do the same if someone kept messing me about like that. Regarding the data they didn't release, much of the data wasn't theirs to release. If I sign a confidentiality agreement and get access to certain data or info as a result, I cannot release it to a 3rd party no matter how many FOI requests I get for it. The good news is that as a result, the original data is now more freely available.

    I can certainly believe that the software is a mess, but that doesn't mean it must be incorrect. What I have seen is a few snippets which were claimed to be fraudulently adjusting the data. These turned out to be part of the code adjusting the axis of a graph. As I understand it, their science/papers were not part of the investigation as these are already published and peer reviewed. Nobody (apart from the sceptics of course) has suggested there is anything wrong with the science.

    As for ice caps and glaciers, climate scientists know about the seasons and the southern hermisphere. They also know about the solar cycle, the wobbles in Earth's trajectory and many other factors I don't even know about. Insinuating that they would not have thought of this in the 20 or so years they have done research is insulting at best. Note that satellites can accurately measure the area of land and sea ice, so it's hard to argue nothing is going on. We also have old photos of various glaciers which show how much they have retreated over many decades. I recently read an article about the tree line moving further upwards and northwards, again done by comparing old photos and films (note seasons don't matter here). This is not subject to interpretation but hard evidence one simply cannot refute.

    I totally agree we need to be able to trust the science and scientists, and that does mean making the research more open. However I am sure that these 3 investigations and whichever follow will do little to silence the conspiracy theorists. Some people, and that includes the author of these sceptic articles, will take any quote out of context and simply write a story around it that fits their beliefs. Despite the leaked emails and investigations, there doesn't appear to be a shred of evidence that these scientist did anything wrong or dishonest. This is the ClimateGate scandal that wasn't (various newspapers have already published retractions after making baseless accusations and claims). If anything it shows the sceptics will do anything to try to discredit climate scientists they don't agree with.

    You're quite right that there is a lot of energy in climate systems compared to the amount we use. This kind of argument is often used to claim that we humans have an insiginifcant effect. First of all, the amount of electricity we use is only a fraction of our total energy use. Secondly, many of our destructive activities are accumulative as well as accelerating. So even if say our CO2 production in a given year is tiny compared to the total CO2 being in circulation, we are not only producing more every year than nature can recycle (so it accumulates), but worse, the amount we emit increases every year. To top it off we actively reduce the amount of carbon nature can recycle by burning down the rainforests. If that doesn't seem like a problem then I guess nothing will...

    While you might think you're funny, 7 billion people (still growing, and all wanting their own car, tv etc) is a huge problem. The earth cannot sustain our current population indefinitely - some estimates show that in 1999 we already exceeded Earth's carrying capability by 20%. The overshoot means that future carrying capability will be far less due to destruction of our environment.

    This post was previously rejected by a moderator, presumably because it didn't fit with their beliefs? There is nothing in the above against the posting rules.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      @wilco 1

      Para 1

      Impartiality defense. Linking *stated* impartiality of investigations to *actual* impartiality of other scientists. Ignoring qualifications of scientific background of investigating panel. AFAIK no one on *any* of the panels had the relevant knowledge of statistical methods or atmospheric physics to comments on the soundness of the science.

      Para 2

      Justification of secrecy. Given the importance (literally *billions* of dollars over decades) the data should all be either public domain or every attempt made to make it so. Deeper searches seem to indicate in fact a lot of it was *never* proprietary in the first place. Able to turn the slightest trace of a temperature record into proof but not able to set up an FTP server? Then again given the state of the data how would they know *what* files should be there in the first place?

      Para 3

      Strawman. I've never said the software is incorrect. However calling it "code adjusting the axis of a graph" is *highly* misleading. the code base is *very* substantial and appears to include software to filter, interpolate and extrapolate in both linear and non linear ways, some of which are hard coded in the software itself. The specifics of what was used is critical to demonstrating an audit trail of deductions which lead to the result. You then contradict yourself by saying these have been excluded as the results were peer reviewed and published. However the internal evidence of the emails is that peer review was ineffective.

      Para4

      Various statement of belief that the people involved did nothing wrong.

      Para 5

      Oxburgh did not investigate the underlying science. The others were about misconduct and who leaked the information or who hacked the servers. There is still *plenty* to criticize.

      Para 6

      I respond badly to doom and gloom merchants. Then basically tend to find comfort in environmental failure as it confirms their view that humans are the scum of the universe and the planet would be better off without us. Population decline is a *huge * problem in the developed world. BTW in the East End of London a family of 10 children (5 of whom would die by the age of 5) was quite common. In 1 generation better housing, sewerage, birth control and a state safety net have dropped that birth rate to 2. Hopefully Obama will fund the UN's back subscriptions and the birth control approach of the relevant UN agency on this matter.

      Para 7

      Your post is long, highly subjective and uses a range of highly misleading logical and rhetorical tricks (including statements about the level of inquiry into the science which you should now *know* are untrue) to create an impression of certainty. This view that a a position is *so* important that *anything* is justified has little to do with the reputable defense of a scientific theory and a great deal more to do with the approach of a professional spin doctor.

      I would suspect either an insider or someone whose job is fairly dependent on AGW existing.

      Good science does not need *anyone* to trust a result. The design of the apparatus, the method of use, data analysis methods and data are *all* expected to be published. In this case what has been published is a *conclusion*, with *no* detailed description *anywhere* of key datasets, filtering equations and methodology to get there.

      Any further posts which repeat statements and opinions you know to be false will get a down grading to troll.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    Deleting Data

    Anyone deleting data cannot call themselves a scientist and their conclusions should be ignored.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      wow, the astro-turf is deep in here!

      You are so right - ignore their conclusions and reality will go away.

      1. Dan 10
        FAIL

        That's nothing more than a weak attempt at misdirection

        Ignore the conclusions and reality won't go away, but it might be completely different to the conclusions.

        Put another way, I know that the flying spaghetti monster will descend upon the UK next week, and use his noodly appendages to kill the global warming zealots. I won't share my reasons for this prediction, but your ignoring it won't make reality go away...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        You realy don't understand science do you?

        Therefore how can you possible know what reality is?

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Happy

        AC@10:56

        "wow, the astro-turf is deep in here! → #"

        As are the AC's.

        "You are so right - ignore their conclusions and reality will go away"

        But blindly trust a "conclusion" with *no* openly available evidence? No detailed description of the analysis methodology?

        I believe that humans are having (and have had) a significant effect on climate. However that is *my* opinion*. From the ongoing details on their process this is not a *safe* conclusion.

        .

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Splutters over keyboard

    "I view this as a Parliamentarian for one of the poorest constituencies in the country. Putting up the price of fuel for poor people on such a low level of evidence, hoping it will have the desired effect, is not acceptable. I need to know what's going on."

    Paliamentarian thinking of the poor? Get away, you are having me on!

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How independent was the panel?

    Who cares?

    We've had independent reviews, all of which largely agree, from:

    . The Economist

    . The Science Assessment Panel

    . House of Commons Science and Technology Committee

    . Pennsylvania State University

    . New Scientist

    How many more before the anti-science types stop quoting this?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      How is asking to see the method and the evidence anti-science?

      Your answer should be quite a treat.

      The only people that are anti-science are the ones that don't care about how the conclusions were made.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I hate to speak ill of my alma mater

      but that was no independent review conducted at Penn State: it was just as much of a white wash as the one in this article. Their meteorology program is actually one of the best in the nation, but Mann has to go before he destroys the rest of the department.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    AGW is junk! Who needs life to kill us, what about Abiotic nature!

    Who needs AGW when there is an ocean (yes an ocean sized Abiotic bubble, like a pre-Caldera lava pool) of Natural Gas and Oil (full of VOCs) under the US Gulf. The VOCS and Gas from just a relative pin prick 30,000 PSI jet (the broken well) appears to already be having measurable effects inland of the US coast! A friend suggests that the current high temperatures in some several cities maybe due to this dense mess getting trapped under the US smog, thus further raising the temperature. If the sea bed cracks grow, greater temperatures will be the least of peoples worries, because more people will die from increased VOCs (like Benzene etc.) in the air.

    Massive oceans of Hydrocarbons like these tend to leak naturally, so how many more of these are there, not forgetting all the frozen methyl hydrates too!

    These heavier hydrocarbon gases and methane make far better heat insulation than CO2, and we don't yet appear to have the technology to stop such extreme pressures at such low temperatures!

    SHTF me-thinks! AGW is so passe now!

    BTW, there is a massive Solar flare event due sometime in the next two decades, like a global EMP, which could knock out satellites, power grids and possibly smaller devices!

  27. JasGarnier

    PhD?

    Actually BSc was his limit. While that doesn't mean he isn't qualified to criticise - certainly he is more qualified than the other MP's on the panel - but it's important to get things like this right.

  28. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      meh...

      Just a whole load of people who don't know enough about a subject to realise that they don't know enough to comment about it. It's a fairly well known phenomenon, only people who are very skilled in their subject are really in any way qualified to fully understand it, those with less qualification more often than not don't even realise the depths of their ignorance.

      1. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: meh meh

        You advocate that the scientific elite should go about their business unchallenged by nuisances such as replicable experiments.

        It's a point of view, I guess.

        But even the most scientifically illiterate punter on the proverbial bus can understand the meaning of "destroy the evidence". Don't you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Andrew...

          No, I don't think an elite shouldn't be questioned and their experiments should be repeatable, but the questions have to be appropriate, sensible and from a certain base level of knowledge. This is something that I see at work fairly often, albeit in a small way. You must have also seen it, comments like: "£1000 for a terrabyte of disk, but I can get it down PC World for a hundred quid." or "What, you backup to tape, it's that technology from out of the ark" maybe even something like "I want admin access to my desktop, I know what I'm doing, why can't I have it." These are questions or comments from people who think that they know what they're talking about, their mates probably come to them to get their computers fixed, but you know that they don't have any idea about how IT works in an enterprise and bringing them up to speed would take far too long for you to be able to spare. Now compare this with the amount of people posting who still don't get the difference between weather and climate.

          I will make it perfectly clear that I mean people on "both sides" of the argument - there is a certain level of knowledge you need to be able to debate and lots of people don't even come close.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            WTF?

            Wha kind of egotystical nutcase...

            …would make an argument that only certain people should be allowed an opinion?

            This is the sort of elitist claptrap that was bandied about against the general public being allowed to vote.

            You sir are an imbecile and the worst kind of censor.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              @Marcus

              You can have an opinion, but you've got to realise that your opinion may not be worth anything, due to lack of knowledge of the subject. High level science IS elitist, if you spend decades of your life studying something to PHd level, you can be pretty confident to suggest that you are in an elite.

              Case in point: Look at all the people shouting about the LHC causing black holes which will cause the universe to end. They have an opinion, they are welcome to it, but in the words of Dr Brian Cox "Anyone who thinks the LHC will destroy the Universe is a twat." Their opinion is only based in ignorance of the subject in question. I know who I'd listen to about the LHC and it isn't the guy suggesting it will end the world.

              As for suggtesting that this is like preventing the general public from voting, that's complete rubbish, the whole point of the general public voting is that they elect people who they believe to be more capable and/or motivated than themselfs to do the actual work of government.

              1. This post has been deleted by its author

              2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
                Happy

                @Fraser

                "High level science IS elitist, if you spend decades of your life studying something to PHd level, you can be pretty confident to suggest that you are in an elite."

                True.

                *However* this subject is a little different as pretty much *all* that has been published are conclusions and doomsday extrapolations of what those *conclusions* suggest *could* happen if the situation continues.

                *No* raw data, *no* methodology describing in *detail* how those conclusions were arrived at. The Scientific Method does not require trust. It *does* require honesty, the inclusion of *all* data (*not* just stuff that happens to agree with your preferred conclusion) and a *full* description of your data analysis and reduction methods.

                BTW Most of these issues come up in aerodynamic studies EG laminar to turbulent transition studies ( multiple different *possible* correlation equations). The people doing these are at *least* as qualified in their field but then manage to *publish* both their data sets (not necessarily *every* run but enough to give a picture, and definitely including any *anomalous* readings their theory did *not* predict ) *and* their full data reduction methodology.

                Oh, they also tend to run regression tests on new software (and new mathematical models) against common benchmark shapes (usually ones with *lots* of wind tunnel data about what *really* happened) to make sure they don't do something absolutely nonsensical.

                "Case in point: Look at all the people shouting about the LHC causing black holes which will cause the universe to end. "

                I think most people recognized this was nonsense from day one.

        2. Burb

          What 'evidence' was 'destroyed'?

          I don't think it is all that surprising that not all of the absolute raw data dating back 30 years and on various media such as paper and magnetic tapes has been maintained at CRU. As I understand it, the derived data - which has been kept - is more than 95% the same as the raw data anyway , only with obvious anomalies etc. discarded. Sure, if we're going to apply modern standards and we were to start recording data today, for example, then no doubt it would all be in electronic form and not in large volumes by today's measures and no doubt it would be fully archived. But believe it or not technology has changed over 30 years.

          But in any case the data has not been destroyed. It is still available from from the meteorological services whence it originated. Anybody who wants to can get hold of it, analyse it and see if they come to the same conclusions as CRU. People *have* done this and they *have* come to the same conclusions.

  29. Wilco 1

    @John Smith 19

    Ad hominem. I have to disappoint you, I'm not a climate scientist. However I understand the basic science behind AGW and have followed this whole debacle with interest. But look what you did, you didn't like the facts I stated, so I must somehow be connected to the AGW scientists and thus not impartial...

    The truth is, if I were a climate scientist, I would likely have reviewed the CRU papers in detail and know whether it is good science or not. However in that case you would not trust my word for it, and likely put more value on claims by a random sceptic with no climate science background. So any future investigation into the science by actual climate scientists that doesn't reach the desired outcome will obviously be dismissed as another fraud/whitewash/conspiracy etc. Either you need to trust the scientists or investigate the science yourself. All too often the science is attacked in the same way Creationists reject evolution.

    1. Tequila Joe

      Trust in me ssss Just in me ssss

      "I would likely have reviewed the CRU papers in detail and know whether it is good science or not."

      And if you had criticised their 'science' your papers would not have been published due to the corruption of the peer revieww process...as made clear in their very own emails!

      Seeing as the UEA CRU 'scientists' have been instrumental in preventing scrutiny, and in preventing any conflicting evidence being published, and in declaring they would rather destroy data than have it examined please understand that a number of us who deal in logic are somewhat sceptical of 'scientists' who behave as if they were leaders of a religion.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Troll

      @wilco 1

      "Ad hominem. "

      Not at all. I studied the evidence (the methods you used to defend their POV) and applied Occam's razor.

      I'm quite a big fan of Upton Sinclair's quote that "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it." the simplest answer to the question "Why are you mis-stating facts you and deliberately mixing statements to defend a position" is because you have a vested interest. the consistency of your behavior suggests it is not that you don't understand the scientific process, you simply don't care about it.

      "you didn't like the facts I stated,"

      Mis-stated. Multiple times.

      "The truth is, if I were a climate scientist, I would likely have reviewed the CRU papers in detail and know whether it is good science or not. "

      That would imply there actually *was* some science to review, rather than pre-digested conclusions backed by essentially "Well there was a *load* of data but we crunched it down for you and here it is."

      As this is an IT site I looked at the Harry-read-me files in some detail. This software (which appears to have been intimately involved with producing the data sets other researches have used as raw material for all those doomsday scenarios that make such good TV news coverage) is *so* flaky and undocumented, and the descriptions of the quality of the *raw* data so degraded it would be impossible to make any conclusion with *confidence*.

      "Either you need to trust the scientists or investigate the science yourself."

      Agreed. When multiple groups look at the *raw* data and enough of them reach agreement (*regardless* of what that is)

      "All too often the science is attacked in the same way Creationists reject evolution."

      No. This is another false simile. Again you have implied the raw data was publicly available when it has not been (and by email evidence CRU has made every effort from making it so).

      The real equivalent would be "We have this theory called evolution. It *proves* humans are descended from apes. No you can't see the evidence. No we are not going to explain why we think this. But it is so".

      That last piece of spin means no more feeding. Goodbye.

  30. Tequila Joe

    Right back atcha

    Look, what UEA CRU claimed as a basis for their contributions to the IPCC reports were the results of statistical data modelling. Despite their so-called expertise in 'climate science' (cherry-picked tree subsample - Yamal!!) they are not experts in data modelling - otherwise they would hardly have 'lost' the raw data and metadata; likewise their expertise in statistics was even dissed by one of the whitewash reports.

    So to turn your phrase slightly "their opinion may not be worth anything, due to lack of knowledge of the subject".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Joe

      Incidentally, this popped up on slashdot today: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128490874

  31. Piers Corbyn

    Dodging of Science in Guardian 'Debate'

    Some comments on The Guardian ClimateGate 'Debate' 14 July 2010 - continuing 'cover-up' & Dodging of Science.

    - See COMMENTS section on www.weatheraction.com

  32. edmh

    The futility of Mankind trying to control climate

    The futility of Mankind trying to control climate

    On average world temperature is +15⁰C. This is sustained by the atmospheric Greenhouse Effect 33⁰C. Without the Greenhouse Effect the planet would be un-inhabitable at -18⁰C. The Biosphere and Mankind need the Greenhouse Effect.

    Just running the numbers by translating the agents causing the Greenhouse Effect into ⁰C:

    • Greenhouse Effect = 33.00⁰C

    • Water Vapour accounts for about 95% of the Greenhouse Effect = + 31.35⁰C

    • Other Greenhouse Gasses GHGs account for 5% = ~1.65⁰C

    • CO2 is 75% of the effect of all GHGs = ~1.24⁰C

    • Most CO2 in the atmosphere is natural, more than 93%:

    • Man-made CO2 is less than 7% of total atmospheric CO2 = 0.087⁰C:

    So closing carbon economies of the Whole World could only ever achieve a virtually undetectable <1/10 ⁰C. How can the Green movement and their supporting politicians think that their remedial actions can limit warming to only + 2.00 ⁰C?

    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wy0_SNSM8kg

    So the probability is that any current global warming is not man-made and in any case such warming could be not be influenced by any remedial action taken by mankind however drastic.

    If this is really so, then the prospect should be greeted with Unmitigated Joy:

    • concern over CO2 as a man-made pollutant can be discounted.

    • it is not necessary to damage the world’s economy to no purpose.

    • if warming were happening, it would lead to a more benign and healthy climate for all mankind.

    • any extra CO2 is already increasing the fertility of all plant life and thus enhancing world food production.

    • a warmer climate, within natural variation, would provide a future of greater opportunity and prosperity for human development. This has been well proven in the past and would now especially benefit the third world.

    Nonetheless, this is not to say that the world should not be seeking more efficient ways of generating its energy, conserving its energy use and stopping damaging its environments. And there is a real need to wean the world off the continued use of fossil fuels simply on the grounds of:

    • security of supply

    • increasing scarcity

    • rising costs

    • their use as the feedstock for industry rather than simply burning them.

    The French long-term energy strategy with its massive commitment to nuclear power is impressive, (85% of electricity generation). Even if one is concerned about CO2, Nuclear Energy pays off, French CO2 emissions / head are the lowest in the developed world.

    However in the light of the state of the current solar cycle, it seems that there is a real prospect of damaging cooling occurring in the near future for several decades.

    And now Man-made Global Warming has become a state sponsored religion.

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