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Earth Science

Where the Global Warming Data Is 1011

Posted by kdawson
from the premiere-cru dept.
Several readers noted the latest fallout from the Climate Research Unit's Climategate: the admission by the University of East Anglia that the raw data behind important climate research was discarded in the 1980s, "a time when climate change was seen as a less pressing issue" according to the Times (UK) article. The Telegraph quotes Phil Jones, beleagured head of the CRU: "Our global temperature series tallies with those of other, completely independent, groups of scientists working for NASA and the National Climate Data Centre in the United States, among others. Even if you were to ignore our findings, theirs show the same results. The facts speak for themselves; there is no need for anyone to manipulate them." Some of the data behind these other results can likely be found in a new resource that jamie located up at the Real Climate site: a compilation of links to a wide variety of raw data about climate. From the former link: "In the aftermath of the CRU email hack, many people have come to believe that scientists are unfairly restricting access to the raw data relating to the global rise in temperature. ... We have set up a page of data links to sources of temperature and other climate data, codes to process it, model outputs, model codes, reconstructions, paleo-records, the codes involved in reconstructions etc."
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Where the Global Warming Data Is

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  • by areusche (1297613) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:15PM (#30265530)
    Regardless if global warming is a problem, we should ALL strive to lessen our effect on the environment. Restricting emissions that may not heat up the planet, BUT have noticeable problems on health of humans and wildlife. I feel like I have to remind people that even if global warming is false we should always do what we can to conserve our resources and lessen pollution.
  • Just another day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Davemania (580154) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:17PM (#30265542) Journal
    This is just another sissy-fit thrown by the denier groups that are willing to use any tactics to distract people from the real issue. If there was any substance to these email, they would've produced the evidence by now. A few sentences blown out of context from a few cherry picked emails are merely red-herring.
  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:22PM (#30265576)

    If climate scientists refuse to look at proprietary data on the grounds that they can't release it:

    "They are cherry picking their data, the met data shows there is no cooling, it's all a fraud!!!"

    If instead they decide to agree accept the offer to see it by signing a NDA:

    "They don't release the data, they cover it up, it's all a conspiracy!!!!"

    Seriously, you will get some scientists that are fine with using proprietary data and some who are not. What the so called skeptics are arguing is that because SOME scientists decided the benefits of using more data outweigh the cons of being unable to disclose it, that means the entire field of climate science is a fraud. Never mind that their findings agree with research done with open data, never mind that you could in principle go sign an NDA yourself if you mistrust the CRU so badly. No it must all be a conspiracy, including the research that were made with open data that achieved the same conclusions.

    The more I hear from climate "skeptics" the more the arguments feel similar to those of the evolution skeptics.

  • by Cr0vv (1223332) <chrismwakefield@ ... minus physicist> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:24PM (#30265602)
    "The facts speak for themselves; there is no need for anyone to manipulate them." Why would there be a cover-up in the first place? Much is reported in the news about it, who or why would you cover up data on Global warming? My opinion is that there is a cover-up because there is something to cover-up. It exists, "it" is the true cause of the Global warming, something that has been covered up since NASA discovered a rogue planet heading for our solar system in 1983. Don't give me no crap on this, it's documented in the Washington Post. Crow.
  • by rlp (11898) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:25PM (#30265606)

    Science was the first instance of open source. If someone else can't freely check your data and replicate your experiments you've got nothing. The raw data and source code for the climate models should have been available from day one. The fact that they weren't and that large quantities of data were "lost" throws the conclusions into serious question.

  • SOP for Min-Truth (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mspangler (770054) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:26PM (#30265618)

    Translating Freely:

    We cooked the data to show what we wanted it to show, then erased the originals to ensure that our version of the truth is the only version.

    Those guys really took the lessons from the Ministry of Truth to heart. Way to inspire confidence guys. Way to convince the non-scientific public that there is a reason to quietly submit to a carbon version of a water command empire.

    Why is Mr Jones still employed?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:30PM (#30265638)
    The Holy Religion of Obama Worship must not allow dissent. All heretics and apostates must answer to the Lord High Obama and his Czar Chamber. All data that does not fit the predetermined conclusion must be destroyed.
  • by Rising Ape (1620461) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:30PM (#30265644)

    That's not quite right. It's important that your results are reproducible. That requires a full description of how the data was gathered and how it was analysed. That way, someone can go and do their own experiments, collect their own data and conduct their own analysis. Giving out the raw data isn't a bad thing, but it's not necessary and actually doesn't happen that often.

    You could make a case that it's in fact bad for people to all work off the same data set or code, as any mistakes (or even deliberate fraud) will then be common to all analyses.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:33PM (#30265668)

    The problem is the general creed that conservation and restriction is good, as long as you do it and leave me alone.

  • by Dexter Herbivore (1322345) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:34PM (#30265682) Journal
    What would be the point of releasing the raw data to the general public? Seriously, why bother? I know that I don't have the skills or expertise to analyse it effectively and come up with any conclusions that have *any* scientific merit. Surely the people who know how to analyse/process this data and draw meaningful conclusions already have access to it.
  • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:37PM (#30265698)

    Hippie.

    You say that like its a bad thing. What skew is owed to your view?

  • In the 80's they were getting us all apeshit over a hole in the ozone layer.

    In the 70's it was the coming Ice Age.

    Each iteration has allowed these Bilderberger manipulators opportunity and experience to refine their forays against reality.

    NOAA data is fudged and tampered now:
    http://www.climate-skeptic.com/2009/11/yet-more-stuff-we-always-suspected-but-its-nice-to-have-proof.html [climate-skeptic.com]

  • by wrf3 (314267) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:41PM (#30265724) Homepage

    If I were to be "worked up" it would be because it is not rational to do the right thing for the wrong reasons. And when I'm told, "oh, well, even if the conclusion of AGW is wrong it still means we need to do such and such" then I become immediately suspicious. I don't like handwaving. The data should stand, or fall, on it's own merits.

  • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:42PM (#30265734)

    You might be correct, except that the US is more responsible than China and the UK/Japan are hardly innocent either.

    This is less an act of war or one-sided recklessness, and more something akin to a bunch of ignorant fools drinking liquor and shooting their guns into the air not knowing that the rounds will return to the earth and strike them in the head.

    (I will pre-empt the 'well the US does it more efficiently than China' responses with an I DON'T GIVE A CRAP because that is like us all sitting in a hot tub and we all kinda poop in it, but I poop the most and then I say "well, I really needed to and it felt better to me")

    Every industrialized nation is to blame here.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@b[ ].org ['eau' in gap]> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:43PM (#30265746)

    > Seriously, you will get some scientists that are fine with using proprietary data and some who are not.

    I don't know what the rules are on your world, but on mine it isn't science if the work can't be peer reviewed, published and duplicated. If you basing results on datasets that can't be released none of that is possible. Seriously, how would you peer review a paper based on data you can't look at? How did 'respected' journals publish papers that they couldn't ask another serious scientist to do a proper review of? Why is work that, even if it COULD in theory be duplicated, in fact never will (and wasn't) be given any weight in the high councils of the world's leaders?

    Should a scientist use a closed dataset to help his company decide which research line to pursue? Yes. Decide where to drill for oil? Yes. Publish in the peer reviewed journals? No. Make recommendations to world leaders with trillion dollar consequences? No.

  • by jo42 (227475) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:45PM (#30265762) Homepage

    if global warming is false

    Look at pictures of Mount Kilimanjaro [wikipedia.org] today, 20, 30 and 50 years ago. Where have the glaciers gone? Travel to any of the glaciers fields in Europe, North America or Asia. Where have the glaciers gone [wikipedia.org]? Global cooling sure as fuck hasn't caused them to recede drastically.

  • by whoever57 (658626) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:45PM (#30265768) Journal

    That's not quite right. It's important that your results are reproducible. That requires a full description of how the data was gathered and how it was analysed.

    So all the adjustments to the data and the algorithms used to analyse it are fully documented and available to any researcher.... oh wait!

  • by Davemania (580154) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:46PM (#30265776) Journal
    Oh I don't know, were you in a coma for the last couple of years ? I just find it really funny that the new stratergy now is to call into question the honesty and ethics of the researchers or basically personal attacks instead of challenging the freaking DATA. Denier still know what data is defined as right ?
  • by jpmorgan (517966) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:46PM (#30265786) Homepage

    Personally, I feel that when you are an activist, not just a scientist, and pressuring for major policy changes based on your research, you should be held to a higher standard.

    If you're going to stand up, proclaim the end of the world, and tell everybody that they need to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to avert it... you have a moral obligation to publish your data.

  • I'm not denying. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Das Auge (597142) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:49PM (#30265798)
    Of course the world is getting warmer. It has been for the last ten thousand years. You know, since the end of the last ice age.

    Back then, the polar ice cap extended down into modern-day Illinois. If only we could have stopped global warming from melting the ice cap all the way to what it was 100 years ago.
  • by dlcarrol (712729) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:49PM (#30265804)
    There has, to my knowledge, never been a platform or group of any appreciable size or influence that really wanted, as an end, to mess up the environment.

    People are getting worked up because of the perception, well-founded or not, that certain people's preferences for how and when to normalize improvements will become mandatory soon and thus result in less choice at a higher cost.

    Compounding this via genetic fallacy, the same people that congregate for various AGW factions also tend to flash-mob for "stimulus plans" and the like. And we know how well those expenditures of our money have gone.

    Eventually, one just gets tired of know-ier than thou showing up looking for a hand-out.
  • by Mspangler (770054) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:49PM (#30265808)

    "You could make a case that it's in fact bad for people to all work off the same data set or code, as any mistakes (or even deliberate fraud) will then be common to all analyses."

    And that deliberate fraud issue, sadly, appears to be the case. How many good models were scrapped because the cooked data made them give obviously bogus results? How much good new data was discarded because it didn't match with the "approved" data. A huge amount of work is scrapped, or is about to be.

    My dissertation was on non-linear modeling. If I had cooked the data like this bunch I'd have been in the dumpster with my data. Although I did not have to show every bit of input data, it was required to be traceable all the way from the raw input through any smoothing, transforming, and normalizing to get to the input of the model. Anything less and there would be no Ph.D. after my name.

    So it's been less than a week, but why are these guys still employed?

  • by wizardforce (1005805) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:50PM (#30265814) Journal

    More importantly we need to find a way to do so that is cheap or even profitable to the United States, China, India and other high CO2 emission countries otherwise meaningful reductions in emissions will be difficult. Combinations of technologies like Coal [wikipedia.org] + Algae diesel or [wikipedia.org]Nuclear [wikipedia.org] + water thermal cracking [wikipedia.org] + Fischer-Tropsch [wikipedia.org].

  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:50PM (#30265816) Homepage
    Where are all of the glaciers from 10,000 years ago? You can't tell me that wasn't man-made warming as well.
  • by sien (35268) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:52PM (#30265836) Homepage

    Kilimanjaro has been retreating since the 1800s [nationalgeographic.com].

    C02 in the atmosphere has only been shooting up since the 1950s. Pre-industrial C02 levels were about 2.8 parts per 10 000. As opposed to 4 or so now [noaa.gov].

    If these things pre-date C02's big increase this indicates a large role for natural climate variations.

    This is what many skeptic say.

  • by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @09:57PM (#30265890) Homepage
    Of course, the e-mails from the CRU would support this if they weren't full of statements indicating data was being manipulated, that e-mails and other material subject to FOIA were not being systematically and deliberately purged, that the peer review system was not being gamed and manipulated to keep out any opposing views up to and including getting editors removed if they didn't do what the Team wanted.

    If you can't check the data because the "dog ate my homework" then some is entitled to ask on what basis are we refactoring the entire world economy by causing an artificial shortage of energy?

    But only nasty people can ask such questions. Only people with agendas.
  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:07PM (#30265980) Journal

    Regardless if global warming is a problem, we should ALL strive to lessen our effect on the environment.

    I'm with you on that. Of course, the best thing we can do for the environment is to get as many people as possible out of subsistence farming, which is tremendously destructive. We don't slash-and-burn in the industrialized countries.

    -jcr

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:09PM (#30265992)

    . . . where it is oh-so-fashionable to deny that humans have anything to do with global warming. Get used to it.

  • by timeOday (582209) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:10PM (#30266004)
    Each American produces over 4 times the CO2 emissions of each Chinese person. (Directly comparing Nations of vastly different populations is absurd; by that standard Jamaica could argue our total emissions should equal theirs).
  • by 1zenerdiode (777004) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:11PM (#30266016)

    It saddens me what passes for debate these days. That worthless cynicism like the parent post can be considered an intelligent comment beggars belief.

    While I'll agree that categorically demanding a firing is extreme...I find worthless cynicism in the assumption that anyone skeptical of global warming is privately funded by Big Oil. The fact that during the period of most intensive debate the lexicon has already shifted from global warming to "climate change" is indicative of the problems with the theory, the science, the models, and most importantly, any economic policy predicated on those. You don't need a conspiracy to get an outcome like this one. Just a bunch of free money coupled with a bunch of people that want to run other people's lives. The question to me isn't why Mr. Jones is still employed. It is: why was anybody listening to Mr. Jones in the first place? The answer is simple. People liked what he had to say. The science is not predictive. It's not really science. It's philosophy. Impoverishing third world nations by making energy prohibitively expensive isn't going to help. Nor is creating yet another securities market to be manipulated by creative financial engineers. Maybe we can move on.

  • by BlackSabbath (118110) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:18PM (#30266074) Homepage

    OK buddy. Link to the actual emails that support your statements or I call complete bullshit.

    To review, you state (grammatical errors aside):
    - "data was being manipulated"
    - "material subject to FOIA was being systematically and deliberately purged"
    - "the system was being manipulated to keep out opposing views and get editors removed"

    The raw-data (i.e. stolen emails) that you're basing this on are presumably available on some right-wing/skeptic web site. So why don't you cite some specific instances? Specific phrases and paragraphs from specific emails.

    Go ahead, make my day.

  • by Garrett Fox (970174) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:18PM (#30266076) Homepage
    If it's not truly as serious a problem as some would have us believe, then we don't need to radically restructure the global economy, expand government at the expense of freedom, or transfer more wealth to other countries. At least for this reason.
  • by Garrett Fox (970174) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:21PM (#30266096) Homepage
    "it's time we took the money away from the scientists who have been telling us this for years and gave it to the engineers to get us out of this mess."

    So, you're saying, "Cut off funding for anyone who questions the official position that this is an urgent global crisis that demands massive government intervention"?
  • Where's the beef? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chebucto (992517) * on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:23PM (#30266116) Homepage

    If the _results_ from the lab in question match up with other independent results, what possible grounds to laymen have to presume the data was deliberately changed? Unless they assume that all independent labs falsified their data in concert, which would be a hell of a conspiracy.

    What really bothers me about the complaints around the emails is that none of them (as I understand it) come close to proving that findings were deliberately falsified to point to one conclusion over another. All of the emails were either innocuous or, at worst, ambiguous.

    And what have some skeptics done with ambiguous data? They have manipulated it to fit their pre-existing theories. Which is very close to the sort of bad behavior they are charging the lab with now.

  • by MMORG (311325) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:24PM (#30266118)

    Where have the glaciers gone?

    My city of residence was covered by massive glaciers not too long ago by geologic standards. My house is built on a big pile of glacial till. I'm happy my area is warmer now than it was.

    It's not a simple matter of true/false, either/or, all or nothing. People to reduce the problem to those terms are making it impossible to have rational discussion.

    Yes, climate temperatures fluctuate with or without our influence. Yes, human influence is large enough and pervasive enough to alter those fluctuations. Yes, some areas of the world will benefit from further warming. Yes, some areas of the world are already at the limit of habitation/productivity because of warm temperatures and further warming may ruin them. Yes, it's always better to pollute less and have less man-made impact on the environment if we have a choice about it. Yes, we will someday run out of useful oil reserves. Yes, significantly changing our behavior may cost trillions of dollars and hurt many people. Yes, making those changes may leave us better off politically and financially in the long term.

    These things are all true. Some of these facts are in tension with other facts. No simple solutions exist. We need a complex, nuanced solution. Unfortunately in these days of conservative vs. liberal sound-bite-bashing, it's impossible to discuss any complex solutions. The only choices we seem to have are "environmentalists are total frauds, burn all the oil you want" and "the world is about to end unless we impose a fascist state to dictate every detail of our lifestyles".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:24PM (#30266120)

    It wasn't. There's both natural variation and anthropogenic change. If only there were some framework we could use to examine the system and the data, differentiate natural variation from anthropogenic change, and predict the future impact of anthropogenic change on humans.

    On an unrelated note, why is quantification, proper logic, and science so hard for Slashdot users to understand?

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DiamondGeezer (872237) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:25PM (#30266134) Homepage
    Anyone who takes the word of an pseudonymous slashdotter to evaluate statements of truth about the reputation of a news source without proof, loses whatever credibility they had with me, and unlike him/her/it I understand what "poisoning the well" actually means in logic and reason and why its invalid as an argument.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:30PM (#30266178)

    However we should get correct data. If Global Warming is not an issue, then why are we focusing so much on Carbon. Carbon Trading, Carbon Free Energy, your Carbon Footprint... The only think I have been hearing that is Bad about Carbon Dioxide is it is contributing to Global Warming, and perhaps raising acidity in the oceans.... But the issue is if you are going to make policy to protect the environment you need real facts to make the right choices. Environmental policy is about making the right tradeoffs it isn't about prohibitions it is about measuring what will benefit society the most without the most harm to the environment, and hopefully get to a point where we are doing good enough to allow the earth catchup to what we cause.

  • by daemonenwind (178848) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:30PM (#30266182)
    Science, and the practice of it, demands that research be repeatable and transparent.

    We have this quote from TFA:

    The CRU is the world's leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures. Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

    By deleting the raw data, no one can ever reproduce or review the process by which raw data became tested theory.

    This is not the act of a scientist; in fact, this would make you fail in the Elementary School Science Fair of your choice. The sad truth seems to be that, while Science concerns itself with discovering truth, these scientists have concerned themselves only with discovering funding and prestige.

    Climate change theory must now reside with such things as Cold Fusion and Duke Nukem Forever.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:31PM (#30266188) Journal

    Part of the problem has been researchers who won't let others see their data, except under NDA. You can't effectively attack that which you can't see, so frustrations go astray and lead to attacks on the researchers and their backers.

    Those of us who are still skeptical but willing to listen have been asking for the raw data to be released for a very long time, and getting a lot of groups sending back the response, "You can trust us. You don't need to see the data." I can (unhappily) live with that for privately-funded research, but if it's happening at a public university or with public funds, the data should be made available on the basis that public money paid for it, so the public should be able to see it. If it's happening, there are things we can do. If it's not happening, some of the tech coming about as a result of the fear of it happening are still good ideas, like converting coal plants to run on natural gas or moving to alternative hydrocarbon fuel resources.

    Openness is all that the honest among us ever asked.

  • by crmarvin42 (652893) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:32PM (#30266196)
    Excellent straw-man!!

    Your first paragraph seems to indicate that there are those who would actually choose smog over clean air. Many who are concerned with CRU and the validity of certain global warming conclusions such as myself don't doubt that it is happening, or that we can and should be better environmental stewards. I'm just not convinced that the data supports their conclusions. Even if the CRU data is completely valid, it does not necessarily guarantee that their conclusions are correct.

    Your second paragraph is a list of environmental problems that are unrelated to smog. algae blooms (which subsequently render the water virtually lifeless so you repeated yourself) are not caused by air pollution. Freshwater algae blooms are usually caused by Phosphorus run off from the soil because it is the nutrient that is limiting algae growth. Saltwater blooms are usually caused by Nitrogen run off because it is the first limiting nutrient in that aquatic environment. Nitrogen can come from the atmosphere, but not in the concentrations necessary to trigger an algae bloom.

    Your third paragraph is a second attempt to set up your straw-man. Namely that anyone actually wants to pollute the environment. It also trots out the timeless "THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!" meme, Bravo! Every anthropogenic global warming skeptic I've met doesn't doubt the sense of taking care of the environment, only the conclusion that the world wouldn't be warming without us. I'm all for tougher enviromental standards, but there is a point at which I believe we are cutting off our nose to spite our face.

    You can feel free to disagree, but I'd prefer it if you'd leave your straw-men and Parental Hysteria at home.
  • Re:Deniers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Jarik C-Bol (894741) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:52PM (#30266316)
    why is this modded -1 troll? he points out some honest facts! climate change = anything the climate does, and a carbon tax is a tax on the basic building blocks of all life on the planet.
  • by rossdee (243626) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:56PM (#30266334)

    But there are many people whose motive is Profit and who don't give a shit if a side effect of their economic activity is to mess up the environment.

    (of course they are not confined to the USA, or even 'the west'.)

  • by sarhjinian (94086) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:59PM (#30266350)

    In the 80's they were getting us all apeshit over a hole in the ozone layer.

    Which was more or less addressed because we stopped pumping ozone-destroying chemicals into the atmosphere. Anti-AGCC people always being up "well, the ozone layer didn't turn out to be a problem" line, forgetting that the reason it's not a problem is that we legislated CFCs and such out of existence. Acid rain similar: it's less of an issue because we did something to fix it. AGCC is, unfortunately, much harder to quick-fix

    The reason this stuff gets whipped up isn't the "Bilderberger manipulators" but a media that's addicted to thirty-second soundbites. Respectable scientists aren't the ones running feature pieces about how the Maldives will disappear or we could be looking at another prarie dustbowl: that's the media's need to parley anything and everything into a alarmist pablum* deal because reprinting the IPCC studies directly does not sell advertising space for used car dealers and mattress stores. At best, we get grade-six science textbook diagrams and selective quoting, and even that's pushing what the media thinks people can digest before the sports scores.

    And this, of course, leads to simplistic retorts like "It's the sun!" or "Climate is cyclical!" because the sum of the data isn't commonly presented. Do you think that all the hundreds of people who hold Ph.D's on this stuff wouldn't notice the big, hot ball in the sky, or haven't done core extractions? Do you really think that they've overlooked things that obvious and just handed right-wing soapboxers such an easy mark? Really?

    * Yes, this includes, notably, Al Gore. On one hand, he's done a good job getting the memo out. On the other, he's a lightning rod because people a) they hate anything Rush Limbaugh tells them to and b) he's simplified the science to the point where people who don't know better can poke holes in it and think they're right.

  • by Dr. Evil (3501) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @10:59PM (#30266352)

    Even reading between the lines on the right-wing blogs, from what I can tell, some programmer force-fit tree ring data to modern instrumental data. The problem was not that the instrumental data was inaccurate, but that the tree ring data didn't correlate with the instrumental data.

    I'm curious why the tree ring data wouldn't correlate. But I don't have an undergrad in climate science, so I can't really comment other than to say that it's damned odd. I did study some anthropology and I know from that it's probably best to read a full report and not just the conclusion when you're going to make assumptions based on tree rings or carbon dating. In this case, I haven't seen the full reports laying about.

    Some more info from Wikipedia is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1000_Year_Temperature_Comparison.png [wikipedia.org]

    But yeah, for scientists, I think this is all business as usual. The journalists and politicians need to read the fine print and not jump to conclusions based on information with error-bars in the stratosphere.

    Did anyone actually say that the instrumental data was in dispute? I think if it was, that would be a smoking gun.

  • by catchblue22 (1004569) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:02PM (#30266360) Homepage

    This is just another sissy-fit thrown by the denier groups that are willing to use any tactics to distract people from the real issue. If there was any substance to these email, they would've produced the evidence by now. A few sentences blown out of context from a few cherry picked emails are merely red-herring.

    The parent posting isn't a troll. He is saying it like it is. This "incident" involves four scientists. Just four. And I'm trying to figure out the scientific arguments being put forward by the contrarians. Are they saying that data has been suppressed that shows the world hasn't being warming significantly since the 1970's?!! Really? Thirty five years ago, I used to skate on local lakes...they used to freeze regularly. Those lakes haven't frozen solid for since 1977. Glacial retreat has accelerated since the 1970's...this is undeniable. And this isn't part of the retreat since the last ice age. To assert that the recent glacial melting is somehow part of a linear decline that began 10000 years ago is an absurd claim that can easily be refuted by looking at measures of sea level over the past 10000 years.

    A Red Herring is a fallacy in which an irrelevant topic is presented in order to divert attention from the original issue. The basic idea is to "win" an argument by leading attention away from the argument and to another topic. This sort of "reasoning" has the following form:

    Topic A is under discussion.
    Topic B is introduced under the guise of being relevant to topic A (when topic B is actually not relevant to topic A).
    Topic A is abandoned.
    This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because merely changing the topic of discussion hardly counts as an argument against a claim.

    The assertions of the contrarians about these emails are irrelevant to the scientific discussion about climate change. They do not address in any real or logical way the arguments of climate change scientists. They are thus, a clear example of the use of the "Red Herring Falacy".

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:10PM (#30266400) Homepage Journal

    I think they're exaggerating the lost of one particular set of data, from one set of researchers, in one university, compared with thousands of different climate research around the world. So this case of data mismanagement at one university, isn't going to make much difference to the case for global warming being caused by humanities energy usage.

    How many "lostes" will it take, then?

    The real issue that the "climategate" leaks expose is that many of the "scientists" involved are more concerned with promoting their ideology than with finding the facts. It doesn't matter which side of the policy debate you happen to be on - justifying the means because of your support of the ends should never be okay.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:11PM (#30266408) Homepage Journal

    Except for the fact that this university is the co-ordinating site for many other centers and many of them got their facts and calculations from CRU. So CRU is about to drag a bunch of other universities down with it.

    And the IPCC, too, since they kind of acted as the "gatekeeper" for studies that ended up in the IPCC reports.

  • by dcavanaugh (248349) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:14PM (#30266422) Homepage

    The deliberate coverup in response to an FOI request pretty much blows the climatologists out of the water. Kaboom! Game over. The British press is all over the issue while the American press ignores it, hoping it will go away. It won't.

    Money rules BOTH sides of the climate debate. You simply don't get funding unless your outcome favors the people who provide the money. If Microsoft funds an "independent study" and the outcome favors Microsoft products (as it always does), we understand, laugh, and life goes on. Why is this climatology such a mystery? If Rob Enderle, Laura DiDio, and the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute opened a climatology division, Slashdot would be challenging them in about 10 minutes. What's taking so long with the climatologists?

    The clues are everywhere. Notice how the "cap and trade" money grab is absolutely essential to solving the problem, while consuming less meat or zero population growth are given hardly any consideration at all. Without the money grab and subsidies for the third world, the sense urgency goes right down the toilet. Things we could be doing at zero cost get zero attention. This doesn't prove climatology is a scam, but it sure looks that way.

    Meanwhile, we had better hope global warming a scam. During the years since Kyoto, China has become the number 1 generator of CO2. And they have far more growth potential than the US does. So do Brazil, Russia, and India for that matter. I have actually visited Shanghai and have seen the pollution first hand. Complex measurements were not required; coughing in the smog was more than enough for me. If anyone claims China is serious about controlling pollution, it's total BS.

    The reality is that Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the BRIC nations) offer to do essentially nothing, while they hide behind the number 2 generator of CO2 - the US. I have news for you folks - the US government is broke. Obama views "cap and trade" as a palatable source of tax revenue that will throw off so much cash, he can distribute it all over the world. Problem is, cap and trade is NOT palatable. The production of CO2 will simply migrate to the countries with the least enforcement or the heaviest subsidies. Obama's Democrats will be "wiped off the map" in large sections of the US if they expect Americans to subsidize [even more] offshoring of jobs. There is a very real possibility that a mismanaged implementation of cap and trade would be both ineffective and indistinguishable from economic suicide. In such a scenario, the Democrats would become a regional party with no real power outside of California and Massachusetts.

    Fortunately, we have been saved by Russian hackers. No deal in Copenhagen, no cap and trade. No support in Congress; it's dead with a capital "D". Obama is already looking for excuses to cancel the trip! Perhaps they can mail him his Nobel Peace Prize. The countries that were determined to do nothing will be joined by all the others, so that we can all continue to do nothing on an equitable basis. This may not be the best outcome, but it is infinitely better than a naive Obama getting hoodwinked into picking up the costs of everyone else's pollution controls.

  • by Max Littlemore (1001285) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:17PM (#30266432)

    That's like getting presents for 20 years from your parents, suddenly finding out about Santa and then being afraid that you won't get presents if Santa isn't real.

    There wont be any more presents from Santa. His house will sink when the ice melts.

  • by Antique Geekmeister (740220) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:21PM (#30266468)

    What remains is serious enough. The _depletion_ of minable resources, coupled with the draining of reserves of arable land, petroleum, potable water, and harvested food stocks all amount to plenty of reasons to stop the population increase that will overwhelm any reasonable ecological efforts by the burgeoning billions of humnity. It's going to take a pretty radical restructuring to run the world's economies without population growth, but Malthus had a point.

  • by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:29PM (#30266520) Homepage Journal

    Every industrialized nation is to blame here.

    Yeah and the dirt farmers that burn thousands of acres of forest are completely blameless. People are to blame here. Interestingly enough, there is a solution to the people problem...

    The solution, of course, is to set up a global despotic government, just as proposed in the Copenhagen protocol. History has shown that tyrannical leaders can kill 10-15% of their populations, and often suffer no repercussions at all. With the NWO proposed by the Copenhagen treaty the new tyrants could do away with a billion or more people, and solve this problem.

  • by wellingj (1030460) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:31PM (#30266534)
    You forgot one: Global warming occurs regardless of man.

    What then?
  • by Orp (6583) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:38PM (#30266596) Homepage

    "Raw data" - what does this exactly mean? Atmospheric scientists studying climate have multiple sources of data in multiple data formats. We don't save every bit when we collect our research, and stuff does get tossed out for various reasons. Heck, I have model-generated data from 10 years ago that it sitting on tape somewhere, but when it goes, it's gone. The model code is probably also on that tape. It is very possible that I could not recreate the work I did even 10-15 years ago. I now use new models, better data, etc.

    At some level, we as scientists trust one another to not fudge things and the peer review process should take care of most of that. Should raw data be requested via legal means, I would presume that this data would be presented if it were available. Since reproducibility is a cornerstone of the scientific process, if one research comes up with some bizarre result (think cold fusion) and it can't be reproduced, it's tossed out. In this case we have just one of hundreds of sources which is called into question. This does not change anything scientifically, and probably won't change much politically in the long run.

    Another thing to consider: Scientists often keep their data hidden from the rest of the world until they get the big publications out since it would be career suicide to let someone else scoop you on your own hard work and data acquisition. I don't think there is a standard grace period for when you suddenly make the data available. It probably depends on the project and the granting agency rules. The truth is, the rawest of the raw data is often discarded, and there is no ulterior motive involved. On the other hand, you are foolish if you toss any data form recent research as you may need to go back to it at some point in time and redo calculations. This happened to me once and had I not had the data available from a tape backup, I could not have gone back and done a calculation that was being requested of me from reviewers, and my paper would not have been published.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:42PM (#30266636) Journal

    They're not "contrarians'. They're pseudo-skeptics, and you'll still see these science-hater SOBs spouting shitolla "Global Warming Stopped In 1998". Now they're using hackers to bust into researcher emails, and then carefully taking things out of context to make it appear differently.

    One wonders why the retarded mouthpieces that support these guys seem so shy to admit that so many of the pseudoskeptics are on the payroll, one way or the other, of big oil and related fossil fuel companies.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@b[ ].org ['eau' in gap]> on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:49PM (#30266688)

    > Review and duplication does not require publishing all raw data.

    No. If you were asked to peer review a paper, would YOU sign off on it without seeing the data that went into it or (usually) the program code that processed the data? Really?

    Most of this global warming stuff isn't much more than the data. They take raw data and either process it and make projections or use it to feed a computer model that makes projections. The only part published is the end result which is taken on faith since there isn't much more to work with. The raw data isn't submitted as part of the publication/peer review process and apparently the actual computer code driving the models is equally private. So exactly has been being reviewed all these years? And forget duplicating the 'work.' You would basically be finding your own datasets (often with no way to even know if you are using the same data) and doing everything from scratch. Science has really fallen this far?

    Here is a hint. If he says "Trust me" he ain't no scientist he is a salesman/politician.

  • by XDirtypunkX (1290358) on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:50PM (#30266700)

    Then we probably shouldn't compound the issue with CO2?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 29, 2009 @11:57PM (#30266736)

    Absolutely nothing flamebait about that post. Slashdot's moderation system is an epic failure for political issues because moderators can't stand to see a differing opinion that doesn't fit a leftist agenda. As a right-leaning libertarian, my perfectly valid comments have been modded down so many times that I never even get moderation points on this account anymore.

    It's a pretty nice ploy by leftists to shut everyone else up, really. They know that non-leftists tend to respect free speech, and won't mod them into oblivion, but they aren't so honorable when they have the mod points.

    I remember reading a series of comments in someone's journal about how the participants in the conversation had been around for so long and knew all the tricks that they could bury this guy they didn't like. Moderation abuse isn't a misunderstanding of the moderation system, it's a weapon that its practitioners wield to the detriment of honest and lively discussion.

  • Re:Deniers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sarhjinian (94086) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:00AM (#30266762)

    Because he's simplifying to the point of being wrong. So are you.

    It's called climate change because "global warming" has been so soiled by deliberate misunderstanding that it's problematic to use. "Skeptics" have managed to insert a wedge of "creative" misinterpretation into our popular conscious: they'll note a cooling trend in a specific locale, or a specific time period, and gleefully use that cherry-picked factoid to shoot down the whole theory. It'll get some consideration, too, because the idea that the whole planet can go up in temperature on overage, but Podunk can get two snowy winters, is hard for may laypeople to understand. Skeptics know this, and prey on it.

    And a carbon tax isn't "a tax on the basic building blocks of life", it's a tax on emissions of previously-unlocked carbon. This is why things like biofuels aren't being subject to a carbon tax, nor are the production of goods that use non-carbon sources of energy, yet produce something that contains carbon (like, oh, food). It's also why you get credits for locking carbon back up. Of course, people like you and the grandparent devise well, lets not mince words, outright lies about how this stuff works in hopes that people will accept because your lies smell vaguely like truth.

    I'm reminded of any number of meetings I've been in where some dickhead vice-president who knows nothing about technology will, for political or budgetary reasons, give his or her creative, oversimplified misundertanding that sounds reasonable enough to other dickheaded VPs and managers, yet is outright wrong. What you're saying it like that.

  • by Ichijo (607641) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:05AM (#30266808) Homepage Journal

    Your first paragraph seems to indicate that there are those who would actually choose smog over clean air.

    Indeed there are, whenever smog is free and clean air costs money.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:16AM (#30266894) Journal

    Oh I don't know, were you in a coma for the last couple of years ? I just find it really funny that the new stratergy now is to call into question the honesty and ethics of the researchers or basically personal attacks instead of challenging the freaking DATA. Denier still know what data is defined as right ?

    The problem is that the DATA is now in question. I don't know where you've been for the past week or so, but it appears that many of the scientists who have been writing reports for policy makers in the UN and various world governments have been manipulating data, cherry picking data, and then destroying data. After that, they have been denying data to those who ask for it who might discredit their "findings". Why would challenging them be considered a personal attack? It's their professional credibility that is in question.

    So, I guess the question should be, why are you not challenging credibility of those that changed, destroyed and withheld data?

  • by evanspw (872471) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:23AM (#30266938)

    No one disagrees that the earth's climate varies a great deal over any long period of time you care to look at. The question is, if the world is warming at the moment (and over a scale of tens of years, it is), then is this due to man-made causes, and is it happening far faster then it could due purely to natural causes? Furthermore, if the temperature is pushed up, will the effects become decidedly non-linear, in that the processes that regulate climate will themselves change and some (quite different ) equilibrium become the norm? The modeling and experimentation suggests that pumping CO2 into the atmosphere will have a warming effect, though how CO2 interacts with the various climate regulatory and feedback processes is extremely complicated and there's a great deal of work to do. The further question of altering the equilibrium state of the climate (which could be utterly disastrous for civilization, and a great many current species of life on this planet) is even trickier to answer, but there's plenty of good evidence to suggest this could happen (including in the geological record, so we know it is possible).

    I am not a climate scientist, but I do know that in my own field it takes about 10 to 15 years to get really useful at anything. Therefore I am loath to make some quick contrary claim to someone who has spent many years thinking about something. Nearly everyone I have encountered who dismisses AGW is either pretty ignorant about doing science (that's fine, I am sure they are good at other things - it's unrealistic to believe scientific literacy could be universal), or are just plainly unable to contemplate or accept the changes required in the organisation of human affairs (even though these changes would also happen in the absence of global warming), or are just full of anti-environmental politics for various delusional reasons of their won.

  • Re:Deniers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:53AM (#30267130)

    It's called climate change because "global warming" has been so soiled by deliberate misunderstanding that it's problematic to use.

    In other words, it's bad PR. It's kind of you to admit this so readily -- it saves us time. The moment you are concerned with PR your agenda is no longer a purely scientific one. That is what left you vulnerable to "skeptics".

    It'll get some consideration, too, because the idea that the whole planet can go up in temperature on overage, but Podunk can get two snowy winters, is hard for may laypeople to understand. Skeptics know this, and prey on it.

    And rather than educate those laypeople with a more correct message, you'd rather adopt a different name. If that alone doesn't summarize what's wrong with this whole movement, and why many are suspicious of it, I'd be hard pressed to name what does.

    And a carbon tax isn't "a tax on the basic building blocks of life", it's a tax on emissions of previously-unlocked carbon.

    Naturally the federal government will get to define "previously-unlocked." I am sure it will be a sensible definition that is logical, true to the science, and fair in every way, one that won't favor any particular interest groups or large financial interests. Because everything else government regulates has turned out this way, right?

    This is why things like biofuels aren't being subject to a carbon tax, nor are the production of goods that use non-carbon sources of energy, yet produce something that contains carbon (like, oh, food).

    Because government has never started with a small, agreeable maneuver that sounded good and was difficult or impossible to politically oppose, and then added more restrictions and complications, incrementally over periods of time. I mean, it's not like they have a track record of doing this, right?

    Of course, people like you and the grandparent devise well, lets not mince words, outright lies about how this stuff works in hopes that people will accept because your lies smell vaguely like truth.

    When government sees a new excuse for the levy of a tax or the exercise of power, it is not concerned with whether that excuse accurately reflects the actual science. The excuse need not even have a basis in reality, it only needs to be something that average people will believe. "Any excuse will serve a tyrant."

    I'm reminded of any number of meetings I've been in where some dickhead vice-president who knows nothing about technology will, for political or budgetary reasons, give his or her creative, oversimplified misundertanding that sounds reasonable enough to other dickheaded VPs and managers, yet is outright wrong. What you're saying it like that.

    In those meetings, you spoke up and (politely) corrected those VPs and managers, explaining why their reasoning was oversimplified or wrong, and showed those VPs and managers how their wrong reasoning might be corrected. You did that because as a scientist your primary concern is accurate data and sound reasoning, you recognize that good policies and good decisions are based on these, and all other concerns are subordinate to those two primary concerns. Right?

  • How come (Score:1, Insightful)

    by RandySC (9804) <(SlashDot) (at) (Calligaster.Net)> on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:56AM (#30267146)

    these idiots talk about carbon and not carbon dioxide? Does carbon monoxide warm the planet too? Or can we ignore chemistry and this is only about carbon? Ban pencils! I told one friend who is freaked about global warming to give up his soda pop. He said no:)

  • by B1oodAnge1 (1485419) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:57AM (#30267160)

    There are people who would choose money over clean air any day of the week. All of China has done it for starters. The fact that you find it hard to imagine doesn't make his argument a straw-man.

    No. The people in charge in china have chosen to trade money for clean air that other people are breathing. That's significantly different than what you said.

  • by dasunt (249686) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:58AM (#30267166)

    I have an energy patent that will go live January 2010. Forgetting for the moment that I don't own it - more when it's live - , within about sixty seconds of it being available to read, the scientific community will rip me several new ones until every single one of them can duplicate everything that I've done with their own labs and equipment.

    Why worry about the scientific community? Just start building power plants or what not.

  • by ShakaUVM (157947) on Monday November 30, 2009 @01:27AM (#30267344) Homepage Journal

    >>This is what I mean with damned if they do,damned if they don't.

    You're making it more dramatic than it sounds.

    They had the data, and willfully ignored FOIA requests to release it, saying they could only release the "massaged" data, not the raw data. They wouldn't even release raw data for places which had no NDA (which is the vast majority of stations).

    And they did release the data to other groups (like Georgia State), just not to 'climate skeptics'. You can see Jones and the others mocking the climate skeptics when they made their FOIA requests - not to mention the email sent out asking them to delete data in advance of a FOIA request.

    It's malfeasance on the part of Phil Jones - but people like Real Climate.org refuse to see that, instead taking up an it's-us-or-them mentality, defending the indefensible ("there's been no malfeasance") and thus calling their entire side into question.

  • by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris@b[ ].org ['eau' in gap]> on Monday November 30, 2009 @01:38AM (#30267408)

    > Well at least in computer science, this happens all the time.

    Climate science isn't computer science. There only a few temp datasets and 'collecting' a new one isn't an option. If you want a century of records you either use an existing set or wait on i/o for about a century.

    > In fact, if you think the data was biased, then you're obligated to gather it yourself in attempt
    > to get unbiased data. Simply having access to a biased dataset, does not magically make it unbiased.

    As the leaked data now makes clear, access to the raw data would have scuttled these idiots. The data was dodgy enough it wouldn't have withstood even the most cursory review. The temp data is full of gaps they averaged over and did even worse to. One if the more referenced tree ring studies ends up being based on a grand total of twelve cores. Twelve samples!

    > This is doubly frustrating, because the big allegations against Mann's 98 "hockey stick" paper
    > was never about the data gathering. It was about the mathematics presented about analyzing of
    > the data. Would have access have made it easier for McIntyre to write the 2005 paper complaining
    > about MBH98? Yes, but the fact is that it didn't matter. McIntyre didn't have the all data, yet
    > was able to still write detect the bias, write the paper, and get it accepted, shows that it
    > obviously wasn't a deal breaker.

    Several problems with that statement. One, had source been required for publication there is a very non-zero chance the problems would have been caught in peer review. I'm not an expert but from reading about the case the flaw wasn't exactly obfuscated if you had access to the source. Second, that someone with a LOT of time managed to reverse engineer the thing and blow the whistle doesn't remove the need for science to practice full disclosure. Bad science needs to be discovered and tossed in months, not the years it took to debunk Mann. And Mann still hasn't suffered legally or professionally for either his original misconduct or the obvious coverup he aided and abetted.

    If the conclusions of science are to be believable as much of the raw data and the processing it underwent needs to be published. If somebody gets a bad vibe when reading a paper we want the barriers to their sniffing around until they are satisfied to be as low as possible. If the work is really good it will withstand scrutiny and the openness will inspire confidence.

    Remember, the climate scientists are making the most extraordinary claims with the most far ranging consequences ever. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, not "Trust us, we are Scientists!"

  • by Derling Whirvish (636322) on Monday November 30, 2009 @02:18AM (#30267592) Journal
    And each American produces almost 8 times the GNP of their Chinese counterpart. So by that standard [wikipedia.org], each Chinese produces about TWICE the CO2 per unit of economic output as his American counterpart. China needs to clean up its act.
  • by chebucto (992517) * on Monday November 30, 2009 @02:45AM (#30267704) Homepage

    The text you quote says

    "Show the Briffa et al reconstruction through to its end; don't stop in 1960. Then comment and deal with the "divergence problem" if you need to. Don't cover up the divergence by truncating this graphic. This was done in IPCC TAR; this was misleading (comment ID #: 309-18)"

    Whoever wrote that described truncating the graphic as 'misleading', not fradulent or sinister. The author also implicitly agreed with the premise of questioning the data, at least, by suggesting that the data in question be commented on for clarification.

    The divergence problem itself is explained here [blogspot.com] - in short, tree-ring data used is used as a proxy for temperature but data for North America 'diverges' from other readings around the middle of the 20th century. And though I have no idea how reliable that blog is, it seems like it is the same issue referred to in this [economist.com] article in The Economist, where that (sober and well informed) newspaper states

    Hence the eagerness with which bloggers fell on one of the stolen e-mails, sent in 1999 by Phil Jones, the CRU's director: "I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." Trickery associated with Dr Mann was catnip to the sceptics. But Dr Jones has clarified that "The word trick was used here colloquially as in a clever thing to do. It is ludicrous to suggest that it refers to anything untoward." The "hiding" concerned the decision to leave out a set of tree-ring-growth data that had stopped reflecting local temperature changes. That alteration in growth pattern is strange, and unexplained, but eliminating it is not sinister.

    Got anything else?

  • Political Agendas (Score:4, Insightful)

    by nathanh (1214) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:05AM (#30267820) Homepage

    It seems there's a concerted campaign by certain political groups - especially USA political groups - to push the meme that this is a "scandal". But there is no scandal because the stolen emails don't invalidate the science.

    They can't attack the science, so they attack the scientists. The science has been peer reviewed, independently verified, and the predictions made by CRU have already come to pass. The science is robust. So all they can do is attack the scientists.

    This is a smear campaign, conducted by political screechers with a clearly visible agenda.

  • Re:Deniers? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Toonol (1057698) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:47AM (#30267980)
    Of course the shift in language is a PR exercise. That's because when you are trying to tell the world some important information, use of language is important. It's called nuance. Public Relations is just that - relating information to the public at large. If you discover that the language you are using is not getting the message across, then you have to alter the language to succeed. Otherwise you simply get drowned out by people who are betting at language, but not necessarily better at science.

    But by resorting to PR stunts, they've lost much of their credibility as an objective scientist. I now have to look at them, and instead of thinking about what they're saying, try to see through the spin to figure out what they are REALLY saying. I can understand why they're doing it, but it's a bad move; it will come back to bite them. Once it becomes evident they're spinning, even for a 'good cause', every statement they make becomes suspect.
  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SteveWoz (152247) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:59AM (#30268044) Homepage

    Who cares if it's good or bad science? Parties are taking sides for the fun of taking sides. But there is no science yet that can tell us that by spending $100T over 50 years we can lower the global temperature by a tenth of a degree. Those saying we should make sacrifices are irresponsible if they can't assure us of any beneficial outcome.

  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Monday November 30, 2009 @04:01AM (#30268062) Journal
    "So, you're saying, "Cut off funding for anyone who questions the official position that this is an urgent global crisis that demands massive government intervention"?"

    No, he is saying that the question of whether AGW is real has been reasearched for over 100yrs, culimanating with two decades spent on what is probably the largest scientific effort ever undertaken by mankind. He is also saying there is zero eveidence in the scientific litrature to dispute the OBSERVATION that pumping half a trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over the last 150yrs has already fucked up the climate.

    Giving money to the engineers to fix the mess and avoid pumping another half a trillion tons into the atmosphere over the next 40yrs is exactly what every respected scientific institution on the planet has been loudly advocating [nature.com] for at least a decade. Some institutions such as the US National Acedemy of Science (NAS) have been warning their government about the OBSERVED problem since the 1950's

    But yes, this is science and they could all be wrong. No matter how unlikely that possibility is you can still use the philosophical point to engage in wishfull thinking and prey that an oppressed genius will emerge from his basement and demonstrate why every physicist since Fourier (circa 1824) has been mistaken about the physical properties of CO2. Regardless of philosophy that position is not rational, let alone scientific.

    In short the only people calling for more reasearch on the basic question of whether humans are effecting the climate are vested interest who want to delay action and the ignorant who lap up thier anti-science propoganda.
  • by DoctorLard (926224) on Monday November 30, 2009 @04:46AM (#30268276) Homepage

    Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people? Every Slashdot story about climate change brings out all you whinging Americans spouting a load of nonsense you've read on the train in the Wall Street Journal. Clearly, none of you are conversant in the finer details of climatology. If you were, you would realise how ridiculous you sound. Honestly, you sound like the dribbling fuckwits who deny evolution. You may as well be trying to argue that the world is flat. It's embarrassing.

    Who cares what some scientists are scheming or emailing each other? The facts will remain long after they've been and gone. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has not been this high for several million years. We know the excess can only have come from fossil fuels because the carbon isotope ratios would be wrong otherwise. We know that temperature tracks CO2. We know it's not vulcanism or solar variations (give me a fucking break) because of the trace element data. We know all this shit because oxygen isotope ratios, dating, trace elements, and so on in ice cores, deep sea sediments, coral reefs, tree rings, stalactites and thousands of other independent datasets from all around the world, all say the same thing.

    No modeling required.

    It's all actually very interesting, not that difficult, and you should read it all and attempt to understand it yourself. But seriously, trying to argue that either climate change isn't happening, or that it is but it isn't us, just makes you all look like a bunch of ignorant arse-hats, and I'm fucking sick of listening to your drivel.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Monday November 30, 2009 @04:49AM (#30268288) Journal

    How in the world do you come to that conclusion?

    India went from being a food importer, to being a major exporter by abandoning government control of agriculture.

    -jcr

  • by Xest (935314) on Monday November 30, 2009 @04:53AM (#30268302)

    Yep.

    Stalling deforestation in the Amazon and such is important regardless of the effect it may or may not have on climate change, simply because there are so many undiscovered plant and animal species there that may offer cures for various illnesses we've yet to find cures for. We're destroying these resources before we've even discovered them.

    On the fuel side of things, moving to devices that consume less power to do the same job through efficiency gains and cutting dependance on oil that creates great conflict are examples of things that would make the world better.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Vintermann (400722) on Monday November 30, 2009 @04:58AM (#30268320) Homepage
    > The problem is that in this field there aren't thousands of other researchers.

    Yes, there are in fact.

    "People from over 130 countries contributed to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report over the previous 6 years. These people included more than 2500 scientific expert reviewers, more than 800 contributing authors, and more than 450 lead authors."

    No matter how you argue the numbers, there are way too many for a conspiracy.
  • by Aceticon (140883) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:19AM (#30268638)

    why are we focusing so much on Carbon

    Probably because the major source of CO2 is burning fossil fuels, most notably Oil derivatives and Gas.

    Said Oil and Gas mostly come from unstable or dangerous nations or nations that promote violent and extremist forms of religion (for example, Wahabism, one of the most xenophobic forms of Islam is practiced and promoted by Saudi Arabia, to the point of them paying for madrassas all over the Islamic world to teach the locals to "hate the infidels").

    Almost everybody across the political spectrum in Western nations agrees that stopping the transfer of money to most of those places is a "Good Thing".

    Thus in the specific case of reducing CO2 emissions, the interests of the Green Left neatly dovetail with the interests of the Nationalistic Right.

    A future of all-electric transportation fed with electricity from nuclear power would probably satisfy everybody involved (notice that even the pro-Ecology mainstream has accepted nuclear as the least bad option).

  • Re:Deniers? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bongo (13261) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:27AM (#30268664)

    Because he's simplifying to the point of being wrong. So are you.

    It's called climate change because "global warming" has been so soiled by deliberate misunderstanding that it's problematic to use. "Skeptics" have managed to insert a wedge of "creative" misinterpretation into our popular conscious: they'll note a cooling trend in a specific locale, or a specific time period, and gleefully use that cherry-picked factoid to shoot down the whole theory. It'll get some consideration, too, because the idea that the whole planet can go up in temperature on overage, but Podunk can get two snowy winters, is hard for may laypeople to understand.

    Your description of sceptics is right for some sceptics, but not for many. Sceptics are well aware that climate is the long term trends in weather. Sceptics know that you can't take one cold year as evidence, so they are amused when they watch climate change activists advocate one bad hurricane as an "example" of what climate change will bring (and some activists even go so far as to say the hurricane was likely caused by global warming.) Climate change activists are also quite vocal about "record" temperature years, even though one year does not a trend make. But let's leave that aside as a minor issue.

    The bigger issue is that climate is at the minimum a 15 to 30 year trend. Sceptics know this. And you know what that means? It means the models and the hypothesis cannot be demonstrated to be consistent with observations unless we wait another 30 years. Notice the recent decade has been more or less flat or just not warmed enough, and we are expected to ignore that because 10 years is still short of 15 to 30 years. Fine. I am happy to wait 30 years to know whether the hypothesis is consistent with observations. Just don't claim the hypothesis is already proven beyond reasonable doubt.

    And if you feel the need to say, "but by then it will be too late", then fine, I am happy to listen to people say "we have a speculation based on the data gathered so far, about the climate where we think it could lead to disaster sometime in the future--we can't prove it, it might be right or wrong, but we need y'all to pay attention, and you need to fund this thing more so we can gather much more data and do a real engineering-quality study with checks and counterchecks".

    I used to believe global warming 100% until I heard them start saying that they were virtually certain, for all practical purposes, about their 50 and 100 year "scenarios" (predictions) about climate. Most predictions by experts have a high likelihood of being wrong, unless they have been made using an empirical study of the kinds of things that lead to good predictions. Empirically, being an expert in the field tends to make your prediction less likely to be true, due to bias of overconfidence in being an expert. There are ways round that, but sitting in your ivory tower shouting "But I'm the expert!!" is not one of them.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by delt0r (999393) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:44AM (#30268726)
    And predictions from models are not facts either.
  • by drsquare (530038) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:51AM (#30268770)

    So, if you make more junk, you get to destroy the environment for anyone else? That's pretty strange logic. It's ok that I'm dumping chemicals in your water table, because I'm making a really big TV. It's ok that I'm acidifying the seas, because I'm doing it to make myself a really expensive SUV.

    Perhaps you should develop an economy that isn't based on pollution. If you can't do that, then maybe your capitalist model is flawed.

  • by Neon Aardvark (967388) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:59AM (#30268788) Homepage

    They can't attack the science, so they attack the scientists.

    This statement is utterly false.

    Read climate audit. Read about the divergence problem. Read about unreproducible graphs. Read about bizarre weightings. Read about manipulated data from now "lost" raw data. Read about white noise input yielding "increasing temperatures" as output.

    There is much to attack in this "science".

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by furball (2853) on Monday November 30, 2009 @06:59AM (#30268794) Journal

    If carbon dioxide increases global temperature, did carbon dioxide stop increasing since 1998?

    Why did global warming seemingly stopped if carbon dioxide increase did not seemingly stop? Are the two related? Are they unrelated? What causes changes in global temperature? How much does human activity factor in?

    If 2005 was the warmest year on record, how does the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere relate to the prior years and the later years? Were there more carbon dioxide or less?

    If the global temperature moves in directions different than the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, what conclusions should we draw?

    I'm a complete layman and haven't been paying attention to the science at all. You seem pretty clued in. Clue me in.

  • by furball (2853) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:13AM (#30268846) Journal

    We know that temperature tracks CO2.

    Do we know that for sure? Plot a graph of global temperature. Now plot a graph of atmospheric CO2.

    What do you see?

  • by Bongo (13261) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:16AM (#30268862)

    It just happened to stop reflecting temperature for one period for reasons unknown, a period where we had thermometer records to check against. But you know, we will continue to assume (for reasons unknown) that the series reflects temperature back in time, in those periods where we don't have thermometer temperatures to check against. Riiiight.

    Put it to you this way. You make 10 predictions. 5 of them come true, and 5 turn out false. You now hide the 5 that came out false. You present the 5 that came true as your original 5 predictions, and everyone believes you got it right 100% of the time. Your predictions are therefore highly reliable. A sceptic comes along and steals your private notebook. Therein he finds not just the 5 predictions that came true, but the whole 10 including the 5 you got wrong. You now appear to be someone who gets it right only 50% of the time (ie. like any naive unskilled person would). When questioned, you and your buddies say, in respectable sounding academic language, "it would have been inappropriate to show all 10 predictions." Riiiight.

  • by smoker2 (750216) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:33AM (#30268930) Homepage Journal
    How the fuck do you get an insightful for basically confirming, against your own argument, that we have been steadily warming since the last ice age ? 10,000 years ago you could walk from the UK to continental Europe. Has sea level not risen ? Even the ice cores show that the climate has been warming [climatedata.info] since about 20,000 years ago. Can you see a pattern in those graphs ? Can you ? Or does your need to bash the so called "deniers" override your visual cortex to the extent that all you can see is red ?

    To me, those graphs show that over a period of time, we can expect the climate to experience rapid warming, followed by a longer period of cooling, where it gets very very cold, followed again by a rapid warming period. At what stage of that cycle are we currently living in ? The peak of the warming stage. Sure we may have higher CO2 than at similar points in past stages but not outside the realms of statistical possibility. There have been times where the peak was much lower than the average maximum, and now the peak is much higher than the average maximum. None of that precludes the fact that the long term cycle exists and going by past evidence will peak and turn down towards ice age. And if you think humans have the capability to prevent a cycle that runs over the order of 120,000 years from happening, just to suit our interests, then you are the one in denial - denial of just how insignificant we really are.

    Basically, if we aren't in a retreat from the last ice age, we are in a decline towards the next ice age. As we seem to be still climbing in both CO2 and temperature, I would go for the former - we are in the last stages of ice age retreat, will soon peak and start dropping towards the worst fucking nightmare, making the global warming scare seem like a sunny day at the beach. Fortunately, CO2 tends to lag temperature meaning that the extra CO2 we have produced will keep us warmer than we would have expected to be when the average temperature drops 3 or 4 degrees. Look at the graphs, specifically the Temp/CO2 graph [climatedata.info]. What happened about 120,000 years ago ? Does that part of the graph look ANYTHING like the current situation ? I say it does, and anybody with working eyes would say the same. But you seem content to blame the warming trend on humans, all evidence to the contrary. What goes up MUST come down. The quicker it goes up, the more rapid the fall when it comes. I would suggest it's a bit too late to be worrying about what we released into the atmosphere, it's done its damage already. If you're suggesting that we can transform the future graph into a straight line at roughly the place where we want it to be, I suggest you see a psychiatrist.

    Maybe, just maybe, we could prevent temps from rising too rapidly, but that does not negate the overall trend, where the average is 6 degrees less, and the maximum is roughly 15 degrees less than today. Surely the most important long term aim is to prevent cooling not warming ? The only issue I have with higher CO2 levels is that we can't breathe it, but to protect ourselves there, maybe we shouldn't cut down all the trees, pollute the oceans and burn things just to make money.

    Now you tell me, where is that actual recorded data wrong ? It wasn't the result of a flawed model, it hasn't been tweaked to suit my agenda, it has been measured by climate scientists from existing sources. But you still claim we are not "coming out of an ice age" ? It seems to me YOU are the denier, YOU are putting forward red herrings, in fact the red herring argument is itself a red herring, because it draws attention away from the facts. As do all the mouth frothing AGW religious types. They claim the data shows the end of the world is nigh but refuse to accept what the data is showing them. Instead they focus on such a short timescale that it can't be measured on the same scale as the evidenc
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:33AM (#30268934)

    "So exactly has been being reviewed all these years? And forget duplicating the 'work.' You would basically be finding your own datasets (often with no way to even know if you are using the same data) and doing everything from scratch."

    Replicating results from scratch takes a lot of work, yes.

    What you are forgetting is that we don't want to simply take the same data and crunch it with the same programs. What's the point of that? We *DO* want completely independent analysis of the raw data and completely independent coding of algorithms whenever possible. People forget that the peer review process is only partially done at the paper review stage. It's a basic sanity check, not the end of the scientific process. Reviewers do not take the time to completely independently replicate the results. It's impractical. The real review occurs upon publication when thousands of other scientists see the publication and do start tearing it apart or independently replicating the results.

    Scientists aren't saying "trust me", they're saying "Read the publication and do your own damn analysis from scratch, like every other decent scientist does, and verify it or negate it for yourself. We look forward to your paper on the subject." You don't do exactly the same thing over again. You do your own version and see if the results match or not.

    Too much work? Too bad. Science is hard work.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jamie (78724) * Works for Slashdot <jamie@slashdot.org> on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:36AM (#30268946) Journal
    You wrote something similar to this in another comment too:

    Those climate 'scientists', to be responsible, should be telling us not to take a single step until they can generate the scientific models to assure us that if, for example, we invested $100T over 50 years we would lower the temperature even a tenth of a degree.

    You're just wrong here, Steve, on two levels.

    One is that you're forgetting that "not to decide is to decide." Everyone knows the predictive models are inexact. Even over the past ten years or so, we've seen the best scientific predictions proved wrong -- global warming is getting much worse, much faster, than the consensus belief in 1999.

    Waiting for an arbitrary standard of scientific certainty before changing any behavior is an option the world has, one option among many: the "continue as before" option. What we do know is that that leads to disaster. We may not be able to say exactly when which exact magnitude of disaster will arrive, but it is known to be a catastrophe of global proportions.

    And we may not be able to know the ideal time to begin acting for optimum return on our economic sacrifice, but it's pretty clearly in the past: beginning global greenhouse-gas reduction efforts ten years ago would have been better than, say, now.

    The other level you're wrong at is that it's scientists' job to give us information about our options. Refusing to tell us that the status quo leads to catastrophe until predictive abilities reach an arbitrary threshold of certainty would be a breach of scientific responsibility. And pretty amoral too, it'd take a Guild of Evil Scientist level of inhumanity to know about impending world destruction and swear a pact not to say anything.

    Suppose the approaching danger were instead an archipelago of asteroids whose orbit will approximately intersect the earth in a hundred years. The scientists don't know whether the really big rocks will hit the earth but some of the medium-size ones probably will. They don't have any plans for deflecting them or taking earthbound steps to handle the catastrophe. But shouldn't they tell us what they know? And, as fellow human beings, wouldn't they recommend that the world take the best known course of action at the best possible time?

  • by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday November 30, 2009 @07:43AM (#30268956)

    If the _results_ from the lab in question match up with other independent results, what possible grounds to laymen have to presume the data was deliberately changed? Unless they assume that all independent labs falsified their data in concert, which would be a hell of a conspiracy.

    Show me the independent verification of the paper Jones et al 1990.

    Lets get this part out of the way real quickly. Firstly is that Jones is the man who runs that Real Climate this article mentions, and is also the big climate cheese at the CRU whos emails were hacked and said all sorts of questionable things in them.

    Now, the paper in question is supposedly the definitive attempt the measure the Urban Heat Island effect. Almost two decades worth of Freedom Of Information requests were thwarted by Jones and one of his co-authors, Wang. Of focus here is that the paper claims that they took the raw china temperature data and weeded out the site locations which had unknown site provenance. That is, specifically, that they supposedly only used data from sites which had little to no urbanization or instrumentation changes over the period of the study.

    So the site provenance data needs to be available in order to independently verify this paper. Unfortunately, IT DOES NOT EXIST ANY LONGER, and according to the DOE which produced a report (written by Zeng and *Wang*) AT THE SAME TIME as the Jones and *Wang* 1990 paper was being written, STATED EXPLICITLY THAT THIS DATA DID NOT EXIST.

    Somebody completely made it up (probably Wang) and so far, nothing has been done about the allegations of outright scientific fraud. [informath.org]

    I'll take your independent verification argument seriously when it actually becomes possible to independently verify the works of these fraudsters. Thats right, it is IMPOSSIBLE to even BEGIN to verify some of their work BECAUSE the data they claim to have had DOES NOT EXIST and PROBABLY DIDNT EVEN EXIST WHEN THE WORK WAS DONE.

  • by nathanh (1214) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:04AM (#30269058) Homepage

    Read climate audit. Read about the divergence problem. Read about unreproducible graphs. Read about bizarre weightings. Read about manipulated data from now "lost" raw data. Read about white noise input yielding "increasing temperatures" as output.

    Are you an expert in climatology? Most people aren't, which is why I care more about the peer-reviewed science journals, than the harpy screeching of "armchair experts".

    I often wonder whether people who appear to know "oh so much" about the flaws in climatology, put as much effort into discovering the faults in other fields of science.

    I strongly suspect not. Because if they did, they would see that climatology is one of the most rigorous of the scientific fields. It has to be, because it is under incredible and unprecedented scrutiny.

    But go ahead, tell me how much there is "to attack in this science", as if you had the faintest clue about the practical nature of scientific research.

  • by pjt33 (739471) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:32AM (#30269242)

    He is also saying there is zero eveidence in the scientific litrature to dispute the OBSERVATION that pumping half a trillion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere over the last 150yrs has already fucked up the climate.

    That's a conclusion*, not an observation. In the context of scientific research, observations are measurements; while there is a general usage of the word meaning "remark", it's unhelpful to use it in this context.

    * Or an assertion without evidence, but I'm giving benefit of the doubt.

  • by ArcherB (796902) on Monday November 30, 2009 @08:38AM (#30269280) Journal

    And how do you know all this? That's right, the data. Well, if it turns out that the data has been manipulated, would you still believe it?

    Evidently.

    I'm not saying that climate change isn't happening. It has always happened. What I am saying is that the data needs to be reexamined, the code needs to be rewritten and the models need to be reevaluated. Why, because a couple of scientists fucked it up.

  • by DarthVain (724186) on Monday November 30, 2009 @09:55AM (#30269916)

    has nothing to do with global warming. It has to do (in at least my opinion) people making the wrong decision about what is right.

    Basically you have some SCIENTISTS arguing that this research and information should NOT be available to the public, as they feel they are the only ones qualified to understand it.

    Essentially, they want to avoid having to spend time defending their conclusions from people they view as biased or crackpots.

    To my mind this is wrong on so many levels I find it hard to contemplate. I understand their frustration, and I sympathize, however this type of behavior is wrong.

    First the arrogance to think, that only they know better than anyone else, it is just mind shattering. Sure they have specialized training that enables them to use this information likely better than most, but that is not to say that nobody else cannot reason for themselves.

    Secondly, if they cannot defend their conclusions or their postulations from a bunch of biased crackpots, then they need to work harder at formulating concrete analysis and conclusions, and stop being lazy by saying "oh they are just crazy, it is a waste of time to defend MY theories". I am sorry, its called scientific method. Prove your shit, and defend it you bums.

    Thirdly, if trying to build confidence in your cause and support for your conclusions, promoting an air of secrecy is not the way to do it. Science should be done in a transparent manner. You know, so your findings can be replicated, and your conclusions tested by others.

    Anyway their simple lack of common sense here disturbing.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:01AM (#30269988)

    But yes, this is science and they could all be wrong.

    No, this is politics. Science requires an extremely high level of proof and always retains an element of doubt because it is just about finding the truth. Politics, on the other hand, requires making decisions now about what to do. Based on the evidence currently available regarding the probabilities of various outcomes and the associated costs of those outcomes, reducing CO2 emissions is clearly the right thing to do. Yes, there's a small chance that it's a waste of time and there's a cost associated with that but there's a much higher probability that it will help avoid the very high costs associated with rapid global temperature rises.

    I get so sick of hearing people use the 0.01% chance that the consensus on climate change is wrong as an excuse to disagree with the overwhelming evidence. It's as if it's a matter of religious choice - as if people should be allowed to believe whatever they want. Sure they can believe what they want but when they try to spread their beliefs or let their beliefs influence public policy, we'll be there saying how very wrong they are, as loudly as we can, while waving the mountain of evidence in their face.

  • by Idiot with a gun (1081749) on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:15AM (#30270118)
    And many people who loudly advocate AGW are willing to cut the standard of life for everyone else. This is why a lot of people doubt, it doesn't look so good when your major prophets (yes, AGW is becoming a religion, since people have begun to speak in terms of "Believers" and "Deniers"), fly around in private jets (hello Al Gore!).

    Does it mean AGW is false? No, of course not. Do I believe it's true? Not really, but I think reducing our output of CO2 and other pollutants would be a great idea anyways, for a myriad of reasons.
  • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:17AM (#30270142) Journal
    "Man it's a good thing the earth is only billions of years old, or the 100+ years of scientific research might just seem insignificant in comparison."

    Man it's a good thing that reasearch over the last hundered years has convinced you that the Earth is billions of years old.
  • by mrcaseyj (902945) on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:25AM (#30270232)
    So they said they would delete the data rather than give it up. And the said they would hide behind non-disclosure agreements so they wouldn't have to give up the data. And they said they got other universities and government agencies to go along with hiding the data. But you think we should still give them the benefit of the doubt and believe their story that they just accidentally lost the data.
  • Re:Deniers? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Monday November 30, 2009 @10:59AM (#30270552)
    because when you are trying to tell the world some important information, use of language is important. It's called nuance

    It can also be called "oily hucksterism" or "lying" or "spinning" etc.

    We're talking about a movement that wants to re-arrange trillions of dollars of productivity by reallocating its output. We're talking about a movement that's prepared to wildly punish western economies that are doing more than any culture in human history to re-invent how they use energy, recycle materials, transport people and goods ... even as "developing" economies that are actually far more massive are being given a pass while they carry on as if nobody on the planet has learned anything since 1960.

    Yes, it takes some real PR to make a kid matriculate from elementary school thoroughly in the grips of this new brand of Original Sin, and seeking salvation for it by cutting giant new polluting economies a whole lot of perpetual slack. Guys like Al Gore have cleverly positioned themselves to make billions off of that well-packaged guilt and fear trip, and it's well-nuanced PR that got him there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2009 @11:07AM (#30270622)

    AFAIK all countries in IPCC voted on a range of existing scenarios modelling our current and future CO2 output to find a "consensus" middle ground. All this means is that maybe, some of the more extreme, "ohmygodwe'reallgoingtodie" scenarios, e.g. A2 instead of A1B or B1, was a better predictor of the data.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lawrence_Bird (67278) on Monday November 30, 2009 @12:01PM (#30271278) Homepage

    Quite the contrary. People are entitled to their own opinion AND entitled to challenge what others claim as facts including but not limited to the quality and veracity of the raw data.

  • Re:Oh, hey, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimbolauski (882977) on Monday November 30, 2009 @02:14PM (#30272914) Journal

    global warming is getting much worse, much faster, than the consensus belief in 1999.

    The hockey stick model that was the consensus belief back in 1999 and has been proven wrong there has been a decline in average global temp since 1999. The problem is that if there is a critical GW problem what will it take to avoid it, will carbon taxes that would demolish the economy fix it, or must more be done at a greater cost. Is the cure more harmful than the problem? If the sky is truly falling I have no problem with the radical steps proposed but I have YET to see any data that would suggest that radical steps must be taken in order to avoid a catastrophe.

  • by orangedan (1643169) on Monday November 30, 2009 @03:43PM (#30274358)

    Do you think that all the hundreds of people who hold Ph.D's on this stuff wouldn't notice the big, hot ball in the sky, or haven't done core extractions?

    Without giving my stance on the issue at hand, I would like to point out that people with Ph.D's also notice where the grant money is. Just because they've spent a lot of time in school does not make them saints. A Ph.D does not mean you automatically get to have your opinion respected.

  • I saw it! It was on TV!

    You need a re-introduction to the Socratic definition of "knowledge".

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