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Earth Science

Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated 715

Posted by samzenpus
from the let-the-flamewar-begin dept.
DustyShadow writes "On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) claimed that the Hadley Center for Climate Change had probably tampered with Russian-climate data. The IEA believes that Russian meteorological-station data did not substantiate the anthropogenic global-warming theory. Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations. The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley CRU survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century."
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Russians Claim More Climate Data Was Manipulated

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:11AM (#30468900) Journal
    Well, let's see if they have any bias [google.com] (although this is poorly translated):

    Proposed supporters of climate alarmism methods to combat global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions are not only scientifically unfounded - in the absence of extraordinary characteristics of modern climate change, but also incredibly expensive in economic terms. Especially dangerous such measures, if adopted, are for the medium and low levels of economic development, effectively cut off their path to reduce the economic gap with more developed nations of the world.

    I'm going to venture out on a limb here and say that the Institute of Economic Analysis is primarily concerned about the economic problems with combatting anthropogenic global warming. Unfortunately, that's not what this is about. This is about what scientific tools we can apply to develop a percentage of how sure we are that such climate change is created by man and -- actually happening. Until we establish it is or isn't, will the economic institutions relax and let the institutions who contain the most appropriate experts publish, release and make conclusions from the data.

    Credibility skyrockets when I read the subtext of the blog's heading (that is linked to by the story):

    James Delingpole is a writer, journalist and broadcaster who is right about everything. He is the author of numerous fantastically entertaining books including Welcome To Obamaland: I've Seen Your Future And It Doesn't Work, How To Be Right, and the Coward series of WWII adventure novels. His website is www.jamesdelingpole.com

    Oh if you think he might be an unbiased reporter working for the telegraph, please visit his page that he shamelessly plugs.

    Unless the IEA produces data it claims is 100% raw uncut, this story is below the threshold of credibility.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:17AM (#30468944)

      Yeah, way to skip right over the actual allegation. Do their claims, in and of themselves, have merit? Wouldn't take long to find out. But attacking the claimants sure is a handy shortcut in logical argument, isn't it?

      If the CRU letters are any indication, I guess this is how "science" is done these days, now, anyway.

      Welcome to the "new science." Guess we better all just get used to it.

      • Yeah, way to skip right over the actual allegation. Do their claims, in and of themselves, have merit? Wouldn't take long to find out.

        I hate to break it to you but neither side has given me data. Saying so and so skipped over data from here and there does nothing for me when I can't see the data and do my own statistical analysis. If the IAE is so sure and has the data, why don't they publish the adjusted figures to show us just how much we were lied to?

        No choice but to listen to those with the data publishing the reports. Does it suck? Yes. But oftentimes that's how studies with empirical data works--especially if it cost a lot of money to acquire that data. We're not talking about a repeatable experiment here to be verified in another lab. And for some reason, we're not demanding they open the sequencing data on the cancer gene [slashdot.org] we just accepted that story and we trusted those scientists. But suddenly it's about climate change therefor you're now all more qualified experts than those with the data. Why is that? What is it about climate change that suddenly everyone and their dog can tell you how wrong the scientists are?

        Welcome to the "new science." Guess we better all just get used to it.

        Grow up. Your faux apathy rhetoric is amusing after I listen to you accuse me of an ad hominem attack.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:55AM (#30469240)

          The problem with your assertion is that it is an appeal to authority type logical fallacy, in and of itself;

          1) The scientists have the data, so 2) they must know more about the data than we do, so 3) we should trust them implicitly in their interpretations of that data.

          This does not follow, because it totally ignores that the scientists with the data may have intrinsic bias, or even that they could be wrong. This is exactly why when you get a diagnosis from a doctor that says "Operate!", you get a second opinion.

          The problem here, is exactly like you stated; The data to get the second opinion is not public. Unlike the patient who may need an operation, who's body is the evidence, and is available on demand for inspection by the doctor giving the second opinion, all the potentially qualified persons to give a respectable response to this question are blocked out because of finanical interests on the data.

          Essentially, we have the global climate change fear mongers on one side, shouting "OPERATE!" (through drastic slashing of manufacturing technologies, draconian cap and trade taxation, repossession of private property, and a whole host of other proceedures of questionable value), and on the other, you have the alternative medicine quack that says "The pain is all in your mind" (EG, the non-scientists that say that human released carbon dioxide has no impact on the environment whatsoever, in spite of the fact that this is not supported by even the slightest bit of chemical evidence.)

          The patient (which is represented by the public in this case) is then left seeking a REAL second opinion; Are cap and trade&Co really necessary? The patient WANTS a *REAL* answer to that question, but is continually fed the PR pamphlets from both (disreputable) extremists.

          I for one, want the data to be released publicly. This is especially true if the data was collected using public funds, such as through NOAA, or in this case, through the russian government and russian taxpayer money.

          Right now, the patient is basically pleading with reputable doctors for a second opinion, but the doctors have to turn them away, because the medical history is "Confidential."

          Stop trying to sound high and mighty about how fantabulously reputable the CRU scientists are, when you know damned well that scientists are people, and people are faulty.

          The *ONLY* way to settle this, is to release the data. Given the far reaching implications of the decisions that will be reached through interpretation of this data, FOR EVERYONE IN THE WORLD, I fail to see how the financial interests of the people who collected it can outweigh the invested interest of the rest of the whole world, who's economical and climatological futures hinge upon it.

          If there is bad interpretation, and a misdiagnosis, sunshine will reveal it.

          If not, Sunshine will also reveal it.

          What we need is sunshine on the raw data; NOT specious arguments one way or the other on which side of the debate to "Simply Trust", when both have shown signs of being disreputable.

          • by UltraAyla (828879) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:49AM (#30469628) Homepage

            So, I would like to add something here. I think that a blanket release of the raw data could be problematic, but am for a data release. Even as someone with a degree that covers environmental sciences, economics, and statistics, I am not qualified to make a true analysis of this data and neither are 99% of the people who would attempt it, then claim one thing or the other. However, I am in support of the release of the data. Withholding data understandably engenders mistrust and releasing it would help, but I think that it should be released to a broad group of people who are agreed to have enough expertise to analyze the data.

            This isn't to create some elite walled garden, but to give the science and data the respect they need in order to tell us anything. I feel like if the release was made to a broad enough group, and specifically a group of people with no history of weighing in on climate change, it should quell a lot of concerns about who is allowed to interpret the data.

            Finally, thanks for making a real post with genuine concerns about the data instead of simply screaming hysteria like so many have on this data release without attempting to understand the context of the release.

          • by shadowofwind (1209890) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:03AM (#30469730)

            Good post. Maybe also worth noting is that all scientists depend on grant money, and winning grant money depends on politics. The best scientists have to compete with the most politically adept ones. If the public were more interested in science and less in empowering their own faction it would make things a lot easier.

          • by Namarrgon (105036) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:15AM (#30469820) Homepage

            This does not follow, because it totally ignores that the scientists with the data may have intrinsic bias, or even that they could be wrong. This is exactly why when you get a diagnosis from a doctor that says "Operate!", you get a second opinion.

            One problem with this analogy is that it's not just one "doctor" that's saying "operate", it's thousands [wikipedia.org]. How many more "second opinions" do you want before you accept that perhaps you actually need an operation? Are all those doctors quacks, every one of them?

            I do agree the data should be public - and AFAIK there already are a great many public datasets, at NOAA and other places. You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree). Just make sure you analyse a significant proportion of the data, and not just cherry-pick the bits that appear to agree with your conclusion, like so many deniers are guilty of.

            • by the_womble (580291) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @05:45AM (#30471146) Homepage Journal

              Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed. The consensus view in medicine has been wrong lots of times: routine tonsilectomy, eggs and other foods as contributing to high cholesterol, the effects of tobacco and alcohol - the last is particularly good because you can very easily see that many individual doctors use their medical knowledge to bolster their own prejudices and choices.

              You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree).

              Why should that restriction exist at all? Who decides what a relevant degree? Do you need to be a climatologist? a statistician? is my econometrics heavy MSc enough?

              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed. The consensus view in medicine has been wrong lots of times: routine tonsilectomy, eggs and other foods as contributing to high cholesterol, the effects of tobacco and alcohol - the last is particularly good because you can very easily see that many individual doctors use their medical knowledge to bolster their own prejudices and choices.

                I think the key difference here is that the human body is a complex, hard to diagnose system. Its functions were not deterministically designed, but instead arose in a complicated, interdependent fashion.

                The climate of the Earth on the other hand, well all you have to do is lick your thumb and hold it to the wind to figure out what's going on!

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by newhoggy (672061)

                Phlogiston, persisted as a theory because no competing hypothesis existed at the time could better explained the data, and the data available at the time did not contradict the theory.

                Climate science today is different with many scientists going out of there way to enormous quantities of data ranging from this such as tree rings, to limestone deposits, to sun spots to ice cores to real temperature data from the ground and from satellites.

                Mind you, the term "greenhouse effect" was introduced way back in the

              • Why should that restriction exist at all?

                To weed out trolls.
                 
                The background knowledge needed to interpret raw climatological data is immense. I'm knee deep in it now, and it's not straight forward. It's not a nice excel spreadsheet. The amount of work that needs to be done to just get the data into the sort of shape where statistics can be done on it is tremendous. A few quick examples:
                 
                Arctic measurements. You may already know this, but shit breaks in the cold. All the time. Add in ice melting and thawing, and 50 mph winds, and equipment does not last long. So our data from arctic areas is filled with holes. It's got bogus measurements. Knowing how to spot those bogus results requires an understanding of the equipment being used, how it functions in the cold, and where it's located. You may be able to totally trust a piece of equipment at temperatures over -10C, but have to throw out all data for temperatures below -60C. Just handing out the raw data to anyone will result in some fool taking it as absolute truth.
                 
                There are dozens of climatological oscillations in the earth's atmosphere and oceans. El Nino is half of the most famous one. (No, the other half isn't La Nina, it's the Southern Oscillation) When you look at something like temperature data, you see all sorts of ups and downs. When a couple of these oscillations are in phase, you'll have abnormally high or low temperatures. When they're not in phase, you'll have some mixture. If you're trying to analyze temperature patterns on earth and don't know to take these into account, you're just wasting your time, and potentially going to publicize incorrect findings because of it.
                 
                Geophysical data is ridiculously hard to work with. You need to understand the engineering of the tools used to collect the data, the tolerances and quirks of them, the areas they're used in, sometimes even HOW they're used to take measurements. On top of that, you need to have a very good understanding of the physical processes of the earth's climate systems to be able to isolate any sort of signal. Otherwise, it's just a chaotic mess.
                 
                In short, this requires experts. It's not something that anyone can just hop into Excel with stats 101 under their belt and do. A lot of work is a partnership between engineers, climatologists, AND statisticians. No, your "econometrics heavy MSc" is not enough. Not by a long shot.
                 
                Like anything stupidly complicated, it requires the work of experts. If you want to be an expert, you generally need to spend the time studying to BECOME an expert. How does one prove this? Relevant degree and some peer reviewed publications under your belt.

                • by pwfffff (1517213) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:48PM (#30475010)

                  So basically the data is incomplete, and you have to make guesses to fill it in. Oh, wait, I mean 'educated' guesses, since the only people you let guess are the ones whose guesses agree with yours.

                  If I want to become an expert on SQL, I go read the specs. If I want to become an expert on climatology, I go ask people to tell me how to guess which numbers will be useful to feed into the statistical analysis specs. I don't consider this crap as coming close to 'science'.

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                Thousands of experts would have assured you that pholgiston and the ether existed.

                Sure. Do you know who showed that phlogiston and the luminiferous aether didn't exist? Scientists. People who had a good grounding in the field. You may remember the continental drift controversy, but its big proponent, Wegener, was a geologist himself.

                What the experts say may be wildly mistaken. What the non-experts who loudly disagree with the experts say is almost certainly mistaken.

            • by Toonol (1057698) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @06:34AM (#30471464)
              You can gain access to more datasets once you exhibit certain basic qualifications (like a relevant degree).

              Why? Is the data DANGEROUS? There is no justification for that behavior. They aren't temple priests, and they shouldn't act as if they were. Free exchange of information isn't a problem for an honest scientist.
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Rising Ape (1620461)

                Free exchange of information isn't a problem between honest scientists. To some random political asshole who will merely use it as ammunition? Not really.

              • by EndlessNameless (673105) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:28AM (#30473830)

                //Free exchange of information isn't a problem for an honest scientist.//

                Responding to each and every request for data can be quite time-consuming. How many requests from random, miscellaneous, and often politically-motivated people do you expect a working scientist to entertain per day? Per week?

                The way studies of this sort work is the author should include the method he used for gathering data (and correcting it, if applicable). The primary source for the data is NOT THE AUTHOR OF THE STUDY. It is the same place from which he obtained it. Whether this source is NOAA, foreign weather observatories, or international climate bodies is irrelevant---the author is never a primary source of data unless he is performing experiments, and anyone who has done real science understands this.

                Another scientist should be able to come along, gather the same data, and analyze it according to the same method. There is an expectation that the author would clarify his methods if asked by another qualified researcher---the imposition on his time is worthwhile because the scientific process requires these checks. A simple data entry error can skew results, and followup investigation can always uncover errors or address shortcomings in methodology. If a neutral and qualified researcher says, "I followed your method with the same data set and got X where you got Y" then certainly further investigation is necessary.

                Scientists are not obliged to respond to spurious demands for data or explanations of methodology from anyone at anytime.

                The primary data sources (e.g., observatories) may place restrictions on access to the data as well in order to avoid excessive overhead. If it's coming from NGOs, then tough. If it is funded by your government, then contact your representative and demand open access and the funding/staffing to supply it.

            • "second opinions" (Score:3, Interesting)

              by calixaren (1116263)

              One problem with this analogy is that it's not just one "doctor" that's saying "operate", it's thousands . How many more "second opinions" do you want before you accept that perhaps you actually need an operation? Are all those doctors quacks, every one of them?

              Here are some "second options" :

          • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:25AM (#30470318) Journal
            Can you point to where ALL this fossil evidence that supposedly "proves" evolution is held. What about Piltdown man doesn't that invalidate the rest of the fossils? Please don't point to the tens of thousands of papers and the godless "scientific community" who invariably fail to question the basic premise of evolution becuase the discovery institute has already debunked them using nothing more than a bannana. /sarcasm

            Just case the sarcasm is too subtle.

            The "missing raw data" is not neatly compiled into an easily acceessible database. It is held by countless weather and archival centers around the world, some of whom are unwilling to share unless you are willing to jump through hoops and wait months. It is on paper, in diaries, incompatable data bases, microfilm, ancient computer tapes, you name it. Anyone remotely familiar with the enourmous effort by Phil Jones and others to painstakingly collate, correct, and open up the HADCrut data set cannot help but see "climategate" for the witch hunt that it is.
        • by blitziod (591194) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:02AM (#30469728)
          ok first off I am pretty sure the data from that little breakthrough will be published in a way that it can be verified objectively if it has not already. second the cancer gene people are not asking the planet to collectively spend trillions of dollars on blind faith in their research. If they where I am pretty sure people would be as concerned(if not more) about the integrity of it. For example any company that plans to spend even millions in r&d based on that research will likely want more than the scientists word.
        • by kimvette (919543) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @11:23AM (#30473750) Homepage Journal

          I hate to break it to you but neither side has given me data.

          Let's take a look at the situation, shall we?

          • The alarmists have the data and won't share it
          • Skeptics have shown that many/most NOAA stations' sensors are installed on or next to heat islands
          • Skeptical activists hacked the alarmists' data and showed /shared conclusive evidence that the data has been forged, or at best, massaged, which one does not do if one is taking a scientific approach
          • Lots of raw data was destroyed making an accurate, scientific analysis near impossible
          • The leaked/hacked data has shown that not only is global warming a farce, but averages have more recently been on the decline
          • For a while other planets (Jupiter, Mars) were shown to have been warming. Is this due to too many SUVs on the road?
          • Many time throughout Earth's history the entire globe was much, much warmer (possibly warm enough for there to be no ice caps).
          • Many time throughout Earth's history the entire globe was much, much colder, with glaciers reaching past the 40 latitude mark.

          Just show us the facts; the raw data, without any spin of "ZOMG! GLOBAL WARMING!^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HCLIMATE CHANGE! OH NOES!!" bullshit editorializing. If you want to be taken seriously and convince even those who are not merely skeptical, but "won't" believe even in the face of evidence, then show us the raw fucking data without any tweaking - and accompany that data with a history of each temperature sensor (for example, if a parking lot went up next to it, and the temperature spiked the next few years and gradually increased, don't obfuscate that fact). That way, if there really is an issue, one can come to a scientific conclusion rather than political.

          Until then, count me among the skeptics who consider this a political rather than scientific issue, especially in light of the fact that it is believed that the Antarctic and arctic shelves are breaking from stress (from "overgrowth"), not due to heat, since they are larger than they have been during recorded history, and that when the alarmists are proven conclusively to be wrong, they change the terminology ("global cooling" to "global warming" to "global climate change" - face it, the global climate always has been and always will be very dynamic).

          I could go for some global warming about now, by the way. It'd be nice for winter to just go away. :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Xest (935314)

        Russia is a nation heavily dependent on fossil fuel exports, in fact, their entire economy depends on it else it would just flat out collapse again as it did at the fall of communism.

        So the issue is this, even if Russia has made the allegations, even if they do provide data, there's no real way to tell that they haven't manipulated the data themselves to suit their own agenda of keeping the burning of fossil fuels the main form of energy worldwide.

        We've seen the same tactics from Saudi Arabia, they have tri

    • by Capsaicin (412918) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:26AM (#30469008)

      Oh if you think he might be an unbiased reporter working for the telegraph ...

      Yes as soon as I saw the TFA, my first reaction was, "isn't there any more reliable source from this other than James Delingpole?"

      So if is there any reputable source that is publishing a story about this, could a link please be posted in the original submission.

    • hidden motives of thinly disguised advocacy group . . . question you!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:30AM (#30469048)

      These Russian experts in particular have a history of opposing international climate treaties (based on flawed expert analysis, as determined by other experts in the linked paper below):

      http://www.edf.org/documents/3978_Review_InstEcAn_09082004B.pdf

      • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:10AM (#30469342) Journal

        It's nothing new, either. Remember that Russia is one of the major oil-exporting countries, and significantly dependent on oil exports for its budget. Furthermore, it's a major provider of gas, too, particularly to Europe. If, under the guise of combating climate change, Europe moves to greener power generating and heating tech - solar, wind, or better yet, nuclear - that will leave Russia out in the cold, with no well-paying customers for its only valuable exports.

        On the other hand, Russia actually stands to benefit a lot from rapid climate change, if current models are to be believed. For one, it has a legitimate claim to a huge chunk of resources under the polar cap, should the latter melt - that even leaving the disputed areas aside. Furthermore, Siberia would be one of the regions for which climate change would indeed be a regional warming - it is already heating up [wikipedia.org] much faster than any other part of the globe, and if it keeps doing so, it will become much more prospective for human settlement and agriculture, and in short-term perspective provide for easier access to the vast natural resources of the region.

        At the same time, there are relatively few important coastal cities that would be threatened by ocean level rise - vast majority of the population is living deep inland [whrc.org].

        So Russia would have much less trouble coping with the effects. The icing on the cake is that U.S. (because of its heavily populated coastal cities) and quite a few European countries would be in a very tough position, and those are perceived as historical global opponents, especially the U.S.

        So, yeah. There are a lot of political reasons for Russia to downplay effects of climate change, specifically so that other countries reduce their efforts to combat it.

        • by OrangeCatholic (1495411) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:46AM (#30469600)
          Yep. One of the most shocking things about global warming (should you choose to accept this theory) is that the Western countries that are causing it also stand to benefit. Russia was a no-brainer once you mentioned Siberia, the all-time classic example of a vast tract of land unsuitable for use because it's too cold. But I also question whether Europe or the US will be badly affected - affected for sure, but if the farm belt moves north into the Dakotas, so what?

          The whole history of Western expansion is that we've built our economy on the backs of cheap foreign labor. As an American, you're "rich" precisely because the Chinese who make your goods earn 10x less than you. This system has survived because the "slave labor" class is like a hot potato that gets passed around. Once the Chinese grow out of it, they'll just hand it off to $THIRD_WORLD_COUNTRY.

          But now we're threatening to take the very air they breathe and water they drink from the third world, via climate change, and profit from it. Under these conditions, how long do you think the empire-based economic model can survive?
    • I think it hilarious that you discredit the Russian statements purely on the basis of financial interest, when there are billions of dollars riding on cap & trade and the whole green industry behind it.

      Both sides are well funded, so let's please get over this phobia of money being involved and consider the science instead.

      And the science we have seen, is terribly compromised across the board. There simply is no way to produce any rational decisions based on the data and hand, which is hardly surprising

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by hughk (248126)

        There simply is no way to produce any rational decisions based on the data and hand, which is hardly surprising given that no-one was allowed to peer review.

        The paper was peer reviewed. In case of any doubts, the reviewers may challenge the authors to back up their claims with original data. The clowns who were demanding access to the data could hardly be called 'peers'.

    • by Giant Electronic Bra (1229876) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:43AM (#30469170)

      Hey, I mean they have an open society where anyone can say what's on their mind right? I mean Glasnost and all, eh?

      Or maybe they have a shitload of oil and gas reserves that they'd really rather not have devalued by anyone actually deciding burning more fossil fuels would be suicidally stupid. Oh, was that the sound of one of Vlad's enforcers putting a bullet in the back of someone's head?

      Get real people. Now the deniers are the Russians and the Saudis. Laughable what kind of crimes people will do for a buck.

  • by QuantumG (50515) * <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:12AM (#30468912) Homepage Journal

    ahh, famous last words.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:35AM (#30469076)

    It doesn't matter if global warming is real or not.

    The root question is, does it make sense to pump pollution into a thin atmosphere? No, of course not, it is wrong to keep doing so. Therefore, we need to take steps to stop.

    There are monied interests deliberately prolonging this useless debate about "Global warming - real, or not?" Think about why they do that.

    Pollution is wrong. Let's come together in some comopolitan city - hmmm, maybe Copenhagen? - and agree to end pollution.

    It doesn't matter if global warming happens today or 10,000 years from now. What matters is ending air pollution.

    • The False Choice (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SuperKendall (25149)

      Something must be done! Cap & Trade is something, Therefore it must be done! [pajamasmedia.com]

      You can reduce pollution without upending the entire western economy. Indeed, one of the false choices presented is that if you are not for Cap & Trade, you must be *for* pollution!

      Besides, if pollution were really a problem the people meeting would act like it instead of renting thousands of limos and taking private jets to converge to talk about it while using a ton of energy to heat large conference centers...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TubeSteak (669689)

        You can reduce pollution without upending the entire western economy. Indeed, one of the false choices presented is that if you are not for Cap & Trade, you must be *for* pollution!

        What's your alternative?
        The free market will not naturally minimize its environmental impact. Polluting is good for the bottom line.
        The idea behind Cap & Trade is that free market forces get to work out the most efficient way to reduce pollution.
        If you don't want that, we can keep with the tried and tested method of government regulation.

    • by ArcherB (796902) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:21AM (#30469420) Journal

      It doesn't matter if global warming is real or not.

      The root question is, does it make sense to pump pollution into a thin atmosphere? No, of course not, it is wrong to keep doing so. Therefore, we need to take steps to stop.

      There are monied interests deliberately prolonging this useless debate about "Global warming - real, or not?" Think about why they do that.

      Pollution is wrong. Let's come together in some comopolitan city - hmmm, maybe Copenhagen? - and agree to end pollution.

      It doesn't matter if global warming happens today or 10,000 years from now. What matters is ending air pollution.

      I agree. Pollution is bad. So let's concentrate on pollution to limit it and stop this silly war on CO2!

  • More smear campaign (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sir Holo (531007) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:35AM (#30469078)
    It's not "The Russians" making these claims. It's a privately funded free-market "think tank" that is based in Russia.

    They posted a PDF on their web site, issued a press release, and a British paper reported it without doing any source-checking.

    For example, the article highlights a quote from an anonymous poster to a blog thread about the press release describing the web-posted report. How's that for "cherry-picking" your sources?
  • by Jay L (74152) * <jay+slash@NoSPam.jay.fm> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @12:36AM (#30469102) Homepage

    Finally, an answer that will appeal to all the faith-based populists:

    "You know who ELSE doesn't believe in global warming? Russia."

  • by Gadget_Guy (627405) * on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:24AM (#30469442)

    The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

    There is the key word: often. That does not mean that all, or even the majority, of the stations shows this. Is the percentage of stations not getting much warmer the same as the percentage in the officially used data? They just leave that point dangling in the hope that we will infer that it is not the same.

    Already people have taken this to say more that it does. Some blogs have already claimed that ALL of the stations used did not show warming. For example, here is a blatent bit of misquoting from a randomly googled blog [investors.com]:

    The data from the unused stations reportedly did not show any substantial warming trends.

    Oh dear. It is just a slight change, but it completely changes the meaning. And where is that skepticism that is supposed to be at work here? Why assume that the economic think tank is correct?

    I will wait to find what the selection criteria was before taking this to be any proof of a global conspiracy.

  • by Anarchduke (1551707) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @01:32AM (#30469498)
    The author of the source article, ahem.. BLOG, seems to be trying to masquerade as a reputable journalist, yet he isn't. His personal website [jamesdelingpole.com] (BLOG) contains nothing except climate skeptic material for at least 7 pages back in his history, then a couple of confusing paragraphs [jamesdelingpole.com]that might make sense to one of his next door neighbors, then back to the climate skeptic material again.

    The source material seemed a little suspect, so with the aid of Google Translate, I attempted to understand a bit about the Russian IEA Mr. Delingpole quotes so freely. The IEA, or Institute of Economic Analysis, is hardly an expert on climate science. The first article on the IEA's website [google.com] says:

    new: scientific consensus on climate issues does not exist - Novaya Gazeta, December 16, 2009
    - Instead of articulating and prosecution of false targets political leaders gathered in Copenhagen should concentrate on the other - to develop policies that promote more effective human adaptation to climate change, economic growth, the development of free trade, protection of property rights, strengthen democracy.

    This hardly seems to be an unbiased website, so I thought I would dig deeper. The article the IEA quoted is also fairly suspect, since it goes into detail and reveals the inherently anti "global warming" bias [googleusercontent.com] of the source.

    Adoption of the "Arctic ice melt" is outdated. Instead of reducing the area of ice cover in the Arctic is actually observed in 1979-2007 gg. In recent years its growth has come. In those same years saw an increase in the Antarctic ice sheet.

    "Excessive prices for oil and food" to a certain extent the result of policy restrictions on the use of hydrocarbons, the effect of extrusion from the structure of arable food crops through improved crop plants from which ethanol is produced to replace hydrocarbons as fuel. In other words, it is recommended that treatment policy ensures "high prices for oil and food, leading to chaos awaiting us in the future."

    I shouldn't have to point out the satellite photos of Arctic Ice and how it has shrunk [nasa.gov], or how Polar Bears are in real danger of extinction because of the loss of their frozen habitat.
    This drivel seems to come right out of the climate skeptic/big business lobbyist handbook. Normally, I wouldn't bother to respond, but the author's Russian source got me interested enough to investigate. As I suspected, its bullshit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Troed (102527)

      or how Polar Bears are in real danger of extinction because of the loss of their frozen habitat

      You're right - you shouldn't point that out since it's completely false.

      the polar bear seems like an unlikely target for ESA listing. Its global numbers have increased substantially, from an estimated 8,000–10,000 in 1965–1970 to 20,000–25,000 today.[3] Clearly, any warming that has occurred has not had an adverse impact on polar bear numbers. This is true of the polar bear populations in Alaska,

  • by Nightspirit (846159) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @02:08AM (#30469766)

    It seems like I'm being bombarded by propaganda from both sides and the only way I'm going to find the facts is if I become a climatologist and study the data myself.

    • by aralin (107264)

      Providing you actually manage to get the raw unmodified data, which by many accounts is nearly impossible to do.

  • by Ragica (552891) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @03:40AM (#30470412) Homepage
    Unfortunately most of those who keep misunderstanding the "appeal to authority" falacy for their own purposes here, and the like, this is not likely to be at all convincing. But I just can't help but quote these poignant words [realclimate.org]...

    Oh, while we're at it, let's redo the epidemiology on smoking and cancer. Until that's done, let's all take up smoking. After all, who can trust the corrupted peer-reviewed literature in leftist journals like the New England Journal of Medicine? --eric

  • by xmundt (415364) on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:33AM (#30473040)

    Greetings and Salutations.

    My father was a Microbiologist, and, spent most of his professional life researching yeasts and molds. His method was to gather as much data as possible, and see what results stemmed from it. I believe he would be shocked and dismayed to see this widespread tendency to come up with a conclusion, then, find the data that supports it.

    Those so-called scientists who are doing this, either to push a personal agenda or to ensure the continuation of grant money should be ashamed of themselves, and, should either clean up their act, or get drummed out of the scientific community!

    This sort of activity not only wastes huge amounts of resources, but, what is worse, undercuts the credibility of the scientific community, making it far harder for the good scientists who are following good protocols and producing good results to be believed.

    I observed elsewhere that it appears that the entire world is falling into a pit of hair-trigger, paranoid madness. This example, sadly, supports that belief. I hope I am wrong, but, I fear I am not...

    Pleasant Dreams

    Dave Mundt

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <.gro.todhsals. .ta. .deteled.> on Thursday December 17, 2009 @10:35AM (#30473082)

    ...who does not trust some Russian cracker more, than some scientists?

    Seriously, those are the guys who normally maintain botnets for a living, create pretty much every crack out there (the elite in cracking definitely is Russian), etc.

    OK, I don’t really trust anyone of them, but prefer to have double and thrice checks by (actually) opposing groups, coming to the same resulting conclusions.

    But trusting some weird guy from who knows where, who claims something that just so happens to fit with the goals of some other criminals (Big Oil , FOX News friends, etc.), just strikes me as being very counter-intuitive.

    (I do not make a judgment here, as they still could be right. But just that for natural reasons, they will have a much harder time, making me believe their statements.)

Do you suffer painful illumination? -- Isaac Newton, "Optics"

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