More From The Climate Front

It looks like the computer code at East Anglia isn’t as bad as the Bad Skeptics claimed it was. Think they’ll withdraw that statement? Don’t bet on it. Every climate denial checklist from now on will include that debunked claim, along with global cooling, the withdrawn study on sea level rise, etc.

We’re also seeing lies built upon lies. Lie One was that the CRU data was faked. So now Lie Two comes alog — the CEI claiming that NASA admitted that their climate data is inferior to the fraudulent CRU data.

Of course, the e-mails say nothing of the kind. The e-mails say that in studying the climate, you can’t proclaim one data set (NASA’s) to be the end-all, be-all; that you should use all four temperature lines.

But that doesn’t matter to the Chinese Whisper factory that is Bad Climate Skepticism. What matters is that Algore and a whole bunch of dirty hippies believe in global warming. So it must be fake.

4 Responses to “More From The Climate Front”

  1. rpl says:

    Mike, I read the link you posted, and I don’t see why you find it more persuasive than anything on McIntyre’s blog. As far as I can tell, it just says, “No, they didn’t, either.”

    The scientific practices underpinning climate science are downright shoddy. You would never accept them in your own field. The engineering processes are nonexistent. They have no configuration management, no code reviews, no documentation, and no cross-validation (i.e., they fit the unknowns in their model using all available data, holding none back for validation). NASA wouldn’t fly a spacecraft with that kind of slipshod engineering; why would they use it to advise the government on economic decisions with consequences running to the billions of dollars? Yet, they seem to think it’s ok to do so.

    But that doesn’t matter to the Chinese Whisper factory that is Bad Climate Skepticism. What matters is that Algore and a whole bunch of dirty hippies believe in global warming. So it must be fake.

    Wow. Just, wow, Mike. Listen to yourself for a moment. Were you this big a dick back in our UVa days, and I just never noticed, or has something happened to you over the last 10 years?

    My advice, and it’s the last you’ll ever get from me, is to stop forming opinions based on hearsay. Read McIntyre’s analyses, where he explains exactly what his concerns with particular models and datasets are, and ask yourself whether those concerns have really been addressed in the published climate literature. Read the documentation on some of the climate models and data sets, and ask yourself if you really believe they’ve been adequately validated from a software engineering standpoint, let alone from a scientific one. Reading politics blogs doesn’t count as research.

    The 20th century temperature data is alarming, enough so that some precautionary action is warranted. My scientific opinion, however, (based on actual first-hand experience, unlike yours) is that the future extrapolations are not reliable. They might be right, but I wouldn’t bet anything of value on it. That means any policy should have built into it a certain amount of caution and a possibility for rollback if it turns out that the models are wrong, the data is flawed, or both. If that makes me a “denialist”, or whatever you’re calling people who disagree with your (political, not scientific) opinions these days, that’s fine by me. Validation from third-rate wannabe pundits isn’t high on my list of priorities.

  2. Mike says:

    i agree with a lot of what you say, Robert, about the quality of East Anglia’s code. And I agree that future extrapolations are extremely uncertain. I’m highly skeptical of AGW doomsday claims. This is why I favor far more gentle action like a carbon tax and R&D. I especially favor efforts to clamp down on industrial methane emission, which is a far more promising line of endeavor. I am diametrically opposed to cap and trade and other invasive legislation.

    However, what’s going on the anti-AGW side is extremely troubling and represent an anti-intellectual populist grain that has badly infected the Right. A dozen studies might be published on AGW and they’ll trumpet the one anti-AGW study as if it were the only one. Aspects of the East Anglia code have been deliberately pulled out of context, lied about and distorted to fit the narrative that global warming is a hoax or a fraud. The Phil Jones interview was deliberately distorted to put words into his mouth that weren’t there.

    This isn’t some lunatic fringe that’s doing this. It’s powerful politicians like Tom Coburn. It’s influential pundits like Boortz and Limbaugh and Malkin, who have the ear of the Right. It manifests in the zillion angry remarks I get anytime I try to say something reasonable about it on the other site or the comment threads that get hijacked on science websites.

    According to these guys, global warming isn’t uncertain; it has been disproved, is a sham, is just a massive conspiracy of the Left. These are their actual words.

    I shouldn’t blog on this subject angry; I agree that this post and other come across as dickish. (Although to be fair to me, this site serves mainly to vent on the subject so I don’t get deluged on the other site. When I’m appalled by the Left’s behavior on AGW, that’s safe to post elsewhere. Read my earlier comment on Bjorn Lomborg. (I use the same blog philosophy on torture, since I’ve gotten sick of being called a terrorist sympathizer in addition to being called an Al Gore sycophant.))

    But I find it enraging when half the blogosphere is slandering thousands of scientists based on a misrepresentation of the facts, deliberate or accidental.

    And what drive me especially around the bend is that there is no correction. Debunked points are still dragged out and added to long lists of talking points that prove AGW is all a sham. At least once a month, one of the pundits I listed above will list off the reasons global warming is a fraud; and almost all of those reason have been long debunked.

    I’m big on guys like Bjorn Lomborg and Ronald Bailey, who are hated by the Left because have the temerity to say that AGW may not be a disaster or that panicky action based on *models* is a bad idea. The reason I’m so vociferous is partially because the Left can be dumb. Their solutions to AGW are so ill-advised (food miles, for example) as to be laughable. Conservatives and libertarians are the only ones who can figure this out. But they’re not listening. And when someone sticks their fingers in their ears, it might be necessary to shout.

    As for my crack about Algore, I actually think that’s a big part of the problem. The Right hates Algore (I’m not too fond of him myself). So long as he is the frontman for the Climate debate, no progress will be made. Nor should it be, since he’s not scientifically literate himself. But my point stands that a lot of the anti-AGW screaming on the Right is fueled by who supports AGW on the Left. The most common thing I hear in response to AGW points is that AGW supporters are “watermelons” — green on the outside, red on the inside. That his is just their way to get statism. That might be true; it doesn’t change the science.

  3. Mike says:

    The scientific practices underpinning climate science are downright shoddy. You would never accept them in your own field. The engineering processes are nonexistent. They have no configuration management, no code reviews, no documentation, and no cross-validation (i.e., they fit the unknowns in their model using all available data, holding none back for validation).

    This is valid criticism, one I share and have made. But there’s a difference between shoddy work and faked data. The latter is what the CRU is being accused of.

    Here’s some commentary from Easterbrook, another skeptic I like:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=easterbrook/091215&sportCat=nfl#climate

  4. Mike says:

    I’ve also (mostly) retired the denialism label in favor of “bad climate skepticism” to better distinguish real climate skeptics from the conspiracy theorists.