A Few Things Ill Considered

WUWT’s Willis Eschenbach has supposedly uncovered how Evil scientists have fabricated a warming trend in Darwin. Deltoid has the details on why those pesky adjustments were actually made. Of course those details were cleverly hidden, like Jone’s decline, where no denialist would ever find it: in the peer reviewed literature!

This fake investigation is called cherry picking, digging through the batch to find the slightly off colored examples. But what happens if you look at the whole bowlful all at once, as did this Italian Medical bio-technologist? (Yes, yes, not a climatologist, not even a weatherman, but we are talking statistical analysis here, nothing more, nothing less). Real Climate has also made a similar study of raw station data. (Yes, yes, they are in cahoots with the whole climafia, but at least they provide the data this time!)

I wonder if it has ever occured to our supposedly skeptical visitors just why it is that all these fine blog scientists never do this same, simple, study for themselves. Look at all the data. I mean isn’t that what they are constantly screaming about wanting? So why do we hear about one station here, one station there? After all, if the “adjustments” (always use scare quotes on that one) are to turn innocent non-warming stations like Darwin into alarmist propaganda, then surely the simplest extraction of a trend out of raw data would be the proof of that pudding!

Excuse the distasteful image of meat flavoured pudding, but I did want to end my rant with: where’s the beef?

Comments

  1. #1 Daniel J. Andrews
    December 18, 2009

    I wonder if it has ever occured to our supposedly skeptical visitors just why it is that all these fine blog scientists never do this same, simple, study for themselves. Look at all the data. I mean isn’t that what they are constantly screaming about wanting?

    I’ve made similar comments on other blogs. That data has been available for a long time. With all that money being sunk into right-wing think-tanks, conferences, tv stations, etc, why haven’t self-proclaimed skeptics done their own analysis of the data? They’ve had two or three decades to do it. Imagine being able to show that climatologists the world over had got it wrong. So why haven’t oil companies, think-tanks, or even bloggers taken this available data and done their own work that refutes the numerous temperature graphs now available?

  2. #2 Nils Ross
    December 19, 2009

    Fundamental to denialist claims is that they know better than scientists. If the peer reviewed literature shows a clear warming trend, it must have been fabricated. If the raw data shows a warming trend, it’s not available. If it’s not available, it’s not available. If you print it out and shove it in their face, it wasn’t measured properly. They could measure it better, surely, but you know — they don’t have any research money to do so. And so on.

    Denialism is war on science itself, period.

  3. #3 wagdog
    December 19, 2009

    Your questions are obviously rhetorical. The denialists don’t do their own fact checking because it doesn’t serve their beliefs. That is the very essence of confirmation bias.

    Ever since the CRU email theft uproar has pushed all denialists into the world of conspiracy theorists, I’ve been linking to the JREF post on dogmatic belief. It is long past the time when we stopped referring to denialists as skeptics. Perhaps we need to drop the denialist term also, and start using the more accurate term: conspiracist.

    Speaking of JREF, James Randi has clarified his views on AGW.

  4. #4 Nils Ross
    December 19, 2009

    That’s an interesting point. My inclination is not use the term ‘conspiracist’ precisely because this aspect of their mindset isn’t stated openly and up-front. Third parties might get confused, or accuse us applying a label that they don’t see applies. On the other hand, ‘denialist’ in the sense of ‘one who denies the efficacy of science as an institution’ describes any anti-AGW nut, and lumps them neatly in with anti-vaxxers, creationists, moon landing conspiracists, and other obvious nutcases.

    They’ve never been skeptics. That word never applied. A skeptic places the onus of proof on those making extraordinary claims; a denialist refuses to acknowledge the validity of evidence that doesn’t confirm their point of view, and attacks the institution which provides that evidence.

  5. #5 Scott A. Mandia
    December 22, 2009

    I need your help. I am working on a blog post called How to Talk to a Conservative about Climate Change and would enjoy your comments to make this a better tool to use when faced with a conservative-leaning skeptic. The goal is to end up with something that we can all use. I need no credit – I want this to be a goup effort.

    http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/how-to-talk-to-a-conservative-about-climate-change/

  6. #6 John
    December 23, 2009

    Scott – I consider myself a libertarian, which means I dislike increasing government interference. Am I to presume that if you are writing this article about conservatives and libertarians being skeptics because of their political leaning, that your belief in AGW is because you are left leaning? Is it possible, by your very arguments, that you believe in AGW because you are left of centre? Think about that.

    Your article reaks of a “control freak” mentality. The arguments you put forward are totally lacking in honesty. Really, trying to scare us all because we might have to deal with more immigrants! A poor poor attempt.

    When Bush wanted to take us all to war, the right agreed and the left protested. Now with AGW the left are suddenly in agreement with our politicians and the right protests.

    The fact of the matter is, that in both cases the agenda was about control of some resource.

  7. #7 Scott A. Mandia
    December 24, 2009

    John,

    Anything is possible but scientists, including me, are skeptical by nature and I was not convinced of AGW when I left Penn State in 1991. Over the years it has been increasingly likely that human emissions of GHGs are causing global warming. Data does not lie.

    If you read the study that I linked, you will see that conservatives and libertarians as a group are far more skeptical and the authors suggest that this skepticism may be based on the “solutions being offered” and not on “the science.”

    The article is a rough draft and I did state that I am seeking help. I have received several good comments that I will incoporate into the second version of the post. I chose the items that I did because I thought that these would resonate with conservatives. My goal is to make the impact of “business as usual” an unsavory one for conservatives, many of which appear to think that there is nothing to worry about.

  8. #8 PaulinMI
    December 24, 2009

    “. . .this skepticism may be based on the “solutions being offered” and not on “the science.”

    For those of us older than 40, we’ve seen the alarmist and hysteria command and control mentality countless times before.

    And it’s never produced a good solution.

    Freedom Works.

  9. #9 Dr. Smart
    December 24, 2009

    How wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/18173

  10. #10 Dappledwater
    December 24, 2009

    “How wikipedia’s green doctor rewrote 5,428 climate articles” – Dr Smart.

    Or not:

    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2009/12/i_am_all_powerful_part_2.php

    Shock!, horror!, more denialist garbage.

  11. #11 dhogaza
    December 25, 2009

    For those of us older than 40, we’ve seen the alarmist and hysteria command and control mentality countless times before.

    And it’s never produced a good solution.

    Hmmm … cap and trade worked well to reduce acid rain in the US.

    The Montreal Protocol worked well to mostly eliminate CFCs when the science showing its capacity for ozone depletion was confirmed by the discovery of the antarctic ozone hole.

    I’m sure we can come up with more …

  12. #12 GFW
    December 26, 2009

    I’d put the onus on the guy who said “alarmist … mentality countless times before”. Y’see, I can think of examples of that, but they’re really examples that prove our point. The “red scare”, the anthrax scare, the Iraq WMD scare, and similar were all RIGHT WING scares. The Y2K scare was basically just the news media, not anyone who understood how much effort had been put into fixing it.

    Of all the false scares, I only fell for one (To my shame, I believed Colin Powell’s WMD presentation. I thought “they can’t be lying because the consequences of lying would be catastrophic”. I was wrong. If you’re part of the right wing power structure, there are no consequences for lying.)

    But I digress. Blindly believing or disbelieving anything is a mistake. If you have the scientific background to directly evaluate AWG, great. If you don’t, ask whether you should believe the billionaires who own oil and coal production, or scientists who will make the same middle-class income regardless of what they study. I have the scientific background, and it sure the heck looks to me like the climate sensitivity is 3C/doubling of CO2, and sea levels will be 5 feet higher in 2100 unless we reduce carbon emissions.

  13. #13 skip
    December 26, 2009

    Scott:

    Thanks I’ll look at this.

  14. #14 PaulinMI
    December 27, 2009

    dho,
    Agreed. My point was, left to the science and freedom of developing suitable solutions, we’ll figure it out, not command of a specific solution. As with ozone and CFC’s we had a ready substitute which was phased in rather quickly without upending the economy. And it was done through our “legal” treaty system.

  15. #15 gfw
    December 27, 2009

    PaulinMI: Reading your last two posts and Dhogaza’s last, it’s rather unclear to me what you’re saying in the end.

    Are you saying that we do or don’t currently have significant ways to generate energy without emitting greenhouse gasses? Are you saying that international negotiations are or are not forcing one particular solution to global warming? Are you saying those international negotiations are or are not legitimate according to what the US constitution says about treaties.

    From my point of view, we have many possible solutions: concentrated solar, wind, solar pv, nuclear, CCS, etc. It makes perfectly good sense to limit emissions (or tax them) and let the alternatives above fight it out on a basically level playing field. It does *not* make sense to force those alternatives to fight against untaxed/uncapped fossil fuel systems. The whole point of this is that we’ve realized those greenhouse emissions have a large cost that is currently being externalized from the fossil fuel companies onto everyone else.

    I can’t see any constitutional objection to the negotiation and ratification of a treaty designed to interalize those currently externalized costs.

    Finally, if you’re objecting that possbile solutions that don’t directly reduce emissions are ignored (air capture, geo-engineering) … well air capture would still have to be funded (by the carbon emitters) and there is no proposed air capture mechanism that currently survives a back-of-an-envelope cost calculation vs the non-carbon generation methods in my 3rd paragraph. Geo-engineering is a complete disaster, due to ocean acidification. If ocean acidification wasn’t enough (and it is) there’s also international conflict – Geo-engineering affect different regions differently, so if country A wants to produce lots of CO2 and geo-engineer higher albedo, but that causes permanent drought in country B, you’ve got serious problems.

  16. #16 John Nicol
    December 27, 2009

    The reason Darwin temperatures were commented upon was because the data was readily available to the author, not squirreled away as the met bureaux in most countries now do and in particular the keepers of the keys to CRU. It had also been blatantly misrepresented in “climate” data. Revelations for many years have indicated the secretive behaviour of Phil Jones and others, none the least of whom was Michael Mann with his Hockey Stick Graph used by Al Gore as a star feature but now so discredited that even the IPCC has discarded it. If you want to talk about “Cherry Picking” look at what is revealed in the CRU emails where the senior “researchers” admit to the process which was first revealed in the use of earlier tree ring data.

    Another question. Why is it that some of the most experienced meteorologists and climatologists are sceptics? It is no use claiming that what you rudely call “deniers” are non-scientists. Many are far more competent and experienced in matters relevant to the study of climate than the “climatologists”. Much of the required science for understanding the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the statistical mechanics, the spectroscopy, the quantum theory even the fluid dynamics and solutions to Euler’s equations, is far beyond the reaches of your “peer reviewed” climatologists. By the way, the peer review process refers to the selection of papers by editors to ensure that they match the journals primary subject matter such as nuclear physics which would not be expected to appear in a journal of zoology. Secondly it is intended to ensure that reasonable scientific methods have been applied in the description of the experiment or theory. It is NOT used to determine whether the results claimed in a paper are correct, that is for the readers to decide. There is no need for a competent scientist to require peer review. The climate community appears by its continued call for peer review, to be unable to determine for itself whether a paper is worthwhile. Much traditional science was exchanged in letters between authors, by internal reports and talks at formal and informal gatherings. Those taking part made their own informed determination of the worth of the material presented. This process seems to have been lost in the climate debate, mainly because many involved are not capable of doing the required analysis for themselves and believe erroneously that published material is correct. Afar quicker and meaningful exchange of ideas flows from letters and the internet that wasting time in publishing through journals with often months of delays. Most communications in traditional science is done by conferences and exchange of quickly written internal reports. Publications are simply a means of distributing to a wider readership but do not make the results any more correct.

    When the “General Theory of Relativity” was published, few if any were in a position to understand it, let alone criticise it. Since then it has been applauded and criticised down through the years with some aspects of it still being reviewed by cosmologists and others. The introduction by Einstein of the arbitrary “cosmological constant” was later referred to by himself as his “biggest mistake”. In recent years people are still working through and debating the role of this generalised constant! They don’t send Einstein’s paper back for peer review every time they find there is something they don’t understand!
    John Nicol

    John Nicol

  17. #17 dhogaza
    December 27, 2009

    Why is it that some of the most experienced meteorologists and climatologists are sceptics?

    The best-known “experienced meteorologist” who is a skeptic is Watts, who has a high school education. Most working meteorologists have an undergraduate education and have never worked in science. I would suggest that the reason there seem to be so many meteorologists in the skeptic camp is their relative lack of education in science.

    It is true that there are a few climatologists who are skeptics. You can count them on one hand. One of the most prominent believes cigarette smoking is mostly harmless. Another is a creationist and rejects modern biology. Both positions qualify them as cranks.

  18. #18 dhogaza
    December 27, 2009

    Many are far more competent and experienced in matters relevant to the study of climate than the “climatologists”.

    OK, name them and tell us how their educational background and their careers in research make them more qualified than the leading practitioners in the field.


    Much of the required science for understanding the role of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the statistical mechanics, the spectroscopy, the quantum theory even the fluid dynamics and solutions to Euler’s equations, is far beyond the reaches of your “peer reviewed” climatologists.

    Prove this assertion or get lost.

  19. #19 dhogaza
    December 27, 2009

    red pepper is a bot copying previous post snippets so as to link to its site.

  20. #20 skip
    December 27, 2009

    John:

    A few comments on your post.

    The reason Darwin temperatures were . . . “researchers” admit to the process which was first revealed in the use of earlier tree ring data.

    Brother. You are certainly a first time reader, if not first-time poster. We have been through this so many times on this blog . . . . CRU is not the only source of climate data, there are multiple other sources and they are all in general agreement with CRU’s data, and the hacked emails provide at worst evidence of overly aggressive defense of the scientific process from denialist harassment . Please see this reasoned, research-based assessment of the issue that one of our frequent posters, Scott Mandia, located, and contrast it to the alternating frenzied gloating and paranoid jeremiads from the deniers eager to believe anyone who tells them it was proof of a conspiracy.

    http://www.pewclimate.org/docUploads/east-anglia-cru-hacked-emails-12-09-09.pdf

    Another question. Why is it that some of the most experienced meteorologists and climatologists are sceptics?

    A far more poignant question: Why do the *majority* of “experienced meteorologists [64 percent] and climatologists [97 percent]” agree that (1) the planet has warmed significantly in the past two centuries and (2) human carbon emissions have been a significant driver of this change? Please see:

    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/ssi/DoranEOS09.pdf

    Much of the required science . . . is far beyond the reaches of your “peer reviewed” climatologists.

    How do you know? This is an assertion anyone can make and never risk refutation (see below).

    There is no need for a competent scientist to require peer review.

    Then how is his or her “competency” to be established?

    The climate community appears by its continued call for peer review, to be unable to determine for itself whether a paper is worthwhile.

    No. It determines overwhelmingly that AGW is real.

    Much traditional science was exchanged in letters between authors, by internal reports and talks at formal and informal gatherings. Those taking part made their own informed determination of the worth of the material presented.

    Who are these people? By this logic any buffoon can claim to be a “scientist” and insulate himself from all critique by simply declaring that his “science was exchanged in letters between authors, by internal reports and talks at formal and informal gatherings.” This in mind, I hereby declare myself master of nuclear physics, mathematics, zoology, geology, astronomy and physiology. Prove me wrong. You can’t appeal to my dearth of peer reviewed literature, by your own logic.

    Publications are simply a means of distributing to a wider readership but do not make the results any more correct.

    Technically this must be granted, but by what tortured spasm of logic can we cavalierly assume they are *not* correct? “Hey, its only peer-reviewed literature. The real work is done by email.”

    When the “General Theory of Relativity” was published, few if any were in a position to understand it, let alone criticise it. . . They don’t send Einstein’s paper back for peer review every time they find there is something they don’t understand!

    Because the peer reviewed process *since* his time has overwhelmingly confirmed the principle tenets of his general theory. The same has happened with climate science and fundamental tenets of carbon dioxide as a climate forcer. I concede that the *specifics* of what global warming will do and on what time scale are in legitimate dispute. This brings up crucial questions about what policy should be in light of this uncertainty, but this is for another thread.

    Dhogaza is a brilliant contributor to this forum and has earned his impatience, I think, but try not to take the “get lost” admonition too seriously.

    Best,

    Skip

  21. #21 Graeme Bird
    January 5, 2010

    “WUWT’s Willis Eschenbach has supposedly uncovered how Evil scientists have fabricated a warming trend in Darwin.”

    Science fraud is nothing to be flippant about Coby. Once you know its going on its unacceptable to use the data as if it is not dirty data. For example the 30’s was warmer than the 90’s as our best evidence attests. Anyone claiming otherwise is using fraudulent rigged data.

  22. #22 Ian Forrester
    January 5, 2010

    Hey birdbrain, it was Eschenbach who was being fraudulent ( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying.php).

    And just what “evidence” makes you think that the 30’s were warmer than the 90’s?

    It is hard to decide which of you two deniers is the more dishonest, you or Eschenbach.

  23. #23 monica
    October 18, 2010

    I believe there may be some warming, but it is not caused by humans……FOLLOW THE MONEY guys….then you will see who is in denial. We don’t need to change the way we live with this science not completely fool proof. And the more the GW believers INSISTS IT IS TRUE, the more they don’t believe it themselves or they can NOT see the other side of why their are deniers. ON BOTH SIDES OF THIS ISSUE. Especially the UN….I wouldn’t believe any of them on a stack of bibles….

    AGAIN, follow the MONEY…..

  24. #24 mandas
    October 18, 2010

    I guess that’s the difference isn’t it Monica. You have a belief system whereas we have evidence. You put your trust in a ‘stack of bibles’, whereas I put my trust in a stack of reports, studies and papers, all of which are internally and externally consistent. But if you want to believe what you want to believe despite having no evidence for your view and despite all the evidence being against you, then it wont matter what I or anyone else says does it?

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