What Fresh Hell Is This?

October 17, 2009

More SLOPPY Work From Scaife's Brain Trust

Scaife's Brain Trust just can't (as I've written elsewhere) help themselves. In a shockingly shoddy display of reporting (ironically about shoddy science), Richard Mellon Scaife's editorial board gets it wrong again. Let's begin at the end and trace our way back to reality.

The Trib, today:

Reports that a key research institution destroyed its original climate data set, which was used by global-warming soothsayers, reveal at the minimum a horrendously sloppy scientific method.

At worst, it challenges the very premise upon which this "science" is based.

Data compiled by the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) have been used as the primary reference for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (until 2007), among other agencies.

In mid-August, CRU destroyed raw data for its global surface temperatures findings, allegedly because of limited storage space, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

That looks pretty bad, huh? Too bad it ain't true. Before we take a look at what the CEI said, let's remind ourselves of who the CEI is or at least who has given funds to it in the past.

Turns out, among its financial supporters is the Sarah Scaife Foundation - chaired by none other than Richard Mellon Scaife, owner and publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review from which we read the current editorial. Funny they didn't mention that in the editorial.

Back to the CEI. The link on the CEI's front page leads back to this article in the Washington Examiner. Where it says:
But reaching a new consensus will be exceedingly difficult because the raw data on which the landmark 1996 United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change based its conclusion has been destroyed. The University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit acknowledged in August that it discarded data that, in addition to the IPCC report, has been cited by other international studies as the main justification for severe restrictions on carbon emissions worldwide. [emphasis added.]
Wait - what? I thought they destroyed the data in August. (That's what the Brain Trust said.) Now the story is that the CRU acknowledged in August it "discarded the data" but there's no indication of when that happened.

Didn't the Brain Trust bother checking the facts? Who do they think they are, Jack Kelly?

When was this data discarded? That's the rest of the story - one completely missed by our friends at the Trib.

Let's go find out.

Another search by "the google" leads to this column at the National Review Online where it says:
Roger Pielke Jr., an esteemed professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, then requested the raw data from Jones. Jones responded:
Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.
The "Jones" in that is Phil Jones. The NRO says:
In the early 1980s, with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, scientists at the United Kingdom’s University of East Anglia established the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to produce the world’s first comprehensive history of surface temperature. It’s known in the trade as the “Jones and Wigley” record for its authors, Phil Jones and Tom Wigley, and it served as the primary reference standard for the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) until 2007.
Let me reiterate what we've found out so far. Apart from the CRU's acknowledgment in August mentioned above, we've learned that they never had the original raw data to being with.

Now compare that to what the Trib told its readers that the:
CRU destroyed raw data for its global surface temperatures findings...
But now we have another name: Roger Pielke. What does Pielke have to say? He's careful to point out (in a comment) that his posting was not an assertion of "malintent" by the CRU, just a complaint about its sloppiness:
has nothing to do with "intent". The boy whose dog ate his homework probably had no malintent either.
Indeed, he added at the bottom of his posting:
To be absolutely clear, none of what I write here should be taken as implying that actions to decarbonize the global economy or improve adaptation do not make sense -- they do. However, just because climate change is important and because there are opponents to action that will seize upon whatever they can to make their arguments, does not justify overlooking or defending this degree of scientific sloppiness and ineptitude. Implementing successful climate policy will have to overcome the missteps of the climate science community, and this is a big one.
In general, he's right.

That's also a far far far way off from saying that the CRU destroyed the supporting data last August.

Isn't the Tribune-Review editorial board interested in the truth?

Hahahahahahaha! Yea, yea, I know I made a funny.

1 comment:

Heir to the Throne said...

Isn't the Tribune-Review editorial board interested in the truth?
Looks like you are not either.
Climate change data dumped

SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.