What Fresh Hell Is This?

April 5, 2010

The Trib And The Brits - Climate "Whitewash"

As usual, the Editorial Board of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review pouts a childish pout whenever things (like the facts) don't agree with their Weltanschauung.

Usually it's about climate science and today it is no different:
The British investigation into charges that scientists at a leading climate-research university manipulated data is about as convincing as the "science" of global warming.

After only one day of hearings Parliament's Science and Technology Committee could find no smoking gun in the "Climategate" e-mail scandal that engulfs the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and chief climate crier Dr. Phil Jones.

E-mails concerning a "trick" scientists used to "hide the (temperature) decline" got the same cursory treatment.

And from an inquiry that was only announced in January, the committee concludes that the CRU climate data square with those of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Climatic Data Center, the world's largest archive of climate information.
Of course they found no "smoking gun" because there was none to be found. But such inconvenient truths are lost on Scaife's braintrust. The report itself explains a bit of science (pity the lesson was not absorbed by Dickie's crew) and in doing so shows why the whole "tainted email/tainted science" argument is, well, horse hockey:
Climate science, like any other science, uses the scientific method to make its assessments of past and present climate and predictions about the future climate. The key characteristics of the scientific method can be described as: characterisations, hypotheses, predictions, and experiments.

• Characterisations: consideration of a problem, and examination of whether or not an explanation exists for it.

• Hypotheses: if no such explanation exists, a new explanation is stated.

• Predictions: what consequences follow from a new explanation?

• Experiments: is the outcome consistent with the predicted consequences?

Each of these is subject to peer review prior to the formal sharing of knowledge through publication. Through peer review scientists allow their views and methods to be critically appraised expertly and externally.

• Replication and verification

To have the results and conclusions survive criticism or scepticism and be part of the accepted canon of scientific knowledge, most experiments will have to be demonstrably replicable (by the same group) to pass peer review and will often need to be verified by other independent researchers taking similar approaches.
That last part is the key. Turns out that there are two other main "datasets" being worked on; NOAA and NASA. While the raw data the three use may overlap, their numbers are all "crunched" differently. And all subject to independent peer review.

Lo and behold they all come to the same conclusion. The planet is warming.

Either that or the whole British Parliament is now among the climate co-conspirators. A conspiracy only the wingnut nation sees.

8 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

My favorite Wing/Paul nut Vox found some interesting huge disclaimers in your absolute vindication of all things climate change.

they’d seen no evidence…as far as it was able to ascertain…did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth
...
Translation: we found nothing too terribly damning… mostly because we were careful not to look very hard. Please, please, please be sure to notice all the qualifiers we were careful to insert so we don’t look like we were covering anything up when more in-depth investigations reach opposite conclusions.

Ol' Froth said...

sigh...

As for you pointing out what look like "weasle words" in the statement, remember that scientests don't speak in absolutes. Hypothosis and theories are always, always subject to change, if new information or a new theory does a better job of explaining the data and predicting future observations.

Heir to the Throne said...

Ol'
Odd you would use that excuse.
The report was by UK Politicians not Scientists.

Ol' Froth said...

Even more evidence of the vapidness of your comment.

Go on, look it up, I'll give you a bit of time to locate the definition.

jaywillie said...

That's some pretty shitty citing, Heir.

First, you cite a quote that's paraphrasing another story. Awesome.

Second, when you look at the other story, it's not at all the picture you present:

"Lawmakers stressed that their report—which was written after only a single day of oral testimony—did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still pending."

The UK politicians involved in this particular inquiry made no attempt to hide the fact that this particular inquiry wouldn't be as "in-depth" as TWO OTHER PENDING INQUIRIES.

I guess you might call it a cursory examination. One would think that if there was such a widespread effort to commit this vast global conspiracy that it shouldn't be too hard to find evidence of it.

EdHeath said...

Yeah, HTTT, despite the fact that Andrew Breitbart's site is hosting it, the AP story completely contradicts what Vox says. It is a partial vindication of the climate scientists at East Anglia, even though it chides them for not being absolutely transparent. But there is also the promise of the two investigations by other, presumably objective scientists.

Of course we know that all scientists are trying are in fact conspiring to take control of the world by sucking up all our resources, and thus sapping our will to live. We will lose our TV and video games, our cars and planes, our tasty food and anything fun. We will live by candlelight, trying to read books we would never choose on our own (Eat, Pray Love?), ride bikes to work, and arrive totally exhausted, and for food we will be forced to eat wilted, rotten vegetables, roots and bland nuts. But at least the snail darter and slugs will survive, in fact we will worship these bugs or whatever the snail darter.

EdHeath said...

Yeah, HTTT, despite the fact that Andrew Breitbart's site is hosting it, the AP story completely contradicts what Vox says. It is a partial vindication of the climate scientists at East Anglia, even though it chides them for not being absolutely transparent. But there is also the promise of the two investigations by other, presumably objective scientists.

Of course we know that all scientists are trying are in fact conspiring to take control of the world by sucking up all our resources, and thus sapping our will to live. We will lose our TV and video games, our cars and planes, our tasty food and anything fun. We will live by candlelight, trying to read books we would never choose on our own (Eat, Pray Love?), ride bikes to work, and arrive totally exhausted, and for food we will be forced to eat wilted, rotten vegetables, roots and bland nuts. But at least the snail darter and slugs will survive, in fact we will worship these bugs or whatever the snail darter.

jaywillie said...

I imagine that Heir is one of this sad, confused people who think the President is going to ban trout fishing.