Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 19, 2010

The Great Wingnut Climate Conspiracy...

We are still at large.

Every month at about this time (or perhaps a bit earlier) the National Climate Data Center (NCDC), itself a part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posts a report called "State of the Climate" with the most recent data on temperature, precipitation and so on.

This month's report is unsettling. Some bullet points:
  • The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for June 2010 was the warmest on record at 16.2°C (61.1°F), which is 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20thcentury average of 15.5°C (59.9°F). The previous record for June was set in 2005.
  • The June worldwide averaged land surface temperature was 1.07°C (1.93°F) above the 20th century average of 13.3°C (55.9°F)—the warmest on record.
  • It was the warmest January–June on record for the global land and ocean temperature. The worldwide land on average had its second warmest January–June, behind 2007. The worldwide averaged ocean temperature was the second warmest January–June, behind 1998.
And this, as we have been told time and time again by the wingnuts, is the Hoax of The Century.

If it is, then where do these numbers come from?

Must be some conspiracy, indeed.


Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Some problems with the EXONERATION of the CRU by the Russell report that Dayvoe and Ed gushed over.
Russell’s team left other stones unturned. They decided against detailed analysis of all the emails in the public domain. They examined just three instances of possible abuse of peer review, and just two cases when CRU researchers may have abused their roles as authors of IPCC reports. There were others. They have not studied hundreds of thousands more unpublished emails from the CRU. Surely openness would require their release.

All this, plus the failure to investigate whether emails were deleted to prevent their release under freedom of information laws, makes it harder to accept Russell’s conclusion that the “rigour and honesty” of the scientists concerned “are not in doubt”.

Blue Number 2 said...

Good point HTTT. Clearly these excessively high temperatures recorded this year are not evidence of a warming climate because there was a technicality regarding the review of a decision about interpreting some emails from several years ago.

Well done.

Banana Queen said...

I hope this sends us into an ice age soon......seems the only way the earth can correct the damage.

EdHeath said...

So the New Scientist, about which I know nothing (published by Reed Business Information, apparently not a peer reviewed journal) has an anonymous opinion piece in which they ask, non-specifically, why the "quality of the science" (in regard to the investigation of the CRU's emails) wasn't questioned. NewScientist does ask (specifically) whether the CRU researchers had deleted emails to avoid releasing them under freedom of information laws, and whether researchers had kept papers that are skeptical of Climate Change out of the IPCC reports or other peer reviewed magazines.

So to be clear, a science magazine that is not peer reviewed has an opinion piece that no one put his or her name to, complaining about the science in a non-specific way. They also want the CRU to *prove* a couple of negatives, that the CRU's scientists did not reject papers skeptical of climate change in bad faith, and that no emails with important information were ever deleted. It is really hard to prove a negative, even if back ups of deleted emails are kept, someone could always ask if the back ups are complete.

I learned twenty five years ago that it is a classic Republican/conservative tactic to claim the science isn't settled, and more research is required. Except that in this case if temperatures and ocean levels rise, there will be an effect on flora and fauna, large parts or perhaps even the entirety of some species might well become extinct as their habitat changes, and people may suffer as it becomes harder to farm in some areas. Which may have political effects if people become refugees, such as increased terrorism or even wars.

But an anonymous person has non-specifically questioned the science of climate change, and has stated that climate scientists should prove two types of negatives, to this anonymous person's satisfaction. So we should do nothing until anyone who has the least doubts about climate change is satisfied.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Nice of Ed to bring up the golden excuse that "peer-reviewed" research is flawless which showed Michael Bellesiles' Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture was swiftboated by the NRA.

It looks that the CRU "exoneration" was peer-reviewed at its Climate change consensus best.

Meanwhile, we learn that the person who approved the sparse selection of papers on which the Oxburgh panel based its "exoneration" of the Climate Research Unit was none other than Phil Jones, the former director of the CRU.

Dayvoe said...

Oh my god!

HTTT proved his case!


Whew. Glad that's over.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, you are bringing up chemistry articles and social science research on gun history, and saying what? I don't have the right to ask what the New Scientist is talking about when they complain that the "quality of the climate change research" at the CRU was not evaluated by the panels looking at the *stolen* emails? I don't have the right to point out that whomever at the New Scientist did not have the integrity to give their name, or the integrity to actually specify what research they are questioning? I don't have the right to point out that a peer review panel might also question these deficiencies?

You tell me, HTTT, specifically, what is the problem with Climate Change science. Don't reference some conservative rant site, don't go off on some tangent, just simply, what is wrong with climate change theory? And I mean the whole theory, not just some minor question about some small part.

(sorry Dayvoe, don't mean to step on your comment, just wanted to exercise my own ... idiom?)

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

Ed, So I am going off on a tangent when I point out that Peer Review is not guarantee you believe it is.
What is the problem with Climate Change science?

It is just like a Religion. If you question anything about it. It is too complex for the common man only the high Priests can understand it. Do not question the consensus!!!
Then Saint Albert Gore claims that the earth's core is millions of degrees.

EdHeath said...

So, HTTT, I am guessing that if you felt a sharp pain in your torso, you would *not* go to the doctor or ER. After all, those doctors are like priests with complex "diagnoses" and "treatments". Too complicated for the common man. Them dokturds require them high falutin' licenses and degrees, it's like a religion of medicine, with it's high priests and such. No one can refudiate the consensus of those hooded acolytes of medicine,

So you refuse to give me a specific answer, and you fall back on "it's too hard to understand".

Just to be clear, the whole point of peer review is help reassure people that the science of whatever subject is clear and accessible. So the data sets are made available, we can know the background of everyone in the process, and if there is experimentation or calculation involved, the results can be replicated anywhere.

Obviously it does have problems sometimes. The hysterical, paranoid conservative websites you love to reference have pointed out a few in unrelated subjects. But the quote of Churchill's about democracy seems apt to re-phrase here: peer review and the larger scientific method is the worst form of understanding the world, except for all the others that have been tried.

Why do conservatives hate science?

EdHeath said...

Actually, I guess not all conservatives hate science.

Social Justice NPC Anti-Paladin™ said...

whole point of peer review is help reassure people that the science of whatever subject is clear and accessible
Head of CRU Phil Jones

We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. There is IPR to consider.

if you felt a sharp pain in your torso ... those doctors are like priests with complex "diagnoses" and "treatments"
I expect the Doctor to explain to me what is wrong.
I know enough basic biology to understand the general problem.
BTW, Doctors do not always get it right.

My mother complained of back/hip pain. She went to Doctor and was diagnosed (after X-rays) with arthritis/pulled groin and gave her a prescription for painkillers.

One day a couple months later, she fell and broke her hip when they operated the doctors found bone cancer in her hip and back.

EdHeath said...

Your quote from Jones regarding IPR is unattributed. There was considerable commentary on FOI requests in the three panels who looked at the issue of the *stolen* emails. The CRU was admonished to do a better job of providing information. So I believe your concern is being actively addressed. I will say the panels acknowledged that a lot of FOI requests seemed to be frivolous attempts to waste researchers time. And to be honest, I am not sure how intellectual property rights fits into basic climate change research, although it certainly fits in with remediation technology.

I agree doctors don't always get it right. But when they explain their diagnosis to us, unless it is wildly inconsistent with our symptoms we generally don't tell our doctor that we reject that diagnosis because it is too complicated. And we do keep going to doctors, because even when they make mistakes we have faith they will get it right eventually (although some people to put their faith in acupuncture or other types of alternative medicine).

Do we know enough physics to understand the basics of how greenhouse gases affect planetary temperature?