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Archive for November, 2009

Hope At Last: Scientists Retract Irreproducible Paper

Just to show that there are very good Scientists around…

Researchers are retracting a highly-cited 2004 Science paper describing a new way of adding sugars to proteins — a longstanding challenge in molecular biology — citing their inability to repeat the results and the absence of the original lab notebooks with the experiment details

AGW Belief Has Eaten My Newspaper!

2009/11/27 8 comments

(Letter sent to the International Herald Tribune)

> From: Maurizio Morabito
> To: letters@iht.com
> Cc: Subs@iht.com
> Sent: Thu, November 26, 2009 9:39:16 AM
> Subject: Missing pages in my IHT newspaper

Dear Editors

I wish to report a case of missing pages in the IHT I have received for the past couple of days.

Aa I am sure you know very well, the revelations about the ‘scientific’ practices at the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have been causing disconcert and not just among so-called skeptics.

The internal computing code notes about a futile multi-year quest to replicate their own results looks especially worthy of a good journalistic investigation. Could it really be true, that the multi-billion-dollar climate-change bandwagon might be based on computational practices that would have made Enron’s Ken Lay proud?

That’s why I am sure you have been dedicating many pages to the topic and I have just been unlucky as those pages were not included so far in my paper.

So please send them along. I know you have published a piece by NYT’s Andy Revkin a couple of days ago. That is the same Revkin that appears to be treated as a credulous media tool in a couple of the leaked emails, so forgive me if I skip his future contributions if any (as they will be the product either of personal anger or further credulosity).

Please do not betray the trust of this longtime subscriber. I really cannot believe the naysayers claiming you have been silent on this topic because afraid of the legal implications of those emails and other documents among the leaks.

Regards

Maurizio Morabito

ClimateGate: Had It Been For AGW Believers, Enron Would Still Be In Business

2009/11/26 1 comment

Professor Trevor Davies, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer of the UEA, quoted yesterday by Willis Eschenbach in a comment to his “Freedom of information, my okole…“:

The University [of East Anglia, home of the CRU] takes its responsibilities under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, Environmental Information Regulations 2004, and the Data Protection Act 1998 very seriously and has, in all cases, handled and responded to requests in accordance with its obligations under each particular piece of legislation.

Kenneth Lay answering an analyst’s question on August 14, 2001, as quoted in Wikipedia:

There are no accounting issues, no trading issues, no reserve issues, no previously unknown problem issues. I think I can honestly say that the company is probably in the strongest and best shape that it has probably ever been in.

All That’s Wrong With Global Warming Advocates

2009/11/24 18 comments

(a Jul 30, 2003 blog of mine on Ecademy…not much has changed. Or has it?)

In a few words here by John Houghton, former chief executive of the British Meteorological Office

Human induced global climate change is a weapon of mass destruction at least as dangerous as nuclear, chemical or biological arms, a leading British climate scientist said Monday

Well, I refuse to join Mr Houghton and his fellow scaremongers and agitators.

Human-caused Climate Change is something big enough to be extra-ordinary enough to warrant extra-ordinary proof.

For heaven’s sake, somebody is claiming that humans can have effects over a planet-wide phenomenon. Those same humans that can’t predict earthquakes, can’t switch off a volcano, can’t change the course of ocean currents, can’t stop hurricanes, can’t make sustainable quantities of rain, can’t even generate nor control wind (of the non-intestinal variety). We have no idea of entire major waterflows in the North Atlantic, and yet somebody thinks to be able to cause (and to tell) a few degrees difference in the Earth’s climate over 50 or 100 years?

Vague threats and doom-and-gloom scenarios make little sense. Give me a break. Or give me evidence that the climate is really changing because of humans. For example by showing what is the difference between the current temperature changes and those that happened over 3 or 4 years at the end of the “little ice age” in the mid-1800s (surely those were not man-made)? Or by showing how the amount of emissions by humans can compare to the natural ones?

Or by comparing the energy used and release by humans to that involved in the Earth’s working on a daily basis? To understand the situation, I did some quick computations last year to find out that all energy ever generated by humans would rise the ocean temperature by hundredths if not thousandth (0.01 to 0.001) of a degree…ours is still a big planet indeed, tampering with it requires enormous quantities of energy and I am aware of little work done in planetary engineering.

My mind is open to explanations, and I can definitely talk to people saying “Beware the climate beast“. But I won’t listen to those that panic to claim that the world is ending tomorrow (or this century, or this millennium).

Willis vs. The CRU: A History of (FOI) Evasion

2009/11/24 137 comments

(a guest blog by Willis Eschenbach, originally posted to the Climate Sceptics mailing list. Published almost completely as-is).

An excerpt for those without time to read it all

the issue is not Trenberth or scientists talking smack. It is the illegal evasion of legitmate scientific requests for data needed to replicate a scientific study. Without replication, science cannot move forwards. And when you only give data to friends of yours, and not to people who actually might take a critical look at it, you know what you end up with? A “consensus” …

Freedom of information, my okole…
by Willis Eschenbach

People seem to be missing the real issue in the CRU emails. Gavin over at realclimate keeps distracting people by saying the issue is the scientists being nasty to each other, and what Trenberth said, and the Nature “trick”, and the like. Those are side trails. To me, the main issue is the frontal attack on the heart of science, which is transparency.

Science works by one person making a claim, and backing it up with the data and methods that they used to make the claim. Other scientists attack the work by (among other things) trying to replicate the first scientist’s work. If they can’t replicate it, it doesn’t stand. So blocking the FOIA allowed Phil Jones to claim that his temperature record (HadCRUT3) was valid science.

This is not just trivial gamesmanship, this is central to the very idea of scientific inquiry. This is an attack on the heart of science, by keeping people who disagree with you from ever checking your work and seeing if your math is correct.

Read more…

The CRU Hacking Song (With Apologies To George And Ira Gershwin)

2009/11/23 11 comments

(And no…I am not going to leave my day job)

 

 

 

It ain’t necessarily so

It ain’t necessarily so
It ain’t necessarily so
The t’ings dat yo’ li’ble
To read in de IPCC,
It ain’t necessarily so.

Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !
He fought Big Solar Influence
Who lay down an’ dieth !
Li’l CO2 was small, but oh my !

Wadoo, zim bam boddle-oo,
Hoodle ah da wa da,
Scatty wah !
Oh yeah !…

Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU,
Fo’ he made his home in
Dat institute’s warming.
Oh Phil Jones, he lived in de CRU.

Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
Li’l Mann was fond of a trend.
He floated on bristlecones
Till Ol’ Briffa and colleagues,
They saved him, they said, and dat trend.

Wadoo …

Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Well, it ain’t necessarily so
Dey tells all you chillun
De skepticism’s a villun,
But it ain’t necessarily so !

To get with the Science
Don’ bet your emissions!
Live clean ! Don’ have no pollution !
Oh, I takes dat IPCC gospel
Whenever it’s pos’ble,
But wid a grain of salt.

Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
Gavin Schmidt wrote nine hundred blogs,
But who calls dat writin’
When no reality will give in
To no man with nine hundred blogs ?

I’m preachin’ dis sermon to show,
It ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t nece-ain’t nece
Ain’t necessarily … so !

Raise Your Hands If You’re Ready To Handle (Dishonest) Data Tampering

2009/11/23 4 comments

(comment posted at Greenfyre’s)

Greenfyre: if there is a subsequent release and it contains actual credible evidence of data tampering, I will say so

And that’s good enough for me.

After “ClimateGate” the consensus is still there, the AGW science is still there, COP15 will still take place, etc etc. What is dead is the notion that climatological alarmism is a nicely consensual necessary conclusion of an unbiased reading of the data, rather than a reasonable worldview based on observations but that might just as well be supplanted by a different one.

I just hope that in the eyes of all, “catastrophical AGW” is now a little less like “General Relativity” and a little more like “String theory”.

And even if the work of hundreds hasn’t been invalidated, still there is enough ongoing “power politics” activity at CRU (and elsewhere) to warrant a different approach to AGW skepticism. The problem is in fact not much in scientists that have an “ideology of science”, rather with scientists whose ideology involves stifling debate and censoring those who do not follow orthodoxy.

How many of those quoted would be prepared to “say so” if any “credible evidence of (dishonest) data tampering” were to surface?

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