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Magnus Eisengrim
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Cut and pasted from the Halifax Chronicle Herald


The real Climategate scandal
Controversies over credibility of climate science have been intentionally contrived
By BRAD WALTERS
Sat. Jul 10 - 4:53 AM



The long-awaited release of the Russell panel report in the U.K. should finally put to rest the scientific controversies surrounding the so-called Climategate scandal, in which leaked emails from a renowned climate research group at East Anglia led some to question the credibility of global-warming science.

The Russell report’s conclusions are clear: There was no evidence of scientific malpractice and no reason to doubt the credibility of the scientific claims being made by the East Anglia researchers. Four previous reviews of the Climategate scandal (two in each of the U.K. and U.S.) came to the same general conclusion, although the review by Muir Russell and his panel was the most comprehensive and definitive.

The Russell report findings will not sit well with most climate change skeptics. After all, Climategate has become the No. 1 cause célèbre, the principal rallying cry, the "Exhibit A" put forth by skeptics in their ongoing efforts to discredit the scientific case for anthropogenic global warming.

The ranks of scientific skeptics have, in fact, dwindled considerably in recent years. The cumulative evidence for anthropogenic global warming is now so broad, diverse and compelling that 98 per cent of 1,200 climate scientists recently surveyed believe in it.

Yet, skepticism will persist and will no doubt remain at the forefront of public and political debates on climate change. To understand why is to understand the real scandal of Climategate.

To the sober observer — the practising scientist — the content of the leaked East Anglia emails appeared little more than the off-hand remarks of colleagues who, like the rest of us, sometimes get frustrated. They were hardly evidence of a scientific conspiracy, and certainly did not warrant the outpouring of baseless, hostile accusations that followed. When Climategate first broke, in fact, the editors of the pre-eminent science journal Nature commented that these supposedly explosive revelations would be laughable were it not for their political consequences. Like many, the editors recognized that the real scandal had little to do with the science, but everything to do with its political ramifications.

Specifically, large swaths of the public and many opinion leaders continue to doubt the reality of climate change. The reasons for this are complicated, but a major factor is that uncertainties regarding the status of climate science have been systematically exaggerated, and controversies over the credibility of climate science have been intentionally contrived.

The perpetrators of this misinformation about climate science include diverse individuals and organizations, although most share either an ideological resistance to government regulations or have vested economic interests in carbon-intensive industries.

What we are witnessing , according to Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, authors of Merchants of Doubt, and James Hoggan and Richard Littlemore, authors of Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming, is a similar but more ambitious replay of the tobacco industries’ campaign to sow doubt about the scientific consensus on the health risks of smoking. In both cases, the supposed "skeptics" of the science have understood that politicians are reluctant to propose new regulations where the public is uncertain about the need for such regulations.

Like Watergate, the real scandal of Climategate was not likely to be found in the communications of those who had their emails illegally hacked (or in the case of Watergate, their phones illegally tapped). Rather, the real scandal can be found by looking to those who were behind the hacking (or wire-tapping), in the first place, and to those who have been so eager to butcher the truth and assault the professional reputations of respected scientists for short-term political gain.

Brad Walters is a professor of geography and co-ordinator of environmental studies at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick.
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This should be sure to convince everyone here that they were right all along.
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Climate change and the dangers asscociated with it are probably real.

But now we will see what the dangers of lying are.

Liars have set us back 20 years. And liars are not going away.

Don't count on progress until liars disappear. And like many, I have zero faith in science knowing that it's full of liars.

How could anyone?
Magnus Eisengrim
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Magic Spank, what makes you think the scientists are liars? According to the Russell report, the real liars are a number of journalists, politicians and special interest groups who have been attacking climate science.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
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The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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John, I know that the equivilant of proving God does not exist to a religious person is what happened to you so I see your need to cling to this. At what point do you back up even an inch?
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Hey, I figure if someone put up an article against the 'man made world is melting' idea John would be first in line to cry out against it so I am not surprised he put up this article thinking it is a new book to his gospel
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So many people, so much hot air, so obvious a problem yet no proposed solutions.
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Magnus Eisengrim
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Hardly a new book to my gospel, Santa. Unless my gospel is critical thinking.

Unfortunately, far too many people confuse google with knowledge and cannot tell the difference between a link and an argument. NOTS boasts a number of them.

The fact is that political forces are more than happy to exploit intellectual laziness by substituting bombast for evidence. This gives the lazy all the links they could ask for to back up their preconceptions. In the end, it boils down to "my guys (and by extension, me) are right about everything and anyone who disagrees is our enemy."

If anybody cares to read the Muir Russell report, let's discuss it. But I won't hold my breath. Political pundits will tell the faithful what to believe and they'll go back the same old conclusions the same old lazy way. We'll be seeing links to youtube telling us that the Russell report is part of the global conspiracy. etc. etc.

And that is the real scandal.

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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“The Russell report’s conclusions are clear: There was no evidence of scientific malpractice and no reason to doubt the credibility of the scientific claims being made by the East Anglia researchers.”

-BRAD WALTERS-


“It is important to note that we offer no opinion on the validity of their scientific work.”

-MUIR RUSSELL REPORT-
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Magnus Eisengrim
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And your point is, Tommy?
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
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It is important to note that the MUIR RUSSELL REPORT offer no opinion on the validity of their scientific work so it says. But anyone reading "The Russell report’s conclusions are clear: There was no evidence of scientific malpractice and no reason to doubt the credibility of the scientific claims being made by the East Anglia researchers" might think that it did. In IMHO, John.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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Magnus Eisengrim
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Fair enough. As I recall, the entire issue of the hacked CRU emails was whether they indicated scientific malpractice on the part of ht East Anglia researchers. Lots of people (including you, tommy) indicated that the emails offered evidence that they had faked their data and had misrepresented their findings. The Muir Russell report indicates that this does not appear to be the case.

And of course, this leads us to the "real scandal"...

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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Quote:
On 2010-07-16 21:03, Josh the Superfluous wrote:
This should be sure to convince everyone here that they were right all along.


There are some very smart people here. And half of them are idiots.
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tommy
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John. If you have read the report then why are you using the word “hacked‘?
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Josh the Superfluous
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They were leaked to the internet. According to the university, the emails and documents were obtained through a server hacking.
What do you want in a site? "Honesty, integrity and decency." -Mike Doogan
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Magnus Eisengrim
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Quote:
On 2010-07-17 20:25, tommy wrote:
John. If you have read the report then why are you using the word “hacked‘?


Because that is what they have always been called. I assume you read the report. They use the word "hacked" throughout. They do, however, include the footnote:

"*Note: The word 'hacked‘ as contained in the Review‘s terms of reference
has been challenged in submissions to the Review, on the basis that the means
by which the unauthorized disclosure of the e-mails was made has not been
established. This matter is subject to police enquiries and the Review has
made no judgment on the question."

The report also uses the word "leaked" with regard to the emails. But that isn't established in a court of law either.

What is your point, exactly, Tommy?

John
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.--Yeats
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As you know John, or should do leading sceptics from the start, were suggested that the establishment were deliberately, using the word “hacked” to prevent, on a legal technicality. the emails being used in a court against Phil Jones or the Centre etc, should they be sued or worse. Despite knowing that before they started, MUIR RUSSELL still used the word many times, as you have pointed out. Yes they put in the out you quoted but only after they were pulled up about it. There is a still a prospect of court proceedings, as I understand it, when the police have concluded their enquiries.

Also from what I understand Phil Jones may face criminal charges in relation to deleting emails re the freedom of information act and so on. The MUIR RUSSELL REPORT have not gone into that question. While some out there have criticised The MUIR RUSSELL REPORT for not going into the question of Jones deleting emails. I think their reason for RUSSEL not doing so is that it might prejudice the police enquiry. So I don’t criticize MUIR RUSSELL for not going into that question personally, I do however suggest, Russell’s hands were tied somewhat by the parallel police enquiry that’s going on. Its relevant to how far this enquiry was allowed to go.

Be that as it may, lets look at some of the criticisms levelled at these reports by others who have looked at it so far from the many that have. Here is one for example from a man who has experience with these sort of enquiries over here:


Parliament misled over Climategate report, says MP


Parliament was misled and needs to re-examine the Climategate affair thoroughly after the failure of the Russell report, a leading backbench MP told us today.

"It's not a whitewash, but it is inadequate," is Labour MP Graham Stringer's summary of the Russell inquiry report. Stringer is the only member of the House of Commons Select Committee on Science and Technology with scientific qualifications - he holds a PhD in Chemistry.

Not only did Russell fail to deal with the issues of malpractice raised in the emails, Stringer told us, but he confirmed the feeling that MPs had been misled by the University of East Anglia when conducting their own inquiry. Parliament only had time for a brief examination of the CRU files before the election, but made recommendations. This is a serious charge.

After the Select Committee heard oral evidence on March 1, MPs believed that Anglia had entrusted an examination of the science to a separate inquiry. Vice Chancellor of the University of East Anglia Edward Acton had told the committee that "I am hoping, later this week, to announce the chair of a panel to reassess the science and make sure there is nothing wrong."[Hansard - Q129]]

Ron Oxburgh's inquiry eventually produced a short report clearing the participants. He did not reassess the science, and now says it was never in his remit. "The science was not the subject of our study," he confirmed in an email to Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit.

Earlier this week the former chair of the Science and Technology Committee, Phil Willis, now Lord Willis, said MPs had been amazed at the "sleight of hand".

"Oxburgh didn't go as far as I expected. The Oxburgh Report looks much more like a whitewash," Graham Stringer told us.

Stringer says Anglia appointee Muir Russell (a civil servant and former Vice Chancellor of Glasgow University), failed in three significant areas.

"Why did they delete emails? The key question was what reason they had for doing this, but this was never addressed; not getting to the central motivation was a major failing both of our report and Muir Russell."



Stringer also says that it was unacceptable for Russell (who is not a scientist) to conclude that CRU's work was reproducible, when the data needed was not available. He goes further:

"The fact that you can make up your own experiments and get similar results doesn't mean that you're doing what's scientifically expected of you. You need to follow the same methodology of the process."

"I was surprised at Phil Jones' answers to the questions I asked him [in Parliament]. The work was never replicable," says Stringer.

In 2004 Jones had declined to give out data that would have permitted independent scrutiny of their work, explaining that "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."

This policy is confirmed several times in the emails, with Jones also advising colleagues to destroy evidence helpful to people wishing to reproduce the team's results.

"I think that's quite shocking," says Stringer.

Thirdly, the University of East Anglia failed to follow the Commons Select Committee's recommendations in handling the inquiry and producing the report.

Stringer said, "We asked them to be independent, and not allow the University to have first sight of the report. The way it's come out is as an UEA inquiry, not an independent inquiry."

Stringer also says they reminded the inquiry to be open - Russell had promised as much - but witness testimony took place behind closed doors, and not all the depositions have been published


That is one and I could show many more but here just one more.


Fred Pearce
The Guardian Comment Wed 7 Jul 2010 17:16 BST

Climategate scientists far from squeaky clean

The Russell review found the climate scientists had not lied – but failed to criticise them properly for corrupting a scientific process that demands complete transparency

Generally honest but frequently secretive; rigorous in their dealings with fellow scientists but often "unhelpful and defensive", and sometimes downright "misleading", when explaining themselves to the wider world. That was the verdict of Sir Muir Russell and his fellow committee members in their inquiry into the role of scientists at the University of East Anglia in the "climategate" affair.

Many will find the report indulgent of reprehensible behaviour, particularly in peer review, where CRU researchers have been accused of misusing their seniority in climate science to block criticism. Brutal exchanges in which researchers boasted of "going to town" to prevent publication of papers critical of their work, and in which they conspired to blacklist journals that published hostile papers, were dismissed by Russell as "robust" and "typical of the debate that can go on in peer review".

In the event, the inquiry conducted detailed analysis of only three cases of potential abuse of peer review. And it investigated only two instances where allegations were made that CRU scientists such as director Phil Jones and deputy director Keith Briffa misused their positions as IPCC authors to sideline criticism. On the issue of peer review and the IPCC, it found that "the allegations cannot be upheld", but made clear this was partly because the roles of CRU scientists and others could not be distinguished from those of colleagues. There was "team responsibility".

The report is far from being a whitewash. And nor does it justify the claim of university vice-chancellor Sir Edward Action that it is a "complete exoneration". In particular it backs critics who see in the emails a widespread effort to suppress public knowledge about their activities and to sideline bloggers who want to access their data and do their own analysis.

Most seriously, it finds "evidence that emails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them [under Freedom of information law]". Yet, extraordinarily, it emerged during questioning that Russell and his team never asked Jones or his colleagues whether they had actually done this.

Secrecy was the order of the day at CRU. "We find that there has been a consistent pattern of failing to display the proper degree of openness," says the report. That criticism applied not just to Jones and his team at CRU. It applied equally to the university itself, which may have been embarrassed to find itself in the dock as much as the scientists on whom it asked Russell to sit in judgment.

The university "failed to recognise not only the significance of statutory requirements" – FOI law in particular – and "also the risk to the reputation of the university and indeed the credibility of UK climate science" from the affair.
The university has responded by abolishing the role of director of CRU, held by Jones until last November. Indeed CRU itself has lost its former independence. Acton said Jones would now be "director of research" for CRU, working within the university environment department.




And of course, this leads us to the real scandal:

BRAD WALTERS conning all the kids at his school into paying a $10 fee every year for his campaign on emissions.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

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