Opinion: FOIA and where it’s at with the global warming issue

Posted: December 5, 2011 by tallbloke in climate, flames, Incompetence, Philosophy, Politics

I have been put in contact with a journalist from the warmer side of the UK press. He was interested in knowing about anything which might help discover the identity of the Climategate whistleblower, or as he referred to them ‘ the hacker’, and why ‘foia’ might have chosen ‘the Talkshop’ to place a link to the server where he had uploaded the FOIA2011.zip file rather than another ‘higher profile’ UK climate blog.

This is the substantive part of my response (the name of the owner of the ‘higher profile’ UK blog is removed).

I personally choose to lead a low energy use lifestyle, and was
initially inclined to accept the human emitted co2 explanation for the
global warming which took place in the C20th. Having studied the
consensus science supporting the hypothesis, I have come to the
conclusion that due diligence in eliminating other possible causes has
not been correctly undertaken.

Moreover, much of the science of co2 induced global warming, although
having a theoretical basis I have no problem accepting, is speculative
and indeterminate. Uncertainty has been downplayed where it should have
been emphasised. This has led to an unbalanced research funding
situation, where atmospheric science has soaked up grants and deprived
other important areas which go underfunded or worse, shut down.

This has led to a situation where we get an unbalanced view of climate
change, which does not recognise or discuss potentially viable
alternative hypotheses of as yet undetermined merit. Truth by
arbitrary exclusion is not scientific truth. It is monotheism.

At the political level, dogmatic adherence to market philosophies have
led to a situation when 287 billion euro of public money has been poured
down the sink propping up a failing carbon market, for zero result in
terms of reducing emissions. An estimate has been made that this amount
of money could have reduced European co2 emissions by more than 30% if
it had been used to modernise Europe’s fleet of power generating
stations directly. That’s an international scandal. Whose pockets is
that 287 billion euro in now??? If it’s the investment arms of the
banking institutions, they don’t seem to be in a hurry to top everyone’s
diminished pensions back up with it…

Science communicators have a duty to the public to diligently,
independently and honestly assess the outputs of science, rather than
simply republish press releases put out by institutional faculties
which have a vested interest in overselling the results of the research
undertaken by their academic employees. Public trust in the
institutions of science as providers of the body of knowledge drawn on
by the people we elect to decide how to spend our taxes is at stake.

Investigative journalists also have a duty to follow the trail of
interdependent public and private bodies and NGO’s which make use of
public money, especially when large sums of it are never seen again and
no accounting is forthcoming.

In my opinion that is the bigger story waiting out there, rather than
the discovery of the identity of the person who chose to pull the dirty
laundry out of the closet.

I’m concentrating on gathering evidence to support an alternative
explanation for the change in planetary surface temperatures, having
made some interesting discoveries of my own in the field of solar
system dynamics.

I do put up ‘topical’ posts to keep the blog rolling along between reports on
the progress made by myself and others researching this area, but I’m
primarily science focused rather than ‘science/policy interface’ driven
in my choice of subject matter.

What difference that might have made to ‘foia’ I’m not sure. I can
speculate on a few possibilities if you are interested in considering
them.

1) Foia just hopped from one site to another via the ‘blog roll’ links
(my site is linked on wattsupwiththat.com) and I was just picked at
random.

2) Foia had picked up on the fact that I made an enquiry to the CRU
under the FOIA in 2009 from comments I made on climate audit and wanted
to ‘give me the scoop’ along with the other sites in recognition of my
own efforts to ‘free the data’. (Others have been more active in this
regard than I have, but maybe ‘foia’ hasn’t noticed).

3) Foia wanted to draw attention not only to the emails but also
to the fact that there is some ‘citizen science’ going on which offers
an alternative explanation for climate change rather than
nay-saying against the hypothesis offered by ‘consensus’ climatology.

——————————————————-

The investigative journalist in question thanked me for my response, and for my wider views, which I’m grateful he took the time to read, although he chose not to respond to them

Comments
  1. Zeke says:

    Apparently the other emails still under password protection have everyone very worried.

    However, they should have figured out for themselves that more emails could be leaked. In fact, many political figures thought it was safe once again to hitch their political stars to Global Warming and so the pressure will be on to find out who holds the password.

    Foia is an unequalled hero of the century. The gradated manner in which the emails were leaked, allowing time and information enough for self-correction, shows that this person is a white hat hacker, ethically finding huge weaknesses and failings in the (publically funded) scientific community.

  2. pouncer says:

    “the other emails still under password protection have everyone very worried.”

    So they should. And others should submit Freedom of Info / Open Government queries to local authorities for any gov-supported institutions associated with the UEA release — asking for the “context”.

    Say the UEA messages show a message to a researcher in the U.S. state of California at a public university, drawing state funding, there. A resident of California could, theoretically, request all documents between this institute and UEA for a time period around the released message. That would show the context the scientist claim has been omitted by the “RC” hacker’s so called cherry picking.

    If the query were refused, it would imply the context is as bad as the sample.

    If the query were granted, it would give more clues into how the recipe was assembled.

    Win-win.

  3. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Zeke: Is there anyone out there who could swore (he / she) has not been part of this “climate change” business?
    Do it now or…you´ll be considered one of them. :-)

  4. diogenes says:

    just wait until you see what he/she extracts from your thoughts….tallbloke claims earth warming faster than ever before….lol

  5. tchannon says:

    Yup, be very careful with some modern journos. Talk to AW.

    If Joe Public is interviewed on the ClapHam Omibus a few times methinks the light of realisation would dawn.

    Odd how whenever eg. the BBC do an item on a subject, factory. place. you know very well you go No! it’s not like that, yet do you drink up on other things?

    is this deliberate? No I don’t think so. (been around the press and broadcasters) More as someone replied to me, Tim, a good journalist can wrong (sic) on anything. (write)
    Nope.

  6. Brian H says:

    Journos who know very well that you should “follow the money” get spooked when it gets big enough. Like, “Jeez, these guys can afford some serious and detailed push-back. I think discretion would be the better part of valour, here.”

    A few hundred billion here, a few hundred billion, there, and pretty soon you’re talking real (Obama-scoop) money!

  7. Matthew W says:

    The irony is that while dribbling out small amounts of extremely embarrassing emails and data about the blatant fraud/bias that surrounds CAGW “research” is just that, embarrassing, that is something that so far the fraudsters and the willing and able compliant media has been able to defuse by just dismissively waving their hand while saying “nothing to see here”. (sadly, there is a great amount of the population that does not do their own due diligence concerning CAGW and will not pay attention to the “sausage making” aspect of the science and research)

    BUT !!!

    If FOIA were to be discovered/arrested etc, the potential amount of data that would be released at once would probably blow the CAGW fraudsters out of the water and stick a fork in them. So it is in the best interest of the Warmistas NOT to have FOIA discovered !!!

    (the above statement in no way suggests any type of conspiracy or cover up by any law enforcement agency and the Warmistas not to solve the mystery!!)

  8. tallbloke says:

    Hi Matthew and welcome. I suspect the appropriate phrase here is
    “done up like a kipper”
    And I’m obviously not talking about ‘foia’
    As Zeke says, the ticking time bomb of 220,000 widely distributed encrypted emails will be at the forefront of more than a few minds I’m sure. Sooner or later….

  9. Matthew W says:

    “Sooner or later….”

    Yep !!
    The Sword Of Damocles !!!

  10. gnomish says:

    “Public trust in the institutions of science as providers of the body of knowledge drawn on
    by the people we elect to decide how to spend our taxes is at stake.”

    oh, my… what could be worse than loss of trust in the witchdoctors appointed as attila’a apologists?
    unless it’s the simple joy of maidenhood which is every man’s relationship with them – but that’s never to be questioned… hurts too bad.

  11. tallbloke says:

    Ah, that’s our Gnomish, ‘the hardened cynic’s cynic’. ;)

  12. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    It is my personal hope that data supposedly deleted will be in the big file. At least one FOIA request was answered with a statement that they data no longer existed.

    The raw data may not be missing after all if it was retrieved from backups. Comparing actual data with CRU outputs may be more than enlightening. As Harry_Readme pointed out, sometimes they just Made Stuff Up. It is upon that foundation that CAGW sits.

    There is so much writing on the wall is it hard to find a blank space any more.

  13. Steve Garcia says:

    The opening quote is EXACTLY the reason I became a skeptic. “Due diligence due diligence in eliminating other possible causes has not been correctly undertaken.”

    Duh.

    It took me a very short time to determine this. Falsification of natural variation and other “possible causes” simply was never done. I have been at this for a bit over 10 years, and I have not in any of that time seen such undertakings.

    And it is NOT well and good that claims of “the sum total of all natural forcings is a net constant” are made. No one has shown that to be the case; it is taken as a matter of faith. And that is an amazing thing, to see scientists taking something as a matter of faith. SHAME ON THEM. That isn’t science. If it seems to be the case, it is their DUTY to derive empirical experiments to prove it or falsify it. Accepting it without experimentation – how dare they do that?

    And those around them who don’t call them on that failure are even MORE responsible.

    It does not help that Michael Mann is out there browbeating people into submission (which he is still doing), intimidating everyone through fear of being declared an apostate by him. Apostate in this case, of course, has come to mean being labeled a “skeptic” or “denier”.

    That it required two retired scientists/statisticians (Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre) to have called them on this oversight is a terrible black eye to scientists, most notably climate and other earth scientists.

    Finding out that scientists are AVOIDING doing that due diligence is akin to finding out that there is no Santa Claus.

    Bah humbug.

  14. Brian H says:

    SG;
    Lots of doo-doo diligence tho’!

    Sorry. Couldn’t resist. Having an attack of the runs.

  15. [...] journalist”) decided to “interview” Tallbloke. In Tallbloke’s words: I have been put in contact with a journalist from the warmer side of the UK press. He was [...]