Playing with fire

Posted: November 25, 2011 by tallbloke in climate, flames, Politics
  • Rich. you still dont get than mann and Jones escaped because of rhetoric like yours.

  • No Steve, they escaped because the people we paid to investigate the climateers did as dishonest a job of assessing evidence as the climateers we paid to assess the climate.

    They all scoff from the same trough and piss in the same pot.

    “We could approach Ron Oxburgh to do the PR”


  • To quote someone. My head is exploding. Hide the decline was a failure to calibrate. Nothing more and nothing less. One instrument (tree rings) failed calibration against another instrument (mercury in a capilary tube). One is widely accepted as a measure of temperature, one is not. If the one that is not a widely accepted measure of temperature cannot calibrate against the one that is a widely accepted measure of temperature, then, barring very, very strong evidence to the contrary, one of these two must be discarded as a measure of temperature. I leave it to the reader to decide whether tree rings are more reliable than the coefficient of thermal expansion of mercury. To claim that a tree ring is sometimes better, sometimes not is . . . what? Honest mistake? Bit of a problem to be dealt with later? To intentionally and knowingly withhold the fact that the “instrument” had failed calibration is . . . what? Please explain how that is NOT fraud.

  • This is a difficult conundrum. On the one hand, instituting criminal penalties for erroneous scientific results or hypotheses would stifle research and snuff many a beneficial flame aborning. On the other, as Rich so emotionally conveys, these particular investigators have had a real, tangible, and widely harmful impact. Which is a nice way of saying, yes, a great many people have died, and productive employment of resources has been tragically diverted.

    I would submit that the problem lies in our institutions. In a world of, for lack of a better descriptive, grown-ups, a rigorous and impartial process for examining and evaluating the competing claims would have been instituted and results judged based on rigorous and objective criteria over a period of (at least) decades before arriving at a conclusion.

    Perhaps such a world exists somewhere in the Cosmos, and not just in the innocent mind of my long lost youth. Maybe, as a result of this fiasco, some people will give some thought to moving in that direction. But, I’m not going to hold my breath.

  • Bart:

    The problem is that the period of tenure as head of *insert name of August Institution here* is such that ambitious characters like Michael Mann with a strong self belief think short cuts to stardom are necessary and reasonable. Add in the top down agenda of the funding entity (government) and you have a recipe for a ‘movement’ which inevitably departs from the straight and narrow of adherence to what the scientific method should be.

    As the people who stump up the cash for this game, the taxpayer should take on the role of executive director and sack the management and ‘the star players’ and drive out the gravy train meal ticket recipients.

    After that we can get some science done.

    Nobody wants things to get extreme, so the people forcing pensioners to burn books to stay warm need to wake up and smell the burning tyres before this happens:

    Hopefully a change of policy and the development of Andrea Rossis’s E-Cat energy generating device will make ugly scenes unnecessary.

  1. adolfogiurfa says:

    There is A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
    and, last but not least:
    “Wait at your front door and you will see the corpse of your enemy passing by”, Confucius

  2. Chris S says:

    You shouldn’t talk back to Mosher like that. He’s a “Player” /

  3. tallbloke says:

    Chris: Me and Mosh are OK. We,ve taken the P out of each other face to face, and shared drinks afterwards. 🙂

  4. Chris S says:

    Some good humored teasing is one of life’s pleasures and helps keep things in perspective. Unfortunately the sarc tag got left off my last post ;o

  5. Roy Martin says:

    Just what I needed after a good Saturday evening dinner dinner and a couple of glasses of wine.

    I have done some manual scanning of the foia emails, selecting on the basis of larger file sizes. The following all make interesting reading:

    4860 Overpeck => Osborn
    4961 Overpeck => Villalba
    5330 Jones => Karlen

    All nice and cosy.

  6. Doug Proctor says:

    In all of our lives, in all of our businesses, we have played, at times, a little loose with the truth. And we are justified, mostly, because in the bigger sense, we are “right”. The problem is when – like the stockbroker or CEO colouring outside the lines – the difference between our story and the facts causes real-world problems for those other than ourselves.

    Accountability: we all believe we can escape being accountable for small errors, especially when our intent was morally good. In the beginning Mann and Jones were keen, involved and sure they were on the “right” track, in both senses of the word. They were part of a Team dedicated to saving the planet! Imagine how fulfilling that must have been! But then they started to fiddle and faddle and fudge, until overeagerness wasn’t the cause, but ego and fear (fear of ridicule, fear of loss of funding). That is when the crime – moral, if not legal – occurred. The Team went into damage control and cover-up.

    That is what Climategate 1.0 and 2.0 reveal: the shift from bolstering previous beliefs to hiding errors or uncertainties in prior claims. Mann is the most aggressive, outside Gore and Hansen, of course. But, as we have heard about the sports program at Penn State, perhaps there is a similar bullying culture of protecting image and saving face in the Penn State climatology circle of whom Mann is probably the BMOC. Doesn’t justify anything, but it might explain a lot.

    As the fog of secrecy evaporates, it is clear that the global warming movement has been created, supported and extended by a very small group of people and money-managers. That small, controlling circle is revealed in the leaked e-mails, and is very, very relevant. Were it not for the defensive (as well as offensive) actions and actors, we would never have gotten to the strange world of Australian carbon taxes and demands for world government with police powers. Mann, Hansen, Gore (I leave poor Phil Jones out on purpose, as I see him as a politically naif caught up in doing the Right Thing) should be hung out with their pants down. What they have done is justify what others have put in force.

    You cannot escape responsibility when you do not do the actions your words create. Or should I say, you should not.

  7. tallbloke says:

    Doug, that’s a very perceptive and humanistic perspective. And I for one, prefer to see things in science remain humanistic rather than become legalistic. However, it seems the people who have lost their way will try to hang on to their fiefdom with grim determination long after their shortcomings have been exposed.

    A basic human emotion seems to be missing in them.


  8. tallbloke says:

    Roy, which database are you using, I get 4860 to be from Jones to Wibjörn Karlén?

  9. Roy Martin says:

    Rog., same database, just an oops moment in file naming. Should read thus:
    4860 Jones => Karlen
    4961 Overpeck => Villalba
    5330 Overpeck => Osborn
    I found that Oo Write would not save the expanded test files as .odt, so used Word to convert to .doc files, then opened and saved in Write. Error came in the second step.
    Feeling frustrated that I do not have time now to enlarge on comments re these files. I will try to do a little tomorrow. They relate to the sort of bias subject of the later post by Roy Spencer.