December 6, 2009

Clark Hoyt, the NYT "public" editor, thinks the NYT has handled the Climategate story "appropriately."

I understand why the Times preferred to link to the database on somebody else's site instead of hosting it: They're afraid of being sued for copyright infringement (though I think if it were anti-war material they'd take the risk and argue fair use). But I can't accept the core of Hoyt's defense of his employer:
The biggest question is what the messages amount to — an embarrassing revelation that scientists can be petty and defensive and even cheat around the edges, or a major scandal that undercuts the scientific premise for global warming. The former is a story. The latter is a huge story. And the answer is tied up in complex science that is difficult even for experts to understand, and in politics in which passionate sides have been taken, sometimes regardless of the facts....

[Erica Goode, the NYT environment editor said]: “We here at The Times are not scientists. We don’t collect the data or analyze it, and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists” and the expertise of reporters like [Andrew] Revkin.
They just interview scientists and don't actually try to understand the science? Even when there is evidence of deceit, they don't pry themselves away from their dependence on interviews with scientists? Drastic, mindboggingly expensive policy changes are proposed based on this science, making this potentially the biggest fraud in history.  Why isn't the NYT on fire trying to figure everything out and helping us readers see into the controversy? The best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is...  Really? That's the best you can do? Just a "sense" of what "prevails" among scientists? Then the best you can do is to be part of the very problem you ought to be studying: The scientists' efforts to create an impression of consensus.

178 comments:

AllenS said...

Why isn't the NYT on fire trying to figure everything out and helping us readers see into the controversy?

Because, there is no mention of GW Bush or Sarah Palin.

J Lee said...

Hoyt has, over his time as ombudsman for the Times, been more of a 'go along to get along' type of guy, as opposed to Daniel Okrent, the paper's first ombudsman six years ago, who was more willing to ruffle feathers and was therefore less liked around both the newsroom and the editorial offices. But an ombudsman wanting to be the 'good cop' over on Eighth Avenue while waiting for the 'bad cop' to show up is going to be waiting a long, long time.

t-man said...

I did my best
But I guess my best wasn't good enough
Cause here we are
Back where we were before


I would like to get Hoyt's recipe for "Three Alarm Story."

EDH said...

The NYT will decide when it's time to fan the flames of public outrage, and against whom, thank you very much.

wv - "ireckedu" = the NEA's website?

Freeman Hunt said...

That's the best you can do?

Then your best sucks.

I guess that's why you're going under.

Comrade X said...

Clark Hoyt and Howie Kurtz are like a modern day anti-Diogenes, ever searching for media bias and finding none.

virgil xenophon said...

"None are so blind as those who will not see."

virgil xenophon said...

"None are so blind as those who will not see."

ddh said...

I marvel at the inability of NYT journalists to recognize a story, even if it bites them.

Maguro said...

We don’t collect the data or analyze it, and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists” and the expertise of reporters like [Andrew] Revkin.


Revkin, of course, was so cozy with Climategate fraudster Michael Mann that he coordinated his NYT reporting with him, so I'm sure he's a perfectly objective reporter on this story. No conflicts of interest here. Everyone move along now, the science is settled.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

It's getting to be a cliche, but this is just further evidence that the dead-tree media is finished. The best the NYT can hope for is that the Obama administration will prop them up for a few more years until they turn into a kind of living history exhibit. Think of it. Journalism re-enactors.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Why even read something calling itself a newspaper if all it does is uncritically reprint whatever a majority of people thinks? Just talk to your friends! A subscription to the NYT sounds like a complete rip-off. Premium content my ass.

SGT Ted said...

The NYT are on board with the "solutions" advocated by the fraud of AGW, which are the enactment of leftist economic programs and giving more power to the Democrats, so they will not undermine it by reporting on the scam.

Just like they weren't on board with the WOT, they undermined it by breaking the law. They aren't adverse to that sort of risk; its all about advocacy of leftist politics over reporting the truth.

Anthony said...

The New York Tass strikes again.

Jason (the commenter) said...

They used to publish all the news that's fit to print, now they publish whatever they're told to!

Fen said...

"Why isn't the NYT on fire trying to figure everything out and helping us readers see into the controversy"

Because the Grey Lady is a whore.

You might as well ask the same of Pravda. Why do you even associate with them?

Palladian said...

"They used to publish all the news that's fit to print, now they publish whatever they're told to!"

Well, they never specified who decided what news was "fit to print". Now we know it's just the Obama administration telling them what's fit to print.

Some people have been busy "hiding the decline". The New York Times is doing the opposite: documenting the decline. Its own.

Quayle said...

and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists”

That's not the best they can do.

They could, for example, always be sure that the opposing voices in science are heard, to highlight and facilitate the nature and parameters of the scientific discussion.

But that would require objective, honest reporting, rather than advocating "journalism."

The NYTimes is all about speaking truth to power, except when it is the closed-ranks power of advocates of one particular (and left favored) paradigm, then they suddenly find the virtues of moderation and measure.

miller said...

Um, the NEWSPAPER doesn't want to investigate something that might be NEWS?

What's wrong with this picture?

Palladian said...

"They could, for example, always be sure that the opposing voices in science are heard.."

You are mistaken. There are no opposing voices in this science. The science is settled.

Opposing voices? You imply disparity where none exists.

John Stodder said...

Before the Times hired Clark Hoyt, they called his references. One of them, surprising, was his own mother, who told them that, as a child, "Clark had the most creative excuses for not doing his chores of all my children. I found them very persuasive, even though it meant I had to hire him his own personal maid." That cinched it. The Times knew they had found their man.

SteveR said...

"making this potentially the biggest fraud in history"

I'm going to say it already is.

Contrary to the predetermined NYT outlook, this cop out is sadly predictable.

SMGalbraith said...

As the saying goes, the bias in the press is not necessarily that they to you want to think but that they tell you want you think about.

Or, as in this case, not think about.

But their ability to control or regulate what the public thinks about has been lost. And they haven't been able to respond.

So they're floundering as they are floundering. Rising tide of information also sinks as many ships as it lifts.

John Stodder said...

All over the web, I've read comments by people who claim they have experience handling data bases such as the one on which the climate models are based. The "read me harry" file purportedly is very shocking to those who understand the appropriate handling of such data and is, more than the e-mails, the the most incontrovertible evidence of, at best, gross incompetence and at worst, outright fraud. I read some of the most scathing comments to this effect on a comment thread in Mother Jones, from people who claimed to have left-wing, green bonafides. They could have been lying, I suppose, but I know a few people with this expertise and it is generally a liberal bunch.

Why doesn't the Times interview a bunch of people with that expertise and ask them whether, after studying the data log, they still have confidence in the models on which the alarmism is based?

The "we're not scientists" dodge also doesn't work for another reason: The most prominent policy pushers who are acting based on this data are, also, not scientists, starting with Al Gore, through the head of IPCC, Henry Waxman, Barbara Boxer, John Kerry, et. al. Taking Hoyt's point to its logical conclusion, Al Gore should have nothing to say about this issue, based on his lack of qualifications. If Phil Jones wanted to make a movie and deliver a scientific lecture, he's qualified to do so, but he shouldn't be able to use a non-scientist like Gore as his hand puppet.

Skyler said...

They're understanding of science is comparable to their understanding of the military but that never seems to dissaude them from displaying their ignorance.

Florida said...

The NY Times is a free press. They don't have to cover stories they don't like.

And we all don't have to consider them unbiased, either. They're not claiming to be unbiased.

Stop buying it. Stop linking to it. Stop reading it. It dies.

Pretty simple, really.

Dark Eden said...

This is a very dangerous time for the MSM. They are ignoring story after story that hurts the Democrats. The message is slowly getting out that if you want to know what's actually going on... don't go to the MSM, go to the internet.

The MSM is quickly becoming irrelevant.

traditionalguy said...

The NYT is modeling for their readers the attitude that"this is such hard and arcane science that it's best left unexamined". The unexamined life is necessary when it promotes the rulers needs to remain ruling. It reminds me of the scenes in April 1945 Germany as the Us Army came upon the Death Camps in conqured the German areas. The local German citizens said that, " We have never known what was going on...really we did not". So as Eisenhower ordered them to go examine the Camps and assist in the burial duty. Likewise the NYT and their Media accomplices need to be ordered to examine the detailed 15 year propaganda industry and its connections with the UN/Soros/Democrat organisations. Then we will believe them.

SMGalbraith said...

And apparently Mr. Rivkin will be "cut off" from the global warming scientific community.

Trust but don't verify?.

AlphaLiberal said...

Ann Althouse is angry that the climate denier argument does not dominate all news reporting on the issue.

Me, I think the facts matter. There were criminal acts committed here and the media has under-reported that story. Whodunnit?

Who has the motivation to steal and selectively public this information?

Now we have news that other climate scientists have faced efforts to burgle and steal.

A crime spree is developing and Althouse demands that the political views of the criminals be given first billing.

rcocean said...

Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

The Great and powerful wizards of Science have spoken.

AlphaLiberal said...

Again, the science of climate change remains unaffected by the selective publishing of the stolen emails.

We have a serious problem and we need to deal with it. Maybe Ann Althouse wants to make her argument that global warming is not a valid concern. Please do!

But fanning the flames of the deniers without really addressing the issue is a tad irresponsible.

John Stodder said...

AL -- I don't see any reason not to cover the "whodunnit" angle. Although if the data had been hacked, can't we assume there would have been, mixed into these on-point topical e-mails, a few "Happy Birthday" or "Sorry about your car breaking down" messages? I think it's fair to assume this data was culled by someone on the inside either a) in case they couldn't wriggle their way out of the legitimate FOI request, as they had been endeavoring to do for years, or b) because the thief is a whistleblower who didn't want to embarrass the scientists personally, just professionally.

You also realize that the scientists in question have validated that the stolen material is accurate. So, while I agree that the media needs to look into how we got this information and why -- whistleblowers often have interesting stories to tell -- it doesn't negate the significance of what's been exposed.

Science is supposed to be conducted in broad daylight anyway. The exemption claimed for "climatologists," which is beginning to seem more like a social science like economics than a hard science, diminishes its credibility, full stop.

AlphaLiberal said...

Climate contrarians spinning hard with stolen email files .

...t's more likely proof that climate deniers are the crazed conspiracy theorists we always thought they were. .

Althouse and other climate deniers are making far more out of this than is actually warranted.

AlphaLiberal said...

John Stoddard:

Although if the data had been hacked, can't we assume there would have been, mixed into these on-point topical e-mails, a few "Happy Birthday" or "Sorry about your car breaking down" messages? .

Better question is why you put so much faith into the people who stole the email to publish what they got in full?

Why do you ascribe so much honesty to these thieves?

Right there is a gulf of understanding on this issue.

knox said...

Seriously, we should take the National Enquirer more seriously as a credible, investigative news source than we do the NYT. At least the Enquirer has a modicum of curiosity.

I predict that Climategate will prove to be the biggest fraud in history. ACORN will be a close runner-up.

Thank god for the hackers who uncovered those emails. And for people like Giles and James O'Keefe. They are some of the very few real investigative reporters we have left. They are literally saving us from ruin. Think they'll get a Nobel prize or an Oscar one day?

somefeller said...

AL said: Better question is why you put so much faith into the people who stole the email to publish what they got in full? Why do you ascribe so much honesty to these thieves? Right there is a gulf of understanding on this issue.

Agreed. I'm actually more of an AGW skeptic than most other liberals (I don't deny CO2 causes greenhouse effects, I simply have doubts about the extent of manmade additions to the climate change process, and the economic costs of taking steps to deal with AGW), but I'm not particularly inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to thieves. Let's see all the emails, and learn more about the people who stole them before making final judgments.

WV word: Adamist - a person who thought Adam was governing the Garden of Eden well enough until God stuck his nose in things.

AlphaLiberal said...

Here's a good video looking at the claims of the emails disproving global warming.

It generously rebroadcasts charges from climate deniers and takes the claims one by one.

It's worth watching as it's a thorough takedown of the charges of a coverup or conspiracy.

John Stodder said...

AL -- you really need to read a little more deeply into this.

The most disturbing matter turns out to be "hide the decline," which I think I finally understand. It has nothing to do with the fact that global temperatures have declined lately -- the e-mail was written in 1999, before the cooling trend was apparent. No, "hide the decline" is far more subversive of what you think you know about climate science. The IPCC, Al Gore and others who lead the charge against AGW have represented that we know what the climate of the Earth was 1,000 years ago. How? Through proxies, in particular analysis of tree-ring thickness. This is how you get the graphs that sell the AGW story. If you can't go back to 1000 AD or so, you can't really argue that you know enough about past climate readings to determine if our CO2-affected climate is rising to unprecedented, ahistorical levels.

Beginning in the mid-1800s, we have better actual readings of global temperature, readings that become more and more precise (thought still arguable, but that's another topic) as we come closer to today. What Jones realized was that the actual global temperatures were rising from 1960 in spite of tree ring data that suggested it should be falling. So, the "trick" was to suddenly switch to actual temps instead of tree-ring-predicted temps in a chart that was supposed to depict tree-ring-model temps from the distant past.

This "trick" was needed to conceal the fact that tree-ring data was not predictive, as they had been telling the world it was. If the tree-ring data is not predictive, then much of what we think we know about AGW is at best unproven, and more likely just flat wrong.

So, fine, Sherlock, go look for the crook who purloined the letters and lock him up. He or she just saved us a few trillion dollars, but for embarrassing Al Gore and Barbara Boxer, a price must be paid.

Chris said...

Talk about attacking a straw man. Even before the Climategate revelations there was pretty serious debate in the US over polices regarding AGW. Science doesn't always win in political debates and for good reason--there's more at stake than just truth. Most people understand that science like democracy isn't perfect. It is just better than everything else. One thing that has always bugged me about climate science is that no one ever tells the laypeople like myself what the error bars are on the models.

vbspurs said...

From the piece:

The biggest question is what the messages amount to — an embarrassing revelation that scientists can be petty and defensive and even cheat around the edges, or a major scandal that undercuts the scientific premise for global warming.

This is how, even when reporting the matter, the story is being spun. They're spinning it as an embarrassment and nothing more, instead of reporting on a culture of corruption that exists in this field of academia.

When you have Goode stating that they're not scientists, they cannot interpret data nor analyse it, your heart sinks. That has to be one of the most transparent, snivelly cop outs ever, and they're being allowed to get away with it.

I continue to be deeply disillisioned with the Fourth Estate in this country. When this never end?

Cheers,
Victoria

Skyler said...

The emails were supposed to be publicly available but were instead hidden in a most likely illegal act.

To prevent massive fraud that would rob us of trillions of dollars and put people's lives at risk, some brave person or people have rescued us by surreptiously making public that which was supposed to be public anyway.

Your feigned admiration for due course of law at all costs would be nice if it weren't so onconsistent. Elian Gonzalez had another hearing in court pending when your hero Clinton snatched him at gun point but I didn't notice you complaining of "rule of law at all costs".

naturalfake said...

The interesting thing is that people like Mann have been telling us just how weak their science was.

Had Revkin actually read Mann he would've discovered he was consuming:

FRUIT OF THE POISON TREE, TARTS FROM THE POISON FRUIT

http://naturalfake.wordpress.com/2009/12/03/fruit-of-the-poison-tree-tarts-from-the-poison-fruit/

AC245 said...

"Better question is why you put so much faith into the people who stole the email to publish what they got in full?

Why do you ascribe so much honesty to these thieves?
"

What an amazing coincidence that the first and only time that AlphaLiberal shows concern about the honesty of whistleblowers and the veracity of leaked information is when they expose the Enron Science being perpetuated by all these AGW frauds!

The main fallout from these email revelations (outside of the legal, financial, and academic repercussions to the specific con artists identified therein) has already occurred: more and more people insisting on seeing all the actual data, all the actual methodology, and all the actual code that supposedly support the coming climate apocalypse.

If the science and the evidence were truly on their side, the AGW frauds wouldn't be worried that the public and other scientists outside their clique was getting to look at it. But it's not on their side, so they're panicking.

It's shaping up to be a good year for science, and a very bad year for charlatans.

vbspurs said...

John Stodder wrote:

Why doesn't the Times interview a bunch of people with that expertise and ask them whether, after studying the data log, they still have confidence in the models on which the alarmism is based?

EXACTLY. Hence our commenters above, including myself, using the word 'cop out'.

So the NYT staff are not made up of "experts" (how does one get to be an environmental editor, anyhow, without some expertise in this field?), then get yourself some experts to comment on the emails! My GOD, this is maddening, utterly maddening.

Some blog commentaries are rife with genuine information from scientists in the field. Even as a lay person (one who has been around the internet a long time and can decipher the difference between knowledge and bunk) can tell they have something important to impart, given their credentials and opinion. It's a sad day when I learn more from places with no credentials whatsoever to publish news, than for the organs whose life purpose is to do so.

vbspurs said...

wv: whanc!!! YES. DO STOP NYT and DO YOUR JOB!

John Stodder said...

P.S. Your link to the video, AL, was not up yet when I wrote my last note. I've now watched the video, and it is snark without substance.

It is easy to make the skeptics' view of "hide the decline" and the more than a decade later "travesty that we can't (account for lower global temps)" seem overblown if you pretend they are talking about the same specific issue, as Littlemore does. They are not.

Jones was writing in 1999 about a problem with the tree-ring proxy. Perhaps I have a "febrile mind," which I guess is Littlemore's attempt to persuade me, but the fact that the tree-rings divert from the actuals -- regardless of the fact that the actuals were warmer than the tree-ring model would have forecast -- this undercuts the claim that we know the earth's temperatures in the distant past. We know CO2 levels from the past, I'm led to believe, because of the ice core samples and lake samples and such. But tree-rings were claimed to give us the needed correlation between temperatures and CO2. From 1960 on, they didn't do that, which is 50 of the 160 years in which we can compare reliable actual temperature data to what these proxies would show, i.e. nearly a one-third of the entire period. That's the "decline" Jones needed to hide. It's not the "decline" that Trimberth was talking about more than a decade later -- the decline in actual temps. That's another bit of evidence against the AGW scenario, but obviously less compelling, inasmuch as AGW proponents never claim the temperatures go up in a straight line -- although the scientists do seem to be disturbed by yet another divergence from the models, which did say there should be warming in the past decade. But no matter what you think, both sides agree there is statistical noise that needs to be separated from an analysis of the overall trends. The problem is, without tree-ring data, we don't have enough data about pre-1850 to discern noise from trend.

Does that disprove AGW? No. AGW can't be disproved. The theoretical greenhouse effect of CO2 is not in question. But it knocks the struts out of the assuredness out of those who say the science is settled and now we MUST take action and do so urgently. Such as the president, apparently about to pledge an 83 percent reduction in CO2 levels over the next 40 years, a very costly and dicey idea that could cause great economic harm especially to the poor. I'm willing to see millions of people starve to save the planet, but I'd need to be a hell of a lot more sure that the planet needed saving before I'd commit to it.

Perhaps you feel differently about millions of people starving for no good reason, and I respect that. Oh, did you find that offensive? Well maybe I'm still smarting from being called "febrile" by the guy you said would explain everything in his cutesy pie video.

vbspurs said...

Traditionalguy wrote:

It reminds me of the scenes in April 1945 Germany as the Us Army came upon the Death Camps in conqured the German areas. The local German citizens said that, " We have never known what was going on...really we did not".

"ACORN? Never heard of it."
- Charles Gibson, ABC News

Skyler said...

I'm willing to see millions of people starve to save the planet

I sure as hell am not.

OldManRick said...

AL: Name calling (deniers) and appeals to authority on your side has run out of steam. Many of us who are engineers or have a scientific education are skeptical because to believe in magnitude of AGW you have to believe strange things.

Like, for first time in the planet's history, we have reached unstable equilibrium. Instead of gradual warming with natural variation as we leave the little ice age, we will have runaway warming. And just in this cycle. CO2 levels have risen before, we know from ice cores, yet it's never runaway.

Like, even though thermodynamics allows for a gradual warming due to in increase in CO2, some magic unexplained amplifying function will kick in. And don't tell me there is an explanation, the hypothesized mechanism failed it's verification test.

Not to mention, the idea that the Hockey Stick has proved that the Medieval Warm Period didn't exist. BTW, even the GW alarmist Wikipedia's summary of Wegman Report calls out the same problems we are from the email - the isolation of the paleoclimate community and their defense approach that the adverse results were not peer reviewed.

And finally, that a cap and trade program that doesn't include India or China, will "solve" this problem. Anyone with any economics background (myself a math major with an econ minor) knows, when you make something more expensive, people move to lower cost solutions. In this case, by making manufacturing here more expensive, more of it will move to the locations where they don't pay the tax. Whatever carbon you save here will be offset by the worse pollution there.

More and more engineers and scientists are seeing this for the charade it is. There are damn good reasons to be skeptical of this bunch.

AJ Lynch said...

MSM journalist = Incurious sheep living, working and breathing in a far-left liberal echo chamber. Folks like Gore, Boxer , Waxman are the sheepherders. And it is the easiest job in the world cause none of the sheep ever ever wander or stray outside the fences.

vbspurs said...

I sure as hell am not.

Nor am I! Between Mother Gaia and humans, I choose the human race every time.

vbspurs said...

OT-Àpropos to comment above:

DO. NOT. GO. SEE. 2012. Laughable doesn't begin to cover it.

garage mahal said...

So the NYT couldn't find anything that hundreds of wingers couldn't find combing thru all those emails?

But if emails are hacked, there MUST be some sort of controversy!

Seneca the Younger said...

Even then, Andy risks the Big Cutoff.

John Stodder said...

Skyler...

I want to say one word to you. One word:

"Irony."

Enough said. That's a deal.

Paul said...

In order to understand why a news organization refuses to investigate a huge story like this one must look to motive.

CW suggests that said news organization would have as it's primary motive investigating such a story, but obviously there is a stronger motive that trumps it.

In order to understand the NYT and the MSM you have to realize that they are leftists first and foremost, and leftism is psychologically binding in the same way as a fundamentalist religion.

They both divide the population into the enlightened "us" and the benighted "other.

They both form the support structure for their adherents entire sense of self worth and a addictive sense of self righteous superiority.

Their motive is to preserve their place in their imagined hierarchy at all costs.

Just look at how the bots show up here still defending their AGW prophets as if these emails mean nothing, and in fact they insist the only issue is the means by which they were brought into the public sphere.

If you look at the leftist the same way you would any religious fundamentalist with views that are utterly unshakable and immune to evidence, logic, or common sense you can predict their behavior every time.

garage mahal said...

Just look at how the bots show up here still defending their AGW prophets as if these emails mean nothing, and in fact they insist the only issue is the means by which they were brought into the public sphere.

Well, what do they mean!? Tell us.

knox said...

the Enron Science being perpetuated by all these AGW frauds

"Enron" science. That's a great way to put it. In the media, there's such a double-standard on skepticism and the search for truth. The presumption is that journalists, scientists, researchers, and bureaucrats can't have selfish motives. Only "businessmen" or "accountants" or "corporate types" need to be investigated or questioned.

AJ Lynch said...

Jeez Cap & Trade is Enron II. If Haliburton or AIG devised Cap & Trade, liberals would be even more apoplectic than normal.

Paul said...

"Well, what do they mean!? Tell us."

If you don't know by now my little retarded friend further elucidation is pointless.

bearbee said...

So......anyone nominating the unknown hacker/insider for a Noble Prize?

knox said...

John Stodder, thanks for your detailed comments on the tree-ring stuff.

vbspurs said...

Bearbee wrote:

So......anyone nominating the unknown hacker/insider for a Noble Prize?

Ugh, don't remind me how much yesterday's media relied on information obtained either illegally or under great secrecy from whistleblowers like the iconic "Deep Throat", Mark Felt.

To bring down Nixon, mainstream media will do everything in its power, and call it a triumph for the people. To bring down the Climate Change mafia, it will either waffle around the info or hang the messenger (when he's revealed).

Cheers,
Victoria

rhhardin said...

Hoyt is the NYT truth fairy.

Joe said...

AGW can't be disproved.

It can if there is no GLOBAL warming, which there isn't. Actual records show that various locations around the globe are warming while others are cooling. Interestingly, records from east Africa show that the daylight temperatures are steady while the nighttime temperatures have increased; by using a mean, it makes it look like generalized warming trend. One theory of why this is happening is deforestation. In that sense, it is anthropological, but not in the sense that Al Gore, et. al. are arguing.

This is the root of the problem; man does affect local climate, but the solution is to address the specific issues locally, not create a generalized "solution" which will actually do very little.

(Where I live, we have a winter inversion problem which traps particulates. There is NOTHING that we humans can do about the inversion issue; this is a fact of nature in valleys. But we can, and have, been addressing what we can control, which is local pollution.

The single biggest solution, though done for entirely different reasons, was to tear down the local steel plant. Another part of the solution has been to reduce burning wood and on inversion days. Getting rid of polluting cars by simple attrition, especially badly tuned diesels also helped. The net result is that our air is much cleaner now than it was ten years ago.

Oh, and we're having record cold weather right now.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Damn, must I always point out the obvious:

John Stodder's point about the climate model coding is right - anybody just looking at/discussing the e-mails is missing the story. It's all the whistleblower's evidence together - e-mails, documents, and those codes - that prove this is a fraud.

In the programmers comments he states he just makes shit up - because that's what the scientists did. He states, repeatedly, the code is a incomprehensible mess that doesn't work correctly.

Coders have come away with sympathy for the poor schmuck and, based on what I've read, I'd put money on him being the whistleblower. He couldn't have been a happy camper.

I think, taken together, the evidence forms an easily-seen tapestry of deceit, and that deceit affected not only the scientists who sent the e-mails, etc., but many of those who received them as well. It is appropriate there are investigations starting, worldwide, on the scientists, the universities, the IPCC and any of it's affiliates, including the U,N. itself.

Finally, as you continue to read about the "tribalism" of the scientists, and listen to the outlandish rationalizations of the other believers, I hope you give some thought to the spiritual aspect of all this - environmentalism is a plank of NewAge - and focus more on the cultish thinking on display, and the fact that (like a lot of NewAge-inspired nonsense) it eventually all comes down to a scam. What, but "saving the planet", could make otherwise rational people cling to this apocalyptic madness but a screwy belief system? Miss that and you miss the whole story. My field of interest - NewAge "thinking" - told me it was bullshit all along.

Now - just so you know - you're supposed to get pissed when you get scammed, kids, like someone just sold you a nicely wrapped, but expensive, box of bricks.

That's AGW.

AJ Lynch said...

Did any of you see Inconvenient Truth?

I watched it about 3 weeks ago. I found it entirely vague. Al Gore said "my friend...." about 5-6 times when referring to an allegedly inportant climate fact but never gave any of those 'friend's' names. It was like he was making shit up and inserting himself into climate history.

Pure balderdash.

Alex said...

2 things that suddenly caused me to smack my head in disbelief:

* AlphaLiberal suddenly cares about the veracity of whistleblowers when it's his #1 pet issue AGW

* Is AlphaLiberal a paid operative by one of the pro-AGW groups

Alex said...

you'd think we'd need 100% rock solid evidence that

#1 - AGW is real and very dangerous
#2 - cutting CO2 emissions will do anything about it

Instead we're told by the AGWists that "the science is settled" and the American economy needs to be severely contracted for "the good of the earth".

Alex said...

AJ - anyone who already believed that humanity defiles the earth was going to be believe anything Al Gore had to say. What we have to ask ourselves is why so many people are predisposed to anti-humanist stance.

vbspurs said...

I saw the Inconvenient Truth live, AJ. He came to lecture at U Miami and droned on for 3 hours.

Brief, but it'll give you a taste.

Video #1
Video #2

Cheers,
Victoria

garage mahal said...

If you don't know by now my little retarded friend further elucidation is pointless.

Yea okay Paul. You got nothing, as usual. You probably haven't read any of the emails. I highly doubt you would understand them anyway. Seriously, the real story is what isn't in the emails No there, there! Talk about a religion.

garage mahal said...

I hacked into my wife's email account, and founding nothing. This proves she's cheating!

/winger

Alex said...

garaga - you are sounding incredibly pathetic and desperate.

garage mahal said...

Alex
Sorry. I read about a hundred of her emails and couldn't find anything. But I just KNOW there is something in there! Maybe coded messages? I hacked into her email account! That proves something right????

vbspurs said...

Incredible, if true -- Were Russian Security Forces behind the hacking of those emails?

I know, it's the Mail. But it's worth a heads up to Althouse commenters.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

(Highest "recommended" comment by Ray of Liverpool just about sums it up)

"a treasure trove of unused carbon emission permits that could be sold"

"And that, my dears, is what its all about. A new currency that enables corporations to avoid taxes and help themselves to tax payer funded grants. Jones and his co-conspirators should be charged with obtaining monies by deception. There is no doubt that there was the prospect of prolonged public funding behind these misrepresentations. This is just the tip of the iceberg and if the Russians are involved in exposing these frauds then they deserve our gratitude not our criticism."

-- Ray, Liverpool, 06/12/2009 09:37

lucid said...

If you've read Erica Goode over the years, you know that she has her head buried deep in simple-minded understandings of scientific issues hedged about with lots of politically correct platitudes. She hates knew ideas. They threaten her.

The Times's dim-witted and sluggish coverage and their refusal to actually try to figure anything out is more confirmation that liberalism is now the torpid political thinking of the intellectually lazy.

Paul said...

"Yea okay Paul. You got nothing, as usual. You probably haven't read any of the emails. I highly doubt you would understand them anyway. Seriously, the real story is what isn't in the emails No there, there! Talk about a religion."

Yup. You're right. It's been the hottest topic on every blog I read with the emails printed out for all to see and discussed by people with backgrounds in climate science, computer coding, and engineering in great detail but I haven't read any of it. Right.

The only one who's got nothin' is you. Your precious prophets are being shown to be hucksters and frauds and rather than man up and admit that maybe you are wrong about AGW you remain stuck on stupid, and will continue to do so until the bitter end.

There is no making bones for a jellyfish.

Alex said...

garage - your post is the equivalent of 2+2=5. The Inner party loves you.

Alex said...

AGWists will never admit defeat, they will end up like the proverbial "Hitler in his bunker" to the last days.

JohnAnnArbor said...

The warmists are now threatening NYT's Revkin with cutoff from access to them because of some MILD criticism.

Scott said...

Of the climate fraud perps who have commented publicly on email that was attributed to them, the most damning thing they said was that it was "out of context."

NONE have complained that any of it was fabricated. In fact, if someone could make such a claim, they would have an incredibly easy libel suit, especially in Britain. That amounts to a tacit acknowledgment by the perps of the email's authenticity.

So it's obvious that the whistleblowers are far more credible than the "scientists" they exposed; contrary to the carping of the usual self-stroking leftist trolls who hang around the Althouse comments, and who are better left nameless.

Old Dad said...

Dear Policy Makers and the NYT:

Let's review. CO2, all else being equal, should lead to warming. All else is not equal. There is much that is simply poorly understood.

Thanks to Al Gore, and many others, as well as lazy media hacks, climate science has been grossly politicized to the point that it is nearly impracticable. The CRU emails support this point abundantly.

Lazy, stupid, greedy, ignorant (add your favorite perjoratice here) politicians want to steal your money. When did they ever not? But this time based on absolutely unfounded, as of yet, claims as to the forcing power of CO2.

You pay, if you want. I won't. Neither will China and India and Australia.

AJ Lynch said...

Victoria:

You saw Al Bore in person?? Damn I thought I had a strong stomach!

Paul said...

[another] Paul wrote: They both divide the population into the enlightened "us" and the benighted "other.

Absolutely, and the reason that they cannot give an inch on the AGW story is that to do so would mean that the people they hate were right and they were wrong, and they're entire sense of self-worth is bound up in being the arbiters of who's right and who's wrong and if that doesn't hold up then the universe might as well implode.

Admitting they are wrong about AGW would be like admitting that subscribers to the Reader's Digest got a more accurate view of communism than subscribers to the Nation. (Which, oddly enough Susan Sontag actually admit in the early 1980s.)

The Crack Emcee said...

Let's see:

I now find talk of "religion", the need to "believe in strange things", 2012 and the always NewAge-positive NYT.

Boy, for a thread about science, it sure sounds like something NewAge-y is going on around here.

Scott said...

BTW, what should we call these trolls?

@Alex: AGWists? Maybe. How about "Global Warming Truthers"?

Alex said...

Global Warming Scammists?

Scott said...

@Dave: It took the New York times fifty years to even begin to publicly acknowledge that their Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Walter Duranty was a Stalinist shill and a fraud. I think it will take them at least as long to step away from the global warming truthers.

garage mahal said...

Alex, I don't think you get it. I HACKED INTO HER ACCOUNT. I've even given it a name! CheatGate. That proves everything.

I'm a whistleblower!

Alex said...

garage - keep whistling past the graveyard.

garage mahal said...

I'm expecting 200 comments. We all know Al Gore and AGW drives conservatives batshit bonkers! Frothing, drooling, and just unhinged visceral hatred.

Zach said...

You know, science is not so darn hard as it's made out to be. You might need a Ph.D. to do the work yourself, but to report on other people's work, you just need common sense and a willingness to follow up on some questions.

There's actually quite a lot of good writing on the hockey stick controversy out there. If you just wanted to write a good he said/she said article, you could start by going to Climate Audit and Real Climate for the skeptic / warmist viewpoints. Then send a couple of emails and have both sides give you a reading list --say, three or four papers -- that lays out their position. Do a quick Google Scholar search to make sure you're not missing anything -- look for a well cited review paper.

Basically, you're looking at a day or two of background reading, even if you're starting from scratch. That doesn't strike me as unreasonable. This is the kind of story you could win a Pulitzer for, and you can't glue your butt to the seat for fifty odd pages?

JohnAnnArbor said...

garage, your caricature bears no resemblance to what actual people are saying.

Just pointing that out. I know it's easier to argue with a caricature, and if that amuses you, knock yourself out.

Alex said...

I'm expecting 200 comments. We all know Al Gore and AGW drives conservatives batshit bonkers! Frothing, drooling, and just unhinged visceral hatred.

Nope it's you AGWists who are going batshit insane from the shitstorm that has just begun. You guys are quaking in fear.

garage mahal said...

Evidence of absence is proof of evidence.

Alex said...

Just pointing that out. I know it's easier to argue with a caricature, and if that amuses you, knock yourself out.

It's desperation. The AGWists have been found out, and they're circling the wagons, doubling down. Witness Gordon Brown's dismissal of "deniers" the other day. That's the first time a head of state has uttered that word. But he's going down in 2010, so he figured nothing to lose.

Eric said...

Okay, the Times' argument is that the staff writers lack expertise and the editors who oversee their work have no capacity to evaluate it. More and more, it really looks like they're trying to make it so that we won't miss them when they're gone.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

garage mahal said...

I hacked into my wife's email account, and founding nothing. This proves she's cheating!

I can't speak for any of the other guys, but I can confirm that she emailed me and asked me to delete any of the incriminating emails. She also left me a voice message asking me to remove my name from my cell phone, and just use my number.

Sorry.

Alex said...

garage - your wife asked me to tell you she's leaving you as I'm a much better lover then you'll ever be. Oh and she thinks your liberal moonbattery makes you a fucking douchebag.

John Stodder said...

I love the new meme that the Russians are behind this "hack" because they want to protect their oil and gas profits.

It's such a twisted pretzel of competing conspiracy theories! With the Russians recast as the left's villain!

garage mahal said...

I love the meme that illegally hacking confidential emails is deemed "whistleblowing". Even though nothing was, eh, actually blown.

Scott said...

I have something you can blow, Garage. :)

Karl said...

Garage, your wife called and wanted to set up a date, but I told her it would have to wait until after I was finished with your mom. Just saying. Girl gets around...

Adele Mundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adele Mundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karl said...

Another point, Garage. Nothing that receives public funding has the cover of "confidentiality."

That's just the way it is. No matter how those emails got out there, there is no way they are in ANY way confidential. The taxpayers own them.

JohnAnnArbor said...

That's just the way it is. No matter how those emails got out there, there is no way they are in ANY way confidential. The taxpayers own them.

I remember my U. of Michigan professor once, musing in class, that technically his e-mails and hard drive would be subject to FOIA. He paused. "But please don't."

MC said...

Gee garage, the emails only show dubious manipulations of data,

eg.

"hI’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.",

"; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures."

""; Apply a VERY ARTIFICAL correction for decline!!""

incompetent data handling and coding,

eg.

"So.. we don't have the coefficients files (just .eps plots of something). But what are all those monthly files? DON'T KNOW, UNDOCUMENTED. Wherever I look, there are data files, no info about what they are other than their names. And that's useless.. take the above example, the filenames in the _mon and _ann directories are identical, but the contents are not. And the only difference is that one directory is apparently 'monthly' and the other 'annual' - yet both contain monthly files."

"OH **** THIS. It's Sunday evening, I've worked all weekend, and just when I thought it was done I'm hitting yet another problem that's based on the hopeless state of our databases. There is no uniform data integrity, it's just a catalogue of issues that continues to grow as they're found."

collusions to hide or destory data to avoid FOI requests that might turn over data to people who will examine it critically,

eg.

"1. Think I’ve managed to persuade UEA to ignore all further FOIA requests if the people have anything to do with Climate Audit "

"The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone. "

"A couple of things - don’t pass on either…

2. You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting in FOI requests for all emails Keith and Tim have written and received re Ch 6 of AR4. We think we’ve found a way around this…

This message will self destruct in 10 seconds!

Cheers

Phil"

"From: Phil Jones To: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: IPCC & FOI
Date: Thu May 29 11:04:11 2008

Mike,

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?

Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment - minor family crisis.

Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.

We will be getting Caspar to do likewise."

and attempts to manipulate the peer review process to remove critical voices.

eg.

"I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor… "

"If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted."

"I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !"

But hey it's all nothing! Keep up the denial!

OldManRick said...

George. Use some common sense. Given the number of emails and the number of files, the time it would have taken for a hacker to pull these specific files out would be incredible. Look how long it's taken the "Army of Davids" on the internet to review them.

A little basic knowledge of the way, email data is stored would remind you that each of 1037 emails had to be opened, reviewed, and then stored as text. We have no idea of the email volume at the site but this is probably a fraction of the total that had to be reviewed.

The file structure of the zip file shows that some directories were selected as a whole from what was probably a user base directory in unix but at least 60 files of various pedigree were selected individually and added to the zip file. The "hacker" would have had to search individuals home directories for days to select them.

As for the directories as a whole, it would have been easier to get the root directory and capture everything.

Calling the zip file FOIA is also a dead giveaway for the terminally dense. Someone thought they were doing what was required by FOIA. They probably assembled the file for weeks. Conclusion, a whistle blower not a hacker.

John Stodder said...

I love the meme that illegally hacking confidential emails is deemed "whistleblowing". Even though nothing was, eh, actually blown.

-- Bart Simpson, Ph.D.

Christy said...

Funny, but in my 30 some odd years as a nuclear engineer, I noticed that the NYT was more than willing to give voice to the flat-earthers among the anti-nukes. Now suddenly they only want to report on the consensus opinion among the "experts"?

Victoria, I enjoyed 2012, but I've always loved apocalyptic movies. I long ago gave up wanting the science in them to be real.

John Stodder said...

garage, anyhow, you're a piker in defending the de nada meme. Check this out from the Globe and Mail:

While it seems clear that he is using “trick” to refer to a change in algorithm to remove the nonsensical data after 1961 and “decline” likely refers to the quality of the data, the phrase has led some of the more extreme critics to conclude that a data-shaping plot was at work.

"While it seems clear?" Really? That this tortured interpretation of plain English is the correct one? Especially when you understand what the trick it -- grafting data from one source onto a chart that's supposed to be comprised of data from another source of a completely different sort, and by doing so, concealing that the first part of the chart, the part generated from a model, isn't worth the paper it's printed on as a reliable model.

To be fair, the writer of this piece does go on to chide the scientists for going to "ridiculous lengths to prevent even moderate critics from seeing any of the raw data." And it ends with this:

Prof. Hulme leads a group of CRU scientists who believe that the extraordinary political importance placed on their research, and the activist, ideological way that research has been used by the IPCC, has put scientists in the position of being the authors of policy – a position that distorts the role of science in society.

“If we simply believe that science dictates policy, then I'm afraid we're living in an unreal world,” Prof. Hulme said. “If people are arguing that science policy should flow seamlessly from the science, then science becomes a battleground, where people start saying that we must get the science on our side. We have lost an openness and a transparency that leads to good science.”

Prof. Hulme is one of several scientists calling for the raw data of climate-change research to be made available to everyone, including climate-change skeptics, on the Internet. That, he says, would allow genuine research to proceed unhindered. Some of his colleagues also say the IPCC now does more harm than good and should be disbanded.

That position has led some of his colleagues to attack him. This week, several said in Internet posts that such transparency would be unworkable because the matter of climate is too urgent and the stakes too high to allow skeptics to have any influence on policy.

That, Prof. Hulme said, is exactly the attitude that led to the sort of questionable practices chronicled in the CRU e-mails.


So at least, unlike the NYT, the Globe and Mail sees a transparency issue in this, even if he reads the material and concludes it leaves the science undisturbed. I suppose to garage, that makes both Prof. Hulme and the writer squishes.

Dr. Hulme is exactly right. If public policy advocates are going to say, "you can't argue with me, because everything I am demanding is based 100 percent on science," then the natural and appropriate human response is to go look at the science. If the scientists say, "you can't see what I'm doing -- stay away, it's private and you have no right to verify me," then naturally someone is going to find a way to break that information barrier.

garage, of course, weeps for the barrier.

Here's the link btw: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/scandal-shakes-foundations-of-climate-science/article1389842/

The Crack Emcee said...

Hey, Garage, your wife's here with meeeeeeee!!!!!

Alex said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Adele Mundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Riordan said...

You can't have an in-house "Public Editor"-- there's no incentive to do the job, and much incentive not to.

Folks like you, Ann, are much better at the task.

vbspurs said...

Victoria, I enjoyed 2012, but I've always loved apocalyptic movies. I long ago gave up wanting the science in them to be real.

Christy, I love dystopic movies more. You know, after the Apocalypse. However, I will say this in 2012's favour: like a Dan Brown novel, the storyline generates a lot of excitement, and that's half the battle of getting interested. Clearly, the special effects were great too.

But the whole storyline, oy. Vat a Schande. The Russians and the Chinese are the heroes, Americans the baddies; the Indians are the geniuses who discovered the geological anomalies; our President is black, and is a character halfway between Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi; when the whole thing goes belly up the VP and Speaker of the House is no where to be found (the Speaker is male, incidentally, although Chancellor of Germany was pictured as a female), but somehow the Constitutional order of precedence is disregarded totally and some nobody becomes acting President? Not to mention showing the Queen boarding the craft with her corgis, black handbag in hand. I'm sorry, all of this sucked. Don't get me started on John Cusack's laughable role or Woody Harrelson's.

Cheers,
Victoria

Alex said...

New disaster flicks can't hold a candle to 70s classic like this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Mq3Bj6fzrs

garage mahal said...

garage, of course, weeps for the barrier.

Do you think the hacker, if found, should be punished for the crimes committed? What about the recent break-ins at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, at the University of Victoria in British Columbia? Seriously dude, who are the desperate people here? It's the hottest decade in history. Australia is on fire, Arctic ice levels are at historic lows, and the worlds glaciers are disappearing. Those are indisputable facts.

mrkwong said...

I'd like to see some substantiation for this nonsense garage-boy spouts as fact.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Do you think the hacker, if found, should be punished for the crimes committed?

If crimes were committed then the person who did them should be prosecuted. If it turns out that the scientists involved were grossly exaggerating global warming, then the person should be pardoned, and granted the Nobel Prize.

What about the recent break-ins at the Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis, at the University of Victoria in British Columbia?

Sure

Seriously dude, who are the desperate people here?

The global warming advocates.

It's the hottest decade in history.

Since the MWP.

Australia is on fire

Call the fire department.

Arctic ice levels are at historic lows

As far as I know, they were recently at historic lows, those lows are now history.

the worlds glaciers are disappearing.

I hare tath teh Hmalayani gaciersl wlli be gneo by 2035.

Those are indisputable facts.

Well, they have certainly never been disputed in the peer reviewed literature.

mrkwong said...

oh, and to recap: it is the hottest decade in history only if you believe Hansen's fudged numbers at NASA which do not correlate to anyone else's, the extent of Australia's recent bushfires have more to do with development patterns than any warming, and Arctic ice is just a little below historic norms (which are 'historic' only for 30 years because there's no measurements before that.)

John Stodder said...

Do you think the hacker, if found, should be punished for the crimes committed?

Sure, if s/he committed a crime. If the conjecture that this was, in effect, industrial espionage by the Russians or anyone else is true, then of course, it's very important to find out what's going on. But your take and some in the media's seems to be -- stolen goods, we have to pretend we never saw them. And given how the data was organized, the odds or much better that this was a whistleblower who took the stuff that had been prepared in the event that they couldn't fight off the FOI request legally any longer and released it. As I said earlier, a true hack wouldn't have been so discriminating. And, your question begs the question of whether all this data should have been under a cloak in the first place.

Seriously dude, who are the desperate people here? It's the hottest decade in history.

This comment demonstrates why the proposed rush to action is so absurd. You say it's the hottest. Others say the 90s were the hottest, but this decade is cooler. And the fact is, we have no idea if there were hotter decades prior to 1850. Read along with us, garage. Your modeled temperature data for the centuries prior to industrial-era temperature record keeping has been discredited. Tree-rings have turned out to be an unreliable proxy. And it is absolutely mainstream science to say the Medieval Warm Period was a hotter phase, lasting not decades but more than a century.

Australia is on fire, Arctic ice levels are at historic lows, and the worlds glaciers are disappearing. Those are indisputable facts.

Living in Southern California as I have for most of the past 40+ years, I can tell you the conditions creating huge wildfires have to do with the amount of undergrowth in the woodlands and short-term climate factors like drought, wind, and the lack of humidity. Heat is sometimes but not always a factor, and the heat in question is not unusual for the times of year when it comes. You don't really mean to say the planet heated up and, boom, Australia caught fire, do you? That's way too facile. Droughts are cyclical and have always been.

As for the glaciers and the melting on the arctic circle -- look, is anyone denying there has been a warming of the planet's climate off and on for the past century? No. But having pointed to all the phenomena, you can't say whether or how much man's influence caused it. It might be none, some or a lot. And this is because we can't compare today's data with any other period prior to the Little Ice Age. The competing theory, that we are in a predictable warming phase following the Little Ice Age, has just as much if not more merit. Before Climategate, alarmists could point to Jones/Mann data and say, "warming in this century is unprecedented, and we know this from tree rings." But if you can't say that anymore, you don't have anything on which to hang the case.

So that leads ultimately to a political and philosophical debate, not a scientific one. You can be a proponent of the precautionary principle, and argue that the theoretical greenhouse effect is enough to support a rapid change in energy use. Or you can be in the wait-and-see school, and say we have more immediate things we should be focusing on, since we don't have enough information. There is some science to support both, but none of it is conclusive. The debate is not over. In fact, it only begins now, now that the data is finally out in the open.

David said...

The most difficult part of climate science to understand is the statistics. It's a specialized field which is inherently difficult to the liberal arts types that populate the mainstream media. This means that the media can easily be floozled by the scientists, especially if they are lazy and unwilling to find people who can explain the statistical issues to them.

The main reason that Steve McIntyre, the founder of Climate Audit blog, drives the AGW true believing "scientists" nuts is that he understands the statistics and is willing to dig into them.

This is why the IPCC "team" has worked so hard to keep the data from McIntyre. He has exposed several crucial flaws in the methodology and was on the trail of crucial weaknesses in the data.

The biggest scandal in Climategate is that the underlying original data is gone. The "Read Me Harry" file shows the utter frustration of an honest programmer who realizes that the data is a hopeless, unreconstructable hash. This in turn raises the reasonable conclusion that the scientists are hiding things not out of tribalism, but because they have a lot to hide.

A first rate reporter with a first rate mind could work through all of this if they were willing. But the reporters and their editors are not willing.

This is a gigantic story. The New York Times is totally blowing it.

mrkwong said...

And, piling on while the warmists are down:

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/dutch-gore-wrong-on-snows-of-kilimanjaro/

Is there anything the warmists have been right about? Really? Any one thing that they can claim for their case WITHOUT relying on fudged numbers?

I'm not disputing that there's SOME evidence on their side, but so much of it looks so bad right now that we basically have to regard it all as crap until we've gone back to square one and vetted everything.

LonewackoDotCom said...

My first mention of Clark Hoyt was back in June 2007. While it's good to see Althouse calling someone out by name, he might have become a liability and been replaced if others had helped me discredit him years ago.

That said, going after Hoyt himself is not going to be as effective as going after individual reporters; an example is my page about Nina Bernstein.

If only the most hardcore lefties trust what an NYT reporter says, someone like Hoyt isn't going to be able to be an apologist for them.

Paul said...

"It's the hottest decade in history."

See what I mean? What's the point in arguing with such a nutcase?

Like all religious zealots garage and his ilk make up "facts" and then concoct "evidence" to support them. This is the crux of the Climategate emails and why so much effort was put into massaging and hiding data and discrediting skeptics.

It is the behavior of the religious fanatic, not the scientist or an objective observer.

Henry said...

Can they just give all the science beats to John Tierney? Sometimes I think he's the only guy at the Times with a pulse.

Good God, if you are a science reporter (or even an "environment editor"), you are supposed to be curious.

Otherwise, you might as well give the gig to Judith Miller.

Jeff said...

"They just interview ____ and don't actually try to understand the ____" pretty much describes the media, especially in economics and business. Why should science be any different?

AntiCitizenOne said...

Antartic Ice is at record highs

Since 1980 Antactic ice extent has increased 50%.

The only place it decreased is next to an active volcano.

AntiCitizenOne said...

Since the UK taxpayer paid for this research (UEA got 19Million dollars in Research funds from UK taxpayers) this information is actually the property of U.K. taxpayers.

As a U.K. taxpayer I'm saying it's OK to look. Of course the people in the emails are describing how they'd break the FOIA laws regarding release of data. When are THEY going to face justice?

Paul Zrimsek said...

when the whole thing goes belly up the VP and Speaker of the House is no where to be found

Biden and Pelosi don't take over? I thought this was supposed to be a disaster flick.

vbspurs said...

LOL, Paul.

garage mahal said...

This comment demonstrates why the proposed rush to action is so absurd. You say it's the hottest. Others say the 90s were the hottest, but this decade is cooler.

Simply wrong.

Paul said
See what I mean? What's the point in arguing with such a nutcase?.

Read the link moron! I'm assuming you can read music, reading that simple and clear graph should be real easy. I know fact my 7 yr old daughter is capable. What does it say? Which way does it point? What would be your prediction where it's heading based on the graph? You will dispute it of course, but instead believe what other wingnuts say about hacked emails that contain NOTHING. religious fanatic indeed.

mrkwong said...

yeah, garage, whatever you say.

You make the guys peddling the Watchtower come across like Rousseau.

Robin said...

AlphaLiberal repeats the developing spin on the East Anglia CRU leak - that there is nothing to see in the emails, move along, shows over. Ie., all can be explained away as a small set of problems unrelated to the science as a whole.

But the reality is that AlphaLiberal's spin is nonsense. The emails and suspicious code that were leaked were indeed nothing "new" - because the AGW community has a long history of concealment, obstruction and unexplainable dumping of key data.

The long history of the attempts to get Mann, Hughes, Bradley, Briffa et al to simply release the data on which their papers are based is available for those who want to actually pay attention to the real issues - something AlphaLiberal and the AGW do not want you to pay attention to. Instead they hide behind a faux "consensus" that refuses to follow real scientific protocol, refuses to disclose data and methodology and retreats to ad hominem.

Maguro said...

Garage - So, you're saying there was no need for Jones and company to destroy evidence and rig their climate models because your little graph there conclusively proves AGW theory?

Well, won't they feel foolish when they find out? D'oh!

John Stodder said...

garage, quoting Climate Progress is so 2008. Or maybe 2004. I think the credibility of that site overall needs to be put in a lockbox til its writers finally admit the Climategate means something other than evil PR people hypnotizing the sheeple.

Climate Progress folks are furious, by the way, at Clark Hoyt for writing a "balanced story" that omits the objections of those who think the NYT shouldn't have published the story at all.

http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/06/clark-hoyt-new-york-times-public-editor-on-climategate/

algie said...

All The News That Fits At The NYT

Myopic shortsighted and dumb
Metaphorically sucking it's thumb
Facts plain to see
To you and me
It's denying whatever may come

....nnnn..'o.o'..uu!u....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

MC said...

Heya garage, you seem to have stopped with the dumb 'The emails show literally nothing!' schtick since I posted a few examples from them. I guess that's progress.

Of course you've moved onto a sort of dumb 'It doesn't matter because don't you know Australia is burning!' routine, which is a big fat red herring.

Here's the bottom line: the emails don't show that AGW in its entirety is a fraud. But they do show a clique of influential IPCC climate scientists may have engaged in dubious scientific practices to conceal uncertainties and stifle dissent and no matter whether anyone agrees or disagrees with AGW, there's no reason to not treat unethical scientific conduct in such an important field as a very serious matter.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Garage-

I find it ironic that after you've argued that there is nothing to see in the leaked emails, you then try to prove something by providing a link to graph that was created using Mike's Nature Trick, which was only brought to popular attention by the leaked emails.

From Inwood said...

I'd love to be able to get the internal NYT e-mail exchanges on its lack of reporting on this not-so-huge story.

Actually, I suspect that it's "settled" NYT policy that AGW is all the fault of the rich capitalists who keep getting people like Reagan & the Bushes elected President.

Kevin said...

I bet they wish they could hide this decline:

New York Times Stock Value ten year chart

Unfortunately for Clark Hoyt and the rest of the would-be propaganda ministry minions of midtown, that information is available to one and all on these here intertubes.

Bias = ABC Circulation Decline = Ad Revenue Shortfall = Bad ROE & ROA = Stock Price Decline = Layoffs. I wouldn't be borrowing to buy anything if I were Mr Hoyt or any of the other second-class fiction writers at the NYT. Pay cash and save, kids; you'd thank me for this advice, if you would only take it.

cubanbob said...

"Erica Goode, the NYT environment editor said]: “We here at The Times are not scientists. We don’t collect the data or analyze it, and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists” and the expertise of reporters like [Andrew] Revkin."

By that standard they are not historians, economists, bankers, business leader, military officers, politicians, educators, garbage collectors and so on so the best can do is provide their readers no insight, knowledge or prevailing views on any matter at all.

Willful morons like Garage and Alpha have become fervent disciples of the cult of AGW. Dodgy data, dodgy programs, irrelevant. We have our Truth.
The rest of us, the sane portion of humanity ain't buying this junk. Do use a favor, go join the street crazies with their End Is Near placards and give the rest of us a break.

OldManRick said...

George: The site you reference describes itself. "Climate Progress is dedicated to providing the progressive perspective on climate science, climate solutions, and climate politics." That's like referring to the catholic church for proof of the virgin birth.

The second graph they show is the hockey stick which AGWists love so well. How about a statistical analysis of the five major temperature records for a look at recent short term trends. Sure, if you pick you beginning point well you can get warming. The author even helps you by showing what sensor and period you should reference. But, if you look solely at the last eight years, the trend in all systems is unmistakably down. Which, by the way, is more in line with the cyclical natural variation in the graph than the runaway IPCC prediction.

Come up with something better. There are too many indicators that what you got is "NYTruth" and not science. And don't play on the statisticians home field - they know their game.

Daniel said...

LOL. The article Garage is linking to which uses 2008 to make this the hottest decade ever was written before Hansen was forced to change the data because he used September data twice (for September AND October!)

garage mahal said...

Garage - So, you're saying there was no need for Jones and company to destroy evidence and rig their climate models because your little graph there conclusively proves AGW theory?

I didn't say my "little graph" proved anything. Only the temperatures it's been. One thing I noticed.....you guys NEVER dispute the validity of the "little graph" where it plots the slight cooling years. Any source then is sacred!

Also, again the more I think about it the irrational denial of the existence of a known atomic element like mercury and the cult like groupthink aversion to all things thermometers.....I'd have to say tht's about as unscientific religious zealotry one could find. Not to mention the vast mad scientist conspiracy theory.

Anil Petra said...

At least they're consistent. They make very little effort to understand Economics.

6p00e5500018d48833 said...

Garage

Garage,

GISS is a mess. Chiefio has done a thorough job of documenting the stations moving toward the equator and lower in altitude. Both of which will result in higher temperatures. I would suggest you read through some of his work before putting faith in the validity of GISS.

garage mahal said...

But they do show a clique of influential IPCC climate scientists may have engaged in dubious scientific practices

I'm sure there are some dubious scientists, but surely mankind can all agree on thermometer readings? How do know any temperature in recorded history is ever true. How do I know its actually 29f right now?!

Wouldn't they have just faked the data in those cooling years? Bueller!

george said...

The Times would have its readership pay for the privilege of not being informed of current events.

With such a business plan how can the Times possibly be losing money?

Hoyt's job is to explain to everyone why they do not deserve to know that which they wish to know.

Maguro said...

Garage - AGW theory is not based on thermometer readings, but on computer models. The earth is always warming or cooling, depending on what time scale you're using, so the mere fact of some warming is no cause for alarm. We're supposed to get alarmed not because it's 1 degree warmer than it was in 1960, but because the computer models predict it will be, say, 15 degrees warmer in 2040.

The Climategate emails show that those computer models are rigged to produce predictions of catastrophic warming. That's why it's a big deal.

Alex said...

garage keeps moving the shell around, hoping we won't see the pea.

Disgustipated said...

There is so much politics involved in this whole "scandal" that you are not going to get any real understanding of what these emails reveal by reading political blogs. There being used like a Rorschach test in which pundits just see what they want to see. If you want to actually get a take on these emails read the New Scientist or Scientific Americas take on these emails. Frankly I've been very disappointed by the partisan line Instapundit has taken on this whole thing. You won't find one link to credible sources who disagree with this whole scandal of the century take being constantly pumped out by right wing blogs and radio.

D. David said...

Here's the editorial the NY Times should write:

"Hi. We're the NY Times. We're America's newspaper of record. We hire only educated Ivy Leaguers. Our politics are left of center, because we think that's what is best for the country.

Until the recent advent of the blogosphere and talk radio, we had been pretty much in charge of framing the political and cultural debates of the country. That may be changing for a variety of reasons and we have to learn to live with it.

Nonetheless, one issue of great importance is global warming now called "climate change." We view this as a major problem, and are completely on board with transforming our culture and industry away from oil and industrial pollution towards wind, solar and green energy. Most of our reporting and opinion pages reflect this viewpoint.

However, as journalists, we were once taught to report the facts, not force them into a pre-written narrative. The fact is the science underpinning climate change is unsettled. While, philosophically, we support the majority view, and wish it were settled, there is a minority of climate change critics, many of them who are well-credentialled, such as Dr. Richard Lindzen, Dr. Roy Spencer and Bjorn Lomborg.

We have neglected to report the minority position. We have also referred to them as "Denialists" or "Industry-sponsored Polluters."

We apologize for that.

Henceforth, we are going to report honestly on this important scientific debate. We are not going to ignore the critics, however much we think they are wrong-headed.

In fact, we have re-evaluated our position and determined that the best way to find the truth is through vigorous, intellectual, civilized debate.

We will publish the emails of the CRU and allow critics of climate change to make their viewpoints known on our pages, however much we disagree with them. In the marketplace of ideas, may the best idea win.

OldManRick said...

How do know any temperature in recorded history is ever true. How do I know its actually 29f right now?!

George has gone both from Physics to Metaphysics and Thermodynamics to Meta-thermodynamics. How do we know George is real and not just a collection of renegade electrons creating postings on Althouse?

I think he has hit upon something, the real study of AGW belongs in the domain of the meta, investigating what is reality and what is not. Don't let those non-real emails and the vaporware that creates hockey sticks fool you into believing that you can understand reality.

Au said...

Uh, what is the Times doing with an editor who's job it is to report on environmental issues, who is not [educated] a scientist in the subject? She sounds more like an advocate. Everyone already knows there are no scientists at the NYT.

Jeff Hagen said...

The NYT has a long tradition of excessive scientific illiteracy.

They should have gone out of business at least 90 years ago. Hopefully they will soon.

cameron said...

The science says one thing. Scientists themselves say a completely different thing. A perfect opportunity, right, for journalists to do journalism? Instead, the New York Times ignores the science, and lets the scientists push their talking points.

MC said...

"I'm sure there are some dubious scientists, but surely mankind can all agree on thermometer readings? How do know any temperature in recorded history is ever true. How do I know its actually 29f right now?!"

This is a common fallacy. Just because global temperatures have increased doesn't establish AGW ie. that global temperatures are increasing because of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. We need to be able to reject the alternate null hypothesis that the observed changes are partially or wholely caused by natural variation.

A related common fallacy is that AGW is obvious simply because of the absorbtion properties of CO2. This is simplistic, because the simple properties of CO2 do not explain the observed warming, because of a range of complicated feedbacks in the climate system. If we under or over estimate the size of those feedbacks or are missing unknown feedbacks we may be very wrong on the amount of warming CO2 can cause.

All this means that understanding and testing AGW relies on difficult, complicated computer models and statistical temperature reconstructions from proxy data. It is far from trivial.

This is important; far to important for anything other than the highest levels of rigour and transparency, let alone the sort of unethical scientific conduct we've seen revealed in this leak.

Aaron said...

Hmm, here’s my takeaway.

First, the New York Times thinks that it can still control the news. I wonder if that is even true in New York City anymore?

Second, the more I learn the more I see how central these idiots at the CRU have been to this climate change hysteria.

Third, the thing that is more troubling than the bad behavior is that the majority of these scientists didn’t even think there was anything wrong with it. you have heard of the “banality of evil” well, here is the banality of climate fraud. And that banality is suggestive of a larger cultural force at play here.

Fourth, and this is the only saving grace here, is that if you accept the emails as evidence of scientific misconduct, then you equally have to accept the evidence that this is really what these people believe—they really think it is happening.

But that is not the same as saying it is happening. after all, you have to then wonder where they got that impression from. Its certainly not from their own research.

Finally, I have said it before and I will say it again. According to the believers, we cannot save the world unless we cut our emissions back to levels not seen since the 19th century. Does anyone really believe this is going to happen? So why bother completely f---ing up our whole economy on something that is ultimately, according to our saviors, a wasted effort?

Btw, I am having a good laugh remembering people who compared climate-change skeptics to holocaust deniers. Tell me, was there a lot of faking of the evidence of the holocaust? Heh.

John Stodder said...

One thing I noticed.....you guys NEVER dispute the validity of the "little graph" where it plots the slight cooling years. Any source then is sacred!

What a dumb point!

In fact, if you read what I posted earlier about "hide the decline," the fact I am embracing is that temperatures DID rise from 1961 onward. The decline is the decline in temperatures the tree-ring data from that year forward showed was supposed to have happened, according to the model. That it didn't was the problem. That was the divergence they wanted to hide. Ironically, it is the warming of those years that gives away the game. The model was either bogus or fraudulent, and that's what Jones and Mann didn't want the world to know.

It's true, the actual temperature data is probably unreliable as well due to the placement of measuring stations.

Some of these reliability problems were also discussed in a study published in the Hydrological Sciences Journal -- a peer-reviewed journal. http://www.itia.ntua.gr/en/docinfo/864/ The abstract states, "Geographically distributed predictions of future climate, obtained through climate models, are widely used in hydrology and many other disciplines, typically without assessing their reliability. Here we compare the output of various models to temperature and precipitation observations from eight stations with long (over 100 years) records from around the globe. The results show that models perform poorly, even at a climatic (30-year) scale. Thus local model projections cannot be credible, whereas a common argument that models can perform better at larger spatial scales is unsupported."

The lead author was Koutsoyiannis, who quotes from a recent paper by climatologists dismissing the divergence over a ten-year period between forecasted ocean temperatures and actual temperatures. To Koutsoyiannis, this reveals "a culture in the climatological community that is very different from that in the hydrological community. In hydrology and water resources engineering, in real-time simulations that are used for future projections in transient systems (in contrast to steady-state simulations), it is inconceivable to neglect the initial conditions; likewise, it is inconceivable to claim that a model has good prediction skill for half a century ahead but not for a decade ahead. Furthermore, the climatological community focuses on theories and models, whereas the hydrological community has greater trust in data."

Hydrologists' work is used by engineers to plan large-scale projects designed to last many decades. They can't play with models, especially models that so plainly diverge from reality.

Jim Treacher said...

Fun fact: When Irish documentary filmmaker Phelim McAleer asked Al Gore how polar bears can be endangered by global warming when there are more of them now than 50 years ago (check it out on Youtube, it's great), McAleer's microphone was cut off by none other than... Andrew Revkin.

newscaper said...

John Stodderd said,

"The theoretical greenhouse effect of CO2 is not in question."

I say you are granting far, far too much credit with that statement.

In terms of basic physics, yes, it is true that CO2 blocks part of the re-radiated IR spectrum.

However, it is ALSO true that H20 as water vapor is a much greater 'greenhouse gas', by at least an order of magnitude (or two), due to its much greater concentration in the atmsphere, plus its ability to block a much greater (and partly overlapping) portion of the InfraRed.

The key is whether the much smaller direct effect of more CO2 is somehow the tail that wags the water vapor dog. While it is not inconceivable that it does, given the highly dynamic and variable nature of the poorly modelled H2O system, there is a pretty damned high bar the CO2-is-the-driver has to pass to make their case.

*Don't* be too quick to grant the 'of course CO2 is a greenhouse gas' starting point.

newscaper said...

Disgustipated,

I take it you are refering to the same Scientific American that also jumped whole heartedly, IIRC, on Carl Sagan's discredited "Nuclear Winter" hypothesis because it suited them politically?

MadisonMan said...

This "trick" was needed to conceal the fact that tree-ring data was not predictive, as they had been telling the world it was. If the tree-ring data is not predictive, then much of what we think we know about AGW is at best unproven, and more likely just flat wrong.

This problem was actually not hidden at all from anyone. There is active research trying to resolve this particular conundrum, that is, the divergence of the tree-ring record from the temperature record.

My opinion is that this is particularly bad wording on the part of the email writer. Hiding implies something nefarious. How can you hide something that everyone knows about?

MadisonMan said...

(Don't take that everyone to mean the General Public).

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MadisonMan-

I'd be willing to bet that the graphs hid the problem well enough that 99% of politicians, bureaucrats, reporters, and non-climate-scientist AGW proponents were unaware of the issues.

John Stodder said...

...99% of politicians, bureaucrats, reporters, and non-climate-scientist AGW proponents were unaware of the issues.

Right. This was not something Al Gore or IPCC took any pains to clarify for the Robert Gibbs of the world. At some level, the trick was meant to trick lay persons who include policymakers, even though inside experts might have known the trick. Else why do it?

MadisonMan said...

Well, the politicians weren't reading the scientific literature. Therein lies the problem; they are spoon-fed from the special-interests from either side of an issue and those interests bend and hide the results. Where hide is used in the way that should connote something nefarious.

wv: extra (How normal!)

Ignorance is Bliss said...

MadisonMan-

I'm glad that you recognize that usage of hide as nefarious.

What you now need to understand is that when Phil Jones wrote the email about hiding the decline, it was in reference to the graph he was creating that was to be included in the IPCC's Summary for Policymakers.

In other words, these very scientists were one of the special interests trying to bend and hide the results.

MadisonMan said...

Are you expecting someone who had dedicated their life to a particular point of view, and who earns a living pushing that point of view on people, to highlight something that runs against their moneymaker? Something that might be used by everyone to tell them they're wrong?

(Note that this question runs both ways).

MC said...

"This problem was actually not hidden at all from anyone."

Not really. The data from the decline was flat out deleted in various publications including IPCC reports and the archived version at NOAA. Yep, they show all of the data from the reconstruction for the period when it goes up but simply straight up delete the bit that goes down.

Skookum John said...

We here at The Times are not scientists. We don’t collect the data or analyze it, and so the best we can do is to give our readers a sense of what the prevailing scientific view is, based on interviews with scientists

I don't like to cuss here in Ann's electronic living room, but this fucking pathetic.

This is the most pathetic thing I've ever heard a media drone say, and that's saying something.

Can any of you believe this shit?

Skookum John said...

@AlphaLiberal:Me, I think the facts matter. There were criminal acts committed here and the media has under-reported that story. Whodunnit?



There sure as hell were. The CRU folks refused to release data and programs owned by the people of the UK and USA, as the law requires. Then they destroyed them, by their own admission. Plenty of folks from the corporate world are serving 5 to 15 for similar crimes.

The documents were liberated, not stolen.

Some of these tree ring witch doctors work at a local public university. I am going to file a FOIA request soon for every gum wrapper and Google cache in their laboratory, and back it up with Alinskyite lawfare if they don't comply. Time to attack these fuckers and make them hurt.