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November 22, 2009

Scientists talk smack on listervs! News at 11

Real Climate debunks allegations by global warming deniers that stolen emails from a closed climate science listerv reveal some kind of conspiracy. 


Do any of these quotes bother you at all?

>Do any of these quotes bother you at all?

Does it affect the physical facts and lines of evidence?

Other than the great example of journalistic objectivity on display by the Telegraph, what's there? They panicked about an FOI, and the paper in question they "tried to supress" is widely acknowledged to be of pathetically low quality.

This whole mess is an example of how post-modernist thinking has poisoned our society, and how while the pomo movement was started by putative progressives, it rapidly (and predictably) became a tool of reactionaries.

The climate, and the science involved, is not a matter of PR or legal chess games. There is a reality out there, and it does not care what we think or feel or believe, it only responds to physical events. The people working on the science spouting off on email does not affect the truth of their results; whether their results can be replicated does. And that's it. "Deconstructing" their social dynamics and words says nothing whatsoever about the scientific facts at hand.


Such thinking shines a light on the problem.

These scientists weren't trying to find the truth. They were trying to defend their preconceived position, by any means.

They were acting like defense attorneys , not scientists. Which is exactly what a lot of people had suspected for years.

>These scientists weren't trying to find the truth. They were trying to defend their preconceived position, by any means.

You're bringing your own preconceived notion into your reading of the emails. Also keep in mind the emails are a carefully *selected* sample, a small percentage of the whole. In other words, whoever stole the emails wasn't trying to find the truth. They very obviously massaged the dataset to portray the scientists involved in a certain light - and even then it's weak stuff. Lots of fluffing required to make it look truly incriminating.

Further, science is a human endeavor. Much of what goes on is competition between scientists, trying to prove their own ideas, and disprove competing ideas. Heck go read about Newton and Leibniz. If there were major holes in the current understanding of climate change you wouldn't see the hordes of late-middle age climate nerds finding them (most of whom seem to be ex oil geologists and consultants). You'd see desperate phd students and post docs getting there years before them, people desperately aware of their true odds of making tenure, most with crushed dreams of being the next wonderkind. F*ck consensus, they'd BBQ the flesh of their own supervisors if they had to. As stated eloquently by a scientist on another thread:

"Seriously, the trolls here have no idea. If Nature said it'd publish a paper on the force required to sever one's limbs using a hacksaw, you couldn't get near an ACE hardware in Cambridge as the Post-docs raced to beat other academic slaves to saw their limbs off and get that coveted glamor journal paper."

Thinking about this further, there are trillions of dollars at stake for the oil and coal industries, groups which are known to spend fortunes on lobbyists in western countries, industrial espionage, bribes, and actual mercenaries in the developing world. The key guy promoting the emails is himself one of the key players in the swift-boat affair. This whole thing has a stink about it. I think its very naive to think there aren't industry moles and industry-sponsored B&E's happening.

Michael Mann in His Own Words on the Stolen CRU Emails

That post has a links about Sallie Baliunas, the author of the paper over which the emails discuss protesting: "In 2003, Baliunas co-authored a highly controversial paper that reviewed previous scientific papers and came to the conclusion that the climate hasn't changed in the last 2000 years. But 13 of the authors of the papers Baliunas and Soon cited refuted her interpretation of their work, and several editors of Climate Research resigned in protest at a flawed peer review process that allowed the publication."

IE, the opinions of the people involved about that controversy and the journal in question have been well-known since 2003. Von Stroch is on record saying "[T]hey submitted flawed research".

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