Uh Oh. Now The NY Times Discusses Bad Science In ClimateGate

Of course, the Grey Lady’s main investigative journalists, the ones who get published on the front page, aren’t involved. Instead, John Tierney’s piece is published on the science pages: E-Mail Fracas Shows Peril of Trying to Spin Science

If you have not delved into the thousands of e-mail messages and files hacked from the computers of British climate scientists, let me give you the closest thing to an executive summary. It is taken from a file slugged HARRY_READ_ME, which is the log of a computer expert’s long struggle to make sense of a database of historical temperatures. Here is Harry’s summary of the situation: Aarrggghhh!

That cry, in various spellings, is a motif throughout the log as Harry tries to fight off despair. “OH [EXPLETIVE] THIS!” he writes after struggling to reconcile readings from weather stations around the world. “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. …”

About now, the climate alarmists have their hands over their eyes, not wanting to see what is going wrong with their religion.

Consider, for instance, the phrase that has been turned into a music video by gleeful climate skeptics: “hide the decline,” used in an e-mail message by Phil Jones, the head of the university’s Climatic Research Unit. He was discussing the preparation of a graph for the cover of a 1999 report from the World Meteorological Organization showing that temperatures in the past several decades were the highest of the past millennium.

Most of the graph was based on analyses of tree rings and other “proxy” records like ice cores and lake sediments. These indirect measurements indicated that temperatures declined in the middle of the millennium and then rose in the first half of the 20th century, which jibes with other records. But the tree-ring analyses don’t reveal a sharp warming in the late 20th century – in fact, they show a decline in temperatures, contradicting what has been directly measured with thermometers.

Because they considered that recent decline to be spurious, Dr. Jones and his colleagues removed it from part of the graph and used direct thermometer readings instead. In a statement last week, Dr. Jones said there was nothing nefarious in what they had done, because the problems with the tree-ring data had been openly identified earlier and were known to experts.

In other words, what they were practicing was agenda based science. Do you approve of this, climate alarmists? You’ve said time and time again that you “believe in science” and are interested in all the data. Go ahead, give us your best head in the sand rationals for what the CRU did.

The story behind that graph certainly didn’t show that global warming was a hoax or a fraud, as some skeptics proclaimed, but it did illustrate another of their arguments: that the evidence for global warming is not as unequivocal as many scientists claim.

Most of us “skeptics” do think the warming is a hoax or a fraud: we just think blaming Mankind mostly or solely for it is absurd and un-scientific, where a link between Mankind and warming has been manufactured for political reasons.

As the scientists denigrate their critics in the e-mail messages, they seem oblivious to one of the greatest dangers in the climate-change debate: smug groupthink. These researchers, some of the most prominent climate experts in Britain and America, seem so focused on winning the public-relations war that they exaggerate their certitude – and ultimately undermine their own cause.

Hmm, some of the most prominent climate experts. Kinda blows the climate alarmist narrative that these were just some random guys, no big deal.

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