Good Summary of the Climate Pentagon Papers

From Lou Glazner via Anthony Watts

1. The scientists colluded in efforts to thwart Freedom of Information Act requests (across continents no less). They reference deleting data, hiding source code from requests, manipulating data to make it more annoying to use, and attempting to deny requests from people recognized as contributors to specific internet sites. Big brother really is watching you. He’s just not very good at securing his web site.

2. These scientists publicly diminished opposing arguments for lack of being published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the background they discussed black-balling journals that did publish opposing views, and preventing opposing views from being published in journals they controlled. They even mention changing the rules midstream in arenas they control to ensure opposing views would not see the light of day. They discuss amongst themselves which scientists can be trusted and who should be excluded from having data because they may not be “predictable”.

3. The scientists expressed concern privately over a lack of increase in global temperatures in the last decade, and the fact that they could not explain this. Publicly they discounted it as simple natural variations. In one instance, data was [apparently] manipulated to hide a decline in temperatures when graphed. Other discussions included ways to discount historic warming trends that inconveniently did not occur during increases in atmospheric CO2.

4. The emails show examples of top scientists working to create public relations messaging with favorable news outlets. It shows them identifying and cataloging, by name and association, people with opposing views. These people are then disparaged in a coordinated fashion via favorable online communities.

What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real. They don’t preclude many studies from being accurate, on either side of the discussion. And they should not be seen as discrediting all science.

  • hunter

    Saying this does not hurt science is like asking people not to have reduced opinion of the Catholic Church because of its Priest scandals.
    Sorry, but it does.

    The files do not need to ‘destroy’ the apocalyptic global warming theory. If it was real science, the fact that there are big holes in it would have brought its supporters together to re-evaluate the theory, not hide its problems.
    AGW falls apart all on its own.
    The e-mails simply reflect that reality- they show a group of people trying to prop up a null hypothesis. And failing completely in the science, even while winning in the public arena.

  • hunter

    BTW, ‘global climate change’ is a meaningless term, unless used as a code word. Is it not time that those promoting it were not called out on it?
    AGW promoters have controlled the agenda and terms of the discussion far too long.

  • Gerald Hanner

    So much for the scientific method. This is not new, however. Thomas S. Kuhn writes on this subject in his “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.”

  • stan

    As much as the corruption captures our attention, it’s the incompetence that matters the most. The hockey team is as bad as the 1962 Mets.

  • ADiff

    The scientific method remains as valid as ever. But these emails (again) reveal advocates ‘Science’ as nothing but another facade for Politics and Ideology. The ‘Science’ of the authors of these emails is not science at all, but just Rhetoric. Eugenics, Social Darwinism, Witchcraft…AGW is just the latest in the endless series of ‘Scientific’ facades for socio-economic political agendas…nothing more, and nothing less.

    The damage, in terms of public perception, is real and will be lasting.

    But error and costs don’t matter to these folks..they’re ‘True Believers’ on a mission to be Saviors (of the world). They share the same messiah complex presented (differently) by every other messianic cult, ideology and political movement in history.

  • Stonyground

    I think that any science educator wanting to teach about the scientific method could turn this to their advantage. This situation demonstrates an important point, that the scientific method only leads to the truth if it is done correctly and honestly. This is surely not the first time that a group of scientists have been so wedded to a pet theory that they have allowed their personal bias to sully the way that they have presented their data. That is after all the reason why studies wherever possible are done blind, because even when there is a genuine will to stay impartial, human nature makes it inevitable that some bias will creep in.

    The real rub is of course that the dishonest scientists will always come unstuck in the long run because reality will always refuse to go along with the faulty science. In this instance, the rather shoddy behaviour was only needed in the first place because real temperatures were being rather stubborn in refusing to go along with predicted increases. Of course the correct thing to do at this point was to re-examine the data and methods to assess where they were flawed. Faking the science in the hope that reality was eventually going to comply would have failed in the end without the leaked emails.

  • hunter

    ADiff,
    Well stated.
    It gives one pause to consider many things.

  • orthodoc

    Speaking as a clinician/scientist, I would point to the following:

    When Timothy Kuklo, late of the US Army, submitted falsified information which was subsequently published in the British edition of Bone and Joint Surgery, his paper was retracted, and he was banned from submitting future articles. His work is discredited.

    The same should happen here.

  • MrCPhysics

    Our writer (Lou?) does not understand what was going on in the last half of his #3. It’s actually more significant than he states. When Jones speaks of manipulating data (Mann’s “trick”) to hide the decline, he is talking about using statistical methods (mixing in the ‘real’ temperatures) with alleged temperature proxies (like tree-ring density) to hide the fact that since about 1960 (through the late 90s), the measured temperature has generally gone up, and the temperature proxies have gone down. This is extremely significant to Mann and Jones because their long-term temperature reconstructions depend on temperature proxies, uh, actually reflecting temperature. The so-called divergence problem (which Jones and Mann were covering up), INVALIDATES the long-term, hockey-stick-shaped temperature plots which have been used dishonestly to alarm the public and stimulate idiotic political action. If you can’t count on your temperature proxy to mimic temperature when you can actually measure temperature, how can you count on it 500 or 1000 years ago?

    So they mixed proxies and real temperatures to get a series of hockey sticks, and tried as much as they could to hide that they did it. As an IPCC reviewer, Steve McIntyre protested about this, but Mann (the lead author of the relevant chapter) simply ignored his protest, rejecting it without written justification.

    That’s the way climate scientists roll…

  • Bob Sykes

    Unfortunately, this scandal does impugn all science. Virtually no one outside the science community (a negligible fraction of the population) has any clue about what science is or how it is done. The fact that one area of science is known to be permeated with fraud will be extended to all other areas. The various environmental sciences will be especially hard it. Every individual scientist will be under suspicion. Everyone.

  • Tom Nally

    “What the emails/files don’t do is completely destroy the possibility that global climate change is real.”

    Lou states the obvious as if it were a tremendous insight. The skeptics don’t deny that the climate is changing. In fact, that’s central to our argument!

    The climate has never NOT changed, regardless of human activity. Before the first verifiable humans walked the earth, the climate was changing. It’s changing now, and it will continue to change for the remaining history of the planet, even if humans find a way to extinguish themselves.

    The fact that climate is changing is never disputed, except perhaps among the flat earthers. The key questions are these:

    (1) What direction is the temperature change currently taking? Since the conclusion of the Little Ice Age, it certainly looks like the planet is warming, even though our temperature measurement systems don’t inspire 100% confidence from me. More recently, it looks like the planet might be in a cooling trend.

    (2) If the planet is undergoing modest warming, is that bad? Seriously, is it? My own opinion is that modest warming is beneficial.

    (3) If the planet is undergoing modest warming, is human-generated CO2 causing it? This is probably the greatest area of dispute. Warren is pretty certain that human-generated CO2 is responsible for at least part of the warming trend since the end of the Little Ice Age. I’m less certain than Warren. I think there is a chance that the causality is reversed: that the warming trend is “causing” an observed increase in atmospheric CO2. But I certainly think reasonable people can differ on this.

    (4) Would efforts to highly regulate CO2 emissions in the U.S. change our quality of life for the better? My opinion is that it would make life much worse, while having zero affect on temperature trends.

    One thing about which there is no dispute is this: those who want massive regulation of CO2 emissions are also in favor of massive regulation in all the other areas of our existence.

    Seen in that light, it certainly looks like the AGW alarmists are merely a subset of the statists.

    —Tom Nally, New Orleans

  • David Walton

    Correcton: That should read Lon Glazner. (Just a heads up, not necessary to post this comment.) Happy Holidays!

  • Stonyground

    It has been mentioned on another comment thread that the BBC is operating close to a total news blackout on this story.

    I did a search for Climategate on the BBC news website and got the following lean harvest of results.

    1) Listen again feature, Radio 4 Material World on which Climategate is mentioned.

    2) From the comment thread attached to This Week, “After daring to mention Climategate, I hope the Thought Police at the Ministry of Truth are going to leave Micheal’s mind intact for the next show”.

    That is it. There was also the unbelievable message:

    “There are no BBC selected web results for your search.”

    Astonishing!

  • hunter

    Remember this and ponder on the implications:
    This is a 8small* leak.
    We are seeing rank corruption of the scientific process based on a small sampling.
    The chances that a larger survey, when it occurs, will not hold much more damning info is nil.
    Speaking of media corruption – how many media resources are being used to actually report on what the e-mails actually contain, as opposed to asking those who stand to lose from what the e-mails and data and code reveals to tell us who none of it is important?
    How many interviews of skeptics, who are absolutely vindicated becuase of what these e-mails say, have been performed, asking them what they think might be going on, and, more importantly, what to do next?
    Nearly 0.
    Tom Nally makes a vital point:
    The AGW promotion community deliberately obfuscates by use of the term ‘climate change’ to mislead people into accepting the AGW premise no matter the evidence.
    That must somehow be broken.
    That AGW community leaders chose the new term deliberatley is clearly one of the ways they are trying to distract from the issue they know is real: temperatures are not cooperating with the predictions.
    The question is, how to break through this weaving of bs?

  • Mesa Econoguy

    Yes, hunter, and now we’re about to see just how ugly it all was, and just how far it went. The remarkable thing is Steve McIntyre has been able to piece together most of this information almost entirely on his own, and has done a remarkable job and scientific service in his auditing role, and should be given standing ovations on all continents for it.

    These missing pieces will be most interesting to watch as he places them into their logical locations.

    The positive part is most of this will finally come to light (officially), and “The truth will out,” as they say, and hopefully so. I’m not so optimistic, as the scientifically illiterate MSM continues to ignore this story.

    The really unfortunate part of all of this is it will now spill over into the legal and fully political arena, mostly because these hubristic fools thought they could control the scenario, being politically motivated all along.

  • Doug Tims

    This shows that greed is a human trait, not just a corporate one. Billions of dollars for research salaries and careers is enough to turn any human head, no matter their profession.