Wednesday, December 09, 2009

If not the smoking gun, it's definitely a clue

'The second question, the integrity of the data, is different. People say “Yes, they destroyed emails, and hid from Freedom of information Acts, and messed with proxies, and fought to keep other scientists’ papers out of the journals … but that doesn’t affect the data, the data is still good.” Which sounds reasonable.'

See the actual data before your eyes! Touch it! Taste it! See what the bastards did to defile it!


Sophist said...

"[A] distinction must be made ... between the sort of judicious finagling that is so central to science and outright fabrication...Various shades of finagling are also quite common in science. Science is not an activity that lends itself to rote procedures. Time and time again in the course of investigation, scientists are forced to exercise their judgement with respect towhich data are good and which can be rejected, which factors must be taken into account and which ignored, and so on. They cannot tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth because at the cutting edge of science no one can be sure precisely what this truth is."

David L. Hull (1988) "Science as a process", pg 320.

The thing that is most weird about this disscussion to me is not that scientists have manipulated data - that happens all the time. But why the argument is so one-sided in the scientific community. The tobacco companies funded research for 40 years (may even still be doing it) to undermine the scientific link between smoking and disease. I don't understand why vested interests in the carbon industries are not doing likewise, or are doing it so unsuccessfully. Instead the oil/gas/coal companies are advertising themselves as greener than green.

Edmund Ironside said...

The whole point about this article is the nature of what the Global Warmmongers have CHARACTERISED as judicious finagling, and what they have actually done. You don't even need to be an expert in climatology, statistics or the scientific method to understand the con that has been performed. If you read the whole article, the difference between 'judicious finagling' and fraud becomes crystal clear. I recommend that to everybody who is interested.
Most of the work being discussed currently as a direct result of climategate is not on the cutting edge of science- it is creating statistical derivations of recorded data. In this case, doing that so badly that the story told by the original data is completely distorted. Any decent statistician could pick this up, should they care to analyze it. I don't believe there is a parallel with the smoking/lung cancer case. Climate science is in its infancy, but was taken over very early by a cabal of committed ideologues- I may be wrong, but I don't think that is what happened with the smoking/cancer link.

Sophist said...

Climate science is hardly in its infancy - the greenhouse effect was first hypothesised in 1824 - but certainly it has only recently gained massive political/media attention. And this is my point about tobacco - not a scientific point but a political one. The tobacco industry fought its corner, the carbon industry isn't, why?

Has it too been taken over by a cabal of committed ideologues? Or does it feel that it is useless to go against the inevitable, and should go all out to get public opinion on side as soon as possible and aim for managed decline. Or does Androgenic Global Warming actually work in its long term interests?

Exploring the last option is good fun, for example: the 'developing' world already controls the bulk of world's crude oil.

But the 'developed' world controls the bulk of world's refining capacity

This is because the raw material is more cheaply transported in bulk, and the various end products more economically distributed in smaller volumes closer to their points of consumption. As the developing world grows, its demand for refined products increases, offering the opportunity for its crude oil producers to vertically integrate into those markets. This would squeeze the developed world's oil businesses similtaneously in two directions: competition for the raw materials it buys, and competition against the refined products it sells. Globally restricting the growth of oil would help to maintain the long term profitablity of the developed world's oil industries.