One of these things is not like the other…

I’ve been away from blogging for quite a while, but I still read the climate blogs with relish. There have been a number of issues raised that almost drew me back, but this one clinched it. This post is still in progress and will be added to over the next few days as I get time.

Since the posts at Deep Climate  on the Wegman report, the issue of plagiarism in the Wegman report has been brewing. The Mashey Report details a number of anomalies in the Wegman report, including instances of direct copying without adequate attribution, copying with slight changes without adequate attribution, to name a few.  Now, it seems that Bradley has raised the issue and George Mason University, Wegman’s employer, is formally investigating the claims.

Many blogs, including the usual suspects, have discussed DC’s posts, with the predictable denials and hand-waving on the part of lukewarmers, skeptics and deniers alike. Sure, they say, maybe Wegman did copy a lot of text without enough citation, but so what? Minor details. What counts is that the conclusions are still valid.

Now, McIntyre has a post up insinuating — dog whistling — that Bradley in turn copied and pasted a whole lot of material from Fritts. What is interesting and very sly is that McI does this under the guise of picking apart DC’s comment that Bradley’s work is “seminal” but I call BS on that. It’s clear that McI is trying to discredit Bradley by making it seem as if his copying text from Fritz is the same as Wegman’s poor scholarship.

Does McIntyre directly claim they are the same? No. He doesn’t have to. All he has to do is whistle.

I don’t have an appropriate image to use, but this came to mind from my former days as a student of social and political thought:

That is for Willard. :)

According to Dave Dardinger:

The point is that the DC complaint is that Wegman copied from Bradley 1999 without sufficient attribution. But Bradley 1999 copied from his 1985 book likewise without sufficient attribution. And the 1985 book copied from Fritts 1976 with proper attribution for the most part. So it would seem we have a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Pot and kettle is the repeated cry from the chorus.

This is from TallBloke:

I wonder if the Team can rearrange the following words into a well known phrase or saying:

Their, hoisted, petard, on, own.

From what I can see, Wegman is not Bradley. The fact that McIntyre tries to make that claim is laughable but with skeptics and deniers, the facts don’t matter as much as the optics. Make a smear and even if it isn’t valid, the mere existence of smears convinces those not in the know. The echo chamber at CA is doing the usual — patting McI on the back and cheering, mostly ignorant of the way things work in science or academia or politics.

When I first came across the whole “McIntyre broke the hockey stick” meme around 2007, one of the first documents I read was the Wegman report. I thought it was mostly crap from the get-go. Yeah maybe Wegman did agree with M&M about the de-centred PC analysis not being valid, but that was the extent of his contribution. Even the recommendations and conclusions are pretty vapid. And the social network analysis? Pure pseudoscience. One could do such an analysis on Wegman’s own scholarship and would find the same problem, as would any similar analysis on most small sub-disciplines in science. A small network of scholars in itself is not evidence of poor science. Again, broad claims are made with no real evidence to back them up. Just more innuendo.

Now, being a policy wonk and longer-time government scribe (on and off since 1994 to be exact), I am quite familiar with the whole government report business. I’ve actually written one myself that was published, presented to a commission and is now gathering dust on a shelf.  I hasten to distance my report from Wegman’s report, since I actually wrote it like a straight academic paper, including correct citations and attributions of any and all quotes. In fact, when I set out to write the paper, I had no idea where my research would take me and was given free rein to write the paper that my research uncovered. In other words, not your typical government paper. The findings were not pre-determined. This is because I worked for an arms-length government agency that had little clout and less public support, so anything we produced could be easily dismissed if the government in question felt so inclined because there was no public nor “stakeholder” appetite for policy action.

The first thing a neophyte to this world should know is this — reports are not usually requested and authors not usually selected unless those requesting have been assured that the writers will come to the proper — read: politically appropriate — conclusions. Especially about a very politically sensitive policy issue.

It would be political suicide otherwise.

Politicians are in the business of keeping themselves in power, first and foremost. They often do stupid things and lose elections, but it is not because they fail to consider the optics. Instead, it is because they misjudge them.

In other words, I give most government reports about as much credit as they deserve — and the amount of credit depends on how close to the political action the players are. Wegman is no different. Wegman might be an eminent statistician, but it seems from the analysis done by DC and Mashey and a quick look at the provenance of the report that it is neither independent nor on the level, in terms of scholarship, of other reports looking at Paleoclimate — especially the NAS Report.

In other words, Bradley is not Wegman.

To understand Wegman, we have to start by examining the provenance of the Wegman report: Joe Barton, (R) of Texas, an engineer by education, and former advisor to Atlantic Richfield Oil and Gas before being elected to the House. Pardon me while I laugh.

Of the 16 bills Barton sponsored, including one on Hugo Chavez and the government of Venezuela, (LOL!) , such as Bill HR 7032, which has the following purposes (among others):

(1) respond to the Nation’s increased need for domestic energy resources;

(2) facilitate interagency coordination and cooperation in the processing of permits required to support oil and gas use authorization on Federal lands, both onshore and on the Outer Continental Shelf, in order to achieve greater consistency, certainty, and timeliness in permit processing requirements;

(3) promote process streamlining and increased interagency efficiency, including elimination of interagency duplication of effort…

In other words, to speed up the process of issuing drilling permits on Federal Land…

Barton is also the sponsor of the amendment to Bill HR 2643:

Amendment sought to strike section 501 which states as the sense of Congress that there should be enacted a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that (1) will not significantly harm the United States economy and (2) will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.

AMENDMENT PURPOSE:
An amendment to strike section 501 expressing the sense of Congress on Global Climate Change.

During his career, Barton received a total of $17M in contributions, over $2.8M of which came from petroleum interests.

Is it just me or does this not suggest Barton is not the most objective person when it comes to examining the issue of global warming?

Note from the opening of the Wegman Report the following:

The Chairman of the Committee on Energy and Commerce as well as the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations have been interested in an independent verification of the critiques of Mann et al. (1998, 1999) [MBH98, MBH99] by McIntyre and McKitrick (2003, 2005a, 2005b) [MM03, MM05a, MM05b] as well as the related implications in the assessment.

Right from the start, honest individuals should have their alarm bells ringing.

First: this is Congress. Congress is a political body. Its members have political agendas. They are funded by a number of private interests. As I noted above, Barton received significant funding from corporations such as EXXON and others. These Congressmen are reliant on those funds to assist them in getting elected and re-elected.

Any report on climate science he requested must be seen in this light.

Second: the questions asked reveals as much about our position as the statements we make.

Barton did not want an independent verification of the findings of MBH98 or MBH99, which is the science. He wanted independent verification of the critiquesof that science by M&M – two non-scientists. In other words, he wanted independent verification of the work of two specific AGW skeptics and the implications of those skeptics’ work.

To put it bluntly – the purpose was to verify climate science skepticism. Barton did not go to a science body and ask them to investigate claims made by M&M about MBH — he turned down an offer from NAS to do so.

Is it any surprise that Wegman dismisses paleoclimatology and verifies M&M?

No. It was a foregone conclusion.

Anyone who takes Wegman seriously is either in denial or a denier.

About Policy Lass

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174 Responses to “One of these things is not like the other…”

  1. Anyone who just rejects Wegman is in denial about the fraudulent and incompetent nature of the statistics underlying the Hockey Stick. No serious statistician has been found to back Mann.

    Mann et al are all just govenment lackeys with close to zero integrity or honesty, and their arrival at alarmist conclusions justifying an expansion of their employer – the state – was a foregone conclusion. Climategate showed this in no uncertain terms.

    It is also worth noting that that govverment funding of climate science – virtually all of which is ‘consensus’ alarmism designed to justify government expanding itself, outranks all skeptic funding by a factor of maybe 10000. The ‘consensus’ is just a consensus of money and far-left totalirian politicsl zeal.

    As regards the plagiarism, Bradley is clearly far worse than Wegman, but this does not issues impact on their findings. Anthony Watts summed it up well

    if Dr. Bradley really had an attribution issue, he could have [avoided] the whole stink going on now by simply asking Dr. Wegman to modify the report in a way that satisfies whatever his complaint is.

    But that would be too simple, too direct, and too professional. It also wouldn’t get the pound of flesh some of the players like John Mashey and “Deep Climate” want.

    Running with the official university coverups and whitewashes of Climategate, and unwilling to ‘out’ the widespread corruption in their fellow alarmists in the IPCC cadre, DC et al go looking for some nits to pick to draw attention away from it.

    • Anyone who just rejects Wegman is in denial about the fraudulent and incompetent nature of the statistics underlying the Hockey Stick. No serious statistician has been found to back Mann.

      First, you need to refine your understanding of terms such as “fraud” and “incompetence” because your use appear quite inaccurate. Error is not fraud. MBH use of de-centred PCA was erroneous but not fraudulent. There are many debates in science about appropriate methodology but the fact that scientists disagree on what constitutes appropriate methods is not evidence of fraud. The use of methods that eventually are shown to be inadequate or producing faulty results does not mean the work was fraudulent. That is the realm of the Cuccinelli’s of the world.

      Further, errrors do occur in science but the existence of errors do not in themselves prove incompetence. There are many sources of error in scientific investigation and scientists are trained to anticipate them, discuss them and try to account for them and minimize them, but no mortal is perfect. Lines of data do get transposed by even the best of statisticians. Columns can be switched, etc. When errors occur, they should be acknowledged and corrected. That is the way science works. It may not be as fast as many in the denier crowd might demand, but so far, science has worked pretty damn well using the peer review process and scientific method. I’m quite happy to stick with them.

      You don’t seem to have a very accurate comprehension of the term “plagiarism” for if you did, you would realize that there is a vast difference between a text book using text and figures from other texts with permissions and attributions and a paper that copies and mangles text without adequate attribution. Clearly Wegman is far worse than Bradley, for as far as I can tell, Bradley is not guilty of plagiarism at all since his work is appropriately cited and he had permission to use the text and figures — and captions.

      Second, as to funding — give me a break. You display a laughable lack of understanding of funding, whether it be political funds going to election campaigns or lobbying or funding for science. Go educate yourself a bit before you comment on these issues for you discredit yourself. Difference of kind.

      Third, your citing Watts shows a lack of judgement. Of all the skeptics, Watts is one of the least authoritative — there are so many lacking authority it’s hard to rank them. Citing him as a source is guaranteed to elicit many laffs.

      Three strikes, yer out.

  2. > was given free reign

    free rein, surely?

    http://www.dailywritingtips.com/free-rein-or-free-reign/

  3. McIntyre is on the public record saying:

    “Everything that I’ve done in this, I’ve done in good faith”.

    Uh, huh…and pigs can fly. He was clearly lying when he said that….

    Let it also be noted that McIntyre’s witch hunt against Bradley is irrelevant to the Wegman issue– seriously, how old is McIntyre? He is simply trying to distract people away from inconvenient truths and feed the “skeptics” yet more fodder.

    Welcome back SheWonk :)

  4. shewonk, forget about discussing with Punksta. Over at Deepclimate he came with the standard denialist talk time after time. He’s what is so nicely characterised as the “useful idiot”.

    Anyway, I think the CA and WUWT audience is in for an unpleasant surprise. Not that it will matter much. They’ll spin it every which way possible

  5. Marco :

    shewonk, forget about discussing with Punksta. Over at Deepclimate he came with the standard denialist talk time after time. He’s what is so nicely characterised as the “useful idiot”.

    Anyway, I think the CA and WUWT audience is in for an unpleasant surprise. Not that it will matter much. They’ll spin it every which way possible

    Yes, I suppose even idiots are useful — as bad examples.

    You should explain what you mean about the “unpleasant surprise” that WUWT and CA audiences are in for. I’m all ears. :) Do you mean about Wegman and plagiarism?

    The crap I read on CA and WUWT and over at The Blackboard on Wegman and Bradley is partly why I’ve stayed away from blogging — I get so damn tired of the BS I read on denier and skeptic blogs. Achieving any kind of clarity on these issues is Sisyphean, but in this case, I’ll get out the popcorn…

  6. MapleLeaf :

    McIntyre is on the public record saying:

    “Everything that I’ve done in this, I’ve done in good faith”.

    Uh, huh…and pigs can fly. He was clearly lying when he said that….

    Let it also be noted that McIntyre’s witch hunt against Bradley is irrelevant to the Wegman issue– seriously, how old is McIntyre? He is simply trying to distract people away from inconvenient truths and feed the “skeptics” yet more fodder.

    Welcome back SheWonk :)

    I think that McIntyre might be regretting that post. It’s clearly irrelevant and a poor job, despite the mindless kudos from his chorus, who apparently don’t know how to judge the validity of an argument.

    He jumped the gun and (unsuccessfully) the shark.

  7. Reading Punksta bearing witness to his beloved conspiracy theory tempted me to try some witty takedown… but I didn’t find the words. Instead it got to me just how thoroughly sad this is… it’s over Punksta. Find another hobby, for your own good.

  8. Those ‘strikes’ are but figments of Shewonk’s obvious precommitted alarmist position.

    Integrity
    Climatagate very clearly showed the IPCC cadre doing their best to skew things, to put it mildly.
    Step 1 : “We need to get rid of the medieval warming period”
    Step 2 : He comes up with a dubious approach to statistics emerges that does exactly that.
    Honest mistake? – don’t make me laugh. Just look at his Climatagate comments and stonewalling on supplying his data.

    Peer review has a good purpose, but is not equal to a small, inbred fraternity such as today’s small politically funded and hence motivated climate scientists.

    Your take on the state and who and what it chooses to fund is naive in the extreme : essentially, govenments lavish tax money here in the hope it will find an excuse for greater taxes and powers. And those in its pocket strive to agree and climb on the fundwagon.

  9. shewonk, forget about discussing with Punksta

    Shewonk, beware of fawning simpletons who want only the same old comforting sermons to the faithful.

  10. Gavin’s Pussycat : Reading Punksta bearing witness to his beloved conspiracy theory

    That the state acts in its own interest is not a ‘conspiracy’, simply an obvious and understandable tendency; as such it will tend to select those scientific projects that most favour its own interests.

    The only conspiracy theorists around are those who deny this, implying as they do a ludicrous benevolent conspiracy of those on state money – the Angelic Conspiracy, that has them putting objectivity above their own and their employer’s political objectives. Right – like we saw in their Climategate emails.

    Where there are significant political ramifications, don’t confuse politically funded science with the real thing.

  11. Punksta, your medication.

  12. shewonk :

    Marco :
    shewonk, forget about discussing with Punksta. Over at Deepclimate he came with the standard denialist talk time after time. He’s what is so nicely characterised as the “useful idiot”.
    Anyway, I think the CA and WUWT audience is in for an unpleasant surprise. Not that it will matter much. They’ll spin it every which way possible

    Yes, I suppose even idiots are useful — as bad examples.
    You should explain what you mean about the “unpleasant surprise” that WUWT and CA audiences are in for. I’m all ears. Do you mean about Wegman and plagiarism?

    Yes, I mean about Wegman and plagiarism. It appears that the CA and WUWT is not aware that the litigation involved is NOT by Bradley, but by Bradley’s Publisher (Academic Press / Elsevier). Regardless of common beliefs about litigious companies, going after plagiarism isn’t common in the scientific publishing world. The fact that Elsevier is taking action does not bode well for Wegman.

  13. Punksta :
    Climatagate very clearly showed the IPCC cadre doing their best to skew things, to put it mildly.
    Step 1 : “We need to get rid of the medieval warming period”

    Punksta, I can’t find that quote in the searchable online version of the emails. Can you post the email number or date, please, otherwise it may be construed that you’re trying to pull a fast one on the casual reader.

    But while I’m on the emails, here’s a good one:

    >Dave’s message further claims that there are multiple “independent
    >lines of evidence” for the hockey stick. The Wegman report discusses
    >this claim. See especially p.46-47, which cite twelve different
    >studies and concludes that those studies “cannot really claim to be
    >independent”.

    This part of the report is more precious than useful. In most empirical fields, leading primary investigators have linkages–nothing unusual about that. We could construct similar matrices of social networks in physics, biology, statistics. That doesn’t mean the works produced in physics, biology or statistical theory are “worthless”. A similar point can be made about different investigators using the same proxy data. In fact, isn’t it one of the recommendations of the Wegman report that the paleoclimate community share data more effectively? Seems that if thatrecommendation was followed, certain statisticians would have even moreoccasion to complain of a lack of true independence. Seems these poorclimate experts can’t win!

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to see a “social network” matrix–or a funding matrix- between those the scientists, statisticians, Congressional Republicans, and oil companies most passionate about “debunking” global climate change?

    Dr. Maryanne W. Newton

    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=705&filename=1153172761.txt

  14. J Bowers,
    Yes you’re right, the quote predated Climategate.

    From eg http://www.andrewbostom.org/blog/2008/12/25/horse-hockey-climate-scientology-%E2%80%9Cgetting-rid%E2%80%9D-of-the-medieval-warming-period/

    At the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works Hearing Statements, 12/06/2006 Dr David Deming of the University of Oklahoma, College of Earth and Energy Climate Change and the Media, said that (in 1995)
    “I had another interesting experience around the time my paper in Science was published. I received an astonishing email from a major researcher in the area of climate change. He said, “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

    From http://directorblue.blogspot.com/2009/11/climategate-executive-summary-of-cru.html
    • Overpeck has no recollection of saying that he wanted to “get rid of the Medieval Warm Period”. Thinks he may have been quoted out of context.(1206628118)

  15. And as regards the lack of independence of the supposedly corroborating hockey stick studies, the call to stop hiding data and code from anyone not precommitted to CAGW, should not be taken to mean everyone should just ape the statistical methods used by Mann to get his Hockey Stick (methods that produce a Hockey Stick out of virtually any data – red noise included).

  16. So basically Punksta, you’ll hug any unsubstantiated claim and hold on to it come what may.

    Deming has no copy of the mysterious email, and is recalling a memory from 9 years previously, and you’ll accept his paraphrasing as absolute gospel.

    The “red noise” myth has never been shown to be true. It’s merely another M&M claim that their believers cling to without evidence as a means of dismissing all other hockey sticks whether or not they’ve used tree rings or even PCA.

    McIntyre may (I repeat may, as in might) have some facility with statistics, but neither he nor McKitrick are paleoclimatologists and as M&W’s fatally flawed 2010 paper has shown, the science background is not optional.

  17. Chek: it’s interesting certain people put so much trust in one person who makes a claim without being able to show the data, eh.

    Moreover, interested readers of the Wegman report will not that Von Storch & Zorita (2005) is in the reference list, but not discussed at all. All that while they actually criticised the red noise claim by M&M…you’d think Wegman actually was supposed to check the validity of the M&M criticism, and would thus take vS&Z into account and discuss that paper.

  18. Well, it could be that McIntyre is the one who has really opened a Pandora’s box here for himself and McKitrick…..I will not elaborate, but rather let curious minds decide where this could lead for M&M (now is that McIntyre and Morano, or McIntyre and McKitrick? How about “3M” (McI, McK and Morano)?).

    And to think that he has told his readers that he has allegedly been the victim of bullying….ironic then that he is now the very real bully on the block, and he is being cheered on by his merry and uncritical gang of bandits.

    McIntyre does not have a case against Bradley, and he is desperately grasping at straws…..oops, he just pulled the shortest one ;) But I doubt that he will stop here…just look at all the attention this bad behavior is getting him…..

    So we have Wegman misleading Congress and now McIntyre harassing scientists, yet again. I would like to know exactly what role McIntyre and McKitrick had in the soliciting and drafting of the WR (e.g., did they provide Wegman the fudged Fig. 4.5 which was digitized and modified from the IPCC?). So all correspondence between 3M and Barton staffers and Wegman and others involved please….McIntyre after all assures us that he has nothing to hide, and is very much an advocate of transparency and accountability.

    Do people really go through what McIntyre is doing (selling his soul, ruining his reputation) with no incentive? Perhaps he is trying to paint himself as a heroic martyr knowing that the writing is on the wall…..or maybe he is obsessed…or maybe there is much more to this than meets the eye that will make for one heck of a book one day.

    History is going to be (quite rightly) most unkind to McIntyre and McKitrick.

    Oh and folks, don’t feed the punk troll….

  19. Marco @19,

    Isn’t there evidence that Wegman simply cut and pasted the reference list from someone else?

  20. Hello,

    You’re asking for it. So now I’m the guy who’s supposed to defend this brilliant guy who can’t write tables of content. Let’s hear him then.

    Here is one Foucault quote:

    > In the serious play of questions and answers, in the work of reciprocal elucidation, the rights of each person are in some sense immanent in the discussion. They depend only on the dialogue situation. The person asking the questions is merely exercising the right that has been given him: to remain unconvinced, to perceive a contradiction, to require more information, to emphasize different postulates, to point out faulty reasoning, and so on. As for the person answering the questions, he too exercises a right that does not go beyond the discussion itself; by the logic of his own discourse, he is tied to what he has said earlier, and by the acceptance of dialogue he is tied to the questioning of other. Questions and answers depend on a game—a game that is at once pleasant and difficult—in which each of the two partners takes pains to use only the rights given him by the other and by the accepted form of dialogue.

    Here is another one:

    > The polemicist , on the other hand, proceeds encased in privileges that he possesses in advance and will never agree to question. On principle, he possesses rights authorizing him to wage war and making that struggle a just undertaking; the person he confronts is not a partner in search for the truth but an adversary, an enemy who is wrong, who is armful, and whose very existence constitutes a threat. For him, then the game consists not of recognizing this person as a subject having the right to speak but of abolishing him as interlocutor, from any possible dialogue; and his final objective will be not to come as close as possible to a difficult truth but to bring about the triumph of the just cause he has been manifestly upholding from the beginning. The polemicist relies on a legitimacy that his adversary is by definition denied.

    The first quote precedes the other one here:

    http://www.foucault.info/foucault/interview.html

    Welcome back,

    w

    Warning: Surfing in http://www.foucault.info/ can make you think.

    Welcome back,

    • Obviously there is precious little communication taking place in the climate wars… Most discourse is polemical due to the nature of the issue, although I do believe it is possible to achieve real understanding if people are open and honest. People fear openness and honesty because the expose the self to attack by those not really interested in communication. I’ve (cough) even engaged in a few polemics myself. I know better but it’s hard to live up to the ideals of rational reciprocal communication in this matter because of many obstacles, such as different levels of knowledge and due to the mind-cage of ideology.

      Sent from my iPhone

    • I thought your first post was spot on and possessed a very subtle jab about the issue of independence… Too subtle, perhaps, for the average engineer/programmer/auditor, used as s/he is to instrumental reasoning, to clear-cut notions of right/wrong black/white widget fits / doesn’t fit. When you tunnel through mountains and design / build spacecraft or tall buildings or design code for a living, you develop a different mind set than that of a pure scientist – or a philosopher – about how the world works and your personal agency within it.

      Sent from my iPhone

  21. Actually here is a minor nit: the title is either wrong, or a clever word-play.

    It is hard for only one of two things to not be like the other…

    • Well, I suppose but I do so love the Sesame Street song! And I simply HAD to use my Foucault/Uncle Fester image to reference Wegman/Bradley so I went for it!

      Sent from my iPhone

  22. The fallacious, politicized Wegman Report is old news. What’s really troubling and worthy of discussion is the Climate denialism plank of the Tea Party’s extreme libertarian populist platform. Bordman of NYT pulls no punches in this article about it just posted today:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/us/politics/21climate.html?_r=1&hp

    Now that GHG emissions control and reduction has emerged onto the national agenda, thanks in no small part to Obama Admin., a significant minority of the US electorate is responding in a manner that is disturbing and discouraging. But I don’t think anyone should be particularly surprised at this response; we’ve been talking for decades about the enormous scale and difficulty of de-carbonizing the global energy economy.

  23. The following is somewhat OT:

    Politics is about the creation, allocation, and exercise of power. Who exercises power in US government was amply demonstrated in the federal government’s response (particularly communications about) to the Deepwater Horizon oil calamity, in this Congress’s treatment of cap and trade legislation, and in the corporate-mediated astroturf organizing and funding strategies underlying populist opposition to climate action and alternative energy.

    A way forward? Focus on ensuring that voters under 35 and over 65 understand how so much of our national politics and international policies orbit around the demand for and growing scarcity of oil realities with, say, the sobering assessments found in today’s release of the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2010.

    Oh, and advocate for statehood for Puerto Rico and District of Coumbia!

  24. Sloop: taht’s all well and good, but you need to be aware that unlike almost everything else, the Wegman report and its inter-related activities are really *actionable*: they have consequences, and if you backtrack from my SSWR into the earlier CCC, you will find a matrix of funders vs organizations., pp.93-95.

    1) The Kochs are the big funders behind AFP and FreedomWorks, the two fronts especially behind the Tea Party.

    2) The Kochs are REALLY big funders of George Mason University (Wegman & Said), GMU’s Institute for Humane Studies, and Mercatus. The also help out CEI, one fo the two thinktanks heavily involved in the leadup to the Wegman report.

    3) Richard Mellon Scaife funds CEI, GMI (the other involved in the leadup), GMU and GMU entities CMPA, InstHUmn, Mercatus, and STATS.

    4) So, why do you want the conversation to go off into multiple other topics that are fine, but not obviously actionable?

  25. “No serious statistician has been found to back Mann.”

    Punksta’s claim has been echoed in different forms by many others who, like Punksta, know nothing at all about statisticians.

    In fact, many serious statisticians have noted weaknesses of the Wegman report, and the fact that Mann’s basic results have proved robust as they were replicated with newer data and steadily improving methods. For example, here is the American Statistical Association’s Amstat News reporting on a congressional briefing by statistician Richard North, sponsored by ASA and 12 other science organizations:

    “Addressing the hockey stick controversy—a critique of the statistical methods in the 1998–1999 analysis of Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes showing the temperature time series from tree ring proxy data having a hockey stick shape—Smith said subsequent authors showed the basic hockey stick shape to be valid. He illustrated this using the “principal components analysis,” in which the hockey stick shape emerges as one includes higher components, which are necessary for proper application of this technique.”

    http://magazine.amstat.org/blog/2010/07/01/congbriefingclim710/

  26. MapleLeaf :Marco @19,
    Isn’t there evidence that Wegman simply cut and pasted the reference list from someone else?

    Nah. Just evidence that they likely never read most of those papers and perhaps received the list as background-reading from someone else.

  27. John Mashey,
    The state has a vested interest in promoting climate alarmism, since this means it can increase taxes and other controls over society – a socialist’s wet dream. And the money the state spends on climate science (almost all on alarmism), utterly dwarfs anything the fossil fuel interests spend. The mainstream alarmist ‘consensus’ is just a reflection of the common source of funds, applied so as to to promote the interests of the funder. And we see in Climategate just how litte importance the socialist advocacy-driven IPCC cadre gives to honesty, openness and integrity.

    The existence of handful of liberty-minded politicians does not alter the fact that, by and large – for the millions employed by the state – their career propspects and ideological preferences are advanced by increased socialism feeding off climate alarmism (using the money taxed from the very people they are trying to influence).

    • Punksta — you need a bit of education before you use terms like “socialism” and discuss the interests of “the state” and make claims about funding for climate science. You make yourself look incredibly foolish. Go ahead though – you only reveal how little you really understand.

  28. I’m not dismissing your work or conclusions John Mashey. And recent MSM press coverage of the Koch’s (They fund the PBS show Nova too!) political initiatives is a welcome development. But beyond that what are the actions that stem from rehashing the Wegman Report on-line, other than Academic Press/Elsevier suing him? Congressional Hearing to re-assess the politically motivated attacks upon credible scientists? That would be something worth pursuing. But who will call for such a hearing if the House goes Republican on Nov. 2?

    Finally, if this discussion devolves into arguing with denialists (paid or simply unhinged), it is just not very enlightening or insightful.

    Having said that, I personally find Punksta’s diatribes both delusional and deeply offensive given my close ties with US ocean/coastal management and science communities.

  29. Punksta, the state has an interest in not doing anything about climate change that is just as big if not bigger than the interest in your hoax-theory. That’s why nothing serious is being done. That’s why no one will talk about the elephant in the room: the neoclassical economic concept of infinite exponential growth (which is physically impossible, as we increasingly start to notice).

    If you want to be a real conspiracy theorist, you’ll have to think much harder and not fall for the hidden corporate propaganda. The real conspiracy is 180 degrees from what you think it is.

  30. Marco @32,

    Exactly. It seems that Wegman did not even draft/write the reference list. Either that or he deliberately padded it. Neither action speaks to acceptable scientific conduct.

  31. She, sorry but I have to object to a minor point of yours.

    I reject the implication that Joe Barton is a fool and a bastard as a consequence of his involvement with the oil industry. Barton is a fool and a bastard. That’s all.

    There are decent and thoughtful people in the oil industry, just as there are decent and thoughtful people writing government reports. The energy industry is an odd beast, like most human institutions. Like most human institutions, it contains and concerns a very wide variety of humans. Dehumanizing the energy industry is not helpful; it makes enemies of very powerful interests.

    The energy concerns know we are hypocrites and demand energy while blaming them for everything at every turn. This doesn’t encourage them to engage. Of course, some people in the energy business are directly threatened by restraints on greenhouse gas emissions, and some of them will behave irresponsibly. But if we make it at all, we will still need energy, and the energy sector as a whole will do fine. They realize that as well as anybody. Slapping an “enemy” icon on anybody with any connection to the energy sector is a very bad idea, for the same reasons that other forms of prejudice are.

    The rest of the piece is insightful and helpful, thanks. Sorry I had to gripe.

    • HI, Michael:

      I pointed to the links between Barton and the fossil fuel industry not to demonize the industry but to point out the conflict of interest Barton and the industry are in when it comes to the issue of global warming and GHGs. It’s a fundamental problem in the political system and is key to understanding why there has been so little real progress on clean energy and GHG control/reduction. This conflict of interest is a roadblock to Barton (and others) ability to be independent and objective about the issue of global warming. This conflict of interest is written into the very foundation of our political system. Understanding it is key to understanding and address global warming denial and moving forward to effect change. Certainly some individuals in the fossil fuel industry have acted in ways that will one day may be deemed criminal by those who face the worst effects of global warming, but at this point, they are only acting in accordance with the laws that govern the corporation — maximize share value and shareholder return.

      We all are heavily reliant on fossil fuels in this globalized industrial economy – fossil fuels are incredibly cheap and concentrated sources of energy that underpin everything and are responsible for pretty much all the progress we have made in almost every walk of life since coal and oil were first developed. Getting off reliance on fossil fuels or onto alternative clean energy, or even developing clean fossil fuel sources will be a huge undertaking, will require huge amounts of capital investment and coordination of effort not seen in our societies since WWII and its aftermath. It is entirely natural for the fossil fuel industry and those reliant directly on it for their livelihood, given the economic and political system we have, to resist this change, to try to forestall change, to question the science, to work to preserve the status quo.

      However, if we do not fight this natural tendency, if we do not address the inherent conflicts of interest in our political economic system, we face the consequences.

      I don’t have the answers on how to do this. It’s a heck of a lot bigger than any one of us. I’m here because I feel it is the biggest challenge facing humanity and I want to do my little part, whatever that part might be.

  32. Sloop: you need to read SWSR *much* more carefully, esp. p.34.

    Of the 30:
    Items 1-4 involve other people.

    For the ones in the middle, it is quite possible that Wegman, Said will lose jobs and Said, Sharabati, Rezazad may face revocation of PhDs. If GMU does not handle this well (and so far, they have handled it in the worst conceivable way, well, maybe beyond conceivable), they may well have a rougher accreditation next Spring.

    If you are unfamiliar with the Office of Research Integrity (ORI), you really, really should study up on them. That’s items 15 and 25.

    Once again, Lewis Carroll helps:

    “Beware the JabberwORI, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!”

    No university in its right mind messes with ORI… and DHHS is GMU’s biggest external research funder. ORI has teeth. See debarment.

  33. Sloop:
    Oops, I forgot.
    While I’d prefer to have the House, there is always the DoJ…

    MapleLeaf:
    One must make a distinction between Wegman, who is ultimately responsible for the WR, and what Wegman himself did. (Everybody): SSWR A.11.2, Said’s 2007 talk, is really a source of great information (which is probably why it suddenly disappeared in August and was edited out of the seminar record :-)), but have no fear…
    See slide 4 on SSWR p.91. Much (perhaps most) of their material came through (Barton staffer) Peter Spencer. Where did he get it? Inquiring minds would like to know, since helpers might just fall under 18USC371 or 18USC4, eventually.
    I speculate that most of he WR bibliography was actually put together by SAid, for reasons given in SSWR.

  34. I love it when deniers like Punksta expatiate on the Medieval Warming Period and the Vikings frolicking in sunny Greenland. There is no historical or archaeological evident for their extravagant claims. For example, Lord Monckron once claimed that the graveyard at Havlsey church (Greenland) was buried in permafrost – which it could not have been (he asserted) when the bodies were interred. Not only is Havlsey Church not in permafrost, it is sinking into the clay!

  35. Thanks for clarifying John.

  36. shewonk :
    However, if we do not fight this natural tendency, if we do not address the inherent conflicts of interest in our political economic system, we face the consequences.
    I don’t have the answers on how to do this. It’s a heck of a lot bigger than any one of us. I’m here because I feel it is the biggest challenge facing humanity and I want to do my little part, whatever that part might be.

    You hit the nail on the head, shewonk. It’s the economic system that is at the root of most, if not all, problems. That’s because its basis is the neoclassical concept of unending, unlimited, exponential growth (which physical laws make impossible). To make that work you need corporation to be like it is. And you also need to brainwash culture to get everybody involved in overproducing and overconsuming, and not wanting to know about limits, material or ethical.

    Some people have some of the answers to this huge problem, this existential problem on the collective human level. But that’s why it is so important to get most of the attention on this root problem and not the symptoms (like AGW, peak oil, resource wars, food and water scarcity). The more people perceive what the root problem is, the easier it will be for solutions to start presenting themselves. A problem can only be solved when it is fully understood. In fact, as soon as it’s fully understood, it is automatically solved.

    All I can do for the moment is direct people to the work of CASSE (the Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy). It is an excellent starting point.

    Sorry, didn’t mean to preach, but I truly believe that the key, the first step to solutions is getting the problem of economic growth (and how it is measured) to feature more prominently on the map.

  37. Whatever the truth about climate, the promoting of alarmism furthers the interests of socialism/statism – the idea that society should be run on the basis of the state dictating how our lives shold be run (coercion). This is the polar opposite of the idea of freedom/liberty, where we make our own decisions about our own lives as much as possible (consent).

    Alarmism gives the state an excuse to raise taxes, social controls and bureaucracies. That’s why the untold billions of our taxes they pour into climate science is virtually all allocated to scientists and projects that promote alarmism. They’re spending some of our tax money in an attempt to get and excuse to spend even more. And the scientists on the fundwagon just love it.

  38. Over at ClimateAudit there is an email from Bradley that shows what is at the bottom of the plagiarism issue. Lacking anything resembling a real answer to the Wegman report that shows what a crock the Hockey Stick stats are, Bradley wants Wegman to withdraw the entire report because of the plagiarism.

    If was was truly upset about the plagiarism, he’d just ask for the report to have the due references added (and he doesn’t mention his own plagiarism of Fritt). That would be the professional thing to do. But instead, it’s dishonesty and deviousness as ususl from the state-funded alarmist camp.

  39. Neven,
    The only conspiracy theorists around are those who say that state-funded science is objective.

    This is the Angelic Conspiracy, the notion that even though the state will (like any organization) act primarily in its own interest when allocating science funds, those scientists so selected will ignore their and their employer’s interests and ideology, and put honesty, truth and objectivity above them. Simply laughable. See eg the Bradley email just mentioned, and of course Climategate.

    • Well, Punk, since you claim expertise in understanding the ins and outs of science funding, please tell us all about the science funding process. Please provide us with concrete evidence that shows all government funded science is suspect, rather than just assertions. What percentage of all funding to science is from government? What percentage is from private funders? What is the evidence that shows government funded science is less objective? Are you dismissing all science that is government funded or received any government funds? As to science that receives non-government funding, are there any issues with objectivity and bias in those works?

      Note that these aren’t rhetorical questions – they are questions that you should be able to answer, given your proclaimed expertise in this matter.

    • Un-freaking-believable. Can Rapp actually read his own posts and not cringe? I’m cringing after reading them! My God, but the hubris… And his insistence that he needs to know the name and credentials of those who question him — what BS! Just a diversionary tactic. He never answers directly, just skirts around issues, asserting his expertise and prevaricating. Words fail.

  40. Erratum: Donald Rapp.

    Nota bene: read the whole exchange between him and Bernard J.

  41. Ah, but Susann, he did provide us with the eternal gem that Tim Curtin is a distinguished climatologist…

    Hilarious!

  42. Mr. Mashey,

    I haven’t read the “SWSR”, let alone read it more carefully. What I need to be reading is the pile of material I acquired from a climate adaptation workshop I attended this week. What I really need to do is continue to dialog with the officials from other states who are working on how to provide the tools, data, and grant funding to municipalities to help them begin implementing adaptation strategies for protecting roads from sea level rise, developing and executing natural hazard mitigation plans, to identifying salt marshes that face inundation and have no room to migrate inland, among many other issues and needs.

    Debates over the intentional distortions of paleoclimatology and global weather data networks by ideologues and reactionaries have little to do with the real work on climate mitigation and adaptation t is happening in the US at all levels of government. Folks like ‘punksta’ may think they’re getting somewhere by attacking geoscientists such as Mann, Schmidt, Bradley, etc. They’re not. They’re stuck in a dead end. They’ve lost the debate utterly, and never really argued the debate in any effective manner given how they’ve paid no attention to all the other more significant lines of evidence that are piling up. Their knowledge of environmental and life sciences is feeble and often laughable. My governmental colleagues (incl. those in the independent and private sectors) of course encounter such voices in public hearings etc., but they’re fringe elements with no real impact, . . . at least in New England! Nevertheless the federal agencies are starting to include info in climate training modules and education materials on how to respond effectively in public fora to denialist ideologues. It may not seem likely now given how the Republican Party has been hijacked by extreme libertarians, but I truly believe their 15 mins of fame are ending, along with any serious impact they may have on policy development and execution.

    Don’t get me wrong, your work John Mashey is appreciated, along with those of DC, Desmog blog and others. I applaud you and encourage you to pursue your goals relentlessly. But let’s too keep an eye on the big picture before us right now, as well as the scientific and technical needs to actually prepare for our Common Future, especially in blogs focused on climate policy. Eg., shewonk’s response to punksta re: science funding processes is a fruitful line of thought to pursue. One point on that: many outside of the science community fail to realize that the value systems of scientists for the most part are different from many other sectors of capitalist societies in that the pursuit of truth is held in higher esteem than the pursuit of material wealth and possessions, or socio-economic power. That is why Mashey has a point about how seriously GMU may have to take the accusations of plagarism and distortions of the Wegman Report just to preserve its reputation as an academic institution. It sure looks like its authors have committed a cardinal sin in the world of academia.

    Similarly, last spring’s article by the Boston Globe’s Beth Daley discussing the friendship between Emmanuel and Lindzen included a statement by Lindzen to the effect that Emmanuel had told him he wanted to pursue research on the possible impacts of climate change on hurricane frequency and severity because grant funding for climate science had been growing. Daley did not seem to have pursued confirmation of such an inflammatory statement and just went with it, possibly not realizing how serious an accusation that was for one scientist to make of another. And then she and her editor seemed puzzled about the huge outcry by Romm re: that article on Climate Progress.

  43. I can’t resist a little poke at here at D. Rapp. Going to his web site one finds the following topical description of a 2006 presentation: “The crazy NASA emphasis on the search for life on Mars that is almost certainly going to end in failure”.

    Yet in the WUWT dialogue Willard refer us to, in talking about his career DR refers glowingly to all his work with NASA. Wonder how NASA folks really think of this person? Let me guess: CRANK.

    To say nothing about his forays into public sector economics.

    Here’s a good example of how even folks who score high on IQ tests are more than capable of getting it completely wrong. I’ll talk my average IQ leavened with a little common sense and humility over mensa-threshold IQ scores any day.

  44. Shewonk
    No rocket science is needed here. The state obviously funds climate science to a huge degree – all the academia, modellers, etc etc. (I would guess the state spends a billion or more for each million the oil industry spends – I’ll try and look into this more though).

    Now the state will obviously disburse this in a way it prefers. And since the state’s own interest lies in DAGW being believed – since this will justify tax increases and other social controls and bureaucracies – its grants will tend to favour funding those science projects that seem most likely to provide DAGW conclusions. No explicit conspiring is needed, it is just natural behaviour for an organisation to act in its own interest.

    (Indeed, you would need explicit conspiring for this to NOT happen. Especially in the increasingly totalitarian political mood of our day (ie more state controls on everything and everyone seen as ‘progressive’) ).

    This is just the Funding Effect in Science – which of course applies to private fundng as well. In this respect, tobacco-funded science claiming that smoking poses no health risks, is like politically-funded climate science claiming political expansion is needed – the science is saying exactly what the funder wants to hear.

    It’s not quite so cut and dried or simple – obviously there are a few state-funded DAGW skeptics, just as there were probably a few tobacco-funded smoking alarmists. But in such situations, we should at the very least be on guard about the accepting an apparent consensus that favors the funder.

    • ETA

      No rocket science is needed here.

      You’re right, Punk, it takes little brain matter to talk out of your a#$.

      You claim that the government spends untold billions on climate science in order to expand social control, increase taxes and bureaucracies and that federally funded scientists find exactly what the federal government wants it to say. Let’s break down your argument into its constituent parts:

      (1) The state (2) spends untold billions on climate science (3) in order to expand its control over society, in order to increase tax revenues, and in order to increase bureaucracies and that (4) federally funded scientists find exactly what the federal government wants it to find.

      (1) – please define and provide examples of “the state”. For example, what is “the state”? Who is “the state”? How does “the state” fund science R&D?

      (2) – of all state funding, how much goes to climate change?

      (3) – show how federal funding of science leads to greater social control, tax revenue and bureaucracy. Provide concrete examples.

      (4) You claim that state funding leads to science saying exactly what the funder wants it to hear. How does this apply to other sciences besides climate science? Research shows that the federal government spends more money on the physical sciences than it does on environmental sciences. How do the federally funded physics researchers tell the feds what it wants to hear? What do the feds want to hear about dark matter? Or stellar mechanics? Or the evolution of globular clusters? But even in environmental sciences, how does the state’s interest get translated into its funding of, say, vulcanology? What are the vulcanologists supposed to find in their research in order to say exactly what the funder, “the state”, wants to hear?

      How does its funding of vulcanology lead to increased social control? Tax revenues? Bureaucracies?

      I’m dying to learn.

      But just to give you some ammo, here’s a few stats as they relate to funding of R&D in the US:

      Overall, the Federal Government spent $147B on R&D, spread out over its agencies, including Defense ($81.6B = 55.5%), Health and Human Services ($30.4B = 20.7%), DOE ($10.6B = 7.2%), NASA ($10.4B = 7.0%) and the NSF ($4.8B = 3.3%), EPA ($0.5B = 0.3%). Most of the federal goverment’s funding of R&D went to defense and health / social services. Approximately 11% of all federal R&D $$ went to agencies where climate change might be studied, such as NASA, NOAA, etc. Most federal R&D dollars go to defense and health and human services.

      In FY 2009, funding for R&D at universities and colleges was $54.9B. Of that, federal and state share was $36.2B or 66%. Industry was responsible for $3.2B or less than 10% of the federal and state’s share of R&D funding. Industry funds very little R&D at universities and colleges.

      In 2008, the federal government gave industry more money for R&D than it gave to colleges and universities. Damn corporate welfare bums!

      Of the funding for R&D at Colleges and Universities, 59% went to the life sciences, including 34% of the total to medical research, 16% went to research in engineering, and 6% went to research on the environment. 6%!

      Industry spent $276B on R&D or almost twice as much as the federal government.

      As you can see, a pretty paltry amount of federal funding went to R&D on the environment.

      No matter how you slice it, environmental R&D is not a big priority for government. Hardly untold billions.

  45. Sloop: I would agree with you *except* I think you really need to recognize the machinery that has held the USA back incredibly for 20 years, able to ignore the science and many good people.

    1) I live in Portola Valley, a little town (~4500 people) just up the hill from Stanford, to which I often bike to hear climate or energy lectures. We have a LEED-Platinum Town Center, whose first two speakers were Amory Lovins and James Hansen. Our tiny professional town staff has a sustainability coordinator, but most of the efforts are volunteer, and my wife and I are both on that committee.

    2) I go to GCEP conferences, SF Bay Area local government workshops on sea-level rise, etc. I’ve helped 2 energy-efficiency-related companies get VC-funding and I’m on advisory boards for several more.

    3) I’m sure you are familiar with California’s role in moving forward, and Silicon Valley’s role within CA. Venture capitalists are thick on the ground right here (I can easily bike to Sand Hill Road).

    All it takes to stop a lot of things in their tracks is screwups in Washington, DC. All it takes to wipe out a promising {solar, wind, etc} company is having law-changes jiggle the rules around. [This is like Meg Whitman wanting to *defer* CA AB32 for one year ... that doesn't sound too bad, but the uncertainty *kills* investment. Washington treatment of PACE loans for building energy upgrades has messed that up pretty well, as I can attest from numerous meetings.] Of course, CA’s efforts to improve gas mileage were well-stymied by the Bush administration.

    So, while living right in the heart of one of the major centers of making progress, I think the Koch/Scaife/thinktank machine is a truly major impediment to making progress, and it will not just go away. Marginal whackoes are one thing, but the machine behind them is something else. In some ways, the USA is way behind some other places, for that reason alone.

  46. Punksta, you may want to look at climate research proposals sent to funding agencies. Then you can come back and show me where those research proposals claim political expansion is needed. You will find none. You will find research proposals that e.g. try to better estimate climate sensitivity. Rather than claiming political expansion, even implicitely, those REDUCE political expansion: less uncertainty is easier and thus less policy!

    Oh, and industry-funded research generally needs to be cleared by the industry itself before publication is allowed. That’s not the case for (most) government-funded research. Heck, why is Lindzen still publishing and hiring postdocs? It’s not like his conclusions fit “political expansion”…

  47. You cannot talk science with deniers, it doesn’t work.
    I think that Youtube videos might be the only solution. Here is Bill Maher talking on climate change. Listen to him..

  48. Don’t go confusing the issue with actual facts and figures, SW.

    There is no other phrase that echoes around in the crania of the slack-jawed with such a glorious, symphonicly resonant, meaningless thrill than “untold billions”. With the possible exception of “literally trillions”. They buy that one in an instant too.

    Putting it in context with the amount spent on, say, make up or sports leisure clothing and equipment is also frowned upon, because even the innumerate and financially illiterate can more or less grasp that. Who would have guessed at all the untold billions spent there?

  49. Marco,

    Research that says we have DAGW, implicitly argues for political expansion. As such the politically-funded ‘consensus’ argues for political expansion.

    Better estimates of climate sensitivity, less uncertainty – clearly a good thing – do not reduce (or increase) the argument for political expansion. It depends on what this improved accuracy says is the case.

    Yes, it’s not a iron-clad rule – there are indeed a few politically funded skeptics that dare to argue against the interests of their paymaster – the state. I would not care for their career prospects though, at least the ones less emiment than Lindzen.

  50. Wrong, Punksta, any and all increase in precision in the climate sensitivity area will reduce political expansion. You see, as long as uncertainty is high, the prevention-approach requires one to take the worst-case scenario, not the average scenario. Thus, unless climate sensitivity is actually above the current range (2-4.5 degrees per doubling), we would not have to take the 4.5+ (yes, more than 4.5 degrees) as starting point in policy development.

    And please point us to any research proposal that claims “DAGW”. You see, research proposals don’t contain a description of what the precise outcome will be. They contain a question that needs to be answered, which often, in terms of “DAGW” is “is climate change a potential cause of [insert problematic observation] ?”

    Not that I would expect you to understand. You clearly have not written or reviewed even a single research proposal in your life, nor have you ever been involved in policy development.

  51. Sloop, while there is much to appreciate in what you write, the responses you are describing are adaptations, and one cannot adapt to a moving train. Unfortunately, climate disruption is a problem where procrastination penalties tend toward infinity, and where mitigation requires global action, and global action, of course, requires policy changes and political agreement. The bureaucracy will not save us, try as it might.

  52. Punksta: You unwittingly make a good point when you say:

    Whatever the truth about climate, the promoting of alarmism furthers the interests of socialism/statism – the idea that society should be run on the basis of the state dictating how our lives shold be run (coercion). This is the polar opposite of the idea of freedom/liberty, where we make our own decisions about our own lives as much as possible (consent).

    OK. So come up with a science-based political solution that doesn’t involve coercion. How about a flat tax on carbon which is 100% redistributed back through the tax system to consumers, meaning that market-based decisions become the primary mechanism for reducing carbon. Who wants to buy the more expensive carbon-intensive product, when they could buy something for less? There is plenty of free choice in this model for everyone, and not a lot for the state to do.

    By allowing your political views to dictate the science, you and the rest of the political right have abrogated your much needed position in the debate on how we deal with the probable consequences of what we doing to our atmosphere and to our climate. Accepting the science doesn’t mean you have to join “big socialist” take-over-the-universe mega conspiracy, you know.

  53. Shewonk

    I like your generalisation that “All government reports are biased towards their commissioners’ viewpoints” (my paraphrasing).

    Can you now apply this to the climategate investigations? Or does it only apply to reports counter to your viewpoint?

    • Hey, Luke:

      Here is my quote:

      I give most government reports about as much credit as they deserve — and the amount of credit depends on how close to the political action the players are. Wegman is no different.

      Here’s your paraphrase:

      All government reports are biased towards their commissioners’ viewpoints

      In other words, I did not claim that “allgovernment reports are biased towards their commissioners’ viewpoints”.

      Quit putting words in my mouth. Your paraphrasing skills suggest you need to spend some time reading guidelines on how to do research and write reports.

  54. Eli Rabett :
    Sloop, while there is much to appreciate in what you write, the responses you are describing are adaptations, and one cannot adapt to a moving train. Unfortunately, climate disruption is a problem where procrastination penalties tend toward infinity, and where mitigation requires global action, and global action, of course, requires policy changes and political agreement. The bureaucracy will not save us, try as it might.

    In my earlier comments, in referring a bit on the fly to some recent climate adaptation work I’ve been involved with, I did not intend to delve into the discussion of: mitigation and adaptation, which to emphasize? It’s a good question, but probably not particularly crucial to answer from one perspective at least: Executive agencies (the “bureaucracy”) have to take a two-fold approach: mitigate and adapt. Natural resource or water quality managers are responsible for protecting certain existing, tangible values, whether that is trying to reduce cultural eutrophication of natural waters and the resultant anoxia/hypoxia (which may be exacerbated by increasing temps in estuarine waters, with most of the annual average temp increase occurring in the winter), conserve an endangered or threatened species, or maintain the existing values of a wildlife refuge or marine sanctuary, or protect riverine communities from increased flooding risk. In that sense adaptation is the primary approach for many.
    Part of the problem we face is: who speaks for the atmosphere? Similar to the problem we still face with ocean management in that beyond the continental slopes, all ocean resources are of a commons. The atmosphere is the ultimate commons resource in that its even harder to set boundaries (and define ownership) than even the oceans.
    But your point Eli is well-taken: Except for a few courageous, determined folks such as EPA’s Lisa Jackson, state and federal executive agencies will not be the source of the national and global leadership needed to meet head-on the challenges inherent to substantial, rapid cut-backs in GHG emissions globally.
    But, how well strategies are executed can contribute to the development of political consensus around challenging societal and economic goals. Clumsy, incompetent execution of a law diminishes support for its purpose and intended benefits, and inhibits “policy learning” over time. The interplay between legislative and executive branches at the federal and state level unfolds in recognition that the politics of policy setting goes far beyond what bills are voted on and passed. It entails execution and agency budgeting, for starters.
    If one accepts that heading off imminent climate disruption will require leadership from public sector (starting with elected leaders) and the international community, then how well government works or functions becomes a critical concern as it seeks to establish priorities, build consensus among competing interests, fund the needed science and analysis, regulate energy markets, invest in socio-economic resilience, etc.

    Yes, focus on the politicians, but keep in mind the US has 3 branches of government that share power equally, and many many in the executive branch have been in the trenches on this issue for a long time. They could be doing better too!

  55. Shewonk:

    You claim that the government spends untold
    billions on climate science in order to expand social control, increase taxes and bureaucracies and that federally funded scientists find exactly what the federal government wants it to say.

    It’s not as planned or exact as that. It’s more that any organisation – including a government – will naturally try to act in its own perceived best interests. As such, any funding of science it does will also tend to be done in a way thought to best serve its own interests.

    please define and provide examples of “the state”. For example, what is “the state”? Who is “the state”?

    I’m pretty sure we all already have a good sense of what the state is – you and I need to negotiate with others to achieve our ends through mutual agreement, whereas the state unilaterally imposes its will through force.

    But to be formal, the state is the agency with a monopoly on the legal use or threat of proactive violence, in a geographical area.

    Much political debate regards what issues should be dealt with through consent – peer-to-peer social cooperation by citizens (aka liberty) – versus what issues should be dealt with by coercion – the imposition of aggressive force by the state, crushing the objections of dissenters (aka socialism). DAGW is a good example where force/socialism could be thought justified as being the only answer.

    How does “the state” fund science R&D?…

    By coercion – the imposition of taxation, and then giving money to science projects and people it likes.

    of all state funding, how much goes to climate change?

    Not sure. Beside the point here though – which is : the relative size of state versus fossil-fuel industry spending.

    show how federal funding of science leads to greater
    social control, tax revenue and bureaucracy. Provide concrete examples.

    Where such science appears to justify an increase in political action, an expansion of the state. eg ‘Green’ taxes and regulation.

    How do the federally funded physics researchers tell the feds what it wants to hear? What do the feds want to hear about dark matter …stellar mechanics…globular clusters… vulcanology? … How does its funding of vulcanology lead to increased social control? Tax revenues? Bureaucracies?

    These do not seem to have obvious political implications, and would hence not be vulnerable to political manipulation as climate science is.

    And as regards stats on spending, you missed out the only important one for our present purposes : how much $$ does the state spend on climate science, versus how much $$ does the fossil-fuel industry spend?
    I would hazard a guess the former is between 1000 and 10000 times larger than the latter. Which suggests the alarmist ‘consensus’ is just the result of having a common and dominant funder with a clear vested interest in the outcome.

  56. Shewonk – thanks for your counter-blast. Remember though, you did also write that your own report was unbiased, “In other words, not your typical government paper.” If not the “all” of my paraphrase, then you’re implying many, perhaps if we take “typical” to mean simple majority then 51% plus.

    Snide comments about my report writing skills aside, you also expose the peculiar viewpoint that an academic paper or report (however well referenced) is “straight”. You might want to refresh yourself on the demarcation between positive and normative economics for example, before moving from the dismal science into the realm of sociology and social policy.

    So if we’re agreed that a ‘typical’ report is biased, how “close to the political action” were the writers of the various Climategate reports?

  57. Luke says “Shewonk – thanks for your counter-blast.”

    It’s not a ‘counter-blast’. You are a typical denier with reading comprehension problems. Curiously, these problems lead to you misinterpreting the positions of those you do not agree with.

    Are you really interested to sort out your beliefs on climate change? The whole denier-mantra is manufactured, simply to let coal/oil companies to keep polluting. And then you have people that are still ‘climate-curious’ being fooled by the PR machine and repeat the most non-nonsensical misinterpretations on climate science.

    Just in case someone is interested, you can peak (for free) inside Doubt is their Product at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J0P3IdSYO_MC

    Climate Cover-Up is also good,

    http://books.google.com/books?id=tQYjQzOkYK0C

  58. Freddy – I await Shewonk’s reply with interest. Yours on the other hand is a mindless rant.

    You assert that I’m a “typical denier” – please elaborate how you deduced that from my 2 posts. FYI I’m actually interested in the facts of climate change, not my nor anyone else’s “beliefs”.

    Thanks for restoring the bell-curve to this otherwise intelligent blog.

  59. Several fundamental errors in your rhetoric Punksta:

    Government is not an “it”. It is a network of competing interests functioning across multiple interacting scales of governance (local to international). Agencies and political factions compete intensely with other within the sphere of government.

    The idea that much political debate hinges upon whether to govern by consent or coercion does not reflect reality. Not a single permit, regulation, or law is ever issued without at least extensive opportunity for public inputs. Particularly in our pluralistic government, it is impossible for our society to constrain or encourage individual or collective behaviors without significant consent by the affected interests. Hence, you neglect the fact that much of what government does that you object to is because your fellow citizens have determined collectively that certain measures to protect public health, safety and welfare are necessary and beneficial. Thus I’d hazard a guess that in truth your problems are with your neighbors, not the phantom black helicopters you imagine in the sky.

    Finally, much of your political rhetoric completely neglects the fact that what we do today more than ever constrains the choices of future generations, a moral imperative that bears with extraordinary heaviness upon this era in American and global history.

    • Thanks for replying, Sloop — you did a bang-up job describing government as a social and political process rather than some kind of abstract god-like entity with a specified interest in getting one over on the individual as the Punk seems to think it is. As one who has both studied government and worked within it, I am familiar with how little the “state” exists except as an abstract concept in a high-level theory. In our pluralistic societies, governments really do rely on a degree of consent of the governed and there really is a great deal of conflict and negotiation betweeen competing interests. It just can’t coerce or impose at will on all matters. The talk of checks and balances on power is more than just talk. I’m one of the professional civil servant class, and have survived several changes of government. Believe me, political parties and politicians realize soon after election and taking office that they are not nearly as omnipotent as they might have once believed or imagined…

      That said, they certainly do aspire to and try to impose their agendas and see their will imposed and are sometimes more or less successful, depending on the forces in society, such as interest groups and stakeholders, aligned with or against them.

  60. Luke says “FYI I’m actually interested in the facts of climate change, not my nor anyone else’s “beliefs”.”

    If you are really interested in the facts, then it should be enough to read http://www.skepticalscience.com/
    and figure out the scientific facts on climate science.

    The whole debate by the deniers is manufactured. Read the books Doubt is their Product at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J0P3IdSYO_MC

    Climate Cover-Up at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=tQYjQzOkYK0C

    If you prefer watching to reading, watch (Astro) Turf Wars,

    http://astroturfwars.com/

    As I have seen written recently, you are “merely a foot soldier of the big corporations, doing their dirty work for free”.

  61. Freddy – pasting in links to Oreskes etc is the climate ‘wars’/debate equivalent of writing in caps.

    Please start your own blog so I can ignore your comments there.

  62. Luke says “pasting in links to Oreskes etc is the climate ‘wars’/debate equivalent of writing in caps”.

    I am saddened because none the above are work of Naomi Oreskes. You did not even try to click on the links!

    Naomi Oreskes wrote “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscure the Truth about Climate Change”. The book is available from

    http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

    There is a hour-long video of a talk by Naomi Oreskes on the subject of her book at

  63. D

    Punksta :Shewonk:

    DAGW.

    …and I’d only just gotten used to ‘C’-AGW (without ever knowing exactly to what the ‘C’ referred. It doesn’t appear in any of the literature. Catastrophic/communist/capricious/comedogenic/cytheromaniac/cumbent? Who is that assumes we all get the ad agency’s memo?

    So now we’re up to ‘D’ for … Damascene/decadent/droll/detumescent/dyspeptic/diddlysquat-AGW?

    Perhaps there’s to be a full set that can be collected and swapped and treasured.

  64. DAGW / CAGW
    refer to Dangerous / Catastrophic AGW

  65. Marco: …any and all increase in precision in the climate sensitivity area will reduce political expansion. You see, as long as uncertainty is high, the prevention-approach requires one to take the worst-case scenario, not the average scenario.

    There is no such “requiremnt”, since the higher the uncertainty, the less sense it makes. If we were (more) certain there is/isn’t DAGW, disussions like this wouldn’t even be happening, and policy would be clear.

    And please point us to any research proposal that claims “DAGW”

    There has been a steady state-funded drumbeat for ~20 years now saying we face DAGW, urging political action. The roots of this are in state-funded academia.

  66. Sloop:

    Government is not an “it”. It is a network of competing interests…

    That a whole has parts does not stop it being an “it”. Whatever competition there is between the parts, occurs under the aegis of the “it”. And all parts are of course competing to coerce us in some or other way, since that is the fundamental business of government.

    The idea that much political debate hinges upon whether to govern by consent or coercion does not reflect reality.

    Yes, and I said nothing like that. There can be no such thing as governing by
    consent – to govern is to deliberately sabotage consent. The debate I refered to was whether to govern/coerce, or whether to leave social relations to consent.

    Not a single permit, regulation, or law is ever issued without at least extensive opportunity for public inputs.

    That changes nothing. At best, a majority who agree, coerce everyone who does not agree. Majority tyranny.

    ..what we do today more than ever constrains the choices of future generations

    That blithlely assumes what you need to prove, ie DAGW.

    • That a whole has parts does not stop it being an “it”. Whatever competition there is between the parts, occurs under the aegis of the “it”. And all parts are of course competing to coerce us in some or other way, since that is the fundamental business of government.

      Punk, that sounds like the paranoid crackpot’s fantasyradical libertarian theory of the state.

      You don’t like the modern state? You can always go to Somalia, Chad or the Sudan which are “failed states”. Interestingly, those countries that were at the bottom of the list of “failed states” (Norway, Finland, Sweden) were at the top of the UN Human Development Index which is a measure of life expectancy, literacy and standard of living.

  67. Shewonk:

    I am familiar with how little the “state” exists except as an abstract concept in a high-level theory

    Try ignoring the diktats of this abstract concept in a high-level theory some time – eg not paying your taxes – and sooner or later real very men with very real guns will have you locked up in a very real prison.

    • Try ignoring the diktats of this abstract concept in a high-level theory some time – eg not paying your taxes – and sooner or later real very men with very real guns will have you locked up in a very real prison.

      Unless, of course, you’re EXXON, who actually had a negative federal tax bill due to massive tax breaks. You see, in all those failed states, EXXON has to pay huge tax bills and so the US government gives corporations like EXXON a huge break. All that money and EXXON pays not a cent of federal income tax.

      Riddle me this, Punk — how do you explain this, given how “the state” wants to screw over everyone’s liberty?

  68. It strikes me as distinctly odd, Shewonk, that you can sense that government and politics are self-serving, and say Wegman was politically bought in a sense, but claim that all the other scientists and others the govenment quite literally buys, are objective. Why is it you rate your fellow state-lackeys (including the Climategate crooks) so highly?

    • It strikes me as distinctly odd, Shewonk, that you can sense that government and politics are self-serving, and say Wegman was politically bought in a sense, but claim that all the other scientists and others the govenment quite literally buys, are objective. Why is it you rate your fellow state-lackeys (including the Climategate crooks) so highly?

      Punk, you understand governance in a very simplistic manner, and thus appear unable to grasp that there is no singular unified “state” with a coherent intent and motive. There are, as Sloop pointed out, many levels of government with different domains and powers, and within each level, many competing agencies and departments, and each has a number of competing stakeholders they must placate and consult, and each piece of policy or each program developed is the product of compromise, negotiation and the play of power. It’s just so much more than your simplified portrayal.

      As to Wegman, there is a vast difference between the day to day work of scientists at a government agency like NASA, with built-in rules and processes to prevent political interference (which can be ignored of course, as we saw with the attempt to interfere with James Hansen’s communication with the press on global warming) or in a university that receives government grants and the Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee appointing a statistician to write a report to “verify” M&M’s critique of Mann et. al. If you can’t see that, I don’t hold out much hope for your ability to discuss this matter rationally.

      It’s quite possible to talk of intents and interests and biases when it comes down to individual government actors and detail how they play out but to try to do it at the level you are working on — the state — becomes practically meaningless. It may get you points in discussions on politics with fellow libertarians to talk about “the state” in this way but not for those familiar with the way the actual governing process works.

  69. This of course isn’t an example of defying the state’s coercion, it’s an example of being ‘favoured’ by the state, in the sense that confiscation of wealth by the state is reduced or eliminated in some cases. Doubtless though the shareholders and employees and customers are all still taxed (income and sales taxes), so Exxon is still a great source of income for the state.
    Why the special treatment for Exxon? Perhaps all those taxes mentioned above.

  70. Shewonk, nothing you or Sloop have said alters much. You may well work for the state, but that does not give you any insight into its broader significance. Indeed, as with most state (or large corporation) employees, it may well be a hindrance, like a small child unable to see its parents’ flaws and true nature. It’s not that the concept of the state is “meaningless”, but rather that you have no substantive rebuttal (because there is none), and realise all too well what would happen if you unilaterally stopped paying taxes.

    The state does not have built-in rules to prevent political bias, it has built-in rules that virtually guarantee a pro-political/state bias. This is a consequence, not necessarily deliberate, of it deciding who does and who does not get funded. And clearly it will favour those scientists that favour it. The alleged gagging of Hansen is nothing compared to this systemic bias, impacting as it does on career prospects in the climatology industry.

    • You may well work for the state, but that does not give you any insight into its broader significance. Indeed, as with most state (or large corporation) employees, it may well be a hindrance, like a small child unable to see its parents’ flaws and true nature. It’s not that the concept of the state is “meaningless”, but rather that you have no substantive rebuttal (because there is none), and realise all too well what would happen if you unilaterally stopped paying taxes.

      Ah, Punk, but I started out as a student of state theory so I have both theory and experience to draw from. Direct experience, in other words, modifies one’s faith in the value of pure theory unschooled by direct experience.

  71. Shewonk – interuptions by warmtard Freddy might have stopped you from parsing my reply to your previous comment or you might just be ignoring it. Punksta has re-iterated my point in his final comment – why are you so sure that these government commissioned reports are objective? (If we diplomatically agree to accept that some (many?) such reports tend towards reflecting their political paymasters).

    Sloop’s slicing and dicing of Govt., interesting as it may be, is a kind of reductio ad absurdem. I could take the Cladist viewpoint and say there’s no such thing as fish when talking about declining fish stocks, but it wouldn’t really help the discussion.

  72. Yes, what’s the difference between govenment-funded “reports” and government-funded “science” (with government-funded “peer-reviewers”) ? They’re all just stooges really. It’s just that most people in government are ideologically predisposed to want more government, so there are more more-government stooges (aka the ‘consensus’) than less-government stooges.
    And it surely takes more integrity to want to reduce one’s benefactor than to grow it.

  73. Punka: DAGW / CAGW
    refer to Dangerous / Catastrophic AGW

    The Big Oil propaganda machine is probably brainstorming here.

  74. They’re the concepts deployed by the state progaganda machine.

  75. Luke: why are you so sure that these government commissioned reports are objective?

    All climate scientists agree on climate change. The doubt is manufactured by the Big Oil propaganda machine, in an effort to rake in more profits regardless of the pollution and effects on climate.

    The goal of Big Oil and the special interests is to delay action to save the climate. As they have done before, the way to do it is to create doubt on the science. Just like the tobacco industry delayed anti-smoking laws for over fifty years, Big Oil wants to delay laws on emissions. They do not care, it is like dumping toxic waste in the river.

    By the way, 100 million are estimated to have died from tobacco-caused illnesses in the last fifty years.

    The Astro (Turf) Wars documentary at

    http://www.desmogblog.com/astro-turf-wars-uncovered-new-undercover-documentary

    shows you the evidence.

    Are government-commissioned reports more objective than reports from the Heartland Institute? I think so. Check this one out,

    http://www.opposingviews.com/i/there-is-no-hole-in-the-ozone-layer

  76. Punksta: What’s your view on the parallels between what the tobacco industry did (and is doing) and what the Big Oil is doing on climate?

    If you search a bit, you will find that the tobacco industry a) funded ‘think tanks’ with innocuous names b) so that they find ‘scientists’ to manufacture doubt, c) would employ tricks to get ‘xyz thousands scientists think smoking is not bad’, d) organize events around the world to further doubt the health effects of smoking.

    Tobacco industry: want to continue selling their stuff without restrictions
    Big Oil: want to keep the economy stuck on fossil fuels so that their profits continue.

    The scientific questions have been answered. Big Oil and special interests are doing this just for their profits, regardless of the effects to the environment.

  77. Punksta: Why the special treatment for Exxon? Perhaps all those taxes mentioned above.

    Indeed, Exxon paid no taxes in 2009,

    http://thinkprogress.org/2010/04/06/exxon-tax/

    Is the government happy with the taxes for those who work for Exxon and those who have shares? Just like Exxon does not pay taxes, the same is the case for the biggest shareholders and all those who work outside the US.

    Exxon gets preferential treatment because of the lobbying efforts to the US government. Sort of legalized corruption.

  78. Punksta, I assume that in your view only the free and almost 100 year old “science” sold by The Fruitcake Farm Barn aka The Oregon Institute of Science & Medicine would be unimpeachable.

    Please tell us all about any other libertarian science in your diaspora and their publishing record (if any) and any impacts they may have had on the real world as used by real people.

    I’m not really expecting a long list.
    Or any list at all, to be honest.

  79. The relevant parallel here is between tobacco-funded findings on smoking, and state-funded findings on DAGW. In both cases, the science they fund promotes their own fortunes. What a surprise.

  80. You also need to remember that there is endemic dishonesty in the IPCC/alarmist camp, as was irrefutably shown in the Climategate leak. The lack of much criticism of this from mainstream climate scientists tells us they are just as corrupt/bought, and the whitewashing of Climategate by the relevant universities tells us the politicising and corruption reaches right up to the management level too. The tobacco-funded science scam is a storm in a teacup by comparison to state-funded alarmism.

  81. Well, there’s no arguing with fantasists.

    Come back when you can point to a body of “libertarian science” complete with objectively derived evidence that doesn’t freeload off honest taxpayers and their state lackeys.

  82. Punksta: The relevant parallel here is between tobacco-funded findings on smoking, and state-funded findings on DAGW. In both cases, the science they fund promotes their own fortunes. What a surprise.

    Oh, the irony.

    Let’s look at the ‘Heartland Institute’. If you are the industry and your product is not good for health or environment, you go to the Heartland Institute.

    Tobacco industry + Heartland Institute: http://www.heartland.org/suites/tobacco/
    CFC industry + Heartland Institute: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/there-is-no-hole-in-the-ozone-layer
    Fossil fuel industry + Heartland Institute: http://www.globalwarmingheartland.org/

    The Koch Industries owners fund the Heartland Institute: http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2010/08/27/koch-warming-hoax/

    If it is not clear yet, what you have is private industries and special interests are funding the denial and doubt. The private industries and special interests are also lobbying politicians (ALL but one republican candidates got dirty lobby money), which influence the government NOT to protect the people.

    So, it looks to me that it’s you, a concerned citizen, has been taken for a ride.

  83. So, Chek, your advice is that until we can find some untainted climate science, we’ll just pretend the current obviously tainted lot isn’t tainted. Whatever gets rid of troubling doubts, eh?

    And Freddy, if it is not clear yet, government is funding the climate alarmism in which it has a huge vested interest. And hugely outspending anyone else (using OUR money) – that is the only reason there appears to be a consensus…virtually all the money is coming from the same place. And a lot of scepticism is from private individuals who get no funds from anyone.

    Oh, and politics itself is inherently dirty and biased. You don’t really need to lobby too hard to get politicians and state employees to expand the scope of politics. It’s in their own interest, so they mostly do it all on their own.

  84. Punksta: And Freddy, if it is not clear yet, government is funding the climate alarmism in which it has a huge vested interest.

    I made the effort and provided links to three books and one documentary (investigative journalism) that support the dominant view, that industries and special interests create fake (astroturfing) grassroots outfits to spread doubt on the science. Their goal is to keep running their existing polluting business and rake in profits without cleaning up.

    What you are telling me is some vague world-wide conspiracy theory of governments to do what? Protect the environment? Reduce dependence of (imported) fossil fuels? Does your conspiracy theory make sense only when you read it at WTFUWT?

    The whole debate by the deniers is manufactured. Read the books Doubt is their Product at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J0P3IdSYO_MC

    Climate Cover-Up at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=tQYjQzOkYK0C

    If you prefer watching to reading, watch (Astro) Turf Wars,

    http://astroturfwars.com/

  85. Punksta:

    In both cases, the science they fund promotes their own fortunes. What a surprise.

    Funny. I remember most states with governments on all sides of the political spectrum arguing vehemently that it wasn’t happening until just a few years ago. You think they were arguing against their own interests? Certainly, by your argument they were. What do you think they can have been thinking then?

    And Freddy, if it is not clear yet, government is funding the climate alarmism in which it has a huge vested interest

    Would this be anything on the scale of the direct donations that political parties receive from oil companies? Most of the legislation that governments have actually submitted and proposed on climate change is so watered down to be effectively useless in reducing emissions, at least in the short-medium term. Why would governments be in such a way – why wouldn’t they be pushing for the strongest possible legislation? Isn’t this how they will cement their power? Your arguments for a grand socialist conspiracy simple don’t pan out.

    Also – and I state this again – your politics are deciding your views on the science.

    Come up with a conservative policy on carbon emission reductions which doesn’t increase coercion or government power, and I will support you 100%.

  86. No punksta, it is your a priori assumption that climate science is ‘tainted’, which in effect means that the science academies of every country advanced enough to have a science academy are also ‘tainted’.

    That you appear to believe that is so without any irony is, among other simplicities you also embrace, the reason I consider you a fantasist. So much so, you probably believe you came to your business-as-usual conclusions yourself through your own thought processes. Colour me less than impressed at that prospect.

  87. It’s amazing that Punksta can still claim the government funds climate science because its outcomes fits the purpose of said government, while at the same time the US government fights tooth and nails to prevent any regulation of CO2 emissions and/or puts control of that regulation mainly in the hands of the industry itself (cap-and-trade).

    Facts contradicting Punksta’s fiction. Are we surprised?

  88. Punksta has re-iterated my point in his final comment – why are you so sure that these government commissioned reports are objective? (If we diplomatically agree to accept that some (many?) such reports tend towards reflecting their political paymasters).

    I stand by what I wrote — I give most government reports the credit they are due and the credit is determined by how close to the political action the players are. This means I look at each report on its own merits and look at the following issues: what branch or level of government requested it? Who requested the report, are any processes and policies and procedures in place to ensure arm’s-length relationship between the researchers and the politicians? Is there a potential for conflict of interest? In other words, I don’t write off all government reports but I do give them a thorough review as I do all scientific reports, including those that are produced by non-government private or industry researchers.

    Sloop’s slicing and dicing of Govt., interesting as it may be, is a kind of reductio ad absurdem. I could take the Cladist viewpoint and say there’s no such thing as fish when talking about declining fish stocks, but it wouldn’t really help the discussion.

    Luke, no one is claiming there is no such thing as “government”, but to use the term “the state” the way you are is ham-fisted. It’s all well and good to talk about “the state” when you are in grad classes in political science, because what you do has absolutely no bearing or effect on anything except your grade. You can even write papers and submit them to academic journals and use “the state” at this high theoretical level and not much of anything will happen as a result except use up trees and space in library shelves.

    It’s entirely different when you have to actually do something that matters in the real world, like develop climate policy and programs. Using the concept of “the state” at such a high level of abstraction leads you nowhere because it is practically meaningless at the level of making policy and developing programs. You need much more concrete concepts to do that.

    If “the state” were truly such an omnipotent and coherent entity as you seem to imagine, there would be no conflict among the world’s governments or between levels of government within a society with regard to policy on any matter, since each and every state would have the same intents and interests and would be after the same goals, etc.

    If “the state” really were pushing DAGW in order to increase tax revenues, bureaucracies and social control, we would have had climate policy and programs written and enacted long ago around the world and global warming would be a non-issue. We don’t. Why? Because “the state” is a concept that has meaning only at the highest level of theory, and frankly, used often rhetorically to bolster a particular political perspective or make sweeping generalizations.

    In fact, only a more concrete understanding of governance of the kind Sloop described will allow us to understand why there is no overarching, coherent and unified climate policy and programs to mitigate global warming and adapt to climate change.

    The real world is messy. High-level abstract theory is always so pristine.

  89. Shewonk: High-level abstract theory is always so pristine.

    Again, if you’re struggling with theory and want a simple practical introduction, just stop paying your taxes and see what the ‘abstract’ state does next.

  90. Freddy
    Your “go away and read xyz and don’t come back until you agree with me” approach doesn’t sway me. Why not marhall some actual arguments? And start addressing the fact that the state is using our money to fund an idea that furthers its own interest. Of course if you are at the totalirian end of the political spectrum and just naturally appalaud more statism no matter what, just say so and we can take it from there.

  91. Duckster
    I do not mean to suggest that every member of the state thinks and acts identically. There are indeed variations – within limits – as in any organisation. And sometimes there is a change of mind.

    Why have governments latterly swung to a more alarmist position?
    They now more clearly see how it can benefit themselves – the state, the institution they believe in.

    Punksta: …government is funding the climate alarmism in which it has a huge vested interest.

    Duckster: Would this be anything on the scale of the direct donations that political parties receive from oil companies?

    No, it’s many orders of magnitude bigger.

    Why hasn’t effective climate legisation come to pass?
    They fear the electorate. The huge costs will become apparent, and people are already concerned with economic performance. Any many are beginning to question the orthodoxy that govenment propaganda has been steadily feeding us, following the revelation that mainstream climate science is deeply politicised/corrupt.

    “Come up with a conservative policy on carbon emission reductions which doesn’t increase coercion or government power, and I will support you 100%”
    Once convinced of the need, I’d look. I don’t think there is one though.

  92. Chek: …your a priori assumption that climate science is ‘tainted’

    It’s not an a priori assumption, it’s a documented fact. See Climategate. And the whole “Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it” attitude.

    And not only do the leading lights in the IPCC cadre hide code and data, delete evidence, work to sabotage peer review, etc etc, the bulk of the remainder of the climate industry have raised hardly a peep of criticism (privately, many may well be disgusted, but they cannot risk their careers in the state sector by not toeing the statist line). And the universities involved have simply whitewashed the affair with bogus ‘investigations’, their eyes clearly on their grant streams. The corruption is very deep indeed.

  93. Punksta :

    Shewonk: High-level abstract theory is always so pristine.

    Again, if you’re struggling with theory and want a simple practical introduction, just stop paying your taxes and see what the ‘abstract’ state does next.

    What does this statement of the obvious prove? Nothing except that one level of government has laws and regulations in place that govern the collection of personal income taxes, and specific powers that enable them to collect personal income taxes from those who refuse to pay. There are also laws and regulations forcing the same government to provide me as a citizen with certain rights and social, health and educational services paid for through those taxes.

    There is a very large leap from this to your paranoid theory of “the state” as some kind of villain out to screw over the individual.

    You know what Punk? I had all these arguments with undergrad students when I taught introductory social sciences and, well, frankly it bores me to tears. You’ve bashed on about “the state” and its interests long enough without adding anything substantive other than empty assertions.

    Unless you can pony up with some concrete evidence of the things you claim, please move on to something you can support.

  94. Punksta :

    Freddy
    Your “go away and read xyz and don’t come back until you agree with me” approach doesn’t sway me. Why not marhall some actual arguments? And start addressing the fact that the state is using our money to fund an idea that furthers its own interest. Of course if you are at the totalirian end of the political spectrum and just naturally appalaud more statism no matter what, just say so and we can take it from there.

    Why don’t you think for yourself instead of parroting the libertarian crap that passes as theory you’ve read in your Ayn Rand reader? As you have shown amply on this thread, anyone can create an empty argument full of assertions. It takes some skill to develop an argument and support it with evidence and in that, you are sorely lacking.

  95. “It’s all well and good to talk about “the state” when you are in grad classes in political science, because what you do has absolutely no bearing or effect on anything except your grade.”

    These are the words of someone who fails the grasp the wider implications and backdrop of what they are doing, their nose being to close to the grindstone,
    the footsoldier with no idea of the real war aims or strategies (even if she did once study it all at college :-) ).

    “It’s entirely different when you have to actually do something that matters in the real world, like develop climate policy and programs. Using the concept of “the state” at such a high level of abstraction leads you nowhere because it is practically meaningless at the level of making policy and developing programs. You need much more concrete concepts to do that.”

    That your job doesn’t bring you into direct contact with the wider issues,
    does not mean they disappear or are meaningless. The man who fixes your
    autommobile doesn’t need to be able to design one from scratch. He focusses on the level at which he works.

    “If “the state” were truly such an omnipotent and coherent entity as you seem to imagine, there would be no conflict among the world’s governments or between levels of government within a society with regard to policy on any matter, since each and every state would have the same intents and interests and would be after the same goals, etc. ”

    Like people, organisations are not necessarily identical, nor do they face
    identical circumstances. And certainly most richer states are keen on political GW action, even if they can’t face their electorates. And with eg China and India there is a gamesmanship factor, getting handouts from the West.

    “If “the state” really were pushing DAGW in order to increase tax revenues, bureaucracies and social control, we would have had climate policy and programs written and enacted long ago around the world and global warming would be a non-issue. We don’t. Why? Because “the state” is a
    concept that has meaning only at the highest level of theory”

    No, because the states – concrete imlementations of state theory – haven’t yet convinced their electorates, despite the billions spent on progaganda and selective science.

  96. You know what Punk? I had all these arguments with undergrad students when I taught introductory social sciences and, well, frankly it bores me to tears. You’ve bashed on about “the state” and its interests long enough without adding anything substantive other than empty assertions.

    My take is you either don’t grasp what the state actually is, or you do but your underlying totalitarian sympathies incline you to disguise it.

  97. Shewonk … one level of government has laws and regulations in place that govern the collection of personal income taxes, and specific powers that enable them to collect personal income taxes … There are also laws and regulations forcing the same government to provide me as a citizen with certain rights and social, health and educational services paid for through those taxes.

    What this misses is that the power for all of this is located in one place. And there are no laws forcing the state to provide you with services, the state decides this for itself.
    It is all one, unified organsization, even if there are subdivisions within it.

  98. Punksta, “government” is not one place, and neither is the “state” above the law. The law can be changed (with enough consent) but your simplified imaginings based on God-knows-what bear little relation to reality.

  99. Punksta said: “It’s not an a priori assumption, it’s a documented fact. See Climategate.”

    You’re wrong, ‘climategate’ is a fabrication.

    That climate scientists decided not to play ball with assorted mining engineers, economists and astrophysicists connected to sundry industry think tanks and front groups does not devalue the science.

    That half the editorial board of a publication object strogly enough to resign when said amateurs are allowed through the peer review process is exactly the corruption you should be against, but aren’t.

  100. Shewonk, the state is a unified organsation and is the single ultimate authority. That there are departments within it is neither here nor there. Your efforts to obscure this are what might be called a ‘complicationism’.

  101. The Climategate emails were not a fabrication.
    That IPCC gang continuously hid data and code from those that disagreed with them, worked to have papers they disagreed with blocked from publication, exhorted and collaborated in destruction of emails so they could lie about FOI requests etc etc, …is very real, and more than prima facie evidence of a wholesale corruption of science for the purposes of advocacy. Much the same goes for the coverups and evasions of this by their universities, still ongoing.

    What’s more, hardly anyone in the climate business seems to find anything wrong with this – as long a the predetermined politically correct conclusions are reached, what does it matter how they were arrived at.

  102. Shewonk, some moderation backbone please. Why should I visit this swamp.

  103. Because it’s the truth.
    But if you disagree, I’m sure you too will be allowed to your say.

    • Punk – we’ve discussed this more than enough. You’ve failed to offer any concrete evidence to back up your assertions and appear unable to do so. Consider this topic – the state – closed. I don’t want to moderate anyone but you’ve posted quite enough for one thread without adding anything to the discussion except in the negative. If you don’t moderate yourself, I will.

  104. The whole debate by the deniers is manufactured, fake and sleazy. Read the books Doubt is their Product at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=J0P3IdSYO_MC

    Climate Cover-Up at

    http://books.google.com/books?id=tQYjQzOkYK0C

    If you prefer watching to reading, watch (Astro) Turf Wars,

    http://astroturfwars.com/

    Punkta, you are a foot soldier of Big Oil and the other special interests. These have pumped millions of dollars (documented fact) just to get away with destroying the environment. Are you doing this for free, or do you take your share from these millions?

    It saddens me that you specifically is probably doing this for free. You are doing the dirty job of others for free.

  105. Punksta:

    And there are no laws forcing the state to provide you with services, the state decides this for itself.

    Actually, this is an empty assertion. The only way you can set this up is by creating the state as an ‘other’, and while it certainly can be, it most often is not. The state is the people who make the state. While it includes the use (and misuse) of power, it also must take into account the limitations placed on power by other institutions and agencies, the constitution, and the electorate. Hell, even other states.

    And there are tons of laws forcing the the state to provide services. And no, the state does not always decide these for itself. Consider grassroots democratic movements, unions, referendums and international human rights laws.

    But states – even authoritarian ones – do not have unlimited power to decide how they treat their citizens, or the services that will be provided to them.

  106. Hmmm, trying again. This blog is malfunctioning…


    Punksta, you want the truth? Here comes.

    It’s abundantly clear that you don’t have the faintest how science funding works in the real world. I do. You see, real-life funding organizations like the NSF use external experts to review the applications they receive. And then, they use external experts again to evaluate the results of research programmes. The reason for this is precisely to keep the funding decisions at arms length from the government — if you thought you were the first to realize that not doing so might not be a good idea, think again.

    I have been doing my share of writing applications (just late at the office completing one now, so you find me in a suitable mood!), and been getting my share of rejections. Also on some that “warmists” might have liked. I have also done my share of reviews of funding applications by colleagues. The NSF, and equivalent national organizations in several European countries. It’s all part of being a scientist, part of the community of peers, like reviewing journal papers too. I know the drill. It’s not a perfect system, but I can tell you from first hand experience that whatever else may be wrong with it, the temptation to say what the funders want to hear has been carefully engineered out of it.

    Same with hiring research personnel: peer review by external experts in the field. I’ve done my share of that too.

    You see, science funding is one area where the interests of a nation — state and citizens — are aligned. Both want the best science money can buy, because that’s what a modern, affluent, competitive post-industrial society needs in order to stay that way. And there’s quite a bit of money at stake.

    Yes, it would be cheaper to take a shortcut and let the politicos directly hire their personal cronies to produce the research results they like, like Joe Barton did with Edward Wegman… but only initially. It would cost many, many times over the money saved in terms of not getting real science. Which is why all serious research funding is meticulously based on peer review. And if you were about to suggest that a whole community of peers would be “in on the plot”, I politely suggest you take a hike. I know these folks and it’s personal for me.

    • You see, science funding is one area where the interests of a nation — state and citizens — are aligned. Both want the best science money can buy, because that’s what a modern, affluent, competitive post-industrial society needs in order to stay that way. And there’s quite a bit of money at stake.

      Yes, it would be cheaper to take a shortcut and let the politicos directly hire their personal cronies to produce the research results they like, like Joe Barton did with Edward Wegman… but only initially. It would cost many, many times over the money saved in terms of not getting real science. Which is why all serious research funding is meticulously based on peer review. And if you were about to suggest that a whole community of peers would be “in on the plot”, I politely suggest you take a hike. I know these folks and it’s personal for me.

      Thanks GP for adding this. This is exactly what people need to consider — science should remain as objective as possible — it’s in our society’s best interest. There are time-proven rules and processes in place to ensure science funding and science itself are as objective as possible. It’s not perfect, but nothing we humans produce ever is. When politicians and others interfere and subjugate the normal processes and rules that keep science as objective as possible, science and society are harmed. The tobacco wars and the climate wars are clear evidence of this.

  107. Punksta: “The Climategate emails were not a fabrication”.

    I didn’t say they were.

    What I said was that the email theft story that’s been sold to you as ‘climategate’ is a fabrication.
    That you accept the Mosher/Fuller/Montford/McIntyre conspiracy fairytale and reject the findings of multiple inquiries only indicates your bent to buy into global conspiracy theories.

  108. Shewonk, I appreciate your openness to debate. And to the extent we both want science to be objective we are in agreement.
    However, I could say exactly the same of your contributions – your (and others here) hopeless naivety about the state adds nothing to understanding,and serves only to conceal the systematic corruption of science so unambiguously revealed in Climategate – funded by politics, all of which argues for increased politicisation of society. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    • I am open to debate – in fact, I encourage it but I do ask that as much as possible, people come to the table armed with some evidence. Empty assertions are so much less convincing than statements backed up with facts. There comes a point when it is clear that positions are entrenched – for whatever reason, be it misunderstanding or refusal to understand. At that point, further debate is vexatious to the spirit – to quote an anonymous sage.

      You can’t just point to the CRU emails as evidence of your claims about corruption of climate science because we differ on how to interpret them. I see no corruption evidenced there. Where I do see corruption is in the political and economic spheres. You seem little interested in discussing those examples.

  109. Susann, ‘objective’ is perhaps not the word that I would use. Nobody is really objective, not even scientists; we all bring our background and our experiences in as context for the research we do and report.

    Unless you mean ‘objective relative to some influence‘. I.e., freedom of bias from that influence. What I was arguing above is that the external expert review system in science funding is set up specifically to eliminate one such influence: that of knowing what the government running the funding organization would like to hear.

    The only way to argue that this system doesn’t actually work, is showing that a whole community of experts is ‘in on the deal’. And that, as you well know, is Elders of Zion type stuff.

    • Susann, ‘objective’ is perhaps not the word that I would use. Nobody is really objective, not even scientists; we all bring our background and our experiences in as context for the research we do and report.

      GP, you are of course correct so perhaps I was not clear enough in what I wrote, which was “as objective as possible“, not “objective“. Complete objectivity is an impossibility for humans. Humans are perspectival and have our own interests and biases — indeed I could argue that we evolved to be biased as a way to ensure survival. We not only have individual biases, but there are also structural biases written into the world in which we live, including the influences of which you write. To obtain objective knowledge or as objective as possible, we need a system such as that in science that moderates or reduces that inherent and external bias. Science has processes and procedures that, if followed, provide as objective results as possible, especially compared to common knowledge or tradition or religion or other ways of knowing.

  110. You can’t just point to the CRU emails as evidence of your claims about corruption of climate science because we differ on how to interpret them. I see no corruption evidenced there.

    So you see no corruption of science in
    - hiding data and code
    - urging that potential FOI evidence be deleted
    - trying to corrupt peer-review so as to block non-alarmist papers from being published
    - And of course Jones’s BC (before Climategate) comment : “Why shoukd I show you my data when I know you’ll try and find something wrong with it”.

    Where I do see corruption is in the political and economic spheres. You seem little interested in discussing those examples.

    No, I am very intersted in the corruption of science by politics. Especailly its funding by politics.

  111. The only way to argue that this system doesn’t actually work, is showing that a whole community of experts is ‘in on the deal’. And that, as you well know, is Elders of Zion type stuff.

    We can of course show that virtually a whole community of experts has the same paymaster. And that these experts’ findings advance the interests of that paymaster. No conspiracy, just the paymaster openly choosing the kind of science that best suits him in a rational, business-as-usual way.
    What we saw with tobacco-funded science and health before, we now see with state-funded science and climate.

  112. Punksta:
    1. No data was hidden, nor was any code hidden. Anyone still making this claim is an outright liar (yes, liar, not even ignoramus). Take the data Phil Jones used: all available from the original data owners. Put in the effort Jones did, you lazy bastards! Or take McIntyre trying to get ‘Briffa’s data’: Briffa kindly forwarded his request to the *actual* data owners, who gave him the data. And what did McIntyre do? He kept that little fact a secret for several years, in the meantime complaining about Briffa not willing to hand over ‘his’ data (which wasn’t his, and which McIntyre already had).

    2. FOI is not “evidence”

    3. Corrupting peer-review? The UEA e-mails are filled with examples of ‘non-alarmist’ papers that went through peer-review exactly BECAUSE of corruption. Chris de Freitas is a key figure in several such papers. There are absolutely no discussions of any papers that people tried to keep out of the peer-reviewed literature because they contradicted anything. There only was a brief discussion on two papers of which at least one was shown to be outrageously wrong (I can explain even to a 12-year old why it is wrong), and the other likely very wrong, too.

    4. Jones’ “BC” comment refers back to my point 1: everyone can get his own set of data by contacting the rightful data owners. Do your own work, you lazy bastards!

    Finally, you keep on claiming that state-funded climate science is delivering the results the state wants. Well, explain to us, then, how that state-funded climate science during the Bush years kept on publishing work that climate was changing and that this will have dire consequences, while the Bush government actively tried to silence such messages where it had the ability to do so (see NASA-Jim Hansen). Please also tell us why the Chinese scientists come with the same messages, while the Chinese government really needs no excuse to extort its citizens. Tell us why Russian scientists by-and-large come with the same message in a time when the Russian government actively downplayed climate change as a problem.

    Punksta, you are either gullible to the extreme on one side of the debate because it fits your preconceived notions, or a deliberate misinformer. My money is on the latter.

  113. Marco
    1 Of course data and code was hidden.
    In Climategate, a comment is made along the lines that ‘McIntyre has
    been trying to get hold of this data for years’. And another cautions against
    leaving any on ftp sites in case someone finds it. One could go on …

    Your claims about McIntyre and Briffa’s data are a complete and utter fabrication.

    2 FOI
    This was resorted to as a result of endless code and data hiding. Also to establish whether or not IPCC rules were being breached. The stonewalling response to this was further hiding of data.
    In Climategate, Jones urges colleages to delete certain data to frustrate FOI
    requests. In the corrupt investigations of Climategate run by UEA to exonerate
    itself, the ‘investigator’ carefully avoids asking Jones a direct question
    whether he did or not, for fear of the truth coming out.

    3 Peer-review & ideological gatekeeping of journals
    A comment is made in Climategate to the effect that ‘I will keep xyz paper out even if I have to redefine peer-review’. There are also other comments about how to get rid of editors. (In climatology, it is pretty much pal-review anyway, given the smallness of the discipline and the consequent academic inbreeding).

    4 Jones’s data (and time) is funded by the taxpayer, so everyone
    should have the right to it.
    Furthermore, to properly audit Jones, it is necessary to see exactly which data he was using. If he had even a remote interest in science, he would have just sent it, hardly any trouble at all. But as he very clearly remmarks, he does not want to be contradicted, he is primarily an activist, precommitted to alarmism.

    5 Why do politicians sometimes disagree with the scientists they pay?
    Because there are no iron-clad laws in operation, whereby absolutely everyone ends up with the identical outlook.
    The civil service has its own interests, which the executive sometimes finds hard to control Some politicians may value freedom, and so wish to contain the state, but most all most civil servants, including scientists hitching themslves to the alarmist fundwagon, see their future tied in with the prosperity and expansion of the state.

  114. > Your claims about McIntyre and Briffa’s data are a complete and utter
    > fabrication.

    Liar. Marco tells is like it is: Google Briffa McIntyre “all along”. That simple.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_had_the_data_all_alon.php

  115. He only had an old version, and was asking for the up-to-date version that Briffa was using. He could hardly audit Briffa if he didn’t have the exact data Briffa was using, could he now?
    The fact remains that Briffa doggedly hid his data from McIntyre until the Phil Trans B journal put its foot down and made him release it. A typical example of the anti-science culture at CRU.

  116. Pun: What we saw with tobacco-funded science and health before, we now see with state-funded science and climate.

    Oh, what a twister you are!

    I already linked all those astroturfing campaigns to corporations.

    It is corporations that want to retain their established businesses, even if they pollute the environment or kill people. It is the role of the government to regulate for the benefit of the people so that more opportunities arise for new businesses.

    Since you are the odd one out, would you care to be interviewed (by a journalist) for a background of your views?

  117. You are a liar, Punksta. McIntyre had THE DATA, period. McIntyre tried several excuses, starting with “I wasn’t sure it was the same data”. Your claim is just another one on the long list of excuses that McIntyre lied to his blog-audience (who, of course, grosso modo didn’t care).

    Regarding your other points:
    1. Data sharing does not involve data where you are still extracting information.
    2. There were NO requests for data deletion. Punksta lying again. The FOI requests that swamped CRU is relevant to point 4, which involves a truckload of lying by the ‘skeptics’ too.
    3. The comment of Jones referred to include a reference(!) to a really, really bad paper. In fact, one of the papers that made it into the scientific literature due to rigging of the peer-review process by Chris de Freitas. Moreover, they voiced discontent with the bad work by an Editor, who clearly was putting ideology over scientific accuracy. I know, all bad things. Ideology should trump the facts in the mind of the denier.
    Finally, climatology is a broad area of science, involving tens of thousands of scientists. There is absolutely no evidence that there is “pal review”.
    4. Ah yes, the claims that Jones should share his data. Well, he did share HIS data: anyone can download the temperature data for CRUTEM3. You just can’t get the raw input data, because CRU is not the data repository for that raw data, nor is CRU allowed by several NMO’s to distribute that data. Jones even showed several contracts which EXPLICITELY prohibit CRU to distribute that data to others (with some exceptions). His comment is quite clearly related to the fact that there was no attempt at honest auditing. There was an attempt to find even the slightest error, and blow that up into the largest possible scandal. Just like McIntyre has tried time and time again. That is simply not auditing, and honest people know that.
    5. You are contradicting yourself. You claimed scientists were only reporting that what the politicians wanted, now you make it the scientists who are trying to expand the state.

  118. Freddy
    Tthe state also has its own interests which it …

    (edited – when you are able to provide some kind of evidence of this unified “state” with panopticon and omnipotent powers, I will authorize your post. Otherwise, that’s quite enough empty assertion from you on this topic – Susann)

  119. Briffa’s data
    Check the facts Marco. He had some old data, and had no way of knowing whether or not it was what Briffa had used, without Briffa supplying what he ahd used.
    The fact remains Briffa inexcusably refused to supply it, and only grudgingly did supply it years later when faced with his paper being set aside if he didn’t.

    Data sharing does not involve data where you are still extracting information.
    The data had obviously already been collected, since the paper had alredy been
    published.

    There were NO requests for data deletion. Punksta lying again.
    Again, check the facts. It’s clear as daylight in Climategate. One of them urges colleagues to not leave data on ftp servers in case some ‘wrong’ person finds it.

    Attempts by Jones to corrupt of peer-review and prevent ideas he does not
    like from being published:

    The comment of Jones referred to include a reference(!) to a really, really bad paper.
    If he thought it bad, the honest response would be to critique it. That he instead preferred to gag it is indicative of the primacy of political ideology and advocacy in the IPCC camp.

    There is absolutely no evidence that there is “pal review”.
    There is loads. The smallness of the discipline relative to others, DIY apporeach to statistical anaylysis, IPCC reports – where lead authors on chapters can review their own work. And Nature and Science have both made clear their commitment to alarmist ideological gatekeeping.

    [Jones] did share HIS data
    He and UEA kept changing their story. One minute it was ‘The dog ate my
    data’, the next it was ‘It’s not mine to give’….followed by ‘but,
    uh, I can’t find the (alleged) agreement’…. And he had no qualms about
    sending the very same data he refused to send to Mcintyre, to Peter
    Webster. Basically they just lied non-stop to keep tax-funded data
    out of the hands on non-AGW truebelievers. His general approach has never
    varied much from “Why should I show you my data when I know you’ll try and
    find something wrong with it?”.

    The FOI requests that swamped CRU
    They only backed up because of stonewalling at CRU.

    You are contradicting yourself. You claimed scientists were only reporting that what the politicians wanted, now you make it the scientists who are trying to expand the state.
    No, what I actually said was both of those factors are at play.

  120. Punksta, you’re still missing that it wasn’t Briffa’s data to give. Briffa did the right thing by transferring the request to the real data owners: Hantemirov and Shiatov. And the data was finally published as supplementary info to an article where these two folks were among the authors. Briffa had nothing to do with it at any point. Do you ‘get’ the idea of intellectual property rights?

    BTW you haven’t given off any sign that you have read, or even understood, what I wrote about the science funding process. You seem to be a write-only commenter, just repeating the same liturgy; not polite. Who do you think I write for, the birdies?

  121. Of course it was Briffa’s to give – since this was a condition of publication, and it was published. The alleged IPR problem was just a ruse to hide behind (an oft-discussed trick in Climategate).

    Your comments on state funding simply ignore the central issue – ie that he who pays the piper(s), as well as selecting the ‘independent experts’ who review them, unavoidably calls the tune – even if this is not his explicit intention. IOW, talk of any ‘conspiracy’ is just straw-manning. Indeed, you’d need an Angelic Conspiracy of sorts in operation for this to not happen.

  122. Punksta, there was no “alleged” in “alleged IPR problem”. In science, honorable scientists do not hand out data that is not theirs. In Punkstaland, people borrow all kinds of things from their neighbour, and then gladly hand it over to anyone else who wants that stuff, without asking the actual owner.

    Of course, you again make further false and ignorant claims in your attempt to rebut my comments. Typical. Take your claim that there were requests to delete data, which you infer from someone requesting not to leave data on ftp servers. The difference between the two is clear to anyone with half a functional brain. Or take Jones sharing data with fellow scientist Peter Webster, within an explicit collaboration, and compare that to McIntyre just wanting the data. McIntyre is no scientist, and several DTA’s explicitely put that in as a requirement!
    Or take the supposed changes in explanations. The facts are that CRU does not have the raw data from pre-1980, as it is not a data repository for said raw data. No change was made in that explanation. Ever. Nor was there a change in pointing out that there were DTA’s that did not allow sharing of data, unless specific rules were obeyed. That not all agreement are on paper does not change there are such agreements. I myself have an oral agreement with a company, and now they WILL prosecute me if I violate it. I could go on and on with your vile accusations not fitting with the facts, but you simply cannot ever admit you are wrong. The facts are inconvenient, and therefore the narrative must be adjusted. You, Punksta, are the ideal useful idiot. Be aware,

  123. > Indeed, you’d need an Angelic Conspiracy of sorts in operation for this to not happen.

    Yep… it’s called ‘intellectual honesty’. Get some.

  124. The difficulty is getting it to state stooges.

  125. And, Marco, the IPR issue was indeed merely alleged. As evidenced by how they kept changing their story (see previous posting), and never managed to produce any evidence of an IPR issue. And their discussions on how to “hide behind” this or that rule, so as to have an excuse to keep hiding tax-funded data from anyone except precomitted DAGW believers.

    Urging people to delete data from ftp servers in case McIntyre finds it, speaks for itself.

    The raw station data was not being requested – it was the processed data. The data that they said McIntyre was after for years. Their emails indicate they knew full well what they were hiding, even if you don’t.

    The “explicit collaboration” with Webster was an explicit violation of the very IPR they dishonestly said was preventing them from letting McIntyre have it. The truth is they gave it to Webster purely because they weren’t worried that he’d “try and find something wrong with it”.

  126. I myself have an oral agreement with a company, and now they WILL prosecute me if I violate it.

    Yeah I’m sure Judge Judy will buy that one.

  127. > The difficulty is getting it to state stooges.

    You mean the co-conspirators in the conspiracy theory you don’t believe in? Does that include me? Pray tell, with a straight face. I ought to know what I’m supposed to do next time a review job lands on my desk.

  128. Repeating McIntyre’s lies doesn’t make them any less mendacious. And what the peanut gallery may soon find out, is that some lies have legal consequences.
    Steve may soon want to study the small print in the US-Canadian extradition treaty. And avoid aircraft entering US airs¥pace.
    Which brings us back to the subject of the post…

  129. Gavin,
    The Angelic Conspiracy you want to believe in.

    This is just the (surely naive) naive idea that there is no auch as thing as The Funding Effect in Science. Drug companies don’t have science results skewed to make their products look good, tobacco companies don’t have science skewed to tell us that smoking is perfectly healthy. And governemnts don’t have science skewed to tell us they ‘need’ to grow, and take even more of our money and control even more of our lives. None of these organzations funds ideas skewed to advance their own interests.

    But if you do believe an Angelic Conspiracy – that those who select and fund science have no impact on the outcome (whether deliberate or not) – let’s hear your evidence. And in the case of DAGW, this will need to be aquared with the widespread dishonesty already revealed in Climategate, and the attempts so whitewash it.

    I’m afraid I have very little advice for those who dole out taxpayers’ money for science. I would of course urge you to try and be objective, and try to not put your careers and personal ideology above the public interest, but I fully accept we are all human. The problem (and hence solution) lies at the system level, not the individual level – ie with funding of climate science utterly dominated by the state.

    As regards alleged lies by McIntyre, why don’t you air these over at Climate Audit? You’ll find it’s very open and lightly moderated, quite unlike RealClimate say. And let us know how it goes, so we can pop across and applaud/boo.

  130. Thanks Punksta — as regards lies by McIntyre, I’d rather put my trust in the criminal justice system. Popcorn, my friend. You’re in for a ride.

  131. You can’t think of even one then?

  132. Punksta, the IPR issue was VERY clearly pointed out by several contracts EXPLICITELY mentioning that data was not to be forwarded unless specific conditions were fulfilled (which included specific research collaborations, such as between Jones and Webster…oops, another of your lies exposed).

    And if McIntyre was looking for the processed data, he could just download that, it is available (hint: CRUTEM3 and CRUTEM3v). And no, the data “McIntyre was after for years” was NOT that data, it was all the specific station data. In other words, more lies from Punksta. It’s getting pathological.

  133. No such IPR was ever produced. It was just the usual data-hiding from everyone except AGW truthers.

    The Climategate emails very clearly mention that they are withholding data that McIntyre was after for years.

  134. Punksta:

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/availability/agreements.pdf

    (and another lie of Punksta exposed)

    Already the first answer contains the sentence:
    “The condition is that you do not use them commercially or give them to a third party”
    Oops! No handing over of data allowed!

    The UK MET Office answer contains the immortal:
    “Data sets must not be passed on to third parties under any circumstances. Any scientist requiring data which happens to have been supplied already to someone else, even within the same institute or programme of research, must first approach one of the NERC Data Centres, who have agreed to maintain records of data users for UKMO. Once the project work using the data has been completed, copies of the datasets and software held by the end user should be deleted, unless permission has been obtained for them to be retained for some alternative use.”

    Will Punksta apologise for spreading false information? I’m not holding my breath!

  135. This has no bearing on the data MycIntyre was after, ie the ‘sanitised’ data.

    And even if it did, why in Climatagte were they desparately scratching around for something to “hide behind” ? First it was “The dog ate my data” (ie the bumbling incompetents had lost it), then finally they hit on the IPR ruse.

  136. And of course whatever limatation might have applied to McIntyre, would also have applied to Webster. Yet Webster – uncritical enough of Jones to be considered for co-authorship – was given data, whereras McIntyre – who might well criticise Jones – was not.

  137. http://climateaudit.org/2009/07/23/uk-met-offices-refuses-to-disclose-station-data-once-again/

    Here we learn from the Met Office the real reason – “Professor Jones … has not consented to the disclosure …”. Jones chose to hide the data from McIntyre.
    And chose to give it to Webster.

  138. Punksta, you are once again confusing things. The station data is not the same as the product of CRU, being CRUTEM3 and CRUTEM3v. Anyone can get that data from CRU.
    Oh, and note that not being allowed to give the data is considered, in lawyer-speak, as “not holding the data”, and hence was an accurate response to the request.

    Webster is an active scientist, and had a direct collaboration with Jones. That’s VERY different from McIntyre’s “give me the data! GIVE ME THE DATA!”.

    As Webster notes:
    But Webster points out that he was allowed access because of the nature of his request, which was very specific and will result in a joint publication with Phil Jones. “Reasonable requests should be fulfilled because making data available advances science”, says Webster, “but it has to be an authentic request because otherwise you’d be swamped”.

    Keywords: authentic request. McIntyre’s request was not authentic.

  139. None of this alters the above.

    Jones chose to let his collaborator Webster have the data because he was confident his collaborator would not examine it for possible flaws (an ‘authentic’ request).

    (SNIP: I gave you several chances to back up your assertions with evidence but you have continued without abate. I won’t even bother to respond to your smears and point out how you’re wrong. You’re not worth the effort.

    That’s enough defamation from you, thanks

    Next.)

  140. Punksta just “knows”, Susann. Just see how he “knows” Webster would not examine it for possible flaws. Punksta simply has no idea of the concept of an audit. Perhaps we should demand we can audit his tax records. Of course with prior notice that even the slightest comma in the wrong place will result in multiple blogposts accusing him of fraud…

  141. Skimming through P’s particular articulation of extreme libertarianism in this thread, I started to wonder if there are parallels between the anarchism and extreme libertarianism worth exploring in order to understand better the re-emergence of extreme libertarianism in American politics. Both political philosophies are alike in their rejection nearly all governance institutions (defining institution broadly as a pattern or framework of relationships) because they destroy or smother individual rights or an individual’s ability/capacity to achieve self-fulfillment, or because such institutions are so inherently corrupt they create more bad than they create good. Anarchists reach this assumption coming from the left; libertarians from the right; but they both come to the same conclusion; a conclusion that, given the biological and sociological attributes of homo sapiens sapiens, is absurd; and, unless they are insane, a conclusion that anarchists and libertarians both must abandon as soon as they launch into any sort of deductive analysis in order to articulate how we should all live together, and how we should ensure that succeeding generations can live together. Where libertarians often end up, in American culture at least, is embracing corporatism, a position which clearly contradicts their original principles.

    Relatedly, it will be fascinating to watch how American Tea Party populists delve into the functions of US federal governance, being forced to take on the types of decision-making that what will challenge their naive political values to the core. (Remember the term-limits movement??) How will they pursue the end of earmarking? Will that include all the job creating Pentagon investments in their districts and states? If we end earmarking, does that mean the federal agencies will now be responsible for handling all such project decisions? The battles between Congress and the Agencies that would engender would be extraordinary.

    It’s already happening: the GOP could have taken both houses of Congress this year if not for Tea Party extremism (acknowledging that this movement made such a turnover possible in the first place). It could also easily cost the GOP a legitimate shot at the White House in 2012.

    Just some thoughts . . .

    • There are many libertarians among climate skeptics / contrarians. They are ideologically opposed to climate legislation, as they are against all government regulation outside of the military. It’s not about the science for them, but the politics. Attacking the science is a means to an end — defeating efforts to regulate GHGs. One consequence of libertarians / anarchists getting elected to office (do anarchists even get elected?) is that they often have no respect for the office they hold and thus do not feel bound by the kind of ethics that those who do respect it. By definition, they see the office and institution as corrupt and unnecessary or burdensome so they seek to dismantle it, privatize it, or reduce it, primarily affecting the most vulnerable. The most cynical among them just use it to line their pockets. I’m not claiming that ordinary liberals or conservatives don’t do the same at times, but I do believe that more of them start off from a position of respecting the institution.

      Whatever, both libertarians and anarchists are self-deceived. Government, esp. democratic government, is a great advance over barbarism. Of course, all things in moderation. I’m one of those old fashioned types of Canadians who value POGG — peace, order and good government. No, those words are not mutually exclusive…

  142. The Political Angle

    Totalitarianism is where as much as possible in society is decided by coercion (the state), and as little as possible by consensual relations between citizens. Libertarianism is the polar opposite – as much as possible is decided by consensual relations between citizens, as little as possible by coercon/the state. There are no/few pure totalitarians or pure libertarians (anarchists); it’s a scale, and most people embrace a bit of both.

    Global warming is an issue that inherently attracts totalitarians, since it offers an avenue for increased social coercion, something they wish to maximise. And for the very same reason, climate change is an issue that inherently makes libertarians suspicious, since coercion is something they wish to minimise. Liberatrians are skeptical of and put off by coerion and the state (including its scientists), totalitarians are gullible and enthusiastic.

    What would be nice is some science that is not beholden to either camp.

    • BFJ is none other than Punksta’s sockpuppet. Silly sockpuppet! Don’t you know the blog owner can see your IP address? I only let this stay because I enjoy Sloop’s posts, but if I see any direct smears of individuals, you are gone.

  143. If so BFJ, then share with us your thoughts on how libertarianism would guide the institutionalization of consensual relations among 300 million plus Americans? Among 30 million Canadians? Among 6 billion inhabitants of planet earth?

    I’m “attracted” to AGW because it is a huge environmental/socio-economic problem, not because I’m totalitarian. I personally find the label deeply offensive, but I guess that’s the intent.

    The ecological sciences are not beholden to “either camp.” (what the heck does “either camp” mean anyway?) What ecologists are revealing about huge and accelerating alterations in habitat and ecological structure and function throughout the biosphere due to AGW has little to do with how our societies are going to go about slowing and reversing these extraordinary changes.

    What truly demonstrates the denialists lack of interest or understanding of climate science, or the natural sciences generally, is how much they obsess about research at the frontier of paleoclimatology and how little they focus on the very mainstream research in the ecological sciences that has so conclusively revealed what is going on; this is in part because their techniques of distortion and obfuscation won’t work so well on research that demonstrates so unambiguously what’s happening to the ecology of the biosphere.

  144. I can’t resist going on:

    It’s also wildly inaccurate to stereotype “scientists” as servants of the “state”. There are many areas of science where the tensions between the scientific community and “government” are palpable and long-standing. To assume that because the “state” funds (totally inadequately BTW) ecological research means that ecologists are the “state’s” footsoldiers is so fallacious a notion that it’s not even worth debating. EG., go read some of the position papers of the Ecological Society of America.

    I’m essentially a political centrist, if not always personally, certainly professionally. I’m all for careful examination of how individual liberties and rights should be protected, celebrated, and upheld in contemporary and future governments. I came of age during the times of the Vietnam War and Watergate and hence am not inherently disposed to accept “big government” as the be all and end all. But there’s simply no utility for me to debate sincerely with extreme libertarian ideologues. However elitist this may sound, their ideology simply does reach to the realm of serious political and governance discussions. It’s nothing more than a woeful (and troubling) symptom of a deeply impoverished, flacid American political culture.

  145. Troll #1: Global warming is an issue that inherently attracts totalitarians, since it offers an avenue for increased social coercion,…

    Feels like having direct access to the conservative noise machine.

    Is it about ‘totalitarians’ and ‘libertarians’ anymore? It is more of an issue about some big corporations buying up politicians through ‘lobbying’. Are the conservative politicians so smart that they do not believe anthropogenic climate change? They are just the party so much in line with the corporate interests.

    This whole thing about conservatives being almost 100% deniers is counter-evolution. To get support as a conservative, you need to dump down your message and align it to that of the ‘sponsors’.

    You are so entrenched in your views that it’s hopeless. Maybe in five to ten years you’ll see the light.

  146. Troll #1: Rachel has this video for you,

    At the end she asks a question, which I do not have the answer either.

  147. Thanks for the compliment shewonk. I enjoy yr blog and posts too!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Denier Canard of the Day: Untold Trillions « The Policy Lass - January 13, 2011

    [...] look at that claim in detail. Earlier, I posted about funding in the US, which I reprise here: Overall, the Federal Governmentspent $147B [...]

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