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Bayesian methodo...
post Nov 25 2009, 12:25 AM
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"Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
-Well regarded global warming dude on preventing a heretic from getting published
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Zippo
post Nov 25 2009, 12:29 PM
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I was wondering when that scandal would come up here. Have the mails allready being confirmed authentic? If so, this is probably the biggest blow to global warming theory ever.

This post has been edited by Zippo: Nov 25 2009, 12:30 PM
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miltonfriedman
post Nov 25 2009, 01:34 PM
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yep. quite disturbing.
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zkajan
post Nov 25 2009, 07:36 PM
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What's this all about?
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Ralph Wiggum
post Nov 25 2009, 08:37 PM
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I wish people would stop suffixing -gate to every damn scandal. Whoever is responsible for this should have their legs introduced to a tire iron.

Zkajan, about a week ago some russian hackers (or someone, nobody's really sure who except whoever is responsible) hacked into the server at a climatology institute in england, and communications between climatologists were posted all over the internet. Some of them are rather incriminating, in a manner showing that the numbers have been tampered with to prove an agenda, and that research by skeptics has been blocked from being published.

This post has been edited by Ralph Wiggum: Nov 25 2009, 08:42 PM
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Telum
post Nov 25 2009, 08:55 PM
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The numbers werent tampered with, the display of them was. The numbers are still the same
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bigboy
post Nov 26 2009, 01:25 AM
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QUOTE (Telum @ Nov 25 2009, 02:55 PM) *
The numbers werent tampered with, the display of them was. The numbers are still the same

Not true. The hacked files include raw code from their models, including commented lines indicating where data were arbitrarily altered to drive the results towards preferred goals.

This is what happens when you have an entire field where people are allowed to call themselves scientists while refusing to provide the raw data they base their results on. No repeatability, no oversight, nothing. Just hoping the words of a bunch of people with political goals and grant money at stake are being honest about it.

Incidentally, the most scandalous part of it was the illegal conspiracy to hide data despite Freedom of Information Act requests.

This post has been edited by bigboy: Nov 26 2009, 01:27 AM
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 09:28 AM
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QUOTE (Bayesian methodology @ Nov 25 2009, 01:25 AM) *
"Kevin and I will keep them out somehow -- even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"
-Well regarded global warming dude on preventing a heretic from getting published


Nobody actually gets to redefine peer-review. There's no conspiracy

Nobody tried to stop or attempted to stop getting the papers discussed in that comment, McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and Kalnay and Cai (2003), from getting published - since at the time of the cited email correspondence, both papers were already published. The discussion circled around whether they should be included in the IPCC report. There's no conspiracy

Both papers were both cited and discussed in Chapter 2 of the IPCC AR4 report. There's no conspiracy

As an aside, neither has stood the test of time, since they are papers with serious flaws in them, that managed (as happens often) to squeeze through peer-review. There's no conspiracy

QUOTE (bigboy)
Incidentally, the most scandalous part of it was the illegal conspiracy to hide data despite Freedom of Information Act requests.


Again, there is nothing illegal or conspiratorial about it. From the date of the first FOI request to the Climate Research Unit (in 2007), it has been made abundantly clear that the main impediment to releasing the whole CRU archive is the small % of it that was given to CRU on the understanding it wouldn’t be passed on to third parties. Those restrictions are in place because of the originating organisations (the various National Met. Services) around the world and are not CRU’s to break. As of Nov 13, the response to the umpteenth FOI request for the same data met with exactly the same response. This is an unfortunate situation, and pressure should be brought to bear on the National Met Services to release CRU from that obligation. It is not however the fault of CRU. The vast majority of the data in the HadCRU records is publicly available from Global Historical Climate Network.


THERE'S NO CONSPIRACY
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Bar-Aram
post Nov 26 2009, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE (Fairlane @ Nov 26 2009, 10:28 AM) *
THERE'S NO CONSPIRACY


And what about the bullying journals into not publishing papers with content they disagreed with by threatening to stop publishing papers in those journals?
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 10:01 AM
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QUOTE (Zippo @ Nov 25 2009, 01:29 PM) *
If so, this is probably the biggest blow to global warming theory ever.


What bull.

What content of the email correspondence could ever stand up as the biggest blow to global warming theory ever? No really? Do you even grasp what kind of evidence would be required to knock down... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) "global warming theory"?

I'm not that eager to be dragged into this, but what really is interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the Medieval Warming Period’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.


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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 10:07 AM
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QUOTE (Bar-Aram @ Nov 26 2009, 10:56 AM) *
And what about the bullying journals into not publishing papers with content they disagreed with by threatening to stop publishing papers in those journals?


Oh great, you're still here.

What are you talking about? Are you referring to the incident with the Editorial Board in Climate Research?
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Bar-Aram
post Nov 26 2009, 11:42 AM
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QUOTE (Fairlane @ Nov 26 2009, 11:07 AM) *
Oh great, you're still here.


Is that "great" sincere or sarcastic? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)


QUOTE
What are you talking about? Are you referring to the incident with the Editorial Board in Climate Research?


Yes, I was going by the Washington Post article on this when I wrote the above, and it made them seem like separate issues. But, apparently it's all the same incident.

My understanding from reading a couple more article on it just now is that they used the "peer-review" argument (that is, you must publish papers in peer-reviewed journals in order to be taken seriously at all) as a way to keep dissenting views out of the discussion. Which works perfectly since that process is dominated by people that agree with them.

That is... ...until it backfired on them when one peer-reviewed journal on climate research started publishing papers with those views. So, at that point they simply decided to stop regarding that journal as a proper peer-reviewed academic journal (which is what the "redefine what the peer-review literature is" quote refers to) and stop publishing (and getting others to stop publishing) papers in that journal in order to force it to change.
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Bar-Aram
post Nov 26 2009, 11:48 AM
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QUOTE (Fairlane @ Nov 26 2009, 11:01 AM) *
What bull.

What content of the email correspondence could ever stand up as the biggest blow to global warming theory ever? No really? Do you even grasp what kind of evidence would be required to knock down... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rolleyes.gif) "global warming theory"?


The parts that seem to indicate that these people are not really involved in real scientific work anymore.


QUOTE
I'm not that eager to be dragged into this, but what really is interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the Medieval Warming Period’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.


Strawmen are fun. I like them too.
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE (Bar-Aram @ Nov 26 2009, 12:42 PM) *
Is that "great" sincere or sarcastic? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
Yes, I was going by the Washington Post article on this when I wrote the above, and it made them seem like separate issues. But, apparently it's all the same incident.

My understanding from reading a couple more article on it just now is that they used the "peer-review" argument (that is, you must publish papers in peer-reviewed journals in order to be taken seriously at all) as a way to keep dissenting views out of the discussion. Which works perfectly since that process is dominated by people that agree with them.

That is... ...until it backfired on them when one peer-reviewed journal on climate research started publishing papers with those views. So, at that point they simply decided to stop regarding that journal as a proper peer-reviewed academic journal (which is what the "redefine what the peer-review literature is" quote refers to) and stop publishing (and getting others to stop publishing) papers in that journal in order to force it to change.


Out of curiousity, just what is your personal experience with the peer-review process?

The journal in question is Climate Research, and its a case of one paper (and an almost identical one published in Energy and Environment and not, as you suggest, a series of papers.

And no, the "redefine what the peer-review literature is" is not linked to this incidence. That quote is taken from the personal correspondence of two CRU scientists discussing the McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and Kalnay and Cai (2003) papers, and whether they should merit inclusion in the IPCC reports. The gist of it is basically that "Bad papers clutter up assessment reports and if they don't stand up as science, they shouldn't be included.". Thankfully, the process of writing the IPCC reports is transparent, has checks and balances for such opinion and the two discussed papers were included in the reports. There's no conspiracy.

Back again to the Climate Research incident. The paper and journal in question were indeed a scandal. But the scandal was that it was ever published. Six editors of the journal resigned in protest at the publication, not because of any kind of pressure.

QUOTE
Strawmen are fun. I like them too.


Not really. My point is, has any information from the leaked emails falsified ANY of the theories behind AGW? Not from what I’ve seen. It’s just the same old sceptic response: jump on any scrap of info, apply absolutely zero healthy scepticism about that information and claim it falsifies AGW when it patently doesn’t even come close.

But there is no doubt that these leaked emails will further polarise the debate and push more people into the “sceptic camp”. I feel sick with fear at our chances of averting dangerous climate change.
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Zippo
post Nov 26 2009, 12:50 PM
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Fairline, your the one that mentioned an international conspiracy and got all defensive. For starters this is a plain case of fraud and intelectual dishonesty, there is no going around that.
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 01:00 PM
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QUOTE (Zippo @ Nov 26 2009, 01:50 PM) *
Fairline, your the one that mentioned an international conspiracy and got all defensive. For starters this is a plain case of fraud and intelectual dishonesty, there is no going around that.


Oh, but you would agree that several posters in this thread are thinking along a global conspiracy line?

And fraud? How on earth is it fraud?
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Zippo
post Nov 26 2009, 01:14 PM
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QUOTE
And fraud? How on earth is it fraud?


QUOTE
Use fraud in a Sentence
See web results for fraud
See images of fraud
–noun 1. deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage.
2. a particular instance of such deceit or trickery: mail fraud; election frauds.
3. any deception, trickery, or humbug: That diet book is a fraud and a waste of time.
4. a person who makes deceitful pretenses; sham; poseur.


Take your pick.

This post has been edited by Zippo: Nov 26 2009, 01:15 PM
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 01:23 PM
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QUOTE (Zippo @ Nov 26 2009, 02:14 PM) *
Take your pick.


I've read the emails dealing with the IPCC report editing process (its the correspondence from which the cherry-picked "redefine peer-review" quote is taken from". Lots of discussions (and disagreements), but that end up in compromise language that the authors and reviewers mostly agree on.

Besides, nothing in the correspondence refers to any paper being successfully stopped from being published (as bigboy suggested) or that data was manipulated (again as bigboy implies).
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Bar-Aram
post Nov 26 2009, 01:24 PM
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QUOTE (Fairlane @ Nov 26 2009, 01:49 PM) *
Back again to the Climate Research incident. The paper and journal in question were indeed a scandal. But the scandal was that it was ever published. Six editors of the journal resigned in protest at the publication, not because of any kind of pressure.



*sigh*

The actual releveant quotes (by Michael Mann):

QUOTE
A necessary though not in general sufficient condition for taking a scientific criticism seriously is that it has passed through the legitimate scientific peer review process. those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.


and then later:

QUOTE
This was the danger of always criticising the skeptics for not publishing in the "peer-reviewed literature". Obviously, they found a solution to that--take over a journal! So what do we do about this? I think we have to stop considering "Climate Research" as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board...




QUOTE
Not really. My point


...was apparently to set up a strawman with bizarre things that no one here believes and then knocking it down nice and easy.


QUOTE
has any information from the leaked emails falsified ANY of the theories behind AGW? Not from what I’ve seen. It’s just the same old sceptic response: jump on any scrap of info, apply absolutely zero healthy scepticism about that information and claim it falsifies AGW when it patently doesn’t even come close.

But there is no doubt that these leaked emails will further polarise the debate and push more people into the “sceptic camp”. I feel sick with fear at our chances of averting dangerous climate change.


The real point here is that they (as I said earlier) don't seem to be doing science anymore. They're not trying to find out what is. They've decided on what is, and they'll manipulate the data and keep dissenting opinion out in order to get people to believe them. And I realize it's because they feel this is extremely urgent, but it's not their job to do politics. It's their job to do science.


But anyway, take the following quotes for example:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environme...ous-quotes.html

QUOTE
From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
"I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."


and

QUOTE
From: Kevin Trenberth (US National Center for Atmospheric Research). To: Michael Mann. Oct 12, 2009
"The fact is that we can't account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can't... Our observing system is inadequate"



Assuming that these aren't grossly taken out of context (I admit I haven't seen the entire emails they're taken from), then that's pretty darn bad. They're pretty much admitting the data does not match what their theories predict it should be, but they'll assume the problem is with the data and they'll try to hide the fact that it doesn't fit because they are so certain that they are right.
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 01:53 PM
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QUOTE
*sigh*

The actual releveant quotes (by Michael Mann):


Michael Mann is a frustrated person venting out in an email correspondence. I disagree with his way of looking at the incident (Climate Research was not hijacked by sceptics). But did this "pressure", this "bullying" journals into not publishing papers you speak of ever materialize? Nothing points to it. The statements of the editors, the editor-in-chief Otto Kinne do not support your assertions. Have you read the paper that caused this storm. Do you try to get to the source of these juicy stories?

QUOTE
was apparently to set up a strawman with bizarre things that no one here believes and then knocking it down nice and easy.


Except that bigboy, two post up from mine, shits out things like:

"This is what happens when you have an entire field where people are allowed to call themselves scientists while refusing to provide the raw data they base their results on. No repeatability, no oversight, nothing. Just hoping the words of a bunch of people with political goals and grant money at stake are being honest about it.

Incidentally, the most scandalous part of it was the illegal conspiracy to hide data despite Freedom of Information Act requests."


Don't be a dick.

QUOTE
Assuming that these aren't grossly taken out of context (I admit I haven't seen the entire emails they're taken from), then that's pretty darn bad. They're pretty much admitting the data does not match what their theories predict it should be, but they'll assume the problem is with the data and they'll try to hide the fact that it doesn't fit because they are so certain that they are right.


Ofcourse they're cherry-picked. And how do you know they haven't been edited along the way?

Phil Jones is discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions when he writes “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.

As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the “divergence problem”, it is NOTHING climate scientists have ever tried to cover up–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.
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Bayesian methodo...
post Nov 26 2009, 02:30 PM
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LOL. The e-mails could say anything and Fairlane would make up excuses to rationalize them.
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 02:31 PM
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Just a comment (because I don't know when I might get time to come back to this - another daughter since the last time I was actively posting, upcoming dissertation and 4-5 applications that have to be submitted in the coming months): I missed this place!
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Fairlane
post Nov 26 2009, 02:35 PM
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QUOTE (Bayesian methodology @ Nov 26 2009, 03:30 PM) *
LOL. The e-mails could say anything and Fairlane would make up excuses to rationalize them.


Not quite. I'm quite sure I'm the only one in this thread thats actually read the emails, that's read most of the papers that they discuss and thats familiar with the jargon and terminology climate scientists would use when corresponding in private through email. Not that it, in any way, gives me any higher rights to discuss this - but it does allow me to comment on some misconceptions (I've already dealt with the myths that they stopped papers from being published, or that they purposefully are hiding their data)
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Bayesian methodo...
post Nov 26 2009, 02:37 PM
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Fairlane, the point is that they have tried to stop papers from being published. Whether or not they were successful is irrelevant to this point. This is the politicization of science.
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Cerian
post Nov 26 2009, 08:10 PM
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Do any of you geniuses (other than Fairlane) actually have experience with peer-review and publishing in journals? Editorial boards and reviewers try to stop papers from being published all the time. Practically every day. Specifically, they try to stop shitty work from being published. Working on an editorial board and being a reviewer, in fact, makes that your job. That some climate scientists became suspect of a journal (one perhaps unreasonably so) because the editorial board let a paper through that 6 members subsequently voluntarily resigned over is not surprising. There are all sorts of journals I'm not going to waste my time looking at because they aren't reputable. People write a lot of shit and if I'm researching something I'm going to stick to one's I can trust are good.

And the idiotic claims about hiding data which can't be released because of contractual obligations with the source of the data in question should be self-evidently ridiculous.
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Bar-Aram
post Nov 26 2009, 08:33 PM
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QUOTE (Cerian @ Nov 26 2009, 09:10 PM) *
Do any of you geniuses (other than Fairlane) actually have experience with peer-review and publishing in journals? Editorial boards and reviewers try to stop papers from being published all the time. Practically every day. Specifically, they try to stop shitty work from being published.


Obviously that is their job, and if that (the quality) was the reason they were stating for being against those things being published, then there would obviously not be a problem.
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bigboy
post Nov 26 2009, 09:44 PM
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QUOTE (Fairlane @ Nov 26 2009, 03:28 AM) *
Again, there is nothing illegal or conspiratorial about it. From the date of the first FOI request to the Climate Research Unit (in 2007), it has been made abundantly clear that the main impediment to releasing the whole CRU archive is the small % of it that was given to CRU on the understanding it wouldn’t be passed on to third parties. Those restrictions are in place because of the originating organisations (the various National Met. Services) around the world and are not CRU’s to break. As of Nov 13, the response to the umpteenth FOI request for the same data met with exactly the same response. This is an unfortunate situation, and pressure should be brought to bear on the National Met Services to release CRU from that obligation. It is not however the fault of CRU. The vast majority of the data in the HadCRU records is publicly available from Global Historical Climate Network.

Receiving an FOI request and responding to it by sending out an email to your colleagues saying "can you please delete all your correspondence" applicable to the request is illegal. Or, the money-quote one (quoting from memory here) was "I'd rather delete it than turn it over" (regarding the data which was under a FOI request at the time).

This is, to put it bluntly, directly contrary to your assertion of "not illegal" and "not a conspiracy." That is both. Period.
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Bayesian methodo...
post Nov 26 2009, 10:11 PM
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QUOTE (Bar-Aram @ Nov 26 2009, 03:33 PM) *
Obviously that is their job, and if that (the quality) was the reason they were stating for being against those things being published, then there would obviously not be a problem.


Correct.
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QWOT
post Nov 27 2009, 01:41 AM
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*sigh*

This shit goes on all the time. It's not limited to global warming, and it's not limited to "liberals", and it's not even limited to topics the general public is interested in.

As one of my chemistry professors liked to say: "Science advances when the old scientists die."



To all who are bemoaning the fact that skeptics of global warming are universally not trusted: they've got their "supporters" to blame. Too often, blowhard conservative commentators (notably Limbaugh, but others more recently) have touted absolute bullshit as "valid research" when they had ideological reasons to dislike the "mainstream research". The two most notable recent situations are the idiots who claimed that "smoking doesn't cause cancer" and "there is no 'hole' in the ozone layer". After so much crap; is it any wonder that the public believes that they are "crying wolf" yet again with global warming?
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gnuneo
post Nov 27 2009, 02:30 AM
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may i recommend the documentary "age of stupid", not because its chock full of science data, nor because its a particularly good doc (in fact its a bit too choppy), but simply because afterwards, you realise what is actually important?

this came up on BBC 2's Question-time tonight, and the 'sceptics' had on the panel an ally in the form of melanie phipps (or something similar) a 'Daily Mail' (nasty right-wing tabloid) writer, who said her piece. Straight after her came a comedian and social commentator (never heard of him before, but he seemed quite well known to the audience), who quite literally ripped her apart... turned out he'd been to the polar cap, to Greenland, talked to the scientists up there, talked to the Innuits, looked at the data for himself - and just openly told her she was talking absolute crap. Got a very rousing applause for it too - despite a recent poll showing that although less than 2% of scientists question GW (a slightly larger group question how much is man-made, but only slightly), yet 60% of the UK population think that there is 'scientific disagreement' over this. But then, although the audience is 'bloke-onna-street' level, they are also politically interested.

more and more, hopefully, are realising that although yes, the mega-corps and their paid political lackies are pushing AGW for their own ends (greenwashing, 'carbon-credits' and the like), that doesn't detract from the basic premise - the basic *fact*, that GW IS happening.

and as someone (i think from the audience) pointed out, the effect of erring on the side of caution (GW isn't happening, Govt manages to raise a few more taxes on us, we change from oil-based economics before it is absolutely necessary etc) is completely dwarfed by erring on the side of danger (massive GW effects, most major cities drowned, movements of billions of starving people, complete global catastrophe etc). And in this regard, again, i would recommend "the Age of Stupid".

(edit: sleppning misteake)

This post has been edited by gnuneo: Nov 27 2009, 02:32 AM
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