How climategate destroyed the science of global warming.

We are engaged in a debate that has polarised into two distinct factions. On one side, the skeptics of global warming and on the other, the believers in it. Depending on how heated the debate becomes, the skeptics are called deniers and the believers are called alarmists in response. I am on the skeptic side of the argument.

The word skeptic is interesting. It does come with some subconscious baggage. For instance, it doesn’t mean habitually prone to cynicism about everything, even though in a lot of people’s heads, it might have that tone to it. A skeptic who is skeptical of most things is, I’d have to say, usually a cynic but that’s a case of the tail wagging the dog; their skepticism of everything is just a manifestation of their underlying cynicism about everything. Cynics need to look at the world with a better pair of eyes. The balance point of course is that a reasonable skeptic is usually skeptical of some things but not of all.

It also comes with a subtle connotation to pessimism, though it actually has no relationship to pessimism at all.  In terms of outlook on people and life in general, I am certainly more of an optimist than most of my friends. I know there is an essential goodness and decency in most people because I see it every day. That is one of my beliefs in people and I’ll never be able to prove or disprove that proposition in any formal logic sense. It is a belief and I freely acknowledge that simple fact.

Believing in anything is easy because you don’t have to look for proof; it’s a belief. That simple statement explains why some people can accept the most outrageous things as being true. Most of the time, people who believe in a given thing are basing that belief on trusting what’s been said to them by experts or authority figures. Trust is the vital word in that last sentence. Being skeptical is rather more difficult because you have a suspicion that something other people believe in may not be true and you’re obliged to look for proof of that.

There are spiritual things in life that I consider can only be accepted on the basis of faith, which is a form of belief, but anything else in the concrete world can validly be looked at skeptically and that most certainly does include any branch of science. If you’re not prepared to do that, then by refusing to do Popper’s refutability test on it, you’re implicitly admitting it cannot be falsified and it is therefore a belief and not a science.

If you have a branch of science that appears to presenting a compelling case for the complete restructuring of industrial society across the face of the earth, it would appear manifestly prudent to me that it is examined critically through skeptic eyes.

In an ideal world, anyone who had doubts about such a seemingly vital branch of science would take the time to become an expert in it to verify that what it was asserting was correct or disproving it. Personally, I do have formal reasons for entertaining deep doubts about it and they mostly centre on the forecasting ability of the computer models being used. When you subtract the models from climate science, there’s not much science left.

We do not live in an ideal world. Nobody has the time or interest in becoming an expert in everything. Everybody operates on the traditional basis of trusting others who have a specialist knowledge.

When your electrician tells you that you need a new fuse box, you let him fit one. When your car mechanic tells you the problem is with the carb, you let him fix it. When your financial adviser tells you to put your money into Treasury Bills, you make that adjustment to your portfolio. The list is endless. We operate on this basis of trust every day and for most of our lives.

But what happens if you find out you actually didn’t need that fuse box, or the problem wasn’t with the carb or the advice to switch into T-bills was only given because your adviser was getting an under the table kickback on the swap?

You immediately stop believing them is what happens, because you’ve just found out that you can’t trust them. The whole world operates on this simple basis. It always has and it always will. We trust other people only for as long as they don’t abuse that trust. If they do that, we never trust them again. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Both releases of the climategate emails show the same pattern. Private doubts about things they were telling us publically were beyond doubt. Telling us there was a rock solid consensus when they’d been actively suppressing quite valid but dissenting science. An incestuous relationship with a mainstream media that was supposed to be independent but had in fact degenerated into a mere organ of propaganda. The systematic and endemic abuse of real world data to make it conform to specious prognostications. The collusion to remove people who disagreed with them out of positions of influence and in some cases, their livelihoods. The wilful withholding of the data by hiding behind loopholes in Freedom of Information legislation. The deletion of emails to further withhold information. The list goes on and on.

Above all, it’s the pervasive stench of the worst type of scientific and intellectual arrogance. Even in the aftermath of these revelations, not a single one of them has yet to lose a single job or paid sinecure.

The ordinary person cannot prove that climate science is right or wrong but they don’t have to. They can simply make that old decision as to whether they still trust these people any more and they’ve made that decision.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman :

I’m not a scientist but …

Global warming and pathological science.

The Seductiveness of Models.

Click for a list of other articles.

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Comments
19 Responses to “How climategate destroyed the science of global warming.”
  1. “Personally, I do have formal reasons for entertaining deep doubts about it and they mostly centre on the forecasting ability of the computer models being used. When you subtract the models from climate science, there’s not much science left.”

    Yes… used to earn a crust by modelling mostly linear systems in electonics. Any attempt to introduce even hysterisis was fraught… This mob claim to be able to model interacting chaotic ones out a hundred years… Yeah, right.

    Marcus

  2. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    You’re right about a trust, once betrayed, being lost forever.

    I was recently reading an account of the arrest of a Huckster who had ripped people off and he was charged with “Obtaining Advantage by Deception”. Under any criterion you can name, how could the Climate Fraudsters not be charged with the same offense?

    Then today I was reading about a young university professor and Govt adviser whose specialty was International Refugee Law. She has received Govt grants of hundreds of thousands of dollars sending her on study trips around the world to visit Pacific Islands and other low-lying countries to establish their status as “climate refugees”.

    “I had done a radio interview about ‘environmental refugees’, or ‘climate refugees’, and I said there is no such thing as a matter of law.

    ”Those two ideas – statelessness and climate change – coalesced and I thought ‘Hmm, I’ve been reading about the so-called sinking island states. How would that relate to people becoming stateless?’ ”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/immersed-in-a-fight-for-lost-ground-20111209-1oner.html#ixzz1g6MSdJYy

    She suggests we could never say to those Islanders ‘Well, you can sit there and wait for the waves to come’.

    How many untold billions of dollars have been funnelled into all manner of studies, investigations, reports, mitigation programs and ‘research’ that have all been based on this spurious pseudo-science and at the very heart of it is … “Obtaining Advantage by Deception”. For the likes of Mann and Jones et al, it’s a criminal act with criminal intent and no amount of whitewash from Govt-sponsored ‘Inquiries’ will change that.

    Meanwhile so many people like the young professor, always with an eye for the ‘main chance’ to secure yet more funding in their various fields, only have to tack a ‘climate’ angle to their next submission for funding and the cash flows.

    It has to stop. The money spigot must be turned off and the Fraudsters held to account.

    (By the way, the journalist conducting the interview seemed overly interested in her subject’s lunch and duly reported their conversation, never once challenging the claim of man-made rising sea levels.)

    Bubble brain!!!

  3. Sleuth says:

    HI P I know I said I didn’t have time to blog however what I have just read on Andrew Bolt’s blog has left me absolutely shocked! The only thing about it, is that they have become so outrageous (climate con. in Durban ) with this insanity, no one could possibly believe IN AGW anymore. OMG from a very despondent Sleuth

  4. amcoz says:

    P, I agree with your general argument although I’d say, “[w]hen you subtract the models from climate science, there is NO science,” because the models are nothing more than tools for complex calculations, although it would seem they were used by people for playing political games with scant regard for any science, as CG 1 & 2 now highlight so well.

    Like Slueth, I’ve also read BoltA’s blog and the good Lord’s critique of the Durban shenanigans, which made me think that the insanity of so few may threaten the sanity of most of us; but only if we let them, obviously.

  5. Superb blog as always, Pointman.

    Please allow me a day and I will be back with some grisly details of exactly how pointless and colossally money-wasting the entire exercise of proving or disproving CAGW has been.

    The short version is there is not anything near what would be necessary from a sampling basis on any elevation or altitude to concoct a believable model which defines what is going on in the atmosphere at all.

    Back in a bit.

  6. Greetings! Here is the limited distribution outcome of the Durban Conference for your information and review (O’Brien. Walt O’Brien).

    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2011/awglca14/eng/l04.pdf

    Also, here in some simple and straightforward links and no explanations to cloud your vision (if that is not a severely stretched pun) is why the CAGW pile of lies ought never to be propagated: there is not a large enough statistical base of empirical data even to craft the most general of short-term, never mind long-term climate models.

    http://public.ornl.gov/ameriflux/site-select.cfm

    http://cdiac.esd.ornl.gov/trends/emis/em_cont.html

    https://tccon-wiki.caltech.edu/

    http://oco.jpl.nasa.gov/observatory/

    Lastly, here is the why, how and who as to the financing of the ecobiogreentard movement in the States and an explanation as to why the Canada government is the stealth weapon of envirogreentards worldwide. Follow the money, honey:

    http://uk.ibtimes.com/articles/20111117/canada-boosting-hydro-power-88gw-replace-coal.htm

  7. Neal Asher says:

    “You immediately stop believing them is what happens, because you’ve just found out that you can’t trust them. The whole world operates on this simple basis.”

    Exactly what I did, but way before Climategate. I kept coming across articles telling me stuff that simply didn’t add up, kept seeing the goalposts being moved and watched ‘the tangled web’ being weaved.

  8. Pointman says:

    An interesting email chain between Prof. Bob Carter and Bob Ward, where Ward is trying to pick holes in what Prof. Carter wrote in an article. Ward poses a string of questions to Carter who knocks all of them out of the stadium.

    His remarks re the predictive value of the computer models back up what Marcus and I were saying but notice Ward’s response – well anyway, let’s just attack him for not being a climate scientist. Info war …

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=4245.txt&search=bob+ward

    Pointman

  9. Pointman says:

    Another Bob Ward email, this time asking Phil Jones for a bit of help because -

    “I’m not sure how to argue against this point – it appears to imply that there is no
    statistically significant trend in the global temperature record over the past few years.”

    Phil’s reply is not much use really “Trend won’t be statistically significant, but the trend is up.” Anyway Phil assures him “I will try and hide it in a paper at some point. ” So that’s okay.

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1885.txt&search=bob+ward

    Pointman

  10. Pointman says:

    Bob Ward again, planning to close down any who would disagree with the true Church of Climateology. I’d have to say, it’s a good example of the black side of Infowar : Shut up any voice of dissent. He just needs the data repackaged in a certain way. Anyone?

    “I am forwarding an exchange of e-mails I had with David Whitehouse last week about the
    Met Office’s press release on 2008 global temperatures. You will see that he is
    persisting with his stupid argument that global warming ended in 2001 – he is still
    managing to sway people with his argument, and it is the same as Christopher Booker is
    using virtually every week in ‘The Sunday Telegraph’.
    So I am planning to go public over my argument with Whitehouse and to take Booker to the
    Press Complaints Commission. To do this, I need to be able to scotch their argument. I
    think the best way in which I might be able to do this is by showing that if you take
    virtually any consecutive seven-year period since 1850 you find that the uncertainties
    overlap, making them “statistically indistinguishable”, but this does not mean that
    temperatures haven’t changed since 1850. So, do you know how I might be able to obtain a
    version of the attached graph, but with the years in chronological order?”

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=4890.txt&search=bob+ward

    Pointman

  11. Peter Crawford says:

    “To do this, I need to be able to scotch their argument”

    Well scotch it then you pathetic creature, don’t go running to Daddy to scare off the big boys. How can ANYONE take Bob Ward seriously ?

    • amcoz says:

      PC, I think their problem is, too much ‘scotch’. Perhaps, if they had a clearer head they’d come to understand the stupidity of ‘their argument’.

  12. thojak says:

    We’re getting more info on the cAGW-scam everyday, latest I learned about is that Canada formally skipped the Kyoto-agreement, great move, Canada! :-D
    It’ll be interesting to see/learn what the position of Japan and India now will take, and, of course, how the reactions/(actions?) in Australia will be on the same topic.

    Here is a quite interesting memo w regard to the origin of the darned ‘agreement’:

    http://www.masterresource.org/2011/12/palmisano-kyoto-memo-10/

    Brgds from Sweden
    //TJ

  13. Edward. says:

    How have we allowed this great AGW scam to be turned around?

    It is the so called academics here, who should be in the dock for lying, fudging data and attempting to prove the fiction of a political idea: man made global warming = control and taxes. Then, the great and amateurish cover up and magically to blame the world for their own and very original incompetence and Les flic are on their side! – it is Kafka-esque.

    This whole mess is ar8e about face, the CRU should be answering questions, the whole episode is shameful.

    What a bloody country this is: NKVD comes to Britain.

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