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The Heart of ClimateGate

Michael Mann's original "hockey stick" graph, "proof" of man-made global warming

Via Instapundit, here is an excellent WSJ op-ed that very effectively gets to the heart of the ClimateGate scandal: How To Forge A Consensus

... [T]he furor over these documents is not about tone, colloquialisms or even whether climatologists are nice people in private. The real issue is what the messages say about the way the much-ballyhooed scientific consensus on global warming was arrived at in the first place, and how even now a single view is being enforced. In short, the impression left by the correspondence among Messrs. Mann and Jones and others is that the climate-tracking game has been rigged from the start.

According to this privileged group, only those whose work has been published in select scientific journals, after having gone through the "peer-review" process, can be relied on to critique the science. And sure enough, any challenges that critics have lobbed at climatologists from outside this clique are routinely dismissed and disparaged.


Bitter rivalries among leading scientists are as old as the disciplines of natural philosophy and science themselves. The fireworks that erupted between Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton, Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla, and the life-long battle between inventors Edwin Armstrong and Lee DeForest and RCA founder David Sarnoff, are all relatively well known.

But the scientific method and the verification process of peer review were developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries precisely to minimize, if not outright eliminate, the influence of politics, money, religious beliefs, and personality conflicts on the development of scientific discoveries. The process of peer review, whereby a scientist's work is opened to a world-wide audience of experts for examination, was specifically designed to prevent scientists from forming "cliques" and deliberately excluding the work of others whose findings were in conflict with their own. The peer review method isn't perfect of course, but it has done a credible job weeding out the majority of "new discoveries" that are in some way errant, while authenticating legitimate groundbreaking work.

And that is what makes ClimateGate so disturbing. The WSJ editorial continues:

As anonymous reviewers of choice for certain journals, Mr. Mann & Co. had considerable power to enforce the consensus, but it was not absolute, as they discovered in 2003. Mr. Mann noted to several colleagues in an email from March 2003, when the journal "Climate Research" published a paper not to Mr. Mann's liking, that "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!"

The scare quotes around "peer-reviewed literature," by the way, are Mr. Mann's. He went on in the email to suggest that the journal itself be blackballed: "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." In other words, keep dissent out of the respected journals. When that fails, re-define what constitutes a respected journal to exclude any that publish inconvenient views. It's easy to manufacture a scientific consensus when you get to decide what counts as science.

The response to this among the defenders of Mr. Mann and his circle has been that even if they did disparage doubters and exclude contrary points of view, theirs is still the best climate science we've got. The proof for this is circular. It's the best, we're told, because it's the most-published and most-cited--in that same peer-reviewed literature.

Bloggers and other interested parties have spent much time during the last week or so sifting through the East Anglia emails, marking up outrageous excerpts and studying computer code in order to discover the math used to fudge data. But more fundamental than even those things is the simple fact that Michael Mann and others have completely corrupted the peer review process, praising work that seems to concur with the "truth" of man-made global warming, while attempting to bury papers and smear scientists who are out of step with their thinking.

Yet this corruption doesn't seem to be influenced by any external forces. In its initial response to the CRU email leak, RealClimate.org noted:

More 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 MWP', no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data [this is not true, as Charlie Quidnunc earlier noted here - Ed], 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.

It appears that Michael Mann and his acolytes were indeed "true believers" in what they were doing, and probably answered to no one outside their circle of colleagues. Perhaps in their minds this reinforced the notion that their work had never been corrupted. Still, when science becomes a propaganda campaign that is forced to rely on Gestapo tactics in order to perpetuate its version of the truth, it isn't science any more. The only way that the East Anglia group can redeem itself in the eyes of the world at large, which curiously seems to understand the objective nature of peer review much better than they do, is to publicly release all of their raw data and computational methods so that they can be studied by unbiased atmospheric scientists and computer programmers. Until that occurs, we should consider their entire body of work to be highly suspect at best.


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Comments (28)

"...publicly release all of... (Below threshold)

"...publicly release all of their raw data and computational methods...."

Be a cold day in hell before that happens. Mann and his acolytes have been caught naked, worshiping at the alter of Mother Gaia with cherry-picked and fudged data. Nothing like coming to a conclusion, then screwing with the data to support that conclusion. And here I always thought 'the scientific method' was the other way around. But hey, what the hell, lets revamp the entire world economy based just on suspect data. I'm sure I can get an alleluia from The Goracle.

How to forge a consensus: <... (Below threshold)

How to forge a consensus:

1) Lie to everyone including Your peers and Yourself.

2) Continue to pocket the profits.

3) Use a snake oil shuckster pres runner up as a mouthpiece.

4) Lie, lie, lie and lie some more.

Two physicists show in thei... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Two physicists show in their now peer reviewed paper that climatologists got it wrong from day one. CO2 forcing is fictitious twaddle pushed by ignorant climatologists. See American Thinker Politics and Greenhouse Gases.

So if the greenhouse effect of CO2 is hogwash, what explains the discrepancy seen in the blackbody radiation equations?

Here's my theory:

The warming effect of the atmosphere is due to the shifting emissivity of the surface and atmosphere system on a spinning globe. By day sunlight heats the surface and much of that heat is effectively transfers into the atmosphere by conduction and convection. The atmosphere is made up mostly of the infrared transparent gases nitrogen, oxygen and argon. Together they account for 99.94% of the mass of our 5 million billion ton atmosphere (5,000,000,000,000,000). At night the heated atmosphere is unable to radiate away its heat because of a pesky law of physics that says no material that's transparent to a particularly wavelength of light can radiate at that wavelength. This effect is used to advantage in high end solar collectors. At night air in contact with the ground transfer some of its heat back to the ground by conduction, but convection is prevented because the cold air is denser than the warmer air just above the surface, thus preventing convection. The surface and atmosphere system reaches balance when the surface temperature rises due to the trapped heat so that it radiates the equivalent amount of heat that's trapped in the atmosphere. Thus, shifting emissivity explains the discrepancy seen in the blackbody equations.

Greenhouse forcing, of which CO2 is a part, was assumed to exist based on the discrepancy seen in the blackbody equations, but there's an alternative explanation that fully compatible with all known laws of physics. Certainly, shifting emissivity has to be taken into account and until climatologists do so all the GC models can be dismissed as overly simplistic.

James Hansen's got a blog o... (Below threshold)

James Hansen's got a blog over at solveclimate.com/blog/james-hansen. Oddly, there's no mention of this.

And the spin's still in - on the 23rd he wrote

"Global warming IS a time bomb.

There may still be time to defuse it, but that requires policy-makers to take the actions that are needed, not the ineffectual actions they are discussing.

Despite the publicity that global warming has received, there is a large gap between what is understood by the relevant scientific community, and what is known by the people who need to know, the public and policymakers. Global warming is small compared to day-to-day weather fluctuations, so it is hard for people to recognize that we have a crisis - but we do.
The scam's blown, but instead of admitting doubt or that anything was at all wrong with the process, he's doubling down and wanting to push to get more done and done faster.

If the science is solid, release all the data, all the models, all your conclusions - and let independents replicate it if possible. If they won't do that - then it's not as solid as it would seem.

And New Zealand raw data looks pretty dull - it's only AFTER the data is 'adjusted' for possible error that things start to warm. Isn't that interesting?

When 'adjustments for error' are added in, things get VERY interesting. No more dull straight-line data!

What did we find? First, the station histories are unremarkable. There are no reasons for any large corrections. But we were astonished to find that strong adjustments have indeed been made.

About half the adjustments actually created a warming trend where none existed; the other half greatly exaggerated existing warming. All the adjustments increased or even created a warming trend, with only one (Dunedin) going the other way and slightly reducing the original trend.

The shocking truth is that the oldest readings have been cranked way down and later readings artificially lifted to give a false impression of warming, as documented below. There is nothing in the station histories to warrant these adjustments and to date Dr Salinger and NIWA have not revealed why they did this.

One station, Hokitika, had its early temperatures reduced by a huge 1.3°C, creating strong warming from a mild cooling, yet there's no apparent reason for it.
Apparently a media statement is being drafted to explain what's going on. Any bets on whether it'll be a variant of "You vast unwashed are too ignorant and stupid to understand teh wizeness of we leet climatololologists."

The "<a href="... (Below threshold)

The "hide the decline" in Phil Jones' Nov. 16, 1999, e-mail referred to Mann's 1998 temperature chart that hid the declining reliability of tree-rings after 1960. Mann's chart apparently shows temperatures from 1900 to 1960, as reflected in tree ring studies, and then tacks on actual thermometer readings for the years 1961 to 1998.
Both Mann and McIntyre said this yesterday. According to skeptic McIntyre, the "hiding" was not exactly an exercise in deception, but McIntyre also said Mann has not yet fully explained why tree rings were a good measure until 1960, but a bad measure after 1960.

Meanwhile back at the White House we find out that

Barack Obama's radical socialist climate czar Carol Browner on Wednesday rejected claims that e-mails stolen from a British university show climate scientists trumped up global warming numbers, saying she considers the science settled.

.. but in one of those "shades of Haliburton" moments, we find out that she ...

was a board member of one of the leading carbon offset trading companies, APX.

It appears that google is c... (Below threshold)

It appears that google is censoring their autosuggest function. Yesterday it would autosuggest "climategate" but it no longer appears in the list! This is extremely significant because "climategate" would appear first in the list for any search that begins with "climate."

It would be good if other folks could confirm this, and if it is true, trumpet this coverup on the web. Google is a gatekeeper of global news ...

"The scam's blown, but inst... (Below threshold)

"The scam's blown, but instead of admitting doubt or that anything was at all wrong with the process, he's doubling down and wanting to push to get more done and done faster"

Excellent point Lawson. They need to get the associated crippling Crap and Confiscate legislation passed before the wheels totally come off this scam.

Oh wait, might be too late.


From the leaked emails:... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

From the leaked emails:

Dr. Don Keiller writing to Professor Briffa asks the following question:

2) Why these series, when incorporated with white noise as a background, can still produce a Hockey-Stick shaped graph if they have, as you suggest, a low individual weighting?

What's happened here is the Dr, Keiller somehow got hold of the computer program or metadata that Professor Briffa used to manipulate his raw tree ring data. When Dr. Keiller fed it random values it still produced a hockey stick shaped graph. What this shows is that the hockey stick pattern is in the computer program, not the data. How that occurred is open to debate, but the fact that the results are wrong is not.

All the methods, techniques and assumptions used to process the raw data and produce a conclusion go by the term metadata. Often the metadata is embedded in computer code. If you can keep your metadata secret you can support any desired conclusion regardless of the raw data. That's what Dr. Keiller was seeing.

Everyone who's interested in the truth about AGW should be calling for a review of the IPCC's forth assessment such that all of the data and metadata for every included study, graph or reconstruction must be made public. If researches cannot or are unwilling to do so then their contribution should be removed from the revised IPCC forth assessment. Those arguing against this are arguing against transparence in government. Will Obama be on their side?

Daddy, why are we killing t... (Below threshold)

Daddy, why are we killing the polar bears with global warming ?

Oh sweetie, come here and sit down for a minute. You see, certain scientists told the world some lies about this thing called global warming. Then, leaders from around the world supported those lies and told more lies of their own. Even our leaders here in America told us lies too about how this made-up thing would hurt people.

Look peanut, these people did a really bad thing. Their lies have cost trillions of dollars and wasted people's time and energy all around the world. But now these bad people have been caught lying so don't worry, the polar bears will be fine and we will all be ok.

Now I want you to go out and play and stop thinking about this stuff some people at school and other places have put in your head. Go out and have fun and just remember, don't tell lies, they might affect the whole world someday.

End of Story

"Daddy, why are we killing ... (Below threshold)

"Daddy, why are we killing the polar bears with global warming?"

And Daddy how is it that the polar bear population is increasing when we're 'killing them all off'.

Is this more of that "Obama math", Daddy?

Strange the only big oil I ... (Below threshold)

Strange the only big oil I see is the grease in Al Gores hair.. and the skin oil thats in his sweat.. Not what i would call a good day for Captin Planet.

Let's not forget the MSM ro... (Below threshold)

Let's not forget the MSM role in this. They almost always cover one side. Once in a great when they interviewed a critic, they would find the nuttiest person they could find instead of one of many who could make an articulate argument.

I still remember a panel on C-Span where one professor who dared to correct one of their assumptions and so call consensus. They barely allowed him to say another sentence the rest of the show. Anytime he started to speak others would shout over top of him.

Testimony of Richard C. Lev... (Below threshold)

Testimony of Richard C. Levin
President, Yale University
Committee on the Environment and Public Works
April 3, 2008

"The Panel concluded that, in the absence of corrective measures, global temperatures are likely to rise between 1 and 6 degrees centigrade by the
end of this century, with the best estimates ranging between 2 and 4 degrees."

Actually Richard, your a bit high but very close, but I think it will be about 1.95 degrees (2.6 * 0.75);

The human contribution to global warming:

valadj=[0.,0.,0.,0.,0.,-0.1,-0.25,-0.3,0.,-0.1,0.3,0.8,1.2,1.7,2.5,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6,2.6]*0.75 ; fudge factor



"Actually Richard, your ... (Below threshold)

"Actually Richard, your a bit high but very close, but I think it will be about 1.95 degrees (2.6 * 0.75);"

I wish it would get here sooner....brrrrr, Im freezin!

Amazing! The data ... (Below threshold)


The data are in the faces of Man-Made Climate Change supporters and they still refuse to acknowledge the evidence.

These same scientists threatened my job with the US Geological Survey when trying to publish a study showing with higher confidence that global temperature changes were natural and caused solely by Earth's physical processes. Additionally, these same scientists would not discuss or refute the science and facts presented. Instead, they took two days to personally insult and attack me.

I always knew that when man-made global climate change was shown as insignificant that people would lose faith, note the word "FAITH", in science. But this event and exposure is by far worse for the science community; but "Truth is the daughter of Time (Francis Bacon)".

Several USGS scientists got fired for the same thing when discussing data manipulation for models developed for the Nevada Nuclear Test Site. But no outcry and defense for those scientists?

IF you see no problem with this and not wondering if the public has been misled by these scientists, then you are not scientists, you're in denial, and you stand for no moral principles.

On 25 November 2009 at 12:15 PM, I tried to post comments on RealClimate.org concerning this matter. That website refused the posts because they know me; another attempt to silence objective parties and since they were the ones that threatened my job.....

Now, Al Gore PUBLICLY states Mantle temperatures are MILLIONS of DEGREES. The man doesn't have the morality, decency, and/or courage to publicly admit he was WRONG. SO WHY SHOULD these scientists admit they are wrong? They can't, because if they do, the gig is up.

Don't feel bad, ehmoran, I ... (Below threshold)

Don't feel bad, ehmoran, I got my comments disappeared from Hansen's blog.

Of course, the suggestion he do hard time for scamming the world into possibly spending trillions might have had something to do with it. Or calling him a lying bastard who wouldn't release his raw data and computer models because he knew his work was garbage...

Now I suppose you guys are ... (Below threshold)

Now I suppose you guys are going to try to tell me the earth is round or something. We fixed the last guy that said that.

How come you want to get everybody all upset and confused? The science is settled.

Let that be the end to this irresponsible discussion. Move along now.

The Real Climate defence se... (Below threshold)

The Real Climate defence seems to be similar to man who when caught in the act of adultry by his wife responds with:
"Well Honey you did see me in bed with another woman but what is important here is that you did not see a man, small boy or goat in that bed; now you can be assured that while I may be an unfaithfull liar you at least know that I am heterosexual and do not have sex with children or farm animals."

ehmoran,There is a... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:


There is a way to use these leaked emails to force the truth out. Rather than confront the establishment scientists directly on the content of the leaked material I believe it's better to point out to politicians the growing public distrust of the scientific underpinnings of AGW, and that to gain public support for cap and trade, the IPCC's forth assessment must undergo a comprehensive review.

That review must make public the data and metadata of every study, graph or reconstruction the assessment is based on. Any researcher who won't or cannot submit all the data and metadata for their contribution will have their research removed from the revised assessment. The revised assessment will be based only on science that's publicly available for scrutiny.

It's real simple, the public demands transparency in any science that's going to be used as the basis of legislation that negatively impacts our economy. Given Obama ran on transparency in government, it's going to be politically expensive for him to support scientists who oppose such a review of the IPCC's forth assessment.

Yes, some will claim it's just a delaying tactic, but when nothing happens in Copenhagen and congress refuses to pass cap and trade, the messages is that nothing ever will happen until there's transparency in the science underpinning AGW.

You know that such a review will smoke out the establishment scientists who have been cooking the books for so long, but it does it in such a way that they look guilty if they don't go along. If their research is not transparent enough for inclusion in the revised IPCC assessment that raises the question as to why they are getting public research dollars. It's table turning time.

Where are the liberals who ... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Where are the liberals who infest this blog? Vic, AB, anyone? This is not about saving the planet it is about taking it over. If Obama does not back off this it will be time to go to Washington.

"Zelsdorf Ragshaft III: <br... (Below threshold)

"Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:
Where are the liberals who infest this blog? Vic, AB, anyone?"

Who cares..As long as they are absent.. The heart grows fonder.

Climate Scientists... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Climate Scientists


More like 'Climate Scientologists'. I think that better describes these enviro-religionist zealots. (The true believers, not the ones who know it's a scam but just want Marxist power.)

Whatever else this climate ... (Below threshold)

Whatever else this climate change scamdal is or isn't, one thing is for sure. It is as brown and smelly as something coming from the REALLY stinky end of a bull.

Stop bitching, take resp... (Below threshold)
John A. Jauregui:

Stop bitching, take responsibility and take action. Stop all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. Stop donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The Environmental Defense Fund. Write your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored funding and coordination of this and related propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. Write your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. That's what I have done in response to this outrageous violation of the public trust.

John A. Jauregui,A... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

John A. Jauregui,

Apart from stopping contributions to environmental groups and writing politicians your call for investigations is exactly the wrong thing to do. Democrats control congress and they are not going to allow such investigations, nor are the leaked emails sufficient, given the spin artistry we've already seen, to sustain such a confrontational strategy.

What we have on our side is a growing public skepticism of the science underpinning AGW, such that Democrats risk large political loses if they cram through cap and trade. Also, Obama made a lot of promises about transparency in government that we can use to advantage. Those two factors combined with the taint of corruption from the leaked emails may be sufficient to sustain a call for a comprehensive review of the IPCC's fourth assessment, such that all the data and metadata for all the studies, graphs, reconstructions, and conclusions be made public.

A lot of Democrats who support cap and trade don't believe there is widespread corruption in the scientific community and they will support a call for transparency to gain public support. In fact, it will be politically damaging for Democrats to oppose such transparency. Once Congress says to the UN that it won't accept the IPCC's forth assessment until it has met transparency requirements, other nations like India and China will get on board that bandwagon and the UN will be forced to do such a review.

The requirement of making all the data and metadata public will expose the corruption and scientific fraud, or at least force the scammers to withdraw their research in fake indignation. Those who withdraw and who take public money for their research open themselves up to having that funding stream stopped. We may never be able to force investigations, but a concerted and sustained public call for transparency in climate science will chase the scammers away and we'll be left with the truth. We'll find lots of allies if what we seek is the truth over retribution.

This phenomenon has been st... (Below threshold)

This phenomenon has been studied for nearly 50 years and accepted as highly plausible by the Royal Society (I have the Publication) but the process and connection were unexplainable; the only drawback of all Magnetic Intensity and Ambient Temperature studies in their WORDS up till now. We explained the Process in our paper along with the data analysis. Unfortunately, we used the Hadley Global Temperature Datasets. The data used were yearly averages, which was well explained both in the original paper and the 2008 AGU presentation. Just didn't see any RealClimate people at the presentation. But they knew about it. I informed them

The following is what I perceived as personal intimidation and a threat to call my USGS supervisor for doing this study. The only reason someone uses words like "Does your boss know what your doing" in the context of this event is a threat to get you FIRED if you don't cease and desists. Now if the study and theory were not plausible and a potential explanation of global temperature variability, then why would RealClimate.org do what they did in their posts, not very professional for PhDs. Additionally, there are many other areas on that website where conversations took place.

John Mashey says:
30 June 2007 at 1:04 AM

re: #261: Chuck: you can stop worrying. Tindall has been at USGS for while,............................................

Mr. Moran, if you're still watching:
I have read USGS 370.735.5 and I hope you (and James Tindall) have.
Do managers SAF and LE HB know about this? Any constructive comments?"

From: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/200...

Corrupt,collusion,conspirac... (Below threshold)
Steve Boston:

Corrupt,collusion,conspiracy,control for cash.

Grrrr for the last time.. I... (Below threshold)

Grrrr for the last time.. In theory its possible.. But the field data didn't support the theory so they FAKED it.. CO2 is .04 of 1% of our atmosphere.. Of that man is responsible for .04.. If you think .04 of .04 is pushing us over the edge when in fact you cant even measure any increase at all..

I just dont know what to tell you and have no idea how to reach you..






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