Monday, 23 November 2009

Conspiracies Aplenty

How the Global Warming Scientists Really Work

The hacked e-mails of the Climate Research Unit in Hadley, UK are now all over the Internet. It is possible that it was an "inside" job and someone deliberately leaked the material. We do not know, as yet. What we do know is that it has some New Zealand connections.

Firstly, an overview. The now-public e-mails can be studied an researched at the following site.

The material shows prima facie that leading global warming scientists have acted illegally and, therefore, should be investigated and prosecuted. There is evidence of a conspiracy to destroy information which had become subject to a Freedom of Information action.

They also imply deliberate falsification of data to achieve the desired results (that is, data to "prove" that the earth is warming). There is documentary evidence of conspiracies against scientists and researchers who do not agree with their particular propaganda line. There is evidence of a determination to corrupt the peer review process used by the Intergovenmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) so that scientists not in the "camp" get excluded from reviewing any "in camp" work.

Some of the initial assessments can be read in Powerline, which presents a damning summary of one particularly current issue (tree ring data used to "prove" that the earth has warmed). The opening paragraph reads:
A fascinating, hot-off-the-presses story emerges from the emails that were hacked yesterday from the University of East Anglia's Hadley Climatic Research Centre. It is one of many exchanges that shed light on the priority that the global warming alarmists give to politics and career advancement over science.
Andrew Bolt gives a summary of the "smoking gun" e-mails which show a conspiracy to break the law:
But far more serious - at least in a legal sense - may be [Professor Phil Jones] apparent boasting of destroying data to stop sceptics from checking this alarmist work. If, as some emails suggest, he destroyed it to thwart FOI requests from Professor Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre, who’d already exposed as fake the Michael Mann “hockey stick”, Jones, one of the most active of the IPCC lead authors, could even face criminal charges.
James Delingpole in the Daily Telegraph advises that if anyone owns shares in alternative energy companies they should dump them now. The hacked e-mails are the final nail in the coffin for global warming theories.

But there is a New Zealand connection which is equally fascinating. One of the cheerleaders for global warming in this country has been Jim Salinger, formerly of NIWA. There is a string of e-mails which opens with Salinger communicating in April 2003 with all the climate change notables who have been so influential in manipulating the IPCC, the media, and the politicians (Michael Mann, James Hansen, Tom Wigley, Phil Jones etc.) in which he seeks to marshal the troops and organise a co-ordinated blackballing of all voices which are not singing from the IPCC songsheet. He speaks of "bad science" (opposing views) and "good science" (authorised views). Salinger writes to his colleagues:
Ignoring bad science eventually reinforces the apparent 'truth' of that bad science in the public mind, if it is not corrected. As importantly, the 'bad science' published by CR [Climate Research] is used by the sceptics' lobbies to 'prove' that there is no need for concern over climate change. Since the IPCC makes it quite clear that there are substantial grounds for concern about climate change, is it not partially the responsibility of climate science to make sure only satisfactorily peer-reviewed science appears in scientific publications? - and to refute any inadequately reviewed and wrong articles that do make their way through the peer review process?
The IPCC, of course, has drawn its conclusion on the basis of material which Salinger and his colleagues have provided. The IPCC has given them a "seal of approval" which Salinger then turns around to justify organising colleagues to militate against anything which does not re-parrot the IPCC's authorised views. Only "satisfactorily peer-reviewed science" should be allowed to appear in science publications. Salinger concludes his e-mail throwing the ball to his conspirators in the Northern Hemisphere:
We Australasians (including Tom as an ex pat) have suggested some courses of action. Over to you now in the north to assess the success of your initiatives, the various discussions and suggestions and arrive on a path ahead. I am happy to be part of it.

Of particular concern, however, to Salinger is Auckland University's Chris De Freitas who is a thorn in Salinger's side. One of his correspondents, Tom Wigley says this of De Freitas:
Jim Salinger raises the more personal issue of de Freitas. He is clearly giving good science a bad name, but I do not think a barrage of ad hominem attacks or letters is the best way to counter this. If Jim wishes to write a letter with multiple authors, I may be willing to sign it, but I would not write such a letter myself.
So, way back in 2003, Salinger was actively organizing a circle of global warming "scientists" to militate against any publications by other scientists who happened to disagree with the authorised version of climate change (that is, authorised by the IPCC.) This effort has been going on for a long time, but the most recent occurred this year in July 2009. A few things have changed since 2003, however.

Ironically, Salinger is now a colleague of De Freitas. Since being fired from NIWA, Salinger has become an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland's School of Geography and Environmental Science, where De Freitas also works. De Freitas recently co-authored a peer reviewed article published in the Journal of Geophysical Research arguing that global temperature variations are natural. It achieved some notoriety in the media. Salinger immediately began co-ordinating an attempt to ridicule the article, although is somewhat hamstrung due to his being in the Cook Islands at the time. He instructs Michael Mann to "get something up" on RealClimate blogsite. He says he will deal with local fallout.
Kia orana All from the Tropical South Pacific Yes, Phil, a bit like 'A midsummer night's dream!'. and Gavin Tamino's bang up job is great, And good that you go up with stuff on Real Climate, Mike. As Kevin is preoccupied, for the scientific record we need a rebuttal somewhere pulled together. Who wants to join in on the multiauthored effort?? I am happy to coordinate it. Return to 'winter' this evening after enjoying a balmy south east trades and sunny dry 24 C in the Cook Islands.
I am tied up next week, but could frame something up the following week which , I hope would be multi-authored. It would be quite good to have a rebuttal from the same Department at Uni of Auckland (which Glenn McGregor of IJC is director of)! I haven't had tne oportunity to download the text here in the Cook Islands, so this would give me the opportunity to do that. Who else wants to join in??

Note this well. Salinger has not even read the article at this stage (he has only seen press reports in the Cook Islands). Yet he is furiously organizing and co-ordinating rebuttals and criticisms and attacks over the internet around the world from a distance. This is pure politics and public relations--not science.

However, the plot thickens. Salinger and his cofabulators (about ten in all, including Professor Phil Jones and Michael Mann) work up a scientific paper purporting to rebut the Journal of Geophysical Research article by De Freitas and colleagues. The e-mails and various versions flow back and forth. At one point, Salinger complains how New Zealand farmers have been influenced by the De Freitas article.
They have whipped up a storm through farmers in NZ who are using this to vehemently deny climate change, and therefore not address on farm emissions from CH4 and N2O and leave it to all the rest of us (when 60-70% of our electricity is renewable!) so I guess we all will be walking and cycling very quickly as farmers keep their animals burping out methane...that's my little sermon for this morning! Adios for now . . . Jim

Once the rebuttal article is ready to be submitted to the editors of the Journal for Geophysical Research, the confabulators turn their focus to whom they should recommend to the editors of the Journal for Geophysical Research as peer reviewers of their article. The Journal requires the following:
Please list the names of 5 experts who are knowledgeable in your area and could give
an unbiased review of your work. Please do not list colleagues who are close associates, collaborators, or family members. (this requires name, email, and institution).
Okay, got this. The Journal (rightly) is requiring suggestions for peer review who are experts and who would be unbiased. This is a normal standard of professional integrity for scientists. How do our confabulators respond? Here is Professor Phil Jones (head of the CRU at Hadley in the UK) commenting on the suggested experts who would be able to give an "unbiased review of your work":
From: Phil Jones
To: Kevin Trenberth , Grant Foster
Subject: Re: ENSO blamed over warming - paper in JGR
Date: Wed Aug 5 16:14:34 2009
Cc: "J. Salinger" , James Annan ,, Gavin Schmidt , Mike Mann ,

Hi all,
Agree with Kevin that Tom Karl has too much to do. Tom Wigley is semi retired and like Mike Wallace may not be responsive to requests from JGR. We have Ben Santer in common ! Dave Thompson is a good suggestion. I'd go for one of Tom Peterson or Dave Easterling. To get a spread, I'd go with 3 US, One Australian and one in Europe.
So Neville Nicholls and David Parker. All of them know the sorts of things to say - about our comment and the awful original, without any prompting.


These guys appear not to have a shred of professional integrity left. Nevertheless, the tame "unbiased" reviewers did their work. The e-mail string ends with the rebuttal paper having been accepted by the Journal of Geophysical Research which will now publish in due course. Pity about the carefully stage managed peer review.


Anonymous said...

Your comments on Salinger and others was interesting but it is a serious mistake to conclude that the central claim is false. The evidence is there. Ice and glaciers are in full retreat, temperature are rising against a long term downward trend since the post glacial optimum eight thousand years ago, and the rate of increase corresponds to GHG increases and is at an unusual rate. Seal levels are also creeping up and yet solar irradience apart from 11 year sunburst activity, is level or slightly decreasing. The trend contains wide variation at the regional, annual and even decade level, but too many people are "cherry picking" parts of the graph that suits their purpose. The alarmists are motivated in part by the dirty tricks employed by the oil and coal industries and "massaging the evidence" has always been a feature of science that threatens vested interests.
When you are in a boat that might be leaking, you dont waste time on metaphysical speculation.
What we do about is of course an issue and I am not convinced that ETSs will be fair or even work.

John Tertullian said...

Hi, Stuart
We do not accept your central assertion that "the evidence is there" for the "central claim" of global warming. At best the evidence is inconclusive. At worst, it shows nothing at all in terms of trend. (Note, for example, the base longer term temperature data for Darwin which was re-analysed recently and showed no warming over a hundred years. It only showed warming after it had been artificially "adjusted" by the climate scientists--and then by a massive six degrees upwards over forty years.)
It seems to us that the biggest nail in the coffin of AGW theories is the Medieval Warm Period--a 350 year period during which temperatures were much warmer in the northern hemisphere than they are today--yet without the level of CO2 emissions. This suggests that the whole AGW edifice is built upon the fallacy of post hoc ergo propter hoc.
The challenge is to define what would you consider to be the "falsifier" of AGW theories. Until AGW protagonists can achieve consensus upon that, the theory falls far short of being scientific (that is, in order to be scientific, the theory must be falsifiable.)
As to all the allegations about "big oil", even if true, they are clearly ad hominem, and therefore irrelevant. They are nothing more nor less than playing the man, not the ball.
Finally, your analogy of the leaking boat does not help us much if we consider that fixing the leak might well end up sinking the boat. Better to find out first whether the boat is leaking at all, or whether the water within is within normal tolerances (which is why the MWP is so crucial to the debate).