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Author Topic: Global Warming Research Center Hacked
Greg Davidson
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Oh, and if the answer is (1) above, what kind of emails do you think that we would see if we could read the internal email of Exxon-Mobile on this issue?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
My personal opinion is that I have no idea whether man-made global warming is real or not, but I definitely don't trust the people saying it's definitely real.

They obviously have other agendas.

More accurately, some of them have agendas with which you disagree. Lots of people who say global warming certainly isn't real have obvious agendas, but I never hear you complaining about those.
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Jason,

The passage you quote as an example of "blackballing" -- you're leaping to a completely unreasonable conclusion.

Here is the passage:

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…What do others think?”

“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.” “It results from this journal having a number of editors. The responsible one for this is a well-known skeptic in NZ. He has let a few papers through by Michaels and Gray in the past. I’ve had words with Hans von Storch about this, but got nowhere. Another thing to discuss in Nice !”

Here is the definition for blackball:

quote:
black⋅ball  /ˈblækˌbɔl/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [blak-bawl] Show IPA
–verb (used with object) 1. to vote against (a candidate, applicant, etc.).
2. to exclude socially; ostracize: The whole town blackballed them.
3. to reject (a candidate) by placing a blackball in the ballot box.

Looks precisely like blackballing to me.

quote:
It is entirely possible that person X has a gripe with person Y for valid scientific reasons - analytical methods and so forth.

In fact, I have never heard of an editorial board or an oversight committe that *didn't* have someone throw a tantrum over someone else's managerial decision at some point. This is just how science works. People disagree.

The pertinence of the quote above is not with respect to disagreement, but with respect to blackballing as a legitimate means of responding to disagreement.

quote:
Does it never occur to you that these emails in fact show the very opposite of an enforced consensus? Clearly, there are editors letting the "skeptics" through. Cleary, there are open and vigorous debates. This is the exact opposite of some groupthink conspiracy.
I never suggested that there was a "conspiracy". Even if there was, such a conspiracy would not be perfect or airtight.

What I suggested was that the e-mails demonstrate that certain very prominent scientists were proposing blackballing other scientists as a means of squashing dissenting views in a matter of the utmost public importance, one where "consensus" has been the lynchpin of massive changes in public policy. Secondly, they suggest that those same scientists were illegally stonewalling freedom of information requests.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
More accurately, some of them have agendas with which you disagree. Lots of people who say global warming certainly isn't real have obvious agendas, but I never hear you complaining about those.
There is no need to complain about those, nor is there a need to "expose" them because we all assume they are biased from the beginning. Nobody would be surprised to find e-mails of this nature coming from Exxon Mobil.

We are, however, surprised to find them coming from scientists supposedly committed to truth, rather than some specific profit-driven agenda.

We are also deeply disturbed when we read such e-mails, because the work of these scientists helps form the foundation for massive changes in public policy that effects us all. AGW is no longer some esoteric theoretical question. Now that real policy is being formed on the basis of AGW, the issue is, by its very nature politicized. It cannot be any other way. Those who work in this field had better get used to being under this kind of scrutiny.

[ November 30, 2009, 07:44 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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Pyrtolin
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"I wish they'd just come right out and say they are against capitalism as well as pollution whether there is global warming or not just like they are against killing animals for food whether or not they provide good nutrition. Just slap it down on the table. Let's see what you got, because I know you're bluffing anyway. "

Except that would be a completely non-sequitur, especially as the most viable solutions on the table are completely found in capitalism. Cap and trade is pure capitalism- it just puts a price on environmental impact. (It's only real shortcoming is that it doesn't go ahead and cover all forms of pollution; we used it very well for sulfur, but we continue to displace the cost of other cleanups- like mercury, by pretending that there's no need to price in the impact from the start.

Putting pressure on the supply/demand curve to help promote renewable technologies before eventual shortages or other crises makes brings the market into a place that makes the R&D overhead worthwhile is also really just a direct application of capitalism- it's just providing a degree of forethought that the market by itself is incapable of while it's easier to believe that such emergencies are not pressing in day to day transactions.

People don't like change and transition to new industries- going to clean.renewable sources, limiting emissions from oil/carbon based sources represents a major change and that's where most of the actual resistance seems to lie- all the fear mongering about changing our standard of living our bing force to reduce consumption levels seems to be born out of trying to justify fears of that change, when the results will more likely be just the opposite on almost all counts: more, cleaner energy that will scale better to growth, more people employed not only in the creation of the technology needed to harness that energy, but also in production of the technology or carrying out the processes needed to compensate for or outright reduce active environmental dangers.

The only losers are the large, entrenched industries that would be displaced by newer ones, so we see them investing as much in nurturing those fears and taking advantage of the opening for misinformation while paying some halfhearted lip service to developing technologies, or, if they do better invest in it, doing their best to keep the barrier to entry for new companies too high so that they position won't be threatened.

Those are the truly corporatist, anti-capitalistic forces at work here; the ones that, bay far, have the power needed to get their way. But their way, so far, has simply resulted in the US falling off the leading edge of development. We're squandering an opportunity to be the industrial leader in such technologies by allowing them to manipulate our markets and attitudes in favor of their services and displacing a major portion of their real operational costs.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
We are, however, surprised to find them coming from scientists supposedly committed to truth...
Do me a favor and ask cherry, Daruma, or G2 if they're surprised. Or, for that matter, yourself.

quote:
Those who work in this field had better get used to being under this kind of scrutiny.
May we ask why Exxon-Mobil -- just as an example -- gets to write policy but is able to avoid this kind of scrutiny?
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Do me a favor and ask cherry, Daruma, or G2 if they're surprised. Or, for that matter, yourself.
I admit that I am not surprised that these scientists were engaged in this kind of behaviour. But I wouldn't have been surprised either if they turned out to be completely on the level too. That's the honest truth. I can't speak for the others you mentioned.

quote:
May we ask why Exxon-Mobil -- just as an example -- gets to write policy but is able to avoid this kind of scrutiny?
First of all, I don't support Exxon-Mobil writing policy. Very few rational people think that the oil industry should be able to write environmental policy given their obvious financial incentive to torpedo any hope of progress in this area.

Secondly, Exxon's misfeasance has nothing to do with what is going on here. These scientists weren't working for Exxon. What Exxon does or does not do, isn't relevant.

These scientists deserve exceptional scrutiny because (1) their e-mails demonstrate that they were engaging in ethically questionable and possibly illegal activities; (2) unlike a scientist working for Exxon, they are not expected to nor is it assumed that they would have an ideological agenda that would influence their research to this degree; and (3) if their work directly influences and supports highly controversial government policies which directly impact on the public, then they deserve the highest scrutiny from the public. This is particularly the case if the research is being funded by tax dollars.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
What Exxon does or does not do, isn't relevant.
Except that isn't true. It's absolutely relevant. These scientists are, in their research and in their reputations, opposed by the full weight of a lobby supported in both funding and research by Exxon and similar organizations (including the federal government), with the explicit intent of advancing contrary policy. And yet no one is demanding that this opposing lobby prove that its scientists are somehow working without an "agenda."
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Gaoics79
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quote:
Except that isn't true. It's absolutely relevant. These scientists are, in their research and in their reputations, opposed by the full weight of a lobby supported in both funding and research by Exxon and similar organizations (including the federal government), with the explicit intent of advancing contrary policy. And yet no one is demanding that this opposing lobby prove that its scientists are somehow working without an "agenda."
Firstly, no one demands such proof because it is already self-evident that a scientist being paid by Exxon has an agenda.

But if there is a scientist being secretly funded by Exxon with a hidden agenda, then no one (including me) will object to that scientist being exposed.

As an aside, it's interesting to note that one of those most common tactics I've seen used by AGW supporters to squelch debate is to make suggestions of bias and allegiance to some shady benefactor (like the oil industry) usually with no evidence to back up this claim.

For years now, I've seen AGW supporters rely on the ad hominem attack as pretty much the central tactic for dealing with anyone remotely skeptical of their beliefs. I objected to this tactic frome day 1, not because it had any impact on my assessment of the merits of AGW as a theory, but because it was an illegitimate, dogmatic, and highly unethical method of debate and not a proper way to comport oneself, regardless of the rightness of one's beliefs.

If these scientists are receiving unfair or unduly harsh scrutiny, then they (and others like them) have only themselves to blame. When you attack the integrity of everyone who disagrees with you, you should make sure that your own integrity is above reproach.

In any event, I still don't see how any of this is pertinent. Are you suggesting that if the allegations against these specific scientists are borne out, we should ignore them because some other scientists working for Exxon were also guilty of misfeasance?

[ November 30, 2009, 10:38 AM: Message edited by: jasonr ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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jasonr, you made some valid points, but it's interesting that you did so after TomD smacked you down for saying something so blatantly... inane?... as:

"What Exxon does or does not do, isn't relevant."

Anyway, congratulations, although I don;t know why you return to self-defeating inanity like this:

"In any event, I still don't see how any of this is pertinent. Are you suggesting that if the allegations against these specific scientists are borne out, we should ignore them because some other scientists working for Exxon were also guilty of misfeasance?"

You're shadow-boxing with yourself, not responding pertinently to what TomD said.

Why u do dat?

[ November 30, 2009, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:


I suppose I should confess that I believe we should be polluting a whole lot less regardless of global warming and we should be a lot more economical in our use of fossil fuels, and I've said it many times. But people always want to go for the fear factor hype just like with the corporate bailouts. They bluffed, we folded, and they walked away with the pot.

That sounds a lot like what's going on with global warming too. I'm all for cleaner air, but not just trying to throw a lot of money at a lot of people and hoping a problem which doesn't exist goes away.

1) Carbon dioxide is the primary emission of burning coal, oil and natural gas.
2) Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have drastically increased since we started burning coal and oil in large amounts.
3) Carbon dioxide is a green house gas.

All of those are facts. The debate is about how the Earth responds to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Some models show a runaway warming effect (feedback loop) when carbon dioxide levels reach certain critical values for too long. The models are imperfect. They may not account for many ways the climate system can return to an equilibrium despite increased carbon dioxide levels. They probably assume relatively constant solar activity. Add any number of what complex what ifs here that are probably treated as constants in the model or ignored entirely.

There are many ways in which such complicated models can break particularly when trying to extrapolate out 50 to 100 years. What they do represent is an estimate to what will happen.

Many of the scientists have a political agenda because their model (their science) shows rising sea levels, drought, large storms and other disastrous effects of global warming. They believe the science so they feel obligated to warn the public and prevent the predicted negative consequences.

quote:

Wouldn't it be funny though if we spend all this money on global warming adaptations and then we really experience global cooling? That would be just about par for the course for government spending of our hard earned tax dollars.

If you just stick with the basics like limiting pollution in the air that makes it hard for people to breath, and cleaning up mercury in the water so our fish aren't dangerous to eat, that's something measurable and worthwhile regardless of the temperature outside.

But maybe doing that makes it harder for people to line their pockets with our money. And that's the real problem.

No technologies being proposed would lead to global cooling. They all just seek to limit the amount of carbon dioxide that is being pumped into the atmosphere.

All the money for reducing carbon emissions comes down to basically a few ideas. Note that almost all of this money would go to someone other than climate scientists. While a few may have invested in some companies the majority are scientists not entrepreneurs.

1) Generate power without burning fossil fuels: solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and hydro.
2) Conservation: better insulation, more efficient cars, light bulbs, computers, heat pumps, etc.
3) Carbon sequestration: pumping carbon dioxide back into the holes left by pumping oil out.

Only the third is a waste of money if global warming isn't real. Alternative energies and conservation are good long term investments. You seem to agree with this so there is no reason to oppose those two. If you don't believe global warming enough to support the third then oppose spending money on that.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
What Exxon does or does not do, isn't relevant.
Except that isn't true. It's absolutely relevant. These scientists are, in their research and in their reputations, opposed by the full weight of a lobby supported in both funding and research by Exxon and similar organizations (including the federal government), with the explicit intent of advancing contrary policy. And yet no one is demanding that this opposing lobby prove that its scientists are somehow working without an "agenda."
Let's look at the reality of this funding and research, from The Science and Public Policy Institute:
quote:
Over the last two decades, US taxpayers have subsidized the American climate change industry to the tune of $79 billion.
That was money spent in support of AGW. How much was spent in research that contradicted AGW?
quote:
Exxon Mobil gave a mere $23 million, spread over ten years, to climate sceptics.
This "full weight of a lobby supported in both funding and research by Exxon and similar organizations" amounts to a drop in the bucket compared to the pro-AGW camp. We know from the emails released that Jones all by himself managed to access 13.7 million in funding for his or CRU's research. All of this with the explicit intent of advancing AGW policy that we now know had significant issues and was withheld from proper peer review.

Is the "lobby supported in both funding and research by Exxon and similar organizations" also withholding their data? Is this cabal manipulating the peer review process so that their view is very nearly the only view published? Is this organization you speak of engaged in criminal acts in order to circumvent FoI requests?

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Gaoics79
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quote:
jasonr, you made some valid points, but it's interesting that you did so after TomD smacked you down for saying something so blatantly... inane?... as:

"What Exxon does or does not do, isn't relevant."

It's relevant perhaps insofar as it gives us needed context with which we can better understand what motivated the scientists to misbehave. I don't think it excuses their misbehaviour which is what Tom was insinuating.
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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by yossarian22c:
1) Carbon dioxide is the primary emission of burning coal, oil and natural gas.
2) Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have drastically increased since we started burning coal and oil in large amounts.
3) Carbon dioxide is a green house gas.

All of those are facts. The debate is about how the Earth responds to increased levels of carbon dioxide

There are a lot of facts your missing though.

1) Despite what CRU, GISS and RealClimate tell you, the Medieval Warming Period did occur. The MWP shows that the earth can heat rapidly and cool just as rapidly without the influence of CO2 from anthropogenic sources.

2) CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been shown to have no correlation to temperature increases and CO2 is actually a lagging indicator of warming, not a driver.

3) CO2 is a bit player in the scheme of greenhouse gases. Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, comes from natural sources and is responsible for roughly 95% of the greenhouse effect. 3.5% of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2 or which only 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity. Even if we scrubbed all CO2 from human activity from the atmosphere and didn't emit another molecule of it with all the greenhouse gases from all other sources remaining, 99.883% of the greenhouse effect from those gases would remain.

[ November 30, 2009, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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I thin you have serious misinterpretation of text issues, jasonr. Or perhaps basic reading comprehension problems.
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edgmatt
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He has provided a calm, reasoned response to every post pertaining to his comments. Tom has tried to use an illogical argument of pointing to bad behavior by someone not in the discussion (exxon). And now Ken, you are trying to discredit him by insulting his reading ability. It seems to me that rational discourse would be better served by addressing the issue at hand, which is the seemingly bad behavior by these scientists.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
Over the last two decades, US taxpayers have subsidized the American climate change industry to the tune of $79 billion.
How exactly are you determining an "industry," here? Are we assuming that every publicly-funded scientist working in the field or doing climate research is on board?

quote:
Exxon Mobil gave a mere $23 million, spread over ten years, to climate sceptics.
Note that we're now talking about one corporation's unverified totals for the narrowly-defined group of "climate sceptics."

This is not an apples-to-apples comparison.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
I thin you have serious misinterpretation of text issues, jasonr. Or perhaps basic reading comprehension problems.
Sometimes I do misunderstand what I read. Of course, rather than just making pronouncements about it, it would be better if you just came out and explained clearly what aspect of Tom's argument I inappropriately (or failed to) address.
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KidB
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Jason,

As you know, a person has a right to resign and/or refuse to deal with an editorial board or a journal at any time for any reason, and to make those reasons known to his or her collegues.

You are implying that the author of this email is doing something wrong. That hinges entirely on whether they are motivated by political concerns, or scientific ones.

If the motives are purely political, then yes, there is a problem.

But if the author of the email has a legitimate, professional issue with how the editorial board is evaluating the scientific worthiness of what they publish - i.e., if he feels they are publishing bad science, and he can support his claims empirically - then he would be remiss if he didn't take this action - even if he turns out to be wrong. A scientist should always defend the scientific method.

Furthermore, you need to understand that this is "bottom up" political pressure. He is talking about a journal, it seems. Journal editors occupy a very powerful position.

[ November 30, 2009, 03:31 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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yossarian22c
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
There are a lot of facts your missing though.

1) Despite what CRU, GISS and RealClimate tell you, the Medieval Warming Period did occur. The MWP shows that the earth can heat rapidly and cool just as rapidly without the influence of CO2 from anthropogenic sources.

2) CO2 levels in the atmosphere have been shown to have no correlation to temperature increases and CO2 is actually a lagging indicator of warming, not a driver.

3) CO2 is a bit player in the scheme of greenhouse gases. Water vapor, the most significant greenhouse gas, comes from natural sources and is responsible for roughly 95% of the greenhouse effect. 3.5% of the greenhouse effect is caused by CO2 or which only 0.117% of the greenhouse effect is due to atmospheric CO2 from human activity. Even if we scrubbed all CO2 from human activity from the atmosphere and didn't emit another molecule of it with all the greenhouse gases from all other sources remaining, 99.883% of the greenhouse effect from those gases would remain.

1) Irreverent, just because warming can occur without carbon doesn't tell us anything about carbon and global warming.

2) We certainly have incomplete data about the average temps and carbon dioxide levels throughout all of history. Nor do we know about all the other factors that play into global climate at the time. Lack of data to show a causation does not mean one does not exist nor does it mean one does exist.

3) Yes there are other greenhouse gases. This is one of the reasons why raising carbon dioxide levels may have a disproportionate impact on the climate. Warmer air can hold more water vapor leading to more warming (ie the positive feedback loop).

The current climate models predict that increasing carbon dioxide levels will have a substantial impact if everything else stays the same. I'm not an expert on all the assumptions that go into those models. They may or may not be accurate at predicting what happens as carbon dioxide levels continue to rise. I simply hold the position that the models are one likely scenario for the future climate. Those consequences are dire enough that I believe some actions to alleviate the problem are warranted.

How do you conclude that only 3% of carbon dioxide is from human activity? The numbers I've seen are closer to 30-40%. At that level using your claim that carbon dioxide accounts for about 3.5% of the greenhouse effect then we get that the Earth would retain about 1% more heat than before. Maybe 1 or 2 percent will not through off the balance of the Earth but what are you willing to bet on it?

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
[QB] [QUOTE]We are, however, surprised to find them coming from scientists supposedly committed to truth...

Do me a favor and ask cherry, Daruma, or G2 if they're surprised. Or, for that matter, yourself.

Of course I'm not surprised. I've been arguing for years here now that "Global Warming" was nothing more than a grand hoax perpetuated to impose a global tax, subvert nation-state soveriegnty and is nothing more than a stalking horse for the movement towards global governance.

And most of you simply think I'm a crazy conspiracy theorist for believing that.

And that's fine...because from where I sit, most of you are useful idiots for that exact cause.

You who genuflect before the holy priesthood of "CONSENSUS" are what truly sicken me.

You condescendingly deride those of us that are skeptical..as if we don't understand "SCIENCE."

Sorry useful idiots, but CONSENSUS is not science.

The scientific method calls for testable, reproducible results to prove a scientific fact indisputably. I remember that much from my High School science class. Funny how that simple, basic definition of the Scientific Method got corrupted, the more "educated" you scientific types have gotten.

The fact that so many of you self-identified "scientists" and "researchers" have placed CONSENSUS above this just goes to show how corrupted true science has been by the political/ideological process.

"Consensus" is nothing more than a lie, and it's based on an appeal to authority, so that the average sheeple is intimidated into blindly following the dictates of the "science" community.

The more personal research I've done into a whole host of topics and issues, the more I've come to realize that most of the biggest frauds, lies and deceits committed on the populace are almost always based on "IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE."

Yeah Tom, you can try and divert the debate onto Exxon Mobile...because everyone KNOWS they would certainly LIE to achieve there agenda...

...oooh...but publicly funded/foundation supported researchers would NEVER be corrupted to promote lies as "SCIENCE" because they are untainted by the evils of capitalism's pursuit of profit...right?!?! [Roll Eyes]

Some of you act like just because you are a scientist, or you are student studying science...or your work involves working with scientists...that you have some greater insight into this whole debate. That those of us that are not "scientists" should just shut up and accept what our betters tell us is SCIENCE.

That we cannot read these emails for ourselves and plainly see what is blatantly obvious.

What I see are more than a few of you that simply cannot get over your FAITH in the holy church of Consensus Science to objectively look at a plainly discerned effort to promote a LIE to achieve various political agendas.

How is:

If you deny Jesus Christ is the son of God...you will go to HELL!

Really any different from:

If you deny that AGW is real...you will DESTROY THE EARTH!

I proudly blaspheme all that is associated with the Holy Church of Secular Scientific Consensus! [LOL]

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
The scientific method calls for testable, reproducible results to prove a scientific fact indisputably.
Well, not so much.

But good try!

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Sorry useful idiots, but CONSENSUS is not science.
*sigh* My wife is a researcher in this very field. I have several friends and professional acquaintances in this field. I can guarantee you that they do not sit around and go, "Oh, what is everyone agreeing on today? Is that it? Well, good! Let's make sure our data matches!"

The reason I asked G2 about the research process is that I genuinely didn't know how much he already knew about the topic. I haven't asked you because I know you know nothing about it, and are aggressively disinterested in learning.

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Daruma28
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Sorry Ops....The scientific method calls for testable, reproducible results to prove a scientific fact indisputably - unless a bunch of scientists agree to form a consensus opinion by faking test results, falsifying data and subverting the peer review process.

Better? [Razz]

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Daruma28
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*sigh* My wife is a researcher in this very field. I have several friends and professional acquaintances in this field. I can guarantee you that they do not sit around and go, "Oh, what is everyone agreeing on today? Is that it? Well, good! Let's make sure our data matches!"

Oh please Tom.

I understand quite well how the system works, and I know damn well that your caricature of what you think my ignorance is construed of is not how it works either.

Instead, grant funding (from private foundations, government grants and/or corporate interests) all fund a mulititude of research entities, each one scientifically investigating one small piece of the giant puzzle.

In this way, every scientist that researches there one, tiny piece of the overall big picture can conduct their own research with 100% integrity. So one researcher can conduct a study on comparing the amount of Co2 emissions of diesel versus regular gasoline. They can carry out the research on that study precisely and completely, and publish their results. And have 100% integrity.

But another scientist, who is corrupt, and has an agenda above and beyond the pure pursuit of scientific truth, can take those results and use other, compromised research to produce the grand narrative meant to achieve the political agenda.

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OpsanusTau
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quote:
Better?
Well, certainly more entertaining.
[Smile]

We might try "The scientific method calls for the proposition of falsifiable hypothesis and the testing thereof by replicable experiment, followed by the rejection of the hypothesis in question if such is warranted."

I mean, there are about nine thousand ways to phrase that, many of them less silly.
But though I agree about the replicability of experiments, it is inappropriate to talk about proving a fact at all, let alone indisputably. (When was there EVER a result that scientists didn't dispute? Honestly.) It is also a little bit strange to talk about testable results, but I think that is just a semantic problem.

In the scientific method, we falsify or don't falsify hypotheses. We don't prove facts.

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Daruma28
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Fair enough Ops, I understand the distinction you are making here.

In your opinion, has the AGW hypothesis been adequately falsified or not?

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G2
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I mentioned people putting these emails in the context of events and this is a good example. Since almost nobody here follows links, I shall quote the relevant portions. It stems from urban heat island effect and it's overall impact.
quote:
It starts with the question of urban heat islands, and their effect on the temperature record. It is well known, and easily measured, that the centres of cities may be up to 4 C warmer at night than the countryside around them. This happens especially on clear, windless nights, and is a result of tall buildings blocking radiation to space. The problem is that when thermometers were placed on the outskirts of towns a hundred years ago, the cities were much smaller, and as they have grown, the temperature where the thermometers are has risen.

That there must be some sort of effect hardly seems in doubt, but the question is, how much? And therefore, how much of the 0.8 C warming we saw over the 20th century is illusory? The IPCC relied on a particular paper published in 1990 by Phil Jones in Nature that basically said the UHI effect was trivial, which in turn relied in large part on data from China supplied by professor Wang of Albany, State University of New York.

In describing this data, Jones et al. said “The stations were selected on the basis of station history: we chose those with few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location or observation times.” which in turn was based on the similar statement in Wang et al. “They were chosen based on station histories: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times…” The truth of these statements was essential for the papers to be valid, which in turn was relied on in part by the IPCC report.

The output from 84 stations was used to make this official determination. After significant effort by Climate Audit through FoI requests, a mathematician named Doug Keenan and others were able to trace these stations. What did they find? Of the 84 stations used, there were in fact no records of station location for 49 of them, 8 had inconsistent histories, 18 had substantial relocations, 2 had single-year relocations, and only 7 were known not to have been relocated at all. There were no records for over half the stations used.

Keenan wrote to Jones and Wang inviting them to comment. No response. Keenan wrote again setting out the facts, inviting them to retract the paper or otherwise set the record straight, and said that if they did not, then he would submit an allegation of research misconduct to Wang’s university. No response. Keenan did submit the complaint. The university sided with Wang but in a very curious way. As the complainant, Keenan should have been allowed to review the findings according to the university's policies (the university has clearly violated a number of its policies in this matter). The university withheld its report. Although it did ask Keenan to comment on it without allowing him to see it. Keenan has since submitted a formal complaint to the Public Integrity Bureau at the Office of the Attorney General of New York State, alleging criminal fraud.

We now have some internal commentary on how they decided to deal with this. Kevin Trenberth suggests:
quote:
So my feeble suggestion is to indeed cast aspersions on their motives and throw in some counter rhetoric. Labeling them as lazy with nothng better to do seems like a good thing to do.
That strategy sound familiar? It should, it's common practice in these debates.



Later, there is an email from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones:
quote:
Phil,

Seems to me that Keenan has a valid point. The statements in the papers that he quotes seem to be incorrect statements, and that someone (WCW [Wang] at the very least) must have known at the time that they were incorrect.

Whether or not this makes a difference is not the issue here.

Tom.

I agree with Tom, someone had to have known that records for over half the stations did not exist - i.e, that those stations did not exist. What do you think? Over half the data appears to be fabricated, would that make a difference?


In another email from Tom to Phil:
quote:
Phil,

Do you know where this stands? The key things from the Peiser items are …

“Wang had been claiming the existence of such exonerating documents for nearly a year, but he has not been able to produce them. Additionally, there was a report published in 1991 (with a second version in 1997) explicitly stating that no such documents exist. Moreover, the report was published as part of the Department of Energy Carbon Dioxide Research Program, and Wang was the Chief Scientist of that program.”

and

“Wang had a co-worker in Britain. In Britain, the Freedom of Information Act requires that data from publicly-funded research be made available.

I was able to get the data by requiring Wang’s co-worker to release it, under British law. It was only then that I was able to confirm that Wang had committed fraud.”

You are the co-worker, so you must have done something like provide Keenan with the DOE report that shows that there are no station records for 49 of the 84 stations. I presume Keenan therefore thinks that it was not possible to select stations on the basis of …

“… station histories: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times”

[THIS IS ITEM "X"]

Of course, if the only stations used were ones from the 35 stations that *did* have station histories, then all could be OK. However, if some of the stations used were from the remaining 49, then the above selection method could not have been applied (but see below) — unless there are other “hard copy” station history data not in the DOE report (but in China) that were used. From what Wang has said, if what he says is true, the second possibility appears to be the case.

What is the answer here?

The next puzzle is why Wei-Chyung didn’t make the hard copy information available. Either it does not exist, or he thought it was too much trouble to access and copy. My guess is that it does not exist — if it did then why was it not in the DOE report? In support of this, it seems that there are other papers from 1991 and 1997 that show that the datado not exist. What are these papers? Do they really show this?

Now my views. (1) I have always thought W-C W was a rather sloppy scientist. I therefore would not be surprised if he screwed up here. But ITEM X is in both the W-C W and Jones et al. papers — so where does it come from first? Were you taking W-C W on trust?

(2) It also seems to me that the University at Albany has screwed up. To accept a complaint from Keenan and not refer directly to the complaint and the complainant in its report really is asking for trouble.

(3) At the very start it seems this could have been easily dispatched.

ITEM X really should have been …

“Where possible, stations were chosen on the basis of station histories and/or local knowledge: selected stations have relatively few, if any, changes in instrumentation, location, or observation times”

Of course the real get out is the final “or”. A station could be selected if either it had relatively few “changes in instrumentation”

OR “changes in location” OR “changes in observation times”. Not all three, simply any one of the three. One could argue about the science here — it would be better to have all three — but this is not what the statement says.

Why, why, why did you and W-C W not simply say this right at the start?

Perhaps it’s not too late?

-----

I realise that Keenan is just a trouble maker and out to waste time, so
I apologize for continuing to waste your time on this, Phil. However, I
*am* concerned because all this happened under my watch as Director of
CRU and, although this is unlikely, the buck eventually should stop with me.

Best wishes,
Tom

P.S. I am copying this to Ben. Seeing other peoples' troubles might make
him happier about his own parallel experiences.


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KidB
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Daruma,

What experience do you have with climate research aside from what you read online? Why do you think you have a better grasp on this than anyone else here?

quote:
Instead, grant funding (from private foundations, government grants and/or corporate interests) all fund a mulititude of research entities, each one scientifically investigating one small piece of the giant puzzle.

In this way, every scientist that researches there one, tiny piece of the overall big picture can conduct their own research with 100% integrity. So one researcher can conduct a study on comparing the amount of Co2 emissions of diesel versus regular gasoline. They can carry out the research on that study precisely and completely, and publish their results. And have 100% integrity.

And who is responsible for the vast project of compiling all this data and drawing conclusions from it? You?

Under what circumstances would you accept that such a project as having integrity?

You leave us with no options. I cannot imagine some body of people charged with arriving at a final answer in a way you would approve of. We already have a system in which completely disparate bodies and institutes collaborate and argue, and take decades to reach a conclusion. What more do you want?

I'm sorry, consensus *is* a part of science. If you smell conspiracy anytime scientists agree on a general premise or conclusion, you will never be satisfied.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:


I'm sorry, consensus *is* a part of science. If you smell conspiracy anytime scientists agree on a general premise or conclusion, you will never be satisfied.

If this were true, geocentrism would have been proven. For that matter, we would have been stuck with the flat earth model. There was enormous consensus for those. I guess it's a good thing heretics like Galileo and Copernicus did not believe that consensus *is* a part of science ...
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Daruma28
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And who is responsible for the vast project of compiling all this data and drawing conclusions from it? You?

You mean you don't know? Apparently the IPCC has already taken that responsibility, and they've already drawn their conclusions from it. Question is, why do you give the IPCC's conclusion the stamp of veracity so willingly?

Under what circumstances would you accept that such a project as having integrity?

Perhaps when it isn't accompanied by blatant political agendas and outright hypocrisy.

You leave us with no options. I cannot imagine some body of people charged with arriving at a final answer in a way you would approve of.

Kid where have the IPCC and all the scientists that jumped on the consensus bandwagon...where have they come to this final answer? They have computer models that predict ecological disaster....that is not a "final answer." That is a final guess.

We already have a system in which completely disparate bodies and institutes collaborate and argue, and take decades to reach a conclusion.

Have you actually read the emails, kid?

It's an inside look into the corruption and fraud endemic to this system you've placed so much trust and faith in.

I'm sorry, consensus *is* a part of science. If you smell conspiracy anytime scientists agree on a general premise or conclusion, you will never be satisfied.

Your blind faith is amusing.

Kid, do you yet understand exactly what these emails reveal?

That THE primary data used by the IPCC to formulate their political agenda to "save the Earth" was from the CRU? How could you read these emails and at least not even begin to question this 'consensus?'

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kenmeer livermaile
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"If this were true, geocentrism would have been proven."

Um, it was. For over 1000 years. 'proven' is a subjective thing. But heliocentrism snipped all those Ptolemaic epicycles, and within a few hundred years, heliocentrism was the new prevailing consensus.

And yes, Galileo and Copernicus DID believe consensus is a part of science, even a part of verification. They just didn't believe that consensus *alone' proved anything but consensus.

Consensus in science exists and has its functions for good and ill.

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DonaldD
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quote:
Originally posted by G2:
quote:
Originally posted by KidB:


I'm sorry, consensus *is* a part of science. If you smell conspiracy anytime scientists agree on a general premise or conclusion, you will never be satisfied.

If this were true, geocentrism would have been proven. For that matter, we would have been stuck with the flat earth model. There was enormous consensus for those. I guess it's a good thing heretics like Galileo and Copernicus did not believe that consensus *is* a part of science ...
You do realize that your response has nothing to do with the words that KidB actually used in that quote, right?
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
In your opinion, has the AGW hypothesis been adequately falsified or not?
I am pleased that you asked!

Though the question is not phrased in a way that is the most meaningful for me, I will do my best to answer.

We have a pretty good understanding of the physical properties of carbon dioxide and the way energy behaves as it comes to the earth from the sun and radiates away again. We also have a pretty good (though always being further refined) understanding of a lot of things about how the atmosphere and the ocean move around and exchange heat.
All of our understanding about all of these things predicts that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide will lead to a net increase in energy retained by the surface of the earth, which will eventually lead to some sort of climatic disruption.
I have heard a number of convincing stories about what kind of form the disruption might take, all of them based on interpretation of data that we understand pretty well.
The best available data we have is not in any way (as far as I can tell) inconsistent with this big picture of accumulating heat energy.

So falsification of the overriding hypothesis of anthropogenic climate change would require falsification of one or more of the underlying canons of well-understood things (for example, we have drastically misunderstood the way carbon dioxide absorbs and emits radiation).

Alternatively (and this is not really falsification, but would still be interesting), someone could provide an explanation as to how our understanding of basic science could be correct without increased atmospheric carbon dioxide causing anthropogenic climate change - what I mean is, where is that heat supposed to be going?
I mean, the problem for me with most of the arguments of the "skeptics" is that in a big-picture way, they don't really make sense. It is all very well to postulate that other greenhouse gases have an effect, or that solar something causes some kind of fluctuations, but that doesn't really mean that we would expect NOT to see a greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide. And it is one thing to argue that the data don't show a clear increase in temperature (unconvincing, perhaps, but the argument is nonetheless made [Smile] ), but in that case it is really necessary to make some kind of argument about why not.

Does that make sense?

[ November 30, 2009, 09:39 PM: Message edited by: OpsanusTau ]

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stayne
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It need not be all one way or another, Greg. What is certainly true is that a level of politics and chicanery is shown by the release. It does not make them wrong, but it most certainly makes their science suspect, and damages their credibility. It brings into question whether their methods were rigorous, or whether they were tainted by politics and clinging too strongly to a desired outcome.

I agree with you that there is quite a bit of 'reputation protection' amongst scientists. It's endemic to academics in general. But is that not the very definition of politics?

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Greg Davidson
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quote:
it most certainly makes their science suspect, and damages their credibility
I totally agree. The only caveat I make is that "their" refers to a specific group of scientists and not to all scientists.
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stayne
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Greg, the point a lot of people ignore here is that Science(TM) is largely magic, even to practitioners. It is simply impossible to know everything, so we MUST trust. Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man, but there is still only so much time in a day. Even he, or Einstein, or Newton must trust that others are being rigorous, and the peer review and scientific method are the only real measures we have.

With AGW, we have seen a group pushing for social and political change, and have asked us to trust them. I call myself a scientist, but my field is computers. I cannot possibly verify the data. I am left, as is pretty much everyone else, to sort out who to trust.

AGW adherents ask people to change their way of life, to invest in things that are new and strange. Their suggestions would cause some industries to suffer tremendous hardship, from fatcat CEO's down to the little guys turning wrenches on oil pumps. Surely, we must all admit that it is difficult to sway people to take such measures.

AGW adherents have said "Trust us, we're the good guys." Now we are confronted with the fact that at least a portion of those who asked for our trust do not merit it. We do not know they are wrong or not, and have no real way of determining it.

AGW adherent do themselves and their cause a grave disservice to dismiss this or try to sweep it under the rug. Credibility is the ONLY coin being exchanged, and AGW's, right or wrong, has been seriously devalued by this incident.

IMO, the proper course is for a grand and genuine mea culpa, followed by a real effort to do work in as transparent a manner as possible. The standard academic 'go to the mats' practice is not going to work. Such is ever the case when science is attempting to make social and political change.

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Pyrtolin
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"Stephen Hawking is a brilliant man, but there is still only so much time in a day. Even he, or Einstein, or Newton must trust that others are being rigorous, and the peer review and scientific method are the only real measures we have."

Actually, most scientists know and pretty much expect that science has been rife with the same human politics and egotism that colors human affairs all the way back to when Aristotle first defined the basic method.

There would have been more surprise if something like this contained little, if any such maneuvering- especially when it came to dressing data to be more compelling to legislators with their fingers on the "grant money" buttons and the public at large.

It's easy, when you put a narrow batch of data like this to gloss over the fact that the entire process is designed specifically to account for such behavior- to allow such factors working independently to ultimately neutralize each other such that the points that they all do agree on are accepted as the most likely to be true.

That's the nature of the "Consensus" which Daruma so blithely misdefines as he sneers as at it, and it's the way that all science outside of the most basic of Newtonian physics works to advance itself.

If this one organization was the only proponent of AGW, then there would be more substance to the claims, but since many independent groups have arrived at similar conclusions, all that this really shows is the flaws in how they attempted to measure it and the lengths they went to in trying to dress them up to avoid losing face (which would have been blown equally out of scope as it is now due to how heavily politicized the issue is; one hundred supporting statements pass by without notice or comment, but one skeptical statement gets treated as it has more relevance and importance that the entire rest of the body of evidence combined.)

These guys absolutely should take flack for what's been uncovered, but it says nothing about the rest overwhelming body of evidence that favors the basic AGW and similar human-cause environmental impact positions.

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KidB
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G2 said.
quote:
If this were true, geocentrism would have been proven. For that matter, we would have been stuck with the flat earth model. There was enormous consensus for those. I guess it's a good thing heretics like Galileo and Copernicus did not believe that consensus *is* a part of science ...
I’m curious why you think a “consensus” enforced by law to conform with the Bible is a scientific consensus.

I’m also curious to know why you accept the current consensus among astronomers and physicists as valid. Why isn’t that group-think?

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KidB
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@Daruma

quote:
You mean you don't know? Apparently the IPCC has already taken that responsibility, and they've already drawn their conclusions from it. Question is, why do you give the IPCC's conclusion the stamp of veracity so willingly?

I was asking hypothetically. In what circumstance would you trust an international community of scientists to come to a broad consensus on a subject?

Incidentally, I’m an agnostic on AGW. I’m merely rejecting your theory of deliberate falsification.


quote:
Under what circumstances would you accept that such a project as having integrity?

Perhaps when it isn't accompanied by blatant political agendas and outright hypocrisy.

You’ve proven neither of these.

quote:
Kid where have the IPCC and all the scientists that jumped on the consensus bandwagon...where have they come to this final answer? They have computer models that predict ecological disaster....that is not a "final answer." That is a final guess.

It’s not a “bandwagon.” There is continuous debate about what percentage of the warming trend is natural - I trust that you know and accept the Earth goes through warming and cooling cycles - and what percentage is man-made. This has been vigorously debated for decades. It has never been all or nothing.


quote:
Your blind faith is amusing.

Kid, do you yet understand exactly what these emails reveal?

That’s just the point, Daruma. They don’t “reveal” anything to me. At most, they are unusual in degree of vehemence, but not in kind. It’s just the familiar debates and disputes that are quite normal in scientific research. I’ve been hearing about this stuff my entire life.

If there were some vast suppression of the opposing views, this scientist/emailer in question would have nothing to complain about, because there would be no “skeptics” on any editorial boards. But there are. There are prominent scientists all over the world who openly question and even completely refute AGW - and clearly they get published in journals important enough to make non-skeptics angry. They retain their prominent positions, their tenure, and their fame. They just happen to be a very, very small minority.

I give scientists on both sides, even most of those in the 1% fringe, the benefit of the doubt that they come by their views professionally, not via the purse strings or the iron fist of Big Brother Al. I think Carl Sagan came by his beliefs in favor of AGW honestly, and I think Freeman Dyson comes by his skepticism honestly. Like I say, I’m an agnostic on the issue...but if I had to bet money, I’d put it on what 90% of the scientists say versus what 10% say, because they know their work better than I do, and because I do not like losing money.

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