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Author Topic: Global Warming Research Center Hacked
Greg Davidson
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quote:
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
Actually, what I find admirable about empirical science is that it recognizes that determining the truth is difficult and that you can't use faith to determine what is right. Instead, it starts from a skepticism that disbelieves in virtually everything except scientific method, and then starts building upon observed and measured data. Even where the data supports a given hypothesis, that merely makes it a theory that is provisionally accepted until compelling data proves some element of that theory wrong. Science is the opposite of magic, even though not all of us can understand it (Chinese language is also not magic, even though I can understand none of it)

There are some challenges with scientific method. It's intellectually complex and requires significant training and experience in order to be fluent. However, you don't have to be an Einstein to understand empirical science - from an empirical perspective, obscure 11-dimensional hypotheses about the nature of the universe are less important than specific testable properties that those hypotheses might suggest. Einstein's big break-through came when he predicted that mass affects light and thus the observed position of Mercury during an eclipse (when it was in line with the edge of the sun) would be different from the position when calculated based on what we knew about Mercury's orbit. So a team went to the jungles of South America to make an astronomical observation, and when the results matched Einstein's prediction, it was compelling evidence that his hypothesis was a valid explanation for how the universe worked.

When I hear the AGW arguments, they sound to me to be similar to the arguments raised on behalf of intelligent design, the arguments against the hypothesis that CFC's were destroying atmospheric ozone, and the arguments against the carcinogenic effects of cigarettes funded by the tobacco companies. They use the language of science, but as a tool for creating doubt rather than for determining fact. Now, other scientists can also be spoiled babies - there's a wide range of personalities in the scientific profession, and not all of them are particularly appealing. But the scientific enterprise is structured to let the data do the talking (in particular, a comprehensive look at all the data, not a focus on subsets that are inconsistent with the full data record).

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Gaoics79
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quote:
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.

Yes!
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kenmeer livermaile
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" They use the language of science, but as a tool for creating doubt rather than for determining fact."

A most crucial distinction. DOubt is essential, without a doubt [Wink] , but the job of science is to raise facts into the light and then find understanding that fits.

Naysaying isn;t science; it's opinion sometimes applied to science.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
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.
You're refining that from "consensus" to "scientific consensus". Maybe that's what you meant in the first place? Either way, makes no difference. I'm curious why you think any consensus is scientific proof. When I look at the scientific method, I don't see the step that says consensus is considered proof of the theory. If you think going back to the classic examples is invalid for some obscure reason, we can go modern. Continental drift was rejected by the consensus for over 50 years, bacteria causing stomach ulcers was rejected by the consensus. Yet both were true.


We are not far off in climatology from laws enforcing consensus. These scientists used unethical and illegal means to build and enforce a consensus. That consensus in turn was used to create policy and ultimately would lead to laws, we just needed a little more time didn't we? No matter what way you spin this, that's not science.

quote:
Originally posted by KidB:

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

What consensus would that be?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
We are not far off in climatology from laws enforcing consensus.
Really? You think we're close to passing laws forbidding the publication of research that contradicts greenhouse claims?
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G2
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The money trail:
quote:
... Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he'd been awarded in the 1990s.
$19 million, that's a lot of incentive isn't it?
quote:
Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?
That's right gang, the bigger the crisis, the more money that poured into the coffers of those that could study and fabricate the solutions.
quote:
Thus, the European Commission's most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that's not counting funds from the EU's member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA's climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA's, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.
Billions of dollars floating out there for the taking as long as the alarm rings and the longer and louder it rings, the more money they get. Jobs are created, livelihoods begin to depend on the crisis and ever more funding. Consequently, you better find the scary man-bear-pig or start looking for another job. Although, finding one where billions are thrown at it is going to be tough.

Any wonder these guys hid and destroyed data and broke laws? They needed the money train to keep rolling.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
We are not far off in climatology from laws enforcing consensus.
Really? You think we're close to passing laws forbidding the publication of research that contradicts greenhouse claims?
You have a short memory. Do you remember way back, maybe, gosh, all of 2 years ago? I know that's a long time but there were calls for climate change deniers to be put on trial, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their crimes against humanity. Fire up the way back machine and take a look for yourself. Threats of loss of funding, and now we know loss of publication ability, etc.
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Greg Davidson
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quote:
Continental drift was rejected by the consensus for over 50 years
And what ended that rejection? Oh yeah, data regarding the continental boundaries.

Now, it is true that scientific consensus is not always correct - that's an intrinsic part of the scientific process (as well as human nature). Sometimes establishment organizations anchor on incorrect hypotheses (see some of my discussion about mainstream economics - although in that particular case there is a paucity of empirical tests of fundamental propositions). And sometimes popular theories are dis-proven (for example, 19th century phrenology - the science of intelligence as measured by skull shape).

So it is theoretically possible that the vast majority of the community of climate scientists is in error, just as it is possible that the AGW groups are in error. For those of us not professionally fluent in the specifics of climate science, we tend to resort to shorthand arguments that capture some talking points of one side or the other.

For me, I was given specific predictions in a 1985 class lecture in grad school about what the increase in atmospheric carbon was likely to do over the next 65 years, and almost 25 years later those predictions were pretty damn good (when a highly unlikely prediction such as a navigable northwest passage comes true, it reinforces the credibility of the predictor).

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Greg Davidson:

For me, I was given specific predictions in a 1985 class lecture in grad school about what the increase in atmospheric carbon was likely to do over the next 65 years, and almost 25 years later those predictions were pretty damn good (when a highly unlikely prediction such as a navigable northwest passage comes true, it reinforces the credibility of the predictor).

You don't know if those predictions were good or not. You only know what people like Phil Jones and gang tell you. We now know that anything contradicting those predictions was suppressed with only a bare minimum getting out. The corruption of the peer review process made sure as little information as possible the could contradict AGW theory got out. When that didn't work, destroying the data did. If not for the internet, we would have seen damn near, if not totally, nothing that contradicted those predictions.

The Northwest Passage was sailed before - in 1906, 1940, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1984 (a cruise ship no less), 1986, etc. It's not a earth shaking prediction that it would be done again when it's been done of half a dozen times already.

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Gaoics79
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quote:
And what ended that rejection? Oh yeah, data regarding the continental boundaries.
I think the danger here, as illustrated by G2's post, is the intersection between science and public policy. That intersection is turning previously obscure areas of science into multi-billion dollar industries being fuelled by enormous interest from governments and other organizations.

While the intersection between science and profit is nothing new, there are some unique properties to this situation that merit special mention. Firstly, the amount of money being spent in this area is staggeringly high. That degree of expenditure is only justified so long as the science supports theories that posit disastrous and even apocalyptic scenarios stemming from AGW. Secondly, due to the inherent complexity of the systems involved, it is extremely difficult to falsify some of the claims being made in respect of AGW. If it's hot one year, then it's hot because of AGW. If it's cold the next year, then it would have been even colder but for AGW. It is very difficult for scientists, let alone lay-people, to test some of the predictions being made. This makes us all uniquely vulnerable to the expertise of a handful of individuals with an unusually large profit motive to ensure that certain theories are suppported and others are rejected.

I believe the danger is that some of these unusual factors (above) may be distorting the usual safeguards built into the scientific method.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I know that's a long time but there were calls for climate change deniers to be put on trial, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their crimes against humanity.
By whom, exactly?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
The Northwest Passage was sailed before - in 1906, 1940, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1984 (a cruise ship no less), 1986, etc. It's not a earth shaking prediction that it would be done again when it's been done of half a dozen times already.
Wow. This really smacks of bull-headed revisionism.
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LetterRip
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stayne,

quote:
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.
Actually we have covered the 'faith' issue before ad naseum. Not required, because results are independently verifiable, and replication of a subset of results can result in a statistical inference of the trusthworthiness of other results. Also psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent - and primarily only occur in specific areas. For most of science it is the competence and meticulousness of the fellow practitioner that is the real concern not corruption.

Of course corruption is a huge issue in some areas, medical research related to drug testing is notoriously corrupt and prone to influence.

LetterRip

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by LetterRip:
stayne,

quote:
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.
Actually we have covered the 'faith' issue before ad naseum. Not required, because results are independently verifiable, and replication of a subset of results can result in a statistical inference of the trusthworthiness of other results. Also psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent - and primarily only occur in specific areas. For most of science it is the competence and meticulousness of the fellow practitioner that is the real concern not corruption.

Of course corruption is a huge issue in some areas, medical research related to drug testing is notoriously corrupt and prone to influence.

LetterRip

In this case, the results have *not* been independently verified nor are they able to be replicated because they data and methods used to derive results have been withheld. In more than once case, we're finding the data used as the foundation for the hypothesis has been cherry picked (Briffa, et al) and simply fabricated (Wang and Mann). When demanded through FoI requests, data has even been deleted. Any attempt to publish results not conforming to the hypothesis have successfully been suppressed through the now well documented corruption of the peer review process.

You think psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent but psychology and rational self interest can also be used to infer that whatever needs to be done to keep the money and influence growing will be done. We've caught the lies, the fraud and even criminal acts via these emails. Which way do you think they went in the pursuit of self interest?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
I know that's a long time but there were calls for climate change deniers to be put on trial, Nuremberg-style, and made to account for their crimes against humanity.
By whom, exactly?
See here.

quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
The Northwest Passage was sailed before - in 1906, 1940, 1944, 1957, 1969, 1977, 1984 (a cruise ship no less), 1986, etc. It's not a earth shaking prediction that it would be done again when it's been done of half a dozen times already.
Wow. This really smacks of bull-headed revisionism.
What you're doing here is exactly what AGW proponents have been trained to do. Insult, personal attack, etc. Predictions of transiting the Northwest Passage were proof that these predictions are true when actually this has been done before. You think pointing that out is stubborn and should be dismissed. You should apply for a job with Phil Jones ...
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TomDavidson
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quote:
What you're doing here is exactly what AGW proponents have been trained to do.
Trained, eh? By whom?

quote:
Predictions of transiting the Northwest Passage were proof that these predictions are true when actually this has been done before.
You miss the point. It's not that someone would get a boat through the passage; it's that the passage would open up enough to permit regular shipping, which has happened. You may have missed the bit where Canada and Russia went to a subtle form of war with each other over access to the resources under the pole, which are now available to us for the first time in recorded history.

[ December 01, 2009, 12:59 PM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:
Predictions of transiting the Northwest Passage were proof that these predictions are true when actually this has been done before.
You miss the point. It's not that someone would get a boat through the passage; it's that the passage would open up enough to permit regular shipping, which has happened. You may have missed the bit where Canada and Russia went to a subtle form of war with each other over access to the resources under the pole, which are now available to us for the first time in recorded history.
Open to regular shipping for the first time in recorded history? Let's look at the idea of being open to regular shipping:
quote:
... the Canadian commercial marine transport industry does not anticipate the route as a viable alternative to the Panama Canal even within the next 10 to 20 years.
That was in 2007, so you might be right that it actually could open up to regular shipping in a few decades. Or maybe it won't with the current global cooling. At any rate, it ain't open to regular shipping now if we are to believe Canadian commercial marine transport industry.

How about the first time in recorded history? The G2 guesses that depends on what you mean by "recorded history":
quote:
National Geographic reports the Passage “is ice free for the first time since satellite records began in 1978 ...
Do you mean it's open for the first time since 1978? That's when we really have reliable records but it seems to The G2 that "recorded history" should encompass more than the last 30 years. The G2 can go back a little further, say to AD 1000 to 1200, where there are records talking about Norse explorers sailing the Northwest Passage. Those guys had some pretty dinky little boats for them to work as ice breakers, seems unlikely to The G2.


The G2 abides.

[ December 01, 2009, 02:09 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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KidB
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@G2

quote:
You're refining that from "consensus" to "scientific consensus". Maybe that's what you meant in the first place?
Of course that's what I meant. Don't be obtuse.

quote:
I'm curious why you think any consensus is scientific proof.
I don't. I think that the consensus of scientists on a matter in which they specialize is more likely to be true or closer to the truth than the opinions of people who have no training in the subject, for much the same reason that I'd prefer a licensed pilot fly me to Tokyo...rather than you.

quote:
If you think going back to the classic examples is invalid for some obscure reason, we can go modern. Continental drift was rejected by the consensus for over 50 years, bacteria causing stomach ulcers was rejected by the consensus. Yet both were true.
But that's my point...why do you accept them as true now? Why do you accept the heliocentric model proposed by Galileo and Copernicus as true?

There's a process, usually over a period of decades. It begins with a period of intense debate, but usually ends when, after endless conferences and papers, the majority have independently arrived at the same or similar conclusions. Debate continues over specifics - as still happens with evolutionary theory, but a general premise is agreed upon.

It's not about "absolute truth," but rather "best possible explanation."

[ December 01, 2009, 02:55 PM: Message edited by: KidB ]

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Mariner
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Some hit and run comments (I think my last post was on page 2 or something; no way to take everything since then):

LetterRip:
Not required, because results are independently verifiable, and replication of a subset of results can result in a statistical inference of the trusthworthiness of other results. Also psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent - and primarily only occur in specific areas. For most of science it is the competence and meticulousness of the fellow practitioner that is the real concern not corruption.

"independently verifiable" - not in this case, because the code is a mess, CRU refused to release their methodology, and the original data is gone. If GISS and NOAA are half as bad, then we don't even have any data to verify.

"replication of a subset of results" - If GISS and NOAA are half as bad, and without time travel, we can't replicate the temperature history of the last 100-150 years. Without it, there's nothing to calibrate the gw models. Without that, there's no results. Period.

Yes, I mean that. Because of this scandal, the entirety of global warming analysis goes kaput. It's possible.

"Also psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent" - Actually, studies suggest there's a lot of lying in science literature. Rational self-interest says that most of them won't be caught, and rational self-interest says that you need exciting results in order to get funding.

Given how much money has gone to GW research, can you really say it wasn't in there self interest to inflate its importance?

Greg:
Instead, it starts from a skepticism that disbelieves in virtually everything except scientific method, and then starts building upon observed and measured data. Even where the data supports a given hypothesis, that merely makes it a theory that is provisionally accepted until compelling data proves some element of that theory wrong.
And that is precisely what the IPCC doesn't do. The IPCC starts with the assumption that AGW is true and adapts its data to it.

When I hear the AGW arguments, they sound to me to be similar to the arguments raised on behalf of intelligent design
Then you're reading the wrong arguments. There are solid, peer reviewed alternatives to some of the AGW hypotheses; there are serious, unexplained gaps in the theory; there are fundamental flaws with the data that is presented. That's not what I see with ID or anything else.

They use the language of science, but as a tool for creating doubt rather than for determining fact.
So pointing out where the hypothesis doesn't fit the data isn't science? Pointing out where assumptions are made without verifiable evidence isn't science? Because that's what is being done.

For me, I was given specific predictions in a 1985 class lecture in grad school about what the increase in atmospheric carbon was likely to do over the next 65 years, and almost 25 years later those predictions were pretty damn good (when a highly unlikely prediction such as a navigable northwest passage comes true, it reinforces the credibility of the predictor).
A) That ain't science. Correlation does not equal causation. All these silly arguments about ice melting or shifting migratory trends or whatever are completely irrelevent to the roots of AGW theory, even though they're constantly thrown in to the discussion.
B) Actually, the predictions from the 80s were off.

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.
Again, that's the whole point of these emails. There are know independent factors. There's no neutralization happening. All temperature data is funneled through a few groups with agendas, and said temperature data is processed using unknown methods. There's no way to check the method, there's no way to check the data. You only can trust these people to be honest. Yet there's no reason to trust them.

Opsanus:
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 ), but in that case it is really necessary to make some kind of argument about why not.


Opsanus, I agree that the question phrased to you is not the best. Here's the problem I have noted time and time again when it comes to "skeptics" and "AGW theory" and "the science is settled" and all that.

Your answer dealt entirely with the direct result of carbon dioxide increase. Naturally, that seems to be what we're talking about when we refer to the big picture of AGW theory. But it's actually only step 1, and step 2 is more important. Here's how it goes:

1) Mankind is releasing CO2 into the atmosphere due to fossil fuel consumption (fact, no arguments)
2) This CO2 is accumulating in the atmosphere (fact that CO2 is accumulating, strong consensus that it's due to us)
3) CO2 reabsorbs outgoing radiation, slowing heat transfer down and thus warming the earth (pretty much settled science)

This is what people tend to think of when we hear that the science is settled, but the conclusion from that is that the Earth won't warm much (~1-1.5C per doubling of CO2). What the IPCC banks on (but is never ever heard in public) is the next step

4) The warming from CO2 causes feedbacks to occur in the Earth's climate, causing 2-5 times more warming than the direct warming from CO2.

It is that last part that is key, and the last part that is not settled in the slightest. This conclusion basically comes from "well, we can't think of anything else, and it sounds right, so we'll go with it."

So what would it take to falsify that? Actually, the more important question is, what would it take to accept that as enough of a fact to invest trillions of dollars on?

This is what I hate about lumping everything together in one barrel. I changed from "agnostic" to "skeptic" when I studied #4 in more detail, but because of that I end up getting lumped together with silly arguments like "CO2 is a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, so it can't make a difference!" Unfortunately, people have done a terrible job of educating the public of how GW really works. Whether that's done through malice or just simplifying things, I don't know. But you see it all the time. There's no need to change everything we know of radiation and CO2 in order to "falsify" AGW, because when it comes to the only thing that matters (whether or not to spend money on stopping it), the direct effect of CO2 is irrelevent.

There might be a sub-suggestion that even if other people's private correspondence were our business (which it is not), and even if we could tell what this all means (which we can't), it wouldn't be terribly important in the grand scheme of things (since it's not as though this actually reflects on the state of climate science in any meaningful way).
Actually, there's a very good chance these are our business. You'll note that the emails are all associated with business, nothing to their families or whatever. There's serious speculation that these were compiled internally in case the CRU lost their attempt to destroy the FOI request, as the thought of a lone hacker sorting through everything and picking out thousands of emails is rather silly. Remember, this is government funded. We have a right to know what they're doing. These emails are not private property, no matter how much people think they are. And while the FOI request was denied, one of these emails suggests that the denial was on illegal grounds.

You're right that we can't know everything about what they mean. But that's irrelevent. When people talk about deleting emails, we can assume they're talking about deleting emails. When people talk about planning on deleting data rather than letting someone else see it, we can assume they're talking about deleting data. Is there enough to convict them? No. But there's more than enough to warrant more investigation.

KidB:
I was asking hypothetically. In what circumstance would you trust an international community of scientists to come to a broad consensus on a subject?
That's easy enough:
1) Everything is laid out clearly. All assumptions are clearly stated.
2) The reasons for these assumptions can be universally accepted, due to one or (preferrably) both of the following tests:
2a) The assumption matches with experimental data with enough evidence to eliminate the null hypothesis and all other competing hypotheses
2b) The assumption is based on careful application of well understood scientific principles
3) All reasonable objections to these assumptions have been thoroughly rejected in a repeated manner
4) There are no key gaps in the assumptions that would insure that the complete picture is not taken into account
5) When all assumptions and information is combined, the result is consistent with nature and thoroughly reproducible.

So, until some Ornerian can explain exactly what these emails mean in plain English, I humbly submit that this is nothing but a great big ignorant wankfest.
Hey, I thought I did a good job of explaining "hide the decline" in plain English. Is there anything else you'd like to know? [Smile]

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Daruma28
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So, until some Ornerian can explain exactly what these emails mean in plain English, I humbly submit that this is nothing but a great big ignorant wankfest.

Translation: Until an Ornerian can resolve the cognitive dissonance in my own mind due to the emails actual content and my bedrock belief that AGW theory has already having been proven, I will refuse to acknowledge the contents of these emails as relevant.

Sorry Kid, those emails are damning, and yours and everyone else that refuses to concede this point merely shows the depth of your blind faith here.

If anything, it is all you who continue to preach the sacredness of SCIENCE in guiding our human behavior that should be screaming for the CRU scientist's blood here...not blithely excusing, justifying or ignoring these "scientists" who have deliberately corrupted the process you claim to hold so dear!

Just how much stock can you put into "peer-review" when you excuse/justify/rationalize and/or ignore what these emails reveal about how they manipulated the process?

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by KidB:
Why do you accept the heliocentric model proposed by Galileo and Copernicus as true?

The G2 accepts it because G2 can do the math, he can read what led Galileo and Copernicus to their conclusions and pull out a pair of binoculars and confirm their observations. The G2 can do it, you can do it, anyone can do it - the heliocentric model is readily verifiable by others.

Contrast that with modern climatologists that push the AGW hypothesis. We cannot read most of what led to their conclusions, only the conclusions themselves, because they refuse to allow the data to be distributed. When forced by law, they delete and obscure data rather than allow it out. On the rare occasions it is released, we have seen their conclusions falsified (Mann hockey stick, Yamal tree ring series) and outright fraud (Wang and Mann) with others highly suspect (NIWA temperature series, data still withheld). The G2 cannot check the data, you cannot check the data, nobody can check it - the AGW hypothesis is not verifiable and the predictions it makes are failing.


The G2 abides.

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Aris Katsaris
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It seems to me that until we get the full set of data released that led to the conclusions, the conclusion are not science -- they're the pronouncements of oracles.

I hate conservatives being correct as much as the next liberal. Especially since I'm guessing they were correct merely by luck, not by any sort of intellectual rigor.

But right now they seem to be correct: If the data leading to that conclusion aren't released (or if they've been destroyed), then AGW is about as much science as Scientology is.

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OpsanusTau
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I have amazingly little patience for arguments that boil down to "I do not understand the information and techniques by which the experts came to their conclusions; therefore the conclusions of the experts are not ever to be trusted."

I also have pretty much entirely run out of patience for people who claim to be "skeptics" while in fact appearing to believe, on little to no evidence, the most spurious pseudoscientific crap.
You know what "skepticism" is? It's being thoughtful and openminded, gathering as much information as possible before coming to a conclusion, and being always ready to change your conclusion if new information warrants such a change.

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Wayward Son
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Except that you can do the math, G2.

All you need to do is search the scientific literature and come up with the best estimates you can of the historical temperatures. It won't be conclusive, of course, but do the best you can with the best math we have.

Then create a model of our climate. You need to factor in the various forcings out there, including CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Yes, you will need to make some approximations and some fudging, but do the best you can.

Then run the model a number of times. (You'll probably need a supercomputer to do so, but it can be done.) Take the sums of the reading. See if they pretty much agree. Then compare them to your best estimate of what the historical temperatures were. Repeat until you get a fairly good match to the historical estimates.

Makes some predictions of how the climate will vary in the future. Then see how well the model holds up. Tweek as necessary.

The point is, you can do it. Sure, it's not as easy as checking Galileo's work, but science has advanced a bit in the last few hundred years. [Smile]

After all, something like 10 teams have done it. They may have consulted with each other to figure out the tougher parts, but that doesn't mean you can't do it independently. You can do it, too. [Smile]

Just because it's too difficult for you to do on your own doesn't mean it's untrue. And just because some climate researchers have done unethical things does not automatically mean that the models and the results are untrue, too.

You can independently verify or contradict the results.

(BTW, G2. In reference to your last post to me: You realize that just because my face may be an ugly mug doesn't mean your face is any prettier. [Wink] [Razz] )

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Daruma28
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quote:
Originally posted by OpsanusTau:
I have amazingly little patience for arguments that boil down to "I do not understand the information and techniques by which the experts came to their conclusions; therefore the conclusions of the experts are not ever to be trusted."

Au contraire Ops. The argument boils down to "I understand that the most influential group of scientists producing reports for which the IPCC used to justify various political actions were exposed in trying to rig the peer review process, control attempts at having a legitimate debate, destroying evidence, and ignoring FOIA laws...AND YET SOME OF YOU INSIST THAT WE SHOULD STILL TRUST THEM?!?!?!

quote:
I also have pretty much entirely run out of patience for people who claim to be "skeptics" while in fact appearing to believe, on little to no evidence, the most spurious pseudoscientific crap.
So are you saying that the practices of the CRU scientists, as revealed by these emails, should not involve any skepticism on your part whatsoever?

quote:
You know what "skepticism" is? It's being thoughtful and open minded, gathering as much information as possible before coming to a conclusion, and being always ready to change your conclusion if new information warrants such a change. [/QB]
So have you read the emails Ops? Because if you actually did, you'd see that all of these things that raise your ire, the CRU scientists are absolutely guilty of.

They were not open minded, they dismissed any skepticism or dissent out of hand, conspired to keep it from being published and undergoing peer review, conspired to have a man fired from his job simply for daring to publish a dissenting point of view...and they certainly demonstrated a complete unwillingness to even consider the possibility that there may in fact be new information that would possibly force them to change their own conclusions.

How is pointing all this out considered "psuedo-scientific?" One doesn't need to "understand science" one bit to see the apparent malfeasance and deliberate deception these people colluded in.

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MattP
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quote:
rig the peer review process, control attempts at having a legitimate debate, destroying evidence, and ignoring FOIA laws
You realize, I'm sure, that these conclusions about the nature of the activities are contested. The "rig[ging] the peer review process" is argued, by their side, as an attempt to do something about papers which were published without going through proper review or otherwise flaunting accepted methodology. It wasn't necessarily the position advocated by the papers, but the method by which they were published.

I'm not advocating either side of that argument, just noting that there *is* an argument there. And complaining about a crappy reviewer isn't, in itself, an indication of professional misconduct. Should a scientist who believes an editor is shirking their duty *not* act on that belief?

Just out of curiosity, what does non-conspiratorial climate science look like to you? Pretend that anthropogenic global warming were a real phenomena. How would you distinguish between scientists living in that world from the ones you see living in ours?

[ December 01, 2009, 06:34 PM: Message edited by: MattP ]

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Daruma28
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Just out of curiosity, what does non-conspiratorial climate science look like to you?

Let's start off with scientists who willingly and gladly provide their research and their data for a transparent and open review process.

Let's also consider how the political process plays in funding their research, and what political agendas are being implemented in the name of the research being conducted.

If AGW were the absolutely proven threat it's supposed to be, I think the biggest proponents of fighting the imminent threat of it should be practicing what they preach, no?

Like flying private jets to environmental conferences, living in massive mansions that require more power than a whole neighborhood of proles...than preaching that we all need to reduce our carbon footprints.

Instances of transparent hypocrisy from the foremost proponents of action don't help in promoting the veracity of what they claim.

And complaining about a crappy reviewer isn't, in itself, an indication of professional misconduct. Should a scientist who believes an editor is shirking their duty *not* act on that belief?

That is a very most charitable interpretation of the emails content.

Look at Ops' last post about what gets her ire up as a scientist.

If the CRU had such a strong case of evidence of AGW, why wouldn't they welcome debate? What are they afraid of?

If they had a strong case that clearly shows the skeptics arguments as mistaken or wrong, why not publicly engage them in debate with their evidence? Isn't that supposed to be what the "peer-review" process is supposed to be about?

Or is it supposed to be an exercise in groupthink and an ideological circle jerk?

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stayne
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It is all fine and well to note that it is technically possible to verify research, but it is hardly the same thing as saying it is practical. The simple truth is that the vast majority of people lack the tools, training, or even motivation to do so.

What most will do is choose a group engaged in such research and subscribe to their views. Some will choose their alignment based on preconceived reasons, others on who seems to be honest and skilled. I suppose some will simply roll dice or perhaps throw up their hands and say they have no clue. Vanishingly few will or are even capable of doing the research themselves.

This is a known problem with science. Hawking has spoken about the difficulties when science outpaces philosophy, due to advancements taking place so rapidly that the public cannot absorb even the simplified versions. Too much foundation is required to appreciate the connections.

Scientists do science. Philosophers and politicians are the ones who end up digesting the results and cementing social views. Where the two meet, it's a mess at the best of times. Politicians meddle, scientists curry favor to receive grants, philosophers go off half cocked and create odd belief sets.

The mess we are seeing on this issue is directly related to the above. Denying there IS a mess simply makes it harder to clean up.

Anyone who is convinced by the evidence that AGW is real needs to appreciate that moving forward is a political problem, one made substantially more difficult by recent events. Isolated event? Perhaps. But then, so are MANY political bombs. How many representatives who are opposed to gay marriage are actually in bathrooms tapping feet with cops? Probably very few, and yet one was enough to have a strong effect on public sentiment.

As with any other political matter, when your allies are busted with stacks of cash in a freezer, or in compromising positions with underage girls, you have to move quickly to distance yourself from them. Right now, ALL of AGW is being looked at with a jaundiced eye because of the behavior of this single group.

Defending them, minimizing their actions, or making excuses is not going to help. Calling them out and excoriating them for their bad science will.

Birds of a feather hang together. (shrug) True or false, it IS how people think when faced with choices of whom to trust.

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KE
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quote:
If anything, it is all you who continue to preach the sacredness of SCIENCE in guiding our human behavior that should be screaming for the CRU scientist's blood here...not blithely excusing, justifying or ignoring these "scientists" who have deliberately corrupted the process you claim to hold so dear!


Amen. I for one already have. Figuratively anyway.

KE

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kenmeer livermaile
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I subscribe to the camp that says we are releasing an unprecedented amount of fossil fuel combustion byproducts and that this will likely have some kind of noticeable effect. Beyond that, I let folks have at it per their predominating biases
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Daruma28
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Right now, ALL of AGW is being looked at with a jaundiced eye because of the behavior of this single group.

The most relevant aspect here is that this single group is the one that provided the primary source for the IPCC to move forward with all of their recommendations and actions.

From the Telegraph article: Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

quote:


A week after my colleague James Delingpole , on his Telegraph blog, coined the term "Climategate" to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian's George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU's director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC's key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

This single group, had a vested financial and political interest to control the narrative...and the IPCC's actions, recommendations and publicly promoted political platform has been wholly endorsed and supported by a wide variety of groups, scientists, organizations, foundations, corporations and governments all rested on the "science" put forth by the CRU.
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stayne
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Ken, I subscribe to the camp that says they are all scum, and I don't trust a one of them. I reckon it is a self correcting problem. If we screw things up too bad, we'll die back enough so it won't be a problem anymore. The Earth will keep spinning, with or without us.

Ah, the long view. [Big Grin]

And, yes, to those taking this more seriously, I recognize that is a useless truth. More wine, wench!

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Wayward Son:
Except that you can do the math, G2.

All you need to do is search the scientific literature and come up with the best estimates you can of the historical temperatures. It won't be conclusive, of course, but do the best you can with the best math we have.

Then create a model of our climate. You need to factor in the various forcings out there, including CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Yes, you will need to make some approximations and some fudging, but do the best you can.

Then run the model a number of times. (You'll probably need a supercomputer to do so, but it can be done.) Take the sums of the reading. See if they pretty much agree. Then compare them to your best estimate of what the historical temperatures were. Repeat until you get a fairly good match to the historical estimates.

Makes some predictions of how the climate will vary in the future. Then see how well the model holds up. Tweek as necessary.

The point is, you can do it. Sure, it's not as easy as checking Galileo's work, but science has advanced a bit in the last few hundred years. [Smile]

After all, something like 10 teams have done it. They may have consulted with each other to figure out the tougher parts, but that doesn't mean you can't do it independently. You can do it, too. [Smile]

Just because it's too difficult for you to do on your own doesn't mean it's untrue. And just because some climate researchers have done unethical things does not automatically mean that the models and the results are untrue, too.

You can independently verify or contradict the results.

(BTW, G2. In reference to your last post to me: You realize that just because my face may be an ugly mug doesn't mean your face is any prettier. [Wink] [Razz] )

The problem you're missing is that G2 cannot "search the scientific literature and come up with the best estimates you can of the historical temperatures". That information is not published and has been the subject of a number of FoI requests. In fact, much of the data out there now is being shown to be deeply flawed and even fabricated. That anyone can independently verify or contradict the results has been proven false.

[ December 01, 2009, 08:48 PM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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G2
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Excellent write up of the issues can be found here.

It's a 43 page pdf, well worth the read to get a full accounting of just how deep the hoax is and just how badly screwed up the "science" is.

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TomDavidson
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Lest anyone think that "scienceandpublicpolicy.org" is a good place to get a fair accounting of the issues: it is not.
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OpsanusTau
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quote:
So have you read the emails Ops?
No way, dude. Reading private correspondence without permission of the author or recipient is wrong. No matter how many other people have done it.

I *have* seen a couple of the emails reposted on the blogs of some of the scientists in question, with the parts that some people found upsetting pointed out. I can't say I found them terribly upsetting, but that is just me.

I will say that I have pretty much run out of patience for a LOT of people on BOTH sides of this debate; I didn't mean to imply that the denialists are the only irritating ones. And particularly irritating are most of the people (on both sides) claiming that particular policy choices will necessarily lead to the End of the World (ecologic, economic, what have you) - for me, kenmeer's cogent summary above is good enough.

Who REALLY thinks we're going to cut back on fossil fuel use in any meaningful way until we have to, anyways? Yeah, right.
Welcome to the giant, uncontrolled climatic experiment of the 21st century (a subset of the giant uncontrolled ecological experiment of the 21st century), performed without forethought on the only earth we'll ever have. I'm excited to see what happens.

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hobsen
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Mariner has a point that the more alarming predictions of the effects of the increase in carbon dioxide depend on speculation that other factors - such as release of methane from Arctic permafrost - will magnify the effects of the increase in carbon dioxide alone. Such very large effects could happen, but the underlying science is too little understood to say they will necessarily occur.

OpsanusTau has the better point that, whether climate researchers get a lot of funding or not, nothing meaningful will be done to cut back on fossil fuel use unless and until the disastrous consequences of present policies become obvious to everyone.

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TomDavidson
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By way of comparison, BTW, here's an article I think is fairly even-handed:
http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4338343.html

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Greg Davidson
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If we accept the hypothesis that the availability of funding will influence scientists to falsify results, then the most likely outcome would be that the majority of scientists would falsify results to minimize the evidence for global warming.

There is a large and specific commercial business interest in avoiding efforts to reduce carbon pollution. There is no group that captures anywhere near the equivalent amount of revenue for steps to combat carbon pollution. And there is no similar compelling financial interest in government to push this issue one way or another (ie; no one gets millions of dollars of personal wealth based on the direction that research takes).

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LetterRip
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Mariner and G2,

what I was describing is the logical reasoning behind faith not being a necessary precondition for doing science.

I'm more skeptical of experiments where data isn't readily available. I'm more skeptical of results that don't have adequate information about methodology published. I'm more skeptical of results that have signficant corrections or that use statistical methods that I'm unfamiliar with.

Of course being skeptical doesn't mean I reject the result out of hand, just that I'm more tentative in my acceptance of the result.

Regarding the emails at hand - I haven't read much of it but the brief snippets I have read are certainly concerning at least regarding the obstruction related to data release. Personally I think journals need to set a firm deadline after which all papers that have not released the data for their research the paper will be withdrawn.

G2,

quote:
In more than once case, we're finding the data used as the foundation for the hypothesis has been cherry picked (Briffa, et al) and simply fabricated (Wang and Mann).
Do you have links to these specific accussations? I tend to find that the sources you rely on for such information tend to have rather dubious interpretations and are rather free with false accussations. So I'm not willing to take such claims at face value.

quote:
When demanded through FoI requests, data has even been deleted.
If so there should be serious sanctions. That said I've found getting 'raw data' from the 'skeptics' extremely difficult and have received excuses equivalent to 'the dog ate my data'.

quote:
Any attempt to publish results not conforming to the hypothesis have successfully been suppressed through the now well documented corruption of the peer review process.
This is of course crap, I've seen plenty of 'skeptic' research published. Although usually instead of trying to get published in a respectable journal they tend to go for journals that have no serious peer review process. Some of the dodgiest most poorly written papers I've seen have been 'skeptic' research papers.

quote:
You think psychology and rational self interest can be used to infer that lies will be infrequent but psychology and rational self interest can also be used to infer that whatever needs to be done to keep the money and influence growing will be done. We've caught the lies, the fraud and even criminal acts via these emails. Which way do you think they went in the pursuit of self interest?
I don't think we have solid basis to say what we've 'caught' via these emails. The only major thing I've read that sounds quite damning is the apparent threat to delete data.

I know that many skeptics really want to believe that it is all hogwash and the only way the results achieved were through incompetence, lies, deciet, and fraud.

I think the interpretations of these emails is somewhat different from those with significant non adversarial relationships with scientists than those of others. The vast majority of the quotes while sounding bad can easily be attributed to shop talk and such.

I think that any paper without the full and complete raw data set made available should be withdrawn from publication. (I'm not sure if there is some way to allow exceptions for commercially held data, but it seems such a slippery slope that probably not).

The less replicable the experiment the greater the skepticism that is reasonable. The greater the self interest of the funder of the research or the researcher the greater the skepticism is reasonable. The more controversial the topic the greater the skepticism is reasonable.

LetterRip

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