Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Climategate Update 8: The NYT Reports

The New York Times has broken their oh so short ethical stand not to publish from the tranche of hacked CRU e-mails and data to report on the Climategate Scandal - and they do so with a fair amount of intellecutal honesty. True, the article appears in the Science section, but it still admits to many of the claims over malfeasence raised by the CRU e-mails.

This from John Tierny writing at the NYT:

If you have not delved into the thousands of e-mail messages and files hacked from the computers of British climate scientists, let me give you the closest thing to an executive summary. It is taken from a file slugged HARRY_READ_ME, which is the log of a computer expert’s long struggle to make sense of a database of historical temperatures. Here is Harry’s summary of the situation:


. . . Harry, whoever he may be, comes off as the most sympathetic figure in the pilfered computer annals of East Anglia University, the British keeper of global temperature records. While Harry’s log shows him worrying about the integrity of the database, the climate scientists are e-mailing one another with strategies for blocking outsiders’ legal requests to see their data.

While Harry is puzzling over temperatures — “I have that familiar Twilight Zone sensation” — the scientists are confidently making proclamations to journalists, jetting to conferences and plotting revenge against those who question the dangers of global warming. When a journal publishes a skeptic’s paper, the scientists e-mail one another to ignore it. They focus instead on retaliation against the journal and the editor, a project that is breezily added to the agenda of their next meeting: “Another thing to discuss in Nice!”

As the scientists denigrate their critics in the e-mail messages, they seem oblivious to one of the greatest dangers in the climate-change debate: smug groupthink. These researchers, some of the most prominent climate experts in Britain and America, seem so focused on winning the public-relations war that they exaggerate their certitude — and ultimately undermine their own cause. . . .

The story behind that graph certainly didn’t show that global warming was a hoax or a fraud, as some skeptics proclaimed, but it did illustrate another of their arguments: that the evidence for global warming is not as unequivocal as many scientists claim. (Go to nytimes.com/tierneylab for details.)

. . . Trying to prevent skeptics from seeing the raw data was always a questionable strategy, scientifically. Now it looks like dubious public relations, too. . . .

I think that Mr. Tierney understates more than a bit at the end, but this is another crack in the AGW armor. Do read the entire article.

Prior Posts:

Climategate and Surrealism
More Climategate Fallout
Climategate Update 3
Climategate Update 4: CRU Records Worthless
Climategate Update 5: IPCC's Chairman Mao
Climategate Update 6: Climategate In Video
UNEP, Green Religion & Global Governance
Climate Update 7: IPCC's Chairman Mao Plays The Obama Card, Peer Review Analyzed, Scientific Method Explained For Paul Krugman


Ron Russell said...

Perhaps the cache of emails will open some eyes. I suppose the NYT's decided this was too big a story to sweep under the carpet, but then I really don't know their motives. This whole global warming thing is the biggest hoax I've seen in my many years. My cats fur is thick this year and that always means a cold winter, thats a scientific fact!

dave in boca said...

GW, I have a Maine Coon with a ruff as thick as I've ever seen on this immense feline, and even in Boca, that means a chill in the air. I'm heading up to Cape Cod to weatherize our home in E. Dennis any day now.

BTW, I took some time off from ranting about AGW & its attendant flimflammery to do a piece on Afghanistan and the Dear Leader's latest southpaw sidewinder slitherings. I stayed away from Baghdad Bob Gibbs's mindless blather about foreign policy,even worse than his witless takes on climate change, but did get a nice debriefing from a long-time FSO who came back last week from a very disheartening sojourn in Kabul & environs. Disheartening about the US frippery, not Karzai's much-decried "corruption." Read my effort to see if I was able to convey the underhandedness of this administration and its almost manic obsession with "exit" strategies and other mindsets.