Thursday, December 3, 2009

Absence of Soros link exculpatory, in Alarmist's view

As the radioactivity count drops over at Hadley CRU, our friends at Real Climate responded to the general outrage at the manipulation, dissembling and outright obstruction on the part of the world's most prominent AGW proponents with the rather vacuous response that after all was said and done, there really was no significant revelation, and it was what was not found in the Hadley files that was most revealing:

"More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though."

Well, I can certainly see why the alarmists would want to shift attention away from what is revealed by the data and quickly move on to what for them is the more familiar ground of things which the data does not actually support. Old habits die hard. The fact that the e-mail stream contains no mention of George Soros or government payoffs is hardly the sanctification realclimate is claiming it to be.

“no admission that global warming is a hoax”

Why, no. Were you concerned one would be found there?

There is no George Soros involvement paying off the scientists promoting the AGW theory. Does his absence mean everything must be okay then?

Well, not quite.

What we have been saying is that the conclusions drawn may not be fully supported by the empiric (measurable) data, that the projections stem from computer models that are not predictive of the future and that have no record of reliability, that you have attempted to skew the debate to your favor by not allowing adequate examination of your methods and influencing the peer review process, and that you have essentially pushed an agenda driven ideology.

Looking at just one explanation offered:

The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term “trick” to refer to a “a good way to deal with a problem”, rather than something that is “secret”, and so there is nothing problematic in this at all.

Just a good way to deal with a problem boils down to 'it just looks better when I present it like this.' If your goal is to make your findings agree with your theory, then I agree, problem solved, and yes, that was a neat trick. But science has an aura of objectivity to it, and the AGW theory has had huge influence on policies which affect us profoundly.

The lay people of the world have placed their trust in these scientists, and have generally bought into the notion that the 'science is settled'. In this setting, the effort to “fix” problems is criminal. A true objective scientist would be forthright in addressing the problems. You cannot claim to be objectively representing the facts and simultaneously making use of tricks to “solve” problems with your data.

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