Tag Archives: whitewash

Climate experts are now calling for an end to the regularly scheduled mega-climate summits.

Good news: Climate experts are now calling for an end to the regularly scheduled mega-climate summits.

That these summits haven’t accomplished anything but allow climate bureaucrats to burn tons of airplane fossil fuel to gather in some of the world’s nicest warm weather cities during the winter — thereby making them all look like hypocrites — is not the reason these experts want to cancel the summits. They want to cancel the summits because the summits aren’t getting them the results they want: strict regulation on the lives of everyone else.

Nowhere does the article address the simple fact that in the past three years, since the release of the climategate emails, the creditability of the entire climate change field has gone to zero. The public doesn’t buy their sales pitch anymore, and thus neither do politicians, which is why no one is willing to make a deal at these summits. No one believes anything these climate experts are saying, especially since they have refused to clean up the corruption within their field.

“Perpetuating rubbish”: a detailed analysis of one part of the new climategate emails

“Perpetuating rubbish”: a detailed analysis of one part of the new climategate emails.

I think the first comment sums up the tragedy of this situation very clearly:

So privately they said the series had a “dubious relationship to temperature”, but publicly they said it was “well calibrated”? I am just about to the point of never trusting any scientists at all.

The willingness of the climate field to whitewash the fraud and corruption revealed by the first set of climategate emails is now haunting this field badly. Why should anyone believe anything any global warming scientist ever says? It is very clear that too many of them put politics above science in their work.

The new hockey stick

Steven Hayward at Powerline has noted a new hockey stick graph, produced by scientists and described in detail by the journal Nature. This one is not specifically about climate, but about the reliability of science and the peer-review process itself. To quote the Nature article:

[Retraction] notices [of science papers] are increasing rapidly. In the early 2000s, only about 30 retraction notices appeared annually. This year, the Web of Science is on track to index more than 400 (see ‘Rise of the retractions’) — even though the total number of papers published has risen by only 44% over the past decade.

Below is the graph from the Nature paper. As Hayward says, “Lo and behold, it looks like a hockey stick! (Heh.)”
» Read more

More evidence Penn State’s investigation of Mann was a whitewash

More evidence that Penn State’s investigation of IPCC climate researcher Michael Mann was a whitewash.

The key point is that the Penn State investigators never interviewed a principal who was able to confirm or deny a key charge against “Hockey Stick” lead author of “Hide the Decline” infamy Michael Mann. This individual has now been interviewed, and what he told federal investigators has indicted Mann and Penn State.

I have noted this already, the very week the Penn State report was issued, but it is nice to see there is further evidence to confirm my conclusions.

Another climategate whitewash

The inspector general of the Department of Commerce has just issued a review of NOAA’s response to the climategate emails and has essentially given the agency a clean bill of health. You can download the full report here [pdf].

It’s. just. another. whitewash. Let me quote just one part of the report’s summary, referring to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to NOAA in June 2007 in which the agency responded by saying they had no such documents:
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Harvard researcher admits to research misconduct

Another scientific scandal, this time in the field of animal and human cognitive research: Harvard scientist Marc Hauser has admitted to eight instances of misconduct. Three key quotes:

The university said in a statement last week that Dr. Hauser or a co-author had been directed to correct three published papers for which the original data could not be found. [emphasis mine]

Harvard itself had faced growing criticism for not releasing more details of the inquiry since The Boston Globe reported on Aug. 10 that the university had found evidence of scientific misconduct in Dr. Hauser’s lab. On Friday, Michael D. Smith, dean of the Harvard faculty of arts and sciences, issued a letter to the faculty confirming the inquiry and saying the eight instances of scientific misconduct involved problems of “data acquisition, data analysis, data retention, and the reporting of research methodologies and results.” No further details were given.

Harvard’s findings against him, if sustained, may cast a shadow over the broad field of scientific research that depended on the particular research technique often used in his experiments.

Gee, this sure sounds a lot like the Phil Jones/East Anglia University climategate scandal, where both the researcher and his university provided cover for each other, thereby leaving a cloud over a vast amount of climate research that depends on Jones’s data.

An update on the Dept of Energy’s hold on monies to East Anglia

This story about the Department of Energy’s decision in May to suspend payments to the University of East Anglia because of the climategate scandal might very well be a Potemkin village. The story notes that they are placing a hold on $200k. However, Anthony Watts notes that DOE has probably provided East Anglia significantly more funds, in the millions. The suspension in funds then is only about one specific and not very large contract, with nothing said about the other funding. Note also that the hold was placed in May, pending the results of East Anglia’s own investigation. Since that investigation was a whitewash, I expect DOE to release these funds in near future.

Another climategate whitewash

Updated. Also, bad link fixed. Sorry.

Another climategate whitewash. Phil Jones, at the center of the scandal, has been reinstated by the University of East Anglia. Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit has an excellent analysis of the some of the absurd rationalizations the investigation adopted to clear Jones.

This Daily Mail article on the investigation gives a somewhat balanced description.

Press Release Journalism

The Penn State University investigation report on Michael Mann might be a whitewash, but what is really a travesty is the way some so-called professional journalists have covered this story. First, go and read the these two news articles at the New York Times and the Washington Post. I’ll wait till you’re back.

All done? Okay. Note how both news articles say very little about the report itself, other than its conclusions. Instead, the news articles follow the same boring news formula for writing these kinds of stories:

  • First, report the conclusions in the opening paragraphs.
  • Then, follow with a quote from a supporter of those conclusions, combined with a quick very superficial summary of the controversy.
  • Top this with by another quote from a supporter, slamming the opposition.
  • Then, add for balance a single quote from an opponent. (I find it ironic and a bit hilarious that both news articles went to the same global-warming skeptic for this particular quote, suggesting that these so-called professional reporters have very limited contact with the skeptics in the scientific community.)
  • Finally, finish things off with another quote from a supporter to emphasize the correctness of the report’s conclusions.

Neither news article provides the reader with the slightest analysis of the investigation report itself. Neither bothers to describe its superficial nature and its almost obsessive desire to find Michael Mann innocent.

Finally, both news articles read as if the reporters barely read the report itself and knew little about the content of the East Anglia emails. Instead, their stories read as if they simply scanned the press releases about the report and worked from those.

Another example of press release journalism at its worst.

Another Climategate Whitewash

The investigation at Pennsylvania State University of Michael Mann and his behavior as revealed in the East Anglia emails was released today, clearing him of all but one minor charge. You can read the actually report here. I suggest you do, as you will be amazed by the absurdity of this so-called investigation.

First, the manner in which the university investigated and then cleared Mann of the main charges was a joke. The panel reviewed the East Anglia emails, then brought Mann in to answer questions. When he essentially told them he had done nothing wrong, they decided that was evidence enough, clearing him of three of the four main charges.

Then, on the one remaining minor charge, the sharing of other people’s unpublished manuscripts without permission, the panel brought in other scientists for independent opinions, though only one of which, Richard Lindzen, is a skeptic of Mann’s work. Lindzen’s reaction when he learned he was not being interviewed on any of the main charges is quite entertaining. To quote the report itself,

When told that the first three allegations against Dr. Mann were dismissed at the inquiry stage . . . Dr. Lindzen’s response was: “It’s thoroughly amazing. I mean these are issues that he explicitly stated in the emails. I’m wondering what’s going on?”

The Investigatory Committee members did not respond to Dr. Lindzen’s statement.

On this final charge, the committee decided only that Mann’s distribution without permission of other people’s unpublished manuscripts was “careless and inappropriate,” and then finished by essentially saying in very stern words: next time, ask first.

Not surprisingly, the New York Times report on the conclusions of the investigation is somewhat joyous.

Unfortunately, this whitewash will only do harm to the reputation of science and the modern scientific community, and will almost certainly increase the general public’s distrust of climate research (and the reporting of it by mainstream publications like the NY Times).