Monday, November 30, 2009

A Public Service Announcement

I have one more post about Global Warming that I'll unleash tomorrow, and then will hang it up for a while. 20 posts on the subject in the last week and a half is too much, even for me. All of you have been showing the patience of saints.

A more sane blogging schedule will resume tomorrow.

Man-Made Global Warming: Confirmed!

If you look closely at climate data, you will find that all the major data sets consist of two parts:

Raw Data, which is the instrument reading: satellite, thermometer, or proxy (tree ring, ice core, etc). This is data straight from the sensor.

Adjustments, which are corrections applied to raw data to adjust for inconsistencies. For example, it is important to read the thermometer temperature at the same time every day. If the hottest time of the day is, say, 2:30 PM, but you read the thermometer at 10:00 AM, then the day's reading will be low. Adjustments are also made when weather stations are re-sited, and for other reasons.

An interesting question is how much of the 20th Century's warming came from adjustments, rather than from raw data? A picture is worth a thousand words:
What you're looking at is the annual adjustment made to the raw temperature, for each year in the 20th Century. You'll notice that almost no adjustments are made to years up to 1960, and then a very interesting shape appears in the graph.

A hockey Stick.

This is not from the Hadley/CRU temperature data set, this is from the US HCN (Historical Climate Network), which describes itself as:
The United States Historical Climatology Network (USHCN) is a high-quality data set of daily and monthly records of basic meteorological variables from 1218 observing stations across the 48 contiguous United States. Daily data include observations of maximum and minimum temperature, precipitation amount, snowfall amount, and snow depth; monthly data consist of monthly-averaged maximum, minimum, and mean temperature and total monthly precipitation. Most of these stations are U.S. Cooperative Observing Network stations located generally in rural locations, while some are National Weather Service First-Order stations that are often located in more urbanized environments. The USHCN has been developed over the years at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) to assist in the detection of regional climate change. Furthermore, it has been widely used in analyzing U.S. climte [sic].
So, a major government climate data set is adjusting recent years temperature reading upward, at an increasing rate. This implies that the data as collected at the sensors is getting increasingly inaccurate - after all, we're seeing adjustments on the order of 0.5°F for the 1990s, so the sensors are clearly reading almost half a degree cold.

Does this make any sense? And notice how the sensors are "running cold", never hot, despite the fact that cities have grown much larger since 1960, and many once-rural weather stations are now surrounded by hot asphalt parking lot, rather than cooler meadow? Does that make any sense?

Let's look at this further.

The Fed.Gov says that the lower 48 states have warmed on average by 0.6° between 1940 and 1999. Of that, 0.5° is from adjustments, not from raw data. In other words, 83% of the warming is from adjustments. Well, now.

They say that they have a good explanation. Maybe they do - I'm still fighting off a bad case of "Meh", so let's ask another question: do we see anything like this other places than USHCN?

We do indeed. A week ago, a group called the Climate Science Coalition of New Zealand made a bombshell announcement: all of New Zealand's reported 1°C warming between 1850 and 2000 was due to adjustments. Here's the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) reported warming graph:

The Climate Science Coalition folks went back and looked at the raw data by itself. It looks different:

Well, well, well. OK, so it looks like the Kiwis and the Yanks have crummy government scientists. Sweden, too. Who else is in the club? How about the CRU? Actually, we can't tell what their adjustments look like, because they've lost all the raw data. Sorry about that.

Eric Raymond has been running the CRU code (unlike me, who just pretended to run the code as an excuse to snark). The code generates the adjustments made to the CRU data, and guess what it looks like?

That's not the temperature, remember, it's the adjustments made to the temperature. I think we've just discovered the real source of Anthropogenic Global Warming. It's not CO2, but it is a lot of hot air.

Like I said recently, almost every climate scientist uses data from one of a very small number of data sets. If the people who control the data sets can inject a warming signal, then you will indeed reach a consensus that the climate has been warming. All scientists using those data sets will find the warming signal. The science will, in a sense, be "settled".

It will be wrong, but it will be settled.

And what's worse, scientists knew that something was very, very wrong. One widely-quoted CRU email fairly shrieks bewilderment:
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t. The CERES data published in the August BAMS 09 supplement on 2008 shows there should be even more warming: but the data are surely wrong.
The data are surely wrong, because the science is settled. I mean, everyone sees a warming signal!

At this point, climate science in general and Anthropogenic Global Warming in particular are shattered. Nothing in the peer-reviewed journals can be trusted. Any climate data that is not available to John Q Public needs to be dismissed out of hand. Any adjustment process that is not 100% transparent - fully documented procedures, as well as adjustments published on a station-by-station basis, with a justification for each change - needs to be dismissed out of hand.

Science has weathered scandals of this magnitude in the past, and come out the stronger for it. It has done this by insisting on full transparency. It needs to do so now.

Global Warming is confirmed to exist, and to be caused by Man. Unfortunately, it's caused by Men in White Lab coats, not by burning Carbon based fuels.

UPDATE 1 December 2009 17:04: More on the same subject here.

Just how bad is CRU's Climate Data?

The HARRY_READ_ME.txt file documents a multi-year effort by one of the CRU programming staff to figure out just how the climate model software worked. The only way to describe it is "hair raising" (at least to someone who is in the software industry).

If you want to look for smoking guns, you can find it here. It is thousands of lines long. If you were to look at the text starting on line 5434, you will find this:
Here, the expected 1990-2003 period is MISSING – so the correlations aren’t so hot! Yet
the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical (or close). What the hell is
supposed to happen here? Oh yeah – there is no ’supposed’, I can make it up. So I have :-)

If an update station matches a ‘master’ station by WMO code, but the data is unpalatably
inconsistent, the operator is given three choices:

You have failed a match despite the WMO codes matching.
This must be resolved!! Please choose one:

1. Match them after all.
2. Leave the existing station alone, and discard the update.
3. Give existing station a false code, and make the update the new WMO station.

Enter 1,2 or 3:

You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false
WMO codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’
database of dubious provenance (which, er, they all are and always will be).
What can we glean from this? Several things, none of them good for the reputation of the "science" of Anthropogenic Global Warming:

1. The climate change data sets are - by CRU's own admission - are filled with decade-long gaps ("the expected 1990-2003 period is MISSING").

2. The climate data sets contain - by CRU's own admission - fabricated data ("I can make it up. So I have :-)").

3. The the data is inconsistent to the point of confusion ("the WMO codes and station names /locations are identical") and so - by CRU's own admission - a manual override process was added to the code, allowing the person running the code to make arbitrary changes to the data (this bit:
Please choose one:

1. Match them after all.
2. Leave the existing station alone, and discard the update.
3. Give existing station a false code, and make the update the new WMO station.

Enter 1,2 or 3:)
4. (speculation here) These manual overrides are not logged anywhere, meaning that for any given output of the model, it is impossible to know what was manually changed during the run, or the impact of those changes on the output.

5. (speculation here) There is no method to save these changes, so that the next time the model is run it may (probably will?) produce different output.

I'm not sure quite what to call this process on display here, but "science" is not the appropriate word. What does "peer review" mean when likely nobody has reviewed the operator changes? I would go as far as to say that any published paper that relies on the output from this process should be assumed to be suspect until demonstrated otherwise.

Look, who are you going to believe, Al Gore or your lieing eyes?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Required Reading

For Climate Scientists, at least.

Happy Birthday, Rahm Emanuel!

The big 5-0, too! Sorry to say this, but I hope you don't get a Healthcare bill or Cap-and-Trade for a present ...

On this day in history

In 1972, Pong was first released.

Watching this, I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry. I wanted one of these so badly I could taste it, back then. Despite their marketing:

You know, watching that I'm not sure whether to laugh or cry, either.

Stop Action G.I. Joe "Band Of Brothers"

They actually don't look like G.I. Joes (some of them, at least), but this is pretty cool.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

That's some "Smart Diplomacy" right there, Scooter

Remember how we haven't been sensitive to World Opinion, and how this has been straining our relations with our Allies? Remember how "Smart Diplomacy" was just what the doctor ordered? Oops:

The prosecutors in the forthcoming 9/11 trials in New York will be seeking the death penalty if the five defendants are found guilty. That could pose a problem for Germany, which is supplying vital evidence for the prosecution.


No Capital Punishment in Germany

But it looks like the upcoming trial will cause headaches for Germany. Holder and US President Barack Obama have announced that they intend to seek the death penalty if the five defendants are found guilty. German law prohibits capital punishment, yet evidence provided by German investigators will play a key role in the trial.

This presents the German government with a dilemma. Berlin can either oppose the use of German evidence in a bid to protect the defendants from execution -- and risk alienating a NATO ally in the process -- or it can approve the use of the incriminating documents, which would contravene Germany's position on the death penalty.

Helpful note to European suckers Allies: hey, he's the guy that you wanted to win, right? Big rally in Berlin and everything, right? Glad to see you finally shut up and fall in line behind the American Big Dog.

Kind of sorry to see that all it took was a smooth tongued salesman. But you just keep telling us how much smarter you are than we are.


Weary, stale, flat, and unprofitable.

Goodnight Keith Moon

The whole thing is here.

I must admit that I loved reading Goodnight Moon to both #1 Son and #2 Son. There's quite a lot from those days that can make me a little misty, like some of their lullaby tunes. This is a quite good parody, that preserves the feel of the original, adds cutting snark/commentary on pop culture, and still makes me misty. Well done.

Hat tip: Popped Culture.

Dodge this, Lego Man

Via Popped Culture, who dryly adds:
Forget Bullet Time, now there is Lego Time, or at least the Lego version of the Bullet Time dodge scene from The Matrix. The difference between the two (other than the use of Lego) is the amount of time to film it — 440 hours in this case.

In every other respect, it is an exact replica of the scene, which their side-by-side comparison. If anything the Neo Lego Miniman may have been slightly more expressive than Keanu Reeves.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Brewing the world's strongest beer

"Tactical Nuclear Penguin"? 32% ABV? Yowzer.

Tactical Nuclear Penguin from BrewDog on Vimeo.

BrewDog have a really good sense of humor. After Tokyo (their first high-alcohol beer) was labeled "irresponsible", they introduced a low-alcohol brew called "Nanny State". Heh.

Still, Tactical Nuclear Penguin packs a wallop:
A warning on the label states: "This is an extremely strong beer; it should be enjoyed in small servings and with an air of aristocratic nonchalance. In exactly the same manner that you would enjoy a fine whisky, a Frank Zappa album or a visit from a friendly yet anxious ghost."
Great marketing, though:
The BrewDog team receives high marks for its beer though its a creative branding strategy that has made them international brewing celebrities virtually overnight. From the IPA aged on a voyage around the Atlantic Ocean to the BrewDog Tokyo-Portman Group scandal to announcing the world’s strongest beer in penguin suits . . . they get people talking. Personally, I think it is fascinating though I can understand why beer purists that feel these things detract from the product itself view the brewery negatively. No matter what way you cut it, to steal a phrase from the Dos Equis marketing people, BrewDog Managing Director, James Watt may just be the most interesting man in the world.

Earl Scruggs - Foggy Mountain Breakdown

You've heard this song before. It doesn't matter where you live, or what type of music you listen to, you'll recognize this song.

Bluegrass is very close to the ancient roots of Country Music, just a half-step away from the original Ur-Country that developed back before Country Music TV, before the Grand Ole Opry, even before the medicine shows and tent revivals of the 1920s.

Take a barn, a collection of musicians, give them each a chance to show their skill, each taking his own turn, and you have some high-energy neighborhood entertainment.

Earl Scruggs and his partner Lester Flatt were some of the early popularizers of Bluegrass. They won a Grammy in 1969 for Scruggs' Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Take some of the greatest musicians of our day, put them on Davis Letterman, and let them show their skill, and you have high-energy awesome.

Scruggs won a Grammy for this in 2002; this may be the first time that a single artist has won a Grammy for the same song twice, in two different years.

This is an all-star cast. In order of solo, they are:

Earl Scruggs - banjo

Unknown - Fiddle

Unknown - Acoustic Guitar

Steve Martin - Banjo

Vince Gill - Electric Guitar

Marty Stuart - Mandolin

Unknown - Harmonica

Albert Lee - Electric Guitar

Paul Shaffer - Piano

Jerry Douglass - Dobro

Others appearing are Gen Duncan, Leon Russell, Gary Scruggs, and Randy Scruggs.

And as a special treat for old farts like me, here's another Earl Scruggs song that you've heard before.

Well, that about "settles" the science

Read the whole damn thing. Bingo. If you want to understand what's going on about the science of Global Warming, this is your ticket.

And he's right - paleodendroclimatology on a triple word score would give you bragging rights for years.

I don't want to excerpt - in fact, I'm admiring it as a single package, luminescent in its beauty - but he flow-charts the decision making process. Spot on:
And he hits center mass on why the MSM doesn't want to touch this with a ten foot tree ring:
Lastly and as a slight aside, why so little from the MSM? That one is easy. You need to have a decent analytical brain just to deal with the chain of events. You need to have a decent analytical brain, a mathematical/scientific mind and a good grasp of some very hard statistics to understand what is being done to massage the numbers and to see how significant it is to the chain of events.

Slice your average environment correspondent through the middle and you're going to find a left-leaning liberal arts graduate who is utterly out of his/her depth. Their world view is being swept from underneath them and they are being shown—in ways that they do not really and have never had to understand—that the guys they thought were the goodies are in fact "at it" and that those they have spent a decade disparaging as deniers were in fact spot on.

I would find that hard to report too.
That looks to me to be on a triple word score, right there.

Global Warming causes Acne


Oh, it also causes a bunch of other stuff. Of course, this really isn't a surprise. A while back, Bruce let us know:
Why, just yesterday, global warming cleaned the siding on my house, pruned my hedges, and made me a nice grilled cheese for lunch.
Grilled Cheese beats Acne. Win!

Hat tip: The Corner.

Or I could just write it up for Scientific American

You have to watch all the way through to the end for the punchline. To understand just how brutal that punchline is, you need to visit Scientific American, to see their editorial response to ClimateGate. It's not the editorial which is brutal, but the comments - at least 50% of them are in the "Scientific American should be ashamed of itself" category.

Hat tip: Megan McArdle, where the comments are running ~90% in favor of "scientific fraud". The most interesting one deals with the MSM's reaction:
So why can't, or won't, the climate change community mount a more compelling defense?
I think that answers itself. We are getting a chance to see the raw data and in every case, the long term warming trends have vanished.
The problem is, it's still not intellectually respectable to recognize the fraud as what it is in certain media social circles. You'll be branded a Beck or worse. So you won't see people in the media admitting it until it's safe for all of them to do so. Then, suddenly, one day nobody will have ever believed in it, just as nobody walks around saying "Boy, that population bomb stuff sure suckered me in!"
That's someone who knows how sausage is made.

ClimateGate and Reflections on Trusting Trust

If Alan Turing is the Isaac Newton of Computer Science, then Ken Thompson is probably the Albert Einstein. Turing established a conceptual basis for a science in its infancy; Thompson was a dividing line between the old and the new. Before Thompson (and his collaborator, Dennis Ritchie), all was Mainframes, punch cards, and batch processing run my an elite priesthood of the Data Center; after was Unix and the explosion of personal computing - a democratization of computing, if you like.

Thompson and Ritchie developed Unix, so it was fitting that they received the Association of Computing Machinery organization's Turing Award - kind of a Nobel Prize for computing, if you will. Thompson's acceptance speech - Reflections on Trusting Trust - was another groundbreaker, and is considered one of the seminal papers of my field, Computer Security. In it, he describes how to make an entirely undetectable Trojan Horse (a "back door" offering unauthorized access), by fiddling with the compiler (the program that turns computer source code into executable programs). The first part of the process is to chance the source code for the compiler itself to add the code that implements the back door. Of course, anyone who looked at the source code would know that the game was rigged, so there's a sleight of hand that has to occur:
First we compile the modified source with the normal C compiler to produce a bugged binary. We install this binary as the official C. We can now remove the bugs from the source of the compiler and the new binary will reinsert the bugs whenever it is compiled. Of course, the login command will remain bugged with no trace in source anywhere.
An undetectable hack that lets you control any computer, without anyone being the wiser, because you control the underlying code. The exploit here targets trust.

The most important revelations from the Hadley/CRU data leak are, in a very meaningful sense, similar. The code that has been revealed is dodgy at best, and there are very serious questions about the validity of the data. Nevertheless, there are many, many scientists who believe that the Earth is warming, and that Mankind is at least partially to blame. There is a consensus of sorts in the scientific community, although it is admittedly not universally held.

A question that is not (yet) being asked about climate change is how would someone create a scientific consensus in the absence of solid data and computer models? Trusting trust.

Dr. Jones and the CRU team are in control of one of the main data sets that all climate scientists use in their analyses (referred to as HadCRUt; the other major one is NASA's GISStemp - note that NASA's Gavin Schmidt features prominently in the CRU emails as a member of the "Hockey Team").

What is clear about the HadCRUt (as well as GISStemp) is that they are opaque - the data sets are terribly hard to understand, poorly documented, and adjusted in a manner that is not well explained (if, indeed, it is explained at all). In the case of CRU, the original (unmodified) data is no longer available, but seems to have been destroyed.

Yet ever single climate scientist uses these data sets for their analysis of global temperature.

So, if the guardians of these data sets were to want to ensure a scientific consensus that the globe is warming, that this is a recent phenomenon, and that mankind is behind it, all they need to do is modify the data sets. All researchers pick up the modified data sets, have no (easy) way to validate the soundness of the data, and unsurprisingly produce similar results. Hey, the data show conclusively that the planet is warming. Oh noes! Thermageddon!

Trusting trust.

The response of the Global Warmers does not produce a feeling of trust. In the face of repeated examples of what seems to be subverting the peer review process and conspiring to avoid Freedom of Information Act requests, what we are presented with is essentially "How dare you impugn the reputation of these scientists?"

Ignoring the obvious answer that Dr. Jones and company have done that to themselves in their own emails, this response is entirely beside the point. We shouldn't trust anybody. We shouldn't even trust the data until everyone understands where it came from, how it got here, and whether (and how) it has been modified.

At that point, we will have a baseline of trust, and the discussion can begin. Until then, we may have an undetectable Trojan Horse in the ostensible justification for a multi-Trillion dollar re-engineering of western civilization. The press has not yet caught on to this, although the scientific community is beginning to discuss it. Thompson again (from an admittedly different content, but relevant to this):
The press must learn that misguided use of a computer is no more amazing than drunk driving of an automobile.
Until Jones and Schmidt step aside and allow independent validation of the data, the entire field of Climate Science will remain - for very good reason - under a cloud of distrust.


No, I'm not shopping. I'm getting my beauty sleep, thanks for asking.

And let me tell you, I need my beauty sleep.

And no, I'm not blogging - I've scheduled this post in honor of all y'all who plan to be first in line on Black Friday. Good luck to you, and better you than me.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

9 out of 10

"Funny, Borepatch - you don't look Republican." I don't usually score well on litmus tests:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Republican National Committee identifies ten (10) key public policy positions for the 2010 election cycle, which the Republican National Committee expects its public officials and candidates to support:

(1) We support smaller government, smaller national debt, lower deficits and lower taxes by opposing bills like Obama's "stimulus" bill;

(2) We support market-based health care reform and oppose Obama-style government run healthcare;

(3) We support market-based energy reforms by opposing cap and trade legislation;

(4) We support workers' right to secret ballot by opposing card check;

(5) We support legal immigration and assimilation into American society by opposing amnesty for illegal immigrants;

(6) We support victory in Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting military-recommended troop surges;

(7) We support containment of Iran and North Korea, particularly effective action to eliminate their nuclear weapons threat;

(8) We support retention of the Defense of Marriage Act;

(9) We support protecting the lives of vulnerable persons by opposing health care rationing, denial of health care and government funding of abortion; and

(10) We support the right to keep and bear arms by opposing government restrictions on gun ownership; and be further

You can keep the Defense of Marriage Act - I'm not afraid of Gay Cooties. I'm also squishy on #5: the problem isn't immigration, it's assimilation. I could go for some flavor of amnesty, if it were bundled with strong pro-assimilation requirements (e.g. no criminals, relatives only, require spoken and written English, etc).

Weird to see that the Stupid Republican Party would let me play in their sandbox, though. No way would the Contemptable Democratic Party want someone like me.

That said, I'm not sure I believe them on #1. I'm willing to be convinced, but Zell Miller said it:
Campaign talk tells people who you want them to think you are. How you vote tells people who you really are deep inside.
So go ahead Republicans: show me who you are.

Did Jones delete any data?

People will notice if you were to say some- thing like "I wish my wife were dead," particularly if she were to turn up dead. Even if you have absolutely nothing to do with her demise, it looks bad, and likely would get you some quality time with the local PoPo.

So what are we to make of this? Exhibit A, an email from Phil Jones to Michael Mann:
Just sent loads of station data to Scott. Make sure he documents everything better this time! And don't leave stuff lying around on ftp sites - you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I'll delete the file rather than send to anyone.
Sent February, 2002.

Exhibit B is a posting on the CRU's web site in August 2009, explaining why the original data from their Climate data set is no longer available:
Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e. quality controlled and homogenized) data. The priorities we use when merging data from the same station from different sources are discussed in some of the literature cited below.
Note that the link is dead, as CRU has taken their site down. However, you can look here and here.

Now, does this mean that Dr. Jones killed his wife deleted the data? Of course not. Post hoc, ergo propter hoc, and all that. However, this is a very interesting juxtaposition.

That's some righteous recovery there ...

Hat tip: Don Surber.

Australian political crisis over Cap-and-Trade


The Liberal Party is in turmoil with the resignations of five frontbenchers from their portfolios this afternoon in protest against the emissions trading scheme.

Tony Abbott, Sophie Mirabella, Tony Smith and Senators Nick Minchin and Eric Abetz have all quit their portfolios because they cannot vote for the legislation.

Senate whip Stephen Parry has also relinquished his position.

The parliament is debating a Cap-and-Trade bill. For American readers unfamiliar with parliamentary structure, "front benchers" are a party's senior leadership - the people who would likely pick up ministry portfolios when the party comes to power. To have mass resignations from the front bench is, if not unprecedented, very unusual.

The resignations are due to the party leadership trying to push a Cap-and-Trade bill that is wildly unpopular with the public. I don't expect that ClimateGate has had time to make an impact on this, so it's likely only to get worse.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

God's way of saying that life should continue

TOTWTYTR announces an addition to his family -his first grandson. If I might be so bold to suggest an informal moniker for the lad - #1 Grandson has a certain ring to it.

One line in his post stood out:
My son has entered that wonderful world of being a father. Well, as he'll find out, wonderful, terrifying, maddening, joyous world of being a father.
If his son is anything like me, he's ten years older than he was yesterday. The challenges are something that a man never knows until he undertakes that journey.

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the Archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Congratulations to the TOTWTYTR family.

Country Music Haikus

... are made of 100% pure, unadulterated WIN:
The real reason for
The teardrops on my guitar
Is that jerk Kanye
Country Haiku. For those moments when you're looking for a little extra WIN.

Abandoned places

Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
- Jean Paul Sartre

It may be that there are more formerly inhabited places than currently inhabited places. The USA is lucky in that most abandoned places are abandoned for reasons other than a war swept over the place. Cyprus isn't so lucky, nor are a lot of other places.

There is an astonishing set of pictures of a dozen or more abandoned cities. Abandoned recently, not a thousand years ago. Well worth your time, in a bittersweet there but for the grace of God sort of way.

They're only human

Jules Crittenden has been all over the ClimateGate story like stink on a dawg cute on a puppy:
Well, it’s Day One in the post-warmalist world. Waking up, looking around. There’s a delightful nip in the air. They’re denying it and explaining it away like crazy, plus skewering messengers. Memeorandum’s got the squirmy vitriolic roundup. “Trick” to “hide the decline,” just scientific buzzwords … “can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty” so much give-and-take, a glimpse behind the curtain at the scientific process … “Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted” and “until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor” … Good Lord, man, they’re only human!


They’re all only human after all. The problem now, which Galileo would entirely get, is how to get not only the establishment scientists but the pols to catch up with the science. Quick, before they re-engineer our economy back into the middle ages with that bizarre scheme of double-reverse robber baronry they’re working on.
That's the parentheses surrounding a great summary of what's happening, and how people want to spin it. RTWT.

And any similarity between his post title and mine is, well, it shows you the power of this fully operational Batchelor's Degree.

Stay Classy, Wikipedia

TJIC created a Wikipedia page for ClimateGate. He sees some interesting edits on the page:

Overnight, the Freedom of Information section was flushed down the memory hole (at least) two more times.

One of the new tricks that the censors are using is to remove the links to the leaked files (because they’re – you know – maybe – copyrighted), and then remove paragraphs talking about the FOI and the conflict of interest with Real Climate, because it’s – wait for it – unsourced.

Man, these leftists are shameless.
And yes, I stole his entire post here. But you do read him every day anyway, so it doesn't matter, right?

And I'm pretty tired right now, but Reflectoscope points out more Wikipedia Climategate shenagans. All I can say is two words:


We shall see what we shall see. My money is on man these leftists are shameless.


Despair is the price one pays for setting oneself an im- possible aim. It is, one is told, the unforgivable sin, but it is a sin the corrupt or evil man never practices. He always has hope. He never reaches the freezing-point of knowing absolute failure. Only the man of goodwill carries always in his heart this capacity for damnation.

- Graham Greene

I'm a fairly well-educated fellow, arguably over-educated. In my misspent youth I "learned" a lot of stuff that I didn't understand.

Youth is wasted on the young.

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I wish I didn't understand Stephany, and what she writes about on her amazing blog:
life isn't always a comfortable place to be. what a shock when last night i had a restless and sleepless night, and by 4am experienced an explosion of emotion upheaval, it was as if i was vomiting up emotions, blowing my nose, coughing and hysterically crying, something had surged up to the top, and i was not a pretty sight. grief is a powerful inner turmoil that festers up, i've tried to keep it together, the fear of falling apart lingers and looms. trying to be on top of it, and then upset because i felt the gut heaving surge of emotions. i presume it will be for a good reason, and i hope really it doesn't come back. i thought about my facial/massage and wondered in my mind if that released some of this, let's call it emotional poison. my body releasing and cleansing itself of a decade of angst. moments of clarity, facing reality, letting go. maybe in life, we can call ourselves a work of art in progress.

i stand with

a thousand hands upon my soul

a thousand angels surrounding my heart

a thousand arms draped around my shoulders

a thousand sunsets in my eyes reflection

a thousand tears in a reflecting pool

i stand.

Annoying commercial for the Pound Of Flesh is worth it, in this case.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How are you Gentlemen?

All your email are belong to us. (Be sure to read the subtitles)

Hat tip: Lucia at The Blackboard.

CRU's Zig for Great Justice is here.

For the two readers who haven't heard the reference before, it's the meme that ate 2001.

More CRU fun and games here.

What happens when you run the Climate Models?

There's been a lot of analysis of the Hadley/CRU emails disclosed in the data leak. There's been less - but very interesting indeed - analysis of the source code disclosed in the leak.

That got me wondering: what happens when you run the code? I mean, the whole IPCC Thermageddon story is based on this code, right? Running the code might be interesting.

So I ran it. "Interesting"? Boy, Howdy.

The first thing that became obvious is that this is not at all a manual process. There is a lot of operator intervention, with the program asking you for all sorts of input. So much so, in fact, that it looks like a programmer at CRU took a shot at trying to automate the process:

I'm not interested in grants, and it looks like the editor of GRL has already been properly dealt with, so I selected the first option and forged ahead.

Unfortunately, the code looks to be very fragile, with poor error handling. I'm in the middle of stack dumps, but thought that these results so far were interesting enough to post. Here's the (admittedly limited) error report that I have so far.

UPDATE 8 December 2009 15:42: Climate Model Clippy is now available as a coffee mug.

UPDATE 2 December 2009 16:23:
Snark aside, I've distilled the (scientific) reasons to be an AGW skeptic here.

UPDATE 24 November 2009 18:05: Welcome visitors from A Libertarian's Perspective! Lots of Climate Change posts here. And more Climate Change Snark here.

UPDATE 24 November 2009 18:16: Bienvenue visiteurs de Changement Climatique!

UPDATE 24 November 2009 18:19: Welcome visitors from The Common Room,,, OFN Community, and Ann Coulter!

UPDATE 24 November 2009 18:31: Welcome visitors from Bishop's Hill!

Opus 2000

I started this blog in June 2008. This is post number 2000. Half million words (!) . I'd be all verklempt, but y'all know that I'm never verklempt ...

If it's true that the first rule of blogging is "post every day" then I'm doing OK. I think there are only a couple days in the last 17 months that I haven't posted. The problem with all these danged posts is I'll be writing a new post and say to my self I just know I posted on this before, and not be able to find it ....

It seemed like I've been getting wordier, but looking back through the archives doesn't really support that idea. I do think that my posts range further afield than they used to, like my Grand Unified Field Theory of Anglo-Saxon Kingship and Chicago Machine Politics. Heh.

Anyway, it looks like there's a market for free Internet blather. Happy to do my part! Thanks to everyone who stops by!

Quote of the Day, Smart Dilomacy edition

The Czar of Muscovy ponders Japan's reaction to President Obama's recent visit, and slips the knife in:
Japan would like to know if Russia is finished with the “overload” button; other countries would very much like to use it.
Man, I sure am glad we don't have an idiot from Texas running the show, making our Allies dispise us. Instead, we have an idiot from Chicago doing it. Much better.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I dunno, either

But your dunno is way creepier ...

Autocompleteme is really funny, in a really goofy the-"wisdom"-of-crowds way.

What's in the climate models?

Everyone has been talking about the emails in the Hadley/CRU data leak. I mentioned over the weekend that people will be looking at the code, and the data. I said that it will be a while before we see much. We're already seeing all sorts of interesting revelations from the code.

The Climate Model is coded to intentionally suppress non-warming results

Michael Mann (popularizer of the Hockey Stick) personally cooked the code:

Busted- Phil Jones Doesn’t Recall Divergence

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Check out this quote from the code – cudo’s to Steve Neil for digging it out.

function mkp2correlation,indts,depts,remts,t,filter=filter,refperiod=refperiod,$

pro maps12,yrstart,doinfill=doinfill
; Plots 24 yearly maps of calibrated (PCR-infilled or not) MXD reconstructions
; of growing season temperatures. Uses “corrected” MXD – but shouldn’t usually
; plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to
; the real temperatures.


"Divergence" is a big problem for the climate change alarmists. The proxy data sets that they use (tree rings, etc) show that for the last 50 years, the temperature as shown by the proxies has been lower than the temperature readings that we get from thermometers. How to address this problem? Code it out of the models.

Poor programming implies no Quality Control

It looks like at least some of the models were written by people that don't know the basics of how to code:

The bit that made me laugh was this bit. Anyone into programming will burst out laughing before the table of numbers

17. Inserted debug statements into anomdtb.f90, discovered that
a sum-of-squared variable is becoming very, very negative!


For those unfamiliar with this problem, computers use a single “bit” to indicate sign. If that is set to a “1″ you get one sign (often negative, but machine and language dependent to some extent) and if it is “0″ you get another (typically positive).

OK, take a zero, and start adding ones onto it. We will use a very short number (only 4 digits long, each can be a zero or a one. The first digit is the “sign bit”). I’ll translate each binary number into the decimal equivalent next to it.

0000  zero
0001 one
0010 two
0011 three
0100 four
0101 five
0110 six
0111 seven
1000 negative (may be defined as = zero, but oftentimes
defined as being as large a negative number as you can
have via something called a 'complement'). So in this
case NEGATIVE seven
1001 NEGATIVE six
1010 NEGATIVE five (notice the 'bit pattern' is exactly the
opposite of the "five" pattern... it is 'the complement').
1011 NEGATIVE four
1100 NEGATIVE three
1101 NEGATIVE two
1110 NEGATIVE one
1111 NEGATIVE zero (useful to let you have zero without
needing to have a 'sign change' operation done)
0000 zero

Sometimes the 1111 pattern will be “special” in some way. And there are other ways of doing the math down at the hardware level, but this is a useful example.

You can see how adding a digit repeatedly grows to a large value (the limit) then “overflows” into a negative value. This is a common error in computer math and something I was taught in the first couple of weeks of my very first programming class ever. Yes, in FORTRAN.

This is, quite frankly, a complete n00b error. Anybody working in industry who made this mistake would find himself in the "bottom 5%" group come annual review time, and would very likely get a suggestion to look for work elsewhere.

OK, so the University of East Anglia has some bad programmers. So what? Well, this means that large parts of the climate models have never had a design review or code review. This means that the model is essentially unaudited for correctness. This means that there's no assurance that it produces output that's sane - even discounting for Dr. Jone's code to "fix" divergence.

If I could only ask one question at a Senate Hearing, mine would be "What Quality Control processes do you have for climate model software development." 'Cause it looks like there aren't any.

The programmers don't understand what the data is, and what it is for

Maintenance coding (maintaining a program someone else wrote) isn't any fun, not least because the person who wrote it may not have documented what the parts are and what they do. It looks like things are no different at CRU:
7. Removed 4-line header from a couple of .glo files and loaded them into
Matlab. Reshaped to 360r x 720c and plotted; looks OK for global temp
(anomalies) data. Deduce that .glo files, after the header, contain data
taken row-by-row starting with the Northernmost, and presented as '8E12.4'.
The grid is from -180 to +180 rather than 0 to 360.
This should allow us to deduce the meaning of the co-ordinate pairs used to
describe each cell in a .grim file (we know the first number is the lon or
column, the second the lat or row - but which way up are the latitudes? And
where do the longitudes break?

There is another problem: the values are anomalies, wheras the 'public'
.grim files are actual values. So Tim's explanations (in _READ_ME.txt) are

8. Had a hunt and found an identically-named temperature database file which
did include normals lines at the start of every station. How handy - naming
two different files with exactly the same name and relying on their location
to differentiate!
Aaarrgghh!! Re-ran anomdtb:

Uhm... So they don't even KNOW WHAT THE ****ING DATA MEANS?!?!?!?!

What dumbass names **** that way?!

Talk about cluster****. This whole file is a HUGE ASS example of it. If they deal with data this way, there's no ****ing wonder they've lost **** along they way. This is just unbelievable.

And it's not just one instance of not knowing what the hell is going on either:

The deduction so far is that the DTR-derived CLD is waaay off. The DTR looks OK, well
OK in the sense that it doesn;t have prominent bands! So it's either the factors and
offsets from the regression, or the way they've been applied in dtr2cld.

Well, dtr2cld is not the world's most complicated program. Wheras cloudreg is, and I
immediately found a mistake! Scanning forward to 1951 was done with a loop that, for
completely unfathomable reasons, didn't include months! So we read 50 grids instead
of 600!!! That may have had something to do with it. I also noticed, as I was correcting
THAT, that I reopened the DTR and CLD data files when I should have been opening the
bloody station files!! I can only assume that I was being interrupted continually when
I was writing this thing. Running with those bits fixed improved matters somewhat,
though now there's a problem in that one 5-degree band (10S to 5S) has no stations! This
will be due to low station counts in that region, plus removal of duplicate values.

I've only actually read about 1000 lines of this, but started skipping through it to see if it was all like that when I found that second quote above somewhere way down in the file....

CLUSTER.... ****. This isn't science, it's gradeschool for people with big data sets.
What does this mean, in non-technical terms?

It explains why CRU would not release their code and data, even under Freedom Of Information Act requests. They knew that the quality was terribly shoddy, and took the chance that they could successfully stonewall, rather than have their climate models be exposed as junk.

And they were successful stonewalling, until someone on the inside leaked their data.

ClimateGate 101

This is a very good overview of the whole Hadley/CRU data leak, and what an interested layman should know about it. Dr. Ball is one of the skeptics, and has been so (publicly) for years. He points out that he gets no satisfaction from "I told you so", because the corruption has gone so deep.

Excellent stuff. Pass it around to anyone you know who may be interested. The Media is still treating this like other inconvenient scandals (the Swift Boat vets story is perhaps the closest analogy), but the Internet has ended their ability to act as gatekeepers.

Security Smorgasbord, Vol 1, No. 7

iPhone worm targets online banking

Last time, I mentioned the Rickroll worm that targeted jail-broken iPhones. Well now it's no joke:
The second worm to infect jailbroken iPhone users reportedly targets customers of Dutch online bank ING Direct.

Surfers visiting the site with infected devices are redirected to a phishing site designed to harvest online banking login details, the BBC reports. ING Direct told the BBC it planned to warn users' of the attack via its website, as well as briefing front line call centre staff on the threat.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, said the threat had in any case been neutralised. "It [the worm] was targeting ING. The websites it needed for this to work have now been taken down."

Anti-virus analysts, still in the process of analysing the malware, caution that the attack is a bit more complex than simple phishing and seems to involve an attempt to snatch SMS messages associated with online banking transactions.
If you've jail-broken your iPhone, make sure you've changed the default password for ssh. This is also probably a good time to reiterate that online banking from your phone is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea.


Facebook Clickjacking scheme flogs feelthy pixels

So don't click on something that says "Want 2 C something hot? Click da button, baby!" Srlsy. You'll be unhappy if you do.

Of course, I don't have to tell you that, right?


Internet 6 and 7 Day Zero Exploits

Sheesh, you'd think that if you wanted to stay with IE, you'd upgrade to IE 8. This is just another reason for anyone who hasn't. "Day Zero" means that the Bad Guys are attacking it, but there's no fix. El Reg has the scoop:

Tests by Symantec have confirmed the 0-day flaw affects Internet Explorer 6 and 7. IE8 users are reckoned to be in the clear.

Surfers using older versions of IE (why the heck is anyone still using IE6 anyway?) are advised to disable JavaScript and to stay away from untrusted websites. Alternatively they could upgrade to IE8 or use an alternative browser instead.

Upgrade to IE 8 here. Firefox is nice, get it here. I also like Opera. All of them for the low, low price of free.

Field Stripping the M1 Garand and AK-47

These guys have some pretty cool videos up on Youtube.

I was surprised at how few parts the M1 had. I guess that's how you get reliability.

The AK-47 is insanely easy to field strip. This video is only half as long as the M1 video.

Apple: Cigarette Smoke is a toxic substance

Second hand smoke is idiotic junk science, used as a weapon in the Class War. The latest skirmish comes from Apple, who is refusing to fix Macintosh computers under warranty if their owners are smokers. The reason? They claim that cigarette smoke is a biohazard:
Consumerist reports that Apple is refusing to work on computers that have been used in smoking households. 'The Apple store called and informed me that due to the computer having been used in a house where there was smoking, [the warranty has been voided] and they refuse to work on the machine "due to health risks of second hand smoke,"' wrote one customer. Another said, 'When I asked for an explanation, she said [the owner of the iMac is] a smoker and it's contaminated with cigarette smoke, which they consider a bio-hazard! I checked my Applecare warranty and it says nothing about not honoring warranties if the owner is a smoker.' Apple claims that honoring the warranty would be an OSHA violation.
Another reason to not buy from Apple. Ubuntu Linux, people! It doesn't care if you smoke.

Good grief - smoking cooties? You want to see seriously nasty computers, try this.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Data Leak Blues

By the great Sonny Boy Williamson.

What does "Consensus" mean?

From The Devil's Kitchen, who's all over the Hadley/CRU files like stink on a dog:
The whole of the anthropogenic climate change reporting and response is co-ordinated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which produces substantial reports every few years on the current state of the science and economics.

The last of these reports—Assessment Report 4 (AR4, as it is referred to throughout the emails)—was released in 2007.

The scientific parts of the IPCC's reports have been based heavily on the research and reconstructions produced by The Club—particularly on the temperature reconstructions of Michael Mann and Keith Briffa. These reconstructions (usually involving a hockey stick graph) have been constantly attacked—and usually destroyed—by sceptics such as Steve McIntyre.

What these emails show is that members of The Club have presented, as fact, data which privately they have acknowledged to be, at best, flawed.

Further, many members of The Club are editors of the reports submitted to the IPCC, and the emails show that they have deliberately cherry-picked those that agree with their position—and conspired to discredit or reject those that do not agree with their political position.

The Club has also conspired to suborne journals, and to oust editors of other journals who are perceived as being unsympathetic to their cause. And they have been successful.

The emails show that, whilst claiming that sceptics' papers are not peer-reviewed, The Club have actively and deliberately used blackmail and smears to prevent such peer-review or, when review is unavoidable, to have conspired to skew the review process to discredit their opponents.

All of these actions render the scientific reports produced by the IPCC extremely suspect. At best.

And they most certainly destroy the concept of the "scientific consensus".
As I've been saying, this is terribly damaging to the scientific community, which is why Mann, Jones, and Biffra (at least) will find their careers to be over. The general public may not have an appetite for esoteric scientific disputes, but they will know a corrupt process when they see one.

The process on display here is entirely, and irredeemably corrupt.

King Tut's Tomb

On this day in 1922, Howard Carter broke through a sealed doorway at the foot of a stairway covered with sand. Most people had thought that the Valley of the Kings had been completely explored, and all the royal tombs found. Certainly Carter's patron, Lord Carnarvon thought so, and had told Carter that this would be the last year of Carter's expedition.

Carter thought that he'd found the tomb of a king, even though all he could see was a rubble filled passageway leading to another sealed door. On November 22, he did not open that door, but rather telegraphed
Carnarvon telling him to come immediately. With his patron present, Carter broke a hole in the second door on November 26.
When Carnarvon asked him if he saw anything, Carter replied: "Yes, I see wonderful things"
Howard Carter knew who paid the bills, and more importantly knew why those bills got paid. Carnarvon had a sense of noblesse oblige, no doubt, the sense that the privileged class was required to give to society. Adding to the store of History, of advancing mankind's understanding of its past was a very common pastime for the nobility.

Carter knew that wasn't the real motivation. The excitement of the find was the goal, and he didn't cheat Carnarvon out of that excitement. Holding up the dig until Carnarvon could arrive from London, he gave Carnarvon the story that he would tell at dinner for the rest of his life.

Not a bad return on his exploration investment, actually.

Motivations are strange things. Such a little thing, in return for serious funding.

And because we're talking about King Tut, this is obligatory:

The smell of Napalm in the morning

The science is settled.

You won't hear that much anymore, and when you do you'll know that the speaker is a Radical Environmentalist. The Hadley/CRU data leak has well and truly ended any fiction of a "consensus".

What's clear from this episode is that the emails have essentially ended the scientific careers of Michael Mann, Keith Biffra, Phil Jones, and the other core members who seemingly conspired to thwart Freedom Of Information Act requests. The taint from these email exchanges - the conspiracy to delete data, the working to freeze out competing views from the peer reviewed journals, and (last but absolutely not least) the suggestion that they knew that their data were dodgy - this will pretty much end their time as scientific "movers and shakers". Here's why:

1. They're scientifically radioactive. Steve McIntyre has been saying for years that their work as been filled with mistakes. Two days of investigation has shown that this is very likely to be true. The prestige scientific press - Science, Nature, Geophysical Research Letters, etc - will have to be very, very careful with anything that they publish from any of these people. The narrative that Mann et al. have skated too close to (or over) the line means that these publications have to be like Caesar's Wife (above reproach) with any articles from them, or lose their prestige status.

2. Funding will drop like a rock. Almost all climate research funding comes from governmental sources. These guys are politically radioactive. When you start thinking about the questions that someone can legitimately ask about the FOIA requests - and ask not to Jones and company, but to the Hadley executive management team - there's no upside here for the "Hockey Team". Expect budgets for these guys to drop by 50% in 3 years.

3. The Hadley documents give us the long term implication of falling budgets:
Research contract income is very important to the School, representing approximately half our total income. It supports the contract researchers in the School and generates the overheads that support many of the technical and administrative staff. This research activity also generates the publications that form the basis of the RAE assessment which controls the level of the other main component of the School’s income from the government.
Jones will be the first to go, because CRU will have to throw him under the bus to preserve their budget.

It will take a while for people to analyze the data and source code from the leak, but while that's important scientifically, the damage is already done in the emails. This is very, very damaging - career ending, really - material.

It almost certainly was not "Russian Hackers". While they certainly have the capability, they do not have the knowledge of where the damaging material is to be found. This means that they would have to spend quite some time searching, which increases the cost of the hack being discovered, and more importantly increases the cost to whoever is hypothetically funding the project. Is it possible that someone was willing to fund a $100,000 hack (almost certainly a felony)? I guess. Doesn't seem likely, though.

This leaves an inside job. Mann and Jones are clearly abrasive personalities, and have without question made many enemies. An insider has lots of time to "cherry pick" the most damaging information, over the course of 4 or 5 years. An insider would have access to data, and would know where the most interesting data is. The FOIA request was the time when the iron was hot, and he struck. Boy, howdy, was that good timing.

There has been talk for months about a "mole" in Hadley. If this is the case, then there's likely more data to come.

There is a great summary of the data at Bishop Hill, and good analyses at Pajamas Media and Powerline.

Now this is skeet shooting ...

Yeah, baby!

Hat tip: Grouchy Old Cripple.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hadley/CRU: I've fallen (down the rabbit hole) and can't get up

I'm coming up for air, and to clear my head, so blogging will be quiet for a bit. However, The Devil's Kitchen is absolutely on fire about the CRU documents. Just keep scrolling.


I suspect that some of the most interesting information that will come out of the Hadley/CRU leaked files is an analysis of the source code. From the file
dummygrid=fltarr(144,72,12) ; set up a "zero anomaly" grid for infilling spaces with missing data
; missing data defined as areas of grid further than the decay distance from any
; real station point
Is this a "smoking gun"? Of course not. Does it raise questions? It seems to. The obvious question for CRU is just how much "missing data" do they typically see?

Background on missing data here.

This is interesting, too, from README_GRIDDING.TXT:
Bear in mind that there is no working synthetic method for cloud, because Mark New
lost the coefficients file and never found it again (despite searching on tape
archives at UEA) and never recreated it. This hasn't mattered too much, because
the synthetic cloud grids had not been discarded for 1901-95, and after 1995
sunshine data is used instead of cloud data anyway.
Hmmm ...

UPDATE 2 December 2009 16:26: I've distilled the (scientific) reasons to be skeptical about AGW here.

UPDATE 24 November 2009 10:15: Welcome visitors from Bishop's Hill. Take a look around. I have rather a lot of posts on Climate Change here, although I suspect that you'll have seen much of it before.

UPDATE 24 November 2009 11:40: The lighter side of CRU code here.


Boy, there are a lot of files in the Hadley/CRU archive. A very interesting one is 1254751382.txt, which contains the following email exchange:
*From:* geoengineering@xxxxx
*On Behalf Of *David Schnare
*Sent:* Sunday, October 04, 2009 10:49 AM
*Cc:* Alan White; geoengineering@xxxxx
*Subject:* [geo] Re: CCNet: A Scientific Scandal Unfolds


I've been following this issue closely and this is what I take
away from it:

1) Tree ring-based temperature reconstructions are fraught with
so much uncertainty, they have no value whatever. It is
impossible to tease out the relative contributions of rainfall,
nutrients, temperature and access to sunlight. Indeed a single
tree can, and apparently has, skewed the entire 20th century
temperature reconstruction.

2) The IPCC peer review process is fundamentally flawed if a
lead author is able to both disregard and ignore criticisms of
his own work, where that work is the critical core of the
chapter. It not only destroys the credibility of the core
assumptions and data, it destroys the credibility of the larger
work - in this case, the IPCC summary report and the underlying
technical reports. It also destroys the utility and credibility
of the modeling efforts that use assumptions on the relationship
of CO2 to temperature that are based on Britta's work, which is,
of course, the majority of such analyses.

As Corcoran points out, "the IPCC has depended on 1) computer
models, 2) data collection, 3) long-range temperature
forecasting and 4) communication. None of these efforts are
sitting on firm ground."

Nonetheless, and even if the UNEP thinks it appropriate to rely
on Wikipedia as their scientific source of choice, greenhouse
gases may (at an ever diminishing probability) cause a
significant increase in global temperature. Thus, research,
including field trials, on the leading geoengineering techniques
are appropriate as a backstop in case our children find out that
the current alarmism is justified.

David Schnare
Background on Schnare here. More on tree ring analysis here.

The "Gene" in Schnare's email is Eugene Gordon, who had posted this:
On Sun, Oct 4, 2009 at 8:35 AM, Eugene I. Gordon [euggordon@xxxx] wrote:

Thanks for the extensive and detailed e-mail. This is terrible
but not surprising. Obviously I do not know what gives with
these guys. However, I have my own suspicions and hypothesis. I
dont think they are scientifically inadequate or stupid. I
think they are dishonest and members of a club that has much to
gain by practicing and perpetuating global warming scare
tactics. That is not to say that global warming is not occurring
to some extent since it would be even without CO2 emissions. The
CO2 emissions only accelerate the warming and there are other
factors controlling climate. As a result, the entire process may
be going slower than the powers that be would like. Hence, (I
postulate) the global warming contingent has substantial
motivation to be dishonest or seriously biased, and to be loyal
to their equally dishonest club members. Among the motivations
are increased and continued grant funding, university
advancement, job advancement, profits and payoffs from carbon
control advocates such as Gore, being in the limelight, and
other motivating factors I am too inexperienced to identify.

Alan, this is nothing new. You and I experienced similar
behavior from some of our colleagues down the hall, the Bell
Labs research people, in the good old days. Humans are hardly
perfect creations. I am never surprised at what they can do. _I
am perpetually grateful for those who are honest and fair and
thankfully there is a goodly share of those._

And who is the Eugene Gordon fellow? Former Director of the Lightwave Devices Laboratory at Bell Labs, Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), founder of the Lasers and Electro-Optics Society, founder of the IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics and the IEEE Electron Device Letters publications, and was associate editor of various IEEE publications.

Hadley/CRU files: Follow the money

The files leaked from the Hadley Centre contain a number of documents that show funding received, and a number more dealing with grant proposals:

defra.pdf: A grant request asking for £902,213 from the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs (2007/8)

"tims contracts.xls": 14 contracts between 1994 and 2003, totalling £937,936.

"Adam budget.doc": a 2004 document for the ADAM Consortium, with a budget of £12M.

I'm still going through the thousands of files and emails, so there may be others, but this is around £14M so far.

My point here is that there is a motivation for Dr. Jones and company to want to publicize the most sensational (if unlikely) results and suppress conflicting or banal (although more likely) results, as the more press attention for the CRU, the easier to obtain new grants.

The file "A Report of the Successful Grant Writing Meeting 22 Nov 2000.doc" shows an (unsurprising) interest in attracting funding:
Research contract income is very important to the School, representing approximately half our total income. It supports the contract researchers in the School and generates the overheads that support many of the technical and administrative staff. This research activity also generates the publications that form the basis of the RAE assessment which controls the level of the other main component of the School’s income from the government. The component of the research income also controls our PhD studentship allocation from NERC and EPSRC.
Note that I am NOT accusing the staff of Hadley/CRU of suppressing scientific results. I am saying that sensational results would have a likely positive effect on their organization: finding levels, staffing levels, students, etc.

Where this meets the road is with their refusal to release the data they hold. Their attitude is essentially "trust us not to hype extreme but unlikely scenarios".