Thursday, October 15, 2015

NASA Scientist: we're not allowed to publish scientific papers that go against "mainstream climate science"

Instapundit links to a post at Judith Curry's blog, about how scientists fool themselves.  It's a typically thoughtful post, and you should read it all.  However, while you're there make sure to read her post about Conflict Of Interest in Science, which contains this bombshell:
As an example of the serious pressures in play, also last week I received this email from a NASA scientist:
About 7 years ago, I was at a small meeting of NASA-affiliated scientists and was told by our top manager that he was told by his NASA boss that we should not try to publish papers contrary to the current global warming claims, because he (the NASA boss) would then have a headache countering the “undesirable” publicity.  I inferred from this that the real problem was the large amount of funds NASA obtains from claims of dire climate change, and that suggestions to the contrary threatened those.
I witnessed similar reluctance for scientists at other organizations to publicly criticize modeling they deemed sloppy because even if they themselves were not at the forefront, they also benefited from the great amount of funds made available.  So, it is not just those funded by environmentalists or dirty energy companies who have conflicts, but indeed all receiving government funds based on the great societal consequences of dire warming.  It is still dangerous for me to say such things since I am still funded entirely through NASA.
In a follow up email, he identified the two NASA administrators – both people whom I know and like.
This is not a "Bad Actor" problem, one that we can solve by "getting rid of the bad guys".  This is an institutional problem: since government is politics, science funded by government is by definition politicized.

It's exactly what I laid out about a scientific error cascade all those years ago in The Canals of Mars the Climate Research Unit:
Strong evidence opposing it "can't be right" and weak evidence supporting it "must be right", and as a result, AGW is an astonishingly weak theory. In the last twenty years its proponents have made many predictions, most of which have been falsified. Michael Mann said that the Medieval Warm Period wasn't warm, contradicting recorded evidence from the period like the Domesday Book that showed wine vinyards in England in the eleventh century. AGW computer models predicted a warm layer in the middle Troposphere in the tropics; MIT's Jim Lindzen and others looked and looked - no warm zone. NOAA's Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) is the most comprehensive store of historical climate data; people are finding that the data has been frequently, consistently, and mysteriously adjusted so that older temperatures are lowered below what the thermometer readings showed, and recent temperatures are raised above what the thermometer readings showed.

It's an error cascade of epic proportions. The situation is almost like an astronomer in 1965 continuing to insist that the Mariner 5 pictures are irrelevant, because there is a mountain of peer-reviewed literature supporting Ptarth hydrological engineering. Phil Jones of the CRU admits that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, and that the climate is not getting warmer lately - despite the theory predictions, and that his data is a mess (which is why he refused to release it, even after a Freedom Of Information Act request).

And yet the Climate Scientists still see canals.
Of course the NASA scientists requested anonymity - this would end their careers.

In other breaking climate science news, the "hiatus" - the time period where there has been no global warming at all - has now reached 18 years and 8 months (per the RSS satellite data).

And Rick emails to point out Physicist extraordinaire* and registered Democrat Freeman Dyson has said that Obama is wrong on climate science and the Republicans are right.  But this is the part of the interview that I find most damning to climate science:
Are climate models getting better? You wrote how they have the most awful fudges, and they only really impress people who don't know about them. 
I would say the opposite. What has happened in the past 10 years is that the discrepancies between what's observed and what's predicted have become much stronger. It's clear now the models are wrong, but it wasn't so clear 10 years ago. I can't say if they'll always be wrong, but the observations are improving and so the models are becoming more verifiable.
And yet NASA won't discuss the satellite data (!).  Dr. Curry's anonymous emailer explains why.  As did the late Hal Lewis in his spectacular resignation letter from the American Physical Society:
Professor Lewis is pointed in calling out filthy lucre as the heart of the corruption, even accusing the APS president himself:
I do feel the need to add one note, and this is conjecture, since it is always risky to discuss other people’s motives. This scheming at APS HQ is so bizarre that there cannot be a simple explanation for it. Some have held that the physicists of today are not as smart as they used to be, but I don’t think that is an issue. I think it is the money, exactly what Eisenhower warned about a half-century ago. There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club. Your own Physics Department (of which you are chairman) would lose millions a year if the global warming bubble burst. When Penn State absolved Mike Mann of wrongdoing, and the University of East Anglia did the same for Phil Jones, they cannot have been unaware of the financial penalty for doing otherwise. As the old saying goes, you don’t have to be a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing. Since I am no philosopher, I’m not going to explore at just which point enlightened self-interest crosses the line into corruption, but a careful reading of the ClimateGate releases makes it clear that this is not an academic question.
At this point, everyone who ever said the words "Republican war on science" can sit down in the back of the room and shut right up.  Grownups are talking.

Government science is by definition politicized science.

* Dyson has been in the thick of Physics since he worked with Einstein at Princeton.

1 comment:

armedlaughing said...

"Government science is by definition politicized science."

Just ask Galileo.