Nov 272009

Though this appears to have been written before people really started to go through the code files in depth, Greenfyre discusses how climate change proponents should be responding to sceptics’ claims about the hacked/leaked material from the Climatic Research Unit:

I suggest that we have change our response to “smoking gun? who cares? show us the “body!” Of course there is no “body”, or even “bullet holes” anywhere … ie no evidence that anything actually happened.

We need to switch from seeming to be defending the supposed culprit to demanding actual evidence of a crime, any crime. We need to be asking:

“Which studies were compromised, how? be specific. Cite papers and data sets. What is the evidence? where is it? what work is affected? how? show me the evidence that says so.

This supposed scandal involves perhaps a half dozen people, how does it affect the work of the 3,000+ others who’s work makes up climate science?

How does it affect the work that was done before the alleged culprits graduated from univeristy? the work from before they were born?

Of the 30,000(ish) studies that make up climate science, which ones are undone? where is the evidence? be specific … show us exactly how and why?” etc

because of course another hole in the Denier frame is thier certainty that the CRU hack topples climate science. Naturally they are taking advantage of the bobbhead credulity and the public naivete, which does work, but it also makes them vulnerable to it being challenged on it.

“You are certain it topples climate science? how? where? which studies? what evidence? You don’t know? then how are you certain?

Please run through a list of the studies you believe are affected? Hockey stick? what’s that? please refer to specific papers and studies.You don’t know? then how can you be certain?

Ahhh, Soandso 2004? so just how is it compromised? what part of the work? I thought you were certain?”

We need to hammer that and keep hammering it. Push hard, and not only the Deniers, but the media drones who brainlessly echo the Denier memes. Not hysterically or in anger, but with relentless defiant decency and certitude. Make it clear that they do not understand the science, and in fact have no idea what they think the emails actually mean.

We have to be the ones asking questions and demanding answers!

So. Is it possible to answer Greenfyre’s questions? The emails do not necessarily show that the science is unsound (although they do offer some startling insights into the nasty and arguably unethical ways some scientists behave), but the code… ah, the code. What, if any, studies, papers, reports, articles, etc. does it affect? Can anyone cite chapter and verse?

  9 Responses to “CRU file: response strategy”

  1. Well that’s the thing, dear Bella; we don’t actually know.

    Because unlike EVERY OTHER SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINE, climatologists don’t publish their methods or source data. God forbid a denialist attempt to replicate their results.

    • So what you’re saying is, those questions deliberately set up anyone who tries to answer them to fail?

  2. Note how he (they) interchange skeptic and denier? Skeptics are not deniers they just need to be convinced and that can only be done by transparency or scientific method:

    The emails don’t show a conspiracy and there may well be innocent answers to all the questions that skeptics raise, but they cast enough doubt on the scientific method as to need that clarification.

  3. Nail on head Bella. This is the only issue.

    In terms of citations in scientific papers dealing with climate change, Hadley (Met Office) and CRU (UEA), known as HadCRU when conjoined, between them far outnumber any other source in the world for the last ten years (18,000 approx). They have been instrumental in setting up the parameters for the IPCC, etc., etc.
    (Scroll down for table).

    Until it’s all collated and cross-referenced, and an easily understood short version is produced, we are wasting time discussing: too easy to dismiss, a la Monblot.

    Fun, though.

  4. Bella

    That is asking us to prove a negative. The biggest issue with Climategate is that we now know that there was a systematic attempt to close scientific journals to sceptic papers. How many papers, how good they were, or what effect they would have had on our understanding of the climate we will never know.

    • Bishop Hill – I don’t think that’s what Greenfyre is asking for. His/her challenge is for sceptics to demonstrate how the leaked information affects the conclusions of the published literature and in what way. As in:

      ‘The file entitled lies_damned_lies_README.txt contains information that clearly contradicts paragraph 3, page 17 in XYZ et al., 2004, which negates that article’s entire conclusions. Paragraph 3 states that abc = abc. X himself, in the aforementioned file, proves that abc =/= abc, but rather that abc = 123.’

      I, too, want to know if sceptics can do this. If it can be done, it should be done, as RobinL points out above. Then if anyone demands sneeringly, ‘Oh yeah? Show me how this disproves the science,’ such a demand can easily be met.

      On the other hand, I get what you’re saying entirely. The climate change issue seems to read more like a religious debate than a scientific one!

      Fanatic: God exists. My literature says so. Many millions of people accept its truth. There is a consensus; the science is settled. Why do you think there are no Godless holy books? Sure, there is no ‘proof’ that God exists, but models of human belief show quite clearly that the probability is high. You cannot disprove my claim, or provide data that contradict its truth. Therefore my literature is authoritative.

      Atheist: God doesn’t exist. Your literature is a tissue of lies written by gullible and selfish men.

      Fanatic: Not so. My literature was written by God.

      Atheist: How do you know?

      Fanatic: It says so.

  5. Except there isn’t anything actually wrong with the code either,
    CRUde hack, meme and the “smoking” gun
    Mining The Source Code
    just Deniers swearing they see something that isn’t there …

  6. Capital D, though. Shows respect.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.