Monday, November 30, 2009

Taking the heat

By Carl

Kudos to the University of East Anglia for
snuffing out a phony crisis quickly:

The reverberations continue from what the University of East Anglia says was the illegal dissemination of thousands of files from its Climatic Research Unit (CRU). Over the weekend university officials put out an update saying 95 percent of the raw land-surface temperature data in question have been available to scientists and skeptics for several years, although Roger A. Pielke Jr. of the University of Colorado, Boulder, said he was told differently as recently as August. ( posted the locations of various data sets.) He credited the university and climate center for moving now to be clearer about the data archives and to provide more access. “When the data is available in its original form those skeptical of climate science can then do the temperature math themselves out in the open where everyone can see their work,” Dr. Pielke wrote on Sunday. “If the global numbers come out as CRU has presented over the years, then it will strike a blow to skepticism about global temperature trend records produced by CRU and restore a good deal of credibility to this area of climate science.”

Global climate change is real, undeniable, indisputable (except in niggling details), and the single biggest threat to United States security as well as the security of the world.

Far greater than terrorism. Far greater than thermonuclear weapons in the hands of Iran. Far greater than the economic threat posed by China.

And yet, the
goo-sucking morons among us cling to this thin reed of a tempest-in-a-teacup as the smoking gun to overturn the enormous data supporting climate change, as if somehow a crowbar could move a mountain. Fortunately, those voices have withered in the hot wind of real information and sunshine transparency.

To recap this middling-to-nothing contretemps, a hacker busted into the email of UEA and stole thousands of files and e-mails which were basically works in progress, carefully sifting through the data to cherry pick only those bits that either distorted or disputed conventional wisdom with regards to climate change.

None of the stolen data was ever in any way, shape or form cleared by the standard peer review process, a dynamic the yo-yos on the right might consider employing in their own attempts to debunk what they perceive as a threat to their lazy greedy livelihoods.

"Peer review." The scientific method, where before a paper is published in an acknolwedged academic publication, it has to be examined, defended, and then approved by a panel of the peers of the author. Dissenting opinions are noted (usually in an addended article), and rebutted if possible.

None of this rigorous thinking or advocacy exists on the right, which has ceded thinking to those of us in the reality-based dimension.

(Cross-posted to Simply Left Behind.)

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  • I would imagine that hacking into an email account is illegal but I haven't seen anyone speak of this. There are probably several felonies involved?

    By Anonymous tsisageya, at 11:58 AM  

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