Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Climategate - Is This the Beginning of the End?



You'll all know by now the above is Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Also you're possibly aware the IPCC published a report which clearly stated the Himalayan glaciers could melt away by 2035. This has proved to be completely inaccurate and has been rubbished by many of the top climate change scientists.

Yet, in an interview, Pachauri said it would be hypocritical to apologise for the false claim regarding the Himalayas because he was not personally responsible for that part of the report.

The IPCC issued a statement that expressed regret for the mistake, but Pachauri said a personal apology would be a "populist" step. "I don't do many populist things, that's why I'm so unpopular with a certain section of society," he said.

If nothing else, we have to admire Pachauri's tenacity for hanging onto his job (or one of them), and his audacity. As the heid bummer surely he knows the buck stops at him or is has his arrogance overtaken his common sense?

We have heard little or nothing from other members of the IPCC board. I wonder why.

Elsewhere Professor Phil Jones, director of the CRU, is having his integrity questioned because the leaked emails suggest that he helped to cover up flows in temperature date from China that underpinned his research on the strength of recent global warming. Crucial data obtained by American scientists from Chinese collaborators cannot be verified because documents containing them no longer exist. What data is available suggests that the findings are fundamentally flawed.

Not only are CRU climate change scientists being accused of censoring their critics by withholding information from the peer review system, but it has emerged that 14 leading researchers in a different field - stem cell research - have written an open letter to journal editors to highlight their dissatisfaction with the peer review process. They allege that a small scientific clique is using peer review to block papers from other researchers.

Climategate, as well as exposing the climate change science to be seriously flawed, may have opened a whole can of worms in other areas of scientific research. 'Bad science needs good scrutiny' - all science needs good scrutiny.


13 comments:

Edgar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edgar said...

There is nothing new about dissatisfaction with the 'peer review' process. The reviewers used by every scientific journal are guaranteed anonymity by the editors. Thus, they are immune to criticism for their decisions to publish or refuse publication. The journal editors, also, are immune because they will, if necessary, hide behind the reviewers' decisions. The reviewers are selected from researchers who have published widely themselves in the field and, therefore, have an inbuilt interest in maintaining the theories their work contributed to. This is why it is very difficult for people with evidence that contradicts the theoretical status quo even to get published.

If anyone is interested in how scientific research really works, they could do worse than read Fred Hoyle's autobiography 'Home is Where the Wind Blows'. Prejudice, career threats, denial of publication and facilities for research, smearing, obstruction, legal threats ... it's all there, in spades.

INCOMING!!!!!!! said...

SR the episode reveals just how much organised crime has penetrated scientific method.

If you can "invent" 40 Chinese temperature measurement sensors and talk about who's going to get a Nobel prize as part of the strategy to impose a global tax, whilst guaranteeing Chicago mobsters are gaining from the whole process it looks like organised crime.

Our ex SNCF chum above is the tip of the iceberg, sorry couldn't resist that!

Vronsky said...

"They allege that a small scientific clique is using peer review to block papers from other researchers."

This isn't new. There is a long-running debate about the proper role of peer review. On the one hand, science must be conservative - scarce resources cannot be wasted chasing after every odd and outlandish phenomenon like UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster. On the other, science progresses through the investigation of such anomalies - phenomena which do not fit the ruling paradigm. The present peer review system leads to a Catch-22: if your work isn't 'respectable' it won't be peer-reviewed. What makes work respectable? Er - it's been peer-reviewed.

Pachauri and King should both resign, or be sacked if they don't. They have done immeasurable damage to a critically important idea. I saw no evidence of fraud in the material that was hacked, but I did see much evidence of colossally incompetent IT processes, such as would certainly result in dismissals anywhere else (I worked in IT for many years).

Strathturret said...

There does seem to be a fashion now seen mostly in the right wing press of bashing science and scientists.

I note the CV of Christopher Booker one of the leading Climate Change critics (he's written a couple of books and writes in the Torygraph). He used to write for Private Eye, maybe still does. He has a degree in History and has never worked in science.

Yet he regards himself as an authority in an extremely complicated area of research?

I've trained as a scientist. I'll let you into a couple of secrets. I've made mistakes and I've caught a colleague (in industry) fiddling his results. Now does this discredit the field I worked in (Organic Chemistry)?

You have to look at the whole body of research carried out over decades.

The origins of Climate Change science go back to 1824. Its not just a conspiracy dreamt up in the last few years.

Polaris said...

Subrosa, Mr Pachauri is being made a scapegoat by an increasingly embittered AGW movement - he is right to be angry and to refuse to apologise for another's mistake.

As for the end of Climategate? Do you want Climategate to end? I don't - it's the first time that science has had to confront the reality of their policy driven science since AGW became "an accepted fact". That in itself has got to be good for truth, wherever that may lie.

On another note I am glad to see your blog going from strength to strength, I must admit that I was astonished at the Scottish Round Up Scotblogs Awards results. I suspect the panel made sure that the less controversial community particiPANTS were rewarded - you wus robbed...

Clara x

Oldrightie said...

I wish it were, Subrosa. Sadly the energy report today highlights how far down the road of crippling taxes we have come. All under the disguise of AGW. Bilderbergers rule, OK!

subrosa said...

Edgar, thanks for that thorough explanation. Over the years I have heard complaints about peer reviews and my point was is this now the time for the whole system to be looked into for the sake of the sciences?

Appreciate knowing of the book too. Have taken a note.

subrosa said...

Afternoon Incoming. If you'd said that to me 10 years ago I would have thought you were mad but now we know you're right.

Good one!! Why didn't I think of that? :)

subrosa said...

No it's not new Vronsky but I thought I would highlight it.

Some sciences have plenty resources Vronsky and some scientists. Take a look at our universities and their fundings. Some raise their own capital but that;s usually on the back of the university's own reputation.

So, if Dundee university didn't have a high reputation in certain areas of medicine, the medical researchers would certainly not be able to attract the investment they do. Unfortunately other subjects can suffer in the meantime.

With regard to the emails, I bow to your much more superior knowledge.

subrosa said...

It is not my intention to bash science and scientists Strathturret. I have the upmost respect for the subjects and those who research them, but the climate change science is one which is seriously flawed.

You have to admit that we are being sold a pig in a poke, the latest religion which will make billions for the few.

I'm no scientist but I have perused some of the writings of all sides of the climate change argument. My conclusion is that climate change is a natural process and is not man made to the extent hyped in very recent years.

In fact the hype of today insults the research done by others in the earlier years.

subrosa said...

Polaris, I have to disagree. He may be a scapegoat but he's head of the biggest promoter of, to say the very least, dodgy science. In my world the buck stops with the heid bummer.

Perhaps my title should have been 'Is this the end of the beginning'. No I don't want it to end but I do want fairness. Those scientists who questioned the results of the government sponsored people were ignored and that has caused the situation as is seen today.

Hopefully the Pachauri business will let lay people like me see that some science is more politics than truth.

Thanks for your other remarks.

subrosa said...

Yes OR I heard about the report. As long as 'they' hold their line just for another year or so there will be no going back on the taxes which we're being forced to pay.

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