Where Has All The Climate Data Gone?


Climategate recalls memories of the original "gate" scandal. You remember Watergate. The year was 1973, the scandal was the break-in of Democratic National Headquarters located in the Washington's Watergate office complex, and the result of the scandal was Richard Nixon's resignation as President of the United States.

Watergate had its data problems, as exemplified by eighteen (18) and one-half minutes of erased White House audio recordings. Rose Mary Woods, Nixon's long-time secretary testified that she was at least partially responsible for the missing recordings.

Fast forward to today and we are told that Climategate is much worse than previously believed. Yesterday The Times Online reported:
Leading British scientists at the University of East Anglia, who were accused of manipulating climate change data – dubbed Climategate – have agreed to publish their figures in full.

In a statement welcomed by climate change sceptics, the university said it would make all the data accessible as soon as possible, once its Climatic Research Unit (CRU) had negotiated its release from a range of non-publication agreements.

Now the story has changed:
Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.

It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
...
So now we know that 150 years of original temperature recordings, used to formulate the environmental climate policies of all the nations of the world have been destroyed. There is nothing that can be used to verify the charts and graphs compiled by climate "scientists" to formulate the alarmist theories of the past thirty or so years. There is no verifiable justification for the spending of what must be trillions of dollars in futile attempts to alter the Earth's atmosphere . . . and there can no longer be any legitimate justification for making future expenditures.

With apologies to Pete Seeger:

Where has all the Climate Data gone?
Long time passing.
Where has all the the Climate Data gone?
Long time ago.
Where has all the Climate Data gone?
Gone for "value-added" altered data, every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where has all the altered data gone?
Long time passing.
Where has all the the altered data gone?
Long time ago.
Where has all the altered data gone?
Gone for use by Climate Alarmists, every one.
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

Where have all the Climate Alarmists gone?
Long time passing.
Where have all the the Climate Alarmists gone?
Long time ago.
Where have all the Climate Alarmists gone?
Soon gone with the Climate Data every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?

Climategate - Hide The Decline



With thanks to Minnesotans For Global Warming (because it is stupid to politicize the weather).

The Climate Monoculture

I am posting the well-considered analysis of the CRU email scandal by Warren Meyer who single-handedly runs Coyote Blog and Climate Skeptic while managing to work full time running his own company.


Cross-posted from Climate Skeptic:

I am disappointed to see folks like Lord Monkton calling for scientists to go to jail over what has been discovered in the Hadley CRU emails. No one is going to jail, at least based on what we know so far. Laws were broken, but of the type that perhaps people lose their jobs but not their freedom. And demanding that people go to jail just paints skeptics as opportunistic, over-the-top and vindictive. We sound like the looniest of the alarmists when we say stuff like this.

This is not to say that the emails (as well as the source code, which Steve McIntyre and his readers are starting to dig into) don’t give us useful insights about the climate science process. And what they really point to for me is the danger of a monoculture.

For years, with the media’s active participation, criticism of the mainstream scientific position on global warming has been painted as somehow outside the bounds of reasonable discourse. Skeptics are called “deniers,” with the intent to equate them with those who deny the Holocaust. At every turn, global warming activists with the help of the media, have tried to make it uncomfortable, even impossible, to criticize the science of catastrophic man-made global warming. In the extreme, this has degenerated into outright threats.

NASA’s James Hansen has called for trials of climate skeptics in 2008 for “high crimes against humanity.” Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at skeptics of 2007 declaring “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors” In 2009, RFK, Jr. also called coal companies “criminal enterprises” and declared CEO’s ’should be in jail… for all of eternity.”

In June 2009, former Clinton Administration official Joe Romm defended a comment on his Climate Progress website warning skeptics would be strangled in their beds. “An entire generation will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds,” stated the remarks, which Romm defended by calling them “not a threat, but a prediction.”

In 2006, the eco-magazine Grist called for Nuremberg-Style trials for skeptics. In 2008, Canadian environmentalist David Suzuki called for government leaders skeptical of global warming to be thrown “into jail.” In 2007, The Weather Channel’s climate expert called for withholding certification of skeptical meteorologists.

The examples go on ad infinitum. Several folks have emailed me and asked why I have not joined the feeding frenzy over the “climategate.” In part, this is because I don’t think there is anything in the emails that is a whole lot worse than what many of the actors have been saying publicly. The media has played along not only because many of its members were sympathetic to the message, but because the catastrophe played well into the “if it bleeds, it leads” culture. Even when the media was not “picking a winner” in the science, it supported the catastrophist message in its editorial decisions, choosing to cover (for example) ad nauseum a 30-year low in Arctic sea ice but failing to even mention a 30-year high in Antarctic sea ice which occurred on nearly the same day (more here). Ditto hurricanes, tornadoes, floods droughts, etc — only events and records in one particular tail of the normal distribution were covered. Even when they worked to be fair, the media were frequently criticized by alarmists for allowing even a mention of the skeptic position in an article otherwise generally supporting the orthodoxy. The term “false balance” was coined.

The result was a group who were effectively exempt from criticism — and knew it.

The most amazing thing to watch has been the absolute scorn and obstructionism piled on Steve McIntyre and his readers and partners. I have read Steve’s work for years, and find it to be incredibly fair and deeply analytical. I took as one of my early roles at my climate site the explanation to laymen of exactly what McIntyre was talking about in his posts. He often challenged the climate orthodoxy – which in most scientific disciplines is highly valued, but in climate science is a crime. In the emails we even see scientists within the monoculture raising the exact same issues that they have blasted McIntyre for — apparently it is OK to raise such issues as long as 1) you are an insider and 2) such concerns are suppressed in any public document.

Perhaps the single most abusive part of the monoculture has been its misrepresentation of peer review. Peer review was never meant as a sort of good housekeeping seal of approval on scientific work. It is not a guarantee of correctness. It is really an extension of the editorial process — bringing scientists from relevant fields to vet whether work is really new and different and worthy of publication, to make sure the actual article communicates the work and its findings clearly, and to probe for obvious errors or logical fallacies.

Climate scientists have tried to portray peer review as the end of the process– ie, once one of their works shows up in a peer-reviewed journal, the question addressed is “settled.” But his is never how science has worked. Publication in a peer-reviewed journal is the beginning, not the end. Once published, scientists attempt alternatively to tear it down or replicate its conclusions. Only work that has survived years of such torture testing starts to become “settled.”

The emails help to shed light on some aspects of peer review that skeptics have suspected for years. It is increasingly clear that climate scientists in the monoculture have been using peer review to enforce the orthodoxy. Peer review panels are stacked with members of the club, and authors who challenge the orthodoxy are shut out of publication, while authors within the monoculture use peer review as a shield against future criticism. We see in the emails members of the monoculture actually working to force editors who have the temerity to publish work critical of the orthodoxy out of their jobs. We are now learning that when alarmist scientists claim that there is little peer-reviewed science on the skeptic’s side, this is like the Catholic Church enforcing a banned books list and then claiming that everything in print supports the Church’s position.

History teaches us that whenever we allow a monoculture – whether is be totalitarian one-party rule or enforcing a single state religion, corruption follows. Without scrutiny of their actions, actors in such monocultures have few checks and little accountability. Worse, those at the center of such monocultures can become convinced of their own righteousness, such that any action they take in support of the orthodoxy is by definition ethically justified.

This, I think, is exactly what we see at work in the Hadley emails.

Socialized Medicine For All the Wrong Reasons



The liberal Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette awarded Elizabeth Mannir their "Golden Pen Award" for the "most effective letter to the editor" during October. Elizabeth, 30, is teaching at ITT Tech and she is working on her doctoral dissertation. She obviously has an impressive liberal education, but her "effective letter" is devoid of sound reasoning.
Here is her letter:

As a young working couple, my husband and I have always tried to do things “the right way.”

We pay our bills, support our community and carry health insurance through his job. But we have often put off seeking medical care – and have even put off starting a family – because of the problems and inadequacies of this nation’s health care and insurance systems.

Our premiums, even while his company covers his own coverage almost completely, cost us hundreds of dollars monthly. We rarely take advantage of the coverage we’ve bought, simply because additional co-pays and deductibles (and the many things our coverage doesn’t include) keep us from being able to afford it.

Supporting the administration’s call for reform doesn’t mean we’re asking for “socialized” handouts.

We simply believe, based on personal experience, that the status quo is not affordable or sustainable and must be changed.
So she and hubby have been properly subjected to the American tradition of honesty and are even planning ahead for a child. Interpreting her writing, it can be concluded that these young folks think they are paying too much for health care ... paying bills is good but healthy young people don't want to be spending all this money on insurance premiums.

Gosh, she said premiums cost "hundreds of dollars" monthly. So, even if it is $100 per week, that is only $2,600 for each of them ... and one trip to the hospital annually will far exceed that amount. Co-pays and deductibles in todays world go with medical care, so everyone has them ... and everyone must pay them.

Since we all are in the same boat, why would we want to adopt a government run system that requires us to cover everyone, even those who opt out until they require medical treatment ... at which time these ne'erdowells will sign on for insurance. Who gets to pay for their skating around the insurance premiums? Here is what will happen under Obamacare.
Consider: 27 million people are covered by health insurance purchased directly, i.e. outside employer-based plans. The average cost of an insurance policy with family coverage in 2009 is $13,375. A married couple with a median family income of $75,000 who choose not to insure would be subject to a fine of 2.5 percent of that $75,000, or $1,875. So the family would save a net $11,500 by not insuring. If a serious illness occurs -- a chronic condition or a condition that requires surgery -- they could then buy insurance. Since fewer than one family in four has annual health-care costs that exceed $10,000, the decision to drop coverage looks like a good bet. For a lower-income family, the fine is smaller, and the incentive to be uninsured is even greater.
When our narcissistic president sets out to change the world as we know it, someone has to ask why Congress cannot take the simple steps needed to permit insurance companies, hampered by individual state rules, to reduce their risk by insuring larger groups across state lines. Why can't Congress pass laws to limit malpractice awards? And why can't we go back to simple insurance rules where we  buy insurance individually, outside of our employer, from an agent and negotiate provider fees and services directly? Third-parties such as employers and provider organizations banded together to "save us money" are not acting in our best interests. If left in place, Health Savings Accounts will give us the tax shields we want. All of these reforms will cost the taxpayer and the insurance payer nothing in addition to current fees.

Young people today have not experienced the depression era that my parents lived through, but if we continue down this path of socialism, we will all have to pay the price.

China Would Like Their Money Back



"Do I look like Mrs. Obama?"

Can't wait for the bumper sticker!

Obama's Vulnerable Gonads



Last night while watching "Lie to Me" on Fox, I was underwhelmed by the dialog in this scene when comparing the words to Obama's pitiful  inability to accept and be proud of  the American flag.  (Wait a moment for the video to start, then after you see Churchill, turn off the play button and then punch the "back to" arrow).

If the video doesn't work (and that would be too bad for the men out there who miss seeing Monica Raymund), the important quotation is:
One of the things we do is look at body language and we found that when people are feeling vulnerable, they tend to cover their . . . gonads.
Then there is BBC's h2g2 page on the subject of defensive body language:
At a course on giving presentations, I was told that people feeling nervous or unsure of themselves will often 'protect' themselves. That is, they adopt a posture that protects a vulnerable area. Men will stand with their hands clasped in front of their genitals. Women will fold their arms across their chest. A woman on the course got up to do a presentation with a folder clasped in front of her chest in her folded arms. I have never seen anybody so nervous.

Terrorists' Rights in U.S. Courts

In 1950, The U. S. Supreme Court ruled in Johnson v. Eisentrager, that foreign nationals are not entitled to habeas corpus relief in the federal courts if they have never lived in the United States. In other words, persons who believe they are been unjustly detained may challenge the legality of their confinement only if they reside or have resided here. This ruling is consistent with the recognition, long established, that U.S. courts have no extraterritorial authority unless specifically granted such jurisdiction by Congress.

In 2004 in the Detainee Treatment Act and again in 2006 in the Military Commissions Act, Congress passed laws specifically exempting Guantanamo from U.S. Court jurisdiction, while establishing military tribunals to conduct trials of enemy combatants held at that military base. However, the Supreme Court with a 5-4 ruling in 2008, despite vigorous minority dissent, overturned the Miltary Commissions Act:

The court declared unconstitutional a provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that ... stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction to hear habeas corpus petitions from the detainees seeking to challenge their designation as enemy combatants.
Chief Justice Roberts’ and Justice Scalia’s scathing dissents are highlighted here, but Scalia sums it all up nicely:
Today, for the first time in our Nation’s history, the Court confers a constitutional right to habeas corpus on alien enemies detained abroad by our military forces in the course of an ongoing war…. The writ of habeas corpus does not, and never has, run in favor of aliens abroad; the Suspension [of habeas corpus] Clause thus has no application, and the Court’s intervention in this military matter is entirely ultra vires [beyond powers].

Putting aside the conclusive precedent of Eisentrager, it is clear that the original understanding of the Suspension Clause was that habeas corpus was not available to aliens abroad, as Judge Randolph’s thorough opinion for the court ... detailed. ... It is entirely clear that, at English common law, the writ of habeas corpus did not extend beyond the sovereign territory of the Crown.

(. . .)

Today the Court warps our Constitution in a way that goes beyond the narrow issue of the reach of the Suspension Clause, invoking judicially brainstormed separation-of-powers principles to establish a manipulable “functional” test for the extraterritorial reach of habeas corpus (and, no doubt, for the extraterritorial reach of other constitutional protections as well). It blatantly misdescribes important precedents, most conspicuously Justice Jackson’s opinion for the Court in Johnson v. Eisentrager. It breaks a chain of precedent as old as the common law that prohibits judicial inquiry into detentions of aliens abroad absent statutory authorization. And, most tragically, it sets our military commanders the impossible task of proving to a civilian court, under whatever standards this Court devises in the future, that evidence supports the confinement of each and every enemy prisoner. The Nation will live to regret what the Court has done today.
Just as Caesar announced at the beginning of every Christians v. Lions death struggle, Attorney General Eric Holder on behalf of Narcissus cried out to all America. "Let the games begin!" Not really, he just casually announced to Obama's extreme left-wing base that he is going to import five unlawful enemy combatants, including 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammad to New York for a show trial. Exhibiting his best Community Organizer decision-making, the Won has decided to partially use the SCOTUS ruling and prosecute some but not all detainees in federal courts. Some will be tried in military courts ... but about 75 really dangerous killers will not see the inside of a courtroom at all but instead they will remain under lock and key until the Great One decides otherwise. I suppose this represents a redistribution of the words used by the Supreme Court justices and a new Constitutional interpretation by this country's premier Constitutional scholar.

Cold Cash, Gray Bars


From This Week With Barack Obama:
..the minute the brother's money was found in a freezer, it was a done deal....

Former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson was sentenced Friday to 13 years in prison following his conviction in a corruption case that featured a freezer full of suspected bribe money stuffed into boxes of veggie burgers.

Lou Dobbs Quits CNN



According to the New York Times:
He concluded his last CNN broadcast by saying, “I’ll see you next on the radio.”

Then he crossed 58th Street in Midtown Manhattan, walked into an Irish pub frequented by colleagues and was greeted with a round of applause.

License Plate With Cross Unconstitutional


Francis of Assisi is credited with the saying: "Preach the Gospel always, and when necessary use words." United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie has ruled that the words cannot be "I Believe."

In a preliminary injunction order, Judge Currie halted production, sales and distribution of South Carolina's newest license plate design.
In a five-page order, Currie said she issued the injunction because federal courts would likely find the law that created the plates a gross violation of the Constitution’s ban on government establishment of religion.

Currie noted that federal courts under 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, by which South Carolina is covered, use a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court to determine if something violates the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause. The so-called “Lemon Test” requires that any state law have a secular purpose, neither advance nor inhibit religion as its primary effect and not lead to “excessive entanglement” between religion and government.

“Based on the record now before the court, the court finds it unlikely that the I Believe Act satisfies even one of these three requirements. As the act must satisfy all three requirements to survive constitutional scrutiny, the court concludes that plaintiffs have made a strong showing of likelihood of success,” Currie wrote.
The plaintiffs include Christian and Jewish clergy as well as Hindu and Arab organizations, who argued that the South Carolina legislature actually voted for a plate that favored the Christian religion. We can expect, however, that the "I Believe" design will soon join the more than 120 license plate designs offered to South Carolina residents, sponsored next time by a non-profit organization.
Those plates are different ... because they were not specifically established by legislative act. Instead, they are provided for under a state law that allows non-profit groups to create specialized tags as revenue-generating instruments as long as they can get at least 400 motorists to purchase them.

[This] ... is the second time in as many years that the Palmetto State has had to defend a license tag created by legislative fiat. In 2006, the 4th Circuit -- considered the most conservative of the nation’s appeals courts -- ruled unconstitutional a license plate with an anti-abortion message because it violated the First Amendment’s free-speech provision.

That plate is now available, but is sponsored privately like other South Carolina specialty plates.
One further irony exists in this case.
The plaintiffs noted that, at the time of its passage, some legislators who had voted for the “I Believe” law said that they would oppose efforts to create similar plates for Muslim South Carolinians.
Just as the cross is generally recognized as the symbolic representation of the Christian religion, the six-pointed Star of David represents Judaism and the crescent is associated with Islam. In the 1990s, South Carolina was under pressure from minority groups to abandon its state flag, modeled after the Confederate Battle Flag.  The state legislature subsequently adopted this deep blue flag featuring the palmetto tree and something else.


Another Blog Template

I have been playing around with blog templates since this blog was started in July of 2008. Having never touched HTML, I selected Blogger because I was getting nowhere with Wordpress (the hosted version). Everyone knows that Google's Blogger templates were and are really mundane, but I finally started with the Dots Dark template which was captured in a screenshot on Curmudgeonly and Skeptical.

Three-column blogger formats were becoming the rage in the summer of 2008 and I really found the Dark Dots format with reverse text colors to be distracting. So after much teeth gnashing and experimenting I settled on Rounders 4 in three-column format and downloaded my first non-Google template. I must have spent forever, first getting it to upload and function and then playing with the stupid color changing features in Blogger. With a little help from a blog specializing in blogger format tips, I actually expanded the column widths and moved the sidebars to both be on the right. The gold and green colors in Rounders 4 soon had me cringing and I decided that I really disliked the tell-tale bar at the top of blogger templates that lets you randomly access other Google blogs . . . for what reason I will never understand.

I also concluded that the best-looking blogs were in Wordpress formats, so after a short while, I went searching for Wordpress formats converted to Blogger. Nobody warned me that many of the conversions were incomplete and/or did not coexist with Blogger very well. Again after wasting weeks looking at hundreds of formats, I decided upon the grunge look and brown color scheme of the Aspire theme originally designed by InfoCreek. I once again wasted much time making the date function work correctly and frankly never had the date display as intended . . . but that made my Aspire-themed blog a little different than others.

I also set up a test blog to try another InfoCreek grunge and brown theme called Duffy (paid $10 for it) which is little used by Blogspot bloggers since it too is a conversion from Wordpress. You can see it here. I finally decided that Duffy was too dark and to busy for my taste.

So I went looking again and came upon another Wordpress theme that is simple in design with lots of blank space and a design that uniquely displays post dates in a separate column. The test blog is here and of course the One Room theme is now on the GAD-FLY blog.

Global Warming, Canadian Style



H/T: Don Surber

Going Galt . . . Ayn Rand Keeps On Keepin' On

Reason TV brings us this video on the continued popularity of Ayn Rand and her blockbuster novel, "Atlas Shrugged."




Ed Morrissey At Hot Air makes this point:

Just how much has Rand and her Objectivism returned to the fore? Her book, with no particular marketing campaign of which I’m aware, is just outside the top 100 books on Amazon, at #103. This is a perfect example of what Nick Gillespie calls “the long shelf life of Ayn Rand,” which springs from the natural impulse of a free people when confronted with statism, even so-called benevolent statism. In the novel, the producers of the world act individually, but eventually all reach the same conclusion.

I agree with Nick that Rand may wind up being more relevant to this century than she was to the last. Rand’s message got a little lost as a result of the Cold War and its aftermath; we focused on Soviet statism as an external threat rather than progressive statism as an internal threat. At the moment, we have a clarity on that point that we never quite had in the previous 50 years.

Mike Pence: Let Your Voice Be Heard