Friday, 25 November 2011

Those Climategate 2 emails

This is just part of the README.TXT file from the Climategate 2 email tranche. A searchable database is

<3111> Watson/UEA:
I'd agree probably 10 years away to go from weather forecasting to ~ annual scale. But the "big climate picture" includes ocean feedbacks on all time scales, carbon and other elemental cycles, etc. and it has to be several decades before that is sorted out I would think. So I would guess that it will not be models or theory, but observation that will provide the answer to the question of how the climate will change in many decades time.

<5131> Shukla/IGES:
["Future of the IPCC", 2008] It is inconceivable that policymakers will be willing to make million-and trillion-dollar decisions for adaptation to the projected regional climate change based on models that do not even describe and simulate the processes that are the building blocks of climate variability.

0850> Barnett:
[IPCC AR5 models] clearly, some tuning or very good luck involved. I doubt the modelling world will be able to get away with this much longer.

<4443> Jones:
Basic problem is that all models are wrong - not got enough middle and low level clouds.

<2440> Jones:
I've been told that IPCC is above national FOI Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.

 My reaction the Climategate2 has varied from fascinated interest to a kind of weary acceptance that we are stuck with the tenth-rate scientists who do these things and the only option we have is to keep telling it as it is. 

Yet the question arises – why was climate science so easy to subvert? Because that’s what has happened – climate science has been subverted by senior UN bureaucrats. In a sense I know these people because I was a professional environmental scientist. I have seen people like this at first hand, well-meaning, well-qualified middle-class scientists without an ounce of talent.

I’ve sat with them in meetings, tried to persuade them to introduce efficiencies, to do what is worthwhile rather than what we’ve been doing for decades. After years of wasted effort, I know to the marrow of my bones that it’s a complete waste of time. You cannot get such people to venture a single millimetre beyond their comfort zone if they don’t have to. And they don’t have to, not with institutions like the BBC protecting them. And why wouldn’t the BBC protect climate scientists? Same species – same motives.

Intelligence doesn’t come into it. What matters is the consensus to which they cling like limpets. Consensus means their private consensus – it always did. They aren’t evil people, but their status and comfortable situation has made them profoundly stupid, almost childlike, unable to distinguish right from wrong, rational from irrational, science from politics.

The Climategate 2 emails show that some climate scientists are well aware that what they are doing is wrong, that climate models don’t work and the public is being lied to over and over again about the degree of certainty behind the official UN narrative. Yet they clearly lack the courage to say so beyond the odd furtive comment. They should be resigning in droves, but won’t.

They are easily manipulated by modest status, by an office, a title, receptive students, by the ease with which poor quality research is published and cited. They are entirely satisfied, not with good science, but with well-attended lectures, idealistic students, interviews, foreign travel and meetings with ministers and senior bureaucrats. They are easily manipulated by their peers into an incestuous circle of back-slapping approval.

They aren’t evil people – just stupid and childlike in their vicious reactions to those who dare point out their self-serving lies.


Sam Vega said...

What I can't understand is how and why they went wrong in the first place. Individual mistakes I could understand, but how come so many of them were wrong in the same way? Is it vested interests influencing them? Or the fact that their research led them to believe in AGW and then they refused to change their minds when better evidence became available?

A K Haart said...

SV - I think they told politicians the CO2 theory was sound and were told to come up with a strong message.

Add this to a few prominent scientists with huge egos, mix in Greenpeace, WWF, the BBC etc and you have a fatal brew.