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Mad Scientist

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Leaked emails, global warming hoax, Rush Limbaugh, and "Climategate" are fighting words. The man or mad scientist at the center of the storm is Professor Phil Jones, director of the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit who calls the emailgate "rubbish" but adds that this has been the worse week of his life.

Science is only science if it is reproducible. The research and data that is published and practiced by men with Ph.D. behind their names gets shared with the scientific world. They conduct the research in such a way that it can be reproduced with little or no trouble by other scientists. They do not have to prove anything. However, the onus is on other scientists to disprove it with their independent research. That said, what do we have here in "Climategate?"

The climate change deniers see "collusion" while the scientists at the center see "nonsense." The emails in question, hacked and put on a Russian server where they were quickly disseminated all over the Web: "…if the emails are correct, they "might highlight behaviour that those individuals might not like to have made public." But he added, "Let's separate out [the climate scientists] reacting badly to the personal attacks [from sceptics] to the idea that their work has been carried out in an inappropriate way." 

Phil Jones is not the only mad scientist — he has company: Michael Mann, James Hansen, Michael Oppenheimer, Stephen Schneider, and Kevin Trenberth.

And the big question that looms for myself and for the media is how will this affect the Copenhagen talks? Will this global warming science conference simply melt down under the weight of these emails? Climatologists are not holding their breath on this one. They are not worried that their decades of research are being hailed as "fraudulent." Or that this is being described as the biggest scam of the century. Or about talkers like Rush Limbaugh and his over-the-top charge of "made-up research."

The revealed emails go back to 2004 and Dr. Mann does not look good with egg on his face. The slant and the use of the leaks is yet supposition and allegation. Yes, the emails exist and have been revealed to the public. But do they sound a death knell for measures to limit man-made climate change? Or will they just be a footnote to the start of the age of cap and trade?

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  • Arch Conservative

    I thought the scientific method included questioning everything in the search for truth. Yet anyone regardless of how educated in climatology or related sciences, that question’s “man-made” global warming is immediately and summarily labelled a tool for big oil. Those, claiming to know it all, the Al Gore types would have us believe that they were cut from god’s own cloth this very morning…. That their motives are wholly altruistic and beyond reproach while anyone who has the gall to question anything they say is pure evil who’d see the global ecosystem destroyed for their own personal reasons. The problem is that it’s a bunch of horsehit.

  • Bing,

    It’s likely that there has been considerable corruption of the air due to pollution – certainly there has been a reduction in sunlight reaching the ground. And it’s probable that the two, the corruption of the air, and the global dimming, cancel each other out in many ways. Asthma rates on the planet have been skyerocketing and it is not solely due to the spread of cockroaches – which do spread asthma). In addition, the levels of water have risen, and the glaciers have shrunken. So, this is not all a big hoax.

    But these idiots are trying to fake everybody out with phony numbers. They don’give a damn about science – which in the end is a search for truths measured in a certain way – all they give a damn about is money.

  • The scientific method is just that. A 5-step method that starts with a testable question, hypothesis, experiment, conclusion, and start over if necessary.

    The fault lies not in our conclusion but in our hypothesis. Yes, if you ask a slanted question you can get a slanted answer and one that “fits” the data. It is so easy.

    Then there is the sneaky bit about having to prove it. The scientist does not have to prove it but share his data. Then the others in the search for truth must try to show where this guy or gal or group of gals or guys went wrong.

    That becomes debate in the scientific and world community. Health care is having some debate now about screening. There is debate about global warming too. But is seems the naysayers are having less say.

    The ice caps do seem to be melting. But I think much of it is the sun and solar activity. So I ask how does it ALL become man made. Case in point the tsunami that hit SE Asia. What I learned from that: NOTHING man made can ever be as powerful as something thrown at us by nature. What about the giant asteroid that hit central America destroying the dinosaurs? Again we don’t have anything now that powerful.

    So, is 2012 about the poles shifting? I don’t know because I did not see it. But that is about the only thing, greater than an asteroid hit, that would completely destroy earth. And that is not man made and man cannot do a damn thing about it.
    Get it? Sure you do.


  • Breaking: Obama puts Copenhagen on his agenda! He’s going there. LOL

  • POHEC is a pneumonic for the scientific method, just looked it up because I left off “observation.”

    So it’s state the problem P, make observations O, hypothesis H, experiment E, conclusion C.

    It seems that scientists get stuck on the observation part. Al Gore’s famous slideshow had lots of observations/data in it that seemed to make a strong case for global warming.

    There seems to be a dearth of experimentation here. Or maybe it is not as famous. Then there is the conclusion. Climatologists (some) have concluded that icebergs melting and sea level rise is all due to man-made or anthropogenic activities and that’s where the disagreement comes in. Deniers don’t believe that Earth is getting warmer and if it is getting warmer then it is due to the sun etc. And it will fix itself.

    Actually that is a strong possibility that Earth will fix itself. How? We may not like how Earth does the fixing.

  • Deano

    I think you mean “mnemonic” not “pneumonic”.

    The first one pertains to a memorization tool or trick, the second one is related to the lungs (i.e. pnemonia or pneumonic plague).

  • k

    “And the big question that looms for myself and for the media is how will this affect the Copenhagen talks?”

    No it is not. The big job for the media is to get to the truth about the science. Reporters that do not understand science are happy to report about consensus and that global warming has been proven. Where is it proven? Where? Right now, I know where to look with my own eyes to see bad science, possibly even fraudulent science. Where do I look for the proof of global warming that the media is so happy to keep reporting? Where is credible proof? It certainly is *not* coming from any work involving Dr Jones and his cabal.

  • “Climategate” appears to be receiving lots of blog coverage but very little from the television news.


  • heloise

    Thanks I am dyslexic too esp when I rush. That was rush’s whole point about his rant that msm ain’t covering this story. Even if is just fake backlash.

  • Dan, it got a brief mention in USAToday this morning.

    As for Obama going to Copenhagen, it seems like another of his many attempts to commit political suicide.


  • zingzing

    why shouldn’t he go to copenhagen? seems like something worth attending, seeing as how it’s the end of the world and everything.

    and the email hack/leak/whatever has been reported in every new york paper i’ve seen… which is all the papers i’ve seen. so 100% coverage as far as i can tell!

  • Hank

    Zingzing: It’s not a matter of whether it’s been mentioned. It’s a matter of how it’s being covered. NYC papers may be covering it, but from what I’ve seen, the Times is just whitewashing the hell out of it.

    And I have yet to see any mention of it in the network news. On ABC yesterday, Gibson regurgitated the WH press release on Obama’s planned travel to Copenhagen, then moved on to something else. Not a word about the email scandal.

  • zingzing

    well, dan said that the blogs were mentioning it, but tv news was not. i don’t have a tv, so i dunno about what’s on tv or not. but dan kind of ignores the mainstream newspapers, which dave brought up. so it is, in fact, a question of whether or not it’s being mentioned. and it is being covered by almost every source i’ve seen, mainstream or not.

    as to how it’s being covered, if someone doesn’t think that this is all that damning, that’s how they cover it. they would think that the right wing is getting all hyperbolic on it. which is their m.o. recently, so that’s not a bad assumption.

    (and i just checked abc news’ website, and there are several mentions of it.)

  • Thanks for the link up there to a media site that DID mention the Nets blackout of this story. I DO watch the cable and reg news…in fact I can DVD all 3 major network evening news. I compare them too. They are identical FYI unbelievable that is. And no body has mentioned this thing but us bloggers. It has not really hit MSM. Since the big prize is on after this they will broadcast The big O getting his grand prix in Oslo or wherever it is.

    He is supposed to be going to the first day only.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Y’know, Heloise –

    When it comes to the climate-e-mail-gate or whatever you want to call it, I have yet to see ANY comments by the climate scientists in those e-mails that shows that they were wrongly ‘altering data’. The only questionable comment was from one climate scientist who said that it was a ‘travesty’ that they couldn’t explain why global warming is not accelerating at the moment…and if you’ll read the thread of e-mails, you find that another climate scientist almost immediately explained the problem and resolved the issue in a way that made scientific sense.

    ALSO, in a comment under Dave’s article I pointed out how one of the e-mails indicated that a climate-change SKEPTIC had wrongly altered data…but do you think any of the conservatives (including Dave) addressed that particular problem?

    The mass of stolen e-mails showed two things: (1) there’s NO apparent collusion among climate-change scientists to mislead the general public, and (2) there WAS an attempt by a climate-change SKEPTIC to mislead the general public.

    But we’re all supposed to think this is some great liberal conspiracy…because that’s what the conservatives tell us to believe.

  • Glenn, I agree when looking at the comments and the emails that there is no conspiracy there. I mean think about it. Bush and company would have loved to clobber with Gore with a “hoax” at the altar of global warming. But they didn’t. Now does that mean there is collusion of the liberal media? That is what the conservatives will argue.

    It’s funny that the conservatives own the radio waves but the libs own TV. Which one is more powerful?

    Now people are shouting that we cannot get the truth about this issue from the media. Science’s duty is simple publish or die!

  • Arch Conservative

    Is everyone ready for Copenhoaxen?

  • Breaking: Jones steps down from directorship. I just found this online.

    “By Juliet Eilperin
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 3:45 PM

    A scientist who is one of the central figures in the controversy over hacked e-mails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit announced Tuesday that he is stepping down while the university investigates the incident.

    Climate skeptics have seized on several e-mails from Phil Jones, director of the university’s Climatic Research Unit, to other researchers as evidence that prominent scientists have sought to silence their voice in the debate over global warming. The e-mails were pirated and posted online last month.”