Thursday, October 06, 2005



I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the important subject of politicization of research. In that regard, what I would like to emphasize to the committee today is the importance of independent verification to science. In essence, science is nothing more than a method of inquiry. The method says an assertion is valid-and merits universal acceptance-only if it can be independently verified. The impersonal rigor of the method means it is utterly apolitical. A truth in science is verifiable whether you are black or white, male or female, old or young. It's verifiable whether you like the results of a study, or you don't. Thus, when adhered to, the scientific method can transcend politics. And the converse may also be true: when politics takes precedent over content, it is often because the primacy of independent verification has been overwhelmed by competing interests.....

A striking feature of climate science is that it's permissible for raw data to be "touched," or modified, by many hands. Gaps in temperature and proxy records are filled in. Suspect values are deleted because a scientist deems them erroneous. A researcher may elect to use parts of existing records, ignoring other parts. But the fact that the data has been modified in so many ways inevitably raises the question of whether the results of a given study are wholly or partially caused by the modifications themselves. In saying this, I am not casting aspersions on the motives or fair-mindedness of climate scientists. Rather, what is at issue is whether the methodology of climate science is sufficiently rigorous to yield a reliable result......

Yet these issues are central to the now-familiar story of the "Hockeystick graph" and the debate surrounding it. To summarize it briefly: in 1998-99 the American climate researcher Michael Mann and his co-workers published an estimate of global temperatures from the year 1000 to 1980. Mann's results appeared to show a spike in recent temperatures that was unprecedented in the last thousand years. His alarming report formed the centerpiece of the U.N.'s Third Assessment Report, in 2001. Mann's work was immediately criticized because it didn't show the well-known Medieval Warm Period, when temperatures were warmer than they are today, or the Little Ice Age that began around 1500, when the climate was colder than today. But real fireworks began when two Canadian researchers, McIntyre and McKitrick, attempted to replicate Mann's study. They found grave errors in the work, which they detailed in 2003: calculation errors, data used twice, data filled in, and a computer program that generated a hockeystick out of any data fed to it-even random data.

Mann's work has since been dismissed by scientists around the world who subscribe to global warning. Why did the UN accept Mann's report so uncritically? Why didn't they catch the errors? Because the IPCC doesn't do independent verification. And perhaps because Mann himself was in charge of the section of the report that included his work.

The hockeystick controversy drags on. But I would direct the Committee's attention to three aspects of this story. First, six years passed between Mann's publication and the first detailed accounts of errors in his work. This is simply too long for policymakers to wait for validated results. Second, the flaws in Mann's work were not caught by climate scientists, but rather by outsiders-in this case, an economist and a mathematician. They had to go to great lengths to obtain data from Mann's team, which obstructed them at every turn.

When the Canadians sought help from the NSF, they were told that Mann was under no obligation to provide his data to other researchers for independent verification. Third, this kind of stonewalling is not unique. The Canadians are now attempting to replicate other climate studies and are getting the same runaround from other researchers. One prominent scientist told them: "Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it."....

But if independent verification is the heart of science, what should policymakers do with research that is unverifiable? For example, the UN Third Assessment Report defines general circulation climate models as unverifiable. If that's true, are their predictions of any use to policymakers? I would argue they are not....

In closing, I want to state emphatically that nothing in my remarks should be taken to imply that we can ignore our environment, or that we should not take climate change seriously. On the contrary, we must dramatically improve our record on environmental management. That's why a focused effort on climate science, aimed at securing sound, independently verified answers to policy questions, is so important now.


Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed 109 oil platforms and five drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, but only a small portion of production will be lost for good, the US government said. Rita accounted for most of the damage in a region that ordinarily produces nearly one-third of US crude oil imports, Interior Secretary Gale Norton said in presenting a preliminary assessment report. Rita destroyed 63 platforms and one drilling rig when it tore through the region on September 24, she said. Katrina destroyed 46 platforms and four drilling rigs when it hit the Gulf at the end of August.

Katrina also caused extensive damage to another 20 platforms and nine drilling rigs. Rita seriously damaged 30 platforms and 10 drilling rigs. "The two hurricanes coming so close together really illustrate how much of our offshore production was affected," Norton told the CNBC network. "We had altogether, with both of the hurricanes, about 2,900 platforms that were in the path of the hurricanes," she said. "We have no official estimate of the dollar value of the damage and the amount that it will cost to repair those facilities, but it will clearly be in the billions of dollars."

In advance of the hurricanes, crude oil production ground to a halt as Gulf sites were evacuated. A total of 342 platforms remain evacuated, roughly 40 percent of the manned sites in the Gulf, Norton said. As a result, 90 percent of crude production and 72 percent of natural gas output is paralysed, she said. But Norton also stressed that only one of the damaged platforms was built after federal construction standards were tightened in 1988.

The ones that were destroyed were nearing the end of their lives. "As a result, only a very small percentage of production is expected to be permanently lost," she said in a statement. "Despite such intense winds and powerful waves offshore, we experienced no loss of life or significant spills from any offshore well on the outer continental shelf," Norton added.

Source. (HT Reliapundit)


"Geophysical Research Letters" (GRL) is a respected academic journal. The excerpt below from Steve McIntyre details how something strange happened to them when they rejected a pro-global-warming article. The The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) referred to is a corporation carrying out climate research with $200 million in annual revenue. It's vested interest in the matter is clear

"On May 11, 2005, on the day that Ross McKitrick and I were presenting in Washington, UCAR issued a press release announcing that one of its scientists, Caspar Ammann ( a former student of Raymond Bradley) and one of its former post-doc fellows, Eugene Wahl, had supposedly demonstrated that our criticisms of the hockey stick were "unfounded". The press release announced that they had submitted articles to Climatic Change and GRL. Unfortunately for UCAR, on June 6, 2005, GRL rejected the submission by Wahl and Ammann. This was never announced. The rejection by GRL was not mentioned in two letters to the House Energy and Commerce Committee by Mann and the European Geophysical Union, which cited this press release.

The Comment by Ammann and Wahl was one of four Comments submitted to GRL on our work. Two Comments, one by von Storch and Zorita and one by Huybers, were accepted and, together with our Replies, will be published in the near future. One other Comment, by David Ritson, was rejected. I can’t imagine that UCAR was very happy about the rejection of Ammann and Wahl, especially with the press release hanging out there. There have been some strange events. In late August, the editor-in-chief of GRL, James Famiglietti, told a reporter at ES&T that he had taken over the Comment file pertaining to our article.

In the last week, a couple of curious events occurred. On Sep. 27, 2005, Famiglietti told us that the rejected Ritson Comment had now been accepted. In breach of AGU policies which require that both a Comment and Reply be sent together for refereeing, Famiglietti had sent the previously rejected Ritson Comment out without a Reply; after getting the Comment accepted, Famiglietti invited us to reply.

Background to the initial rejection

At this time, there were a total of four Comments in play. One of the problems we’d faced with some of the Comments was misrepresentation of what our actual claims were. In some previous Replies, we had replied to these mischaracterizations. Our editor, James Saiers, made it very clear that he did not want to have this type of argument under his watch. He instructed us to present any concern over mischaracterization directly to him and he would assess it editorially, rather than having a needlessly rancorous exchange in the article itself.

This presented a real problem when the Ammann and Wahl Comment arrived. They were so bilious that they could barely see straight. You’ll eventually see why "mini-Mann" is not merely a term of sarcasm. Aside from the bile, their GRL submission is essentially a pyramid scheme. The conclusions in their GRL article are not supported or based on any analyses in their GRL article, but on their other submission. The conclusions of their other study are cited in the text, carried forward to their Summary and quoted in their Abstract. But there was nothing in the four corners of their GRL submission to support their Abstract. We pointed this out to Saiers on May 24, 2005, shortly before he rejected Ammann and Wahl.

The Coup at GRL

Later in the summer, I read in an article at Environmental Science & Technology here that the Jay Famiglietti, the editor-in-chief of GRL, had decided to personally assume control of this file. ES&T:

Famiglietti, editor-in-chief of GRL, says that because the McIntyre paper generated a total of four letters, an abnormally high number, he will personally supervise their acceptance. He says that the letters differ in their specific criticisms and adds that he is ignoring the political controversy and focusing on the science.

Notice the phrasing. At that time, two comments were in play and two were in the garbage can. The Huybers and von Storch comments were both proceeding nicely. There was no apparent reason to replace Saiers on the file. So why was there a coup at GRL?

The pennies began dropping towards the end of September. On Sept. 27, we received an email from GRL that the rejected Comment by Ritson had been pulled out of the garbage can, re-submitted and accepted. We were advised that we had 3 weeks to submit a Reply, if we wished to do so. We were thunderstruck to say the least. The Ritson Comment was goofy, as will become apparent. He seems to have no idea that MBH98 uses the hockey stick shaped PC series in a regression analysis and purports to show that the flawed MBH98 PC method has minimal impact on calculating the column mean of the data set as approximated by the first few PCs. It’s a goofy comment. My inclination right now is to write about a 500-word Reply. It’s hard to see why Famiglietti would break AGU Comment policies in order to pull the Ritson Comment out of the garbage can

Yet it had been sent out for review without notifying us, without an accompanying Reply, on and on, all in breach of the AGU Comment policy. Needless to say, we were irritated - not because of the Comment, we can live with that, but because of the GRL editor putting his hand on the scale"."

So you just CANNOT reject a pro-global-warming article. It MUST be accepted, no matter how poor it is scientifically. And it seems that the second rejected such article is now well on the way to acceptance too

More here


A small excerpt from here

Here's another brutal, honest fact about Kyoto: Before then-Vice President Al Gore left for the global-warming conference in 1997, the Senate told the Clinton administration, via a 95-0 vote, not to agree to a treaty that exempted developing nations. Gore ignored the Senate, which ultimately would have to ratify the treaty. No wonder then that Clinton, who did not take the opportunity last week to disagree with Blair, never asked the Senate to vote on Kyoto ratification while he was in office.

Of course Clinton stayed mum. He said he supported Kyoto, which would have made America reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 level. Lo and behold, emissions were 14 percent higher than the 1990 level when Clinton left office in 2001.

While the left likes to fault Bush on Kyoto, even 2004 Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said, if elected, he would not ask the Senate to ratify Kyoto. It should be noted that Kerry was one of the 95 senators who voted no before Gore left for the Kyoto conference. Be it also noted that there are those who criticize Bush for not giving lip service to Kyoto yet drive big SUVs. I do not write this to brand them as hypocrites -- but to point out that if the folks who believe global warming is a severe threat to the planet don't ride the bus, why would anyone else?

The enviros say that scientists are on their side. That's easy to say, as the left ignores scientists who aren't. The fact is, this is a highly political issue, and even scientists who want to go strictly by the data get sucked into the political vortex. Pro or con, they can't help but become partisans.


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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