Politics & Policy

Scientists Behaving Badly

More nails for the coffin of man-made global warming

Global-warming skeptics spend much of their time knocking down the fatuous warmist claim that the science is settled. According to the warmists, this singular piece of settled science is attested to by hundreds or thousands of highly credentialed scientists. In truth, virtually the entire warmist edifice is built around a small, tightly knit coterie of persons (one hesitates to refer to folks with so little respect for the scientific method as scientists) willing to falsify data and manipulate findings; or, to put it bluntly, to lie in order to push a political agenda not supported by empirical evidence. This is what made the original release of the Climategate e-mails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia so valuable. They clearly identified the politicized core of climate watchers who were driving the entire warmist agenda. Following in their footsteps are all the other scientists who built their own research on top of the fraudulent data produced by the warmist core.

#ad#Last week over 5,000 new e-mails, already dubbed Climategate 2, were released. Anyone still desiring to contest the assertion that only a few persons controlled the entire warmist agenda will be brought up short by this note from one warmist protesting that his opinions were not getting the hearing they deserved: “It seems that a few people have a very strong say, and no matter how much talking goes on beforehand, the big decisions are made at the eleventh hour by a select core group.” Over the years this core group, led by Phil Jones at East Anglia and Michael Mann at Penn State, became so close that even those inclined toward more honest appraisals of the state of climate science were hesitant to rock the boat. As one warm-monger states: “I am not convinced that the ‘truth’ is always worth reaching if it is at the cost of damaged personal relationships.” Silly me, how many years have I wasted believing that the very point of science was to pursue the truth in the face of all obstacles. On the basis of this evidence the scientific method must be rewritten so as to state: “Science must be as objective as possible, unless it offends your friends.”

Unfortunately, from the very beginning, the core group at the heart of Climategate had no interest in “scientific truth.” As one states: “The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guide what’s included and what is left out.” In other words, let’s decide on a conclusion and then use only evidence that proves that point, discarding everything else. One scientist who seems to have been slightly troubled by these methods wrote: “I also think the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it, which for all our sakes might not be too clever in the long run.” In another note to Phil Jones, this same scientist complained: “Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous. We need to communicate the uncertainty and be honest.”

Of course, nothing of the sort was done. As one e-mail states: “The figure you sent is very deceptive . . . there have been a number of dishonest presentations of model results by individual authors and by IPCC [the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change].” Too bad these so-called scientists felt they could tell the truth only to one another and not the public at large. Some of the other truths they shared only with one another are astounding. For instance, one writes: “I find myself in the strange position of being very skeptical of the quality of all present reconstructions, yet sounding like a pro greenhouse zealot here!” So, despite having no confidence in any of the models the IPCC was using in its reports, this scientist was ready to support the IPCC findings to the hilt. And why didn’t he believe the models? Easy: They were designed to tell the big lie. For example, when confronted with the problem that if all the data were included, the warming disappeared, Phil Jones turned to a novel method: He used only “[time] periods that showed warming.”

At one point, Jones admits that the “basic problem is that all of the models are wrong.” Of course, there is a simple reason for this. When the models do not show what the warmists want them to show, they simply apply “some tuning.” One scientist was worried enough about this “tuning” to write that he “doubt[ed] the modeling world will be able to get away with this much longer.” In this case, “tuning” means changing the model until it tells you what you want it to. When it became impossible to torture the models any further without making their uselessness apparent to all, the warmists resorted to changing the data.

The most efficient method of corrupting the models was to use data only from time periods when there was warming and discard others, as Jones admits to doing. This method helped one scientist reduce the cooling in the northern hemisphere between 1940 and 1970, so that he did not have to make up an excuse blaming it on sulphates, which could not be proven. Another complains that no matter how much he fiddles with the data, it is “very difficult to make the Medieval Warming Period go away.” Solving this problem in the modern era was much easier: The warmists merely changed the temperature readings for much of the 20th century and threw away the original data.

#page#Why? One e-mail clearly explains what was at stake: ”I can’t overstate the HUGE amount of political interest in the project as a message that the Government can give on climate change to help them tell their story. They want the story to be a very strong one and don’t want to be made to look foolish.” In other words, all the scientific lying was a result of scientists trying to give their political masters a major issue they could use to control people’s lives and justify wasting trillions of dollars. Success, as one warmist stated, rested on somehow convincing the public that “climate change is extremely complicated, BUT to accept the dominant view that people are affecting it, and that impacts produces risk that needs careful and urgent attention.” In other words, climate science is too complex for the simpleton voters, who must be made to believe that unless we wreck the global economy the planet will bake. As Michael Mann says in one e-mail: “the important thing is to make sure they’re losing the PR battle.” Moving even further away from their original calling as scientists, the warmists spend considerable time discussing the tactics of convincing the masses that global warming should be a major concern. For instance, one states: “Having established scale and urgency, the political challenge is then to turn this from an argument about the cost of cutting emissions — bad politics — to one about the value of a stable climate — much better politics. . . . the most valuable thing to do is to tell the story about abrupt change as vividly as possible.”

#ad#To win the public debate nothing was out of bounds. For instance, Mann, incensed that some skeptics had trashed his work, wrote to Jones, saying he had “been talking with folks in the states about finding an investigative journalist to investigate and expose McIntyre . . . perhaps the same needs to be done with this Kennan guy . . . I believe that the only way to stop these people is by exposing them and discrediting them.” Steve McIntyre and Doug Kennan are well-known skeptics. In fact, McIntyre’s work was crucial in proving that Mann’s infamous “hockey stick graph” — the heart of the United Nations’ IPCC-3 report — was a fraud. Rather than contest McIntyre’s findings with evidence and data, Mann decided that his best alternative was to smear his challenger’s reputation. Skeptics always had to be on the watch for Mann’s spiteful attacks. But what is interesting is that many of his fellow warmists had a low opinion of his work. Despite this, they were slow to criticize Mann — partly because they did not want to give the skeptics any more ammunition, but also because they were afraid of him. As one warmist wrote to Jones, Mann was a “serious enemy” and “vindictive.”

Worried that their e-mail discussions might turn a spotlight on their fraud, Jones and others were constantly advising one another on how to hide the evidence. For instance, Jones once sent out an e-mail stating: “I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.” To which one warmist replied: “Phil, thanks for your thoughts — guarantee there will be no dirty laundry in the open.”

Still, none of this deception would be possible without the active collusion of much of the global press, which has swallowed the warmist agenda hook, line, and sinker. As one BBC journalist wrote to Phil Jones after running a piece slightly skeptical of the warmist position:

I can well understand your unhappiness at our running the other piece. But we are constantly being savaged by the loonies for not giving them any coverage at all, especially as you say with the COP [Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol] in the offing, and being the objective impartial (ho ho) BBC that we are, there is an expectation in some quarters that we will every now and then let them say something. I hope though that the weight of our coverage makes it clear that we think they are talking through their hats.

What is even more troubling is what appears to be the active collusion of government agencies charged with looking out for the public welfare. In one Jones e-mail, he discusses hiding data, making it clear that the U.S. Department of Energy was an active participant in his fraud: “Any work we have done in the past is done on the back of the research grants we get — and has to be well hidden. I’ve discussed this with the main funder (US Dept of Energy) in the past and they are happy about not releasing the original station data.” I hope someone in Congress is interested in why the Department of Energy was involved in hiding climate data. One might assume that it would be harder to make an investment in Solyndra if the global-warming threat was proven a fraud.

My favorite quote of all those uncovered was from the climate criminal who asked his colleagues what would happen to them if it was discovered that climate change was “mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation,” as much of the evidence shows. He answers his own question: “They’ll kill us probably.”

 Jim Lacey is professor of strategic studies at the Marine Corps War College. He is the author of the recently released The First Clash and Keep from All Thoughtful Men. The opinions presented here are entirely his own and do not represent those of the Department of Defense or any of its members.

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