CCDs. Worms perhaps?

Written By: - Date published: 2:15 pm, November 24th, 2009 - 73 comments
Categories: climate change, Satire, scoundrels - Tags:

The culprit?

The culprit?

It has been fascinating over the last few days watching the CCDs (Climate Change Deniers) make an another attempt to scale the bastion of scientific thinking and language. In this case someone hacked a copy of decade of e-mails at the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at a insecure University of East Anglia webmail server. There is 63MB of these private e-mails circulating.

What startling things did they find out? That scientists are as human as the rest of us. Even the CCDs must have enough humanity not to get too surprised by that. That climate scientists talk in a different dialect to the norm. Hardly surprising – all professions do. That they talk a lot between themselves about what they’re working on – most professions do.

If you want to wander through a turgid set of comments, have a look at the post at RealClimate (at 700 odd comments when I read it) and a further post here. But I prefer reading some common sense at Greenfyre’s post – “Climate change Deniers hoax themselves again.”

For all the Sturm und Drang and Denier promises of ‘final coffin nails’, there doesn’t actually seem to be anything to the story.  Sure, some impolitic and not nice things got said, and it’s embarrassing for some, but that seems to be about it.

We have all been waiting for the boot, or a shoe, or even a slipper to drop, and so far not even a sock there’s nothing there.  Nada, zilch, gar nichts, mei you. That’s it, there’s no story, go home get a life.

Greenfyre then runs through a pile of the various allegations ‘supported’ by these private e-mails looking for substance rather than innuendo and mis-interpretation.  Results: the usual techie language deliberately misinterpreted by amateurs, and a few humanly understandable gloats when some of their CCD harassers have misfortunes.

Language is unique to each discipline and uses the base language to express issues specific to each discipline. In 1985 I did an MBA because I couldn’t understand the bloody accountants. I have to go through the same language learning curve whenever I move into a different programming group, or deal with a different customer base.

To give you an idea of how far English may go from the normal understanding, try this as a real world example (lifted from my logs). Yesterday at work, I spawned a branch off the trunk and started a hack of the code to test using a D3DImage on WPF. This was to see if I could get directX (using SlimDX) to run under partial trust in a managed application, allowing me to sneak a 3D app out on the web without requiring total trust. It was preferable than waiting for XNA on .Net 4 which would limit me to the capabilities of a XBox 360.

This did not mean that I was trying to write a bloody virus, destroy peoples computers, or do anything malevolent. It meant that I was trying to get a bloody application to run on a browser without getting Vista or a browser getting its knickers in a knot and declaring a security emergency.

A CCD ‘analysis’ by conspiracy fetish amateurs without training in the field would probably have me drawn and quartered as advocating a conspiracy against the world. They’d have Bush declaring jihad against me and suggesting that Grey Lynn, Auckland is a hotbed of cyber WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction).

Of course that is assuming that they managed to understand what I was talking about at all. While I’m writing this, I can hear a group in the next room speaking a similarly incomprehensible dialect of English while putting a film together. I have virtually no idea what they’re talking about. The words are English, the meaning escapes me.

On the basis that the CCDs seem to think that the CRU e-mails are a smoking gun, you’d have to conclude that they find anyone with technical skills dangerous. Of course that would fit with their usual lines of conspiratorial thought.

It has been noticeable that it is only the illiterate nutters (in the scientific sense) like our locals Wishart and Whale (just the ones I had a look at) who are getting into vast theories about these e-mails. I’m sure that we will shortly have DPF expressing ‘concern’, and no doubt Key will feel as ‘relaxed’ as always because he is putting a totally ineffective ETS in place. The self-professed ‘experts’ like lord whathisname who have zero actual abilities or training in the subject will go blathering in public to the amusement of the trained.

I suspect that the various CCD actual scientists will be somewhat more circumspect. This is the type of dialogue that goes on all of the time in private e-mails in every profession. Even those co-opted by the polluters won’t want bother.

When the nutters can’t understand what people are talking about through they have this horrible feeling that people are hiding something from them. In reality they just don’t have sufficient mental horsepower or stamina to learn the language or understand the concepts that they talking about. Mindless hysteria based on faith rather than intellect is so much easier.

Back to Greenfyre again…

So what are we being asked to believe?

1) Jones was so fiendishly clever that he went through all of the archives and meticulously removed everything that was definitely incriminating, while leaving all kinds of suggestive tidbits that would imply there was unethical, even illegal behaviour.

2) The 63 MB archive is just a teaser. The Deniers are holding back the real evidence for later. They have some damning stuff, but they don’t want to release it yet. Despite the fact that tens of thousands of people have downloaded it by now, they’re all holding the good stuff back.

3) There really is nothing here. Oh sure some nasty things got said, there’s evidence of being a little paranoid about releasing data, and it’s definitely embarrassing for some, but that seems to be about it. Actual incriminating anything? Nothing. And even though they have nothing except bluster, the Deniers went ahead with all kinds of histrionic accusations and slander.


Anyway, how is this for a new theory (that I just made up). I think that CCDs must have worms. Their constant squirming to avoid looking at science (rather than what they’d prefer to believe) is due to an attention deficit due to itching from those worms.

This would explain a lot about their behavior. We should dose them and stake them out until they purge themselves. I volunteer to administer the dose to Nick Smith. Perhaps then they’d be able to concentrate for long enough to grasp the science.

As a theory it makes more sense than most of the hysterical CCDs do when talking about climate science.

73 comments on “CCDs. Worms perhaps?”

  1. zelda 1

    Deleting emails to get around FOI-
    Boycotting journals that require full disclosure of data
    Fiddling graphs to get the result wanted

    But this is my favorite

    Only have it in the pdf form. FYI ONLY don’t pass on. Relevant paras are the last 2 in section 4 on p13. [snip out of kindness] be careful how you use it if at all. Keep quiet also that you have the pdf. The attachment is a very good paper I’ve been pushing A over the last weeks to get it submitted to JGR or J. Climate. The main results are great for CRU and also for ERA-40. The basic message is clear you have to put enough surface and sonde obs into a model to produce Reanalyses. The jumps when the data input change stand out so clearly. NCEP does many odd things also around sea ice and over snow and ice.

    The other paper by MM is just garbage as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well frequently as I see it. I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. K and I will keep them out somehow even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !

    Redefine what peer review is ??

    Thats right get an article ‘stalinised’ to keep it out of the IPCC reviews.

    In another instance they were going to forge the date on another article to get it IN the IPCC review.

  2. lprent 2

    So? You should hear me when discussing exactly what features go in or out of a branch for a project.

    Why in the hell should I be diplomatic in an e-mail that is meant to be a private one-to-one between me and the designated person.

    The mere fact that some arseholes like you want to cherry-pick and pull things out of context is your issue – not theirs, not mine. I notice that you haven’t linked to either the e-mail in question or to the context of the e-mail. That just means you’re selectively quoting.

    Now back to the substantive part of this post. To gain some credibility explain what they were talking about science wise. I bet that you have no f*cking idea. In fact I’d say you are by my definition, terminally illiterate.

    At least with Hagers book a few years ago using e-mails it was possible for people who merely knew English to read it and get the appropriate context. With scientific e-mails from a particular area of knowledge that is pretty well illegible for people outside that area.

    • zelda 2.1

      Private ???
      These emails would all be subject to the FOI anyway. Since all participants are employees of public universities or public science bodies.

      The public interest out weighs any ‘privacy’ in this sort of situation. A bit like recoding messages at a National party cocktail function
      BTW I wish they were just the normal backbiting that you would expect from eminent scientists but as they say its ‘unprecedented’ in their chicanery

      • lprent 2.1.1

        I wish they were just the normal backbiting that you would expect from eminent scientists but as they say its ‘unprecedented’ in their chicanery

        Really? Have you ever read private correspondence from scientists? I suggest you go and read some historical biographies about people like Newton, Rutherford etc. They are frequently scathing about other people in their fields as well as their critics. They frequently discuss their results good, bad or indifferent. They also discuss papers and what they hope that those papers will do to undermine the theories, papers, and results by others.

        I’d suggest that you simply don’t know much about science. Probably why you haven’t elucidated your knowledge about what the quotes you were referring to were talking about.

        Face it – you’re functionally illiterate about science.

        • zelda

          As I said “normal backbiting that you would expect from eminent scientists ”
          You agree with me by referring to Rutherford et al and then say Im functionally illiterate since I dont know these things. Dohh
          Yeah Im sure Rutherford padded his data , to give the graphs a better look, and refused to release the full data he relied upon.
          Of course he was a true experimentalist, not some journal hack who fudged other peoples data

    • Andrei 2.2

      With scientific e-mails from a particular area of knowledge that is pretty well illegible for people outside that area.

      Aha the high priests of the mystery cult of “climate science”; the fountain of all true knowledge on the subject.


      Herein lies the problem – in most areas of science scientists put forward their data, and their methods of analysis as well as their conclusions usually couched in somewhat tentative terms.

      But these characters have hidden their raw data (possibly even deleted some of it) and their methods of analysis presenting their results as almost certainties – which have been taken as gospel in some quarters.

      Now you may say the hoi poli cannot possibly understand the arcane mathematics used in the analysis and that is sadly so but there are many who can – many in fact without a dog in this fight.

      A real scientist would relish the input of such people for they could help firm up the understanding of what are incredibly complex systems.

      A cultist on the other hand would recoil away from such people fearful that the whole foundation of what they believe will be chipped away

      And given that major public policy of profound significance to all is being decided on the basis of these peoples pronouncements this is a very worrying situation – no?..

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        You’ve still failed to prove that you know what you’re saying.

      • lprent 2.2.2

        Anyone can understand it. Go and do some training. But doing it like you do and pretending to understand it is just a waste of time. It is like talking to a door.

        You’ve proved that quite adequately in the past.

        As for the raw data. The only people that would usually see that apart from the authors and their respective doctorate students etc would be whoever was reviewing the papers. That is why the CCDs corrupting the reviewing process as they did at Climate Research is such a stupid idea.

        It would frequently be shared with other people who actually understand what they’re looking at. But often only the analyzed results are actually published. There is simply too much data. Most of the time the only thing that actually looks at the data is the computer pre-processing it.

        It must feel incredibly weird for you knowing that you cannot open your moth without revealing your depth of ignorance?

      • NickS 2.2.3

        Oh Andrei dear, I have a post you should reply to:

        Herein lies the problem in most areas of science scientists put forward their data, and their methods of analysis as well as their conclusions usually couched in somewhat tentative terms.

        Except of course, that’s what they do in scientific publications, and indeed, often in less formal settings their statements follow “given x, y &z, a & b are likely outcomes”.

        Although with private communication, of ones intended audience are in the same area, it’s more, “a & b are going to happen” since the, the audience already knows the background stuff. Which is why context matters.

        Anyhow, for a change you’re right on this, though as per usual missing a few factors…

        However, crap doth follows:

        But these characters have hidden their raw data (possibly even deleted some of it) and their methods of analysis presenting their results as almost certainties which have been taken as gospel in some quarters.


        For f*ck’s sake, result typically contain measurements of 95% confidence intervals for predictions, and since the IPCC predictions are from either previously pub’d papers, or soon to be pub’d papers, they aren’t that hard to find. And indeed, the intervals aren’t always needed on a graph, but also from memory are rather tight for current models. And with reconstructions of past temperatures, the papers they’re typically pub’d in have the 95% interval in the graph. So really, claiming their “hiding” the uncertainties seems a bit of a stupid claim.

        Though it’s also worth mention politicians and the general public often don’t understand confidence intervals, let alone basic statistics, so there is often reason to exclude them from general presentations and when asked explain them. Generally.

        Now you may say the hoi poli cannot possibly understand the arcane mathematics used in the analysis and that is sadly so but there are many who can many in fact without a dog in this fight.

        A real scientist would relish the input of such people for they could help firm up the understanding of what are incredibly complex systems.

        A cultist on the other hand would recoil away from such people fearful that the whole foundation of what they believe will be chipped away

        And given that major public policy of profound significance to all is being decided on the basis of these peoples pronouncements this is a very worrying situation no?

        Excepting of course that it actually takes time to understand the ins and outs of statistics, particularly the statistical tools needed for looking at climate change, and then there’s the climate models. Basically, it takes time to become an expert, and understand the methodologies and literature in a given feild, which means people jumping in oft make stupid errors. Like for example, literary theorists getting into philosophy of science (see the Sokal Hoax) , or high school students getting into quantum mechanics (bug-bear of many), back-shed engineers thinking they can get a motor to run off water (drives chemistry and physics people nuts) or my favourite, non-biologists thinking they’ve discovered a reason why evolution is teh wrong/brave new biology theory.

        Non-experts can on occasion provide useful inputs, but, but it’s more rare than typical in the history of science, and generally non-experts fail hard. Particularly noticeable in climatology studies, with all the moronic stuff that’s been documented on RealClimate, openmind and other blogs and even peer-reviewed papers over the years.

        Also, your argument ignores completely the general self-critical nature of science, in the form of peer review, finding holes for new research, conferences and informal slagging off of colleagues. But then, that’s what you’re aiming for, to build a claim that climatology is pseudo-scientific in it’s culture and thus all they produce is utterly wrong, a view which is clearly f*cking wrong when you critically look at it. Particularly the “cultist” frame you make use of, which is not only high-loaded, but ignores completely aforementioned issues with non-experts and the general self critical nature of science. Which ties quite nicely into your whole bullsh*t conspiracy beliefs.

  3. toad 3

    … self-professed ‘experts’ like lord whathisname who have zero actual abilities or training in the subject will go blathering in public to the amusement of the trained.

    We’ve already had loopy Lord Lawson demanding an inquiry into the supposed “cover-up”.

    Haven’t heard anything on this one from the even pottier peer, Lawson’s nephew Monckton, yet. He’s too busy attacking this Plane Stupid advertisement.

  4. Clarke 4

    I sympathise with the CCD crew over this one … after all, they do have the moral high ground here.

    It’s not as if the Bush government accepted campaign contributions from oil companies, or invaded Iraq on false pretenses, or lied about the WMDs … or closer to home, it’s not like ACT accepted money from Alan Gibbs to adopt CCD policies, or National cynically rigged the ETS legislation to increase emissions whilst handing out billions to their donors, or anything like that!

    Cut these CCD guys some slack, Lynn – they’re obviously just trying to get to the truth, no matter how much they have to distort the facts and engage in mendacious, dishonest and venal behaviour along the way.

    • lprent 4.1

      😈 I tend to view the CCDs as being a sociological exercise in looking at people trying to deny the future.

      However you have to stress them a bit to see behind the simplistic views.

      • zelda 4.1.1

        And that is based on what ?
        De Freitas is he one of those denying the future ?
        Lucky hes not no a climate scientist or anything , or even a editor of a climate journal.

        Then again you have Salinger , who seems to be a few clouds short of a thunderstorm as his recent sacking dispute ( private ??) showed

        • lprent

          As I understand his qualifications (it seems a bit short of detail around the net) he is far more of a geographer than a earth scientist or climatologist.

          Show me the degrees in climatology, earth sciences, or even geology. I suspect he is just another amateur from an associated area of science.

          Incidentally he also looks like he moved out of active research quite some time ago. These days he seems more of an administrator or communicator.

          • Andrei

            [deleted long list of papers]

            [lprent: Link it – don’t cut’n’paste.

            Incidentially I read that list of papers. That was where I formed my opinion on what he’d worked on and was currently working on. Unlike you I probably know what I’m looking at. ]

          • zelda

            Funny that
            I KNEW you would do one of those – whats his qualifications.
            Puerile from someone of your background

            He is an associate professor at Auckland University , the same academic grade as the geologist Michael Mann as well he was an editor of Climate Reserach a peer reviwed journal

            • lprent

              So? If you look at WHAT he is a professor of at Auckland it is geography and environmental.

              Not exactly in the right ballpark to be more than a knowledgeable amateur. He hasn’t done a massive amount of what I’d consider to be earth sciences from the look of the papers and where they are published. It is like calling Rodney Hide a climate change scientist because he has a degree in environmental studies.

              If you consider that Climate Research is ‘peer-reviewed’ then I’d say you don’t know what you’re talking about. It used to be. But they discarded that because the cranks running it found it interfered too much with getting the papers out that they wanted to see. 6 editors left over one of those incidents.

            • zelda

              Climate Change research and hes an amateur?
              hes published in this area. And where do you think climate change is researched in the University.
              Check the list of professional staff in the school of environment, half are probably researching in the climate change area

              Your blind ignorance is breathtaking.
              And yet you dont question that geologist Mann, and his self taught statistics that got him in so much trouble over the Hockey stick

              • lprent

                Yep he has done climate research primarily in GEOGRAPHY. (I swear that you are monumentally unable to read).

                This is usually in the social sciences school. That is not exactly a massively science based area, still less one that requires a vast amount of geological or earth sciences or climatological knowledge. Read the titles of his paper and where in what journals they were were published.

                I liked the one about the effects of cold weather on clothing. Measuring the atmosphere in glow worms caves etc. However regardless how good he is in his field, I suspect he is pretty much of a drongo in earth sciences. I suspect if I asked him a series of soil physics or mineralogy questions, he wouldn’t know. That is undergrad for earth sciences.

                • Andrei

                  Geography exists in two major streams Social Geography and Physical Geography the latter being an Earth Science

                  You can count on the fact that Oceanographers. Geologists and so forth will have at least some Geography papers in their undergraduate degrees in fact for many Earth Scientists Geography will be their major in their undergraduate degree.

                  For the really hard questions in science you need input from many disciplines in any case, Thus insights into biology may come from physicists eg Francis Crick.

                  And of course Plate Tectonics was the insight of Alfred Wegner an Astronomer who moved into Geophysics and Climatology.

                  • lprent

                    Physical geography is NOT earth sciences. Quite a different focus. It concentrates on what is effectively current day land, ocean, and atmosphere use. In other words they aren’t trained in the geological history, minerals, isotopic analysis, etc etc… They have about as much training in geological processes as most earth scientists have in accounting.

                    Earth sciences is a multi-disciplinary science focused around geology but taking in areas as diverse as soils, coastal processes, oceanography, climatology, slope physics etc etc etc…

                    In the question of climate change most of the information about effects for the models is coming from geological history. There is nothing much in the historical record at the levels of current gas emissions simply because the historical record is less than 10kyears long. You have to go back a bloody long time before you see CO2 levels approaching 400ppm

                • zelda

                  Are you totally off your mind.
                  Hes been an editor of a major journal- “journal of Climate’

                  And your climate science credentials are ?? Yeah right you have post graduate qualifications in programming or was that as an ‘amateur’

                  • lprent

                    I presume that you’re talking about Climate Research


                    Climate Research and peer-review: You should read about the issues from the editors (Claire Goodess, Hans von Storch) who resigned because of a breakdown of the peer review process at that journal, that came to light with the particularly egregious (and well-publicised) paper by Soon and Baliunas (2003). The publisher’s assessment is here.


                    Yeah sure, I don’t work in the field. But I trained in it and keep an interest in it – same as I do in every field I’ve trained in. I know enough to detect crap about the field and to keep abreast of what is going on in the field…

                    Actually the only field I never completed any qualifications in is the one I work in – programming.

                    Perhaps you’d share your qualifications and background so we can assess exactly how credible your opinions are. Based on what I’ve seen here today – you are simply a scientific illiterate

                  • illuminatedtiger

                    You cannot get “post graduate qualifications in programming” although you can get a post graduate degree in Computer Science with a focus on computer simulation – an area well utilised throughout climate science.

                    • lprent

                      Yeah, my problem about finishing one is that I was always doing a contract.

                    • zelda

                      What about statistics, are any of the leading ‘geographers and geologists’ sorry climate scientists qualified in statistics or have co authors who are?

                      Mann said he was ‘self taught’ from a seismologist in statistics. Handy when you are a geologist by training

      • Clarke 4.1.2

        In my experience the CCD folk tend to fall into two distinct categories:

        1. There are the people who need simplistic solutions to the most complex problems, who need to see the world as a deterministic Netwonian orrery because they simply cannot deal with the alternatives on an intellectual level. I’ve had this crew tell me that quantum mechanics can’t be right “because it doesn’t make any sense!” They tend to push away explanations that involve uncertainty and statistical analysis because – to be blunt – it would upset their world-view that the universe was a manageable place.

        2. There are also the people who are well capable of understanding the subtleties and complexities of the real world and the implications of climate change, but who realise that admitting the problem would require them to take action. And doing so would mean dropping their me-first selfish approach, selling the 4WD and behaving as though they weren’t the only person on the planet, which is something they don’t want to do.

        I tend to feel sorrow for the first group, and contempt for the second.

  5. Brett 5

    My partner used to work in a well known research centre which did a lot of climate and environmental modelling.
    The leaps of faith and massaging of data is just unbelievable.

    • Clarke 5.1

      Thanks for that vague assessment of some third-hand hearsay about an un-named agency – that really swings the argument. You’ve totally convinced me.

      But just as an aside, I guess the fact that modeling – by definition – requires data to be massaged completely eluded you.

    • lprent 5.2

      It is the nature of modeling. One of the very first computing projects I did was to model a catchment valley so we could look at how well we understood it in theory.

      Even that little sim required more data points than we could reasonably compute at any realistic level. The model got simplified massively according to the macro equations and assumptions. What we were interested in was testing the assumptions and equations to get predictions, which we could then test against real results. It was the only realistic to find out what was wrong with the equations and assumptions.

      That is how science uses modeling… What in the hell do you think that modeling is used for?

      • Brett 5.2.1

        Fair enough you obviously know a hell of a lot more about it then I do.
        The thing I struggled with is where a scientist creates a model for predicting events and then when it’s checked against a historical event that you know has happen it doesn’t work
        So instead of thinking “that theories obviously bollocks” you change or delete data until you get the desired result?
        Or is this how science is supposed to work?

        • lprent

          You mean outliers and/or instrumentation issues?

          Imagine you are measuring traffic noise levels in a street for the last few weeks. Then the council diverts traffic from a busy road so that the sewer pipe can be dug up.

          Should you include that days data in the data set? It will significantly raise your averages because the number of cars went up 10 fold for that day and make it so you cannot see the underlying trends. That is an outlier.

          When you understand a one-off effect and why it happened, then typically you remove it. Now think of the effect of a major fire on local soot levels – say the Aussie when it had those uncontrolled fires this year. Hell you can see those things from orbit – what do you think that they’ll do to the dataset. Or Pinatubo or Mt St Helens….

          Instrumentation has a similar issue to do with calibration. Every instrument is different in their profile on how they measure things. You typically check them regularly against reference materials or environments. That becomes part of your experimental correctiosn to the readings.

          Kind of hard to so when your instrument is in orbit, underwater, unattended, etc etc… Then you usually have to reference the deviation between instruments that are measuring the same or similar things and adjust the figures against the reveal biases of the instrument.

          And yes – this is how science is supposed to work. Damn near the first thing you have to learn in a lab at uni is how to calibrate your systems and/or learn to adjust for biases. The second one is how to look for contamination of your results (usually from yourself).

        • NickS


          1) Do a first years statistics course.

          2) In the process of doing it, notice all the lovely data transforms you need to turn non-parametric data into parametric data for doing parametric analyses on. Which means you get a much more useful grip on the properties of the data.

          3) Also note that there’s tools for working out the influence of outliers and methods for choosing which ones to remove, along with measurement methodology issues which might generate extreme (from the mean) values. Along with time series smoothing, though I don’t think that’s in 1st year…

          4) Complain to your stats lecturers etc that this utterly wrong and lying!111!!!

          5) Proceed to get cluebatted, probably politely, and in private probably laughed at.

          6) With luck/thinking about it, you may understand why transforms and outlier removal are done, instead of rambling ignorantly about data transforms and outliers.

          7) Failing this, please realise you don’t actually have the mental abilities to deal with statistics, and stop posting such stupid bullsh*t about data transforms etc.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Anyway, how is this for a new theory (that I just made up).

    I go on the idea that they’re all delusional psychopaths as there’s a significant research backing it up.

  7. BLiP 7

    I’ve had a rummage around the emails – all I can see is a bunch of scientists going about their work in a professional and collegial manner while expressing a shared sense of frustration at the effort of the denialists to distort reality. I predict that the release of the emails will, eventually, come back to bite the denial industry on the arse by revealing its mendacity, ignorance and Rapture Fantasy delusions.

    • zelda 7.1

      Lucky there is some computer code there as well. Which has been hidden up to now

      • BLiP 7.1.1

        Here’s a straw – clutch firmly.

      • lprent 7.1.2

        You mean like the pile of CDs I have at home going back to 1987. All of the play code I’ve done when I’ve been dicking about with ideas and new technologies is on them. Mostly unfinished and not working. Most of the code that is in my e-mail system is like that as well. They’re ideas I’m passing around.

        Roughly the equivalent to the notebooks that I go through every couple of months and have stashed in a bookcase. They contain everything from weird diagrams and outlined ideas to notes about function call parameters.

        Tell me, where exactly do you draw the line.

        • zelda

          And that pile of old Cds is used for the Annual Temperature Calculations on a Global Basis- the smoking gun .

          • NickS


            Yes, because there’s no parallel group in the USA doing the same research, let alone any other climatology groups and climatologists reviewing the work, looking for a hole they can fill to get funding. Even if said hole filling involves pointing out the flaws in previous work.

            Oh wait, that’s right, there’s quite a few climatologists etc out there, too which there’s rather strong correlation to the CRU research.

            Understanding science, you fail at it.

            Now please preform the required act of penance via picking up some History and philosophy of science undergrad courses at your nearest university that offers them. Or failing that destroy your computer and stop spamming up teh tubes with your ignorance.

  8. fizzleplug 8

    I’m so glad I don’t have the imagination to be worried about climate change. Although I don’t like the fact that we are signing up to pay bucketloads for this hoax (my imagination apparently goes as far as my wallet…).

    • lprent 8.1

      It isn’t a hoax. It is really really simple physics. In the order of a landrover running down a hill towards you will squash you if you don’t get out of the damn way. Nothing short of a wall will stop it.

      • fizzleplug 8.1.1

        My private universe is ring-walled so I can believe whatever conspiracy theory I like. Pointy fence tops too, to repel invaders.

  9. tf 9

    Whats the point in arguing with them?
    Unless their favorite holiday destination has disappeared under a metre of water
    or hordes of boat people start heading this way in search of reliable food and water
    Unless they can actually see or touch any change that will affect them,
    Then they will carry on.
    Its amazing that they can trust science every time they fly or drive or use an Iphone, but not when scientists say that they believe that AGW theories have a 90% chance of being right and unless we do something we are heading to hell in a hand basket!
    And it is always selfish me me me Righties all the time.
    short term thinking
    always short term thinking . How does this affect me me me
    “Stuff my grandchildren its all about me”

    Today or tomorrow parliament will be passing as an ETS that will infact increase emissions,
    makes me ashamed to be a New Zealander
    Mind u I was already, with probably the same group of people marching for the right to beat their children last Saturday
    I despair I really do

    • zelda 9.1

      You wouldnt fly in plane that has a 10% chance of crashing

      • fizzleplug 9.1.1

        I dislike all this labelling of Right and Left. I like to make up my mind on issues as they arise rather than blindly follow one political bent.

        I once contemplated standing as an independent MP, but gave it away when I realised I wouldn’t make any real difference, and I’d have to hang out with people I (probably) wouldn’t like. Not that independent MP’s get elected these days anyway.

        On point, this isn’t about trusting science. Climate change has moved on from science, it’s an industry. Everyone has their agenda.

      • NickS 9.1.2


        You wouldnt fly in plane that has a 10% chance of crashing

        There’s a problem using arguments from analogy, the situations compared actually need to be analogous, to which it doesn’t take much brain power to work out planes and climate change are two very different things.

      • tf 9.1.3

        So accepting your argument therefore You wouldn’t want to have a world which only has 10 % chance of avoiding major climate change

        • Andrei

          There is a 0% chance of the world avoiding major climate change.

          The question is when and how A very hard, important and interesting question.

          Which is why it is a crying shame that it has been hijacked to advance political agendas and disgraceful that the results have been perverted in the way they have

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yep, you’re still stupid.

            Climate change happens, this is correct. What mankind has done is change the parameters of that change.

      • Galeandra 9.1.4

        You wouldnt fly in plane that has a 10% chance of crashing

        But, Zelda, I live on a planet that has 100% chance of burning. Catch an ice floe and sail to freedom.

    • DavidW 9.2

      You are damned right that I trust proven science backed up by many experiments with known outcomes when I get on an aeroplane.

      I wouldn’t pay to be a guinea pig on a new aircraft design on its maiden flight however.

      There seem to have been a number of unpredicted outcomes coming from the climate models, outcomes that in some cases are diametrically opposed to the model’s predictions. Shoot, if that doesn’t throw some doubt on the model design, nothing does. Like the plane crashed, do you re-design the plane or send your kids up on the test flight of the duplicate prototype.

      Scientists can be so dumb really.

  10. Rex Widerstrom 10

    Yes, well, anyone of a mood to view climate change as a hoax / conspiracy isn’t exactly discouraged by the behaviour of the people who’re most responsible for telling us we need to pay yet another tax.

    Witness this account of an attempt by The Australia Institute to get from the Department of Climate Change “documents on its internal assessment of the proposed emissions trading scheme”.

    What came back was, effectively, nothing. So rather cleverly, TAI put in an FOI request about it’s orginal FOI request. To really appreciate the duplicity that uncovered you need to read the whole article. A couple of bits that stand out:

    …the department’s decision-maker on the request, wrote an email saying information provided “should be focused on facts and explanations which were suitable for public consumption”…

    [a senior official] also queried at an internal meeting “how we can increase the charges, extend the deadline”. Not much sign of a culture of openness there…

    Yet the clear nature of the department’s own legal advice was ignored, not to mention [TAI] saying he wanted the advice to the minister included. Could it be that the preliminary discussions with the government solicitor did not fit with the department’s concern to protect the minister?

    My point is that “believers” on both sides of the argument are prepared to dissemble and even outright lie to “win”. To refer to all those who take an opposing view as “worms” ignores that there are those slithering round in the mud on the same side of the debate as yourself.

    • lprent 10.1

      Ah if you read the whole post you’ll find that I was offering the theory that CCDs were unable to understand science because they HAD worms (not that they were worms). They seem to squirm whenever actual science is tabled to look at. I was wondering if the squirming was due to and attention deficit because of having and itchy arse.

      My point was that it was as valid a theory as they were offering about for the reasoning about some of the CRU e-mails.

      The post title was considerably longer origionally…

      • Rex Widerstrom 10.1.1

        Ahhh right… apologies, then. I got lost somewhere around DirectX, came back in just long enough to read “Whaleoil”, then my eyes glazed over 😀

        However, my underlying point — that it’s not all heroic honesty, openness and genuine debate on the other side of the argument (especially amongst the politicians who’re dashing headlong toward an ETS without, seemingly, considering the alternatives such as a Carbon Tax) either.

        Little wonder that fuel can be found to stoke the conspiracy fires when those who are imposing a tax upon us can’t be relied upon to be open about the basis on which they’re doing so.

        • lprent

          Scientists are pretty much as bad as everyone else when it comes to funding, backbiting, etc. However the main difference is that there is a reasonably established procedure for detecting fraud and bullshit past a relatively limited level of venality. The ‘costs’ to get in, detection mechanisms and penalties that the sciences impose on their members is pretty astounding for a set of human institutions.

          It helps of course that most people publishing in the earth sciences, climatology and geological fields are doing so from a position of tenure. That diminishes the level of susceptibility of reviewers to inducements and pressure a hell of a lot.

          There is literally no area of humanity that doesn’t have some degree of venality. Science as a whole is probably one of the least venal above the relatively trivial level (ie back-biting, scrabbling for grant money, etc).

  11. zelda 11

    Monbiot has called for Jones ‘ resignation. Says the emails are a major blow.
    Sorry guys the ground has moved under your feet. While you were waiting for the tide/hurricanes/heatwaves to arrive

    • BLiP 11.1

      You fail to mention that he also says:

      But do these revelations justify the sceptics’ claims that this is “the final nail in the coffin’ of global warming theory?(8,9) Not at all.

      Meanwhile, the icebergs have turned up.

  12. zelda 12

    Heres the bio of Phil Jones’ from wikipedia

    “He is director of the Climatic Research Unit and a Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. He holds a BA in Environmental Sciences from the University of Lancaster, and an MSc and PhD from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne. His PhD was titled “A spatially distributed catchment model for flood forecasting and river regulation with particular reference to the River Tyne”.

    So he has a PhD in ‘Geography’ so that doesnt make him a climate scientist.
    That would make Mann , a geologist not qualified to talk about climate science
    That would make Jones a geographer, not qualified to talk about climate science.
    Dont even get me started about that journalist Al Gore, but then hes no more qualified than Lord Moncton another journalist.
    At least Monckton will debate Gore live, Gore has refused

    • BLiP 12.1

      And, apart from a rabid disbelief in reality, your qualifications are?

    • lprent 12.2

      As I said with earlier reference to de Freis (?sp) it depends on what those further degrees were majoring in (and I couldn’t see his either). For instance the MSc and PhD.

      The study of rivers and water catchments has been part of earths sciences and geology for a very very long time. You can’t understand geological sedimentation patterns without understanding current processes. I did several papers solely on looking at rivers in my under-grad degree. You’d also notice in the discussion that I referred to doing a model of a catchment area.

      The point about scientists is that most CCDs are incredibly credulous about them and their qualifications and background. You have to look at their training, the peer-reviewed papers they write, and what their areas of focus are on. From earlier (and where this all started) I said….

      Show me the degrees in climatology, earth sciences, or even geology. I suspect he is just another amateur from an associated area of science.

      So I’d look at their papers and background before assigning a value to their work. That is true skepticism. The type of skepticism that the CCDs I’ve seen to seems to be of the type that says “they’re saying what I want to here – thats good enough for me”. That is simple minded bullshit more suited to following a cult leader than a skeptical scientific attitude.

      Don’t expect me or anyone else who has done a significant amount of science to look at your statements earlier offering ‘scientists’ and ‘peer-reviewed’ papers up as ‘proof’ and expect anything apart from derision. We’d want to know what they know, what the papers were about, and if the peer review was credible.

      That is skepticism. What you do is simple faith based bullshit listening to what you want to hear.

  13. zelda 14

    For those who are more interested in the science oops I mean ‘programming ‘ heres a blog that has been looking at the HADRU code .

    ‘Ombre de l’Olivier

    They mention they allmost expect some nude photos squirelled away in one of the directories

    but of course this is priceless

    “Well I’ve just spent 24 hours trying to get Great Circle Distance calculations working in Fortran,
    with precisely no success. I’ve tried the simple method (as used in Tim O’s, and the
    more complex and accurate method found elsewhere (wiki and other places). Neither give me results
    that are anything near reality. FFS.”

    • lprent 14.1

      This afternoon I spent most of the day waiting for compiles (bloody bjam is so freaking slow) that told me that I hadn’t quite got the arcane magic of thunking a direct3d surface from the unmanaged to code to the managed code. I was getting a succession of interesting errors (looking them up on MSDN) as I walked the system closer to something that worked. FFS why does mickeysoft make this shit so hard!

      Tell me, have you ever programmed serious code? It is usually pretty bloody difficult, and I’ve been doing it for 30 years. It is even more difficult to do it when you jump languages – probably what that comment was about.

      Incidentally that bjam compilation delay as it scanned about 60k targets was why I was able to keep discussing stuff today. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be able to get back to doing some application level coding.

      Most scientists aren’t particularly good coders. You have to do a lot of it to get really good.

    • Andrei 14.2

      The thing to remember when dealing with computer programs is the old JIJO principle – that would be Junk In ==> Junk Out

      mind you having followed these characters careers for some years now, call it morbid fascination if you like, the suspicion arises that maybe

      JI ==> hockey stick out and when the expected hockey stick fails to materialize the frustrated remark concerning reality follows

      • lprent 14.2.1

        Usually called GIGO. Garbage in, garbage out. That is why the models keep moving as they find sources of error and new data.

        The problem is that I suspect that many of the CCD ‘scientists’ spend their time reviewing other peoples data and reinterpreting it. Since they start with a precept about what they want and don’t look for errors in it, and fail to get their methodology reviewed – then they get crap out.

  14. mehere 15

    lprent, have you ever considered engaging commenters on your posts as adults with a differing opinion to yours? Whenever I read your comments it nearly always contains some personal abuse which undermines The Standard as a blog to read for reasoned political comment. Of course, you don’t have much control over what your commenters write, but as a post author and the site admin I thought you might show some better manners towards the guests on your site. You can disagree without making it personal. At least not in your first reply! Go ahead, delete this or tell me I’m illiterate or worse…

    • jaymam 15.1

      Yes mehere, the standard of debate here, especially by lprent, is very poor.
      As an LEC member I am disgusted. I hate to say it but Kiwiblog and Poneke are doing a better job.

      • NickS 15.1.1


        Because we all should be falsely civil to posters and others who have a long-term history of being utter morons. Like certain climate change denialists here and elsewhere.

        So please, get back to your hugboxs.

      • lprent 15.1.2

        I’ve always noticed that CCDs dislike being challenged about their knowledge and understanding of science.

        Yours is the standard response…

    • prism 15.2

      Every opinion is not of equal value. (The law of blogger judgement).

    • lprent 15.3

      Call it frustration. After you’ve read the same daft opinions on climate change, challenged them, and had them run away saying that asking questions is a bad idea so many times, you get peeved. If they act like children, then I treat them that way.

      BTW: I’m not all that tolerant IRL either. If someone talks to me about a topic then I expect them to be able to talk about it. Otherwise there are other things I could do.

      The point is that I can’t write a serious post on climate change without have clone-an-opinion statement commentators descending on them. Frequently you just scan google with the phrases and pop up the same thing all over the web.

      These days I mainly write about climate change as established. And CCDs as an interesting phenomenon in their own right. But they’re simply incapable of engaging in actual dialogue.

  15. prism 16

    Scientists disagreeing – criticising each other, that’s only new to people who have no broad education and no interest in getting one. For instance heavyweights like Isaac Newton and Gottfried Leibniz were involved in heavy dispute with charges of stealing the other’s ideas.

    Incidentally, interesting in the present situation of national testing attempting to search and destroy all non-performing students here is a quote from Newton’s life summary, “Newton had a bad start with his schooling; he has been described as having been one of the poorest performing students in the grammar school in which his grandmother had placed him” He also was a child from a broken home, in that his father had remarried and placed him in another’s care, his grandmother’s, a common event over the years, not recent as appears from some ‘commontaters’.

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