Thursday, February 25, 2010 ... Deutsch/Español/Related posts from blogosphere

Ben Santer vs Steve McIntyre

Judith Curry determined that the recent scandals surrounding the climate science are just a problem with its image: the climate skeptics who used to be just shills for Big Oil and who could be dismissed - because Big Oil is bad and no one needs oil, anyway ;-) - were suddenly transformed because they incorporated many open source software advocates who fight against the evil commercial software industry (which is similar to Big Oil). It's the main change that occurred, according to Dr Curry.

She thinks it's enough to repaint the makeup so that the good, left-wing people are on the side of the alarm and the skeptics become the bad "deniers" once again, so that the world is nice, simple, and black-and-white. Anthony Watts will surely help her to achieve this goal and the IPCC will return to the good old tracks, she thinks. ;-) (See my reply to her opinions. You may also read Climate Progress to find out that the hardcore AGW activists' reaction to her essay is much less friendly than Watts' or mine.)

(I am using my own words and simplifications to make her text more entertaining but if you read it, the essence of her proposals is the same.)

RealClimate has finally figured out who is the best man to do the job of improving the image of the climate science. It's Ben Santer. This rather strong man has already shown that he is a nice and caring gentleman who prefers transparent science.

Recall that Phil Jones has been repeatedly ask to release his data of various types. He famously said:

We have 25 years or so invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?
Well, maybe because it's the very point of scientific research to try and find something wrong with the existing theories about the real world?

In 2009, Jones was asked to release his data again (through a CEI request) because they were supposed to be used to regulate life in the U.S. by the EPA (a small event that is not worth 5 minutes of Jones' life!) - we know that he couldn't do it because if the data had ever existed at all, the homework had been eaten by his dog. You know, it's hard to buy a notebook or a hard disk for his 13 million pounds in grants. Ben Santer defended the transparency as follows:
I’m really sorry that you have to go through all this stuff, Phil. Next time I see Pat Michaels at a scientific meeting, I’ll be tempted to beat the crap out of him. Very tempted.
Note that Santer's muscles are pretty strong so it may be a really good idea for Pat Michaels to avoid the "close encounters of the absurd kind" at a scientific meeting. Pikkupoika found another nice e-mail from Santer that describes how he wants to organize his constructive scientific interactions with the Climate Audit folks:
I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I'd really like to talk to a few of these "Auditors" in a dark alley. ... I met a very nice lady (Stephanie) ... It's fun to "have a life" again (as they say over here).
I don't claim that he met the poor lady in a dark alley before he had fun with her! ;-)

Ben Santer summarized his nice and open approach to the climate science as follows:
As I discuss below, my research into the nature and causes of climate change has always been performed in an open, transparent, and collegial manner.
I hope that no reader will suffocate when he or she explodes in laughter at this point. ;-)

They have to be joking, right? Ben Santer may discuss a lot but he can't un-discuss that he is a textbook example of the arrogance, secrecy, private manipulation, and aggression that has penetrated into the climate science. Has RealClimate chosen this obnoxious gangster because he's actually the most likable and acceptable person in their team?

Santer insists that Steve McIntyre was asking for some data he didn't need. And let me tell you something: I would even be inclined to believe that it has happened at least once. But is that wrong? Steve McIntyre has had problems to get genuinely relevant data from many of these folks (for himself and the thousands of people who were interested in them) - we've seen many stories about that - and they were ignoring him and treated him in an arrogant fashion, considering themselves as men who are "in charge" of everything. So he decided to show them that there actually existed laws whose very goal was to fight against the behavior like theirs.

The flow of emotions and motivations may be complex but it's still true that these laws exist and they are useful. And as we have recently seen, they have been very useful to uncover some really bad problems that were hiding in the methodology of climate science. It's just completely crazy for Mr Santer to defend the indefensible in February 2010, three months after the old system really collapsed, namely that the data shouldn't have been accessible to people in a similar situation as that of Steve McIntyre.

Those times are just over. You're no longer in charge of what has to be shown, what can be shown, and what can't be shown about the climatological research. Could you please kindly take a notice, Mr Santer? ;-) (You know, I must be careful how I formulate my comments, to improve the survival chances during a future close encounter of the absurd kind with this screwed gorilla.)

Meanwhile, in the parallel world, scientists such as Ban Ki-Moon, a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy's school ;-), reject skeptics while trying to build better datasets. It won't work, Gentlemen. Your work has been lousy exactly because you have rejected and avoided the wise recommendations by the skeptics i.e. the basic principles of honest scientific research. If you will continue to reject them, your work will continue to suck. It's that simple.

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snail feedback (3) :

reader Pikkupoika said...

I looked at some of the stuff on the Climate Audit web site. I'd really
like to talk to a few of these "Auditors" in a dark alley.

reader Bob said...

Ah yes ---
...' a few of these "Auditors"'.....
Even here he is proposing to 'cherry pick'.

reader TLP said...

I love how Google places climate-bullshit ads on your site. I, for one, click them :D