SCYUKON, on Monday, November 30th, 2009, 6:38 AM, said:
Well I would suggest the only people that have been careless are those folks cooking the data and cooking the models to get their way. Oh and the politiicians who believe this guff.You are a man of science - what would happen in your field if this type of shenanigans was taking place? If someone can forth with some research that said playing poker causes brain damage and therefore it must be banned immediately. Would you quit playing poker immediately or might you look into it a bit, given your background?And does it not piss you off maybe just a little that maybe your area of research may be more deserving of some of the funds that these clowns have been gathering for a misstated problem?Really curious to get your answers to this.
These kind of shenanigans have taken place in my field. Once, in a situation I was very close to. The short answer is that the process of science is resilient and has built-in mechanisms to heal from this kind of thing. This is one reason why replication is one of the keys to the scientific method. One person falsifying data does not invalidate a theory which has other evidence to support it. That said, I have finally had time to take a look at this alleged scandal and I am quite baffled that such a big deal is being made out of it. From what you guys had posted here, it seemed like data was falsified, or that there was some huge consipiratorial cover-up that totally invalidates the case for global warming. I have seen nothing of the sort. There are lots of emails which sound totally normal, and a few that sound fishy but also seem out of context. The single email that sounds like it is the "smoking gun" is this one: "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."
I don't really understand the surrounding context of this "trick" but it sounds to me like it has to do with presenting the data in a favorable light. This writer
comments: There are precisely two emails that even sound scandalous: one in which a scientist refers to borrowing another scientist's "trick"—which skeptics interpret as falsifying data and which actual legitimate scientists say means "a clever way of doing something"—to "hide the decline," which is a poor way of saying he is attempting to correct for the fact that tree rings don't reflect modern warming trends that are well-documented by actual thermometers.
The other email he refers to is this one: "I can't see either of these papers being in the next [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow - even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!"And his comment on that one is:One of these papers which was published in the journal Climate Research turned out to be so badly flawed that the scandal resulted in the resignation of the editor-in-chief.So the scandal is that a researcher thought a paper was flawed and said he would do anything to keep it from being published, not because it said something dangerous that he is trying to keep hidden, but because he thought it was bad science. And then it turned out to be bad science.
Certainly this whole thing is a PR disaster for the scientists involved, but calling this some kind of "nail in the coffin" for the theory of human involvement in global warming just seems outrageous, unless you guys have seen something that I haven't?