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Monday, February 15, 2010

CRU versus Canals of Mars as defined by Bore Patch

Bore Patch is my newest blogroll link. Here is the article that was so impressive I had to give you the whole thing. Like some other bad science I fight in this venue, Global Warming Claimism is absolutely revealed to be a combination of Error Cascade and Elitism and old-fashioned nasty old greed! Enjoy and take a moment to go peruse his blog, in which he says "Internet Security and Firearms. Either way, helping you keep your muzzle clean. No extra charge."

Now presenting Bore Patch:

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Canals of Mars the Climate Research Unit

In 1877, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli observed faint lines on the surface of Mars. He called these lines canali - channels. When his findings were (mis) translated into English, they appeared as canals, and ignited the imagination of the world.

Rather than natural causes (as you would expect for channel), canal implies artificial construction. The thought of intelligent life in our solar system - an ancient race fighting a desperate battle for survival on a dying planet - caused legions of astronomers to rush to their telescopes. Others reported that they also saw canals. Some published maps. But nobody saw as many canals, or published such detailed maps, as Percival Lowell from his Flagstaff observatory, whose map appears here.

It wasn't just scientists whose imaginations were captured by the Martians. The press promoted the story almost hysterically, giving Orson Wells his opportunity to create mass panic with his radio dramatization of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds. But the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs were the best.

John Carter was the human hero, mysteriously transported to Mars. Caught up in the epic battles there, as the slow drying of the planet led to desperate wars among the populations, his adventures amidst beautiful Martian princesses and noble Martian warriors fired the imagination of this young boy, back around 1969.

Alas, by then we knew that it was all impossible. Mariner 4 reached Mars in 1965, and photographed the entire planet from orbit. No castles holding Martian princesses, no Orovar cities, and most definitely no Zodangan canals. So how did the internal scientific community spend three decades chasing a Will o' the Wisp? I mean, this stuff was peer reviewed.

Eric Raymond has an interesting thought that seems to apply to both the science of Mars and the current theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming (the theory that human production of Carbon Dioxide is causing the planet to warm). Most scientists are caught up in an error cascade:
A scientific error cascade happens when researchers substitute the reports or judgment of more senior and famous researchers for their own, and incorrectly conclude that their own work is erroneous or must be trimmed to fit a “consensus” view.

...

In extreme cases, entire fields of inquiry can go down a rathole for years because almost everyone has preference-falsified almost everyone else into submission to a “scientific consensus” theory that is (a) widely but privately disbelieved, and (b) doesn’t predict or retrodict observed facts at all well. In the worst case, the field will become pathologized — scientific fraud will spread like dry rot among workers overinvested in the “consensus” view and scrambling to prop it up. Yes, anthropogenic global warming, I’m looking at you!
When a few influential scientists publish important work, younger scientists will often defer to "established" results that contradict their own, even is the established results are wrong. Science tends to self correct this sort of thing, although it can take a while - the mass of the electron was incorrectly specified for years and years, because everyone who measured it got a different result than Robert Millikan. Millikan had received the Nobel Prize, and they hadn't, so their results "had to be wrong".

And so with AGW. Strong evidence opposing it "can't be right" and weak evidence supporting it "must be right", and as a result, AGW is an astonishingly weak theory. In the last twenty years its proponents have made many predictions, most of which have been falsified. Michael Mann said that the Medieval Warm Period wasn't warm, contradicting recorded evidence from the period like the Domesday Book that showed wine vinyards in England in the eleventh century. AGW computer models predicted a warm layer in the middle Troposphere in the tropics; MIT's Jim Lindzen and others looked and looked - no warm zone. NOAA's Global Historical Climate Network (GHCN) is the most comprehensive store of historical climate data; people are finding that the data has been frequently, consistently, and mysteriously adjusted so that older temperatures are lowered below what the thermometer readings showed, and recent temperatures are raised above what the thermometer readings showed.

It's an error cascade of epic proportions. The situation is almost like an astronomer in 1965 continuing to insist that the Mariner 5 pictures are irrelevant, because there is a mountain of peer-reviewed literature supporting Ptarth hydrological engineering. Phil Jones of the CRU admits that the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today, and that the climate is not getting warmer lately - despite the theory predictions, and that his data is a mess (which is why he refused to release it, even after a Freedom Of Information Act request).

And yet the Climate Scientists still see canals.

Raymond points out why:

There an important difference between the AGW rathole and the others, though. Errors in the mass of the electron, or the human chromosome count, or structural analyses of obscure languages, don’t have political consequences (I chose Chomsky, who is definitely politically active, in part to sharpen this point). AGW theory most certainly does have political consequences; in fact, it becomes clearer by the day that the IPCC assessment reports were fraudulently designed to fit the desired political consequences rather than being based on anything so mundane and unhelpful as observed facts.

When a field of science is co-opted for political ends, the stakes for diverging from the “consensus” point of view become much higher. If politicians have staked their prestige and/or hopes for advancement on being the ones to fix a crisis, they don’t like to hear that “Oops! There is no crisis!” — and where that preference leads, grant money follows. When politics co-opts a field that is in the grip of an error cascade, the effect is to tighten that grip to the strangling point.

Eisenhower famously warmed of the growing Military-Industrial Complex, an alliance between the Government and Industry to justify and fund continuing increases in Government and its Industry allies. Follow the Money. How is this not identical to what we see happening in climate science? Billions of dollars of Government grant funding flowing to academic organizations, whose research (surprise!) provides justification for large Government programs like Cap And Trade. Government funding maintains the momentum of the error cascade.

The challenges to the AGW "consensus" have almost all come from outside of this "Environment-Academic Complex", as they would have to. Outsiders are free to report what the data actually say, without fear of losing their funding. As Raymond said:
If politicians have staked their prestige and/or hopes for advancement on being the ones to fix a crisis, they don’t like to hear that “Oops! There is no crisis!”
Thus the emphasis demonstrated by the ClimateGate emails on controlling the Peer Review process. If the narrative can't be directed at the front end, it must be channeled at the back end. The canali of the modern scientific process are indeed man-made.

And so, the debate isn't about science at all, any more than the debate over the XM2001 Crusader self-propelled Howitzer was about defense. I expect to hear any day that NOAA plans to appoint Dejah Thoris to head the new office of Climate Change.

I hope they don't make her wear a brass bikini. It's wouldn't provide the dignity that the office demands.

Hint: click on every link or you will miss a lot of good scientific data and some fun things like this:

10 comments:

Borepatch said...

Thanks for the kind words, and I'll add you to my blogroll in the next update.

Hawkeye® said...

Love the paper clip cartoon!

(:D) Best regards...

radar said...

Notice no comments by creeper or canucklehead? What can they say?

Anonymous said...

Notice no comments by creeper or canucklehead? What can they say?

Well, what can one say to one who just doesn't want to listen?

Personally I think they're just rolling on the floor laughing at you. Really, Radar: chalking up 'no replies' as some kind of victory...you're an adult, come on!

radar said...

Yes, I am an adult. I introduced real evidence. It is commenters like you who, having nothing to say in return, simply calls names. Bring something of substance next time.

Anonymous said...

Oh stop crying Radar! *chuckles*

creeper said...

Radar,

I mostly enjoy dissecting your jaw-dropping ignorance, lies and hypocrisy, and since there wasn't a whole lot of that on display in this post (and plenty elsewhere), I just didn't bother.

Besides, you have such lightning-fast cut-n-paste moves that it's hard to keep up sometimes. Takes you a few seconds to cut and paste some stuff you read (apparently without understanding large chunks of it), takes hours to take it apart. So we have to be somewhat selective.

But don't get your hopes up, that doesn't necessarily mean that the stuff we don't comment on isn't also moronic. Call it undecided.

Personally I aim for the real gems of sparkling ignorance and do my best to highlight them so that others may appreciate them. Your ice core layers study claim - oh, and the bacteria evolution one - were real winners (or losers, depending on how you look at them). I like preserving those and perhaps even spreading their fame.

My apologies though: I didn't realize that you were so needy that you had to try to fashion a victory out of something like us not commenting on a post. Relax, will ya?

-- creeper

radar said...

Creeper, I have tried to give you some credit but frankly I cannot figure you out. You simply attack me and try to take the attention off of the evidence. Not sure if that is the smart thing (since evidence is against you) or just stupid (because you cannot comprehend the evidence)? But people who read this blog cannot be impressed by your array of false charges and personal attacks.

What do you know about AGW that the world does not know? Here is your chance to say something, anything worthwhile.

creeper said...

"You simply attack me and try to take the attention off of the evidence. Not sure if that is the smart thing (since evidence is against you) or just stupid (because you cannot comprehend the evidence)? But people who read this blog cannot be impressed by your array of false charges and personal attacks."

I was hoping to both attack you (for your often dishonest tactics and tendency to evade arguments as soon as they get uncomfortable for you - see for example your failure to provide a study of ice cores that shows that many, perhaps hundreds of layers can be formed in one year, and now trying to spin this by pretending we had made such a ludicrous claim as "ice cores have never been discussed on Radar's blog" - a strawman argument if there ever was one)...

... and put the focus on the evidence.

Case in point: your blanket dismissal of evidence that global warming is still occurring, with no attempt to address evidence to the contrary at all. When I asked you for the reason for your dismissal, what did you do?

Did you try to explain your reasoning?

Nope, instead you just proclaimed victory.

So don't talk to me about "taking the attention off the evidence".

I'm a little wary of entering the AGW debate on this blog, given your clear tendency to parrot others and first take a stance, then close your mind to all contrary evidence.

I don't first take a stance, and consequently I am not here as an advocate for or against AGW. I look at the issues one at a time and call them as I see them. I don't have a pre-determined outcome in mind.

However, I can't say I'm impressed with some of the misrepresentations in "Climategate", especially the easily misunderstood "hide the decline" quote.

Your failure to rebut the Skeptical Science article isn't exactly a winner for your stance either. No comeback. Interesting.

In general, instead of presuming that I am just "the enemy" and putting words in my mouth, you would do well to look at what I am actually saying and responding to that instead.

-- creeper

Anonymous said...

I can tell you that I certainly am "impressed" with creeper's work, Radar.

Creeper says,
"Personally I aim for the real gems of sparkling ignorance and do my best to highlight them so that others may appreciate them. Your ice core layers study claim - oh, and the bacteria evolution one - were real winners (or losers, depending on how you look at them). I like preserving those and perhaps even spreading their fame."

If this is your aim creeper, I say Bull's-eye!

- Canucklehead.

Oh and I posted this previously, but that post has been buried, so here goes again, Radar, please don't flatter yourself by assuming a non-response from me is a "win" for you. I, like most commenters that stop by here, have an actual job and a family and a life to attend to. I have also told you in the past that I mostly do not read the terrible posts you almost literally, "throw up" on this blog. As the vast majority are stupefyingly long, poorly researched, cut and paste jobs. Not to mention the fact that you continue to prove (again, in your comments alone) to be very dishonest and disingenuous when it comes to science and actual facts that contradict your particular narrow minded world view. Thankfully though, creeper is very thorough and often provides the "best" quotes from your posts right in his comments (as he himself mentions above). As I've said before, this is your blog to work on every day, not mine. Which is why some of your attempted arguments are so utterly laughable.