Monday, November 23, 2009

Someone's Pants are ON FIRE!!!!

OOPS! That's got to be rough!

Whether by hack or by intentional sandbagging, last night a massive data breach allowed a LOT of sensitive data from the Hadley Center for Climate Prediction and Research, one of the busier producers of climate research in the world, and one of the largest centers of its' type in the UK. What's available shows some bad news- data manipulation and cherrypicking (selective inclusion of data to skew results) of some VERY well-received studies on the subject of global warming. There was also discussion of destruction of data and other material that had been requested in a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request. So we can add fraud in there, too.

Yeah. The alarming studies. The ones that predict we're all going to die? Turns out, there is a lot of paper generated in the process. Now, if this was limited to an isolated paper, that'd be one thing... there's damning evidence of data tampering (publishing bullshit science) on environmental issues. Changing data to create results you want, in other words.

The funky thing here is that this info comes through internet security sites, not science. Either this means that this was a hoax (which appears unlikely at this point), or the Green Machine is attempting damage control. In the meanwhile, the technical nature of the datasets available will require time for digestion and analysis.

And, as many things so, this supports my own position that we're nowhere near being able to predictably model environmental phenomena more complex than the 5 day weather forecast.

Note that I used the term 'position' as opposed to 'hypothesis.' You see, hypotheses require data to be tested, and no data exists wherein climate datacan be reliably predicted. So I have more than a hypothesis. I have a position. One that can be tested. I challenge anyone to bring me an environmental model that works and can be tested with 0.5 reliability using a simple one-tailed t-test, the most simple and forgiving statistical test there is.
Until that shining day, here I am, saying that maybe in 20 years, we'll be able to make an educated guess as to what's going on in the world. In the meanwhile, continue to mistrust authority, especially when the the scientific majority relies on ad hominem attacks rather than debate to discuss an issue.

To me, this has little to do with science, and everything to do with the horrific results of politicization of virtually anything. Science, medicine, ethics, whatever. The same people who gave us eugenics, social Darwinism and the other bastard children of science are at work again. Last time, it was 'only' minorities and the handicapped who suffered when smart people used fake science to fool the not-so-smart. Who's going to be on the shit end of the stick here?


Borepatch said...

Thanks for the link, Paul.

And the interesting question for the The-Personal-Is-Political crowd is: once they've politicized science, what happens after the next election?

Paul, Dammit! said...

Great question. We're about due for the next big media crisis. I'm thinking it'll be another attempt at social darwinism or eugenics. I can't help but notice that every engineered crisis among the elites tends to have a solution that includes hard times for people who look different from the elites.