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Advice to the National Environmental Science Program

Posted By Jo Nova On June 29, 2019 @ 3:50 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Unfortunately this survey closes Saturday Sunday at 5pm EST. One DAY to go now. [Correction: Day was wrong, go for it. h/t Eric Worrall].

Apologies to those who would have liked to send in a submission. Hopefully I covered much on your behalf.

The National Environmental Science Programs wants feedback and to figure out priorities for environmental research in one specific program. This funding is $145m, among other things they fund David Karoly at CSIRO.  The form promises a receipt and a PDF reply.

NESP is seeking your feedback

The National Environmental Science Program (NESP) is scheduled for completion in 2021. Early planning for a future environmental research program to succeed NESP has commenced. The details of a future program are subject to Government decisions.

Feedback on key aspects of NESP will help inform the design and administration of a future program. A survey is now available via the Department’s online consultation hub. The survey will close on 30 June 2019.

h/t Darren Nelson

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6. What have been the barriers to engagement [with NESP research]?

1. Data and methods are not always publicly available.
2. Published research is not easy to obtain from some journals which require payment.
3. Media releases announce news sometimes that is not even published. This means it’s very difficult for independent commentators to assess or respond to that media.
4. Media releases are often misleading, omitting key information, perspectives, or simply exaggerate the effect or importance.
5. Research with inconvenient results often has no media release, no publicity. Eg: stories of failures of modeling.

7. What would you change to make a future program easier to engage with?

Transparency

Government funded research should be freely available and transparent — the finished paper (or preprints), the full methods, and the full data. All of this should be online and easy to find from the day a media release is issued.

The media release should allow public discussion and response at the site, or on the public broadcaster. Why is there not one place where the public can discuss the results and ask questions?
Preferably this should be at the university — and maintained under FOIA — with responses from the researchers and an obligation to the public to publish all questions and answers.  This site should not be able to simply delete inconvenient questions to hide them.

8. What do you think are the key factors for enabling people who have a research need to have it recognised and correctly understood by researchers?

The key factors are:
1. Civility and respect.
2. Funding to replicate and check results.

1. Across Australia, people are often derided for even asking a question. Namecalling and bullying effectively stop people discussing important scientific topics. “Denier” is not a scientific term, and yet David Karoly has resorted to this. (eg https://newmatilda.com/2016/07/07/one-nation-cancelled-an-interview-because-we-called-them-climate-deniers/)  Even if other NESP participants don’t use the term, they tacitly encourage it by staying silent while other commentators do.

2. Without funding  volunteer audits happen only with self funding or donations.

9. What do you think are barriers that prevent people who have a research need to have it recognised and correctly understood by researchers?

Universities don’t allow free speech, or diversity of views. Nor does the publicly funded broadcaster. Nor does “The Conversation” which universities fund, but many taxpayers, even with university qualifications, are barred from using.

10. What do you think are the key factors for successful research design that meets the needs of research users?

1. Incentives to replicate, audit or check research. Where are they? Science funding incentivizes researchers to find a problem that requires more grants, rather than to solve a problem or find that there is no problem and no further grants are required.

2. Data should be maintained by a group independent of the ones who use it to study.  (See the model for medical research especially in the US). Changes to data must be fully documented and approved before acceptance.  Raw data should be stored separately and archived permanently and be available.

Australians need climate models that work. Very little research seems to be focused on validation of the current models or replication of research.  The current models have been funded to find a crisis due to CO2, not funded to predict the climate. If models that failed were defunded there would be an incentive to get the models right, and there might arise some models that used solar factors which worked — like the solar magnetic field, solar UV/IR or solar wind factors. Until then climate models seem doomed to repeat the same hopeless circle which has not narrowed climate sensitivity in 30 years.

Consider David Karoly’s advice to Mango farmers.  The farmers are planting trees suited to a warmer climate, but don’t realize that many scientists — especially astrophysicists and solar experts are predicting a cooler one. The Mango farmers are not warned that climate model projections have a dismal record of failure — on the local, regional, or continental scale, 98% of Climate Models cannot explain why global warming slowed for years, models get the core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is still missing, (that’s the only fingerprint they said mattered, right up until they couldn’t find it).  Models didn’t predict or explain the pause, the cause or the long term historic climate movements. Measurements of satellites, cloud cover changes, 3,000 ocean buoys, 6,000 boreholes, a thousand tide gauges, and 28 million weather balloons looking at temperature or humidity can’t find the warming that the models predict. In the oceans, the warming isn’t statistically significant, sea-levels started rising too early, aren’t rising fast enough, aren’t accelerating, nor are warming anywhere near as much as they predicted. Antarctica was supposed to be warming faster than almost anywhere but they were totally wrong. The vast Southern Ocean is cooling not warming. The part of Antarctica where warming is most obvious, sits on top of a volcano chain. Doesn’t David Karoly have a duty to give farmers the full uncertainty and larger perspective?

Full scientific references are listed at the bottom of this page. Eg Anagnostopoulos 2010, Koutsoyannis 2008, Previdi 2014, Christy 2010, Fu 2011, Paltridge 2009,  Karl 2006, and many more.

Plus  Michael Beenstock, Daniel Felsenstein,*Eyal Frank & Yaniv Reingewertz, (2014)  Tide gauge location and the measurement of global sea level rise,  Environmental and Ecological Statistics, May 2014

 Nils‐Axel Mörner (2014) Deriving the Eustatic Sea Level Component in the Kattaegatt Sea,  Global Perspectives on Geography (GPG). American Society of Science and Engineering, Volume 2, 2014, www.as‐se.org/gpg

 

11. What barriers have you experienced that prevent successful design of research that meets the needs of research users?

Ask Professor Peter Ridd.  Without replication, it isn’t science. The problems he experienced are endemic to most academic institutions.  That is obvious thanks to the number of Australian universities that spoke up to defend his right to speak freely, ie. zero.

Ask the Australian Bureau of Meteorology why they won’t explain their methods in full so their adjustments can be replicated in full independently. See this page for exact quotes of their admission.

Since the BOM work is the basis of climate research, why aren’t NEST researchers pointing out the profoundly unscientific nature and problems in BOM work?

 

12. What are the barriers to projects that cross different institutions/groups or disciplines to answer big questions?

The culture of intolerance and denigration where researchers are sacked, evicted, deplatformed, blackballed and subject to career threats will effectively stop people with relevant knowledge from speaking up or being invited to share their knowledge.

A culture where cross disciplinary knowledge is dismissed as automatically wrong. When Nobel prize winners of physics are called “deniers” the culture is truly toxic and outside opinion is not just unwelcome but scorned. . NESP researchers do nothing to address this national problem.

The laws of physics and maths are the same across all fields of science. Why do we pretend that only a climate expert can check the maths and physics of the climate research?

Thousands of engineers and geologists are skeptical of the IPCC main conclusions.  Lefsrud and Meyer 2012

These engineers, especially, have cross disciplinary expertise in feedback loops, complicated systems, and mathematical analysis, that environmental researchers have little training in.

 

13. What are potential ways in which transdisciplinary, large scope projects can be encouraged and supported to answer big questions?

Firstly:  A recognition that science needs free speech:  namecalling and career punishment will stop whistleblowers speaking up. Bullying doesn’t improve scientific discovery, it protects dead ends and bad ideas.

Secondly: We need recognition that science relies on fully published methods and replication of results,

Thirdly:That science is based on logic and reason. For example: A consensus is fallacious argument from authority or popularity.  Evidence is observations from instruments, not results of model runs. If the models are unvalidated, don’t predict observations, the models need to be changed, not the observations. Where are science institutions that defend these core principles? NESP researchers do nothing to correct fallacies made in topics they specialize in. If they won’t speak up, who will?

Fourthly: Scientific conclusions need formal auditing — pal review by two anonymous and unpaid peers  would never be accepted in financial accounting. When billions of dollars depends on scientific conclusions, why do we accept such low standards?

Fifthly: Let’s pay people from outside the profession to audit the work and find flaws. If the evidence is “overwhelming” they will find none, but the money won’t be wasted as the research will be seen to be transparent and the answers will be available to all. At the moment auditing is left to volunteers.

14. How important are the following Indigenous-led activities to achieve improved inclusion for Indigenous people in a future program and improved outcomes for Indigenous people

Further comments on the proposed Indigenous-led activities.

Indigenous people and the environment will be served best in a nation where science is rigorous and not subject to political correctness, bullying or fashion.

 

15. Is there anything else you would like to add regarding strengths and weaknesses of the current program and suggestions for a future program?

It is a major weakness that the current program is not based on the tenets of science and not rigorously adherent to logic and reasoning.

Even if researchers do not produce fallacies in their public releases, it is not enough that they stay silent when others do.

All publicly funded researchers should be obliged to point out fallacious reasoning in their field and to help journalists report without omissions that are relevant to Australian citizens.

Researchers who stay silent, tacitly support fallacies or lies by omission.

 Your response ID is ANON-2H8E-PZFC-A

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