JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


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GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



Science buried in bureaucracy and corruption: Office of Research Integrity director quits in disgust

Bureaucrats have not only taken over much of the science world, but even the parts of the bureaucracy designed to hunt out corruption in science are incapacitated with bureaucracy-at-its-worst too. This is second order corruption — even the checks and balances on corruption are corrupted.

As James Delingpole points out: Science is rife with corruption, incompetence, dishonesty and fabrication–and now, thanks to a frank resignation letter by the US’s top scientific misconduct official we have a better idea why.

Government science desperately needs auditing– or the free market solution, competition

One in 50 scientists admitted to have fabricated, falsified or modified data or results at least once. It’s not just about fraud, it’s about bias, and statistical sloppiness. Up to 30% admitted other questionable research practices. When asked about their colleagues,  14% said other scientists falsified results, and 70% used other questionable research practices (Fanelli 2009). In the modern electronic science world, not only are many results not replicated, but the raw data itself is not even available for checking most of the time. Research shows that scientists who withhold data are more likely to have published errors (see below). Half of the papers in high-end journals contained some [...]

Busted: 120 gibberish science papers withdrawn — so much for “peer review”

At least 120 computer generated nonsense papers have been reviewed and published in publications of the  Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and Springer, as well as conference proceedings. The fakes have just been discovered by a French researcher and are being withdrawn.

Cyril Labbé found a way to spot artificially-generated science papers, and published it his website and lo, the fakes turned up en masse. In the past, pretend papers have turned up in open access journals–this time the fake papers appeared in subscription based journals. But the man who caught the fakes says he cannot be sure he’s caught them all, because he couldn’t check all the papers behind paywalls.

According to Nature:

The publishers Springer and IEEE are removing more than 120 papers from their subscription services after a French researcher discovered that the works were computer-generated nonsense.

Over the past two years, computer scientist Cyril Labbé of Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, has catalogued computer-generated papers that made it into more than 30 published conference proceedings between 2008 and 2013. Sixteen appeared in publications by Springer, which is headquartered in Heidelberg, Germany, and more than 100 were published by the Institute of Electrical and [...]

Consensus Police: 101 “motivated” reasons not to be a skeptic

Skeptics are often accused of being ideologically motivated to find reasons to “deny” the threat posed by man-made Global Disruptification (or whatever it is now called). Which begs the question of what ideology motivated Jo-the-former-Green, along with all the other former believers, to convert. It certainly wasn’t the money (we know from first hand experience). Could it be that damn truth-seeking ideology?

Judith Curry points out that “motivated reasoning” also applies to believers (to which I would add, yes, double-yes, and more-so — follow that money). When grants, careers, junkets, book sales, and offers to sit on golden-commissions are on the line, it doesn’t take much motivated reasoning to find excuses to believe your work is “science” even as you ignore opportunities to follow data that doesn’t quite fit, or delay publications of inconvenient graphs, while you double check, triple check, and invite like-minded colleagues to help find reasons the graphs are not important.

Some scientists are so motivated that they call opposing scientists petty names, and toss allusions they must be “funded” by vested interests, even as they ignore the billions of vested interests funding the name-callers. Meanwhile, all the silent so-called scientists in the tea-rooms that let the [...]

Scientists behaving badly — more retractions are cheats, not mistakes

Who said scientific experts should be trusted?

Is corruption endemic? Fully 43% of retractions in the life science and medical research journals are due to fraud or suspected fraud.

Misconduct accounts for the majority of retracted scientific publications

Ferric C. Fang R. Grant Steen and Arturo Casadevall

PNAS  PNAS 2012 109 (42) 16751-16752; doi:10.1073/iti4212109

Abstract

A detailed review of all 2,047 biomedical and life-science research articles indexed by PubMed as retracted on May 3, 2012 revealed that only 21.3% of retractions were attributable to error. In contrast, 67.4% of retractions were attributable to misconduct, including fraud or suspected fraud (43.4%), duplicate publication (14.2%), and plagiarism (9.8%). Incomplete, uninformative or misleading retraction announcements have led to a previous underestimation of the role of fraud in the ongoing retraction epidemic. The percentage of scientific articles retracted because of fraud has increased ∼10-fold since 1975. Retractions exhibit distinctive temporal and geographic patterns that may reveal underlying causes.

Plus this published correction.

RetractionWatch points out that this could be the tip of the iceberg

The question, of course, is, how common is scientific misconduct? The simple but unsatisfying answer is that we don’t know, certainly not based on this study, because it’s [...]

Whistleblower Science Fraud Site is Shut Down

I would like to see what was on the Science Fraud site. The only parts left seem eminently admirable. Apparently in just six months, the site received anonymous tips documenting suspicious results in over 300 papers. Some of those papers were subsequently retracted.

Wherever there are big dollars, big-corruption follows. Whaddayaknow? Sadly, science is just like any other human endeavor. For every site reporting science fraud that is shut down, may ten alternatives spring forth.

Libertyblitzkrieg.com says “We need more sites like this not less.”

Bill Frezza describes what is known about the site’s demise on Forbes.

A Barrage Of Legal Threats Shuts Down Whistleblower Site, Science Fraud

Those of us concerned about the decaying credibility of Big Science were dismayed to learn that the whistleblower site Science Fraud has been shut down due to a barrage of legal threats against its operator. With billions of dollars in federal science funding hinging on the integrity of academic researchers, and billions more in health care dollars riding on the truthfulness of pharmaceutical research claims, the industry needs more websites like this, not fewer.

Regular readers of Retraction Watch, a watchdog site run by two medical reporters, got the news along with a [...]

Does Climate Money matter? Is a monopoly good for a market?

Climate Money turned the tables on the Big-Oil criers

A reply to an article on Wired and Ars Technica

Alarmists rarely attack, or even mention the Climate Money paper I did in 2009.  It’s an own goal to draw attention to the fact that skeptics are paid a pittance, while the alarm industry soaks in extended baths of cash, grants, and junkets, and the vested interests are a magnitude larger. Exxon might lose some money if a carbon tax comes in, but the world will still need oil. The same can’t be said for ACME-Solar. If a carbon scheme falls over, so does a Solyndra.

So yes, let’s do talk about The Money. As Climate Money pointed out: all Greenpeace could find from Exxon was a mere $23 million for skeptics over a decade, while the cash cow that is catastrophic climate change roped in $2,000 million a year every year during the same period for the scientists who called other scientists “deniers”.

John Timmer tried to debunk it with words like “bogus”, and “false” but lacked things like evidence and numbers to back up his case. As far as I can tell the arguments amount to [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? How many excuses does it take?

Announcing the full version of the Climate Corruption series. There are two copies with different formatting, one here and one on the Science and Public Policy Site. (Click on an image below for the respective PDF version).

Foreword By Joanne Nova, October 2010

How many excuses does it take?

(Size: US Letter — with SPPI's usual professional formatting)

The Western Climate Establishment has allowed egregious mistakes, major errors, and obvious biases to accumulate — each factor on its own might be hard to pin down, but the pattern is undeniable.

The Western Climate Establishment is cheating:

Official thermometers are overwhelmingly in warm localities such as near air conditioner exhaust vents, buildings, concrete, tarmac, or asphalt. Officials hide the Argo data, which shows the world’s oceans are cooling. They ignore hundreds of thousands of weather balloon results that show the climate models overestimate future warming by at least 300%. Climate scientists frequently point to the last 130 years of global warming, but don’t mention the full story: the planet started warming before 1700, over a century before humans [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 7 Nov 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments (which are financially independent of the western climate establishment) disagree with the western climate establishment about the cause of recent global warming and the eighth showed how government institutional and funding pressures created the consensus among western climate scientists. The ninth showed the evidence that the amplifying feedbacks, responsible for two-thirds of the model warming projections, are not present in reality—and that the lame response of the establishment was to miscolour a graph to mislead us into thinking those feedbacks [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 10: Gore Orwell

 

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments (which are financially independent of the western climate establishment) disagree with the western climate establishment about the cause of recent global warming and the eighth showed how government institutional and funding pressures created the consensus among western climate scientists. The ninth showed the evidence that the amplifying feedbacks, responsible for two-thirds of the model warming projections, are not present in reality—and that the lame response of the establishment was to miscolour a graph to mislead us into thinking those feedbacks were [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 9: The Heart of the Matter and the Coloring-In Trick

This point is THE critical one. It was the first point raised in the Skeptics Handbook, developed in the Second Handbook; the point that Dr Glikson had no reply to; the point that tripped up Will Steffen, Deltoid, and John Cook. As a modeler there was the moment in August 2007 when David saw the graphs below and said, emphatically: This is it. It’s over for the climate models. –JN

 

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 8: Do Most Western Climate Scientists Believe Global Warming is Man-Made?

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 19 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures), the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick, and the seventh pointed out that the Chinese, Russian, and Indian climate establishments (which are financially independent of the western climate establishment) disagree with the western climate establishment about the cause of recent global warming.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Yes, But It’s Murky

Photo adapted from Youxue Hong Wikimedia

The vast majority of scientists in the western climate establishment believe in the theory of man-made global warming (but not Chinese, Russian, or Indian climate scientists, as noted). But [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 7: Other Climate Establishments Disagree

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans 6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third was on ocean temperatures, and fourth discussed past temperatures, the fifth compared the alleged cause (human CO2 emissions) with the alleged effect (temperatures) and the sixth canvassed the infamous attempt to “fix” that disconnect, the hockey stick.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

The western climate establishment consists of the climate science research bodies in the western world, and their climate scientists. The leading organizations are the IPCC of the United Nations, the CRU in Britain, and GISS and NOAA in the United States. Personnel move around within the establishment, getting funding from the same sources, collaborating on projects, and publishing in the same journals.

There are other climate establishments in this world, and [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 6: The Hockey Stick

I know the Hockey Stick is old news to most blog readers here, but it’s easy to forget that the people reading the mainstream news (ie: most of the West) have no idea of the scale of the audacity involved. Up until the 1998 MBH paper came out, it was widely understood that there was a Medieval Warm Period, indeed there were hundreds of papers available at the time. The Hockey Stick Graph completely rewrote everything, yet was accepted and widely promoted without anyone so much as asking for the data… until, of course, McIntyre and McKitrick tried. It will do down in the annuals of science as one of the most egregious examples of “the not-so-scientific” method. — JoNova

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, the fourth discussed past temperatures, [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 5: CO2 Emissions Versus Temperature

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures, and the fourth discussed past temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Notice How They Never Directly Compare Temperature With Human Emissions of CO2?

According to the man-made theory of global warming promoted by the western climate establishment, the recent global warming is due to human emissions of greenhouse gases, which are dominated by carbon dioxide (CO2).

So let’s compare the alleged cause (human emissions of CO2) with the alleged effect (temperature).

Human emissions of CO2 have been estimated from historical data for the period 1751 (before the industrial revolution) to 2007 for the major sources—coal, gas, and petroleum use, cement production, and gas flaring—by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center within the US Department of Energy. (The cumulative figures below extrapolate to 2010 using average annual emissions for the previous 14 years.)

[...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 4: Past Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second discussed air temperatures, the third discussed ocean temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

They Don’t Tell You: The Current Global Warming Trend is Over 300 Years Old

A Scene on the Ice by Hendrick Avercamp, circa 1600

Satellite data only goes back to 1979, and global land-thermometer records only go back to 1850. Before that we have to resort to “proxies”, which are various natural phenomena from which temperature can be deduced. As we go further back in time, the errors and uncertainties increase.

[...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 3

There are two strong points here:

The Argo system is state of the art, and public property. Yet the most recent Argo Data of ocean temperatures is virtually impossible to get. We could assume that if it showed definitive warming, we’d see those graphs on breakfast cereal packages. Ocean temperatures trump everything. Where is that warming? The same people who are paid to analyze the data sets are the ones who also manage them: they decide who has access. It’s a system without external independent checks, and the lack of audits makes for a loophole big enough to drive a planetary body though. — JN Part 3: Ocean Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second articles discussed thermometer tricks with air temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Measuring Ocean Temperatures Properly

Measuring ocean temperature globally is harder than it sounds. But it is crucial to understanding climate, because most of the heat in the climate system [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 2

The establishment barks “cherry-picking” at skeptics who claim a particular year was cold, or quiet, or less stormy, but where are the caveats when the mass media churns out record single “hot year” headlines as if they matter: 2010 is hottest year EVER!

What’s not obvious is that breaking those records depends on the data set. According to satellite data there have been no “hottest year ever” records since 1998, though as it happens, NASA doesn’t seem too keen on using data recorded from space. Go figure.

With ground stations, every single station requires hand-made “adjustments” and many stations are ignored completely. The results from ground stations are “interpreted” to cover anything from zero kilometers right up to 1200 km. I guess, only a God of Science would know which thermometer has that magic-1200-gift. Meanwhile, the satellite records are a massive collection of data recorded continuously 24/7, year after year and covering all round the globe, land and sea.

Part II of this series is about those “adjustments” and the different data sets.

– JN

Part 2: Air Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part I

For months now, behind the scenes, David and I have discussed just how powerful questions can be. Sometimes it’s not what you know, but what you ask that makes the most powerful point.

For his Heartland presentation last Friday, David delivered a themed compilation of example after example of the Western Climate Establishment allowing mistakes, errors or biases to accumulate — each factor on it’s own might be hard to pin down, but the sum total of actions (and inactions) forms a wholly consistent pattern.

This is Part I. These photos speak for themselves, but as far as I know, they haven’t been assembled in one web page before and David stopped waiting for me to get the time to annotate them and has helpfully used red arrows so even the less technically minded will “get” the implications.

You don’t need to have a PhD to know that the thermometers used to measure global warming are not placed well. There are at least Two Great Burning Questions here:

Burning Question 1:

NOAA is a $4 billion dollar agency. If they were determined to get the most accurate, reliable measurements possible would they leave so many sensors [...]