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Confused? You might BE a psychologist

Some scientists just keep looking in the wrong places for answers. Here’s Stephan Lewandowsky, professorial fellow of psychology, in The Age trying to answer the most important question in modern science and economics. He refers to ClimateGate and asks if the stunning accusations of serious misconduct are true? Watch the flat out assertion backed by a non-sequiteur:

They are not. Even if we presume that the stolen material is authentic, the notion that climate data is being nefariously withheld is fantastical.

This does not even make sense within the confines of it’s punctuation. Is there a new Natural Law of Thermodynamics that says it’s impossible to withhold data? The data is gone, even Phil Jones, head of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit admits he has withheld it and won’t ever provide it:

“The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.”

We know the emails are real. Phil Jones has said as much. He admits he has withheld data for years, and that he’ll delete it as well if he has too. So it’s not “fantastical” to  think that data is being withheld, it’s documented.

Then Lewandowsky claims the “data is freely available”. But that’s not true either according to Phil Jones himself who told Roger Pielke Jnr the original global records were gone:

“Since the 1980s, we have merged the data we have received into existing series or begun new ones, so it is impossible to say if all stations within a particular country or if all of an individual record should be freely available. Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites, only the station series after adjustment for homogeneity issues. We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (i.e., quality controlled and homogenized) data.”

Then Lewandowsky disagrees with himself: “Unfortunately, a small subset of the data is forcibly withheld by governments.” So the data is all available, (except for what isn’t).

I’m only 133 words into his piece, and already I’m losing count of the illogical errors, baseless statements and tautological impossibilities.

The mark of a white-wash, is that it doesn’t use direct quotes (they’re too damning). In an 800 word piece Lewandowsky uses only 4 words from the entire 1000 plus emails. Has he even read the emails he defends?

what about the infamous use of a “trick” to “hide a decline” in the data? What about the pernicious “fudge factor” in the programming code? Surely those are the smoking guns that close the case against the scientists?

Wait for the reasoning:

No. If scientists fabricated their data, why is the Arctic melting…

We see another flat out assertion, followed by a logical error instead of evidence. Now there’s a new ethical index for scientists called “the Artic Melt”… obviously if the Arctic is melting, then scientists won’t be fabricating their data. Of course.

If there was recently record sea ice in Antarctica, that apparently, has no effect. Who’d have known?

It’s unsettling, to say the least, that someone with a science degree doesn’t understand cause and effect, but this man is a professorial fellow. He gives us a whole litany of the effects of warming, and not only pretends that that is evidence that carbon caused the warming, but that it somehow proves that climate scientists are honest as well.

Glaciers, windspeeds, sea-levels, and death tolls in Darfur are now lie-detectors for scientists. The nonsense and factual errors pile up:

“No, the climate scientists did nothing wrong. They just produced amazingly good science on a shoestring budget for the betterment of humanity”

A shoe-string budget eh? You mean like the $32 billion in funding for climate science shoe strings from the US government over the last 20 years? And it was all for the “betterment of humanity” according to Archbishop Lewandowsky. (How would he know?)

The ClimateGate emails are The Great Scandal of the modern scientific era. Possibly the only thing more shameful than the climate scientists who hide and delete data in order to deceive the world, are the way so many so-called scientists rush to defend the fraud.

Does Lewandowsky really think it’s OK to lose the entire raw data set for global temperatures and try to deliberately delete any other records you might not have “lost”.

Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar to do likewise. “ Phil Jones

If The Age were serious about getting the right information for their readers, they would interview the scientists at the centre of the scandal, like Jones, Mann, Briffa, and Trenberth. They would also interview the scientists who’ve been seeking the data, like Steven McIntryre, Warwick Hughes, Pat Michaels or Fred Singer. But what does The Age do? It asks a expert in short term memory to tell us what the emails mean. I wouldn’t mind if Lewandowsky was a bob-cat operator*, but if he’s writing an opinion in The Age, you would think he knew something about what he was talking about.

I challenge The Age to issue a correction

They should publish direct quotes from the most devastating emails. They should interview the scientists on both sides of the debacle, and they should apologize for printing material that was misleading to readers.

Lewandowsky made many statement that were factually incorrect. The global climate models did not predict the recent period of non-warming since 2001. There are hundreds of studies showing it was warmer 1000 years ago, not cooler.

Some climate scientists have got many things wrong, and worse, they’ve committed scientific malpractice. The newspapers who publish incorrect material and don’t retract it or issue corrections, are accomplices.

*Bob-cats. No disrespect intended to people doing real productive work.

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