JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper



Archives

Books

An insight into Hacker-land

UPDATED: Posted the full Pointman article instead of the much abbreviated edit version. Thanks to Pointman.

Hacked or leaked?

Pointman argues the case for the emails being leaked from inside. Part I of his thesis is that an expert hack takes a lot of money, patience and a rare personality. (And after reading his article I believe him.) In Part II Pointman suggests that there is not a lot of money or inclination to pay such an expert. Call me unconvinced on this second clause. Even though I’ve seen no evidence of big dollars at work in the skeptic case* I can imagine in any market worth 130 odd billion per annum that there would be players with handy shorts-ready-to-place who might like to pull some strings.

That said, the fact that the police investigation into the leak or hack has failed to find any answers combined with the obvious motivation for any half honest civil servant with a modicum of altruistic honor to act as a whistle-blower, means I find the whistle-blowing theory much more believable.

The ilk of the money-driven sociopathic derivative trader who makes money from shorting markets, […]

Soul searching enviro-journalists admit they look duped and should have talked to sceptics

There is much introspection going on among environmental journalists. Last week, in a remarkably candid piece, Margot O’Neill of the ABC revealed for the first time what the flummoxed and frustrated would-be journalists are discussing behind the scenes.

The admissions are extraordinary. Despite the fact that hardly any of the journalists wrote about Climategate, for many the emails from East Anglia were not just important, but a defining moment (though not, apparently, because it dented their faith in the global warming dogma). Instead, it was the effect Climategate had on editors and others in the office: people who had previously thought climate science was scientific, and environmental journalists were journalists. Suddenly, others realized they had been cheated of the real news, sideswiped by a development none of the supposedly “investigative” reporters saw coming.

Now for the first time, we find out that the formerly respected writers got looks of betrayal.

Probably the most important reaction to the UEA hacking for journalists was in their own newsrooms, among their own editors who are the gatekeepers controlling if your work appears and how prominently. While some UK surveys show no dramatic loss of credibility for climate scientists with the public, here’s how […]

The ranks are splitting, tossing incantations as they go

We always knew Climategate would the test the cohesion of the “team”. The reputations of good greens, good journalists, and decent politicians (there are a few) are on the line. They have to draw a line somewhere, and six months later, a few more cracks in the wall are showing.

Even people who think we need action against CO2 are not convinced by the whitewashes. And for many of them, it’s not the ClimateGate emails themselves which pushed them over the edge, but the blatantly surreal nature of the so-called inquiries that don’t ask the basic questions or invite the key people.

Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells cast on them by the disciples.

Of course, in order to attack any part of the great facade, it’s important to recite the incantation against bullies. Phrases about how the science is still settled (even though the scientists themselves might cheat) are like a pass-code that allows commentators to say something pointed against the tribal witchdoctors without getting too many nasty spells […]

Who needs a committee report to spot rank deception?

Last week I was invited by the ABC to respond to Clive Hamilton and the Parliamentary Committee report on ClimateGate. It was published a couple of hours ago on the ABC Drum. (Or Try this link, who knows why the article moved? 14-4-09)

The issue of the ClimateGate emails leaked or hacked from the East Anglia CRU is not that complicated. The emails are damning because anyone who reads them understands that they show petty, unprofessional, and probably criminal behaviour. We know the guys who wrote them are not people we’d want to buy cars from. They are hiding information. We don’t need a committee to state the obvious.

The emails show some of the leading players in climate science talking about tricks to “hide declines”, they boast about manipulating the peer review process, and “getting” rid of papers they didn’t like from the IPCC reports. It’s clear the data wasn’t going the way they hoped, yet they screwed the results every way they could to milk the “right” conclusion. Above all else, they feared freedom of information requests, and did everything they could to avoid providing their data. ClimateGate shows these people were not […]

Spiegel online

Did I say a few days ago there would be more feature articles? Well already, here is another long professional article.

Don’t be put off by the start. The sympathetic treatment of Jones is faint praise, not unreasonable, and in the end, taking an impartial line means telling something of both sides of the story. Articles like this will help skeptics far more than they will help the Big Scare Campaign.

There is plenty of ammo, and punches are landed:

On balance, the entire profession has been seriously harmed by the scandal. “We are currently suffering a massive erosion of trust,” concludes German climatologist Hans von Storch. “Climate research has been corrupted by politicization, just as nuclear physics was in the pre-Chernobyl days, when we were led to believe that nuclear power plants were completely safe.”

That any reasonably unbiased view ends up being supportive of skeptics is, of course, just what you’d expect of a topic where skeptics have so much of that essential ingredient reality on their side. I found the whole article worth reading, and I expect Parts 3 & 4 are the most interesting to skeptics. It’s good to finally see the work of people like […]

UK Parliamentary Report busts all climate scientists

The UK Parliamentary Committee was always going to be a whitewash. They put no skeptics on the committee; they interviewed no skeptics; they didn’t ask Steven McIntyre to speak. The chairman was the “impartial” Phil Willis, who had already made up his mind in January and announced it in the Telegraph:

“There are a significant number of climate change deniers, who are basically using the UEA emails to support the case this is poor science that has been changed or at worst manipulated. We do not believe this is healthy and therefore we want to call in the UEA so the public can see what they are saying”

It’s no wonder the committee made a spin-like press release with wishy-washy weasel words. What’s amazing is that under the spin, they can’t help but bust all of modern climate science.

The UK report: [press release]

“The focus on Professor Jones and CRU has been largely misplaced. On the accusations relating to Professor Jones’s refusal to share raw data and computer codes, the Committee considers that his actions were in line with common practice in the climate science community but that those practices need to change.

Esquire does the full Marc Morano Climategate story

This is the beginning of many full feature length articles that will come as the House of Mann-Made Global Warming collapses. It’s long, but when it’s a professional feature writer drawing a story of a professional scam-buster who works at the highest levels, it’s a great read. Enjoy 🙂 It’s not a grand scientific expose, but it does turn ClimateGate into a human interest story with momentum, and as such, it may reach a wider audience than any scientific expose could.

Photo: Mackenzie Stroh

This Man Wants to Convince You Global Warming Is a Hoax

Marc Morano broke the Swift Boat story and effectively stalled John Kerry’s presidential run. Now he is working against an even bigger enemy: belief in climate change. Somehow, he seems to be winning.

By John H. Richardson

Early on the morning of November 17, Gavin Schmidt sat down at his computer and entered his password. It didn’t work. Strange, he thought. He tried a few other accounts and none of them worked, either. Now he was alarmed. As a leading climatologist with NASA’s Goddard Institute in Manhattan, he’d been hacked before. He was used to e-mails from people who disapproved of his work, threatening […]

Putting ClimateGate in Perspective

I attribute much of the recent rapid rise of the skeptics to the ongoing effects of ClimateGate, yet in a sense the emails that were sprung from East Anglia did nothing more than confirm what most skeptics already suspected. Despite that, I’m convinced it was instrumental, and Lawrence Solomon, author of The Deniers, has written an unusually good summary in the form of a speech for the Colorado Mining Association.

With his permission, I’ve included my favourite points here, as well as a copy of the full speech. His blog is a part of the Energy Probe team.

The Climategate emails confirmed much of what the sceptics had been saying for years.

They confirmed that the peer review process had been corrupted, that scientists were arranging friendly reviews. They confirmed that the science journals had been corrupted. That journals that refused to play ball with the doomsayers faced boycotts and their editors faced firing. They confirmed that sceptical scientists were being systematically excluded from the top‐tier journals. The Climategate emails confirmed that journalists were likewise threatened with boycotts if they didn’t play ball. The Climategate emails confirmed that the science itself was suspect. That the doomsayers themselves couldn’t make […]

Finally! The newly revised and edited ClimateGate Timeline (1.1)

The all new second edition of the ClimateGate Timeline is finally here. This is One Spectacular Poster of the ClimateGate scandal, covering 3 Decade. Behind the scenes, a team of five has diligently worked for hours and hours, checking and double checking quotes and references, adding new information and polishing this remarkable work. […]

The four “gates” of the IPCC

First there was Climate Gate, showing that the peer review process has descended into a criminal farce of scientific malpractice where adjusting and hiding data was de-rigueur. Hello Fraud. ClimateGate also spread to the US, where 75% of worldwide data is systematically ignored or “adjusted” until it tells the right story.

Then there was PachauriGate, showing that the man in charge of the IPCC was chairman of boards of companies that profit handsomely as the scare-factor is ramped up.

Along comes GlacierGate: about the IPCC “accidentally” using a WWF report instead of peer reviewed science papers. After calling a 60 page Indian Govt report on glaciers “voodoo science” they were forced to apologize for that “one paragraph that was wrong”. Then Donna LeFramboise in just one day of hunting, found 16 other references in the IPCC 4th report to the “scientific journal” called “WWF”. Proving that really, the big safety-mechanism of the IPCC reputation was not in its exhaustive reviews but was in the way it made its documents so big, so dull and so unreadable, that hardly anyone actually … reads them. Call it the thousand-page-cloak-of-invisibility.

Camouflage for poor science, poor standards, bad logic, and too […]