Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Why Climate "Science" isn't really science.

Ferreting around on my hard disk, looking for an old document, I found this: The People Versus the Climate Research Unit (CRU) by Willis Eschenbach*, which dates back to 2009. The author describes himself as

an amateur scientist with a lifelong interest in the weather and climate. I’m not "directed" by anyone, I’m not a member of a right-wing conspiracy. I’m just a guy trying to move science forwards.

Back in 2004 Warwick Hughes, an Australian climate researcher who had previously been in cordial contact with Phil Jones, the director of the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia (UEA, where the whole AGW scam started, emailed Phil Jones, asking to see copies of the dataset that was used to create the CRU temperature record. Phil Jones famously replied:

Subject: Re: WMO non respondo … Even if WMO agrees, I will still not pass on the data. We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it. … Cheers Phil

Now this might seem a reasonable response, but, as Willis Eschenbach points out, can only progress if there is a free exchange of scientific data. The scientific model works like this:
• A scientist makes claims, and reveals the data and methods he used to come to his conclusions.
• Other scientists who don’t agree attack the claim by (inter alia) seeing if they can replicate the result, using the first scientist’s data and methods.
• If the claims cannot be replicated, the claim is adjudged to be false.
Obviously, if the data or the methods are kept secret, the claims cannot be verified. Attacking other scientist’s claims is what what scientists do, that's their job description. This adversarial system is the heart of science.

The importance of the Scientific Method is obvious: if other scientists can't see the original data on which a theory is based, the author of the theory can claim any old tosh and it would be very difficult to prove it wrong, as recent history has shown.

*Sadly, I did not keep a record of where I found this on the internet, but if anyone woud like a copy, I would be happy to email it to them.

Edit: Sobers has provided me with a link.


A K Haart said...

There is a House of Commons version here -

Sobers said...

Is this it?

Willis Eschenbach wrote a lot on WUWT so would expect it to be on there somewhere even if this isn't the article you have.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, Climate people are very adversarial.

Ask them a simple question and they go full on mental

You are a climate denier.
What are your qualifications?
97% of scientists agree.
There are multiple lines of evidence.
Don't believe the Big Fossil propaganda.

You can ask astronomers or car mechanics or nuclear physicists questions - might be stupid or interesting, because you want to know the answer, and they will do their best to answer them. Or admit they don't happen to know that particular bit. Physicists will debate happily with Flat Earthers and trounce them.

My local garage doesn't accuse me of being a Car Denier when I ask them whether it's really necessary to replace the handbrake cables on an MR2 whose handbrake famously doesn't work, even when brand new.

Lola said...

The whole 'scientific method' thing is right at the heart of my extreme scepticism over MMGW. They (the BBC most famously) keep spouting that the 'science is settled'. That just cannot be true. No 'science' is ever 'settled'. Science is by definition the constant search for truth.

By denying access to the data Phil Jones implicitly admits that he is not interested in the truth. Before that he was a scientist who may have stumbled upon something significant. Now he is defending a position which may or may not be true. He is becoming a liar.

Bayard said...

S, thanks, that's the very article. Post now updated, many thanks.

M, a sure sign hat they know they are on dodgy ground logically.

DCBain said...

Can I get UEA to MOT my car?

Penseivat said...

As an amateur observer of various 'experts' over the years, I am of the opinion that the majority, especially those concerned with the myth of man made climate change, are complete and utter buffoons. The data I have collected, proves that. However, to use Phil Jones' argument, I shall not release this data, just so he can use his tunnel visioned, single issue, outlook to refute it. Ergo, the majority of so called experts on climate change really are buffoons.

Lola said...

P. You and me both. An 'ex' is a has been and a 'spert' is a drip under pressure.

Tammly said...

Ah Mark, you've got them bang to rights1

Mark Wadsworth said...

T, thanks but this was Bayard's post.