Saturday, December 12, 2009

AP on ClimateGate: Science not faked, but not pretty?

According to "an exhaustive review by The Associated Press":

**Mark Frankel [of AAAS] saw "no evidence of falsification or fabrication of data, although concerns could be raised about some instances of very 'generous interpretations.'"

**One of the most disturbing elements suggests an effort to avoid sharing scientific data with critics skeptical of global warming. It is not clear if any data was destroyed; two U.S. researchers denied it.

**[Of FOIA issues]--The e-mails show that several mainstream scientists repeatedly suggested keeping their research materials away from opponents who sought it under American and British public records law. It raises a science ethics question because free access to data is important so others can repeat experiments as part of the scientific method. The University of East Anglia is investigating the blocking of information requests.

**[Of FOIA as to Jones]--When one skeptic kept filing FOI requests, Jones, who didn't return AP requests for comment, told another scientist, Michael Mann: "You can delete this attachment if you want. Keep this quiet also, but this is the person who is putting FOI requests for all e-mails Keith (Briffa) and Tim (Osborn) have written."

**[the journal politics issue]--When the journal, Climate Research, published a skeptical study, Penn State scientist Mann discussed retribution this way: "Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues in the climate research community to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal."

**[Is this business as usual]---"This is normal science politics, but on the extreme end, though still within bounds," said Dan Sarewitz, a science policy professor at Arizona State University. "We talk about science as this pure ideal and the scientific method as if it is something out of a cookbook, but research is a social and human activity full of all the failings of society and humans, and this reality gets totally magnified by the high political stakes here."

Separately, an interesting videoclip of an exchange between Phelim McAleer and Professor Stephen Schneider of Stanford University has appeared on YouTube. Schneider refused to answer questions about what Schneider termed "redacted" emails (although the emails do not appear to be redacted or inauthentic). UN Security Officials then terminated McAleer's questioning.

The issue of data destruction wasn't answered in the AP analysis, and Professor Schneider wouldn't address the question.

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