atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#511: NASA's temperature errors, again.

This article on American Thinker discusses Mr. Hansen's reactions to the news that his global temperature data was incorrect in spots.

Then he calls himself a "moderate conservative". I'm sorry, but there ain't no such animal. You can be a liberal Republican, a moderate Republican, or a conservative Democrat but you can't be a moderate conservative any more than you can be a skinny fat man.

I would expect that Mr. Hansen--who is a Democrat--is in fact a moderate Democrat, except when it comes to matters of climate change and anthropogenic global warming. When AGW comes up, then he turns into a fanatical left-wing "watermelon": green on the outside and red on the inside.

("Watermelon" is not my term. I don't remember who came up with it, but I sure liked it.)

If you are a true scientist, once you've published your research and all your data, you expect--and hope for!--people to scrutinize and criticize your results. When you present your paper you welcome questions from the audience, hard technical questions that show that your audience understood what you were researching and what you hoped to prove. And if someone asks a hard question that blows away your reasoning, you admit the error and go back to the drawing board.

This kind of thing happened in the search for extrasolar planets. At an astronomy conference, a couple guys presented their findings, that they had found a planet with a one-year orbit around some star or other. Coincidentally the orbit was exactly the same length as Earth's orbit.

Then someone asked them an inconvenient question, and they realized that when they had done their calculations they had not corrected for the motion of the Earth. There was no planet around that star, at least not in the orbit they said it was in. There was no coincidence: they had just made a boneheaded mistake.

Their answer was not to accuse the skeptics of having their heads in the sand or being in league with powerful corporations; their answer was, "...shit. Boy, did we screw up."

Those guys were scientists.

But Hansen, he's not admitting that he made a mistake; and his response to his critics reads more like a political post on an internet forum than a scientific defense of his work. (Any internet forum. But "MetaFilter" especially, I'd wager.) He attacks his critics rather than proving them wrong.

Wait. Let me rephrase that.

"He attacks his critics because he cannot prove them wrong." That's better. His errors, intentional or not, have been exposed, and there's not a damn thing he can do to prove that they are not, after all, errors: they surely are. And because of that--and because the errors have done so much damage to the cause of AGW "global warming=man made=apocalypse"--he goes on the attack, denouncing his critics instead of answering their criticism.

The main article I liked to, above, says this:
When a freelance investigator finds serious flaws in the work of prominent scientists receiving hundreds of millions of dollars for taxpayer-funded research, there is a great cause for concern. Undoubtedly, this incident will trigger an avalanche of investigators taking a closer look at the work of these researchers. Just as Ward Churchill's inflammatory remarks put his work under a microscope, Hansen and NASA should expect the same in the days ahead. There is a conspicuous lack of transparency in his methodology and data. He will come under pressure to release everything so that other researchers can have at it.
...and I am hard-pressed to find any comment that would add anthing to that summation of the situation.

People ask what the AGW proponents have to gain from pushing their agenda; but they almost never accept that there is a hell of a lot of money in being a pro-global-warming climatologist, particularly if you have the right opinions and don't mind ignoring (or even eliminating) any data which disproves them.

Keep it up, guys. Keep acting like you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar, and sooner or later the American people will figure out what you're doing. Just keep it up.

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