Tuesday, 24 November 2009

BoingBoing on Climategate and the HADCRU hack

I love BoingBoing, its one of my favourite blogs of interesting things. I even got BoingBoinged once, which is like one of the ultimate achievements of blogging.

Anyhoo, CoryDoctorow has this to say
They read through the corpus of email and found that the scientists working on climate change often have substantive disagreements with one another, which they debate vigorously in email, and cited this as evidence of a conspiracy to cover up dissent and present a scientific consensus on climate change.

Futurismic's Tom Marcinko does a great job of putting this in context, rounding up several links to other good commentators around the web. In a nutshell: science is about the advancement of competing theories and the evaluation of these theories in light of evidence. The East Anglia Climate Research Unit's scientists disagreed in some particulars, and used peer-review to resolve them (and continue to do so). No one is paying them to cover up evidence that climate change isn't real or isn't caused by humans -- but they are conducting science the way that scientists do.

Do scientists usually email each other telling themselves to delete emails in case of Freedom of Information requests?
Phil Jones wrote:
>> Mike,
> 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.
Its quite against the law to do this in the UK.

Phil Jones is paid $22 million, and we get code as bad as this:-

* Francis at L'Ombre De L'Olivier says the coding language is inappropriate. Also inappropriate use of hard coding, incoherent file naming conventions, subroutines that fail without telling the user, etc etc.
* AJStrata discovered a file with two runs of CRU land temp data which show no global warming per the data laid out by country, and another CRU file showing their sampling error to be +/- 1°C or worse for most of the globe. Both CRU files show there has been no significant warming post 1960 era
* A commenter notes the following comment in some of the code:"***** APPLIES A VERY ARTIFICIAL CORRECTION FOR DECLINE*********"
* Good layman's summary of some of the coding issues with a file called "Harry". This appears to be the records of some poor soul trying to make sense of how the code for producing the CRU temperature records works. (rude words though, if you're a sensitive type)
* Borepatch discovers that CRU has lost its metadata. That's the bit that tells you where to put your temperature record on the map and so on.

Usually BoingBoing and Cory are on the side of the just and the righteous, but in this case they seem to be supporting the snakes.

1 comment:

  1. ! how can someone paid that much money even begin to think that asking someone to delete an email will remove it from existence - have they never heard of backups?

    I've a good mind to stick in an FOI request for those backup tapes...