We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence. The lack of trust is not a problem of perception or communication. It is a problem of lack of substance. Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

And most disturbing, for years you and the other climate scientists have not said a word about this disgraceful situation. When Michael Mann had to be hauled in front of a congressional committee to force him to follow the simplest of scientific requirements, transparency, you guys were all wailing about how this was a huge insult to him.

An insult to Mann? Get real. Mann is an insult and an embarrassment to climate science, and you, Judith, didn’t say one word in public about that. Not that I’m singling you out. No one else stood up for climate science either. It turned my stomach to see the craven cowering of mainstream climate scientists at that time, bloviating about how it was such a terrible thing to do to poor Mikey. Now Mann has been “exonerated” by one of the most bogus whitewashes in academic history, and where is your outrage, Judith? Where are the climate scientists trying to clean up your messes?

The solution to that is not, as you suggest, to give scientists a wider voice, or educate them in how to present their garbage to a wider audience.

The solution is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science. The solution is for you establishment climate scientists to police your own back yard. When Climategate broke, there was widespread outrage … well, widespread everywhere except in the climate science establishment. Other than a few lone voices, the silence there was deafening. Now there is another whitewash investigation, and the silence only deepens.

And you wonder why we don’t trust you? Here’s a clue. Because a whole bunch of you are guilty of egregious and repeated scientific malfeasance, and the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence. Your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes.

- Willis Eschenbach is unimpressed by Dr Judith Curry‘s ideas about reestablishing trust in climate science. Lots more Climategate commentary and links from North.

25 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • Very eloquent. Excellent.

  • Laird

    Great article. A bit lengthy, but well worth the read. I hope more than a few climate “scientists” do so.

  • A remarkably frank exposition of (what we all know but the MSM won’t copy and) the situation now is.

  • I don’t like to complicate SQOTDs with my own opinions. That’s for regular postings. But this all makes me think of what Michael Jennings said to me the other day, that one of the huge problems here is that science has been nationalised. I urged Michael to write that up as a blog posting here. He said he would. I hope he does.

  • Mike James

    Ouch. After reading the whole post, I am certain that it didn’t take long for Dr. Curry to exsanguinate completely.

  • Stonyground

    An excellent article that said almost everything that needs saying. Also, I learned a new word, bloviating, I had to look it up, very apt.

  • Laird

    Stonyground, you obviously never watch Bill O’Reilly! (I think he’s trademarked that word.)

  • Alice

    “one of the huge problems here is that science has been nationalised”

    Look up President Eisenhower’ Farewell Speech from the early 1960s — the one where he coined the phrase “military-industrial complex”. It’s on line.

    Next paragraph after the MIC, he warns about what will happen to science when the scientist are all suckling from Big Mama Government.

    Great article in this SQOTD, by the way. Worth every moment reading it. But as long as scientists who speak up about the squalid perversion of science risk losing their politically-driven funding, there won’t be many scientists speaking up. The damage goes far beyond the putrid mess that the climate “scientists” have made.

  • Nuke Gray

    Here in OZ, we have a doomist called Clive Hamilton, who has just written a book about how it’s now too late to avert the coming climate catastrophe! The failure of copenhagen gets a passing mention, labelled as proof that humans can’t agree on anything. He doesn’t directly blame capitalism, though anyone who doesn’t agree with him is cast in evil colours. I suppose there must be a disaster gene in all humans, making us prone to look for the cloud that goes with every silver lining.

  • knirirr

    …one of the huge problems here is that science has been nationalised…

    Indeed so.

  • Steven Rockwell

    I wonder if the problem is that science has been nationalized or that science has become so expensive that it requires someone with very deep pockets to fund it with no reward. The days when a scientist could run a few experiments in his basement laboratory and unlock a fundamental law of the universe by watching how a ball rolls are long since gone. Few organizations or even universities can afford to drop the coin on something like building their own CERN or space science programs or even long term climate science endevours.

    Not to defend the scientists looking to get on the government teat to fund their own ideological endevours, but let’s face facts: science is a very expensive proposition now and the only place to get the kind of money that requires is government.

    The flip side of that coin, and equally frightning in my opinion, is corporate sponeroship of science. What if Albert Einstein was on the payroll of Time Warner Cable when he came up with the theory of relativity. Does that mean that they alone can use the equation of E=MC2? Of if Pasteur was on the clock for Pfizer? Is scientific progress the providence of a few corporations or does it truly belong to all of humanity?

  • Nothing belongs to all of humanity, someone has to pay for it.

  • Steven Rockwell

    Should NASA have to pay Issac Newton’s estate for using calculus next time they shoot a rocket to the moon? After all, math doesn’t belong to humanity, right?

  • Should NASA have to pay Issac Newton’s estate for using calculus next time they shoot a rocket to the moon?

    Yes, had Newton stipulated so in his will, and had no one else developed calculus independently. But that is beside the point, which is who paid Newton to develop calculus? You are right when saying that science is vastly more expensive today than it was in Newton’s times, but that is only true in absolute terms, because the resources at our disposal today are vastly greater as well. Nothing wrong with corporations financing science, especially if they are not monopolies created through state regulation.

  • And Steven, I didn’t mean to sound as unpleasant as I now realize I sounded…

  • Laird

    Even if Newton had so stipulated, I think it would be out of copyright by now.

  • Steven Rockwell

    I don’t think science or knowledge should be proprietary. Inventions, sure. Processes or applications derived from science, absolutely. The knowledge of how the universe actually works, no. Science, at its most basic level, is the search for how the universe actually works and that shouldn’t be available to just a select few sinply because they foot the bill for it. It’s akin to someone like ConAgra claiming a patent on a piece of naturally occuring DNA or Donald Trump trademarking “You’re Fired” simply because nobody had done it before.

    Thankfully, most science and medicine research ends up in the academic journals that can be accesed by anyone with a library card or the internet these days, which is how science should work. I discover something, I tell the world, and we all learn something new. I really dislike the idea of some organization finding out why the world works like it does and then hordes the information.

    But then it begs the question, who is going to fund science now that it’s beyond the “why does an apple fall downward” phase and into the “we need a 30 billion dollar proton accelerator to figure out how gravity really works” phase. If we get funding from governments only if the scientists “find” the answer the government wants, then we end up with things like Global Warming or Racial Purity Laws. If we get funding from some corporation, we get some discovery hushed up. How do you tell a scientist he has an NDA and can’t move human knowledge forward with a discovery he makes? That goes against the concept of science in the first place. What’s left? Universities? They have to get funding from somewhere so we’re back in the same situation as before.

    I don’t have all the answers, but the thought of science being artificially held back by corporate interests just galls me. Exploiting that scientific information might be proprietary, but I don’t think that the information should be.

  • Should NASA have to pay Issac Newton’s estate for using calculus next time they shoot a rocket to the moon?

    As I understand it, Newtons estate would benefit if they were using fluctions. Leibniz’s offspring get the moolah from calculus.

  • Chuckles

    CC, so they’re saying the fluctions while doing the calculus?

    The behemoths are stirring, and some are not well pleased with the noise dust and disturbance – the Institute of Physics submission to the Parliamentiary Select Committee


  • tehag

    Does anyone know how the 71.3% figure was calculated? It seems very specific.

  • Steven, information cannot really be hoarded or held back at all, not for any significant period of time anyway, especially if it’s information about how our natural world works. Imagine that Einstein was a real nut and for his own crazy reasons decided to keep his relativity theories secret. Do you really think that no one else would have come up with similar ideas? I think it would only have been a matter of time someone else did. And, my initial premise of him wanting to hide it in the first place is mostly outlandish: most people want to share information, for all kinds of reasons. In fact, the usual problem is getting people to shut up and keep the information secret, not to make them talk about it. But, before you bring up the perfectly good point I think you are going to bring up: I am against government-mandated patents. I think all these matters should be subject to private contracts and agreements (just like all other areas of our lives BTW, but let’s not digress…) I hope this clarifies my position, and I don’t think that you and I are in much disagreement on principle.

  • Does anyone know how the 71.3% figure was calculated? It seems very specific.

    Please tell me you are joking.

  • Heh, I only now noticed myself – talk about paying attention…:-)

  • Kim du Toit

    Tehag, don’t worry about it. 91.34% of all quoted statistics are made up on the spot, anyway.

  • Nuke Gray

    Steve, how about Companies can keep their inventions, but if a new law is discovered, they announce it as having been discovered at their labs, thus gaining heaps of free publicity? i think that solves the problem. If einstein had thought of E=MCsquared whilst working for a furniture store, they wouldn’t have wanted it. If he’d been working for a military department, he might have had to be silent, but they couldn’t have stopped others from discovering it.