Wednesday, March 3, 2010


An interesting quote:

 In recent weeks we've seen a high profile and scathing New York Times investigation of fundraising abuses at the Congressional Black Caucus; Times reporting has also forced New York's first African-American governor to end his quest for a full term. In the House, the goo-goos are calling for Rangel to step down from his powerful committee chair. Reporting this aggressive on climate science would have sent Rajendra Pachauri packing months ago.

So, why haven't we seen aggressive reporting pertaining to climate science? Today, The New York Times published another flawed story. It stated,

...But he sharply disputed charges that he had hidden data or faked results. Some of the most serious allegations against Dr. Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, and other researchers have been debunked...

On exactly the same topic, here is what London's Daily Mail said of Dr. Jones' testimony,

Others, watching the tremulous Professor Jones, will have been less impressed. He may be right about man-made climate change. But you do rather hope that politicians sought second, third, even 20th opinions before swallowing his theories and trying to change the world’s industrial output.

A second Daily Mail article about the testimony reported:

Looking pale and clasping his shaking hands in front of him, he told MPs: 'I have obviously written some pretty awful emails.' 

He admitted withholding data about global temperatures but said the information was publicly available from American websites. 

And he claimed it was not 'standard practice' to release data and computer models so other scientists could check and challenge research.

Video of his testimony is here. If you are skeptical of my interpretation of this go to Part II of the testimony and advance to about 6:45 in the video and see for yourself.

The Royal societies of chemistry, physics, and statistics all weighed in in favor of sharing data, computer code, etc. As I have previously written, sharing results/data/etc. is the essence of the scientific method as even this outline for students in science fairs demonstrates. 

The New York Times does not report that any of this, unfortunately. Reporting that Jones himself admitted to withholding data (some of which was paid for by the U.S. taxpayers even though it is a British scientific institution) would hardly rise to the level of "aggressive" reporting. From where I sit it would simply be "complete" or "balanced" reporting. 

It is a continuing mystery to me why the reporting on climate 'science' is so lopsided. I always thought newspapers were in favor of public officials making public data public.  

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