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    ClimateGate – The Truth About Transparency
    By Bente Lilja Bye | March 31st 2010 07:37 AM | 93 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Bente Lilja

    Earth science expert and astrophysicist writes about Earth observation, geodesy, climate change, geohazards, water cycle and other science related...

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    Climategate is being evaluated by several committees. The truth about transparency of climate data and scientific methods is supposed to be revealed after analyses of the hacked emails from University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit (CRU).


    The first independent report on Climategate was published today; Wednesday 31. March 2010. The  UK Parliament's Science and Technology Committee announced that “Climate science must become more transparent”. Furthermore, the accompanying press release stated:

    Phil Willis MP, Committee Chair, said:

    "Climate science is a matter of global importance. On the basis of the science,  governments across the world will be spending trillions of pounds on climate change mitigation. The quality of the science therefore has to be irreproachable. What this inquiry revealed was that climate scientists need to take steps to make available all the data that support their work and full methodological workings, including their computer codes. Had both been available, many of the problems at CRU could have been avoided."

    The committee found that the focus on Director of CRU, Dr. Phil Jones had largely been misplaced and that his conduct related to data sharing had been in line with common practice.

    Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index from NASA/GISS

    This graph shows NASA/GISS data, one of three data sets showing the approximately the same development of global Land-Ocean temperature.

    Data policy is a matter for politicians, not scientists. I am therefore somewhat disappointed that the politicians in this S&T committee did not take full responsibility for it's own policy concerning data  sharing. They rather put the blame (however little) on the University when the state:

    “...The failure of the University to grasp fully the potential damage this [not sharing data following Freedom of Information] could do and did was regrettable. The University needs to re-assess how it can support academics whose expertise in FoI requests is limited.”

    As far as I can tell there is obviously a conflict between several policies; Freedom of Information on one hand and restrictive rules of data sharing on the other. Both political decisions. This problem seem to be overlooked by the S&T committee – and everybody else for that matter. It is unfair to place the responsibility at the University.

    An extract of the S&T committee's report can be found here on Scientificblogging.com. (by Patrick Lockerby)

    A more detailed coverage of this problem can be found here Climategate – To Share Or Not To Share (6:33 min):

    Article continues below the video.



    In my view CRU has done it's best to share information about their data. It is openly available to everybody on their website.

    Sharing Earth Observation Data

    Open data policy is not a new topic (as some journalists seem to think). In 2003, a number of countries and international organizations created a forum, Group of Earth Observations (GEO) for  high level discussions of overarching topics like open access to earth observation data. Essential climate variables ECV, such as temperature, of course included.

    Global Data Sharing Policy
    One of the key goals for GEO is to establish guidelines for open data policy and it is described in the GEO Implementation Plan:
    5.4 Data Sharing

    The societal benefits of Earth observations cannot be achieved without data sharing.

    The following are GEOSS data sharing principles:

    There will be full and open exchange of data, metadata, and products shared within GEOSS, recognizing relevant international instruments and national policies and legislation.

    All shared data, metadata, and products will be made available with minimum time delay and at minimum cost.

    All shared data, metadata, and products free of charge or no more than cost of reproduction will be encouraged for research and education.

    Use of data or products does not necessarily imply agreement with or endorsement of the purpose behind the gathering of such data.

    National legislation and regulations

    What is worth noting in these principles is first the wording “ recognizing relevant international instruments and national policies and legislation”. Even though the GEO members and participating organizations agreed on the fundamental idea of open data sharing, the wording of the principles could not conflict with national laws and regulations. The group of scientists in Climategate collected data from all over the world and had to respect a variety of rules and regulations, not only UK's.


    Security and National Interests

    It is also worth noticing the last phrase “Use of data or products does not necessarily imply agreement with or endorsement of the purpose behind the gathering of such data.”. This is included basically thanks to Brazil who'd have trouble with satellite data used to prove exploitation of their rain forest (which they deny). And such is modern earth observation, that we can gather a lot of  information that used to be regarded as highly sensitive both for security and national interests. For the record; Brazil is not the only country with this 'problem'. It does point to a challenge for scientists who need data from a region that are under some political stress, or have an old-fashion view on data sharing. Like China's reluctance to share gravity data as they used to be sensitive data enabling rockets to find their way to the enemies territories. Today, high resolution bathymetric data is an example of data that are regarded highly sensitive by most nations. However, scientists can make a gentleman's agreements with good colleagues across boarders and get access to data that would never have been released by government or any official body. Obviously these data cannot be shared with people outside the group included in the gentleman's agreement, in some cases not even be  mentioned as they would compromise helpful colleagues. Because it is for a common good, this  practice is accepted.


    Economy and Competition

    I spend four years as Director of European Sea Level Service. Our main objective was to provide  quality ensured sea level data from Europe to all users. Thus free open access to one of the essential climate variables. One of several epiphanies I had during that time was that when Meteorological organizations bragged about open access of their data, what they really meant was that within a  group of met organizations they could all use each others data – after signing an agreement. Thus the data could not be made available to all users on the internet – as we wanted to do. Moreover, the closer you got to real time data, the harder it was to share with others. In this case it also a matter of business. Data are sold and give competitive advantages to companies. Some public organizations  are obliged to make money on their data products and thus are not in a position to share the data freely.


    Quality of data

    Raw data should be shared, says the committee. Yes, indeed. But, the raw data is of no use if you do not know the quality of those data. Thus you need meta data; data about the data. Many things can go wrong when collecting data. Instruments can fail or simply have a built in error. The latter can be corrected if known, but if unknown will give more or less false data. The instruments can be moved by kids or workers or other unforeseen actions can take place. Meta data will also include information about these sort of things. We operate with the term “known quality”. The data can be of great use even if they are not perfect, but you need to know what quality they have to make best use of it. Sometimes, it is necessary to make so called derived product to make the raw data meaningful. That brings us to the question of prizing. Who should pay for the work of making those derived products? There might be intellectual rights involved etc.


    The truth about transparency

    What I miss in the Climategate statement and report from S&T Committee is an acknowledgement of the complexity of the issue of transparency and that they take on the responsibility to sort out the issues connected to open data policies. All they needed to do was to refer to UK's work in GEO. GEO was established as a forum for discussions of challenges of this character – that could not be solved without involvement of politicians.


    UK S&T committee should have known about GEO and it's work particularly on data sharing policies. There are even Ministerial conferences – so there is no excuse really, not to know about this. There is a new chance to stay abreast at GEO Ministerial in China in November 2010 though.

    I might be ignorant and unable to understand the 'saving of face' or underlying political strategy behind the UK Parliament's S&T Committee's statement. Because when it comes to sharing climate data, the truth about transparency is that politicians are responsible to create the framework for doing so first. Then we can talk about who break rules.  I'll be bold enough to suggest politicians do their homework properly before the next reports are released.

    You'll find Freedom of Information and UK Law a helpful introductory if you want to understand.

    So far the name Climategate is undeserved. In my view even the BBC, here represented by blogger Richard Black, haven't got Climategate right. Black who in this relatively unbiased article says "...But in the main, it is in the established practices of scientists and their institutions that reform is urged -..."

    Peer review is a well functioning scientific practice. It is the political framework that urgently needs to be changed.



    Comments

    logicman
    Bente: you beat me to the punch on this topic.  Was the pdf released at midday Scandinavian time?

    I have just spent about 3 hours reading the two pdf files, and mighty boring they are. ;-)

    I have no journalism skills, so I can't condense 2.7Mb of data into two paragraphs the way the quality newspapers do.  It will take some time to write this up.
    Stellare
    This topic is close to my heart as I have worked extensively with open data policy issues. It is not straight forward, let me tell you.

    I have spent some time reading the skeptics views on Climategate as well (I will add links in my article later on). Actually several of their reports. What strikes me is that very soon they become irrational and draw conclusions from now where around the fact to the matter.

    In The Group of Earth Observation (GEO) I learned how difficult data sharing policy is to handle. The political agendas are vast and complex. You have no idea how hard it was to formulate a common policy that all nations and organizations could identify with  - in spite of the fact that everybody was in favor of 'open data sharing'.

    And it is all boring. In that respect Climategate is a gift for us who have worked with open data sharing policy. It makes the topic less boring I guess. :-) It gave me an excuse to make the video that I have included in the article. :-)

    Yes, the pdf was released 11 am UK time (12 pm CET). I am a skilled policy maker that is used to scan thousands of pages in no-time. hahahaha

    I will continue to add more stuff to my article...I will focus on the lack of discussion on the conflict between FoI act and national data policy. I can't believe that they just ignore the written agreements (legal documents) stating that they cannot share the data. And that is from Meteorological organizations, too.

    If you make a short version of the pdf I'll be happy to include a link to it here. :)

     Bente
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    I am a skilled policy maker that is used to scan thousands of pages in no-time. hahahaha

    I'm skilled in computer stuff - like scanning, OCR and such.  I haven't the time or the stamina to type stuff that I can get my computer to convert to ascii text for me.

    There's an awful lot of awful stuff on awful sites.  I found one 'denier' site that states: the atmosphere is 95% H2O.  I kid you not. 

    Thanks for the link offer.  I'll be about another half to one hour with a condensation of the main pdf.
    Hank
    Bente: you beat me to the punch on this topic.
    Never a bad thing to have people swarm on a topic.   That's how our Hot Topic ideas get born!
    logicman
    Never a bad thing to have people swarm on a topic.  
    That's how our Hot Topic ideas get born!

    Yes, but the climate is getting too darn hot.  ;-)
    Hank
    ha ha ... show your data!   The climate is only getting hotter if you go by temperature.  For higher orders of thinking, it is actually freezing out there.   Or the same.   Or something.
    logicman
    ha ha ... show your data!   The climate is only getting hotter if you go by temperature.  For higher orders of thinking, it is actually freezing out there.   Or the same.   Or something.

    Hmm.  Are you sure this isn't antisciblog?  While I was writing my article on the report, my computer crashed - which I have forbidden it on pain of death - and then your computer refused to let me finalise my post, so I had to retitle and copy over.  It's all a conspiracy I tell you!
    Hank
    You are not the only one.   The paranoid conspiracy kook who got chased out of here thinks we control the entire Interwebs - Danger! Anti-Science/Free Speech Teabaggers from Scientificblogging.com Are Hacking Twitter, Gmail and Blog Accounts.  

    Who knew Gerhard was so edgey and dangerous??   :)

    One of his two idiotic profiles on here said (I must paraphrase because it is deleted now) "i wuz labeld a troublemakr on twittr ... lolz" or whatever, which would explain hs/her/its being banned from there.  Forgetting a gmail password is just incompetence.
    Stellare
    Thank you for that link about Teabaggers. I have no idea what Teabaggers are, but still...

    And I must say that it all escaped me that you had "...this hostile and aggressive political behavior..." when we met in SF. I must be extremely naive and downright blind, I guess. :-)

    PS. Gerhard has always scared me. Then I again, I've never met him! So it is probably true. Like everything you read about that you do not have first hand knowledge of. (Sorry Gerhard, couldn't help my self.) :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    Yeah ... that's me. Pretty scary :) However, it is annoying when someone can still get your name wrong despite having the ability to cut and paste (now that's scary). :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    WHAT?! OMG! Hank and Gerhard are just about the furthest thing from "teabaggers" that I can think of! And this is coming from a progressive liberal! LOL Unbelievable!
    Stellare
    Somebody show mercy and explain an ignorant foreigner what exactly a 'teabagger' is. I guess it is not somebody who physically bags tea!? Or what? :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    They are the dregs of humanity, Bente as far a I'm concerned. They represent the extreme Christian right in our nation and the multi-national corporations. They are racist, and against any kind of change that is good for the US and the American people.

    I know Hank is conservative in his views, but he is MOST definitely NOT a teabagger! And neither is Gerhard. These are two very intelligent, reasonable men--the antithesis of a teabagger.
    Hank
    I am conservative for California, though I am probably a liberal in 45 other states.   I generally think people should keep more of their money and everything else is their business.  But I heart the environment and if I had my druthers I would grow, kill, clean and cook everything that went in my family's tummy.  My wife loves Trader Joe's too much for that to happen any time soon.

    I did support the original healthcare thing, in contrast to other Republicans (and what set off the Tea Party movement), because the argument was 'we will end up paying as much as Europeans in taxes' and I already pay as much as Europeans in taxes so if a poor kid can go to a doctor, okay by me.     But I am not blind to the fact that we could tax 'the rich' 100% and it will come nowhere near paying for everything we are already on the hook for and this compromise health care program is a Pyhrric victory for Obama that won't be very good.

    We have been called a 'conservative' site before and I had to note that the people leveling that charge against us were supposedly 'liberals' yet had swanky Manhattan offices, a sales force, $20 million from investment bankers and their writers were all paid, while I built this in my den for free using 5,000 hours of my time and you guys do this for pretty much nothing.

    Well, I'm opposed to extremes on either side, Hank. In many ways, I have conservative views. I'm a fiscal conservative who does not believe in a deficit or in debt. I believe you live within your means and that especially applies to government. I don't believe in bailing out private banks which out of greed, exploited a real-estate balloon, while 1 out of 5 children in this country go hungry each and every day--billions of dollars in loans incidentally which they have yet to pay back, while they continue to give themselves hefty bonuses.

    I don't mind paying heavy taxes as long as I get my money's worth. I do mind billions of my tax dollars going to the greediest billionaires on this planet!

    I, personally, do not think "democratic socialism' is a dirty word. And as for President Obama health care reform, even the teabaggers, who think it's appropriate to yell out racial and homophobic slurs at members of Congress while entering the Capitol building and threatening assination over the Internet, will benefit from this reform.

    It is as Disraeli once said, "I am conservative when it comes to things that work and a liberal when it comes to things that don't work."

    I am also conservative in my belief about honor, honesty, duty and doing the highest quality of work and most importantly being a moral  and compassionate human being.

    As far as the site goes, I think it is as it should be. It is open to new ideas, but at the same time committed to good science.
    And just for the record, I am far from rich, Hank. I have a comfortable one bedroom apartment and enough money to live off of. I worked my way through college under a full scholarship and grant which I earned through a lot of hard work, sweat and tears. I do not except charity, but I have given plenty to many of them. I know what it's like to be homeless in a wealthy country, because I was homeless at age 19 during one of the coldest winters in the history of Chicago. But I survived and thrived and went on to get my degree. So, I'll be damned if I will be lectured to by anyone on anything!
    Hank
    That was my take also.  My being conservative was supposed to be a slur when I was the one working for free and the supposed 'liberals' doing the insulting were having strategy meetings on how to boost pageviews and therefore their incomes.  And torpedoing competitors they feared.

    Being conservative seemed like the right place to be in that context.  But in fairness, the overwhelming majority of contributors here are liberal and without them, there would be no site.  Getting conservatives to write for free is next to impossible.  I have tried!
    LOL Hank! Well, anyone who knows you knows that what was written in that site about you and Gerhard was nothing but a bunch of propaganda and absolute nonsense. : )
    Gerhard Adam
    Eric

    As you know I'm rabidly anti-science and am working ceaselessly to bring about another Dark Ages.  I'm waiting to get out my Druid robes and start hauling large stones ....
    Mundus vult decipi
    ROFLMAO Gerhard!!! ;-)
    logicman
    Gerhard: I can help you out with a NASA data set of ley line coordinates so you know how to align those monoliths.
    Gerhard Adam
    Yeah ... like I'm going to do the heavy lifting ...that's what followers are for :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    So, if the Tea Party folks are racist why are there African Am. Tea Party members? Is saying they are "racist" a way for the left wing socialist libs to make the tea party folks look bad. Tea Party wants LESS BIG GOVERMENT!

    Gerhard Adam

    Sure they do...  that's why everytime their party is in power, the government gets bigger, the debt gets bigger, and our freedoms become less ....

    Remember that the political party that keeps talking about smaller government has NEVER made it smaller.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Touché and bravo, Gerhard!
    Tea party members are made up of Democrats, Republicans & Independents. Your really not well informed are you, you must get your info from cnbc.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh please.  The "Tea Party Movement" was almost single-handedly manufactured by Fox News and is a pathetic excuse for any kind of protest.  If these people were even remotely interested in smaller government then their protest would be focused on removing those in power rather than simply engaging in mindless rhetoric.

    Instead they focus on single issues with little or no understanding of the underlying factors that need to be discussed.  Where were they when Bush was handing out billions of dollars to the financial industry?  Where were they when two ill-conceived wars were initiated?  Where were they when the national debt reached astronomical proportions?

    The truth is that they are totally clueless.  I don't believe in big government, but I believe in corporate rule even less.  Everything done over the past few decades has lead us to the point we are now and these people are foolish enough to think that waving a few teabags around will get anyone's attention?

    This is precisely why nothing of substance gets done, because such movements are more entertainment than they are serious politics.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Well said, Gerhard. You pretty much nailed it!
    Your ignorance on this subject is really shinning through. Do you really think the Democrats or Independents of this group were happy about the "ill conceived wars" or the big handouts. Obama, Acorn, Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac can all be easily connected. The Tea Party members are sick of "business as usual" in Washington. www.youtube.com/themouthpeace#p/f will give you an eye opener and the opportunity to check facts if you choose to do so.

    Gerhard Adam
    The Tea Party members are sick of "business as usual" in Washington.
    Unless you're under 30 (in which case you can be forgiven your naivete) ... people have been against "business as usual" for decades.  Which is precisely why they vote in the same people every term.  How utterly stupid is it that various legislatures had to pass "term limits"?  It's quite obvious that without term limits people are behaving too stupidly to stop voting for the same individual regardless of how little they do.

    So spare me the faux radicalism.  Business as usual is precisely what people do want, and they're behaving in exactly the way to ensure they continue to get it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Boy! You're on a real roll tonight, Gerhard!

    We definitely need term limits!
    Term Limits? your for them??? oh golly geez, so is the Tea Party Klan!!!

    Gerhard Adam
    Term limits are a joke.  It is simply another unnecessary law which increases the reach and power of government.  People have ALWAYS had the right to limit the terms of their elected officials, but instead of being responsible voters, they actually forced legislation to be passed so that they didn't have the choice.  This strikes you as a good thing?
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, it doesn't, Gerhard. But if people don't have the good sense to vote bad people out of office, especially when they have had years to become entrenched in their corruption, you tell me what other alternative is there? People aren't going to get smarter over night, if at all. The teabaggers are living proof of that!
    Funny you should mention 'Klan'. I noticed that they stopped wearing their white hoods. But they sure don't have a problem yelling racial slurs at an African-American Congressman as he is entering the Capital building with his fellow democrats.
    Haha, every group has bad apples, still some of the Tea Party Klan members are African Am. One is the past president of our local NAACP! No violence has been involved at Tea Party gathering EXCEPT by white SEIU members who attacked an African Am. street vendor who was selling pro Tea Party things.

    Not to mention threats of assassination....that's your tea party!
    Yes, let's hope they don't track this threat down to a young African Am. like they did the Obama assassination threat. Still a threat- not real violence.

    Hank
    Prior to the American Revolution, citizens protested a heinous increase in taxes (in that case, on tea) by dumping it all in Boston Harbor.  It was later called the Boston Tea Party and was the first reported instance of a minority getting unfairly profiled because they dressed up like American Indians, who were apparently notorious coffee drinkers, I guess.

    Now people calling themselves the Tea Party Movement are protesting heinous taxes that did not even go into effect yet.   How dare people want to stop increased taxes before they even start?!?

    Teabaggers is a derogatory slur on them (it is, apparently, slang for a sex act I shall not discuss here) because kooks slur everyone who disagrees with them.    And apparently we must all be evil Republications bent on suppressing free speech if we don't allow people to publish un-scientific rubbish here.   

    It isn't like we don't give people multiple chances.   First, we make nice enough comments.    Then if that does not guide people back to rational science, we unpublish some blogs.   Finally, in extremis we go all Rugbyologist on them.
    Like I said, Hank is conservative in his views. LOL ;-)

    But he is right about the name being derived from the Boston Tea Party in protest of taxation without representation. You forgot the "representation" part, Hank. In fact, the teabaggers have had way too much representation in the last decade, as far as this "progressive liberal" is concerned! LOL ;-)

    Nothing wrong with being a conservative.....I mean, no one's perfect! LOL Just yanking your chains, Hank. ;-)
    Stellare
    Thank you, Hank!  :-) I did not know this part of American history.

    I find this site spacious, allowing a mix of serious discussions and friendly humor - colored by different political views.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    One other piece of information ....

    The reason they are called "teabaggers" is because they used tea bags to symbolize their protest to create a parallel with the original Boston Tea Party. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stellare
    Ah! The WORLD FAMOUS Boston Tea Party! Why didn't I think of that...:-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    For students and speakers of EFL - English as a Foreign Language - I am joking.

    Teabaggers - Americans who think that it is wrong to put taxes on Texas Tea.

    Go all Rugbyologist - a phrase meaning 'to lose patience as only a big, muscular, heavy, not very patient guy knows how.'

    also

    'to have as little patience with an idiot as Buzz Aldrin.'
    Stellare
    I looove your take on linguistics, Patrick. Always very well explained. LOL

    I am now looking forward to some footage of the Rugbyologist in action - to match Buzz. For the balance. :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    That's one of my all-time favorite clips, Patrick! Way to go, Buzz!

    "Texas Tea" You nailed that one, Patrick! LOL
    adaptivecomplexity
    Prior to the American Revolution, citizens protested a heinous increase in taxes (in that case, on tea) by dumping it all in Boston Harbor. It was later called the Boston Tea Party and was the first reported instance of a minority getting unfairly profiled because they dressed up like American Indians, who were apparently notorious coffee drinkers, I guess...Teabaggers is a derogatory slur on them (it is, apparently, slang for a sex act I shall not discuss here)
    I don't use the word, but you do have to admire the mix of history, pop culture, and sex that go into it... I can understand Bente's confusion.
    Mike
    CJE
    Patrick: Global warming? lol. It's overcast and about 60 degrees here in Sacramento, below average for this time of year. How can there be global warming? I can't feel it. Explain that with your colorful graphs and fancy shmancy science.
    logicman
    Patrick: Global warming? lol. It's overcast and about 60 degrees here in Sacramento, below average for this time of year. How can there be global warming? I can't feel it. Explain that with your colorful graphs and fancy shmancy science.

    Yes, and it's been snowing rather heavily in Ireland and Scotland - and the 'what happened to global warming' media commenters are SHOUTING about it, just as I (sort of, nearly) predicted.  More Snow Anyone?

    Proof?  You want proof already?  When was the last time you saw someone light a cigarette with a match?  You can't get them.  They're scarce.  That's because the place where the lucifer trees grew is now a baking hot desert.  And those lighters - they get filled by cheap labour up where the clathrates are melting.

    OOps - not quite calendes aprilis yet. ;-)
    I find the premise of this article flawed. Its one thing if this was about the private sector, but in academia its the responsibility of the parties in question to have their data readily available, including meta data, code, explanation about the code and so forth once a certain cutoff date has passed. As a scientist, that was the very first lesson I was taught in my undergrad lab class and it remains doubly true as a proffessional. The primary task here is replication, and the whole point is to make it easy to replicate whatever work you've just done (in other fields this is usually in the authors self interest).

    Again, completely different than if you had patents pending or if the research was not finalized or even if the authors in question are not affiliated with a public university. However, once a paper is submitted to a journal as far as i'm concerned thats the cutoff date where any further complication is absurd and against the spirit of science. If you can't release your data or the methods used to analyze the data for whatever reason, then don't publish the paper.

    What I find most troubling about the whole climategate transparency issue, isn't so much that a few scientists were lazy and/or didn't want to waste their time explaining their code to people who were openly hostile of their work or even that they may not have been able too. What really bothers me, is how few of the establishment even bothered to try to replicate the results in the first place or didn't cry foul when propietary code was used to establish a significant result.

    It would be like if a particle physicist decided that they had found a new quark in the CDF data utillizing some new software package, but then didn't release the code. Thats crazy.

    Stellare
    I agree it seems natural and in line with our scientific training like you state:
    "...in academia its the responsibility of the parties in question to have their data readily available, including meta data, code, explanation about the code and so forth..."

    But as I have shown and explained that is not the reality of the matter. It is not the scientists who decide if data are openly available. You have to realize that there are many different data providers. All with different rules and regulations to respect.

    When it comes to code of software, that is oftentimes copyright protected, and even science users do not have access to core code. Software are often commercial ware and not freely available.

    But, as I also clearly point out, this problem has been discussed for many years now. GEO provided both the framework for high level political discussions as well as working out the factual background for those discussions.

    If you are unhappy with the transparency of data and methods, (like me and many others) it is the politicians you should contact. The downright harassment of scientists like we see in Climategate, is a waste of everybody's time.

    Just to be completely clear: I agree that both data and scientific methods should be transparent. So much so I want to direct the energy to solve this problem to the right place, namely with the politicians.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Wow, I guess it's appropriate that "Alice In Wonderland" has been re-made, since we have clearly stepped through the rabbit hole.
    First, I go to an article that pretends to be about open sharing of data, yet the first two graphs I see are about as misleading as any that can be found on climate change. These are common though, and show the change in global temps from the bottom of the last "Little Ice Age" to today.
    Unfortunately, stupid people will look at that, and think that there is something unusual about our current temps, which are clearly still below what is optimum, but you'd have to be able to look at the big picture to see that, and it seems the folks who are concerned about "open and free sharing of data" have no interest in providing the full picture.
    2nd, I find some miscreant who describes the Tea Party folks as the lowest forms of life and representing extreme conservative Christians, which again is nothing but propaganda. Along with some guy blathering about kids going to the doctor is he supports Obama's takeover of the healthcare industry.
    Clearly, these people get their information from the same source, and have no real knowledge of what they speak.
    Like many, they are educated above their intelligence and ability to discern truth from fiction.
    No wonder the lie of AGW is falling apart.

    Stellare
    I'm sorry to have disappointed you.

    You say "...Unfortunately, stupid people will look at that, and think that there is something unusual about our current temps..,"

    It is however a fact that we do have global warming - regardless of earlier warm periods. It is getting warmer than what we have structured our living around and therefor it is stupid (you seem to like that word) not to consider this matter of natural fact. In that respect it is actually irrelevant whether it some thousands or millions of years ago was warmer.

    If you are familiar with Einstein you'd know that everything is relative! ;-)

    I insist being true to my heading - the story is about transparency of earth observation data and what challenges our global society have to sort out before we achieve the openness that we all want. And that is the case for those who take climate change seriously as well as deniers. Or perhaps it suits deniers better if current level of transparency is kept as is?
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    Bente: The faint early sun paradox has been resolved.  No more extreme early CO2 levels.  Just extreme late holocene.  Faint Young Sun - No Paradox
    "...Unfortunately, stupid people will look at that, and think that there is nothing unusual about our latest conspiratorial whispers..,"

    ;-)
    It is getting warmer than what we have structured our living around and therefor it is stupid (you seem to like that word) not to consider this matter of natural fact.

    I think you hit on a key point right there, Bente. The infrastructure we have developed and upon which we depend isn't designed for a higher global temperature. And unlike our early hominid ancestors, there are too many of us on this planet for us just to pickup and go someplace else more suitable. Wars start that way, and a World War could easily start that way.

    I do not envy the youth of this world. The future that they have to look forward to is the stuff of which nightmares are made.
    The hoax really "hit home" with me when I discovered the extreme highs & lows from the 1930's had been removed from my areas list on weather.com. Weather Channel founder says John Coleman says global warming is a hoax and is angry at the direction the Weather Channel has gone. Doom and gloom does sell tho. Our temps have been changing forever. Can we grow corn at 2600 meters elevation? No, but it was done in past civilizations. I'm all for finding & using better energy sources but passing a bill that will make my electricity bill jump 120% (that's right, that what cap & trade would do) doesn't set well with me. Let the inventors of today and tomorrow find better ways to produce and discover energy sources with out the gov. choke hold this bill would put the country in. The bloombox fellow seems to be on to something. I don't know much about the batteries in the Tesla cars or their mercury content. I do know the life expectancy of an electric motor is around 1 million miles tho. That has got to scare auto makers. No moving motor parts to replace, no oil changes:-), but the mercury in the batteries, hmmm? Will foreign countries be able to afford the food the USA produces if this bill passes? Corruption has evolved in Belgium in their "cap & trade", just think of the magnitude of corruption it would take on in the US. The global warmers have been caught in way too may lies for me to ever trust them. Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet so I can post this here. Al Gore, March 9, 1999 on CNN "I created the Internet"

    Gerhard Adam
    You want to talk about a hoax and lies?  You can't even get the simplest documented evidence correct.


    Thank you Al Gore for inventing the internet so I can post this here. Al Gore, March 9, 1999 on CNN "I created the Internet"

    However, if you're interested in what he really said:


    During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet. I took the initiative in moving forward a whole range of initiatives that have proven to be important to our country's economic growth and environmental protection, improvements in our educational system.
    http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/03/09/president.2000/transcript.gore/index.html
    I couldn't help but notice that even with the internet, you didn't bother to actually look up the quote.  You simply parroted back what you had heard from someone else.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Al is still taking way more credit than he deserves- are you on the board of Kliener Perkins also. Cap & Trade would make you & Al even more wealthy.

    Stellare
    You seem to be somewhat casual with your management of facts. Nevertheless I'll comment on a couple of your point - in spite the fact that I have a strong feeling it will be in vain. :-)

    You state that

    "...the extreme highs&lows from the 1930's had been removed from my areas list on weather.com."

    I do not know where you live or how extreme extreme is in this case, but generally speaking when dealing with data and you want to decide a representative average you need to take out certain 'spikes' that is misrepresenting the measurements. Those spikes can come from instrumental errors or special conditions around the instrument, like someone changed the immediate environment influencing the measurements. There are algorithms to handle that now. Scientists inform which method of averaging they use.

    It is humans that handle the data and analyses them so it is safe to assume that errors are made. I think you make a bigger error all together by assuming that anything irregular or small errors means it is all a hoax. It tells me you are not really critical but want to believe something rather than actually know.

    Next; I guess you assume we do have a heating of the planet when you say:

    "...Our temps have been changing forever. Can we grow corn at 2600 meters elevation? No, but it was done in past civilizations.."

    A very big difference between just a few hundred years back and now, is that the human population has grown exponentially. So the adaptation you imply is not possible anymore. Humans flock to create mega cities - on top of it all along the coasts where sea level rise is expected.

    Global warming is a big deal no matter what you believe causes it.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    You state that

    "...the extreme highs&lows from the 1930's had been removed from my areas list on weather.com."

    I do not know where you live or how extreme extreme is in this case, but generally speaking when dealing with data and you want to decide a representative average you need to take out certain 'spikes' that is misrepresenting the measurements. Those spikes can come from instrumental errors or special conditions around the instrument, like someone changed the immediate environment influencing the measurements. There are algorithms to handle that now. Scientists inform which method of averaging they use.

    So, let's change the data to fit our cause! Weather.com, Monroe, LA , all past temp from 30's have been removed. Jump over 100 miles to 71111 the dates from the 1930's are still there. (for now) Since these records are from (I assume) Barksdale AFB they cannot be tampered with.

    The health bill that was just passed started as a population control.
    “If some individuals contribute to general social deterioration by overproducing children, and if the need is compelling, they can be required by law to exercise reproductive responsibility—just as they can be required to exercise responsibility in their resource-consumption patterns—providing they are not denied equal protection.” (Excerpt from the book “Ecoscience”. It was co-written by John Holdren, President Obama’s Science Czar. )

    Yes, maybe getting rid over the undesirables by making them sterile will help slow global warming. Let's stop feeding the starving in drought stricken areas and let nature take its course. Let's stop vaccinating our children from disease. Let's take a hard stance on population control! Let's all become homosexuals for awhile. Quit taking your heart med's! For you really want to make a difference, please stop breathing.

    Oh my, watching the suffering will not be easy.

    Do you own stock in Kleiner Perkins?

    Gerhard Adam
    I'll bet it's those same guys from the grassy knoll that they keep sequestered in Area 51.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stellare
    Gerhard, are you talking about cows now? Or is it sheep?
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Gerhard Adam
    Actually the "grassy knoll" refers to a conspiracy theory about the John F. Kennedy assassination, where it is suggested that this is where additional shooters were located. BTW ... every time I mention grass doesn't automatically mean cows or horses (and I've never kept sheep) :))
    Mundus vult decipi
    logicman
    Grass: noun, (slang) 1 an informer; 2 marijuana.

    Knoll: noun, a mound.

    Grassy knoll: a mound of conspiratorial informers smoking illegally.

    Gerhard Adam
     ...mound of conspiratorial informers smoking illegally.
    Are you suggesting that there is a legal way to smoke?
    Mundus vult decipi
    logicman
    Are you suggesting that there is a legal way to smoke?
    I understand that there are as yet no laws against the smoking of tobacco on Malden island.

    However, it is illegal to land there.
    Stellare
    "So, let's change the data to fit our cause!" Have you at all bothered to find out why they could not use those temperature data?

    You lost me completely when you started your rant on population control. It has no link to my comment.

    I have no idea what Kleiner Perkins is and why you bring that up in connection with scientific methods, data and global data policy.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    I have no idea what Kleiner Perkins is ...
    It's a venture capital company with interests in I.T.
    It is tenuously connected with Al Gore, so opponents of climate science are required to hate it as a part of their religion.
    Stellare
    I suspected something along those lines, but to me it sounds more like an exotic illness or something :-)

    Either way - I don't have it.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    ... to me it sounds more like an exotic illness or something :-)

    Either way - I don't have it.
    Nice one!  :-)
    Gerhard Adam
    Eric

    I'm picking up the thread down here so it doesn't become too compressed.  The issue of term limits is a devious one because it involves people passing legislation to restrict their own freedom to choose.  The mere fact that a majority could vote to create term limits makes you wonder why a majority couldn't vote to remove people from office.

    Unfortunately it strikes me that most people aren't necessarily stupid as they are politically lazy.  They love to complain and whine about "business as usual", but when given the choice invariably vote for "business as usual".  I don't like the idea of passing laws regardless of how sensible they may seem, because each such action reduces the freedoms and responsibilities we have as individuals. 

    In reality, term limits have done little to change government, but now that they are in effect, the only result will be detrimental because it will assure that good people cannot be retained, while the mediocre and corrupt will certainly be in long enough.  Why will they remain as long as they do?  Because even with term limits, there is no individual so corrupt that they won't be re-elected by their constituency. 

    People love to complain or engage in symbolic gestures like the "Tea Party" protests.  However, it would never occur to these people to actually vote for change.  When they choose leaders based on irrelvant positions regarding abortion, religion, and even evolution ... it is little wonder they produce a politics that is a shambles when it comes to running a country.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm going to be honest with you, Gerhard. I don't have much faith in the American people. Twice they voted Ronald Reagan into office and twice they voted George W. Bush into office.

    I had read somewhere many years ago that the intelligence level of the average American was that
    of a twelve-year-old. Well, you know what? After what I have seen all of these years, I'm beginning to believe that that's true. That's just the way it is!
    Gerhard Adam
    I also lack faith in people, but that's precisely why I'm opposed to all such legislations.  Those that I might agree with can be easily replaced by those I disagree with.  I'm no fan of more laws that restrict mine or anyone's freedoms. 

    No matter how irresponsible people are, it can only be beneficial for me to retain as many rights as I can, rather than give in to the short-term gain of a law I happen to favor at the moment.  No law that purports to protect people from themselves can ever be a good law in my view.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Point well taken, Gerhard. It's a tough issue. There are pros and cons on each side. It's more out of a sense of desperation that I say that I'm for term limits. But I have also been on the other side of that argument. But, I have to agree with you about not wanting anymore laws that restrict our freedoms even more. I'm ambivalent on this issue.

    Right now I'm more concerned about what to do with the Supreme Court. I belong to an organization pushing for an amendment to the US Constitution which would in effect reverse the Supreme decision affording corporations 14th amendment protection, thus allowing unbridled campaign contributions under the pretense of the 1st amendment right to freedom of expression by declaring them "individuals".
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I'm certainly in favor of that, although I'm skeptical that much progress can be made with the current court and the general economic "wonderland" that far too many people embrace.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yup! I know what you mean.
    Aitch
    Right now I'm more concerned about what to do with the Supreme Court. I
    belong to an organization pushing for an amendment to the US
    Constitution which would in effect reverse the Supreme decision
    affording corporations 14th amendment protection, thus allowing
    unbridled campaign contributions under the pretense of the 1st amendment
    right to freedom of expression by declaring them "individuals".

    Eric

    I'm with you on that, as it is a double edged sword. Not only does it give corporations an opportunity to claim 'individual' rights, and 'cook the books' financially, and for self interest, but we as individuals are being convicted of corporate crime, by the anti-copying lobby who are bringing actions, and winning!, [albeit unlawfully] against individuals for copyright theft, despite the fact that as individuals we are not 'corporate persons', as defined in those acts
    There is a great deal of difference, legally, and historically, between a person and an individual

    Copyright Law is limited to enforcement against competing "Commercial Business Entity Persons" (corporations) who violate the Terms and Conditions of Commercial Contract.
    The Flesh and Blood Man or Woman (a non-commercial living creation) is exempt from any such restrictions unless the Man or Woman is a "General Partner" of any such "Commercial Business Entity Person."

    Ref: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x7hm3g_government-deception-are-you-a-p...

    I'm for individual rights of freedom as envisaged in Magna Carta on which our common law heritage is based - it may be the only argument to defeat this corporate 'legal' scam!

    If they want individual freedom of expression, then counter it with 'pay no taxes' and see how long they support government when they find no-one's buying from them

    Do you suppose I could get a patent on 'The Word'? then no-one could use them....tee hee

    Aitch
    The people of Massachusetts did elect their 1st Republican senator in many years. 12 million in online contributions, these people were serious about their convictions. Money for a guy who drives a truck? It's a little crazy sounding to me, but it worked.
    Agreed, actions that reduce freedoms & responsibilities of individuals is bad for any sector. The Tea Party pushes this issue. Term limits were over looked by our founding fathers, to get this issue changed would take a miracle. Convicted US Senator William Jefferson (the 90 grand in hard cold cash in his freezer) was still elected by his "brilliant" constituents after FBI raided his house & found the marked bills. Since his conviction, which is being appealed, his brother has been found guilty of bribery, is in jail, and is awaiting trial for misusing non-profit funds that Sen. Jefferson funneled his way. Sen. Jefferson's sister & niece have plead guilty of misusing those funds, millions of dollars for the poor, that went in Jefferson family slush fund. After running low on cash due to delaying keeping cases out of court for years, Sen. Jefferson called upon the preachers of his district to call together their congregations to "donate" to Jefferson's defense fund. There is your 12 yr. old mentality! The lobbyist should all be removed from Washington also, but that would be like taking the drug rep's away from the doctors- it'll never happen.

    Gerhard Adam
    Term limits were over looked by our founding fathers, to get this issue changed would take a miracle.

    They weren't overlooked.  The assumption is that people will vote and determine who should serve and the number of terms would be determined by the people.  Instead you seem to think that depriving people of such a right is for their own good.  I can't think of anything more representative of a "nanny state" mindset than that.
    Mundus vult decipi
    logicman
    It's probably futile, but I'll try to get this topic back to the politics and practicalities of disclosure.

    Where do we draw the line. 

    I am currently working on some computer modelling which I hope to publish here.  It's not climate related, so once I publish my algorithms and results, I don't expect people to ask for more.

    If it was a publicly funded model, I would, under the UK's stupid Freedom Of Information Act - FOI - and under threat of penalty be required to provide if asked:

    all or any private emails which even mention the methodologies, model or base data;
    all relevant computer code - by legal and logical definition to include the source code of the OS;
    the full technical specification of my computer as a list of parts, versions, speeds and capacities;
    the room temperature, in case that might affect computer temperature and hence my results;
    a piece of paper certifying that I am scientifically qualified to even think of putting my fingers on a keyboard;
    my complete educational history;
    my political affiliations;
    a certificate showing my blood alcohol levels at the time I ran the model;
    my personal thoughts on McCarthyism;
    why I even bother;
    ...

    I wouldn't have any free time left to comment about how much of  my time is wasting dealing with FOI requests which demand that I supply not just scientists, not just climate action stonewallers, but all comers with -

    all or any private emails which even mention the model or base data;
    all relevant computer code - by legal and logical definition to include the source code of the OS;
    the full technical specification of my computer as a list of parts, versions, speeds and capacities;
    the room temperature, in case that might affect computer temperature and hence my results;
    a piece of paper certifying that I am scientifically qualified to even think of putting my fingers on a keyboard;
    my complete educational history;
    my political affiliations;
    a certificate showing my blood alcohol levels at the time I ran the model;
    my personal thoughts on McCarthyism;
    why I even bother;

    ...
    Stellare
    I looked at the UK Freedom of Information Act in connection with Climategate. And as far as I can read British law language (it's a horrible language :-)), there are exempts. For instance, the CRU or University of East Anglia could have (I'm not sure to what extent they actually did) just have answered those FoI requests with reference to the exempts that is listed in the Act. CRU did however in fact make a lot of information openly available through the internet. From what I have read the media have got their facts wrong - see for instance the Guardian here. I actually looked at FoI 77 and I believe they made statements based on, put it diplomatically, wrong information. In the Guardian article it is referred to the chair of the S&T Committee Phil WIllis, that suggest that all data should be given out. The fact of the matter is that UK's MetOffice has scientists sign agreements not to share their climate data with anybody including your next door scientist colleague. Phil Willis is thus in the dilemma as to which British law he want scientists to obey. Because, the MetOffice is clearly following UK rules and regulations, too.

    Furthermore, if there were no exempt accepted to FoI, then even Microsoft would have had to publish their code. And we all know that is not going to happen. :-) So I think it is safe to say you are safe, Partick. You do not have to share it all...:-) Since you are a linguist you should have no trouble reading the FoI Act's horrible language either - to find your exempts - and remember to put your reasoning on the internet. That way you do not need to waste your time answering the millions of FoI requests thrown your way, more than once. So keep coding!

    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    Since you are a linguist you should have no trouble reading the FoI Act's horrible language either - to find your exempts - and remember to put your reasoning on the internet.

    I may take you up on that, Bente.

    Legalese - a little-understood language imposed on the British in 1066 in order to keep them under the king's control, supplanting trial at the lists with trial at the assizes.  Successfully applied in modern times to determine the true meaning of words without the use of a dictionary.
    Stellare
    Here is a link to the portal where you can find the Act text and more guidelines: http://www.parliament.uk/site_information/foi.cfm

    It was a little bit cumbersome to find the actual text though. Maybe that is why the journalists haven't read it properly - or the politicians for that matter ;-)


    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    the journalists haven't read it properly - or the politicians for that matter ;-)

    100% right, Bente.  It's the wrong legislation for the matter under discussion, imho.  :-)

    Thanks for the link, but I already have it.  I plan to write this up later.  No need to wade through the entire act, only a little of it has any bearing on UEA's climate data, I suggest.
    Stellare
    From what I could tell, the only real criticism of the University one could put forward is that they did not answer with reference to the exempts in the Act - or perhaps answering some request late. Here in Norway you should have a response from any public service within 4 weeks, either with an answer or an indication when you will get an answer. Many institutions break this law though...

    As for the coverage of Climategate, I think nobody seem to be willing to say exactly what the University of East Anglia did wrong with respect to FoIA. The closest I've seen is a reference to paragraph 77. That's it.

    Update: 77 says "...any person to whom this subsection applies is guilty of an offence if he alters, defaces, blocks, erases, destroys or conceals any record held by the public authority, with the intention of preventing the disclosure by that authority of all, or any part, of the information to the communication of which the applicant would have been entitled...."

    My 'boldation' :-) is there because this is the key. CRU had put information about data and links to it on the web also explaining that not the entire data set where in the public domain. They cannot be accused of not sharing data they have signed agreements not to share with third parties. In other words the applicant would NOT have been entitled.

    When it comes to the data set from China, That is from my understanding under a gentlemans agreement with co-workers in China. Knowing China, I'm pretty sure CRU couldn't have given them out without breaching their agreement. Again a case of exempt. But I am going to underline here that I do not know all the facts. Just educated guessing. :-)

    But bottom line is, I think the CRU website with information about data covers it well. It is fair to say that that page is not easy to find. It was Phil Jones who sent me the link in connection with my research for the Climategate: To Share Or Not To Share video - and I had been surfing around a bit! :-)
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    Bente: my linguistic analysis of the legalese is now posted - Freedom Of Information And UK Law
    Stellare
    Excellent, Patrick! I've included it in my article.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    logicman
    In my view I think even the BBC, here represented by blogger Richard Black, haven't got Climategate right.
    Bente: I must disagree.  I find Richard Black's article to be broadly unbiased.  As a person who has examined and accepted the evidence, I am confident that global warming is happening, is accelerating and is a growing problem. 

    That said, I accordingly must have at least some bias towards jumping on the least sceptical remark.  I don't like people saying 'global warming - if it exists ...' but at least they are being more neutral than obstructive.  But when people say things like 'the cooling trend since 2002' my blood boils.
    Stellare
    It is perhaps a badly chosen example, as most of the content is as you say, relatively unbiased. But what I in particular refer to is where he talks about the need for scientists to change their way of operation. "...But in the main, it is in the established practices of scientists and their institutions that reform is urged -..."
    My immediate reaction was that Black placed the responsibility of changes on the science community when it is in fact, in the main, a political issue. Maybe my understanding was colored by reading too many articles like the one below:

    This article from the Guardian is a good example of 'jumping to conclusions' .

    As for the scientific content - as opposed to working methods - I am in no doubt that we measure warmer climates. There has been sufficiently many independent research groups that has shown this over the years. What causes global warming and how it will affect us (it will have an effect) in the future is however uncertain. I think we should focus more on how to handle the uncertainties than argue whether it happens or not. Continued collection of Earth data and improved Earth system models will be instrumental in reducing the uncertainty. It is however naive to think that we will get it all sorted out (most likely never fully) before we have to act. So therefore handling uncertain Earth models should be high on the priority list.
    Bente Lilja Bye is the author of Lilja - A bouquet of stories about the Earth
    Aitch
    Patrick/Bente

    If I may jump in on your conversation, I feel it links to the conversation Eric and Gerhard were having earlier, and Bente's most recent example - politics

    Black's piece seems to me to have a certain political bias, and I agree with Bente....it is not, to my mind, the scientific method about data collection, analysis, and conclusion, which needs changing, per se, it is the recognition, and inclusion by scientists in their 'Documentation' of the fact of the data being what it is - data
    A  'political neutrality statement' should be required to accompany that data, just as a copyright notice is expected to accompany a protected work - such that IF, as is likely, a group or individual cherry picks the neutral data for politically BIASED purpose it shall be deemed UN-scientific and evidence only of that bias, and that should be a 'writ large and bold' statement in science education, too
    That may also prevent scientists being blamed for other's agendas
    I know how hard you work to try to honestly inform people

    How about that for a truth about transparency, Bente?

    Sadly, as Gerhard observes, the public are easily fooled, and mistake political gamesmanship for political value
    To me, it is not a problem of terms of office, in the 'time' sense of the word, but terms of office in the contractual sense of the word, which needs changing [although I never have understood why they even have 'terms of office', as a phrase' since it is deliberately ambivalent?]
    Tell us what you will do - then do it, or be fired, is my view - the same rules as we get employed under
    A politician could then be ousted for breach of contract
    It would put honesty and integrity back into both politics and science, IMHO!
    Although science has more integrity in it, in general, than politics, so are a favoured 'breed' by the public - just.....though I suspect it is that inherent honesty which has resulted in the current round of slurs, as the 'scandals' of some scientists are but anthills in relation to the political mountain ranges
    It would also solve the 'funding problem', as the people who pay politicians the most are us taxpayers, not those corporate lobby groups, that we are being led to believe holds the 'power'
    I too get upset by this BS, but believe that we are in a dawn of ethical revival, and look forward to the media treating the public with better respect - after all, they publish to make money, not to inform, but need to be as accountable as the politicians whom they seek to influence - or be held accountable to the collective ghost of humanity, should we self-destruct, as I for one will haunt them  ;-)

    Aitch
    logicman
    Bente: when the papers talk of the need for reform of peer review they are just echoing the words of the Parliamentary CRU Report which refer to a perceived need to review scientific practices, including the peer review process.

    This is the political drive for change, but reporters often come across as just making stuff up, so it is all too easy to think that a reporter talking about the need for changes in scientific methods seems to be making, rather than reporting, a political point.  Mind you, the parliamentary committee was refering to climate science.  If a reporter generalizes that to science (unqualified) then he or she is being political, imo.

    See e.g. para 132:
    If the practices of CRU are found to be in line with the rest of climate science, the question would arise whether climate science methods of operation need to change. In this event we would recommend that the scientific communitv should consider changing those practices to ensure greater transparency.

    Aitch
    : we need an injection of Ancient Greek style democracy.  Every year, we all get to vote out the worst politician of the year.  Shame one and the rest may toe the line more.  Shame heck! - let's tar and feather the b****** !

    I can be so extreme right wing at times.  ;-)
    Aitch
    I can be so extreme right wing at times.  ;-)
    Yes, strange concept, this left /right wing one, eh

    If politics were a bird with its wings at odds like that it'd never fly - there's a thought....has the dodo been cloned?

    Aitch
    logicman
    has the dodo been cloned?
    No.  Thankfully, there is only one Gordon Brown.