23 October 2007

If This is Truly Science, Why Don't the Monkeys Archive and Share Their Data?

Computer models and computer data analysis can tell you just about anything you want. All you have to do is tweak the data here, adjust it there, and voila! QED. Or so you might think. But science must be reproducible for it to be valid. Too often the climate rock stars--relied upon by Al Gore and the IPCC for Nobel Prizes, Oscars and such--"misplace" their data or "forget where it is", or otherwise make it unavailable for analysis by independent researchers.
Readers of this site are aware of my attempts to get paleoclimate data properly archived. Many climate researchers are pretty good about archiving their data; the problem is that there are some who aren’t and those that aren’t all too often are the studies that are relied on. For example, Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth shows a Hockey Stick made from Lonnie Thompson’s ice core data. So let’s consider that as a type case. Readers of this site are aware that “grey” versions of Thompson’s data are inconsistent, that Thompson has grudgingly archived only a few cursory summaries (which are themselves often inconsistent) and that Thompson has refused to archive original sample data, a refusal that has been acquiesced in by the NSF, National Academy of Sciences and by Sciencemag.

...the general grant guidance materials for researchers applying for DOE, NASA, and NOAA climate change grants do not explicitly instruct them to include data-sharing plans in their proposals. Nevertheless, some program managers encourage researchers to do so in practice.

The extent to which federal climate change research agencies use various aspects of the grant review process to encourage data sharing varies, depending on the initiative of the program manager, in part because there are no requirements for them to do so. For example, an NSF official stated that the consideration of past data-sharing activities is not a discrete factor that the agencies require program managers to use in making award decisions.
Climate Audit

What a joke, right? Except billions of dollars misspent on unreproducible "climate research" can throw trillions of dollars of investment and production right off the rails. That is not funny to the millions of people laid off work, or the "resource wars" that a significant recession around the world might trigger. But it's all okay as long as the climate rock stars get their research grants and get their appearances on 60 Minutes etc. Al Gore is certainly not complaining about the sloppy science that has propelled him to fame, greater wealth, and sainthood.

Most academics and university students are completely lobotomised or well on the way to academic lobotomy, so do not expect any rigor or research discipline from that quarter. But as corporations and commercial ventures start to understand how they are being sold down the river--including the labour unions that depend upon their economic output--expect more pressure to be put upon the US Congress to demand that US government sponsored research, at least, practises the bare minimum of accepted scientific protocols. James Hansen may have trouble swallowing that particular requirement, as may Mann et al.

Stay tuned.


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“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act” _George Orwell

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