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Climate and Climate Change

Climate and Climate Change

Climate Change

Two days before Halloween, 2011, New England was struck by a freak winter storm. Heavy snow descended onto trees covered with leaves.  Overloaded branches fell on power lines.  Blue flashes of light in the sky indicated exploding transformers.  Electricity was out for days in some areas and for weeks in others. Damage to property and disruption of lives was widespread.

That disastrous restriction on human energy supplies was produced by Nature.  However, current and future energy curtailments are being forced on the populace by Federal policies in the name of dangerous “climate change/global warming”.  Yet, despite the contradictions between what people are being told and what people have seen and can see about the weather and about the climate, they continue to be effectively steered away from the knowledge of such contradictions to focus on the claimed disaster effects of  “climate change/global warming” (AGW, “Anthropogenic Global Warming”). 

People are seldom told HOW MUCH is the increase of temperatures or that there has been no increase in globally averaged temperature for over 18 years.  They are seldom told how miniscule is that increase compared to swings in daily temperatures. They are seldom told about the dangerous effects of government policies on their supply of “base load” energy — the uninterrupted energy that citizens depend on 24/7 — or about the consequences of forced curtailment of industry-wide energy production with its hindrance of production of their and their family’s food, shelter, and clothing. People are, in essence, kept mostly ignorant about the OTHER SIDE of the AGW debate.

Major scientific organizations — once devoted to the consistent pursuit of understanding the natural world — have compromised their integrity and diverted membership dues in support of some administrators’ AGW agenda.   Schools throughout the United States continue to engage in relentless AGW indoctrination of  students, from kindergarten through university.  Governments worldwide have been appropriating vast sums for “scientific” research, attempting to convince the populace that the use of fossil fuels must be severely curtailed to “save the planet.”  Prominent businesses — in league with various politicians who pour ever more citizen earnings into schemes such as ethanol in gasoline, solar panels, and wind turbines — continue to tilt against imaginary threats of AGW.  And even religious leaders and organizations have joined in to proclaim such threats.   As a consequence, AGW propaganda is proving to be an extraordinary vehicle for the exponential expansion of government power over the lives of its citizens. 

Reasoning is hindered by minds frequently in a state of alarm.  The object of this website is an attempt to promote a reasoned approach; to let people know of issues pertaining to the other side of the AGW issue and the ways in which it conflicts with the widespread side of AGW alarm (AGWA, for short).  In that way it is hoped that all members of society can make informed decisions.

Climate Alarmist Creed

We believe in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (the founder of global warming / climate change alarmism).

We believe in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (the aggregator and promoter of consensus climate science).

We believe CO2 is the climate “control knob” (which supersedes natural climate variation).

We believe CO2 is “carbon pollution” (even though it is largely responsible for the greening of the globe).

We believe that global average temperature anomaly increase must be limited to a maximum of 2°C, and preferably 1.5°C to avoid climate catastrophe (even though the globe and its occupants thrived in warmer temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period).

We believe in near-surface temperature anomaly products (even though the data are incomplete, inaccurate, “adjusted”, “infilled”, homogenized, re-analyzed and re-adjusted).

We believe in climate models (even though they are incomplete, unverified, divergent and unrepresentative of the temperature anomaly products).

We believe in high climate sensitivity (even though we do not know what the sensitivity is).

We believe in strong positive cloud feedback (even though satellite data support strong negative cloud feedback).

We believe the rate of sea level rise is increasing and will continue to accelerate (even though the data from long duration tide gauges do not support this belief).

We believe aggressive actions must be taken to reduce / eliminate CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels (even though the renewable alternatives to fossil fuels are uneconomical, intermittent and not dispatchable).

We believe that the creation of “scary scenarios” of potential future climate catastrophes is necessary to attract the attention of the public and convince them to accept the changes we deem necessary to avoid these catastrophes (even though the “scary scenarios” are impossible / extremely unlikely).

We believe the consumption of meat and milk must be reduced / eliminated to make the land dedicated to their production available for food crop production and to avoid the “greenhouse gas” emissions associated with their production (even though much of the land in question is not suited to the production of food products).

We believe that capitalism must be rejected and replaced (even though no other economic system has proved even equally successful or equitable).

We believe that wealth and income must be redistributed in the interests of fairness (though it is unclear how this redistribution would reduce / eliminate anthropogenic climate change).

We believe achieving the required changes will require some form of global governance (even though many countries would resist such governance and the history of substantially more limited experiments in multi-national governance is littered with failure).

We believe the global government must take actions to stabilize and then reduce global population (even though the identified approaches to doing so are broadly unacceptable and abhorrent).

These are our beliefs, as revealed by the UNFCCC and supported by the IPCC. We are called to evangelize in the interests of humanity. We ignore the infidels who reject our efforts to evangelize; and, we vilify the heretics who resist those efforts and encourage resistance in others. We reject the objections of the infidels and heretics regarding certain aspects of our beliefs, since all aspects of our beliefs support each other and the overarching belief structure.


Tags: Climate Alarmists, IPCC, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Memo to President Trump

Mr. President

Many share your reasonable and clearly articulated skepticism of the climate change “consensus” and the consensed climate change community, including many active climate scientists. Regrettably, among the reasons for this skepticism are the actions of three organizations within the Executive Branch of the U.S. federal government: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies (NASA GISS); the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and, the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).

These organizations are involved in the collection and analysis of near-surface land temperature data and ocean surface temperature data. Each of these organizations selects from among the data collected globally, “adjusts” the chosen data, analyzes the “adjusted” data and produces reports detailing the temperature anomalies the “adjusted” data portray from a selected reference period. Clearly, the data are not “adjusted” because they are highly accurate, but rather because they are known / believed to be inaccurate for a variety of reasons.

The National Association of Scholars recently published a study regarding the irreproducibility of scientific results. The focus of the study was on the inability of scientists to reproduce the results of studies conducted by other scientists, using the same data and methods or similar samples and methods. Einstein is reputed to have defined insanity as:  “continuing to do the same things and expecting different results”. He might well have defined irreproducibility as continuing to do the same things and achieving different results.

Recent analyses suggest that NASA GISS, NOAA and NCEI have an internal irreproducibility problem – they appear to be unable or unwilling to reproduce their own results.

Unfortunately, there is a history of multiple adjustments to the temperature anomalies over time. The graph below displays two instances of “adjustments” to, or “re-analysis” of, the global temperature anomaly record made by NASA GISS. The climate over the period from 1880 to 1980 and its actual anomaly from the reference period did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was reduced by as much as ~0.2°C early in the period, thus increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period, as shown in the area highlighted in yellow in the graph. The climate over the period from 1980 to 2001 and its actual anomaly from the reference period also did not change. However, the reported anomaly over the period did change. The anomaly was increased by as much as 0.2°C late in the period, as shown in the area highlighted in green in the graph, again increasing the apparent rate of increase of the anomaly over the period. We cannot determine from the information in the graph the number of times the anomalies were “adjusted” or “re-analyzed”. We can only determine the cumulative effects of the “adjustments” or “re-analyses”, which appear to total ~0.4°C, or approximately 1/3 of the reported anomaly change over the entire 136-year period. We do not know which, if any, of the anomaly plots contained in this graph is accurate. We do know, however, that they cannot all be accurate.




NOAA has a similar issue with the sea surface temperature analyses. The graph below shows three versions of the NOAA Extended Reconstructed Sea Surface Temperature “Dataset” developed by NCEI. (The term “dataset” is shown in quotes because once data are “adjusted” they cease to be data and become merely estimates of what the data might have been had they been collected timely from properly selected, calibrated, sited, installed and maintained sensors.) The differences between the graphs are approximately 0.1°C at the end points, but the changes in the more recent ERSST.v4 and ERSST.v5 graphs more than double the reported rate of change of sea surface temperature. Again, we do not know which of the graphs is accurate, but we know that they cannot all be accurate. While the reported temperature anomalies are small, the specific heat of water is approximately 4 times the specific heat of air and the oceans represent approximately 70% of the surface of the earth. Therefore, the difference in the amount of energy represented by the temperature anomaly change is dramatically larger than the difference represented by the near-surface temperature anomalies.


Global Sea Surface Temperature Trend


The magnitude of the “adjustments” made to the U.S. near-surface temperature anomaly data by NOAA has varied significantly with time, as shown in the graph below. The earlier “adjustments” represent a reduction from the measured data to the reported estimates of approximately 1°C, or approximately the same magnitude as the reported global temperature anomaly change over the entire period of the global instrumental temperature record. These “adjustments” make the U. S. temperature anomaly appear larger and dramatically increase the reported rate of change of the temperature anomaly.


Historical Climatology Average US Temperature


It is long past time for the U.S. federal government to form a Tiger Team of skeptical climate scientists and statisticians to critically evaluate the entire process of temperature data acquisition, data “adjustment”, data analysis and reporting of results at NASA GISS and NOAA NCEI.

The consensed climate science community has recently called for the construction of a global near-surface temperature measurement network similar to the US Climate Reference Network. The key feature of the US CRN is that the data do not need to be “adjusted”. The consensed climate science community has also recently acknowledged that the current ensemble of climate models is “running hot”, producing potential future scenarios with temperature anomalies two to three times the anomalies present in the “adjusted” near-surface observations. Both events represent potential positive signs that the consensed climate science community might be getting serious about collecting accurate data and producing plausible projections of potential future climate conditions.

The potential costs in capital and human deprivation represented by the approaches to CO2 emissions reductions proposed by the UNFCCC and the IPCC demand that the climate be measured and understood far better than is the case today before these approaches are aggressively pursued. You have understood and responded to these issues by withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Accords. You now have the opportunity to take the lead in advancing the science of climate change.


Tags: NASA, NOAA, Temperature Record, Adjusted Data

Climate Sensitivity


Elements of the consensed climate science community have recently acknowledged that the projections of future global average near-surface temperature anomalies produced by the CMIP5 ensemble of climate models are 2-3 times higher than the “adjusted” near-surface temperature observations, as shown below.



This is a first crucial step in the process of identifying the causes of the differences between the projections and the observations and then correcting the models and their inputs to resolve the discrepancies.

There are several potential issues to be addressed in this process:

  • the current models do not accurately model the functions of the environment;
  • the current models were “tuned” with faulty near-surface temperature data;
  • the climate sensitivity values used to run the models are too high; and,
  • the forcings and feedbacks used to run the models are incorrect.

Each of these issues must be addressed and resolved before any of the models can be verified, no less demonstrated to have any predictive ability. The first issue listed will likely be the last issue resolved, since it cannot be properly addressed until the inputs to the models are verified to be accurate. Until one or more of the models is verified, the projections produced by the models are unsuited to form the basis for economically significant government policy formation.

A recent study has documented numerous flaws in the HadCRUT4 temperature anomaly product which would render it highly questionable as the basis upon which to tune the various climate models. However, HadCRUT4 is the near-surface temperature data set preferred for this purpose by the IPCC and the UNFCCC. Other analyses suggest that the NASA GISS and NOAA/NCDC temperature anomaly products are even more flawed than HadCRUT4.

A review of recent studies of climate sensitivity to a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration documents progressive reduction of the central estimate of climate sensitivity, as shown below.


CO2 Climate Sensitivity


The IPCC uses a climate sensitivity range of 1.5 - 4.5°C in its Fifth Assessment Report. Virtually all of the most recent estimates fall toward the lower end of that range, or below the lower end of the range. Therefore, it is apparent that one of the principal factors causing the model projections to be higher than the observations is excessive sensitivity estimates. While this issue is obviously being actively addressed by climate scientists, it is uncertain whether the IPCC will reflect the results of this research in its next assessment report.

A study of the issues of forcings and feedbacks in the climate system identifies that it is still uncertain whether the net feedbacks in the climate system are positive or negative, no less the magnitude of effects. Note that his study is 10 years old and the issue has still not been resolved.

Against this background, it is interesting to note that, as the divergence between the “adjusted” near surface observations and the climate models increases over time, the reported IPCC confidence in its conclusions regarding future warming and the role of human activities in that warming continue to increase, as shown below.


Certainty Channel


This represents an apparent victory of hope over experience.

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” - Napoleon Bonaparte


Tags: Climate Sensitivity, Climate Models

Highlighted Article: Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate

  • 11/1/18 at 05:47 AM

From: Friends of Science Society


Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate


Climate science is a complex blend of chaotic, dynamic systems. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Summary Report 15 (SR15) attempts to predict the implications of a 1.5°Celsius (C) rise in Global Surface Mean Temperatures (GSMT) over the temperature of the pre-industrial era. The focus of the report is on the influence of human industrial emissions of carbon dioxide as the assumed driver of climate change and recent warming. Despite the number of scientists involved, science can go astray for no other reason than a singular focus through ‘the same lens.’


Faulty Premises = Poor Public Policy on Climate


Tags: Highlighted Article

Climate Signals


New York City has recently placed several illuminated road signs throughout the city in cooperation with the Climate Museum as part of a program called “Climate Signals”. The signs are an attempt to call attention to the issue of climate change. The messages on the signs include:


  • 50,000,000 CLIMATE REFUGEES

The individual messages are so short as to leave their meanings confusing and uncertain. They might easily be taken out of context, except that there is no context provided.


Climate Denial Kills

“CLIMATE DENIAL KILLS” is perhaps the most ridiculous and misleading of the signs. First, almost no person with even a modicum of education denies that the earth has a climate, so there are not many potential killers around. Second, there is no record on anyone who has been killed by climate denial, or climate change denial, or anthropogenic climate change denial or even catastrophic anthropogenic climate change denial. There is no evidence, but it is the seriousness of the charge. (HT: Tom Foley, D WA)


Climate Change at Work

“CLIMATE CHANGE AT WORK” is probably the least effective sign, since viewing it against the view of the city in the background gives no indication that anything is actually happening, other than the normal activities of life in the city. The climate cannot be seen or felt to be changing, or to be effecting change in anything else.


Abolish Coal-onialism

“ABOLISH COAL-ONIALISM” is perhaps the most difficult to understand. I do not understand any link between coal and colonialism. The largest coal consuming nation is not now, nor has it ever been, a colony. The second and third largest coal consumers were colonies at one time, but that was decades or centuries ago.


50,000,000 Climate Refugees

“50,000,000 MILLION CLIMATE REFUGEES” is a prediction made by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2005 for the year 2010. There are still no documented climate refugees and the one documented attempt by an individual to have himself declared a climate refugee failed.


Fossil Fueling Inequality

“FOSSIL FUELING INEQUALITY” could mean a lot of different things, or it could be meaningless. Nations’ fossil fuel resources and production and distribution infrastructures are unequal. Per capita consumption of fossil fuels is unequal. The fractions of national energy consumption provided by fossil fuels are unequal. People’s needs for energy, fossil fuel or other, are unequal. The values of fossil fuels are also unequal. There might be a meaningful issue involved, but I do not understand what it is; and, I suspect most of those who will view the signs won’t either.


Alt Facts End Now

“ALT FACTS END NOW” is confusing at a fundamental level. Something is either a fact or it is not. Regarding climate change, there are very few facts in evidence and those facts are fundamental:

  • global climate is changing, as it has throughout the history of earth we have been able to study;
  • sea level is rising, as it has been since the end of the last ice age;
  • human activities are releasing CO2 and other “greenhouse gases” into the atmosphere;
  • land use changes are affecting the albedo of the earth; and,
  • the earth is greening, partially as the result of increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations.

Beyond those fundamental facts, there are estimates, hypotheses and unverified models.

These illuminated signs are intended to be thought provoking and compelling. However, they are unlikely to be any more compelling than the multitude of “scary scenarios” hyped by the mainstream media. It is a wonder the City of New York bothered.


Tags: Climate Change Debate

Highlighted Video: The Truth About Global Warming

  • 10/25/18 at 09:34 AM

By: Fox News

 Oct. 21, 2018 - 14:28 - Dr. Patrick Michaels, director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute, provides insight into the debate over climate change and the political games played to create policy.



The Truth About Global Warming


Tags: Highlighted Article

“Without any evidence”

The expression “without any evidence” is currently being used frequently by the US media, most frequently regarding assertions made by a certain political figure. Interestingly, other assertions by other political figures, unaccompanied by any evidence, are reported without the caveat “without any evidence” by the same media. This represents a not-so-subtle form of commentary.

Assertions by prominent members of the consensed climate science community are frequently made “without any evidence”, though I have not seen or heard the caveat used in this context. For example, virtually all the “scary scenarios” produced by members of the consensed climate science community are introduced to the media, and by the media to the public, without mention of the fact that such studies are produced “without any evidence”. Unverified models, estimated climate sensitivities, estimated forcings and estimated Representative Concentration Pathways are not evidence and do not produce evidence.

Three major hurricanes in 2017 and two in 2018 led to assertions by members of the consensed climate science community that these storms were made more likely, more powerful, more dangerous, and more destructive as a result of human-induced climate change. These assertions were all made “without any evidence”; and, in some cases, in the face of evidence to the contrary. Attribution studies based on unverified climate models are hardly evidence since the inputs are not evidence.

Media reports of massive human migration as the result of climate change are also made “without any evidence” of the reported causation, though there is certainly evidence of the migration. Similarly, reports regarding the imminent submersion of low-lying islands in the Pacific Ocean, such as the Maldives, and of coastal areas globally are attributed to human-induced climate change “without any evidence” of human causation; and, in the face of evidence that sea level rise has been occurring at a relatively constant rate since formal sea level measurement was instituted.

Reports of increased frequency and intensity of tornadoes, tropical cyclones, heavy rain events, flooding and drought are made, not only “without any evidence”, but in conflict with the available evidence. These reports are dutifully passed on and highlighted by the media, without resort to the “without any evidence” caveat.

Similarly, assertions that the global economy must transition from capitalism to some other economic structure, such as global socialism, are made and accepted by the media “without any evidence” that such a transition would be effective; and, in the face of the universal failure of socialism to provide the benefits it has promised. The same is true of assertions that global wealth and income must be redistributed as part of the economic transition, also presented “without any evidence” that such redistribution would somehow “make it all better”.

Ultimately, assertions that avoiding a future climate catastrophe would require a transition to global governance are also made “without any evidence” that global governance is necessary, or that instituting global governance of some type would be sufficient to avoid the threatened climate catastrophe.

The willingness of the media to pass on a variety of assertions regarding climate “without any evidence” is certainly indicative of a lack of intellectual curiosity, as is the apparent willingness of those consuming the media output not to question its value.


Tags: Global Governance, Climate Change Debate, Climate Change Myths

Hurricanes and Climate

Hurricane Florence has called attention to the uncertainties associated with hurricane prediction and with efforts to attribute some change in hurricane characteristics to climate change.

The primary event which focused this attention was the Washington Post editorial which accused President Trump of being “complicit”, presumably not in the occurrence of the hurricane, but rather in some model-estimated increase in the severity of the hurricane, because he has not taken actions to reduce climate change. This meme was picked up by many other media outlets and repeated frequently.

A study by the Climate Extremes Modeling Group at Stony Brook University “used a climate model (CAM5) to produce near real-time experimental forecasts of Hurricane Florence to assess how much human induced climate change has altered the anticipated rainfall, intensity and size of the storm. They concluded that the rainfall from the storm would be ~50% greater in the areas of intense precipitation, that the hurricane was ~80 km larger in diameter than it would otherwise have been and that the intensity of the storm would remain higher longer in its cycle as the result of human interference in the climate system.

The study did not mention that the speed of the hurricane was constrained by a blocking high pressure region to the North and West of the storm, which would result in higher precipitation totals due simply to longer residence time over the affected areas. The study did not also anticipate that the eye wall of the hurricane would breakdown and the intensity of the hurricane would decline from Category 4 to Category 1 on the Saffir-Simpson scale prior to landfall. The blocking high is a weather phenomenon apparently unrelated to climate change. The breakdown of the eye wall is not currently understood, but has not been attributed to climate change.

The self-appointed spokesperson for the consensed climate science community was quick to attribute the size, speed and intensity of Florence in part to climate change; and, to opine that there was more and worse to come if climate change were not effectively addressed.

The Washington Post attributed an increase in storm surge to the fact that sea levels have risen over the past century due to climate change. Their implication is that this increase is human induced, though sea levels have been rising at a relatively stable rate since the trough of the Little Ice Age.

Dr. Roy Spencer pointed out that Hurricane Florence was ”Nature’s Business as Usual, Not Climate Change”. He noted that there was no trend in major hurricanes making landfall in the US. He has also noted that while hurricane damage has increased over time, it is not as the result of an increase in hurricane intensity, but rather it is due to ill-advised increases in human building and development in coastal areas; and, that major US landfalling hurricanes have declined significantly since the1930s.

There has been little mention of the 12-year hiatus in major landfalling hurricanes prior to 2017, largely because it is not understood, but also because it does not support the narrative that human-induced climate change will worsen the frequency and intensity of hurricanes.


Tags: Severe Weather

The Mouse That Roared

There are numerous interests attempting to influence the future course of the global response to climate change including the consensed climate change community, politicians, media outlets, non-government organizations (NGOs), allegedly affected nations, major religions and United Nations bureaucrats. Many of these interests are becoming increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of progress along the paths they have identified to avoid or mitigate the effects of catastrophic anthropogenic climate change. This growing frustration is leading some of these interests to take dramatic steps to draw attention to their perceived plights.

One recent manifestation of these dramatic responses is the demand by the Prime Minister of Samoa for “mental confinement of climate deniers”.

"So any leader of any country who believes that there is no climate change, I think he ought to be taken to mental confinement. He is utterly stupid. And I say the same thing to any leader here."

Of course, there is no leader of any country of any significance who believes that climate does not change. However, there are obviously leaders of countries, such as Samoa, who believe that climate should not be allowed to change, even though it has changed numerous times over millions of years.

Meanwhile, the Maldives, which had loudly demanded action from the developed countries to keep the islands from disappearing into the sea, have changed their focus to development since the area of the islands is actually growing.

Another recent manifestation of these dramatic responses is a new report by scientists commissioned by the Secretary General of the UN, who have concluded essentially that: “Capitalism as we know it is over.”

Rapid economic transition requires proactive governance –markets cannot accomplish the task.”

Logically, rapid global economic transition requires proactive global governance, while markets will be relied upon to make the best of the resulting mess. The UN has been advocating for global governance and would apparently be more than willing to provide that governance. The failed history of multi-year plans in command and control economies and the UN’s failed history of managing global programs appear to be of little concern.

A recent article in the Guardian suggested that the Chinese model of “directed and managed capitalism” might be more successful than the current Anglo-Saxon model. Again, the history of this approach is not encouraging, though the approach still appeals to those who favor socialism and communism.

Meanwhile, the UN Green Climate Fund has transitioned from demanding rapidly increased funding for redistribution to developing countries to begging for funding to cover the commitments it has already made to those countries. The cessation of US funding to the Green Climate Fund has aggravated the problem, but most other countries committed to providing funding have also failed to meet the commitments they made to the Fund.

Against this background, the largest nation practicing “directed and managed capitalism”, through clearly enlightened self-interest, is continuing to increase its construction of coal power plants and its consumption of coal and has begun to decrease its planned reliance on solar and wind generation.


Tags: United Nations, Green Climate Fund, Global Governance

Secret Science of Climate Change

Much has been written recently both in support of and in opposition to US EPA’s proposed secret science rule, which would require significant regulatory policy decisions to be based on publicly available data. Most of the support has been grounded in concerns about selection of data sources, data collection and data analysis procedures.

Most of the opposition to the proposed rule has been grounded in concerns about exposure of personal data regarding individual subjects involved in studies. There appear to be no reasons to expose personal data on individual subjects; and, protecting their personal data should be as effective as it has been in the past. However, information regarding the selection processes for study participants, the type of data collected, the collection methods and the data analysis protocols are essential to evaluating the validity of the studies and their conclusions.

The focus on personal data has diverted attention from the more basic intents of the proposed rule, which are: to validate the study design and execution; to facilitate testing of the reproducibility of the results; and, to facilitate replication of the studies if required. This has been a particular issue in climate science, since replication of the studies is not possible. In climate science, there are even issues regarding the ability of climate scientists to reproduce their own results.

This issue has achieved notoriety in climate science as the result of Climategate and of the efforts of some climate scientists to prevent public disclosure of their data and methodologies, even though their research was funded by government agencies. Those seeking access to the data and methodologies have frequently been forced to resort to FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests; and, in some cases to lawsuits, when FOIA requests were denied.

Perhaps the most public case involves Dr. Michael Mann and his “hockey stick” graphical projection of potential future climate warming. Mann has aggressively resisted efforts to force public access to his data and methods used in the creation of the “hockey stick” graph, including refusing to comply with FOIA requests and successfully fighting a lawsuit by the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Virginia related to studies he performed with government funding while a professor at the University of Virginia.

Mann has also filed Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) against those who have criticized the “hockey stick”, though he has aggressively avoided discovery in each of these lawsuits.

The obvious approach to dealing with this issue regarding climate science is to require, as a condition of government funding for such research, that all study data, analytical methods, computer code and other relevant materials be made publicly available at the conclusion of the research study. Establishing this requirement as a study deliverable could also prohibit final payment for the study until this deliverable has been produced to the satisfaction of the government contract officer.

One possible approach to dealing with the failure to make the data and methods involved in past government-funded studies publicly available is to ban future funding for researchers who have failed to make their data and methods available upon request.

Government agencies funding such research should enforce the “Golden Rule” of funded research: “Those who provide the gold make the rules.” Government agencies which conduct such research should enforce the rules with their employees. The public, which ultimately provides the funds, should demand no less.


Tags: Secret Science, EPA, Peer Review, Policy
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