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December 04, 2009


Rick Ballard


Thanks for the link to the Hayward piece. My only quibble was his reference to the amount of data available. I wish the science people would reflect upon what a day's worth of MasterCard transactions might look like.

Kim disappeared from time to time in the past, I just hope she turns up soon. In the meantine, I hope she's enjoying watching clouds drift by.

Old Lurker

Yes, Rick, but Mastercard data represent real facts right out of the box. Each AGW data point is unusable until it is sliced and diced enough times to fit the curve. That's a lot of work, man!

Then again, Madoff was able to do it for 25 years, so maybe you have a point.


The most recent kim post I could locate ...

November 12, 2009 at 01:51 PM

hit and run

That started in the TCO era. She was being attacked by various people, and then started her name rotation. I took it as a response to the name-calling. It's speculation, of course, but her absence is odd.

My recollection is a comment in which kim told us that her choice to move to various names was a result of the birther brouhaha with DoT and others over the summer.

But whether she did it deliberately or not,looking up past comments is certainly harder to accomplish because of the various name changes.


A little more recent ...

November 17, 2009 at 07:11 AM

The '=======' trail goes cold after that


You might be right, hit. That would put it a bit later. I missed her comment in any event.


It might be better not to help anyone coming here to find out how to track someone who might not want to be tracked.

Rick Ballard

A very interesting email appears to be circulating among some members of the American Physical Society.

At least

Bob Austin, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Hal Lewis, emeritus Professor of Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
Will Happer, Professor of Physics, Princeton
Larry Gould, Professor of Physics, Hartford
Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil
appear to recognize that getting upwind from the stink generated by the Jerks of the Inner Circle of Climate Scientology may be an excellent idea. I wonder how many phyisicists are required to agree prior to a declaration that a consensus has been reached?


Is that a trick question?

Thank you for that link, Rick.

The principals in this escapade have not denied what they did, but have sought to dismiss it by saying that it is normal practice among scientists. You know and we know that that is simply untrue. Physicists are not expected to cheat.

I blogged that and h/t'd you Rick--It's excellent. Don't know when or if it'll run..


Researcher: NASA hiding climate data

Mark Hess, public affairs director for the Goddard Space Flight Center which runs the GISS laboratory, said they are working on Mr. Horner's request, though he couldn't say why they have taken so long. [They've taken over two years so far.]

"We're collecting the information and will respond with all the responsive relevant information to all of his requests," Mr. Hess said. "It's just a process you have to go through where you have to collect data that's responsive."

He said he was unfamiliar with the British controversy [ahem] and couldn't say whether NASA was susceptible to the same challenges to its data. The White House has dismissed the British e-mails as irrelevant.

"Several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion that climate change is happening. I don't think that's anything that is, quite frankly, among most people, in dispute anymore," press secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters this week.

Wouldn't several billion people agree that "climate change is happening"? What a bunch of corruptocrat assholes we've put into the White House.


JMH: That strikes me as an unwarranted insinuation of hypocrisy in those who hold pro-life positions.

That was not my intent. It was specifically to address the specific, convenient oversimplification of the pro-life problem. The 'I'm right and the consequences of being right be damned.' It's a one note samba that comes of as passionate but shrill. Usually we talk in a more encompassing way, and I prefer it.

In the end, life is not so special. It comes in infinite varieties located everywhere. For me, life is not sacred, but it should be treated with reverence--a subtle difference I have not yet learned to easily explain.


... and pardon my delay responding. I've been tied up elsewhere caring for my wife who's a little under the weather.


Physicists are not expected to cheat.

True, and I'm glad to see it. But stronger would be:

Physicists are expected not to cheat.


Well I emailed the APS addy a "YES" as an ex-member, but there must be thousands of working physicists who are just mortified by the fact that the APS statement is still out there after this fiasco. Apparently unlike "climate scientists," physicists are like sharks in the water over any new conclusions coming to the fore.

If someone tried to claim to have discovered a new subatomic particle, for example, hundreds of physicists would be doing all-nighters to be the first to prove the person wrong. Everyone knows it, and the data and models had better be available. It's baked into the system. Nothing personal. Only when a paper survives the gauntlet is the author given respect.

Maybe things have changed even there. I truly hope not, but I've been out of it for quite a while.

Rick Ballard

"Several thousand scientists have come to the conclusion"


That's precisely where anyone who believes that this fraud will not impact science in general has made (IMO) a substantial error. It is not a matter that "all scientists commit fraud", it's a matter that "thousands of scientists are gullible suckers". Even though the "thousands of scientists" have never, ever, even examined the matter.


DrF (who, by the way, got the email yesterday morning -- he's an APS section chair) had a very small-scale variation on the same thing that happened with his thesis research. His specialty has fairly large complex problems, and the model that he produced needed a lot of parameters to get it to fit the data. When he was at his first post-doc giving a talk on his thesis work, another paper was brought up that did basically the same thing that he did, but in that work they got a much better fit to the data, and with fewer parameters (like 7 instead of 120). Needless to say the colloquium was fairly, ahem, boisterous. (Physicists are notoriously short on the social skills that allow normal people to deliver criticism without insult.)

About a year later all was explained. The guy who did the model was a graduate student, and his advisor (co-author) sent around formal notification that he was withdrawing the paper. It turned out that the grad student had faked the fitting by hard-wiring the results into the code -- no matter what data you put in to the program, exactly the same results came back.

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