We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
...the Climategate e-mails reveal an unprecedented, systematic conspiracy to stifle discussion and debate, conceal and manipulate data, revise temperature trends that contradict predictions of dangerous warming, avoid compliance with Freedom of Information requests, and pressure scientific journals and the IPCC to publish alarmist studies and exclude dissenting analyses so as to manufacture "consensus."
Have you read Zoe's post on the matter. According to her it's more a matter of ego and pride than a deliberate attempt to deceive. Data was cooked to support a conclusion because the conclusion had to be true, not because the scientists were out to fool anybody.
So they fooled themselves, and damaged the good work of other scientists around the world.
BTW, do you know how far north alligators are nesting on the Mississippi these days?
Well, I disagree with Zoe's conclusion. The MBH98 paper, which is the core issue here, isn't just an innocent miscalculation or ego/reputation protector. The original graph was a deliberate decision to cherry pick one specific set of tree ring data (Yarmal tree ring data set) using only 12 of the tree ring cores instead of the complete set of 34. When the entire Yarmal data set is used the whole construct collapses. The scientist who built the Yarmal data set, Keith Biffa, refused to release the data set because he knew it was totally false and misrepresentative. It was as deliberate as it could have been to produce one specific result to fit one particular world view.
That's scientific fraud no matter how you want to slice and dice it.
This isn't the first time it's happened either. Gilbert Plass, a Canadian physicist, used earlier work of Svante Arrhenius and Thomas Chamberlain (1896 paper on the possible effects of unabsorbed CO2) with modern infrared spectroscopy techniques to measure atmospheric CO2 and postulate AGW. Charles Keeling came along used Plass's work in addition to ocean sediment cores and, whoopsie, found out that there have been 32 major warming/cooling cycles and, oddly, they have a strange correlation to solar cycles - both the mean cycles and the longer term 100 and 1,000 year cycles. But the AGW types still use Arrthenius/Chamberlain, Plass and Keeling as a basis for the current modern theories even though they've been somewhat suspect. Although that time is wasn't intentional.
With respect to aligators, I suspect it's more a case of population pressure than AGW as the American alligator now has a healthy population and very territorial. Stands to reason it's population is expanding back to it's pre-industrial range.
Just saw those same 'gator facts on my recently arrived 2010 alumni calendar. Fascinating.
What's also fascinating is that while this story has been around for a few weeks, how it still aggravates. The (I would not say unprecedented, however) stifling of discussion and debate, attempts to conceal and manipulate data. The marginalization or downright ignoring of voices with dissenting views. It all really comes down to a matter of integrity...