Monday, November 30, 2009

Greatest Scientific Scandal in History

Well, isn't this something?

Now it turns out that not only have leading climatologists in the anthropogenic (man-caused) global warming debate conspired to freeze out dissenters, not only have they admitted that their data for the last ten years don't support the hypothesis that the earth is warming or that long-term warming is caused by human activity, not only have they admitted to massaging the data to make it conform to their theoretical stance on AGW, not only have they refused to let other researchers see their data and advised colleagues to destroy it should they be forced by Freedom of information laws to disclose it, but now it turns out that they actually have destroyed the data upon which the whole AGW thesis was based in the first place:

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based. It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA's Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals - stored on paper and magnetic tape - were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

The admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU's director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.

This revelation follows those discovered in the...

...highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

These are the people upon whose word nations are prepared to spend trillions of dollars to reduce carbon emissions to reverse a warming trend that, to the extent that it exists, has no demonstrable relation to carbon. They have, by association, ruined the reputation of tens of thousands of honest scientists and disgraced themselves by their odious behavior. They are responsible for the greatest scientific scandal perhaps in the history of science and should be banned from the profession.

Meanwhile, the lesson for the rest of us is to stop listening to people who tell us to just shut up and take the word of experts. When the "experts" are unwilling to present their data, when they appear to be promoting an ideological agenda, then we should be very skeptical indeed of whatever they tell us.



Doubtless part of the reason the death toll was so high at Fort Hood was that no one in the building where the shootings occurred was armed, except the shooter. It may seem odd that on a military base no one is allowed to carry weapons, but in 1993 one of the first things President Clinton undertook upon taking office was to sign a directive that forbade all military personnel except military police from carrying firearms on base.

The President no doubt meant well but the directive insured that any terrorist who wanted to kill American soldiers would have a pretty easy time of it by attacking them on their bases. Indeed, as someone put it, a mass killer would probably face greater risk of return fire at the local Wal-Mart than on a military base.

In fact, all the public shootings that have occurred in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed have occurred in places where concealed handguns have been banned. Had an administrator at Columbine had access to a weapon fewer kids may have died. Had a professor at Virginia Tech had access to the means to stop the lunatic who killed so many students there the carnage may have been less. Had soldiers at Fort Hood carried sidearms, as they do every day when they are deployed, Nidal Malik Hasan would probably never even have tried to do what he did.

It's a mistake to think that we're making people more safe by taking away their ability to protect themselves. The only people who obey laws prohibiting firearms are those who obey laws. Criminals pay them no heed, and our good intentions wind up making it easier for mass murderers to carry out their horrific crimes.

We live in a society where it's impossible to prevent killers from getting guns and it's impossible for the police to protect people from them. Given those impossibilities, it makes no sense to try to solve the problem of social violence by taking away from people the means to protect themselves and those they love from the thugs and predators in our midst.


Eternal Vigilance

The university was once a bastion of free speech and freedom of thought, but that was a long time ago. Today the university is on the forefront of the progressive attempt to throttle free speech and thought wherever they can.

The latest instance of this movement to impose a stifling conformity upon the public has come to light at the University of Minnesota. U of M is establishing a policy whereby students applying for admission to their teacher education program will be screened to assess whether they hold the correct ideological commitments. Apparently, if you wish to be a teacher you will not be allowed to be a conservative and probably not a religious person. Such is the world the progressives would have us inhabit - a world in which freedom is something to be found only in intellectual antique markets.

Fortunately, FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), a free-speech activist group that fights political-correctness codes on college campuses, is on the case. You can read about this shameful attempt to impose ideological uniformity on Minnesota's public school students at Hot Air, and you can find other examples of academia's intolerance by doing a Viewpoint search for Foundation for Individual Rights in Education

Young people growing up in the post WWII era took their freedom to hold dissenting opinions for granted, but there are many people in the contemporary left, in universities and in government, who see that freedom as an enemy. They want to be able to dictate what you'll be able to say and, if they can, even what you think, and they're relentless in their push to get their way. If they succeed students will one day be saying the 21st century equivalent of Heil Hitler before classes each morning just as today they recite the pledge of allegiance.

It really is true, as the 19th century abolitionist Wendall Phillips once said, that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.