5 thoughts on “Hayek On Climate Science”

  1. Have people seen Steve McIntyre’s speech on “Hide the decline”?
    At http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlCNrdna9CI

    The point is that he is fearless in speaking out against the conduct expressed in the stonewalling of his requests for raw data, the Climate Gate shenanigans, and the soft treatment of those goings on in various boards of inquiry. He prefaces and concludes his remarks that we really don’t know what doubling CO2 will do, the proposed remedies are very costly and should not be done lightly, Climate Gate is “real” and harmful if CO2 remediation turns out be needed, and that his standard on Climate Audit is to speak to these questions without calling people bad names, as both the Believers and Skeptics do.

    His speech makes a compelling case that “Climate Gate” in the form of “Hide the Decline”, the Inconvenient Truth of Keith Briffa’s tree rings going down when “everyone knows they should go up”, is Cargo Cult science according to Feynmann’s famous lecture, that is, observing the forms or ceremonies of science without understanding the vast out-of-sight industrial infrastructure that is the source of all the “cargo.”

    The thing is that “Climate Gate” as a scandal has been refuted by all of the boards of inquiry finding no scientific misconduct, and I am sure “Jim”, Chris” and “dn” can weight in on this, and they will be right. At issue is withholding data, and yes, there is no misconduct because it is all explained in the footnotes or the text of the articles. I guess.

    McIntyre offers the speculation that the parties have been cleared of misconduct because “the scientific community does not see the withholding of data, that is inconsistent with other data yet one doesn’t have a good explanation why, as a problem.” The Climate Gate actions certainly fly in the face of the Cargo Cult speech, but the broader scientific community let along the inquiry boards apparently don’t regard the scruples of one member of the High Energy Physics community as being the touchstone of good science.

    I firmly believe in the 1st Amendment and in the Founding Fathers conception of free speech is that persons shall express their beliefs and especially beliefs with policy and political consequences, maybe even using coarse language if it is in service of this expression. There are Original Intent reasons to believe this.

    I participate in this forum as interesting points of view are exchanged and Rand hasn’t (yet) locked this place down with login’s and passwords and moderation. I don’t know if anyone else shares this belief, especially among those championing “the opposing point of view”, but I am deeply appreciative of Rand paying for the bandwidth and keeping this place open to people like me and everyone else around here.

    That said, I remember it as it were yesterday when a critique was offered regarding Climate Gate, one of its principal participants, and one of the scientific-conduct panels, a critique that arguably used immoderate language, but with immoderate language being one of the things the Founders wanted to protect. I remember saying to myself, should I even continue to “hang out” around here. Our esteemed host “fired off a round” in the greater political and cultural war, when I knew the other side “had this place zeroed”, and I selfishly wondered how to save my own hide from the inevitable “incoming.”

    Rand, I sincerely wish you well in your defense against a lawsuit, a defense that is in the service of every last one of us and our precious 1st Amendments rights. Call me a “concern troll”, but in Churchills immortal words, your recent legal victory is “Not the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning.” There is a long, hard road ahead in the defense of liberty, which has never come easy.

  2. I don’t know if the legal culture shares much with the scientific establishment, let along understands “what is going on.”

    One principle in the law is the ethical, moral, and legal depravity of withholding evidence, even in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence. The most egregious version of this in the law would be a prosecutor withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense, even if just a little bit.

    Rand cannot and should not comment on his legal case, but I can. My own defense of Rand is that Rand was speaking out against something that would be intolerable before the law but seems to be defended as “business as usual” among some scientists and persons overseeing scientists. The object of that science, however, is not some arcane, ivory tower, theoretical matter, but something of serious consequences to our political economy and well being. Were Rand’s advocacy that science be held to such a standard when science claims to speak for “our own good” in the politcal sphere, for that advocacy to be suppressed or interfered with would infringe on our Constitutional rights.

  3. Also, not sure what was leaked in Climate gate but you can use the suit as an opportunity to subpoena all emails of Mann and related people.

      1. The whole lawsuit is a tar baby, which Mann has grabbed with both hands. I hope it goes forward. The discovery process is one of the few rays of sunshine (i.e. disinfectant) on the whole AGW scam.

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