Sarewitz/thernstrom La Times Op-ed on Leaked Climate Research Documents

Lynne Kiesling

I am blissfully on vacation this week in Maui (biking, diving, snorkeling, swimming, and not spending time on the Internet), but did check in briefly this afternoon.

For those of you interested in keeping up with the “politicization of science” and bastardization of the scientific method aspect of it that angers me the most (and that I commented on in an earlier post), I recommend this op-ed in the LA Times from Daniel Sarewitz and Samuel Thernstrom. I don’t agree with their entire argument, but it’s an exceedingly valuable contribution, despite the dichotomous R/D, left/right red/blue framing that I dislike so much. Here’s an example from their piece that may catch your attention:

The real scandal illustrated by the e-mails is not that scientists tried to undermine peer review, fudge and conceal data, and torpedo competitors, but that scientists and advocates on both sides of the climate debate continue to claim political authority derived from a false ideal of pure science. This charade is a disservice to both science and democracy. To science, because the reality cannot live up to the myth; to democracy, because the difficult political choices created by the genuine but also uncertain threat of climate change are concealed by the scientific debate.

For further commentary on the Sarewitz/Thernstrom piece, I also recommend the comments from Jonathan Adler at the Volokh Conspiracy, environmental studies professor Roger Pielke Jr., and Ron Bailey at Reason.

3 thoughts on “Sarewitz/thernstrom La Times Op-ed on Leaked Climate Research Documents

  1. DATA are! They are the readings taken from the field instruments. Once the data are “homogenized”, “adjusted”, “filled in”, folded, bent, spindled and mutilated they become something else. When they are processed through “black boxes” using undisclosed methods, they become “undata”, since their relationship to the DATA is unknown and unknowable. However, they are then deemed fit for inclusion in the “global temperature record”. Such is the state of the foundation upon which the Anthropogenic Global Climate Change hysteria is constructed.

    We know how to measure temperature. Accurate temperature measurement is not necessarily easy, but it can be done. NCDC has established criteria for the design, installation and maintenance of surface temperature measuring stations; and, techniques for estimating the measurement error introduced by deviations from the criteria. However, while we know how to measure temperature, we have decided not to do it properly, as has been documented by the Surface Stations Project ( The average US surface temperature measuring station is subject to measurement error =/> 2C. The data collected from these sites is then used to compute temperature anomalies to two decimal place “accuracy”.

    Some may refer to this process as “pure science”. It is, at best “impure science”. It appears to me to be more like necromancy.

    The concept of investing tens of trillions of dollars based on “data” which isn’t and models which don’t is ludicrous.

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