Thursday 31 March 2011

A word of caution to the BEST project team

An Open Letter To Professor Richard Muller and Team relating to the Berkley Earth Surface Temperature project

Tips and Advice: Learning from past mistakes

Dear Professor Muller and Team,

If you want your Berkley Earth Surface Temperature project to succeed and become the center of attention you need to learn from the vast number of mistakes Hansen and Jones have made with their temperature records. To aid this task I created a point by point list for you.

1) Any errors, however inconsequential, will be taken Very Seriously and accusations of fraud will be made.

2) If you adjust the raw data we will accuse you of fraudulently fiddling the figures whilst cooking the books.

3) If you don't adjust the raw data we will accuse you of fraudulently failing to account for station biases and UHI.

4) Homogenization is what Enron did.

5) If you rely on CLIMAT messages for the monthly updates this will cause a sharp station count drop after the first month. If that happens we will accuse you of fraudulently deleting stations to produce warming.

6) If you ever modify your algorithm and rerun it over the data so that some past monthly values change, we will accuse you of fraudulently rewriting written history.

7) By all means publish all your source code, but we will still accuse you of hiding the methodology for your adjustments.

8) If you publish results to your website and errors are found, we will accuse you of a Very Serious Error irregardless of severity (see point #1) and bemoan the press release you made about your results even though you won't remember making any press release about your results.

9) With regard to point #8 above, at extra cost and time to yourself you must employ someone to thoroughly check each monthly update before is is published online, even if this delays publication of the results till the end of the month. You might be surprised at this because no-one actually relies on such freshly published data anyway and aren't the many eyes of blog audit better than a single pair of eyes? Well that's irrelevant. See points #1 and #8

10) If you don't publish results promptly at the start of the month on the public website, but instead say publish the results to a private site for checks to be performed before release, we will accuse you of engaging in unscientific-like secrecy and massaging the data behind closed doors.

11) You can never adjust enough for UHI unless your record shows cooling.

12) You better not be using stations at airports. You'll find out why if you do.

13) You don't need to adjust for Time of Observation bias. That's the upwards one isn't it? Well we couldn't give a shit about that.

14) If any region/station shows a warming trend that doesn't match the raw data, and we can't understand why, we will accuse you of fraud and dismiss the entire record. Don't expect us to have to read anything to understand results.

15) You must provide all input datasets on your website. It's no good referencing NOAAs site and saying they "own" the GHCN data for example. I don't want their GHCN raw temperatures file, I want the one on your hard drive which you used for the analysis, even if you claim they are the same. If you don't do this we will accuse you of hiding the data and preventing us checking your results.

16) You are to blame for any station data your team uses. If we find out that a station you use is next to an AC Unit, we will conclude you personally planted the thermometer there to deliberately get warming.

17) We will treat your record as if no alternative exists. As if your record is the make or break of Something Really Important (see point #1) and we just can't check the results in any other way.

18) Always wear a lab coat while running your algorithm. I don't really know about the practicalities of how science is practiced in real life, but you sure as hell better meet the expectations I have gleaned off TV. Especially when this is science that is so important (see point #17).

20) A Stationary Audit should be completed prior to and after all work.

21) Your work is important (see point #17) so it bears special scrutiny - that's why our role as auditors is so important.

22) We don't need any scrutiny because our role isn't important.

23) In the unlikely event that I haven't wasted enough of your time forcing you to comply with the above rules, I also demand to see all emails you have sent or will send during the period 1950 to 2050 that contain any of these keywords

Any accusations of fraud and wrong-doing aimed at your team will be initially posted on blogs and in the media but will be eventually compiled by our think-tanks into glossy brochures. We don't check our own claims much.

You of course have nothing to lose and a lot to gain in this endeavor!

Good Luck,
The Auditors

Update: Additional advice from commenters:

24. In the event that you comply with all of the above, we will point out that a mere hundred-odd years of data is irrelevant next to the 4.5 billion year history of Earth. So why do you even bother?

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Memo to republicans: don't bother voting in 2012. Your vote only increases the chance of your party winning by 0.0001%

EPA CO2 regulations would reduce global temps by only 0.0037C. Unless all the other countries cut emissions too it's pointless.

This is also the reason why I never vote.

Think about it - it takes me an hour to get to the nearest polling station and another hour to get back again, costing me both time and fuel. Considering that money and effort makes a contribution to the tea party of just 0.0001% of the vote, what's the point?

Republicans will also be wise enough not to bother voting for the same reason. Democrats are of course too stupid to understand statistics and they'll flock to the polls thinking their 0.0001% will make any difference.

Monday 21 March 2011

Climate legislation: I can't find anything good to say about it

Climate legislation threatens to increase energy prices just as the poorest in society are dealing with the crawl out of a recession. Carbon legislation will disproportionately hit the poor in society and the money will just end up in the pocket of rich bankers.

At the same time climate legislation is not really about the climate at all. The true motive is socialist wealth redistribution - a transfer of money from rich to poor. I am very much against giving money to the poor.

Couldn't we instead spend the zillions pegged for wind turbines and carbon taxes on real problems, such as tackling world poverty, ie giving money to the poor?

The harder I try, the more excuses I find.

Jurrassic Park is a triumph for dino theme parks: Build more dinosaur theme parks now!

Fukushima is a triumph for nuke power: Build more reactors now!
Quake + tsunami = 1 minor radiation dose so far

Industrial espionage + life finding a way = only 5 dead so far

Analysis Ingen's dinosaur theme park, Jurassic Park, has performed magnificently in the face of a disaster hugely greater than it was designed to withstand, remaining entirely safe throughout and sustaining only minor damage. The unfolding Jurassic Park story has enormously strengthened the case for advanced nations – including Japan – to build more Dinosaur based Amusement Parks, in the knowledge that no imaginable disaster can result in serious problems.

Let's recap on what's happened so far. The tropical storm which hit on Friday was terrifically powerful, shaking the entire island. Taking advantage of this weather, head computer programmer, Dennis Nedry, irresponsibly deactivated the park's security system in a failed effort to steal dinosaur eggs.

If dinosaur theme parks were merely as safe as they are advertised to be, there should have been a major failure right then. As the dinosaurs were no longer held in pens by electric fences a runaway dinosaur swarm could have ensued involving thousands of dinosaurs – probably resulting in the worst thing that can happen to a properly designed dinosaur theme park: everyone gets eaten. In this case the only thing to do is evacuate the island and wait: no actual disaster will take place, but the park is a total writeoff and cleansing the park of dinosaurs will be difficult and take a long time. Eventual cleanup will be protracted and expensive.

In fact, though the security breach was far beyond design limits, the staff were able to reboot the park's computer system: triumph number one. Door locks slammed shut, blocking out the dinosaurs.

However, the dinosaurs were still on the loose at this point: carnivorous reptiles that can sometimes try to eat humans. They have short lives however and cannot breed, so their numbers decay to insignificant levels within days of a shutdown, but for that time the pens will still release a few dinosaurs – and this is still a lot of dangerous reptiles. If they are not dealt with, they can eventually break through the fences, though the resulting mess will not be nearly as bad as a dinosaur swarm.

Thus, even with the computer systems rebooted, the park still needs to be left for some days until the "residual" dinosaurs die away and so power and water need to be supplied for this purpose. Backup door locks came on at all the park buildings without trouble, despite the way-beyond-spec hit from the security breach: triumph number two.

This is obviously emotive stuff – large escaping flesh eating reptiles – even if they are harmless to anyone off the island (the workers inside are in protected control rooms or wearing protective gear - hard hats, the goggles that DO work, etc).

So the situation is being managed and the buildings are being kept secure by rebooting the park's computer.

Health effects have been pretty much zero. At times there have been heightened attacks on staff inside the buildings by short lived dinosaurs due to the pen releases – sometimes enough that an unprotected person next to a dinosaur might have sustained a year's normal dose of dinosaur teeth in an hour. This is not particularly terrifying, really – but it is being reported under scaremongering headlines. Another thing the weekend reporters have missed was the fact that all but tiny traces of the dinosaurs were disappearing before they could even reach the buildings; there is essentially no health hazard to people living outside the island. Precautionary evacuations and tests were just that: precautionary.

In fact only one person so far has sustained any measurable injury above normal: a plant worker, according to staff, has lost an arm in the maintenance compound. Once that member of staff is located they will be informed their arm has been found. Other workers have been chased by velociraptors, T-Rexes, etc, but quite frankly being a dinosaur theme park worker at Jurassic Park has been pretty safe compared to the number of automobile deaths each year.

So to sum up: the park is well on it's way to shutdown. At no time have their operators come even close to running out of options. The safety systems did not come even close to failing, despite being tested far beyond what they had been designed to take. One person has sustained a small dose of being swallowed by a T-Rex which need cause him no concern.

The whole sequence of events is a ringing endorsement for dinosaur amusement park safety. If this – basically nothing – is what happens when year-old systems are pushed five times and then some beyond their design limits, new dinosaur theme parks much safer yet would be able to resist an asteroid strike without problems.

But you wouldn't know that from looking at the mainstream media. Ignorant fools are suggesting on every hand that Jurrassic Park's problems actually mean fresh obstacles in the way of dinosaur theme parks here in the UK, Europe and the US.

That can only be true if an unbelievable level of public ignorance of the real facts, born of truly dreadful news reporting over the weekend, is allowed to persist.

Why Nuclear Power Cannot Be Trusted

Lessons From Japan

If there is one thing the media reaction to Fukushima shows, it is that Greens don't know whether they support Nuclear Power or whether they oppose it. This troubles me because how am I supposed to know what position to take on Nuclear Power if I don't know which position is very not the IPCC? If only Al Gore would announce to the IPCC what the official Green policy is on nuclear power.

Some environmentalists are opposed to nuclear power on so-called "safety" grounds, while others are pro-nuclear power because apparently nuclear power plants don't emit CO2, which is a terrible fact. You'd have thought in the 21st century someone would have developed a way to get the best of both worlds. A coal powered nuclear power station perhaps.

Don't get me wrong, I fully support radiation, I just don't trust nuclear power. I don't have a bad word to say about radiation. My job is to deny any negative industrial or commercial effect that alarms others. Radiation, climate change, DDT, etc, i've been funded to deny the lot. Like all industrial byproducts, I say radiation is entirely natural and it turns out radiation is good for your health.

Greens are always blathering on about "emissions". Yap yap yap. "Hey inferno those radiation emissions are too high". Whatever, I call it life. Radiation levels on Earth were much higher in the past. Who gets to decide that current levels of radiation are optimal for man? If anything the Earth is probably starved of radiation.

Saturday 19 March 2011