Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Monday, November 30, 2009

RICHIE WEST: Perhaps Global Warming is Man-made

As a supporter of the CFZ and avid fan of Jon Downes, I have yet to offer any solo contribution to the CFZ. I support my wife's CFZ ventures, perfectly willing to remain in the background. Trained as a chemist/mathematician, receiving a BS degree from a large Texas university, I pride myself in the use of the scientific method, which leads me to write this essay.

I grew up in the sixties as an anti-establishment pro-environmentalist starting a controversial organisation called the Student Activists for a Free Environment (SAFE) at my local high school. I successfully participated in the requisite activities that made me a dully initiated member of any counter-culture group while at the university. I found myself on 'the fringe' and yet I write this article from a perspective within the CFZ again as a member of 'the fringe' within the fringe.

Recent publication of hacked email traffic reveal that several respected and renowned man-made global warming scientists have 'cooked the books.' It appears that they have manipulated their data to 'prove' the current politically correct position that if we don't do something now, our Earth will spiral into an unstoppable warming epoch instigated by man. (For the moment we will disregard the 70s environmental campaign against global cooling.) Al Gore received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work, Inconvenient Truth. Skeptical reviews [sic] of this movie have revealed 35 errors, 9 of which were questioned by a London High Court. 'The judge had stated that, if the UK Government had not agreed to send to every secondary school in England a corrected guidance note making clear the mainstream scientific position on these nine “errors”, he would have made a finding that the Government’s distribution of the film and the first draft of the guidance note earlier in 2007 to all English secondary schools had been an unlawful contravention of an Act of Parliament prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.' A good example of a glaring problem in Al Gore's data is this YouTube clip. Several MPs in the Australian parliament have resigned based on the organised deception by climate change scientists. It should be apparent even to the most naive that the world has been duped. My generation has now become 'the man.' We have shed our tie-dyed t-shirts and paisley patched jeans for the suit and perform the same mass deceptions we once protested.

In an ever vigilant quest for truth Jon has tried to keep the CFZ respectable, relying on science and the scientific method to discover truth. At times the truth has not been the most financially rewarding product for the CFZ. My desire is that the CFZ stay informed on emerging scientific data with respect to man-made global warming so as to maintain and even bolster its credibility. I ask that the CFZ be free thinkers and not be swayed by every whim of political doctrine.

Don't get me wrong. I am very concerned about what we do to our environment. I believe we are to be good stewards of what has been given to us. As much as we desire to preserve our Earth and the habitats it provides to some rapidly declining species' populations, we need to brandish the truth as our two-edged sword to combat ignorance that even our most respected climate change scientists seem to have been willing to maintain. We need to change people's hearts not control the truth.

The best way to end the man-made global warming debate is to publish the truth.


Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

The problem I have with the University of East Anglia's Climate Research Unit (CRU) is not that they are part of a cosy clique who all more or less agree with each other, but that the unit seems to be utterly useless at managing its computers by even the lamentably low standards of Academic computing.

To start with, they have lost a lot of their basic data. They don't even seem to have DVD-R initial copies of this, only one single lot of backup tapes with may (or may not) have once held the crucial data, but which don't now have it.

Then their flagship software suite seems to have been initially developed by only one or two researchers, as an informal "Let's have a shufti at this data and knock up some quick and dirty Fortran code to do it" sort of look. This code was then re-used and built upon, despite the core of it being from a man who is said to have taught himself Fortran informally, and who only knows Fortran (and then not much of it).

This code was kept, and added to over the course of a few years, and more or less muddled along. Documentation of a sort was written, but not kept up with. Coding standards were lamentable; several modules in the core suite are described as intermittantly failing, and failing silently so that only minute examination of the output can determine if this error happened at all.

This mess was inherited by a second young programmer, who again only seems to know Fortran (hence a series of howlers and dirty hacks in the code to try to make this language better at text programming) and uses it for processing large text files. Perl 5 or similar would work much better for this, and exporting the data to XML would make it much more portable, but unfortunately this is a statistician we're dealing with here, not a generalist sysadmin or ISP hacker type.

The second programmer is also working on Sun machines, trying to make the Sun Fortran compilers build the code that he has inherited; an uphill struggle because the Sun compiler is a much more picky beast than whatever was being used previously.

The second programmer spent 5 months bug-fixing a supposedly mature software suite, with a 2.* version number; the poxy horrible thing wasn't actually out of alpha if it was having compile problems, never mind into beta testing!

The data files were in a similar parlous state of disarray, ambiguity and partial loss; as mentioned previously some of the original data was lost, a lot of overlap and ambiguity existed and I suspect a lot of mistakes happened simply due to poor tool selection on the part of the poor chap trying to hack all this mess into some sort of shape.

The net impression one gleans from all this is that the published papers are an elaborate work of fiction, and that the main authors and leading lights in the CRU and probably the other similar modelling units are knowingly publishing results which are extremely dubious in accuracy.

Without a thorough review of all the input data, the initial data ordering code and the modelling code I personally do not think that the results can be trusted, and since all the other peer reviewers are demonstrably completely unable to detect this monstrous fabrication of results, then their output is similarly suspect until proven otherwise.

Syd said...

Well said Richie, an excellent essay.

It is my belief that most intelligent people who think for themselves, rather than allowing the mentally deranged governments and politically correct scientists to brain wash them, realise that the whole Global Warming nonsense is a man made myth. Like the religion myth, the global warming myth, is designed to subjugate and control the masses, for the benefit of a minority of greedy, power mad world leaders and financiers.
New World Order, anyone ??.

Since the birth of this planet, global warming and global cooling has been happening and will continue to happen as surely as night follows day, until this planet disappears into a cloud of space dust, from which it came.

Maybe, just maybe, humans have had a very slight impact with their wars, industrialisation, chemical pollution, etc., but man's contribution over the past few thousand years, despite his best efforts, is nothing when compared to naturally occurring forest fires, volcanic eruptions and other natural destructive events that have happened over countless millions of years.

Chris Clark said...

I offered my views a few weeks ago before these documents became public, and I won't repeat them here. Let me just say that global warming is not a hoax, in the sense that people like Michael Mann and Phil Jones are not expounding a view they know to be false, and neither is it a conspiracy (at least not consciously). It is an orthodoxy defending itself, by all the techniques that orthodoxies use when they feel their foundations crumbling: misrepresentation, suppressio veri, maligning opponents, monopolising debate etc.

I make an exception in the case of Al Gore, who seems to have no more concept of objective truth than O'Brien in 1984; this is a typical bandwaggon-jumping politician, for whom a fact is whatever advances his agenda, and two and two make five whenever it suits the Party. Example: his most famous slide shows from ice cores that temperature changes are accompanied by rises in CO2, and therefore the latter causes the former. A glance at the data shows that the temperature rise precedes the CO2 rise by about eight centuries. Either Gore has found an effect that precedes its cause by 800 years, in which case he should get a second Nobel Prize, this time in Physics; or he is so reckless with the data that he never noticed this (and no-one pointed it out?); or else he is lying for political advantage. Hmmm...

Anybody who knows programming (Unix is particularly helpful) should look at the READ_ME_HARRY file that was amongst the documents. It chronicles the Herculean efforts of an obviously dedicated and capable programmer to extract some sort of coherent sense from the weather station records, which seem to be a mass of confused, ambiguous and duplicated data. After looking through this I feel that the climate reconstructions lose a lot their authority.

I received a circulated email today from someone who has his own very interesting ideas about the causes of climate and weather, quite unrelated to CO2. He concludes by saying:

"It is time now for honest green campaigners to get off the Titanic of Climate Change hype while they can, and stand tall themselves to preserve bio-diversity, rain-forests and defend nature's hosts of treasures for their own sake.
If honest greens do not jump ship now, they and what they thought they stood for will get dragged down by the gathering wave of revulsion against everything seen as green, as self-serving ‘science’, as state support of environmental scams and all things dear to the chattering classes."

A bit rhetorical, but the sentiments are spot on.

Chris Clark said...

Yes, if I were entrusted with what is currently the single most important scientific data set on earth, I would begin by copying it onto three separate DVDs, checking they could be read, and placing them in fireproof safes at three locations. And this is before I did any processing on them. Of course, if I did this I would risk other people getting a look at them....
Phil Jones as Director of the CRU has to take final responsibility for any data loss, and should be dismissed for that if nothing else.

Richie said...

I understand that the climate change model being used by the UN does not include the effects of water vapor or the natural occurring variations in the sun cycle? It also uses a linear absorption model for CO2 effects rather than the naturally occurring logarithmic one. If true, this 'oversight' is a gross misrepresentation of the natural world and would grossly overstate the CO2 greenhouse effect.

Lawrie Williams said...

Well do I recall some of the earliest Climate Skeptics comments, a major theme of which was: "If you are an intelligent free-thinker like I am then you will question the reality of global warming". How flattering to one's own ego to proclaim that you are a few thousand other noisy loons around the planet consider themselves to know better than the entire body of climatologists and other scientists who predicted global warming even before the ten hottest years on record that we have just had. The vast majority of the world's best scientists and all the world's leading scientific organizations have accepted the reality of human-induced global warming. The physical properties of the atmosphere have been changed by CO2. The sea is heating up. Untold cubic km of ice is melting every year. The only conspiracy is the sick memes put about by Exxon-Mobil a decade ago.

Richie said...

How flattering to one's own ego to proclaim that you are a few thousand other noisy loons around the planet consider themselves to know better than the entire body of climatologists and other scientists...."

I believe you are confusing me with those scientists that saw it necessary to lie to protect their egos rather than to publish the correct data. I include myself among these scientists.

Their predictions, although blamed on CO2, can actually be explained by the increased temperatures
experienced by other planets and moons in the solar system, which to this date have not been tainted by our fossil fuel usage.