Musings on Climategate

Michael Schlesinger emails back

Posted in AGW Political, AGW Rhetorical by emelks on December 8, 2009

After reading the obnoxiously threatening email Mr. Schlesinger sent to a reporter, I emailed him my thoughts on the subject. Amazingly, he emailed back. The response is below.

While I was pleasantly surprised that his tone was far more reasoned than the email he composed to the reporter, I wasn’t shocked that he assumes me too ignorant to know that physics is hardly a hands-down support system for AGW.


Thank you for your e-mail message to me below.

Science has known for over 100 years that our burning fossil fuels –– Nature’s gift to humanity, without which we would have been in a perpetual dark age –– would cause global warming/climate change.
The physics underpinning this is irrefutable.

The physical evidence of human-caused global warming/climate change is all around us, and is undeniable.

We can either choose to:

(1) Ignore this physics and physical evidence of global warming/climate change and, thereby, risk the irreversible outcome therefrom;


(2) Face the problem squarely and begin the very difficult task of transitioning ourselves this century from the fossil-fuel age to the post fossil-fuel age.

In my public lectures and debates, I advise the world to choose Option 2.

I sense that in about 20 years’ time, if I am still alive, people will say to me: ““Why didn’t you tell us about human-caused global warming/climate change?”” I will reply, “”But I did, for almost 60 years.”” “”Yes, they will say, but why did you not make us believe it?”” And I will respond, ““Because you chose to not so do””.

I can no longer aid a journalist who aids those who recommend Option 1, thereby putting the world at great risk. And so I have now ceased to do so – the ‘“Great Cutoff”’.

Elena, you are probably much younger than I, hence this is your planet.

I hope that you will make informed decisions about her well-being and yours.

Prof. Schlesinger

P.S. What does GIGO-laden code mean?

On Dec 7, 2009, at 6:38 PM, emelks wrote:

reveals you as a thug, not a scientist. Enjoy what little limelight remains, we the people aren’t going to submit to your GIGO-laden code.


My response to him:

Mr. Schlesinger–

Thank you for a reasoned response.

I’ve spent the past week plowing through the code leaked from UEA and am appalled at the outright fraud committed in the code. It’s obscene.

My best friend is a physicist and he refutes the notion that physics absolutely proves AGW. He posits that solar fluctuations are solely responsible for climate variation and that the brouhaha over AGW is nothing more than politics abusing science as an alternative to religion.

Furthermore, as a serious gardener I watch weather carefully and I can say with absolute certainty that the climate in my area has cooled noticeably in the past 4 years. I don’t need Kevin Trenberth to tell me what my own experience has proven. That the junk code I’ve read can’t predict a significant trend in the other direction–even with, or perhaps due to, the hardcoded “fudge factors”–indicates to me that models aren’t worth the electrons used to run them.

I am young, with children, and I refuse to throw away their futures based upon fatally flawed models and politicians’ rhetoric. I want my children to enjoy the prosperity and freedoms with which I grew up and I will not stand idly by and watch it all purposefully destroyed to advance anyone’s political agenda.

Thanks again, and I hope you plan to revisit your assumptions based upon the information revealed from UEA.


PS–GIGO means garbage in garbage out.


14 Responses

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  1. Dave Dardinger said, on December 8, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Undeniable? That’s the tip off that he’s not aware of what’s going on (as if not knowing the meaning of GIGO wasn’t enough of a tip-off.) Fact is that there’s plenty of reason’s to deny AGW, albeit that some of the supposed skeptics support marginal positions. There are just too many problems with AGW to handle in a reasonable amount of time when dealing with the uninformed public. That’s why the alarmists can throw up smokescreens so easily; and often, in fact, believe the smoke signals a fire themselves.

    • emelks said, on December 9, 2009 at 12:12 am

      I got a grin out of the GIGO confusion. Wow, we have rocket scientists in our midst! 😉

  2. Vimy100 said, on December 9, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Superb, emelks, whoever you are. I spent 31 years working with the Meteorological Service of Canada. The climate has always changed, and always will. Solar magnetic flux is the single most significant factor but there are many, many others and a vast abundance of feedback mechanisms that ensure the sky doesn’t fall.

    In the end, most of this debate is just part of the long-standing attempt of a small group to control and use the fruit of everyone else’s labour. We have spent 800 years struggling for liberty of concsience and freedom to live our lives by our own initiative and vision and these guys are using a faux crisis to steal that freedom back.

    A pox on them all. Much better to use our intellectual and physical resources to adapt to whatever change comes down the tube than throw them away on a hubristic effort to stop the climate from changing. As easy to stop the tides, or the rotation of the earth or solar radiation. And much better to put those resources into the hands of millions of entrepreneurs than hand them over to a small group of academics and bureaucrats. A vigorous free market will quickly find solutions that would take an academic committee a millennium to stumble across.

    • emelks said, on December 9, 2009 at 12:20 am

      Couldn’t have said it better myself!

    • emelks said, on December 9, 2009 at 12:34 am

      BTW, I have to admit, his emails have been far less, um, strident than I expected. Wonder what that’s about?

  3. Vimy100 said, on December 9, 2009 at 3:55 am

    Re: Schlesinger’s civility. I think he is old and feels beaten. And he probably didn’t start out as an arrogant and obnoxious boor ~ he likely grew into the role as he and his IPCC pals came to see themselves as the saviours of the world.

    Since they refused to release their raw data and their code, all of their assumptions, practices and results went largely unchallenged and they slowly became dismissive when they encountered skepticism. He probably doesn’t understand the gravity or magnitude of the poor code practices and the very poor code maintenance, documentation, verification etc for most of the the GCM’s.

    On this see e.g. discussion at There are many other such discussions on various websites as programmers and climatologists and statisticians begin collaborating to see how these guys have manipulated the data to come to their conclusions. Many of the coding professionals (and others) seem quite shocked at the quality of the work and the lack of standards. See, as an example, Steven Mosher’s comments on the page cited above.

    Another thing this has solidified in my mind is how much scientists (and people generally in all fields) rely on the authority of others working in the field. Nobody really checks anyone else’s work and no one thinks it all through from start to finish. They just accept conclusions reached and build on them and assume (as I did for years) the the so-called peer-review process works. It doesn’t.

    I live in the province of Alberta, in Canada. One of the expert IPCC reviewers lives here ~ Dr. Mahdav Khandkar. He has complained vociferously that the IPCC Policy Summary was written before he even submitted his review! His review was scathing ~ he rejected most of the work he was asked to review but it had absolutely no effect on the resulting publication. So much for peer review.

  4. Vimy100 said, on December 9, 2009 at 4:05 am

    I have re-thought my reply to you :-). I don’t know why he was civil. Maybe that’s the way he is. Maybe the strength of feeling your remarks conveyed helped him to see what an asinine thing it was he had done. It is surprising sometimes, how an honest and unfeigned reaction to what we say or do can cause us to re-appraise our certainty. Maybe you did him some good. I hope so 🙂

  5. Vimy100 said, on December 9, 2009 at 4:20 am

    One final thought (sorry to flood your site) ~ whenever you someone say “There was a recent study that found… ” or “What the literature shows us is…” you might just as well stop listening. She cites the study, or worse, makes a broad reference to the “literature”, because she hasn’t mastered the evidence. If she knew and understood the evidence, that is what she would cite.

    The lesson to be taken from ClimateGate is that appeals to authority are dangerous. The appeal to authority has always been recognised as a logical fallacy for good reason ~ it can lead to accepting a falsehood as true.

  6. Vimy100 said, on December 9, 2009 at 4:25 am

    Sorry, emelks, just read your pseudo-serf stuff and realise you know more about code than I, so please accept the comments regarding programming professionals in the spirit given. You are well-qualified to draw your own conclusions :-).

    • emelks said, on December 9, 2009 at 11:34 pm

      I don’t code, I just read it, understand how it fits together, what the input/outputs are, and what data is used throughout. And I’m just learning Fortran so I’d love to read a Fortran programmer’s comments on the code.

      That said, I’m appalled at the leaked code for all of the above factors.

      And don’t worry a bit–I’ve kept my personal life out of this so you had no way of knowing.

      Feel free to continue contributing. The more examination, the better!

      • feaust said, on August 14, 2010 at 1:53 pm

        Enter the ending year: 2007
        Enter the path (if any) for the output files: rd0abs/
        Now, CONCENTRATE. Addition or Percentage (A/P)? A ! this was a guess! We’ll see how the results look
        Right, erm.. off I jolly well go!

        Then.. wait a minute! I checked back, and sure enough, DOES allow both synthetic and ‘real’ data
        to be included in the gridding. From the program description:

        ; TDM: the dummy grid points default to zero, but if the synth_prefix files are present in call,
        ; the synthetic data from these grids are read in and used instead

        And so.. (after some confusion, and renaming so that anomdtb selects percentage anomalies)..

        IDL> quick_interp_tdm2,1901,2006,’rd0pcglo/rd0pc’,450,gs=0.5,dumpglo=’dumpglo’,synth_prefix=’rd0syn/rd0syn’,pts_prefix=’rd0pctxt/rd0pc.’

        The trouble is, we won’t be able to produce reliable station count files this way. Or can we use the same strategy,
        producing station counts from the wet database route, and filling in ‘gaps’ with the precip station counts? Err.

        crua6[/cru/cruts/version_3_0/secondaries/rd0] ./glo2abs
        Welcome! This is the GLO2ABS program.
        I will create a set of absolute grids from
        a set of anomaly grids (in .glo format), also
        a gridded version of the climatology.
        Enter the path and name of the normals file: clim.6190.lan.wet
        Enter a name for the gridded climatology file: clim.grid
        Enter the path and stem of the .glo files: rd0pcglo/rd0pc.
        Enter the starting year: 1901
        Enter the ending year: 2006
        Enter the path (if any) for the output files: rd0pcgloabs/
        Now, CONCENTRATE. Addition or Percentage (A/P)? P
        Right, erm.. off I jolly well go!

        crua6[/cru/cruts/version_3_0/secondaries/rd0] ./mergegrids
        Welcome! This is the MERGEGRIDS program.
        I will create decadal and full gridded files
        from the output files of (eg) glo2abs.for.

        Enter a gridfile with YYYY for year and MM for month: rd0pcgloabs/rd0pc.MM.YYYY.glo.abs
        Enter Start Year: 1901
        Enter Start Month: 01
        Enter End Year: 2006
        Enter End Month: 12

        Please enter a sample OUTPUT filename, replacing
        start year with SSSS and end year with EEEE: cru_ts_3_00.SSSS.EEEE.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1901.1910.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1911.1920.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1921.1930.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1931.1940.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1941.1950.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1951.1960.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1961.1970.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1971.1980.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1981.1990.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.1991.2000.rd0.dat
        Writing cru_ts_3_00.2001.2006.rd0.dat

        All according to plan.. except the values themselves!

        For January, 2001:

        Minimum = 0
        Maximum = 32630
        Vals >31000 = 1

        For the whole of 2001:

        Minimum = 0
        Maximum = 56763
        Vals >31000 = 5

        Not good. We’re out by a factor of at least 10, though the extremes are few enough to just cap at DiM. So where has
        this factor come from?

        Well here’s the January 2001 climatology:

        Minimum = 0
        Maximum = 3050
        Vals >3100 = 0

        That all seems fine for a percentage normals set. Not entirly sure about 0 though.

        so let’s look at the January 2001 gridded anomalies file:

        Minimum = -48.046
        Maximum = 0.0129

        This leads to a show-stopper, I’m afraid. It looks as though the calculation I’m using for percentage anomalies is,
        not to put too fine a point on it, cobblers. A

      • emelks said, on August 14, 2010 at 7:34 pm

        Man, these programs are strange. Do you have a background in this language, Feaust?

  7. PaddikJ said, on December 10, 2009 at 6:52 am

    My God – that a well known climate modeler doesn’t know GIGO . . . . .

    I’m speechless.

  8. feaust said, on August 15, 2010 at 9:39 am

    i am a computer dummy,im not a scientist,im a 50 something lady who is worried about this fraud,i have 35 page data programme, a man is tweaking the numbers over and over taking out data putting in forcing and smoothing,dave lister is the other guy he is conversing with,i also have thousnds of australian temp from 1940,somethings i still cannot open,honestly i copied this programmer conversation 18 months ago,no one even mentioned (glo2abs)so ive been stuck not knowing to whom it would be of interest,if you want me to send it i will do my best,
    regards lorraine

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