Boxer: You know what the real issue is in Climategate? E-mail theft

posted at 8:56 pm on December 2, 2009 by Allahpundit

I’m just enough of a dummy that when I glanced at this headline, I thought she meant the researchers should be prosecuted. (Which isn’t unthinkable: George Monbiot noted last week that deleting material subject to a British FOIA inquiry is potentially criminal.) That’s what I get for even momentarily giving a hack like Boxer the benefit of the doubt.

No, of course she means the hackers should be prosecuted for illegally procuring evidence of malfeasance regarding an urgent, trillion-dollar matter of international public policy. Ace has been goofing on the shamelessness of this tactic since last week — leaks that help the left are always about the information obtained, leaks that hurt the left are always about the leak’s illegality — but it’s amazing to see someone as prominent as Boxer stoop to it. She could have simply taken the Jon Stewart route and said no, global warming isn’t in question, but yes, this is a scandalous betrayal of public trust. Doing so would have only helped her side, proving that she’s sincerely interested in the integrity of the science and not prone to the same squirrelly eagerness to ignore unhelpful information as the East Anglia boys. But she’s too stupid or corrupt to figure that out, so in the end the fake newsman has more credibility than a real senator.

Exit quotation via Daniel Henninger: “Surely there must have been serious men and women in the hard sciences who at some point worried that their colleagues in the global warming movement were putting at risk the credibility of everyone in science. The nature of that risk has been twofold: First, that the claims of the climate scientists might buckle beneath the weight of their breathtaking complexity. Second, that the crudeness of modern politics, once in motion, would trample the traditions and culture of science to achieve its own policy goals. With the scandal at the East Anglia Climate Research Unit, both have happened at once.”

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I think she does have a point. Information theft is criminal for a reason. We have laws on the matter, and need to enforce them.

But we and the UK also have laws pertaining to freedom of information. People who destroyed evidence rather than reveal information should ALSO be prosecuted. Especially to the extent that they destroyed work that taxpayers paid for, without giving the taxpayers access to the work.

hawksruleva on December 3, 2009 at 3:05 PM

Barbara, Holdren, Browner, Chu, Obama are you SURE you don’t want to change your lie?

Gore cancels on Copenhagen lecture – leaves ticketholders in a lurch
by DefendUSx December 03, 2009 12:54

Watts Up With That
Thursday, December 3, 2009

It seems the uncertainty about Copenhagen is growing. When Al baby pulls the plug, you know it’s hosed.

patriotparty1 on December 3, 2009 at 3:07 PM

I’m not one of these guys who goes around saying I’ll kick so and so’s a$$…but I believe I could really slap her if I was in range.

Dr. ZhivBlago on December 3, 2009 at 4:23 PM

Cross-posting from the AGW poll thread…

I came across this idea in a letter to the editor at the WSJ today entitled “Feynman on Scientific Integrity”. The AGW “scientists” and adherents are engaged in Cargo Cult Science, a form of scientific conduct which Richard Feynman spoke of in his commencement address at Caltech in 1974:

I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call cargo cult science. In the South Seas there is a cargo cult of people. During the war they saw airplanes land with lots of good materials, and they want the same thing to happen now. So they’ve arranged to imitate things like runways, to put fires along the sides of the runways, to make a wooden hut for a man to sit in, with two wooden pieces on his head like headphones and bars of bamboo sticking out like antennas–he’s the controller–and they wait for the airplanes to land. They’re doing everything right. The form is perfect. It looks exactly the way it looked before. But it doesn’t work. No airplanes land. So I call these things cargo cult science, because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.

Now it behooves me, of course, to tell you what they’re missing. But it would be just about as difficult to explain to the South Sea Islanders how they have to arrange things so that they get some wealth in their system. It is not something simple like telling them how to improve the shapes of the earphones. But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards.

For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

The easiest way to explain this idea is to contrast it, for
example, with advertising. Last night I heard that Wesson oil doesn’t soak through food. Well, that’s true. It’s not dishonest; but the thing I’m talking about is not just a matter of not being dishonest, it’s a matter of scientific integrity, which is another level. The fact that should be added to that advertising statement is that no oils soak through food, if operated at a certain temperature. If operated at another temperature, they all will — including Wesson oil. So it’s the implication which has been conveyed, not the fact, which is true, and the difference is what we have to deal with.

We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the research in cargo cult science.

For “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” fans, the children of the airplane crash behaved as cargo cultists when they related the story of how they came to be marooned and their hope for rescue.

ya2daup on December 3, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Nice try “mam” but the genie is out of the bottle.

diogenes on December 3, 2009 at 4:54 PM

…but she didn’t have a problem with Palin’s email being hacked last fall…oh wait! That was the enemy…
Deal with the issue of skewed data instead of the fact that it was hacked…oh wait, she can’t! One of her platforms on which she campaigns in her district is the environment!

RMCS_USN on December 3, 2009 at 5:24 PM

That’s funny, I don’t remember Boxer complaining about Sarah Palin’s e-mails being misappropriated and diseeminated.

molonlabe28 on December 3, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Huh. I don’t recall her bytching when they hacked Palin’s emails – and found nothing, of course.

RedNewEnglander on December 3, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Carly is creeping up in the polls here!

AnninCA on December 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM

I think she does have a point. Information theft is criminal for a reason. We have laws on the matter, and need to enforce them….

hawksruleva on December 3, 2009 at 3:05 PM

May I remind you that there are also federal and state laws to protect whistleblowers.

If you see something, say something.

diogenes on December 3, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Barbara “dumb as a box of hammers” Boxer. Aggressive stupidity in action.

Blackacre on December 3, 2009 at 9:13 PM

Tap,tap…………away go troubles down the drain.

dmann on December 3, 2009 at 10:35 PM

But she’s too stupid or corrupt to figure that out, so in the end the fake newsman has more credibility than a real senator.

Too stupid or corrupt? How about too stupid and corrupt.

I think Boxer was a local journalist before she decided to terrorize the whole country by becoming a senator.

If there is a God, we will soon be lauding the sensible actions of Senator Fiorina rather than being in continual facepalm mode over the endless inanities of Barbara “Don’t call me Ma’am” Boxer.

PoodleSkirt on December 4, 2009 at 1:06 AM

:lol Boxer’s actions have been criminal from the check bouncing scandal,to now supporting this criminal global warming scam… and trying to make laws to destroy the US
economy. She has attacked Condi and the military with her
ignorant insults and thankfully Boxer got her taste of her own
medicine by a Business man who happen to be African American, at a congressional hearing, who called her a racist…:lol

She really should be voted out of office….

dec5 on December 4, 2009 at 2:45 AM

boxer is doomed in 2010.

jbh45 on December 4, 2009 at 8:12 AM