Dr. Phil Jones, late of the East Anglia CRU, has a bone to pick with bloggers, as the New Scientist blog Short Sharp Science reports today. Does he defend himself by pointing out factual errors from bloggers, who are certain to have made a few, in reporting on the “climategate” scandal and the cascading series of exposed errors from the IPCC report on the “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming (AGW)? Not exactly. Jones rolls out yet another innovative approach to science in which he transfers the burden of proof to skeptics:
Phil Jones, who has temporarily stood aside as the unit’s director, admitted to the journal Nature that his much-criticised failure to keep records about the location of Chinese weather stations used in a major paper was “not acceptable”.
In effect, Jones conceded that British climate sceptic Doug Keenan had been right in some of his criticisms of a 20-year-old paper that had used the Chinese data in an analysis that ruled out local urban influences as a significant factor in global warming.
Jones said he might submit a correction to Nature. But he nonetheless attacked bloggers and other critics for “hijacking the peer-review process… Why don’t they do their own [temperature] reconstructions? If they want to criticise, they should write their own papers,” he said.
Well, let’s see — could it be because we’re not the people advancing extraordinary claims about man-made influence on global weather patterns? This must be some new, previously unknown tenet of the Scientific Method, wherein people who point out errors, bias, bad process, and unsubstantiated claims from scientists are somehow required to disprove their unsupported hypotheses. It’s apparently no longer incumbent on Jones and his colleagues to substantiate their own conjectures with actual science, rather than use badly-lifted speculation from media interviews and unsupported propaganda from advocacy groups.
Speaking of which, it’s interesting to note that Jones admits he got his paper wrong on which Jones bases his analyses of weather-station data, bit only might submit a correction. Bloggers usually do better than that when they get facts incorrect. Jones, who may have to permanently leave his position after the exposure of political kneecapping within the CRU of skeptics, might want to consider raising his ethics to at least meet those of the group he’s criticizing at the moment.
Maybe Jones and his team should have stuck to doing actual science rather than plotting to hide declines and silence critics while running the CRU. At least he’d still have a job.
Update: A little more evidence that the consensus has started to, er, melt away:
Three large corporations are quitting the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a broad group of businesses and environmental organizations that has been instrumental in building support in Washington for capping U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases.
Oil giants BP PLC and ConocoPhillips along with Caterpillar, Inc., the Peoria, Ill., heavy-equipment maker, have decided against renewing their membership in the organization, according to a statement released by the group Tuesday.
Red Cavaney, ConocoPhillips senior vice president for government affairs, said USCAP was focused on getting a climate-change bill passed, whereas Conoco is increasingly concerned with what the details of such a bill would be.
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