Geoff Sherrington Responds to Chattering Class
I am responding to the criticism of my letter in ‘The Australian’ of 15 February 2006 which read:
“THERE is an excellent argument for curbing the public statements of scientists like those from CSIRO, a former employer of mine. Scientists, like the public, cover a spectrum of beliefs, some of which are based on emotion rather than science. There are greenie scientists in CSIRO and there are honest ones. Human nature being what it is, there are private agendas pushed by CSIRO people that would make your jaw drop. An example is the selection of Australian weather recording sites used to construct the temperature measurements of the continent, which play a big part in southern hemisphere weather models. From the beginning, most sites that showed little or no temperature rise or a fall from, say, the 1880s to now were rejected. The few sites selected to represent Australia were mainly from capital cities and under suspicion for “heat island” effects. I could give example after example as it was one of my employment functions to distill the best results from the bogus on many matters related to energy/greenhouse/nuclear etc. I found few truly objective submissions among those masquerading as science.”
1. Nowhere did I mention BoM.
2. Nowhere did I criticise BoM.
3. Nowhere did I say I had worked for BOM.
4. I was critical of some statements made by people in CSIRO, but not about the selection of weather sites for early greenhouse models. What alarms me more is the stupified silence of senior scientists when they see bogus data. That is my real criticism.
5. Since writing that letter I have recognised it was the University of East Anglia, not Bath, which used the climate data from Australia.
6. I have since asked Phil Jones from East Anglia for a copy of his selection of the original Australian data. He says “We no longer have the Australian station date we were using in the early 1980s. At that time we had a limited network.”
7. In the MID-1980s (which was my time choice) there were abundant stations which were not used by Jones at all. Here is a list for which data were then available, but not used by Jones – not a full list, just a sample: Geraldton, Narrabri, Hay, Albany, Rottnest Island Lighthouse, Walgett, Deniliquin, Bourke, Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, Coonabarabran, Echuca, Cooma, Moruya Heads Pilot Station, Omeo, Dubbo, Alice Springs, Gabo Island Lighthouse, Bathurst, Strathalbyn, Mt. Gambier, Yamba, Wilsons Promontory Lighthouse, Newcastle Signal Station, Cape Otway Lighthouse.
8. These stations, when averaged from the 1880s to the mid 1980s, showed a temperature decline until about 1951. This decline was not used in Jones’s paper, which some would say ignited the greenhouse debate with its alarmist conclusions.
9. These and many other Australian stations, averaged from 1951 to 1985 or so, showed a slight increase in temperature. Jones’s modelling was essentially post-1950.
10. Point is proven.
11. I continue to find the poorest quality of science in greenie publications. The most common error is to manipulate the raw data to fit the desired theory. Some is quite stupid, like from the nuclear industry, “Radwaste has to be managed for 250,000 years”. How many nuclear scientist who know this to be nonsense, whether from the CSIRO or not, have stood up and said so?
12. The Think Tank for which I helped formulate direction was the Tasman Institute. The person who brought this climate data to my attention was Warwick Hughes, a geologist (I am a Geochemist) used to dealing with hard data.
13. The statistical manipulations being used for climate data, that I have read, would commonly fail the stringency tests required of geologists when interpolating values of economic ores in deposits from drill hole data. If high standards of maths are needed to avoid wrong estimates of orebody worth, then they are equally needed for political-scientific issues like climate modelling.
14. I have suggested to Phil Jones that he use a certain type of mathematical statistic to get better results.
15. So, how many of you bloggers will now admit to wrong interpretation of, and confusion about, my letter to the Australian? I can prove all that I said and have proved some of it above.
16. I am currently moving home, so my telephone, email etc address will change in the next few days and I do not yet know what they will be. So don’t bother to try to argue with me, contemplate your navels instead.