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Homogenized, sterilized and pasteurized

November 29th, 2009 - 2:45 pm

The University of East Anglia’s CRU has told the public it no longer stores the raw data upon which it bases its famous global warming theory. The UK Times reports it as saying, “we do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

Scientists at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based. It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.

The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building. The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.

The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.

The Times added that the data was dumped before Phil Jones took over the CRU at a time when “climate change was seen as a less pressing issue. The lost material was used to build the databases that have been his life’s work, showing how the world has warmed by 0.8C over the past 157 years.” The implication is that Jones must have operated on the databases which contained the “clean” data innocently and discovered the patterns he found or says he found without malicious premeditation.

That may well be the case. The main objective criticism of the carbon-based warming model is that it is not proved. That’s different from saying it’s not true. It may or may not be true. However, until it is conclusively shown to be true and the results can be reproduced, it would be unwise public policy to embark on a trillion dollar amelioration program, with far-reaching economic, social and environmental effects. Government normally intervenes when there is a compelling public interest to do so. It should never intervene on the basis of an uncertain bet. Government is not the racetrack where bureaucrats can bet taxpayer money on the horses they fancy.

Nor can the “precautionary principle” be rationally invoked without recognizing the possibility that the climatologists, deprived of a real fact base, may in fact be getting their prescription wrong wrong. The precautionary principle would assign danger to both the chance you may get a cough and the possibility that the brown liquid in the unmarked bottle may not be what you think it is, because the label has peeled off long ago. Is it Nyquil or is it Drano? And do you feel lucky today? Robert de Niro and Christopher Walken illustrated the principle of dangerous living in the Deer Hunter. “Climate change. Click.” Then spin the cylinders again. But the question must be asked, is the world allowed to peek in to the chamber? Isn’t it allowed that much? Can we have the data please?

Not that it always matters.

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