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Posts Tagged ‘fraud’

The Solyndra of Colorado

Posted by Richard on October 26, 2012

During one of the debates, in the context of green energy company subsidies, Romney said to Obama, “You don’t pick winners and losers, you pick losers!” The feds have repeatedly loaned large sums to companies that couldn’t stay in business even with a government crutch (I think the last count I saw was 19).

But it’s not just that government guarantees attract the uncompetitive and incompetent. This kind of crony capitalism (the only kind of capitalism the Obama administration seems to like) also inevitably attracts crooks and scoundrels. We may have an example here in Colorado. David Harsanyi has the story:

It was one of Barack Obama’s favorite green-energy companies. And green-energy companies, according to the president, are one of the best ways to facilitate economic growth.

Well, yesterday, The Denver Post detailed the criminal investigation of Abound Solar, a defunct solar-panel manufacturer in Colorado that was run on taxpayer “investments,” for securities fraud, consumer fraud and financial misrepresentation.

Abound shuttered its Colorado plant during the summer and filed for bankruptcy, leaving “125 workers without jobs and taxpayers holding the bag for up to $60 million in defaulted loans.” …

The story of how the Denver Post finally came to report the Abound Solar story is itself quite interesting. It took a billboard across from their offices to shame them into reporting this important local story. Check out:

 

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More doctoring by NBC/MSNBC

Posted by Richard on June 19, 2012

The NBC “news” organization, which doctored the tape of the George Zimmerman 911 call to make him appear to be a racist, has done it again. This time, they doctored video of Mitt Romney to make him appear to be out of touch with the ordinary, day-to-day experiences of average Americans like ordering a sandwich at a sub shop.

It was a blatant attempt to reprise the Bush supermarket scanner story (which was declared false by Snopes, by the way), and MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell explicitly compared it to that incident.

In fact, Romney was simply comparing how private businesses, thanks to competition and innovation, make things easier and easier for their customers while the federal government makes things harder and harder. So he contrasted the ease of ordering a sub from a touch-screen with the difficulty an optometrist faced when trying to change his address (a 32-page form!) and get paid money the federal government owed him (a multi-month process). You can see the whole segment at NewsBusters (link above).

But you’d never know any of that context from seeing the carefully edited MSNBC clip. Or the slightly longer clip (still omitting all the context, and also at Newsbusters link above) that Mitchell showed in response to criticism.

Expect more of this between now and November. Much more. Especially from NBC/MSNBC, but from other MSM outlets also. They’re totally in the tank for Obama and willing to do virtually anything to manipulate public opinion on his behalf.

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Full Tilt Poker vs. Social Security

Posted by Richard on September 20, 2011

The Justice Department has accused the executives of Full Tilt Poker, an online poker site, of operating a Ponzi scheme that defrauded poker players out of $300 million (emphasis added):

In the motion to amend the complaint, the government alleges Full Tilt executives misrepresented to the website's players that the money the company was supposed to be holding in player accounts was safely held when it was actually being used for other purposes, including payments to owners.

Rick Perry was roundly criticized, even by some of his fellow Republicans, when he recently described Social Security as a Ponzi scheme. So let's compare and contrast Full Tilt Poker and Social Security, shall we?

 Full Tilt Poker  Social Security
Executives assured customers that the money being held for them was safe. Politicians assured citizens that the money being held for their retirement was in a "trust fund" or "lockbox."
Executives used the money from new customers to pay off the old and for other purposes, including enriching themselves. 

Politicians used the money from young workers to pay off the old and for other purposes, including rewarding their favored special interests and buying votes and support. 

Executives cheated willing customers whom they had persuaded to trust them.  Politicians used the police power of the state to force everyone (except a few favored special interests) to pay into the system.

So as you can see, Social Security isn't a Ponzi scheme like Full Tilt Poker. A Ponzi scheme only fleeces willing participants.

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Welfare payments for booze, broads, and slots

Posted by Richard on November 8, 2010

It's called the Food Assistance Program. Back in the old days, beneficiaries received Food Stamps — pieces of paper that vaguely resembled Monopoly money, which they could use at grocery stores to pay for their purchases. Some years ago, the Food Stamp booklets were replaced by EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards, which are essentially debit cards.

In Colorado, they're called Quest cards, and supermarkets and convenience stores have signs stating that Quest cards are welcome. But those aren't the only places they're welcome, according to a 7News investigation:

 Colorado welfare recipients have been able to withdraw thousands of tax dollars at casinos, liquor stores and even a Glendale strip club, a CALL7 Investigation found.

CALL7 Investigators looked into a database of ATM withdrawals over 12 months by people who have the state public assistance electronic benefit cards and matched it to the addresses of liquor stores, casinos and strip bars. The analysis found that nearly $10,000 of taxpayer-funded welfare money has been taken out at the questionable locations.

"I don't think there's any question of what you revealed here in your research and your investigation points to real abuses of the system," said Penn Pfiffner, a former state legislator and Colorado Union of Taxpayers board member. "This is outrageous behavior."

Investigator Tony Kovaleski questioned why the state hasn't blocked the use of Quest cards at ATMs in liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs. California blocked access at casinos and on cruise ships a while back, and recently expanded the ban so the cards no longer work in "psychic parlors, tattoo parlors, pot dispensaries, bail bond establishments, or bingo halls."

But I have a more basic question: why do Quest cards work in ATMs at all? Blocking access to cash in a liquor store or strip club ATM just tells the cardholder he or she has to stop at the bank or convenience store ATM before buying booze or getting a lap dance. That may improve appearances, but it has no substantive effect. 

Back in the days of Food Stamps, they could only be used at groceries and only for approved items. I wondered when that had changed, so I checked the Colorado Dept. of Human Services FAQ for the Food Assistance Program. It says: 

Households CAN buy foods such as: breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, poultry, dairy products, seeds and plants which produce food for the household to eat.

Households CANNOT buy any nonfood items such as: beer, wine, liquor, cigarettes, tobacco, pet foods, soaps, paper products, household supplies, toothpaste, cosmetics, vitamins, medicines, foods that can be eaten in the store and hot foods.

Food assistance benefits cannot be exchanged for cash.

Cannot be exchanged for cash? Then why do they work in ATMs??

Clearly, there's something fundamentally wrong here. Maybe the CDHS staff just isn't aware that Quest cards work in a way that's contrary to their own usage regulations. Maybe this is all news to them. 

Um, no. They not only have known about it forever, they're determined to preserve the status quo, usage regulations be damned: 

Colorado Department of Human Service officials said they have known for years that the money was being withdrawn at questionable locations but did nothing to stop it.

"Should you be preventing this type of access at liquor stores, casinos and strip clubs?" Kovaleski asked.

"I think it's important that clients be able to access benefits easily, and they are allowed to do it at those locations," said Pauline Burton, who heads the public assistance division at CDHS.

Notice the phrase "access benefits," which neatly obscures the distinction between using the cards to get food and using them to get cash — the latter of which is explicitly prohibited by their own rules. Which they've apparently deliberately made it easy to circumvent.

Pfiffner said it is important that the state reprogram the cards so they are turned down at liquor stores, casinos and bars, but Burton did not agree.

"So this kind of activity has been going on for four or five years and you are doing nothing about it," Kovaleski asked.

"We've been monitoring it and seen it happen for four or five years, yes," Burton said.

"And you have changed nothing?" Kovaleski asked.

"Access continues to be allowed," Burton said.

I disagree with Penn Pfiffner. The state shouldn't just "reprogram the cards" so they can't be used in ATMs at certain locations. The state should simply stop allowing the cards to be used to withdraw cash at ATMs, period — regardless of their location.

Better yet, the state should stop subsidizing (and thus encouraging) irresponsible behavior, dependency, and helplessness, and leave assistance to the truly needy to private charities using voluntary donations, not coerced tax dollars, and thus much more careful about whom the assistance goes to and how it's used. 

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NBPP thuggery in Philly and Houston, fraud elsewhere

Posted by Richard on November 3, 2010

Nevada isn't the only place where Chavez-style tactics were used to influence the elections. The New Black Panther Party apparently repeated their thuggish 2008 voter intimidation tactics again this year in Philadelphia and expanded their theater of operations to Houston as well.

It's not just Las Vegas, Philly, and Houston. Disturbing stories of vote fraud, chicanery, and intimidation have come out of North Carolina and numerous other places as well. And this administration's Justice Department has made it clear that they're not interested in protecting the voting rights of anyone except those they look upon with favor.

Mark my words, it will only get worse in 2012. Democracy in America is under attack by people with the ideology, tactics, and goals of Venezuela's Chavistas. Before all you Republicans, constitutionalists, libertarians, and other freedom advocates get too giddy about the electoral turnaround that took place this year, think about all the places and ways that the will of the people was undermined, with varying degrees of success. And start seriously worrying about the next two years. If we don't act to ensure fair and free elections in the future, … 

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Another Bellesiles fraud?

Posted by Richard on July 10, 2010

Michael A. Bellesiles was once the darling of the gun control crowd, thanks to his widely praised book, Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture, which purported to prove that private gun ownership was rare in colonial America, and therefore the Second Amendment wasn't about that. The book was awarded Columbia's prestigious Bancroft Prize.

But gun rights advocates began examining his work and showed that he had committed academic fraud, falsifying data, cherry-picking evidence, and intentionally misquoting his sources to promote his anti-gun agenda. They demonstrated conclusively that he was a fraud. Eventually, he was stripped of the Bancroft Prize and dismissed from the faculty of Emory University in disgrace.

But he's not dead yet. Nowadays, he’s an adjunct lecturer in history at Central Connecticut State University. And the "prestigious" Chronicle of Higher Education, despite having been burned by his earlier fraud (and without bothering to mention that unfortunate incident) recently published a paper of his

Bellesiles' article, "Teaching Military History in a Time of War," purports to tell the story of one of his students whose brother was killed in Iraq. Skeptics like Dutton Peabody at Big Journalism started looking into Bellesiles' moving account of the student "Ernesto" and his brother "Javier," and declared it "fishy." 

Jim Lindgren at the Volokh Conspiracy has now completed an exhaustive review of every casualty report from not only Iraq, but also Afghanistan (just in case Bellesiles changed the theater of war either for political reasons or to further anonymize "Javier") for the entire period in question (the Fall 2009 semester, when Bellesiles taught the course in which "Ernesto" was supposedly a student). Just to be thorough, he also examined all the casualty reports for the following semester.

Lindgren bent over backwards to give Bellesiles every benefit of a doubt, considering every possible innocent "fictionalization" of the story. Nothing matches Bellesiles' account. Not even close. 

It seems that the discredited perpetrator of academic fraud is still committing fraud, and the most respected names in academia are still abetting him in doing so. Lindgren believes that the staff of the Chronicle of Higher Education could investigate and confirm or discredit Bellesiles' tale in a matter of hours. Will they do so? The answer will tell us something important about the academic community in the US today. 

I'm not holding my breath.

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The deeming has resumed

Posted by Richard on July 2, 2010

Only 12% of likely voters think Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Lopsided majorities want the deficit drastically reduced (82%), but also think the country is already overtaxed (66%) and blame politicians' unwillingness to cut spending (83%) for the deficit. And the Congressional Budget Office has just released a grim long-term outlook (PDF) predicting things are going to get much worse.

In this climate, Congressional Socialist Democrats, already facing a tough election year, are reluctant to have to defend yet another monstrously bloated budget with yet another trillion-plus-dollar deficit. So, what to do? As Connie Hair reports, they've decided "we don't need no stinkin' budget" and have instead resurrected a sleazy strategy they were considering during the health care takeover debate: 

Last night, as part of a procedural vote on the emergency war supplemental bill, House Democrats attached a document that "deemed as passed" a non-existent $1.12 trillion budget. The execution of the "deeming" document allows Democrats to start spending money for Fiscal Year 2011 without the pesky constraints of a budget.

The procedural vote passed 215-210 with no Republicans voting in favor and 38 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote against deeming the faux budget resolution passed.

Never before — since the creation of the Congressional budget process — has the House failed to pass a budget, failed to propose a budget then deemed the non-existent budget as passed as a means to avoid a direct, recorded vote on a budget, but still allow Congress to spend taxpayer money.

House Budget Committee Ranking Member Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) warned this was the green light for Democrats to continue their out-of-control spending virtually unchecked.

"Facing a record deficit and a tidal wave of debt, House Democrats decided it was politically inconvenient to put forward a budget and account for their fiscal recklessness. With no priorities and no restraints, the spending, taxing, and borrowing will continue unchecked for the coming fiscal year," Ryan said. "The so-called ‘budget enforcement resolution' enforces no budget, but instead provides a green light for the Appropriators to continue spending, exacerbating our looming fiscal crisis."

The Socialist Democrats and their media mouthpieces call it a "continuing budget resolution" so people will think this is no different than the continuing resolutions passed in the past when the end of the fiscal year approached and one or more of the funding bills used to enact the budget had not yet been agreed on. But as the Republicans pointed out, this "deeming" meets none of the Congressional Budget Act criteria for a budget resolution. 

The only criteria the Socialist Democrats' "deeming" meets are the criteria for a fraud and charade. 

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Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Posted by Richard on April 24, 2010

"Who shall watch the watchmen?"

On Wednesday, I posted about Gerald P. O'Driscoll's Wall Street Journal column arguing that regulations and bureaucrats can't protect consumers and investors. O'Driscoll based his argument on public choice theory. Now there's yet another explanation for regulatory failure: the regulators, confident that they're virtually immune from any consequences for failing to do their jobs, may just decide to spend their days watching porn instead of doing all that tedious number crunching.

So, in the face of all the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence that armies of bureaucrats and mountains of regulations have utterly failed to protect us from fraud, does the Obama administration say, "Maybe we ought to rethink this; let's talk to this O'Driscoll fellow and explore some fresh ideas"? 

Of course not! Instead, they're going to create new regulatory agencies to watch over the existing regulatory agencies and provide us with the "protection" that those regulatory agencies have failed to provide. They're going to address the problem of unmotivated, unaccountable, almost-impossible-to-fire bureaucrats by hiring a new army of unmotivated, unaccountable, almost-impossible-to-fire bureaucrats.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Crony capitalism

Posted by Richard on April 21, 2010

This week, the Senate is considering the 1300-page Dodd financial services "reform" bill, another bloated piece of legislation that purports to fix an industry by smothering it with an army of new bureaucrats, a sea of new regulations, and a bewildering and foul-smelling stew of taxes and subsidies.

Gerald P. O'Driscoll contends that regulations and bureaucrats don't protect us from frauds and liars — quite the contrary:

The idea that multiplying rules and statutes can protect consumers and investors is surely one of the great intellectual failures of the 20th century. Any static rule will be circumvented or manipulated to evade its application. Better than multiplying rules, financial accounting should be governed by the traditional principle that one has an affirmative duty to present the true condition fairly and accurately—not withstanding what any rule might otherwise allow. And financial institutions should have a duty of care to their customers. Lawyers tell me that would get us closer to the common law approach to fraud and bad dealing.

Public choice theory has identified the root causes of regulatory failure as the capture of regulators by the industry being regulated. Regulatory agencies begin to identify with the interests of the regulated rather than the public they are charged to protect. In a paper for the Federal Reserve's Jackson Hole Conference in 2008, economist Willem Buiter described "cognitive capture," by which regulators become incapable of thinking in terms other than that of the industry. On April 5 of this year, The Wall Street Journal chronicled the revolving door between industry and regulator in "Staffer One Day, Opponent the Next."

Congressional committees overseeing industries succumb to the allure of campaign contributions, the solicitations of industry lobbyists, and the siren song of experts whose livelihood is beholden to the industry. The interests of industry and government become intertwined and it is regulation that binds those interests together. Business succeeds by getting along with politicians and regulators. And vice-versa through the revolving door.

We call that system not the free-market, but crony capitalism. It owes more to Benito Mussolini than to Adam Smith.

Read the whole thing.

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More global warming pettifoggery

Posted by Richard on February 17, 2010

Roger Pielke, Jr., pointed out two conflicting claims, made less than a year apart, regarding "climate change" and fog:

National Geographic reports yesterday:

Declining fog cover on California's coast could leave the state's famous redwoods high and dry, a new study says.

Among the tallest and longest-lived trees on Earth, redwoods depend on summertime's moisture-rich fog to replenish their water reserves.

But climate change may be reducing this crucial fog cover. Though still poorly understood, climate change may be contributing to a decline in a high-pressure climatic system that usually "pinches itself" against the coast, creating fog, said study co-author James Johnstone, an environmental scientist at the University of California, Berkeley.

Last summer the San Francisco Chronicle carried a story about research on fog and climate with a different conclusion:

The Bay Area just had its foggiest May in 50 years. And thanks to global warming, it's about to get even foggier.

That's the conclusion of several state researchers, whose soon-to-be-published study predicts that even with average temperatures on the rise, the mercury won't be soaring everywhere.

"There'll be winners and losers," says Robert Bornstein, a meteorology professor at San Jose State University. "Global warming is warming the interior part of California, but it leads to a reverse reaction of more fog along the coast."

The study, which will appear in the journal Climate, is the latest to argue that colder summers are indeed in store for parts of the Bay Area.

More fog is consistent with predictions of climate change. Less fog is consistent with predictions of climate change. I wonder if the same amount of fog is also "consistent with" such predictions? I bet so.

More fog or less, more snow or less, more drought or less, more acne or less — whatever is currently happening is, to the true believer, evidence of anthropogenic global warming (a.k.a. "climate change").

If you don't believe me, check this list.

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Global cooling forecast, Phil Jones considered suicide

Posted by Richard on February 11, 2010

I don't know that there's any connection between these two bits of news, but they're both from the same Daily Express story, and for some reason the juxtaposition gave me a chuckle:

Professor Michael Beenstock said theories of climate change are wrong.

He warned climatologists have misused statistics, leading them to the mistaken conclusion global warming is ­evidence of the greenhouse effect.

The economics professor from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that just because greenhouse gases and temperatures have risen together does not mean they are linked.

He claims that the real cause of ­rising temperatures is the sun, which he says is at its hottest for over 1,000 years but is “beginning to stabilise”.

Professor Beenstock said: “If the sun’s heat continues to remain stable, and if carbon emissions continue to grow with the rate of growth of the world economy, global temperatures will fall by about 0.5C by 2050.”

Citing predictions by climatologists in the 1970s of a new Ice Age, Professor Beenstock said: “I predict that ­climatologists will look equally foolish in the years to come. Indeed, it may be already happening.”

Some of the commenters quickly seized on the fact that Beenstock is an economist, not a climatologist, claimed he was from a "right-wing think tank" (Hebrew University?), and said the Express had no business presenting him as an expert on climate.

I disagree. The "evidence" for global warming consists of statistical output data from complex computer models analyzing statistical input data (carefully chosen and adjusted to "normalize" it — or to arrive at the desired conclusion, depending on whom you believe). An econ professor is typically quite expert in statistics, mathematics, and computer modeling, and is thus quite qualified to comment on the manipulation of data relating to climate change. Certainly more so than the IPCC honcho who is a sociologist, or a flamenco dancer, or something. 

Later in the story, we learn that the fallout from the first ClimateGate scandal (how many have there been now, four?) has taken its toll on the chief perp:

Meanwhile, Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit – the expert at the ­centre of the Climategate scandal – said he had considered suicide and had death threats over leaked emails which appeared to show ­scientists rigging the data.

The story ends with this, apparently presented with a straight face: 

MPs have called on the Government to consider a carbon tax of £100 a ton “or higher” to force down greenhouse gases. But there are fears it could push up fuel and food prices.

Gee, higher fuel and food prices from a carbon tax — ya think? Really?

 

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Scamming the carbon credit scam

Posted by Richard on February 3, 2010

The idea behind carbon credits is that you can "offset" the alleged harm done by your CO2 emissions by paying someone else for not emitting an equivalent amount of CO2. Imagine Tiger Woods or John Edwards making everything all right by paying someone else to "offset" their infidelities by remaining faithful.

It's a fraudulent bit of nonsense through and through, but it's made Al Gore and his cohorts hundreds of millions of dollars from selling believers in the Church of Climate Change the modern equivalent of the medieval Roman Catholic Church's indulgences

Now, I think the authorities need to subpoena Gore's records from his ISP and check his online activities over the past week. Just to see if he had a role in this scamming of the scam:

Sneaky cyber-thieves have made millions by fraudulently obtaining European greenhouse gas emissions allowances and reselling them. The scam has hampered trading of the credits, which are seen as an important tool in curbing climate change, in several European countries.

According to a report in the Wednesday edition of the Financial Times Deutschland, hackers sent e-mails last Thursday to several companies in Europe, Japan and New Zealand which appeared to originate from the Potsdam-based German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt), part of the EU's Emission Trading System (EU ETS). Ironically, the e-mail said that the recipient needed to re-register on the agency's Web site to counter the threat of hacker attacks.

The cyber-thieves then exploited the user data that was entered into their spoof Web site to transfer emissions allowances to other accounts, mainly in Denmark and Britain, from which they were quickly resold. The new owners of the allowances would have assumed that they had acquired them legally.

"The attack was highly professional," a DEHSt employee told the newspaper. Germany's Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) is now investigating the incident.

Of course, Gore might not be involved, or might not have been acting alone. Other credible suspects in any scam related to climate change include Phil Jones, James Hansen, Murari Lal, and Rajendra Pachauri.

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ClimateGate, the NASA version

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2010

What little credibility the promoters of global warming hysteria had remaining has now been shredded. From Investor's Business Daily (emphasis added):

We recently commented on how our space agency for two years refused Freedom of Information requests on why it has had to repeatedly correct its climate figures.

In a report on global warming on KUSI television by Weather Channel founder and iconic TV weatherman John Coleman, that reticence has been traced to the deliberate manipulation and distortion of climate data by NASA.

As Coleman noted in a KUSI press release, NASA's two primary climate centers, the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) in Asheville, N.C., and the Goddard Institute for Space Studies at Columbia University in New York City, are accused of "creating a strong bias toward warmer temperatures through a system that dramatically trimmed the number and cherry-picked the locations of weather observation stations they use to produce the data set on which temperature record reports are based."

Joseph D'Aleo, of Icecap.us, said the analysis found NASA "systematically eliminated 75% of the world's stations with a clear bias toward removing higher-latitude, high-altitude and rural locations." The number of actual weather stations used to calculate average global temperatures was reduced from about 6,000 in the 1970s to about 1,500 today. The number of reporting stations in Canada dropped from 600 to 35.

E. Michael Smith, a computer programming expert who worked with D'Aleo, said he found "patterns in the input data from NCDC that looked liked dramatic and selective deletions of thermometers from cold locations." The more he looked, the more he found "patterns of deletion that could not be accidental."

Smith argues that the decrease in stations used and the selectivity of locations make NASA's data and conclusions suspect. D'Aleo goes further, saying such cherry-picking and data manipulation are a "scientific travesty" committed by activist scientists to advance the global warming agenda.

I wonder — if we graphed the amount of scientific fraud uncovered in the field of climatology over the past few decades, would it look like a hockey stick?

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More climategate fraud

Posted by Richard on December 3, 2009

A quick update from Instapundit (for the benefit of my legions of readers who aren't familiar with that obscure Tennessee blogger):

OOPS: Former NASA climate scientist pleads guilty to contract fraud. “A former top climate scientist who had become one of the scientific world’s most cited authorities on the human effect on Earth’s atmosphere was sentenced to probation Tuesday after pleading guilty to steering lucrative no-bid contracts to his wife’s company.”

Related, from the ClimateGate emails: “We need to show some left to cover the costs of the trip Roger didn’t make and also the fees/equipment/computer money we haven’t spent otherwise NOAA will be suspicious.”

'Nuff said. These "scientists" promoting AGW are both charlatans and crooks. They're not just fraudulently promoting their ideological agenda, they're also enriching themselves in the process. 

But by all means, check out Instapundit's links. Especially the second one's quoted notes from Ian "Harry" Harris. And check out the the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file, apparently from the same person. And those of you familiar with the FORTRAN and/or IDL programming languages might be interested in this post and its links (thanks, David B.).

Given that, according to Shakespeare, "the better part of valor is discretion," maybe the world's leaders should just cancel the Copenhagen climate summit. After all, its entire agenda is premised on now-discredited conclusions created by sloppy and unscientific computer models using raw data that was deliberately massaged to hide the truth and then destroyed.

And maybe someone should tell John Travolta, Sheryl Crow, Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, Oprah Winfrey, Trudie Styler (wife of Sting), and other strident advocates of making the rest of us lower our carbon emissions, not to fly their private jets to Copenhagen.

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Hadley CRU destroyed climate data

Posted by Richard on November 28, 2009

David Aitken (who really should be posting this stuff at his blog instead of just emailing his friends) called it, "Not just the smoking gun, but the bullet." The UK TimesOnline reported that "the world’s leading centre for reconstructing past climate and temperatures" destroyed the raw data it used to arrive at its conclusions in support of anthropogenic global warming (AGW):

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 admission follows the leaking of a thousand private emails sent and received by Professor Phil Jones, the CRU’s director. In them he discusses thwarting climate sceptics seeking access to such data.

In a statement on its website, the CRU said: “We do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

… Climate change sceptics have long been keen to examine exactly how its data were compiled. That is now impossible.

Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at Colorado University, discovered data had been lost when he asked for original records. “The CRU is basically saying, ‘Trust us’. So much for settling questions and resolving debates with science,” he said.

Well, that explains why they've refused to reveal their raw data and stonewalled all previous requests. One of the core principles of the scientific method is transparency — you share with others exactly how you arrived at your conclusion so that they can replicate your results or disprove them. The proponents of the AGW theory have fought such openness every step of the way, as if they had something to hide. It's reasonable to conclude that they do. Indeed, it would be foolish and naive to assume that they do not.

Some recent comments on the TimesOnline post put things in perspective nicely: 

Joe Horner wrote:

"Dear Inland Revenue, I enclose my latest accounts. Please note that I accidentally destroyed all the original invoices but I promise they were all entered correctly. Honest"

Truely unbelievable!

 

Whitbread Tankard wrote:

One of them said in the leaked emails that he'd rather delete the raw data than release it, maybe he did just that!
 
Truth Orator, yes one could theoretically back out the corrections but that in turn implies trust in those values being archived correctly. What we've seen so far is a rather chaotic organisation when it comes to documentation etc.

The whole thing is an utter disgrace and a blot on British scientific work.

 
Whitbread Tankard wrote:
One of them said in the leaked emails that he'd rather delete the raw data than release it, maybe he did just that!
 
David Aitken wrote:
Reversing the alterations is probably impossible because the alterations were probably done by 1 or more complex algorithms that may no longer exist. It's not just a matter of adding or subtracting a simple number.
In a nutshell: The "consensus" about AGW isn't about science, it's about politics. I'm not 100% certain whether AGW exists or not (although the correlation of global temperature with solar activity strongly suggests that it doesn't). Neither are they. The difference is that they don't care. Their goal is to promote the AGW agenda, regardless of what the evidence says. They're socialists with an agenda, not scientists pursuing the truth.

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