onsdag 17 februari 2010

Law vs Science in Climategate

The Independent Review into the allegations against the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) headed by Sir Muir Russell will only consider legal aspects (open data software FOI) and not scientific (if the science is true/correct or false/incorrect). This raises an interesting question concerning the relation between legal and scientific truth, in Climategate and in general. There are four possible combinations:
  1. Legally correct and scientifically correct.
  2. Legally incorrect and scientifically correct
  3. Legally correct and scientifically incorrect
  4. Legally incorrect and scientifically incorrect.
Sir Muir Russell is supposed to decide between legally correct or incorrect, irrespective of
scientific correctness. However, the real question is scientific correctness, irrespective
of legal correctness. If the science is correct, it is more or less irrelevant if some legal aspects
are incorrect. If the science is incorrect, it is irrelevant if legal aspects are correct.

In other words: You can lose your academic position if your science is wrong, but not if you lose data or reject your competitors work on false grounds.

How can this be? Maybe because science has a very special nature as something which belongs
to all of us, which no-one can own and prevent others from using, which is endless. Which like Solar radiation is just there, irrespective of legality? Maybe, like in war and love, only the
result counts?

In any case, the Inquiry Team headed by Sir Muir does not appear to be correct.

  • All this is being driven by breakdowns in the science behind global warming theory and in the global resolve to respond.
  • The failure of Copenhagen to reach agreement reflected the two main problems:
  • If the science is perceived to be shaky, and the global economic situation is shaky, if follows that the politics will head in the same direction.

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