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Cid_Yama

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Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« on: December 14, 2016, 10:08:45 PM »
Quote
Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.

The efforts include a “guerrilla archiving” event in Toronto, where experts will copy irreplaceable public data, meetings at the University of Pennsylvania focused on how to download as much federal data as possible in the coming weeks, and a collaboration of scientists and database experts who are compiling an online site to harbor scientific information.

“Something that seemed a little paranoid to me before all of a sudden seems potentially realistic, or at least something you’d want to hedge against,” said Nick Santos, an environmental researcher at the University of California at Davis, who over the weekend began copying government climate data onto a nongovernment server, where it will remain available to the public. “Doing this can only be a good thing. Hopefully they leave everything in place. But if not, we’re planning for that.”

Michael Halpern, deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the advocacy group Union of Concerned Scientists, argued that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views.

“They have been salivating at the possibility of dismantling federal climate research programs for years. It’s not unreasonable to think they would want to take down the very data that they dispute,” Halpern said in an email. “There is a fine line between being paranoid and being prepared, and scientists are doing their best to be prepared. . . . Scientists are right to preserve data and archive websites before those who want to dismantle federal climate change research programs storm the castle.”

“What are the most important .gov climate assets?” Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist and self-proclaimed “climate hawk,” tweeted from his Arizona home Saturday evening. “Scientists: Do you have a US .gov climate database that you don’t want to see disappear?”

Within hours, responses flooded in from around the country. Scientists added links to dozens of government databases to a Google spreadsheet. Investors offered to help fund efforts to copy and safeguard key climate data. Lawyers offered pro bono legal help. Database experts offered server space and help organizing mountains of data. In California, Santos began building an online repository to “make sure these data sets remain freely and broadly accessible.”

Climate data from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have been politically vulnerable. When Tom Karl, director of the National Centers for Environmental Information, and his colleagues published a study in 2015 seeking to challenge the idea that there had been a global warming “slowdown” or “pause” during the 2000s, they relied, in significant part, on updates to NOAA’s ocean temperature data set, saying the data “do not support the notion of a global warming ‘hiatus.’”

In response, the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee chair, Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tex.), tried to subpoena the scientists and their records.

That effort launched by Holthaus is one of several underway to preserve key federal scientific data.

In Philadelphia, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, along with members of groups such as Open Data Philly and the software company Azavea, have been meeting to figure out ways to harvest and store important data sets.

At the University of Toronto this weekend, researchers are holding what they call a “guerrilla archiving” event to catalogue key federal environmental data ahead of Trump’s inauguration. The event “is focused on preserving information and data from the Environmental Protection Agency, which has programs and data at high risk of being removed from online public access or even deleted,” the organizers said. “This includes climate change, water, air, toxics programs.”

Lawyers with the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund — which provides legal assistance to researchers facing lawsuits over their work on climate change — will be holding one-on-one consultations with researchers who think they might need help from a lawyer. And the organization’s table in the AGU exhibition hall is piled high with booklets titled “Handling Political Harassment and Legal Intimidation: A Pocket Guide for Scientists.”

The 16-page guide contains advice for government researchers who believe their work is being suppressed, as well as how scientists should react if they receive hate mail or death threats.

 Having continuous data is crucial for understanding long-term trends,” Dessler said. “Trends are what climate change is about — understanding these long-term changes. Think about how much better off the people who don’t want to do anything about climate change would be if all the long-term temperature trends didn’t exist.”

He added, “If you can just get rid of the data, you’re in a stronger position to argue we should do nothing about climate change.”
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"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

marcel_g

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2016, 10:36:35 PM »
I'm really glad for Eric Holthaus and the other scientists spearheading this effort. They're right to be paranoid that their research will be a target for destruction.

Here in Canada, the previous government (Stephen Harper's Conservatives) destroyed decades worth of unique and important fisheries science research pretty much just out of spite. They claimed they were digitizing it but they actually just dumped all the research into dumpsters. Harper also tried to shut down the lakes / fresh water research centre for similar spiteful reasons, which was instrumental in learning about the effects of acid rain.

So in this case, where the fossil fuel monetary stakes are really high, there's a very good chance that Trump's people will attempt to destroy everything they can get their hands on.


Gray-Wolf

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2016, 11:24:49 PM »
The thing is he's gifting China the lead?

They will lead science, they will lead trade, they will lead in renewables and they will lead in Military might.

In 4 years U.S.A. will be even further down the world's league tables but their Richest will be richer still...... and trump may have escaped bankruptcy...

May the gods help the people of the U.S.A.
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icy voyeur

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2016, 02:02:51 AM »
The thing is he's gifting China the lead?

The tin-foiled-hat nutjob in me asks about false flags.
Paint China as a villain in an inept way to get China off the hook?
It's a bit too much sophistication for me to ascribe to given the primary party, yet nevertheless, I remain suspicious.
After all, there remains the potential of more sophisticated puppet-masters to be pulling the strings.

6roucho

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2016, 02:20:24 AM »
China will be gifted the lead by closing down American climate research programs. It's in the interests of us all that whoever has the lead is as advanced as possible.

sydb

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2016, 05:41:31 AM »
It reminds me of Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451." Or perhaps being an honest Russian geneticist in Soviet times while Lysenko ruled the roost. Let us hope that the data can be secured so there is no temptation to commit this crime against humanity. Are they so stupid-as Harpic clearly was-as to think that getting rid of data will alter the facts? But then again, Trump admires Hitler's speeches and tactics, so they probably are.

As a Brit who has lived most of the last 20 years in the US, I have watched with amazement the retreat from reality over here. I think that the US is throwing away her leadership role. The UK is plunging on America's coat tails. Maybe Europe can stick together and join with China in taking on the mantle of world leadership while there is still a world left to lead.

budmantis

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 06:32:30 AM »
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38324045

"Toronto 'guerrilla' archivists to help preserve US climate data."

"Canadian "guerrilla" archivists will be assisting a rushed effort to preserve US government climate data."

Not sure if this article has been posted elsewhere on the Forum, but I think it's worth mentioning here. Who would have ever thought we would even be considering taking such action?

Note: Sorry Cid_Yama, I just noticed your post upthread.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 06:59:18 AM by budmantis »

Gray-Wolf

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 12:30:41 PM »
The worse part of it has to be the paranoia is so strong that respected Scientists are not only thinking he poses such a threat but that they feel it so strongly as to be acting upon those fears?

Again I have to resort back to my own core belief that climate action, coordinated action around the world?, will only occur once a big, damaging AGW driven event has occurred?

So you end up struggling with the cognitive dissonance where you are wishing for awful events to save us from awful events???

Maybe when the sane in the U.S. recognise what their best minds are resorting to, and the aid from around the world in their task, that they may also see the importance in uniting in meaningful ways to ensure that they are not subjected to run away right wing madness?
KOYAANISQATSI

ko.yaa.nis.katsi (from the Hopi language), n. 1. crazy life. 2. life in turmoil. 3. life disintegrating. 4. life out of balance. 5. a state of life that calls for another way of living.
 
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6roucho

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 01:27:08 PM »
The good thing about China is that there doesn't seem to be an active climate denier industry. They simply say "not now" when they don't want to pursue a green agenda, while investing heavily in renewables for the future.

One quote that really stuck in my mind in the opening article was "that Trump has appointed a “band of climate conspiracy theorists” to run transition efforts at various agencies, along with nominees to lead them who share similar views". I think that by the time we get to the level of cabinet, there are no conspiracy theorists, only frauds. I'm sure that Myron Ebell, for example, understands the science perfectly well. He's just build a successful business around denying it, which has culminated in him delivering it at cabinet level. His paymasters must be delirious.

FishOutofWater

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2016, 08:39:40 PM »
It's generally not good to copy and paste large blocks of copyrighted articles, beyond "fair use". 3 or 4 paragraphs should be enough to get to the point in most cases.

That said, this situation is scary as hell.

Trump is doing Putin's bidding. Half of Russia's economy is oil & gas revenue. Russia is desperate to get the oil out of the ground to keep the money flowing.

The long term effects on the U.S. economy will be disastrous because we will cede green energy leadership to the nations that continue to lead. This could be also be disastrous to American science.

And the sea ice will continue to retreat and the glaciers will continue to melt.

Hello Donald. Good bye, Miami.


Ice Shieldz

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2016, 10:49:20 PM »
So you end up struggling with the cognitive dissonance where you are wishing for awful events to save us from awful events???
This describes my experience, wondering how bad it has to get before action is taken.  With climate events getting obviously worse, the denier industry is responding by turning up dissonance in the larger population, by using psy-ops techniques like accusing the other (scientists) for the exact thing they are doing, i.e. conspiratorial fabrication and false propaganda.

It's clear that Trump and friends are hellbent on pushing their own devastating fossil fuel agenda. That doesn't mean that the neo-liberals don't have their own fossil fuel agenda.  It's just not as aggressive and doesn't involve russia benefiting - actually they see war with russia as a possible option.   :o

Also, I'm very hard-pressed to trust intelligence agencies, such as the CIA, that specialize in using disinformation to drive their *masters'* agenda (please read up on who created the CIA and for what purpose). Seems like the monied power-brokers on both the left and the right want widespread destruction, along with inevitable mass species culling, which of course includes humans.  We need not buy into their conflict-based narratives.  It's time for an awaken humanity to drive our own story - one that leads to a much more vibrant future where we co-operate with the forces of nature and each other!
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 11:01:52 PM by Ice Shieldz »

magnamentis

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2016, 11:04:36 PM »
The worse part of it has to be the paranoia is so strong that respected Scientists are not only thinking he poses such a threat but that they feel it so strongly as to be acting upon those fears?

Again I have to resort back to my own core belief that climate action, coordinated action around the world?, will only occur once a big, damaging AGW driven event has occurred?

So you end up struggling with the cognitive dissonance where you are wishing for awful events to save us from awful events???

Maybe when the sane in the U.S. recognise what their best minds are resorting to, and the aid from around the world in their task, that they may also see the importance in uniting in meaningful ways to ensure that they are not subjected to run away right wing madness?

100% agreement except that it unfortunately will take a "salvo" of devastating and directly and obviously related events. the one event has happened a multitude of times already and either got un-recognized and/or the relation to the cause was denied and/or made ridiculous.

Cid_Yama

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 06:29:50 AM »
Trump transition seeks names for civil servant purge
Quote
The Energy Department will not release the names of employees that have worked on climate change policy, an agency spokesperson said Tuesday, pushing back on requests from President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team.

“We will be forthcoming with all publicly-available information with the transition team,” spokesperson Eben Burnham-Snyder said in a statement. But, “we will not be providing any individual names to the transition team.”

The agency said it “received significant feedback” from its employees, after the Trump transition team released a 74-question survey asking officials to identify those who were involved in international climate talks and who worked to advance the current administration’s climate policies.

The questionnaire, obtained by CBS News on Friday, asked questions including, “Which programs within [the Department of Energy] are essential to meeting the goals of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan?” Here’s another one: “Can you provide a list of all Department of Energy employees or contractors who have attended any Interagency Working Group on the Social cost of Carbon meetings?”

The survey had also asked for a list of all the professional society memberships of workers at the department's 17 national laboratories and all of their recent publications.

The White House weighed in on the survey this week. Josh Earnest, a White House spokesman, said the questionnaire "could have been an attempt to target civil servants," including career scientists and lawyers and other experts critical to the government's ability to make policy.

Such questions, the department said, “left many in our workforce unsettled.”

“Our career workforce, including our contractors and employees at our labs, comprise the backbone of DOE and the important work our department does to benefit the American people,” Burnham-Snyder said. “We are going to respect the professional and scientific integrity and independence of our employees at our labs and across our department.”

link


First they came for the climate scientists...

Quote
First they came for the Social-Democrats, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Martin Niemöller


« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 06:55:18 AM by Cid_Yama »
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

josh-j

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 05:13:51 PM »
Hopefully on-topic enough - certainly a good counter to the (justifiably, IMO) rather doom-laden original post:

Jerry Brown strikes defiant tone: ‘California will launch its own damn satellite’


Quote
Gov. Jerry Brown, rallying a room of scientists Wednesday with his most heated rhetoric yet on the topic, suggested California would defy the federal government should President-elect Donald Trump impede the state’s efforts to thwart climate change.
Quote
He said if the federal government “starts messing with” the state’s renowned science facilities, such as Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, “I am the president of the Board of Regents. I am going to say, ‘Keep your hands off. That laboratory is going to pursue good science.’ ”

The speech is available on YouTube here (and is firey stuff):




[Thanks to Neven and all who contribute here for such an enlightening forum  :)]
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 05:20:55 PM by josh-j »

Cid_Yama

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2016, 01:19:27 PM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!


« Last Edit: December 17, 2016, 01:30:12 PM by Cid_Yama »
"For my part, whatever anguish of spirit it may cost, I am willing to know the whole truth; to know the worst and provide for it." - Patrick Henry

crandles

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2016, 03:34:14 PM »
They are compiling names for God's sake.


They have said the questionaire was unauthorised and don't want the names being refused to be given. This, of course, doesn't mean they aren't compiling names from other sources. Do you have further knowledge that they are compiling names?

Milret2

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2016, 07:07:28 PM »
I suspect, once the office of president officially changes hands on the 20th of January, the transition team and the new "president" will be much more forceful in their demands and the direction America is going will be somewhat more clear to both Americans and to the rest of the world. Until then people can hope. History does not repeat but it sure rhymes.

6roucho

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2016, 09:45:31 AM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!

I think that's too harsh, Cid_Yama. The United States is very far from Nazi Germany yet. But it *is* pointing towards the 1950s, and McCarthyism, if these measures take hold, which they may not. America has many checks and balances.

budmantis

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2016, 03:12:06 PM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!

I think that's too harsh, Cid_Yama. The United States is very far from Nazi Germany yet. But it *is* pointing towards the 1950s, and McCarthyism, if these measures take hold, which they may not. America has many checks and balances.

Here's hoping those "checks and balances" are still working 6roucho, despite the fact that the legislative and executive branches are controlled by the Republicans and nearly 50% of the voters voted  for an unqualified and dangerous candidate for President. 


6roucho

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2016, 03:26:25 PM »
budmantis, I'm sure that a great deal of that vote for Trump was a rejection of the performance of mainstream politics, rather than a rejection of the political system. Hopefully some Trump voters are feeling buyer's remorse now, even of they can't quite admit it yet. A bracing burst of cozying up to Russia will bring many of them to their senses.

budmantis

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #20 on: December 18, 2016, 03:39:06 PM »
I hope you're right 6roucho, and I'm thinking pretty much along the same lines, but I'm concerned about the situation turning from bad to worse. It is unlikely, but we cant rule out it out.

marcel_g

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2016, 06:06:43 PM »
This is 1933 all over again. Except the US are now the Nazis.

Ever wonder what you would have done if you had lived in 1930's Germany as an intellectual. No need to wonder anymore. You are there.

So what WILL you do.

They are compiling names for God's sake. What does it take, people?

America Erwache!

Cid_Yama, I have a feeling it's not going to be that bad, even if it will be bad. That's just a hunch though, and I'm very anxious about it even though I'm Canadian.

There are a lot of parallels to 1930s Germany, but there are a lot of differences, including the fact that Americans have been relatively free and democratic for a long time, so while they might not have been ready for a radically norm-breaking fascist candidate to win, I expect them to push back fairly hard. That being said, I don't expect the Republicans to not take advantage of their current dominance to 'rig' the next elections, so the US might end up under 1 party rule for a long time.
(by rigging I mean more voter suppression, more gerry-mandering, more stacked courts which will decide in their favour or ignore their corruption, using the IRS to audit opponents, libel lawsuiting people into silence, etc.)

The Nazis consolidated their power by beating and murdering and terrorizing their opponents while the police and the courts turned blind eyes, and maybe I'm naive, but I just can't see that happening on the same scale in the US.

Yes, the Trump regime will be authoritarian, at the least, and yes, it'll be really bad for minorities and Muslims, but I expect Trump to be focused on using the presidency for making money for himself and his Russian investors. His administration will be incredibly corrupt, but I'm not sure if it's going to be overtly murderous. Then again, he has no problem with what Duterte is doing in the Phillipines, so there's a good likelihood it gets nasty.

Who knows, this whole thing keeps me pretty stressed and I haven't figured out if the worst case scenarios in my mind are overreactions or if the idea that it just can't get that bad is the human thing where you can't imagine people violating the norms you've lived with for your whole life, and maybe comes from the diet of tv and movies that mostly have happy endings.

pileus

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2016, 07:16:04 PM »
Will there be ovens and gas chambers?  Most assuredly not.

But, what qualifies as "murderous" is not just the obvious act of taking a life, or taking lives on an organized and massive scale backed by government policy.

Taking away accessible healthcare and social services can be murderous, especially to those already on life's margin with acute disease or unhealthy living conditions. 

Pivoting to a full time foreign policy based on irrational xenophobia and inflamed fear of other groups' mythical beliefs (aka religion), will be murderous, primarily for citizens of other countries, but also to Americans placed in harms way, and the inevitable retaliation efforts on domestic soil.

Continuing a blind allegiance to the Second Amendment and treating gun ownership, including military grade automatic weapons, as more important than the right to feel physically safe, I s murderous (but not new...it's a uniquely American form of ongoing mass murder).

Pushing white nationalism as a political strategy emboldens the worst elements of society and leads to hate, violence and loss of life, almost always among the "others".

Denying science and knowledge is not only absurd and infuriating, but it's murderous from the perceptive of lifting up ignorance and chance, which can place well being and life at risk when information and technology can enhance and preserve human existence.

Not to mention how an official federal policy of climate change denial is murderous to the biosphere, and puts future human survival in question.

So I think we as a society have structures and values to fight explicit murderous actions, but it's the nuanced, subtle and deliberate policy efforts that we really need to guard against.  As well as standing up to those that feel emboldened by the unfortunate turn in the US political atmosphere, which actually has been decades in the making.