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Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'

Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubbers'

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Wed 14 Dec 2016, 15:59:19

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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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Plantagenet » Wed 14 Dec 2016, 16:04:31

Cid_Yama wrote:
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.


This is long overdue anyway. Its pretty standard now that all the data obtained with funds from Government grants to University researchers must go into public databases. You have to write it right into the grant proposal.

All government climate data should be treated the same way----it should be fully transparent and available in the public domain. It is paid for by the taxpayer and it belongs to the American people. This data should've been put on open servers accessible to the general public years ago----then there wouldn't be this last minute rush of concern about Trump or anyone else "scrubbing it" because it would already have been released.

Transparency is always the best policy.

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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 03:18:24

I do not think the problem is with data or lack thereof. They're is voluminous data out there for both laypeople and scientists to peruse on the Net about the climate. That is why I am sure Cid, you are so certain about the climatic situation because you have extensively researched this topic and have been able to avail yourself of top notch papers, research and other documentation from experts. No, the problem is Govt. and Corporations do not seem to want to do much about AGW and many people for various reasons are not inclined to learn about the gravity of the situation or much less try and united to pressure so that action may be taken. It is really the perfect storm. A civilization needing fossil fuels to run itself, a corrupt political and economic system hell bent on profit and the masses especially in rich and developing countries liking their modern relatively affluent lifestyles. So it is.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Cog » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 05:26:33

The paranoia among the left is equal to that of that the right. I find that fascinating.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby KaiserJeep » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 08:19:16

Yes it is interesting. It is also fascinating that after literally dozens of scandals about climate data that has been altered to display a warming trend where none exists, that they feel like there is anything to protect.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Cog » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 09:00:49

The thought that brown-shirt Nazi IT people will roam around the databanks and delete any data confirming climate change is the height of delusion. There is a lot of projection going on in the left. That sort of fits with their "arrest or kill climate change deniers" desires.

I should start my own fake website and claim that the Trump administration is going to declare open hunting season on condors or the American eagle. Marry that up with a go-fund me site and I would be rich in no time.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Satori » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 09:13:03

I don't know if any data scrubbing will actually happen
but its not beyond belief

Germany 1933,Hitler takes power
some Jews read the writing on the wall and left
the rest ?
went to the camps
kind of an extreme comparison I will admit
but normalcy bias can and will get you killed
the great mass of people ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS believe "it can't happen here"
famous LAST words
"it" can mean a lot of things from relatively minor to life threatening
who would have ever believed that the NSA was doing what it is doing?
who would ever believe that the US would engage in torture ?
etc etc etc
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby eugene » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 09:16:57

I don't think it's paranoia at all. If a person takes the time to read the details of Hitler or Stalin, we're right on track. An angry, frustrated population willing to do anything to "get it back" plus a fanatical "elected" leader spells disaster. If you're not paranoid, then you're one of the "chosen" who believes in the "America will be great again" rhetoric.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby waterpowerman1 » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 10:49:52

I don't think it is paranoia at all. In Canada the Harper government when it took office (10+ years ago)did some data scrubbing on records that didn't like. The T rump team is certainly capable of that. Donald just ignores facts but the rest of the team WILL suppress data they don't like.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby efarmer » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:07:32

Climate research including Nasa and EPA data is commonly shared internationally and is to a large extent protected from being scrubbed in one place and unavailable. I am sure there is classified stuff that might be suppressed within one politcal system.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby onlooker » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:12:39

efarmer wrote:Climate research including Nasa and EPA data is commonly shared internationally and is to a large extent protected from being scrubbed in one place and unavailable. I am sure there is classified stuff that might be suppressed within one politcal system.

Also, the problem is not that information is not out there, but that disinformation and misrepresentations are also. Government are actively trying to suppress information about all of these doomer topics we discuss. Seems the overriding reason would be to avoid a world wide panic and marked change in behavior by the masses. Of course the Media in many countries actively obey the Govt. deceit and misinformation campaign
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Ibon » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:30:37

More fundamental than paranoia. This meme keeps climate change culpability under a cabal of rich industrial elitists blocking efforts at reform. It is classic leftist rhetoric. The real culpability lies with all of us collectively as a species.
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Satori » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:49:07

our nut job Republican Lieutenant Governor received a report on charter schools that he did not like
the report got rewritten to say what he wanted it to
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Cog » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 13:32:32

OMG Trump is literally Hitler.



LOL
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby shortonoil » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 17:05:05

Copying government data to a safe location is not a bad idea. We are presently sending copies of the EIA Table 11.1 World Primary Energy Production by Source 1970-2004, and Table 11.5 World Crude Oil Production 1960-2009 to researchers in Europe via FedEx. They require the hard copies as proof. We copy all data that we accumulated to hard paper copies. The reason that we are having to do this is not because the EIA is somehow "scrubbing" data. They just simply lost it!

Now, you have to realize that we are dealing with the government! There is really no reason to attribute things like lost data to actions of a Hitler,or Stalin like conspiracy. They are intrinsically just "screw ups". CTRL-X, OOPS!

It is kind of a miracle that the nation's foot soldiers have shoe laces!
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Satori » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 19:30:08

Cog wrote:OMG Trump is literally Hitler.



LOL


now it's my turn to LMAO :lol:

Trump is no way smarter than Hitler
to even suggest such a thing ... 8O
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby shortonoil » Thu 15 Dec 2016, 20:08:42

The issue is, which is crazier? On as scale of 1 to 10, Hitler was an 11.
I don't think Trump will make it past a 7.5.

:-D
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Cid_Yama » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 00:26:07

Trump transition seeks names for civil servant purge
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.”

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First they came for the climate scientists...

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
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Re: Scientists scramble to safeguard data ahead of 'scrubber

Unread postby Cog » Fri 16 Dec 2016, 07:01:59

The DOE should not be involved in wasting money doing climate research. Its obvious that the DOE is yet another bloated bureaucracy that is duplicating work done elsewhere. The climate change research more appropriately belongs with EPA or Interior. These ad-hoc working groups created within the different agencies are basically a waste of tax-payer's money. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a climate change group within DOT and DOL.

Doesn't matter if the DOE doesn't want to provide the information now, since the new head of the DOE will be able to get the information very quickly. You aren't going to be telling the new boss no when he wants the information. The agency is paying for all of this. Cutting waste in this agency, and many others, is long overdue.
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