Environmental Ethics: I’m Right. Everyone Else is Wrong. No, You Can’t Have My Data. After all, it’s MY data.

This paper has almost got it right. The title really should be; “Ethics of Environmental (Climate) Scientists? What’s That?”.


As mentioned in a prior post here, I suspect the reason data is not made available is two fold: (1) An insecure scientist or agency does not want to be embarrassed by having others find their mistakes [there are many opportunities in science and engineering to learn humility] and (2) scientists or agencies do not want their ideas stolen.

In research and academia in general ideas and data are a commodity (like buying milk and eggs). To many in the academic community to do something radical like make raw data available to anyone is like them putting their wallet on the sidewalk, making it available to anyone.

Stealing of research ideas does happen. Along with arbitrary adjustments of data, such as here. But even so only independent analysis and/or competing independent research can discover errors and intentional data manipulation in the underlying data of a study. Data fraud does happen. Making raw data available for independent review in order to support assertions being made is an important part of the self-correcting process of science.  I believe this should also apply to computer model code. Especially now when “peer-review” is not able to discover such errors or manipulation embedded in the statistics and modeling.

Lastly, the assertion that sharing data is “good” itself presumes that there is a uniform invariant universal standard of goodness that everyone “should” agree with. I’d like to know what standard these authors are using to make this statement. You see, if there is no such standard then why should anyone share anything at all? Why not manipulate data? Perception is reality so they can make up their own reality? What’s wrong with that? Maybe the environmental (climate) scientists and others who won’t make data available and change their data can just do what they want? Who are you to say they are “wrong”? Now I have an answer to such questions but I’d like to hear what others have to say.

Soranno, PA., Kendra S. Cheruvelil, Kevin C. Elliott, and Georgina M. Montgomery. It’s Good to Share: Why Environmental Scientists’ Ethics Are Out of Date. Bioscience, October 2014 DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biu169

Although there have been many recent calls for increased data sharing, the majority of environmental scientists do not make their individual data sets publicly available in online repositories. Current data-sharing conversations are focused on overcoming the technological challenges associated with data sharing and the lack of rewards and incentives for individuals to share data. We argue that the most important conversation has yet to take place: There has not been a strong ethical impetus for sharing data within the current culture, behaviors, and practices of environmental scientists. In this article, we describe a critical shift that is happening in both society and the environmental science community that makes data sharing not just good but ethically obligatory. This is a shift toward the ethical value of promoting inclusivity within and beyond science. An essential element of a truly inclusionary and democratic approach to science is to share data through publicly accessible data sets.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).

Irrational “Climate Change” Fear in South Florida

To act in this manner when no such action is justified by science nor common sense the three South Miami City Commission members voting to secede are quite irrational. Let’s think about this. Who was there first? – The land and ocean? or the people? I thought so. So the people come along later an in their hubris think that they are going to control natural climate and weather processes so as to prevent sea level from rising. (I thought Mr. Barack Obama was going to do that?) 

“The South Miami City Commission voted 3 to 2 for Florida’s 23 southern counties to secede and form a new state named South Florida because of frustration over environmental issues and a lack of concern by state leaders.” click here

Storm surges already occur in every major meteorological event affecting South Florida. Let’s take a look at the long term sea level rise trend around Florida.

Key West

Key bWest trend

 The mean sea level trend is 2.31 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.15 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1913 to 2013 which is equivalent to a change of 0.76 feet in 100 years.

Fort Meyers

fort myers

The mean sea level trend is 2.63 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
interval of +/- 0.51 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
1965 to 2013 which is equivalent to a change of 0.86 feet in 100 years.

Miami Beach

miami beach

The mean sea level trend is 2.39 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
interval of +/- 0.43 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
1931 to 1981 which is equivalent to a change of 0.78 feet in 100 years.

Climate Reconstruction Study Limitations Insurmountable : Proceed With Caution

The assumptions inherent in performing climate reconstruction are such that limitations of the interpretation of the data are insurmountable. In other words, the same data with a different starting point in basic assumptions will lead to very different interpretive results. As a result, the interpretation of the data provided here should be examined carefully and applied cautiously, not just here, but in all such research work. Having said that, such historical studies should be done and are the focus of many people in the research community.

Wang, L.-C., Behling, H., Lee, T.-Q., Li, H.-C., Huh, C.-A., Shiau, L.-J., and Chang, Y.-P.: Late Holocene environmental reconstructions and their implications on flood events, typhoon, and agricultural activities in NE Taiwan, Clim. Past, 10, 1857-1869, doi:10.5194/cp-10-1857-2014, 2014.

We reconstructed paleoenvironmental changes from a sediment archive of a lake in the floodplain of the Ilan Plain of NE Taiwan on multi-decadal resolution for the last ca. 1900 years. On the basis of pollen and diatom records, we evaluated past floods, typhoons, and agricultural activities in this area which are sensitive to the hydrological conditions in the western Pacific. Considering the high sedimentation rates with low microfossil preservations in our sedimentary record, multiple flood events were. identified during the period AD 100–1400. During the Little Ice Age phase 1 (LIA 1 – AD 1400–1620), the abundant occurrences of wetland plant (Cyperaceae) and diatom frustules imply less flood events under stable climate conditions in this period. Between AD 500 and 700 and the Little Ice Age phase 2 (LIA 2 – AD 1630–1850), the frequent typhoons were inferred by coarse sediments and planktonic diatoms, which represented more dynamical climate conditions than in the LIA 1. By comparing our results with the reconstructed changes in tropical hydrological conditions, we suggested that the local hydrology in NE Taiwan is strongly influenced by typhoon-triggered heavy rainfalls, which could be influenced by the variation of global temperature, the expansion of the Pacific warm pool, and the intensification of El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events.

Click here for full paper (Open Access).


Federal Judge Upholds Traditional Marriage Law, Puerto Rico

At last some sign of rationality where the Supreme Court has been an utter failure.

“A federal judge has upheld Puerto Rico’s traditional marriage law, bucking the recent trend of federal courts to strike down state laws enshrining traditional marriage. District judge Juan M. Perez-Gimenez, a Carter appointee, delivered a ruling that relied on a conservative reading of the Constitution and legal precedent, and created the potential for a split among the U.S. circuits that could prod the Supreme Court to take up the question in future.” click here

Academic Freedom Double-Standards: The Other Side of the Story


by Robert Oscar Lopez, a associate professor of English at California State-Northridge University.

 I am a professor of English and Classics at Cal State-Northridge, where I began teaching in 2008 after earning my doctorate in English and MA in Classics from SUNY. I specialize in American literature and published a scholarly study of American writers and conservatism in 2011.

On August 6, 2012, I published an essay in Public Discourse, entitled “Growing Up with Two Moms.” It described my life growing up with a lesbian mother and her partner. Discussion of same-sex parenting until that point generally treated the children of gay parents as extensions of gay adults. Whatever was good for gay adults was presumed to benefit children they raised. No serious consideration was given to divergence between the children’s interests and the interests of gay adults who wanted and loved them. My point was this:

Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A’s.

Inside, however, I was confused.

There were loving things about my childhood, but it was hard. That is all I wanted to say. I didn’t argue anything about gay marriage or even gay adoption. Eventually I did come to voice support for traditional marriage laws, but here I only spoke out of my own experience.

The same day, I received an email from someone named Scott “Rose” Rosenzweig, the first of more than a dozen. His message went to my Cal State account and was copied to colleagues and administrators, saying among other things,

 Recently, CSUN’s Lopez published a gay-bashing essay about the Regnerus study, on the website of the Witherspoon Institute, which funded the Regnerus study; for reference, Lopez’s politicized gay-bashing is here: http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2012/08/6065

Because Lopez very substantially misrepresents what the published Regnerus study says, it is especially disturbing that he was in communication with Regnerus—who did not follow American Sociological Association Code of Ethics guidelines for communicating with the public about sociology. It is especially disturbing to note that as per Lopez’s admission, Regnerus ***first*** contacted Lopez, having seen some of his gay-bashing comments online.

Note how this distorts my essay from personal reminiscence to “gay-bashing,” an inflammatory charge on a college campus, the first in a relentless twenty-six months of harassment.

Though he was then working with the New Civil Rights Movement, Rosenzweig provided links to a webpage featuring work from other LGBT activists linked to GLAAD, particularly Jeremy Hooper.

Journalist Jeremy Hooper investigated Robert Oscar Lopez, and found that he has built up a history of “tweets” very severely defamatory of gay people. You can see some of the record of Lopez’s gay-bashing tweets here: http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2012/08/about

Why is Lopez so obsessed with LGBTers and so determined to make baseless attacks against them?

Soon I was getting hit by writers all across the web. A piece on August 9, 2012, in Frontiers LA affixed my photograph and began with the line, “Perhaps you know Cal State Northridge bisexual professor Robert Oscar Lopez—and hence might understand why he wants to cozy up to the antigay National Organization for Marriage.”

At that time I had no connection to the National Organization for Marriage, yet as late as September 2014, the Human Rights Campaign would still claim that I spoke at NOM “March for Marriage” rallies. All of this would be jarring news for NOM, since I support gay civil unions and foster care eligibility for gay couples.

Against these charges, I tried to explain myself, even writing a three-thousand-word rebuttal in Frontiers LA, but the misrepresentations continued.

On August 14, 2012, the campaign reached my workplace in a whole new way when my dean informed me that I would have to turn over all emails from January 2009 onward that had anything to do with Mark Regnerus and his research team, Witherspoon Institute, Bradley Foundation, NOM, U.S. elected officials, the Romney campaign, Republican National Committee, and University of Texas officials.

A team of IT workers and student employees were allowed to access emails and turn them over to my off-campus accusers.

For a year, the provost’s office, dean’s office, and president’s office at Northridge were barraged with angry emails denouncing me and demanding that the university take action.

In August 2012, I spoke to the woman who was then the Associate Vice Provost, to explain my concerns about the fact that a student registered in my American Literature class was interning at the public relations office at California State University-Northridge, and thereby privy to all the hateful emails to university officials. I communicated with my chair about my concern that colleagues who were going to be reviewing me for tenure were receiving these emails as well. I spoke to campus police and asked for help.

My provost, dean, and chair did, in fact, protect me from the severest repercussions from such off-campus provocations, and I thank them for respecting academic freedom. But it was hard for me to see the good work they were doing as I dealt with daily enfilades from people at and outside the university.

In the American Literature class, friends of the bisexual female student who was working for public affairs filed a complaint against me with the Equity and Diversity Office, claiming I was a homophobe. They even alleged I had erections while teaching. The accusations were thrown out, but not before I had to hire a lawyer for an investigative hearing with the university attorneys.

A colleague who had received emails told me that he believed in the Freedom of Information Act and sided with my accusers; he ended up serving on my tenure review panel and interrogating me about my “personal revelations.”

The grants officer of the College of Humanities tried to block me from accessing grant money that had been given to me by outside donors. The Associate Vice Provost tried to block me from bringing Mickey Rooney to campus. In one phone call the following March, after receiving an email forwarded to her by a secretary who happens to be a lesbian mother, she ranted at me for my alleged unscrupulousness and dishonesty.

After I visited the European Union in Brussels with leaders of the French family movement, Manif pour Tous, the organizers of a gender studies conference at Lille University I was to attend told me the university administration did not want me on campus. More disinvitations followed. Three other universities had invited me to speak, but canceled over the concerns of administrators over hate speech.

GLAAD placed me on their “Commentator Accountability Project.” The Human Rights Campaign classified me as an “exporter of hate.” Days after GLAAD added me to their CAP list, my brother was approached at a dinner party and heckled over my status as a gay-hater.

After a year of my being banned from speaking on college campuses, courageous students at Notre Dame and Stanford succeeded in bringing me to campus over the objections of LGBT student groups. The police had to patrol the April 3 event at Notre Dame, while the Stanford event on April 5 transpired in a firestorm of controversy. Both groups that brought me to campus were banished from the student activities boards after I left.

The HRC’s “Exporters of Hate” report in September 2014 included a one-minute video and a “Wanted” poster with a caption saying I was being placed “on notice.” The YouTube page included my work location, email, and phone number. Though my friends and I have flagged and reported this comment as harassment, YouTube has still not taken it down.

The HRC then sent an email from Ty Cobb to all the group’s members on October 5-6, claiming that I delivered anti-gay comments at a World Congress of Families event. I do not belong to the World Congress of Families, have never attended a World Congress of Families event, and the quotation they attributed to me had nothing to do with my job at CSU Northridge (it came, actually, from my blog, and was mangled by Cobb.)

On the morning of October 6, I was greeted with a flurry of angry emails calling me a “bigot” and a “right-wing asshole,” plus voice mail messages calling me a “bag of shit” and telling me to perform a sexual act on myself. These emails were sent to the president, provost, and chair. I spent two days in meetings with the provost, the campus police, and my students to explain what was going on. Finally I had to resort to legal measures and had my lawyer send a letter to Chad Griffin, head of the HRC.

I doubt if anything will come of my efforts to make it stop. My appeal to the American Association of University Professors on grounds of academic freedom was dismissed with a curt note. My letter to the Modern Language Association was never acknowledged.

Robert Oscar Lopez is associate professor of English at California State-Northridge University.

Mayor of Houston, Texas Should Resign


article by Eric Metaxas today… suggested action at the end…

Last week I told you that Houston’s Mayor, Annise Parker, demanded to see the sermons of a group of five pastors and threatened them with a subpoena. Why? Because the pastors had objected to a new so-called “equal rights” ordinance that would allow self-identified “transgendered” men to use women’s restrooms.

That’s an issue all its own. But as bad as that is, the Houston mayor’s shocking and outrageous trampling on the religious liberty of these pastors is far, far more disturbing.  In fact, for someone in government to demand that pastors turn over their sermons is almost beyond belief. I confess I almost thought I was reading something out of my own book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, where I describe how the Gestapo tried to harass and intimidate Martin Niemoller and other German pastors speaking the truth from their pulpits.

Now let me be clear:  I don’t like to get people excited over nothing. But if ever there was a time to get excited—if ever there was a time to stand up and shout—folks, this is it. The Houston Mayor’s office has crossed a bold red line—and it has walked all over religious freedom in an act so brazen that it demands a response. And not just for religious liberty. Religious liberty is the canary in the coal mine. If this inexcusable act goes unanswered, it will open the door to government threatening other liberties. So this is not just about Christians and the church in America—it’s about all Americans. And it’s about America itself.

So if we don’t act on this, we can’t complain when we lose further liberties and eventually we aren’t able to act at all. This is our chance. Whatever voice and liberties we have now, we must use.

 So what am I suggesting we do? Well, my friends at the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission had a great idea. They urged pastors all across America to send their sermons to the Houston Mayor’s office. In fact, why don’t we all send sermons? But then I had another idea: we should send Bibles as well.

So please do send a sermon or a Bible. And please do it if you can TODAY. The address is: Mayor Parker, City Hall, 901 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002.

Vote Democrats Out of Office for Imposing Obamacare on Americans

Obamacare was one of the poorest and most damaging legislation ever enacted (click here). This is a no-brainer. There must be some accountability for politician who distain the people they represent so much that they would cast a vote for Obamacare. Now is the time. Vote them out.

Many have been voted out. The remaining list is below. House members are up for relection but not all Senators are up for reelection at this time. 

House of Representatives

Becerra (D-CA)
Bishop (D-GA)
Bishop (D-NY)
Blumenauer (D-OR)
Brady (D-PA)
Braley (D-IA)
Brown, Corrine (D-FL)
Butterfield (D-NC)
Capps (D-CA)
Capuano (D-MA)
Carney (D-DE)
Carson (D-IN)
Castor (D-FL)
Chu (D-CA)
Clarke (D-NY)
Clay (D-MO)
Cleaver (D-MO)
Clyburn (D-SC)
Cohen (D-TN)
Connolly (D-VA)
Conyers (D-MI)
Cooper (D-TN)
Costa (D-CA)
Courtney (D-CT)
Crowley (D-NY)
Cuellar (D-TX)
Cummings (D-MD)
Davis (D-CA)
Davis (D-IL)
DeFazio (D-OR)
DeGette (D-CO)
DeLauro (D-CT)
Dingell (D-MI)
Doggett (D-TX)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Doyle (D-PA)
Edwards (D-MD)
Ellison (D-MN)
Engel (D-NY)
Eshoo (D-CA)
Farr (D-CA)
Fattah (D-PA)
Foster (D-IL)
Frank (D-MA)
Fudge (D-OH)
Garamendi (D-CA)
Grayson (D-FL)
Green, Al (D-TX)
Green, Gene (D-TX)
Grijalva (D-AZ)
Gutierrez (D-IL)
Hall (D-NY)
Hastings (D-FL)
Higgins (D-NY)
Himes (D-CT)
Hinojosa (D-TX)
Holt (D-NJ)
Honda (D-CA)
Hoyer (D-MD)
Israel (D-NY)
Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Johnson (D-GA)
Johnson, E. B. (D-TX)
Kaptur (D-OH)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kildee (D-MI)
Kilpatrick (D-MI)
Kind (D-WI)
Kirkpatrick (D-AZ)
Langevin (D-RI)
Larsen (D-WA)
Larson (D-CT)
Lee (D-CA)
Levin (D-MI)
Lewis (D-GA)
Loebsack (D-IA)
Lofgren, Zoe (D-CA)
Lowey (D-NY)
Lujan, B (D-NM)
Maffei (D-NY)
Maloney (D-NY)
Matsui (D-CA)
McCarthy (D-NY)
McCollum (D-MN)
McDermott (D-WA)
McGovern (D-MA)
McNerney (D-CA)
Meeks (D-NY)
Michaud (D-ME)
Miller, George (D-CA)
Moore (D-WI)
Moran (D-VA)
Murphy, Patrick (D-FL)
Nadler (D-NY)
Napolitano (D-CA)
Neal (D-MA)
Owens (D-NY)
Pallone (D-NJ)
Pascrell (D-NJ)
Pastor (D-AZ)
Payne (D-NJ)
Pelosi (D-CA)
Perlmutter (D-CO)
Peters (D-MI)
Pingree (D-ME)
Polis (D-CO)
Price (D-NC)
Quigley (D-IL)
Rahall (D-WV)
Rangel (D-NY)
Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Ruppersberger (D-MD)
Rush (D-IL)
Ryan (D-OH)
Sánchez, Linda  T. (D-CA)
Sanchez, Loretta (D-CA)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schakowsky (D-IL)
Schiff (D-CA)
Schrader ((D-OR)
Schwartz (D-PA)
Scott (D-GA)
Scott (D-VA)
Serrano (D-NY)
Shea-Porter (D-NH)
Sherman (D-CA)
Sires (D-NJ)
Slaughter (D-NY)
Smith (D_WA)
Speier (D-CA)
Thompson (D-CA)
Thompson (D-MS)
Tsongas (D-MA)
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Velázquez (D-NY)
Visclosky (D-IN)
Walz (D-MN)
Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Waters (D-CA)
Watt (D-NC)
Waxman (D-CA)
Welch (D-VT)
Yarmuth (D-KY)

US Senate

Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burris (D-IL)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaufman (D-DE)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kirk (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Specter (D-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)