Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

To increase public confidence

Clear Climate Code’s goal number 3:

To increase public confidence in climate science results.

In a comment on an earlier blog post, NikFromNYC says:

The stated goal of this project, “To increase public confidence in climate science results”, is incompatible with the idea that you intend to present any findings that conflict with said goal.

I can’t help feeling that someone’s tongue is slightly in their cheek, but it’s a serious point nonetheless. If we were to find something that was seriously in conflict with the current climate science results (and me and Nick have in the past joked about discovering that global warming was all down to a bug on line 279 of the Fortran program foobar.f), would we publish it? Of course we would.

Our plan to increase public confidence in climate science results isn’t to hide stuff that we find that conflicts with current results. Where we find problems with the results we intend to show why they’re wrong and get then corrected. Hopefully the corrected results will attract more confidence. How do we show that the results are correct? By having clearer code.

I should note that “to increase public confidence in climate science results” is not “the stated goal of this project”; it is merely a goal, not the goal. Goal number 3. Clear Climate Code is about software, and we are mostly software engineers. When Nick started the project, we deliberately picked something where we could use our expertise to make a difference. There are many things that can be done to increase public confidence in climate science results, what we will be doing is producing clearer code. We each make a difference where we can.

Project goals

Others online seem to have misunderstood what we are about.  I have reworded the project goals accordingly.  This public Clear Climate Code project is not working for Ravenbrook’s benefit.  Ravenbrook’s contribution to the project is (to a small degree) motivated by self-interest, and I expect the same may be true of other contributors.