The global warming witch hunt continues

By Phil Plait | October 7, 2010 12:00 pm

kencuccinelliVirginia State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli really doesn’t like people thinking the Earth is warming up. He has used his position to continually attack scientist Michael Mann and his work done at the University of Virginia, claiming that Dr. Mann abused taxpayer money and knowingly used falsified data.

Cuccinelli was essentially riding on the coattails of the now totally-discredited Climategate fiasco. You may remember how lots of people got very upset that scientists were sending emails to each other that, when taken grossly out of context and misinterpreted, made it look like those scientists were engaged in cooking the data. Once people looked a little more carefully, it became clear that no shenanigans were going on. Interestingly, although it was hugely covered in the media and by the usual antiscience mob in politics, you hardly hear about Climategate anymore.

But Cuccinelli can’t let it go. Even though his subpoena for documents from UVa was dismissed by a judge, he retooled his claims and is now demanding that the University hand over some emails from Mann to colleagues. Apparently, he feels that

Specifically, but without limitation, some of the conclusions of the papers demonstrate a complete lack of rigor regarding the statistical analysis of the alleged data, meaning that the result reported lacked statistical significance without a specific statement to that effect.

Not surprisingly, Michael Mann — who has been repeatedly cleared of wrongdoing despite many attempts to smear him and his work — sees the situation somewhat differently:

"I find it extremely disturbing that Mr. Cuccinelli has sought to continue to abuse his power as the attorney general of Virginia in this way, in the process smearing the University of Virginia and me and other climate scientists," Mann said. "The people of Virginia need to be extremely disturbed that he is using their tax dollars to pursue this partisan witch hunt."

I agree, and I’m glad he phrased it this way. Cuccinelli is claiming Mann abused taxpayer funds, but Cuccinelli is the one using taxpayer money to continue this attack which had little or no merit in the first place. Incidentally, Mann also says the narrowing of the claim by Cuccinelli now targets a grant that isn’t even climate related. If Mann is correct, it sounds like Cuccinelli is on a fishing expedition, looking for anything he can use to discredit Mann.

It’s time for Cuccinelli to admit defeat. Really, his attack should never have occurred; it over-reached in the first place, and the claims have been shown in other venues to be thin. The University rightly fought and continues to fight his efforts. They have said that what Cuccinelli is doing is creating a chilling effect on scientific research: by hounding scientists, it makes it harder for them to perform research in areas where they may get attacked by politically-motivated claims. The more Cuccinelli pursues this, the more it looks like the University is right.


Related posts:

- BREAKING: Cuccinelli’s climate change case dismissed
- Cuccinelli warms to his task of climate change denial
- UVa will fight climate change attack
- Deniers abuse power to attack climate scientists


Comments (140)

  1. Most of my family members live in Virginia, and they are quite conservative, but even THEY are embarrassed by the man everyone there calls “Cooch.”

  2. Georg

    Electing
    sheriffs and district attorneys is a invitation
    to corruption.
    Such attorneys later become judges and so on.
    Together with a lot of underpaid attorneys this
    makes up the basis of american corruption,
    (called politics).
    Stop this practice or stop complaining. :=(
    Georg

  3. Grand Lunar

    I can’t believe this nonsense is still going on.

    Why is it so difficult for people to accept that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that humans might be a cause?
    What are people so afraid of?

  4. Tom B

    Maybe its time to stop electing religious people?

    Prove god exists? No, that requires blind faith.
    Prove climate change? No, that requires MORE THAN FACTS.

    Ridiculous.

  5. Jeff in Tucson

    It’s a conspiracy. Venus wants her big sister, Earth, to be more like her.

  6. Chris Winter

    Yesterday’s editorial in the Washington Post says it all for me:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/05/AR2010100504908.html

    Its final paragraph:

    What is this farce costing? To defend itself from Mr. Cuccinelli’s investigation into the distribution of a $214,700 research grant, the University of Virginia has spent $350,000, with more to come, and that doesn’t count the taxpayer funds Mr. Cuccinelli is devoting to this cause. Sadly, though, that’s the smallest of the costs. The damage to Virginia’s reputation, and to its universities’ ability to attract and retain top-notch faculty and students, will not be easily undone.

    It’s worth noting that Mr. C pretty much toes the Tea-Party line. YouTube has many clips of his 12 September speech denouncing the new health care bill as a threat to liberty.

  7. DrivethruScientist

    I thought Venus was slightly larger ….

  8. Nullius in Verba

    Maybe the idea is to induce the climate establishment to rally round and mount its last stand on the ground where it is weakest? So long as such great efforts are expended defending Mann’s papers, it draws attention to them.

    What’s so difficult about the idea that the Earth’s climate has always changed, and that mankind may well be one amongst many causes, but that not every paper in support of this thesis is therefore necessarily well-founded? Why die in a ditch defending a paper that isn’t even very important to the overall case? But so long as you will, the sceptics take advantage.

  9. @Grand Lunar

    What they’re afraid of is cutting into corporate profits. I perfectly understand major polluters fighting this.

    What I don’t understand is their minions who think they’ll get to sit at the adult table in repayment for regurgitating climate-denying talking points all over the internet. Those people have nothing to gain and they have to live on the planet.

  10. Peptron

    <witch hunt mode> Since Phil Plait made a typo in one of his tags (“cliamte change”), how can you trust him on ANYTHING AT ALL? Obviously, anybody who does some kind of mistake somewhere at any point in his life is part of a global conspiracy trying to hide the truth that the Moon Landings were faked in a studio on Mars by Elvis and Elmo.</witch hunt mode>

    I think this will make my future debates so much easier: I’ll just go find some of their test reports where the person didn’t get 100%, which is proof of some kind if mistake, obviously discrediting the entire person.

  11. Kevin

    Here in Michigan we have an assistant State Attorney General who is using state money to publicly attack a student at the University of Michigan because of his sexual orientation. It finally go so bad that the Attorney General stepped in and suspended him.

    In the case of this idiot from Virginia, I believe it might take the Governor or perhaps the state supreme court to stop this stupidity.

  12. Tribeca Mike

    Excellent commentary, Doctor. I wonder what the good citizens of Virginia think about having an Attorney General who can’t admit when he’s wrong. Also wonder if he’s as truculent about every other legal matter that comes to his department’s attention, especially those involving corporate criminality. A self-righteous ideologue who is obviously abusing the powers granted to him by the voters of his state should not be in such a powerful position.

    When you consider how much conservatives like Cuccinelli like to rail against the dangers of an oppressive government, the hypocrisy goes way beyond the pale.

  13. Neeneko

    @CafeenMan

    I think it is even simpler then that. Liberals ‘believe’ in climate change, thus it must be wrong and evil. It is less about the actual issue, and more about who is on who’s side and beating the other group.

  14. Jim Lad

    It seems the man just isn’t concerned with global warming at all.
    There has to be a little button that you could push.
    You know. Like the “Easy Button”.
    Only this one blows him off the face of the earth.
    That’s how you guys are doing it now, right?

  15. Chris

    I doubt Cuccinelli would understand the statistics.

  16. @Neeneko,

    The problem here isn’t that Attorney General Cuccinelli produced a study showing that Michael Mann’s study was flawed. Neither did he open criminal charges because Michael Mann somehow laundered the grant money. (Say, using it to buy a car for himself & then claiming he did ‘research.’)

    Instead, he’s trying to file a court case claiming that Mann’s study is flawed. If you have evidence to this effect, by all means publish it. I’m sure everyone would be very interested in it. But he doesn’t do this. He filed a lawsuit, which was dismissed, so he filed another lawsuit. He hasn’t presented any evidence that Mann did anything wrong, just accusations that have yet to be proven.

    Meanwhile, the evidence overwhelmingly points toward climate change, with humanity being one of the major factors. Trust me, I wish this weren’t the case, but wishing it doesn’t make it so.

  17. Ian

    Obviously Mr. Mann should stick to make awesome action movies and thrillers.

  18. Bill

    If there’s been a witch hunt anywhere, its been directed against the scientists who are skeptical of AGW.

  19. TheBlackCat

    @ TechyDad: It’s even worse than that. If I understand it correctly, he is saying that a study that the state had no part in was flawed, and Mann had that study in his CV when he got a grant from the state for research totally unrelated to the study in question, therefore he committed fraud when applying for the state funding.

    If this flew, it would basically give state attorney generals the power to charge anyone who has taken state money with fraud simply because they disagree with the methodology of any single study that person has ever done.

    I can understand charging someone with fraud if they lied about what papers they had published, or they used a paper that was already retracted or rejected in soliciting funds. But you can’t charge someone with fraud for using a paper that was not retracted at the time the funds were applied for, and you certainly can’t charge someone with fraud for a paper that has no been retracted at all, and especially not one that has already been vetted by several official reviews.

    Doing so gives the state attorney general essentially unlimited power to charge any scientist he or she wants with fraud, since you will be hard-pressed to find a scientist that does not have a single paper that is without any flaw whatsoever.

  20. PsyberDave

    Obviously there is more to the story, but on its surface it appears that the attorney general is going after a scientist for his conclusions in a scholarly publication. Cuccinelli is going to prosecute Mann on the first degree felony charge of Demonstrating a Complete Lack of Rigor Regarding Statistical Analysis. The BASTARD! Mann is going to get locked away in science prison for that heinious…henious…heynuous…hyenas crime!1!1!1!

  21. DrFlimmer

    What are people so afraid of?

    The somehow strangely funny point about this is that everyone wants to preserve. The “fundamental greens” want it and the “deniers” want it, as well. Sounds crazy, yes, but it’s true.

    The greens want to preserve nature in its actual state as much as possible, to safe as many species as possible from extinction.

    And what is it that the deniers want to preserve? The way of life they have now. With all the big cars and nothing to worry about. In short, the American dream.

    Now, decide: what is the more selfish way?

    About some arguments that there “has always been changes”…..
    Indeed, changes have always happen. But nothing has ever happened so fast that was, at least in its ultimate stages, so preventable as the current CO2 problem. Changes in the past went slow, or happened very fast after an unpreventable catastrophe, like an asteroid impact or a super volcano. Things are now changing in a very fast way that has never been seen before, because it is slower than the average catastrophe. A few hundred years sounds much on human scales. But on ecological, that is to say global scales it is nothing.

    I will never understand why it is so important to drive cars that use 15 ltrs/100 km, when we have at least equally powerful engines that use much less. And this is just one example, where much could be done for really no loss of “quality of life”.

    If everyone would save only a little, much could be done. But someone needs to start, and nobody wants to…. this is sad!

  22. Daffy

    Be afraid, America, be very afraid. They may come for YOU next.

  23. Tribeca Mike

    Daffy — I’m old enough to remember when “they” did come for “you.” It was called the McCarthy Era, when hundreds of thousands of American citizens (not only academics, but from all walks of life), found themselves hounded and deemed unemployable just for holding “nonconformist” opinions (often ones I disagree with, but in a democracy that isn’t the point). I doubt things will get that bad again (though Bush II was notoriously censorious regarding scientists if not science in general), but be ever vigilant.

  24. Joshua

    I live in Virginia. Cuccinelli, prior to being Attorney General, served in the state Senate, where he was considered one of the top three (if not the very top) most conservative senators. Needless to say, he toes the conservative line with regards to topics like this, as well as abortion and the recent health care reform. This series of legal actions against the University of Virginia has cost the university about $350,000 in legal fees (and will undoubtedly climb much higher). Since UVa is a state university, that money comes from taxpayer dollars. So taxpayers here are getting slammed for both the UVa legal fees and those of the Attorney General’s office.

  25. keepscienceintexas

    The idiots continue to lead the charge against science.

  26. Hmmm…. Let’s see if posting this cartoon works.

  27. JonF

    Like Chuck (#1), I also have family in VA who refer to him as “the Cooch” and who realize full well what a fantastic job he’s doing of embarrassing their state. Unfortunately, without a lot of pop media coverage, I’m not terribly certain the story of The Cooch who Stole Science is going to get the traction it needs to prevent a loss of good research in Virginia (or anywhere else with like-minded politicians, which, unfortunately, could be a lot of other places if it’s not stopped).

  28. Neil

    PsyberDave: heinious…henious…heynuous…hyenas crime!1!1!1!

    LOL!! I love that movie….come to think of it, antics like these from government officials would be much more entertaining with voice-over from Shadoe Stevens. And I’m sure the Zucker bros. could write much more interesting plots than self-important conservative zealots!

  29. whb03

    TM, don’t you know that McCarthy was a misunderstood American hero who stood up for what he believed in? Don’t you read your Texas history books? Don’t you know I ended my first question in a preposition?

    OK, sarcasm off…

  30. Tribeca Mike

    whb03 — I forgot to toe the line there for a moment! Thanks for the reminder! See ya around Cell Block H.

    As far as I know, I’ve never read a Texas-approved textbook (do Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Billy Joe Shaver albums count?), but I did have to read Arizona textbooks in the early seventies. At that time (and possibly still), the AZ legislation required the high schools to teach a course in “free enterprise,” and luckily for us our very clever bohemian teacher spent the year teaching us about Mexican art and Orson Welles movies instead. Who knew Marxist muralists were so influential? I recall one football player named Bronco being mighty confused by the whole thing, but the rest of us were in on the joke (well, those who showed up; Teach gave everyone A’s whether they did or not). Bronco, by the way, owns a hairstyling salon on Tucson’s east side, and is a very nice guy.

  31. As a Virginia resident and taxpayer I will be looking toward those Twenty-Sixth Amendment remedies to vote this clown out of office. Thanks for the inspiration, Angle.

  32. anon

    So why are you still hiding the documents? Do these documents contain something you want to keep secret?

  33. Undeniable

    #17. DrFlimmer:

    “And what is it that the deniers want to preserve? The way of life they have now. With all the big cars and nothing to worry about. In short, the American dream.”

    Time to enter the strange parallel universe of this blog’s comments again, where if you believe everything you’re told you’re a “sceptic” whereas if you question what you’re told you’re a “denier”. Your comment suggests that you think everyone who disagrees with AGW is motivated purely by selfishness. Well, I disagree with it and I don’t think I’m selfish at all. And I’m not an American. I also don’t own a car, don’t fly on jet airliners and don’t have central heating, air conditioning, a tumble drier or a dishwasher. Nor do I own an incandescent lightbulb as I’ve replaced all mine with low energy CFLs. I suspect that I have a lower “carbon footprint” than most of the (so-called) “sceptics” on here. Selfish?

  34. Daniel J. Andrews

    According to the Washington Post, the University of Virginia has spent 350,000 dollars to defend itself over the investigation of the 214,700 dollar research grant. Who knows how much the AG has spent. What a waste. Time to investigate the AG.

    washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/05/AR2010100504908.html

    Edit: Phil, here’s something you might be interested in regarding the sun. Solar spectral stumper, as RC titles it.

    realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/10/solar-spectral-stumper/#more-5140

  35. larry

    Need it be said? He’s a republican.

  36. Roald A

    “……Interestingly, although it was hugely covered in the media and by the usual antiscience mob in politics, you hardly hear about Climategate anymore…” If you care to look at it, the basic topic is covered nearly every day at Steve McIntyre’s Climate Audit web site http://climateaudit.org/

    What you do not see is allegedly fair and balanced programs like the PBS NewsHour interviewing such a central figure of the ClimateGate scandal like him even once, or even acknowledging the existence of myriad faults in the subsequent hearings that McIntyre dissects in maddeningly fine detail. Then again, the PBS NewsHour did not once have an IPCC scientist debate face-to-face with a skeptic scientist, nor did they ever say why such skeptic scientists are not worthy of having on the program. No need to trust me on this assertion, prove me wrong for yourself by scouring through the NewsHour online archives, which go back to 1996.

  37. Nullius in Verba

    #13,

    “Instead, he’s trying to file a court case claiming that Mann’s study is flawed. If you have evidence to this effect, by all means publish it. I’m sure everyone would be very interested in it.”

    It’s been published. Nobody (important) was interested. Next.

    #15,

    “It’s even worse than that. If I understand it correctly, he is saying that a study that the state had no part in was flawed,”

    Nope. He’s saying that a study that had flaws that were already known about was published, and this makes him want to check all the other studies by the same guy. Making mistakes ain’t illegal. Nobody is being accused of anything criminal, yet.

    Whether he’s right about that or not is a matter of controversy, but it would probably be helpful if everybody knew what the claims being made by Cuccinelli actually were.

  38. TheBlackCat

    t’s been published. Nobody (important) was interested. Next.

    Or maybe people looked at it and decided it wasn’t a serious, or even significant, issue. I’ve seen a number of criticisms of Mann’s statistics, and when the suggested changes are implemented it makes no difference whatsoever to the results.

    Do you have any actual evidence that the problems would change the results?

    Nope. He’s saying that a study that had flaws that were already known about was published, and this makes him want to check all the other studies by the same guy. Making mistakes ain’t illegal. Nobody is being accused of anything criminal, yet.

    I just read the actual subpeona. First, it doesn’t say that the flaws were already known about, it states that the flaws were already known about OR that he thinks Mann should have known about them. Further, it says that even if Mann didn’t know about the problems, he is still subject to punishment since the attorney general asserts he should have known about them. So yes, the Attorney General is, quite explicitly, saying that making mistakes is illegal.

    Second, it does explicitly state that those papers contributing to his winning the grant is a punishable offense. It also states that if other papers had the same claimed flaw, that would subject him to additional liability, but the first thing that is mentioned and the thing that is discussed most extensively is how those two papers contributed to him winning the grant would subject him to punishment.

    but it would probably be helpful if everybody knew what the claims being made by Cuccinelli actually were.

    Indeed.

  39. Tribeca Mike

    Nullius in Verba – and the Attorney General is involving himself in this why? The University of Virginia has already spoken, and it is obvious that Cuccinelli is going after Mann for political reasons. A state’s Attorney General stepping over the boundary of sanity into the realm of ideology to score political points goes beyond the bounds of any and all reason.

  40. Jeff

    global warming is unfortunately a basket case, it has degenerated into a pie fight, and once that happens, the true scientists like Mann will never again get a fair shake.

    Sorry to be so cynical, but I know of what I speak. I’ve seen this kind of thing happen over and over.

    See, global warming was always an uphill battle, because, like the American Indians who had the philosophy: ” we do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”; the opposite is true in today’s industrial revolution age. And that is really all there is to it. The industrial age will keep roaring on until… what????

  41. Daffy

    Tribeca, I am too, barely. And I was not kidding. IMO, both the Democrats and the Republicans are in the pockets of corporate lobbyists (does anyone even doubt it anymore?). What makes the Democrats marginally more tolerable for me, is that the Republicans are the ones systematically trying to subvert our freedoms. I know we are all taught that it is the Democrats, but I strongly disagree. George W. Bush’s entire presidency was one long assault on the Bill of Rights.

    But neither party is a prize—and nothing will change until the American public stops buying what Fox News and Glenn Beck are feeding them.

    (Mixed metaphors intentional, in an attempt to be cute.) ;-)

  42. reidh

    You know you take on faith all of these scientists statements that Man is the One and ONLY cause of any “detected” “global” warming. When You are no more competent to review the data than I am. And you and all the other people who think that it is Man and ONLY man who is causing anything to the earth, are overlooking the question of, What caused the “Ice Age” and especially, then what ended the “Ice Age”. The FACT IS, niether you nor I know that, but we do know that it wasn’t humans. Your smug bias which is obvious from your pseudo coverage of these issues, is disgusting to anybody who is willing to be intellectually honest.

  43. reidh

    And you ought to quit politicizing science.

  44. Daffy

    “And you ought to quit politicizing science.”

    My irony meter just pegged.

  45. Nullius in Verba

    #27,

    “Do you have any actual evidence that the problems would change the results?”

    Yes. Again, that was published. There are many combinations possible, and if you select from them carefully you can get results going either way. (e.g. the ‘CENSORED’ directory.)

    But that’s irrelevant, because asking the question concedes the point. The existence of problems is acknowledged, but still the result is retained. The right answer calculated by the wrong method is wrong, and to stubbornly retain, reuse, and republish it because “the errors don’t matter” betrays precisely the attitude to science that is at issue.

    #28,

    “Nullius in Verba – and the Attorney General is involving himself in this why? The University of Virginia has already spoken, and it is obvious that Cuccinelli is going after Mann for political reasons.”

    I just said. Because it keeps the issue in the news, and the Hockeystick is the ground that CAGW is weakest on. A lot of people know about the flaws, more so than for many other aspects, so to see the climate establishment fighting so hard to defend it does considerable damage. The more outrage is generated about the ‘assault on science’, the more the irony burns with people who know a little bit about the issue. The more outrage and publicity generated over Cuccinelli’s crusade, the better.

    Of course Cuccinelli is going after Mann for political reasons. It’s working, too.

  46. kid cool

    @reidh

    Of course there have been variations in the climate, that isn’t the issue.

    I mean no disrespect, but let’s keep it simple and straight forward:
    1) CO2 is a green house gas. This fact is backed by 150 years of scientific research.
    2) CO2 levels are the highest they have been in at least 400,000 years. Current levels are over 380 ppm and the highest over the last 400k years was 300 ppm.
    http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/#keyIndicator_co2

    The simple fact is that CO2 is coming from manmade sources. If you don’t believe that then find credible peer reviewed publications showing that this isn’t the case. Perhaps you can find peer review publications disproving CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    You talk about a “smug bias” and being “intellectually honest.” So show us that you do not have this smugness and are intellectually honest by giving us REAL, credible, scientific analysis.

    In so many ways the global warming deniers are using the same tactics that creationists do. I have tried numerous times to get global warming deniers to provide real science by real scientists, in real peer reviewed publications and in two years I have received nothing credible.

  47. Tribeca Mike

    Daffy — Holy Mudhead, Mackerel! More Science High, it’s, it’s disappeared!

  48. TheBlackCat

    You know you take on faith all of these scientists statements that Man is the One and ONLY cause of any “detected” “global” warming.

    Nobody is claiming this. The claim is that human activity is by far the largest cause, but a fraction of the warming does appear to be due to natural influences. However, these are no where near enough to account for all the warming, while human influences are close to being sufficient to account for all the warming (but not completely sufficient).

    When You are no more competent to review the data than I am.

    I do, however, understand basic physics, so I understand that dumping large amounts of a known greenhouse gas with a long residence time into the atmosphere cannot do anything other than cause warming.

    And you and all the other people who think that it is Man and ONLY man who is causing anything to the earth, are overlooking the question of, What caused the “Ice Age” and especially, then what ended the “Ice Age”.

    Nobody is overlooking the question, it has been heavily studied. It appears to be due to regular changes in Earth’s orbit called Milankovitch cycles, but these operate over much longer time scales than the current warming.

  49. TheBlackCat

    Yes. Again, that was published. There are many combinations possible, and if you select from them carefully you can get results going either way. (e.g. the ‘CENSORED’ directory.)

    Can I see a specific source, perhaps?

    But that’s irrelevant, because asking the question concedes the point. The existence of problems is acknowledged, but still the result is retained. The right answer calculated by the wrong method is wrong, and to stubbornly retain, reuse, and republish it because “the errors don’t matter” betrays precisely the attitude to science that is at issue.

    That is only the case if the problems are sufficient to invalidate the results. If the problems are too minor to affect the results, then there is no problem keeping them.

    I just said. Because it keeps the issue in the news, and the Hockeystick is the ground that CAGW is weakest on. A lot of people know about the flaws, more so than for many other aspects, so to see the climate establishment fighting so hard to defend it does considerable damage.

    This, of course, assumes that the flaws are enough to invalidate the results. The fact the scientific community tries so hard to defend it may simply be because the criticisms are not valid or not significant. I am not sure which specific criticisms you are referring to, but I have seen numerous hopelessly flawed or even intentionally dishonest attacks on Mann’s results. Add to that the fact that numerous other studies by different groups using different methodology have confirmed Mann’s results.

  50. G. cuvier

    Let me just point out for everyone that this kind of thing demonstrates that Republicans are lying when they talk about wanting limited government. As the above comments by Cuchinelli’s defenders show, they love government overreach and abuse of rights. Just as long as it is directed against percieved opponents.

  51. Josh in the Gong

    Daffy just made me choke!!!

  52. J Earley

    Tribeca Mike:
    Shoes for Industry!

  53. Daniel J. Andrews

    In so many ways the global warming deniers are using the same tactics that creationists do.

    I have found the same to be true. No matter how solid the science, if they don’t like it, they say it ain’t so (e.g. there are no transitional fossils, acid rain doesn’t exist, CO2 isn’t a greenhouse gas). Or they’ll grab hold of a peer-reviewed paper and misunderstand it (e.g. human-chimp DNA is only 70% similar, not 98.8%, mistaking temperature anomaly for actual temperature). Or they’ll quote-mine/misquote a scientist and to make her/him say the opposite of what s/he intended (e.g. Gould said there are no transitional fossils; Jones said there has been no warming since 199x).

    No matter how many times you correct them and show them the actual data, they’ll still repeat the same disproven claim (e.g. it’s the sun, volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans) as if they’ve not been educated with copious links to real science. See skepticalscience.com and click on the tab labeled arguments for more disproven claims (note that some of them now come in basic, intermediate and advanced versions for beginners and up).

    And I haven’t even mentioned the other creationist tactics like strawmen arguments (e.g. if you believe in evolution, then where are the crocoducks; that it is Man and ONLY man causing the warming). Really now, if you haven’t even read enough to know what scientists are actually saying, you’ve automatically disqualified yourself from any reasonable discussion.

    The fact that “skeptics” have so many arguments which have just been made up and which violate laws of physics, chemistry and contradict direct observations is strong evidence that the experts in every major science institution around the globe have it mostly right, whether that be evolution or climate science.

  54. Messier Tidy Upper

    I’ve said this before & I’ll say it again :

    I *want* to see Mike Mann facing off against Ken Cuccinelli in a legal court in a blaze of publicity.

    Why?

    Because I think that Mike Mann would totally humiliate Cuccinelli and publicly validate his own work and the case made by climatologists for the reality of AGW and show the emptiness and nastiness of the climate contrarians tactics. 8)

    It could be a prominent “Dover / Scopes” trial-esque moment that could regain momentum and reaffirm the validity for those who accept that the climatologists who’ve studied & specialised in the area for most of their lives really do know what they’re talking about.

    If I were Mike Mann then I’d be saying “Bring it on!” and be looking forward to doing exactly that & getting this whole “climategate” nonsense exposed for what it is and demolished once and for all.

    Of course, I know its a pain for Mike Mann and that he’s been through lots already and so on. I’m sure Mann thinks doing the actual science is more important than this public hearts and minds battle here (which btw. I think the ‘AGW is real consensus’ side is currently losing :-( ) .. but still.

    I do fear that Mike Mann trying to avoid facing Cuccinelli’s “investigations” will be wrongly but commonly seen as him “having something to hide.”

    I wonder if Mike Mann would be well-advised now to consider going on the legal offensive and sue Cuccinelli himself for, oh maybe, defamation of character, slander, legal harassment or something along those lines? ;-)

  55. Messier Tidy Upper

    See :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WvasALL-hw&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    For the Crock of Week‘s coverage of this crusade of Cuccinelli’s among other things! Including an except of an interview with Mike Mann talking about death threats he’s received, a classic bit of Python and a sexy well-disguised alien pythonness from an old SF series to start it off. :-)

  56. Bruce

    The reason we don’t hear about Climategate anymore is because no one believes in global warming anymore. It’s been shown to be a huge political scam and people with common sense have much more important things to worry about than a bunch of pseudoscientists trying to push their agenda on the American public.

  57. Messier Tidy Upper

    @3. Grand Lunar :

    Why is it so difficult for people to accept that the Earth’s climate is changing, and that humans might be a cause? What are people so afraid of?

    Change? Loss of lifestyle? Loss of money? The implications?

    @7. DrivethruScientist :

    I thought Venus was slightly larger ….

    Slightly smaller actually. Earth’s diameter is 12,756 km (equatorial) versus 12,104 (equatorial also natch) for Venus.

    Source : Page 15, ‘Stars and Planets’, Patrick Moore, Chancellor Press, 1992.

    @5. Jeff in Tucson :

    It’s a conspiracy. Venus wants her big sister, Earth, to be more like her.

    So .. Ken Cuccinelli hails from Venus then? ;-)

  58. Muzz

    Pre election polls from Australia at the very least showed politicians have no idea how un sceptical of AGW the general public is.
    The leading lights of climate change scepticism have either faded into irrelvance, like MacIntyre, or been utterly demolished, like Plimer and Monckton.
    Your guys are done Bruce. It’s just fruit loops like Alex Jones left. You need to get yourselves some more emails or that’s all she wrote.

  59. Daffy

    Tribeca Mike: “Daffy — Holy Mudhead, Mackerel! More Science High, it’s, it’s disappeared!”

    Well, just remember, “Don’t eat with your hands, boy, use your entrenching tool.”

    Gotta go. Two flying saucers just landed on my plate. :)

  60. gss_000

    “Cuccinelli is claiming Mann abused taxpayer funds, but Cuccinelli is the one using taxpayer money to continue this attack which had little or no merit in the first place.”

    I agree, but that’s not how Cuccinelli sees it. In other cases like when Cuccinelli wanted to sue the government over the health care bill, he’s stated that it would only cost the state a couple of hundred dollars for the filing fees, as though all the staff was working on the case for free. He’s probably using the same fuzzy math here.

    I live in VA, and this guy pisses me off.

  61. Paul in Sweden

    What has happened to make 3 out of 4 voters and even 2 out of 3 Democrats believe that climate change is not a critical issue?
    - The Seminal – Thursday October 7, 2010

    http://www.vimeo.com/15613640

  62. hevach

    @33: Skeptics question, but they also accept proof when it’s provided. That’s what makes them skeptics – they don’t question to reject a claim, only to find the truth. The time for questioning passes when the proof reaches a certain point.

    Deniers question as well. But when proof is offered they reject the proof and continue to question, often claiming no proof has yet been offered. That’s what makes them deniers – they don’t question to find the truth, only to reject a claim.

  63. Jonathan Dickson

    You are mistaken when you say that Climategate has been discredited. In fact it is widely belived, and anyone who reads for themselves the incriminating e-mails is left in no doubt that the ‘man made global warming’ scare was concocted.
    It is the whitewashes of investigations into Climategate that have been discredited in fact..

  64. Peter

    @Nullius

    That’s an easy one to answer (but I’m afraid a lot harder to accept for a concrete-headed denialist).

    ITS THE CONSEQUENCES, STUPID!

    CLIMATE CHANGE DUE TO NATURAL COUSES AND CLIMATE CHANGES DUE TO HUMAN BEHAVIOR ARE NOT ON EQUAL FOOTING, STUPID! HUMANS HAVE FREE WILL, MOTHER NATURE HAS NOT.

    Not understood, yet? What’s so difficult about accepting abortion? Humans have been killed by preditors for many millenia. So what is the problem in acceptingb that humans are just another source of death?

    Yes, your argument is damn stupid.

  65. DrFlimmer

    @ # 33. Undeniable

    Maybe I was overgeneralising and oversimplifying. Well, indeed, I was.
    Of course, the black and white scheme I painted is non-existent, it was somehow meant to provoke. Neither is everyone who denies AGW selfish, nor is every “true believer” a man of honour and living the “correct” (say, green) way of life.
    In case all you said is true (and I have no reason to not believe you), then I congratulate. I mean, even if one does not “believe” in AGW, a cleaner environment is still highly beneficial for everyone, is it not?

    The biggest problem these days is that many “old” industries don’t want to lose their existence. For instance, almost everything is based on oil. However, the reserves are declining and will ultimately cease to be. So, we should start to invent new things that do not depend on oil. I think, there is a LOT to do and to invent. Many new and (in terms of environment as a whole) maybe cleaner industries will form, when the old ones go down. This will happen. And the problem is that the “old” ones postpone their doom as long as possible, although they might risk the “doom” of us all.

    The question that I always ask in this context, especially to the “deniers” (just to name those who question the A in AGW):

    Is it worth the risk?

    What if it’s true? And even if it’s not true — a cleaner environment isn’t that bad, is it?

  66. Jonathan Dickson

    I see people here are making the mistake of connecting so-called ‘global warming’ with ‘cleaner environment’. These are two unconnected, completely different matters. We can all do something about cleaning up our part of the environment, and only a slob would not do so. There is nothing, however we can do about ‘man-made global warming’ because it does not exist. The danger is that obsessing about something that does not exist can distract from the important matter of keeping our own back yards clean.

  67. Ozonator

    More from the crowd that wants free organ donations but balks at “studying” for their whizz quiz -

    “Stack of Stuff Quick Hits Page … October 6, 2010 … Story #1: Scientists Don’t Know Anything and God is Amazing … RUSH: You know, ladies and gentlemen … Many scientists don’t know diddly-squat.  In fact, these next two stories are from the “scientists don’t know excrement and God is amazing file.” … We’re being governed by a bunch of stupid idiot jackasses” (the old, ugly and evil Rush “LABI” Limbaugh with Hannity/Noory extremist Republican and Christian outlets for legally killing thy neighbors, SS – Storm Soldier rearing his Pilodinal Cyst Phalanx of willing accomplices and sham brides, and father and mother of Piltdown Man; rushlimbaugh.com).

  68. Nullius in Verba

    #49,

    It wasn’t my intention to re-hash the entire 7-year back-and-forth argument all over again here. It’s rarely productive. The intention was to offer an explanation of Cuccinelli’s strategy, from the point of view of those on the other side of the debate. Whether you think Mann’s Hockeystick is solid or not, a lot of people are already familiar with argument and evidence that has convinced them that it’s not, more so than for virtually any other topic, so it makes tactical sense for us to hold the battle there.

    By the pro-CAGW camp rallying round to defend Mann, the validity and honesty of MBH98/99 becomes their perceived core position in the eyes of watchers. Or at least, a significant part of it. If we then discredit MBH98/99 in the eyes of the undecided, then a lot of the credibility of CAGW goes with it. They see you defending a position they know to be false.

    I don’t expect you to do anything about it. (In fact, I don’t want you to.) But I don’t think there’s any harm in discussing it as a possible strategy.

    “Can I see a specific source, perhaps?”

    I thought I just gave you one: Mann’s ‘censored’ directory.

    “That is only the case if the problems are sufficient to invalidate the results.”

    Depends what you mean by “invalidate”. If you mean “prove the conclusion is incorrect” then no, it doesn’t. If you mean “the flaws are sufficient to break the chain of logic from data to conclusion” then I’d say yes it does.

    Suppose, for the sake of simplifying the argument, I devise a new method of reconstructing historic temperature from random numbers. I generate a few hundred autocorrelated sequences of random numbers from ‘psychic’ monkeys with typewriters, pick out those sequences that correlate most strongly with the measured temperature data (some monkeys are more psychic than others) during a period when it was getting warmer, scaling and offsetting to line them up (including turning some series upside down if the correlation is negative), and then weight the series by how well they match. The resulting weighted average, which covers a longer period than we have direct measurements for, is my reconstruction. How well does it do?

    Well, the correlations of the final result with the instrumental record during the calibration periods look excellent. For the various historic periods, we get R-squared values 0.414, 0.483, 0.487, 0.643, 0.688, 0.691, 0.714, 0.734, 0.750, 0.752, 0.759. Looks pretty good!

    And then we check the results against an out-of-sample instrumental data set that wasn’t used to weight the monkeys; the verification period. We get R-squared of 0.018, 0.010, 0.006, 0.004, 0.00003, 0.013, 0.156, 0.050, 0.122, 0.154, 0.189. Hmm. Not so good.

    Judging by those results, do you think my ‘psychic monkeys’ method is actually working and reconstructing the temperature? Evidently it is, so long as you pick the right metric. Do you think I should publish those numbers along with my reconstruction? No, of course I shouldn’t! It’s the sort of ‘dirty laundry’ that could be deliberately misinterpreted by opponents. Does fixing the ‘problems’ with the statistical analysis raised by those opponents “make a difference”? What would you expect?

    Now of course, since I’m a sceptic, it’s no great surprise that my ‘method’ of reconstructing temperature would involve something stupid like an aeroplane-load of psychic monkeys. Laugh away!
    But this sort of stuff is being taken seriously by millions, and we all have to deal with the consequences.

  69. Peter

    @ Bruce

    Sure! Way more important things!

    What are your qualifications to exactly that allow you to gauge climate science? On what grounds do you arrive at the conclusions that climate science is a scam?

    Prediction: you are utterly unqualified to judge what is science and what is not. You have no appreciable knowledge about science. Just like 9/11 deniers, self proclaimed “experts” who clai the actual experts to be amateurs.

  70. Lawrence

    At the end of the day, because “Cooch” was forced to alter his subpeona by the judge, the one paper he can go after (it didn’t use federal funds, only state) isn’t even about “Global Warming” – so this whole exercise has gone from pretty pointless to insanely pointless – unless it is all about the politics.

    Which it is.

    Although I’m one state north of Virginia, I’m still embarrassed.

  71. Michel

    Can´t Michael Mann and the UvA sue Cuccinelli for slander or something like that?

  72. hevach

    Michel, I’m not a lawyer, but his recourse is probably pretty limited. The Michigan assistant AG had to paint a swastika on a college kid’s family home while on paid time before he got suspended, and there are laws protecting officials that are pretty much an iron shield – the victim still has no legal recourse against the AAG and he probably can’t lose his job over it. And the current U of M situation isn’t even the worst thing our AG’s office has done the last four years. If some of the stuff Michigan’s AG and AAGs have gotten away with stands up in court (like letting sheriffs take recovered stolen cars for force use instead of returning them to their owners), I doubt pursuing a dismissed case is going to be anything more than something to use against him in the election.

  73. Pete Jackson

    Virginia needs all the money it can get to start building dikes along it’s extensive Atlantic and Chesapeake coastline as global warming inexorably raises the sea level.
    One major hurricane is all that it would take to sweep Tangier Island clean; that same hurricane would inundate up to a hundred billion dollars worth of other Virginia shoreline. But no government there, conservative or liberal has the guts to present the people of Virginia with this very “Inconvenient Truth”.

    But it can be done; look at the Netherlands – start building the dikes now!

  74. Steve Metzler

    If there’s been a witch hunt anywhere, its been directed against the scientists who are skeptical of AGW.

    Nice false dichotomy there. Are scientists like Lindzen being *taken to court for fraud* over papers they have published? Didn’t think so.

    What really bugs me about the whole affair is this canard that just won’t die: that the hockey stick is somehow ‘broken’. Deniers take this as a given; it’s like a mantra for them. But the reality is far from it. The statistical approach used by Mann et. al. has been examined in several peer reviewed papers since 1998, and though a more rigorous statistical approach produces *slightly different* results, they are *not substantively different*. The hockey stick is still there when the dust settles. Other paleo climate reconstructions using coral, ice cores, boreholes, glaciers, stalagmites, etc. also produce hockey sticks.

    The hockey stick is NOT broken, no matter how much some people wish that it were. That, of course, is the main problem here. First we need to get the public to see that there is a problem, and then we will have the collective will to do something about it.

  75. Kris

    @75, Steve Netzler:

    “The statistical approach used by Mann et. al. has been examined in several peer reviewed papers since 1998, and though a more rigorous statistical approach produces *slightly different* results, they are *not substantively different*.”

    But different results prove that MBH98 is a flawed paper. The flaw may not invalidate the conclusions, but the paper itself is flawed, and should be explicitly retracted or corrected. Period.

    Climate scientists are partially at fault here, because by unnecessarily defending MBH98, they have allowed their opponent to paint it as a cornerstone of global warming. Hence, it is enough to show that MBH98 is flawed to convince the public that AGW is fake. Given that MBH98 is indeed flawed, this is a lost battle.

    The case for AGW is solid enough without MBH98 anyway, and should be presented as such.

  76. Mike G

    Wow Bunny, your estimate of sea level rise is very comforting (and what method did you use to arrive at this figure?). At this very moment, the streets in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale are under 6 inches of water due to the high tide. It really puts me at ease to know that the water down town will ONLY get another 2 feet deeper if we let AGW run its course.

  77. Steve Metzler

    But different results prove that MBH98 is a flawed paper.

    No, they don’t! Analysis using a different statistical approach is almost always going to produce different results. The question is: how *much* different? If you can superimpose the resulting temperature anamoly plots on each other, and you have to squint hard to tell the difference, then they are not *subtantively different*.

    Trying to say the MBH98 paper is fundamentally flawed for very minor reasons is disingenuous at best.

  78. hevach

    Kris, I’d be infinitely more concerned if a different method of statistical analysis gave the exact same result.

    I only had the lowest level intro course in college, there were two more courses of statistics just at the undergrad level, but I still learned at least a dozen different ways of doing basically the same few things with data sets. Even the textbook examples, carefully crafted to give clean results all around and not get into nasty irrational numbers or long decimals at any point in the process, didn’t give identical results if you used different methods on them. Real data sets are even less cooperative.

  79. Daffy

    #71 “Can´t Michael Mann and the UvA sue Cuccinelli for slander or something like that?”

    There is a concept in law called malicious prosecution. I am not a lawyer, but I did use it to stop a neighbor who was harassing me. It worked—but I don’t know if it would apply here or not. Any lawyers around?

  80. Stripe

    Forget about suing for slander, sue the state to recoup the funds the university has expended in the Mann defense. That would bring to light who the actual party is that is “wasting” tax payers dollars for political gain.

  81. Jearley

    Daffy #80:
    I checked the VA malicious prosecution citations, and if it could be shown that there was no probable cause, then malice is presumed, and yes, Cuccinelli could be indicted. Showing malice on his part does not imply that there is no probable cause however. I’m not a lawyer, so I am not sure whether including questionable statistics in your paper constitutes probable cause, but it seems to me that Mann might have a case here. Too bad it is not in Maryland, so that Mann could challenge Cuccinelli to a judicial duel (still on the books for some accusations, according to one interpretation)

  82. Paul in Sweden

    It is hard to keep up with all of this consensus science.

    Settled science: Can everyplace really be warming much faster than everyplace else?
    [Africa: Allegedly warming faster than the global average]

    Prof Gordon Conway, the outgoing chief scientist at the British government’s Department for International Development, and former head of the philanthropic Rockefeller Foundation, said in a scientific paper that the continent is already warming faster than the global average

    North Pole Heating Faster than anywhere else

    Many scientists seem mystified as to why the North Polar region is warming up several times faster than the rest of the planet.

    Australia warming faster than rest of globe, climate report says

    Kuwait: Alarm as Gulf waters warm three times faster than average

    The seawater temperature in Kuwait Bay has been increasing at three times the global average rate since 1985

    Antarctic air is warming faster than rest of world – Times Online

    AIR temperatures above the entire frozen continent of Antarctica have risen three times faster than the rest of the world during the past 30 years.

    Tibet warming up faster than anywhere in the world | Reuters

    (Reuters) – Tibet is warming up faster than anywhere else in the world, Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.

    European temperatures rising faster than world average, report says – The New York Times

    Sundarbans water warming faster than global average

    In the Sundarbans, surface water temperature has been rising at the rate of 0.5 degree Celsius per decade over the past three decades, eight times the rate of global warming, says a new study.

    Climate change heating up China faster than rest of the world – report

    In a new report, the China Meteorological Administration now says climate change is heating up the People’s Republic faster than the rest of the world

    Global warming hits Mars too: study

    Global warming could be heating Mars four times faster than Earth due to a mutually reinforcing interplay of wind-swept dust and changes in reflected heat from the Sun, according to a study released Wednesday.

    Spain warming faster than rest of northern hemisphere: study

    The country has experienced average temperature increases of 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade since 1975, a rate that is “50 percent superior to the average of nations in the northern hemisphere”, the study by the Spanish branch of the Clivar research network found.

    U.S. West warming faster than rest of world: study

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The U.S. West is heating up at nearly twice the rate of the rest of the world and is likely to face more drought conditions in many of its fast-growing cities, an environmental group said on Thursday.

    A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open « Climate Audit

    Four of the top 10 are now from the 1930s: 1934, 1931, 1938 and 1939, while only 3 of the top 10 are from the last 10 years (1998, 2006, 1999). Several years (2000, 2002, 2003, 2004) fell well down the leaderboard, behind even 1900.

    Global warming is occurring twice as fast in the Arctic as in the rest of the world

    Lake Superior is Warming [much stronger than the global average]

    The really striking thing here is that the long-term trend in Superior is so much stronger than the global average. Well, we know that the upper midwest is warming more rapidly than the global average, but not this much more rapidly.

    Himalayas warming faster than global average

    New Delhi, June 4 (IANS) Northwestern Himalayas has become 1.4 degrees Celsius warmer in the last 100 years, a far higher level of warming than the 0.5-1.1 degrees for the rest of the globe, Indian scientists have found.

    [Korean Peninsula]: Allegedly warming twice the global average]

    According to the Korea Meteorological Administration, the climate has been warming on the Korean Peninsula twice more rapidly than in the rest of the world over the past century.

    Article links here: -http://tinyurl.com/2ax9eb4

    It is hysterical watching the alarmists tripping over their own doomsday predictions.

    Climategate has disappeared only to the anti-science crowd putting their fingers in their ears and going “Lalalalala we can’t hear you”. Virginia is going ahead with new CIDs against UVa in the format advised by the courts in a preliminary action to determine if the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act(VFATA) has been violated. In the UK Parliament is going ahead with it’s inquiries after the outcry against the three Climategate whitewashes there.

    Sooner or later religion will enter the courtroom again just like the Scopes trial. Global Warming will square off against science and we will see beliefs confronted with evidence.

  83. Lazlo's Other

    What is being overlooked here is the quality of papers that Cuccinelle uses in his CID to the UVA. He relies on Soon/Blias, Mcyntire/McKitrick, and the Wegman report. all of these papers have been exposed as being seriously flawed. The CID is weak, as no reason to suspect fraud has been given. Reading Cuccinelli’s drivel will give you a headache.

    The worst of the lot is the Wegman report. Wegman appears to be guilty of plagiarism, citation padding, misrepresentation of other people’s work and quite possibly of the intent to decieive Congress. The details are at http://deepclimate.org/. Wegman works for GMU, Cucinelli’s alma mater. In addition to plagiarism in the Wegman report, several doctoral thesis’ completed under Wegman’s guidance also appear to have extensive plagiarism problems. One wonders why Cucinelli (or GMU) is not concerned about this. RealClimate has information regarding the inadequacies of Soon/Blias & Mcyntire/McKitrick, as well as others who have attacked Mann’s work.

    One wonders why the main-stream press doesn’t dig a little deeper into Cucinelli, Wegman, and GMU.

  84. Tribeca Mike
  85. t_p_hamilton

    Paul in Sweden has a cut and paste, and no understanding. The warming is fastest at high northern latitudes. Slowest over the oceans, which make up 2/3 of the planet. Maybe he can figure out why there are many reports that warming of country X are above the global rate.

  86. Gary Ansorge

    Climate deniers funded by large energy producers, like Exxon/Mobile and coal producers understand quite well that money will flow from the old methodologies to the new(solar power/nuclear/power sats. etc). That money will come from sales of stock in the old companies. Those who own the most such stock cannot initiate mass sales w/o depressing stock prices, therefore, they must obfuscate the debate until they have pulled out most/all of THEIR money(which, when talking about major energy corporations is trillions of dollars and will take decades to accomplish) while encouraging small, bamboozeled investors to remain, buying their old corp. stock and keeping the stock prices up, until it becomes obvious to even the least informed and a catastrophic stock price collapse ensues. By that time the big investors will have moved their money into recyclable technologies.

    See how easy that was?

    Gary 7

  87. MarkB

    What’s funny about Cucinelli’s reasoning is that it’s no longer about allegations of fraud (which has been repeatedly exposed as nothing more than defamation). It’s now about claiming there is wrongdoing because someone thinks there’s something wrong about the work. Such conduct on the part of an AG any reasonable person would find offensive.

    Dr. Mann’s paleoclimatic work has been reproduced and supported by many other independent studies. The most recent one I read concludes:

    “Although partly different data and methods have been used in our reconstruction than in Moberg et al. (2005) and Mann et al. (2008), the result is surprisingly similar. The inclusion of additional records would probably not substantially change the overall picture of the temperature variability.”

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2010.00399.x/pdf

    Climate science has been under attack for decades by fossil fuel interests and “free market” ideologues opposed to any significant action to reduce emissions. The fact that it continues today is very sad.

  88. Tribeca Mike

    Paul in Sweden — For your argument the Scopes trial is a bad analogy, being that it was a set-up job by local anti-evolution preachers, politicians, and Mr. Scopes himself. Unfortunately, most people get their information about the trial from the entertaining but wildly inaccurate play and movie “Inherit The Wind.” I recommend Edward J. Larson’s recent well-researched book “Summer For The Gods: The Scopes Trial And America’s Continuing Debate Over Science And Religion” as an antidote.

    As for Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda, the only known antidotes are the truth and the remote.

  89. Chris Winter

    Paul in Sweden: Until you reproduce a similar headline for every place on Earth, your argument cuts no ice. ;-)

  90. Chris Winter

    Reidh wrote: You know you take on faith all of these scientists statements that Man is the One and ONLY cause of any “detected” “global” warming. When You are no more competent to review the data than I am. And you and all the other people who think that it is Man and ONLY man who is causing anything to the earth, are overlooking the question of, What caused the “Ice Age” and especially, then what ended the “Ice Age”. The FACT IS, neither you nor I know that, but we do know that it wasn’t humans. Your smug bias which is obvious from your pseudo coverage of these issues, is disgusting to anybody who is willing to be intellectually honest.

    That’s exactly the kind of comment that makes a snarky riposte so damn tempting. But once again I’ll refrain. I see that Kid Cool answered you better and more calmly than I would have right now.

    If you have any evidence to back up your assertions, I’d love to see it. All I see today is that we have the evidence and you have the faith.

  91. Chris Winter

    Nullius in Verba (#68) wrote: “Depends what you mean by “invalidate”. If you mean “prove the conclusion is incorrect” then no, it doesn’t. If you mean “the flaws are sufficient to break the chain of logic from data to conclusion” then I’d say yes it does.”

    How are these two conditions different? By my lights they are essentially identical. Yet you say the first does not invalidate the results, while the second one does.

  92. Chris Winter

    Kris (#76) wrote: “But different results prove that MBH98 is a flawed paper. The flaw may not invalidate the conclusions, but the paper itself is flawed, and should be explicitly retracted or corrected. Period.”

    Fortuntely, scientific ppers do not hve to be flwless to be judged vlid. I men, you understnd wht I’m trying to sy here, don’t you?

    Yet that last paragraph has a significant, intentional flaw.

    At the behest of Congress, the MBH98 paper has been examined by an expert panel chosen by the National Research Council. While this panel found some procedural errors, it upheld the paper’s conclusion that the latter decades of the twentieth century were warmer than any time in the previous 400 years. More recently, several independent efforts have produced results much like it, extending farther back in time. So you see that MBH98 has been substantially vindicated.

    Putting it briefly, there’s very little to criticize in MBH98, and even less in Mann’s later work. Yet it’s typical of Denialists that they zero in on the slightest flaw to claim that completely invalidates the study in which it’s found.

    No one would so much as graduate from high school if that sort of standard were applied.

  93. Mike G

    Nice work Paul. You managed to show a lot of places that are warming faster than the average rate for either the hemispheric or global average. Only one of them claims to be the fastest rate of warming anywhere, which naturally only one can (at least until it’s dethroned by a later measurement). Assuming the rate of warming at all sites is normally distributed, fully half of the world should be warming faster than the global average (aka the rest of the world). You think your list of places warming faster than the average proves exactly what?

  94. Chris Winter

    By my count there are 13 comments in this thread that assert — without evidence — that AGW is false in whole or in part. Their numbers are #18, 32, 33, 36, 40, 42, 43, 56, 63, 66, 68, 73, and 76.

    Since there were 91 comments when I started, that’s a dissent rate of over 14 percent.

    A far higher percentage of people disputes the truth of climate change among the general population than among those whose careers give them some exposure to the evidence pro and con. I guess, as Don McLeroy has said, “Somebody’s got to stand up to the experts.”

    But personally I find this behavior very troubling.

  95. Floyd

    “The hockey stick is NOT broken, no matter how much some people wish that it were. That, of course, is the main problem here. First we need to get the public to see that there is a problem, and then we will have the collective will to do something about it.”

    But–the real problem brought up by the hockey stick graph is that it’s:

    (1) inconvenient to a bunch of people (for instance, sellers and purchasers of oversize trucks or poorly insulated houses),

    (2) not nearly as profitable as the status quo.

  96. In other news Edward Wegman lawyers up as George Mason University opens an investigation into professional misconduct and plagiarism in his report to Congress which tried to trash Michael Mann.

  97. Dave Huntsman

    With clowns like this winning office in Virginia, I’m ashamed I live here. Worse, though, from Delaware to Nevada to New York to Florida there are even more anti-science, anti-thinking boobs still on ballots.

  98. Old Muley

    [sigh] what will our grandchildren say [/sigh]

  99. Paul in Sweden

    “99. Old Muley Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    [sigh] what will our grandchildren say [/sigh]“

    Hmmm… Maybe… “Hey grandpa, you weren’t a member of that eco-cult that went around like crazy people telling everyone the world was going to end because of cow farts and CO2, that we read about in theology class – were you?” :)

  100. Steve Metzler

    For the first time since ‘Climategate’ broke, I am seeing a bit of turnabout on these climate-related threads, which is very encouraging. Almost without exception, every discussion here on AGW ends with Paul in Sweden (or, one or two others. Not going to name them because I don’t want to encourage them) posting his usual copy-and-paste screed and driving the other posters away out of abject frustration (I no longer read anything he posts. I’m pretty sure other people here feel the same way).

    But now I see other posters here, many of whose monikers I don’t even recognise, pitching in to fight the pseudoscientific claptrap. Well done, folks. Face it. All the Noise Machine™ has left is:

    *crickets*

  101. Sean McCorkle

    Nullis@45:

    …The right answer calculated by the wrong method is wrong, …

    I’m afraid thats just wrong. The sciences are absolutely filled with all sorts of estimations of various accuracies and refinements ranging from Fermi Estimation to advanced statistical methods. Rough estimations are not necessarily wrong. They’re just rough estimations, and often thats enough to reach a conclusion. And as I’ve said before, rather than spend time finding better estimation methods on the same data, its often considered better to find completely independent ways to confirm the initial results, because even a thorough analysis with the “correct” methods might have a flaw, seen or unseen. Often there are followups published after an initial work that refine the analysis (and often with more data). Mann, et. al. and the subsequent followups, i.e. the criticisms yet affirmations of the basic conclusions seen in the 2006 NAS (Nature 441, 1032-1033 (29 June 2006) ) – thats business as usual in science. The machine is working and is on course.

    …and to stubbornly retain, reuse, and republish it because “the errors don’t matter” betrays precisely the attitude to science that is at issue.

    If you mean republish in a professional journal, thats a failure of the journal. If you mean republish in the wider media, well unfortunately there’s a lot of disconnect between science and the media.

  102. Chris Winter

    This just in: Dr. Mann speaks out in a Washington Post op-ed.

    “Get the anti-science bent out of politics”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705484_pf.html

  103. Steve Metzler

    Some succinct yet profound words by Michael Mann there in the article that Chris Winter linked to in #103. And this just in as well, from an article in USA Today:

    GMU spokesman Daniel Walsch confirms that the university, located in Fairfax, Va., is now investigating allegations that the Wegman report was partly plagiarized and contains fabrications. . .

    Maybe it will finally happen: the world wakes up to the FUD it has been spoon-fed by the vested interests of the fossil fuel industry.

  104. Bob

    So, “No shenanigans” in the emails. I guess we will just take your word for it. Global Warming certainly can’t be JUNK SCIENCE, pushed by the political class to further their agenda. Its so nice to know your on the case.

  105. SLC

    Re Paul in Sweden @ #83

    Sooner or later religion will enter the courtroom again just like the Scopes trial. Global Warming will square off against science and we will see beliefs confronted with evidence.

    I seem to have heard this song warbled somewhere before. Oh yes, Dr. Dumbski warbled a similar tune as to how he was going to devastate the evolutionary scientists in the Dover trial. Funny thing, Dr. Dumbski never showed up. Some might argue that he has some chicken feathers where his competitive spirit ought to be. However, he was probably smarter then Dr. Behe whose scientific reputation, such as it was, was destroyed under cross examination.

  106. GK4

    @ 39 and 70: My guess is that this Kook is onto plan C. He didn’t get the main witch-hunt he wanted, and he probably won’t get far with the current fishing expedition. But the beauty of this kind of legal harassment is deterrence. The University of Virginia and other institutions will now think twice about pursuing climate research. Less knowledge is a goal of these willful Know-Nothings.

    @ 74: I expect he would reflexively oppose anything that sounds like “dike”. Gotta keep the moral majority on your side.

  107. Lazlo's Other

    Eli brings good news regarding Wegman. An investigation into his “report” is long overdue, and the entire climate community owes John Mashey debt of gratitude.

    As for Cuccinelli, his CID relies on the Wegman report and this further discredits an already lame brained attempt to grand-stand for the right wing. This will end up hurting the Cooch, and could put him in some trouble with the courts as well as with the voters in Virginia. My bet is that the CID gets slapped down hard.

    I haven’t felt this good in a while.

  108. Gunnar

    I take some encouragement from the fact that even Roy Spencer, whom Rush Limbaugh used to extoll as the “Official Climatologist of EIB” because of his anti-AGW views, is now coming around to the realization that global warming is indeed occuring at an alarming rate, is largely man-caused, and that we need to start finding ways to mitigate it. It seems that the minority of scientists who continue to deny AGW is shrinking faster than the Greenland Icecap!

  109. Nullius in Verba

    #92,

    The difference between proving the conclusion is wrong and proving that the premises do not imply the conclusions is clear. For example “Blue is God’s favourite colour, therefore the sky is blue” does not follow, but proving that there’s a gap in the logic does not imply that the conclusion, that the sky is blue, is false. In this case it happened to be true, but in other examples it might not be.

    Mann’s Hockeystick conclusion not only does not follow, but also is incorrect. But the flaws in the paper only demonstrate the first of these, not the second.

    #93,

    The NAS panel said in evidence that they agreed entirely with the Wegman report about the failure of the statistics. The reduction of the period from 1400 years to 400 years is an empty face-saving move. Everybody knows about the LIA, so to say it’s been warming for 400 years is not news, and not controversial.

    #102,

    I’m not talking about approximations, which can be correct when recognised as such. I’m talking about wrong, as in inclined to give completely the wrong answer.

  110. Sean McCorkle

    @110

    Just to clarify, you’re claiming that Mann, et. al. were not just being sloppy, they were outright wrong?

  111. TheBlackCat

    @ Nullius: I found this response by Mann on the “Censored” directory;

    Here are the issues:
    1) How do you explain the existence of the directory BACKTO_1400-CENSORED on Mann’s ftp-server? MM show that it contains the results of the calculation of the NOAMER PC’s without using the bristlecone pine series, giving a higher NH temperature in the 15th century. ]]

    It is sad that McIntyre and McKitrick have been reduced to scouring our website for things like this, to take out of context, and make false and misleading assertions. We performed a set of sensitivity tests to determine if a skillful reconstruction was available without correcting certain high-elevation tree-ring chronologies for sensitivity to possible non-climatic (e.g. co2-fertilization) effects. These calculations were performed as part of these analyses, after MBH98. This is all discussed quite clearly in our follow-up paper to MBH98 published in the journal GRL in 1999:

    Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K., Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations, Geophysical Research Letters, 26, 759-762, 1999.

    This claim by MM is just another in a series of disingenuous (off the record: plainly dishonest) allegations by them about our work.

    I shouldn’t be surprised it was McIntyre and McKitrick who are responsible for this one, too. They have a long history of dishonest and totally flawed attacks on the hockey stick. I don’t know why anyone listens to anything they say anymore.

    Do you have anything by anyone with even the slightest shred of honesty?

  112. TheBlackCat

    The NAS panel said in evidence that they agreed entirely with the Wegman report about the failure of the statistics.

    …and then someone actually bothered to implement the suggestions of the Wegman report, and it didn’t significantly change the results.

    As I said before, it is not sufficient to show there were flaws in the satistics, you need to show that the flaws actually have a significant impact on the results. If they don’t then the flaws are not relevant.

  113. Kris

    #93 Chris Winter:

    “At the behest of Congress, the MBH98 paper has been examined by an expert panel chosen by the National Research Council. While this panel found some procedural errors, it upheld the paper’s conclusion”

    That’s the whole problem. Mann has produced a correct result, but using flawed methods. We now know that his result was correct (because other people have gotten it independently), but that does not mean that his original paper was flawless. Arguing so is a lost battle.

  114. TheBlackCat

    @ Nullius: I don’t think you quite understand how statistics work. Using sub-optimal data sets and/or statistics will not necessarily render your results totally invalid. It may mean that the results are just slightly off from the real values. That is what the reviews of Mann’s work concluded, and what no scientists dispute: the approaches weren’t perfect, but they were good enough to give results that were very close to the optimal results.

    You seem to be arguing that the fact that there was slight issues with his statistics means that it is a total coincidence that his results are mostly correct. That may be true when dealing with formal logic or arithmetic, but statistics is, by definition, much fuzzier. When dealing with fuzzy mathematics subjects, less-than-optimal approaches can still be mostly valid.

    This is especially true if the assumptions used in a statistical technique are mostly, but not completely, valid. The closer the assumptions are to be true, the closer the results are to being optimal (the idea of having “correct” results in statistics is really flawed, since statistics by definition only deals with approximations of reality).

    To give a specific example, a Poisson process is used to model everything from arrivals at a grocery store checkout to emissions of photons of light. It assumes that the time of arrival of one of whatever is being measured is independent of the time of arrival of any other. However, when dealing with grocery store queues, the times are not perfectly independent. For instance the automatic door being just triggered by one person may slightly delay or speed up the next person, or a blockage in the isle may change a bunch of peoples’ timing similarly. But those issues are small enough that a Poisson process is still a good technique for representing this system. The failure of the assumptions means the results may not be optimal, but they are still pretty good.

    That is what the reviews essentially argued. The techniques were good so they give good results, but they were not optimal so they do not give the best possible results. The results and approaches were both valid, but they were not the absolute best possible.

  115. Kris

    @113 TheBlackCat:

    “As I said before, it is not sufficient to show there were flaws in the satistics, you need to show that the flaws actually have a significant impact on the results. If they don’t then the flaws are not relevant.”

    The problem is that McIntyre has demonstrated that Mann’s algorithm was producing hockey sticks when fed with random data. Your argument is akin to saying that a calculator which produces result “4″ for every operation is fine, because we are only interested in calculating 2+2, and never 4+3.

  116. TheBlackCat

    By the way, here is my source of the Mann quote (put in a separate post because of the mod filter):

    http://www.natutech.nl/00/nt/nl/49/nieuws/2299/index.html

  117. TheBlackCat

    @ Kris: This has already been addressed.

    Short version: it is not sufficient to simply show the plots are similar-looking, since if you try enough time it is possible to fit anything with random data the way McIntyre and McKitrick did. That is why we have specific statistical tests to determine whether the results of such an analysis are different than what you would expect from purely random inputs.

    Mann had already done those tests when McIntyre and McKitrick posted that criticsm, and they passed. When you apply those same tests to McIntyre and McKitrick’s random data, the tests fail.

    In other words, Mann had already checked to make sure McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticisms were false before they even made them, and the results of those tests were published in his paper.

    That is why I requested earlier for something from someone with the slightest bit of integrity. McIntyre and McKitrick have none whatsoever.

    Here is a link to a more detailed explanation:
    www. realclimate. org /index.php/archives/2005/01/on-yet-another-false-claim-by-mcintyre-and-mckitrick/

  118. Nullius in Verba

    #111,

    Yes. Although what I’ve said here doesn’t cover that, and it’s a long and complicated diversion, so I’m not going to try to assert it. I’m just saying that just because I’m saying flaws in the Hockeystick don’t imply that the conclusion is incorrect, that isn’t an admission on my part that it’s correct. It’s a different discussion.

    #112,

    None of that is disputed, and none of that contradicts anything that I said about it. If you make slightly different choices about the inputs, you can get reconstructions of different shapes, and this was just one example. There are plenty of others.

    And I would note in passing that just because Mann has said something doesn’t necessarily make it so. To always take Mann’s word as gospel and dismiss McIntyre’s as dishonest is begging the question. As Mann well knows, the reason they were “reduced” to searching the ftp site is that Mann refused to tell them what they needed to know to replicate the reconstruction. When they asked for clarification of the method and confirmation that they had the right data and interpretation before publishing, he wouldn’t reply.

    #113,

    There are several examples where the authors claimed to have fixed the problems but actually didn’t. (Or simply introduced entirely new problems, like upside-down Tiljander in Mann08.) There are several examples where many of the problems were fixed, and a different result was obtained. The most recent being Ljungqvist 2010. Note that just because I cite it doesn’t mean I believe it – I simply note that multiple interpretations are possible.

    But as I said before, this is missing the point. An incorrect method that only gets the ‘right’ answer by coincidence is unacceptable. If somebody calculates the fraction 95/19 by cancelling the 9′s on top and bottom to get 5/1, that’s invalid arithmetic. If you did that in elementary school, you’d get it marked wrong.

    You not only need to be able to calculate the right answer, you need to know that it is the right answer. If you want to rely on other studies reaching the same conclusion, then fine. Drop MBH98 and rely on those other studies. But keeping MBH98 just because you like the conclusion, or for sentimental value, even though you know it’s full of holes is just silly.

    Moreover, it just gives people like Cuccinelli the opportunity to batter you with it repeatedly. The excuse that “the errors don’t matter” is illogical and unscientific and doesn’t convince anyone, so keeping on using it just turns more and more people sceptical.

    #117,
    Mann used a novel and poorly understood statistic instead of the normal ones, and thus calculated the threshold wrongly, as McIntyre/McKittrick subsequently showed. I actually posted the verification statistics above for the Hockeystick (from Wahl & Amman 07), and Mann’s reconstruction failed. What’s more, it’s almost certain that he had already calculated them and knew it.

  119. Kris

    @117 TheBlackCat: Thank you. I will familiarize myself with this.

  120. TheBlackCat

    If you make slightly different choices about the inputs, you can get reconstructions of different shapes, and this was just one example. There are plenty of others.

    Yes, it’s possible to intentionally make bad choices that radically change the results. That is McIntyre’s approach.

    And I would note in passing that just because Mann has said something doesn’t necessarily make it so. To always take Mann’s word as gospel and dismiss McIntyre’s as dishonest is begging the question.

    I don’t have to take Mann’s word for it, he published it in a paper. All I had to do was read the paper.

    As Mann well knows, the reason they were “reduced” to searching the ftp site is that Mann refused to tell them what they needed to know to replicate the reconstruction.
    When they asked for clarification of the method and confirmation that they had the right data and interpretation before publishing, he wouldn’t reply.

    It’s right there in the paper! What more do you want?

    There are several examples where the authors claimed to have fixed the problems but actually didn’t.

    Did you actually check whether they made a difference?

    Or simply introduced entirely new problems, like upside-down Tiljander in Mann08.

    You mean the data that didn’t make a difference whether it was included or not?

    There are several examples where many of the problems were fixed, and a different result was obtained.

    You mean valid fixes? I’ve seen to many “fixes” that were totally bogus.

    The most recent being Ljungqvist 2010.

    You mean the same paper that said this:

    Our temperature reconstruction agrees well with the reconstructions by Moberg et al. (2005) and Mann et al. (2008) with regard to the amplitude of the variability as well as the timing of warm and cold periods, except for the period c.ad300-800, despite significant differences in both data coverage and methodology.

    That is a period, I should add, the Mann 2008 expressed a lack of confidence in, so it is hardly surprising that they ended up being revised. From Mann 2008:

    This conclusion can be extended back to at least the past 1,700 years if tree-ring data are used, but with the additional strong caveats noted. … The reconstructions appear increasingly more sensitive to method and data quality and quantity before A.D. 1600 and, particularly, before approximately A.D. 1000.

    – end Mann 08 quote

    But as I said before, this is missing the point. An incorrect method that only gets the ‘right’ answer by coincidence is unacceptable. If somebody calculates the fraction 95/19 by cancelling the 9’s on top and bottom to get 5/1, that’s invalid arithmetic. If you did that in elementary school, you’d get it marked wrong.

    I already addressed this. You simply don’t understand statistics. Statistics is not the same as arithmetic.

    Moreover, it just gives people like Cuccinelli the opportunity to batter you with it repeatedly. The excuse that “the errors don’t matter” is illogical and unscientific and doesn’t convince anyone, so keeping on using it just turns more and more people sceptical.

    If flaws actually invalidate the results of a study, then they are usually abandoned. I see it all the time. However, abandoning the results of a study simply because of baseless pressure by the anti-science crowd is, in my opinion, a great way to convince them to step up their attacks. It tells them that simply yelling loudly enough, whether that yelling has any validity or not, is enough to get us to abandon papers they don’t like. I think it is better to take a stand, to make it clear that bullying will not make us abandon good science.

    Mann used a novel and poorly understood statistic instead of the normal ones, and thus calculated the threshold wrongly, as McIntyre/McKittrick subsequently showed. I actually posted the verification statistics above for the Hockeystick (from Wahl & Amman 07), and Mann’s reconstruction failed. What’s more, it’s almost certain that he had already calculated them and knew it.

    Which specific statistic are you referring to? McIntyre posted a lot of different statistical critiques, all of which that I have seen have been debunked. I may have missed one, but you will need to be more specific.

    And I notice you completely skip over my criticism of your description of statistics.

  121. Nullius in Verba

    “Yes, it’s possible to intentionally make bad choices that radically change the results. That is McIntyre’s approach.”

    If you intentionally include Bristlecones and the Gaspe cedar series, even though you know they aren’t temperature proxies, you can get Hockeysticks. Or are you saying that Bristlecones are a “good” choice?

    “I don’t have to take Mann’s word for it, he published it in a paper.”

    The distinctiong being…?

    “It’s right there in the paper! What more do you want?”

    The information required to replicate the result is not in the paper. There is a general overall description, but essential details are omitted.

    “Did you actually check whether they made a difference?”

    Did you actually check they fixed the problems reported in Wegman?

    “You mean the same paper that said this:”

    Yes, that one. I looked at the data.

    “This conclusion can be extended back to at least the past 1,700 years if tree-ring data are used, but with the additional strong caveats noted. “

    I’m told the team have subsequently withdrawn that conclusion. The admission was found buried away in a blog thread in a comment by Gavin.

    “I already addressed this. You simply don’t understand statistics. Statistics is not the same as arithmetic.”

    It was an analogy. Statistics can be done incorrectly, and getting a correct answer by incorrect mathematics (that isn’t even an approximation) is just as wrong as cancelling digits. I understand it well enough.

    “Which specific statistic are you referring to? McIntyre posted a lot of different statistical critiques, all of which that I have seen have been debunked.”

    I was referring to the RE threshold, and the failure of the R2 verification. Getting an r-squared of 0.00003 between your reconstruction and the instrumental data and claiming it passed the test is ridiculous.

    “And I notice you completely skip over my criticism of your description of statistics.”

    I assume you mean “Using sub-optimal data sets and/or statistics will not necessarily render your results totally invalid. It may mean that the results are just slightly off from the real values.”

    I agree. It may. But if you use data sets that are known not to be temperature proxies, process them with a method that is now known to over-emphasise a particular outcome, such that the non-proxies end up being weighted tens to hundreds of times greater than the rest of the data, we can have no confidence that the results are even close.

    Some of those trees were subsequently resampled, and it was found you could get two completely different results in different cores from the same tree! One wiggled around doing nothing special, and the other shot up 6 sigmas in a massive ramp at the end. It’s proposed that it’s because they’re strip-bark trees – the bark stripped off one side causes the other side to grow faster to compensate. Tree rings are often elliptical or irregular or distorted – it’s a well-known problem in dendrology. (Next time you visit Mann’s homepage, take a close look at the rings in that log he’s leaning on.) Whatever the explanation might be, a tree that gives two completely different results simultaneously is not responding to temperature. So when it constitutes by far the biggest contribution to your temperature reconstruction, something is obviously wrong.

    Likewise, when trendless red noise gives hockeysticks, something’s wrong. When the verification R2 falls to 0.00003, something’s wrong. When you’ve included precipitation series, and mislocated and mislabelled them, and done peculiar extrapolations to fill in data and transpositions between columns, and used out-of-date data, and nobody noticed, something’s wrong. This isn’t just a little bit wrong, it’s massively wrong.

    But I’m giving it up at this point. You can continue to believe it’s been validated if you like. But I’m telling you, trying to defend it just encourages and propagates scepticism from anybody willing to examine the details with an open mind. This is why Cuccinelli is doing it – because he knows he can rely on you to continue to defend the indefensible.

  122. Sean McCorkle

    Nullius, this

    Just to clarify, you’re claiming that Mann, et. al. were not just being sloppy, they were outright wrong?

    Yes.

    Seems to say “yes they were outright wrong” but the following

    I’m just saying that just because I’m saying flaws in the Hockeystick don’t imply that the conclusion is incorrect, that isn’t an admission on my part that it’s correct.

    seems to say that the were not necessarily wrong, which are two different things.

    The reason I press this point is that there seems to be a widely held view that Mann committed scientific fraud and that Cuccinelli is doing the right thing to investigate. My question is: what is the precisely is the act of fraud? Doing analysis incorrectly (if that were even true) doesn’t even begin to qualify for such a strong charge.

  123. TheBlackCat

    If you intentionally include Bristlecones and the Gaspe cedar series, even though you know they aren’t temperature proxies, you can get Hockeysticks. Or are you saying that Bristlecones are a “good” choice?

    Did you even look at Mann 08? That did the analysis without relying on tree ring data at all and it didn’t significantly change the results.

    The distinctiong being…?

    The distinction being he explained the methods in the results. McIntyre acted like it was some big revelation that Mann had done this, but he explained what he did and he explained why. It is easy enough to verify whether the reasons are valid, but McIntyre just threw them back in.

    The information required to replicate the result is not in the paper. There is a general overall description, but essential details are omitted.

    Which specific details are those?

    Did you actually check they fixed the problems reported in Wegman?

    I’ve read the analysis that includes the fixes. Have you?

    I’m told the team have subsequently withdrawn that conclusion. The admission was found buried away in a blog thread in a comment by Gavin.

    So they do withdraw results that are incorrect. This refutes your entire argument that they refuse to withdraw results when they are shown to be flawed

    It was an analogy. Statistics can be done incorrectly, and getting a correct answer by incorrect mathematics (that isn’t even an approximation) is just as wrong as cancelling digits. I understand it well enough.

    It is a horribly flawed analogy. You still have not provided any reason to think that the mathematics are incorrect.

    I was referring to the RE threshold, and the failure of the R2 verification. Getting an r-squared of 0.00003 between your reconstruction and the instrumental data and claiming it passed the test is ridiculous.

    As best as I can tell looking at the literature, RE threshold is a pretty standard approach in climate science due to known limitations on the R^2. It was apparently even in textbooks on the subject even before Mann 98.

    Likewise, when trendless red noise gives hockeysticks, something’s wrong.

    I already addressed this, in a comment you replied to no less.

  124. Paul in Sweden

    101. Steve Metzler Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    For the first time since ‘Climategate’ broke, I am seeing a bit of turnabout on these climate-related threads, which is very encouraging. Almost without exception, every discussion here on AGW ends with Paul in Sweden (or, one or two others. Not going to name them because I don’t want to encourage them) posting his usual copy-and-paste screed and driving the other posters away out of abject frustration (I no longer read anything he posts. I’m pretty sure other people here feel the same way).

    But now I see other posters here, many of whose monikers I don’t even recognise, pitching in to fight the pseudoscientific claptrap. Well done, folks. Face it. All the Noise Machine™ has left is:

    *crickets*

    Steve, always look on the bright side of life, do so as the far left asks today for “Patchy’s” resignation as head of the IPCC, as the UK Parliament continues it’s interviews and investigation after the outcry from both the science community and the public at large regarding the climategate whitewashes that CAGW activists have deluded themselves into thinking CAGW has been vindicated. Reality is a b¤tch! Ignore the international group lead by China & India backing down from the pathetic commitments of COP15 in Denmark last year as the CAGW faithful plan on the IPCC COP16 fellowship meeting in Mexico this year. Hold your breath, so you do not expel any CO2 as you wish upon a faraway star for your hopes of an election victory in America for the CAGW movement.

    With 2 out of every 3 democrats realizing CAGW is little to be concerned you have to keep the faith.

    CAGW will meet science in the courtroom one day soon.

    Hey did you hear that in New Zealand a Science Skeptics group took the religion of CAGW to court regarding the New Zealand Temperature Record that New Zealand’s CAGW ETS program was based upon and in the past few weeks the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) filed a response stating that there actually isn’t an official temp record in New Zealand(7SS & 11SS) although they are produced by NIWA and maintained on their data servers.

    Things work different in court than in the “climate science” buddy review where papers are rubber stamped by co-authors and co-conspirators. I am looking forward to Mann and the hockey team’s day in court, aren’t you?

    89. Tribeca Mike Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Paul in Sweden — For your argument the Scopes trial is a bad analogy, being that it was a set-up job by local anti-evolution preachers, politicians, and Mr. Scopes himself. Unfortunately, most people get their information about the trial from the entertaining but wildly inaccurate play and movie “Inherit The Wind.” I recommend Edward J. Larson’s recent well-researched book “Summer For The Gods: The Scopes Trial And America’s Continuing Debate Over Science And Religion” as an antidote.

    As for Rupert Murdoch’s propaganda, the only known antidotes are the truth and the remote.

    As for the Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama supporter Rupert Murdoch I have little to say other than it tickles me to no end that fascists believe every cable & broadcast station must tow the far left party line or be subject to the most vile outbursts.

    Setup job is a good analogy, that is the way most people and scientists view the CAGW movement. Believe what you want, I am not stopping you and I like most people & governments am not joining you either. Hey maybe another twenty or thirty years will tick by with the CAGW movement telling us each and every year that we only have days to save the planet will do the trick. Hope your polar bear suit is made of good fabric it looks like your “climate science” symposiums will go on year after year.

    86. t_p_hamilton Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 11:43 am

    Paul in Sweden has a cut and paste, and no understanding. The warming is fastest at high northern latitudes. Slowest over the oceans, which make up 2/3 of the planet. Maybe he can figure out why there are many reports that warming of country X are above the global rate.

    Copy & pasting one of the many aggregate articles with the multitude of doomsday headlines is all too easy. The majority of the world looks at the daily headlines and just rolls their eyes and think of you and your fellow CAGW activists, some in Polar Bear suits others wearing tinfoil hats. :)

    TP, warming is fastest where ever the activists pump their millions and millions in advertising seeking monetary rewards. Science has nothing to do with CAGW. Follow the money. The Global Warming Industry has been milking this for years. Greenpeace alone requires almost a million a day in donations just to keep the lights on. Windfarms that bilk taxpayers of billions do not get built without millions coming into those Green charities you know. Follow the money. Don’t think that Beyond Petroleum (BP), Exxon, Shell and all the others aren’t in on it too. They are the biggest supporters of the green religion. Green is money and that is what is the new God, the same as the old God.

  125. Chris Winter

    #110,

    Sorry, it won’t wash. You say that MBH98 reaches a bogus conclusion, then immediately turn around and say its conclusion that the twentieth century was warmest “is not news, and not controversial.”

  126. Chris Winter

    Kris (#114) wrote: “That’s the whole problem. Mann has produced a correct result, but using flawed methods. We now know that his result was correct (because other people have gotten it independently), but that does not mean that his original paper was flawless. Arguing so is a lost battle.”

    You and I have a basic disconnect. My understanding is that the flaws in MBH98, when corrected, did not significantly change the shape of the curve. I take that to mean that the original work was substantially correct — which is what the NRC panel said. I’m not aware of anyone trying to claim the paper was flawless.

    And when independent groups repeat the work and get similar results, that is what I understand to be confirmation according to the scientific method. So I really don’t see what justifies this incessant rehashing of the defects in the MBH98 paper.

  127. Paul in Sweden

    @126 Chris Winter

    Days of Unicorns and Pixie Dust are over. Academic freedom is great and should be encouraged but when you build a bridge, a building, a pharmaceutical, or contribute to government policy you have to go into the realm of reality that the rest of the world operates.

    MBH98, MBH99, Bristlecone pines, short centering and principal component analysis will be subject to true and open analysis in a United States court room. Maybe the Virginia AG will get there first maybe the hoard waiting for the United States Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) to finally get their feet wet and attempt to put in place ridiculous restrictions on the US energy economy will get there first. The MBH, climategate, HADCRUT & NASA GISS temp records are all but a few dominoes that will fall.

    Where is the ARGO data?

    Why are meetings on transparency held behind closed doors?

    When discovery proceedings begin for the court cases against the US government regarding CAGW, start the doomsday clock for the religion of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    With 2 out of every three “Democrats” recognizing that CAGW is over stated, think what is going to happen to tales of woe predicted 100 years out without any actual evidence is going to play out in a United States Court room?

    Hey if Cali goes ahead with AB 32 and turns down the California Jobs initiative in November there might be no need for even a court case. When California lays off teachers, when Universities have to cut back on services(even the Republic of Berkley), when California businesses move even faster to Arizona & New Mexico, state furloughs go 2 weeks a month across the board people on the Left Coast are going to wake up.

    OMG, it might happen even faster if the “Mass Wind” Ted Kennedy Wind Farm is actually installed offshore and the leftists in MA see their first electric bills.

    Reality takes time to settle in with some but there is no escaping it. Sweden is doing great. We purchase discount wind power on the spot market from Denmark. Denmark of course subsidizes the Danish wind market and Danish citizens pay some of the highest if not the highest electric rates in all of Europe. Sweden sells Denmark our Nuke and Hydro power at a premium and we have just built the highest number of phrenology clinics or the largest windfarm in the world for the UK that the Swedish national power company is going to rake in billions.

    The activists here at the BA blog are all too willing to delude themselves. Wake up and smell the roses. The radical left does not own science. Science is science. This will all play out in time. Hey, if CAGW does turn out to be true I am going to be really pissed at the activist scientists that were involved because they never produced evidence or reproducible studies that could be evaluated outside of their buddy system.

    Time will tell in the mean time look for some really great court cases.
    :) Paul

  128. Steve Metzler

    Kris, somewhere back there in the thread said:

    The problem is that McIntyre has demonstrated that Mann’s algorithm was producing hockey sticks when fed with random data.

    You actually *believe* that could be possible? Words cannot express how much stoopid there is in that statement. This is the level of gullibility that so-called ‘skeptics’ sign up to.

  129. Mike G

    Kris is conveniently ignoring the fact that while McIntyre showed that noise did sometimes produce hockeystick-like results, the “blade” resulting from noise was an order of magnitude smaller than Mann’s result and was equally as likely to point up as down. The direction and magnitude of Mann’s hockey stick was not sensitive to the analysis method, be it centered PCA, non-centered PCA, or even non-PCA methods as demonstrated in Wahl and Amman (2007) and Rutherford et al (2005). Similarly, the results are insensitive to the inclusion of tree rings as shown in MBH 2008.

  130. Nullius in Verba

    #123,

    OK, one more time. There are three distinct claims: it’s an invalid argument, it’s conclusion is false, it’s fraudulent.

    The first means that the argument does not imply the conclusion, but that does not mean the conclusion is false. The second means that the conclusion is false too. The third means that it was published knowing that it was an invalid argument.

    CAGW-believers often get confused over this. If I say the argument is invalid, they assume that implies the conclusion is false and respond with other confirmations of the same result and the “the errors don’t matter” argument. The discussion splits 20 different ways as you then have to dig out the flaws in each and every other study, and the discussion loses focus. So I was saying that pointing out flaws does not imply the conclusion is correct, and so cannot logically be dismissed with alternative demonstrations that it is.

    Having said this, CAGW-believers immediately leap to the conclusion that I’m saying that the argument may be flawed but the conclusion is correct. I’m not, but I haven’t provided any arguments for or against that.

    Fraud is a different question. There is some evidence to say so, but I suspect a lawyer could wriggle out of it fairly easily, and it’s not somewhere I particularly want to go.

    As for whether Cuccinelli is right to investigate – from a “finding things out” point of view I think it’s a waste of time, since the Hockeystick has been already very thoroughly discredited. Justice for that will come eventually – I’m not in any hurry. From a political point of view, there are possibilities. Whether you agree would therefore depend on your politics.

    #124,

    Yes, of course I’ve looked at Mann08. The basic method behind all the studies is to use methods that emphasise Hockeystick shapes, and then sneak a Hockeystick shape into the input roster. Some people use Bristlecones, some use Yamal, some use the older version of Polar Urals, in Mann08 Mann used upside-down Tiljander, which is not a tree ring series (it’s a mud core from a lake) but otherwise is similarly flawed. As published by Tiljander, it shows a mild rise in the Medieval warm period, but dropped dramatically in the 20th century because it was corrupted by run-off from ditch digging. Mann’s algorithm matched the 20th century corrupted data to the temperature record, and turned it upside-down. The warm medieval period becomes a cold one, and drags the average down.

    This is why we try to avoid playing the game. Dozens of flawed studies are put in play, and if you take the time to pick apart any one of them (a task made more difficult by the refusal to share data and methods) then “the errors don’t matter” because of all the other studies, and it’s kept. Stop using the MBH99 Hockeystick, and then we’ll talk about the others.

    If you think MBH98/99 were sufficient, see if you can find where in those papers they discuss their choice of short-centered PCA and the details of the stepped reconstruction.

    RE is only standard in climate science. As far as the rest of the statistical community goes, R2 and CE are better known. R2 has its shortcomings, as do all methods, but this is why statisticians recommend doing multiple tests and requiring them all to pass. A failure with R2 is a clear sign of trouble.

    #126,

    The standard ‘AGW-sceptic’ position is that there have been an alternating series of warm and cold periods. The Minoan warm period, the Roman warm period, the medieval warm period, the little ice age, and the modern warm period. Over the past 400 years, we have emerged from the LIA and the temperature has gone up. It’s not controversial. It’s not what we mean by a ‘hockeystick’ shape.

    The controversial bit of the hockeystick is not the blade, it’s the flat handle, that “got rid of” the MWP.

    I’ve actually seen people present 400 year graphs with rising temperatures and described them as “confirmation” of the hockeystick. You’re making the same confusion.

  131. Messier Tidy Upper

    @ 131. Nullius in Verba :

    The controversial bit of the hockeystick is not the blade, it’s the flat handle, that “got rid of” the MWP.

    See : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrKfz8NjEzU&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    which deals neatly and entertainingly with the Medieval Warm Period which turns out to be a regional rather than global phenomenon. Climatology has developed and learnt more since that was first studied.

    It also looks at Mann’s hockey stick graph and the controversy over it .. Notably, it wasn’t just based on tree rings but also used historical data, coral samples, ice cores and other data.

    Also, its more than just the work of Michael Mann as many other individual climatologists have also done similar studies replicating similar results from different sets of data – as it concludes there :

    “There isn’t just a hockey stick anymore but a whole hockey team.”

    Then too looking further back over the Earth’s history we *do* find carbon dioxide levels were much higher in the very distant past .. and the results weren’t healthy! Indeed, they caused mass extinctions as seen here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE6at2IEUOU&p=029130BFDC78FA33

    As for the old “Mars is warming” canard expressed in headline excerpt by (#83.) Paul in Sweden here :

    Global warming hits Mars too: study

    Global warming could be heating Mars four times faster than Earth due to a mutually reinforcing interplay of wind-swept dust and changes in reflected heat from the Sun, according to a study released Wednesday.

    This clip :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSXgiml5UwM&feature=player_embedded

    put’s that notion to rest with excellent planetary graphics to boot & is my fave out of that whole series – so thanks for giving me an excuse to mention & link it again. :-)

    There are plenty more where these came from – and plenty of other sources that back up what this is saying too.

  132. Paul in Sweden

    94. Mike G Says:
    October 8th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Nice work Paul. You managed to show a lot of places that are warming faster than the average rate for either the hemispheric or global average. Only one of them claims to be the fastest rate of warming anywhere, which naturally only one can (at least until it’s dethroned by a later measurement). Assuming the rate of warming at all sites is normally distributed, fully half of the world should be warming faster than the global average (aka the rest of the world). You think your list of places warming faster than the average proves exactly what?

    Mike G, It was not my intention to leave you out in my #128 response. When possible and addressed directly in a civilly I make an attempt to reply. As you only used “Paul” you slipped past me initially. Of course I recognize the absurdity of the fact that fully one half of all believers in the faith of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming fall below the IQ average of the Congregation of CAGW believers. :)

    You however have failed to acknowledge the absurdity and futility that I pointed out in my post regarding the propensity of alarmist headlines and the lack of fruit that they yield. Preaching to the choir isn’t suppose to work like that is it? Thousand upon thousands of shock and awe headlines and articles misrepresenting the observations and data of scientific studies(but too often not the contrary politically correct antithesis of the data/observation conclusions) which have yielded only one out of every three democrats in the United States to the church of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming with two our of three democrats recognizing that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is overblown and of little concern. Headlines, shouting, drum circles and mindless activist protest do not make up for the lack of science. The mental masturbation and hubris of today’s “Climate Science” is fine for academia and should be encouraged however, CAGW/Climate Science should never have been thought of as being out of short pants in the world of science.

    It is remarkable that CAGW has been as influential as it has been so far. However with the 100s of millions spent by “Big Green” on lobby efforts in the USA this goes to show how much GREEN goes into government policy today. Are you pissed at the Obama administrating for pointing out that the Global Warming Industry spent 100s of millions recently and were not able to swing a single vote in the United States senate?

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming as it exists today is not about science. It is about GREEN money. Government money, tax payer money. The solar PV units on your neighbor’s roof or the wind turbines on your neighbor’s property are only profitable & possible because you and your other neighbors pay for them through your taxes and increases on your electric bills. This is only going to work(if you can call it that) for a limited time. Arrests have already been made regarding the Global Warming Industry around the world. Big GREEN money bigs big thugs.

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming and the Global Warming Industry utilizes politics and the cigar smoke filled back rooms to steal public funds. The day(s) of reckoning is coming. CAGW is being yanked from the buddy-review journal pages and brought into the world of hard science and reality.

    Statements of could, might and likely made by activist scientists will not stand in a United States court of law. With China not only building but actually putting on line one or two low technology “dirty” coal fired power plants every week true believers of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are only deluding themselves. Nobody believes your tales of woe but the feigned angry who have out stretched hands for EU & US money and the bureaucracy that see the possibility of the creation of a world energy arbitrator and tax authority as stated in the failed Copenhagen accord.

    These BA blog global warming threads reflect the fringes of reality. The leftist democratic party has two out of every 3 members recognizing that Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is of little concern. Where does that put you on the political spectrum?

    Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming will be handled in court. No amount of belly aching will stop it.

    All is not lost Mike, there will be other causes for kids and malcontents to follow blindly to replace Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming when all is said and done.

  133. Sean McCorkle

    Nullius, thanks for clarifying.

    Now: back to your comment #8, that folks are circling the wagons around Mann, for the purpose of defense of the assertions of global warming.

    There is much insinuation that Mann committed scientific fraud, but I have yet to see any evidence that he did so. That’s why the phrases “fishing expedition” and “witch hunt” are apt descriptions of what Cuccinelli is doing. That makes Cuccinelli a bully, in a position of power, who is abusing it for political purposes, singling out one scientist, looking for anything that might be used to drum something that can be used to attempt to discredit him. Mann is an innocent victim, and if he can assaulted like this, so can any scientist or academic for their work.

    I can’t speak for anybody else, but that makes me angry. At this point, it doesn’t matter if he’s picking on Mann or any other scientist or academic, nor does it matter what they published or claimed. At this point, its not even about global warming any more. An attorney general is charged with very serious responsibilities to the public (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attorney_General_of_Virginia) and is thus given a great deal of power. Cuccinelli is abusing that power in a way that cannot be allowed to stand. This is a clear violation of our legal, justice and government systems and runs counter to the American way of life.

    The issue of climate change HAS become political, but it is members of the right who have made it so, and now Cuccinelli has jumped in, trying to take the lead on that side. Shame on him and those who cheer him on. Cuccinelli and his supporters have now taken on the mantle of the religious authorities who fought against the Enlightenment and the officers of political correctness in communist China and the Soviet Union who suppressed whole bodies of science in those countries in the last century.

    …since the Hockeystick has been already very thoroughly discredited.

    thoroughly?! THOROUGHLY?! As far as I can tell, works repeatedly presented to contradict Mann et.al. appear to originate from only two groups (small ones at that) McIntyre et. al. and Wegman et. al. On the other side, basically supporting Mann (albeit with criticisms) we have for starters, the National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences, and various scientific professional organizations. Before you jump in with objections of “Appeal to Authority” and “Argumentum ad hominem” I add that the NRC and NAS members consider the great deal of independent work confirming the basic temperature shape going back to the 1500s as well as the claims of the detractors. If McIntyre et. al. and Wegman et. al. are right where the National Academy of Sciences is wrong, they have a steep hill to climb in regards to burden of proof, because the evidence is piling up in favor of a recent steep temperature rise w.r.t the last several centuries. By jumping into the fray, McIntyre and Wegman and company are now valid targets or subjects of the same kind of withering scrutiny which Mann has been subjected to.

    For example, aside from a lot of criticism of Mann’s statistical methods, McIntyre and McKitrickdo actually make a testable claim, that using their data and their methods, they get a large temperature rise at 1400 (fig 8). Is there any independent supporting evidence for this?

    Nullis in Verba, I look at your nom de plume, and wonder if you are as skeptical of the claims McIntyre, Wegman etc as you are of man climate researchers, or if you simply take their work at face value.

  134. Nullius in Verba

    Sean,

    Regarding the fraud question, I would remind you that I nearly got banned from this place for trying to discuss the evidence of that. I’m not going to comment on it again without clearance from the moderators.

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think it’s a useful thing to do from the point of view of the science. We already know all we need to. But this isn’t a new development. AG’s (on both sides) have been doing this sort of thing for decades. Politics has always been a dirty game.

    You mention the NAS examining the result. Here’s some of the evidence given to the Barton Committee by the head of that study.

    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that. It looks like my time is expired, so I want to ask one more question. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
    DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report. But again, just because the claims are made, doesn’t mean they are false.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. I understand that you can have the right conclusion and that it not be–
    DR. NORTH. It happens all the time in science.
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, and not be substantiated by what you purport to be the facts but have we established–we know that Dr. Wegman has said that Dr. Mann’s methodology is incorrect. Do you agree with that? I mean, it doesn’t mean Dr. Mann’s conclusions are wrong, but we can stipulate now that we have–and if you want to ask your statistician expert from North Carolina that Dr. Mann’s methodology cannot be documented and cannot be verified by independent review.
    DR. NORTH. Do you mind if he speaks?
    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Yes, if he would like to come to the microphone.
    MR. BLOOMFIELD. Thank you. Yes, Peter Bloomfield. Our committee reviewed the methodology used by Dr. Mann and his coworkers and we felt that some of the choices they made were inappropriate. We had much the same misgivings about his work that was documented at much greater length by Dr. Wegman.

    You say they “confirm[...] the basic temperature shape going back to the 1500s”, but that’s not in dispute. We know about the LIA. Sceptics may argue about how accurately we can measure it, and may be dubious about the magnitude, but the widespread view is that there has indeed been warming over the past few centuries.

    It was actually a very clever remark on the part of the NAS, politically. It conceded the entire game to the sceptics, but was worded in such a way that it looked like support for the consensus.

    Regarding testable claims, McIntyre and McKittrick make no claims that their data and methods are capable of reconstructing temperature. (And indeed, have suggested they are sceptical that it is even possible.) This has been a common strawman, regarding “their” reconstruction. None of their work is intended to be a reconstruction, only a demonstration that the MBH 99 reconstruction is not robust.

    If you want to know if alternative results are possible, take a look at Loehle’s or Ljungqvist’s reconstructions. (You might have to plot it yourself, I’m afraid.) I don’t endorse this one, either. But it’s a part of a considerable body of evidence that supports the MWP.

    I don’t check every statement made by McIntyre, Wegman, etc., but I have checked a considerable number of them, and if anybody gives me a half-way plausible reason to doubt something they say, I will try to check it out. I know my own biases. For what it’s worth, you (amongst others) have been very helpful to me, making me chase up things that I hadn’t previously considered sufficiently, which helps me learn the subject in greater depth. You guys force me to keep thinking about it. And there are many sceptics that I have little time for, like Miskolczi, because I’ve checked them out and found them to be wrong. I do take my nom de plume seriously.

  135. t_p_hamilton

    “Paul in Sweden has a cut and paste, and no understanding. The warming is fastest at high northern latitudes. Slowest over the oceans, which make up 2/3 of the planet. Maybe he can figure out why there are many reports that warming of country X are above the global rate.”

    Paul replied:”TP, warming is fastest where ever the activists pump their millions and millions in advertising seeking monetary rewards.”

    There are easily found maps on the internet. Advertising does not affect thermometer readings. For example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:GISS_temperature_2000-09_lrg.png

    Paul further said:” Science has nothing to do with CAGW. Follow the money. ”

    I did – research grants were spent on scientists, graduate students, supplies, instruments.
    Temperature measurements are done by thousands daily, as a hobby.

    Contrarians don’t actually do research, but PR directed at those unable to judge the merits of their arguments – see Dunning-Kruger effect.

  136. Sean McCorkle

    Nullius, this is a pretty broad dismissal in #131:

    …since the Hockeystick has been already very thoroughly discredited

    but in #135,

    You say they “confirm[...] the basic temperature shape going back to the 1500s”, but that’s not in dispute.

    you’re saying the hockey stick is okay between 1500 to present. Thats almost the entire range (1400-present) reported by Mann, Bradley & Hughes 1998. This is also the region over which many other proxy studies agree pretty well. This is roughly half of the entire time range of Mann, Bradley & Hughes 1999, Mann and Jones 2003. The span between 1000 and 1500 is the uncertain range, which even the NRC and NAS have concluded.

    That the more remote half of the plot, with much less coverage by independent studies, is more uncertain is NOT “thoroughly discredited”, not by any stretch.

    If a temperature reconstruction by MacIntyre & McKitrick (linked above in #134) is a strawman, they seem to have set it up themselves, by presenting a graph comparing Mann et. al. 1998 with one labeled “corrected version” which shows early 1400s temperatures over twice as high as those around 1950. That spike is not the MWP – the MWP typically appears between 900 and 1100 AD in certain reconstructions. And, by the way, it appears to be limited to parts of the northern hemisphere. For example, the Ljungvist data you link to above is compiled from locations, half of which are north of 60N latitude and 2/3 of which are north of 40N!

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