Deniers, disgust, and defamation

By Phil Plait | July 23, 2012 10:20 am

Whenever I post about the reality of climate change, I get the usual chorus of denialist outrage. This includes the odd ad hominem or two, like the sneering "What does an astronomer know about the climate?", because apparently not having an advanced degree in science makes someone a better judge of the data.

But the slings and arrows I get here are nothing, nothing, compared to what professional climate scientist Michael Mann gets. He is, after all, the researcher who first published the hockey stick diagram which shows beyond a reasonable doubt that the Earth has warmed up. To the deniers, he is Enemy Number 1. They have attacked his diagram and his research many times, always coming up short. The data and methods are solid, and it’s clear the Earth really is warming up.

So what’s a denier to do when all the evidence is against them? They attack Dr. Mann himself, of course.

These onslaughts have been documented endlessly, and they include Congressional shenanigans, witch hunts by the Virginia Attorney General, and even death threats.

All that is, sadly, to be expected. But now, ramping up the rhetoric to full-on disgusting, comes The National Review. A far-right paper (to say the least), they are not exactly supportive of the reality of global warming. But a few days ago they published a blog article by Mark Steyn that calls Mann a scientific fraud. This may be expected from deniers, but doesn’t change the fact that when you say that the research done by a scientist is deliberately fraudulent, you are stepping into defamation territory.

Needless to say, Mann isn’t sitting back and taking this. He contacted his lawyer, who has sent a letter to The National Review saying they knowingly defamed him by accusing him of scientific fraud, and demanding an apology and that the defamatory article be taken down. Mann put up a copy of this letter on his Facebook page. As he points out, Mann has been cleared of all wrongdoing multiple times by multiple independent agencies (like here, and here, and here, and here, and of course here), despite the efforts of the global warming deniers to do whatever they can to take him down. I certainly hope The National Review complies, and issues an apology.

Oh, but we’re not done just yet. Amazingly, it gets worse.

The National Review article quotes another article, written by Rand Simberg of OpenMarket.org. I hope you’re sitting down, and haven’t eaten anything recently, because in that article, Simberg compares Dr. Mann to Jerry Sandusky. Seriously, this guy compares a climate scientist who is promoting the reality and danger of global warming to a convicted child molester.

Yeah.

In his awful National Review piece, Steyn quotes this truly disgusting thing and then with faint damning says, "Not sure I’d have extended that metaphor all the way into the locker-room showers with quite the zeal Mr Simberg does, but he has a point."

Wow. Stay classy, Mr. Steyn.

I think Mann is correct to have his lawyer contact The National Review, since the defamatory nature of the article and the attack on his scientific credibility is clear. But I think the slimy analogy is what makes me angrier. Sadder, too. As we’ve seen, this is what discourse has become in politicized science. Ironically, too, deniers accuse scientists (including me) of politicizing science, but neither I nor any scientist has politicized it. The attacks on global warming science originated clearly and obviously from the far right, and it was those attacks that politicized the science. What scientists have done since then is a reaction to those partisan and political attacks. As usual, deniers accuse scientists of precisely the sort of tactics they themselves are using. It’s 1984 come alive.

For more on this I recommend reading the excellent Climate Crocks site, as well as the American Geophysical Union blog. [NOTE: Mann has also written about these extensive attacks on him, his reaearch, and his character in his book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars.] And if you are a scientist, pay attention. It doesn’t matter if you are a climatologist, a biologist, or an astronomer. In this political climate, all of science is vulnerable to ideological attack when reality disagrees with political beliefs.

It’s disgusting, and it’s dangerous, but it’s also the new political reality. We must be ever vigilant against such attacks, because that is the true price of defending reality.


Related Posts:

Climategate 2: More ado about nothing. Again. (and of course the nonense that was the original Climategate manufactroversy)
Breath-taking climate denial nonsense, this time aimed at NASA (and a followup)
The Heartland Institute sinks to a new low
A case study of the tactics of climate change denial, in which I am the target

Comments (320)

  1. Grizzly

    William F. Buckley is twirling in his grave.

  2. Brian

    There is a lot of unwarranted and disgusting hate against anyone associated with Penn State these days. A lot is warranted, to be sure, but also misguided.

    And being a promoter of reality just makes you stick out all the more.

  3. FMCH

    I think, a lot of this stems from the far rights slandering of anyone with an advanced degree as an “elite”. I find this funny, because everyone wants their favorite team to have elite players, why wouldn’t they want to have “elite” scientists?

  4. Kaviani

    Thank you for having the decency and courage to stand up to these terrorists. It’s sad, but the Goebbels technique (repeat a lie with increasing volume and mania) remains indispensible to right wing causes.

  5. Memo to the Climate Contrarians out there – before you make any comments here please do yourselves and us all a big favour and check what you are about to argue against the list of arguments debunked here :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    & here :

    http://greenfyre.wordpress.com/climate-denial-crock-of-the-week/#sense

    and here :

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=potholer54+climate+change&oq=Potholer&gs_l=youtube.1.0.35i39l2j0l8.2668.4228.0.6568.8.8.0.0.0.0.514.1123.2-1j1j0j1.3.0…0.0…1ac.vP0cGwl1E8Y

    Plus please have a look at and even ask questions of the actual climatologists themselves at the Real Climate website linked to my name in this comment or search for www (dot)RealClimate.

    BTW. Feel free folks to make a drinking game out of every comment from here on in that states one of the repeatedly debunked canards on those lists. ;-)

    PS. is it just me or are the Climate Contrarians seemingly getting a lot fewer and more desperate lately?

  6. Zetetic

    Since there is no supporting credible positively evidence for a natural warming mechanism that would act as a significant forcing agent causing the increase in global temperatures, and the vast majority of the relevant scientific experts have been convinced by the body of established empirical evidence, the AGW/ACC deniers (by which I do not mean those that are on the fence or who have questions, but those engaged in active denial) know that they can’t win in the scientific community any longer.
    So instead, they are waging a P.R. war, just like with the young earth creationists and other deniers they have adopted tactics and arguments from.

    Therefore it’s not surprising that they instead choose to try and attack a handful of public representatives to smear. It’s just a form of extended Genetic Fallacy. They figure that if they can smear a few people that it will somehow undo all of the science supporting the conclusion of the reality of AGW/ACC, in spite of all of the other evidence collected by many others around the world.

    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    To the deniers that will inevitably appear, eventually…
    Before you try and attack AGW/ACC again, please review the following debunked arguments before making such a post. If it’s already on this list, then it’s already been debunked, so you may as well save yourself the trouble. Thank you.
    —> Global Warming & Climate Change Myths

  7. Luis Dias

    Your hatred will get you nowhere, mr Plait. Clear your head off this mess. Yes, terrible things are being said and done out there. But indignating your own intestines over this will only blind you from an unbiased look at the truths involved here. You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion. And opinions are zillions here for the takin.

    Or do you think your own worldview is “unbiased” and “skeptical” enough? Please, don’t make me laugh.

  8. Messier Tidy Upper

    @3. FMCH :

    I think, a lot of this stems from the far rights slandering of anyone with an advanced degree as an “elite”. I find this funny, because everyone wants their favorite team to have elite players, why wouldn’t they want to have “elite” scientists?

    But that’s rocket science and thus too hard for teh simplefolk! ;-)

    More seriously, there’s an anti-intellectual streak in a lot of people especially in the USA from what I gather.

    The fact that our modern lives are as good as they are because of the technology and discoveries of scientists (Computers, mobile phones, mass international and domestic air travel to name just three) seems to have passed a lot of people by, alas. :-(

    @4. Kaviani – July 23rd, 2012 at 10:39 am :

    Thank you for having the decency and courage to stand up to these terrorists. anti-science climate contrarian people.

    Fixed It For You. Seconded as amended.

    I don’t consider the word “terrorist” to be applicable here – the Climate Contrarians for all their often very nasty wrongness have not resorted to using bombings and suchlike atrocities to get their way – and has been grossly over-used anyhow.

    (Death threats may possibly count as “terrorism” but not always and this would be drawing a rather long bow unnecessarily in my view.)

    @6. Zetetic – July 23rd, 2012 at 10:46 am : Yep. Oh & welcome back? Or have I just missed your other comments here? :-)

  9. ubikdood

    This article is :

    99% political
    1% scientific

  10. Luis Dias

    This article is :
    99% political
    1% scientific

    The whole Climate Change Belief slash Denial has always been a political discussion, masqueraded as a scientific one. There’s a huge lot of science involved (billions of dollars of investment, some very wisely spent), but the whole narrative is 100% political. What annoys me is the sheer blindness of certain people to acknowledge this simple fact and attempts to simplify this subject matter as between those who are for science and those who are against. It’s pathetic. Some right wing people are probably wrecking the trust in science, but I look at people like Phil Plait and see nothing but politics as well.

    Bah I’m wasting my english here.

  11. wintermute

    You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion.

    Luis: If you voice your opinion that someone is a fraud, then yes, that is defamatory, and you can expect to have to defend that opinion in court. If you voice your opinion that someone is the moral equivilent of a child molester because they publish science that you disagree with, then then that is defamatory. Whether or not Dr Plait is entirely unbiased and skeptical in every area of his life is of no relevance, any more than the fact that he’s been known to raise his voice in anger would be relevant if he pointed out that Ed Gein was a murderer.

  12. Doug Little

    ubikdood @9,

    So What? You don’t want to be informed of the type of tactics that your camp use to discredit and defame scientists? Is this a case of putting ones fingers in their ears and shouting LA LA LA LA LA for you? Sorry but the scientists didn’t make this a political issue the right wing did.

  13. J Bowers

    “This world is a strange madhouse. At present every coachman and every waiter argues about whether or not relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political affiliation”
    – Albert Einstein – To Marcel Grossmann, September 12, 1920

    He also received plenty of death threats.

  14. Luis Dias

    Luis: If you voice your opinion that someone is a fraud, then yes, that is defamatory, and you can expect to have to defend that opinion in court. If you voice your opinion that someone is the moral equivilent of a child molester because they publish science that you disagree with, then then that is defamatory.

    Yes, free speech is always causing trouble, innit? Damned these monkey brains always pestering your own amazing intelect with their poison. Personally I agree with the sentiment that dr. Mann has made “fraudulent work”, in the technical sense. That is, it’s garbage. Did he do it on purpose? Don’t care. So there’s this other guy who will say he is the moral equivalent of a child molester. That’s pretty harsh, can’t agree with such obviously harsh and cruel words. But free speech wasn’t invented to protect the kinds of speeches that you or I like, or was it?

    Yeah, I know, there are lots of exceptions to this simple rule of freedom. I don’t like it personally, I think it’s a wrong exception. However, dr. Mann seems to like it very much, always threatening to sue everyone who voices an opinion against him. I haven’t any axe there, it seems like it is his right.

  15. Luis Dias

    Sorry but the scientists didn’t make this a political issue the right wing did.

    Pretty irrelevant. And somewhat true, it was Ms. Tatcher who first proclaimed to the airwaves that we should be looking at this problem carefully. However, it was also mostly the left-wing who made this issue a political movement and then crafted an international body right after the Rio convention in 92.

    No use to blame the left or the right here though. What matters is the subject has been in the political sidelines (never in presidential debates, curiously), and serves as a tribal differentiator, one more reason to either hate the lefties (who want to control the world) or the righties (who will deny the catastrophe like the stupid deniers they are).

    Phil is just a servent pawn for the latter tribe.

  16. Zetetic

    @Messier Tidy Upper #8:
    Hello again! No you haven’t missed my posts, I’ve just been busy on other forums for a while. Nice seeing you are still here.

    I also see the inevitable deniers are still here projecting as fast as their fingers can type yet offering no credible science in return. Luis Dias’ rather blatant lies are almost amusing aren’t they?

    Got to run for now…

  17. Lucas Dias Luis Dias (EDIT fix), If you want to answer a couple of scientific questions here’s three for you :

    1) If we know certain gases have certain properties that cause them to trap extra heat in the atmosphere then how much over and above the natural cycles do you think we can add before they start having significant climatic effects?

    2) If human emissions of such Greenhouse gases are NOT responsible for the forty plus decadal heating trend (1970’s- present) and rise in extreme weather events and diminishing Arctic sea ice (see the National Snow and Ice Data Center graph linked to my name for this comment) then what is responsible for that?

    3) What explains the unexpected elevated thermal condition of Venus if it isn’t a runaway greenhouse effect similar to the current HIRGO issue – although obviously natural and not Human Induced? If GHG’s have the effect of so dramatically raising temperatures for the Cytherean atmosphere why wouldn’t they raise temperatures in the Earth’s climate as they apparently did for Venus?

  18. Doug Little

    Pretty irrelevant

    Not irreverent when someone is complaining that the post is political and not scientific.

  19. John King

    You write: “As he points out, Mann has been cleared of all wrongdoing multiple times by multiple independent agencies…”

    The Facts:
    ‘On February 3 Mann was unilaterally found innocent of 3 of the 4 allegations by a six-person Penn State panel, which then requested a second examination into whether his activities strayed from professional, scientific rigor.’ (more info here: http://www.examiner.com/article/michael-mann-s-jury-of-his-peers) NOT by an independent agency as you note and quote. The Penn State panel was comprised of persons who were employees of Penn State! Do you see a pattern here? That was the point of the NRO and Open Market pieces.

    ‘For this investigation, the panel asked Mann five questions, interviewed his boss, and spoke with three other climatologists. “The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann,” the RA10 Inquiry Report stated.’ (download report here: http://live.psu.edu/fullimg/userpics/10026/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf)

    As Tom Fuller, an Examiner columnist, noted (http://www.examiner.com/article/global-warming-s-michael-mann-cleared-of-the-charges-that-nobody-made) that Mann was cleared of charges that nobody made. “…none of the investigations so far have examined the actual science in question. The closest this recent investigation came was interrogating a few witnesses about data handling procedures. The Penn State investigation is no different. Shortly after the climate-gate emails were leaked, they reacted to the media firestorm by announcing an investigation, but they created their own investigation scheme that did not include any of the accusations that have been made and repeated on weblogs for about a decade.”

    Giving us five links to five blog articles that basically rehash the same thing, with enough whitewash to make Mark Twain blush, in now way proves that Mann’s investigation was done ‘multiple times by multiple independent agencies.’

  20. Doug Little

    one more reason to either hate the lefties (who want to control the world) or the righties (who will deny the catastrophe like the stupid deniers they are).

    Nice piece of miss-characterization there.

  21. Luis Dias

    Why should I answer you if you are even unable to spell my name correctly, mr Tidy Upper? Is there anything for me, like cake or a pat in the back? Do I get to have a chemistry degree out of your basic questionnaire?

    Oh I like to taunt. Problem is, all of your questions are bad scientific questions themselves. “Extreme weather events”? There are no upward trends on extreme weather events, despite global warming. I refer you to the mainstream literature on that one (despite all the name-calling BS we constantly have to deal with from the Krugmans and the Plaits who never read the literature but think they own the material, for they are “on the scientific side” so they cannot be wrong on their platitudes).

    Venus is a very interesting place. It has a huge atmospheric pressure with 99% of CO2. How on Earth people find it convincing to use its example as “evidence” of dangerous global warming on Earth due to its 300-600 ppm density in our relatively faint atmosphere is dazzling to me.

    It’s like as if people were not really interested in the truth, but on scoring points. Well, score ahead. I’m not counting.

  22. Luis Dias

    Nice piece of miss-characterization there.

    Did I misrepresent the caricatures that are shared on both sides? I don’t think so.

  23. @16. Zetetic : Cheers. Fair enough. Likewise. :-)

    @15. Luis Dias :

    .. somewhat true, it was Ms. Tatcher who first proclaimed to the airwaves that we should be looking at this problem carefully.

    Well, I guess that depends how you look at things. Isaac Asimov was discussing the Human Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) issue as I prefer to call it back in the 1970’s or even before as were people like Carl Sagan and Dr Gilbert M. Plass as the record (quite literally) from 1956 linked to my name or on youtube under illustrates.

    Since the 1970’s the evidence has increasingly piled up to show that HIRGO is reality. The vast majority of the experts (97% or so!) who have spent – and still spend – all their time and have dedicated their lives to understanding and studying climatology is that HIRGO is a real problem affecting us now and likely to get seriously worse over time. If nine out of ten doctors told us something similar would so many just ignore and insult them?

    However, it was also mostly the left-wing who made this issue a political movement and then crafted an international body right after the Rio convention in 92.

    That line is a non-sequiteur.Even assuming that is true, how is that scientifically relevant? How specifically does it excuse calling Dr Mann a fraud and comparable to one of the worst and most notorious pedophiles around? :-(

    Politics is one thing, science is another. You seem to make this distinction yourself yet you also appear to be conflating politics with science in your own comments.

    @ 20. Luis Dias :

    ..you are even unable to spell my name correctly, mr Tidy Upper?

    My apologies for that inadvertant error. My questions stand.

  24. I am going to have to adapt this wonderful line – “This includes the odd ad hominem or two, like the sneering “What does an astronomer know about the climate?”, because apparently not having an advanced degree in science makes someone a better judge of the data.”

  25. HarryW

    Folk, FOLKS!! In the case of “Luis Dias” and others of its ilk: DNFTT.

  26. @20. Luis Dias – July 23rd, 2012 at 11:33 am :

    Why should I answer you if you are even unable to spell my name correctly, mr Tidy Upper?

    Because doing so adequately would strengthen your case and convince others whereas failure to do so would expose your debating position in this discussion as possibly flawed?

    Is there anything for me, like cake or a pat in the back? Do I get to have a chemistry degree out of your basic questionnaire?

    No. You get chemistry degrees the same way you get astronomy or climatology ones by years of hard work and study and understanding the principles and equations and situations involved in the respective scientific fields.

    Oh I like to taunt.

    … you fart in my general direction and my father smelled of elderberries perhaps? ;-)

    Problem is, all of your questions are bad scientific questions themselves.

    How so?

    “Extreme weather events”? There are no upward trends on extreme weather events, despite global warming. I refer you to the mainstream literature on that one (despite all the name-calling BS we constantly have to deal with from the Krugmans and the Plaits who never read the literature but think they own the material, for they are “on the scientific side” so they cannot be wrong on their platitudes).

    Can you be a bit more specific there please? Which papers exactly?

    I dispute your claim is true for extreme weather events. I think the trend there very much supports HIRGO.

    I’ll also note that even if you were correct you are overlooking the temperature anomaly and Arctic sea ice data linked in my comment #17 and that from the CO2 Now website linked to my name here which observes among other things that :

    In April 2012, the average temperature of Earth’s Northern Hemisphere was the warmest of any April in the past 133 years. Globally, April 2012 marks the fifth warmest April since temperature records began in 1880. It was the 326th straight month with a global temperature above the average for the 20th century.

    So out of two thirds of the evidence I offered you are focusing on only one third – even if you are corect in that one area which I’d dispute. This is what’s known as cherry-picking or, at best, being oddly selective.

    Venus is a very interesting place. It has a huge atmospheric pressure with 99% of CO2. How on Earth people find it convincing to use its example as “evidence” of dangerous global warming on Earth due to its 300-600 ppm density in our relatively faint atmosphere is dazzling to me.

    Because it is a very similar planet to Earth – nearly identical in terms of many of its other aspects such as its mass, radius and presumably composition. Because scientists such as James Hansen now NASA’s leading climatologist began studying Venus and noted some fascinating parallels and because it is likely that Venus was once quite like Earth when our Sun was less luminous and Earth will one day resemble Venus when our daytime Star swells up in another billion and a half years or so during its evolution into a yellow sub-giant, orange giant and eventually red giant Mira variable star .

  27. Luis Dias

    Since the 1970′s the evidence has increasingly piled up to show that HIRGO is reality. The vast majority of the experts (97% or so!) who have spent – and still spend – all their time and have dedicated their lives to understanding and studying climatology is that HIRGO is a real problem affecting us now and likely to get seriously worse over time. If nine out of ten doctors told us something similar would so many just ignore and insult them?

    I see no reason to insult the 97% of doctors who have their own opinion on the matter, though given the questions they were posed, I couldn’t but agree with their answers, so basic in nature they are. I don’t pretend to say that I know dr. Mann is not being insulted because of his opinions, but because of his shenanigans. Mostly because I know better about human nature, and I think dr. Mann placed himself on a very bad scapegoating spot, being pused by people who don’t even know why they are pushing him but a general hysterical feel that he’s this crazy liar fraud that is trying to get his dirty hands on their pockets through pseudo-science.

    Having said this, I still fail to see enough evidence for me to worry myself over the general “problem” per se. Even the alledged solutions to it are miserable in many respects. So I tarry. For both a more clear scientific picture (which seems a little far off still) and a better technological possible solution (which also seems a little far off still). In the meantime, I do my best to ignore the hyperventilating hysterical paranoids who shout against their enemies of choosing. Sometimes I fail to do so, there was a xkcd cartoon somewhere about it…

  28. Doug Little

    Messier Tidy Upper,

    Good luck getting any of your questions answered, you are fighting against a self proclaimed expert who likes to handwave all the current science away without ever giving any valid scientific reason to do so.

  29. Nullius in Verba

    The principle claim of fraudulence is regarding the r-squared cross-validation statistics Dr Mann calculated, but then withheld, that indicate his reconstruction had no correlation with observed temperatures outside the calibration period.

    The reconstruction method works by taking a large collection of ‘proxy’ records, things like tree ring widths, and first picking out those with a strong correlation with observed temperature during the period we have observations. These are presumed to be ‘temperature sensitive’. Then these are linearly regressed against temperature to estimate the relationship, to calibrate the tree ring scale as a temperature in degrees C, which allows one to reconstruct temperature from tree rings. The relationship is then assumed to hold for times when there are no observations available. This method has a tendency to look like the temperature during the calibration period even when there is no actual relationship, because it is a form of curve-fitting. To check that this has not happened, leading to spurious results, part of the instrumental data is held back, and then the correlation between this and the reconstruction built from the rest of the data is calculated. If the reconstruction gets the right answer even where it hasn’t been told what it should be, that builds confidence in the reliability of the result.

    The r-squared correlation between the critical stages of Dr Mann’s reconstruction and measurements is around 0.02. That means roughly 2% of the variance in the reconstruction can be explained by temperature. The remaining 98% is uncorrelated noise.

    This indicates that the reconstruction is not in fact reporting temperatures at all – the apparent relationship is spurious – and as it turned out, likely due to distorted growth in a small number of trees caused by physical damage (stripbark bristlecones). Virtually all the weight in the reconstruction is put on a handful of trees, most of which were already known not to be correlated with local temperatures.

    We know Dr Mann calculated the r-squared numbers prior to publication, because a few of the more favourable ones were published in the paper. But the adverse ones showing the reconstruction to be spurious were not published, and indeed, great resistance was put up to revealing them when they were requested.

    None of the enquiries looked into this matter sufficiently. None checked at what point the numbers had been calculated, or asked why Dr Mann reported a pass when they had in fact failed. Since then, claims have been made that r-squared is not the right statistic to use (incorrectly), that other more unorthodox statistics are better (which tests it also fails, but by a far more involuted argument), and even that they were never calculated at all! The Wegman report panned Mann’s statistics as invalid, and the North report by the NAS fudged the issue by agreeing with Wegman that the statistics were invalid, but that the conclusion was plausible and might be true anyway.

    And of course since then there has been a lot of back-and-forth between the sides to the point where it is now very difficult for outsiders to follow the argument. There’s a lot of history.

    Minds are now tightly closed on all sides, so there’s no real point in arguing about it, except for fun.

  30. Luis Dias

    Because doing so adequately would strengthen your case and convince others whereas failure to do so would expose your debating position in this discussion as possibly flawed?

    My dear Tidy, how can I convince others that my position isn’t flawed, when the more I learn about this subject really tells me that the whole field is extremely complex and out of my abilities to gather it in its entirety? What is really annoying is when someone comes and states others are stupid for they do not see how a simple chemical variable holds the whole ecossystem together, and that we are to blame for its inability to calm itself down to an arbitrary amount.

    No. You get chemistry degrees the same way you get astronomy or climatology ones by years of hard work and study and understanding the principles and equations and situations involved in the respective scientific fields.

    Never would have guessed that. Hm.

    Can you be a bit more specific there please? Which papers exactly?
    I dispute your claim is true for extreme weather events. I think the trend there very much supports HIRGO.

    Pretty much every paper discussing this issue.

    Try the IPCC, http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/
    A GRL paper http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2006/2006GL025711.shtml
    An AMS paper: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00719.1

    etc. Forgive me though, I wouldn’t dare to work for a stranger like you, I know you have your own dignity to uphold and etc.

  31. Luis Dias

    Nullius in Verva, forget it. You are preaching to the Void here. Phil won’t read your truthful account of Mann’s contribution to the dire straits of paleoclimatology. Or if he skims it, he will disdain it as the formulation of someone who buys tin foil hats or some such crazyness.

    Dontchaknow that Michael Mann is absolutely right in everything? Inquiries have said so!

  32. For Jim Hansen’s history modelling Venus see here :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D6Un69RMNSw&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=67&feature=plpp_video

    About the 3 minute mark specifically. Or you could check Hansen’s wikipedia page – linked to my name for this comment which says :

    After graduate school, Hansen continued his work with radiative transfer models, attempting to understand the Venusian atmosphere. Later he applied and refined these models to understand the Earth’s atmosphere, in particular, the effects that aerosols and trace gases have on Earth’s climate. Hansen’s development and use of global climate models has contributed to the further understanding of the Earth’s climate.

    BTW. Luis Dias, have you actually read Hansen’s ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ book by any chance? If so, what did you think and if not, well I highly recommend reading it.
    For extreme weather and HIRGO see :

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/extreme-weather-global-warming.htm

    &

    http://climatecrocks.com/2012/06/25/duluth-storm-yet-another-postcard-from-the-future/

    Among other places.

  33. Luis Dias

    *Verba, sorry. Kinda funny to tsc tscing a commenter for spelling badly and then doing so. Huh.

  34. SLC

    Re Nullius in Verba

    That the same Wegman currently being investigated for plagiarism?

  35. Makoto

    Here’s the thing for me.. most scientists who study the matter (and know a lot more than us armchair folks) seem to be worried. There is also the matter of the HUGE money in oil, such that if low-paid folks mostly seem to agree, but a few very highly paid by Exxon and such folks disagree, I’ll tend to listen to the majority even more.

    But in the end, how much does it matter? We can all agree that oil and coal are not infinite resources, yes? And that there are better energies out there which are cleaner (less smog, health issues related to smog, oil spills, etc, etc). So if you don’t believe in AGO, shouldn’t you still push for the cleaner energies.. which end up at the same result? Yes, these industries need start-up cash, but so did/does oil! These industries provide high-tech, well paying jobs.

    Let’s stop subsidizing oil, with its giant profits each and every year, and start putting that money into solar and other energy sources which aren’t limited in the same way, and, when applied correctly, won’t have the same negative impacts on the environment, whether that includes global warming or merely smog.

  36. Doug Little

    Nullis,

    From Wikipedia.

    In a paper published by PNAS on 9 September 2008, Mann and colleagues produced updated reconstructions of Earth surface temperature for the past two millennia.[154] This reconstruction used a more diverse dataset that was significantly larger than the original tree-ring study, at more than 1,200 proxy records. They used two complementary methods, both of which showed a similar “hockey stick” graph with recent increases in northern hemisphere surface temperature are anomalous relative to at least the past 1300 years. Mann said, “Ten years ago, the availability of data became quite sparse by the time you got back to 1,000 AD, and what we had then was weighted towards tree-ring data; but now you can go back 1,300 years without using tree-ring data at all and still get a verifiable conclusion.”[155] In a PNAS response, McIntyre and McKitrick said that they perceived a number of problems, including that Mann et al used some data with the axes upside down.[156] Mann et al. replied that McIntyre and McKitrick “raise no valid issues regarding our paper” and the “claim that ‘upside down’ data were used is bizarre”, as the methods “are insensitive to the sign of predictors.” They also said that excluding the contentious datasets has little effect on the result.[157]

  37. Luis Dias

    That the same Wegman currently being investigated for plagiarism?

    The same! Don’t let their analysis and conclusions about a very prominent and important paper distract you from the much, much more important question if whether it copied a paragraph or two from another source! Clearly, we have to have our priorities straight.

  38. Luis Dias

    “claim that ‘upside down’ data were used is bizarre”

    …. and this is why people call Mann names.

  39. Renee Marie Jones

    Republicans are all about name calling. Everything they do: if they are against it, they make up a nasty name for it; if they are for it, they make up something with a patriotic ring. I guess when your stock in trade is ignoring facts you tend more towards name calling.

  40. Nullius in Verba

    #27,

    I know. I do it for my own entertainment.

    #29,

    A student of Wegman’s got some boilerplate background definitions from Wikipedia, without attribution. There’s no suggestion that any of it was incorrect.

    #31,

    This text is regarding a different paper by Mann – Mann et al. 2008 in which he inserted the Tiljander lake bed varves upside-down. They had been corrupted during the 20th century by run-off from ditch-digging, and Mann’s algorithm matched these corrupted values to temperature and gave the proxy a large – and as it happens, negative – weighting. That’s not fraud, just carelessness.

    I was talking about Mann, Bradley & Hughes 1998/1999; the famous Hockeystick paper.

  41. Doug Little

    Nice quote mine, Luis, you missed a bit namely,

    as the methods “are insensitive to the sign of predictors.”

    So in light of that bit of information clearly it is a bizarre charge on top of a tenuous accusation to begin with.

  42. BTW. Thinking of the political divide have you seen this clip linked to my name here or cut’n’paste to Youtube searchbox :

    Katharine Hayhoe: “..Much of This is Intended to Intimidate.”

    by Greenman3610 / Peter Sinclair?

    Interviewing climatologist and evangelical Christian Katherine Hayhoe the lady who wrote a chapter of a book for Republican politican Newt Gingrich?

    What are your thoughts on that Luis Dias?

    Also what do you think of this year’s failed Republican presidential nominee candidate Jon Huntsman & successful Republican nominee and possible President Mitt Romney; the former of whoem, I gather, still accepts the climatological consensus and the latter of whoem did once accept the climatological consensus before apparently being forced to back down on that due to political – not scientific – forces. (I.e. the influence of the Tea Party fringe.)

    Here are a trio of examples of non-Leftist individuals who have or did accept the science of HIRGO whilst having politics unlike most environmentalists and not Democratic party supporters.

    This issue is too important to be hostage to political partisanship methinks.

    Fight over solutions if we must but lets at least start by accepting that the world is round /evolution is true / HIRGO is real based on what the scientific experts say. (Which they can also support with a supermassive black holes worth of actual evidence!)

  43. Windy

    NiV – excellent summary. Please post it on your blog for future referrence. You are not wasting your time as not everyone’s mind is closed even not even here in the echo chamber.

  44. Luis Dias

    Nice quote mine, Luis, you missed a bit namely,
    as the methods “are insensitive to the sign of predictors.”

    Yeah, who cares if the Tiljander series spotted a cooling trend and was interpreted by his “methods” as supporting his hockey stick? I mean it’s not as if we are worried about the real temperatures at all, it’s all about “methodology”, right?

    Ahah.

  45. Doug Little

    Nullius,

    I think we are arguing two different things here. I’m arguing that even if Mann’s statistical analysis was flawed, other research and reconstructions that fix the problems with Mann’s initial analysis still show the same general (hockey stick) pattern. That’s why I posted that a more recent paper by Mann et al. addressed the issue with a dependence on tree ring data by including more a diverse and larger dataset.

    I think your arguing that he knowingly committed fraud but other independent reconstructions using the same proxy data showed the same result, so I don’t know how you make that argument. If you want to attack anything attack the data, but the analysis, although not without some issues, looks fine.

  46. For extra information, understanding and context follks here may also want to look at :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8e2GlooAPkM&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=7&feature=plpp_video

    Michael Mann: The Hockey Stick Under Oath

    Plus :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uHhLcoPT9KM&list=PL029130BFDC78FA33&index=12&feature=plpp_video

    Global Warming: It’s Not About the Hockey Stick and see :

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/03/michael-manns-hockey-stick-dispatches/

    for info on Mann’s own book about this which I’ll have to find a copy of and read myself one day.

    PS. Click on my name here for one other relevant link to the “The Medieval Warming Crock” clip with the most pertinant part starting here at the 2 minute 30 seconds mark and noting that there’s now a whole “hocky team” backing Mann’s graph.

  47. JoeJP

    Phil Plait has done some good work, but on AGW, he’s just a partisan hack.

  48. Jeff

    @Luis Dias

    At least if you’re going to claim something about Mann, quote him why don’t you? You quoted a comment that the reviewers of his work made, not himself. The REVIEWERS of his work made the comment that the attacks on his work are bizarre.

    What names do you have to call them now, since they have obviously been paid off to agree with Mann’s conclusions and ratify his results on the public scientific stage? I know name calling is the most important thing to a rightie wingnut, so I’ll give you the opportunity to craft appropriate names for the ones who agree with your original target.

    Take your time, I realize that holding you to account for reality may throw you for a loop. :)

  49. Doug Little

    Luis,

    It seems from what I have been reading at even if you remove both the tree ring data and Tiljander series data it has little effect on the outcome.

  50. Doug Little

    JoeJP,

    he’s just a partisan hack.

    How so, I guess if you mean that reality has a liberal bias then you may have a point.

  51. TerryPatrician

    Only thing I would dispute is that this was initially politicized by the right. I am not an AGW skeptic. I believe the world is warming and consider myself an environmentalist, but what has turned me off from AGW proponents are the attacks they make against industrialization, the energy sector, and modernity. Industrialization has certainly caused problems in the world and we need to push industries to clean up their act and keep from polluting, but the world is a much better place because of our technological progress.

    Industrialization has made the world a much better place than it was before. In today’s industrialized world, being poor doesn’t have to mean dying of starvation. Being poor doesn’t mean you only own two shirts. It doesn’t mean you are a slave to some wealthy landowner. I’m not trying to make some false dichotomy here; I’m not arguing that you are either with us or against us. I’m merely saying that the negative attacks against industrialization by many of the AGW proponents I’ve met have missed the point about how miraculous the 20th and 21st century have really been.

    The science of AGW has been used to rhetorically attack capitalism since AGW first showed up. Most likely because this is the one case where the science backs up the contention that a free market is bad. The right may well have politicized the issue from the beginning, though I don’t find myself convinced by Chris Mooney’s claims on the subject. Either way, since the day I first heard of AGW thirty some-odd years ago, there was a significant anti-capitalist, anti-industrialist bent to the claims. Both sides are politicizing this, not one side or another.

  52. Nullius in Verba

    #40,

    There are a number of different issues here. I was concentrating on the ‘fraud’ question, since that was the topic of the post, but there are others like whether the conclusion is nevertheless true.

    It’s like being asked to calculate 26/65, so you cancel the 6’s top and bottom to get 2/5. The method is invalid, but the answer is ‘correct’. Does it matter in science if you use invalid methods so long as you get the right answer? How do you know it’s the right answer, if invalid methods are allowed? Opinions differ.

    Most of those other reconstructions you mention are also flawed, sometimes in the same way (a lot of them even use Mann’s original results as an input!), sometimes in different ways. But trying to explain the problems with all of the rest distracts from the main issue – which is not whether Mann’s conclusion is correct, but whether this way of doing science is correct. And also, why did it take 5 years and an amateur outsider’s curiosity before anybody even bothered to check his calculations for one of the most prominent and politically influential results in all climate science? Is it possible that there are other similar cases, that the community has likewise failed to detect?

  53. MikeC

    I’ve said this before Phil, please stick to science. You can’t write a balanced article otherwise (don’t worry, nobody can when you add opinion instead of fact).

  54. Messier Tidy Upper

    @7. Luis Dias :

    Your hatred will get you nowhere, mr Plait.

    Hatred ya reckon? From Phil Plait? :roll:

    Dr Plait is not the one calling the scientific experts frauds and comparing them to pedophiles – and terrorists such as the Unabomber as with the notorious Heartland institute billboard(s).

    Aside : I’m fairly certain the prefix is actually ‘Dr’ not ‘Mr’ Plait.

    Clear your head off this mess. Yes, terrible things are being said and done out there. But indignating your own intestines over this will only blind you from an unbiased look at the truths involved here.

    Truths like for instance?

    You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion. And opinions are zillions here for the takin.

    Having opinions is one thing and fine.

    Of course its better and far more convincing if they are supported with good scientific evidence and logic but that’s another story.

    However, calling people “frauds” without really, *really* good evidence and comparing them to pedophiles is something else again and very much NOT acceptable.

    Just as death threats which many climatologists have also recieved for doing their jobs are also totally unacceptable too.

    Can we, whatever our opinions on the HIRGO issue, at least agree to that much please?

  55. Gary

    Phil, you rightly criticise Steyn’s article for implying that Dr. Mann is akin to the Penn State criminal, Sandusky. Yet, ironically, you call all critics of Dr. Mann’s research “deniers” — a term coined deliberately to slander skeptics of the catastrophic warming hypothesis with those proclaiming the genocide of WWII did not exist. Essentially, that’s makes you as bad as Steyn. How come you can’t see your hypocrisy?

  56. Doug Little

    which is not whether Mann’s conclusion is correct, but whether this way of doing science is correct

    I’m not a statistics guy so I can’t really comment on the methodology that was used, I can only go by what others have said about his analysis. Thus far the consensus is that although there were some problems with the analysis they had little effect on the outcome. I’m sure that there is a million ways to analyse the data to look for trends, some better than others, Mann’s had some problems but from all the indicators and reviews of his methods his conclusion was correct. So in essence his work held up under peer review, admittedly later than it should have, if it wasn’t scrutinized enough initially. So I think that the scientific method has worked perfectly here.

  57. Jeff

    #45
    “Is it possible that there are other similar cases, that the community has likewise
    failed to detect?”

    The science has been picked apart so many ways by so many people, and remains validated, that I fail to see your point. Not to mention that the observational evidence is piling up so fast in the last couple years, that only an insane or psychotic person could still deny the reality.

    “And also, why did it take 5 years and an amateur outsider’s curiosity before
    anybody even bothered to check his calculations for one of the most prominent
    and influential results in climate science?”

    Patently untrue. The science was picked apart dozens of ways within the first six months after publication. Or, are you unaware that’s how science publication works?

    For both you and Luis Dias, can either of you come up with arguments that haven’t been debunked ten different ways? All I read you doing is insanely bloviating disgusting, dogmatic tripes at us, with no original thoughts at all. At least try some new angle that hasn’t been picked apart, so we can have some debunking work to do. That at least, would be an interesting diversion.

  58. Chris

    Penn State took down Paterno’s statue. Now they have a big empty space. How about a state for Michael Mann? He definitely deserves it a lot more than Paterno, even before that whole mess. Honestly I never even heard of Paterno before a year ago. I’ve known about Mann for years.

  59. Stan9fromouterspace

    Hmm.. Post #10: “Political blah blah blah politics blah blah political blah blah blah politics… Bah I’m wasting my English here.”
    Post 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, etc…. ditto.
    Annoying trolls are annoying. Take your own hint.

  60. #48 Gary – Yes, I’m sure “horrible child raper” is just as much a slander as “denier”. Those two terms seem pretty equivalent.

    I would like to point out the difference between skeptic and denier (one uses critical thinking skills – guess which one!) but Dr. Plait here has already done so. Maybe you could try reading up on what exactly the Bad Astronomer means with those terms before you start accusing people of hypocrisy.

    Ok, so I pointed out ONE difference – you should still check out the good Dr.’s first link, or if you can’t scroll up, here it is again

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2009/06/09/im-skeptical-of-denialism/

  61. Nullius in Verba

    #49,

    The consensus of who? If you mean the consensus of the people who think climate science is OK is that climate science is OK, then I agree.
    But given the number of sceptics (‘statistics guys’ included) who have looked at it and decided it *wasn’t* OK, how can you think there is a consensus?

    #50,

    If the science was picked apart in the first few years, why did nobody notice that proxy series were mislabelled, extrapolated, incorrectly copied from one column to another? Why did nobody notice that the algorithm incorrectly used short-centred PCA? Why did nobody notice that the r-squared test had failed?

    It’s a serious question. How did this result get to be the headline graphic of the IPCC circus without anybody checking?

    The thesis that nobody checked is actually preferable from your point of view – since the alternative is that somebody *did* check, inevitably realised there were massive problems, but decided to keep quiet about it. That would be more than just one bad apple – that would be a *conspiracy*.

    Of course, I’m not suggesting that. In fact, I’m pretty sure nobody checked it because everybody assumed that somebody else must have already checked it. There’s a lot of ipse dixit still in establishment science. But that’s what your claim would imply.

  62. K

    This is utterly insane behavior! Total Emperor’s New Clothes kind of crazy. EVERYONE knows that it’s warming up and getting warmer every year. It has nothing to do with science, it’s just plain observation.
    Why does our society put up with this lunacy? Has everyone lost their mind?

  63. Doug Little

    a term coined deliberately to slander skeptics of the catastrophic warming hypothesis with those proclaiming the genocide of WWII did not exist.

    Right… Mr Godwin to the white courtesy phone.

    They are called denialists because they deny the overwhelming scientific consensus among climatologists. It is accepted as fact that the earth is warming and humans are the cause by an overwhelming majority of climatologists. Other markers of denialism is the constant use of debunked arguments. A few other topics that are favorites of denialists.

    Age of the universe.
    Diversity of life (Evolution).
    Vaccination.

  64. M Sutton

    AGW is a red herring – it gives the pollutors something to argue about whilst they continue to do excactly what they do best – turn our planet into a midden.

    Whether the Earth is getting warmer or not, only a cretin would think it was a good idea to pump crud into our environment. I guess a lot of cretins are getting rich.

  65. Doug Little

    The consensus of who? If you mean the consensus of the people who think climate science is OK is that climate science is OK, then I agree.

    No I mean the consensus of qualified people that have reviewed the report and the statistical methods used within it.

    But given the number of sceptics (‘statistics guys’ included) who have looked at it and decided it *wasn’t* OK, how can you think there is a consensus?

    And were their criticism’s subject to peer review? I’m sure if there was a valid proof of fraud we would have rejected the findings in the paper by Mann et al. by now dontcathink. I mean the thing has been poked and prodded a million different ways and has held up. Unless you think there is some kind of conspiracy afoot among climate scientists.

  66. Nullius in Verba

    #64,

    There’s no such thing as a “scientific consensus”. You mean a consensus of scientists. Science is defined by evidence, not opinion.

    Or as another consensus-buster once said: “In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”

    The “overwhelming majority” on that particular question is about 85% according to most of the surveys, but it depends on the exact question. A very high proportion agree the Earth is warming, and that anthropogenic GHGs make a positive contribution to temperature. A smaller number think the observed warming is mostly due to the anthropogenic GHGs. A smaller number still think this will be magnified by large positive feedbacks and will lead to catastrophic climate change in the future.

    It’s bad form to pretend the support of scientists for the first point is the same as support for the last. Most *sceptics* agree with the first two points. The rest is controversial.

  67. Nullius in Verba

    #65,

    In that case, the consensus of qualified people is that the methods are wrong.

    “I’m sure if there was a valid proof of fraud we would have rejected the findings in the paper by Mann et al. by now dontcathink.”

    That’s circular reasoning. You’ll reject the findings if and only if the findings are rejected, yes?

    The point is that the r-squared correlation between Mann’s reconstruction and actual observed temperatures was less than 2% – and yes that’s been peer-reviewed – and if anyone thinks a reconstruction of temperature that is not correlated with temperature is fine and dandy in science, then I don’t consider them to be qualified.

  68. Jeff

    #53
    “If the science was picked apart in the first few years, why did nobody notice that proxy series were mislabelled, extrapolated, incorrectly copied from one column to another? Why did nobody notice that the algorithm incorrectly used short-centred PCA? Why did nobody notice that the r-squared test had failed?

    It’s a serious question. How did this result get to be the headline graphic of the IPCC circus without anybody checking?”

    There you go bloviating disgusting, dogmatic tripes again. What you seem to not be noticing is that all those “mistakes” you seem to “see” in the methodology were never taken note of nor publicized because…

    wait for it…

    changing any of those niggling aspects of “concern”…

    wait for it…

    had zero (0, zilch, nothing, nada) effect on the outcomes. If there’s no effect on the outcomes from a “concern,” what is there, exactly, to be concerned about? Other scientists only had to pick all those “concerns” apart, wasting their time, I might add, because of wingnuts who just refuse to agree with the evidence, and will try any tactic to try to win arguments they are clueless about. :)

    To draw a corollary to your argument here, we should go back and question Newton, since he deduced that gravity existed from being hit on the head with an apple. Since he didn’t prove gravity mathematically (at first), we shouldn’t trust any of his science, because he didn’t do it “The Right Way.” The fact that he experimentally confirmed his conclusions repeatedly, and the effects of gravity can be observed all around us, shouldn’t mean a thing, he “did it wrong,” so yay for the space industry, we can just disagree with gravity now! I’m certain we can find other ways to disagree with Newton’s methodology, even though such questioning wouldn’t change reality in the minutest degree, so shall we all waste our time doing that? I think not.

    The fact is that the globe’s warming trends have been repeatedly, exhaustively, insanely proven and re-proven to the wingnuts (don’t be a douche and ask me for citations, there are dozens in the article), using many differing methodologies that have all produced the same results, that you would think further disagreement would be met with men in white coats. Sadly, America at least, has not wised up yet, and would rather sow discontent while we boil away the planet.

    Please try a new angle, these old angles have gotten really boring.

  69. Nullius in Verba

    #68,

    Newton deduced gravity existed by being hit on the head with an apple?!

    Here’s how Newton replied to a contemporary sceptic (Richard Bentley) regarding his theory of gravity…

    “The last clause of your second Position I like very well. Tis unconceivable that inanimate brute matter should (without the mediation of something else which is not material) operate upon & affect other matter without mutual contact; as it must if gravitation in the sense of Epicurus be essential & inherent in it. And this is one reason why I desired you would not ascribe {innate} gravity to me. That gravity should be innate inherent to matter so that one body may act upon another at a distance through a vacuum without the mediation of any thing else by & through which their action or force {may} be conveyed from one to another is to me so great an absurdity that I beleive no man who has in philosophical matters any competent faculty of thinking can ever fall into it. Gravity must be caused by an agent {acting} consta{ntl}y according to certain laws, but whether this agent be material or immaterial is a question I have left to the consideration of my readers.”

    Did you know about that? Or had you accepted Newton’s theory of gravity without question?

  70. Jeff

    #70
    So, you don’t like your pet argument attacked, I see! What you missed was a semantic trap I set for you. I didn’t say I believed that was how he deduced gravity existed, I said we could argue that! I also devised my argument based on the same type of tripe like your attack on Mann’s methods. What I’ve just demonstrated is how you’ll change direction on a dime to try to win the debate, even though the route you’re pursuing will produce no result. The better argumentative tactic would have been to refute the comparison. :)

    My end point being, neither your attack on Mann’s methods nor my made up attack on Newton makes any difference to the end results, but debating that aspect of reality would of course have you losing the argument.

    P.S. I don’t accept anything without question, not even the existence of The Great Spaghetti Monster. :)

  71. Nullius in Verba

    #71,

    ” I didn’t say I believed that was how he deduced gravity existed, I said we could argue that!”

    “To draw a corollary to your argument here, we should go back and question Newton, since he deduced that gravity existed from being hit on the head with an apple.”

    I have no idea what you’re talking about, now. I haven’t changed direction.

  72. Much of the ‘deniers, disgust, and defamation’ seems to turn on people objecting so vigorously to a scientific conclusion (even the National Academy of Sciences, 2006, agreed that Mann wasn’t too badly wrong — a point rendered moot by the multiple non-Mann reconstructions before and since). Not even so much because of the conclusion itself, but because of fear about what is entailed by that conclusion being true.

    My take is that reality-based decision making http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2012/07/reality-based-decision-making.html is the way to go. And it doesn’t demand that your political decision be one you find distasteful, even if you don’t like the science.

    In other words, agreeing that current temperatures are above those of the medieval warm period (global mean) does not mean that you have to give up your SUV.

  73. shunt1

    Can we consider this as an endorsement of Michael Mann’s scientific methodology by Dr. Phil Plait?

    A simple yes or no is all that is requested…

    Next question for Dr. Phil Plait:

    If Michael Mann’s research is so sound, would you be willing to obtain a core sample from a tree in your own back yard and compare the ring data with the known historical temperature records of Boulder Colorado?

    How confident are you of a close match between the your tree ring data and the known historical records?

    Perhaps we need to review the “Scientific Method:”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0

  74. Doug Little

    There’s no such thing as a “scientific consensus”. You mean a consensus of scientists. Science is defined by evidence, not opinion.

    Yes, if you want to put it that way that is what I mean by a scientific consensus, or to put it another way, enough scientists agree that the physical evidence fits the hypothesis that earth is warming and the major cause of that warming is due to human activity to call it a theory, which would take the discovery of new evidence that doesn’t fit the theory or another hypothesis that more accurately/elegantly describes the evidence than the existing one to overthrow it. At the moment the theory is strengthening as more and more evidence is collected.

  75. Doug Little

    Can we consider this as an endorsement of Michael Mann’s scientific methodology by Dr. Phil Plait?

    Can we agree that the methodology used by Mann et al. had zero effect on the conclusion?

    If Michael Mann’s research is so sound, would you be willing to obtain a core sample from a tree in your own back yard and compare the ring data with the known historical temperature records of Boulder Colorado?

    Can we also agree that recent studies show that even when the tree ring proxy data is removed the result remains the same?

  76. DrFlimmer

    Whenever I post about the reality of climate change, I get the usual chorus of denialist outrage. This includes the odd ad hominem or two, like the sneering “What does an astronomer know about the climate?”, because apparently not having an advanced degree in science makes someone a better judge of the data.

    I am actually sorry for you that your foresight is always correct. Still, keep up the good work! :)

  77. shunt1

    Sorry, but I will no longer play the “Straw Man” game anymore.

    I have a copy of Michael Mann’s software, so I know exactly how his research was conducted.

    I know what bristle cone trees were sampled in Colorado and their locations.

    Dr. Phil Plait, are you willing to sample a tree in your own back yard, use Michael Mann’s software and compare the results with the known historical temperature records of Boulder Colorado?

    If not, then why not?

    What are you afraid of with such a simple experiment?

  78. Nullius in Verba

    #74,

    I’d call it a hypothesis, rather than a theory. I would agree that the Earth is very likely warming slightly, as it often does. And I’d agree that it’s not unreasonable to think the warming to date may be more than 50% due to AGW.

    It’s not actually all that strong a claim. We’ve seen about 0.8 C temperature rise from 40% rise in CO2. If half of that 0.8 C is AGW, we get 0.4 C from half a doubling, or the equivalent of 0.8 C from doubling CO2.

    And since that’s on the low side of what most sceptics think anyway, I don’t have a problem with that.

    Of course, that’s an entirely different statement from the high-feedback ‘catastrophe’ scenario.

  79. Nullius in Verba

    #75,

    “Can we agree that the methodology used by Mann et al. had zero effect on the conclusion?”

    No.

    “Can we also agree that recent studies show that even when the tree ring proxy data is removed the result remains the same?”

    Not quite. I assume you’re referring here to Mann 2008, which included both bristlecones and upside-down Tiljander. If you remove the bristlecones, you still get a Hockeystick because of Tiljander. If you remove Tiljander, you still get a Hockeystick because of the bristlecones. But if you remove the bristlecones and Tiljander (or put Tiljander the right way up) you don’t get the Hockeystick.

    It’s a cute trick – whichever one you pick, the pea is always under the other cup.

  80. shawn connelly

    Phil, When and how did stupid, ignorant people find your blog?

    To the extremely ignorant deniers:
    I invite you to examine the EVIDENCE that the most dramatic evidence of global warming can be found at the poles.

    To even argue that it is a natural phenomena is also a display of utter ignorance. Regardless of the cause, the effect will be devastating to all life. We must all do whatever is scientifically possible to slow down or reverse global warming… NOT when we figure it all out BUT BEFORE it is absolutely too late.

    Why is this so difficult for some of you to understand? You people are basically cut from the same cloth as the ignorant dumb asses that stated that the buffalo would never disappear, it was impossible to pollute the great lakes or the oceans, etc.

    I suspect you are disinterested in facts but FYI:
    http://ocean.si.edu/ocean-news/climate-change-poles
    http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2095114,00.html

    Here, this is for children:
    http://lasp.colorado.edu/home/education/k-12/climate-change-compendium/
    http://www.futurity.org/earth-environment/climate-change-consequences-poles-apart/

  81. Cory

    the old joke – How can you tell when a denialist is full of it? Lips are moving. I greatly enjoy the comedic value when the ‘deniers’ chime in with their ‘science’. I encourage them to keep it up, we can only guess that they are fools until they start typing. Meanwhile, back to the historic drought and fire season….

  82. Chris Winter

    Nullius in Verba wrote (#67): “Or as another consensus-buster once said: ‘In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.’ “

    Right — as long as that “humble reasoning” stands up as valid. So where is the individual with the valid reasoning to disprove AGW? As I’ve said many times, anyone who steps forward with that valid reasoning, and the evidence to back it up, will be hailed as a hero.

    And yet, no one appears. How long must we wait?

  83. shunt1

    Anyone with a microscope can obtain a core sample from a tree in their own backyard and measure the width of each ring. Perhaps the most basic method of obtaining a known data sample.

    Measure the width of each ring and compare your own results with the historical temperature records at your location.

    Why is such a simple experiment so scary?

    Quit spouting your political beliefs. Test your own tree with a known last living date and compare the results yourself. Hint: The outside tree ring will be from the date when it was last alive.

    The data will agree or it will not. It is that simple!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0

    Do you have some old fire wood? If you know the year when the tree was cut down, that is all that you need. Simply measure the width of each tree ring.

  84. Jeff

    #71
    “I have no idea what you’re talking about, now. I haven’t changed direction.”

    Actually, yes you did. You started on an argument about Mann, but when I threw you a semantic curve and said let’s draw a corollary, you didn’t stick to topic and refute my comparison, you switched to ask me if I accepted Newton’s Theories without question. My accepting Newton’s Theories without question can only be an attack on my presumed reasoning capacity, and bears no corollary to the original argument. As others have attempted to educate you, that is called an ad hominem attack. To further drive this home, in court terminology, I would have raised an irrelevancy objection to your change in questioning tactic. :)

    Unlike you, however, I will get on with my life now that I can see there’s no hope of getting you to stick to any solid logical construct. So you don’t misinterpret that as me “giving up,” I simply don’t feel like wasting my time any longer on tripe.

  85. Doug Little

    I’d call it a hypothesis, rather than a theory. I would agree that the Earth is very likely warming slightly, as it often does.

    I have to disagree with you there the warming has occurred at an unprecedented rate since the industrial revolution with the last decade the warmest on record.

    Of course, that’s an entirely different statement from the high-feedback ‘catastrophe’ scenario.

    I don’t think Phil has made this statement or the majority of people who comment for AGW on this blog. Climate is complex and the nightmare scenarios are just one valid outcome of many that have been modeled with some of the more intricate predictions obviously having a large amount of uncertainty associated with them due to their complexity. One prediction that is pretty straight forward is sea level rise, just this one alone has dire consequences for mankind.

    It’s not actually all that strong a claim. We’ve seen about 0.8 C temperature rise from 40% rise in CO2. If half of that 0.8 C is AGW, we get 0.4 C from half a doubling, or the equivalent of 0.8 C from doubling CO2.
    And since that’s on the low side of what most sceptics think anyway, I don’t have a problem with that.

    Now we are talking about a whole different kettle of fish. The most skeptics you refer to are not the same people that routinely turn up on this site.

  86. Nullius in Verba

    #81,

    For drought, see //www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/sotc/drought/2012/06/uspa-wet-dry-mod-ext-190001-201206.gif

    For fires, see “Historical Fire Regime Patterns in the Southwestern United States Since AD 1700″ Swetnam and Baisan, figure 5.

    #82,

    Lots of people have stood up, but if you dismiss anyone who does as automatically unqualified, it’s no wonder you see no one.

    #83,

    Is it possible you don’t know what a corollary is? Do you perhaps mean ‘analogy’?

    #84,

    The rate is not unprecedented. If you go back far enough, climate has changed *far* faster (e.g. Younger Dryas). And in more recent times there isn’t the evidence to be sure, either way, but we’ve certainly seen *local* changes that are bigger, faster, and longer, and some evidence that they may have been more widespread. (e.g. Central England, 1695-1733.)

  87. shunt1

    Perhaps I am not making myself clear enough:

    Michael Mann is a scientific FRAUD and I am calling him on it.

    Does he have the balls to take me to court, where the scientific evidence can be presented?

    I just moved into a new house this month and there is a lovely four foot wide tree stump with lots of rings to explore. Nice and smooth horizontal cut. I wonder how well it will match the historical temperature records of Loveland Colorado?

    Dr. Phil Plait, with this posting, has implied that he has evaluated and endorsed the scientific methods used by Michael Mann in his research publications.

    Is this correct?

  88. Doug Little

    Nullius @80,

    I’m not blowing you off, I did find an article on the reconstruction being very similar if the tree ring data and Tijlander series were removed, plus a few other more recent articles on tree ring proxies that are using updated information. I’ll track it down later.

  89. Luis Dias: Luis Dias Says: Your hatred will get you nowhere, mr Plait. Clear your head off this mess. Yes, terrible things are being said and done out there. But indignating your own intestines over this will only blind you from an unbiased look at the truths involved here. You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion. And opinions are zillions here for the takin.

    FYI it’s Dr. Plait, and though rancor certainly tends to do more harm than good, sometimes it’s justified. You speak of opinions, and yes, there’s the old saying about how opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and they all stink, etc etc.
    However, when you specifically accuse someone of a crime, and a serious, career-ending one, at that, you cross the line into defamation. And to make such an accusation in a case that may well be the best investigated incident of alleged fraud in which the target was cleared of all accusations of wrongdoing, well, that’s either incredible incompetence or malicious deceit. Which should we assume here?

  90. Nullius in Verba

    “However, when you specifically accuse someone of a crime, and a serious, career-ending one, at that, you cross the line into defamation.”

    Are you accusing people of the crime of defamation? How ironic!

    I’ve also been accused of incredible incompetence and malicious deceit, too. (” we can only guess that they are fools until they start typing”, “What I’ve just demonstrated is how you’ll change direction on a dime to try to win the debate”) Should I feel aggrieved?

  91. shunt1

    Please take me to court!

    “However, when you specifically accuse someone of a crime, and a serious, career-ending one, at that, you cross the line into defamation.”

    Why?

    Because I never forgot how to test reality with simple experiments, which can be reproduced by anyone with very simple instruments.

    Heck, most of the experiments could be conducted by the members of the jury!

  92. shunt1

    My new house is located in a farm field. Thankfully, the farmer is responsible for his crops and I can simply enjoy the privacy.

    Can I ask this farmer for his historical crop harvests and compare them with the Loveland temperatures records?

    As I am typing this message, he is currently harvesting…

    My informed guess is that they will be more closely related to yearly rainfall rates.

    But this farmer is not a “climate scientist” and has no idea that Michael Mann “knows” much more than him.

  93. Don’t be a dick…

  94. @91 Nullius in Verba: “However, when you specifically accuse someone of a crime, and a serious, career-ending one, at that, you cross the line into defamation.”
    Are you accusing people of the crime of defamation? How ironic!

    How dare you. I an not an iron :)
    Seriously, that’s actually an interesting question, one that I’d love to run by a lawyer: are there circumstances in which accusing someone of defamation could itself be considered an actionable case of defamation?
    Of course, the difference here is that Mark Steyn has presented no evidence that Dr. Mann committed fraud; whereas Michael Mann has ample evidence that Mark Steyn has accused him of fraud (duh).

    I’ve also been accused of incredible incompetence and malicious deceit, too. (” we can only guess that they are fools until they start typing”, “What I’ve just demonstrated is how you’ll change direction on a dime to try to win the debate”) Should I feel aggrieved?

    Not to the point that you become litigious, no. There’s a world of difference between saying that someone is a pervert and saying that someone forcibly sodomized an under-aged boy named (name withheld) at 4:30 last Thursday behind the bushes on Oak street. Or saying that someone is a shifty con man versus saying that they actually embezzled 25,000 dollars from a home equity account that they fraudulently opened in your name.

  95. @92 shunt1: Heck, most of the experiments could be conducted by the members of the jury!

    Can you give us some examples? In all seriousness, I’ve been looking for a fun backyard project.

  96. Cory

    A lot of human nature in people. It is more than apparent in the suprising difference over the global warming issue. Much of it stems from deep fears about inadequacy, and the refusal to believe that we have control over our destiny; religion, low intellect, cultural taboos, etc. It’s easier to deny it than it is to have to work at it, and that’s the human nature hurdle.

  97. shunt1

    @96. Joseph G:

    “Can you give us some examples? In all seriousness, I’ve been looking for a fun backyard project.”

    Uh, ok…

    Michael Mann has based his research upon the theory that tree ring data is an accurate representation of historical temperature records.

    Obtain some firewood around your own house (if you know the date when the tree was cut down) and measure the width of each ring. Once you have measured the width of each ring and matched them to known dates, compare the widths with the historical temperature records for the location where that tree was growing.

    Even member of a jury could do an experiment that simple!

    Or did you not read my previous postings?

    ……………

    @96. Cory:

    Get your own firewood and prove me wrong! Or, is that too difficult of a task for “high intellect” people to perform?

    Facts are facts, and that is what true science is all about.

  98. Cory

    I don’t have to prove you wrong. Well, to be correct, I could offer evidence to support my theory that you are wrong, but in reality, you did all that work yourself in this discussion, so I have to do is sit back and laugh. Latz -

  99. @98 Shunt1: Michael Mann has based his research upon the theory that tree ring data is an accurate representation of historical temperature records.
    Obtain some firewood around your own house (if you know the date when the tree was cut down) and measure the width of each ring. Once you have measured the width of each ring and matched them to a known date, compare the width with the historical temperature records for the location where that tree was growing.

    I read your tree ring posts, but I didn’t quite understand exactly what you meant before.
    I may just take you up on that – like Phil, I’m a huge fan of citizen science (when such a thing is practical). As far as a layperson being able to get good data, there are a couple of potential issues that come to mind, though: first, different species of tree are presumably different in the way that they react to temperature, indeed for all I know, there are species of tree that react to rainfall exclusively and not temperature. My understanding was that Mann et al used a couple of specific tree species that had previously been studied to see if they were good temperature proxies.
    Second, the “decline” in the infamously misinterpreted “hide the decline” apparently referred to a measurable decrease in the value of tree ring data as a temperature proxy in recent times – I think this has been attributed to pollutants other than CO2. Most trees available to the average Joe at home are going to be 30 or 40 years old at a maximum, and the farmed trees often used for firewood tend to be even younger, maybe 20 years or so.
    Beyond that, though, between direct measurements and ice core and other proxies, doesn’t the “hockey stick” appear even with no tree ring data at all? Michael Mann’s work wasn’t exclusively based on tree ring data, iiuc.

  100. Shunt1, Cory does raise a good point, that typically the burden of proof is on those making new claims (as opposed to relying on science that’s already on the record). Have you tried to match local tree rings with temperature records? If so, what were your results?

  101. shunt1

    @100. Joseph G:

    “typically the burden of proof is on those making new claims ”

    We are not the ones claiming that trees can accurately measure historical temperatures. You kinda got things a little reversed!

    Dr. Phil Plait and I can sample the original trees. They have little metal tags!

    You are now on the road of true scientific research. Test many trees around your own home and compare them with the historical temperature records.

    What varieties of trees diverged the most from the historical records?

    With this topic, I failed to realize that most people have no idea who Michael Mann is and his published research. I should apologize for that over site.

    The term “Treenometer” as a substitute for an actual calibrated thermometer, is what people like me object the most about.

    Test your own trees and see how accurate they are. Remember, we are often talking about global temperatures deviations in the 0.1 C range. Are those trees that accurate?

    Test it yourself. What results do you obtain from your own data samples?

    TRUST BUT VERIFY!

    Dr. Phil Plait and I can sample the original trees. They have little metal tags.

  102. shunt1

    @99. Cory:

    I can not debate your religion, but simply ask people to verify with their own eyes if what you are claiming is based upon any reproducible data.

    Oh yes, I can have a Jury in a court of law measure tree rings and see if they can obtain very accurate temperatures matching the historical records for that specific location.

    Your religion is, well, based upon a blind faith that can not be verified with factual data that anyone can obtain.

  103. Steve Metzler

    shunt1 doesn’t even know the single most fundamental thing about tree ring paleoclimatology, which is: with some exceptions, it is mostly trees at the high altitude tree line that are good indicators of temperature, because that is the most important constraint to their growth in those conditions.

    So, no, some random tree in Dr. Phil’s back yard, even if it does happen to be miraculously old enough to be of any use historically, is very likely not going to show a correlation with past temperatures.

    If it was all so simple, then we could all be scientists. How is it that the scientists who brought us stuff like the transistor and air flight are all perceived as benevolent geniuses, but nearly every single practicing climatologist is allegedly so incompetent that they aren’t even capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time?

    Boring, annoying, pedantic troll shunt1 gets more boring, annoying, and pedantic with each AGW thread.

  104. Steve Morrison

    Are you accusing people of the crime of defamation? How ironic!

    AIUI, defamation is a tort rather than a crime; you can sue someone for it, but you can’t have them arrested and thrown in jail. Suing successfully depends on showing both that the allegations made were false, and that they did you some kind of tangible harm. But IANAL; can anyone who is elucidate?

  105. Ed

    Zetetic Said:

    “Since there is no supporting credible positively evidence for a natural warming mechanism that would act as a significant forcing agent causing the increase in global temperatures…”

    Odd. We know that the climate has warmed and cooled over the life of the planet. Since we were not about to muck up the works for pretty much of that time, I am thinking that statement is not entirely accurate?

  106. shunt1

    104. Steve Metzler

    You keep forgetting my offer to Dr. Phil Plait to sample the original bristlecone pine trees at high altitudes here in Colorado. I know where they are and how to identify them with their metal tags.

    Once again, was it the temperature or the moisture that influenced the tree ring growth the most?

    If nobody can validate the accuracy of even a single tree, how can an average of invalid data be used to obtain global values with any hope of being accurate?

    Once again, you are showing blind faith in your religion, that nobody else can verify.

    Do you actually have any data that can be reproduced and tested?

    The “Boring, annoying, pedantic troll shunt1 gets more boring, annoying” comments are actually your admission that you do not have any valid data to support your false claims.

    Nice try, but next time, measure some fire wood and post your actual results…

  107. Steve Metzler

    @Nullius in Verba:

    The plagiarism is not the most important thing that’s wrong about the infamous Wegman Report. It turns out that Wegman relied entirely on McIntyre’s analysis of Mann’s work, without doing any due diligence on it himself:

    Replication and due diligence, Wegman style

    He assumed that McIntyre used AR1(.2) to generate his 10,000 ‘red noise’ time series, but in fact, McI used ARFIMA, which produces auto-correlation with insanely high persistence (like *19 years*, when AR1(.2) has a persistence of about *1.5 years*, which more realistically simulates nature). See:

    How Red are my Proxies?

    for more info on this.

    Then out of the 10,000 simulation runs, he chose the 100 most upward-pointing PCA ‘hockey sticks’ and saved them off for Wegman. Talk about cherry picking!

    So the Wegman Report was a complete stitch-up of Mann statistics-wise from day one. The plagiarism aspect is only really an aside that just makes it all a bit worse.

  108. Steve Metzler

    shunt1 said:

    Dr. Phil Plait, are you willing to sample a tree in your own back yard, use Michael Mann’s software and compare the results with the known historical temperature records of Boulder Colorado?

    and:

    My new house is located in a farm field.

    So, do you know for a fact that Dr. Phil’s residence is at high altitude/on the tree line? How about your farm? Don’t think so! You switched horses mid stream there, and were caught out.

  109. VinceRN

    Blog post about environmental stuff = instant flame war.

  110. shunt1

    @107. Steve Metzler

    Unlike the FRAUD Michael Mann, I am willing to work directly with Dr. Phil Plait and show all of our results. I will not delete data that does not agree with any theory!

    ….

    “So, do you know for a fact that Dr. Phil’s residence is at high altitude/on the tree line? How about your farm? Don’t think so! You switched horses mid stream there, and were caught out.”

    Dr. Phil Plait and I live about 30 miles from each other. His location and mine are within 300 feet (or much less) in elevation.

    Nice try, but obtain a map of Colorado and look at Loveland and Boulder next time. Google Earth is a fantastic resource…

    Sorry, but I am requesting people on this blog to do some actual scientific research. Can Michael Mann’s “treenometer” data be verified, even at the local level?

    I give up, how was I “caught out?”

  111. EstebanCS

    I find it more hilarious that when the topic of Climate change comes up, scientists that have knowledge on the subject and make unbiased observations of the situation are villains distorting people with false representation of scientific studies. And those who aren’t scientists, or who do distort information, are shown as experts in the field of climatology…even though they have no scientific knowledge of, or have done no research into, the subject.

  112. shunt1

    Hey Phil:

    My home has a GPS elevation of 1532 meters or 5026 feet.

    What is yours?

    My sailboat on Carter Lake is at a higher altitude than both of our homes.

    Playing with kids can be so tiring sometimes, but I will try to provide factual information when requested.

    Do we have to explain how trivial it is for us to drive up into the mountains to an elevation over 12,000 feet with glaciers above us?

  113. @FMCH Yeah I’ve wondered that too – the right is awfully interested in American Exceptionalism while at the same time denouncing 99% of exceptional Americans.

  114. Grand Lunar

    Unfortunately Phil, I just ate dinner prior to reading those sickening events you mentioned.
    I think I can keep my food down….

    As this shows, deniers know no boundries, even when it comes to character.
    And comparing climate scienstists to child molesters is about as low as they can go (although I’m sure they’ll sink even lower if they could).

    It’s ridiculous how much haters of all sorts resort to death threats to get their voices heard.

    Not only do climate scientists face it, but so do the feminists of the skeptical community (much on this has been said at Skepchick. I’m surprised you haven’t given comments on this yet, Phil).

    I suggest these haters go live in their own nation that doesn’t have First Ammendment rights, while rational people stay in a nation that does.

  115. shunt1

    @111. Grand Lunar:

    That is why I try to keep Phil honest…

    Darn near impossible, since I can not publish long research papers on this blog, but I try my best to get people to remember the “scientific method” and how is must always be applied.

    Sadly, you only hear one side of the story that is often highly twisted and distorted for political reasons.

    If I only lived in “your world” I would be just as upset!

  116. Dan H.

    As someone with an education in science and engineering, I see a very stark difference between how the climate science community behaves and how other scientists behave.

    For example, when some particle physicists had experimental results that were potentially earth-shattering regarding the speed of neutrinos, they instantly went public with their methodology and their complete data, and practically begged everyone to poke holes in their work. See, the results were extraordinary and significant, so extraordinary evidence and procedure-checking was required. Some climate scientists, on the other hand, have refused to turn over data even in the face of Freedom Of Information Act requests that compel them to do so.

    A good scientist should welcome attempts to refute his or her work, because ultimately a scientist is interested in the truth. But what I see in the global warming science community is a systematic attempt to shout down/belittle/ignore/attack anyone who doesn’t fully agree with their conclusions. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence that some pro-AGW scientists have tried to destroy the careers of other scientists who disagreed with them, and have journal editors fired who dare to publish opposing work – even if the work meets the standard of the journal.

    In addition, some climate scientists tend to treat the criticisms of anyone who is not formally a ‘climate scientist’ with disdain (but only if they disagree with them). In other fields of science, the value of cross-disciplinary oversight and criticism is well known and welcomed. Phil Plait is accepted by the climate science community as a ‘real scientist’. But if he was a ‘denier’, he would be dismissed as someone with only an astronomy Ph.D, and therefore not qualified to comment. Hence the dismissal of the opinions of leading scientists and engineers like Freeman Dyson, Burt Rutan, and Nobel Prize-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, who quit the American Physical Society because of its closed-door attitude towards global warming ‘deniers’.

    Then there’s the issue of bias. In an environment where a journal editor can be fired for accepting a ‘denier’ paper with even a tiny error in it, but who will suffer no consequences if he publishes a flawed pro-warming piece, there is an obvious publication bias. In addition, because so much government money flows to global warming research, there are institutional biases against hiring skeptics of AGW, or biases against following lines of research that may lead to anti-warming conclusions. And as any number of scientists will tell you, if you seek grant money for the study of say, bird migration, you stand a much better chance if you link your study to global warming. This also biases the publication world towards pro-warming papers.

    This large number of ‘pro-warming’ papers and relative dearth of ‘denier’ papers may then create the impression of scientific consensus, leading other scientists to tacitly agree with the pro-warming side on the assumption that that is where the weight of the science is. And if they happen to agree with the political goals of the pro-AGW side, it’s even easier to join the ‘consensus’.

    I could go on all day. Phil Plait considers himself a skeptic, and I consider myself one as well. As a result, I’m skeptical of a field that has so many bad actors in it and which has so much bias in one direction. All the major ‘players’ in the scientific debate have staked their careers on global warming being real, and should not be trusted to be objective with the data. Given the stakes involved, we should be demanding even more openness, more rigor, and more skeptical cross checking than we do for other sciences. Instead, we have much less openness, and attacks on anyone who questions the ‘consensus’.

    Unfortunately, the nature of climate ‘science’ is that we have no counterfactuals, we can’t run experiments to prove climate predictions, and we are forced to rely on proxies and tuned computer models, both of which are risky methodologies. We’re trying to study a complex adaptive system where even the baseline temperature is hard to determine from the noise, and so we don’t even have a null hypothesis. Despite the cries that “The science is settled!”, we are learning new things about how the climate behaves every day – sometimes very significant new things. Our understanding of long-term feedbacks is still weak, and they are critical to the predictions of future warming.

    All of this should at the very least make climate scientists humble and willing to accept other points of view. Unfortunately, the issue is so politicized that the opposite is true – opinions are much harder to change in this field than in other sciences where the actual science is much more straightforward and concrete. Even physicists were willing to give Pons and Fleischmann a serious hearing over their cold fusion, and we understand basic physics a hell of a lot better than we do the workings of the complex adaptive system we call climate.

    Phil, do me a favor and put your skeptic hat on and take an objective look at the state of climate science. Look at the shoddy data record-keeping at East Anglia. Look at the very thin datasets that are being used for proxies. Look at the ground measurement data, where the temperature ‘adjustments’ are often greater than the temperature change signal itself. Look at the behavior of some of the leading scientists on the pro-AGW side, and how much money is being thrown at both sides by organizations with an obvious axe to grind.

    The state of climate science is abysmal, and the results should therefore be treated tentatively and carefully – by both sides.

  117. Giovanni da Procida

    @112
    Darn near impossible, since I can not publish long research papers on this blog, but I try my best to get people to remember the “scientific method” and how is must always be applied.

    Perhaps you would consider publishing a research paper anywhere. After all, that is what the scientists you deride routinely do- they publish papers. In scientific journals. With figures, data, and citations…

  118. Ron1

    @112 Shunt1

    ….. Sheez, you’d think you would learn. …every single time you go off your meds you start rambling on, and on, and on and on about the same blithering stupidity that you have always blathered on about. Face it, you’re boring.

    …..
    ps. Phil, keep up the good fight. Good post.

  119. shunt1

    @113. Ron1:

    What have I stated tonight that was not absolutely factual?

    Did I DARE to ask people to measure tree rings with their own firewood and compare their own data with local historical temperatures?

    How HORRIBLE!

    Amazing how any perceived infringement upon your religion is replied with personal attacks.

    Why is that?

    ….

    Factual and reproducible information is just fine in the world that I live in.

  120. shunt1

    @117. Dan H.:

    Thanks, you have stated very well my most basic scientific requirements.

    I honestly do not care one way or the other, so long as the research is done correctly. However, I get very upset when I see very shoddy research and people attack me for daring to stand up and saying: “That report is wrong!”

    Just be honest and publish your software and data so that other scientists can verify your research.

    Such a simple request…

    Why are people so afraid to measure their own firewood tree rings?

  121. Chris

    For those daring Phil to look at the tree rings in his back yard, that’s just silly. The tree ring data is not just one tree telling the entire climate of the planet. It’s many trees, many different species from all over. A large sample size spread over a large area will give you useful information on long term trends. One tree will reflect regional variations of temperature and precipitation and would be very unlikely to match the proxy data. It’s like finding the average weight of an American and saying we’re getting fatter. Then asking Phil to get on a scale and say “See Phil is not fat, therefore all Americans are not getting fatter.”

  122. Menyambal

    Well, my long comment got lost …

    Shunt1, the trees in most people’s backyards have rings that are affected by rainfall, not temperature. Trees that correlate to temperature are elsewhere.

    Denier arguments reduce to saying that people are screwed up. We know that, that’s why we use science.

    Deniers sound just like truthers, birthers, creationists and moon-hoaxers. Oh, and like trolls, too.

  123. shunt1

    @122 Chris:

    “One tree will reflect regional variations of temperature and precipitation and would be very unlikely to match the proxy data.”

    If one tree can not accurately reproduce the known temperature record for that specific region, then how could it represent a global climate?

    The average of bad data = bad data.

    First step: Verify that a tree can accurately record local temperatures.

    It is that darn simple!!!!

    ………………

    @123. Menyambal:

    I know, it is always somewhere else that nobody can actually measure. Been there, done that.

    But you just admitted exactly what we have been trying to say:

    “trees in most people’s backyards have rings that are affected by rainfall, not temperature.”

    That alone should send up a major RED FLAG to any honest scientist.

    But remember, I am requesting Dr. Phil Plait to help me measure the actual trees that Michael Mann used for his research reports.

  124. Menyambal

    You weren’t requesting that at first, you were challenging everyone to measure their own trees. Now you pretend otherwise. You claim there is a conspiracy, while you show every sign of being in one.

    As for things that I can measure, I can tell you that it is as hot summer as I have ever seen here, after as mild a winter as as ever I felt here. I’ve seen other, personal accounts of rising seas and melting glaciers, earlier spring and wandering animals.

  125. Menyambal

    Oh, I forgot to mention: Here in southern Missouri, I have seen armadillos invade the region. They were not here forty years ago. Now roadrunners are showing up.

    The climate certainly seems to be changing.

    I could measure the dead armadillos per road mile, if you like.

  126. Zetetic

    Paul @ #106:
    Since I was clearly referring to AGW/ACC which focuses on the recent global temperature trends and not paleoclimate, except as part of studying what the effects and drivers of climate are, the statement was accurate.
    Your comprehension of it on the other hand, was apparently less so.
    Yes, you are correct that temperatures have changed over thee course of Earth’s history, in fact many things can cause the Earth’s temperature to change over time. This is known because of the same scientific research that deniers tell you to ignore in relation to the current warming.
    The rather obvious detail that you seem to be missing is that every one of those other temperature changes had a cause (in a few past cases is was CO2 increases, in others it wasn’t) referred to as a forcing agent.

    Now here is the problem you seem to be avoiding…. What credible positively supporting evidence is there for a natural warming mechanism that is acting as significant forcing agent to drive the recent global temperatures higher? After all there has been decades to find positively supporting evidence for such a natural forcing agent, so where is it?
    We have a large body of empirical evidence that GHGs are causing an increase in returned infrared radiation to the Earth’s troposphere, but the other natural forcing agents are oddly not present to a degree that would cause the observed changes. The sun (for one example) has been in a quiescent phase with it’s output having dropped slightly over the last 35 years while temperatures continue to climb.

    ——————————————————————————————————————

    Dan H @ #117:
    Some climate scientists, on the other hand, have refused to turn over data even in the face of Freedom Of Information Act requests that compel them to do so.
    You seem to have conveniently left out the little detail that they were as small group with limited personnel being deliberately flooded with FOIA requests (by non-scientists) in an orchestrated campaign to shut down their research in order to fulfill the requests. All to request information that they were going to make publicly available anyhow.
    Care to tell us how many particle physicists have to worry about such deliberate obstructionism?

    A good scientist should welcome attempts to refute his or her work, because ultimately a scientist is interested in the truth
    Agreed, yet curiously that is rather lacking from the 1% of active and relevant experts that argue against AGW/ACC. Instead the denier industry seems to be only really waging a P.R. campaign, just like the tobbacco lobby, creationists, geocentrists, and anti-vaxxers. Ever wonder why?

    because so much government money flows to global warming research, there are institutional biases against hiring skeptics of AGW, or biases against following lines of research that may lead to anti-warming conclusions.
    A false assumption. Most of the funding would be the same regardless of the cause. In point of fact it’s blaming it on human activity that has resulted in funding cuts, censorship, and death threats from the deniers. The only time where congress funded “research” into warming to get a specific result it was by the Republicans to try and discredit AGW/ACC, and that wound up in an academic scandal.
    Curiously you seem to be employing a rather obvious double standard by failing to note that it’s the deniers that are being paid (usually far more than the climate researchers) by “think-tanks” and other fossil fuel funded groups.
    —> Climate Denier Funding: Where Exxon Left Off, Coal and Others Take Over
    (Note that the below link is just what deniers are paid by just one fossil fuel funded “think-tank” there are many others.)
    —> Climate sceptics – who gets paid what?

    This large number of ‘pro-warming’ papers and relative dearth of ‘denier’ papers may then create the impression of scientific consensus, leading other scientists to tacitly agree with the pro-warming side on the assumption that that is where the weight of the science is.
    Yet curiously papers that were critical or neutral on AGW/ACC used to be far more common but decreased over the last half of the last century as new and better evidence was found.
    Are you next going to tell us that the preponderance of papers supporting and old Earth, evolution, heliocentrism, and the heath effects of tobacco are also all part of systematic bias that has nothing to do with evidence either?

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    To the others trying to critique the work of Dr. Mann.
    The funny thing that most of you seem to fail to get, and I pointed out from my first post on this thread, is that even if you throw all of Mann’s work out it does NOTHING to change all of the other evidence by all of the other researchers from around the world that all come to essentially the same conclusions by different methods.
    —> Hockey stick or hockey league?
    What you are attempting to do is to act like creationists hoping that if you try to make Charles Darwin look bad (or point out an error he made) that it will some how discredit all of evolution and geology (and 150 years of supporting evidence) about the age of the Earth and thereby prove a literal interpretation of Genesis as true.

    Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way.

  127. MadScientist

    Huh. I guess the next article will compare Mann to Kaczynski. The Heartland Institute lives on.

  128. @59. Chris :

    Penn State took down Paterno’s statue. Now they have a big empty space. How about a state for Michael Mann? He definitely deserves it a lot more than Paterno, even before that whole mess. Honestly I never even heard of Paterno before a year ago. I’ve known about Mann for years.

    Good idea and seconded by me. :-)

    It seems much preferable for a university to have statutes honouring scientists and thinkers rather than sportspeople anyhow.

    @ Shunt1 : The “hockey sticks(plural!) aren’t just based on tree rings – which, as others have already pointed out here, are coming from specific trees in specific areas.

    Just as only specific rocks in specific areas will have fossils in them and these probably won’t be found in the average backyard.

    Its a whole range of sources providing a consistent picture as the Skeptical Science link in my name here notes :

    Since the hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick conclusion : the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920.

    [Emphasis added.]

    I’ll ask you (& any other climate contrarian that wants to have a go) the same questions as I asked Luis Dias at #17 which he’s failed to answer and almost completely ignored since :

    1) If we know certain gases have certain properties that cause them to trap extra heat in the atmosphere (& we do) then how much over and above the natural cycles do you think we can add before they start having significant climatic effects?

    2) If human emissions of such Greenhouse gases are NOT responsible for the forty plus decadal heating trend (1970′s – present) and rise in extreme weather events and diminishing Arctic sea ice then what is responsible for those climatic trends?

    3) What explains the unexpected elevated thermal condition of Venus if it isn’t a runaway greenhouse effect similar to the current HIRGO issue – although obviously natural and not Human Induced? If GHG’s have the effect of so dramatically raising temperatures for the Cytherean atmosphere why wouldn’t they raise temperatures in the Earth’s climate as they apparently did for Venus?

    In addition, if you blame this on some left wing conspiracy of scientists and political activists how do you explain the acceptence of the scientific consensus by many right wing / conservative figures such as the individuals I mentioned in comment #43 – eg. Katherine Hayhoe, Jon Huntsman and, formerly, Mitt Romney?

    Your answers – preferably with good supporting evidence and reasoning – please?

  129. Tom C

    @shunt1

    I suppose you’ve published scientific papers in climate science, proving that Mann and other climate scientists are incompetent and/or outright frauds? If so, please cite.

    I imagine you probably haven’t published *any* scientific paper whatsoever, given your hideously atrocious argumentation.

    @Dan H in 117: nice try, but if you replace the word “denialist” with “creationist” and “climate scientist” with “evolutionary biologist” everywhere in your post, you can begin to see how your argument falls short. Indeed, you sound almost like you’re parroting The Heritage Foundation, or one of any other conservative think-tank (the infamous “merchants of doubt”) articles I’ve read on climate change.

  130. @28. Luis Dias :

    “Since the 1970′s the evidence has increasingly piled up to show that HIRGO is reality. The vast majority of the experts (97% or so!) who have spent – and still spend – all their time and have dedicated their lives to understanding and studying climatology is that HIRGO is a real problem affecting us now and likely to get seriously worse over time. If nine out of ten doctors told us something similar would so many just ignore and insult them?”

    I see no reason to insult the 97% of doctors who have their own opinion on the matter, though given the questions they were posed, I couldn’t but agree with their answers, so basic in nature they are.

    Huh? Your phrasing there is confusing. Did you miss that I’m making an analogy there? Are you implying that I was asking medical doctors their opinion on climatology and saying that physicians are experts on areas they’re not? No.

    Let me re-phase and reask for you then : If 97 out of 100 professional experts in anything tell you X is a problem and needs to be addressed would you really ignore and insult those profesionals or would you think that they 97 experts are very probably right because they are, y’know, the experts?

    I don’t pretend to say that I know dr. Mann is not being insulted because of his opinions, but because of his shenanigans.

    So you are saying then that you think Dr Mann is guilty of these “shennanigans” (what exactly?)despite the fact thathe ha sbeen repeatedly cleared of wrong doing?

    Also did you read the OP here – these are not just any insults its really vile and defamatory claims, about the worst thing you can say about anybody.

    Mostly because I know better about human nature, and I think dr. Mann placed himself on a very bad scapegoating spot, ..

    Victim blaming. Nice. Not. :roll:

    ..being pused by people who don’t even know why they are pushing him ..

    Erm, are you saying the BA and others here don’t know what they’re talkingabout or why they are supporting Mike Mann? Really? :roll:

    .. but a general hysterical feel that he’s this crazy liar fraud that is trying to get his dirty hands on their pockets through pseudo-science.

    Well that last bit seems to be a common if appalling wrong and ideologically warped perspective on Mike Mann’s character and work.

    Having said this, I still fail to see enough evidence for me to worry myself over the general “problem” per se.

    Really? Given all the scientific evidnece and predictions HIRGO~wise? What would it take to convince you?

    You are increasingly isolated in your view that HIRGo is a non-issue too as the link in my name illustrates.

    Even the alledged solutions to it are miserable in many respects. So I tarry.

    Yes, the proposed solutions are often miserable. But the consequences of doing nothing are potentially far worse. :-(

  131. shunt1

    Show us your own firewood tree ring data…

    Otherwise, I am tired of listening to your politics or religion.

    I deal with facts and not feelings.

  132. @^ Shunt1 – July 23rd, 2012 at 11:50 pm : ” I deal with facts and not feelings.”

    No you don’t. You have been ignoring the facts on this issue completely. :-(

    It has already been explained to you many times in this thread alone why there is more to dendrochronological palaeoclimate science than just counting tree rings in firewood.

    You are doing the equivalent of asking everyone to prove the biological reality of evolution using only fossils from rocks found in their own individual backyards. Yes, you’re being *that* silly.

    Continued @28. Luis Dias :

    So I tarry. For both a more clear scientific picture (which seems a little far off still) ..

    I disagree. I think the scientific picture is already very clear indeed and getting clearer every day. We are well past the point where HIRGO’s reality could be considered reasonably in doubt.

    .. and a better technological possible solution (which also seems a little far off still). ..

    Maybe there isn’t a good technological solution? I hope there is & think thast yes, the same science and industry that got us into this mess is also our best hope for getting out of it but we cannot guarantee that and needed to be working on such solutions yesterday.

    The Climate Contrarians have already delayed action far too long with probably terrible consequences for all of us. :-(

    Step one is admitting we have a problem and stopping digging.

    In the meantime, I do my best to ignore the hyperventilating hysterical paranoids who shout against their enemies of choosing.

    Is that really how you think of us, meaning those who accept the climate science consensus? Of people like Mike Mann, Phil Plait, James Hansen, Carl Sagan, Isaac Asimov and thousands of other sscientists and commenters like me here?

    Wow. That is just pathetic of you, Luis Dias. Projection much? :-(

    Got any supporting evidence and examples of what you are talking about to back up that extraordinary claim of yours there?

  133. bad Jim

    I have to wonder how many of the climate change “skeptics” are aware of the Dunning-Kruger effect, since they’re uniformly confident that they know better than nearly all the world’s scientists.

  134. Theron

    Hey deniers! Yes, I used the “d” word — if you are so convinced, please invest in coastal property. May I suggest Florida? I mean, if you’re right, you’re right, so why not? Location, location, location!

  135. Nullius in Verba

    #128,

    To answer your 3 questions…

    1) Nobody knows. This depends on climate sensitivity, which is poorly constrained by the empirical data – even according to the mainstream.

    2) Nobody knows. At least 3 alternatives have been offered, but the evidence isn’t in yet to distinguish them. The reasoning is invalid anyway. I might not be able to offer any alternative theory unifying quantum mechanics and gravity, but that doesn’t mean a claim that it is done by unicorn magic is therefore necessarily correct. You have to prove your hypothesis is the only possibility – challenging people to produce a better hypothesis doesn’t do that.

    3) The Venusian greenhouse effect isn’t a “runaway”, the surface temperature is high simply because of the thick atmosphere with it’s high surface pressure and high clouds. The greenhouse effect depends on two properties – the average altitude from which IR radiation is emitted to outer space, and the adiabatic lapse rate of the atmosphere. The greenhouse warming is the product of these two numbers. On Earth, emission occurs from about 5 km up, and the ALR is 6.5 C/km, so the surface temperature is 33 C warmer than the temperature for which emitted IR balances the incoming energy. On Venus, the dense clouds are 50-80 km up, and the adiabatic lapse rate is around 8 C/km, so you get several hundred degrees of warming. The cloud tops settle at a reasonable temperature by radiative balance, and the atmosphere below it is heated by convection-driven compression.

    Carl Sagan correctly projected the Venusian surface temperature by that method in 1967.

  136. shunt1

    @131 Mesier Tidy Upper:

    My wife got home from college (still has a 98% test score average) and I had to spend some time with her. Then I saw the news about Sally Ride.

    Kinda hurt since I knew both of those women personally…

    Now, if you want an honest debate about Michael Mann’s research, then I am more than willing to take you on.

    But please limit the topic to Michael Mann, because I will not debate your politics or religion tonight.

    Fair?

  137. Menyambal

    Okay, shunt1, you are back to asking for firewood data again. Which you said you never were.

    Again, tree rings around here and most places correlate to rainfall amounts, not to temperature. Trees up at timberline are what you want, and what was used.

    You again accuse others of spouting politics and religion, which really sounds like projecting. Most deniers are right-wing in their politics, and very conservative in their religion. The rest seem to be conspiracy theorists, and you seem to be in that category and a troll as well.

    If you deal in facts, trot some out, or write them up.

    If you don’t deal in feelings, why did you just tell us, “I am tired of listening to your politics or religion.”? You feel tired/angry, and you keep trying to bring politics and religion into a scientific matter—to you, this is all about feelings, if only our feelings.

    Show some science, and stop whining.

  138. shunt1

    @133. Theron:

    “Hey deniers! Yes, I used the “d” word — if you are so convinced, please invest in coastal property. May I suggest Florida? I mean, if you’re right, you’re right, so why not? Location, location, location!”

    Darn shame that you do not actually own any of that property, or I would purchase it from you at 10 cents on the dollar. Laughing all the way back to the bank. SUCKER!

    Let us see: Sea level has been rising an average of 3mm per year. Even a kid with his sand bucket could build a wall at that rate! Do you have any concept of how tiny that actually is, compared to the daily tidal flow?

    SUCKER!

  139. Davis

    You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion.

    You can’t weasel out of a defamation charge by claiming a statement is an “opinion.” If I say “In my opinion, X is a child molester,” then I am defaming X (if the statement is false) because it suggests I have factual evidence underlying my so-called “opinion.” Similarly, claiming that Dr. Mann is “a scientific fraud” suggests that the speaker has a specific factual basis for making that claim.

    Seriously, that’s actually an interesting question, one that I’d love to run by a lawyer: are there circumstances in which accusing someone of defamation could itself be considered an actionable case of defamation?

    I am not yet a lawyer, but in a word: no. That’s not to say you couldn’t devise some cockamamie scenario where the accusation of defamation is itself defamatory, but in the real world any good faith accusation of defamation will almost certainly not give rise to a counter-claim of defamation.

    Suing successfully depends on showing both that the allegations made were false, and that they did you some kind of tangible harm. But IANAL; can anyone who is elucidate?

    Not quite, but you did a good job for someone who doesn’t study this stuff. Minor correction #1: defamation in a fixed medium (not just print) is considered libel. For libel, damages are presumed — you don’t have to show any actual harm to succeed in a lawsuit. Minor correction #2: It’s not enough that the statement is false; because Dr. Mann is a public figure, and the statement regards a matter of public concern. In this situation, Dr. Mann would have to show that Steyn made the statement either knowing it was false, or with reckless disregard for the truth. (If I wanted to get especially nitpicky, I could point out that in general, you don’t always have to show falsity for defamation: if the statement does not regard a matter of public concern, then the plaintiff does not have to show falsity, though the defendant can use truth as a defense. But this is a pretty lawyerly distinction.)

  140. Menyambal

    The Venusian greenhouse effect isn’t a “runaway”?

    Um, the atmo is radically different from ours, even though the planet itself isn’t that much different.

    Carl Sagan correctly projected the Venusian surface temperature, and is one of the group that refers to it as a “runaway”. It may be stable, have the characteristics that you say, but nothing you said makes it not a “runaway”. It got hot, released more CO2 and got hotter, right?

  141. shunt1

    @136. Menyambal:

    “Again, tree rings around here and most places correlate to rainfall amounts, not to temperature. Trees up at timberline are what you want, and what was used.”

    You just stated the scientific factual information that I have been trying to express all evening.

    All plants will respond with growth when they are given what they need. Sometimes it is water, or temperature, furtilizer or even rare minerals. Every farmer knows these basic rules to increase his harvest.

    Amazing how trees only respond to water today, but with Michael Mann’s fictional history, their growth rate was temperature regulated until only 100 years ago?

    You are the one that believes in this rather unusual theory of historical plant growth that is regulated by temperature only, and not me!

    Please keep to the basics of Michael Mann’s theory…

    ….

    P.S:

    It kinda sucks when you post something and then have to wait 15 minutes for it to be approved.

    And you wonder why only one side of the debate is ever presented!

  142. Menyambal

    Shunt1, you read and comprehend incredibly poorly, yet you keep acting like you have read and understood the science. Your brain seems to lurch around at random, but you pretend you are the voice of reason. You complain about our feelings, but you spout yours.

    You really are a mess.

    I don’t know if you are deliberately trolling or not, but you aren’t presenting anything to make me trust you, or to interact with you any further.

  143. I could have warned you about writing this post. I did it 2 days ago, and I got just a sampling of what must be in his mailbox daily. Your blog si so widely read, I hate to think about what your inbox will look like.
    Proof positive of just how powerful a piece of science he produced. Kudos Michael Mann.

  144. shunt1

    @141 Menyambal:

    Please explain your comment. I honestly do not know what you are talking about.

    When I can use personal examples, then I do so. That may help others to understand the basics of scientific exploration.

    My wife is 59 years old and going to technical college once again. As a RN with her vast medical knowledge, she is not kind to teachers that feed the students false information. One test question got her so upset, that she demanded to talk to the owner of the techical school and was finally able to talk with him. He agreed, and the test questions have been corrected.

    Even the teachers knew that the answer was wrong, but they were telling the students that they must use that wrong answer, or their test would be graded as incorrect.

    Facts are facts, and we will not back down.

    When she has a problem with micro-biology, then I get out my microscope and we studied a bacteria. We can now know exactly what it looks like, instead of a picture in a text book looked like.

    Why is that considered as something wrong in “your world?”

  145. shunt1

    @141 Menyambal:

    Please explain your comment. I honestly do not know what you are talking about.

  146. Magoonski

    So, what are we going to do about? Is there any website out there that would allow us to write/email on mass to these people like Simberg and tell them how reprehensible they are? Not to argue climate change, they are obviously too set in their ways to believe it (or even think about it) but if we had a website to just bombard him and others like him socially that would at least be something. I’m thinking somewhere along the lines of…

    Mr. Simberg, your insults have gone too far not only have you insulted an innocent man by comparing him to a child rapist but you have marginalized this issue and made a joke of it. You should be ashamed of yourself for abusing and using the victims of Sandusky.

    shunt1 is a troller

  147. Magoonski

    @shunt1

    In regards to your “P.S.” you really aren’t paying attention it says “You may click on your name and/or comment to edit.” It’s not a filter, it is a way for you to correct errors (like spelling errors) in you comments. They are kind enough to give you fifteen minutes to do so.

    shunt1 is a troller…see how useful edit buttons are?

  148. shunt1

    @145 Magoondki:

    I had no idea what you were talking about. So, let me repeat exactly what you were reading.

    ………………………….

    So it turns out that Penn State has covered up wrongdoing by one of its employees to avoid bad publicity.

    But I’m not talking about the appalling behavior uncovered this week by the Freeh report. No, I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since.

    To review, when the emails and computer models were leaked from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia two and a half years ago, many of the luminaries of the “climate science” community were shown to have been behaving in a most unscientific manner. Among them were Michael Mann, Professor of Meteorology at Penn State, whom the emails revealed had been engaging in data manipulation to keep the blade on his famous hockey-stick graph, which had become an icon for those determined to reduce human carbon emissions by any means necessary.

    As a result, in November of 2009, the university issued a press release that it was going to undertake its own investigation, independently of one that had been launched by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in response to a demand from Congressman Sherwood Boehlert (R- N.Y.). In July of the next year, the panel set up to investigate declared him innocent of any wrongdoing:

    Penn State Professor Michael Mann has been cleared of any wrongdoing, according to a report of the investigation that was released today (July 1). Mann was under investigation for allegations of research impropriety that surfaced last year after thousands of stolen e-mails were published online. The e-mails were obtained from computer servers at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia in England, one of the main repositories of information about climate change.

    The panel of leading scholars from various research fields, all tenured professors at Penn State, began its work on March 4 to look at whether Mann had “engaged in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting or reporting research or other scholarly activities.”

    My emphasis.

    Despite the fact that it was completely internal to Penn State, and they didn’t bother to interview anyone except Mann himself, and seemingly ignored the contents of the emails, the warm mongers declared him exonerated (and the biggest victim in the history of the world). But many in the skeptic community called it a whitewash:

    This is not surprising that Mann’s own university circled the wagons and narrowed the focus of its own investigation to declare him ethical.

    The fact that the investigation cited Mann’s ‘level of success in proposing research and obtaining funding’ as some sort of proof that he was meeting the ‘highest standards’, tells you that Mann is considered a sacred funding cash cow. At the height of his financial career, similar sentiments could have been said about Bernie Madoff.

    Mann has become the posterboy of the corrupt and disgraced climate science echo chamber. No university whitewash investigation will change that simple reality.

    Richard Lindzen of MIT weighed in as well:

    “Penn State has clearly demonstrated that it is incapable of monitoring violations of scientific standards of behavior internally,” Lindzen said in an e-mail from France.

    But their criticism was ignored, particularly after the release of the NAS report, which was also purported to exonerate him. But in rereading the NAS “exoneration,” some words stand out now. First, he was criticized for his statistical techniques (which was the basis of the criticism that resulted in his unscientific behavior). But more importantly:

    The OIG also independently reviewed Mann’s emails and PSU’s inquiry into whether or not Mann deleted emails as requested by Phil Jones in the “Climategate” emails (aka Allegation 2). The OIG concluded after reviewing the the published CRU emails and the additional information provided by PSU that “nothing in [the emails] evidenced research misconduct within the definition of the NSF Research Misconduct Regulation.” Furthermore, the OIG accepted the conclusions of the PSU inquiry regarding whether Mann deleted emails and agreed with PSU’s conclusion that Mann had not.

    Again, my emphasis. In other words, the NAS investigation relied on the integrity of the university to provide them with all relevant material, and was thus not truly independent. We now know in hindsight that it could not do so. Beyond that, there are still relevant emails that we haven’t seen, two years later, because the University of Virginia continues to stonewall on a FOIA request, and it’s heading to the Supreme Court of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

    Michael Mann, like Joe Paterno, was a rock star in the context of Penn State University, bringing in millions in research funding. The same university president who resigned in the wake of the Sandusky scandal was also the president when Mann was being whitewashed investigated. We saw what the university administration was willing to do to cover up heinous crimes, and even let them continue, rather than expose them. Should we suppose, in light of what we now know, they would do any less to hide academic and scientific misconduct, with so much at stake?

    It’s time for a fresh, truly independent investigation.

  149. bad Jim

    It’s perfectly obvious, isn’t it, that the world’s scientists – not just the climatologists, but the entire scientific community – are either oblivious to the evidence or complicit in a conspiracy to impose a global socialist regime. Is any other explanation tenable?

  150. shunt1

    Nite kids, it has been fun chatting about this topic tonight.

  151. @124 shunt1: If one tree can not accurately reproduce the known temperature record for that specific region, then how could it represent a global climate?
    The average of bad data = bad data.

    And we repeat the sequence as it always plays out.
    Once again, I try to discuss AGW with you as someone who, on the surface, seems somewhat reasonable and a person who values the scientific method. We have some fun, go back and forth for awhile, and then things take a tragic turn as you say something so nonsensical that I decide to throw my hands up in the air and say “Screw it”.
    Srsly.
    Do the folks here really need to explain how having a large number of data points allows you to filter out noise? And is it possible that you’re somehow the only one on Earth who can single-handedly refute the field of dendrochronology?
    Also, if you can do this research yourself, why are you waiting around for any of us to give you permission to do it? Phil may not publish papers online, but arXiv does. Wouldn’t your arguments carry much more weight if you came in, completed study in hand, and say “Hey y’all, guess what I have?”

  152. bad Jim

    > It’s time for a fresh, truly independent investigation.

    Funny thing: one was recently done. Unsurprisingly, it confirmed the results of previous investigators.

    The Berkeley Earth group concluded that the warming trend is real, that over the past 50 years the land surface warmed by 0.911 °C, and their results mirrors those obtained from earlier studies carried out by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Hadley Centre, NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) Surface Temperature Analysis, and the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia. The study also found that the urban heat island effect and poor station quality did not bias the results obtained from these earlier studies,

    Climate change deniers and creationists will continue to sing the same old songs because, as street musicians know, there’s always an audience that grew up with them, no matter how bad they sound to anyone else. Sure, they’re only playing for loose change, but with a big enough public it adds up.

  153. Magoonski

    @shunt1

    Please see my original posts (both of them), I’ve edited them. YOU ARE A TROLLER WHO DOESN’T READ!

  154. Here’s a link I think I’m going to start posting in all of these threads:

    The Dunning-Kruger effect and the climate debate
    The writer gives a couple of good example of situations in which questions that (at first glance) appear pertinent are shown to only arise in those unfamiliar with the field, in this case climate change.
    ‘Nother words, if it appears that scientists have overlooked something, by all means do investigate it, but the odds are overwhelming that not only has the thing in question not been overlooked, it has been soundly spanked and put to bed without any supper many years ago.

  155. Infinite123Lifer

    Dan H @117 says:

    “The state of climate science is abysmal, and the results should therefore be treated tentatively and carefully – by both sides.”

    I am no scientist heck I am not even scholarly and I just got hit in the head by my car door (pretty hard) but nevertheless I would like to see my interpretation of that statement addressed, or his . . . and I did notice Dan H that your entire post explains why you think the state of climate science is abysmal and merely based upon my intuition it sounds like you have a very good argument but it feels sort of . . . well, it was kind of debbie downer and I wanna change the tone maybe, because maybe your wrong. (and consequently i have only the right to try)

    I suppose you could say the state of climate science is doing very well considering the fact that we had to evolve to this point first. Or you might say the state of climate science is abysmal considering that we have had billions of years to evolve to this point. I am just not sure what to compare “the state of climate science” to.

    You might say it is abysmal simply because it is in its infancy but I do not think that is fair, much like it would not be fair to call our understanding of medicinal microbiology in the days of Louis Pasteur or our understanding of Quantum Mechanics in the first decade of the 20th century “abysmal” because there was GROWTH. Was the science in those days even comparable to climatology ( . . . no, nothing compares to climate science . . . ) but those fields just in their infancy primed with problems held fast with the scientific method and hard working people nurturing the process along so that we (as a species) could grow more wise (hopefully) and knowledgable from their efforts (in time).

    I don’t think climate science can be fairly compared to other major fields and any attempt at saying climate science is not like _______(insert field of study) would be redundant to gauge from what I have read over the years about what climate science is or “how good” it is. I guess an area of study boils down to its predictions . . . and our opinions about “how abysmal a field is” does not matter.

    Having said that there is no way to measure how abysmal our climate science is or is not . . . it can always be better! Up and comers, theres a huge Earth we need help with understanding. The Earth keeps changing and we keep changing it and people are arguing about politics and money and this guy is over here saying the state of climate science is “abysmal”. And I am willing to bet that even though the state of climate science might be in its infancy . . . and highly susceptible to influences such as money, power and politics that the scientific method is still being used and that the scientific process is being used diligently in the growth of climate science as a general field of study. Why am I willing to bet? Because my faith in mankind doing science is not completely blind to what and where we have come from (well my faith does not matter as much as the proof of how far we have come does).

    I would guess and more so hope that climate science should be a good career choice for the next generation of educators and scientists out there.

    biting, chewing . . . yeah i think that was too big a bite for a dude like me but come on I got nothing to lose but my coastal property

  156. Infinite123Lifer

    @148 bad Jim

    Yes, many other explanations are highly tenable.

  157. Nigel Depledge

    MTU (5) said:

    Feel free folks to make a drinking game out of every comment from here on in that states one of the repeatedly debunked canards on those lists.

    Sorry, mate, no can do. I’m at work just now.

  158. Nigel Depledge

    Oh, man, another thread where the loonies come out for a kicking and I’m late to the party.

    Curse you, BA, for living in a time zone that’s about 7 hours behind me!

    150+ comments at my first viewing of the thread.

  159. Andreas H

    I can’t help but feel that the denialists have this debate exactly where they want it. They conjure some outrages and media friendly claims and all of the scientific community reacts with disgust and anger debunking their frivolous claims.

    But all that sticks with he common people, the voters of our democracy is the fact that there is still a “debate” going on, that there still seems to be some disagreement. This is really all the denialists want.

    It feels like the denialists are like a jealous little brother that is angry that the big brother can go out to the movies, so he provokes his bigger brother until the angrily shoves him to the ground. The mother only seeing the fight, grounds them both for a week.

    The scientific community needs to “grow up”, to stay with the brother metaphor, and ignore the “childish” attempts of the denialists to bait out a reaction. If someone prints a denialists claim about the age of our planet, scientists everywhere just shrug their shoulders and don’t give a crap about this nonsense.

    We have to adopt the same serenity with AGW, it’s an established fact, we no longer need to fervently defend it, their is more than enough proof out there for everyone to read. What we need to start doing is actually push concrete, clearly formulated programs to help our planet.

    There is a beautiful comic strip, that I unfortunately can’t find right now. But it’s about this exact problem and the punch line goes something like this: “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing!”

    This is the mindset the scientific community needs, pretty much every single action that can be taken to help against AGW will also have all kinds of additional benefits for our planet and the people living on it…

  160. caerbannog

    Dan H. said,

    Look at the ground measurement data, where the temperature ‘adjustments’ are often greater than the temperature change signal itself…

    Yes — look at the (ground measurement) temperature data. Download both the raw and “adjusted” temperature data sets. Code up your own simple gridding/averaging routine using the methodology descriptions provided by scientists, and crunch the raw data on your laptop. You will get global-average temperature results that are amazingly close to what NASA/NOAA/CRU publish, even if you implement a very crude, “dumbed down” gridding/averaging procedure. That’s right — the raw data, run through a straightforward gridding/averaging routine that a college undergraduate compsci major could code up, will produce results that confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU.

    Oh, you haven’t done that? Then you should have before you shot off your mouth about the temperature data. Anyone who has actually rolled up his/her sleeves and crunched the temperature data knows full well that all those data “adjustments” have a very minor impact on global-average results, and that you can simply throw out the adjustments and confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU with *raw* data. All the data and documentation that a competent programmer/analyst needs to confirm this have been freely available on-line, for *years* (Google is your friend here).

    In fact, the surface temperature record is so robust that you can use raw data from fewer than 100 (out of thousands) of temperature stations and *still* confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU. Check out this link for details: http://tinyurl.com/globaltemperatureresultsV2

    My question to you, Dan H, is: Why haven’t any of you “skeptics” bothered to do any of the above? For *years*, you have been going on and on about how global-average temperature results are the result of data “adjustments”. But actually testing the impact of those “adjustments” is literally just a few days’ worth of work for a competent programmer/analyst. Why haven’t any of you guys done that? I mean, didn’t 31,000 “experts” sign that “petitionproject.org” petition? You’d think that if “skeptics” were serious, at least one of those 31,000 crack scientists would have rolled up his/her sleeves and invested a few days’ worth of effort to do that.

  161. Alan D

    @Andreas H,

    I think this is the comic you mention…
    http://www.dailydawdle.com/2010/11/what-if-its-big-hoax-and-we-create.html

    Clear skies, Alan

  162. J Bowers

    @ 147. shunt1

    You do realise that the vast, vast majority of academic malfeasance is discovered, and reported, by a prof’s own students and colleagues, right? They don’t want to be associated and have it leave a stain on their future careers, as well as it being just plain wrong to do.

    Remind us again of how many, out of the thousands of climate scientists around the globe, have been bubbled for scientific malfeasance by their own students and colleagues – you know, the ones who work with them most closely. Count them on on your fingers, if you like, but you should be able to make coffee and a sandwich while you’re doing it.

  163. @156 Ref: Ignoring the bratty little brother.

    I’ve been saying that for years about a lot of lunatics who get themselves in the news as well as evil people who are called crazy but really aren’t.

    Just ignore them like you would ignore the nutcase on the corner with the bullhorn screaming that the world is going to end.

    Then I get shot down because everyone knows that you have to expose and correct these people.

    Yet all the evidence in the world shows that “correcting” them doesn’t work. It’s that whole doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result thing.

    But do you know what we have never tried? Ignoring them. And we never will because too many somebody’s are going to take the bait every single time.

  164. DrFlimmer

    @ Andreas H

    This is all nice and well, however, there is one big problem: In order to actually do something you need the politicians to do it. After all, they have the power to do something, to make and change laws that will introduce a change for the better.
    Sadly, that’s the point here. The political will is entirely missing due to a lot reasons. That’s why nothing happens. Scientific consensus doesn’t change that for now, and also doesn’t get the headlines.

  165. Nigel Depledge

    Luis Dias (7) said:

    Your hatred will get you nowhere, mr Plait. Clear your head off this mess. Yes, terrible things are being said and done out there. But indignating your own intestines over this will only blind you from an unbiased look at the truths involved here. You say these people defame, etc., when they are probably just voicing their own prejudiced opinion. And opinions are zillions here for the takin.

    They are not merely expressing opinions, they are accusing a leading scientist of committing fraud.

    Or do you think your own worldview is “unbiased” and “skeptical” enough? Please, don’t make me laugh.

    Based on the evidence available, Phil’s opinion is far less biased than is your own. Phil is guided by the world’s climate science experts on what is happening to the world’s climate. You seem to be implying either that you know more about climatology than the people who have studied the subject for 30+ years, or that there is some kind of conspiracy going on. Yet you have presented no evidence to support either scenario.

    Luis Dias (10) said:

    The whole Climate Change Belief slash Denial has always been a political discussion, masqueraded as a scientific one.

    On what basis do you form this conclusion?

    ‘Cos, AFAICT, it all started with the experiments Arrhenius did in the 1890s on CO2, and our subsequent increased understanding of the greenhouse effect, the role of CO2 in that effect, and our measurements of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from human activity.

    There’s a huge lot of science involved (billions of dollars of investment, some very wisely spent),

    Billions???? Citation needed for that figure, I think.

    but the whole narrative is 100% political.

    What utter rubbish!

    That our climate is warming now as compared with the average of the past 1000 years (roughly) is a fact. It is true no matter what you believe, and it is true no matter how hard you wish it to go away.

    That this current warming is unprecedentedly rapid is also a fact.

    That no natural source has been identified to account for this warming is also a fact.

    That human activities have substantially increased the atmospheric concentration of CO2 (from just under 300 ppm to almost 400 ppm, an increase of roughly 33%) is also a fact.

    That human-sourced GHGs are responsible for the increased warming that we observe is a logical conclusion.

    There, see? No political agenda at all. The political aspect only comes in when people with a vested interest in the status quo (hello, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and so on!) are doing everything they possibly can to confuse the public and sponsor politicians and pundits to attack the scientific conclusions with invented talking-points.

    What annoys me is the sheer blindness of certain people to acknowledge this simple fact and attempts to simplify this subject matter as between those who are for science and those who are against. It’s pathetic.

    I agree that it’s pathetic, but that does not make it less true. There is a concerted campaign, funded mostly by the fossil-fuel industries, to create doubt about climate science. This campaign has orders of magnitude more funding than does the actual climate science, and climate scientists are hampered by their conscientious desire to spend their money on doing science rather than establishing PR campaigns. Your comments are evidence that the anti-AGW PR campaign is working.

    Some right wing people are probably wrecking the trust in science, but I look at people like Phil Plait and see nothing but politics as well.

    Wait, what?

    What is Phil saying that isn’t based on sound science? You need to back this one up.

    Bah I’m wasting my english here.

    Well, since you make some sweeping, dramatic claims and then pointedly fail to back them up with anything resembling evidence, you seem to be wasting something. As far as I can tell, though, it is the time of anyone who bothers to read your comments.

    Luis Dias (14) said:

    Personally I agree with the sentiment that dr. Mann has made “fraudulent work”, in the technical sense. That is, it’s garbage.

    Who cares what you think?

    What qualifies you to judge Mann’s work?

    Are you a climatologist?

    Have you spent decades studying the Earth’s climate?

    No, I didn’t think so. In science, an ignorant opinion is worth nothing. All you are doing with your comments is displaying your ignorance for all the world to see.

    Did he do it on purpose? Don’t care.

    Did he do it at all? It seems you don’t care to investigate that question either, yet to are prepared to voice an opinion on the subject.

    So there’s this other guy who will say he is the moral equivalent of a child molester. That’s pretty harsh, can’t agree with such obviously harsh and cruel words. But free speech wasn’t invented to protect the kinds of speeches that you or I like, or was it?

    Freedom of speech does not grant the freedom to defame the character of other people. Whether you believe it or not, it is possible to disagree with someone without verbally abusing them, and without making such slanderous or defamatory statements.

    Yeah, I know, there are lots of exceptions to this simple rule of freedom. I don’t like it personally, I think it’s a wrong exception.

    What, so, you think that I should be able to go around claiming that you are morally the same as a child molester because I disagree with your opinion? Or do you think there should be limits to what a person is legally entitled to state publicly about other people?

    However, dr. Mann seems to like it very much, always threatening to sue everyone who voices an opinion against him.

    What on Earth makes you think he likes the unprovoked, continual and concerted harassment he has suffered?

    Luis Dias (15) said:

    Sorry but the scientists didn’t make this a political issue the right wing did.

    Pretty irrelevant.

    Not if you’re going to whinge about the topic being politicised, it’s not. If you want to whine about how the topic has become politicised, then you should be whining to the groups who made it into a political issue in the first place.

    And somewhat true, it was Ms. Tatcher

    Did you mean Baroness Thatcher?

    who first proclaimed to the airwaves that we should be looking at this problem carefully. However, it was also mostly the left-wing who made this issue a political movement and then crafted an international body right after the Rio convention in 92.

    *Yawn*

    Citation needed. Seriously.

  166. Nigel Depledge

    Luis Dias (21) said:

    Why should I answer you if you are even unable to spell my name correctly, mr Tidy Upper?

    First off, you were the one throwing around unsubstantiated accusations about politicisation of the issue.

    Second, if you can’t be bothered to learn how to make correct use of capital letters, why should anyone else bother to spell your name correctly? Or perhaps we can all agree that everyone makes typos from time to time?

    Is there anything for me, like cake or a pat in the back?

    Why should there be a reward for backing up your empty rhetoric?

    How about the satisfaction of making a substantive argument as opposed to employing shallow debating tactics? What you would get out of answering MTU’s questions is intellectual honesty. If you are unable to anwser those questions, then you should retract your earlier statements.

    Do I get to have a chemistry degree out of your basic questionnaire?

    Do you think anyone here will be impressed by your facetiousness?

    Oh I like to taunt.

    I don’t care.

    Problem is, all of your questions are bad scientific questions themselves. “Extreme weather events”? There are no upward trends on extreme weather events, despite global warming.

    This is patently untrue.

    I refer you to the mainstream literature on that one (despite all the name-calling BS we constantly have to deal with from the Krugmans and the Plaits who never read the literature but think they own the material, for they are “on the scientific side” so they cannot be wrong on their platitudes).

    Erm . . . do you? Where is the reference to which you allude?

    Venus is a very interesting place. It has a huge atmospheric pressure with 99% of CO2. How on Earth people find it convincing to use its example as “evidence” of dangerous global warming on Earth due to its 300-600 ppm density in our relatively faint atmosphere is dazzling to me.

    If you cannot be bothered to understand the simple relationship between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature, why should anyone bother with anything else you say about climate science?

    It’s like as if people were not really interested in the truth, but on scoring points. Well, score ahead. I’m not counting.

    Hypocrite. You’re the one who seems to be obsessed with scoring points. Why else refuse to answer the questions that have been put to you, after you failed tyo sup[port your opening statements with anything resembling evidence?

  167. Spence_UK

    Hmm, after a quick check, I would personally not choose to call Mann a fraud, since the evidence is not clear. It may be that he is simply incompetent. Actually, it is pretty obvious to anyone that understands basic statistics that Mann is incompetent, but that does not automatically make his work fraudulent.

    As for Sandusky, no the article is careful to note it is NOT drawing parallels with paedophilia, but Phil is quick to use the “hey look, a squirrel!” tactic to divert attention to the real point being made: that Penn State U internal inquiries were known for whitewashing the wrongdoings of those bringing money into Penn State U. This can be seen in Mann’s inquiry. The inquiry report quotes claims by Mann that are trivially shown to be false by a couple of minutes of research on the internet – yet those claims are swallowed verbatim by the inquiry and never checked. None of Mann’s critics are given an opportunity to counter what he said. On this evidence, I cannot imagine a clearer example of a whitewash than the climategate inquiry at Penn State.

  168. Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, during a recent speech before the Council on Foreign Relations, had THIS to say about global warming: “We have spent our entire existence adapting, OK? So we will adapt to this. Changes to weather patterns that move crop production areas around — we’ll adapt to that. It’s an engineering problem, and it has engineering solutions.” He added that his company had set out to educate the “illiterate” public as to the facts, and move them away from the purveyors of “manufactured fear.”.

    And YES, human beings are pretty adaptable, thanks to our technology and ability to travel. The other species we share this planet with? Not so much. And those links in our ecological chain WILL begin to weaken and fail. But I’m sure Mr. Tillerson finds it reassuring that he won’t have to worry about it too much during HIS lifetime:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v700/PhatDajuan/NotMyProblem.jpg?t=1244030539

  169. Sean McCorkle

    #134

    2) If human emissions of such Greenhouse gases are NOT responsible for the forty plus decadal heating trend (1970′s – present) and rise in extreme weather events and diminishing Arctic sea ice then what is responsible for those climatic trends?

    2) Nobody knows. At least 3 alternatives have been offered, but the evidence isn’t in yet to distinguish them.

    Until confirmatory observations/measurements show that any of those alternatives are both at play and that they explain the secular heating increase while SIMULTANEOUSLY explaining why the increased IR trapping due to increased CO2 buildup does NOT account for the heat increase, they are ruled out by Occam’s Razor, which strongly favors the human-generated greenhouse gas increase at this point.

    The reasoning is invalid anyway. I might not be able to offer any alternative theory unifying quantum mechanics and gravity, but that doesn’t mean a claim that it is done by unicorn magic is therefore necessarily correct.

    Ironically, you are guilty of this if you insist on more complex, unconfirmed hypothesis in the face of a single hypothesis which works better than the rest.

    You have to prove your hypothesis is the only possibility – challenging people to produce a better hypothesis doesn’t do that.

    That’s pure BS. How can one ever show that one’s hypothesis is the only possibility? Its not the way science works, not by any means. Science works by confirmation and/or falsification of hypotheses, often discriminating between alternative working hypothesis.

  170. caerbannog

    (Repeated with a “deactivated” http link so as to get past the spam filter — moderators, please note that this is a near-duplicate of an earlier post of my mine that got apparently got held up for “spam” moderation — you don’t need to dig my earlier post out of the moderation bin.)

    117. Dan H. Said:
    July 23rd, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    As someone with an education in science and engineering, I see a very stark difference between how the climate science community behaves and how other scientists behave.

    Look at the ground measurement data, where the temperature ‘adjustments’ are often greater than the temperature change signal itself…

    Yes — why don’t you put your science and engineering education to work and actually look at the (ground measurement) temperature data?

    Download both the raw and “adjusted” temperature data sets. Code up your own simple gridding/averaging routine using the methodology descriptions provided by scientists, and crunch the raw data on your laptop. You will get global-average temperature results that are amazingly close to what NASA/NOAA/CRU publish, even if you implement a very crude, “dumbed down” gridding/averaging procedure. That’s right — the raw data, run through a straightforward gridding/averaging routine that a college undergraduate compsci major could code up, will produce results that confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU. (Someone with a solid education in science and engineering ought to be able to do that, I would think.)

    Oh, you haven’t done that? Well, you should have before you shot off your mouth about the supposed problems with the temperature data. Anyone who has actually rolled up his/her sleeves and crunched the temperature data knows full well that all those data “adjustments” have a very minor impact on global-average results, and that you can simply throw out the adjustments and confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU with *raw* data. All the data and documentation that someone with an “education in science and engineering” needs to confirm this have been freely available on-line, for *years* (Google is your friend here).

    In fact, the surface temperature record is so robust that you can use raw data from fewer than 100 (out of thousands) of temperature stations and *still* confirm NASA/NOAA/CRU. That would be raw data from fewer than 100 *rural* stations. Check out this link for details: tinyurl.com/globaltemperatureresultsV2

    My question to you, Dan H, is: Why haven’t any of you “skeptics” bothered to do any of the above? For *years*, you have been going on and on about how global-average temperature results are the result of data “adjustments”. But actually testing the impact of those “adjustments” is literally just a few days’ worth of work for a competent programmer/analyst.

    Really — why haven’t any of you guys done that? I mean, didn’t 31,000 of you “skeptics” sign that “petitionproject.org” petition? I would think that if you “skeptics” were serious, at least one of those member of your many-thousand-strong skeptic army would have rolled up his/her sleeves and invested a few days’ worth of effort to do that by now. But not a single one of you has.

    You know, as much as you guys like to tout your science/math/engineering creds, it’s amazing how little real work you’ve done to verify the claims that you been making over the years.

  171. Gaebolga

    shunty! Baby!

    I missed you so!

    So, shunt1, do you still claim that:

    shunt1 actually wrote, with a straight face:

    I stand by my statement. The single most important factor in Earth’s climate, [sic] is the change in it’s [sic] albedo over time. Period.

    And while we’re revisiting your abject stupidity, shunty darling, can I get a “YES, DEAR!”?

  172. Cardin Drake

    It is amazing to me that anyone is still defending Mann’s hockey stick. It has been thoroughly discredited. Don’t take my word on it. Here is what Dr. Richard Muller, an AGW supporter and Director of the Best Project on Global temperatures, had to say about it:

    Now comes the real shocker. This improper normalization procedure tends to emphasize any data that do have the hockey stick shape, and to suppress all data that do not. To demonstrate this effect, McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called “Monte Carlo” analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

    That discovery hit me like a bombshell, and I suspect it is having the same effect on many others. Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. How could it happen?[8]

  173. caerbannog

    (166. Cardin Drake @ July 24th, 2012 at 8:31 am)

    A couple of things for you to think about, Cardin:

    1) How did the eigenvalues produced by the random data compare with the eigenvalues produced by Michael Mann’s tree-ring data?

    2) Did you know that McIntyre and McKitrick forgot to filter out the “hockey stick” signal from the tree-ring data before they used it to “train” their random noise generator? Are you aware of the fact that the “random noise” used by M&M to generate “random noise hockey sticks” was contaminated with hockey-stick signal autocorrelation components? Do you understand how “random noise” that is contaminated with low frequency signal components might produce spurious trends in limited-length data-sets?

  174. Gaebolga

    …and here’s what Dr. Muller had to say about the results of his Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project.

    You know, the project funded by the Koch Brothers (and others), who’d hoped it would put the nail in the coffin of that pesky global warming sham.

    Dr. Richard A. Muller wrote:

    When we began our study, we felt that skeptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn’t know what we’d find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some skeptics of that. They managed to avoid bias in their data selection, homogenization and other corrections.

    Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that.

    [Emphases mine]

  175. BeerMe

    shunt1 doesn’t know how tree ring data is collected and he calls Mann a fraud for it. No, Mann will not take you to court, Mann will not even know about you, you aren’t influential or meaningful. And you clearly don’t understand how tree ring data is collected to find a temperature signal.

    shunt1 “We are not the ones claiming that trees can accurately measure historical temperatures.” Neither is Mann, or any dendroclimatologist. They are claiming trees growing in very specific conditions do, not every tree. We collect other data from other kinds of trees in different locations.

    shunt1, since your premise is that Mann said you can find a temperature correlation with the tree rings in your backyard, I assume you have a paper, or even a press release, where Mann has said exactly that. No? Shocking!

  176. Mick Langan

    I have all I need to know when you call a theory — one only ascribed a 90% chance of actuality by the most forgiving of judges, the IPCC — “the reality of climate change”.

  177. TerryPatrician

    @160. Andreas H, @162. Alan D

    “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing!”

    The problem is that the costs of “doing something” are usually so high that we don’t end up with a better world but a worse one. The people who suffer from any action on global warming are never the wealthy. Also, the unintended consequences of correction activity are usually worse than the thing that central planners wanted to avoid.

    Also, people argue less about young earth creationism because there is no economic theory tied to it. Even so, scientists regularly debunk YEC rhetoric because that is what science is supposed to do. Deciding you won’t argue about AGW means that you have decided that AGW is no longer a scientific question.

  178. J Bowers

    175 Cardin Drake — ” Don’t take my word on it. Here is what Dr. Richard Muller, an AGW supporter and Director of the Best Project on Global temperatures, had to say about it:”

    In 2004. That the B.E.S.T. (cough) you’ve got?

  179. BeerMe

    shunt1’s stupidity:”It kinda sucks when you post something and then have to wait 15 minutes for it to be approved.

    And you wonder why only one side of the debate is ever presented!”

    This is the kind of logic he is working with. Any rule, any limitation, it’s out to get him. He doesn’t realize that the 15 minute period also applies to me, and all the other posters regardless of which “side” we are on. A window into the mindset of a denier.

  180. ND

    “This is the kind of logic he is working with. Any rule, any limitation, it’s out to get him. He doesn’t realize that the 15 minute period also applies to me, and all the other posters regardless of which “side” we are on. A window into the mindset of a denier.”

    It also means that a human is making themselves available from their busy day to approve postings. I’m grateful for their time.

  181. mike burkhart

    What dose an Astronomer know about the climent? Everything ,most of the time Astronomers have some study in other sciences. I have studied Geology and Meterolgy and I don’t know of an Astronomer who has not stuided Physics , the resion is that if were going to compaire other planets to Earth we have to know something of our own planet. This cross study is Important to get the big picture of the Universe.

  182. Acronym Jim

    ” indignating your own intestines over this”

    And thus was born unto the denizens of the Blogosphere, a shiny new meme.

    I am so using this term. I’m not sure how or when, but I’ll know it when I see it.

  183. Zetetic

    @ Cardin Drake #175:
    Actually you seem to have been rather easily mislead on the subject by McIntyre and McKitrick.
    —> False Claims by McIntyre and McKitrick regarding the Mann et al. (1998) reconstruction

    Funny how you also ignore that rather large body of other independent studies (employing other methods) that also show the same results as Dr. Mann’s.
    —> Hockey stick or hockey league?

    So are you actually trying to argue that the Earth’s global average temperature hasn’t been increasing recently, in spite of the large body of empirical evidence that it is? Because whether you realize it or not, that is what you are attempting to argue.

  184. Zetetic

    Since someone else earlier tried to blame albedo on the planet’s contemporary temperature increase, that was also on the list of debunked denier arguments I posted at the beginning of the thread.
    —> The albedo effect and global warming
    Note that this doesn’t mean that albedo isn’t a factor, in fact it can be used to mitigate some of the effects of AGW/ACC, but it’s not the primary driver of the climate at this time. The evidence clearly shows an increase in infrared being returned to Earth by our atmosphere, at the same frequencies remitted by GHGs, albedo can’t explain that. Nor does albedo explain the other problems being caused by CO2 emissions such as ocean acidification that threatens part of humanity’s food supply.

    I also find it amusing that others still cite Lindzen considering he testified before congress on behalf of the tobacco lobby that there was no link between tobacco use and cancer. Granted that doesn’t make him automatically wrong on AGW/ACC but it does show he has a tendency to lie in defense of industries that harm people. Therefore his objectivity on the subject is (unsurprisingly) just as questionable as his work regarding AGW/ACC.
    —> Lindzen Illusions

  185. Indy

    Some quotes that came to mind reading the comments above. :)

    ‎”If an outsider perceives ‘something wrong’ with a core scientific model, the humble and
    justified response of that curious outsider should be to ask ‘what mistake am I making?’ before assuming 100% of the experts are wrong.” – David Brin, Skeptical Quote of the Week

    “On this side of the debate, every scientist in the world. On the other, Mr Potato Head.” – Bill Maher

    “When a man makes up his mind without evidence, no evidence disproving his opinion will change his mind” — Robert Heinlein

    “No boom today… boom tomorrow. There’s always a boom tomorrow.” – Susan Ivanova, Babylon 5

  186. I haven’t been following this story but I thought I chip in. Simberg is a fascist nut case and a well known embarrassment to the space science community. We all routinely expect this stuff from him.

  187. “As someone with an education in science and engineering,”

    DanH, every time you hit my server your IP points a christian radio station.

    You are well known charlatan who routinely makes a fool of yourself on scientific blogs.

  188. Victor

    Phil,

    History will not be kind to these denialist wingnuts. They will be known as the irresponsible few who actively held back global environmental sustainability efforts by disingenuously arguing against a demonstrable scientific problem. That is all.

  189. Jay Davis

    Mann will not go to court. The discovery process will convince him, or his lawyers, that he’d best take his licks and be quiet. Anyone who has read the Climategate emails objectively would question the science Mann and cohorts were performing. And the PSU investigation will not hold up in court also. So far, Mann has balked at delivering requested documents to Dr. Tim Ball’s lawyers, and he is doing his best to keep his UVa emails from being released. The question is, what is he trying to hide?

  190. Lucas Dias is making a classic Tone Argument — “Sure, climate change may be real, but PHIL IS BEING A BIG OL’ MEANYPANTS!” Yes, heaven forfend that Phil call out people for defaming a scientist and comparing him to a serial pedophile. Phil, think of the children!

  191. DAV

    176. caerbannog “… used it to ‘train’ their random noise generator?”

    Trained? Really? How or why would one “train” a random generator? Wouldn’t “training” defeat the “random” part? The code used by M&M is readily available. How about showing us where this “training” occurred?

    190. Jay Davis: “Mann will not go to court. ”

    Assuming he is rational, of course.

  192. another scientist

    It’s a big mistake, Phil, to think that because astronomy is a well-conducted science, therefore so are all other scientific disciplines. Specifically, climate change is the hangout of science rejects who could not make it in a proper discipline. Way back in university I took some geology and related coursework — as a sort of liberal arts diversion from physics — and found that the climateers had no methodology in either the teaching or the uptake — it truly was the liberal arts of science. I wouldn’t buy a used car from those people, and you’ve made a big mistake getting invested in their nonsense.

  193. caerbannog

    Dav@July 24, 1:02pm:

    When I say “train” the random noise generator, I mean generate the autocorrelation coefficients that the random noise generator uses to generate red noise (i.e. noise with autocorrelation persistence). It’s just a (yes, sloppy) way to describe what’s going on to a nontechnical audience without having to explain things like autocorrelation functions.

    Here’s the code:

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/Hockey/Rscript.R

    Anyway, here are the offending sections of the code:

    This shows that the tree-ring data gets read in; then autocorrelation coeffs are computed from the tree-ring data and fed into an “arfima” fcn, which then generates the red noise.
    (The arfima fcn requires tree-ring autocorrelation coefficients in order to generate synthetic red noise that supposedly has the same statistical properties as “tree ring noise”.)

    Note how there’s no pre-processing of the data to remove the long-term climate signal before the tree-ring autocorrelation coeffs are computed and then fed to the arfima function to calculate the red noise.

    ######### TREE-RING DATA READ IN HERE
    tree<-read.table(file.path(url.source,"2004GL021750-
    NOAMER.1400.txt"),header=TRUE,sep="t") #collated AD1400 network
    tree<-ts(tree[,2:ncol(tree)],start=tree[1,1],end=tree[nrow(tree),1])
    dates<-tsp(tree)# [1] 1400 1992
    end0<-min(1980,dates[2])
    tree<-ts( tree[(1400-tsp(tree)[1]+1):(end0-dates[1]+1),]
    ,start=1400,end=end0)
    tree<-extend.persist(tree)
    temp<-!is.na(tree[1,])
    tree<-tree[,temp]
    dim(tree) #581 70

    ############# RANDOM NOISE GENERATED AND "NOISE" HOCKEY-STICKS
    ############# PRODUCED HERE.
    #NOW DO SIMULATION
    method2<-"arfima"

    #PH, MM05 have NN<-10 and NM<-1000, a shorter run is described here.
    NN<-10
    NM<-20
    for (nn in 1:NN) {
    Eigen0<-localfunction(tree,method2,NM)

    In M&M’s R-code, the acf() fcn is used to compute autocorrelation coefficients from the tree-ring data. But this is done right after reading the data in from the data file. At no point is the data filtered/detrended/whatever to remove the "hockey stick" climate signal (which *is* present in the data — you can see an underlying hockey-stick trend even if you just crudely normalize/average the tree-rings together).

    So what has happened here is that the tree-ring data, which contains noise *and* signal, is used to compute autocorrelation coefficients for the random noise generator. The noise generator uses the autocorrelation coefficients to generate "red noise" that supposedly has the same statistical properties as "tree-ring" noise. But the problem is, the autocorrelation coefficients contain contributions from both signal and noise, and as a result, M&M's noise model is contaminated with "hockey stick" signal!

    Now, the M&M proponents will deny that this is any kind of problem, but it is! If your noise model is contaminated with signal statistics, then it is useless for investigating the "noise only" behavior of a system. Now, I could be wrong here, and I may have missed where M&M preprocess the tree-ring data to remove the hockey-stick signal first. So if I'm wrong (and I very well could be — I don't know much R-code — have to read through it with the user's manual at hand), could you point out where M&M remove the long-term climate signal from the data before they use it to generate their synthetic red noise?

  194. Gaebolga

    @ another scientist, #195:

    Physicists

    (and given your obvious disdain for the liberal arts, both doubly applicable and ironically so)

  195. ‘climateers’.

    This is going to be so easy. And of course ‘another scientist’s comments’ are so bereft of content that he is afraid to post using his real name. And who here said astronomy is a ‘well conducted science’?

    You guys really do have some intrinsic and intractable credibility problems.

  196. Cardin Drake

    Nobody on the “denier” side of the argument thinks that temperatures haven’t warmed over the last 100 years. As Dr. Muller put it:

    Global warming is real. Perhaps our results will help cool this portion of the climate debate. How much of the warming is due to humans and what will be the likely effects? We made no independent assessment of that. (emphasis mine)

    And I haven’t seen any retraction from Dr. Muller, despite the counter-claims from Real Climate and the rest of the alarmist community. You should read the rest of what he says. It is quite revealing

    http://www.technologyreview.com/news/403256/global-warming-bombshell/

    Suddenly the hockey stick, the poster-child of the global warming community, turns out to be an artifact of poor mathematics. How could it happen? What is going on? Let me digress into a short technical discussion of how this incredible error took place.

    In PCA and similar techniques, each of the (in this case, typically 70) different data sets have their averages subtracted (so they have a mean of zero), and then are multiplied by a number to make their average variation around that mean to be equal to one; in technical jargon, we say that each data set is normalized to zero mean and unit variance. In standard PCA, each data set is normalized over its complete data period; for key climate data sets that Mann used to create his hockey stick graph, this was the interval 1400-1980. But the computer program Mann used did not do that. Instead, it forced each data set to have zero mean for the time period 1902-1980, and to match the historical records for this interval. This is the time when the historical temperature is well known, so this procedure does guarantee the most accurate temperature scale. But it completely screws up PCA. PCA is mostly concerned with the data sets that have high variance, and the Mann normalization procedure tends to give very high variance to any data set with a hockey stick shape. (Such data sets have zero mean only over the 1902-1980 period, not over the longer 1400-1980 period.)

    The net result: the principal component will have a hockey stick shape even if most of the data do not.

    McIntyre and McKitrick sent their detailed analysis to Nature magazine for publication, and it was extensively refereed. But their paper was finally rejected. In frustration, McIntyre and McKitrick put the entire record of their submission and the referee reports on a Web page for all to see. If you look, youll see that McIntyre and McKitrick have found numerous other problems with the Mann analysis. I emphasize the bug in their PCA program simply because it is so blatant and so easy to understand. Apparently, Mann and his colleagues never tested their program with the standard Monte Carlo approach, or they would have discovered the error themselves. Other and different criticisms of the hockey stick are emerging (see, for example, the paper by Hans von Storch and colleagues in the September 30 issue of Science).

    Some people may complain that McIntyre and McKitrick did not publish their results in a refereed journal. That is true–but not for lack of trying. Moreover, the paper was refereed–and even better, the referee reports are there for us to read. McIntyre and McKitricks only failure was in not convincing Nature that the paper was important enough to publish.

    How does this bombshell affect what we think about global warming?

    It certainly does not negate the threat of a long-term global temperature increase. In fact, McIntyre and McKitrick are careful to point out that it is hard to draw conclusions from these data, even with their corrections. Did medieval global warming take place? Last month the consensus was that it did not; now the correct answer is that nobody really knows. Uncovering errors in the Mann analysis doesnt settle the debate; it just reopens it. We now know less about the history of climate, and its natural fluctuations over century-scale time frames, than we thought we knew.

    If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick. Misinformation can do real harm, because it distorts predictions.

  197. caerbannog

    (Post repeated with an http link deactivated so as to keep it out of the spam filter — moderators, please delete the previous version of this post — thanx!)

    Dav@July 24, 1:02pm:

    When I say “train” the random noise generator, I mean generate the autocorrelation coefficients that the random noise generator uses to generate red noise (i.e. noise with autocorrelation persistence). It’s just a (yes, sloppy) way to describe what’s going on to a nontechnical audience without having to explain things like autocorrelation functions.

    Here’s the code:

    www dot people dot fas dot harvard dot edu/~phuybers/Hockey/Rscript.R

    Anyway, here are the offending sections of the code:

    This shows that the tree-ring data gets read in; then autocorrelation coeffs are computed from the tree-ring data and fed into an “arfima” fcn, which then generates the red noise.
    (The arfima fcn requires tree-ring autocorrelation coefficients in order to generate synthetic red noise that supposedly has the same statistical properties as “tree ring noise”.)

    Note how there’s no pre-processing of the data to remove the long-term climate signal before the tree-ring autocorrelation coeffs are computed and then fed to the arfima function to calculate the red noise.

    ######### TREE-RING DATA READ IN HERE
    tree<-read.table(file.path(url.source,"2004GL021750-
    NOAMER.1400.txt"),header=TRUE,sep="t") #collated AD1400 network
    tree<-ts(tree[,2:ncol(tree)],start=tree[1,1],end=tree[nrow(tree),1])
    dates<-tsp(tree)# [1] 1400 1992
    end0<-min(1980,dates[2])
    tree<-ts( tree[(1400-tsp(tree)[1]+1):(end0-dates[1]+1),]
    ,start=1400,end=end0)
    tree<-extend.persist(tree)
    temp<-!is.na(tree[1,])
    tree<-tree[,temp]
    dim(tree) #581 70

    ############# RANDOM NOISE GENERATED AND "NOISE" HOCKEY-STICKS
    ############# PRODUCED HERE.
    #NOW DO SIMULATION
    method2<-"arfima"

    #PH, MM05 have NN<-10 and NM<-1000, a shorter run is described here.
    NN<-10
    NM<-20
    for (nn in 1:NN) {
    Eigen0<-localfunction(tree,method2,NM)

    In M&M’s R-code, the acf() fcn is used to compute autocorrelation coefficients from the tree-ring data. But this is done right after reading the data in from the data file. At no point is the data filtered/detrended/whatever to remove the "hockey stick" climate signal (which *is* present in the data — you can see an underlying hockey-stick trend even if you just crudely normalize/average the tree-rings together).

    So what has happened here is that the tree-ring data, which contains noise *and* signal, is used to compute autocorrelation coefficients for the random noise generator. The noise generator uses the autocorrelation coefficients to generate "red noise" that supposedly has the same statistical properties as "tree-ring" noise. But the problem is, the autocorrelation coefficients contain contributions from both signal and noise, and as a result, M&M's noise model is contaminated with "hockey stick" signal!

    Now, the M&M proponents will deny that this is any kind of problem, but it is! If your noise model is contaminated with signal statistics, then it is useless for investigating the "noise only" behavior of a system. Now, I could be wrong here, and I may have missed where M&M preprocess the tree-ring data to remove the hockey-stick signal first. So if I'm wrong (and I very well could be — I don't know much R-code — have to read through it with the user's manual at hand), could you point out where M&M remove the long-term climate signal from the data before they use it to generate their synthetic red noise?

  198. If you are concerned about global warming (as I am) and think that human-created carbon dioxide may contribute (as I do), then you still should agree that we are much better off having broken the hockey stick.

    You know, you’re right, we should all just think like you and agree with YOU, no need to think at all!

    You’ve got the Rand Simberg fascist new McCarthyism down pat.

  199. caerbannog

    Re: Cardin Drake @ July 24th, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    No matter how much copy/paste boilerplate you see that claims that Mann’s method manufactures hockey sticks from noise (and it’s a non-issue — just look at the hockey-stick eigenvalue magnitudes for tree-ring data vs. noise), the bottom line is:

    1) Center the data vectors properly and you get the same hockey stick.
    2) Skip PCA altogether and you get the same hockey stick.

    Folks, if a hockey-stick appears even when you don’t use PCA in the processing, how can anyone claim that Mann’s PCA implementation is responsible for the hockey-stick results he got? This is getting beyond absurd….

  200. ND

    Susan Ivanova is very very quotable :)

  201. Gaebolga

    caerbannog wrote:

    Folks, if the hockey-stick appears even when you don’t use PCA in the processing, how can anyone claim that Mann’s PCA implementation was responsible for the hockey-stick? This is getting beyond absurd….

    Well, what the hell do you know?

    You’re the rank idiot who puts the opinions of working climatologists above those of a mining industry executive and an economist on matters of global warming.

    You obviously have no idea what you’re talking about.

    [/snark]

  202. Menyambal

    The hockey stick is not the poster child of the warming movement. The deniers act like it’s some sort of sacred scripture that we all believe, sort of like creationists all think we worship Origin of Species, and if they could prove it false we’d all open our eyes.

    I don’t give a damn about the hockey stick. I do give a damn about the fact that my A/C has to run all night now. And I do know that I could take a hockey stick out to the road and whack a dead armadillo, nowadays, when there weren’t any around here forty years ago (but there were a few hockey sticks here then, but not any more.

    Stop nattering on about the hockey stick, and stop thinking we are all believing in one little piece of paper. You deniers showed that you do that, after blowing up about your misunderstanding of the use of the word “trick” in the Climategate e-mails, but we rational folk don’t do that.

  203. Wzrd1

    I find one thing fascinating about this blog. The irony of the “Keep libel laws out of science” banner alongside the article about a scientist having his attorney contact a defamer about defamation. Something covered under libel laws.
    The most ironic part is, it’s rendered in my browser as in full view while describing the attorney contacting the defamer.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go out and water my herb garden, whilst admiring my nice, brown lawn. Brown, courtesy of a second year of drought and excessive heat and assorted other strange weather. The new “normal”, per NOAA’s report… :/
    While I ponder one denier, who testified before our congress of fools, “high levels of CO2 are GOOD! It’s PLANT FOOD!”
    Well, ponder him sitting inside of a room with 95% CO2 at triple atmospheric pressure…
    Well, until he started having significant issues with carbonic acid. No need to wish for murder!

  204. Spence_UK

    caerbannog,

    The Huybers exchange was played out in the peer reviewed literature. Huybers did find one error in McIntyre’s analysis, but also made an error himself; when both errors were corrected, the result confirmed McIntyre’s position. (Ref below)

    (See GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L20713, 3 PP., 2005
    doi:10.1029/2005GL023586, Reply to comment by Huybers on “Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance”)

    Of course, you also miss the many other problems McIntyre and many other scientists observed with Mann’s flawed analysis, including but not limited to:

    – Botched statistical methods
    – Lack of objective sampling criteria
    – Lack of objective PC retention criteria
    – Incorrect methodological descriptions
    – Reliance on a single verification statistic
    – Failure to report calculated verification statistics
    – Failure to pass statistical significance tests
    – Meaningless confidence intervals
    – Sensitivity of results to small changes in sample data
    – Sensitivity of results to small changes in methods

    These (and other) problems have been highlighted by a plethora of scientists in the peer reviewed literature; including Bürger, Cubasch, von Storch, Zorita, Fast, Smerdon, Kaplan, McIntyre, McKitrick, McShane, Wyner, as well as comments outside of the literature by people with relevant expertise such as Jolliffe, Wegman, Briggs, etc., etc.

    You can pull the wool over some people’s eyes by not showing the full story about Huyber’s comment, but those with a good understanding of the issues (such as the scientists I list above) know that Mann’s work is fatally flawed in so many ways.

  205. Nice appeal to authority there Spence, as if the list of characters you present could be considered authorities. They only paper that comes close to authoritative is McShane (brand new PhD) and Wyner, which was promptly destroyed by Deep Climate, Tamino and various RealClimate authors.

    You know how to use a search engine, right? Let me guess, you neither read nor understand this stuff.

  206. John Mashey

    Like a year ago, Peter Wood false-associated Mann with P.T. Barnum, this year, the parallel is Jerry Sandusky, in both cases at a Chronicle of Higher Education blog.

    This seems OK with the CHE, despite complaints both years, as per Chronicle of Higher Ed to Its Bloggers: Feel Free to Disparage Climate Science but not Black Studies.

    People might want to study defamation law a little before offering opinions, although as usual:
    IUOUI: Ignore Unsupported Opinions from Unidentifiable Individuals

  207. @ Spence_UK (#169) – Uhm, what claims are you talking about? Yes, they interviewed Mann, and a lot of other people. They also did a bunch of research, both on and off the internet. Check it out:

    “Documents available to the Investigatory Committee:
    • 376 files containing emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the
    University of East Anglia and originally reviewed by the Inquiry Committee
    • Documents collected by the Inquiry Committee
    • Documents provided by Dr. Mann at both the Inquiry and Investigation phases
    • Penn State University’s RA-IO Inquiry Report
    • House of Commons Report HC387-I, March 31,2010
    • National Academy of Science letter titled, “Climate Change and the Integrity of
    Science” that was published in Science magazine on May 7, 2010
    • Information on the peer review process for the National Science Foundation (NSF)
    • Department of Energy’s Guide to Financial Assistance
    • Information on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s peer review
    process
    • Information regarding the percentage of NSF proposals funded
    Dr. Michael Mann’s curriculum vitae”

    So I don’t know what you mean by
    “…trivially shown to be false by a couple of minutes of research…”
    or
    “…those claims are swallowed verbatim by the inquiry [sic] and never checked.”

    Oh, and the findings of that inquiry?
    “This level of success in proposing research, and obtaining funding to conduct it, clearly places Dr. Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession for proposing research.”

    “Clearly, Dr. Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of accepted practices in his field. ”

    “The Investigatory Committee, after careful review of all available evidence, determined that there is no substance to the allegation against Dr. Michael E. Mann, Professor, Department of Meteorology, The Pennsylvania State University.

    More specifically, the Investigatory Committee determined that Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities.

    The decision of the Investigatory Committee was unanimous. ”

    Did you even read the report? In case you didn’t you can find it here:
    [http://live.psu.edu/pdf/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf]

    So, your claim that the investigation was a whitewash is kind of flat and with out merit (just like the charges brought against Mann by Cuccinelli!) But hey, if you want to throw out that investigation that’s fine with me.

    Even if the Penn State investigation is faulty (it’s demonstrably sound), you still have to deal with the fact that

    EVERY INVESTIGATION INTO MANN AND HIS WORK HAS EXONERATED MANN AND HIS WORK.

    Sorry for shouting, but you need to realize something: every claim against Mann, made by you or any other denier, has been soundly shot down. Mann, his work, the work of others like him, and the science of climatology has been repeatedly shown to be upstanding and above board. Here’s the evidence:

    East Anglia [http://www.cce-review.org/]
    Virginia’s case was found to have no merit [http://www.cce-review.org/]
    The NSF investigation [http://www.nsf.gov/oig/search/A09120086.pdf]

    Note that this is only in regards to academic fraud and other such allegations. Had I so desired I could have argued the irrelevancy of your claims based on the observational evidence for, and theoretical grounding of, anthropogenic climate change.

  208. caerbannog

    Re: Spence_UK @ July 24th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    OK, so we have a long list of boilerplate objections to Mann’s work.

    Let’s focus on this one:
    – Lack of objective PC retention criteria

    Can you explain, in your own words, Mann’s PC selection process and what’s wrong with it?

    No copy/paste, please — your own words.

  209. Spence_UK

    No Thomas I read papers by those authors years ago when I was following this debate closely. And I’m not appealing to them as authorities, but as authors of papers which are demonstrably correct in their claims.

    However, your attempt dismiss a paper because one of the authors is a “new PhD” shows you are the one judging the papers based on who wrote them and not the content. I merely provide the list of names to allow people to locate papers.

    It seems you are not even familiar with the literature though, as many of these are good, authoritative papers, such as this one:

    “Are multiproxy climate reconstructions robust?”, Gerd Bürger and Ulrich Cubasch (trivially found on google scholar; I won’t link to avoid the spam trap). GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 32, L23711, doi:10.1029/2005GL024155, 2005. From the conclusions:

    Any robust, regression-based method of deriving past climatic variations from proxies is therefore inherently trapped by variations seen at the training stage, that is, in the instrumental period. The more one leaves that scale and the farther the estimated regression laws are extrapolated the less robust the method is. The described error growth is particularly critical for parameter-intensive, multi-proxy climate field reconstructions of the MBH98 type.

    The issues raised here relate to typical problems with inverse calibration and are absolutely fundamental to these types of temperature reconstructions. McShane and Wyner certainly raise other issues as well as those raised by Bürger and Cubasch but you don’t get to dismiss these points with a wave of the hand.

    And I haven’t even started on Jason Smerdon’s corpus of work debunking Mann’s flawed methods.

  210. John Mashey

    Spence_UK:
    McIntyre’s work used a 100:1 cherry-pick, plus totally-unrealistic parameters, both needed to get the results claimed. SeeReplication and due diligence, Wegman style.

    Wegman hid the code (that came from McIntyure) by claiming it needed Navy release. I t did not. Basically, he misled Henry Waxman 6 years ago. The Wegman Report not only had plagiarism, falsification, bad science, bad social network analysis, but even had wrong statistics.

    Wegman and protege Yasmin Said just disappeared from masthead of journal they started.
    I wonder why, could it be the 2 articles they stitched together in their own journal from Wikipedia pages?

  211. Spence_UK

    caerbannog

    Yawn, a test – how boring, and childish.

    Mann claims to use Preisendorfer’s “Rule N” in his original paper. The only problem – he doesn’t. The PC selection in the cannot possibly have been selected by this rule, which can trivially be seen by inspecting the original PC retention roster – which of course, was provided by file and not by code (which would have been an obvious thing to include in the code had the methodology been objective). The code for the PC retention rule has never been made available and I suspect simply does not exist.

  212. Spence_UK

    Catalyst, the claims made by Mann about his correspondence with McIntyre. It’s a small point, but I was familiar with the correspondence back at the time, and it is easily found on the web. It completely contradicts Mann’s story.

    Now I can accept that Mann may have misremembered six-year old correspondence. Although this point is weakened since he made a similar claim within one year of the correspondence made. What bothers me is the failure of the inquiry to make even the most trivial attempt to cross check what Mann said, and simply assumed it is correct. I’ve never come across an inquiry that operated that way. What’s the point of an inquiry that only considers evidence from one side of the story?

  213. Spence_UK – You missed my reason for posting the list of alternative sources of research – that stands in clear contradiction to your claim that that the inquiry failed to make even a trivial attempt to crosscheck Mann’s work. They used other sources of information to corroborate Mann’s testimony, including testimony from other individuals as well as published writing from numerous sources. They did not accept Mann’s word on faith alone – they verified it through multiple sources.

    Your claim that the Penn State investigation was not thorough in it’s evaluation of Mann’s claims is completely false.

    “The inquiry report quotes claims by Mann that are trivially shown to be false by a couple of minutes of research on the internet”

    Now then, I looked around for awhile to find a place where I could read the actual emails, rather than snippets and synopsis. I wasn’t able to find a good online resource for this. I am, however, in the process of downloading the massive 61.9MB .zip file from wikileaks
    [http://wikileaks.org/wiki/Climatic_Research_Unit_emails%2C_data%2C_models%2C_1996-2009]

    I obviously have a lot of reading to do. Maybe you could do something that’s actually helpful and supply a link to an online resource everyone can see (without having to download a file)? Or at the very least tell me which emails, exactly, you are referring to?

    So, here we have a claim by you that is demonstrably false, plus a vague tip about what claims you were referring to, followed by stentorian rhetoric. By all appearances, you’re building castles in the air. And you still have to explain how so many investigations, by multiple international agencies, have continued to exonerate Mann. You know you can’t, so you’re hiding behind vague hints and rhetoric. Please, if you wish to have a good faith discussion, do a better job of linking to sources. I’ve been pretty good about it, how about you?

  214. Dan H.

    Thomas Lee Elifritz: I suggest either there’s a different Dan H. out there, or you need to work on your mad IP sleuthing Skilz. I can’t even stand Christian music. I’m an athiest skeptic engineer in Canada. But man, I do appreciate the paranoia that makes you do IP checks on the people who disagree with you. I suggest cutting down on the coffee.

    Zetetec: You seriously believe that the anti-AGW crowd is getting more funding than pro-AGW people? The U.S. alone has invested over $20 billion dollars in AGW research over the past decade or so. The IPCC has an annual budget of $7 million, and that’s just for the panel work, not for the research of IPCC members. Global funding for mainstream AGW research is probably close to $10 billion per year. On the other hand, this report: http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/289.pdf Says that total private funding of AGW research is on the order of 30-50 million, and much of that funding doesn’t seem to be aimed at the ‘anti-agw’ side. The money the anti-AGW side is getting is a microscopic percentage of total AGW funding around the globe. So if you really want to get into a debate on the corrupting influence of money on science, I don’t think you can win.

    By the way, I’m not a ‘denier’. I happen to believe that global warming is real, and that human activity is causing a good percentage of it. But looking at the state of the science, that’s about as far as I’d go without qualifications and big error bars. And that seems to be the state of the scientific ‘consensus’ as well. Global Warming activists have a habit of asking fairly non-controversial questions of scientists, getting widespread agreement, and then using that agreement to claim that there is ‘consensus’ on their much more extreme claims.

    If you ask scientists if the earth is warming, almost all will say yes. If you ask if human activity is contributing to it, you’d also get pretty widespread agreement. However, if you ask them a question like, “Do you think the earth will warm by more than 3 degrees by 2100?” you’ll get a much smaller percentage agreeing, and those that do would probably caveat their statement carefully and say that much is still to be learned, and that while there is certainly a troublesome issue with CO2 increases and that it may cause us to have environmental problems in the future, the actual amount of damage, if any, is unknowable with current knowledge.

    If you ask an economist who believes in global warming how much money we should spend today to mitigate risks of global warming 100 years from now, you’ll get an answer that very likely trends towards 0, because of thee discount rate. It’s simply not worth spending resources today on a problem that won’t appear for decades, unless the consequences of that problem are massive.

    Once you get past the basic “Co2 appears to warm the atmosphere, and we’re emitting it” formulation that most scientists agree with, there is significant uncertainly about everything else. It’s this uncertainty that AGW activists seek to bury by exclaiming that the science is settled and by launching ad-hominem attacks against ‘deniers’. They claim that the ‘deniers’ are conspiracy nuts, while at the same time whispering about how the entire anti-AGW side is manipulated by ‘big oil’ and the Koch Brothers.

    caerbannog: I was making a general statement about the current state of climate change science. I don’t have to be a climatologist to recognize bad science when I see it. And I’m not even pointing fingers at one side or the other. My point was simply that the entire climate change field has become so filled with ideologues on both sides, and is so heavily invested in political outcomes, that any scientist should be skeptical of the work being done by ANYONE. We should all be on our toes, double-checking everything. All datasets should be in the public domain. The computer code used to generate the models should be open sourced. Everything should be double checked. People with serious skeptical tendencies should be put on panels along with people from Greenpeace, so that one side’s bias may be detected by the other.

    Instead, there is a constant attempt by the pro-AGW scientists to hunker down, circle the wagons, hide their data, belittle their skeptics, dismiss peer-reviewed papers that don’t come from an ‘accepted’ periodical (i.e. one in which the editor is on ‘their’ side), etc.

    Knowing how insidious bias can be in any line of research, blinding accepting the data from people like Mann, who at the very least has shown himself to be close-minded and absolutely convinced of his own correctness, is crazy. We KNOW he is not objective. He may be doing his best to be honest, but that’s no guarantee of unbiased work. Bias creeps in even when we don’t want it to, which is why we do double-blind trials. Of course, we can’t do that in climate science. We also have no controls to compare against, and no way to tell whether our long-term theories are correct until time itself either proves them or disproves them. That’s fine with me – I’m willing to wait and collect more data. The pro-AGW side wants to act NOW.

  215. However, your attempt dismiss a paper because one of the authors is a “new PhD” shows you are the one judging the papers based on who wrote them and not the content. I merely provide the list of names to allow people to locate papers.

    I’m not dismissing their paper because one of the author’s is a new PhD, I’m merely pointing out that their outright naivete has already been widely discussed and criticized by the scientific community. What I’d like to know is who put them up to this because they are completely out of the field by now. Reading over their current position summaries alone is pretty damn revealing, and indeed, damning.

    People who post here are members of the scientific community, well aware of all of the references you continue to regurgitate, and have little or no need for your links. We all are adults here, ok, Thanks.

  216. Chris Winter

    @Spence_UK (#215):

    And the twelve or so more recent studies that corroborated Mann’s results? Are they making the same alleged mistakes, or is it all some conspiracy (never exposed by a climatologist from a rival institution, or by any statistician)?

    Or (let’s say it softly) could it be that you simply don’t understand the big picture?

  217. Arno Arrak

    Somehow, the Bad Astronomy column sees it fit to include the hockey stick politics as an astronomical subject. The author does not sign his name but says he is an astronomer and then opines that “…now, ramping up the rhetoric to full-on disgusting, comes The National Review. A far-right paper (to say the least), they are not exactly supportive of the reality of global warming. But a few days ago they published a blog article by Mark Steyn that calls Mann a scientific fraud.” Nothing to do with astronomy but let’s ignore that. He does not say it but from the context I presume by the reality global warming he means the existence of greenhouse warming caused by our carbon dioxide emissions. Has he ever looked at the actual temperature history as recorded by instruments, and at the record of carbon dioxide from Mauna Loa and ice cores? They simply do not match and a cause and effect relationship cannot be established. Lets take a look at the twentieth century. That century’s warming began suddenly in 1910 and stopped equally suddenly in 1940. There was no parallel sudden increase of carbon dioxide and that rules out greenhouse warming as a cause because of the radiation laws of physics. Half a century is gone and no greenhouse yet. From that point on to the late seventies there was no warming while carbon dioxide relentlessly increased. There is no satisfactory explanation for this failure of carbon dioxide to cause any warming for thirty years, just contorted hypotheses to explain it away. One such blames factory smoke from World War II war production for shading the sun. There was a small step warming about 1976 that goes by the name of Great Pacific Climate Change. A short spurt like that does not qualify for greenhouse warming. Satellites tell us that there was no warming in the eighties and nineties while carbon dioxide just kept on rising. In 1998 we got a visit from a giant super El Nino that brought us the warmest temperature of the last 100 years. Its aftermath was a short step rise that lifted global temperature by a third of a degree Celsius in four years and then stopped. And since then there has been no temperature increase for more than ten years. And guess what the IPCC climate models predicted for this? According to IPCC AR4 report global warming in the twenty-first century was supposed to proceed at the rate of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. We have been waiting for more than ten years now for that prediction to become true and nothing has happened. In science, if the prediction from a theory is false that theory is also considered false. The IPCC prediction about global warming in the twenty-first century has turned out to be wrong which means that their theory of global warming that made that prediction is also wrong. Since all the predictions of dangerous global warming come from that theory these predictions of warming are also wrong and all the policies for emission control we have to live with are based on nothing. Case closed.

  218. Chris Winter

    “Lots of people have stood up, but if you dismiss anyone who does as automatically unqualified, it’s no wonder you see no one.”

    This argument is pure sophistry. It doesn’t matter whether I dismiss them. The scientific establishment dismisses them, because it finds their explanations inadequate. You might posit a grand conspiracy to suppress valid evidence (in fact you almost certainly will) but that explanation too is inadequate.

    FYI: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sophism#Modern_usage

  219. Chris Winter

    @Steve Metzler (#108):

    I never knew these details. Thanks for providing them!

    I only wish there was a way to convey on-line how loudly I’m laughing now.

    Oh, and Spence_UK (#207) — please take note.

  220. Chris Winter

    Magoonski (#147): “Is there any website out there that would allow us to write/email on mass to these people like Simberg and tell them how reprehensible they are?”

    Simberg has his own blog, Transterrestrial Musings. You could try to enter a comment there. I know nothing about his banning policies.

  221. Chris Winter

    Bad Jim (#150): “It’s perfectly obvious, isn’t it, that the world’s scientists – not just the climatologists, but the entire scientific community – are either oblivious to the evidence or complicit in a conspiracy to impose a global socialist regime. Is any other explanation tenable?”

    Yes.

  222. Chris Winter

    @Magoonski (#154):

    Oh, Shunt1 reads all this stuff. I think he understands it too. He’s just getting his jollies by stirring up trouble and prolonging the exchange: the very definition of a troll.

  223. Chris Winter

    Andreas H (#160): “We have to adopt the same serenity with AGW, it’s an established fact, we no longer need to fervently defend it, their is more than enough proof out there for everyone to read. What we need to start doing is actually push concrete, clearly formulated programs to help our planet.

    There is a beautiful comic strip, that I unfortunately can’t find right now. But it’s about this exact problem and the punch line goes something like this: “What if it’s a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing!”

    There’s another cartoon that shows a man figuratively tearing out his hair and shouting, “Someone just said something wrong on the Internet!” He, or course, feels compelled to set them straight.

    I agree that attempts to refute the specious arguments offered are usually a waste of time. But there are lurkers.

    Another aspect is, the Republican members of Congress and their paymasters are part of this equation too. (As are many Democrats.) If they get their way, odds are high that no better world will ever be created. Indeed, the world is likely to get worse. I’ve come ’round to the conclusion, therefore, that speaking out is required.

  224. Steve Metzler

    It would be nice (probably not the best word choice, but, hey) if the AGW deniers here would take the time to read the article ‘Replication and due diligence, Wegman style’ that I linked to in no. 108, and that John Mashey more recently linked to in his no. 213, and tell us what you think about it. Because, not once has a denier ever acknowledged even reading it.

    Way too embarrassing, is it, when McIntyre is shown to be the conniving, dirty player in this whole hockey stick affair, with his manufactured ‘statistics’. caerbannog is basically spot on too (and he has more stats fu than I do). You see, here’s the drill:

    McIntyre based his red noise simulations on data that had climate signal in it, which is allowed. The idea here is that you then run a bunch of Monte Carlo simulations that add noise to the data, but you do it in a way that the noise simulates non-climate signal that happens in nature: stuff like disease and insect infestations. Then you test your principle component analysis algorithm (PCA) to make sure it can still pick out the climate signal from the noise. So far so good.

    The thing is, there is a delicate balance here. The formula for the persistence of the noise is expressed as:

    (1 + n)/(1 – n)

    where n is the AR1() co-efficient. Most dendrochronologists agree that this co-efficient should range from about .15 to .3., which if you plug in those numbers gives an auto-correlation persistence of from 1.4 to 1.9 years, which nicely simulates transient, natural, non-climatic effects on the trees. But McIntyre used ARFIMA instead, which is more like AR1(.9), with a way over-cooked persistence of *19 years*. This completely degrades the climate signal, and also makes the simulations tend to ‘run away’. Net effect: un-realistic hockey sticks that have nothing to do with nature.

    So, please read that article, and then tell us which side is playing fair here. Also, the other article that I linked to in my no. 108, ‘How Red are my Proxies’, makes for an interesting supplementary read. You can’t just jump in and ‘do statistics’ like McIntyre does and expect to come up with valid results. The statistics have to be backed up by the underlying fundamental physical properties of the system you are trying to model!

  225. Nothing to do with astronomy but let’s ignore that.

    Oh sure, nothing at all to do with classical mechanics, quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics, to say nothing of empirical and observational science, computation, … have I forgotten anything? These subjects have nothing to do with astronomy, after all, Earth is just another terrestrial planet.

    This is great entertainment, people like you never let me down.

  226. Steve Metzler

    222. Chris Winter Says:

    @Steve Metzler (#108):

    I never knew these details. Thanks for providing them!

    You’re welcome. Shines a little beacon of long-overdue light on the whole McIntyre/Wegman affair, doesn’t it? But Deep Climate is the one who all the thanks must got to. I’m just the messenger.

    ETA: while I’m at it, tamino has a great article about how using non-centred PCA has zilch affect on the results, once you take all significant PCs into account. Let me see if I can dig it up before my statute of limitations on this post runs out… oh yeah, here it is:

    web.archive.org/web/20080415003018/tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/pca-part-4-non-centered-hockey-sticks/

  227. caerbannog


    214. Spence_UK @ July 24th, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    caerbannog

    Yawn, a test – how boring, and childish.

    Mann claims to use Preisendorfer’s “Rule N” in his original paper.

    As opposed to M&M, who used a “hard wired” value of *two* PC’s, regardless of the centering convention.

    Folks, if your PC selection algorithm retains too many PC’s, the impact on your results will be minimal. But if you select *two few* PC’s (as M&M did with their initial “hard-wired 2 PC” selection procedure), then you will likely have “screwed the pooch” by throwing out critical information — which is exactly what M&M did in their first “audit” of Mann’s results.

    In fact, it’s not that hard to determine how many PC’s to retain, even if you use an “ad hoc” approach. Just compute your results repeatedly, adding a another PC each time — when additional PC’s don’t change your results significantly, then you will know that you have retained enough PC’s. There’s no real magic to this.

    Folks like Spence_UK are blowing smoke — as much as they criticize Mann for his data processing decisions, they *never* produce their own independent analyses that prove that his approach was invalid. If Spence_UK wants to make the case that Mann’s PC selection procedure is so poor that it invalidates his results, then it is incumbent on Spence to produce his own results that demonstrate such.

    It’s all rather like the folks who have attacked the NASA/NOAA/CRU global-temperature work — rather than computing their own global-average temperature estimates from various subsets of temperature data (i.e. rural vs. urban, raw vs. adjusted, “all stations” vs. “no dropped stations”, etc.), the “temperature record critics” were content to throw rocks from the sidelines, instead of rolling up their sleeves and doing the real work necessary to back up their claims. (FYI, if you have some programming expertise, it’s not very hard to produce your own independent global-temperature results that debunk all of the popular “skeptic” claims about the global temeperature record — I provide a link to information showing how to do just that in one of my previous posts here).

    And the same holds true for Mann’s “hockey stick” critics. There’s more than enough publicly-available tree-ring data (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/treering.html) for anyone who has the technical chops and the spare time to produce his/her own global temperature paleoreconstruction. But for some reason, not a single one of Mann’s critics has invested the time and effort to give it an honest shot. Why is that?

  228. Daniel J. Andrews

    Sheesh. Go away for a few days and when you come back the walls are leaking slime (i.e. the NR article, and maybe, just maybe, one or two of the trolls although perhaps they just have extreme cases of D-K syndrome).

    If you don’t like Dr. Mann’s original hockey stick, or the improved hockey stick, or any of the other hockey sticks done by other scientists using different data sets and different stats, then just ignore them–they’re not central to determination of global warming. There’s mountains more evidence and theory (based on physics and chemistry) other than the now numerous hockey sticks.

    It’s like trying to take down evolution by showing Darwin made a few minor mistakes. That, too, only fools those who don’t know a whole lot about the subject and/or have an ideology/belief that requires them to reject science.

  229. Zetetic

    Dan H @ #217:
    The U.S. alone has invested over $20 billion dollars in AGW research over the past decade or so.
    Way to miss the point there Dan. The little detail that you are going through great pains to avoid is that the money spent on studying AGW is spent to study the climate regardless of the cause of the warming.
    If it was being caused by the sun (hypothetically for example) then they’d be studying that and coming up with suggestions for that as well. The difference in that hypothetical case is that they would not be getting death threats, or being censored, or having their funding threatened by right-wingers since in that case it wouldn’t be threatening the profits of their political donors.
    You also seem to be ignoring that most of that money is being spent not on the salaries of the scientists (that are being paid comparatively less) but on things like equipment and experiments. The deniers on the other hand are being directly paid (as I’ve shown you a small sample of) for just making a few speeches and writing a few articles with suspiciously little research being done. You also are obviously ignoring the AGW/ACC denier industry that has been built up to funnel money from books and videos to the deniers from credulous members of the public (yet again curiously devoid of any real effort at research), just as there is a “birther” industry making money by peddling conspiracy theories about President Obama.
    As an aside, did you not notice that the paper you cited was from a fossil fuel funded group the George C Marshall Institute? Funny that.

    By the way, I’m not a ‘denier’.
    I didn’t call you that.
    Was that a slip on your part? Or, are you just playing the “poor victim”?

    I happen to believe that global warming is real, and that human activity is causing a good percentage of it.
    Good to know that while you claim to accept AGW/ACC that you still want to falsely attack the research that supports that conclusion.

    But looking at the state of the science, that’s about as far as I’d go without qualifications and big error bars.
    Gee, good thing that such error bars are already in the research support the reality of AGW/ACC.

    However, if you ask them a question like, “Do you think the earth will warm by more than 3 degrees by 2100?” you’ll get a much smaller percentage agreeing
    And if you ask paleontologists when humanity diverged from other primates you’ll get different answers to. Care to cite specific numbers for your “much smaller percentage” since the evidence doesn’t seem to quite bear that out the way you imply. In fact a majority are expecting 2-3 degrees Celsius or higher.
    —> Vision Prize Results

    It’s simply not worth spending resources today on a problem that won’t appear for decades, unless the consequences of that problem are massive.
    You are conveniently leaving out the little detail that many economists are systematically underestimated the best predictions of the warming in their calculations. Not to mention that economics is historically lousy at predicting the costs of massive widespread disruptions of the global economy.
    —> What’s Wrong With Climate Change Economics In One Chart
    As an aside the current best estimate for the long term cost for AGW/ACC is about $1,240 Trillion U.S. Dollars, and that doesn’t even account for the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars a year to the world caused by fossil fuels on pollution and health costs that tax payers pay for as a for of hidden subsidy to the fossil fuel companies. Think that maybe that is expensive enough to prevent, even when leaving aside the death and human suffering that you want to ignore?
    So now we get to your tactic though, instead of trying to deny the reality of AGW/ACC you instead want to play the “we should just ignore it” game instead.

    They claim that the ‘deniers’ are conspiracy nuts,
    That because when the deniers aren’t ignoring/lying about basic facts or attacking legitimate researchers (something I noticed that you failed to justify in your response to me) then they are saying that we should just ignore an obvious and massively expensive problem so that a few very wealthy big donors can keep enjoying massive profits at the expense of the rest of humanity.

    while at the same time whispering about how the entire anti-AGW side is manipulated by ‘big oil’ and the Koch Brother
    Hardly mutually exclusive once you bother to differentiate between the paid “spokespeople” and the misinformed base that is brought up on constant conspiracy mongering by the likes of Fox “News”/Limbaugh/Beck/etc. Oh, and because every AGW/ACC denying/delaying “think tank”, and nearly every group (and even some of the political magazines), on that side is in fact being paid for either directly or indirectly by fossil fuel companies. I’ve already provided you with a couple of links to such, providing more such public evidence is no trouble. Maybe you think that Exxon Mobile having to publicly promise to stop funding AGW/ACC deniers (a promise that they then broke) was just something they made up on whimsy? Perhaps you also think that all of the “medical research” about the positive effects of tobacco were just independent researchers too?

  230. Zetetic

    @ Daniel J. Andrews #232:
    If you don’t like Dr. Mann’s original hockey stick, or the improved hockey stick, or any of the other hockey sticks done by other scientists using different data sets and different stats, then just ignore them–they’re not central to determination of global warming.

    Agreed, and precisely the point many of of here have been making from the start. But just like creationists, your point will either just continue to be filtered out by their cognitive dissonance or they’ll come up with another excuse to delay action.

  231. DAV

    @ 196. caerbannog Says:July 24th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    OK, I see what you meant. Yes. That was to simulate random environmental shocks. I’ll quote McKitrick to explain (emphasis mine):

    To test the power of Mann’s data-mining algorithm we ran an experiment in which we developed sequences of random numbers tuned to have the same autocorrelation pattern as the NOAMER tree ring data. In an autocorrelated process a random shock takes a few periods to drift back to the mean. Initially we used a simple first-order autocorrelation model, but later we implemented a more sophisticated ARFIMA12 routine that more accurately represents the entire autocorrelation function associated with tree ring data. In statistics these kinds of models are called “red noise.” The key point was that the ARFIMA [Autoregressive Fractionally-Integrated Moving Average] data is trendless random noise, simulating the data you’d get from trees in a climate that is only subject to random fluctuations with no warming trend.

    In 10,000 repetitions on groups of red noise, we found that a conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockey stick shaped PC1, but the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99% of the time. The reason is that in some of the red noise series there is a ‘pseudo-trend’ at the end, where a random shock causes the data to drift upwards, and before it can decay back to the mean the series comes to an end. The Mann algorithm efficiently looks for those kinds of series and flags them for maximum weighting. It concludes that a hockey stick is the dominant pattern even in pure noise.

    Ross didn’t explicitly say it but I will: Mann’s algorithm is a cherry picking tool which emphasizes those series resembling a hockey stick.

    “What is the ‘Hockey Stick’ Debate About?”
    full text at: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/McKitrick-hockeystick.pdf

  232. DAV

    @232. Daniel J. Andrews Says: July 24th, 2012 at 9:45 pm
    @233. Zetetic Says: July 24th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Hardly a minor error. The math wasn’t the only problem. The very same flawed analysis was trotted out way more than once and was the poster child for the IPCC. Why? Because it puportedly proved that the 20th century trend was unique going back to medieval times. It conveniently deflated that pesky MWP that kept showing the 20th century wasn’t all that unique. BTW: the Roman warm period was even larger.

    When you say “global warming” just exactly what do you mean? Merely, that the latter third of the 20th had a warming trend or do you really mean that AND humans caused it?

    Did the latter third of the 20th have a warming trend? Yes. Is that warming trend continuing? Depending on who you ask: yes, no, maybe. Does the warming trend at the end of the 20th century prove anything? By itself: No. Even if the Mann Hockey Stick were not flawed, would it prove anything? No.

    Claiming “man is causing warming” then “See? Icebergs are melting! Think of the polar bears!” as proof is just plain silly.

    I’m old enough to have been around for the previous scare in the opposite direction. The causes then: why the very same as now. Of course, now, the rather inconvenient direction of temperature changes has been dropped so that ANY change can be “proof” that we are the cause. Just in time for the event that the 21rst century shows the return of cooling. There’s no way to test a theory that claims ANYTHING can happen.

    Do computer models with zero predictive power prove anything? Definitely not.

  233. Many thanks for the work you do brother Phil.

    May this comment find you well.

    When you imply in this post that science is not political, I’d like to know what is your perspective about great human beings like Galileo Galilei.

    Do you think/feel Galileo’s (r)evolutionary science was political during that space-time?

    May all become compassionate, courageous and wise.

    Make a ONEderful day brother Phil! :-)
    If you want to be a rebel, be kind. Human-kind, be both.
    In big hugs + big smiles + service + solidarity + insurgent learning
    Planetizing the Movement of the Ahimsa (R)evolution from some corner of our round borderless country…
    Pancho

  234. I would entirely agree – and this is someone who likes Mr. Steyn’s work – that this is defamatory and that the charge of scientific fraud is not one to be taken lightly. He should retract this.

    Now, may I also suggest that all those, such as Howard Friel, Sharon Begley, and the ludicrous P.Z. Myers who make similar allegations of fraud against Bjorn Lomborg be similarly sued and force to retract? And if not, why not?

  235. bad Jim

    The D-K is strong with this crowd.

    It looks like Chris Mooney is right: education doesn’t work. Nothing matters once sides are chosen.

    Even if we point out to the deniers that they’re repeating the lines crafted for them by the wealthiest companies on the planet, the same ones that fund the authorities they endlessly quote, even if we note that their conspiracy theories are the silliest confections ever spun since the invention of cotton candy, they can’t let go.

  236. Sean McCorkle

    DAV #234

    Hardly a minor error. The math wasn’t the only problem. The very same flawed analysis was trotted out way more than once and was the poster child for the IPCC.

    So what’s the flawed analysis in the borehole data?
    http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~peter/Resources/Seminar/readings/Huang_boreholeTemp_Nature%2700.pdf
    how about the stalagmite data?
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/smith2006/smith2006.html
    glacial records?
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/oerlemans2005/oerlemans2005.html
    all very different, unrelated data sets that show noticeable warming over the last century or so.

    When you say “global warming” just exactly what do you mean? Merely, that the latter third of the 20th had a warming trend or do you really mean that AND humans caused it?

    Where in the world are you getting “latter third” from? Take a look at the clear increase over the last century:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Temperature_Anomaly_1880-2010_(Fig.A).gif

    Claiming “man is causing warming” then “See? Icebergs are melting! Think of the polar bears!” as proof is just plain silly.
    Do computer models with zero predictive power prove anything? Definitely not.

    The case for human-caused global warming doesn’t depend on computer models (nor does it depend on proxy temperature reconstructions, i.e. hockey sticks). It does rely on well-established principles of physics: conservation of energy, radiation balance, mass balance, quantum mechanics and molecular spectroscopy: Earth receives incoming radiation from the Sun, warms, radiates roughly like a blackbody at 300K, with a broad maximum around 10 microns in the mid-infrared. When the incoming and outgoing radiation are equal, the warming stops. Some of the outgoing radiation is absorbed and thus blocked by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, including CO2 which has a large absorption band at 15 microns. CO2 has been increasing since the industrial revolution; that the increase is due to human burning of fossil fuels is deduced from historic records of coal, oil and gas sales (http://globalpatriot.com/2011/08/20/bill-mckibben-life-on-planet-eaarth/) together with atmospheric CO2 measurements http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/co2_data_mlo.html: mass balance shows that net natural CO2 sources are negative, the increase is explained completely by human activity.

    As CO2 increases, more outgoing IR radiation is trapped, upsetting the incoming-outgoing radiation balance. Thus the planet warms until the outgoing IR radiation brightens to the point that balance is again achieved. The observed temperature increase over the last century is well-explained by this mechanism.

  237. Sean McCorkle

    caerbannog#230
    Folks like Spence_UK are blowing smoke — as much as they criticize Mann for his data processing decisions, they *never* produce their own independent analyses that prove that his approach was invalid. If Spence_UK wants to make the case that Mann’s PC selection procedure is so poor that it invalidates his results, then it is incumbent on Spence to produce his own results that demonstrate such.

    Bravo! Well put!

  238. Do computer models with zero predictive power prove anything? Definitely not.

    You understand what determinacy means, right?

    Somehow, I doubt it.

  239. Pretty rich irony, coming from people who have spent the last decade conflating skeptics of their theory with Holocaust deniers. No skepticism about their gall!

    Climate science is a great example of why politics and science don’t mix. Scientists are rational and sensible. Advocates do crazy things like get arrested in front of coal plants, forge memos from people who disagree with them (ahem Gleick), call for war crimes trials of people who question their theories, and, yes, conflate their opponents with Holocaust deniers. Scientists test hypotheses, and if the results don’t fit, discard them; advocates massage the data till they get the result they want. Scientists are objective, advocates have a “cause.” Scientists give you all the facts, advocates give you only those that support their position.

    You cannot be both a good scientist and a good advocate.

  240. “It’s all rather like the folks who have attacked the NASA/NOAA/CRU global-temperature work — rather than computing their own global-average temperature estimates from various subsets of temperature data”

    Um, yeah, actually they’ve done exactly that (though it hasn’t always been easy, remember the whole kerfuffle about CRU losing their raw data?)

    New paper blames about half of global warming on weather station data homogenization

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/17/new-paper-blames-about-half-of-global-warming-on-weather-station-data-homgenization/

    More specific problems abound, here’s one of many:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/11/giss-raw-station-data-before-and-after/

    And the whole network is of course a well-documented hot mess:

    http://www.surfacestations.org/

    Also, please note that unlike Hansen’s crew, skeptics generally aren’t given billions of dollars of taxpayer money to do this.

  241. J Bowers

    Dan H – “The state of climate science is abysmal”

    You wouldn’t have a clue either way.

  242. J Bowers

    TallDave – “Pretty rich irony, coming from people who have spent the last decade conflating skeptics of their theory with Holocaust deniers.”

    Do the publications using the term ‘HIV/AIDS Deniers’ since the late 1980s also conflate HIV/AIDS deniers with the Holocaust? How about this 1990 paper?:

    Least-Cost Climatic Stabilisation. Lovins & Lovins (1990). Annual Review of Energy and the Environment
    “The threat of serious, unpredictable, and probably irreversible changes in the earth’s climate has moved from conjecture to suspicion to near-certainty (1). Denial is now confined to the uninformed (2).Yet the threat’s cause continues to be widely misunderstood even by many experts on its mechanisms.”

    TallDave – “remember the whole kerfuffle about CRU losing their raw data?”

    Did Phil Jones send 007 into all of the world’s NMS’s to delete the raw data, or do all of the rent-seekers not bother to replicate Jones’s methods and get their own data to make a temperature series? Toughie, that one.

  243. Tonylurker

    TallDave: It’s amusing to see you uncritically accept the results presented in an unrefereeed conference poster while you simultaneously dismiss the mountains of peer reviewed results that contradict it.

  244. TallDave makes a good point. I would like to see similar pressure placed on those people who have been very, very quick to make the worst sorts of accusations against people they don’t like.

    I repeat: will we see a similar takedown of people like Howard Friel and P.Z. Myers?

  245. bad jim

    Even if we point out to the deniers that they’re repeating the lines crafted for them by the wealthiest companies on the planet,

    Don’t talk nonsense. It is above all the poor and the working class who have the most to lose from higher fuel prices and industrial restrictions. Ecochondria is a privilege of rich idiot like Al Gore.

  246. caerbannog

    TallDave @ July 25th, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Um, yeah, actually they’ve done exactly that (though it hasn’t always been easy, remember the whole kerfuffle about CRU losing their raw data?)

    Actually, TallDave, they *haven’t* done that. Watts and the surfacestations crew haven’t even tried to compute their own global-average temperature results. They haven’t supported any their claims with any serious analysis work.

    And as for the CRU? The CRU made all of its raw data available to the public on July 27 of last year. And in the year since the CRU released the data, have Watts and Co even attempted to compute global-average estimates from that data? Nope — they didn’t even try.

    But it turns out that I decided to give it a shot myself. On July 30 (3 days after the CRU released its raw data), I downloaded the CRU’s data, modified my little “dumbed down” global-temperature program to read the CRU data format, computed my own global-average temperature results and published them on-line (total turnaround time of maybe 2-3 hours). You can view my results at: img35.imageshack.us/img35/2210/mycrumyghcnnasaghcn.jpg

    The official NASA/GISS surface-station results are plotted in dark blue.
    The results that I computed from GHCN *raw* data are plotted in yellow.
    The results that I computed from the CRU raw data (the data that skeptics were demanding) are plotted in red.

    So when I see people claim that half of the warming claimed by NASA/CRU/etc is due to data “homogenization”, I know that they are blowing smoke because I was able to confirm the NASA results myself by running *raw* data through a straightforward averaging algorithm that did not apply any homogenization or adjustments whatsoever. If the warming were an artifact of homogenization, I wouldn’t have been able to match the NASA results so closely with non-homogenized data.

    I also strongly encourage you to look at the material at this link: tinyUrl.com/globaltemperatureresultsV2

    Take some time to digest the material in the README file — it will explain exactly what I did to produce the results that I put up at that tinyurl link.

  247. scf

    Wow, Discover is supposed to be a science magazine and they post stuff like this?

    Now that I’ve seen this, I will never buy Discover again.

    The science of climate change is extremely complex, and is in constant flux, and any reasonable individual would admit the uncertainties. In particular, there have been some valid critiques of the hockey stick graph which have essentially debunked and invalidated that silly graph, and to deny them is preposterous.

  248. will we see a similar takedown of people like Howard Friel and P.Z. Myers?

    It’s a free country contrary to your best efforts. Put your money where your mouth is and retain some lawyers and sue. I’ll be sure to sell some popcorn at your ‘event’. I’ll help you out. You’re a scientific illiterate. Oops, sorry, I just blurted that out in the passion of the moment. Sue me.

  249. The science of climate change is extremely complex, and is in constant flux, and any reasonable individual would admit the uncertainties. In particular, there have been some valid critiques of the hockey stick graph which have essentially debunked and invalidated that silly graph, and to deny them is preposterous.

    Could you give us a couple more paragraphs of this kind of nonsense. The universe is vast and expanding, and so there is still plenty of space out there in need of filling up with nothingness.

    Thanks in advance. Popcorn!

  250. Steve Metzler

    251. scf Says:

    In particular, there have been some valid critiques of the hockey stick graph which have essentially debunked and invalidated that silly graph, and to deny them is preposterous.

    Just because ‘the hockey stick is broken’ happens to be your own personal mantra, repeating it over and over again does not make it true. A few things that are true, however:

    1. Changing from non-centred to centred PCA does not make any significant change to the MBH98 results, as long as you maintain all relevant PCs, which McIntyre did not do.
    2. Mann’s PCA algorithm *does not* produce ‘hockey sticks’ from random noise. McIntyre cheated (way over-cooked the noise), then also cherry picked the top 100 results of his own severely flawed analysis. See:

    deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

  251. Spence_UK

    caerbannog

    Mann didn’t use Preisendorfer’s Rule N. Demonstrably, from his own data set. He *claimed* he did, but he clearly didn’t. Just apply Rule N to his data set and you get a different PC roster to the set that Mann uses.

    Mann’s PC retention roster is also hard-wired and does not conform to Preisendorfer’s Rule N or any other objective criteria. I explained this is my previous post and yet you completely glossed over it, because you know it debunks your point utterly.

    Which is why the word “objective” was inserted into my list above. Any statistician worth his salt will tell you that your statistical methods must be objective. If you change your methods after you see the data doesn’t do what you want it to, you can get any answer you want.

    You are truly ignorant of basic principle of statistics and what actually went in to MBH98.

    Oh and I also note you fail to address any other points on the list that I raised, after getting this one point hopelessly wrong.

  252. Spence_UK

    Oh and it is rich for a Mann fan to be stating how many PCs to retain after Mann got the number utterly wrong in Steig et al.

    Just to highlight your ignorance further, you should know all PCA does is rotate a data set in multi-dimensional space. If you put a hockey stick in, somewhere (such as the hopelessly contaminated strip-bark Bristlecone pines), they will appear somewhere in the output.

    If you change your criteria (as Mann demonstrably did), you can “get” the BCPs back in. This doesn’t change their contaminated state, or the extreme sensitivity to the presence or absence of these flawed indicators.

    But you are the one blowing smoke. We already have code, developed in February 2005, over 7 years ago, that shows the discrepancy. Mann never released any objective PC retention code, but this was validated against the graph generated at RealClimate that Mann claimed he used. The results? 18 of the 19 PC retention rosters are shown to disagree with the very method Mann claims to have used. The links can all be found here (not hyperlinked to avoid spam trap):

    http://climateaudit.org/2005/02/07/was-preisendorfers-rule-n-used-in-mbh98-tree-ring-networks/

    Including turnkey code from links at that page. So when you say we have no code to show it, you are wrong, code was available over seven years ago showing exactly what I claim. Your ignorance is just staggering on this point.

  253. Spence_UK

    @Sean McCorkle

    Sad that the quote you were so proud of is factually wrong. “Well put” that I don’t have the code to hand. I’ve just put up a post that links to the code that demonstrated the point from over seven years back. I tried to avoid linking but it seems to have automatically added a link and gone into moderation. Hopefully Phil will be willing to put the post up.

  254. Spence_UK

    1. Changing from non-centred to centred PCA does not make any significant change to the MBH98 results, as long as you maintain all relevant PCs, which McIntyre did not do.

    This is true. You can still “get” a hockey stick in other ways, such as including a hopelessly flawed data set. Which proves the method is not robust (you can get any answer you want by changing how you select PCs, which is what Mann did; the Burger+Cubasch paper I referenced above explains another way to get any answer you want using Mann’s methods)

    Other things that don’t change:
    The results fail statistical significance tests
    The results fail multiple cross-validation statistics
    The results have meaningless confidence intervals
    The results are sensitive to small changes in sampling or algorithmic steps, completely changing the conclusions

    Professor Ian Jolliffe said it best:

    I am by no means a climate change denier. My strong impressive is that the evidence rests on much much more than the hockey stick. It therefore seems crazy that the MBH hockey stick has been given such prominence and that a group of influential climate scientists have doggedly defended a piece of dubious statistics.

    Yet here we still are, with so many people doggedly defending dubious science. And you wonder why the public is losing interest in climate change. They may not understand intricate details of PCA, but there are plenty of other ways of spotting people pulling a fast one; the likes of commenters here being a prime example.

  255. J Bowers

    Spence_UK – “These (and other) problems have been highlighted by a plethora of scientists in the peer reviewed literature; including Bürger, Cubasch, von Storch…”

    A Mistake with Repercussions

    Von Storch et al. claimed to have tested the climate reconstruction method of Mann et al. (1998) in model simulations, and found it performed very poorly. Now, Eugene Wahl, David Ritson and Caspar Amman show that the main reason for the alleged poor performance is that Von Storch et al. implemented the method incorrectly. What Von Storch et al. did, without mentioning it in their paper, was to remove the trend before calibrating the method against observational data – a step that severely degrades the performance of Climate Field Reconstruction (CFR) methods such as the Mann et al. method (unfortunately this erroneous procedure has already been propagated in a paper by Burger and Cubasch (GRL, 2005) where the authors refer to a personal communication with Von Storch to justify the use of the procedure). Another more recent analysis has shown that CFR methods perform well when used correctly. (See our addendum for a less technical description of what this is all about).

  256. hopelessly flawed data set.

    You don’t even know what data is, do you?

  257. Menyambal

    Spence_UK Says:

    … there are plenty of other ways of spotting people pulling a fast one; the likes of commenters here being a prime example.

    Which commenters, Spence_UK ? The comments that you and the other deniers have made read just like trolls, creationists, birthers, truthers and moon hoaxers. You’ve been more technical than most, but if your technicalities were right, you’d be best presenting them in a paper or a dedicated site—whipping out the jargon here is nullified by the folks who’ve rattled right back with refutations.

    You keep calling the hockey stick paper a poster child, which is a pretty loaded term, then your buddies complain about being called deniers, because it sounds Godwin.

    You also keep harping on thehockey-stick paper as if it were the only reason that anyone would think the earth was warming—as I said, I’ve never seen the paper, but I have seen armadillos. I care less than a toot about your arguments about the paper, but I take umbrage at your fixation on it—do you think we worship it or something?

    I don’t know if you are shilling for the oil companies or not, but I have no reason to think they would refrain from running an astroturf campaign. A corporation has no regard for anything but profits, and a strong dependence on advertising—hiring a bunch of people to lie is already in the budget.

    So tell us another lie, Spence_UK. How exactly are the regular commenters here pulling a fast one?

    Be aware, please that whatever you say will probably apply better to you and your ilk.

  258. viktor

    Even to use the ridiculous term ‘denialist’ removes the issue from the realm of science and turns it into a matter of religious doctrine….which is what warmism actually is. We, the cool kids, the Elect, the Saved, the Believers, are on the side of Heaven, as opposed to the Infidels, the nerds, the Damned…the DENIERS!!!

    Mann thinks that it is old hat to support a scientific theory with….well, SCIENCE. He evidently believes that the court system is the preferred way to establish the truth or falsity of whatever hobby-horse the pseudo-scientific left is riding this week. He is currently suing a professor in Canada who DARES question his warmist theology: he is on the brink of losing his case in the most definitive and embarrassing manner imaginable, because he refuses court demands to hand over vital information that would prove his warmist doctrine. Why? Because such supporting research either does not exist or is so poorly done that its spuriousness would be apparent to all if subjected to public scrutiny.

    This is the way the warmist fallacy works: intimidate, rant, ignore, sulk…anything except PROVE!

    Seeing the gruelling struggle Mark Steyn had undergone with Canada’s laughably-named ‘Human Rights Commissions’–a battle he and his colleagues won in signal fashion–I’m sure he isn’t exactly shaking in his boots over Mann’s lawsuit. Simply to FILE such a lawsuit is a public admission of defeat, a statement that this ramshackle warmist rubbish can’t triumph without the imposition of state force in its favour. So seeing what a battle-hardened opponent he is facing in Steyn, Mann better be prepared to produce those magical research papers that he refuses so far to divulge in his Canadian lawsuit, or simply give it up as a lost cause.

  259. gofer

    In an interview with the BBC a few weeks ago, Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS said of CAGW, “it’s not supported by the evidence.” Apparently he doesn’t see a catastrophe. Forget the models, if the weather wasn’t better or there were less severe events in 1988 or prior, the entire AGW is moot. CO2 was at the “safe” level at that time. WHY has nobody done a study of events when CO2 was 350ppm or below? The reason, I suspect, is because some of history’s worst weather happened when CO2 was “safe.” Waste of time, going any farther.

  260. caerbannog


    Which proves the method is not robust (you can get any answer you want by changing how you select PCs, which is what Mann did;

    Oh, what baloney!! Mann used PCA as a “data reduction” technique; if you retain more PC’s than needed, there will be very little impact on the results, aside from a bit of extra computational work (and the risk of “over fitting” if far more PC’s than necessary are retained).

    The only real risk to the results is retaining too few PC’s, something that is very easy to avoid. To ensure that you have retained enough PC’s, all you have to do is iterate through the computations, adding another PC each time. When you reach the point where adding another PC doesn’t change the results significantly, you will know that you have retained enough PC’s.

    Anyone who is claiming that you can get the answer you want by arbitrarily selecting PC’s is just plain blowing smoke (unless you want the hockey-stick to go away, in which case don’t retain enough PC’s).

    Now if what is being insinuated here is that Mann retained too many PC’s in order to “create” a “fake” hockey stick, well… ….that is *really* getting out there in la-la land.

  261. DENIERS!!!

    Capital letters AND multiple explanations points!!!

    PROVE!

    It looks better with multiple explanation points Victor. You’re slipping!!!

    I raise your absence of content with my absence of content!!!

  262. Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS said of CAGW, “it’s not supported by the evidence.”

    False. I have read the transcript, and I have come to the conclusion that your use of double quotes makes you a bald face liar.

  263. viktor

    Elifritz, I think the comments section of any article ought to attempt to duplicate the speaking voice of the commentator in all its intonations rather than be an exercise in formal discursive prose.

    I raise your absence of content with my logic, which you made no attempt to deal with.

    [For the benefit of your delicate nerves: written without capitals or exclamation points].

  264. viktor

    If The Wizard of Warming, Mr. Mann, doesn’t produce the goods in his case against Dr. Ball, it will be the final nail in the coffin [if there can be such a thing with these obsessed vampires] of the warmists. He will lose the case spectacularly and look like the complete fool and snake-oil salesman that he is.

    What are you afraid of, Mr. Mann? Put up or shut up. Produce your evidence or abandon the field.

  265. I think the comments section of any article ought to attempt to duplicate the speaking voice of the commentator in all its intonations rather than be an exercise in formal discursive prose.

    I guess that makes you a screaming nutcase then, according to the generally accepted rules of punctuation.

    I raise your absence of content with my logic, which you made no attempt to deal with.

    Probably because screaming does not enhance, and only detracts, from logic, and unfortunately, there was no discernible logic in your screed to respond to, according to the generally accepted formalisms of logic that I am familiar with at least. But by all means, do continue your flailing and screaming. It’s both amusing and entertaining, and that’s why I’m here.

  266. Put up or shut up. Produce your evidence or abandon the field.

    Because some guy named VICTOR said so on some blog!!!

  267. viktor

    Because the COURT demands it, not some guy called viktor. He’s the one who filed the case, after all, it’s up to him to produce it. If it doesn’t exist, his filing was unforgivably rash, no?

    What’s Mr. Mann afraid of?

  268. Menyambal

    viktor Says:

    Even to use the ridiculous term ‘denialist’ removes the issue from the realm of science and turns it into a matter of religious doctrine….which is what warmism actually is.

    The term usually used is “denier” and was brought in after the deniers started calling themselves “skeptics”. Their behavior wasn’t skeptical, it was denial. And no, using the term doesn’t turn the matter into a religion.

    Seriously, Viktor, do you want to go into religion? The supporting deniers are largely conservative Christians, the outspoken deniers are much like televangelists. You are the ones who call it religion, you are the ones who act religious. The science shows the earth is warming, and it shows why—the issue is not a matter of faith.

    Even your act of accusing the scientists of being religious is a right religious trick. You guys are so much like creationists, birthers, truthers and moon-hoaxers that you use the same trolling tricks, and you fail just as badly.

    You say, “This is the way the warmist fallacy works: intimidate, rant, ignore, sulk…anything except PROVE!” And I could right back to you as, “This is the way the denialist fallacy works: intimidate, rant, ignore, sulk…anything except PROVE!” See? It’s just a statement, with no proof. You’ve just done what you accuse us of—a classic case of projection, just like every religious nut on the net. Then you string together some alleged facts, hammer out your interpretation as if it’s gospel and you are in a pulpit.

    And again, I personally don’t give a rip about the hockey-stick paper. I care about the armadillos moving into my garden. Your assumption that the entire “warmist” movement hinges on that document is like the dimbulb creationists who think we worship Origin of Species. Again, you are doing religion here, not us.

    What’s Mr. Mann afraid of?

    Who says he’s afraid?

    Oh, yeah, you.

  269. viktor

    It was Mr. Mann who went to the courts, he needs to adhere to the rules set by them or admit that he is a charlatan.

    By the way: I’m not religious, and most of the ‘deniers’ I’m acquainted with aren’t either: that’s a dull cliche warmists use to delegitimize dissent.

    The endless employment of dull cliches and straw men against those who dare to question it is just one of the many reasons the warmist theology is losing ground.

  270. viktor

    I am amused, however, by the visceral and tiresome anti-religious–especially anti-Christian–bigotry that gets trotted out like a recurrent tick whenever anyone challenges any article in the warmist catechism, whether it’s relevant to the point being made or not.

    Maybe if the ‘deniers’ identify themselves here as Muslims the lickspittle leftists and statists that constitute the footsoldiers of the warmist fallacy will fall over themselves in expressions of unctious tolerance and say they may have a point after all….

  271. Mark

    not sure if its been mentioned, but i think our esteemed ‘astronomer’ knows how to get his site counts up…just post his climate science zealotry up and watch the sparks fly

    pretty clever, and quite sad. growing up, learning about science, and the methodology so impressed me because it seemed to me scientists were infallible, they just tried to find answers to questions, trying to prove or disprove a hypothesis. now, they ‘take stands’, and make friends on popular tv shows, and mingle with famous people. its a sad joke, it really is. my grandfather would turning in his grave if he got wind of some of the stuff on offer these days from so-called scientists. unbelievable

  272. ND

    TallDave: “…actually they’ve done exactly that (though it hasn’t always been easy, remember the whole kerfuffle about CRU losing their raw data?) ”

    Where did you hear that CRU lost their raw data? Please show us. Otherwise you’re lying.

  273. viktor

    Mark, what you say is true, but scientists are people like anyone else, and subject to the same foibles and failures of character as anyone else.

    Most of all, scientists need to make a living too, and if they can manufacture a phony ‘crisis’, they know the cash will start pouring into their departments and pet projects. There is no such thing as bad publicity, after all, and scientists are no different than the Kardashians in this respect. I’ve known many worthy research programs fold due to lack of funding and lack of interest. The heads of those programs obviously hadn’t mastered the effective public relations tricks of the warmists, most notably the one that goes: ‘Give us a crapload of money right now or we’re all going to DIE!!!’

    Getting a bunch of photogenic celebs to shill for you doesn’t hurt either…

  274. Menyambal

    Thanks, Viktor, for again doing exactly what I said you do, and for failing to read for comprehension.

    How would my tiresome anti-religiousness be influenced by someone calling themself a Muslim? I’d just knee-jerk them a good one (that’s a tic I have).

    You deniers are the ones who bring religion into this. I keep pointing out that such is quite like creationists calling evolution a religion. I never used the word Christian, although mentioning televangelists probably implied Christianity.

    If you look closely at my moniker, you might notice it is in the language of Indonesia, which is a largely Muslim country. I lived and worked with Muslims there, and I like the religion neither more nor less than Christianity. (I liked the food, and call myself “making sambal (chili sauce)”, BTW.)

    You assuming some sort of preference for Muslims among those you oppose is again a right religious trait. You, yourself, may not be any flavor of religion, but you are showing irrational prejudice by accusing others of irrational prejudice.

    If you want to make a case, do the science.

    If you want to make insults, do better and do it somewhere else.

  275. viktor

    Why should I ‘do the science’ when neither you nor Mr. Mann will?

    Must the ‘deniers’ like me do ALL the work?

  276. Renaud

    In my experience, trying to have a rational discussion with climate change deniers is no different from trying to have a rational discussion with creationists or pathological liars or conspiracy theorists. It’s a pointless waste of time. Confront them, they’ll just go deeper and deeper into denial and they are helped in this by a plethora of websites and media disseminating ready-made thoughlets and feel good narratives (“We are the new Galileos fighting the Orwellian Church of Global Warming” type of sad nonsense) as well as serving as social hubs for group behavioural reinforcement.

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, it’s relatively common and not very surprising to read sketches of conspiracy theories regarding global warming: climatologists colluding “for the money”, foreign governments trying to push their “socialist agenda”, tree-huggers trying to scare the public (like they did with the ozone depletion hoax if you haven’t heard …). When Denial meets Reality, Conspiracy Theory is never far.

  277. Menyambal

    viktor Says:

    … scientists are people like anyone else, and subject to the same foibles and failures of character as anyone else.

    Everybody knows that, and everybody knows that science is set up to reduce the foibles. “Reduce”, I said, not not eliminate, and scientists are well aware and well on watch.

    Still, is there any other group in the world that can claim to produce less human failing in their daily work? Zen monks, maybe? Hindu fakirs? Ninjas?

    The goal of science is to be inhumanly perfect, but scientists are not so inhuman as to need you telling them to be humble.

    Most of all, scientists need to make a living too, and if they can manufacture a phony ‘crisis’, they know the cash will start pouring into their departments and pet projects.

    And a good many of them will absolutely refuse to do so. “Most of all”? Where the frak do you get that? Out of your own personal failing? You live in a sad little world.

    But okay, let’s talk money.

    A corporation is motivated solely by money. Profit is the only reason, the only goal. A corporation has no ethics, no conscience, no community spirit, no children, no hope for the future. Making more money right now, no matter what, is all that a corporation can do, it is what it MUST do.

    The people who work for the corporation are also motivated by money (some may be there for pleasure in their work, but the weekly pay packet is the primary goal). If they can make the corporation make more money, they get more money. And, by and large, they have no liability for anything the corporation does to harm the world—practically, they have no ethic other than making more money.

    So, on one side we have scientists. Your case is based on the premise that they are in a line of work that leaves them short of money. A line, therefore, that they have gone into with some motivation other than money. A line of work that they base on truth and learning.

    On the other side we have money. Money, money, money. More money, now! Money, incorporated. Literally incorporated—legally made a person. Money.

    Who do you want to accuse of being money-motivated now? Some ivory-tower Farnsworth, or the image of the beast?

    Now, let us look at how scientists communicate with the outside world. Well, mostly they don’t. They have no motivation to do so. As you say, they only need to persuade someone to give them money—you need to think about what failings the money people must have and what you want to accuse them of—and they get that money by showing a need for it, showing their work is needed. You say they lie—how, when and to who, exactly?

    Corporations, on the other hand, support themselves by advertising. Which is pretty much lying to the public for money. They have huge budgets for advertising, and experts to help them persuade folks. The corporation has no regard for truth, and MUST do whatever it can to make more money—lie, cheat, deceive, defraud and mislead as many people as possible. The only limit is local false-advertising law, and if the corporation can make more money by false advertising than it is fined for doing so, it MUST indulge in false advertising. It has to break the law.

    So, on one side we have the scientists who are hermits dedicated to truth and learning.

    On the other side we have corporations that are caricatures of used-car salesmen.

    Which of those to is more likely to be lying to the public?

    Which is more likely to hire people to spread deception?

    Which are you working for?

  278. Menyambal

    viktor Says:

    Why should I ‘do the science’ when neither you nor Mr. Mann will?

    Well, I’m not an expert in the required areas, but I’ve done my best with what I know. Which, at its simplest, is that there are armadillos in my garden. I’ve also a lot of experience with and respect for scientists. I’ve also a lot of experience with and disrespect for corporations, religious nuts, rightists, conspiracy theorists and internet trolls.

    As for DOCTOR Mann, as best I can tell he has done the science. If you want to refute him, you must do science, and the comment section of an internet blog on astronomy isn’t the place for you to do science.

    Must the ‘deniers’ like me do ALL the work?

    No, you must do SOME work. Prove to me that there aren’t armadillos in my garden, for instance. (I’ll make it easy for you—I don’t actually have a garden, the armadillos I’ve seen have all been on roads, only two of them were alive.) Or go somewhere and publish a paper.

    You really think that doing anything at all is doing ALL the work? No wonder you assume that doing something about global warming is going to cut into your entitlements.

  279. viktor

    We’re not talking about corporations Meyanbal. Corporations are SUPPOSED to be about making a profit, first and foremost. Science SHOULD be the disinterested pursuit of knowledge wherever it may lead. Or at least that’s the hype: the feverish pursuit of funding and the desire to be fashionably politically correct has eroded that old paradigm to the point of making it seem quaint and old-fashioned.

    And anyway, it shows a VERY high level of callous ingratitude to talk about business the way you just did: what do you think would happen to science in America if corporations didn’t contribute money to the many foundations that fund research, not to mention universities? Most scientists would probably have to work in call centers….

  280. What Menyambal said. The idea that scientists would devote years of hard work just to getting into their field and only then decide that money is their primary motivator is absurd. Becoming a scientist because you want lots of easy money is like enlisting in the military because you want to be your own boss. It’s ridiculous. I’d also point out that the very competition for grant money that scientists engage in is also the reason that any kind of large-scale conspiracy of scientists is ludicrous.

    Let’s imagine that you’re a climate scientist, and let’s say a fellow scientist releases an “OMG, we’re all gonna die!!!!11111″ paper, trying to get moar grant monies, as per the denier conspiracy theories. Now, you could just sit on your hands and do nothing, benefiting in absolutely no way, while your grant money is stolen out from under you, your profession besmirched, and your personal integrity questioned.
    OR, you could publish your own paper destroying the fraudulent paper, gaining fame, credibility, future grant money, and probably doing less work than the original fraudulent scientist.
    Which would you choose?

  281. J Bowers

    gofer – “In an interview with the BBC a few weeks ago, Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS said of CAGW, “it’s not supported by the evidence.””

    Given how the question by John Humphrys was,

    “You don’t sound – if I can use this word – apocalyptic. You’re not saying ‘If we don’t do these things…we’re going to fry, in a few years”

    Cicerone was right to say that. Of course, that didn’t stop you from mentally twisting “a few years” into “ever”. Humphrys’ questions were loaded. See the TRANSCRIPT:
    _______________________________________________________________

    John Humphrys: So you don’t know that yet? You don’t know whether it’s local or –

    Ralph Cicerone: Better than we did, a lot better. So right now, in the temperature records that we’re seeing around the world, nearly every spot on the world has warmed significantly in the last 30 years, averaging over summer and winter, and day and night. So this is different.

    John Humphrys: But –

    Ralph Cicerone: The entire planet is warming.
    […]
    John Humphrys: Yeah, but you can’t absolutely prove, can you – and you’re the scientist and I’m not, obviously – but you can’t absolutely prove that CO2 in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming.

    Ralph Cicerone: We will never have absolute proof, but to all reasonable tests – yes, we have the evidence.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    See how Humphrys tried it with “absolutely prove”? Trick question. Proof is for maths, science is probabilistic. And yes, Humphrys is known for his “scepticism” in the UK.

  282. Gunnar

    From what comparison I have done of the claims of the AGW contrarians and those who accept the reality of AGW, and following the links provided by both, it is, so far, becoming increasingly clear to me that the contrarians are decidedly on the losing side of the argument. Every single time one of these threads about global warming appears on this blog, the deniers only lose yet more credibility. I am more convinced than ever of the utter stupidity and/or malicious dishonesty of the claim, whether stated or implied, that 97-98 % of all the scientists in this one particular field of research are either dishonest or hopelessly incompetent.

    One thing that really helps to clinch this conclusion in my mind is that even when it is pointed out that improving energy efficiency, weaning ourselves from dependence on rapidly depleting supplies of fossil fuels while developing more effective ways to utilize renewable energy resources, and reducing needless waste and depletion of natural resources would be of great benefit, while potentially providing great entrepreneurial opportunities–even if AGW were not as problematic as feared–many of these “denialists” object even to that. This tends to reinforce the suspicion that the main motivation for denying the reality of AGW is inspired the selfish greed and avarice of those involved in the fossil fuel industry, who want to get every bit of profit they possibly can from profligate use of fossil fuels as long as they last, secure in the knowledge that they will be safely in their graves by the time the real catastrophes (if any) caused by their avarice become a reality.

    Already there are individuals, businesses and munincipalities who have realized very substantial monetary savings by “going green” (such as by using solar panels, wind energy, recycling, etc.). You can find examples of them easily on the internet if you halfway try. Yet some of the AGW contrarians seem hell bent on discouraging this kind of thing, and at least one person I have interacted with claims that “going green” is too expensive, even after I pointed out how much money (in one case I mentioned–millions of dollars annually) some of these entities claim to have saved by doing so. Why this seemingly visceral objection (on the part of some) to policies and methods that will potentially save money and resources, while at the same time almost certainly benefitting both the environment and society in general?

  283. “that calls Mann a scientific fraud”.

    Defender of reality:

    If you read today’s post by Mark Steyn you will discover that this is precisely what Steyn did not call Mann.

    http://www.steynonline.com/5085/i-dont-bluff

  284. Because the COURT demands it, not some guy called viktor. He’s the one who filed the case, after all, it’s up to him to produce it. If it doesn’t exist, his filing was unforgivably rash, no?

    It was Mr. Mann who went to the courts,

    Can you point me to Michael Mann’s court case filing, victor, I haven’t been following this very closely, so maybe I missed it. Or maybe you are just making things up.

  285. Sean McCorkle

    Spence#257 – is the link in #256 the URL you refer to? (ends in “was-preisendorfers-rule-n-used-in-mbh98-tree-ring-networks”)

    If so I can’t see anything within, beyond some criticism of technique. What is lacking is the final result which directly contradicts the hockey stick (which has been repeatedly supported by many other proxy reconstructions).

    Let me put it this way: If the proxy reconstructions of Mann, et. al. are incorrect, what is the correct reconstruction? It needs to be put out there, so it can be subjected to cross-examination.

    Caerbannog’s apt statement in #230 still stands

  286. TheMadKing

    And I quote: “In this political climate, all of science is vulnerable to ideological attack when reality disagrees with political beliefs.” Now maybe I’m mistaken, but this whole article appears to be a political attack on anyone who disagrees with the THEORY of Global Warming. Hence the deniers, denialists, far right, etc, etc. More ideological than scientific monikers, methinks. Also, last I checked, the science is never settled on any matter theoretical. It’s why they call it a theory. There is much conflicting data, such as the recent tree ring surveys from Norway that appear to indicate a 2000-year cooling period. Are those scientists deniers too, no matter what their detailed research shows? As to Mr. Mann, perhaps it would be best not to draw attention to and stir the pot any further at Penn State right now. Someone might also inform him there is a discovery phase in every such trial. Do he really want to go there?

  287. agfosterjr

    What Mann’s hockey stick shows is a present that is warmer than the MWP. So if Mann’s defenders wish to make a real defense, they should begin by raising sheep in Greenland. Anything less is nothing but meaningless words and numbers. –AGF

  288. Mr. Mark

    Nobody thinks you’re wrong because you’re an astronomer. They think you’re wrong because you’re wrong. They agree with Lindzen, not with you. They agree with Michaels, not with you.

    You claim they reject science. That’ s not true. They reject that your conclusions constitute science.

    Your position is not rejected because of the political motivations of your critics. Your position is rejected because it is unscientific. Furthermore, since YOU have brought up political motivations, what about YOUR political motivations?

    AGW activists are the climate equivalents of Dowsers.

  289. caerbannog

    279. viktor Says:
    July 25th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    Why should I ‘do the science’ when neither you nor Mr. Mann will?

    Must the ‘deniers’ like me do ALL the work?

    What work? I have yet to see any of you skeptics do so much as a lick of real work. (And no, applying the Crl-C/Ctrl-V keystroke sequence to your favorite talking-point does not qualify as work.)

  290. Steve Metzler

    287. Richard Ball Says

    “that calls Mann a scientific fraud”.

    Defender of reality:

    If you read today’s post by Mark Steyn you will discover that this is precisely what Steyn did not call Mann.

    The offending quote from Steyn’s original article is this:

    “Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus.”

    In what way is that *not* calling Mann “a scientific fraud”? Science is what he does!

  291. Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate-change “hockey-stick” graph

    That sounds pretty damning to me. He claims that hockey stick graph was fraudulent, and that Michael Mann is the man behind this alleged scientific fraud. He is calling Michael Mann a scientific fraud, since the graph and paper was demonstrably a scientific effort by way of Michael Mann’s work.

    Many reviews have determined that Michael Mann’s efforts in this area were demonstrably honest.

    It’s pretty much an open and shut case of widely published defamation. A quick retraction and apology would suffice to clear this matter up. They are giving him plenty of leeway in this matter.

  292. Joe McDermott

    As a lawyer, I think Mann’s case is weak: truth is defense in a defamation action; and even if the jury finds liability, what are his damages? How is he going to show he had a valuable reputation to damage, except perhaps among the clinically insane?

  293. agfosterjr

    What Mann’s hockey stick shows is a present much warmer than the MWP. So if Mann’s defenders wish to mount a good defense they should start by raising sheep and cows in Greenland, and finish by growing grain and grapes in Vinland, wherever they think it may have been. If that’s too much, they might want to start with competitive commercial English wine.

    Anything less is all words and numbers–all meaningless if it flies in the face of known history as the stick surely does. –AGF

  294. Graham Lyons

    I have been studying the sciences and scientific method most of my life. I am leftish in politics, totally convinced that creationism is nuts, that the Holocaust happened as generally described, that 9/11 was not a CIA conspiracy, that astrology is bunk and God (whoever she is) does not exist.
    For the last six years, I have read many books and articles on both sides of the AGW debate and found almost the direct opposite of what is stated here and in these comments: namely that hate and rage, name-calling (“deniers”) and ad hominem attacks are directed against those, like me, who have concluded through evidence and reasoning that the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity has not and will not make any pertinent difference to global temperature.

  295. Chris Winter

    You just made a comment, Graham Lyons. If I call you a commenter, would you take offense? The word “denier” is being used in that same sense wrt those who refuse to acknowledge the evidence for AGW.

    Now I don’t know the details of your position vis-a-vis the statement that “the increase in carbon dioxide from human activity has not and will not make any pertinent difference to global temperature.” But let’s look at some accepted facts.

    * The historical 280ppm of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere has kept its surface about 30°F warmer than it would otherwise be.

    * The physics that finds CO2 to be capable of retarding the escape of IR light into space is over 100 years old.

    * From the mid-twentieth century until now, the scientific foundations of the idea that CO2 from human activities is the main cause of the current observed warming have grown more and more firm.

    * While there are other things that might be causing this warming (e.g. sunlight), no corresponding increase in them is observed.

    It seems to me, therefore, that there are only two possibilities: Either you hold some unique knowledge about CO2 physics that you ought to share with the world (to save us all a whole bunch of wasted effort and expense); or you have misunderstood the situation.

  296. Chris Winter

    Mr. Mark wrote: “Your position is not rejected because of the political motivations of your critics. Your position is rejected because it is unscientific.”

    If you could show us that Dr. Plait’s position is unscientific, I have no doubt he would change his position — along with the rest of us.

    If Lindzen could do that, we would agree with Lindzen. If Michaels could do that, we’d agree with Michaels (distasteful as that would be.)

    You understand what I mean “by “show”, right? That bit where someone presents evidence, constructs a chain of logic. etc. By all means, if you’ve got something like that, bring it out. If not, you’re just calling Dr. Plait unscientific. Science isn’t a shouting match.

  297. I have been studying the sciences and scientific method most of my life. I am leftish in politics, totally convinced that creationism is nuts, that the Holocaust happened as generally described, that 9/11 was not a CIA conspiracy, that astrology is bunk and God (whoever she is) does not exist.

    And how much studying did it take you to come to these startling conclusions?

  298. Heystoopidone

    As, has been pointed out previously, in this thread all the denialati arguments of, it is a cycle, the world is cooling and so forth have been thoroughly debunked. Those, who choose to argue on those grounds, are totally fooling themselves, absolutely!

    It appears for small number of complete denialati fools, they have not even learned the basic lesson of Joseph Bast’s failed propaganda “Billboard of Shame”, backfire effect!

    For you see, free speech, a constitutional right, does have it limits and only goes so far, before one crosses the Rubicon demarcation bridge, into the land of denial, delusions, lies, defamation, libel and slander.

    Hmmm, so Messrs, Steyn, Wood and Simberg, finally crossed the Rubicon, the one bridge too far on “Free Speech” directly into the land of denial, delusions, lies, defamation,libel and slander.

    Now, a wise man would say, only a complete ignorant fool, ignores the laws of Defamation in the State of New York. Or, even where the US Supreme Court, within limits, actively ignores the right of free speech, in all cases involving libel so far. Ignorance of the law, is not an excuse, to defame others with pure lies.

    Winston Churchill quotes:-

    “A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.”

    “The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.”

    In closing: –

    ” A crank is defined as a man who cannot be turned. — Nature, 8 Nov 1906″

    In other news, Professor Michael Mann’s legal action against Dr Tim Ball’s lies, which has been off the radar since March 2011, has produced some very surprising results indeed.

    Link: http://climatecrocks.com/2012/07/25/mike-mann-defamation-update-the-unbearable-weirdness-of-denial/

    Ouch!

    At the end of the day, one chooses one’s experts wisely and avoids the pain caused by the creative ignorant self proclaimed mass horse hockey propaganda producers with hidden agendas, like the proverbial bubonic plague.

  299. Chris Winter

    Gofer wrote: “In an interview with the BBC a few weeks ago, Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS said of CAGW, “it’s not supported by the evidence.” Apparently he doesn’t see a catastrophe.”

    He doesn’t see a catastrophe IN A FEW YEARS. Nobody else does either. Except people who use the acronym “CAGW” — for them it’s code for a strawman catastrophe they know is not in the cards, which they use to hammer on what one called “ramshackle warmist rubbish.”

  300. BeerMe

    Gofer, Ralph Cicerone, President of NAS said CO2 in the atmosphere is responsible for global warming… “to all reasonable tests – yes, we have the evidence.” That is what he said in that interview. As pointed out by Chris Winter, he was saying that there isn’t evidence we are “going to fry in a few years.” He certainly wasn’t saying AGW is moot, he was saying that for AGW the evidence is there!

  301. ario ironstar

    I’m a “denier.” Let me state that up front. I’m really not bothered about what you say about me, and I’d be surprised that you care what Mark Steyn or somebody at CEI says about one of your obviously correct and upright heroes, Dr. Mann, who holds positions of prestige and is surrounded by a phalanx of administrative protection. Unless, of course, you suspect your position may turn out to be irrefutably wrong and possibly monstrous. In that case, you won’t be merely mistaken, but your arrogance will have marked you out as unforgivable. Yes, my scientific judgment may prove incorrect. But the beauty is we will see. And then everyone will be accountable to history for how they conducted themselves. I commend everyone who conducts themselves with some degree of humility, and I condemn the lack thereof.

  302. Menyambal

    ario ironstar says:

    I’m a “denier.” Let me state that up front. I’m really not bothered about what you say about me …

    It’s nice that you aren’t bothered by what some anonymous blog commenters say. Why do you even need to say that? Are you feeling insecure about something? Everything?

    I’d be surprised that you care what Mark Steyn or somebody at CEI says about one of your obviously correct and upright heroes, Dr. Mann

    Nice snark, but this post was about the fact that someone said something slanderous, wrong and deeply offensive. It’s not just random hypersensitivity, it’s keeping people informed.

    … who holds positions of prestige …

    Which he has earned. Not that it’s all that prestigious—but enough for you to be jealous of, evidently.

    … and is surrounded by a phalanx of administrative protection.

    Which he needs, evidently, given the goings-on of late.

    Unless, of course, you suspect your position may turn out to be irrefutably wrong and possibly monstrous.

    Ooo, pop psych AND completely understanding the motives of the people you couldn’t understand a few sentences back. Every time the goobers of the internet reduce their opponents to one simple sentence, they get it hilariously wrong—but if they understood people and could get things right, they wouldn’t be goobers.

    Look, scientists always suspect they may be wrong—that’s part of science. It’s what some might call humility.

    … may turn out to be irrefutably wrong and possibly monstrous.

    Irrefutably wrong? What the hell does that even mean? If they are proven wrong, they won’t refute that, they will have been refuted. You might never admit you are wrong … no, you mean something strange, there. What?

    Monstrous? What are you on about? How can saying that global warming is occurring become monstrous?

    I think you are imagining something bizarre, like death panels shooting people to reduce carbon footprints, or maybe charging you more for gasoline. Whatever it is, it won’t be the scientists making it happen, so they can’t be monstrous. We might reduce carbon footprints by living in solar-powered blimps, maybe. It could be fun, it could be profitable, but it won’t be monstrous, whatever you imagine.

    In that case, you won’t be merely mistaken, but your arrogance will have marked you out as unforgivable.

    Arrogance? Scientists? You are the one being arrogant, and if it turns out that global warming runs out of control because of you, it will be monstrous and it will be YOUR fault for obstructing the easy safe measures we could have taken.

    Yes, my scientific judgment may prove incorrect.

    Erm, you haven’t any scientific judgement, and you are already incorrect.

    But the beauty is we will see.

    I thought it was going to be monstrous.

    And then everyone will be accountable to history for how they conducted themselves.

    Except the corporations. They don’t care about history. And I really don’t. Are you getting some sort of religious thing going here?

    I commend everyone who conducts themselves with some degree of humility,

    Like scientists do. Thanks.

    and I condemn the lack thereof.

    Well, damnation.

  303. Menyambal

    … marked you out as unforgivable.

    There’s the religious part. I missed that earlier.

  304. Chris Winter

    ario ironstar wrote: “Unless, of course, you suspect your position may turn out to be irrefutably wrong and possibly monstrous.”

    I’m guessing this is an oblique reference to the cost of mitigating climate change.

    First let me say I agree with the view that doing nothing about it will be far more costly in the long run.

    But I think the argument most germane to the issue of costs is this: If X billions have been spent on mitigating climate change, and this improbably somehow turns out to have been a waste of X billions, we’ll stop that spending. It’s unlikely to “destroy the economy.” Partial completion of the Superconducting Supercollider cost around $2 billion; we survived that. Resolution Trust Corporation estimates the savings and loan crisis to have cost the taxpayers $88 billion. We survived that too.

    Also, in the process we will have gotten some cleaner energy sources, made some environmental improvements, achieved some energy efficiencies. These are things that have benefits in addition to helping address climate change.

    On the other hand, if we do nothing about climate change and it turns out to be as bad as projected… I trust you can complete that syllogism.

  305. Stan

    Gee, that’s tooo bad, Discover used to be a science magazine…now they are a religious organization.

  306. AL

    @Luis Dias
    Yes, free speech is always causing trouble, innit? Damned these monkey brains always pestering your own amazing intelect with their poison. Personally I agree with the sentiment that dr. Mann has made “fraudulent work”, in the technical sense. That is, it’s garbage. Did he do it on purpose? Don’t care. So there’s this other guy who will say he is the moral equivalent of a child molester. That’s pretty harsh, can’t agree with such obviously harsh and cruel words. But free speech wasn’t invented to protect the kinds of speeches that you or I like, or was it?

    Not sure which country you live in, but defamation is not protected speech in the United States. You can’t libel or slander someone and then proffer “free speech” as a defense in court and seriously expect the case against you to be dismissed. If you claim Dr. Mann committed fraud, you’d better have evidence or it’s open/shut for Mann’s lawyers.

  307. Newest video from Potholer54 is linked to my name here and deals with the whole “Hockey stick” graph and Medieval Warm Period issue very thoroughly and well.

    Well worth watching in full.

    Three key points :

    1) The most famous (IPCC though they rarely declare that) MWP graph is actually a dubious schematic not an accurate measure.

    2) If it was our Sun to blame for the MWP then it ain’t our daytime star causing today’s global overheating.

    3) What’s good for Greenland may not be so good for the rest of us right now!

  308. Henry

    The scientific/skeptical community needs to pull together a non-profit legal defense organization modeled on the ACLU. Many scientists, doctors and pro-science bloggers are routinely threatened with various forms of legal intimidation for questioning pseudoscience, climate denial and creationism. I would donate $$.

  309. Steve Metzler

    Have at it, Henry:

    climatesciencedefensefund.org

  310. Myrrh

    Gosh, you think real physics is claiming that the direct Heat from the Sun, thermal infrared, doesn’t reach the Earth’s surface and plays no part in heating land and ocean, and you give its properties to shortwave which isn’t capable of heating land and ocean – and you expect rational people with basic real world science to take you seriously?

    You say this because you can then pretend that all the downwelling heat radiating from the atmosphere is due to ‘backradiation’ from the upwelling heated Earth.

    You claim there is some invisible barrier like a shell around the Earth preventing the direct thermal energy from the Sun from entering.. Or, I’ve just heard another variation, it’s because the Sun doesn’t give off very much heat at all..

    You’ve taken out the Water Cycle which cools the Earth by 52°C from the 67°C it would be with our atmosphere but without water, think deserts.

    You’ve taken rain out of the Carbon Life Cycle, all pure clean rain is carbonic acid which means that in this carbon dioxide shares the same residence as water in the atmosphere, 8-10 days.

    Your carbon dioxide defies the Law of Gravity, in the real world it is one and half times heavier than Air and therefore naturally sinks to ground, it is impossible for it to accumulate ‘for hundreds and thousands of years forming a blanket’.

    Your fisics is fake all the way through.

  311. Fitz

    “I have used the phrase “global warming denialists” in the past and gotten some people upset. A lot of them complain because they say the word denial puts them in the same bin as holocaust deniers.

    That’s too bad. ”

    Hate and defamation, indeed.

  312. ccpetersen

    Luis: Not convinced by any of your stuff, but hey, you must have a lot of time on your hands to waste promulgating bravo sierra.

  313. Steve Metzler

    I’m here because this very blog post was linked to by Michael E. Mann in the complaint he is bringing against the CEI, Rand Simberg, the National Review, and Mark Steyn. My, how things come full circle. The BA should be proud to be considered a fellow traveller by the likes of Dr. Mann.

    I’d absolutely love to see the defendants try to discredit the MBH98 hockey stick in court by using McIntyre’s manufactured stats that formed the basis of the Wegman Report stitch-up. See my comment #108 above regarding same. Bring it. Call tamino as an expert witness :-)

  314. Steve Metzler

    ETA: though, the kudos for exposing McI’s deception must go to the esteemed Canadian blogger, Deep Climate:

    Replication and due diligence, Wegman style

    After all, it is he who performed the due diligence.

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