Off to Washington

Off to Washington this afternoon. I’ve been contacted in advance by one representative of the media who’s going to be covering the entire event. If anyone wishes to contact me, email me in the next few hours and I’ll give a cell #. I’ll post up our presentation in a few days. I appreciate the advice and good wishes. Reportedly, Mann is not attending tomorrow’s proceedings; so we won’t be able to sing rugby songs together at the reception after all.

On another topic, I always like it when organizations do smart things. Despite all our writings about “hockey sticks” and despite 20 years of driving children to hockey leagues (if you’re not Canadian, you probably don’t know how time-consuming rep hockey leagues are) , I like basketball much better than hockey. I watch an inordinate amount of basketball and suffer through the travails of the Toronto Raptors. Today they hired Bryan Colangelo as GM away from the Phoenix Suns. It was a bold move and is receiving great acclaim in Toronto. Restoring confidence is always hard to do and with one bold stroke, they’ve accomplished it.


62 Comments

  1. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Have fun.

  2. John A
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 7:39 AM | Permalink

    Watch your back, Jack.

  3. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 7:54 AM | Permalink

    If our friends at the Beeb are to be believed, this is more needed than ever.
    Give ‘em hell, guys.

  4. George
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Best wishes. Thanks for doing what you do.

  5. JerryB
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    I hope you get a better hearing than did John Harrison from the Board of Longitude, but I tend to doubt it.

    As usual, don’t forget to come back.

  6. Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:36 AM | Permalink

    History will be the real judge, but I think this meeting will be more than a foothote in the history of climate science. Hope your cards are all aces, play them well.

  7. kim
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:04 AM | Permalink

    Good God, those clocks!
    Give ‘em best knocks.
    ===========================

  8. jae
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

    Great opportunity. Good luck.

  9. kim
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    Once upon a time Cotton Fitzsimmons replaced Tex Winter as coach at K-State. Cats ate birds in them fargone days.
    =======================================================================================

  10. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    WHatever you don’t take a ride from Ted Kennedy.

    Good luck.

  11. bob
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 10:06 AM | Permalink

    John_A/Steve/webmaster: In addition to spam, is there anyway to block mindless drivel such as #9.

  12. Martin Ringo
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    Basketball fan, eh? Well next time you go to a Raptor game yell for the big redhead. He Concord’s (NH) most famous athletic export. And by all reports, including my sons’, he’s a pretty decent fellow.

    But as for viewing fun, I prefer to watch the Canadian export down in Pheonix. BTW, what’s with you Canadians: you’ve taken over our entertainment industry; you’ve got the MVP of the our cherished NBA; and now you’re making life uncomfortable for our poor hard working climatologists. Just ’cause we USAers sic’ed Benedict Arnold on you a couple centuries ago. Come on forgive and forget. :-)

  13. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 11:49 AM | Permalink

    Re #11,
    Take it easy Bob. Kim has good cards. Best be light on the chips until you catch on :).

  14. JEM
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 11:54 AM | Permalink

    Re #12:

    You mean Benedict Arnold, the British patriot and secret agent?

    (It all depends on one’s point of view.)

  15. Pat Frank
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

    Good luck to you Steve, and to Ross, too. And congratulations. By all accounts, DC is a political snake-pit. Mind your words in and out of the chambers, and especially in the company of reporters.

  16. Peter Bickle
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

    Good luck guys.
    However, I feel this could be a whitewash.
    Regards
    Peter Bickle

  17. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Good luck Steve!!

  18. Richard deSousa
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    Mann’s a coward!

  19. Hans Erren
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 4:18 PM | Permalink

    And Steve, don’t forget your mantra for all question rounds:

    “Did you publically archive your data and method?”

  20. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    I believe you mean

    “Why didn’t you publically archive your Data and methods.”

  21. Paul
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

    Let’s hope Steve & Ross have some effect… apparently “consensus” is reining supreme: From the BBC.

  22. Follow the money
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    Re: # 3, the BBC article. Wow!

    To use a basketball metaphor, the IPCC is purtting on a full-court press!

    Check out the graphs accompanying the article. Some hockey sticks there, curved almost as much as a Marty McSorley Special!

    Even a glacier photo contrast for “proof.”

  23. Follow the money
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    This BBC chart on thinning ice attenuates comparisons to 1958-1976 and 1993-1997. Omitted are the thin periods of the 1930’s/40’s, explanation why ice depth increased thereafter, and whatever happened between 1976 and 1993 must not be very useful for their project.

  24. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 1, 2006 at 8:26 PM | Permalink

    Re #23,
    You give the BBC too much credit. They aren’t smart enough or independent enough to come up with this campaign on their own. Sure they pick among the pictures and write it up using the talking points they’ve been given but don’t think it original work. What, you think one of their reporters removed the thin ice years from the graph? Hell they never looked at the data. They are just uncritically dishing out what they’ve been fed.

    Please let me live long enough to hear a lengthy BBC interview of Steve McIntyre. It would shake their world.

  25. kim
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Were John Harrison alive today, he would probably be working on computer modeling climate. He recognized and accounted for more previously unthought of natural factors than any human should have been able to do.
    ===========================================================================

  26. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    In honor of the National Research Council of the National Academies committee to study “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Past 1,000-2,000 Years” meeting at this moment, at http://landscape.sdsc.edu/~davids/enm/?p=34 I offer my own climate reconstruction based on the methods blessed by dendroclimatology. The graph shows reconstructed temperatures anomolies over 2000 years, with the surface temperature measurements from 1850 from CRU as black dots, the individual series in blue and the climate reconstruction in black. I think you can see the similarity to other published reconstructions, particularly the prominent ‘hockey-stick’ shape, the cooler temperatures around the 1500s and the Medieval Warm Period around the 1000s. What data did I use? Completely random sequences. Reconstruction methods from dendroclimatology will generate plausible climate reconstructions even on random numbers!

  27. Ian
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

    #26 Awesome David! I love it.

  28. Suggestion Guy
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Re #3:

    That BBC editorial disguised as a news article was simply incredible. Regardless of one’s stance on AGW.

  29. jae
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:35 PM | Permalink

    #26: Wow, you should publish this, but in keeping with the Hockey Team’s methodology, don’t tell them you used random numbers. BTW, isn’t this the same general thing M&M did?

  30. Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    #29. I think M&M showed Mann’s methodology mined for hockey sticks in random sequences. You don’t even need Manns complex methodology to get the ‘consensus’ climate history if you select the trees for hockey stick blades first. Cheers

  31. Jaime Arbona
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

    Re #26: I hope you have publically archived your data and methods, else Steve is going to be on your case real soon now.

  32. John Lish
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

    Re the BBC’s competence as described above – I heard tonight one of their meteorologists on BBC1’s main weather report describe the weather on the US Western seaboard as coming from the Atlantic! Oops…

  33. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Dude it does.

    It starts in the atlantic, moves over the European continent and onwards into Asia. Across the Pacafic, and finally hit’s the west coast.

  34. Greg F
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    It starts in the atlantic, moves over the European continent and onwards into Asia. Across the Pacafic, and finally hit’s the west coast.

    Aww come on Sid … that sounds like a circular argument. ;0)

  35. Louis Hissink
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

    Best of luck Steve and Ross,

  36. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    Re #21

    It isn’t clear what that glacier picture is supposed to be showing. It looks like it has become submerged. Did something dam up the lake?

  37. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

    Re #36, I think the picture is fine. The water is at the same height. A good bit of the ice did break off and melt away. By the way I always assumed that glacier ice moves when frozen by plastic deformation like glass does. That it doesn’t need to melt to go downhill. Am I wrong?

  38. ET SidViscous
    Posted Mar 2, 2006 at 11:45 PM | Permalink

    Actually the flowing bit about glass is a fallacy. It is indeed a wierd form of solid, but it doesn’t flow.

  39. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 1:29 AM | Permalink

    Re #37, I looked at it very carefully John and it still looks to me like the water level has gone up. It would be better if the POV and light were the same in both images.

  40. kim
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    I think there is flow from plastic deformation of solid phase H2O within the mass of the glacier as well as lubrication from liquid phase H2O at the basal interface. Boy, do I impress myself.
    =======================================================

  41. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:56 AM | Permalink

    It would be better if the POV and light were the same in both images.

    It would be better still if we could be sure that the two photos were taken at the same time of year, rather than a summer picture and a winter picture.
    I just don’t trust these people for anything these days.

  42. Ned
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

    Re #24

    The BBC had two reporters at the NAS event in Washington. They interviewed a number of people including Steve as well as Malcolm Hughes (the ‘H’ in MBH). I spoke to the reporters who told me they were working on a one-hour piece on climate alarmism which will air on April 17 on BBC Radio 4 (apparently accessible in the US on the BBC website for 7 days starting April 17). I got the impression – to my pleasant surprise – that they had a fairly balanced view and were open minded on the climate issue. I hope I’m right.

  43. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Re #42
    Ned, were you there ? If so, how did it go ?

  44. Ned
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

    fFreddy, I was there – I’m typing up some commentary which I’ll post shortly.

  45. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

    Re #42 Ned

    I must confess I listen to the BBC every night. I know the good work they have done in the past. Had a tube shortwave radio back in the 70s and got hooked on them. Who wouldn’t have?

    Well well. I don’t know what to say.

  46. Ned
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:03 PM | Permalink

    John,

    I am equally cynical about the BBC. Nevertheless, the term “climate alarmism” came out of the mouth of the BBC reporter. Maybe they will find a way to say that alarmism is justified and therefore not alarmism.

  47. Ned
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

    Just got home from the NAS conference in Washington. I was there purely as an observer. The vast majority of people attending had some professional connection to climate science or environmental policy. I on the other hand view environmental policy as a hobby (odd but true) so please read the following, perhaps naàƒÆ’à‚⮶e, commentary in that light.

    First of all, having followed the global warming controversy for the last five years, I was thrilled to meet many of the heavyweight skeptics: Fred Singer, Myron Ebell, Willie Soon, John Christy, Steve and Ross. I also enjoyed chatting with various staffers from the hill (Peter Spencer – House Energy & Commerce Committee; Paul Georgia – Senate Republican Policy Committee; John Shanahan – Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works) as well as David Douglas (Physics professor from U Rochester), the two BBC reporters mentioned in my previous post, and a post-doc from Lamont-Doherty who had studied under Henry Pollack (the first presenter — a borehole expert from U Michigan). In hind-sight I should have tried to talk to more people, especially the non-skeptics, but this being my first foray to such an event I was a bit shy.

    I did spend some time talking with Doug Nychka, the statistics guy from NCAR who is on the panel. He seemed like a very fair analyst and quite open minded. In spite of his position at NCAR he did not seem to have a pre-determined point of view on the issues at hand, and in fact told me that much of his work at NCAR is related to issues outside of global warming.

    I thought Ross and Steve did a good job of presenting their arguments and were well received. It was clear that they were non-climate scientists speaking into an audience consisting primarily of climate scientists. The dialogue between the panel and Steve and Ross was dynamic and I felt that the panel were at least listening to their viewpoint. Conversely, some of the presenters were clearly dismissive of Steve’s work in their presentations.

    Some brief highlights of the presentations (I trust that Steve will have much more to say):
    – Hans Von Storch was adamant that paleo-climate researchers must make their data available. He showed a chart suggesting that recent temperature trends were highly correlated to the level of unemployment in Germany (upstaging Steve who later showed a chart relating temperature trends to an index of dot.com stock prices)
    – Roseanne D’Arrigo spoke about the necessity to “cherry-pick” trees used in tree-ring studies. Apparently this is taken for granted in the dendro community.
    – Dan Schrag cited reductions in the Kilimanjaro glacier as justification for AGW theory!
    – Mike Mann was not in attendance on Thursday when most of the event occurred. He gave his presentation Friday morning and then bolted during the open discussion. He was the only presenter to make himself scarce after his presentation. All the others were there for at least half of Thursday if not the whole day. Mann pointed out that the work done for MBH98 was actually done almost 10 years ago, and that the PC algorithm had been supplanted by his more recent RegEM methodology.

    A few comments on the panel:
    – Some of the most probing questions were asked by Kurt Cuffey of Berkeley (previously noted on this blog as having published the following: Mounting evidence has forced an end to any serious scientific debate on whether humans are causing global warming. This is an event of historical significance, but one obscured from public view by the arcane technical literature and the noise generated by perpetual partisans.) Cuffey also asked most of the presenters whether the science was such that we could determine the average century-scale temperature 1000 years ago within 0.5 degrees centigrade. Every presenter said “no’ — except for Mann who claimed we know the average century-scale temperature 1000 years ago within 0.2 degrees centigrade.
    – John Christy asked Mann about the r2 statistic. Mann said it was an inappropriate measure for these types of analyses. I look forward to Steve’s comments in this regard.
    At the end of the first day there was an open discussion where members of the audience were invited to speak. 2 comments I found interesting:
    – The chief of staff of the House Science Committee (didn’t get his name) pointed out that the defined task taken on by the committee was different from the task actually requested of NAS by the House Science Committee. Apparently NAS management altered the task. Unfortunately I don’t know where to find a description of the request from the House. The task taken on by the panel can be found on the NAS website.
    – A staff scientist from Pew said he was anxious to hear the viewpoint of the committee in order to better inform his client. He seemed open minded.

    With regard to the above comment by the House Science Committee chief of staff, a prominent member of the audience with much experience in the on-going AGW debate suggested to me that NAS management altered the task in order to pre-determine the outcome of the committee’s report, so as not to upset the status quo in the scientific community.

  48. Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    With regard to the above comment by the House Science Committee chief of staff, a prominent member of the audience with much experience in the on-going AGW debate suggested to me that NAS management altered the task in order to pre-determine the outcome of the committee’s report, so as not to upset the status quo in the scientific community.

    I suspected as much, hence my comments about the scope of the meeting. The NAS report could easily become a massive face-saving exercise.

  49. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:15 PM | Permalink

    “He gave his presentation Friday morning and then bolted during the open discussion. ”

    Biggest non-suprise of the year.

  50. Greg F
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:34 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Ned, outstanding job of reporting. I suspect the request, from the House Committee On Science, can be found here.

  51. Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    Yes, thanks very much Ned. Your long and astute summary is much appreciated.

  52. Jeff Norman
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    Thank you Ned. It was a great introduction to all that is to follow.

  53. John G. Bell
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    Thanks Ned! Cynical yes, but I still tune in. Hope they do a smashing job of it and make us BBC skeptics eat some crow.

  54. jae
    Posted Mar 3, 2006 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    Methinks, there are gonna be lots of sparks from this Panel. The IPPC TAR may well have some very abrupt corrections that say, in essence, “we think there are major problems with AGW, but more research is needed.”

  55. fFreddy
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 1:07 AM | Permalink

    Ned, that’s great, thank you.
    Given the earlier comment about this being part of a turf battle between the Science Committee and the Energy Committee, I think that changing the defined task is going to prove to have been very unwise.

  56. Paul
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    The bits about correlating temperatures with things like German unemployment etc. just amaze me.

    That is undergraduate level econometrics these days, after its was pointed out almost 30 (!) years ago what can happen when a time series possesses a unit root.

    And here we are, some of the world leaders in climate science wh are making past temperature reconstructions based on statistical techniques having to get this pointed out to them!!!

    It is truly, truly frightening

  57. Armand MacMurray
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 4:11 AM | Permalink

    More thanks, Ned, for the excellent summary!

  58. John A
    Posted Mar 4, 2006 at 4:43 AM | Permalink

    Ned,

    I hope you don’t mind but your eyewitness observation is going to be a new posting…

  59. J. Sperry
    Posted Mar 7, 2006 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

    jae (#54), I’m sure you mean “AR4″ instead of “TAR”. (TAR, Third Assessment Report, was completed in 2001 and won’t be changed. AR4, Fourth Assessment Report, is what they are working on now.)

  60. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 16, 2006 at 11:51 PM | Permalink

    Re #42 , Ned

    I spoke to the reporters who told me they were working on a one-hour piece on climate alarmism which will air on April 17 on BBC Radio 4 (apparently accessible in the US on the BBC website for 7 days starting April 17).

    I don’t see this on today’s listing. Does anyone have any further information on what’s happening with this report ?

  61. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

    Re#60 Not sure this is really my job :), but I’m pretty sure it’s on Thursday evening http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/thebattleforinfluence/pip/abkim/

  62. fFreddy
    Posted Apr 17, 2006 at 1:40 AM | Permalink

    Heh. Thanks, Peter.

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