National Post Op Ed

Here with accompanying editorial by Terence Corcoran here.


114 Comments

  1. Jack Lacton
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    First comment to the Aussies! Good work, Jack.

    It’s interesting to reflect on just how deep Steve and Ross have managed to cut into the Hockey Stick’s credibility, specifically, and the methodology of climate science in general in a relatively short period of time – though it may have seemed interminable at the time! Who would have thought 18 months or so ago that their work would lead to US House involvement with a NAS Panel reviewing the science?

    Congratulations, Steve and Ross. May your good work contribute mightily to the field of climate science.

  2. John A
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Terence Corcoran:

    See the Truth. That’s one of the marketing promotions for Al Gore’s science fiction movie, An Inconvenient Truth. The movie promotes global warming theory, using the bogus Hockey Stick graph as part of its claim to scientific authenticity. But it’s hard to See the Truth when you’re using a Big Lie to get your message across.

    *clap**clap**clap**clap**clap*

  3. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    This is great stuff. Bravo and thank goodness.

    But if I don’t email or read this stuff to my friends and family, they would not know any of this.

  4. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Very nice article as those things go.

  5. John G. Bell
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Corcoran doesn’t seem to understand how radical Mann’s hockeystick was. Before Mann hijacked climate science the LIA and MWP were well established. Mann was in conflict with the body of knowledge up to that point. Climate scientists were unable to argue the points on the basis of Mann’s method and he got a free ride.

    Steve and Ross, another great article. I think you reach a large audience with this one.

  6. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 10:44 AM | Permalink

    I think this kind of argument from our side is weak and tendentions. The MWP and the LIA were “well established” based on tissue paper logic, given that the fight against the Mannstick is based on showing poor skill versus arguing in a positive sense for an alternative. Look at the earlier IPCC drawing that Steve has touted on this site. It’s a fricking cartoon!

  7. andre
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    Re 5.

    About the assassination of the Medieval Warming Period, it started already in 1994 and actually, the 1000 years hockeystick version MBH99 was sort of mandatory to support Overpeck who had done the real work:

    Overpeck, J T (1998)How unprecedented is recent Arctic warming: a look back to the Medieval Warm Period, AGU 1998 Fall Meeting

    Over twelve years ago, Art Lachenbruch’s classic Alaskan Arctic borehole paleotemperature reconstructions were published in Science, generating important concern over global warming and the instability of Arctic permafrost. Since that time, pipeline engineers have acknowledged the permafrost reality, but the public has remained skeptical about global warming and its implications for the future. The scientific community, on the other hand, has become increasingly concerned about 20th century climatic change and what it means. Over the past decade, methods were developed and/or refined to extract paleotemperature estimates from a wide variety of natural “proxy” sources independent of boreholes (e.g., ocean and lake sediments, glacier ice cores, tree rings, and historical documents). The use of multiple proxy sources is enabling paleoclimatologists to construct a network of records that cover all of the Arctic, and also to avoid biases inherent in using any one proxy.

    By 1997, a circum-Arctic compilation of available data, from nearly 30 sites Arctic-wide (Overpeck et al., Science), confirmed that Art Lachenbruch was right in 1986: 20th century Arctic warming is unprecedented relative to the last four centuries. In 1998, an independent study (Briffa et al., Nature) confirmed this result. These recent circum-Arctic studies, as well as ones focused on more southerly latitudes (i.e., Mann et al., 1998, Nature), also failed to identify any known natural climate forcing mechanism that could have generated the unprecedented warming that has led to 1998 most likely being the warmest year in at least 600 years.

    Some scientists, however, including skeptics of greenhouse theory, are quick to point out that natural forcing must have generated the anomalous warmth of the “Medieval Warm Period” during they ninth to fourteenth centuries, and thus could be the missing explanation behind 20th century warmth.

    A new compilation (this work) of high-resolution paleoclimate records stretching back 1200 years confirms the earlier assertion of Hughes and Diaz (1994; Climatic Change) that [b]the so-called “Medieval Warm Period” (also known as the “Medieval Climate Optimum”), in fact, did not exist[/b] in the form of a globally synchronous period as warm, or warmer, than today. Some regions, particularly the North Atlantic and Northern Europe, apparently were warmer than today during the 9th to 12th centuries, thus explaining the Norse move to Greenland and perhaps the pro-“Medieval Warm Period bias in the literature. Put in the context of global climate patterns of that time, the patters of regional warmth in the Atlantic sector supports the possibility that increased northward heat transport by a accelerated Atlantic thermohaline conveyor was behind the regionally limited “Medieval Warm Period.”

    The growing network of millennia-long paleoclimatic reconstructions thus supports Art Lachenbruch’s 1986 conclusion regarding 20th century warming – it is something to be taken seriously.

    The best one can think of it is “paradigm-biased science”, the worst is conspiracy. Perhaps reread Ross McKitrick´s paper about the discussion and take note of the observations of David Deming.

  8. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    A perfect article. Distills things in a way that is meanigful both to us scientists and engineers, as well as to others.

  9. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    RE: #5 – It is actually frightening. As a fellow U of C alumn to Mann, I can readily attest that during the past 25 years that system, while still having a majority of normal scientists, has also allowed something else the thrive. Namely, a group of anti scientific scientists who have been radicalized by a strain of Gaia worship / “Deep Ecology” that arose out here during the 60s and 70s, and came to fruition with things like the Monkey Wrench Gang, FoE, and Earth First, etc. Also, no doubt, even though he is a DC guy, Callenbach’s Ecotopia was heavily influenced. Bucky Fuller, Jerry Brown, Sanderson Beck, the list goes on. There is no doubt in my mind that Mann is a product of all this. He and I were both nourished in the same Petri dish. But somehow, I underwent a transformation that he did not. Lo and behold …

  10. Jean S
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Nomads have just recamped: the cultivation of vines in Medieval England as an evidence for MWP is not based on faulty logic and/or misinterpretations of the available evidence anymore, the new truth says that English wineyards are such an unreliable proxy that nothing can be concluded from them with any reasonable certainty, and even if they were reliable it didn’t matter anyhow.
    Thanks Gavin, now we know that there indeed exist bad proxies!

  11. Mark T.
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    You’re an engineer, Steve S., you simply shed your programming as we often do. :)

    Mark

  12. Pat Frank
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

    It’s a good article, Steve, but the way you wrote it will be fully transparent only to people who have followed your journey. Fortunately, the accompanying editorial is written in the bald language of truth and lie that will be accessible to a broader public. One only hopes the message spreads.

    By the way, you are not, “a retired mineral exploration businessman who operates http://www.climateaudit.org.” You are, by now, an expert in the statistics of time-varying phenomena, who specializes in the mathematics of climate reconstructions. There is no need to be so modest about your valid and earned standing.

    #10, don’t be so self-serving, Mark. I’m a scientist who has ‘shed plenty of programming.’ Engineeers are reputed to be overrepresented among creationists.

  13. John Hekman
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Re: #6, TCO:

    Once again, the MWP and LIA are not based on a “cartoon.” they are based on hundreds of studies from all over the globe that together tell us that these phenomena took place.

  14. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

    #6 that’s not true. I agree with #5.

    Geology courses, paleo-climate or paleo anything courses, many biology and paleo botany courses talk about both LIA and MWP. Evidence is physical from studies around the planet.

    The Hockey Team attemped to wipe 100s or maybe even 1,000s of scientist’s work away.

    I just googled and the first hit was:

    Temporal response of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) to 3,000 years of climatic variation
    Abstract:
    Background

    Amphibians are sensitive indicators of environmental conditions and show measurable responses, such as changes in phenology, abundance and range limits to local changes in precipitation and temperature regimes.

    We found a significant difference in body size index between paedomorphic and metamorphic individuals during the time interval dominated by the Medieval Warm Period.

  15. Mark T.
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:32 PM | Permalink

    #10, don’t be so self-serving, Mark.

    I wasn’t being self-serving and I was not speaking about other fields as if they cannot do the same. I was merely pointing out the stereotype of “rational to the point of irrationality” that is oft attributed to those of engineering ilk.

    Don’t be so touchy.

    Mark

  16. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    The theory (Mann’s) that the appearance of the MWP as a global average phenomenon is an artifact of insufficient geographic coverage is a valid theory worth investigating. It doesn’t wipe work away to explain it as a patchy regional phenomena. Even hundreds of sites may not have sufficient coverage given the surface is mostly ocean. What is not acceptable are the appeals to the authority of the team as a basis for belief, and the various failing formerly discussed.

  17. John Hekman
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #15:
    David, I take your point that MWP does not have complete global coverage. But TCO’s repeated trope that it is based on a “cartoon”, by which he means the rather crude diagram used by IPCC, is wrong. So fine, let science continue to look for evidence that MWP was either regional or global. However, I believe that there is evidence from both hemispheres and from around the globe, including China, N. America and Europe. I guess your point is that maybe the oceans cooled and the land masses warmed. That could still make it regional.

  18. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    My point is not my belief either way, but that the appearance of a MWP may be biased sampling is a valid theory. I don’t know enough about it, except that MGH98 and now RegEM don’t appear overly convincing of the aternative. I have read B&C’s paper on the evidence of MWP, but its not a quantitative study incorporating the effect of incomplete coverage. So to me the strength of the evidence for MWP as a global average phenomenon seems disputable either way.

  19. John A
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    I’d like to know how the unquestioned warmth of Greenland and Northern Europe 1000 years ago was so localised and yet a weaker warming of those regions in modern times is evidence of some terrible disaster about to befall us all.

    But that’s just me.

  20. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    #15 David,
    You are right of course. (One scientist can change everything we think we know thus far) Wonder if the hockey stick is going to filter that far though?

    ” What is not acceptable are the appeals to the authority of the team as a basis for belief, and the various failing formerly discussed”

    Thank you, good form and well said!!

  21. andre
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

    The main argument against the MWP is “anecdotal evidence”. There are many proxies isolated both in dating and location which does not sigfnify a global event.

    Right

    Have a look at all the maps at the NASA Hansen site. There are many temperature measurement above and below average, isolated both in dating and location but yet they do constitute global warming.

    Because the total average is the sum of anecdotes. If there are only warming reports say between 900 and 1200 AD which are not balanced by cooling reports’, then you got yourself something above average, just as you see it now.

    A list of recent claims of MWP’s here which are not balanced by any cooling report.

  22. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    You seem to be assuming that Greenland warmth is an indicator of global averages. It is logically possilbe that Greenland was warmer then than now and still the current global average is higher now.

  23. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    #20. I don’t think the frequency of anecdotes of warmth in the MWP are any more reliable that anecdotes of warmth in the 20th century. A statistically well founded quantified, robust and replicated approach is a better basis for belief.

  24. JP
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    We may never know with absolute certainty that the MWP and LIA were global events. Mann and others have every right to question thier existence. But, Mann has no right just to write them off without the showing the same kind of precision he demands of others.

    If Mann is correct, it does beg the question of whether the amtmosphere can generate such long term climate variability in one large area of the globe, and not manifest itself in another area. Both the MWP and LIA lasted centuries, not decades. The little we do know about teleconnections and thier effect on global climate patterns, I think it is absurd to think such large and long lasting climate variances such as the LIA and MWP were just “local”, or regional.

  25. John Hekman
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    David
    Have you seen the compilation of MWP studies at CO2Science?

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/data/mwp/mwpp.jsp

    However, they are an advocate for the MWP, and thus would not be expected to post studies that found cooler temps indicated for that period. Nevertheless, the evidence seems to point pretty strongly to a conclusion that it was a global phenomenon.

    Oops. Don’t want to hijack this thread. Sorry Steve.

  26. JP
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    #20
    David, ancedotal evidence is valuable when all you have are human records. During the MWP, farmers in Scotland and Scandanavia were able to farm at much higher altitudes than anytime before or after the MWP. Anthropologists speculate that the climate not only had to be warmer, but also drier than before or after the MWP. Of course, this isn’t precise, and I’m not sure how a statistician could put a number to this evidence.

    Other uses of ancedotal evidence includes ship logs and farm records that many European farmers kept. Synoptic Meterologists have been able to plot out rough weather maps that tracked many climate pattterns during the LIA. Again, this evidence isn’t precise, and only pertains to those locales.

  27. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:37 PM | Permalink

    #24. I just had a quick look. I sure Idso is comprehensive, but when I look under oceans all I see is one study in one location Roncaglia, L. 2004. Yet we are 3/4 ocean.

  28. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:38 PM | Permalink

    I think it’s pathetic that you all have a lower standard of proof for the answer that you like better or that was “there first”. How well do you think the MWP justifications would stand up to a deconstructionist attack of fury bent on showing that they had not adequate rationale? Imagine a bizarro-Steve let loose on the MWP studies that way he went after Mann. Don’t you think that he could rip them up the butthole?

  29. Mark T.
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

    Steve/Ross, your article is excellent, btw.

    Mark

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    TCO, I’ve been looking from time to time at the pre-Mann studies e.g. Lamb, Bryson. The main reson that these studies were written off was because of the faux precision of MBH. From Hughes and Diaz on, they said that they needed annual precision on proxies and deried proxies without annual precision e.g. treeline changes. Mann and the others claimed statistical precision. The world was impressed by the Wizard of Oz. Of course, when you pull back the curtain, you find out that he wasn’t a very good wizard, although like the other wizard, was very good at sound and fury.

    Now that their statistics have been shredded, they say: well, it’s “low frequency” that’s of interest. Well, that opens up the field to all the proxies that they threw out 10 years ago, like treeline changes.

    They HATE treeline changes as a proxy. Much of the present evidence on treeline changes is scattered rather than anecdotal and it would be an excellent project both to collate existing information and, on a larger scale, to carry out explorations in the form of Millar et al and NAurzbaev et al. Also, it’s near criminal that dendro collectors do not record the altitude of individual samples. I think that this information is needed for a proper control of millennial information – you see major changes at Polar Urals. I fear that the failure to record this information by people like Briffa is ideological.

  31. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    #29. That is a good point of contradiction: to criticise low frequency studies while simultaneously filtering out high frequency variability and lack of high frequency significance. Good point IMHO.

  32. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    Whoever is interested in the climate variability during the Holocene in the Arctic can look at the Pielke’s weblog here and here

  33. John A
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    I think it’s pathetic that you all have a lower standard of proof for the answer that you like better or that was “there first”. How well do you think the MWP justifications would stand up to a deconstructionist attack of fury bent on showing that they had not adequate rationale? Imagine a bizarro-Steve let loose on the MWP studies that way he went after Mann.

    I’d welcome that. For example, the fact that the Vikings could setup a colony on Greenland, grow crops and raise cattle is not an anecdote – its a historical document.

    It’s difficult to have a lower standard of proof than the current crop of multiproxy studies, despite their pretentions to amazing accuracy and supposed statistical rigor.

    I’d like a bizarro-Steve to go after the Keigwin Sargasso Sea proxy and throw everything at it. If that one is found worthless then a lot of bets are off the table.

  34. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Re #32, John, you could do all that the Vikings did (though the Viking apparently wrecked the soil, so some allowance for that would be needed), and more, in Greenland now. Think about it.

  35. John G. Bell
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Re #7,
    Thank you Andre. A key quote from David Deming in the pdf you point to:

    With the publication of the article in Science, I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. So one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”

    So Mann and the rest of the flat liners had been at work for four or five years by the time MGH98 was published.

    TCO, tissue paper logic? Don’t you have it exactly backwards?

    David Stockwell is right that the evidence should decide if the MWP and LIA were global. Steve M. talks about treeline changes. That is just the sort of thing that all sides in this debate should agree is a useful measure. Now that we have a boomerang and not a hockeystick all the paleoclimatologists should be in a scramble.

  36. John G. Bell
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

    #30 Would it be possible to use low frequency studies as anchor points for high frequency studies? Wouldn’t we be able to avoid drift by doing that?

  37. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Is this silly?

    In the IPCC report and other papers I have seen, under the description of the Hockey Stick graph, or similar papers that “show the hockey stick”, tempertures are said to come have from come from “thermometers” and tree rings or ice cores or some other such proxy.

    And if you look, on some of these papers, (I’ve seen posted as links for rebuttles here ) under “instrumentation” the “thermometers” are from old records and documents, recorded on ships, farms, ranger stations, etc (before computers, and satellites were in space, which hello, was within our life time)

    Were those thermometers all calibrated? (probably not) Could that be not called ancedotal evidence if the answer is no? (when the graphs talk about temps

  38. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

    #36 oops
    to continue: when the graphs plot temps less then one degree?

  39. John A
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 4:41 PM | Permalink

    John, you could do all that the Vikings did (though the Viking apparently wrecked the soil, so some allowance for that would be needed), and more, in Greenland now. Think about it.

    Using only Viking technology? Not a chance

  40. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 6:37 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I agree that all this is interesting, that the precision of the annual proxies is a bit bizarre given that they don’t have detrended interannual correlation to local temps, etc. etc. All that said, it is still very interesting that the arguments against Mann are not based on defense of the validity of earlier studies but are deconstructionist. You’ve often stated that you don’t advocate a particular reconstruction. You are saying that Mann lacks skill but not that you know what happened instead. It could even be a case that he is broadly right (if one had a time machine or a Paul Dennis proxy to check on things). But his study would still be crap and he would be right by chance.

    I also don’t have much respect for the stare decisis lovers here. That’s not scientific. Not truth seeking. It’s tendentious and argumentative and “real estate grabbing”. And I will combat stuff like that in a heartbeat even if I am broadly sympathetic to the skpetic cause.

  41. Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

    Steve and Ross have avoided such stare decisis in their article apart from the Viking reference. I had a look at the chapter on Ocean proxies and was struck — is that all? It seems things like forams have been used before, and though not with annual resolution, they cover the ocean, there is no need to cherry pick, they represent something like 10% of total productivity, I thought they would be a good choice. Surely there are plenty of yukky cores already archived that people could sift through instead of wounding trees?

  42. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

    There are a lot of trees. I’d actually be fine with cutting them down. Get a good section, photograph it against a scale. Record the altitude, etc. etc.

    I seem to remember Ross or Steve veering a bit towards stare decisis…and I pounced on them like a wolf! Like White Fang! :)

  43. MarkR
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 7:52 PM | Permalink

    TCO You don’t seem to believe in the MWP.
    Have you looked at these 17 Chinese papers on the subject:

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/subject/l/summaries/liachina.jsp

  44. MarkR
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

    “With the publication of the article in Science [in 1995], I gained significant credibility in the community of scientists working on climate change. They thought I was one of them, someone who would pervert science in the service of social and political causes. so one of them let his guard down. A major person working in the area of climate change and global warming sent me an astonishing email that said “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period.”
    D. Deming, Science 1995

  45. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

    42. Do better then that. Give me a statistically valid global reconstruction that can withstand a bizarro-Steve. Don’t give me individual papers from the Idsos. That is so rinky dink.
    43. Maybe he meant, we have to get rid of the trite cartoons and non-statistically validated reconstructions that Steve Mann is UNWILLING to stand behind. He has NO buy recommendation. He has a sell recommendation.

  46. MarkR
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    Nothing can withstand a bizarro-Steve. (after Monty Python)

  47. MarkR
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    #44 Seems like the The Committee on Energy and Commerce is buying it.

  48. TCO
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

    You just can’t grasp a basic concept. Examining the hockey stick does not equal believing in the MWP.

  49. John G. Bell
    Posted Jul 12, 2006 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    Re #44
    p1, Even if someone hands you the answer you’ll still want to know if it is true. Nothing to be done but dive into the rinky dink. No shortcut to knowing. A guide book doesn’t tell you what it left out.

    p2, No, he is selling a flat line. A sort of dull sun/earth theory. The locally interesting theory is a windy variant of the flat line.

  50. andre
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 1:42 AM | Permalink

    For those who think that the Medieval Warming period was about Vikings on Greenland, please do click some links here

    Have also updated the list of publications mentioning a MWP, also recommended to glance through sometimes. As I said, claims that there wasn’t any Medieval Warming Period do not sound very convincing without some balancing reports about cooling in the same period.

  51. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

    “Never let it be said that we at RealClimate don’t work for our readers”
    says Gavin in the first line of a topic to discuss the Medival Warm Period and English Wine he posted yesterday at 10AM.

    Poor man, so much work he does do for his readers.

  52. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    TCO, I believe the critiquing that Steve M has done with Mann and company and revealing weaknesses in their methodology does not necessarily transfer to arguments and methodologies used by those whose studies strongly suggest a global MWP and LIA. Your view seems more in line with the IPCC always gets it wrong (with the MWP/LIA “cartoon” and the HS). Perhaps you can point to where my observations are incorrect or incomplete.

    A general statement that reconstructions of the past temperatures suffer from the seeming inability to place statistical probabilities on variability is one to which I could agree. And to which I would apply to the computer models for predicting future temperatures. I think Steve M’s work is part of an answer, for direction at least, for skeptics who view the climate/temperature probabilities issue as I do.

    What his work means to the wider public must be judged by how the public reacts to the more circumstantial and anecdotal evidence that is being fed to them. In my view the public will readily accept the HS approach to a tipping point crisis as long as no significant sacrifices are expected of them (think Iraq war). Steve M’s critiques would at this point merely give evidence that we are not very certain about the HS and thus a tipping point other than by instrumental temperature measurements over the very recent past. Once the public was to feel the pain of a government program to deal with a tipping point crisis, Steve M’s work would more likely come to the fore.

    The tipping point argument would appear to be a call to arms from those in the world of climatology and politics who are more or less convinced by circumstantial evidence of AGW. That the Kyoto accords are not very effective and merely a foot-in-the-door start to further and more urgent government regulation to significantly reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, I think would be become more apparent when the tipping point argument is more vigorously pushed by its advocates. The more the tipping point is pushed the more susceptible it becomes to shorter out-of-sample real time instrumental temperature data. Given the current uncertainties in both temperature reconstructions and computer predicting models and their susceptibility to the good or otherwise intentions of data mining, perhaps out-of-sample is the way to go. I say bring on the tipping point and let that hockey stick blade grow like Pinocchio’s nose.

  53. TCO
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    I think if Steve rips down the Hockey Stick, that it means there is nothing standing. I disagree with the “go back to before” types here, who generally are very weak on math/science.

  54. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 11:24 AM | Permalink

    #51 I like that. There’s always hope.

    #52 Dear TCO.

    Maybe you are a type too?
    I hope I am not, I like to think I evolve. LOL

    I happen to believe all this climate stuff isnt’ finished or clear, so there wasn’t an exact place to go back to. There are however many things in sync and we don’t understand why, or maybe we do but without the knowlege of climate events, short or long periods, regional or otherwise in the past on Earth, it would be absurd for the Hockey Team to sell their wares at all.

    So, maybe “just getting started” is what I think.

    That’s why this subject is so perfect for a “war” of the minds; because of differences in the way we all think. From housewife to politician. A thousand senerios fit any which way and loose; scientific, social, political, because no one knows for sure at all what the heck is going on. I know a couple of things I hope for the future, but I don’t need GW to scare me into thinking it. And yes some of it does apply to the Earth and our role in it.

    I happen to enjoy you TCO! even when you say you are drinking.

    Einstein had a twinkle in his eye. He’s what I think of as “scientific type” who is strong on math and science.

  55. MarkR
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    TCO The Hockey Stick IS a go back to before, (a thousand years before), it’s just a “different” before. There has to be a different before to justify the claim that there was no MWP, and that the late 20th century temperatures are unprecedented.

  56. TCO
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

    Rocks: I like you too. Think you have a sweet personality. Thanks for seeing through some of my drunken silliness, also.

    MarkR: I couldn’t follow you.

  57. John Hekman
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Steve M

    A really minor point: in your op ed, you talk about the establishment of a “blue chip” panel. That would more properly be referred to as a “blue ribbon panel”, i.e. the members are beribboned. “Blue chips” obviously refers to stocks.

    I really loved the op ed. The only thing I would have added would be a mention of the earlier IPCC report that conceded that the link between human activity and climate change had not been made yet, largely due to the fact that the MWP showed how much the climate could change.

  58. george h.
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 1:22 PM | Permalink

    It is hard to believe that anyone today can argue that the MWP or LIA were not global. The “real” climate folks are now busy lampooning references to wine production history in England during warmer periods as if this were an isolated proxy (while busy censoring contrarian views). A large body of physical evidence supports an ongoing 1500 year solar-driven cycle of which our most recent warming, the LIA and MWP were parts. See http://www.ncpa.org/pub/st/st279/index.html#a

  59. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    #56 para 1. You’re quite right.

  60. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Re#56, 58 – I’d say it’s acceptable. The term “blue chip” or “blue chip prospect” for high school athletes entering college is widely used. There was even a movie in the 90s called “Blue Chips” starring Nick Nolte, Shaquille O’Neal, etc.

    Answers.com asserts for the definition of “blue chip” as an adjective for “Being among the leaders in one’s field.” So a “blue chip panel” would be just as appropriate as a “blue ribbon panel.”

    BTW Steve, watched “Enron: Smartest Guys in the Room” the other day. Outstanding. I wish it had been 2-3 times as long, though – I wanted more!

  61. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    In Eichenwald’s book, he mentioned some New York short sellers as being among the first people to pick up the problems. They noticed the consistent razor’s edge beween profit and loss, which made no sense for a company with that amount of employed capital.

    On an unrelated topic, I’m struck by the regular razor’s edge between medieval proxies and modern proxies, which results in the modern period being very slightly in the black.

  62. TCO
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    Did he mention that I “lacked a warm fuzzy” when talking about this with some of the guys responsible. :) That I didn’t consult or work full time for Enron because the asset-lite explanation was glib rather then explanatory…and the guys pushing it did not seem to understood all the sidebars in Brealey and Myers? Maybe TCO puzzlement should be the operating detector…

  63. Ken Fritsch
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 4:12 PM | Permalink

    I think if Steve rips down the Hockey Stick, that it means there is nothing standing. I disagree with the “go back to before” types here, who generally are very weak on math/science.

    TCO, if this is the extent of your reply, methinks you do not accept advice as readily as you give it. Steve M, as I recall, has not yet delivered his statistical critique of the world before the HS — talked about it, but not the methodologies involved. I am, therefore, puzzled from where you got your lead to conclude what you have. If you are capable of coming to this conclusion on your own, then Gurd’s advice to you to stop complaining and publish is well grounded.

  64. TCO
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Come again?

  65. TCO
    Posted Jul 13, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    WRT Gerd:

    I felt that I had gone a bit too far in negativism and I really do value that the performer is more worthy then the critic. I thought he was completely in line to give me a figurative forearm to the chest. And while I did feel that he was in line to give me that treatment, especially for my recent behavior….I also know that I lack the time to deal with this stuff or the math ability to do matrices. I’m more of a sensing feeler (not really…I’m an NT, but work with me). I can smell things that need to be done differently. Plus I see forums (and blog comment sections approximate forums) as natural kaffee klatches where sidewalk supervisors can have a pretty free reign to do their peanut gallery thing.

    P.s. I am drinking now, but have just started.

  66. Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations, Steve and Ross. May your good work contribute hugely to the field of climate science. That was really a good stuff and informative too.

  67. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 1:48 AM | Permalink

    Steve, your omissions make that into tendentious bullpucky, for the reasons I posted when you previosuy stated you were writing this op/ed.

    In the committee’s statement the claim was ‘plausible’ they lsited supporting qualitative evidence, some of which they specifically say suports the conclusion that we are in the warmest period in TWO millenia, some sorter periods that that but still MUCH longer than 400 years. To omit those parts of the report, in a public op/ed, is not just a case of concentrating on yor own work as you have said you are doing here). It is being overtly misleading by leaving out important information – evne if you perhaps think it doesnt carry sufficient weight, it IS there in he report.

  68. John A
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 2:39 AM | Permalink

    Steve, your omissions make that into tendentious bullpucky, for the reasons I posted when you previosuy stated you were writing this op/ed.

    In the committee’s statement the claim was “plausible’ they lsited supporting qualitative evidence, some of which they specifically say suports the conclusion that we are in the warmest period in TWO millenia, some sorter periods that that but still MUCH longer than 400 years. To omit those parts of the report, in a public op/ed, is not just a case of concentrating on yor own work as you have said you are doing here). It is being overtly misleading by leaving out important information – evne if you perhaps think it doesnt carry sufficient weight, it IS there in he report.

    To anyone:

    Could I have a translation?

  69. Paul Dennis
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

    Re #65 Lee, Yes it is plausible that we are in the warmest period for the past millenia. It is equally plausible that we are not, and that we are merely in a warm period following the LIA.

    What we have here are competing hypotheses and we need to devise suitable experiments to test these. Steve and Ross have done a very nice job pointing out the problems associated with the current statistical approach used by the Hockey Stick Team. We can try and improve this but I fear the main problem is with the source data. The proxies we have are poorly understood with respect to their response to local temperature, there is no phenomenological link to global average temperature, the statistics don’t appear to be stationary implying a time dependent variabilty in their response to temperature, there is poor global coverage etc. We don’t even understand how the present instrumental record is handled, how it is stitched together with historical records, how calibration errors are handled etc. to arrive at a modern global average temperature.

    We can ask for Steve to produce his own curve and spaghetti graphs using the available data but I doubt we would have any more confidence in it than the hockey stick. What I do know is that from what Steve has done he would be explicit and open about the procedures and the errors.

    We have before us a key question: What is the variability of the climate system over the past several thousand years? We need to understand the frequency and amplitude of changes. What we need to do now is go into our laboratories, develop good proxies in which we understand the physical link between response and temperature and go out into the field and apply them.

    This is not an easy task, requires ingenuity, perseverance, dedication and money. There is a real tension between climate scientists who are actively collecting samples in the field and those who make use of the data through statistical analysis and climate modelling. One invests years in developing methods, going out into the field colecting samples, making measurments and trying to put a robust interpretation on their results. The other sits at his PC and uses data someone else has collected and produces a ‘global average temperature’!

    No names mentioned but I had said to me by one such scientist…’Why have you published so little’. I told him how I do my science and he replied ‘ I have no idea that’s what involved’ ‘All I do’ he said ‘was down load a data set and do some statistics’. (A bottle of whisky to the first correct identification of who it was)!

    Seriously, Steve and Ross have provided an invaluable service in identifying both the limitations of Mannian Statistics, but I believe more so in characterising the limatations of our proxies.

  70. JerryB
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 4:55 AM | Permalink

    Regarding Lee’s litle tantrum, the op ed included the paragraph:

    “The NAS panel drew attention to other recent studies claiming that the 20th century was warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. We’ve attempted to replicate these other studies as well, only to run into one obstacle after another in identifying data and methods — similar to the problems that led to the original congressional questions about the Mann study. In one case, the authors even refused to identify the sites from which data was collected for their study!”

    Given the size of the op ed, and given the panel’s seemingly tendentious regard for such studies, the cited paragraph seems quite kind to the panel’s report.

  71. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 6:15 AM | Permalink

    #67 I am thinking about that for the whiskey! ;)

    And I think “plausible” is a terrible word, and they shouldn’t have used it.
    I can’t believe anyone would find its use something to hang onto tooth and nail either.

    plau·si·ble    ( P )  Pronunciation Key  (plàƒÆ’à‚⳺-bl)
    adj.

    1. Seemingly or apparently valid, likely, or acceptable; credible: a plausible excuse.
    2. Giving a deceptive impression of truth or reliability.
    3. Disingenuously smooth; fast-talking: “Ambitious, unscrupulous, energetic,… and plausible,a political gladiator, ready for a “set-to’ in any crowd” (Frederick Douglass).

  72. Bruce
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

    Re #69: Seems about right to me!!

  73. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

    #67. thank you , Paul, for both the kind words. I agree with your diagnosis. The problem really lies with the proxy networks, more than the statistics.

    Unfortunately, you have to wade through the math to get to s pretty simple conclusion (sometime in the Andes, you have to go 100 miles to go a mile as the crow flies – “going around your elbow to get to your nose”).

  74. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:11 AM | Permalink

    #70 ya think? ;)

    My husband working at the EPA right out of school (also reading these climate alarmist articles and papers) was constantly saying things like “You can say that!” “That’s not exactly true” “we don’t know that yet” “what about this, or that! ?” I can’t tell you how stressed out he felt back then. It was almost Twilight Zone material.

    I am so glad this specific network of climate scientists is being put under a microscope right now.

  75. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

    Re: #73
    eegads I am talking to myself again…
    reference should be for #71 not #70, but you know that. ;)

    Cheers!

  76. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    re 69:

    The op/ed said nothing at all about the supporting QUALITATIVE data the panel discussed.

    That was my point; Steve ignored the supporting QUALITATIVE data (and some of the various ice core data, which I didnt mention here – but neither did Steve, adn he should have), which is not touched at all by the issues Steve purports to be finding in the dendro and multiproxy stuff, and the statements the NAS panel made about them and the fact that the statemetns about this other data was NOT qualifired by the 400 year limit.

    Y’all keep acting as if tthe only thing the panel considered was the Mann et al stuff (even whenI specifically mention the other supporting studies), and that simply is not true.

  77. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    Lee, I’ve looked at the ice core material and have posted on Thompson on numerous occasions. I’d like to have presented posts on NAS’take on them already , but I can only do a finite amount.

  78. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

    Steve, your op/ed implied that the comittee cut off ALL evidence at the knees, and that is simply not true. They mention specific supporting data (several lines of ice core evidence, and other suporting data)that is not touched by these criticisms, and they DO NOT QUALIFY their statements about that data.

    Your posts here are not what is at issue right now; your post 76 is misdirection in itself. What is at issue is what you said in the op/ed, and in the op/ed you fail to mention that the committee DOES list, withou qulaificatin to 400 eyars, several lines of evidence suporting late 20th century millenial-scale climate anomalies, while strongly implying that ALL evidence before 400 yearsis invalid. That is tendentious.

  79. mark
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 2:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve, your op/ed implied that the comittee cut off ALL evidence at the knees, and that is simply not true.

    Actually, the op-ed made it pretty clear that the committee merely supported all of M&M criticisms of the HS, which it did. You are reading words into the op-ed that just are not there.

    Mark

  80. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

    78:

    No, I’m pointing out words that are not there but should be if the actual point was furthering scientific accuracy.

  81. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    I think somebody could at least give out kudos to the owner of this site, for the strides made today toward scientific accuracy
    If that somebody really truly cared about scientific accuracy that is.

    But that’s just me.

  82. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

    Steve is getting plenty of adulation for what he appears to have gotten right.

    That doesn’t get him off the hook for what he appears to be a misrepresentation by omission. The authoir of the accompanying editorial certaily got it wrong, apparently based on Steve’s op/ed.

  83. John M
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

    #81

    Lee, I guess I missed your comment over at RC pointing out Mann’s omission’s in his discussions of the NAS and Congressional reports.

  84. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 5:16 PM | Permalink

    re 82:

    John, I guess you missed my frequent statements that I tend to interact with people who disagree with me and challenge my positions, because I want to see if there is something wrong with what I think I know.

    I spend most of my “climate time” here, so I respond to what I see here. I see what looks like a tendentious omission of relevant detail on the part of Steve, and I commented on it. Sniping about my failure to respond on blogs where I dont often participate is a weak response at best, and utterly fails to address the issue I raised.

  85. mark
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 5:34 PM | Permalink

    That doesn’t get him off the hook for what he appears to be a misrepresentation by omission. The authoir of the accompanying editorial certaily got it wrong, apparently based on Steve’s op/ed.

    The op-ed was directed towards the material that Steve and Ross have covered. That you think he should go into all the other areas of climate science in such a piece is a joke. There is no “omission” simply because he isn’t focusing on your precious other evidence.

    You stated CLEARLY that “your op/ed implied that the comittee cut off ALL evidence at the knees” which it absolutely did not do. It criticized ONLY those things that he has covered, which have nearly all been shown to be true. Your assertion otherwise is actually the weaker argument.

    Mark

  86. JerryB
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    “Steve, your op/ed implied that the comittee cut off ALL evidence at the knees, and that is simply not true.”

    Fabricating implications seems to be among Lee’s favorite stunts, although Lee’s assertions of misrepresentation seem also to be a favorite of his stunts.

    Oh, gee, the op ed didn’t mention Lonnie T’s habit of not archiving his ice core data, not did the NAS panel report. Should Lee hyperventilate at Steve for that omission, or at the NAS panel? Decisions, decisions.

  87. TCO
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    Lee, hang in there. I am glad that you hang here. I have called Steve on the carpet for blog posts or papers where he skewed things. I (personally) don’t have an issue with this oped though.

  88. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

    Steve said this:

    “The NAS panel drew attention to other recent studies claiming that the 20th century was warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. We’ve attempted to replicate these other studies as well, only to run into one obstacle after another in identifying data and methods — similar to the problems that led to the original congressional questions about the Mann study. In one case, the authors even refused to identify the sites from which data was collected for their study!

    Despite these pointless obstacles, we know enough about the “other studies” to be confident that none of them meets the methodological standards now recommended by the panel. In fact, somewhat remarkably, two of the most recent studies even continue to use Mann’s discredited principal components series.”
    —————
    However, only SOME of the other work cited by the NAS panel involved the multiproxy recosntructions – a substantial part of the report considered qualitative data, which Steve’s work doesn t touch, and ice core data which Steve’s criticisms also don’t directly touch. For Steve to say that he knows enough about “the other studies” for him to say that they are subject to methodological recommendations that DON’T APPLY TO QUALITATIVE DATA, and only possibly to the ice core data, without limiting it to a subset of that and acknowldging tht the NAS panel cited the strength of some of that other data, is simply false and deeply misleading about much of what the report said.

  89. mark
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Lee can’t argue the merit of what was said, so he has to point out what wasn’t said as if that is some sort of proof of a bigger, deeper conspiracy to thwart real science. Flailing. That’s the word we use when someone is into something they just don’t have answers for.

    Mark

  90. TCO
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:38 PM | Permalink

    Steve, addressed the spaghetti chart. the chart that the Mannians bring up. What is so hard to understand? Are you losing it, Lee? Are you ok? Typing very strange.

  91. John M
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:41 PM | Permalink

    Lee,

    I too admire you for your persistence. I have learned something from your comments, and am glad you’re still at it.

    But please help me out here. Is your whole complaint that Steve and Ross didn’t use the word “some” where you think it should have been used? If so, maybe you have a point, but I don’t think you need to invoke some sort of evil intent to make it. It was after all an op-ed piece. And how valuable is qualitative data in determining the difference between likely and plausible?

  92. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Look, everyone. It looks very much as if Mann f***ed up badly and is hiding it. I’ve said that before, here. Stop intimating some kind of intent I don’t have.

    Now, this is not the first time I’ve pointed this out to Steve. I made this very same point in the thread where he announced he was writing an op/ed. Steve CHOSE not add any language to limit his point to the evidence where it applies, but instead CHOSE to make it appear as if it applies to all the evidence. In fact, he SAYS it applies to all the evidence, and this is simply not true, and deeply, deeply misleading about major points of the NAS report. It is NOT a minor error, even if it involves only a few words. Someone who reads only this op/ed, or even someone following the story but not all that closely, gets the very strong impression (becasue Steve overtly told them so) that based on Steve’s work there is NO credible evidence at all left for anything unique going on in the late 20th century, and that is simply not true.

  93. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 7:57 PM | Permalink

    BTW, if you read the comapnion editorial linked in the thread article, you see that the editorial writer drew exactly this conclusion. As I said, it is not a minor error.

  94. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 9:09 PM | Permalink

    TCO, just do so honestly, and dont claim more than you won. Isn’t that the point?

  95. Lee
    Posted Jul 14, 2006 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    TCO, put the bottle down and back away slowly.

  96. Pat Frank
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    #91, Lee, apart from the amazing growth in our computational ability, and the internet, what “credible evidence” is there “for anything unique going on in the late 20th century“? Climatologically unique, I mean. That’s demonstrably unique.

  97. JerryB
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 3:03 AM | Permalink

    “In fact, he SAYS it applies to all the evidence, …”

    Lee,

    It might help if you would stop lying. Of course it might also help if you would stop fabricating implications.

    On the other hand, since we do not know your actual intentions, we can’t know if your intentions require resorting to a grab bag of verbal stunts disparaging of Steve.

  98. John A
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

    Lee:

    Someone who reads only this op/ed, or even someone following the story but not all that closely, gets the very strong impression (becasue Steve overtly told them so) that based on Steve’s work there is NO credible evidence at all left for anything unique going on in the late 20th century, and that is simply not true.

    What Steve actually wrote was:

    Despite these pointless obstacles, we know enough about the “other studies” to be confident that none of them meets the methodological standards now recommended by the panel. In fact, somewhat remarkably, two of the most recent studies even continue to use Mann’s discredited principal components series.

    Nowhere does Steve make the claim that “nothing remarkable is going on in the late 20th Century”. It’s a logical fallacy that because Steve did not say something therefore he implied the opposite. He made the point that none of the newer studies meant to show uniqueness of 20th Century warming were any more credible from a statistical point of view than Mann’s Hockey Stick, which even you admit is faulty and worthless.

    I expect that Steve can substantiate those statements. This is considerably more than I expect from you.

  99. Michael Jankowski
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 8:01 AM | Permalink

    Wow Lee, I wonder how much time you’ve spent berating the “IPCC Summary(s) for Policymakers,” other press releases and op-eds on this NAS report (and others), Mann’s comments, etc, for leaving out key points in the reports, making misleading statements, etc.

  100. Lee
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

    Pat, I refer you to the NAS report, and especially the parts I’ve quoted and summarized here many times now, including in conversations where you were participating. I start to get tired of saying the same damn thing over and over to people who refuse to bother to read what I write.

    JerryB, I quoted the relevant words from Steve. "we know enough about the “other studies” to be confident that none of them meets the methodological standards…" He does not limit that statement to the multiproxy studies – he says NONE of the other studies, therefore stating that there are no studies left that are supportable. He does this in an extended context that makes it seem even more as if he is discussing all the evidence. This is false. All it would have taken is a sentence pointing out that he is discussing only a subset of the studies of a particular kind, and that the NAS report listed other strong evidence. I’m willing to believe it is a mistake – but I directly pointed out that he seemed to be heading toward doing exactlyu this, in his first thread where he announced that h waas writing an oped, and yet he did it anyway – so an explanatin from Steve that actualy addresses the issue, at the least, woudl be required to change my mind.

    Michael, I’m not on other blogs discussing the issue with those other parties. I *am* here, for reasons I’ve stated many, many times here now and am also getting tired of restating, again because so many people here seem unwilling to believe that anyone can disagree with them and actually not be venal or dishonest (see JerryB just above – being precisely this kind of ars****). Because I am here, challenging what I think I know, I respond to what I read here.

    JohnA, as always, you misstate my argument into something that is not what I actually said, and then argue bsed on what you claim I said. You can go to hell.

    John replies: Bye bye Lee. You’re now banned.

  101. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Lee,

    Ok, let’s examine your problem:

    The NAS panel drew attention to other recent studies claiming that the 20th century was warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. We’ve attempted to replicate these other studies as well, only to run into one obstacle after another in identifying data and methods — similar to the problems that led to the original congressional questions about the Mann study. In one case, the authors even refused to identify the sites from which data was collected for their study!

    Despite these pointless obstacles, we know enough about the “other studies” to be confident that none of them meets the methodological standards now recommended by the panel. In fact, somewhat remarkably, two of the most recent studies even continue to use Mann’s discredited principal components series.

    What is Steve talking about? Answer: He’s talking about multi-proxy temperature reconstructions. He’s not talking about studies of corals or or isotope compositions per se. Some of those sorts of things are, of course, included in multi-proxy reconstructions. So his area of study and what he’s talking about here are the later Mann, et. al. studies and the similar ones by at least nominally independent researchers. For you to claim that he’s talking about every single study of paleoclimate is just plain wrong, and only someone looking to pick nits would be confused given the context of Steve’s statements.

    And Steve has looked at all the multi-proxy studies and found them lacking according to the criteria the NAS panel laid out. I suspect he’s at least working on a paper laying out his evidence on them but how far along he is I can’t say. Perhaps he’s trying to produce a comprehensive article. (I realize TCO is seething just at the thought of that.) Perhaps Steve should emulate Godel and just publish a short article entitled: “On Certain Formally Undecidable Temperature Reconstructions by Mann and Other Researchers I.” Then he can add other papers to the series as needed or, as happened to Godel, he may find that one paper is sufficient to overturn the assumptions of paleoclimate science, and he can rest on his laurels.

  102. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 9:49 AM | Permalink

    And Dear Lee,
    For instance saying things like:

    The theories around AGW are not complete. but neither are they absent entirely.

    Is perfect fine but…

    That’s YOUR OPINION.

    [snip]

  103. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Lee,
    Sure, there’s a whole lot of theories. Some of the overblown, some of them important for progress and maintaining our way of life. And I have a certain feeling some of them have erupted from a political agenda and a puesdo religious idea of Eden..impending doom and all that guilt stuff. LOL Want to argue about it? ;) Just kidding!!!!!

    Seriously maybe that one example of yours I gave was a bad one. Here’s another one:

    “his failure to clearly distinguish the work he was critizing from that he wasnt, is deeply misleading.” is YOUR OPINION.

  104. JerryB
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

    The full sentence was:

    "Despite these pointless obstacles, we know enough about the "other studies" to be confident that none of them meets the methodological standards now recommended by the panel."

    They expressed confidence that the other studies do not meet the methodological standards now recommended by the panel. They did not state, or imply, or even merely suggest that the panel "cut off ALL evidence at the knees".

    [snip]

  105. mark
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    rocks, is it yor opinion, then that there is NO theory surrounding AGW?

    There’s plenty of hypothesis, Lee. But given that it keeps falling prey to the rigors of scientific testing (often that means simply an audit by an independent source), these hypotheses have yet to make it to the exalted status of theory.

    Mark

  106. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    You know, we were talking about this last night at home.

    How Dr. Mann, and people who believe him could sincerely believe that they are doing good with this Hockey Stick. And because he thought so he didn’t have to worry about any audit of his methods. It was just so right for the planet. Maybe he thought someone such as Al Gore was going to win the White House too, who would praise his work and not question it.

    Who knows but I swear, his remarks about this whole thing do not sound scientific, they sound ideological, and he’s got that vibe… that anything a more traditional scientists says, or tradional/conservative thinkers says, is just to be ignored and oh so boring and un-global like. They aren’t going to admit a thing either; because they are right even if the math isnt.

    We live in California, and this sort of attitude is in the teachers who teach at our schools. My daughter in a state college was told to keep her personal views to herself in political science class, because the prof said “I am only human, and it might effect your grade”. I also have a friend who is middle school teacher, who saw Al Gore’s movie. She would hear nothing much from me except when I said, well I do agree we should get off fossil fuels ASAP.
    She smiled and said good!

  107. Pat Frank
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 11:01 AM | Permalink

    #99, Lee, the NAS says: “Surface temperature reconstructions for periods prior to the industrial era are only one of multiple lines of evidence supporting the conclusion that climatic warming is occurring in response to human activities, and they are not the primary evidence.

    I’d like to know what that “primary evidence” is. Claiming that glacier blahdy-blah has retreated further now than at any time in the last 2000 years is not evidence of anomalous global warming. To presume so is the same as presuming that _specific_ patterns of regional warmth and cooling repeat whenever the global average temperature passes through the same value. There is no reason whatever to suppose that.

    Multiple lines of evidence” as used by the NAS panel should mean data given meaning by a theory. It shouldn’t mean supposing a conclusion given certain facts. In response to the NAS claim, rather than presuming the occult existence of a theory that evades all substantive examination, I’m on much safer ground presuming that the NAS panel suffered a lapse in understanding of what justifies a scientific conclusion. The latter is a far more rational judgment, based on the available evidence.

  108. Tim Ball
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    #106
    Some years ago Richard Lindzen said about the theory of AGW that the consensus was reached before the research had even begun. I couldn’t agree more. What then happened was proponents of the theory effectively blocked the scientific method by ad hominem attacks, mostly comprised of saying those who questioned were paid by energy people. Initially this worked but gradually more and more realized it was the logic and substantive nature of what was being presented that mattered.
    In Canada we had a more egregious blocking because bureaucrats at Environment Canada (EC) adopted the theory as proven and easily convinced politicians who didn’t understand it was unproven and were easy prey because it made them look environmentally responsible. The entire unproven thesis reinforced by the hockey stick that still appears in substance if not figuratively on ECs web page (see Corcoran National Post above), became total government policy. As the evidence trickled in, despite the blocking and thanks to a few people with fortitude and a clear understanding of ethics and morality, the response shifted to the Precautionary Principle; shouldn’t we act anyway. Now this is in jeopardy so it will be intersting to see what happens. Mann et al have aleady indicated a return to ad hominem attacks but when you start to include everyone you lose even those desperately trying to be fair minded. As Edmund Burke said, there is a point at which forebearance is no longer a virtue.

  109. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    I checked in. C’mon, Lee.

    I think that it’s reasonable that John A doesn’t have to deal with this sort of abuse and agree that Lee be banned until I’m back online on Monday. The blog rules remain in force and this is a yellow card.

    I don’t care about apologies but would welcome more appropriate behavior. I’ve deleted posts discussing this issue and will delete any further posts on it.

  110. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 15, 2006 at 5:45 PM | Permalink

    #107 Thank you so much for your comment.

    I have a good friend who lives in Alberta that is Aboriginal Canadian and he does some work educating the kids on various health related teenage-issues there, HIV, drugs, self esteem etc. He speaks all the dialects, even Inuit so he works as an ambassador of sorts for them and Health Canada. He tells me all these stories. It just drives him batty when he has to deal with the policy makers, health experts and attend the meetings they have. Alot of similarites there !

    He balances his sanity by playing the saxophone as a side job. LOL
    Cheers!

  111. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 16, 2006 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

    Oh goodie! Another episode of As the Stomach Turns! LOL

  112. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 16, 2006 at 4:40 PM | Permalink

    re: 111
    Hey! comment above referred to one post only that was a promotional type one with a link. It’s deleted. It wasn’t about what happened here in this topic. thanks! (I hope that works out ok)

  113. John A
    Posted Jul 16, 2006 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

    Its OK. Lambert likes to think of this place as an advertising hoarding. We try to disabuse him of the notion.

  114. welikerocks
    Posted Jul 16, 2006 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    #113

    I always found people who seek their fame and fortune though the fact that people do not always agree to be somehwhat sad-in a creepy way.
    And people who buy “the product” even more sad. –

    Its a fact of life not everyone is going to agree!
    And life is good.

    And that’s my opinion! ;)

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