Lest Sweetness Be Wasted on the Desert Air

Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Thomas Gray (English Poet, 1716-1771)

From time to time, we here at Climate Audit have the opportunity to draw attention to otherwise obscure flowers that would otherwise “waste their sweetness”. Today is one such opportunity. On Jan 31, Larry Solomon wrote a column on Antarctica here.

On Feb 2, 2008, while realclimate coauthor Gavin Schmidt was worried that a delicate flower newly in bloom in Climate Audit might “waste its sweetness in the desert air”, his coauthor Michael Mann contributed what we can only describe as a “gem of purest ray serene” at Google News here (or National Post here, which I excerpt in full below.

Comment by Michael E. Mann, Director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State
google news comment

Fossil fuel industry shill Solomon continues to lie to public – Feb 2, 2009

In his latest piece in the tabloid the “National Post,” Mr. Lawrence Solomon, a widely recognized purveyor of fossil fuel-funded disinformation, continues to use the forum provided to him by the Post to spread lies about scientists and scientific research in the area of global climate change.

Doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry that financially supports his disinformation efforts, Mr. Lawrence repeatedly lies about my work, the work of my colleagues, the findings of the scientific community, and even the judgments of the world’s leading scientific organizations and journals.

Mr Lawrence full well knows, for example, that my own work on paleoclimate reconstructions from more than a decade ago has been reproduced by many groups, and vindicated in a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and even more recently, in the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (for a lay-person’s guide to this report, you might check out my recent book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” published by DK/Pearson). Mr. Lawrence disingenuously implies otherwise by citing a partisan attack several years ago by Joe Barton, the leading recipient of fossil fuel industry money in the U.S. House of Representatives (and who is often referred to as “smokey Joe Barton” for his support of industry’s right to pollute our environment). Barton’s attacks were decried by newspapers editorials around the world, which likened it to a modern-day McCarthyism, using word’s like “witch hunt” and “inquisition.” The discredited Barton attacks were dismissed by organizations like the American Association of the Advancement of Science, which dismissed the attacks as an attempt to intimidate scientists whose findings may prove troublesome to industry special interests. The National Academy of Sciences responded by performing a legitimate scientific review of my findings and similar work by others in the scientific community, and the academy endorsed or key findings, noting that a host of additional studies since have confirmed them. The media reported the NAS findings as “Science Panel Backs Study on Warming Climate” (New York Times), “Backing for Hockey Stick Graph (BBC), and so on.

Mr Solomon of course knows about all of this, but still chooses to mislead and lie to his readers. His statements about our current study in ‘Nature’ (which from his article you’d think I was the sole author — in fact, I was only the 4th in a team of 6 co-authors) which studies the long-term warming of Antarctica and its causes, are unusually disingenuous and specious. As described in detail elsewhere (e.g. the website “RealClimate.org” which I co-founded), our latest study is not contradicted by weather records at all, despite Mr. Solomon’s dishonest attempt to imply otherwise by misrepresenting and cherry-picking anecdotal observations. Our study reproduces the well known cooling of the Antarctic interior which took place during the 1970s through 1990s (and is believed to be, as confirmed by our study, due to stratospheric ozone depletion which was greatest over that particular time interval). However, by combining the available temperature observations, we show that the longer-term pattern for Antarctica on the whole is one of warming, and this is consistent with the expected response to the long-term increase in greenhouse gas concentrations. Finally, Mr Lawrence goes on to attack the journal ‘Nature.’ Gee, who should we trust here? The most dishonest industry advocate in the climate change debate, or the world’s most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal. You be the judge.

How ironic that Mr Lawrence uses the word “shame” in his disinformation piece. For he is perhaps the most shameful and dishonest actors in the climate change disinformation machine. Some people indeed have no shame. Nonetheless, in Mr Solomon’s case, the judgment of history will be his condemnation.

Larry Solomon replied today here.

Mann and Solomon, like many before them, have quite opposite accounts of the Wegman and North panel reports. For interested readers, I compiled relevant quotes here and both reports, the testimony of both Wegman and North, and Wegman’s answers to supplementary questions are linked from this site.

Note: Apart from regular provisions at RC, Mann connoisseurs may enjoy these two other flowers by the Maestro here or as Referee # 2 here.

269 Comments

  1. Mike Davis
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Seems some people do not realize the need to keep quiet and let things pass. Is this a trend.

  2. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Once the anger has passed, we can feel rightfully sorry for these people.
    =======================================================

    • PaddikJ
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: kim (#2),

      Kim, I’m curious – the only way your statement makes sense is if “these people” are utterly clueless. Is that what you believe?

      Re: Libel & actionability – a lose-lose proposition for Solomon, I’m afraid. The Global Warming Crusade is starting to lose steam, but still has enough cred to scream “‘elp!,’elp! We’re bein’ repressed!” and make it stick. Better for Mr. Solomon to follow Steve’s example and just keep hammering away with the facts.

  3. Anthony Watts
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hmmm…

    “Mr. Lawrence repeatedly lies about my work”

    “Mr Lawrence full well knows”

    “Mr. Lawrence disingenuously implies”

    “Finally, Mr Lawrence goes on to attack”

    “How ironic that Mr Lawrence uses the word “shame” in his disinformation piece.”

    How ironic that Mann can’t even write Mr. Solomon’s name correctly in 5 of 9 instances. That happens when you write angry.

    Another opportunity for a Mann correction. With statistical adjustments to the 5 errors of 9, I’m sure it will come out 100% correct.

    • Richard
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Anthony Watts (#3), and Re: jeff Id (#13), isn’t it about time Wegman and North and the world leading expert on PCA wrote a letter to Nature and Mann’s employers to finally put this charade to the sword. There are surely more important things to do in researching climate.

    • bender
      Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 8:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Anthony Watts (#3), Yes, it is odd to make that number of errors in a single comment. Unless you were very hot-headed and didn’t take a moment to review & edit before pressing the “send” button.

  4. Alan S. Blue
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – please don’t use this thread to wade into issues argued at length and in more detail on other threads. sorry bout that.

  5. Jeff C.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The fossil fuel shill charge may have worked five years ago, but it really has become almost comical. In a recent poll in the UK, a majority agreed with the following statement, “Scientists are exaggerating the threat of global warming to increase their funding”. The public realizes that money can corrupt the findings of either side and there is no automatic pure of heart position.

  6. Charlie Iliff
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Chief Justice Rehnquist used to give a speech at the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference citing Gray’s little poem. He identified Supreme Court opinions which had some interesting issues, but not immediate newsworthiness. I hope there are similar flowers blooming in the climate science desert that will someday lead to better understanding of weather and climate, without immediate attacks on those who may have watered the flowers.

  7. subscriber
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    FWIW – to my mind this level of ad hom in Mr Mann’s piece without any apparent supporting evidence is appalling. Isn’t this libel? His reference to the prestige of the Nature peer review process is amazing – as soon as the paper was published independent observers highlighted shortcomings in the data used!

    As far as CA goes please keep emphasing the science and facts (as far as they are known) and getting the quality of data and analysis improved. I’ve found the recent days compulsive reading but, entertainment aside – which you provide with style :), in the end I keep checking on the site looking out for the substantive developments. Thanks

  8. anonymous
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Our study reproduces the well known cooling of the Antarctic interior which took place during the 1970s through 1990s (and is believed to be, as confirmed by our study, due to stratospheric ozone depletion which was greatest over that particular time interval).”

    How embarrassing.

    Really, really, embarrassing. It’s worse than Gavin being found out as the Mystery Man.

  9. deadwood
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann appear to have read the NAS report the same way he does statistics – by extreme cherry-picking.

  10. anonymous
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    maybe i should have continued reading…. ok not so embarrassing

  11. Raven
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There was a time 3 or 4 years ago when almost everything in the NP would make my blood boil because of its right wing slant. I have changed my opinion after spending the last 1-2 years reading about the issues with climate science and coming to the realization that other media outlets are failing to report the issues fairly.

    I still don’t agree with much of what is printed in the NP but I have learned to appreciate the value of listening to and understanding viewpoints which I do not necessarily agree with.

  12. Jared
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.”
    William E. Gladstone

  13. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 1:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From Dr. Wegman

    We have been to Michael Mann’s University of Virginia website and downloaded the materials there. Unfortunately, we did not find adequate material to reproduce the MBH98 materials. We have been able to reproduce the results of McIntyre and McKitrick

    Overall, our committee believes that Mann’s assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade of the millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year of the millennium cannot be supported by his analysis.

  14. John Bennett
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 1:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am appalled by the degree of ad-hominem attack in Mann’s comment. It borders on being libelous, and does not advance his position one bit. It almost makes me believe that he would welcome legal action, in that it would provide another forum for publicly airing his views.

    I rarely post comments on this site, but I read it assiduously, along with numerous other climate-related blogs. The postings over the last few days have left me incredulous at the responses that so-called professional scientists have made to reasonable criticism. And while I sit here chuckling and rolling my eyes at the latest shenanigans of Mann, Schmidt, et. al., I’m also left with a very bad taste in my mouth. If this weren’t such a serious subject, it would be comical.

    Steve McIntyre and Climate Audit do a wonderful job of being both educational and (perhaps inadvertently) entertaining, and I look forward to reading the posts every day. But the amount of work and fortitude involved in keeping this up must be incredible. I invite everyone to join me in clicking the “Make a donation” link at the top left and adding a bit to the CA tip jar.

  15. rickM
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 1:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From wikipedia (I dont like using the site, but it is convenient when not distorted)

    Libel –

    In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false and defamatory spoken statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism.

    Classic AGW ad hominem attack and arguments from authority. And very disappointing. My concern is the damage has alraedy been done, and the MSM has picked this ball up and is running with it. Proving that he is overstating changes in historical climate records and recent trends, and actually doing something with that proof may work in some samll circles, but it is not translating to where it matters most – the voting public.

    Hats off to all those working so diligently on the “open” and messy process of truly adavancing our attempts at understanding our world.

  16. fred
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This is a classic of its kind, a gem, quite lovely, and thank you for publishing it. If it smells like a cult, walks like a cult, and barks like a cult, it probably is one.

  17. Paulchina
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Spent a few hours reading the last few days’ threads. Useful as always for learning how ‘exact’ or otherwise (or human rather than infallible) climate science really is. A couple of observations:

    Seems to be getting dirty. Can these two websites call an unconditional ceasefire? Can Tony Blair help?

    Still like to know how much warmer or cooler is Antarctica. What is the ‘concensus’?

  18. Tom C
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann appears to really dislike Canadians.

  19. Bruce
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann: “which from his article you’d think I was the sole author — in fact, I was only the 4th in a team of 6 co-authors”

    Well, Mr. Mann, you are the only author mentioned on the front page of the ESSC website (although you do admit to being the co-author)

    http://www.essc.psu.edu/

  20. Pete
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As many others have noted, the first thing that popped into my head (as someone who works in the mainstream media) was the word: libel.

    It is staggering that this person (Mann) should feel so bullish as to publish what is – in essence – a rant studded with ad hominem attacks which are coated in unsubstiantiated smear.

    It is indicative of someone who has been indulged for so long by the powerful that they think they are immune to the normal restrictions which apply to all of us who go in to print simply because they now firmly believe they are ‘doing the Lord’s work.’

    I come at this whole issue from what could be termed the Left, I have no time for the greed and chicanery of the fossil fuel industry and therefore I am concerned when someone is painted as a ‘shill’ for unscrupulous energy companies.

    Lawrence Solomon – as his rebuttal and a quick Google search of the organistion he belongs to would testify – is most certainly not a ‘shill.’

    How many more people have to be tainted in this way before one of them takes the matter through the courts?

    Keep up the good work Steve, you are restoring the reputation of scientific inquiry and scepticism – and given the appalling attacks of recent months and that laughable report carried uncritically by the BBC among others – it won’t be long before the mainstream media cotton on to something they seem to have missed all along: a darn good story.

    There certainly is one here – and I don’t doubt that many interested parties are following this waiting for the optimum moment to take it to the top of the news agenda.

    I don’t know what form that will take, but one thing is certain: Mr Mann and his fellow travellers are not going to emerge it from it well.

  21. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My view on this would be that it can’t possibly have been written by Mann himself – he’s a smart guy and would know Solomon’s name. The article was probably put together by an intern at Fenton Communications and just didn’t get checked properly.

  22. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Apart from regular provisions at RC, Mann connoisseurs may enjoy these two other flowers by the Maestro here or as Referee # 2 here.

    • Jean
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#22),

      “In our evaluation, we discarded the inappropriate tone of reviewer #2 and his/her scientifically irrelevant points”

      Steve: We discussed the Burger Cubasch paper long ago. Today we’re talking about the sweetness of flowers.

  23. Pete
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Bishop Hill,

    I thought exactly the same thing, but if that was the case then surely he must have run his eye over it before it went into print. He is a scientist, so maybe the laws on libel are not as clear to him or as pressing and intimidatory as they are to those of us who work within its confines on a daily basis. I would be sacked from my job if I allowed an article like that into the public domain under the masthead of our company without rigorous scrutiny of the ‘facts’ Mann mentions here. Let us not forget, the person who wrote the offending article is not usually the one put through the mangle by m’learned friends, but rather the organisation which published it – as our dear libel lawyers seek out who has the most money to pay the biggest sum in terms of damages.

    This could get interesting.

    Pete

  24. RoyFOMR
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @Pete #120
    ‘It is staggering that this person (Mann) should feel so bullish as to publish what is – in essence – a rant studded with ad hominem attacks which are coated in unsubstiantiated smear.

    It is indicative of someone who has been indulged for so long by the powerful that they think they are immune to the normal restrictions which apply to all of us who go in to print simply because they now firmly believe they are ‘doing the Lord’s work.’
    Pete- After reading one of Mr Watts posters – Allan M R MacRae – and a Link, he provided:
    http://www.green-agenda.com/
    I’m sad to report that his bullish nature is less than surprising!

  25. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann’s hissy fit has been picked up by the Spectator here.

  26. RoyFOMR
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #-100
    Me bad

  27. bender
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lies?! By Solomon in the NP?
    Is this not libel?
    The truth, again, is that there have been NO independendent reconstructions of the hockey stick. There is no consensus that the CWP is warmer than the MWP or that the rate of warming has been faster. To suggest otherwise would be a lie.

  28. BCH
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My view on this would be that it can’t possibly have been written by Mann himself …

    Possibly not but it did appear over his name. Either he did write it or he took credit for it without reading it.

    The thing that interests me is that he signed it with his official title, including University affiliation. I wonder if Penn State really wants to be officially associated with something that (as others have said) has “libel” written all over it.

  29. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Lots of posters talk tough about libel, but the costs of such litigation are considerable. So it’s the sort of thing that only the very rich can practically pursue. To my knowledge, Lawrence Solomon does not fall into that category and I doubt that he’d bother. A more salient issue would be whether there is any breach of any applicable code of conduct.

  30. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Please don’t use this thread for generalized piling on about anything to do with global warming.

  31. Jack Wedel
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    My concern is that if Mann’s defamation/libel of Solomon goes unchallenged in a court of law, you will find thousands of AGW accolytes running around saying, “There, it’s got to be true – there is no challenge to Mann’s statements.”

    Steve, you say legal action is costly. How costly? Alternately, can we learn what his university’s code of professional conduct might be?

  32. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It’s been emotional…

  33. Pete
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @Jack Wedel

    As Steve says, libel proceedings are usually – scratch that – always expensive and quite long-drawn, you need money to go the distance even though most cases are normally settled out-of-court as companies decide to take it on the chin when faced with a big-hitter backed by big bucks . However there is a very true saying: long runs the fox…

    Pete

  34. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, I think your date re Gavin is the wrong year:
    On Feb 2, 2008, while realclimate coauthor Gavin Schmidt …

    You might want to correct your post.

  35. stan
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Just… wow. That’s an amazing compilation of mudslinging, vitriol and character assassination. Five references to the fossil fuel industry, a McCarthyism reference and wrapped up with an all time slime special — “the climate change disinformation machine”. And of course many, many uses of “lies”, “dishonest”, “disinformation”, “attacks”, and such. It must have been hard to pack so many in such a small place.

    Even if he believes all of it, he has to be insane to publish that. How can that screed advance his career? Not good judgment. Not good judgment at all. Is he trying to make himself radioactive? What sane scientist will want to work with him on a paper in the future?

    Maybe he thought Gavin needed help punching that tar baby.

  36. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Man spat the cactus out too late
    Its bitterness persists in hate.
    =================================

  37. oakgeo
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 4:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann is extremely defensive in his bipolar comments. He calls Solomon a shill without specifics (which Solomon easily counters), and yet promotes himself unashamedly: “…check out my recent book “Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming” published by DK/Pearson” and “…the website “RealClimate.org” which I co-founded“. He spins the NAS findings in an attempt to bolster his battered position and yet throws accusations of dishonesty like rice at a wedding. His long record of questionable statistical analyses is under greater and greater assault every day and he is running out of options.

    I suggest he invite members of the American Statistical Association, or a similar organization, to review his methods or even participate in the studies. Maybe with one or two bona fide statisticians as coauthors, his results will be more robust. Climate science is statistics before it is anything else.

  38. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Ridicule is much more cost effective than a libel suit, and generally much more pleasurable.

    Mann has now presented himself as such an easy target that I am sure revenge will be enjoyed cold for many years to come – despite decadal warming phases.

  39. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve McIntyre, you slay me.

    For a while, I’d hoped you were actually interested in furthering the *science* behind climate research. While I am personally totally convinced that the science behind climate change points to human activities as having a influence on climate (I have a PhD in the stuff), I’d hoped that your somewhat amateurish but honest attempts to discover something on your own would eventually lead to improvements in aspects climate change research. I don’t think climate change research is broken or in such dire straits as most of your “followers” believe. I do, however, acknowledge that there are areas where improvements are needed, and I’d hoped that you were enough outside the box to provide some positive direction.

    The last several posts you have put up have, however, have convinced me otherwise.

    Despite trying desperately to give you the benefit of the doubt, I am finally exasperated at the fact that your primary focus has become to pummel the reputations of particular scientists that you have a vendetta against. WHATEVER the history, if you were really interested in furthering science and understanding, you would be focusing your work on research, rather than engaging in a soap-opera-esk series of who-dunnits. While I was a holdout amongst my research associates for a while, I regrettably join them now in acknowledging that your “work” is motivated by arrogance and revenge rather than a true quest for knowledge.

    And that IS regrettable, since I’d hoped differently for you.

    No doubts you and your followers will have loudly shouted differences of opinion than me, but I’m just saddened by the direction this site has taken.

    • EW
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41),
      Oh please. These particular scientists are damaging their reputation themselves more than enough. Maybe you should look at their arrogance first. And what do you have again “who-dunnits” series? What would you prefer? A complete silence about any mistake found in the “official” papers?

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41),

      Jack, my first reaction to Steve’s post was a little similar disappointment to yours, but having read the full details of Mann’s diatribe I can understand why Steve did not let it pass.

      Mann’s own mouth discredits him just as Gavin’s recently did. There is no need to say more than simply report their comments.

      Furthermore they censor their own critics whereas Steve and Anthony do not which is why the latter blogs are fiery at times, interesting and informative.

    • theduke
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41),

      The implication in this post is that the “last several posts (Steve has) put up” that document profoundly unprofessional behavior by Schmidt, Steig and Mann are somehow the cause of that behavior.

      I’m saddened that you completely overlook their behavior and concentrate instead on Steve’s response to it.

    • Bruce
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41),

      if you were really interested in furthering science and understanding, you would be focusing your work on research, rather than engaging in a soap-opera-esk series of who-dunnits.

      Jack, it is so much more entertaining when Steve does both. I’m sure Mann and Schmidt would prefer Steve kept quiet and diligently researched away so they could continue to pretend he doesn’t exist.

      I do wonder what part of Mann’s screed you consider to be “furthering science and understanding”.

    • Basil
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41),

      If you’ve read much of how Mann and “The Team” have reacted to CA, you’ll know that they have never taken seriously any of the work that Steve (or Ross) have done. If they refuse to take him (or CA, or anyone who has contributed to substantive discussions of issues and evidence here) seriously, why should you take offense if he refuses to take them seriously? The science in all of this will come out, one way or the other. Like it or not, a significant portion of the practice of science (as opposed to the science itself) has always been about personalities, egos, and who gets the glory. When I look at the follies of Mann, or Gore, I see people who let personality and ego get in the way of common sense and keeping an open mind about all of this. Exposing this is in fact part of how the science will get out. It is a matter of judgment as to whether Steve carries this a little too far at times. But if you’ve never on the receiving end of someone looking down their nose at you the way Mann, Gore, and others who say the science is settled in these matters do, then you really lack perspective to understand fully what is happening here.

    • Wolfgang Flamme
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#41)

      Despite trying desperately to give you the benefit of the doubt, I am finally exasperated at the fact that your primary focus has become to pummel the reputations of particular scientists that you have a vendetta against. WHATEVER the history, if you were really interested in furthering science and understanding, you would be focusing your work on research, rather than engaging in a soap-opera-esk series of who-dunnits.

      Jack, it’s called ‘climateAUDIT’ after all. Next time you’re audited and the outcome us not very flattering, just repeat the stuff above. :D

  40. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    PaddikJ, frankly, I’m completely baffled by the behaviour. I’ve spent a lot of time pondering the question, and I don’t know the answer. I think the most likely explanation is that they are ‘true believers’ and justify their behaviour by their faith. Pitiable, or not? Your choice.
    =============================================

  41. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack, you’re blaming the victim, here. Now, if Mann and Schmidt only hadn’t worn such provocative opinions.
    =============================================

  42. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    More fun at Amazon.com where Michael Mann’s book: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Dire-Predictions-Understanding-Global-Warming/dp/0756639956/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234048684&sr=1-1Dire Predictions: Understanding Global Warming has a certain David Appel as the first reviewer.

    Appel gushes:

    I love the concept behind this book: an “illustrated” guide instead of another long text of prose about global warming. It has tons of charts and graphs and colorful pictures, so you learn the field in a new way — less abstractly, more intuitively. Slightly below a Scientific American-level. This book would be great for someone who wants to understand climate change, but doesn’t have the background (or patience) to read a 300 page book on it. Plus it would be great for kids 7th grade and up.

    “Slightly below Scientific American-level”. That’s not saying very much is it? After all, it was you who wrote the embarassingly bad biography of Michael Mann in 2005 in Scientific American that had lots of readers reaching for the Mylanta(TM)

    “Great for kids 7th grade and up”? So we aren’t talking in-depth statistical analysis then. Not that Mann is capable of such a level as he’s not a statistician and makes so many mistakes in analysis that it keeps one Canadian in bemused semi-retirement tracking them all.

    I’ve read hundreds of books and articles and papers on climate change, and yet I still learn things from nearly every page in the book, no matter where in it I start.

    Can’t type any more…stomach churning

  43. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Alan Wilkenson and The Duke:

    At some point, doesn’t SOMEBODY need to play the grown up and concentrate on the science? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, stooping to the level of thumbing noses and finger pointing is childish. At some point, someone has to step up.

    • Michael Smith
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#49),

      At some point, doesn’t SOMEBODY need to play the grown up and concentrate on the science?

      That’s why Steve has asked for Steig’s code — so he can see concentrate on the science. But Steig won’t release his code — at least, he hasn’t so far.

    • Jonathan Schafer
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#49),

      Yes, but it’s got to be Steve right? Or are you somewhere urging similar behavior amongst your fellow climate scientists? Why is it that people always think Steve should take the high road, but they’re never willing to step up to the plate and take Mann, Hansen, or any other of their “colleagues” to task. Frankly, Steve has been way more respectful than any of these other climate scientists. But instead of anyone acknowledging this fact, or publicly calling out any of their bretheren, it’s always about how Steve is behaving.

      On a related note, I highly doubt that anyone here is a “follower” of Steve, in the acolyte sense that you imply. People come to Climate Audit for a number of different reasons, but primarily, because they know they can comment without censorship and without constantly being attacked, unlike say Real Climate or Open Mind. I won’t hold my breath looking for your public pronouncements against Mann, Schmidt, et al, decrying their public displays as well.

    • Ross McKitrick
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#49),

      At some point, doesn’t SOMEBODY need to play the grown up and concentrate on the science? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, stooping to the level of thumbing noses and finger pointing is childish. At some point, someone has to step up.

      Right on, Jack! I don’t recall seeing you on any of the threads where specific scientific issues were being worked over, but it’s never too late to step up.

      Here’s a good place to make a start. Over at this thread the topic is Steve’s and my recent letter in PNAS. The issue is that Mann et al presented 2 paleo reconstructions with supposed 95% confidence intervals aruond each, and by virtue of those CI’s claimed each one supports specific conclusions about the historical climatology of the Earth. But over the contentious medieval interval, the 2 reconstructions contradict each other: their CI’s do not overlap. Each one rejects the other. We pointed out that this is evidence of proxy inconsistency, and application of conventional statistical methods (see the references in our letter) show that the proxy data set yields infinitely large confidence intervals prior to about 1800. Since we couldn’t find any conventional basis for the CI’s in his PNAS article we assert they are wrong, in particular they are erroneously narrow. Mann and coauthors have published a reply. They make no attempt to rebut our application of the Brown inconsistency statistic, so our point stands unchallenged. Do you agree?

      Oh, and I have never looked at the Model E code since it’s not my field, but since you mention Navier-Stokes I’d be very interested if you could point me to models that compute solutions (as opposed to parameterized approximations).
      Also, for something else I’m working on, I need to find if there is any place in the IPCC report where it was checked if models can reproduce the spatial pattern of temperature trends on a gridcell basis over the post-1980 interval. I don’t mean just 2 fuzzy maps put side-by-side, I mean an actual statistical test. From my reading no such test is in there, whether for model E or any other. But if you have any references to the IPCC text or other journal articles I’d be greatly obliged.

      • Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 10:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ross McKitrick (#138),

        Oh, and I have never looked at the Model E code since it’s not my field, but since you mention Navier-Stokes I’d be very interested if you could point me to models that compute solutions (as opposed to parameterized approximations).

        I assume you mean solutions that do direct computations that resolve down to the smallest scales of motion? (Low Reynolds numbers aren’t such a big problem.)
        I googled “Orzag” to find one of the earliest papers which computed a turbulent flow resolving down to the Kolmogorov microscale. Orzag and Patterson. It may be the first paper; I’m not sure.

        Climate models don’t do DNS. It’s much to computationally intensive. They parameterize. I’ll leave it to Jack to explain what needs to be parameterized and why when he comes back and flings around words like Navier-Stokes again. As him to explain the turbulent energy cascade, the kolmogorov length scales and the historic difficulties with using simple parameterizations like “eddy viscosity” when computing turbulent flows with more than 1 externally imposed length scale. Since he’s learned to throw out words like Navier-Stokes, I’m sure that will be a snap for him.

      • anna v
        Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ross McKitrick (#118),

        While this thread was closed, I replied to you at the previous thread in
        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=5153#comment-326155

        • Ross McKitrick
          Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 2:24 PM | Permalink

          Re: anna v (#136), the quote you provided refers to the inability to use a calibrated fit to the 20th century to help rank models in terms of forecast accuracy. They aren’t referring to defining a “likelihood function” in its statistical usage.

        • anna v
          Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 1:06 AM | Permalink

          Re: Ross McKitrick (#155),

          Re: anna v (#136), the quote you provided refers to the inability to use a calibrated fit to the 20th century to help rank models in terms of forecast accuracy. They aren’t referring to defining a “likelihood function” in its statistical usage.

          I am curious in the distinction you are making. If they cannot have a likelihood function to rank models for forecast accuracy, how could they have any likelihood function at all? What type of likelihood are you thinking of ( or they thinking of)? Model versus geographic locations variables?

          Please excuse my ignorance, but the only likelihood functions I have used were for fitting models to particle physics data, so I am not conversant with the general statistical definition.

    • steven mosher
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#49),

      ya jack, go attack Mann over at RC. see if you get the post thru the censor

  44. KlausB
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Steve,

    when you do start with lyrics, I feel free to add some more

    “I’m the tomb of one shipwrecked,
    but sail thou,
    even while we are perished,
    the other ships sailed on,
    across the sea”

    from Ulysses, somewhere,

    Was remembered by and did find it again there,
    in a novel from Douglas Reeman (Alexander Kent)
    ‘Rendevouz – South Atlantic’

  45. Robert in Calgary
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Jack’s #41

    This message is the laugh of the day.

    Yes, “Jack” your approach is certainly better isn’t it? (PHD in the stuff and all)

  46. Robert in Calgary
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Oops! Sorry for the double.

  47. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve, those flowers wouldn’t be Amorphophallus titanum, now would they?

  48. Bill Illis
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 5:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A professional scientist would admit his mistakes, fix them and then try to never repeat them again.

    I doubt that recruiting dozens of other scientists to just keep repeating those mistakes over and over again, hurting their reputations just as much in the process and then firing off vitriolic commentaries to national newspapers falls within that definition.

  49. maksimovich
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Our study reproduces the well known cooling of the Antarctic interior which took place during the 1970s through 1990s (and is believed to be, as confirmed by our study, due to stratospheric ozone depletion which was greatest over that particular time interval). However, by combining the available temperature observations, we show that the longer-term pattern for Antarctica on the whole is one of warming, and this is consistent with the expected response to the long-term increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

    As the ozone hole is still there and at the same intensity according to the ezpert committee for some time. eg Executive Summary 2006, 2008

    The Antarctic ozone hole is expected to continue for decades. Antarctic ozone
    abundances are projected to return to pre-1980 levels around 2060-2075, roughly 10-25 years later than estimated in the 2002 Assessment. The projection of this later return is primarily due to a better representation of the time evolution of ozone-depleting gases in the polar regions. In the next two decades, the Antarctic ozone hole is not expected to improve significantly.

    Could we explain also say changes in cooling/heating due to ozone depletion and geographic drift. over similar temporal timescales eg

    http://i255.photobucket.com/albums/hh133/mataraka/ozoneap.jpg

    While some build castles in the air,
    Others build them in the seas;
    Subscribers plainly see them there,
    For fools will see as wise men please

    “Now buried in the depth below,
    Now mounted up to Heaven again,
    They reel and stagger to and fro,
    At their wits’ end, like drunken men

    Ye wise philosophers, explain
    What magic makes snow and ice arise,
    When dropt into the Southern main;
    Or do these jugglers cheat our eyes?

    (With apologies to Jonathon Swift)

  50. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jonathan Shafer:

    “Frankly, Steve has been way more respectful than any of these other climate scientists.”

    You’re kidding, right? “The Team” and all that? And yet again, more fingerpointing. Again, at some point SOMEONE has to act the grown-up.

    “But instead of anyone acknowledging this fact, or publicly calling out any of their bretheren, it’s always about how Steve is behaving.”

    So you’re stooping once again to the “they’re not playing fair so why should I?” tactic. Whatever. If you’d read my comments, you’d see that I am, in fact, in favor of *science* rather than any particular “side.” How on earth do you know that I have, in fact, NOT taken any of my “bretheren” to task? You have no idea, in fact.

    “People come to Climate Audit for a number of different reasons, but primarily, because they know they can comment without censorship and without constantly being attacked, unlike say Real Climate or Open Mind.”

    I beg to differ. Those of you who believe that climate scientists are evil incarnate feel quite welcome to comment here. Those of us who have spent our careers studying this stuff and who feel the concerns related to climate change are legit do not feel *quite* as welcome here on this blog. Get real. Do the hairs on your neck not go up when I say I think that climate change is real and is caused by human activity? You are not attacked here because you’re with your “bretheren.”

    “I won’t hold my breath looking for your public pronouncements against Mann, Schmidt, et al, decrying their public displays as well.”

    Personally, I am not real concerned about what you do with your breath.
    I do think that Dr. Mann, Dr. Schmidt, et al., have made enormous advances in climate science. I also think that they are human and perhaps have lost some perspective when badgered with sometimes inane, sometimes less inane arguments presented here at this blog. (“Badgering” is the key word here). I think that Steve McIntyre has some scientifically valid points. I do not think any of these points negate the advances in climate change research over the last many decades, nor do they “prove” that climate change is false. I do think that the inquiry of Steve McIntyre could marginally improve some aspects of climate change research. I also think that his presentation of ideas in such an “in your face” way has eliminated any chance of collaboration.

    • Bob Koss
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#58),

      I do think that Dr. Mann, Dr. Schmidt, et al., have made enormous advances in climate science.

      Could you enlighten me by mentioning a couple of the “enormous advances” you think they have made?

    • Jonathan Schafer
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#58),

      You’re kidding, right? “The Team” and all that? And yet again, more fingerpointing. Again, at some point SOMEONE has to act the grown-up.

      Apart from the fact that the “team” analogy is correct, You all seem mighty thin-skinned and strangely lacking in any sense of humor whatsoever. But all that aside, are you seriously going to compare calling someone a member of “team” to the statements made by other climate scientists against Steve? That’s an appalling equivocation.

      “But instead of anyone acknowledging this fact, or publicly calling out any of their bretheren, it’s always about how Steve is behaving.”

      So you’re stooping once again to the “they’re not playing fair so why should I?” tactic. Whatever. If you’d read my comments, you’d see that I am, in fact, in favor of *science* rather than any particular “side.” How on earth do you know that I have, in fact, NOT taken any of my “bretheren” to task? You have no idea, in fact.

      I’m not stooping to anything. I’m simply objecting to another post putting the onus on Steve to always maintain the respect, despite what others do. Steve is a far sight more respectful than they are. Is he sometimes snarky? You bet. But if you read this site consistently, you’ll always see him post comments about not imputing motives, not calling out other scientists, and not taking a result a bridge too far. That’s far more than you’ll get out of Mann or Schmidt.

      As to what actions “you” might have taken, while I can’t “prove” anything, I think I like my odds about whether I’m right or not.

      “People come to Climate Audit for a number of different reasons, but primarily, because they know they can comment without censorship and without constantly being attacked, unlike say Real Climate or Open Mind.”

      I beg to differ. Those of you who believe that climate scientists are evil incarnate feel quite welcome to comment here. Those of us who have spent our careers studying this stuff and who feel the concerns related to climate change are legit do not feel *quite* as welcome here on this blog. Get real. Do the hairs on your neck not go up when I say I think that climate change is real and is caused by human activity? You are not attacked here because you’re with your “bretheren.”

      Ha. That’s really funny. Evil incarnate? I suppose you might find one or two along the way, but no, that certainly would not apply to the vast majority of people here. I may think you are wrong, but I know that Steve does not censor things like that, unlike Real Climate, where the discussion is always one sided.

      “I won’t hold my breath looking for your public pronouncements against Mann, Schmidt, et al, decrying their public displays as well.”

      Personally, I am not real concerned about what you do with your breath.

      I didn’t ask you to be.

      I do think that Dr. Mann, Dr. Schmidt, et al., have made enormous advances in climate science. I also think that they are human and perhaps have lost some perspective when badgered with sometimes inane, sometimes less inane arguments presented here at this blog. (“Badgering” is the key word here). I think that Steve McIntyre has some scientifically valid points. I do not think any of these points negate the advances in climate change research over the last many decades, nor do they “prove” that climate change is false. I do think that the inquiry of Steve McIntyre could marginally improve some aspects of climate change research. I also think that his presentation of ideas in such an “in your face” way has eliminated any chance of collaboration.

      I guess I didn’t realize asking for data and source code to be archived amounted to inane, badgering requests.

      Steve himself would agree with your statement that any of his discoveries prove anything, other than what he says they prove. He has repeatedly said so.

      As to collaboration, this has been going on for years. No one had any intention of collaborating with Steve, whether he posts in the most respectful way possible or not. After all, why should they provide him the data when he’s just out to find something wrong with it.

    • KlausB
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#58),

      Dear Jack,
      [sarcasm]
      Somehow , I’ve the bad feeling, we’re living on different planets.
      [/sarcasm]

      When your reply to somebody starts with “are you frickin’ SERIOUS????? Who are you?”
      Then, I feel free to ask: “Who are you? Please introduce yourself first.”
      “Help for complete amateurs can’t”. Can’t what, please?

      When I was young, everybody in the scientific field was always eager to explain his work
      and was open to all questions, even the silly ones. On line with the phrase:
      “There are no silly questions, there are only silly answers”

      What shall I tell to my kids? “Some few professions of the scientific community
      do nowadays express similar attitudes as the ‘Holy Inquisition’ against Gallilei?

      Science will always prevail, but not your view of science.

      KlausB

      By the way, if you are so convinced that you are are on the right side,
      why is your writing so agressive?

      When you are right, you don’t need that.
      When you are wrong, it is by far not enough to cover your clause.

    • MJW
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#58),

      So you’re stooping once again to the “they’re not playing fair so why should I?” tactic. Whatever.

      I think it’s more along the lines of “shouldn’t you put your own house in order first before you criticize others’?”

      If you’d read my comments, you’d see that I am, in fact, in favor of *science* rather than any particular “side.” How on earth do you know that I have, in fact, NOT taken any of my “bretheren” to task? You have no idea, in fact.

      Have you taken your brethren to task? If you have, perhaps a link to those criticisms would provide some perspective. If you haven’t, shame on you for implying you have.

    • MrPete
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#58),

      At some point, doesn’t SOMEBODY need to play the grown up and concentrate on the science? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, stooping to the level of thumbing noses and finger pointing is childish. At some point, someone has to step up.

      Jack, you’re getting a strong reaction here not because people want to censor you, but because you really don’t get it.

      Please step away from your own anger and frustration, and try to read dispassionately what Steve posted above. Does his post actually “thumb noses” or “finger point?” Read through the rest of what he has written over the last year or two. How many times does he address scientists respectfully? How often does he disrespect them?

      Now read what Mann wrote. Then take an honest look at the screeds you’ll find all over the Internet. See how the “team” refers to Steve. How often is Steve treated respectfully by them? How often do they disrespect him?

      You will find a night and day difference. For most of “the team” you will find it well nigh impossible for them to speak or write his name at all, and if mentioned, it is normally, almost exclusively, with disdain or worse. Steve hardly ever lapses into such language toward anyone.

      Steve has repeatedly offered the right of direct guest authorship on CA (with their own login password) to any scientist who has something to say to the CA audience. That includes “the team.” On the other hand, Real Climate won’t even allow commentary on their postings from many qualified scientists, let alone authorship of headline articles.

      Mann’s Meltdown is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s a consistent problem here, and it is beginning to become highly visible.

      [I still relate this to the dumbfounding perspectives that otherwise-reasonable people had about Y2K. Once they made up their minds, all the facts in the world would not sway their perspective. Too embarrassing. Likewise... many of us here sense that less is known than many would have us believe. We just want the truth. But too many True Believer scientists, activists and politicians are trying to tell us The Science Is Settled. And it's easy to find sources that show we're not just imagining things.]

      Jack, we want solid science, not a particular answer. I’d hope you too could promote such a perspective.

      Edit: BTW, as others have noted, “hockey team”, “the team” etc is their self-designation. If they want to be called by such a term, why should you complain?

    • jryan
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#59),

      You do realize, Jack, that that statement is also finger pointing, don’t you?

      I’m beginning to question your credentials in “this stuff”.

  51. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #58 “I do think that Dr. Mann, Dr. Schmidt, et al., have made enormous advances in climate science.”

    Re: Dr. Schmidt – you’re kidding, right? Model E is a mess…one of worst, undocumented FORTRAN codes I have ever seen…Unfortunately, Dr. S is too busy blogging to make any time to correct this…

  52. Mr. Kaos
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack: Grow up

    We are about to embark on massive change to the energy systems across the western world. This is change that will have enormous damaging effects on our economies, because we will attempt to dismantle highly efficient forms of energy (e.g. oil, coal & gas) and replace then highly inefficient forms (e.g. wind & solar). And we are doing this largely because of the work & claims produced by Mann & co.

    And somehow, you believe we should not question this vigorously. Who made you and your lot the purveyors of truth & wisdom? You have some hide to scold Steve and others who support what he is doing.

    I am continually amazed at the blind arrogance of some people that play with numbers & formulas and as a consequence think they understand how everything works. You have a PhD in climate science – big deal. LTCM had a team of Nobel Laureates & PhDs in math and thought they understood it all, until they lost everything and nearly bought the economic system to its knees. Same again now with the ‘sophisticated’ statistical & math models applied to mange risk – these people were smart, they knew what they were doing, it all was confidently under control.

    So you think you have the climate nailed because of the application of certain statistical methods to some selected data, or because of the assumptions and guesses in GCMs?

    What you, Mann & co don’t seem to not understand is the concept of uncertainty. You lot don’t seem to understand that mathematical & statistical models are not self-referential – they cannot tell you how well they are representing the phenomenon they are applied to. They cannot deal with unknown unknowns or the complex layers within uncertainty.

    We have a weak hypothesis of ‘catastrophic AGW’ – that is all. Until someone can actually produce compelling evidence for this hypothesis, then the job that Steve and others are doing is a vital service to society.

  53. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Frank K:
    “Dr. Schmidt – you’re kidding, right? Model E is a mess…one of worst, undocumented FORTRAN codes I have ever seen…Unfortunately, Dr. S is too busy blogging to make any time to correct this…”

    No, I’m not kidding. “Undocumented” has become a battle cry for “wrong.” How about this? You show me exactly where Model E is wrong and then I’ll believe that it is.

  54. theduke
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack:

    At some point, doesn’t SOMEBODY need to play the grown up and concentrate on the science? Whatever the reason, whatever the cause, stooping to the level of thumbing noses and finger pointing is childish. At some point, someone has to step up.

    Every time Steve tries to concentrate on the science, in this case by writing cordially to Steig requesting that he send him a specific set of data, he meets first with delay, then refusal, and then scorn. In this most recent incident. the scorn was followed by a dirty trick perpetrated by Schmidt.

  55. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #61

    Jack:

    I didn’t say wrong – you did. As for “documentation”, here you go, start here…

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/tools/modelE/

    Please tell me the specific differential equations that model E is solving, the boundary conditions, the time integration scheme (with an appropriate stability analysis), the equations associated with the ocean model, precipitation models, … Take your time…

    I’ve spent the bulk of my career (over 20 years) in computational fluid dynamics, and have written numerous codes. Model E is your typical undocumented research code – noone really knows what’s in it, as it is so poorly documented, and the source code is almost no help at all.

    There are climate research groups, however, that do a superb job, e.g.

    http://www.ccsm.ucar.edu/models/atm-cam/docs/description/

    So, Jack, I await your links to the differential equations…and also let us know which subroutines in the Model E source code actually solve the differential equations you come up with…

  56. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr Kaos:

    “We are about to embark on massive change to the energy systems across the western world. This is change that will have enormous damaging effects on our economies, because we will attempt to dismantle highly efficient forms of energy (e.g. oil, coal & gas) and replace then highly inefficient forms (e.g. wind & solar). And we are doing this largely because of the work & claims produced by Mann & co.”

    Hey look. I have total sympathy with this! This is an ugly problem. The trouble is that many of you have equated scientists with WANTING to dismantle our current energy systems. From my perspective, scientists are primarily interested in science. Period. The response to science is something completely separate. I never claimed any of this was easy. But the fact that it is hard doesn’t negate the science, as much as we would like it to.

    “And somehow, you believe we should not question this vigorously. Who made you and your lot the purveyors of truth & wisdom? You have some hide to scold Steve and others who support what he is doing.” (and several other ridiculous accusations)

    LOL! Seriously? Perhaps you would like to show me where anything I have written suggests that we should not question this vigorously, or where I think we have the climate nailed or where we do not understand the concept of uncertainty? Quotes, please? And yet you and your ilk would suggest that this blog is a friendly place to discuss climate as opposed to RC or others? Give me a break.

    I hold out hope that there is a place for discussion somewhere. Not here.

  57. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Frank K:
    “Please tell me the specific differential equations that model E is solving, the boundary conditions, the time integration scheme (with an appropriate stability analysis), the equations associated with the ocean model, precipitation models, … Take your time…”

    Are you frickin’ SERIOUS????? Who are you? Have you even tried to take a look at the documentation?
    Look. The code can be provided. Help for complete amateurs can’t.

  58. eo
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re #7 and 13 Mann is just conforming to Benford’s Law of controversy. “Passion is inversely proportional to data and facts”

  59. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Are you frickin’ SERIOUS????? Who are you? Have you even tried to take a look at the documentation?
    Look. The code can be provided. Help for complete amateurs can’t.”

    Yes, I have looked at the “documentation”.

    BTW Jack – the code is provided. Go take a look at the source code for yourself.

    So…I guess that means you didn’t come up with the equations, eh? Ok, if you can just find the momentum and energy equations, that will do…again, Take your time…

  60. Alan Wilkinson
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack: Do the hairs on your neck not go up when I say I think that climate change is real and is caused by human activity?

    No. Of course climate change is real and of course human activity has an effect. That is why we are here. Trying to understand it quantitatively and qualitatively.

    Now if you say you think the only cause of climate change is human activity or that the science is settled, then I would raise my eyebrows – but principally at your sanity rather than your science.

  61. Kohl Piersen
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack said @41: “While I was a holdout amongst my research associates for a while, I regrettably join them now in acknowledging that your “work” is motivated by arrogance and revenge rather than a true quest for knowledge.”

    The only thing which astounds me more than the sheer ignorance of the ad hominem style attacks mounted by Dr Hanson, is the sheep-like acquiescence and acceptance by the sycophants whose own intellects and wills appear overborne by the darkest doings of the good doctor.

    Again and again on this and other blogs, in newspapers and on television, I have heard nasty attacks made by Dr Hanson against those who have the effrontery to disagree with his point of view. Whilst there have been occasional diatribes against Dr Hanson in return, by comparison, the sheer volume of the nastiness originating from him and and his acolytes is extraordinary.

    To draw from this immoderately one-sided stream of invective a conclusion in relation to Steve McIntyre such as Jack has drawn is perfectly illustrative of this point.

    I am bemused and astounded.

  62. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 6:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For Frank K:
    From the vague questions you have posed, I assume that you are less interested in my answers and more interested to see whether I am truly “connected” with climate science research.

    You asked me:
    “So, Jack, I await your links to the differential equations…and also let us know which subroutines in the Model E source code actually solve the differential equations you come up with…”

    Since I have not worked directly with Model E, and have never claimed to, I am not sure why you think I would know the names of the particular subroutines of a code that I have never worked with. HOWEVER…I am intrigued that you persist in asking about links to “differential equations.” I do wonder if you have ever worked with a GCM?

    Because of the vague nature of your question, I will respond with equal “vagueness.” The equations solved in GCMs encompass those of conservation of momentum, energy and mass. Is there a particular question you have with respect to one of these equations? Do you want me to throw around names like Navier-Stokes?

  63. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Frank:
    “Yes, I have looked at the “documentation”.

    BTW Jack – the code is provided. Go take a look at the source code for yourself.

    So…I guess that means you didn’t come up with the equations, eh? Ok, if you can just find the momentum and energy equations, that will do…again, Take your time…”

    Do us all a favor and get over yourself. What is it that you want? Quit playing games. That’s what pisses me off more than anything. You aren’t interested in anything other than proving yourself right. Science be screwed, right, Frank?

    Over and out. I’m done with you guys. Like I said earlier I had hopes for you but do not any longer.

  64. W F Lenihan
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If I recall correctly, Canadian libel law is similar to that in the very strict UK. I also recall that the prevailing party is entitled to recover litigation expenses and attorneys fees in Canada.

    Solomon should sue Mann for libel in the Canadian courts. Mann’s malicious lies will not be well received by a Canadian judge or jury. I also believe that Canadian courts will have jurisdiction over Mann because the injuries and damage caused by the libel occurred in Canada.

    I would be very costly for Mann to defend the defamation suit in a Canadian court. Solomon would receive both real and poetic justice there.

  65. nanny_govt_sucks
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    From my perspective, scientists are primarily interested in science. Period.

    Here’s a new perspective: The activist scientist.

  66. Mike Lorrey
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I would suggest going through his university’s ethics board would be the best approach. Those of us who fought against victim-disarmament (i.e. gun-control) in the US over the past 20 years used the same approach against fraudulent science and its purveyors, even going so far as to get one ‘scientist’ with an agenda dismissed from his post for faking data and faking historical documents.
    No need for a libel suit, a university ethics penalty is discrediting enough.

  67. bender
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What University punishes its employess? Examples please.

    • Richard
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: bender (#79), there are indeed plenty of instances that unethical behaviour leads to censure and dismissal. In my time in academia, I would say that Mann’s hizzy fit – put out right there in public – would be causing immense consternation to his employers. If it doesn’t in fact lead to a libel case, I’d be surprised if it didn’t lead to an official complaint. The language is deplorable, and constantly reciting inaccurately report findings against him won’t go down well somewhere. But the realpolitik of university institutions would mean that as he drags in large funds for his research from government, the superiors would be reluctant to get rid of him. But, in time, if he doesn’t reform, they would be pushed into a corner.

  68. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #84 KlausB:

    Klaus – go easy on Jack. He’s probably a young’n. His use of the phrase “are your fricken’ SERIOUS” is right out of the playbook of my teenage kids :^)

    Hopefully, he’ll learn a little bit about partial differential equations and mathematical physics from all of this…

  69. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #84 KlausB:

    Klaus – go easy on Jack. He’s probably a young’n. His use of the phrase “are your fricken’ SERIOUS” is right out of the playbook of my teenage kids :^)

    Hopefully, he’ll learn a little bit about partial differential equations and mathematical physics from all of this…

    Oh Frank, Frank, Frank.
    :-)

    If you only had a clue.

  70. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    BTW, I find it EXTRAORDINARLIY amusing that several of my posts are listed as “Awaiting Moderation” while you all go on and on about how open you are here to ALL points of view. Riiiiight.

    If only you all knew.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#87),

      Am I right in recalling that posts containing links are automatically referred by the spam filter for moderation here?

    • MrPete
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#91),

      BTW, I find it EXTRAORDINARLIY amusing that several of my posts are listed as “Awaiting Moderation” while you all go on and on about how open you are here to ALL points of view. Riiiiight.

      If only you all knew.

      Perhaps this will be a good lesson for you, Jack. Time to learn the difference between CA, a community serious about openness, and other sites that are not.

      A five line tutorial on what happened to your comments:
      * This is a volunteer-run site, yet one of the highest-traffic blogs. Automated systems are crucial.
      * Due to the high volume of blog spam (true garbage), sometimes up to a dozen or more spam attempts per second, CA’s anti-spam settings are very agressive.
      * Jack, as a new poster, you have no history, so Spam Karma (the anti-spam system) is cautious.
      * Your posts recieved +2 points because they had no links, but -2.5 points because your browser has javascript disabled. Net negative score = held for examination.
      * Normally, one of the volunteers would find your posts within a few hours, and recover them from the holding tank. (TBH, we rarely lose “real people” to the spam bucket very often.)

      In this case, I’m the one who happened to notice. So, your posts are back in play.

      Steve makes it pretty obvious when posts get snipped. In general, he marks them, and explains why. Just search for “snip” :)

      There you have it. We’ve come clean on the “extraordinarily amusing” fact that your posts were held in moderation.

      Hope that makes sense!
      Pete

      PS: FYI, I think there are only two people who have ever been banned here, and that required extreme troll-behaviour on their part.

  71. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    MJW:
    “Have you taken your brethren to task? If you have, perhaps a link to those criticisms would provide some perspective. If you haven’t, shame on you for implying you have.”

    How on earth do you think this helps anything? Do you SERIOUSLY think everything scientists do is linked somehow? Are are you just being an ass?

    • MJW
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:57 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#90),

      How on earth do you think this helps anything? Do you SERIOUSLY think everything scientists do is linked somehow?

      Well, Jack, I’m assuming that if you felt so strongly about the issue, you would have posted similar criticisms on websites such a RealClimate, directed at Gavin’s and Mann’s insulting comments.

      Are are you just being an ass?

      This from the guy who wants to raise the level of discussion.

    • AJ Hill
      Posted Apr 14, 2009 at 7:06 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jack (#88),
      Jack, may I suggest that you’re wasting your time here. It’s taken me a while to recognize this blog for what it is, which constitutes some kind of credit I suppose; but after a while the clues become apparent: posts from someone with a website named “nanny_government_sucks”, another from somone gloating about his accomplishments in America’s lunatic gun culture, and – as you’ve experienced with Frank – the kind of intellectual posing that makes the Scientific American discussion forum such a burlesque.
      I gather that Mr. McIntyre isn’t a scientist – at least, not a qualified climate scientist, who could actually obtain employment in the field or publish in a refereed journal on the subject. Instead, he prowls around the outskirts of reputable science, trying to pick up scraps of bad data, stray procedural errors, minor contradictions – anything that he can use to discredit the conclusions of AGW. Along the way he’s attracted a band of enthusiastic followers, most of whom seem to be right wing fanatics of one sort or another.
      Later in this thread I notice some posts by a fellow named Walt Bennett, who’s noticed the same thing: this isn’t an intellectually honest forum, but a thinly disguised effort by a bunch of politically motivated partisans to harass climate scientists and discredit their work (without actually entering the arena of scientific dispute or doing any genuine original research themselves!) No wonder scientists often refuse to debate or correspond with them. I wouldn’t.
      It would be one thing, if McIntyre & Co. were genuinely interested in improving the quality of climate research; in that case their nit-picking might serve a useful role. Their obvious agenda makes that unlikely. I think you’re wasting your time here. I certainly don’t intend to waste any more of mine.

      • Navy Bob
        Posted Apr 14, 2009 at 7:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: AJ Hill (#267),
        An archetypal ad hom. Right out of the (self-snipped) Party playbook.

        Steve: please do not descend into a food fight.

  72. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Klaus:
    “By the way, if you are so convinced that you are are on the right side,
    why is your writing so agressive?”

    Why do you suspect I think I am on the right side? And what is it that you interpret as aggressive? Disagreement? Hmmm. Methinks I smell a skunk.

  73. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 7:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Oh Frank, Frank, Frank. If you only had a clue.”

    Jack – listen, perhaps you are a world renowned expert in numerical climate modeling. Great. Then perhaps you can help elucidate the mysteries of Model E. I would certainly welcome that. And again there are climate modeling groups who do a great job with their codes, including the documentation (see my previous link) – model E is just not one of those, however.

    The original point of all of this was that Gavin Schmidt could certainly shed more light on his numerical methodology and correct the problems with model E documentation is he spent a wee bit less time blogging and generally making a fool of himself on the internet…

  74. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If Jack wants to focus on the science, there are people commenting on purely scientific threads. He has the option of posting there, but does not.

    As for SteveM posting several articles on behavior in a time Jack considers too short: it’s not Steve’s fault that the several episodes of odd behavior happened in such a short time.

    Is there a rule that one can’t comment on Mann’s vitriolic, ad hominem filled rant simply because it comes right on the heals of Gavin’s odd decision to claim he found the problems with Harry “independently” from Steve, Steigs unfounded accusations that people accused him of fraud, and Bader’s mysterious letter clarifying “mis-impressions” about the sudden public appearance of data that Santer refused to provide?

    No. There is no such rule in science, politics, rhetoric, or, well, anything.

    Are people only allowed to notice and comment the bad behavior if it’s rare and infrequent? Or spaced out in time? Are one only permitted to notice it the first time it happens, and afterwards give free passes? What could possibly justify such a bizarre rule?

    No last name Jack seem to suggest the rule is justified because his colleagues who, evidently thought we should ignore Mann’s behavior from day one, think noticing the bad behavior when it recurrs is… what?

    It’s not as if Steve is rehashing complaints about a single episode of behavior that happened long ago and then stopped. The Mann rant just happened. If anyone– including Jack– would like less frequent discussions of Mann’s rants, they should contact Mann and suggest he restrain himself. Explain to him that his behavior is raising eyebrows and fanning flames of skepticism. Mann can elect to stop, or not. But Jack asking people to not notice Mann’s irrational rants is like asking rain to fall up. As long as Mann does these things, people are going to notice.

    • Alan Wilkinson
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: lucia (#108),

      Great comment, Lucia. Of course Jack has a point that there is a sceptical bias here as the reaction he has generated well shows. But that is the nature of open debate – people take sides and show both their partisanship and their character in the process, not always to their credit.

      The bottom line for me is: was it useful to know about Mann’s latest outburst? And I have to answer: yes, it shows the character of a pivotal player in the great controversy of AGW.

  75. Bob Koss
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack,

    You say.

    You’re kidding, right? “The Team” and all that? And yet again, more fingerpointing. Again, at some point SOMEONE has to act the grown-up.

    The scare quotes indicate you find something objectionable to use of the phase “The Team”.

    It seems Mann and Schmidt feel it is appropriate. That’s what they started calling themselves. RC post in January 2005. Just search for part of the small snippet below.

    … it is what is perhaps more aptly termed the “Hockey Team” …

    Perhaps your objection is to only using team without preceding it with hockey?

  76. Jack
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Frank et al,

    When in the HELL did I ever say I was an world renowned expert in numerical climate modeling? Good gosh. I am an atmospheric chemist, and one who works on local-scale processes. I don’t do global models, and I’d like you to show me where I EVER said I did. Your presumptions are quite revealing wrt your obvious biases.

    You can bet I’ll never “shoot you a link or two” to any of my publications. I’m a quite a bit smarter than that. I’m just really pissed off that Steve has disappointed me so much. I’d hoped for more.

    Whatever.

  77. Paul Penrose
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack,
    You must be kidding: Model E is correct unless we can prove it is in error? That is completely backwards from the way science and software engineering works. Software must be verified and validated before one can even begin to assert it’s correctness. All of the climate models I have seen are not only not verified, they are not even verifiable as currently written. This does not necessarily make them “wrong”, in the sense that you meant, but it does put them in the “unknown” category. We should not be making public policy decisions based on their output, but that’s exactly what Mann, Gore, and their supporters assert.

    My perspective comes from being a software engineer for over 25 years. I have worked for the likes of IBM, Medtronic, and Lockheed-Martin. I have used my real name, so if you wish you can do a quick search on the US patent website where you will find a software patent where I am named as one of four inventors (and Medtronic is the owner). So please, no “who are you”, questions.

  78. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack, I’m sorry you’re disappointed in Steve. I’m not. Would you like to hear why?
    =====================================================

  79. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A libel lawsuit by Dr. Solomon would be very interesting. Words like “disingenuous”, “attack”, and “disinformation” aren’t highly defamatory, but the word “lies” is. Mann would either have to pay a settlement, or give testimony about his work under oath to try to establish that Solomon really is mischaracterizing Mann’s work [b/c the truth of Mann's charge would be a defense...]. What a great PR event for Mann in either case [Not !].

    Even if Solomon were held to be the equivalent of a public figure under US law, Mann would be liable for his libel if he demonstrated a reckless disregard for the truth. Given that Mann is not a newspaper reporter, but a principal privy to all of the specifics, Mann would likely have to prove that Solomon was substantially incorrect in his accounting of the facts in order to have a defense.

    Even a verdict of $1 from a Canadian jury would be news-worthy.

    There’s got to be somebody willing to prosecute this case pro bono.

  80. KlausB
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @MJW,
    @Frank K.
    and for you my dear friend Jack,

    good ol’ SaintMc possibly sleeps already – hopefully very well, as is my wish – otherwise he would insert
    a comment alike ‘to pace down here’.

    @Jack, that’s usual, that you may encounter your posting is still ‘awaiting moderation’.
    All of us are, from time to time confrontated with that. CA is – generally – one men’s project and work.

    Not like RC, where a bunch of people from several countries do share the load of work, paid/hosted
    by sources which – may have some personal interest on the outcome reg.: AGW and
    too, are often paid by taxpayer’s money, i.e. Stefan Rahmsdorf, PIK, paid by my money.

    KlausB

  81. MrPete
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    All: yes, please let’s avoid piling on. Only speak up if you have something to add to the conversation… otherwise it’ll probably be snipped by tomorrow morning…

  82. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    May Steve snip these odoriferous flowers and carry them inside to adorn his breakfast table. Think of the book that could be constructed from Steve’s policy snips.
    ===================================================

  83. bender
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting to contrast Mann’s appeal to authority/trust/belief:

    Gee, who should we trust here? The most dishonest industry advocate in the climate change debate, or the world’s most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal. You be the judge.

    vs. McIntyre’s suggestion to actually read the NAS report:

    For interested readers, I compiled relevant quotes here and both reports, the testimony of both Wegman and North, and Wegman’s answers to supplementary questions are linked from this site.

    For Jack: I’m not a “follower” of anyone. I survey the facts.

  84. Frank K.
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “All: yes, please let’s avoid piling on. Only speak up if you have something to add to the conversation… otherwise it’ll probably be snipped by tomorrow morning…”

    I agree…I’ll stop now…Steve can snip my comments if desired. Cheers. Frank

  85. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

    This business with Jack is pretty funny. He comes in to complain about the attitude of Steve and his minions (how much do we minions get paid, anyway?) and ends up being the rudest troll in quite a while. Makes you want Jon back.
    Jack, here’s the thing, extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. If I said I had a pill that will cure cancer, but won’t reveal what is in it (but the ingredients are robust) the FDA will make me pull it from the shelves. When big claims are made about the world warming up, and anyone asks to see the ingredients, the answer is almost always “no you can’t see it, not the data and not the code”. Public companies have to cough up their financials, politicians have to cough up their income statement, drug companies have to turn over their test results, heck even a peanut processing plant has to keep records of their salmonella testing, but Phil Jones does not have to make public which weather stations are in the network and GISS doesn’t have to reveal (with working code) how they “adjust” station data? Oh, please. As to your remark that only certain people are welcome at CA, not true. Look at Leif Svalgaard (sp?). Not only did he have quite his own opinions about the sun, he kept up his end of a debate here for months. I think he finally quit due to carpel tunnel. He didn’t lose his cool.

  86. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 8:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Seems to me this intramural skirmishing is setting a lot of people back.

    Or to put it another way, it seems that a lot of people have a stake in whether or not the hockey stick is accurate, or whether it is an illusion. Some even believe that it is a deliberate fraud.

    Two points: 1) The conclusion of the review team was that Mann’s work was plausible, but that the degree of precision for earlier periods made it impossible to make claims on a decadal or annual scale, and suggested better resolution for those periods. I’ve seen that interpreted as a condemnation of Manns’ work. No, a condemnation would sound like this: “Mann’s graph is crap.”

    2) Does anybody care about what’s going on now? Paleo reconstructions are interesting and somewhat useful from a historical standpoint, but what about today, ten years from now, 50 years from now? This debate on the merits of the hockey stick says nothing about that.

    To those who believe that discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW:

    Nice try.

    • MJW
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#127),

      To those who believe that discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW:

      Nice try.

      I doubt anyone here believes that. What’s interesting though, is that AGW believers just can’t seem to give up on paleoclimatology in general, and the hockey stick in particular. In light of the equivocal nature of the data, Steve McIntyre suggested to the IPCC that if the evidence for AGW didn’t depend on paleoclimatology, they leave it out of the IPCC report. A very reasonable suggestion, but there it is in Chapter 6 of the report, occupying over 60 pages.

    • bender
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#127),

      To those who believe that discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW:
      Nice try.

      To those who like to pretend that the majority of skeptics think that discrediting the hockey stick “discredits AGW”:

      Nice try. (The skeptical position is far stronger and more nuanced than that.)

    • Robert Austin
      Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 10:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#127),
      Classic straw man argument. I don’t think anybody here believes that “discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW”. Discrediting the hockey stick does refute the notion that our present climate is unnatural based on global temperatures being the highest in the last millennium. You are being disingenuous in minimizing the weight carried by the hockey stick in the IPCC reports and Al Gore’s presentations. Besides, I don’t think that Steve’s intent is to disprove AGW. As I see it, this site’s intent is to have an independent look at climate data sources, manipulations and climate reconstructions. The politics of the thing has turned a dry subject into a juicy one. After all, it wasn’t Steve that was determined to get rid of the medieval warming period.

  87. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Walt, if there weren’t some people who believe that discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW, why is Mann’s work still defended?
    ==================================================

  88. maksimovich
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Finally, Mr Lawrence goes on to attack the journal ‘Nature.’ Gee, who should we trust here? The most dishonest industry advocate in the climate change debate, or the world’s most prestigious peer-reviewed scientific journal. You be the judge.

    OK has the said Journal a prior record of errors and omissions Well use Makarieva, Gorshkov as examples.

    Somewhat simplifying these models are built as follows. One takes a dataset formed by experimental data derived from measurements. Extensiveness of the dataset used is determined by the available computer power. Then one postulates some arbitrary correlation links between the measured variables. These correlation links form the mathematical structure of the model. The plausibility of the chosen numerical parameters of the postulated correlation links is tested on the basis of the established statistical criteria. After that, using the established correlation links, one makes a forecast. If the forecast is disproved by the additional or newly available data, then the number of parameters employed in the correlation links is increased until the coincidence between the forecast and the observations becomes satisfactory. For example, in one model the global carbon cycle was modelled by 1,500 non-linear integral-differential equations, which were used to make predictions about the future increase of atmospheric CO2 concentration. When analysed in detail, many such models appear to violate the energy conservation law and/or the second law of thermodynamics (see, e.g., Makarieva, Gorshkov, Li (2004) Ecological Modelling 176: 15-26 for an example of such a model which got published in Nature).

    AM further elaborates 2008

    Based on our own scientific expertise, we can illustrate the above points with specific examples of models that were judged to be most successful based on their agreement with the data and claimed derivability from a “universal” theory, yet shown to confront the fundamental laws of nature. As one can see, the problem transcends across the natural science as a whole. The biological model of organismal growth (West et al.,Nature 2001) misinterpreted the energy conservation equation and replaced it with the one conflicting with the energy conservation law. Despite that, the model showed perfect agreement with the data. After the error was identified (Makarieva et al., 2004) it took
    the model’s authors four years to explicitly admit it (Moses et al., 2008) and re-formulate the model. The re-formulated model re-calibrated using the same data as the original (wrong) one showed equally good agreement with the data and got equally well published (Hou et al., 2008). Thus, irrespective of conflicting with the energy conservation law or not, the model agreed with the data, was widely cited and raised little concern in the reading audience. Another example is the recently criticized model of hurricanes as Carnot cycle (Emanuel, 2003), which was argued to be based on the concept equivalent
    to perpetual motion machine of the second kind (Makarieva et al., 2008).

    Interesting,let us move on to the way the Editors of Nature misquote authors we will use Mueller as an example.

    Measurement of the lunar impact record for the past 3.5 b.y.
    and implications for the Nemesis theory
    Richard A. Muller page 633

    The confusion about the stability of the Nemesis orbit was made worse by an editorial comment that appeared in the same issue of Nature as the articles by Hut, Hills, Torbett and Smoluchowski, and Clube and Napier. The comment was by Bailey (1984, p. 602), and it was titled Nemesis for Nemesis.” Bailey stated: “the Nemesis proposal is extended and shown, in fact, to be quite incapable of producing the strictly periodic sequence
    for which is was originally designed.” This was a misreading of the original Nemesis paper (Davis et al., 1984), which explicitly pointed out that the period would not be constant but would have orbit to orbit variations of several million years.Bailey’s comment also characterized the paper by Hut (1984), as a “near retraction” of the Nemesis theory. Yet Hut (1984, personal commun.) considers his paper to be a vindication of the original Nemesis calculations, not a retraction. M. Bailey (1984, personal commun.) later said that he never wrote the words “near retraction,” but that they had been inserted by the editor at Nature. An informal and unscientific survey of astronomers who discredit the Nemesis orbit (taken by me, over the following decade) showed that none of them had read the Hut paper. This is not surprising; why bother to read a paper when, according to the accompanying comment, it amounts to a near retraction?

    So much for peer review and editorial accumen

  89. kim
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    That at 9:05 was just a bit cryptic. Walt, you will not find many skeptics who believe that discrediting Mann’s Crook’d Stick discredits AGW. Most skeptics don’t believe Mann’s work has enough validity to credit or discredit AGW. The impetus for the defense of Mann’s work is from people who are afraid that if the Stick were discredited that CO2=AGW would also be discredited. It’s all a bit precious, since Nature is discrediting the dominant paradigm without any help from any mortal.
    ====================================================================

  90. MrPete
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Walt, read the report. It’s stronger than a request for better resolution. They said his work could not support “hottest in a thousand years” when that’s exactly what he claimed. That’s as close as a very deferential group could get to saying it was BS.

    Nobody here is saying discrediting the hockey stick discredits AGW. The bigger question is: when BCP’s and related data are discredited, what do you have when they are completely removed from the picture. That is a significant discussion.

  91. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If an alien came to Earth and had only two websites to view regarding climate science, one being CA and the other RC, it would be quite obvious which is more interested in science.

    RC censors, CA does not.

  92. Richard Sharpe
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack said:

    You can bet I’ll never “shoot you a link or two” to any of my publications. I’m a quite a bit smarter than that. I’m just really pissed off that Steve has disappointed me so much. I’d hoped for more.

    Did you really say that? It sounds to me like you would not like your papers to be reviewed by people.

    That seems like an unscientific attitude.

  93. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m one who makes no bones about it: paleo says nothing about AGW.

    And yet, here you all are, day by day, bashing Mann and behaving as though you’ve accomplished something.

    No matter what you may say about your intentions and beliefs, hundreds of comments committed to bashing Mann make a clear statement about where you think the fight belongs.

    • Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 10:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#140),

      hundreds of comments committed to bashing Mann make a clear statement about where you think the fight belongs

      There’s certainly a bit of Mann Derangement Syndrome going on here. The thing is, the original work was so clearly bad science badly defended that it ought to have been easy to knock it down. Anyone trying to set climate science on a more scientific basis ought to find it trivial to remove something like the MBH hockey stick from the IPCC report, get the findings of the NRC accurately reflected in wikipedia and in the media, and just generally get other scientists to stop relying on so much bad science. Especially in this, the post-Wegman, post-NRC report era. Voting Mann off the island should have been the low-hanging fruit here, merely the first order of business on the way to reaching some sensible consensus on the larger relevant body of science.

      And yet it wasn’t. The wagons were circled; the Team managed to fight off all the attacks and retain some semblance of scientific credibility and relevance despite it all.

      Which leaves informed observers with some problems, including:
      (1) If we can’t even get rid of science as bad as Mann’s, what does that say about the likely quality of the other research that went into the current consensus, in areas that haven’t been as carefully assessed? (answer: nothing good!)
      (2) If we can’t even get rid of science as bad as Mann’s, what does that say about our chances of fixing only slightly dubious scientific conclusions, conclusions that haven’t yet been the subject of multiple congressional hearings? (answer: nothing good!)

      • jimW
        Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Glen Raphael (#125),
        That is an excellent statement of what is so concerning about the whole HS kerfuffle, and why it can’t be ignored/moved on from, even if palaeo. isn’t ultimately important for AGW.
        It is disappointing that threads like this, highlighting the vacuous and arrogant level of response that Mann obviously believes adequate to bolster his case and discredit detractors from his work(and which, depressingly, seems to have done just that in the eyes of many “Team” acolytes), is still necessary at this stage of the debate. Unfortunately, it obviously is, so long as even the most clear cut instances of bad science remain unconceded.

    • Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 5:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#120),

      I’m one who makes no bones about it: paleo says nothing about AGW.
      And yet, here you all are, day by day, bashing Mann and behaving as though you’ve accomplished something.
      No matter what you may say about your intentions and beliefs, hundreds of comments committed to bashing Mann make a clear statement about where you think the fight belongs.

      Paleo says nothing about AGW, but it is the battle flag so often used to rouse the troops. If it is included in the IPCC reports and other publications intended to drive policy it should be correct. My biggest problem with paleo is their constant use of dated publications and ignorance of valid revisions of those dated publications. An incorrect publication that is well cited is still incorrect.

      Should Jack venture back, I think it would be nice for him to elaborate on the points he finds himself somewhat in agreement with Steve. With points of common ground there could be produced a productive thread. He might even enjoy himself.

  94. Robert Austin
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jack:
    It is only human to take some solace in the torments of your enemies. It is entirely clear that it was the “team” that attempted to stonewall Steve and have continuously treated him with contempt and derision. In my opinion, Steve’s humour at their expense has been relatively gentle and sophisticated, especially considering the crude invective directed against him. If Steve has disappointed you so much, how do feel about the team members behavior towards Steve and any others that dare question their work. Have you excoriated the “team” on RealClimate in the same vein as your postings here? Jack, if you have a PhD in atmospheric chemistry, you could be a valuable contributor here, if you so chose. Just stick to the science oriented threads if this type of thread causes pain.

  95. Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 10:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

    As far as I can make out all Mr. McIntyre did was post up the comments of two other people. I’m not sure why this, in particular, raised Jack’s ire. I also feel that Jack would be a lot more credible with if he would use his real name. I want to make it clear that I don’t think real names are required to participate on blogs, but if he wants to represent himself as a part of the climate science community, then he should be willing to not hide behind a pseudonym.

    As a direct response to Jack It is true that this site attracts a lot people who are skeptical about AGW, but Mr. McIntyre has made it clear that he has no particular opinion on that subject, and in fact would rely on the consensus view outside the areas he has looked into if he were making policy. From what I have read, in the areas he has looked into he has raised and published very interesting objections to the prior published research, and I think that this process is healthy. Personally I also find that part of this site entertaining.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Nicolas Nierenberg (#122),

      As far as I can make out all Mr. McIntyre did was post up the comments of two other people. I’m not sure why this, in particular, raised Jack’s ire.

      He came in angry. He was posting a lot of words in caps, lots of exclamation points and question marks all in a row. So he was just a short fuze. I guess that’s what happens when you have a PhD in “stuff”.

  96. Richard M
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 11:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I also think this may be a spooky kind of denial of service attack. Keep Steve busy so he won’t spend any time looking at Steig’s paper.

  97. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 11:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been out for a pleasant evening and returned to a food fight, where many people have broken blog policies on civility. It is possible for regular readers not to rise to every taunt. I’ve deleted numerous posts and will probably delete more in the morning.

    • Kenneth Fritsch
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#127),

      I’ve been out for a pleasant evening and returned to a food fight, where many people have broken blog policies on civility. It is possible for regular readers not to rise to every taunt. I’ve deleted numerous posts and will probably delete more in the morning.

      Though I have been guilty, on what I think were rare occasions, of rising to taunts, that rising had been minimal for awhile but seems to have increased of late. What really frustrates me about those interchanges (besides wasting bandwidth)is that someone comes on without an apparent interest in furthering our knowledge base and gets (too) much attention in these squabbles and at the same time a sincere poster makes what I see as a contribution and/or to ask a reasonable question and gets minimal to no response.

  98. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This is open again. No more foodfights please.

  99. Gerry Morrow
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I think Pete as our Mystery Man.

  100. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I would not call my comments any sort of taunt. “Bad science badly defended” is a slur. The original stufy was neither, it was a new idea which was developed in an initially crude way and refined over time.

    And the comment that validation that previous periods were as warm as today would invalidate AGW are also wrong. A complete repudiation of Mann would not in any way dent AGW theory.

    Is there anybody here who doesn’t understand that? It seems there are.

    Steve, the main complaint against you is that you seem more interested in “gotcha” games and self-publicity than contributing to the betterment of the science. You sow enormous confusion with the approach you take, and you attract many who make too much of your observations.

    And you seem fine with all of that.

    Steve: see #132 for some comments on this.

    • Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#130),
      Why does it seem to you that SteveM plays gotcha games? It doesn’t seem so to me.

      It’s true SteveM re-posted Mann’s response to Solomon. The response doesn’t reflect well on Mann.

      But how does SteveM familiarizing readers with Mann’s writing translate into “gotcha”? It’s not as if SteveM is posting articles uncovering minor typos in blog comments. Mann sent a response to the rather widely read NP. Presumably, Mann wished that to be read by a wide audience. Now it has been.

      I realize those who wish Mann to appear wise and balanced might prefer no one read the the article Mann sent to the NP, or even his responses to SteveM’s PNAS articles. After all, the content Man’s writing tends to suggest Mann thinks with his spleen rather than his brain. So, to some extent, I sympathize with your preference that no one discuss these writings. SteveM did not assist people in finding Mann’s writings.

      But Mann keeps writing these things. Evidently, he believes these things constitute some sort of rebuttal. Naturally, people are going to examine Mann’s attempt to rebut arguments and discuss whether he’s made any salient points.

      In this case, Mann’s rebuttal was nothing more than a poorly supported, emotion laden. If you read SteveM’s post carefully, you will see he actually says very little. This is because Mann’s letter to the NP is nearly self rebutting.

      Noticing the emptiness of Mann’s screed and posting links containing factual information that contradicts Mann’s claims is not, in my opinion, “playing gotcha”.

  101. ScotchTapeSmell
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 10:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Full many a gem of purest ray serene
    The dark unfathomed caves of ocean bear:
    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

    Nice arrangement of words. It takes my mind away from everything. The grace of it is out of place in the trenches of this global warming mess. It gives pleasant feelings like this song does. I think I’ll become a Thomas Gray fan.

  102. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #130. Walt, if you read what I’ve written on this, I’ve never suggested that the 1000 year paleo studies are relevant to policy studies. In this spirit, as an IPCC reviewer, I suggested that the entire paleo chapter be deleted if it wasn’t relevant to policy. However, people sometimes say to me – if the HS is wrong, then the situation is much worse than we think. My reaction is: well, then we’d better find out if it’s wrong and govern ourselves accordingly. And why would we thank people who obstructed of this determination? In this Harry thing, I observed that I did not know whether this particular error mattered. I noticed it right away as an outlier in the West Antarctic area where Steig’s results differed most from predecessor results that did not use it. Steig says that I should know somehow that this error doesn’t “matter”. Well, I don’t “know” that. As I’ve said, maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Before I examined anything in this area, I urged Steig to make his code available, since he used a technique the properties of which are not well understood. After the Harry error surfaced, I re-iterated this request so that the effects could be independently assessed by third parties such as myself. In my opinion, that was the only prudent course of action. In the event, Steig got stubborn, started throwing slurs at me and others and the case has attracted a lot of publicity. He could have nipped much of this in the bud by simply making his code public, which would have kept people like me, Jeff Id, Roman M and others busy and appreciative of his cooperation. Instead, he took a highly confrontational attitude.

  103. Bernie
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:10 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Gavin at RC has chosen an interesting way to respond to the transparency and replication issues raised by the analysis of the Steig et al paper. I will look forward to Ross’s analysis of Gavin’s paper. “Spurious” seems (a) unjustified and (b) a gauntlet.

    • Ross McKitrick
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Bernie (#134), Has Gavin posted on his IJOC paper? I will head over tomorrow to have a look. Not today–it’s very sunny here and the ice rink beckons. I am not sure how replication plays into the issue, since I posted my data and code from the get-go.

      I got a copy of Gavin’s paper (from Jos de Laat) 2 weeks ago, and Gavin sent me his data promptly in response to my request. I have been having a lot of fun with it. In his paper, Gavin shows that the coefficients weaken a bit when RSS is substituted for UAH. But he doesn’t report the joint F tests which form the basis of the conclusions about contamination. They are still strongly significant. He also points out that the coeff’s are significant when GISS data are swapped in, and claims this shows the effects are spurious. I am sure I am not the only person who has actually read the paper and noticed that to the extent they are significant the coefficients on GISS data take the opposite signs to those on the observational data. Far from showing the effects are spurious, it shows that the observations negate a significant pattern in the modeled data and make it significant in the other direction. That’s called an observable effect, not a spurious result. And since it’s a comparison of ‘clean’ GCM data versus observations it has as much causal interpretation as the 3-part ‘signal detection’ methodology in the IPCC reports. I.e. in this case it’s a “signal detection” result for non-climatic contamination of the surface data. Gavin doesn’t report a chi-squared test of parameter equivalence between coeff’s estimated on modeled and observed data (akin to the outlier test and hausman test shown in MM07), but that’s OK because he posted his data, so I have done it and parameter equivalence is strongly rejected.

      The issue of spatial autocorrelation is a huge red herring. Over a year ago I responded to the RC posting on this by writing a paper showing that spatial AC is not significant and even if we control for it anyway the results all hold up. The JGR would not publish my response unless Rasmus submitted his comment. I challenged him to do so in December of 2007 and he said it might take a while since he was getting busy with work. That’s the last I heard from him on it. I also deal with the topic in a more recent paper under review elsewhere, which I have reason to believe Rasmus has read. But when I write up my response to Gavin’s paper I’ll be sure to give the spatial AC issue a thorough discussion.

  104. Jon
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Reply

    This type of post is cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face. It rallies the fanbase but also implies that CA supports Solomon, who if not in this particular instance is like Booker and the rest of the lunatic fringe.

    This is a perfect example of why so many are dismissive of this site. It makes CA seem less like a site about honest analysis and more like a blog pathologically dedicated to attacking the work and reputations of a handful of scientists.

    It’s bush league.

    Steve: In what way did I “attack the work” of Mann or any one else here. I brought his editorial to the attention of readers and reprinted it verbatim. I do take exception with Mann’s characterization of the findings of Wegman and North and believe that I’m entitled to do so and to provide links to original material so that interested readers can assess Mann’s claims for themselves. As Lucia observes, if you don’t like what Mann and his colleagues are saying, your concerns are really best addressed to them.

    • Richard M
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jon (#137),

      snip – no need for everyone to pile on

    • MC
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jon (#137), Having read the two Solomon columns and the Mann reply as posted above, first of all thank you Steve for reprinting this. I don’t believe that this was a pot shot at Mann in any way. From Mann’s point of view the comment appears to be another example of a defensive response from a somewhat entrenched position on his part. Also I see the favorites appear: ‘disingenious’ ‘disinformation’ ‘specious’ ‘dishonest’ discredited’. As for Solomon I don’t see where he denies global warming or is a ‘fossil fuel industry shrill’ (though this impression may come from other columns). He simply states what even the IPCC state: that Antarctica presents a challenge to the current climate theories and models.
      As an aside I recently was on holiday with a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in a while and who are a mix of engineers, scientists and non-technical people. I kept my opinions to myself when they discussed about the impact of President Obama on the global policies of ‘necessary’ carbon dioxide reduction. It is surprising how strong this paradigm is rather than what would be more proactive like having discussions about the studies and the data and their validity and then trying to apply this to policies. I think that the polarisation that the Mann and Solomon interaction demonstrates is another example of how quickly the Science is Settled mentality has set in in recent years. And I believe that it is correct, as this post is probably aimed at, to sometimes step away from the details of the audit and show how the undercurrent of this polarisation is adversely affecting the actual science. This is a very interesting post.

  105. theduke
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Solomon’s response to Mann’s gratuitous attack was highly professional.

  106. Nicholas
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jon : I simply can’t understand where the charge that our host has implied support for Solomon comes from. You seem to be suggesting that if person A is trying to contradict person B, simply repeating what person A has said in an effort to expose what one feels is a response that reflects poorly on person A, is somehow a support of the position of person B. I don’t see how that logically follows.

    As for your second paragraph, perhaps it’s best for me to say no more than that it seems incredibly petty to me. Much like Mann’s comment, in fact.

  107. J.Hansford.
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 11:57 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jon, post137…. What are you on about? There is no nose, no face and no spite.

    McIntyre simply posted Manns own words and Solomons responses and leaves the interpretations to the readers….

    Just reading Manns letter, is to wade through bile… Not good at all. He is not civil, nor fully truthful in his own defence of simple criticisms….. Surely you read it Jon? Can you not see and comprehend the inconsistencies in Manns letter? Just Manns misrepresentation of the NAS findings,for a start. Or the house of representatives findings with Dr Wegman as the commissioned expert….. Surely Jon you can see that there is valid argument to criticise Micheal Mann

  108. tallbloke
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I hope Steve won’t see this as ‘piling on’ but from a layman’s point of view, this is an important issue. The Hockey Stick provides the context for AGW as it is presented to the public and non-specialist decision makers in universities and funding bodies. It is the principle evidence that the modern warming period is ‘unprecedented’. Without this hingepin, ordinary people would be entitled to ask:”What caused the medieval warm period if not co2?” Thus the whole AGW argument would be much more difficult to convince the public about.

    snip – mostly piling on, but I left a little in.

  109. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Again please do not pile on. Realize that piling on posts are likely to themselves become flowers that may well “blush unseen”.

  110. theduke
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Interview with “Mr. Lawrence:”

    http://spectator.org/archives/2008/04/18/a-time-to-deny/

    Sounds like a reasonable fellow to me.

  111. Andy
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:21 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Wow. Just wow. What a rambling, emotional rant by Mann. Why am I thinking of gorillas?

  112. Rick Ballard
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Perhaps Dr. Loehle could offer Dr. Mann some advice on professional conduct in responding to criticism? I seem to remember Dr. Loehle’s paper receiving a rather robust critique here but I can’t seem to remember his response as having descended to Team level vituperation. As I recall, Dr. Loehle provided full documentation and made corrections to errors about as soon they were discovered and confirmed.

    He behaved as one might hope a real scientist would. It’s a pity such behavior isn’t more commonplace in the field. It might lessen the earned and deserved level of mistrust.

  113. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,
    having read, laughed, cried, and then found the thread given appropriate time out, I wandered over to Blog Rules and Road Map and was delightfully surprised (giveaway: never read it before!) to find it saying so much of what appeared here, headed up by Kenneth Fritsch’s wise comments.
    You can’t force newcomers to go there first; but how about running a thread on “Scientific Method via Blog” or some such title, that everyone can join in? That way, the community here will not only produce a useful reference document, we will also actually watch ourselves in producing it, that we stay on target, and actually remember to refer folk there early on. Plenty of examples from recent events.

    Just a thought.

    • David James
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Lucy Skywalker (#147),

      Lucy S., your idea:

      but how about running a thread on “Scientific Method via Blog” or some such title, that everyone can join in?

      is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time. It seems that scientific discussions on this blog get sidetracked more often than is desired. This is perfectly normal; any topic related to AGW is going to have the added cultural/human burdens that have to be filtered out to find the science of interest.

      However, I wonder if there is anything we can do differently to improve the product?

      So, for my first ever blog post, I’d like to second your idea and suggest a thread on what constitutes good science (or good blog science). But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I’m not sure what is ‘good’ science. Perhaps this is another one of those things that you know it when you see it?

      However, I do know what is beautiful science. Beautiful science is science where two people of differing viewpoints will agree with the results/analysis, because the science is clear, open, replicable, etc. By this definition, the science of AGW isn’t very attractive in my humble view. And that is sad since I think the idea that humans can affect the climate is plausible; with merit, and deserving of study (and I think Steve M. has said as such on this blog).

      Along the lines of your suggestion, I think it would be great to have a cheat sheet that would list acronyms for judging the good/bad characteristics of scientific write ups (including Steve’s).

      So, if someone made an appeal to authority, then the ATA count could be incremented by one. This would be in the bad category of characteristics.

      Likewise, if the scientist included a link to the data/code, then the IDC (included data and code) could be incremented by one in the good category.

      The list shouldn’t be snaky (like BS bingo) but rather a serious attempt to clean up the discussion with the aim of improving the science done on blogs.

      -David

      PS, thanks for the blog Steve.

  114. Bob Mc
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think this thread has devolved into standard internet fare. The recent arrival of a few very vocal critics has resulted, IMO, in turning what is an informative website of the errors in the science of climatology into what I can best describe as the same as say, an RC-like site, only from the other side of the issue. I hope this does not occur.

    I’m not suggesting a moderator as other sites have. I am suggesting that commenters should not feed trolls, and the site hosts should exercise the power of the SnipperTM to keep the discussion on track and remove the tit-for-tat anonymous bloviating.

    I am guilty of what I classifiy as “low-level” piling on and snarky-ness. I resolve to return to the lurker balcony and merely learn.

  115. Buck
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jon: “With eyes of flame and cool intrepid breast,” you come here to defend Dr. Mann, who much has “borne from cankered critics spite.”

    But why, I must ask,”…must sickening virtue fly the tainted ground” of Climate Audit. Not that you should not. I find CA as soothing as a Calgon bath and you could use some soothing.

    But, remember Jon, (and all the other designated hitters)and Steig et al, that “one false step is ne’er retrieved/ And be with caution bold,” when it comes to ad hom remarks and unaudited studies of vague provenance.

    Steve, it is truly uplifting the work you do, raising the level of discourse. I will bear the cost with cheaper booze or none at all but I pledge $20/mo. to Climate Audit. True, soon I will be paying with a degraded currency (would Canada care to annex Tennessee?) but anyway don’t tell my wife. And I will take the official pure hemp CA tote bag for my premium.

    Best, and hopes and prayers that all is well and getting better with the little one.

  116. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’m not sure who is moderating today, but I don’t consider people here are “piling on” and being “snarky”.
    Read the letter – examine it. Please, is this how scientists who “don’t think correctly” are to be treated in the future? This kind of behaviour has to be promptly rebuffed. And many should pause to think about where emotionally-charged science could take us. I know in Germany and in Japan such emotionalism simply gets booted out of any professional circle. They don’t want anything to do with it. For them that’s for K-8 levels.

  117. Paul Maynard
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    RE Walt Bennet and Jon

    “And the comment that validation that previous periods were as warm as today would invalidate AGW are also wrong. A complete repudiation of Mann would not in any way dent AGW theory.”

    I personally think that SM is far too moderate but that is his style as is his repeated assertion that he is nor certain one way or the other as to AGW.

    However to deal with Walt’s comments, of course the HS was neither proof nor disproof of AGW (that is CO 2 lead warming), but it was fundamental to the cause as AGW proponents and modellers had a problem with the known climate variation since the MWP and at a stroke it removed them. It received tremendous prominence in TAR, was one of the key planks of Gore’s RIT and was recently presented in the BBC’s Climate Wars as factual evidence of AGW. When Mann recently asserted that the HS had been validated by “independent” studies, all the UK press reported this as fact and none of them covered the subsequent demolition of the “independence”.

    What I find surprising in the comments from the likes of Walt and Jon is that they seem to inhabit a world where they think there is doubt about AGW despite the views of Hansen and Mann. In the UK, the whole of Government, the scientific establishment and many business leaders accept the “science is settled” argument and as a result, appaling decisions are being made about all kinds of activity that will hurt the UK before not too long.

    If you want an example of the discourse, look at George Monbiot’s attack In the Guardian on Christopher Booker. Monbiot represents mainstream thinking in the UK.

    Cheers

    Paul

  118. kim
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Please trouble him not
    In his lair, the Cave
    Of the Ocean Bear.
    =======================

  119. crosspatch
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 2:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    snip – policy

  120. Andrew Thomson
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 2:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There are those on this thread who stipulate that posting comments such as these made by Mann are a distraction. I would counter that addressing such mindsets is fundamental to steering good science, particularly in the field of climatology.

    My line of work has granted me the opportunity to work across multiple scientific disciplines and I have been fortunate enough to work with a host of researchers on a good array of R&D projects. I can state that egos and bias are not immune to most areas I’ve been involved with, but they are coupled with an understanding that the best means to counter challenges are through illustrating good scientific work and portraying a professional civility that shows the researcher understands critique is a cornerstone of the scientific process.

    As I’ve looked to study the findings of climate science I think I’ve found abundantly clear two themes that by and large depict this field:

    1. It is an emerging field filled with many complex parameters and there is an exceedingly large amount to learn.
    2. There is no other field possessed with so many researchers that are so sure of themselves.

    It seems very strange that such hubris grips those where point 1. is clearly the case. I’ve read many readings from proponents and detractors to the theory of AGW and I feel comfortable in stating that there is a real problem of scientific tribalism endemic in many researchers who have fallen on one side of this field of investigation. A fact tellingly obvious when they choose to label themselves with competitive monikers such as calling themselves “The team.” The science will be embraced by a level that is substandard until this issue is met head on. Hence I think it is critical to show such clear bias and how it obviously corrupts the science.

  121. Morgan
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 2:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The idea that a reconstruction of past climate that removes the MWP does not forward the cause of AGW is simply wrong. I’m a garden-variety civilian – not a climate scientist, not a professional skeptic – but not a fool, either. And from my perspective, the AGW claim is precisely that “unprecedented” levels of CO2 will result in “unprecedented” global temperatures, and that other potential influences on climate can be discounted as explaining current warming because the climate models say CO2 is its predominant cause, and other influences have had a negligible impact. You can argue that my understanding is not technically correct, but I believe that it represents the understanding of a large portion of the public.

    The MWP, unless someone can identify extremely high levels of CO2 during it, makes that argument impossible. If the MWP was warmer than today, then other forces must have an influence that is highly relevant to the actual climate, with an impact that can, under circumstances that pertained at least as recently as a few hundred years ago, be at least as large as the impact of the change in CO2 from the MWP to today. Which raises the question – are those other influences the real cause of today’s warming?

    Until I have some reason to discount the MWP as being caused by something other than CO2, I will be very skeptical of any attempt to make everyone poorer, and to place significantly greater control over what we are (and are not) allowed to do in government’s hands – simply because some people say that suppressing CO2 emissions is the only way to avoid catastrophic, model-predicted global warming.

    In that context, a post that allows me to evaluate for myself, and come to the clear conclusion that Mann relies on ad hominem attacks and misrepresentation of the findings of “experts” to bolster his claims relative to others’ is highly relevant to me – as a member of the non-technical public – as evidence regarding the degree of credibility I should place in his reconstructions, the extent to which I should trust climate scientists generally, and the direction I should look for insights that may lead me to push political leaders in the best direction.

  122. mpaul
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann comes across as totally unhinged. Someone should check with Mann to see if this was really written by him. If this really came from Mann, then he has now been upgraded to crackpot status in my mind.

  123. Jon
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think you’re all rather missing the point. In no way did I defend anything Mann said. In no way did I complain about legitimate criticisms of his (or anyone else’s) work. This coy BS about not endorsing Solomon’s views but simply posting them verbatim will be never be seen by a passerby and they will justifiably take away a certain perspective about what this site is about. [Steve: I posted Mann's views verbatim, not Solomon's.]

    People seem to think I am complaining or attacking this blog- I’m not. I’m offering my perspective on how it can improve its image, but it appears that this advice in unwanted. Fair enough. But then I’m sure you can understand why people will group CA in with Booker, Solomon, WUWT, etc. The significance of this is probably lost on those who think that anthropogenic climate change is a hoax. I’m sure it’s not for the more rational commenters however, and those are who I am trying to reach.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Jon (#162),

      People seem to think I am complaining or attacking this blog- I’m not. I’m offering my perspective on how it can improve its image,

      It’s your opinion that it needs improving. Perhaps your opinion is wrong.

  124. stan
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:33 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Morgan (159),

    You are correct. In the end, however, the real significance of the fate of Mann’s hockey stick is not what it tells about the credibility of Mann or his methods. The real significance is what it tells us about the credibility of the climate science community that embraced it without question.

    Steve’s work on the hockey stick was how most non-scientists first learned that climate scientists don’t bother checking and replicating each other’s work. [Which makes their claims of authority (see Mann, Gavin, and Steig just in the last week) so frightening. They won't let us check them and they won't check each other.]

    The significance of the unquestioning embrace of the hockey stick is reinforced now in the impact of Anthony Watts’ surface station project. While it might ultimately make a real difference in the temperature record, it has served an even more important purpose by revealing how cavalier the climate scientists are about quality control. Every lay person that I have told about the siting issues is shocked. They simply cannot believe that Hansen et al could make the kind of pronouncements of doom that they make without first bothering to check the quality of their instruments. The general public just assumes that the science would start with the basics.

    The incentive to overreach in trying to break new ground will always be a part of science. Everyone wants to make a splash. One of the obligations that scientists owe to their field and the public is a commitment to check and replicate the claims of their fellow scientists. When they fail to do that as a community, the public suffers. And that is a big part of why credibility matters.

  125. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jon–

    I’m offering my perspective on how it can improve its image,

    I think AGW is real. I think the image of CA is excellent, it is widely read, linked and appears to be fairly influential. So, why should SteveM change the style that resulted in this good image.

    It’s likely the reason people are responding the way they are is, at best, you are perceived as describing changes you would make to presumably gain your esteem. I could, for example, visit Open Mind, RabbetRun, Real Climate and volunteer my opinion of what I think they should do to improve their poor image. I doubt the prioprietors of those blogs, or the blogs regular visitors would agree with my suggestions. When they disagreed with me, I could explain that I know I can’t convince their more rabid irrational visitors, and I’m just trying to reach the rational ones. This would likely not win anyone over.

    People are disagreeing with you, because people disagree with you.

    • Jon
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: lucia (#166),

      Widely read, sure. Influential among those who aren’t already of the mind that anthropogenic warming is being oversold if not completely fabricated? I’m not trying to knock it or the work put into it, but with all do respect I doubt I would even know about it if I didn’t actively read blogs about climate change, which I think we can safely assume makes me a member of the extreme minority.

      As I said, the advice seems unwanted, so be it. If being lumped together with those I previously mentioned is acceptable or desired, then there’s nothing to worry about.

      • theduke
        Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 6:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Jon (#168),

        Jon, if you are here to genuinely help improve the site, we should all be grateful. But the other day, you were trying to corner Steve into agreeing with Pielke jr that Gavin had stolen his idea, which in turn started a foodfight. I don’t see how this improves the site.

        Nor do I recall seeing your name over at RC calling Mann, Gavin, Steig and people like dhougaza to account for their violations of blog protocol. Maybe you have and like many of us, your comments were censored.

        You’re a pretty smart guy. You must understand that when you come on to this blog and attack it that people are going to defend it.

  126. Manfred
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 3:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

    when i assisted my girl friend a few years ago in writing her master thesis in sociology i had to read 42 sociology books – quite some work fora physicist.

    i therefore regard responding to (stop) mann’s et altri’s behaviour as “social action”, because otherwise, without a reaction, the rest of the society has to deal with or to live with it.

  127. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Look, Jon, Walt and Jack. I would love to spend less time picking spitballs off the wall. Unfortunately, they keep being thrown. In 2004, Jolliffe as a Nature reviewer said:

    I am particularly unimpressed by the MBH style of ‘shouting louder and longer so they must be right’.

    Obviously this sort of behavior continues to the present, as has been seen in the aftermarket of our hockey-stick papers.

    In passing, here’s an interesting remark by Steig slagging us at realclimate:

    [Response: A good auditor doesn’t use the same Excel spreadsheet that the company being audited does. They make their own calculations with the raw data. After all, how would they know otherwise if the Excel spreadsheet was rigged? Mike Mann articulated this distinction very thoroughly in the discussions with the National Academy during the “hockey stick” debate. You should read this material; it’s enlightening (I will post the link when I find it).

    We haven’t heard anything more from Steig on this, perhaps because Mann articulated nothing of the sort in the NAS presentations. I was there; I posted a contemporary review of Mann’s presentation here and there is no mention in my notes. Had Mann made a “thorough discussion” of such a topic, I would have mentioned it. Mann’s PPT is here .

    I notice that Mann did not correct Steig’s misapprehension by saying, “Uh, Eric. I didn’t discuss that at NAS.)

  128. Jon
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Also, the creation of, commenting, and moderating threads like these really illustrate the disingenuous nature of claims that it’s too time consuming to “audit” the occasional whopper from WUWT or Roy Spencer…

    Steve: This thread took negligible time to put together. At I’ve said on many occasions, I’m interested in mainstream science and have offered a platform here to several scientists should they wish to do an audit of the type that you propose. But they seem to be afraid of getting koodies.

  129. Jon
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    er, due respect.

  130. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jon–
    Of course if you didn’t read climate blogs, you would not have heard of this climate blog. People who don’t read climate blogs are pretty well unaware of all the climate blogs. People who don’t read knitting blogs haven’t heard of any specific knitting blogs. The same goes for football blogs, fashion blogs and blogs on a huge number of topics.

    • henry
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: lucia (#174),

      Also, if you only visited OpenMind, RabbetRun, or RealClimate, you wouldn’t have gotten here from a direct link.

      All three do not link to CA, yet CA links to all three.

      All three have heavy moderation, CA’s is lighter.

      It appears that the only reason that people visit CA is because the three mentioned blogs have a visible hatred for this site, and people want to see what the fuss is all about.

      • JimB
        Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: henry (#209),

        Thus proving the old saying “Any press is GOOD press.”

        JimB

  131. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #162, 168. There is very little discussion at this site of “traditional” skeptic causes. This is a frequent ground of complaint on both sides. I’ve said on many occasions that my interest is in mainstream science. In order to place Mann’s epistle in context, it was relevant to link to Solomon’s piece that initiated it and his reply.

    I don’t believe that visitors to this site are such delicate flowers that a mere link to Solomon’s column at the National Post suffices to dismiss everything at this site. In my opinion, anyone who has such a reaction is simply looking for a pretext.

    And we know that we at least have an audience of one in the climate science community.

    Psssst, Gavin, there’s something about Mary.

  132. oakgeo
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Psssst, Gavin, there’s something about Mary.

    LOL. Here we do again…

  133. PaulM
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    jon, it is not clear what point, if any, you are trying to make. If Roy Spencer, or Watts, had a Nature front cover that was based on faulty data, you might have a point.

  134. Andy
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:35 PM | Permalink | Reply

    A good auditor doesn’t use the same Excel spreadsheet that the company being audited does. They make their own calculations with the raw data.

    As a practicing CPA in industry who is audited annually … and who used to be an auditor … I’ll just say it’s apparent that Steig has never been through an audit. In fact, financial auditors do exactly what Steig claims they do not. They take data provided by management, including many an Excel spreadsheet, and confirm it through various methods.

    Performing an audit using only the source material (invoices, canceled checks, bank statements, etc.) is very uncommon and only used in rare cases … for example, in forensic audits where fraud is known or suspected. (avoiding insertion of a snippable comment here is difficult)

  135. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 4:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I, for one, think that Jon improves the discourse on this blog. Naturally when everyone jumps all over everything he says he gets defensive. Shouting down people who disagree does not make this blog entertaining.

  136. Bernie
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 6:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen

    This hardly holds for one of the protagonists here!

    Narcissus was a Mann
    Who thought much
    Of himself
    And little of others

  137. W F Lenihan
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 8:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re Jim Edwards (#100):
    The public person exception in defamation law is unique to the US. In the case, NY Times v Sullivan, the US Supreme Court departed from traditional common law rules and created the exception.

    Solomon would be well advised to sue Mann in Canada where the exception does not exist.

    Falsely accusing a person of being a paid shill for the fossil fuel industry and publishing lies in a tabloid newspaper that are the truth is obviously malacious and intentional.

    snip

  138. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 8:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #183. As I mentioned above, too many readers talk tough about suing. It’s expensive and time-consuming. I’d be hugely surprised if Solomon bothered.

    • Richard
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#184), I agree with you about expense and time – but you never know – Mann’s accusations and language appear to be an easy target for a pro bono lawyer wanting to nail him, if he’s wanting to prove a point. Not that I’d want to be the lawyer or Soloman!

    • bender
      Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#184),
      I just want Solomon to know he’s in the right. That’s all.

  139. theduke
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:07 PM | Permalink | Reply

    It may be that Mann is hoping to be sued to provide a platform to defend his work and to allow himself to wallow in the publicity such a trial would generate.

    It wouldn’t surprise me. His work seems as much designed to draw attention to himself as it does to advance the science of climatology.

  140. JR
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
    And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

    Jane Austen fans amongst the readership may recognise these lines from the novel, Emma. They’re quoted (actually misquoted (fragrance for sweetness)) by the character, Augusta Elton, as a sign of her ill-bred pretentiousness.

    • Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 3:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JR (#186),
      While I love Jane Austin, in this case the most apropos place these lines are quoted must surely be in the final pages of C. S. Peirce’s “How to Make Our Ideas Clear”, where Peirce says that “all the followers of science are animated by a cheerful hope that the processes of investigation, if only pushed far enough, will give one certain solution to each question to which they apply it.”

  141. JR
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    BTW, that last post shouldn’t be construed as my having a pop at SteveM. Fact of the matter is that I’m an advocate of man-made global cooling. I’ve just bulk-bought a consignment of electric blankets which should see me through to at least 2050.

  142. Bernie
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    JR:
    Many thanks.
    Thomas Gray and Jane Austen! I came to a hockey game and literary festival broke out!

  143. Caleb
    Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 9:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I first found this site back in August 2007, after I read about it in an article in the Toronto Star. The big news at that time was that 1998 had been demoted by NASA from its position as “warmest year.” I was somewhat shocked, for at that time I assumed data was data, and temperatures were simply read from thermometers. Up until then I accepted NASA press releases as gospel. The concept of “adjustments” being involved was like a slap on the side of my head. In my eyes NASA data sank to the level of CIA data; data seemingly was fudged, the intent being to sway the public’s mood, irregardless of the truth.

    I felt somewhat indignant about this being done to me, and expressed my indignation to my friends, who are largely tree-huggers, as I myself am. Rather than equally indignant, the reaction of one tree-hugger friend (who I greatly respected) surprised me. I was soundly scolded.

    Apparently I was not the only one who had discovered this site. The site was discovered, and mentioned by, Rush Limbaugh, (which resulted in the site being very hard to get to, for a couple days, as thousands visited.)

    The simple fact the site had been visited by Rush Limbaugh made me, in the eyes of my tree-hugging friend, something called a “ditto head.” I tried to tell him that I hadn’t heard about the site by listening to Rush Limbaugh, but my friend wouldn’t listen. He launched into a diatribe about “people like me,” calling me “mindless” and “a puppet of Big Oil,” and a number of other unflattering things.

    I was taken aback, to say the least. Because I respected the fellow, I went back and was very careful to double-check all my facts. However there was no getting around it; CA hadn’t changed the NASA data; it was Hansen himself. Then Hansen changed the data again, a couple of weeks later, and 1998 was suddenly “tied for first place.”

    All of this meant little to my fellow tree-hugger, who I found myself respecting less and less. The only fact he seemed to care about was that this site was mentioned by Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh apparently is the kiss of death, to certain intellects.

    As my friend became a former-friend, he made me embarrassed to be a tree-hugger. At times I felt I was in some Grade-B movie about World War Two, and he was over-playing the part of a German interrogator, shouting, “Lies! Lies! Lies!” …When all I was doing was bringing up the truth.

    As I read Mann’s response to Lawrence Solomon I get the same feeling. There are the same references to “Big Oil,” the use of words like “shill,” and the same constant implication that Mr. Solomon is lying. In essence it boils down to “Lies! Lies! Lies!” …When all Mr. Solomon was doing was bringing up the truth.

    Truth is a very important thing, and I like to think most tree-huggers became tree-huggers because they prefer Truth to raping the environment for short-term gain. Most tree-huggers see Nature as a Truth we must live within, rather than a foe we must war against. However the important thing is the Truth.

    snip

    It is important to confront Mann, and to rebuke him soundly. I admire this site because it is so civil, and adheres to unspoken laws of civil procedure, however at times I feel it is simply too polite. It is difficult to rebuke anyone here, without getting snipped.

    Steve: perhaps so, but that’s policy here. snip – I may snip more. Sorry bout that.

    • Richard
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:46 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Caleb (#191), I think civility is the way to go and the level of it is to be admired on this website. But speaking personally, when I try to post on RC, I get rejected as soon as some probing questions are asked. Thus, regrettably I think some of the snark from that process spins off to here. But civil is the way to go – so keep snipping Steve. And Caleb, some people need causes and no amount of logic will help them. As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think.

  144. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 3:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Psssst, Gavin, there’s something about Mary.

    Steve, if you’re allowing yourself to make this kind of adolescent jokes, then why do you not only snip my much more moderate messages but delete them completely? Reversed censorship in CA??

    Don’t let this brief victory carry you away from the real task, tearing down the flawed climate science with their models. Don’t let this drag you in a personal catfight withg the usual suspects. Don’t wrestle with pigs, it’ll get you dirty and the pigs like it.

    I mentioned the crumbling AGW empire in one of my earlier deleted messages, now Pielke Jr is telling exactly the same on his website, so what did I do wrong?

  145. JimB
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 6:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Stan (4:34)
    In the end, however, the real significance of the fate of Mann’s hockey stick is not what it tells about the credibility of Mann or his methods. The real significance is what it tells us about the credibility of the climate science community that embraced it without question.”

    I think there is actually a third element in all this that definitely impacts the debate. If we removed politics from the picture, we’d be left with a scientific debate, with many scientists on both sides of the fence to contribute. With politics comes MSM…and the rest is what it is.

    JimB

    • bender
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: JimB (#197),

      If we removed politics from the picture, we’d be left with a scientific debate

      The scientific hypothesis is that the planet is melting. How are you going to remove politics from THAT? All scientific debate takes place in a political context. Always has and always will.

      • JimB
        Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#200),

        I guess the point that I was attempting to make, albeit poorly, is that the people I speak with build their opinion on political statements in the media as opposed to scientific studies or papers, and the items they use are political in nature, masquerading as science.

        JimB

  146. Navy bob
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 9:21 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Interesting essay by Theodore Dalrymple (Life at the Bottom) on certain intellectuals’ need to cling to ideology for meaning in their lives and their unhingement when it’s threatened.
    http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_1_otbie-ideology.html

  147. Jeremy
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The speed at which a blog that only asks simple questions about what should be basic science underwriting is labeled part of the “outcast-camp” of “AGW deniers” is breathtaking. It seems that if you are not wholly with them, you are against them. Some margin in this behavior is acceptable considering this is the internet.

    Yet, with all the crying foul over Steve’s style and posts in the last two weeks, it is nearly impossible to not attribute some amount of weakness to the reasoning behind paradigms whose supporters react so quickly and shrilly to what amount to basic questions no matter how facetiously posed.

    It seems, Steve, that all your efforts at maintaining civility and keeping the discourse on topic have come to nothing. In the eyes of those you most want to listen to you, the equity with which they are being treated to here is ignored in favor of the perception of being attacked.

  148. W F Lenihan
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mr Mc Intyre:

    “#183. As I mentioned above, too many readers talk tough about suing. It’s expensive and time-consuming. I’d be hugely surprised if Solomon bothered.”

    Dr Mann is counting on your view of litigation prevailing. Sometimes you just have to “sue the bastard” in order to stop egregious conduct. Those who sleep on their rights frequently get screwed.

    Steve:
    It’s not Solomon’s job to “stop egregious conduct” nor should he waste his money in such an effort. I would submit that the obligation to “stop egregious conduct”, if such exists, rests with responsible people in the climate science “community” as they style themselves, not with newspaper reporters in Canada.

    • stan
      Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 6:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: W F Lenihan (#201),

      Steve’s response is the most important one noted on this thread —

      Steve: It’s not Solomon’s job to “stop egregious conduct” nor should he waste his money in such an effort. I would submit that the obligation to “stop egregious conduct”, if such exists, rests with responsible people in the climate science “community” as they style themselves, not with newspaper reporters in Canada.

      Improving the state of the science is up to the climate science community. Bizarre statistical methods, lack of transparency, nasty attacks on those who disagree, etc. will stop when those scientists want it to stop. Science will continue to be dragged through the mud and the “fertilizer” until they do.

  149. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

    The speed at which a blog that only asks simple questions about what should be basic science underwriting is labeled part of the “outcast-camp” of “AGW deniers” is breathtaking. It seems that if you are not wholly with them, you are against them.

    It puzzles me as well. One of Tamino’s readers observed that raising issues with things like bristlecones and PCs should not in itself occasion outrage, but got shouted down over there.

  150. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    #198, Jim B.:

    Aside from agreeing with Steve regarding most talk of law suits being “all hat and no cattle”…in the end, what would the court decision be?

    “yes, Mann is guilty of libel”.

    Ok?…and this means what in terms of furthering the debate regarding the Team or the Stick?

    Not much, I think.

    At the moment, there are two articles in the ether: “He lied” and “No I didn’t, his work has holes.” How are the vast number of voters supposed to discern who’s right ? We know which side the NY Times editorial board is likely to believe. This is a PR battle. This is a rare opportunity where a court of law could actually decide a justiciable issue about alarmism.

    The plaintiff’s argument would be very short:
    Mann wrote an article calling Solomon a liar [implying dishonesty in Solomon's chosen profession], caused the defamatory article to be published, and a lot of people probably read it, and Solomon’s reputation was impaired. [extent of damages would take longer]

    Mann would then be faced with choosing between:
    1) Not disputing that he lied, but arguing that damage to Solomon’s reputation was minimal,
    2) Doing nothing, and gambling on the result
    3) Offering a financial settlement
    4) Arguing that it was true that “Mr. Lawrence repeatedly lies about my work, the work of my colleagues, the findings of the scientific community, and even the judgments of the world’s leading scientific organizations and journals.”

    In order to prove this, Mann would have to submit to hostile examination under oath, and demonstrate to the court where Solomon had mischaracterized BOTH Mann’s reconstructions AND the NAS / Wegman reports. Failure to do both would mean a victory for Solomon. Expert witnesses such as Wegman and North could give testimony to guide the court.

    Nobody likes to be involved in litigation, but Solomon’s time and testimony are unnecessary to prevail here. All that’s needed is a pro bono attorney, Solomon’s consent, and a copy of Mann’s article. Likely costs would include deposition costs and court fees. It’s worth noting that most lawsuits settle. The likely outcome of a libel lawsuit by Solomon would be a full, public apology by Mann – assuming Solomon hasn’t lied repeatedly, as Mann claims. Maybe a little crow in his tummy would get Mann to think before he spouts off about his ‘enemies’.

  151. JimB
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Jim Edwards:
    “This is a rare opportunity where a court of law could actually decide a justiciable issue about alarmism.”

    I disagree, which is my point. In a libel suit brought against Mann, the court would decide whether or not Mann’s statements about Solomon were “libelous”. Most of us feel they were.

    But such a law suit would have absolutely nothing to do with Mann’s scientific findings, and THAT’S what most of us would like to see challenged.

    JimB

  152. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    W F Lenihan, #184:

    Thanks, I know about Sullivan, which was an indirect result of Alabama segregationists’ outrageous reaction to the Montgomery bus boycott. Canada and the UK didn’t have the same modern struggle over government-mandated apartheid that we did [or a First Amendment], so they didn’t end up developing this rule.

    As Steve M. says, I wouldn’t bet on Solomon pursuing this in court. If he did, Canada probably wouldn’t work, b/c Solomon would have no way of compelling Mann to respond in a foreign court. The likely forum would be Mann’s state of residence [Pennsylvania ?].

    My point in #100 was that the “public figure” rule may protect the newspaper that published Mann’s article, but it does little for Mann b/c he has complete knowledge of the specifics of his own work. If Solomon was factually correct in his criticisms, Mann can’t seek refuge in negligence. He has actual knowledge of the facts in dispute; he doesn’t get to make a ‘mistake’ and call Solomon a liar.

  153. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jim B., #205:

    In a libel suit brought against Mann, the court would decide whether or not Mann’s statements about Solomon were “libelous”. Most of us feel they were.

    That would be the first part of the trial [plaintiff's]. It would be exceptionally short.

    But such a law suit would have absolutely nothing to do with Mann’s scientific findings, and THAT’S what most of us would like to see challenged.

    If Mann wanted to defend himself, that’s EXACTLY what it would be about. See my Mann’s option number 4 (#204). Right now, one group [apparently, including Solomon] claims Wegman buried the hockey stick. Another group claims NAS / North upheld the stick. In order to prove the truth of Mann’s claim that Solomon “repeatedly lies”, Mann would have to demonstrate to the court that Mann’s interpretation of NAS was correct, not Solomon’s. The court would have to determine as an intermediate fact whether or not NAS “upheld” the stick or, essentially, agreed with Wegman on the important points. Sworn Congressional testimony could be helpful on this point.

    Mann would argue: “the National Academy agrees with me” and the court could rule “No, it doesn’t.”

  154. theduke
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 12:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    There was an interesting libel case filed by Dr. S. Fred Singer against Dr. Justin Lancaster in which Lancaster was forced to write a retraction. (He has since retracted the retraction.)

    You can find Dr. Singer’s version of the events surrounding the case here:

    http://www.urban-renaissance.org/urbanren/Revelle-GoreStory.pdf

  155. Eric
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 1:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am a big fan of CA and the work of Steve and Ross. As such, I feel it necessary to point out that the response to Jack’s original post is sad evidence of the validity of his assertions in post #41.

    This is no longer a place where objective discussion is possible. The level of dialogue here is now no better than at RC. That is too bad.

    • jae
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 3:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Eric (#212),

      This is no longer a place where objective discussion is possible. The level of dialogue here is now no better than at RC. That is too bad.

      At least there are two sides to the dialogue here :)

    • Dale S
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Eric (#212),

      The assertions made by Jack in #41 all had to do with Steve McIntryre’s actions and especially with his motivations. It’s hard for me to see how the actions of others (not Steve) in throwing verbal darts at Jack provide “sad evidence of the validity of his assertions.”

      Objective discussion will never be possible in a thread about motivations.

    • John M
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 6:18 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Eric (#212),

      Eric, if you look at the responses to Jack’s original comment (#41), they are fairly civil, especially considering that even in #41, he felt the need to use terms like “vendetta”, “somewhat amateurish”, and “soap-opera-esk series of who-dunnits”, not to mention using quotes to describe Steve’s “work” and his “followers”.

      It was after #49 that Jack unleashed accusations of “stooping to the level of thumbing noses and finger pointing is childish” that the roof clearly caved in. It gave every appearance that he came here looking for a fight, and unfortunately for everyone, he found one. (Look at #59 too, anything before that merit that type of response?)

      Now, Bruce’s response to you…that could have been throttled back.

  156. Manfred
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 1:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    i think the success of this site is related to the full transparancy and the availability of methods, code and data.

    here, climate science students have a chance to learn basics in statistics and data archiving, if otherwise they are only presented prosa and colorful pictures from some of their teachers or some of the AGW supporting internet sites.

  157. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 1:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If people are actually going to start suing others for libel in the field of climate change, then expect a huge backlog in the courts the years ahead. Unfortunately mudraking, smearing etc. has become the norm in climate science communication.

    This science dispute is going to be settled by Nature only. Probably many of us will not even live long enough to see the verdict, which will only be known years down the road…2030+.

  158. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Pierre Gosselin, #214:

    Sadly, true, but one of the major reasons we have tort law is to deter bad / dangerous / negligent behavior. Lawsuits are certainly overdone, but the fact that there are SOME lawsuits does serve to cause a lot of people to think before acting. A succesful suit could serve as a nice warning shot to the community to rein themselves in, a little.

    The academics might not take the hint, but I suspect their universities would clue them in, quickly.

  159. Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 2:47 PM | Permalink | Reply

    What I want to know is: How does Dr. Mann get onto the inside track and get his comments published on Google News, conveniently attached to news items about Mann?

    Is this Google service available to ordinary mortals? Or do you have to be invited by the Google god?

  160. Bruce
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 3:29 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Eric, “the response to Jack’s original post is sad evidence of the validity of his assertions ”

    I feel it is evidence that trolls dropping by to slag their enemies is not tolerated well here. Dissent is tolerated. It is welcomed if it is based on facts.

    AGW propoents do not have a monopoly on name calling … but they did set the standard and I think Steve tries to set a different standard. One that Jack failed. I think I’ve been snipped for less offensive posts that Jack’s.

    I am quite sad that Steve allows trolls like Jack to name call and the rest of us are snipped.

    • Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 4:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Bruce (#219),

      Why would you say something like that? Incoming snarkieness is one thing and outgoing snarkiness another. Censoring the incoming is what RC and many other blogs feel is needed. It is maintaining the civility of your regulars that is the key to a successful blog. Civil responses to uncivil attacks win the day.

      • M. Jeff
        Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 7:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: captdallas2 (#221),

        Civil responses to uncivil attacks win the day.

        Even though my uncivil comment concerning Jack was one of those deleted by Steve, you are correct.

      • henry
        Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 7:42 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: captdallas2 (#221),

        Censoring the incoming is what RC and many other blogs feel is needed. It is maintaining the civility of your regulars that is the key to a successful blog. Civil responses to uncivil attacks win the day.

        And yet, civil questions to RC, Tamino, or Rabbett are often met with uncivil responses. that is, if the question even makes it through…

  161. Jepe
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 4:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Jim Edwards (#206)

    4) Arguing that it was true that “Mr. Lawrence repeatedly lies about my work, the work of my colleagues, the findings of the scientific community, and even the judgments of the world’s leading scientific organizations and journals.”

    I do remember that Mr.Solomon was accused of misrepresenting Dr.Sami Solanki and Dr.Nigel Weiss in his newspaper series “The deniers” in the National Post.

    Solanki’s reply

    This was probably an unfortunate mistake of Mr. Solomon (he apologized), but others could frame this as a deliberate lie.

  162. jim edwards
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 4:52 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Jepe, #222:

    Well, “lies” implies bad intent that is not required to make a mistaken description of somebody’s views. Just b/c you make a mistake doesn’t mean you deserve to be called a liar.

    Assuming that Solomon DID tell “lies” about Solanki and Weiss on more than one occasion (i.e. – “repeatedly”), then Mann would have an absolute defense [TRUTH] against a charge of libel for claiming that Solomon “repeatedly lies about … the work of my colleagues.”

    The fact that Solomon has been accused of misrepresentation of Mann’s colleagues could be sufficient to give Mann a defense, even if Solomon never lied about them. [Because Solomon is a limited public figure]

    A defense against that particular libel claim wouldn’t give Mann any defense against the three other libel claims, however:

    Solomon “repeatedly lies about my work …”

    Solomon “repeatedly lies about … the findings of the scientific community…”

    Solomon “repeatedly lies about … the judgments of the world’s leading scientific organizations and journals.”

    If Solomon sues, he gets to pick which of these four libelous remarks he wishes to pursue, as well as a potentially defamatory remark that Solomon’s “disinformation efforts” are “support(ed) financially” by “the fossil fuel industry”, and the claim that Solomon is “Doing the bidding of the fossil fuel industry.”

  163. Jepe
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 5:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

    @Jim Edwards (#223)
    I am not an expert in law, so I hope you are right. Character assassination is not the way to solve scientific disputes.

  164. Peter Wilson
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 8:16 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann’s confident assertion that Mr Solomon is funded by fossil fuel interests is particularly improbable, especially as Mr Solomon appears to have been a thorn in the energy industry’s side for some time. I also note that a search of the Exxonsecerets website shows no mention whatever of Lawrence Solomon – they don’t usually miss a dollar!. I would be interested to hear where Dr Mann gets his information from?

    Of course, he wouldn’t publish that if it wasn’t true would he – surely he could be sued if that was the case?

  165. jae
    Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 9:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The “oil-industry-funded-whatever” argument is one of the stupidest strawmen out there. I am amazed that the euridite university professors cannot be more creative. Because, folks, the oil industry has the resources to buy into whatever makes profits, and they will probably OWN whatever becomes the holy grail, be it solar, wind, carbon credits, etc. You have to be pretty naieve to live in a capitalistic society and not know this. Ever heard of T Boone Pickens?
    Dr. Mann, what do you say? What do you want to bet that a sizable portion of your retirement funds are invested in Mobile-Exxon?

  166. Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 10:05 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: 135

    Steve plays gotcha games by revealing his findings to his adoring throngs, rather than calling or visiting or writing the scientists themselves. He evidently prefers the public forum. We are all free to speculate as to why.

    My opinion is that it feeds the whole idea that AGW can be classified as either “true” or “not true”, when of course it is both. Science advances in baby steps, and some of those steps are off a cliff, and some of those steps are backward, but they all advance the science.

    The lay public has little chance of understanding that and will only understand that there is noise.

    A pox on all our houses. We deserve the fate toward which we are so blindly charging.

    • bender
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#232),
      He “writes to scientists themselves”. – snip – Read the blog and then you’ll understand his modus operandi.

      • Walt Bennett
        Posted Feb 14, 2009 at 9:45 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#232), Steve, how did this ad-hom slip through?

        Steve: Because posters can post in real time, I’m not online 24-7 and have other things to do. I ask posters to comply with blog rules, but they don’t always do so. I ask people to notify me of such breaches of blog politeness policy rather than get into food fights. The errant word has now been snipped.

    • D. Patterson
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 11:13 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#232),

      Steve plays gotcha games by revealing his findings to his adoring throngs, rather than calling or visiting or writing the scientists themselves. He evidently prefers the public forum. We are all free to speculate as to why.

      We don’t need to speculate at all. If you had either made yourself familiar with the origins of this blog or not ignored those origins, you would not have made such a patently irrational comment. Steve McIntyre was submitting his findings as an offical IPCC reviewer direclty to the appropriate scientists. When his inquiries and findings did not satisfactorily support the long-standing (1970s) a priori WMO and subsequent IPCC conclusion that AGW was already a proven fact, he was progressively asked to NOT visit or write the scientists he is now reviewing. This blog came into existence AFTER the IPCC and scientists promoting AGW began to refuse their cooperation to Steve and other researchers contributing and not contributing to the IPCC reports and reviews. Not even the law courts necessarily require a plaintiff to undertake an unreasonable act of futiilty simply to maintain proof of due diligence. True scientific research requires a relentless search for errors in scientific papers, experiments, and data. Anything less is non-scientific faith. Are you perhaps implying Steve must pursue the authors with his findings until they take out a court ordered restraining order, before you’ll cease accusations of failing to communicate first with the authors (smile)?

    • Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 7:19 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#230),
      Walt Bennett, like many others before him, misrepresents this blog and its motives.
      His two post are also self-contradictory. In one he accuses SM of feeding the unhelpful ‘two sides’ view, and in the next demands to know which ‘side’ Steve is on. Walt, Jon and Jack should actually read the blog, rather than just exposing their ill-informed misconceptions.
      Of course, there is also much misrepresentation of Steve and his motives on the skeptic side.

    • Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 10:53 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#230),

      rather than calling or visiting or writing the scientists themselves.

      Reminds me of funny story, Steve wrote to a scientist, asking how confidence intervals of results in one paper were computed. The paper in question is probably the most famous climate science paper, and there is a word ‘uncertainties’ in the title. The response was:

      “Time to move on”
      :)

  167. Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 10:11 PM | Permalink | Reply

    re: 133

    Steve, thanks for the direct response.

    I take no issue with your role, and in fact I am quite sure it leads to better science. Your rhetorical approach, however, bothers me greatly. You come across – to me – as mocking the efforts of other climate scientists, and implicitly challenging their objectivity.

    In so doing, you feed directly into the mindset of those who look for anything they can cling to as an excuse to reject AGW. Simplistic, sure, and not your fault. But you do feed into the problem, and as magnified as your role has become, so does that magnify the problem.

    We would all be better off as a species and as caretakers of the planet of you would make it clear which side you’re on (the side of good science, I hope) and angle your efforts to maximize that role.

    I don’t expect anything to change, but that is how I see it. All this taking of sides is getting us nowhere.

    • bender
      Posted Feb 9, 2009 at 10:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#233),

      implicitly challenging their objectivity

      Steig’s objectivity – for example – needs to be challenged. He is clearly guilty of confirmation bias. He saw a pattern and tried to make hay of it without checking the quality of the underlying data. Serious errors were found that change the weight and nature of his argument (the warming turns out to be localized, not widespread).

      Steve:
      we know that there are problems in some of the data, but the impact hasn’t been worked through yet.

      • curious
        Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 12:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: bender (#233),
        Hear, Hear, Bender.

        That’s what is shocking to me as an outsider trying to follow it. This is one of the biggest issues of our times and that paper was not going to be quietly stumbled upon in the reading room of a uni. library – it could only have been headlines around the world. Why wasn’t that data checked and triple checked? And why aren’t the authors mortified?

        Sorry if this is piling on – feel free to snip.

        • bender
          Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

          Re: curious (#241),
          Is climate science tainted by confirmation bias when it comes to hypothesis testing?
          (1) Michael Mann and his “dozens of independent investigators” can’t seem to cure their addiction to one non-independent ingredient: Graybill’s bristlecone pines.
          (2) Steig’s case presented earlier
          (3) Now Schmidt (2009), in his haste to lay waste to M&M07, ignores the real meaning of his negative coefficients.
          (4) All asserting that Jones et al have correctly estimated the “urban heat island” effect as being trivially small and corrected-for, when MM07 hints strongly otherwise – that there are other localized anthropogenic effects still not corrected for.
          (5) Not to mention the well-documented biases in scientific reporting by the hurricane climatologists.

          To me, it is clear that a confirmation bias exists. Is it a problem? That’s the question.

        • David Jay
          Posted Feb 13, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

          Re: bender (#242),

          Michael Mann and his “dozens of independent investigators” can’t seem to cure their addiction to one non-independent ingredient: Graybill’s bristlecone pines

          And of course it is worse than that, it starts with Graybill but the 20th century gets air-brushed over with instrumental data.

    • Ross McKitrick
      Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 1:00 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#231), Walt, Steve sometimes shows me bits and pieces of his offline correspondence with scientists in which he writes seeking data or clarification. When people respond offline in a constructive way then the issue stays offline, even if errors emerge. If Steve takes a dispute public it was almost certainly preceded by an unsuccessful attempt to get the information privately.

      • Walt Bennett
        Posted Feb 14, 2009 at 9:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Ross McKitrick (#244), Ross, what a pretty face to put on things. Of course, that does not explain why Steve writes in an inflammatory tone (“Egregious!” “Insane!” and why her permits threads to wander into all sorts of ad hom territory.

        There are, however, good possible explanations for those behaviors.

        I just love the moral high ground the purveyors of this blog and their cronies have reserved for themselves.

        Just what the science needs.

        Steve: Can you identify for me where I’ve written “Egregious!” “Insane!” in an “inflammatory tone” or otherwise? I’m not an exclamation mark sort of person and these usages don’t accord with my own sense of my writing style. I searched these terms in head threads and only located one use of the word “insane” in a head post in the entire history of CA: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3097 where it was a quote from a financial blogger about CDS credit ratings. I likewise searched the term “egregious” in head posts and found no uses of the word with an exclamation mark or inflammatory tone. “Egregious” was used 16 times in nearly 1800 head posts, of which about half were quotations from mainstream climate scientists.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4314
        Rather that “auditing” our paper, you should be directing your attention to the 2007 IJoC paper published by David Douglass et al., which contains an egregious statistical error.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3082
        The most egregious example is when the temperature sensor becomes coated with ice in a rain cloud, in which case upper tropospheric temperatures can be as much as 20 C too warm.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=725
        Even without technical training or a statistical background, you should have an adequate basis for discerning which of the two parties is likely wrong here. Only one of the parties involved has (1) had their claims fail scientific peer-review, (2) produced a reconstruction that is completely at odds with all other existing estimates (note that there is no sign of the anomalous 15th century warmth claimed by MM in any of the roughly dozen other model and proxy-based estimates shown here), and (3) been established to have made egregious elementary errors in other published work that render the work thoroughly invalid. These observations would seem quite telling. -mike]

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=262
        And so McIntyre himself has made a much more egregious methodological error by estimating this temperature rise that is completely out of whack with the original data.

        I’ve used the word “egregious” in a head post only once in the last year:
        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3393
        The editors of Climatic Change didn’t have any information about the SI. When I contacted Caspar Ammann for the SI, he replied early this year in the typically ‘gracious’ Team style:
        why would I even bother answering your questions, isn’t that just lost time?
        So this became one more issue on the blog. Some readers get tired of the litany of non-compliance. Look, I get tired of the non-compliance too. Ammann’s case was particularly egregious because the article actually referred to and relied on the SI, which was then withheld.

        On earlier occasions, I used the word in head posts as follows:
        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2536
        It is a red-letter rule in business that transactions between a company and its insiders or employees must be disclosed. Some of the most egregious breaches by Enron were its attempts to avoid disclosure of writeoffs by selling worthless assets to the infamous limited partnerships organized by company insiders for equally worthless paper issued by the partnerships. Company insiders cannot evade securities laws by pretending to be be acting in a “personal capacity”.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2525
        While my primary interest in these ruminations is the possibility of pinning down a set of standards by which they agree that a study is “bad” – since it’s hard for me to determine any sins in Courtillot et al 2007 that are not committed more egregiously in MBH, there are some intriguing issues connecting SST bucket adjustments to attempts to assess solar correlation.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=2522
        As it turns out, I agree with most of his criticisms, but, as so often in climate science, Pierrehumbert (or the “Chevalier”) is silent on similar or more egregious transgressions by his fellow RC coauthors or IPCC.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=1056
        For today, I’m simply going to collate various Thompson versions. Now the differences are not as egregious as Guliya (which has been discussed recently) but the differences are intriguing.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=715
        While the panel mentions our concern over biased choice of series, they did not discuss an egregious situation that we presented to them. In 1998, updated sampling at the Polar Urals site resulted in a series with elevated MWP values, as opposed to previous results used in earlier multiproxy studies which had low MWP values at this site. At about the same time, a site about 100 miles away (Yamal) was developed which had a very pronounced HS-shape. This site was substituted for the Polar Urals site in all but one multiproxy reconstruction.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=629
        wouldn’t characterise the WSJ as ‘critics’ and yet they clearly think that M&M are offering an alternate reconstruction. It’s just one more thing they get wrong… -gavin]

        Some misrepresentations of our position are particularly egregious.

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=369
        I’ve done so with Crowley and Mann because of their egregious public misrepresentations of the actual correspondence.)

        http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=307
        I was under the impression that CRU was supposed to have quality control systems in place to pick up egregious outliers like this. It would be a good idea for some one to scrutinize the procedures and see what happened in this case.

        In the comment threads, I have never used either of the terms “Egregious!” and “Insane!” with an exclamation mark and, as noted above, this alleged usage seems completely foreign to my own sense of writing style. I’ve used the term “insane” in a comment thread on only three occasions, once to describe the voting volume in the 2007 blog awards.

        In the last year in comment threads, I’ve only used the word egregious twice:

        Folks, as always, I urge people not to over-generalize. We have here a particularly egregious example of Texas Sharpshooting, one that interests me because I have a personal involvement in the dispute. And yes, Texas Sharpshooting is a problem with Team paleoclimate studies. But not everything in the world is Texas Sharpshooting. When people try to go a bridge too far, as readers often do, all it does is generate easy ripostes for critics of this site. They point to the exaggerated claim – one that I didn’t make – and then use that as an excuse not to consider the issue that prompted the post.

        Ross observed on one occasion:
        Looks like “egregious” is the new favourite team adjective. All our methods are rigorous and conservative, all your errors are egregious.

        • Mark Weston
          Posted Feb 15, 2009 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

          Re: Walt Bennett (#256),

          Umm, yeah. If you’re going to complain that bitterly about ad hom and an inflammatory tone, you might want to re-examine your own writing style.

        • PhilH
          Posted Feb 15, 2009 at 11:16 AM | Permalink

          Re: Walt Bennett (#256),

          “Just what science needs.”

          If you have anything to contribute to the science that’s discussed constantly on this site, Walt, I’m sure it would be appreciated.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

          Re: Walt Bennett (#256),

          Walt, you never justified or withdrawn your drive-by accusation that I’d written “Egregious!” “Insane!” in an “inflammatory tone”, which I refuted in detail in inline comment. The accusation was untrue and without any foundation.

    • BarryW
      Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 3:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#231),

      Your comment shows a built in bias. What about those who look for anything they can find as an excuse to cling to AGW? Are they not worthy of your disapproval? And if you agree with this why didn’t you state the same rather than putting the onus on the skeptics to “behave”?

      snip-

      Sorry Steve… ranting again.

      Steve: yes.

  168. Jepe
    Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 9:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.”- Ambrose Pierce

  169. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Reply

    rather than calling or visiting or writing the scientists themselves.

    Yes, I’ll add that I’m quite diligent about writing to scientists. I wrote Crowley something like 25 times trying to get data for Crowley and Lowery 2000 and finally he said that he’d lost it, reproaching me for somehow expecting the data to survive the rigors of moving to Duke. (He then slagged me in Eos for the inquiry. BTW Crowley’s paleoclimatology book is well worth reading and IMO much more interesting than Bradley’s.)

    I wrote Lonnie Thompson for data and got nowhere.

    While the Team now blames hurt feelings from the blog for refusing data, the pattern of refusal existed long before the blog.

    I wrote Santer politely asking for data (without mentioning the inquiry on the blog until Santer slagged me in his reply, broadcasting his refusal to 18 scientists around the world.) Similarly, I wrote Steig politely asking for data.

    I cannot think of a single occasion where I’ve commented adversely on data provision without the adverse comment being preceded by a polite inquiry.

    Some scientists have been very pleasant with such inquiries. William Curry, for example, a prominent oceanographer, apologized for the oversight in not archiving and did so immediately. Lowell Stott was very pleasant with inquiries. So recently was Mauri Timonen. Unfortunately the Team (i.e. Mann, Briffa, Jones, Bradley,…) have taken a different approach.

    • Walt Bennett
      Posted Feb 14, 2009 at 9:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#240), Re: bender (#232), So the moral of the story is that Steve had to go public to shame these miscreants into playing fair?

      Gotcha.

      Steve: I drew no moral. I pointed out that your allegation that I had failed to write to scientists was untrue.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Feb 15, 2009 at 12:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Re: Walt Bennett (#255),

        So the moral of the story is that Steve had to go public to shame these miscreants into playing fair?

        Gotcha.

        Actually, the moral of this story is that you can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink.

  170. bender
    Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 12:58 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Is climate science sufficiently self-critical? I hope Mann’s letter to google news is not an indicator. It is loaded with errors that were greased by the self-righteousness filter, were not weeded out by the self-critical filter.

  171. John Lish
    Posted Feb 10, 2009 at 7:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Having read the original letter by Mann, my immediate feeling was of having rubber-necked a car crash. You know you shouldn’t but curiosity gets the better of you.

    Having read through the responses, I think Bender’s question about confirmation bias is important in that certain scientists use it for promotion of political standpoints from media outlets. Its game-playing but its also normal behaviour.

    Is it a problem? Only if you believe that science is somehow above the range of normal human behaviour. That is an aspiration in my eyes.

  172. Craig Loehle
    Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 2:06 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I am a little disturbed by Walt’s assertion that Steve and CA are “sowing confusion”. If an error is found in a prominent cancer study (as many have been over the years) would this be “sowing confusion”? Or should we let a proposed treatment be let loose upon patients even though it is toxic and not effective? When can it ever be “sowing confusion” to double-check scientific work? That people jump to conclusions (e.g., that the goof up at Harry station invalidated Steig’s work, when it did not) is simply to be expected and those who visit here a lot would know better than that. It seems this “sowing confusion” meme (also mentioned elsewhere) refers to discussing errors IN PUBLIC instead of in the polite society of journals where the public never goes. Kind of like mentioning that the daughter of the governor is a drunk and crashed her car instead of covering it up.

  173. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 2:30 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Craig, thanks for mentioning this.

    I try to bring clarity to things that I study through careful analysis. I hope that this “contributes to the betterment of the science” and, if it doesn’t, I don’t understand why it wouldn’t. Walt says that I “sow enormous confusion with the approach [I] take”. If Walt cares to identify any errors that I’ve made, I’d be happy to correct them. If Walt is unable to identify such errors, I don’t know why he’d accuse me of “sowing confusion”. In such cases, surely his complaint lies with the original authors.

    Walt says that I “attract many who make too much of your observations.” As noted on many occasions, I strongly believe in “full, true and plain disclosure” and in “due diligence”. Full, true and plain disclosure means much more than the provision of unannotated code and data, but the provision of annotated code and data is an easily provided protection against incorrect or incomplete methodological descriptions. Providing code or SI is not a safe haven, enabling inaccurate characterization of results in the text. I certainly hope that readers agree with this approach in climate science. I happen to think that climate science would be healthier if this were common practice.

    If climate scientists desisted from press releases, then they might have a leg to stand on in wanting their articles to be discussed in private. But you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Having entered the public arena e.g. Steig had a big news conference, you can’t sulk if your work is discussed in public.

  174. Paul Penrose
    Posted Feb 11, 2009 at 3:41 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The phrase “to sow confusion” is usually used to imply a deliberate attempt to confuse people through deception. I don’t know for sure if this is what Walt meant; he may just be ignorant of this common usage. Either way it does not reflect well on him, IMHO.

  175. Jepe
    Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 2:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    #247 (darwin)

    My bad, thanks for the correction.

  176. curious
    Posted Feb 12, 2009 at 6:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    For info. There are some letters to the FP following up on the posted article:

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fpcomment/archive/2009/02/11/fp-letters-to-the-editor-mann-s-world.aspx

  177. Posted Feb 19, 2009 at 3:59 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Thanks once again for taking the time to respond personally. I appreciate your point of view much more than those of the many commenters, who are clearly agendized and ready to attack at a moment’s notice. This site is no different than many others, where attempts to invoke a little reflection are met with muscular hostility.

    In this case it’s not the host (you) who behaves that way, but your loyal followers.

    I will stand by my observation that too much confusion is being injected into the lay public’s efforts to follow the back and forth of the ongoing science of AGW. Good faith efforts to analyze and describe the state of the changing climate are met with, in too many cases, a fusillade of criticisms, which may or may not impact on the veracity of the work.

    Most people don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of figuring that out.

    Instead, I see in other places where commenters read what you write about Gavin and then feel free to completely dismiss his work, or Mann’s or that of other dedicated, bright and honest scientists.

    It’s a terrible shame.

    Unless y’all “come together” in some way and provide the lay public a path by which they can come to truly appreciate the value of the contributions of all who work on these problems – and thus determine what to do with that information – not only will your work end up missing its true chance to be meaningful in a broader context, but you will have unintentionally contributed to the contamination of the public’s view of climate science in general.

    It’s happening right now as we speak, and I doubt that it was your intention for that to happen.

    • bender
      Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#260),
      This “coming together” that you so long for – how are you planning to achieve that with your brand of commentary? Your contributions are absent of substance. Contrast your approach with that of Nierenberg or Mosher – or kim for that matter – all of whom comment substantively at other blogs. Your drive-by flamings are ineffectual and may actually serve to galvanize the forces you say you want to diffuse. Keep it up.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Feb 20, 2009 at 9:47 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#260), Ok Walt, what world exactly do you live in where all scientists are polite and cooperate? How was Wegener treated when he proposed continental drift? He was vilified and almost ruined. How about the guy who discovered that bacteria cause most ulcers? Treated very badly. Did the guys who claimed they found cold fusion ever admit they were wrong?

      On the other side of it, some scientists make outrageous statements about future climate. For example, sea level is currently rising at the rate of 8.7 inches/100 years and has for the past 100 years or so, and the IPCC report only projects a slight increase over this. Yet claims are made of 20 foot rise by mid century. Does this not “sow confusion” in the discussion? Do you object to this?

  178. Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 9:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Where did 5 days of comments disappear to?

    • MikeU
      Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 9:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#263), “Where did 5 days of comments disappear to?”

      To the current “Unthreaded” thread. They were moved, not deleted.

    • Cliff Huston
      Posted Feb 25, 2009 at 9:27 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Walt Bennett (#263),
      Moved to Unthreaded – That happens when you go off topic on a thread.

  179. Michael Larkin
    Posted Jul 25, 2012 at 12:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Larry Solomon replied today here.”

    The link seems to return a “404 not found” error. Can anyone supply a working link?

    TIA

  180. Edmond
    Posted Jul 25, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve. I’m getting a broken link for “Larry Solomon replied today…”.
    Could you check that please, I’m in England if that could make any difference.
    Thanks

  181. Mark O
    Posted Feb 7, 2009 at 9:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: theduke (#132),

    I agree that we need to be respectful, no need to act like Mann and the “Hockey Team” (to use Mann’s own wording). Although as any unbiased observer of this thread can see for themselves, the only cussing in this thread has been by Jack.

    I wonder when Jack will be pulled from the lineup and either be replaced by Jon or another “Hockey Team” defender.

  182. Posted Feb 8, 2009 at 1:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: Frank K. (#148),
    My ph.d. is was on a topic in turbulence, specifically multiphase flow. ( For fun I did a google search:ensemble+average+turbulent+kinetic+energy+Liljegren.)

    Ross asked for examples of solutions where the NS are not parameterized. These exist: I linked.

    GCM’s use parameterizations, and as you know, these approximations can sometimes (or often, if you prefer) result in inaccuracy. For example: in turbulent particulate flows, it was once assumed that one could parameterize the turbulence in the particulate phase using a particular theoretical result from homogenous turbulence in which particles cannot collide.

    According to this particular result, the rms velocity of the particulate phase could not exceed that of the fluid phase. This was thought to be the case primarily based on an analysis by Soo (my ph.d. advisor). Scaling arguments had been made to suggest that other factors did not matter to leading order. People believed the result, and rather firmly.

    I found different results in my experiments–as had others. I did a slight extension on the analysis to include the effect of a mean velocity variance which showed that, the previous understanding was incomplete. Jennifer Sinclair (also an experimentalist) almost simultaneously did an analysis to include particle collisions. This also indicated that the previous understanding was incomplete. Reeks also did an analysis that showed the effects (but, Reeks papers are often so general readers sometimes need to do some work to figure out the implications. )

    As you see, this was a case where the parameterizations lead to errors because the approximation by Soo failed to include phenomena that contributed to leading order, but this fact had not been previously recognized. I’m sure you are aware that sometimes parameterizations can introduce errors even when they are correct to leading order.

    I understand why parameterizations are required, what’s involved in developing them, and the difference between direct solutions to the NS and what is happening in climate models.

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