Vignettes before MM2003

Prior to the publication of McIntyre and McKitrick (2003), there are two references to me in the Climategate 2 dossier.
June 2003
In June 2003, Timothy Carter, a Climate Research editor then embroiled in the Soon-Baliunas dispute, sent Jones (CG2 – 2064) a copy of my June 15, 2003 post at a climate chat group on different versions of the Tornetrask (“Fennoscandia”) chronology, noting, in particular, the Tornetrask chronology then in use in the reconstructions contained a material “fudge” (my term; “bodge” is the CRU term) that (in my words) “hardly seems like a justifiable statistical procedure”. Jones replied:

Tim,
Thanks for this. I’ve been in touch with this guy (Steve McIntyre) before. I think he works in the US. He asked me a few things about the instrumental data, then more, then more and asked for more data. I eventually gave up but he is quite able.
The Finn is Timo Hameranta (or something like that) and is right of right field!
Cheers, Phil

My records of the correspondence are quite different, but that’s another story.

Oct 19-20, 2003

CG2 (1566) also contains a discussion among Mann and the inner team that sheds an interesting light on some long-standing disinformation disseminated by Mann at the time of the publication of MM2003 (which was released one week later.)

On October 17, Bradley, Hughes and Diaz had published a sort of response to Soon and Baliunas (2003). They selected 21 series with properties that by that time were well-known (Yamal, Mann’s PC1, Thompson’s tropical ice cores, etc.) and asserted that a majority had modern “warmth” exceeding levels in the MWP. (Since the properties of the selected series were known in advance of their selection, it was hardly surprising that Bradley, Hughes and Diaz would pick ones where the modern warm period exceeded the medieval warm period, but, again, that is a different story.)

I commented at Timo Hameranta’s chat group as follows:

[Quoting from Bradley et al 2003] Since Lamb’s analysis, many new paleotemperature series have been produced. However, well-calibrated data sets with decadal or higher resolution are still only available for a few dozen locations (see the figure).

A few points:

1)the selection of datasets in these little data-mining exercises always seems arbitrary to me. It’s hard to know how these datasets were selected based on the assertion above.

2) the use of digitally unpublished data is highly frustrating. Of the 23 datsets referred to here, I can only locate 7 at the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology. http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ . Some of the worst offenders in this respect include Mosley-Thompson, Cook, Hughes and Briffa.

3) I looked at series 13, the China speleotherm which I haven’t looked at before and which is at WDCP. The start date is shown incorrectly in this article (the series begins in -665. The data is transformed (in the original article) to remove a “trend” and transformed again to estimate “temperature”. On the actual data, values in early periods are higher than 20th century values. Only after 2 transformations do high 20th century values emerge.

I followed up by writing to the criticized authors, receiving a response only from Cook who affirmed his intention to archive the then recent Oroko data. My initiative also resulted in Konrad Hughen archiving his data. I reported on this initiative a few days later, exempting Cook (who is consistently the most “scientific” of the Climategate correspondents) from my previous criticism. (Many of these series have subsequently become available, in part, because of my criticism of practices in the field.)

Either Mann was monitoring Hameranta’s chat group (unsurprising given his paranoia about “skeptics”) or my comment was passed to him. In any event, on October 19, Mann alerted Jones, Briffa, Bradley, Hughes, Diaz and Rutherford to “McIntyre”. Mann characterized me as “yet another shill for industry”, one who had made “scurrilous” criticisms of the recent Bradley paper.

FYI–thought you guys should have this (below). This guy “McIntyre” appears to be yet another shill for industry–he appears to be the one who forwarded the the scurrilous “climateskeptic” criticisms of the recent Bradley et al Science paper.

Precisely what was “scurrilous” about my observations about the Bradley paper remains unclear to me. Other than, perhaps, the temerity of daring to criticize Bradley. Mann’s email to the others also included our Sept 25, 2003 correspondence, in which I had sent him the file to which I had been directed at his website (pcproxy.txt) as being the proxy data used in MBH98, asking him to verify that this was the version that had been used in the paper. Mann had blown off my request and in his Oct 19 email to Jones and Briffa, notified them that he had done so.

An interesting passing comment in the email is Mann’s observation that I had “been trying to break into” their server. (Only two weeks later, a different version of Mann’s proxy data was made public. Mann claimed that it had been “publicly available” all the time, but Mann’s comment here clearly shows the opposite.)

Here is an email I sent him a few weeks ago in response to an inquiry. It appears, by the way, that he has been trying to break into our machine (“multiproxy”). Obviously, this character is looking for any little thing he can get ahold of. The irony here, of course, is that simple composites of proxy records (e.g. Bradley and Jones; Mann and Jones, etc) give very similar results to the pattern reconstruction approaches (Mann et al EOF approach, Rutherford et al RegEM approach), so anyone looking to criticize the basic NH temperature history based on details of e.g. the Mann et al ’98 methodology are misguided in their efforts…

The best that can be done is to ignore their desperate emails and, if they manage to slip something into the peer-reviewed literature, as in the case of Soon & Baliunas, deal w/ it as we did in that case–i.e., the Eos response to Soon et al—they were stung badly by that, and the bad press that followed.For those of you who haven’t seen it, I’m forwarding an interesting email exchange from John Holdren of Harvard that I got the other day. He summarized the whole thing very nicely, form an independent perspective…
Cheers,
mike
p.s. I’m setting up my email server so that it automatically rejects emails from the “usual suspects”. You might want to do the same. As they increasingly get automatic reject messages from the scientists, they’ll start to get the picture…

Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2003 18:53:33 -0400
To: “Steve McIntyre”
From: “Michael E. Mann”
Subject: Re: MBH98
Bcc: Scott Rutherford , mann@virginia.edu
Dear Mr. McIntyre,
A few of the series terminate prior to the nominal 1980 termination date of the
calibration period (the earliest such instance, as you note, is 1971). In such cases, the data were continued to the 1980 boundary by persistence of the final available value. These details in fact, were provided in the supplementary information that accompanied the Nature article. That information is available here (see first paragraph):
[1]ftp://eclogite.geo.umass.edu/pub/mann/ONLINE-PREPRINTS/MultiProxy/data-supp.html
and here:
[2]http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ei/data_supp.html

The results, incidentally, are insensitive to this step; essentially the same
reconstruction is achieved if a calibration period terminating in 1970 (prior to the termination of any of the proxy series) was used instead.

Owing to numerous demands on my time, I will not be able to respond to further
inquiries. Other researchers have successfully implemented our methodology based on the information provided in our articles [see e.g. Zorita, E., F. Gonzalez-Rouco, and S. Legutke, Testing the Mann et al. (1998) approach to paleoclimate reconstructions in the context of a 1000-yr control simulation with the ECHO-G Coupled Climate Model, J. Climate, 16, 1378-1390, 2003.]. I trust, therefore, that you will find (as in this case) that all necessary details are provided in the papers we have published or the supplementary
information links provided by those papers.

Best of luck with your work.
Sincerely,
Michael E. Mann

At 05:28 PM 9/25/2003 -0400, Steve McIntyre wrote:
Dear Prof Mann,
Here is the pcproxy.txt file sent to me last April by Scott Rutherford at your
direction. It contains some missing data after 1971. Your 1998 paper does not describe how missing data in this period is treated and I wanted to verify that it is the correct file.

How did you handle missing data in this period? In earlier periods, it looks like you changed the roster of proxies in each of the periods described in the Supplementary Information using only proxies available throughout the entire period.

I have obtained quite close replication of the rpc1 in the 20th century by calculating coefficients for the proxies and then calculating the rpc’s using the minimization procedures described in MBH98 and the selection of PCs in the Supplementary Information. The reconstruction is less close in earlier periods. I also don’t understand the reasoning for reducing the roster of eigenvectors in earlier periods. The description in MBH98 was necessarily
very terse and is still very terse in the Supplementary Information; is there any more detailed description of the reconstruction methodology to help me resolve this?

Thank you for your attention.
Yours truly,
Steve McIntyre,
Toronto, Canada

Jones replied to the group, mentioning that he had sent me “some station temperature data in the past”. (This was an earlier version of the station data that Jones subsequently claimed to be top secret.) Jones sneered at the naivete of my criticisms of non-archiving, saying that there were many authors far worse than the ones that I had criticized. (Perhaps so, but they weren’t cited in the Bradley et al paper.)

Dear All,
I’ve had several emails from Steve McIntyre. He comes across in these as friendly, but then asks for more and more. I have sent him some station temperature data in the past, but eventually had to stop replying to me. Last time he emailed me directly was in relation to the Mann/Jones GRL paper. That time he wanted the series he used. I suspect that he is the person who sent the email around about only 7 of the 23 series used by Ray et al. being in WDC-Paleo. I told him then that he needs to get in contact with the relevant paleo people. It seems only Mike, Ray and me got this email from Timo, so I’ll forward it.

He names the worst offenders (ie those not putting data on WDC-Paleo) as being Cook, Mosley-Thompson, Hughes and Briffa !! He clearly should go to a few paleo meetings to find out what is really out there. Last week I saw the Patzold Bermuda coral record again. It is now 1000 years long and all there is an unwritten paper !

The second email I’m forwarding is one from Bill Kininmonth. I’ve met Bill several times at WMO meetings and in Australia. Bill has retired now. When I knew him he knew very little about paleo. I wouldn’t bother replying, unless you want to go into chapter and verse and don’t think through Timo. I would like to believe Bill would be receptive, but it would take time. You could suggest, Ray, he reads your book rather than Lamb’s, but from his tone that might not go down too well ! Both Hubert’s books in the early 1990s are basically updates of his 1974/77 books, with more references and in a chattier style.

Cheers, Phil

It’s interesting to see that Mann, who at that time knew nothing about me, was nonetheless quick to portray me as a “shill” and had recommended strategies for rejecting emails.

74 Comments

  1. MarkR
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 7:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    With the “team”, it’s always been political. Alinsky’s rules for radicals:

    RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

    The link for the above dozen rule text can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/WallStreet/8925/alinsky.htm

  2. PhilH
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It is fascinating to see, in Mann’s September 25 e-mail to you, how clueless he was about who he was dealing with. He believed he could foist you off by simply overwhelming you by referring to other “climate scientists’” papers and saying he didn’t have time to mess with you anymore. Little did he know what awaited him.

  3. Matt Skaggs
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Scurrilous” is not quite right, the hint of buffoonery conflicts with your status as someone “quite able.” Perhaps your willingness to violate taboo by attacking methodology makes you a bit vituperative in the polite society of climate science.

  4. PhilH
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Not incidentally, John Holdren is President Obama’s science advisor.

  5. dpeaton
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve: I believe you have two paragraphs of comment at the end that should not be in italics.

    • dpeaton
      Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      or blockquotes

  6. dpeaton
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “Dispatches From The Front Lines,” indeed.

    These people were fighting the “Climate Wars” before anyone knew they had been declared.

  7. John Slayton
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Hate to admit ignorance, but I am unfamiliar with Cook. Could we get a full name?

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:25 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Ed Cook, Might be Australian, spent a lot of time on Tasmanian work. Most known in science for tree ring work on a beautiful timber, the Huon pine, Lagarostrobos franklinii, which has specimens from underwater going back several thousand years as well as living examples many decades old. A severe problem with the work is that there is a paucity of temperature recording stations of similar climate, especially altitude, and none might really be relevant to temperature calibration. Still, it’s a wonderful wood for counting circles, a delight for the artisan.
      Seemed to be close to Keith Briffa, closing of one email being “love and kisses Keith At 07:59 AM 4/29/03 -0400″

      • John Slayton
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 10:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Thanx.
        js

      • Matt Skaggs
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Ed Cook appears on numerous CG E-mails. In every instance that I have seen, he acts courteously and professionally, often nudging his teammates towards better behavior, encouraging more openness, willing to acknowledge the problems with the data, etc.

  8. Jan
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Other than, perhaps, the temerity of daring to criticize Bradley.

    That is precisely why he describes you as scurrilous, Steve. That, and the method for criticizing the science (Mann in an email to Revkin):

    A necessary though not in general sufficient condition for taking a scientific criticism seriously is that it has passed through the legitimate scientific peer review process. those such as McIntyre who operate almost entirely outside of this system are not to be trusted.

    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/1254259645.txt

    Not only is it not sufficient that one publishes in peer reviewed journals, one must also jump over some other amorphous hurdle. Is that hurdle Michael Mann’s approval?

    In my opinion, Mann displays the classic characteristics of a manipulator but fortunately he is not very good at hiding it. He does not seem to be able to separate his ego from his science. I believe that is why he will not survive much longer as a leading voice in climate science. The recent book tour may well be his last hurrah.

    His associates and peers will tire of his aggressive and manipulative (paranoid?) behaviour as he becomes more of an embarrassment than an asset. Indeed there is evidence in the Climategate emails that this was already beginning to occur. I suspect that as he becomes more of a liability, he will become ever more shrill and delusional. As he becomes ever more shrill and delusional, he will be further side-lined by those who want to be recognized as more rational scientists.

    • stan
      Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 3:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Anyone familiar with Mann’s letters to the editor has seen his standard knee jerk slander. It seems to be about the only play in his playbook.

    • Tony Hansen
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

      …His associates and peers will tire of his aggressive and manipulative (paranoid?) behaviour…

      What evidence suggests this?

  9. KnR
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink | Reply

    ‘This guy “McIntyre” appears to be yet another shill for industry’
    Mann really is more than a little paranoid, I long held the view that when Mann fails we will surprised who will line up to give him a kick on the way down .
    Which oddly means its a good idea to keep him as ‘the Team’ leader on to keep the public focus on him ,for the longer his seen to be in charge given his behavior the less worth the ‘the Team ‘ has a whole will have in the wider community.
    Ironically what AGW proponents consider their strength, their total inability to accept any error on their own side , may actual end up helping to sink ‘the cause’ as the public has enough off over the top and frequently wrong alarmists claims combined with personalities such as Mann.

  10. Jan
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    KnR. How Machiavellian. :-)

  11. Craig Loehle
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 3:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

    People with massive egos are able to quickly detect those who do not go along with the game and do the “emperor’s new clothes” thing on them. And they hate that. So it is not surprising that SM tingled their spidey senses right from the start.
    But Jan is wrong: Machiavelli (sp?) was much more sophisticated. This is thuggery combined with propaganda (the “oil-funded shill” meme).

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I knew all about all that stuff a long time ago, ego and fings like that.
      My favourite senior civil service retiree friends still consider Machiavelli to be the master didactic tactician, ahead of Sun Tsu (however spelled), but assert that you have to DO the acts, not just read about them. The modern stuff is better in pictures, like cartoons.

  12. Tom Ganley
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 4:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Steve,

    Did Mann or anyone else ever say why exactly they thought you were trying to break into their server? Anything that could be construed as evidence?

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 8:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I was merely trying to locate data. To describe this as trying to “break into” his server is deranged.

      • Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I remember you got a rep as “robot” as your data scrape sought to retrieve
        They were scandalized, mad, and thought you a cad — explanations they would not believe
        But they fought every day, every step of the way, just to keep what they do non-transparent
        And in hiding in fright, they invited your light; for those folks, such a danger’s inherent

        ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

        • kim
          Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM | Permalink

          Castles of Hockey Sticks,
          Red Deaths make Fiddlesticks.
          ==============

    • J
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 4:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Could he be referring to the reconstructions instead of servers?

  13. Jan
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 4:12 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Agreed Craig. The manipulation on Mann’s part is, as I expressed, obvious and yes, unsophisticated.

    I joked that KnR was Machiavellian in his approach. Beyond the humour, this, in my opinion, is far more sophisticated (Machiavellian) thinking:

    Which oddly means its a good idea to keep him as ‘the Team’ leader on to keep the public focus on him ,for the longer his seen to be in charge given his behavior the less worth the ‘the Team ‘ has a whole will have in the wider community.
    Ironically what AGW proponents consider their strength, their total inability to accept any error on their own side , may actual end up helping to sink ‘the cause’ as the public has enough off over the top and frequently wrong alarmists claims combined with personalities such as Mann.

  14. Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 7:04 PM | Permalink | Reply

    the degree of paranoia from Mann, initially, and then from the weaker tool Jones is….shall I say, instructive?

  15. Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Off topic because I couldn’t find your latest “unthreaded” post:

    Another death blow to the Hockey Stick: New paper finds many tree-ring analyses to be highly biased

    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2012/03/another-death-blow-to-hockey-stick-new.html

    Paging Michael Mann: A paper published this week finds that many tree-ring proxy studies are highly biased and calls for “great caution in the interpretation of historical growth trends from tree-ring analyses.” The authors find that “big tree selection bias” resulted in a fictitious “doubling in growth rates over recent decades.” Consequently, tree-ring analyses claiming to link growth rates to historical temperatures would show a fictitious large ‘hockey stick’ increase in temperature over recent decades.

  16. Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 9:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

    The emails are a rich study in the way the fever of paranoia spreads. Not only was Steve trying to “break into” Mann’s computer on behalf of oil companies, but we had a big international PR firm called Burson-Marsteller working for us!

    #1663

    Date: Mon, 10 Nov 2003 16:08:36 +0100
    From: Stefan Rahmstorf
    User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; WinNT4.0; en-US; rv:1.4) Gecko/20030624
    X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
    To: Mike Mann
    Subject: the campaign against you
    Dear Mike,
    it almost looks like there has been an orchestrated campaign of op-eds coming out
    world-wide on the M&M paper within days, in New Zealand, Oz, and so on, all with a
    similar structure and content and written by local climate skeptic academics, and there
    are at least rumours that this may have been organised by the PR firm Burson-Marsteller
    who specialises in covert anti-environmental campaigns for industry clients. This will
    be very difficult to prove, of course. Some inside source suggests there is more of this
    to come. A similar campaign was focussed on Ben Santer some years ago.
    I think it is worth keeping this possibility in mind, even if one can do very little
    about it. I hope some good investigative journalists will be on to this topic.
    Stefan

    Stefan Rahmstorf
    Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)
    For contact details, reprints, movies & general infos see:
    [1]http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan

    Especially amazing since the first I ever heard of Burson-Marsteller was a few weeks ago when I saw it mentioned in this email.

    • johanna
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 4:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Prepare to be more amazed. Burson-Marstellar is a name well known in the Antipodes – and they were known as very expensive and high profile service providers to the top of the paying clientele at that time. The notion that they could have quietly and invisibly introduced op-eds into the local media, with no-one noticing, is just laughable – especially given the pro-CAGW bent of 95% of journalists and editors.

      B-M (and I had dealings with their principals) would have been horrified to hear that anyone thought that they were a firm that:

      “specialises in covert anti-environmental campaigns.”

      The only thing they specialised in was making money. To suggest that they were sneaking around on some ideological crusade is just absurd.

      • mrmethane
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 7:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

        And hilarious in the context of Fenton and presumably Pendragon. Evil, evil man(n).

        • Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 11:37 PM | Permalink

          And don’t forget the work of the Outside Organization in rescuing CRU from a bad press mess of its own making.

    • MrPete
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 5:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Ross McKitrick (Mar 19 21:31),
      A great example of a principle I’ve learned over the years:

      Sadly, people who lack integrity are easily willing to accuse others of things they themselves would do (or can imagine themselves doing.)

      It’s the downside of “placing yourself in another’s shoes.” :(

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

      “Especially amazing since the first I ever heard of Burson-Marsteller was a few weeks ago when I saw it mentioned in this email”. Ditto Down Under.

      • Blog reader
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 10:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

        That proves Mann’s point: B-M is a double secret shill firm

      • johanna
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:34 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Geoff, B-M did PR for the the Federal Government during the privatisation of Telstra. If you were a taxpayer between 1998 and 2004, you undoubtedly contributed generously to their very lucrative contracts. It was no secret, either. They had many large corporate clients, and were at the top of their field at that time.

        If you don’t interact with that world, you may not have heard of them. But any well informed journalist covering the Telstra sale would have known who they were. So would the media advertising executives and journos covering advertising and marketing. The chances of their surreptitiously slanting media coverage of environmental issues in any substantive way are pretty close to zero.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

          Matt, Yes, that comes through. He’s appears to be from an older school of ethics. However, leaving ethics aside, he was in the global warming head team Down Under from early times and might well be a dedicated person with a quiet nanner, but still of high importance in the growth of the movement. I do not know him personally, I do not make the following comment in specific reference to him, but remember that history has shown us many times that when a bubble bursts, some of the most pleasant, personable people were there at the very top, among the least suspected.

          Another in a similar category is Tom Wigley who was educated at University of Adelaide and went to CRU England in 1978, then to USA, sharing time at NCAR since 1993. Browsing of the Climategate emails shows the persistent presence of Tom Wigley in planning and execution and giving orders. In my insignificant view, he was one of the mid to high level masterminds of global warming. But, he often comes through as on OK guy, at least by Aussie standards.

          It’s the cause that has to be watched, not the personality trait – unless it interferes with the cause.

    • Mark T
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 7:37 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I still haven’t heard of them. ;)

      Mark

      • Geoff Sherrington
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 8:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        johanna, I plead ignorance about Burson-Marstellar. None of my mates ever mentioned them either. Must have been in a different carriage on the train.
        There has been a change of social structure in employment here since I started in the 50s. Those days people had jobs with descriptive titles and functions. Now, a far higher percentage are amorphous, being paid for ill-defined functions from ill-defined sources. Many are wasting away their lives by making up rules to make us live the way they want to see the world run. If only they’d produce something saleable ….

    • ChE
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Interesting how he jumps from

      it almost looks like there has been an orchestrated campaign

      to

      This will be very difficult to prove, of course. Some inside source suggests there is more of this to come.

      It almost looks like this guy was talking himself into a tizzy as he typed.

    • Tom Ganley
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if it’s ‘fever of paranoia’ or simply pandering to the alpha male. The subject is ‘the campaign against you’, showing that Stephan is firmly on Mike’s side, but Stephan doesn’t really commit to the spirit of the email. He uses qualifiers such as, ‘it almost seems like’ and ‘there are at least rumors’.

      He’s buttering Mike up, but holding his nose while he does it.

      Mike writes a different email, saying someone is trying to break into his server and not a single reply (that we know of) saying, how do you know that? or what makes you think that? To me that’s even stranger than him saying it in the first place. They all seem to be afraid of him.

    • theduke
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Their paranoia is inversely proportional to their confidence in their published work.

  17. Tom C
    Posted Mar 19, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Permalink | Reply

    “Scurrilous” and “shill”: if Mann ever pulls a Gleick there will be no need for Mosher’s forensic skills.

    • ChE
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Jones has some “interesting” grammar, too.

  18. James Lane
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 2:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve been following this for a long time. Steve might have a different view, but it has always been my impression that if Mann had been a bit more polite and helpful at the beginning, there might never have been a “Climate Audit.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Permalink | Reply

      James, nice to hear from you. Yes, James is one of the original CA readers.

      In December 2004 and January 2005, Real Climate launched a pre-emptive strike against our forthcoming GRL publication (late Jan 2005), running 4 posts. Their posts were based on our Nature submission of 2004, not our 2005 articles. This original online attack was what precipitated Climate Audit (h/t John A), not previous impoliteness.

      However, Mann’s extraordinary farrago of lies about the “excel spreadsheet” were very influential in my subsequent attitudes. I couldn’t believe either than an important scientist would make such bold-faced lies or that he would make them on a matter where the lies could be demonstrated so easily. That definitely prompted a new phase in this project.

      Mann re-iterated this lie to the Penn State Investigation Committee, which did not actually investigate it. And he’s re-iterated it in his book. CRU’s Tim Osborn (and presumably others) knew it was a lie (as shown in Climategate emails). In their contemporary editorial, CRU concealed their knowledge.

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

        “Their posts were based on our Nature submission of 2004, not our 2005 articles.” yeah, so much for reviewer confidentiality. Ok when it is for “the cause”–no wonder you got a little annoyed (since Canadians are too polite to get royally pi**ed).

      • Matt Skaggs
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 5:09 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Steve,
        I don’t dispute anything you wrote. However, from my reading of the CG E-mails, it is clear that Mann depended upon Rutherford (just a postdoc a few years earlier, dunno when he got his PhD) to keep track of the data. In his review of MM03, Mann wrote (CG E-mail 4469, 10/27/03):

        “The authors apparently used an excel spreadsheet version of the MBH98 data that my associate Scott Rutherford had sent them. It appears that the data got shifted and scrambled a bit in the process of being converted to an excel spreadsheet or upon being downloaded or opened. This would explain the numerous transcription errors the authors find in the file. Of course, we used the uncorrupted data in our study. These ascii versions of the data have always been publicly available on our computer “holocene”. Had the authors used the (correct) ascii series on the data set, they wouldn’t have encountered transcription errors. From what I But they appear to have had a corrupted version of the data. The authors then describe an elaborate effort to download suitable approximate versions of the proxy data series they couldn’t get ahold of. In many cases, these appear to be substantially different versions of the proxy series than the ones used by Mann et al (1998).”

        What I get from this is that the spreadsheet is an integral part of the story for Mann, and without it, there are things that would not make sense to him. I’m not making excuses for him, he could have easily set the record straight by talking to Rutherford.

        You also wrote:

        “CRU’s Tim Osborn (and presumably others) knew it was a lie (as shown in Climategate emails).”

        I can’t find this. Can you substantiate that he knew it was a lie, or rather that he knew no spreadsheet existed?

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

          There are layers and layers of disinformation, all of which has been discussed before.

          I had asked for the FTP site containing MBH98 data. I did NOT ask for an Excel spreadsheet (which I don’t use for analysis and didn’t want.) Mann on various occasions said that we “specifically requested” the excel spreadsheet.

          Rutherford had prepared a data matrix in Matlab a year before our request, which he saved in two versions: Matlab and ascii. We were directed to the ascii version, which we downloaded.

          The CG2 email that you quote here is the first one (and does not say that we “requested” a spreadsheet). Over the next few days, Mann added various further embellishments to the various untruths.

          In two different CG emails, Osborn recognized that Mann had disseminated “incorrect” information about the “excel spreadsheet” and warned Mann that we would refer to the email record if he persisted in these claims.

          I’ve been working up some notes revisiting events with CG2 in hand and would prefer that you wait for a complete compilation of source material.

      • John A
        Posted Mar 24, 2012 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Thanks Steve.

        Yes Mann and Schmidt’s pre-emptive strikes were certainly the reasons why I implored you to start blogging in order to give immediate rebuttal to an avalanche of lies.

        It’s interesting to see that Mann, who at that time knew nothing about me, was nonetheless quick to portray me as a “shill” and had recommended strategies for rejecting emails.

        It is an axiom of human psychological study that all of human behaviour is a response to a perceived problem. In this case, what did you do that precipitated Mann cutting off all contact with you when all you were doing was verifying the file sent to you?

        Answer: Mann could not continue having any sort of conversation with you after Scott Rutherford made the terrible mistake of sending you that pcproxy.txt file. Mann had had to break off all contact after Rutherford’s howler dropped Mann, Bradley and Hughes right in it.

        All of Mann’s subsequent behaviour came from this one moment. And although you didn’t know it at the time, Mann was petrified that you’d find out what had really been going on at UMass in 1997 and 1998.

  19. bill
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 2:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    james you may be right but I think there are two problems with that idea. First from what we have seen of Mann’s character, polite and helpful are not really in his playbook; second I suspect they knew from the outset their science, especially as a lever for policy, was weak and, given the political context around the whole issue, were very sensitive to the idea of any weaknesses being exposed. Much better for them to unitedly argue, “here is the agreed science, act on it please” rather than have to acknowledge to pettifoggers that the case presented might actually not be completely coherent and unassailable.

  20. pesadia
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 4:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Michael Mann must be feeling the strain because in his world, he has been persecuted for more than ten years. He must have great difficulty interacting with other people, thinking as he does that everyone is out to get him. I think that he is just as capable of turning on his collegues as his imaginary enemies. I don,t think that he will be able to continue for much longer down this road to self distruction.

  21. dearieme
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 5:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “he is quite able”: raucous laughter ensued.

  22. barn E. rubble
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 11:33 AM | Permalink | Reply

    RE: “I was merely trying to locate data . . .” S. M.
    and
    RE: “The emails are a rich study in the way the fever of paranoia spreads. . .” R. M.

    And by mid-November 2003, Steve wasn’t the only one trying to locate data . . . and posted time lines thereof. Apparently Mann was too and seems genuinely confused as to the what/when and where MBH98 data was posted. Have either of you (Steve &/or Ross) seen this missive from Mann to Rutherford in response to your November 11/03 email? As you read, one can actually visualize Mann passing ‘the bag’ to Rutherford . . .

    “Can you draft an explanation of what was posted when for our internal purposes, and then we can decide what information to send on…”

    cc: REDACTED, REDACTED, REDACTED, Phil Jones , keith Briffa
    date: Wed, 12 Nov 2003 00:01:46 -0500
    from: “Michael E. Mann”
    subject: Fwd: MBH98
    to: Scott Rutherford

    “Scott,
    Take a look at this. You need to explain to us (don’t email this guy anything!) the various versions of the data. I’m really confused, and we need to know the precise history of when the individual MBH98 records were posted, and when the various matlab format files were posted, and in response to what requests, and these latest changes that were made on Oct 29, 2003??

    Obviously, we don’t need to provide these guys with *anything* and we needn’t respond to any of their emails–the raw data are available on the ftp sites, and have been for some time. But we really now need to know exactly when the data were made available. They claim that the matrix versions of the data files were posted on the ftp site before their request for the data. I’m really confused by this. You need to draft a clear explanation of all of this, so we can provide this to people. Can you draft an explanation of what was posted when for our internal purposes, and then we can decide what information to send on…
    thanks,
    mike

    The rest of it is here:
    http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=371

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

      yes, I’m aware of this. No one has ever interviewed Rutherford about this. It would be interesting to see his answer to Mann’s question.

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 3:40 PM | Permalink | Reply

        RE:”It would be interesting to see his answer to Mann’s question.”

        Yes, and we’re looking . . .

        RE: “You need to explain to us (don’t email this guy anything!) the various versions of the data.”

        The “us” being Jones and Briffa (among others)? Who no doubt needed to know what cards (don’t deal this guy anymore aces!) you were holding before making their next bet . . . or bluff.

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Mar 22, 2012 at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Reply

        From his first ‘I’ve got a story’, it reads as tho Mann is actually looking at an Excel doc . . . from who/where it came from doesn’t seem clear. But placing blame is very clear.

        “At this point, I knew that’s what Scott must have done. But I had to confirm. I simply had to contact Scott, and ask him: Scott, when you prepared that excel file for these guys, you don’t suppose by any chance that you might have….
        And, well, I think you know the answer.”

        http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=4692

        Well, actually we don’t, Mike. A very cleaver way of having Rutherford seemingly admit guilt without actually doing so. I’m assuming at some point you (Steve &/or Ross) had direct contact w/Dr. Rutherford to clarify this Excel file issue . . . or no? I can’t find any CG correspondence between Mann and Rutherford other than the ‘Tell us what you told them’ Nov 12 email above. Would this be within the time frame of FOI’s (Mann @UVa)?

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Mar 22, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

          I was wondering about doing my own FOI for correspondence with Rutherford. However, a couple of weeks ago, the UVA told ATI that they do not have emails after Feb 2003. Thus nothing from our period.

        • barn E. rubble
          Posted Mar 23, 2012 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

          RE:” . . . the UVA told ATI that they do not have emails after Feb 2003. Thus nothing from our period.”

          Dr. Rutherford was working for the University of Rhode Island/Roger Williams University during that time, was he not? I suppose being almost a decade ago, your interest in pursuing FOI’s has diminished somewhat . . .

    • Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yes, very aware of this. At this same time, Mann was spreading a tale about us needing an Excel spreadsheet because we’re too stupid to read an FTP site, and during the preparation of the Excel file some clerical errors were introduced, and that explained the whole schmozzle and it was all our fault etc., etc. His allies realized this was bogus as soon as we put out the relevant emails which showed we never asked for nor received an Excel file from him. This email suggests that he realized his own story didn’t add up either. Yet to this day Mann still resorts to the Excel story, for instance it appears in the Penn State report, and they never bothered to cross check it against the public record.

      • ChE
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Maybe I missed something, but did Mann say that he had clerical staff retype the data into a spreadsheet? They don’t know how to create CSV files with a little script? This isn’t exactly advanced comp sci. As far as that goes, a quick-and-dirty VBA script inside of excel can import just about anything.


        Steve: there never was any “excel spreadsheet”. Please do not assume that anything that Mann said on this matter bears any relationship to reality.

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

        RE: “His allies realized this was bogus as soon as we put out the relevant emails which showed we never asked for nor received an Excel file from him.”

        And this from Tim Osborn on the same day (11/12/03)

        “I do wish Mike had not rushed around sending out preliminary and incorrect early responses – the waters are really muddied now. He would have done better to have taken things slowly and worked out a final response before publicising this stuff. Excel files, other files being created early or now deleted is really confusing things!”

        http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=5682

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

        RE: “At this same time, Mann was spreading a tale about us needing an Excel spreadsheet . . . etc., etc.”

        This is the earliest mention of MM requesting an Excel file that I’ve found to-date. In response to Dr. Peter Stott, @Met Office Hadley Centre, who had read the MM paper in EE.

        Where Mann seems to hand ‘the bag’ to Rutherford . . .

        date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 08:20:17 -0500
        from: “Michael E. Mann”
        subject: Re: Advising British Government on paleoreconstructions

        “Rather than using the publically posted version of the proxy data, they used an excel file that they had requested from my associate Scott Rutherford in which multiple series were inadvertantly overprinted into single data columns.”

        http://foia2011.org/index.php?id=1056

      • barn E. rubble
        Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Further to “At this same time, Mann was spreading a tale about us needing an Excel spreadsheet . . . etc., etc.”

        It would seem far more serious than simply ‘spreading a tale’ if this Dr. Peter Stott was actually charged with the responsibility of informing government officials &/or Ministers as per subject:Advising British Government on paleoreconstructions.

        “. . . since I will have to try to inform the people at DEFRA and the FCO what we think of this scientifically.”

        Altho 9 years on, I wonder how Dr. Stott feels knowing now he was passing on a complete fabrication?

  23. PhilH
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Slightly O/T: has anyone else noticed how much Mann, Jones, Gavin and Richard Black (BBC) look alike? Could it be some sort of requirement for entry into The Club?

  24. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 20, 2012 at 9:01 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Phil H: Old comedy: I told my barber I was worried that my hair seemed to be coming out. He said “Here’s something to keep it in” and handed me a paper bag.

    New comedy: “I told others that some dubious data seemed to be coming out and they said “here’s something to keep it in” and handed me an Excel spreadsheet.”

  25. Posted Mar 21, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Permalink | Reply

    When you are frame things in terms of good vs. evil, as Mann seems always to do, then you are not doing science. You are doing religion. And Mann seems to see himself as the head of the Holy Office.

    You remember how that turned out.

  26. Pooh, Dixie
    Posted Mar 30, 2012 at 9:43 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re: “a material “fudge” (my term; “bodge” is the CRU term)”. “Munge” is also a good word, and strangely satisfying to use.

  27. blogollum
    Posted Apr 5, 2012 at 8:39 AM | Permalink | Reply

    You are an inspiration.

  28. Edgar Walsh
    Posted Apr 15, 2012 at 8:34 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Still living in the past Steve? Any comments on Spencers’ continuing self deception? Mann is sounding a lot more right about the science than Spencer. It is warming, Spencer can’t even admit to that.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/roy-spencer-man-of-mystery/#comment-60646

    • MrPete
      Posted Apr 15, 2012 at 11:08 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Re: Edgar Walsh (Apr 15 08:34),
      (You are misinterpreting Spencer — he simply came up with his own attribution for the warming. Quite a different thing than denying warming in the first place. But this is OT.)

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