Sorry for both the radio silence and the lack of notice. No one reason, but a combination of things.
As I mentioned in passing about five weeks ago, I was sick for a while. Nothing serious, just a seasonal cold/flu. But it totally sapped all my energy for about two weeks. I’d mostly recovered about 8 days before the US Squash Doubles, which I’d committed to in the fall. I’ve had one leg injury after another this season and haven’t played much squash this winter and, when I’ve played, my play has been spotty at best. And with the flu, I wasn’t in good shape. So I was a bit embarrassed at my condition and apologized to my partner in advance. To make matters worse, even though we were second seeds, we had a hard draw. We eked out a win in the quarters, 15-13 in the fifth. We had a good win in the semis against a team that has won dozens of championships. In the final, we played the top seeds (we had lost to them in the final last year, points in the 5th; and had lost to them 4 times in a row in finals.) We fell behind 2-0, but prolonged the match to the 5th. Tied 13-13 in the 5th, lost the next point. Match point against. Won the next two points and the championship (over-60s).
We felt pretty good afterwards, but I paid a price over the next 2 weeks. The final went for nearly 2 hours and I’m not in shape to play that long. So I was playing on fumes. And because I was excited about winning, I didn’t do a long stretch afterwards. I also had to catch a plane back to Toronto from New York. My legs totally froze up the next day and gave secondary pain in my knees, my back. It hurt to do anything. I waited to long to get physio. In the second week, I finally got physio to get ready to play in the Canadians. I was able to get on the court but neither of us played well and we lost in the first round to an unseeded team. The combination of results caused some amusement in the squash doubles community. I ended up aggravating injuries and have been pretty miserable for the past two weeks. Nothing serious and nothing that proper physio can’t deal with.
Meanwhile, I’ve been very busy with mining business. I’m not very good at compartmentalizing things and like to work on one thing at a time. I’ve also lost energy as I get older and the blogging took a back seat.
I had also spent some time considering a response to Mann’s book. It amazes me that a reputable scientific community would take this sort of diatribe seriously. Mann’s world is populated by demons and bogey-men. People like Anthony Watts, Jeff Id, Lucia, Andrew Montford and myself are believed to be instruments of a massive fossil fuel disinformation campaign and our readers are said to be “ground troops” of disinformation. The book is an extended ad hominem attack, culminating in salivation in the trumped up plagiarism campaign against Wegman, arising out of copying of trivial “boilerplate” by students (not Wegman himself). Wegman’s name nearly 200 times in the book (more, I think, than anyone else’s).
Virtually nothing in its discussion of our criticism can be taken at face value. Mann begins his account by re-cycling his original outright lie that we had asked him for an “excel spreadsheet”. Mann’s lies on this point had been a controversy back in November 2003. The incident was revived by the Penn State Investigation Committee, which had (anomalously on this point) asked Mann about an actual incident. Instead of “forgetting”, as any prudent person would have done, Mann brazenly repeated his earlier lie to the Penn State Investigation Committee. Needless to say, the “Investigation” Committee didn’t actually investigate the lie by crosschecking evidence, but accepted Mann’s testimony as ending the matter. In the book, instead of leaving well enough alone, Mann once again re-iterated the lie.
Or to pick another example, Mann noted the controversy about the contaminated Korttajarvi sediments (Tiljander), but conceded nothing. Mann said that there was no “upside down” in their “objective” methods and asserted that his results were “insensitive to whether or not these records were used”, a statement contradicted in the SI to Mann et al 2009. In any sane world, Mann would have issued a retraction of the many claims of Mann et al 2008 that depended on the contaminated Korttajarvi sediments. But instead, more attacks on critics.
Picking all the spitballs off the wall is laborious, to say the least.
Perhaps because I was sick, perhaps because I was tired, but, for whatever reason, one day I woke up and I was sick and tired both of the Team and the broader “climate community” that enables them and in which they thrive. I sense that the wider public has a similar attitude.
I’m starting to feel a little better now that spring is coming. I’ll start posting again in a couple of weeks, but doubt that I’ll ever post as much as I have in the past.