Another Untrue Allegation by Karoly

As CA readers are aware, David Karoly was a senior author of Gergis et al, which was withdrawn in June following criticism at Climate Audit. Despite (or perhaps because of) this experience, Karoly slagged me in a recent article reviewing Mann’s book, including an accusation that I was responsible for “promulgating misinformation”. I wrote Karoly stating that I tried to write accurately and asked that he provide specific examples of “promulating misinformation” or withdraw the allegation with an apology. I had hoped that such a request would trigger some sense of professional obligation on Karoly’s part to do the right thing. I made no mention of legal action in the letter, let alone threat. As CA readers know, I’ve consistently discouraged those readers who regard litigation as a means of resolving problems.

Indeed, the request was partly successful as Karoly proceeded to retract the article containing the untrue allegations against me. So I’m a bit surprised that Karoly falsely claimed that I had made a “threat of legal action”.

Here’s the correspondence.

Earlier this month, Karoly published an article alleging that I was complicit in “promulgating misinformation” as follows:

Commentators with no scientific expertise, ranging from politicians such as Republican congressman Joe Barton from Texas, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, or Republican Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma, to blog writers Stephen McIntyre and Marc Morano, have repeatedly promulgated misinformation and sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research, claiming professional misconduct or worse, even though it had been peer reviewed and confirmed by other scientists

I learned of this article from a CA reader here. Karoly’s slagging seemed particularly cheeky given the role of Climate Audit in the recent withdrawal of Gergis et al 2012, of which Karoly was a coauthor and this prompted me to respond:

Dear Dr Karoly,
It has come to my attention that you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me (https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly):

Commentators with no scientific expertise, ranging from politicians such as Republican congressman Joe Barton from Texas, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, or Republican Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma, to blog writers Stephen McIntyre and Marc Morano, have repeatedly promulgated misinformation and sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research, claiming professional misconduct or worse, even though it had been peer reviewed and confirmed by other scientists

I try to write accurately and, to my knowledge, have not “promulgated misinformation” about Mann’s research, let alone done so “repeatedly”. Together with coauthor Ross McKitrick, I published criticism of Mann’s work in the same peer reviewed journal as Mann et al 1999. We published these criticisms in good faith. In my opinion, not only have the specific criticisms not been refuted in subsequent commentary, but, if anything, our findings have been confirmed even by adversaries. For example, our finding that the verification r2 of the Mann et al reconstruction was not only not significant but ~0 was confirmed by the very adversarial Wahl and Ammann article. While some topics remain in controversy, I note that neither the National Research Council Report nor the Wegman Report in 2006 identified any errors in our work; that the Wegman Report, in particular, strongly endorsed our work and that Gerald North, the Chairman of the National Research Council report, when asked, stated that he agreed with the conclusions of the Wegman Report. While such endorsements do not ensure that our findings are correct (though I believe our findings to be correct), the failure of these panels to explicitly identify errors speaks strongly against your allegation of promulgating “misinformation”.

Obviously, I have also commented extensively at Climate Audit, but always try to be accurate and to correct any errors when pointed out. I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.

Your recent experience with Gergis et al 2012 should have demonstrated to you that “peer review” by an academic journal is hardly a guarantee of the validity of results, let alone assurance that authors have even implemented their claimed methodologies. I further observe in this connection that your public statement in connection with the withdrawal of Gergis et al 2012 did not include any acknowledgement of Climate Audit’s role in identifying the error in Gergis et al. Your public statement was:

An issue has been identified in the processing of the data used in the study, “Evidence of unusual late 20th century warming from an Australasian temperature reconstruction spanning the last millennium” by Joelle Gergis, Raphael Neukom, Stephen Phipps, Ailie Gallant and David Karoly, accepted for publication in the Journal of Climate. The authors are currently reviewing the data and methods. The revised paper will be re-submitted to the Journal of Climate by the end of July and it will be sent out for peer review again.

It is evident that the error had not been discovered by the authors or by peer reviewers at the time that Climate Audit raised the issue of screening procedure in Gergis et al on May 31, 2012 here, a discussion that quickly identified the error. I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement.

Yours truly,
Stephen McIntyre

Rather than defend the allegations in his article by providing examples of “promulgating misinformation”, Karoly removed the article ( a copy is here) though he didn’t apologize. {Update Jul 18 - Karoly says that he did not remove the article; that it was moved by the published behind a paywall where it remains online.]

I’m surprised that the matter didn’t end there. But rather than leave well enough alone, Karoly has now charged that I had made a “threat of legal action” as follows:

This is a very welcome initiative [funding litigation by climate scientists]. The threats of legal action and FOI requests are not just occurring in North America. In Australia, I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada and am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests.

I have some experience with legal processes: they are expensive, time-consuming and not something that I would undertake lightly, as I’ve said on many occasions to CA readers who’ve urged litigation on one thing or another. In addition, in order for a law suit to have any purpose, the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages – an element that does not appear to be present, for example, in the Michael Mann libel suit against Tim Ball, which, in my opinion, involves nothing more than personal vanity.

As I said in my email to Karoly, I try to write precisely. If I wanted to threaten legal action, I would have done so. I made no “threat of legal action” in the above letter; I did not even mention “legal action”. I had hoped that an appeal to professional standards would accomplish something. It’s disappointing that Karoly’s subsequent actions have been taken not because he felt obliged to comply with professional standards but out of a fantasy that he’d received a “threat of legal action”.

Update. Reader Ted Carmichael nicely summarizes the discussion as follows:

Steven sent an email that was precise and specific, laying out the objectionable comments and a requested resolution – i.e., retraction and apology. “Precise” and “specific” is Steve’s habit, as it minimizes opportunity for miscommunication. This form happens to match the form laid out in Australian law for a “concerns letter.” This is not a coincidence, as a concerns letter should also be precise and specific, and allow for resolution with as little miscommunication as possible.

I believe your contention is that Steve’s email, due to this similarity, an inadvertent first step in legal action. And thus, “McIntyre threatened legal action” was a reasonable interpretation for Karoly to make, even though it is clearly not true. The big picture is: 1) was Karoly’s interpretation reasonable; and 2) was it correct?

In terms of (1), many here – including myself – contend that this was not a reasonable interpretation, but rather a needlessly contentious and quick judgment. He jumped to a conclusion. Now maybe Australia is different, as you say, and any reasonable person would assume s/he is about to get sued after receiving what looks like a concerns letter. My feeling is that anyone who wants to resolve a matter outside of the courts would send a similar letter. Indeed, it would be difficult to see how one could resolve a matter WITHOUT sending a letter that: a) states what the offence was; and asks Karoly to either b) provide evidence to back the claim; or c) withdraw the inaccurate statement and apologize.

In other words, yes: Steve managed to follow, generally, the form of a concerns letter. And frankly, this fact is of no consequence. Any such letter, if well written, would do likewise. Further, though you have shown that a concerns letter is necessary before initiating legal action, it is far from sufficient, by itself, to IMPLY pending legal action. And it certainly does not, by itself, constitute a “threat of legal action” as claimed. Why demand that Steve acknowledge that his letter was of the same form as a concerns letter? It doesn’t excuse Karoly’s rash interpretation. In my opinion it doesn’t even mitigate it.

Referring to item (2) above: Suing Karoly was not Steve’s intent, and Karoly, no matter how justified you believe him to have been, was incorrect in this interpretation. If he has read Steve’s follow-up posts, he should now know he was incorrect. I think it would be more useful to spend your time making sure Karoly understands he was hasty in his judgment, and tell him that he should now withdraw his second intemperate remark. Because the strict facts of the case are: Karoly said something he thought was true, and he was wrong. Steve pointed this out, and he was right.


332 Comments

  1. Political Junkie
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    They just don’t / can’t / wont learn!

    Did Karoly really believe that an unfounded and unsupportable accusation against Steve McIntyre would go unnoticed?

    Karoly just seems to have a self-destructive compulsion to keep on digging himself a deeper hole.

    Actually, it’s kind of fun to watch.

  2. pouncer
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:58 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been threatened by lawyers who have alleged my comments to be “defamatory” and demand that I “cease and desist” immediately, if not sooner and “forthwith”.

    I suggest that if any of the quoted terminology arrived in correspondence to me I’d conclude, by force of habit, a lawyer was lurking in the background.

    “Defamatory” in particular has specific meaning. I also believe the standard of proof for slander and libel in Commonwealth nations is a bit lower than in the United States. Were I to be accused of “defamation” in correspondence from a Canadian, again, I’d worry about INTERNATIONAL lawyers.

    Karoly leapt to a conclusion unwarrented by the facts but I do see how that impression could have been initiated.

    • Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

      I don’t take the same view of the word defamatory. It has a plain English meaning, as can be seen by the de- and the fame-. It also has a meaning in law, which is closely connected, at least where the law isn’t being an ass, as Mr Bumble would say. In using this word Steve was speaking accurately about the seriousness of what Karoly had said. To misinterpret Steve on this is (I would say) defamatory again – but that’s because I take Steve’s view of litigation as the smart one.

      • Keith
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:49 PM | Permalink

        Speaking as an Australian, the word “defamatory” in correspondence has legal overtones.
        No biggie, but yes other Australians (Karoly being a poor deluded example) would interpret the word as implicitly considering a legal definition, though not necessarily threatening legal action. Generally, the receipt of a letter from a legal representative would be a more overt threat, but usually any intimation of defamation at a personal correspondence level is usually resolved by seeking some sort of explanation as to why the correspondent feels defamed. Karoly has taken the wrong tack, and immediately started squealing about “legal threats”. Most Australians see the guy as a bit of a pip squeak (I’d use more Australian words here, but they might not translate so well culturally).

        • Anoneumouse
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 2:26 AM | Permalink

          ‘Mens rea’

    • Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

      Pouncer — If the allegation of defamation came from an attorney who had been hired by the offended party, an inference of implied threat legal action would be reasonable. But not if it just comes from the offended party himself, unless he makes the threat explcit.

      IMHO, anyhow.

    • Caz in BOS
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

      Consider Karoly’s recent track record of leaping to grandiose conclusions from poorly interpreted data.

  3. Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

    he is an activist.. truth and activism don’t always go well together..

    ie they will say anything to make the other guy look bad, wihout a care about facts/accuracy, etc
    He will probably get away with it. ie the ‘story’ that Steve Mcintyre threatened legal action will spread around the circle that matters to him.
    That circle would not look at climate audit, nor believe anything that appear here.

    • Neil Fisher
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

      I have sent the following email off my own bat to publishing@csiro.au as well as a member a parliament:

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I draw your attention to the following article:

      https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly

      Where Dr Karoly is quoted as saying:

      “Commentators with no scientific expertise, ranging from politicians such as Republican congressman Joe Barton from Texas, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, or Republican Senator James Inhofe from Oklahoma, to blog writers Stephen McIntyre and Marc Morano, have repeatedly promulgated misinformation and sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research, claiming professional misconduct or worse, even though it had been peer reviewed and confirmed by other scientists”

      and also this article:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=1538

      where Dr Karoly is quoted as saying:

      “The threats of legal action and FOI requests are not just occurring in North America. In Australia, I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada and am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests.”

      Mr McIntyre strenuously denies a threat of legal action, as well as making any “misleading” comments on any science as publicly shown on his blog here:

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/14/another-untrue-allegation-by-karoly/

      where you can find the contents of Mr McIntyre’s request for a withdrawal of Dr Karoly’s initial claims.

      I respectfully request that you ask Dr Karoly to correct the record to reflect the facts of the matter, or to provide evidence that Mr McIntyre has threatened legal action as well as evidence that he has personally deliberately mislead his readers with regard to any matter of climate science.

      Because this matter touches on public policy that has already resulted in the imposition of a new tax on Australians (the “Carbon Tax”), it is my belief that all matters relating to this should uphold the highest standards of integrity and openness in order that ordinary Australians can have confidence in the correctness of such an approach, and I therefore urge you to consider this matter to a be serious one, as my confidence in the advise of the CSIRO given to my government would be seriously eroded by such a high level scientist making untrue claims publicly.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Permalink

        “Code of conduct

        The CSIRO Code of Conduct sets out standards of behaviour expected of employees in their day-to-day work.

        The four main principles are:

        you are expected to perform your duties with professionalism and integrity, and work efficiently to enable CSIRO to meet its research and corporate goals
        fairness, honesty, equity and all legal requirements are to be observed in the conduct of official duties and during interactions with clients and members of the public
        real or apparent conflicts of interest are to be avoided
        there is to be adequate protection of intellectual property and confidential information and strict observance of business and commercial protocols while you are an employee and after you leave the organisation.

        ###

        On Judith’s blog there is a nice discussion of “just the facts” people who work in science have a choice about sticking to the science or engaging in the public debate.
        When they choose to engage in the public debate they must realize that they are bound by legal rules and the rules of whatever employer they have.

        So, your letter might have called attention to the code of conduct. Did Karoly observe fairness, honesty and equity during his interaction with the public.

        Arguably no.

        Comes the question: what will his manager do about it.

        then again, one might just stick to the science and not writing book reviews about non scientific matters

      • Eddy
        Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:10 AM | Permalink

        Karoly has recently been appointed to the board of the “Climate Change Authority”.

        http://science.unimelb.edu.au/professor-david-karoly-appointed-new-climate-change-authority

        Oz govt PR on the appointments:

        http://www.climatechange.gov.au/minister/greg-combet/2012/media-releases/June/MR-149-12.aspx

        This puts Karoly on the A-list for Oz public policy (such as it is)- a very high-profile position which I guess may call for ummm “statesman-like” presentation on Karoly’s part.

        It’s an interesting mix – some academic true believers (Karoly/Hamilton/Quiggin), some people you’d expect to be harder-headed.

        http://www.climatechange.gov.au/government/initiatives/climate-change-authority.aspx

        The Climate Change Authority will be created as an independent body to provide advice on the Australian Government’s policies for reducing carbon pollution. The Authority will have a Board of nine members with skills in science, economics, climate change mitigation, emissions trading, investment and business. The Board will be supported by a CEO and support staff.

        One of the Authority’s important roles will be to make recommendations to the Australian Government on the steps Australia should take towards the 2020 target and on the longer-term path towards the 2050 target. The Australian Government will make the final decisions on these recommendations.

        The Authority has been established to ensure the public is fully informed now and into the future. Its independence is enshrined in legislation. It will conduct regular, public reviews and its reports will be made public.

        A review of the Renewable Energy Target will take place by the end of 2012 and every two years after that.

        The Authority will provide recommendations on pollution caps and trajectories by 28 February 2014 and the Australian Government will formally respond in the 2014–15 Federal Budget.

        The Authority will also be responsible for reviewing the Carbon Farming Initiative and the carbon pricing mechanism. The first review of the carbon pricing mechanism is due by December 2016.

        • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 12:34 PM | Permalink

          Eddy commented on Another Untrue Allegation by Karoly .

          in response to Neil Fisher:
          ……………

          The Authority will have a Board of nine members with skills in science, economics, climate change mitigation, emissions trading, investment and business.

          [ My bold ]

          I wonder what those skills are for the bolded part above. Rain Dancer – Psychic Reader – Anal Analysis – Moonbeam Secretion………? :)

  4. Political Junkie
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:27 AM | Permalink

    Barry Woods at 10:12 a.m. suggests that the circle that matters to Karoly would not look at Climate Audit.

    However, we know from experience that the hockey team does pay close attention to this blog. It would be interesting to know what feedback team members are giving Karoly (perhaps we’ll get this info from future Climategate VIII “leaks”).

    Is Karoly getting supportive high fives, are they trying to teach him to lie more convincingly or just to go hide somewhere and keep his mouth shut, etc?

    • Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

      I’m not refering to the ‘team’. But the wider media/politicians.etc

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 2:52 PM | Permalink

      You can expect a wide range of advice given. Nobody, however, will question the wisdom of what he did. Nody will say: “its really a mistake to lump steve with the skeptics”

      NOBODY, except judith curry and lets say Richard betts, gets the point that lumping steve with skeptics is a LOOSING PR strategy.. and wrong.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

        I just looked at the website for the CLimate Science Legal Defense Fund, which was the topic of the blog thread at which Karoly posted. Articles about the Fund (for example here http://www.climatecentral.org/news/legal-defense-fund-created-to-aid-environmental-scientists) say or imply that climate scientists are defendants in “lawsuits”.

        Which climate scientists are actually defendants in a lawsuit?

        To my knowledge, only one climate scientist is an actual defendant in a lawsuit. And it’s not Mann – it’s Tim Ball.

        I think that Ball should apply to the CLimate Science Legal Defense Fund for financial support in his case. Surely he meets the criteria. Which raises another question. I wonder if the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is contributing to Mann’s vanity libel case against Ball – litigation where Mann is not a defendant.

        • Green Sand
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steve McIntyre (Jul 15 15:23),

          O, the logic, the wonderful logic!

        • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:13 AM | Permalink

          Oh, my! Looks like the members of the team may have to add “defendants” to the growing list of words they’ve given themselves licence to redefine!

      • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

        EXCELLENT!!!

  5. Peter Whale
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    Maybe the immanent reissuing of “Gergis et al 2012″ is on his mind.

    • simon abingdon
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:13 AM | Permalink

      “Immanent” is a lovely word meaning “permanently pervading and sustaining the universe” which hardly conjures images of “Gergis et al 2012″. (You meant “imminent” I’m sure).

      • j ferguson
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

        Is there any reason to suppose that Gergis et al 2012 might not be re-publishable because the discovered error is lethal to its conclusions and there is no fix at hand?

        • None
          Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

          None whatsoever. All that is required is a slight change of method, cutting out the detrending step. The climate scientists will claim the detrending step is either unnecessary, or was itself an error, citing the criticisms of detrending by other climate scientists. The result will be a hockey stick.

      • Peter Whale
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

        Sure did!

  6. Will J. Richardson
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Karoly’s innterpretation of Mr. McInyre’s letter as a threat of a legal action for defamation, reveals Karoly’s mens rea. Karoly’s comment that he has been threatened with legal action is his acknowledgment that he knows that he has defamed McIntyre.

    • Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

      Very astute.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

        I agree with Will. His reaction looks to me like evidence of a guilty conscience.

    • ChE
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:55 AM | Permalink

      What this also does is show his victim mentality. He says something that in all likelihood actionable under Australian or Canadian law (probably even under US law), and then claims to be a victim of a legal threat. Talk about projection.

    • Will J. Richardson
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

      “The wicked flee when no man pursueth” Proverbs 28:1

  7. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Permalink

    I would suspect that the unusual grouping of SteveM with the other more partisan participants in the AGW discussions could be a clue to Karoly’s motivation in this matter. As a scientist he had to reply to the juxtaposition in time to the CA criticism of Gergis (2012) and the temporary withdrawal of the paper in recognition of the error as noted by Jean S at CA. That reply would necessarily be expected to be tempered in the manner of things scientific. As with other advocates/scientists in these matters Karoly’s advocacy side is different than the science one and was no doubt stung by the implications of the error in their paper and the rather obvious tendency of climate scientists/advocates to rush to judgment with findings that agree with their advocacy positions. I see that grouping of SteveM with the partisans as indicative of Karoly’s own partisanship position in this matter and the us against them mentality of that position.

    • Menth
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

      Very well said. I can’t help but snicker when I read Mann et al. fulminate about Steve like he’s some partisan operative though I’m afraid it’s a somewhat effective technique. It’s worth noting that Mann referred to Paul Ehrlich as a “hero and guiding light”. To me that shows he puts on his ‘activist hat’ before his ‘scientist hat’. Scratch that, he puts on his ‘Michael Mann hat’ then his ‘activist hat’ and THEN his ‘scientist hat’

  8. MarkB
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:51 AM | Permalink

    Given that Karoly has been professionally humiliated by Climate Audit, it should not be surprising that he violates the First Rule of Holes: When you find you have dug yourself into a hole, put down the shovel. It seems to be the natural climatescience reaction.

  9. stacey
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:56 AM | Permalink

    “In addition, in order for a law suit to have any purpose, the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages”

    Steve is the above statement correct? I thought that for libel and slander financial loss does not necessarily come into it.

    It does puzzle me why Karoly and others of his ilk keep coming back. Like punch drunk boxers they don’t know when to give up?
    He’s gergised up yet again :-)

    • JohnH
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:52 PM | Permalink

      An award will have 2 elements, an award for actual financial loss and an award for punitive damages ie a sort of fine over and above. The punitive can be zero and even be effectively negative if there no actual financial losses and the Judge rules you have to pay your own costs which they do if you were wronged but in so slight a manner you have wasted every ones time perusing the case.

  10. Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Don’t forget that 2 + 2 = 5. People jump to conclusions.

    We should always remember that modern scientists are not like Charles Darwin, hiding themselves away for decades while they laboriously develop and refine their theories.

    Today’s scientists are government bureaucrats that work in government universities doing research on issues that governments want to promote.

    Politicians don’t give money to universities for the advancement of science. They give money to universities to increase their power. In general, scientists are happy to oblige the politicians.

    Dr. Karoly, government university professor and international technocrat extraordinaire, naturally assumes that McIntyre is playing the same political game that he is. Isn’t “everyone” doing it?

    • TerryMN
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM | Permalink

      Spot on, IMO.

    • ChE
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

      That actually explains a lot. That explains the reflexive counter of “industry stooge”. There’s a certain symmetry to seeing Steve that way. The alternative (and correct) explanation is incomprehensible within that paradigm.

    • stan
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 3:44 PM | Permalink

      Psychologically, he’s projecting.

  11. FergalR
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    I’ll send another donation as soon as I can to fund your powerhouse legal offensive.

    Just kidding! Please spend it wisely on website maintenance, whisk(e)y or squash equipment.

    Thanks for all your hard work.

  12. theduke
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 12:41 PM | Permalink

    It seems that imprecision is characteristic of much of Karoly’s writing and thinking.

    I fully anticipate that Karoly will soon blame the problems in Gergis on his being distracted by FOI requests.

  13. David L. Hagen
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

    In WUWT’s discussion TimC July 14, 2012 10:50 AM observes:

    I assume (I am only professionally familiar with UK law) that (a) Dr Karoly is Australian, in which jurisdiction defamation is a civil tort broadly similar to the position in the UK (from which much of Australian common law derives) and (b) Dr Mcintyre is Canadian and defamation is there similarly tortious.
    The statement “It has come to my attention that you have made the following untrue and defamatory statement about me” (whether as from an individual claimant/plaintiff, or a lawyer on the individual’s behalf), to an Australian citizen, is therefore a real threat of civil proceedings (in which costs will generally follow the event – so if the claimant succeeds in proving non-trivial defamation he will also get an order for payment of costs which will often be substantially greater than the damages for the libel).

    (emphasis added)

    • RDCII
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 7:55 PM | Permalink

      Identification of a crime or tort is not tantamount to a threat of legal action. Compare this with an actual threat:

      “If you do not rectify this situation, I will pursue the matter through the courts.”

      Also, note some of the other language; I would suggest that a legal threat contains words like “demand” or “require”, not “request”.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

      A “threat” of legal action would necessitate a declaration of intent made by Steve. No such declaration has been made. It is fair to say that Steve’s letter may well have left Karoly feeling “exposed” to legal action. But that is a result of his inability or unwillingness to back up and discuss the basis of his statement when Steve invited him to do so. Steve did preface his denial of “promulgating” with “to my knowledge” thus expressing an open mind to what Karoly may put up.

      The bottom line is Steve’s letter prods against Karoly’s integrity as a scientist not the threat of a drawn out legal mess. Steve has been critical of litigation in general on these matters, even in the case of Mike Mann – one whom has evinced a degree of animus toward Steve.

  14. Don McIlvin
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    In the Karoly article referenced, he states..

    Multiple separate assessments of Mann’s research methods and findings have also been undertaken by the US National Academy of Science and the Pennsylvania State University. Again, they found no evidence of misconduct and confirmed the findings of his research, as have many subsequent peer-reviewed scientific studies.

    Clearly he has not made a substantive analysis of what PSU and NAS did, accepting the findings at a superficial level. The above propaganda is a result of that. In the Gergis et al paper neither he, nor co-authors double checked their work. When you look at that and consider his claims of “promulgating misinformation” and makeing “legal” threats, one can fairly conclude this guy says a lot of things that on further examination lack a knowledgeable foundation.

    In more simply stated terms, he frequently doesn’t know what he is talking about.

    The other thing I noticed in his article was labeling climate skeptics “climate change confusionist”. I hadn’t seen that term before.

    • Salamano
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

      By the way…

      Did you see the recent independent investigation undertaken by Penn State into the Jerry Sandusky saga..? Can you think of a more fully ‘indepenendent’ and ‘comprehensive’ investigation to the truest sense of the word?

      Compare that to the “independent” investigation undertaken by PSU into Michael Mann’s ‘stuff’. Imagine the fall-out if PSU put all sorts of qualifications on the scope of the evidence gathering or subjects of evaluation in the Sandusky case. Which one is a white-washing…

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

        In the earlier Sandusky investigations (but without media attention) the whitewash was complete, since the findings would have been inconvenient.

        • morebrocato
          Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

          Correct… So we see the ‘how to’ and ‘how not to’ both as it relates to Penn State in terms of Sandusky. So there’s clearly now experience and precedence in how to conduct legitimate ‘independent’ investigations.

          Future commissions (especially at PSU) that purport to be independent and yet behave like the former should have similar expectations of coverup or whitewash.

        • Don McIlvin
          Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 11:18 PM | Permalink

          I think the most telling point in the PSU investigation of Mann, was when they went over with Richard Lindzen what they were going to actually investigate. His response was if that is all “then why are we here”. His point is literally in the report.

  15. Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    I’m not going to study this, just say that it is common for someone proven wrong to try to put some mud on the other person to soften the blow to their reputation. Is this anything but that tactic?

  16. Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM | Permalink

    “Pennsylvania State University. Again, they found no evidence of misconduct and confirmed the findings of his research, as have many subsequent peer-reviewed scientific studies.”

    NOW that’s a glowing recommendation.
    They didn’t find any misconduct in another, recent, well publicized case.

  17. Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:15 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on Climate Ponderings.

  18. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Permalink

    doug_bostrom’s comment is well worth reading. It shows a clear example of people reaching false conclusions based upon misreading comments by people they dislike. It’s obvious doug_bostrom is wrong if one reads what he refers to, yet he fails to see it because he doesn’t want to.

    (Note, I’m not a mind-reader so my remarks about his motivations should be taken with a grain of salt. However, if bias isn’t the cause for his mistakes/confusion, the only other explanation I can see is he’s incapable of reading simple sentences. I find that hard to believe.)

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

      Could a moderator fix my post? I obviously didn’t mean for the hyperlink to extend through my entire comment.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

      Re: Brandon Shollenberger (Jul 14 14:22),

      This may be getting OT.. If so snip away..

      Just who is Doug Bostrom? Oh the guy that said On Planet3.0 this past March..

      dbostrom says:
      March 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm
      The atavistic part of me hopes that before we change our behavior for the better we first deliver some viscerally satisfying, old fashioned, vindictive, pointless punishment to the folks who ensured we shot past timely mitigation and straight on to coerced full-blown adaptation.

      Not exactly objective.. But it speaks to his “motivations”..

      But again; Who is this blathering Doug Bostrom?

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Permalink

        As far as I know, I’ve never seen the name before today. All I know is he seems to be incapable of understanding simple sentences. I imagine that’s led him to say all sorts of silly things, but I wouldn’t know what any of them are.

      • Don McIlvin
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

        His rants and snide remarks are all over the “warmist” blogs. He has been a guest blog contributor on some. I haven’t seen that he has done any original work in the field, or found a bio.

      • Anthony Watts
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

        Brandon,

        Done, Anthony

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

          Thanks Anthony!

    • None
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

      I like his “its not a legal threat but I like to read it as if it is so Karoly is right to interpret it as such” attitude to truth. Don’t really get his point with the ice cores either, she might have archived something from the many things she did so thats ok that almost nothing else is archived ?

      • Don McIlvin
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

        On the Ice Cores Bostrom is conflating two separate issues on CA. Ellen Thompson hasn’t archived anything. Steve observed she had archived none of the core where she led the expedition. Lonnie has put up some incomplete data on some of his Ice cores. Steve observed many of Lonnie’s Ice Cores remain unarchived.

        The self styled genius Bostrom takes Steve’s observation of no archived cores by Ellen, and Steve’s observation of Lonnie’s “many” unarchived cores as Steve correcting an earlier error of no ice cores archived. He obviously read neither post, or as Brandon says is “incapable of understanding simple sentences”. Like one article is on Ellen and the other is on Lonnie. Duh!

        • Don McIlvin
          Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

          and that was “the” example of Steve promulgation misinformation.

  19. Mark K
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM | Permalink

    The claim of a legal threat has only one purpose… to telegraph to his supporters to label you a bully. Sadly, these days, demanding truth is considered “bullying”, especially when the one claiming victimhood is wrong.

    • ChE
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

      If that’s true then what does that make Mann? Either a libel suit is a legitimate thing to do or it isn’t. It’s not legitimate only when ‘scientists’ do it, which seems to be the implication.

      If there isn’t some implication that libel suits by ‘non-scientists’ are somehow inherently illegitimate, he wouldn’t have even an imaginary grievance.

  20. jim2
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    It would appear that Karoly is passive-aggressive. He demurs, then slurs you once again. If he’s mad, it would be better just to let it out and be done with it. He wouldn’t look as silly.

  21. Michael
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    Re Mark K

    It seems that in Australia today you are being bullied whenever someone doesn’t agree with you. It is interesting to note how the term bullying, an unfortunate infantile behaviour, is being increasingly applied to include any type of normal appropriate adult behaviour that has an element of confrontation, correction or coercion.

    • timetochooseagain
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

      You think that’s unique to Australia?

  22. AndyL
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

    Steve,
    In your letter to Karoly, you pretty much directly accuse him of plagiarism. Are you taking that accusation any further?

    • PhilH
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

      AndyL: Come again? There is no accusation of plagiarism in Steve’s post. Look it up.

      • johnl
        Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

        Phil, backdating your notes to claim to have discovered something that you read someplace else is plagiarism.

  23. PhilH
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 6:55 PM | Permalink

    AndyL: Apology is due. I looked it up in the ultimate authority, the great Webster’s Second (inherited from my father), and it gives a broader definition; which includes the use of someone else’s idea, product, words, artistic creation, etc, without giving proper credit. I had always thought of it as just a literary copying of someone else’s words.

    Still and all; it seems a bit of a stretch to say plagiarism includes an instance of withdrawing a paper because someone else found its flaws without mentioning the flaw finders.

    • johnl
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

      Falsely claiming to be the first to find an error is plagiarism.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:30 PM | Permalink

      Karoly claimed he found it himself.

  24. manicbeancounter
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 7:13 PM | Permalink

    Karoly’s (incorrect) interpretation of the letter as a threat of legal action suits his case. The implication that can be drawn (from those of a certain persuasion) is that Karoly has withdrawn his allegations due to a threat from more powerful interests, rather than because someone has demonstrated that his allegations are without foundation. He becomes a martyr to the cause of true science, rather than a senior climate scientist who has published a deeply flawed paper.

  25. Mike Seward
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    In Australia we have a number of expressions to characterise the likes of Karoly. “Gutless wonder” and “legend in his own lunchtime” immediately come to mind.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

      In America the saying goes “a legend in his own mind”.

    • lapogus
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 12:48 AM | Permalink

      There’s an excellent Scots expression, now little heard: “a dyke-louper”. (dyke=stone wall; loup=leap) which means “a person of questionable morals”. [Imagine a dubious character making his way across the fields for some nefarious purpose and louping the dykes to avoid being seen].

  26. RDCII
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 8:08 PM | Permalink

    “The threats of…FOI requests”.

    Sigh.

    He wants funding to deal with the threat of FOI requests. How dare we insist that they publish the data to back up their findings with scientific reproducibility. This would be a waste of their valuable productivity.

    Sigh.

  27. pete m
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

    Steve, some understanding of Australian defamation law may help. The first step if you feel you have been defamed requires you to write to the person or publisher requiring a retraction and apology. If this is not done, then you obtain the legal right to commence a damages claim / seek injuncive releif as a result of the defamation remaining despite the retraction / apology request.

    Hence, even though you do not mention legal action, we Aussies are now conditioned to know the request for an apology and retraction, if not complied with, can give rise to Court action.

    I agree no such threat was made by you – just outlining our law as it applies in Karoly’s world.

    To me it seems he’s trying to look for sympathy from benefactors to fight his good fight as he freely disparages others. The claim he’s been swamped by FOI requests (6!!!) is laughable. His FOI unit would do 99% of the legwork for him, poor man.

    • Tony Mach
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

      @pete m

      So if Steve had asked for an correction instead of an retraction, all would have been fine?

    • Tony Mach
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

      And while I agree that Steve did not write a threatening letter, I must say that Steve’s very precise letters are almost completely devoid of non-topic content to a degree, which can lead to the letter being perceived as a bit importunate (if that is the right word – I’m not a native English speaker).

      His letters are usually in the form (let me overstate): “This data is not available. Send me the data.” Or now: “You are defaming. Explain yourself or retract your article.”

      How about this? “You have written ‘blah, blah, blah’. I can not see how this relates in any way to what I have published. I would look forward to any examples where I have done what you claim. Otherwise I would kindly ask you to set the record straight. By the way, did I read it right that you claim you found the error in Gergis 2012 yourself, without the help from Climate Audit? Surely this must be an oversight.”

      The other side may not deserve it, but they are humans after all.

  28. connolly
    Posted Jul 14, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Steve as someone who has long admired your intellect and courage from afar can I presume to correct one of your statements and try to explain Karoly’s statement of “threat”.
    1. In Australian defamation law, which is relevant here as the defamation (and defamation it indeed is) that Karoly has committed against you, damages are ” at large”. It is not necessary or a requirement of an action for the injured party to demonstrate or particulalrise monetary damage or loss. When you sue Karoly in the Supreme Court of New South Wales a jury of three good men and women will determine if a defamation has been committed. And then a judge will make a judgement of loss and compensation to be paid by Karoly and those who have disseminated the defamation.
    2. Karoly is a very frightened gazelle on the Serengetti of climate change alarmism. When you deliberately attempt to destroy the reputation and credibility of a dissneter against the hegemonic ideology of climate alarmism there are risks. One of them is a action in the courts of Australia to remedy the damage of reputation. The defamer must pay the price of the defamation. Scary. His response is furtive and nervous because he knows what he has done. And what it may cost him.
    3. I would suggest his “review” was removed by the publisher on legal advice that Karoly’s outrageous attack on your good reputation is defamatory under Australian law. And Karoly has been told this.
    4. Sue the arse clown and hundreds of thousands of honest Australians will cheer you on. Many will do what Aussies have done for previous good causes. They will kick into the can for the action.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 12:51 AM | Permalink

      connolly, on your point 4), I can’t imagine Steve winning, much less it being worthwhile for him. While Karoly was wrong to say what he said in his review, it doesn’t merit a legal response, and Steve certainly couldn’t expect to profit from it.

  29. geronimo
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM | Permalink

    If he’d written the review two months ago you can bet there’d be no mention of Steve in the list of misinformers. He’s stinging from the withdrawal of a paper three years in the making and three days on CA before serious defects were discovered. It has to be one of the most humiliating experiences a scientist could go through to have egregious errors pointed out in a paper on the cusp of publication, particularly as it will go through the same scrutiny next time round and there’s probably no quick fix.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

      Geronimo, I think you’re right. What a series of embarrassments for a big-time climate IPCC climate scientist. Karoly does not display a quality of mind that can handle either scientific issues or public controversy. He maintains such careless, wishful fictions as (1) the stats problem with Gergis et al (2012) was identified independently of Climate Audit, (2) he is so over-burdened by FOI requests, and (3) Steve’s letter was a “threat”….. Karoly is out of his depth, over his head, and unready for the Big Leagues (as I mix cliches with glee).

    • Hector Pascal
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 4:32 AM | Permalink

      Curious, isn’t it, that being part of a movement dedicated to restructuring the economies of the developed nations should bring scrutiny and criticism.

      It’s clearly a schoolyard game for some people, white-hat black-hat stuff, where the goodies always win. It must be painful to meet the realities of real life and you can’t get away with making up the rules as you go. Poor diddums.

  30. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

    Karoly et al are emerging more and more as nothing more or less than a bunch political activists.

    Gergis’ now removed personal blog was a green activist diatribe.

    Gergis & her rapper friend Gallant wrote an article about attending a course on political lobbying.

    Karoly sits on a WWF advisory panel.

    Karoly opened a wind farm in his “Weatherman” shirt.

    Karoly was closely involved in the “fake death threats” fiasco.

    Join the dots.

  31. Mike
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 4:46 AM | Permalink

    “Reasoning against a prejudice is like fighting against a shadow; it exhausts the reasoner, without visibly affecting the prejudice”

    Steve, thank you for your considerable efforts. You are a force of reason that is important and wildly entertaining. Stay classy…

  32. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 5:18 AM | Permalink

    Well, I tried to be nice to Dr. Karoly over on the other thread but…whiny petulant child seems to leap to mind.

    For fear of appearing to be issuing death threats to KLIMATESCIENTISTS, I will avoid stating that if this were high school, being stuffed in a locker is about the most appropriate remedy.

    Since I can’t advocate that, perhaps a good solid wedgie would do the trick.

    (La La La La, can’t hear you life coach. La La La La).

    Quoting James Sexton over at WUWT who said it well.

    This is the results of children being coddled their entire lives. The harsh light of reality is shone upon the work of the sheltered. This is the reaction of a person who’s never experienced butthurt before. Look at the actions of Karoly. He had no choice but to accept the flaws pointed out be the crew at CA. But, rather than taking it and growing as a person, he sulks. He lashes out in his book review. When the adolescent behavior is pointed out, and the appropriate correction to the behavior is figuratively meted out, he does what any child will do. He runs to sympathetic arms, much like a child will when a father administers a spanking, the child will run to the arms of the mother. In this case, SkS provides a substitute for the sheltering walls of academia.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 7:00 AM | Permalink

      perhaps a good solid wedgie would do the trick

      Be careful. Karoly will accuse you of threatening him with physical violence.

      • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

        Leonard Hofstadter: “Remember all those terrible things bullies used to do to us? I get it.”

  33. neill
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 7:22 AM | Permalink

    “A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its pants.” ~Mark Twain

  34. Area Man
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Permalink

    He could have simply chosen his words more carefully and said “veiled threat” or better yet “what I took as a veiled threat”. At least if he had used that wording it could have been a point of legitimate disagreement. But he didn’t.

    Precision matters is words as well as numbers, and it can certainly be frustrating to deal with folks who do not bother to be precise about things that affect you. You have a right to be annoyed, Steve.

    • Area Man
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 9:09 AM | Permalink

      “…matters in words as well as numbers…”

    • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

      Oh, the irony!

  35. Connolly
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

    Brandon whatever Steve wants to do is his call. In regard to Karoly’s statement re. Steve disseminating misinformation under Australian defamation law it is a clear defamation. As regards the damages, you clearly don’t understand the concept of damages at large. A judge od the District or Supreme Court would assess the damages not on the basis of loss of income but on the extent of the damage to reputation. Another aspect of Karoly’s defamation is the deliberate attempt by Karoly to destroy Steve’s scientific credibility. This raises the possibility of aggravated damages. Perhapos Brandon you should try and contact Karoly? He seems to be running scared of a defamation action.For good reason. In defamation actions defamers reap what they sow.

    • Brandon Shollenberger
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

      Connolly, it’s a bad sign when you tell someone they “clearly don’t understand” something, especially when you do so based on just a couple sentences. It doesn’t help you made what seems to be a snide remark about me trying to contact Karoly. What possible reason would I have to do that?

      All I did was point out Steve isn’t likely to win a defamation suit, much less profit from one. You can disagree with me if you’d like, but saying I (clearly) don’t know what I’m talking about goes far beyond the reasonable.

      In a lawsuit, Karoly would likely win off two points. One, the material was taken down upon complaint. That goes a long way even if you don’t consider how it impacts any damages caused by the article. Two, nothing he said was new. People make remarks like that about Steve on a fairly regular basis. If a hundred people say something, it’s hard to demonstrate that the words of one caused damage.

      • connolly
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:25 AM | Permalink

        Brandon my comment was directed to the issue of damages at large in Australian defamation law. And with respect it was clear you didn’t understand that point. I apologise if that came across arrogantly. Damages at large is an unusual aspect of Australian defamation law and it is perfectly understandable if people outside Australia don’t know of it or understand it. In regard to your opinion that the material was removed promtly, that is a mitigation of the damages but in this time of very rapid dissemination of information by the internet it would not be much help. The fact or otherwise that a number of other people regularly defame Steve is neither a defense for Karoly nor a mitigation. An unequivocal apology and withdrawal of the defamation by Karoly would be a significant mitigation of the putative damages. And we should all urge that course of action on Karoly. Of course he is a moral and intellectual coward (not defamatory under Australian defamation law as it is fair comment). I will write to Karoly and urge that course of action on him in the cause of civil and ethical scientific debate and the possible economic well being of his grandchildren. And once again apologies for the offense in my comment.

      • johanna
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

        connolly’s description of how Australian defamation law works is broadly correct, Brandon, and you were wrong. It doesn’t matter if other people have defamed you as well – that’s not relevant. Damage to reputation does not have to be quantified as economic loss. Proof of intentional malice can increase the damages awarded.

        Australian defamation law is murky and inconsistent – it varies between jurisdictions – and only those with deep pockets are usually prepared to take a punt on it. I am glad that Steve is not (at this stage, anyway) proposing to go down that path, for his sake.

        I am not sure that the article was pulled at Karoly’s request. It also contained what are almost certainly defamatory statements about a couple of well known Australians. If I had been the publisher, I would have pulled it immediately if the contents were drawn to my attention – the whole thing was a legal minefield under local law. It wasn’t so much a book review as a series of offensive personal attacks by Karoly on his perceived enemies.

  36. Martin A
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    It seems simple enough to me. It’s a question of loss of face.

    He loses less face if he says ”legal threats obliged me to take it down” than if he were to say ”I took it down because what I said was unjustified\”.

    • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

      He loses less face if he says ”legal threats obliged me to take it down” than if he were to say ”I took it down because what I said was unjustified\”.

      Does he lose less face? If what he said was justified he could leave it up even in the face of legal threats. In fact, what he could do is post the legal threat and announce that he was leaving his statement intact because it was true.

      Truth is a defense against an accusation of defamation in the US. I think it is in Canada. Is it not a defense in Australia?

      • ChE
        Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

        I was thinking the same thing. There would be less loss of face if he simply admitted an honest error. But I think more to it. This is about Steve M., the ‘non-scientist’ having the temerity to question a ‘scientist’. That’s unforgivable.

        Subtle legal point: In the US, the truth is a complete defense against defamation; i.e. there is no case at all if the allegedly defamatory statement can be shown to be true. In the English system, that Australia probably follows, it’s admissible, but only one factor to be considered.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

          Admitting an honest error has never been observed in RealClimateScience(TM). It is the most horrific shame, far worse than throwing out slander or making up facts or hiding declines.

      • timetochooseagain
        Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:15 AM | Permalink

        In other words, taking it down would, if this were a legal matter, constitute an admission of guilt.

        So the reason Karoly thought he would be taken to court was that his own conscience told him he deserved to be…

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Permalink

        A point that readers, sympathetic or critical, have overlooked: I did not say to Karoly – take this down within 48 hours or I will take whatever steps I think necessary to protect my interests (or something along those lines.) I asked him to provide examples (so that I can rebut, explain or correct) or withdraw the allegation with an apology.

        By doing so, I was structuring my request primarily on Karoly’s responsibility to behave as a professional, rather than on alleged damages to myself or my reputation. There’s an important difference.

        If the roles were reversed. If Karoly wrote to me and said of something that I wrote – please provide examples or withdraw the claim with an apology- I would not interpret the request as a precursor to litigation, but as an appeal to my conscience, as a request to do the “right thing”. My reaction would be to provide examples supporting the allegation and, if after an exchange, I felt that I had not made my case, I’d like to think that I’d withdraw the claim and apologise. I certainly wouldn’t run off to another blog and claim that Karoly had threatened me with legal action.

        • theduke
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

          Nicely put.

          You were challenging him to an informal debate. But the Team doesn’t do debates.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:49 PM | Permalink

          alas, an appeal to conscience and professional standards seems lost on people like Karoly (and Michael Mann)…. but it was a good way to do it, and not as any legal “demand” letter which Karoly is pretending he received.

        • Tony Mach
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

          Steve, if you wanted to request of him “to do the right thing”, why didn’t you simply write that? See my comment above, which goes in the same direction. If you want to write to a “fellow” scientist, don’t write like a lawyer, take the high road, write like a fellow scientist. I know it is challenging with these obstructionists and confusionists, I feel for you.

          On the bright side: If as an unintentional consequence other climate scientists will perceive you as “litigious”, and there will be less smearing you in the future as a result, then we can chalk it down as a win.

        • theduke
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

          http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/14/another-untrue-allegation-by-karoly/#comment-342811

          Tony: I think Steve did write his letter like a scientist. I don’t see anything in there that even hints at legal action. It’s Karoly’s paranoia that is the problem.

          Steve’s letters tend to be dispassionate and forthright. That is how a scientist should write.

        • sue
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:08 AM | Permalink

          Steve, any comments on Gavin’s recent response? http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/07/unforced-variations-july/comment-page-5/#comment-240587

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

          Again, I do not claim to be infallible. I try to write accurately and will correct things if I’ve made a mistake. In the cases at hand, I am not convinced that there is anything incorrect in the original post or that was not adequately dealt with. Here is a quick response to Gavin “mystery Man” Schmidt:

          On the Yamal affair, McIntyre clearly insinuated that Briffa had cherry picked the trees that went into that reconstruction and had done so deliberately in order to get a desired result. Though he denied this interpretation of his words …

          My issue was with the selection of sites, not individual trees. I found it inconceivable that Briffa had not considered adding in Schweingruber sites in the Yamal area, as he had done in Taimyr. The CLimategate correspondence demonstrated that my surmise was correct. Not only did I not “insinuate” that he had selected the individual trees, I said the opposite at the time. Nor did McKitrick say this in his Op Ed.

          On impact of the correction to the HadSST record, McIntyre clearly stated that the global trends would be ‘reduced by half’ and this was never corrected (until the actual work was done) at which point he denied ever making any such statement at all.

          Although Schmidt purports to be quoting me by using quotation marks, I did not use the quoted phrase nor did I categorically make any such assertion. Nor does Schmidt’s link connect to Climate Audit, but to a RC post. In my post on May 28, 2008 – the very day of Phil Jones’ email deletion conspiracy – I had done a pro forma calculation showing the effect of phasing in the correction on a timetable proposed by a reader, describing the calculation as follows:

          Let’s suppose that Carl Smith’s idea is what happened. I did the same calculation assuming that 75% of all measurements from 1942-1945 were done by engine inlets, falling back to business as usual 10% in 1946 where it remained until 1970 when we have a measurement point – 90% of measurements in 1970 were still being made by buckets as indicated by the information in Kent et al 2007- and that the 90% phased down to 0 in 2000 linearly. This results in the following graphic…

          Nowhere in the post did I use the phrase “reduced by half” or make any prediction about 20th century trends. In my earlier comments on the phenomenon – prior to the Thompson et al article – I had observed that correcting this effect actually made life easier for modelers BTW – since it mitigated the mid-2oth century decrease in temperatures.

          A reader observed that insulated buckets were in use in the 1970s and this would mitigate the adjustment. I promptly drew notice to this effect on May 30 as follows:

          UPDATE (May 30): A reader has contacted me to say that buckets in the 1970s were predominantly insulated buckets not uninsulated buckets and that the differential between insulated buckets and engine inlets is less than between uninsulated buckets and engine inlets (say 0.1 deg C, versus 0.25-0.3 deg C). So there may be a couple of things going on in bucket world – a change from buckets to engine inlets and a change from uninsulated buckets to insulated buckets. The latter possibility was not clearly articulated in Thompson et al, or for that matter in the predecessor articles, but may nonetheless be a real effect. IF such transition were complete by the 1970s, then this would contain adjustments in the 1980s to ones resulting from differences between insulated buckets and engine inlets, which would be less than between uninsulated buckets and engine inlets….

          I invite readers to re-read my post rather than Schmidt’s characterization of it. Gavin Schmidt, who, as CA readers will recall, was his own Mystery Man, is the one who is promulgating misinformation here. His use of quotation marks when he’s not quoting me is pretty bad.

          Recently, he insinuated that Briffa published results in 2008 that were incomplete because the completed work was inconvenient. This is (and was) untrue.

          This is the same issue as Yamal. CRU did a regional chronology for Yamal the results of which were inconvenient results. Briffa et al 2008 did not use or report those results, instead reverting to a very small data set previously used in Briffa 2000. What is untrue about anything that I said about this?

          In many other cases he has been apparently unconcerned that people have misinterpreted his statements and has done nothing to correct their promulgation of misinformation (a sin of omission if you like).

          I cannot deal with everything on the internet. I try to write accurately and ensure that descriptions here are accurate. If Schmidt undertook not to misinterpret things that I’ve written, I would definitely appreciate it.

        • sue
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM | Permalink

          Thanks Steve.

      • Jeff Norman
        Posted Jul 20, 2012 at 12:35 PM | Permalink

        He loses less face but loses more karma and credibility.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

      It may not have been his call whether to take the review down. Unless he was going to keep SM’s letter secret from the Australian Book Review (and his Dean of Research was copied on the letter), the ABR would make its own decision about whether they wanted to accept legal exposure. Of course, Karoly could decide to try to re-post the review somewhere else if he still wants to “stand by it” but it seems unlikely he will be so foolish in this round.

  37. John Norris
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

    re: “… or withdraw the allegation with an apology.”

    Withdrawing with an apology would be admitting he was wrong. So he took an alternate path – withdraw with an excuse. As in: I was right, but I had to withdraw it for legal reasons.

    In hindsight, not very surprising at all. Just a climate scientist demonstrating another technique for handling an awkward situation when the climate amateurs are right and the lofty climate professionals are wrong.

  38. Tony Mach
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    The professional climate confusionists and obstructionists are easily startled with some legalese, but they’ll soon be back, and in greater numbers.

  39. ThinkingScientist
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    Karoly is using the pharse “threat of legal action” to justify taking down the defamatory words. It means he can avoid admitting that he was wrong and apologising.

    I am in the UK and I expect our laws are similar to Aus. Steve M’s letter is not a threat, it is statement of fact with a clear get out clause for Karoly: retract and apologise. This is gentlemanly conduct when someone errs.

    Regarding legal action, my understanding of libel law is that redress (including financial compensation as well as formal retraction and apology) would be payable, and particularly in this case because Steve M’s entire reputation is based on truth and fact. I also agree with Steve that legal action is slow, expensive, risky, inappropriate and surely a bit unseemly. A polite appeal to someone’s better nature was entirely appropriate and reasonable, not threatening at all. Karoly has had every opportunity to do the right thing. He won’t because it would be an admission of failure.

    Its also worth reminding readers that Fred Singer did sue for libel and won, in a case not very far removed from Al Gore (being one of his cronies, as I recall).

    • Chuck Kraisinger
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 7:06 PM | Permalink

      “Karoly is using the pharse ‘threat of legal action'”…

      In America, we spell that ‘farce’, but I get your point.

    • ChE
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

      I think that’s correct. It’s sort of like settling without admission of wrongdoing. It gives him a way to back down without losing face, because he’s implying that he’s right, but simply chose not to deal with litigation.

  40. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Well, when your waistband is down around your ankles, maybe even the breath of words like, “defamatory” and “forthwith” feel like a threat of legal action to the more exposed, and tender parts. The dear boy doesn’t seem to be able to help himself though, does he.

    W^3

  41. John in L du B
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:27 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I think the operational word for everything on Dr. Karoly’s world is “fantasy”.

  42. Green Sand
    Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Ssnip – overwrought

  43. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 4:45 PM | Permalink

    Mark K said Jul 14, 2012 at 4:24 PM”Sadly, these days, demanding truth is considered “bullying”, especially when the one claiming victimhood is wrong.”

    Indeed, there’s “hateful speech”, “accusational” *, not an “objective tone” *, and dozens more.

    * Recently tried on me by the director of parks in Saanich BC when I pointed to errors in their work including a fundamental contraction in a consultants report then referred to a manager as a bureaucrat when he ducked the issue.

  44. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 9:24 PM | Permalink

    1) McIntyre sent a letter making demands, and couched in legal terms.

    2) Had McIntyre’s intention been to sue for defamation and had Karoly not satisfied McIntyre’s demands, the next step would have been to file a suite with a court having jurisdiction. There would be no legal requirement for additional correspondence, and the lack of further correspondence would not make establishing his claim more difficult.

    3) Karoly, and any lawyers he may have consulted, had no way of knowing McIntyre’s further intentions on this issue. Specifically, McIntyre in no way indicated that he would not take legal action over the matter.

    4) The risk of assuming the letter was the first step in a suite of defamation when it was not was very small, indeed, virtually without cost. IN contrast, the risk of assuming it was not the first step in a suite of defamation was very large, potentially resulting in actions that could compromise any offence. Therefore it would be negligent for any lawyer to advise Karoly, or for Karoly to act on the assumption that the letter was not the first step in a suite of defamation.

    5) As it would have been ill advised for any rational and prudent person to assume the letter was not the first action in a suite of defamation; the letter constituted a threat of a suite of defamation. That is, the letter was a legal threat.

    6) This in no way obviates McIntyre’s claim that he did not intend to make a legal threat. However, that being the case he should man up, and admit that he has inadvertently done what he did not intend, and apologize to Karoly for inadvertently creating the impression that he was threatened with a legal suite.

    7) If McIntyre fails to apologize for the inadvertent impression, that would strongly suggest the impression was intentional even though McIntyre had no intention of carrying through with the suite. That is, it would strongly suggest that McIntyre wrote in a manner more suitable to a letter of demand than to a collegial communication so as to create doubt in Karoly as to whether a law suite might follow.

    It is my hope, of course, that McIntyre’s wording was inadvertent, and that an apology to Karol will be forthcoming.

    Steve: puh-leeze. This is beyond foolishness. Karoly was the one who published untrue statements about me. His words and conduct have been inappropriate; mine have not. Nor has Karoly apologized for his defamatory article or his failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in his public statements on the identification of the error in Gergis et al.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

      Let’s hope that Tom Curtis never has any power over human beings, ever. For he is the kind of malicious overbearing petty tyrant who will always blame others for his own misunderstandings, then demand that others “apologize” or conform their behavior to his own feeble-minded misunderstandings.

    • theduke
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis:

      That’s quite a fantasy world you’ve invented for yourself.

      It’s my hope that you re-read all the applicable material and come to your senses.

    • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:13 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom Curtis (Jul 15 21:24),

      I wonder who called in the small guns? Perhaps SS? Since they both appear to be from down-under, they may be drinking buddies of Karoly’s.

      Perhaps something akin to this brought them here?

    • Bob K.
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

      Some crazy mushrooms you must have growing in Brisbane.

    • Carrick
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:52 AM | Permalink

      Tom, as I’ve said elsewhere, it’s obvious there was no threat in Steve’s letter, which was coached as a request. The fact that he points out that some comments by Karoly are defamatory is appropriate, and does not constitute a legal threat.

      It’s possible that one could worry about a future legal threat, had Karoly not complied with Steve’s requests. But in fact he has not complied with the bulk of the requests, which is to issue an apology for the defamatory comments, nor has he admitted that the statements were defamatory, nor has he as yet admitted that the error in his paper came a discovery made by Jean S on this blog.

      As I told Eli on another forum, you really need better heroes to defend..

    • connolly
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:29 AM | Permalink

      Tom this is a radical development in the process of defamation action. The defamed has to apologise to the defamer for requesting that the defamation be remedied lest the defamer asssume that a defamation action is on the way. Right.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

      Tom wishes a word usage error to insert.
      To offer confusion, Tom turns “threat” as in “threat of forest fire” ( perceived danger ) to mean “threat” as in “death threat” ( issued ).

    • jim edwards
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:40 AM | Permalink

      Re: Tom Curtis and how perceived threats magically become real threats

      A: “I have a dog”
      B: “He threatened to sick his dog on me !”

      A: “I’m good with the ladies”
      B: “He threatened to seduce my wife and daughter !”

      A: “Does anybody have a match ?”
      B: “He threatened to burn down my house !”

      A: “That’s a nice watch”
      B: “He tried to steal my grandfather’s pocket watch !”

      A: “Please stop telling lies about me”
      B: “He threatened me with a law SUIT !”

      [A SUITE is a group of two or more rooms used for living space, genius]

      You said:
      “5) As it would have been ill advised for any rational and prudent person to assume the letter was not the first action in a suite of defamation; the letter constituted a threat of a suite of defamation. That is, the letter was a legal threat.”

      That’s one strange leap of logic, buddy

      Regards,

      Jim Edwards
      Attorney-at-Law

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

        Or as drunks in bars say when trying to start a fight “Hey, who you lookin at?”
        ie, just looking at them is an offense.

        • jim edwards
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

          Hey, they took offense, so, obviously, you’re guilty of assault…

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:32 AM | Permalink

      Ah, some light…. reviewing the thread, I realized why it always seemed ridiculous that Tom Curtis came in here bloviating about legal demands, “concern notices”, and apologies to Karoly.

      It was clear from the first that Curtis was intent upon hyperventilating without analysis. Every time more information emerges he tries to nimbly change his tune so that he can pretend his new “line” is what he was always talking about. Now, at the end of the current thread, he wants to chastise others for not knowing all along what “Queensland lawyers” say about Australian defamation law.

      Yet, one of the basics, in Australia’s Defamation Act, seems to be that any “notices or documents” under the Act must be served in a physical or facsimile document. Certainly I knew that in the USA one must “serve” someone with either a paper document (normally) or (much more rarely) a facsimile (fax). That may be antiquated in the email era, but that’s how it is here. It seems that it is the case in Australian legal procedures, too (see below). I can’t say for sure but I don’t think there are yet many places accepting email as serving legal documents because of the ease of altering email, among other reasons.

      So when Steve M. said near the top of the thread that he had sent an email letter to Karoly (and very little time had lapsed since the ABR article came out), it seemed too obvious to comment that he had (1) not utilized a lawyer, and (2) not intended in any way to serve even a preliminary notice of any possible legal process:

      Steve McIntyre: [my emphasis]

      “…As I said in my email to Karoly, I try to write precisely….”

      I’m no “Queensland lawyer” of course, but it does appear that one must provide a “concerns notice” either as a paper or facsimile document (at least an email letter would not constitute any initial or “inadvertent” kind of legal notice in US legal matters and apparently not in Australia either):

      Serving “notices and other documents” under the Australian Defamation Act

      [emphasis added]

      44 Giving of notices and other documents

      (1) For the purposes of this Act, a notice or other document may
      be given to a person (or a notice or other document may be
      served on a person)—
      (a) in the case of a natural person—
      (i) by delivering it to the person personally; or
      (ii) <by sending it by post to the address specified by the
      person for the giving or service of documents or, if
      no such address is specified, the residential or
      business address of the person last known to the
      person giving or serving the document; or
      (iii) by sending it by facsimile transmission to the
      facsimile number of the person
      ; orb>

      • Skiphil
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:44 AM | Permalink

        Some of my bold got mangled in quote from the Australian Defamation Act — my point was to emphasize that the Act specifies ONLY 3 ways to serve “notices and documents” (1) by hand, (2) by post, (3) by facsimile.

        I can’t be sure for Australia, but it seems likely that lawyers and judges would not consider an email to meet the procedural requirement for serving a notice. In which case it would not be possible for Steve M. to have “inadvertently” provided a defamation “concerns notice” via email under Australian law:

        [my emphasis]

        Serving “notices and other documents” under the Australian Defamation Act

        44 Giving of notices and other documents

        (1) For the purposes of this Act, a notice or other document may
        be given to a person (or a notice or other document may be
        served on a person)—
        (a) in the case of a natural person—
        (i) by delivering it to the person personally; or
        (ii) by sending it by post to the address specified by the
        person for the giving or service of documents or, if
        no such address is specified, the residential or
        business address of the person last known to the
        person giving or serving the document
        ; or
        (iii) by sending it by facsimile transmission to the
        facsimile number of the person
        ….

  45. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    What a load of garbage. The term “defamatory” has legal overtones and I am convinced that your deliberate use of the word was an implied threat..maybe not a serious one, but one to try and intimidate at least. It’s just unfortunate that Karoly didn’t see it for what it was. It has given you an opportunity to offer your own defamatory remarks about him and as usual play the propaganda game. But of course, that’s where the game is for you and your ilk given the extreme paucity of published science supporting your unscientific position.

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:27 PM | Permalink

      Silly, silly, silly….. nonsense piled upon irrelevancies.

      • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

        Thanks for that insightful and somewhat pointless comment. Why did you even bother to take the time? I fail to see how my comments about this post are irrelevant given they address the content of the post? Perhaps you consider any comments that don’t support your argument as irrelevant?

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:16 PM | Permalink

          You and Tom Curtis have merely thrown around a bunch of tendentious opinions and wild assertions. There is nothing to discuss because you have not made an intelligent argument, either of you. The answers to just about everything you both say is “no” and “wrong” and “you just made that up.” What kind of discussion is this?

        • neill
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:19 PM | Permalink

          You are simply expanding Karoly’s smokescreen. He falsely accused Steve of scientific misinformation (which, in fact, IS defamation). Then when called on it, instead of taking the honorable course and owning up to it, he plays the ‘legal victim’ because Steve used the legal term for libelous act Karoly did in fact commit. And you perpetuate his charade.

      • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

        thanks for proving my point.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:44 PM | Permalink

          Once again you prove my point, that you and Tom Curtis are the epitome of web trolls: you come onto a thread that has many substantive comments. Rather than engage anything intelligently, critically, thoughtfully you both begin spouting tendentious diversionary opinions ungrounded in any facts, analysis, or argument. So yes, you are a waste of time and space, and no, you have not said anything worth discussing.

      • Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:54 PM | Permalink

        in your tendentious and somewhat verbose opinion…see how that works? Good luck to you. Go on, you can get the last word in if you like. I know you can’t resist the compulsion. Your ego demands it. Ciao

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

      You said..

      The term “defamatory” has legal overtones

      Here is words definition..

      World English Dictionary
      defamatory (dɪˈfæmətərɪ, -trɪ)

      — adj
      injurious to someone’s name or reputation

      Nothing in the definition says the word has to have a legal context as you state. It could, but doesn’t have to. And the truth of the matter is he didn’t intend to sue. He could I suppose, but the fact is he was prodding Karoly’s integrity.

      The fact of the matter is no examples of Steve promulgating substantive misinformation have been put up by anyone of note days into all the flutter.

      • Carrick
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

        Don:

        The fact of the matter is no examples of Steve promulgating substantive misinformation have been put up by anyone of note days into all the flutter.

        Yes I’m still waiting for those.

        Let’s start with this one, did Steve lie about R2 ~ 0 in MBH?
        Did he lie about the effect of uncentered PCs on proxies with red noise?

        Through us a bone Tom Curtis. Or admit you can’t come up with any examples, and yield the field.

    • Carrick
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:54 AM | Permalink

      uknowispeaksense so you can read minds now?

      Interesting that you think this.

      Facts are facts and based on facts rather than guessed upon motives, you are flat wrong. See comment about needing better heroes for your movement.

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:10 AM | Permalink

        If I received such a letter with the word “defamatory” in it, I would see a thinly veiled, sloppy attempt at legal intimidation. Granted, this is merely my take on it, and not an attempt at mind-reading. I don’t believe in silly supernatural things. Do you? I guess I could be accused of projecting perhaps. As for heroes, I don’t engage in such juvenile activities as hero worship and know very little about Karoly or his spat with your hero, McIntyre. I was merely making a few dispassionate observations of the situation as I saw it and ruffling a few feathers too it would seem. The way you lot jump up and down and leap to the defence of your heroes is fascinating. Finally, if you know nothing of my past, you probably should refrain from using the word “now” in that context. It implies that you know me.

        • Carrick
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:14 AM | Permalink

          unknownIspeaksense:

          If I received such a letter with the word “defamatory” in it, I would see a thinly veiled, sloppy attempt at legal intimidation

          Who gives a flip about what you “see”? The letter either contains a threat or it doesn’t. What you “see” isn’t relevant to that.

          As for heroes, I don’t engage in such juvenile activities as hero worship

          You could have fooled me. Ok you did.

          and know very little about Karoly or his spat with your hero, McIntyre.

          McIntyre isn’t a “hero” of mine, he’s just somebody whose blog I find and posts I sometimes find interesting, and sometimes don’t.

          More of that mind reading you don’t believe in showing it’s head here, eh?

          Finally, if you know nothing of my past, you probably should refrain from using the word “now” in that context. It implies that you know me

          Er no. That’s not what “now” means in that context. English not your first language? Or is reading just not something you’re particularly proficient at?

        • RomanM
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

          If I received such a letter with the word “defamatory” in it, I would see a thinly veiled, sloppy attempt at legal intimidation.

          Maybe you should receive such a letter for some of your own blog posts defaming various individuals.

          I was merely making a few dispassionate observations of the situation as I saw it and ruffling a few feathers too it would seem.

          Yeah, right … and the “team” is just a bunch of hard-working “dispassionate” Scientists!

          Finally, if you know nothing of my past, you probably should refrain from using the word “now” in that context. It implies that you know me

          A few minutes on your blog is sufficient. Just reading the “About” section speaks volumes.

          I would have given quotes illustrating the points above, however, I hesitated to do so because of the threat of legal action which you have posted in this thread on your blog site:

          Legal Threat!

        • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

          One of the defences to defamation where I come from is that it isn’t defamation if it’s true AND in the public interest to know. Given that the people you could conceivably deduce to be the subject of my ire are representatives of a political party that seek to have people elected into public office, I think their integrity or lack thereof would be deemed to be of extreme importance in terms of public interest.
          As for my little notice about copyright, that applied only to that particular blog entry. Feel free to copy anything else. Just be sure to link to it so that anyone reading has the opportunity to see the context…..I know that’s often difficult for some people from the denier camp to accept. They do like to quote mine. You aren’t one of those people are you?

        • RomanM
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:47 PM | Permalink

          As for my little notice …

          Did you really think I was serious about being frightened away from copying material of “extreme importance in terms of public interest” from your blog? I would have thought that someone with your keen insight would have immediately recognized the obvious sarcasm of my statement “I hesitated to do so because of the threat of legal action” paralleling drivel such as “The term ‘defamatory’ has legal overtones and I am convinced that your deliberate use of the word was an implied threat..”.

          Oh, well…

        • amac78
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM | Permalink

          Re: uknowispeaksense (Jul 16 02:10),

          RomanM wrote (Jul 16, 2012 at 9:14 AM) —

          I would have given quotes illustrating the points above, however, I hesitated to do so because of the threat of legal action which you [uknowispeaksense] have posted in this thread [link supplied] on your blog site:

          The content of this blog entry written by the blogger…

          A scan just now of the linked post at uknowispeaksense’s blog did not identify the text that RomanM quoted. A Google search did not find that text anywhere on that site.

        • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

          That text was from a comment I made in here.

        • amac78
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

          Re: uknowispeaksense (Jul 16 02:10),

          Re: amac78 (Jul 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM) —

          The text on copyright referred to by RomanM and uknowispeaksense appears at the end of the linked post as an image file. My apologies for inserting a red herring into the conversation.

          In other words, “Never mind.”

  46. Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Steve, to my knowledge Karoly’s accusations are not false. Below is one example where, without doubt you have misrepresented the facts to create a negative impression about a climate scientist. Many others exist. Indeed, OP above represents yet another occasion of your doing so.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/05/11/how-to-be-a-climate-auditor-part-1-pretty%C2%A0pictures/

    Your response here, however, is instructive. It shows that you do not care about the merits of your claim or how much you may offend, only about how much you have (in your mind) been offended.


    Steve: I had criticized the IPCC graphic both for hiding the decline in the Briffa reconstruction and for failing to disclose that they had done so in the IPCC report. Both allegations were correct. Seeing that they hidden the decline was very hard to see because the chopped off series was behind other lines in the spaghetti graph.
    Dave Clark argued only that it would have been hard to see even if the chopped off series were placed more forward in the sequence, but did not refute the criticism of hide the decline. Trying to justify hide-the-decline is impossible; climate_scientists should have conceded the point long ago, rather than try to defend the indefensible.

    • robin
      Posted Jul 15, 2012 at 11:55 PM | Permalink

      Any particular reason that ‘debunking’ doesn’t provide links to what it is debunking? Strange way to present a counter point.

      As far as I remember the main problem is the data was chopped off when it turned south. If you are going to chop it to keep it from countering your chart’s argument, then that seems like a handy place.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:15 AM | Permalink

      You have got to be kidding! LMAO reading through that article. It avoid the point of hiding the decline is an attempt to side step the divergence problem in dendroclimatology. This is an issue that brings into serious question the accuracy of the “Hockey stick” shaft it self. This article rambles on about blowing it up at 240x you see it coming out the other side. Proving it was not covered or some non-sense. So on the most trival point Steve made on the matter – you think you now have a gotcha! So now you beat your breast and act all wounded. That is pathetic.

    • Carrick
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis, I suggest you to substantiate these claims with substantive examples and meaningful links, not stupid links to marginal intellects like DC.

    • John Ritson
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:44 AM | Permalink

      Tom,
      Your example refers to a newspaper article in the Daily Mail, can I ask who was the author of that article? Was it Steve? If not then why are you using it as proof that Steve has spread misinformation?

    • None
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Permalink

      Tom
      The link you reference shows nothing. Steves main point was post 1960 data was chopped to hide the decline. A minor “crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s” additional point was that the graph was displayed in a way that made it very hard to see the fact it had been chopped off. Both points are valid. The ridiculous post at deepclimate focuses on the very minor point, claims it makes no difference, and then ignores the very serious main point, inferring that Steve’s entire complaint is misrepresentation. It’s almost funny.

      Hilarious to see dhogaza saying (on the divergence problem) “No, we “excuse” it because it’s meaningless, because we’ve read about the divergence problem in the scientific literature”. There has been no serious attempt to model, measure or explain the causes of divergence, in a scientifically thorough manner, and to quote Trentberth, it’s a travesty they havent attempted to. There have been few mentions of it, mostly along the lines “we hope that it’s due to some anthropological factor”, with thorough analysis to validate it it. Given it’s importance there should have been dozens of studies devoted specifically to the analysis, modelling, and evaluation of divergent data. Otherwise it’s not science, it’s faith. Even ignoring divergence, studies of tree rings are still assuming some kind of linear response in tree growth when any idiot can see its not – given that low growth is “any temperature” plus “very dry”, there is clearly not going to be a linear response to temperature even before taking into account other important factors like carbon in the air (which aids growth AND is allegedly at a very high level).

      • None
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

        “with thorough analysis to validate it it” should read “with no thorough analysis to validate it it”.

  47. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

    Robin, McIlvin, and Carrick:

    Most instances of purported misrepresentation are contentious, and there is little point linking to them because your tribalism will swamp any reasoned analysis. Therefore I link to a clear cut example where McIntyre made a false claim that is easily and uneqivocally shown to be false. Just that one example disproves McIntyres claim that he has never misrepresented the science and denigrated climates sciences on the basis of that misrepresentation. Therefore it shows Karoly’s claim, which McIntyre considers to be defamatory to in fact be true. I happily grant that it is a trivial example, and does not warrant including McIntyre on Karoly’s list of misrepresenters. It is, however, not the only example – just the one which even his defenders should be able to admit without equivocation if they had an open mind.

    From your responses, that is obviously too much to expect.

    • Carrick
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:54 AM | Permalink

      Shorter Tom Curtis: *punt*

      Not impressed.

      • Carrick
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:56 AM | Permalink

        Especially since the only link you gave was to the DC article. LOL! Really!???

        Wow. This is all mouth and no brain on your part. My supposed tribalism has nothing to do with it.

    • Carrick
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

      In the past I’ve given you grief for erroneous claims on your part, ones that had nothing to do with McIntyre, but rather your own misunderstand of the reconstructions (and ones that were readily fixable by reading the links that I provided, which I will point out youf failed to do, doubling down on your own ignorance instead).

      If you can produce a legitimate example where McIntyre spread disinformation, I for one would be interested in it. You’ve no evidence that McIntyre engages in disinformation, or you’d provide it. You’ve no reason to expect tribal behavior on any of our parts, although you clearly exhibit it yourself.

      Accuse your “enemy” of the sins you engage in yourself. Who does that remind us of?

    • fastfreddy101
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

      LOL… accusing people of tribalism but at the same time using DeepClimate as backup is…well…laughable at best, disingenuous at the worst…

    • Carl G
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

      It seems like you excuse the IPCC because Mann et al never gave the post 1960 values to them, and so they couldnt have known that anything was deleted. Do you think there was a legitimate scientific reason for excluding 1960 values on Mann et al’s part, and do you deny that there was any evidence of an intent to deceive in the climategate e-mails?

    • theduke
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

      “Therefore I link to a clear cut example where McIntyre made a false claim that is easily and uneqivocally shown to be false.”

      That’s what your tribe says, so naturally it must be true. [guffaw]

      The fact that you come here and defend “hide the decline” tells us all we need to know about you.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:59 PM | Permalink

      The problem with your example of Steve Promulgating misinformation is that it doesn’t prove anything and is in general a pointless ramble. The fact is the end of the Briffa portion is obscured in the publication Steve referenced, making it difficult to see when it was truncated. Postulating that it was just the order vs. artful deceit does not prove anything. The fact is proven in the climategate emails that they were deliberately truncating the Briffa graph data after 1960 and not telling anyone explicitly because they thought it helped to prove their claim better.

      The truncation puts in serious doubt the accuracy of the Briffa graph portions going all the way back to its earliest time increment.

      Steve’s point that truncating the graph data for the purpose of hiding the declining portion is a big non-no for scientists, and further compounding that error is that the did not say they truncated the declining portion. The Climategate emails prove the reason this was done was deceit.

      There is nothing in the DC article that even begins to grasp the problem and deceit Steve highlighted.

      Tribalism on my part is not the reason your offer of proof is a laughing stock. I have based my determination on the facts at issue.

    • JohnH
      Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

      Therefore it shows Karoly’s claim, which McIntyre considers to be defamatory to in fact be true.

      Karoly should have stuck to his guns if what he said was true but he didn’t which shows he did not think it was true.

  48. little polyp
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    The language used by Mssrs Curtis and unknowispeaksense with its frequent and regular abuse and some of the phrases bear a strong resemblance to that used by a number of the contributors to some alarmist websites in australia such as deltoid. Many of these are connected to the UNSW and through the IPCC AR to Karoly. Have the acolytes ?

    As you can observe through the language used, their idea of “critical analysis” seems to be a departure from the standard use of the term.

    • Venter
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

      These guys are SKS acolytes, with Australian connection. So you see the same quality of posts.

  49. ScientistForTruth
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:25 AM | Permalink

    Defamation is actionable at law. Therefore to allege defamation is to assert that there are grounds for legal action, whether or not such action will be initiated. It appears that Karoly has taken Steve’s identification of an actionable offence as a threat of action itself, or Steve’s putting Karoly on notice that Steve could take legal action if he desired. This appears to be the ‘threat of legal action’ – the mere possibility that legal action could be taken.

    • jim edwards
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

      That a statement is DEFAMATORY is only one element of a successful action for libel. “Defamatory” is not enough to successfully sue.

      Three more elements are that:

      a) the statement was false, and

      b) the statement was published, and

      b) the target of the statement incurred damages to his/her reputation

      If I’m reading through your diary, for example, I might find an untrue statement and complain that it is defamatory – but I would have no recourse in law because you didn’t publish it. [Karoly did, of course, but his review was later taken down - possibly to reduce the potential scope of damages]

      The false statement “Bob drinks Irish Whiskey every night” may or may not cause Bob to suffer damages to his reputation.

      It would if:
      He was the president of Alcoholics Anonymous, or the leader of the Scottish National Party

      It might not if:
      He was the president of an Irish distillery.

  50. Mark C
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:46 AM | Permalink

    It’s funny how some scientists take such great care to analyze/massage/manipulate data and yet have such difficulty interpreting the English language.

    But maybe it’s all of a kind. They see what they want to see in the data, and they see what they want to see in the writing. As soon as legal-looking words appeared (“defamatory”), Karoly was set to respond that legal action was being prepared. Sort of like seeing an uptick in a temperature graph and being predisposed to saying “it’s CAGW”.

    McIntyre is not responsible in any way for Karoly’s poor reading comprehension, as Tom Curtis seems to imply. McIntyre is precise with his statements and means what he says. Going beyond the four corners of what’s written is all in the mind of the reader.

  51. Stilgar
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:11 PM | Permalink

    Lets take this supposed “legal threat” to its most logical conclusion.

    If you publish a comment in which you damage the reputation of someone without providing evidence for such a you are creating a “legal threat” to yourself. You opened yourself up for a possible defamation lawsuit.

    Therefore, it was not Steve’s letter that caused the “legal threat”, it was Karoly’s article.

  52. Bob
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

    Steve, I sometimes link to your trackbacks, as they are usually instructive. One, listed above (youknowimakesense) is a waste of your readers time. His name is Mike, an ecologist with limited math and stat skills, who started his blog ostensibly to communicate science, but it is laced with sophomoric invective and ad homs. A waste of time.

    • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

      Now Bob, that wasn’t very nice. I was very polite to you. Probably more polite than I needed to be given your arrogant tone. You are welcome to come back over to my blog and discuss climate induced range shifts in various species. As I explained to you, unlike denier bloggers, when it comes to science, I don’t pretend to know more than I do and so stick to my area of expertise. If my blog isn’t to your liking, fair enough, but you really should let people make up their own minds. It’s only polite.

      • Bob
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:57 PM | Permalink

        Sorry Mike, but read some of your comments on your blog. Your are not polite and I don’t think your are serious about communicating real science. You made your bed, now sleep in it.

  53. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

    Dear Mr McIntyre,

    By your own admission, you have spent most of your life in business… “mostly on the stock market side of mining exploration deals”. Therefore, since you would not appear to accept the validity of what the vast majority of climate scientists tell us, can you please tell me what gives you the right to accuse them of being mendacious, incompetent or just plain wrong? Furthermore, can you tell me whether you apply the same level of “scepticism” to the pronouncements of particle physicists regarding such intangible things as Higgs bosons, multiverses and 22 dimensions of Space-Time? If not, why not? Why is it that climate scientists are deemed so unreliable?

    Indeed, given the track-record that big businesses have for denying their responsibility for health and environmental problems (e.g. pesticides, thalidamide, CFC’s, acid rain, asbestos and tobacco), is it not far more reasonable to assume that it is big business (not academia) that is being economical with the truth?

    Starting in 1987, I have spent 25 year in mine geology and hydrogeology but, in all that time I have never claimed to be a climate scientist or qualified to second-guess climate scientists. What made you so different that you felt you should do so?

    Finally, for now, do you agree with the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Rex Tillerson, who has now admitted that CO2 emissions are the primary cause of the anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) we are now seeing? If you don’t, how do you explain it (or are you still denying that anything unusual is happening)? If you accept ACD is a reality, do you also just believe “we will adapt”?

    I think you owe it to the world to admit that, just like Richard Lindzen and every other contrarian scientist on the planet, you made an a priori decision a very long time ago that humans could not be responsible for climate change and – just like Aldous Huxley seeking to justify his atheism – you then went on a fishing trip looking for evidence and arguments to justify that prejudice; and you found what you wanted to find…

    However, if ACD ever was an act of faith – it ceased to be so at least 20 years ago. Today, continuing to deny that human activity is affecting our climate is now an act of faith – one that is looking increasingly irrational. As Barry Bickmore has recently suggested, when you have to rely upon dog astrologers and those who believe in alien abductions – you are trying too hard to avoid the truth about climate change.

    http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/11/11/how-to-avoid-the-truth-about-climate-change/

    Kind regards,

    Martin Lack.

    http://www.lackofenvironment.wordpress.com

    • sleeper
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

      Re: Martin Lack (Jul 16 13:33),

      Pretty much all the answers to your questions and assertions are contained in this blog. You might want to try reading it.

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

        Who the hell are you, his Press Secretary? If you are not going to provide links to some relevant posts, at very least, I think it would be more intellectually honest to just say nothing.

        • sleeper
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

          Re: Martin Lack (Jul 16 14:14),
          No, I am not his press secretary, but I have been reading this blog for about 4 years and consider myself very familiar with Steve’s background and stance on the issues you commented on above. If you had taken a relatively small amount of time to research your subject (Steve) by reading his blog, you would have found the answers you sought, and kept yourself from looking like an idiot to those of us who frequent here. And no I won’t do your homework for you.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

          Go read the whole blog. report back when you are done and I will administer the reading comprehension test. Don’t forget the comments, especially those by bender.
          You will look less dumb if you do so ( hmm I think thats possible in your case )

          Press Secretary Moshpit.

      • dougieh
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

        Sleeper+1

        Bender & Mosh the pool cleaner would be proud of that reply.

        but seriously, have we to get layers involved in a email or mail by Steve or any of us to someone making false/untrue statements?

        this stinks of UCS involvement & expect more of the same going forward.

        Steve, stick to your guns & the truth will out.

        • sleeper
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

          Re: dougieh (Jul 16 18:18),

          I miss the hell out of bender. If bender were still here, Martin would be pantsless right about now. And we’d all have big smiles on.

        • dougieh
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:38 PM | Permalink

          oops

          replace layers with Lawyer or in rhyming slang Tom Sawyer(rush)

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

          Not all of us would be smiling. Some of us can fake sympathy

    • Bob
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

      Martin, you look like the proverbial “fawn caught in the headlights”. All of the links are listed on this blog. You would be wise to spend a month reading them, and then respond to Steve. If you then respond to Steve like you did up-thread, then you do not have an open mind. Try it.

    • Gerald Machnee
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:26 PM | Permalink

      Martin:
      Steve does not claim to be a climate scientist and does not suggest anything re the climate, so do not imply anything.
      However, he is better at statistics than most climate scientists, so that is what he works on. He has found many problems and errors in studies. If you read his posts, you would know that.

    • jim edwards
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

      1) Steve has stated many times in print and before a committee of the Congress of the United States that he believes that there is a greenhouse effect, and that public policy makers have the right to make rules/laws regarding climate policy on incomplete information.

      2) To my knowledge, Michael Mann does not practice “science” in this field in the way the lay public would understand it.

      He doesn’t take two Earths, equidistant from the sun, for example, and double the CO2 concentration on one, then compare warming trends.

      Nor, to the best of my knowledge, does he go out and gather tree ring cores, ice cores, speleothems, etc.

      …nor, to the best of my knowledge, does he actually measure and record the composition, density, hardness, optical properties, etc of any field samples acquired by himself or any other scientist.

      3) What Michael Mann has done, in the papers that have generated the most controversy, is take other people’s data and massaged them in new and interesting ways to develop patterns that the original scientists didn’t find. [Sometimes interpreting data in a manner contrary to the explicit explanation given by the actual specialist who originally did the work]

      This is a straight application of statistics, a field in which Steve McIntyre DOES have considerable training and expertise and Michael Mann, apparently DOES NOT have a level of training and expertise commensurate with his abundant confidence in his work.

      4) Michael Mann has developed a lucrative career specializing as a statistical expert to his “hockey team” [their term]. During this time, he has, apparently, ignored the existence and work of mathematicians who specialize in processing the types of data Michael Mann is getting funding and notoriety for processing.

      Steve McIntyre has, basically, accused him of making math errors.

      5) This is why one of the most preeminent statisticians in the country, Edward Wegman, was asked to form a team and report on the Mann-McIntyre controversy to a committee of the United States Congress.

      Under oath, Wegman and his team came out firmly in support of Steve McIntyre’s criticism of Mann’s faulty statistical technique.

      While scientist Gerald North, the chairman of the National Research Council’s parallel report, has often publicly spoken favorably of the Mann result – when he was asked UNDER OATH, UPON PENALTY OF PERJURY, he agreed with Dr. Wegman’s interpretation [i.e. - supporting Steve McIntyre]

      6) Strangely enough, unlike Michael Mann, Steve McIntyre actually has added to the knowledge base of proxy data.

      Steve and a colleague hiked into the mountains and cored bristle cone pine trees. They had the cores measured and publicly released the data.

      • None
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

        Steve and a colleague hiked into the mountains and cored bristle cone pine trees. They had the cores measured and publicly released the data.

        Is this completely correct ? Last I remembered some of it made it into a post, demonstrating the massive growth bursts depending precisely on where your core happened to be taken, but was the full data posted (and subsequently archived with the “community” ?)

        Steve: unfortunately it remains a “grey” archive. ONly at CA. There are some dating issues that I meant to resolve at the time but which haven’t been finished.

    • iceman
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

      The most uninformed post on CA since I have been following for over 7 years. I don’t think he has even this single post.

    • iceman
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM | Permalink

      this was a comment for Mr. Lack not Mr. Edwards. Sorry

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:02 PM | Permalink

      I don’t have time to respond to your screed. If there are any actual statements that I’ve made with which you disagree, I’d appreciate it if you drew them to my attention.

      By your own admission, you have spent most of your life in business… “mostly on the stock market side of mining exploration deals”. Therefore, since you would not appear to accept the validity of what the vast majority of climate scientists tell us, can you please tell me what gives you the right to accuse them of being mendacious, incompetent or just plain wrong?

      I am careful in what I say. I do my homework before I comment here. I avoid commenting on matters that are outside my mathematical and statistical range, but am prepared to comment on matters within that range. Deeper in my resume, I was an accomplished math student.

      Furthermore, can you tell me whether you apply the same level of “scepticism” to the pronouncements of particle physicists regarding such intangible things as Higgs bosons, multiverses and 22 dimensions of Space-Time? If not, why not? Why is it that climate scientists are deemed so unreliable?

      I have not studied the matters that you mention and have no opinion on them.

      Indeed, given the track-record that big businesses have for denying their responsibility for health and environmental problems (e.g. pesticides, thalidamide, CFC’s, acid rain, asbestos and tobacco), is it not far more reasonable to assume that it is big business (not academia) that is being economical with the truth?

      I haven’t encountered any technical publications by “big business” on temperature reconstructions. But in the event that I encounter one, yes, I would be equally skeptical of it.

      Starting in 1987, I have spent 25 year in mine geology and hydrogeology but, in all that time I have never claimed to be a climate scientist or qualified to second-guess climate scientists. What made you so different that you felt you should do so?

      I spent considerable time and effort learning the data and methods. Some of my critics concede my expertise in the proxy reconstruction area. For example, I’m cited favorably in the recent Royal Society report on Science as An Open Enterprise.

      I’m not responding to your other comments because I have only limited time and because you are reproaching me for things that don’t relate to material that I’ve written. Again, I ask that you point to something that I’ve actually said.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:38 PM | Permalink

        Steve:
        Nicely put. If Martin had the wit, he would go find an easier target.

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:26 PM | Permalink

        Mr McIntyre (is it OK to call you Steve?),

        Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions. I am not a statistician and I acknowledge that this is your specialty, so I would not dare to challenge you on it. I am not a climate scientist either, that is why I am not debating the science with you (or any of your readers) either.

        All I am trying to do is engage you in a logical argument, which goes something like this: Unless you invoke conspiracy theories to explain why the majority of climate scientists do not accept your criticisms of MBH98 (and everything that has followed from it by Michael Mann and many other independent researchers), it is far more likely that your conclusions are wrong than that everyone else is wrong.

        You will without doubt dismiss this as an appeal to authority, but it is nothing of the sort: To dismiss it as such would be either (a) to admit that you are a conspiracy theorist or (b) to invoke the fallacy of the marketplace of ideas. There is no other excuse for dismissing the consensus view of the scientific community that unprecedented recent warming has now occurred.

        Unfortunately, it is (a+b) that enables a whole array of scientifically-illiterate journalists to perpetuate a debate about one of the most well established facts of modern science, namely that:
        — the Earth has used the balance of CO2 in its atmosphere and oceans to regulate its temperature throughout its 4.6 billion year history;
        — the burning of fossilised carbon has increased the CO2 content of the atmosphere by 40% (in the blink of a geological eye);
        — the long-standing dynamic equilibrium between incoming solar radiation and outgoing longwave radiation has been disturbed; and
        — the Earth’s surface must now warm-up in order for a new radiative energy balance to be achieved.
        The only vaguely-legitimate argument anyone can now have (as indeed Richard Lindzen insists on trying to have) is over climate sensitivity. However, here too, it is simply irrational to insist that Lindzen is right; and almost everyone else is wrong.

        With regard to your spat with David Karoly, it seems clear to me that he, quite reasonably, interpreted the final sentence of your email as a veiled threat of legal action if he should fail to respond “appropriately”. Everything else that has flowed from this has been mere pedantism, which achieves absolutely nothing; and in which I have no desire to become embroiled.

        • Don McIlvin
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

          why the majority of climate scientists do not accept your criticisms of MBH98

          And where did you get that idea?

          Not one of them have refuted it, and experts in statistics have supported Steve’s finding.

          The fact is Climate Scientists out side of the area of Paleo Reconstruction have been distancing themselves from this area of the discipline.

          Claims

          that unprecedented recent warming has now occurred

          when stated as occurring over the past 2000 years are considered a debatable side show by Climate Scientists outside the paleo area. No one disputes it as over the last 150 years. If you doubt that read some of Myles Allen’s comments on CA within the last few months.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

          Martin: I am a Ph.D. with 140 publications, not a cheerleader. This blog has certain topics that it focuses on, including paleo data, reconstruction methods, statistics, and ethics. Steve does not make claims to refute your bulleted points.
          As far as why a consensus could be wrong, perhaps you want to look at the history of science. Freudian analysis tootled along for decades with no empirical support (and much negative evidence) and is still not gone. Medicine can’t make up its mind if vitamins are good for you or bad for you. Continental drift was a joke before it was dogma.
          The paleoclimate field is not even old enough for the first practitioners to have retired, how could it be all wrapped up? The different reconstructions when overlaid look like spagetti, not like replicates of the same history.

    • None
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:04 PM | Permalink

      “Starting in 1987, I have spent 25 year in mine geology and hydrogeology but, in all that time I have never claimed to be a climate scientist or qualified to second-guess climate scientists. What made you so different that you felt you should do so?”

      Why put yourself down, if you took science at uni you too are capable of working your way through the shoddy climate science literature; if you start reading his blog from article 1, much is explained in pretty simple detail. You don’t need to second guess the climate scientists, you just have to analytically look at their work.

      To quote wikipedia:
      “McIntyre, a native of Ontario, attended the University of Toronto Schools, a university-preparatory school in Toronto, finishing first in the national high school mathematics competition of 1965.[3] He went on to study mathematics at the University of Toronto and graduated with a bachelor of science degree in 1969. McIntyre then obtained a Commonwealth Scholarship to read philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating in 1971.[2][3] Although he was offered a graduate scholarship, McIntyre decided not to pursue studies in mathematical economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]”

      So, like many of us who follow his blog, Steve graduated in a scientific discipline, in his case in a very distinguished manner.

      If you want a starting point, here’s one of many:

      http://climateaudit.org/2009/02/24/steig-eigenvectors-and-chladni-patterns/

      Steve points out Eric Steig’s much vaunted study showing continent wide antarctic warming is just an artifact of the incorrect way he processed the data:

      http://climateaudit.org/2009/02/24/steig-eigenvectors-and-chladni-patterns/

      Enjoy.

      Do you think trees in on particular part of the USA can faithfully correlate to Northern Hemisphere temperature trends while not correlating well to their own local temperature trends ? If you think not, you’re a climate skeptic too.

      • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

        As I said to Steve, what drives your need to prove the climate scientists are wrong? And why don’t you treat particle physicists with the same level of skepticism? If you do, why are you so distrustful of authority figures; and/or consider yourself qualified to second-guess them?

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

          Martin, “Moshpit” is basically correct in his answer to you. Read the blog for yourself. Start with “Favorite Posts” in the left sidebar.

          I visited your web page to try to understand better where you are coming from. I found:

          Although scientifically trained (with degrees in Geology and Hydrogeology), this blog arises from my having also got an MA in Environmental Politics and… is a blog on “the politics & psychology underlying the denial of all environmental problems

          Now in this blog, Steve is a stickler for evidence. He says nothing he cannot evidence and he stays within that limit. My guess is that you are concerned about people here being “in denial” but Steve always stays with the evidence, which is the very opposite of being in a state of denial, as I understand that word.

          Steve’s interest started on receiving a copy of the Hockey Stick through his front door IIRC, as publicity for IPCC “concerns”. From his previous work, he knew this hockey stick shape from claims that could not be substantiated. Seeing that the IPCC claim would, if true, possibly indicate a huge burden of cost, Steve decided that it was important to do an independent check… and this was the beginning of finding crucial mistake after crucial mistake, often wilfully covered up.

          Many of us here actually care about the environment, but also are passionate about truth, and have found the whole “manmade global warming” thesis to have serious problems of bad science and worse. In particular, claims that “we just need to communicate better” fall on deaf ears here so long as the science itself remains in a state of oblivion to fair criticism.

        • sam
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

          Why are your questions so loaded?

          ‘what drives your need to prove the climate scientists are wrong’ -This is not his modus operandi as far as I can ascertain.

          ‘And why don’t you treat particle physicists with the same level of skepticism’ -Particle physicists aren’t influencing public policy. Climate science largesse is the new millennium equivalent to the transcontinental railroad robber barons, who made their tracks longer in order to continue receiving subsidies and land bonds. Difference is, climate scientists are riding the train. (I know S.M wouldn’t attribute motive like that)

          ‘why are you so distrustful of authority figures; and/or consider yourself qualified to second-guess them?’ Who said he is? One could just as easily accuse you of displaying credulity toward authority.

          You can’t pop out of the woodwork spouting nebulous assertions, expecting answers in single paragraphs. Why don’t you just go back and read the blog? The answers are all there-along with healthy discussion. It’s not Steve’s fault you didn’t keep up.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

          See my response to Venter.

        • Venter
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 6:16 AM | Permalink

          All your questions are answered if you read the blog an see past threads and posts.Go do your homework first.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:01 AM | Permalink

          Thanks for the history lesson, Lucy. However, most independent observers/investigators have concluded that Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it. Therefore, to continue to refuse to accept this finding (endorsed by the world’s most reputable scientific bodies) is to admit you are a conspiracy theorist. Sorry.

          I am not questioning your concern for the environment. I am merely pointing out to you – and anybody who will listen to reason – that climate model predictions are validated by events almost every day now. Under such circumstances it is simply irrational to carry on insisting that the models – or the science on which they are based – are flawed. The people who are being hit hardest (and least able to help themselves) have no time for your climate change “scepticism”; they want solutions that are being denied to them by the same kind of political paralysis that prevented tobacco advertising being banned for decades.

          Unfortunately, the fossil fuel lobby are not really interested in renewable energy solutions; they are not interested in getting ahead of the game; and/or levelling the playing field. They are only interested in preserving a completely unssutainable status quo; and the subsidies they receive that are more than 10 times government investment in energy of the future.

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

          Mr. Lack: Why so worried about a retired statistician? Is Steve really capable of derailing the saving of the world? If so, then the case for global warming is pretty weak.
          As to “Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it” please note that much of that body of work has been done by a set of overlapping authors using overlapping data and similar (flawed) methods. And when gross errors are pointed out by Steve or others, they close ranks and deny it. It is a club that they themselves named “The Team” (ie Hockey Team). Is that how particle physics works?

        • mrmethane
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 8:42 AM | Permalink

          Um, I think the “drive” is to be able to verify what SOME climate scientists are saying, rather than to prove them wrong. Proving them right would be just as satisfying. You impugn motives.

        • amac78
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

          Re: Martin Lack (Jul 17 04:16),

          Martin Lack (Jul 17, 2012 at 7:01 AM) —

          Thanks for the history lesson, Lucy. However, most independent observers/investigators have concluded that Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it. Therefore, to continue to refuse to accept this finding (endorsed by the world’s most reputable scientific bodies) is to admit you are a conspiracy theorist. Sorry.

          I think your stance is quite sensible. If we disbelieved experts as a matter of routine, our lives would come to a standstill. What assurance is there that P*V indeed equals n*R*T, or that the Bastille was stormed on July 14th, or that there really was a tsunami and subsequent nuclear plant failure in Fukushima last year? Etc.

          On the other hand, there are controversies, and consensus expert opinion isn’t always correct. (Each reader should be able to fill in their own examples.)

          If a scientifically-literate person wishes to investigate a scientific consensus, that shouldn’t be seen as extraordinary. Especially when the consensus is itself contentious, and is the basis for important public policy decisions that will profoundly affect national and world economies, international relationships, land use, and the quality-of-life of our descendants.

          It’s reasonable to take a top-down view (“most independent observers/investigators have concluded that Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it”). I suggest that it’s equally reasonable to take a bottom-up approach.

          Since you bring up Michael Mann’s work, I can suggest an exercise that might be informative. Two of Prof Mann and coauthors’ recent landmark works were published in PNAS in 2008 (“Mann08″) with a follow-up in Science in 2009 (“Mann09″). These papers present multiproxy paleoclimate reconstructions that show unprecedented global warming in the latter half of the 20th century — the “Hockey Stick.” As you say, these findings are “endorsed by the world’s most reputable scientific bodies.”

          But are they scientifically valid? Mainstream climatology, as ably represented by the science-blog RealClimate, answers with a resounding “Yes!” Many scientifically-literate laypeople, notably the owner of this blog, are convinced that the answer is “No!”

          My own reading convinced me that on this point, the skeptics are correct, and the consensus is in error.

          There’s a straightforward way to perform a “sanity check” on my stance:

          Investigate the uses of the “Tiljander proxies” in Mann08. Decide for yourself:

          * Were they used correctly?

          * Was their use important to key conclusions of the paper?

          * If mistakes were made, did the standard institutional error-correction procedures of science work properly?

          I’ll provide only a single hyperlink, to show that this nearly four-year-old controversy remains relevant. Recent “The Blackboard” comment. For the rest, Google and the search functions of RealClimate and Climate Audit should suffice.

          This exercise might help you to understand why many scientifically-literate observers with doubts about consensus views of CAGW decline your suggested label of “conspiracy theorist”.

        • None
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:28 PM | Permalink

          Martin,
          “Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it”
          No it has not. If I prove that for every three digit number ABC divisible by 37 then the number BCA is also divisible by 37, and my proof relies on a line with a division by zero, my proof is not validated by later proofs which really do prove it. In fact, my proof is very much still INVALIDATED, even if its conclusion is by chance correct.

          In the same way, MBH98 is INVALIDATED. It is not accepted as being invalidated though by the wider climate science community, even though it VERY CLEARLY is. This is the problem. The fact that they claim other work validates it is an additional problem because, for example Mann 08 with its own very severe problems is claimed to support MBH98 and MBH98 is claimed to support Mann 08. Yet any criticism of one is met with the response from climate science that studies with severe problems can validate each other. Compounded with this is that many of the supposed independent studies follow broadly the same problematic procedures using broadly the same (in some cases problematic) proxies, and are completed by scientists who have worked together in the past, or even in the same department. They can hardly claim to be independent.

          And when completely independent journals, with completely independent authors do jump into the fray such as McShayne and Wyner, Annals of Applied Statistics, they find that the underlying rock of all these reconstructions, the proxies themselves, “do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature”.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM | Permalink

          All I am asking you to do is put your prejudice to one side and take a look out of the window… 20-year old climate model predictions for the emissions trajectory closest to what has transpired have proved very accurate. Climate models also correctly predicted increased frequency and severity of extreme weather of all kinds. And, whether it be drought or flooding the impact on food prices is or will be the same. Whatever mistakes Mann et al have made are now irrelevant. Your scepticism is being overtaken by events.

        • None
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

          Martin
          I have no prejudice in this matter. I have changed my mind twice over the past decade on climate science accuracy, as I consciensciously attempted to figure out the objective truth from the various discussions and papers.

          Are you are aware that while the models have predicted lower tropospheric temperature (merely to within a margin of error which cannot guarantee they are incorrect), they have drastically failed to predict the global sea temperature which has not been rising ? When half of their equation matches but the other half doesnt, there is something so badly wrong with the model it cannot be trusted to give accurate medium or long term global predictions.

        • amac78
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:16 PM | Permalink

          Re: Martin Lack (Jul 17 04:16),

          Re: Martin Lack (Jul 17, 2012 at 3:43 PM)

          Whatever mistakes Mann et al have made are now irrelevant.

          Sadly, I mis-read your earlier comment (Jul 17, 2012 at 7:01 AM).

          I had mistakenly thought that you meant that most independent observers/investigators have concluded that Michael Mann’s work has been validated by that which has followed it.

          And that, therefore, to continue to refuse to accept this finding (endorsed by the world’s most reputable scientific bodies) is to admit oneself to be a conspiracy theorist.

          .

          Glad to clear that up! ;-)

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:29 PM | Permalink

          Given that this kind of pedantism is all you seem capable of – and given Steve has politely requested that I not use his blog as a forum for debating policy – I think this discussion is over.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:39 PM | Permalink

          All I am asking you to do is put your prejudice to one side and take a look out of the window … Whatever mistakes Mann et al have made are now irrelevant. Your scepticism is being overtaken by events.

          Indeed.

          I made a study of extreme weather events myself… precisely in ordeer to put any prejudice of beliefs to one side. Enjoy – slides 68-79.

        • Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 4:38 AM | Permalink

          Thanks for visiting my blog, where I have responded to your comment.

          As I have said, I did not decide to quit. I was politely asked (twice) to stay on-topic and not discuss policy. I had no choice but to stop commenting; because questioning policy inaction is my focus.

    • Don McIlvin
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:28 PM | Permalink

      Mr Lack,

      The problem with your post (rant actually) is you have Steve saying lots of things he has not said. What Steve does is audit climate change papers, particularly those in the paleo-climate reconstruction area.

      A couple of examples;

      The MBH 1998 article was statistically flawed. Not opinion, proven fact.

      Recently Gergis et al made claims they use detrended data, but did not. Article withdrawn.

      There are numerous others. He audits, what they publish. This is part of Science.

      Steve’s skills in the area of Statistics are (IMHO) world class. Far better than many Climatologists. The fact is a number of Climate Change Scientists have published papers using dubious statistical significance, have cherry picked data, or used corrupted data.

      Steve has never said there is no climate warming trend. Most skeptics (Lindzen among them) agree readily that there has been a warming trend, and anthropogenic causes have contributed to this.

      So Martin, it would help if you had a clue what you were talking about.

      Your smearing rant unfounded in fact does not deserve a response from notables. You’ll have to grouse with the likes of me.

    • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:26 PM | Permalink

      Martin,

      Whether one, ten, one hundred or a thousand climate scientists accept a specific hypotheses as correct does not make it correct. Science is not based on consensus, but rather upon facts. Since MBH89 there have been many peer reviewed papers published which refute Mann.

      Jan Esper just published a paper based on dendro reconstructions extending more then 1,000 years earlier then MBH89’s data. Esper’s data indicates that during the Roman Empire and again in the MWP, temperatures were warmer than today and both periods’ warmth has been under estimated by the IPCC. One may accept or reject Esper’s recent paper, but it must be considered as new data which is not consistent with MBH89.

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

      I was not suggesting you should heed any warning by Tillerson – especially since he has not issued one. He is a complacent fool who still thinks we can work this out without drastically changing the way we produce energy (but then Turkeys that refuse to invest in Goose Farming will not vote for Christmas)

      Sorry, you will have to try harder than that to fault my logic.

      Steve: I ask commenters to deal with the topic of the thread. Otherwise all threads become the same. I’ve given you lots of latitude and now am going to ask you to comply with blog policy.

  54. Matt Skaggs
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Couldn’t resist a quick look at “uknowispeaksense” and Martin Lack’s “Lack of Environment.” If you have cruised Joe Romm’s blog, you will find nothing new. You are with us or you are a DENIER, if you force me to give a citation for my claim you are guilty of a “pathetic provocation,” etc. Visiting these types of blogs full of bilious hyperbole reminds me of why I like CA. As a political liberal and staunch environmentalist committed to sustainability, I am frankly embarrassed to share some aspects of a political ideology with these folks.

  55. JD Ohio
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 4:05 PM | Permalink

    Steve,

    I am a lawyer in Ohio, and I know, based on your past history, that you did not intend to threaten to file a lawsuit. However, the use of the term “defamatory” was unfortunate. Although the term was used in a correct non-legal manner, it is also commonly used by lawyers and judges in litigious situations, and I can see how someone not that familiar with you could infer that the letter written was a possible prelude to legal action. I think that if you had simply used the term “inaccurate,” it is possible that the misunderstanding could have been avoided. Also, I think stating “untrue AND defamatory” unfortunately increased the chances of a misunderstanding.

    I would like to end by thanking you for your wonderful work directed towards attempting to make climate science accurate.

    JD

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM | Permalink

      Look, if people post untrue and defamatory material, I don’t see anything wrong with the target writing a formal letter to the defamer. Even if it’s Michael Mann who’s writing the letter to someone who’s gone overboard slagging him. And if the poster of the defamatory material then thinks about potential consequences and takes down the material, then that’s a good result.

      I think that Mann’s libel suit against Tim Ball is a misuse of the courts for a variety of reasons: Ball removed the material; nor did Mann suffer any actual damages. I don’t think that Mann has fully contemplated the possibility that he might be awarded $1 and have costs awarded against him for his vanity libel tourism.

      Again, I see nothing wrong with Mann sending Ball a stiff email, but I think that his lawsuit is foolishness. Having taken that position and having not bothered suing Mann or real climate or any other maligner, any CA reader would know that the odds of my suing Karoly for that particular article are negliglible.
      If Karoly was worried that I might file a lawsuit, so what. If that resulted in him removing a defamatory article, all the better.

      My point was narrow: it is entirely possible to formally ask people to do something without that request being a “threat of legal action”. People do this all the time. I’ve administered many contracts in my life. Parties have disputes and write stern letters to one another all the time. 99.9% of the time, the disputes are settled. People don’t want to get into litigation with customers or suppliers but they do want to settle disputes. I suppose that there is a possibility of litigation in such situations, but the possibility existed when the dispute arose, not because the letter was written. Formal letters can be a way of settling disputes.

      • TerryMN
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:32 PM | Permalink

        Agree, and I feel bad for the number of trolls your blog is currently suffering. Nature of the beast I guess, but it really is a good example of things moving sideways instead of forward.

      • JD Ohio
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

        Steve,

        If you came to me as a client and wanted to attain the goals set forth in your blog post, I would have simply substituted “inaccurate” for “untrue and defamatory” and left everything else the same.

        JD

        Steve: OK. Tho, I vaguely recall sending a request to Gavin Schmidt to remove a particularly offensive comment at Real Climate and would probably have used similar adjectives. If Karoly is such a delicate flower that he was offended at being asked to remove defamatory material, too bad.

        • Geoff Sherrington
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:46 AM | Permalink

          Yes, but in adversarial appearances before Courts, lawyers have a success rate of around 50%. Perhaps we need a “lawyer audit” blog as well as CA. Personally, I read no threat of legal action into Steve’s letter. “Defamatory” is an adjective in reference to a matter, here a written passage, so it can be used in parallel with adjectives like “passionate” or “erroneous” or “repetitive”, with no inference of legalities to follow.
          The response of the recipient is in the mind of the recipient. Act well, sleep well.

    • tlitb1
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: JD Ohio (Jul 16 16:05),
      Well one thing I have learned here is that it seems like we don’t need lawyers if one can just unleash the mighty word “defamatory” and it does all the work for you. Who knew? ;)

      • Unscientific Lawyer
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

        tlitb1,

        Valid point. I would never send a letter like Steve’s on behalf of a client who had retained me to pursue possible legal action. My fear would be that it would NOT convey the threat of possible litigation and, therefore, get no result. Then I’d spend my client’s money filing suit. I’d then get a call from the defendant’s attorney telling me that if I had just threatened litigation before filing suit, his client would have taken the matter more seriously and taken corrective action…

        However, I have to admit that in today’s world, the mere use of a legal-sounding word is enough to make some folks pucker up. The reality is that many people make decisions about what to do based not on what is right, but on what is least likely to get them sued. The two are not the same.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

          Unscientific Lawyer,

          It might help all of us if you care to comment upon my last post, i.e., do you think I may be correct or incorrect in emphasizing the distinction between “publisher” and “author”?

          Thanks in advance for any assistance!

  56. Robert
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    There’s a back and forth between Mann and Rob Wilson at Realclimate on the tree ring paper by Esper

  57. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre (Post of Jul 16, 2012 at 5:10 PM), it is certainly appropriate for you to write formal letters protesting what you consider to be defamatory. What is not appropriate for you to do is to deny that such formal letters constitute “concerns notices”, defined by statute in Queensland, Australia (and as Australia has uniform defamation laws, presumably in all other Australian jurisdictions as):

    “(2) A notice is a concerns notice for the purposes of this section
    if the notice—
    (a) is in writing; and
    (b) informs the publisher of the defamatory imputations that
    the aggrieved person considers are or may be carried
    about the aggrieved person by the matter in question
    (the imputations of concern).”

    Like it or not, your letter was a concerns notice under law, and as such the first step in the process of taking legal action for defamation. As such it constituted a threat of legal action regardless of your intentions.

    Again, you are quite entitled to threaten legal action in the face of what you consider defamation. What you are not entitled to do is to say that Karoly “falsely claimed that I had made a “threat of legal action”” when Karoly has received a concerns notice from you.

    And for the benefit of thisisnottogood, you will notice that Steve McIntyre misquoted Karoly by cutting out relevant context. Karoly said, not that McIntyre had threatened him (which speaks to McIntyre’s intentions) but,
    “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada”

    That is, he said that what he received was a legal threat (which as a concerns notice, it is), not that McIntyre intended to threaten him with legal action. Karoly may also have believed the former (in which case he was wrong on McIntyre’s say-so); but he did not actually say it.

    For the benefit Jim Edwards, the relevant analogy is, if somebody holds a replica gun to my head which I have no way of knowing is a genuine, and loaded gun, and then the person makes a request; if I comply with the request I do so under coercion regardless of the intentions of the person holding the replica. I do so under coercion because I have a reasonable apprehension of violence should I not comply with the request. And if under coercion, then under the threat of violence even if the person holding the gun did not actually intend to threaten me.

    In this case, Karoly had a reasonable apprehension of a law suite because he had received what was, by law, a concerns notice. That McIntyre did not intend it that way is irrelevant to whether it meets the legal requirements to be a concerns letter, or the fact that a concerns letter is the first step in a suite for defamation.

    • John M
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis:

      http://climateaudit.org/2012/07/14/another-untrue-allegation-by-karoly/#comment-343028

      Interesting. I guess that means that if Karoly and his publisher consider Steve’s e-mail to be a “Concerns Notice”, they will soon either contest the “Concerns Notice” or will be making a formal “Offer to make Amends”:

      15 Content of offer to make amends
      (1) An offer to make amends—
      (a) must be in writing; and
      (b) must be readily identifiable as an offer to make amends
      under this division; and
      (c) if the offer is limited to any particular defamatory
      imputations—must state that the offer is so limited and
      particularise the imputations to which the offer is
      limited; and
      (d) must include an offer to publish, or join in publishing, a
      reasonable correction of the matter in question or, if the
      offer is limited to any particular defamatory
      imputations, the imputations to which the offer is
      limited;

      If none of that happens, is it safe to conclude that Karoly and his publisher do not consider this to be a “Concerns Notice”?

      http://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/D/DefamA05.pdf

      Steve = seems clear to me. They certainly made no effort to “make amends”

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Permalink

      Contrary to your misrepresentation, I did not “deny” that my letter was a “concerns notice” under Queensland law. Nowhere in my discussion did I mention “concerns notices” under Queensland law, either to affirm or deny how my letter related to such legislation.

      Now that you draw the Q law to my attention, it is even more evident that my letter was NOT a concerns notice under Queensland law. The legislation clearly states that a concerns notice must be sent to the publisher of the article, which, in this case, was the Australian Book Review. I did not send any such notice to the Australian Book Review. A letter to Karoly, formal or otherwise, is not a concerns notice as this is defined in the Queensland law that you cited.

      :

    • jim edwards
      Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis
      Re: Is asking somebody to stop lying the same as holding a gun to their head ?

      You Said:
      “For the benefit Jim Edwards, the relevant analogy is, if somebody holds a replica gun to my head which I have no way of knowing is a genuine, and loaded gun, and then the person makes a request; if I comply with the request I do so under coercion regardless of the intentions of the person holding the replica. I do so under coercion because I have a reasonable apprehension of violence should I not comply with the request. And if under coercion, then under the threat of violence even if the person holding the gun did not actually intend to threaten me.”

      1. First, of course, your analogy is absurdly inequivalent.

      I accept the argument that, for the person targeted, a replica gun, an unloaded firearm, and a loaded firearm are equivalent.

      Even if Steve had hired an attorney in Australia, and had them send a demand letter explicitly threatening legal action, the most he would be threatening Karoly with would be the possible loss of a few dollars at some distant, future date. Karoly risks little. The demand letter would almost certainly give Karoly a reasonable period of time to respond – during which Karoly could seek his own legal counsel, discuss the matter, sleep on it, ask his friends for advice, and then act.

      Putting a gun to a person’s head is a clear threat of immediate death. No petty award in court will ever equal the value of one’s life. Karoly risks everything. There is no hope that a court would see things Karoly’s way. In your description of Steve McIntyre’s “threat”, Steve is acting as Judge, jury, and executioner – with no opportunity for appeal. Karoly is given no time to think, or opportunity to seek legal counsel for guidance, or to attempt to sway the jury. Steve “the Godfather” McIntyre makes ‘an offer he can’t refuse’ every time he writes a letter to one of the good guys. Would this count as one of those non-existant “death threats” the Australian climate scientists received ?

      2. Second, you clearly don’t understand what a threat is.

      A threat requires a speaker’s intent to make the listener believe the speaker will do something unwanted to the listener [e.g. - punch, sue, etc]. Holding any gun to a person’s head requires a volitional act that evinces clear intent to make the target believe his head might explode; it’s a criminal assault. This is true even if the assailant didn’t intend to harm the victim. Asking somebody to tell the truth may inspire fear in a guilty conscience – sufficient for a party to feel ‘coerced’ – but that doesn’t make the request a threat.

      If I ask you to move your car while I’m dressed as a clown, and you happen to have an irrational fear of clowns that I’m unaware of – you may FEEL coerced to move the car, but I haven’t threatened you. There is nothing for me to apologize for, because I didn’t do anything wrong. Likewise, Steve didn’t do anything wrong, and you sound absurd arguing otherwise.

      3. There is a better gun analogy.

      If you want to portray Steve as an armed man facing the unarmed Karoly: [The gun representing the power of the Australian courts to mess with Karoly's life...]

      ‘Crocodile’ Steve walks up to Karoly in the desert outback, and informs him that Karoly’s sheep have been using Steve’s nearby watering hole [Billabong, right ?]. Steve tells Karoly that, unless he has a good explanation for why he’s been using Steve’s scarce water, he expects Karoly to get his sheep off his property. Karoly notices that Steve is wearing a holstered six-shooter. [Steve has used it in the past to kill a poisonous snake, but has never pointed it at a person.] Karoly does not take the opportunity to dispute Steve’s title to the water. Karoly says nothing, immediately drives into town and tells everybody that Steve threatened him with a gun.

  58. Don McIlvin
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:01 PM | Permalink

    snip – blog policy discourages efforts to prove or disprove CAGW in a few sentences

  59. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:11 PM | Permalink

    Steve McIntyre, I at no stage said that you made any comment including the terms “concern notice”. I very clearly said that the letter that you sent was in fact a concern notice under law, and that therefore it constituted a legal threat. Therefore your claim to have been misrepresented is false, and depends on a transparent misrepresentation of what I wrote.

    Further, the definition of terms in the Queensland Law is referred to a legal dictionary whose title is claimed to be given in Schedule 6 (which is unfortunately not published). I assume that standard legal terminology is used, in which case your point is completely invalid. If it where valid, then only the corporation or person who physically causes the offending material to be published could be sued, and authors would always be safe from defamation actions. That is certainly not the case as I know form reporting of several well publicized cases. What is more, a fact sheet on Queensland Defamation law explicitly states that:

    “Any natural person or legal entity including local governments, companies and incorporated associations may be liable for defamation. Any person who contributed to the publication, including but not limited to the original author, the publisher, journalists, television and/or radio stations may also be held liable.”

    As any, or all of those can be sued if they contributed to publication, any and all of those are “publishers” within the terms of the Act.

    One has to wonder why it is so hard for you to admit that you were wrong; ie, that you had not intention to threaten legal action, but that your actions inadvertently constituted a threat of legal action and that therefore Karoly was not wrong to say he had received a threat of legal action from you? Is that really so hard to admit? And if so, why? Must you desperately cling to a vilification of Karoly, or is it that you cannot bring yourself to admit that you made a mistake, however small?

    But, instead of admitting this inconsequential error, ie, that your letter constituted a legal threat despite your intentions, you bring up such absurd arguments and feel forced to misrepresent those who dispute your account.

    • John M
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:21 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis,

      I ask again, if Karoly and/or his publisher neither contest the “concerns notice” nor submit a formal “offer to make amends”, does this mean that they do not consider Steve’s e-mail to be a “concerns notice”?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:37 PM | Permalink

      Tom. you seem confused.
      This covers “concerns notice”

      “A summary of the provisions is as follows:
      • An aggrieved person can serve upon the publisher of defamatory material a “concerns notice”.
      • The “concerns notice” should be in writing and should identify the imputations alleged to arise. If the publisher is of the view that the “concerns notice” does not adequately particularise the imputations, the publisher is entitled to serve a written notice “

      Tom,
      Because a letter clearly identifies problems does not necessarily make it a “concerns notice”. Rather, concerns notices must fulfill those obligations in order to be considered a proper “concerns notice”

    • Skiphil
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis, try to restrain your vehemence until some facts are truly established. The interpretation you are offering so angrily does not appear to reconcile the documents you quote. So far as I can see you are conflating “publisher” which has a specific legal meaning with anyone who might be held liable, including the author. BUT, unless the Karoly meets the legal definition of “publisher” it is not yet apparent that you have established what you claim about a legally valid “concerns notice.”

      It would appear that items you quote distinguish clearly between “author” and “publisher” and it is stated that the “publisher” must receive the written “concerns notice.” SM reports that he did not send his request to the “publisher” but to the “author” — in which case it appears it is not possible that it was a legal “concerns notice, inadvertent or otherwise.

      This may seem like a quibble, but legal proceedings in any country often hinge upon very exacting terminology and procedures. If the “concerns notice” must be sent to the “publisher” to be a recognized legal concerns notice, then it seems at least implausible for you to berate Steve McIntrye for not admitting that he had inadvertently sent a legal “concerns notice.” You have not established that SM sent a notice meeting the requirement of the statute.

      Perhaps you can first try to establish whether your belief that SM sent a legal “concerns notice” is true or false.

      So far your claim that it must be true is based upon your subsequent assertion that otherwise it would be impossible to sue an author for defamation, only the publisher. This is a non-sequitur, not a logical implication. It is at least possible (and appears to be the case judging from the documents you quote) that the Queensland law requires the “Concerns notice” to be sent to the publisher while ALSO stating that liability may extend to the author and other parties. At the very least this is a logical possibility, whether or not the actual practices or other statutory provisions may turn out to blur the line between author and publisher (none of us knows at this point).

      Indeed, the statute you have quoted plus the fact sheet you have quoted seem to outline this possibility: that the “concerns notice” must be sent to the “publisher” but that the potential liability is wider and may include the author and possibly other parties.

      [my emphases]

      [Tom Curtis to SM]: “…your point is completely invalid. If it where valid, then only the corporation or person who physically causes the offending material to be published could be sued, and authors would always be safe from defamation actions.”

      a “concerns notice”:

      “….(b) informs the publisher of the defamatory imputations that
      the aggrieved person considers are or may be carried
      about the aggrieved person by the matter in question
      (the imputations of concern).”

      Your quotation of “a fact sheet on Queensland Defamation law”

      from website for Queensland Public Interest Law Clearing House Incorporated (QPILCH):

      [emphasis added]:

      “Any person who contributed to the publication, including but not limited to the original author, the publisher, journalists, television and/or radio stations may also be held liable.”

      • Unscientific Lawyer
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:53 PM | Permalink

        Re: Skiphil (Jul 16 21:13),

        “Unscientific Lawyer,

        It might help all of us if you care to comment upon my last post, i.e., do you think I may be correct or incorrect in emphasizing the distinction between “publisher” and “author”?

        Thanks in advance for any assistance!”

        Skiphil,

        My comment was based on my experience under U.S. law. Your interpretation of Aussie law is at least as good as mine. Any Aussie barristers around who can comment?

  60. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:16 PM | Permalink

    John M, it looks better for your case if you don’t simply make facts up. On receiving a concern notice, there is not need for the recipient to contest the concerns notice; and no requirement to do so is mentioned in the act. Indeed, no mention of a procedure for contesting concern notices is mentioned. If the recipient disputes the concern notice, they need only wait for the suite to be brought against them. Therefore, if no further correspondence is received by McIntyre on this matter, that has no bearing on whether not Karoly or his lawyers considered the letter to be a concern notice.

    • John M
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

      If the recipient disputes the concern notice, they need only wait for the suite to be brought against them. Therefore, if no further correspondence is received by McIntyre on this matter, that has no bearing on whether not Karoly or his lawyers considered the letter to be a concern notice.

      Then why did they withdraw the review and claim they received a legal threat?

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:54 PM | Permalink

        John M, the followed standard lawyerly practice to minimize risk. They did not apologize either because Karoly would not apologize because he believe his claims to be true, or because an apology might be construed as an admission of guilt of the trial went before a jury (despite the provision in the Act); but the took down the article to minimize the risk of being sued, or of a large payout in the event that they were sued.

        Karoly’s remark was simply an apposite comment with regard to a topic at SkS. That you should try to construe his saying that he had received a legal threat as evidence that he did not believe he had received a legal threat shows the weakness of your case.

        • John M
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

          Tom C

          That you should try to construe his saying that he had received a legal threat as evidence that he did not believe he had received a legal threat shows the weakness of your case.

          Tom C,

          I’m not sure why you think I am making a “case”, but you it was you who brought up the issue of the “concerns notice”.

          We have a saying in the US… shi*t of get off the pot.

          If what Steve McIntyre did was file a “concerns notice”, your line of argument indicates three options:

          1) Contest the “concerns notice”
          2) File a formal “offer to make amends”
          3) Do nothing.

          They chose a 4th option: withdraw the review and whine about a “threat of legal action”.

          Perhaps your raising of the “concerns notice” issue falls into the “red herring” category?

  61. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    thisisnotsogood, I quote again:

    “(2) A notice is a concerns notice for the purposes of this section
    if the notice—
    (a) is in writing; and
    (b) informs the publisher of the defamatory imputations that
    the aggrieved person considers are or may be carried
    about the aggrieved person by the matter in question
    (the imputations of concern).”

    Note, a notice IS a concerns notice for the purposes of the Act if it satisfies two conditions. The conditions are:

    1) It is in writing.

    2) It informs the publisher of the (allegedly) defamatory imputations.

    McIntyre’s letter was in writing, and it informed Karoly of imputations made by Karoly, explicitly alleging that they were defamatory. Therefore, for the purposes of the Act, ie, under Qld Law, McIntyre’s letter was a concern notice.

    I do not know where you are quoting from, but I am quoting from the Act itself.

    I cannot help feeling that the desperation with which you, McIntyre and John M dispute the fact that his letter was a concerns notice shows that you are aware that that fact completely undermines his disparagement of Karoly above. Again, I cannot see the problem with simply admitting that McIntyre inadvertently sent what was, in law, a concerns notice and hence an inadvertent threat of legal action. Nor harm is done to McIntyre’s reputation by admitting that. So it shows he is not an expert in law? Has he ever claimed otherwise?

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:11 PM | Permalink

      Tom
      The problem with your reasoning is that what you quote is stating what a letter needs to show in order to be considered a proper “concerns notice”.
      Not all letters are concerns notices though.

      Noted that “For the purposes of this section”, you have changed to “For the purposes of this Act

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

        Tom, an analogous situation would be where it’s stipulated that receipts must accompany claims for refunds .

        However, some letters could contain a receipt yet not be a letter about a refund.

        Get it ?

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Permalink

        Are you suggesting that a definition that holds in the only section of the act that mentions concerns notices does not hold for the act? How ridiculous do you want to make yourself appear?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

          Tom,

          Just noting that you made an alteration there. You’ll attack but you’re not willing to simply admit you’ve altered the wording and then correct yourself to the genuine wording.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM | Permalink

          Tom,
          Can you identify the section and what that section is about ?

          If it’s anything like “Resolution of civil disputes
          without litigation”

          Then that is what it applies to. It applies to whatever it says it applies to, so you go check and tell us what that that section heading is.

    • coniston
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:20 PM | Permalink

      As several people have already commented, the letter was sent to the author, not the publisher.

      Are you now stating that a letter sent to the author constitutes a concern letter under the law?

      Please cite the law to back up your claim.

    • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

      Re: Tom Curtis (Jul 16 20:49),

      The notice did not meet criteria (b) as it was not sent to the publisher. By the definition quoted and because of the use of the conjuction “and” meaning both (a) and (b) needed to be met, and since (b) was not fulfilled, the notice sent by Steve McIntyre is therefore not a concerns notice for the purposes of the section. These attempts to disparage Steve on the most tenuous of technicalities is a sign of your nature, and common among the “faithful”. Stand back, be a mature adult, realize you are defending people of demonstrably poor character, and perhaps you can join in an intelligent discussion.

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

        Re: jeez (Jul 16 21:22),

        Sorry everybody, I missed the fact that these points were made upstream.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

          jeez, that’s okay. Tom Curtis has dodged the point in two comments now, so repeating it over and over may well be necessary.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

          If this thread is to continue at all we may need every comment to begin and end with the bolded statement

          “publisher” is not equivalent to “author” !!!

          [unless and until someone produces legally relevant information for Australia that sending a polite letter to any "author" may constitute a "concerns notice" to said author's "publisher" under the Defamation Act]

          [obviously this distinction could be over-ridden if an "author" owns the publication and is thus also the "publisher" but clearly that is not the case here and I think that would be a rare set of facts]

          “publisher” is not equivalent to “author” !!!

    • johanna
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

      Tom Curtis, your argument is a tautology. Asking for a false and defamatory statement to be taken down only becomes a concerns notice if there is subsequent legal action. If no legal action is taken, it is not a concerns notice, merely a piece of correspondence.

      Having worked in the media, I assure you that boilerplate letters like this go out all the time, and they almost never lead to defamation actions. As Steve says, they are primarily a dispute resolution mechanism.

      If I write to someone saying that they have breached the terms of a contract with me, and ask them to rectify the breach, it is not a threat of legal action – it is asking them to rectify the breach. But, if they refuse, it could become part of a subsequent action for breach of contract. The fact that I have used the words ‘breach of contract’ in my initial letter makes no difference one way or the other.

      Your grasp of legal theory needs work. Nothing constitutes a ‘threat’ (wrong word, btw) unless it says that legal action could follow if the request is not complied with. It is like saying that merely possessing flour is a threat of a forthcoming cake.

      • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

        johanna, the act says that such a letter is a concerns notice. It does not say it is only a concerns notice if legal action is later initiated. On the contrary, it discusses a means of dispute resolution following a concerns notice that involve no litigation. If follows that if the concern notice is still a concern notice within the meaning of the act if the recipient makes an offer of ammends, which is accepted and carried through, your claim that it is a concern notice only in the event of subsequent litigation is simply false.

        Further, the reason boilerplate is used is so the option of future litigation can be kept open. Had McIntyre sent a polite letter calling the published material inaccurate with no mention of defamation, in the event that he had later wanted to bring suite, he would have needed to send a more explicit letter. Normally the path to litigation will be paved with ever more explicit threats of litigation, but it does not need to be.

        • johanna
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

          Tom, you have deliberately missed my point, as you have deliberately missed points made by others. The fact that an Act exists does not mean that everything that happens in the outside world which partly reflects what the Act says is under the Act’s jurisdiction. The fact that this Act sets out a dispute resolution process does not invalidate other processes, or capture them, unless someone chooses to have recourse to the Act.

          If two parties settle a dispute informally, in ways that happen to mirror the provisions of a piece of legislation, does not put that resolution under the legislation unless one of the parties resorts to using the legislation.

          I don’t know how I can make it any clearer for you. You don’t seem to know much about dispute resolution in the real world. Almost all of it occurs outside the legislative framework, and as long as both parties are satisfied, legislative provisions which may or may not apply are completely irrelevant.

        • johanna
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:19 AM | Permalink

          I should perhaps have clarified that these principles apply to civil, not criminal matters. I assumed that you would understand the difference, but on re-reading your ill-informed comments, perhaps that is where your confusion arises. Anyone who understands the basic principles of civil, as opposed to criminal, law, would not make the silly assertions that you have.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:08 AM | Permalink

          Johanna, if Karoly received that letter from McIntyre and ignored it, and then McIntyre sued, Karoly would not be able to base a defense on the claim that he had not received a concerns notice. The reason he would be unable to do so is that the letter meets every legal requirement to be a concerns notice. Now, from where I sit it is very simple. The letter either is, or is not a concerns notice and that that issue must be objectively decidable by the recipient of the letter, who is the one who must respond and is under threat of legal action. Therefore the intention to pursue the matter in the courts by the sender of the letter, which the recipient cannot know, cannot form any part of the basis on which the letter is or is not a concerns notice.

          Further, the fact that an act regarding defamation law exists does mean that everything in the outside world (in Qld) that is related to defamation is covered by the law. Nobody gets to decide for themselves when they are or are not subject to civil penalties. Ant that being the case, nobody gets to decide for themselves arbitrarily how they will pursue redress when such penalties may apply. There pursuit of redress must be covered by the provisions of the act sot that the person against whom redress is pursued has the benefit of due process.

          Your notion that the law does not apply in this case because it would be inconvenient to your argument (and I can see no firmer basis) is absurd.

        • johanna
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:45 AM | Permalink

          Truly, you are either as dense as Hg or just plain obtuse. Karoly is not the person who will decide whether to use the law in this case, so his defence options are not of concern here. Either he has committed defamation, or he hasn’t. If he has, it is not up to the defamed party to provide him with a defence. And, the fact that he has defamed someone (if he has) does not mean that he will be subject to any penalties whatsoever – that is for the defamed party to decide. Not the government, not Karoly, the defamed party.

          That person could ask for an informal resolution via an apology and retraction, and leave it at that, with no legal input whatsoever. They could scratch their request on a piece of bark and have it delivered by carrier pigeon. They could ask that the retraction and apology be published only in the Woop Woop Fortnightly Border News on page 26 in 8 point type, if that satisfies them. Nothing to do with legal processes at all.

          For the last time, civil law only applies when a complainant chooses to use it – everything else is just private dispute resolution.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 2:16 AM | Permalink

          johanna, the act says that such a letter is a concerns notice.

          You’ve omitted that part which says “for the purposes of this section”. And what is that section ?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 8:53 AM | Permalink

          tom, you erroneously declare

          “The letter either is, or is not a concerns notice”

          when in fact such a letter is considered to NOT BE a concerns notice, should the aggrieved party not fulfill certain further obligations – such as replying to query for particulars

  62. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    Am I misreading Tom Curtis, or is he misrepresenting practically everything he talks about? For example, he responded to John M by saying, “John M, it looks better for your case if you don’t simply make facts up.” He doesn’t say what John M made up, but John M only made three comments. The last of them was made after the remark by Tom Curtis, so only the first two matter. In it, he said:

    Interesting. I guess that means that if…

    If none of that happens, is it safe to conclude that Karoly and his publisher do not consider this to be a “Concerns Notice”?

    First, he offered an interpretation, saying, “I guess.” He obviously cannot be making up a fact there. He also cannot be making up a fact when he then goes on to ask if his understanding of something is right. As for the other comment, it’s a single sentence:

    I ask again, if Karoly and/or his publisher neither contest the “concerns notice” nor submit a formal “offer to make amends”, does this mean that they do not consider Steve’s e-mail to be a “concerns notice”?

    It’s a simple question. There is no statement of fact in it, so John M couldn’t have made up anything. As far as I can see, there is nothing Tom Curtis could possibly be referring to, so his response is completely baseless and serves no point other than to insult a person.

  63. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 9:35 PM | Permalink

    As another example of misrepresentation, Tom Curtis claims “Steve McIntyre misquoted Karoly by cutting out relevant context.” He says:

    Karoly said, not that McIntyre had threatened him (which speaks to McIntyre’s intentions) but,
    “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada”

    That is, he said that what he received was a legal threat (which as a concerns notice, it is), not that McIntyre intended to threaten him with legal action. Karoly may also have believed the former (in which case he was wrong on McIntyre’s say-so); but he did not actually say it.

    Notice how Tom Curtis paraphrases Steve’s sentence. Tom claims Steve said Karoly claimed Steve “had threatened him.” He claims the correct representation is Karoly “received a threat of legal action from Steve.” But what did Steve actually say? He said Karoly “claimed that [Steve] had made a threat.” For Karoly to have received a threat, Steve must have made a threat. If Steve didn’t make a threat, no threat could exist!

    Personally, I don’t get how “threatening” speaks to intentions any more than “making a threat,” but if we go with Tom Curtis’s distinction, he is the odd-man out. Everyone else is keeping consistent. He’s the only one misquoting anything.

    • Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:10 PM | Permalink

      Brandon, it is threatening to rain this evening in Brisbane. That does not mean in any sense that the sky has intentions to threaten me in anyway. Clearly there can be intentional, and unintentional threats. Ergo, the distinction I drew was quite valid. I am not impressed that a half dozen McIntyre acolytes all disagree.

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:31 PM | Permalink

        Tom Curtis, I accepted your distinction for the sake of discussion. While it might be useful to discuss the distinction, surely the application of the distinction is more important. As such, I must ask why you didn’t discuss that at all?

        If one accepts your distinction, not only did Steve McIntyre not misquote anything, you misquoted him!

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

        Tom said

        “Brandon, it is threatening to rain this evening in Brisbane. That does not mean in any sense that the sky has intentions to threaten me in anyway. Clearly there can be intentional, and unintentional threats. Ergo, the distinction I drew was quite valid. ”

        As you were told earlier, you’re committing word usage error.

        • Brandon Shollenberger
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

          thisisnotgoodtogo, I didn’t bother to point out the obvious in my last response to Tom Curtis. I’m perfectly fine with distinguishing between intentional and unintentional threats. My issue was stated, quite clearly:

          I don’t get how “threatening” speaks to intentions any more than “making a threat,”

          Tom Curtis responded, not by showing that “threatening” speaks to intentions more than “making a threat,” but rather, by showing “threatening” can be used without speaking to intentions at all. His example directly refutes his own remark:

          Karoly said, not that McIntyre had threatened him (which speaks to McIntyre’s intentions) but…

          The sky can be threatening to rain. The sky can threaten to rain. In the past, the sky could have threatened to rain. None of that would speak to intentions.

          Tom Curtis’s accusation of misquotation is baseless.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:41 PM | Permalink

          Tom,
          You might better be able to see your error if you supply your own synonyms for “threat” in each case.

          That is, look at “threatening to rain”. Insert appropriate synonyms that still convey the meaning.

          e.g.
          “chance of rain”
          “danger of rain”
          “looks like rain”
          “risk of rain”

          Now apply synonyms to the other mentions of threat.

          You’ll see how inappropriate your inference is.
          He received a legal threat.

          He received legal danger of.
          He received legal chance of.
          He received legal risk of.
          He received legal looks like.

          You can rearrange your faulty thinking now that you’ve been shown how.

        • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:14 AM | Permalink

          thisisnotgood:

          He received a letter that increased the risk of his being sued;
          danger of his being sued
          chance of his being sued
          made it look like he might be sued etc.

          Constructing ungrammatical sentences is not an argument.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:28 AM | Permalink

          “He received a letter that increased the risk of his being sued”

          “The sky was threatening to rain”
          becomes
          “The sky was increasing the risk of rain”.

          They are different usages of the word, and the meanings are different, you now can see.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

          Tom, since you basically rewrote and padded the sentence, let’s put this back in the original text

          “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre”

          I have just received an [ increased risk ] of legal action from Steve McIntyre

  64. hunter
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Karoly’s over reaction and actions in general regarding this- his deceit, his conflation of the mild complaint from McIntyre into a legal threat, and his sour grapes retreat, are all emblematic of the sort of judgement it takes to turn the physics of CO2 into a world wide climate crisis.

  65. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Various people have picked up on the publisher/author distinction, totally neglecting both the logic of the case, and the explanation from a Queensland based “independent, not-for-profit community based legal service that coordinates the provision of pro bono legal services for individuals and community groups.” After all, what would a bunch of Queensland lawyers no about Queensland law.

    For those who want a more explicit legal statement, consider this:

    http://www.lawapps.law.unimelb.edu.au/cmcl/publications/Defamation.pdf

    “3.2 Who is a publisher?
    The person who publishes defamatory material, meaning the person who communicates the
    material to someone other than the plaintiff, is liable for defamation. Defamation texts include
    various formulations of who will be held to be a publisher. The simplest statement is that all
    those who “take part” in publishing defamatory material are liable. Thus, Duncan and Neill on
    Defamation states that:
    Every person who takes part in the publication of defamatory matter is prima facie liable
    in respect of that publication.
    23
    Similarly, Fleming maintains that:
    Every participant in the publication incurs liability, regardless of the precise degree of his
    involvement.
    24
    The leading Canadian text, Brown, is not substantially different:
    It must be shown that the defendant was responsible for the publication. He or she
    must participate in, or be involved in some way with, the publication.
    25
    The principle that every person who participates in publishing defamatory material is liable for
    defamation clearly follows from the fact that the damage to reputation caused by defamatory
    statements results from the communication of those statements. Thus, all those involved in
    communicating defamatory material contribute to the damage, and are therefore liable.”

    Please note that the question is, who is considered to be a publisher for defamation law. The answer is “Every participant in the publication”. David Lindsay does go on to discuss exceptions to this general principle for people only marginally involved, but clearly such exceptions will not extend to include the author.

    For what it is worth, the quote comes from a research paper by the University of Melbourne Centre for Media, Communications and Information Technology Law.

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

      Hi, Tom. It seems that this discussion is devolving into quite a bit of pedantry. Perhaps it would be useful to look at the big picture again.

      Steven sent an email that was precise and specific, laying out the objectionable comments and a requested resolution – i.e., retraction and apology. “Precise” and “specific” is Steve’s habit, as it minimizes opportunity for miscommunication. This form happens to match the form laid out in Australian law for a “concerns letter.” This is not a coincidence, as a concerns letter should also be precise and specific, and allow for resolution with as little miscommunication as possible.

      I believe your contention is that Steve’s email, due to this similarity, an inadvertent first step in legal action. And thus, “McIntyre threatened legal action” was a reasonable interpretation for Karoly to make, even though it is clearly not true. The big picture is: 1) was Karoly’s interpretation reasonable; and 2) was it correct?

      In terms of (1), many here – including myself – contend that this was not a reasonable interpretation, but rather a needlessly contentious and quick judgment. He jumped to a conclusion. Now maybe Australia is different, as you say, and any reasonable person would assume s/he is about to get sued after receiving what looks like a concerns letter. My feeling is that anyone who wants to resolve a matter outside of the courts would send a similar letter. Indeed, it would be difficult to see how one could resolve a matter WITHOUT sending a letter that: a) states what the offence was; and asks Karoly to either b) provide evidence to back the claim; or c) withdraw the inaccurate statement and apologize.

      In other words, yes: Steve managed to follow, generally, the form of a concerns letter. And frankly, this fact is of no consequence. Any such letter, if well written, would do likewise. Further, though you have shown that a concerns letter is necessary before initiating legal action, it is far from sufficient, by itself, to IMPLY pending legal action. And it certainly does not, by itself, constitute a “threat of legal action” as claimed. Why demand that Steve acknowledge that his letter was of the same form as a concerns letter? It doesn’t excuse Karoly’s rash interpretation. In my opinion it doesn’t even mitigate it.

      Referring to item (2) above: Suing Karoly was not Steve’s intent, and Karoly, no matter how justified you believe him to have been, was incorrect in this interpretation. If he has read Steve’s follow-up posts, he should now know he was incorrect. I think it would be more useful to spend your time making sure Karoly understands he was hasty in his judgment, and tell him that he should now withdraw his second intemperate remark. Because the strict facts of the case are: Karoly said something he thought was true, and he was wrong. Steve pointed this out, and he was right.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:42 AM | Permalink

        Nice summary. I dont think that there is much else that can usefully be said on this topic.

  66. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:25 PM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis also misrepresents the law he refers to:

    Further, the definition of terms in the Queensland Law is referred to a legal dictionary whose title is claimed to be given in Schedule 6 (which is unfortunately not published).

    I can find nothing in the law he references which refers to a “Schedule 6.” However, section 4 of Part 1 (Preliminary) clearly states:

    The dictionary in schedule 5 defines particular words used in this Act.

    Schedule 5 is certainly available. In fact, it is even listed in the Table of Contents as, “Dictionary.” I assume the reference to a “Schedule 6″ was simply a typo. That doesn’t explain how Curtis missed the existence of Schedule 5, but I suppose it really doesn’t matter why he missed it…

    In any event, the dictionary provided contributes nothing to the current discussion.

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

      My apologies, I obviously misread the passage. However, as you mention, the Dictionary which is included adds nothing to the discussion. Therefore the standard legal definition of publisher as elucidated elsewhere applies.

      • HAS
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

        I have to say that Karoly was perfectly entitled to surmise that McIntyre was building up to legal action and he was potentially in the gun.

        However now it’s cleared up that this wasn’t McIntyre’s intent, has he simply acknowledged as much over at Skeptical Science?

        Probably it would have been the appropriate things to do given the way the thread there (and this one) has spent so much time debating angels and pinheads (pick your side).

        • tlitb1
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 2:27 AM | Permalink

          Re: HAS (Jul 17 01:01),

          Stop pointing out the utterly obvious elephant in the room! Where’s the fun in that? :)

          When I say fun – it would seem that Karoly is apparently enjoying the fun since this inflated balloon of a debate could be quite clearly popped with a single sentence from him.

          Karoly has plopped his weak unsupported claim to martyrdom onto the world stack of information and appears happy to let the “sides” congeal around it in an unedifying mess. Is Karoly waiting for something to happen? Is he waiting for victory to be declared in the amorphous court of public PR?

          Not really the role of an illuminating scientist in my book. Unless Karoly is performing a clever social experiment here? /sarc

          Guess my side ;)

  67. geo
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

    “I request” is so very different in law than “I demand”. . . the presence of “defamatory” or not higher in the original.

    But, really, “Dear Mr. McIntyre –I am in receipt of your email. Before I answer to the substance of any scientific issues that may be in dispute between us, might I inquire if I should consider the presence of ‘defamatory’ in your email as the beginning salvo in a contemplated legal process? Is your email intended to be what the legal fraternity refers to as ‘a demand letter’ traditionally used to kick-off such a process? Do you in fact intend, or at least are explicitly reserving your rights to pursue, a legal process if I do not comply with the request you make therein?

    As you may reasonably understand, your answer to these questions will have some impact on my own answer as to the substance.

    Cordially. . . . ”

    One minute to write.

    • geo
      Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:57 PM | Permalink

      I should add, it has become apparent to me that The Team doesn’t write painfully obvious clarification emails like that for the reason that they’ve become emotionally invested in their self-identification as “martys to science”, and just don’t want to hear the answer, because it might ruin the welcome reinforcement of their self-image.

  68. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Permalink

    Personally, I’m fine with considering Karoly a “publisher” as far as the law is concerned. It makes sense in that he’s a joint-publisher with other people/groups as he was largely responsible for the material being published. The Australian law may not indicate that clearly, but legal definitions are often not the same as common-use definitions.

    My problem is even if one accepts what Steve sent is what Tom Curtis claims, it isn’t a threat of legal action. The fact something is a step in allowing further legal actions doesn’t mean it is a threat for further legal actions.

  69. Posted Jul 16, 2012 at 11:56 PM | Permalink

    The whole debate over whether Steve’s letter to Karoly was or was not a threat to take legal action is a meaningless hypothetical. Suing someone for defamation is entirely at the the discretion of the person who feels they have been defamed. Steve has made it clear he was not threatening to sue. End of story.

    If Karoly was concerned about the possibility of being sued all he had to do was withdraw his accusations and apologise. By not doing so and instead attempting to play the role of a victim he has only compounded his defamation. In trying to justify Karoly’s accusations and his victim role while further attacking Steve, all his supporters have accomplished is to provide strong evidence that his accusations have indeed resulted in leading a portion of the public into untrue and derogatory opinions about Steve’s character, competence and credibility.

    In view of the ongoing compounding defamation by Karoly’s supporters, Steve would have every right to reconsider taking legal action to stop the damage. He would also have good reason to include the most egregious and malicious of the Karoly supporters as co-defendants.

  70. Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:04 AM | Permalink

    Karoly has previously demonstrated “jumping the gun” and neglecting to check sources. Uncomfortably soon after the tragic Victorian bushfires, K. published an item on Real Climate. He claimed that the heat wave was caused by global warming by comparing record high temperatures in central Melbourne with a “high quality rural site” in nearby Laverton. In comments it was pointed out that the suburbs of Melbourne had nearly surrounded the Laverton site, it was quite close to a multilane freeway, and downwind from a prison, UHI could be a significant influence. AFAIK, K. did not retract his contribution. Subsequent a Royal Commission investigated the fires. Several causes were identified. AFAIK, climate change was not mentioned.

  71. Brandon Shollenberger
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    It’s incredible to read comments from contributors/editors at Skeptical Science. Here is a selection from the first 50 comments of the page linked to in the main post:

    Albatross:

    1) It is true that Mr. McIntyre is not a scientist and has no paleo climate expertise. Dr. Karoly spoke the truth.
    2) It is true that Mr. McIntyre is a blog writer. Dr. Karoly spoke the truth.
    3) It is true that Mr. McIntyre has repeatedly promulgated misinformation and sought to launch formal investigations into Mann’s research. Dr. Karoly spoke the truth
    4) It is true that Mr. McIntyre has made claims of misconduct by Dr. Mike Mann , including other climate scientists. Dr. Karoly spoke the truth.
    5) It is true that the misleading claims made by Mr. McIntyre are about a sub-set of peer-reviewed papers (i.e., papers by by ‘skeptics’ pretty much get a free pass), he especially holds disdain for Dr. Mike Mann. Dr. Karoly spoke the truth.

    Tom Curtis:

    1) For the most part, instances of data not being supplied on request to Mr McIntyre have come about because the particular researchers did not own the intellectual property rights to the data, or where the data was being retained to secure priority of publication on information relevant to the data. Mr McIntyre has shown himself wholly uninterested in such trivial matters as to who owns the data and has a right to distribute it, and has frequently insisted that researchers should violate legal contracts to provide to him data.

    2) On at least one instance Mr McIntyre has maintain he was not granted access to data which was freely downloadable from an FTP site.

    3) On at least one occasion, Mr McIntyre has continued to make FOI requests for data that was not owned by the person to whom he made the requests, while in possession of the data, having received it from the person who owned the data, and to whom he had been referred upon making his original request.

    Facts (2) and (3) make it quite plain that McIntyre’s primary purpose in his FOI requests is harassment rather than obtaining of the data.

    doug_bostrom:

    Doug z, see Albatross’ helpful point-by-point above. It’s not at all obvious that David Karoly has said anything for which he need apologize. The least definite is Albatross’ point 4, which depends on whether one believes repetitious mention of the word “fraud” by McIntyre in connection with Michael Mann is a “claim of misconduct.”

    doug_bostrom:

    Gergis et al is a nice example. As it happens there was a problem with the Gergis paper but that wasn’t what attracted the attention of McIntyre and Crew; Gergis enjoyed unusual press coverage so eyeballs swerved in the direction of the paper. Of course it almost goes without saying that Mann and Hansen are the right in the bull’s eye.

    Albatross:

    Keep in mind that in the past Mr. McIntyre has used his influence and his blog to mount/head a campaign of vexatious FOI requests against climate scientists.

    doug_bostrom:

    The frequent resorts to FOI and sternly worded letters as opposed to the much simpler method of being polite and not running off at the mouth on his blog are also puzzling.

    • None
      Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:50 PM | Permalink

      Tom wrote on another blog:
      “1) For the most part, instances of data not being supplied on request to Mr McIntyre have come about because the particular researchers did not own the intellectual property rights to the data, or where the data was being retained to secure priority of publication on information relevant to the data. Mr McIntyre has shown himself wholly uninterested in such trivial matters as to who owns the data and has a right to distribute it, and has frequently insisted that researchers should violate legal contracts to provide to him data.

      2) On at least one instance Mr McIntyre has maintain he was not granted access to data which was freely downloadable from an FTP site.

      3) On at least one occasion, Mr McIntyre has continued to make FOI requests for data that was not owned by the person to whom he made the requests, while in possession of the data, having received it from the person who owned the data, and to whom he had been referred upon making his original request.

      Facts (2) and (3) make it quite plain that McIntyre’s primary purpose in his FOI requests is harassment rather than obtaining of the data.”

      This is simply nonsense, can we discuss it with Tom somewhere without getting snipped ?

      • Brandon Shollenberger
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Permalink

        None, I saw the same quote (and quoted it in the comment you’re responding to). It’s absurd, and yet, it’s a position seemingly endorsed by the entire Skeptical Science staff. And you can’t discuss it with them, because they’ll shut you down at their site and avoid a discussion elsewhere.

        That’s the problem with the current “debates.” So many people decide they are right, look for evidence to support their conclusion and decide they’re better than any who disagree with them.

  72. GrantB
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 12:55 AM | Permalink

    Tom Curtis,
    Thanks for your riveting, if somewhat anguished series of posts on Queensland law. I look forward to your next series on posts on Victorian law, given that –
    1. Prof Karoly is at the University of Melbourne and
    2. The ABR is published in Melbourne

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:09 AM | Permalink

      BAM!

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:17 AM | Permalink

      GrantB
      Great delivery.

      tingto

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

      GrantB, had you paid attention you would have noticed that Queensland enacted the Defamation Act (2005) as part of a move by all states in Australia to have uniform defamation laws. It follows that the provisions of the Victorian Act will not be materially different. However, for those who are to simple to follow that logic, and whose intent on getting a gotcha overrides any desire to actually do research to see if the point they are making is actually material, here is the relevant section of the Victorian act:

      http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/vic/consol_act/da200599/s14.html

      Careful readers will note that the definition of a “concerns notice” is letter for letter identical between the two acts.

      And for good measure, New South Wales:

      http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/da200599/s14.html

      And yes, letter for letter identical as regards the definition of a “concerns notice” again.

      • GrantB
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

        Thomas Rumpole,
        I’m originally from South Australia. You left us out. How do we stack up in the “concerns notice” stakes? Please also supply links to relevant WA and TAS legislation. I only ask because you’ve been rabitting on with this “concerns notice” drivel for so long you may as well go the whole hog.
        Thankyou,
        SWMBO

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 6:55 AM | Permalink

        Tom.

        Word for word, you say. Here the meaning offered is

        for the purposes of ascertaining

        “When offer to make amends may be made”.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:26 AM | Permalink

          and for the purposes of the section, a letter falling into category of “concerns notice” can fall out of that category upon further action or non actions of the participants. Therefore it is only defined in such way, EXPRESSLY for the purposes of the section.

          “An aggrieved person who fails to provide the reasonable further particulars specified in a further particulars notice within the applicable period is taken not to have given the publisher a concerns notice for the purposes of this section”

  73. Eric
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Permalink

    Karoly clearly made untrue (I believe simply careless) allegations. He was singing with his choir and he got carried away. It is not worth 270+ comments.

  74. Coldish
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Angels and pinheads indeed! I’m glad I’m a scientist not a lawyer.
    1. McIntyre made a request to Karoly regarding what he, McIntyre, considered to be an erroneous and defamatory statement in a review article. He wrote “I request that you either provide me forthwith with specific examples of the “misinformation” that you allege that I’ve promulgated or withdraw the allegation with an apology.” This doesn’t read to me like a threat, and there is no mention or implication of legal action.
    2. It is equally clear (thanks to Tom Curtis for his explanations of Australian law)that Karoly or his publisher or their legal advisers quite reasonably saw themselves to be at risk of legal action if they did not react to McIntyre’s request (as such a a request could constitute a ‘concerns notice’ if legal action ensued or was contemplated, irrespective of McIntyre’s actual intentions). They reacted by withdrawing the review article.
    3. Karoly’s statement that “I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre…” reads to me like an unsupported and misleading claim that McIntyre had threatened legal action against him (Karoly).
    4. McIntyre has on a number of occasions made a principled stand against any recourse to legal action in scientific disputes. Karoly’s claim implies that McIntyre may no longer stand by this principle. McIntyre seems to be well within his rights in defending himself against this implication and in suggesting that Karoly’s claim about receiving a threat of legal action from McIntyre was ‘fantasy’.

  75. Coldish
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    Ted Carmichael’s comment above (Jul 17, 2012 at 5:37 AM) lays it all out as clearly as one could wish. Time to move on.

  76. Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

    Everyone has an opinion. I haven’t read any of the comments above or any climate blogs in the last several weeks but this sentence is clearly the problem:

    “I do not believe that you identified the error independently of the discussion at Climate Audit and accordingly it is my opinion that your failure to acknowledge Climate Audit in your public statement constitutes the use of ideas and/or work derived from Climate Audit without the appropriate acknowledgement. ”

    By identifying specific ‘legal’ failures and the fact that the good scientist was clearly guilty of multiple legally actionable failures on his part, Karoly certainly “felt” legally threatened even though there was no stated threat. Like a 4 year old kid caught sneaking cookies, he absolutely projected his own guilt and anger toward CA into a threat of legal action. He might as well have written – yeah I did it!

    One of the big problems in this field is that there is too much ‘feeling’ involved in the science. He feels anger at resistance to the cause. That same angry ‘feeling’ resulted in outright disparagement and rejection of any possible truth to words from Steve or this group. i.e. no possible scientific background! Apparently math is not a part of science.

    I think Dr. Karoly needs to stop being such a princess and worry more about fact than feeling.

  77. Craig Loehle
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

    Re: “Misinformation” In NewSpeak this means any questioning of dogma or of authority, and in fact even failing to act appropriately outraged about the world ending. So of course Steve is guilty. As am I.
    One must remember that not all share a rational world view.

  78. Sven
    Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 9:13 AM | Permalink

    I think that the tomcurtises, dougbostroms, martinlacks, uk…sense whatevers, the discussion going on on this subject at SkS and so on are the best proof that Freeman Dyson was right – environmentalism IS a modern day secular religion. And for Tom Curtis to blame people on this blog for tribalism is a just weird. Mirror mirror on the wall … where are you?

  79. Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    This blog may have nothing to do with energy production but it does seek to downplay deny or dismiss the reality of the greatest environmental challenge humanity faces – to prevent our means of energy production from permanently altering the Earth’s climate.

    The time for arguing about whether or not it is happening was over at least 24 years ago but the fossil fuel industry has proven – just like their colleagues in the tobacco industry before them – to be very determined to deny their responsibility for that problem.

    Steve: As before, I’ve asked you to link or cite to things that I’ve actually said. If you can point to any errors in posts at this blog, I’d be happy to correct them. As I’ve said in the past, people have sometimes observed of my critique of proxy recosntructions: if you’re right about the stick, then things are worse than we thought. I do not necessarily accept the premise – but, accepting their logic, we should therefore find out whether the Stick is right and, if matters are worse than we thought, govern ourselves according, giving no thanks to those whose data obstruction prevented the facts coming to light. I disagree with the premise that the existence of a larger overall problem means that close attention to detailed scientific issues should be discouraged or disallowed. Nor have I ever taken the position that politicians should be dissuaded from adopting sensible policies because of unresolved issued in proxy reconstructions. Quite the opposite. Reasonable people can disagree about what policies are sensible. POlicy discussions are important, but there are many venues for such discussion and I discourage such discussions here.

    • Posted Jul 17, 2012 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

      Message received and understood, Steve. Good luck with explaining your actions to your grandchildren.

  80. J Ashley
    Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 9:02 AM | Permalink

    Karoly states: “…and am currently dealing with 6 different FOI requests.”
    I have noted on several of these threads how cautiously Steve and Ross deal with FOI requests (Should we ask for this data? Are we asking for too much?, etc.) and it truly puzzles me.
    Much of my work as an environmental consultant involves the fate and transport of contaminants, regulatory compliance, identification of Responsible Parties for contamination, etc. and is a consequence of the strict liability mandates of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA aka “Superfund”). If I need information from any state, local or federal agency to establish what party is responsible for what contamination as required by CERCLA I do not hesitate to request it. I deal with it every day. So Mr. Karoly has to “deal with a FOI request”? So what? Get another job if you don’t like it. It bothers me that somehow a FOI request is now considered insidious.
    What is insidious is how the Obama administration tried to gut the FOI Act in the March 21, 2011 federal register. Link here http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-03-21/pdf/2011-6473.pdf

  81. tlitb1
    Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    Steve and others may want to check the same SkS thread that Karoly claimed a legal threat. Karoly has posted another comment on the subject.

    My twopenneth – It’s not an illuminating addition at all although he does manage to claim further proof of misinformation tendencies from Steve. I find his reponse utterly strange and would venture a guess that Karoly has been following the “legal” debate to pick out the best interpretation that makes him look least bad. He seems to live in a world that encourages interpreting the word “misinformation” as almost meaningless – is that misinformation? ;)

    Quote:

    Two examples of misinformation from McIntyre in one post. This appears to support what I wrote in my review.

    I am confident that an SkS reader will alert McIntyre to this post and that he will respond on CA.

    SkS reader – That means me ;)

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

      Karoly’s comment in full:

      I have decided to make an additional post, although I am not sure this is wise. I will try to respond to some but not all of the many issues raised since my original post @3 nearly a week ago.

      1. I received an email from Steve McIntyre claiming that I had made an “untrue and defamatory statement” about him in a book review I had written that was published in the Australian Book Review July edition. He requested that I “withdraw the allegation with an apology”. I have not replied to him.

      2. As far as I can tell, the McIntyre
      post at CA includes an accurate copy of the email he sent me. It contains misinformation, some of which I describe below.

      3. McIntyre’s email to me did not mention legal action. However, a first part of legal action on defamation in Australia is often to send a request to the author of the material, requesting that they withdraw it and apologise. Hence, I felt that it was a reasonable assumption that McIntyre was starting a course of legal action.

      4. As has been noted in several responses, McIntyre’s statement in his post is wrong that a successful defamation action in Australia needs to show that “the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages” from the publication of the defamatory material. It is much more common that a successful defamation action shows that the published material “lowers the person’s reputation in the eyes of members of the community, … or injures the person’s professional reputation”. Of course, running a legal action on defamation is expensive, as is defending one. 1st example of misinformation.

      5. It is much harder to prove defamation if the person making the claim publishes the material themselves. If they actually believed that the published material damaged their reputation, then they would not be distributing it. I guessed that McIntyre could not resist the temptation of published the so-called defamatory material on CA, and I guessed right. If he is to proceed with legal action against me for defamation, it will be much harder now.

      6. 2nd example of misinformation. On his post, McIntyre states that I removed the article. I did no such thing. The Editor of Australian Book Review moved the online copy of my review behind the paywall at their
      web site, where it remains available online https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/whats-new/current-contents. Apparently, this is their common practice for a review that attracts interest. The review is also available in the print version. It has not been withdrawn.

      7. Two examples of misinformation from McIntyre in one post. This appears to support what I wrote in my review.

      I am confident that an SkS reader will alert McIntyre to this post and that he will respond on CA.

      • amac78
        Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Permalink

        Re: Steve McIntyre (Jul 18 11:21),

        A useful point was raised earlier with respect to the word “threat” — in some uses, it connotes little more than probability (“threat of thunderstorms tomorrow”), while in other contexts, it speaks to intent (“he threatened injury if I spoke to her again”).

        Much the same with “misinformation.” “The Free Dictionary” offers this:

        misinformation (noun) — false information, gossip, disinformation, misleading information, false rumour, bum steer (U.S. informal)

        To this point, their example of its use is, “This was a deliberate piece of misinformation.”

        Stipulating that Dr Karoly didn’t withdraw his book review but that the Australian Book Review placed it behind a paywall: By the first interpretation, Steve McIntyre did offer misinformation by stating otherwise. By the second one, to so assert is to claim that McIntyre’s assertion was knowingly false.

        This ambiguity seems to give rise to a “have your cake and eat it too” situation — alluding to intent, without having to take responsibility for doing so.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 1:26 PM | Permalink

          With Karoly, as with too meany members of his “community”, one has to watch the pea.

          IN his original post at SkS, he stated:

          I have just received a threat of legal action from Steve McIntyre in Canada

          He now admits:

          McIntyre’s email to me did not mention legal action.

          To rationalize his original untrue claim, Karoly argues:

          However, a first part of legal action on defamation in Australia is often to send a request to the author of the material, requesting that they withdraw it and apologise. Hence, I felt that it was a reasonable assumption that McIntyre was starting a course of legal action.

          This is the sort of risible logic that pervades too much work by real_climate_scientists. Imagine a younger female Australian, call her G, going to a police station in saying: “a first part of date rape is often to ask a victim out for dinner. K invited me out for dinner. Hence, I felt that it was a reasonable assumption that K was planning to rape me.”

          Karoly continues:

          McIntyre’s statement in his post is wrong that a successful defamation action in Australia needs to show that “the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages” from the publication of the defamatory material…

          As is too characteristic among the Team, Karoly did not quote the full context (although at least he did not fabricate a quote, as Gavin Schmidt did recently). The full sentence was:

          In addition, in order for a law suit to have any purpose, the plaintiff should have suffered actual financial damages – an element that does not appear to be present, for example, in the Michael Mann libel suit against Tim Ball, which, in my opinion, involves nothing more than personal vanity.

          I am well aware that lawsuits about nothing more than personal vanity may be launched – I referred to Mann’s such lawsuit. I discussed what I felt was required for a lawsuit to have “any purpose”. I did not comment about whether a lawsuit merely about vanity would be “successful” under Australian law (which seems similar to Canadian law on this point.)

          Karoly continues in the same paragraph (for contect):

          …Of course, running a legal action on defamation is expensive, as is defending one. 1st example of misinformation.

          I said:

          I have some experience with legal processes: they are expensive, time-consuming and not something that I would undertake lightly, as I’ve said on many occasions to CA readers who’ve urged litigation on one thing or another.

          I see no “disinformation” in my comment on this post.

          Karoly continues:

          2nd example of misinformation. On his post, McIntyre states that I removed the article. I did no such thing. The Editor of Australian Book Review moved the online copy of my review behind the paywall at their
          web site, where it remains available online https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/whats-new/current-contents. Apparently, this is their common practice for a review that attracts interest. The review is also available in the print version. It has not been withdrawn.

          On this point, it appears that I did indeed make a mistake, though the precise circumstances at Australian Book Review warrant some analysis. The Karoly article was originally linked from their Feature Articles page. The link from that page was removed shortly after my complaint – BUT no other such links were broken. Anthony reported this as follows:

          https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/feature-articles/1063-343-features-karoly
          It does not appear to be a site error, as other nearby reviews are intact. And, the 404 error is very specific to article #1063, rather than a generic 404 error.

          I checked the links and was unable to locate the article other than as cached. Why Australian Book Review idiosyncratically did something different with the Karoly article is a puzzle. As is my practice if I make a mistake, I update the post, noting the mistake and have done so in this case.

        • michaelozanne
          Posted Jul 20, 2012 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

          I’ve seen the verbal circumloqutions over at WUWT as opposing groups try to talk past each other. Having had the pleasure of sueing a mega-deathtech ex-employer, the inland revenue, and a power generation conpany. I would say that all correspondence that doesn’t contain the phraseology “complete action X by date Y or the matter will be placed before the courts, please forward the name and address of legal counsel to whom further correspondence may be addressed” or similar isn’t a “threat of legal action” its idle chit-chat.

          We might speculate that Dr Karoly feels that his remarks are indefensible before a court and is therefore risk averse, but that would be idle chit-chat too.

      • Skiphil
        Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 2:53 PM | Permalink

        Karoly’s no.5 shows what kind of malicious games he plays.

        One must consider that the b.s. about “oh they didn’t remove it they just moved it behind a pay wall” is a feeble attempt by ABR and Karoly’s to try to embarrass critics pretend the review was never withdrawn etc.

        WHEN did it get posted behind the pay wall? It was not there for at least many hour on July 11 and 12 (US time) when I was searching repeatedly for it to confirm that it really had disappeared from the ABR site.

        It was apparently added back sometime after, unless ABR’s search function somehow ignores their pay walled articles, which would be peculiar in the extreme and a terrible practice.

        I posted on the WUWT thread the evening of July 11 what I was finding from searches of the ABR site on the name “Karoly’s” and there was no pay walled article then, nor was it there the next day July 12 when I searched more looking for any traces of it.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/11/david-karoly-leader-of-the-climate-underground/#comments


        Steve: what happens when you perform precisely the same search today?

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 3:00 PM | Permalink

          Correction, I was searching only the name “Karoly'” and my iPad’s autocomplete just now inserted the ‘s this time only…. I was on my laptop before without the autocomplete issue, and I also searched the article title and other variants….. The article was no longer on the ABR site at that time!!

          This may be suggestive about what Karoly’s and ABR have done since. Perhaps in light of his no. 5 plus legal advice plus your stated disinterest in legal proceedings, they subsequently decided on this “pay wall” strategy but it does not seem to be where matters stood with the Karoly’s review on July 11-12.

          More mendacity from David Karoly’s??

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 4:15 PM | Permalink

          Curiously, when I do the identical search now I still get one of the 3 items which is to the old article, i.e., when I click on it I get the “404” error message saying article 1063 is not found on the site!!

          This may suggest there is something inept about how ABR is administering their own site (indexing is not updating etc) but also puts in doubt the Karoly claim that ABR paywalled the article BECAUSE they recognized an unusual level of interest in it, i.e., how peculiar that a user should have such difficult a week later locating the correct paywalled article which ABR wants to make money on??

          Now I also get the ABR (revised) contents for current issue with the Karoly review listed but in a new position (not right after the review of a book on Murdoch, but 7th on the list:

          July-AUgust 2012 Issue Contents behind paywall

          This also seems extraordinary treatment of a review which is supposedly paywalled due to strong interest (one would not notice it unless reading all 8 items in the contents).

          In short, Karoly’s explanation of why the article has been paywalled does not seem credible.

          Isn’t it remarkable that for a review which Karoly claims has been paywalled BECAUSE it attracted more interest one can’t even find reference or link to it on ABR’s own home page:

          current ABR home page July 18 2012 (5:00 pm EST)

          What publication of any kind moves something behind a paywall BECAUSE it is attracting interest yet effectively “hides” it from all except those who already know how to find it??

          I wonder whether some change in the past 7 days came because of a recognition from ABR and/or Karoly that (1) the print edition was already out anyway (??) presumably, I don’t know, and/or (2) per Karoly’s no. 5 it was thought that given your comments on CA it was most unlikely that you would pursue or that you could win a legal action (if Karoly’s No. 5 is accurate).

          What can’t be explained so far is why ABR would handle the online presence of this review in such a reckless, slipshod way if they actually think it is of unusual interest and significance, and if they actually think it will enhance the online revenues of ABR!! No publication would behave in this way with an article that they think is a money-maker for them.

        • Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 7:18 PM | Permalink

          @Skiphil

          In short, Karoly’s explanation of why the article has been paywalled does not seem credible

          If nothing else, ever since the “on hold” saga began, it seems to me that one thing we have learned about this particular AR5 “Review Editor” – and erstwhile “expert” now downgraded in IPCC-speak to “objective, transparent, inclusive talent” – is that he seems to excel in the “not credible” department!

        • sue
          Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 7:27 PM | Permalink

          The cached link to the original article no longer works…

      • jim edwards
        Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

        So, why not send a letter to Australian Book Review and ask them to remove the review from their site and forward a statement of non-affiliation with the remarks to each party who downloaded it ?

        After all, now that they are charging for it, they could be keeping track of exactly how many third parties are receiving the untrue characterizations from ABR, directly – this actually could make calculation of damages easier in a potential libel action.

        They may actually be developing a potential witness list for you.

        Additionally, ABR is profiting directly from your misfortune each time they sell it to another reader.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

        Karoly said

        “I guessed that McIntyre could not resist the temptation of published the so-called defamatory material on CA, and I guessed right. If he is to proceed with legal action against me for defamation, it will be much harder now”

        Karoly seems to want to play it as a crafty devil after the Peter Gleick model( the book review, followed by self-degradation on blogs, till the total break with any pretense at ethical behaviour.
        Karoly indicates that he premeditated, his post seems to implicitly acknowledged that what he said was defamatory, but he calculated that he would be getting away with it.

      • Bob Koss
        Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Permalink

        I think Karoly is spouting BS when he says the article has been moved behind the paywall. It may still appear in the print edition though.

        Using their search box to search for Aldrich author of the paywalled article “Napoleon rules at the NGV” returns the name of the article as the top item with a link to the 1st paragraph of the article containing a link to purchase a subscription.
        The 2nd item returned is a link to the current-contents page.

        Searching for Karoly the top link returned is the current-contents link. There is no link to the article anywhere. The 3rd link is a link to part of my comment Karoly’s article. That link returns the same 404 error we have been seeing all along. Even google can’t find the article while it does find other paywalled articles.

        I saw that current-contents page the same day they took down the link to Karoly’s article and noticed they hadn’t removed his article from their listing. Figured it was just an oversight as those aren’t article links anyway. That page isn’t ordered the same as the front page. It was listed in the same position then as now.

        Also, it seems that cache link to the article you put in the Gergis thread seems to have expired. I downloaded a personal copy of the cached article on the 11th if you need a copy in the future.

        It stretches credulity to think the site would put the article behind the paywall and not make it accessible for purchase.

        Steve: the article is presently in the $6 current issue.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 19, 2012 at 12:30 AM | Permalink

          Bob Koss, thanks for all your info and for the correction about the “contents” list still showing a listing (no link) for the Karoly review after it had been removed from the home page. I take your word for it since you are sure, and I am sure that what I did was look just below the first item, a review of the book on Murdoch, since the order was 1-2 on the home page.

          Update to all, I looked at ABR again just now, and I think there is an explanation for how the article can be considered behind a “paywall” now even though it is not evidently possible to purchase (or even locate) the individual Karoly review.

          IF it is true (don’t know) that the Karoly review is still available in both online and print editions of the ABR July-August 2012, it may be that “paywall” refers only to purchasing the entire issue and not the individual article.

          i.e., most of us are well aware of the myriad options to purchase and download articles individually online, both from mass media websites and more specialized ones. It seems that what ABR *might* be doing is withdrawing free distribution of the Karoly review as though that provides incentive for more people to purchase the whole issue in either print or online form. I don’t care to give them any of my money to confirm whether the Karoly review would be there if I were to purchase the issue online right now, but that may be what’s going on.

          Separate from Karoly issues it is an utterly bizarre way to do a web and publishing business (if they do not in any way promote the article to help sales of the issue). I really wonder if they have done this before as Karoly asserts. Anyone who knows anything about publishing, marketing, websites, and online sales knows it is ridiculous to try to use such an “incentive” to drive purchases if NO ONE knows about it! (if anyone actually wanted Karoly’s puerile review) They don’t even have a link on their home page saying “Get David Karoly’s Scathing Take-Down of Evil Climate Skeptics” etc. Nothing at this time, a week after the original online publication and then disappearance of the review.

          So I do think there seems to be an interpretation on which Karoly could be right that the article is behind a paywall now. It still would not explain the sudden decision to move it there by ABR, for the way they are currently doing displays stunning levels of utter incompetence in web marketing, publishing, and online sales. Maybe it is one of those instances explained by incompetence, but it sure is strange.

          Here is the link to purchasing the current issue in either print or online form, but nothing tells the user they would even GET the Karoly review (a user has to find the contents list on a separate page):

          Paywall for ABR July-August 2012 issue

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 19, 2012 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

          ABR has not promoted the Karoly piece on their Twitter feed since July 9.

          Putting aside that many of us disdain Twitter, from a sales/marketing standpoint that would have been an automatic IF their intent had truly been to move it behind the paywall in order to drive sales of the current issue.

          As things stand now, they have done nothing since this all broke a week ago to promote in any publicly accessible way that I can see that the Karoly review is in the current issue and is a good reason to purchase the current issue. Yes it is there on the subsidiary “current contents” page, but in sale/marketing terms it is nearly invisible (especially to people not actively looking for it). Not on the home page, not on the paywalled purchase page, and not on their promotional Twitter feed. So either ABR is the most incompetent publication ever (one must always consider that possibility with a literary journal) or else Karoly’s explanation is highly dubious at best.

        • Skiphil
          Posted Jul 19, 2012 at 8:47 AM | Permalink

          My link to “Paywall” was the wrong link for what I was trying to illustrate, I accidentally posted the link to the “current contents” page above. That page does list the Karoly review.

          What I was trying to say is that if one went to the pay/subscribe page directly from the home page one would not have seen anything to indicate the Karoly review existed or that it was in the current issue. The payment page does not list individual content (at the moment anyway):

          Purchase page for ABR current issue and annual subscription

          Steve has confirmed that the Karoly review is in the $6 current issue. My point remains that whatever the motivation(s) that led ABR to move the article behind the paywall, it is bizarre (commercial) behavior for any publication to suddenly move an article which they think is *more* important or of special public interest almost entirely out of sight to the non-subscribing public.

        • Bob Koss
          Posted Jul 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

          As Steve has definitely confirmed Karoly’s article exists behind the paywall, I retract the initial sentence of my comment above at 8:51PM pertaining to Karoly spouting BS.

          I find it remarkable the Australian Book Review is only willing to advertise the existence of Karoly’s article in a small-type unlinked reference on the current-contents page, no longer giving it the same prominence as the other articles.

      • Skiphil
        Posted Jul 19, 2012 at 1:30 PM | Permalink

        One more point against Karoly’s “misinformation” claim no.2 is that right up to this moment the search function on the ABR site continues to be broken or seriously defective.

        It continues to return the link to the broken ‘404’ page for ‘article 1063′ and does NOT return anything new such as a link or message showing Karoly’s review is now behind the pay wall.

        Thus, any reasonable fair-minded person looking at the situation more than a week after the article vanished from the ABR home page (where all other articles are described with a photo or image plus some text and a link) could not, would not claim it is some kind of willful ‘misinformation’ to say the article has been withdrawn.

        It ‘appears’ from ABR’s own home page and site search function that the article had been withdrawn. The alternative explanation is that ABR had silently slipped the article behind the pay wall while doing nothing new to inform the public or promote the article. That suggests either incompetence or some as yet inscrutable motives on the part of ABR.

      • Skiphil
        Posted Jul 23, 2012 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

        I looked to see if there was any change on the ABR website. Nothing seems changed on the Karoly front (i.e., the review is invisible except for the link-free item on an interior page of “Current Contents”). Still can’t find any evidence that they actually promote the review or regard it as in any way a selling point for the current issue.

        The have added a couple of new items at the top of the home page (one on a poetry contest and one on a discussion event), indicating that they have updated the site but did not find it worth adding back any info at all on the Karoly review… so strange for such an important (sic) piece.

        Their search function is still defective and giving the broken ‘404’ page for ‘article 1063’… it is apparent that both hypotheses may be true: (1) ABR seems incompetent with their website, and (2) they see no interest in promoting or even recognizing the Karoly review on the home page.

        https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/

        They have done a bunch of new Tweets without mentioning the Karoly review since July 9, before the fuss began:

        http://twitter.com/austbookreview

        Sure does not look like ABR could regard the Karoly review as anything to be proud of or anything to promote as a selling point! Does Karoly just make stuff up?

  82. Posted Jul 18, 2012 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

    With all of the smoke and mirrors surrounding what has happened to the article on the ABR website, accusing Steve of promulgating misinformation for saying it has been removed is a bit rich. One wonders if the Karolyites would be happy with just saying it has disappeared.

  83. JohnH
    Posted Jul 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM | Permalink

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/agri/AIMS%20Emails%20J.Gergis%20and%20J.Lough(1.1.10-19.6.12).pdf

    First email in this FOI is from Gergis to a full list and covers (well not covers actually) the CA involvement in the pulling of the paper, its not what it says that is interesting but what it does not say.

    She expects the new paper to have very similar results to the old paper.

    • sue
      Posted Jul 24, 2012 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

      Interesting that she cc’s Gavin Schmidt, Eric Steig, Mike Mann, and Eugene Wahl…

7 Trackbacks

  1. [...] McIntyre has posted his letter to David Karoly regard Karoly’s book review, covered by WUWT here. Karoly responds with a suggestion he’s been given a ‘legal [...]

  2. [...] also know that McIntyre is published in the very journals he wishes he could publish in.  So, Steve Mac writes obliviot Karoly a letter. (emphasis [...]

  3. By Karoly’s projections…klutz | pindanpost on Jul 14, 2012 at 9:21 PM

    [...] McIntyre has posted his letter to David Karoly regarding Karoly’s book review, covered by WUWT here. Karoly responds with a suggestion he’s been given a ‘legal threat’. [...]

  4. [...] There was no threat of legal action, just a "please explain" – but it's so much better for The Cause if you don the mantle of victimhood and claim you're under threat of legal action. Read Steve's post over at Climate Audit here. [...]

  5. By Idiotic Comments | uknowispeaksense on Jul 16, 2012 at 1:46 AM

    [...] where I will put some of the best denier comments I have stumbled across. These two have come from Climate Audit and today’s theme is irony. You’ll see what I [...]

  6. [...] the protestations of people on contrarian websites such as Stephen McIntyre’s Climate Audit, the jury is not out on our understanding of climate science any more than it is on our living on a [...]

  7. [...] June 12, David Karoly stated of the then recently disappeared Gergis et al: The paper has been put on hold, while [...]

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