Misrepresentations and the Tainted Narrative of Mann’s Complaint

In a recent post, I observed that Mann’s Statement of Claim contained a bizarre misrepresentation about the nature of Mann’s research, as it falsely credited Mann with being “one of the first” to document the increase in 20th century temperatures. Reader PhilH, a retired judge, observed that, on its own, the misrepresentation was merely odd and that it would have significance for the pleadings only if it could be connected to the narrative of the case. In today’s post, I’ll try to do exactly that.

casey-at-the-bat-1888-grangerThe “money quote” chosen by Mann’s lawyers as supposed evidence of his “exoneration” by the “inquiries” is an EPA statement that manipulation of “temperature data and trends”  is a “myth”. This quotation connects to the paragraph 2 misrepresentation, but not to Mann’s actual research.  It’s a massive whiff by Mann’s lawyers.

In their initial memoranda to dismiss, CEI and NR lawyers paid no attention to this irrelevant quotation. This sent Mann’s lawyers into an apoplectic rage: in their Reply Memorandum, they made wild, almost deranged, accusations that CEI and National Review had “misled” the court by ignoring their irrelevant quotation about temperature data.  None of this makes any sense unless Mann’s lawyers were misled by their own misrepresentation about Mann’s research into “temperature data”.  The belligerence of Mann’s lawyers on the topic, can perhaps be explained (but not condoned) by hypothesizing that they, like Sarah Palin, believed that Climategate was about temperature data.

The CEI Petition for Reconsideration

Before discussing Mann’s Statement of Claim and the Reply Memorandum, I first wish to briefly summarize the CEI petition for reconsideration of the EPA Endangerment Finding, as this was repeatedly cited by Mann’s lawyers and plays a central role in their narrative.  This petition was filed by CEI in February 2010 (jointly with the Science and Environmental Policy Project and the NIPCC), together with a supplement soon after. Although Mann’s pleadings suggest that the EPA was responding primarily to CEI’s petition, CEI was relatively small beer in the dispute, which was led by states (especially Texas and Virginia) – see here.

The CEI petition did indeed make a variety of allegations about manipulation of the temperature record, which is the largest section of CEI’s petition.  CEI entitled their section on temperature: “it is clearer than ever that EPA’s claim of unequivocal warming is scientifically indefensible”. It based this claim on supposed “manipulation” of temperature data by CRU and others. One of its primary issues was the dropping of many stations from the GHCN dataset. CEI argued that none of the three major temperature institutions had provided a “scientific explanation” for the discontinuance, that the temperature statistics were “highly compromised” by the discontinuance and are “likely to have strong warming biases” and that EPA’s reliance on them was not “scientifically defensible”.  CEI had contested the same issues in October 2009 shortly before Climategate, following CRU’s admission that it had not preserved original data. Its earlier petition had been rejected on the grounds that the other two indices (GISS, NOAA) showed similar results. In its February 2010 petition, CEI returned to this issue, claiming  that all three indices relied on the same supposedly “compromised” GHCN dataset.   In addition, while the Climategate emails scarcely mentioned temperature data, the Harry Readme, included among the documents in the Climategate dossier, raised questions about the quality of CRU work (though the Harry Readme was shown fairly quickly to relate to the CRU TS data, rather than CRUTEM.) Mann has nothing to do with temperature data and CEI did not mention Mann’s name in connection with this section.

CEI’s petition also recited a variety of then topical criticisms of IPCC AR4 (e.g. Himalaya glaciers, Amazon rain forest, African agriculture).  In its discussion of IPCC, it included a bullet point about “hide the decline”, but thoroughly botched its presentation of the issue, mixing up AR3 in which Mann was involved and AR4 in which Briffa (responding grudgingly to my review comments) coopered up the disclosure defects of AR3.  I discussed the CEI allegation and EPA response in respect to this incident at length in a previous article here – I urge interested readers to review this earlier blog post.

In summary, CEI did not associate Mann with its allegations of “manipulation” of the temperature data nor did Mann feature prominently in their petition, Mann being mentioned only in connection with the hide-the-decline incident.

Mann’s Statement of Claim

Given that Mann’s research did not involve instrumental temperature data, the emphasis on “temperature data” both in his Statement of Claim and Reply Memorandum (January 2013) are really rather startling.

As noted several days ago, paragraph 2 of Mann’s Statement of Claim, introducing Mann’s research,  made the bizarre misrepresentation that Mann was “one of the first” to document temperature increases in the 20th century. In the original Statement of Claim (the italicized sentence was deleted in the Amendment in July 2013), Mann even claimed that the Nobel prize supposedly awarded to “Dr Mann and his colleagues” was “as a result of this research” [showing 20th century temperature increases]. This misrepresentation was so gross that even Nick Stokes agreed.

2. Dr. Mann is a climate scientist whose research has focused on global warming. Along with other researchers, he was one of the first to document the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century and the steep increase in measured temperatures since the 1950s. As a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. [italicized deleted in Amended Statement of Claim]

In contrast to this association of Mann’s research with temperature data, the Statement of Claim nowhere mentions “proxy reconstructions” or Mann’s use of tree ring data for proxy reconstructions.

Later in the Statement of Claim, Mann and his lawyers reproduced an extended EPA quotation (though its provenance appears to be incorrectly attributed to the EPA Decision Document rather than accompanying press kit prepared by the EPA press office). The extended quotation purported to show that allegations that “temperature data” had been manipulated were a “myth”.  Mann’s lawyers represented this declaration as, at least in part, responsive to the CEI petition.  The complete except is given below:

22. Notably, in July 2010, CEI, a defendant in this case, and others, filed a request entitled Petitions to Reconsider the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. In response, the Environmental Protection Agency published a summary of its findings, entitled “Myths vs. Facts: Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act,” which stated:

Myth: The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails prove that temperature data and trends were manipulated. [my bold]

Fact: Not true. Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results.

Myth: The jury is still out on climate change and CRU emails undermine the credibility of climate change science overall.

Fact: Climate change is real and it is happening now. The U. S. Global Change Research Program, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have each independently concluded that warming of the climate system in recent decades is “unequivocal.” This conclusion is not drawn from any one source of data but is based on multiple lines of evidence, including three worldwide temperature datasets showing nearly identical warming trends as well as numerous other independent indicators of global warming (e. g., rising sea levels, shrinking Arctic sea ice). Some people have “cherry- picked” a limited selection of CRU email statements to draw broad, unsubstantiated conclusions about the validity of all climate science.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Decision Document, Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act” (July 29, 2010). Available at http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions/decision.html

Later, in the segue from background to discussion of the disputed blog articles (paragraph 25), Mann referred back to the “money quote” in paragraph 25 as having found that:

“CEI’s claims of data manipulation were labeled a “myth” by the EPA in 2010”.

On its own, the paragraph 2 misrepresentation might perhaps have been incidental.  However, in combination with the EPA quotation supposedly rebutting allegations regarding “temperature data and trends” and its association with CEI petition complaints about supposed manipulation of temperature data, the paragraph 2 misrepresentation connects to a central narrative of the Statement of Claim.  This narrative emphasis on temperature data is easily overlooked by people who (like CA readers) understand the nature of Mann’s research, but the distinction between temperature data and proxy reconstructions is not necessarily appreciated by people new to the dispute, such as Sarah Palin in 2009 and apparently Mann’s lawyers.  (Mann, of course, knew that he was not “one of the first” to document the increase in 20th century temperatures and, while the form of errors suggest that they were introduced by his lawyers, Mann is responsible for misrepresentations in his pleadings.)

The Memoranda for Dismissal, December 2012

In December 2012, both CEI and National Review submitted memoranda in support of their motions to dismiss.

In their memorandum, National Review did not mention EPA’s seemingly irrelevant statement about “temperature data and trends”. Perhaps, National Review’s then counsel were so mystified by Mann’s invocation of such an irrelevant EPA statement that they didn’t feel it necessary to respond.

The CEI memorandum observed that Mann’s Statement of Claim had failed to provide a single quotation from seven of the reports and asserted that its EPA excerpts (also NSF) did not “actually contradict” any CEI statements:

So too is the assertion that those reports’ contents contradict any of the challenged statements made by the CEI Defendants. Compl. ¶¶24-25. Indeed, the Complaint fails to quote a single word or cite a single page from seven of those reports, and the brief excerpts of two that it does set forth [EPA, NSF] do not actually contradict any of the CEI Defendants’ challenged statements. Compare Compl. ¶¶22-23 with Compl. ¶26.

And indeed, CEI’s lawyers were exactly right on these points.  The quoted EPA statement on “temperature data and trends” was not relevant to Mann’s research and did not contradict any actual statements in the CEI article.

CEI’s position in their memorandum was also completely consistent with their earlier response to Mann’s lawyers’ letter, in which they had observed (correctly in my opinion) that most of the supposedly exonerating investigations “did not examine Professor Mann’s conduct or even mention him”.

Penn State Professor Michael Mann’s lawyer claims that nine investigations of academic fraud have all exonerated Professor Mann.  Most of these investigations did not examine Professor Mann’s conduct or even mention him, and Penn State University’s investigation was typical of that institution’s unfortunate tendencies.

Mann’s Reply Memoranda, January 2013

In January 2013, Mann filed two nearly identical reply memoranda, one to CEI and one to National Review. Given that Mann’s Reply Memoranda were produced by professional counsel, their vituperation and choler are quite startling. In our first submission to Nature in 2004, one of the reviewers (later identified as Ian Joliffe) said that he was unimpressed by Mann’s tactic of merely trying to “shout” “louder and longer” in his response, but this tactic has generally seemed to work well for Mann, and he definitely seems to have found kindred spirits in his lawyers.

Conspicuously, the Reply Memorandum did not provide support for (or repeat) the false Statement of Claim assertion that Mann was “one of the first to document the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century and the steep increase in measured temperatures since the 1950s”.  This time, it more plausibly characterized MBH98-99 as studies that “applied new statistical techniques in an attempt to reconstruct temperatures over past centuries from “proxy” indicators”.  The Reply Memorandum discussed (page 18) “hide the decline” and, in that discussion, distinguished between temperature data and proxy reconstructions.

However, in their section on the EPA inquiry in their Reply to CEI (page 22), Mann’s lawyers once again conflated statements about temperature data as somehow relevant to Mann’s work, stating:

A central argument by the petitioners [CEI] was their contention that Dr. Mann and other scientists had distorted, concealed, and manipulated certain temperature data, which fundamentally called into question EPA’s endangerment finding. In their petition, CEI stated that Dr. Mann’s proxy data which was included in IPCC’s assessment report “was artfully truncated” so as to give the “false impression that the tree ring data agree with reported late 20th Century surface temperature data, when in fact they did not.”[47 - CEI petition] CEI went on to explicitly accuse Dr. Mann of “artful deceit” and “deliberate” “deception,” even attaching an exhibit to their petition titled “An Explanation of How Michael Mann Hid the Decline.”[48- CEI petition] In response, the EPA thoroughly investigated each and every e-mail and found that there was no evidence of data manipulation or fraud. [49 - Response to Petitions, volume 1].

As discussed in the above section on the CEI petition, CEI had not alleges that “Mann and other scientists” had “distorted, concealed, and manipulated certain temperature data”;  Mann was nowhere named in their discussion of temperature data. As also discussed above, CEI had indeed made allegations about Mann’s role in “hide the decline”.   As I reported previosuly, the EPA did discuss this incident (mainly RTP Response 1-5), but they did not there state that there “was no evidence of data manipulation or fraud”; they took the narrower (and legally astute) position that EPA had (wisely) not cited the criticized AR3 graphic in its Endangerment Finding and therefore that the issue was moot for the purposes of reconsideration – an entirely different conclusion.  Nor did they conclude that there was  “no evidence of data manipulation” in connection with the contemporary 1999 WMO graphic discussed in the notorious Jones email, but only that it was an “issue for WMO to address”, as the graphic had likewise not been relied upon in the EPA Endangerment Finding. This was clever lawyering by EPA, but not an exoneration of Mann’s hide the decline in AR3.

Later in the section on EPA, Mann’s lawyers went well outside the bounds of acceptable belligerence, making an accusation that CEI and National Review counsel had made a “deliberate attempt to hide information” from the Court (page 24). The “information” that the defendants had allegedly attempted to hide was the “existence of the EPA inquiry” and that his “inquiry” had been requested by CEI.  Once again, Mann’s lawyers reproduced the extended EPA Myths versus Facts quotation about “temperature data and trends” that they had cited in the Statement of Claim, this time claiming that this quotation demonstrated that EPA had “categorically rejected the fraud allegations” against Mann:

Remarkably, and in what can only be characterized as a deliberate attempt to hide information from this Court, Defendants do not even bother to disclose the existence of the EPA inquiry, and in particular the fact that this inquiry was requested by CEI. In any event, EPA categorically rejected the fraud allegations against Dr. Mann as a “myth”

Myth: The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails prove that temperature data and trends were manipulated.

Fact: Not true. Petitioners say… [the rest of the quotation is as in the Statement of Claim quotation above]

Obviously,  this wild claim by Mann’s lawyers is untrue or misleading on multiple levels.  The existence of the EPA “inquiry” had not been “hidden” from the court, as it had already been prominently featured in Mann’s Statement of Claim.  Although its inclusion as an “inquiry” is questionable (and questioned by Ross McKitrick, the author of a lengthy review on the Climategate inquiries), CEI had nonetheless commented on Mann’s EPA quotation, observing that it did not contradict anything that they had written.  (While their text did not refer to EPA by name, it is clearly identifiable as one of the two agencies from which quotations were reproduced in the Statement of Claim.)  Nor did the proffered EPA quotation show that allegations against Mann were a “myth”. The quotation, which is hardly revealed truth and which CEI and NR were entitled to contest, only commented on “temperature data and trends”, topics that had nothing to do with the Mann litigation.


In my opinion, Mann’s wild and reckless allegation that CEI and National Review had made a “deliberate attempt to hide information” does not have a shred of justification.

On the other hand, Mann and his lawyers falsely claimed that Mann had been “one of the first to document the steady rise in surface temperatures during the 20th Century and the steep increase in measured temperatures since the 1950s” and that “as a result of this research, Dr. Mann and his colleagues were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.” (The latter false representation has been removed in the Amendment, but not the former.)  These claims connected with a narrative that later prominently featured an EPA statement concluded that allegations that “temperature data and trends” were a “myth”, a statement that might also have been inconsequentially irrelevant, except for the prior misrepresentation of Mann’s research as being about temperature data.  Further, Mann’s lawyers also purported to connect allegations in the CEI petition of manipulation of temperature data to controversy about Mann by falsely claiming that CEI had included Mann in their accusation of manipulation of “temperature data”.

That Mann’s lawyers have made misrepresentations to the Court is beyond dispute. (Even Nick Stokes concedes the misrepresentation about the nature of Mann’s work.)


But whereas Mann’s lawyers made the further defamatory allegation that CEI and National Review had “deliberate[ly]” attempted to hide information from the Court, it seems more charitable to presume that Mann’s lawyers did not “deliberately” mislead the Court about the nature of Mann’s research or the supposed links between EPA statements about “temperature data and trends” and Mann’s work,  because they incorrectly believed that Mann’s research was about temperature data.  After all, Sarah Palin made the same mistake about Climategate emails.  

Appendix: EPA Decision, Press Kit and the “Myths and Facts” Webpage 

The extended EPA quotation in paragraph 22 of the Mann Statement of Claim did not come from the (gazetted) Decision or RTP documents, but from a webpage entitled “Myths versus Facts” that was one of three “Resources” accompanying the denial decision. The other two “resources” (see here) were a Press Release and a Factsheet, suggesting that all three “resources” originated in the EPA press office and were not prepared by the authors of the denial decision or RTP documents.

In the Statement of Claim, Mann attributed the extended quotation to a “summary” of the EPA findings entitled “Myths vs. Facts”, but providing the following citation for this “summary” later in the paragraph (rather than correctly referring readers to the “resources” provided by the EPA press office.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, “Decision Document, Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act” (July 29, 2010). Available at http://epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions/decision.html

The EPA decision itself is a formal document that was clearly drafted by lawyers. The purpose of the decision was the narrow issue of whether the petitions had established the need to reconsider the Endangerment Finding, not whether various scientists had committed academic misconduct.  The decision was accompanied by three supporting volumes (RTP volumes), in which EPA purported to synthesize comments from the 10 petitions and provided responses to them.  In my opinion, the synthetic comments frequently omit relevant nuance and the responses read too much like inline comments at Real Climate than findings of an impartial tribunal, but that’s a story for another day.  Nowhere in the documents are the authors or reviewers identified.  (It seems entirely possible to me that Gavin Schmidt, who had been an external reviewer of the Endangerment Finding, would have been one of the reviewers of the RTP volumes.) Nor, as Ross McKitrick has observed, did EPA seek submissions for their supposed “inquiry” into the conduct of Mann and others or, to my knowledge, interview any of the supposed subjects or their critics.

The three “Resources” documents contain many claims and assertions that go well beyond the four corners of the formal decision and RTP documents – always in a more lurid direction of environmentalism.

For example, the Press Release included a statement by EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson about “clean energy”,”green jobs”, “oil addiction” and “national security”, concepts that, whatever their merits, are hardly germane to the investigation of academic misconduct and which do not correspond to findings within the decision document itself:

Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security.

The Press Release included a list of claims and responses, the first of which claimed that petitioners had alleged a “conspiracy” to “manipulate global temperature data”:

Claim: Petitioners say that emails disclosed from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate global temperature data.

Response: EPA reviewed every e-mail and found this was simply a candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets. Four other independent reviews came to similar conclusions.

While many of the petitions were critical of temperature data (the Harry Readme was then much in the news),  the word “conspiracy” does not appear to have been used by any petitioners.  (I have not located any allegations of “conspiracy” in the petitions themselves but most are not available in a searchable form.)  Nor did the denial decision or RTP documents state that petitioners had alleged such a “conspiracy”. This Lewandowsky-style allegation appears to be concocted by the EPA press office and disseminated by them.  Nor did the decision document or RTP documents find that the Climategate emails were “simply a candid discussion of scientists working through issues that arise in compiling and presenting large complex data sets” – no such language occurs anywhere in the formal documents.  This language owes more to Real Climate than to the express language of the Decision itself.

The “Myths versus Facts” webpage also appears to have been prepared by the EPA press office. It too contains language and findings that go well beyond the denial decision and RTP documents.  The first “myth” on the webpage concerned the supposed manipulation of “temperature data and trends” – the paragraph which Mann reproduced so prominently in his pleadings:

Myth: The University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) emails prove that temperature data and trends were manipulated.

Fact: Not true. Petitioners say that emails disclosed from CRU provide evidence of a conspiracy to manipulate data. The media coverage after the emails were released was based on email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy. The CRU emails do not show either that the science is flawed or that the scientific process has been compromised. EPA carefully reviewed the CRU emails and found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results.

As noted above, none of the petitions that I’ve examined allege “a conspiracy to manipulate data”. Nor did either the denial deision or RTP documents contain a finding that “media coverage” was based on “email statements quoted out of context and on unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy”.  And while there were some “unsubstantiated theories of conspiracy” in the media in the wake of Climategate, for the most part, these theories (e.g. speculation that the leaking of the Climategate dossier had been sponsored by fossil fuel interests, perhaps in concert with Russian security services) were propounded by climate scientists, rather than their critics. The other statements also go well beyond the express language of the denial Nor did the EPA decision document directly state that they “found no indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results”. After all, “hide the decline” was, at minimum, an “indication of improper data manipulation or misrepresentation of results” and had been flagged by both the Oxburgh and Muir Russell panels though they had pointed away from CRU (towards Mann). As noted above, EPA cleverly avoided confronting “hide the decline” by declaring that the issue was moot for the Endangerment Finding itself.

Other examples of inconsistency between the press kit and “official” documents abound.

Given that ACLU et al have vigorously argued that US citizens are not obliged to recognize findings of even formal government institutions as “facts”, one presumes that this principle would apply even more forcefully to mere press statements and webpages from activists in the EPA press office.


  1. Timothy Sorenson
    Posted Aug 26, 2014 at 11:19 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Keep at it. Thanks

  2. Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 1:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    As I wrote at that time, Mann keeps getting exonerated of charges that were never made. He’s been getting a free ride for far too long, and I hope Mr. Steyn’s countersuit puts Mann’s behavior in the spotlight.

    As Mosh and I wrote in our book, “People differ, and are different at different times. The likeliest guess is that most of them thought they were doing the best they could at any given moment, but their best simply wasn’t good enough to meet the demands of a global policy issue.” I believe that about the vast majority of climate scientists, from Hansen and Trenberth to Santer and Briffa. I do not believe it about Michael Mann. I believe that the IPCC’s adoption of his infamous chart gave him a taste of fame and he has been riding the train bound for glory ever since.

    Penn State’s inquiry was obviously a risk assessment exercise to determine if Penn State was at risk. Oxburgh and Muir were kabuki exercises allowing the investigators to wash their hands and ask what is truth. The EPA? When policy has been decided, objections must be answered polemically. Which is what happened.

    • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 6:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Insightful analysis of the PSU investigation. I agree. But no one should be surprised as that is the purpose of organizations – self preservation.

    • joe
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 11:29 AM | Permalink | Reply

      As I wrote at that time, Mann keeps getting exonerated of charges that were never made.”

      That was my take on the NSF report which said something to the effect that the statistical methods employed and the choice of which data sets to use are subject to scientific debate. (my apologies for not citing correctly). To my knowledge, no one has actually accused Mann of reporting results different that he obtained, using inputs other than he claimed or other acts that would have have constituted scientific and/or academic fraud. So I agree that Mann has been somewhat exonerated of charges never made and according the NSF report, they acknowledged what the skeptics have accused him of doing.

      That being said – Steve M has indicated that he anticipates completing and posting his analyis/critique of the NSF investigation sometime in the future.
      My comments are with the caveat that they are from a layman’s perspective and I look forward to comments from someone far more knowledgable than me on the subject matter.

      Steve: one of the peas that has to be watched with the NSF OIG is report is that NSF does not appear to have been funding Mann when he did MBH98-99 and TAR; thus, read closely, the NSF OIG report also avoids the primary controversies. I got worn out trying to write about all this dreck.

      • mikep
        Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Reply

        It’s always seemed to me that Mann’s original statement that he performed principal component analysis with no mention of short centering, which is anyway almost unknown to science, is clearly misdirection though it may be short of outright fraud.

        Steve: my own take was that short-centring was originally done unintentionally. But when this was discovered, Mann didn’t want to look stupid, so he pretended that it was intentional. But that makes his nondisclosure look suspicious. Given that businessmen under examination always prefer to look stupid rather than unethical, I thought it ironic that academics seemed to prefer to look unethical to looking stupid.

        • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Permalink

          I got worn out trying to write about all this dreck.

          You are doing something of great importance.

          Given that businessmen under examination always prefer to look stupid rather than unethical, I thought it ironic that academics seemed to prefer to look unethical to looking stupid.

          And insights like that are partly why.

        • MikeN
          Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 10:48 PM | Permalink

          And in the reply to comment on Mann 2008, he chose to try and make McIntyre look stupid.

    • Keitho
      Posted Aug 29, 2014 at 4:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Very cogently expressed. Thanks.

  3. jimbomo
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 3:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent work that connects the deficient assertions to a narrative that serves to simultaneously inflate Mann’s claims while denigrating those who have challenged him. I have learned a great deal following your careful and invaluable work – thanks for the education.

    Although I hold out hope that the Court would issue a very detailed and careful statement that would dispute each and every deficient assertion in Mann’s Statement of Claim or Reply Memorandum, my fear is the Court could dismiss Manns’ suit w/o ruling on the individual assertions.

    I am left wondering if Steyn’s counter-suit is the single best opportunity to have Mann’s claimed exonerations revealed as imaginary fantasies. (I’m heading over to his website to buy some trinkets and support his efforts.)

  4. Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 3:51 AM | Permalink | Reply

    whereas Mann’s lawyers made the further defamatory allegation that CEI and National Review had “deliberate[ly]” attempted to hide information from the Court, it seems more charitable to presume that Mann’s lawyers did not “deliberately” mislead the Court about the nature of Mann’s research or the supposed links between EPA statements about “temperature data and trends” and Mann’s work, because they incorrectly believed that Mann’s research was about temperature data.

    To be taken with Mosher and Fuller’s:

    The likeliest guess is that most of them thought they were doing the best they could at any given moment, but their best simply wasn’t good enough to meet the demands of a global policy issue.

    As Tom goes on to say the charitable assumption won’t always be correct. But I strongly feel that McIntyre has nailed the central deception in the narrative of Mann’s lawyers in this post. It will take real care to expose it, with clarity, in court.

  5. Salamano
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 4:48 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Isn’t it possible that Mann can make a successful argument that the vague-ish “Temperature Data” can equal “Proxy Data” since his work basically generates what could be thought of as ‘temperature data’

    — Granted, it’s data that everyone in the room would admit are shoved to the side post-1960, as there’s a crafty set of rolling explanations as to why various proxies fade in and out of being ‘uber-robust’ for one time-frame and then un-concerning un-robust for others as new proxies take over (naturally with a few years of overlap in-between). But “Temperature data” nonetheless, yes? After all, what would be “Temperature data” in 1500 AD, if not a set of proxies.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I don’t think that flies.

      Proxies are analogies. As we’ve seen, they may or may not correlate with actual temperature data. An analogy is a loose approximation of the thing being analogized, but is never perfect. temperature proxies are a loose approximation of temperature. Sometimes they utterly fail to do so, other times, even in the same proxy data set, they do so well.

      To call proxies “temperature data” is like calling a horse-drawn carriage an automobile.

      • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 3:49 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I see “proxies” more as stand-ins for the real thing which is not available.

        The questions is whether or not their performance is nearly as good.

        So if we had to go somewhere and my minivan was not available, we could take a small car and it would be fine if we didn’t want to bring a large amount of luggage/gifts/thermometers….

        Or if an actress became ill suddenly the show could go on with a backup actress, who might be outstanding or marginal depending on her training and how much preparation she had done. (An “understudy” might have been hired to backup the lead actress.)

        A problem with proxies for temperature data and the like is they are a big leap removed from the real thing – there’s an extra analytical/logical step required, which lessons precision and risks errors including due inadequate understanding.

        In this context there is no substitute for the real thing, but of course that is not available for more than a century or two or such back.

        Proxies could also be useful as cross-checks – if one had data from say a century ago one could see if a proxy type source roughly matches the real data. (Somewhat tricky of course.)

    • Matt Skaggs
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:36 AM | Permalink | Reply

      That’s right, it will be waved off. Mann will just shrug and say that the statements about temperature data would be perhaps more scientifically precise if the word “anomalies” were appended at the end, but that “anomalies” is scientific jargon and so the decision was made to keep the statements more understandable to the layman. This will be accepted without question, since Mann is the world’s foremost authority on these topics. In other words, it is likely to play out exactly like every other Mann prevarication/melodrama so far.

    • miker613
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 11:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

      This seems to be missing the point, though. Look at the actual EPA report; it apparently never claims that Mann’s proxy work was found to be okay, just that it didn’t rely on the AR3 that is under attack. So either this “summary” is not referring to Mann’s work or it has no relationship to the report it’s supposed to be summarizing.

  6. KNR
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 5:00 AM | Permalink | Reply

    For me the Harry Readme is one of the great unturned stones , under which much may still hide , of these joke ‘investigation ‘ For even if CRU ideas where right , it showed massive poor practice when it came data control and validity . Which meant the claims they made where based on a poor base of evidenced which often lacked the ability to be cross validity, an ability that should be a norm of science, while it showed that CRU work practices fall well short of what should be acceptable for those asking for massive changes to people’s lives the spending of trillions . That CRU in public did and still does say nothing about this problems, and there is no indication they done anything about it , in public is merely icing on the cake. I like to think in any other area of science that the Harry Readme contents alone would be serious cause for concern , but in climate ‘science ‘ they simply seem to have no shame nor conscience.

    Steve: as you’ve probably noticed, I am satisfied that present temperatures are warmer than 19th century temperatures. I long ago took the position that, given its importance, temperature data should be produced by an independent statistical service, as consumer price indices are. I thought that the lack of professional interest of CRU in nuts and bolts of the statistical issues meant that they should be terminated as a statistical agency. But equally I strongly urged readers not to expect any “smoking gun” in CRU data. There is considerable amateur interest in temperature data – I think that the agencies had an obligation to be completely forthcoming and transparent in their calculations. But at the end of the day, it seems evident to me that temperatures increased in the 20th century. I don’t wish to debate this issue on this thread.

  7. Jean S
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 5:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    A question for the experts: is it known who wrote and who were used as experts in the EPA documents? If not, is that information considered public (i.e., obtainable under FOIA or similar)?

    The reason I ask is that I get very, very eerily feeling when reading certain parts of the EPA decision, especially this one. For instance, I think there are very, very few people in this world from whom the following paragraphs could originate (considering style, content and astonishing familiarity with Mann’s work):

    Loehle (2009) is a more theoretical study examining the implications for reconstructions if the reason for “divergence” results from a non-linear response of trees to warming. He shows that if the trees respond quadratically to warming rather than linearly, then it is possible that reconstructions using these trees would not reproduce some historical warm periods. However, these questions are not new: the possibility of such non-linear response was addressed in a qualitative form by the NRC (2006). Additionally, some reconstructions have examined the effect of not including any tree rings whatsoever and still find that modern warming is slightly larger than other events in the past millenium (Mann et al., 2008).

    The petitioners presented a reconstruction from Loehle and McCulloch (2008) that claimed that without using tree rings they could show that the average of the warmest three decades of the MWP was a little warmer (though not in a statistically significant sense) than the three decades ending in 2006. The paper uses the straight average of 18 proxies, apparently with no attempt to weight the proxies to take into account the geographic distribution of the sites or the strength of their ability to detect temperature changes. In contrast, Mann et al. (2008) presented reconstructions both with and without tree rings, using geographic and other weighting corrections, and unlike Loehle (2008), they found that “Recent warmth appears anomalous for at least the past 1,300 years whether or not tree-ring data are used.”

    We also note that there have been a number of peer-reviewed critiques and discussions of the McIntyre and McKitrick analyses (e.g., Rutherford et al. 2005, Juckes et al. 2007, von Storch and Zorita 2005, Huybers 2005, Wahl and Amman 2007). These papers question the validity of some aspects of the McIntyre and McKitrick critiques and find that correcting for other valid aspects of the critiques have “no significant effects on the reconstruction itself” (Wahl and Amman, 2007).

    As background, Soon et al. critiqued the application of the smoothing algorithm used by Mann and Jones (2003) at the very end of the time period that was analyzed. The algorithm is a 20-year average, and a decision must be made about what temperature to use for the last 10 years. For example, one could choose to reflect the end of the temperature record (making the years after the end of the record a mirror image of the years before the end of the record), or assume that all years after the last year of the record are equal in temperature to the last year, or assume that the subsequent years continue the trend of the previous years in the record. Soon et al. felt that application of this “data padding” (though they were not able to exactly duplicate Mann and Jones) led to unjustifiably high temperatures at the end of the smoothed temperature record.

    A subsequent peer-reviewed rebuttal of Soon et al.’s critique was published by Mann (2004). Mann (2004) states that “Comparisons that are uninformed (e.g., Soon et al., 2004) by objective evaluation criteria (e.g., MSE [Mean Square Error]), are unlikely to provide useful insights into the relative merits of alternative boundary constraints.” Mann’s contention is that there needs to be an objective way to evaluate which smoothing routine to use. While he does not claim that MSE is necessarily the best function, he notes that Soon et al. do not use any objective criteria at all. His analysis also suggests that his approach will choose methods that reflect the underlying trends in the data, whereas smoothing that does not use the MSE criteria can generate spurious trends.

    The claim that Mann (2004) is a “rebuttal of Soon et al.’s [2004] critique [of Mann & Jones (2003)]” was new to me. And I think I know Mann’s work pretty well. After some research, I found out that the claim had been made at least once before, in a January 2005 RealClimate post by mike and gavin:

    Next, we consider the paper by Soon et al (2004) published in GRL which criticized the way temperature data series had been smoothed in the IPCC report and elsewhere. True to form, contrarians immediately sold the results as ‘invalidating’ the conclusions of the IPCC, with the lead author Willie Soon himself writing an opinion piece to this effect. Once again, a few short months later, a followup article was published by one of us (Mann, 2004) that invalidated the Soon et al (2004) conclusions, demonstrating (with links to supporting Matlab source codes and data) how (a) the authors had, in an undisclosed manner, inappropriately compared trends calculated over differing time intervals and (b) had not used standard, objective statistical criteria to determine how data series should be treated near the beginning and end of the data. It is unfortunate that a followup paper even had to be published, as the flaws in the original study were so severe as to have rendered the study of essentially no scientific value.

    In the light of the last statement it is interesting to notice the dates in the papers (additionally it is “unfortunate” that mike even had to revisit the topic in 2008).
    Soon et al:
    Received 24 November 2003; revised 17 December 2003; accepted 24 December 2003; published 14 February 2004
    Received 23 January 2004; revised 10 March 2004; accepted 18 March 2004; published 15 April 2004

    • Jean S
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 6:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I just had to ask: https://twitter.com/JeanSbls/status/504583738005929984

      • bernie1815
        Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 6:38 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Jean: The depth and succinctness, if not completeness, of the summary of the proxy fight is telling. Asking the likely suspects is the right thing to do and could explain the lawyers fixation as well.

        What would the court make of EPA statements drafted by Mann and/or a close colleague but not revealed as such and represented as independent?

      • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 11:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Retweeted :)

    • Salamano
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:55 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Perhaps it was a friend/colleague of Richard Windsor’s…

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Permalink | Reply

      If I was correct in my 2009 paper about the upside down parabola growth response, then the inverse problem of getting temperature from tree rings has no solution and their dismissal here with a hand wave is inadequate by far.
      Likewise, where they claim Mann found warming without using tree rings, they neglect to mention that he only is able to do so by using some confounded data such as upside down Tiljander sediments. Disingenuous.

      • bernie1815
        Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Craig: How about Jean’s surmise that MM or GS were the authors of this summary? Have you seen similar wording about your work from either of these before?

        • Craig Loehle
          Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

          To me this sounds like GS because Mann just calls my work “awful” and would not be capable of being so careful with his words.

        • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

          Rings true somehow. GS is clearly the bookies’ favourite. It seems unlikely we won’t know before long.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Jean S,
      something else about Mike’s Nature trick that is obvious but thus far undocumented. Mann has tried to pass “Mike’s Nature trick” as nothing more than plotting temperature and proxy on the same graph – as though anyone would think that something so elementary was “clever”. Plotting the same chart is a pretty obvious thing to do – Briffa and Jones had regularly done it in publications prior to Mann et al 1998. Briffa’s articles showing the decline (in 1998-1999) but prior to trick email, showed the decline by comparing proxy and temperature on the same graph.

      Given that Jones and Briffa had regularly plotted observed and reconstructed on the same graph, Jones would not call something that elementary “Mike’s Nature trick”. As we both know, Jones misunderstood Mike’s nature trick, but he knew that it involved splicing temperature to proxy data prior to the smooth.

      • MikeN
        Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 2:25 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I think the trick actually might be plotting the two, not on the same graph as they say, but together as one line. Looking at other graphs used in AR3, AR4 and elsewhere, it feels like they are playing to produce a maximum effect on warm temperatures. Changing the colors around so red and black highlight warmer temperatures is a common technique, allowing the actual proxies to hide underneath. Here they get to increase the blade by using this ‘trick.’

  8. Frank Cook
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 7:42 AM | Permalink | Reply

    >>(Left – photograph of Sarah Palin , perhaps discussing temperature data)

    That is gratuitous and unfounded speculation which detracts from the otherwise meticulously documented and presented content of the post.

    While it was probably intended merely as a humorous aside, it missed its mark and fell flat, at least in my view.

    Steve: point taken. After wading through so much dreck, I sometimes feel the need for a little sarcasm, but it’s usually best to avoid the temptation. I’ll defer to your advice and remove the gratuitous comment. I think that it’s relevant that Sarah Palin made a similar mistake and have left that in

    • Bob
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 7:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Frank, I agree it was gratuitous.Steve obviously thinks Palin to be st-pid and equates Mann’s attorneys in the same vain.

    • S. Geiger
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:02 AM | Permalink | Reply

      I got a good chuckle out of that! After all, we know that at most of her impromptu pressers SP tends to wax eloquent about temperature reconstructions. Brilliantly done, IMO.

  9. Bill
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Permalink | Reply

    It may well be that as far as Mann’s lawyers, the general public (potential jury pool), and possibly for the judge in the case, the temperatures extracted from proxy data are the same as “temperature data”. So this part may not play a role in getting the lawsuit tossed.

  10. jeff taylor
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    “(Left – photograph of Sarah Palin , perhaps discussing temperature data)”

    Or perhaps she is doing her Sandra Chorleone impression. Hard to disagree with the comments above.

    Mann has to take the stand. I expect it’s the last thing he wants to do.

  11. Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Arguably, you’ve made your point but there are a lot simpler Mann misdemours his legal eagles might usefully prefer to spend the judge’s attention span on.

    As for the Palin reference, a little humourous aside in the middle of a long-chain line of thought give the reader a brief respite.


    • Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Yeah, I greatly enjoyed the quip – but I’m fine with Steve taking it out. The confusion Ms Palin exemplified in the aftermath of Climategate has got less funny in the hands of Mann’s lawyers – at least until Steyn and the other defendants use it to show Mann’s case has no merit whatsoever.

  12. Political Junkie
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:07 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Re Sarah Palin,

    Can anyone cite an example that would suggest that someone in the ‘consensus’ camp has a sense of humour (yes, that’s the way we spell it)?


    O.k, maybe Richard Betts – anyone else?

  13. David L. Hagen
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:09 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Consequences of misleading courts
    Courts do not take kindly to being misled. e.g., in today’s news:
    Bracewell Atty’s Lie To Judge Sinks Drilling Patent Case

    A Texas federal judge on Monday threw out a patent infringement suit Tesco Corp. was pursuing against National Oilwell Varco LP and other oilfield service companies after finding that a Bracewell & Giuliani LLP attorney misled the court about potentially damaging evidence.

    IRS ethics lawyer facing possible disbarment, accused of lying

    A lawyer in the IRS ethics office is facing the possibility of being disbarred, according to records that accuse her of lying to a court-appointed board and hiding what she’d done with money from a settlement that was supposed to go to two medical providers who had treated her client.

    Can Mann’s representations be considered as misleading the court?

    • gunstar1
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Those are serious misleading acts. Most of the time they just get a warning or a slap on the wrist.

  14. George Steiner
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:12 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Apropos the Sarah Palin comment. However saintly Mr.McIntyre is and however competent statistically, he lets his petticoat slip from time to time.

    • Jeff Alberts
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:50 AM | Permalink | Reply

      You mean Steve is human?!?! I’m shocked!!

    • kim
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:50 PM | Permalink | Reply

      Heh, she’s the one who early in 2008 said words to the effect that she wasn’t one to attribute all of global warming to man.

      We need more stupidity like that.

      • kim
        Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I’ve also been highly amused that the lowly informed who mistook the meaning of ‘Hide the Decline’ have made a more important meme of the deception. They don’t know the Uniformitarian Principle from Unitarians.

    • AP Gonzalez
      Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 8:38 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I have to agree. I have huge respect for Mr. McIntyre but cannot help noting that the gratuitous dumping on Sarah Palin (why Sarah Palin in this context?) does seem to betray a desire (a need?) to communicate otherwise irrelevant, again in my view, information within the dominant elitist social discourse designed to boost one’s sociopolitical credibility, and I take it as no more than that. Full disclosure: I voted AGAINST Sarah Palin in 2008.

      • Posted Aug 29, 2014 at 2:31 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Please don’t take this as a desire to communicate otherwise irrelevant information within the dominant elitist social discourse designed to boost my sociopolitical credibility but pardon? The fact Palin made the same mistake in 2009 as Mann’s lawyers in 2014 is relevant to this post. The short but enjoyable quip about her photo has gone. Do we really need this verbiage instead? Can’t we show our huge respect for the host in other ways?

        • AP Gonzalez
          Posted Aug 29, 2014 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

          I think I indicated my huge respect for Steve McIntyre in my post at the outset. Let me agree that my point is not well expressed, but I believe it remains valid nonetheless. Palin is an easy target, and my main point of my post in agreeing with the previous poster was specifically NOT to show any particular respect for Mr. McIntyre with respect to his gratuitous reference to Sarah Palin, I believe, for the reasons stated, however imperfectly. I trust this responds to your final question which is a non sequitur.

        • Posted Aug 30, 2014 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

          I repeat my view that the fact Palin made the same mistake in 2009 as Mann’s lawyers in 2014 is relevant to this post. Happy to agree to disagree on that.

        • AP Gonzalez
          Posted Aug 30, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

          Thank you for your reply. I don’t necessarily disagree with your view, which is not inconsistent with my point. That being said, I will concede my point is indeed speculation and after further reflection I have to agree Mr. McIntyre’s motivations should be assumed to be those you suggest. Kind regards.

  15. Craig Loehle
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:52 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann and his lawyers (as well as many journalists and academics) seem to have trouble with reading comprehension, in contrast to our host. They find things in texts which are not there and misconstrue simple sentences and the meaning of concrete words. This is perhaps due to the power of ideology to filter perception and force things to fit a narrative.

  16. JD Ohio
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Reply

    For fun, to show sloppy and uninformed Mann’s lawyers are, here is a quote from page 13 of their 1/18/13 memorandum responding to CEI and Simberg:

    “the Complaint sets forth, in painstaking detail, the series of investigations and subsequent exonerations ofDr. Mann that “found that there was no evidence of any fraud, data falsification, or statistical manipulation or misconduct.” See Compl. 24. They say nothing about the allegations that Defendants had read and were aware of the conclusions of these investigations. Id. They say nothing about the paragraph of the Complaint which describes that, after the litany of these reports and the falsity oftheir statements were specifically brought to their attention in pre-litigation correspondence, they failed to even attempt to deny the accuracy ofthe reports, or the falsity of their statements. ….
    The bottomline is that the Complaint provides a formidable litany of the underlying facts known to and understood by Defendants. There is simply no way that anyone could have read those reports wi thout developing an understanding that Dr. Mann’s work was not a fraud.”


    Steve: while I agree with your observation, I don’t understand why this precise quotation was selected.

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 4:27 PM | Permalink | Reply


      They are saying that they painstakingly researched the facts and pled them in the complaint. Instead, they have misconstrued the bulk of the so-called “investigations” and “exonerations.”


      • Jeff Alberts
        Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 9:35 AM | Permalink | Reply

        I’d like to say disconstrued, since it couldn’t possibly have been an honest mistake, could it?

      • MikeN
        Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 2:27 PM | Permalink | Reply

        I thought you were highlighting poor grammar on their part. Assuming nothing was cut, then the ‘they say nothing’ refers to the investigations and is nonsensical.

  17. Frank
    Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 2:48 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I think it is worth remembering that Mann’s lawyers are probably not “working” for Mann; they are probably being paid rich environmental activists. These activists are interested in suppressing “climate change deni@l” in the media. I suspect the funders are spending more time with the “Mann’s lawyers” than Mann and are controlling the direction the case takes.

    I suspect that this situation is similar to Paula Jones lawsuit for sexual harassment against then President Clinton, a lawsuit that was presumably paid for by Republican activists. That suit was eventually dismissed in by summary judgment, but not before President Clinton gave “intentionally false” testimony during discovery and lost his right to practice law for five years – oh yes, and was impeached.

    Some of the odd things you note – such as Mann’s involvement with the instrumental temperature record – may make sense in light of the political objectives of this case. In this case, Mann can easily claim that his work has shown the significance of the “unprecedented” warming shown by the instrumental temperature record by getting rid of the LIA.

    • kim
      Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 9:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

      The straight shaft is crook’t.

  18. Posted Aug 27, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Permalink | Reply

    So, the only “criticism” of the post is about..something as inane as a Sarah Plain gag.
    Thats your best shot..???

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

  19. skiphil
    Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 1:41 AM | Permalink | Reply

    just a thought for anyone able to develop this analogy for Steyn, CEI, NR, etc:

    Perhaps a good way to make clear to a judge how spurious and pernicious the use of “9 investigations” purporting to “exonerate” Mann, when so many of them do nothing of the kind, is to compare to a legal brief which cites 9 cases to claim that case law supports or blocks a particular claim.

    A judge would be more likely to understand how useless (and worse) it is to argue based upon “9 case citations” when few if any have the slightest relevance to the claim(s) being advanced.

    I think an argument of this kind, properly framed in legalese, might help a judge get a grip on the problems with the misleading assertions of “exoneration” of Michael Mann.

  20. DGH
    Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 3:40 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Relevant excerpts frrom “The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines”, Micheal E. Mann, 2012

    From Chapter 13, “Prominent among the claims promoted in the various petitions were that the initial EPA finding was based on the hockey stick and that the hockey stick had been discredited.  In response, the EPA pointed out that it’s findings had not relied upon any particular study, but instead were based upon consensus lines of independent evidence, among which paleoclimate reconstructions were only one-and not even the most important.”

    Footnote 20, “it is also worth noting that a sixth, independent, and rather exhaustive review,of all of the climategate allegations by the EPA provided further exoneration of the various climate scientists involved in the affair.  This review was developed in conjunction with the EPA’s denial on July 29, 2010, of the petitions filed by various climate denier organizations and public officials for a reconsideration of the EPA’s endangerment finding that would support the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.”

    • bernie1815
      Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Good find. Sounds like Mann passed on his self-serving perspective to his lawyers.

      • Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 9:20 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Actually, in this quote Mann acknowledges that the EPA did not rely heavily on paleoclimate reconstructions when it drafted the endangerment finding, This is consistent with Steve’s observations in this series of posts.

        However Mann’s own words in the book contradict his and other’s claim that the reconsideration denial was an investigation and vindication of his work.

      • DGH
        Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 9:24 PM | Permalink | Reply

        Oops I used the “d” word and got kicked into moderation. In this case the word was used appropriately.

        Or perhaps it was because I accidently used lowercase for my handle. The WordPress account thing can be a bit of a PITA.

  21. Beta Blocker
    Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 3:28 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Let’s make a provisional assumption that the spliced combination of Mann’s millennial temperature reconstruction plus the 150+ year instrumental temperature record is being viewed by most climate scientists as the defacto millenial-scale temperature record for the last 1,000 years.

    In other words, let’s suppose that as far as mainstream climate scientists are concerned, it’s all One Thing.

    What kinds of implications flow from an assumption that Mann’s reconstructed temperature data is being employed every day by mainstream climate scientists as if its accuracy and reliability was fully equivalent to the instrumental record?

    If this is how Mann’s data is actually being used in common day-to-day climate science practice, then is it not so that Mann’s reconstructed data and CRU (et. al) instrumental data are all practically One Thing? If this is indeed so, then the distinction between Mann’s work and CRU’s work goes away, for all practical purposes.

    I have said before that I think Mann and his lawyers know exactly what they are doing in framing their arguments in the way that they have.

    They are expecting the judges to do just what climate scientists now do every day, and that is to view Mann’s reconstruction work and the instrumental work of CRU (et. al) as being one body of climate science research, not as something which is, in reality, two very separate and distinct pieces.

  22. bernie1815
    Posted Aug 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM | Permalink | Reply

    If you had not seen it, Steyn is using your name again.


    Steyn sure has a way of saying things that are bound to irritate and inflame – like that kid who told the emperor that he wasn’t wearing any clothes.

  23. qbeamus
    Posted Sep 2, 2014 at 3:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    I’ve seen you on a couple of occasions now say that Mann is responsible for the misstatements in his pleadings. I suppose that might be true, depending on what, precisely, you mean by the term “responsible.” However, I tend to think of the term as meaning “liable”–that is, one is “responsible” for a statement if there exists any legal consequence for having made it. And applying that definition, Mann’s lawyers are theoretically responsible (under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11–though even that rule has a safe harbor provision that makes in inapplicable at this point), but I don’t believe Mann is.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, but consistent with my experience in federal courts. Parties are free to argue anything they please, no matter how absurd. Barring an email or a witness willing to testify that someone said “I know this is false, but I’m going to tell the court anyway…”, (or, alternatively, “I know this document is genuine, but I’m going to withhold it anyway…”) the only sanction a party faces is the likelihood that they’ll lose.

  24. sue
    Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 9:58 AM | Permalink | Reply


    Have you seen this ‘excuse’ regarding Mann’s complaint claiming his work had to do with the instrumental period? Mike Mann ‘liked’ and retweeted it…


    “Maybe the claim is not based on these two papers. Maybe its based on this 1994 publication, for example, in which Mann and his co-author write thusly: …”

    “Or maybe not, but its clear that Mann’s work from the early 1990s (pre hockey-stick graph) dealt with the instrumental record. At least so says his wiki entry:

    Mann then joined the Yale Department of Geology and Geophysics, obtaining an MPhil in geology and geophysics in 1993. His research focused on natural variability and climate oscillations. He worked with the seismologist Jeffrey Park, and their joint research adapted a statistical method developed for identifying seismological oscillations to find various periodicities in the instrumental temperature record, the longest being about 60 to 80 years.

    So his claim seems sound.”

    Steve: what bilge. Mann was obviously NOT “one of the first” to document the increase in 20th century temperatures. Claiming Mann and Park 1994 as supposed authority for this claim is deranged.

    • sue
      Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Permalink | Reply

      Wasn’t Jeffrey Park the guy who stepped into Lasaga’s shoes at Yale after he was arrested for child abuse against boys and sent to prison for life? oh,the irony to bring him into the picture…

      Steve: Park seems to have been one of the leaders in trying to rebuild the Yale department post Lasaga. He was quoted in several contemporary news articles.

      • sue
        Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

        And add this interview to a distorted view of the whole saga:


        ” Interestingly enough, what most people know me for is my paleoclimate work – reconstructing past climates from so-called ‘proxy climate’ data, like tree rings, corals, ice cores – what led to the so-called “hockey stick curve” a decade and a half ago. And I do continue to do some research related to paleoclimate, but actually a lot of work that I’m doing now is more to do with future climate change projections, understanding them, estimating impacts that those climate changes might have, understanding how climate change might affect river flows in the mid-Atlantic states here in Pennsylvania – because the Department of Energy is very interested in that.”

        What does he know about river flows in PA!?!


        ” So I ultimately decided to embrace this role as a public figure in the climate change debate and use it to try to inform the discussion and raise public awareness.

        It’s not what I set out to do. I double-majored in applied math and physics at UC Berkeley. I didn’t have in mind a future political career. I didn’t realize that those choices would eventually put me in the center of this raging debate. But once I found myself there, involuntarily, I decided that the most responsible thing to do was embrace that and use it to do good.”

        So he has a political career now!?!

        • John M
          Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

          “What does he know about river flows in PA?”

          Only that whenever one flows out of its banks, he finds a journalist so he can claim it’s due to “climate change”.


          BTW, the link contains a lovely example of interesting juxtaposition:

          “Speaking to more than 100 people at a program sponsored by the Mid- Atlantic Renewable Energy Association…”

          “And there are vested interests that profit from our dependence on fossil fuels and understandably probably don’t want to see that change.”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM | Permalink

          What does he know about river flows in PA?”

          In earlier work, Mann has attributed precipitation data from Paris to the US gridcell containing Maine. (The rain in Maine falls mainly in the Seine.) And placed a Spanish precipitation series to Tanzania.

          An unresolved footnote in Mann et al 1998 is that his rainfall series for Philadelphia appears to actually be precipitation data from India (or vice versa, I forget offhand.) The locations of the MBHB98 instrumental precipitation series are all completely screwed up.

          One hopes that his new funders will require that Mann correctly identify and download actual Pennsylvania precipitation data, rather than using data from some other continent as Pennsylvania data.

        • sue
          Posted Sep 5, 2014 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

          Thanks for that, Steve

  25. sue
    Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann”s new brief is up: http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/center-for-science-and-democracy/legal-20623990v1-2014-09-03-brief-of-appellee-michael-mann.pdf

    • joe
      Posted Sep 3, 2014 at 6:44 PM | Permalink | Reply

      A) 2nd paragraph states that the defendents accused Mann of “academic and scientific fraud”, “data manipulation”, “molesting and toturing data”, “corruption and disgrace”

      I dont recall any one of the defendants making the claim of “academic and scientific fraud” – at least not in the two published articles in question. Can anyone correct me if that phrase was used, and if so when and where.

      B) Second paragraph & 3rd paragraph – numerous references to the multiple exonerations of fraud accusations. Did the attorneys fail to notice that the claims of exonerations have been devastated by various objective analysis. Did the attorneys fail to notice the ACLU brief that points out that the defendants are not required to accept such investigations as gospel.

    • kim
      Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 12:15 AM | Permalink | Reply


    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 12:32 AM | Permalink | Reply

      it’s not much changed from his brief in January 2013

      • MikeN
        Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 1:26 PM | Permalink | Reply

        They seem to now be saying that paleoclimate, and mentioning all climate scientists were looked at in the exonerations. It’s like a Skeptical Science anonymous rewrite.

        • Jean S
          Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          p. 8 [my bold]

          In 2001, the IPCC published its Third Assessment Report, which prominently featured Dr. Mann and his colleagues’ work from MBH98 and MBH99. The Third Assessment Report included the Hockey Stick graph. The report summarized Dr. Mann’s work and the paleoclimate reconstruction work of other scientists, and the report included a graph demonstrating that several different reconstructions, not just those of Dr. Mann, showed modern warming to be unprecedented over the past millennium.^12

          12 See IPCC. “Climate Change 2001 : Working Group I: The Scientific Basis:· Fig. 2.2.1. available at: http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/069.htm.

          That appears to be the infamous Fig. 2.21. Let’s all count out loud all those reconstructions:

    • Jean S
      Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 1:18 AM | Permalink | Reply

      p. 18:

      The 1998 Nature paper (“MBH98″) concluded that “The Northern Hemisphere mean annual temperatures for three of the past eight years [1990-1998]

      No, it’s 1990-1997. MBH98 was published in April 1998.

      Steve, notice the characterization on the same page:

      The graph came to be known as “the Hockey Stick,” due to its iconic shape — the “shaft” reflecting a long-term cooling trend

      • sue
        Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 1:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

        Did you notice the shape of the ‘hockey stick’ in his last interview?

        Jean S: Yes, that’s a 2005(?) figure from Wikipedia … if I recall correctly, that was the figure that gave rise to Steve’s term “spaghetti graph”.

    • JD Ohio
      Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Permalink | Reply

      I skimmed the brief and Mann’s lawyers are doubling down on the inaccuracies with respect to the alleged “exonerations” and “hiding the decline.” It appears as though the lawyers have not actually checked your posts. (which would be a necessary component of good lawyering) As time goes by Mann’s lawyers (undoubtedly with a big assist from Mann) is looking more and more incompetent.


  26. Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 7:20 AM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann’s response is out on the Web.

  27. HaroldW
    Posted Sep 4, 2014 at 1:22 PM | Permalink | Reply

    Mann perhaps took G.H.Hardy’s words too much to heart: “It is one of the first duties of a professor, for example, in any subject, to exaggerate a little both the importance of his subject and his own importance in it.”

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] CA [as of 8/28/2014] Who Wrote the EPA Documents  promotes a comment from the previous article  Misrepresentations and Tainted Narrative of Mann’s Complaint  by CA regular Jean S. into a stand alone post of its own, also authored by Jean […]

  2. […] http://climateaudit.org/2014/08/26/misrepresentations-and-the-tainted-narrative-of-manns-complaint/#… […]

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