Spence has drawn attention to Hans von Storch’s comment at Roger Peilke’s, giving his take on the hockey stick debate here:
The debate about the hockeystick is techically not really relevant. We have achived our main goal, namely that the premature claims that the issue of millennial temperature reconstructions was mostly solved have been broadly rejected. One or two years ago it was hard to publish results which were inconsistent with the MBH reconstruction; now everybody agrees that there may be more to it. The jury is still out and I expect that consensus will settle on something with significant larger variations in the shaft of the hockeystick.
Having said this – the debate about the hockeystick is most significant when it comes to the culture of our science. Posting the hockeystick as key evidence in the SPM and Synthesis Report of the IPCC was simply stupid and evidence for what Bray calls post-sensible science – as science which is encroached by moral entrepreneurship. Or post-normal science. We have more cases of this type of claims-making, which is usually a mix of "good" political intentions and personal drive for the limelight. Have we, as a community, become better in rejecting such claims? I am afraid, we have not.
Pretty hard to argue with this. It’s interesting that even von Storch could feel that it was "hard to publish results inconsistent with MBH" only one or two years ago. While "variability" is back on the table, discussing the relationship of MWP-modern levels objectively is still an uphill battle.
It’s also worth re-reading his comments on the Barton questions, where he criticizes the questions to the scientists, endorses the questions to the institutions and even suggests adding the journals into the investigationhere. Here is a lengthy excerpt:
In this case, I find the inquiry of Rep. Barton to be valid. The IPCC has failed to ensure that the assessment reports, which shall review the existing published knowledge and knowledge claims, should have been prepared by scientists not significantly involved in the research themselves. Instead, the IPCC has chosen to invite scientists, who dominate the debate about the considered issues, to participate in the assessment. This was already in the Second Assessment Report a contested problem, and the IPCC would have done better in inviting other, considerably more independent scientists for this task. Instead, the IPCC has asked scientists like Professor Mann to review his own work. This does not represent an "independent" review.
The NSF seems to have failed to ensure that sufficient information is provided about work done under its auspices.
Rep. Barton should also have asked the editors of "Nature", why the original manuscript was accepted for publication even though the key aspect of replicability was obviously not met by the MBH manuscript. Actually, MBH could not meet this condition because of the strict length limitation of that journal (nowadays one would ask for extensive Supplementary Online Material). One should ask why the manuscript was accepted nevertheless – and not, as in many other cases, the manuscript was recommended to be published in a "normal" journal without the severe length limitations. I believe the reasons for Nature were the journalistic reasons – namely the expected broad interest in the subject. One should also ask why after the critique von McIntyre and McKitrik only MBH got the opportunity for a correction of his paper, whereas the short manuscript of their opponents was rejected.