Merry Christmas

This is the 2nd Christmas for climateaudit. Right now I feel like I’ve probably more got more posts to write than I did when I started. And AR4 hasn’t hit the presses yet. We’re probably going to hear more next year about 12,000 years than 1,000 years – so there’s going to be lots to talk about. More about ocean sediments and ice shelves and less about tree rings.
In our family, last year’s Christmas was dominated by the aftermath of my grandson’s severe head injury (from which he recovered miraculously).  No such immediate cloud hangs over this year’s Christmas.  The Christmas present that we hope for is an announcement that cystic fibrosis can be managed like diabetes. Our children and grandchildren are all in Toronto – so today will be a happy day and this will probably be my only computer time.
Last year, when we were only at post 471 as opposed to the present 978, I mentioned:

The blog has been both work and fun. I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t like doing it and I wouldn’t do it if there wasn’t an audience. …  The blog was John A’s idea and design and I’m glad that people other than me have thanked him for his efforts. I repeat my thanks. I’ve met some nice people through the process, sometimes in person, sometimes by email.

I repeat these sentiments. I met quite a few regular CA readers this year and made many new friends. Merry Christmas.


  1. Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas Steve. Thanks for all your hard work, look forward to meeting you some day. Also thanks for the update on your grandson, often wondered but did not want to intrude. Looking forward to be big year at CA.


  2. David Smith
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to all, especially Steve, his family and John A.

    John A., I’ll raise a toast to your hard holiday work in a few hours, when friends and family gather.

    And special best wishes and thanks on this holiday to Lee, Steve Bloom and the others who challenge, as that helps make the discussion vigorous.

    May truth prevail.

  3. TAC
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to all!

  4. Robert
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 12:19 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas one and all.

    Keep up the good work, from the sidelines the debate is fascinating.

    As noted SF write David Brin (who almost certainly does not agree with the thrust of the agrguments) says CITOKATE (Criticism is the only known antidote to Error).


  5. Tim Ball
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 12:40 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas to Steve and John;
    Steve, thanks for bringing new and crucial focus on the study of climate change and thanks to John A for providing the forum so many can learn and participate in your insights.
    My career has spanned from the cooling of the 1970s to the current warming and will with any luck span forward into the next cooling phase. Through that time I have experienced the intellectual and arrogant bullying of modelers and worried about the statistical analysis of proxy climate indicators. The dominant ones were tree rings, and ice cores, but others like varves, pollen, lichens, historic soil temperatures, sea level (eustasy), land levels (isostasy) require similar audits. Other areas that require auditing as they are germane to accurate understanding are the dating methods, both relative and absolute. I watched as Milankovitch was essentially thrown out by misapplication of radiocarbon dating, which erroneously in the early period assumed constant solar energy. The dating technique was considered superior so when biologic phenonoma did not match chronologically with Milankovitch’s cycles they rejected his work.

    I fully acknowledged my inadequacies in mathematics and statistics and always sought help in such matters as Wegman advised. I also tried to understand enough that I could explain the problem to the specialists and understand the answer. I was long troubled by what was happening in the climate community as people with expertise in modeling, but little knowledge or understanding of climate became dominant. They gradually moved into specific areas as they realized their models were not working. Just as they did with statisitcs they did not consult with the specialists. Instead of seeking evidence and understanding of the methods and all the serious limitations of the data they proceeded to make the data fit the model. By that I mean the mathematical models, but I would also, unfortunately for science, include political models.
    As an historical climatologist I had struggled to convert historical data into statistical data to which rigorous scientific method could be applied. I knew you could never argue a trend or result based on one or even two sources in something as complex, complicated and interdependent as climate. I learned of the dangers of autocorrelation. I had carefully considered a wide array of evidence for such phenomena as the MWP and LIA so I was stunned when the hockey stick appeared. I did not have the expertise to determine what was wrong and saw Soon and Baliunas savagely attacked for their attempt to marshall all the phenologic and proxy data in a first class synopsis. Your work provided the explanation to what was wrong and Wegman confirmed in no uncertain terms. However, he went further and identified the coterie within the ‘climate community’ who had usurped the complete area of study. Deming confirmed the deeply disturbing underlying objective. As you note the shift is now away from tree rings to other pieces of the puzzle, which also need the penetrating light of your audit techniques. Light is still the greatest cleanser.

    A long-winded thank you for what you have triggered and achieved in a very short time.
    All the best to you and your family: Families who invariably suffer, but lovingly support what we do.

  6. John A
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 1:56 PM | Permalink

    This has been a sort of epic year for me as Chief Hanger-on to this blog. The statistics don’t lie – CA has double the number of hits and eyeballs that it had a year ago.

    We have had the NAS Panel hearings and report, which as I predicted, castigated Mann for minor transgressions but failed to take hold of the major transgressions. North later said they did no research, just sat around a table and “sort of winged it” – which must have been a marvellous endorsement of Rep. Boehlert’s financing and instructions before he retired from the House. What a waste.

    We had the Wegman Report, done by a completely independent team of first rank statisticians who found that the peer review system was systematically undermined by collusion, that the statistics were junk, that Steve McIntyre’s work was “valid and compelling”, that the same proxies were recycled by all of the major studies which claimed to be independent, that statistical testing needs to be far more vigorous and compelling.

    We had von Storch and Cubasch, global warmers themselves, actually finding the Hockey Stick to be “junk” and “impossible to properly replicate”

    We’ve had both Senators and the Royal Society attempting to prevent any money flowing to climate skeptics.

    We’ve had Steve McIntyre at the AGU, demonstrating that “sort of winging it” isn’t the same as science, and Michael Mann looking like a lost soul rather than the superstar he was even two years ago. Malcolm Hughes giving Steve a “C” in his graduate class was received in silence by a normally partisan crowd – something in the air has changed since last year.

    We’ve had Al Gore attempt to tell us an Inconvenient Truth, while ducking some inconvenient truths about the science he presented.

    We’ve had the Stern Report, a feast of apocalyptism and bad economics, disappear in a fusillade of yawns, and Sir Nicholas himself leave the Civil Service.

    We watched the Democrats take both the House and the Senate, and John Dingell take a welcome pragmatic investigative view of climate science and that slippery object called “consensus”. I think the Democrats in power will take a good hard look at global warming.

    I’ve witnessed people give generously to Steve to help him defray his costs to do the work he does.

    There are more important things that have happened that leave the whole business of climate science in the shade: the faltering War on Terror, the civil war in Iraq, the collapse of neo-conservatism, the ever greater numbers of people killed in Iraq and elsewhere.

    I sense a new consensus where there’s less trust and more checking and calling to account of the people in power and influence over us. I have watched ordinary people in a wide arena use the Internet to speak Truth unto Power, which even Time Magazine recognized. I have watched the Daily Show, a satirical comedy program, become one of the most important sources for news and political analysis in the US.

    I’ve learned a lot this year, even if personally this year has not been the most successful year professionally that I’ve had (roll on 2007). I’ve got a busy year ahead, professionally and educationally, which I’m looking forward to.

    I’m sure Steve has many more great articles buzzing around in his head. If he gets some rest and a head of steam, will even the IPCC be unmoved?

  7. Hans Erren
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Season’s Greetings!

    (It’s rose season currently in Holland)

  8. Vasco
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

    Merry Xmas and keep on doing the good work.

    “If you kill a man like me, you will injure yourselves more than you will injure me, to sting people and whip them into a fury, all in the service of truth.” (Socrates describing himself as a gadfly preventing Athens from becoming sluggish and careless and intolerant (thinking it knows something when it doesn’t).

  9. George
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

    Steve- Thank you for your persistence, your courage, your tenacity, and your willingness to share your considerable skills in an effort to make one branch of science stronger. Climate science has certainly needed someone like you!

    John- Your skills have complemented Steve’s perfectly, and your passion matches his. I have communicated with you privately and enjoyed our interactions, especially your marvelous sense of humor. I wish you great success in 2007.

    To the other posters- Thank you for the time you spend on this blog. I have learned a great deal about climate science, science in general, and human communications from you.

    To all: Merry Christmas and happy New Year!

  10. Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for all your hard work. Thanks also to your families for the support they must be giving you.
    Like John A above I sense the arguments are more profound than just the carbon induced global warming debate; it’s a matter of trust. I’m afraid that unlike Vasco above, my knowledge of Socrates is not too good. I do recall The Who singing: “Won’t get fooled again” , though.

    Thanks again.

  11. John G. Bell
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 7:10 PM | Permalink

    I am so happy to hear of your grandson’s recovery. Merry Christmas to all of the people here. Let us hope that good effort and good fortune will result in a better world.

  12. Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    John A:

    Nice sumary of climate science in 2006. CA is a valuable tool for defining the underlying truth — the real numbers count!. Thanks for all you do to keep Climate Audit functioning and all the “hangers on” informed on Steve’s insightful work.

  13. bruce
    Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 9:02 PM | Permalink

    Re: #2:

    May truth prevail.

    Hear Hear!

  14. Posted Dec 25, 2006 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas right back at ya!! Of coarse, it’s a much better greeting than the normal “Burn The Witches” one we get from that other web site!

    Mike, a.k.a. sonicfrog – the geology school drop-out!

  15. Welikerocks
    Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 6:04 AM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Steve and John!

    We hope and pray your wish comes true for you and your family too Steve. We have not mentioned it, but mr. welikerocks had a seizure back in March (maybe related to an old head injury in the army), so we’ve been worried this year about health related things too, and that is what we wish for everyone, please be happy and healthy. No other episodes for mr. welikerocks since then, no indications anywhere of symptoms related to MS either which was a possiblity, so all is good here and we’ve been educated of course on brain function by Al Gore at the AGU. 😉

    We haven’t been able to use the computer for several days now since the kids are home. Sheesh! What did people do before the internet? Thank you again Al Gore. tee hee

    Not a day goes by when one of us here doesn’t say “What’s happening on Climate Audit?”. CA is like an old friend now and we thank you for it. You do save our sanity in an already complicated world!

    Thanks as well everyone who participates and those we’ve come to know by name and commenting style! We really do enjoy reading and learning, and even the endless debating with the HT supporters. 🙂

    Boy what a week, besides dealing with the holiday, we were forced to finally upgrade one of our vehicles. The vehicle (which I, mrs welikrocks loves very much-it has chrome bumpers!) have been driving for the last several years finally broke down to the point of having no point. 184,000+ miles on the odo! He must be adopted by somebody and restored! We found and purchased very nice pre-owned Honda Civic sedan-with moon roof and CD player- all things new to mrs welikerocks and so all turned out for the best!

    Joy and Happy Holidays everyone!

  16. Steve Sadlov
    Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 7:54 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all. Many thanks to Steve M and John A for making this the place to be!

  17. jae
    Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 8:02 PM | Permalink

    Steve and John A, I add my merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May all the grinches be born again!

  18. Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 9:06 PM | Permalink

    Happy New Year and best wishes for everyone involved in keeping this blog and overall audit functioning. I am happy and grateful that Steve and others would use their own free time to restore a bit of sanity and accountability to one runaway branch of science.

    Blog statistics for this blog may well have doubled over the year, but if you count all the other blogs who pass on many of your postings and conclusions, your influence in the blogosphere is probably growing exponentially. Steve’s testimony before the US Congress, his speaking trips, and his talk to the AGU–all are having a significant impact.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  19. Follow the Money
    Posted Dec 26, 2006 at 9:59 PM | Permalink

    Merry Christmas and Good News!

    I’m listening to the BBC and they are actually airing people airing doubts about carbon trading. But they say its part of the answer, meaning some money is still holding out for the scams. Surprisingly the BBC moderator, a carbon-based AGW believer, asked why the imposition of emission caps, without carbon trading, wouldn’t do the same thing!

    Arguably the “part of the solution” espousers have no like for carbon trading at all, but within the political realities of Britain have to step carefully.

    Other news, the moderator suggested that there was a study saying plainting forests in temperate climates won’t work, they have to be in tropical regions to act as successful carbon sinks. Sounds like a dodgy study paid by Brazilians in order to transfer money to ranchers to “abandon” properties they all ready need to leave because they depleted it. Sounds much like the intra-European “study” battle where some say planting trees does nothing, then Sweden strikes back that subsidizing its forests would be even more effective carbon sinks.

    More news: the carbon boys are addressing the accountability issue – how can you be sure caron credits are really earned, especially in an international context? Solution–ephemeral “international standards.” Unenforceable and easy to cheat of course, but it is an appeal to “cooperation.” Unfortunateely this nonsense plays in the American market, especially with some American politicians of a “liberal” bent, who reflexively approve of anything that sounds like international control of American behavior. Watch in the coming weeks, we’ll hear about these “international standards” more.

    They’ll have to work fast because the stats that temperatures are on a natual and predictable downswing after the 1990’s peak can’t be ignored for long.

  20. James Erlandson
    Posted Dec 27, 2006 at 4:52 AM | Permalink

    Re 19 and planting trees:
    A piece from the Oakland Tribune.

    Last week atmospheric scientist Ken Caldiera, of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, reported at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco that the cooling and warming effects of forests largely balance out in the middle latitudes where the lower 48 states and most developed nations are located.
    … trying to fight global warming by planting trees is “a waste of time.”
    … So far, the findings all stem from climate scientists running the Earth through unrealistic experiments by computer.

  21. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Dec 30, 2006 at 10:59 AM | Permalink

    Steve, John A. and all the regulars at CA,

    I guess it’s too late for Merry Christmas, but not for Happy New Year!

    I started reading CA at about this time last year, while I was doing research on the climate debate for the purpose of a potential newspaper article. Being out a a job gave me plenty of free time to pursue that project, which eventually morphed into a book project on modern scientific practice, of which the AGW debate is but one chapter, albeit an important one.

    So I’ve finished writing that chapter a long time ago (book still unfinished though…), but remain addicted to CA. That’s despite the fact that even with a Ph.D. in physics, my knowledge of statistics is probably as basic as that of any climate scientist (joke…), and I still can’t follow the subtleties of principal component analysis. This blog offers a combination of serious scientific contents and social and political commentary that is just fascinating, and is the perferct example of how the internet is changing the way that science is published, and eventually how it is made. This is no less than revolutionary because the publishing system is about 350 years old and hasn’t really changed that much since the Royal Society started publishing its proceedings.

    So keep up the good work! Last year was really eventful, and let 2007 be just as rich in debate and intellectual pursuit.

    On the personal side, I’m happy that things turned out fine for your grandson. My niece’s daughter (4 yrs old) is also recovering from a brain tumor which has apparently disappeared after her chemo treatments. There’s always hope! My personal life has been affected by a lot of grief these past years, but from this I have learned to appreciate the value of what I have here and now, and a good health is a big part of that, as is being surrounded with people I love. What more do you need!

    So long live CA!

    Now back to the hurricane thread…

  22. W Robichaud
    Posted Dec 31, 2006 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    I also would like to wish every one BONNE_ANNEE! _2007
    Been reading AC since the beginning. (FOS)
    I come here daily to read and learn and I hope you keep this site the way it is.
    The Information is sometime easy to read and understand.
    The more advance and technical stuff is challenging but I keep on reading and after some terminologies searches I usually do come up with a (limited) understanding of Graphs and other data you all provide.
    Keep up the good work.

  23. H. Patrick Boru
    Posted Jan 1, 2007 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

    I do not have either the background or mental capacity to participate in the discussions. I do recognize the dignity Steve displays while advocating illumination of the path to “scientific consensus” is admirable. It is this noble trait that permeates the discussions, with surprisingly rare exceptions.

    I would like to thank Steve and all the contributors for sharing their wisdom, thoughts and reasoning.

    Happy New Year to All

  24. Posted Jan 2, 2007 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

    Happy New Year and congratulations to both Steve and John A.: your blog continues to set a high standard and you should take some time to reflect on the good that you are doing in advocating both a better science and more thought in its use.
    My thanks also to those many frequent posters, for your many spirited debates (and occassional spats) and to the general level of comprehension people bring to the site: it makes for interesting and enlightening reading to those of us who monitor the site and offer only the infrequent comment.

  25. Posted Dec 2, 2009 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

    Years later, I fear that things have not improved to the extent to which everybody here would have liked.

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