BBC Climate Wars Part 2

Discussed here with embedded youtube clips. Here is a clip on the Stick. Try not to puke.


  1. Kenneth Fritsch
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

    And what will that enthusiastic commenter’s reaction be to Mann et al. (2008) reconstructions? Will he notice a trend? Will he understand the nuanced approach to presenting the results in Mann et al? Or will he get back in the HS truck (with the original HS, of course) and look for skeptics to interview.

    He probably is not capable of understanding the in depth technical analysis, but one might hope he might be able to see the obvious.

  2. hengav
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    Not just a hockey stick but a whole hockey team. That’s the best line EVER.

  3. Max
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:17 PM | Permalink

    Whats the carbon foot print of billboard on a 1 ton truck.. What I didn’t hear was what or who the “agreeable” past reconstructions were from. Its easy to make Man’s findings reasonably believable when you only tell a 1/4 of the story and put his graph up with his choirs.

  4. Ernie
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone have a link to Naomi Oreskes “mucky thesis” as it’s referred to in the review? I would like to read it to see how much of it is in the program.


  5. Tim G
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:33 PM | Permalink

    “The simplicity of this graph makes it a really powerful image.”


    “Entire websites were set up to pick holes in the hockey stick. But while the skeptics were busy attacking Mann, other researchers were doing their own science.”

    [Not to beat a dead horse.]


  6. jeez
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    I tried Steve. I failed.

  7. Ernie
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 8:40 PM | Permalink

    Here is a talk by Naomi Oreskes titled “The American Denial of Global Warming” to give you an idea where she is at:

    – Ernie.

  8. Max
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 9:32 PM | Permalink

     Why is it the consensus always seems to be balding?

  9. bender
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 9:33 PM | Permalink

    This is a massive distortion of the facts. So distorted that it is indeed sickening. The single biggest distortion is the allegation of “independence” between the recosntructions. The hockey “team” comprised of a single clone. To the extent that they are “independent” it leads to utter decoherence among recons. To the extent they are not independent it is becasue they are all addicted to the same active ingredient: bristlecone pines in the western US. NAS proved that.

    What a farce.

  10. hengav
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 9:40 PM | Permalink

    You could play that video like a drinking game, having to take shots of “Jager” for each time a skeptic says “FRAUD”. What a spectrum of opinions presented. It is an opportunity to look at how those of us who use that word frequently might come off as radical rather than the moderates we are. I know I struggle with the context of any discussion about climate and my views on it. Let’s face it, it’s a fairly complex issue, and a lot of preconceptions are out there. But there is just the right amount of “skepticism” in public opinion anyhow, so lets try to chill whilst “representing” in public.

  11. Daryl
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 9:55 PM | Permalink

    I still do not see the point he is trying to make, specifically when he keeps referring to the Medieval Warm Period that does not exist on his graph? Mann erased it and this “narrator” still refers to it like a phantom limb.

    Maybe I need to see the whole show and any supporting data he provides so I can place it in context? Not very AGW of me I know.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: Daryl (#11), Not MWP, MCA. Look it up.

    • Ernie
      Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

      Re: Daryl (#11), The whole show is still up on the BBC UK site, if you are not in the UK do a google search something like earth.the.climate.wars.s01e02

      – Ernie.

  12. Mark_T
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

    So now there is a “hockey stick team.”

    And is it me or does it seem like that movie is putting a lot of weight on the hockey stick?

  13. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

    Mann’s own ad hominems are notorious. So it’s a bit rich for him to complain. Consider these excerpts for example:

    I must begin by emphasizing that  McIntyre and McKitrick are not taken seriously in the scientific community. Neither are scientists, and one (McKitrick) is prone to publishing entirely invalid results apparently without apology (see below). “New Scientist” considered running an article (by David Paterson) on the MM claims. The editor decided not to run an article, concluding that their claims were suspicious and spurious after interviews with numerous experts and after it was revealed that they had suspiciously close ties with the fossil fuel/energy industry. See e.g.:


    This claim by MM is just another in  a series of disingenuous (off the record: plainly dishonest) allegations by them about our work.

    Absolutely nothing has been conceded in respect to any of Marcel Crok’s quesstions. This is in Dec 2004 (!):

    [2) There is a severe debate between you and MM about the skill of the calculation. You claim a high RE-statistic. MM show that their simulated hockey sticks also give a high RE-statistic but a very low R^2 statistic. ]]

    Our reconstruction passes both RE and R^2 verification statistics if calculated correctly. Wahl and Ammann (in press) reproduce our RE results (which are twice as high as those estimated by MM), and cannot reproduce MM’s results. There is little, if anything correct, in what MM have published or claimed. … It must be stated that McKitrick has been shown to be prone to making major errors in his published work. You should refer to the discussions here:

    and here:

    IT’s amazing: “Our reconstruction passes both RE and R^2 verification statistics”. Then he tells the NAS panel that he never calculated the verification r2 statistic – that would be a foolish and incorrect thing to do. Shame on Mann. But the lionization continues. It’s too bizarre.

  14. Evan Jones
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:26 PM | Permalink

    Tried and failed. You owe me a new keyboard.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:34 PM | Permalink

    One of the blogs supposed devoted to criticism of the Stick was Nature here. Thought it looked familiar.

    Merely as journalism, it seems an odd omission not to even show a flash to Climate Audit (while showing Nature blogs).

    • Sylvain
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:33 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#17),

      If you consider that in a recent issue Nature write:

      “Nature 455, 140 (11 September 2008) | doi:10.1038/455140b; Published online 10 September 2008

      Climate change: ‘Hockey stick’ holds up

      Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 105, 13252–13257 (2008)

      A fresh analysis of climate indicators shows that the Northern Hemisphere is warmer now than it has been in at least 1,300 years.

      Previous analyses of climatic history by Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University in University Park and his colleagues produced a distinctive ‘hockey stick’ shape; but some of this analysis, and the tree-ring data it used, came under attack.

      The latest work by Mann and his co-workers involves various climate proxies, including corals, ice cores, historical records and marine sediments. The authors show that current warming is anomalous even if all tree-ring data are eschewed.”

      You would guess that they wouldn’t be so quick to support someone who’s work didn’t hold up much the first time around. It is funny that they don’t mention that their claim is based on the same that did the first paper.

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 10:42 PM | Permalink

    One interesting admission in the clip is where Mann explains his no-holds-barred approach to the debate:

    If you can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win using defamation, slander, rhetoric that sounds convincing that has no basis in fact.

    That seemed to be his approach. Nice that he admitted it. 🙂

  17. Daryl
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 11:03 PM | Permalink

    The Movie and Record Company?

    Did you mean Medieval Climate Optimum perhaps?…I am just asking
    Bender, I am not really sure of your point.

    Thanks Ernie, I will look for it.

  18. J.Hansford.
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

    Iain Stuart has also done another very polished five part series before this, called. Earth: The Power of the Planet. It is very picturesque and his voice and presentation allows a compelling regard for what he suggests. Namely the AGW theory is substantial and correct.

    Unless the Sceptical argument against Anthropogenic CO2 causing significant climate effects, is presented in the same format that Iain Stuart presents the AGW theory…. Then Mann’s Hockey stick and it’s team will be the gold standard in Climate science within the layman’s public eye. Hanson knows this. Mann knows this. Whether you like it or not, this is about politics and egos and anything goes.

    All your time and effort is for naught, if it is not presented to a wider audience. You will be disappointed if you think that people like Iain Stuart will represent you. If he is partisan in his politics, he is simply not going to. Why would he?

    I must admit though, to feeling annoyed at such a partisan approach about this topic by Stuart…. It rankles even when you expect it. Which is why Stuart called it Climate Wars, he’ll be expecting to tap into plenty of BBC public dollars over all this constructed controversy and it’s graph….

    Steve…. You’ll have to get someone to do a counter Documentary in order for all your hard work to be presented and appreciated… I’d say if it cools a bit more there will be a few…. Don’t forget this Doco of Stuarts is probably nine months to a year old from its conception to completion?…. Takes a while to produce and get them out.

    Anyway…. Keep up the good work… In the end. Science uncovers knowledge.

  19. Daryl
    Posted Sep 17, 2008 at 11:09 PM | Permalink


    The only other MCA I know of is the Monte Carlo Analysis, after thinking for 1 minute is this perhaps where you were headed?

    Without the data, as I mused, your suggestion is rather moot.

    • James S
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

      Re: Daryl (#21),


      MCA is Medieval Climate Anomaly. Can’t have it being called a warm period – it needs to be an anomaly.

  20. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:10 AM | Permalink

    On the first climate Wars thread I said the folowing

    ‘As I jokingly said on the other thread I nearly passed out after seeing what they did with the HS! To parade it through the streets like that on a big van seems to me that the presenter is cocking a snook at the deconstruction Chris. It is inconceivable that he would not have known about the controversy and has ignored it for the same reason that others want to deny past periods of climactic warming. It doesn’t suit their computer models which say there hasnt been warming and blow the observable ‘anecdotal’ evidence to the contrary.

    If I had been less well informed (yes really) I would have been completely taken in by the programme. It was a slick multi million pound production with a likeable presenter who ‘appeared’ to give the sceptics a fair crack of the whip but instead managed to make them look old, silly and out of touch.’

    It is important to stress this production was in a different league to ‘Swindle’ which I thought very overdone. There will be many millions of people who will have seen this as factual with a believable presenter and that Mann has produced a compelling graph.

    As Steve has said before I do not think this is an ‘Ofcom’ matter so direct complaints to the BBC will have to bear this in mind. It makes my life more difficult. I have been pointing out to Defra The Environment Agency and the Green party that they have all been promoting a hockey stick that has been broken by Steve, Ross, David Holland, The Bishop, Dr Wegman et al. However its resurrection in a prime time BBC programme will surely enable such organisations to utilise it with fresh enthusiasm as the graph-whether it is nonsense or not-is so compelling.

    Tony Brown

  21. Andreas W
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:26 AM | Permalink

    Unfortunately the truth will NOT set you free. If they can sell this to the public it won’t be any problem to sell “Global cooling is a consequense of global warming”. I don’t think another 10 years of cooling will do the trick. You can’t fight propaganda with science, especially when the propaganda crowd are also scientists. Ceep up the good work Steve, even though i think it’s an impossible task. But remember: Impossible is an oppinion, not a fact!

  22. J.Hansford.
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Just adding. There is a change in dynamics here…. There AGW proponents feel that they are under attack. If scrutiny is an attack, then they are right, to which they have strangely responded as victims. Strange behaviour, I would have thought, of people supposedly sure of their Scientific arguments.

    Anyway, here is another attack on the IPCC’s assumptions.

  23. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:52 AM | Permalink

    Ouch. Not a good day for critical thinking and reasoning.

    He went and spoke to sceptics – okay, in principle good, but all he did was stuffed the graph under their nose for a reaction. At no point did he get a sceptic to discuss their actual criticisms. He presents his view of what the sceptic argument is – and fails to get it right. I’m sure he feels like an intellectual powerhouse clobbering that man of straw.

    Agree with the comments here, the victim mentality in front of the cameras is just stunning. They form little cliques and bully in their element (the peer review literature) and then appear all hurt and upset when their shoddy work is exposed for what it is.

    All this is not that surprising for an organisation with such strong advocacy / institutional bias though.

  24. Ian
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    “Try not to puke.” I am sorry but I did the old technicolour yawn all over my keyboard over that nausiating clip. The prats at the BBC owe me.

  25. Alan the Brit
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:56 AM | Permalink

    BTW, apparently only 1.6 million people watched it, alas there will only be 1,599,999 watching it next Sunday! Dr Stewart should resign from Plymouth University or be sacked if he really believes his case. The first episode was interesting, the second predicable, & dissappointing. Interestingly, as someone has already pointed out, the BBC was happy to let someone attend the NIPCC conference ealier this year in USA, but apparently nobody was availabe to report it in the national UK news for some mysterious reason!

    • Paulus
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

      Re: Alan the Brit (#28),

      BTW, apparently only 1.6 million people watched it

      According to the Guardian’s “Overnight TV Ratings” section, 1.6 million people watched parts 1 and 2. That was 6% of the total audience for part 1, and 7% for part 2. To put this in some sort sort of context, Justin Lee Collins’ ultra low-budget program about reuniting the original Star Wars cast -“Bring Back Star Wars” – on Channel 4 at the same time as part 2 was watched by 1.9 million and had an 8% share. And this was a truly pathetic program – don’t ask me how I know, I just do, alright?.

  26. Demesure
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:12 AM | Permalink

    Mann should have told the reporter that splicing thermometers with tree rings into one red stick is BAD, as he has scolded one skeptic reader at RealClimate for implying such heresy might exist.
    He should be angry all the more seeing the sliced stick driven downtown on a 2 ton truck.

  27. MarcH
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:01 AM | Permalink

    When the great global warming swindle was screened on the ABC (government owned TV station) in Australia there was such an uproar from the AGW camp that in the name of “Balance” a debate followed the program. I just hope similar treatment is given to this BBC docu-drama should it find its way down under as it inevitably will.

  28. Chris Wright
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:17 AM | Permalink

    I think the programme has been overturned by events. Standing in front of the Hockey Stick, this is what Iain Stuart says:

    “The first thing that hits you is there’s virtually no sign of the Medieval Warm Period, I mean the sceptics would have a big bump in temperature just here when the world got warmer. Instead it looks like for at least nine hundred years, give or take a few ups and downs, it’s incredibly flat”.

    And they accuse sceptics of being ‘climate change deniers’! But to give him credit, he does use the term ‘sceptic’ and not ‘climate change deniers’, unlike New Scientist. That’s fine as scepticism is – or should be – the very basis of honest science.

    With this in mind, take a look at this presentation of Mann 2008 at the NOAA:

    The first thing that smacks you in the eye is the spaghetti graph that shows a very distinct MWP centered on 1000 AD. Naturally it’s smaller than the 20th century, but it’s still significant.

    The last sentence of the abstract: “The reconstructed amplitude of change over past centuries is greater than hitherto reported, with somewhat greater Medieval warmth in the Northern Hemisphere, albeit still not reaching recent levels.”

    Based on Stuart’s words quoted above, then perhaps we should in future class Mann as a sceptic!


  29. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:20 AM | Permalink

    I lasted 30 seconds. I’d like to congratulate anyone who lasted longer than that. You are superhuman.

  30. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

    It’s a very well done energetic propaganda movie. The authors must have studied the German cinematography of the 1930s.

    The host steals e.g. Al Gore’s ideas, climbing the ladder, and he is at least equally good. snip Mann becomes a hero. Other papers don’t confirm the flatness of the stick but the host doesn’t even want to notice.

    It’s a confirmation for him, anyway. And yes, those skeptics build on defamation. That’s a very interesting comment from those who compare proper climate scientists with climate deniers.

    • kim
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:36 AM | Permalink

      Re: Luboš Motl (#34),

      There is a grandness to the absurdity of the spectacle, though, L, when half the audience knows the particulars of the hoax.

  31. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:28 AM | Permalink

    I meant… proper climate scientists with holocaust deniers.

  32. Christopher Hanley
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    BBC comedy has been in the doldrums for thirty years or so.
    Iain Stuart makes a worthy successor to Cleese et al.

    • kim
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:48 AM | Permalink

      Re: Christopher Hanley (#37),

      Good one, CH. That little jiggle at the beginning does look like he’s stifling the giggles. Do you suppose someday he can claim that he was just camping it up? That shot up the ladder is a million laughs.

  33. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

    Just a comment. You may also rate the YouTube video if you have an account on YouTube:

    If you love their presentation and Michael Mann, give them five stars. And vice versa.

  34. Lucy Skywalker
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

    Mann says

    If you can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win using defamation, slander, rhetoric that sounds convincing that has no basis in fact

    – following Iain Stewart’s selective clips of “F—d” words uttered, in clips so short that there was no time for those like Monckton to state their evidence. But having read Monckton’s latest paper that really throws down the gauntlet together with masses of evidence, I doubt very much if Monckton will let this matter rest. Nor for that matter will any of us here, probably. But what next?

    I’ve set up a simple home-grown project at to actually start deconstructing the AGW “answers to skeptics” websites, and to involve the whole skeptic community, so that nobody can say it is just a single eccentric individual, unqualified, in denial, in the pay of exxxx, etc. Take each article and mirror it with an informed skeptics’ statement. You can choose which article(s) you would like to start to deconstruct, and I’ll keep records so that everyone can see who is working on what, and can post comments and ideas. If this is not adequate, we can develop the project as we go.

    We want to reclaim Good Science. We all know the CAGW science is bunk. Many of us have written screeds and screeds…. and still Iain Stewart pops up with the blessing of the whole BBC and the whole official science establishment. However, I’ve narrowed down the CAGW refutations of skeptics’ issues to five key websites – which starts to make a manageable project. If, together, we can deconstruct the lot, this cuts their info fuel lines. We can set about this step by step. I’ve uploaded the start of this project but it probably still needs a lot of tweaking to make it fully workable. If anyone wants to help, this would be great. I doubt I could manage this project alone if it grows as I hope it will. I hope the real scientists will eventually take it over.

  35. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    Being of disturbed mind I watched the emetically inclined clip a second time. The BBC graphics department have done a wonderful job on the MBH98 graph, haven’t they? Notice how you can hardly see the join between the hockey stick and the instrumental record.

    Oops… look a bit closer… you can’t see the join – because there isn’t one. Yep, the graph consists of one continuous, thick red line with not a hint of the fact that it is scientifically inappropriate to directly compare the instrumental record bit on the far right of the graph with the proxy based bit on the far left. Al Gore would be proud, I tell ya.

  36. Brooks Hurd
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 6:36 AM | Permalink

    What is interesting is Mann’s statement that others use ad hominem attacks on him when, in fact, this is the tactic which Mann frequently employs against his critics.

  37. TAC
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 6:41 AM | Permalink

    The trajectory of the hockey stick constitutes a 4-act tragedy: Its arrival as supernova in 1998, utterly captivating climate science; the discovery of its flaws (MM, 2003); its gradual rejection by the legitimate science and mathematical community (Wegman, NAS, 2006 -> ); and, finally, its humiliating role as propaganda and sideshow spectacle (BBC, 2008).

    Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad with power.

  38. Stefan
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

    Perhaps the BBC decided that claiming “the debate is over” was making people suspicious of bias, and so they commissioned a program that seemingly examines the skeptic arguments openly.

    But as the program is obviously formulaic (the skeptic arguments are always conveniently wrong on closer “examination”, every time), I’m reassured that open minded UK viewers will just take this as another propaganda piece.

  39. Ernie
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

    You can almost bet that part 3 will be full on left wing political with a US election just around the corner. It would follow the pattern of Naomi’s current talks she has been giving on American climate change denial. I think Iain Stewart is just a prop for her, he is better on camera.

    – Ernie.

  40. DaveR
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Steve, why not just title your thread “I hate Michael Mann and I am obsessed with him”? It would be more honest of you.

    Steve: I don’t. I wish nobody any ill and I ask readers repeatedly not to be angry and seldom am angry myself. More often, I’m amused. When I play squash, I compete very hard and I try to win, but I don’t “hate” my opponents – they’re my friends. In rugby, you used to buy drinks for the person that tackled you the hardest. I happen to think that his analyses are wrong and I’m not going to get bullied off the field, but that’s not personal. I’ve got enough time and effort tied up in proxies so that it doesn’t bother me if Mann brings attention to the field. Quite the opposite.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:06 AM | Permalink

      Re: DaveR (#47), Nobody hates anybody. This is about due diligence in the promotion of scientific material to the level of global policy. That truck driving around with false data posted on it is insulting to any truth-seeking scientist. It is very likely an embarrassment to the man himself.

  41. Mark_T
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 7:35 AM | Permalink

    Are they actually driving that ad truck with the hockey stick graph on the side of it around England?

  42. DaveR
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:19 AM | Permalink

    Steve, your excuses just don’t wash. Read your “Try not to puke” comment and calmly ask yourself how it will be perceived. To me your thread just looks like you’re trying to wind up your echo chamber for a bit of Mann hating.

    Steve: People have been talking about the BBC commentary for a few days and this was the first Youtube availability. I thought that the BBC commentary on the Hockey Stick was completely uninformed and deserved criticism on many counts. One of the reasons for my emphasis on due diligence is that I think that, at a certain point, the burden of responsibility transfers in part from the original promoter to people who are supposed to perform due diligence. We rightly worry about why Lehman Bros failed, but we should also worry about regulatory failures – and equally, analytic failures by analysts who recommended Lehman Bros or AIG stock a year ago. Mann says what one would expect him to say. What is newsworthy in the BBC program (and what should make people puke, including AGWers) is the extremely low level of analysis in the program. It’s not like Mann and I are pals, but I assure you that I don’t “hate” him.

    I can’t stop you from imagining things about what I “feel”, but I can assure you that I simply do not bother “hating” someone. It’s a distraction and doesn’t do any good. You’re probably younger than I am and may not understand this, but I’ve disciplined myself over the years not to indulge in “hating” or “dislike”. You can do it if you try and I highly recommend it. Regular readers of this blog recognize and appreciate the fact that I try to be pretty sunny and upbeat about things and I’d like you to recognize this as well.

  43. Francois Ouellette
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:28 AM | Permalink

    Well, there goes my breakfast..

  44. Lucy Skywalker
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:37 AM | Permalink

    Dave – you cannot drive a blog like this one on hate. It doesn’t work.

    Mann said “If you can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win using defamation, slander, rhetoric that sounds convincing that has no basis in fact” and his words follow directly after Stewart’s selective clips of “Fraud”, words uttered in clips so short that there was no time for those like Monckton to state their evidence. But if you read Monckton’s latest paper you will see that about half of it is devoted to pure scientific evidence. Monckton always gives evidence. So does Steve. Mann is the one who is not open about evidence. And his website is the one that uses slander and defamation, not this one.

    But you have a point. People often read no more than headlines and judge accordingly.

  45. Stefan
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 8:44 AM | Permalink

    After years of hearing climate change proponents say that the science has moved on, for me it wasn’t so much of a “puke” when I saw that graph appear on the programme–rather, I snorted my coffee.

  46. Richard deSousa
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:01 AM | Permalink

    Who in the hell is the commentator?!! He’s just as disingenuous as Mann. BBC is a joke for resurrecting the hockey stick and ignoring the faulty statistical issues Steve M has uncovered. A pox on the BBC.

    • masmit
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

      Re: Richard deSousa (#55),

      He’s called Iain Stewart, and is a geologist at the University of Plymouth.

      What was presented in this laughable programme was such a shallow caricature of ‘sceptic’ positions, that I can’t help wondering if it won’t do more harm to the alarmists than anyone else.

  47. Dave Salt
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:05 AM | Permalink

    I mentioned this observation in another thread but, given the focus here, I’d appreciate others comments’ on it (my apologies if this seems like an unnecessary repetition).

    Dr Stewart showed the controversial plot of solar activity and global temperature versus time from “The Great Global Warming Swindle” but included the missing (suppressed?) temperature data from the end of the 20th century that appears to indicate a break-down of the correlation. However, if my observation is correct, he somehow forgot to add any temperature data from 2000 onwards. Would not the inclusion of the most recent data tend to support the correlation and, if it would, is this not clear evidence of bias or even worse?

  48. Darwin
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Steve’s done a lot of hard work. It is sad that the mainstream media doesn’t do any, and won’t allow those that do at least a fair opportunity to present their case. Really, it’s just sad, and bad journalism.

  49. BillBodell
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    I’m with hengav. The thing that distressed me most was the skeptics commenting on the Hockey Stick using words like “fraud” and sounding like cranks. Now, I know that had most skeptics restrained themselves, the program still would have found enough people to sound like cranks, but… must we make it easy for them?

    It was a very well done show with excellent production values and I too would have been convinced if I didn’t know better. What’s needed is a very tight response documentory pruned down to the best arguements and not including words like “Swindle” in the title. Everytime we use words like fraud, swindle and hoax, we make it easier for the alarmists to dismiss us.

    • Lucy Skywalker
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

      Re: BillBodell (#60), Along with “fraud” “swindle” and “hoax” don’t use “scam” and “alarmist” and evidently “puke”. Well, just keep them outta the titles, and only firmly spliced to real evidence in pics. Imagine all those visual HS’s winging it. I’ll try and make up some on my Photoshop for you. I was an AGW converted by the Gore-blind-me HS, yes visual impact tells all, pics are worth 1000 words.

  50. DaveR
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

    Steve, I neither know nor care how you “feel”. However, I do worry that you undermine the useful things you have to say by comments and threads such as “Try not to puke”, “Is Gavin Schmidt honest?” and “those nasty little men at realclimate” etc. They make you look immature and crankish.

    It’s up to you how you run your blog, but you tangle your message up with so much trash that you greatly reduce your impact.

    Steve: It’s nice that you worry so much about maximizing the impact of this blog.

    Schmidt and Mann have made defamatory and slanderous comments about me. But try to find a single slanderous comment by me about these guys – you won’t be able to.

  51. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    It might be a bit OT but after reading through the comments I’ll do it.

    I have plotted the latest Mann 08 data in further detail and have found out that the HS blade uses less than 5% of the proxies to promote correlation. I think it’s my best work yet on the data.

    It’s hard not to say scam because it’s pretty much true. He is playing some serious games with the numbers for personal reasons. My wife saw the data and called him selfish. Probably not far off.

  52. bender
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:31 AM | Permalink

    DaveR, does that truck, with its false advertising, not make you puke? Don’t confalte issues. It’s all about the truck.

  53. Peter Hearnden
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:41 AM | Permalink

    I’m not sure how using the word ‘puke’ and rather childishly insulting bald men enhances Climate Audit’s credibility. But, hey, you guys know best 😉

  54. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

    #64. I’m follicely challenged. Who’s insulting bald men?

  55. ladygray
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:55 AM | Permalink

    God made only so many perfect heads. The rest He covered with hair.

  56. Jeff Alberts
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:10 AM | Permalink

    Bald men are allowed to make fun of other bald men, it’s the law, Brynner’s Third Law, I believe. 😉

    Bald men really look silly when the do the combover (and it brings their basic judgment into question), or leave bits of fuzz sticking up on top. That’s why I shave my whole head a couple times a week.

  57. Hasse@Norway
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    Why not make a movie about the hockeystick. The public have no basis for forming their opinion about this without extensive reading, which none do anyway. This makes these 6 minutes credible for the layperson. Boil down the basic points to 45-60 minutes…

  58. GreenArtifex
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    My grandfather taught me the following :
    As we get older the hair grows further and further into our skulls. If it meets brain matter, it turns grey. If it continues to meet nothing but bone, it eventually gives up and falls out
    In the spirit of the topic at hand, I surveyed the amount of hair on several of my friends. I then did some advanced statistics normalizing for age (which are too complex to explain simply in a post such as this) and concluded that without a doubt my grandfather was correct. Don’t believe me ? Look at both Feynman and Einstein in their later years. Yes, I know Noam Chomsky also has long wild hair, but he was discarded as statistical aberration my GHM (global hair modeler)

    Do you think I will be able to interest the BBC in my work ?

  59. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    A true story about the hockey stick.

    I was at a show in the UK with a large number of bona fide rock, fossil and mineral traders, local geological societies and even the British Geological Society. Also present was a representative of a major environmental group who was trying to get people to sign a petition to the Prime Minister to act immediately on global warming.

    His sole information source was the hockey stick in its most extreme principle component form with the recent temperature series “glued on”. He tried to get me to sign. I told him not to bother; I was his worst enemy. When he persisted I tore the hockey stick to pieces (not the paper graph). He very quickly put it out of sight so I asked what else he had – which was almost nothing – only the snows of Kilimanjaro and polar bears. Is the hockey stick important to those who use emotion rather than science? You bet!

    Several people have complained to the organisers asking why he was allowed in. I hope he is not there next year! If he is, I may have fun …

  60. bender
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    If a researcher is only partially fradulent and only partially negligent, then you probably can’t convict them of either, can you?

    You’re probably not distinguishing between civil and criminal. 99.99% of all negligence cases are tort (civil); there are a few defined negligence crimes, but most of the time, it’s a tort giving rise to damages and “convict” doesn’t arise. In case law, every imaginable circumstance arises and has been tested. The case probably would start with considering whether certain representations were misrepresentations and that could be established before opining on negligence or fraud. Judges might well find that some misrepresentations were negligent, some innocent and some fraudulent depending on the facts and that would affect how damages were assessed. In answer to your question, the legal system would not be paralyzed. They’d make factual decisions, representation by representation and assess things accordingly. They might find one thing for verification r2, another thing for principal components and another for the rain in Maine, for example.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

      Re: bender (#72), Then I would be prepared to take a stand. This is unquestionably misrepresentation. If I were asked about negligence or fradulence I would have to agree with the former and would have to seriously consider the latter. Suppressing the r2 calculation on the bcp-free data was a very, very bad idea. Surely regrettable by the proponent.

      For me the Wahl and Amman SI was the final nail. The 2008 paper is just more of the same (or very similar). Extreme sensitivity to a few proxies and a sensitivity test that doesn’t accomplish its intended objective. Most likely by design, I’m sorry to say.

  61. PeterS
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 12:48 PM | Permalink

    What needs to be recognised here is that the BBC is positioned in the UK as a public service broadcaster. As such, it’s purpose – or ‘use’ – is to collect and serve information to the public which the public can use to understand and organise the environment in which it lives. In doing so the BBC meets the needs of the public.

    If the BBC knowingly withholds some information and/or distorts the information it does serve, it ceases to be an organisation that is meeting the needs of the public and becomes one that is abusing both its role and the public.

    This documentary (as one example among many) shows how the BBC has become an obstacle to the needs of the public and an obstacle to its own purpose. As such, there is no reason for it to be trusted or to continue to exist – and there is a growing recognition of this in the UK… which it perhaps why this documentary has such low viewing figures.

  62. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

    Does anyone know who the various “skeptics” were in the clip? I recognize Tim Ball and Fred Singer. I’m sure that the others are people that I “know”, but I don’t know what they look like.

    • ChrisJ
      Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 9:17 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#74), I believe the first “skeptic” shown is Joe Bast. I met him when I was a student at the University of Chicago. -chris

  63. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    Alan #71

    I was also at a UK trade show where a firm was trying to get people to sign up for personal carbon cards-it was done as a sort of petition to the UK govt who have been seriously considering the idea. His sole prop was the HS. I’m not sure that the scientists who inhabit this blog realise the power of this simple graphic to the layman-which includers Govt as well as the public. A ‘REAL’ graphic showing the Temperatures back to the Bronze age-so the modern era can be set in context- would be highly desirable. THe HS is still being shown in schools, govt organisations, local councils and via other govt agencies to businesses. Such devices as the HS may seem silly to us but they still give a very powerful message to a public who look at things superfically.

    Tony Brown

  64. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Did you recognize Lord Monckton?

  65. John Lang
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

    Although I think the clip itself was not that bad – a normal person would come away thinking there is something wrong with the stick and it is probably an exagerated chart …

    – the problem is we know how the hockey stick was constructed, we know it should no longer be used by anyone for anything (except by a statistician trying to show his students how data selection and faulty methods can lead one astray).

    – in terms of the “climate wars”, it should have been used in the documentary completely opposite to the way it was used – it should have been the shining example of how the sceptics are right that much of climate science is exagerated “nonsense” (to use Gavin’s words).

  66. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    Too quick with fingers

    Lord Mockton, 3.01 – 3.03 in on the youtube clip. Blink and you missed him. snip

    Thanks. I haven;t met him.

  67. PHE
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    Iain Stewart is not a ‘geologist’. Check his website at Univ of Plymouth:

    He is a Professor of Geosciences Communiation. Has a PhD in Geography. Forgive me geographers out there, but I have never seen ‘geography’ as a science. Its much like ‘environmental science’, whereby you learn how to read and understand scientific issues, and describe them, but not to really think and enquire as a scientist. Is that an ad hom? I suppose so. Not really fair. Feel free to send Dr Stewart an email.

    • Demesure
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:11 PM | Permalink

      Re: PHE (#80),

      Iain Stewart is not a ‘geologist’.

      I’m almost certain he is a gesturologist, given his frenetic body language.

  68. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    I lasted just over 1,5 mins. It’s an intoxicating propaganda movie in the order of “Triumph des Willens” from Leni Riefenstahl (1935), implicating the same words used by the AGW activists.

    Did anyone sent a copy of Jolliffe’s critiques on Hansen’s Bulldog’s blog to Stewart?

    Anyone tried to contact the BBC management to ask for check and balances.

    It took 1700 years to enter the Age of Enlightment, hopefully it will take shorter now…oh well…

  69. PHE
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

    On the its BBC page, the programme is described as:

    Genre: Factual Science, Nature & Environment Format:

  70. Mark_T
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:28 PM | Permalink

    Who else from the skeptic side besides Mockton was in that clip?

  71. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:30 PM | Permalink

    PHE #80

    I followed your link to I.S. home page. Edited highlights:

    Background, qualifications & professional membership
    BSc Geography & Geology – Strathclyde University, 1986
    PhD Geology – University of Bristol, 1990

    (PhD not Geography – unless you have other information beyond your link? Quite adequate to call yourself a geologist. Bristol Uni is one of the top UK unis.)

    Teaching interests
    Structural Geology / Geodynamics

    Research interests
    Active Tectonics
    Earthquake Geology and Seismic Hazards
    Coastal Geodynamics and Sea-Level Change
    Geological Catastrophes and Human Response

    Perhaps not pure geology in the mode of the great 19th century English geologists like Murchison and Lapworth but still respectable for a modern geologist who has to find valid applications of his field when he gets a job. His previous TV series have dealt with other geology and earth science subjects. I would not want to dismiss him on the basis of his home page.

  72. Jim Turner
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:34 PM | Permalink

    I think that there is less here to worry about than it seems at first. Many of my work colleagues are left-leaning middle-class, the sort of person that will nod approvingly all the way through this stuff. Their standard riposte to any facts that contradict their political positions is “I think you read that in the Daily Mail”, in other words, “I disbelieve everything that does not support my opinions”. It is a waste of breath reasoning with them, but in fact they represent only a small part of society. The great majority of people (myself included) cannot make an informed opinion on the validity of the statistical analyses of Mann vs. McIntyre, but they do know utter rubbish when they see it. Aerodynamicists might tell us that according to their calculations, a bee’s wings are incapable of generating enough lift to carry it’s weight, but no-one has ever believed that bees can’t fly. I cannot believe that many people will not see this programme for what it is – a blatant piece of patronising political propoganda. Trying to ressurect the hockey stick, which is so obviously wrong even without M&M, is a spectacular own goal – no MWP, no LIA – both solidly supported by historical and archaeological evidence (that everyone can understand), and current temperatures rocketing skyward (anyone notice how much hotter it’s getting, year on year – no?). But the clincher was the condescending political speech at the end that could leave no-one in any doubt that this was a political broadcast on behalf of the left-wing political elite, not even pretending to be a neutral science programme. I think that in the long run, the BBC may regret discarding their mask of impartiality in making this programme.

    • MC
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:36 PM | Permalink

      Re: Jim Turner (#86), Jim you alight on a good point. There are two types of scientist: the one who in the case of the aerodynamisist, recognises the limitations of the applied mathematical technique or function and says ‘of course a bee can fly, so we are obviously missing some deeper connections and relationships and we’ll have to rethink the whole approach’ and then there are the others who think that with the current relationships just tweaked a bit they will eventually get it. That after repeat and repeat the answer will appear like a polished pebble. And the problem is not the functions its the assumptions. Scientific method 101 as the saying goes. Assuptions, method, results and conclusions based on the all three. It is amazing how many scientists forget about the assumptions. And they can be subtle, like you are assuming you have a continuous process when a discrete process is more intuitive. For me that’s the key.
      As for statisical analyses I take Craig Loehle approach. I don’t tend to go into lots of detail. Any such work should be transparent first and foremost with clear errors and assumptions because you are trying to use a proxy as a SUBSTITUTE for a thermometer, not for a general hand waving or Weather Stone approach (You know, stone wet = rain, stone white = snow, stone not there = hurricane). Not once in the BBC show did Iain Stewart say ‘this is how accurate each of the reconstrutions are’ he just mentions that there is some variation around 1200 to 1700. That’s the problem right there. For some reason errors are considered to be a sign of an inferior process, like you couldn’t get it accurate enough. ‘Robust’ enough.

  73. Mike
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure the guy at the 2:18 mark is Marc Morano.

  74. PHE
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

    Re 85 A. Bates
    You’re right, PhD Geology. My eye confused it with Geography on the line above. I take it back!

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: PHE (#88), A notable fact that most here admit their mistakes…

  75. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    I don’t think there’s any doubt that Iain Stewart is genuine Geology PhD, although I was intrigued that his home page didn’t mention any publications more recent than 2004. Perhaps he’s been busy with other things.

    • Ernie
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

      Re: Bishop Hill (#90), I would say from all the TV work he has been doing it would leave little time for Science.

      – Ernie.

  76. PeterS
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    Re 83 Lucy Skywalker:

    “I was an AGW converted by the Gore-blind-me HS, yes visual impact tells all, pics are worth 1000 words.”

    Absolutely. And the hockey stick functions as a logo – complete with its glowy background noise in Stewart’s presentation. Has anyone noticed it is has a striking resemblance to the Nike logo (back to front)? And Nike, of course, are at the forefront of our modern human obsession with achieving physical perfection. In fact, Stewart’s refusal to let thinking get in the way his sales-talk could have been achieved with just three familiar words strapped onto the HS… “Just do it!”

  77. Sam Urbinto
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 3:34 PM | Permalink

    Making a joke about puking is hardly along the lines of dismissive by suggesting your detractors are lying jesters and the like.

    I find it interesting that a bit of satire or irony or just plain joking around and having fun upsets some people.

  78. Lav
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:04 PM | Permalink

    Whilst I agree with most things that people are saying here of criticisms of the program, I think that any complaints to the BBC or elsewhere will fail – and the simple reason is that just about everything in the programs is traceable back to the IPCC reports. Challenge anything here and it can be supported from the IPCC documents which surely any court would regard as an authority. Even the support of the Mann hockey stick by all the other hockey team graphs as Stewart put it.
    Yes, it is nauseating to see Mann beating his chest with self righteous indignation about how he has been vilified for discovering the truth and all sceptics can do is attack him personally but the official history still does not acknowledge that the stick is broken. Although one wonders whether even Stewart himself must privately wonder about the validity of the flat handle of the stick since he made a great play about the Little Ice Age, with frost fairs, failed harvests etc and then still apparently swallowed the line that that shaft of the stick was completely flat.
    No, the programs have been extremely cleverly done with little you can actually call out as demonstrably wrong – and even when we believe they ARE wrong, like in the hockey stick and without mentioning the name McIntyre, this official line can be supported by referring back to the IPCC reports. The one place where it might be challengeable was in the omission of the last decade’s data when arguing how ‘Swindle’ had misrepresented the solar correlation but that was about it, IMHO.
    As others have mentioned, it achieved its ends by portraying sceptics as rather out of touch loonies, whose only tactic was to make personal attacks, whilst scientists got on and did science. Well, all those points have been well rehearsed by others, I could go on but for me the lesson was how well propaganda can be put together to make a persuasive case if you don’t know all the details behind the story.

    • Stefan
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

      Re: Lav (#96),

      Whilst I agree with most things that people are saying here of criticisms of the program, I think that any complaints to the BBC or elsewhere will fail – and the simple reason is that just about everything in the programs is traceable back to the IPCC reports.

      The IPCC — the authority who’s Chairman publicly describes scientists who disagree as being like modern day flat earthers.

      To view, click link, and select video chapter 12:

      Low Carbon Economy Panel

      • ianl
        Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

        Re: Stefan (#101),

        And all of that will not matter – see #111

    • Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

      Re: Lav (#96), representing skeptics as out of touch is also spot on. When I saw the “proofs” piled on, proof upon proof, at Gristmill (70+), New Scientist (27), etc, everywhere, I “had” to believe all that evidence – and since the skeptics were loony, it wasn’t worth checking them out. Clever way to stop people looking. This is one reason I’m trying to get started this project of mirroring all the “answers to skeptics” with “answers to answers”.

      HS Pics are coming on. Enough for tonight.

  79. Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    Whatever else it is, “Climate Wars” is a clear flouting of the direction given by the BBC Trust on balance given to skeptics of global warming alarmism.

    Giving two seconds apiece to skeptics for them to utter a single word without any examination pushes the programme firmly into propaganda.

  80. Janama
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    I agree with you Jim Turner.

  81. Yorick
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:10 PM | Permalink

    Haidt has conducted research in which liberals and conservatives were asked to project themselves into the minds of their opponents and answer questions about their moral reasoning. Conservatives, he said, prove quite adept at thinking like liberals, but liberals are consistently incapable of understanding the conservative point of view. “Liberals feel contempt for the conservative moral view, and that is very, very angering.

    Judith Warner NYT

    I think this sheds some light on the media. I think that they actually are psychologically incapable of listening to skeptical arguments. Like Haidt says, “Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later!” Which is why, I think, skeptics tend to win climate debates in the eyes of onlookers. And why believers, who overwhelmingly tend to be liberals, tend to be utterly unaware that their side has been eviscerated.

  82. Pete
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

    Re: Jim Turner

    Your post is really on the mark. The shift from ‘science’ to ‘politics’ is blatant, and is in direct contravention of one of the BBC’s most cherished values: ‘trust’.

    This programme was marketed and packaged as part of the ‘Earth’ strand from the Factual department; viewers tuning in will expect to be presented with an exploration of a scientific issue which deals with the facts or, more likely, an entertaining extrapolation based on these facts.

    The contract between programme maker and viewer is sealed with this understanding.

    This contract is the very basis of what the BBC terms TRUST.

    By switching from ‘scientific’ explanation to ‘political’ proselytising they broke that contract – and went beyond their remit into what is quite obviously political editorialising.

    The latter is fine in the BBC’s political output as long as competing or oppositional viewpoints are presented either in the programme itself or in later episodes of the same series. For an example of this look at ‘This Week’ where contributors do their three minute package giving their take on a contemporary issue, or on radio where some programmes have a daily polemic from a writer on a given subject.

    The viewers know this is a biased, subjective viewpoint – and not the views of the BBC. It has worked well for years. The viewers understand this. The contract is honoured.

    This cuts to the core of the problem with this programme, and I’m sorry if I have to repeat it: the contract between viewer and broadcaster was broken because they expected a science documentary, and even with my many misgivings about the programme and the disingenuous omission of evidence which rebutts the Hockey Stick, that is what they got, sort of, until the end. And then they got a political call-to-arms.

    Those thinking of complaining about this programme should focus on that point if they want the BBC Trust to take notice.

    Furthermore, the role of Naomi Oreskes in this programme should cause concern for the BBC: a programme which sets out to explore and explain all the aspects of this controversial topic should be rigorously impartial, and yet their key script and editorial contributor is a partisan player in this very debate.

    That is a another very glaring abuse of trust: a programme in their science/factual strand aiming to explore all sides of a heated debate, essentially put together by a person who represents one side in that debate.

    Imagine if they made a programme about the Northern Ireland troubles, and the key programme consultant was Ian Paisley. And only Ian Paisley.

    And then we have Oreskes and the programme’s producer editorialising via a column in The Sunday Times to further discredit those who are sceptical.

    The producer is a BBC staff member. It wasn’t all that long ago that Rod Liddle was forced out of the BBC for writing a column lambasting the Countryside Alliance while he was a member of the editorial staff at Today.

    As a result of that, not a single BBC staffer was allowed to offer opinion pieces through any other media as they were supposed to not only be impartial in all matters but seen to be impartial.

    To sum up: for those who wish to complain about this programme, the two issues you should focus on are:

    A programme in the ‘Earth’ strand which viewers expected to be a cold, dispassionate look at the competing scientific theories around climate change SUDDENLY shifted into political campaigning.

    A programme which was meant to be an impartial look at a controversial topic employed and paid a partisan player in that debate to work on the script and the editorial angle.

    Finally, the BBC producer broke the BBC’s rules by contributing to a subjective editorial piece on the programme to the Sunday Times newspaper.

    THAT should form the basis of your complaint.

  83. Regular lurker
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:55 PM | Permalink

    What if a peer reviewed paper with the title “Are milennial proxy temperature reconstructions independent?” appeared?

    Such a paper should not require that much effort for someone knowing the details..
    Would any journal accept this document?

    Let’s assume that I were able to mimic the sound of a typical paper, why would I not get published?

    I think that any “negative answer” to this question is unacceptable.

    • Raven
      Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

      Re: Regular lurker (#103)

      What if a peer reviewed paper with the title “Are milennial proxy temperature reconstructions independent?” appeared?
      Let’s assume that I were able to mimic the sound of a typical paper, why would I not get published?
      I think that any “negative answer” to this question is unacceptable.

      The peer review process is designed to support the consensus. Papers that re-enforce the generally accepted thinking get little scrutiny. Papers that challenge the existing thinking are examined carefully and are more likely to be rejected. I think this is a consequence of human nature and a process that relies on volunteers and not the result of any conspiracy on the part of jounrnals/reviewers.

      • bender
        Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

        Re: Raven (#105), I think such a paper could pass review – if its goal were to objectively estimate the degree of “independence” among sets of recons. I would advocate a comparative approach. That way the paper serves a useful pedagogical function, rather than just poking holes in some dude’s work.

  84. masmit
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Discussion of the programme on the BBC’s ‘Points of View’ message board are here:

    A quick skim suggests that the general reaction has been sceptical – I think Auntie Beeb may be encountering diminishing returns in it’s scarifying coverage of AGW.

  85. ep
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    So watching this I have to ask: was it fair? Did it get the other side of the argument? Or did they just create plenty of strawmen to knock down? Compared with TGGWS did it even get the views of the sceptics regarding the HS?

    Sadly I think they got away with it: they just asked some uninformed sceptics – which would be good enough for OFCOM.

    I wonder if Stewart will get plenty of dough when the DVD of this mess gets sold to schools across the land?

  86. Follow the Money
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:34 PM | Permalink

    I watched four minutes of it.

    Obviously it has a high awareness of the public relations value of the hockeystick. The content reads as if the writers were lurkers here.
    The shaping of the argument feels like the writers were youngish ad people who want to believe their work has scientific merit, the mistake of “believing your clients.” It is like they are trying to convince themselves. A target audience may also be similar AGW believers who are troubled the science might be questionable, and are aware of some highlights like the MWP issue.

    In that it is manipulative, the MWP issue is prominent. It is mentioned, but not presented as a problem, but irrelevant to the debate. The effect forwarded is that one should not think the MWP is important based on the credibility of the BBC and the announcer not thinking it important, proven by their glib exposition. It is one of the most deceptive pieces of video I’ve ever seen. Kudos, lurkers. Take heart you outdid Gore. When Gore present his ice core graphs, he gives off little head movements of doubt, flinches by stated the relationship between temp increases and CO2 is “complicated.” BBC announcer is an artist of deception.

    Another thing that struck me is how much the NAS Report influenced this. Indeed, this segment is modeled on it. The NAS Report “debunked” the bristlecone HS, true, but that is only a technical reading. The project of the Report was to authenticate Mann with a narrow selection of other proxies. This is how the media understood it. Only someone keenly aware of the NAS Report would have put on the clip of the skeptic saying that this particular graph has been disproven by the “National Academy of Sciences.” Which is true. But the effect of the Report was to authenticate its findings anyway for a non-science audience. The writers are following the script outline of the NAS Report.

    As for the truck carrying the graph, I don’t get it.

    He loses me on the scientists “bitchin’ at each other.” It reflects a young PR person trying to deploy “cool indignation.” Could be an analogue to Gore’s School Marm tone about “5th Graders” and similar.

  87. MarcH
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 9:37 PM | Permalink

    Equally bucket worthy is the new Tim Flannery ABC production “Two in the Top end” currently showing in Australia.
    The toast to Kyoto in the first episode using cut off plastic bottles left my lunch on the living room floor. The HS graph has not been seen yet but I’m sure it will get some coverage in coming episodes.

    To view look follow the link below.

  88. Pete
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:07 PM | Permalink

    Mann speaks at the University of Rhode Island (USA) Honors Colloquium on 23 Sep at 7:30PM. Topic: Scientific Evidence of Global Climate Change. See

    I can’t make it as I’ll be off on a jet plane contributing to The Warming.

  89. EJ
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

    A video clip, and, yippee, no holds barred.

    You can show the public solid studies and data, but they can’t understand it. The majority are functionally illiterate. Nine out of ten of us, the voting public, are scientifically illiterate.

    Thus, fancy ads and specials are what sway public opinion. Don’t bother with science or scientists, we are way out numbered.

    I believe this election, 2008, is supposed to be the tipping point politically, and was hoped for by the Rio folks, in 1992.

    See Madison Avenue:
    Gore’s 300 Million dollar campaign. Note all the green formats of the major networks and cable stations this last season. Seems a last ditch deperate attempt to influence a vote on climate.

    Vote YES: Save the Climate

    Rolling blackouts, gas rationing, meat restrictions, forced family planning! We can do even more. Your windows can no longer be opened during heat waves like in NYC. In California, we now have your new thermostats wired, and will turn off your power during extreme power demand.

    Vote NO: Destroy the Climate! BOOO, bad boy!

    PS: Is the journalist of this video actually a Phd? Is his doctorate in the sciences?

  90. bender
    Posted Sep 18, 2008 at 11:02 PM | Permalink

    The movie you need is one that goes over the top *promoting* the HS.

  91. PiperPaul
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:29 AM | Permalink

    Has James Burke weighed-in on all this AGW nonsense? Just wondering.

  92. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 2:38 AM | Permalink

    Re: Bishop Hill #90

    Your grace

    In his publications IS does have 4 in review although 2 seem to be book chapters.

    For the sake of US readers, “Professor” is a different term in the UK. It means he heads a department, not just that he has tenure. His value is not necessarily weighed in the number of papers or citations.

    Since he is Professor in Geosciences Communications it is not surprising that he should have been involved in or advised on several TV programmes, some of them multiple programme series. Clearly he is not primarily a research academic. From his style he enjoys teaching – just a pity in this area he is being advised by those who have a vested interest (like the BBC). He definitely is using his pedagogical skills (such as climb up ladders but don’t use long words …)

    Science his programme is not …

    • Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

      Re: Alan Bates (#115),

      The Professor is young and photogenic and talks well-all ideal traits to front an expensive tv programme. It is still a polemic of course-but a rather elegant one. However seeing the HS being driven round the steets on a van was depressing however it is still a very powerful icon

      Anyone able to give the current % differnces between 2008 and 2007 Arctic ice in both area and extent?

      Tony Brown

  93. Alan Bates
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 2:43 AM | Permalink

    Re: PHE #88
    Hat tip to PHE for his quick acknowledgement of a slip.

    Pity some others are not so willing. We learn, we move on.

    (Sorry if I appear to be a pedant – I am, of course – but I’d rather we were above reproach in our facts. It stops giving unnecessary ammunition to those who are looking for reasons to denigrate this site.)

  94. Christopher Hanley
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:35 AM | Permalink

    I realize this comment will not find many supporters on a science specific blog, but there is ample anecdotal evidence that the MWP was at least as warm as today — at least in Europe.
    As I understand it, the infamous ‘hockey stick’ graph is based on specific species tree ring proxies from an area in California — am I wrong?
    Hubert Lamb, founder of CRU, relied on anecdotal evidence to construct this ‘innocent’ reconstruction of temperatures in central England which was used in the IPCC’s First Assessment Report (1990):

    I use ‘innocent’ because it was devised before the current AGW hysteria was conceivable (c. 1979) — before Mann & Co got to work.

    But why does that ridiculous Mann reconstruction keep popping up like Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction?

    I am of ‘mature’ years and I can tell you that if we were told back in the 60s or 70s that the weather (or climate fluctuations if you prefer) would develop into a political weapon for radical social change, we would think you were crazy.

  95. Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

    Christopher 118

    Your quote finds a lot of favour-it exasperates some of us that theory is placed higher than fact by some from within the scientific community. I started a thread on this very subject of finding evidence (rather than anecdots)for past warming episodes. Please have a look and make a contribution.

    Tony Brown

  96. Patrick M.
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

    I was able to watch the whole clip without puking. Then I watched this clip to reorient my scientific compass.

  97. Manniac
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 7:06 AM | Permalink

    Dr. Stewart will be presenting a [url=]lecture[/url] on the series at Univeristy of Southampton (UK) on Tuesday 21st Ocober 2008 at 2000hrs.

    Anyone thinking of going?

    I plan to ask if the scientific method used is just as importantas the results it gets?!

    • Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:16 PM | Permalink

      Re: Manniac (#121), and Spence_UK, going to Southampton to IS lecture 21 October

      I’ve started a thread on the Unthreaded forum here so people can get together to arrange, if anyone wants to.

  98. Manniac
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

    Woops, link here…

  99. Manniac
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 7:09 AM | Permalink

    Turner Simms lecture Link

  100. Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

    Gotta ask him why he showed bristlecone pines without discussing their validity as proxies.

  101. Spence_UK
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 8:05 AM | Permalink

    Hmm, I just realised I could watch this on BBC iPlayer (those of you outside the UK will need to use a UK proxy to see it)

    Iain Stewart introduces himself as a geologist at the university of Plymouth. And the whole programme is typical straw man attack on sceptics; Iain presents sceptic arguments in the usual AGW meme, presenting weaker arguments and changing the record to make sceptics easy to defeat.

    There are some interesting bits immediately preceding the clip shown above. He intros MBH98 by talking about proxies – and which does he pick? Why, none other than the BCPs. Funny how he talked through the disagreement about the satellite temperatures, but wasn’t willing to discuss the controversy about these trees as a climate proxy. I’ve transcribed the section below (this section immediately precedes the bit above). The highlighted bits of text are my emphasis, not Iain’s.

    I’m in the White Mountains in California, and this area is a real Mecca for scientists studying past climate. That’s because this is no ordinary forest. It’s home to the oldest living things on the planet. These trees live for thousands of years. They’re called Bristlecone Pines and they are found and they are found in only a few small areas in the Western USA.

    (shot of Iain climbing up one of the trees)

    This is strangely wonderful; it feels as if it is oozing out everywhere. Mind you, I’m a bit surprised; considering how old it is, you’d think it was much bigger. I guess it shows its age in other ways. I mean, (taps knuckles on section of stripped bark) look at this weather beaten, gnarled texture. I’m told this is about two thousand years old, some of the trees are about four thousand years old.

    (Stuff about ancestors being in straw huts and stonehenge being modern architecture)

    These were just what Michael Mann was looking for because inside, they contain a record of past temperatures. Like any tree, these pines lay down rings, one for each year of their life; these rings are the key to past climate.

    (Holds section of tree in palm)

    This is a slice from one of the trees; take a look: you can barely see the tree rings they are in there alright; just really tightly packed. The reason the rings are so fine is that the tree grows a tiny amount every year. That (holds finger and thumb an inch apart) is a hundred years. And it’s these rings that tell us about past temperatures because they tell us how much the tree grew in that year.

    In a warm year, the snows will melt earlier and the tree will grow more, and leave a fatter ring. In a cold year, they’ll hardly grow at all. It’s called a climate proxy. You can’t read temperature directly, like reading a thermometer. But you can use the evidence to estimate what the temperature was. But of course, this only tells you about the conditions in this one place.

    So Michael Mann and his team needed to find other temperature proxies from all around the world. Places that could tell him what the temperature really was as far back as the Medieval Warm Period.

    (Cut to shot of water moving fast past boat)

    They searched the world, getting data from other proxies. Like Corals from the red sea. And ancient layers of snow in the mountains of Peru.

    (Cut to shot of man reading thermometer in a Stevenson screen)

    And then they had to add in the recent thermometer records. Combining the different numbers to reconstruct global temperatures is a fiendishly difficult task. It needs the type of statistical analysis that makes my head hurt.

    Don’t worry Dr Stewart, you’re not alone. The statistical analysis carried out by non-statistician Mann makes most peoples head hurt, even those who understand statistics very well.

    Manniac – I’m just up the road from Southampton, and could probably free up that date. I’m not sure I could sit through the lecture without a sick bag. Challenging his views on Bristlecone pines would be interesting though.

  102. PeterS
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    Follow the Money #108:
    “As for the truck carrying the graph, I don’t get it.”

    One thing that is fascinating about the AGW movement is the amount of unconscious material it contains. Freudian slips aside, anyone operating a protection racket is almost certain to communicate the fact without intending to. It’s already been noted here how Mann, in the clip, is accurately revealing and ‘projecting’ is own worst qualities onto his opponents. The fact that he is blissfully unconscious of doing so is hugely significant.

    I also didn’t ‘get’ the idea of the truck… and I would guess that the programme producers didn’t either, it perhaps just ‘felt’ like an irresistibly good idea to them as the time. But seen in a larger context (beyond the boundaries of the programme’s intent), we can wonder about the felt need (and mental health) of any man who is driven to wander around town centres hawking a large sandwich board decrying ‘the end of the world is nigh’… whether that message is conveyed in words or as a symbol. Historically of course we all know (as indeed the producers must, internally) that such men, and their messages, are recognised as being detached from reality.

    As I have said, it is the unconscious material that comes as an unintended attachment to the AGW message that provides such a rich seam to mine. And doing so is a recognised science in itself.

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 10:15 AM | Permalink

      Re: PeterS (#126),

      we can wonder about the felt need (and mental health) of any man who is driven to wander around town centres hawking a large sandwich board decrying ‘the end of the world is nigh’…

      I think you’re exactly right here. And I’ve noticed this sort of projection, especially in the politically fringie sort of people.

  103. Mongo
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 9:48 AM | Permalink

    I believe this is my first post here. With only a background in science and processes, I plod my thru most days, but am striving to understand. That will come.
    I’m proud to say I’m skeptical of the causes of what’s called AGW. The clip was horrifying for me in that it’s not the adults I’m concerned about. It’s those who are not of an age to determine for themselves what is “true”. I’ve sadly written most adults off – they oddly question nothing. If this was supposed to present both sides, it did so, but from a remarkably slanted point of view.
    Mann was made out to be a martyr. Those who attacked his methods were essentially ridiculed, and sidelined by the comment “…while those who attacked him….other did actual research” or something laong those lines. While these “attacks” may have appeared to make the efforts of science to better understand our system of climate, I think the propaganda machine was much more affected. Group think seems to have choked out proper review and discourse about climate theory – at least in the short term.
    Thanks, Steve. For your continuing, unsung and courageuos work.

  104. Arthur Dent
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 10:52 AM | Permalink

    re: Patrick M (120)
    Then I watched this clip to reorient my scientific compass.

    Thanks for the link, this should be mandatory viewing for any science undergraduate

  105. Gerald Machnee
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

    Re #125 – so while he was there, he did not take any cores? And was he holding a Starbucks? If not, it was shot in Spain.

    • Spence_UK
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

      Re: Gerald Machnee (#130),

      No sign of a starbucks. He was holding a chunk of wood, looked a bit big for a core though. Of course he didn’t take any cores himself – that would have required heavy equipment. Comparatively, a BBC outside broadcast unit is positively lightweight.

      Lucy, that reminds me, must register for the forum…

  106. Manfred
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

    I have a simple question about tree rings:

    I suppose that the thickness of tree rings is a measure of temperature and that it can be calibrated by comparing recently formed rings with modern temperature measurements.

    My question is, if the increased growth due to increased CO2 levels is included in these computations, and if not, if this wouldn’t result in a cold bias of historical temperatures ?

    • Urederra
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:42 PM | Permalink

      Re: Manfred (#133),

      I think they are not included in all the series but I am not sure, but anyway you might be intereseted to read Graybill and Idsos’ 1993 paper where I believe they show a correlation between the thickness of bristlecone pine rings and CO2 concentration. Actually, these bristlecone pine series are used by Mann to give shape to his now infamous hockey stick graph, without mentioning, discusing or refuting that this particular species of trees grow thicker when CO2 levels are increased. I hope I understood this issue correctly.

      You can have a look at Idsos’ blog at

  107. Miguel
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

    Mann’s film (not BBC`s) addresses all “deniers” a very simple mediaeval message: “Repent yourself: There is no hope outside the Climatic Change Church. We master the mass media, truth belongs to us”.

    In this kind of Orwellian new world one should start recognizing with modesty, that Mann et many others al., are playing their cards extremely well (and since long time ago). There is no sense claiming for action in the media. Steve, Watts, and many others bloggers are doing their best in the web, as many scientists are doing with his work in scientific journals. Let’s keep cool, let’s keep on. Insulting Mann downgrades own´s position and should be avoided. Like it or not, personally he merits respect. There is no other way to fight this battle but using the scientific method.

  108. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 1:01 PM | Permalink has the bristlecone segment.

    • jim edwards
      Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 1:48 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#136),
      If we’re to believe Mr. Stuart’s timeline, Mann “found what he was looking for” [the white mtns BCPs] and THEN he went looking for additional suitable proxies to show his was a global reconstruction.

      This is a great aside:

      “..and then they had to add in the recent thermometer records.”

    • Spence_UK
      Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 2:13 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#136),

      Yes, ClimateResistance kindly posted that up about an hour after I posted the transcript. I could have saved myself some time and just asked I guess 🙂

      For those interested, Christopher Booker’s commentary is now online here. Steve gets a much deserved mention on the hockey stick debacle!

  109. Tim Ball
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 1:44 PM | Permalink

    At the March 08, Heartland conference in New York Stewart interviewed me for about one hour. I sometimes asked him questions with regard to his questions based on his supposed geologic expertise. For example, I asked him how he could study the varied and often dramatic changes in temperature through geologic time and not know what is currently happening is well within natural variability. He did not respond. When he asked about sea level I asked him how geology distinguishes eustasy (sea level change) from isostasy (land level change) at a shoreline location. Again no response. It was clear he did not want to debate any issue; he sought information for a ‘story’. He then arranged to interview me again the following morning.

    The next morning I was told he had to fly back to England overnight but I was then interviewed for almost three hours by his assistant who apparently had questions posed by Stewart. I have not watched the clip but I am not surprised that Stewart would select just a few seconds from hours of tape. I leave you to judge how this would be representative of what I said. It underscores the journalist bent of his work because he did what they all do; keep people talking until they can get enough to pick out what they wanted from the start. (I speak from over 35 years experience of dealing with the media.) The technician told me after the interview he found my answers revealing and said it was information he had not heard before. I hope revealing this does not put his job in jeopardy.

  110. Jordan
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 3:15 PM | Permalink

    “but .. (sigh) … the enmity that has been directed at Michael Mann is something else”

    Mann is portrayed as the victim of bullying. Loneseome complaint set against several critical comments. Stewart chipping-in with remarks about the strength of their terms.
    There is no f-word or personal attack. But Mann complains about it – leaving a pretty clear impression about who his tormentors are.
    Leaves me wondering: has the BBC pulled a Wunschie?

  111. Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

    In a warm year, the snows will melt earlier and the tree will grow more, and leave a fatter ring. In a cold year, they’ll hardly grow at all. It’s called a climate proxy. You can’t read temperature directly, like reading a thermometer. But you can use the evidence to estimate what the temperature was. But of course, this only tells you about the conditions in this one place.

    Except Dr Stewart, the growth patterns have no relation to local temperature.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

      Re: John A (#140),

      the growth patterns have no relation to local temperature

      NO relation? Are you sure r=0?

  112. Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Uhg! I never wished more for a car crash!!!

  113. UK John
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 4:59 PM | Permalink

    Thought of you Steve, when I was watching David Tennant do this at Stratford-on Avon.

    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
    Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
    And by opposing end them?

  114. Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    I could not last past the part where he climbed the ladder – I know it did not reach the minute mark. And this man calls himself a geologist? Excellent questions posed by Tim Ball to Mr Stewart, and not unsurprisingly he didn’t answer them. That says a lot.

  115. Chris Knight
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 7:25 PM | Permalink

    The entire programme is here:

    Even better (bleagh) is the latest HORIZON offering:

  116. Mike Bryant
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 8:36 PM | Permalink

    One question. If it is so darn hot, why is the presenter wearing a long-sleeved shirt?

  117. PeterS
    Posted Sep 19, 2008 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

    Follow the Money – for the record, when I use the term ‘protection racket’ I use it in its psychological sense rather than its everyday (and less helpful) one. The story of the AGW debate – and especially Steve McIntyre’s role in it – could be described as a story about privileged information. In the wonderful way that words work, ‘privileged information’ can mean that for which a privileged place is demanded over and above other information; it can mean information which is claimed to be exempt from the usual laws of process (and here we could think about scientific process) and, the OED tells us, it also means information which is protected from being made public.

    As we can see, the public – like the BBC technician in Tim Ball’s post above – is kept unconscious of information it might find useful in reaching decisions about the environment it exists in and the claims being made about it. Of course another term for this type of protection is ‘denial of access’ – and returning to the unconscious ‘projection’ outlined in my earlier post, ‘denial’ is an accusation we hear with suspicious frequency from one side of the ‘Climate Wars’.

    BTW. It may be enlightening if Tim Ball could demand a full copy of his interview from the BBC (the corporation may be legally obliged to provide this) and an edited version of it made unprotected to the public.

  118. Navy Bob
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 9:12 AM | Permalink

    Re: 137 All documentaries start with a story – written up as a “treatment” as it’s known in the biz – to guide production efficiently and stay within budget. Otherwise you’d be sending high-priced camera crews willy nilly around the world at enormous cost. But producers should be open to variations in the story as they shoot, no matter how much they might deviate from the original story line. That’s what a documentary is supposed to do, after all – document a particular slice of the world in moving pictures and interview sound bites as it actually exists – not as the producer wants it to be. Obviously that’s not what happens today. As a former journalist with three decades of print, TV and web experience, I can say with assurance that nearly everyone in the news media today (AM talk radio and conservative web sites being notable exceptions) is some variety of Marxist – socialist/labor in Europe, Canada and Australia, Democrat in the US. Their overriding agenda is the same as Hansen’s, Gore’s and the UN’s – greater control by unelected government officials. One of the most effective ways to reach that goal is to convince the public that AGW is a grave threat that only government can save us from. It’s always amusing to read here the occasional comment along the lines of “Boy, wait until some reporter finds out about that!” [i.e. Steve’s latest exposé.] Forget it. It’s not going to happen. No reporters outside of conservative internet sites want to know that CAGW is a swindle. You could lay every one of Steve’s revelations in their laps, written in baby talk so they could understand it, and they’d throw it in the trash. This is a political debate, not a scientific one, and the media have long ago chosen sides. It’s hugely ironic that Steve apparently is a political fellow traveler – he’s said he would have voted for Bill Clinton, and he’s made leftist-sounding remarks (apologies if I’ve remembered incorrectly) about the war in Iraq, stem cell research and rednecks – yet he’s become their worst nightmare, although not a particularly scary one since no one outside of a few thousand CA readers has ever heard of him – or ever will. But getting back to Dr. Ball, if you ever again find yourself the subject of an interview for print, radio or TV, an easy way to keep the reporter or producer somewhat more honest is simply to tape-record the interview – audio is fine since it’s mostly your words that matter even on TV. Once the final edited distortion appears, all you have to do is post the full transcript of the interview on the web and point out in irrefutable detail exactly how the lies were created. If enough denier (or lukewarmer) scientists do this when interviewed, there’s at least a chance of making journalists slightly more honest or causing them some temporary embarrassment. Of course few people will ever learn about your refutation, so in the long run, it won’t make any difference. Face it, the debate is already over. The political-media complex has taken control.

  119. ep
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 10:04 AM | Permalink

    Re: #144: the less said about the BBC’s “flagship” science programme “Horizon” the better.

  120. J. Peden
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 10:10 AM | Permalink


    In a warm year, the snows will melt earlier and the tree will grow more, and leave a fatter ring.

    Having just watched Stewart’s bristlecone pine segment, I for one am going to have to wait to see what Dora The Explorer has to say about all of this tree biophysics business, before I’m going to take Stewart’s word for it! I’ve seen some of Dora’s work and she seems a little more analytical than does Stewart, though he’s pretty good, no doubt.

    Hey, gang, maybe Dora will think to explore the White Mountain bristlecone area once the usually sparse snow there is all melted, note the very low annual precipitation of the area, and just take it from there!* Yea!

    * According to Steven F. Arno in his book, “Timberline – Mountain and Artic Forest Frontiers”, pub. by The Mountaineers, 306 Second Ave., Seattle Washington 98119, etc., 1984, pg.81:

    “Near their lower limit on the dry southern exposures between 9500 and 10,000 feet, bristlecone pines {White Mountains} are especially sensitive to variations in annual moisture [Ferguson 1968]. These otherwise barren, gravelly sites receive as little as 12 inches of annual precipitation, yet they support the oldest and most climatically sensitive trees….”

    “The relative widths of growth rings in these dry-site bristlecone pines are closely correlated to variations in available moisture, and, hence, to variations in annual precipitation.”
    {My insertion}

    Or would these precipitation-correlated bristlecones be not the same bristlecones used for Mann’s temperature correlation?

  121. bugs
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 5:21 PM | Permalink

    “One interesting admission in the clip is where Mann explains his no-holds-barred approach to the debate:

    If you can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win using defamation, slander, rhetoric that sounds convincing that has no basis in fact.

    That seemed to be his approach. Nice that he admitted it. ”

    There you go, you have just done exactly what he said people were doing to him. Abuse, misrepresentation, distortion. Can’t you try to be honest about this?

    • Raven
      Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

      Re: bugs (#152)

      There you go, you have just done exactly what he said people were doing to him. Abuse, misrepresentation, distortion. Can’t you try to be honest about this?

      ROTFL. Mann is accusing others of doing exactly the thing he and other AGW advocates have done for years (see post #15). The poster was simply pointing this out.

  122. bugs
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Mann has been viciously attacked, in a highly personal way. He isn’t allowed to point that out?

    His statement was:

    If you can’t win on the basis of science, you try to win using defamation, slander, rhetoric that sounds convincing that has no basis in fact.

    If you’re speaking to me, our articles were based on precise analysis and none of the above accusations remotely apply. Nevertheless, Mann sought to block publication of our articles, for example, writing to Natuurwetenschap and Techniek that we were “dishonest” plus making other rhetorical accusations that “had no basis in fact”. Gavin Schmidt is no better – he slanderously accused us to IPCC of “deliberate obfuscations”. I ask posters here not to speculate on people’s motives or honesty. I defy you to show me anything that I’ve written that is “defamation”, “slander” or that “has no basis in fact” against Michael Mann. You won’t be able to find it.

  123. ep
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

    Steve M: were you invited by the BBC to put your case across?

  124. Buddenbrook
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    I understand you do not want any climate policy discussions on this blog. But if it’s possible, I would like to ask two short questions with no follow-up. I’d assume I’m not the only reader who is in the dark about this. So if it’s ok…

    1. Do you have any specific stance on global climate policy (Kyoto, Copenhagen 2009 etc.)?

    2. Following from point #1 do you feel it is ok that people are quoting your work in their attempts to undermine the political status quo? Or would you rather that your work is not quoted to advance any political goals?

  125. bender
    Posted Sep 20, 2008 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

    bugs, Mann started it and has upped the ante each and every time he had a chance to back down. He went “all in” with his latest paper and it too is a bust. He is getting what he deserves. Almost.

  126. Pierre Gosselin
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 2:32 AM | Permalink

    When was this film produced?
    If it’s recent, then the Beeb is de facto calling Steve McIntyre a liar.
    Can it be really true? Even though this fraud has been fully exposed, the media is still sticking to it. That’s awfully damn scary. Makes you question everything else they report.

  127. Ianric
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    This BBC comedy show will never be aired in Sweden . Why not? In Sweden media are so politically correct, hardly anyone knows of any criticism against the hockey stick. So there is no need to ridicule the criticism. Convenient, isn’t it? Problem is that we don’t behave as we should. Our major air carrier SAS offers the possibility to climate compensate your flight. A trip to Greece would cost you about USD 20 for absolution. But only 0,04% take the opportunity to pay for a clean conscience. For all interested in numerology: 0,04% is also the concentration of an atmospheric trace gas, which you are not allowed to mention here at CA. So I won’t mention it. But surely, there must be some deep hidden meaning in those numbers being the same? Two numbers of the same value – that’s perfect correlation, isn’t it? Or do you need more than one number in a series?

  128. Dave Salt
    Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 3:06 PM | Permalink

    I’ve just watched the last part of ‘Earth – Climate Wars’ and have following short set of comments/observations.

    Dr Ian Stewart began by stating that global warming was the most rigorously tested/investigated science, yet he failed to mention of how many models have been independently validated and gave no evidence of how accurate predictions like Hansen’s have been, except for a statement that they predicted the effects of a volcanic eruption.

    He made absolutely no mention of the recent cooling trend! However, he did mention the recent decrease in Arctic (minimum) ice cover, though he conveniently forgot to mention the associated increase in Antarctic (maximum) ice cover!

    Basically, this last part was a bland rehash of what was said in previous weeks with lots of talk about the “effects” of climate change, particularly the potential speed of that change, but nothing concrete to support AGW theory.

  129. Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 3:38 PM | Permalink

    So this is how it feels when you are being slapped in the face.

    Don’t they realise that if something can go up it also can go down? And somehow i find that a lot more scary, that being that temperatures might drop all of a sudden like in the Younger Dryas.

  130. Posted Sep 21, 2008 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Sorry Steve M, but the latest part of Dr Stewarts programme has completely demolished your credibility. For years you’ve been asking for the formula to demonstrate how doubling co2 can raise temperatures by 3 degrees and in a two minute segment Dr Stewart completely answered you.

    He put on a pair of ear plugs, opened a very big door, went into a dark room with a big computer and spoke loudly and…err….then came out and told us that ‘scientists have known for 30 years that doubling co2 will raise temperatures by 3 degrees.’ I bet you feel pretty stupid now eh? You might as well close the site down and have a holiday.

    Tony Brown

  131. Nylo
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

    Steve wrote:

    Here is a clip on the Stick. Try not to puke.

    Sorry Steve, I couldn’t stop it. Now it will take me long to clean all this mess. I should ask BBC to buy me a new keyboard…

  132. Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 1:07 AM | Permalink

    Steve my #164

    I should have added that DR Stewart aquired a look of wonderment on his face as all was revealed whilst he he was in the room (wearing earplugs)

    So either the earplugs were magic or he had a revelation. All you need to do is find where the room is, buy suitable ear plugs and you will then know what apparently other scientists have known about Co2 for 30 years.

    Tony Brown

    • Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 3:26 PM | Permalink

      Re: Tony Brown (#166),

      Can you point out a Youtube link with that clip,

      Or did you watch it on BBC fresh?

      I still find Stewart’s “bitchin'” scientists statement and body gesture from the video at the top greatly amusing. If someone had the skills, might take that bit into a video loop.

      • Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

        Re: Follow the Money (#171),

        I watched it live on the BBC. I do not know of any you tube clip. I think his body gestures allied to rap music would be amusing in a video loop. Its his earnest look that annoys me the most

        tony Brownm

        • Peter Lloyd
          Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 6:33 AM | Permalink

          Re: Tony Brown (#172),

          Its his earnest look that annoys me the most

          Oh, I dunno – how about the soulful stare into the middle distance, pondering on visions of math. formulae?

          Makes me want to do something very rude with that hockey-stick. The curved end.

  133. Chris Wright
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 6:32 AM | Permalink

    >You might as well close the site down and have a holiday.

    Tony, I had to laugh when I read that. But you’re right, the good doctor’s analysis is so devastating that the only option left for us sceptics is to go out and throw ourselves under the nearest available bus.


    Overall, I was surprised at the weakness of the series. Apart from the Hockey Stick, I don’t think he offered a shred of evidence that the 20th century warming was caused primarily by carbon dioxide. Climate change only appeared on my radar about two years ago. I asked a perfectly reasonable question: what is the proof that the warming was caused by CO2? After two years I’m still looking for that elusive proof.

    I was interested by the section on the Anasazi. Like quite a few other civilisations and societies, their demise was triggered by climate change. But the good doctor neglects to mention an important point: their demise occurred during a significant cold period. It wasn’t global warming that did for them. It was global cooling.

    I keep a printout of an ice core by my desk (it’s from the GISP or GRIP ice core, I forget which). It shows major warming periods coming along roughly every thousand years, almost as regular as clockwork. But there are also major cool periods, the LIA being the most obvious example. On a number of occasions, while watching a historical documentary, I came across mention of the demise of a civilisation, usually due to drought. Examples are the Mayans, Moche and the Egyptian Old Kingdom.Each time I consulted my trusty ice core printout. You guessed it: every one occurred at or very close to a major cooling period.

    On the ice core the demise of the Mayans occur right on a cold period almost as deep as the LIA. The tragedy is that if they could have lasted a bit longer they would have seen the world getting warmer as the MWP started.

    I think the message from history is very clear: when the earth gets warmer mankind prospers. When the earth gets colder civilisations fall and people starve. Indeed there are often signs of cannibalism at the end of some civilisations, including the Anasazi.

    I now think that our generation have been very fortunate to have lived during a warming period. The bad news is that it may possibly be coming to an end. Presumably the warmers want a cooler world. I would remind them of a well known saying: be careful what you wish for.

    I think the good doctor is not just wrong. I think he’s about as wrong as it’s possible to be. Still, there’s hope. It looks like one of his daughters has the makings of a sceptic!


    • BarryW
      Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

      Re: Chris Wright (#167),

      Hmmm, cooling atmosphere => drought. But I thought AGW was supposed to be the cause of droughts! Oh, sorry it’s not AGW anymore is it? Its ACC (Anthropogenic Climate Change). Only deniers would continue to use the old term 😉

  134. Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Here are a few facts about the BBC that not all of you may be familiar with.
    Every TV viewer in the UK has to pay a licence fee of £140 per year.
    (In addition to any charge we may pay for cable or satellite).
    In return for this we get to watch the BBC’s high quality unbiased programmes.

    The BBC is required by its charter to follow a policy of impartiality, described at
    (It is not encouraging that someone at the BBC cannot even spell the word).
    Here are some excerpts:

    Impartiality lies at the heart of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. It applies across all of our services and output, whatever the format….

    The Agreement accompanying the BBC’s Charter requires us to produce comprehensive, authoritative and impartial coverage of news and current affairs in the UK and throughout the world to support fair and informed debate. It specifies that we should do all we can to treat controversial subjects with due accuracy and impartiality in our news services and other programmes dealing with matters of public policy or of political or industrial controversy. It also states that the BBC is forbidden from expressing an opinion on current affairs or matters of public policy other than broadcasting.

    * we must ensure we avoid bias or an imbalance of views on controversial subjects.

    * we must rigorously test contributors expressing contentious views during an interview whilst giving them a fair chance to set out their full response to our questions.

  135. Hoi Polloi
    Posted Sep 22, 2008 at 10:09 AM | Permalink

    Your complaint is important to us
    The BBC Trust ensures BBC programmes are high quality. If you have a complaint please use this process.

    Phone: 03700 100 222*
    Textphone: 03700 100 212*
    Email: Send your complaint
    Cymru: Cwyno
    Write: BBC Complaints,
    PO Box 1922
    G2 3WT

    I’ve lodged my complaint already. I presume that when dozens of complaints arrived at the BBC there might be a follow up on that.

  136. Stefan
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 3:07 AM | Permalink

    A reply from the BBC has been posted on another board, regarding AGW in general:

    quote from an email I received: ‘BBC News currently takes the view that their reporting needs to be calibrated to take into account the scientific consensus that global warming is man-made. The BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, issued to all editorial staff, state that “we must ensure we avoid bias or an imbalance of views on controversial subjects” and, given the weight of scientific opinion, the challenge for us is to strike the right balance between mainstream science and sceptics since to give them equal weight would imply that the argument is evenly balanced.

    So it is a policy decision. Personally I don’t mind the BBC reporting AGW as the correct theory, so long as they can achieve that without having to lobotomize their programme.

    If a broad rendition of the facts on their own can’t convey that AGW is settled science, then such policies are reminiscent of “Pointy-Haired Boss” syndrome. It is a pity, I really love the BBC.

    • Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 3:22 AM | Permalink

      Re: Stefan (#173),

      A stance which completely defies the orders given by the BBC Trust on this very subject. Its not as if they went for the scientific consensus, so much as they went out of their way to exonerate Mann, portaying him as a victim, and his opponents as people whose opinions can be summarized in a few words in a segment lasting a few seconds.

      There is a case to be made by people like Chris Monckton, Nigel Calder and others to complain to the BBC Trust that their treatment was grossly unfair and if the BBC Charter means anything at all (and if the BBC Trust has any credibility) to seek redress.

      Its a policy decision made not by the BBC Trust or even by the higher echelons of the BBC (and the BBC has lots of higher echelons), but by a small group of people who have inveigled themselves inside the BBC Science unit to produce extreme environmentalist propaganda.

  137. Stephen Richards
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    You can complain as much as you like. they will continue to ignore you.

    about 3 years ago they changed their weather forecasting software and introduced a “fly around the isles” forecast. They admitted to receiving several thousand complaints and totally ignored them.

  138. Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    How about agreeing on his earnestly soulful look as he ponders the mathematical certainties that his opponents obviously havent yet managed to grasp?

    On a more serious tack Dr stewart is young, photogenic, ‘knowlegable’ and to the general public sincere. Hansen is the elder statsman employed by rock solid Nasa, who regularly lectures at the US congress and apart from age has all the same attributes as Stewart. Dr Mann is portrayed as this brilliant scientist who others are trying to drag down as he is telling truths that the establishment didn’t want to hear. Al Gore is on Tv and film almost nightly and is right because he keeps telling us so.

    Thats four AGW people in the public gaze to a greater or lesser extent. Who do we have? Lord Monckton? Very Smart but not photogenic and probably reads better than he lectures. Steve? Certainly not well known over in the UK (other than to informed people)I don’t know his status over the pond as far as a public profile goes, and I don’t know how well he talks. He seems a quiet thoughtful person and Im not sure he’d relish the high profile role that this media hungry age demands and anyway he doesnt see the debate as being black and white.

    Make no mistake that this battle for hearts and minds is not aimed at scientists -who are informed enough to find out the real position themselves- but opinion formers. That includes the politicians-who generally are not at all well informed on almost anthing- let alone science- and the public. These are generally not well informed either, but they would smell a rat IF it was shown to them and have the power to vote out the politicians.

    I don’t think the debate will be won in a science based blog like this one-admirable though it and its contributors are, and as far as I’m concerned Steve is Science Man of the Year. The debate will be won in the media and at the political level and so far I’m not sure we are fully engaging in those areas.

    Hope this isn’t considered political and gets snipped

    Tony Brown

  139. Johnny
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    How about we ask Craig Idso @ CO2 when his MWP profile is coming out. Maybe sometime before the next IPCC report. M&M can’t get away with it we will make them “cry uncle” before this is all over. He really is not that important as the story unfolds.

  140. KevinUK
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 2:40 PM | Permalink

    #162 DS,

    I also watched the last part of Climate Wars on Sunday evening. The sequence shot in the computer room was some what of a joke with the usual world predicted temperature anomaly map displayed on the monitor. I presume this was shot in Exeter. If its anything like some of the data centers I’ve worked in he was no doubt freezing his proverbial spherical objects off as well as being deafened by the noise.

    The part which was the biggest stretch for me was the sequence about the Younger Dryas. Trying to compare the YD with our current period of climate is some what of a stretch at the best of times and of course he forgot to mention that all recent (within the last 100,000 years) incidents of abrupt climate change have all been co-incident with cold climatatic periods and not relatively warm climatic periods like our current one. But thats beside the point, the whole point of this sequence was to attempt to emphasise that climatic ‘tipping points’ have occurred in the recent past and so could occur in the future. The fact that these past abrupt climate changes were entirely due to natural causes and nothing to do with greenhouse gas concentrations doesn’t seem to matter, its the spectre that they can actual occur that seems to be enough for the BBC to justify linking them to the possibility that a similar this time man caused climatic ‘tipping point’ could occur due to man’s unchecked emissions of GHGs. The fact that the underlying cause of the YD still remains disputed also did not receive any mention of course.



    • Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 4:08 PM | Permalink

      Re: KevinUK (#179),

      I seem to remember you were kind enough to make nice comments about information I posted once about Dartmoor. If so you would like the information contained in my thread as it covers lots of other Human scale information as well as many scientific studies.

      Tony Brown

  141. SOM
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

    At 51 secs into this, if Tommy Cooper was a bit more astute, we’d have had a hockey stick instead of the false leg. Or if Mann had seen this we may have had a false leg instead of a hockey stick. At least the scientific method looks the same.

  142. Brian Macker
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 9:19 PM | Permalink

    “Steve, I neither know nor care how you “feel”. …

    Stop it, Dave. You don’t really think you can convince anyone that you “worry” about Steve’s feeling. More like you were trying to impute bad feelings on him. … snip

    Steve: – it’s not that I disagree with what you’re saying, but no need to pile on.

  143. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    Michael Mann described me at a public meeting today as follows:

    “rank oil-industry supported amateurs who discredit reputable scientists all the time on their web sites with ad hominem attacks”.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 10:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#185),

      A lawyer could probably have fun with that statement if he had actually identified you by name, but that sort of action usually backfires in terms of publicity.

    • bender
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#185),
      There’s nothing wrong with amateurs (‘I am not a statistician’) scrutinizing the work of professionals and attempting to publish in the same journals. In some societies it is encouraged. And if negative criticism is deserved then it doen’t matter who it comes from. If Mann doesn’t like being criticized from a blog, he should have thought of that before he started launching pre-emptive strikes … from a blog.

      Oh, the irony.

    • Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 2:02 AM | Permalink

      Re: Steve McIntyre (#185),

      Scientists don’t like ‘amateurs’ questioning their great wisdom. Thought you might be interested in the following snippet from the letters page of our local newspaper where several of us are disputing Greenpeaces’ ‘facts’. This from the chairperson of their local branch.

      “I don’t see any letters after your name.I am a scientist. I have a BSC and I can tell you man made climate change is happening and its happening now. We can all see that for ourselves with the increase in storms hurricanes flooding and other extremes of weather happening globally…if you’re not part of the solution you’re part of the problem.” The rest deterioriates into a bit of an anti capitalist tirade.

      Tony Brown

      • Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

        Re: Tony Brown (#189),


        I think you slightly misunderstood the context of my post which was to highlight the arrogance of someone calling themselves a scientist and questioning the right of anyone without letters after their name to have an opinion.

        I said ‘scientists don’t like amateurs questioning their great wisdom ‘ in the sense of climate ones, as that was the subject of Steves post to which I was replying -namely Dr Mann Re: Steve McIntyre (#185), I didn’t mean every scientist in every field.

        The letter writer themselves had a Bsc in an area entirely unrelated to climate science yet automatically thought they were an expert. In most fields, as you say, serious amateurs are respected, from which I would suggest that some climate scientists are concerned that a serious amateur might be able to disturb the consensus. This is the attitude Steve found and leads me to conclude, as you have done, that climate science isnt really a mature science. Further, that some of those involved in it are trying to smear those who query their conclusions and methods by being agressive and dismissive-which was exactly the tone of the letter I cited-the rest of which descended into a bit of a rant clearly showing the writer wanted to believe it was all ‘our’ fault no matter what evidence was put up against that viewpoint.
        My letter writer was a greenpeace activist and a scientist. It would be interesting to know whether Mann, Hansen et al are fighting this war strictly on scientific grounds or whether emotion is partially clouding their judgement.

        Tony Brown

  144. Brian Macker
    Posted Sep 23, 2008 at 10:02 PM | Permalink


    Unfortunately, I don’t read all the comments so I can’t tell when I’m piling on. In fact I only read up to the point where I replied.

    BTW, I was getting some kind of warning when I posted that about a virus filter or something. I’ve restored my system to a clean state and am posting again to test.

  145. Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 3:16 AM | Permalink

    Re: 28 & 53

    Forgive me if this has been said before – I’m just trying to catch up after being away for the three crucial weeks this series was on.

    If the the audience was in the order of 1.6m for these programs, that compares rather badly with the 2.7m who watched TGGWS according to the Ofcom report.

  146. Stefan
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 4:09 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know if people will find this of interest:
    Strategies for Dissenting Scientists

    Re: bender (#188), “he should have thought of that before he started launching pre-emptive strikes … from a blog.”

    I’m grateful for the internet. Anyone can go online and get a broader perspective than the BBC is offering.

  147. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 7:15 AM | Permalink

    Tony Brown, 177 –

    The debate will be won in the media and at the political level and so far I’m not sure we are fully engaging in those areas.

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. What we need is a professional, sharp movie of the calibre of ‘The Ascent of Man’, using good science, well presented, but without the polemics, pomposity and glitz of either AIT or TGGWS. And no terrifying background music or irrelevant images, please. I think Bob Carter’s Aussie bloke-next-door manner takes the mystery out of science and he comes over as very trustworthy. A good script (Monckton and Booker?) and director would present him effectively and win hearts and minds. Needs serious money, though.

    • navy bob
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#192), Not just finding serious money, but a production company willing to make it and a network or program series willing to broadcast it. The probability of each is low; the product of all three is barely distinguishable from zero. The media aren’t interested in the denier/lukewarmer message.

    • Luis Dias
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#192),

      using good science, well presented, but without the polemics, pomposity and glitz of either AIT or TGGWS. And no terrifying background music or irrelevant images, please.

      That would have zero audience.

    • Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#192),

      Thanks for this and subsequent comments.

      The first essential is a good strong narrative presented by someone credible-not necessarily a climate ‘expert’ (Carol Vorderman? I’ll selflessly volunteer to open the negotiations with her)
      Second essentials are strong counter icons to the hockey stick, polar bears, ice crumbling into the sea.
      Third essential, a major hook-FACTS. History shows we have been this way before. A major leg of the warmists which we can kick away from them. Even my modest efforts in this blog
      has revealed masses of evidence both from human observations and scientific studies. There must be numerous other sources out there that have been compiled into a coherent narrative rather than the unconnected ‘snapshots’ on my thread.

      Fourth. Expose the unsoundness of the new science where scientific certainties are made without proof and a subsequent failure to explain why it is different this time.

      Fifth Don’t complicate the message. We do tend to believe people have far more knowledge of (or interest in) science topics than they really do. The last thing needed is talking heads and complex graphs.

      Sixth the message. Increased taxes and increased control of our personal activities

      Money to make it? Ah yes…

      BBC no. Channel 4 unlikely after their last effort, unless they wanted to pursue minority views (part of their broadcasting mandate). Chinese or Indian interests or Oil money-all keen to maintain the status quo? Opponents would have a field day.

      Sympathetic directors? Most are ‘environmentalists-not meant in a derogatory term, and unlikely to want to earn the hatred of their peers.

      There might be a US or Australian channel with the money and inclination but I don’t know enough to comment.

      That leaves-realistically-the most powerful medium in the world which the warmists have effectively colonised-the Internet-witness the clips posted on this site. A good slick 30 minute- primarily computer generated- presentation screened on You tube and other outlets might be the springboard for a more conventional campaign-should that be needed. Backed up by a campaign to opinion formers in politics, media and business leaders and paper clip campaigns to draw the attention of the general public to the alternative message.
      Serious money still perhaps, but not SERIOUS money.

      A polemic? yes. But we should have learnt something from Al Gore and Dr Stewart, and that is that polemics are a highly effective form of communication, especially if they are true.

      Tony Brown

    • Dave Salt
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 8:50 AM | Permalink

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#192),
      I’d like to see Jeremy Clarkson do a programme where he interviews the leading proponents from BOTH sides of the debate and then sums it up in such a way that the audience could draw their own conclusions (a bit like a judge’s summary to a jury).

      Clarkson is very popular but, more importantly, he’s a journalist by profession and so should know how to conduct serious/honest investigative report and present it in a manner that would hold the viewers interest. Yes, he seems to be a skeptic but he does work for the BBC, so this would be an opportunity for them to show their neutrality on the subject.

      • Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

        Re: Dave Salt (#197),

        Can I present ‘The Climate trials’

        Three top judges assess the case put before them by leading witnesses from either side of the debate.

        The skeptics casae will look even better when a judge intones

        ‘Although we extended a written invitation unortunbately (insert a team members name name here) refused to take part in this programme.’ That always puts doubts in the viewers minds!

        I know that a retired judge posts here. Potentially cheap and factual but could lack drama.

        Tony Brown

  148. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 7:49 AM | Permalink

    Further to 192 –

    Akasofu’s Aug.2008 version of his paper on natural temperature rise from the LIA would make a good hook to hang the whole movie on. Excellent paper and very readable.

    Click to access Earth_recovering_from_LIA_R.pdf

  149. Chris Knight
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 10:20 AM | Permalink

    You will not see the BBC straying from the establishment view, since they were effectively hamstrung after the David Kelly death enquiry.

    In part 3 of climate wars, much of the footage was from Nevada, and part of the programme showed the diminishing levels in the Hoover dam at Boulder Colorado. Somebody must be using more water than it was designed for. I wonder where the excess water from the Aswan dam goes?

    So here in a hot desert, we have sprinklers keeping the lawns green, where once, not so long ago there was desert. Hmm, where else does that happen, irrigated fields perhaps? Isn’t water a greenhouse gas, and isn’t most of the heat radiated by the surface absorbed by GGs in the first few tens of metres above the surface. When is the irrigation needed – in dry hot sunny weather. How are temperature anomalies changing – not getting any hotter for maximum temperatures, but remaining warmer at minimum temperatures? More cloud at night and during winters perhaps?

    How many more people need food than at the beginning of the 20th century? How much increase in irrigated farmland does this equate to?

    I wonder where the increase in temperature is coming from if it’s not the sun and it’s not CO2?

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 12:51 PM | Permalink

      Re: Chris Knight (#198),

      The diminishing level of water behind the Hoover dam is a function of both diminished rainfall (back to normal for the region) and massive losses by leakage and evaporation from Lake Powell behind the Glen Canyon dam upstream from the Hoover dam.

      In 1996, the Bureau of Reclamation found that 8% of the river’s flow, almost a million acre feet worth hundreds of millions of dollars annually, disappears between the inflow to Lake Powell and the dam, due to a combination of evaporation and loss into the banks.

  150. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    Chris Knight, msg.198

    I wonder where the increase in temperature is coming from if it’s not the sun and it’s not CO2?

    But it is the Sun, and Earth’s elliptic orbit. Milankovitch eccemtricity variation, 0.045 eccentricity at depth of last ice age, 0.016 now and heading for almost circular orbit at next peak interglacial. Doesn’t look like much, but when you calculate inverse square ratio insolation increase for thousands of years, year on year, it adds up to powerful forcing. I know all the ‘experts’ and some of the books dismiss it, but they are wrong! Do the math.

  151. Peter Lloyd
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 12:47 PM | Permalink

    That would have zero audience

    I know what you mean – I also get depressed about the apparent intellectual level of the TV audience. But we are wrong.

    Bronowski and Carl Sagan got huge audiences for their very serious programmes, and Attenborough gets similar for his Nature programmes – because they are superbly well done, and the audience recognises that the makers are NOT TRYING TO CON THEM. That’s the key. If you look at the vociferous internet responses to AIT and TGGWS, the recurring complaint is that the programme makers are overtly manipulating the audience. The line between manipulation and conviction is a hairs-breadth, but audiences are amazingly sensitive to the difference.

    • Luis Dias
      Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

      Re: Peter Lloyd (#201),

      I simply cannot imagine a documentary about Global Warming that wouldn’t create controversy. If it tries to create the notion that the science is settled, skeptics will fume; if it tries to create the notion that the science isn’t settled, but that there is still a furious debate in many circles of it, it will fume the activists (include IPCC’s Pauchari and Hansen and RC).

      I understand you though. It would require a wonderful writer, a wonderful speaker and the miracle ability to include everyone, activists and skeptics towards the same vision.

      I don’t even think that Sagan would be up for that job. I love Cosmos, but I’ve seen it again last month, and let’s face it, the guy was an activist, he had a clear agenda in the movies. He seemed to like “creative science” in order to “teach” the world manners about peace and prosperity (the notorious case on how his nuclear winter theory got so mainstream with so little science backing it up should be read historically as the greatest influence to the present Teams’ PR strategy).

      • Peter Lloyd
        Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 4:19 PM | Permalink

        Re: Luis Dias (#204),

        I hear you – but because it’s very difficult is not a reason to give up when the need is so important.

        If it’s done properly, with the best of the alarmist case given soberly and honestly, and the simplest, best sceptic case (say, Akasofu’s ‘continued LIA natural warming’ scenario, link below) given in a non-triumphal manner, I think there would be a chance that the public would at least give sceptics a more open-minded hearing. Well, I always was an optimist!

        I pick on Akasofu’s argument because it’s very simple and can be presented well graphically without a lot of math and thermodynamics. Link here:

        Click to access Earth_recovering_from_LIA_R.pdf

        • Daryl M
          Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

          Re: Peter Lloyd (#205),

          Regarding Syun-Ichi Akasofu’s paper, a revised version with a new title, “The Recovery from the Little Ice Age
          (A Possible Cause of Global Warming) and The Recent Halting of the Warming (The Multi-decadal Oscillation)” was released on September 25, 2008. Here is a link.

  152. MartinGAtkins
    Posted Sep 24, 2008 at 2:12 PM | Permalink

    BBC series stitches up sceptics in counter-attack over climate change.
    By Christopher Booker.


  153. Chris Wright
    Posted Sep 27, 2008 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    Lord Monckton has lodged a complaint with Ofcom. In today’s Daily Telegraph:
    “The BBC is being investigated by the television watchdog over claims that it misrepresented global warming sceptics.
    Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Baroness Thatcher, has complained to Ofcom that his views were unfairly represented on Earth: The Climate Wars, which was broadcast on BBC Two”.


  154. Dave Dardinger
    Posted Sep 28, 2008 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    I notice there’s a link on Drudge to a story on the British Mail Online . Lord Moncton, who has been discussed before here, has filed a complaint with ofcom about the BBC programs. Ofcom is investigating.

  155. tty
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Re 189

    I think you are grossly unfair to science and scientists in general. In most fields of natural science serious amateurs are respected. I personally have experience from two different disciplines. I publish in peer-reviewed journals, and sometimes do some peer-reviewing (of papers by professionals) myself, and nobody has ever asked me about what letters I can put behind my name.

    As a matter of fact this snobbiness by “Climate scientists” is a pretty good indication that “Climate science” really isn’t science.

  156. Daryl M
    Posted Oct 5, 2008 at 6:26 PM | Permalink

    I should have also posted a link to Dr. Akasofu’s website which has some other interesting reading. It is here.

  157. Steve McIntyre
    Posted May 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink

    IN Climategate Letter 111. 0926681134.txt on May 14, 1999, Bradley comments on Mann’s May 12, 1999 letter: “Excuse me while I puke”.

    From: “Raymond S. Bradley”
    Subject: vomit
    Date: Fri, 14 May 1999 07:25:34 -0400
    Excuse me while I puke…

    >Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 13:00:09 -0400 (EDT)
    >To:, k.briffa@uea

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] […]

  2. […] Caldwell Hello there fellow warriors for truth, justice and the scientific method,   Well, the Climate Wars are still being waged … but for how much […]

  3. […] investigate the differing opinions of scientists about global warming.  And by investigate I mean blatantly try to discredit skeptics and suck up to believers.  If you click the above link you can see an excerpt all about the famous […]

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