Gavin Schmidt and the EPA Denial Decision

About eight weeks ago, Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing the documents supporting EPA’s decision denying various petitions for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding (the “RTP documents“), documents that Mann had cited to the D.C. Court as a supposedly  “independent” investigation into allegations against him. Obviously, if Schmidt had been involved in the evaluation of evidence for EPA, any claim to “independence” of the EPA’s supposed investigation would be risible.

Jean S directly asked Schmidt, but Schmidt ignored the question.

However, Jean S’ post led to the discovery of new and convincing evidence on Schmidt’s involvement in the RTP documents, which I’ll report today for the first time.   Searching for an answer also revealed that EPA appears to have violated federal peer review policies in respect to the peer review of the RTP documents supporting the denial decision.

Background to FOI Request

In his CA post, Jean S noted that language in the RTP documents (noting Responses 1-2, 1-9, 1-16 and 1-70) showed a familiarity with some very fine details of Real Climate positions on past controversy that even Jean S had not been previously aware of. From this, Jean S speculated that Schmidt (and perhaps even Mann) had been involved with the RTP documents. Jean S directly asked both Mann and Schmidt as follows:

@ClimateOfGavin @MichaelEMann Were you involved in writing of EPA’s Denial of Petitions? http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html

The comment thread to Jean S’ post is worth re-reading.  Among other things, AMac reminded readers of EPA’s reliance on Mann’s contaminated nodendro reconstruction (an issue that I had noticed in my only near-contemporary comment on the EPA documents.)

FOI Request

Subsequently, one of the parties in Mann v Steyn (CEI) made an FOI inquiry to EPA asking for (1) correspondence between EPA and Gavin Schmidt between February 2010 and August 2010; and (2) a list of authors and a list of reviewers of the RTP documents

Schmidt Correspondence

EPA produced emails between Schmidt and Jason Samenow of EPA (copied to Marcus Sarofim and Rona Birnbaum of EPA.)  Samenow and Sarofim had been lead authors of the Endangerment Finding, of which Schmidt had been a reviewer. Other FOI information (see discussion here) provides evidence that Samenow,  Sarofim and Birnbaum were also lead authors of the RTP documents

On May 21, 2010, Samenow and Schmidt exchanged emails in which the EPA officials scheduled a meeting with Schmidt at Schmidt’s office in New York on June 10.  Samenow and Sarofim planned to take a train to New York and meet with Schmidt and Reto Ruedy for a half-day, finishing in early-to-mid afternoon. Sarofim and Birnbaum were copied on the correspondence.

On June 8,  Samenow sent a “document” via overnight courier to Schmidt in preparation for their half-day meeting on June 10. Emails were exchanged on the day prior to the meeting arranging details.

Under the circumstances, there can be little doubt that Schmidt had been sent draft versions of documents connected to the denial decision and that Schmidt’s meeting with Samenow and Sarofim was for the purpose of reviewing these documents.   Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft documents.

No Peer Review Documents

EPA’s answer to the other question was equally interesting. They stated that they had no documents listing either authors or reviewers of the RTP documents.  This is hard to understand given U.S. federal policies requiring peer review and peer review records for influential scientific information disseminated by the U.S. federal government.

Both federal and EPA policies require EPA to carry out peer review of “influential scientific information” in accordance with the EPA Peer Review Handbook,  as clearly stated in the following EPA policy memo linked on their webpage concerning peer review:

Influential scientific information, including highly influential scientific assessments, should be peer reviewed in accordance with the Agency’s Peer Review Handbook. All Agency managers are accountable for ensuring that Agency policy and guidance are appropriately applied in determining if their work products are influential or highly influential, and for deciding the nature, scope, and timing of their peer review. For highly influential scientific assessments, external peer review is the expected procedure. For influential scientific information intended to support important decisions, or for work products that have special importance in their own right, external peer review is the approach of choice.

The EPA defines “influential” scientific information as follows:

.3. EPA will generally consider the following classes of information to be influential, and, to the extent that they contain scientific, financial, or statistical information, that information should adhere to a rigorous standard of quality:

Information disseminated in support of top Agency actions (i.e., rules, substantive notices, policy documents, studies, guidance) that demand the ongoing involvement of the Administrator’s Office and extensive cross-Agency involvement; issues that have the potential to result in major cross-Agency or cross-media policies, are highly controversial, or provide a significant opportunity to advance the Administrator’s priorities. Top Agency actions usually have potentially great or widespread impacts on the private sector, the public or state, local or tribal governments. This category may also include precedent-setting or controversial scientific or economic issues.

Similar language is set out in the EPA’s Peer Review Handbook in its  section entitled “2.2.3 How Does One Determine Whether a Scientific and/or Technical Work Product is Influential Scientific Information?”.

The decision to deny the petitions for reconsideration was clearly a “top Agency action” that provided “a significant opportunity to advance the Administrator’s priorities”, was “highly controversial”,  had “potentially great or widespread impacts on the private sector, the public or state, local or tribal governments” and/or included “precedent-setting or controversial scientific or economic issues”. Indeed, it’s hard to contemplate how one would even begin to argue otherwise.

The EPA’s Peer Review Handbook requires the agency to maintain a “peer review record”, which, at an inconceivable minimum,  would contain the names of authors and reviewers of the document.   So how is it that the EPA had no responsive documents? Odd.

Schmidt and Mann v Steyn

Mann had represented to the D.C. Court that the EPA had conducted an “independent” investigation “into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann”.  Out of all the supposed “exonerations”, EPA was most heavily featured in Mann’s pleadings, which included extended quotations from the EPA’s press kit (falsely described in the pleadings as coming from the denial decision itself.)

For an investigation to be “independent”, it would obviously be inappropriate for the technical experts of an investigation into scientific misconduct to have current or previous personal or professional relationships with the subject of the inquiry that could be considered a conflict of interest.  The Office of the Inspector General of the National Science Foundation clearly stated this in a letter to Penn State in March 2010 as follows:

The official(s) who conduct this investigation and any technical experts you might rely on to evaluate evidence related to this investigation should not have a current or previous personal or professional relationship with Dr. Mann that could be considered a conflict of interests.

While this particular letter was sent in a different proceeding, it reflects the Inspector General’s understanding of applicable U.S. federal policy, policy that applies also to EPA.

Conclusion

Obviously, Gavin Schmidt had a close “current or previous personal or professional relationship with Dr. Mann that could be considered a conflict of interest”. Indeed, it is hard to contemplate a technical expert, other than Mann himself, who would be more thoroughly conflicted in the investigation of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann.   Given the resulting compromise to its independence, it is surprising, to say the least, that EPA would so thoroughly ignore Schmidt’s well-known personal and professional relationships with Mann by asking him to act as a technical expert and/or reviewer in a supposed “investigation” of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann or that Schmidt would not recuse himself from acting as a technical expert and/or reviewer of such an investigation.

In previous CA posts, I’ve challenged the claim in Mann’s pleadings that EPA had actually carried out an “investigation” into scientific misconduct allegations” against Mann (as opposed to taking the narrow, clever and legalistic position that the EPA Endangerment Finding has not relied on hide-the-decline in Mann’s section of IPCC TAR or Mann et al 1998-99, thus making the Mann controversy moot in respect to the Endangerment).  Be that as it may, today’s post shows that any such investigation was not “independent“, since the EPA’s evaluation of evidence related to its supposed investigation of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann unwisely used a technical expert (Gavin Schmidt) who was thoroughly conflicted by well-known personal and professional relationships with Mann.

Schmidt’s involvement with the EPA denial decision and its supporting documents also places an interesting new perspective on EPA’s use of Mann’s controversial nodendro reconstruction to supposedly refute the divergence issues – a tactic that originated at realclimate (see here).  Soon after his meeting with the EPA officials, Schmidt defended Mann et al 2008, not just at Real Climate, but in controversy at a third party blog, claiming, as he had for months, that Mann’s use of contaminated data didn’t “matter” to any of the reconstructions.  However, on or before July 27, 2010, a couple of days before the release of the RTP documents, Schmidt learned that his previous defences of Mann’s nodendro reconstruction were untrue and that Mann’s nodendro reconstruction (which had been relied upon by EPA) had, after all, been compromised by Mann’s use of the contaminated portion of the Tiljander data.  This placed Schmidt in an exceeding awkward position in respect to EPA, since he now knew that the RTP documents made false claims in respect to Mann’s nodendro reconstruction, but it was now only hours away from their release.  I’ll discuss these events in my next post.


283 Comments

  1. bernie1815
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

    This affirms the aphorism: Past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. To which I now add the Orwellian,”Noble cause corruption, corrupts absolutely.”

  2. DBD
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 2:19 PM | Permalink

    This is better than any Perry Mason or Rockford Files episode. #classics

    • juanslayton
      Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

      All we need is a car chase…

      • Craig Loehle
        Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

        It’s a paper chase…

        • AntonyIndia
          Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

          On June 8, Samenow sent a “document” via overnight courier to Schmidt in preparation for their half-day meeting on June 10. Emails were exchanged on the day prior to the meeting arranging details.

          Why not send the main document also by e-mail?

        • tty
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

          A document sent by courier leaves no audit trail….

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

          One can only hope, for the sake of humanity, that the courier’s carbon emissions were offset appropriately.

    • Political Junkie
      Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

      DBD,

      Sorry to disagree!!! You can’t compare this to a single program episode – we have a series going on here!

      “I’ll discuss these events in my next post.”

  3. Pouncer
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 2:23 PM | Permalink

    I applaud CEI for using the FOIA procedure while the legal process of “discovery” is on hold.

  4. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    For any newbies, Schmidt and Mann are the 2 key players at the RealClimate website and have worked together on this for years. They are as independent as Abbot and Costello, though not as funny.

    Steve: Mann’s participation at RealClimate in recent years has much diminished. See list of posts here. In the over four years since the EPA decision on July 29, 2010, Mann has written or been a named coauthor of only five RC posts (three by himself and two as coauthor) – barely more than one per year.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

      Sure, but what is relevant to Gavin’s independence on the EPA documents was the status of their collaboration BEFORE July 29, 2010.

      Steve: yup. thinking back, Gavin must have been pretty annoyed at being hung out to dry by Mann on upside-down Tiljander. Particularly after his involvement with EPA. I’m in the process of writing up these events.

      • Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 2:35 AM | Permalink

        “Gavin must have been pretty annoyed…” Or to put it another way, “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into”.
        I think Craig didn’t pick the most appropriate comedy duo.

    • DGH
      Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

      Peak Mann?

      Interesting that you should note Mann’s diminishing role at RC. I’ve been watching that along with the decline in comments at the blog. More on the latter at another time.

      Given Dr. Mann’s busy lecture schedule you won’t be surprised that his scholarly output seems to be decreasing. The citations provided on his PSU website suggest that since 2003 his popularity as a co-author has fallen. Strangely enough since 2009 his lead authorship of papers/year is approaching levels reminiscent of his early career.*

      See here. https://www.dropbox.com/s/jcwsf3bg4nm3bwo/mann_output.jpg?dl=0

      *The trend is a bit unclear because I haven’t decided whether Corrigendum and Corrections ought to be rejected or included in the totals. If included I haven’t decided if they should be counted in the same year as the original article or in the year that the correction was published.

      Apologies for the post hoc consideration on both counts but I can provide references on that point. The good news is that a) Dr. Mann hasn’t issued many corrections and b) my choices won’t have an impact on the result.

      • Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Permalink

        Given the amount of time he spends on anti-social media, I am amazed he finds time to work at all.

      • dcardno
        Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 2:33 PM | Permalink

        So… what looked like a hockey stick just turned out to be natural variation.

        Who would’ve thought?

  5. David Young
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 3:51 PM | Permalink

    Real Climate seems to me to have changed over the last 4 or 5 years. It used to be much more confrontational and activist in attacking its perceived enemies and often untruthfully defending its friends. That seems to have receded and recently the posts are more science based. The exception might be Ramsdorf who can always be counted on for one sided presentations.

  6. Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

    Is the FOI material publicly available somewhere? I didn’t see a link here or on CEI’s website.

    • DGH
      Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 10:32 PM | Permalink

      The released documents are available at foiaonline.regulations.gov. See Chris Horner’s requests.

      • Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 1:21 AM | Permalink

        Thanks. Here’s a direct link, since I might not be the only one who was looking for it:

        https://foiaonline.regulations.gov/foia/action/public/view/request?objectId=090004d28037b6f0

        • Pouncer
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 9:18 AM | Permalink

          Thank you very much for the direct link to the original email / pdf /zipfiles.

          Having read the extracted documents I think we must maintain a modest amount of, shall we call it, skepticism. Our host writes:

          “Under the circumstances, there can be little doubt that Schmidt had been sent draft versions of documents connected to the denial decision and that Schmidt’s meeting with Samenow and Sarofim was for the purpose of reviewing these documents. ”

          I am highly inclined to accept that this inference is correct.
          That the document alluded to was sent by parcel carrier rather than as an email attachment is also, I guess, significant. But because the RTP draft is not provided, responsive to the FOIA, I do caution we don’t see the proverbial “hand holding the smoking gun”. We have a matching bullet, a registered gun, powder burns on a suspect’s hands, a known relationship between the suspect and victim, motive, opportunity, means, all that. “Little doubt” is the right phrase. But still… “Under the circumstances”, if any claim were to arise that the meeting and document concerned anything else but our inferred _RTP_ publication, I would suggest the burden of proof is on Dr Schmidt rather than Jean S or Steve McI.

          I suspect the CEI (Simburg, Steyn, NRO, amicus, others) will need to go thru discovery, after all, to nail this down. At the moment the discovery process is stalled. I trust somebody in addition to me is putting a tickler on the calendar to follow this question up from time to time as the trial progresses — assuming it will progress.

  7. Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 6:13 PM | Permalink

    There is a thread in the old Collide-a-scape where Schmidt defended Mann’s Tiljander.

    • amac78
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:59 AM | Permalink

      @ Shrub Niggurath (Oct. 18 at 6:13pm) —

      > There is a thread in the old Collide-a-scape where Schmidt defended Mann’s Tiljander.

      At some point after that thread, Keith Kloor migrated his blog to Discover Magazine’s site. I now see that a lot of link-rot ensued.

      Gavin Schmidt emailed Kloor on June 16, 2010, writing (new site):

      One of the pathologies of blog comment threads is the appearance of continual demands that mainstream scientists demand retractions of published work or condemnations of specific scientists for supposed errors or other sins. Most often the issue in question has been discussed dozens of times previously and is usually based either on an irrelevancy, or was acknowledged clearly in the original or subsequent paper or is based on some misperception of the science. [See Mann et al (2008) paper.]

      Nonetheless, these demands are being used as some kind of litmus test for the kind of scientist one can respect and they clearly resonate with people who don’t know anything about the subject. However, for those that do, it serves only to signal that there is no reason to engage since the first explanation should have dealt with the issue. How many times do you need to correct someone’s misperception of a point of science? If they were sincerely looking for truth, the answer would be once. If instead they are trying to find issues with which they can bash scientists for another reason, the answer is apparently infinite. No scientists have time for that, and this kind of continual low-level insinuation is simply too tiresome to deal with.

      Thus what we have is not scientists refusing to engage with serious questions, it is the critics refusing to accept the answer. Since the answer is not going to change, the prospect of actual dialogue is limited.

      Mann et al (2008)” is a broken link to the PDF.

      continual demands” was Dr. Schmidt’s link to one of my (AMac’s) comments on the preceding Collide-a-scape post. As I recall, it led to this remark, timestamped June 16th, 2010 at 3:30 am.

      DeNihilist (four-part comment, supra) — I had the same [positive] reaction that you describe to those posts at Lucia’s Blackboard [responding to William Connolly’s dismissal of that blog as “wrong” and “boring”, earlier in the thread].

      I came to those posts thinking that instrumental temperature anomaly reconstructions based on GISS / Hadley / NCDC were suspect, and quite possibly jiggered to exaggerate recent warming. Posts such as those and the accompanying comment threads convinced me that the records are useful and the analyses are robust, i.e. competently and honestly performed.

      My initial suspicions had been stoked by evidence of Bad Behavior by prominent members of the paleoclimate community. This notably included the silly defenses of the mistaken use by Mann (PNAS, 2008) of the uncalibratable and upside-down Tiljander proxies in that paper’s paleoclimate reconstructions.

      Parts of climatology function like a normal science. Other parts don’t. “Insiders” either can’t see this, or prefer to keep the secrets within their family. Thus, I think prudent “outsiders” should evaluate the claims advanced by the AGW Consensus with great care.

      Alternately, This comment might have been the target — though with its timestamp of June 16th, 2010 at 3:12 pm, it seems to have been posted after Dr. Schmidt sent his email.

      Perhaps if Dr. Schmidt reads this, he could offer a clarification.

      • TimTheToolMan
        Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 3:37 AM | Permalink

        uzi, meet foot

    • amac78
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

      @ Shrub Niggurath (Oct. 18 at 6:13pm) —

      Also of interest is Keith Kloor’s post of August 4, 2010, “Gavin’s Perspective” (Discover Magazine link). In the comments, Dr. Schmidt offers his views on Mann et al 2008’s use of the Tiljander data series, timestamped Aug. 6, 2010 at 2:58am.

      My post Two Views of Tiljander presents my and Dr. Schmidt’s remarks from that C-a-s thread as a side-by-side table. Alas, its links to C-a-s are rotted; use the ones here.

      Of note is Dr. Schmidt’s second point #3 —

      3) The reconstruction without the Tiljander proxies validates back to 700 AD (NH mean, EIV) or 400 AD (NH land, CPS).

      By “The reconstruction without the Tiljander proxies,” he presumably means Yes-Dendro/No-Tilj. Yes-Dendro includes bristlecones: thus, unwary readers could be misled by this phrasing.

      Also notable is Dr. Schmidt’s point #5 —

      …There is a sensitivity to how far back you can go without tree rings if you drop the Tiljander proxies as well. So if you don’t like them, and are convinced that tree rings are useless, these methodologies don’t allow you to say anything before 1500 (compared to 1760 in the original MBH) (though the structure is pretty similar back further (CPS)) (see SI in Mann et al 2009 for the EIV result)…

      This remark came a few days after Gavin Schmidt conceded to Nicholas Nierenburg that No-Dendro/No-Tilj fails validation prior to 1500. Nierenburg’s RealClimate comment was timestamped 31 Jul 2010 @ 10:35 AM.

      This walk-back by Mann et al (2009)’s Supplemental Information was the subject of the Climate Audit post of July 6, 2011, Dirty Laundry II: Contaminated Sediments.

      Steve: all these events are interesting to re-examine with the knowledge with the knowledge that Schmidt had reviewed the EPA documents in connection with Mann et al 2008. Schmidt’s concession to Nierenberg was a couple of days after his first walkback on Mann on July 28 here http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/comment-page-9/#comment-182703. At the time, the EPA documents had not been released, so Schmidt still had time to notify them that he had been tricked (to borrow a phrase) about the Mann et al 2008 nodendro reconstruction and for them to amend or insert corrigenda to the documents.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM | Permalink

        AMac, a question for you as someone who’s had close tabs on upside-down sediments. Gavin Schmidt had been defending Mann’s use of contaminated data for months. Prior to Gavin’s inline comments on July 28-29, 2010, he had never mentioned the EIV walkback that Mann had made in the SI to Mann et al 2009 (but not corrected at PNAS or the Mann et al 2008 website). Nor was anyone else in the lengthy debate aware that Mann had done this, as there is no mention of it in the lengthy threads in June and July 2010 at Kloor and Arthur Smith or even in RC threads as late as July 24.

        Something must have happened to prompt Schmidt’s disclosure on July 28. What do you think happened?

        PS. I presume that Schmidt must have been really angry with Mann when he found out, though they washed their laundry privately.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

          I surmise the following update in the Mann 2009 SI site is a result of the laundry washing (my bold).

          Update 22 Aug 2010: Additional significance tests that we have performed indicate that the NH land+ocean Had reconstruction with all tree-ring data and 7 potential “problem” proxies removed (see original Supp Info where this reconstruction is shown) yields a reconstruction that passes RE at just below the 95% level (approximately 94% level) back to AD 1300 and the 90% level back to AD 1100 (they pass CE at similar respective levels). So if one were to set the significant threshold just a bit lower than our rather stringent 95% significant requirement, the reconstruction stands back to AD 1100 with these data withheld. Recent work by Saltzer et al [ Salzer et al, Recent unprecedented tree-ring growth in bristlecone pine at the highest elevations and possible causes, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., 2009] suggests there is little reason to withhold tree-ring data however.

          Verification statistics for cases where the tree-ring proxies and/or the 7 problem proxies are withheld [XLS].
          Expanded Monte Carlo table for the NH Land+Ocean cases [XLS].

          P.S. If anyone thought Mann’s reconstructions were meaningful in any aspect, it’s worth checking the reported r^2 values in the verification statistics.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Permalink

          OT, but related. I noticed from CG2 letters that Gabi Hegerl was a reviewer of Mann et al (2008). She’s complaining to Jones about the feedback she (as an anon reviewer) got from mike. According to Phil it was just “par for the course” (nice new English idiom to me, thanks Phil)!
          http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=2004.txt
          http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0839.txt

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

          I lifted the cat onto the table (as we say in Finnish):

        • kim
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

          Forgive me if you already know this, Steve, but Schmidt also conceded the 1500 mark in a conversation with you on Collide-a-scape. I particularly remember it because Kloor was censoring me like mad then, but let one of my comments slip through just about the time Gavin conceded.

          That was the first time I saw him concede it.
          ================

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 29, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Permalink

          Kim write:

          Forgive me if you already know this, Steve, but Schmidt also conceded the 1500 mark in a conversation with you on Collide-a-scape.

          Can you give me the link. YOu have to take care to distinguish between the CPS and EIV reconstruction – the failure before 1500 for CPS was already known. To my knowledge, Gavin’s first public acknowledgement of EIV failure was in late July.

        • amac78
          Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

          @ Steve McIntyre, Oct 19, 2014 at 11:48 AM

          > AMac, a question for you… Something must have happened to prompt Schmidt’s disclosure [on No-Tilj/No-Dendro] on July 28 [2010]. What do you think happened?

          Steve, I have little insight on that. The mystery of Tiljander is that there’s never been a mystery — the wrongness of Mann08 (and following papers) in using these data series as temperature proxies should have been clear to numerate, science-oriented people from the start. Although any one defect is fatal, pick three from the following list: Upside-down — Contaminated — Uncalibratable.

          In my opinion, authors at pro-Consensus sites such as SkepticalScience haven’t demonstrated the skills needed to grasp these and subsidiary points concerning Tiljander. I suspect it’s policy implications rather than interests in science or math that drives most of their commentary.

          In contrast, Dr Schmidt is clearly gifted at math. It seems to me that he’s always had the ability to see through the bluster and misdirection generated by his comrades on this point. Of course, per the quotes and links in earlier comments, Dr Schmidt was one of the sources of such bluster and misdirection, both before and after his grudging concession at the end of July 2010.

          I couldn’t say whether that concession was due to belated insight, or if it represented a hedge, in case Prof. Mann should need to be thrown under the bus. Happily, that hasn’t (yet) been necessary.

          It’s worth remembering that Dr Schmidt allowed that Mann08’s No-Dendro/No-Tilj fails to validate prior to 1500. To my knowledge, that’s the extent of what he has conceded.

        • MikeN
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

          AMac, you are right about consensus sites, but I don’t think SkepticalScience has ever weighed in, perhaps because Robert Way convinced them in the forum that Mann is wrong, conflicting with their taking dictation from Mann regarding hide-the-decline.

      • Jeff Alberts
        Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

        It doesn’t really seem like Schmidt is “walking back” claims. His wording is important:

        So if you don’t like them, and are convinced that tree rings are useless

        He, and most of the CS community, seem to be convinced that tree rings are not useless as temperature proxies. The walkback seems more like a belittling of skeptics.

      • Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:28 PM | Permalink

        The Gavin’s perspective thread was the one I had in mind. https://web.archive.org/web/20120327220226/http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/08/04/gavins-perspective/. The comments are worth a read.

  8. Don
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

    Lest anyone question the actual closeness of the relationship between Schmidt and Mann, Mann described it thusly: “I have known Gavin Schmidt for nearly two decades, as both a scientific colleague and a friend.”

    Source: http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2014/06/10/3446919/gavin-schmidt-nasa-james-hansen/

    Steve: Even Nick Stokes is unlikely to challenge whether Schmidt is an associate of Mann’s.

    • Bill
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:53 AM | Permalink

      That depends on what the definition of “is” is, Steve.

  9. Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on JunkScience.com and commented:
    Of course it was a by the books peer review. Just depends on which books.

  10. kim
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 9:28 PM | Permalink

    The EPA one morning
    Looked around the gloaming.
    ‘Get that Schmidt,
    He’ll fix this chit!’
    Now look what is aborning.
    =================

  11. AntonyIndia
    Posted Oct 18, 2014 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

    EPA’s Jason Samenow was a perfect go in between: He is a member of the Capital Weather Gang, a blog in the Washington Post, admired by Michel Mann on Facebook.
    http://blog.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2008/01/meet_the_gang.html

    Steve: Samenow wasn’t a “go between”. As I said in the post, he was (then) an EPA employee, as stated even in your link, which says “From 2000 to September 2010, he worked as a climate change analyst for the federal government, monitoring, analyzing and communicating the science of climate change.” He was a coauthor of the RTP documents.

  12. johanna
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

    This is quite consistent with the EPA’s culture.

    For example, see Steve Milloy’s article about the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, where every member bar one was a recipient of EPA grants, and the exception’s employer was a recipient. The combined value of those grants was around $70 million.

    The EPA describes the role of this committee as providing “independent” advice.

    http://junkscience.com/2012/03/08/clearing-the-air-on-the-epa/

    I guess that “independent” has a different meaning within the EPA.

  13. EdeF
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

    The present gov’t thinks of laws and policies as one who enters a buffet thinks
    of food………..you pick this one, avoid that one, ah a few of those. Following
    EPA policy for them is like asking a 10-yr-old to eat his green beans.

    Naw, the 10-yr-old is more mature than that.

    • kim
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

      Railroads run raw,
      Cat blades scream bloody
      Murder under the moonlight fire.
      ==================

  14. Jeff Id
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Back in 2010, I considered making a filing to the EPA but decided to avoid the hassle. The reason being that I knew then what their decision would be no matter what was filed. The incestuous relationship with involved parties is hardly the worst thing the US government does with respect to ignoring facts. As it grows ever larger and more powerful, inconvenient rules and regulations are now openly ignored in favor of what is “good” for the people. As the largest and best funded organization of people on the planet, everyone should be concerned when rules no longer limit its behavior.

  15. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 5:48 PM | Permalink

    In the twitter thread https://twitter.com/ClimateOfGavin/status/523886652822138881
    Gavin Schmidt asserted that the above post is “mostly fiction”:

    @mattstat actually that post is mostly fiction made up by conspiracists. Hopefully, you should be able to tell the difference.

    I try hard to write accurately and do not wish to disseminate any inaccurate or incorrect information. If Schmidt will identify any specific points of supposed inaccuracy, I will undertake to promptly make corrections.

    However, the following points in the post appear to me to be indisputable facts (and in making this list, I’m not listing all facts since I’m not trying to rewrite the post:

    – Mann had claimed that the EPA denial decision constituted an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against him;
    – Jean S had previously asked Schmidt whether he had been involved in writing the Denial documents
    – CEI made an FOI request to EPA
    – EPA produced emails between Schmidt and Samenow in response to the FOI request
    – the emails showed that Samenow had couriered a document to Schmidt and had met with Schmidt in New York on June 10, 2010 to review the document.
    – Samenow was one of the authors of the supporting documents to the denial decision
    – federal and EPA policies require peer review of influential scientific information
    – the EPA definition of influential scientific information is as quoted in the post
    – EPA said that it did not have a list of authors or reviewers of the documents supporting the denial decision
    – the NSF wrote Penn State and said that
    “any technical experts you might rely on to evaluate evidence related to this investigation should not have a current or previous personal or professional relationship with Dr. Mann that could be considered a conflict of interests.”
    – Schmidt has a close personal and professional relationship with Mann
    – on or before July 27, 2010, Schmidt learned that Mann’s nodendro reconstruction was impacted by the Tiljander data

    The only surmise in the post – and this was marked as surmise with the phrase “little doubt” – was that the documents couriered to Schmidt pertained to the forthcoming Denial decision and that the purpose of EPA officials and RTP authors Samenow and Sarofim traveling to New York to meet with Schmidt was to review these documents.

    So I’m a bit at a loss to know what precisely within this post is believed by Schmidt to be “fiction”. If he is unable to identify any specific inaccuracies, then his allegation that the post is “mostly fiction” is simply another hissy-fit.

    • miker613
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 5:54 PM | Permalink

      Well, Gavin could have just denied it when Jean S asked him, or now! “Mostly fiction” is weasel words.
      But isn’t it possible that EPA made a meeting with him to question him – in an adversarial sense – as part of trying to adjudicate the appeal? And that the document was something that they were going to question him about? Where is the evidence that he was involved in writing the denial document?

      Steve: my post was expressed in terms of policies, rather than the colloquial language of Jean S’ tweet. The salient issue is whether Schmidt was a “technical expert [EPA] might rely on to evaluate evidence related to this investigation” who was conflicted through personal and professional relationships with Mann. Being “involved in writing” the report is one way that such a technical expert might have been involved, but his contributions could also have come through comments made to the authors at their meeting in New York. In my post, I surmised “Schmidt’s meeting with Samenow and Sarofim was for the purpose of reviewing these documents”. That seems hard to argue with.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 6:23 PM | Permalink

        For clarification, I’ve added the following phrase after “Schmidt had been involved” ” – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft documents.”

        I thought that this followed from the prior sentence which had surmsied that “Schmidt’s meeting with Samenow and Sarofim was for the purpose of reviewing these documents”, but decided to say this twice to preclude any misunderstanding.

      • Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:07 PM | Permalink

        Gavin has nothing to gain by answering.

        If he was involved as events suggest, why confirm when it may never be disclosed, or deny if that may later be proven false?

        If he wasn’t involved, why not allow further speculation and theorising by third parties and point and giggle afterwards?

        Why not just keep pumping out politician’s answers?

    • N ιck Stoκes
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 4:33 AM | Permalink

      “and this was marked as surmise with the phrase “little doubt””
      They don’t mean the same. But as usual here, sheer speculation becomes established fact:

      “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft documents.”

      “Be that as it may, today’s post shows that any such investigation was not “independent“, since the EPA’s evaluation of evidence related to its supposed investigation of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann unwisely used a technical expert (Gavin Schmidt) who was thoroughly conflicted by well-known personal and professional relationships with Mann.”

      “Schmidt’s involvement with the EPA denial decision and its supporting documents also places an interesting new perspective on EPA’s use of Mann’s controversial nodendro reconstruction to supposedly refute the divergence issues”

      “it is surprising, to say the least, that EPA would so thoroughly ignore Schmidt’s well-known personal and professional relationships with Mann by asking him to act as a technical expert and/or reviewer in a supposed “investigation” of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann or that Schmidt would not recuse himself from acting as a technical expert and/or reviewer of such an investigation.”

      • AndyL
        Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 4:47 AM | Permalink

        N Ick
        I agree with you that the “doubt” expressed at one point is not carried forward in the post. However if we take into account 1) Gavin Schmidt was one of the few people in the world able to provide the level of detail included in the EPA finding, and 2) Schmidt had a meeting with the finding authors at which *a* document was formally discussed, we can see that the doubt is small.

        Maybe not “beyond reasonable doubt” but certainly in teh “balance of probabilities” categority of evidence.

        Of course Schmidt could clear this up in seconds with a simple Y/N answer to a question.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

          AndyL,
          “1) Gavin Schmidt was one of the few people in the world able to provide the level of detail included in the EPA finding, and 2) Schmidt had a meeting with the finding authors at which *a* document was formally discussed, we can see that the doubt is small.”

          It’s still speculation. But also not “little doubt”. It’s clear from the correspondence that the EPA guys don’t know Schmidt’s address, and don’t seem to have spoken much. They are sending a document, already printed, which he is to receive just before the meeting. No expectation shown that he’s seen it already. It sure doesn’t sound like he’s been writing that document, or even seriously reviewing.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:17 AM | Permalink

          Nick, luckily, after the meeting they not only knew everything needed to contact Gavin, but also had about two months before the documents were to be released.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:58 AM | Permalink

          Jean S,
          “also had about two months before the documents were to be released”

          Yes, but CEI’s lawyers requested
          “Requesting copies of all communications as described herein, not limited to email or text correspondence, “

          Seems nothing after the meeting.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:13 AM | Permalink

          Nick, ever heard of a telephone? Other personal meetings agreed in the first meeting? Not to mention the method that was of course not used by such moral heavy weights (even after CG) but might occur to less perfect human beings: private email.

        • Greg
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:18 AM | Permalink

          One wonders whether uploads/downloads to Dropbox are considered “communication” under FOI. Mr. Schmidt has posted links to Dropbox on his twitter feed in the past.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:28 AM | Permalink

          Horner leaves nothing to chance. Footnote 2:
          “We note the possibility that EPA staff used other instant messaging, SharePoint and/or a web portal/password-protected website to conduct communications responsive to this request, and request EPA ensure those prospects are checked and, as appropriate, searched. “

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 8:20 AM | Permalink

          why wouldn’t he? In the wake of the “Richard Windsor” scandal, largely uncovered by Horner, the EPA OIG undertook to investigate “whether EPA follows applicable laws and regulations when
          using private and alias email accounts to conduct official business” http://www.epa.gov/oig/reports/notificationMemos/newStarts_12-13-2012_Audit_of_Records_Managements_Practices.pdf and subsequently reported that “The EPA lacks internal controls to ensure the identification and preservation of records when using private and alias email accounts for conducting government business.”

          It seems only prudent to allow for the possibility that EPA officials might have used private and alias email accounts or other media in correspondence with Schmidt.

          But let’s stick to correspondence with Schmidt, rather than general issues with EPA email.

        • Sven
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:35 AM | Permalink

          I might have used a word in my comment that put it to moderation. So, trying again without it

          One can’t but wonder why in today’s world would anybody send “documents” by overnight courier and not use electronic means. Nothing else, just weird…

        • DGH
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 7:18 AM | Permalink

          Nick,

          Discussing and debating the contents of the box is a distraction.

          From the FOIA request (beginning just above your footnote),

          “Please provide us, within twenty working days, copies of all communications as 1
          described herein, not limited to email or text correspondence, relating to EPA’s July, 2
          2010 Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration, Response to Petitioners, Volume 1: Climate
          Science and Data Issues Raised by Petitioners, regarding its Endangerment and Cause or
          Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act.

          1) This covers communications a) sent to or from EPA personnel involved in
          producing the above-cited document, b) to or from two particular individuals, whom EPA
          possibly consulted with on the cited publication, as external reviewers or otherwise,
          specifically Gavin Schmidt, and/or Tim Osborn, c) which communications are dated over
          the seven-month period February 1, 2010 through August 31, 2010, inclusive.”

          No matter what was in the box With EPA’s response we know that Gavin Schmidt was “involved in producing” the RTP. You’d be better off discussing whether

          a) the RTP was an investigation of Mann’s work and
          b) if it was then given Schmidt’s involvement whether it was “independent.”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

          Good point. The form of Horner’s request, together with EPA’s request, narrows matters beyond what I’ve already said. In my post, I had asserted (based on other information) that Samenow and Sarofim had been involved in producing the RTP. However, as you point out (and I should have thought of this), Horner’s request was phrased as “in to or from EPA personnel involved in
          producing the above-cited document”. So the fact that EPA produced these particular emails to and from Samenow and Schmidt firmly closes the loop, showing communications between Schmidt and EPA officials “involve in producing” the RTP. I agree with your conclusion:

          With EPA’s response we know that Gavin Schmidt was “involved in producing” the RTP.

          Also given the scope of Horner’s request under (1), it seems to me that the document sent by courier to Gavin Schmidt would be a “communication” from “EPA personnel involved in producing the above-cited document” and ought to have been produced within the terms of the FOI request, unless EPA is able to claim an exemption on other grounds. However, most, if not all, such exemption claims would impact arguments on whether the supposed “investigation” was “independent”. EPA’s interests and Mann’s interests may not coincide on this point.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

          “we know that Gavin Schmidt was “involved in producing” the RTP”
          The numbered items specified all communications from EPA persons involved in producing the document, to Gavin or Tim. You could read the first part as meaning that communications about other matters didn’t count, but I expect that the EPA, given all they had, would have sent it anyway and not bothered to argue.

          “a) the RTP was an investigation of Mann’s work”
          Well, it clearly wasn’t, despite loose references in a recent lawyers motion. The status of the decision was summed up by the US Court of Appeals (DC):
          “EPA is required to convene a proceeding for reconsideration of a rule if a party raising an objection to the rule can demonstrate to the Administrator that it was impracticable to raise such objection within such time or if the grounds for such objection arose after the period for public comment (but within the time specified for judicial review) and if such objection is of central relevance to the outcome of the rule.

          State Petitioners have not provided substantial support for their argument that the Endangerment Finding should be revised.”

          It was a proceeding about reconsideration of a decision, not about Mann’s work. That doesn’t mean EPA can’t say that the petitioners complaints about Mann were unjustified, and for this reason not a basis for reconsideration, or that Mann can’t point to that.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Permalink

          Interesting that Nick Stokes agrees with Steyn and CEI that the RTP “wasn’t” “an investigation” of Mann’s work.

          “a) the RTP was an investigation of Mann’s work”
          Well, it clearly wasn’t, despite loose references in a recent lawyers motion.

          I also made this point previously, though I don’t recall Nick agreeing with my point previously. So I guess that establishing Schmidt’s involvement has accomplished something.

          However, the issue rises well above “loose references” in a recent “lawyers motion”. The claim was first made in Mann’s Statement of Claim, where it was made expressly and not “loosely”. Indeed, the supposed EPA “investigation” was featured in the pleadings through extensive quotation from the press kit (falsely attributed to the decision document itself.) The claim was further re-iterated on multiple occasions in more than one memorandum.

          CEI’s lawyers have raised the issue of whether Mann’s lawyers should be sanctioned for making false representations to the court about the various “investigations”. It is interesting that even the indefatigable Nick Stokes agrees that the EPA did not carry out an “investigation” of Mann’s work (let alone an “independent” investigation.)

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

          Nick is assuming that the agency is actually complying fully with the requests. As we’ve seen with single workstation hard drive crashes inexplicably wiping out emails stored on backup servers, an agency policing itself is not very re-assuring.

        • AndyL
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

          N ick

          For Schmidt not have been involved in producting the RTP, the following three things would all need to be true
          1) Schmidt met the RTP authors and discussed a totally different document
          2) While meeting an acknowledged expert in the subject, both parties refrained from discussing the RTP and kept their discussiosn solely to this ohter unknown document
          3) The RTP authors got the scientific details for their response from some other unknown expert

          So it may be speculation that Schmidt was involved in writing the RTP, but the alternative hypothesis is highly unlikely.

        • DGH
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM | Permalink

          AndyL,

          “but the alternative hypothesis is highly unlikely”

          Additionally, it makes complete sense that Gavin Schmidt be involved in reviewing the document. He is a government employee and has the required expertise. Furthermore, he worked on the original.

          None of this is remarkable in the context of the RTP. It’s remarkable that Mann should call it an “independent investigation” when it was neither.

          Steve: I agree. Schmidt’s involvement is an issue only if the EPA documents are claimed to be an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann. If Schmidt and/or EPA repudiate Mann’s claim that it was
          an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann, then Schmidt’s involvement ceases to be an issue. But they can’t have it both ways.

        • DGH
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Permalink

          Nick,

          “You could read the first part as meaning that communications about other matters didn’t count, but I expect that the EPA, given all they had, would have sent it anyway and not bothered to argue.”

          So in your mind it’s possible that the EPA released extra stuff, i.e. emails that were outside the scope of the request, to avoid arguing about emails that Horner wouldn’t be aware of if they didn’t release them?

          Isn’t it more reasonable to assume that the EPA released the emails because they were responsive to the request?

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

          “None of this is remarkable in the context of the RTP. It’s remarkable that Mann should call it an “independent investigation” when it was neither.”

          I wish people here would actually quote stuff. As it is, it gets hopelessly distorted. What the complaint actually said was:

          “Following the publication of the CRU emails, Penn State and the University of East Anglia (in four separate instances) and five governmental agencies (the U.K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the U.K. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation) have conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues.”

          They aren’t saying the inquiries are independent of Gavin. They are saying they are independent of each other.

        • Phil
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:09 PM | Permalink

          Re: AndyL (Oct 20 04:47),

          If the investigations were “independent of each other”, then “separate and independent” would be redundant. The word “independent” modifies “Dr. Mann and his colleagues.” Dr. Schmidt is a colleague of Dr. Mann. Consequently, the investigation by the EPA cannot be construed as being “independent” of “Dr. Mann and his colleagues.”

        • Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM | Permalink

          ‘…the inquiries are independent of Gavin. They are saying they are independent of each other.’

          That meaning is covered by the word ‘separate’.’Independent’ connotates the impartiality of an(y) investigation owing to the investigating and pronouncing entities being non-linkable, non-derived and non-affiliated with the question/party under investigation. Schmidt does not fulfill.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:53 PM | Permalink

          Quite so. The term “independent investigation” is a common phrase for an investigation that is independent of the parties being investigated. Schmidt’s close personal and professional relationship with Mann clearly make him non-independent for the purposes of an “independent investigation”.

          Trying to defend this sort of spitball is the sort of thing that discredits the climate community in the eyes of a wider public which expects adherence to standards.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “Schmidt’s involvement is an issue only if the EPA documents are claimed to be an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann.”

          Then why does the post say
          Given the resulting compromise to its independence, it is surprising, to say the least, that EPA would so thoroughly ignore Schmidt’s well-known personal and professional relationships with Mann by asking him to act as a technical expert and/or reviewer in a supposed “investigation” of scientific misconduct allegations against Mann or that Schmidt would not recuse himself from acting as a technical expert and/or reviewer of such an investigation.”,/i>

          Why would Schmidt recuse himself in 2010 because of a non-issue?\

          Steve: if it was an investigation into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann, then he ought to have recused himself because of his personal and professional relationships with Mann. Even a ClimateBaller should recognize this. If the statement by Mann and/or his lawyers was untrue (in respect to it being an investigation into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann), then that Schmidt would not have needed to recuse himself on those grounds (without commenting here on whether he ought to have recused himself on other grounds.) Mann claimed that it was investigation into allegations of scientific misconduct by Mann and others and until Mann withdraws that claim, it is entirely reasonable to point to Schmidt’s conflict of interest in such an investigation.

        • DGH
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 2:44 PM | Permalink

          Nick,

          I take your point regarding “independent.”

          Let’s accept for a moment that it was Mann’s filing was inadvertently redundant, “separate and independent”, the fact remains that RTP was not an investigation of Mann’s conduct. And even if by chance the document could be interpreted as some sort of exoneration, it was produced in part a friend.

          I’m sure all of Mann’s friends and his entire family has some very nice things to say about him. Maybe he can get an separate and independent investigation letters from them, too.

          Now let me note that you completely ignored my comment about your twisted ill-logic.

        • miker613
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM | Permalink

          Without thinking it through that much, I had also understood “independent” the same as Nick Stokes: kind of one step more independent than “separate”.

          More or less the same thing people say when they claim that the hockey stick has been validated by a dozen (or a hundred…) independent studies.
          In both cases, I don’t think that they are actually independent at all, but I think that’s what they are claiming.

        • MJW
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:09 PM | Permalink

          They are sending a document, already printed, which he is to receive just before the meeting. No expectation shown that he’s seen it already. It sure doesn’t sound like he’s been writing that document, or even seriously reviewing.

          Yet they felt it worthwhile for two EPA employees to travel over two hundred miles by train to meet with him. Why? It it was a simple non-serious review, why couldn’t it be done by email?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:40 AM | Permalink

          thisisnotgoodtogo | August 15, 2014 at 4:27 am |

          Nick Stokes.
          Then why did Mann argue to some success under the funny judges that investigations by scientific and governmental bodies, “laid to rest” defendants’ questions regarding Mann’s research?

          Nick Stokes | August 15, 2014 at 5:14 am |

          The investigations didn’t decide on the validity of the research. They investigated whether there was misconduct.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 4:16 AM | Permalink

          MJW,
          “It it was a simple non-serious review, why couldn’t it be done by email?”

          Non-serious or not. My speculation is that they have a prohibition on the outside digital circulation of drafts. It sounds as if they sent the printed doc just before, deliberately, and brought it back with them.

        • MJW
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 10:49 PM | Permalink

          My speculation is that they have a prohibition on the outside digital circulation of drafts.

          If your speculation is correct, that would explain why they FedEx’d the document instead of sending it as an attachment — a matter I didn’t mention. But it doesn’t explain why two employees traveled quite some distance to meet face to face with Schmidt, rather that having him email his (what you believe to be minor) contributions. Or do you think the EPA also requires all discussion of drafts to be conducted in person, like Mafia dons discussing “family” business?

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

          “Or do you think the EPA also requires all discussion of drafts to be conducted in person”
          I interpret what Steve says to say that they took the draft away with them, with his annotations. It’s hard to say till he links to his source. If they did take it away, that would presumably be an extension of the security requirement. I speculate there was a document register, giving number and location of each copy.

          We don’t know that he had contributions to make. They may have simply wanted to verify some factual issues. Asking him to “quickly peruse” doesn’t suggest they are looking for contributions or serious review.

          Steve: so now you’re saying that Gavin Schmidt was a liar when he said that EPA had sought his “substantive advice and opinion” on the documents provided to him. I don’t know why you believe that Schmidt was lying on this point. It seems a disproportionate accusation on your part. I know that CEI has long felt that EPA wasn’t looking for “contributions or serious review”, but you and CEI seem unlikely bedfellows. Nor did I say that EPA removed the copies of the documents. This is more fabrication on your part.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 1:59 AM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “so now you’re saying that Gavin Schmidt was a lιar when he said that EPA had sought his “substantive advice and opinion” on the documents provided to him”

          No. Yet again, you are putting words into my mouth. I do not see anything that I have said that is in any way contrary to what you allege that Gavin said. But I’ll repeat what I did say:
          “It’s hard to say till he links to his source.”
          Until that happens, I place no reliance on the fragments that you choose to release.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 3:59 PM | Permalink

          Nick, you argued that EPA was not “looking for contributions or serious review” from Gavin Schmidt. However, Gavin Schmidt said that EPA had “sought his substantive advice and opinion”. So yes, you were calling Schmidt a liar. Yes, you didn’t know that Schmidt had personally made the assertion about “substantive advice and opinion”, though I had attributed it to NASA, but equally you had no basis for denying that EPA had “sought [Schmidt’s] substantive advice and opinion” when you had limited knowledge and were just racehorsing.

          I am unaware of an online link to the document, but here is an excerpt with the words in question highlighted:
          foi_excerpt

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          “Nick, you argued that EPA was not “looking for contributions or serious review” from Gavin Schmidt”
          I said
          ‘Asking him to “quickly peruse” doesn’t suggest they are looking for contributions or serious review’

          And it doesn’t. That’s just a simple observation on the meaning of the phrase Samenow used. And there are many ways that Gavin could offer “substantive advice and opinion” without contributing text or undertaking a serious review of the document.

          I note that the draft was dated 28 May. Gavin saw it June 10. Doesn’t sound as if they are busily changing. The whole thing, after all stages of approval, was released July 29. It’s hard to imagine that they were seeking contributions in mid-June.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 9:56 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes says:

          And there are many ways that Gavin could offer “substantive advice and opinion” without contributing text or undertaking a serious review of the document.

          OK, can you describe some of these “many ways”?

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

        “despite loose references in a recent lawyers motion”

        wait for the climateball trick

        While the EPA did not investigate Mann, it nonetheless exonorated him.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

          “While the EPA did not investigate Mann, it nonetheless exonorated him.”
          Well, do you think the EPA investigated Mann? Really? And did it not say things that repudiate accusations against Mann?

          Stuff like: “In fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and was not hiding or concealing them. The figure as developed for the WMO report was not used by the IPCC. Rather, the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001 (IPCC, 2001), had a full paragraph on “important caveats to be kept in mind” regarding paleoclimate reconstructions that use tree rings. The paragraph included a discussion of the divergence and concluded that tree rings were best used as one of multiple proxies rather than being the sole source for a climate reconstruction. The AR4, published in 2007, addressed the divergence issue in a paragraph that began “Several analyses of ring width and ring density chronologies, with otherwise well established sensitivity to temperature, have shown that they do not emulate the general warming trend evident in instrumental temperature records over recent decades….” “

          Not relevant to accusations against Mann?

          Steve: I reviewed EPA’s consideration of Mann’s role in hide-the-decline and observed that they took the lawyerly approach of deciding that the issue was moot for the purpose of their ruling, thereby avoiding judgement on the ethics of Mann’s presentations. However, read closely, nowhere did EPA make a judgement that hide-the-decline in Mann’s section of IPCC 2001 (for example) was within scientific ethics. But this is far afield from Gavin Schmidt issues.

        • Phil
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

          Re: Steven Mosher (Oct 20 13:04),

          Nick,

          Several analyses of [x] and [y] …, … [while] otherwise well established to be [true] …, have shown that they [are false]….

          With mush like that, how can you honestly argue that such a statement “repudiate[s] accusations against Mann?”

          Steve: they don’t. But let’s stick to things that relate to Gavin Schmidt’s involvement. I discussed the EPA and Mann in another thread – see tag/steyn or tag/epa. Please comment there on this issue if you wish to relitigate – including Nick.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:15 PM | Permalink

          Nick

          “Stuff like: “In fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and was not hiding or concealing them. The figure as developed for the WMO report was not used by the IPCC. Rather, the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001 (IPCC, 2001), had a full paragraph on “important caveats to be kept in mind” regarding paleoclimate reconstructions that use tree rings. The paragraph included a discussion of the divergence and concluded that tree rings were best used as one of multiple proxies rather than being the sole source for a climate reconstruction. The AR4, published in 2007, addressed the divergence issue in a paragraph that began “Several analyses of ring width and ring density chronologies, with otherwise well established sensitivity to temperature, have shown that they do not emulate the general warming trend evident in instrumental temperature records over recent decades….”

          None of that mentions Mann.

          “Not relevant to accusations against Mann?”

          absolutely not relevant. the paragraph is a black box.

          gosh its fun playing the racehorse.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

          “gosh its fun playing the racehorse”
          Well, you’re not doing it very well. Raise your game or you’ll be put out to stud.

          The section begins:
          “Response (1-11):
          Based on our review of this string of e-mails, it appears that the quote citing “Mike’s Nature Trick” referred to a graph…”

          They don’t spell out M-a-n-n, but I think Mann’s team could get some mileage out of it.

        • TerryMN
          Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:25 PM | Permalink

          Well, do you think the EPA investigated Mann? Really?

          Mann, via his lawyers in a court brief, said that they did. Really.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 2:14 AM | Permalink

          nick playing you just gets easier. All one has to do now to imitate you is utter bald face untruths.

          But in this case youre not even wrong

          But refering to Jones describing Mann’s trick has nothing to do with Mann.
          It has to do with Jones.

          The paragraph you cite has nothing to do with Mann.

        • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

          Steven,
          “The paragraph you cite has nothing to do with Mann”
          Well, let’s see. It starts out with the WMO figure. Well, there is a reality-based view that that had little to do with Mann. Here is CA pouring scorn on that.

          “But refering to Jones describing Mann’s trick has nothing to do with Mann.”
          What does CEI say?
          “The revelation that Dr. Mann and others had attempted to “hide” it by use of a statistical “trick” therefore appeared to confirm the earlier criticisms of Mann’s “hockey stick” research, particularly that its statistical methods are biased to accentuate
          recent warming.”

          Mann’s team can use some support from the EPA there.

          EPA: “Rather, the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001 (IPCC, 2001), had a full paragraph on “important caveats to be kept in mind” regarding paleoclimate reconstructions that use tree rings. The paragraph included a discussion of the divergence and concluded that tree rings were best used as one of multiple proxies rather than being the sole source for a climate reconstruction.”

          What does CA say?
          “Mann knew of CRU’s deletion of the decline, but, as Lead Author of IPCC AR3, Mann willingly and enthusiastically participated in the hide-the-decline scheme,”

          They are talking of that section. Handy to be able to quote the EPA when CEI brings it up.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

          EPA responded to CEI directly in Response 1-5. Response 1-11, which you cite here, is a response to a differently framed point from Southeastern Legal. I already discussed EPA’s response to CEI in an earlier post. In that post, I observed that EPA took the position that the hide-the-decline figure in controversy was not from AR4, but from AR3, not the most recent assessment:

          EPA has reviewed the petitioner’s information and has determined that the graph provided by the petitioner from Professor Easterbrook’s talk is not from the AR4, but rather from the Third Assessment Report, which was published in 2001 and is no longer the most recent IPCC assessment report.

          They then argued that the EPA had not relied on IPCC TAR and thus any deception in Mann’s section of IPCC TAR was moot to the Endangerment Finding, thereby evading any opinion on scientific misconduct in connection with that figure – a lawyerly approach.

          EPA’s TSD actually uses a figure from the NRC (2006), which shows six reconstructions, one of which terminates in 1960. Because these assessment reports are showing the entirety of the data represented in the underlying literature, there is no evidence of any “artful deceit,” nor is this evidence that the AR4 is “scientifically questionable.”

          I notice that you did not comment on that thread. However, for the sake of others here, I would appreciate it if you familiarized yourself with that commentary before treading old water.

          Second, the paragraph in question does not disprove the CA assertion:

          “Mann knew of CRU’s deletion of the decline, but, as Lead Author of IPCC AR3, Mann willingly and enthusiastically participated in the hide-the-decline scheme,”

          This is a matter of fact – easily proved from the Climategate emails following the Lead Authors’ meeting in Arusha and summarized in contemporary articles.

          Because this is a matter of fact, nothing that EPA says can disprove it. Elsewhere in Response 1-11, from which you selectively quoted, EPA stated that the misrepresentation in the WMO graphic was an issue for WMO to address, adding that EPA had not relied on this graphic. This latter point is relevant for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding, but does not “exonerate” Mann as a coauthor of the WMO graphic:

          this is an issue for WMO to address, considering the purpose of the report and the role of the graph on the cover. However, the graph and the method used to prepare the graph bear no relationship to the detailed technical discussion found in the assessment reports which EPA relied upon in the development of the TSD,

          Nor does the paragraph in Response 1-11 directly address the controversial hide-the-decline in the IPCC TAR diagram, instead evading the issue.

          It stated:

          In fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and was not hiding or concealing them. …Rather, the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001 (IPCC, 2001), had a full paragraph on “important caveats to be kept in mind” regarding paleoclimate reconstructions that use tree rings. The paragraph included a discussion of the divergence and concluded that tree rings were best used as one of multiple proxies rather than being the sole source for a climate reconstruction.

          As commenter TCO observed at Klimaz Weibel at the time, there was an obvious explanation for why Mann and CRU wanted to hide the decline – “not everyone does know it and they want to prevent that people see the issue”:

          If the divergence is something everyone knows, why hide it? The obvious answer…not everyone does know it and they want to prevent that people see the issue. If someone pulled this crap in solid state physics, PRL would cut their nuts off.

          The motives of Mann and his IPCC coauthors were clearly set out in the emails: they did not want to “dilute the message” and did not want to give “fodder to skeptics”.

          The EPA commentary evades direct mention of the issue in controversy: that Mann and coauthors had deleted the inconvenient downward portion of the Briffa reconstruction and did not disclose this in the text, thereby giving an inaccurate impression of the validity of these reconstructions. Both Oxburgh and Muir Russell expressed disquiet with the IPCC diagram in Mann’s section. Nothing in the EPA response sanctifies hide-the-decline.

          The EPA response then turned to AR4, where disclosure of the hidden decline was coopered up – largely and very grudgingly in response to my comments as Reviewer, though none of the Climategate correspondents has thanked me for saving their bacon on this point. EPA took the position that the coopered up disclosure in AR4 was what they relied on, not the hide-the-decline in Mann’s AR3 section. That was sufficient for their argument in the Petitions, but does not exonerate Mann’s hide-the-decline in AR3.

          Finally, to the extent that EPA is asserted to have carried out an “independent investigation” of Mann’s scientific misconduct, their use of Schmidt as a technical expert in the interpretation of evidence means that their supposed “investigation” was not “independent” – as you’ve conceded.

          But for the purposes of Mann v Stey, the salient issue will be whether the EPA carried out an “independent” “investigation” of Mann’s scientific misconduct. If they didn’t, as you appear to agree, then there’s no reason why Steyn’s should be obligated to accept passim EPA comments as findings of fact.

        • AndyL
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

          N ick
          As you know, Mann’s court submission states that he had “absolutely nothing to do” with the WMO cover.

          You are correct that there is an “evidence based view” that Mann is talking out of his a£$%.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          Nick,

          You are arguing that the WMO cover did have something to do with
          Mann. And that the EPA is exonorating mann because
          “In fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and was not hiding or concealing them.”

          1. When an investigation and Mann himself finds that the WMO cover was misleading, you argue that Mann had nothing to do with it.
          2. When an investigation finds that the cover was not misleading, you argue that
          This exonorates Mann.

          So, for the record,

          A) Does Mann bear any responsibility for the cover, as his CV indicates
          or did he lie on his CV
          B) Is that cover misleading or do you disagree with Mann’s assessment?

          Simple questions, imagine you are called as a witness.

        • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 2:46 PM | Permalink

          Mosh,
          “You are arguing that the WMO cover did have something to do with Mann.”
          And you are saying that I’m wrong and that it didn’t. Which do you believe?

          But I’m not actually arguing that it had to do with Mann, I’m saying that it has to do with allegations against Mann, which are plentiful. That’s why it is relevant to the court case.

          But on your questions, I think it is worth trying to work out what is really true. You can see what happens if you don’t – here you are telling me that I’m wrong to say that the cover had to do with Mann, and lots of people are saying, well it must have, he said so on his CV.

          Mann was not an author; it’s clear from the emails that the plot was prepared at CRU and he was sent a copy after the fact. He was (implicitly at least) asked for permission to use his material, and was acknowledged with the cover as a data source, along with other people and the Met Office. That’s true, he was a data source. He then wrote that on his CV, listing those other people as well. That is a stretch; he was not an author (obviously they can’t all have been), but he was acknowledged as a data source, and he didn’t make that clear. So yes, he exaggerated on his CV. It happens.

          I think the plot as shown would have to be more carefully done in a scientific paper

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM | Permalink

          Nick, if Mann’s defence against lying in his pleadings is that he made a fraudulent claim in his CV, I can;t imagine this line of reasoning going very well.

          As to the WMO diagram, Jones, Mann and so on were salivating at the print run of thousands. The idea that more care is required in a “scientific paper” than in communication to policy-makers and/or the public is totally repugnant and is one of the main dividing lines between you and most readers here. In the non-academic world, greater care is mandated when you’re dealing with the public. Your position is completely foreign to anyone who’s had to deal with a regulator or securities commission. It shows the sort of contempt that was far too prevalent in CLimategate emails. That you share this contempt is disappointing.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

          Nick:

          Mann was not an author; it’s clear from the emails that the plot was prepared at CRU and he was sent a copy after the fact. He was (implicitly at least) asked for permission to use his material, and was acknowledged with the cover as a data source, along with other people and the Met Office. That’s true, he was a data source.

          No, I spent quite a lot time in putting the timeline together, and all you needed to do is to click to the links in order to read the full emails. You failed even to do that. The copy of the plot was not “sent after the fact”, but first, Jones explains what is the issue in detail (including exact details what goes into the plot) and sends the draft text along. In the end he is explicitly asking if they (MBH) are going along with the procedure (the text and the cover plot):

          I hope you’ll all be willing to go along with this and can live with the brief text. All the previous issues have been referenceless – I’m trying to circumvent this with the web page addresses for more info.

          Mann answers before he has even received the plot thereby agreeing with the plan (accepting the co-authorship):

          Thanks for sending that along. The text looks good, and I agree w/ everything that is said.

          And your (implicit) claim that Mann was awarded (only) as a data source, is ridiculous. None of participiants had their names anywhere else but as “data source” in the publication. The reason comes clear from the last line in the above first quote and reading the report itself: the articles in the WMO publication do not list the authors or have references. So Jones circumvented that by listing everyone as a “data source”.

        • mpainter
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes:
          “obviously they could not all have been” [an author].
          Well, Nick, what is obvious is that Mann claims authorship on his CV. You say that this is false. So, another falsehood attributed to Mann, this by yourself.

        • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:42 PM | Permalink

          “Nick, if Mann’s defence against lying in his pleadings is that he made a fraudulent claim in his CV”

          The language here is ridiculous. He didn’t make a frαudulent claim in his cv, and I’m surprised that that got past the CA filter. He listed the item in “other publications”, a section in which he lists, for example, all his realclimate posts. He lists the six names, exactly as they were listed in the attribution on the report. He didn’t make clear that the attribution was as data providers rather than authors, though it’s obvious. No-one is claiming that Bradley and Hughes were authors of the WMO diagram, but they are in the list. It’s a stretch, but calling it frαudulent is way over the top.

        • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:46 PM | Permalink

          “I’m surprised that that got past the CA filter”
          Indeed. Ironically, I modified all my occurrences of frαudulent, but forgot to do so when quoting Steve, so into moderation it went.

        • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 2:09 AM | Permalink

          Re: Steven Mosher (Oct 20 13:04),

          It’s a stretch, but calling it frαudulent is way over the top.

          Nick, which one is closer to frαudulent? Taking credit for something you didn’t do, or denying any involvement for something you did?

        • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 2:11 AM | Permalink

          Forgot to edit out the Reply to Mosh part. That was for Nick.

        • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 6:45 AM | Permalink

          Jean S,
          “The copy of the plot was not “sent after the fact”, but first,”
          All I can see in your post is that Mann was sent a completed plot, presumably because he was a data source. You have no record of him commenting on or contributing to that plot as it was prepared. He had sent “just for comparison” his own plot (Fig 2.21) which has proxy and instrumental clearly distinguished. You have comments Mann made on some text, before he had been sent the plot. You seem to assign authorship of the plot to him simply on the basis that you don’t have a record of him commenting.

          You quote Bradley two months later asking Jones
          “can you send me another copy of the wmo figure that you prepared — at least, if it changed after 11/16/99”
          “You prepared”. Doesn’t sound like he thinks he is an author. He doesn’t even know if he has the final version.

          “And your (implicit) claim that Mann was awarded (only) as a data source, is ridiculous.”

          That’s what the report said. The rest is your speculation.

        • Jean S
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

          No Nick, your twisting of reality does not work here. Jones is describing exactly what the figure will be like, and asking for feedback and approval. Mann does not comment either the figure plan nor the final figure but does comment approvingly the text, so in the non-racehorse world people understand that as both the figure and the text had Mann’s approval. Here’s Jones’ text again with relevant parts bolded for your convinience.

          WMO want to go with the millennial record on the cover and I said I would produce something and some text. The figure will be the 3 curves ( Mike’s, mine amd Keith/Tim’s). Tim is producing this curve (all wrt 61-90 and 50 year smoothed). Each will be extended to 1999 by instrumental data for the zones/seasons they represent. The attached text briefly discusses the differences and what is shown. The text is attached as a word file. It is probably a little too long and is, as you’ll see, very brief. If you want anything changed/added then delete something. Can I have your feedback asap as I have to get the text and the diagram to Geneva by Nov 29 ?

          There will be a press release in Geneva on Dec16 – they need two weeks to approve the text internally. The full text of the report is then printed during Feb 2000 – last year’s was 12 pages long. It will be released on March 15 in Geneva to coincide with WM (World Met) day and the 50th anniversary celebrations of WMO as well. WMO are planning to print at least twice as many copies as usual and were talking about 25,000 ! Copies go to all WMO members and are distributed at countless meetings and sent to loads of address lists available.

          I hope you’ll all be willing to go along with this and can live with the brief text. All the previous issues have been referenceless – I’m trying to circumvent this with the web page addresses for more info.

        • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 3:52 PM | Permalink

          OK, here’s what I would have bolded:
          I said I would produce something and some text”
          I have to get the text and the diagram to Geneva”

      • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:28 PM | Permalink

        Steve:

        Nick, if Mann’s defence against lying in his pleadings is that he made a fraudulent claim in his CV, I can’t imagine this line of reasoning going very well.

        Works like the train toilet” as they say in Finnish.

        Jean S: Hah! The saying is coming from the times when toilets in trains were just basicly holes in the floor gravity taking care of everything … so the meaning is roughly that something always/reliably works.

        I had to check what is the origin of the phrase “lifting the cat onto the table” I used earlier. The explenation goes that in the old times when kittens got to a certain age, one had to decide which/if any were left alive. In that process many times kittens were also given to anyone wishing to have them (kids in the neighborhood etc.), and the sex of a kitten played a crucial role. So they lifted it onto the table and turned around in order to determine the sex. Thus the meaning of the saying is that one starts (finally) talking about/acting on a diffucult/unpleasant subject (which one rather not to do but have to at some point in order to progress/deal with the actual matter).

        • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

          Don’t confuse me with your local knowledge. My PCA says to use the simile upside down. 🙂

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 7:44 AM | Permalink

          Gavin’s response is similar to the schoolchildren’s tuanto fo”Tat for me to know and you to find out”…which always struck me as an odd thing to say – it seems a tacit admission and an explicit admission that there is something to find.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 7:46 AM | Permalink

          Sorry.
          ..taunt of “That’s for me to know and you to find out”

          🙂

      • Phil R
        Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM | Permalink

        “In the non-academic world, greater care is mandated when you’re dealing with the public. Your position is completely foreign to anyone who’s had to deal with a regulator or securities commission. It shows the sort of contempt that was far too prevalent in CLimategate emails. That you share this contempt is disappointing.”

        I apologize, I tried to follow the link back and not sure where this is going to show up, and most of this discussion is way above my pay grade, but I think this is a money quote (but still to be surely lost on Nick).

        I work in the private sector (as it seems a large percentage of commenters here)and I completely agree. Nick, you’re defending the indefensible. You nit-pick on any little out-of-context inconstancy that you can find, but can’t seem to relate to or address the overriding issue.

        As a worker in the private sector, I am subject to all kinds of regulations and scrutiny. And yes, it burns my @rse that my government is not subject to just as strict scrutiny, and you are an apologist for this.

        • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

          Phil R
          “You nit-pick on any little out-of-context inconstancy that you can find, but can’t seem to relate to or address the overriding issue.”

          The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate? Very little of what is written about at CA helps to understand that. I try to at my blog.

          As to nit-picking, well, here we are again arguing over some possibly errant pixels in the cover art of a WMO report from 15 years ago. And whether Mann referred inexactly to his contribution to it down in the “other publications” section of his CV.

        • John M
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

          Nick @Oct 21, 2014 at 6:32 PM,

          It would indeed be nice to “move on”, except the fool keeps filing lawsuits.

        • Szilard
          Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes at 6:32 PM

          “The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate? Very little of what is written about at CA helps to understand that. I try to at my blog.”

          I thought that the main issue for this blog is the paleo record, more specifically critiques of reconstructions, and of people/institutions/methods seen by SM as lowering the quality of the enterprise?

          Assuming that’s correct, you might not think it’s very important but in that case, why care about the blog?

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 12:24 AM | Permalink

          “The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate? Very little of what is written about at CA helps to understand that. I try to at my blog”

          1. The most play your blog receives is where you criticise Steve.
          2. Now you play the “You’re ignoring the big picture” game which switches to “Where are your supportng details” game, depending.

          Why not just follow Gavin’s lead? “It doesn’t maatter”.

          There.

        • John Bills
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 3:32 AM | Permalink

          Nick Stokes: “The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate?”
          Nick Stokes peeps out.
          Wrong blog Nick.

        • barn E. rubble
          Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 7:14 AM | Permalink

          RE: Phil R Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 5:42 PM
          “. . . nit-pick . . .”

          I think you meant, “nick-pick” or maybe, “nit-stock”.

      • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:51 PM | Permalink

        Richard,
        Steve himself described it as surmise. Is that different from speculation?

        My use of the term was in saying:
        “But as usual here, sheer speculation becomes established fact:”
        I suppose you could say that was literally true. But what I was noting was that in the post, it was treated as established fact in numerous assertions, though conceded elsewhere to be a surmise.

    • Jeff Norman
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Permalink

      Steve,

      Maybe you should have a disclaimer at the start of every post:

      “I try hard to write accurately and do not wish to disseminate any inaccurate or incorrect information. If you can identify any specific points of inaccuracy, I will undertake to promptly make corrections.”

      rolleyes:

  16. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 5:56 PM | Permalink

    In response to Jean S’ suggestion that it would be simpler if Schmidt answered his question, Schmidt ‏@ClimateOfGavin responded:

    @JeanSbls Your sense of entitlement is as amusing as it is unwarranted @mattstat

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 7:49 PM | Permalink

      Congress put these laws in place about peer review, listing authors & reviewers, etc. for a reason–to act as a check on agencies just doing whatever they want in secret. Gavin is a gov’t employee and should know this. EPA is playing word games here, calling the report not an influential document, and then relying on it in court. They are also putting out “white papers” without peer review, and then relying on them for regulations.
      Jean’s “sense of entitlement” is that 1) EPA and Gavin are bound by the law to disclose this and 2) there is a major lawsuit in play by Gavin’s homeboy who points to the EPA document as independent evidence of his exoneration.

      • ianl8888
        Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

        > … there is a major lawsuit in play by Gavin’s homeboy …

        My view is that in Mann vs Steyn, Steyn has no hope – he simply doesn’t have enough money. Nothing so far has occurred to change this view

        Perusing Nick Stokes comments here, though, it is apparent that Nick does not share that view 🙂

    • Steven Mosher
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM | Permalink

      well well,

      I would so love to be a fly on the wall at deposition time.

    • Tim Irwin
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 7:59 PM | Permalink

      Schmidt’s response is smug, snide and condescending. Also a perfect example of a non-denial denial.

    • dfhunter
      Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 6:47 PM | Permalink

      he well be a smart guy with the GCM crowd & i was hopeful as a smart guy he would back off from some of the BS (he does have an award for best sciense bla bla award after all).
      but if this tweet is correct he is saying – we the common people/bloggers/interested public should just f**k off because we are not entitled to any feedback/response from a group of scientists who are indirectly or as activitists directly trying to change our World/or at least the west ?

      if this statement is proved to be from Gavin Schmidt – snip – his very lucrative tax paid position & – snip – live in the real world.
      sorry for the rant Steve/Jean, but what else i can say !!!
      ps- just thought of something – unf**kingbelievable

  17. AJ
    Posted Oct 19, 2014 at 9:22 PM | Permalink

    I would imagine Mann’s lawyers are losing their sense of humor regarding sticking their necks out in court with claims, only to find out after the fact that their client knew all along that they were lies. First the Noble, than the claims of exoneration by investigations that don’t’ even mention his name, and now, their holiest investigation of all, turns out to be from press releases and not the actual report, and that to call it independent, is another act of fraud..

    Also like Schmidt’s non-answer answers – insulting the messenger in hopes that they’ll just go away. Pathetic.

  18. AntonyIndia
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

    One thing is clear: Gavin Schmidt is cited as a Federal expert reviewer by the EPA itself in their technical support document for the original Endangerment Findings dated December 7 2009. Jason Samenow is also mentioned of course, so the two must be familiar. http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/Endangerment_TSD.pdf

  19. Jean S
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 5:02 AM | Permalink

    Apart from the issues related to Mann I find Schmidt’s (undisclosed) involvement troubling considering Arthur Randol’s petition, whose central claim is as follows:

    EPA relies upon “modeling” by others as a major line of evidence yet the CRU email reveal serious questions about the validity of the IPCC models and the modelers

    The first CG exchange cited by Randol includes Gavin Schmidt as one of the participiants, and Gavin is actually the creator of the figure under discussion. As I indicated earlier one of the clearest evidence of Gavin’s involvement in the Denial Decision writing comes from the EPA’s answers to Randol’s questions, especially from 1-31, where EPA apparently knows exactly what the figure under discussion looked like. CG emails don’t have the attachments, so the outsider reading the exchange only knows that the figure was “similar” to one of the figures in this RC post.

    Steve: WHile the emails don’t have attachments, the reference to the RC post limits the field and the figure in question is clearly a variation of one of the model vs observation comparisons in the RC post. I don’t see anything in Response 1-31 that could only have been written by Schmidt. However, it seems beyond reasonable dispute that he was consulted on the document and relied on by EPA in its evaluation and certainly could have contributed language to some responses in this capacity.

  20. Szilard
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 8:17 AM | Permalink

    Dumb question: The FOI request covers the doc couriered by Samenow, right? Why wasn’t it produced?

    Steve: Government agencies tend not to be fulsome in their responses and force appeals. In this case, I suspect that Horner will appeal. EPA may then assert an exemption – draft documents are sometimes exempt. But if they sent the draft documents to Schmidt, they’d have to explain Schmidt’s role in respect to the documents in terms of the exemption claim.

    • Patrick M.
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM | Permalink

      If they claim an exemption due to it being a ‘draft document’, do they have to specify what the document was a draft of? If they could get an exemptions by just declaring a document as draft without any more information, it seems that they could just call everything a draft…

    • S. Geiger
      Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 6:33 PM | Permalink

      I was wondering if they could FOIA the EPA reps’ notes from the meeting in NYC that day (?) I think Gavin has a lot of room to squirm out saying he was just providing ‘clarifications’ for them (or some such). However, to see what the EPA guys came away with from their meeting with Gavin would be very interesting.

      Steve: Whatever Gavin says, it is evident that he was a technical expert that EPA relied on in their evaluation of evidence. So if it was, as Mann says, an “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann, Gavin was relied on in such evaluation.

  21. David L. Hagen
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 10:42 AM | Permalink

    EPA Peer Review Program
    Note the OMB policies and further EPA amendments and figures:

    The Peer Review Policy (and memo signed by the Administrator on January 31, 2006) (PDF) (4 pp, 261K) and 3rd Edition of the Handbook (PDF) (190 pp, 1.8MB) benefits from insights gained from implementing the program over the last decade, strengthens the explanation of ethical standards, and incorporates the provisions of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (PRB). The OMB PRB (PDF) (41 pp, 239K) contains provisions for the conduct of peer review at all federal agencies in order to enhance transparency and accountability and applies to “influential scientific information” (ISA) and “highly influential scientific assessments” (HISA). Please note that in June 2012, Figures 1 and 3 of the Handbook were modified to clarify requirements for ISIs and HISAs.

    The OMB in turn cites NSF

    National Academy of Sciences, “Policy and Procedures on Committee Composition and Balance and Conflicts of Interest for Committees Used in the Development of Reports,” May 2003: Available at:
    http://www.nationalacademies.org/coi/index.html.

    The EPA Posts: Addendum to the Peer Review Handbook, 3rd Edition: Appearance of a Lack of Impartiality in External Peer Reviews
    This addendum provides:

    a definition of an appearance of a lack of impartiality for individuals who serve on peer review panels either as Government employees or as experts hired under a contract mechanism, the criteria for applying the definition of an appearance of a lack of impartiality, and illustrative examples.
    >View this Addendum to the Peer Review Handbook (PDF) (7 pp, 77KB)

    Momdified Figures Flowchart for Planning a Peer Review.
    “Addendum to the Peer Review Handbook, 3rd Edition:
    Appearance of a Lack of Impartiality in External Peer Reviews”
    Note particularly:

    After considering these criteria, the appropriate Deputy Ethics Official may decide to authorize the employee’s participation or, conversely, to prohibit it. Regardless of the outcome, OGC/Ethics strongly recommends that the Deputy Ethics Official issue a written determination that documents the final decision.

    There should be a written determination by the DEO on this appearance of lack of impartiality of one or more of Gavin Schmidt, Jason Samenow, Marcus Sarofim and Rona Birnbaum, which should be available via FOI.

  22. PhilH
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

    This tale of Gavin’s possible involvement in the EPA finding reminds me of something I heard in law school over forty years ago: A Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court wrote an opinion in a divorce case, and remarked on the fact that although many times it is difficult to find hard, concrete evidence of the adultery of a party, it was rather like the fact that although you can’t actually “see” the wind, “When the leaves go to rustling in the trees, you can be pretty sure the wind is blowing.”

    PhilH

  23. RHL
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    I don’t know if this has been covered at CA previously, but there are several reports from the EPA Office of Inspector General which are critical of the EPA handling of the peer review of the endangerment finding. From a press statement:
    http://www.epa.gov/oigearth/reports/2011/IG_Statement_Greenhouse_Gases_Endangerment_Report.pdf
    the OIG states: “While it may be debatable what impact, if any, this had on EPA’s finding, it is clear that EPA did not follow all required steps for a highly influential scientific assessment. We also noted that documentation of events and analyses could be improved.

    EPA disagreed with our conclusions and did not agree to take any corrective actions in response to this report. All the report’s recommendations are unresolved.”

    The full report is here: http://www.epa.gov/oigearth/reports/2011/20110926-11-P-0702.pdf

    EPA’s response was basically agreeing to disagree: http://www.epa.gov/oigearth/reports/2012/11-P-0702_Agency_Response.pdf and OIG’s reply: http://www.epa.gov/oigearth/reports/2012/11-P-0702_IG_Comment_on_Response.pdf

    The bottom line is that the EPA did NOT follow its peer review requirements.

    Steve: there was discussion here at the time.

  24. Kan
    Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 7:14 PM | Permalink

    One thing to keep in mind is that EPA was known to use fake email accounts for people employed therein. I know Horner knows this, but am not sure how you uncover it in an FOIA request. There may not have been total silence between Schmitt and Samenow after the NYC meeting.

    Then again this type of thinking happens when it is discovered that the Federal Government does not follow its own laws and regulations.

  25. Posted Oct 20, 2014 at 9:31 PM | Permalink

    It’s strange to me that Gavin chooses to go down with this ship this many years later. Why risk damaging your own professional reputation to protect Mann? The whole climate science field would be better off if they just dropped him like a hot potato. It’s at least mildly encouraging that RC seems to be in the process of extricating themselves from Mann.

  26. Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 3:40 AM | Permalink

    Cats on the table,
    Racehorses out to stud.
    I must leave CA more often
    If rejoining’s this good.

  27. JD Ohio
    Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Permalink

    I am hoping that someone can provide a link to a discussion Gavin had on a blog (might have been Kloor’s) where he claimed that he did not believe in “consensus” science, but also claimed that people should rely on what he considers to be consensus AGW science. Gavin’s position was, at best, very confused.

    His comments at that time may be relevant to the discussion here.

    JD

  28. joe
    Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

    I realize that this is a science blog and not a legal blog – my understanding is that once the EPA has made an endangerment finding and if the endangerment finding has followed all the correct procedures, issuances of notices, etc, then the scientific conclusions reached in the endangerment finding is not reviewable in federal court, ie the court has to accept the finding as valid. Does any one have any insight if I am stating the law correctly and what ramifications the issues raised by S Mc have with the future use of this endangerment finding.

    • Craig Loehle
      Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Permalink

      Joe: I believe you are correct in your statement of the policy that the courts don’t generally review the science. However, there is a requirement that EPA conduct due diligence on all data/publications they use for any assessment, and that their findings be properly peer reviewed. In the endangerment finding, they simply took the IPCC report as ok, which violates the rules, and did not do any peer-review (nor apparently kept any records of whatever peer-review they did).

      • johanna
        Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

        Craig, while the practice of administrative law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, countries which derive from the English system are broadly in agreement about the principles.

        One is that it is not the role of the courts to delve into the arguments about a particular issue, but rather to decide whether the decision that was made is lawful. Hence, while many people were furious about SCOTUS’ decision re the EPA and CO2, that was not the question that they were ruling on.

        My own view is that the lawyers in that case argued it very badly, and deserved to get whupped. Mark Steyn has highlighted the obsession with process rather than getting to the core of an issue which bedevils a lot of lawyers.

      • TAG
        Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

        I’m not a lawyer but have assisted lawyers on technical items for litigation. What the lawyers have told me is that in the US a court will defer to a decision by another government agency. So for a patent case, a judge will give deference to a decision by a patent examiner. What the lawyers told me is that that means is that the standard of proof will be made higher. So in a a patent case, it will move from the balance of probabilities (more evidence for than not, to clear and convincing in which the judge has to be convinced that the decision was in error.

        In patent cases, judges have to make decisions on science and engineering topics all of the time. For example, how should the phrase “temperature proxy” be defined. As well, there may be controversies among the parties as to what a decision entails. So what does constitute a “decline”. I’ve seen arguments over the term ‘disconnect” in relation to a telephone. So I would be surprised if a party could not make arguments to the judge that the EPA finding is in error or, more common in my experience with patents, does not mean what the other side thinks that it means.

    • Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM | Permalink

      Joe,
      “Does any one have any insight if I am stating the law correctly and what ramifications the issues raised by S Mc have with the future use of this endangerment finding.”

      In fact, the endangerment finding was challenged, and the challenge got through to the SC. But on the way, the DC US Court of Appeals commented on your point. In a para headed “Role of the Court” they said:
      “In the end, Petitioners are asking us to re-weigh the scientific evidence before EPA and reach our own conclusion. This is not our role. As with other reviews of administrative proceedings, we do not determine the convincing force of evidence, nor the conclusion it should support, but only whether the conclusion reached by EPA is supported by substantial evidence when considered on the record as a whole. See, e.g., New York v. EPA, 413 F.3d 3, 30 (D.C. Cir. 2005). When EPA evaluates scientific evidence in its bailiwick, we ask only that it take the scientific record into account “in a rational manner.” Am. Petroleum Inst. v. Costle, 665 F.2d 1176, 1187 (D.C. Cir. 1981). Industry Petitioners have not shown that EPA failed to do so here.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 4:31 PM | Permalink

        Does any one have any insight if I am stating the law correctly and what ramifications the issues raised by S Mc have with the future use of this endangerment finding.”

        I do not profess to knowledge of US administrative law rising above the observations that have been recorded here over the past few years. i can’t imagine the issues here having any impact on the Endangerment Finding, which has already been litigated in the Petitions and appeals in Utility Air Regulation. I doubt that many Americans would be astonished that the EPA didn’t observe federal policies on peer review, but that’s more of an issue for an oversight committee. And as long as the oversight committee has no sanctions, I don’t see that there are any consequences to EPA for ignoring such policies.

  29. johanna
    Posted Oct 21, 2014 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    TAG, that’s not administrative law. It’s commercial law, which is a different beast entirely.

  30. Frank
    Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

    Steve wrote above (Oct 21, 2014 at 4:22 PM): “The idea that more care is required in a “scientific paper” than in communication to policy-makers and/or the public is totally repugnant and is one of the main dividing lines between [Nick] and most readers here. In the non-academic world, greater care is mandated when you’re dealing with the public. Your position is completely foreign to anyone who’s had to deal with a regulator or securities commission. It shows the sort of contempt that was far too prevalent in Climategate emails.”

    Unfortunately, many academics don’t feel that they are required to be at least as careful and candid communicating with the public as with each other. Consider these infamous remarks by Stephen Schneider:

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”

    Using Schneider’s standards, the hockey team was completely justified in hiding the decline in Briffa’s temperature reconstruction: 1) Experts already knew his tree ring proxies failed to capture post-1960’s warming. 2) Omitting that portion made the graph more “effective”. Politicians, policy advocates and lawyers routinely offer up distortions, scary stories and simplified dramatic statements and hide their doubts. Many scientists feel they are at a disadvantage if they don’t behave in the same manner. The distortions permitted in law and politics and law are tolerable only because these are inherently adversarial systems: Each side is given equal opportunity to present their case. (Ethical reporters were expected to seek out and convey all positions).

    Scientists generally don’t rely on an adversarial system to uncover the truth (which is one reason why the auditing done here has attracted such animosity). The IPCC is designed to avoid an effective adversarial process in reporting a scientific consensus (or lack thereof). So climate science as currently practiced has the worst of both worlds: Traditional scientific ethics have been reduced to a potential trade-off between honesty and effectiveness. Both sides do not have equal opportunity to present their position.

    • Peter
      Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 6:40 AM | Permalink

      Thanks Frank, I am glad I read this – it really resonates with me.

    • Peter
      Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

      I am not familiar with the culture of the scientific community wrt ‘adversarial system’ – but I was made aware during my spell on the Board of a school that there is a very strong collegial tradition among teachers (which may be relevant to extent climate researchers are largely in academia).

  31. Joe Goodacre
    Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    For the purposes of Mann v Steyn, won’t the test of actual malice be based upon Steyn’s frame of mind at the time he wrote the column. Assuming everything that is discussed in this posting is correct and Schmidt was involved in the EPA decision making, then yes as of this month it would be legitimate to question whether the EPA decision affirmed Mann’s actions to such an extent that disregard of this could constitute actual malice. It’s highly doubtful though that Steyn had these questions back when the column was first written.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo
      Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

      But relevant to whether or not Mann was and still is in the habit of telling porkies, which could make him untrustworthy to normal people.

    • AndyL
      Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

      It’s questionable whether Steyn was even aware of this (alleged) investigation at the time.

    • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Permalink

      I await expert verdicts but this seems to set the bar for a pole vault when the jumper has no pole. How could Steyn be expected to convince about what might have been reasonable to think at an earlier time, with obscured and incomplete data, and from that shaky foundation prove lack of actual malice? Seen rightly, I feel sure, the defendant now has to make it over something knee height to a grasshopper, based on information in plain view, no small thanks to Steve.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

      There are several inter-related issues for actual malice. As I understand it and as you observe, the test depends on Steyn’s subjective state of mind. It is evident that Steyn and the other parties were unpersuaded by the findings of the Penn State and other inquiries of which they were aware. It is not at all clear to me that Steyn would have been aware of EPA’s supposed findings in this matter: indeed, I’ve written a post observing the lack of coverage of the EPA documents insofar as they might pertain to Mann and wondering how Mann could support his allegation that Steyn had read and was aware of the EPA documents as they related to Mann.

      In Mann’s pleadings, Mann asserted that the EPA was an “independent investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against him and quoted findings from their press kit (falsely attributing these to the report itself.) Mann claimed that Steyn knew of these findings and was obliged to accept them as facts.

      The doctrine that Steyn or anyone else is obliged to accept findings of government inquiries as facts has been ably opposed by ACLU and I anticipate that this argument will prove decisive, leaving all other issues unresolved.

      Buit it is Mann that is putting the facts of the EPA inquiry into issue, not Steyn (at this point).

    • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

      It seems unlikely to get to this, I agree with Steve mci, but Mann’s argument would essentially be “we lied when we said that I was independently investigated, but you didnt know we were lying at the time, so you must accept our lie as true, and namely the conclusions that would follow if our lie were true…”

      I can’t see his side making this argument, or attempting to, but if they did, I doubt the result would be victory in the law suit. Equity as well as law and precedent plays a part in court cases.

      • Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

        copner (1:33 PM):

        Equity as well as law and precedent plays a part in court cases.

        Yep. What Steyn said about Mann has been proved essentially true by what we now know. This means, among other things, that it was strongly in the public interest that he expressed his concerns when he did. And, as the ACLU has argued, he wasn’t obliged to accept the verdict of a government inquiry even if it did exonerate Mann, which it didn’t. Easy pickings.

  32. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 9:07 PM | Permalink

    In Mann’s lawsuit, he hand waves toward a bunch of reports as “exonerating” him, without specifics. In a different defamation case, the judge instructed the plaintiff to specifically point to the defamatory items contained in thousands of pages of documents, but the plaintiff failed to do so and was soundly rebuked. There is a parallel here where it is impossible to find in any of the panels and reports any trace of the claimed exoneration.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2014/10/21/inexplicably-plaintiffs-counsel-was-not-struck-by-lightning-during-the-course-of-his-denial/

  33. Joe Goodacre
    Posted Oct 22, 2014 at 10:04 PM | Permalink

    So for all intents and purposes the EPA decision probably didn’t have any effect on Steyn’s motive at the time, but that Mann calling it an ‘independent’ investigation in his pleadings will be seen as another example of his general disregard of the truth.

    • Steve McIntyre
      Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 9:27 AM | Permalink

      no, it’s more than that. Mann relies on the “exonerations” to try to get past the very tough hurdle of “actual malice”. Nor is “motive” the right term to use for actual malice. As I understand it, “actual malice” with public figures more or less requires that the defendant knew the opposite to be the case, and made the statements anyway. Mann relies on the “exonerations” as his support for the allegation that Steyn knew alternative facts and made his statements anyway. But if the exonerations do not provide the claimed vindication, then Steyn can hardly be expected to have acquiesced in their findings. There are many other issues. If you read the relevant cases, you can get a flavor of the way that the decisions go. The ACLU brief is good as well.

  34. Steve McIntyre
    Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Permalink

    Further information from FOI requests has shown that the surmise in this post was completely accurate. The documents sent by courier to Schmidt were 129 pages of hard copy which is described in the response as a portion of document that “later became in final form” the EPA’s RTP documents. The FOI response also states that EPA sought Schmidt’s “substantive advice and opinion” on the document. Both EPA and NASA have refused to provide the document itself claiming “deliberative” exemption.

    Although the circumstantial evidence was convincing, readers will recall that Nick Stokes described my surmise that Schmidt had received and reviewed RTP documents as nothing more than “sheer speculation”. Readers will also recall that Gavin Schmidt claimed https://twitter.com/ClimateOfGavin/status/523886652822138881 that the assertions in this post were “mostly fiction”.

    It turns out that my surmise was correct and that Schmidt’s claim that the post was “mostly fiction” was completely untrue.

    • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM | Permalink

      Instructive to remember Nick Stokes (Oct 21 6:32 PM):

      The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate … Very little of what is written about at CA helps to understand that.

      A related question is what we are doing to our polity, guided by men who cannot tell the truth.

    • Political Junkie
      Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 5:29 PM | Permalink

      “It turns out that my surmise was correct and that Schmidt’s claim that the post was “mostly fiction” was completely untrue.”

      Steve, are the apologies from Schmidt, Stokes and Mann stuck in moderation?

      I’m also looking forward to the coverage of this on SkS – nothing as of yet but I’m sure they are working on it!

    • AndyL
      Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 5:44 PM | Permalink

      Perhaps Schmidt is really a man of honour, and when saying “mostly fiction” he is acknowledging that the findings were were not an investigation into Mann.

    • N ιck Stoκes
      Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

      “Although the circumstantial evidence was convincing, readers will recall that Nick Stokes described my surmise that Schmidt had received and reviewed RTP documents as nothing more than “sheer speculation”.”

      It was sheer speculation. You gave no evidence. I offered no opinion on the nature of the document, which I think was appropriate given what we knew.

      The document was already printed. Certainly the speculations here about Schmidt being involved in writing it were nonsense. As to what “substantive advice and opinion” means, we’ll see. Was there any further communication after that single meeting? None was in the original FOI response linked.

      • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:05 PM | Permalink

        Re: N ιck Stoκes (Oct 23 17:53),

        The document was already printed. Certainly the speculations here about Schmidt being involved in writing it were nonsense.

        Now that’s an interesting foray into temporal mechanics. So, if an author of a book is handed a copy of that book to be signed, the actual author cannot have been involved with the writing of the book because it had already been printed. If I buy a book that I wrote from Amazon, I could not have been involved in its writing. I think you have tortured logic until she finally died. You’ll get nothing more from her.

        • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM | Permalink

          CTM,
          There is circumstantial evidence, from the emails, that he hadn’t seen it before. Why would they need to send a hard copy by courier of a document that he had been involved in writing?

          “Substantive advice and opinion” on a printed doc does not sound like authorship.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:53 AM | Permalink

          Re: charles the moderator (Oct 23 18:05),

          There is circumstantial evidence, from the emails, that he hadn’t seen it before.

          That is sheer speculation on your part.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:39 PM | Permalink

          “There is circumstantial evidence, from the emails, that he hadn’t seen it before.”

          1. there is no evidence whatsoever that he hadn’t seen it.
          2. evidence that would count as circumstantial hearsay would be statements like
          “please send the document I havent see it’
          ” we are sending you a document you havent seen”
          3. They gave him one night to review a 129 page document. One could presume
          it wasnt unknown material to him.

          “Why would they need to send a hard copy by courier of a document that he had been involved in writing?”

          1. it is too big for email.
          2. they dont use drop box
          3. protocal prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.
          4. The want confirmation of delivery.

          “Substantive advice and opinion” on a printed doc does not sound like authorship.

          1. Yes it does sound like authorship depending on the field.
          2. Nobody made a claim of total authorship.
          3. The line between authorship and acknowledgments is not well defined.

          Interesting work on ghost writing

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1769411/

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 4:07 PM | Permalink

          Mosher said:

          “Substantive advice and opinion” on a printed doc does not sound like authorship.
          1. Yes it does sound like authorship depending on the field.
          2. Nobody made a claim of total authorship.

          I hadn’t been thinking of Schmidt as a “coauthor” as much as a “technical expert” under the wording of the NSF OIG. However, when you put it that way, there must be dozens of multi-author articles in which the contribution of some of the coauthors was not more than “substantive advice and opinion” – sometimes not even that. Consider, for example, the many coauthors of Mann et al 2003 (EOS), where the contributions of the various authors can be observed in Climategate emails. Malcolm Hughes was listed as a coauthor of the EOS article. Did Schmidt contribute as much to the RTP in the way of “substantive advice and opinion” as Hughes contributed to Mann et al 2003 (EOS). Given that Schmidt is energetic and knowledgeable, he could easily do so even in a single day’s work.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:42 PM | Permalink

          In terms of precedent, the EPA Endangerment TSD listed Alan Carlin as an “EPA author and contributor”. Also EPA General Counsel Carol Holmes and others whose contribution appears to have consisted of “substantive advice and opinion”, as opposed to making the first draft of text. Schmidt was one of 12 listed “federal expert reviewers”. The first draft of the TSD was distributed on March 9, 2009 and released in April. I wonder how EPA delivered the TSD to Schmidt and how he delivered comments on it.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 5:09 PM | Permalink

          Mosh,
          “They gave him one night to review a 129 page document. One could presume it wasnt unknown material to him.”
          No, Samenow said:
          “Gavin– I want to send you a document via overnight mail (tonight) that hopefully you and Reto can quickly peruse before our meeting Thursday “

          “quickly peruse” is not review. And it’s not something you ask someone to do with known material. If it’s known, you’d say so. Not “a document”.

          “protocal prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.”

          That’s my suggestion elsewhere on this thread. But if there is that restriction, how could Gavin have had earlier involvement if they don’t even know his mailing address?

          “The line between authorship and acknowledgments is not well defined.”
          But Gavin is not acknowledged in any capacity (for the responses). And CA’s earlier post was not talking about co-authorship. It gave specific sections of text which it suggested he wrote (eg response 1-2).

          Steve: In the present post, I made no assertion whatever that Schmidt wrote any particular text. Jean S had observed unusual knowledge of small details in the EPA decision, which led to FOI disclosure that Schmidt had received draft RTP documents and two EPA officials devoted an entire day to obtaining Schmidt’s views on the document. As I’ve repeatedly stated, the lack of “independence” in the EPA investigation is established by Schmidt’s use as a technical expert to evaluate information. Whether he additionally drafted language remains unknown, but is unnecessary to establish the lack of independence, as I’m sure that you acknowledge and agree,

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 7:05 PM | Permalink

          how could Gavin have had earlier involvement if they don’t even know his mailing address?

          puh-leeze. I don’t know the mailing address of 99% of the people that I correspond with by email. who uses snail mail to convey documents any more?

          But Gavin is not acknowledged in any capacity (for the responses).

          This is one of your stupider comments. I already stated that EPA did not identify any of the authors or reviewers in the documents and that they claimed not to have a list of either authors or reviewers of the RTP report. So why would they uniquely credit Gavin Schmidt. Despite regulations requiring them to maintain a peer review record for influential scientific information disseminated by EPA.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 5:11 PM | Permalink

          Yes Steve some research on what counts as authorship across various fields showed a wide variety of criteria. In one case even if one wrote a substantial portion of the work it wouldnt count as authorship.

          Of course no one claimed that Gavin was co author. Another climateballer trick.

          However, now that the ball is in play it will be fun.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 7:32 PM | Permalink

          “puh-leeze. I don’t know the mailing address of 99% of the people that I correspond with by email”

          Steven is suggesting (as I do) that they used courier because of a restriction on emailing drafts outside. If so, and there was previous involvement of Gavin in the drafts, that would have been by mail or courier, and they would know his address. In any case, there is no record of emails except for organising this meeting.

          “I already stated that EPA did not identify any of the authors or reviewers”
          But you suggest that Gavin would have co-author status by the customs of journal papers. My point is that that status is for the recognition of non-writing contributions. Here there is no question of recognition.

          Mosh said there was a fuzzy line between authorship and acknowledgement. I pointed out that Gavin was not acknowledged at all, in any capacity, so the fuzzy line isn’t an issue.

          Steve: Nick, you continue to make fabricated assertions. You say: “But you suggest that Gavin would have co-author status by the customs of journal papers.” I made no comment about the “customs of journal papers” – you are putting words in my mouth that I did not use. In fact, I said that I hadn’t been thinking of Schmidt as a “coauthor” but did observe that his contributions, as represented by NASA, appeared to be more considerable than the contributions of coauthors in many multiauthor articles. Whether that constitutes a “custom of journal papers” or not is not a topic that I’ve researched and, if I’d wanted to say that it was a “custom”, I would have. If your point is that, for example, Mann et al 2003 (EOS) falsely listed various pals as coauthors even though they did not make a “substantial” contribution to the article, then that seems like an interesting point, which merits further discussion.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 8:35 PM | Permalink

          Once again Nick is telling falsehoods

          “Steven is suggesting (as I do) that they used courier because of a restriction on emailing drafts outside. ”

          I am not suggesting that at all. You asked for possible reasons why they would would have to mail him a copy, as if there were no possible reasons. Personally
          I think they mailed it to him because of either email limitations on size
          or they did not want an electronic record.

          “If so, and there was previous involvement of Gavin in the drafts, that would have been by mail or courier, and they would know his address. In any case, there is no record of emails except for organising this meeting.”

          Not true. gavin could have been involved in drafts of subsections of the document that would not have to be sent by mail. recall the small number of words Jean S actually focused on.

          “I already stated that EPA did not identify any of the authors or reviewers”
          But you suggest that Gavin would have co-author status by the customs of journal papers. My point is that that status is for the recognition of non-writing contributions. Here there is no question of recognition.

          Not True again. Look if you are going to play the parsing game, then you better start by parsing steve better

          “Mosh said there was a fuzzy line between authorship and acknowledgement. I pointed out that Gavin was not acknowledged at all, in any capacity, so the fuzzy line isn’t an issue.”

          the Fuzzy line is STILL an issue because there is yet another fuzzy line between acknowledging and not mentioning. Its fuzzy all the way down until

          until…..

          gavin is subjected to examination where he cannot avoid the questions or mince and parse words

          Were you involved
          How ere you involved
          did you write these paragraphs
          Did you review, edit, offer suggestions, with regard to these paragraphs.
          Do you know who wrote them
          Do you have any idea who wrote them
          When was the first time you read them

          Depos are lots of fun… days of fun.

          And until such time we get to ferret out all the possible escape routes for people.

          How do we ferret out the counter arguments, obsfucations, weaseling, moves that
          mann , his lawyers, and others ( maybe gavin) could make?

          How do we ferret that out before the actual depositions start..

          Simple.. we need to find an encourage someone who will stand in for Mann and gavin and carry their water..

          who would that be and what great service is he performing for Styne?

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:00 PM | Permalink

          Re: charles the moderator (Oct 23 18:05),

          gavin could have been involved in drafts of subsections of the document that would not have to be sent by mail.

          Bingo. This is by far the most likely reason, which I admit is completely conjecture. They sent him a printed draft, so he and Reto could see the layout and composition of the document as as whole, and make sure their writing was properly laid out and used correctly as a part of the larger document, as well as seeking edits and advice on the document as a whole.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:25 PM | Permalink

          Nick’s assertion that the documents were already in “printed” form is fantasy to the extent that he is implying that the documents were near final and is misleading others.

          The documents were in Microsoft Word Track Changes format showing highlighted text and margin boxes indicating changes being made or considered. So the format was nothing remotely comparable to galley proofs. Schmidt appears to have been involved at an early stage of the documents.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:03 PM | Permalink

          Re: charles the moderator (Oct 23 18:05), Ya know, the Proofs?

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 10:09 PM | Permalink

          Steven,
          “I am not suggesting that at all.”
          You did.
          “3. protocal prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.”
          You made other suggestions. But that was the one I was discussing when reproved for pointing out that if that applied, then any previous sending of the draft would have to be by mail also, and it seems they didn’t have his mailing address. You were, remember, disputing my saying that the evidence suggested that he hadn’t seen it before.

          “subsections of the document that would not have to be sent by mail”
          Again you were disputing my suggestion that he had not seen the draft. Now you are watering it down.

          But there’s no record of any such email or other digital contact. It would have been responsive to the FOIA request.

          “Depos are lots of fun… days of fun.”
          Under what circumstances do you think Gavin will be deposed? Re what court?

          “what great service is he performing for Styne?”
          By that logic, you are indeed all friends of Mann.

          Steve,
          “So the format was nothing remotely comparable to galley proofs”
          I think you are putting words into my mouth. I said nothing about galley proofs. I simply suggest that if they send him 119 pages of printed material, with no indication that he has seen it before and a request to “quickly peruse” before a meeting, then he’s not likely to have written that text.

          I think you should give the sources for your claims about the nature of the documents.


          Steve: I made it clear that my comments are based on FOI responses. As I’ve said over and over, the issue relative to Mann’s claim that the EPA conducted an “independent” “investigation” is not the degree to which Schmidt contributed to the initial draft of the document, but whether Schmidt was a technical expert on whom EPA relied in their evaluation of evidence. I take it that you at least agree on this. Jean S wondered how EPA knew some small details and wondered whether that language had been contributed by Schmidt and/or Mann. You say that this is precluded by the fact that EPA sent Schmidt a printed document, but this is not the case. You conclude from this sending that Schmidt had no previous involvement but this is “sheer speculation” on your part without even circumstantial evidence. I can think of occasions in which I’ve contributed to part of a document and then been sent the full document for review. I don’t think that you can draw any conclusions from the time provided to Schmidt to consider the document prior to the meeting: in many cases where I’ve received documents with relatively little notice, I’m already familiar with the content and can review quickly.

          This doesnt prove that Schmidt contributed to language in the draft sent to him, but neither is some prior contribution precluded by the mere fact of EPA sending him a draft for review. But even if Schmidt had not contributed to language in the draft as of June 10, that doesn’t preclude him from contributions to language between then and the final result, including perhaps the sentences that caught Jean S’ eye. Neither does it prove that he contributed those sentences – but no one has said that he did. Jean S wondered whether he did. Schmidt could have said no if he didn’t but instead chose to be evasive.

          And since you now conceded that the documents were nothing near galley proof, there was ample opportunity for Schmidt to insert language into the document, including even the sentences that Jean S had wondered about. At present, we don’t know the origin of the questioned language – whether it originated with an EPA reader of Real Climate or whether Schmidt or Mann contributed. There are many CA readers who could provide a CA perspective on some issues without my personally being involved. So I don’t assume that a Real Climate perspective on a dispute necessarily meant that Schmidt had written the text. But interesting as that speculation may be, the salient legal issue for independence is whether Schmidt was relied upon by EPA in the evaluation and he clearly was, as you now apparently concede.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

          “Jean S wondered how”
          More than that. Your first sentence here says:
          “About eight weeks ago, Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing the documents”

          ” without even circumstantial evidence”
          Aside from the correspondence that is on the FOIA release, the clear circumstantial evidence is what isn’t there. There is no email correspondence, phone jottings, all the other things that Horner comprehensively demanded. Some suggest a hidden route was used (conspiracism?) but you are suggesting that EPA engaged Schmidt as a technical expert. The EPA is not going to engage an expert who leaves no trace.

          “And since you now conceded that the documents were nothing near galley proof”

          No, again putting more words in my mouth. I don’t know anything about the form of the documents. I hear things from you, but have asked for a source. They are not on the EPA FOI listing re Christopher Horner that you linked above. If you can’t point to the source, I think your claims should be discounted.

          Steve: Nick; You say: “If you can’t point to the source, I think your claims should be discounted.” Oh puh-leeze. In my comment above, I mentioned that there had been further FOI developments, not all of which are online yet or pointed to yet.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 12:28 AM | Permalink

          Quoting N ick,

          The EPA is not going to engage an expert who leaves no trace.

          Actually, this was the recently post-Climategate, Richard Windsor run EPA, so leaving no trace may have been exactly their goal.

          Gavin is already known to use his “Columbia owned” computer at and for work product which in order to circumvents Federal record keeping laws and IT policies.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 12:36 AM | Permalink

          I never did bother to FOI this form for Gavin’s flouting of policy from GISS, but the likelyhood of it existing is quite low.

          Appendix C Information Technology (IT) Waiver Process.

          Waivers to Information Technology (IT) Policies, Procedures, Standards, or Federal
          Requirements

          I. Waivers to IT policies, procedures, standards or requirements standards, shall be granted by the NASA CIO.

          2. The NASA CIO may delegate authority and responsibility to Center CIOs for a specific type ofIT waiver or for a specific program or issue.

          2.1. The NASA CIO delegation ofwaiver authority and responsibility shall be in writing for the specific delegated authority or be as specified in NASA policy directives, e.g. in an NPR.

          3. The individual/office preparing the waiver request shall submit the waiver request to the cognizant Center CIO for Center CIO concurrence and action. Example: The Sounding Rocket Program at the Wallops Flight Facility would submit the waiver to the GFSC CIO for review and concurrence/non-concun·ence.

          4. The waiver request shall include:

          a. The NASA IT policy, procedure, standard, and/or Federal requirement to be waived.

          b. The reason and justification for the waiver is required including:

          (I)Risk Assessment;

          (2)Cost-Benefit Analysis;

          (3)Business Impact Assessment;

          (4)Identification of compensating controls/actions;

          (5)Proposed period oftime for the waiver;

          (6)The proposed date by which the Center will be compliant with the NASA IT standard, security control, and/or Federal requirement; and

          (7)For an IT security control waiver or for any waiver that results in an unmitigated security weakness or deficiency, an Authorization Official (AO) approved Program of Action and Milestone (POA&M) shall be included with the waiver request.

          Source

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 4:03 PM | Permalink

          Nick why persist in making thinsg up

          “Steven,
          “I am not suggesting that at all.”
          You did.
          ################
          I didnt suggest it at all. you asked a question. I gave a lits of possible answers. And I explained to you what my personal belief is.

          ##################

          “3. protocal prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.”
          You made other suggestions. But that was the one I was discussing when reproved for pointing out that if that applied, then any previous sending of the draft would have to be by mail also, and it seems they didn’t have his mailing address. You were, remember, disputing my saying that the evidence suggested that he hadn’t seen it before.

          That’s not at all the case. The protocal could require transferal by post
          of completed drafts ready for review. Previous drafts may have not been final drafts. There is no evidence that he hasnt seen it before. There is an absence of evidence. Of course the emails did not criticize mann and by your logic they exonerate him.

          “subsections of the document that would not have to be sent by mail”
          Again you were disputing my suggestion that he had not seen the draft. Now you are watering it down.

          No, I was disputing your contention that there was EVIDENCE that he hadnt seen it. And here Im not watering anything down

          “But there’s no record of any such email or other digital contact. It would have been responsive to the FOIA request.”

          I guess you dont know how FOIA works. Just because a document isnt produced
          doesnt mean it doesnt exist. There is no evidence that he hasnt seen it or part of it before.

          “Depos are lots of fun… days of fun.”
          Under what circumstances do you think Gavin will be deposed? Re what court?

          It’s pretty simple, if they want to the can under rule 30 depose up to 10
          people. That’s assuming the case would go forward.

          “what great service is he performing for Styne?”
          By that logic, you are indeed all friends of Mann.

          Yes, I suppose us pointing out his CV was great help, pointing
          out his nobel fraud was great help.. Yup on balance we are his best friends

          Steve,
          “So the format was nothing remotely comparable to galley proofs”
          I think you are putting words into my mouth. I said nothing about galley proofs. I simply suggest that if they send him 119 pages of printed material, with no indication that he has seen it before and a request to “quickly peruse” before a meeting, then he’s not likely to have written that text.

          1. NOBODY claimed he wrote all 119 pages.
          2. The suggestion was that he MAY have been INVOLVED with 5 or 6 paragraphs
          3. THAT is why it only takes a quick read.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 5:06 PM | Permalink

          Steven,
          “Under what circumstances do you think Gavin will be deposed? Re what court?

          It’s pretty simple, if they want to the can under rule 30 depose up to 10
          people.”

          You? Me? The Pope? How is Gavin involved?

      • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:09 PM | Permalink

        It was sheer speculation. You gave no evidence.

        There was lots of circumstantial evidence, as Steve made clear, and now there’s explicit evidence through FOI. Clever though you are, Nick, to miss this, then and now, suggests to many of us that your judgment is way off kilter. Why is that?

        • pottereaton
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:35 PM | Permalink

          @ Richard Drake: and, as is often asserted by lawyers who actually try cases, circumstantial evidence can be more reliable than eyewitness testimony.

        • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

          Richard,
          Steve himself described it as surmise. Is that different from speculation?

          My use of the term was in saying:
          “But as usual here, sheer speculation becomes established fact:”
          What I was noting was that in the post, it was treated as established fact in numerous assertions, though conceded elsewhere to be a surmise.

        • pottereaton
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:12 PM | Permalink

          As usual Nick, you completely overstated the case. The “speculation” was not “sheer,” there was compelling circumstantial evidence. Nor was anyone claiming Schmidt’s involvement was “established fact.”

          Now you want to quibble over your mischaracterizations. This has become a habit with you.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 12:43 AM | Permalink

          pottereaton,
          ‘ Nor was anyone claiming Schmidt’s involvement was “established fact.”.

          I quoted four items from the head post, starting with:
          “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft documents.”

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

          @Richard Drake

          I think Nick’s judgement has been short centered (or centred, if you prefer).

      • TerryMN
        Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:10 PM | Permalink

        Count me among those who no longer believe a word you say (or type, as the case may be), Stokes. You’re helping “the cause” about as well as Mann and Gore these days.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Permalink

          yup.

          Nick is on his way to Glieck Status with some of the whoppers he is telling.

        • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 7:12 PM | Permalink

          Suggestive of a two-button system enhancing Facebook’s ‘Like’. The ‘Gleick’ is not so favourable.

      • Szilard
        Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

        If I’m reading things correctly, the GS would have had a few hours to review this 124 page document before the meeting. If this meeting was the only interaction between them on the matter, what did the EPA guys expect it to accomplish, given the time constraints? Evidently enough for a train trip?

        And why the need for a face-to-face? If they just wanted GS’ quick feedback on whether they had strung together content from RC or wherever correctly, then why not a phone call or email?

        I don’t get it.

        • Szilard
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 7:15 PM | Permalink

          Anyway, there obviously was other communication, perhaps by phone. Nothing in the emails mentions an agenda or the contents of the document, and both would have been discussed before the meeting, surely.

          Given this, there’s no reason to suppose that the FOI production gives a full picture of communications with GS during the preparation of the document in the period up to the meeting, or during its subsequent finalization.

        • MJW
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM | Permalink

          If I’m reading things correctly, the GS would have had a few hours to review this 124 page document before the meeting. If this meeting was the only interaction between them on the matter, what did the EPA guys expect it to accomplish, given the time constraints?

          That supposes Schmidt was expected to review the entire document, rather than specific sections. I think that’s unlikely. Which brings up a related matter: how often does someone send an email announcing that a document that will be FedEx’d for review without also describing the document and specifying the issue to be considered? Not often, I’d say. Call me a conspiracist, but I find that to be very odd behavior.

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 10:21 PM | Permalink

        Nick, you say: “The document was already printed.” So what. The FOI response shows that the document was nothing more than a printout of a Word document, not a “hard copy” as of a book. Schmidt wrote notes on a copy and returned his comments to EPA.

        While Jean S originally asked Gavin whether he had been “involved in writing” the document, jean S is not a native English speaker and the more precise question that I posed in my post was whether Schmidt had acted as a “technical expert” whom EPA relied on “to evaluate evidence related to the investigation” despite having a personal and professional relationship with Mann that that could be considered a conflict of interests.

        Whether Schmidt had been involved in the first draft is immaterial and a point that I intentionally did not rely on in my post. Schmidt definitely commented on the draft document and his comments were relied on by EPA. NASA clearly stated that Schmidt provided “substantive advice and opinion” and did indeed act as a “technical expert” whom EPA relied on “to evaluate evidence related to the investigation” despite having a personal and professional relationship with Mann that that could be considered a conflict of interests.

        This is the salient issue for whether the EPA carried out an “independent” investigation. You’ve already conceded that EPA did not carry out an “investigation” into scientific misconduct by Mann, so it ought to be entirely moot, even to you, whether this non-investigation was “independent” or not. But even you can hardly argue that this was an “independent” “investigation”.

        • MJW
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:23 PM | Permalink

          NASA clearly stated that Schmidt provided “substantive advice and opinion” and did indeed act as a “technical expert” whom EPA relied on “to evaluate evidence related to the investigation” despite having a personal and professional relationship with Mann that that could be considered a conflict of interests.

          I’ll bet one of those opinions was:

          Mann’s statements [that M&M’s paper is “pure scientific fraud”] reflect his scientific judgment that the McIntyre and McKitrick (2005) paper was flawed. As discussed thoroughly in our previous responses (e.g., 3-23), it is entirely acceptable and appropriate for scientists to express their opinions and challenge papers that they believe are scientifically flawed. It was on this basis that Mann recommended that McIntyre and McKitrick were not worth interviewing because their paper was flawed.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:30 PM | Permalink

          “Schmidt wrote notes on a copy and returned his comments to EPA.”

          I think you should link to the source of this information. But you said:
          “Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft documents”. Attending a requested meeting and writing notes on the copy seems a pretty light version of that. If EPA is engaging him “as a technical expert in the review and evaluation” there would surely be more of a report than notes on the doc

          “jean S is not a native English speaker and the more precise question”
          I don’t think English is the issue. In JS’s comment which you promoted to a lead post, he said:
          “For instance, I think there are very, very few people in this world from whom the following paragraphs could originate (considering style, content and astonishing familiarity with Mann’s work):”
          That sounds very like CA saying Gavin wrote that text.

          “You’ve already conceded that EPA did not carry out an “investigation” into scientific misconduct by Mann”

          I made no concession. This is a local strawman. A lawyer carelessly included the EPA response to petitioners in a list of inquiries into allegations against Mann and his colleagues. EPA did deal with such allegations as made by petitioners, and I’m sure the lawyers will cite that as needed, but it was actually (and obviously) a response to those petitions, explaining why they did not require reconsideration. No-one else has seriously claimed that it was an investigation into scientific misconduct by Mann. Even the lawyer’s complaint, when it came to the EPA part, said it correctly:

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

      • Steve McIntyre
        Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

        Nick, you say: “You gave no evidence”.

        Another fabrication. I gave convincing circumstantial evidence. Samenow and Sarofim were lead authors of the RTP documents, who,in June 2010, were clearly working on draft RTP documents for releasw six weeks later. Until confirmed, the evidence was circumstantial – as I statd, but it is totally false for you to say that I “gave no evidence”. Such continuing fabrications are disappointing.

        • Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:50 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “Another fabrication. I gave convincing circumstantial evidence”

          Above you described it thus:
          “The only surmise in the post – and this was marked as surmise with the phrase “little doubt” – was that the documents couriered to Schmidt pertained to the forthcoming Denial decision and that the purpose of EPA officials and RTP authors Samenow and Sarofim traveling to New York to meet with Schmidt was to review these documents.”

          I think surmise is the right word.

        • John Bills
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:57 AM | Permalink

          Imaginening what it would be like 🙂

      • Bob K.
        Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 1:42 PM | Permalink

        Whether it’s sheer speculation or not, it makes the difference between Mann covering himself in the glory of settled science versus trying to argue that all of the circumstantial evidence that makes his claim look dubious and tawdry technically doesn’t “prove” anything. Just where his lawyers want to be I’m sure.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 5:27 PM | Permalink

        Nick

        ‘“quickly peruse” is not review. And it’s not something you ask someone to do with known material. If it’s known, you’d say so. Not “a document”.

        1. I ask people to quickly peruse ( a mis use of peruse) all the time
        with known material. For example, when sending material to Tom
        Fuller that he knew. Its BECAUSE its well known that a quick
        read is all thats needed.
        2. Why would say its known when its known. Its the exact opposite.
        he calls it a document cause that is what it is. a document, not
        a CD for example.

        “protocal prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.”

        That’s my suggestion elsewhere on this thread. But if there is that restriction, how could Gavin have had earlier involvement if they don’t even know his mailing address?
        1. Simple. He could have had phone conversations, meetings, chats,
        he could have sent documents to someone else.
        2. They may have a protocal on what they send, he may not.

        “The line between authorship and acknowledgments is not well defined.”
        But Gavin is not acknowledged in any capacity (for the responses). And CA’s earlier post was not talking about co-authorship. It gave specific sections of text which it suggested he wrote (eg response 1-2).

        1. Writing or helping to write some passages doesnt make you a co author
        2. The CA post did not suggest that Gavin was a co author.

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

        He had a question. Who wrote it? he observes that there are very few people who have the understanding to write a few sections. Then he asks mann and schmidt if they had anything to do with the writing.

        Note: he doesnt claim that they could be authors or co authors.
        Note: he doesnt claim that only they could be the authors.

        He observes passages that require a certain expertise and knowledge. Mann or gavin could have help to write them so he asks.
        were you INVOLVED with the writing.

        • Jeff Alberts
          Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 10:06 PM | Permalink

          “protocal [sic] prevents them from sending draft material by NON SECURE methods.”

          Why on Earth would a document like this need to be secure? It’s the EPA, not the NSA.

          I also don’t buy the attachment size limit argument, that hasn’t been a problem for a decade.

          IMHO there is only one reason for the courier, no electronic trail.

        • Jeff Norman
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

          “Why on Earth would a document like this need to be secure? It’s the EPA, not the NSA.”

          Maybe because people who know they are breaking the rules don’t want other people knowing they are breaking the rules… “no electronic trail” as you say. 😉

    • Political Junkie
      Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 8:13 PM | Permalink

      Let’s not forget that Schmidt had (and still has) every opportunity to simply give a clear accounting of the events – something he has failed to do.

      • mpainter
        Posted Oct 23, 2014 at 11:11 PM | Permalink

        His tweet “mostly fiction” will need explaining too but I see slim chance that he will touch that again- the fiction seems to be with him.

        • stan
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 3:22 PM | Permalink

          ‘the fiction is strong with this one’ — Yoda

  35. AndyL
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:46 AM | Permalink

    Nick,
    How can you possibly claim that the EPA was only included because some careless lawyerly slip of the pen?

    Surely Mann must have at leat glanced at his court submission. Even the contents page shows the EPA investigation as one of six section under the main heading “Dr. Mann is Exonerated”. The text states in a one-sentence paragraph “The EPA categorically rejected the fraud allegations against Dr Mann as a myth” – something we know comes from the press release and not the EPA findings themselves.

    Is it now your position that the court submissions were written by careless lawyers and were “absolutely nothing to do with Mann”?

  36. AndyL
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 2:48 AM | Permalink

    N ick,
    How can you possibly claim that the EPA was only included because some careless lawyerly slip of the pen?

    Surely Mann must have at leat glanced at his court submission. Even the contents page shows the EPA investigation as one of six section under the main heading “Dr. Mann is Exonerated”. The text states in a one-sentence paragraph “The EPA categorically rejected the fr* allegations against Dr Mann as a myth” – something we know comes from the press release and not the EPA findings themselves.

    Is it now your position that the court submissions were written by careless lawyers and were “absolutely nothing to do with Mann”?

    • Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 3:56 AM | Permalink

      AndyL
      “Even the contents page shows the EPA investigation as one of six section under the main heading “Dr. Mann is Exonerated”.”
      And reasonably so. The headline is simply a statement. It then lists material which supports the statement. The heading doesn’t assert that everything listed was an inquiry solely devoted to the sins of Mann.

      And there is a great deal in the EPA responses which does answer criticisms of Mann. They did correctly describe the myths material, saying:
      “In response, the Environmental Protection Agency published a summary of its findings, entitled “Myths vs. Facts: Denial of Petitions for Reconsideration of the Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act,” “
      Well, EPA did. It’s here.

      Consider this para from the Decision document:
      “Inquiries from the UK House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee, the University of East Anglia, Oxburgh Panel, the Pennsylvania State University, and the University of East Anglia, Russell Panel 3 , all entirely independent from EPA, have examined the issues and many of the same allegations brought forward by the petitioners as a result of the disclosure of the private CRU e-mails. These inquiries are now complete. Their conclusions are in line with EPA’s review and analysis of these same CRU e-mails. The inquiries have found no evidence of scientific misconduct or intentional data manipulation on the part of the climate researchers associated with the CRU e-mails. The recommendation for more transparent procedures concerning availability of underlying data appears appropriate, but it has not cast doubt on the underlying body of science developed by these researchers. These inquiries lend further credence to EPA’s conclusion that petitioners’ claims that the CRU e-mails show the underlying science cannot or should not be trusted are exaggerated and unsupported.

      And one of those petitioners was CEI. Sounds like something that would help exonerate Mann. Unless you’re denying that he was a climate researcher associated with the CRU emails.

      • MattK
        Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 12:58 PM | Permalink

        That’s nice, so if you are a researcher and you emailed CRU during this time period, these various inquiries validated all of your research. Good to know.

        My research is valid, I am a researcher associated with the CRU emails, I have been exonerated.

    • Kan
      Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

      A “lawyers slip of the pen” is beautiful. If so then it has slipped at least twice. The amended complaint filed in July 2013, after the hearing in which the EPA exoneration was seriously challenged by the plaintiffs, and prior to Judge Combs ruling on the Anti-SLAPP motion, it was not removed. Even Judge Combs mentioned (ignored) it in her anti-SLAPP ruling. Amazingly, this slip of the pen is still in the complaint a year later.

      • Political Junkie
        Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 10:24 AM | Permalink

        Do slippery lawyers have slippery pens?

        Just askin!

  37. AndyL
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 4:21 AM | Permalink

    Nick
    This is getting absurd

    According to you, Mann is claiming that EPA exonerated him but is not claiming that they actually investigated him. How on earth is that justifiable?

    And “the EPA” did not describe the myths at all. That was “the EPA Press Office”

    Perhaps we can agree that the EPA Press Office exonerated Mann. After all no-one is claiming that hte press office did an investigation or that they wrote their press pack with support from Gavin Schmidt.

  38. Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 4:56 AM | Permalink

    AndyL,
    “That was “the EPA Press Office””
    Actually, I don’t think it was. It’s there, linked from the endangerment/petitions.html page. Not part of the press release.

    But the decision itself, as I quoted, says that the petitioners complaints (CEI et al) about Mann etc are “exaggerated and unsupported”. That is signed by the Administrator, and won’t help CEI. And it won’t help to say that they weren’t specifically investigating Mann. They were investigating what the petitioners had to say.

  39. AndyL
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    Nick
    Tte “Myths vs Facts” web page is linked as a reference, directly under “Press Release”. It is clearly not part of the main findings and does not reference or use any text in the main findings.

    And it is not CEI claiming the support of EPA, it’s Mann. He has to demonstrate he was exonerated, not the other way round.

  40. Rick
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    “Clever though you are, Nick, to miss this, then and now, suggests to many of us that your judgment is way off kilter. Why is that?”
    I think Nick answered that question earlier in the thread.
    “The overriding issue is what are we doing to our climate?”
    Were you momentarily distracted Nick, from your task of counting the angels that dance on the head of the climate science pin or did your advocate’s mask slip ever so slightly when you wrote that bit of honesty?

  41. Tom T
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    The bigger picture here isn’t if the EPA exonerated Mann. The hockey stick was largely secondary to the original petition. The primary claim in the petition was that the CRU e-mails and specifically e-mails that Gavin was involved in showed that the models the EPA was relying on were unreliable.

    The petition specifically names Dr. Gavin Schmidt. For him to be involved in the authorship and review of a response to a petition involving him is a violation of federal regulations. Regulations that he well knows. The only response he should have given the EPA was ‘I’m a party to that I cannot be involved.’

    snip

    Steve: CRU was not a modeling group and models play only a small role in the emails. The petitions also spent far too much time on the temperature record, which are scarcely mentioned in the emails.

    • bernie1815
      Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Permalink

      Tom: I do not have a problem with GS being involved as long as it is in “on the record” meetings. As an expert he is entitled to give his opinion like any other expert. What should not happen is a secretive or hidden role in reviewing the findings. He definitely should have recused himself from such a role.

      • Tom T
        Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Permalink

        If I were a petitioner I would have a big problem with a person named in my petition being used in either a named formal role or a silent role as Dr. Schmidt was. As has been made clear in here this violates federal ethic guidelines. He is a party to the petition and therefor can have no role in the review.

        Steve: Too many people in these debates enable evasion by over-charging. If EPA was actually doing an investigation of the emails, then it’s reasonable for them to talk to people in the emails. After all, we expected Muir Russell interview to Jones and Briffa; indeed, I expected them to do so much more thoroughly than they did. So why wouldn’t EPA interview Gavin Schmidt? Nor was Schmidt a “part to the petition” – I know what you’re driving at, but failing to be precise gives easy rebuttals.

        In many cases, the petitions raised issues that did not arise (or not primarily) from the emails e.g. the temperature record. (Indeed, in my opinion, that was one of the major weaknesses of the petitions.) Schmidt is able and knowledgeable – why shouldn’t the EPA take his views into consideration.

        However, both EPA and Schmidt needed to deal very carefully with conflict situations. To the extent that EPA’s investigation touched on allegations of misconduct against Mann, EPA ought not to have relied on Schmidt as a technical expert in their evaluation of evidence. They needed to retain someone who actually was independent.

        Yes, there’s definitely an issue here, but efforts to extrapolate and overcharge permit evasion of the actual issues. We’ve seen this over and over.

        • bernie1815
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Permalink

          Tom: We agree on the secrecy issue. However, I see no problem with the EPA going to “experts” to get their input on their findings. Now if they only go to the experts on one side of the debate, then that is a problem. This is one reason why secrecy is so problematic. For this thread as a whole, I do not see it as condemnatory of Schmidt’s involvement per se, but more because (a) GS’s involvement was secret and (b) Mann and his lawyers have used the EPA finding as if somehow represented an investigation and exoneration of Mann’s work. Clearly the EPA has not lived up to its own requirements for transparency. Second, the finding itself does not represent an investigation or exoneration of Mann’s specific work. Third. if it is interpreted as some kind of investigation, then Schmidt’s role would be problematic unless it was both public and matched by a similar review by say Steve McIntyre or another expert critic of Mann’s work.

        • Tom T
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 4:11 PM | Permalink

          I would say that the EPA can interview Schmidt for his take. And have such an interview be part of the public record. However to let someone who is specifically named in the petition review and perhaps even add his own comments is a gross violation of federal conflict of interest guidelines. Dr. Schmidt’s work is being impugned in the petition, both in the reliabilities of the GISS models and the GISS data set.

          While the EPA should consult experts the experts who’s findings are at the center of the petition cannot and should not be allowed to have any role in the authorship or review of the response. They have too much of a vested interest in the outcome.

          While I do expect experts to be involved in the drafting of any findings, why that expert? Is the field so small that it is impossible to find experts who are not made party by being named in the filing?

  42. Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    charles the moderator (Oct 23 at 6:05 PM):

    Now that’s an interesting foray into temporal mechanics.

    A pregnant phrase that’s been mulling in this old grey matter. Isn’t the temporal mechanics on show from Stokes/Schmidt/Mann in the hockey stick caper and its subplots strange in every way? Here Steve is open about his judgment that Schmidt helped the EPA and that initially it’s based on circumstantial evidence. His judgment, not for the first time, is shown to be spot on. (OK, it’s not at Sherlock Mosh “It’s Gleick wot faked it” level but it’s right.) Instead of accepting with good grace that he hadn’t shown the same good judgment Stokes continues to blame Steve for ‘surmising’ when the evidence wasn’t fully in. But that’s all you can do when the evidence isn’t all in – and normally one can expect to receive credit for making the right assumption. To harp on about the surmising is bad manners but also highly weird.

    And isn’t it much the same with Mann against Steyn, indeed with Mann against anyone, going right back to MM03 and all that. Steyn couldn’t have known for sure that Mann was Dr Fraudpants (or whatever he wrote), at least to the extent that he does now, with the inept mischaracterisations in the plaintiff’s burblings Steve has laid out these last few weeks and months.

    Anyway, I won’t try to finish the thought. Thanks CtM and all that are trying to rise about the gibberish.

    • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 5:37 PM | Permalink

      Richard,
      “His judgment, not for the first time, is shown to be spot on.”
      Not so. The document was indeed likely to have been associated with the denial, and I did not dispute that. I simply objected to taking that (reasonable) guess and asserting
      “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved”
      Jean S’ question – paraphrased in the first sentence here as more than a question:
      “About eight weeks ago, Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing the documents supporting EPA’s decision denying various petitions…”

      And yes, I’ll be accused of not quoting Steve fully – he is now saying:
      “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft document”

      But the last part was added after Gavin’s response. Walked back. That’s one way of ending up “spot on”. We originally had specific para’s that Gavin was supposed to have written.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

        He may have been involved in writing. We still don’t know.

        Therefore Steve’s so-called “walkback” can been seen as only reporting what we know up till now. i.e. Not a walkback.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 6:40 PM | Permalink

          “only reporting what we know up till now. i.e. Not a walkback”

          First we knew it, then we didn’t. Sounds like a walkback.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

          “First we knew it”
          What “it” are you saying was said to be known?

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 12:45 AM | Permalink

          Nicks Porkies

          “OK, I used a shorthand. No-one seriously thinks that the EPA response to petitions was constituted as an investigation of Mann. Better? That’s your refrain now.”

          Nick’s at his black boxes again..
          In Mann’s quotes he referred to them as investigations regardless of how they were constitued.
          In Mann’s lawyers words they were referred to as investigations, regardless of how they were constituted.
          In the courts words they were referred to as investigations, regardless of how they were constituted.
          In Romms words they were referred to as investigations, regardless of how they were constituted.
          In nicks words they were not constituted to investigate Mann but they nevertheless exonerated him explicitly for each and every complaint that
          the defendants have ever had WRT to mann.

          So here is what we have: The EPA constituted some investigations of something other than Mann. In the course of that investigation they said something about the WMO cover, disagreeing with Mann, and finding that it was not misleading. So their non investigation of Mann disagreed with Mann himself.

          And so, this non investigation, of Mann, nevertheless exonerated him
          for a misleadling WMO chart, which they argue was not misleading, and which Mann argues was misleading, and moreover they exonerated for him for behavior that he has both taken credit for and denied he engaged in.

          That’s a mighty pettifog brought to you by Nick.

        • Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 1:51 AM | Permalink

          Mosher’s comments are a black box now.

          Please post the C code so it will become clear. Comments are optional.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo
        Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 6:36 PM | Permalink

        “We originally had specific para’s that Gavin was supposed to have written.”

        Isn’t that a little exaggeration?

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 6:52 PM | Permalink

          “Isn’t that a little exaggeration?”
          They were quoted. Responses 1-2, 1-16, 1-9, 1-70.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 7:37 PM | Permalink

          The part about “supposed to have written”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

          You ask of Stokes:

          “We originally had specific para’s that Gavin was supposed to have written.”
          Isn’t that a little exaggeration?

          It is another total fabrication by Nick Stokes. Jean S’ article did not even mention Schmidt’s name in the head post, let alone assert that Schmidt “wrote the responses”. Jean S asked “who wrote and who were used as experts in the EPA documents”, observing that the details in some responses required knowledge possessed by only a few people. Here are his exact words:

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

          For instance, I think there are very, very few people in this world from whom the following paragraphs could originate (considering style, content and astonishing familiarity with Mann’s work):

          Jean S then directly asked Schmidt and Mann whether they had been “involved in writing” the RTP documents, in the context of a post which had already asked whether it was “known who wrote and who were used as experts in the EPA documents”. Schmidt and Mann could easily have denied any involvement if that had been the case, but it wasn’t.

          Nick Stokes has consistently tried to twist Jean S’ astute question into the different claim that Schmidt had singlehandedly drafted the RTP documents.

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

          For instance, I think there are very, very few people in this world from whom the following paragraphs could originate (considering style, content and astonishing familiarity with Mann’s work):

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 7:43 PM | Permalink

          “The part about “supposed to have written””
          The head post starts:
          “Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing…”

          Not much difference between supposed and postulated.

          It sounds to me like “Gavin wrote these responses” is a story that was in, and is on the way out. As we say in Oz, the hat is on the fable.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 9:23 PM | Permalink

          Nick, are you still maintaining that EPA did not ask Gavin Schmidt for “substantive advice and opinion” on the RTP documents even in the face of documentary evidence that Schmidt himself made such a claim? Or do you now concede that EPA did seek “substantial advice and opinion” from Schmidt in writing the RTP documents? Schmidt’s “involvement” in writing the RTP documents is therefore, at a minimum, the provision of “substantive advice and opinion” in them unless you are calling Schmidt a liar.

          When Jean S first posed the question to Schmidt: Were you involved in writing of EPA’s Denial of Petitions?”, no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did.

          Jean S asked a straightforward question and Schmidt evaded it.

          An FOI inquiry than established that lead authors of the RTP documents had sent a document by courier to Schmidt for a meeting on June 10, right in the middle of preparation of the RTP documents, and that two EPA officials spent a day to meet with Schmidt about the document that they had couriered to him. From this information, there was strong circumstantial evidence that Schmidt had been “involved” in the writing of the document. The evidence that they had met to discuss a draft of the RTP documents was circumstantial, but, in my opinion, convincing.

          You sneered at this evidence as “sheer speculation”, though it was nothing of the sort. The evidence was then circumstantial, but it was evidence. In a backhanded way, you stated that matters that started with “speculation” at Climate Audit often became “established fact”. And, in this case, further FOI information quickly converted the initial speculation to “established fact”, as Schmidt himself confirmed that the document in question was a draft of the RTP documents and said that EPA had asked him to provide “substantive advice and opinion” on those documents, establishing beyond even Stokesian cavil that Schmidt, despite his personal and professional relationship with Mann, had acted as a technical expert in the evaluation of evidence in EPA’s supposed investigation of scientific misconduct against Mann.

          You are now arguing that none of this proves that Schmidt singlehandedly wrote the RTP documents (“Gavin wrote these responses”). But that was never the issue. Indeed, I reserved judgement on whether Schmidt had contributed particular language, though you insinuate otherwise. Indeed, even Jean S’ original question was more “wondering” than “postulated” (the term used in my head post).

          The story here was that we were able to establish the previously unsuspected fact of Schmidt’s involvement in the RTP documents. Who would have imagined that EPA would use such a close associate of Mann as a technical expert in evaluating evidence against him? The lack of concern about conflict of interest boggles the mind.

          But your best attempt at justifying the flagrant conflict of interest was your argument that EPA had not been serious in their effort to obtain Schmidt;s comments, but the irony in this case is that Schmidt’s own words stand against you. And your argument works only if you also insist that Schmidt is a liar.

          I’m too used to ClimateBallers (using Mosher’s term) throwing out enough red herrings to open a fish market, and once again you’re doing so.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

          “It is another total fabrication by Nick Stokes. Jean S’ article did not even mention Schmidt’s name in the head post”
          Fabrication? You yourself introduced this post with:
          “About eight weeks ago, Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing the documents supporting EPA’s decision denying various petitions for reconsideration of the Endangerment Finding”,/i> linking to that post.
          Were you fabricating?

          Steve: Nick, you referred to this post as evidence that Jean S had listed paragraphs that he had claimed that Schmdit had written. But the post did nothing of the sort and hadn’t even mentioned Schmidt. Your claim was fabricated. Jean S subsequently asked Schmidt by twitter whether he had been “involved in writing” the RTP, referred to in the postscript of the post. As it happens, Schmidt had been. But postulating that Schmidt had been “involved” in writing the RTP (which he was) is a different assertion than a direct claim that Schmidt had written the listed paragraphs, which claim was not made by Jean S in the post nor by my linking to this post.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 10:39 PM | Permalink

          Postulated vs supposed.
          Make that “supposed to have” vs. “postulated to have”.

          Different.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 10:44 PM | Permalink

          Each part of what you wrote is misleading in it’s own way, Mr.S.

        • Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 10:52 PM | Permalink

          Steve,
          “no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”
          Over and over, this silly red herring. No-one seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann. Not even the lawyer, who later gave a correct statement of the function of the investigation.

          So why is this possibility beyond contemplation? You yourself said:
          “Schmidt’s involvement is an issue only if the EPA documents are claimed to be an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann. “
          Certainly no-one had claimed that in 2010. So why wouldn’t the EPA talk to Schmidt?

          “are you still maintaining that EPA did not ask Gavin Schmidt for “substantive advice and opinion””

          Am I still beating my wife? No, I have never maintained that. To answer you question elsewhere, it is an expansive document, and there are many things they could have asked him about. Since it is about seven weeks before publication, with many approval steps to come, my guess is that they were simply asking him to confirm things that they pointed out in the meeting. Tom T, for example, thinks – snip –
          commenting on allegations about the reliability of models. I think they should ask him for advice about that; he’s the obvious person. And at this stage, the likely query would be – did we get that right? That’s substantive. As you pointed out to Tom, there was also a lot in the petitions about the temperature record. Schmidt and Ruedy are obvious people to check their responses.

          “You sneered at this evidence as “sheer speculation””
          I was criticising the process whereby admitted surmise led to factual assertions without qualification.

          “You are now arguing that none of this proves that Schmidt singlehandedly wrote the RTP documents (“Gavin wrote these responses”). “
          Misquoting me. I had named these responses (Responses 1-2, 1-16, 1-9, 1-70.). Not my selection, but Jean S. When I wrote that, it appeared directly below that naming. You have inserted a long comment in between.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 12:18 AM | Permalink

          You say:

          no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”

          Over and over, this silly red herring. No-one seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann. Not even the lawyer, who later gave a correct statement of the function of the investigation.

          This is the issue that originated this post – false claims by Mann and his lawyers in his pleadings. If neither Mann nor his lawyers “seriously” though that the EPA had investigated scientific misconduct by Michael Mann, then they shouldn’t have claimed that the EPA had carried out such an investigation in their pleadings.

          Making such false claims without believing them would be quite serious misconduct on the part of Mann’s lawyers. These are serious accusations that you are making against both them and Mann.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

          “Over and over, this silly red herring. No-one seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann.”

          That’s not what you said Aug 15, when we discussed Mann’s case.

          From Climate Etc.
          thisisnotgoodtogo | August 15, 2014 at 4:27 am |

          Nick Stokes.
          Then why did Mann argue to some success under the funny judges that investigations by scientific and governmental bodies, “laid to rest” defendants’ questions regarding Mann’s research?

          Nick Stokes | August 15, 2014 at 5:14 am |

          The investigations didn’t decide on the validity of the research. They investigated whether there was misconduct.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 1:33 AM | Permalink

          Maybe since the 15th Mr.S. has been enlightened through CA postings.

          Is that what happened, Mr S.?

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 2:00 AM | Permalink

          Mr T,
          “That’s not what you said Aug 15”
          You said nothing there about EPA and nor did I. No investigation was set up to determine the validity of Mann’s research. Some investigated whether there was misconduct.

        • N ιck Stoκes
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 2:33 AM | Permalink

          Steve, you say:
          “When Jean S first posed the question to Schmidt: Were you involved in writing of EPA’s Denial of Petitions?”, no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did.”

          But in fact in that thread you said:
          “In speculating on Schmidt’s potential involvement with EPA documents supposedly “exonerating” Mann, Schmidt is surely the sort of person that it would make sense for EPA to consult with. Neither EPA nor Schmidt would have been considering the EPA “inquiry” as a proceeding that was supposed to be an “independent” inquiry into academic misconduct”

          It seems you contemplated that possibility.

          Steve: More fabrication on your part. Until Jean S raised the issue, I hadn’t considered it. My comment in the thread came AFTER Jean S’ post and tweet. You knew this and yet you wrote the above. Shame on you.

          Update – Willard points out that I had discussed the possibility of Schmidt being a reviewer of the RTP documents a couple of days earlier (see here). However, at that time, I hadn’t thought through the implication in respect to conflict of interest i.e. I hadn’t fully “contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”, though the implication was latent as soon as the possibility of Schmidt acting as a reviewer was raised.

        • thisisnotgoodtogo
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

          “You said nothing there about EPA and nor did I. No investigation was set up to determine the validity of Mann’s research. Some investigated whether there was misconduct.”

          You said nothing about “some”.

        • Steven Mosher
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 3:29 PM | Permalink

          Nick and his Porkies!

          “nobody seriously thinks the EPA was investigating mann?”

          “(CN) – A climatologist can advance claims that the National Review defamed him by likening him to convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky and accusing him of academic fraud, a judge ruled.
          Michael Mann is a meteorology professor at Penn State University, which was rocked by Sandusky’s sex abuse scandal in late 2011. In addition to running the university’s Earth System Science Center, Mann co-wrote the “Hockey Stick Graph,” a purported long-term analysis of global climate trends using indicators such as tree rings.
          Questions over Mann’s work arose in 2010 when emails between Mann and climate scientists at the University of East Anglia surfaced.
          In one email from East Anglia, a researcher said: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the past 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) (and) from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
          In addition to an investigation by Penn State, Mann faced queries from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation.
          Mann said the EPA’s investigation stemmed from “constant pressure” from the National Review. It found “no evidence of scientific misconduct,” he added.”

          “So Mann sued Simberg, Steyn, CEI and National Review for defamation. A previous DC Superior Court decision already concluded in July that there was sufficient evidence of “actual malice” for the lawsuit to proceed, and slapped down the defendants’ claim that their statements were protected under the First Amendment. National Review then tried to distance itself from CEI by claiming the latter’s long history of attacks on Mann is what sparked an investigation into the scientist’s work by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), leading to the latest ruling:”

          from the court:

          “Plaintiff has been investigated several times and his work has been found to be accurate. In fact, some of these investigations have been due to the accusations made by the CEI Defendants. It follows that if anyone should be aware of the accuracy (or findings that the work of Plaintiff is sound), it would be the CEI Defendants. Thus, it is fair to say that the CEI Defendants continue to criticize Plaintiff due to a reckless disregard for truth. Criticism of Plaintiff’s work may be fair and he and his work may be put to the test. Where, however the CEI Defendants consistently claim that Plaintiff’s work is inaccurate (despite being proven as accurate) then there is a strong probability that the CEI Defendants disregarded the falsity of their statements and did so with reckless disregard.””

          more:

          ““Having been investigated by almost one dozen bodies due to accusations of fraud, and none of those investigations having found Plaintiff’s work to be fraudulent, it must be concluded that the accusations are provably false. Reference to Plaintiff, as a fraud is a misstatement of fact.”
          The record demonstrates that the CEI Defendants have criticized Plaintiff harshly for years; some might say, the name calling, accusations and jeering have amounted to a witchhunt, particularly because the CEI Defendants appear to take any opportunity to question Plaintiff’s integrity and the accuracy of his work despite the numerous findings that Plaintiff’s work is sound. At this stage, the evidence before the Court does not amount to a showing of clear and convincing as to “actual malice,” however there is sufficient evidence to find that further discovery may uncover evidence of “actual malice.” It is therefore premature to make a determination as to whether the CEI Defendants did not act with “actual malice.”

          And from You:
          “But the section of the complaint headed “The exoneration of Dr Mann” does specifically describe the EPA response and the NSF OIG report.”

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 5:05 PM | Permalink

          Mosh, in respect to Nick’s claim that “nobody seriously thinks the EPA was investigating mann. Not even his lawyer ”, you left out the multiple references in the original Statement of Claim. If Mann’s lawyer did not “seriously” believe in the truthfulness of the following statements about the EPA investigation, then CEI’s demand for sanctions against Mann’s lawyers would surely be justified.

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Mann”, then their claim (Complaint, paragraph 3) that the EPA was among the agencies that had “conducted investigations into Dr Mann’s work” was an attempt to mislead the Court:

          3….In response to these accusations, academic institutions and governmental entities alike, including the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation, have conducted investigations into Dr. Mann’s work, and found the allegations of academic fraud to be baseless.

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Mann”, then the following claim (Complaint, paragraph 21) that EPA had conducted a “separate and independent investigation[.] into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues” was an attempt to mislead the Court:

          21…Following the publication of the CRU emails, Penn State and the University of East Anglia (in four separate instances) and five governmental agencies (the U. K. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, the U. K. Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, the Inspector General of the U. S. Department of Commerce, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation) have conducted separate and independent investigations into the allegations of scientific misconduct against Dr. Mann and his colleagues.

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Mann”, then their claim (Jan 2013 Memorandum, page 19) that six governmental agencies (EPA being one of the six) had supposedly “investigated” the allegations against Mann was an attempt to mislead the Court:

          Their calls were heeded—two universities and six governmental agencies independently investigated the allegations of fraud and misconduct.

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Mann”, then the following statement (Jan 2013 Memorandum, page 44) was an attempt to mislead the Court:

          CEI called for an investigation into Dr. Mann’s conduct in November 2010[80], and has gone so far to request and receive an investigation by the EPA.[81] Nonetheless, the CEI Defendants have the temerity to represent to this Court that their call for an investigation “was to no avail” (CEI Anti-SLAPP Mem. at 18), a bold assertion to make in light of the investigations by the EPA and the NSF.

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Mann”, then their insistence that the Court accept their assertion that the Court be required to accept their untrue assertions for the purposes of the Rule 12(b)(6) motion is more than merely cynical:

          For the purposes of Defendants’ Rule 12(b)(6) motion, the Court must accept as true that
          Defendants had read those reports (as is required at the motion to dismiss stage), and that those
          reports exonerated Dr. Mann of fraud or misconduct of any kind, and that they knew about them,
          and that they have never (even given the opportunity) attempted to dispute them, or to dispute
          the falsity of their words

          Judgement by the DC Court

          If Mann’s lawyers did not “seriously think the EPA was investigating Mann”, then they completely misled the DC Court, which repeatedly cited the supposed EPA investigation.

          Citing the Plaintiff, Combs-Greene J stated (p 2) that the EPA had “investigated” Mann:

          Also in 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) investigated Plaintiff as a result of constant pressure from the CEI Defendants and others. (Pl. Mtn at 22.) The EPA concluded there was “no evidence of scientific misconduct.”

          Later, Combs-Greene J directly cited (p 11) Mann’s claim that EPA had carried out one of the “investigations” into his conduct, even describing it as one of the “most notable”:

          Plaintiff claims that there were six investigations into whether he committed fraud. Those most notable were done by the EPA and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

          And later in her judgement (p 14):

          Further, the assertions of fraud “rely upon facts that are provably false” particularly in light of the fact that Plaintiff has been investigated by several bodies (including the EPA) and determined that Plaintiff’s research and conclusions are sound and not based on misleading information.

          and again (p 22):

          The CEI Defendants’ persistence despite the EPA and other investigative bodies’ conclusion that Plaintiff’s work is accurate (or that there is no evidence of data manipulation) is equal to a blatant disregard for the falsity of their statements. Thus, given the evidence presented the Court finds that Plaintiff could prove “actual malice.”

          The DC Court took the claims of Mann and his lawyers about the supposed EPA “investigation” very seriously and accorded special deference to the supposed EPA “investigation”. It’s amazing to now read Stokes:

          Over and over, this silly red herring. No-one seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann. Not even the lawyer, who later gave a correct statement of the function of the investigation

          And yes, not everything in Mann’s pleadings and memoranda is untrue. For example, he accurately states his place of employment. But even if Mann and his lawyers “later gave a correct statement” on the function of the EPA investigation, this will not protect them from previous false statements. If, as seems evident, EPA “was not investigating Mann” (Nick’s words) and no one, including Mann’s lawyers, “seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann”, then the Defendants have every right to demand sanctions.

          It’s surprising that Stokes and CEI have found such common ground on this point, both agreeing that “no-one seriously thinks the EPA was investigating Michael Mann.”

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 6:06 PM | Permalink

          OK, I used a shorthand. No-one seriously thinks that the EPA response to petitions was constituted as an investigation of Mann. Better? That’s your refrain now. I’ll repeat the quote I was responding to:
          “no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”

          But the EPA was mounting a proceeding where they were required to respond to all petitions seeking a reconsideration. And CEI, among others, did mount accusations against Mann, and they responded. Not to make a finding about Mann, but about whether the allegations required reconsideration. And they said no, on that issue basically because they didn’t believe the allegations. Grist for Mann’s case, but not a specific finding about misconduct.

          As I pointed out there, in the August thread you took the much more sensible view that
          “In speculating on Schmidt’s potential involvement with EPA documents supposedly “exonerating” Mann, Schmidt is surely the sort of person that it would make sense for EPA to consult with. Neither EPA nor Schmidt would have been considering the EPA “inquiry” as a proceeding that was supposed to be an “independent” inquiry into academic misconduct.”

          And even in this thread, you say:
          “Schmidt’s involvement is an issue only if the EPA documents are claimed to be an “independent” “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann. “

          Yet in the quote I was responding to, you affect disbelief:
          “no one had contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”

          And I referred to a silly red herring. Not least because, as you said earlier,
          “Neither EPA nor Schmidt would have been considering the EPA “inquiry” as a proceeding that was supposed to be an “independent” inquiry into academic misconduct.”
          Whatever loose talk there may have been in the DC case starting 2012, it could not have affected Schmidt and EPA in 2010, who certainly knew the function of the EPA proceeding.

          Steve: so you agree that Mann and his lawyers misled the DC Court on multiple occasions by falsely claiming that the EPA had carried out an “investigation” into Mann. glad that that’s resolved.

      • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 7:29 AM | Permalink

        Nick Stokes:

        Richard,
        “His judgment, not for the first time, is shown to be spot on.”
        Not so. The document was indeed likely to have been associated with the denial, and I did not dispute that. I simply objected to taking that (reasonable) guess and asserting
        “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved”
        Jean S’ question – paraphrased in the first sentence here as more than a question:
        “About eight weeks ago, Jean S postulated that Gavin Schmidt had been involved in writing the documents supporting EPA’s decision denying various petitions…”

        And yes, I’ll be accused of not quoting Steve fully – he is now saying:
        “Jean S’ question can therefore be answered in the affirmative: Schmidt had been involved – at a minimum, as a technical expert in the review and evaluation of the draft document”

        But the last part was added after Gavin’s response. Walked back. That’s one way of ending up “spot on”. We originally had specific para’s that Gavin was supposed to have written.

        Nick, any intention of rising above pettifoggery on this thread?

        If you detect contempt for what you’ve done here let me give a reason not mentioned by other scarcely believing CA contributors so far: you’ve made Steve look stupid, not in the substance of anything you’ve said, but in his role as moderator of this blog. The openness to criticism is one of the great strengths of CA, taken as a whole through its history, which arguably began ten years ago today. By endless mischaracterisation, obfuscation and nit-picking (giving every reader the wearisome task of trying to distinguish between the different categories) you’ve so far prevented decent discussion of the genuinely important matter of Gavin Schmidt’s involvement with this particular denial document by the EPA, especially once Mann had cited it as exoneration in his aforementioned burblings.

        Whatever, happy tenth birthday CA (or in 97 days time, as my fellow pedants may say).

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 8:00 AM | Permalink

          Mr. Stokes, in reply to your question, yes, you are still beating your wife.

        • HAS
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

          Actually despite all the bandwidth that has been chewed up toing and froing with Nick Stokes, if you go back through the above his contribution simply amounts to three points:

          (1) The RPT investigation wasn’t an investigation of Mann’s work, was only included by a careless lawyer in the case, but might still give Mann some comfort in it.

          (2) GS was involved in the production of the investigation, potentially gave “substantive advice and opinion”, but didn’t author.

          (3) Mann exaggerated his CV over the cover to the IPCC report, but so what?

          Perhaps we should just accept the above as his point of view and move on?

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

          Who hasn’t accepted that this is Nick’s point of view? My beef has been that such narrow concerns, when harped on about with subtle mischaracterisations, do in practice take attention away from more important matters, such as Steve has just raised with Willard. But we’ll get there.

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 5:28 PM | Permalink

          Or not-so-subtle mischaracterisations.

        • HAS
          Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

          It was more the latter part of the sentence I was advocating.

          While detailed engagement has its strengths, sometimes it is better to pull back and discuss the game that is being played – particularly if the other player is simply regarding it as sport.

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM | Permalink

          Yep, point taken.

        • barn E. rubble
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

          RE: Richard Drake
          ” . . .Nick, any intention of rising above pettifoggery on this thread? . . .”

          Seriously now, why is anyone responding to Nick’s chain-yanking comments? You know he’s doing it just for the giggles he gets when someone replies. Scroll on by . . .

        • Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

          Nick’s gone pretty quiet since that particular moment. Mosh has also been biting back. Perhaps it’s important for group sanity for some to make explicit how bad the contributions have been, not least because both of us have expressed appreciation for Nick in the past.

      • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 1:04 PM | Permalink

        > Until Jean S raised the issue, I hadn’t considered it.

        Jean S’ comment is timestamped Aug 27, 2014 at 5:17 AM.

        In a post published on Aug 24, 2014 at 6:17 PM, we can read:

        But most tellingly, Real Climate itself did not report the news that EPA had “investigated” and “exonerated” Michael Mann. The EPA report did not attract a headpost, but was mentioned in several comments in a thread about Andrew Montford’s then recently published book. […] Schmidt’s admission did not impact the EPA documents which cited Mann’s nodendro reconstruction on several occasions as a supposed refutation of the divergence problem and hide-the-decline (adding to the interest in whether Schmidt was a reviewer of the EPA documents.)

        https://climateaudit.org/2014/08/24/the-discovery-of-the-epa-inquiry/

        Our emphasis.

        A correction might be in order.

        Steve: you’re right that I had wondered about whether Schmidt had been a reviewer a couple of days before Jean S asked about Schmidt having contributed language, but, in that initial mention, I hadn’t thought through the implication in respect to conflict of interest under policies i.e. I hadn’t fully “contemplated the possibility that EPA’s supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Michael Mann would, in their evaluation of evidence, rely on a technical expert who had such close personal and professional relationships with Mann as Schmidt did”, though the implication was latent as soon as the possibility of Schmidt acting as a reviewer was raised. I’ll add a clarification. Having said that, the events are close together; I haven’t parsed the timelines and it’s possible that the time line could be further clarified if relevant.

        Willard, even you must be astounded by the idea that EPA would rely on someone as conflicted as Schmidt to evaluate evidence in what Mann claims was a supposed “investigation” into allegations of scientific misconduct against Mann.

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

          Steve’s full paragraph from 24th August is worth recalling, so that we are all aware what Schmidt admitted in 2010:

          But most tellingly, Real Climate itself did not report the news that EPA had “investigated” and “exonerated” Michael Mann. The EPA report did not attract a headpost, but was mentioned in several comments in a thread about Andrew Montford’s then recently published book. Of much more interest to blog commenters at the time was the astonishing news from Gavin Schmidt that, after months of Schmidt denying that the Tiljander sediments impacted the Mann et al 2008 reconstructions, Schmidt finally admitted that the contaminated Korttajarvi sediments did impact Mann’s vaunted no-dendro reconstruction. Schmidt’s admission did not impact the EPA documents which cited Mann’s nodendro reconstruction on several occasions as a supposed refutation of the divergence problem and hide-the-decline (adding to the interest in whether Schmidt was a reviewer of the EPA documents.)

          That was a significant U-turn. Steve may, in humility and appreciation for Jean S, have made a small error about the chronology four years later.

        • Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 5:38 PM | Permalink

          > you’re right that I had wondered about whether Schmidt had been a reviewer a couple of days before Jean S asked about Schmidt having contributed language, but […]

          Thank you for your update, even if it does not explicitly mention that Nick’s claim about contemplating “that possibility” does not seem to be a fabrication and that there might be no shame in holding it.

          Your “but” is duly acknowledged.

          Goodbye,

          W

        • Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 2:44 AM | Permalink

          Having strained out the gnat with aplomb he departed to swallow the camel in private.

      • Steven Mosher
        Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 2:18 PM | Permalink

        Nick

        Mosher’s comments are a black box now.

        Nick since you’ve already demonstrated that you dont know what the term black box means, and since you tell falsehoods when confronted with the facts regarding something that DIDNT MATTER, you can’t be trusted to render any reliable judgement.

        The EPA did not investigate Mann.
        His lawyers claim they did
        He claims they did
        The court thought they did
        Romm and others claimed they did.

        They didnt.

        Where their investigation touched on matters related to Mann

        1. They found the WMO cover was not misleading. Here they disagreed with Mann
        who found it misleading.

        2. you have argued they did investigate matters related to Mann, But Mann denies
        responsiblity for those matters.

        So lets stipulate that the EPA in an investigation constituted to look at other matters, did examine the WMO issue.

        Your words

        ‘And did it not say things that repudiate accusations against Mann?

        Stuff like: “In fact, the evidence shows that the research community was fully aware of these issues and was not hiding or concealing them. The figure as developed for the WMO report was not used by the IPCC. Rather, the Third Assessment Report, published in 2001 (IPCC, 2001), had a full paragraph on “important caveats to be kept in mind” regarding paleoclimate reconstructions that use tree rings. The paragraph included a discussion of the divergence and concluded that tree rings were best used as one of multiple proxies rather than being the sole source for a climate reconstruction. The AR4, published in 2007, addressed the divergence issue in a paragraph that began “Several analyses of ring width and ring density chronologies, with otherwise well established sensitivity to temperature, have shown that they do not emulate the general warming trend evident in instrumental temperature records over recent decades….” “

        So, here you would argue that while the EPA did not constitute an investigation to look at Mann, they nonetheless looked at one issue ( among many). That issue was the WMO cover.

        What did the EPA find. The WMO cover is non issue.
        What did Mann find: The WMO cover was misleading.

        Further, was the WMO cover even related to Mann?

        1. Mann says he had nothing to do with it
        2. Mann lists it as an accomplishment.

        • TerryMN
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 9:57 PM | Permalink

          It used to be entertaining to watch Nick try to wend himself out of a corner, but now that he’s turned to just lying and making things up, it’s sad. I hope he has very few mirrors in the house.

        • Steve McIntyre
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 9:58 PM | Permalink

          The profiles of EPA employees (Birgfeld, Jantarasami) linked in my previous post have been taken down or put behind firewalls.

        • AntonyIndia
          Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 11:31 PM | Permalink

          The EPA has gotten so many employees that they do not really want to show them in one go or at all: their staff directory is Byzantine in set up. It forces you to search 16 different directories to find 1 person. If an employee leaves this government agency, regardless of his/her name being under mayor documents, their name is swiftly deleted.
          Standards in the US are falling fast.

        • conard
          Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 7:24 AM | Permalink

          Steve Mc,

          Remove the extra semi-colon in the URL http://www.epa.gov/ohr/pmf/pmf_bios.htm;

  43. Craig Loehle
    Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Nick: all that matters is that Gavin gave expert advice. This is all that is required for the report to be NOT independent of Mann.
    All this stuff about which draft, if Gavin wrote any parts, why no other emails, why they sent express mail, if they took the ms with them, no proof he did x or y blah blah blah is completely irrelevant to the only point of this post.
    There are enough red herrings thrown up by Nick to start a fish market.

    • bernie1815
      Posted Oct 25, 2014 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

      Craig: Well said. I would only add that the lack of independence is compounded by the non-public nature of GS’s input.

  44. Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Permalink

    Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog and commented:
    EPA shows how to CYA…

  45. mpainter
    Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 4:51 PM | Permalink

    The EPA “stated that they had no documents listing either authors or reviewers of the RTP documents”.
    <<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>
    I find this intriguing. This violates written procedures. Surely there isa basis for some type of inquiry because of this lapse. Then there is a problem of authorship. It seems that a such an important policy document would have such basic certifications as EPA authorship aand procedural certitude, that is, required peer review.

    The question is put: what is the legal status of such a document? Is it possible that such a document can be promulgated as national policy? Certainly it can be questioned, perhaps challenged. Perhaps an email to the Attorney General will elicit a legal opinion. Interesting.

    Steve: the RTP documents did not themselves promulgate a policy, but denied the various petitions for reconsideration – which, as I’ve discussed before, were not particularly well-framed. The various petitioners appealed the denial decision and were represented by leading members of the Washington bar. If they wished to challenge the peer review record, they should have done so at the time. The decision was appealed to the DC Appeal Court. The case proceeded to the SUpreme Court but on other issues (Tailoring). Given the amount of money that the petitioners undoubtedly spent on legal fees, the petitions themselves were very inept. And before getting too excited, keep in mind that defective peer review wouldn’t necessarily change the decision on the denial of the petitions.

    • mpainter
      Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 7:22 PM | Permalink

      You are right, the denial of petition did not promulgate policy but it clear the last hurdle before the promulgation of a policy that is obnoxious to a substantial portion of the polity.
      For the sake of those who have more than just a mild interest in this business, I would like to relate a few things I have found:
      The Inspector General of the EPA is Arthur Elkins, Jr. His website states that his office has the responsibility of investigating any report of an EPA employee breaking EPA rules. If this business was put before him, he would be required to act, I think. Could be the RTP documents will be found exempt from the rules, but maybe not. Where would this lead, I wonder.
      Furthermore, Elkins testified last month before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform (Darrel Issa, Chairman, R-Ca.) His testimony is available at the committee website. Now I have not read that, but there can be no doubt that certain members of Congress, and not just a few, have big issues with the EPA.
      All things considered, the petitioners might have another crack at at it. Things have changed in the last 4-5 years, so who knows?

      Steve: the EPA’s conduct of peer review is within OIG’s terms of reference, but the OIG has limited authority, as I understand. The OIG criticized their handling of peer review in the Endangerment FInding and the EPA told them to buzz off. And once again, the petitioners had their bite at the apple in their previous appeal. If they didn’t raise these issues then, then snooze you lose.

      • mpainter
        Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 9:39 PM | Permalink

        If they neglected such issue, then it was muffed for sure.

  46. barn E. rubble
    Posted Oct 26, 2014 at 9:12 PM | Permalink

    RE: Nick Stokes
    Posted Oct 24, 2014 at 3:56 AM | Permalink | Reply
    AndyL
    . . . “The headline is simply a statement.” . . .

    Go Nick, go . . . .

  47. Joe Goodacre
    Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

    It is clear as day that Mann has relied in his pleadings on the argument that the EPA independently exonerated him and to argue in the face of this constitutes actual malice.

    Information that came out in subsequent FOI responses has demonstrated conclusively that Gavin Schmidt was involved in the preparation of the denial of petitions.

    Schmidt’s involvement destroys the claim that it is independent exoneration.

    Nick Stokes argues that it’s the lawyers fault, they didn’t mean what they said, no correction they did mean it, and were entitled to argue it, you can’t assume Gavin’s involvement means anything, no wait they meant a different meaning for ‘independent’ followed by the slam dunk of ‘forget all of this, what about the climate’.

    Watching people argue with him is like watching a tennis match where one side think that hitting it in the net wins the point. He clearly refuses to play by the same rules as others so why do people bother engaging?

    Clogging up the comments by encouraging tedious, irrelevant or often purposefully misleading commentary doesn’t appear to be time well spent.

  48. Brad
    Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    260 comments in. What have we learned, if anything concerning the topic of this post?

    • b4llzofsteel
      Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

      This conversation reminds me of a tennis match…

      • Political Junkie
        Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

        It took me a while to figure out what Stokes is doing but I think I got it.

        Steve ends his post above with: “I’ll discuss these events in my next post.”

        Stokes is scared s*itless about what’s coming up so he’s diverting our host’s attention – alas, with some success.

  49. b4llzofsteel
    Posted Oct 27, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Permalink

    To paraphrase a saying: “Remember, Nick Stokes always has the last word in an argument. Anything you add after that is the start of a new argument”.

  50. JD Ohio
    Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 3:23 PM | Permalink

    This thread shows the futility of debating or attempting a dialog with someone (Nick Stokes) who is not interested a fair exchange of ideas. Nick’s sole interest is in defending AGW in any way possible, and he has found the technique of obfuscation to be valuable because those not familiar with what actually has happened with respect to Mann (and others, such as Gleick) find it hard to believe that someone with a respected academic position could be as venal and obtuse as Mann. I think that Nick has earned the right to be ignored.

    Here Nick is making the ridiculous argument that deciding that, in the EPA’s view, the science of global warming is robust operates as an exoneration of Mann because Mann is one of the scientists who worked on climate matters. This is obviously silly. Suppose that the lawyer relying on “exoneration” had accurately stated the basis of any EPA “exoneration” of Mann was that he was one of, for instance, 300 people who wrote climate science papers and the climate science papers had been found to be robust overall. His claim of EPA “exoneration” would have been ignored as ludicrous. Yet Nick is here defending the lawyer’s ludicrous complaint. In so doing, he makes a ridiculous distinction between “separate and independent.” He is not discussing the issue, he is obfuscating in the same manner that Gavin & Mann obfuscate.

    Nick also has a past record of obfuscation and totally illogical arguments. For instance, he attempted to deflect attention away from Mann’s mean-spirited claim that Steve had committed “pure scientific fraud” in an email to Andrew Revkin by referring to “stolen” emails. See https://climateaudit.org/2014/08/22/epa-on-manns-fraud-invective/#comments To anyone who thinks for a second, it is clear that Mann’s moral or legal responsibility for the email is not affected in any way by the method in which it was discovered. On top of that, Mann committed the same wrong that he is now suing Steyn for — he accused Steve of engaging in fraudulent work. Yet Nick is still here defending the indefensible Mann.

    Nick having earned the right to be ignored, when he engages in his typical obfuscation, I will simply link to the fraud invective post and this post and state that Nick is not a serious commenter and that he is not entitled to a response from me based on his past obfuscation and irrationality.

    JD

    • Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 4:20 PM | Permalink

      “Here Nick is making the ridiculous argument that deciding that, in the EPA’s view, the science of global warming is robust operates as an exoneration of Mann because Mann is one of the scientists who worked on climate matters.”

      I don’t know where I am supposed to have made that argument. I did quote, in the response to AndyL which currently sits below this, from the EPA decision, bolding sentences like these:
      “The inquiries have found no evidence of scientific misconduct or intentional data manipulation on the part of the climate researchers associated with the CRU e-mails.”
      “These inquiries lend further credence to EPA’s conclusion that petitioners’ claims that the CRU e-mails show the underlying science cannot or should not be trusted are exaggerated and unsupported.”

      In the latter, the EPA is directly saying it doesn’t accept CEI’s accusations against Mann. These seem to very directly bear on Mann’s case.

      In the last quote they aren’t referring to scientific analysis to be found in the emails. They are referring to allegations that the science cannot be trusted because the emails show misconduct.

      Steve: so you agree that Mann and his lawyers misled the DC Court on multiple occasions by falsely claiming that the EPA had carried out an “investigation” into Mann. glad that that’s resolved.

      • Fred Harwood
        Posted Oct 28, 2014 at 7:39 PM | Permalink

        Amen.

  51. JD Ohio
    Posted Oct 29, 2014 at 8:56 AM | Permalink

    This thread has got me thinking about some related issues. Just think how sleazy it was for Mann to tell his lawyer that the EPA had exonerated him. Then, on top of that his colleague almost certainly contributed to the EPA’s work. When you think they can’t slink lower they top themselves.

    Also, as Mann’s suit plug’s along, it is becoming clear that it is a gift to skeptics. The more rocks you lift up, the more roaches that come scurrying out.

    JD

    Steve: have you also thought about the possibility that authors of EPA responses, without personal expertise in key topics, relied on Real Climate blog posts without citing Real Climate?

  52. thisisnotgoodtogo
    Posted Oct 29, 2014 at 3:54 PM | Permalink

    Maybe Mr.S. will plead that the judge would never rely ona mere slips of the lawyers’ pen(s).

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