Steve McIntyre Misrepresents Climate Research History

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Who is Steve McIntyre?

From DeSmogBlog.com:

Stephen McIntyre has been a long-time mining industry executive, mostly working on the “stock market side” of mining exploration deals. He published a blog called Climate Audit where he attempts to analyse in sometimes long and extensive detail the work of climate change scientists where he documents “statistical mistakes” in peer-reviewed scientific literature. …

McIntyre has been described as a “persistent amateur who had no credentials in applied science before stepping into the global warming debate in 2003” and has been a prominent critic of temperature records that suggest increasing global temperatures over the past 1000 years.

As of 2003, McIntyre had worked in the mineral business for 30 years and he has been an officer or director of small public mineral exploration companies for over 16 years…

In February, 2014, he put up four blog posts attacking Dr. Michael Mann in relation to Mann’s defamation suit against Mark Steyn et al, claiming in those posts that Mann had “misrepresented the findings of reports and inquiries into his work and the work of other climate scientists in relation to the so-called “climategate” affair, when the emails of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were illegally hacked and then published.” (desmogblog.com)

Today, McIntyre’s blog posted a lengthy “fisking” (sort of) written by Jean S, of the climategate emails. The focus is on the famous “Hockey Stick” curve produced by Mann and others just prior to 2000. This graph is an assembly of carefully vetted climate records including proxies and the modern instrumental record. The different sources of information used to show dramatic 20th century warming are well documented in Mann’s publications and further documented in freely distributed supplementary information. Two objections seem to have been raised by climate science denialists such as McIntyre and others. One is that one of the proxies, certain tree ring data, show cooling or at least a lack of warming. The other is that the graphic representation of 20th century warming uncritically combined proxy data and instrumental data.

Denier Complaints About Climate Proxies Are Based On Ignorance Of The Science

A proxy, or proxyindicator, is a natural system that leaves a recoverable residue that varies in some measurable or observable way, such that the variation may correspond to a natural variation happening in the world at the time the proxy was being formed. For example, the ratio of Oxygen-16 and Oxygen-18, two stable isotopes of that element, in Oxygen incorporated in stable form (in biogenic tissues, for example) indicates the ratio of these isotopes in the ambient environment, which in turn, indicates the amount of each element available at the time, which in turn, indicates how much of each type of oxygen is trapped in glacial ice (which tends to have more Oxygen-16 because glaciers are ultimately made of vapor, which is isotopically light). Oxygen isotope ratios of materials recovered from deep sea cores indicate the march of glacial formation and melting over long periods of time.
The first of these two objections to Mann’s work, and other work, relies on naiveté among potential readers about proxyindicators. As is the case with all scientific data, all proxies are suspect, and all proxies have the potential of varying in sensitivity over time. Scientists must always evaluate the quality of the data they use, and not accept it uncritically.

For example, say you wanted to estimate the flow of a major river over time. You could measure how much silt is deposited on the river’s flood plain by taking Carbon-14 samples at numerous depths in the floodplain. A greater depth between samples separated by similar amounts of time might mean more flooding. But, as the flood plain matures and raises in elevation, the frequency of floods year to year may decrease, causing a decline in the rate of siltation, and thus, apparent water flow in relation to the actual water flow. Furthermore, at some point, the flood plain is essentially filled up, and flooding overbank happens elsewhere along the river, and no longer (or infrequently) at your sample site. This is a decline in the usefulness of the proxy to the point that you have to simply stop using it.

Another example. Say you want to use pollen counts form layers found in mud at the bottom of a lake, the layers having been recovered from cores sunk in the lake. Assume your lake is in a region that started out as grassland but slowly became more forested. Trees act as pollen filters. Pollen wafting across the landscape is caught in the trees. In the early part of the lake core data, pollen may be introduced from many kilometers away from wind blown plants (grasses, some trees) and from similar distances from plants that do not distribute pollen via wind, but in small quantities (such plants produce way less pollen than wind pollenated plants) via streams that enter the lake. Over time, however, trees will grow up first around the lake, then over a larger area of the landscape. Windblown pollen from grasses is less likely to get into the pond, and there may be less of that pollen because trees are replacing grassland. Meanwhile, the longer distance stream carried pollen may continue to represent the original catchment of pollen. But, if there are changes in rainfall patterns, that could change too. People looking at pollen in lake cores may use an independent measure, such as the amount of iron in the sediment, to indicate how much water comes in from longer distances via streams vs. how much comes in from groundwater and as direct rain. They will use studies of pollen taphonomy, which look at changes in “pollen rain” as forests develop, to calibrate the effects of trees on the wind blown grass pollen representation. At some point, near the top of the core, the tree pollen may be suddenly and dramatically reduced and the wind blown grass pollen may switch to mostly corn or wheat. This is farmers coming in and completely changing the environment. The core from that point on up may become useless. In sum, the entire core has to be analyzed as a dynamic, changing proxy where some of the changes are important information about the changing environment, while other changes are indicative of an increase or a decline in sensitivity of the proxy as an indicator of what is being studied.

Something similar is going on with the tree ring data Mann used. At around 1960 the ability of the tree ring data to represent regional temperature declines and the tree rings become useless. Prior to that time the data should be used. After that time the data should be discarded.

A proxy is not a pre-calibrated consistent source of information. It is a method that uses measurements of recovered material that allow the reconstruction of an ancient process. But that requires understanding the process well enough to develop a way of determining when the proxy is being helpful and when it is providing noise. A good amount of the research on ancient paleoclimate and paleoecology is about how the proxies work. With this research it is possible in many cases to evaluate the utility of a proxy at a given location, and furthermore, to assess which parts of the proxy can be used, which parts need to be further calibrated, and which parts need to be ignored because of a decline in their usefulness.

We see climate science deniers claiming, for example, that the tree ring proxy used by Mann needs to be used “all or nothing.” This is nothing more than ignorance of how paleoclimatology works.

(See also: Clearing up misconceptions regarding ‘hide the decline’)

Complaints About The Hockey Stick Graph Are Not Valid

McIntyre’s arguments (along with others) about the graph are middle-school level obfuscation of the point. The scientists who published the original Hockey Stick graph went through pains to be clear about what information was going into which part of the overall curve. Subsequent renditions of the same data, or similar sets of data with new information added, range across the board from highly complex constructs showing the different sources of the data, error ranges, etc. to those that simplify by drawing a simple curve of combined information. I wrote about this here, showing how this practice, of sometimes making a very complex thing simpler in a way that makes the point accurately, is done all the time.

The latest post on McIntyre’s site, completely misrepresented what happened with the Hockey Stick curve. Nowhere in the quoted emails is there any suggestion or approval or any indication by Michael Mann of seamlessly merging proxyindicator data and instrumental data. The original documents clearly show that this is not what happened at any stage.

Why Do McIntyre And Others Fabricate These Objections?

If you read JeanS’s post closely, s/he seems to be simultaneously implying that Mann created a falsified representation of how the data come together, while at the same time admitting he did not. This is an increasingly common tactic among climate science denialists. They can no longer totally make up what they are saying because they are too easily called on it, yet want to provide other denialists with fodder, and confuse anyone involved in policy, or who just wants to learn, with more confusion and less clarity.

The only way to accept or even seriously consider the arguments that climate scientists developing the Hockey Stick curve or similar research were involved in inappropriate shenanigans is to anchor oneself deeply in a mire of intentional ignorance. There seems to be only one reason to do that (other than simply being very, very ignorant): a commitment to anti-science activism, with the likely intention of damaging the translation of good science into useful policy.

This is something a mining industry executive might do out of self interest and to represent the interests of that industry. Is that the case here? There is a trick to help determine if that is the case. Follow the money.


The graphic depicted above is from here. It is a 2007 version o the often replicated and used “Hockey Stick.”

There is now a Tumblr for stuff like this.

More on Steve McIntyre:

RealClimate on McIntyre
Skeptical Science on McIntyre
Rational Wiki on McIntyre

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477 thoughts on “Steve McIntyre Misrepresents Climate Research History

  1. Pauldd…

    1) Maybe not. That’s just the claim of self-proclaimed “auditors.”

    2) If the data were so random and uncertain, one wouldn’t get consistent results.

  2. MikeN… “So did they not know of this radiative imbalance in 1990? Why weren’t they shocked by this chart?”

    The clearly understood the radiative imbalance, but there were no charts at the time that showed 20th century temperature rise relative to millennial temperature.

    They can’t really present what doesn’t yet exist, even if they believe that position is supportable. The IPCC’s task is to present the most current research. FAR was published before any charts like the hockey stick even existed.

  3. PaulDD,

    1) “not acknowledged” is code for “accused unfairly and they won’t cave”

    Your #2 rephrased: “I’m not sure what a proxy is and I know nothing about methodology but I can sure try to use those two words in a sentence!

  4. Greg #316
    Yes, I think the paleo field is almost like a mystery story, in which:
    a) Some of the data is already there, like some of the tree rings, which have been collected for a while.
    b) Some was there, but takes a lot of work to get, i.e., the extending of good ice-core records

    and c) often require much work to interpret and then statistical techniques to extract signal from the noise.

    I again recommend to anybody Ray Bradley’s Paleoclimatology(1999), the one I have, or the newer edition. Every section talks about the challenges of using each proxy, and then the techniques used to deal with them. Fascinating material.

  5. MikeN… “That is not a correction. Indeed, it is a sign of either a deliberate lie or incompetence.”

    Sometimes deliberate lies and incompetence get past peer review, Mike. That’s a fact of life. But, as I’ve clearly explained above, what happens with bad science is, it gets supplanted by good science. That’s why science works.

    So let’s just consider for a moment that MBH had just completely mucked everything up. They blew the statistics. They chose bad data. They deliberately sought to mislead the world about what has happen with global temps over the past 1000 years. (Not saying that’s the case, just suppose for a moment.)

    IF that had happened – accepting that sometimes crap gets through peer review – then what one would expect is, subsequent research would overturn those conclusions. IF they had lied, manipulated and tortured the data, then you would expect that other researchers would come along and do a much better job of running the stats, choosing the data, and so forth. And, if MBH had done such deliberately manipulative things, when other researchers did the number correctly, they would have come out with different results.

    BUT, as I keep saying, what has happened is the opposite. Subsequent research has come out with results that are consistent with MBH’s conclusions.

    From this you can only derive two possible conclusions. Either…

    a) MBH actually did a good job with their research, or
    b) they lucked out and got the right answer for the wrong reasons.

    I know (a) is hard to accept for the “skeptics” but you have to accept that may be a rational choice, and if it’s (b) then, who the frick cares? We have two dozen other multiproxy reconstructions that show the answer was correct. You don’t even have to accept the conclusions of MBH98/99 to fully accept that the conclusions are correct.

    All that matters is what is true!

    The true is, global temps today are very likely higher than at any time during the past 1000 years, and warming started around 1850 and has risen rapidly since then.

    End of story.

  6. @ John Mashey #315 —

    You’re right — Figure 3.20 in that 1995 book contains both a proxy-based temperature reconstruction (1400-1979), and recent instrumental temperatures from 1850-on. Each of the two traces is clearly described by the figure legend.

    As you say, any sane person would want to see how reconstructions compare to modern instruments in the period of overlap. In that respect, this Figure 3.20 is a substantial improvement over the 1999 WMO graph that Jean S. criticized at Climate Audit.

  7. Rob Honeycutt said; “MikeN… “To evaluate the validity of the proxy in past times, it is best to show all data yes.”

    No. That is not how proxy data are validated and calibrated, or when necessary, cross-validated.

    You just can’t seem to get past the fact that researchers know what part of the NH proxies are wrong. They can just omit those and proceed to calibrate and validate the remaining data.

    “Why is that so hard to comprehend?”

    That is not science.

    Your exclusion of data (data that contradicts your model hypothesis) need to have a falsifiable hypothetical reason for your exclusion of the data. The exclusion of the data is a new hypothesis, on its own.

    Omitting data on your own say so is selection bias of the worst kind.

  8. Rob, you seem to have me mixed up with someone else.

    “BUT… you guys are stuck at step 1 and just can’t get past that. It’s like you want to throw people in jail for not doing something perfectly exactly as you think it should have been done.”

    I don’t know who you think you’re talking to when you say “you guys,” but if you knew anything about me you’d be aware that I’ve strenuously defended Mann’s “right,” as a scientist, to make mistakes, and have castigated “skeptics” who seek to equate bungled statistical steps with “fraud.” I’ve strongly hinted to Mark Steyn that if he thinks he can go toe-to-toe with Dr Mann over the appropriateness or otherwise of specific methods for reconstructing temperature curves from dendro signals in a courtroom,
    A) Mann would win the debate
    B) it’ll be pointless anyway because even if Steyn could prove Mann wrong, it wouldn’t indicate “fraud”

    “Look, you guys keep presenting this as if it were some sort of academic malfeasance,”

    And you agreed Jones “should not” have done it, so what are we disputing?

    ” when in fact it was a graphic.”

    Oh, my mistake. I thought it was a graph. I was probably fooled by the axes and all the other graph-like trappings.

    Now that you add the letters I and C to the word “graph,” I see why you’re so upset with everyone who tries to hold the figure to standards of scientific probity.

    Still, we’re agreed that Jones “should” have done things differently, so it’s weird that you still seem to be trying to debate this.

    “Like, you’d want to sue Picasso for not putting the eyes in their proper places.”

    Ah, so in your mind scientists are just modern artists? (That would explain a lot.)

    I think it was Picasso who called art “a lie which helps us realize the truth,” so I can see why you’d think bad science is OK as long as subsequent science gets the same “answer.”

    Also, please pay attention. I wrote:

    “The Hockey Stick papers were bad science, or rather pseudoscience (because they couldn’t be replicated using the information provided, and Mann obstructed all efforts to do so)”

    It was self-explanatory that I was referring to MANN’S papers (as lead author), NOT to all the 15 other studies that you think produced close-enough graphs to be counted as Hockey Sticks.

    I also told you WHY his papers were non-science. You conveniently ignored, and even deleted when quoting me, the reason. I repeat:

    “because they couldn’t be replicated using the information provided, and Mann obstructed all efforts to do so”

    Or as you would put it, they couldn’t be “audited,” and Mann went out of his way to stop anyone who tried.

    “Audits are great for financial transactions, but they just don’t work for complex science issues like this.”

    Sure, they don’t work when papers are unauditable and scientists go out of their way to stop anyone who tries.

    But when an audit can be performed, it can be surprising how much we DO learn from it.

    Thanks to an audit, the IPCC no longer cites MBH98/99.

    “Science isn’t about audits, it’s about replication.”

    Three points:
    1. “Replication” is a confused and imprecise term—which is not your fault, it’s just an unfortunate aspect of English. The problem is that some scientists use the word “replication” to MEAN what you call “auditing,” whereas others think it means what you call “confirming” or “agreeing with” the result itself.
    2. Scientific papers MUST be auditable, by definition. That’s WHY they include that bit in the middle where they tell you the stuff they did. Ever notice that bit? It’s not that they’re trying to waste paper, it’s just because, for 300 years or so, all scientists on Earth have accepted that a study whose exact steps can’t be retraced by other scientists is nothing more than grey literature. It’s not science if it can’t be “audited.”
    3. When are you going to learn that it’s a bad idea for you to try to tell me how science does and doesn’t, Rob? Are you one of those people that goes around lecturing lawyers on how the law works? When you meet someone from Iceland do you normally try to educate them on Icelandic grammar? Or do you have the common sense to realize you’d very likely end up making a fool of yourself? In which case… what fatuity possesses you to hold forth about how you imagine science works when there are people here, including me, who actually KNOW how it works? Do you enjoy publicly getting things bass ackwards?

  9. Jim… “Your exclusion of data (data that contradicts your model hypothesis) need to have a falsifiable hypothetical reason for your exclusion of the data.”

    Ah, Jim. The reason for excluding the data is the fact that we have instrumental data that shows the proxy data after 1960 is wrong. The rest of the data can be separately calibrated and validated.

    No one is omitting data “on their own say” without a strong scientific basis.

  10. Rob Honeycutt

    September 25, 2014
    MikeN… “That is not a correction. Indeed, it is a sign of either a deliberate lie or incompetence.”

    Sometimes deliberate lies and incompetence get past peer review, Mike. That’s a fact of life. But, as I’ve clearly explained above, what happens with bad science is, it gets supplanted by good science. That’s why science works.

    So let’s just consider for a moment that MBH had just completely mucked everything up. They blew the statistics. They chose bad data. They deliberately sought to mislead the world about what has happen with global temps over the past 1000 years. (Not saying that’s the case, just suppose for a moment.)

    IF that had happened – accepting that sometimes crap gets through peer review – then what one would expect is, subsequent research would overturn those conclusions. IF they had lied, manipulated and tortured the data, then you would expect that other researchers would come along and do a much better job of running the stats, choosing the data, and so forth. And, if MBH had done such deliberately manipulative things, when other researchers did the number correctly, they would have come out with different results.

    BUT, as I keep saying, what has happened is the opposite. Subsequent research has come out with results that are consistent with MBH’s conclusions.

    From this you can only derive two possible conclusions. Either…

    a) MBH actually did a good job with their research, or
    b) they lucked out and got the right answer for the wrong reasons.

    I know (a) is hard to accept for the “skeptics” but you have to accept that may be a rational choice, and if it’s (b) then, who the frick cares? We have two dozen other multiproxy reconstructions that show the answer was correct. You don’t even have to accept the conclusions of MBH98/99 to fully accept that the conclusions are correct.

    All that matters is what is true!

    The true is, global temps today are very likely higher than at any time during the past 1000 years, and warming started around 1850 and has risen rapidly since then.

    End of story.”

    (sorry for the long quote)

    Rob, that is *not* the end of the story.

    MBH and Y2K , and everyone else have the same 20th century ‘tail’ of the temp record, That is not in question. we all know the climate today.

    The question is attribution.

    The exact statistical correlation of proxy reconstruction matters *very* much for that.

    Saying that the climate is getting warmer is meaningless.

  11. “The true is, global temps today are very likely higher than at any time during the past 1000 years, and warming started around 1850 and has risen rapidly since then.”

    That assertion is very much in question. Is the rapid rise since 1850, or 1950. That is the crux of the AGW attribution hypothesis.

  12. Brad… “Thanks to an audit, the IPCC no longer cites MBH98/99.”

    (facepalm)

    Yes Brad. BECAUSE IT’S 15 YEARS OUT OF DATE, not because of anything M&M ever did. They also no longer show H. H. Lamb’s graph from 1965 either! Go figure.

    Go to chapter 5 of AR5. There are no less than 15 references to Mann’s more recent work. And guess what. figures 5.7 and 5.8 show… wait for it…

    Hockey sticks!

  13. Jim… “Is the rapid rise since 1850, or 1950. That is the crux of the AGW attribution hypothesis.”

    The rise between 1850 and 1940 was likely a combination of human and natural factors. The rise since 1950 is most likely to be about 110% human causation.

  14. “Jim… “Your exclusion of data (data that contradicts your model hypothesis) need to have a falsifiable hypothetical reason for your exclusion of the data.”

    Ah, Jim. The reason for excluding the data is the fact that we have instrumental data that shows the proxy data after 1960 is wrong. The rest of the data can be separately calibrated and validated.

    No one is omitting data “on their own say” without a strong scientific basis.”

    No. No way.

    Splicing proxy and instrumental must have a falsifiable hypothetical basis.

    You can not exclude inconvenient proxy data without a testable, falsifiable hypotheses.

    You are *only* excluding proxy data that contradicts your hypothesis.

    Instrumental data is *different* data. You are corrupting science if you mix measurement and inference, without a testable explanation.

    Saying ‘We have instrumental data for now, so we will just use that’ is *very* wrong.

    *Do you understand that ?*

  15. Rob,

    You must have a falsifiable hypothesis for the divergence. With out that, you only have unreliable data.

    ‘Dendro proxy T was good back then, but is no good now. We can not explain why it is no good now. But we know that it was good back then.’

  16. “Ah, Jim. The reason for excluding the data is the fact that we have instrumental data that shows the proxy data after 1960 is wrong. The rest of the data can be separately calibrated and validated.”

    Your inferential data (Dendro T reconstruction) can not be “validated” by comparison to one era of instrumental measurements, when it fails by comparison to another era’s instrumental measurements.

    That will require a robust explanation.

  17. Rob Honeycutt

    September 25, 2014
    “Jim… “Is the rapid rise since 1850, or 1950. That is the crux of the AGW attribution hypothesis.”

    The rise between 1850 and 1940 was likely a combination of human and natural factors. The rise since 1950 is most likely to be about 110% human causation.”

    Your answer is meaningless. You say that between 1850 and 1940 the temp rise “…was likely a combination of human and natural factors” and then you say that since 1950 the temp increase is half-and-half human and natural factors (110% human).

    Is the 20th century temp rise unprecedented in the 3000 year reconstruction of temps?

  18. #329 Rob Actually, Lamb(1965) didn’t even make it to 1992, and in any case, it was already surrounded by caveats, pp.199-203 in IPCC(1990) … which of course, many have never bothered to read. It might be appropriate to tell them:
    “You keep using that word., image. I do not think it means what you think it means.” 🙂

  19. Rob,

    here’s another thing that seems to impress people on the wrong side of the Sokal line:

    “There are no less than 15 references to Mann’s more recent work. And guess what. figures 5.7 and 5.8 show… wait for it…
    Hockey sticks!”

    Amazing, isn’t it!

    When the Hockey Team is forced to go back to the drawing board (after M&M prove their first attempt was a completely spurious artifact of methodological mistakes), they finally do things properly and are able to reveal the truth about climate history at last—and guess what?

    Hockey Sticks!

    They must be the first scientists in history brilliant enough to wear team T-shirts that state the answer *before* performing the research that asks the question!

    If only Watson and Crick had called themselves The Double Helix Team *in advance*, they might be in the same league for sheer scientific greatness as the Hockey Team.

    I’m sure Humanities graduates the world over think what I just wrote makes perfect sense.

  20. only one last question for any one here.

    can Mann’s non-centered Principle Component Analysis produce a hockey stick graph without the Yamal tree, or without the bristle cone strip barks?

    that is the crux, mac vs mann.

    anybody here know?

  21. Brad Keyes,

    So can Mann get hockey sticks without Yamal and Graybill’s bristle cone pines?

    What do you get with the rest of the world’s population of dendrochronologies?

  22. Rob,

    You still haven’t addressed my other point.

    If science isn’t “about audits,” as you seem to believe, then why do all scientific papers ever published explain the steps that led to their conclusions? Isn’t that a bit unnecessary, since the only thing that matters (in your non-scientist mind) is whether later research gets the same answer or not?

    Are they TRYING to waste trees? Isn’t that environmentally irresponsible? Why not omit the middle bit entirely? That’s what they’d do if they truly cared about the environment… right? ;-D

  23. jim,

    “So can Mann get hockey sticks without Yamal and Graybill’s bristle cone pines?”

    Yes—I believe there’s a particular swamp in Scandinavia right next to a farm that also bears the sought-after Hockey-Stick “signal”. As long as you weight that sufficiently, you can also get the shape you’re looking for. You don’t even need to use the data the right way up.

    “What do you get with the rest of the world’s population of dendrochronologies?”

    What, all the trees that AREN’T bristlecones?

    That would just be cherry picking. You sound suspiciously like a denier.

  24. Brad… “If science isn’t “about audits,” as you seem to believe, then why do all scientific papers ever published explain the steps that led to their conclusions?”

    To allow other researchers to evaluate the process that went into creating the research. That’s part of moving forward. What did all the other researchers who work in dendroclimatology do when presented with MBH’s work? They dug in to understand what MBH did and then came up with improved ways on their own. And Mann was doing the same thing as well. As soon as a researcher publishes a paper, they already know how they want to do it better because you learn so much doing it the first time. So, even Mann, himself, could see weaknesses in his own work and could see ways to improve it. That’s not fraud. That’s not misleading. That’s definitely not manipulation. That’s science!

    No real researcher would ever see any piece of research as the do all, end all. Every piece of research is just a step along the path of greater understanding. You always take what you learn and move the ball forward.

    What you folks have done is gotten yourselves stuck in a time warp where the whole world of climate research revolves around Tiljander, bristlecones and PCA’s from 15 years ago.

    In the meantime, science moved forward and is now about a mile and a half ahead of you while you’re still tangled up in your shoe laces.

  25. Jim… “You must have a falsifiable hypothesis for the divergence.”

    (sigh)

    Jim, instrumental temperature data rises during that period for that area where the Briffa’s data comes from. The tree ring data diverges.

    Are you going to tell me that the tree ring data is right and the instrumental data is wrong?

  26. Brad… “When the Hockey Team is forced to go back to the drawing board…”

    Have you read anything that I’ve written?

    Science is iterative, Brad. No one “went back to the drawing board.” Each new piece of research learns from earlier research. Each new piece of research improves on past research. Each new piece of research requires the learning of past research in order to move forward.

    Again, Brad, you seem to think that every piece of research is supposed to stand on it’s own as a perfect representation of reality, unalterable and undeniable. It just doesn’t work that way.

    You’re creating an impossible standard, and you’re promoting a notion that would end the continued progress of scientific research.

    Sometimes I wonder whether that’s exactly what you want.

  27. Rob, it’s like creationists that still complain about Haeckel’s embryos, except I think that matter was much closer to fraud than anything Mann has ever done.

  28. Brad… “They must be the first scientists in history brilliant enough to wear team T-shirts that state the answer *before* performing the research that asks the question!”

    Let me ask you a question, Brad.

    What do you think motivates researchers?

    Do you think it’s the opportunity to produce another piece of research that confirms exactly what everyone else before them has shown?

    Or might the motivation be to better understand the part of the world around us where they specialize? And, maybe, if they’re clever enough to come up with a really unique application of methods and data in their field, to produce a seminal piece of research that shows something different that none of their peers have ever been able to show before?

    I’ll tell you, no researcher gets any grants for saying, “I’d like to make another hockey stick graph.” They get research money for saying, “Here’s something we don’t yet understand about this topic, please support my research so that I can apply new methods and look at this issue a new and different way.”

    No one is pre-determining their results, Brad. The results are coming from the data. They’re showing us the reality of the world as it relates to global temperature over the past 1000 years.

  29. Audits? I have some thoughts on the dog whiste politics involved in the choice of that particular word. But leaving that aside, it’s one thing to check papers in order to get the science right. It’s another to comb over papers looking for excuses to misrepresent a whole category of science. That’s the question at hand.

    On the one hand, it can also be viewed as an issue of scale in the sense of the role of this or that individual paper in relation to the whole field. On the other hand, it’s a matter of proportion in terms of how the relative importance of how one point is weighted versus another.

    In other words, are the usual suspects still up their old tricks, capitalizing on poor reading comprehension and the myopic boosters who they’ve gassed up with motivated reasoning?

  30. Greg,

    “Sought after hockey stick signal”? By “sought after” you must mean “ubiquitous”.

    “Ubiquitous hockey stick signal”? By “ubiquitous” you must mean “found wherever scientists look, as long as they’re white males in Michael Mann’s Facebook friends list.”

    No, by “sought after” I mean “named their team after and posed for selfies in superhero costumes bearing symbol of.”

    Because, unlike Watson and Crick, they were brilliant enough to bet their (admittedly modest, down-to-earth) egos in advance on getting a particular answer.

    Or maybe when I said “sought after” I meant “looked for.”

    To quote from Fred Pearce’s admiring profile of the pioneers of modern paleoclimatology:

    “Tim Barnett, then of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California, San Diego, joined Jones to form a small group within the IPCC to mine this data for signs of global warming, ready to report in the next assessment due in 2001.
    What we hope is that the current patterns of temperature change prove distinctive, quite different from the patterns of natural variability in the past,” Barnett told me in 1996. Even then they were looking for a hockey stick.

  31. Damn them for looking for a signal predicted by the physics and already seen in other indicators! Damn them for making an observation, formulating a hypothesis from it, collecting data and testing it! DAM THEM FOR USING THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD HOW DARE THEY DO GHAT,!!!!

    Thank you for that comment, Brad. It perfectly explicated your understanding if the situation.

  32. OA,

    “Audits? I have some thoughts on the dog whiste politics involved in the choice of that particular word.”

    Dog whistle politics?! Really? I don’t hear any. But if you do, then that would mean…

    “But leaving that aside,”

    Nooo! Don’t deprive us of your thoughts on that! We can’t hear certain frequencies so we depend on you, our faithful companion, to alert us to what you hear.

    ” it’s one thing to check papers in order to get the science right.”

    Yes. I believe that’s called “auditing.” It helps when the paper isn’t impenetrably cryptic about its methods.

    ” It’s another to comb over papers looking for excuses to misrepresent a whole category of science.”

    Fascinating. Another superhuman perceptual ability you have, no doubt? You’re telling us you can differentiate individual motives for the mundane, 300-year-old scientific act of auditing a paper.

    Tell us more.

  33. I think Brad is guilty of “looking for” fraud, malfeasance, and dastardly manipulation of public policy — and, further, “seeking after” a particular answer and betting his ego in advance on getting it.

    Wait, I think he’s putting on his team T-shirt and going back to the drawing board… Wait for it…

  34. Brad… Let’s see.

    Dating back to the days of Arrhenius, scientists have understood that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere would cause warming. Since the 1950’s scientists have been measuring the steady climb in atmospheric CO2. Since the 1950’s we’ve calculated the radiative properties of CO2 in fine detail (without such data, heat seeking missiles couldn’t operate to find their targets).

    Yes, Brad. Researchers expected to find a hockey stick pattern in millennial global temperature. What the research is about is constraining the uncertainties in order to better quantify the signal.

  35. Greg,

    Despite your writing talent, I don’t follow your argument. (I’m not even a pro-blogger but I’m guilty of the same thing from time to time: obscuring my meaning in layers of thick creamy irony.) So maybe if you toned down the humor and just explained yourself literally…?

    “Damn them for looking for a signal predicted by the physics and already seen in other indicators! ”

    Well, most scientists would be content with whatever signal nature gave them. So yes, it DID raise eyebrows among normal scientists when the Team set out in search of a PARTICULAR SHAPE. Perhaps you can begin to see why normal scientists might not put over-much credence in the “results” of such a quest.

    By the way, which “physics” predict a long flat temperature “handle” from 1000/1400 to 1900? I’m not familiar with these historical-climate-change-denying physics—but I readily admit there are several physics of which I’m ignorant, hence my genuine question.

  36. Brad: “Tell us more.”

    Be happy to! Nice attempt at deflection by misreading, BTW!

    If you go to the top of the page, there’s a title. It says, “Steve McIntyre Misrepresents Climate Research History.” Greg makes a pretty well reasoned case for that. What I was doing was bringing the thread, which IMO was drifting and becoming repetitive, to the topic.

    Now I know it may seem like magic to you, but I maintain that you can indeed read what somebody has written and determine if they’ve used fallacious reasoning and misleading statements that eventually will begin to point to what the author wants you believe. And that, given time, will help you to narrow down the field of possible agendas.

    You see, Brad, it’s kinda like science, but we call it “close reading.” it’s one of the things we do to develop comprehension, and if you were paying attention you would have simply come back with a reasonable case for McIntyre instead of getting all sarcastic and victim-like. Either that or you actually have no case, and you’re doing up a production to hide the fact.

  37. Brainstorms,

    “I think Brad is guilty of “looking for” fraud, malfeasance, and dastardly manipulation of public policy”

    Au contraire, mon ami. I’d much prefer to be able to trust climate scientists. You think I enjoyed reading the CRU emails any more than you did??

    You really need to get over the instinct to view auditing, competitive replication and the other self-corrective processes of traditional scientific fields as witch-hunts.

    When McIntyre first requested the missing information needed to validate MBH98/99’s methods, almost nothing he could have found would have constituted evidence of fraud. Indeed, had the authors cooperated, the flaws identified in their method could be chalked up to beginners’ mistakes. Even if their algorithm ‘selected for’ hockey stick shapes, it may invalidate their answer but it can’t prove malice on their part. Errare humanum est.

    Read Rob’s recent comments to me—he’s making a very good point: no paper is morally obliged to do everything right. What scientists ARE obliged to do is be open about their methods, right or wrong, so that if they did use flawed procedures their results can be either ignored/corrected.

    “Wait, I think he’s putting on his team T-shirt and going back to the drawing board… Wait for it…”

    No—my entire point is that, before you go back to the drawing-board, you should take OFF your team T-shirt, if only to avoid the impression that you’re fixated on finding the same answer all over again. Not a good look. Not a scientific look.

    Although, with 98% of the population having no idea WHAT scientists should look like, maybe there’s little PR harm to be done in keeping the T-shirt on…

  38. Rob, my point about the FAR is not that that chart is right. Merely responding to your silly argument
    ” It would be highly unusual if we did NOT see a hockey stick, since we know that we’ve dramatically altered the radiative balance of the earth’s atmosphere!”
    A non hockey stick and global warming are not contradictory.
    FAR is evidence of that.

    When I say Mann is lying or incompetent, I refer not to MBH but ten years later in your claimed ‘correction’ to Mann 2008 in PNAS. Upside down data which made it into the latest IPCC report.

  39. Brad… “I’d much prefer to be able to trust climate scientists.”

    You don’t have to trust the scientists, Brad.

    Trust the scientific process. It works.

  40. John Mashey, you point out that plotting the instrumental has happened alongside well before Mann. That is the point. That Mann and others are lying about Mike’s Nature Trick. What is so clever about putting instrumental temperature on the same graph?

  41. Brad… “Even if their algorithm ‘selected for’ hockey stick shapes, it may invalidate their answer but it can’t prove malice on their part.”

    And that was tested and found that it didn’t invalidate their conclusions, and in fact, had very little effect on their results.

    So far, all the issues brought up by M&M have been checked and shown that they’re blown way out of proportion. They just don’t change the results.

  42. Brad… “Read Rob’s recent comments to me—he’s making a very good point: no paper is morally obliged to do everything right.”

    Thank you. I actually appreciate that very much.

  43. Brad, #360 I agree with… But as Rob points out, it’s the scientific process that I trust, not the personalities. The method is pretty efficient at being independent of the people carrying it out –because of auditing and replication. No one introducing error (intentional or due to incompetence) would succeed in setting any standards or establishing any “truths” — The method demands confirmation by outsiders in order for conclusions to be firmed up and a consensus arrived at.

    Audits, replication & such are NOT witch-hunts, and no one (including the original researchers) views them that way. We all want correctness and the determination of Truth — regardless of whether “we” got it right the first time or not. Sure, we want to be “the first” to make important discoveries or be the ones to establish hypothesis as theories (“truths” to laymen), but scientists already know that they won’t earn that mantle until and unless someone else independently confirms their results. Ergo, we want audits and replication to be performed; they’re not witch-hunts — just the opposite.

    Rob has been making excellent points. There’s really not much need to add to his explanations. And there’s nothing wrong with doing research with an expectation of what the results may point to – we all need something to aim at, but a true scientist will accept results that point the other way — IF they’re replicated showing that the truth is actually the other way.

    It’s not the personalities that need trusting, it’s the method — and the results that the method eventually reveals, over time, and with repetition & improvements of processes and data gathered.

    And once solid conclusions emerge over & over again, it’s then time to act and forge policies in accordance with the results. Even if those policies run counter to our ideologies and political agendas. Nature cannot be fooled, but men can act as fools. We’re running out of time being foolish over this.

  44. Brad… “What scientists ARE obliged to do is be open about their methods, right or wrong, so that if they did use flawed procedures their results can be either ignored/corrected.”

    Part of the challenge here is the nature of the public discussion. When people are “auditing” research without any intent of replicating to advance our understanding, that creates a poisonous atmosphere for open and honest discussion. If tiny, nuanced and inconsequential aspects of a scientist’s research is going to get publicly exploded into something it’s not, that makes researchers reticent to share their work.

    This is my problem with McIntyre. From a political/ideological perspective his methods are highly effective. What he does creates doubt in the minds of the public about the validity of the science. He takes what is a perfectly normal aspect of science and turns it into acrimony. The general public doesn’t understand the difference.

    If McIntyre were endeavoring to publish his own multiproxy reconstructions that added something to the process of advancing our understanding of millennial climate change, I think that would be fantastic! He might actually add something to the body of human knowledge. He’s clearly a very smart man, so I know he’s capable.

  45. Brainstorms,

    “It’s not the personalities that need trusting, it’s the method”

    Good point—with which I’ve always agreed. To clarify, the question is not whether we can trust paleoclimate researchers to be CORRECT about everything. They’re not omniscient, nor should we expect them to be.

    I just wish we could trust them *to follow the method.*

    I very much like your attitude, as expressed here…

    “Audits, replication & such are NOT witch-hunts, and no one (including the original researchers) views them that way. We all want correctness and the determination of Truth — regardless of whether “we” got it right the first time or not…. Ergo, we want audits and replication to be performed; they’re not witch-hunts — just the opposite.”

    …but you clearly assume it’s shared by everyone.

    I wonder how you can maintain that assumption after a leading paleoclimatologist not only leaves enabling details out of his most important paper, rendering it non-auditable, but then spends 5 years refusing to disclose the information when it’s brought to his attention that he “forgot” to include it?

    I wonder how you can maintain your assumption in the face of statements from top paleoclimatologists like,

    “If they ever hear about FOI laws, I would rather delete the [CRU station data] file than send it to anyone…”

    “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”

    “Giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation these people are engaged in.”

  46. John… McIntyre is smart enough to actually contribute to the science, if he wanted to.

    I just don’t think he wants to. I think he knows he’s effective doing what he’s doing confusing the general public.

    I’ve always suspected that either McI or the Idso’s have tried to do their own reconstructions and ended up with results that were similar to all the other hockey stick graphs out there. I mean, look what happened with Craig Loehle when he tried. He pushed it about as far as one could and still came out with results that fit with all the other reconstructions.

  47. Rob,

    “reluctant”? 😀

    Reluctant or not, they HAVE to show their working. That’s a condition of entry to the game we call science. It’s not up to them to opt out of 300 years of scientific practice.

    Thanks for taking the time to explain the root of your objections to what McIntyre is doing. (It helps when we each understand where the other is coming from.)

    But if you don’t like the PEOPLE who are auditing paleoclimatologists’ working, or you don’t approve of what you think are their motives, don’t blame them—blame the “legitimate” scientists who should have done this checking themselves. Paleoclimatology brought this spectacle on itself; it became an object of ridicule the day it became the first field of science ever to leave auditing to *outsiders.*

    Seriously: a paper as high-impact as MBH98 would NEVER have gone so blatantly unexamined for five whole years in a non-pathological field of science. And when McIntyre finally did the job Mann’s peers were supposed to do, did they thank him? Did they put his name forward for an honorary degree?

    No. You know how they reacted. And if that reaction doesn’t set your BS detector off, I humbly suggest your BS detector is faulty.

  48. Brad,

    “…but you clearly assume it’s shared by everyone.”

    No, I don’t. I realize that people, including scientists, have egos that some protect too vigorously. Every field has ethical breaches as well. “Successful scientists”, by which I mean those who mind their career status & reputations and make honest progress & publications know very well that that success *depends* on being validated by such audits and replications. They *want* affirmation — it’s what “puts them in the history books”.

    “I wonder how you can maintain that assumption after a leading paleoclimatologist …”

    Because I know that anyone guilty of such conduct will be sidelined, marginalized, discredited, and become a historical cul-de-sac (and maybe even a good example in future college courses) for doing so — if substantiated. No one practicing what you describe would last long (attempts at aggrandizement in popular press notwithstanding). And that includes nay-sayers, deniers, and pseudo-skeptics, I might add.

    Popular press “circus side-shows” are NOT science or the scientific method. They are an unfortunate distraction; Rob has done a good job explaining why they are counter-productive.

    The scientific community does not suffer fools gladly. They especially come down on frauds and phoneys. Worry not… There are many more supporters of finding the truth –way more– than there are personal supporters of those who are not conforming to ethical standards of conduct.

    Bottom line: Science is NOT a competition of personal opinion. Ever. (I.e., robots could conduct the work and publish the results, for all that matters — totally without regard to the results revealed.) That does not mean that scientists don’t have opinions and don’t voice them! But the “process”, as applied, over-rules opinions and distills facts. Even when there is fraud, misrepresentation, error, sloppiness, ideologies, honest mistakes, and political agendas competing for attention and press.

    Let the wheels turn without doing the disservice of intentionally introducing “Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt”, knowingly misleading, consciously mis-reading and mis-representing, or trying to confuse or lead astray the public… That only bogs down the search for truth.

    You need not have such an overwhelming concern about Mann’s results, attitude, and actions. His is one man’s contribution — which has been getting diluted at an ever-increasing rate since. We know at this point what the science & data tells us with sufficient clarity to begin forming decisive policy — with or without Mann’s input to that.

    To hold up working on our salvation from this coming disaster over these (now small) issues would be a grave disservice to humanity rather than what may seem like a responsibility to be conservative in approach. To truly be conservative, we much act to protect ourselves even without 100% assurance. We have enough knowledge now.

  49. Brad… “I wonder how you can maintain your assumption in the face of statements from top paleoclimatologists like,…”

    These statements are perfect examples of scientists who’ve become exasperated with people who are not acting in the interest of expanding knowledge, but instead acting to try to create controversy and confusions relative to their work.

    Each of those comments was not made in isolation. They were responses that came after a very long series of frustrating events. Jones, for one, if I remember correctly, received something like a dozen or more FOIA requests in the space of a couple of days! Each of those requests takes many 10’s of hours to process and respond to. Receiving that many requests (many for information that was already publicly available) meant he was locked into losing months of work just to respond to the requests. The man had real science to work on!

  50. Rob,

    I’m sorry for being snarky with you earlier, and especially for seeming to delegitimise your views just because you don’t have a science degree.

    Had I understood your reasoning as I do now (thanks to your last couple of comments) I would’ve realized you WEREN’T trying to contradict, correct, or set up your own alternative to, the way science works, but were doing your best to respect it. I don’t think you fully understand it (which puts you in good company), but that’s no excuse for getting angry with you.

  51. Brad… “Reluctant or not, they HAVE to show their working.”

    Yep. That’s the word I was looking for. (All this typing is making me go cross-eyed.)

    Not in all cases. That’s been made very clear. And the way McI has poisoned the discussion, in certain cases researchers are going to find whatever means they can to prevent people like McI from disrupting the process.

    The air would now be far clearer and open IF it were not for the actions of McIntyre over the years.

    If you’d like to see researcher be more open, then stop using inconsequential details of their research to attack them.

  52. Brad… “I don’t think you fully understand it (which puts you in good company), but that’s no excuse for getting angry with you.”

    Thanks… sort of. That’s a little bit of a backhanded apology.

    I have a pretty solid understanding of what I’m talking about, Brad. This particular blog of Greg’s is mostly frequented by working researchers, and I’m not seeing much in the way of any them correcting me.

  53. Brainstorms,

    I was describing Michael Mann’s *actual* behavior. Matters of historical fact. On the public record.

    So this generalisation is empirically falsified:

    “Because I know that anyone guilty of such conduct will be sidelined, marginalized, discredited, and become a historical cul-de-sac (and maybe even a good example in future college courses) for doing so — if substantiated. No one practicing what you describe would last long (attempts at aggrandizement in popular press notwithstanding).”

    Mann has lasted 16 years longer than he should have.

    The quote (“giving them the algorithm would be giving in to the intimidation”) is likewise something Mann *really said*. So if you’re correct here…

    “… those who mind their career status & reputations and make honest progress & publications know very well that that success *depends* on being validated by such audits and replications. They *want* affirmation — it’s what “puts them in the history books”.”

    …as I think you are, then we can both see that Mann is NOT a successful scientist, by which I mean a scientist who minds his career status & reputation and makes honest progress & publications. An honest, successful scientist would *gladly* reveal any algorithm necessary for understanding how he got from his data to his conclusions, and would *thank* the concerned citizen who pointed out that such key information was missing from his paper.

    QED.

  54. Brad… “And when McIntyre finally did the job Mann’s peers were supposed to do, did they thank him?”

    Brad, are you trying to tell me that there were no researchers working on multiproxy reconstructions before McI decided to “audit” MBH? Give me a break!

    Look at the graphic at the top of the page! There are nearly a dozen reconstructions that were published or in the works before McI said boo. The scientists were doing the work the scientists do work. Each of those reconstructions represents so researcher looking at MBH and saying, “I have an idea of how to do that better.”

  55. Damn, my fingers are definitely showing fatigue.

    “The scientists were doing the work researchers do.”

    Next line replace “so” with “a.”

  56. Rob,

    the fact that you think deleting a vast library of human knowledge such as the CRU station data could possibly be a forgivable emotional pretaliation, preemption or precaution against FOI requests that haven’t even been made yet is all I’d need to know to be sure you weren’t a scientist. But that’s OK. “Backhanded” or not, this compliment is sincere: you do understand science much better than most non-scientists. I’m not trying to attack you, and I have no idea why so many of my fellow “skeptics” do—I suspect they misunderstand your position and its reasons even more badly than I did a few hours ago!

  57. Brad… “the fact that you think deleting a vast library of human knowledge such as the CRU station data could possibly be a forgivable emotional pretaliation, preemption or precaution against FOI requests that haven’t even been made yet is all I’d need to know to be sure you weren’t a scientist.”

    So, you’re now saying that Jones deleted all the CRU station data? As I remember, Jones never deleted any data, nor did he delete any emails.

    Are scientists human? Yes. Do people sometimes say things in frustration that they never intend to act upon? Sure.

    Call me up, Brad, when someone actually does something like this, because then I’ll be right with you condemning their actions. But someone saying something that they’d like to do but never would actually do? Meh. I have a hard time getting upset about that.

  58. Rob,

    “As I remember, Jones never deleted any data, nor did he delete any emails.”

    Many people remember likewise. Phil Jones did declare under investigation that,

    “Some of the emails probably had poorly chosen words and were sent in the heat of the moment, when I was frustrated. I do regret sending some of them. We’ve not deleted any emails or data here at CRU. I would never manipulate the data one bit – I would categorically deny that.”

    Which is strange, given that he also wrote things like:

    “I’ve been told that IPCC is above national FOI [Freedom of Information] Acts. One way to cover yourself and all those working in AR5 would be to delete all emails at the end of the process.”

    About 2 months ago I deleted loads of emails, so have very little—if anything at all.

    “Mike,
    Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4?
    Keith will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis.
    Can you also email Gene and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address.
    We will be getting Caspar to do likewise.
    I see that CA claim they discovered the 1945 problem in the Nature paper!!
    Cheers
    Phil”

    “Mike,
    This is for YOUR EYES ONLY. Delete after reading—please! I’m trying to redress the balance. One reply from [Christian] Pfister said you should make all available!! Pot calling the kettle black—Christian doesn’t make his methods available. … [I told] Steve separately, and [told him] to get more advice from a few others, as well as Kluwer [(publishers)], and Legal.
    PLEASE DELETE—just for you, not even Ray [Bradley] and Malcolm [Hughes].”

    It’s just lucky for Jones that the Climategate “investigations” were such Mickey-Mouse, legally meaningless affairs. Otherwise his denials would constitute perjury.

  59. Brad,

    Just as long as we’re not conflating climate science personalities with climate science, “the search for knowledge & understanding”…

    Any climate science researcher who falsifies research and covers up the production of wrongful conclusions will INEVITABLY have his head handed to him — something that will occur quickly enough without the efforts of those who attack the science in the name of attacking the person(s) they are suspicious of…

    The teams of third parties in the field will begin to research the same things, bring in more/better data, more/better techniques, etc. and will either confirm the results, or find conflicting results and call out the problems. There is no conspiracy in any area of science to “circle the wagons” and protect the “in crowd” who are in error — though there may be efforts to protect those who come under misplaced fire, sure.

    As Rob points out, most of Mann’s work from that period is “obsolete” — it’s been superseded with newer research from many more parties. The takeaway is that they did not find that Mann was “making it up and hiding doing so” (unless he accidentally arrived at the correct conclusions, which is hard to swallow), they found results that agreed with .. not Mann … but agreed with Mann’s *conclusions*. (There’s a difference.)

    Separate the Mann (man) from the work (scientific method and results that EVOLVE out of it). Time & additional work will ‘out’ any researcher without aid from the peanut gallery. As Rob points out, a witch hunt for guilty personalities only causes it own host of problems and impedes the science we need.

    And those with an ideological agenda engaging in witch hunts create their OWN credibility issues — ones that are worse, for they lack the degrees and experience necessary to uncover the truth, and leave themselves improperly armed to make legitimate accusations.

    Okay, it’s tough to do with such an emotionally-charged issue… The stakes are indeed high. But we must trust the process and allow the experts to do the audits, replications, and disciplining. Look not at one man’s publications, but at the aggregate output over the years and what they’re every-more-clearly pointing to…

  60. Brad, I think you are wrong about the investigation part for Phil Jones. At least one of the investigators said that they did not ask Phil about this, because they would then be asking him to testify to a criminal act.

  61. The only possible criminal act there would be perjury if asked about it in a criminal court proceeding (and he lied), or if documents were willfully destroyed after a court subpoena for such documents.

    Otherwise it’s an issue with an overseeing university, professional society, etc.

    It is NOT a criminal act to destroy documents merely when a non-judicial outfit performs an investigation (irrespective of what it ends up looking like in the popular press — or one’s personal sense of righteousness).

    So your contention about “asking him to testify to a criminal act” amounts to more of the destructive blather surrounding this brou-ha-ha.

    I suggest moving past this “history of climate science personalities” and on to the relevant subject of current study results and their convincing agreement showing AGW to be real and in need of policy to counter — not “personalities to counter”.

  62. Brainstorms, you are wrong. The only reason it did not go to criminal court is because of the statute of limitations. It was deletion of documents under FOI or EIR.

  63. I write in reply to your letter of today’s date, faxed to me this morning and copied to the Commissioner.

    I think it is important first to distinguish the current situation from your previous experience of dealing with the ICO on an FOI complaint. Complaints are made under section 50 of the Act following refusal by the public authority. If they require a full investigation, we allocate them to a complaints officer and, unless they are resolved informally, a decision notice is issued. The decision notice is the Commissioner’s statutory adjudication on a complaint. In the present case, the section 50 complaint has not yet been fully investigated and there will be exchanges of correspondence between the ICO and UEA as those investigations progress. Unless there is agreement on an informal resolution, a decision notice will be issued. This process is likely to take some months.

    Meanwhile, the ICO has been alerted by the complainant and by information already in the public domain via the media, to a potential offence under section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act. The prima facie evidence from the published emails indicate an attempt to defeat disclosure by deleting information. It is hard to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence. Given that this was in the public domain and has been discussed in the media and on various websites over a number of weeks, the ICO’s view, as I indicated when we spoke yesterday, is that the University must have understood that the question whether an offence under section 77 had been committed would be looked at. In the event, the matter cannot be taken forward because of the statutory time limit.

    I can confirm that the ICO will not be retracting the statement which was put out in my name in response to persistent enquiries from the Sunday Times journalist, Mr Leake. He was specifically seeking a statement as to why the ICO was not prosecuting under section 77 in this case. The statement was not inaccurate and the ICO is not responsible for the way in which the media and others may interpret or write around an ICO statement.

    In response to the specific points which you think should be clarified in a further press statement:

    1. As stated above, no decision notice has yet been issued and no alleged breaches have yet been put to the University for comment. That matter has yet to be addressed, but it will be over the coming months.
    2. The fact that the elements of a section 77 offence may have been found here, but cannot be acted on because of the elapsed time, is a very serious matter. The ICO is not resiling from its position on this.
    3. The ICO’s position is as stated in point 2 above. The statement may be read to indicate that. Under section 77, an offence may be committed by an individual, not necessarily the public authority itself.

  64. Mike, we all note that “alleged crimes” are not “actual crimes” unless tried & convicted as such. This was not prosecuted, hence, no convictions for committing a crime exist.

    You may be personally outraged (fine by me, BTW), and may refer to it as “a prosecutable act” (which it apparently is viewed as being by the ICO), but no judiciary has determined that it was. It is “an allegation of wrongdoing.”

    That would NOT constitute me being “wrong”.

    (Sorry about being defeated on niggling technicalities, but after all, you guys are working overtime trying to defeat climate science on, well.. niggling technicalities. Touche.)

  65. I’m not sure how I feel about the text of people’s private email being splattered all over my blog. Commenters will refrain from doing that in the future here. Also do not try to argue that you have special rights of expression here because you do not. I am not repressing you by asking you this, don’t go down that route if you wish to remain welcome here.

  66. Hi Greg

    Just wondering why you added me to your twitter denier list then blocked me with zero interactions. I had no idea who you were until you showed up in my notifications. Seems like kind of a dick move since my only tweet about climate was a sarcastic hash tag hijack. Just curious.

    1. Well, it might have been a mistake, Jenny. If you want to be an Internet satirist you might have to endure such indignities now and then. Or, just don’t suck at it as much as you do. So far you’ve proven to have too thin a skin for your line of work, and you have been an over the top, outrageous asshole about it. So run along now.

      You are off the list on the grounds that you are telling me that you accept the climate science and are not in denial that global warming is real. Cheers.

  67. Greg Laden, I don’t know if that was directed at me, but that was not an e-mail, but I think a public letter to Lord Acton. I actually meant to post what they told Leake of the Sunday Times.

  68. Brainstorms, that is some weak attempt at gymnastics there. You said that no crime was possible, thus he could not have been asked to testify to a criminal act. Now you twist it to he hasn’t been found guilty of any criminal action.
    A specific person Muir Russell said that he did not ask Phil Jones about deleting e-mails because it would require him to testify to a criminal act. So what is your point?

  69. “… that is some weak attempt at gymnastics there.”

    Bingo.

    Point: Getting bogged down in pointless, tangential details and distractions that make for fan-the-flames public controversy and sensational media exploitation draws everyone’s attention away from the important facts and points that we ought to be considering as nations and societies when it comes to AGW…

    …and the character and years-ago actions of one or two people involved in reaseach in the field of climate science should not be used to twist public opinion against the whole of climate science as a discipline, nor used to tar and feather other innocent scientists and encourage doubt about the valid results produced by those who work in this field.

    The body of scientific work and the consensus of degreed, experienced experts studying this situation is what you should be paying attention to. These people are not some grade-school clique or band of charlatans trying to pull the wool over the public’s eye for personal gain or perverted entertainment.

    They’re trying to save the quality of life for your and their children and grandchildren. Rather than smearing them, we should be encouraging their research and acting on their recommendations when the supermajority of them become convinced that we can reasonably predict the path that we’ve put ourselves on.

    Jones, Mann, et al and the controversy they’re embroiled in fades in importance when compared to the significance of AGW and its consequences. Distracting everyone to soothe our own fears won’t prove an effective strategy. Taking offence at their actions can never be accepted as justification for distracting and confusing others on this subject. This on-going diatribe over “character” of one or two players is juvenile.

    None of us WANTS the fact of AGW and its associated destruction of life & property to be real… Yet it is; a preponderance of evidence indicates this. And no amount of wishing, white-washing, propagandizing, misleading, hand-wringing, misrepresenting, or shooting the messengers will be honored by Nature — who will still impassionately, uncaringly wreak consequences upon us for our actions.

    This years-ago incident with Jones, et al is a DISTRACTION that has become irrelevant with age and obsolescence. We GET your umbrage over their actions — but they are NOT the arbiters of AGW determination nor prognosticators of the outcome. They’re but a page in the history of mankind as we become aware of what we’re doing to the planet’s ability to sustain life and lifestyles as we know it.

    Conflating the persons and personalities of the actors in climate science with the discipline and what it (it, not they, the actors) reveals to us is not just counter-productive; it’s committing a “crime” that’s worse that anything we perceive they’ve done. They’re not the representative of climate science; the data, the methods, and the accumulation of verified knowledge on the subject is the representative of climate science, and that’s what illumates truth here. Scientific results are NOT a matter of opinion; individual achievement or malfeasance only ever amount to pavement stones laid on the path to understanding; bad elements are klunkers that get pried out — even if that doesn’t seem to take place on a time scale which meets with your personal expectations — or approval.

    And that data, that knowledge has NOT done anything, publicly or privately, that should cause you insult or outrage. It should, however, scare you, as it’s a warning. Suppressing it may make you feel better, but that comes at a terrible cost.

    And as *I* and my children will be forced against our will to also suffer the consequences of these self-serving persecutions of honorable researchers who seek to save us from disaster, *I* have a right to feel and express every bit of outrage towards you and those with you who are conducting this theatre of the absurd.

    “Truth” is not subject to the moral judgment of Man. But Man can rest assured that He will be judged on how he honors Truth. Or intentionally leads others not to.

  70. Brainstorms,

    What do you mean by “you guys”? I don’t know who you think you’re arguing with here, but I’ve never disputed the reality of AGW, nor have I sought to debunk climate science, which [by definition] is our best possible hope for understanding our planet’s climate. I wish some of my fellow “skeptics” would resist the temptation to engage in such hyperbolic rhetoric, understandable though it may be in the heat of a “knife fight.” I personally try to make it a point to be more careful. At worst I may have been lazy enough to use the term “climate science” when questioning whether *the work of a small cadre of paleoclimatologists* was kosher—but if so, I would’ve hoped it was obvious that I was using a figure of speech.

    Perhaps the “debate” would be more productive if we lowered the emotional ante a bit.

    You obviously know how science works—I’m guessing you’re a trained scientist—but with all due respect, you come across as deeply naive about how *paleoclimate science* works. Your assumptions simply aren’t portable from science to that particular field. All the adamant declarations that paleoclimatologists would get their heads handed to them if they even dreamed of pulling such-and-such have been amply falsified, empirically, as you would know if you did some research into the kind of things that HAVE been pulled with total impunity.

    By the way, “alleged” misdeeds become “actual” misdeeds once we have authentic written confessions by the parties who perpetrated them. Once such confessions are made public, sensible people are under no obligation to remain agnostic just because a formal legal prosecution hasn’t been launched and/or will never be launched.

    Finally, I’m glad we all agree the matters in question have never been formally “investigated,” and can therefore immediately dispense with the obviously fantastical meme that the parties involved have somehow been “cleared,” “exonerated,” “found to have done nothing wrong,” etc.

    Post-finally, I fully feel the sincerity of your concern for the future of our planet. But if you think you’re HELPING the planet by dismissing legitimate questions about the trustworthiness of leading researchers as “out of date” or minor or “just one [faux] bad apple”, think again. It’s the apologists for the “bad apples” who bear most of the blame for the widespread assumption that the corruption goes even deeper than we can see. Nothing is more poisonously corrosive of public trust than saying “move along, nothing to see here” when the public has already had a glimpse of something wrong. Too late. For instance, when you allow a guy whose own words betray an attitude to human knowledge that’s the dictionary definition of ANTI-scientific to keep his Professor’s chair without so much as a slap on the wrist, you can’t seriously expect anyone to think of the guy’s profession as a legitimate science. There’s a reason public polls consistently place global warming well below the top ten concerns of ordinary citizens, and it’s not because “my side” is “attacking” the credibility of The Scientists™, it’s because “your side” is defending them. Clean house or don’t expect people to take your message about the planet’s future seriously.

  71. Brainstorms,

    “We GET your umbrage over their actions ”

    Yet you seem perfectly happy for those actions to go unpunished. Odd. If I were passionate about a field of science in which a “Professor” would rather destroy physical data than let anyone see it, I’d be first in line to demand his removal. Can you explain why you aren’t?

  72. To clarify, I agree with Rob that Jones didn’t delete the CRU station data, he merely said he’d choose to do so if deniers ever found out they could use FOI to free said information. Which to me seems as close as possible to the definition of an anti-scientific disposition (if we all agree that science is about advancing, not preventing, human knowledge about nature).

  73. BK:

    “Can you explain why you aren’t?”

    Speaking only for myself, it’s because, as you say yourself:

    “I agree with Rob that Jones didn’t delete the CRU station data”

    After all these years, you’d still destroy someone’s career for something they didn’t do.

  74. dhogaza,

    > “After all these years, you’d still destroy someone’s career for something they didn’t do.”

    If it proves that he’s opposed to human knowledge—an impression already given by his refusals to share data with anyone whose “aim was to try and find something wrong with it”—then, well… what career? How can an anti-scientist *have* a science career?

  75. If we decided to destroy people because they were anti science a number of people commenting here would be destroyed. Which ones?

    That was a serious question.

  76. “If we decided to destroy people because they were anti science”

    I don’t know how the verb ‘destroy’ came into it. All I said was that anti-scientists shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves scientists. That’s pseudoscientific. I didn’t call for their vaporization, just a career change.

    ” a number of people commenting here would be destroyed. Which ones?”

    Really?? I joined this thread rather late but nobody I’ve been arguing with appears hostile to science. On the contrary, I’d wager the reason we all bother arguing—or one of the main reasons—is that we care about science. Even Rob, who’s not a scientist, is clearly a staunch defender of it, and has been for years. If I disagree with some of his notions about the way it works, all I’m suggesting is that he doesn’t always understand it—I’m not for a second accusing him of not LIKING it sufficiently.

    In the worldwide climate debate, I could count on two hands the people I consider ANTI-science. It’s a very rare perversion.

    I’d be amazed if any were here, let alone a number of them! But please Greg, amaze us.

  77. Brad, the data has now been out there for more than a year. What have those who screamed loudest done with it?

    Nada.

    Nothing.

    Nichts.

    One important element of science is objectivity/disinterestedness. Those who demanded the data are not objective/disinterested, but just out to find some molehill they can blow up to a mountain.

    Not that you will ever understand this, since you yourself are one of those windbags.

  78. “:I’ve been arguing with appears hostile to science.”

    I regard willful ignorance designed to foster inaction related to an existential threat to be an act of hostility.

  79. Greg,

    You seem to be accusing deniers of an act of hostility towards the planet, the environment, the climate or something like that. Am I understanding you?

    I thought you were going to tell us who was hostile *to science*, a.k.a. anti-science.

  80. Holding opinions that BK approves of is not, the last time I looked, part of the job description of any scienice position I’m aware of.

    Obviously, BK’s annoyed that he doesn’t get to define who can, and can’t be, a scientist, but an adult would accept reality and move on with their life.

  81. dhogaza,

    I’m annoyed? News to me! 🙂 I’m perfectly happy to let lexicographers define who is, and who isn’t, a scientist. They tell me you can’t be a scientist if you *oppose* human knowledge about nature. That’s *anti-scientific*, apparently. I don’t make the rules, I just mention them! 🙂

  82. Brad,

    ‘What do you mean by “you guys”?’

    (This does not necessarily describe you, but you DO know yourself better than I): Self-styled skeptics who are trying to use the controversy over Mann, Jones, et al to paint the entire field of climate science as producing dubious or even wrong conclusions, to paint the entire collection of scientists working in that field as disreputable and having dishonorable motives, and to draw public attention away from the important issues involved and the valid results that have been produced since, intending to sow confusion and doubt and thereby inducing the public to block or fail to support political policies required to mitigate the deleterious effects of AGW.

    “I don’t know who you think you’re arguing with here”

    I’m making a point to those who fit the above description — but be careful to understand *what* point I’m making. If the above doesn’t describe you, that’s not you. If it does, please re-read and consider.

    “I wish some of my fellow “skeptics” would resist the temptation to engage in such hyperbolic rhetoric,”

    We moderate skeptics, scientists, climate scientists, and those who trust the body of knowledge and responsible people studying this field ALSO wish they would so resist.

    It’s not just the hyperbole that’s fanning the flames, however. It’s using the convenience of controversy to attack what’s valid and paint it as invalid/untrustworthy by creating invalid group identification: “guilt by association”.

    It’s trying to maintain the focus of AGW issues on this controversy as though that’s the entire issue or as though it’s among the major issues. And worse: up to and including knowingly posting false and intentionally misleading material concerning AGW. THAT is not being a “skeptic”.

    You might invest some print in distancing yourself from the more radical element of self-styled “skeptics” whose words/actions suggest something quite different. (They’re a bit more obvious than they think they are.)

    “I personally try to make it a point to be more careful.”

    As do I. I’m not in knife fight here, by the way. I’ve been watching the knife fights, though, from the start of this one.

    “I would’ve hoped it was obvious that I was using a figure of speech.”

    We’re all in the same boat; figures of speech are useful, even if there’s the potential of misunderstanding or the liability of someone intentionally twisting them. We’ll still use them. Skeptics will make the translation (most of the time, and ask when unsure); pseudo-skeptics will pounce, misquote, and twist.

    “Perhaps the “debate” would be more productive if we lowered the emotional ante a bit.”

    Yes, but that’s also asking a lot — yet should still be pursued. This is necessarily a very emotionally charged subject: “We have a hand in wrecking our planet.” Who wouldn’t be emotional when faced with that realization? And the denial is understandable from a psychological point of view — because the next realization is worse: “We and our children will live to suffer the consequences of wrecking our planet.” Who wouldn’t want to “make it all go away”?

    However, sabotaging science, committing character assassination, and spreading doubt and encouraging mistrust far & wide only makes it worse, not better. Those who have to deal with the “circus of distraction and misinformation” get very upset (again, understandably); hence, knife fights. The point is that these knife fights over Mann, Jones, et al is a side-show that’s a distraction form “the work” we need to get busy on. It is its own issue, and should be resolved on its own, but it should not be conflated with the body of knowledge and the entire discipline of climate science and those working on it honorably — or their results. It’s important that we make that distinction clear to the public, too.

    Working against that is “hostile to science”. Are you hostile to science, “opposed to human knowledge”, or do you accept what the *other* scientists in the field (conducting science as you & I both agree is different than those you have issues with, i.e., not as an “anti-scientist”)? Do you accept the now large body of scientific evidence of the reality of human-caused global warming and associated climate change? Do you support policies to address this situation?

    “I’m guessing you’re a trained scientist”

    I am (in the areas of physics and metrology; I work for an institution that is on the forefront of climate research).

    “you come across as deeply naive about how *paleoclimate science* works.”

    I am not a climatologist, paleo- or otherwise. I have not researched and read up on the issues of paleo-climatology or the personalities involved. That’s been the point of Rob, et al, by the way: Too many who are not paleoclimatologists have styled themselves as being able to make definitive statements as regards that field & pass judgements over its conclusions. I don’t; that’s not scientific, as you well know.

    I defer to the “judgement of the supermajority” of those who are credentialed, experienced experts doing the research in that field. I don’t trust any particular individual in that field; there lies the slippery slope of iconizing and becoming emotionally beholden to what one’s chosen favorite may proclaim. (Witness followers of particularly infamous demagogues of climate “skepticism”.) All scientists are at risk of error; they’re working to elucidate truth and unearth knowledge, things not know a priori. Therefore ‘Truth’ is necessarily an emergent entity. Science is a group endeavor, not determined by the actions of one or two personalities.

    I trust the emergent results that the science collective produces. We all should — it’s all we have. The alternative is “what I wish it were” or “what I make it up to be”, etc. — which are, in your words, “anti-scientific”. The final arbiters, such as coming mass extinctions, e.g., is NOT a “safe” way to determine if “it’s real”. We’re forced to decide and take action before all the data is in — nothing new there, either, by the way.

    “Your assumptions simply aren’t portable from science to that particular field.”

    Interesting that you do not acknowledge climate science as being a science… Why isn’t it “just another field in science”?

    “would get their heads handed to them if they even dreamed of pulling such-and-such have been amply falsified”

    Have they? First, it sounds like you’re cherry-picking a favorite single case and generalizing it to apply to the entire field of science. Second, hasn’t there been a storm of controversy in the press over this? If they really were “getting away with it”, then blog posts like these wouldn’t exist, would they? Again: If one or two in the field commit malfeasance, others in the field will catch it, call it out, and correct it. Regardless of what you perceive has been happening in one favorite case. You know as well as I do that other climate scientists are rather not impacted or influenced by Mann, Jones, et al., yet you speak as though they are…

    “if you did some research into the kind of things that HAVE been pulled”

    I’m not going to do that. Why? Because it’s a footnote in climate science, it’s a distraction to an issue separate from AGW, it consumes too much of *my* time, and I’m not interested in what one or two in the field may or may not have done — I’m very interested in what EVERYONE in the field has done, in form of the emergent conclusions of the sum total of their work over the many years. Whatever was published 12 or 15 years ago, scandalous or not, is now thoroughly diluted — as far as the science goes. You may continue to make hay over the personalities/behavior/legal issues, etc. but that has very, very little bearing on the science. Theirs is NOT the standard of behavior of the others in this field. Continuing to blast a spotlight on it and claim that it’s the major issue is not gaining traction. Sorry.

    Tell us instead what you think of the field’s scientific results (because we already know what you think about Mann, Jones, et al and that’s not the field’s scientific results — it’s a different issue altogether).

    “‘alleged’ misdeeds become ‘actual’ misdeeds once we have authentic written confessions by the parties who perpetrated them.”

    If it’s in court and they have been authenticated, yes. I’m skeptic, remember? How do I know that these so-called written confessions were not taken out of context or have been fabricated by their political enemies? HOW DO I KNOW? Until I have substantial proof of guilt, I’ll have to remain skeptical about mis-deeds. You seem to have judged and are convinced of your conclusions, yet I doubt you’ve done much in the way of substantial research — reading blog posts and new reports does not qualify. You didn’t happen to capture email off the very email servers they used at the time, e.g., did you?

    This is why investigations are done and why courts exist. I am re-assured as regards the science (the important bits, you understand) because this is not the sum total of the field of climate science. Many years, hundreds of scientists, and thousands of publications are. If a university failed to conduct what you think is a proper investigation over researchers’ behavior, or a regulatory body neglected to prosecute a potentially criminal case, that’s news, yes. But it’s not AGW news. The AGW news is MORE IMPORTANT for the public to know about and understand. We only have so much time & attention; give the more import issues more time & attention.

    “the widespread assumption that the corruption goes even deeper than we can see”

    Whose fanning the flames of that widespread ass-umption? What good are the flame-fanners doing society? Why is hampering the work of those trying to save you from some very unpleasant consequences by using innuendo, “guilt by association”, etc. helping save us from those consequences? Why do you persist ignoring the bigger issues and helping unjustified “because I feel this way” reasons to destroy this field in the public eye?

    Your arguments lack scientific rigor, if I’ve not made that clear already…

    “that’s the dictionary definition of ANTI-scientific to keep his Professor’s chair without so much as a slap on the wrist,”

    You are CLEARLY emotionally wrapped around the axle over this. Do you see that this tends to cloud rational thinking?

    “you can’t seriously expect anyone to think of the guy’s profession as a legitimate science.”

    Brad: Yes, we can. Just because one person in a given field does something you find suspect does NOT mean that the field, profession, et al is not “a legitimate science”. Re-read what I just said about having an emotional personal agenda impede rationality! Your conclusions are non-sequiturs! (But hey, they make great press on dodgy web blogs, I’ll give you that.)

    “public polls consistently place global warming well below the top ten concerns of ordinary citizens, and it’s not because “my side” is “attacking” the credibility”

    Are you self-identifying with those who are intentionally casting dispersions on the entire field of climate science and the consensus regarding their conclusions? Is that “your side”? My inner skeptic looks at prima facie evidence and STRONGLY suspects this is the case. (Others here seem thoroughly convinced in is.)

    Clue: The pseudo-skeptics and climate science saboteurs ARE the reason that the public is not as concerned as it should be — that is, after all, their goal. They don’t want to see policy enacted to save the planet because it will pressure them to change their lifestyles. And it will confirm something (officially) that their psyches don’t want to grasp: They themselves are in part responsible.

    “it’s because “your side” is defending them.”

    Not my side. I’m not defending them. I’m agnostic on their issue because I lack enough knowledge and details to come to a conclusion. I’m a skeptic, you know. I lack the time & resources needed to pursue that to that level. I don’t see it as being particularly important, given the much, much more weighty issues of AGW that need to be worked on. It would be nice if I could study both equally well — but that’s not being realistic. We need to be realistic, don’t we, Brad?

    “Yet you seem perfectly happy for those actions to go unpunished.”

    I didn’t say that (did I?). I did not imply it, either. My acknowledgment of your outrage is not “there, there, don’t get your knickers in a twist, it’ll be all right, now run along”. Don’t construe my not jumping on your personal emotional soapbox and calling for a hanging noose to be “happy for them to go unpunished”.

    You wish explanation; very well: Re-read the above…

    “If it proves that he’s opposed to human knowledge”

    Such proof (of the your claim I just quoted) has not been demonstrated. I’m very skeptical about that statement!

    “All I said was that anti-scientists shouldn’t be allowed to call themselves scientists.”

    Serious question: Who gets to be the judge(s) of this determination. Hint: Not you or infamous climate “skeptik” web blogs — nor is it a matter of lexicography. Think…

    “In the worldwide climate debate, I could count on two hands the people I consider ANTI-science.”

    Gee, I’m later to this than you are and I’ve run out of fingers !!

    “You seem to be accusing deniers of an act of hostility towards the planet, the environment, the climate or something like that.”

    Let’s just quote the old bromide of “sins of commission and sins of omission”. You can connect the dots…

  83. John,

    I agree they were. A good researcher is often skeptical. (“Okay.. Show me!”) But of course one characteristic of a real skeptic is that they can be pursuaded once enough evidence, authentication, data, consensus, and such-like accumulate to point to conclusions. (They take a stance while still being willing to change if further evidence arrives to warrant that, but they still take a stand on things at some point. One might look at “why” if there’s doubt as to motives…)

    Thanks for the link.

    I don’t do research myself, but I am involved with testing, qualifying, and calibrating the instrumentation that our (and other) researchers use. (This includes space-borne instrumentation.) I need to be a “layman expert” on many of areas of research we’re involved in, so I keep up with the science. Besides, it’s interesting on its own. :^)

    And I’ve not used SGI machines myself… (Quite a lot of other systems, but not them.)

  84. BK:

    “They tell me you can’t be a scientist if you *oppose* human knowledge about nature. That’s *anti-scientific*, apparently. I don’t make the rules, I just mention them!”

    Which, of course, in no way describes Phil Jones or Michael Mann, and in no way correlates with the claims you’ve made above.

  85. Brainstorms, your thorough, articulate rebuttal of Brad Keyes’s unthinking attacks on climate science is most gratifying to read. Your obvious grasp of the facts, your relentless logic and your refusal to be distracted from the real issue will persuade any genuine skeptic. You have cut to the heart of what motivates Brad’s tenacious denial and that of so many of this fellow pseudo-skeptics: sheer unwillingness to accept responsibility for the externalized costs of economic prosperity powered by fossil fuels. As easy as that is to understand, it’s equally hard to penetrate; but if Brad hears it said the way you’ve said it often enough, his armor may eventually be pierced. Thank you!

  86. Uh, you know it’s interesting that the article posted here is about the willful misrepresentations of climate science made by McIntyre; and the comment thread is bloated by fake skeptics posing as defenders of the the Integrity of Science trying frantically to divert attention to anybody but McIntyre. Apparently McIntyre enjoys immunity from the outrage of those would be Guardians of Human Knowledge.

  87. Thank you, Mal. Your response, and any positive influence it may have on others makes it worth the time to write it. I’ve been following this thread since its beginning and it seemed that things were getting too bogged down in the side issues.

    We’ll see if anyone is pursuaded to shift their position… But even if not, adding another rational voice to the chorus is worthwhile.

  88. Ob, I can’t help but notice the parallel between your observation that McI is “getting a pass for reprehensible ‘anti-scientific’ behavior” by the very crowd who is raising Cain about Mann, Jones, et al “getting a pass for reprehensible ‘anti-scientific’ behavior”.

    What gives there?? Didn’t the Good Book warn us that we need to remove the log from our own eye before we quibble about the toothpick in the eye of our neighbor??

    Well? Are the ‘skeptiks’ going to post something condemning McI for his misrepresentations of climate science? Show your true colors, everyone!!

  89. Brainstorms… That would require that they be actual “skeptics.”

    Shollenberger is out there defending McI for flipping half of the graphs over so the look more like hockey sticks because the sign of the curve doesn’t matter…. Yet, if anyone in climate science did the same thing he’d be demanding heads roll.

  90. Brainstorms,

    I’ll tell you what I told Rob previously: thanks for clearly, thoroughly setting out your reasons for disagreement with [what you perceive/infer to be] my agenda. I sympathize and agree with much of your argument, but even if I didn’t I’d still be grateful for the effort you’ve taken to articulate it. We’ve been yelling at each other for 25 years and I can’t help but wonder how much of that time could have been saved if each side had understood WHY the other was yelling.

    Let me make a general observation that should assist the people who are wondering why there’s a lack of symmetry in “skeptical” outrage over scientific errors/improprieties: we pay very little attention to what our own “side” argues! We’re almost exclusively interested in what the other “side” is saying (and are therefore predestined to spot a given sin committed on the other “side” more easily than on our own). And if you stop to think about things from our point of view it should become clear why we think in such an asymmetrical fashion—and are perfectly within our rights to do so, scientifically speaking.

    I’m happy to explain it’s not self-explanatory, though.

    I wonder, also, if you’ve noticed a bit of an inconsistency in your own thinking on this.

    You make it a point to remain agnostic about misdeeds by “establishment’ scientists to which we possess written confessions—whose authenticity has been confirmed by the people involved, and is questioned by nobody but you—until such time as a court hands down a verdict, though I’m sure you know no court will ever be convened to do so.

    In the next breath you state, as though it’s a matter of fact which you believe to a certainty, that people who criticize the “establishment” scientists are doing so in order to sow confusion, delay long-overdue action and smear perfectly good scientists by association. Not only has nobody admitted any such a program AFAIK, I can confidently *deny* that I or any of my online friends (in the “climate wars”) have ever had such a reprehensible agenda. If anybody who purports to be on the “skeptical” “side” in the climate “debate” is trying to achieve any of those goals they’ve never admitted it, and would be rightly shunned and despised by the rest of “us” if they did. Yet somehow you’re quite sure this is what [many] “skeptics” are up to, aren’t you? Where do you get this suspicion from?

    “Self-styled skeptics”

    I agree “skeptics” is the wrong term, if that’s what you’re implying. Not because none of us ARE skeptical, but because that’s not what defines membership in the set “us” as opposed to “you.” I’m sure many of “you” are just as skeptical. And there are plenty of “us” who lack true skepticism.

    But since the only alternative that’s been seriously proposed is “denier,” which of the two inaccurate labels did you expect “us” to embrace?

    “who are trying to use the controversy over Mann, Jones, et al to paint the entire field of climate science as producing dubious or even wrong conclusions,”

    I’ve explicitly disavowed that fallacy. Who exactly is trying such a manoeuvre?

    (Mind you, the results of climate science ARE “dubious” in the sense of being uncertain and provisional, as with any other field.)

    “to paint the entire collection of scientists working in that field as disreputable and having dishonorable motives”

    If they’re dishonored it’s not by their own work, it’s by their perseveration in circling the wagons around Mann and Jones rather than acknowledging the problem.

    You keep insisting one bad apple doesn’t spoil the cart. I agree, as a matter of logic, that it shouldn’t. But for some odd reason the rest of the “apples” seem determined to go down with the one bad one. I’ll repeat: if you think the focus on the bad apples is disproportionate, you’re only making it worse by refusing to admit that what the bad apples are doing is bad.

  91. Brainstorms,
    here you reiterate your view of “our” hypocrisy:

    “I can’t help but notice the parallel between your observation that McI is “getting a pass for reprehensible ‘anti-scientific’ behavior” by the very crowd who is raising Cain about Mann, Jones, et al “getting a pass for reprehensible ‘anti-scientific’ behavior”

    But I’ve yet to even hear an *accusation* of anti-scientific conduct by McIntyre. The worst I’ve heard is that he “misrepresents” the science. This is certainly not a good thing to do, and if you have evidence that he’s doing it *deliberately* it’s deplorable, but it’s not quite the same thing as militating against human knowledge (e.g. by destroying information or blocking attempts at competitive replication).

  92. Brainstorms: regarding your expectations/hopes of pseudoskeptics changing their minds, I have sad news.
    See thsi data, which covers about 440 dismissives.
    Only a few expressed a change of minds about Salby’s story.
    Of the ~180 who expressed clear support for Salby’s pseudoscience, I found zero who expressed a change of mind there.

  93. BK,

    Oh good lord. You didn’t even read the article did you:

    “There seems to be only one reason to do that (other than simply being very, very ignorant): a commitment to anti-science activism, with the likely intention of damaging the translation of good science into useful policy.”

    You also have a very convenient way of misreading and redefining words and context. And all the verbiage you’ve squirted into this thread is just so much octopus ink. Swim away little mollusk, we won’t eat you.

  94. OA,

    “a commitment to anti-science activism, with the likely intention of damaging the translation of good science into useful policy”

    That accusation is rather confused; the descriptor “anti-science” doesn’t fit the rest of the sentence. The quote accuses McIntyre of opposing certain *policies,* which is totally different from opposing science. Do you see the difference?

    I’m still waiting for someone to accuse McIntyre of acting to hold back the progress of science (e.g. by destroying information or blocking attempts at competitive replication). Will you be that someone, OA? Will you tell me how [you think] he’s acted anti-scientifically, i.e. against human attempts to learn about nature, i.e. to thwart or retard science?

  95. Brad… “I can’t help but wonder how much of that time could have been saved if each side had understood WHY the other was yelling.”

    Here’s my take:

    My side is yelling because there is an overwhelming amount of scientific research that is telling us that there is a very high likelihood that, if we can’t manage to rapidly curb our emissions, we’re going to leave to later generations a crisis on a scale never see before by humanity.

    The other side is yelling because they’re worried it’s going to cost something and limit their individual freedoms in some vaguely defined manner. And because they don’t like Al Gore.

  96. BK,

    “…rather confused…”

    No. You are confused. By comment number #431 it’s looking as though you actually like it that way. What did Greg say? That the comment section can handle around 500 comments?

    It’s like you keep swinging hoping to run out the clock, but what you don’t seem to realize is that you were TKO’d long ago.

    Go home. You’re punch drunk.

  97. Brad… “I’m still waiting for someone to accuse McIntyre of acting to hold back the progress of science (e.g. by destroying information or blocking attempts at competitive replication).”

    McIntyre hasn’t done anything to hold back the progress of science. Not one iota.

    What he did was to create a point of attack for those who, for political purposes, found it useful to attack a key visual element for communicating climate change.

    Look, millennial reconstructions are not, by any means, the most interesting or compelling aspect of climate change research. They don’t tell us anything incredibly important about climate that isn’t already explained through other research.

    The only reason that McIntyre’s critiques got any exposure at all had to do with the fact that politicians, who are directly funded by fossil fuel interests (Rohrabacher) and libertarian think tanks (CEI, etc), pulled him into the fold. They put him on the inside circuit. Plane trips to Washington, briefing senators, news stories, and the works. If not for that M&M would have gone completely unnoticed in the science world.

    McIntyre’s work, as I noted far back in this conversation, has been effective for delaying political action on addressing climate change. Why would he do another reconstruction that’s just going to tell us the exact say the same thing as all the others? His (faulty) work has done the job it was intended to do: Help the fossil fuel industry the same way “9 out of 10 doctors smoke Camel” did for the tobacco industry.

  98. Brad, you are asking me if I see the difference between science and policy? Why is that even a question? Is anyone suggesting that they are the same thing? You may be missing the fact that they are closely linked. There is a reason our society chooses to support scientific research. Well, a couple of reasons, but one of them is to develop science-based policy.

    Regarding McIntyre specifically I don’t think your question holds much interest any more. We are seeing his eclipse at the very moment we carry out this interesting discussion. See the links I provided above.

  99. Brad… “But I’ve yet to even hear an *accusation* of anti-scientific conduct by McIntyre.”

    Oh yes. There are a-plenty.

    Cherry-picking 100 out of 10,000 graphs in order to make a point, and then flipping the one’s that don’t fit your narrative?

    If Mann did anything even close to that the heads of the entire climate denial industry would collectively explode in incredulity.

  100. Per Upton Sinclair,

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when evading changes to his lifestyle depends on him not understanding it.”

    Brad is not a skeptic; arguing with him is like arguing with the radio. You may be sharpening up your oratory skills and polishing your points, but the radio drones on, unchanged, unlistening, never deviating from its canned script.

    However, I’m sure some real skeptics reading this thread will have their eyes opened. Brad does everyone at least this service.

    Okay, pull the string in his back again… It’s been 3 or 4 comments since we’ve heard the same old irrelevancy and distorted logic… the same old irrelevancy and distorted logic… the same old irrelevancy and distorted logic… the same old irrelevancy and distorted logic… the same old irrelevancy and distorted logic…

  101. Brainstorms… I really do think it is a display of cognitive dissonance. Brad should be capable of stepping back to look at the big picture related to climate change and realize that the points that he promotes are infinitely small relative to the larger body of scientific evidence. But he’s willing to wave all that off in order to maintain his indignation.

  102. Rob, Brad’s indignation (which my inner skeptic is wavering into the doubt zone — due merely to Brad’s reaction/responses) is being expressed, but I don’t believe it’s being brought up because that’s somehow the major issue in his mind. It’s coming across (strongly) as a useful rhetorical ploy to derail dialog on the important issues.

    To wit, if he really did care about that and about the impacts & mitigations of AGW, he would be arguing both issues, not using the first to derail debate on the second. That gives him away…

    Brad, you’re not stupid… So this is intentional. (Best I can do and not have any intent to be insulting!) So the question here is: Why are you doing this? What you gain and hope to gain by derailing the conversation repeatedly this way? Why do you wish to block action on AGW?

    You claim to honor the science involved; your actions contradict your words. Once again citing your umbrage over injustices is once again derailing; What’s the real reason? Come clean, please!

  103. Rob,

    This:

    “Cherry-picking 100 out of 10,000 graphs in order to make a point, and then flipping the one’s that don’t fit your narrative”

    is (at face value) a description of fraud, not anti-science. If it happened the way you describe it, it nevertheless had no effect on the progress of science, as you later mention.

    “Look, millennial reconstructions are not, by any means, the most interesting or compelling aspect of climate change research. They don’t tell us anything incredibly important about climate that isn’t already explained through other research.”

    I have to disagree with you—they’re very important. Suppose, contrary to the hockey-stick “thesis,” current temperatures have a precedent in the last 1000 years. This would greatly weaken the argument that we’re in a man-made crisis.

    Also you can’t seem to make up your mind: is the HS trivial, or is it key?

    “My side is yelling because there is an overwhelming amount of scientific research that is telling us that there is a very high likelihood that, if we can’t manage to rapidly curb our emissions, we’re going to leave to later generations a crisis on a scale never see before by humanity.”

    I can see why it would be stressful if you believed in the “very high likelihood” you mention. (I don’t.) But wouldn’t greatly reducing your emissions be more rational than yelling? If nothing else, it would certainly win over a lot of cynics.

    From my perspective your “side” seems more intent on winning the (unwinnable) war against denial than starting a war against AGW. You’ve wasted 26 years trying to persuade “our” half of the population to support your decarbonisation drive. Surely by now you must be aware you’re achieving nothing, and winning zero net “converts” per year. As Brainstorms put it, you’re “arguing with the radio.”

    Isn’t it time you started thinking about unilateral action?

  104. Brainstorms,

    “To wit, if he really did care about that and about the impacts & mitigations of AGW,”

    Hang on. I never claimed to *care* about AGW. I accept its high plausibility, something I was already aware of as a little kid, but I don’t *care* about it. What I care about is the good name of science.

    “What’s the real reason? Come clean, please!”

    I care about the honor of science.

  105. BK:

    ” What I care about is the good name of science.”

    I doubt if there is a single soul here who believes you, Brad, so why don’t you just go somewhere else? You’ve been on the same schtick forever. Your voice simply doesn’t count in this. Mann and Jones have been investigated, nothing has come of it, they have the respect of their peers, and Mann continues to do ground-breaking research and Jones still manages his unit, if I’m not mistaken.

    So, you’ve lost. Pure and simple, you’ve lost. You may win the ocassional blog thread in your mind, by posting with such mind-numbing obsession that folks just ignore you, but that counts for nothing.

    Must be frustrating to have your personal vendetta yield absolutely nothing in tangible results. Careers destroyed? Nope. Does anyone within the field of climate science think Brad Keyes has anything useful to contribute to the field? Nope.

    You lose.

  106. To everybody

    1) Believe in Global Climate Hoax demands to be ..GLOBAL
    how you people fit in that Svante Arrehnius set up the whole thing in 1896??? / How besides Svante was Al Gore pre-incarnated??

    2) Why Bush41/Bush43/CIA/KGB/MIB did not took down the hoax? why they not provided information exposing it? HINT: it ain’t any

    3) How you people get around that Physics , Law of Conservation of Energy and Energy Flow and Causality DEMANDs AGW to be true??

    4) 3 reads that if AGW is not true, Physics is not true , and all science where pesky LawConservationofEnergy has a grip (all of science 🙂

    5) Checked the comments. No one comment seems to contain ENERGY. So climate is manifestation of pseudo little man from SANTA and AGW is just SANTA wants his icecream a little melted (like me)?? please !

  107. Dhogaza: “I doubt if there is a single soul here who believes you, Brad, so why don’t you just go somewhere else?”

    Because no one believes him anywhere else either.

  108. “dhogaza,”

    “Mann and Jones have been investigated, nothing has come of it, they have the respect of their peers…”

    Jones certainly has the protection of his peers.

    Whose respect does Mann have, Graham Spanier’s? LOL! Which of his actual colleagues respects him: the one who thinks Mann’s work is sloppy, the one who thinks Mann’s statistics are suspect, the one who thinks Mann’s increasingly defending the indefensible, the one who wonders if they have thick enough skins to criticize Mann (since the last time anyone tried it was an unpleasant experience), the one who thinks Mann has a preconceived bias against Medieval warming, the one who thinks Mann went crazy over a recent NZ paper describing evidence for a MWP there because Mann saw it as ?another attack on him, the one who warns other colleagues not to let Mann push them beyond where the evidence takes them… who? Help me out here “dhogaza.”

  109. BK:

    “Whose respect does Mann have”

    then lists a handful of scientists and critics who don’t, obviously unaware that the field of climate science is far, far larger than he or most other deniers comprehend.

    He has a very distinguished academic career (are you dying of envy?). Who are you? Nothing. Some twit who tries to ankle-bite people who actually accomplish shit, thinking that the blog-o-sphere means much of anything.

    Loser.

  110. Oh, come on Brad! Pulling a bunch of irrelevant quotes from private emails is the lowest of the low.

    You know what was going on in all those comments? People being human!

    We’ve had this exact conversation before. This is the rough and tumble world of full contact science. Scientists get aggressive. They get dismissive. They get critical. Etc. But then do you know what they all do? The get down to work doing real science.

    All the trash talk is just that and nothing else. What matters is what you publish. They all know and accept that. You can say all kinds of stuff in the heat of the moment to a close colleague, but that matters not.

    Briffa was highly critical of Mann’s original papers and stated as much in private emails. So, what did he do?… More research. And that research has confirmed Mann’s research, not rejected it. That’s a scientist being a good scientist.

  111. Brad says,
    ““Cherry-picking 100 out of 10,000 graphs in order to make a point, and then flipping the one’s that don’t fit your narrative”
    is (at face value) a description of fraud, not anti-science. If it happened the way you describe it, ….”

    AND

    “What I care about is the good name of science.”

    Brad: you are a bald-faced liar.

    If you cared about the good name of science, then you would take the time to inform yourself about McIntyre’s inept/fraudulent non-science whose sole purpose was an attempt to smear some real science in the pop media.
    And then you would condemn McIntyre, as honest people do.

  112. Rob says,
    “This is the rough and tumble world of full contact science. Scientists get aggressive. They get dismissive. They get critical. Etc.”

    And yet, in an alternative reality of Brad’s imagining, all the world’s scientists then proceed to all agree on a flawless scientific conspiracy to bring about a one-world UN communist/nazi government.

  113. Rob Honeycutt, McIntyre’s using(really Wegman’s using) the top 100 out of 10000 is irrelevant, as the other 9900 look about the same. See the histogram in M&M. Or just look at what I linked above.
    Also, with regards to flipping inconvenient data, Mann’s algorithm will flip data that is upside down, so it doesn’t matter if McIntyre did it, the algorithm does that too. Not an issue for PCs as they are just linear weights to be fed into step 2. The NAS Panel that supposedly exonerated Mann also used this same upside down display. I guess they are frauds along with McIntyre. Indeed, Mann himself flipped his actual PC1 upside-down. So now I guess we can rest the case that Mann is a fraud. Or at least ‘anti-scientific conduct’ according to Rob.

  114. Rob,

    “But then do you know what they all do? The get down to work doing real science. ”

    Sure, and that’s great. The issue, though, was not whether or not they get down to work doing real science, or whether or not that’s what real scientists do.

    The issue was whether or not they respect Mann as dhogaza seems to believe, or even like Mann, or can even stand Mann.

  115. Craig,

    “If you cared about the good name of science, then you would take the time to inform yourself about McIntyre’s inept/fraudulent non-science whose sole purpose was an attempt to smear some real science…”

    But that’s the problem—when I do invest the time to get to the bottom of who’s right in such esoteric statistical controversies, my brain glazes over in boredom. Would you like me to simply take your word for it that McIntyre was deliberately misleading, and disregard the counterarguments of people like MikeN, and also forget my own dealings with McIntyre in which he’s always been scrupulously honest AFAIK? If so, then fine: the behavior you’re accusing him of is immoral, has no place in scientific debate, and I condemn it (no matter which “side” the culprit is on). It’s not anti-scientific per se, but it is certainly unscientific, unacceptable and harmful to any hope of ever achieving a civil reconciliation on climate change.

    If you think I’d ever knowingly turn a blind eye to deplorable conduct just because it was someone on “my” “side” that engaged in it, google the things I’ve said about Joe Bast’s cretinous Unabomber billboard.

    “And yet, in an alternative reality of Brad’s imagining, all the world’s scientists then proceed to all agree on a flawless scientific conspiracy to bring about a one-world UN communist/nazi government.”

    LOL. Hardly. The vast majority of scientists would have nothing to do with any plot to deceive the world’s population. Where exactly do you get the idea that climate “skepticism” means believing in a massive scientific collusion to defraud? Nothing remotely like that follows from my analysis of the situation.

  116. MikeN… “Or at least ‘anti-scientific conduct’ according to Rob.”

    You failed to understand my point.

    What I was saying was, your ilk will give McI a pass on pretty much anything. If Mann had done even half of what McI mucked up you’d be screaming it to the high heavens!

    Yes, the sign doesn’t matter on the reconstructions. That is the point. Previously you were all indignant over flipping the Tiljander data but now you’re saying flipping the data is okay because McI did it.

    You were all over the issue with deleting the erroneous divergent data from Briffa’s series, because it wasn’t showing all the data. But when McI cherry picks and flips all those graphs without telling anyone, no big deal.

    You’re applying different standards to the two sides.

  117. Brad… I can guarantee that all the dendro guys have respect for each other’s work. That doesn’t mean they don’t argue.

  118. Rob, the issue is whether something inappropriate was done. I’ve already conceded that if divergence is not an issue, then hide-the-decline(for Briffa) is not a problem. I dispute that they have established that divergence is not an issue.
    Mann’s upside-down Tiljander does make a difference. It’s why Kaufman corrected for it, and in his case, it doesn’t change the overall result.
    McIntyre’s upside-down use is similar to Mann’s upside-down use in MBH(Tiljander is in PNAS 2008/Science 2009), and not an issue because the result in the reconstructions is the same. Comparing that to something that creates a hockey stick by using data upside-down or using chronologies that show divergence(different from Briffa divergence but nonclimatic as well) is not reasonable.

    As to your link, Greg Laden beat you to it, and that’s what I responded to. Responding back with the same link doesn’t say much.

  119. Is the blue line a hockey stick? Note that it is likely not correct, but it shows the flaws in Mann’s paper pretty well. Nick Stokes has superimposed two issues at once. He should have plotted the second and third figures from his original, so centering is the only difference, or the first along with the first with centering. Either way you can see something that is not a hockey stick. They are aligned in the late period because that is what the code does, it moves them to be aligned with the temperature record.

  120. Rob,

    “If Mann had done even half of what McI mucked up you’d be screaming it to the high heavens!”

    No, that’s not the kind of thing I’d ever scream about. I’ve been very consistent in saying that mucking things up is human. I’ve never condemned Mann for mucking things up.

    It’s the cover-up, not the muck-up, that’s anti-scientific.

  121. Brad… And McI is not covering things up? Really?

    It’s been like pulling teeth to get him to even admit in passing that his red noise methods left a residual HS signal. He’s been on a years long tirade over MBH when, as he well knows, everything he’s done has made no functional difference in the conclusions of that 15 year old research. Zero.

  122. MikeN… “I dispute that they have established that divergence is not an issue.”

    Being that you’re not an actively publishing dendroclimatologist, I’d say that counts for exactly nothing relative to this field of research. You might as well tell me you dispute some nuance of evolutionary theory.

    When I hear someone debating the validity of something outside their field of expertise my initial “skeptical” reaction is, the greater likelihood is this person lacks the deeper knowledge to understand what they’re talking about.

    My position is, science works. I don’t need to trust any individual scientist because it has been proven over and over that the process works. Sometimes there are errors. Some people get bad science published. But over the longer term, the process works.

    We now have many decades of research on AGW and the one answer that fits all the results is, we are warming the planet at an unprecedented rate and, if we can’t get carbon emissions under control, we’re going to dramatically alter the climate system, with severe results for humans and other natural systems.

    MBH98/99 is one very tiny piece of that large puzzle that is fully consistent with that picture, along with, now, some two dozen other similar multiproxy reconstructions.

    McI’s work? It’s been an incredible waste of everyone’s time and has lead to further delays in solving the massive problems that we face with this issue.

  123. Rob, at least try to remember what you were arguing.

    “You were all over the issue with deleting the erroneous divergent data from Briffa’s series, because it wasn’t showing all the data. But when McI cherry picks and flips all those graphs without telling anyone, no big deal.

    You’re applying different standards to the two sides.”

    I pointed out that I wasn’t using a double standard, and that I put Briffa in the clear if divergence is established as not an issue. Since you are talking about my standards, I would think my opinion on the subject is relevant to that.

  124. Rob,

    “And McI is not covering things up? Really?”

    Not as far as I know.

    “It’s been like pulling teeth to get him to even admit in passing that his red noise methods left a residual HS signal.”

    What’s that got to do with a coverup? Are you suggesting he’s withheld enabling details, or otherwise acted so as to make his methods inscrutable/non-auditable?

    “Auditing the auditor has turned up far more interesting material than the work of the original audit.”

    If McIntyre’s work is auditable, that automatically makes him more of a scientist than certain alleged scientists.

    “Being that you’re not an actively publishing dendroclimatologist, I’d say that counts for exactly nothing relative to this field of research. You might as well tell me you dispute some nuance of evolutionary theory.”

    Lame. You may as well tell us you *don’t* dispute some nuance of dendroclimatological orthodoxy. Either non-experts are allowed to comment or they’re not. Please make up your mind, Rob.

  125. “Either non-experts are allowed to comment or they’re not.”

    You are allowed to comment. It’s just that nobody has to take your comments seriously.

  126. What distresses me is the way all this heritage unpleasantness keeps McI from fisking awesome papers like Ross McKittricks latest…

  127. Brad… “Are you suggesting he’s withheld enabling details, or otherwise acted so as to make his methods inscrutable/non-auditable?”

    Yes.

  128. Rob,

    thank you for the direct and responsive replies (as usual) but you’re confusing me now. You said much had been learned by auditing the Auditor. How was it possible to “audit the Auditor” if (as you claim) the Auditor has withheld enabling details, or otherwise acted so as to make his methods inscrutable/non-auditable?

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