Open thread: week in review (10/07/10)

The climate news this past week was dominated by fallout from the 10:10 video and Cuccinelli’s shenanigans, both of which will hopefully be forgotten by next week. Here are some items that caught my interest:

• After arguing to get rid of labels in my Doubt essay, in a BBC radio interview Richard Lindzen objects to being called a skeptic and wants to be referred to as a denier.  This is doubly interesting since Lindzen is Jewish.

•  Yale Climate Media Forum has  a fairly lengthy post on the AAAS Webinar on “Overcoming Skepticism after Climategate,” a panel of 4 that included Gavin Schmidt and Chris Mooney.  My favorite statement:  “The Union of Concerned Scientists’s Brenda Erkwuzel cautioned scientists not to get caught-up in frequent telling and retellings of worst-case scenarios, portraying themselves as bearers of doom.”

•  While on the subject of communicating climate science, Chris Mooney has posted Part III in his series “Communicating about climate science.”  He asks some good questions, and coins a new label: “dismissives.”

•  Seems like Fred Pearce is hanging out with the uncertainty monster.  At Climate 360, he has a very good post entitled “On Climate Models, the Case for Living with Uncertainty.”

•  Uncertainty monster hiding as a bad strategy is highlighted in a post by Roger Pielke Jr. regarding the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

•  While we’re pondering the issue of dangerous climate change, Discover Magazine has an interesting essay “How Climate Change Shaped Humanity.”

•  Regarding the Pakistan floods, there is a post on “Al Gore announces appointing experts to study Pakistan floods.”  Hmmm . . . I wonder which experts.

In terms of the actual science, two things caught my attention, both relating to the topic of natural climate variability:

•  A post at Die Klimazwiebel entitled “Aerosols or natural variability?” summarizes recent papers that bring into question the climate model attribution of climate change over the 20th century.  Definitely worth reading. I will be posting on this general topic in about 2 weeks.

•  There is a new paper published in Nature entitled “An influence of solar spectral variations on radiative forcing of climate”   that is discussed at length at WUWT and at RealClimate.  This paper reminds us of how little we know of how the sun interacts with the Earth’s climate.

And finally, the National Academies has a new assessment report:

•  Ocean Acidification: A National Strategy to Meet the Challenges of a Changing Ocean.

I look forward to hearing your take on these issues, and anything else of interest that you’ve spotted.  I’m considering making “week in review” a weekly post on Climate Etc., to focus the open thread a bit, let me know what you think of this.


315 responses to “Open thread: week in review (10/07/10)

  1. Irrespective of the wish to make Cuccinelli go away (for whatever fuzzy reasons), I want to see Mann cross-examined under oath in public by knowledgeable opponents

    • Fair enough, but Cuccinelli’s strategy is not the way to go about it, IMO

      • Unhappily, Judith, I have counted alternate suggested methods at NIL so far. Pretending to keep politics out of science (climate segment or others) is threadbare now, since the politics of fear was knowingly used to steamroller an unconvinced and scientifically-illiterate populace-at-large over a long period. Reaping what you sow, etc …

        To be quite honest, however, I really doubt I will live to see such a cross-examination ever take place – I’m far too experienced not to recognise the depth of determination to avoid such an outcome from many powerful quarters

      • Dr. Curry,
        UVA and Mann already dodged a legitimate FOIA request and got caught.
        The world has been turned on its head by claims made by this guy while being paid with public money. He had every reason to know early on that he was way wrong, but kept it up, suppressed the evidence, and suppressed his critics.
        In any other endeavor of life, that would get you investigated. Mann will ultimately be forced to divulge the rest of his e-mails and the rest of his work and give an accounting of his money.
        If not the AG of Virginia now, then the AG later or someone else.
        Academics are not entitled to special privileges, despite what too many seem to think. Any they are exercising now are out of line and will be removed, as long as public money is funding them. It is inevitable and it is just.

      • I definitely agree with the need for public accountability and that academics are not entitled to special privileges. But there are certain ways to go about ensuring this and investigating allegations; Cuccinelli’s approach is not the correct one IMO. At issue is a single grant from the Commonwealth of VA, and Mann is basically being charged with practicing sloppy statistics. It is not misconduct or fraud to conduct sloppy research or if a the results from a research project do not stand the test of time; such sloppy research is arguably grounds for not getting future research funds.

        I’ve stated this many times before elsewhere i the blogosphere, but the real issue is this. How and why did a recent Ph.D. (Mann) land a position as a lead author on the IPCC TAR? Why did the grand poohbahs of the IPCC push this so hard in terms of putting it in the Summary for Policy Makers and using it as an icon for the entire report? Surely we can’t blame this on Mann with the ink barely dry on his Ph.D. Something else was going on that was driven by the IPCC, which was reinforced by the personal ambitions of Mann. What I want is an investigation of what went in on the IPCC TAR in terms of why the Hockey Stick was pushed so hard. This issue is raised in chapter 15 (I think) of Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion.

      • Your point is well taken. Thank you. If I had any confidence in either the UN or cliamte science to do review that would not use even more whitewash than the British and Pennsylvania ‘reviews’, I would agree.
        But who outside of someone with subpoena powers is going to do this?
        Your efforts are significant, but unofficial. Policy makers are not listening much, yet, that there is a problem with the ehadlong rush to cap-n-trade or even more extreme wastes of resources.
        The monster of AGW is not going to shrug and just wander off to monster retirement.

      • PolyisTCOandbanned

        I love the part in the Climategate emails where Mike Mann is putting together Phil Jones’s fellow package for AAS (or whatever). He is communicating and buttering him up and even lies on his H-index. Guy goes down like an I-banker. Guess he knows how to get promoted in academia. (leave it in, Jude. It’s sorta on topic and I have special permission to be acerbic.)

      • David Holland

        Judy,
        As is often the case I am late getting to the party, but share your wish to see an investigation into why the “hockey stick” was pushed so hard in the TAR. You also wondered if other Reviewers shared your concerns on the subject of aerosols in the TAR.

        Well, the starting point would be to look at the TAR Reviewers’ comments and what the Lead Authors replied. You were entitled to see them during the assessment but I suspect like most you did not know that at the time. Indeed even if you did ask, as Steve McIntyre and James Annan found, you might not have got to see them in time to make a fuss if the Lead Authors were ignoring you.

        I have put in an FoIA request to the Met Office, who were the TAR WGI TSU, for the electronic versions but they are playing hard to get. However, the comments are in hard copy form in eight unindexed boxes in the Lamont Library at Harvard and in September 2009 the curator told me they are a permanent collection.

        Perhaps you may have some influence in persuading someone nearer to Harvard to have a look at what is there and investigate what would be involved in digitising the archive. Maybe Google might volunteer to do it.

        As for why the “hockey stick” was pushed, the leaked UEA email of Keith Briffa confirms that in 1996 some people were trying to get rid of the MWP. We knew from hints that one was likely to be Jonathan Overpeck and the Guardian’s Fred Pearce says on page 44 of his book ‘The Climate Files’,

        “Tim Barnett of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, part of the University of California, San Diego, joined Phil Jones to form a small group within the IPCC to mine this data for signs of global warming. They planned to summarise the research in the panel’s next assessment, due in 2001. They had an agenda. “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.”

        Essentially, the “hockey stick” was validation of the low value of natural variability used in Chapter 12 of the TAR. On page 702 it states:

        “One of the most important applications of this palaeoclimate data is as a check on the estimates of internal variability from coupled climate models, to ensure that the latter are not underestimating the level of internal variability on 50 to 100 year time-scales (see below).”

        On Page 158 of ‘Climate: The Counter Consensus’, discussing “attitudes to data release” demonstrated by the difficulties M&M had, Bob Carter writes:

        “This is not a new problem, since the same issue had surfaced during the preparation of the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (TAR), when a reviewer of part of the draft requested that he be supplied with some of the raw data on which the work was based. The author, Dr Tom Wigley, declined to supply the data, making the following astonishing statement:”

        The statement Carter attribute to Wigley is quoted in Ross Gelbspan’s 1997 book, ‘The Heat is On’:

        “First, it is entirely unnecessary to have original ‘raw’ data in order to review a scientific document. I know of no case at all in which such data were required by or provided to a referee ….. Second, while the data in question (model output from the UK Hadley Centre’s climate model) were generated using taxpayer money, this was UK taxpayer money. US scientists therefore have no a priori right to such data. Furthermore, these data belong to individual scientists who produced them, not to the IPCC, and it is up to those scientists to decide whom they give their data to.”

      • David, thanks for stopping by. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.

      • Dr. Curry: hunter is right. Mann did go over the line and has earned an investigation. It’s not a shenanigan and it’s not a political persecution. See Counterpoint to Fuller on Cuccinelli at WWUT for a cogent discussion.

        What I keep noticing in the climate change controversy is scientists behaving badly. As someone who grew up respecting science, this grieves me.

        We are told that science is self-correcting and I believe it is. In time, climate change will be sorted out one way or another. But bad behavior is rarely self-correcting unless some form of pressure from peers or the law or both is brought against it.

        In a more perfect world I would expect scientists to be the first and the most stalwart in speaking out against the abuses of Climategate. I would expect them to really clean house. If climate change is as serious as we are told, it is imperative that climate research be shored up with a rock-solid foundation in which no one has to wonder, for instance, how the data is being handled, whether it has been lost or deleted or massaged or withheld.

        The scientific community has let the world down by seeking to gloss over the dubious actions of the Climategate scientists.

      • Huxley, I have to agree with you that more scientists should have spoken up about the “gates”. That they didn’t concerns me quite a bit. Re the counterpoint at WUWT, if there was an FOIA issue, then that deserves investigation, but i didn’t think that is what cuccinelli was after?

      • Dr. Curry: Yes, there is a FOIA issue. UVA refused a FOIA request for Mann’s emails by saying that the emails had been deleted, then later admitted that the emails might exist on a backup server, but still refused access to the emails because the emails could not be implicated under Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA) on a legal technicality.

        You can read a newspaper account (about 3/4 down) here: http://tinyurl.com/25nbofy
        You can read Cuccinelli’s 7/24/2010 petition (pp.13-15) on the FOIA request here: http://tinyurl.com/22ubcpv

        As far as I’m concerned, given the question raised by the CRU emails, the questions about Mann’s procedures in developing the hockey stick, and this FOIA request, Cuccinelli has more than enough reasons to investigate Michael Mann and UVA.

        The high talk of academic freedom versus witch hunts in this case reminds me of nothing so much as Nixon’s insistence during Watergate that he would not turn over the White House tapes because doing so “would cripple all future presidents.”

        BTW, thanks for your stand on Climategate.

      • I agree with Hux.

        Not to be political, but to raise a point:

        I think the same could be said about radical Islamists and moderate Islamists. Islam is being hijacked by the crazies with an agenda, and the vast majority of moderates say nothing publicly. Hell, the vast majority of the MSM say nothing.

        I believe it’s due to fear, mostly. Well founded fear…fear of a deadly or at least a very damaging (physically, psychologically, or financially) counter attack by the nutjobs or their supporters.

        I do wonder if something similar (although, obviously, not as extreme) is going on in regards to AGW.

      • dydx,
        I would suggest that 10:10 and other disturbing communications by climate true believers resonably implies that they could be at least as extreme.

      • As well as James Lee, the CNN eco-terrorist, and that couple in Argentina who last March shot their baby then themselves in a suicide pact over global warming.

        It’s an interesting comparison between the AGW world and Islam.

        I don’t consider the 10:10 film as a single dismissible incident of bizarre craziness from climate change advocates. There were 90+ people who worked on that film over a period of time plus who knows how many other people who vetted the film with a thumbs-up, some of whom are still rationalizing the film’s validity today.

        Any skeptic or “denier” who has had comment after comment censored, snipped, or ridiculed on a pro-climate change site must have felt a shock of recognition while watching “No Pressure.”

      • It’s the perceived righteousness that fuels the actions of the fanatic. While it’s understandable in regards to religion, PC vs. Mac, Android vs. iPhone, toilet paper spilling over the top or pulled from the bottom, etc…it’s reprehensible when it’s in regards to science.

        And that’s where the AGW, no…. CAGW….scientists fall prey to. The lure of their emotions that distorts their handling of the facts.

        You know….there oughta be a mandatory class on the ethical and objective handling of one’s science and one’s data. Should also include an FOIA module too.

      • Hmmm, yes.

        Meanwhile the deniers are clear-sighted, rational and totally disinterested…….oh,and watch out for the black helicopters!!

      • Islam and AGW. The two most extreme and frightening threats to freedom in western democracies.

      • You are right, Moray.

        There is little or no difference between dogmatic religion and dogmatic science.

        The “Science vs. Religion Conflict” only exists there.

        As a young man I discarded religion as being arrogant, biased, and dogmatic. In 1976 I discovered the same traits in the US NAS. What a shock!

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

      • I wanted to see Professor Yoo disbarred for his torture memos, and not a single attorney has taken a single meaningful step against him in that direction.

        As long as climate scientists act like attorneys in protecting their own, well I’ll I can say to Ken is, you go grrl.

    • ianl8888, I spend much of my time criticising the encroachment of ideological/political persuasions for the damage they do to the integrity of science. I feel this problem is exemplified by Mann’s conduct.

      However, if I believe that politics and science should never mix – and I DO believe this – then I must reject Cuccinelli’s efforts to mix his politics with Mann’s science. This is not fuzzy reasoning, it’s cold, dispassionate logic and reason.

      I share your desire to have Mann called to account, under oath and under threat of perjury. But there has to be another way. I share Doug Keenan’s indignation when scientists, who it can be shown pervert science and commit fraud, are able to remain unaccountable, defended and protected by their academic institutions. Untouchable is unacceptable.

      This must, for the sake of stability, progress and credibility in science, be addressed, with great urgency, somehow. But a political campaign of persecution is not the way, and will never be the way, because the ends do not and can never justify the means.

      • Uhhh…..no.
        The AG is the elected person to do exactly what he is doing.
        And science and politics always has and always will mix.
        Science yields knowledge and knowledge yields power. And power takes us to politics.
        By the way, unless you think AGW is a religion, then there is no provision in the Constitution to protect it from this.

      • Funding science from government money causes a good deal more mixing of science and politics that otherwise. It might make a good topic how best to ensure the taxpayer is getting research on reasonable topics and high quality work. At a minimum, all data, metadata, unused data, and code should be made public. Perhaps the Library of Congress could publish it all on the internet and free to all one or two months after it is published in a journal.

      • FTR, hunter, I do believe that CAGW is substantially a cult, being an orthodoxy founded on tenets of faith in prophecies of grave happenstance, unsupported by quantitative, qualitative evidence. Don’t take this to mean that I believe scientists – who are supposed to be scientists, not leaders of a religious cult – should be granted special dispensation in law.

        Acceptance of the evidence, that science and politics HAVE mixed, is not deference to its acceptability. Yes, it happens. No, it’s not okay that it happens.

  2. The 10:10 video is here to stay.

    • Yes, very sadly, I believe it is. But what I find more chilling than the actual video is the message: ‘your life is worthless if your views are different’ and how many just don’t seem to get it … not to mention that it took 3 “Takes” over 4 days before they issued a half-decent apology.

      Armstrong’s ‘call to arms’ E-mail to all 10:10-ers on Oct. 1, could not be more clear:

      “It’s a fairly simple and to-the-point premise, I’m sure you’ll agree: we celebrate everybody who is actively tackling climate change… by blowing up those who aren’t.

      Living in a multi-cultural society, I’ve certainly heard of “celebrating” differences – and indeed have done so joyfully with those whose traditions are different than mine. But being splattered while watching someone be blown to smithereens is not my idea of “celebration”.

      How could anyone find an ounce of joy – or a pixel of humour or satire in such an image? So what’s even more disturbing, IMHO, is the words of Jamie Glover, the child-actor who played Philip:

      “I was very happy to be blown up to save the world”

      Sure, no children were harmed during the making of this movie. But I think this little eco-jihadist was already very damaged. I shudder to contemplate how many Jamie Glover think-alikes might be itching to “get blown up to save the world” – and what the unanticipated consequences of his message might be.

      The medium and the (merry massacre’s) message

    • I don’t know – while very prominent on blogs, I only saw major media coverage of the “No Pressure” by Fox.

  3. In terms of labels, I believe the term “alarmist” is apt for those who loudly repeat their outrage about some video or other that they sought out just so they could be offended, or attach “gate” whenever Pachauri so much as sneezes, or harps on about conspiracies, power grabs, funding corruption, one world government, or big scary taxes.

    • Blatantly over-exploited but predictable sauce for the goose.

    • Hmmm….like Gore saying the Earth ahs a fever while showing stills from cheesy sci-fi movies? Or Hansen calling for criminal trials of those who disagree with him?
      Or so many in the AGW community, from the President on down, blaming a vast conspiracy for the existence of skeptics?
      Or the whitewashes of the CRU e-mails? Or the hide-n-seek games that led to the e-mails getting leaked?
      Just wondering.

  4. I think the criticism of Cuccinell never addresses the facts about the cause of the legal action. Hundreds of thousands of dollars of state tax money was given to the University of Virginia based on ‘data’ and theories that there is now prima facia reason to believe was knowingly erroneous (e.g. hockey stick). IF that is true, than there is a cime of fraud committed. IF…no one including Cuccinell is saying that in fact fraud was committed. If he had evidence to support that contention, he would have brought charges.

    All he is saying is that there is enough reason (e.g. climategate type things) to warrant an investigation. Investigation in law is analogous to research in science. In both cases ‘search’ ‘to look for’ is the operative concept.

    This is not Galileo and the Church. Roger Pielke Jr’s comment that “scientist are allowed to make mistakes” is frankly absurd. Is that was Climategate is all about – a mistake!

    Scientists are allowed to make mistakes, but they are not allowed to commit fraudulent acts. That’s the issue. Again, no one has said that Mann has committed fraud. Cucciinell is saying that there is reason to believe that fraud MAY HAVE been committed.

    This very excellent blog and other ‘skeptic/doubter…whatever’ blogs are representing the climategate thing as purely a matter of science. But, there is very big money involved with the climate change thing – most of it taxpayer’s money. The attorney generals of states and the federal government are charged with protecting taxpayer’s money. Why is this a problem?

    Again, neither I nor Cuccinell is saying that a crime has been committed. That cannot be known unless an investigation (aka research) into the facts is done in a systematic and verifiable manner. What is the problem?

    • Frankly I think that the reaction by too many to the AG doing his job is due to the fact that he is a conservative, and therefor, in their minds unworthy and too unenlightened to be allowed near science.

  5. David L. Hagen

    A fascinating legal development on warming trends in New Zealand:

    Three weeks ago NIWA (New Zealand’s National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research) released their Statement of Defence in response to the NZ Climate Science Coalition’s Statement of Claim regarding an Application for a Judicial Review.

    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2010/10/observations-on-niwas-statement-of-defence/

    Legal Defeat For Global Warming In Kiwigate Scandal Thursday, 07 October 2010 08:48 John O’Sullivan, Suite 101

    . . .The specific charge brought against the Kiwi government was that it’s climate scientists had taken the raw temperature records of the country and then adjusted them artificially with the result that a steeper warming trend was created than would otherwise exist by examination of the raw data alone. . . .
    NZ authorities, “formally stated that, in their opinion, they are not required to use the best available information nor to apply the best scientific practices and techniques available at any given time. They don’t think that forms any part of their statutory obligation to pursue “excellence.”
    NIWA now denies there was any such thing as an “official” NZ Temperature Record,. . .
    . . .the scientist who made the controversial “bold adjustments” is none other than Jim Salinger who is also a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). . . .
    Kiwigate appears to match Climategate in three key three facets. First, climate scientists declined to submit their data for independent analysis. Second, when backed into a corner the scientists claimed their adjustments had been ‘lost’. Third, the raw data itself proves no warming trend.

    http://www.thegwpf.org/climategate/1658-legal-defeat-for-global-warming-in-kiwigate-scandal-.html

  6. David L. Hagen

    Motls and Willie Soon summarize Lindzen’s BBC interview:

    Dick explains that the word “skeptic” is misleading because the word assumes that there is some pre-existing case for something that could be believed in, and the skeptics don’t believe it. However, there is no case for a climate threat.

    When asked about “skeptic”, Lindzen said:

    ” I actually like denier, that is closer than skeptic. Realist also is not bad.”

  7. Yes, Dr. Curry, it is indeed noteworthy that Nature finally published a paper admitting how little we know about the Sun’s influence on Earth’s changing climate.

    There are other intriguing indications that the stonewall policy of consensus science is cracking wide open in many other areas of science, e.g., astronomy and astrophysics:

    See statements in today’s Physics World news report by University of Oxford cosmology professor Dr. Joseph Silk indicating that he is on the verge of admitting that neutron stars are not dead nuclear embers:

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/43970

    “The neutron star is metastable, like someone on a mountain ledge,” explains Joseph Silk of the University of Oxford . . .

    “Just as a little kick can push that person off the ledge and send them to the bottom of the mountain, so a little energy is enough to transform a neutron star into a strange star.”

    I was on such a ledge for seventeen years (1983-2000) myself, from the 1983 discovery that the interior of the Sun is mostly Fe, O, Ni, Si, S, Mg and Ca – just like ordinary meteorites ["Solar abundances of the elements",
    Meteoritics 18, 209-222 (1983)] – until 2000 when five students helped me plot nuclear rest mass data and discover the source of the Sun’s energy:

    Neutron repulsion recorded as rest mass in every nucleus with two or more neutrons ["The Sun's origin, composition and source of energy", 32nd Lunar & Planetary Science Conference (2001), paper 1041] http://tinyurl.com/224kz4

    People like Steve McIntyre and intellectually honest scientists like yourself have shaken the very foundations of consensus science. Many disciplines of science outside climatology will benefit.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo
    http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

  8. Dear Dr. Curry,

    It is indeed noteworthy that Nature published a paper admitting how little we know about how little we know about the Sun’s influence on Earth’s changing climate.

    There are other indications that the stonewall of consensus science is breaking apart. See today’s news report in Physics World where statements by University of Oxford cosmology professor, Dr. Joseph Silk, suggest that he is almost ready to concede that neutron stars are great sources of energy, rather than dead nuclear embers:

    “The neutron star is metastable, like someone on a mountain ledge,” explains Joseph Silk of the University of Oxford . . .

    “Just as a little kick can push that person off the ledge and send them to the bottom of the mountain, so a little energy is enough to transform a neutron star into a strange star.”

    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/43970

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    http://myprofile.cos.com/manuelo09

  9. For some reason the first post did not appear so I posted the second. Please delete one of the posts. – OKM

  10. “[Al Gore] said he would appoint a group of experts to investigate the cause of devastating floods … ”
    Appoint them to what? Pay them how? Nice headline, no meat.

    • Past experience suggests that Al Gore & Associates would:
      1. Appoint friends to a new committee.
      2. Pay them with your tax funds.
      3. As they did previously.

      However, individual members of the consensus science army are now jumping off the consensus bandwagon to try to reestablish individual credibility. Attempts to make a scientific U-turn without acknowledging past errors are sometimes comical.

      As noted above, Oxford cosmology professor Dr. Joseph Silk now admits that “The neutron star is metastable, like someone on a mountain ledge”:

      http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/43970

      Why is “The neutron star is metastable”?

      Neutron repulsion, the same energy source that heats planet Earth, the Sun, and the cosmos ["Attraction and repulsion of nucleons: Sources of stellar energy", Journal of Fusion Energy 19 (2001) 93-98; "Earth's heat source - The Sun", Energy & Environment 20 (2009) 131-144].

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

  11. Speaking of labels, i just spotted an interesting new label used in reference to myself: “scientifique carbocentriste.” Everything sounds better in French . . .

  12. Dr. Curry,

    Thank you for starting this blog. I’ve followed your voice for several years as one that seemed measured and open-minded relative to others. It’s nice now to have a direct blog from you!

    I was hoping you might spend a few minutes reflecting on your blogging experience thus far. Even though its only been a few weeks, sometimes the first impressions can be most telling. In what ways has blogging been helpful to you so far? In what ways has it been unhelpful? In what ways has it surprised you?

    Thanks for your highly respected thoughts,
    Chris D

    • Chris, thank you for your kind comments. I am thinking of doing an open thread on “state of the blog”, discussing what has been going on here in the first month.

    • I, too, am eager to hear your early assessment.

      Your work had not come to my attention, until I read someone´s suggestion that you are not to believed – because you are a person of faith. My immediate reponse? Google.

      Your blog already has identified exploration opportunities. More questions, daily. with great respect, John

  13. Leonard Weinstein

    Dr. Curry,
    You are a rational and fair minded person. However, remember even Al Capone was not convicted of his bad crimes, he was convicted of Tax Evasion. If a reasonably clear set of wrong actions can not be set right directly due to limitations in the law, indirect action is sometimes called for. As long as Cuccinelli’s efforts are legal (even if they seem improper to you), he has the right to go after Mann. Remember that all state funded grants are legally able to be subject to this type of review. If the funding had been private, there would be no case to examine. If Mann is found innocent of any legal wrongdoing, what is the problem. If you are concerned by the “threat” to independent opinions and positions, and honest mistakes being treated as a crime, you are wrong. This is strictly a legal use of funding, and possible breaking FOA law issue.

  14. Phillip Bratby

    Why is it everything to do with the effect of human emissions of CO2 is given a false label?

    For example “climate change” is a false label taken to mean only man made global warming. Thus all climate change is falsely attributed by politicians and advocates to human causes, even though we know climate change is natural.

    For example “ocean acidification” is a false label taken to mean human emissions of CO2 are making the oceans acidic, even though we all know the oceans are alkaline and all that CO2 is doing is very slightly reducing the pH, with the oceans remaining strongly acidic.

    Could it be that politicians and environmental advocates are trying to scare the ignorant general public by use of false labels? You never see government funded scientists correcting these false labels. Wouldn’t it be good to have a bit of honesty amongst these scientists.

    Corruption by money?

    • “Why is it everything to do with the effect of human emissions of CO2 is given a false label?”

      That is the $64,000 question, is it not? Perhaps the “rules” of the climate change game are not so much to “hide the decline”, but to divert attention from the lack of evidence for the … uh … “projected” catastrophic impact of human emissions of CO2?

      But speaking of labels … I hope you don’t mind that I’ve quoted some of your comments above (with attribution!) by way of introduction to a 10:10 related post on my blog.

      A close encounter of the Orwellian kind

      • Phillip Bratby

        I don’t mind at all. I agree with you that they are diverting attention from the fact that there is no scientific evidence to support their hypothesis. The latest Royal Society piece states that there is “strong evidence”, but they are conspicuously silent on what that evidence is or where it can be found. I have repeatedly asked organisations such as the Met Office and DECC where I can find the evidence. and all I am told is that it is in the IPCC reports. But where? It’s nowhere to be seen, otherwise they wouldn’t have to rely on their 95% likelihood or their argument of ignorance that we can’t think what else it must be so it must be man-made. As someone else said, “it isn’t a dog, therefore it must be a cat”.

    • ¨… we know climate change is natural.¨ and neutral!

      Washington state esperienced a sudden, dramatic, dangerous change when Mt. Saint Helen vented: long-awaited, and -expected. New Orleans saw a similar event: long-predicted. Change cannot be prevented.

      We {terrestial life} will adapt.

    • oooops: mis-key

      re ¨Corruption by money?¨ rather, Corruption by love of money?

      Money is a wonderful tool for exchange. Let´s all get a larger tool-box.

  15. Suggested reading, tracks so well with discussions to date –
    “More About Values or Whose Ox Is Being Gored?”
    posted on Thursday, October 7th, 2010
    at “Retread Resources Blog” (Brief Essays on Science, Philosophy and Reality)

    http://retreadresources.com/blog/?p=457&cpage=1#comment-1582

  16. You might want to add the revelations about scientists screwing up in a major way in California. “California grossly miscalculated pollution levels in a scientific analysis used to toughen the state’s clean-air standards, and scientists have spent the past several months revising data and planning a significant weakening of the landmark regulation, The Chronicle has found.”

    Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/10/07/BAOF1FDMRV.DTL#ixzz11n1SX7GI

    But aren’t we supposed to blindly trust the scientists? I mean, they’re experts! This story has everything we have come to expect:

    1. Climate science? check
    2. Major political initiative? check
    3. Incompetence (possible fraud?) in overstating the “risks” ? check

    Standard stuff.

    • Hey Eli, there’s a Hungarian blog out there that you missed on your dietary excursions regarding Wegman–go tell them about it and put in your preference for goulash.

  17. Developing, Ed Wegman is lawyering up

    Eli would like the carott swirl ice cream please.

    • Frankly I hope the Koch brothers and oil companies are giving money to CAWG skeptics. It will never match the pile given CAWG scientists, but every little bit helps.

  18. And Michael Mann wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/07/AR2010100705484.html

    One could fill an entire book or two with thoughts about this piece. But I’ll post just one — does he have anyone giving him advice? I don’t think it serves a scientist’s career well over the long term to slander everyone who disagrees with him. Isn’t there someone who can help him avoid doing this kind of damage to himself? I don’t doubt that he enjoyed writing it. But the wisdom of it?

    • Oh dear, back again comes the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. When I see this theme dragged into AGW I know (as I have explained elsewhere on this blog) that the speaker/writer is short of argument and evidence

    • Mann has received kudos from Joe Romm, not surprisingly

    • Isn’t this statement by Mann fatally flawed to the point of not even being wrong?

      “It is leading to more widespread drought, more frequent heat waves and more powerful hurricanes.”

      If so, maybe a few Professors can put together a reasoned response.

    • This is just regurgitated slop. I am not painting all climate scientists with a broad brush. I believe there is a “silent majority” and even some more public ones who do appreciate where funding originates. But Mr. Mann seems to think it just grows on trees. Other scientists should be the ones to call him out.

  19. Tomas Milanovic

    Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has threatened that, if he becomes chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he will launch what would be a hostile investigation of climate science.
    …..
    We have lived through the pseudo-science that questioned the link between smoking cigarettes and lung cancer, and the false claims questioning the science of acid rain and the hole in the ozone layer. The same dynamics and many of the same players are still hard at work, questioning the reality of climate change.

    (Mann in Washington Post)

    OK now that was the last straw.
    First the eco-fascist 10:10 video and a few days later that.
    I am not american but if I was, I would give all support to Cuccinelli so that he gets this @#!
    Like Al Capone, he feels above law and beyond any investigation?
    Those who doubt His Majesty Mann cause lung cancer?
    How dare lawfully and democratically elected representatives threaten
    the Little Father of People Mann himself?

    I sincerely hope that Cuccinnelli will get him after that and even if it is only for Tax Evasion.
    Good luck Mr Attorney General, you have all my sympathy-there is somebody who seriously needs to be reminded of what is law and legitimity.
    And if you can get Hansen too (here it should be easier as he is already a recidivist law breaker), you will give a priceless service to the mankind.
    Thank you in advance.

  20. Judith said

    “Surely we can’t blame this on Mann with the ink barely dry on his Ph.D. Something else was going on that was driven by the IPCC, which was reinforced by the personal ambitions of Mann.”

    I have often wondered as well how such a new phd- promoting a radical unformed theory that needed another decade of work-could spring to instant fame.

    Yes sure his personal ambition obviously had something to do with it, but I fear politics must also have hade a hand. In that respect there is a clear comparison with Obamas Nobel prize given almost before his Presidential acceptance speech had finished echoing around the Capitol. From this side of the pond he looks as ordinary a President as Dr Mann does as a scientist.

    To see what was going on in both cases we need look no further than examine how the IPCC and Al Gore managed to grab a Nobel. After looking at the very green credentials of the selection committee the answer becomes clearer.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist but it seems that someone had sufficient power to swing Dr Mann into his position and to recommend Obama and the IPCC their respective prizes. That can only be a politician/someone with great contacts operating at a very high level.

    tonyb

    • Tony, this is what I think needs investigating, more than anything else. All this happened circa 1998, John Houghton was certainly involved.

      • The MBH papers (with the hockey stick) got a lot of publicity. My take on this is that somebody high up in the IPCC liked the hockey stick as an icon, and thought the simplest way to make sure it survived the IPCC assessment process was to make Mann a lead author, an ambitious young scientist lacking experience in assessments who was motivated to promote his own work.

      • I believe your ‘take’ is more true than many would care to admit. There are more puppitmeisters in this game than there are fleas on a junkyard dog. Mann’s latest scree in Wapo is going to prove more damning than anything he’s done or said to date. The poor (in wisdom) guy is being used. What might have been a briliant career never got to first base; he was suckered from the get-go. (Willingly, I should add.)

      • Actually somewhere (might have been in an interview with Tom Fuller) I brought up the idea of Mann being a victim of the IPCC. Once he landed in the hole the IPCC dug for him, he has kept digging deeper ever since.

      • I guess you don’t promote your work Judith, but are actively trying to hide it under a bushel?

      • On this blog, tally the % of my papers that have been referenced here relative to the total number of papers referenced; it is quite a small number. But there is a difference between promoting your own work with say a press release or self reference, and promoting it in the context of what is to be an unbiased assessment of a broad field of work. The IAC review of the IPCC discussed this issue at length, whereby lead authors should not be a part of the assessment if their own work is a dominant part of what is being assessed.

      • The IAC recommendation is new so it would be unfair to retrospectively apply it to what Mann may have done previously.

        My point was – scientists promote their work. And?

      • The issue that the IAC identified is not new; the IPCC has been criticized over this since its inception. The premature promotion of the hockey stick in the AR3 has caused the problems that the IPCC and Mann are now facing. That is your “and”

      • And was never a policy of the IPCC.

        That perhaps it should have been is another matter.

        The underlying insinuation is that personal gain may have driven decision making. Guessing at motivation is a mug’s game, but let’s just say that subsequent scientific developments have vindicated Mann et al., rather than repudiated.

    • About a year ago on CA, someone mentioned a connection between Mann and John Edwards. IIRC, a Carbon exchange was linked to the latter. Maybe do some google searches looking for Tides, Fenton and the other deep-cover suspects.

    • I agree with you, Tony B.

      Mann was a pawn in a much bigger game.

      But I suspect someone(s) higher in the chain of command.

      My experiences suggest that climatologists simply copied the template used in other disciplines – like astronomy, astrophysics, nuclear physics, and solar and space studies – to discover evidence that would support the opinions of the ones that would decide if the research grant would be renewed.

      My advice: Follow the money!

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel

      • Al Gore? George Soros?

      • I would rather not speculate, Jim, since I do not know.

        I know that the same Climategate pattern of misinformation plagues astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, nuclear, solar and space physics.

        There is, in the opinion of this experimentalist, no reasonable doubt about the validity of experimental observations that directly falsify stories published in leading research journals “about the formation of the solar system, the Sun’s origin, chemical composition, source of energy, and influence on changes in Earth’s climate.”

        The quote is from an open message that I sent to the editor of Nature, Dr. Philip Campbell, on August 11, 2010 and again today.

        With kind regards,
        Oliver K. Manuel
        Former NASA Principal
        Investigator for Apollo

  21. this is significant and Hal Lewis’ resignation letter deserves as much exposure in the WaPo as Mann’s piece:
    “Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society – an important moment in science history”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/

  22. Jim, this short video (<1 min) shows for example an experimental observation that has been largely ignored since 1975:

  23. Interesting that out of 58 comments, the only one (by Eli) mentioning the implosion of the Wegman Report is completely ignored. No tribalism here, no siree.
    “University investigating prominent climate science critic”
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/sciencefair/post/2010/10/wegman-plagiarism-investigation-/1

    • What’s most interesting to me is it mentions that Bradley made a complaint over six months ago off the back of the initial research into this issue. This is way beyond the “blog sniping” this has been dismissed as in certain quarters. One of the targets of the original report – and indeed one of the sources of the plagiarism under investigation – felt there were sufficient grounds for investigation to lodge a formal complaint.

    • ..”out of 58 comments,..only one…. No tribalism here, no siree.”..

      Hummmmm… you must be young. Most don’t read everything, nor do they comment on everything. I made an exception in your case because I thought I might be able to help you understand. If you weren’t one of the tribe, I wouldn’t bother;-)

    • capclim … I’m waiting to see what comes of the investigation. I’m betting it will be more of a real investigation than the Mann/CRU whitewashes.

  24. Dr. Curry,
    I would very much like your thoughts on Hal Lewis’s resignation letter from the American Physical Society.
    And from any one else too. Is this a ‘rant’? Or might this be the beginning, and other well respected professors follow suit? It is quite something.

    • from Edmund Burke
      “For evil to triumph
      all that is necessary
      is that good men &
      women do nothing.”

      A few good men and women
      cannot save the World.
      I fear that all is lost.

      When the book, “The Rise
      and Fall of the Western World”
      is writen, let it be noted that we
      decayed from within and were
      then enslaved by our betters.

      More and Better on Dr. Lewis at
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/#comments

      • Oh my. I am astonished at the stuff that has apparently been going on in the APS, i know that the AGU (American Geophysical Union) and AMS (American Meteorological Society) have behaved much better through all this and are trying to learn from the experience.

      • This sort of episode shows that there is really no defense for Mann. He is too smart to be suckered by the IPCC and if he was, all he had to do was quit with honor, just as Lewis did. But Mann chose for whatever reason to stay on, no matter how bad he looks.

      • John Mashey (again) had a lengthy analysis of the APS petition last year:

        http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/2009%20science%20bypass%20v3%200.pdf

        I imagine you’re not in the mood to wade through another Mashey opus though, so some highlights:

        – The signers are in no way representative demographically of the APS as a whole, and are massively skewed to elderly/retired. It is always interesting to me to see this documented, because my experience of anti-AGW blog commenters runs along similar lines. This is not intended to be ageist or anything – but it runs counter to the framing – of crusaders for truth and honesty attacking the closed-minded church of received wisdom and orthodoxy – when the loudest noises are coming from the last bastions of the old guard. How much is genuine, rational dissent and how much is just resistance to change?

        – There are interesting associations, interests and political affiliations of many of the signers. One wonders what Wegman would have made of these social networks.

        – Some people will sign anything, even a really silly petition.

        – The actual pattern of signup does not resemble a grassroots movement – rather the process is of a small, highly active core expanding their network in stages over a period of several months, attempting to recruit as many people as possible. It is *presented* as a grassroots petition that just sprung up, which is not an accurate portrayal but really helps garner support when framing the issue.

        I find there is an element of the “cardboard soldier” to many of these petitions, and it is only by looking closer that you realise that it is always the same few people – i.e. its not as if you can take the core, actually qualified signers of (say) the Oregon petition or the Manhattan declaration, or the NIPCC contributors and add them to the APS petition; rather, they all overlap. Perhaps every new petition should come with some sort of Venn diagram showing how it relates to all the previous ones.

      • IMO, these petitions (on both sides) and statements by professional societies are not only pointless but they actually damage the credibility of all involved.

    • Martin, I don’t know Lewis, but this doesn’t seem like a rant to me, seems to come from deeply held convictions. Such courage in making a public stand for your convictions is rare and more likely among retired scientists. The more general reaction of scientists seems to keep their heads down and stay out of the fray, hoping that all this will pass soon. I am really surprised at the apparent shenanigans of the APS, and surprised that they feel they even have a dog in the climate fight.

    • Here’s more background for Hal Lewis’s resignation [my boldface]:

      The scientist who will head the American Physical Society’s review of its 2007 statement calling for immediate reductions of carbon dioxide is Princeton’s Robert Socolow, a prominent supporter of the link between CO2 and global warming who has warned of possible “catastrophic consequences” of climate change.

      Socolow’s research institute at Princeton has received well over $20 million in grants dealing with climate change and carbon reduction, plus an additional $2 million a year from BP and still more from the federal government. In an interview published by Princeton’s public relations office, Socolow called CO2 a “climate problem” that governments need to address.
      [ snip ]
      Hal Lewis, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara who has been an APS member for 65 years, says that he asked both the current and incoming APS presidents to require that Socolow recuse himself from a review of this subject, and both refused.

      That means the review will be “chaired by a guy who is hip deep in conflicts of interest, running a million-dollar program that is utterly dependent on global warming funding,” Lewis says. In addition, he points out that the group charged with taking a second look at the 2007 statement, the Panel on Public Affairs, is the same body that drafted it in the first place. That, “too has a smell of people investigating themselves,” Lewis says.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504383_162-5964504-504383.html

      An example that speaks volumes. No wonder Hal Lewis felt compelled to resign.

  25. PolyisTCOandbanned

    OK, I’ll comment on the Wegman thing.

    1. It distresses me to see such common shodiness from my side (Wegman alleged plagiarism, MMH crappy error bars, McShane and Wyner crappy lit review, etc.) I think if you are going to come in and take on established views and be contrarian, you should have your shit squared away, so you can nail it. And when you don’t and are sloppy, even on side stuff, it makes me worry about how much you can take on the main points.

    2. That said, let’s let this process run out and not be too fast to indict someone with research fraud or the like. DC and the like may have something. Or they may be a little too eager to indict their opponents (for instance what would a typical methods or background section look like. note, I’m not really argying the issue, just saying what I would want to check, to make sure we are fair.)

    3. The bigger concerns for me from the whole Wegman kerfuffle were some other things. the weak section on the social network. The unwillingness to share data and code. The flawed replication (at least one area that I’ve discussed, it’s at least mislabeled) of MM work. And even bigger, that he has not really contributed anything to the field for last 4 years. his big thing is that he is supposed to be an expert statistician. And he had a Hotelling-like discussion of how coordination with mainstream statisticians should be done more. but even after being dragged into learning about the field…he did not contribute anything else (either skeptic OR alarmist leading, ANYTHING) in terms of stats analysis of climate work. That’s a real bad sign to me, actually.

    ———–

    OK: you might not like what I said, but you need to be happy that I said something. :)

    • > [H]e has not really contributed anything to the field for last 4 years.

      Depending of what is the playing field, we could argue that it is inexact, since in 2007, Wegman signed an open letter to the Secretary General of the United Nations:

      http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/ungensecr07.pdf

      If Wegman endorses this letter, which provides many interesting statements, it would be difficult to argue that Wegman had no dog in the fight.

      • My take on this is that Wegman didn’t came into the assessment with a dog in the fight, but after he saw what was going on and the reaction to his report, he decided to back this particular dog.

      • Not true Judith.

        Wegman was the dog.

        This entire thing was a political dog from the moment the normal process of a NAS review was rejected, and Wegman appointed.

        As they say in politics, don’t commision a report unless you know what it is going to say.

        In choosing Wegman, with no climate-related experience, they knew exactly what they report would say. His main informant appears to have been McIntyre.

        Judith, your credulity on the Wegman report hasn’t reflected well on you.

        The Wegman Report was always a joke, and now that it shown to be plagiaised as well, it’s just the icing on the cake.

      • PolyisTCOandbanned

        Pay attention, ya darned cheese-eating surrender-monkey. Signing a letter is NOT contributing in the Hotelling*-like manner discussed of how statisticians interact with other fields. It is not a scientific contribution.

        *Go look up his famous essay of the role of statisticians, importance of stats departments, yadayada.

      • Godlike body,

        I’ll never pay attention. You have to let me give it freely. Speaking of which, I don’t have access right now to

        http://www.statindex.org/

        Could you make a search there for Wegman’s scientific contribution? That would help build a case based on something more tangible than “Wegman has not yadayadayada”.

        Edward Wegman’s contribution may not be scientific. But the term was “field”, which might encompass political endeavours. Scientific publication is for kids. Wegman is a grown up.

        Speaking of which, did you know that according to Said, Wegman was approached by Dr. Jerry Coffey, on recommendation by Dr. Fritz Scheuren? Let’s wonder if to which field these two excellent statisticians contributed lately. Guns, anyone?

  26. Alex Heyworth

    What amuses me about Mann’s WaPo piece is that he seems unaware that without “politicians who seek to mislead and distract the public” he wouldn’t have a job.

  27. Judith et al

    Further to the discussion here as to how and why the Hockey stick was used by the IPCC.

    I wrote about the politicisation of climate change that occurred during the early 2000’s in this article;

    ” Article: Politics of climate change. Author: Tony Brown
    Climate change has become highly politicised and the British Govt – long time leaders in funding research into the subject – were very heavily implicated in making it a political issue in order to promote their own agenda. An unsual subject for me, but very well referenced with numerous links and quotes from such bodies as the Environmental Audit Committee of the House of Commons.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/10/19/crossing-the-rubicon-an-advert-to-change-hearts-and-minds/#comments

    As I said previously I am no conspiracy theorist. The answer to Manns sudden promotion may be as simple as someone liking him and his work, who saw the hockey stick as a powerful icon and took the opportunity of giving him a leg up into the world of science. Paternalism is not at all unusual in science

    The alternative leads us into the murky depths of politics and personal beliefs that I investigated in the article I cited above.

    In my opinion the hockey stick contained so many uncertanties and was so radical that it needed years more work behind the scenes before it could take its place in a globally important document. A chat by Dr Mann with Al Gore wouldn’t have harmed either, as Mr Gore had written very eloquently of numerous periods of climate change in his 1982 book ‘Earth in the balance.’ These seemed to have passed the good doctor by.

    So the jury is out as to whether it was someone wanting to promote Dr Manns early career in a paternalistic manner or whether it was some shadowy figure or organisation that saw Dr Mann as a tool to do his work.

    If I get the chance I’ll write a prequel to my article and look at the peroid. However at present I’m very involved with writing an article demonstrating that sea levels were higher than today during the Roman optimum and Mwp-not that you’d know that from reading the water equivalent of the hockey stick in AR4 chapter 5. How come no one ever queries that pile of nonsense?

    Tonyb

  28. William von Baskerville

    @Tonyb and all

    The question if there was a “MWP” or not is a very important one. I am doing a blog on that, making interviews with climatologists and so on. You all are invited to take a look
    http://mittelalterlichewarmperiode.blogspot.com

    Yours,
    W.v.B.

  29. Political Junkie

    We may all deplore the mixing of politics, courts and science but I have seen no constructive suggestions on how else to resolve disputes such as the New Zealand debate over possible tampering with the nation’s historical temperature data.

    If the reports this week prove to be correct, (granted, a very big “if” at this point) is there any likelihood at all that the same facts and potential outcome would have emerged without recourse to the courts? If so, how?

  30. Judith

    Writing about the warm period in the 1920’s and 1930’s is actually going to be part 2 in my ‘Historic variations in Arctice ice’ series. I hope to get round to that after finishing ‘Historic variations in sea levels part 1, 2, and 3′. Then there is ‘ The long slow warm’ which demonstrates that much of the world has been warming since 1698-not since 1880. Then theres…so much to do so little time. :)

    So yes I have quite a lot of rather disjointed information on the arctic warming you mention. If you want to send me an email I’ll hunt it out over the next few days and send it to you.

    tonyb

  31. I just want to slip in here and thank Dr. Curry for her contributions, over time, to the climate change blogosphere. For those of us with more questions than answers, she has been tremendously helpful, refreshingly honest, and a shining credit to an oft-besmirched science.

    Thank you, Dr. Curry!

  32. There’s a “dust up” on what is being called “skeptic gate” and “copy gate” (Wegman) over at Keith Kloor’s blog
    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/10/08/skepticgate/
    with all of the sundry emerging links in the blogosphere

    • PolyisTCOandbanned

      Joy, joy, drama drama. Better than an edit war on Wikipedia. But not as good as walking a 419 scammer into a minefield on Eater site. (Sorry to get meta on you, but I’m trying for placements on teh Frog’s Tumblr site.)

    • I would be interested in whether, Judith, you think that the conclusions of the Wegman report are affected by the accusations that are now happening.

      • Jim, the basic conclusions in the report regarding the statistical issues seem not to be in question; Gerald North in testimony stated that the NRC report agreed with Wegman’s conclusions in this regard. Regarding the internal networking issues, regardless of the details of his analysis and where it came from, based on what I know I think his assessment of the problem is on target. Regarding whether Wegman came into this assessment with some sort of “bias”: I have no idea, and would be surprised if his bias was any more than many people involved in the IPCC.

        Again, I’ve mostly tried to to stay out of the hockey wars since the subject makes my eyes glaze over, I will leave it to others to investigate and judge. My main personal interest in this situation is maintaining the integrity of climate science and its assessment. So this is certainly an interesting situation, but I am not going to involve myself in a judgment on this. My original statement over at C-A-S was made in a rapid-fire blogospheric exchange, and I made a statement in haste which was subsequently retracted (both of which were analyzed and dissected throughout the blogosphere).

      • So next time I get a parking ticket, I should repudiate it, on the grounds that with few alterations (time, place) it has been plagiarised from the last one I received?

    • Hank Hancock

      The Wegman committee report was not written to any APA, MLA, or CMS format standards as far as I can tell. It seems evident to me that the report borrows from and compares many sources of work with a mixing of comments thrown in using the committee’s own ad-hoc report format. Most citations (where attempts are made) exist mainly as in-text side comments or narrative references. If I saw any attempt to structure the report to professional scientific publication standards then I would be unmerciful in criticizing it. Otherwise, I accept it is a report written to be read by an audience of politicians, not that politicians read anything important to the public’s interests these days.

      If we are going to use the rather bad structure of the report to discredit the science the report purports to represent then we need to be fair in making it cut both ways.

      Anyway, good enough for government work, I suppose.

  33. Given the formal investigation of plagiarism, do you think your previous assertion that Deep Climate’s accusations were “reprehensible” [1] was, in retrospect, something of an error? Perhaps you owe DC an apology.

    • William, this was hashed over extensively on C-A-S at the time, including a “take back” of what I said. Time will tell whether an apology is appropriate.

  34. I haven’t always agreed with DC’s conclusions, but he has done some valuable work over the years. In this particular case I think the Wegman Report deserves to be knocked down a peg or two on the scale of “impartial esteemed authority”. The amount of times I’ve seen Wegman cited as authoritative next to criticisms of the IPCC suggests to me it should be subjected to the same focused criticisms (which, just like the IPCC, it will not be able to survive entirely intact).

  35. Plaigarism is clearly a complicated subject, see this wikipedia article
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism

  36. I don’t see any parallels at all.

  37. Plagiarism is indeed somewhat context-dependent, and I guess you could make the case that Wegman should be held to a different standard than a peer-reviewed academic paper, but that still doesn’t excuse sloppy work.
    There also seems to be near-exclusive focus on the blogs concerning the plagiarism allegations, and not much on the others – the who and what of how the report was written, and its quality in addressing the topics which it tackles.
    As an aside, I find Mashey’s “anti-science” trope to be very tedious.

  38. Jeff Id at the Air Vent has a good analysis of the Wegman situation
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/09/as-copygate-turns/

    • Very interesting that you have come out in support of plagiarism as acceptable academic practise (which is what Jeff ID essentially claims).

      When I got my degree, the consequences of plagiarism where made quite clear – instant fail, and instant disenrollment. The basic assumption was that if you plagiarized, then you did not understand the concepts being discussed. That Wegman (or Said) needed to, not only plagiarize, but then to alter key wording of the text to better suit their case suggests not only a lack of understanding of the subject they were purportedly reviewing, but also that they could not find a source that did understand the topic that also agreed with their prejudices. Essentially, if Wegman (or Said) understood the topic well enough to have a reasoned disagreement with Bradley, they would have had no need to plagiarise; if they did not understand it well enough to not plagiarise, they had no basis on which to disagree.

      • Correction, it is not Bradley, but a variety of authors on social networking, who are plagiarized in the Wegman report.

  39. Tom, as I understand it, the issue at hand is not at all clear cut, which is the point that Jeff Id raises.

    • Using others work without attribution is pretty clear cut.

      Even in the grey literature, large scale cutting and pasting is not acceptable.

    • Having become more familiar with the claim, it is now clear to me that there are two sections of plagiarism claimed. The plagiarism of various authors regarding Social Networks, which it is claimed is very extensive. IF (as seems likely) Mashey has not misquoted the documents he claims to have been the sources for the plagiarism, then it is beyond reasonable doubt that the Wegman report contains extensive plagiarism. (See pages 119 to 128 of Mashey’s report.)
      http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf

      The apparent plagiarism of Bradley is not so clear cut, because of the extensive ammendments. None-the-less, with (purportedly) 38% of the wording being identical, it stretches credulity to suppose that the WR is not derivative of Bradley’s text book. A case might be made that Wegman (or Said) had an unconsciously retentive memory and inadvertantly plagiarized Bradley; but the claim of in advertency loses credibility given the clear cut and extensive plagiarism to be found in the same document.

      So, assuming that Mashey has accurately presented the evidence; the case that the Wegman Report plagiarizes Bradley is fairly straightforward. Of course, if that is doubted, a sceptic need only perform similar analyses on a variety of plaeoclimatology textbooks and show that they all have similar levels of common wording. That would indeed show that the case against Wegman is apparent, not real. I suspect, however, that it would be a futile effort. Mashey, for example, discusses a section of the Wegman Report which he considers to be a “fair summary”, though with distortions, of sections of Bradley (p 117), in which only approximately 5% of the text has identical, or near identical wording.

      However, it is not the extent to which the WR copied Bradley that Jeff ID wishes to indicate is “not clear cut”. Rather, he wants to claim that the extent to which he made an unattributed copy is not plagiarism because “So it seems to me that to accuse academic misconduct from this section on basic background information on paleoclimatology, means that we must assume that first Wegman’s report represents that he himself came up with the field.”

      Frankly, that is a ridiculous defence. It rellies on an absurd interpretation of what it means for something to be “one own’s original work”. First year arts students will be expelled for plagiarism if they are found to have substantially copied the work of another without attribution. It is not for a moment imagined that those students “came up with the field”, or purport to have done so. Even if they say a particular person has a view, and expound that view with a verbatim or near verbatim quote, if they do not place the quote in quotation marks, and do not cite the reference by page number, they will still be found guilty of plagiarism, and potentially expelled.

      Jeff ID’s standard for what counts as plagiarism, and as acceptable academic practise is so loose that virtually no plagiarist in history could be convicted on it. It amounts to a claim that plagiarism, even if proved should be treated as trivial and irrelevant unless the plagiarist also makes absurd claims to have invented the whole field.

      • Tom, I am following this from the blogs that are discussing this, I am not digging into the original material. The Bradley related material as far as I can tell doesn’t count as plaigarism, since the papers were referenced, the statements were clearly intended to summarize these papers, and they didn’t summarize them exactly but rather “distorted.” this seems difficult to assess as plagiarism.

        The obvious plagiarism is of paragraphs from the Wikipedia on social networking, without any reference to the Wikipedia. The Wikipedia is an interesting case. Apparently very very many people plagiarize the wikipedia, particularly journalists (you can find numerous discussions of this on the web). There’s a “common knowledge” element to the Wikipedia, so journalists apparently get away with this (there is much discussion on the web of this issue), in spite of stringent journalistic plagiarism rules. In an assessment report (and also in a textbook), the requirements for citation of what is viewed to be common knowledge are lower than in a journal article. All that said, lifting whole paragraphs from the Wikipedia without citing the Wikipedia counts as academic plagiarism; will be interesting to see what the lawyers have to say on this one. Apart from what the lawyers have to say, academics shouldn’t plagiarize anything, under any circumstances.

      • I do not see how you can exonerate Wegman on the claim that Wegman “referenced” Bradley. Granted Wegman included Bradley 1999 in his bibliography, but that is not referencing a book for a quote. We do not presume that just because we see a book in a bibliography, that sections of that book will appear verbatim in the paper – and nor should we, and so it does not justify the plagiarism.

        Wegman also explicitly acknowledges Bradley 1999 as the source of two tables on page 10 of the report (and again at the base of each table), but acknowledging one quote from a source does not justify further quotation without attribution, and so again this is not the reference you seek.

        Finally, Wegman writes, “See Bradley (1999) for a discussion of the
        fitting and calibration process for dendritic-based temperature reconstruction”at the end of the section on tree rings (page 12). But refering people to a book is not citing a book for text drawn from it. In the entire three paragraphs preceding that line, from which the purported plagiarism comes, there is no mention of Bradley, and certainly no suggestion that much of the text comes from that book. It is not even claimed that the book is the primary source for the discussion.

        Wegman includes around 60 books and journal articles in his bibliography, thus indicating he is is familiar with their contents. As readers of his report, we therefor have the right to assume he and his co-authors were familiar with all 60 of those sources, and that his views were formed as a result of assessing the evidence there in. In addition to Bradley 1999, he mentions two other paleoclimatology textbooks in his bibliography; Cronin 1999 and Crowly and North, 1991. So even if he mentions only one of those three books as a source of further information; we should be able to expect that all three were consulted, and used in preparing Wegman’s discussion of the basics of Paleoclimatology.

        If Wegman wanted to plea sloppy attribution, then he would have needed at least a sentence indicating that Bradley, 1999, was the primary source of his discussion on tree rings. With that, what followed would still have been plagiarism, but at least we could plausibly assume it was only slopiness rather than an intent to appropriate Bradley’s words without attribution. As it is, he appears to be without defence.

        And what gets me is that the fact that Wegman felt the need to plagiarize shows he was incompetent to prepare his report. It is only easier to plagiarize, ie, to copy from another text rather than to put things in your own words if you do not understand the topic you are discussing. Evidently, then, Wegman was in the dark about paleoclimatology, and even more in the dark about social network analysis; but felt competent to criticise one, and to use the other to condemn a whole branch of science.

        I believe, by the way, that the social network sections in the Wegman Report plagiarized more than just Wikipaedia.

        I note, by the way, that the Wegman Report was prepared pro bono. It seems unlikely that Congress got their money’s worth.

      • Here is what seems to be debated by the supporters of Wegman:

        from the Wikipedia on academic dishonesty:

        Plagiarism, as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the “use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work.” In Academia, is seen more broadly as the adoption or reproduction of original intellectual creations (such as concepts, ideas, methods, pieces of information or expressions, etc.) of another author (person, collective, organization, community or other type of author, including anonymous authors) without due acknowledgment, in contexts where originality is acknowledged and rewarded. This can range from borrowing without attribution a particularly apt phrase, to paraphrasing someone else’s original idea without citation, to wholesale contract cheating.

        The key issue in academic plagiarism is whether you are passing something off as your own original work. Plagiarism is not about nuances of punctuation. Whereas the document itself is by definition Wegman’s original work, he does not claim the work of Bradley as his own intellectual creation. There is no question that Wegman was attempting to pass of Bradley’s work as his own. There is also a key issue here “in contexts where originality is acknowledged and rewarded.” No one expected or asked Wegman for some sort of original intellectual contribution for this report; he was asked to assess somebody else’s research. So in this broad context, plagiarism would not seem to apply. The real issue is the social networking text, which is apparently a scholarly research topic of Said’s; verbatim copying of the Wikipedia in the context of his original research constitutes academic plagiarism (its status in the Wegman report is murkier). Again, plagiarism is not an issue of punctuation, it is about the intent of the document and whether the author is passing off the material in the document as original intellectual content. Re the Wegman document, obviously no in the case of the Bradley text; the context of the social media text is more complex but this looks like plagiarism. Sloppiness in attribution in a document that is not intended to reflect an original intellectual contribution may be judged as sloppiness rather than as plagiarism, it remains to be seen. The issue of sloppiness in this regard of the Wegman report is obvious by the standards of academic research papers, but the Wegman report is not an academic research paper.

        Note, student papers have a complex dynamic of their own depending on their context. Student research papers, where originality of thought is the object, have very stringent plagiarism guidelines with respect to the actual intellectual content of the paper. If a plagiarism checker spots a sentence that has been used somewhere else but the sentence is not important in the context of the intellectual content of the paper, then this is not an academic misconduct issue. Sloppiness in attribution is not to be tolerated in a research paper and we educate students in best practices, but sloppiness may not rise to the level of plagiarism and an academic misconduct issue if it is otherwise clear that the statement is not important in the context of assessing the originality of the intellectual contribution of the paper. At the other extreme of student paper assignment topics, if a student is asked to write a one page briefing paper on a topic, such as something that might be provided to a government official, the format of academic citation used for research papers is exactly what is not wanted here. So while wholesale copying of someone else’s text is not permitted here, there is no need to attribute in detail with citations the general concepts, methods and ideas since the purpose of the briefing paper is to persuade someone to pay attention to your issue (it is graded on the effectiveness of the argument, which may be increased by mentioning authorities that are known to the person the briefing is intended for), not to demonstrate originality of the student’s intellectual contributions in developing the concepts or methods. In assessing plagiarism, context matters.

      • So, if a student indulges in “wholesale copying of someone else’s text” in a briefing paper for assesment, that is plagiarism. But when Wegman does the same thing in a ‘briefing paper’ for Congress, it isn’t.

        The US Congress must be a very special place to have such a lax standard on plagiarism. In Australia, even in our Parliament plagiarism is still just that, and cause for political scandal when ever it is found out by one side or the other. But in the US, apparently, the Congress is so special that normal ethical standards just cease to apply.

      • This is beginning to look like a drive-by shooting, but I will withhold final judgment for the investigation.

  40. Michael Larkin

    Tom Curtis:

    If the work was actually referenced (which I believe it was), presumably the plagiarism is limited to the lack of quotation marks, or if text was amended, to the failure to draw specific attention to that in place.

    I suppose that if amended text changed the meaning contrary to the intention of its author, then there could be an issue if that invalidated Wegman’s conclusion. Namely ( as Andrew Montford puts it): that Mann’s “short-centred principal components analysis is biased and can produce hockey sticks from red noise”.

    If that conclusion isn’t invalidated by plagiarism or misrepresentation, it’s hard to see why it’s worth pursuing. Basically, I’m not sure what substantive issue is being claimed here. I’d like to see that precisely delineated.

  41. Judith: What are your thoughts on the New Zealand temperature fiasco? I feel that it casts serious doubt on all but the satellite temperature records.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/new-zealands-niwa-temperature-train-wreck/

  42. Plagiarism is essentially a legal issue not scientific. Science is about the truth or falsity of empirical propositions about nature The scientific issue that Wegman raised has to do with the peer review and the degree of its impartiality. Second and most important, perhaps the only important thing is the validity of the statistical methods and inferences. Ultimately, it is the statistical propositions that say something about nature. If he plagiarized then he should suffer the consequences. But, plagiarism does not affect the truth or falsity of the statistical propositions that purport to describe nature.
    For example, he called into question the conclusions about tree rings because there was no random sampling. Is that true or false? Plagiarism does not contribute to the conclusion.

  43. The historical surface temperatures need recompiling and reanalyzing, no question about that. Several efforts to do that are underway.

  44. The bit about Lindzen is interesting because for some time he was saying calling him a denier hurt because he is a victim of the Nazi’s (his family immigrated to the US just before WWII. There is no doubt that if they had stayed they would have been caught up in the Shoah). Wonder why he changed.

    • Consider the following (NYT 1996)

      Dr. Lindzen has always been a Democrat, too, but he says the global warming controversy has caused him to change parties. The notion that “extremely weak science” could set into motion policies with long-term implications for the economy made him “queasy” about governmental action, he said. In the academic community, he volunteers, laughing, his turn to the Republicans “must have been like coming out as a gay 25 years ago.”

      I think it’s unlikely,” he said, “but it can happen.”

      As noted earlier in this thread, Dr. Lndzen made clear when accepting the “denier” label rather than skeptic, although he thought that “climate realist” was better:

      the word [skeptic] assumes that there is some pre-existing case for something that could be believed in, and the skeptics don’t believe it. However, there is no case for a climate threat.

      OK, Eli … Got any evidence to support your claim that Dr. Lindzen ever said that calling him a denier “hurt”?

      No? I didn’t think so.

      Shame on you, Eli, for practising “revisionist scholarship” a la Irving, Zundel et al.

      Anyone interested in a more honest depiction of Lindzen’s views might be interested in starting with:
      http://sppiblog.org/news/climate-science-in-denial#more-1581

  45. The plagiarism extends beyond the Wegman Report to many other products of the group including theses. Indeed, it is, if anything, clearer in some of those cases. This is a systematic problem of that group and as group leader, Edward Wegman must accept responsibility. If Eli may say so, Judith Curry, as Chair of an academic department is setting herself up for some very uncomfortable times when confronted by plagiarism at GaTech (and please don’t tell Eli that it does not happen).

    Even at this distance one can hear the student bleating, this was a review, I’m allowed to copy and paste, you said so. Good Luck

    • Eli, get over it. Trying to spin this so that I am somehow defending plagiarism won’t wash. Georgia Tech as an institution, the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and me personnally, provide extensive education on academic ethics and responsible conduct of research, above and beyond the norms in academia. Inside the academy, plagiarism is very clear cut.

      • You appear to be tone deaf to what you are writing. You have (above) attempted to justify the copying of sections of the Wegman Report from Ray Bradley’s book. You will get this tossed back at you by some student as sure as night follows day.

        Very much like Donald Rapp, you are not addressing the question which is was the copying of sections from Ray Bradley’s book in the Wegman Report plagiarism or not. It is not whether ethics training is provided by your department of GaTech.

      • Eli, context matters, see my reply to Tom Curtis http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/07/open-thread-week-in-review/#comment-3636

        A published, copyrighted book is a different context from an unpublished assessment report of somebody else’s work.

    • Silly Rabett, your tricks are for kids. Mashey’s report is like a parody of a conspiracy theorist’s diatribe. Color coded memes of skeptical belief.

      This ranks with Prall, Schneider et al and Brian Angliss for almost a parody of discovery. And your wandering around sprinkling your cryptic references with repeated links is not serving your cause.

      You are alleged (I guess by people who don’t read what you write) to have some connection with higher education. How could you possibly take seriously an attack that begins with questioning why works listed in the bibliograpy are not cited in the text?

      How could you take seriously an attack that finds something nefarious in turning over preliminary results to an investigative team?

      How could you take seriously a paper that claims 35 pages of plagiarized copy but only cites 25, leaving 10 out there on an anonymous weblog?

      How could you take seriously an attack that considers a summary of an author’s work with the author listed in the chapter title as plagiarism?

      Do you endorse this paper, its methodology, analysis and results?

      It’s 10:10:10 and the world may want to know for posterity’s sake. Does Eli Rabett endorse pseudo-scientific malarkey that supports his political position?

      • Tom Fuller: “How could you take seriously an attack that considers a summary of an author’s work with the author listed in the chapter title as plagiarism”

        Let me see, the chapter of the Wegman Report which is purported to have plagiarized Bradley is entitled “Background”; the section is entitled “Background on paleoclimate temperature reconstruction”; and the subsection is entitled “Tree rings”. No, I don’t see Bradley’s name there at all.
        Further, even if I did, it would be irrelevant. The academic standard on plagiarism is very simple. If you use somebodies direct words, you must plainly mark it as a quotation, and you must cite the source by name of author, title of book, name of publisher, year of publication, along with the pages from which the quote is drawn. You must do this for each time that you use their direct words. Failure to do so is always plagiarism. Even if your write, “As Bradley says …” and follow up with text not within quotation marks, that text had better by a summary in your own words of what Bradley said or else you will have plagiarized, and will be failed for that paper if you are a student in any creditable university.

        Wegman was only writting a report for Congress, so we do not expect of him the academic standards expected of every first year undergraduate. But even on the loosest definition of plagiarism, he did not include sufficient attribution to call what he did with Bradley’s text anything but plagiarism (assuming, which I have not independantly confirmed, that Mashey correctly quotes Bradley’s text).

        You ask Eli how he could possibly take seriously various aspect of Mashey’s report. The better question is how can we possibly take seriously the academic standards of people who resort to all sorts of bizzare contortions to redefine plagiarism in order to not condemn somebody who says the things they want to hear?

  46. Michael Larkin said at 7:11 pm on 9 October:

    If the work was actually referenced (which I believe it was), presumably the plagiarism is limited to the lack of quotation marks, or if text was amended, to the failure to draw specific attention to that in place.

    No, plagiarism also includes lack of attribution of copied text, which can occur independently of indicating that the text has been copied in the first place.

    It matters not a whit if the sources are listed in the references – they must be explicitly referenced at every point of use in the text. This applies not only to verbatim quoting of text, but to recognisable repetition of concepts expressed by the referenced authors.

    And more important than amending text without indication that such was done, is ‘amending’ the meaning and/or the context of the text quoted or cited.

    Wegman’s report is such an embarrassment of plagiarism that I would immediately fail even my first undergraduate students for such an effort. Further, it is even more embarrassing in its distortion of the meaning and context of its sources, and I would councel first undergraduate students, who might present such a report, to consider another career path, and preferably one that required minimal intellectual/analytical input.

    Read the report, and read its deconstructions. The Wegman piece is indefensible – it’s as simple as that.

  47. Dr. Curry, thank you for this thread (and for taking the bold step of initiating this blog).

    As a non-scientist who lurks far more often than she comments, I very much appreciate the tremendous effort you have taken to ensure that even those of us who might be sciento-jargonically challenged can get the gist of your arguments.

    In your initial post you wrote:

    I’m considering making “week in review” a weekly post on Climate Etc., to focus the open thread a bit, let me know what you think of this.

    Thanks, again
    Hilary

    I think this is a great idea, but may I suggest a minor modification. This was obviously a very busy week and it may (or may not!) be an exception, so there are many threads in the responses. During a given week some developments may be strictly science related , some political /advocacy related, and others an amalgam or sci-poa (to coin an expression!) So it might be worth considering 3 streams of week in review.

    While I’m here, on a WordPress techno-note …The default for the “recent posts” widget is the 5 that are currently displayed; for the benefit newcomers who arrive (and for followers who have seen something here recently and what was the title of that post!), it might be helpful to increase this (I believe the max is 15)

    • HR thanks much for these suggestions. I will definitely work on the “recent posts” widget. I agree there were too many items listed on week in review, i didn’t know what would be interesting, then there were a bunch of late breaking events. This is a work in progress, I am just so gratified by all the thought provoking comments, i can hardly keep up with them

  48. eeewwww … I’m not sure how/why my “thanks again” ended up where it did … I do wish that WP would offer a previw option on comments!

  49. Michael Larkin

    Bernard J. | October 10, 2010 at 1:56 am says:

    “No, plagiarism also includes lack of attribution of copied text, which can occur independently of indicating that the text has been copied in the first place.”

    Well, I have around 10 years’ experience of teaching in further and higher education, and am aware of the need for attribution, which usually entails, as I said previously, use of quotation marks together with a specific reference to a particular item listed in a bibliography or references section.

    Sometimes, there won’t be a direct quote, but a passage based on something from a reference, in which case, it is necessary to clearly indicate that, e.g. “To paraphrase Bloggs (1992)….”.

    Having said that, one goes easier on students who actually list sources even if they don’t attribute specific passages to them. Mind you, if they alter the meaning of a source so as to support something contrary to the intent of that source, then I would take quite a dim view of that.

    AFAIK, Wegman did state his sources. It was known to all that he wasn’t a climate scientist, but a statistician. It would have been very odd if he hadn’t consulted expert sources. For me, the key thing is, whether he distorted anything so as to support the conclusions he reached. If so, then IMO there’s a serious case to answer. If not, then it looks pointless in relation to the substantive issue at hand, namely, whether or not Wegman’s conclusions were justified.

    As you say:

    “And more important than amending text without indication that such was done, is ‘amending’ the meaning and/or the context of the text quoted or cited.”

    I agree, and have already said as much both here and in my previous post. If you have specific evidence for that, then please let us have an example or two. Bradley’s report is huge, much bigger than Wegman’s, and it would be useful if someone could pick one or two cases considered particularly egregious. We could then have a useful and focussed discussion rather than vague allegations of distortion of meaning.

    • Michael, i agree with your point. Since this is an assessment report, the key issue is whether his conclusions were well founded and whether he used distorted or otherwise incorrect information in supporting his conclusions.

      • As an example, search the assessment for the word “statues”.

        It seems that in rephrasing an allegedly plagiarised portion on social network analysis, the word “statuses” was transformed into “statues”, rendering the sentence gibberish. This could be a simple typo, or it could be betraying such a shallow knowledge of the subject area that it casts doubt on the conclusions it was based on. What is interesting is that this error also subsequently appeared in subsequent work by the authors – once as “statues”, and once “corrected” to “states”. It is the latter that I find most interesting – since the error was spotted and changed to *another* incorrect word, I find that as starting to lend weight to the interpretation that this was “shallow knowledge”.

        This is just one example. Picking up one example in isolation looks like nit-picking – which is why it is necessary to take the assessment as a whole. One can make a case for an isolated incident being debatable. When you group dozens upon dozens together it starts to look much less excusable.

  50. A must read new blog by Bill Hooke, on the politics of science (h/t to Roger Pielke Jr.)
    http://www.livingontherealworld.org/

  51. Why I can understand the academic excitement and interest about the report. Was the statstical analysis right or wrong in the report…

    That is the substance, regardless of the AGW discussion.

    Or is the detail more important, which I might see as just academic self importance and indulgence.

    In the real world, the groupthink and years worth of eco group groupthink, desensitising themselves from the use of the word ‘deniar’ and bullying controlling the message to ‘close down any debate’ makes this argument other academic niceties look indulgent. Judith has been called a’failing scientist’, merely for talking to ‘deniars and sceptics’ which has arisen due to the politics. How soon before mcarthy style ‘deniars’ witchhunts?

    One minute and 12 seconds of the ‘NO Presure’ video was all it took for my child’s headtecher to cancel all involvment with 10:10. She was toatlly oblivious to it. Three schools in my area are now no longer involved in 10:10 (infants, primary and secondary)

    These attitudes and mindest can not be considered a one off, as there is plenty or worrying evidence that this mindset has been developing for a while.

    So, hopefully, it will NOT go away…

    I summarised it in am email to my childs school.

    To: xxxxxxxx
    Sent: Friday, October 08, 2010 9:41 AM
    Subject: Other campaigning videos, green peace, wwf, etc. “No Pressure video” – DO NOT WATCH IT WITH ANY CHILDREN AROUND

    For the attention of Miss xxxxx

    Thank you for cancelling the schools involvement with the 10:10 Campaign, following their ‘No Pressure’ video.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/sep/30/10-10-no-pressure-film?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

    As I discussed with you, what the campaigning organisations bring into school, is very different from what they put out ‘officially’ online..

    There is a danger that parents and children consider these SAFE or appropriate websites or youtube material, or internet blogs BECAUSE these people have come into school..

    The groups, heavily promote there material on all the new media, facebook, twitter,official youtube groups, etc,
    where advertsising standards DO NOT APPLY. They are deliberately targeting the young…

    In the article (towards the end) in the link below are some of the worst ads..
    From Greenpeace, 10:10, wwf (earth hour), government and other mainstream eco groups.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/07/if-you-ever-needed-an-example-of-liberal-media-bias-in-the-usa-here-it-is/

    It ends with a particulary awful picture of a child in a noose, standing on a block of melting (artic) ice.
    That was prominent at Cannes 2009 film festival, a partner of that groups includes the WWF
    http://www.act-responsible.org/ACT/ACTINCANNES/THEEXPO2009.htm

    However, there are numerous other videos, whilst not as graphic, which are just as corrosive, in a slightly more subtle way..

    ie GreenPeace’s 4×4 add with an office worker… (spiting, ostracising, name caling, bullying, in an corporate office)

    Finally the video from the Cop15 Copenhagen Opening Conference video. all over the media, BBC, Sky, ITV (especial the last bit of the clip)

    The Cop15 Opening Copenhagen Conference video…
    At the end, a small child running from a tidal wave (IPCC say 59cm in 90 YEARS) the child leaps into a tree, left dangling as the sea rushes underneath her, then she starts screaming.

    This LIE gave my 5 year old daughter nightmares, she still asks about the child. She doesn’t understand why someone would make a video like that if it is not true..

    So, I can see the doubt in her eyes when I say, it isn’t true,

    They are deliberately targeting the young, a compilation of offical, (UN, UK government, 10:10, greenpeace) clips in this video

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100056892/pachauris-strategy-terrorize-the-children/

    Do you ever meet with other Headteachers in the area, may I ask you to discuss this with them and to show them these videos, to demonstrate my concerns and the risks to children (probably more the older junior – secondary). These are ALL offical mainstream ‘responsible’ groups or government sponsored/funded (imagine what the more extreme groups linked to the above are like!)

    Whether or not anybody agrees or not with what they are promoting, is NOT the issue,
    the concern is how they are doing it. It is all very negative with the threat of violence or acts of violence to animals and children..
    With an underlying message of bullying to conform with their views.

    Nothing positive

    I am very proud that my daughter is a member of the schools eco-team for all the real environmental reasons.

    Best Regards

    Barry Woods

    • Barry,

      An absolutely key part of the Wegman report was the criticism of climate science on the grounds of their social network analysis – the charges of groupthink and keeping a closed shop.

      If you actually read the report by John Mashey, the problems with that part of the report go way beyond plagiarism. Even so, the assertion that a key finding was supported on a plagiarised understanding of the topic does not inspire confidence. The assertion that the plagiarism introduced errors that render certain parts incomprehensible is even more disturbing – especially when these same errors crop up in subsequent PhD work. The assertion that actual experts in this area claim that the application of the social network analysis in the report is flawed in any event is also a concern, as is the analysis that shows that the Wegman report’s heredity seems to suffer from all of the issues of tight social networks that the report attempted to criticise climate scientists for.

      These are substantive criticisms.

    • Barry, You are clearly distressed at what is happening in your local schools, and I agree in the strongest terms that the attempts at indoctrination of young children is totally abhorrent. It is all too reminiscent of the early post WW2 period, for those with unfortunate geographic co-ordinates.

  52. Dr. Curry: This morning I read through the Royal Society pdf: Climate change: A Summary of the Science ( http://royalsociety.org/climate-change-summary-of-science/ ) which you recommended in a recent post. It struck me as a clear, concise exposition of the case for climate change, worth reading by all.

    Nonetheless, when I read it I ran into the usual black boxes about CO2, feedback, and water vapor that continue to leave me mystified .

    According to the RS summary, doubling the CO2 (280 ppm -> 560 ppm?) will cause a climate forcing of 3.6 W per square meter, which in turn will contribute a 1 degree C of warming.

    How solid are those numbers? Do all scientists, or almost all, agree?

    I know that CO2 is a GHG and absorbs infrared and therefore, all the other things being equal, contributes to warming. I’m somewhat surprised that raising CO2 by 280 ppm could perceptibly raise the temperature of the entire planet. (Of course, that doesn’t make it untrue — lots of things surprise me.)

    Then the argument moves to the more complex matter of positive feedbacks, that the warming from doubling CO2 increases water vapor, a stronger GHG, and that when all is said and done the total warming nets to 2 – 4.5 degrees C depending on various issues, mostly the unknowns in simulating clouds in response to climate change.

    Have I got that right? (I understand that there are also other GHGs, etc.) Where are the scientific disagreements on this? Why does someone like Lindzen disagree?

    Then there is the other side of climate change arguments, namely, the efforts to prove that the warming of the past century can’t be properly explained except by human CO2 contributions. Have they really eliminated all other explanations?

    I’m thinking out loud here. I’m trying to understand the climate change side, not argue with anyone. I must say that I’ve been reading about climate change off and on for ten years now and I haven’t run across anything that really scratches my itch to understand.

    I know that at some point the bottom drops away and one is left staring at serious math. But it does seem to me that I’ve read layman’s books on string theory which did better jobs of explaining a much nastier subject.

    What are the links or books that explain the climate change side more completely without reading like propaganda tracts for climate change?

    • Huxley, you ask good questions. The IPCC (and to a lesser extent, the RS) are too confident in their assertions. The direct climate forcing of CO2 is relatively solid, but I think that more work is needed in actually translating this increased flux to actual global surface temperature change that adequately accounts for heat storage below the surface, melting of snow/ice, etc. Re the sensitivity with feedbacks, the magnitude of the sensitivity is debated, and the range given by the IPCC (and cited by the RS) is too narrow.

      I wish I had a good book to recommend. In terms of radiative forcing issues, i recommend the blog scienceofdoom.

      • Huxley, Let me have a go with my ideas. Let me concentrate on two issues only; the estimation of change of radiative forcing, and what difference this change makes to global temperatures. You may need to refer to my comments on models.

        When I wrote models 50 years ago, no report could leave my desk, unless I could show that the model I wrote, was capable of providing answers to the question I needed to answer. No IPCC model I have read about, ever does this. In particular, the grand-daddy of all estimates of radiative forcing, Myhre et al GRL 1998, simply states that they have used 3 radiative transfer models. I read the definition of radiative forcing in Chapter 6 of IPCC TAR to WG1, and it represents a hypothetical situation. Radiative transfer models relate to real situations. I cannot see why radiative transfer models are in any way suited to estimate radiative forcing. And no-one seems capable of explaining why they are suitable. I suspect the number of around 4 Wm-2 for a doubling of CO2 is little more that a wild, over-exaggerated guess.

        When it comes to estimating how much a change in radiatve forcing alters global temperatures, use is made of the Stefan/Boltzmann 4th power law. I think this inplicitly assumes that the radiation that escapes to space, comes from the surface of the earth. Only a small fraction does; the majority escapes from what is loosely described as the Top of the Atmosphere (TOA). In order to estimate what effect a change of radiative forcing makes on the surface of the atmosphere, you need to apply Stefan/Boltzmann to the TOA, and then estimate how much a change in temperature at the TOA affects surface temperatures. No-one knows how to do this.

        If I am correct, then the first two essential steps in estimating the effect of doubling CO2 are both just plain wrong. And if they are, then none of the other steps matter. IMHO, the whole claim that doubling CO2 will have a catastrophic effect on global temperatures has never been established according to the normal practices of physics.

  53. FYI, here is the statement on plaigarism from the George Mason website
    http://mason.gmu.edu/~montecin/plagiarism.htm

    Plagiarism Statement

    “Plagiarism means using the exact words, opinions, or factual information from another person without giving that person credit. Writers give credit through accepted documentation styles, such as parenthetical citation, footnotes, or endnotes; a simple listing of books and articles is not sufficient. Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic setting. Student writers are often confused as to what should be cited. Some think that only direct quotations need to be credited. While direct quotations do need citations, so do paraphrases and summaries of opinions or factual information formerly unknown to the writers or which the writers did not discover themselves. Exceptions for this include factual information which can be obtained from a variety of sources, the writers’ own insights or findings from their own field research, and what has been termed common knowledge. What constitutes common knowledge can sometimes be precarious; what is common knowledge for one audience may not be so for another. In such situations, it is helpful, to keep the reader in mind and to think of citations as being “reader friendly.” In other words, writers provide a citation for any piece of information that they think their readers might want to investigate further. Not only is this attitude considerate of readers, it will almost certainly ensure that writers will never be guilty of plagiarism. (statement of English Department at George Mason University)”

    • Plagiarism is the equivalent of intellectual robbery and cannot be tolerated in an academic setting. my emphasis

      Can someone please explain to me how, in the widest conceivable interpretation, a report to congress can possibly
      be represented as an academic setting?

  54. Mann’s work is flawed beyond redemption. Firing or smearing Wegman won’t change that. And the social network stuff has no importance to climate science, especially after the e-mails became public last year. We know that the hockey team has engaged in incestuous improprieties from their own words.

    I have yet to see anyone make an intelligent point about why Wegman’s alleged plagiarism has the slightest bit of relevance to the current arguments about climate science. The alarmists’ points on this topic sound a lot like Andrew Sullivan’s inane rants about Sarah Palin’s baby during the election.

    • I view the plagiarism scandal (Wegman) as analogous to the CRU email scandal (mann et al.) in that it is a side show that doesn’t directly influence the actual content/arguments of the documents under discussion (IPCC reports and Wegman report), but it tells us much about cultures and practices of the individuals and groups involved. The CRU emails have substantially damaged the credibility of the IPCC and climate science in general, whereas i don’t think the Wegman issue will have much fallout in the larger scheme of things related to AGW skepticism (although Wegman’s personal credibility will undoubtedly take a big hit from this).

      • I agree that the overall implications of this for climate science are quite minimal – even if the Wegman social network analysis is as bad as I think it is, it doesn’t change the fact that there are a lot of close “epistemic” groups working together in all sorts of scientific specializations (including Wegman’s). Also, Mann’s credibility is not riding on whether or not Wegman ends up being reprimanded, though he will certainly get a bit of a public rebound if he does.
        What interests me most about all this, aside from digging up the context of where the Wegman report came from, are the implications for the texts people choose to contribute to the debate. The way I see it, if you’re going to launch a big shell in this controversy, it better be a solid one, because someone will eventually check your work if it’s deemed important enough – and the backfire may end up being disproportionately large.

      • Hardly Judith, unless you’re saying that large swaths of the IPCC report were cut and pasted from Wikipedia without attribution.

      • No, my statement was about the substance of the evidence and the arguments, not about their form.

      • It has a direct beraring on the substance of the Wegman Report.

        The ASA suggests, quite strongly, that it’s inappropriate for statiticians to get involved in highly specialised fields without being quite familiar with the subject, or working closely with those that are.

        This is why Wegmans summary section is important. It appears to be, in significant quatities, a cut and paste job. More worryingly, in an attempt to disguise the plagiarism from Bradley, they introduced changes that demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of the subject material.

        When questioned on how many paleo-climatologists they had met to gain the necessary background/understanding of the topic, Wegman revealed it was – ZERO.

        In light of this, Wegman’s recommendations about the need for improved cross-disciplinary work, makes the irony meter go off the scale.

        The little adventure into SNA was just the same – no expertise or experience in the area, reliance on Wikipeida, cutting and pasting, etc. etc.

        People who cited this report approvingly, need to reflect on their complete lack of scepticism about its’ claims.

      • You still miss the point. Wegman made serious criticisms of the statistical methods used by Mann et al., criticisms that remain robust. Exactly how does cutting and pasting from Wikipedia detract from the arguments? It certainly detracts from the overall credibility of the report, but not the substance of his criticism of the statistical methods.

      • Judith, I think the ASA recommendations are the crux of this – for statisticians to make meaningful contributions to a topic, they need to really understand the material. If not, they risk making bad calls.

        Wegman may be the text book case.

      • Michael, i don’t think Wegman made a bad call, but the report would have been better if Wegman had a better understanding of the topic. Ideally, climatologists and statisticians would be collaborating, rather than auditing each other.

      • Judith,

        I recommend that you stop and think.

        You have backed two nags thus far, and throwing good momey after bad will not push them first past the post.

        I understand that you might beg to differ, but consider that the Interweb has a long memory…

      • Another strange thing about the social network analysis in the Wegman Report, is the networks shown were for Michael Mann 2005/6 not Michael Mann 1998/99. The comments were supposed to be about the MBH 1998/99 papers.

  55. Barry Woods

    Last year I was invited to give a talk at a local school to bright 10 year olds. on the sceptics view of global warming . I was startled at the nihilistic attitude of the children who were convinced the world wouldnt exist as they knew it by the time they left, so why bother studying?

    I was also intrigued that they believed that 90% of the atmosphere is comprised of CO2 and that man is responsible for 100% of it.

    What with being bombarded with propaganda and not having the scientifc knowledge to deal with it we are failing our children.

    tonyb

    • What is plagiarism in one context is not in another. Wegman’s report was commissioned by Congress and its purpose was to inform a subcommittee of elected officials on a specific topic.

      Wegman was not writing for academia. There was no reason for him to rigidly adhere to academic protocols. I actually believe his report is protected because it was for Congress.

      Wegman did not seek to profit from anybody’s words or ideas. He referenced heavily–but not completely. Minor bad.

      • Plagiarism is always plagiarism Tom.

        The academic type involves academic sanctions. Wegman might be lucky in that he can argue that this wasn’t an academic work.

        However, he is a member of the ASA I believe. This is from the ASA’s ethical guidelines;

        “Respect and acknowledge the contributions and intellectual property of others…”

        Wegman was, at the very least, unethical. Major bad.

      • As far as I can see Wegman bent over backwards to acknowledge al his sources (except maybe Wikipedia), and was more than adequately explicit as to what was his own analysis and what was a summary of basic background knowledge necessary to understand his report .

        I don’t believe he was under any obligation to do so, as the nature of such reports is that accuracy of the information provided is the sole criterion. Issues of intellectual property, especially when applied to basic background information, are just misplaced in report writing of any kind. There simply is no ethical issue here at all.

        And I know I’ve said it before, but short centred PCA is still nonsense, and the climate establishment defence of Mann’s papers is still a major own goal.

      • Well, the fact that you still get a hockey stick without using PCA is a pretty strong defence, in my opinion, see:

        http://www.realclimate.org/images/compare.jpg

        As far as the plagarism goes.. I can just imagine the howls of outrage that would have happened had this been a ‘report to congress’ or whatever that had supported global warming. I suspect that the plagarism would have suddenly become the worst ethical breach ever. In the same way that if Steve McIntyre’s emails had been stolen and published all over the web, anyone even mentioning them would be branded a criminal.

        From a sociological perspective, this is classic RWA behaviour, see:

        http://members.shaw.ca/jeanaltemeyer/drbob/TheAuthoritarians.pdf

        In which followers are prepared to overlook blatant misbehaviour on the part of those they regard as authorities whilst believing any accusation that those authorities make against ‘the other side’.

      • Actually from the evidence of recent history, I would say that if this had been a report supportive of AGW, the sceptics would have poured obsessively over the content, and pulled apart in detail every argument they believed was flawed, and generally attacked the content without mercy.

        I know of no case where sceptics have made a claim of plagiarism over some simple textbook level background material, in order to attempt to discredit a finding unrelated to the claims. Can you think of one?

      • What about ‘sceptics’ stupidly applying SNA in an attempt to discredit findings unrelated to any claims about SNA?

      • If by ‘recent history’ you mean the last year or so, the ‘skeptics’ have been obsessively pouring over a set of stolen emails in a pretty desperate attempt to find some evidence of fraud. And failing at it.

        Prior to that, we’ve seen a extreme obsession with Manns’ 1998 paper. Which despite being pretty much the first of it’s kind has been pretty much vindicated. Or My Watts and the whole surface stations thing, which appears to have been quietly dropped.

        I’m not sure what world you are living in if you think that ‘skeptics’ are interested only in the science or content thereof – the almost complete lack of published papers demonstrates this. Most ‘skeptics’ I’ve heard from are not capable of accurately describing the theory of AGW dispassionately, let alone making a critique of it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        As a thought, it might be a prudent moderation policy to forbid topics like the MBH paper(s). There are a lot of statistical issues which can crop up when discussing subjects like that, and unfocused exchanges are unlikely to handle them well.

        In this case, two bold claims have been made which have been disputed many times (getting the same results without PCA and MBH being vindicated). Regardless of what one may think on the issues, it seems unlikely vague discussions of such issues will accomplish anything. That wouldn’t be too bad, except those exchanges tend to lead to food fights.

      • Brandon, point taken. I am permitting this kind of discussion on a weekend open thread. So far we have avoided a food fight, although I’m not sure the discussion has been all that productive. On the technical threads, i’m trying to keep it much more focused with the hope of productive discussions.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        In that case, I will flatly state Andrew Dodds is wrong. MBH has not been vindicated. It’s methods were wrong. It’s conclusions rested entirely upon a small selection of data (bristlecones). The papers supposedly replicating contain their own, similar issues, including Mann’s more recent work. In it, his conclusions rested on bristlecones and corrupted data he used upside down.

        All the talk of PCs just disguises the issue. Millennial temperature reconstructions do not indicate whether the MWP was warmer or cooler than the modern period. The ones that claim to do so just rely upon over-weighted, problematic data

      • Brandon –

        No, the reconstruction does not rely on bristlecones, there merely improve it, and yes, you can get the same shape without PCA. No ifs, no buts, that is the truth of the matter.

        If you wish to deny this then I’d like to see your sources, from the latest literature on the subject.

      • Andrew

        I meant examples from the real world, not your fevered imagination. If you really think that fraud was the issue with the emails, you have missed the plot so badly it is hard to know where to start.

        Your “lack of published papers” remark illustrates your total absence of objectivity. What are these, chopped liver?

        http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

        Not quite a “complete lack of published papers”. Not even almost.

      • Regarding that list of papers, ‘chopped liver’ does seem somewhat appropriate. (E&E!)

        Once you take out the ones that are published in ultra-low-impact journals, those that are ancient history, those that have genuine but minor concerns to raise and those that are not skeptical of AGW at all, how many are left.?

        And if you accept that there was no indication of fraud in the emails, then, first, why have I seen ‘fraud’ screamed across half the messageboards of the internet, and second, you are saying that all the emails show is standard ‘robust’ scientific debate. Something I agree with.

      • Robust scientific debate? What it showed was collusion to deceive, bias, hiding and destruction of data, record keeping incompetence, conspiracy to pervert the IPCC and peer review processes, outrageous hostility to legitimate questioning, and an obsessive tribalism utterly out of place in any scientific community. The only actual crime indicated was evasion of FOI’s however, not outright fraud (as opposed to scientific dishonesty).

        And the list of 800 sceptical peer reviewed papers I linked to is of far superior quality than the rubbish we now know the IPCC relies on. But even that is not the point – even if only a quarter of the papers in that list meet your ludicrous standards, it makes an utter nonsense of your claim of the almost complete lack of published papers

      • Andrew Dodds

        No, the reconstruction does not rely on bristlecones, there merely improve it

        Priceless. After all, there can be no doubt what you mean by improve, and it certainly doesn’t mean “become more accurate”. It means the resulting shape will resemble a hockey stick, as we know it ought to.

  56. Huxley, I dont know if you can find your way over to Yahoo group climatesceptics, but there is an excellent discourse on the subject I tried to talk about, by Roy Clark Message 70920, under the title ” Climate Debate rehearsed in Sunday TEl 10.10.” He has done a much better job than I ever could.

  57. I just spotted an interesting blog about plagiarism issues
    http://blog.ithenticate.com/category/scientific-research/

  58. Dr. Curry, Jim Cripwell: Thanks for your responses.

    That’s odd. I was sure I had failed to find better sources because there’s so much out there.

    I’d say there is an opportunity for a book that steps the reader through the climate change arguments while cognizant of the counter-arguments and the uncertainty.

  59. Is it seriously the wisest choice in this duel, to choose the ethics weapon?

  60. Michael Larkin

    tonyb | October 10, 2010 at 4:55 pm said:

    “I was startled at the nihilistic attitude of the children who were convinced the world wouldnt exist as they knew it by the time they left, so why bother studying?”

    I remember feeling something akin to this at my primary school when I was 10 in 1960 – the cause then being the conviction that we were all doomed in the forthcoming nuclear war with Russia.

    The psychological dynamic of the threat of global warming is, I would say, quite similar. But you know, I think kids are actually immensely tough. If things follow past form, then sooner or later, the Berlin wall will fall for CAGW, making way for the next great incarnation of – what? Maybe that shape-shifting Apocalyptic vision that has fired the Abrahamic imagination for millennia?

    Often at the root of our deepest fear is the “sinfulness” of man – at least of the demonised other (Heretics, Russians, Sceptics…), if not we ourselves (the righteous, of course). The current obsession seems as plausible as a Russian pre-emptive strike, and is backed up by a dominant orthodoxy.

    Scientists currently hold the prestige once assumed by the priesthood. Besides doing some good and useful work, are they also fabricating new creation (Big Bang) and destruction (CAGW) myths? Arguing about angels and pin heads?

    Time will tell whether it’s just the same old mumbo-jumbo. If it is, I hope we will finally learn and outgrow our tired mythologies; but if I had to bet, childhood’s end is still some way off.

  61. Very interesting thread on the Wegman dust-up. For my money, Tom Curtis is making the most compelling arguments.

    Judith, I have to say that when journalism teachers find evidence of plagiarism in a student’s work, we don’t try to wean out the good parts from the bad. The work is tainted. (And the penalties are usually severe.) Not so for academics?

    I guess what I’m saying here is that it’s a losing proposition to try to salvage damaged goods. And mind you, I haven’t looked into this deeply enough to have an opinion one way or the other on the Wegman report or the charges. And I’m too busy to do a deep dive now. Maybe the charges aren’t true, for all I know. But if the extensive charges are proven legitimate, I honestly don’t see how the report can be defended after that. That’s just my perspective as a journalist and someone who teaches journalism. Plagiarism is a deadly sin in my business. Nobody goes looking for where the writer got it right after plagiarism has been established.

    • Keith, in the academic world sanctions against plagiarism are made in a certain context. A student is not going to get expelled if one sentence is copied from an unattributed source if that sentence is not important in the context of the intellectual contribution. As far as I can tell, the social networking part of the Wegman report contains much plagiarized material. The context for sanctions against this plagiarism by GMU may depend on the actual status of the Wegman report. For example, it is unpublished and it was not written in a context where originality is acknowledged and rewarded such as a journal publication. I don’t know how the lawyers will actually interpret all this. With regards to the actual content of the Wegman report and its arguments. If someone immediately rewrites it with appropriate citations, the argument stands (the original author may be found guilty of plagiarism, but that does not detract from the substance of the argument.)

      • the original author may be found guilty of plagiarism, but that does not detract from the substance of the argument

        I do recall someone saying, in a different context, that “credibility is a combination of expertise and trust.” Why is this the case when the issue at hand is nasty emails, if it’s pretty much 100% expertise when the issue is a plagiarized and distorted report?

      • Plagairism DEFINITELY detracts from the credibility in terms of the trust part. I am trying to get at the substance/expertise as reflected in the report, and I don’t count distorting someone else’s unreferenced statements as prima facie evidence that the content of the statements are flawed or false.

      • I don’t count distorting someone else’s unreferenced statements as prima facie evidence that the content of the statements are flawed or false.

        Are you serious? I assume you mean Wegman’s distortion of Bradley’s writings. Then how do you count such distorted statements?

      • The prima facie veracity of a statement doesn’t depend on its pedigree. If sentence A is a distortion of sentence B, A might be an improvement on statement B, or it might be less true than statement B.

    • keith, another point, the whole status of the wikipedia in the context of plagiarism is not clear cut in the journalism world, see here and here and here. Google plagiarizing wikipedia and a lot shows up.

      • Judith,

        Twenty years ago, anyone–be it a scientist, journalist or 1oth-grader– who copied from the Britannica encyclopedia would not be looked upon kindly. The same should apply to Wikipedia.

        You’re right that context matters. A couple of sentences here and there or a even a few passages perhaps out of a whole book, can be explained away as sloppiness. This Wegman case appears to go well beyond that (if the charges hold up).

      • Keith, I am not defending Wegman (and I haven’t read Mashey’s report). I am trying to provide links to resources to help people understand plagiarism in the context of the academic and research culture.

      • Also, the Brittanica Encyclopedia is copyrighted, the Wikipedia content apparently is not.

      • Judith,
        My point on the Wikipedia/Brittanica is this: it’s an ethical transgression to use material from another source without proper attribution. In one of those examples you cited upthread, Chris Anderson (of Wired) recognizes this. If a writer of his had copied and pasted passages from Wikipedia into an article for the magazine, he’d get his head handed to him. And rightfully so.

        But anyway, as I previously observed, this case appears to go beyond stealing from Wikipedia. But I do take your point about the robustness of his argument standing on its own merits. I guess what I’m saying is that everything about the report becomes suspect if the extensive charges hold up. I don’t think there’s any getting around that.

      • I guess what I’m saying is that everything about the report becomes suspect if the extensive charges hold up. I don’t think there’s any getting around that.

        This attitude mystifies me, especially coming from someone who has been very forgiving of irregularities in other important reports ie AR4. It seems to have utterly escaped Keith and many others that this is not an academic work or book, but a report to an official body.

        I frequently write reports and analyses for various parties, and have no compunction in copying and pasting others work, and have no issue with others using my work in this way. Of course, by doing so I assume full responsibility for its accuracy, and that is all that is expected – accuracy and responsibility. Concepts like plagiarism are totally foreign to such report writing, which is a much closer analogue to the Wegman report than a journal article, where of course the rules are entirely different.

        One thing seems entirely certain, none of this alters the fundamentally robust conclusions Wegman made regarding PCA and social networking, as confirmed by Richard North and the CRU emails.

      • Wikipedia is copyrighted but you are permitted to copy it provided you attribute and make your derived work available under the same conditions as Wikipedia. Wegman did neither. The amount copied seems to me to be to be way too much to count as fair use, so it’s likely a copyright violation as well as plagiarism.

      • ding ding …

        Again, Judith, don’t talk about copyright if you don’t know squat about copyright law…

        Note that Tim’s “you are permitted to copy it provided you attribute and make your derived work available under the same conditions as Wikipedia” is a statement of *license*. You are granted a license to use Wikipedia material if you follow the terms of the license.

        Tim’s point about fair use is that fair use copying doesn’t require you to follow Wikipedia’s license terms. But fair use copying is quite strictly limited, and as Tim says, Wegman’s out of bounds.

      • Also, the Brittanica Encyclopedia is copyrighted, the Wikipedia content apparently is not.

        *every* creative work in realms covered by copyright law is copyrighted.

        You statement that I’ve blockquoted is copyrighted (though I have a strong argument for claiming that my quoting you is subject to fair use exemptions to copyright).

        My post here is copyrighted.

        Don’t talk about copyright if you don’t know what copyright is.

      • The content on Wikipedia is copyrighted by the Authors and the Editors, via a very liberal policy.
        See here:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Copyrights

        However, and this will be a question for the Wikipedia author regarding the SNA section of the Wegman Report. If Wegman did cut/paste from Wikipedia (be careful of that assumption) the text that was current at the time the Wegman report was written ) was NOT referenced.

        There are several examples of the exact same text which appears to predate the Wikipedia entry. Thus, the Wikipedia entry (at the time) would appear to be in violation of the Wikipedia policy regarding the copyright content it carries.

        From an academic point of view, the Wegman Report SNA section appears to fail most plagiarism polcies (not to be confused with law). This is the purview of GMU in the case of Wegman and the report with his name on it.

        From a Congressional Report point of view, it is unclear. I do not know what policies congress has regarding reports made to it as a body. In other words would they throw out the report because it contained plagiarized material.

        The whole issue can become a very, very deep rabbit hole. Google Ward Churchill (since it is Columbus day, this is apropos) to find how deep it can go.

      • Rattus Norvegicus

        It is probably worth pointing out the GMU has disciplined a law professor there for plagiarism in a WSJ op/ed piece.

  62. AnyColourYouLike

    Dr Curry

    Congratulations on the obvious success of your new, balanced and informative Climate blog. Having followed many of your postings on other forums for the past couple of years, I have always found your contributions unfailingly polite, informative and free from the sort of ill-mannered snark, impatient mud-slinging, and automatic gain-saying of “the other side” that marks so much of what goes on in the Climate blogosphere. Your rebuttals are uniformly pertinent, without malice and delivered with reference to facts or citations, even in response to those who seem intent on baiting you into some sort of emotional faux pas (which actually would probably be quite justified, given some of the vilification to which you have been subjected). Neither do you flaunt your experience or obvious academic credentials in the field in response to some of the more ardent ranters, hinting (not so subtly) as they often do, of relevant experience and superior intellect, glittering academic achievement and arcane knowledge of the science (though rarely telling us straight what they actually do for a living!)

    For all these reasons, I believe the setting up of your site is certainly the most important thing that has happened on the blogosphere this year, and I thank you for finding the time (how do you do it?) to contribute so regularly and thoughtfully whilst also pursuing a full-time academic career. You are an inspiration, and give me hope that some common sense will prevail in this debate!

  63. Zorita’s comments at Die Klimazwiebel on the Wegman affair are worth reading.
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/10/law-and-order-in-paleoclimate.html

    • In a nutshell:

      > In some sense the Wegman report reminds me of the recent manuscript by McShane and Wyner, more focused on politically sensitive issues that on real scientific ones.

    • What special knowledge does Zorita bring to the table regarding US standards of plagiarism and copyright law?

      Or the British law which underlies US law?

      My guess is not much.

  64. AnyColourYouLike

    “But if the extensive charges are proven legitimate, I honestly don’t see how the report can be defended after that. That’s just my perspective as a journalist and someone who teaches journalism.”

    Keith Kloor seems a hard task-master. This to me smacks of Baby and Bathwater. I prefer Andrew Montford’s succinct analysis, ie either:-
    “Wegman et al are guilty of plagiarism; short-centred principal components analysis is biased and can produce hockey sticks from red noise
    Wegman et al are not guilty of plagiarism; short-centred principal components analysis is biased and can produce hockey sticks from red noise.”

    As to the guilt issue, I tried wading through John Mashey’s “report”…a passage from Macbeth came to mind.

    “.. it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

    Apologies to Keith, Andrew and Will for any plagiarism.

  65. I pretty much stopped reading Mr. Mashey’s curious opus at his “executive summary”:
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02-exec.pdf

    Samples:
    The Wegman Report is a “key prop of climate anti-science.” Wegman’s “real missions were: #1 claim the “hockey stick” broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole.”

    A very odd piece of work. Hard to believe anyone is taking him seriously.

  66. Curryja:

    You asked: “I don’t know how the lawyers will actually interpret all this.”

    I am a patent attorney.

    My thought is what impact the speech or debate clause of the constitution has on this issue.

    This clause not only covers things said in the well of the senate (or the house), but also covers reports made for committees.

    It is my understanding that the Wegman report was prepared for a Congressional committee and therefore, even if plagiarism is shown, does it even matter?

    To your point that this report wasn’t prepared as a journal article – I agree and point out that it was prepared for a Congressional committee with speech and debate immunity.

    • Rick, thanks for your perspective, this is very interesting.

    • To your point that this report wasn’t prepared as a journal article – I agree and point out that it was prepared for a Congressional committee with speech and debate immunity.

      Immune from any prosecution based on that.

      Not immune from censure for violating academic standards, which are *not* limited to journal articles …

  67. As an attorney, another issue that springs to mind is fair use, which is a defense to a claim of copyright infringement.

    That defense may also come up with regard to this issue – as the use of the material, if actually plagiarism, may be fair use, because it was used in for a Congressional report.

    Now plagiarism is not technically a crime, or an actionable legal issue, but is more of an ethical issue for scholars – but fair use may come up by analogy to copyright infringement.

    • As an attorney, another issue that springs to mind is fair use, which is a defense to a claim of copyright infringement.

      Plagiarism doesn’t rest on copyright infringement …

      That defense may also come up with regard to this issue – as the use of the material, if actually plagiarism, may be fair use, because it was used in for a Congressional report.

      Yes, fair use plagiarism will be condemned by the university just like any other form a plagiarism.

      Now plagiarism is not technically a crime, or an actionable legal issue, but is more of an ethical issue for scholars

      And, as an attorney touting your props here … you should also know that copyright infringement is also a civil, not criminal, offense, so do you have a point, actually?

    • RickA,
      As you say, plagiarism isn’t an actionable legal issue. It’s an issue of credibility. Wegman’s report was presented to Congress and the public as the verdict of a senior statistician on Mann’s statistical methods. He chose to embellish it with the discussion of social networks, which he presented in a technical, statsy sounding way.

      But his introductory argument, to persuade us of the merits of this (SNA), turned out to be not coming from a senior statistician, but largely from Wikipedia.

      Now credibility is important to many people, and in particular to GMU. That’s why they can’t afford to have their high profile figures shown as plagiarising. It isn’t a copyright or ownership issue, and Congress protection won’t help.

  68. Has anybody raised the issue of what Wikipedia has to say about citing Wikipedia? Here is a snippet from Wikipedia:

    A caution before citing Wikipedia As with any source, especially one of unknown authorship, you should be wary and independently verify the accuracy of Wikipedia information if possible. For many purposes, but particularly in academia, Wikipedia may not be an acceptable source;[1] indeed, some professors and teachers may reject Wikipedia-sourced material completely. This is especially true when it is used without corroboration. However, much of the content on Wikipedia is itself referenced, so an alternative is to cite the reliable source rather than the article itself.

    Maybe the Wegman report authors thought they were not supposed to cite Wikipedia, but rather the references cited in the Wikipedia article itself?

    I haven’t researched to see if the social networking material in the Wegman report was sourced to a reference listed in the appendix to the Wegman report, which was discussed in the Wikipedia material – but thought I should raise this as an issue to discuss.

    The bottom line is that Wikipedia appears to discourage citation to its material directly, but rather recommends citation to the references discussed in the Wikipedia articles.

    • Maybe the Wegman report authors thought they were not supposed to cite Wikipedia, but rather the references cited in the Wikipedia article itself?

      This is supposed to be a defense of copy-pasting wikipedia content?

      “It’s not reliable, so they didn’t cite it, only presented it in copy-paste form without any attribution at all …”

      SERIOUSLY?

    • Steven Mosher

      They prolly didnt cite wikipedia out of embarassment

      • I cite the wikipedia frequently at least on the blog, on certain topics it is very good. And it is a very effective way to give somebody a reader’s digest level understanding of something that they hadn’t previous encountered.

  69. J. Curry, O. Manuel and others above: re base of M. Mann´s influence – ¡ Central America ! In today´s ´la Nacion´ – San Jose, Costa Rica – A. Vargas M., editora, Aldea Global section, states on p.14 regarding the ¨…mercado mundial del carbono. ¨
    ¨…en 1997 fue el Gobierno costarricense el que inspiro la creacion de este mercado al crear y vender a Noruega sus primeros bonos de carbono.¨
    The article, from above-the-fold front page headline, was written with help of the Woodrow Wilson Center, ¨…desde la redaccion de¨ WaPo. The story explains why CR has captured less than one per cent of the market and suggests even less future involvement: more serious problems in less-developed states.

  70. The view that it is acceptable for an academic to cut-and-paste slabs text from a source, completely without attribution, in a report to congress is amazing but even if you are willing to swallow this – everyone seems to forget that Deep Climate pointed out the same was done in journal papers & theses.

    For example, in 2007 journal paper Said, Wegman et al 2007 include a 300+ word piece of text which also appeared in Wegman et al. 2006 but was actually taken from De Nooy et al. 2005. Neither Wegman et al. 2006 or Said et al. 2007 cite De Nooy et al. at all. Its p127 of John Mashey’s document.

  71. I continue to be concerned about the non-response to Hal Lewis’ resignation.

    Is he an old, dotty nut?

    Where are the fellow scientists? Michael Mann’s “fellow scientists… to
    stand with him…”

    I have been unable to stir The Community to speak — and I have tried.

    Silence. Even friends.

    Silence. ….Lady in Red

  72. Nigel Calder posts the Hal Lewis resignation letter.

    http://calderup.wordpress.com/2010/10/10/hal-lewis-quits-aps/

  73. JC, if you have time for this question, I’d be most grateful. Do you think, with everything that is coming to light, that the Wegman Report is an “independent,impartial, expert” report by a team of “eminent” statisticians, like it was repeatedly presented to Congress?

    • Neven, seems like the Wegman Report was a rush job conducted at the request of a congressman. The credibility of the Wegman Report largely rested on the credibility of Wegman himself, who is an esteemed statistician and was chair of the NRC Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics.

      This is different from the more deliberate (and time consuming) approach taken by the NRC, with careful consideration to who is on the panel and a rigorous review process.

      In hind sight, it would have been much better for congress to request the NRC Committee on National Statistics to convene a committee that included at least two representatives recommended by the NRC Climate Research Committee, and to proceed in the regular way of a NRC report.

      I don’t know what the formal or informal terms of reference that Wegman received for this report. The report stands alone on its merits (some valid analysis of the statistics) and demerits (including the plagiarism), and it presumably had some political relevance at the time. A lesson learned from this (aside from the obvious plagiarism one) is that scientists should be wary of getting involved in an assessment that is motivated directly by political purposes (coming from a politician), without the safeguards etc. in place of something like a formal NRC process.

      • In hind sight, it would have been much better for congress to request the NRC Committee on National Statistics to convene a committee that included at least two representatives recommended by the NRC Climate Research Committee, and to proceed in the regular way of a NRC report.

        Of course, but that probably wouldn’t have been of any use to Joe Barton, would it? There is a reason Wegman was chosen. Because he would come with a report that could be flaunted for years by people who think AGW is a hoax. I find it really hard to imagine how someone could interpret it any other way.

        I think Mashey is right when he says: “In retrospect, the real missions were: #1 claim the ―hockey stick broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole. All this was a façade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC ―thinktanks and allies, under way for years.”

      • Scientists getting inadvertently used by politicians is a real problem, most scientists would want to avoid this i think (although a few actively court this kind of engagement).

      • Do you mean to say Wegman was used by Barton, but not aware of it?

        If this is so then I find the following quotes from Mashey’s report intriguing:

        “For at least 2 years, Wegman reiterated doubt-raising claims, often speaking to audiences likely to lack relevant topical expertise.”

        and

        “Wegman and Said co-chaired a June 2010 statistics conference. At the last minute, they added 2 new sessions, inviting 3 non-statisticians known for climate anti-science. Said gave a ―Climategate talk decrying climatologists‘ bad peer review, destruction of data, etc.”

        If you’re interested I could look into this some more.

      • Neven, post 2007 Wegman seems to have become skeptical of AGW. Any evidence of such skepticism prior to his involvement in the hockey stick report?

      • The fact that he was picked to write that report for Congress implies that he was very willing to give them what they want. So he must have held some anti-AGW beliefs already.

        Or would you say Wegman was picked to write the report because the people who wanted the report were so convinced of his naivete that he would inadvertently deliver what they wanted?

        Naivete implies innocence, but someone who is innocent doesn’t go and plagiarize, inject with biases, errors or changed meanings that often weaken or invert original results.

        But if he was naive: poor, poor Wegman! First he’s used by politicians who want to protect the interests of the fossil fuel industry and now he’s thrown under the bus.

  74. Logic has never been a strong suit for alarmists, but this Wegman hysteria is really a bridege too far. If we were to use the same faulty line of argumentation the hysterics are using here, we could conclude that every claim regarding climate science ever made by the IPCC, CRU, GISS, NOAA, The Royal Society, BOM et al is false.

    Proving Mann’s hockey stick is bogus does not require Professor Wegman’s work. Eliminating his credibility does not restore Mann’s. I should note, though, that people who demonstrate an inability to grasp simple logic tend to damage their own credibility as to their ability to adequately perform other tasks requiring the application of logic (e.g. science).

  75. I have a very simple challenge for those here and elsewhere who claim that there is no ‘hockey stick’ in the modern temperature record…

    Show us what you consider to be the best demonstration of the mean annual global temperature for the last several millenia.

  76. AnyColourYouLike

    Let us not forget either the science or the panel conclusions in the midst of all this hand-wringing over (unproven) accusations. If Wegman’s team were not fastidious enough in citing their references how does that materially affect either of these statements?

    This is about science right?!

    Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported by the MBH98/99 analysis. As mentioned earlier in our background section, tree ring proxies are typically calibrated to remove low frequency variations. The cycle of Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age that was widely recognized in 1990 has disappeared from the MBH98/99 analyses, thus making possible the hottest decade/hottest year claim. However, the methodology of MBH98/99 suppresses this low frequency information. The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable.

    CHAIRMAN BARTON. Dr. North, do you dispute the conclusions or the methodology of Dr. Wegman’s report?
    DR. NORTH. No, we don’t. We don’t disagree with their criticism. In fact, pretty much the same thing is said in our report.

  77. Any references to temperature reconstructions by Michael E. Mann should be to his 2008 and 2009 temperature reconstructions. They actually show an even warmer Medieval Warm Period than I do. I don’t think it is fair to refer to an outdated work (from 1999) when we have newer and better.
    Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist, September 28, 2010 at 8:17 am link

    (Hat tip to http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/vindication/#comment-44667 )

    • AnyColourYouLike

      All the stranger then that Mann chose to defend the discredited reconstructions so vociferously for so long.

    • I agree with Ljungqvist here about discussing newer citations, rather than outdated ones (though that wasn’t the point of the review by Barton’s committee in 2006). On the other hand, Mann 08 CPS doesn’t have a Medieval Warming Period (it ends up being a “Medieval Cooling Period”) so it’s simply not true that all of them actually shows “an even warmer Medieval Warm Period than I do.”

      Mann’s 2008 EIV reconstruction on the other hand, does seem to have a pretty good correspondence with the other reconstructions (including ironically, Loehle’s).

  78. > curryja | October 10, 2010 at 10:52 pm
    > With regards to the actual content of the Wegman report
    > and its arguments. If someone immediately rewrites it
    > with appropriate citations, the argument stands (the original
    > author may be found guilty of plagiarism, but that does not
    > detract from the substance of the argument.)

    JC, your conclusion ignores the alterations Wegman made to the copied text.
    If it’s rewritten–with the alterations corrected–that can’t but “detract from the substance of the argument.”

    Seriously, read the document. If nothing else, do a search to see the changes you didn’t know about when you reached your conclusion above.

    “Of 91 pages, 35 are mostly plagiarized, but injected with biases, errors or changed meanings that often weaken or invert original results. Some might thus also be called fabrication.” — Mashey
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf

    • Hank you are conflating two different issues: plagiarism and content (which i was trying to separate in my comment). If you take away the plagiarism issue, then judge the content on its own. If his paraphrasing of Bradley results in a statement that is not factually correct (outside the context of whether this is what Bradley said or not), then those statements should be criticized/refuted, and this will detract from the overall value of the content of the report. If you have specific sentences you are referring to, pls list them and we can debate their veracity.

  79. Stanley Fish http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanley_Fish
    has two interesting essays on plagiarism at the Philosophy of Science portal
    http://philosophyofscienceportal.blogspot.com/2010/08/stanley-fish-on-non-ethics-of.html

    His main point (made more clearly in the second essay) is that there are two contexts for assessing plagiarism: moral and professional.

  80. An interesting arcticle on plagiarism in politics
    http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/613547/plagiarism_in_politics_the_new_philosophy.html

    Professional guidelines for plagiarism in journalism and academia don’t seem to be of much relevance to politicians in the context of actual politics and speeches

  81. Came across this book review today, one to give engineers a boost:

    The Essential Engineer: Why Science Alone Will Not Solve Our Global Problems
    by Henry Petroski

    …explores why engineering lacks the glamour of science in the public’s mind. Clearly vexed, he takes the media to task for describing a successful space project as a ”scientific success” while a dud becomes an ”engineering failure.”

    Part of the problem, he says, is the linear model of technological progress: Basic research spawns applied research, which in turn fuels technological development. This model is wrong historically, and it undervalues the creative juices of good engineering.”

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/tech-careers/book-review-the-essential-engineer-why-science-alone-will-not-solve-our-global-problems

    Seems to be critiquing popular discourse for not being able to distinguish between science and engineering/technology, and then giving science all the credit. It’s not a new argument, but I think one worth repeating.

  82. An very good discussion on academic plagiarism that raises some thorny issues:
    http://prs.heacademy.ac.uk/view.html/prsdocuments/20%20TARGET=

    deliberate vs unintentional
    crime vs bad practice

  83. Apart from journalism and academia, with some minor consequences for politicians, it seems that the other hotbed of concerns over plagiarism is recipes and cookbooks e.g. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/03/AR2006010300316.html

  84. JC, hypothetically if there were accurately plagiarized text you could separate that part out.

    But you can’t insert a correct citation for an altered text. The two issues can’t be separated in fact for this document; look at the alterations.

    Rather than retype or give you my opinions, here is a pointer to one place John Mashey describes details of some of the significant alterations:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/08/03/what-have-wegman-and-said-done-lately/#comment-4778
    (click the link for the full comment)

    brief excerpt:
    “… there are many cases where the changes introduce:
    1) errors
    2) changes of meaning [like weakening or inversion]
    3) biases
    of varying nature from accidental/minor to clearly purposeful / major. The silly errors show that the writer didn’t understand, but inverting Bradley’s conclusion shows something else.”

  85. Also for JC, another quote from Mashey, over at Zorita’s, also pointing out alterations:
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/10/law-and-order-in-paleoclimate.html?showComment=1286767018716#c8331185738615982865
    (Brief excerpt follows; click link for full text)

    “they didn’t just copy material, they
    a) Weakened Bradley’s comments, adding ‘confounding factors’
    b) Introduced errors and
    c) in at least one case, directly inverted one of his conclusions, on p.4 of DC’s side-by-side.
    I’m perfectly willing to read an analysis by experts that says, ‘Bradley says this, but we disagree because…’, given the number of honest scientific arguments that are like that. Meaningful arguments = real science.”

    • Hank, the point regarding content is not what Wegman said relative to what Bradley said, but correctness of Wegman’s statement in a stand alone sense (which wasn’t attributed to Bradley in any event.) So Wegman is trying to formulate his own thinking on this subject, using Bradley as a starting point. Is Wegman’s statement “better” or “worse” than Bradley’s in some sort of absolute sense? Since I don’t know what Bradley’s version of the statement looks like compared to Wegman’s version, I can’t judge which is the “better” statement.

      • Which basically means you should read Mashey. You seem to have a strong opinion on his work – or Wegman’s work – without actually having read it. So I suggest you read it before commenting further. Sort of like your recommendation that everybody should read Montford :)

        And btw, I haven’t read it, and therefore I do not comment on Wegman or Mashey.

  86. Oystein, you seem not to understand what goes on here. It is about reflection and assessing arguments. I have provided a variety of web links that discuss the issue of plagiarism. I am not passing judgment on either Mashey or Wegman. Wegman has clearly plagiarized text related to social media; beyond that I am not interested in personally digging further into the details, but I will read and respond to posts on the topic made here. And I have no intention of wading through Mashey’s stuff. Climate Etc. is a place where we can have a broader discussion on the issue, without engaging in a food fight and taking sides in the hockey wars. You can try (well, Eli is trying) to make a food fight out of my not taking a position or digging into this issue. But I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in learning more about the culture, morality, and legalities of plagiarism.

    • Also, I read the Hockey Stick Illusion last May from cover to cover. I recommended that people read the book. I still recommend that people read the book. Your point?

      • My point was simple: they are both books that raise discussion – and in former discussions some (and I believe you as well) claimed that people should read it bdfore commenting. The way I read the comment I responded to, I saw it as you asking questions which (probably – as I said, I haven’t read it) is covered in Mshey’s book. And thus I thougth perhaps you should read it before commenting further – at least when commenting on the spesific case of Wegman (as you have)

  87. Brandon Shollenberger

    In response to : http://judithcurry.com/2010/10/07/open-thread-week-in-review/#comment-3770

    Andrew Dodds, it makes no sense to demand sources “from the latest literature” when the literature generally refuses to even discuss the issues which come up. This is made even worse when a number of the issues are fairly old. More importantly, it seems silly to demand sources without first establishing claims. So to try to have some sort of structure, I am going to make a list of claims. Point out the ones you don’t accept, and I will provide support for those.

    1) MBH claimed to be robust to the inclusion of bristlecones (actually all tree rings).
    2) The MBH reconstruction failed R2 verification in the earlier portions.
    3) The MBH reconstruction was reported to have significant RE scores.
    4) Points 2 and 3 indicate the the RE correlation must be spurious, meaning the reconstruction fails verification.
    5) If one removes the bristlecones entirely, whether by removing PC1 (MBH), PC4 (MM), or no PC (WA), the hockeystick vanishes.

    In view of Mann’s more recent work:
    1) Mann included Tiljander series which were known to have been corrupted, flipping them upside down.
    2) Mann included tree ring series which had previously been the source of controversy.
    3) It was claimed Mann’s reconstruction was robust to the removal of both of these.
    4) The claim in point 3 has been shown to be false, admitted even by people like Gavin.

    While there is a great deal more that could be discussed, I think focusing on those points for now should give us a good basis. They are all fairly simple and easy to research, so ideally we could reach an agreement on them.

    • First, yes, it does make sense to look at the scientific literature. That’s the only place where you can be sure some basic quality control has been done; anyone can write anything they like on a blog post.

      As far as your numbered points go.. the Hockey stick has been replicated independantly by many studies, so I am slightly mystified by the obsession with minor parts of one paper. Apart from noting that if you take out the PC which contains the temperature signal, then, yes, you will not have a hockey stick.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        This response is mystifying in a great number of ways. First, I said it “makes no sense to demand” evidence be from peer-reviewed literature. In your response, you changed this to “look at the scientific literature.” Obviously I do not have an issue with looking at scientific literature, so this change makes no sense. It just seems absurd to refuse to consider non-literature sources, such as blogs, when many of the authors of the papers in question post on those blogs. Moreover, a lot of times the same thing can be found in both sources, but one is far more convenient.

        As to the content of your post, I directly contradicted your claims, yet you did not disagree with me. Worse yet, you claim I have an “obsession with minor parts of one paper.” This is absurd in two ways. First, I discussed issues with two different papers. The second paper was made about 10 years later, and was supposed to show how much paleoclimatology had improved. Instead, it fails in the same way as the first.

        The second absurdity is even more ridiculous. You claim these are “minor parts of one paper.” Even ignoring the numerical error, this is insane. Point 1 of MBH was a major claim of the paper. It was shown to be false. Point 4 shows the reconstruction was statically meaningless, surely a major point. Point 5 directly contradicts what you said. Calling these “minor points” is ridiculous.

        I explained how the basic conclusions of two papers considered to be major accomplishments in the field are without merit. I explained how your claims were false. I did this with an open offer to provide evidence for anything you questioned. Your only response was to dismiss me out-of-hand, ignore the claims you had raised, and make a wild, baseless claim that many reconstructions have “replicated independently” Mann’s work.

        You offered no evidence, detail or support for anything you said. The moment I contradicted you, you dropped your claims. You dismissed my post by misrepresenting it. While I am quite willing to put forth a great deal of effort in examining and explaining temperature reconstructions, it is not possible to have a discussion if you behave like this.

        P.S. This is what I was talking about Judith Curry.

  88. > Wegman is trying to formulate his own thinking on this subject,
    > using Bradley as a starting point. …. I don’t know what Bradley’s
    > version of the statement looks like compared to Wegman’s version ….
    > I’m interested in learning more about the culture, morality ….

    At a high theoretical level, but without looking at examples of practice?

    Well, purely theoretically, if someone takes text, changes words that change the meaning, then bases an analysis on the changed text, is any question of culture or morality raised? Just hypothetically speaking, what group, department, profession, or tribe would consider that uncultured or immoral?

    Journalists, we know from KK. What about scientists?

  89. In science, its about the content of the statements and the argument. Who made the argument/statement and the history of the argument/statement is not relevant to the fundamental veracity of the argument/statement.
    If Wegman put forth a flawed argument, then he should be called on it; i have yet to see such an analysis and that is what I am asking for. Until I see the specific example, I can’t make any judgment on this. So if you have a specific example of text (Bradley’s version and Wegman’s version) that you want to discuss, I don’t have a basis for saying anything on the subject.

  90. We have a vice-president who dropped out of his race for president 20 years ago when it was revealed he was copying speeches from a British politician–“Why am I the first in my family to go to college? Why is my wife the first in her family to go to college?…”
    The current president was copying speeches from Deval Patrick, who had the same political advisor.

    These are more serious than the politicians who just reuse lines from others. Either way, would we expect Barack Obama to give citations while giving the State of the Union address, or is it the substance that matters?
    I think the report for Congress is a relevant factor.

    The current charges are definitely an improvement over the original idea that Wegman plagiarized a book yet to be written.

  91. > i have yet to see such an analysis and that is what I am asking for.
    > Until I see the specific example, I can’t make any judgment on this.

    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/wegman-bradley-tree-rings-v20.pdf

    That skips the explanation I suggested and takes you directly to the illustration. Of course, without reading the explanation, you may not understand the illustration.

    I don’t know if I can help you see this, unless you’re willing to look at it.

  92. Hank, I spent about 10 minutes, reading both versions several times and comparing them. They are rather different, in fact so different that it is hard to argue that this is plagiarism (there is certainly no copyright violation here). Wegman is discussing how tree rings can be used to infer temperature, and what the confounding factors are, which is of direct relevance to the topic of his report. His discussion is simple and straightforward, at about the right level for his audience. Bradley is discussing the broader issue of tree rings and how they are determined by climatic factors. So they are talking about two different, but not unrelated things; it seems pointless to criticize Wegman for distorting Bradley’s text. Although this simple description of tree rings as they relate to temperature change is arguably common knowledge, Wegman almost certainly used the Bradley text as a source; I understand that Bradley’s book was referenced in the Wegman report. This style of referencing is more common in a textbook than a journal article, and presumably not inappropriate for an informal and unpublished report where the audience is politicians.

    The social media text is definitely plagiarized. I personally don’t see any major problem with what was done in the text that you refer to, in the context of this report to a politician. If this was a journal article, Bradley’s text should have been cited as reference in context of the specific discussion of the tree rings.

    Now given all that, can you tell me which of Wegman’s statements in this selection is factually incorrect or disputed?

    • Dr Curry, you might find a more helpful analysis at Deep Climate.

      The fundamental point of contention appears to be that Wegman uses much of Bradley’s text from chapter section 10.2 of Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary but distorts it to reach the opposite conclusion that Bradley does: in specific, asserting that “tree ring proxy data alone is not sufficient to determine past climate variables” where Bradley concludes that “paleoclimatic reconstructions can be made using only the tree-ring data.”

      • PDA, thanks for the clarification. But based on what I know about the topic (which isn’t all that much), I suspect that Wegman’s statement is more correct than Bradley’s? This is a topic for others to debate (there are many in the blogosphere who could take this on), but assuming that Bradley is correct in this instance (because his statement was written first? because he is a card carrying expert on the topic?) may be incorrect. There are a lot of people questioning whether tree rings should be used in paleo reconstructions, with apparently good reasons.

      • One other point, and I recall this being referenced in Montford’s book. As part of the North NRC report, there was a day or two of presentations made by experts, including a tree ring expert, who as reported by Montford (apparently this presentation is online somewhere, cited in the book) did not convey a high level of confidence in using tree rings for proxy reconstructions of temperature. Note, once again i do not have Montford’s book with me, would appreciate if someone can track this down.

      • assuming that Bradley is correct in this instance… may be incorrect

        Absolutely, and I make no such assumption: I am fairly confident that I know less about this than you or DC. You asked what was disputed and I gave my layman’s understanding of it.

        Your suspicion not withstanding, it does seem odd that he essentially copy-pastes the major work by the “B” of “MBH,” and gives it a couple of tweaks in order to reach the opposite conclusion. He may well be correct and Bradley wrong, but it seems he could have provided some explanation of how he got from point A (Mann and Bradley) to point B (McIntyre).

      • Agreed that he should have provided some sort of explanation, particularly if this was a journal article. Seems like he took a shortcut to explain things lucidly while being rushed.

      • Well, that’s a charitable scenario, but I’d say there’s no more evidence for it than for the idea that he willfully, intentionally distorted the report with malice aforethought. I think we’d all do well to avoid imputing Wegman’s mindset or motivations.

      • David L. Hagen

        PDA

        intentionally distorted the report with malice aforethought.

        You impose your presuppositions on the issue without evidence.

        See: A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE TEMPERATURE
        PROXIES: ARE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF SURFACE
        TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST 1000 YEARS RELIABLE?

        BY BLAKELEY B. MCSHANE∗ AND ABRAHAM J. WYNER†
        Submitted to the Annals of Applied Statistics
        http://johnstonanalytics.com/yahoo_site_admin/assets/docs/McShane_Wyner_on_Mann.237210804.pdf

        Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago. . . .our Table 2 shows that our model does not pass ”statistical significance” thresholds against savvy null models. Ultimately, what these tests essentially show is that the 1,000 year old proxy record has little power given the limited temperature record.

        McIntyre & McKitrick clearly showed errors in Mann etc.
        See Hockey Stick Studies
        In light of this and related evidence, the Wegman version appears more accurate than Bradley’s. I presume most of the text was drafted by assistants with final text adjusted by lead authors. As a scientist I say that Wegman’s correction in writing to Congress is entirely appropriate, (though it would have been better to cite the text used.)

      • David, I was clear in saying there was no evidence for any presupposition of either malice or goodwill. The mindset of the author is simply not something amenable to debate (to non-clairvoyant observers, that is).

        I’m not competent to determine whether Bradley or McShane and Wyner is correct, and I made no attempt to do so. I think we’re all agreed that Wegman would have done well to cite his sources, and I’ll be interested to see if he addresses the question of why he did not.

      • Most likely the well known corollary to Zipfs law.His seminal title reduces the mathematics to a linguistic algorithm eg

        Human Behaviour and the Principle of Least Effort: An Introduction to Human Ecology

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Principle_of_least_effort

        There is a humerous ironic twist in the link

    • Steven Mosher

      I’m singularly unimpressed with that comparison. Wegman is damned if he deviates and damned if he doesnt.

      A good test for hank and others would be to have several people paraphrase the bradley piece and see how hard it is to capture all the facts right AND avoid the high duplicate word count.

  93. Judith, what’s your stance on self-plagiarism?

    I believe there is at least one example of Bradley (ironically) borrowing from his own textbook to write a book chapter.

    • Carrick, self-plagiarism seems to me a bizarre concept (some have called it an oxymoron), although I know it is a formal issue in academic plagiarism. If copyright issues aren’t at stake, I don’t see what harm is done, other than in an academic bean counting environment where you might be getting “credit” twice for the same thing, in a publish or perish environment. The wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism#Self-plagiarism categorizes four different types of self plagiarism: duplicate publication of an article in more than one journal; partitioning of one study into multiple publications, often called salami-slicing; text recycling; and copyright infringement. Bradley’s self plagiarism seems to be of the text recycling type. There are four rationales for text recycling (again from wikipedia):

      • The previous work needs to be restated in order to lay the groundwork for a new contribution in the second work.
      • Portions of the previous work must be repeated in order to deal with new evidence or arguments.
      • The audience for each work is so different that publishing the same work in different places was necessary to get the message out.
      • The author thinks they said it so well the first time that it makes no sense to say it differently a second time.

      Without knowing the exact context for the Bradley case, not sure if any of the above is relevant? In the field of climate science, that is not particularly dog eat dog publish or perish in the way that the medical field is, i think self plagiarization of the text recycling type is pretty much a non issue.

      • Judith, we (faculty, staff and students) were required to take an on-line academic ethics course this summer at my University. One of the things they dealt with was self-plagiarism (the title is a bit of an oxymoron, but “recycling fraud”, another choice, sounds overly harsh).

        I think this is a bigger deal in other fields, but I have always been taught it was inappropriate to recycle old material into new articles, even introductions. (There’s some interesting readings here.)

      • Carrick, i had to take a similar online course this summer. Thanks for the link. Personally, on looking at text I previously wrote, I always find that I want to change it anyways, so I don’t tend to recycle text. I also tend not to write book chapters (i’ve written two, if i recall correctly), which seems to be a ripe target for text recycling.

  94. Political Junkie

    Let’s step back a bit.
    It’s clear that Mann’s supporters are critical of Wegman’s methodology and are suggesting that this is a sufficient reason to totally reject his conclusions. (Wrong methodology = wrong answer)
    The only solution is to do it all over again. Let’s have a new, totally transparent inquiry with experts agreeable to both sides. Do it like a union arbitration session; both sides submit a list of expert candidates and agree on panel members ahead of time. If the two sides can’t agree, bring both sides to the table. Agree on a broad scope and a mandate to study the statistical methodology, level of uncertainty, etc.
    Anybody game?

  95. The actual case for plagiarism is rather weak, but the real issue is what the newly discovered evidence says about the scientific content, and it does not reflect well.
    If instead of being the opinions of a statistical expert, the report is primarily stuff cut and pasted from Wikipedia, then how much faith should be put in the ‘expert’ part of the presentation?

  96. Alex Heyworth

    This week in one phrase: bangers and Mashey.

  97. Alex Heyworth

    Correction: last week.

  98. If instead of being the opinions of a statistical expert, the report is primarily stuff cut and pasted from Wikipedia, then how much faith should be put in the ‘expert’ part of the presentation?

    I can’t imagine why it would make any difference at all. Wegman in a Professor of Statistics, not climatology. Providing a little background for your readers, from a textbook, encyclopaedia or wherever, is just that, a little background. The conclusions of Wegmans expert analysis of Mann’s techniques is utterly unaffected – unless of course you are looking for any excuse at all to deny the obvious.

  99. Q. Is the description of Social Network Analysis in the Wegman report wrong?
    A. No!

    Q. Is the social network analysis of the paleoclimate community in the Wegman report in error?
    A. No!

    Q. Is the conclusion from the Wegman report that the paleoclimate community, who are reliant on statistical methods, are acting in isolation in anyway controversial?
    A. No!

    Q. Did the paleoclimate community react badly to the Wegman report as seen in the East Anglia emails?
    A. Yes!

    An aside on plagiarism

    Dear Warner Bros.,

    Apparently there is more than one way of conquering a city and holding it as your own. For example, up to the time that we contemplated making this picture, I had no idea that the city of Casablanca belonged exclusively to Warner Brothers. However, it was only a few days after our announcement appeared that we received your long, ominous legal document warning us not to use the name Casablanca.
    It seems that in 1471, Ferdinand Balboa Warner, your great-great-grandfather, while looking for a shortcut to the city of Burbank, had stumbled on the shores of Africa and, raising his alpenstock (which he later turned in for a 100 shares of common), named it Casablanca.
    I just don’t understand your attitude. Even if you plan on releasing your picture, I am sure that the average movie fan could learn in time to distinguish between Ingrid Bergman and Harpo. I don’t know whether I could, but I certainly would like to try.
    You claim that you own Casablanca and that no one else can use that name without permission. What about “Warner Brothers”? Do you own that too? You probably have the right to use the name Warner, but what about the name Brothers? Professionally, we were brothers long before you were. We were touring the sticks as the Marx Brothers when Vitaphone was still a gleam in the inventor’s eye, and even before there had been other brothers – the Smith Brothers; the Brothers Karamazov; Dan Brothers, an outfielder with Detroit; and Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?. (This was originally “Brothers, Can You Spare a Dime?” but this was spreading a dime pretty thin, so they threw out one brother, gave all the money to the other one, and whittled it down to “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?”)
    Now Jack, how about you? Do you maintain that yours is an original name? Well it’s not. It was used long before you were born. Offhand, I can think of two Jacks – Jack of Jack and the Beanstalk, and Jack the Ripper, who cut quite a figure in his day.
    As for you, Harry, you probably sign your checks sure in the belief that you are the first Harry of all time and that all other Harrys are impostors. I can think of two Harrys that preceded you. There was Lighthouse Harry of Revolutionary fame and a Harry Appelbaum who lived on the corner of 93rd Street and Lexington Avenue. Unfortunately, Appelbaum wasn’t too well-known. The last I heard of him, he was selling neckties at Weber and Heilbroner.
    Now about the Burbank studio. I believe this is what you brothers call your place. Old man Burbank is gone. Perhaps you remember him. He was a great man in a garden. His wife often said Luther had 10 green thumbs.
    What a witty woman she must have been! Burbank was the wizard who crossed all those fruits and vegetables until he had the poor plants in such confused and jittery condition that they could never decide whether to enter the dining room on the meat platter or the dessert dish.
    This is pure conjecture, of course, but who knows – perhaps Burbank’s survivors aren’t too happy with the fact that a plant that grinds out pictures on a quota settled in their town, appropriated Burbank’s name and uses it as a front for their films.
    It is even possible that the Burbank family is prouder of the potato produced by the old man than they are of the fact that your studio emerged Casablanca or even Gold Diggers of 1931.
    This all seems to add up to a pretty bitter tirade, but I assure you it’s not meant to. I love Warners. Some of my best friends are Warner Brothers. It is even possible that I am doing you an injustice and that you, yourselves, know nothing about this dog-in-the-Wanger attitude.
    It wouldn’t surprise me at all to discover that the heads of your legal department are unaware of this absurd dispute, for I am acquainted with many of them and they are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits and a love of their fellow man that out-Saroyans Saroyan.
    I have a hunch that his attempt to prevent us from using the title is the brainchild of some ferret-faced shyster, serving a brief apprenticeship in your legal department. I know the type well – hot out of law school, hungry for success, and too ambitious to follow the natural laws of promotion. This bar sinister probably needled your attorneys, most of whom are fine fellows with curly black hair, double-breasted suits, etc., into attempting to enjoin us.
    Well, he won’t get away with it! We’ll fight him to the highest court! No pasty-faced legal adventurer is going to cause bad blood between the Warners and the Marxes.
    We are all brothers under the skin, and we’ll remain friends till the last reel of A Night in Casablanca goes tumbling over the spool.

    Sincerely,

    Groucho Marx

  100. > Mosher
    > paraphrase the bradley piece and see how hard it is to capture all
    > the facts right AND avoid the high duplicate word count.

    Mosher ignores the problem by suggesting ‘paraphrasing’ is hard:

    ““they didn’t just copy material, they
    a) Weakened Bradley’s comments, adding ‘confounding factors’
    b) Introduced errors and
    c) in at least one case, directly inverted one of his conclusions, on p.4 of DC’s side-by-side.
    I’m perfectly willing to read an analysis by experts that says, ‘Bradley says this, but we disagree because…’, given the number of honest scientific arguments that are like that. Meaningful arguments = real science.”
    That’s quoted from:
    http://klimazwiebel.blogspot.com/2010/10/law-and-order-in-paleoclimate.html?showComment=1286767018716#c8331185738615982865

    • Hank: I don’t get the point of your repeated quotes from one blog comment.

      What are the stakes here? Why the big J’accuse? The blog post itself says of L’affaire Wegman:

      Honestly, I do not think this a big deal, and certainly not a cause for litigation – but what is not possible in paleoclimate science these days ?

      A much more substantive matter would be to discuss the findings described in the Wegman report itself.

  101. Surely a joke?? An American Association for the Advancement of Science seminar entitled “overcoming skepticism”????

    “Climate science” has moved well beyond parady.

  102. Q. Is the social network analysis of the paleoclimate community in the Wegman report in error?
    A. Yes! It is an analysis done in 2006 purporting to shed light on a situation in 1998 and 2000.

    Q. Is the conclusion from the Wegman report that the paleoclimate community, who are reliant on statistical methods, are acting in isolation in anyway controversial?
    A. Yes! First many in the paleoclimate community have been and had been working with statisticians and other scientists. Wegman and his coterie are not the statistical community. Second it ignores the trap that Wegman, and now McShane and Wyner and others have fallen into of stumbling into paleoclimate and other climate areas without understanding the data or the physical principles.

    • “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. ” – quote Mark Twain.

      It would appear that the paleoclimate community believe in the opposite.

    • Mac and Mark Twain are exactly right:

      “Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable. ”

      Here are a few facts (experimental data/observations) that were NOT pliable so they were simply ignored by Al Gore, the UN’s IPCC, the army that shared a Nobel Prize with them, the US NAS and the agencies it controls (NASA, EPA, DOE, etc) etc:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQZe_Qk-q7M

      With kind regards,
      Oliver K. Manuel
      Former NASA Principal
      Investigator for Apollo

  103. Eli

    Second it ignores the trap that Wegman, and now McShane and Wyner and others have fallen into of stumbling into paleoclimate and other climate areas without understanding the data or the physical principles.

    The physical principals. We really need to look at what is being said here. Is Eli suggesting that there is something inherent in the physical properties of tree rings or lake sediment that renders data so obtained immune to standard, competent statistical analysis? And is this “physical principal” so esoteric it can only be understood by those claiming the title of “Climate Scientists”?

    I rather suspect that this is just another case of special pleading for climate scientists, who are far too wise and all knowing to be subjected to trivial matters like external examination of their work, or criticism of any kind.

    Can Eli please explain just what are the “physical principals” he refers to that Wegmand\, McShane and Wyner have failed to comprehend. Or is it just shorthand for “stay off my patch, you’re embarrassing us”.

    And Wegman IS a leading statistician, whose views DO represent mainstream statistical thinking. Whatever you may imply, he is far more credible on this issue than anyone in the Team, if only because he does not try to hide his work from the review of his peers.

  104. Let’s see what options we have.
    1)Wegamn palgiarised parts of his report that showed that mannian methods produce hockey sticks from red noise.
    2)Wegamn didn’t palgiarised parts of his report that showed that mannian methods produce hockey sticks from red noise.
    Also, why’s it taken so long for someone from “The Team” to raise the subject, seeing as they’ve been trying for years to dismiss the report’s findings?
    Big La Nina in progress & SSTs dropping like a brick, cold winter coming and another nail into the CAGW coffin?

    • The delay from “the Team” is an interesting point. There are three likely possible reasons for Bradley’s silence until now, I think.
      1) “The Team” didn’t read Wegman’s report particularly closely or at all, relying instead on dismissal-by-rumour (“groupthinknot”).
      2) Bradley read Wegman but did not perceive it to be plagiarism of his own text, because it isn’t.
      3) Bradley read Wegman, recognised elements of his own text, but was satisfied that sufficient attribution was given for “common knowledge” in the context of the report for Congress.

      The explanation for late-date agitation falls to mob incitement of hysteria.

      I tend towards 1, given the demonstrated tendency of “the Team” to hear adulation and affirmation while dismissing, arbitrarily and without examination, anything incompatible with their groupthink.

  105. I must echo Peter Wilsons comment above.

    As a non scientist, non mathematician I would really like an explanation of why mathematics (which is the basis of statistical analysis) supposedly works differently in Climate Science.

    Does mathematics work differently in Chemistry as opposed to Physics as well? Or is it just certain areas of Climate Science?

  106. Simon Hopkinson

    I think that is a very good analysis. The number of times I read the Wegman and North reports and tried to reconcile that with what was being said by Team supporters and certain parts of the media… I am inclind to go for 1) as well as an explanation.

    Tonyb

  107. Hi I am new here. I am sorry if this this is not the right place for this but I was wondering If some one here on judithcurry.com would be able to help me to choose the better choice. The forums here are absolutely wonderful and certainly plan on sticking around for as long as I am welcome.

  108. Hello! are you interested in …

    !!

    ?
    !!

  109. RadXooterieyAutLand

    Del. I’m sorry – error topic…

  110. Как помнят все интересующиеся ФЗ-152 «О персональных данных» был принят в далеком 2006 году. Введение Закона в полную силу долго откладывалось, но когда-то он обязан был заработать. 1 июля 2011 это случилось.
    Для нас (госконтора, приблизительно в 20000 человек в то трудное время) вопрос поднялась в 2008 году.
    На начальном этапе не чрезвычайно страшно, однако после как в сказке: «Чем дальше, тем страшнее».

    Первый этап — начальные Оргмеры.

    — В каждой бумажке типа Заявления появилась надпись маленькими буковками (чтобы оставить прежний размер бланка) — «Выражаю дозволение на необходимое использование моих персональных данных, в том числе в информационных системах».
    — В Заявлениях для детские пособия было внесено прибавление про несовершеннолетних детей.
    — Также были взяты отдельные Заявления с согласием предоставления и передачи данных из других учреждений (Пенсионный Фонд, НПФ т.п.).

    Необыкновенно обильно бумаг и совсем маловато техники
    Другой этап — разработка правильной документации.
    Наступал 2009 год и было известно, который Начало снова отложат. Финансирования нет. Никто особо не торопится. Можно упражнять документацию. Вышестоящая контора дала образцы следующих документов:

    Предначертание о назначении должностных лиц, ответственных изза защиту информации ограниченного доступа, не содержащей государственной тайны;
    Приказ об определении контролируемой зоны, в которой расположены узлы автоматизированной системы предназначенной чтобы обработки информации ограниченного доступа, не содержащей государственно тайны;
    Распоряжение о запрещении обработки информации ограниченного доступа для не аттестованных объектах информатизации
    Инструкцию по эксплуатации средств защиты информации объекта вычислительной техники;
    Инструкцию сообразно установке нового и модификации используемого программного обеспечения для автоматизированной системе обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Инструкцию сообразно организации антивирусной защиты на автоматизированной системе обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Инструкцию администратору информационной безопасности автоматизированной системы, обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Инструкцию по внесению изменений в списки пользователей и наделению их полномочиями доступа к ресурсам автоматизированной системы обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Инструкцию по организации парольной защиты автоматизированной системы;
    Инструкцию по организации резервного копирования данных автоматизированной системы обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Инструкцию пользователя автоматизированной системы.
    Матрицу доступа к защищаемым ресурсам автоматизированной системы;
    Технический паспорт на АС;
    Журнал учета допуска к работе в автоматизированной системе обрабатывающей информацию ограниченного доступа;
    Книга учета и выдачи машинных носителей информации предназначенных для хранения информации ограниченного доступа, не содержащей государственной тайны;
    Журнал учета средств защиты информации;
    Форму Заявки для внесение пользователей АС;
    Форму Акта проведения технических работ для объектах информатизации АС;
    Список сведений конфиденциального характера;
    Перечень защищаемых информационных ресурсов;
    Описание технологического процесса обработки информации в выделенной локальной вычислительной узы;
    Схему коммутации выделенной локально вычислительной узы;
    Перечень лиц, допущенных к самостоятельной работе в АС.

    Третий этап — закупка технических средств защиты информации.
    Правильнее говорить, сколько закупала головная контора, мы потом только забирали. В результате получились:
    — Далласы на рабочие станции
    — Випнет координатор чтобы защищенного доступа по IP-MPLS каналу к вышестоящей конторе.
    — Глушилки
    — Проведена сертификация Windows Server (здесь подобное обсуждается)

    Четвертый этап — умственно-физические работы.
    Защищаемая автоматизированная порядок должна быть защищена и физически. Тогда непомерно удачно подвернулся переезд отдела, работающего с персональными данными для другой этаж. Определенный часть оказался в ограниченном помещении, взаперти из кабинетов отобрали почти серверную. В результате с этажа на маршрутизатор выходят два кабеля (основной и резервный). Компьютера форматнули, установили чистую обновленную винду, офис, антивирь, рабочую прогу. В октябре 2009 приехали ребята с Питера. Установили Далласы, глушилки, настроили випнет, сделали все замеры, откорректировали документацию.

    Пятый этап — завершение.
    В конце октября 2009 собралась внутренняя комиссия по защите персональных данных. Были назначены ответственные лица, которые должны были за неделю подготовить документы и провести работы по защите персональных данных (те самые, что перечислены со второго этапа). Следовать неделю ответственные постоянно сделали. И забота с радостью приняла защищенную систему в эксплуатацию. Проворно был получен аттестат для три возраст, для чем все и кончилось.

    Понятно, который для самом деле кончилось вдобавок не все.
    К примеру защищенная порядок является единым программно-техническим комплексом. Мышь не поменяешь. Зато раз в год позволительно вызвать аттестатора для проверки соблюдения всех показателей защиты. А аттестатор имеет преимущество изменять имеющиеся документы. Беспричинно сколько мышь поменять реально.
    Начинать и современная понятие электронного межведомственного взаимодействия. Понятие хорошая. Вот лишь, не предусмотренная предыдущей концепцией защиты персональных данных. Беспричинно который когда реализуем — будем делать аттестацию снова.

    Соответственно изменениям, внесённым законом № 363-ФЗ от 27 декабря 2009 возраст, операторы персональных данных должны привести соблазн системы обработки персональных данных, запущенные прежде 1 января 2010 возраст, в согласие с законом перед 1 января 2011 года. Федеральным законом после 23 декабря 2010 возраст № 359-ФЗ «О внесении изменения в статью 25 федерального закона „О персональных данных“» срок приведения информационных систем персональных данных, созданных прежде 1 января 2011 возраст, в согласие с требованиями закона № 152-ФЗ – не позднее 1 июля 2011 года. Последние изменения были внесены федеральным законом № 261-ФЗ после 25.07.2011. Этим законом была уточнена страна действия Федерального закона «О персональных данных», используемые в нём основные понятия, принципы и условия обработки персональных данных. Существенно переработаны действующие законодательные нормы, касающиеся трансграничной передачи персональных данных, мер сообразно обеспечению безопасности персональных данных присутствие их обработке, прав и обязанностей оператора, взаимоотношений оператора и субъекта персональных данных.

    Вступил в силу постановление О персональных данных 152-ФЗ
    информационные системы обработки персональных данных

  111. I agree entirely with the first paragraph.
    With the second one, not so much ;)

  112. Здравствуйте , ищу сервис расчета ЗП дали два линка, но это вообще непонятно что

    http://www.kinoodessa.com/mime/r/akciya-besplatno-2012-8c
    и
    http://www.kinoodessa.com/mime/r/v-arbitrazhnom-sude-rassmatrivayutsya-dela-d4

    не знаю где найти!

  113. biovkkinai

    [url=http://nmodc-real.dori.pp.ua/dw.html]Программы заставки на рабочий стол[/url]
    [url=http://978-law.es-pe.pp.ua/ngiyb.html]Гранд чероки мануал[/url]
    [url=http://www.es-pe.pp.ua/kbr.html]Функции управления качеством реферат[/url]
    [url=http://rent-game.es-pe.pp.ua/hzlxh.html]Driver genius keygen[/url]
    [url=http://886-mqncfh.es-pe.pp.ua/nugcef.html]Range Rover. Руководство по эксплуатации.rtf[/url]
    [url=http://263-sgjsoa.es-pe.pp.ua/np.html]Руководство по ремонту nissan pathfinder[/url]
    [url=http://leader.es-pe.pp.ua/mxs.html]Alpine cde 100eub инструкция скачать[/url]
    [url=http://mdj-96.es-pe.pp.ua/ln.html]Mts exe[/url]
    [url=http://395-elc.es-pe.pp.ua/ubxt.html]Государственные финансы реферат скачать[/url]
    [url=http://energy-extra.es-pe.pp.ua/fh.html]Karta moldovi dla n 97[/url]
    [url=http://marketing-brazil.es-pe.pp.ua/auzdx.html]X10 sony ericsson mini инструкция[/url]
    [url=http://472-me.es-pe.pp.ua/npir.html]Как написать заявление в суд образец[/url]
    [url=http://ecnkq-638.es-pe.pp.ua/micoi.html]Английский язык учебник скачать торрент[/url]
    [url=http://install-computing.es-pe.pp.ua/ovoxpa.html]Школа научного управления реферат[/url]
    [url=http://hot-retirement.es-pe.pp.ua/wbzl.html]Реферат кредит[/url]
    [url=http://land.es-pe.pp.ua/nkf.html]Скачать учебник 1 с[/url]
    [url=http://me-kfhs.es-pe.pp.ua/xeuzda.html]Сценарий дня рождения 7лет мальчика[/url]
    [url=http://mylibg-car.es-pe.pp.ua/xv.html]Настя задорожная ноты песни буду[/url]

    oqovjnnbdl

    http://www.biker-city.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=230814&p=278190#p278190
    http://gigantor.mpinet.com/palotest/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31863
    http://mybbtest.yoursub.org/showthread.php?tid=54186
    http://www.tp-support.ru/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=167436
    http://southcoastawd.com/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=214864

  114. My brother recommended I might like this blog.
    He was totally right. This post truly made my day.
    You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent
    for this info! Thanks!

  115. Где взять? Может тут кто знает??? подскажите

  116. Сам себе дизайнер. Добавьте свои нотки в будущую обстановку. Для начала составьте план, нарисуйте его. Так вы наглядно сможете увидеть все необходимые детали и продумать оптимальный результат. Ведь кому, как ни вам знать, где нужно оставить модуль с дверцами, а где вполне достаточно открытых не глубоких полочек. В конструкцию можно включить полки на опорных трубах, например, из пластика или металла. Добавьте несколько дверок « гармошек», они разбавят ощущение стандарта.
    http://mebelkupite.ru/
    8 (927) 286-31-39

    Место для хранения верхней одежды в коридоре всегда должно содержаться в порядке.
    Гостиная
    Во многих домах коридор (фойе) примыкает к гостиной.
    Вы можете сказать, что в наших условиях такие доисторические методы не нужны. Отнюдь! Ведь даже в самом раскрепощенном и демократическом обществе любой человек имеет право на свободу выбора.