Steyn versus Mann: norms of behavior

by Judith Curry

Mark Steyn’s latest blog post, and the ensuing tweets, prompts some reflections on norms of behavior for scientists versus political commentators.

Yesterday Mark Steyn posted Mann is an island.  Here are some excerpts that I will refer to:

The ACT might more usefully hand out awards of $18,793 to respectable persons willing to defend in public Michael E Mann. The Nobel Fauxreate and the world’s most un-exonerated man has been reduced to giving interviews to weird creepy fringe obsessives like Greg Laden on Puffball FM …whoops, sorry, I mean “Minnesota Atheist Talk Radio”. Why an atheist radio station would want to interview the prophet of a millenarial cult like Mannatollah Mike is a mystery to me, but you can find out live this Sunday at 9am Central.

Notwithstanding recent setbacks for their chap, Rabett & Co are staying chipper. Following the assertion that “Mann’s defenders are becoming scarce”, one commenter responds:

You’re confusing Michael Mann with Mark Steyn.

Indeed. You can’t tell the players without a score card. Currently in the DC courts, my defenders are down to notorious Koch-funded denialist groups like the American Civil Liberties Union, the Reporters Committee for Press Freedom, the American Society of News Editors, the Association of American Publishers, the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (The Village Voice et al), NBC Universal, Bloomberg News, the publishers of USA Today, Time, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Detroit Free Press, The Seattle Times, The Arizona Republic and The Bergen County Record.

Whereas Michael Mann’s defenders are Eli Rabett and Greg Laden.

Mann doesn’t critique Dr Curry’s science; he attacks her, in a way that’s really quite remarkable for a so-called “man of science”. That’s why the cost of keeping Michael Mann as the face of Big Climate activism is so high, and why fewer and fewer people think it’s worth it.

Greg Laden

Yesterday, Greg Laden tweeted:

Greg Laden @gregladen 
Do you seriously condone ms harassment of @MichaelEMann? And me? I am flabbergasted. Didn’t think u were that kind of person. @curryja

Huh?

Greg Laden @gregladen · 9h 9 hours ago
I hope Judith Curry (@curryja) apologizes for this. [link

From his blog post, it seems that Greg Laden is upset that I ‘favorited’ Steyn’s tweet.  I use the ‘favorite’ function as a filing system to flag tweets with links I want to read later, or things I want to consider for my Week in Review post.  Favoriting does not connote that I condone or endorse; in fact I have also favorited Sou Boudanga’s crazy posts about me to include in Week in Review.  I’ve never looked at anyone else’s lists of ‘favorites’; I had no idea mine were under scrutiny.

The rules of partisan twitter warfare seem to be this:

  • Only follow fellow partisans
  • Block anyone who questions you or tries to argue with you
  • “Favorite” function is a way of keeping score in a partisan war

JC message to Greg Laden: Well, I am not a partisan and I don’t play by these rules.  I follow a broad spectrum of people, and I have only blocked one person.  I use the favorite function as a filing system.

Mann: norms of scientific behavior

The reason that Mann finds himself singled out for attacks is, IMO, is that he has violated the norms of behavior for a scientist.  What are these norms?  They derive from the norms of science (Mertonian norms are a starting point).  Of particular relevance here are:

  • Communalism All scientists should have equal access to scientific goods (intellectual property) and there should be a sense of common ownership in order to promote collective collaboration, secrecy is the opposite of this norm.
  •  Universalism All scientists can contribute to science regardless of race, nationality, culture, or gender.
  • Disinterestedness according to which scientists are supposed to act for the benefit of a common scientific enterprise, rather than for personal gain.

Norms of scientific behavior, derived from these norms of science, that I regard Mann to have violated are:

  1. Attempts to thwart M&M in their efforts to reproduce MBH98, 99 (violates communalism)
  2. Helping Phil Jones et al. figure out how to circumvent FOIA requests (violates communalism)
  3. Attempts to dismiss M&M’s 2004 publication because McIntyre was a shill for fossil fuels (violates universalism)
  4. Attacking the person not the argument:  calling me ‘denier’, ‘anti-science’, ‘serial climate disinformer’  (violates universalism)
  5. Advocacy related to his area of expertise (violates disinterestedness, although the norm of disinterestedness is contested)

#1, #3, and #4 are moves in scientific warfare that are perhaps not too uncommon in scientific debates.  The other two relate to the high public relevance of climate science.  Lets face it, if this scientific debate was about string theory or something, Mark Steyn would not be paying attention.    And if Mann wasn’t an advocate, Steyn may not have paid attention either.

While there is considerable debate about the appropriate roles and responsibilities of scientists regarding advocacy, I will say this.  If you choose to be an advocate, and you engage in skullduggery such as #1-#4, your advocacy will amplify the public concern over #1-#4.

Steyn: norms of behavior

Mark Steyn is a political commentator, who is held to the norms of behavior of journalists.  See the Wikipedia for Journalism Ethics and Standards.  Whether Steyn’s original comments regarding ‘fraudulent hockey stick’ are libelous remains to be seen (e.g. court case).  But mud slinging seems to be part of the job description for political commentators. That community does not seem to regard Steyn’s comments to have violated the norms of journalist behavior as per the amici briefs filed on Steyn’s behalf by a substantial number of publishers, organizations and newspapers.

Conclusions

People on twitter ask things like “How is Mann’s calling Curry a serial climate misinformer as bad or worse as Steyn referring to Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick?”  Well the issue is the different norms of behavior between scientists and political commentators.  In the climate wars, there is not a level mudslinging playing field for scientists and political commentators.

When I have criticized Mann, I have criticized his involvement in Hiding the Decline, and also his violations of the norms of what I regard as appropriate behavior by scientists.  This is far different than what Mann has been doing in #1-#5 above.  5 years ago, defending Michael Mann against his attackers was regarded by many scientists as defending climate science.  At this point, I am not seeing many climate scientists standing up for Michael Mann, owing to his violations of the norms, unless they are extreme partisans.

And finally a response to Greg Laden. What do I think of Steyn’s remark “weird creepy fringe obsessives like Greg Laden”.   Well I know almost nothing about Greg Laden so I don’t know what might be behind Steyn’s remark.  Does such a statement violate the norms for political commentators?  Probably not.  Do I think it was an effective journalistic ploy?  No.   If Steyn is going after Mann, I don’t think it is effective to gratuitously insult Mann’s supporters.

A question for Greg Laden.  While you appear to be a partisan that supports Mann, do you condone his behavior #1-#4 above?

511 responses to “Steyn versus Mann: norms of behavior

  1. Pingback: Steyn Versus Mann | Transterrestrial Musings

  2. Anthony Watts

    Judith says: “I have also favorited Sou Boudanga’s crazy posts about me to include in Week in Review.”

    May I suggest that you name her as I do when referring to such things. Many of her posts have a crossover from crazy to libelous. I’ve had her on my “blog spawn” listing for months, and she’s aware,

    Her name is Miriam O’Brien, and like Mann she too is supposed to be a professional. Yet as we’ve seen, her hiding behind a fake name breeds an extra level of contempt and vitriol.

    People that say such things need to be held accountable to their words.

    • A Watts wrote:
      “People that say such things need to be held accountable to their words.”

      (Snort.)

      “Many of her posts have a crossover from crazy to libelous.”

      (Double snort.)

      • Got a cold there Apple? Or just tired of stalking children now?

      • WebHubTelescope


        philjourdan | October 1, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        Got a cold there Apple? Or just tired of stalking children now?

        This place sickens me because of people like you, philjourdan, and your team-mate O-Man. Hypocrisy knows no bounds.

      • Having read both, your attempt at sarcasm marks you as one less interested in honesty than advocacy Appell.

      • Some examples would be great David, not links, but cut and paste examples with explanations of what you are referring to. Then you could defend them and explain to use the error of our ways.

      • David, you should stop snorting as nose candy causes mood swings, paranoia, insomnia, psychosis, high blood pressure, tachycardia, panic attacks, cognitive impairments and drastic changes in personality.

      • Otter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

        When you read Anthony’s words, Davey, do you feel like you are hearing yourself described?

      • davideisenstadt

        really…you have the temerity to “snort” and “double snort”?

    • Ahh. That explains why some people got all excited and overheated when I asked ‘Sou’ to ‘grow a pair’ on twitter. Perhaps they knew that the person behind the weird pseudonym was female. Wasn’t at all obvious to me.

      Memo to people with dumb net names: Don’t be surprised if people take you as they find you. If you pretend to be a rabbit and talk of yourself in the third person, they’ll think you’re pretty barking bonkers. If you call yourself ‘Sou Boudanga’ or ‘And Therese’s Physics’ or ‘Web Hub Telescope’, they’ll draw their own conclusions too.

      • … LOL, Latimer … here in OZ it would not be surprising for ‘Sou’ to imagine, in fact, to “have a pair”.

      • “. If you pretend to be a rabbit and talk of yourself in the third person, they’ll think you’re pretty barking bonkers.”

        i want some reassurance he doesn’t have a crawlspace in his house – and that there are no local children missing.
        he’s just bloody creepy

    • May I suggest that people read the blog HotWhopper of Sou Boudanga. Real sceptics would like to hear the counter arguments to their daily dose of misinformation from WUWT.

      Revealing the name or email of anonymous bloggers and people commenting as punishment for critique is a disgusting bullying technique and is not a way to stimulate scientific debate. But then everyone should know by now that WUWT is not about scientific understanding, but a political blog which posts and reposts many text by anonymous people, such as Steven Goddard or The Pointman. People Watts would call anonymous coward, would they not agree with his political position.

      • Victor
        It is amusing that you post a link to “Hot Wopper” which appears to be a site dedicated to a philosophy or religious like acceptance that AGW is a pending disaster. Perhaps you can briefly explain what your largest concerns about AGW are and when these terrible things will occur?

      • Rob Starkey, you are wrong. Hotwhopper is a site dedicated to revealing the misinformation produced by WUWT. A concern I share. Political decisions should not be made on the basis of misinformation. That is not my idea of freedom and democracy.

        The level of the US debate and the polarisation that makes this possible is a much bigger concern than AGW to me.

        I am quite confident that we will solve climate change “soon”, whether you like it or not, simply because renewable energy becomes too dirt cheap. That is not a big concern on mine.

        BTW, do you think that revealing the names and emails of anonymous bloggers and people commenting is good behaviour? Is that how you would expect a good Christian to behave?

      • Victor
        Imo, revealing the names of “anonymous bloggers” is sometimes appropriate. The situation would need to be judged on a case by case basis.

        I can’t comment on how “good Christians” vs. “others” should act. I am not a Christian or a republician.

        I agree that WUWT is biased and sometimes posts articles that I I do not agree with, but generally, I find it to be a useful site with useful links.

        Victor- at the end of the day, the discussion is about AGW and what should be done. When you post a link to a site that labels people as deniers, imo you loose creditability.

        What is a denier to you btw?

      • What is a denier to you btw?

        Someone he cannot debate with facts, so must impugn with ad hominems.

      • I’ve studied that blog. It is a vile collection of vitriol that could only be of interest to the most weak-minded of partisans. Think: “red-meat for the cognitively dissonant”, except the meat is spoiled. The fact that you choose to endorse it says all I or anyone needs to come to a conclusion about your credibility.

        But enough with that. The point of this thread is the unprofessional behavior of climate science’s self-appointed pope. I agree completely with Judith Curry that Michael Mann has acted well outside the bounds of professional behavior. In fact, that is one of the reasons that led me to study this branch of my own field in more depth; I was stunned that any scientist could achieve even a small measure of success while violating the norms of scientific behavior so flagrantly. And with this careful study, I realized that his technical work is as (un)impressive as his social character. I see a great deal of very poor work in this field, and nearly all of it (that is, the work performed by professionals) exists at the alarmist end of the spectrum.

        Just as disturbing, I see students on twitter who follow his lead: poor science, poor behavior. I would immediate fire any student of mine who had the temerity to insult Judith Curry OR Michael Mann with ad-homs in public, yet it happens, and he re-tweets! (And not as a bookmark) It is obvious that the field is saturated with activists, but to encourage and facilitate activists who are also poor quality researchers and humans is why climate science is in the trouble it’s in.

      • Victor, WUWT is the top climate site in the world. You know that of course. The fact that it doesn’t comport with your radical ideology doesn’t change a thing. Anyone with an ounce of brains knows that Mann is a complete fraud. I suspect that deep down you know it as well but your reflexive left ideology prevents you coming clean.

      • Cut Victor some slack. He did provide a lot of hilarity with his antics over at Pointman’s blog. Maybe we can get him to reprise those antics. ;-)

      • Victor, nobody who chooses to blog about an issue as divisive as global warming can expect to stay anonymous. Big boy pants, heat – kitchen, all that sort of stuff.

      • I spent a fair amount of time over at HotWhopper last year. I commented on a couple of the more outrageous posts. I finally concluded she was a fanatic and spending time there was a waste of time. Her posts are a trip through most of the common logical fallacies. I’ll keep the opinion I formed of her to myself.

      • Rob Starkey: “Victor- at the end of the day, the discussion is about AGW and what should be done.”

        I guess that is a main reason for the miscommunication. For the scientists it does matter that the arguments are right and the evidence is there.

        When they read a WUWT post, they think: hey that´s wrong, that is bad, that is not how people should be informed.

        Whereas what is communicated is what should be done about AGW: nothing. All such a post is, is a pledge of allegiance to the cause: doing nothing.

        Scientists cannot tell you what should be done. They can, at best, inform you what (some of the) consequences will be of the various policy options.

        The people and their representatives determine what should be done (ideally).

        Rob Starkey: “When you post a link to a site that labels people as deniers, imo you loose creditability.”
        Alex H: “The fact that you choose to endorse it says all I or anyone needs to come to a conclusion about your credibility.”

        Feel free to use any heuristic rule that helps you to find the best possible information on what happens around you.

        I do find it somewhat surprising to see this double claim in a community that typically violently protests against any mentioning of the fact that there is a consensus with climatology that the temperature is rising and that that is caused by man. Using consensus to guide your reading is also just a heuristic rule, but a much more reliable one.

        Rob Starkey: “What is a denier to you btw?”

        Denier is a term for people that deny something. A term I try to avoid because people use it to distract from the real discussion. Like here.

        Jonathan Abbott: “nobody who chooses to blog about an issue as divisive as global warming can expect to stay anonymous. Big boy pants, heat – kitchen, all that sort of stuff.”

        I am happy to work in Germany at the moment. A country that has the freedom of research in the constitution and thus does not allow any FOIA harassment of scientists.

        Had that not been the case, I think I would not be in this discussion. Certainly not with my name. Political activists might see that as a good thing. People interested in understanding the climate system better might see it as a bad thing when knowledgeable people and scientists do not participate in the public debate.

      • victor

        perhaps you can post a science paper here that will demonstrate how tree rings give a reliable temperature signal accurate to tenths of a degree because I have failed to find the evidence they can do so as yet

        tonyb

      • Just imagine that all the alarmist claims were true, and there was and always had been general acceptance of them. (It means pretending climate science actually exists, in ignorance of deep hydrosphere, and most of earth’s bulk etc…but we’re pretending for the moment.)

        Now think of the toy technologies, the white elephants, the giant money fiddles. Think of the transfers of emissions and hence industry from one place to another, the useful infrastructure that never got built, the nukes and modernised coal power we don’t have. Consider also the contribution to political instability from failing to develop domestic energy supplies and increasing reliance on Russia, ME, Nigeria etc. Consider then the enormous waste of carbon to support low-carbon schemes…

        Look, I won’t go on with a long list. Just think of Woodchips-to-Drax. Now ask yourself:

        Who are absolute LAST people you would consult about solutions?

        Well?

        Exactly!

      • Give an example of a violent protest. Just one.

      • Suggestions like that would give pause to any reasonable person giving any credibility to what you might say. But if you want to look foolish Victor, go right ahead.

      • Victor, Even for the climate debate Hottie Wopper is exceptional for its vitriol, ad hominums, and just plain wrong stuff. There are some people who are so partisan, they like that. But its actually worse than WUWT perhaps because anonymity leads to more irresponsible behavior. Miriam what’s her name has no expectation of privacy on the web and I am surprised that you are so silly as to say its unethical to “out” her. That just reveals a skewed ethical sense but you seem to me to generally be one to like double standards, a lax one for you and your partisans and a stricter one for those you don’t like.

      • I am surprised to learn of Germany’s rules on research data. One thing the progressive movement got right is the idea that sunlight is the best disinfectant, particularly in government, or for government funded research. That is one thing Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and people of liberal principles up to the present day could agree on. You find yourself in the company of Richard Daly, Richard Nixon, and the CIA and NSA. Hope you feel comfortable.

      • @David Young 10/1 at 11:24 pm
        ….One thing the progressive movement got right is the idea that sunlight is the best disinfectant, particularly in government, or for government funded research. That is one thing Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and people of liberal principles up to the present day could agree on.

        Woodrow Wilson and sunlight? You rewrite history. His wife was acting President for 18 months.
        Wilson collapsed Oct. 2 in the White House after a national tour seeking support for the Treaty of Versailles and America’s entrance into the League of Nations. He went into seclusion for the remainder of his presidency. The treaty he had so strongly championed was rejected by the Senate in March 1920.

        “This is the worst instance of presidential disability we’ve ever had,” said John Milton Cooper, a Wilson scholar at the University of Wisconsin. “We stumbled along . . . without a fully functioning president” for a year and a half, he said.

        The public was largely left in the dark about Wilson’s condition. The official White House line was that the president was suffering from “nervous exhaustion.” Other presidents have also concealed health problems, historians say, but the secrecy that enveloped Wilson’s illness seems difficult to imagine today.
        – “A President’s Illness Kept Under Wraps” – WaPo Feb 3, 2007

      • Stephen, perhaps if Wilson had gone outside into the sunshine, he’d have been disinfected and recovered. But, yes, if he allegedly supported the principle, he didn’t live up to it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Victor Venema: May I suggest that people read the blog HotWhopper of Sou Boudanga. Real sceptics would like to hear the counter arguments to their daily dose of misinformation from WUWT.

        If you think that WUWT posts misinformation, you can always post rebuttals that link to information. What I have seen at HotWhopper is not worth reading — except of course to confirm that it is not worth reading. Perhaps when there is something there that is worth reading, you could provide the link and a short summary of its merit. You could follow the example of A friend of @MORE@ discourse. I follow lots of links that he or she provides; I seldom agree with claims made about those links, but at least I understand FOMD’s positions better. Perhaps you found something meritorious is Sou Boudanga’s calling Anthony Watts a “coward”; or her misunderstanding of the EOF analysis of the recent stadium wave paper; or her misunderstanding of the factual errors in Mann’s court filing (which Sou Boudanga referred to as an “obsession” at WUWT with a magazine cover.) Perhaps you liked the critique of the Nature editorial by Victor and Kennel in which they advocated abandonment of the 2C goal for climate policy.

        But then everyone should know by now that WUWT is not about scientific understanding, but a political blog which posts and reposts many text by anonymous people, such as Steven Goddard or The Pointman.

        I would recommend people read WUWT instead of HotWhopper if their time is limited. But I am open to reading some of the posts by Sou Boudanga that you especially recommend.

      • Victor, re the FOI requests:

        It is a difficult situation. I believe it is right that members of the public should be able to see exactly what those being paid from the public purse are doing. However, that right should be tempered with caveats limiting the amount of time wasting that those wishing to be a nuisance can create. Of the FOI requests listed in your link, I would say that some are imprecise and should be rejected, and others should certainly be answered. It is difficult to know where to draw the line, it is subjective but that is the situation we are in.
        The most important point I would like to make is that the law is the law. Your ire would best be turned upon those that drafted and passed badly written FOI laws that fail to put in place the proper safeguards. Not those who simply use the law as it is. If you don’t like the law, campaign to get it changed.

        I would also like to pick you up on your straw man statement about anyone who “…violently protests against any mentioning of the fact that there is a consensus with climatology that the temperature is rising and that that is caused by man.”
        The vast majority of sceptics/deniers/whatever focus on two key issues re the consensus:
        1. That those who seek to quantify the consensus (usually for some reason at 97%) do so through blatant misuses of the scientific method and research ethics.
        2: That the existence or otherwise of a consensus tells us nothing at all about the science.
        It seems to me that the majority of the people on ‘my side’ have no doubt that a majority of those currently working in climatology or related disciplines believe that anthropogenic CO2 was an important driver of late 20thC warming. Why else would the example of the failure of the majority of geologists to accept plate tectonics be mentioned so often, or my personal favorite, that of Lord Kelvin attempting to estimate the age of the earth:
        http://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/kelvin/

      • Ted Carmichael

        Hi, Victor. You said, “Revealing the name or email of anonymous bloggers […] is a disgusting bullying technique.” I don’t think Ms. O’Brien intends her various pseudonyms to protect anonymity. She doesn’t seem to be trying to “hide” her identity. For example, on her LinkedIn page she says, “Miriam runs a popular climate blog as a hobby.” So it seems she promotes, rather than hides, the connection.

      • Victor,
        You say “Hotwhopper is a site dedicated to revealing the misinformation produced by WUWT” yet Hotwopper just makes slurs and innuendos – no proper rebuttals at all. Whereas WUWT openly states anything that’s received could be published. It’s up to the readers to consider and research things. A huge number of sceptics are like me – interested in puzzling out a complex problem. We’re sceptical of WUWT just as much as of ‘warmist’ scientists.

        I agree with you that climate change will be solved, but not due to windmills and solar panels being cheap at 50 deg. North.

        It’ll be because researchers are having an opportunity to investigate what happens to the climate when the sun goes quiet (if the sun researchers who predict an even weaker cycle 25 than the current one are correct). This hasn’t been possible for 40 years.

      • Victor
        Imo, it would be productive for you to more closely examine your own biases on the topic of AGW.

        You wrote-“ For the scientists it does matter that the arguments are right and the evidence is there. When they read a WUWT post, they think: hey that´s wrong, that is bad, that is not how people should be informed.”

        My response- You overly generalize the reactions of different people to reading a post or paper. I agree that there are points in many WUWT posts that many people do not agree is the absolute truth. Do you not also see that the same is true of posts at Skeptical Science (as an example). Disagree and point out the reasons for your disagreement with a post identifying what was wrong with the post. There is much disagreement on AGW regarding what will happen in the future in different locations and what can and should be done by different nations. Why is it that you feel that the biases at WUWT are so terrible?

        You wrote- “I do find it somewhat surprising to see this double claim in a community that typically violently protests against any mentioning of the fact that there is a consensus with climatology that the temperature is rising and that that is caused by man.”

        My response- I disagree that “a community” reacts at this site in regards to claims of a scientific consensus on AGW. Individuals react based on the specific claims being presented. There is no scientific consensus regarding what the rate of temperature change will be as a function of CO2, nor what other conditions will change in various places around the planet both positively and negatively as a result of any temperature changes that do occur. I agree there is a consensus that if all other conditions remain unchanged that higher levels of CO2 will result in higher temperatures. What you do not seem to fully understand it that it is a complex system with much more than CO2 impacting it.

        You wrote- “ Whereas what is communicated is what should be done about AGW: nothing. All such a post is, is a pledge of allegiance to the cause: doing nothing.”

        My response- I have not read any posts at WUWT that ever suggested “doing nothing” in response to AGW, so I believe your comment is factually incorrect. It comes down to an evaluation of the specific action(s) being proposed and an evaluation of what the proposed action is expected to accomplish and what it will cost and what other alternatives are available. I personally strongly disagree that most CO2 mitigation actions make sense and would challenge you or anyone else to justify a specific CO2 mitigation proposal.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        What about FOIA has you so concerned for yourself, VIctor?

      • Hot Whopper is to serious skepticism what “Left Behind” is to serious theology.

      • Well, V Venema, regarding ‘daily doses of misinformation,’
        just what sceptics ask for and should get is a climate science
        debate, according to the Mertonian norms of communalism,
        openness and universalism, which were by-passed as the
        record shows.

        The journals were gate-kept, CRU data was not made openly
        available, the IPCC narrowly ascribed to a path of ‘consensus
        science,’ no genuine investigation of whether a simple climate
        control knob ’causes’ changes in climate.

    • Judith and Anthony: I’ve grown to enjoy reading Miriam’s HotWhopper. She’s a treat who keeps on giving. Miriam redirects and misdirects so seamlessly that her readers haven’t the slightest idea she’s misled them. She pretends to have a vast knowledge of every topic, while displaying a miniscule grasp of them. That she has commenters who agree with her highlights their limited knowledge of the topics at hand. In short, I find Miriam extremely amusing. How can all of that anger and hatred Miriam displays exist in one person? She’s remarkable in that light.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Bob Tisdale: Miriam redirects and misdirects so seamlessly that her readers haven’t the slightest idea she’s misled them. She pretends to have a vast knowledge of every topic, while displaying a miniscule grasp of them.

        I think that is a fair assessment. But I did not find her posts amusing or a treat. Obviously the indisputable matter of taste is involved. So mine is just another opinion tossed into the ring (or “sandlot” as I call it sometimes.)

    • Good to see Anthony Watts is back in full ‘blog-rage’ mode after his recent face-to-face encounter with Dr Mann forced him to act like a reasonable person….. at least for a short while.

      But, back in front of the screen, the arm-chair key-board warriors faux courage slowly grows until they are back hurling insults and pouring out bile from the safety of their screens.

      Cowards.

      And what’s with this creepy obsession of ‘outing’ people, who have the temerity to disagree with Watts?

      Creepy cowards.

      • Not as creepy as a talking donkey.

      • Shrek. :)

      • Scott Basinger

        Michael: Coming from a guy who hides behind a pseudonym and spouts bile, the accusation of ‘coward’ doesn’t hold a lot of weight.

      • My name is Michael.

        And Watts has demonstrated his cowardice, for all to see, regardless of my name.

      • Letting Mann talk uninterrupted was a wise move.
        Any person, particulalry Mann, diong his Capt. Queeg should be allowed all the time needed.

      • Michael,

        I’m very critical of the left in particular over the many excesses demonstrated in the AGW agenda by advocates….comparing people to who dissent to “Holocaust Deniers”….burning books….threatening prison terms and death sentences over climate consensus orthodox enforcement…..and of course the vitriol found every day at the Daily Kos, Huffington Post, Paul Krugman and the NY Times not to mention the fringe “Hot Whopper” or “Think Progress” to name only a tiny few from the cultural excess. AGW fanaticism is one of a number of glaring examples where internal self-policing of similarly minded people has completely broken down in the past 20 years in particular. In the past, I’m thinking of the violence of the “anti-war” movement (ironic wasn’t it?) where mainstream liberals denounced the worst fringe parties associated to their social philosophy. There were of course many liberals who stood against global communist totalitarianism in the critical post WW2 period as well. It had to have been declining of course to get to the point we are in today and the state of our political schism but we should note there was some internal policing.

        With that said I will voice my disapproval of what Anthony Watts has done. It’s somewhat counter productive and hypocritical to be “outing” and denouncing “anonymity” of participants since it’s that very process that brought forth “ClimateGate” not to mention the many worthwhile contributions found at WUWT. There are always special reasons and cases but if participants, public figures or not, with to discuss content and political views in particular in internet anonymity it remains a generally positive net social gain. Hotwhopper is a truly fringe blog point, that’s understood by the rational and the personalization of grievances is no doubt understood. If there is to be a discussion about internet anonymity and pseudonyms then let there be one without changing the rules for some not others. If Anthony Watts feels so strongly about everyone being publicly disclosed on one site he could create the same fully disclosed conditions on his site, which he hasn’t done. Why a double standard?? Perhaps there is one rule (in AW’s mind) for those who operate a site vs. those who merely comment on sites. I’d be interested to hear.

        Understand, I respect Anthony Watts and the very useful aggregator impact of WUWT. I’m more attune to the Morano/Delingpole skepticism focused on why junk science was produced for a political end rather then deeply critiquing the technical invalidity of the AGW “science” propositions (a process so overblown it validates the garbage “science” by the levels of attention and detail it give the content). I’ve gotten on the back of what I refer to as the “technical skeptics” both here and at WUWT over years now for ignoring the glaring political association of the core of AGW advocacy while expending huge effort on soon to be forgotten talking point technical propaganda. I feel that everything is moving, all-be-it too slowly toward the Morano/Delingpole/myself conclusions and have even seen improvements from WUWT in that regard. Regardless, not to be hypocritical, I’ll take Anthony Watts to task as I’ve described above. Maybe he had special reasons for what at best was a tacky and petty outing post here. My gut said it was wrong when I saw it and if I didn’t comment it would put me in the same camp of the many semi-rational liberals who watch their own peers go off the deep end daily and hardly comment. That certainly includes the academic climate scientists who have shamefully watched the AGW debate become what it obviously is. No, I’m not the same as that.

      • The fact the pop-psychologist made sure Mann only got softball questions form his supports has no part to play in it did it ?
        Mann was always going to claim a great victory no matter what happened, in the same way he always plays the victim when it’s him doing the attacking. Although I understand when you work to the standard of ‘heads you lose tails I win ‘ how you always put yourself on the ‘right side ‘ but its not got nothing to do with science and means you no less of a fool they you come across.

    • catweazle666

      “like Mann she too is supposed to be a professional”

      Really?

      She could have fooled me!

      Professional what, as a matter of interest?

      On second thoughts, with a pseudonym like “Hot Whopper”…

  3. I, too, was confused by the Laden posting. Like Dr. Curry, I use the favorite in Twitter to allow me to keep track of interesting links over the various platforms I use to access the internet (work computer, home computer, iPad and iPhone). This seems to be a standard usage for the tool and as such was quite confused when Mr. Laden demanded an apology (of all things) for using the favorite button on a Mark Steyn link.

    As a Canadian I have a soft spot in my heat for Mr. Steyn as he did excellent work fighting to preserve our freedom of speech under the old human right’s legislation. While I often disagree with his sentiments and his viewpoints, he has a witty sensibility and writes excellent prose. I have purchased and read his books and understand why he acts the way he does. As a note, he views himself as both a social as well as a political commentator and is also an entertainer. He has never claimed to be a scientists, having admitted to abandoning school at an early age. Holding him to academic standards of speech makes no more sense than holding a stand-up comedian to the same standards. Mr. Steyn makes his living by pulling eyeballs and ears to his writing and performances. As such he is liable to go over the top much more often than an academic.

    • I too have a soft spot for Steyn for taking on the Islamists who were using the Canadian Human Rights commission to silence criticism of radical Islam and trying to enforce the journalistic standards of Saudi Arabia on Canadian journalists. For that, Steyn island always will be a hero in my books. And I have a hard spot for Mann because of what Mann did to Tim Ball, the Winnipeg-based Frontier Centre for Public Policy, and an unnamed “John Doe” when he sued them for libel. I personally think that Mann in the same calibre of people as those Islamists screaming for the beheading of anyone who dares post a cartoon of Mohammed. That is my opinion of Mann. I say that because suing people who disagree with your science is not what a real scientist does. If your data can stand intense scrutiny of the naysayers then who gives a flying fudge about being called a fraud. You are right by virtue of your good work. If you have to sue, at worst you must have something to cover up, at best, you are too much of a whiney pants to be doing science.

    • Since Prof. Mann went after Steyn I have added the Steyn Online RSS feed to my daily diet. His prose is brilliant, his wit is a razor, and he certainly knows how to weave a good story. His column is a must read, no matter what the subject.

      Thanks, Michael, for the tip!

    • I very much like ‘soft spot in my heat’.
      ============

  4. A side-effect of Mann’s repeated violations of the implicit code of conduct for scientists has been the erosion of public trust in scientists. By no means is Mann the only culprit, but as a highly visible representative of The Team, his shocking lack of professionalism in those violations has smeared all of science.

    I would say that this kind of behavior is a major factor in my lack of respect for climate science in general. Any field that is communally unable to respond to (and in fact, implicitly condones) such behavior in a scientist is a field that doesn’t have the ability to self-correct and is therefore not really worthy of being called “science.”

    • The erosion of public trust is a very good point against Mann. Fortunately science still has a few good Judith Curryes.

    • I have a multi-disciplinary science degree and a life-long interest. And still, I have to agree with your assessment – the behavior of climate scientists in general and Michael Mann in particular have put a bad taste in my mouth that has leaked over into a feeling about the scientific establishment in general. Seeing their behavior over the years (the corruption of science journalism, the co-optinf of scientific societies, the intrusion of politics) has disappointed me and taken away a measurable amount of my enthusiasm. The fact that the behavior is so wide-spread, reaching into fields beyond climate science, just reinforces that feeling.

    • –Any field that is communally unable to respond to (and in fact, implicitly condones) such behavior in a scientist is a field that doesn’t have the ability to self-correct and is therefore not really worthy of being called “science.”–
      I agree, but also believe that because is public servant, his behavior is far more evil.
      And there few dimension to it, but which include his disservice to this fellow public servants.

    • Fizzy, many of my guest posts here focus narrowly on climate or related papers less influential, but just as bad as, Mann’s hockey stick. Thatbisnjust the poster child. It seems the problem is endemic both to climate science per se (temperature records, cloud feedback, …) and consequences (weather extremes to SLR to polar bears). And in renewables disinformation, which is related. The forthcoming book is filled with examples..
      The problem brings all of science into disrepute. And that is a big problem for public policy.

    • One of the worst effects of Mann’s behavior is what seems to be a whole generation of people who think his behavior is normal, that authority trumps data, that ideology trumps truth, that lying is justified if your cause is noble, that RFK Jr is right to call for jail for skeptics. The real damage is being done to the people who believe in Mann as their conception of science based on Mann’s actions will set us back 200 years or more.

  5. You’re writing, Dr. Curry will win the day. Otherwise we’re in a lot more trouble than I thought.

  6. I hope this hits bottom soon — because everyone is starting to look pretty scummy by now.

    • Not true at all.

    • David Wojick

      As theater of the absurd it is quite entertaining.

    • Where by “everyone” David Appell means people he agrees with.

    • Snort & Double snort (3:19 pm). Then “pretty scummy.”

      David, I hope you have hit bottom.

    • Steyn is looking like a hero of the Enlightenment to me, and Mann is looking like its enemy.

    • Dr Appell, I guess people are more complex than we sometimes assume. That is the best statement I have heard you make and I couldn’t agree more. However, because this has a political element to it I’m afraid we probably won’t see the genie put back in the bottle.

    • Dave VanArsdale

      David Appell (@davidappell) on October 1, 2014 at 3:16 pm
      I hope this hits bottom soon — because everyone is starting to look pretty scummy by now.

      That depends upon “what the meaning of ‘is’ is.”

      • Mosh

        At least you have given me an answer but it still avoids the basic question as to HOW a tree ring with all it’s Many microclimate concerns AND that it can only be sampled twice within the short growing season, can produce a result that has any utility.

        any links to books and papers are welcome although I have read a Fair few of them.

        Trees can provide an idea of age, they might be able to indicate if a growing season was wet or dry but that is surely as far as it goes. But If you know better I am willing to listen.

        You might also like to give me your opinion on boreholes which show an upwards rise in temperatures since 1700 which goes in the opposite direction to tree ring proxies.

        Which are right, or does it depend on what results you want, which will dictate which signal you decide to select?

        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        Mosh

        At least you have given me an answer but it still avoids the basic question

        1. This is MORE than you have ever done with my simple request.
        a) supply the “data” for any decade you like around 1300
        b0 describe your method for transforming this into a temperature.
        c) describe your method for calculating and uncertainty.

        I will do a blind test of your method. And we will see if your method can acheive repeatable results.

        “as to HOW a tree ring with all it’s Many microclimate concerns AND that it can only be sampled twice within the short growing season, can produce a result that has any utility.”

        a) The protocal calls for selecting trees that are temperature limited.
        This means trees in locations where micro climate plays less of a
        role.
        b) sampled twice? dont make stuff up.
        c) the utility is pretty straightforward when you do the calculation
        you get an estimate.

        Trees can provide an idea of age, they might be able to indicate if a growing season was wet or dry but that is surely as far as it goes. But If you know better I am willing to listen.

        go read more.

        You might also like to give me your opinion on boreholes which show an upwards rise in temperatures since 1700 which goes in the opposite direction to tree ring proxies.

        bore holes have inherent problems, see climate audit.

        Which are right, or does it depend on what results you want, which will dictate which signal you decide to select?

        you assume that you SELECT one. stop with the either or thinking.
        What you have is different data, different methods, and answers that
        will either hang together or not.
        Imagine you found 50 documents where monks noted a warm spring.
        The warmest in 50 years.
        Imagine you found a tree ring recon that supported this
        Imagine you found a pollen study that supported this
        Imagine you found a sediment study that support this
        Imagine boreholes went the other way.

        What would you conclude? How would you reconcile?

        Now imagine you found 1 written record that said it was cold
        tree rings say warm
        pollen says warm
        sediments say warm
        borehole says warm
        a climate model that says warm

        how would you reconcile? is there a valid method for combining these lines of evidence? for weighing them? A method established BEFORE you look at the data.

      • Mosh

        I have referenced the method of obtaining temperatures from observations at least four times but you tend not to return to posts.

        In dec 2011 I made this comment

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/#comment-149861

        I then went to the met office to borrow the book and took the trouble to excerpt the methodology which I then sent you.

        I am not dr Mann with research funds and assistants.i have taken the time and trouble to detail the methodology for you but do not claim accuracy to tenths of a degree.

        I am busy with trying to reconstruct the period 1190 to around 1400 in order to try to ascertain if this covers the transition to the LIA and do not intend to go over four year old ground again at present but if you want the excerpted part again you only need to ask and I will dig it out

        Tonyb

      • –a) The protocol calls for selecting trees that are temperature limited.
        This means trees in locations where micro climate plays less of a
        role.–
        I wonder how this is done.
        Would it be constant source of ground water. Or lots of rain in region
        and there is never a shortage of water.
        Is related to some very local topography?
        Where are examples of microclimate playing the least and the most- and
        where such conditions persist for centuries?
        Less forest fires in region? No humans ever been is that area?
        And a protocol sort of indicates widespread and establish methods, who are the people which use them? And what biases or preferences does this group have?

        Just due to “changing weather” I am not sure where such locations are as examples of either extreme of most or least, even if a time is limited to one year.

    • Quit swimming in it David and perhaps your view will change.

      • Steven Mosher

        “However, you might like to answer my broader question as to why trees are thought to have any utility as a means of telling the global temperature so accurately over the last 1000 years?”

        They are thought as having utility because they DO have utility.

        The question is always HOW MUCH utility.

        In general looking at the theory and the data it seems clear that if you
        select trees from areas where their growth is temperature limited ( what you are supposed to do ) and if you do multiple cores, that you can extract a temperature signal from certain species. That signal will of course come with noise. The amount of noise limits the utility, it gives you an error.
        Just as with CET where one is forced to use thermometers that were indoors. Or just as one is forced to use words ( it was hot) as a proxy.
        Utility, but limited. With a proxy you have the benefit of being able to put a uncertainty bounds on the data. If that bound is wide it doesnt tell you much. But we can have a discussion of methodology. With impressionistic interpretation there no such method.

        I certainly would not toss out any data, proxy or written record, of temperature in 1300, for example. The question isnt which is the truth.
        The truth is un knowable. The question is how do we combine all the evidence we have and what weight ( a fricken number) do we assign to the evidence. I’ve yet to see any simple demonstration, for example, of how you go from a written record to a temperature. Pick any decade you like. Show the written record. Describe your method. Hide your result from me and see if I can duplicate your result. If you can’t or dont test your approach this way then its nothing.

      • Mosh

        I don’t know why my reply ended up where it did so will try again

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/01/steyn-versus-mann-norms-of-behavior/#comment-634371

        Tonyb

      • This ‘debate’ between Mosher and Tonyb is more or less polite and interesting at one level – exactly why would anyone think a tree could be a good thermometer? However, where is the input from a dendrochronologist? My guess is that any who are reading this are being careful not to step in it. They know the limitations of the technique.

        I’m not a dendroclimatologist, but I have cored many hundreds of trees and I know what a tree is and it is not a thermometer. Tree rings give you an index of how well a tree grew over a period of years. That is it. Perhaps you can pick sites where rainfall is the dominant influence on the signal, but I do not think it is possible to pick sites where temperature over-rides rainfall, growing season length, insect damage, root rot, competition with other trees and all the other factors that influence tree growth. The ‘hide the decline’ is a good example of why trees are not useful as thermometers.

        Trees may be a proxy for how conducive their local environment was for their growth and may be useful checks for other proxies, but they are not thermometers.

    • Moyhu is doing a pretty good job defending Mann, but it’s really all been done before.

      http://moyhu.blogspot.com/

      Note: Polite company does not use the term “Sliming” in polite discourse, scientific or otherwise.

      The Auditor could put his big boy boots on and go out and core his own trees.

      • The Auditor could put his big boy boots on and go out and core his own trees.

        He has.

        Or did you mean our local dwarf?

      • Dwarves could take offense, AK.

        Have you inspected the 1:100 selection lately, or are you still silent on that matter?

      • Have you inspected the 1:100 selection lately, or are you still silent on that matter?

        I’ve been reading the arguments at CA. Have you noticed what a beating Nick Stokes is taking?

        Why should I say anything when an expert like McSteve is explaining far better than I could? With plenty of help, some of it already probably too amateur.

      • Steven Mosher

        Doh! bob just own goaled.

        here is clue. bob.

        There are some people ,, when you challenge them to down their own science. well, they actually do it.

      • Did a paper get published?

      • > Why should I say anything when an expert like McSteve is explaining far better than I could?

        There’s not need to explain, AK: all you have to do is to find where you can find any doctrinal point on this 1:100 selection in the recent racehorsing of the fiercest player in the history ClimateBall ™

      • There’s not need to explain, AK: all you have to do is to find where you can find any doctrinal point on this 1:100 selection in the recent racehorsing of the fiercest player in the history ClimateBall™

        I’m not sure what you mean by “doctrinal point”. This is (supposed to be) science, not religion. But WRT to the 10,000 number:

        Steve: when he says “most figures” are based on high-HSI values, I presume that he means Wegman Figure 4.4, a figure that was produced long after our articles had received considerable publicity and which attracted negligible contemporary attention. The relevant MM05 figure, Figure 2, is based on all 10,000 simulations. I haven’t gotten to a discussion of Wegman Figure 4.4 yet, as I wanted to first clear up issues about orientation and the “hockey stick index”, which ClimateBallers use to move the pea, but I do plan to discuss it.

        Pending better detail from the horse’s mouth, I would take this to mean the “accusation” totally doesn’t apply to MM05, and personally, as for Wegman, I’m going to wait till he does “discuss it.”

        But after dipping into the giant bucket of slime Mashey produced WRT Wegman, I’d regard anybody who doesn’t repudiate him as guilty until proven innocent.

      • Did a paper get published?

        That’s climateball for you: moving the goalposts is perfectly OK, as long as your side does it.

      • Heh, the temperature’s risin’?
        It isn’t surprisin’ so long as
        a few trees in the forest git
        390 times more weight by
        some tricky algorithim than
        all the rest. It’s hard ter see
        the woods fer the trees…
        in the enchanted forest … ]
        Oh Mann!

        http://books.google.com.au/books?id=fO1qJNrS8OgC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=One+bristlecone+that+gave+hockey+stick+curve&source=bl&ots=n5LpKbzVhW&sig=-1Wvcnnmug0_5cxEMtBWg_LwMmk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=fQUtVJ-9DJfi8AWb1ILgBg&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=One%20bristlecone%20that%20gave%20hockey%20stick%20curve&f=false

      • “There are some people ,, when you challenge them to down their own science. well, they actually do it. ”

        “That’s climateball for you: moving the goalposts is perfectly OK, as long as your side does it.”

        Maybe there are more important considerations in picking the trees used to do a reconstruction than the proximity to a Starbucks.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/106/48/20348.full.pdf+html

        Publish or Perish

      • Maybe there are more important considerations in picking the trees used to do a reconstruction than the proximity to a Starbucks.

        AFAIK those trees were used in Mann’s reconstruction.

        But I have a little secret which I’ll share with you as long as you promise not to tell anyone: our objective was to locate the precise site sampled by Graybill. Not just that. Prior to the trip, I obtained a permit from the U.S. Forest Service to take dendrochronological samples from bristlecones on Mount Almagre and we did more than look at pretty views; we obtained up-to-date bristlecone samples. I only went up Almagre on the first day. Our permit lasted a month and Pete and Leslie spent two more days on Almagre, finally locating and sampling tagged Graybill trees on the third day.

        Do you really not know this stuff, and not bother reading the links provided before spouting BS?

        Or are you just trying to waste people’s time?

      • Oh, and he did publish. In his blog (at least). Don’t think this didn’t have an influence on subsequent publication by other people.

      • Steven Mosher

        bob OWN GOALS AGAIN

        “Maybe there are more important considerations in picking the trees used to do a reconstruction than the proximity to a Starbucks.”

        Bob.

        The story goes like this.
        Mcintyre made a simple suggestion. Revisit the trees used by mann and re core them.

        Why? they were last cored decades ago.

        Eli rabbit and others claimed this was too hard.. heavy equipment etc

        So Mcintyre showed how easy it was. And yes they revisited the same trees where that was possible.

        And yes his thesis about mechanical stress in strip bark was supportted by the data.

        Publish? you cant publish what everyone already knows. But Mann and others still use strip bark trees even though the changes in ring width are caused by mechanical stress. The ignore NAS which said to avoid these trees

      • mosh

        excellent comment about Steve M resampling the trees.

        However, you might like to answer my broader question as to why trees are thought to have any utility as a means of telling the global temperature so accurately over the last 1000 years?

        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        “However, you might like to answer my broader question as to why trees are thought to have any utility as a means of telling the global temperature so accurately over the last 1000 years?”

        They are thought as having utility because they DO have utility.

        The question is always HOW MUCH utility.

        In general looking at the theory and the data it seems clear that if you
        select trees from areas where their growth is temperature limited ( what you are supposed to do ) and if you do multiple cores, that you can extract a temperature signal from certain species. That signal will of course come with noise. The amount of noise limits the utility, it gives you an error.
        Just as with CET where one is forced to use thermometers that were indoors. Or just as one is forced to use words ( it was hot) as a proxy.
        Utility, but limited. With a proxy you have the benefit of being able to put a uncertainty bounds on the data. If that bound is wide it doesnt tell you much. But we can have a discussion of methodology. With impressionistic interpretation there no such method.

        I certainly would not toss out any data, proxy or written record, of temperature in 1300, for example. The question isnt which is the truth.
        The truth is un knowable. The question is how do we combine all the evidence we have and what weight ( a fricken number) do we assign to the evidence. I’ve yet to see any simple demonstration, for example, of how you go from a written record to a temperature. Pick any decade you like. Show the written record. Describe your method. Hide your result from me and see if I can duplicate your result. If you can’t or dont test your approach this way then its nothing.

      • Right Mosh, I provided a cite that said that they got the same results from strip bark and whole bark trees, did you read it? They said that the proscription against using strip bark trees should be revisited. Another paper without a MWP.

        Did McIntyre revisit all the trees from Mann’s work or just the ones near the starbucks?

        And how come McIntyre didn’t use the proper number of PCs in his work?

        Get a clue Mosh, the object is to improve methods, not constantly rehash what was published 15 years ago now.

        The good thing is that the Steyn-Mann case will probably be the end of skepticism as we know it.

        May you guys go back to old-school skepticism and prosper.

  7. Dr. Curry: Excellent job distinguishing scientific norms from journalistic norms. An important point.

  8. Laden’s really out there. Gets involved in all sorts of disputes nobody cares about. Try googling “Rebeccapocalypse” on his blog.

    I suspect Steyn had no idea what Laden was talking about when he linked to that post (neither do I, nor do I care), but dragging everybody in the world into his little cesspool battles is typical of him.

    Like Mann and (Peter) Gleick, he’s crazy. IMO.

  9. Like Steyn, I have long wondered, if climate change is the existential crisis of our time, why its proponents allow such a flawed person as Mann to be a prominent face for the movement.

    But then I also wonder why prominent climate change proponents also live such carbon-extravagant lifestyles.

    All I can conclude is that climate proponents don’t really believe in the crisis either and it’s a Trojan horse for a political agenda in which they are in charge.

    • huxley,

      I think the initial defenses of Mann were reflexive. Progressives tend not to even read those with whom they disagree. All they knew was that Mann was famous for the hokey stick, the stick was given prominent placement by the IPCC, and the stick was excellent propaganda for their political position. So Steve McIntyre was irrelevant, as was anything he had to say.

      After that initial response, and after the prominent use of the stick in so much pro-CAGW/decarbonization PR, defending Mann became synonymous with defending the agenda. It was like denying the “pause” in their own temperature records. Never admit you are wrong about anything.

      But like the irritating pause that just keeps on going like the Energizer Bunny, Mann’s increasingly rabid attacks on anyone who says disagrees with him are getting hard to ignore.

      The CAGWers aren’t abandoning the hokey stick. They still aren’t willing to admit being wrong about anything. But they are abandoning Mann individually, because he is now doing their cause more harm than good.

      Mann was defended for years for tactical reasons, not on principle. And he is being abandoned for the same reason.

      • 1+ That’s a good point Garym.

      • Mann was defended for years for tactical reasons, not on principle. And he is being abandoned for the same reason.

        Yeah, but IMO it goes much farther than that: the leftists may be throwing the whole climate change thing under the bus.

      • AK, what’s sad about the Mann abandonment being “tactical” is that there is no real contrition for the dreadful underlying motives of the AGW movement itself. That continues in another form, new players and advocates supplanting old ones, new inventions (deep ocean heat meme for example) but the punch line is always more government authority, taxing others for “the common good” and redistributing gains among like minded supporters of the Greenshirt variety.

        That Mann was a public dweeb over 20 years ago or noticed again today which is more important? The AGW social/political agenda or personalized failings of one of the most recognized agenda “SCIENTISTS”???

        For skeptics who recognize the essential left-wing grasping that is indeed CORE to the AGW advocacy system, the reason it ever existed in the first place, there should be no confusion or doubts at all. I hope Steyn crushes Mann in some form but I’ve lived long enough to know that our court systems reflect the social divide, they don’t improve any particular result in some guaranteed form. AGW reflects academic decline into aggressive political agenda “science” and our courts have been stacked with partisan ideologues at every level. “Law” like “science” often takes a backseat as a priority. Hence, we have a culture obsessed with court appointments. This hasn’t been “progress” but social decline.

        My only wish is that there were more like Dr. Lindzen who would rise above the weeds and tactical farce of it all and speak more candidly of the political imperatives that drove AGW advocates and the “science” from inception. I wish even he had been more direct and much sooner. In the case of Dr. Curry I’ve described it as the 10000 mile Road to Damascus for Paul which wasn’t of course 10000 unnecessary miles to make the message relevant. She’s on the right trend but is adding thousands of extra miles to the journey improving her contribution? Why waste the step of going after Mann’s professional stature and deplorable tactics if you mitigate by silence his very specific social/political radicalism that is essential to the AGW belief system?? Mann reflects the Greenshirt system exactly, it’s better he is maintained as the face of it….tactically speaking.

        Better Dr. Curry arrive at Damascus and own up to her tacit contribution to the Greenshirt science/social system itself. That would be more relevant then spending time on tweets over a declining academic climate punk propagandist such as Mann. The actual social consensus is already here at many levels, AGW was and always was a political agenda wrapped in a science facade. The more and sooner scientists fess up the sooner this sad agenda is filed into history but it should never be forgotten and sadly it is likely to be repeated. It has to be hard for actual scientists to accept and acknowledge in particular when there is a built in predisposition to support a high state/government authority as a social solution in general, a belief system shared by many in academic enclaves such as climate science. Especially given the enormous schism passions of the day. Until people rise above it, support rationality and true intellectual integrity, the world and “science” sinks further.

      • Cwon

        WRT the courts, don’t be discouraged. From the Wall Street Journal:

        “This month a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to hear a challenge to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new climate rules under the Clean Air Act. The order was unusual because the courts generally review rules only after they are finalized, which could take another year or more. The Ohio-based coal company Murray Energy and a dozen states are suing under the All Writs Act of 1789.

        Murray drew a D.C. Circuit panel including a liberal (Judge Sri Srinivasan ), a moderate (Judge Thomas Griffith ) and a conservative (senior Judge Douglas Ginsburg ). Murray also happens to be correct on the legal merits.”

        Richard

      • rls | October 2, 2014 at 12:42 pm |

        It’s not so much “discouragement”, it’s simply that I don’t see the courts settling the schism of AGW and the related agenda. Even if Steyn wins on 1st amendment grounds relating to political speak about public figures (which seems logical) it might not bring the aftermath many feel deserved. I can’t say exactly how but I see the whole process being settled indecisively yet with all the acrimony one might expect. I’m just not that into “lawfare” and I realize Mann launched the escapade.

        As for the EPA fiasco with co2 as pollution being upheld, again it will have revert back to the schism and until a stake is driven into the heart of AGW politics it will simply be reinvented in another form. My point is the courts are generally partisan and ever more politically sensitive. They have declined just as the academic community has trended into political passions since the end of WW2 in fact. Even if EPA powers are overturned the broad pattern will remain.

        We should concern ourselves with winning the broad debate and minimize the importance of legalistic wrangling. I’m just not going to get caught up in my or the worlds fate resting on shrewd and or partisan use of courts. AGW is politically contrived, it must politically eliminated. Courts are a distraction and increasingly under the stress of the divide held in far lower esteem. Academia, “science”, courts, media, AGW agenda all symptoms of a broad social decline.

    • about that agenda….
      “Meanwhile, eurozone data showed a surprise decline in manufacturing activity in Germany, the region’s largest economy, for the first time in 15 months. Germany’s DAX Index fell 1%, and the Stoxx Europe 600 index shed 0.8%.”

      From the Wall Street Journal’s article about the stock market drop today. Think energy price increases in Germany have anything to do with manufacturing in Germany? The German manufacturers do.

      • So German companies are moving here for the shale gas. Fine with me.

      • Lost in the CAGW/CACC kerfuffle of the past 15 years -and in particular the pretense that it is all about the science- has been the readily verifiable reality that the story was always, from the outset, been about a specific political agenda.

        No need to take my word for it; all one needs to do is look up statements made over the years since the inception of the IPCC by key people involved in its creation and is management. Maurice Strong -UN eminence grise- on an open mike at the 1992 Rio Conference explicitly stated that “to save the planet will require the dismantling of the modern industrial economies”. At the 2010 Cancun climate summit Ottmar Edenhofer, one of the IPCC’s cardinals, told journalists that it was no longer about the science but about redistributing global wealth.

        It is difficult to not to spot the political agenda that has been at work for the past 25 years, but as often is the case it is likewise difficult to see something that is staring you in the face.

        Meanwhile, the CAGW/CACC driven political green movement is coming very close to achieving Strong’s vision in Germany. Energy costs there are now 300% higher than in North America, there are regular brown outs and according to Die Zeit [a respected newspaper] 32,000 wind turbines and some 2 million sq m of solar panels [yes Josephine, those are not typos] in December 2013 contributed about 4% of all electricity production in Germany. At a an estimated cost to the German taxpayer [German Ministry of Finance data] of some US$ 400 billion in subsidies over ten years for each of solar and wind. All of this is known in Germany as the “energiwende”. it included the shut down of the country’s nuclear generation and was supposed to show the rest of Europe how everthing could continue as usual on the basis of renewables.

        The result of this energy crisis that is now a reality, is the offshoring of traditional German companies to North America and the onset of the verifiable de-industrialization -with the attendant loss of tens of thousands of jobs- of Europe’s primary economy.

        Anyone still in doubt about the socio political agenda that has been at play for the past two decades behind the façade of “the science is settled” IPCC climate “science”, should take a further look at what the Greens as political players are in the process of pushing through in the UK, France and Sweden, the latter two now looking at rolling back their well established nuclear generation capacities. Unless that is called back soon, those countries too will see their industrial base fall apart.
        Amen.

      • tetris on October 1, 2014 at 8:06 pm

        That hits the mark Tetris, the AGW meme is more then 95% political with a 5% science “special sauce” of abstractions to mislead a public that lacks technical confidence to confront AGW advocate aggressions. As for the actual scientists who have abstained or slow walked commenting on the abuse largely because they share or fear the politically correct conformity of past 50 years (ever growing it has seemed) the decline of social stature has been more then earned.

      • I think you are correct Tetris, but it’s is also why the energy plan agenda isn’t going to be sustainable with liberals.
        The redistribution of wealth requires wealth. Without German industry to bail out welfare state excesses the whole charade collapses. There is a reason Germany is building coal-fired power plants and cutting subsidies to “renewable” energy providers.
        Both “sides” of the climate debate are “deniers.”
        On the left, if it comes down to CO2 emissions or welfare state, CO2 emissions loses. As an added bonus, they think AGW is bad enough to do absolutely anything other than build a functional emissions-free power plant (nuclear).
        On the right, if it comes down to CO2 emissions or economic growth, CO2 emissions loses. As an added bonus, they couldn’t give a rat’s a$$ if your reason for building functional emissions-free power plants is because you’re afraid of the weather or because you want to cost effectively power industry- they’re happy to build it either way.

        TJA- I’m happy to welcome German industry as well. To make it happen, we have to be sure that our government doesn’t adopt German energy policy.

      • To make it happen, we have to be sure that our government doesn’t adopt German energy policy.

        You see, that’s why world-wide government, regulatory bureaucracy, whatever is such an essential part of the socialist agenda.

        The Soviet Union actually worked, sort of, at least as well as Diocletian’s (Roman) Empire. It lost the Cold War because the (somewhat) freer market capitalism of the “West” worked so much better. All informed socialists know that if they impose their ideological agenda on part of the world, while other parts retain a somewhat free market, especially in capital, their part will end up losing the way the Soviet Union did.

      • AK,
        Yes. This may be more about the battle between quasi-socialism of Europe and full-blown socialism a bare handful of hold-outs wants. European style socialism won’t destroy the last bit of manufacturing it has- if it did, there would be no goodies to hand out, no preening about how health care is “free” in Europe but not the US.
        Faced with a choice of ever increasing energy prices to satisfy greens, or having an economy to redistribute, Europe will dump the greens. The time for that choice is already here and they’ve already made it.

    • AGW is the perfect liberal cause – you can blame pretty much every bad thing that happens on it – climate related or not, and you can demonize capitalism and especially those evil oil/gas/coal companies, Koch brothers, etc. all while getting that warm fuzzy feeling for saving the planet.

  10. I fear you will not get a sensible answer from Mr Laden. In his Manichean world, such nuances do not exist. There are only deniers, and those who cleave to the truth.

    • After a few hours away from my computer, there were 86 twitter notifications, with Laden’s chums demanding a response from me. Now 1 hour after after my post is up, silence from them. Will be interesting to see if/how they respond.

      • I predict this will be one of your most heavily commented posts

      • “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr

      • Dr Curry, Laden is pretty much a boil on an elephants butt. Disgusting and ugly much of the time, but of no real consequence.

      • Rob,

        That’s not much of a prediction.

        Judith knows that Mann-posts are very popular.

        It’s always a big food-fight.

        That’s the whole idea.

    • “those who cleave to the truth”

      Cleave is one of only four commonly used word in English that is its own antonym;

      Cleave means both to join together and split into two; cleave to your wife and cleave a log in two with an axe.

      Enjoin can mean “to encourage” or “to prohibit,”
      Sanction can mean “support, encouragement” or “disapprove, punish”.
      Chuffed can mean either “pleased” or “displeased”

      I am chuffed to be able to enjoin all this blogs readers to sanction Appell’s cleaving to Mann’s science.

    • > In his Manichean world, such nuances do not exist.

      David to provides all shades of grey:

  11. 5 Reasons People Favourite Tweets on Twitter

    1) Bookmarking. As 60% of Twitter users access the network via mobile devices, many don’t have the time and a big-enough screen to read lengthy articles or longer pieces of content, so favouriting is a great way of saving them for later. Some people use this feature to create reading lists.”

    http://www.brandwatch.com/2013/10/5-reasons-why-twitter-users-favorite/

  12. Quinn the Eskimo

    During the Twitter Chainsaw Massacre of #AskDrMann (coinage courtesy of Pointman), Greg Laden announced and compiled a list of “deniers” – heck, let’s just call them infidels – on Twitter who asked skeptical questions or who mocked Mann. That’s actually pretty creepy. Laden’s drama queen routine of course led to further compound mockery of both Mann and Laden, and a great deal of hilarity ensued.

    Here’s 2 pro tips for members of the Hockey Team: 1. Do not get into war of words with Mark Steyn. 2. When you’re in a hole, stop digging.

  13. Matthew R Marler

    “How is Mann’s calling Curry a serial climate misinformer as bad or worse as Steyn referring to Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick?”

    Mann criticized a person, but Steyn criticized a work (after it had been deposed from its position on the IPCC web page.) Steyn’s references to Mann as “fraudpants” and such came after the fraudulent statements in the court filings by Mann and his attorneys.

    Mann has the right in the US to refer to Prof Curry as a “serial disinformer”, since that is his opinion, but to persuade the uncommitted (instead of merely preaching to the choir) in the scientific realms, he ought to try to substantiate his opinion with examples of her “disinformation”, which I doubt can be done.

  14. Greg Laden getting all upset about Mann being allegedly libelled is tres amusant, after He libeled me and Mann retweeted that libel.

    He soon backed off from his lies after he and the owner of his blogging platform got letters from my lawyer.

    Perhaps he thinks that irony is something you use to flatten the decliney.

    • I tell myself they have to be aware of their hypocrisy because it’s somehow even scarier if they’re not.

      • Laden’s mouth frothing and footstamping is a source of fun and hilarity for me since he got red pen put through his post by the owner of scienceblogs.com after accusing me of being the climategate hacker.

        Barely clinging to reality, Greg will make a fine character witness for Dr Frinkendecline

      • Craig Loehle

        Sorry, don’t think they understand irony. So it is scarier.

      • Pokerguy, luckily I have only met a couple of genuinely bad people in my life. It never ceased to amaze me how many self-contradictory positions they could hold at one time. Not only did they not care about the truth, I think they genuinely didn’t know what it was anymore. They’d just rush from one lie to the next, saying whatever was convenient at the time.

        I’d never normally say this about anyone I hadn’t personally met, but Mann’s published and online writings make me think he is one of these people.

      • The intellectually undead.

      • Jonathan,
        I agree with you. They’re all classic narcissists, always on the verge of rage, and in their own minds never, ever wrong. Mann fits the profile to a tee.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Johnathan Abbott,
        Sounds a bit like Bill Clinton.

      • Most people don’t mind being hypocritical … they just mind it being pointed out

      • PG, if ever there was thread that makes my point it’s this one. Again, I find the personalizations about Mann himself as focus while avoiding all or most of what the actual political agenda has always been disappointingly. For all the good work Anthony Watts has or will do he is partially responsible for maintaining the facade “it’s a science debate” defing all common sense as episodes like this reveal. So all this hoo-ha is distracting to the core political agenda so many skeptics aren’t willing to name directly. Watt’s has stooped in his opening comment, Dr. Curry seems caught in the 140 character Twitter feeds and while her commentary may be accurate it’s still far from the basic truth of why academia in particular chooses the dark age politically correct schism we call climate consensus and resistance.

  15. David L. Hagen

    Norms of Scientific Behavior: Truth
    Under Communalism, we can add that science seeks objective truth. This includes:
    2. Showing ALL the data (not secret).
    3. Acknowledge and correct errors when they are found.

    Mann violates both of these. e.g.,
    Mann “hides the decline”
    Mann refuses to acknowledge the errors in his principal component statistical method which creates hockey sticks from red noise.

    Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    Mann violates this by suing Steyn while calling Curry her “anti-scientific”.

    • In the face of the conclusions from the Wegman Report, Mann should have acknowledged and corrected errors. His unwillingness to do so is what sets him apart from the scientific community.

      His book is yet another foot in the mouth effort.

  16. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Judith Curry is right again IMHO

    as a regular consumer of political news and commentary, I consider Steyn a fringe hyperbolic “inside Hollywood” type who’s name few know
    a political fashion commentator

    Mann should have ignored him

    and I think maybe Curry should ignore Mann

    Communalism, Universalism, Disinterestedness … right on

    Thanks again Judith Curry for Climate Etc.

  17. “Well the issue is the different norms of behavior between scientists and political commentators.”

    This in my view is exactly right, a point I’ve tried to make several times. Steyn is an entertainer, a provocateur, a polemicist. He’s doing his you know, job.

    Michal Mann? Not so much.

  18. David L. Hagen

    Corporate Death Penalty for “Climate Deniers”
    Robert F. Kennedy Jr. advocates:

    I do, however, believe that corporations which deliberately, purposefully, maliciously and systematically sponsor climate lies should be given the death penalty. This can be accomplished through an existing legal proceeding known as “charter revocation.” State Attorneys General can invoke this remedy whenever corporations put their profit-making before the “public welfare.”

    How can a Kennedy so directly oppose the constitutional foundations of the UK and United States, the Rule of Law, and Lex Rex
    This is another example of misguided Noble Cause Corruption
    How the mighty have fallen!

  19. It is my belief that Mann’s book was mostly written by one or more ghostwriters at Fenton Communications. The writing style bears nothing in common with his academic writing or email ranting, and I don’t personally believe that he is capable of the prose style. I visited his Facebook page to ask him about this and was, of course, banned. If he wishes to state publicly here or elsewhere that the work presented as entirely his own in The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars was not the result of collaboration with Fenton or another major progressive communications firm, that would be note. It wouldn’t be persuasive, necessarily, but it would be of note.

    • I visited his Facebook page to ask him about this and was, of course, banned.

      It goes from tragic to funny and back again. But here I choose to stop and laugh.

  20. Judith, you have misquoted the portly little baldheaded varmint. He called you a “serial disinformer”.

  21. I have never been one who believed that scientists should not be allowed to advocate on public policy. But when they act as advocates, they should not later try to claim they are somehow immune from the norms of political rhetoric when others respond.

    Mann stopped speaking as a scientist years ago. He is not just an advocate, he is a flame throwing polemicist. But in his progressive zeal to silence anti-government dissent, he claims in his libel suit the protections of a humble, private scientist.

    Calling another political advocate a fraud in just rhetoric. Accusing a non-advocate scientist of fraud carries a much greater stigma. If Mann wants to wield the progressive flame thrower as advocate, he has no right to complain if he gets singed in return.

    The core of Steyn’s comments on Mann were as to his using science as political advocacy by “torturing data.” His whole point was that the hokey stick was not science, but dishonest advocacy. (Although it is even money whether the progressive DC Appellate Court will admit it.)

    Mann has every right to be as obnoxious as Steyn is while acting as an advocate, although he will never be as witty, or as correct.

  22. Mann is a political animal. He’s a front for others, massaging his ego.

  23. Reblogged this on Tallbloke's Talkshop and commented:
    .
    .
    This one will generate a lot of comments over at Climate Etc. Judy Curry has attracted Greg Laden’s displeasure for ‘liking’ a Mark Steyn tweet. He wants her to apologise. :)

  24. I do think it’s right that Greg Laden defends Michael Mann’s science.

    If he ever gets around to doing some, anyhoo.

  25. I think that it to say that in addition to eine a journalist, Mark Steyn is a “satirist”. In that role, the standards for behavior are even lower.

  26. Craig Loehle

    Important norm of behavior you left out: scrupulous honesty. Like pickup basket ball–call your own fouls on yourself. When I played this a lot if someone did not call their own fouls they would be kicked out. In science this means that if there is an error in your work you issue an erratum or even withdraw the paper. It means that an R2 of 0.15 is NOT robust–you don’t exaggerate claims. Mann and his crew have violated this norm a dozen times. They double-down like a politician or CEO of a company that is losing money.

    • Trouble is, it’s not their own money their losing…

    • “In science this means that if there is an error in your work you issue an erratum or even withdraw the paper”
      That is quite unfair Craig, loads of us have published things that turned out to be wrong, normally for very good reasons.
      If you, in good faith, make a call and its later proven to be wrong, it is proven to be wrong. Always working on the edge of knowledge is rather difficult, being wrong goes with the territory.

      • Read harder – Craig did not complain that things that are wrong get published, he complained that even when mistakes are pointed out, some refuse to do what they can to minimise the damage to others work. To waste your own time is one thing, to waste the time of others is quite different.

      • I was not referring to being proved wrong later due to good reasons, like your sample size was too small or you missed an important interaction. I am talking about short-centered PCA when a real statistician is horrified at what you’ve done, or upside down Tiljander proxy, or switching the coordinates of data in Spain with those in US. These are errors that in many cases completely invalidate the result. An example from biomedical research is studies where it was later found that the cell lines were contaminated or patients received the wrong dose in trials. Such are or should be withdrawn.

  27. Well over on Energy Matters we try to avoid this stuff and focus on what should be focussed on:

    What’s up with the Bomb Model?

    That blows the bomb model for CO2 sequestration rates out of the water ;-)

  28. Greg laden

    An answer to the 1 to 4 questions noted in Judith’s last paragraph would be interesting

    ( hello Sou!)

    Tonyb

  29. Is it fair game to review the list of tweets Greg Laden has Favorited? I see he has 2991 favorites. I wonder if he should be called on to apologize for favoriting a tweat or two?

  30. Thanks to this web site I have discovered Mark Steyn, Jonah Goldberg and NRO. I find them extraordinarily interesting and on point. I have a Steyn sweatshirt and have/am read/reading their books. My socialist leaning parents and grandparents are probably turning over in their graves.

    As to Mann vs. Steyn, the Nobel Fauxreate has picked the wrong fight with the wrong guy. If Penn. State still employs him in his prestigious position when this is over the analogy to the Sandusky matter will be reinforced.

  31. Surely twitter is best suited for hurling insults than forming scientific Bon- mots?

    Best to engage in a scientific discussion laying out facts in a full length article or paper than relying on tweets to get unformed points over.

    Tonyb

    • rls (Richard)

      Hi Tony,

      Left a comment for you on Week in Review: https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/26/week-in-review-28/#comment-633987

      Richard

      • Rls

        Thanks for that. The proxies are all over the place and it seems you can get whatever results suit the researcher best irrespective of how murky or otherwise the period is. How good the relevant proxy is in the first place is probably irrelevant. Why tree rings should be thought a good proxy still eludes me whether the rings are ten or a thousand years old.

        Tonyb

      • rls (Richard)

        Tony

        Perhaps the best records are the written records. I know you’ve done a lot of work in this area and plan to read more of what you’ve done and what you’ve linked. The report by the National Research Council also has a section on this and I plan to read it in more depth.

        Richard

      • rls

        you said;

        ‘Perhaps the best records are the written records.’

        Written records? Naw, They are only worthless historical anecdotes as several here will tell you. Nowhere near as good as …er…highly scientific tree rings…

        tonyb

      • Treemometers are a bit erratic. That’s why you need experts like Mike Mann to tell you which treemometer time series are good proxies for temperature and which are bad. Of course sometimes an otherwise good treemometer time series might need to have the bad part of the data hidden in a directory called CENSORED…

  32. In reference to Michael Mann, I have to ask how he does he go about remaining relevant? The problem he has is one of credibility — or the lack of credibility — which is often a side effect of utilizing the Chicken Little method of attracting attention to a cause, regardless of how worthy it might be. Once someone has gone to the extreme of predicting an outcome of what might be termed the worst case scenario, only to have it dissipate, what is left then for them to do? If the continue to do legitimate research, they will wind up proving themselves wrong. Especially if through the process, they deny the possibility they could be wrong. This hubris has long been recognized as a target for the Gods to bring the practitioner to their knees or as ample playing field for Karma to have its revenge.

    As to norms of behavior, I have long felt that Honor and Reputation are something which define most people. Reputation, of course being that truth which others know about a person and Honor being the truth that a person knows about one’s self. As long as these two facets of a person are close to being the same, the person will be able to do well and deal with most any situation. However as the two diverge or become vastly different, then the person will have great difficulties. In the normal course of events, for most people, as long as their honor remains intact, that is to say as long as the truth knows about ones’ self is viable, honest and durable as a person can keep it, a person can survive most anything, including a trashed reputation. However about the worst position a person can find ones’ self in is when their honor is shattered shards around their feet while their reputation grows by leaps and bounds.

    Now, I do not know Michael Mann, but from what I have seen and what I have read, it seems to me his is a case where he turned his back on his honor in order to grow his reputation and ultimately he will have to face a world where both his reputation and his honor is shredded, leaving him little able to recoup himself.

    So I say to you Judith, and to any one who reads this, guard your honor with everything you can and you will be able to deal with anything life throws your way. It matters not what others think, as long as one remains true to ones’ own beliefs, morals and standards of behavior.

    As for those who do not, there is little need to be heaping more of any sarcasm or vitriol onto them. They will suffer enough from their own hubris and by their own shooting themselves in the foot.

    • Political Junkie

      wyoskeptic,

      You are puzzled about why Mann ‘maintains credibility.’ It’s pretty simple.

      Your confusion is caused by the fact that you have objective standards that don’t apply in the alarmist world.

      Paul Ehrlich has been objectively proven wrong on more things than any person you can think of. Yet, he still enjoys rock star status with alarmists.

      One’s ‘credibility’ in their strange Malthusian world depends on the ability to keep delivering an unwavering apocalyptic message against all evidence to the contrary – a skill Mann has in spades.

      • David Wojick

        Mann also publishes a lot in scientific journals, on climate topics other than the hockey stick. Do a Google Scholar search on him and he is pretty prolific and widely cited in the scientific literature. He has his own research institute at Penn State. One cannot simply ignore this.

      • David, I have read some of his papers and wonder if he wishes the stck would go away. I would certainly listen to him over Styne regarding climate even if I wondered about its validity. Styne is not a scientist and has to rely on what he reads or hears just like me. As he is a political animal he’ll inevitability find what agrees with his world view.

  33. Pingback: Government-Sponsered Global Warming Alarmism | evilincandescentbulb

  34. My question remains the same. If this case goes to trial will Mann be forced to give up his data and code in discovery? If so will he? So far he seems unwilling to give up the ghost and that leads to the obvious conclusion of it not withstanding scrutiny. I can think of no other reason for this secrecy. Perhaps he hopes he’ll lose the first amendment appeal and consider it vindication so he can continue his propoganda war.

  35. Doug Proctor

    Poltical Junkie: “Paul Ehrlich has been objectively proven wrong on more things than any person you can think of. Yet, he still enjoys rock star status with alarmists.”

    The liberal cause requires struggle against greed, self-indulgence, personal gain over the common good and all the various aspects of selfish human behaviour. The struggle is demonstrated by the bruises and broken bones received, and recently the number of times one has been arrested for protesting wrt a number of noble causes. The “true” revolutionary, like Trotsky, recognized that the struggle is on-going, never ceases; the Lenin-Stalinists, who wanted to codify and solidify early gains, were and are viewed as backsliders and betrayers of the True Cause.

    Ehrlich, Mann, Gore will not be brought down by presentations that they were “wrong” in what they say because they represent the true revolutionary: their struggle against the system or their detractors never ends – because they never will let it end. Regardless of what happens, they will still stand and shout. Even if their immediate goal is being met, they will not stop: whatever is being done will, at the very least, not be enough. This will be sufficient to keep them climbing on the soapbox and their acolytes cheering.

    • It does seem that the Trots et al have moved on from insisting that the change they seek can be brought about only by blood in the streets (which they did in the 60s and 70s) to more devious and unfortunately more effective modi operandi.

      • 1+, exactly.

        It’s always worth considering it was the British Foreign office that permitted the Bolsheviks to come to power and stay there in the critical years. That with the support of arm-chair progressive/socialist sympathizers in the highest classes throughout the realm. It’s the fifth columnists of our own elite that brought the pox of AGW authority to the world stage. They are exempt for the cost of forced rationing and de-carbon policy results already and it conforms to there inner belief system of dictating the common good on all matters.

        You would think every poor person in China would want to kill every leader who followed that other Euro-centric authority (rationing) system accountable for over 100 million deaths in their own country….State Marxism. It doesn’t quite work that way of course. Perhaps it is progress that they are forced to be more devious.

  36. Oh, I thought a recent post by Judith had indicated that she might try to curtail her Mann-obsession.

    BAU.

    • One doesn’t get to win a scientific debate by stubbornly holding on to a discredited theory until people get sick of debating. One wins by proving others wrong. Mann has had plenty of time and opportunity to take the second course, but he seems to have chosen the first.

      You warmies should learn a little math and logic and check out Mann’s assumptions for yourself, then, once you understand that it is crap, kind of like they know over at Skeptical Science as was discovered when they left their discussions open to the public, after you have done your due diligence, you will feel comfortable leaving him behind as an unfortunate episode in the history of the AGW debate, and move on.

      He is wrong, get over it and move on. But as long as he is pushing wrong “science” as science, and suing rather than rebutting effectively, he will be an “obsession” of people who do understand the math involved.

      I am willing to bet that you can’t even put the criticism of Mann’s “Hockey Stick” into your own words, even as part of an attempt to prove the criticism is wrong. Because it is about faith, faith you won’t have questioned.

      • Pages2K.

        Science doesn’t emerge as perfection.

        New ideas and methods emerge, are revolutionary at that point, but then are improved upon, changed, added to, and end up looking like only a partially correct account.

        Or Issac Newton was a liar, fr@aud etc etc etc.

        And Judith’s obsession would look less odd, if it was at least a scientific critique.

        Instead we get this promoting of bile and vituperation from a gutter-‘journalist’.

        And Judith says she wants ‘Integrity’ in science.

        She could start by displaying some perhaps?

      • Re-post – tripped moderation

        TJA | October 1, 2014 at 8:24 pm | Reply
        “One doesn’t get to win a scientific debate by stubbornly holding on to a discredited theory… ”
        Pages2K.

        That is all.

        Science doesn’t emerge as perfection.

        New ideas and methods emerge, are revolutionary at that point, but then are improved upon, changed, added to, and end up looking like only a partially correct account.

        Or Issac Newton was a li@r, fr@aud etc etc etc.

        And Judith’s obsession would look less odd, if it was at least a scientific critique.

        Instead we get this promoting of bile and vituperation from a gutter-‘journalist’.

        And Judith says she wants ‘Integrity’ in science.

        She could start by displaying some perhaps?

      • Newton brought new methods of mathematics and descriptions of physical laws that have panned out and which anybody could use. Though he did keep calculus secret for a while.

        Mann has made giant show of his hockey stick which nobody seems to be able to replicate.

        BTW, I win the bet that you couldn’t accurately describe the criticisms of Mann’s work.

      • Win? Bet?

        Self-declared victories relating to uni-laterally imposed demands sound like empty rhetoric.

        “Mann has made giant show of his hockey stick which nobody seems to be able to replicate.” – TJA

        Pages2K.

        The neverending attacks on Mann and the HS, 16 years on, are political, not scientific.

        As long as you understand that, it all makes sense.

      • I’ll make TJA happy;

        Amajor criticism is that using de-centered PCA, as per Mann, actually creates hockey-sticks, even out of ‘red noise’, ie. there is no hockey stick in the data, it’s a creation of the (erroneous) method.

        All good?

      • But of course that is dishonest…..or more accurately, grossly exaggerated.

        There does indeed appear to be a tendency in Mann’s method to introduce some hockey-stickedness in to the result.

        And that’s the key – ‘tendency’.

        What’s the magnitude of this tendency?

        It’s quite small.

        Use the ‘correct’ centered method – you get the same HS result.

        This is where the dishonesty of McIntyre et al come in, and shows that this is a political/ideological attack on Mann. They emphasize the ‘flaw’/’error’ and hide that the magnitude is very small and that the result is the same with the ‘correct’ method.

        That Judith promotes, repeats and supports these attacks shows an alarming lack of Integrity (TM).

      • Steven Mosher

        Piltdown Mann was questioned very early by noted scientists.

        “As early as 1913, David Waterston of King’s College London published in Nature his conclusion that the sample consisted of an ape mandible and human skull.[7] Likewise, French paleontologist Marcellin Boule concluded the same thing in 1915. A third opinion from American zoologist Gerrit Smith Miller concluded Piltdown’s jaw came from a fossil ape. In 1923, Franz Weidenreich examined the remains and correctly reported that they consisted of a modern human cranium and an orangutan jaw with filed-down teeth.[8]”

        Challenged dawson claimed another find and some dropped their objections. Think of the multiple studies supporting Mann.

        it took 40 years to remove the bad science.

        why? many reasons. One being that the discovery played into a socially charged issue.

        I can well imagine the fights over the hockey stick lasting many years.
        or at least until the end of Mann’s trial.

      • moshpit,

        Almost all early responses to ‘Piltdown Man’ pointed out that it was a combination of human and ape parts.

        If you want to push this analogy, you’ll find that the part of Charles Dawson is played by Steve McIntyre.

      • mikey says: “I’ll make TJA happy;”

        It took you and google a while, mikey.

      • Donnie,

        You’ll enjoy this – evidence of McIntyre’s deliberate dishonest and deceptive behaviour;

        “We showed that the PCA method as used by Mann et al. effectively mines a data set for hockey stick patterns. Even from meaningless random data (red noise), it nearly always produces a hockey stick.”

        Nearly always!

      • Michael, a lot of us have been following this for a very long time. You really sound foolish and more than a little ignorant, which is not unusual, but you’re taking a lot of white space while doing so.

        Either bone up on the subject or stay silent. Please.

      • That is one criticism, but not the only criticism by any means, just the easiest for you to defend.

        Another more devastating criticism is that Mann is guilty of “back test over fitting.” Meaning that after his “training period” he looked at his results with the data he had in his “sandbox,” and selected his inputs in order to achieve that result.

        Whether he did this through malfeasance or ignorance is hard to know, but the fact is, like many a victim of a stock tout has discovered, once new data came in, there was a decline shown by the proxy data that did not match the new temperature data coming in or the model proposed.

        Of course there are possible explanations. Maybe the trees were bounded on both sides by climate, didn’t grow if it was too cold or too hot. Dr Craig Loehle, who got his Phd in “Statistical Forestry” suggests that as a possibility But the problem with that explanation is that this leaves today’s warming as unexceptional, and so the graph loses rhetorical power and so weakens “the cause.”

        One thing that is decidedly not an explanation is pasting another line from an entirely different source on the end of the graph in such a way as to mislead.

        Maybe you can find the graph published by Mann, or anybody else who defends him, that shows his proxy extended using his methods, that doesn’t have thermometer data tacked on to the end? The only one I have seen is on Steve McIntyre’s site.

        So please enlighten me as to why my understanding of the controversy is wrong, without ad homs, appeals to authority, or indignation that the question even be asked.

      • “Nearly always!”

        Explain then, why McIntyre made that claim and why it is wrong. Remember that we are talking about red noise here, not white noise. autocorrelated data, like the climate.

        It is true that if you use white noise, rather than red noise, you won’t get hockey sticks, and one of the fundamental assumptions of the hockey stick is that climate is not correlated year to year, and therefore any signal must be due to external forcings.

        Maybe you could tell me, if you accept the above defense, why that approach does not assume what it is trying to prove? Its a case of “If I hadn’t of believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it!”

      • TJA | October 2, 2014 at 6:05 am |
        “Nearly always!”
        “Explain then, why McIntyre made that claim and why it is wrong….”

        Why – because it was a press release and they wanted to hype their report, and it’s wrong because it doesn’t “nearly always” produce HSs.

        “In 10,000 repetitions on groups of red noise, we found that a conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockeystick shaped PC1, but the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.” – M&M

        That’s M&M describing the 1% cherry-pick and claiming it applied to the full 10,000 series.

        Wrong. Deliberate dishonesty? Fr@ud?

      • M&M didn’t ‘cherry-pick’ anything.
        They did what Mann did, and rejected the series which didn’t exhibit an uptick at the end which could be ‘calibrated’ to the instrumental record.

      • Phatboy,
        Michael doesn’t understand your argument, and so he cannot comment,
        or he does understand it and won’t comment. He neatly avoided any reply to my simple explanation of my objections to the Hockey Stick .

      • Michael, “Pages2K.

        Science doesn’t emerge as perfection.”

        Right, that is why there is a revision to the Pages2K out or due out soon. Something about less than usable Arctic proxies. It seems like land use changes have a big impact on paleo.

      • Neatly avoided what?

      • “Neatly avoided what?” – Michael

        See, that is why you are so unpersuasive and fun to poke at. You can’t see what you don’t want to see. If you don’t have a talking point ready for something, you can’t see it. I wrote a long, but not too long, detailed explanation of the problems with Mann’s stick. You could explain why I am wrong, as I surely must be, Eh FOMD? Yet you pretend that I didn’t write anything.

        Probably because you won’t read it for fear of having your faith weakened.

      • Jonathon Haidt did experiments with liberals and conservatives and found that Conservatives were quite adept at recapitulating and rebutting liberal arguments and liberals were rarely able to do it. Liberals used the “Reject first! Ask rhetorical questions later!” approach.

        “Neatly avoided what?” is a very economical version of this formula.

      • What are you r@nting about? Did i miss a comment? – just say so.

      • Mikey’s handler at SkS must be busy this morning. All mikey can say is “What?”.

      • It is there, your “rebuttal” doesn’t address it. How many times are you going to make me type it? All you are doing now is proving my point.

      • “Rebuttal” in quoatation marks? When did I say that.

        But yes, I missed the one after Tom’s comment – I’m not sure how. Was it is moderation briefly??

        TJA | October 2, 2014 at 5:55 am |
        “That is one criticism, but not the only criticism by any means, just the easiest for you to defend….”

        Never said it was, I just answered a question you posed.

        What is this – ever moving goal-posts?

        From you comment above – you accept that that PCA issue is, for practical purposes, irrelevant?

        Back-fitting. There nothing wrong with that, but there can be a discussion on appropriate levels.

        You don’t have much to say on M&Ms “nearly always” comment – do you think that’s accurate??

      • What is this – ever moving goal-posts?

        Umm, no, you offered up one argument and a “rebuttal.” I don’t really think the issue is with PCA as much as it is with the basic assumptions behind it.

        Back-fitting. There nothing wrong with that, but there can be a discussion on appropriate levels.

        Well, if it did turn out to be done at an inappropriate level, wouldn’t one possible result be “a decline”?

      • WTF!

        You raised the issue of back-fitting, and what, now you’re saying it was just random speculation??

      • Michael said:

        It’s pretty simple maths -they showed a 1% sample and here are saying that it produced a HS, over “99%” of the time.

        You are making a very serious charge here. You are claiming that M&M lied in their paper. Because the paper very clearly states that the 99% figure applied to ALL of their data, as does Fig. 2, which quantifies the effect.

        In essence, you are accusing M&M of scientific fraud. Which, by your own standards, should be actionable if it is not true.

        So please provide a citation to some evidence that M&M were lying in their paper, and that your claim is not just random libel.

      • It was a rhetorical question designed to lead you to the answer yourself. Of course it would lead to deviations as soon as you get outside of the sandbox of known data and start dealing with new incoming data after the model has been published, which is what happened.

      • Fizzy,

        Those qoutes are from their ‘backgrounder’ – probably the only thing most people read.

        And yes, it complete BS.

      • Michael: Those qoutes are from their ‘backgrounder’ – probably the only thing most people read.

        What quotes? You haven’t posted any quotes. All you have done is make unsupported accusations of fraud.

      • I found and read the entire “backgrounder” and it does not indicate at any point that only 1% of the 10K simulations were used in their conclusions.

        So your claim that it did is false unless you can produce a quote from it.

        I am starting to believe that you may not be, ahem, telling the truth.

      • Fine, I’ll bite. Where is the link to this “backgrounder.” I have a feeling that if Michael refuses to provide a quote, he either hasn’t read it himself or he is twisting the context beyond recognition.

      • “That’s M&M describing the 1% cherry-pick and claiming it applied to the full 10,000 series.”

        So I see the above quote, where do you get that it is a “1% cherry pick.” Not from the backgrounder that I can see. All you need to do is cut and past the section where you claim that it shows that there was a “cherry pick.” At this point, I would even take a link to a blog that makes the claim, with a pointer to the claim.

        I don’t think you can do it Michael. That is why you guys should just drop Mann. Defending him forces you to surrender your own integrity, and to get dragged into a morass of deceptions, lies, ad-homs, and evasions.

        Of course you could easily show me I am wrong.

      • fizzymagic | October 3, 2014 at 1:09 am |
        I found and read the entire “backgrounder” and it does not indicate at any point that only 1% of the 10K simulations were used in their conclusions…”

        Exactly, they claim that they get “99%” HS – I’m sure most people would assume they at least were referring to the entire 10,000 series, or possibly even all reconstructions, rather than just the cherry-picked subset.

      • Jeesums Michael, could you please provide a link, even to substantiate your cherry picking claim?

      • “In 10,000 repetitions on groups of red noise, we found that a conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockeystick shaped PC1, but the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.”

        That is M&M’s claim in the backgrounder.

        The link is above.

      • the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.

        That’s because the “Mann algorithm” “mines” for hockey sticks. As long as there are a few instances in the collection of red noise sent to it, it’ll pick those out and give them most of the weight.

        In “over 99%of the” trials (with different collections of “red noise”) there were at least a few instances of “hockey sticks” for the “Mann algorithm” to “mine”.

        The only “cherry picking” is what the “Mann algorithm” did.

      • AK,

        Yes, if they had said that it might be more accurate.

        But that’s the qoute.
        .
        And it’s wrong.

      • @Michael…

        AK,

        Yes, if they had said that it might be more accurate.

        But that’s the qoute.

        And it’s wrong.

        No, it’s NOT wrong!

        It says exactly the same thing I did, but leaves out some of my explanations.

        READ HARDER!

      • The M&M claim of 99% was indeed for the 10,000 runs. Your claim that it was for a cherry-picked subset needs documentation. Thus far, you have asserted it without any evidence.

        McIntyre has explicitly stated within the last month that the results were not taken from a cherry-picked subset.

        As I said, it is a very serious charge of scientific malfeasance. If you can’t substantiate the charge, then you need to withdraw it.

      • Fizzy,

        and that’s only part of the problem.

        First we have the massively overhyped PCA,then the misleading claim about the full 10,000 series producing “99%” HS. But even befroe tat thee is thr question of what M7M’s HSI really is. Is it just some statistical begging the question?

      • then the misleading claim about the full 10,000 series producing “99%” HS.

        Nothing misleading about it.

      • @Michael…

        Here’s the deal, as I understand it:

        The method used by Mann takes a bunch of time/data series and puts them together into one curve.

        When that method was used against a bunch of real-world data series, it yielded a “hockey stick”

        What NN05 did was generate 10,000 different bunches of random “red noise” data series and run the Mann process on each bunch.

        They also ran ” a conventional PC algorithm” on those same 10,000 different bunches of random “red noise” data series.

        Using that “conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockeystick shaped PC1,”, but…

        “the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.”

        Now, with that explanation in hand, try reading what they said again:

        “In 10,000 repetitions on groups [bunches] of red noise, we found that a conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockeystick shaped PC1, but the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.” – M&M

        Now, to your complaint about ” the misleading claim about the full 10,000 series producing “99%” HS.” It wasn’t misleading to anybody who understood the statistical processes involved, it was perfectly clear and correct. The problem is that, taken out of context for an audience who didn’t understand what was going on, certain misleading misinterpretations were hyped to promote the spurious claim of “cherry picking”, a claim that wasn’t true and isn’t true.

      • A much clearer explanation is given by Mann on Real Climate in 2004-5.
        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=98
        This is the item that the backgrounder was trying unsuccessfully to respond to.
        It is not so much which PC shows up as PC1 that matters, but how many PCs you retain to explain the variance. MM only kept 2 (it seems unjustifiably) and discarded PC4 that had the HS shape and that Mann showed would have given them a Mann-like result if they kept it. Also Mann showed that the real-data showed the HS shape much more significantly than the red-noise making it 99% certain to be in the real data, and even MMs method puts their HS PC4 above the red noise value, another reason to retain it.

      • A much clearer explanation is given by Mann on Real Climate in 2004-5.

        That’s actually arm-waving distraction: “Look a squirrel” MM was talking about the first PC.

      • The first PC is the distraction. In the red noise it only accounted for 6% of the variance. You have to consider enough of them to see a signal.

      • The first PC is the distraction.

        No, the subject is the charge of “cherry picking” WRT finding “hockey sticks” in the first PC using “Mann’s method”.

        Anything else is “look! A squirrel!”

      • MM’s first 4 PCs for the red noise were very similar in magnitude, focusing on just PC1 is the cherrypick. They were all between 4% and 5% of the variance. You probably haven’t looked at the Real Climate page. Pictures are very useful at sorting this out.

      • Yeah, I read it. More arm-waving distraction.

      • It is not a distraction to point out where M&M went wrong. It is exactly the point.

      • Regardless of how Mann and MM argue it out, or how many squirrels are thrown in the path, there is the undeniable fact that as soon as new data came in, Mann’s curve fit to temperatures fell apart. Temperatures went up, proxies declined. The proof is in the pudding, and Mann may claim that he did everything according to Hoyle, IDK, but I do know that his technique did not work outside of his training period. Which led to Mann’s dishonest tacking of temperature data to his hockey stick.

      • As they say, you can only write papers with the data you have, not the data you may wish to have some time in the future.

      • Jim D “As they say, you can only write papers with the data you have, not the data you may wish to have some time in the future.”

        Well, Mann zero padded the front end of a series he wanted to use and instrument data padded some other series.

        So Mann doesn’t follow that “work with the data that you have” guideline very well.

      • MM’s first 4 PCs for the red noise were very similar in magnitude, focusing on just PC1 is the cherrypick. They were all between 4% and 5% of the variance.

        Doesn’t matter. The method involved “focusing on just PC1”. And it’s not a “cherrypick”, as MM said, 99% of PC1’s had a hockey stick! If they’d included through the 4th, it probably would have been 99.99%. Or more.

        You probably haven’t looked at the Real Climate page. Pictures are very useful at sorting this out.

        There ARE no pictures! To find pictures I have to follow a link in the page you linked, to HERE!

        FIGURE 1. Comparison of PC #1 of the North American ITRDB tree-ring data from MBH98 (red) and PC #4 resulting from a PCA of the same dataset using the MM centering convention (blue–for visual comparison the blue curve has been adjusted to have the mean and amplitude of the red curve, as only the relative pattern of variation in the predictors matters in the MBH98 methodology)

        So let’s take a look at the implications: Using Mann’s method, on the real-world data a spurious hockey-stick signal, worth no more than the 4th PC, was elevated to 1st place.

        In MM, “using the MM centering convention”, it dropped to the 4th, probably having nothing to do with temperature, except for a few localized positions, perhaps. Or perhaps something having nothing to do with temperature.

        All of this arm-waving distraction has nothing to do with the fact that NO CHERRY PICKING TOOK PLACE IN MM05!

        Which was the point under dispute.

      • AK, Mann gives you the percentages accounted for by each PC. MM’s first 2, that they chose to truncate at, only accounted for less than 30% of the signal, while Mann’s accounted for nearer 50%. That is why MM have to take more PC’s otherwise their pattern isn’t accounting for as much of the signal as Mann did. Other PC’s were significantly above the noise level. This is all explained by Mann. Why did MM truncate at only 2 PC’s? This is the central question and they just avoided it.

      • This is the central question and they just avoided it.

        Perhaps they didn’t want to waste their time with obvious answers. I answered it above, AFAIK.

      • AK, you say MM didn’t cherrypick, yet they clearly only used the first 2 PCs that only accounted for less than 30% of the variation. They could have checked their sensitivity to adding more components, but neglected to. Maybe it was just a mistake.

      • Maybe it was just a mistake.

        I doubt it. Let’s take a look at the supplementary data for Mann’s 22 November 2004 Post. (You may have to click to read it.)

        In MB98, the hockey stick was PC1, explaining 38.18% of the variance.

        In “PCA analysis Based on Convention of MM (1400-1971 zero reference period, data un-normalized)” the hockey stick is in PC4, explaining 6.63% of the variance. And higher PC’s explained 36.34% of the variance!

        Now, to a mining engineer, accustomed to the way scammers pitch their fraudulent analyses, I would guess he saw, as I certainly do (without that experience) how hard a time Mann would have had selling a “hockey stick” that was:

        •       Only the 4th Principle Component (with 3 higher)

        •       Able to explain only 6.63% of the variance, rather than 36.35 with the non-standard method.

        Basically, by proving that Mann’s method “mined” for hokey sticks 99% of the time, while a real PCA dropped his hokey stick out of the 1st PC, he demonstrated that the points needed to “sell” his hockey stick were entirely an artifact of the non-standard method Mann chose.

        But wait! There’s more!

        The E&E article canvasses various permutations and combinations of methodology now advocated by MBH98 in an attempt to avoid our criticism, showing how slight variations in methodology sometimes lead to high early 15th century results and sometimes to low early 15th century results. For example, the presence or absence of the PC4 in centered calculations determines early 15th century results. We point out that this is inconsistent with MBH98 claims that their method is “robust” to the presence or absence of dendroclimatic indicators. [my bold]

        From the backgrounder linked above.

      • AK, I think even your mining engineer would know that you don’t select one PC. You add them starting with the leading one until you have accounted for a significant fraction of the variation with the sum. The mining engineer stopped at 2 for some reason known only to himself and possibly the economist who wrote the paper with him.

      • The mining engineer stopped at 2 for some reason known only to himself

        Actually, he didn’t. He carried it down to the 4th PC, and demonstrated that the hokey stick was “inconsistent with MBH98 claims that their method is “robust” to the presence or absence of dendroclimatic indicators.”

      • If Mann had tried to sell a hokey stick that depended on presence of the 4th PC, he’d have been laughed out of the room. IMO.

      • The common factor in the bifurcation of 15th century temperatures is traced to the effect of bristlecone pines. There is an undoubted growth pulse for a small network of bristlecone pines in the Western USA in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and their ring width “chronologies” thus have a hockey stick shape. While these series represent only a small fraction of the MBH98 data base the resulting hockey stick shape is essentially an imprint of this bristlecone pine growth pulse. If world climate history is held to be uniquely characterized by the growth of bristlecone pines, we think that there should be a clear exposition of all the issues involved. We survey specialist literature on bristlecone pines and show that the original authors of the sites which dominate the MBH98 PC1 stated clearly that the 20th century growth pulse was not due to temperature. Even Mann’s co-author, Hughes, has stated in print that the bristlecone pine growth pulse is a “mystery”.

        MBH98 data mining methods resulted in the selection of these hockey stick shaped series into the PC1, thereby ranking them as the “dominant pattern of variability”, whereas they appear in neither the PC1 nor the PC2 under a centered calculation. Regardless of the role of the data mining method, it is important to recognize and fully assess the role of these series in imprinting a hockey stick shape and to completely assess whether they are the correct way of measuring world climate history.

      • AK, MM didn’t show that Mann’s method was wrong, and ended up saying that the HS was due to particular trees that they thought dominated that component. It was a subjective decision, and outside the statistics, that they just wanted to eliminate PC4 because it didn’t give them the result they needed to disprove Mann. If they want to complain about the trees, complain about the trees, and don’t just go through the statistics with them and remove PCs afterwards that don’t give a convenient result. Mann showed that the MM method with the first 5 PCs gives the HS, and I think MM understood that and then started blaming the trees.

      • […] MM didn’t show that Mann’s method was wrong, and ended up saying that the HS was due to particular trees that they thought dominated that component. It was a subjective decision, and outside the statistics, that they just wanted to eliminate PC4 because it didn’t give them the result they needed to disprove Mann.

        AFAIK they ran identical calculations with and without those particular series. That’s what I’d do, before saying those trees were responsible. Easy enough to do. That’s (AFAIK) what they said they did.

        And if it is what they did, it wasn’t “a subjective decision”.

        Why don’t you re-run those calcs with and without those “particular trees” and demonstrate that the don’t make a difference?

      • That’s what I said. They start by saying the statistical method is wrong, but when that doesn’t pan out they blame the trees. If they started with the trees, and wrote a paper about that, forget the statistical methods, it would have been a contribution and then they can argue with the dendrochronologists instead of the statisticians.

      • That’s what I said.

        No, it’s the opposite of what you said. You said it was ” a subjective decision, and outside the statistics”. There was nothing “subjective” about it: they re-ran the statistics with and without that series.

        They start by saying the statistical method is wrong, but when that doesn’t pan out they blame the trees.

        No, they start by demonstrating ” the statistical method is wrong”, then go looking for why it did what it did. Which it shouldn’t have if it were right. And didn’t when done right, as Mann himself demonstrated .

        If they started with the trees, and wrote a paper about that, forget the statistical methods, it would have been a contribution and then they can argue with the dendrochronologists instead of the statisticians.

        Why should they “argue with the dendrochronologists” when “the original authors of the sites which dominate the MBH98 PC1 stated clearly that the 20th century growth pulse was not due to temperature”?

        It was the statistical method that was wrong. MM05 demonstrated that, and demonstrated how it allowed one tiny localized series, which belonged in a low-level PC, to float to the top and dominate the whole series.

        And they demonstrated that Mann was untruthful when he said that his method was ““robust” to the presence or absence of dendroclimatic indicators.”

      • AK this might be hopeless. Global warmers will always flog the same talking points about MM regardless of how many times the talking points have been refuted..

        You need to take away their script sheets before beginning the discussion.

        They can’t see the forest for the hockey sticks.

      • Mann not only did it wrong, he hid it:

        A conventional PC algorithm centers the data by subtracting the column means of the underlying series. For the AD1400 step highlighted here, this would be the full 1400–1980 interval. Instead, MBH98 Fortran code (ftp://holocene.evsc.virginia.edu/pub/MBH98/TREE/ITRDB/NOAMER/pca-noamer) contains an unusual data transformation prior to PC calculation that has never been reported in print. Each tree ring series was transformed by subtracting the 1902–1980 mean, then dividing by the 1902–1980 standard deviation and dividing again by the standard deviation of the residuals from fitting a linear trend in the 1902–1980 period. The PCs were then computed using singular value decomposition on the transformed data. (The effects reported here would have been partly mitigated if PCs had been calculated using the covariance or correlation matrix.) This previously unreported transformation was recently acknowledged in the Supplementary Information to a Corrigendum to MBH98 [Mann et al., 2004], where they asserted that it has no effect on the results, a claim we refute herein.

        PCs can be strongly affected by linear transformations of the raw data. Under the MBH98 method, for those series in which the 1902–1980 mean is close to the 1400–1980 mean, subtraction of the 1902–1980 mean has little impact on weightings for the PC1. But if the 1902–1980 mean is different than the 1400–1980 mean (i.e., a hockey stick shape), the transformation translates the ‘‘shaft’’ off a zero mean; the magnitude of the residuals along the shaft is increased, and the series variance, which grows with the square of each residual, gets inflated. Since PC algorithms choose weights that maximize variance, the method re-allocates variance so that hockey stick shaped series get overweighted. In effect, the MBH98 data transformation results in the PC algorithm mining the data for hockey stick patterns.

        And when people started digging in trying to find out what was going on, they refused to give up their data. And held a conspiracy, by email, to prevent their “mistakes” from coming to light.

        Thus: Climategate.

      • AK, this is how your argument just drifts around. It’s like whack-a-mole. You started by saying that MM showed Mann used biased methods, and Mann showed that they weren’t and you thought PC1’s were the whole deal, but they weren’t, and now you have shifted completely away from this original argument and its about the trees instead and/or some other data that just got brought in from somewhere. MM got it hopelessly wrong with the red noise stuff, where this started, just proving Mann’s case instead when done right. I’m not going to chase your other new info around the web, but your interpretation of what I have seen so far was lacking.

      • @Jim D…

        It actually started with the claim (by Michael) that MM05 had “showed a 1% sample and here are saying that it produced a HS, over “99%” of the time.”

        You’ll enjoy this – evidence of McIntyre’s deliberate dishonest and deceptive behaviour;

        “We showed that the PCA method as used by Mann et al. effectively mines a data set for hockey stick patterns. Even from meaningless random data (red noise), it nearly always produces a hockey stick.”

        Why – because it was a press release and they wanted to hype their report, and it’s wrong because it doesn’t “nearly always” produce HSs.

        “In 10,000 repetitions on groups of red noise, we found that a conventional PC algorithm almost never yielded a hockeystick shaped PC1, but the Mann algorithm yielded a pronounced hockey stick-shaped PC1 over 99%of the time.” – M&M

        Wrong. Deliberate dishonesty? Fr@ud?

        It’s pretty simple maths -they showed a 1% sample and here are saying that it produced a HS, over “99%” of the time.

        Those qoutes are from their ‘backgrounder’ – probably the only thing most people read.

        And yes, it complete BS.

        Exactly, they claim that they get “99%” HS – I’m sure most people would assume they at least were referring to the entire 10,000 series, or possibly even all reconstructions, rather than just the cherry-picked subset.

        And so on. So I demonstrated to him that he was wrong,

        Then you jumped in with “look! A squirrel!” and insisted all your BS was relevant. Which it wasn’t.

      • AK, I saw this long argument about 1%, 99%, red noise, PCs etc., and checked the sources, which were from 10 years ago. Mann’s explanation was clear. MM dropped the ball in responding, game over for MM.

      • Go away for a bit and look what happens….

      • More arm-waving distraction.

        Mann screwed up, hid it, used contemptible methods trying to keep anybody from publishing the fact that he screwed up, and was outed with Climategate.

        The rest is history…

      • Mann’s explanation was clear.

        Mann’s “explanation” was almost incomprehensible arm-waving nonsense, argument from authority, and ad hominem attacks on people whose science he couldn’t refute.

      • AK,

        The “99%” was misleading and it seems that was the intent.

        They were careful to only show ‘up’ HS, to get the marketing point across.

        But then there is the HSI itself – an invention by M&M, of rather dubious merit.

      • The “99%” was misleading and it seems that was the intent.

        Nothing misleading about it. Out of 10,000 runs, over 9,900 showed some level of “hockey stick”

        They were careful to only show ‘up’ HS, to get the marketing point across.

        No, up and down are freely interchangeable. Even Mann says this.

        But then there is the HSI itself – an invention by M&M, of rather dubious merit.

        Great merit: it allowed measuring the effect of Mann’s magical method for creating hokey sticks.

      • AK,

        No, it doesn’t matter in the PCs……but after they are orientated and there is a negative trend, HSI still identifies them as a HS.

        Heck, it even seems to see HS in straight lines.

        HSI was made for purpose…..to see HS everywhere!

      • No, it doesn’t matter in the PCs……but after they are orientated and there is a negative trend, HSI still identifies them as a HS.

        That’s right. Whether the blade points up or down, it represents rising temps. That’s why it doesn’t matter if a PC is flipped.

        Heck, it even seems to see HS in straight lines.

        Yeah Riiiiiiiight. Link? To something peer-reviewed?

      • “As they say, you can only write papers with the data you have, not the data you may wish to have some time in the future.”- JimD

        True, but you can certainly validate or invalidate papers with data that comes in the future. The data that comes in the future, unlike all of the data available at the time of the paper, could not have been used in overfitting curves, for one thing.

        Mann’s theory did not hold up. I have no idea why anybody is still arguing over his techniques.

      • I think the skeptics have learned to accept graphs like this with little fuss now. It’s only subtly different from Mann’s and demonstrates the same main point.

      • Michael, is that the Pages2k corrections you are referring to?

        yes, science is supposed to work like that.

        It is noteworthy that you refrain from bringing up the substance of those corrections.

      • AK,

        You got anything ‘peer-reviewed’ that verifies the HSI does what is claimed, or is it just some made-up statistical begging the question?

      • You got anything ‘peer-reviewed’ that verifies the HSI does what is claimed, or is it just some made-up statistical begging the question?

        MM05.

        See, the scam that the likes of you and JimD are pulling is arm-waving, trying to confuse people and distract attention from how Mann:

        •       totally screwed up his “statistical analysis”,

        •       hid it,

        •       refused to share his data with people looking into it,
        •       engaged in conspiracy trying to keep people who found his hidden problems from publishing their work,

        •       got outed with Climategate.

        What MM05 was about was demonstrating the Mann’s process was badly flawed. It wasn’t about proving there was a medieval warming period, or that it was warmer than today, it was about proving that Mann hadn’t proved anything:

        Mann and others keep saying that we “left out” PCs. In MM2005(EE), we discussed the effect of various permutations and combinations and observed that inclusion of lower order PCs included the bristlecone HS, turning the question to whether stripbark bristlecones were a valid proxy. We did not present an alternative reconstruction, but questioned the validity of Mann’s. The PC discussion also shows that Mann’s claim that his reconstruction was “robust” to presence/absence of tree rings was fabricated, as it was not robust even to the presence/absence of the bristlecone PC4, as all parties seem to agree. [my (un)bold]

      • MM05??

        They use it…….but verification? Zilch.

    • Why should she let up on someone who’s been a d*ck?

    • Michael writes:

      This is where the dishonesty of McIntyre et al come in, and shows that this is a political/ideological attack on Mann. They emphasize the ‘flaw’/’error’ and hide that the magnitude is very small and that the result is the same with the ‘correct’ method.

      You already showed convincingly in the last thread that you don’t even have a grasp of high-school-level math (confusing “trend” and “oscillation”), and you further that impression here.

      What do you define as “very small magnitude?” The reconstruction difference is quite small in the 1800s, it is true — but the MWP, which Mann claimed didn’t exist, shows up as comparable to 20th century warming when using properly-centered PCAs.

      Thus, the central claim of Mann’s original paper (that 20th century warming is unprecedented) is shown to be exquisitely sensitive to his flawed analysis methodology.

      And you call that a “small” difference?

      • Fizzy,

        Was it a squiggle or an oscillation???

        Dishonesty – see this?
        ““We showed that the PCA method as used by Mann et al. effectively mines a data set for hockey stick patterns. Even from meaningless random data (red noise), it nearly always produces a hockey stick.”- M&M

      • Explain how that is dishonest Michael, you know, using mathematical and logical concepts which are amenable to discussion, not exclamation points, question marks, talking points and rhetorical arguments. Who knows, maybe you would win, the tactic appears never to have been tried by warmies.

      • TJA,

        It’s pretty simple maths -they showed a 1% sample and here are saying that it produced a HS, over “99%” of the time.

      • Michael,

        Are your referring to this paper?

        http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/mcintyre-grl-2005.pdf

        If so, perhaps you’re confused by the difference between Figure 1 and Figure 2?

      • I think I put this in the wrong thread. It’s hard to figure out how to reply here.

        Michael said:

        It’s pretty simple maths -they showed a 1% sample and here are saying that it produced a HS, over “99%” of the time.

        You are making a very serious charge here. You are claiming that M&M lied in their paper. Because the paper very clearly states that the 99% figure applied to ALL of their data, as does Fig. 2, which quantifies the effect. In essence, you are accusing M&M of scientific fraud. Which, by your own standards, should be actionable if it is not true.

        So please provide a citation to some evidence that M&M were lying in their paper, and that your claim is not just random libel.

      • Yeah, Michael. Show us where on what blog you read that.

      • fizzy, “You are making a very serious charge here. You are claiming that M&M lied in their paper?”

        An anonymous troll cannot make a serious charge. Nick Stokes, not anonymous and qualified to make a serious charge appears to be dancing around doing that, but as far as I can tell, is only supported by anonymous trolls. There are more than enough non anonymous, qualified individuals that dislike M&M to jump on the band wagon if things were serious. So far, they can only celebrate their trashing of Wegman. If Nick had found anything substantial, I am sure he would have co-authors lining up behind him.

      • Michael, where on what blog did you read that?

    • Michael: There are hockey sticks in both highly autocorrelated noise and in Mann’s data. In both cases, they get inappropriately incorporated in a PC1 when off-centered PCAs are performed. In Mann’s data, the biggest hockey sticks selected for the PC1 were from dubious proxies (especially bristlecones). If this were only problem with MBH98/99, Mann could have re-submitted his paper using as many centered PCs as needed and the controversy would have ended. Please ASK YOURSELF why he never did so, if the errors uncovered by M&M were trivial?

      One reason may be that Mann needed more than just a revised reconstruction that looked somewhat like his original hockey stick; he needed one that was statistically valid (his RE validation has been challenged, correlation was nil) and showed that the CWP was warmer than the MWP with greater than 95% confidence, and a reconstruction that was robust to the absence of bristlecones. Furthermore, the iconic hockey stick used by the IPCC showed no trace of a LIA or MWP in the shaft, features that are present in more recent reconstructions and were non-controversial in the case of the LIA.

      • Frank, Right, but none of that matters. See Nick Stokes has shown that if you don’t quite do things the way Mann did the results aren’t quite as bad. It doesn’t matter than Mann’s original methods which included short centering, a selection process, and limited PCs was wrong, the degree of wrongness was overstated by some since it could be done less wrong.

        That is somehow translated into Mann did good in Bizzarro world.

    • Michael: you cite Pages2K, but in their revision shown at CA (and they shouldn’t have been so careless to start with) the MWP reappears as almost as warm as the most recent decade and when you consider the low resolution of many proxies and the error bars, there is no discernible difference. So great own-goal there.

      • It is funny to me how they don’t understand that when you lose resolution in a proxy, that the error bars really expand for periods that are short relative to the proxy resolution, even if, for the sake of argument, you grant them absolute precision in the proxy.

        Mann’s defenders make these arguments, but it is obvious they never think them through.

      • And Craig, otoh, we have people telling us that results with few proxies are unreliable……….unless they show a MWP.

        No shortage of ‘own goals’ around, huh?

      • Link would be cool for that claim, Michael.

      • Michael,

        No matter how loud you bray or how often you crap you stall, you can’t change the fact that Michael Mann is coming up as someone who really is poor at statistics. The alternative is he is passably competent and cheating.

        All this gives him a pass on the whole proxy argument.

    • AK
      “The common factor in the bifurcation of 15th century temperatures is traced to the effect of bristlecone pines. There is an undoubted growth pulse for a small network of bristlecone pines in the Western USA in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and their ring width “chronologies” thus have a hockey stick shape. ”

      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2012GL052447/full
      Well, if you look at various studies… the growth (ring width) since 1950 is unprecedented in the previous 1000-3700 years. The growth doesn’t match the wood density, isotropic oxygen, or sparse temperature records, which agree..

      The claim is made that the temperature signal is there but pretty clearly something else is going on that has a fertilization effect.

  37. Thanks, Professor Curry, for keeping us abreast of this unfolding drama.

  38. ,

    Attacking the person not the argument: calling me ‘denier’, ‘anti-science’, ‘serial climate misinformer’ (violates universalism)

    Aren’t you in essence attacking him as person by accusing him of violating the norms of science. Especially when many disagree that he has violated all or some of those norms. I have only been here for around a year, but it seems to me that this feud between the two of you has been going on for a while now.

    • Ha ha ha! Classic Alinsky, make the enemy live up to impossible standards you have no intention of respecting yourself.

      Only a blind partisan could believe what you just said.

      • TJA may, or may not, notice that this statement applies to what JC wrote in her post.

      • Right, like I said Michael, classic Alinsky. Mann can’t have it both ways. He is allowed to insult other scientists while Curry may not be allowed to criticize them, with standards laid out and logic made public. One other thing you will notice is that Curry is not trying to shut down the debate through the court system, as is Mann, who, if it were possible, could have replied to criticism of his work with clearer arguments, for example.

        When the Nazis got together a consensus to disprove GR, Einstein didn’t sue them, he just let his predictions get borne out over time. (Hint, there were no unpredicted declines to hide.)

      • TJA,

        If you think the r@ntings of a gutter-journalist are part of the scientific ‘debate’, you’ve lost your marbles.

      • If you think the country will be a better place without free speech, you have lost yours.

      • Steyn can say whatever he wants – there just may be consequences.

      • Ha ha ha! Classic Alinsky, make the enemy live up to impossible standards you have no intention of respecting yourself.

        TJA the standards in question are the ones that Dr. Curry claims all scientists should live up to including herself. If they are impossible to live up to then don’t you think we need to think more about those standards?

      • Joseph, one would have to be a complete blind partisan to follow that logic, I think. But I tell you what, why don’t you give an abstract example, not involving Curry or Mann?

    • If a prominent peer of mine publicly and repeatedly called me a ‘serial anti-engineer’ I’d blog about their ongoing legal problems and twitter bitch fights every single day of the week.

    • To observe that someone has not followed a particular set of standards is an objective fact. To name call about it is an attack. Saying I have not followed the Book Of Mormon is simply a truth (that means nothing to me or about me, as I am not a Mormon). To accuse me of blaspheme and being a bad person for not following it would be an attack…

      So, IMHO, to say “Mann is not following these norms of Science” is simply observation. To say “He is stupid or evil because of it” becomes name calling. Judith has stayed on the clean side of this, IMHO, while Mann has not.

      I don’t know why folks on ‘that side’ name call so much, but it seems to be a standard for the “progressives” to ‘attack the messenger’…. I suspect it is a Saul A. method… but have never read his book…

      • First you have to agree on the norms and then decide whether he really did break any or all of the standards. I don’t think Dr. Curry is in a position to decide in either case by herself. And so Mann would be right to view this as an attack on his character.

      • I don’t think Dr. Curry is in a position to decide in either case by herself. And so Mann would be right to view this as an attack on his character. – Joseph

        This is the kind of logic that brings you alarmism. Vaguely in there you can make out a dog chasing his tail.

      • John DeFayette

        Joseph: “I don’t think Dr. Curry is in a position to decide in either case by herself.”

        Good thing she agrees with you, and because she feels the same she references folks like Robert Merton who she feels have developed some pretty reasonable standards. If you can’t agree that this is a good yardstick then please propose your own. I think it’s time we returned to measuring things against a standard, rather than blathering on about not having one.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      “Aren’t you in essence attacking him as person by accusing him of violating the norms of science. ”

      You don’t make sense.
      Should someone be accused of violating the speed limit while driving, is that an attack against the person, or is it taking action to enforce law and promote safety?

  39. Satire has at least a 2,500 year history. The usual highlights are covered here – http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1065&context=srhonorsprog – although the Colbert hero worship is misplaced. Satire needs some novelty value to be effective. Colbert is more like an old fashioned revival meeting – preaching to the converted.

    It is all designed to cut through the noise and to influence the evolution of the zeitgeist. Taking moral umbrage – therefore – at either Colbert or Steyn seems a losing strategy and a monstrous irrelevance. Going to court over it is a quixotic impost of power stifling dissent.

    What is relevant? I have started to read the new WWF Living Planet 2014 report. The key finding is that 3,038 vertebrate species have declined by some 52% over 40 years.

    One can always dismiss data for usually quite spurious reasons – but this trend is extremely worrying if true. It is true for many species in Australia – primarily as a result of changed fire regimes and feral invasions. The passenger pigeon paradox suggests why it is a worry. Below a critical number related to recruitment and mortality rates – populations simply disappear.

    The WWF has ‘solutions’.

    ‘Preserve natural capital:
    Restore damaged ecosystems, halt the loss of priority habitats, significantly expand protected areas.’

    Only rich people can afford environments.

    ‘Produce better:
    Reduce inputs and waste, manage resources sustainably, scale-up renewable energy production.’

    Waste is the enemy of business. Energy innovation is critical to the future of humanity for a number of reasons.

    ‘Consume more wisely:
    Through low-footprint lifestyles, sustainable energy use and healthier food consumption patterns.’

    A high energy use future is inevitable. Healthy food consumption is always a good idea and starts with a billion hungry people.

    ‘Redirect financial flows:
    Value nature, account for environmental and social costs, support and reward conservation, sustainable resource management and innovation.’

    Conserve and restore ecosystems and agricultural soils.

    ‘Equitable resource governance:
    Share available resources, make fair and ecologically informed choices, measure success beyond GDP.’

    Direct economic aid to cost effective strategies linked to social and economic development and political and personal freedoms.

    There – simple. We have affected a rapprochement in the clash of cultures.

    • Political Junkie

      Rob Elllison,

      For a diametrically opposing view of the situation you might want to take a look here:

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/

      As often is the case, the truth might be somewhere in the middle! Up to you to decide.

    • @ Rob Ellison

      “The key finding is that 3,038 vertebrate species have declined by some 52% over 40 years.”

      Postulating that the above is true ( have no idea), how does that relate to the drive to drastically reduce or eliminate the introduction of ACO2 into the atmosphere as a byproduct of burning fossil fuels to supply our energy needs?

    • Different methodology entirely – one is discussing the limitations of island biogeography theory and global warming and one is looking at abundance of flagship species. 52% on average reduction in 3,038 species of mammals, birds, amphibian, reptile and fish.

      Below a critical number – populations crash. So while known extinctions occurred in the 21st century – http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/photos/10-animals-presumed-extinct-in-the-last-decade/gone-the-way-of-the-dodo – this rate is very likely to accelerate dramatically. This sort of science is about as solid as it gets in biology.

      • Political Junkie

        Rob, apocalyptic predictions based on worst case scenarios don’t always come to pass. Let’s remember that Ehrlich was perceived to be at the cutting edge of science in 1970 when he said:

        “In ten years all important animal life in the sea will be extinct. Large areas of coastline will have to be evacuated because of the stench of dead fish.”

      • Not apocalyptic – merely extrapolating trend and knowing about population dynamics.

    • A big cause of decline of vertebrate species is people eating them. For example, in much of the world people eat any animal they can catch, including cute little songbirds. By the billions. The solution? Increase their wealth. People in the US don’t eat songbirds because we can afford not to. Blocking the building of power plants in Africa in the name of climate change does not help declining wildlife.

  40. Advocacy related to his area of expertise (violates disinterestedness, although the norm of disinterestedness is contested)

    I think we need a good definition of what constitutes “advocacy” I don’t think you always show disinterestedness and I think according to your own definition you sometimes advocate outside your area of expertise. On the other hand, I don’t really have a problems with scientists engaging in advocacy outside their field, but they should acknowledge that it is more informed opinion rather than pure science.

  41. Just saw this

    Naomi Oreskes @NaomiOreskes · Sep 25

    Wisdom from the history of science:
    “Whatever the system of property be, there is no wealth but common wealth.”
    George Sarton, 1919

    https://twitter.com/NaomiOreskes

  42. Steyn describes Laden as a “weird creepy fringe obsessives.” I don’t have a Twitter account so maybe I am not up to speed on acceptable behavior on Twitter.

    So here is my question: Does peeking into the Twitter profile of someone you don’t know personally qualify as “weird, creepy fringe, obsessive behavior?

  43. Steyn’s tone and message is the same as many commenters on this blog. Congratulations Dr. Curry, your blog reads much the same as Steyn pieces.

    • Gosh, we must be wittier than I thought!

    • It’s a lynch mob attitude. They take out their general frustration with the climate scientist majority on Mann when they think they smell blood. Lot’s of piling in going on here.

      • Yeah, your little pudgy bald hero has really suffered from all the assaults on his lack of integrity. I bet he has missed out on one or two junkets because he had to take time out to sue people. Grow up, jimmy.

      • Don Monfort shows a great example of the idiocy which is Steyn/Curry commentary. Don Monfort like comments comprise the majority of what is written on your blog Dr Curry. This has to be frustating for you.

      • Joseph gets a clear statement on what is observation and what is attack and shows us how dense he really is.

  44. Mann should have ignored Steyn’s “fraudulent” article which would have soon been forgotten. The more you read from Steyn, the more he looks like an attention-seeking comedian with no credibility and even less expertise in the subject at hand, who has a big vendetta against Mann. Lots of vitriol and nothing to offer in insights. His own sideshow in the larger debate.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: The more you read from Steyn, the more he looks like an attention-seeking comedian with no credibility and even less expertise in the subject at hand, who has a big vendetta against Mann.

      Steyn mostly writes intelligent music and drama criticism/analysis; and cultural critiques more widely. He writes in support of freedom of the press, of speech, and of religion; and of more of the enlightenment ideas that go with them. When he writes deprecatingly, he writes very wittily, and is hard to rebut about matters of fact. He won his freedom of expression case against the Canadian Human Rights Commission, in which he was the defendant. It is true that he wrote vitriol, but it is also true that he found falsehoods in Mann’s court filings and other of Mann’s writings about himself. Whether it was “insightful” to call the hockey stick “fraudulent” after much published criticism of it (and some intended to be secret but publicized), and after the hockey stick had been dropped from the IPCC web page, it was certainly defensible, a truth that ought not be forgotten or neglected — definitions of “fraudulent” were listed here a short time ago.

      Of course he is attention-seeking and humorous: he earns his living by selling his writing. As he has written, his side in his lawsuit has received a lot of amicus curiae briefs in its support; that might be taken as evidence that he has credibility, even though you personally do not credit any of his writing. As noted by Steyn and not contradicted by anybody, Mann has received not a single amicus curiae brief in his support.

      • Matthew –

        ==> “When he writes deprecatingly, he writes very wittily, and is hard to rebut about matters of fact. ”

        Yes, so true. Look at the following. So witty. So hard to rebut about matters of fact:

        So “the Murtha plan” is to deny the president the possibility of victory while making sure Democrats don’t have to share the blame for the defeat. But, of course, Rep. John Murtha’s a great American! He’s a patriot! He supports the troops! He doesn’t support them in the mission, but he’d like them to continue failing at it for a couple more years.

        Indeed, it is obviously a “fact” that Murtha wanted the troops to “fail for a couple more years.”

        And so witty to say that also.

      • Yes, I don’t equate dripping disdain and name-calling with wit. On the left wing, what they do for wit (as we saw recently) is show people like Palin saying things like that there is a lack of truth at 1400 Pennsylvania Avenue, which is funny because it is ironic (wrong address).

      • Joshua: “Indeed, it is obviously a “fact” that Murtha wanted the troops to “fail for a couple more years.””

        The obvious fact is that Murtha was a lunatic. His plan was to move the troops out of Iraq to a neighboring country; they could continue fighting but from outside the borders of Iraq, and no plan for victory. Steyn was right on!

      • That wasn’t a falling atmosphere, it was helicopter downwash.
        ================

    • Mann should put up his workings for all the world to see and go through he points his detractors put up and prove them wrong.
      He has not done this. He has resorted to verbal attacks and hidden his data from review, Jim D.
      Then he sues people for saying his work is fraudulent and tries to stop free speech, such as it is.
      No pointy in suing, put it up and get it fully supported by a panel of investigating scientists, not mates.

      • The people who have recreated his work have not called it fraudulent, only Steyn has from the sidelines. If you disagree with methods or think there were mistakes in data-handling that is not fraud, otherwise anyone who wrote a paper with a mistake that went in the direction they wanted to emphasize, like Lindzen and Spencer have owned up to, could be accused of fraud.

    • Matthew –

      This is also quite good:

      => “When he writes deprecatingly, he writes very wittily, …Of course he is attention-seeking and humorous: he earns his living by selling his writing….

      So he insults people. What’s the problem? As long as someone is witty and makes money from insulting people who’s to complain?

      Now if his insults were less witty, or he didn’t make money from insulting people, now then we’d have a problem, bud.

      • Look at The Colbert Repor or most anything on MSNBC or any of the other political satire / commedy shows (SNL anyone?) and you find tons of political vitriol passing as humor. Is it not OK for conservatives to do the same? The trashing of Sarah Palin comes to mind… Pot, meet kettle….

      • Is it not OK for conservatives to do the same?

        Nope. That’s one of the fundamental rules of “climateball”: it’s only OK if your side does it.

        That’s why we hear so many preemptive accusations of “mommy! mommy!”ism from certain alarmist apologists. It’s OK for them but not for anybody who disagrees with them.

    • It’s basically fluff for his followers who already have opinions about Mann. Mann should have ignored him, but appears to also like the attention, so in a sense they deserve each other and they encourage those tweeting blogging masses to go down that rabbit hole with them. It’s a complete personality-driven sideshow.

    • It’s true, Steyn is an attention-seeking parasite who just saw some mileage in attacking Mann. Steyn did not know the first thing about the issue and just parroted others wrongness…probably knows very little still.

  45. Greg Laden is a coward who blocks people who disagree with him… just like Mann.

  46. Research on the last 1 to 2 ka has resulted in several multi-proxy reconstructions of global or hemispheric temperature (e.g., Rutherford et al., 2005; Mann et al., 2007; 2008). In addition, first attempts have been made to reconstruct other climatic parameters, at a high spatial and temporal resolution (e.g., Luterbacher et al., 2004). Despite significant progress over the last few decades, we still do not sufficiently understand the precise sequence of changes related to regional climate forcings, internal variability, system feedbacks, and the responses of surface climate, land-cover, and bio- and hydro-sphere. Furthermore, at the decadal-to-centennial timescale we do not understand how sensitive the climate is to changes in solar activity, frequency of volcanic eruptions, greenhouse gas and aerosol concentration, and land cover.

    It is understood that, at the continental- to regional-scale, climate is strongly modulated by internal variability, e.g., the NAO and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) in the Atlantic area; and the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific Decadal Oscillations (PDO) in the Pacific area. However, the interactions of key processes at different temporal and spatial scales are not fully understood (Bengtsson et al., 2006).

    Further, many parts of the globe lack adequate paleorecords for comparison with model simulations, and high-resolution (spatially and temporally) instrumental datasets are sparse. This is particularly true for the southern hemisphere and the tropics.’ http://www.pages-igbp.org/workinggroups/2k-network/intro

    ttps://watertechbyrie.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/pages2k.png

    Mann’s sins were fairly obvious – concealing inconvenient data, splicing data that is not comparable, but most of all, the great sin of science and data, hiding the uncertainty monster. Science advocacy comes from selling uncertain or just plain bad science as more settled than it can possibly be for political ends.

    • Rob said;

      ‘Mann’s sins were fairly obvious – concealing inconvenient data, splicing data that is not comparable, but most of all, the great sin of science and data, hiding the uncertainty monster. Science advocacy comes from selling uncertain or just plain bad science as more settled than it can possibly be for political ends.’

      Yes, precisely.

      tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb
        just noticing no one’s offering up details about how tree ring analysis can accurately reconstruct 1000 year old global average temps … to within tenths of a degree
        seems like a good question to me
        but I’m just a regular bloke

      • John

        You may have noticed I have also asked it of Mosh in the last hour or two.

        I also asked Victor yesterday and numerous other people over the weeks and months.

        I want someone to explain the very basic point of why we should take any notice of tree rings as this supposedly fantastically accurate global thermometer, but most people seem more interested in the parsing and discussion of the resultant signal that people such as Mann derive.

        My own research shows it to be a highly unlikely proxy but I am willing to listen to those who make a living from tree ring research.

        Any answers anyone?

        Tonyb

      • Any answers anyone?

        Yeah…

        I’m highly skeptical of the whole tree-ring bit. In addition to the many points that have already been raised, most of these “proxies” are highly localized, and at best record changes in local conditions. Just how warranted is the assumption that even a dozen locations can accurately represent a “global average”. Even assuming such an animal exists outside the mythology of “global warming”.

      • Matthew R Marler

        tonyb: I want someone to explain the very basic point of why we should take any notice of tree rings as this supposedly fantastically accurate global thermometer, but most people seem more interested in the parsing and discussion of the resultant signal that people such as Mann derive.

        I am not sure that anyone takes notice of tree rings as “supposedly fantastically accurate”. If you perform a multiple linear regression of temperature measures on the first 4 principal components of the multivariate tree ring time series, you find that it has a usefully high R^2, so the coefficients can be used to compute an estimate of past global mean temperature; this was the innovation of MBH98, and the reason that MBH98 is widely cited despite its liabilities. The method has been used by, for example, Steve McIntyre and by and McShane and Wyner in the Annals of Applied Statistics. A regression of known temperatures on a proxy (called “calibration”) is how every thermometer is confirmed as measuring temperature, where the “proxy” may be the current or voltage output of a “transducer”, the volume of a sample of mercury, or the bend of a bimetal stick.

      • tonyb
        Wegman report had a number of referances to Biaffra?sp that documented his development of tree ring proxies. They are used in general for rough temperature and percipitation (rain) records. They also move up elevations which generate different responses to both variables above. If you look B up he should explain his process or Wegman evaluated it. I will respond in more detail when I can find the references.
        Scott

      • Tony, AK, John Smith,
        Climate scientist (ex-Realclimate) Jim Bouldin wrote a devastating sequence of posts at his Ecologically Orientated blog last year, “Severe analytical problems in dendroclimatology” which ran to 14 parts.
        At one point he wrote “I’ll take this whole field down if I have to”. He submitted a paper to PNAS about the problems – no prizes for guessing what happened.
        The whole sequence is worth reading.

      • Judith has just tweeted the link to Jim’s posts to her 2900 followers.
        Good – it deserves more publicity.

      • Matthew R Marler, I can’t make any sense of this comment of yours:

        I am not sure that anyone takes notice of tree rings as “supposedly fantastically accurate”. If you perform a multiple linear regression of temperature measures on the first 4 principal components of the multivariate tree ring time series, you find that it has a usefully high R^2, so the coefficients can be used to compute an estimate of past global mean temperature; this was the innovation of MBH98, and the reason that MBH98 is widely cited despite its liabilities. The method has been used by, for example, Steve McIntyre and by and McShane and Wyner in the Annals of Applied Statistics.

        I can’t even figure out what you’re referencing. MBH did not find anything about what happens:

        you perform a multiple linear regression of temperature measures on the first 4 principal components of the multivariate tree ring time series

        As it didn’t use four PCs, and it didn’t use “the multivariate tree ring time series.” MBH98 had multiple tree ring networks for which it used a different number of PCs, a number which varied by time period. Nobody even knows why they used the number of tree rings PCs they used for each step of their reconstruction. They didn’t say when they published their paper, it wasn’t covered by the code they released, and their later claim to have used Preisendorfer’s Rule N is unquestionably false.

        And I can’t begin to imagine what you mean when you say:

        you find that it has a usefully high R^2, so the coefficients can be used to compute an estimate of past global mean temperature

        Michael Mann explicitly denied having calculated r2 scores (which was a lie) and has repeatedly denied the usefulness of them, saying it’s a bad measure of skill. That’s nothing like what you say. Moreover, the r2 scores for his reconstruction suck once you go back before ~1820 or so. They’re indistinguishable from zero for much of his reconstruction!

        I’m not even going to worry about the fact MBH98 was a northern hemispheric reconstruction, not a global one. Instead, what are you talking about when you say:

        The method has been used by, for example, Steve McIntyre

        Steve McIntyre has been highly critical of basically every aspect of MBH98. The only time he’s used anything from its methodology is for testing purposes to show the effect of MBH98’s methodology. He’s never endorsed whatever it is you’re claiming he’s used (I still don’t know what it is) – he’s called the whole thing “a statistical lab of horrors.”

        A regression of known temperatures on a proxy (called “calibration”) is how every thermometer is confirmed as measuring temperature,

        What? MBH98 didn’t regress proxies against temperatures to confirm they measure temperature. MBH98 regressed proxies against temperatures to determine how much weight they’d get. It’s a blatant case of cherry-picking. It ensured they’d get a hockey stick shape as long as even a single proxy had a hockey stick shape.

        Besides which, screening proxies by their correlation to the temperature record is bad unless you take careful measure to account for the bias it introduces into your results. There’s been plenty of discussion of this on blogs. It’s called the screening fallacy.

        Anyway, as far as I can see, your entire description of MBH98 is “wrong,” or “not even wrong.”

      • Paul

        Thanks for your comment. For those of us who avoid twitter, here is a link to Jim who commented on the value or otherwise of tree rings.

        http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/severe-analytical-problems-in-dendroclimatology-part-1/

        I have not read it myself yet but will do so over the next few days.

        In the meantime, for those with access to a library I read this recently (and others)

        ‘Climate reconstruction from Tree rings Part 1 Basic methodology and preliminary results for England.’ K Briffa

        Trees provide very localised data due to their micro climates and a very limited signal as they only have a short growing season.

        I will hold fire on any other comments until I have read the series of articles by Jim Bouldin.

        I think an article here on all aspects of paleo proxies and their use in reconstructions would be invaluable as their interpretation is at the heart of the climate debate.

        tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: MBH98 had multiple tree ring networks for which it used a different number of PCs, a number which varied by time period. Nobody even knows why they used the number of tree rings PCs they used for each step of their reconstruction.

        Yeh. I ought to have written “some principal components” instead of 4 principal components.

        the answer to tonyb’s question as to why the tree rings provide information about temperature is what I said it is: calibration of known temps against PCs when the temps are available, and then use of the results (inverting the function) to infer temps when only the tree rings are available. As I wrote, it is the calibration procedure that enables inference of temperature from proxies like tree rings, varves, mercury volumes, bimetal rods, and such. That is what McShane and Wayner did, and what Steve McIntyre has done.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: Steve McIntyre has been highly critical of basically every aspect of MBH98. The only time he’s used anything from its methodology is for testing purposes to show the effect of MBH98’s methodology. He’s never endorsed whatever it is you’re claiming he’s used (I still don’t know what it is) – he’s called the whole thing “a statistical lab of horrors.”

        I agree that McIntyre has been critical of Mann and of regression on principal components. Nevertheless, it is a widespread statistical tool, and it has been used in a lot of reconstructions of past temperatures, including the paper by McShane and Wayner.

        What? MBH98 didn’t regress proxies against temperatures to confirm they measure temperature. MBH98 regressed proxies against temperatures to determine how much weight they’d get. It’s a blatant case of cherry-picking. It ensured they’d get a hockey stick shape as long as even a single proxy had a hockey stick shape.

        Yes, they cherry-picked the time series that they used. “Determining weights” is what is done in calculating the PCs and then in performing the calibration. It is also called estimating the coefficients.

      • Matthew R Marler

        climatereason: I think an article here on all aspects of paleo proxies and their use in reconstructions would be invaluable as their interpretation is at the heart of the climate debate.

        Anything that can be done well can be done badly. MBH98 contained an incomplete description of the method and made some mistakes. McShayne and Wayner (and Mann’s more recent papers) did a better job and discussed some of the difficulties of doing regression on principal components, including: how many PCs to keep, which series to exclude (if any), and what regression algorithm to use, and what loss function to use in the regression. The discussants to McShane and Wayner disputed the merits of some of their choices (Mann and Schmidt, for example, defended their own choice of which time series to include in the calculation of the PCs.) Besides the published commentary there is a large and informative amount of unpublished “supporting online material”.

        Proxies are informative about temperatures when actual temperatures have been regressed on summaries of the proxies (e.g. principal components), and when the regression equation has a high enough R^2 value. Proxies have included delta-O isotope ratios, varve thickness, tree ring thickness, shell thickness, and other things. The method is not foolproof and can be perverted, but the same go for HPLC.

      • Matthew R Marler, I can’t help but note you decided not to address most of what I said, despite me saying your comment was completely wrong. That suggests to me you have no interest in trying to defend your statements. While I think that is wise given how wrong your remarks were, it hardly seems appropriate. As for what you did say:

        I agree that McIntyre has been critical of Mann and of regression on principal components. Nevertheless, it is a widespread statistical tool, and it has been used in a lot of reconstructions of past temperatures, including the paper by McShane and Wayner.

        I don’t agree this is true, but lets stick to the point I discussed. You said Steve McIntyre used the same “widespread statistical tool.” I say he didn’t. If I’m wrong, prove. Show us where McIntyre did what you claim he did. This is a basic factual point. It should be easy to prove you’re right.

        Yes, they cherry-picked the time series that they used. “Determining weights” is what is done in calculating the PCs and then in performing the calibration. It is also called estimating the coefficients.

        Regressing proxies on the modern temperature record to determine the weight to give them is not “called estimating the coefficients.” At least, it’s called that by anyone who wants to give a fair description. It may be “estimating the coefficients,” but that’s only true if the coefficients we’re discussing are ones cherry-picked to guarantee we get a set of preconceived results.

        It is trivially true weighting proxies by their correlation to the modern temperature record will produced results biased toward a hockey stick shape.

        To be blunt, your comments here give me the impression you have a very confused understanding of the hockey stick debate and how it relates to Michael Mann’s work. I don’t think you could accurately describe what MBH98 did or what the criticisms of the paper are. I’d be happy to be proven wrong, but doing so would require more than vague, hand-waving statements with no references or clarification being proffered.

      • Scott

        Here are two references

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/01/steyn-versus-mann-norms-of-behavior/#comment-634387

        If you have alternatives I will gladly read them.

        The links to Jim’s series of articles is worth reading

        Tonyb

      • Yikes. There are at least two missing words in my last comment. One is:

        I say he didn’t. If I’m wrong, prove [it].

        Another is:

        At least, it’s [not] called that by anyone who wants to give a fair description.

        I hope that’s all of them, but if not, I hope people will keep in mind the possibility of typos when trying to interpret my comment.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: Matthew R Marler, I can’t help but note you decided not to address most of what I said, despite me saying your comment was completely wrong.

        Actually you said that you didn’t understand what I wrote. Some of your comments were true (MBH98 didn’t report R^2 and Mann later said that he had not calculated it), but incidental to my comments to tonyb about how one could come to have some confidence in tree rings (and other proxies) as estimates of temperature. As I wrote, McShayne and Wayner and papers by Mann since MBH98 have made better use of regression on principal components. The issue of which time series to keep and which to reject in calculating the principal components is hotly debated, and in the discussion to McShayne and Wayner, Mann and Schmidt defended their choice; I think McIntyre has shown that Mann has been inconsistent in his description, and the original hockey stick was dependent on a few influential cases — one of the reasons that IPCC took it off their web page and one of the reasons that Steyn did not commit libel when he called the hockey stick fraudulent.

        Regression of temps on principal components of well-selected time series (including tree rings), when done well, is one of the reasons for thinking of tree rings as approximate measures of temperature.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: You said Steve McIntyre used the same “widespread statistical tool.” I say he didn’t. If I’m wrong, prove

        Heck. If I am wrong, you prove it!

        “Regression on principal components” was used by McIntyre and McKittrick in showing how its use in MBH98 and subsequent papers and postings by Mann and others was badly done. Not all of M&M’s criticism of Mann were taken as definitive by other statisticians (such as the choice of the number of PCs to use.) You could say that M&M did not use “exactly” the same procedure as MBH98, in part because MBH98 contained an incomplete description of what they had done. In a similar spirit, you could say that M&W used the same tool as MBH98, in that they performed “regression on principal components”; or you could say that they did not use the same tool as MBH98 because they used “lasso” in the regression step and were more careful in their selection of time series (as debated by McShane and Wayner and Mann and Schmidt.)

        So, either they all used the same tool because they all used “regression on principal components”, or you could say that they did not use the same tool because they made different choices in the details of the procedure.

      • Matthew (and others)

        it is worth bookmarking Noaa’s climate reconstruction database

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/data-access/paleoclimatology-data/datasets/climate-reconstruction

        It is also worth bookmarking the series of 12 posts on tree ring paleo
        by Jim Bouldin

        http://ecologicallyoriented.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/severe-analytical-problems-in-dendroclimatology-part-1/

        This goes back to my original comment. Why is it thought that trees are a useful temperature proxy?

        I don’t think they are at all. Precipitation perhaps but temperature? No. Are boreholes better as they show a different result in direction of travel of temperature over the centuries? I don’t know.
        tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler:

        Actually you said that you didn’t understand what I wrote. Some of your comments were true (MBH98 didn’t report R^2 and Mann later said that he had not calculated it), but incidental to my comments to tonyb

        I’m pretty sure saying “as far as I can see, your entire description of MBH98 is ‘wrong,’ or ‘not even wrong'” is more than just saying I “didn’t understand what [you] wrote.

        Leaving that aside, I don’t understand how you can say the rest of this comment with a straight face. You admit you made mistakes, and you admit you didn’t correct them when they were pointed out. Whether or not you consider a mistake of yours to be on a subject “incidental” to the topic at hand, you are obligated to acknowledge it and correct it. I don’t even agree the points you ignored are “incidental,” but regardless, we don’t get to say wrong things then just leave them out there for people to misinform people. At least, not if we’re trying to have a legitimate discussion.

        Heck. If I am wrong, you prove it!

        I hope this is a joke. It’d just be silly to expect me to go through each paper (or heaven forbid, blog post) somebody published and show it doesn’t contain something.

        “Regression on principal components” was used by McIntyre and McKittrick in showing how its use in MBH98 and subsequent papers and postings by Mann and others was badly done.

        See, this is not remotely close to how anyone would interpret what you originally said. You had said:

        this was the innovation of MBH98, and the reason that MBH98 is widely cited despite its liabilities. The method has been used by, for example, Steve McIntyre and by and McShane and Wyner in the Annals of Applied Statistics.

        You called a method (which you described incorrectly) an “innovation.” You said it was “the reason that MBH98 is widely cited.” You said the same method “has been used by… Steve McIntyre.” The first two statements are positive remarks. Given you made no negative remark about the methodology, the implication is clearly Steve McIntyre using the same methodology is to be taken as a positive thing.

        But it shouldn’t be. McIntyre used the same methodology solely to show the methodology was bad. Nobody would realize that if all they read was your comment. Suppose a teacher explained a student’s mistake on his homework to the class. Your comment is like saying, “The student’s methodology was innovative, widely discussed, and his teacher even used it too.”

        So, either they all used the same tool because they all used “regression on principal components”, or you could say that they did not use the same tool because they made different choices in the details of the procedure.

        Or I could just say it is disingenuous to refer to a person using a methodology in order to show the methodology is bad as, “He used the methodology.”

        Or maybe the next time I show an incorrect and correct spelling of a word you can come by and say, “Brandon Shollenberger misspelled that word.” You’d technically be right. You’d just be leaving out the vital piece of information – that I misspelled it on purpose to show what the mistake was.

      • Trouble with bristlecones is that they shut up shop during drought. Any bristlecone specialist could have told you that by the 1950s. Probably anyone who had walked past a bristlecone could have worked it out. When you live on through multi-century droughts you need a strategy. A bristlecone isn’t a lettuce.

        Which makes you wonder about some modern specialists – who don’t seem to notice terribly much at all. Or maybe drought in California is not something they talk about, unless it’s very recent. That way they can keep things nice and “unprecedented”.

      • Right on Tony plus Chief and others of that merry brand of
        brothers – fer – open – society – enquiry. Yeay hah!.

      • Matthew Marler

        It’s surprising Brandon Shollenberger has not pointed this out, but MBH98 in fact regress proxies on temperature PC’s, not vica versa. This makes sense, since proxies are meant to be functions of temperature and should be somewhat multicollinear (making a regression using them as predictors ill-conditioned). The unfortunate consequence is the need to invert the regression to get reconstructed temperatures from historical proxies. The numerical and statistical accuracy of this approach others must judge.

      • FOAS, there are a lot of things I could point out. Matthew R Marler has said a lot of wrong, or “not even wrong” things here. I just don’t see much value in pointing out all the problems when he openly admits he chose not to discuss mistakes he made.

        I’m happy to discuss MBH in as much detail as anyone wants in order to help educate and inform people. There are a lot of interesting things we could discuss about it. There’s just little value to be had from holding a discussion where one person freely makes things up then refuses to correct his mistakes when they’re pointed out (even though he knows he made them).

        I try to point out many of these mistakes so onlookers have a better chance to not get misinformed, but I can’t find the motivation to try to point out all of them.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb
        just read through the first post on the J Bouldin site
        thank you for link
        his specialty his forestry
        assuming he knows a bit about trees
        haven’t yet seen anything that comes close to challenging his strong cogent analysis
        his answer to your question is … no, we can’t reconstruct temps from tree rings
        I’m not a scientist, but it would seem to me in a normal world we could pronounce 1000 year old tree ring temp reconstructions useless and move on .. oh well
        thank you for your work and comments
        learned a lot these last two days

      • Tony,

        Boulden, in his first dendroclimatology post, is basically saying that there is no proof that tree rings are useful temperature instruments. When reading on the topic the lack of proof has always been a distraction to me, but maybe it was there, not seen by me. Another distraction has been the plethora of qualifiers; the need to pick the right type of tree, right location, etc – sets of qualifiers ever varying with author, no formal standard.

        Richard

      • John and Richard

        In fairness I don’t know if you saw Mosh’s reply way up thread?

        My two biggest concerns about paleo is firstly that some appear manifestly unsuitable to be used for this purpose.

        The second concern is that they do not have sufficient chronology to be able to pick up real world climate. If they can pick up a signal at all it is likely to be very diffused. By real world weather I mean the stuff we experience every day which is manifested in annual and decadal temperature which together might make up a trend.

        I wrote of it here (in particular see figure2)

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/historic-variations-in-temperature-number-four-the-hockey-stick/

        In short, paleo proxy reconstructions- if they have any value in the first place -are a very coarse sieve through which annual and decadal temperatures fall through, thereby giving an impression of stability which doesn’t really exist.

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        Thank you. Your research is strong and convincing. Boulden’s blog is now private, so I can’t get to it. However he has a link that describes the tree ring divergence problem whereby tree rings do not reflect actual recent recent temperatures when the temperatures are hot and when they are cold; tree rings, by their nature were incapable of detecting the MWP and the LIA.

        Richard

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tony
        Bouldin seems have made his site private
        dang, I was looking forward to reading the rest of it

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        oops …to have made his site private

      • Matthew R Marler

        tonyb: . Why is it thought that trees are a useful temperature proxy?

        Because of the correlations of tree rings with temperature. I am glad to see that you use the word “useful” instead of your original somewhat extreme phrase.

        I don’t think they are at all. I think that you are too extreme in your evaluation. Tree rings have been hyped, but remove the hype and there is still some utility. One of the good things about tree rings is that there is less uncertainty as to dates than with isotope ratios in ice cores and some other proxies. There isn’t a perfect proxy.

        Precipitation perhaps but temperature? No. Sure, precipitation and everything else that might affect tree growth, including the timing of the temp and rainfall peaks within the growing season. That is why the R^2 is less than 1.

        Note that some of Brandon Shollenberger’s criticisms are not of the method of regression on principal components, but of the particular details of the implementation of the method by MBH98 (which is cited because it was first; some of the citations are criticisms, but some use the method with more attention to detail and communication), such as the lack of computation of R^2, their unawareness that the “hockey stick” shape could arise by chance at a much higher than 5% rate when the background noise was red noise, and the fact that the hockey stick shape was more dependent on the choice of a few of the time series than what they admitted. McShane and Wayner did a better job, as well as communicating their results more clearly. Regression on principal components is not guaranteed to get the right answer, but must be used with care, as with any statistical method. I would recommend McShane and Wayner and all the discussion, rejoinder, and the supporting online material.

      • Matthew R Marler

        FOAS: It’s surprising Brandon Shollenberger has not pointed this out, but MBH98 in fact regress proxies on temperature PC’s, not vica versa. This makes sense, since proxies are meant to be functions of temperature and should be somewhat multicollinear (making a regression using them as predictors ill-conditioned). The unfortunate consequence is the need to invert the regression to get reconstructed temperatures from historical proxies. The numerical and statistical accuracy of this approach others must judge.

        Yes, that is the way calibration is usually done. The simplest, as with HPLC, is to regress the area under the curve linearly or quadratically on known concentrations of the analyte (cocaine, for example), invert the function, and then estimate the amount of the analyte in a sample (urine or plasma) from the inverse function evaluated at the obtained area under the curve. The usefulness/accuracy of the method in practice depends on how closely the proxy fits a monotonic function in the region of the domain and range of interest, and how accurately the parameters can be estimated.

        In hospital labs that do this frequently, it is considered acceptable if the ratio of the standard deviation to the true value does not exceed 25%.

      • Matthew

        Due to the problems with constantly changing microclimates over the life of a tree and that the growing season when a signal is obtained is so short and doesnt include winter, it seems to me that tree rings can have limited utility, let alone have assumed the global importance they have.

        However, as paleoproxy reconstructions are at the heart of the climate debate I would repeat my belief that an article on the various types of paleo proxies available, detailing their merits and problems, would be a useful thing to see here.

        Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        Brandon Shollenberger: I hope this is a joke.

        Yes, I did laugh out loud.

        For the rest, McShane and Wyner (Wyner) used the method well, and the discussants address the difficulties entailed in using the method well.

        to get back to tonyb’s question, if tree ring width never correlated with temperature, it would never have been used in the first place.

      • Matthew R Marler

        tonyb: However, as paleoproxy reconstructions are at the heart of the climate debate I would repeat my belief that an article on the various types of paleo proxies available, detailing their merits and problems, would be a useful thing to see here.

        I have seen such presentations at meetings. I’ll see what I can come up with.

      • Matthew

        Excellent. It would be good to see that

        Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        tonyb, this might be what you want, or at least a start

        Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the last 2,000 Years, by the National Academies Press

        The pdf is free, but you have to register

        http://nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676&utm_expid=4418042-5.krRTDpXJQISoXLpdo-1Ynw.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.nap.edu%2Fdownload.php%3Frecord_id%3D11676

        here is some of the toc:

        SUMMARY 1
        OVERVIEW 5
        1 INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL CHAPTERS25
        Concepts and Definitions, 25
        Attribution of Global Warming to Human Influences, 27
        Report Structure, 28
        2 THE INSTRUMENTAL RECORD29
        Instrumental Data, 30
        Features of the Instrumental Record, 30
        Uncertainties and Errors Associated with the Instrumental Record, 33
        Spatial Sampling Issues, 35
        3 DOCUMENTARY AND HISTORICAL EVIDENCE38
        Types of Evidence, 38
        Limitations and Benefits of Historical and Documentary Sources, 39
        Systematic Climate Reconstructions Derived from Historical Archives, 40
        Consequences of Climate Change for Past Societies, 43
        4 TREE RINGS45
        Definition and Premises, 45
        Field and Laboratory Methods, 47
        Temperature Reconstructions, 48
        5 MARINE, LAKE, AND CAVE PROXIES53
        Corals, 54
        Marine Sediments, 58

        It is about 160 pp

  47. I happen to enjoy Mark Steyn as a columnist and speaker; others don’t. But those who dismiss him on the basis of his commentary should look at video recordings of the 2008 British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal hearings of complaints against Steyn and Maclean’s magazine. I found him very impressive in defending his case and free speech. He is far from being an opinionated lightweight.

  48. Chicago economist John Cochrane blogged recently on a talk he gave at a Conference on Inequality. There are a lot of parallels with the CAGW issue and politicking, indeed, those beating the 1%/income equality drum are probably also CAGW activists. cwon14 would not be at all surprised. Some extracts:

    These are just three examples, … but there are some interesting patterns. The answer is always the same – confiscatory wealth taxation and expansion of the state. The question, the “problem” this answer is supposed to solve keeps changing. When an actual economic problem is adduced – excessive spending by the poor, inadequate spending by the rich, political instability — they don’t advocate the problem’s natural solution. These “problems” are being thought up afterwards to justify the desired answer. And amazing, novel and undocumented cause-and-effect assertions about public policy are dreamed up and passed around like internet cat videos.

    … But now comes the most astounding lack of logic of all. If the central problem is rent-seeking, abuse of the power of the state, to deliver economic goods to the wealthy and politically powerful, how in the world is more government the answer?

    If we increase the statutory maximum Federal income tax rate 70%, on top of state and local taxes, estate taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes, sales taxes and on and on – at a Becker conference, always add up all the taxes, not just the one you want to raise and pretend the others are zero – will that not simply dramatically increase the demand for tax lawyers, lobbyists and loopholes?

    If you believe cronyism is the problem, why is the first item on your agenda not to repeal the Dodd Frank act and Obamacare, surely two of the biggest invitations to cronyism of our lifetimes? And move on to the rotten energy section of the corporate tax code.

    They don’t, and here I think lies the important and resolvable difference. Stiglitz wrote that “wealth is a main determinant of power.” Stigler might answer, no, power is a main determinant of wealth. To Stiglitz, if the state grabs all the wealth, even if that wealth is fairly won, then the state can ignore rent-seeking and benevolently exercise its power on behalf of the common man. Stigler would say that government power inevitably invites rent-seeking. His solution to cronyism is to limit the government’s ability to hand out goodies in the first place. We want a simple, transparent, fair, flat and low tax system.

    … Now we have boiled the argument down to a simple question of cause and effect. They believe that raising tax rates and a large increase in state direction of economic activity will reduce rent-seeking and cronyism. I assert the opposite, which is the rather traditional conclusion of the vast literature on public choice as well as obvious experience. If I were trying to be polite, I might say it’s an interesting new theory to be debated and investigated. But I’m not, and it isn’t. It is the cream on the cake of amateur ad-hoc assertions of cause-and-effect relationships in human affairs, changing the sign of everything we know.

    As we look around the world, cronyism, rent-seeking, using the power of the state to deliver riches to yourself and privilege to your family is a huge problem, not just driving inequality, but driving most of poverty, lack of growth, and human misery throughout the world. But Egypt, say, does not suffer because it is not good enough at grabbing wealth, stifling markets and blocking the rise of entrepreneurs. Quite the opposite.
    But let’s go with their argument. At least now the argument makes sense, in a way that limiting envy-induced spendthriftery does not. But looked at in the light of day, the argument is truly scary. They are saying that the government must confiscate individual wealth so that individual wealth cannot influence politics in directions they don’t like. Koch brothers, no. Public employee unions, yes.

    We finally agree on a cause-and-effect proposition. Yes, expanding the power of the state to direct economic activity and strip people of wealth is well-proven way to cement the power of the state and quash dissent.

    So now you see why I rebel at the presumption that “inequality” is a problem, and why I rebel at the task of articulating an alternative “solution.” “Inequality” has become a meaningless buzzword, or code word for “on our team,” like “sustainability,” or “social justice.” Should we discuss “free-market solutions” to address “social justice?”

    “Inequality” has become a code word for endless, thoughtless, and counterproductive intrusions into economic activity. Minimum wages, stronger teachers unions, even prison guard unions, are all advocated on the grounds of “providing middle class jobs” to “reduce inequality,” though they do the opposite. Mayor Bill de Blasio has already reduced it to farce: As reported in the New York Times, the latest energy efficiency standards for fancy New York high rises are being put in place. Why? To cool the planet by a billionth of a degree? To stem the rise of the oceans by a nanometer? No, first on the list … to reduce inequality. Poor people pay more of their incomes in heating bills, you see. …

    http://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com.au/2014/09/why-and-how-we-care-about-inequality.html

    • Plus a lot, Faustino.

      Fer less is more,
      Horatio, certainly is
      where guvuh-mint’s
      visible hand’s concerned.
      There’s a book I’m
      readin’, ‘Cities and
      the Wealth of Nations’,
      by Jane Jacobs, who,
      through detailed case
      studies reveals the
      wealth generated by
      activities of unfettered
      import-replacing cities
      (and kinda’ stadium
      wave effects ter
      the region.) … Seems
      that nation-generated
      wealth is something of
      a myth and cities rule!

      bts

    • @ Faustino

      Outstanding!

      Just what cwon14, Greg, (and I, and others) have been saying. The ‘solution’ is always the same: Massive transfer of wealth and power to the (always progressive, by whatever euphemism) state. The ‘threat’ varies. CAGW is simply the latest, and potentially the most lucrative, threat. After all, when every human activity that produces a ‘carbon signature’ (as determined by the government) is subject to regulation and/or taxation, and can only be engaged in ‘at the pleasure of the government’, and you throw in that Joe Average now has to engage in a game of ‘Mother-may-I?’ with the (progressive) government to receive-or be denied-medical treatment, the truth of the old adage, ‘When you have them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.’ is becoming ever more apparent. Which has been the objective all along.

    • nottawa rafter

      Faustino
      Great comments. Some observations. Today 21 million US households have incomes of $100,000 or over . During the “good ol days” of so called income equality in1963 there were 2.5 million households with incomes equivalent to $100,000. The median real family income today is twice what it was in 1963. The top marginal tax rate in 1963 was 91%. The effective rate was 13.8%. The top marginal tax rate in 1988
      was 28%. The effective rate was 13.6%. Top marginal tax rates appeal to economic illiterates and they give a punitive satisfaction but they are meaningless in generating revenue. Clinton suggested raising the minimum wage to reduce income inequality. Adding $2 per hour to the wage of the 3.3 million earning at or below minimum wage generates at most $12 Billion to the current $12 Trillion personal income total. These ideas appeal
      to the emotional sides of our brains but do little else.

  49. Judith – I think in pt 3 “shill for fossil fuels” should be in quotes.

  50. And then there are norms of behavior for civilized humans…
    How does Mann get any respect? Unless [pause] he is Keyser Söze.

  51. ” that I regard Mann to have violated are:
    ……Advocacy related to his area of expertise (violates disinterestedness, although the norm of disinterestedness is contested)” – JC

    What!!

    Advocacy is out of favour, again!

    It’s hard to keep up.

  52. I cannot stomach the words that Steyn uses in his post. By addressing him at all, Dr. Currie seems to me to be giving into the dark side of the force. “Stronger, more seductive” (Yoda, “Empire Strikes Back”). I can understand the thrill of being in the midst of the conversation. But it must be disturbing that the polarization leaves one, willing or unwilling, defending the ugly side (that would be Steyn).

    just an opinion…
    Rose

    • “I cannot stomach the words that Steyn uses in his post

      Yes, well don’t read them. You have the inalienable right to select what appeals to you from the beautiful, robust, variegated garden we call a free press….the very life’s blood of our precious democracy.

    • michael hart

      How do you feel about stomaching the words ‘Kill Climate Deniers’?
      Steyn started his article by quoting those words from the title of a publicly-funded theater play. I find them far more objectionable than anything Stein has ever written.

      Perhaps you missed them?

    • John Vonderlin

      Rose,
      Being the love child of Darth Vader and Jar Jar Binks, I would warn you about adopting the philosophical ramblings of a fictional alien in a Hollywood movie as your own. Especially when Yoda seems to spend way too much time mentoring youths a fraction of his age during camp outs in isolated places.
      But, my main complaint is your usage of the word ugly as an adjective in a pejorative way when describing Steyn’s commentary. How thoughtless and cruel. We ugly people have enough of a burden to bear without you adding to it. As to your stomach problems, you might find having a good sense of humor helps you to digest satire better.

      • Ok, I had to look it up: Oxford definition of “ugly: Unpleasant or repulsive, especially in appearance. It’s clear that I refer to the opinions of Steyn and not his appearance.

        My point is that I don’t actively seek out blogs that are nasty. (This includes “Kill Climate Deniers”. Yes, I also find that offensive.) But Dr. Curry’s quotation of Steyn as a discussion topic I felt was “dancing with the devil” (since you don’t like Star Wars references)? These discussions bring out the worst in people. Just look at the longest responses to comments. I’ll try to think of a way to measure this (some key word counting and thread number) , but an impression is that the longest comment threads are the most unpleasant to read. Unless…this is all a game. Then it would be funny.

      • I bothered to comment on the Greg Laden/Mark Steyn issue since it tied in with the ‘norms of behaviors’ idea that was floating around in my head. If you are on twitter, check out the discussion between greg laden and me on this issue. I sort of owe Mark Steyn an apology – he was right.

      • Some of us are not on twitter – any chance you can post it (or a link to it)?

      • Raindrops atwitter on my pain.
        =======

      • ” Unless…this is all a game. Then it would be funny.”

        It’s a game. Some just don’t know how to play.

  53. Science standards fall out naturally from curiosity. Imposing them is cargo cult science.

    Cargo cult science is politically more effective because it’s interested in politics in the first place.

  54. Laden is none too smart. Best just to ignore him, best to leave him flailing about with his band of acolytes.

  55. From the Politico, a very left-wing source:The Cult of Neil deGrasse Tyson By Rich Lowry October 01, 2014

    Davis dug into a handful of just-so stories repeated by Tyson in his public lectures, the point of which is to make himself — and by extension, his audience — feel superior to the dolts who aren’t nearly as scientific as he is.

    The controversy centered on an erroneous Bush quote […] and has come to settle on the head-scratching question: Why is it so hard for a scientist committed to evidence and rationality to admit that he got something wrong?

    […]

    As Sean Davis pointed out in his initial piece on the dubious quote, it really came from a poetic tribute to the astronauts who died in the Columbia disaster in 2003. After quoting from Isaiah, Bush said, “The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today.”

    […]

    When the indefatigable Davis queried Tyson about the provenance of his suspect material, the impressively factual scientist wrote an evasive, condescending point-by-point reply on Facebook.

    […]

    Tyson helpfully informed Davis, “One of our mantras in science is that the absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”

    Really? When it comes to presidential speeches? Just because there’s an absence of evidence that Obama said in a State of the Union address that he wants to nationalize the oil companies, it doesn’t mean he hasn’t said it?

    This is such self-evident nonsense that Tyson finally tweeted at a professor who suggested he simply admit error and apologize, that he would indeed apologize — as soon as he found an appropriate medium and occasion. No one to this point had realized that Tyson lacks for mediums and occasions to express himself.

    This bullheaded gracelessness has extended to Tyson’s acolytes. They have worked to keep any mention of the controversy off of the Wikipedia page on Tyson, and tried to exact revenge against the Federalist on its Wikipedia page, for daring to expose a mistake by Tyson the Magnificent.

    See, for instance, the talk page on Articles for deletion/Thefederalist.com, where I found the link to this article.

    Of course, this is the opposite of what should be the reaction of the “reality-based community” to the exposure of a factual mistake. But Tyson’s most intense fans are less skeptics than worshipers.

    […]

    Properly understood, science is a tool, an incredibly powerful one, but still just a tool. G.K. Chesterton wrote long ago, “Science must not impose any philosophy, any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.”

    And finally:

    Rich Lowry is editor of National Review.

    So, why would a super-liberal (sensu America) rag like Politico.com invite the “editor of National Review” to discuss the topic?

    And more generally, doesn’t Tyson remind you of Mann? And even Nick Stokes over on Climate Audit, that “fiercest player in the history ClimateBall™”? (Unless that reference is supposed to apply to Mann?)

    This behavior isn’t limited to the “Left”. It’s general to humanity (IMO). The tendency is probably universal, I know I have to overcome it every time I admit a mistake. But right now, there seem to be a number of “acolytes”, of Mann, Tyson, and the general “Leftist” pseudo-science, who are encouraging that behavior, and attacking anybody who disagrees with them.

    • Note the date and year on the calender AK, the election is just around the corner and the stakes are rather high for the Greenshirts in particular. If it “waves” GOP they are likely to be part of the “fall guy” post election syndrome. They might get chucked aside even if the democrats hold the Senate which might politically be the worst outcome of all for them. The risk of the GOP peaking early if they win the Senate can’t be minimized. You can bet Hillary doesn’t want to run on a Green ticket front and center in 16′. The faux “moderate” tagline is honed almost everyday in the pocket media.

      So what is going on is being driven by a broader schism confrontation in the elections and Obama’s use of green dogma to both distract from numerous failures of leadership both domestically and even worse overseas. So the Greens are pawns but they will roll in the attention and reinvent history as they go. As for the politically correct worship of Tyson it’s been going on for decades that public face of “science” must be appropriately or as in this case excessively partisan and underlying liberal. PBS basically manages the process and glorification ceremony of the anointed science symbol. Carl Sagan fulfilled the same idiotic role as well with what should be remembered as his historically embarrassing Cold War positions. None of this is a reflection of their particular technical skills or education but their very media existence reflects media political activism more then anything.

      Already the Tyson “race card” has emerged to deflect from his partisan activities. Not unlike the Chris Matthews defenses of Obama and the most corrupt and partisan Attorney General in history, bar none, Eric Holder. If you call out Tyson’s politics you are not only “anti-science” but a racist.

      That’s what it has come to.

  56. A basic point is that people in “journalism” — that is a quaint phrase from the past when newspapers had the money to engage in “investigative journalism,” hewed more to accuracy, and didn’t have editorial policy in many front page stories — today engage in over the top name calling, and scientists harm their reputation if they join the fray in the same manner.

    Like the old phrase, if you get into a shouting match with an idiot, pretty soon nobody knows who the idiot is. (I’m not saying Steyn is an idiot, this is just an aphorism illustrating the problem a scientist will have if they join in a journalistic shouting match.)

    Well, scientist rightly don’t like it when someone calls them names (ask Judith). What to do?

    Luckily for scientists in the climate change/global warming debate, there are proxies who can and will do the name calling for you. They are in media and the internet, they can call you denialist or worse, they can call you scaremonger or worse. Think Joe Romm, or many commenters at WUWT.

    Bottom line: no good scientist in this debate should enter the name calling fray, lots of non-scientists will do so for you, both for and against you, without you lifting a finger.

  57. Dale Carnegie said ” A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. There can be no conversion of “warmists” into skeptics as long as their income is dependent on a story of a catastrophe that needs preventing. Until the world experiences global cooling for a protracted period of time, eco/socialism will continue to milk the wealth of advanced economies. As Forest Gump would say ” And that’s all I have to say about that”

    • There are still people who believe Stalin and Mao did not kill millions or that it was worth “the cause” if they did. It is not necessary to convert the rabid alarmists like Gore and Ehrlich, it is sufficient that enough give up this idiocy that support for self-destruction falls below critical mass. And for that WUWT and Curry and Steyn and Steve have had a huge impact and deserve a medal. And it is not necessary for this result that any of them be perfect (check your own personal religious tradition for the likelihood that any human is perfect).

    • rogerknights

      Dale Carnegie just quoted the maxim. Here’s the real source:

      He that complies against his will,
      Is of his own opinion still,
      Which he may adhere to, yet disown,
      For reasons to himself best known.
      ~ Samuel Butler, Hudibras (pt. III, canto III, l. 547) [written between 1660 and 1680]
      http://www.worldofquotes.com/topic/Will/1/

  58. I just read Pierrehumberts response to Koonin. His bullet points are pretty good. The problem I have is that he advocates reduction of carbon but offers no solution. I hear this over and over again from people and yet they just keep filling up their tanks while despising big oil and evil Kock brothers. Just advocating carbon reduction is easy but until they turn in their cars for a rikshaw it is a hallow and disingenuous argument. How many years did it take Hansen to relent on nuclear? How many greens went along? Passing laws or changing regulations to reduce carbon, such as Obama and Jerry Brown have done, only makes energy more expensive in the short term. Real energy policies should have real world solutions not pie in the sky.

    • Plenty of people have come up with a solution: bigger focus on R&D, wait for solar costs to come down (which they’re doing exponentially). I also add, remediate later rather than trying to mitigate now. And many agree with that.

      I’ve added, as well, work on bio-conversion of solar electrolytic hydrogen and environmental CO2 to methane, and perhaps hydrocarbon fuels. This would allow leveraging existing infrastructure for storage, distribution, and use for power, during and after the conversion to “carbon-neutral” energy.

      But who am I? Just a commenter on a blog. OTOH, nobody knows who might be reading, and acting, on what I, or anybody, say(s).

      • Yes, I agree, there are many proposed solutions. I’ve read about those you pointed out and many more. I’m sure Peter Lang could tell you better than I why they fall short or aren’t practical at all. Spain tried to go solar and ended up with a negative gdp and a near third world economy. What I’m trying to point out is just saying reduce carbon is easy doing it is a whole other story. Pierrehumberts pointed out what was wrong with Koonins article. Koonin is advocating remediation and Pierrehumbert says that’s wrong we need to mitigate NOW. I tend to agree with Pierrehumbert but the problem is is that it is too little too late. The only promising technology is and has been nuclear. People don’t like nuclear waste and they really, really don’t like nuclear accidents. So while we can get on our high horses now, what I’m pointing out is that it is just empty rhetoric.

        What we need is real leadership and a real energy policy with a game plan. What we get from Democrats and consensus folks is finger pointing, expensive and often worthless government expendatures, and regulations and taxes all going down the same rabbit hole. What we get from Republicans and skeptics is drill baby drill, head in the sand, and some kind of localized plans for disasters. Somehow, if there really is a problem and something can be done about it, we have to brige those divides roll up the sleaves and get busy ala american exceptionalism if there is such a thing. Maybe human exceptionalism (PC). In this current tribalistic (t.y. joshua) climate war I see no clear cut (land a man on the moon) leadership to accomplish this so I remain pessimistic.

      • I’m sure Peter Lang could tell you better than I why they fall short or aren’t practical at all.

        Since he refuses to even consider the existence of “Swanson’s Law”, nothing he says is worth listening to. IMO.

        Spain tried to go solar and ended up with a negative gdp and a near third world economy.

        Yeah. Too early. Too much focus on rooftop rather than utility.

        I’ll agree there needs to be a substantial market for solar if it’s going to continue its exponential price decline, but starting with the consumer was totally the wrong answer.

        Not that it matters now. Another two or three price halvings are in the pipeline; the technology is on the “proving bench”. Or better. A decade from now, nobody’s going to consider an investment in any nuclear besides solar to have been a wise choice. IMO.

      • Yeah everytime I talk solar with Peter he tells me that it is intermittent and not storable, It is not capable of supplying energy to industry that is 60% of the power, and that it is not cost effective – too expensive. Now I tend to lean in your direction and I think we should get as much as we can from it, however I think it is only a partial solution and will probably remain so. If we really want to reduce carbon NOW in a meaningful way that really has an affect, as supposedly dictated by need, I think we have to bite the bullet and build new generation nuclear as fast as is practical and prevail upon other countries to do the same. It is in my view the only short term solution that is ready to go. As other technolgy comes down the pike then we can move away from it and it’s undesirable waste. You probably know more about solar than me but for some reason I doubt its long term efficacy. I hope I’m wrong.

        Those fuel technologies you mention maybe possible but again I think they’re fighting the cost monkey. Since Electric Cars are already on the way, I would think it better to use nuclear and solar to power it and nuclear to power industry. Hydrogen could have a future but it would be considered a limited resource just like oil wouldn’t it?

      • @ordvic…

        I spent a while researching and formatting this comment before coming back and seeing your latest. Some of your points are addressed below, and I’ll do another more targeted to your comment.

        Spain tried to go solar and ended up with a negative gdp and a near third world economy.

        My previous response shows the fallacy of basing comments (e.g. mine) on second-hand myths. Having looked into it a little further:

        Spain’s economy was growing very rapidly till around 2008:

        Due to its own economic development and the EU enlargements up to 28 members, by 2007 Spain had achieved a GDP per capita of 105% of EU’s average, which placed it slightly ahead of Italy (103%). […] According to calculations by the German newspaper Die Welt, Spain’s economy had been on course to overtake countries like Germany in per capita income by 2011.[24] Unemployment stood at 7.6% in October 2006, a rate that compared favorably to many other European countries, and especially with the early 1990s when it stood at over 20%. Perennial weak points of Spain’s economy include high inflation,[25] a large underground economy,[26] and an education system, beside UK and the United States, which OECD reports place among the poorest for developed countries.[27]

        In particular, growth during the period 1997-2007 was led by a property boom fed by historically low interest rates, massive rates of foreign investment (during that period Spain had become a favourite of German and other European investment banks) and an immense surge in immigration. At its peak in 2007, construction had expanded to a massive 16% of the total gross domestic product (GDP) of the country and 12% of total employment. During that time Spain built up a massive trade deficit, financed by larger economies in Northern Europe. Such capital inflows –including short term speculative investment– was directed mostly to consumption and property rather than at long term fixed assets such as manufacturing plants and the like.[22]

        Noticeable progress continued until early 2008, when the ‘global financial crisis’ burst Spain’s property bubble.[29]

        As best I can work it out, Spain’s solar power industry rode the back of its boom(bubble):

        Through a ministerial ruling in March 2004, the Spanish government removed economic barriers to the connection of renewable energy technologies to the electricity grid. The Royal Decree 436/2004 equalized conditions for large-scale solar thermal and photovoltaic plants and guaranteed feed-in tariffs.[7] In the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, the Spanish government drastically cut its subsidies for solar power and capped future increases in capacity at 500 MW per year, with effects upon the industry worldwide.[8]

        The overly salubrious environment for solar, combined with an erroneous focus on concentrating thermal power, resulted in a bad crash when the real-estate bubble collapsed, and rapidly declining prices for PV undercut the value of thermal.

        So what are the lessons? Solar doesn’t work?

        IMO not. First, major national investments in futuristic infrastructure need to be taken off the table. The technology is growing too fast (in terms of technical ability) to justify “locking into” a specific technology. Rather, a focus on smaller-scale R&D, for all technologies, will allow them to compete on a more level playing field without putting major public projects at risk if their requisite technology turns out to be less competitive.

        Second, don’t be pessimistic. The price of solar PV has been coming down exponentially for decades. There is no good reason for assuming it will stop. This doesn’t mean anybody should make their national economy vulnerable to a slow-down, but it also means that a huge investment in other, more mature, technology should be avoided, or at least hedged against being out-competed by solar.

        There are very recent announcements of heartening advances in cooling for concentrated solar, energy storage, and catalysis for electrolysis. Solar tracking, with or without concentration, is expensive partially due to control technology, the hardware for which is subject to “Moore’s Law”, and software, of course, is replicable without limit.

        For the short term, there is a large number of potential synergies that could increase the financial yield from investments in solar. With minor design changes, many applications could be modified from an “on-demand” power paradigm to “on-supply”. Examples include many types of pumping and desalination. Most probably, there are also many types of unattended manufacturing where the capital investment is small enough to justify “on-supply” operation. Some of the latter, along with most pumping and desalination, could probably be powered by DC current, which would eliminate the cost of inverters.

      • ordvic, “Hydrogen could have a future but it would be considered a limited resource just like oil wouldn’t it?”

        No. Hydrogen just has a storage issue. There are quite a few ways that hydrogen storage can go, most likely some synfuel process will be the way it ends up.

      • AK, Thanks for correcting me on my second hand myth, I like to know when I have bad information. That is also interesting to know that about solar.
        Cap’t, So hydrogen could be considered an unlimited resource?

      • I think we should get as much as we can from it, however I think it is only a partial solution and will probably remain so.

        Again, I’ll invoke “Swanson’s Law”. A problem with people like Peter Lang is that they don’t seem to be able to conceive of exponential processes. Or perhaps, they can’t accept the lack of knowledge whether 4-5 decades of exponential price decreases will continue. They point to the lack of “proven” technology necessary for price declines past the next round, and say “it’s going to stop”.

        Well, that’s wrong. We certainly can’t be certain that the declines will continue, but there’s no good reason to assume they won’t. And if they do, solar will likely replace everything else eventually.

        If we really want to reduce carbon NOW in a meaningful way that really has an affect, as supposedly dictated by need, […]

        My point is that we don’t. If you look at the IPCC’s projections, you’ll see that even with drastic cuts there’ll be very little effect till 2050-60. Assuming the technology for remediation (dragging it out of the environment) develops to maturity during that time, it would be far more cost-effective to wait until it’s ready, rather than imposing higher costs on energy now.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t approve of streamlining nuclear, as much as possible.

        You probably know more about solar than me but for some reason I doubt its long term efficacy. I hope I’m wrong.

        You’re wrong. 99% sure. I’m actually a big proponent of space solar power, but what I’ve seen of surface technology has me convinced it’s going to win the future. Space solar power will come, when we move most of our industry and agriculture out to NEO because “unspoiled” or “reverted” wildlands/water is just too valuable as for recreation etc. A long time.

        Those fuel technologies you mention maybe possible but again I think they’re fighting the cost monkey.

        Perhaps. But I strongly suspect switching to electric would involve much more retooling. As for methane, if the cost of solar comes down far enough, it will be cheaper than using the grid to move electricity. AFAIK less loss too, although I’m not too sure how much grid loss is avoidable.

        Hydrogen could have a future but it would be considered a limited resource just like oil wouldn’t it?

        No. Hydrogen can be made from water through electrolysis from solar or other nuclear power. Unlimited. And methane or oil produced from that hydrogen, along with CO2 extracted from the air/ocean, would also be unlimited, depending only on solar (or other nuclear) power.

        But hydrogen is, IMO, a non-starter. Too dangerous, too hard to contain, and when you do, safely, the weight and expense make it much worse than converting it to more traditional fuels.

      • @ordvic…

        Sorry, I didn’t mean you. I’d heard it before, many times, and just never questioned it. Sort of embarrassing…

      • AK, thanks for that. I hope your right and that I have a lot of incorrect perceptions. I have read a lot about some technologies and wondered whether or not it’s a hoax or just too immature for use. Also I’ve been hearing about this since the seventies and wonder why it (all) are not a bigger % part of energy needs already. That is why I’m somewhat jaded and skeptical at this point.

      • Solar is fine in the right circumstances but it should not be forgotten it has two obvious serious shortcomings. The first being that it can’t work at night and the second being that power drops off dramatically when light levels fall.

        As autumn advances My solar powered lights are now failing to charge properly and go out after Only one or two hours of use.

        A train ride through the Swiss mountains will show hundreds of chalets with solar panels set in valleys which fail to get any sunlight at all for nearly six months.

        Energy horses for courses, until battery technology improves solar can’t become a reliable mainstream source of power
        Tonyb

      • ordvic, “Cap’t, So hydrogen could be considered an unlimited resource?”

        No, it isn’t really a resource. It would be a commodity limited by the energy required to make/acquire it, store it and transport it. Right now it is pretty expensive to make and there is no “consensus” on a good way of storing it. .
        http://muller.lbl.gov/tressays/18_hydrogen.html

        Hydrogen will eventually win, just a matter of time.

      • Solar is and will be a bad joke for replacing conventional generation capacity even if panel prices hit zero. Panel cost already is often not the main issue in making PV wildly uncompetitive. It’s the framing and tracking and backup systems and storage systems and installation and maintenance and land costs that get in the way. And it will always suffer in deaths per kilowatt-hour compared to nuclear or natural gas because of its decentralized nature, exposing thousands of people to interaction with it throughout the whole supply, installation, and operation chain. The fusion dreamers are in better shape than the PV dreamers.

      • Solar is and will be a bad joke for replacing conventional generation capacity even if panel prices hit zero. [blah blah blah] The fusion dreamers are in better shape than the PV dreamers.

        http://freeradicalnetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Ostrich-man-head-in-sand.gif

      • AK
        This word “exponential”. I do not think it means what you think it means. I think the word you want is “asymptotic”.
        I think the price of solar panels will steady at around 2 to 3 times present, when Government subsidies wash out of the system, and many other manufacturers go the way of Solyndra and leave a mature market to the Chinese. I could be wrong, it could be 5 to 10 times.

      • @ghl…

        I know exactly what “exponential” means. In this case, as with “Moore’s Law”, it means that, looked at generally, the price is getting cut in half every few years. A specific interval of time. In the case of “Moore’s Law”, that time-frame varies from 18 months to two years, depending on exactly how the “law” is framed. (Transistor size, price per computing power, etc.)

        In the case of Solar PV, as best I can pin it down from various reports, it’s around 4-5 years (for cost/watt of panel), and has been since the ’70’s. This is often referred to as “Swanson’s Law”, although its provenance seems to be in some dispute.

        In both cases, you have to look at more than a single technology, and have to allow for short-term market variations. And you have to be careful of other stuff. For instance, in IT, a new chip may have twice the computing power than an old, in terms of how fast it goes and how much on-chip cache it has (L1), but issues in caching and paging will tend to reduce the improvement, often substantially.

        In the case of solar, there are several technological issues involved that can push things either way: inverters certainly don’t seem to be part of “Swanson’s Law”, so if you assume that inverters are a necessary component, the exponential reduction in panel costs (to manufacture) will soon just transfer the cost burden to them.

        However, as I mentioned above, there are ways around that problem, that have to be factored in to the general application of the “law”. Electrolysis, pumping, and desalination, for instance, don’t necessarily need AC power, which eliminates their need entirely.

        Another issue often mentioned is the intermittency. The price of storage is often added to panels for calculation purposes. Two issues with that: as mentioned above, hydrolysis, pumping, desalination, and potentially many manufacturing applications may well be able to get by without it (depending on the capital cost of equipment). And, recent announcements WRT batteries suggest that they’re following their own exponential cost curve, although probably not the same one panels are.

        Depending on how cheap the panels get, the solution I favor, converting electrolytic hydrogen to methane or oil-type fuels, also gets around the whole storage thing. And, as a bonus, the cost of gas distribution seems to be many orders of magnitude lower than that of electricity. And, in many places, both networks are already supported.

        Bottom line, given those potentials the exponential decrease in cost of solar can reasonably be expected to continue for at least another two or three cycles (halvings), perhaps a decade. This is based on technology already out of the lab and into proof-of-concept, as well as application of mature technology in ways not currently used.

        And with proper incentives for R&D, the curve can almost certainly be extended another decade or so.

      • Solar: another problem is that if you have a fire in your house with solar on roof, the firemen may refuse to go up there out of fear of electrocution. May just watch your house burn down. I also think advocates exaggerate how long the panels will last. After a single winter of snow, my porch is covered with a layer of grime. Who is going to scrub these panels on the roof?

      • IMO rooftop solar is a boondoggle. How much would there be if utilities hadn’t been forced to buy power at top prices, no matter how expensive their changes to support it?

        When I talk about solar, I’m talking from a perspective of global, centralized distribution. Where solar energy collectors can be put in appropriate places (tropics where cloud cover is light), the energy converted to gas/oil, and fed into an already mature world-wide storage and distribution system whence it reaches semi-localized power stations, dedicated generating capacity for appropriate industries, and non-electrical applications such as heating, vehicle fuel, etc.

        I know rooftop solar, especially suburban residential, is what most people think when they think solar, but my perspective is chosen for its applicability to the whole problem.

        A short-term approach involves specific applications that can work with supply-driven DC power, where such power can be conveniently gathered nearby.

        But longer term, unless there’s a breakthrough on inverter technology (not impossible but IMO not likely enough to build into plans), solar energy will probably mostly go the electrolysis/hydrogen/convert to methane/hydrocarbon route. All the components of this process can feasibly be kept on an exponential price reduction curve.

        And the storage/distribution/use system it’ll be fed into is already mature.

      • From the Forbes article Climate-Change Jumped the Shark

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevenhayward/2014/09/29/climate-change-has-jumped-the-shark/

        “From the beginning 25 years ago the arguments over climate science have dominated the scene and distracted us away from the fundamental problem: the prescribed method for preventing climate change is essentially replacing nearly all hydrocarbon energy, in the space of less than two generations.”

        “There has been very little recognition and less candor about the sheer fantasy of the emissions target. Energy transitions, as the energy scholar Vaclav Smil has explained in great detail, are long-term affairs, even if a new superior technology exists to displace a current technology. But affordable large-scale, low- or non-carbon energy capable of replacing our current energy infrastructure simply doesn’t exist at present, and there isn’t much on the horizon.”

      • 1/2 Way Point To A 100% Solar Energy Future

        Ray Kurzweil, the world’s foremost expert on exponential growth curves, increasingly appears to be right in his prediction that like computer chips and Moore’s Law, solar power is on an exponential growth curve. Averaging 65% compound growth rate for years now, the economies of scale in solar panel manufacturing are beginning to push prices low enough to hit grid parity, i.e. the same price as fossil fuels. Although solar power is currently only 1% of America’s energy mix, as Ray Kurzweil points out, on an exponential growth curve, 1% is half way. Only 7 more doublings makes it 100%.


        Could Kurzweil be right about solar, the Google of energy?

        “History shows us that technological change is exponential, but we humans with our common sense intuit a more linear view,” he said.

        “If we take 30 steps we get to 30 steps in a linear path,” he said. “If we take 30 steps exponentially, we get to a billion in 30 steps.”

        Picking up his iPhone, Kurzweil indicated that this was a computer billions of times more powerful and a trillion times cheaper by processing power than the computers he had worked on at MIT when he was a student in the 1960s.

        Kurzweil came closer to the truth when he talked about volume. In 2008, installed PV capacity was around 16GW, compared with around 104GW today.

        “We also see an exponential progression in the use of solar energy,” he has predicted. “It is doubling now every two years. Doubling every two years means multiplying by 1,000 in 20 years. At that rate we’ll meet 100% of our energy needs in 20 years.”

  59. William – I have also conceded “Until the world experiences global cooling for a protracted period of time”. Meanwhile I find comfort in an analysis made public at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com that says the global cooling trend should be apparent soon (the random uncertainty in reported average global temperature measurement might obscure it until 2020?).

    A physics-based equation, with only two drivers (both natural) as independent variables, explains measured average global temperatures since before 1900 with 95% correlation, calculates credible values back to 1610, and predicts through 2037. The current trend is down.

    The link shows the drivers, method, equation, data sources, history (hind cast to 1610), predictions (to 2037) and an explanation of why CO2 is NOT a driver.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      this is cold comfort :)
      ya know they’re just gonna say
      “we told you the filthy habits of man animals would alter the climate, we just made a slight computational error in the direction it would go”
      impressive charts and graphs will follow

  60. Matthew R Marler

    Dan Pangburn: http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    Thank you for the link.

    • As I don’t want to use twitter I think the first two paragraphs of gregs response makes sense. It may appear that you are endorsing a tweet by favouritimg it ( real word?) when that was not the intention.

      The rest of his comment is a different matter but not relevant to the point I wanted to make above

      Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        Here is an interesting approach that shows you the value of various proxies.

        http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/10.1063/PT.4.0121

        I saw this back in 2011 at AGU.

        unfinished project is to do the same thing with tree rings

        In one way this is ALREADY done.

        Suppose you have tree rings from 1000 AD to present.

        1. Select a period for calibration ( 1950 to present)
        2. do the reconstruction.
        3. validate by looking at 1850 to 1950.

        or select 1850 -1900 for calibration and 1900 to present for validation.

        So, you want to focus on the validation periods and the metrics achived in those periods.

        In general you should do the exact same thing, but you dont

      • So, if your “validation” fails, do you try again? Isn’t that just more fitting once removed, but fitting?

      • Mosh

        Of course I validate mayerial as I mention in practically the first paragraph here

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/long-slow-thaw-supplementary-information.pdf

        In carrying out my reconstruction to 1659 I examined the actual instrumental temperature records from that date to 1760.

        I also cross reference to other proxies including glaciers as well as tree rings etc. my reconstruction was close to both loehle and to van engelen

        Tonyb

      • Treemometers, http://www.pnas.org/content/71/6/2482.full.pdf

        note the date. I believe there are a few are a few of these types of reconstructions that can be compared to the ring width studies which I believe a number of skeptics have recommended. Since the ice core temperatures are based on isotopes, comparing tree isotopes to ice core isotopes would be an apples to apples situation. That would make the statistical treatments more valid imo.

        Be like Nike, just do it! :)

      • CD, nice article. Note the caveats about the source of a tree’s water. That might be difficult to determine for sub-fossil trees. Even conventional treemometers suffer from a lack of knowledge of the tree’s environment in the past. And many times, there is no way to calibrate the tree rings with a secondary temperature determination method. I mean, if you had one of those, you wouldn’t need the tree in the first place.

      • jim2, “CD, nice article. Note the caveats about the source of a tree’s water.”

        Right. So one would need to look at several methods to estimate an uncertainty range and not discard inconvenient data along the way.

      • I wonder why this hasn’t been pursued? I don’t know that it has not been since I haven’t read all the papers, but it seems it would have surfaced by now if more work had been done given the attention to global warming.

      • jim2, “I wonder why this hasn’t been pursued?”

        Why look for anything else once you think you have found what you are looking for?

        http://climateaudit.org/2010/04/21/mann-of-oak/

        That is a skeptic’s job doncha know. Now if you can find a willing skeptic, you make a more complete comparison and check those silly confidence intervals.

        I think that is how it is supposed to work since “nearly all” break through papers aren’t.

      • It would be interesting to compare the isotope rendition of temperature to the density one.

      • jim2, I am sure there are comparisons out there. The biggest problem with trees or any living thing is that there are so many confounding factors. In addition to water, (ground versus precipitation) there is also available light during the growing season.

        http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/140507/ncomms4836/full/ncomms4836.html

        Especially in the high latitudes which are so interesting to too many. The the trees tend to measure growth season conditions while the temperature extrapolations are including winter conditions to “prove” there is more warming.

        You also have “other” growth factors like nutrients including CO2 enrichment, black carbon that would change water availability with snow melt and a few others that make high latitude trees about useless.

      • CD, I may not have been clear. I meant, using one tree, compare the density vs isotope temp reconstruction. That might tell us a lot about the reliability of one or both methods.

      • jim2, I have only seen one or two that directly compared d18O ratio and ring width/density. They have different divergences. The light penetration issue is another problem. The biggest problem is likely the June to July/Aug or growing season issue. How to you accurately determine annual temperature from a couple of months a year, especially at higher latitudes?

      • Trees do add wood during the winter. Just not nearly as much, IIRC.

    • [Curry] has fully joined the ranks of the anti-science denialist crowd.

      This is the kind of craziness that defending Mann drives one to. Since Mann is really indefensible by normal standards. The funny thing is that he probably thinks the above passes for “thinking” in an intellectual sense.

    • Landen doesn’t appear to have a clue who you are and what you stand for.

      IMO, his apparent preconceived notions and willingness to judge make him a useless fop.

    • Very nice of Greg to give advice on how to “properly” file tweets for later, private consumption. As is the case with most people who suffer from a superiority complex, it’s their way or the wrong way.

    • Matthew R Marler

      from the Greg Laden link: I was hoping that Curry would distance herself from Steyn, but she did not do so. Her comment in her blog post that notes the differences in standards of practice between scientists and shock jocks like Steyn is, I think, well considered and true, but the remarks she made about both Steyn and Mann, and their relationship and the various other issues, taken together, indicate that she is in Steyn’s camp, and has fully joined the ranks of the anti-science denialist crowd.

      I would counter that you can support Steyn in Steyn v Mann on First Amendment grounds (and in light of some of Mann’s misstatements) without being either “anti-science” or a “denialist”. Calling Steyn a “shock jock” misses the point of most of Steyn’s commentaries (and books) in support of free speech and free press.

    • Right, the old ideal of “I may hate what you say, but I would defend to the death your right to say it” is just more hate speech.

      • I don’t know of any successful poked hole in X the theroy of evolution. Creationists may have tried but have been proven wrong. The trial Kitzmiller vs Dover school board being one example. The Judge in that case was appointed by Reagan. If you watch the trial the scientists very effectively show the erroneous suppositions of the creationists to be wrong. Evolution is a well established scientific theroy without which would make modern biology and genetics impossible. Creationism is considered by law to be religious advocacy.

        http://ncse.cm/taking-action/ten-major-court-cases-evolution-creationism

        meant to reply to Stephen Segrest below … too lazy to rewrite.

    • Stephen Segrest

      Is there a general consensus within the science community of what anti-science exactly means?

      I’ve thought of it as: By poking enough holes in “Theory X”, this will prove “Theory Y”. This has been used by Creationists in efforts to disprove the theory of evolution.

      • Whatever, but poking holes in Theory X is still science,

      • Don’t see a lot of people “poking holes” in General Relativity or Quantum Mechanics though, but scientists still try, because that is how science advances.

    • John Carpenter

      ‘full-on global warming denialist’… good god, how original.

    • Laden does pompose ass rather well. What a doober.

  61. climatebeagle

    I assume Dr. Mann is also subject to Penn State policies, such as HR64 which includes:
    “Faculty members are citizens, members of learned professions, and representatives of this University. When the faculty member speaks or writes as a citizen, the faculty member shall be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but the special position in the community held by the faculty member imposes special obligations. As a person of learning and an educator, the faculty member is expected to remember that the public may judge the profession and institution by his/her utterances. Hence, the faculty member agrees at all times to be accurate, to exercise appropriate restraint, to show respect for the opinions of others, and to make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson.”

    (my bold)
    http://guru.psu.edu/policies/OHR/hr64.html

    AD47 is another interesting one:

    https://guru.psu.edu/policies/ad47.html

    • @ climatgebeagle

      “AD47 is another interesting one”

      I presume that that one is the one with Dr. Mann’s picture under the masthead, captioned as ‘The Gold Standard Faculty Example of AD47 Personified’

    • As a grad student, I was known for noticing and pointing out every mistake my profs made (I know, a sceptic is born, not made). My major prof was pretty sloppy sometimes but always corrected his statements (as did every single other prof that I caught with mistakes in their slides). I am trying to imagine how Mann would have handled that if I took his class–banned me?

  62. ‘The short-term variations in global temperature, despite causing large variations in short-term rates of warming, are very small – their standard deviation is less than 0.1 °C for the annual values and much less for decadal averages’ – RC

    There is a new paper in Nature Climate Change advising dumping the 2C target. Much more interesting is the RC response.

    Neither annual variation or decadal changes are the right metric. Short term variations are irregular and involve significant changes in global surface temperature.

    It results in part from significant changes in cloud radiative forcing associated with changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation – e.g. http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

    The CERES net product look like this.

    What it shows is large variability in TOA radiative flux.

    Earlier ERBS data looks like this.

    It shows a 0.7 W/m2 decrease in IR forcing and a 2.1 W/m2 increase in SW forcing(AR4 s3.4.4.1). This data shows a dominant role for natural warming in the 1976 to 1998 warming – although you may always critique the data. These are anomalies – an order of magnitude more precise than absolute values. .

    The critical multi-decadal periods are obvious in the surface record. Changes in the trajectory of surface temperature occur in 1909, 1944, 1976 and 1998. This coincides with shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices.

    Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

    It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Tsonis said.

    The changes at these multi-decadal scales would seem to be climatologically significant. The complex, dynamical mechanism in play suggest – on the basis of past behavior – that the hiatus could persist for decades. Indeed this has been addressed in a past RC post – Warming interrupted – much ado about natural variation.

    • thanks for these links

    • From the NYMAG link:
      It’s worth pointing out, of course, that for many conservatives (and liberals), the current debate about climate change isn’t really about competing piles of evidence or about facts at all — it’s about identity
      (End quote)

      Why do liberals continue to believe this? These guys live on a different planet than I.

      Then there’s this, the message to “conservatives:”
      while the other touched on “how polluted and contaminated the environment has become and how important it is for people to clean and purify the environment.”
      (End quote)

      The environment, at least in the US and Europe, is in better shape than it has been in many decades. Have these liberals ever heard of Love Canal, the river burning in Ohio, the heavy smogs in LA??? Again, what planet are these liberals from?

      • If AGW policy had nothing to do with expanding the state, mediating tax revenue, establishing expert authority would the level of interest of debate participants and the politicians associated exist?

        Y or N??

        Clearly no, it would be on the back page of a meteorologists trade journal. There wouldn’t be climate science academic industry etc. etc.

        The libel of course from NYMAG is talking about “facts and evidence” that have never actually existed in a true classical science form. It’s about what corrupted experts “believe” and “opinion”. Post normal, humanity based reasoning as “science” based on “consensus” which is code for “politically acceptable consensus”. The liar’s meme of course is that the advocate side is more focused on “science” (state supported that is) and the deniers are clinging to bibles etc. We see this farce played out here over and over again. Joshua, Michael, Fanboy to name only a few.

      • If there are not problems, Liberals will invent them. Their DNA includes uncontrollable urges to push for government interventionist policies. At this point very few even realize what NEPA was about and how improved the environment is compared to 50 years ago. Of course who wants to admit the irrelevance of their mission in life.

      • “how polluted and contaminated the environment has become and how important it is for people to clean and purify the environment.”
        ——————————————————
        Clean and purify the environment? With what? Disinfectant? Have these people ever been out in the places where bears relieve themselves?

        “The environment” is a seething mass of excretement, shed skin and hair, rotting carrion, decaying vegetation, and uncountable micro-organisms feeding on it all, including each other.

        It’s not clean or pure. If it was, it would be non-existent. It’s dirty, messy and unhygenic.

        It just goes to show what the mindset of these people is all about. They conflate the desired state of their kitchen benchtop or an operating theatre with the real world, and proceed from there.

    • Brent,
      Right you are about improvements in the environment. Plenty left to do but the basic clean water act point discharge restrictions and the reductions in air pollution have been impresive. The move to tertiary sewage treatment from primary and then dumping in rivers or the oceans have been great. Think of the dumping of primary, just filtered sewage, dumped in oceans and then secondary treated dumped in the river for downstream to use for drinking water. Plenty yet to do but the distraction of CO2 restricitions vs actual real clean up actions. Much easier to pretend to fight the rise of sea level when it is not rising and the increase in temperature when it is not rising than to actual do something that is measurable. Invented pretend enemies are easier to defeat than real ones especially when one controls the media and government data to change historical records. He who controls the present controls the past and thus the future.
      \Scott

  63. As I understand it, Mann asserted or implied that the ‘ hockey stick’ handle went on vertically for ever. Clearly that has not happened, so he should admit his mistake and apologise.

  64. Relating to the underlying current of speech oppression and the acceptance of major political self-identifications;

    http://hotair.com/archives/2014/10/02/poll-51-of-democrats-support-criminalizing-hate-speech/

    Yes, soon being a “denier” will qualify as “hate speech” in some circles. We know what circle that is already.

  65. There is three recent studies and many more about the california drought and global warming. I heard about it on the radio but they only reported on the Stanford study with one of the scientists sounding the alarm with declarative language. The Mercury News headlined the Stanford study but showed two others in contradiction:

    http://www.mercurynews.com/drought/ci_26627640/californias-drought-linked-greenhouse-gases-climate-change

    I wondered if the Stanford scientists skipped their PDO course.

    This is my take-away:
    “The evidence isn’t there, concludes the editors of the report — an anthology of more than 20 climate studies published in the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.”
    “The comparison of the three studies for the same extreme event, each using different methods and metrics, revealed sources of uncertainty,” it asserts.

    But guess which study is getting all the news.

  66. Victor Venema

    I am happy to work in Germany at the moment. A country that has the freedom of research in the constitution and thus does not allow any FOIA harassment of scientists.

    And I, as an EU tax payer, am highly motivated to change European Law so people like you are prime targets for FOIA requests, on the principle that those that would hide their activity are very likely those that have something to hide

    You spend our money Victor, we have a right to know what you spend it on, if you want privacy, spend your own money

  67. Does VV have any issue with a scientist assuming a false identity in an attempt to “out” donors to The Heartland Institute?