Data Against Demagogues

Ken Burnside, a regular commenter here, has launched his own blog. Data Against Demagogues is about methodological integrity, the use and abuses of data visualization, and how to tell junk science by its smell.

Ken hopes the CRU flap will become a teachable moment on these issues. So do I. More power to him!


  1. Ken: You should post about your experiments with the IPCC computer models (are those them?). That’s good information to have out in public, and not just as comments on another blog.

  2. Tom: I intend to – but I need to write that one VERY carefully.

    1) I no longer have the article I wrote for the newspaper on that – it got rejected, and I’ve upgraded computers three times since then – I cannot find it.
    2) Dr. Bryson is dead, so there’s nobody who can corroborate my claim.
    3) Without the actual graphs, this is going to be read as a ‘smear piece’. If I can’t show my work, that reaction would be correct.
    4) I’d like to think that with the wider range of models out there, that the issues we found were fixed…

    So I can write a “Why isn’t it done this way?” piece. I cannot write a definitive piece saying “It should be done this way, it wasn’t in 2001 when we did X, Y and Z.” The second would be more powerful, and I hope that I can do it at some point.

  3. I dunno, Eric. It doesn’t seem to be off to a good start with his criticism of the Soon and Baliunas paper, one of the most controversial papers in the whole debate, seeing as he calls them “policy wonks” instead of astrophysicists and repeats the “cherry picking” accusation without citing either side of the debate. As Roger Pielke Jr pointed out, the response to the S&B paper is almost uniformly consistent with the climate warming opinion of the commenter. Even the methodological complaints had problems, since S&B’s methodology was later shown to be consistent with methods Mann et al used, even though Mann et al criticized those same methods.

    ESR says: Ironically, Ken’s inclinations are more skeptical than otherwise. I think he’s bending over backward to be fair, and perhaps shouldn’t.

  4. >I think he’s bending over backward to be fair, and perhaps shouldn’t.

    In breaking news, the ‘Data Against Demagogues’ project has been dealt a fatal blow, as leaked blog comments show that members of the project decided that they ‘perhaps shouldn’t’ be fair ;-)

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