“The scientists have been tied up and gagged in the back room”

The unravelling of the AGW fraud continues to provide an entertaining mix of high drama and low comedy. My favorite recent entry on the CRU mob is a screed from a professor of mathematics in Canada: “All of my colleagues have had to endure these bullies and criminals for a very long time.”

Then there’s David Bellamy’s tale of being canned from a very successful science-popularizer gig on the BBC because he dared to speak anti-AGW heresy.

That’s a theme in a lot of recent revelations. As long as the lid was on the CRU’s fraud, nobody dared speak up about for fear of being dismissed as a crank. Now that the AGW crowd’s power to suppress dissent has been broken, expect to hear a lot more actual scientists — not politicians, but scientists — coming forward to confirm that the emperor has no clothes.

For the “low comedy” part, return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Time Magazine was predicting catastrophic global cooling. And Newsweek, too. It’s hilarious how easy it is to substitute “warning” for “cooling” and have an article that could have been written last week.

For more low comedy, at least one news story alleges that the IPCC intends to investigate the allegations of CRU misconduct. Yup, I’m sure; the kleptocrats in our permanent political class don’t like it when their plans for a power grab go awry, and the U.N.’s contingent doubtless wants to know who’s to blame for this debacle. For some reason, the phrase “the prisoner was shot while attempting to escape” keeps running through my head.

309 thoughts on ““The scientists have been tied up and gagged in the back room”

  1. One of the ironies of Essex’ and McKitrick’s book is that they substituted “0″ for temperature values that were missing in their attempt to analyze the meaning of average temperature. Explain in 10 words or less why that’s an unbelievably stupid error.

    ESR says: Citation needed.

  2. I’ve already run out of popcorn ;)

    Seriously though, I consider these bastard AGW frausters as guilty of a grand conspiratorial crime against humanity…worthy of Dr. Evil himself.

  3. @Gary – seriously? I guess only ‘experts’ can explain the brilliance of that crapola ;)

  4. Check out this CIA document from 1974. Global cooling was the real problem
    CIA 1974. It was not just TIME magazine.
    jim

  5. >http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/05/mckitrick3.php

    The error described is so stupid that I have trouble believing a statistician actually made it. Whether McKittrick understood thermodynamics or not is red herring; even somebody with my non-specialist knowledge of statistics alone would have known better, let alone a pro like him. The most plausible theory I can think of is that the spreadsheet was expressing temperatures as deviation from mean, that the “zeroes” actually pegged missing observations to that mean, and that the author misunderstood McKittrick’s response.

    Increasing my puzzlement is that I do understand thermodynamics, and Lambert’s claim that McKittrick dismissed average temperature as a meaningless concept sounds like a garbled rendition of a truth Lambert didn’t grasp (but McKittrick perhaps did). “Average temperature” is only a meaningful concept for systems that are close to thermodynamic equilibrium. When Lambert says “put a conductor between the systems”, he’s presupposing that neither one is externally pumped and that distinctions between (for example) the measured temperature of the parts near the conductor as opposed to far away don’t matter. Often, such assumptions are oversimplified. You can reel off any number you like and call it “average temperature” in a system far out of equilibrium, but the number you impute will have no predictive power about what the system will do next.

    So I get to choose between the theory that McKittrick made an unbelievably stupid mistake and another theory that Lambert, who clearly doesn’t get it about the difference between near-equilibrium and far-from-equilibrium thermodynamic systems, grossly misunderstood what McKittrick was trying to tell him and show him.

    I think I have to go with the second theory. Evidence could change my mind.

  6. FWIW, although it makes for much hilarity, I don’t find the juxtaposition of panicked global cooling and panicked global warming all that crazy. You see the climate is a chaotic system, and changing one parameter could easily send us from one to the other. However, what is troubling is that given that this is true, and given that most of these variables are somewhere between hard and impossible to measure, it just emphasizes the futility of trying to model the climate. And further, makes the earnest declarations of Al Gore and the GCM crowd all the more disturbing. The measure of a great scientist is his willingness to say “I don’t know.”

  7. The measure of a great scientist is his willingness to say “I don’t know.”

    I’ll go along with that :)

  8. >That’s a theme in a lot of recent revelations. As long as the lid was on the CRU’s fraud, nobody dared speak up about for fear of being dismissed as a crank.

    In order for this thesis to be credible, you’re going to need to give us examples of people who weren’t already speaking up before ‘climategate’.

    >For the “low comedy” part, return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear when Time Magazine was predicting catastrophic global cooling. And Newsweek, too.

    You understand the differences between scientists and Newsweek right? Even in the 70s the scientific literature considered warming more likely than cooling.

  9. >You understand the differences between scientists and Newsweek right? Even in the 70s the scientific literature considered warming more likely than cooling.

    That’s not how I remember it. And yes, I was paying attention.

  10. >The most plausible theory I can think of is that the spreadsheet was expressing temperatures as deviation from mean, that the “zeroes” actually pegged missing observations to that mean, and that the author misunderstood McKittrick’s response.

    There’s a link to the spreadsheet McKitrick used in Tim’s post. The missing values are just that — missing, and the temperatures are absolute temperatures in degrees Celsius. If you take a mean in Excel, it treats missing values as 0. So it’s basically a programming error (if you’re generous enough to include using Excel in that category).

    McKitrick has past form on this sort of careless programming mistake. In an earlier paper he fed latitude in degrees into a function that expected radians.

    >You can reel off any number you like and call it “average temperature” in a system far out of equilibrium, but the number you impute will have no predictive power about what the system will do next.

    The number will predict the final equilibrium temperature of the system, if you were to isolate it. The argument isn’t over whether such a quantity is useful but over whether or not it even exists

    Physics does, in fact, provide a basis for defining average temperature. Just connect the two systems that you want to average by a conductor. Heat will flow from the hotter system to the colder one until the temperatures are equalized. The final temperature is the average. That average will be a weighted arithmetic mean of the original temperatures. Which is why the folks doing the averaging use weighted arithmetic means rather than the geometric mean.

  11. Eric:

    1. The phrase “All of my colleagues have had to endure these bullies and criminals for a very long time” (presented in your post in a manner that implies it to be a direct quote) does not appear in the linked piece on quadrant.org.au (which incidentally may be the least scientifically-literate “serious” journal published today). Perhaps the link is wrong?

    2. You know that Bellamy’s gig at the BBC ended in 1994, 10 years before his stated position on global warming had changed?
    Wikipedia: see fn 13 (and that Bellamy has previously attributed the loss of his BBC role to political interference arising from his decision to stand for election against John Major).

    3. “Cooling”: what pete said.

    Just sounds like more optimistic contrarian cheerleading to me.

  12. 1. My bad, the phrase is there.

    ESR says: On the other hand, your point about Bellamy may be valid. I don;t have enough information about what he said when to exclude the possibility.

  13. I wonder if Essex is now liable for defamation since he’s accused a huge chunk of the community of being “criminal”.

  14. I have to say that the wikipedia cited article isn’t very compelling, and very much smacks of revisionist history.

    “Additionally, in order to make the survey more complete, even at the expense of no longer being fully reproducible by electronic search techniques, many references mentioned in the papers located by these searches were evaluated, as were references mentioned in various history-of-science documents.”

    Unless they provide the separate lists, so we can see what articles were added, this strongly suggests to me that they added articles until they got to the preordained results. Especially combined with the very small number of articles covered by it out of the presumably hundreds or thousands written during the decade.

  15. >The number will predict the final equilibrium temperature of the system, if you were to isolate it.

    That’s the problem: “if you were”. When you stop restricting your thinking to systems in isolation and near thermodynamic equilibrium a lot of the classic rules go out the window, as Ilya Prigigine copped a Nobel prize in 1974 1977 for pointing out. The Earth is neither isolated nor close to equilibrium, therefore the is a strong technical argument that GAT is meaningless. I happen not to agree with that argument, for reasons I’ll explain if pressed, but it’s not a crazy position for McKittrick to have taken.

  16. >To the scientific literature or just to the stuff that made it to Time and Newsweek?

    I subscribed to Scientific American religiously until about 1981.

  17. >The Earth is neither isolated nor close to equilibrium, therefore the is a strong technical argument that GAT is meaningless. I happen not to agree with that argument, for reasons I’ll explain if pressed, but it’s not a crazy position for McKittrick to have taken.

    I would like to hear that argument.

    Note that McKitrick is claiming that the geometric mean has as much physical meaning as the arithmetic mean. This suggests that he is not taking the non-crazy position you’re expressing, but rather a different, and crazy, position.

    >That’s the problem: “if you were”. When you stop restricting your thinking to systems in isolation and near thermodynamic equilibrium a lot of the classic rules go out the window, as Ilya Prigigine copped a Nobel prize in 1974 for pointing out.

    Presumably the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics are not amongst the rules that go out the window?

  18. pete Says:
    > Presumably the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics are not amongst the rules that go out the window?

    The 2nd law of thermodynamics is long overdue to be replaced with the Law of Conversvation of Entropy. John Sokol developed Claude Shannons work into the area of self organizing systems and proved that entropy and information are exchangable, just as mass and energy are.

  19. Note the confirmation bias:

    >Then there’s David Bellamy’s tale of being canned from a very successful science-popularizer gig on the BBC because he dared to speak anti-AGW heresy.

    >ESR says: On the other hand, your point about Bellamy may be valid. I don;t have enough information about what he said when to exclude the possibility.

    While Bellamy’s outspoken criticism of AGW since 2004 is sufficient evidence that climategate has emboldened him to ‘speak out’, the response to Tom’s evidence is that you can’t ‘exclude the possibility’.

    Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting you take Tom’s word for it. Just that you might not want to be so credulous when it comes to error cascades caused by the doubt industry’s meme warfare.

  20. >I would like to hear that argument.

    Now that I think about it, it’s not actually complicated. Consider a thermodynamic system consisting of a hemisphere of metal with half of it at the boiling point of water and half at the freezing point. You can make two statements about that system: (1) the average temperature is 50C, and (2) heat will flow from the hot half to the cold half. Both are true statements but only the second is meaninfgul, because computing the average temperature tells you nothing about the future behavior of the system.

    If you react like a classical thermodynamicist, you’re thinking “Huh? 50C predicts the equilibrium temperature (leaving out radiative losses).” That’s true: what you’re missing is that the figure “50C” predicts nothing by itself; it’s only the combination of that figure with the assumption that the system will be permitted to reach equilibrium that is predictive.

    To see why this matters, now let us suppose that you are given a better view of the experiment – and you see that there is a laser shining on the hot half, heating it up. As long as the laser is on, the system will not reach an equilibrium of 50C. “OK….” you think. “The system still has an expected equilibrium temperature”, which is true. What you’ve failed to notice is that it’s no longer coupled to the average you computed; in fact, the average is meaningless without a figure for incoming energy transfer from the laser.

    Now scale this up to where your sphere is planet-sized and “incoming energy” is time-variant in unpredictable ways due to secular changes in isolation, radioisotope decay in the mantle, Milakovitch cycles, etc. The equivalent of “50C” is, so the argument goes, meaningless until you know what all the inputs are, how they’re going to time-vary, and how to predict radiative losses. None of these questions is anywhere close to simple.

  21. >While Bellamy’s outspoken criticism of AGW since 2004 is sufficient evidence that climategate has emboldened him to ’speak out’, the response to Tom’s evidence is that you can’t ‘exclude the possibility’

    I don’t tend to start with the assumption that people are liars, hence my caution. The cases aren’t symmetrical because I’m already convinced by other evidence that the CRU crowd has been lying through its teeth.

  22. >What you’ve failed to notice is that it’s no longer coupled to the average you computed; in fact, the average is meaningless without a figure for incoming energy transfer from the laser.

    But with the incoming energy from the laser, the average temperature is meaningful. For example it gives you the total energy in the hemisphere (wouldn’t a sphere be simpler? did you mean averaging over the 2 hemispheres?).

    If dE is the energy added by the laser between times a and b, T is the average temperature, and c is the specific heat (or whatever the correct word for that particular constant is) then:

    c.T_b = c.T_a + dE

    Note that this only works if you take the arithmetic mean. McKitrick would have you believe that the geometric or harmonic mean are equally meaningful. And then he’d calculate the geometric or harmonic mean in degrees Celsius rather than in Kelvin.

  23. >But with the incoming energy from the laser, the average temperature is meaningful

    Right. I said as much. But you asked what technical argument for GAT being meaningless is, and I”ve told you. I also told you I don’t agree with it.

  24. Obviously the sphere is going to radiate heat as well, and that’s going to be a function of Tr^4, where Tr is the effective radiating temperature (??? fourth root of the integral of t^4 over the sphere divided by the surface area ???) rather than a function of T (the average temp).

    So there are different ways of taking an ‘average’, but those ways aren’t arbitrary — they have a physical justification.

  25. >Right. I said as much. But you asked what technical argument for GAT being meaningless is, and I”ve told you. I also told you I don’t agree with it.

    You were under the impression that McKitrick might be making a similar argument. The part about geometric and harmonic means shows that he’s not — his argument is in fact crazy.

  26. >You were under the impression that McKitrick might be making a similar argument. The part about geometric and harmonic means shows that he’s not — his argument is in fact crazy.

    Maybe. Or maybe I don’t understand it yet, and you don’t either. I’ll give him some benefit of the doubt on this, as I have observed him to be truthful and non-crazy in the past.

  27. The measure of a great scientist is his willingness to say “I don’t know.”

    More than that, I expect a great scientist to be able to say “huh, the data didn’t fit my expectations. I’d better revise my positon.”

  28. >So there are different ways of taking an ‘average’, but those ways aren’t arbitrary — they have a physical justification.

    Right, and you’ve actually put your finger near my objection to the argument. 50C is meaningless by itself, but 50C together with a causal account of the system’s energy budget is not.

  29. >Right, and you’ve actually put your finger near my objection to the argument. 50C is meaningless by itself, but 50C together with a causal account of the system’s energy budget is not.

    McKitrick would have you believe that that 50C is never meaningful, and that you would be equally justified in using the geometric mean of 0, the L2 mean 100, or the harmonic mean Inf.

    (And yes, he would have calculated those means in Celsius)

  30. Prof. Hulme is one of several scientists calling for the raw data of climate-change research to be made available to everyone, including climate-change skeptics, on the Internet. That, he says, would allow genuine research to proceed unhindered. Some of his colleagues also say the IPCC now does more harm than good and should be disbanded.

    That position has led some of his colleagues to attack him. This week, several said in Internet posts that such transparency would be unworkable because the matter of climate is too urgent and the stakes too high to allow skeptics to have any influence on policy.

    That, Prof. Hulme said, is exactly the attitude that led to the sort of questionable practices chronicled in the CRU e-mails.

    Breach in the global-warming bunker rattles climate science at the worst time

    Hark! What are those muffled sounds coming from the back room?

  31. FYI, you can read the segment of the book that the blog posting was discussing via Amazon’s ‘Search inside’ thing. Search on ‘coffee creamer’ and you’ll be able to read what McKitrick actually wrote, rather than the highly elided portion quoted there. It’s pretty obvious that the blogger didn’t understand the argument, from what he posted. I’m not certain I agree with it, but it was pretty clearly misrepresented.

  32. Evidence that McKitrick is taking the crazy position, as opposed to some sort of not-crazy position.

    Umm, Pete, you do understand that the link you cited states that averaging temperatures linearly (as is routinely done in the climate science community) is also invalid, right?

  33. @Dave – I’m pretty sure that “pete” is, in fact, a rogue ZX81 with a desperate abandonment complex.

    I want to cuddle him and reprogram him with “Manic Miner”, but I fear that he would dissolve into a confused puddle of irony.

  34. @Skip – thanks for the suggestion, I’d tried Google books but could only get ‘snippets’.

    Can’t see p117 on Amazon (looks like they’ve locked that page — too many people searching for coffee creamer?).

    I can see p119, where ‘Thermos’ thinks that average kinetic energy is proportional to T^2.

    Also p116, ‘It is not a temperature of anything at all; it is a statistic’

  35. The irony continues – here’s a link I found on Reddit the same time I was reading these comments:
    “Tomorrow 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial.” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/06/copenhagen-editorial)

    “The science is complex but the facts are clear.” Nice to see that the MSM can see through all that complexity to a (profoundly socialistic, yet utterly simplistic) solution.

  36. The Deltoid blog is not trustworthy. In my experience, the posts are maliciously deceptive, or designed to attract hits from Dunning–Kruger-afflicted lefties, or both.

  37. “If you take a mean in Excel, it treats missing values as 0.”

    This is simply not true. If by “missing value” you mean a blank cell, the cell is not treated as a zero in the Excel 2007 AVERAGE worksheet function.

  38. @Dave – what makes you think that?

    Because I can do math. Temperature is not, as is pointed out on the site you linked, an “extensive” quantity. You did read the page you linked to, right?

    BTW, if the Earth were in thermodynamic equilibrium, we wouldn’t be here and the greenhouse effect would not exist, either. “Thermodynamic equilibrium” is a technical term with a rather specific meaning. If there is any temperature gradient in the system, a system cannot be in thermodynamic equilibrium.

  39. Ross McKitrick’s “past form” on the degrees-vs-radians bug is significant, but not in the way “pete” wants us to believe. Unlike the alarmists, RM and his co-author Pat Michaels published their code and data (here), which is how the Deltoid blogger spotted the error. Unlike the alarmists, RM&PM admitted the error and published a correction. What was that about greatness again?

  40. >Because I can do math. Temperature is not, as is pointed out on the site you linked, an “extensive” quantity. You did read the page you linked to, right?

    I read it. Did you?

    You combine extensive quantities by addition. You combine intensive qualities by averaging. Temperature is an intensive quality, so you combine temperatures by averaging.

  41. >This is simply not true. If by “missing value” you mean a blank cell, the cell is not treated as a zero in the Excel 2007 AVERAGE worksheet function.

    My mistake.

    The ’0 for missing values’ error actually happens when they try to calculate root mean square.

  42. You combine extensive quantities by addition. You combine intensive qualities by averaging. Temperature is an intensive quality, so you combine temperatures by averaging.

    Um, no.

    Speed, for example, is an intensive quantity. If I go 30 mph for an hour and 60 mph for an hour, you do not get my average speed by averaging your measurements of my speed.

    Likewise, it is not appropriate to average the temperature of a region unless you have a very good reason to expect that deviations from the average will be (staistically) independent of location and/or time.

    I would agree that RMS temperature averaging is likely the wrong way to represent average temperature over time for a single location. But I don’t know how good an approximation linear averaging is, either. It’s probably better than RMS averaging, but I would venture that Z-weighted averaging might be better yet. I don’t know, as I haven’t studied the field extensively.

    And I do not mean to imply that those who do temperature series don’t understand this and average the measurements correctly; I am pretty certain they do. However, I do know for certain that the person who wrote the article to which you linked did not understand the argument they were making and did not understand the math.

    For the tree-ring and other paleoclimate reconstructions, they are pretty much bound by the use of a linear model (PCM) to using unweighted averages and assuming normality. I’m not familiar enough with the data to make any judgment about whether that is appropriate or not.

  43. Dave, if you go 30 mph for an hour and 60 mph for an hour then you’ve gone 90 miles in 2 hours and your average speed is 45 mph, which is in fact the average of 30 mph and 60 mph.

  44. pete, sorry, my bad. Of course I meant distances. I should have said 30 mph for one mile and 60 mph for one mile. Since time is directly in the denominator, you can average over time. The same is not true of temperature, although we talk as though it is. That’s because it is approximately true for the small temperature variations and relatively uniform conditions on the Earth.

  45. This letter was submitted by some pretty well-known physicists to the American Physical Society.

    I’ve known Will Happer for years and I knew Bob Austin when I was at Princeton. Happer is one of the pre-eminent atomic (as opposed to nuclear) physicists in the world. Neither is a crank and I believe neither could be classified a “denier.”

  46. By the way, the Rabett article claims that Essex and McKittrick compute RMS temperatures in Celsius. They don’t, of course, as you can easily see by downloading the spreadsheet via the Deltoid link. The relevant hand-rolled formula clearly adds back 273.15 to each value before taking the RMS. That’s also where they introduce the mistake that effectively treats blanks as zeroes for the RMS. Try inserting zeroes into the blanks for a quick verification of the behavior of the average and rms columns.

    I score it:

    Blanks as zeroes in Excel AVERAGE: +1 for E&M
    Use of Kelvin for RMS: +1 for E&M
    Blanks as zeroes in custom RMS: +1 for warmists

    Not terrifically confidence-inspiring on either side, but I’ve got E&M ahead on points.

  47. One problem with that letter to the APS… One of the signees is “Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil”.

    ‘Nuff said.

  48. @Gary Strand -

    The problem with your argument is that it applies equally well in the other direction, considering that Al Gore stands to make enormous amounts of money on carbon trading.

    So if a profit motive invalidates a person’s ability to render a correct opinion on global warming, then Al Gore cannot be taken seriously either.

  49. “The problem with your argument is that it applies equally well in the other direction”

    Lambert was quick to see McKittirck’s programming error, however failed to see the same error in Mann’s erroneous use of cosine(latitude) in his temperature PC calculations, even when brought to his attention.

    Ergo conclusio memorandum; there are different mathematic rules for the AGW-taliban or Lambert is not as clever as he suggests he is?

    So why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

    McKittrick corrected the error and what did Mann?

  50. so the UN is going to investigate the UN … look how well it did with the Oil for Food scandal … I’m thinking the prisoner may die from suicide, multiple gunshot variety …

  51. @Gary Strand & @brian, every AGW proponent stands to gain money, influence and power.

  52. @Gary Strand -
    ‘Nuff said’
    True, agian, the boilerplate double-standard we expect from the Left today.

  53. Can one of the belivers explain the global cooling from 1940 – 1970 given the sharp rise in CO2 during the same time frame ? What else happend that overrode your main driver, CO2 ? I’ve never heard an explanation. Once you’ve done that please explain how the main driver of temperature, CO2, could be not just matched by some other activity but completely overriden to the point of cooling. If CO2 is the main driver then nothing should be able to override it. Diminish it maybe but never override it if CO2 truely is the MAIN driver.

  54. @Gary Strand -

    The problem with your argument is that it applies equally well in the other direction, considering that Al Gore stands to make enormous amounts of money on carbon trading.

    You see Brian, the way it works for people like Gary is that the burden of proof is always in favor of the Liberals. Find errors in Gore’s movie, conflicts of interest in his business, hypocrisy in his personal life etc….. but it doesn’t matter because you haven’t disproved every detail of his views. But if a Princeton physicist cosigns a letter with an Exxon executive, everything he writes must be dismissed immediately.

    Liberals think that their god speaks thru them.

  55. > In order for this thesis to be credible, you’re going to need to give us examples of people who weren’t already speaking up before ‘climategate’.

    A particularly striking example is Eduardo Zorita, IPCC AR4 co-author.

    “I may confirm what has been written in other places: research in some areas of climate science has been and is full of machination, conspiracies, and collusion, as any reader can interpret from the CRU-files. They depict a realistic, I would say even harmless*, picture of what the real research in the area of the climate of the past millennium has been in the last years. The scientific debate has been in many instances hijacked to advance other agendas.”

    “editors, reviewers and authors of alternative studies, analysis, interpretations,even based on the same data we have at our disposal, have been bullied and subtly blackmailed.”

    “Some, or many issues, about climate change are still not well known. Policy makers should be aware of the attempts to hide these uncertainties under a unified picture.”

    * Dr. Zorita being German, the chances are he meant to say “understated” here.

  56. Global warming doesn’t depend on whether or not Al Gore gets richer. Cohen’s skepticism about global warming is definitely dependent on his former position with ExxonMobil.

  57. “To the scientific literature or just to the stuff that made it to Time and Newsweek?”

    You will only have my word on it (I’m not going to go through them, I do not care to enough because if this meme goes far enough someone else will) but I have a whole pile of textbooks from when my father was in college that talk constantly about “global cooling”. This would have been late very late 60′s to early/mid 70′s. It also funny to hear him talk about it now. If only a few keep it up it will go OK for you, but enough get going with it you are going to look stupid for believing people who are already shown to be, hmmm not quite full of scientific honesty/credibility.

    Heck, I even remember it being a big deal in the early 80′s in my textbooks, though those were middle school textbooks they were still written by those Scientists. Then along came the hole in the Ozone layer (more really bad science) and no one cared about climate until they decided we were all going to fry/drown by 2010.

  58. Brian, Gary’s argument is even worse than that. He wishes us to ignore the entire letter based upon one single signatory, thereby discrediting every other signatory.

  59. Global warming doesn’t depend on whether or not Al Gore gets richer

    Ah, but Al Gore getting richer does depend a bit on whether people believe what Al Gore says.

  60. “…one news story alleges that the IPCC intends to investigate the allegations of CRU misconduct. Yup, I’m sure; the kleptocrats in our permanent political class don’t like it when their plans for a power grab go awry, and the U.N.’s contingent doubtless wants to know who’s to blame for this debacle.”

    Who in their right mind would trust any investigative finding from a group that is as much to blame for this hyping of climate change as Michael Mann? It’s all a money swapping racket and a select few, including Al Gore, are make money.

  61. More on Gavin Schmidt’s “the science is settled” canard-canard, this time from the IPCC and the Financial Times.

    The world’s leading climate scientists on Friday swept away the last doubts surrounding global warming, saying they were certain human activities were altering the climate and warning severe effects were inevitable unless greenhouse gas emissions were curbed.

    The evidence for climate change caused by fossil fuel combustion was “unequivocal”, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
    , a body comprising 2,500 climate experts convened by the UN.

    – Financial Times: Scientists dispel global warming doubts

    Despite misdirections from people like Schmidt and pete, there really has been a concerted effort by AGW advocates, including scientists, to declare that “the science is settled” and marginalize anyone who says otherwise.

  62. My wife was a meteorology major in the 1970s. One of the things that they worked out in one of her classes was how much soot you’d have to spread on the ice caps to reduce the Earth’s albedo to a point where you’d avoid an ice age. So, yes, I think that there was some serious scientific concern about global cooling then.

  63. Gary’s position is antithetical to debate and understanding this very important public policy issue. Hundreds of thousands of people work directly in the oil industry and many millions more work in directly related industries. Their views and input must be heard for there to be informed debate. It is entirely reasonable to challenge anyone’s reasoning AFTER hearing them.
    If we excluded all people who have a potential financial stake in the ramifications of AGW, we certainly would not be listening to anyone who receives grant money for studying GW. No issue = no grants.

  64. I am not usually one for ad hominems, but when somebody uses Tim “Computer Scientist” Lambert to back up a criticism, one has to remember the time when he suggested that “phase change” was an insignificant factor in the atmosphere, which is full of water vapor, rain, and ice as the H2O molecule makes its way through its various incarnations, hugely affecting the energy balance of the planet.

    He did rightly point out the error in McKitrick’s paper about degrees and radians. Of course, this is the kind of thing a “computer scientist” would know about, 3D graphics being an important area in that discipline. Not mentioned was that once the change was made, McKitrick’s argument became stronger, which one would expect if he had a valid point.

    As for treating missing numbers as zeros, I would like more evidence than a spreadsheet with missing entries, and the assertion that spreadsheets treat missing entries as zeros. Is there a formula or formula array somewhere in the spreadsheet that is affected by this property of Excel that produced output for the paper?

  65. Pete, Excel doesn’t average blanks as zero’s when part of a set unless your using some sort of VBA array and doing it manually. If you have a series like 1, ,1, ,1 the blanks being uh, blank, you’ll get a reported average of 1 for the 5 cells. If you put in 1,0,1,0,1 you’ll get .6. Not sure about the rest of your post, but that parts wrong.

  66. “That average will be a weighted arithmetic mean of the original temperatures.”

    What are the weights? Doesn’t the requirement of knowing the proper weighting mean you do need to incorporate information other than just temperature to get a physically meaningful result?

  67. One problem with Gary Strand’s post is that he’s an AGW fearmongerer – loyal to the CRU frauds.

    ‘Nuff said.

  68. “It’s hilarious how easy it is to substitute “warning” for “cooling” and have an article that could have been written last week.”

    A year or more past, when the eco-freaks began to morph into “Climate Change”, I became convinced that somewhere deep inside the operation people had begun to realize that the ‘science’ was no good and that like all poop, this would eventually rise to the surface. So they decided they would reposition themselves to work both sides of the street. Or all sides, as the case may be.

  69. And no Gary, I don’t want to buy your carbon credits. Maybe you can eat them?

  70. The APS letter by Austin et.al. also refers to cheating, which isn’t proven, and also uses ‘ClimateDepot’ as a reference. Since that site is run by Marc Morano, late of Inhofe’s staff, its credibility and value is very highly dubious.

    There’s more reason, besides just Cohen, to be suspicious of the content and claims of that letter to the APS.

  71. More than that, I expect a great scientist to be able to say “huh, the data didn’t fit my expectations. I’d better revise my positon.”

    I expect a competent scientist to say that thing.

    I expect a charlatan to do otherwise.

  72. “Global warming doesn’t depend on whether or not Al Gore gets richer. Cohen’s skepticism about global warming is definitely dependent on his former position with ExxonMobil.”

    I’ve read it three times, and still have no idea what the point is, or even if there is one.

  73. >You understand the differences between scientists and Newsweek right? Even in the 70s the scientific literature considered warming more likely than cooling.

    By “Even in the 70s” you must mean “1979.” The Charney report of 1979 was the first to report a consensus on warming.

    However, the 1974 CIA document cited earlier in this thread reported a consensus on cooling. The Time and Newsweek stories were before the Charney report. It’s a little unreasonable to criticize them for not conforming to a future consensus.

  74. “Cohen’s skepticism about global warming is definitely dependent on his former position with ExxonMobil.”

    That sure is some great science you’re doing there, Gary.

  75. “Global warming doesn’t depend on whether or not Al Gore gets richer. Cohen’s skepticism about global warming is definitely dependent on his former position with ExxonMobil.”

    Thanks for demonstrating such blatant hypocrisy where CRU can go to ExxonMobil, but if someone says something you don’t like who can be tied to ExxonMobil, they are therefore tainted. So why are those associated with Enron, Shell and BP above taint? Like gosh, there was Paul Krugman taking a position and he had been on Kenny Boy Lay’s payroll.

  76. “The APS letter by Austin et.al. also refers to cheating, which isn’t proven, and also uses ‘ClimateDepot’ as a reference. Since that site is run by Marc Morano, late of Inhofe’s staff, its credibility and value is very highly dubious.”

    That again cuts both ways, like with RealClimate and they’re connections to the PR firm Fenton Communications.

  77. Lambert and his allies are very wrong. Pick up any book on chemical or mechanical engineering and you will find that average temperatures rarely have physical meaning relevant to dynamic systems.

  78. More than that, I expect a great scientist to be able to say “huh, the data didn’t fit my expectations. I’d better revise my positon.”

    If a scientist revised his opinion as soon as some seemingly contradictory piece of data came along, he’d never *have* a consistent opinion. Data can be wrong too – or at least, it may not be telling you what you think. There have been a lot of cases where some observation seems to cast doubt on some long established law, but where it later turned out that there was some other explanation. For example:

    Energy, momentum and angular momentum (at least) seemed to be violated in beta decay. Turns out that there was actually an extra particle that was so hard to detect that nobody knew it was there (neutrino).
    Newton’s laws appeared to predict planetary orbits slightly incorrectly. Turns out there were extra planets which had not previously been detected that were affecting the result.

    Of course, the opposite sometimes happens and the new data really does falsify the long held belief. But that’s rather less frequent than a simple mistake or some other explanation. A seemingly contradictory data point prompts further investigation, not immediate dismissal of everything else.

  79. Jessica said:
    “You see the climate is a chaotic system, and changing one parameter could easily send us from one to the other. However, what is troubling is that given that this is true, and given that most of these variables are somewhere between hard and impossible to measure, it just emphasizes the futility of trying to model the climate.”

    Um, except the world is a lot like your body — it’s full of feedback mechanisms that push it back towards equilibrium all the time. Things in nature that don’t do that well, they don’t last for 5 billion years. Or live to be 80.

    For example, your blood is a pH buffer. It easily adjusts to changes in pH just by virtue of what it’s made of. This isn’t an accident. ;) Humans without a buffer for blood would just accientally drink too much lime juice (or whatever) and end up a puddle of denatured protein.

    If you study biochemistry, you see how every single reaction in your body is sped up, slowed down, turned on, and turned off by several (even dozens) of other compounds around it. Without that, oh, yeah, we’d all be dead.

    Why would anyone think the “world is going to end” all of a sudden after 5 billion years? Sorry, it’s not that delicate.

  80. A little research turns up that Roger Cohen is a fellow of the American Physical Society. It’s an elected position that is limited to 0.5% of its 46,000 members or 230 persons. He has a B.S. from MIT and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Rutgers.

    He’s a smart guy. He may well be wrong and biased by his former work engagements or economic interests. But it does not follow from his past work at ExxonMobil, that this is the cause or even a significant cause of his skepticism. (1) There are physicists who are skeptical about popular global warming scenarios who have not worked at ExxonMobil. (2) Even if the average physics Ph.D. working at ExxonMobil rejects the majority report on global warming (on which I have no stastics) this may reflect their prior opinions or dispositions. In that case, Gary Strand’s argument amounts to saying that the dissenters are wrong because they dissent and are likely to take jobs fitting their dissent. (3) His current venture is “working with a group of partners on developing and commercializing a technology for extracting carbon dioxide from the air”, so his signature on the letter apparently is an admission against interests.

    If you want to burnish the credibility of the majority report on global warming and show you are arguing in good faith, then it’s best to avoid the argument form “____ worked at ExxonMobil, QED”.

  81. Gary illustrates the usual mode of discussion of AGW proponents. Skeptics want to talk about the science, AGW proponents want to engage in ad hominem.

  82. The real problem with all the data in the models is the inclusion of urban site temperatures in the calculations. The Urban sites have been warming while the rural sites have not. Go to YouTube and look up “Global Warming Urban Heat Effect” and watch a little video I did with my son. I am a molecular geneticist and deal with a great deal of data that must be critically analyzed. Let’s just say that the data in the GISS site is a mess.
    Please watch the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LcsvaCPYgcI

    So Simple a Sixth Grader Can Understand it!

  83. Pete, I’ve read that article on the “consensus” in the 70s, but it’s very hard to find that consensus anywhere else than in this article. My Britannica of 1991 even says that cooling is the consensus. Sure, it’s not a scientific article, but it wasn’t written by dummies either.

    I’m not claiming the “warming was the consensus” article is incorrect, but it’s pretty hard to find this consensus in any kind of popular literature. That must have come from somewhere right?

  84. As my crotchety old father-in-law is wont to say, when talking about politicians, and now scientists, “They’re all lying bastards!”

    It is indeed sad for the truly honest scientists that they have been dragged down into the mud, too.

    But..I’m not sure how bad I can feel for them, after having talked to many non-climatologist scientists that bought into the AGW fraud hook, line, and sinker.

  85. Because 10% unemployment isn’t high enough the EPA wants to wreck a whole bunch of businesses:
    ” The EPA is expected to finalize a new ‘tailoring rule’ that will set an emissions threshold for regulators at 25,000 tons a year. This is designed to capture the largest greenhouse gas emitters in the country, around the same time as its vehicle emissions rule. The EPA says that would mean around 13,600 coal-burning power stations, crude refineries, metal smelters and other industrial facilities would fall under the new regulations. Specifically, for any new construction or modification that would affect greenhouse gas emissions, companies would be required to apply for permits that included the ‘best available technology.’ The EPA is seen finalizing what’s considered best available technology in 2011.

    But provisions in the EPA’s tailoring rule may mean that threshold won’t apply in many states, and instead a much lower level of emissions–100 to 250 tons–will apply, capturing 1 million to 4 million facilities across the country. That would possibly cause a permitting gridlock.”
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091207-709708.html
    Now Obama will do more for offshore outsourcing of US jobs than either Bush or Clinton. Would a new job creating business rather be tied up in regulatory gridlock combined with higher costs or would the business instead want to get their business going and be cheaper by shipping the factory work to India or China? The EPA might even regulate people’s lawnmowers or big buildings. Then again, this might be the best thing to happen since people will see how bad these regulations are for them where they have a lower standing of living if they do have a job and the unemployment rate will go up as the US is seen as bad for business.

  86. I believe Silvermine is correct: I have a hard time believing that the Earth is so fragile and so easily unbalanced. The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has gone up from about .028% 150 years ago (at the end of the Little Ice Age Age) to about .038% now. And if it goes to .048% or .058%, the world is doomed? How much have sea levels risen in the last 150 years? All of the predictions of catastrophe depend on computer models I have no way of judging, but based on criticism I’ve seen here and elsewhere of the CRU models, I’m not going to take them on faith.

    Personally, I think AGW is certainly a possibility, and not just some sort of scam. But I suspect the predictions of catastrophe are exaggerated.

  87. Er, what? It’s the alarmists who seem to be overly influenced by The Day the Earth Caught Fire.

  88. One problem with that letter to the APS… One of the signees is “Roger Cohen, former Manager, Strategic Planning, ExxonMobil”.

    ‘Nuff said.

    So what? Oh, I forgot: “Drugs and oil companies are, like, bad, mmmkay?”

    Jeez. If someone has skin in the game, I would damn well expect them to venture an opinion on the outcome.

  89. “Global warming doesn’t depend on whether or not Al Gore gets richer. Cohen’s skepticism about global warming is definitely dependent on his former position with ExxonMobil.”

    - However Al Gore getting richer does depend on whether or not AGW is accepted as real, rendering the entire point moot. There is more evidence available on Al Gore being driven primarily by money than Cohen’s skepticism being likewise related. Cohen at least has the background to make a reasonably informed statement on the science, Gore (BA in Government from Harvard) lacks that background.

  90. I guess it’s either “put your money where your mouth is” or “put your mouth where the money is”.

  91. An Economic Joke:

    The good news is that unemployment data in the USA has dropped down to 10%. The bad news is the unemployment data was compiled by the University of East Anglia.

  92. Bill Roper Says:
    December 7th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    I was working in atmospheric science at the time your wife was a meteorology major and yes global cooling was the issue of the day in climatology then.

    BTW you aren’t “The Grim Roper ” are you?

  93. @PapayaSF

    How much have sea levels risen in the last 150 years? All of the predictions of catastrophe depend on computer models I have no way of judging, but based on criticism I’ve seen here and elsewhere of the CRU models, I’m not going to take them on faith.

    The CRU code you’ve seen isn’t for climate modelling. Have a look at Steve Easterbrook’s paper on the quality of code in HadCM.

    @moptop (& @Allen)

    As for treating missing numbers as zeros, I would like more evidence than a spreadsheet with missing entries, and the assertion that spreadsheets treat missing entries as zeros. Is there a formula or formula array somewhere in the spreadsheet that is affected by this property of Excel that produced output for the paper?

    The spreadsheet is here. The proper average is calculated properly using AVERAGE. RMS is calculated in a way that treats blanks as 0′s. Note that this is for the book Taken by Storm. Unfortunately the Celcius/Kelvin problem is in a part of the book that’s not visible on Amazon.

  94. In hindsight the global cooling scare involved mostly science popularization stuff; Science Magazine ‘A Full-blown Ice age’ March 1 1975. Christian Science Monitor Aug 27, 1974 Armadillos running south from Nebraska from the oncoming Ice Age. Mostly popularizations, but some editorials in the big ‘peer-reviwed’ ‘Science’ and ‘Nature’.

    The wiki global cooling article is written from a climate scare viewpoint, but it still mentions the National Association of Science reports, Carl Sagan and so forth.

    Global Warming has a lot more institutional juice behind it. Nobels to Gore and the IPCC head. Buttloads of articles in Science and Nature. Still, a flip-flop.

    The flip-flop proves the Global Climate is Unstable Shut up and raise your taxes.

    The flip-flop proves that Gyges is among us, using the Ring of Sauron to make climate scientists act like scaremongers, Shut up and raise your taxes.

  95. re: Real Climate. Wonder when we’ll have web-crawlers with auto-signature detection (writing style and tics) to the point that we can look at say, “Alar scare”-mongering and identify the same players at Real Climate.

    I blame the decay of the high schools – our brightest students (mal)educated (i.e. not sorted nor challenged to the degree even the most able discover their limits) in public schools need a year’s remediation in math and science to catch up with (just) the average international student at our universities. Rather than pay for non-credit catch-up courses and lose a year so they can compete in science and engineering, too many of these students take the easy path into the legal profession which also rewards the brightest.. but at a high cost, given we don’t set quotas on their employment – perhaps we need a fixed limit on the “below the line” social costs we’re willing able to bear for folks who help us argue…. (compare the number of lawyers in the U.S. and Japan, per capita, per business, per $ of GDP…).

  96. # silvermine Says:
    > Why would anyone think the “world is going to end” all of a sudden after
    > 5 billion years? Sorry, it’s not that delicate.

    Why? Because the facts are clear that the temperature has been significantly colder, and significantly warmer. So your equilibrium does in fact move for one reason or another. So I respectfully disagree with your premise. It is certainly not out of the question that we could have global cooling or global warming. Both have happened many times before. However, my point is that the earnest declarations of some whose models look for their keys under the streetlight are simply wildly speculative. And I am of the opinion that “wildly speculative” should be confined to hedge fund managers, and internet dating sites, not the public policy.

  97. The flip-flop proves that Gyges is among us, using the Ring of Sauron to make climate scientists act like scaremongers, Shut up and raise your taxes.

    And of course, the known side effects of destroying a Ring of Doom (viz. huge volcanic eruption) would have a negative effect on the climate.

  98. pete,

    The hockey stick and variants which apparently minimized both the MWP and LI in order to sex up a CO2-temp correlation.
    To take a CO2-sensitive model and validate it against via ‘hindcasting’ on a dataset with the desired behavior baked in, proves nothing beyond internal consistency, if not circular reasoning.

  99. I have kind of vacillated between the thoughts that they are true scoundrels making up data, and the perhaps more likely theory that they believe the Earth is warming, and they decided to take the old philosophy of “The end justify the means”. I think part of the problem is that even if you start with a truly concerned group of people with only good and honorable intentions making use of the excuse that the end justify the means, it naturally attracts the true scoundrels.

    And really, when can you ever stop, especially when this is how you built your own career, and your friends and colleagues have won Nobel prizes from the work.

    Both of the defenses I have heard in support of these “scientists” really make me upset, namely:

    1) We surely are doing lots of bad things, so the end does justify the means

    2) The only people on the other side of the argument are polluters, stupid, or just bad people, and deserve their lives and careers destroyed. People like ESR, and Freeman Dyson should be ashamed for saying the science does not pass the smell test. (How many really great scientists – the ones that could have been the /next/ Dyson had their careers destroyed because they questioned this junk? We are all poorer for it.)

  100. Here’s how it’s done:

    1) Build a computer-based climate model. Channel Ptolemy, but try hard to be honest.

    2) Feed data from, say, 1949 into your model, and try to predict the climate in, say, 1959.

    3) Compare your model’s predictions for 1959. Where your model deviates from reality, make adjustments to the model. Tweak until it works.

    Once it all works, you’re good to go! But…

    4) Put your model to work on today’s climate data. Now make predictions for 2020, 2050, and 2100.

    5) Tell everyone your model is perfect and doesn’t need to be tested.

    The devil is in step 3. Like Ptolemy, you’ve made a wonderful model that approximates reality without actually grasping it. And you’re not gonna wait ten, twenty, and then ninety years to validate your model, are you? Besides, everyone will have forgotten how wrong you were by then. Don’t even worry about it.

  101. >The good news is that unemployment data in the USA has dropped down to 10%. The bad news is the unemployment data was compiled by the University of East Anglia.

    I have a theory that anthropogenic greenhouse is happening, but due to a god with a sense of humor it’s confined to the nonexistent congressional districts that Obama’s stimulus cash has been pouring into to disappear.

  102. (Somebody else has been using the name “Dave” so I changed mine. I used to be just Dave).

    I have kind of vacillated between the thoughts that they are true scoundrels making up data, and the perhaps more likely theory that they believe the Earth is warming, and they decided to take the old philosophy of “The end justify the means”.

    Based on my experience with a couple of instances of “wrong science,” it is neither of the above. It’s actually a lot simpler.

    Look at it this way: let’s say you are some nobody nerd doing climate research, and one day you do a temperature reconstruction that shows that the Earth is hotter now than at any time in the last 1000 years. You publish it, and all of a sudden you become a superstar! Not because what you did was so fantastic, but because your results are in accord with what some politician wants.

    You get interviewed on TV. Articles about your work appear in Science and Nature and even Scientific American. You are famous and the “go-to” guy on the potential coming disaster.

    Now suppose you get more data and you discover that your original results are incorrect. What are you going to do? Retract them and say “Oops- never mind?”

    For the vast majority of people, no way. First, you will look stupid in front of everybody, and second, you will lose all the fame and glory and everything that goes with it. So you just carry on and hope that nobody discovers the problems until you are gone.

    Unfortunately, in “real” science, nature gets the final say. So if you make a prediction and it ends up not happening, eventually everyone is going to realize that you were wrong. That’s how science usually works, because (usually) there is enough time for other people to replicate your experiment and check to see whether you are right or not.

    That’s what makes this case unique: politicians are proposing to completely change the economy of our entire civilization before the science has had a chance to really be worked out. Serious consideration of AGW is less then 20 years old, which, given the long time scales involved in both the modeling and the climate reconstructions, is nowhere near enough time to be able to say whether the results are correct or not with any certainty.

    At least that is my opinion. Other scientists who I respect agree, while yet others who I also respect differ. Name-calling and attributions of base motives to either side are not helpful in resolving the issues, however, and I have seen both done by both sides.

  103. pete: What is your point?

    I understand that you take catastrophic AGW more seriously than most of us here, but there seems little you can do aside from scrapping with posters in determined little rear-guard actions whenever you see the chance, though you aren’t batting a high percentage on that either.

    You seem to miss that the authority of AGW has crumbled.

    Its leading scientists have impeached themselves, their data and their findings. Their GCMs were unable to predict a decade-long lull in global warming. Meanwhile, AGW advocates are still unwilling to share all their data and methodology or debate opponents in open, honest forums. Nor is there any congruence in their behavior with their claims of some terrible global crisis. The current Copenhagen conference will emit as much CO2 as all of Morocco for a year.

    Why should anyone outside the AGW bubble take the AGW claims seriously?

  104. Some here, not naming names of course, seem to think oil company=evil. Look at how Cap&Trade is written, the evil oil company will make more money from carbon credits by not running their refineries than from running them. I have several years in the industry and have seen much of our refinery capacity regulated out of existence because its easier and cheaper to refine in a foreign country than to hit the constantly moving target the EPA gives us and since we refine it over there its cheaper to sell its over there. Coal is treated as bad or worse, so if cap and trade goes through expect your first world life to turn third world pretty damned fast cause nukes take awhile to build if we are allowed to build them and the Gorites don’t want those either at least not in their backyards.

    Now as to the cooked AGW debate, it can be proven/dis-proven quickly, all we need is their full data set and the full raw data it was derived from, the computers program and the algorithm it was derived from. Now the fun part starts, send it to two randomly selected science universities and let their physicists,math geeks and comp sci types carefully examine it and run and just for kicks send a copy to Los Alamos for them to play with. Let all these people decide how deep the BS truly is and we work from there.

    If the greenies win and it all happens I advise you not to jump my fence looking for a hand out because I have a high powered rifle with a Nikon scope and I promise you’ll fit right in my compost pile. :-)

  105. PhysicistRich quotes:

    More than that, I expect a great scientist to be able to say “huh, the data didn’t fit my expectations. I’d better revise my positon.”

    and responds:

    If a scientist revised his opinion as soon as some seemingly contradictory piece of data came along, he’d never *have* a consistent opinion. Data can be wrong too – or at least, it may not be telling you what you think. There have been a lot of cases where some observation seems to cast doubt on some long established law, but where it later turned out that there was some other explanation. For example: [beta decay and neutrinoes; planetary orbits and previously undetected planets.]

    There is a great difference between the examples you give and the hypothesis of AGW. In your examples, there was very good reason to be very sure of the laws of conservation of energy and momentum and Newton’s law of gravity, as these had been subjected to many tests and controlled experiments that could have falsified them, and had been used to make many successful predictions. Thus, when considering the alternative hypotheses that the anomalous observations were due to (1) bad data, (2) unobserved particles or planets, or (3) that it was time to scrap a few conservation laws or the law of gravity, it was sensible to take (1) and (2) pretty seriously. In Bayesian terms, the prior probability of (3) was very low. But note that even in this case, physicists attempted verification of which it was — they looked for the missing particle or planet. Had they not found them after considerable search, and the observations had been carefully repeated with attention paid to various possible modes of error, they eventually would have started taking hypothesis (3) seriously.

    In contrast, we have no such strong prior probability in favor of AGW. It has not received extensive (or any?) experimental testing. You may rightfully argue that experimentally testing the AGW hypothesis is difficult to impossible, and I would agree, but that only strengthens the argument that one cannot have the same degree of certainty about such a hypothesis as we have about, say, conservation of energy and momentum. Furthermore, the hypothesis of AGW does not have a history of producing clear, unambiguous predictions that differ from what one would expect absent AGW… and that are subsequently found to be true via future observation or experiment. In short, the prior probability for (3) is significant in the case of AGW; I don’t think any honest scientist, even the most ardent partisan in this debate, could give a probability in excess of 95% that the hypothesis is correct. [1] Thus, observations contradicting the hypothesis of AGW must necessarily lead to a significant posterior probability that the hypothesis is wrong.

    [1] If you think I’m misusing probabilities here, I suggest you read up on Bayesian probability theory and Cox’s Theorem. Here is a survey/tutorial guide.

  106. Here’s an interesting bit, from The New York Times:

    Michael Mann famously claimed (in 2004): “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, ‘grafted the thermometer record onto’ any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.”

    John Tierney asked Mann about this, and wrote: “Dr. Mann now tells me that he was unaware, when he wrote the response, that such grafting had in fact been done in the earlier cover chart, and I take him at his word.”

    Except of course, it is “Mike’s Nature trick” that does the grafting, as Phil Jones tells us … in an email cc’d to Michael Mann. Note that the email and the article refer to the exact same chart (as well as, of course, previous charts that used the “trick”).

    So … either Mann is lying through his teeth or he’s not. I tend to believe – based on other desperate spins and equivocations of his – that he is lying. However, note that if he is not lying, then this pretty much destroys Gavin’s (and others) repeated attempts to dismiss the “trick” as something everyone was fully aware of, and their claims that it wasn’t misleading in the slightest.

    I mean, if Michael Mann couldn’t tell – even after being told in an email – that the temperature data was grafted on, what chance do the rest of us have?

  107. The full quote from Mann:

    No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstruction. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum. Most proxy reconstructions end somewhere around 1980, for the reasons discussed above. Often, as in the comparisons we show on this site, the instrumental record (which extends to present) is shown along with the reconstructions, and clearly distinguished from them

    (Note that this is a response to a comment on a post at the realclimate blog. If recommend people get their science from the literature, rather than blog comments and cover art.)

    Mann’s trick was overlaying instrumental data on reconstructed temperatures. Jones’ grafting was the value-added version.

  108. @Kevin S Van Horn

    I don’t think any honest scientist, even the most ardent partisan in this debate, could give a probability in excess of 95% that the hypothesis is correct. [1] Thus, observations contradicting the hypothesis of AGW must necessarily lead to a significant posterior probability that the hypothesis is wrong.

    The existence of AGW isn’t really in dispute. The disagreement is over the value of climate sensitivity — how much temperature would increase given a doubling of CO2 concentration. Based on climate modelling the IPCC give a credible interval of 2–4.5 degrees.

    Some people are claiming a climate sensitivity close to zero. It’s not clear what their evidence for a low sensitivity is, since distrust in the accuracy of climate models must logically widen the IPCC’s credible interval (in both directions).

  109. >>To the scientific literature or just to the stuff that made it to Time and Newsweek?
    >>
    > I subscribed to Scientific American religiously until about 1981.

    … when you were 23.

    Scientific American is a magazine of popular science, or perhaps literature of science, but not scientific literature.

    It is interpretation of science intended for a general audience.
    It is (expressly) not a peer-reviewed journal.

  110. MagicDave wrote:

    >Look at it this way: let’s say you are some nobody nerd doing climate research, and one day you do a temperature reconstruction that shows that the Earth is hotter now than at any time in the last 1000 years. You publish it, and all of a sudden you become a superstar! Not because what you did was so fantastic, but because your results are in accord with what some politician wants.
    >You get interviewed on TV. Articles about your work appear in Science and Nature and even Scientific American. You are famous and the “go-to” guy on the potential coming disaster.
    >Now suppose you get more data and you discover that your original results are incorrect. What are you going to do? Retract them and say “Oops- never mind?”
    >For the vast majority of people, no way. First, you will look stupid in front of everybody, and second, you will lose all the fame and glory and everything that goes with it. So you just carry on and hope that nobody discovers the problems until you are gone.

    Yeah, I agree. That is probably what happened.

    But… while it is understandable that they are reluctant to say “Oops- never mind,” we now know thanks to the CRU whistleblower (and many other sources, see Lindzen’s paper a year ago — http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.3762.pdf ) that they went much further than just staying silent when they should have admitted their errors.

    They were very aggressive and nasty in trying to prevent others from discovering their errors.

    And, critically, they have simply been lying through their teeth, again and again, up to the present time, in saying it is “settled science.”

    That is a very serious fraud they have actively perpetrated upon the public.

    If they had done this in order to sell a product made by private industry, that is the sort of fraud that could land them in jail.

    Scientifically, their biggest sin is being confident about predictions when they had not carefully tested their models against data gathered after the models were frozen.

    One could argue that this is just incredible incompetence — I doubt that anyone trained in science can be quite that stupid.

    They’re crooks.

    And, yes, Pete, you pathological liar, I am again grouping together CRU and the GCM guys — they are in this fraud together. They have used each other to help pull off the fraud, and I’m not letting either group off the hook.

    I doubt they’ll go to jail, but morally these guys are much, much greater crooks than Kenny Lay.

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

  111. > The existence of AGW isn’t really in dispute.

    Except by the “I’m no scientist, but I just **knew** it was a hippie greenie conspiracy all along!” types who seem so heartened by the CRU-fud.

    Hopefully the more sensible contrarians (seems a nicer word than “denialist”) reading this will now chime in and agree. But I won’t be holding my breath!

  112. By the way, MagicDave, I do have some human empathy for these guys: I got interested in the GCMs from a very early SciAm article back around 1970. In the early ’70s, my best friend went to a school where he did early research on cloud physics: I nearly went to the same school, and might well have been steered into climate work myself.

    So, “but for the grace of God,” I could have been one of those guys.

    But, just as I can understand why a guy murders his wife if he finds her in bed with another guy but it’s still murder, so also, even though I can understand the crooked behavior of the climate guys, it is still the greatest scientific fraud of my lifetime, maybe of all history.

    They’re guilty, even if I can understand their motives.

    Dave

  113. @PhysicistDave
    > Scientifically, their biggest sin is being confident about predictions when they had not carefully tested their models against data gathered after the models were frozen.

    Still haven’t bothered checking what “the GCM guys” have actually been up to for the last 20 years, Dave?

  114. >And, yes, Pete, you pathological liar, I am again grouping together CRU and the GCM guys

    For the guy who’s deliberately trying to confuse people who don’t know the difference between palaeoclimatology and GCMs, you sure throw the word “liar” around a lot.

  115. > the world is a lot like your body — it’s full of feedback mechanisms
    True, and important (especially to farm people like me). The problem is that we don’t understand those mechanisms very well … yet. Maybe in my lifetime? I’d love to see that.

  116. Tom wrote:
    >[quoting another poster] The existence of AGW isn’t really in dispute.
    >Except by the “I’m no scientist, but I just **knew** it was a hippie greenie conspiracy all along!” types who seem so heartened by the CRU-fud.
    >Hopefully the more sensible contrarians (seems a nicer word than “denialist”) reading this will now chime in and agree. But I won’t be holding my breath!

    You’re being silly. We’ve been chiming in and agreeing for years (or decades, in my case).

    Many of us, as you label us “contrarians,” have been making that point for years to anyone who would listen: I myself made the point on the Web in my own blog just a couple months before the scandal broke. Of course, anthropogenic CO2 makes the climate somewhat warmer than it otherwise would be.

    How much warmer? Will it matter? And is it even possible that the climate is in a natural cooling period that could counteract (perhaps partially) AGW — a host of us have been making those points (and thereby getting ourselves smeared as “denialists” — as if we were denying the Holocaust!).

    If you really don’t know that, you are out of touch with reality.

    How sleazy!

    Dave

  117. The pathological liar Pete wrote to me:
    >For the guy who’s deliberately trying to confuse people who don’t know the difference between palaeoclimatology and GCMs, you sure throw the word “liar” around a lot.

    Exhibit 1057 to prove you are a pathological liar.

    I have been quite upfront in explaining why I hold CRU and the GCM guys both responsible.

    And you know it.

    You slimy, little liar! Just like the CRU and GCM liars!

    Dave

  118. > Of course, anthropogenic CO2 makes the climate somewhat warmer than it otherwise would be.

    So PhysicistDave actually does agree with the IPCC after all.[*]

    > How much warmer? Will it matter?

    Both good questions, PhysicstDave. You’ll be pleased to know that climate scientists have been working on those very problems for some years now! If you like, you could read IPCC’s AR4 for a summary of that research as it stood 2 years ago. Or would that be too silly?

    [*] Although apparently “the GCM guys” in particular are still liars.

  119. Mann’s trick was overlaying instrumental data on reconstructed temperatures. Jones’ grafting was the value-added version.

    I haven’t seen any of the “hockey-stick” charts that have been getting press with separate temperature and proxy-reconstructed records. It’s all one curve.

    Climateaudit discusses what was done here. It’s not “grafting”, exactly (a word that has no mathematical meaning that I’m aware of) so much as filtering. So, no, Mann did not literally cut off the temperature record and splice it onto the reconstruction. He did something much less obviously wrong.

  120. “> Of course, anthropogenic CO2 makes the climate somewhat warmer than it otherwise would be.
    So PhysicistDave actually does agree with the IPCC after all.[*]”

    Then I guess the IPCC agrees with me to as I feel the same way as what you say the IPCC says, just I can elaborate on that and say that we contribute such a small pittance to total the greenhouse gases that it’s ridiculous doing the whole Copenhagen thing. It’s like comparing anthropogenic light compared to the light generated by the sun – there is indeed anthropogenic light, but AGL is totally insignificant compared to the light generated by the sun.

  121. Kevin S. Van Horn:

    I was using those examples to illustrate the point. AGW is of course not as well established as the conservation laws, but the principles of assessing data remain the same.

    The IPCC report, incidentally, claims that it’s “very likely” that there’s a significant anthropogenic component to the observed warming, where very likely is defined as “greater than 90% probability”. On the other hand, the likelihood of any single piece of data pointing to a conclusion on AGW with anything like that certainty is very low, given the complexity of the climate. So the certainty of the theory is lower, but so is the certainty of the implications of any given new data point. The current state of knowledge is based on a large number of diverse data points and analyses (hence even if the CRU data was false, and there’s no real evidence that it is, it wouldn’t affect the conclusion that much), and only together do they give the level of confidence that climate scientists claim. I’m well aware of Bayesian statistics, and science does work on a sort of informal version, but it only supports my argument.

  122. http://www.aip.org/history/climate/Public.htm#L_M014


    Climate experts were quick to explain the new findings. A well-respected geochemist, Wallace Broecker, took the lead in 1975, warning in an influential Science magazine article that the world might be poised on the brink of a serious rise of temperature. “Complacency may not be warranted,” he said. “We may be in for a climatic surprise.” In 1977, the National Academy of Sciences weighed in with a major study by a panel of experts who warned that temperatures might rise to nearly catastrophic levels during the next century or two. The report, announced at a press conference during the hottest July the nation had experienced since the 1930s, was widely noted in the press.

    Science journalists, by now closely attuned to the views of climate scientists, promptly reflected the shift of opinion. Media talk of a ruinous new ice age continued through the winter of 1976-1977, which was savagely cold in the Eastern half of the United States. But that was the end of it. From 1978 on, nearly all articles on climate in the New York Times were oriented toward greenhouse warming. In the Readers’ Guide listing of U.S. popular articles, warnings about climate were more or less evenly divided between heating and cooling up to 1977, but then articles about global warming took over almost completely.

  123. some fun facts

    Here are some more.

    http://www.foresight.org/nanodot/?p=3553

    the hockey stick is real, just real small.

    For climate science it means that the Hockey Team climatologists’ insistence that human-emitted CO2 is the only thing that could account for the recent warming trend is probably poppycock.

  124. “… yesteryear when Time Magazine was predicting catastrophic global cooling.”

    No, no, you don’t understand, This time, we’re right.

  125. One of you folks care to show how the above is wrong?

    There is so much wrong with that “analysis” I almost don’t know where to begin. How about sending that to the folks at RealClimate, who, if their mission statement is to be believed, would be aghast.

    First, nobody sane denies that the data used for that graph shows that global temperatures have been rising over the last century. I’ve heard some complaints about normalizations for those temperature measurements, but let’s just assume for the moment that they are correct. The graph says nothing about whether the warming is anthropogenic or not.

    Second, plotting data like that with “error bars” when the data are not independent is highly misleading.

    Third, continuation of a linear trend is actually what the “deniers” have been claiming is happening. Climate models predicted that rate of warming would increase; thus, given AGW, the temperatures should have gone above the “error bars” shown. The graph is, therefore, entirely consistent with the claim that the current warming is entirely natural and not anthropogenic.

    I could go on, but why bother? I’ve seen nonsense like this from both sides. It’s really not useful to anybody.

    So I’m sorry, Gary, but all you have accomplished with that link is to show us all that you don’t understand the issues or the science. Thanks for playing, though.

  126. Gary Strand, your comparison of the original hockey stick graph with the new graph that draws upon several temperature data sources and analysis methodologies, all leading to the same conclusion, about says it all.

    This whole kerfuffle is about casting a shadow of a doubt on the statistical methods used to analyze recent and historic temperature and CO2 concentration data based on some stolen emails of dubious provenance. If you compare it to the denialist argument, a well-crafted, targeted pseudoscientific meme complex with known, documented origins in the PR departments of ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies rather akin to the concerted efforts of tobacco companies to cast doubt on the scientific fact that smoking increases lung cancer risk, the conclusion you must reach is where do these people get off accusing climate scientists of fraud?

    I’m reminded of a similar tempest in a teapot earlier this year, with ACORN. Remember those “maverick” (in the Sarah Palin sense) filmmakers who supposedly caught ACORN personnel engaging in all manner of trickery to bend the law? Turns out they doctored their video footage. And the personnel involved did nothing illegal anyway. But ACORN, an important organization fighting for the poor and downtrodden in a nation where only the rich and powerful have a real political voice, may never recover from the PR damage. Score another victim for the well-funded, well-oiled Right Wing Noise Machine.

  127. MagicDave, you missed the point. The argument is, as noted:

    “Those who are in denial of global warming insist that the last decade of global temperature contradicts what was expected by mainstream climate scientists.”

    The analysis shows that the above argument is incorrect.

    I think you need to re-read the post.

  128. Ultimately, it’s not about convincing the religious AGW parrots – in here or anywhere else – but about doing everything we can to enforce the supreme law of our land and denying them the political leverage needed to impose their idiocy on our nation.

    So far, we’re doing a shitty job. The EPA finding is just the beginning of the slide.

  129. “If you compare it to the denialist argument, a well-crafted, targeted pseudoscientific meme complex with known, documented origins in the PR departments of ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies rather akin to the concerted efforts of tobacco companies to cast doubt on the scientific fact that smoking increases lung cancer risk, the conclusion you must reach is where do these people get off accusing climate scientists of fraud?”

    But when CRU and others touting AGW go to ExxonMobil, Shell, BP and others the same doesn’t apply? I didn’t realize that Kenny Boy Lay was such a saint.

    “Remember those “maverick” (in the Sarah Palin sense) filmmakers who supposedly caught ACORN personnel engaging in all manner of trickery to bend the law? Turns out they doctored their video footage. And the personnel involved did nothing illegal anyway.”

    So are the ACORN employees who were fired over the videos suing for wrongful termination? I don’t thinking linking AGW with ACORN will get you very far unless you are trying to undermine AGW.

  130. PhysicistDave,

    As much as I respect you, I see no reason to call pete a liar. He is trying to make an important point about tarring everyone with the same brush. The GCM modelers do appear to have done their science in a more responsible way than the CRU guys.

    And as far as pete goes, I see no reason to call for him to call you confused. You are also making an important point. Your criticism of them (as I remember and understand it) is that they have not been vigorous enough in exposing and condemning the sloppy CRU guys and the sloppy politicians (some of whom claim to be scientists) who are constantly telling us the science is settled as a reason to act now without the qualifiers pete provides.

    With those qualifiers in place, however, we have no good reason to act now – other than maybe pumping research money into geothermal and nuclear power and shredding the burdensome regulations that hamper them.

    And I won’t call the GCM and paleoclimatologist guys liars either.

    I think some of the GCM guys and some of the paleoclimatologist guys are something more dangerous than liars. They are true believers. True believers can’t be convinced they are wrong, and they are willing to kill millions and enslave billions to achieve utopia. But it’s just another deadly utopian fantasy.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  131. SpanishInquisition,

    I am almost certain Jeff Read is being sarcastic. I love sarcasm when I can hear it in a voice. Absent sarcasm tags I am ambivalent about it on the web. Too blasted confusing.

    Yours,
    Tom

  132. Only those who oppose AGW have financial gain. Ha!:
    “Enron officials later expressed elation at the results of the Kyoto conference. An internal memo said the Kyoto agreement, if implemented, would ‘do more to promote Enron’s business than almost any other regulatory initiative outside of restructuring the energy and natural gas industries in Europe and the United States.’”
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A37287-2002Jan12&notFound=true
    Those of you who wish to tout that meme – if you actually believe it – should research who stands to gain financially…including evil fossil fuel companies that you are so quick to use to slime skeptics with to see if what you’ve been saying doesn’t apply for AGW as well.

  133. “With those qualifiers in place, however, we have no good reason to act now – other than maybe pumping research money into geothermal and nuclear power and shredding the burdensome regulations that hamper them.”

    Has anyone noticed a lack of enthusiasm on nuclear power from the AGW proponents? If AGW might destroy the world, you’d think they’d be out trying to get as many nuclear power plants built as possible…afterall, preventing AGW is supposedly about saving us from the apocalypse so any concerns about nuclear power should be secondary to saving the entire world.

  134. Has anyone noticed a lack of enthusiasm on nuclear power from the AGW proponents?

    It’s one of those indicators that many are true believers in an ecological utopian fantasy.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  135. Gary Strand said:
    MagicDave, you missed the point. The argument is, as noted:

    “Those who are in denial of global warming insist that the last decade of global temperature contradicts what was expected by mainstream climate scientists.”

    The analysis shows that the above argument is incorrect.

    Please. Show me a claim from “mainstream climate scientists” from ten years ago about what to expect, and I’ll show you hysterical hyperbole that didn’t come true. Re-writing the past – whether it’s you or “open mind” Tamino – doesn’t make it so.

  136. “Those who are in denial of global warming insist that the last decade of global temperature contradicts what was expected by mainstream climate scientists.”

    The analysis shows that the above argument is incorrect.

    No, it doesn’t. “Mainstream” climate scientists (according to the IPCC report) expected the rate of temperature rise to increase. The linked article is the worst kind of polemic, roughly equivalent to what the most rabid “denialists” engage in.

    That you don’t understand that says a great deal about your credibility, Gary. Pete engages in reasonably honest discussion and at least seems to understand many of the issues. You, not so much.

  137. @ThomasD >the hockey stick is real, just real small.

    That link is nonsense. That ice core only measures a single location and it only goes up to 1854.

  138. >http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/climate-change-deniers-vs-the-consensus

    I especially like the part under “We do have accurate temperature records” where they wrote “Detailed filters are used to remove the effect from the records”, rather than the more accurate “Detailed filters are used to remove all contrary evidence from the records”

  139. That link is nonsense. That ice core only measures a single location and it only goes up to 1854.

    @pete: Rather than dismissing the link out of hand, perhaps people would take you more seriously if you stated why you thought the link was nonsense.

    If you take this link, Hall admits that he’s spliced the instrumental record onto the end of the ice core data:

    [T]his is very ad hoc and can’t be taken as anything but suggestive, but it suggests that the 19th and 20th century rises were the same trend — and that trend looks like the fourth very similar uptick in a pretty straight line of them going back 3500 years, against a secular decrease of half a degree/millennium.

    He also, as you can see, admits that his charts are merely suggestive.

    However unorthodox his methods, he still does make a good point: his hockey stick graph does look just like the hockey team’s, though his climate “model” is admittedly anything but complete.

    But a more complete model of uncooked numbers showing graphs just like his are exactly what I’d like to see. (Hint, hint, Ken Burnside!)

  140. >Rather than dismissing the link out of hand, perhaps people would take you more seriously if you stated why you thought the link was nonsense.

    I did state why, it’s the very next sentence after I said it’s nonsense.

    1) It’s a local record. Local variations are greater than global averaged variation.

    2) The record ends in 1854. The little blip at the end is just a random variation, not the hockey stick blade.

    >If you take this link, Hall admits that he’s spliced the instrumental record onto the end of the ice core data:

    I got sent to the link a few days ago by someone on another thread, so I didn’t realise there were comments. Attaching the recent data is an improvement, but the recent data he’s used is global, so the scale’s going to be off if you compare it to a local temperature series.

  141. >How enthusiactic are you about nuclear power?

    Not particularly enthusiastic. From what I’ve seen the total cost makes it less economic than, say, geothermal for baseload generation.

    If it came down to nuclear versus coal I’d prefer nuclear. But I think there are better options.

    Let me put it this way: How enthusiactic are you about Iran having nuclear power?

  142. “Let me put it this way: How enthusiactic are you about Iran having nuclear power?”

    For making bombs, not so much. Nice try.

  143. @Jeff Read:

    This whole kerfuffle is about casting a shadow of a doubt on the statistical methods used to analyze recent and historic temperature and CO2 concentration data based on some stolen emails of dubious provenance. If you compare it to the denialist argument, a well-crafted, targeted pseudoscientific meme complex with known, documented origins in the PR departments of ExxonMobil and other fossil fuel companies rather akin to the concerted efforts of tobacco companies to cast doubt on the scientific fact that smoking increases lung cancer risk, the conclusion you must reach is where do these people get off accusing climate scientists of fraud?

    When faced with this sort of assault on science, there’s always going to be some in the science community who decide they need to fight fire with fire and stoop to their critics’ level.

    It doesn’t work. Trying to play against a slick PR machine at their own game is folly. They’re trying to create uncertainty and doubt, and if you start using their methods then you’re only adding to the noise.

    Hopefully the hacked emails give a boost to the ‘let’s not stoop to their level’ faction.

  144. Pete said: I did state why, it’s the very next sentence after I said it’s nonsense.

    1) It’s a local record. Local variations are greater than global averaged variation.
    2) The record ends in 1854. The little blip at the end is just a random variation, not the hockey stick blade.

    I don’t think the variations are as much as you suggest. This isn’t a daily temperature record – it’s a temperature proxy, one that aggregates years (or decades, in some cases) of temperature, based on an analysis of the composition of air trapped inside the ice. The duration of the record depends on how fast ice accumulates at the site the core was drilled.

    But it is still a massive aggregation. And just like a thermometer record aggregated over space – i.e., multiple station records averaged together – would have much less variation than a single station, aggregating over time also has much less variation than daily temperature records have.

    I don’t know how long a span this ice core record averages over, but I would guess it is ~100 years, based on the record and the abstract. Depends on the ‘trapping depth’ and diffusion of the air in the ice. For the Vostok ice core (in Antarctica, which has much less ice accumulation) the length is something like 800 years.

    I suspect there would be very little difference in variation between this record and a “global average” of ice cores.

    BTW – the record ends in 1912, not 1854. Not sure where you got 1854 from.

  145. That link is nonsense.

    Nonsense? No, I think not. Certainly it is not dispositive, but it is an accurate historic record and it does indicate that there have been multiple periods of significant warming beyond that which we may currently face. Warming periods which, when compared to the larger historic record, do not seem to have been associated with broad ecological disaster.

    Meanwhile your dismissal of the logically and coherently presented information with such hyperbole does little to improve your own credibility.

    Following this discussion I can’t help but marvel at the lengths to which some will seek to criticize anything that could in any way question AGW. Yet many of these same people are positively non-plussed by the antics of CRU, Mann, et. al. in their own quests to avoid any potential scrutiny of their purported results.

    Decades of time and funding have been wasted by these charlatans, time and money that could have brought real knowledge. Instead we are all left with a highly politicized tar baby.

  146. >I don’t know how long a span this ice core record averages over, but I would guess it is ~100 years, based on the record and the abstract. Depends on the ‘trapping depth’ and diffusion of the air in the ice. For the Vostok ice core (in Antarctica, which has much less ice accumulation) the length is something like 800 years.

    The resolution decreases as you get deeper/older. At the recent end the measurements are only about 6 years apart.

    >I suspect there would be very little difference in variation between this record and a “global average” of ice cores.

    The temporal and spatial correlations are going to be different, so it’s hard to work out comparable effective sample sizes. The best comparison would be with a temporally smoothed local record.

    >BTW – the record ends in 1912, not 1854. Not sure where you got 1854 from.

    I downloaded the data. Final value is 0.0951 kyBP, which is about 1854. Note that Before Present is geology-speak for before 1950.

  147. Pete said: The resolution decreases as you get deeper/older. At the recent end the measurements are only about 6 years apart.

    Yeah, I saw that that is approximately the length of time between data points. But I was assuming that was simply a reflection of the size of ‘slices’ from the core being analyzed. I inferred the ~100 year guess from the distance back to the first datum … if this indicates the length of time until the ‘trapping depth,’ then it indicates the granularity of the complete record, regardless of how finely they analyze the ice. But I’m not sure.

    The temporal and spatial correlations are going to be different, so it’s hard to work out comparable effective sample sizes. The best comparison would be with a temporally smoothed local record.

    Yes, I agree. I was simply making a point that a spatially smoothed record reducing variability similar to how a temporally smoothed record reduces variability. And that the ice core record, by its nature, is already temporally smoothed. It won’t completely eliminate variability, but I don’t think it will have as much as you seem to have indicated.

    Of course, that depends partially on the granularity of the record, which I’m not sure about.

    I downloaded the data. Final value is 0.0951 kyBP, which is about 1854. Note that Before Present is geology-speak for before 1950.

    You know, I knew that, but forgot. Does that hold true even when the record itself defines the end year as 2000? I used the date of publication because I wasn’t sure.

  148. Any Libertarian should take issue with nuclear power until and unless the Price-Anderson act is repealed. That law caps the liability for a nuclear power plant accident at $200M. Remove that limit, and we’ll either have no nuclear plants, or nuclear plants that are safe enough to convince insurance underwriters and power company investors that the risk has been adequately evaluated and contained. Either way, we’d be safer than we can be with government bureaucrats deciding whether to approve a design.

  149. >You know, I knew that, but forgot. Does that hold true even when the record itself defines the end year as 2000? I used the date of publication because I wasn’t sure.

    I’m not 100% sure about that, but the XML record uses “-50 cal yr BP” to represent 2000AD.

  150. I wonder what the libertarian take is on selling weaponisable nuclear fuel? No more objectionable than selling guns right?

  151. I find it interesting that the libertarian “government action is always harmful” position seems to be driving the contrarian commentariat on climate issues.

    I think this shallowness shows that the fat lady has sung, curtsied and exited stage left insofar as the basic science is concerned. Maybe what we are now seeing with CRU-fud and the increasingly hysterical allegations of fraud is nothing more than the rearguard political action

  152. > isn’t calling it “the consensus” just a little bit disingenuous.

    Probably depends what you mean when you talk about “the consensus”.

    At the risk of inelegantly repeating previous posts, maybe you should read exactly what the IPCC has to say about the state of climate science.

    (Hint: Some things are better understood scientifically than others. Some things about which we cannot be cerain there is nevertheless a large degree of confidence about, shared by many climate scientists)

  153. Probably depends what you mean when you talk about “the consensus”.

    (Hint: Some things are better understood scientifically than others. Some things about which we cannot be cerain there is nevertheless a large degree of confidence about, shared by many climate scientists)

    Let me translate this:

    “When it is convenient for my argument, I will claim that the important science is completely understood, and only details are left to be worked out.

    When somebody else accuses me of saying that the ‘science is settled,’ I will say that of course the science isn’t settled because science doesn’t work that way.”

    I don’t think I have ever seen a clearer example of the “heads I win, tails you lose” fallacy (also known as “having it both ways.”)

    Absolutely breathtaking intellectual dishonesty.

  154. Hmm.. I believe some people are confused between consensus and cargo cult…

  155. > Absolutely breathtaking intellectual dishonesty.

    Goodness me, we are feeling full of ourselves today, aren’t we?

    Clumsy paraphrasing in my earlier post aside, the point I was trying to make to JonB was that I really do think it would be worth reading AR4 to be clear exactly what is being said about the current state of climate science by the climate scientists.

  156. How enthusiactic are you about Iran having nuclear power?

    I would be just fine with it if they do no enrichment or other proliferation related activities and they are well monitored. I don’t think their leaders would go for that….

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  157. Another telltale sign of the con artist is the habit of playing weasely semantic shell games.

    Don’t accept AGW theory? Conveniently drop the “A” part and berate the person for not believing in global warming (an entirely different subject).

    Protest that you do accept the theory of global warming? Slide that “A” illegitimately back into the debate again and demand that people must change their lives.

    I believe in global warming – I witness it every morning. We witness it as we advance toward spring and summer.

    I also believe in global cooling – I witness it every evening. We witness it as we advance toward fall and winter.

    Greenhouse effect? (Ignoring the fraudulently misleading misnomer) Nah. Physics of it is bullshit. Therefore alarm over mans emission of ‘greenhouse gases’ is similar bullshit.

  158. So are the ACORN employees who were fired over the videos suing for wrongful termination?

    ACORN itself is suing the feds for defunding them, claiming the Congressional act which enacted such defunding is a bill of attainder and therefore unconstitutional.

  159. I believe in global warming – I witness it every morning. We witness it as we advance toward spring and summer.

    I also believe in global cooling – I witness it every evening. We witness it as we advance toward fall and winter.

    You also fail elementary-school earth science. Seasonal warming and cooling is not global; remember, while the Northern Hemisphere warms, the Southern Hemisphere cools, and vice-versa.

  160. @Jeff – I’m sure your mother will put extra sprinkles on your cupcake for being so very very clever.

    If you look up quickly you’ll see my point flying over your head ;)

    (I think you know that though…you just couldn’t resist making a pointless, twerpy, smartass comment)

  161. ACORN itself is suing the feds for defunding them, claiming the Congressional act which enacted such defunding is a bill of attainder and therefore unconstitutional.

    Cool. Next time Congress cuts some military spending that affects my company, we can do the same!

    We’d lose, of course. And we’d look like idiots. But it’d be a LAWSUIT!!

  162. > So are the ACORN employees who were fired over the videos suing for wrongful termination?

    OT: Serious question: what’s the general libertarian take on labour law that provides employees with protection from wrongful termination?
    Do you treat it as any general breach of contract claim or is there a “special case” for protection for workers without the bargaining power to include minimum terms in their contract?

  163. Tom – too vague…what is ‘wrongful’? Varies case-to-case. Is there a clear breach of contract? Some arguably unconscionable component?

    Certainly, your job is not your property. You do not own it….it does not belong to you….you have no right to it, or any other.

    Your job is a contractual obligation, nothing more.

  164. It’s been a while since I read that paper by McKitrick, but my impression was that he was trying to say there is no meaningful information to be gained by any form of globally averaged temperature, regardless of method. My understanding was that his point was the only information meaningful for humanity was either in highly localized predictions of future weather (expectations of drought/storm) and since no such information can possibly be gleaned from this on a human timescale, GAT is a meaningless number regardless of mathematical method.

    IMHO, a challenge exists to show that any 2C or lower change in GAT will result in any specific changes to any specific area of the earth. Since this has not been done (except through highly expensive crystal balls and some mumbo-jumbo), GAT is a meaningless number of fear. The best science has ever told us is that the earth goes through cycles, but even in ice-ages when whole continents are covered in ice there are still areas where forests grow. GAT cannot tell you when or where your crops will fail, and hence has no meaning to humanity.

  165. @Dan: Ken on the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper in an earlier thread:

    I regard the Gerlich and Tscheuschner paper as an intelligence test.

    If you can’t tell it from a real physics paper, you need to remedy your ignorance on physics. It is about one step removed from the Creationist argument that the second law of thermodynamics disproves evolution.

  166. @Dan
    > Varies case-to-case. Is there a clear breach of contract? Some arguably unconscionable component?

    My question was not whether in any individual case an employee should or shouldn’t succeed in a claim for wrongful termination (because of course this would depend on the facts) but whether a libertarian would think an employee should have any standing to make such a claim at all.

    > Certainly, your job is not your property. You do not own it….it does not belong to you….you have no right to it, or any other.
    > Your job is a contractual obligation, nothing more.

    I think this is a “no”, although presumably by “contractual obligation” you mean “contractual relationship” (both parties to the relationship should be understood to have enforceable obligations: employee to work, employer to pay etc).

    Anyway, I was just interested. I am not close to the detail of the US industrial relations system so I don’t know how closely it matches the libertarian perspective.

  167. Jeff Read wrote:

    I’m reminded of a similar tempest in a teapot earlier this year, with ACORN. Remember those “maverick” (in the Sarah Palin sense) filmmakers who supposedly caught ACORN personnel engaging in all manner of trickery to bend the law? Turns out they doctored their video footage. And the personnel involved did nothing illegal anyway. But ACORN, an important organization fighting for the poor and downtrodden in a nation where only the rich and powerful have a real political voice, may never recover from the PR damage. Score another victim for the well-funded, well-oiled Right Wing Noise Machine.

    Maybe Tom DeGisi is right that this is sarcasm, but if it isn’t then I’d like to know in which universe Jeff Read thinks this happened. Because in this universe the videos are accurate, and show an endemic willingness by many ACORN personnel at multiple offices to become accomplices to crime.

  168. ACORN doesn’t fake voter registrations. ACORN hires disposable proles to fake voter registrations.

    Because that’s what today’s progressives mean by social justice.

  169. @Jeff Read: If the ACORN video footage is doctored, why did ACORN fire the two people involved? I fully realize that Fox News is anything but “fair and balanced,” known for being a mouthpiece for the neocons, but I doubt that they went so far as to doctor any video. NBC’s Dateline got caught red-handed doing just that several years ago, rigging GM pickup trucks with explosives to make them explode in side-impact crashes on video, and their reputation has never recovered — they’re still known as ‘sleaze journalism’ to this day. (Nevermind the DEFCON incident)

  170. “If the ACORN video footage is doctored, why did ACORN fire the two people involved? I fully realize that Fox News is anything but “fair and balanced,” known for being a mouthpiece for the neocons, but I doubt that they went so far as to doctor any video.”

    The ACORN video footage was broadcast but not produced by FOX News.

    The idea that Giles and O’Keefe, as well as Breitbart would doctor video to open themselves to the mother of all lawsuits beggars belief.

  171. >but if they try to adjust the record to account for these things, you’ll accuse them of cooking the data.

    This is, of course, incorrect, as long as both the raw data and the adjustments are documented, including the reasoning for the adjustments, and those adjustments are shown to be reasonable. Make the adjustments in secret, hiding both the raw data and the code that does the adjustments? You betcha.

  172. “I am not close to the detail of the US industrial relations system so I don’t know how closely it matches the libertarian perspective.”

    Oh that part is easy….it doesn’t match it. :)

  173. “This is a disingenuous no-win situation. If the scientists use the raw data you’ll say it’s corrupted by urban heat islands, or car parks, or air conditioners … but if they try to adjust the record to account for these things, you’ll accuse them of cooking the data.”

    No Pete, it’s a situation where we damned well expect formal rigor in such matters…and whining about it being a “no win situation” doesn’t cut it.

    Welcome to the adult world of serious science.

  174. pete: You are the one being disingenuous here. Your response is not an explanation, but a complaint plus a rationalization that AGW scientists don’t need to answer for their work.

    Skip’s got it right. Show the raw data, the adjustments, and the reasons for the adjustments, then let others inspect and critique. That’s the way science works … or is supposed to work.

    What you and the AGW scientists seem to forget is the onus is on your side to demonstrate the validity of AGW.

  175. It’s almost as if I, an employee of a major defense contractor, attempted to persuade my potential customers and the general public by keeping my analysis out of pretty much everyone’s eyes, then accusing people who didn’t believe my claims, including our customers in the Pentagon, of being “denialists”.

    I’d be out looking for a job faster than you could draw breath. It’s not so much that it’s disrespectful and tactically stupid, it’s that it doesn’t work, ever.

  176. More than 1,700 scientists have agreed to sign a statement defending the “professional integrity” of global warming research. They were responding to a round-robin request from the Met Office, which has spent four days collecting signatures. The initiative is a sign of how worried it is that e-mails stolen from the University of East Anglia are fuelling scepticism about man-made global warming at a critical moment in talks on carbon emissions.

    One scientist said that he felt under pressure to sign the circular or risk losing work. The Met Office admitted that many of the signatories did not work on climate change.

    Top scientists rally to the defence of the Met Office

    Another shining moment for climate science.

    People don’t trust your work after you play games with the data, FOI requests, and the peer-review process? Pass around a petition and get a bunch of scientists — doesn’t matter what kind — to sign a petition.

    Who could ask for more?

  177. Another moment when, against better judgement, my inner daemons compell me to create a better world by saving the mislead many much time and pain:
    Many climate models and most data _is_ open source and more or less freely available. You can use those to validate the results of other research groups. This is a much better strategy than looking for bugs in one model and trying to evaluate the ramifications. Then you know you can trust the code. Do the same with several different datasets: different computer models with separately created datasets should also give very similar results. If they don’t, there must be a problem either in the data or the models.
    Of course this is being done already anyway, and the results or divergences have been and are being published, but why should you believe me or the journals, check it yourself.
    If you don’t believe the cooked data, download the raw ones and make them usable yourself. If you don’t know how, look it up in the literature. Build your own models, the modelling algorithms are all open and published, Do it in the language of your choice, do it agile, do it carrier grade and enterprisey. Maybe you find some really stupid oversight, mayby even something publishable. Even another, alternative model with sound engineering would be progress.
    But please: If you run, at some point, into difficulties understanding something, don’t simply demand that this should be easy, understandable without bothering to learn about it. Thats childish. Sometimes nature is complicated, needs mathematical formulas and unintuitive concepts, and maybe even some serious studying. TANSTAAFL, as you already know, but some seem to forget this if it’s them being dragged out of their comfort zone. Science has little tolerance for wishful thinking.
    And Eric: make sure that some time in the future you have more to show than lame excuses, like “i don’t have to prove the obvious” or “everybody knows, that…”. Don’t turn into a crank, please, and I’m not being sarcastic now.

  178. Wow. Jeff wasn’t being sarcastic. I guess I overcompensated for my own unreliable internet sarcasm detector.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  179. If the scientists use the raw data you’ll say it’s corrupted by urban heat islands, or car parks, or air conditioners … but if they try to adjust the record to account for these things, you’ll accuse them of cooking the data.

    All the things you mention would require adjusting the temperatures downward, so why are nearly all the adjustments upward?

    Jeff Read: ACORN hires an ACORN-friendly investigator who largely exonerates ACORN. Gosh, who could have foreseen that!

  180. # pete Says:
    December 10th, 2009 at 9:01 am

    >Pete since you think there are no problems explain this….. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/08/the-smoking-gun-at-darwin-zero/

    This is a disingenuous no-win situation. If the scientists use the raw data you’ll say it’s corrupted by urban heat islands, or car parks, or air conditioners … but if they try to adjust the record to account for these things, you’ll accuse them of cooking the data.

    So Pete, looking at figure 8 what exactly were they making 0.5C or greater adjustment for? The smoothed average of the raw data show no heat island effects. Nope, as soon as the raw data starts showing a DECLINE they start making multiple LARGE corrections upwards. They couldn’t possibly trying to hide the decline could they? Naa, scientists wouldn’t do that. http://www.seattlepi.com/business/88624_bell261.shtml

  181. Not very persuasive, Gary, for a couple of reasons. First, he calls a conclusion that many people would make, looking at that data, a “lie”. When you start with that, I’m going to tend to discount your conclusions, because you’re obviously personalizing something that should be based solely on the science.

    Why else isn’t it persuasive? First, it completely ignores the greater point, which was when you average the raw data for the 222 stations in the area you find little to no trend, so apart from the obvious step in 1941 there’s litle justification for adjustments. When you read the description of how the homogeneity adjustments in http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/images/ghcn_temp_overview.pdf you see that they should not do this. The problem isn’t the step, the problem is that after the step it hinged upwards.

    But reading that description, it’s a very complex process, and honestly, as a professional software developer I have zero confidence that it was implemented correctly.

    Also, I just have to laugh at someone who misses the point so badly that he posts an already adjusted record that shows warming to prove something about the unadjusted data. When his adjusted data shows a pretty good jump from about 1980 to 1988 which isn’t present in either the raw data or the GHCN-adjusted data, it literally makes Eschenbach’s point for him. But unlike that author, I don’t assume bad faith on a mistake like that.

  182. This is, of course, incorrect, as long as both the raw data and the adjustments are documented, including the reasoning for the adjustments, and those adjustments are shown to be reasonable. Make the adjustments in secret, hiding both the raw data and the code that does the adjustments? You betcha.

    Raw data and an explanation of the adjustments:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/index.php

  183. @Captain Caveman >So Pete, looking at figure 8 what exactly were they making 0.5C or greater adjustment for?

    Those sorts of adjustments are usually due to station movements.

    @Skip >Also, I just have to laugh at someone who misses the point so badly that he posts an already adjusted record that shows warming to prove something about the unadjusted data.

    The point was that two different teams (GHCN and BoM) both made similar adjustments to the data.

  184. Pete: Raw data and an explanation of the adjustments:

    I do not see an explanation for any particular data point adjustment; merely a blanket statement.

    If there is a link to something specific, perhaps you could provide it.

  185. @Dan >Welcome to the adult world of serious science.

    You really shouldn’t say things like that when you were linking to Gerlich and Tscheuschner earlier.

  186. Pete said: Raw data and an explanation of the adjustments:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/ghcn-monthly/index.php

    I agree with Mark … this is simply a general description of what was done. All the actual details (i.e., the amount of adjustment, when it was applied, how it was calculated, etc.) are not here. These and other specifics are needed in order to show that the adjustments are robust and above-board.

  187. The process is mostly automated, so the specific reason is usually ‘the computer found an inhomogeneity’.

    If the adjustments weren’t robust, then there would be significant disagreement between the various homogenised products.

  188. “You really shouldn’t say things like that when you were linking to Gerlich and Tscheuschner earlier.”

    Oh dear…the predictable, inevitable ad hominem.

    You’re not learning.

  189. Pointing out that you’re an idiot because you believe stupid things is not ad hominem.

  190. An interesting and (to my mind) cogent response to the “we should reduce Co2 emissions just in case AGW is a serious threat” argument here.

  191. Yeah, showing that a second group manages to adjust temperatures to not match the surrounding averages really isn’t very persuasive.

    The thing is, pete, I believe that what we’re going to get out of this is that all of these groups are eventually going to be shamed into releasing their code. And when we do, we’re going to find tons of little errors, that mostly all go one way, not for any nefarious reasons, but because when you believe you’re going to find something you’re not going to look twice when you don’t find it. In the end though, there’s still going to be some small warming, and the heliocentric global warming deniers are going to claim victory.

    Of course, they’re going to ignore that even the IPCC admits that small amounts of warming will show many benefits – even with the sharp confirmation bias in working group 2 they had to admit that.

  192. @Skip

    Sorry, you’ve lost me.

    First you allege data manipulation to hide cooling, then you seem to indicate that warming is ocurring but it’s actually a good thing.

    I thank that clattering is the sound of a barrow being pushed.

  193. # Gary Strand Says:
    December 10th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Take a look at

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/willis_eschenbach_caught_lying.php

    Gee, I didn’t know that Tim Lambert was an expert in climate science too since he already claims to be an expert in several environmental science disciplines and demands that everybody else have degree’s in the various disciplines or they have no standing. Of course his degree is in computer science, but that does not apply to him since he’s so much brighter than us mere mortals. I myself (according to him) have no standing even in my own discipline since I’m an engineer for a big evil oil company, hence a mouthpiece for global destruction.

    I’m not going to bother to refute him because I don’t feel like wiping my butt for an answer of his caliber. Besides he gives his own refutation for anybody who bothers to read his link. http://reg.bom.gov.au/amm/docs/2004/dellamarta.pdf

    People might think from reading this I don’t like Mr. Lambert and all I can say is “you betcha”.

  194. “If the adjustments weren’t robust, then there would be significant disagreement between the various homogenised products”

    That must sound completely different in your head than it does in mine. I wonder why you even bother with station data in the first place.

  195. The process is mostly automated, so the specific reason is usually ‘the computer found an inhomogeneity’.

    That’s not the sort of reason I call specific in my profession – programming computers. And no self respecting scientist would call that a specific reason either. The program should produce a report giving the specific reason for each adjustment for later review. That’s trivially easy.

    Geez, pete, you normally say thoughtful things. But not this time.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  196. >That’s not the sort of reason I call specific in my profession – programming computers. And no self respecting scientist would call that a specific reason either. The program should produce a report giving the specific reason for each adjustment for later review. That’s trivially easy.

    There are 4771 adjusted station records, and each probably has several adjustments.

    Presumably the authors are capable of determining the specific reason for any given interesting adjustment. But it seems unlikely that anyone would want to review every single adjustment.

  197. If the adjustments weren’t robust, then there would be significant disagreement between the various homogenised products.

    In the famous words of Pauli: “That’s not even wrong.”

  198. But it seems unlikely that anyone would want to review every single adjustment.

    Actually, mind numbing attention to amazing detail is how science is done. There are people who want to review every single adjustment.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  199. Pointing out that you’re an idiot because you believe stupid things is not ad hominem.

    Um, yes it is.

    And can you confidently say that you don’t believe anything stupid? According to you, if you believe even one stupid thing, you are an idiot. Which, itself, is a stupid thing to believe.

    QED.

  200. No, it’s not. Ad hominem is an argument in the following basic form:

    You are (a member of some despised group) therefore your argument is false.

    Insulting someone is not always ad hominem. It’s only AH if the insult is supposed to prove that someone made a false argument.

    OTOH, you are right, MagicDave, pete did just argue that if he believes just one stupid thing, he is an idiot.

    And that is a logical fallacy.

    Yours,
    Tom

  201. Pete said: There are 4771 adjusted station records, and each probably has several adjustments. Presumably the authors are capable of determining the specific reason for any given interesting adjustment. But it seems unlikely that anyone would want to review every single adjustment.

    It is unnecessary to illuminate every single adjustment. All that is required is to describe the algorithm – that is, the handful of adjustment types, a reason for applying them, and a way to calculate the degree of adjustment.

    This isn’t an outrageous demand, Pete. I don’t understand why you are fighting this. Is it really too much to ask for a basic level of transparency?

  202. “Presumably the authors are capable of determining the specific reason for any given interesting adjustment. But it seems unlikely that anyone would want to review every single adjustment.”

    It is very likely that there is at least one human per data point that would be *very* interested in the specific reason for any given interesting adjustment.

    It’s even more disturbing that you assert with a straight face that the “authors” are uninterested in documenting those reasons.

  203. Eric, it seems to me that if you really believe this stuff you shouldn’t be content to just publish it on your blog, which is after all overwhelmingly read by computer programmers and gun rights enthusiasts. A number of the senior IPCC guys live just up the road from you in Princeton, and I’m pretty sure they’d be happy to debate their data with you in person. If you have serious scientific concerns, why don’t you set up a meeting with one of them? Maybe you’ll convince them of their errors (or maybe the reverse will happen, who knows).

  204. No, it’s not. Ad hominem is an argument in the following basic form:

    You are (a member of some despised group) therefore your argument is false.

    ‘Ad hominimen’ means ‘argument against the person’. It’s when someone points out an irrelevant characteristic point about a person advocating an argument or premise.

    A not entirely hypothetical example that I’ve seen elsewhere: If Alice and Bill are arguing about the security of qmail, and Bill says that qmail can’t possible be secure by it was written by an arrogant egotist, he’s performing an ad hominmen attack on qmail’s author, djb. djb’s personality is irrelevant to security of his mailer software: had Bill pointed out some potential security weakness in qmail or that flaws in other software affect qmail’s security, Bill would have been making a valid argument. But instead, he attack’s djb, a move which is not only irrelevant, but rather boorish on Bill’s part. Right? (Note: I was not personally involved in this particular flamewar.)

    OTOH, Dan implied that pete believes in bogus science by saying “welcome to the world of adult science,” when, in fact, Dan himself had previously linked to an article that is widely thought of as bogus science. When pete pointed that out, it wasn’t an ad hominem attack, he was just pointing out that the pot was calling the kettle black.

  205. No Morgan, the form of ‘ad hominem’ I was referring to was of the form “I wouldn’t belong to a club that had X as a member”.

    The only criticism of the G&T paper here was a childish “it’s an idiot test” combined with a claim that it is not a ‘real’ physics paper (whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean – ‘true scotsman’ fallacy, anyone?). It is as ‘widely considered’ to be bogus science as AGW is ‘settled science’.

    Have you read it? Have you understood it? I have, and I think it makes some very interesting claims about the validity of the entire ‘greenhouse effect’ concept (especially when considered alongside Zagoni’s reasoning)…certainly worthy of further investigation. Of course, it is much easier for people like Pete to continue their theme of cultish bigotry with cheap demeaning insults, and similarly ‘ad hominizing’ further debate by association (if I associate myself intellectually with G&T, I must be an idiot…playing the ‘man’ rather than the ‘ball’ – in this case, the actual physics arguments presented).

    My reference to “adult science” was to highlight the brutally rigorous scientific process that once was held in highest regard….conversely, the “childish science” that Pete et al indulge in, is one where whining about being pressured (to engage the entire scientific community with complete transparency) is at all a legitimate excuse to avoid responsibility and accountability.

    “Adult science” is hard. It can burn deeply when your arguments are torn up. But you do it willingly anyway, knowing that even failure is progress. The AGW mob can hardly be described as belonging to this school of thought.

  206. Only those who oppose AGW have financial gain. Ha!

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a big believer in Crap and Trade. I think it’s a ponzi scheme, like the housing bubble: the rich will make off like bandits and everyone else will be hosed. Enron was opportunistically trying to find a way to make money off the global warming crisis, as expected. What they were not doing was putting money behind the promotion of the theory of AGW. This is precisely what ExxonMobil is doing.

    The motive to fraudulently promote AGW just isn’t there for the researchers involved. What, you think it’s about the grant money? They could easily switch sides, become denialists, and get more money from big oil. The motive for big oil to fraudulently discredit AGW is huge: ExxonMobil is making the biggest profits in human history right now, and they’re not going to let a bunch of squishy little hippies get in the way of that massive payoff.

    My reference to “adult science” was to highlight the brutally rigorous scientific process that once was held in highest regard….conversely, the “childish science” that Pete et al indulge in, is one where whining about being pressured (to engage the entire scientific community with complete transparency) is at all a legitimate excuse to avoid responsibility and accountability.

    Last I checked, scientists were not Vulcans, they were humans like you and me. They can get irate, obstreperous, and downright nasty when constantly asked to justify and prove their work in the face of nonsense kook theories that wriggle into the mainstream. It is my belief that the CRU guys were reluctant to open up because they knew their work was going to be scrutinized, cherrypicked, and misinterpreted by the awash-in-oil-money anti-AGW noise machine and that they reacted in the very human way of being exhausted of having to justify and explain their work to masses who are completely ignorant of the physics involved, and wanting to simply get on with doing climate research. If that is true, then “Climategate” has proven them right.

    Mind you, I think they should have disclosed their data and methods anyway, because it’s the honest thing to do and because I’m an openness weenie like that. (I use Linux even as I excoriate its hackish incompleteness, because non-open software drives me up a tree.)

  207. This is precisely what ExxonMobil is doing.

    Clarification: This is what ExxonMobil is doing when it promotes AGW denialism and funds denialists.

  208. “They could easily switch sides, become denialists, and get more money from big oil.”

    What would they be paid to do?

    “The motive for big oil to fraudulently discredit AGW is huge”

    Yes, yes, yes….let’s fallaciously speculate about their motives (as if motive has anything to do with truth or falsity)…stop whinging about ‘big oil’ and demonstrate the fraud.

    “ExxonMobil is making the biggest profits in human history right now”

    Good for them.

    “…and they’re not going to let a bunch of squishy little hippies get in the way of that massive payoff.”

    Nor should they. Those ‘hippies’ have no right nor authority to deny them their ‘payoff’.

    “It is my belief that the CRU guys were reluctant to open up because…”

    Blah, blah, blah…yet more pathetic avoidance and excuse-mongering for these fraudsters. It does not matter where the objections come from, or who funds them, they must be explored. To fail to do so is to depart from the scientific discipline. Simple as that.

    They haven’t even taken the first step of explaining themselves in the rigorous manner demanded by science. They waffle and blather and attempt to confound the masses with technobabble (an effective technique, it must be said) and show graphs with drastic inclines at the right-hand side, and say “See?!?!? Are you too stupid to understand?!?!?”.

    That ain’t science. That’s emotional blackmail. It’s the hallmark of the con.

    If a well-funded ExxonHalliMobilNazi group puts forward a contrary theory, guess what should happen? You SUCK IT UP and debate the science honestly.

    What they actually do is resort instantly to fallacy and declare the opposing study/theory invalid simply because of the source. Just as you do, Jeff.

    Another hallmark of the con.

    All-in-all, the AGW crowd has done much to completely shatter any faith in their integrity, done much to greatly injure the reputation of the scientific community as a whole, and has immense work ahead of it if it wishes to restore its reputation. As it stands, only a fool would bet their future on the AGW ‘science’…..you’ll find plenty of such fools in Copenhagen.

    For the record, I am not “anti-AGW” per se, I am anti-fraud. Pro-truth. Pro-science. Follow the truth wherever it leads. It angers me that the scientific community has been betrayed so profoundly.

  209. I love the canard of Big Oil. Just how insane are you guys? When did you go out to the pasture of self-delusion? How about Big Government and Big Environment funding Globaloney and perverting the science? There’s way more money in that. Oh no, they are on the right side so its okay. Yeah, like this automatically immunizes you against massive fraud, corruption, influence peddling, groupthink, and suppression of opposing views. Grow up. Face reality. Stop denying.

  210. Yes, the “Big X” label is a pejorative I find both amusing and infuriating. It’s a good ol’ lefty fist-pumpin’ righteous little-workin’-folk-unite rhetorical device. The fallacious imputation of nefarious motives to an abstraction due to its size.

    Works every time.

  211. The only criticism of the G&T paper here was a childish “it’s an idiot test” combined with a claim that it is not a ‘real’ physics paper (whatever the fuck that is supposed to mean – ‘true scotsman’ fallacy, anyone?). It is as ‘widely considered’ to be bogus science as AGW is ’settled science’.

    No, Ken Burnside (who styles himself an AGW agnostic) on an earlier blog post (completely different article) said something to the effect that it was a ‘physics intelligence test’ and that those that read it did not understand physics. I believe Ken implied that he believes G&T wrote the paper as a joke.

    I have not read the paper, but I have read several summaries of the paper. The idea that a greenhouse (an actual glass greenhouse, not the ‘greenhouse gas greenhouse’) doesn’t trap solar energy, but instead traps rising warm air is absolutely preposterous. If you think that could POSSIBLY be true, I challenge you to park a car in the sun down in here in Florida.

  212. I guess it’s not so astonishing that so many people are so closed-minded about this topic… people were fairly close-minded during our Medieval warming period too. Perhaps as we are (maybe) entering our next warming spike, we are also entering our next Dark Ages culturally? An age of magicians and shamans, predicting the weather with ever shifting models that suit their latest prognostications?

    I’m fairly apolitical, but it’s not surprising that so many people are now adopting a “bunker mentality.” Real science is being publicly ripped to shreds by international technocrats and their media lapdogs, while a small group of fraudulent sorcerers (and real scientists too frightened to challenge them) hold the world hostage with Rain Dances and apocalyptic visions.

    Kudos to the brave CRU soul who leaked this stuff into the sunlight. As much as CRU has reminded us how corrupted scientists can become, this one person proves that even within the ranks of the ACC crowd, a few real scientists still lurk in the shadows and are equally disturbed. I can onjly imagine how paranoid and lonely this person probably feels right now, as sinister forces descend all around him, trying to locate and destroy him. This would actually have the makings of a great Hollywood thriller, were it not so real (and if Hollywood ever cared to present the other side of the debate).

    Browsing though this chocolate fudgity code, one notion has been eating away at me: What if Harris IS the leak? A narrative that seems to be emerging is that this guy was not only hindered by artificial deadlines, but many of the statements he makes (and kludges he is performing) seem to suggest that he was frozen out of the data homogenization process by his peers. He sometimes literally seems to be guessing at some things that should be easily resolved by few brief conversations. I can see a frustrated conversation with his colleagues about the project status ending in a really big revelation for him: they didn’t care how he arrived at the published results, as long as he arrived there. For anyone with a shred of ethics, this would be an impossible situation. He’d have no choice but to leak.

  213. mbabbitt Says:
    > I love the canard of Big Oil. Just how insane are you guys?

    I am confused. Why exactly is “Big Oil” against the AGW scare? It seems to me that over the past few years as it has gained some momentum that their profits have gone sky high. Why? Well, amongst other reasons, because all the AGW responses have had the effect of constraining the supply for oil, and consequently sent their prices much higher. I’d have thought they would be happy about that — getting more money for less effort. I don’t think anyone who is serious actually thinks that the world will use less significantly less oil in the next ten or twenty years, but apparently the evidence is that the same amount of oil will cost considerably more. Isn’t that good for those evil oil barons?

    But perhaps I am missing the point.

  214. I haven’t alleged anything of the sort, Tom. My own personal opinion is that there has, over the last century, been warming, some unknown percentage due to human causes. But since we’re well within the normal range on scales ranging from a few thousand to a few million years, it’s simply not a big deal, not something that requires huge sacrifices to avoid.

    So why do these temperature record adjustments get attacked? A couple of reasons. Mostly because they’re low hanging fruit. The high priests of this religion have fought tooth and nails to keep their sacred texts hidden, and as each one has been exposed, problems have been found. It’s very much easier to expose shenanigans in this than it is to expose the shenanigans in the mythical “catastrophic damage” papers because those are one-sided opinion pieces. Opinions with some justifications, mind you, but opinion none the less. They don’t provide testable hypotheses generally, and as such cannot be disproved.

  215. No Morgan, the form of ‘ad hominem’ I was referring to was of the form “I wouldn’t belong to a club that had X as a member”.

    I think the phrase you are looking for is “guilt by association”, or, more specifically “guilt by false association”, not ‘ad hominem’. If you use ‘ad hominem’ in way you did you will get the response you got. There are a lot of people whose pet peeve is false ad hominem. But with many people who have a pet peeve, their pet peeve detector gets more sensitive over time. Thus, over time they may start complaining about cases of false ad hominem which are actually true ad hominem.

    Of course if you correctly accuse someone of either ‘ad hominem’ or “guilt by association” they may still deny the accusation, and others may incorrectly agree with them.

    I still think I’m right on my specific, nit-picky point about ‘ad hominem’, but perhaps you can convince me otherwise, Dan.

    Have I circled around this particular drain long enough?

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  216. I challenge you to park a car in the sun down in here in Florida.

    Car parked in the sun with windows open has an internal temperature just a bit above ambient.

    Car parked in the sun with windows closed can have an internal temperature 50-70 degrees F above ambient.

    One of these is more like a greenhouse, isn’t it?

  217. I would argue that “guilt by association” is a form of ad hominem, Tom.

    But let’s not keep circling that drain ;)

  218. Morgan, I think you have misunderstood the G&T paper.

    The theoretical “greenhouse gas” mechanism, and the “glass greenhouse” mechanism are almost totally different. Calling it a “greenhouse effect” is fraudulently misleading, because it implies that the climate could indeed get as bad as the inside of your Floridian car…a classic attempt to instill apocalyptic fear in people.

    And yes, a “glass greenhouse” does work by trapping air, thwarting heat loss by convection. You’ve got a glass ‘bubble’ that blocks UV, accepts IR (heating the earth and air within) and doesn’t let the warm air escape. If you turn out the lights, however, the atmospheric heat quickly dissipates (unless you’re rich and have a double-glazed greenhouse!) but the earth retains heat, saving your plants from the winter freeze. This is how I have greens throughout winter ;)

    Heat your car up in winter, then turn it off. See how quickly it cools down. Single-pane glass is a dreadful insulator.

    In the atmosphere, there is no ‘bubble’ effect (it is not contained within a closed system like a glass greenhouse), and is free to radiate heat back out into the absolute zero of space. CO2 (and other massive gases) can absorb energy in both directions, remember, and will transfer this energy to other gases as they mingle. There is nothing in this system that prevents energy transfer, unlike the glass boundary of the garden greenhouse.

    G&T and Zagoni make very interesting arguments refuting this underlying concept, thereby undermining the entire AGW movement – if there is no “greenhouse [gas] effect”, and hence no basis for CO2 alarmism, the AGW argument evaporates.

  219. Jessica Boxer Says:
    December 11th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Hey, you missed my point: Or is that too hard for you to understand? Are you that hypnotized by your hatred or are you just that dense? Most skeptics I read and know of are in no way in bed with Big F Oil. It is a baseless claim, hence, a canard. Monbiot is in this same insanity; it must be your last ditch effort to deflect from the real arguments.

  220. It is my belief that the CRU guys were reluctant to open up because they knew their work was going to be scrutinized, cherrypicked, and misinterpreted by the awash-in-oil-money anti-AGW noise machine and that they reacted in the very human way of being exhausted of having to justify and explain their work to masses who are completely ignorant of the physics involved, and wanting to simply get on with doing climate research. If that is true, then “Climategate” has proven them right.

    Well I can sympathize. Let me rewrite that paragraph to show you how:

    I became reluctant to discuss the Iraq War up because I knew my statements was going to be scrutinized, cherrypicked, and misinterpreted by the awash-in-guilt-hate-and-bigotry internet commenter noise machine and that I reacted in the very human way of being exhausted of having to justify and explain my reasons to masses who are completely ignorant of the politics involved, and wanting to simply get on with my life. If that is true, then the internet has proven me right.

    And what do we learn from this?

    The price of freedom and the price of truth is eternal vigilence. Sorry if you are exhausted. The work is never done.

    BTW, I have deliberately written this so that anyone with any position on the Iraq War could say it in the hopes of not derailing the thread.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  221. Most skeptics I read and know of are in no way in bed with Big F Oil.

    Well, I was, once, but that was eighteen years ago, and we were both a little drunk at the time.

  222. @mbabbit – dial back the napalm….Jessica was making a perfectly reasonable point.

  223. Hmmm. If Dan is correct, G&T and Zagoni’s paper would seem to be subject to experimental verification thus:

    Build a set of tall columnar greenhouses with opague, well insulated sides. Allow the height of the glass top within the column to vary. Then vary the height of the top and the green house gas composition below the top. Use a sun lamp, with output varied over a 24 hour period to keep the ‘insolation’ constant. Measure the temperature in the column at various points to see how it behaves.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  224. mbabbit,

    And Jessica is actually a sceptic, so maybe she isn’t making the point you thought she was making. For example, if I judge her correctly, she doesn’t think oil companies are evil – except when they are state owned.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  225. I don’t think that would be an adequate experiment, Tom. Our atmosphere is not a closed system, unlike a greenhouse. What would your experiment prove?

  226. Actually, the better word is “enclosed” rather than “closed”, when referring to the glass greenhouse system.

  227. Yes, Dan, you really need a completely transparent top at the temperature of space. The experiment should simulate this:

    Sun lamp.
    Really cold vacuum.
    Gases which get thinner the higher you go.
    Glass, or no glass
    More gases.

    I think something could be devised which would simulate some of this.

    Yours,
    Tom

  228. Also, your insulated sides present a problem…after all, there is no lateral barrier around a column of our atmosphere. At any given time, half our globe is cooling, which introduces immense conduction/convection complexities into the model.

    It’s a staggeringly tough thing to model. A worthy challenge, for sure. It seems to me that a software simulation is about the only way we could possibly do it.

    Of course, were I to attempt it, I would show my fucking work from the get-go ;)

  229. It is a fascinating phenomenon to witness; all of these appeals to authority that are masquerading as paeans to legitimate science. Of course, the stark, fiendish reality of the math that drives the equations behind CRU’s flagship graphing will take several more months to trickle down into the monoculture. Nevertheless – with a great, whoosing sound – statisticians, programmers, engineers and even high school math teachers around the world have just had their collective socks blown off by all the blind step functions and reverse engineering techniques that were used to “prove” AGW. As per the usual course of scientific history, another hip, flashy and fashionable branch of junk science has been felled by that shy, nerdy little wallflower we call Mathematics, whose bone yard is vast and fertile. It’s always the quiet ones.

    As for all the “cui bono? talk of “oil baron conspiracies,” I expect that sort of thing will go on for many years. Conspiracy theory is the vernacular of the vanquished. Just for kicks, though, I plotted the leaked document “pdj_grant_since1990.xls.” Rather unsurprisingly, it showed a hockey stick.

  230. Tom DeGisi Says:
    > For example, if I judge her correctly, she doesn’t think
    > oil companies are evil – except when they are state owned.

    Thanks for explaining me Tom. I often confuse myself too.

  231. Thanks for explaining me Tom. I often confuse myself too.

    Well, I usually find you very clear, which is why I took the liberty of explaining you.

    Yours,
    Tom

  232. I truly enjoy the Big Evil Oil Company conspiracy theories being a faithful minion of one of Evil Oil Companies. First thing is publicly held corporations (oil AND non-oil) are soulless and heartless creations, it’s the nature of the beast. First, if you don’t make money you cease to exist. Second, your stockholders insist you make as much profit as possible, otherwise management gets replaced with someone else and the stockholders rule.

    Now we come to the part where you say that the oil companies don’t give a shit about the environment- see stockholders. Truly, we mostly do care because believe it or not we live on the same planet as you do. We breathe the same air, drink the same water and eat the same food as you do, really we don’t want to poison ourselves either.

    Now there are some corporations that are so stupid and short-sighted that they actually DON’T care, so meet our friends the EPA. The oil business is the most heavily regulated industry on the face of the earth. They tell us how, when and where to do EVERYTHING no matter how small, even if it has nothing to do with the environment.

    Now let us speak of those evil, nasty profits. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Big_Oil.svg Looking at this chart let us notice two things revenue and profit and the ratio of the two, 10:1 at best. Yes they have high net profits but as compared to total revenue’s, they suck. If you go to one of the investment houses to open an account they will recommend NOT investing in oil stocks because of the return is so low. While your at it you might ask where the other nine dollars of revenue went. One of the answers is tax. Besides being the most heavily regulated industry we are the most heavily taxed. And all those regulations? They cost billions a year to comply with, and if you don’t dot every I and cross every T the fines run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Now if the EPA promulgates a rule you have to do it EXACTLY the way they tell you to do it or you get fined. You tell them that what they want won’t work and will actually make things worse, it doesn’t matter to them, they’re right, your wrong. If it doesn’t work its not their fault, its yours and they will fine you a couple hundred million dollars. So you take the EPA into court spend $40 million or so on legal costs and eight years in court. At the end of it you still have to do what the EPA wants but you get to do it your way which actually works. As a bonus you get watch one of your competitors eat a 300 million dollar fine for caving in and doing it the the EPA way. (Yes, my Big Evil Oil Company went through this a few years ago and I had to testify in court three separate times that the EPA was so full of shit that their eyes were chocolate brown.) I should mention that as an idealist young engineer fresh out of college I worked for the EPA for almost three years and learned how the government can turn a 300 million dollar superfund cleanup into a 5 billion dollar cleanup with the help of a senior (recently deceased) U.S. senator, which encouraged me to go back to grad school where my present evil employer recruited me. :-))

    Now that I’ve vented my spleen let me inform some of you people about what the Big Evil Oil Companies really want. Our lobbying firm is up on capitol hill right now pushing for the toughest, most restrictive cap and trade bill we can get. Why? Because the company will make a buttload of money. If C&P passes we will immediately and permanently shut down our six smallest refineries. They barely make a profit now but with cap and trade the shut down will cost us 500-600 million dollars and the company will make back a minimum of 3 billion in the first year on those lovely carbon credits. If things work out as well as planned we will shut down all American refineries, our revenue to income ratio will go from 10.2:1 to 2.9:1 but don’t worry we won’t be getting out of the refining business. We already have plans to start building new plants in “emerging” third world countries that qualify for exemptions under the proposed Copenhagen agreement. Plus we’ll still have our fleet of oil supertankers which will be glad to haul refined products to America (for the right price). As for myself I’ll be retiring. After 30 years of being a good corporate lackey I’ve built up a very nice retirement (which I’ll convert into something safe like Swiss Francs) and all those stock bonuses I’ve collected over the years for beer money. I’ll be moving to someplace tropical, like Tahiti or Guam, sit on the beach watching the sea level not rise and laughing like hell.

    By the bye Just in case you think oil companies will make out well off of cap and trade, private estimates for net income in the first five years- GE $200B, AIG $500B, Goldman Sachs, lord only know but rumors claim they are presently holding near a trillion in carbon futures options.

  233. Brutal Captn, simply brutal….I love it.

    That’s a fine ice-cold bucket of reality you just waterboarded those dopey enviroshmucks with.

    I hope you (and the EVIL Big Oil leviathan) get filthy stinking rich…I only hope there’s an economy left for you to spend it ;)

  234. Morgan, I think you have misunderstood the G&T paper.

    The theoretical “greenhouse gas” mechanism, and the “glass greenhouse” mechanism are almost totally different. Calling it a “greenhouse effect” is fraudulently misleading, because it implies that the climate could indeed get as bad as the inside of your Floridian car…a classic attempt to instill apocalyptic fear in people.

    Perhaps I have. I realize that a glass greenhouse blocks rising heat. However, I was under the impression from the summaries I’ve read that they are saying that a glass greenhouse does not keep long-wave radiation in.

    While venting the greenhouse will make it cooler, at least in Florida, it will still be warmer in the greenhouse than it is outside. Additionally you said something about winter: if I park my car in the sun in the winter down here on a sunny day (which is not at all unusual for a Florida winter, as winter is typically the dry season), it will, in fact be warm. Not as warm as it is in the summer mind you, but it will retain a surprising amount of heat. If I open the windows, it will still retain some heat, just not as much.

    The easy way to see this, however, is to buy one of those reflective windshield blocker things everyone down here has. Put in in your windshield, and your car will be 10 degrees cooler than without. Add a shade on the side windows, and the temperature in car will be significantly cooler than the outside. Block the sun, block heat.

  235. Wow, Capt., that was awesome! I, for one, welcome our new carbon-trading robber baron Big Oil overlords!

  236. Morgan, I have no idea how your misuinderstanding has arrived at such a place.

    Perhaps a deep breath and a do-over may help?

  237. “Just for kicks, though, I plotted the leaked document “pdj_grant_since1990.xls.” Rather unsurprisingly, it showed a hockey stick.”

    I want to keep out of this debate because natural sciences aren’t my field of expertise, but I’d like to express that this made me laugh. Perhaps the social sciences, like economics, could and should construct a model about the various kinds of incentives in the climate research field.


  238. So, after hours of research, I can dismiss Mr Eschenbach. But what am I supposed to do the next time I wake up and someone whose name I don’t know has produced another plausible-seeming account of bias in the climate-change science? Am I supposed to invest another couple of hours in it? Do I have to waste the time of the readers of this blog with yet another long post on the subject? Why? Why do these people keep bugging us like this? Does the spirit of scientific scepticism really require that I remain forever open-minded to denialist humbug until it’s shown to be wrong? At what point am I allowed to simply say, look, I’ve seen these kind of claims before, they always turns out to be wrong, and it’s not worth my time to look into it?

    Well, here’s my solution to this problem: this is why we have peer review. Average guys with websites can do a lot of amazing things. One thing they cannot do is reveal statistical manipulation in climate-change studies that require a PhD in a related field to understand. So for the time being, my response to any and all further “smoking gun” claims begins with: show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story.

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2009/12/trust_scientists

  239. Jessica,
    Sorry if I misinterpreted your intention but the mention of Big Oil just sets off my buttons. I had just been at the UK Guardian reading Monbiot’s accusation about Big Oil funding the skeptics/denialistswith his commenters piling on. When I saw another mention about Big Oil here concerning motivation I just thought that once again someone was reinforcing the fiction that bringing Big Oil into the debate was a valid point of contention against Skepticism. Anyway, watching this CRU thing unfold has soured me even more as to the current state of integrity of the scientific, academic, and journalistic communities. What happened to our half crazy world; when did it all jump the shark?

  240. J. Lapin Says:
    > show me the peer-reviewed journal article demonstrating
    > the error here. Otherwise, you’re a crank and this is not a story.

    Which is certainly a meritorious position, had it not been for the fact that the CRU emails revealed a pretty clear nefarious plot to keep opposing points of view out of such peer reviewed journals regardless of the merits of the paper. That is to say they were excluded because they disagreed, not because their science was bad. Frankly that is the most disturbing thing in the emails, since, as you rightly point out, it deeply undermines the standard science bogosity detector.

  241. Interesting read, Lapin.

    Of course, the same ‘amateurism’ the author derides is evident in his own writing. He is most obviously not a scientist (although he does seem capable of being one), and errs greatly when stating that only PhDs can comprehend this ‘complex’ information.

    An intelligent mind and an aptitude for undergrad-level mathematics are all that are required. There is nothing magical about a PhD that precludes lesser mortals from comprehending such high-brow emanations. PhDs can be just as dumb as any of us, in fact. This wizardly cult-of-the-PhD is a sham…a way to avoid having to deal with pesky ‘amateurs’ that ask troublsesome questions and poke their noses where they don’t belong. It is an institutionalized verecundiam fallacy.

    (full disclosure – I only hold a bachelor degree….although my experience and expertise arguably equate to several masters degrees and one or two PhDs. I work in academia as a research scientist currently specializing in formal [mathematical] modeling)

    To answer the quoted lament – critics should expect to be held to the same standard as every other scientist, regardless of their actual background, ‘amateur’ or otherwise. When such a well-formed challenge is presented, it must be met…to fail to do so is an abhorrent dereliction of scientific integrity. Of course, as a journalist and narrator of such debate, the author is quite right to apply a ‘noise filter’ of some sort. Sticking to peer reviewed work seems reasonable, but as this recent debacle has revealed (and I can personally attest) such reviews are prone to incest and subversion.

  242. I truly enjoy the Big Evil Oil Company conspiracy theories being a faithful minion of one of Evil Oil Companies. First thing is publicly held corporations (oil AND non-oil) are soulless and heartless creations, it’s the nature of the beast. First, if you don’t make money you cease to exist. Second, your stockholders insist you make as much profit as possible, otherwise management gets replaced with someone else and the stockholders rule.

    That’s precisely why we need to regulate the hell out of corporations and ffs not treat them like legal persons.

  243. Which is certainly a meritorious position, had it not been for the fact that the CRU emails revealed a pretty clear nefarious plot to keep opposing points of view out of such peer reviewed journals regardless of the merits of the paper.

    Your “pretty clear nefarious plot” is rather standard bogon-filtering that goes on in the scientific community. For example, if you try to publish a paper on perpetual motion or creationism, it will automatically get rejected without even a chance of peer review, “regardless of the merits of the paper”.

    AGW is “settled science” because it’s really, really hard to argue with receding glaciers and rising tree lines.

  244. AGW is “settled science” because it’s really, really hard to argue with receding glaciers and rising tree lines.

    I think this qualifies for the stupidest statement in this thread. You’ve now proven that you don’t have even the faintest idea about the science.

    Most people who understand science and are skeptical about the threat posed by AGW agree that the global mean temperature has been rising for the last 150 years or so. The debate is about the cause, not the observations.

    The current temperatures are not unprecedented; everyone agrees to that, as well. The Earth has been through much warmer periods in its history. Even the strongest AGW proponent would agree with that, as well.

    The debate, once again, is about the cause of the current warming, and, if anthropogenic, what measures are most effective to mitigate its adverse effects.

  245. The debate, once again, is about the cause of the current warming, and, if anthropogenic, what measures are most effective to mitigate its adverse effects.

    And it’s important to understand the Earth as always gone through cyclical warming and cooling cycles. Part of the debate is over whether or not temperatures are rising too fast. Part of the problem is that modeling the rise isn’t so simple: we tend measure temperatures a lot near cities. We do that because we live near cities and we tend to be concerned about weather for own activities. Rather than taking samples for a variety of places on the Earth, climate scientists tend to use these wholly inadequate measuring devices we use for predicting the weather.

    To try get around the limitations of these weather stations, the climate scientists then apply a correction. Except that the corrections they applied were designed to meet the scientists’ preconceived notions — a complete no-no in science. The evidence presented in the Harris CRU files proves this.

    Does this mean that the warming isn’t anthroprogenically caused? No, it just means that the climate researchers are using junk science. We need real numbers and good climate models before we can even ask that question.

  246. The em tag after isn’t should be a closed tag, not and open tag. *sigh*

  247. Quite so, Morgan. Even I don’t dismiss the concept entirely (although I think the current physics models are bunk)…but the AGW champions have done a bang-up job of poisoning their well. I guess they were hoping nobody would sling a bucket down there and take a serious drink.

  248. AGW is “settled science” because it’s really, really hard to argue with receding glaciers and rising tree lines.

    Sure it is, if you let the Hockey Team ignore the advancing sea ice and thickening ice cap in Antarctica.

  249. Why exactly is “Big Oil” against the AGW scare?

    Actually, they’re not. Whenever government sets out to regulate an industry, the benefits go to the biggest players in the market, who are better able to cope with the new hare-brained regulations than their smaller competitors are. Regulation drives consolidation, and inhibits competition. This has been the case ever since the emperors of Rome started handing out monopolies to their friends and allies.

  250. Jeff Read Says:
    > Your “pretty clear nefarious plot” is rather standard bogon-
    > filtering that goes on in the scientific community. F

    Jeff I am getting dizzy from the circular logic here. The original article argued that we know anti AGW is bogus because it doesn’t appear in peer reviewed journals, then you argue here that it doesn’t get published in peer reviewed journals because it is bogus.

    Scientists setting out to destroy a journal because it publishes papers they disagree with, and setting out to undermine the credibility of reviewers who approve papers that disagree with them… this counts as a nefarious plot to me. It is there in black and white in the emails. If you made this stuff up, people would say you were nuts.

  251. it’s really, really hard to argue with receding glaciers and rising tree lines.

    It’s really, really hard to argue with fish heads, too. But that’s only because they can’t talk.

  252. The original article argued that we know anti AGW is bogus because it doesn’t appear in peer reviewed journals, then you argue here that it doesn’t get published in peer reviewed journals because it is bogus.

    The journal in question had a dubious peer-review process in place, and accepted a poorly researched, big-oil-funded article wrongly stating that there had been no warming over the past 50 years. The fallout from this debacle was that half the editorial board resigned in protest. So no, this wasn’t a nefarious plot to undermine the credibility of a respected journal, this was a bunch of scientists rightly shunning a sketchy journal and encouraging their colleagues to do the same.

    But then I should have expected this from the woman who vigorously defends Pauling’s vitamin C woo and Duesberg’s AIDS woo. Next thing I know you’ll be telling us to revive phrenology and homeopathy as legitimate scientific fields of study. Oh, those poor homeopaths! Laughed at for so many years by the scientific community, how dare they treat them that way! Well they had it coming. And not just because they were wrong but because they persisted in their wrong belief for years even in the face of evidence to the contrary. Ditto Pauling, Duesberg, Baliunas and Soon. Scientists expect more from their peers.

  253. Jeff Read Says:
    > But then I should have expected this from the woman who
    > vigorously defends Pauling’s vitamin C woo and Duesberg’s
    > AIDS woo.

    I did not such thing. Check your facts before you make such accusations.

  254. My apologies, Jessica, if I accused you of more than you did. When you mentioned in a prior thread how savagely the scientific community treated Pauling and Duesberg, and compared their thoroughly-debunked-in-the-literature theories to the discovery of Heliobacter pylori. It sounded like you were taking their side.

    Capt Caveman, ad hominem refers only to the fallacy of using personal attacks to justify a statement. My statements about Climate Research stand on their own: at the time the “hockey team” was debating shunning the journal and considering it not peer reviewed, its review process did not meet the expected standards of rigor and it accepted and published articles with shoddy scholarship backing them up. Hence, there was no conspiracy to undermine the journal’s credibility.

  255. “…it accepted and published articles with shoddy scholarship backing them up…”

    Fancy that. Whodathunkit?

    I’m glad we’ve got honest academics standing guard to judge such things before they cause problems.

  256. According to Websters:: “An ad hominem argument, or argumentum ad hominem (Latin, literally “argument against the man [or person]“), is a fallacy that involves replying to an argument or assertion by attempting to discredit the person offering the argument or assertion.”

    >But then I should have expected this from the woman who vigorously defends Pauling’s vitamin C woo and Duesberg’s AIDS woo. Next >thing I know you’ll be telling us to revive phrenology and homeopathy as legitimate scientific fields of study.

    Sounds ad hominem to me.

  257. That statement was not part of my argument.

    Sure it was. You don’t get to arbitrarily declare some of your post as not part of the argument after the fact. If you want to exempt part of your post from being part of your argument you need to put in some clear verbal clues, like saying “The following paragraph is an emotional unjustified rant”, or perhaps tags. Otherwise I can justifiably make a statement like this:

    Jeff, you have never made an argument.

    If you can arbitrarily exclude some of what you say, I can arbitrarily exclude all of it.

    You made an ad hominem argument by mistake. Own it.

    Yours,
    Tom DeGisi

  258. The formula where Essex and McKittrick allegedly substitute zeros for missing values is this (From http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2004/05/mckitrick3.php linked copy of Ross McKittrick’s spreadsheet)

    At Data::M27, the actual formula for “RMS” for “Dec 80″ is this:

    =(0.1*((273.15+K27)^2+(273.15+J27)^2+(273.15+I27)^2+(273.15+H27)^2+(273.15+G27)^2+(273.15+F27)^2+(273.15+E27)^2+(273.15+D27)^2+(273.15+C27)^2+(273.15+B27)^2))^0.5-273.15

    As far as a formula for “RMS” goes, this one assumes 10 non-missing values, and a “mean” of 0 celcius, both assumptions unsupported by the data.

    Cell D27 is blank, so there is no difference in the RMS result of 5.9 whether or not you punch in 0 or not, which demonstrates Excel’s default of treating a blank as a zero. If you punch in the RMS value of 5.9 into the missing value however, the RMS rises to 6.5, which demonstrates that the RMS isn’t really an RMS.

    It is funny that treating the much more-frequent missing data in the latter part of the dataset as 0 degreesC could be viewed as a “trick” that “creates a decline”.

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