«Edited and Annotated by John Costella The Lavoisier Group March 2010 About the Author John Costella was born in East Melbourne in 1966. After being ...»
(2) Those lacking the background and/or patience to penetrate the two papers, and seriously wanting to know who is more likely to be right, have the option of asking somebody who does possess these characteristics— preferably somebody outside the handful of ideologically committed and/ or oil-industry-linked professional climate-change skeptics—to evaluate the controversy for them. Better yet, one could poll a number of such people. They can easily be found by checking the web pages of earth sciences, atmospheric sciences, and environmental sciences departments at any number of major universities.
In other words, Holdren is implying that if you’re too dumb or too lazy to read the papers, then simply ask the members of the “club”!
His last alternative:
(3) The least satisfactory approach for those not qualified for (1) and lacking the time or initiative for (2), would be to learn what one can about the qualifications (including publications records) and reputations, in the field in question, of the authors on the two sides. Doing this would reveal that Soon and Baliunas are, essentially, amateurs in the interpretation of historical and paleoclimatological records of climate change, while the Mann and co-workers’ authors include several of the most published and most distinguished people in the world in this field.
Such an investigation would also reveal that Dr. Baliunas’s reputation in this field suffered considerable damage a few years back, when she put her name on an incompetent critique of mainstream climate science that was never published anywhere respectable but was circulated by the tens of thousands, in a format mimicking that of a reprint from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in pursuit of signatures on a petition claiming that the mainstream findings were wrong.
This text could have been taken straight out of a dirty tricks manual on “disinformation”, character assassination, and dishonest techniques for discrediting opposition!
Holdren now displays his flair as an intelligence agent, by pointing out the obvious flaws in his last suggestion—and then covering them up with yet more insinuations of
laziness and inability, and a bogus “probability” argument:
Of course, the third approach is the least satisfactory because it can be dangerous to assume that the more distinguished people are always right.
Occasionally, it turns out that the opposite is true. That is one of several good reasons that it pays to try to penetrate the arguments, if one can, or to poll others who have tried to do so. But in cases where one is not able or willing to do either of these things—and where one is able to discover that the imbalance of experience and reputation on the two sides of the issue is as lopsided as here—one ought at least to recognize that the odds strongly favor the proposition that the more experienced and reputable people are right. If one were a policy maker, to bet the public welfare on the long odds of the opposite being true would be foolhardy.
Are you convinced yet?
October 26, 2003: email 1067194064 Mike Mann receives secret information about the forthcoming McIntyre and
McKitrick paper, which marks the start of the debunking of the “hockey stick”:
Two people have a forthcoming Energy and Environment paper that’s being unveiled tomorrow (Monday) that—in the words of one Cato Institute / Marshall Institute / Competitive Enterprise Institute type— … will claim that Mann arbitrarily ignored paleo data within his own record and substituted other data for missing values that dramatically affected his results.
When his exact analysis is rerun with all the data and with no data substitutions, two very large warming spikes will appear that are greater than the 20th century.
Personally, I’d offer that this was known by most people who understand Mann’s methodology: it can be quite sensitive to the input data in the early centuries.
In other words, most of Mann’s colleagues were fully aware of the problems.
Anyway, there’s going to be a lot of noise on this one, and knowing Mann’s very thin skin I am afraid he will react strongly, unless he has learned (as I hope he has) from the past….
Mike Mann passes this on to a large number of colleagues:
Dear All, This has been passed along to me by someone whose identity will remain in confidence. Who knows what trickery has been pulled or selective use of data made. It’s clear that Energy and Environment is being run by the baddies—only a shill for industry would have republished the original Soon and Baliunas paper as submitted to Climate Research without even editing it. Now apparently they’re at it again… A remarkable conclusion, given that he hasn’t read the paper yet!
My suggested response is:
1) to dismiss this as a stunt, appearing in a so-called “journal” which is already known to have defied standard practices of peer-review. It is clear, for example, that nobody we know has been asked to “review” this socalled paper;
Again, Mann displays characteristic arrogance in assuming that each and every paper submitted for publication should automatically be passed to one of his gang, so that it can be vetoed.
Who knows what sleight of hand the authors of this thing have pulled. Of course, the usual suspects are going to try to peddle this crap. The important thing is to deny that this has any intellectual credibility whatsoever and, if contacted by any media, to dismiss this for the stunt that it is.
Thanks for your help.
How on earth can Mann tell others to discredit this paper, before anyone has actually read it? Simply because it disagrees with him?
October 30, 2003: email 1067532918 Ray Bradley writes to Tim Osborn, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Mike Mann, and Malcolm
Hughes, offering a novel definition of the term “independent”:
Tim, Phil, Keith:
I suggest a way out of this mess. Because of the complexity of the arguments involved, to an uninformed observer it all might be viewed as just scientific nit-picking by “for” and “against” global warming proponents. However, if an “independent group” such as you guys at the Climatic Research Unit could make a statement as to whether the McIntyre and McKitrick effort is truly an “audit”, and whether they did it right, I think that would go a long way to defusing the issue.
This one statement alone is sufficient to see through the repeated bogus claims of “independent” verification of results by other groups. “Independence”, for these cowboys, means asking a group from another institution (preferably an overseas one) to rubber-stamp their findings.
If you are willing, a quick and forceful statement from The Distinguished Climatic Research Unit Boys would help quash further arguments, although here, at least, it is already quite out of control… Indeed it is.
November 12, 2003: email 1068652882 Tim Osborn writes to Keith Briffa and Phil Jones, discussing a request by Steve
McIntyre (not included, but we can infer the nature of the request shortly):
You will have seen Stephen McIntyre’s request to us. We need to talk about it, though my initial feeling is that we should turn it down (with carefully worded/explained reasons) as another interim stage and prefer to make our input at the peer-review stage.
Osborn then forwards an email that Steve McIntyre wrote to Mike Mann and Tim Osborn, asking for data that is in dispute, and asks that erroneous statements be
In the meantime, here is an email (copied below) to Mike Mann from McIntyre, requesting data and programs (and making other criticisms). I do wish Mike had not rushed around sending out preliminary and incorrect early responses—the waters are really muddied now. He would have done better to have taken things slowly and worked out a final response before publicising this stuff. Excel files, other files being created early, or now deleted, is really confusing things!
Osborn is describing a flurry of activity by Mann and colleagues, whereby data files were hastily cobbled together using Microsoft Excel (which should not have been necessary: the data should have been available for scrutiny or distribution at any time), posted to the download site, then quickly withdrawn as elementary errors were evident.
This is clear evidence that it was only the increasingly persistent demands of Steve McIntyre and others that caused this group to start cleaning up their data, into what was only a superficial semblance of acceptability.
Osborn then expresses relief that they are now “off the hook” regarding McIntyre’s
Anyway, because McIntyre has now asked Mann directly for his data and programs, his request that we send McIntyre’s request to Mann has been dropped (I would have said “no” anyway).
Is it any wonder that getting the data and computer programs from these “scientists” was more difficult than pulling teeth? Perhaps dictionary pages for the word “obstruction” should be redirected here… January 16, 2004: email 1074277559 The journal Climatic Change requests from Phil Jones that Mike Mann’s data and computer programs be made available, to check that the calculations are reproducible by other scientists. Jones writes to a large number of climate scientists, hosing down
the need for such action:
1. The papers that McIntyre and McKitrick refer to came out in Nature in 1998 and to a lesser extent in Geophysical Research Letters in 1999. These reviewers did not request the data (all the temperature proxy series) or the computer programs. So, acceding to the request for this to do the review is setting a very dangerous precedent. Mike has made all the data … available and this is all anyone should need. Making computer programs available is something else.
Jones is arguing for despicable double standards: he and his colleagues continue to cite these papers, by the dozen, as the “gold standard” of the global warming debate;
but when asked to substantiate the claims made in them, he effectively argues that it is “past history”—and if they got away without providing the programs to the peer reviewers in 1998 or 1999, then they should be scot-free forever!
2. The computer programs are basically irrelevant in this whole issue. In the Geophysical Research Letters paper (in 2003 by Mann and Jones), we simply average all the data sets we use together. The result is pretty much the same as for Mann, Bradley, and Hughes in 1998 in Nature, and for Mann, Bradley, and Hughes in 1999 in Geophysical Research Letters.
More misdirection. “Averaging the data sets together” is not “simple”—or, rather, if they did do it “simply”, that is, naively, then not only is it statistically invalid and completely meaningless, but the computer program should be so simple that there should be no reason not to release it. Even Jones is forced to use the qualifier “pretty much”.
Jones’s next misdirection:
3. As many of you know, I calculate temperature data each month. Groups at the National Climatic Data Center and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Goddard Institute for Space Studies do this as well.
We don’t exchange computer programs—we do, occasionally, though, exchange the data. The computer programs here are trivial as they are in the paleoclimatology work.
Again, if the computer programs were trivial, then surely they could be distributed without any qualms at all.
Note that Jones is here admitting that the various groups do not even check each other’s programs, let alone make them available for independent scrutiny. In other words, they have not been checked outside their own lab at all. He furthermore admits that the data are only checked “occasionally”.
Jones now widens the crack of self-contradiction:
Mann, Bradley, and Hughes get geographical patterns, but the bottom line (the 1000-year series of global temperatures) is almost the same if you simply average.