«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 ...»
Ah-ha! “Almost” the same. And it is the panoply of subtleties that come into that “almost” that necessitates careful checking and validation.
He continues to explain why none of this is in the least bit “trivial”:
The geographical patterns give more, though, when it comes to trying to understand what has caused the changes—e.g. by comparison with models.
McIntyre and McKitrick are only interested in the Northern Hemisphere and Global 1000-year data sets—in fact only in the Mann, Bradley, and Hughes work from 1400.
Perhaps realizing that he is arguing against his own thesis, Jones now tries to argue
that Mann is being victimized:
4. What has always intrigued me in this whole debate, is why the skeptics (for want of a better term) always pick on Mike. There are several other data sets that I’ve produced, as has Keith Briffa … and Tom Crowley. Jan Esper’s work has produced a slightly different data set but we don’t get bombarded by McIntyre and McKitrick. Mike’s paper wasn’t the first. It was in Nature and is well-used by IPCC. I suspect the skeptics wish to concentrate their effort onto one person as they did with Ben Santer after the second IPCC report.
Apart from answering his own question—Mann’s “hockey stick” work is held up by all of them, including in their role as the voice of the IPCC, as the gold standard— Jones’s argument is ridiculous. Mann’s data and programs should not be scrutinized, simply because other people’s data haven’t yet been scrutinized? That sounds like a good Catch-22 argument for preventing the process from starting at all!
Jones now displays the ultimate in hypocrisy:
5. … I found out later that the (skeptic) authors of a paper were in contact with the reviewers up to a week before the article appeared. So there is peer review and peer review!! Here the peer review was done by like-minded colleagues.
As the Climategate emails show, Mann, Jones, and their colleagues were not only in contact with their reviewers, but regularly chose them—or applied detective work to determine who they were—as a matter of course! It is unbelievable that they seem unable to recognize that they themselves do precisely what they accuse others of doing—and they openly discuss it!
Now, in contrast to the above carefully-constructed defence, consider the following
email: Jones frantically leaks the journal’s request to Mike Mann:
Subject: Climatic Change needs your advice—YOUR EYES ONLY !!!!!
This is for YOUR EYES ONLY. Delete after reading—please! I’m trying to redress the balance. One reply from Christian Pfister said you should make all available!! Pot calling the kettle black—Christian doesn’t make his methods available. … I told Steve separately, and told him to get more advice from a few others, as well as Kluwer (publishers), and the legal department.
PLEASE DELETE—just for you, not even for Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes.
Jones’s blind panic—in private to Mann—speaks volumes. He is so scared of the ramifications that he even asks that Mann destroy the email immediately.
Are these the actions of scientists with nothing to hide?
January 29, 2004: email 1075403821 Phil Jones forwards to Mike Mann an email advising the sudden death of Australian
climate skeptic John Daly:
It is with deep sadness that the Daly Family have to announce the sudden death of John Daly. Condolences may be sent to John’s email account (email@example.com).
Reported with great sadness Timo Hameranta, LL.M.
In an odd way this is cheering news! One other thing about the Climatic Change paper—just found another email—is that McKittrick says it is standard practice in Econometrics journals to provide all the data and computer programs!! According to legal advice, Intellectual Property Rights overrides this.
Ignore Jones’s insensitive comments regarding an opponent’s death, if you can. What is remarkable here is that Jones apparently finds completely bizarre and foreign the idea that the data and methods used to arrive at a scientific conclusion should be made available for independent scrutiny! This is astounding: these requirements are
fundamental to the entire scientific method, through its demands of reproducibility:
any scientist, anywhere in the world, must in principle be able to reproduce and verify a scientific result, before it is even considered to be a result at all.
Of course, in the context of the climate debate, Jones’s arrogance is far more damning:
these results, central to their call on world leaders to enact treaties and legislation that would have huge ramifications for the world’s peoples, should have been audited, scrutinized, validated, and verified with greater thoroughness than possibly any other results of modern science. To have Jones and Mann argue that the data and programs central to these recommendations are “private property”—protected by patent and copyright laws—is astonishing.
February 2, 2004: email 1075750656 Keith Briffa makes an astounding comment to Rashit Hantemirov, regarding a request
made of Hantemirov:
Dear Rashit Thanks for this—these people ask many questions as they try constantly to attack the global warming proponents. I answer sometimes, but it usually means they come back with many more questions. All part of science, I suppose.
It is remarkable, firstly, that Briffa describes himself and his colleagues as “global warming proponents”, rather than “researchers”, “investigators”, or even just “scientists”.
Surely they are not meant to be “proponents” of a predetermined view? A Freudian slip on Briffa’s part, perhaps?
Secondly, Briffa’s bewilderment that anyone would question them over their work— and that an answer would not simply provide a brush-off, but may well stimulate follow-up questions—is indicative of an extraordinary confidence in their infallibility.
February 4, 2004: email 1076083097 A large number of collaborators are discussing ways to avoid providing Steve McIntyre with enough of the computer programs actually to check their results. Linda Mearns, Senior Scientist at the Institute for the Study of Society and Environment at the
National Center for Atmospheric Research, writes:
My point about the computer programs is still that “providing the programs” can be interpreted a lot of ways. I have thought about this, and imagined if in one of my larger and more complex projects, I was asked to provide all the programs. I could do that just by sending the pieces with a summary file explaining what each piece was used for. It still theoretically allows someone to see how the programming was done. And I do think that is a far sight easier than providing stuff that can be run, etc. I am suggesting that one could do the minimum. Then the point is, one isn’t faced with garish headlines about “refusal to provide programs”. I think it is harder to come up with a garish headline about “refusal to provide completely documented programs with appropriate instructions files and hand-holding for running it”.
Mearns’ overwhelming concern with newspaper headlines, rather than scientific corroboration and validation, is the mark of a political operator, not a scientist.
Mearns’ argument is effectively this: if we are forced to provide the computer programs, then let’s break them up into the smallest possible pieces, so that McIntyre can see roughly what we have done, but would have an almost impossible task putting the pieces back together again so that it could be used—sort of a “Humpty Dumpty” version of transparency and full disclosure.
Phil Jones realizes that this won’t fool many: if they had done the science properly, then the computer programs and supporting documentation would be readily available for
anyone to use, without any further work:
So now it seems that we’re separating “providing the programs” from “running the programs”. I can’t see the purpose of one without the other.
Even if Mike Mann complies, I suspect there will need to be several sessions of interaction to explain how to run the programs, which neither side will be very keen on.
Jones is savvy enough to understand that providing un-runnable programs will lead to an immediate request or demand for assistance in actually getting them to run.
He now admits that, even with possession of the programs and the data, a lot of “fiddling”
is needed to get to their claimed results:
As I said before, I know that running the programs will involve lots of combinations (for different time periods with different temperature proxies).
He further realizes that validating their programs would require validating their mathematical “number-crunching” programs—often shared between different
programs, and hence called “library routines”:
Also I would expect, knowing the nature of the mathematical approach that we use, that there will be library routines. We don’t want McIntyre (and McKitrick) to come out and say that he can’t get it to work after a few days.
At least Jones understands the realities of the situation—although it is surprising that he doesn’t know for certain whether they use library routines or not. One must wonder about the environment which the more junior scientists are accustomed to, for them to be seriously considering withholding parts of the programs to prevent them from being usable.
So, it is far from simple. I’m still against the computer programs being given out. Mike has made the data available. That is all they should need.
The method of calculations is detailed in the original paper … and also in several other papers Mike has written.
In other words, the skeptics have a description of what was done—and that should be enough.
Then this bombshell:
As an aside, Mike Mann is now using a different method from the paper of Mann, Bradley, and Hughes of 1998.
So even if McIntyre and colleagues follow the method described in the 1998 paper, they still won’t obtain agreement with what Mann is now doing!
Could there be any clearer argument for providing the exact computer programs and methodology used for each and every published paper? Jones apparently can’t see how ridiculous his words are.
It might appear that they want the programs to check whether their version works properly. If this is the case, then there are issues of Intellectual Property Rights. So, if they get the programs, how do we stop them using it for anything other than this review?
God forbid that any other scientists should be given assistance in researching this issue of critical importance to humanity! Jones’s treatment of their data and research, paid for by the taxpayers, as “private property”, for them to exploit without challenge—to the exclusion of all other scientists—is astonishing.
February 9, 2004: email 1076336623 Steve McIntyre has been trying to get raw data, and writes to Australian Antarctic
scientist Tas van Ommen:
Dear Dr van Ommen, Some time ago I inquired as to the availability of the … data set which was used in the paper of Mann and Jones in 2003. Is this the same data as was used in Jones and co-workers in 1998 (in the journal The Holocene)?
Do you plan to make available a public archive of this data? Otherwise, I would appreciate an email copy of the data.
Thanks for your consideration.
Van Ommen forwards the ensuing email exchange to Phil Jones: