Channel 4 Now Ashamed of its Experts

Tue, 2007-03-06 12:31Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Channel 4 Now Ashamed of its Experts

After a DeSmogBlog post yesterday complained about academic misrepresentation in the promotional material for a UK television show (The Great Global Warming Swindle), Channel 4 went back into its website and removed all reference to the “experts” that it plans to quote in the program, due to air March 8 at 9 .m.

That would be good news if Channel 4 also planned to remove the offending climate change deniers - people like Dr. Tim Ball - from the show itself, but that seems more than unlikely.

Accordingly, the DeSmogBlog is distributing this press release, and is asking Channel 4 for a list of scientists (with their credentials) so that any fossil fuel interests can be exposed before the show goes to air. The text of the press release is as follows.

Even before the show goes to air (March 8, 9 p.m.), Channel 4’s “The Great Global Warming Swindle ” leaves the truth in the gutter.
In its promotional material, Channel 4 was advertising one of its experts, Dr. Tim Ball, as a “Climatologist and Prof Emeritus of Geography at the University of Winnipeg.” In fact, Dr. Ball retired from a short, unspectacular academic career in 1995. He neither earned – nor was he given – the honour of an Emeritus professorship, and the University of Winnipeg has, on at least one previous occasion, specifically requested that he stop presenting himself as such.

Far from being a working scientist or credible expert, Dr. Ball has associated himself in the last decade with a series of energy industry front groups (the Friends of Science, the Natural Resource Stewardship Project ) that fight against any policy that would address climate change.

Even the Calgary Herald, the leading newspaper in the Canadian oil capital of Calgary, has said that Ball is “viewed as a paid promoter of the agenda of the oil and gas industry rather than as a practicing scientist.”

When Ball’s credentials were questioned on the Canadian climate change website DeSmogBlog.com, Channel 4 removed the reference to Ball and removed the names of all the other scientists from its promotional website. But the locations that Channel 4 still mentions suggest that the other “experts” will include at least a cross-section of other people who are known more for taking money from the energy industry than they are for scientific research. For example, the reference to Virginia suggests that Channel 4 plans to quote Pat Michaels, who is on record as having been paid by a coalition of U.S. coal-fired electrical utilities to “stand up to the alarmists and bring balance to the discussion.”
Channel 4’s experts look less like scientists than like PR people who work on behalf of fossil fuel companies.

If that isn’t the case, we challenge Channel 4 to produce a list of its experts, with their credentials, so viewers may know whose interests are being represented before sitting down to the watch the show.

Comments

Do I have this right? A group of PR people (i.e. you) are questioning the credibility of Ball, Michaels et.al. because they are mere PR people? I’m glad I’m a science guy. I obviously don’t understand PR at all.

just logic to understand the difference between a PR person presenting a personal opinion, and a PR person claiming to be an expert, and a PR person paid by corporate interests to deliberately mislead the public.

You have noticed that DeSmogBlog is not a science site, but specializes in other aspects of the climate debate? The science doesn’t do us much good if the public is unaware of or mislead about it. And there are people deliberately trying to mislead, or at least distort…

“You have noticed that DeSmogBlog is not a science site, but specializes in other aspects of the climate debate?”

Well, that’s certainly a quaint way of putting it.

Hilarious …

Unlike you, Anonymous, I go to scientists for my science. You go to propaganda sites for your science. Then I go to DeSmogBlog, for your propaganda. See?

The reason Ball, Michaels, Singer et al. get taken to task is not because they are “science people” or “PR people” but because they distort the truth. Now this is accepted in some circles, e.g. politics, law, some PR people but it is just not acceptable in science.

Science is all about understanding the truth about how complex systems (molecules, galaxies, species) function. To twist scientific findings to suit one’s own personl agenda is just wrong.

Oh. You mean like Mann, Bradley and Hughes and the infamous hockey stick? NOW I get it! Please people. No one is immune from looking at the world through their own prescription rose colored glasses. Ball, Michaels and company are no more (and no less) guilty than MBH, Stern or any of the other usual suspects. How ‘bout we dispense with the high priests and actually make an effort to think for ourselves.

Read the reports. Show me where Mann et al. have been shown to be manipulating the scientific facts. Both NAS reports showed their work to be scientifically accurate. They could have used a different statistical analysis protocol and the scarcity of data did not allow them to reach a normally accepted level of 95 % confidence in their 1000 AD conclusions. That in no way invalidates their results. Please read the reports before making slanderous accusations about reputable scientists.

To mention Mann et al. in the same sentence as Ball and Michaels is an insult to reputable scientists everywhere.

Well … since you asked … The 2006 NAS reports found that Mann etal’s reconstruction of 20th century temperatures was “plausible” but they go on to add … less confidence that the warming was unprecedented prior to 1600; fewer proxies – in fewer locations – provide temperatures for periods before then. Because of larger uncertainties in temperature reconstructions for decades and individual years, and because not all proxies record temperatures for such short timescales, even less confidence can be placed in the Mann team’s conclusions about the 1990s, and 1998 in particular. Sure sounds like a ringing endorsement to me. There is also this From the testimony of Dr. Edward Wegman before the Congressional Subcommittee on Oversite and Investigations We explicitly looked at the first principal component of the North American Tree Ring series and demonstrated that the hockey stick shows up when the data are decentered, but not when properly centered. We also demonstrated the same effect with the digitized version of the 1990 IPCC curve. (MBH98 uses decentered Principle Component analysis rather than the statistically more valid use of centred PCs) The MBH98 methodology puts undue emphasis on those proxies that do exhibit the hockey-stick shape and this is the fundamental flaw. Indeed, it is not clear that the hockey-stick shape is even a temperature signal because all the confounding variables have not been removed. we concluded that the statements regarding the decade of the 1990s probably being the hottest in a millennium and 1998 probably being the hottest year in a millennium are unwarranted. it would seem that there is some substantial likelihood that the bristlecone/foxtail pines are CO2 fertilized and hence are reflecting not temperature at all but CO2 concentration. It is a circular argument to say increased CO2 concentrations are causing temperature increases when temperature increases are estimated by using proxies that are directly affected by increased CO2 concentrations. You may also want to consult papers by MacIntyre & McKitrick and by Von Storch that reach similar conclusions. Most telling however is that the hocky stick graph, the poster child of the last two IPCC releases, has disappeared in the fourth assessment report. Sorry but I’ve no interest in responding to the Ad Hominem “reputable scientists” comment.

BCH said, “Sorry but I’ve no interest in responding to the Ad Hominem “reputable scientists” comment”.

If you are unwilling to understand the difference between reputable climate scientists and the shills and fraudsters you are promoting then I suggest that you do us all a favour and stay away from this site. You are only showing your ignorance when you support the likes of Ball, Michaels et al. who have been shown many times over not to be reputable scientists or honest in their claims on climate change.

Go away and do some serious reading on science, the scientific method and climate science then come back and discuss things in a civil manner.

I just cannot understand the hostility shown to science and scientists by people like you.

It’s one thing to have no knowledge of an area (science in your case) but it is quite another to show your lack of knowledge and understanding by attacking those who are more knowledgeable than you and are trying to show what the vast body of scientists have found, reported and agreed to. That is an insult to the integrity of science. Science works on what scientists find in their studies, not on what certain people would like them to find.

Hmmmm. Was it my quotation of papers written by scientists that was the clue to my hostility toward science? Your scientific references on the other hand … Oh wait! There weren’t any were there? Just an ad hominem attack on me (whom of course you don’t know at all) for daring to point out that one of the main proponents of AGW produced some less than stellar research. Did I say somewhere that I supported Ball or Michaels? True, I haven’t participated in their villianization so I guess … mea culpa. I do need to get over this business of actually look at what people say and instead look at the really important stuff like who pays them. Discuss things in a civil manner … I’m content to let others on this site examine your posts and mine to decide on the issue of civility.
Who cares about civility? What we need is intellectual honesty. Frankly, BCH, I think you are being disingenuous here; your smear on Mann, a real, active climate scientist, is repulsive; and your quoting of McIntyre & McKitrick as if they were credible scientists is just ridiculous. A mining executive and an economist? Working for the Fraser Institue rightwing propaganda factory? Get real.
And even more, we need some basic literacy skills (i.e. the ability to actually read what I posted.) I did not quote M&M. I did make reference to them but I quoted the National Academy of Sciences and Dr. Edward Wegman, Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. If you believe that what I quoted is disingenuous or repulsive then have a look at the full Wegman Report. Gives those words a whole new meaning.

BCH, Wegman is a statistician, not a climate scientist. However, you don’t need to go to the paeleo-climate records to see a “hockey stick”. Just look at the CET records from England and you will see a “hockey stick” shape and these are measured records and you don’t need any statistical manipulation to see that.

All the Wegman report tells us is that Wegman has his own preconceived prejudices and biases and uses a “his way or the highway” approach, i.e., my way is the only way and anyone who says differently is wrong. This is quite common in academics, esp. when they get involved in areas outside of their own discipline.

Thus, when the data were reworked using his suggestions, low and behold, the results were essentially the same. The same thing happened when the controversial BCP data were omitted, no significant change.

As for the NAS report, again this does not say what you are implying. They noted, correctly, that MBH could not make the claim that the last decade was the warmest in a millennium. This is because the resolution of the data from 1000 years ago was not decadal. However, they did agree that the data showed that present day temperatures are much warmer than 1000 years ago.

Good catch Ian. His title “Chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics” makes that rather plain. As Dr. Wegman notes in his closing comments We note here that we are statisticians/mathematicians who were asked to comment on the correctness of the methodology found in MBH98/99. In this report we have focused on answering this question and not on whether or not the global climate is changing. The issue, as I understand it, isn’t whether or not you can find a temperature record somewhere that shows a “hockey stick” shape, but rather whether or not MBH98/99 used correct statistical methods and data handling procedures. As to Wegman’s “prejudices”, I really don’t know. It does seem improbable given that, as you pointed out, Wegman is not a climate scientist and presumably has no axe to grind about the climate issues involved. Reading between the lines of his report, I would guess that Dr. Wegman is a Global Warming believer from comments such as Especially when massive amounts of public monies and human lives are at stake, academic work should have a more intense level of scrutiny and review. He certainly does criticize the statistical methods used in MBH but to characterize this as “preconceived prejudices and biases” is a bit much. It is preconcieved only in the sense that it is the result of decades of training in statistics and recognition as one of the country’s pre-eminent statisticians. It is biased only in that Dr. Wegman prefers correct statistical methods to incorrect ones. Probably the sort of bias a scientist should have. Again the issue is not why NAS rejected the assertion that 1998 was the warmest year … it is why MBH made the assertion without justification. You may be quite correct as to the reasons that the assertion is not justified but those reasons were known to MBH at the time of writing so why did they write it anyway? Here’s a possible way of resolving the issue. Instead of ad hominem attacks, read the report … all 91 pages of it … and point out where Wewgman has made errors or injected personal bias into the discussion. no significant change … True. Realclimate (Michael Mann’s very own web site) did a reconstruction of that sort, although I cannot find a peer-reviewed paper that arrives at the same conclusions. Not really the central issue though which is that the original MBH98 and MBH99 papers used inappropriate statistical methods and data handling practices. Wegman did not, nor was he asked to, reproduce the MBH curves using corrected statistical methods.

BCH, not too difficult to find:

Rutherford, R., M.E. Mann,T.J. Osborn, R.S. Bradley, K.R. Briffa, M.K. Hughes, and P.D.
Jones, 2005: Proxy-based northern hemisphere surface temperature reconstructions: Sensitivity to
method, predictor network, target season, and target domain. Journal of Climate, 18, 2308-2328.

You will probably argue that it predates the Wegman report but it answers the comments by M&M.

Again, statistical analysis is used to manipulate data so that one can draw conclusions about the significance of experimental data. There are many types of SA and you choose what is both accepted by your peers (in Mann’s case PC analysis) or what you are familiar with. If you study any textbook on SA you will see that there are myriad ways to analyze your data. None are wrong and none may 100% correct. The “proof of the pudding” is to see if different methods change your conclusions. It has definitely been shown that different methods of treating MBH data have no effect; in fact the raw data themselves are very close to the statistically manipulated data.

Now if you can show that there is something wrong with the underlying data sets you might have a case but as far as I know no one has done that.

Thanks Ian. That must have been the source of the Realclimate graphs. Aside from the Bristlecone Pine series where there is a possibility of temperature being confounded with CO2 fertilization and the sparseness of the Gaspé series, I know of no criticisms of the underlying data. As far as I’m aware, there was never the suggestion that the MBH98/99 representations were going to undergo massive changes from a change in statistical processing. The allegation was and is that the statistical procedures were incorrectly applied and, until correct procedures were instituted, it was unknown how trustworthy the results were. You are of course correct that there are many ways to apply statistical methods to experimental data. My own guess (and its only a guess … I’m no statistician) would be that MBH could have easily avoided this whole mess by clearly documenting their statistical treatments and, if the selected methods were “non-standard”, documenting their reasons for using them. The unfortunate upshot of the whole thing was that a failure to do those simple things gave the appearance that they had somehow manipulated the methods and procedures to force a certain conclusion.

You’re repeating McIntyre and McKitrick’s criticisms which have been shown by Wahl and Ammann (2006) to be unfounded. See here:

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimaticChange_inPress.pdf

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/refs/WahlAmmann_ClimChange2006.html

http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/CODES_MBH.html

“In Summary, it can be clearly stated that none of the warm 15th century reconstructions turn out to be statistically and climatologically meaningful. The centering issue raised by McIntyre and McKitrick in GRL (2005a), if approached properly (i.e. using full standardization of individual records), is influencing the reconstruction in a minor way and is in fact confirming the robustness of the MBH reconstruction within its own framework.”

Actually, I’m quoting Wegman. I don’t really know what … is in fact confirming the robustness of the MBH reconstruction within its own framework … means so I can’t comment. Here’s what Wegman (see Page 65) had to say about Mann and his co-authors. What is the current scientific consensus on the conclusions reached by Drs. Mann, Bradley and Hughes? Ans: Based on the literature we have reviewed, there is no overarching consensus on MBH98/99. As analyzed in our social network, there is a tightly knit group of individuals who passionately believe in their thesis. However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.

“However, our perception is that this group has a self-reinforcing feedback mechanism and, moreover, the work has been sufficiently politicized that they can hardly reassess their public positions without losing credibility.”

Anyone who claims the studies done by MBH are politicised instantly have lost credibility. The work done by MBH is completely scientific in nature and has no inkling of politics dabbled into it.

Also, the “tightly-knit group” are climate scientists and the “overarching consensus” exists that agree with MBH. The IPCC, the largest group of climate scientists on the planet with roughly 2500 members agrees with MBH. Only a few outliers (i.e. those who believe the IPCC is a political organisation, that humans could never affect the climate system, or that “the Earth has been cooling since 1998”) do not.

You mean with you I gather. I’m sure Wegman will be crushed. Ringing in the “IPCC 2500” doesn’t seem appropriate though and there’s no evidence that I’m aware of that all, or even a significant fraction of them, agree with Mann. Wegman identified 40 people in the Paleoclimate group who extensively collaborate on papers and even recycle the same data from one paper to another. See page 46 at the bottom of the page, if you have doubts. Since I have no inside track into Mann’s group or paleoclimatology in general … I cannot proclaim the truth or falsehood of Wegman’s statements. You are apparently better informed on this since you can bravely make such unqualified assertions.
“Again, statistical analysis is used to manipulate data …If you study any textbook on SA you will see that there are myriad ways to analyze your data. None are wrong and none may 100% correct.”

just guessing, Ian, but you are not a statistician, are you ?

in fact, your statements about statistics above are wrong, aren’t they ?

“It has definitely been shown that different methods of treating MBH data have no effect;”

strange; both the NAS panel and wegman came to the clearly stated conclusion that the decentred processing used by MBH was an error, and significantly changed the results of MBH. And a peer-reviewed paper by M&M…

“Now if you can show that there is something wrong with the underlying data sets you might have a case but as far as I know no one has done that.”

I am tempted to make reference to the three wise monkeys…

numerous of the temperature proxies in MBH‘98 show no relationship to local temperature; surely a little bit strange for temperature proxies ???

The selection of proxies for MBH‘98 occurred by a non-documented process; this is akin to cherry-picking, and it means that the whole analysis is potentially biased.

and the point has already been made about the unsuitabilit of bristle-cone pines…

 per

I have seen Per’s comments on other blogs and he is just a troll. You obviously are another one who believes in the politics of AGW rather than the science. I stand by all of my comments. Prove me wrong if you can.

Statistics do not change the underlying value of data. If you have random data then no matter what you do with it, it will always be random data. The raw data from MBH shows essentially the same curve as the curves from the various statistically fine tuned data.

So if the raw data give the same curve as the statistical method used by MBH and the same curve when using the method suggested by Wegman what is all the fuss about? If this is all you have to support your politically driven dogma then you are becoming desperate.

Wegman was brought in by biased politicians to support M&M. If you want to see fraudulent and error ridden data just read their papers.

Can someone answer this question for me? Why are rightwing politicians and supporters so anti-science?

“If you study any textbook on SA you will see that there are myriad ways to analyze your data. None are wrong and none may 100% correct.”

“I stand by all of my comments. Prove me wrong if you can.”

So no statistical analysis is wrong; forgive me if I point out that this is bananas.

I made clear statements about the facts of the matter, and I advanced scientific arguments. You have responded with:

“he is just a troll….brought in by biased politicians to support M&M. If you want to see fraudulent and error ridden data just read their papers.”

your canard of fraud is shameful. your level of debate speaks for itself.

 per

Per, you either didn’t understand my arguments or deliberately twisted them to suit your biased agenda. You contribute nothing to debates, either here or elsewhere. I know nothing about you except for the rubbish you dump on various serious blogs.

The only people that get things wrong (deliberately?) are M&M, remember the radians and degrees snafu? These are two nasty people doing their utmost to discredit reputable scientists for political end. That is deplorable.

“The only people that get things wrong (deliberately?) are M&M, remember the radians and degrees snafu?”

errr, you are thinking of McKitrick and Michaels, not McIntyre and McKitrick.

“These are two nasty people doing their utmost to discredit reputable scientists for political end. That is deplorable.”

yes, i see you have the scientific arguments down to a tee. I would introduce you to the parable of the pot, that called the kettle black.

 per

Per, you either didn’t understand my arguments or deliberately twisted them to suit your biased agenda. You contribute nothing to debates, either here or elsewhere. I know nothing about you except for the rubbish you dumb on various serious blogs.

The only people that get things wrong (deliberately?) are M&M, remember the radians and degrees snafu? These are two nasty people doing their utmost to discredit reputable scientists for political end. That is deplorable.

“Wegman is a statistician,…”

yes, and a very eminent one. He was asked to comment on the statistical methods of MBH‘98, and he was very critical.

“Wegman has his own preconceived prejudices and biases…”

can you spell “ad hominem” ? How long have you been a scientist ?

“the results were essentially the same. The same thing happened when the controversial BCP data were omitted, no significant change”

both statements are manifestly untrue. The NAS report and wahl and ammann both note significant changes when you take out the BCPs. It’s in black and white.

“they did agree that the data showed that present day temperatures are much warmer than 1000 years ago.”

the summary of the NAS report says that the uncertainties in reconstructions are unquantifiable in times before we had thermometer records (ca. 1600). I believe that contradicts your comment.

 per

Just because you say something does not make it true.

“the results were essentially the same. The same thing happened when the controversial BCP data were omitted, no significant change”

both statements are manifestly untrue. The NAS report and wahl and ammann both note significant changes when you take out the BCPs. It’s in black and white.

Just because you say something does not make it true.”

Have you read the wahl and ammann paper ? Didn’t you look at Figures 4 and 5c ?

Didn’t you read the NAS and wegman reports ? The Nas report explicitly points out that the MBH reconstruction is sensitive to omission of great basin (i.e. bristlecone) proxies.

Funny how you have gone quiet on the science…

per

Per, here is a quote from Ammann: “The centering issue raised by McIntyre and McKitrick in GRL (2005a), if approached properly (i.e. using full standardization of individual records), is influencing the reconstruction in a minor way and is in fact confirming the robustness of the MBH reconstruction within its own framework”.

Mmm “minor way”, “confirming the robustness.”

Go back to your sand box, nap time is over.

“Per, here is a quote from Ammann: “The centering issue …”

there are two issues, one on centring prior to PCA, and one on the BCPs.

Both the NAS panel and Wegman, and M&M 2005, point out that the centering issue is an error that affects the reconstruction. According to MBH on realclimate, it changes the “hockeystick” shape from the principal component of variance (~40%), down to the fourth PC (ca. ~7% of variance). It is self-evidently ludicrous that 7% of the variation should skew the whole temperature reconstruction.

now you can believe the NAS, Wegman, peer-reviewed papers, and MBH themselves, or W&A (which for some reason, the NAS panel thought to be insubstantive on this issue).

toodle-pip !

 per

WOULD THIS HELP? “Mann et al., misused certain statistical methods in their studies, which inappropriately produce hockey stick shapes in the temperature history. Wegmans analysis concludes that Manns work cannot support claim that the1990s were the warmest decade of the millennium. Report: Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported by the MBH98/99 analysis. As mentioned earlier in our background section, tree ring proxies are typically calibrated to remove low frequency variations. The cycle of Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age that was widely recognized in 1990 has disappeared from the MBH98/99 analyses, thus making possible the hottest decade/hottest year claim. However, the methodology of MBH98/99 suppresses this low frequency information. The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable.”http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf

No. That doesn’t help. These criticisms of the Wegman hearing help clear the air:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/07/the-missing-piece-at-the-wegman-hearing/ http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/08/followup-to-the-hockeystick-hearings/

“No. That doesn’t help. These criticisms of the Wegman hearing …”

funny how quick we descend into ad hominem attacks; almost as if we wished to ignore the scientific points wegman was making.

strangely enough, Gerry North, the chair of the NRC panel, agreed with Wegman that their views on the substantive issues of science were common. They both took the view that the decentring was wrong. They both criticised aspects of the statistical validation. NAS even came to the view that you could not quantify the uncertainty on any reconstruction prior to 1600.

so presumably you will now criticise the NAS panel as well ?

 per

What the %@&$, per! I never made an ad hominem attack! Criticism of Wegman is not an ad hominem.

Here’s an ad hominem. You’re an idiot. You’re so blinded by ideology that you can’t read anything properly and thoroughly which supports AGW.

I never made an ad hominem attack! “

my apologies; but you quickly slip !

I notice you didn’t argue with the substantive points I made.

per

“I notice you didn’t argue with the substantive points I made.”

That’s because you didn’t make any. You just repeated the claims of the ClimateAudit crowd rather than anything that could have a hope in hell of passing the peer-review test.

Per, how many climate reconstructions have the “denier” crowd done (most of which have a highly exaggerated warming during the MWP and show minimal warming over the 20th Century, like the M&M attempts which failed the tests done by Wahl and Ammann) which have passed the peer-review test? NONE! How many reconstructions have climate scientists done (which are more-or-less the same shape of the “hockey stick”) which have passed the peer-review test? DOZENS!

Says something, doesn’t it.

“I notice you didn’t argue with the substantive points I made.”

That’s because you didn’t make any.

well, you pointed to criticisms of the wegman report, and I pointed out that gerry north, chair of the NRC panel, said in testimony that the two panels agreed on the substantive issues; that the decentering was wrong, that MBH used inadequate statistical analysis, and that the results of MBH cannot be relied upon.

instead, you point to a blog, which has as one of its authors - Michael Mann, who has considerable self-interest in avoiding criticism. You appear to prefer Mann’s blog to a panel convened by the NAS and a senior statistician.

even if we follow the argument at RealClimate, it seems to be saying that the method that they published - is wrong ! It is kind of a poor argument for attempting to defend a paper.

what it doesn’t say, is that if you switch to centred PCA, the hockey-stick accounts for only 7% of the variance (instead of 40% with decentred). Now there is no way that a temperature signal that accounts for only 7% of the signal, should be dominating the whole temperature record.

and whoops! when you come to do sensitivity analysis, you discover that the hockey-stick comes from the bristle-cone (great basin) pines; so take out the californian pines, and world temperature shifts by 0.2Celsius.

like it or not, once you take out the decentring, the whole house of cards tumbles down.

and that isn’t even beginning to deal with the severity of both Wegman’s, and the NAS panel’s, criticism.

 per

“You appear to prefer Mann’s blog to a panel convened by the NAS and a senior statistician.”

That’s because Mann actually knows something about the climate system while statisticians are just familiar with numbers.

As for the panel “convened by the NAS and a senior statistician”, bulls***! It was orchestrated by Rep. Barton (and Sen. Inhofe) who was trying to start an inquisition into those whose research supports AGW. It was simply to attack climate experts and to attempt to make science fiction writers (Crichton) seem to have more expertise about the climate system that actual climate scientists.

There was no honest reason for the inquiry. Only to inject doubt where there is none.

Ya see PER … here’s how it works. Under the law, if you can establish that a piece of evidence is connected, however remotely, to some hint if impropriety, then that evidence and anything stemming from it is inadmissible. Such evidence is called “fruit of a poisoned tree.” In this case, representatives of the US Government (specifically Barton … an evil Republican) asked that a project financed by US Government money be audited following allegations of statistical errors. These allegations were made by (horrors) two Canadians who were not even climate scientists (even though they were statisticians). The National Academy of Sciences convened a panel of emminent statisticians and mathemeticians to perform that audit. Their conclusions have been noted at some length elsewhere on this blog. The work of the Wegman commission is of course without merit because
  1. Republicans were behind it.
  2. Non climate science Canadians who worked for the mining industry were involved.
  3. Wegman isn’t a climate scientist.
  4. The hockey stick is among the most revered icons of AGW so even if MBH got the science wrong, it’s still true.
Given all this, we need not consider the actual content of the Wegman Report because it is all fruit of a poisoned tree. Hey! I’m really getting good at this stuff!
spot on, BCH, you are getting the hang of this. Here are a couple of further tips for you !

as Ian said,

“You are not worth arguing with , I wouldn’t classify it as a debate since you will not quote actual scientific papers, just blog comments (climatefraudit) and politicized reports.”

that should be fairly clear; you can’t rely on blogs.

As stephen said,

“You appear to prefer Mann’s blog to a panel convened by the NAS and a senior statistician.”

“That’s because Mann actually knows something about the climate system while statisticians are just familiar with numbers.”

So you can rely on blogs, but only when it suits you !

 per

Thanks PER … good points and I will use them as I continue my studies in how to effectively counter heresy. The other one that I’ve found is that peer-reviewed papers are always to be taken as gospel unless they were produced by Michaels, McKitrick, McIntyre, Linzden, Ball, … i.e. the usual list of “denier” suspects. Papers from those sources can be shown to be tainted by some connection to Exxon-Mobil. It’s not necessary to demonstrate the connection however. Just saying it establishes the claim. Note that it is also not necessary to read or quote peer-reviewed papers. That would be “cherry picking.”

BCH, I don’t actually mind some Republicans. Sen. McCain (and others) is actually one who has his head on straight. Also, some Republican policies (such as weaning ourselves off of foreign oil) are good. I never consider Republicans (nor Democrats) evil either.

McCain, though, doesn’t have his feet dipped into the muck that is the oil industry. Barton’s and Inhofe’s campaigns are funded by the fossil fuel industry, so they feel they need to pay them back.

However, I’m Canadian, so I cannot vote either Democrat or Republican.

“As for the panel “convened by the NAS and a senior statistician”, bulls***! It was orchestrated by Rep. Barton…”

sadly, it appears you don’t know what you are talking about. You can get the full NAS report here:

http://books.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676

This was a request from congress for the National Academy of Sciences to review, and they did so through a panel set up under the auspices of the NRC. This comes with the imprimator of the NAS, and the NAS panel was an entirely different beast to the Wegman report (for the committee on energy and commerce).

Your disdain for the US National Academy of Sciences, and their expertise, obviously marks you out as a top-notch scientist :)

 per

That didn’t help? How about this In general, we found MBH98 and MBH99 to be somewhat obscure and incomplete and the criticisms of MM03/05a/05b to be valid and compelling. Or this authors in the area of paleoclimate studies are closely connected and thus ‘independent studies’ may not be as independent as they might appear on the surface Or maybe the sharing of research materials, data and results was haphazardly and grudgingly done. In this case we judge that there was too much reliance on peer review, which was not necessarily independent. Opinion pieces from Michael Mann’s own web site in defense of Micheal Mann’s work are, sadly, not helpful. Were you unable to find anyone else that came to his defense?

Yes, I was. The Wahl and Ammann (2006) paper which has been cited many times on this website.

Ah yes. That would be the same Wahl and Ammann who were identified as frequent co-authors with Mann? The same ones about whom Wegman said MM05a was critiqued by Wahl and Ammann (2006) and the Wahl et al. (2006) based on the lack of statistical skill of their paleoclimate temperature reconstruction. Thus these critiques of the MM05a and MM05b work are not to the point. The same ones who, along with Mann wrote Testing the Fidelity of Methods Used in Proxy-Based Reconstructions of Past Climate by Michael Mann, Scott Rutherford, Eugene Wahl and Caspar Ammann (2005) and Mann, Michael.E., Rutherford, Scott., Wahl, Eugene, and Ammann, Caspar, in revision, “Robustness of Proxy-Based Climate Field Reconstruction Methods”, Journal of Geophysical Research. They were offering a defense of their own previous publications as well as Mann’s. Hardly an impartial and independent confirmation.

BCH said: “They were offering a defense of their own previous publications as well as Mann’s. Hardly an impartial and independent confirmation.”

Since these articles apper in the peer reviewed scientific literature others must have agreed. Or are you saying that it was “self-peer review”?

I would never say such a thing … Wegman did. In the present example there was too much reliance on peer review, which seemed not to be sufficiently independent. While I get some, no doubt perverse, pleasure in watching you continually walk into walls … have you considered the possibility that you are not completely on the side of the angels on this one?

BCH said (and unless you put quotation marks around something, you will be the one who said it): “I would never say such a thing … Wegman did.” Peer review is by its very definition anonymous. So how can Wegman know who reviewed those papers. You are the one running into a wall, full speed with your eyes closed.

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