Kate on Climategate

From Kate of the ClimateSight blog comes this really awesome summary: The Real Story of Climategate. The whole thing is good, but I especially liked this part:

Skepticism is a worthy quality in science, but denial is not. A skeptic will only accept a claim given sufficient evidence, but a denier will cling to their beliefs regardless of evidence. They will relentlessly attack arguments that contradict their cause, using talking points that are full of misconceptions and well-known to be false, while blindly accepting any argument that seems to support their point of view. A skeptic is willing to change their mind. A denier is not.

I found ClimateSight via Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog, in his post today in which he linked to lies.com: A firehose of global warming news, both good and bad. Huzzah for inbound links!

18 Responses to “Kate on Climategate”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    Oh oh. Now you’ve done it JBC, shcb is not going to like that.

  2. shcb Says:

    @%^^*^% liberals!! Now I’m mad!!! Just kidding, how can I be mad during the holidays, with a full belly of turkey!

  3. NorthernLite Says:

    How could you be mad anyways, especially at the part jbc highlighted? That’s probably the most reasonable paragraph about cc/gw and the debate surrounding it that’ I’ve read in a long time.

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    NL, I never said shcb would be mad!

    I said he “is not going to like that.” There is a big difference.

    The reason shcb “is not going to like it” is because the article shows that shcb’s allies in this debate are a bunch of unscupulous malcontents and foolish sycophants, of which shcb is likely one of the latter. No, shcb won’t be “mad,” he will be ashamed and humbled in the realization of the enormous scope of his idiocy.

  5. shcb Says:

    Oh I agree with the quote, I just think JBC is the denier and I’m the skeptic, which according to the paragraph is a good thing. As soon as ALGore said the science was “in” I became skeptical, since almost by definition science is never “in” especially something that has only been studied a few decades. I also became skeptical when the only cure was to tax rich nations and give the money to poor nations. Remember carbon credits? The skam AlGore made millions on. This article says the emails were cherry picked and sections taken out of context, the entire emails were published; there was nothing out of context. There weren’t any smoking guns here, but this wasn’t the start and ends of the controversy either, these emails were just some corroboration of items that had been out there for years.

    I think people like those that agree with this article are glossing over how important these emails are, and you think I am making too big a deal of it, fair enough. But when people say Mann made a “minor statistical error” I am indeed skeptical.

  6. knarlyknight Says:

    “This article says the emails were cherry picked and sections taken out of context, the entire emails were published; there was nothing out of context.”

    Oh really? The article did a good job of explaining how the “analysis” of the emails presented a false context in which the quotes from the email could grab headlines to re-inforce the mistaken beliefs of people like you.

  7. knarlyknight Says:

    Mann’s research has been upheld by the US National Academy of Sciences. That’s an independent organization, unlike the National Institute of Science and Technology that took pains to ignore any and all evidence of WTC demolitions.

    Further, political attacks on Mann have failed miserably, except in tea party brains…
    In May 2010, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli served a civil investigative demand on the University of Virginia seeking a broad range of documents from Michael E. Mann, who was formerly an assistant professor there from 1999-2005.[15][16] Mann, who currently works at Penn State, is a climate change researcher, and Cuccinelli alleges that Mann may have defrauded Virginia taxpayers in the course of his environmental research. Climate change skeptics have challenged Mann’s work, but a Penn State investigation cleared Mann of charges that he falsified or suppressed data.[17] In response, 255 Academy members signed a letter that was published in Science magazine on May 7, 2010, decrying “political assaults” against climate change scientists.


  8. shcb Says:

    This article doesn’t “[do] a good job of explaining how the “analysis” of the emails presented a false context” it just says what you said in few more words. When I was reading articles explaining the climategate mess back then, mostly by Charlie Martin, he gave his point of view and then linked to each email so you could look at it in context, I didn’t see any of that in this article, they just said it’s so, believe us.

    When I was a kid of 10 or so the nuns said that there were three mortal sins, murder, adultery, and missing mass on Sunday, you were going to hell if you did any of those things. On a scale of one to ten of things I figure would piss God off I thought murder would be way up there, over 9 probably. Adultery back then was probably a 6 or 7, in my twenties it actually went on the other side of zero and became a virtue until I found out the lady’s husband had an M-16, but that’s another story. Given that scale I figured missing church probably had some zeroes behind the decimal point and another in front of it. When I questioned the nuns they said that was just the way it was because the experts (priests) had said so and they had more education than I did, I suppose that is when I started to be a skeptic, I’ve just never been that religious to believe people just because they are experts.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    me either.

  10. shcb Says:

    I don’t think attack s on Mann have failed, they have just gone as far as they can, if the scientific community isn’t going to police itself any better than that, it isn’t. All Congress can do is cut funding. I don’t think Mann has done anything illegal, I’m convinced he’s convinced what he has done is even ethical, nay necessary. If you have to torture someone to save your buddies in war you can make the argument it was ethical and necessary, I think Mann feels if you have to stretch the data a little to save the planet it is ethical and necessary. Jones on the other hand had a position created just for him, which translates into the university putting him to pasture with a big raise if you keep your mouth shut that we whitewashed your investigation and don’t make any more trouble for us. Global warming is problem, not a crisis.

  11. knarlyknight Says:

    The most recent article on this subject by Dr. Mann and six other scientists is dated 2008 and shows essentially the same results. More recently, Kaufmann et al. (2009) and Thibodeau et al. (2010) confirm Mann’s results. The IPCC (2007) concluded:
    Paleoclimate information supports the interpretation that the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1300 years. Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental-average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns.
    Since 2007, just about every international body of science supports the IPCC conclusions.

    However, maybe “just about every international body of science” is not nearly as smart as this guy: http://climatesanity.wordpress.com/2009/12/13/michael-mann-averaging-error-demo/ He shows that Mann’s methods produce hockey stick graphs from random numbers.

    So I looked for someone smarter than that smart guy blogger to adjudicate this conflict and found that Wiki describes the work of a whole bunch of such people, best summed up in the NRC Report, which repudiates Mann and is best summed up by Mann himself:

    In response, a group-authored post on RealClimate, of which Mann is one of the contributors, stated, “the panel has found reason to support the key mainstream findings of past research, including points that we have highlighted previously.”[39] Similarly, according to Roger A. Pielke, Jr., the National Research Council publication constituted a “near-complete vindication for the work of Mann et al.”;[40] Nature reported it as “Academy affirms hockey-stick graph. But it criticizes the way the controversial climate result was used.”

    As for how the “result was used”, that is described further:

    In a letter to Nature on August 10, 2006, Bradley, Hughes and Mann pointed at the original title of their 1998 article: “Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the past millennium: inferences, uncertainties, and limitations”[59][60] and pointed out “more widespread high-resolution data are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached and that the uncertainties were the point of the article.”[59]
    Mann and his colleagues said that it was “hard to imagine how much more explicit” they could have been about the uncertainties surrounding their work and blaming “poor communication by others” for the “subsequent confusion.” He has further suggested that the criticisms directed at his statistical methodology are purely political and add nothing new to the scientific debate.[61]

    There’s much more, of course, but it has become apparent to me that the criticisms are nitpicks relative to the dramatic conclusions supporting the hockey stick.

  12. enkidu Says:

    yes, because we’ve been able to take two dozen emails (out of 22,000) out of context and inflated them far beyond the actual information and intent in these mails, it proves our theory of everything! Libs bad! grrrrr! smash! hurf durf!

    wwnj isn’t a skeptic (a word which he probably has no idea as to the definition)
    more like lunatic

    durn it I’ve slipped down to the ‘poopyhead’ level

  13. knarlyknight Says:

    thank god! For a moment there I thought I was the only one here with shcb. ;-)

    shcb, that’s just my assessment of the hockey stick. It seems that my government and its negotiators at the climate talks in Cancun, in their infinite wisdom (note: extreme sarcasm) are lock step in line with your way of thinking.

    Canada leads the way by winning 1st, 2nd & 3rd Fossil prizes!

  14. shcb Says:

    So now Mann is saying that he was exaggerated? He is saying he told everyone he didn’t have enough info and it was their fault they wanted to change the social economic structure based on his work? Gonna have to read more on that.

    Wouldn’t it be fun to go the Pielke’s for Thanksgiving dinner? Father and son on both sides of the middle of the debate, one from an economic standpoint and the other the meteorological standpoint, toss in CU, CSU rivalry, hell I would buy the beer.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    No, Mann is not saying that “now”, he tried to make that point in 2006, and as indicated even his title underlines the “inferences, uncertainties and limitations” for further study! Sheesh, can’t you read?

  16. shcb Says:

    No, I know that, I guess I wasn’t clear, but 2006 was a long time since his theory, 8 years or so, the controversy had been going on for quite awhile. If he had made that point in say 2000 or 2001 it would seem more like he wasn’t CYAing. And maybe he did say it back then but I think he was in a different mode in 2000. I want to read that paper, seems I remember it and it was more in title only that he was saying there were uncertanties, but I could be wrong, it’s been a while since I read all that.

  17. knarlyknight Says:

    No shcb, it sounds like YOU are the one doing all the CYAing. You got plenty of fluff and BS about climate change but ZERO real substance & I hope you are starting to realize that. As for your latest bluster…

    Well, if you want to read it “again” (as if) then you’ll have to pull it off your bookshelf or pay the $9 at http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/1999/1999GL900070.shtml . But here’s a treat go ahead and read the pdf version here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/millennium-camera.pdf
    For purposes of defeating your argument, the abstract may suffice:
    Building on recent studies, we attempt hemispheric temperature reconstructions with proxy data networks for the past millennium. We focus not just on the reconstructions, but the uncertainties therein, and important caveats. Though expanded uncertainties prevent decisive conclusions for the period prior to AD 1400, our results suggest (i.e. “suggest”, not conclude – knarly) that the latter 20th century is anomalous in the context of at least the past millennium. The 1990s was the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, at moderately high levels of confidence. The 20th century warming counters a millennial‐scale cooling trend which is consistent with long‐term astronomical forcing..
    All but the last sentence defeats your argument. As for the last sentence, I suppose you need to read the paper to fully understand it, but the implication is that they think that the 20th century warming trend is uber-significant because it counters huge (astronomical) forces towards climate cooling.
    And if the abstract does not suffice, then the conclusion of his paper highlighting uncertainties and caveats will put the nail in the coffin holding your arguments:


    Although NH reconstructions prior to about AD 1400 exhibit expanded uncertainties, several important conclusions are possible, notwithstanding certain caveats. While warmth early in the millennium approaches mean 20th century levels, the late 20th century still appears anomalous: the 1990s are likely the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in at least a millennium. More widespread high-resolution data which can resolve millennial-scale variability are needed before more confident conclusions can be reached with regard to the spatial and temporal details of climate change in the past millennium and beyond.

  18. shcb Says:

    That sounds pretty reasonable other than the conclusions, we (skeptics) are saying the same thing, except we are saying it is just cyclical for whatever reason, sun spots, tides etc. Yes ’98 was an exceptional year, where we diverge from Mann is we understand it was just that, there was a very strong El Nino that year. If you recall, when I made my graphs using UAH data a year or so ago I played around with taking out ’98 and leaving it in, it was such an anomaly it changed the slope from positive to negative by just removing that one data point. If the 90’s are the hottest in a millennium it is only by a small fraction of a degree over the medieval warming period, and yes it has been warming because it cooled after that period, what goes up must come down. Here is a screen shot of Mann’s hockey stick with corrected data


    from this report from ‘03


    if you are so inclined to read what statistical experts have to say

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