Another Pielke train wreck

The thing about a Roger Pielke Jr train wreck is that you just can’t look away. Check this one out. Pielke claims that there were 1,264 times as many news stories about a Michael Mann study that suggests that hurricanes are at a 1,000 year high as about a Chris Landsea study that found no increase in hurricanes over the past century. (Mark Morano , of course, links to Pielke’s post.)

The fun is in the comments as folks try to explain to Pielke that there is a film director called Michael Mann and that maybe Pielke shouldn’t count those stories. Pielke comes back with the claim that restricting the search to “Michael Mann” + nature + hurricanes + Aug 13-15 gives 1,412 stories. Some folks might wonder how restricting the search gives you more results, but not Pielke. In fact, if you read what Google says at the link Pielke gave it says that there are “about 20″, and if you look at all the results there are just 11. A similar search for the Landsea paper gives 5 news stories. This difference may be due to one paper being published in Nature and the other in The Journal of Climate.

Update: Soon after I posted this, Pielke finally made a correction, allowing that being out by a couple of orders of magnitude was a “bit sloppy”. Heaven knows how wrong he would have to be before he admitted to being sloppy or very sloppy.

Comments

  1. #1 Hank Roberts
    August 15, 2009

    Junior has Peisered!
    http://norvig.com/oreskes.html

  2. #2 Lars Karlsson
    August 15, 2009

    Maybe Pielke thinks it is actually the same Mann. After all, he directed “Heat”.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0113277/

  3. #3 bi -- IJI
    August 15, 2009

    But… but…

    1. Ad hominem! Ad hominem! This is just another excuse by Warmists™ to avoid debating t3h scienz!
    2. If there are 1,264 mentions of Mann et al.’s paper and only 1 mention of Landsea et al.’s paper, then it proves that the intarwebs have a librul bias. If there are 1,264 mentions of Landsea et al.’s paper and only 1 mention of Mann et al.’s paper, then it proves that Landsea et al. are right.
    3. Pielke is absolutely right, period. Global warming is a religion and there are more and more skeptical scientists and the earth is cooling and Al Gore is Fat and Galileo will triumph over the Inquisition!
    4. We need to bring more civility into The Debate™. In recent years, The Debate™ has become so Polarized™ that we need a Voice of Moderation™, and who better to be the Voice of Moderation™ than Yours Truly™?
    5. You see, Pielke might have a problem with basic maths, but Clinton Did It Too™, therefore Pielke is being Unfairly Demonized?, and therefore The Truth Lies Between the Two Extremes?. So says the Voice of Moderation?.

  4. #4 Hank Roberts
    August 15, 2009

    Well, when I got Peiser’s emailed list ballyhooing his ineptly done Google search, I replied within minutes pointing out that he’d bollixed up his quoted string and showing him the correct numbers. He didn’t reply — I’m sure he was deluged with email pointing it out, it was such an obvious error. Peiser retracted, eventually, but only after much public posturing.

    So I’ve posted to RPJr’s thread warning him that he’s Peisered himself and urging him to retract.

    I trust it’ll appear there.

  5. #5 Neven
    August 15, 2009

    bi–IJI, you sir are a gentleman. (my favourite quote on WUWT)

  6. #6 DavidCOG
    August 15, 2009

    I doubt my comment will get past moderation, so here it is for posterity:

    ~~~

    > 1,264 = the number of news stories covering Michael Mann…

    The fact that you thought searching for just a name (shared by a film director along with, possibly, other people) was significant demonstrates a level of myopia and incompetence that is hard to comprehend.

    > hurricane “michael mann” nature = 1,412

    Nonsense. That search returns “about 13″ hits: : http://imgur.com/ZhD7K.png Restricting the dates produces a small anomaly and reports “about 27″ hits. “Chris Landsea” produces “about 14″ hits for the same date range. Woo hoo! Conspiracy!

    What an embarrassing display of incompetence and delusion….

    ~~~

  7. #7 CapitalClimate
    August 15, 2009

    DavidCOG,
    Ah, but you ignored the “all 1392 news articles” related to the first hit listed. Here are some of the oh-so-relevant hits when you click on that:

    Atlantic may soon see first named storm – NHC
    Reuters India – ‎Aug 14, 2009‎
    NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) – The Atlantic Ocean could see its first named storm of the hurricane season in a day or two as a low pressure system off the …

    Atlantic Weather System May Become Hurricane, Planalytics Says
    Bloomberg – Brian K. Sullivan – ‎Aug 13, 2009‎
    Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) — A system of thunderstorms in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Africa may develop . . .

    Guillermo could strengthen to hurricane in Pacific
    The Associated Press – ‎Aug 13, 2009‎
    MIAMI — Forecasters say they’re expecting Tropical Storm Guillermo to strengthen to a hurricane as it moves farther out to sea in the Pacific. …

    Apparently there are 933 more just like this. Ain’t point and click so much fun? You don’t even have to use your brain!

  8. #8 Robert
    August 15, 2009

    Google hit counts seem to be bogus for large numbers.

    Example. With preference of 100 hits per page, search for this: “science blogs”

    Google says: Results 1 – 100 of about 570,000

    Now scroll down to the bottom and click on “10” for what should be the tenth page of 100 hits per page.

    Google says: Results 601 – 641 of about 570,000

    When they say “about” they really mean “don’t pay any attention to the following number” :D

    And I have seen cases where the number of hits goes up when I make a search more restrictive. Apparently Google is trying to help me by silently ignoring some of my search terms to give an unexpectedly higher hit count.

    To really make the search more restrictive, you have to put plus signs in front of each term to show Google you really mean it.

  9. #9 Neven
    August 15, 2009

    Maybe the people who are confined to open threads or even personal threads could be let in on this one? I just love it when people try to defend stuff like this.

  10. #10 Hank Roberts
    August 15, 2009

    > when they say “about”

    Google doesn’t have one central data file of their web index; they have a lot of different machines each checking some chunk and updating some copy, and those copies get merged over time.
    Each time you run a search or vary a search it goes to whichever of those different data-slurping modules happens to be free to answer you — it may be one that’s just finished indexing on the terms you use, or one that finished a while ago.

    So if you repeat the same search, YMMV.

    Or something like that. It’s kind of like polling every nosy parker and intrusive gossip in a big city about what’s going on — each of them is up to date about something, most of them are caught up on most of yesterday’s gossip, and all of them are caught up on last week’s.

  11. #11 CapitalClimate
    August 15, 2009

    This is WAAAAY beyond YMMV. It’s clear that the Talented Mr. Pielke is so full of himself he didn’t even take the 2 seconds necessary to spot check the results and see that the overwhelming majority have nothing to do with the papers in question. They’re mostly news updates on current storms.

  12. #12 Anonymous37
    August 15, 2009

    “Pielke claims that there were 1,264 times as many news stories about a Michael Mann study that suggests that hurricanes are at a 1,000 high as about a Chris Landsea study that found no increase in hurricanes over the past century. ”

    Should be “at a 1,000 year high” — a typo?

    *[Yes. Thanks. Tim]*

  13. #13 Captain Bligh
    August 16, 2009

    The guy has like 200 papers and this weak cr*p is the best that you have? Lambert you can do better.

  14. #14 bi -- IJI
    August 16, 2009

    Captain Bligh:
    > The guy has like 200 papers
    OK, so if Pielke Jr. has published 200 papers, then it’s possible than the number of articles on Mann the film director is a negative number. I get it.

    Neven: Thank you. [takes hat off and bows] :-B

  15. #15 bi -- IJI
    August 16, 2009

    Captain Bligh:

    > The guy has like 200 papers

    OK, so if Pielke Jr. has published 200 papers, then it’s possible than the number of articles on Mann the film director is a negative number. I get it.

    Neven: Thank you. [takes hat off and bows] :-B

  16. #16 Lee
    August 16, 2009

    So Pielke now admits that his original post was “a bit sloppy.” Really? Ya Think?

    He also now claims that the real numbers are 27 and 3. But his original links are still up, so now there is no way to examine his methodology at all – its a bald unsupported claim.

    I haven’t paid him much attention – is Pielke often this bad?

  17. #17 dhogaza
    August 16, 2009

    I haven’t paid him much attention – is Pielke often this bad?

    Yes.

  18. #18 bi -- IJI
    August 16, 2009

    > He also now claims that the real numbers are 27 and 3.

    This, of course, only further proves that we don’t know the true amount of Warmist Bias™ present in The Internets Tubes™. Therefore, one simply cannot discount the possibility that The Internets Tubes™ exhibits a strong Warmist Bias™. A bias which, of course, must be corrected by the Voice of Moderation™ that is Roger Pielke Junior™ — as long as the Bias? cannot be shown not to exist, the Voice of Moderation? that is Pielke? will always be Needed?.

  19. #19 CapitalClmate
    August 16, 2009

    I haven’t paid him much attention – is Pielke often this bad?

    No, he’s usually worse; see the Talented Mr. Pielke link earlier.

  20. #20 Craig Allen
    August 17, 2009

    Ha!

    On Pielkes’s blog he provides a link for the Michael Man count and one for the Chris Lansea Count. The Michael Mann link is to a google searchhttp://news.google.com/news/search?pz=1&ned=us&hl=en&q=%22Michael+Mann%22

    But the Landsea link is to a NYT article on the Landsea study http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/science/earth/13atlantic.html

    I wondered what you get if you enter “Chris Landsea” into the Google news search, and why Pielke didn’t use that. Turns out that second link thrown up by Google news is to this very blog post with ‘Another Pielke train wreck’ proudly emblazoned.

  21. #21 MAB
    August 17, 2009

    Craig,

    That is poetic! Cheers!

  22. #22 Jacobson
    August 17, 2009

    Plimer update (he’s such a darling of the right wing).

  23. #23 John P
    August 17, 2009

    so many fools, so little time.

  24. #24 Dave Andrews
    August 17, 2009

    Well, well ,well.

    So interested in the fact that RP made an error – OMG he’s human after all.

    Not at all interested in yet another example of Mann’s dodgy use of novel statistical methods.

    Says it all about you really.

  25. #25 Michael
    August 17, 2009

    DA – errors made by denialists are OK, they’re just human, errors made by scientists prove that AGW is a religion and that it’s a huge conspiracy to impose one-world government and force us all to live in caves.

  26. #26 Craig Allen
    August 17, 2009

    Dave Andrews does have a point – lets get on to the science.

    We have two studies using two different methodologies and two completely unrelated sets of data, coming to different conclusions about whether hurricanes have been increasing. They are both interesting and both are likely to contribute toward improving understanding in an area of climatology that is somewhat confusing. Which finding is more likely to be correct? What is the likely cause of the discrepancy? How can it be resolved? In the period that they overlap, do they in fact give significantly different results?

  27. #27 Dano
    August 18, 2009

    One wonders at Dave Andrews’ knee-jerk, templated remark about a Mann Dodgy StudyTM is indicative of a mental condition.

    That is: does he have other templated remarks about differing topics? Say, for example, about a gummint program, does he robotically reply with “soshulizm”? About a light rail project, does he robotically reply with “gimme muh fraydum”. About a story on whales, does he mindlessly reply with ‘environazis’? About a story on home prices, does he breathe through his mouth when parroting “prices should be set byyyyyyy Free MaaaaaaarketsTM!!!”

    Surely there are no others out there with the same weird mental condition, are there? Heaven help us if so.

    Best,

    D

  28. #28 Mark
    August 18, 2009

    > Surely there are no others out there with the same weird mental condition, are there? Heaven help us if so.

    > Posted by: Dano

    Some form of “corporate tourette syndrome”, maybe? Or “Right wing tourette’s”?

  29. #29 Marion Delgado
    August 18, 2009

    My post didn’t make the cut. I recalled that Phil Silver’s TV show Sgt. Bunco had led to the word “bunco” becoming a generic noun (and adjective). I asked whether pielke or idso would follow suit :)

  30. #30 Dave Andrews
    August 18, 2009

    Dano,

    I don’t do knee jerk reactions and my politics have been on the left since I was a teenager. As a small example, I have been a steadfast Guardian reader since the mid 1960s.

    So your pathetic attempt at stereotyping is just that – pathetic.

  31. #31 guthrie
    August 18, 2009

    Dave Andrews – congratulations on breaking the stereotype with your sample of one. Can you tell us why you are so against climate change science?

    On the other hand we can discuss how left the guardian is these days some other time.

  32. #32 bi -- IJI
    August 19, 2009

    I think Dave Andrews must be a closet secret hidden Leftist. Because he gives absolutely no hint of his supposed Leftism, except during those times when he wants to show us how Leftist he is.

  33. #33 Mark Byrne
    August 19, 2009

    On several occations I’ve noticed how Dave Andrews likes to take broad generalised digs at Monbiot.

    Given DA lasts disclosure it begs the question Is DA perhaps a [Revolutionary Communist Party](http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2003/dec/09/highereducation.uk2) sympathiser or a [Living Marxist](http://www.monbiot.com/archives/1998/11/01/far-left-or-far-right/)?

    So far left that [he's right](http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2009/01/13/flying-over-the-cuckoos-nest/)?

  34. #34 Dave Andrews
    August 19, 2009

    Mark Byrne,

    Sometimes George M writes a lot of sense, other times he spoils it by playing to his gallery. I happen to think his latest effort this week is quite good.

    Perhaps you, dhogaza, mark,BPL, Chris O’Neill, Dano etc could indicate whether you are Kingsnorthian or Monbiotic?

  35. #35 Mark Byrne
    August 19, 2009

    Monbiot’s exchange with Kingsnorth made excellent reading.

    6 billion people, with more than a billion in desperate poverty, with the total sum exploiting more resources than are sustainable for even the medium term.

    6 billion without the ability to benefit from those same resource due to depletion will not be 6 billon for very long.

    I’m with Monbiot. If we can’t transition to sustainable societies with the current (peak) resources, then it will be far harder to make that transition during the descent of ecosystem services.

    I don’t see a greener earth during the period of human contraction. If we wait for that, then I foresee starvation and war and unregulated consumption of remaining exploitable ecosystem services.

    Democracies thin veneer will not last long under such desperate pressures (re enter the ascendency of war lords and even worse tyrants). Take our recent demonization of Muslims, or Hitler’s demonization of Jews and lay these templates on a global where the trend towards ‘more and more’ has hit the wall and has been reversed. That template makes for some nasty potential scenarios.

    Now is our best opportunity to act and preserve what we hold dear and progress in positive ways.

  36. #36 bi -- IJI
    August 19, 2009

    Dave Andrews:

    > I happen to think his latest effort this week is quite good.

    Maybe that’s just because you happen to be in a “I need to show everyone how Leftist and pro-Monbiot I am despite everything else I say” mode right now.

  37. #37 MarkB
    August 20, 2009

    Being 2 orders of magnitude off is “a bit sloppy”? Doesn’t this individual pretend to be engaged in serious objective science?

  38. #38 P. Lewis
    August 20, 2009

    I can’t help thinking that all this posturing about which paper one reads is intended to give one some supposed respect or gravitas, some perceived air of intellectual superiority in one’s circle of acquaintances, but in following this discourse on newspaper readership it did bring to mind the inestimable Yes Minister and Yes, Prime Minister series (much of whose humour I suspect would be lost on a non-UK audience), and particularly this extract from the latter:

    Hacker: I know exactly who reads the papers: The Daily Mirror is read by people who think they run the country; The Guardian is read by people who think they ought to run the country; The Times is read by people who actually do run the country; The Daily Mail is read by the wives of the people who run the country; The Financial Times is read by people who own the country; The Morning Star is read by people who think the country ought to be run by another country; and The Daily Telegraph is read by people who think it is.

    Sir Humphrey: Prime Minister, what about the people who read The Sun?

    Bernard: Sun readers don’t care who runs the country, as long as she’s got big tits.

  39. #39 Dave Andrews
    August 20, 2009

    bi -IJI,

    Perhaps you should go back to your scantily clad women.

  40. #40 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 21, 2009

    I appears as though the Pielke’s are involved in another train wreck. You can find most of the other discussion by following links to julesandjames.blogspot.com and Pielke’s own blog.

  41. #41 bi -- IJI
    August 22, 2009

    Dave Andrews:

    > Perhaps you should go back to your scantily clad women.

    Thank you for the totally non-ad-hominem attack.

  42. #42 Rattus Norvegicus
    August 22, 2009

    bi,

    If you’ve got some spare scantily clad women, we could use a few out here in “Mantana”.

  43. #43 Hank Roberts
    October 22, 2009

    The red herring distraction just never works for long.
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/pielke_pity_party.php

  44. #44 Wow
    March 30, 2011

    the post didn’t make the cut, deltron, because it’s spam.

    As is the post you just made. Here and on the other threads.

    Please stop. It’s horrendously obvious and nobody wins here.