Over the past few days we have had another outbreak of stories of how global warming has been totally disproved. For example, James Delingpole: the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie

When finally McIntyre plotted in a much larger and more representative range of samples than used those used by Briffa – though from exactly the same area – the results he got were startlingly different.

i-39cac8c39626aa095097c89af8534b49-rcs_chronologies_rev2.gif

The scary red line shooting upwards is the one Al Gore, Michael Mann, Keith Briffa and their climate-fear-promotion chums would like you to believe in. The black one, heading downwards, represents scientific reality.

Andrew Orlowski (This was linked and quoted in a Climate Audit post.)

In all there are 252 cores in the CRU Yamal data set, of which ten were alive 1990. All 12 cores selected show strong growth since the mid-19th century. The implication is clear: the dozen were cherry-picked.

Chris Horner:

The inescapable and powerful conclusion is that Mann-made warming is real, while man-made warming remains at best a theory, more likely a hypothesis.

Jennifer Marohasy

It is indeed time leading scientists at the Climate Research Centre associated with the UK Met. Office explain how Mr McIntyre is in error or resign.

Anthony Watts

the Briffa tree ring data that purports to show a “hockey stick” of warming in the late 20th century has now become highly suspect, and appears to have been the result of hand selected trees as opposed to using the larger data set available for the region.

Ross McKitrick:

Thus the key ingredient in most of the studies that have been invoked to support the Hockey Stick, namely the Briffa Yamal series, depends on the influence of a woefully thin subsample of trees and the exclusion of readily-available data for the same area. Whatever is going on here, it is not science.

Melanie Philips:

The scandal not only shows once again that AGW is a fraud but shoots to pieces the integrity of scientific peer-review.

Now these seem a little silly to me. We don’t need proxies to know that temperatures increased in the 20th century, so McIntyre’s black line doesn’t prove that temperatures have not increased, rather it shows that those trees aren’t good proxies for temperature.

Briffa replied

My attention has been drawn to a comment by Steve McIntyre on the Climate Audit website relating to the pattern of radial tree growth displayed in the ring-width chronology “Yamal” that I first published in Briffa (2000). The substantive implication of McIntyre’s comment (made explicitly in subsequent postings by others) is that the recent data that make up this chronology (i.e. the ring-width measurements from living trees) were purposely selected by me from among a larger available data set, specifically because they exhibited recent growth increases. …

The basis for McIntyre’s selection of which of our (i.e. Hantemirov and Shiyatov’s) data to exclude and which to use in replacement is not clear but his version of the chronology shows lower relative growth in recent decades than is displayed in my original chronology. He offers no justification for excluding the original data; and in one version of the chronology where he retains them, he appears to give them inappropriate low weights. I note that McIntyre qualifies the presentation of his version(s) of the chronology by reference to a number of valid points that require further investigation. Subsequent postings appear to pay no heed to these caveats. Whether the McIntyre version is any more robust a representation of regional tree growth in Yamal than my original, remains to be established.

And McIntyre then complained about how unfair Briffa was:

Briffa’s comment leads off with the accusation that I had implied that the recent data had in this chronology had been “purposely selected” by Briffa “specifically because they exhibited recent growth increases”. I want to dispense with this up front. While I expressed surprise that there were so few cores, not only did I not imply that Briffa did any sub-selecting, but I specifically said the opposite.

With “specifically said the opposite” McIntyre refers to comment 254 (yes, 254 comments in!) in the discussion where he says:

It is not my belief that Briffa crudely cherry picked.

This isn’t the opposite of saying that Briffa deliberately cherry picked, since it is consistent with McIntyre believing that Briffa was guilty of fraud but had been subtle about it. In any case, what McIntyre says in the post is more important than stuff buried deep in comment threads and there we see

The [image above] is, in my opinion, one of the most disquieting images ever presented at Climate Audit. …

I hardly know where to begin in terms of commentary on this difference.

it’s very hard to think up a valid reason for excluding Khadyta River, while including the Taimyr supplement.

As well as this:

Sure enough, there was a Schweingruber series that fell squarely within the Yamal area – indeed on the first named Khadyta River – russ035w located at 67 12N 69 50Eurl . This data set had 34 cores, nearly 3 times more than the 12 cores selected into the CRU archive.

And yet, in his new post:

I did not propose the results of these sensitivity studies as an “alternative” and “more robust” chronology. I am not arguing that the Yamal versions using the Schweingruber data provide the “correct” climate history for the region.

Poor misunderstood McIntyre. How is it that this keeps happening?

RealClimate comments:

So along comes Steve McIntyre, self-styled slayer of hockey sticks, who declares without any evidence whatsoever that Briffa didn’t just reprocess the data from the Russians, but instead supposedly picked through it to give him the signal he wanted. These allegations have been made without any evidence whatsoever. …

The timeline for these mini-blogstorms is always similar. An unverified accusation of malfeasance is made based on nothing, and it is instantly ‘telegraphed’ across the denial-o-sphere while being embellished along the way to apply to anything ‘hockey-stick’ shaped and any and all scientists, even those not even tangentially related. The usual suspects become hysterical with glee that finally the ‘hoax’ has been revealed and congratulations are handed out all round. After a while it is clear that no scientific edifice has collapsed and the search goes on for the ‘real’ problem which is no doubt just waiting to be found. Every so often the story pops up again because some columnist or blogger doesn’t want to, or care to, do their homework. Net effect on lay people? Confusion. Net effect on science? Zip.

Having said that, it does appear that McIntyre did not directly instigate any of the ludicrous extrapolations of his supposed findings highlighted above, though he clearly set the ball rolling. No doubt he has written to the National Review and the Telegraph and Anthony Watts to clarify their mistakes and we’re confident that the corrections will appear any day now…. Oh yes.

Well, if McIntyre won’t do it, maybe Roger “middle ground” Pielke Jr will demand that Watts and co correct the record. Let’s see:

Gavin’s outright lie about McIntyre is an obvious attempt to distract attention from the possibility that Steve may have scored another scalp in the Hockey Stick wars. Rather than distract attention from McIntyre, Gavin’s most recent lie simply adds to the list of climate scientists behaving badly. When will these guys learn?

There is one minor mistake in the RealClimate post. In his post McIntyre did not “declare” that Briffa cherry picked, rather he strongly implied it. In his post Briffa says “implication” without being denounced by Pielke, so the entire basis of Pielke’s accusation of dishonesty is just the use of the word “declares” instead of “implies”. I do think that is an error, but it makes no substantive difference and Pielke has no basis at all for his claim that it was deliberate.

Look at what happened here. Faced with baseless accusations of fraud in the Telegraph and National Review, Pielke pored over the RealClimate post until he found a single word he could object to and wrote a post accusing Gavin Schmidt of lying. Not one word about the claims of fraud that McIntyre’s post spawned.

And if you think that Pielke is likely to behave like a decent human being and apologize, you don’t know him.

See also David Appell.

Update: Deep Climate has written a more extensive analysis of why poor Steve McIntyre was so misunderstood by everybody.

Update 2: As I predicted, Pielke has been shamelessly dishonest. Look at this exchange in his comments: andrewt

Courtesy Deep Climate at Deltoid, a Steven Mcintyre quote I missed:

“I’d be inclined to remove the data affected by CRU cherrypicking but will leave it in for now.”

I assume you missed this too Roger, and will now be retracting the claim that Gavin lied and apologizing.

Roger Pielke Jr:

You guys are hilarious. There is no need to pluck out-of-context quotes from deep in comment threads to divine what McIntyre really thinks. He spoke directly to this point as follows:

“I don’t wish to unintentionally feed views that I don’t hold. It is not my belief that Briffa crudely cherry picked. “

How clear is that?

But Pielke’s quote was from much deeper in the comment thread than andrewt’s. When called on this Pielke came back with:

Actually I had no need to pluck anything for the comments since Steve McIntyre did a headline post on this exact subject: http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7257

Which was posted after Gavin Schmidt’s post. So Pielke’s thesis is now that Schmidt is a liar because he did not take into account a McIntyre post that was written after Schmidt posted.

Comments

  1. #1 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    PS can you show that the data was only kept secret by NDA?

    Or perhaps just professional courtesy, since it appears that Keith Briffa is an honorable man.

    Or are you merely jumping at conclusions because you don’t think copyright is involved and do not want to be wrong?

    I’m not jumping to conclusions, just pointing out facts aren’t copyrightable.

  2. #2 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    Stepan Shiyatov, however, submitted that original data plus their standardized chronologies to the ITRDB in 1995. I have no clue why McIntyre was unable to find it for all these years.

    McI even says that Science told him “talk to the original authors”, though they didn’t explicitly say “H&S 1995″ so apparently it went right above his head, as he asked Osborne and Briffa instead (and Briffa said “I’ll pass on that request to the Russians”).

    No excuse whatsoever.

    I don’t think McI would have much success as a private detective …

  3. #3 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    However, as soon as Briffa decides to publish a paper saying that he has a great new way to do reconstructions, then he should share the data.

    Even if this were true (that Briffa was publishing about a new invention, RCS, rather than using an existing technique) what we’d expect to see would be detailing of the mathematical analysis technique, not any particular data. You could, for instance, devise an artificial dataset and use that to explain the technique, and then go on to say “when applied to this interesting Russian dataset, this is what you get compared to the original Russian analysis” without disclosing their proprietary data.

  4. #4 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    Looks like Briffa’s russian colleagues have expanded the tree sample set, done similar analysis to Briffa, and … HOCKEY STICK.

    Oh, well, so much for McI breaking the 2000 one using bad math. He’ll have to start over with the expanded data set.

  5. #5 Fran Barlow
    October 7, 2009

    Is it possible, Dhogaza, that while facts are not copyrightable, the work of gathering and composing them in ways that make them intelligible is.

    Although information systems theory works as if there is a neat distinction between data and information it’s hard to imagine such a thing as raw data can in practice ever exist. I might walk outside my door and sense a warm breeze. Two bits of raw data to be sure, but if I document that somewhere I’ve already begun the process of turning it into information which at least in principle, is my intellectual property, or could be made so.

    It’s true that dictionaries contain non-copyrightable facts since much of the usages of dictionaries refer to pre-existing specifications of language and references to the speech of others, names, literary references and so forth. That that is so doesn’t entail believing that the compilation of this stuff is copyright-free.

    I recall a little while back in Australia that someone tried to design and market a mobile phone app that would allow commuters to work out when the next train was coming at a given station. The input data was the publioshed train timetable, but City Rail asserted that this data was copyright protected and it won. City Rail was in the process of producing its own version, apparently and as a side issue, to avoid looking precious, claimed that their version would be able to reflect timetable changes and perhaps changes in something like real time, but they relied on copyright to obtain restraint.

  6. #6 Dave Andrews
    October 7, 2009

    Mark,

    “Next time Ducky posits AGW is wrong because of what one professor of geology says, shall we remind him of this?”

    Quite apart from your gratuitous insulting namecalling, you really ought to read what I have said in my posts. I have questionned the knee-jerk response to Plimer so favoured here, but don’t recall ever saying anything about his work proving things one way or another.

    Your own ‘certainty’ seems to blind you to the reality of what others say.

  7. #7 Janet Akerman
    October 7, 2009

    >*knee-jerk response to Plimer so favoured here*

    Dave Andrews, you are beyond contemptible.

  8. #8 luminous beauty
    October 7, 2009

    >…don’t recall ever saying anything about his work proving things one way or another.

    Of course not, Ducky. Ignorance and its resulting profound uncertainty within which your mind is insularly cocooned is the game you play. Just like your failure to cite any of the prejudicial sources to which you allude, preserves your delusional opinion of your own objective disinterest.

    You’re only fooling yourself, Ducky.

  9. #9 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    Is it possible, Dhogaza, that while facts are not copyrightable, the work of gathering and composing them in ways that make them intelligible is.

    No, the work is not. However the tangible realization of that work – a published paper, for instance, is.

    Fear not, however – if you gather data, you OWN it. Just as I own my car.

    Here’s something that might help … if I sell you a book with my prose in it, you OWN that book.

    I recall a little while back in Australia that someone tried to design and market a mobile phone app that would allow commuters to work out when the next train was coming at a given station. The input data was the publioshed train timetable, but City Rail asserted that this data was copyright protected and it won. City Rail was in the process of producing its own version, apparently and as a side issue, to avoid looking precious, claimed that their version would be able to reflect timetable changes and perhaps changes in something like real time, but they relied on copyright to obtain restraint.

    This is exactly the case in the NYC MTA suit mentioned in my link above, though nothing in the article says the suit is actually based on copyright.

    Under US law, since the guy simply typed in the data, copyright law won’t apply. Can’t speak for Australia. However, there are other possibilities for getting yourself legally screwed – download the data from an online source and massage it, for instance, and you’ll probably find yourself in violation of the published “Terms of Use” for the site …

    You can do *almost* whatever you want with it – you can read it. Sell it. Burn it. Wipe your rear with it.

    What you *can’t* do with it is to make copies of its contents.

    I also own the ideas expressed in that work. If you steal those, in an explicit enough manner, you are guilty of *plagiarism*, not a copyright violation (Mark’s example above).

    Back to the Briffa/Russian case … the additional information from Deep Climate includes a note from one of the Russian researchers saying “at the time, we and CRU were in close collaboration”, which is why Briffa had access to the data.

    “close collaboration” usually means some sort of agreement … the Russians gave data, what did CRU give? Lots of possibilities – collaboration on a paper/co-authorship? (one of the Russians apparently appeared as a co-author on a follow-up paper by Briffa, IIRC). Some help with learning how to properly apply RCS to the dataset? Access to superior computing facilities? Visitation back and forth, sharing work?

    All sorts of possibilities, at bottom is the fact that data has value, and the Russians might certainly have had many reasons other than “keeping it secret from McI” for not letting it loose.

  10. #10 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    Oops, something got pasted in the wrong place, breaking up the logical flow of my post:

    Here’s something that might help … if I sell you a book with my prose in it, you OWN that book.

    You can do almost whatever you want with it – you can read it. Sell it. Burn it. Wipe your rear with it.

    What you can’t do with it is to make copies of its contents.

    I also own the ideas expressed in that work. If you steal those, in an explicit enough manner, you are guilty of plagiarism, not a copyright violation (Mark’s example above).

    I’ll add a bit more … this is why your notion of “Is it possible, Dhogaza, that while facts are not copyrightable, the work of gathering and composing them in ways that make them intelligible is” isn’t true.

    It has to be a tangible realization – a physical data file, etc. Under US law that tangible realization is copyrightable but not the data itself, or the process used to generate it (however, you can patent a process under today’s greatly widened US law… :)

    It has to be something you can give me and that I then can physically possess – tangible.

  11. #11 TrueSceptic
    October 7, 2009

    Tim,

    It seems that 2 normally reliable contributors are behaving like cranks. What’s the topic again? Perhaps a quick word?

  12. #12 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    I also own the ideas expressed in that work. If you steal those, in an explicit enough manner, you are guilty of plagiarism, not a copyright violation (Mark’s example above)

    Better be careful here … if you copy too closely and your work is declared to be a derivative work, then that’s a copyright violation. So in Mark’s case if a court declares that the fictional character is most likely to be assumed to be Harry Potter by the reader, then it can be a copyright violation – as a derivative work. So don’t go off making Mickey Mouse knick-knacks for sale because the mouse gets very pissed off when people do this.

    This is because the character itself – mickey mouse – is a tangible realization of creative work, having appeared in a multitude of comic books, movies, etc …

  13. #13 dhogaza
    October 7, 2009

    It seems that 2 normally reliable contributors are behaving like cranks. What’s the topic again? Perhaps a quick word?

    I’m sorry, but when someone makes a mistaken claim then insults me when I point out they’re wrong, I’m not letting them off the hook.

  14. #14 WotWot
    October 7, 2009

    Copyright. NDA contract. Ethical obligations. Publishing conventions in peer review science.

    It makes not one grain of difference which reason it is. The basic and central fact is that the raw data was not Briffa’s to re-distribute. Something that mr irony seems completely incapable of grasping, or admitting.

    And that is before we even get into the other important facts of the case, like the raw data had already been published! Which completely negates the central claim about ‘hiding the data’, and any imputation based upon it. (See comment #198.)

  15. #15 MarkB
    October 7, 2009

    “Oh, well, so much for McI breaking the 2000 one using bad math. He’ll have to start over with the expanded data set.”

    Is it safe to assume now that McIntyre will just fall back on the same old tired assertion that all tree ring proxies are bad?

    Is it safe to assume that he and his fervent supporters won’t apologize for or retract insinuations of cherry-picking, fraud, hiding data, or what not?

    Is it safe to assume that within a few months, he will post another “of the most disquieting images ever presented at Climate Audit” and start the whole ball rolling again, with eagerly willing and duped media outlets helping him along the way?

  16. #16 nanny_govt_sucks
    October 7, 2009

    … Ninny thinks that undergraduate statistics courses qualify one as a statistician

    No, they certainly don’t. But when one’s paper essentially deals with only statistical issues (see any multi-proxy reconstruction, including those of Dr. Mann), you’d hope that those involved stepped up at some time in the past to take a few graduate courses, instead of blundering through with “novel” methods that can easily be shot down (once the methods are revealed) by even non-academics.

  17. #17 Bernard J.
    October 7, 2009

    You mention people going out and getting data. That is good advice. Why couldn’t Briffa go out and gather some data and use it in his paper and then share it?

    Ah, mr irony is a poe-tic example of nominative determinism.

    Don’t believe me? Consider this:

    You mention people going out and getting data. That is good advice. Why couldn’t mr irony go out and gather some data and use it in his paper and then share it?

    If mr irony is actually serious in his diatribe against Briffa, then he is not only suffering from some form of cognitive dissonance, but he has missed the whole thrust of the real nature of ‘replication’, and ignored his own suggestions to boot.

  18. #18 Chris O'Neill
    October 7, 2009

    sucks:

    with “novel” methods

    AFAIK, he’s referring to a method that’s more than 12 years old, is outdated and superceded. Sucks really knows how to keep up to date.

  19. #19 Rattus Norvegicus
    October 7, 2009

    To settle the can a dictionary be copyrighted, the answer is yes it can. I have sitting beside me a copy of the “Pocket Oxford English Dictionary” and opposite the table of contents is a page claiming Copyright (c) 1969, 1978, 1984… and on until 2002. So it would appear that yes dictionaries can claim copyright.

    I would note that the last time I looked into copyright law — this was in the early 1990′s — there was a concept called “compilation copyright”. This sort of copyright did not protect the actual facts (the example was a phone book) only the presentation of those facts in a particular compilation.

    But dhogaza has it mostly correct re:the data. If the data was provided to Briffa under personal communication then he really is not allowed to release it w/o the permission of Hantiremov and Shiatikov. This is why both Science and Briffa said “ask the original authors”.

    McIntyre seems to think that data ought to be covered by a sort of “data GPL”, a worm which works to make all data free. Unfortunately, most journals seem to accept that there may be reasons why data which did not originate with a particular author or set of authors may not be able to be released except by the original authors. Well Stevorino, tough titties. You’ll have to look in the footnotes and just contact the original authors.

  20. #20 Scott A. Mandia
    October 7, 2009

    I think this quote from Mark Twain sums up SM and his followers at CA:

    “The trouble with the world is not that people know too little, it’s that they know so many things that just aren’t so.”

  21. #21 Bernard J.
    October 7, 2009

    Trll [said it well](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1984244), and I feel compelled to repeat his comments.

    Why is sharing data important? It’s important because other qualified scientists may be able to utilize that data to advance science. Publication is a way of sharing data. Most scientists will, as a professional courtesy, provide data after publication to qualified colleagues who feel that the data will advance their studies. Some funding agencies or journals may require some types of data to be made publicly available as a condition of funding or publication. In this case it is a contractual obligation, whether or not there is any scientific value to doing so.

    Of course, there have to be limits. In many labs, raw data is scattered through multiple notebooks and data files. Organizing raw data so that it will be interpretable to somebody else takes time and money. And with controversial issues, there is the potential for people who don’t like the results to try to impede a scientist’s work by burdening him down with extensive and arbitrary demands for data. So the [...] scientific value probably does not justify the scientific cost of expecting a scientist to send data to anybody who wants it, in whatever format they want it. [emphases mine]

    My own databases are huge arrays of millions of data-points, and derivations from such, and organising and annotating them so that any joe off the street could understand them would take many months, if not years. Even my own PhD supervisor’s eyes glaze and roll back in his head when he tries to delve into them, simply because of the complexity of the data.

    I have spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours constructing routines that will check for logical consistency in my data, and for every error of entry and mishandling of which I can conceive. My databases are interpretable by a person well-versed in population biology and ecology, and who has the inclination to take the time to learn the architecture from me.

    I have happily, and indeed enthusiastically, shared my data with other population ecologists and with relevant government agencies, but I would have misgivings in releasing it to anyone and everyone who had a mild curiosity to see it. Unless of course some benevolent donor was willing to fund me for the dozens of weeks every year that it would take to explain the data to inexperienced tyre-kickers, to correct misuse, misapplications and misinterpretations of the data, and to chase down the theft of intellectual property that has already occurred with my work once before.

    If people want to know what my data ‘say’, they can in the first instance read the methodologies in my papers to understand what analytical processes and statistical procedures I employed. They can scrutinise my results for consistency. If they have any doubts, they are more than welcome to contact me and organise to see whatever data is necessary to resolve any problem that they perceive exists. However, the last is not replication, and if anyone did have misgivings about my results they should be performing their own work from scratch.

    “Ah, but what if you are playing loose with the data?” you may ask. Well, that’s why we have peer-review in the pre-publication process. My anonymous reviewers are provided with whatever data they require in order to assess whether I have played straight. Given that there is not a huge number of ecologists working with the taxa that I study, authors are usually known to the reviewers, and there is a very meticulous scrutiny of manuscripts and accompanying data, both through professional rivalry and through a desire to maintain the highest degree of integrity possible in our field.

    Interestingly, although it’s never happened to me, I know that the anonymous reviewers have been able to pick even subtle hiccups in results of colleagues without recourse to the raw data. This is simply because the reviewers are expert in the field, and thus are aware of the sort of glitches that may escape the author of a manuscript because s/he is too ‘close’ to the tables, graphs and statistics.

    I’m all for transparency, and I am entirely open to it. Prior to the advent of the Interweb science was able to function with protocols for ensuring adequate transparency, and I don’t see that these are all now redundant with the last decade of information technology. Indeed, given the enormous amount of resourcing that would be required to open the floodgates of all raw data to every one in the world, I believe that the established protocols are completely relevant and functional.

    For high impact journals such as Nature and Science, which publish cutting edge work that has significant implications for the fields in which the papers are based, then there certainly is a strong argument for an extra level of data presentation: it’s a bit like playing extra games for a semi-final and for a grandfinal, and I have no issue with providing supplementary data in these instances. Such authors are usually funded well in any case, and thus have the resources to undertake the required background work.

    For projects that are simple in terms of data content and analysis, publication of raw data is certainly a feasible expectation too, with the caveat that such publication may increase the quantity of vexatious, irrelevant, misdirected or downright ignorant responses that demand reply.

    For the enormous body of day-to-day data-dense science, the provision of every last item of raw information in a form accessible to every person on the planet would simply bring the progress of such science to a grinding crawl. If anyone with a legitimate concern or interest cannot use established protocols to address their questions, then they are probably not qualified to raise concerns in the first place. Contact the author/s, ask for access to data, then perform a new analysis – or perhaps better still, a meta-analysis. Or get off one’s proverbial arse and gather one’s own raw data from scratch, and in this way truly replicate or refute the study that one is so bothered by.

    One final reservation I have is that publication of large raw databases would inevitably lead to the scientific equivalent of music sampling, with folk who have no funding or hard work of their own to show for themselves, publishing results from other people’s hard-earned work, and reducing the capacity for original scientists to benefit from their own efforts. I could easily write a dozen papers from my PhD data alone: if I published the database with the first paper, I doubt that I could have extracted and written up the material for the other papers before someone else had dredged out papers themselves, or had at the least spotted the novel implications of my data and applied it to theirs before I have the opportunity to publish.

    If this makes me a dog in a manger, sobeit. I worked damned hard for my data though, and I have no desire to lose my hard-won intellectual property as I did once before. If someone wants to check up on me, they have but to knock on my door, and if they don’t like my response they can take it to my institution’s appropriate oversight committee. If they want to use my data to publish their own paper/s, they can suggest a collaboration with me; or if they don’t want to share their derivative work with me, they can just bloody well wait until I have had the chance to extract what I am able to with the resources available to me. Or they can undertake their own research.

    Alternatively, they can pay me for the time and effort required to submit the grant applications, to organise and conduct the field/lab work, to collate and analyse the data, to present it in a form where they benefit from my intellectual insights, and for future lost professional return from my work on the project – then I’ll happily transfer my share of the ownership of the data to them and they can do with it what they will… within the further constraints of my overseeing institution, of course.

    Whilst science itself is an objective and impartial discipline, the humans who engage in it still have to put bread in their families’ mouths, and I for one am not going to compromise my ability to gather due benefit from my own work.

  22. #22 Jeff Harvey
    October 8, 2009

    Bernard,

    As always, a fantastic and timely post. I would very much like to hear from you personally about your research – you know my email and where I can be reached. It sounds fascinating!

    As far as data is concerned, as Bernard says, there are often multiple ways to examine empirical data sets. Different kinds of analyses of data sets can yield different results, which gives some credence to the saying “lies, damned lies and statistics”. I co-authored a paper that was published this year but amongst which several of my co-authors disagreed strongly over the correct statistical methodology. A few years ago a paper I submitted was rejected on the basis that one of the referees could not believe that the insects I was working with at the time could exploit resources one trophic level beneath them so efficiently. I offered to send the anonymous referee the data as well as the insects for them to experiment with, but they declined, and in the end I got the paper published in another journal (as a footnote, a referee of the second journal called the study “a model approach” which certainly differed from the referee of the first journal where it had been submitted!)

    Ultimately, even in the case of lack of copyright, the one reason I believe that data transparency should be limited is if it used by the second party for reasons other than to advance science. I am disturbed when data is reanalyzed and then within hours every right wing pundit in the blogosphere is screaming for another Spanish Inquisition. In my opinion, if data is to be shared, there have to be conditions. One important one is that the second party cannot use the said data to advance any kind of agenda, whether it is personal or political. In other words, I do not think it should be callously appear on unregulated blog sites where it can be used by any readers to potentially smear the name of the scientist who conducted the original research. The data can be used if the scientist(s) who did the research and the journal in which it was originally published give permission in writing, and under the conditions that it may be re-analyzed and possibly submitted to a peer-reviewed journal only (1) if the scientist who did the research and the journal once again agree to this, and (2) in the case of differing conclusions, if the original scientist(s) are able to reply to the critcism him/her/themselves. In this way sound science is maintained and we do not get another furore over the internet and in right wing rags or blog sites.

    At least this is the way I think that science should proceed. Call it conservative, but many right wing pundits in the media have taken it on themselves to be the judge, jury and executioner where climate science is concerned, not because they possess some inherent knowledge of the field, but in my opinion because any information downplaying the human role in the current warming fits their pre-determined world view.

  23. #23 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    And that is before we even get into the other important facts of the case, like the raw data had already been published! Which completely negates the central claim about ‘hiding the data’, and any imputation based upon it. (See comment #198.)

    Well, at least a paper based on it … but regardless, McI, despite his claim to the contrary (I was busy sending 40 requests to Science magazine!), should’ve been able to figure out who to ask for the data.

    This fits McI’s profile – treat me special! Hold my hand! Don’t expect me to be as smart as scientists asking for data! Whine whine whine whine.

    It’s no wonder that he’s not treated with the respect he expects.

  24. #24 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    No, they certainly don’t. But when one’s paper essentially deals with only statistical issues (see any multi-proxy reconstruction, including those of Dr. Mann), you’d hope that those involved stepped up at some time in the past to take a few graduate courses

    You’re asserting Mann didn’t take such graduate courses.

    Proof?

    Or libel …

  25. #25 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    Bernard J., thanks for the reality lesson, which, of course, every denialist on the planet will reject, because wasting your time thus slowing research is the point …

  26. #26 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    But dhogaza has it mostly correct re:the data. If the data was provided to Briffa under personal communication then he really is not allowed to release it w/o the permission of Hantiremov and Shiatikov. This is why both Science and Briffa said “ask the original authors”.

    Oh, I assure you, I have it entirely right.

    The situation appears to be that CRU and the Russkies had a collaborative arrangement.

    The contract has not been published, but given statements by Briffa and one of the Russians involved, it didn’t include the right for CRU to release raw data.

    Case closed.

  27. #27 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    McIntyre seems to think that data ought to be covered by a sort of “data GPL”, a worm which works to make all data free. Unfortunately, most journals seem to accept that there may be reasons why data which did not originate with a particular author or set of authors may not be able to be released except by the original authors. Well Stevorino, tough titties. You’ll have to look in the footnotes and just contact the original authors.

    With the modern era, and easier storage of data and access (i.e. public databases), it’s moving more and more to McI’s position.

    Not driven by McI, of course, but by researchers and publication.

    Bottom line is about cost. There are public repositories where researchers can deposit date without having to pay for the bandwidth costs associated by (say) CA, WUWT, Slashdot and other referral sources.

    Something missed in this that free access by researchers, forced to host on their own sites, can be extremely expensive.

    Anyway, the system is evolving, and reasonably well, IMO …

  28. #28 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    Is it safe to assume now that McIntyre will just fall back on the same old tired assertion that all tree ring proxies are bad?
    Is it safe to assume that he and his fervent supporters won’t apologize for or retract insinuations of cherry-picking, fraud, hiding data, or what not?
    Is it safe to assume that within a few months, he will post another “of the most disquieting images ever presented at Climate Audit” and start the whole ball rolling again, with eagerly willing and duped media outlets helping him along the way?

    I *might* (no guarantee, I’d have to think further) take a 1000:1 bet against you but I’d only put up a few dollars, no more…

  29. #29 Bernard J.
    October 8, 2009

    Mr “irony”.

    Further to my beef with the misuse of data by unqualified people, let me tell you about some of my own experiences.

    The first was an observation of apparently relatively compentent third-year undergraduate students taking an ecology course in which I was tutoring. In order to complete an exercise in data analysis and interpretation, I provided them with a small (and uncomplicated?!) extract from some of my fieldwork on habitat use. I knew the data (and the field behaviour of the animals) inside out, so I was very familiar with what it showed, but only the top few students out of about 60 were able to select the appropriate statistical tests, to present the results appropriately, and to come to the most parsimonious conclusions based on the analysis.

    The second example is a bit closer to the Deltoid home. If you are in any doubt about the way that an incompetent outsider can mangle the import of even simple datasets, have a look at the efforts of one Girma Orssengo who has bastardised the HadCRU3 mean annual global temperature anomaly record, and who refuses to acknowledge his many errors of analysis, highlighted in questions repeated dozens and dozens of times.

    Orssengo’s efforts, and the scores of person-hours of time wasted in an attempt to straighten the record, can be followed through the links [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the.php#comment-1962957) and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/matthew_england_challenges_the.php#comment-1964372), or by simply starting at the top of that behemoth of a thread.

    It’s enough to make any half-competent scientist cry, and to question why s/he bothers with the Ignorati in the first place.

  30. #30 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > Something missed in this that free access by researchers, forced to host on their own sites, can be extremely expensive.

    > Posted by: dhogaz

    Absolutely.

    And who will pay for all that storage? It costs millions, tens of millions, maybe 100′s even today to store the raw data for climate papers.

    Bandwidth costs too. Unless the skeptics won’t bother reading it.

    And who will pay?

    Will the denialists complain that the spending on climate science has gone up again and thereby use this as “proof” that it’s all a money making scam for scientists (not *their* scientists, though).

  31. #31 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > I’m sorry, but when someone makes a mistaken claim then insults me when I point out they’re wrong, I’m not letting them off the hook.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    WHO started with the “STFU”‘s?

    YOU did.

    You arrogant prawn-whacker.

    “You can’t copyright facts”, yes you can. What hook are you leaving me on here?

  32. #32 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > Better be careful here … if you copy too closely and your work is declared to be a derivative work, then that’s a copyright violation.

    And that is EXACTLY what is happening with copyright.

    That law was written as a gentleman’s agreement with the thought that it was obvious what was intended and what wasn’t.

    But first world economies outsourced all their actual work and now are mostly “knowledge economies”.

    There’s a lot of money pretended to exist because of knowledge.

    Lexmark printers sued for COPYRIGHT VIOLATIONS someone who made replacement ink cartridges.

    Sony suceesfuly sued for copyright violation the region-unlocking of the PS2.

    Dimitry Slkarov was sued under copyright laws for making a reader for adobe books.

    SCO sue for “negative knowledge”. I.e copyrights in things they did and people DIDN’T copy.

    NY metro is suing for copyright violations for their series of facts.

    A musician is unable to get their own music listed on their MySpace page because Warner Music say erroneously they have copyright on it.

    And so on.

    And in this case, there is only one way a license is needed: because there is no right to do what Briffa wishes to do with the data (make a derived work). And that is a copyright issue.

    Copyright defines what statutory rights the author has to take infringers to court.

    Because a license grants rights you do not already have, breaking the license is not otherwise an offense. But with copyright, those rights do not exist and your only right to do these things exist because of the license agreement. Ergo, by default, you are guilty.

    This is in contrast to a contract which can REMOVE rights you have by default, breaking the contract doesn’t mean you do not have the rights you have but gave up by contract. Ergo you can only be sued for the breech of contract, but by default you have the right to do as you wish.

  33. #33 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > Quite apart from your gratuitous insulting namecalling, you really ought to read what I have said in my posts.

    > Posted by: Dave Andrews

    And you have gratuitously namecalled.

    You have no standing to complain, duck’s arse. When you behave yourself and stop slagging people off with your scurrilous and baseless slurs, maybe you’d get less contempt.

  34. #34 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > > For (guess)?

    > Not copyright violation?

    No.

    Copyright violation.

    Though since you have this endemically wrong (see the post on why a license breech is not itself wrong, exercising the right you don’t otherwise have is -copyrights-), it is no surprise you get this wrong.

    Learn the facts before opening your cavernous yap again.

  35. #35 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > City Rail was in the process of producing its own version, apparently and as a side issue, to avoid looking precious, claimed that their version would be able to reflect timetable changes and perhaps changes in something like real time, but they relied on copyright to obtain restraint.

    > Posted by: Fran Barlow

    IIRC this one (and the SF Bay area metro) have both also said that if THEY weren’t the ones making the timetable, then commuters may get the wrong date/time and miss their connections.

    Chaos would result: cats and dogs living together, etc.

  36. #36 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > However, as soon as Briffa decides to publish a paper saying that he has a great new way to do reconstructions, then he should share the data.

    But such discoveries are given in patents, where you get the process to the result, NOT the data.

    Given that you have so many pals in medical trials, one would assume you were cognizant of this.

    Unless you’re talking out your arse.

    Hang on, there’s our answer…

  37. #37 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > Mark doesn’t even read his own links:

    > > But unlike many other types of literary works, dictionaries are full of non-copyrightable facts

    > Non-copyrightable facts … hmmm.

    > Posted by: dhogaza

    Dog doesn’t even think beond his own crow.

    Dictionaries are copyrighted.

    Despite being solely facts.

    Doofus.

  38. #38 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > I also own the ideas expressed in that work. If you steal those, in an explicit enough manner, you are guilty of plagiarism, not a copyright violation (Mark’s example above).

    Maybe this will show why you consistently get this wrong.

    Plagiarism is the breech of copyright and in addition the claiming of the copyright as the author yourself.

    You CANNOT plagiarise what cannot be copyrighted.

    “Harry Potter” are not the same words as “Larry Potter”, so JK cannot be plagiarising the work itself as fixed.

    What HAS been copied and you say this in the quota above is the idea or story, not the words in the story.

    Yet you yourself in trying to show how copyright isn’t applied in #189 say:

    > Copyright does not protect works that: lack originality (like the phone book), are in the public domain, are freeware (not shareware), are US government works, are *facts, or are ideas, processes, methods, and systems described in copyrighted works*.

    Ideas.

    But you just said that “I also own the ideas expressed in that work”.

    Under what intellectual property right?

    Patent?

    No.

    Trademark?

    Hell no.

    Trade Secret?

    Double hell no.

    So what’s left?

    Copyright?

    In ideas?

    That’s unpossible!

  39. #39 trrll
    October 8, 2009

    You CANNOT plagiarise what cannot be copyrighted.

    That’s ridiculous. Plagiarism has zero relationship to copyright. Plagiarism is an ethical violation, copyright is a legal one. Plagiarism is misrepresenting work as your own, when it really is not. It doesn’t matter whether that work is copyrighted or not; all that matters is whether you originated it or not.

  40. #40 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > That’s ridiculous. Plagiarism has zero relationship to copyright. Plagiarism is an ethical violation, copyright is a legal one.

    In the cont4ext of someone sueing someone else for plagiarising, it’s not an ethical violation, it’s a legal one.

    And copyright is the only thing that covers this.

  41. #41 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    “You can’t copyright facts”, yes you can. What hook are you leaving me on here?

    I posted the relevant US Civil Code section.

    Readers can decide for themselves: which source is more authoritative?

    1. Mark.

    2. US Civil Code

    regarding what can and can not be copyrighted in the US, at least. I won’t speak regarding oz or the UK.

    Sometimes Mark is right. Often he is wrong. His inability to differentiate between the two cases is consistent.

  42. #42 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    > I posted the relevant US Civil Code section.

    And people have posted relevant information anyone else can look up: open up the folio on your dictionary, full of nothing but facts.

    See a copyright claim?

    The US Civil Code talks about how business methods cannot be patented.

    Guess what: they are.

    Maths can’t be patented.

    They are (software patents).

    There’s how things OUGHT to be and how things ARE.

    And the way things are, you’re wrong dog.

    You are often wrong on things. Sometimes you’re right.

    And when you’re not willing to change, you’ll yell STFU.

    Who started that first?

    You.

  43. #43 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    As I said, readers can decide for themselves whether Mark or the US Civil Code is a more authoritative source.

  44. #44 trrll
    October 8, 2009

    In the cont4ext of someone sueing someone else for plagiarising, it’s not an ethical violation, it’s a legal one.
    And copyright is the only thing that covers this.

    If you plagiarize copyrighted text, then it is both an ethical infraction (plagiarism) and a legal one (copyright violation). Plagiarism is simply the manner in which the copyright violation occurred. It would still be plagiarism if the text in question were in the public domain, but there would be no liability or violation of law involved.

  45. #45 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    Trrll, thanks for the clarification, you’re right, I was mistaken in this instance.

    As Mark is wrong regarding many other claims he’s making about copyright.

  46. #46 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    No, you’re wrong and you ignore any evidence that this may be so.

    You won’t listen to anyone even if it’s not me about it, just insist that this isn’t copyrights.

    So instead I’ll ask you: why are you so damned vehement about this not being about copyrights?

  47. #47 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    And Trll’s point backs up my point: that there was legal attempts and attacks (what I find amusing about JK’s response to this case is how many fansites she’s shut down because they’ve “stolen her story”. Ironic.) shows that this could only have been for copyrighted elements.

    And the only copied element was the idea.

    Which dog both agreed was wrong and illegal AND states categorically cannot happen because the US civil code says ideas aren’t copyrighted.

    So who do you believe:

    a) Someone who is consistent and has actual cases on their side
    b) dog who doesn’t show consistency and has just what the law says not what the law’s used for on theirs.

  48. #48 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    Oh, and dog, the US is a common law country.

    Case law trumps the law text if case law disagrees.

  49. #49 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    Yawn. #248 proves you’re not *always* wrong.

  50. #50 dhogaza
    October 8, 2009

    Oh, and congratulations on all the [Edit] embellishments you’ve earned at Real Climate.

  51. #51 Mark
    October 8, 2009

    And it does prove you are sometimes wrong.

    So, will you answer why you are adamant that Copyright not be used here as a reason for keeping data undisclosed?

    PS: Lots of people have managed that.

    YOU would, if you were brave enough to behave on there like you did here.

  52. #52 Dave Andrews
    October 8, 2009

    Janet Akermann,

    Please define ‘beyond contemptible’ and how you arrive at that remark in relation to what I have said? My guess would be that you don’t like the fact that I disagree with you.

  53. #53 Dave Andrews
    October 8, 2009

    Mark/ luminous beauty,

    Are you one and the same person or do you both just have an ‘eider complex’?

  54. #54 Janet Akerman
    October 8, 2009

    Dave Andrews,

    Guess what you like, say what you like, You provide zero evidence for most of what you assert. So your guesses are pretty useless.

    Your latest baseless claim of “knee jerk” reaction to Plimer (in the face of overwhelming specific and detailed criticism and exposure of lies) is just the latest example.

    Your continuing record of poor critique,(which is actually reflexive, i.e DA is often either early or the first to post in response to Deltoid topics, and most often you fail to back your claims), is knee jerk. Your poor behaviour takes you beyond contempt.

  55. #55 frankis
    October 8, 2009

    [Update 2] above: young Roger’s not trying as hard these days to pretend to being an “honest broker” is he! Perhaps he feels the honest truth has become a tradeable commodity (brokerable) like everything else. Whatever, he’s becoming insufferable; I wish him well.

  56. #56 Eamon
    October 8, 2009

    Bernard J,

    your post at 221 is an excellent summation of the problems of making data available to the public.

    I’ve linked to it in a [response](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7142) over at CA, if it gets approved.

  57. #57 Mark
    October 9, 2009

    > Are you one and the same person or do you both just have an ‘eider complex’?

    > Posted by: Dave Andrew

    No, ducky.

    Are you suffering from chronic rectal-cranial inversion syndrome?

  58. #58 Ezzthetic
    October 10, 2009

    I just had a terrible thought.

    What if you had an Eider Complex and Down Syndrome?

  59. #59 Dave Andrews
    October 10, 2009

    Janet Akerman,

    I think I might have been the first to post to a single Deltoid topic, and that was just the luck of timing, so you are way off the mark here.

  60. #60 Janet Akerman
    October 11, 2009

    >”*Your continuing record of poor critique,(which is actually reflexive, i.e DA is often either early or the first to post in response to Deltoid topics, and most often you fail to back your claims), is knee jerk. Your poor behaviour takes you beyond contempt.”*

    Ducky replies:

    >”*I think I might have been the first to post to a single Deltoid topic, and that was just the luck of timing, so you are way off the mark here.”*

    Oh dear, Ducky, look at the many parts of my criticism of [your behaviour](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986615) that you didn’t address.

    And how accurate is your assessment of me critique? Up to your usual standard: [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/08/shoddy_journalism_from_stephen.php#comment-1868217) and [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/a_taxonomy_of_delusion.php#comment-1663790) are two counts of Ducky reflex. And I counted more than 10 further occations where Ducky Dave Andrews was either 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th off the mark.

    You are beyond contempt Ducky Dave.

  61. #61 Dave Andrews
    October 11, 2009

    Well, Janet, imagine that! I posted 12 times in the first five but was totally unaware of it because I wasn’t counting.

    Perhaps, as I intimated, it has something to do with timing. I’m UK based but I can assure you that Deltoid is definitely NOT the first blog I check out when I go online (which is generally mid – late evening).

    On the other hand, even if I did head straight to Deltoid what difference does it make?

  62. #62 luminous beauty
    October 11, 2009

    >_On the other hand, even if I did head straight to Deltoid what difference does it make?_

    The difference between you addressing more substantive criticism and avoiding it while driving the thread even further off topic, perhaps?

    You’re a real larf, Ducky.

  63. #63 Janet Akerman
    October 11, 2009

    Well Ducky,

    You can choose to remain obtuse, and remain blind to conclusion that I [highlighted]( http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/10/mcintyre_misunderstood_somehow.php#comment-1986615) both the misplaced nature and multiple hypocrisies of your whinge against Deltoid.

    Regardless, at least now we have a suitable name, the **“Ducky reflex”**, to describe your inane outburst in reaction to Deltoid posts.

  64. #64 Dave Andrews
    October 16, 2009

    luminous beauty,

    And when are you going to comment anywhere seriously on dendro studies? Isn’t what you do exactly what you are accusing me of doing, although you no doubt feel you do it in a more ‘refined’ manner.