Well, now we know why McLean’s Reply to the demolition of their paper was rejected. In a response being published by SPPI (was it rejected by even Energy and Environment?), they claim this was because of a vast conspiracy against them. But they make the mistake of including the rejected Reply, so anyone can see that they admit that their analysis was “based on differentials between 12 month averages”, which removes any long term trend. That they don’t find a long term trend after removing does not show that there is no long term trend. No doubt the referee’s reports made this point as well, which is why, in their response, they just quote mine the reports, quoting the part that says that their Reply is rubbish without quoting the part that explained why their Reply was rubbish.

In the interest of transparency I call on McLean to post the referees’ reports in full.

Normally rejection of bad paper would not be news, but it seems that if your chairman is a Global Warming denier, it is. What is notable about Sarah Clarke’s story is that she gives McLean the last word and makes no attempt at all to work out who is right. How hard would it have been for Clarke to find an expert in statistics and ask whether taking differences removes any long term trend?

Stephan Lewandowsky has an article at The Drum on the refutation of McLean et al and what it says about the scientific consensus:


This analysis, based entirely on publicly available information, puts to rest the only peer reviewed article that was purportedly about climate change and claimed to challenge the scientific consensus, to have come out of Australia since the IPCC’s last assessment report.

This single article is no more.

What is left standing instead are, for example, the 110 peer reviewed articles on climate change that were published by scientists at the University of New South Wales’ Climate Change Research Center alone since 2007.

Yes, 110 peer reviewed articles since 2007 from just one Australian research center that add to the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change and its human causes.

110 peer reviewed articles which in the service of humanity seek ways to manage the problem.

110 to 0.

Lewandowsky is asking that scientists who agree that detrended data cannot be used to draw any conclusions about long term trends leave a comment at his article giving your name and qualifications. He writes:

One thing is certain: Journalists will take note if scientists step up to the plate and show visibility and determination in large numbers. Indeed, that in itself would be news that the ABC might pick up and report.

The link to his piece is here.

Comments

  1. #1 Lotharsson
    March 28, 2010

    Speaking of The Drum (since I need a vaguely plausible segue), one of the (ahem) less grounded prolific commenters there on climate change posts has made a bravura appearance at Pharyngula (starting at #74). That thread was so prolific that PZ shut it down and created a special Graeme Bird memorial thread

  2. #2 MFS
    March 29, 2010

    Oh, my god! That Pharyngula comment marathon is a classic! It should be required reading under the following topic:
    Insanity 102: A demonstration of how the clinically insane is blissfully unaware of his condition.
    Sorry for the OT post :)

  3. #3 Lotharsson
    March 29, 2010

    Heck, we’re already OT (my fault) and I apologise for starting it and for continuing it. But for those who don’t have time of their own to marvel at the astonishing performance, here are some selected quotes from the Pharyngula thread (from other commenters unless otherwise noted):

    I know others feel a sense of humor and ridicule when they talk to someone this insane.

    I only feel despair. If anyone would like to volunteer to behead me at the earliest opportunity so I never have to read a statement from a clownshoe like this ever again, I can give you my email.

    and

    I mean, forging a birth certificate is child’s play, compared to forging the validity of the Lorentz transformations.

    And you MUST read this comment in its entirety – well worth the clickthrough.

    Nice recursive quote:

    I’ll take projection for the win, please.

    I’ll see your projection, and raise you a Dunning-Krueger

    I wonder if we can add some Crank Magnetism?

    (The answer was yes.) And

    This guy is multiple train wrecks on a planet with pink skys, polka-dot clouds, and yellow oceans. Geesh!

    and

    I suspect it’s because he wants to make sure he gets his money’s worth for all the tinfoil he bought to make hats with. He’s probably getting 1 post/foot out of this thread so he’ll keep going for a while.

    and in response to Bird’s claim that no evidence was provided:

    I provided links to back up all of my assertions. This leads me to believe that you don’t actually understand that the text that appears in blue is actually this neat little gimmick called a “hyperlink” that lets you jump from website to website! Amazing! It’s like magic!

    and

    Special Relativity? Do tell? What’s wrong with it? Come on, you’ve made a claim. Now give me the evidence.

    I’ll expect you to express your claims in the language of of tensor calculus, of course, but surely someone of your brilliance should be able to do so easily. You most likely already know the requisite math, but even if you don’t, I’m sure you can pick it up in a couple hours. I’ll wait.

    Graeme Bird:

    Now you have to have more than two hypotheses in parallel in the scientific method.

    There is no such thing as EVIDENCE divorced from an hypothesis. […]

    Three hypotheses in parallel is a minimum. Six would be better.

    and of course the frequent refrain from Bird (also seen at The Drum):

    That did not happen you are lying.

    And I’m still only just over half way through the thread. Astonishing.

  4. #4 James Haughton
    March 29, 2010

    At some point in the past GB admitted that he had stopped taking his medication for Attention Deficit Disorder (and other problems). After which, I just felt sorry for him rather than alternately amused and enraged.

  5. #5 Alan
    March 29, 2010

    Getting back to Cartergate, I offer an illustrative anecdote. An acquaintance of mine who last did maths in high school 35 years ago asked me about the Carter, de Freitas & McLean paper, having encountered it in the recent media brouhaha. I quickly made up a time series on a scrap of paper then showed her that it included a small, hard to see but unmistakeable trend. Then I created a new series by subtracting each value from the following.

    Her response was “Really? They did that? Well, even if their reply to the rebuttal was just as bad, it still should have been published”

  6. #6 Gaz
    March 29, 2010

    Hey, does anyone know what the [correction](http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009JD013006.shtml) to the original Mclean et al paper was about?

  7. #7 Michael Ashley
    March 29, 2010

    RE: 6 Gaz,

    The correction was to the captions of Figures 3 and 7 in the original paper.

    The new Figure 3 caption is “Correlation coefficients for derivatives of SOI and GTTA with different time lags”. The original was “Correlation coefficients for 12-month running means of SOI and GTTA with different time lags.”

    I can’t see any difference in the captions for Figure 7.

  8. #8 toby
    March 29, 2010

    Just for fun, I used a time series package in R to assess the same data as the McClean paper.

    The auto.arima() function gives the “best fit” ARIMA model, and for these data, it decomposed it inti autocorrelations at lag 1 and lag 2 applied to the differenced data. No seasonal factors were suggested.

    However I was able to obtain a better fit with an ARIMA of autocorrelation lag1 & a seasonal autocorrelation at lag 7, applied to the differenced data.

    So the seasonal component is important, but not 70% as the paper asserted.

  9. #9 Mike
    March 29, 2010

    Personally, I find it a gratifying result. How will it impact public perception? Given that the denial movement and it’s trusting foot soldiers reject pretty much all science, how do we work on convincing them?

    Hard to cut through their claims of conspiracy.

  10. #10 papertiger
    March 29, 2010

    Sorry where was the reply to McLean, de Freitas, and Carter published?

    Was it an Open Mind exclusive?

  11. #11 Donald Oats
    March 29, 2010

    I jus’ dunno why MFC bothered with a paper about all this. It is obvious that the raw data is fraudulent (since sciency people collected it), ergo garbage in, garbage out. Anyhow, I thought Carter despised models, and statistical models are models and MFC uses statistical models, so what is this dude on about? Does he hate models or just everyone else’s models? Oh, and according to zillions of climate coalitionists – not consensus builders – there has been no warming since 19XX, so why did MFC bother with detrending? And they had grapes in England and carbon dioxide is plant food. So there.

  12. #12 stopmurdoch
    March 29, 2010

    We also noticed that shocking crap from the so often competent Mark Colvin’s “PM” and wondered when/if someone would address it.

    http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/2010/03/abcs-pm-gears-up-for-earth-hour.html

    Well done.

    Mike and others might consider joining us in banging our heads against the ABC (and Murdoch) walls!

  13. #13 Lotharsson
    March 29, 2010

    Apologies for more OT from the Pharyngula thread, but these are hard to go past [Tim: delete if it’s too much]. Not by Graeme Bird unless otherwise noted:

    Birther bird, you are loon. You are utterly ignorant, you can’t even calculate, you don’t know what words mean. You don’t know what is a “cost”, what the verb “kill” means, what the word “fact” means. You are also a delusional paranoid fool. These are all facts.

    Someone in one of those links I posted earlier suggested that it would be entertaining to have the LDP debate the CEC (the Australian LaRouchites). You can’t imagine how much I’d pay to witness that.

    A Graeme comment from Graeme’s blog on the Movement of Continents (due to “new matter creation”):

    The Phil Berg/Orly Taitz side of the argument would be right even if they turned out to be wrong in every last specific detail. They are not wrong but they would still be right.

    Graeme Birdbrain is a guanophrenic.

    This is the best example of fractal wrongness I have ever read, even on this site which is continually beset by those who aim for the stars in that category. Obsecenity me with a household or otherwise mundane object.

    Bird:

    Now you are lying. And in fact if you were correct it wouldn’t make a stitch of difference because science is not about peer review, its about methodology, evidence, and reason.

    Peer review is specifically a priesthood concept.

    and

    In science the cosmologists and physicists ought to defer to the philosophers. But the philosophers weren’t up to it. And the deference ran the other way.

    I’ve left out heaps…

    After seeing Bird’s prognostications on that thread I’m convinced that sadly he needs the services of mental health professionals. But no doubt they’re all in on the conspiracy, so that will never happen…

  14. #14 bluegrue
    March 29, 2010

    [papertiger wrote](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2386599):
    > Sorry where was the reply to McLean, de Freitas, and Carter published?

    It’s in press at the _Journal of Geophysical Research_. Here’s a [preprint](http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/Foster_et%20alJGR09_formatted.pdf).

  15. #15 Other Mike
    March 29, 2010

    That thread is amazing.

    Our species consists simultaneously of the most intelligent and the most stupid living creatures on the planet.

  16. #16 Deep Climate
    March 29, 2010

    Rabett Run has posted more extensive quotes from the reviewers, which were attached to climategate emails apparently.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-always-f-third-referee.html

    The third reviewer selectively quoted by McLean et al, also said:

    “The real mystery here, of course, is how the McLean et al. paper ever made it into JGR. How that happened, I have no idea. I can’t see it ever getting published through J Climate. The analyses in McLean et al. are among the worst I have seen in the climate literature. The paper is also a poorly guised attack on the integrity of the climate community, and I guess that is why Foster et al. have taken the energy to contradict its findings.”

  17. #17 papertiger
    March 29, 2010

    It’s in press at the Journal of Geophysical Research. Here’s a preprint.
    by: bluegrue | March 29, 2010 9:21 AM

    Trenberth one of the co-authors? Co-conspirator. Starred in the UEA emails. Couldn’t explain the cooling.

    I’d rate that no higher then Open Mind – the Rocky Mountains division.

    So the response to McLean, de Frietas, and Carter, has been published exactly nowhere.

    The normal venue for refuting a Tamino rant is a WUWT or Lucia Blackboard post. Have you checked the archives?

  18. #18 D. C. Sessions
    March 29, 2010

    At some point in the past GB admitted that he had stopped taking his medication for Attention Deficit Disorder (and other problems). After which, I just felt sorry for him rather than alternately amused and enraged.

    ADHD isn’t a psychotic disorder. It’s not like he stopped taking his meds for schizophrenia or bipolar — stopping ADHD meds just means being a bit more distractable.

    dcs, with two adult ADHD kids
    (one on, one off meds) both quite sane and rational.

  19. #19 elspi
    March 29, 2010

    “The normal venue for refuting a Tamino rant is a WUWT”
    ROTFLMAOMCOMN

  20. #20 elspi
    March 29, 2010

    I am sorry paper tiger. You make one little typo and I make fun of you instead of fixing it for you.

    The statement :

    “The normal venue for refuting a Tamino rant is a WUWT or Lucia Blackboard post. ”

    is of course a typo and not surprisingly, always false.

    Of course what you meant to write was:

    “The normal venue for refuting a WUWT or Lucia rant is Tamino.”

    Which is a law of nature.

    Fixing the intertubes, one typo at a time.

  21. #21 luminous beauty
    March 29, 2010

    >Trenberth one of the co-authors? Co-conspirator. Starred in the UEA emails. Couldn’t explain the cooling.

    What? Passing right over Jones, Mann and Schmidt?

    I’m so disappointed in you, papertiger.

    Also starring in the purloined e-mails; [reviewer #3](http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/03/its-always-f-third-referee.html)

    This is what is known as being hoist with one’s own petar.

    O ’tis most sweet…

  22. #22 truth machine, OM
    March 29, 2010

    Couldn’t explain the cooling.

    Liar; [Trenberth did not refer to cooling](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Understanding-Trenberths-travesty.html)

    So the response to McLean, de Frietas, and Carter, has been published exactly nowhere.

    Then McLean, de Frietas, and Carter have been published nowhere, because [it’s the same journal](http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011637.shtml), fool.

  23. #23 Lotharsson
    March 29, 2010

    One wonders if papertiger is a POE – or has nominative determinism struck again?

  24. #24 Zibethicus
    March 29, 2010

    ‘Tis the Climate Denier; I heard him declare
    That everything’s peachy for his ‘laissez-faire';
    He points to a paper which made peer review,
    And says that it proves that his claims are all true…

    The paper’s refuted – he changes his song:
    And suddenly, peer review has to be wrong!
    The journal won’t publish his authors’ reply
    Which ‘proves’ that the process is simply a lie!

    I passed by the paper, and marked with one eye
    ‘Analysis’ falling apart on first try;
    Removing the signal they don’t want to see,
    Then reporting its ‘absence’ quite triumphantly!
    Just as you can transform a smile to a frown
    By holding a photograph ‘Right’ (upside-down).
    I asked the Denier to ‘explain’ it all,
    But he’d stormed off in fury, and taken his ball…

  25. #25 Mark
    March 29, 2010

    papertigert: “Trenberth one of the co-authors? Co-conspirator. Starred in the UEA emails. Couldn’t explain the cooling.”

    You appear not to have noticed that the 3rd & 4th authors of the comment are two people who must be near the peak of the denialists’ demonology, Phil Jones and Michael Mann. The author list needs only James Hansen to make up a diabolical trinity. He wasn’t available, obviously, so he sent his deputy Gavin Schmidt as 8th author. Clearly this means the comment is rubbish. Oh and by the way, Al Gore’s fat.

  26. #26 Lotharsson
    March 29, 2010

    Zibethicus FTW!

  27. #27 Daniel J. Andrews
    March 29, 2010

    Zibethicus!!! What Lotharsson said. Take a bow!

  28. #28 jakerman
    March 30, 2010

    An interesting [MP3 interview](http://www.ecoshock.net/eshock10/ES_100312_Show_LoFi.mp3) with Clive Hamilton on climate denialism, following on from his five part series on the Drum and recent article in Scientific American.

  29. #29 el gordo
    March 30, 2010

    ‘If you make a model, after a while you get suckered into it. You begin to forget that it’s a model and think of it as the real world. You really start to believe it.’

    A fair and reasonable comment from James Lovelock in the Guardian, 29 March 2010.

  30. #30 Neil
    March 30, 2010

    James Lovelock also said:

    “I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

    No wonder the ‘skeptics’ are starting to warm to him!

  31. #31 Jeff Harvey
    March 30, 2010

    I have to admit I love it when el gordo expects everyone to keep a straight face when he writes, *A fair and reasonable comment from James Lovelock in the Guardian, 29 March 2010*

    Q for el gordo: when have you ever been qualified enough to judge a comment as being ‘fair and reasonable’? When it suits your anti-scientific agenda? Or when precisely?

    Interestingly, the science haters in the denial camp have long used terms such as ‘fair’ and ‘reasonable’ to describe science, no matter how flawed or non-peer-reviewed, that supports their point of view. Other words that have crept into the denial lexicon are ‘balanced’, ‘sensible’, etc.; many of the most fervently anti-environmental lobbying groups have used these terms in their titles to mislead the public as to their real motives. It is called ‘aggressive mimicry’ and it covers a gamut of areas in which regulations may be involved, from defending the use of pesticides and clear-cut logging to downplaying the threats posed by various human activities to biodiversity and environmental quality.

    el gordo must be a journalist after all; its these people and those ex-journalists working in PR firms who have honed this technique.

  32. #32 lord_sidcup
    March 30, 2010

    The goons will be [quote mining](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quote_mine) that James Lovelock interview for years to come.

    Despite the danger that I will just be providing El Gordo with more material to [quote mine](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quote_mine), some here might be genuinely interested in an [interview with Lovelock broadcast on UK radio this morning](http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/today/).

  33. #33 Dave Andrews
    March 30, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    Typically you attack the messenger and do not address at all what Lovelock said in his article. You might disagree with him, but I guess he has spent a far longer time thinking about and researching these issues than you have.

    So why not just address what he has to say?

  34. #34 Dave Andrews
    March 30, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    Lovelock is spot on in at least three respects.

    1)you must be sceptical of science that relies overtly on computer models (they are not the real world.)

    2)environmentalists display a great amount of naive idealism and ideology.

    3)adaptation makes more sense than mitigation.

  35. #35 Lee
    March 30, 2010

    @ Dave Andrews:

    It a good thing, then that we have good corroborating estimates of climate sensitivity, from observational data that do not involve those models. I’m sure you agree.

  36. #36 justagreenie
    March 30, 2010

    “adaptation makes more sense than mitigation” – I guess if your house was on fire Mr Andrews you wouldn’t try to put it out but just get ready to live in a tent?

  37. #37 Mark
    March 30, 2010

    JH: “adaptation makes more sense than mitigation”

    As if they’re mutually exclusive!

  38. #38 el gordo
    March 30, 2010

    The Parliamentary Inquiry on Climategate is out, sort of. Here’s a snippet from the Irish Times.

    “The scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact,” the report said. “We have found no reason in this unfortunate episode to challenge the scientific consensus.”

  39. #39 watchingthedeniers
    March 30, 2010

    The UK S&T Committe inquiry into climategate is in: good news.

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/03/30/climategate-inquiry-no-proof-of-fraud-better-disclosure-called-for/

    Check out the report and their conclusions.

    The science is solid
    There was no fraud
    Jones is cleared
    Calls for more transperency – not a bad thing at all!

  40. #40 Bernard J.
    March 30, 2010

    [Justagreenie](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2390814).

    Actually, a better analogy for the adaptation-is-better-than-mitigation canard is to ask whether, when one’s house is on fire, should one simply keep opening the windows to cool it down until it’s comfy again, and just ignore the extinguisher in the corner…

    Adaptation fails where the change occurs as a sharp pulse greater than a particular magnitude, or where it occurs at a press with a rate greater than the capacity of the genetic capacities of biological systems, or of the cultural capacities of societal systems, to adapt.

    Of course, if one is a Denier such as is Dave Andrews, neither possibility is permissible in one’s ponderings, ergo adaptation becomes a valid first strategy.

    It’s a logically trivial thing to indulge in – but it ignores the pressing weight of reality.

    [Hy-Brazil](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_australians_war_on_science_47.php#comment-2293614), anyone?

  41. #41 el gordo
    March 30, 2010

    And here’s another trivial thing to indulge in. According to NASA the clouds swirling around Paul ‘run counter-clockwise across the Gulf of Carpentaria’.

    http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov/gallery/individual.php?db_date=2010-03-30

  42. #42 Lotharsson
    March 30, 2010

    adaptation makes more sense than mitigation.

    Lovelock might say that, but I doubt he will be proved right over time. Unless I’m mistaken (always possible):

    (a) we really don’t know how bad the impact to the biosphere will be, and

    (b) there are large portions of it that we have no plausible “adaptation” strategy for other than to let it take its chances in a warmer world, and in the worst case live without – which seems like an especially risky and uncertain strategy (see (a)), and hence difficult to claim is “better than mitigation”.

    Hopefully some of the bio-scientists who comment here can provide a much better answer.

  43. #43 truth machine
    March 30, 2010

    Typically you attack the messenger

    BWAHAHAHAHA! Attacking science, or scientists, or Al Gore is all the denialati have.

  44. #44 el gordo
    March 30, 2010

    They are already adapting to a worse case scenario – the Holocene Climate Optimum – where the waters of Botany Bay are lapping at the Cricket Ground.

    The Local Council notifies the people of this impending disaster, but it fails to dampen property speculation in the areas most at risk.

  45. #45 Fran Barlow
    March 30, 2010

    Watchingthe deniers said:

    The science is solid There was no fraud Jones is cleared Calls for more transparency – not a bad thing at all!

    In theory you’re right but in practice in this setting — which is not about the integrity of the science but a culture war in which the other side is aiming to whiteant policy and delay action, calls for “more transparency” when transparency is entirely adequate serve their interest. One can always appeal for more transparency, but the real question should be, Is there enough already?.

    The claims here are entirely disingenuous. Just as the “we need more evidence” is an all-purpose tactic of pushing for delay and to discredit the imposing body of existing science, so too the call for transparency aims to taint scientists with a foul and self-serving slander.

    I am glad that Phil Jones has been cleared of malfeasance as it shows that the claim for transparency was bogus, but if you suppose that this will be the end of the matter you are being naive. Soon it will be claimed that this inquiry was a whitewash as they are all in on the scam and that more transparency is needed in transparency processes, and that these things can only be conducted by people who have no opinions and are completely clueless (well they won’t say that but it will amount to that).

  46. #46 Nils Ross
    March 30, 2010

    It’s hilarious that you think anyone is going to buy that your argument in #44 has any substance, el gordo. Perhaps you’d care to present some statistical data correlating investor planning with other hundred-year timescale events? For example, surely you’ve got some hard data showing oil investors in the 20s nervous about peak oil happening sometime in the 2000+s?

  47. #47 himThere
    March 30, 2010

    Fran Barlow @45 was on the money.

    The first response to the [New Scientist](http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18715-climategate-inquiry-points-finger-at-university.html) article on this subject is condemning the inquiry as a ‘bloody disgrace’, presumably because the outcome did not suit the bloggers preferred version of reality.

  48. #48 el gordo
    March 30, 2010

    Nils

    The winner of last year’s Eureka Award for ‘Innovative solutions to climate change’ stated that overall the inner city councils of Botany Bay, Leichhardt, North Sydney, Randwick, Rockdale and Sydney, had the highest levels of climate change vulnerability.

    Sea-level rise was a key driver of risk for the Botany Bay, Leichhardt, Manly, Rockdale and Sydney councils, all of which were considerably more vulnerable than the average.

    Still, house prices continue to soar in those areas. This is how we adapt.

  49. #49 papertiger
    March 31, 2010

    Posted by: truth machine | March 29, 2010 4:42 PM

    Then McLean, de Frietas, and Carter have been published nowhere, because it’s the same journal, fool.

    I’ve seen two different links to Foster et al, but neither of them with an AGU dot org address.
    And both of them with big red lettered clues that said they weren’t worth a piss.

    And fuck you you five dollar whore cocksucker, for calling me a fool.

  50. #50 quokka
    March 31, 2010

    Hey papertiger, here’s something else to really upset you and elicit another foul mouth response:

    Phil Jones exonerated by UK House of Commons Parliamentary Committee:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/30/house-of-commons-exonerates-climate-scientist-phil-jones/

  51. #51 ChrisC
    March 31, 2010

    I’ve seen two different links to Foster et al, but neither of them with an AGU dot org address. And both of them with big red lettered clues that said they weren’t worth a piss.

    What part of “in press” don’t you understand fool?

    And fuck you you five dollar whore cocksucker, for calling me a fool

    Deep.

  52. #52 jakerman
    March 31, 2010

    >*And fuck you you five dollar whore cocksucker, for calling me a fool*

    Paper tiger, did you think this statement would show you to be anything other than a fool?

  53. #53 Dappledwater
    March 31, 2010

    Well, well, well……….global warmin deniers turn out to be a bunch of Koch suckers:

    http://www.greenpeace.org/raw/content/usa/press-center/reports4/koch-industries-secretly-fund.pdf

  54. #54 Other Mike
    March 31, 2010

    Gee, there are not yet many AGW denialist responses to the British Parliamentary Inquiry into the CRU stating what most people have known for a while now: no-one fudged any data, the evidence for AGW is compelling, and there is no evidence of a conspiracy.

    So now we prepare for denialist Phase 2: howls about the conspiracy to cover-up the conspiracy, and a demand for an Inquiry into the Inquiry. Not too long now before they’ll need to be checked into institutionalised care.

  55. #55 Stu
    March 31, 2010

    >What part of “in press” don’t you understand fool?

    Haha, nice.

    Papertiger is yet another “unsceptic” who will only apply scepticism (or in this case, misplaced ridicule) to whatever doesn’t fit their confirmation bias. However, will Papertiger acknowledge that there is something wrong with McLean et al? Don’t count on it.

  56. #56 el gordo
    March 31, 2010

    There is no evidence of a conspiracy, but I would still like to know who did the hack.

  57. #57 Jeff Harvey
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrews,

    Who says that humans have the capacity to adapt when there is a systemic collapse in the functioning of ecosystems across the biosphere? It is not whether we can adapt; its whether we damage natural systems to such an extent that they are unable to generate critical services that permit our existence and upon which our civilization rests.

    Its hardly surprising that people like you, el gordo et al. who have never studied ecology or environmental biology routinely dredge up the ‘adaptation’ canard without having much of a clue how we will ‘adapt’ or what this entails. It is taken as a ‘given’, which is easy for ignorant layman to assume (I hear the refrain of ‘Dunning-Kruger’ ringing in my ears!). The bottom line is that there are few technological substitutes for a vital array of ecological services such as pollination, nutrient cycling, generation and maintenance of soil fertility, breakdown of wastes etc., which is captured in full cost pricing would be worth literally trillions of dollars. And even whewre there are, they are prohibitively expensive. Because climate change, along with other human assaults across the biosphere that I have mentioned previously, threatens to unravel ecological network webs, there is little doubt that the resilience of these systems will be greatly weakened (we already have lots of evidence showing that this is the case). The consequences for ecological services are likely to be dire.

    So, Mr. Andrews, the next time you wade in here with your ususal vacuous arguments, be aware that I will demolish them every time. You appear to revel in the role of a harpy who attempts to hound me when I write in here. Your problem is that you clearly do not understand basic environmental science, which is patently obvious to me. May I suggest that you read up on some of the topics I discuss and learn a little before making yourself look like an ignoramus again and again.

    Ditto for el gordo.

  58. #58 Paul UK
    March 31, 2010

    The UK parliamentary Commons Science and Technology Committee came to roughly the conclusion I came to a few weeks or maybe days after the CRU event happened.

    eg. The problem was a university management issue. They should have set up a small management team to deal with the FOI issues (spam attack) so that the small team of scientists could get on with science.

    There are more investigations yet which are probably more important. But I don’t expect any big revelations.

  59. #59 truth machine
    March 31, 2010

    And fuck you you five dollar whore cocksucker, for calling me a fool.

    Your #17 establishes that you’re dumber than dirt.

  60. #60 el gordo
    March 31, 2010

    Parliamentary Report:
    “[T]his was not an inquiry into the science produced by CRU and it will be for the Scientific Appraisal Panel, announced by the University on 22 March, to determine whether the work of CRU has been soundly built.”

    We await with great anticipation, but I’m still wondering if MI5 did the hack.

  61. #61 Neil
    March 31, 2010

    “I’m still wondering if MI5 did the hack”

    Why? Because that would get the ‘skeptic’ movement off the hook?

  62. #62 jakerman
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrews, what is your response to Jeff’s [points about adaptation](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/well_now_we_know_why.php#comment-2391877)?

    What data are you basing your counter assessment to Jeff’s? What is your competence to assess the evidence? You do have evidence don’t you Dave? Please share it.

  63. #63 Bernard J.
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrews.

    Here’s a simple question for you – what exactly is it in the AGW context that we should adapt to?

  64. #64 Gaz
    March 31, 2010

    We await with great anticipation, but I’m still wondering if MI5 did the hack.

    El Gordo, that was really silly, even by your own standards.

  65. #65 Other Mike
    March 31, 2010

    We await with great anticipation, but I’m still wondering if MI5 did the hack.

    Oh OK.

    Because originally it was a whistleblower.

    No, a concerned scpetic.

    No, a hack because no-one would release the data.

    No, now it’s MI5.

    If there is one fantasy-wish I could hope for, it would be for all sceptics to produce consistent allegations and stories.

    Because then least scientists would have a single target to aim for.

  66. #66 Jeremy C
    March 31, 2010

    “Sea-level rise was a key driver of risk for the Botany Bay, Leichhardt, Manly, Rockdale and Sydney councils, all of which were considerably more vulnerable than the average.

    Still, house prices continue to soar in those areas. This is how we adapt.”

    El Gordo,

    A couple of years ago my mother was buying a unit in Narrabeen (Sydney). I suggested she find out how high the building was above sea level. She was suprised at the suggestion but asked the real seate agent who replied that they had never been asked such a question. That was less than five years ago and now its becoming a routine question……yes but still, as you said el gordo, house prices soar. Well, I’ve always thought that my fellow Australians have never needed prescriptions for Viagra, just waving a five dollar note under their noses will do the trick as the current house price boom shows. Its no wonder Australians continue to cling to denialism in the face of reason and evidence.

  67. #67 Jeremy C
    March 31, 2010

    “MI5″

    El Gordo,

    Can I have your permission to quote that or should I ask Christopher Monckton first?

  68. #68 jakerman
    March 31, 2010

    el gordo, like GB is also off his meds. He post here to gain attention in order to sooth his relevance deficit disorder.

  69. #69 Jeremy C
    March 31, 2010

    El Gordo,

    Why MI5? Why not Mossad, the FSB, our own dear SIS, the NSA. Perhaps given the depth of this lying conspiriacy over global warming perhaps the worlds spy agencies had to pool resources in order to hack because SCIENTISTS had constructed such a devious cone of science (eh, Laraby) and data firewall to stop the TRUTH BECOMING FREE.

    It would go like this.

    MI5, in its innocence, had one or more deep cover agents ‘disappeared’ by those evil SCIENTISTS at the CRU once their deep cover was blown by Wally the office cleaner. MI5 tried for 40 years to uncover this global conspiracy but the attrition of their best agents was too much (cue much zapping camera shots with wooshing on the sound track outside the entrance to the London Masonic centre which stands in for the entrance to MI5 on Spooks). So in desperation at this threat to western civilisation as we know it they called in their ‘cousins’ at the CIA who decided it was too big so they called in the NSA who spent several Manhattan budgets repositioning 10 Keyhole satellites directly over the mid point of the 33A bus route that goes right outside the gates of East Anglia Uni while Mossad and the FSB were called in for a midnight raid over CRU’s fence where Mrs Fitzpatrick’s garden runs (they had to feed Mrs Fitzpatrick’s Labrador some nice biscuits to keep it quiet while avoiding Mrs Fitzpatrick’s prize pumpkins along the fence wall). Still the defences devised by those sinsiter CRU SCIENTISTS managed to kill several hundred Mossad and Spazntez agents in a scene reminiscent of the volcano battle scene in You Only Live Twice before they were able to make off with a waste paper basket that Wally the office cleaner had forgotten to empty.

    Yes, El Gordo, MI5’s involvement is a pretty reasonable conclusion.

  70. #70 Nils Ross
    March 31, 2010

    @El Gordo’s #48. I can see I was too subtle. Your statement was pointless, with the obvious intent to have misleading implications. Maybe you should polish it a little more, someone with an IQ under 75 might buy it.

  71. #71 GWB's nemesis
    March 31, 2010

    El Gordo,

    Back on 10th December you suggested it was the Russian Secret Service. Do tell us what new info came to light to change your mind.

  72. #72 luminous beauty
    March 31, 2010

    [Marc Roberts](http://www.marcrobertscartoons.com/index.php?globalid=2017) has the skinny on on Lovelock. It’s the [Triumph of the Stupid](http://plognark.com/?q=node/1129).

    Gordito and Ducky should be justifiably proud of their [accomplishment](http://blog.timesunion.com/comics/files/2008/07/ithinkiwonweb.jpg).

  73. #73 Paul UK
    March 31, 2010

    >sea levels…Still, house prices continue to soar in those areas. This is how we adapt.”

    We have a long history of properties being taken by the sea in the UK.
    Prices tend to fall a lot quicker than they go up when the inevitable subsidence starts and houses fall into the sea.
    Insurance usually heads in the opposite direction, quite often towards infinity.

  74. #75 Dave Andrews
    March 31, 2010

    Lee,

    You know that the IPCC projections are all based on the models and that there is no untainted observational evidence to back them up.

  75. #76 Dave Andrews
    March 31, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    OK, instead of your usual dismissive of everything and everyone who might disagree with you approach, why don’t you actually cite some evidence in support of your assertions?

  76. #77 Dave Andrews
    March 31, 2010

    Lotharsson,

    “here are large portions of it that we have no plausible “adaptation” strategy for other than to let it take its chances in a warmer world, and in the worst case live without”

    But isn’t this what has happened repeatedly over the course of the Earth’s history as temperature has fluctuated between considerably hotter and very much colder than is now the case.

    Why do you assume that the ‘status quo’ as we know it now should continue. Life is still abundant on Earth despite all that has happened in the past.

  77. #78 Dave Andrews
    March 31, 2010

    Bernard J,

    I don’t deny that temperatures appear to have increased, in stages, since the 1850s and that this may have some consequences to which we will have to adapt – just like people had to adapt to the cold of the 300 years of the little ice age.

    They managed that ,amazingly, without the help of the internet and computer generated climate models. Incredible don’t you think?

  78. #79 Rixaeton
    March 31, 2010

    # 77 Poor Dave,

    But isn’t this what has happened repeatedly over the course of the Earth’s history as temperature has fluctuated between considerably hotter and very much colder than is now the case.

    Large, rapid fluctuations in the climate are usually accompanied by mass extinction events, which, although we have no direct evidence for it, would make shopping more difficult, what with no food to eat.

    Why do you assume that the ‘status quo’ as we know it now should continue. Life is still abundant on Earth despite all that has happened in the past.

    Erm… that would be you assuming the ‘status quo’ to continue, in that you assume that humans will be just fine with a little fiddling of… I don’t know what. Large scale changes to climate over a short time span does not give ecological systems time to adapt and for life forms to evolve in a way that could be described as the ‘status quo’ The ‘status’ would not be ‘quo’. That is why they are called “mass extinction” events.

    As for #75: I note that you put the word “untainted” in your sentence followed by “observational data” Please tell us how the data (any data? all data?) were “tainted.” It would be good to know so we get the observations right.

  79. #80 jakerman
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrew’s special selective science:

    >*repeatedly over the course of the Earth’s history as temperature has fluctuated between considerably hotter and very much colder than is now the case.
    Why do you assume that the ‘status quo’ as we know it now should continue. Life is still abundant on Earth despite all that has happened in the past.*

    Shorter Dave Andrews: The earth has been hotter before therefore warming is not a problem.

    [Dave you should plot the times when the Earth was hotter than now and markup where human population and civilization was at those times.]

    And:

    >*I don’t deny that temperatures appear to have increased, in stages, since the 1850s and that this may have some consequences to which we will have to adapt – just like people had to adapt to the cold of the 300 years of the little ice age*

    The earth as warmed 0.7 degrees therefe 2+ degrees will not be a problem even if 2+ brings 3+ degrees rise.

    Wow Dave, maybe you should write a paper!

    Dave if our mega-fires and mega-droughts get a little worse were not going to keep exporting food, and Africa and Asia will be going backward as well. What is your assessemnt on this impact?

    How much temperature rise do you say we can adapt to Dave, before things get very nasty? How much should we allow versus mitigate?

  80. #81 chek
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrews said @ 75: “there is no untainted observational evidence to back them up.”

    You know that thing about ostriches burying their heads is a myth, don’t you Dave?

    Except in your case, of course where they could learn something about avoidance.

    If not, now would be the time to tell us all about the Big Scam, please Dave. In detail.

  81. #82 Gaz
    March 31, 2010

    I suppose it would eventually come to this – what happens when a once-credible broadcaster is stacked with right-wing ideologues and conservative political hacks.

    Everyone’s favourite climate science denialist Andrew Bolt [has been given his own current affairs](http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/aprilfool/) show on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s digital TV station ABC2.

    What is the world coming to?

  82. #83 Jeremy C
    March 31, 2010

    Dave Andrews @ 75 “You know that the IPCC projections are all based on the models and that there is no untainted observational evidence to back them up.”

    Davieee boy. Hmmm. Your juxtaposition of; “projections” and “observational evidence to back them up” makes it seem like you have been travelling a wee too much in the TARDIS.

    But seriously, what are you like on hindcast runs with climate models? (Weeell, not too serious really…)

  83. #84 Jeremy C
    March 31, 2010

    Gaz,

    You bastard! You got me completely!

  84. #85 Fran Barlow
    March 31, 2010

    For those interested, McLean is attempting a defence of himself by attacking Lewandowski at The Drum: A response to Lewandowsky, on the basis that the latter was doing a hatchet job.

    Professor Lewandowsky went to considerable effort to investigate me and, while he pretends that it was only to show that science is not elitist, it’s very clear that he intended such detail as a slur. Yes I do work in IT and yes, I have been an occasional travel photographer, with my images appearing in Lonely Planet’s books and probably over 30 sold to various LP clients. [My emphasis FB]

    He does try to defend his methodology, so Deltoidians … off you go …

  85. #86 el gordo
    March 31, 2010

    GWB Nemesis

    Originally I believed Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, the vice-chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who said he believed the theft of the emails was not the work of amateur climate sceptics.

    “It’s very common for hackers in Russia to be paid for their services,” he told The Times.

    “If you look at that mass of emails a lot of work was done, not only to download the data but it’s a carefully made selection of emails and documents that’s not random at all. This is 13 years of data and it’s not a job of amateurs.”

    And of course David King (Tony Blair’s chief scientific adviser) who muttered that it was the work of a secret service.

    If the hack was too complex for amateurs, then it was done by professionals. If it was the FSB then MI5 and the CIA are also in the loop. A conspiracy of silence will remain in place well into the foreseeable future.

  86. #87 John
    March 31, 2010

    More “taking the piss” Gordo?

    A concern troll is a false flag pseudonym created by a user whose actual point of view is opposed to the one that the user’s sockpuppet claims to hold. The concern troll posts in web forums devoted to its declared point of view and attempts to sway the group’s actions or opinions while claiming to share their goals, but with professed “concerns”. The goal is to sow fear, uncertainty and doubt within the group.

  87. #88 Fran Barlow
    April 1, 2010

    One of the interesting subsets of the concern troll John is the tone troll. The tone troll need not profess agreement with the consensus but pleads for more civility in language and more respect for other points of view.

    We may all disagree, the concern troll maunders, but surely we can all agree to be polite and show each other respect.

    Now who could possibly object to that? Of course, this merely opens the door to allowing other invading spammers and trolls simply posting and reposting their talking points as if they have not yet been civilly dealt with. It can’t possibly reatrin those trolls who come to the group with outlandish and utterly unfounded slanders — which those of us who see them for what they are are supposed to dignify with counter-argument.

    People who post with a reckless disregard for the truth, who lack the seriousness and discipline to anticipate and address likely objections and yet hold themselves out as experts have not earned respect or the right to be dealt with civilly, IMO.

    The Golden Rule applies. If you are constructively rude to others, then others are perfectly entitled to respond in quite the same way. It may or may not be wise in practice to do so. Some trolls take pleasure in nuking discussion by making the thread all about them. Not uncommonly, they declare thinly disguised stupidities as bait for those willing to wander off at a tangent. This is all part of the culture war that the trolls for the filth merchant position do.

    Nevertheless accepting lectures from concern and tone trolls ought not to be something those of us who take ideas seriously ought to endure.

  88. #89 JB
    April 1, 2010

    Fran barlow says: “He [McClean] does try to defend his methodology, so Deltoidians … off you go …”

    McClean “defends” his methodology by simply claiming that
    ‘Our use of derivative data ended when the time lag was established.’

    In other words, he is claiming that the derivative data was not used for the correlation calculations.

    but that claim directly contradicts the claim made by McClean et al in their reply to Foster et al (quoted by James Annan)

    “Our comments about the change in Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) accounting for 72% of the variance in satellite (MSU) GTAA, 68% of variance in the radiosonde (RATPAC-A) GTAA and 81% of variance in the tropospheric temperature in the tropics were made in the context of the discussion of our derivatives based on differentials between 12 month averages, and we stand by them. Contrary to Fea10 claims, those figures do not refer to long-term variations but only to the derivatives that were used.”

    If they don’t use derivatives, the correlation between (shifted) SOI and global temperature comes out much lower than they claim. The only way that they can get such a high correlation is to remove most of the variation in temperature before doing the correlation calculation (ie, by removing the upward “ramp” in temperature due to increasing GHG’s).

    By all appearances, McClean and his co-authors wish to have it both ways, but unfortunately, which is obviously not possible.

    It is actually rather bizarre that they have made these two completely opposite claims. McClean makes a point of how his IT background has involved training in logic, but this is just completely illogical.

    Anyone can see that, which makes it all the more foolish.

  89. #90 jakerman
    April 1, 2010

    John McLean has started replying to Eli And Lothersson’s critiques of his work on [the Drum](http://www.internationalbenchmarking.org/unleashed/stories/s2861936.htm).

  90. #91 John
    April 1, 2010

    John McLean has started replying to Eli And Lothersson’s critiques of his work on the Drum.

    Having read the piece in question I’m convinced it’s a rather elaborate April Fool’s Day joke.

  91. #92 Gaz
    April 1, 2010

    Re: #7

    Prof. Ashley – would the correction to the McLean et al Figure 7 have been to the labels *within* the graph – ie “SOI derivative” in the 2nd and 3rd panels of the graph look like they should have just said “SOI” as in the first panel?

    That would make the labels within the graph consistent with the caption below it.

    Thanks.

  92. #93 Michael Ashley
    April 1, 2010

    Re: #92

    Gaz, yes, well-spotted, the correction was to the labels of Fig 7, not the caption! And yes, the word “derivative” has disappeared. So this is a significant change.

    Also, the right-hand vertical axis of Fig 7a now says “RATPAC-A GTTA” rather than “GTTA”.

  93. #94 Jeff Harvey
    April 1, 2010

    Dave Andrews, you want evidence, why not go to a library, log into the Web of Science, and enter keywords such as : ecocystem functioning, biodiversity, ecocystem services, functional redundancy, and other related terms. You will get thousands of hits. The journal Ecological economics is filled with papers placing the value and importance of ecological services in an economic framework.

    Or may I suggest: Fragile Dominion, Complexity and the Commons (Simon Levin), Nature’s Services (ed. by Gretchen Daily, 1997), The Work of Nature (Yvonne Baskin, 1999) or Nature and the Marketplace (Geoffrey Heal, 2000). The Milennium Ecosystem Assessment (2006) would also be an excellent source of information.

    You can find more via Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecosystem_services
    http://earthtrends.wri.org/images/ecosystem_services.jpg

    As others have said earlier, dramatic changes in abiotic characteristics in the past have coincided with mass extinction events. Humans are no more exempt from nature’s laws than all of the other 5 to 15 billion species with which we share the planet. Given our utter dependence on regulating services, it is likely that in fact we are more dependent than most of the others because we utilize far more of net primary production and freshwater flows than other organisms do.

  94. #95 Lotharsson
    April 1, 2010

    This is freaking unbelievable. In comments at The Drum John McLean, who allegedly claimed something along the lines of “my IT training gave me logic skills”, wrote this:

    If the SOI accounts for short-term variation then logically it also accounts for long-term variation.

    This is one of the single most illogical statements I’ve seen from someone claiming to be at postgraduate level in a field at least marginally related to climate change. You’d think John could imagine many examples of systems even from his IT experience where this does not make sense, let alone understand how the logic simply does not follow.

    This statement deserves to be in the hall of fame (and widely disseminated), along with Ms Nova’s “a vacuum stops energy loss well” and other classics of the genre.

  95. #96 Stu
    April 1, 2010

    >If the SOI accounts for short-term variation then logically it also accounts for long-term variation.

    Oh dear, Lotharsson… that’s actually a bit depressing, he even then defends that statement.

    A few days ago I made the comment (on a different website) that

    > Anyway, the main problem, apart from the statistical mangling, is that one of the authors made the claim (repeated in their unpublishable reply!) that “Our analysis supported earlier research that demonstrates a close link between these factors, and indicated that a large portion of the variability in global temperature is explained by ENSO variation, thus leaving little room for a substantial human influence on temperature.”…

    >…The fact that they persist with this notion in reply to Foster el al’s comment shows that they are unwilling to take on this simplest of corrections and are completely disinterested in the science…

    And all that has happened since then has strengthened the notion. McLean simply will not take a correction and will just keep making dopey mis-statements, whilst whining about being censored. Supporters of this work (who, in a twist worthy of an olympic diver, both love and hate the peer-review process as revealed by this saga) will carry on obfuscating by not addressing any of the “science” in McLean et al. or the science in Foster et al. and only addressing the perceived censorship (read: quality control!), c.f. Ravensclaw @ The Drum.

    So I really think there’s no point arguing. McLean is wrong, as the majority of the commenters at The Drum can clearly see. He wont be changing his mind though, as he thinks he still has some credibility. His supporters are just entrenched in their opinions. So I don’t think I’ll pay much more attention to this issue. As entertaining as it has been to watch proper scientists deliver this righteous smackdown, it’s reached its conclusion and nothing more can be said…

  96. #97 Lotharsson
    April 1, 2010

    …who, in a twist worthy of an olympic diver, both love and hate the peer-review process as revealed by this saga)…

    I really believe this contradiction needs to be relentlessly hammered. It’s a fairly simple form of disingenuousness that most people can understand.

  97. #98 Bernard J.
    April 1, 2010

    I tried to post this on The Drum, but encountered a repeated error:

    John McLean.

    I note that others have asked a similar question of you below, but I have not yet come across an answer (I apologise if one has been provided)…

    Could you confirm whether you believe that 1) ENSO actually heats the planet, or rather that 2) it simply moves heat around the planet in a periodic manner?

    Knowing that McLean is a fan of Deltoid, I am hoping that he might reply here…

    I’d also be interested to know exactly where and in what discipline he is undertaking a PhD.

  98. #99 Eli Rabett
    April 1, 2010

    Fran, mind if Eli puts #88 up for honors on Rabett Run

  99. #100 Bruce Sharp
    April 1, 2010

    Re #88: I’m not a Christian, so maybe I’m not the best person to comment, but I think you’re kinda missing the essence of the Golden Rule. It’s not, “If I’m rude to you, you get to be rude to me.” It’s “Treat other people the way you’d like to be treated.” Are there times when you want to be treated rudely?

    If trolls take pleasure in derailing the discussion, getting angry isn’t a particularly effective strategy. I’d hope that it’s possible to point that out without making those who disagree feel as if they’ve been subject to a “lecture” that they had to “endure.”

    Regards,
    Bruce

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