Judith Curry and the hockey stick

Last month Judith Curry challenged folks to respond to Bishop Hill/Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science

So I am laying down the gauntlet, this really needs to discussed and rebutted by the paleo researchers and the IPCC defenders.

and

In the context of the hockey stick wars, Montford clearly describes the three main critiques that MM had of MBH98,99: i) inappropriate use of centering in the principal component analysis; ii) stripbark bristlecones are not reliable as a proxy; iii) the R2 statistic needs to be used in the assessment of significance

I said that I would look at it, and I will when my copy arrives but in the meantime Tamino has written a detailed review of the book with particular emphasis on two of the three main critiques that Curry identified. The response from Curry was perplexing. Instead of thanking Tamino for addressing the main critiques that she had identified, Curry wrote that the cons for Tamino’s review were:

numerous factual errors and misrepresentations, failure to address many of the main points of the book

Pressed to identify these errors, Curry instead moved the goalposts, coming up with nine different “key points” of the book. When Gavin Schmidt demolished these, rather than concede that some, at least, were wrong, Curry asserted that Schmidt’s rebuttal was full of logical fallacies (though once again without identifying any of them at all). And that therefore, “Montford’s theses look even more convincing”. Oh and:

Once you’re in a hole, you can try to climb out or keep digging. Well keep digging, Gavin.

(Relevant comments have been collected by Stephen here, if you don’t want to read the whole comment thread at RealClimate.)

Curry kept digging, with more comments at Climate Progress. Coby Beck concludes:

The list of reliable sources in climatology just got a bit shorter.

William Connolley suggests:

Curry needs to back off and find time to write down a coherent position that she actually believes in.

Mind you, over at Bishop Hill’s blog folks seem to think that she did just fine. For example

Clearly Judith Curry, Jean S, Thinking Scientist and Atomic Hairdryer did superb work in running both Tamino and his faithful side kick, Gavin, in circles on their own territory. That is the amazing part. The four of them, plus a couple others, invaded AGW Gruppenführer’s private fiefdom, blew through their attempt to be in control and ran amok with reason, logic and fact.

Comments

  1. #1 D. C. Sessions
    July 29, 2010

    Pressed to identify these errors, Curry instead moved the goalposts, coming up with nine different “key points” of the book. When Gavin Schmidt demolished these, rather than concede that some, at least, were wrong, Curry asserted that Schmidt’s rebuttal was full of logical fallacies (though once again without identifying any of them at all). And that therefore, “Montford’s theses look even more convincing”.

    It’s fascinating to watch someone with little prior practice mastering the Gish Gallop in real time.

  2. #2 Barry Woods
    July 29, 2010

    I remember reading Judith Curry on Watts up and Climate Audit at the time of the original article.. Lots of the more sceptically minded blogger/commentors, thought she was an apologist for the pro AGW side of the debate (man, Jones, etc)

    Well how wrong can some of theose ‘sceptics’ be on that one!

    With Judith aprently giving up on RealClimate, see full comments at Bishop Hill. and Stoats, Judith jumping the shark blog, I imagine the ‘climate science’ community considers she has gone – to quote – ‘to the dark side’

    Ironic really, RealClimate seems to bring out the worst/best in people (depending on your viewpoint – I guess) and have probably (along with Stoat, and a few others, done more to generate scepticism, by their behviour, than any sceptical blog.

    A Bishop hill comment:
    Forgive me if I am stating the blindingly obvious. but the discussions at Real Climate remind me powerfully of the hatred and bile engendered by the ‘Left’ during my time at University. Especially to each other.

    And I note also that though not an exact contemporary of mine, Gavin Schmidt was an undergraduate member of my college while studying Maths. Possibly even at the same time that John Houghton was a Fellow. It is only a small college (400 members). Apologies for them both on behalf of the rest of us.

    Judith Curry is clearly suffering the fate of the apostate in any true religion…its a wonder that RC hasn’t (yet) called for her severe and painful physical chastisement.

    But Monty Python (often so relevant to the climate ‘debate’) satirised them even before their time

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb_qHP7VaZE

  3. #3 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    I used to have some respect for Judith Curry in her attempts to build bridges between the more respectable “sceptics” and the mainstream but this is just weird.

    Her comments at RC and CP do not read like those of a scientist, or even of a rational person. They read like those of the typical denialist, one who ignores what was actually said and keeps repeating the same claims without once supporting them, then resorting to insults when this is pointed out.

    She has complained about “tribalism” in climate science. It appears she has spent too much time with one tribe and gone native.

  4. #4 caerbannog
    July 29, 2010


    Clearly Judith Curry, Jean S, Thinking Scientist and Atomic Hairdryer did superb work in running both Tamino and his faithful side kick, Gavin, in circles on their own territory.

    And the Black Knight always triumphs!

  5. #5 Byron Smith
    July 29, 2010

    I realise this may sound odd, but could it possible that someone is impersonating her? I assume that someone who knows her has checked?

  6. #6 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    5 Byron,

    In the RC thread, that question is asked. Gavin replies that yes, it is Curry (I assume from the email address/IP address).

    And would the same imposter also appear at CP, CA, and Hishop Bill?

  7. #7 lord_sidcup
    July 29, 2010

    I haven’t read Montford’s book but occassionally dip into his blog – partly for amusement and partly to keep up with the latest guff doing the rounds. His blog is all quote mining, insinuations and conspiracy theories and I always suspected his book will be similar. Tamino’s review seems to confirm what I suspected. I don’t know what to make of Judith Curry other than that she is massively naive.

  8. #8 V. infernalis
    July 29, 2010

    The four of them, plus a couple others, invaded AGW Gruppenführer’s private fiefdom, blew through their attempt to be in control and ran amok with reason, logic and fact.

    Wow. “Gruppenführer”? Was that Monckton himself?

  9. #9 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    8 V. infernalis,

    And, yes it’s a Godwin!

  10. #10 John mashey
    July 29, 2010

    I cannot resist. People in need of amsuement might see my comment in that thread on Montford’s pp.28-29, including his quote from the wondrous Journal of Scientific Exploration (JSE), whose articles are most fascinating.

    (JSE ranks somewhere below Energy&Environment, but might be above MAGNETS, mentioned here in the story on Wewgman and Black Helicopters.

    What does it mean that Montford seriously quotes from the JSE? Meanwhile, anyone who wants to investigate HSI might look at its Wikipedia talk page, noting that there are already at least 3 archived batches of comments.

  11. #11 Chad
    July 29, 2010

    lord_sidcup,

    I don’t know what to make of Judith Curry other than that she is massively naive.

    I believe the term is “useful idiot”.

  12. #12 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    10 John,

    Is it time for a book including all the excellent work you’ve done on connections, etc.? Perhaps with Deep Climate as co-author?

  13. #13 chek
    July 29, 2010

    I refused to buy Montford’s book (it only encourages them), and having read 50 or 60 pages online at Amazon I’m unlikely to change my mind. It does seem to be a masterpiece of innendo of the type that will have erstwhile contributor Brent and his ilk wetting themselves. Check out page 449, although you may have to remind yourself it was written by an alleged adult.

    I expect Montford will follow Delingpole on the 4-star hotel circuit to junkets like the annual Heartland Deny-o-fest, which ironically is probably what he imagines all that grant money gets spent on (when not actively contributing to our communist overlords-in-waiting).

    Y’know, if there’s anything duller than the shabby, hand-me-down fantasies of the mediocre, I’ve yet to encounter them.

  14. #14 TrueSceptic
    July 29, 2010

    From one of Curry’s [comments at CP](http://climateprogress.org/2010/07/25/hockey-stick-real-climate-montford-judith-curry-tamino-gavin-schmid/#comment-287072)

    So this field is quite immature. DIscussion in the blogosphere could in principle speed up the maturity of the field beyond what the peer reviewed literature can accommodate if there is serious discussion about the issues, such as calibration and assessment of the individual proxies, error analysis, significance testing, and the sampling issue. Retorts such as tamino’s and gavin’s on the RC thread do nothing to move this along.

    Am I misreading this or is she supporting Blog Science? Perhaps she’s a fan of Dr Inferno?

  15. #15 MarkB
    July 29, 2010

    “I don’t know what to make of Judith Curry other than that she is massively naive.”

    I suppose that could be its own thread topic: What to Make of Judith Curry?

    Her arguments are massively naive. Why that’s the case no one seems to know for sure. I’m not ready to conclude that she herself is naive. It’s not clear how much of her rhetoric constitutes genuine good faith mistakes. She should know better.

    - No apparent industry connections

    - No obvious ideological bias that the denialist masses are inflicted with

    - No gaping lack of credentials or relevant publications

    Perhaps that’s where Curry fits in. She’s here to fill a market niche – the qualified non-ideological non-industry scientist who sympathizes with skeptics. There are very few of those.

    Such a role is rewarded with instant attention. Curry seems to enjoy it on balance. See for example comment #187 on the CP thread (note how she twists a Chu statement, which she says was information she received from one of her supporters). She sees her background as a distinct advantage over the vast majority of contrarians, using it as leverage against the rest. Such a background lends much more apparent credence to her “tribal” narrative and allows for effective concern trolling. She lets us know she was part of that “tribe”, for example. Contrarians adore her, and are showering her with emails of support, pushing various talking points, knowing that she will willingly accept most anything they say. She doesn’t mind being used in this manner. So perhaps the goal is relative fame. She’s interviewed everywhere these days, from Brazil to Revkin – attention that would be entirely absent if she wasn’t making provocative statements. It’s not entirely different from what motivates many technical contrarians. McIntyre is largely motivated to make a name for himself. His mining industry career played out. What better future than self-described hockey-stick slayer, praised by legions of fans everywhere? Curry differs in that she’s able to fill the small niche described above.

    That said, there may be other motivations. Perhaps there’s some significance to GA Tech. Her close colleague Peter Webster has made odd and often ambiguous comments recently, not just in Curry’s defense. There might be some things going on behind the scenes, perhaps some personal grudges that Curry intends to settle publicly.

    The desire for attention can’t be dismissed. We live in a world where anyone remotely credentialed with a contrarian view to climate science becomes an instant star. And most importantly, a robust argument matters not.

  16. #16 dhogaza
    July 29, 2010

    Mind you, over at Bishop Hill’s blog folks seem to think that she did just fine.

    Judy’s currying favor over there, that’s for sure …

  17. #17 Bill O'Slatter
    July 29, 2010

    I agree with what you say Mark but I think the reward that Curry is aiming at is more earthly. As we now know Exxon has been funding Climategate and these carpetbaggers ,like McIntyre , are shooting for the gravy train.

  18. #18 Donald Oats
    July 29, 2010

    My guess is that Judith Curry originally thought that she could somehow bridge the divide between “sceptics” and the protagonists (ie the climate scientists and their climate science results concerning anthropogenic global warming (AGW)), which is what she originally stated she was trying to do. After a while, she made some remarks that copped the typical robust responses that bloggers write. Meanwhile, M was very polite towards her. Over time, I guess she came to associate with the “outsider” status of the sceptics, since she was now subject to the same criticisms from climate scientists and bloggers, as other mis-informed or mis-informing sceptics are. Once she identified with them (ie the sceptics) with regards to being critiqued by professional climate scientists, she probably felt she couldn’t go back, even if she wanted to.

    What I don’t understand is this: if Judith Curry originally genuinely wasn’t sure whether the Wegman report, Steven McIntyre, etc are badly mistaken in their criticisms of Mann’s analysis or not, then why doesn’t she analyse the original data using her scientific knowledge of statistics and of dendrochronology? Then she would have established whether the statistical significance of various results is robust under different statistics choices; whether Mann et al and her analysis are entirely consistent, statistically consistent, or not consistent; whether Steve McIntyre et al are consistent with Curry’s re-analysis or not. Then she would have good evidence one way or the other.

    But if she does that, she may have to admit that her previous assumptions, concerning whether the motivations of the McIntyres et al are on the level or not, are mistaken.

  19. #19 cbp
    July 29, 2010

    Judith’s comments are 100% troll.
    She has no argument – just insults and innuendos.
    I wouldn’t encourage her.

  20. #20 chek
    July 29, 2010

    For anyone wondering what Montford’s book might have looked like as a science history tome as claimed by Curry, instead of the provincial Dan Brown potboiler he actually wrote, you could do no worse than look at this section of the EPA’s ['Denial of Petitions'](http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/downloads/response-volume1.pdf), with plenty more in that vein [here.](http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/endangerment/petitions.html)

    I haven’t worked through the whole list of .pdf’s yet, but it seems that all the gang of our fave characters (Booker, North etc. and all the think tank acronyms you could wish for) are there and have been busy busy busy.

    Achieving nothing :)

    h/t to SecularAnimist over on RC

  21. #21 Eli Rabett
    July 29, 2010

    Certainly before the last go round, Eli agreed with Donald Oates, but a bitterness has crept in for which the possible explanations are less complimentary. The willingness, no the anger with which colleagues are attacked suggest a deep personal insult, or something even worse.

  22. #22 David Horton
    July 29, 2010

    I made this comment (with an embarrassing “Oh god I am getting old typo” corrected) on the RC thread – “I keep trying, really I do, to understand the apparent position of people like Curry. If she does come back on perhaps she could explain this. The constant reiteration of “the hockey stick is broken” or variations on that theme – what, exactly, do you think that means? Does it mean that the temperature rise (and concomitant effects) of the last few decades are not astonishingly fast in the context of the last thousand years or so? Or does it mean that the rate and extent of change in the MWP (and its geographic distribution and timing) so exactly matches the recent change as to completely negate its significance? Either way, are you seriously suggesting that the rapid rise in CO2 levels in the last few decades are just pure coincidence? Or are you merely nit picking? Are you just saying that the handle of the hockey stick just has a bit of a kink in it and therefore shouldn’t be called a “hockey stick” but a “kinked hockey stick” and therefore the “hockey stick is broken”? I mean, that sounds silly to me, and I don’t think any serious scientist would play those sort of word games in the face of the growing environmental catastrophe that clearly awaits us if we continue to do nothing to rein in CO2 output. Would they?”

    She didn’t respond, unsurprisingly, but it’s a question of the kind that really should be posed to any of the remaining contrarians. Any of them who seriously suggest, implicitly or explicitly, that the correspondence between CO2 levels and world temps over the last 200 years is pure coincidence, and that in particular, all these spurious alternative mechanisms that they suggest just happen to coincide with the rapid increases in CO2 and temperatures of the last 30 years. I mean, what are the chances, really?

    As to where she fits in the great taxonomy of contrarians. I dunno but “Name an issue on which 999 scientists agree and there will be one who will swear black is white, up is down, and, if necessary, that the moon is made of green cheese and Americans never landed on it.” (http://davidhortonsblog.com/2010/07/29/well-its-one-for-the-money/)

  23. #23 John Mashey
    July 29, 2010

    re: #12 TrueSkeptic thanks for the kind words

    Well, I have a bunch of updates to the CCC report done, but needs a bit more work. Whether it should be a book or not…
    buit it got put on hold for a while because of something else.

    In any case, my next tome is almost ready to go.
    Keep an eye on DC’s place…

  24. #24 chek
    July 29, 2010

    …and another thing, accountants like Montfrord really should stick to the [script](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XMOmB1q8W4Y) and not get fancy ideas about writing.

  25. #25 Ken Fabos
    July 29, 2010

    Dr Curry ought to know better – truly what is she thinking? Following up a gut instinct that climate science must be wrong by going to Cato or Heartland or Climate Audit to get the ‘true story’ prior to going to the source (and being so convinced that she doesn’t need to go to the source)? She’s not the first credentialed scientist that appears to have copied and pasted their views on this from a denialist think tank. The cringeworthy opinions of Jonathon Katz PhD come to mind as a bad example of the very groupthink that he and now Dr Curry thought they have been criticising but have come to epitomise.
    Unfortunately the MSM will surely want to highlight the addition of a credentialed scientist to the list of disbelievers whilst failing to look at the lack of science in the views she is parroting.

  26. #26 John Mashey
    July 29, 2010

    re: #12, #23

    Well, DC’s newest is up, Wegman Report update, part 1: More dubious scholarship in full colour, with hints of much, much more to come.

  27. #27 Marion Delgado
    July 29, 2010

    I’ll help, but her attitude to this denialist crap, and her expression of its insane sense of entitlement by proxy, is completely despicable.

  28. #28 Marion Delgado
    July 29, 2010

    And in all seriousness, Stoat FTW. That’s the nutshelliest way to get someone up to speed on what’s going on.

  29. #29 Michael
    July 29, 2010

    Eli @ 21

    That’s how it’s looking.

    It’s hard to explain Curry’s apparent willingness (or should that be, enthusiasm) to believe in the academic misconduct of her science colleagues based on the unsubstantiated allegations of a bunch of bloggers, when, as she now says, she hasn’t bothered to check if the claims are true.

    Some kind of personal / professional grievance at play?

  30. #30 Bernard J.
    July 30, 2010

    My kind assessment would incline toward an intellectual/ideological version of Stockholm Syndrome, whilst my cyncial assessment would lean toward intellectual/ideological prostitution, but realistically I too suspect that it’s closer to what [Eli suggests](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2691197).

    Whatever the reason, it’s a spectacular demonstration of the parting of a scientist from the very principles that define her work. I would not be surprised to find that one day she becomes a full-blown Denialatus.

  31. #31 sod
    July 30, 2010

    there are several other important issues, that came out over this debate.

    Judiths biggest error (and the one most easy to spot) was this one: (with the reply by gavin)

    7. The Mann et al. 2008, which purports to address all the issues raised by MM and produce a range of different reconstructions using different methodologies, still do not include a single reconstruction that is free of questioned tree rings and centered PCA.

    [Response: Absolutely untrue in all respects. No, really, have you even read these papers? There is no PCA data reduction step used in that paper at all. And this figure shows the difference between reconstructions without any tree ring data (dark and light blue) compared to the full reconstruction (black). (This is a modified figure from the SI in Mann et al (2008) to show the impact of removing 7 questionable proxies and tree ring data together). In addition, there are many papers that deal with issues raised by MM - Huybers (2005), von Storch et al, (2005), Rutherford et al (2005), Wahl and Amman (2007), Amman and Wahl (2007), Berger (2006) etc.

    Judith, I implore you to do some work for yourself instead of just repeating things you read in blogs. (Hint, not everything on the Internet is reliable). ]

    the Mann 08 paper can be found here:

    https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~wsoon/Mannetal08-PNAS-d/Mannetal08-Sep2-PNAS-2008-Mann-0805721105.pdf

    it is obvious, that Judith was wrong. but she did never admit it. she brought up all sorts of points: it was just a review, not her own opinion. she did not have the book she was reviewing with her. she doesn t want to get into technical detail. she doesn t have time to post. (she wrote dozens of posts without addressing her error.)

    in the end, she “settled” the point by saying, that her words did not accurately reflect the Montford book and waving a broad “I apologize for any error..” excuse.

    a———————-

    Judith does seriously ask people to read a book with the title “The Hockey Stick Illusion: Climategate and the Corruption of Science.”, and somehow she thinks a book with such a title could bring the “tribes” together. (she compared the book to the latest by Oreskes in her posts on CA)

    during the discussion, somebody brought up an interview, that Judith gave to a Brazilian newspaper:

    TIME – You see any lobbying campaign of the fossil fuel industry to increase the confusion?
    Curry – This also exists. But I see as an important factor in the general skepticism about climate change. Most people who write against the use of emissions control political or economic arguments. They do not care about science. Neither one could call them skeptics. There are other skeptics with scientific training. But few receive any money from oil or coal. Entities such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are concerned about policies that affect U.S. competitiveness and our economy. So spend time and money by organizing conferences and demanding information from climate researchers.

    her endorsement of right wing denialists think tanks is simply beyond bizarre. she still claims, that she is bridging the gap! RC [link](http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=4431#comment-182964)

  32. #32 Dave H
    July 30, 2010

    When Dr Curry first stated her intention to try and “bridge the gap” between, essentially, realclimate and climateaudit, I have to say I was impressed at the attempt.

    I thought that she caught a lot of unwarranted flack for seeming to legitimise opinions that she did not necessarily share, simply because she honestly sought to engage on points of substance.

    As time went on, her support of the “skeptical” points rose in inverse proportion to her willingness to discuss them in detail in a “consensus” forum, and I became more frustrated with her willingness to give time to – what seemed to me after evaluating the evidence – completely worthless commentary, while not engaging in similar fashion with commentators that did not share that opinion. The so-called “bridge” seemed a little lopsided to me.

    Now where are we?

    The divide between realclimate/climateaudit has never been wider. The split is now tinged with a level of personal recrimination and venom between Curry and those with a “consensus” viewpoint, who now see her as applying double standards and unwilling to engage with a “consensus” viewpoint. To the delight of naysayers, this increased split has provided further ammunition to the catcalls that expressing a non-consensus viewpoint gets one excommunicated. Curry has provided the very legitimacy to “skeptical” interpretations of the CRU emails and Montford’s hockey stick book that was feared at the outset, while also strengthening the “church of AGW” narrative and seemingly burning any possible bridges between realclimate and climateaudit.

    I would say her original purported aim is an abject failure. I continue to try and keep an open mind that she is honestly trying to achieve something, but if that is the case I think her methods are completely misguided. I cannot see how she can be persuaded by the arguments she champions, as they seem vapid to me in the main. I cannot understand her harsh interpretation of the CRU email hack. I cannot understand her easy pass of the Wegman report. If true, I cannot understand her endorsement of the CEI.

    In my opinion, if she is *really* serious about wanting to heal this divide that she has helped to create, she should get a blog of her own and post there. Sticking to safe havens (bishophill, climateaudit) and only emerging for the occasional potshot in the comments at realclimate is not helpful. The pro/anti pile-on in the comments at these places just serves to reinforce previously held positions and persuades no-one.

  33. #33 Thers
    July 30, 2010

    The thing that kills me about Curry is that she is willing to say stuff that is just crazy from a fundamental academic perspective — her behavior here I still find absolutely stunning.

    What, we can’t agree on plagiarism as a bad thing…?

  34. #34 In Hell's Kitchen
    July 30, 2010

    To me it seems that Curry is seeking to attract media attention.

    Can we start a pool on how long it will take to start
    seeing her “fair and balanced” approach on the premiere
    “fair and balanced” “news” outlet in the US ?

  35. #35 Lars Karlsson
    July 30, 2010

    From the Brazilian Curry interview:
    Entities such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Competitive Enterprise Institute are concerned about policies that affect U.S. competitiveness and our economy. So spend time and money by organizing conferences and demanding information from climate researchers.

    These are think-tanks that have spread the “Rachel-Carson-is-a-mass-murderer” garbage. Curry’s naivety (to be generous) is astounding.

  36. #36 adelady
    July 30, 2010

    Curry’s naivete?

    Considering her lack of attention to basic details relating to Motford’s book. perhaps she’s not bothered herself with checking out the background of people who apparently agree with her. Naive? I’d say sloppy, careless and foolish.

    And she’s a scientist. These flaws and faults might be understandable in a non-academic. In someone who claims the intellectual high ground, especially someone who claims to be paying attention to the relationships and influences on various people and organisations, it’s reprehensible.

  37. #38 chek
    July 30, 2010

    Tim said: “Mind you, over at Bishop Hill’s blog folks seem to think that she (Curry) did just fine.”

    Mind you saying that, the Bishop’s site is like a for real climate version of the [Viz letters page](http://www.viz.co.uk/letterbocks.html)

  38. #39 Anon
    July 30, 2010

    I think one of her fellow climate scientists should talk with her, ideally in person, and get to the bottom of this. We can’t know why she’s doing this just from her public writings.

    (I’d put my money – an anonymous & small amount of money – on her being coerced.)

  39. #40 Paul UK
    July 30, 2010

    I have to say I have completely missed this argument.
    Can’t really be bothered to read trash books, I know if I did I would probably kick it around the room.

  40. #41 Wow
    July 30, 2010

    “In someone who claims the intellectual high ground, especially someone who claims to be paying attention to the relationships and influences on various people and organisations, it’s reprehensible.

    Posted by: adelady”

    In her mind, Montford is a friend and wouldn’t make such silly statements without them being backed up by truth.

    Therefore there’s no need to check what Montford said nor whether anyone saying it’s wrong is actually correct: Montford will have explained all this in his book. No need to check.

    And she’s right doing so. All those people who say she’s smart and right tell her she’s right here too.

    She’s bought into her own hype.

    Michael Jackson did it. Lindsey Lohan does it. Monkton does it.

    She’s doing it.

  41. #42 Marion Delgado
    July 30, 2010

    Anon 6:22 who’s left that both would talk to her and get an answer?

  42. #43 J Bowers
    July 30, 2010

    Re. 21 Eli Rabett: “The willingness, no the anger with which colleagues are attacked suggest a deep personal insult, or something even worse.”

    I did ask a similar question at RC which got moderated, asking for whoever kicked her dog to ‘fess up and say they’re sorry.

    Ooh. I got modded at RC. Maybe I’m a victim of conspiracy…

  43. #44 Andy
    July 30, 2010

    Seems like the divergence began shortly after she made a very public statement (that his brain had fossilized) about Dr. William Gray’s reticence to accept modeling as a way of understanding global warming and tropical cyclone links. I imagine the US news coverage of her statement was traumatic. So my two cents – PTSD.

  44. #45 Majorajam
    July 30, 2010

    Amongst other appalling things to note about Curry’s comments were the continuous oblique references to ‘political considerations’, a true climateaudit-esque presumption of academic fraud. And then she kept going on about ‘uncertainty’ in the same vein, and how shysters like Mann’s desire to hide it isn’t helping his overriding agenda to insert the government into everyone’s lives and presumably take over the world.

    Ignoring that offensive framing, the policy implications of greater uncertainty about the magnitude of climate sensitivity is to make the case for initiating mitigation strategies greater. Unless of course she’s throwing out what we know about revealed preferences and economics along with dendro and the field of paleoclimate as well.

    Speaking of which, and perhaps worst of all- I can dig up the comment but don’t have it in front of me- she suggested that said underplayed uncertainty in the multiproxy studies indicated that we can’t attribute 20th century warming to anthropogenic factors. That nearly knocked me out of my chair. Thinking to myself, did she just bin models along with paleclimatology and the economics of climate change?? Quick work indeed.

    I understand the desire to speculate about motivations- and I have my own, namely her domicile in pickled in ignorance Georgia, and what happens to empathetic confrontation avoiding folks in radicalized environments. The bottom line though is that we couldn’t get traction with the Fox News crowd with 97% of publishing climate scientists. It can’t be a huge loss that we’re down to 96.5%. Hell, they’re so convinced that a consensus about something means that it’s wrong that this could be a good thing… right? Whatever.

    Since Judith Curry thinks the CRU thing was so important in ‘opening things up’ I think we can all expect her to lead the charge in getting McIntyre and other notable skeptics to invite people into their inboxes and archives to examine all their correspondence with moneyed interests and fellow skeptics. It’s about time.

  45. #46 Marion Delgado
    July 30, 2010

    I *do* like Gavin as Tamino’s “faithful side kick[sic].”

  46. #47 Marion Delgado
    July 30, 2010

    From the summary review on Amazon:

    Montford, who conducts a blog mostly about climate, called Bishop Hill and used his accounting skills of patience and precision in dealing with heaps of data to tell a connected and, often, thrilling story.

    It’s Certified Public Accountancy Man!

  47. #48 Marion Delgado
    July 30, 2010

    Paul UK in the past year or so I’ve read the major evolution denial books by Behe, Meyer and Dembski (as much as I could get through) and gone through Plimer’s book at first skimming then going through it looking for reasons for the points he made in his arguments with people like George Monbiot. I also skimmed a half-dozen other climate science denial books. By and large, climate science deniers are a nasty, contemptuous bunch. They very clearly see everything as a football game. The ID-ists want to persuade people so they’re pretty accommodating and polite. Some climate denial books are frustratingly deceptive but well-thought out and hard to tackle, Plimer’s not being among them.

    Didn’t throw any across the room, but they ARE library books.

    (I’ve also read quite a few pro-climate-science books, of course)

  48. #49 Derecho64
    July 30, 2010

    I wonder what McIntyre, Monckton, Watts, Plimer, et.al. are hiding by not releasing their emails and so on in the spirit of openness and transparency?

    After all, if they have nothing to hide…

  49. #50 Dave Andrews
    July 31, 2010

    I’d be interested to know how many people here have actually read Montford’s book? (A number admit they haven’t)

    I find this interesting because people who are sceptical are always exhorted to go and read the science papers. And by and large I would say many of them do just that. Certainly the knowledge of the issues demonstrated on sites like CA shows considerable understanding of the science.

    I can’t understand people who comment on books they haven’t actually read.

  50. #51 Dennis
    August 2, 2010

    Goodness me. I think this could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that I have yet seen – do none of you re-read your comment and think that, maybe, I sound a bit of a tit here?

    Oh and Derocho64, have you asked them for their emails?

  51. #52 MarkS nee Mark (MarkB appeared)
    August 2, 2010

    Obviously, Dennis has never been on WUWT.

  52. #53 luminous beauty
    August 2, 2010

    Yes, Dennis, you do sound a bit of a tit, but then all concern trolls sound a bit of a tit.

    Vitriol, indeed!

  53. #54 SteveC
    August 2, 2010

    Dennis @ 50 – presumably you’re new to the interweb. Can I recommend you recalibrate your vitriol-o-meter through a visit to JoNova’s. Do be sure to return and let us know how you got on.

    Thanks!

  54. #55 dsquared
    August 3, 2010

    iii) the R2 statistic needs to be used in the assessment of significance

    R-squared as a measure of significance? Have we got literally nowhere in the last five years?

  55. #56 Lotharsson
    August 3, 2010

    Spent a bit of time reading Judith Curry ducking and weaving at RealClimate and ClimateProgress, and (sad to say) it reminded me of Tim Curtin’s dogged refusal to answer questions, particularly those that ask him to precisely define his terms, lay out his arguments with some precision and (to some extent) substantiate his claims, rather than waffle and insinuate and goalpost-shift…

  56. #57 Dave Andrews
    August 3, 2010

    derecho64,

    Well I guess Steve Mc could be hiding details of his squash games and Anthony might be coy about revealing that his Prius doesn’t quite match what it said on the tin.

    BTW what might your emails reveal about you? Perhaps you ought to think a bit more before you post.

  57. #58 chek
    August 3, 2010

    Judith Curry is busily recounting her version of recent events, answering the softball questions and studiously avoiding the more difficult ones over at [Keith Kloor's.](http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2010/08/03/the-curry-agonistes/)

  58. #59 Michael
    August 4, 2010

    Curry isn’t making much more sense over at Kloors’.

    She is still hooked on he idea that Montford is laying out some kind of plan for “how to avoid unnecessary conflict in the climate debate”. How Montfords’ mutliple inaccuracies are meant to achieve anything but exactly the opposite of what Curry professes to want, remains a major mystery.

    Curry seems to confuse the eventual response to McIntyre et al, with the initial response. My recollection is that they were recieved with due politeness. Brusque dismissal has eventually become the default through their own inflammatory rhetoric, constant snarking, and endless repetition of fundamental ‘misunderstandings’. Curry is targetting her lesson to the wrong audience.

    And she gets the significance of the hockey stick wrong too. Public communication of complex theriess usually invovles some degree of simplication, or use of readily understandable aspects of the whole. And to what degree this is taken up or amplified in the media is partly out of the control of scientists. Whether it was the ‘hockey stick’ or some other feature of AGW that was broadly recognised is irrelevent. The deniers have shown so little interest in real science and such a political/ideolgocal bent that it’s clear they would have viciously attacked the science and the scientists, ‘hockey stick’ or not.

    Then Curry goes on to make a serious of errors of fact (ie scientists “never admitting a mistake” and so on), that make you wonder if she pays any attention to the science at all.

  59. #60 adelady
    August 4, 2010

    Michael “fundamental misunderstandings” seem to abound.

    I suspect that Curry hasn’t noticed something really, really important about her supporters from the non-scentific side. To her they look OK because they’re serious, intelligent and thoroough in what they do. And what are they doing? They’re treating science as though it’s lit. crit.

    It’s perfectly OK to do detailed analysis of Austen, Dickens, and the rest and have your work taken seriously. Austen and Dickens can’t rewrite their work, and no-one would ask Tim Winton or Peter Carey to rewrite on the basis of someone’s review. And these criticisms and analyses can be done forever. And become part of the general, intellectual body of work surrounding a particular writer or genre or period. There are no limits on how long or much that body of work can continue and expand.

    Science is not like that. Peer review opens the gate. The work is read and absorbed and accepted (or not). It’s cited (or not) and developed further (or not). The developments become the science that is then subject to further peer review, acceptance and further development. Once the work is absorbed into the fabric of the particular scientific endeavour, it’s really material waiting for a science historian to incorporate later.

    Redoing reviews of particular books / papers in detail is more lit crit than science. If it’s good, the lit crit process will go forever. Science will move on to the next thing that can be done using this new insight or approach. Citations will enhance the reputation of the scientists or of the techniques involved.
    If it’s a poor quality novel, some people might hone their skills in writing devastating reviews for newspapers. Poor quality science either doesn’t get published at all, or it dies on its feet after being ignored and/or being proven worthless immediately after publication.

    Curry’s new playmates constantly picking at perceived flaws in work that’s over 10 years old is pointless. The fact that they may be intelligent, thoughtful, intellectually rigorous or display any other academic virtues is irrelevant. This approach is more suited to the history department or to criticising inaccurate translations of Proust than it is to science on the move.

  60. #61 Michael
    August 4, 2010

    She’s also moved onto a critique that is primarily polictical, “power politics” as she calls it. It’s a pity that she has chosen to abstain from an analysis using her science expertise, preferring a political one, where she appears to be very naive – the problem is one of credibility because there are people saying that science has a credibility problem. Apparently it is irrelevant if there is any substance to such accusations.

  61. #62 adelady
    August 4, 2010

    I expect that the sociologists and political scientists would want any newcomer to their fields to be scrupulous in adopting proper methods.

    Anyone from the physical sciences should be expected to stick very rigorously to protocols and analytical conventions. The way Curry seems to be approaching this area looks a bit like a holiday from the hard stuff rather than a difficult analysis of hard to pin down definitions.

    Either she doesn’t really believe that this is “science” so it doesn’t matter, or she believes that she can coast on her reputation having come from what she regards as a more demanding discipline. I doubt that the reception she gets from reviewers will be any less rigorous than we’d expect from any other faculty or specialty with established academic standards.

  62. #63 Dennis
    August 4, 2010

    @53 SteveC

    So your point, I assume you were making a point, was that other blogs are also as vitriolic.

    Well I agree, of course. That’s pretty much a no-brainer.

    My point, is that there are now moves away from the “Believer/Denier” scenario, the recent event hosted by Monbiot has been cited as a step in the right direction, and that the ad hominen comments should be consigned to the bin.

    You should also ask someone’s opinion of a subject and not assume what their position is – do you know mine? Or I yours? No. Because I have not asked and neither have you.

  63. #64 Dennis
    August 4, 2010

    @52 Luminous Beauty

    Very clever. Your mother must be proud of you.

  64. #65 Wow
    August 4, 2010

    Dennis, may I quote you a passage here?

    Thomas Jefferson : Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them;

  65. #66 Chris O'Neill
    August 4, 2010

    Dennis:

    I think this could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that I have yet seen

    other blogs are also as vitriolic.
    Well I agree, of course. That’s pretty much a no-brainer.

    So other blogs could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that you have yet seen.

    You’re just another troll making misleading statements.

  66. #67 Michael
    August 4, 2010

    Chris, that all depends on whether or not you accept the proposition that criticism = vitriol. Clearly Dennis does.

  67. #68 Bernard J.
    August 4, 2010

    Dennis [says](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2704646):

    My point, is that there are now moves away from the “Believer/Denier” scenario, the recent event hosted by Monbiot has been cited as a step in the right direction…

    Using such bizarre logic, it becomes apparent that biologists should negotiate with creationists about evolution, that medicos should negotiate with internet spruikers of “quantum biodynamic frequency modulating flux capacitors” that cure all ills, and that Israel should negotiate with the Palestinians about regaining some of their old country.

    Oh, hang on, that last at least was a reasonable suggestion…

    Let’s see if you can pick the difference between it and the other scenarios.

  68. #69 jakerman
    August 4, 2010

    >*My point, is that there are now moves away from the “Believer/Denier” scenario…*

    This rebadging point was suitably addressed [by adelady](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2702844).

    This rebadging cannot be taken as much more than a makeover until the protagonist disassociated themselved from denilist events such as at the Heartland Conference, and denialist institution such as CEI.

    And nor can it be taken seriously when the rebadging goes hand in hand with Curry’s retreat to the [political critique](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2702989) given her inadequate knowledge of the science she was wanting to be criticised.

    But most importantly, they cannot be taken seriously when they are primarily looking for errors rather than looking for the significance of errors in the greater context of the findings.

  69. #70 Dennis
    August 5, 2010

    OK. I’ve got it now.

    This:
    So other blogs could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that you have yet seen.

    You’re just another troll making misleading statements.

    needs the OP to google the word troll and discover what a troll is. I don’t think that I fall into that category. YMMV.

    Chris, that all depends on whether or not you accept the proposition that criticism = vitriol. Clearly Dennis does.

    Posted by: Michael | August 4, 2010 9:27 PM

    This is just so crass as to be hardly worthy of comment. I have never, nor would, say that criticism == vitriol. That is so plainly ludicrous that I suspect the poster now wishes that there was an ‘un-send’ button.

    The sad thing is that there should be a ‘grown-up’ debate about this. And it’s not happening.

    Not with the trolls, obviously. :)

    So, to all those who said I was a troll, mis-guided, wrong, naive, new to the web (that one made me laugh) or just plain stupid I give you this: drhughes00@yahoo.co.uk

    This is my email address and I invite real discussion. It would be nice to discuss the issue away from the trolls.

    It would be nice if all the commenters above come out from their onlne persona and did the same. But I’m guessing that few, if any, will, it so much easier to be nasty when people don’t know who you are, but I hope to be pleasantly surprised… ;)

    TBH, all I now expect is a stream of abuse in my inbox: please make me wrong. ;)

  70. #71 Bernard J.
    August 5, 2010

    The sad thing is that there should be a ‘grown-up’ debate about this. And it’s not happening.

    [Dennis](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2707260), you seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that there is a middle ground between the evidence of science, and the ideologies of those who find the evidence of science so confronting.

    Seriously, it’s [not that sort of argument](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comment-2704960), Curry’s muddying of the waters notwithstanding, and the fact that the lay ideologues don’t understand that this is simply a manifestation of their nonacquaintance with science.

    Given the spectrum of human nature there will always be two tails to any Gaussian distribution of stances on any particular matter, irrespective of the expertise of the people composing said distribution. The thing is, it is [a much smaller denialist tail amongst the experts](http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf) (and [here](http://www.skepticalscience.com/visual-disconnect-between-scientists-media-public.html)).

    The fact that there are professional scientists who deny AGW does not make their claims valid, nor worthy of further “debate”. All of their claims have been examined, and most were anticipated even before the Denialati ever even imagined them, and they have been tested and discounted. In the competitive world of science, any novel idea that had legs would gallop to the front of the pack, and in this regard the Denialist nag has not been able to stumble from its stall. It was given its chance at the starter’s gun, and it proved to be no scientific dark horse at all.

    To say that a bag of glue should be in the race is to miss the point entirely…

  71. #72 Anonymous
    August 5, 2010

    Shorter Dennis:

    I’ve got something sensible to say, but I will only say it in private. In public, in contrast I prefer to side step and focus on the bits that I say are “hardly worthy of comment”.

  72. #73 Anonymous
    August 5, 2010

    Shorter Dennis:

    I promise that I’ve got something sensible to say, but I will only say it in private. In public, in contrast I prefer to side step and focus on the bits that I say are “hardly worthy of comment”.

  73. #74 Jim Prall
    August 6, 2010

    I noticed from Google Scholar that Curry’s most cited works are on hurricanes. This makes me wonder if the Christopher Landsea vs. Trenberth/IPCC conflict and Landsea’s resignation from IPCC might have been an early incident influencing her disaffection with “the mainstream” or whatever?
    So that brought to mind that I’ve been meaning for some time to make time to read Chris Mooney’s book “Storm World.” I just went to Amazon and used “look inside!” to do a search on “Curry” in the text. Her name comes up 39 times. Page 237 looks germane, for instance:
    http://preview.tinyurl.com/35d2scb

    Has anyone read Storm World, and if so does that shed any light on Curry’s experiences up to 2007 – of conflict, rough handling in the media, etc. over the hot issue of whether warming would drive increased hurricane risks or not?

  74. #75 Dennis
    August 10, 2010

    Shorter Dennis:

    I’ve got something sensible to say, but I will only say it in private. In public, in contrast I prefer to side step and focus on the bits that I say are “hardly worthy of comment”.

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 5, 2010 11:04 PM

    That is irony, isn’t it? Please tell me that it is.

  75. #76 Anonymous
    August 10, 2010
  76. #77 Dennis
    August 11, 2010

    Yes Dennis your series of posts were very ironic.

    Posted by: Anonymous | August 10, 2010 7:58 PM

    Thank you. When we get to this depth of comment it is a validation of the highest order.

    And the real irony? Anonymouse doesn’t even know how I stand on the issue. He/she has just assumed that because I don’t like ad hominen attacks that I must be a…DENIER

    Way to go dude.
    But you FAIL, big time.

  77. #78 Anonymous
    August 11, 2010

    Dennis writes:

    >*I think this could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that I have yet seen – do none of you re-read your comment and think that, maybe, I sound a bit of a tit here?*

    Then,

    >* So your point, I assume you were making a point, was that other blogs are also as vitriolic. Well I agree, of course. That’s pretty much a no-brainer. My point, is that [some other point]…

    Chris writes:

    >So other blogs could possibly be the highest concentration of vitriol in one blog comment stack that you have yet seen.

    To which Michael accurately adds:

    >Chris, that all depends on whether or not you accept the proposition that criticism = vitriol. Clearly Dennis does.

    Dennis responds:

    >*This is just so crass as to be hardly worthy of comment. I have never, nor would, say that criticism == vitriol. That is so plainly ludicrous that I suspect the poster now wishes that there was an ‘un-send’ button.*

    And ironically Dennis adds:

    >*So, to all those who said I was a troll, mis-guided, wrong, naive, new to the web (that one made me laugh) or just plain stupid I give you this: drhughes00@yahoo.co.uk This is my email address and I invite real discussion. It would be nice to discuss the issue away from the trolls.*

    I.e. Dennis has had nothing sensible to write in public but offers instead to talk in “real discussion” in private.

    BTW Dennis, you don’t have to say “criticism == vitriol” to conflate the two.

    I don’t have high expectations that you rise to the challenge and offer sensible comment, but here is hoping.

  78. #79 Marion Delgado
    September 19, 2010

    I believe Dennis does not understand how many of us use killfiles, and how often. The “drive-by” trolls are at least visibly more intelligent.