Wegman scandal: GMU investigates

Dan Vergano in USA Today reports:

Officials at George Mason University confirmed Thursday that they are investigating plagiarism and misconduct charges made against a noted climate science critic.

“I’m very well aware of the report, but I have been asked by the university not to comment until all the issues have been settled,” Wegman says, by phone. “Some litigation is underway.” Walsch confirms that the university has asked Wegman not to comment.

“Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley, who is also one of the authors of the 1999 Nature study. In response to earlier concerns raised by the Deep Climate website, Bradley says he wrote a letter in April to GMU, noting the possibility of plagiarism and demanding an investigation of both the 2006 report and a subsequent, federally-funded study published by some of Wegman’s students. “Talk about irony. It just seems surreal (that) these authors could criticize my work when they are lifting my words.”

Deep Climate:

USA Today also has a letter to Bradley sent by Roger Stough, Vice-president for Research and Economic Development, on July 28, 2010. In the letter, Stough promised a resolution of the inquiry phase by September 30, apparently more than six months after the initial complaint was brought by Bradley. The purpose of the inquiry phase is to determine if a full-blown proceeding is warranted. Yet even that intermediate deadline has apparently been missed, though it was already well beyond GMU’s own established timelines.

Eli Rabett:

Many bunnies will miss the significance of this. When a formal research or professional misconduct complaint is received, universities are required to open an inquiry. This is a less formal procedure, usually conducted by administrative personnel with or without academics taking part. it is very confidential. Only when the inquiry finds strong evidence of misconduct is a formal investigation opened.

Steve Scolnik:

Yes, Virginia, while your 17th-century AG was hunting witches in the UVa email archives from 2003, his alma mater George Mason University was sitting on a case of plagiarism and academic misconduct involving the author of the so-called “Wegman Report”, upon which much of his witch hunt was based.

Gareth Renowden

Wegman declined to comment, but has confirmed that litigation is involved. Informed speculation suggests that this may be related to copyright issues — likely to be a problem for anyone who lifts 30% of a report from other people’s work. The story has also been picked up by the Washington Post, and Andy Revkin at Dot Earth has dubbed the affair SkepticGate. This scandal may be about to go mainstream — and not before time.

Richard Littlemore

Word is that that this is also just the first of several investigations in the offing. It’s clear enough from Barton and Whitfield’s own positions that they were hoping Wegman could wreck a few scientific reputations. As every new work seems to reaffirm the science behind the Mann, Bradley, Hughes hockey stick, it appears the reputation most at risk now is Wegman’s own.

Things Break

As an aside- many of the champions of the Wegman Report (e.g Steve McIntyre) took up Wegman’s claim “Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science” as a sort of incantation, chanting it as though it might somehow dispel the fact that reality appears to have a hockey-stick-shaped bias. I am sure that these same people will maintain their integrity and immediately disavow the Wegman Report and its conclusions.

Lou Grinzo

The further the deniers, their tactics, and their funding sources are dragged out of the shadows and into the bright, disinfecting sunlight of public scrutiny, the better it will be for climate science and everyone who depends on the public policy it informs.

Lucia Liljegren doesn’t seem to think very much of the case:

As a note I would like to point out the shocking(!) similarity between one of my sentences and a sentence in USA Today today … I hope USA Today doesn’t sue!!!

Keith Kloor:

Funny, but I’m not seeing any mention of the story over at WUWT or Climate Depot, or Planet Gore.

At WUWT (and after Kloor posted), Tom Fuller

I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. I understand what the report said and I agree with its conclusions. So I’m hoping this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.

But there’s no way we can ignore this and complain about a lack of vigor in finding out what went wrong with CRU, Climategate and the Hockey Stick. This is bad news (for me). But it is news.

Comments

  1. #1 GWB's nemesis
    October 11, 2010

    There is an additional factor here that needs to be kept in mind. Within the university sector we fight a continual battle against student plagiarism. All HE institutions out of necessity have to take plagiarism very seriously indeed because to do otherwise devalues the degrees awarded. In my own institution we have have a zero tolerance policy, and indeed have expelled students committing the most serious offenses.

    In this context it is not hard to see that a member of staff committing the same offence is in for a hard time.

  2. #2 Arthur Smith
    October 11, 2010

    Surely the reason Fuller and friends are defending Wegman’s obvious plagiarism is simple: that’s how they write stuff all the time! Cutting and pasting is so much simpler than actually coming up with original ideas in your own words!! Just look at the almost word-for-word-identical denialisms that crop up in blog comment after comment. Some people are just not capable of original thinking…

  3. #3 Hank Roberts
    October 11, 2010

    > Fuller

    I believe this may be the thread you’re looking for:

    “Tom Fuller | September 11, 2010 at 12:55 pm
    Yes. And as a journalist, I look for trusted sources with expertise that exceeds mine….”

    http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2010/09/10/tom-fullers-climate-misdirection-at-wattsupwiththat-part-ii/

  4. #4 Former Skeptic
    October 11, 2010

    Hank:

    Bingo! Thanks for the Fuller quote.

  5. #5 Hank Roberts
    October 11, 2010

    [See also](http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/06/bubkes/comment-page-1/#comment-128099)

    “Tom Fuller says: 26 June 2009 at 12:07 PM
    … as a journalist I’m trying to be fair to both sides ….”

    Gavin Schmidt, in an inline reply to that post, sorts that out.

  6. #6 Bernard J.
    October 11, 2010

    Guest post by Bernard J.

    Regular readers will remember that the fuss generated by Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick chart caused an investigation. A U.S. Congressional committee, led by Congressman Joe Barton, asked Edward Wegman to investigate the methods and findings of Michael Mann. (See the Wegman report titled “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION” [here](http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf)).

    Now Wegman’s work is being investigated in much the same manner by people alleging that Wegman’s work contains plagiarised material.

    The investigating institution, George Mason University, is responding to a formal complaint by Raymond Bradley, who was a co-author with Michael Mann of the work Wegman looked into.

    One of the well-known weblogs specialising in climate change analysis, Deep Climate, has been drawing attention to serious deficiencies in Wegman’s work for quite some time, alleging (amongst other serious professional shortcomings) that some of the post grads working with Wegman had plagiarized work. Certain partisan journalists such as Tom Fuller had not paid much attention to it, given the source, and are now fighting a rear-guard attempt to diminish the gravity of Wegman’s apparent scientific misbehaviour.

    But if there is a formal complaint, we need to look at it seriously. Wegman’s criticism of Mann’s work is widely cited – his famous claim that ‘right answer, wrong method equals bad science’ is certainly and obviously correct – but it will have to apply to him, too.

    I should also note that this is being handled better than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of the University of Virginia’s grants for Michael Mann–basically because it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be.

    As noted, many ideologues such as Tom Fuller don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and in their ignorance of appropriate scientific process they very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. The believe that they “understand what the report said” and they “agree with its conclusions” – as they would, because it reinforces their own non-evidenced beliefs. These partisans are hoping that this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.

    But there’s no way they can ignore this and complain about a lack of vigor in finding out what went wrong with CRU, Climategate and the Hockey Stick. This is bad news for Fuller. But it is news.

    Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick will not need to be “resurrected” – there is enough independent data and analysis of similar proxies from other professional scientists to ensure that. But Wegman’s report will sink under the weight of plagiarized material and while that would be that would be deserved, quite apart from its misrepresentation of the facts, Fuller and his ilk will probably not understand that this is the way things should work.

    Let’s watch this and see, and report on the results in a clear-eyed fashion. Just because ideologues such as Tom Fuller have policy preferences and have opinions, it doesn’t mean that they can ignore the facts.

    References:

    Watts Up With That
    The Wegman Report

  7. #7 Bernard J.
    October 11, 2010

    Lest anyone is in any doubt, my sourcing of [ideas](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/on-wegman-who-will-guard-the-guards-themselves/) in [my previous original work](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2852321) is entirely legitimate, according to Tom Fuller’s explanation of referencing:

    It is also bizarre that Mashey thinks it wrong that works mentioned in the bibliography to Wegman’s report are not cited. This is clearly evidence that Mashey doesn’t understand very much at all about how anything really works. As anybody familiar with publishing knows, the reason a bibliography exists is to show the reader what the author read, precisely because the works may not be cited in the text. But again, this becomes black helicopter conspiracy for Mashey.

    I challenge the guy to argue otherwise – assuming that he can get past his [affront at my lack of manners](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/09/mashey-potatoes-part-1/#comment-504693).

  8. #8 chek
    October 11, 2010

    Meanwhile, Anthony goes into hyperbolic orbit in the ongoing distraction effort from Wegmangate.

    ["I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door".](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/#more-26117)

    ‘It’ being the [ranting resignation](http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news/1670-hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society.html) of an ageing contrarian whose anti-AGW petition was ignored by 99.3 per cent of the APS membership, helpfully published by the [GWPF Conspiracy Club](http://thegwpf.org/ipcc-news.html).

    I suppose when that one sinks without a ripple by … say Thursday lunchtime, it’ll have to be something else.

  9. #9 Lotharsson
    October 11, 2010

    > …assuming that he can get past his affront at my lack of manners.

    That seems to be Fuller’s all-purpose get-out-of-a-difficult-argument play.

  10. #10 Dan L.
    October 11, 2010

    “I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door”.

    Tee-hee!

    What’s next, Wegman as Joan of Arc on the stake?

  11. #11 J Bowers
    October 11, 2010

    I see Willis Escenbach’s volunteered to be Ken Cuccinelli’s Mini-Me. Awesome.

  12. #12 Lotharsson
    October 11, 2010

    Bernard, that “lack of manners” comment by Fuller is interesting.

    Fuller claims, possibly quoting Brandon Shollenberger – but ironically we can’t reliably tell where the quote ends because he doesn’t bother with any of the standard quoting practices – such as enclosing other people’s words in double quotes):

    The statements “Cressie…recommended Wegman show the results of proper PCA alongside the results of the decentered PCA.” along with “Cressie specifically state he “concurs” with the technical contents of the Wegman Report” cannot be paraphrased as “I concur with the MBH decentering issue, so compute it the ―right way”, with Fuller (Brandon?) calling the paraphrase “complete rubbish”.

    I may be missing something obvious to Fuller and/or Brandon, but it seems to me that it falls almost entirely short – perhaps even completely so – of “complete rubbish”.

    Anyway, that’s probably getting a bit OT…

  13. #13 Rattus Norvegicus
    October 11, 2010

    It’s more like Watt’s nailing his 95 feces….

  14. #14 John Mashey
    October 11, 2010

    re: #103 Oh, this is just such fun.

    1) A whole lot of people are exhibiting powerful Dunning-Kruger over the realities of plagiarism.

    2) One thing that has escaped some people is:

    a) I actually talk to people that the commenters do not talk to, like NAS members, serious statisticians, top-notch social networks analysis folks, academics expert at plagiarism, and people who do expert witnessing in copyright cases…

    b) But I quite often don’t write down everything I know …and what’s left out is usually worse, but I suspect it will come out sooner or alter, just not from me.

    c) The babble about Cressie is especially amusing. Where did people think I got the timeline and comments file from? (p.58, 71 of SSWR. Wegman? Said? Probably not.

  15. #15 MapleLeaf
    October 12, 2010

    John Mashey @105,

    I know a former discipline officer who worked at a reputable university. I talked to them about the Wegman case, and advanced the same arguments being made by the ‘skeptics’. They simply shook their head for each argument……they were not convinced– plagiarism, pure and simple.

    Now to be honest, that was based on my account of matters. I’m emailing them the PDFs now and they’ll have a closer look. I’ll let you know what they conclude. But I think that we both know what their answer will be after seeing the evidence;)

  16. #16 Boslough
    October 12, 2010

    >ClusterPuck is brilliant, but needs too much explanation. Skepticgate will do just fine.
    >
    >Mashed Potato, are you Tom Fuller?
    >
    >Posted by: Neven | October 11, 2010 6:23 AM

    Well then, how about “Regurgi-gate”?

    Hi John M! I had to look up “Dunning-Kruger”. I think it is an appropriate description. Congratulations on your report.

  17. #17 pointer
    October 12, 2010

    “Regurgigate” is genius.

  18. #18 Charles
    October 12, 2010

    Wow, it’s been said before, but Mr. Potato reveals that he appears to know very little about academic citing and referencing, about paraphrasing and summarizing–or academic plagiarism. As P. Lewis points out, there is a difference between ref lists and bibliographies.

    I’ve just spent the evening marking essays from first year students and giving a number of them poor grades for not properly paraphrasing (and these instances were far, far milder than what the Wegman report appears to contain) and for improperly formatted ref lists.

    If the accounts of plagiarism stand up as being verified, Dr. Wegman would be in really serious trouble at my university. One colleague in my faculty, an assistant prof, was tossed right after a paper of his was found to contain plagiarized passages.

  19. #19 John Mashey
    October 12, 2010

    re: #106, #107
    Thanks!

    Dunning-Kruger is seen in this discussion often.

    Typical sample:
    “There’s no way this can be plagiarism … because, X, Y, Z.” (wrong reasons, clueless about the rules).

    A: go read the URLs on p.189 and the quote from GMU.

    “There’s no way this can be plagiarism … because, X, Y, Z.”

    I follow a simple rule: if someone is intensively D-K, in the face of being told where to look, I just don’t even try any more. D-K is curable if one wishes, but not, if not.

  20. #20 adelady
    October 12, 2010

    Regurgi-gate is likely to be the common response to this. The worm in the apple, the great Joe Barton himself, makes an appearance to have yet another swipe at Mann.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/11/AR2010101105679.html

    Anyone with a moment to spare is welcome to spend a few moments in the comments section.

  21. #21 P. Lewis
    October 12, 2010

    Mapleleaf

    That excerpt published (over at Eli’s warren/USA Today)from the letter by Dr Rapp to Mr Fedor and Dr Bradley summed up exactly what Elsevier think about whether plagiarism has occurred.

  22. #22 P. Lewis
    October 12, 2010

    As someone who is not immersed in US politics it is often easy to miss certain nuances.

    Not so with adelady‘s link to Sen. Barton’s “swipe at Mann” at the WP.

    One shouldn’t be triumphalist before the investigative committee and the publishers report their findings/take any actions, but I believe, like one or two others already, it looks like we are hearing the sound of the brakes squealing as the bus approaches a prostrate Prof. Wegman.

    Is Wegman being pushed, or is he falling of his own volition?

    Is anyone else going under the bus?

  23. #23 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  24. #24 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  25. #25 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  26. #26 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  27. #27 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  28. #28 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  29. #29 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  30. #30 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  31. #31 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    Is “mashed potato” Fuller? Sounds an awful lot like him.

    Posted by: MapleLeaf | October 11, 2010 2:08 PM

    No I’m not. But I would still like to know from Mashey why a non-academic Report like Wegman’s is being pilloried for plagiarism by Ray Bradley when he is cited there almost more often than anybody else, and when each paraphrase/quote from his work is attributed to him. A summary of a cited paper is NOT and CANNOT be plagiarism.

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    I await your reactions when GMU duly exonerates Wegman, and have placed a bet in Delhi that will not ever be acknowledged here.

  32. #32 Wow
    October 12, 2010

    > > …assuming that he can get past his affront at my lack of manners.
    > That seems to be Fuller’s all-purpose get-out-of-a-difficult-argument play.

    And it’s perfect because you can ALWAYS find something to take offense at. If you look hard enough.

  33. #33 Other Mike
    October 12, 2010

    Man, I’m on my 10th bag of popcorn sitting back and watching all of this!

    I love Rapp’s primary method of argument. Never mind the content of the report: “if you say anything more I’ll sue your arse off”. A brilliantly analytical and convincing defence, if ever I saw one.

  34. #34 chek
    October 12, 2010

    Potato, obviously your rapier like, D-K informed, incisive summing up of the situation escaped those dullards at GMU who have now progressed beyond a long, long, long inquiry phase to a full blown investigation.

    Perhaps it is to them that your question should be directed? I’m sure they’d enjoy explaining it to you, and you’d have the answer which you won’t accept from anyone else straight from the horse’s mouth.

  35. #35 P. Lewis
    October 12, 2010

    Damned spam filter!!

    I’ve a comment held up in reply to mp’s nonsense in #114. One too many links?

  36. #36 lord_sidcup
    October 12, 2010

    So Mashed Potato concedes the the Wegman Report is non-academic, i.e. is not a scholarly work contributing to the accumulation of knowledge. Nice. Time to bin it then.

  37. #37 John McManus
    October 12, 2010

    Dear mashed potato ( hallween is coming you may concider a change to ” monster mash”).

    Barton seemes to have made Wegman a non-person in his reply to Mann.

  38. #38 TrueSceptic
    October 12, 2010

    114 Smashed Potato,

    The general low level of intelligence manifest here and especially from Bradley is why would Wegman plagiarise papers by Bradley that he disagrees with?

    You’ve had it explained to you several times but your “low level of intelligence” appears to be an insurmountable barrier to understanding.

    Your “low level of intelligence” also appears to generate sentences that are ungrammatical gibberish. “The general low level … is why …” ? WTF is that even supposed to mean?

  39. #39 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    *[Comment from Tim Curtin sock puppet deleted]*

  40. #40 Damian
    October 12, 2010

    It’s funny that this exercise into Wegman’s academic misconduct will make many undergrads lose sleep over their essays. It’s good it is happening at the start of the academic year, so they can plan ahead.

  41. #41 Damian
    October 12, 2010

    @Fuller_potato: Doesn’t work like that, you use a weak argument to claim that the report was just a ‘report’, so anything goes for our Congress.

    I would expect the deniers to use an alternative line, that suits their personality. For example, you can claim that Said did every single plagiarized section by herself, and then just burn her. The GM Mason University cannot use rubbish excuses like ‘the report was not academic’, so we might see Said getting shot.

  42. #42 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    October 12, 2010

    Shorter Mashed Potato:

    Wegman isn’t guilty of plagiarism! Because he was writing a report for Congress, not a research paper!

    Wegman isn’t guilty of plagiarism! Because Wegman is a reputable statistician!

    Wegman isn’t guilty of plagiarism! Because the person he supposedly ‘plagiarised’ is an idiot!

  43. #43 frank -- Decoding SwiftHack
    October 12, 2010

    Damian:

    > The GM Mason University cannot use rubbish excuses like ‘the report was not academic’, so we might see Said getting shot.

    Won’t work. Wegman must have at least vetted the paper. He can’t say he didn’t notice the huge swathes of definitions and claims that came from nowhere. Or the truckload of references in the references section that were never cited. Et cetera.

    Personally I’ll be more satisfied if the affair can also help to bring down Joe Barton. |:

  44. #44 Michael
    October 12, 2010

    I’d suggest he’s called Mashed Potatoes because that it what is between the ears.

    What a load of drivel.

    If they can’t understand something as simple as plagiarism, it’s no wonder that climate science has them so befuddled.

  45. #45 Mashed Potato
    October 12, 2010

    *[Post by Tim Curtin sock puppet deleted]*

  46. #46 Nathan
    October 12, 2010

    Mashed Taters:

    “He accuses Wegman of plagiarisms, that is, using Bradley’s text word for word and then claiming it as his own.”

    I think you need to google ‘plagiarism’.

  47. #47 P. Lewis
    October 12, 2010

    (Right, the original is still stuck in the spam filter, I’ll format it slightly differently and repost it with additions.)

    Perhaps, mashed potato, you would care to read GMU’s statement on plagiarism, amongst which one finds pearls such as:

    “But none of these situations diminishes the central certainty: taking over the ideas, methods, or written words of another, without acknowledgment and with the intention that they be taken as the work of the deceiver, is plagiarism. It is theft of a special kind, for the true author still retains the original ideas and words, yet they are diminished as that author’s property and a fraud is committed upon the audience that believes those ideas and words originated with thedeceiver. Plagiarism is not limited to the academic community but has perhaps its most pernicious effect in that setting. It is the antithesis of the honest labor that characterizes true scholarship and without which mutual trust and respect among scholars is impossible.

    Percepts

    Every professor should be guided by the following:

    1. In his or her own work, the professor must scrupulously acknowledge every intellectual debt for ideas, methods, and expressions-by means appropriate to the form of communication.

    2. Any discovery of suspected plagiarism should be brought at once to the attention of the affected parties and, as appropriate, to the profession at large through proper and effective channels-typically through reviews in or communications to relevant scholarly journals. …”

    And whether the prima facie plagiarism present in this report that bears his name was by his and others’ design or by an inadvertent oversight on his part in the process, the buck will certainly pass to him, but it might not stop at him.

  48. #48 Neven
    October 12, 2010

    Wegman’s report sets out to critique Bradley, so why would he plagiarise him?

    You still don’t get it, do you? The Wegman Group didn’t know anything about paleoclimatology as a science, but they still had to write something about it as an introduction. So they copied extensively from the work they were supposed to criticize, without properly attributing their text. This is weird in itself, but it gets worse. What they did, was alter Bradley’s text in such a way that it meant the opposite. Or like John Mashey put it: “injected with biases, errors or changed meanings that often weaken or invert original results.”

    Please read this earlier blog post by DeepClimate and you will see what I mean.

    What Wegman and co should have done was cite from Bradley’s work, properly attribute it and then explain what in their view was wrong with it. But that’s not what they did it. They did copypaste and then altered the texts. So they plagiarized and then altered the text by introducing mistakes and even gross distortions.

  49. #49 Bernard J.
    October 12, 2010

    Good Heavens, I seem to have [incurred the venomous wrath](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2852978) of Mashed Potato.

    I’m glad to have been diagnosed by a Blog Expert in PsychologyTM, because I myself have wrestling with the vagaries of the Effect’s symptology for only about a decade, commencing from a year after the paper came out, and from whilst I was still doing part-time work (amongst other positions) immunostaining brain sections for a psychopharmacology project, so that I could keep body and soul together during my postgrad degree in ecology.

    Perhaps the Squidgy Spud is [Donald Rapp](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/on-wegman-who-will-guard-the-guards-themselves/#comment-505015), with whom the uber tuber shares some ideology and turnings of phrase, and whom [I tapped on the shoulder for a clumsy example of Godw[h]ining](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/on-wegman-who-will-guard-the-guards-themselves/#comment-505336).

    Or perhaps Squidgy Spud = [Paul Birch](http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/on-wegman-who-will-guard-the-guards-themselves/#comment-505363), who took offense at my pointing out of Rapp’s Godwin?

    My favourite candidate though, despite [Potato Head's protestations to the contrary](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2852894), is Fuller, mostly because he is the one on this thread who has most reason to be offended by [my parody](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2852321) of his interpreation of plagiarism.

    Of course, it could simply be one of countless thousands of drive-by turnips. If society’s response to climate science has not succinctly demonstrated anything else, it has demonstrated that there is a lot of shallowness in the human intellectual gene pool.

    It’s enough to render one a pessimist.

  50. #50 Bernard J.
    October 12, 2010

    Ha! So the Spud was Curtin. That explains his bitterness toward me – it was simply sour grapes.

    I’m a bit disappointed though – Tom Fuller’s candidacy made a much more interesting story…

  51. #51 SteveC
    October 12, 2010

    Bernard, Bernard, Bernard. You of all here should know that the bitter taste in your mouth is derived, not from sour grapes, but from the glycoalkaloid Solanine, found in toxic levels in many of the Solanaceae, and especially in Solanum tuberosum
    ;-)

  52. #52 TrueSceptic
    October 12, 2010

    132 Bernard,

    How was that “sour grapes”?

    BTW I saw a mention somewhere of you having a guest post at WUWT. Can that really be true?

  53. #53 Bernard J.
    October 12, 2010

    [TrueSceptic](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2853205).

    Spuds Curtin, before he was shown the door for tresspass, was rather curt in describing my affliction by the DK Effect.

    I did wonder why I was singled out, and thusly labelled, but in hindsight it’s quite clear why he did so. Sour grape tomatoes for a spud, I suppose one could say.

    Um, yes, the guest post… Erm, I might have not referenced [my piece](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2852321) sufficiently well…
    ;-)

    Still, had my version been the one that Watts had posted, his credibility in the world of science would have shot up immeasurably!

  54. #54 Amoeba
    October 12, 2010

    Bernard J. – I can hardly see for tears of laughter. Mr Potato head never had a chance.

  55. #55 TrueSceptic
    October 12, 2010

    136 Bernard,

    Yes, but where did Smashed say “I didn’t want those grapes anyway”?

  56. #56 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    Brent, fail.

    The IPCC doesn’t present a “case”, it presents the consensus view on the current state of climate change knowledeg – a consensus view that has been shown to be conservative.

    And to say that “scientists have no idea how climate will change/why it changed in the past” is pure hyperbolic nonsense – of course we have some knowledge.

    Unlike your politically-moivated “knowledge”, climate science knowledge never pretends to be complete and will continue to grow over time.

    In short, you’ve offered a patently misguided opinion based on patently false assertions. You show no evidence of having a capacity for improving the state of your knowledge, which illustrates why *other* people than yourself have to do the science: you are simply not intellectually equipped for it.

  57. #57 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    Brent, fail again.

    Why not just post what you mean: *”I have no idea what Computer Science is, but I will have an opinion about it regardless”.*

  58. #58 himThere
    October 12, 2010

    So, Wegman’s credibility follows that of Plimer and Monckton and heads straight down the drain.

    Brent’s response is to throw mud at the IPCC and Tim Lambert, appealing to WUWT as an authority.

    Enough of the noise Brent, do you stand by Wegman and all that he has written in his (in)famous report; or are you dropping him faster than a hot mashed potato and throwing around accusations and innuendos to create smoke screen to hide your betrayal of your previous sage and master.

  59. #59 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    Brent is clearly an educationally-challenged moron, so his response will follow the usual moron line of ignoring the issues, changing the subject, slinging around a few lies and fabrications, and accusing others of non-existent fraüd. Boring.

  60. #60 Damian
    October 12, 2010

    Brent, fail once more.

    Your comment *”Your suppression of postings by Mashed Potato suggests that his postings are interesting”* defies logic. His existing posts indicate that any comments he makes are incoherent rants. Don’t you have this scientific doubt when you wrote the sentence above, that the postings of FullerPotato might actually be only worthy for WUWT?

  61. #61 MapleLeaf
    October 12, 2010

    Vince @144,

    And that is exactly why he was given his own thread before?

    Simple really, don’t be a troll and you’ll be fine here…

    What will the poor “skeptics” do if McIntyre also goes down in flames with Wegman et al.? IMO, there may be some troubling revelations about McIntyre’s and McKitrick’s role in this mess (i.e., Wegman’s report) by the time the dust has settled.

  62. #62 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    I doubt McIntyre will be damaged – being a mining stock promoter doesn’t require adherence to any particular academic standards, so his reputation suffers no ill-effects.

    As for those that consider McIntyre’s work to be useful for the understanding of science – they will continue to believe whatever they believe no matter what the facts add up to.

  63. #63 chek
    October 12, 2010

    Not that Brent’s usual wattgoon comment @139 will survive long, but with a hat tip to Joe over [WMC's](http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/10/im_sure_dr_lewis_deserves_some.php#comment-2854442) this is indeed a very interesting extract from Hal Lewis’ book from 20 years ago.
    Generally, there’s little to fault given the times, and it’s difficult to reconcile with the recent paranoid foaming.

    “Well, isn’t this interesting. I happen to have a copy of Technological Risk (actually 1990) right here. Lewis’ discussion of global warming begins on p. 266, in a chapter on the risks posed by fossil fuels.

    After a shaky start (he conflates global warming with greenhouse effect and gets the greenhouse analogy wrong), Lewis pretty much gets everything right. He discusses the EM spectrum and explains how greenhouse gases (mainly water and CO2) keep the earth warm. He talks about the state of climate models, writing:

    “The GCMs in use nowadays do a pretty good job of calculating the effect of a potential doubling of the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere, but more research is truly needed… The details of the impending changes of climate are still beyond our grasp, though the broad outline is clear.”

    He then discusses how models were mostly in agreement on a global scale but differ at local levels and says:

    “All models agree that the net effect will be a general and global warming of the earth; they only disagree about how much. Non suggest that it will be a minor effect, to be ignored while we go about our business.”

    After some discussion of global warming effects on agriculture and SLR Lewis concludes:

    “Yet, despite the complexity, the bottom line is that the earth will be substantially warmed by the accumulation of man-made gases, mainly carbon dioxide, and that warming could conceivably approximate the climate at the time of the dinosaurs. It seems likely, but not certain, that sea level will rise accordingly, conceivably by several feet or more. We are doing this to ourselves.”

    Lewis then goes on to discuss options to avert global warming – mainly nuclear power and greater efficiency. He is pretty bleak – “But there is nowhere in evidence any effective solution to the problem”.”

  64. #64 John Mashey
    October 12, 2010

    re: #141
    “So, Wegman’s credibility follows that of Plimer and Monckton and heads straight down the drain. ”

    Well, actually Wegman really did have a good reputation, whereas I’m not sure of the others. He was well thought of by many people. Maybe something happened around 2004-2005 and certainly by 2006/2007. Some people who knew him well were already not so happy with him, to put it mildly.

    re: #145
    “I doubt McIntyre will be damaged -”

    This depends, and is complicated. I am not a lawyer, but I have talked to some. If in fact people think there was an organized effort to mislead Congress, and that turns into a Congressional=>DoJ investigation, and 18USC1001 applies to anyone, then 18USC371 (conspiracy to commit felony) gets a play, and so does misprision (18USC4), i.e., knowing and not telling. Those are up to 5, 5, and 3 years, and 18USC4 could scoop up many. At the very least, some would live in far that the wrong emails would turn up.

    Of course, this is not for me to judge, but I have talked with savvy lawyers on this, who do not think it is fantasy. Barton & Whitfield certainly told untruths about the nature of the Wegman team and its report and its review process, for starters

    In some scenarios, perhaps Canadian/USA extradition treaties matter. I don’t know about them and haven’t had the time to look, and that’s premature anyway.

  65. #65 John
    October 12, 2010

    It’s undignified enough for people to hide behind pseudonyms without having multiple ones, presumably expressing multiple views.

    Unless it’s a Brave Skeptic whose sense of moral authroity is so strong it defies hypocrisy.

  66. #66 Boslough
    October 12, 2010

    re #108 “Regurgigate” is genius.

    Oh thank you!

    Wegman took something that had been painstakingly prepared and carefully presented but he wasn’t capable of digesting it. The result of his work was the projection of something appealing and useful into a stinky mess. Now somebody has to clean it up.

  67. #67 Trent1492
    October 12, 2010

    Dr. Rapp has blown his cork:

    Behold! The rage of the engineer:

    The names and backgrounds of the followers and participants in deepclimate.org are unknown, and it seems likely that they may be mainly janitors, trash collectors and hash slingers, based on the idiotic comments that they send in.

    It get better:

    Now “DC” has turned his venom on Wegman. Another asshole, John R. Mashey, has taken up the cudgels and is trying to victimize Wegman as well.

  68. #68 Lotharsson
    October 12, 2010

    > “Your suppression of postings by Mashed Potato suggests that his postings are interesting”

    That sort of logic would make a Poe’s job rather difficult. And it reminds me of (paraphrased) “people are quick to attack this paper therefore there must be some validity to it”.

    Maybe we need to start teaching logic in schools…

  69. #69 Trent1492
    October 12, 2010

    Darn it! The link.

  70. #70 Neven
    October 12, 2010

    Furthermore, one must ask about motive. What had I to gain by plagiarizing the Wegman Report? I had 411 quotations in the book and 1,348 citations. My book is a compendium and integration of what the best workers in climatology reported. It is not an original report of new research. If I forgot to give due credit to Wegman or others in a few places, that was slightly sloppy writing, not plagiarism.

    Yet, I am not hard over in opposition to their orthodoxy. I believe that greenhouse gases probably contributed to the warming of the past 120 years, but sufficient technical proof does not exist as to how much. There is plenty of counter evidence in the data. At this point, I don’t see how a rational person can draw definitive conclusions. But I continue to study the matter. I agree that rising CO2 is a source of concern, that it may be contributing somewhat to climate change, and that we should continue to study the matter. My mind is open. However, I do not subscribe to an orthodoxy with religious fervor. But the heel nippers on deepclimate.org are the Taliban of climate change – and just as dangerous. The cost of pursuing the policies that derive from their belief system will be measured in the trillions.

    Wow… Someone is scared.

  71. #71 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    Ooh, the irony….

    Dr Rapp, with his 50-year-old doctorate, reckons:
    “The Internet provides a platform for all manner of donkeys to bray at will,…”

    Hahaha.

    Oooh, more irony:
    “….janitors, trash collectors and hash slingers…viciously attack anyone at a personal level (rather than a scientific level) who does not subscribe to their beliefs.”

    Hahaha.

    “…they are so zealous in their orthodoxy that their anger, hatred and destructive fervor is vented on anyone and everyone who stands in their way.”

  72. #72 Eli Rabett
    October 12, 2010

    With characters like Rapp all an innocent little bunny has to do is lean back and wait. Stick a fork in him, he’s done.

  73. #73 Neven
    October 12, 2010

    Quote of the week by Jeff Id responding to M&M:

    you both have more patients than I ever will.

  74. #74 MapleLeaf
    October 12, 2010

    Trent @150,

    “and it seems likely that they may be mainly janitors, trash collectors and hash slingers, based on the idiotic comments that they send in.”

    Me thinks Rapp is projecting. Darn, popcorn is running low again…will be back.

  75. #75 Vince Whirlwind
    October 12, 2010

    I think this says it all about Dr Rapp’s reliability:

    “…• Temperature “dip” from 1940-1976 was during period of
    sharply rising CO2
    – “Explanation” is aerosols…”

    Also, one that made me giggle, he pooh-poohs temperature proxies and reconstructions and compares a fictitious “alarmist” graph with one of his own, under the title:

    “How unique is 20th century warming?
    Two alternate views of the past 1200 years”

    His own graph, showing strong MWP and LIA with no error bars, is labelled
    *”Based on a variety of anecdotal data”*

    Slide 21, it’s a hoot:
    < http://home.earthlink.net/~drdrapp/Climate.6A.pdf>

  76. #76 Holly Stick
    October 12, 2010

    No wonder I can’t keep a job, I thought I was supposed to sling trash and collect hash! thanks for the career advice, Rapp, and watch out for low-flying janitors.

  77. #77 RealSkeptic
    October 13, 2010

    RE: “RegurgiGate”

    Rapp appears to be the dog who lapped up Wegman’s barfed up version of Bradley, thinking it was pretty tasty the second time around. Not very discriminating.

  78. #78 Brian Angliss
    October 13, 2010

    Pasting this comment here in case it fails to get through WUWT’s moderation filter on Fuller’s latest essay. Apparently I’ve got under his skin recently, given he’s mentioned me at least three times since last Friday.


    Tom, the only mention of Montford in the post you link to is a quote from Gavin Schmidt, and there are no (zero) mentions of “The Hockey Stick Illusion.” The only mentions of Montford outside the Schmidt quote are in the comments, one of which references the Schmidt quote and two of which take you to task for relying too much on Montford’s book. There aren’t any mentions of HSI in the comments anywhere. And all of this is verifiable with a simple “find text” search in any browser.

    Furthermore, the post that contains the statistical analysis you want is not the one you link to (which is a criticism of you, Mosher, McIntyre, et al), but rather this one, a point I’ve made to you at least twice in the last few days. However, it also fails to mention Montford in either the post or the comments (except for a pingback) and there are no mentions of HSI either, again verifiable with a “find text” in your browser of choice.

  79. #79 Former Skeptic
    October 13, 2010

    Comedy gold from Rapp. Ladies and gents, this is how you deflect attention from your own failings:

    DC is a mean, vicious asshole. He not only falsely accused me of plagiarism, but sent his shit to my employer in an attempt to get me fired.

    Another asshole, John R. Mashey, has taken up the cudgels and is trying to victimize Wegman as well.

    But the heel nippers on deepclimate.org are the Taliban of climate change – and just as dangerous.

  80. #80 Boslough
    October 13, 2010

    OK, here’s my list of denialist “-gates” that I came up with for a presentation I gave last April. “Regurgigate” was #1. Collectively, I refer to them as “Clusterpuck”. The summary of my presentation is in our [May NMSR newsletter](http://www.nmsr.org/MAY2010.pdf). I will try to make my presentation slides available on the web one of these days.

    ‘Boslough presented a “Top Ten List of Denialist Misbehavior: Mistakes, Misrepresentation, Misinformation, Misconduct.” These comprise the “Clusterpuck.” ‘

    10: “Climategate-gate: Theft of email messages from working scientists.”

    9: “Bully-gate: Threats of physical violence and other retaliation against scientists.”

    8: “Fool-gate: Fox News and bloggers fall for fake story, fail to print retraction.”

    7: “Chicken-gate: Unwillingness to risk personal wealth.”

    6: “Chicken-vs-egg- gate: Claiming CO2 can’t cause warming if warming came first.”

    5: “Imperson-gate: Masquerading as scientists, inflating credentials.”

    4: “Ninety-eight-gate: Claiming that it’s been cooling since 1998.”

    3: “Fabri-gate: Relabeling, removing, and making up of data to support denial.”

    2: “Deni-grate: Criminal and civil defamation of honest scientists.”

    1: “Regurgi-gate: Plagiarism in the Wegman report, the ‘denialist Bible’.” Mark broke this story in the February 2010 NMSR Reports: “In 2005, Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) called global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Rep. Joe Barton, (R-TX) joined the assault by harassing three respected climate scientists, demanding immediate documentation of what he called “methodological flaws and data errors” in their work. Barton held hearings and ordered a review of the “hockey stick” temperature graph the scientists had published. Edward Wegman—a statistician with no background in climatology and little understanding of physics—led the investigation. Wegman’s team submitted a report that criticized the statistical methods used by the scientists. Denialists embraced this criticism, claiming that the hockey stick has been discredited and declaring that global warming was a fraud. The actual scandal is associated with the Barton investigation. Last month a blogger called “Deep Climate” demonstrated that, in a cruel irony, the Wegman team actually plagiarized from a textbook written by one of the scientists under investigation. Even worse, they changed the meaning of the text they stole. The supposedly unbiased referees of the game were part of the Clusterpuck.”

  81. #81 Bernard J.
    October 13, 2010

    Rapp is no end of [comedy gold](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/10/wegman_scandal_gmu_investigate.php#comment-2854810).

    This is the same fellow who quite unblinkingly says:

    There is a widespread belief that only someone who has published papers in climatology for a decade or two is qualified to write a book on climate change. I dispute that. Most researchers in climatology spend their lives within one narrow niche of the subject, but climatology consists of a very diverse range of subtopics. Climate researchers are typically not qualified to write a synoptic book covering all of these various topics. By contrast, I, being both a scientist and an accomplished system engineer, have demonstrated a rare talent to move into a field, read hundreds of papers and dozens of books, and assimilate them into a synoptic, comprehensive overview of the entire field. I have done this in a number of areas.

    [Emphasis mine]

    Unfortunately for Rapp, it seems that his ability to assimilate a field with a bit of reading doesn’t extend to web page design. [His own page](http://www.spaceclimate.net/) is one of the most basic that I have ever seen; so much so that even I, a self-confesses web dummy, would be embarrassed to produce it. My 7 year old niece can do a better job.

    Oh, and I’m not sure that he actually assimilates much science in the end, either…

    What’s that phrase I’m looking for? The one that reminds me of that British reference book publisher? Spud? Hmmm…?

  82. #82 sunspot
    October 13, 2010

    burny ette.j @ 78

    isya speil checka busted ? “analysical”
    hahaha, twyin to b smart burny, yer bogan

    Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt?
    http://www.tinyurl.com.au/wnc

  83. #83 Bernard J.
    October 13, 2010

    SomeSpit.

    I saw that typo as soon as I posted it two days ago, and I expected you to jump upon it straight away.

    It’s curious that it took you this long to notice it and to decide to comment, and it’s even more interesting that it’s all that you seem to be able to come up with after two days of thinking music.

    You’re consistently achieving new standards of Low.

  84. #84 sunspot
    October 13, 2010

    burny ette,

    no poodah where i’ve been.

    i’ve been out eradicating vermin, 48hrs, 3 deer, 2 dogs, 3 foxes

    the foxes have fantastic winter pelts, it been cold and still some snow around in victoria

  85. #85 Damian
    October 13, 2010

    Rapp’s amazing webpage/rant is now part of history, in the way of the wayback machine (it’s a history service for websites).

  86. #86 Wow
    October 13, 2010

    > Maybe we need to start teaching logic in schools…

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him think.

    And these people are seriously the biggest dumb asses on the planet.

  87. #87 Wow
    October 13, 2010

    > At this point, I don’t see how a rational person can draw definitive conclusions.

    This isn’t necessarily because a rational person could not draw one, but could more easily be because the rational person you think exists is you and you are not rational.

    97% of people who are rational and investigate this sort of thing have drawn definitive conclusions.

  88. #88 sunspot
    October 13, 2010

    Yep,

    Mr Rapp got it right about Deep dipshit and Masher, I wonder who does pay them to waste their time like that ?

  89. #89 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    Whoever’s bitching about politics, I think it’s pretty funny that you’re using it to detract from the actual science and the methodology being used.

    Just because someone’s a nasty bastard otherwise but does good science doesn’t mean their science is automatically bad because they’re, well, a nasty bastard.

  90. #91 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    Mr. Lambert:

    Since these posts tend to get drawn out and dragged down with crud, perhaps you could make a policy of requiring citations and links for every factual statement made regarding climate change.

  91. #92 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    Also, I wonder if half of the people posting on here have actual jobs.

    Says me the student.

    Question, also: Which of the climate change deniers on here are also conservative, either socially or economically? It tends to fall along political lines, and I am a liberal socially and economically leftist-to-moderate myself, but, uh, there is a very intriguing article in the National Journal on how the GOP is unique in the world for being essentially the only major political party that has climate change denial as an unofficial tenet and which toes the party line: http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/print_friendly.php?ID=nj_20101009_9888

  92. #93 Damian
    October 13, 2010

    sockpuppy said: ‘The British public are becoming more sceptical’. However, the linked article says ‘Car sales, flights and waste all increase as the recession takes its toll on consumers’ motivation’.

    sockpuppy, did you also pee-review the Wegman Report?

  93. #94 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    I find it hilarious how global warming denialists have virtually no sense of reading comprehension.

    Oh, can you also forbid linking to blog posts? Link to the actual scientific papers.

  94. #95 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    No, Sockpuppet. The link says nothing about the British being more skeptical. It talks about ‘green fatigue’. It’s a bit like compassion fatigue, nor does it talk about any increase in people who deny global warming.

    As I said. Reading comprehension, folks.

  95. #96 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    This Rapp – what is his degree in?

  96. #97 Wow
    October 13, 2010

    You gotta feel sorry for spots, he’s lost his boyfriend.

  97. #98 Marco
    October 13, 2010

    Katharine: chemical physics. engineer by training. Oooooold guy (PhD in 1960). Worked on rockets, thus is a rocket scientist, and thus believes he knows more than everyone else: he claims to know the WHOLE literature on climatology.

  98. #99 Katharine
    October 13, 2010

    chemical physics. engineer by training. Oooooold guy (PhD in 1960). Worked on rockets, thus is a rocket scientist, and thus believes he knows more than everyone else: he claims to know the WHOLE literature on climatology.

    Oh FSM, why is it always an engineer?

    (Not to malign engineers who are sane, but seriously, this is a variant of the Salem Hypothesis in action.)

  99. #100 Wow
    October 13, 2010

    > Oh FSM, why is it always an engineer?

    Cars. Engines. Oil. Petrol. Steel. Coal.

    And that an engineer has a job with building stuff where the number of papers you wrote is much less important than the buildings you made keep standing (absent, of course, the WTC, whose collapse was likely due to someone cutting corners in the construction, but never caused any engineer any come-back).

    But the point of that is that if an engineer goes off the rails and into cloud cuckoo land, their academic standing can be rock bottom, but as long as he builds workable stuff, he’s still employable.

    Or, in other words, opportunity.