In one particularly outrageous and error-filled passage, McKitrick accuses IPCC AR4 co-ordinating lead authors Phil Jones and Kevin Trenberth of selecting their team of contributing authors solely on the basis of whether they agree with the pair’s scientific views. He even goes so far as to accuse Jones of “dismissing” (i.e. rejecting as a contributing author) one qualified expert who, supposedly in Jones’s own words, “has done a lot, but I don’t trust him.”
But the record clearly shows that it was Trenberth who made that last comment, and that he was expressing misgivings about the quality of the researcher’s work, not whether he was on the “right side” of scientific issues. And the expert in question, climatologist Joel Norris, was in fact selected by Trenberth as a contributing author. Even worse, McKitrick has reversed the order of the Jones quotes, taken them out of context, and then juxtaposed them to make it appear as if they were part of the same exchange. Meanwhile, an examination of the two separate email discussions show chapter co-ordinators trying to fill out their team with authors who will be able to contribute effectively, in complete contradiction to McKitrick’s central thesis.
Notice how much more work it takes to put the quotes in context than for McKitrick to misrepresent them.
McKitrick also had a post at Climate Audit complaining about an email where Stephen Schneider wrote something a little uncomplimentary about him:
Ah ha-the latest idiot-McKitrick-reenters the scene. He and another incompetent had a book signing party at the US Capitol-Mike MacCracken went and he can tell you about it-last summer.
The book Schneider was referring to was Taken By Storm by Essex and McKitrick and he was correct to judge their work as incompetent. The thesis of the book was that “global average temperature” was not meaningful and whether it was warming depended on how you defined it. Here’s their argument:
An example of something that behaves intensively would be the percent of milk fat in a coffee creamer. If you put two small containers of 10% coffee creamer together, you do not get 20% milk fat. The cream is still 10%, even if you have twice as much. In the same manner, if you have two identical boxes with the same energy and the same temperature, join them together. The resulting doubled box will have twice the energy, but it will not have twice the temperature. There is no amount of temperature; it measures the condition or state of the stuff in the box. …
For computing your average, why would you add up the cubes in linear form? … why not square the temperatures, or take them to the fourth power? … if you are averaging the kinetic energy of molecules, it makes sense to calculate the mean of the squares of the speeds, because energy, which goes as the square of the speed, is physically additive, while speeds themselves are not. Or, since the Stefan-Boltzmann law tells us that equilibrium radiative energy goes as the fourth power of temperature, why not raise the temperature to the fourth power before adding them up? …
With temperature, there is no basis on physical grounds to use a simple sum, some other sum or some other more complicated rule for averaging, because temperature is an intensive quantity.
I hope you can see why Schneider would be justified in describing Essex and McKitrick as incompetent. (If you can’t, it’s explained here).
I left a comment to this effect at Climate Audit, but they don’t tolerate dissent there, and my criticism was quickly censored.