March 2013 Open Thread

Sorry it’s late, I blame the carbon tax!


  1. #1 BBD
    March 17, 2013

    I notice the ‘sceptic’ blather about Marcott is rising in volume. Here’s something the ‘no spike’ brigade can ponder.

    I’m thinking of the strange affair of the Schnidejoch ice-field in the Western Swiss Alps. During the record-breaking hot summer of 2003 ice melt at this high pass exposed wood, leather and other perishable artefacts dating back ~5ka to the late Neolithic. These artefacts could not have survived unless continuously frozen since deposition. From Grosjean et al. (2007):

    The critical point in the context of this paper is that leather requires permanent embedding in ice in order to stay preserved and, as it is observed today, deteriorates very quickly if exposed at the surface. In consequence, the finds at Schnidejoch suggest permanent ice cover at that site for the last 5000 years, more specifically from ca. 3000 BC until AD 2003.

    G07 provides detail about why Schnidejoch is an unusual and noteworthy archive, essentially by virtue of its altitude:

    Schnidejoch is a binary and non-continuous archive (‘open or closed’). It operates at a precisely defined and constant threshold (Equilibrium Line Altitude (ELA) at 2750 m) and responds immediately and most sensitively to small perturbations if climatology fluctuates around that threshold value.

    The authors go on to point out that the ice at Schnidejoch preserving the late Neolithic artefacts formed as precessional forcing waned and the Holocene Climatic Optimum faded.

    Interestingly, there are *several* distinct assemblages of finds at Schnidejoch. Working forwards chronologically from the late Neolithic, these are dated to early Bronze Age (4100–3650 cal. yr BP), Roman Age (1st–3rd century CE), and Medieval times (8–9th century CE and 14–15th century CE).

    Each group of artefacts was deposited during a warm period when glacial retreat opened the Schnidejoch pass. But none of these warm periods was warm enough to melt the 5ka ice.

    So if Marcott et al. is flawed, why is 5ky-old ice melting now? Grosjean is specific:

    Our findings suggest that at the archaeological site this glacier was smaller in 2003 than at any time during the past 5000 years.

    What happened at Schnidejoch in 2003 entirely supports the Marcott reconstruction.

  2. #2 Lionel A
    March 17, 2013

    lord_sidcup #94, it would appear that any comment in that article pertaining to Rose has been removed:

  3. #3 lord_sidcup
    March 17, 2013


    That’s wierd. Basically, Rose plagiarised one of the graphs, misinterpreted it, and projects climate to the end of the century from about 7 data points. I guess Ed must be planning to do a fuller response due to the influx of deniers.

  4. #4 David B. Benson
    March 17, 2013

    bill — I certainly do not claim that anyone who disagrees with me is in denial. However, many have strongly voiced prejudices based on decades of misinformation regarding matters nuclear. Some are corrigible.

    It comes down to balancing costs and risks. Here is an interesting assessment of the risks of various states and activities:
    Professor Cohen’s “Understanding Risk”
    in which we discover that the LLE risk of existing NPPs is about the same as eating peanut butter.

  5. #5 Wow
    March 17, 2013

    No, that’s not right.

    Look, you’re pushing the same BS as the tobacco lobby pushed with “Smoking doesn’t cause cancer” and that deniers are pushing now “Sandy wasn’t caused by AGW, we’ve had storms before!”.

    Less damaging than coal? I could agree.
    Less dangerous? No, only “on average”, but the danger is rather more condensed with nuclear.
    It is irrelevant if spreading peanut butter is more dangerous, because

    a) we choose to do it ourselves, not have it chosen for us
    b) if we don’t eat, we starve. We therefore have to accept the “danger” of using a dinner knife in our lives. We don’t have to have nuclear.

    Until we breed a more intelligent and responsible human and make a society where that sort of person will prosper rather than get walked on by the sociopaths, nuclear is not a good option, because all the “in theory, it’s safe” will never survive the first budget cut or desire by the board to tick the stock price up.

    And at this time, we don’t have TIME to go nuclear.

    If we’d done something 20 years ago substantive to mitigate AGW, we may be in a better situation with our available options and be able to spend some potentially wasted time and effort on nuclear power (which would be about increasing power availability, not about getting enough power to continue: we can have enough from renewables).

    We don’t have time or money or effort to spare. There’s little time and we have DEFINITELY dialled in some rather trying times by inaction. If things are worse than we thought, we can’t rely on a stable society to keep the nuclear option safe. We can’t site them where they need to be because we don’t know how much sea level rise we’ve bought for ourselves. And we already have problems in heatwaves of the water in rivers being too hot to cool the power plants therefore they have to be shut off. And that will ONLY get worse.

    If we’re still here and able to consider the expense of nuclear power in 50 years time AND have worked like bastards in the meantime to reverse the damage done, we would know what we have in store and can then begin to plan.

    But the opportunity for nuclear power was lost 20 years ago by deniers and inaction, and we won’t get the chance (if we stop fannying about with doing nothing) for probably another 50.

  6. #6 bill
    March 17, 2013

    It was certainly very kind of Ms. Nova to illuminate her grasp of the key issues in such a straightforward and, ahem, significant manner.

    And, when called, to double-down on Stupid. Holes / stop digging, all that.


    By the way, did Olaus ever manage to explain McI’s stupendous insights on Marcott in its own words?

    Because, Olaus, I don’t think you can – prove me wrong.

    David Rose wins a well deserved Golden Horseshoe.

    And –

    The first winner of the Rupert Murdoch award is Rupert Murdoch.

    Another worthy winner.

    Oh, and Karen – it’s currently 2013. Don’t mention it; just being helpful.

  7. #7 Nick
    March 17, 2013

    BBD at the top,Grosjean is a good point…there is Otzi as well,exposed in a thawing stationary snow field at 3200m on the Austro-Italian border and dated at 5050-5300 y old…and there is a host of Holocene glacial fluctuation material from North America and Europe that supports the trajectory of the Holocene as seen by other proxies…as we all know,conception of the Holocene didn’t start with and does not depend on the paper that is the current obsession of the twistedknicker brigade.

  8. #8 MikeH
    March 17, 2013

    #4 David B Benson.

    You need to get past the comic book interpretation of risk. The claim “we discover that the LLE risk of existing NPPs is about the same as eating peanut butter.” is infantile.

    Try this article on long tail events. Nordhaus is discussing Fukishima.

    “So if we see an unusually tall woman, perhaps 61/2 feet tall, we would be surprised, but this would not change our view of homo sapiens. By contrast, the March 2011 Japanese tsunami was like a 30-foot person striding down the street.”

    He goes on to explain

    “So the earthquake/tsunami example shows the logic of the Dismal Theorem. In certain conditions, the combination of risk aversion and fat tails leads to a never-ending chain of changing optimal decisions. As we increase the point in the tail where we cut off our calculations, the best policy continues to change. There is no optimal policy”

    Have a look at the Black Swan Theory developed by Nassim Taleb. It is a perspective on how risk assessments can be completely useless in the face of huge impact events with low probability.

  9. #9 BBD
    March 18, 2013

    Nick # 7

    The ice man cometh. Meanwhile, up North… Polyak et al. (2010):

    The severity of present ice loss can be highlighted by the breakup of ice shelves at the northern coast of Ellesmere Island (Mueller et al.,2008), which have been stable until recently for at least several thousand years based on geological data (England et al.,2008).

  10. #10 bill
    March 18, 2013

    ’60 000 made homeless by dodgy batch of peanut-butter / 20 km exclusion zone declared around factory / Impact to continue indefinitely.’

    Could a comparison of risks be any more palpably absurd? 😉

  11. #11 BBD
    March 18, 2013


    I thought we weren’t going to mention the war.

  12. #12 Craig Thomas
    March 18, 2013

    it is important to undertake urgent focused R&D programs in both next
    generation nuclear power and carbon capture and sequestration.

    Nuclear is completely uneconomic, and I can’t see carbon capture going anywhere from where I am sitting, judging by the effort I see being put into it compared with the effort going into other areas.

  13. #13 David B. Benson
    March 18, 2013

    MikeH — Nassim Taleb’s book was rather thoroughly panned in a recent review in the Bulletin of the American Mathematical Society. The Nordhaus paper is the typical economist’s failure to understand even the most elementary physics. In particular, there is an upper bound on the possible moment magnitude of any earthquake due to the inability of any rock to withstand a greater stress. The largest earthquake measured was moment magnitude 9.5 off the coast of Chile. Perhaps that is the largest possible.

    Both you and bill ought to read the late Bernie Cohen’s chapter before dismissing it. In particular the two of you seem not to know the concept of LLE risk. In the case of Fukushima Dai-ichi there was no loss of life due to radiation.

    Nevertheless, so that I only need to check one thread here at Deltoid I will voluntarily stick with BK’s thread. If you actually care to discuss these matters substantively please post there.

  14. #14 MikeH
    March 18, 2013

    Here is the AMS review of Taleb that I assume David referred to – from David Aldous is professor of statistics at the University of California, Berkeley
    Hardly a panning – “Let me run through some discussion topics, first six on which I broadly agree with Taleb, then six on which I broadly disagree, then five final thoughts”

    Here is another

    More praise here.
    “The Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman proposed the inclusion of Taleb’s name among the world’s top intellectuals, saying “Taleb has changed the way many people think about uncertainty, particularly in the financial markets. His book, The Black Swan, is an original and audacious analysis of the ways in which humans try to make sense of unexpected events.”

  15. #15 Vince Whirlwind
    March 18, 2013

    John Mashey is trying to educate the readers of the Washington Post over there:

    johnmashey1 responds:

    3/17/2013 10:01 AM UTC+1100

    When Cuccinelli’s first CID bounced, the second one tried to use a seriously-broken source to bolster the case in the next one. Start around p.18 of::

    The “Wegman Report (2006) was led by statistician Ed Wegman of George Mason U (GMU), claimed to be by a panel of eminent statisticians. Actually, most of the work was done by Yasmin Said (less than a year part PhD, hers was in alcoholism models) and several of Wegman’s PhD students. Nobody had any serious experience in the two key areas: paleoclimate and Social Network Analysis (SNA)), they didn’t bother to ask , and in both cases had to plagiarize experts to simulate expertise, although they also inverted expert conclusions from expert text they plagiarized. In academe, that is usually called false citation or falsification.

    About 35 of 91 pages were mostly plagiarized, although often with ludicrous errors when making trivial edits.… references (my) report that backs all this in detail
    Only a handful of pages were error-free.

    Wesley Russell (GMU JD) signed off on this to continue Cuccinelli’s (GMU JD) efforts, relying heavily on a work led by Wegman, who said (in Congressional testimony) the greenhouse effect couldn’t work in tithe higher atmosphere, since CO2 was heavier than air … apparently having never noticed that people at sea level did not suffocate. The science was inept and so were the SNA and even the statistics, which included a 100:1 cherry-pick to get the desired answers.

    By amusing coincidence, Wegman’s lawyer, Milton Johns (GMU JD), used to be Cuccinelli’s law partner:

  16. #16 bill
    March 18, 2013


    I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it!*

    Yeah, OK, granted, but the peanut-butter-disaster idea amused me to an irresistible degree. I swear I shall henceforth foreswear!

    Anyway, back on TOTtW**, or the real war, if you like.

    Don Easterbrook – zombie?

    You’re Willard Watts and you need to get your heaviest hitters together to refute Marcott; Nigel’s busy doing his own thing, and that’s great, but you’re really rattled, and you need more…

    So, who you gonna call?

    The Don!?!

    Ay carumba!…

    Blackly comic indeed. If only this was all a dream, and they weren’t all so diligently facilitating the trashing the one planet we possess… oh well…

    Olaus, still waiting for your own insightful explanation of the wisdom of the Nige. Don’t leave us in suspenders…


    *I assume we do all recognise the Fawlty Towers references?

    **Topics Other Than the War

  17. #17 lord_sidcup
    March 18, 2013

    Lionel #2

    Ed Hawkins update has now been restored (deleted accidentally yesterday):

  18. #18 Bob
    March 18, 2013

    Highly recommended video that meticulously shreds Monckton’s performance in his 2011 debate with Richard Denniss:

  19. #19 Wow
    March 18, 2013

    Duffer, so what’s happened to all that “end of AGW” you were on about?

  20. #20 Lotharsson
    March 18, 2013

    Speaking of Don Easterbrook rehashing his errors at WUWT, which leads to SkS discussing denial strategies used by Watts in an interview, where one A. Scott in comments is – dare I say it – apparently doing his best to provide more evidence of conspiratorial ideation (those comments start at #67).

    Perhaps someone should alert Lewandowsky et. al. 😉

  21. #21 Nick
    March 18, 2013

    #20, …. it genuinely looks like A.Scott really believed in A.Watts until now….is that a little light switching on?

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    March 18, 2013

    Nick, one can certainly hope so…but if I were a gambler I wouldn’t be putting any money on it.

  23. #23 BBD
    March 18, 2013

    # 16 bill

    I got the nods to FT 😉

    Easterbrook collects another George A. Romero award! I wonder where he finds the space for them all at home. Perhaps he has a special room.

    And I agree with you, with all the force of Monday morning bleakness: it’s a mad world.

  24. #24 David Duff
    This Septic Isle
    March 18, 2013

    Was Marcott ever in the second-hand car trade? Well, if he was, then judging by the way his alkenone model is failing to sell, I don’t think he could have made much money. Even his friends are embarrassed by what you HAFs call a ‘know nothing, unscientific, retired oil company geologist’ has demonstrated that his alkenone model is a wreck!

    Oh, and Wow, what “AGW”? There hasn’t been any worth a bucket of spit for the last 15-17 years, and most of what was supposed to have occurred before was because you clever scientific chaps put your instruments in the wrong places and then trusted instruments in Russia, China, Africa and every other God-forsaken, war-riven, failed state you could find.

    Er, by the way, can I interest you in a one owner, very low mileage – well, it is now – Alkenone . . . ?

  25. #25 Wow
    March 18, 2013

    Hey, duffer, what happened to all that snow of yours?

    Must be global warming got rid of it.

  26. #26 Wow
    March 18, 2013

    There hasn’t been any worth a bucket of spit for the last 15-17 years,


    1999: 0.41
    2000: 0.43


    2000: 0.43
    2001: 0.52


    2001: 0.52
    2002: 0.57


    2002: 0.57
    2003: 0.58


    2003: 0.58
    2005: 0.62


    In the last year, the trend of warming has been 0.6C per decade warming.

    2011: 0.51
    2012: 0.57

  27. #27 Wow
    March 18, 2013

    ‘know nothing, unscientific, retired oil company geologist’

    Hey, glad you agree!

  28. #28 BBD
    March 18, 2013

    # 24

    What bollocks you spout, David Duff. Paleo-SSTs have been reconstructed from alkenones since the late 1980s. If McIntyre thinks he can overturn a standard methodology with a few blog posts, he is delusional. More likely, he is insinuating without demonstrating anything concrete, per his usual MO. You, being clueless, have been fooled.

  29. #29 Mike McClory
    March 18, 2013

    I see David Rose in the UK Daily Fail is recycling his old ‘coming ice-age’ myth as well as badly mashing a curve from ‘models’ (why couldn’t give a proper source I wonder…)

    Epic fail!

  30. #30 chek
    March 18, 2013

    More likely, he is insinuating without demonstrating anything concrete, per his usual MO.

    Yup. Nigel has ‘written’ to the authors. Thus, in dunderhead land, verily has climate science been overturned. It helps that narrative markedly if you’re a gullible, credulous old fool of course.

  31. #31 BBD
    March 18, 2013


    It’s all about creating the *appearance* of controversy with McI isn’t it? He writes to the authors, who are more or less obliged to respond. The whole exchange will be make-waffle on his side and explanation on theirs and it will peter out with no substantive problem being found, nothing that makes a difference to the paper or the fundamental problem.

    But the *appearance* of controversy in and about ‘climate science’ is diligently maintained. Exactly as intended.

    In politics, appearance counts for so much.

  32. #32 bill
    March 18, 2013

    Marcott is no second-hand car dealer; why you’d want to highlight that you most certainly were (before deciding, I seem to recall, to gain succour from the withered dugs of the state ) is rather beyond my comprehension.

    As are most things regarding your behaviour, including, tautologically, your comprehension. I suspect I’m not alone.

    Anyway, you can take up Olaus’ challenge, since he clearly simply can’t do it; please explain, in your own words – we’ll check! – precisely how Nige has sunk Marcott.

    You see, I have developed this theory that chumming is an activity universally undertaken by those who are simply too stupid to understand the content of their regurgitations. Here’s your opportunity to prove me wrong.

  33. #33 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    You don’t have to write to the authors to ‘prove’ climate science is a hoax.

    All you have to do is mention the name of a climate scientist or say you’ve stolen some emails or mention you are sending an FOI demand, and the whole edifice of climate science crumbles to the ground (in Wattsville or CA-land).

    BTW – guess who was the one millionth poster on WUWT? None other than poptech! Couldn’t be more fitting if they tried.

    (Almost as good as winning the most ‘popular’ anti-science blog or getting a lifetime achievement award from the denier bloggies!)

  34. #34 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    Hang on, I thought it was tree rings and modern thermometers that deniers hated. Have they moved onto hating alkenones now?

    What about ice cores and speleotherms – saving them for another day I suppose.

  35. #35 Lotharsson
    March 19, 2013

    Looks like the “Recursive Fury” paper has just been published.

    Wonder if this will bring another round of a certain type of comments?

  36. #36 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    @ Lotharsson #35 – The conspiracy theorists are stuck between a rock and a hard place.

    Everyone who they might send a complaint to is in on the hoax/scam/conspiracy – UWA, the Ethics Committee, the journal, the guvmint and on it goes 🙁

  37. #37 peterd
    March 19, 2013

    BBD, #31: I think you are correct.
    But here’s the problem. I just became aware of Marcott-McIntyre today, when I dropped by Bolt’s site for the first time in many months, before coming here, and noticed his blog was all abuzz with it. Googling the names leads to many pages of hits, but after scanning 13 or so pages of those, I cannot find a single site, outside WUWT, climate audit, Climate depot and the rest of the denial hangers-on where a decent response to McI is made.
    No wonder the denial camp think they’ve won…

  38. #38 Marco
    March 19, 2013

    Peterd: what would a “decent response” be? Show him wrong? Briffa once did that, and it was followed with another few rounds of attacks. It even went as far as getting more data from Hantemirov, misrepresenting it (according to Hantemirov), which resulted in an angry response of Hantemirov on CA.

    It’s just a “he said, she said” routine whatever you do, exactly to convey the idea that “the denial camp” has won. It’s the whole purpose of WUWT and CA: keeping its audience busy with the impression there’s something fishy going on. There’s so much data available that Steve McIntyre could easily write ten papers on paleoclimatological reconstructions, but that won’t do. We’ve seen what the people who cried “free the data!” have done with HADCRUT (=zilch), but it kept the denizens of their blog happy. Note that I do not imply that Watts and McIntyre get paid specifically to do what they do. I know of too many people who don’t need money to spread FUD, often because they strongly believe they are right and the other must be wrong, f* the facts.

  39. #39 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    McI has his knickers in a knot because he sees an uptick at the end of one of the data series.

    McI wrote his first article without even reading the paper or the supplementary material from the look of things. Some people in the comments pulled him up so he had to go digging further.

    Along the way he got more wrong than right as per usual, although some people have been helping him out explaining the data handling as described by Marcott et al, and trying to keep him on track. Marcott even took the time to write to him but McI isn’t paying that any mind.

    The Auditor is not the least bit interested in the paper or it’s more interesting aspects (regional variations, tighter / wider coverage of the Holocene). He is in the business of manufacturing doubt. He’s got all the nutters now saying that there is no ‘uptick’ therefore earth hasn’t got hotter this past several decades. ‘We’re heading for an ice age’!

    His objective is achieved.

    He’s got nothing to be ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ about. From what I can see the ‘uptick’ is just how the data runs came out in that particular 5×5 grid analysis. Nothing nefarious about it.

    Even if, buried deep in the data there is a number transposed wrongly, it’s not going to discredit the paper. Heck – the shape is no surprise at all. It corroborates other reconstructions but extends the work using 73 proxy sets.

    McI spends a few hours on this and pretends to have made a ‘contribution’. No mention of or credit paid to all the scientists and techs who spent dozens of person years collecting the proxy samples and analysing them, plus the person years that Marcott et al put into aligning all these different proxies on the same time scale, checking them all against each other and other indicators to make sure they align okay temperature wise.

    McI is a doubt and disinformation merchant seeking accolades from the denialati- no better than any other fake skeptic.

  40. #40 bill
    March 19, 2013

    I’m still waiting for one of our learned colleagues to explain McIntyre’s point to us in plain English of their own construction.

    They keep saying he’s proved – well, disproved, I suppose – something dazzling, but, apparently, like something out of the South Sea Bubble I have little doubt they would all have been swept up in had they been around at the time, no-one is to know what it is.

    Feel free to prove me wrong. Or shall we just assume that your talents extend no further than a facility with the Ctrl+C Ctrl+V key combination?

  41. #41 lord_sidcup
    March 19, 2013

    James Annan confirms it, David Rose makes stuff up:

    The bit Rose adds about “the true figure likely to be about half of the IPCC prediction in its last report in 2007” is a complete fabrication of course, it’s not something I can imagine having said, or being likely. I do think the IPCC range is a bit high, expecially the 17% probability of sensitivity greater than 4.5C. But their range, or best estimate, is certainly not something I would disagree with by a factor of 2.

  42. #42 lord_sidcup
    March 19, 2013

    This is what Peir Forster is quoted as saying by David Rose in the Fail on Sunday:

    The fact that global surface temperatures haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the terms changing climate, make the high estimates unlikely.’

    Here is what Piers Forster said to David Rose in full (this comes via Montford’s site):

    Basically, the climate sensitivity has always been very uncertain. > estimates have put it somewhere between 1 to 5 C for a doubling of CO2. The IPCC best estimate has been around 3C. The fact that global surface temps haven’t risen in the last 15 years, combined with good knowledge of the forcing terms changing climate over the satellite era: greenhouse gases, volcanoes, solar changes and aerosol is beginning to make the high estimates unlikely. Given this, i would put the best estimate using this evidence around 2.5 C. There are still uncertainties though particularly in heat going into the ocean, but climate sensitivities above 3.5C or so don’t seem to fit. Keep in mind that this is only one line of evidence for quantifying climate sensitivity. Other lines of evidence have been able to firm up the bottom end. We now have good observational evidence for a positive water vapour feedback and even clouds, which have always been the largest headache in climate change, are beginning to be understood and a positive cloud feedback is looking more likely. This line of evidence helps rule out climate sensitivities below 2C. So I see it very much as a positive story that careful science ( and time) is helping to reduce the most significant uncertainty in climate science.

    Basically, little different from the IPCC’s best estimate of 3 deg. C, but you would never guess that from reading Rose’s article.

  43. #43 BBD
    March 19, 2013

    # 37

    What Marco said.

  44. #44 Wow
    March 19, 2013

    Yeah, but the idiots don’t want to hear that. They want to hear the Beckian Gambit in play. “I’m not saying there’s anything wrong, just want to point out that, despite it being ‘settled science’, they are getting different values. Just asking questions”.

    ‘course, they go screaming like little girls if you ask them questions.They’re just bullies, really. Cowardly little opinionated bullies.

  45. #45 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    Willis E admits he suffers surges of overconfidence – and outs the nutters:

  46. #46 Sou
    March 19, 2013

    Hey, Wow – could you leave out insulting little girls please? I was never like McI and co, not even when a ‘little girl’. > 🙁

  47. #47 Wow
    March 19, 2013

    Little girls are better than McI, but they DO scream a lot and piercingly so.

    No little girls were harmed in the production of this message.


  48. #48 bill
    March 19, 2013

    What, will none of our regular ‘skeptics’ explain McI’s point re Marcott?

    Stop shuffling and gazing at your shoes, people!

    Otherwise we really might be forced to conclude that either A: he doesn’t really have one, or B: you’re incapable of explaining it anyway, and generally have very little idea of the actual meaning of any of the consoling claims you routinely regurgitate.

    Or, perhaps most likely, both!

    But speak up, people, defend the honour of your tribe; has McI let you down, or are you letting him down? And, most tellingly; would you even be able to determine if the former was true?

  49. #49 bill
    March 20, 2013

    The Ice Man cometh – now, we already know that Duffer is one of his acolytes; who else will stand up and be counted?

    Just think, if it cools as fast as it’s warmed for 30 years by mid-Century temperatures will eventually return to those of ’83, which I don’t actually recall as being an ice age as such but I was a younger man then and probably oblivious… Or maybe Piers is anticipating a sustained McLean-style plummet… Or has been reading Don Easterbrooks’ charts! Or both! Oh, the humanity!

    Come on ‘skeptics’, this is a twofer: you can tell us that Piers is right while you’re explaining McI’s devastating critique.

    Or is it possible that one of you can actually make a claim too far? I don’t think it is, but, again – prove me wrong…

  50. #50 bill
    March 20, 2013

    Hmmm – functioning link.

  51. #51 Vince Whirlwind
    March 20, 2013

    Good grief, somebody mentioned Ken Ring.

    I saw him once on a breakfast show – was stuck in a hotel, don’t normally watch that sort of thing.
    What a maniac. I can’t believe the media sometimes.

  52. #52 Sou
    March 20, 2013

    Bill, the crowd see McI has written an article or two or three. That is enough to “prove” that climate science is a hoax.

    Who cares what McI actually says (no-one can understand his turgid prose anyway). He’s written ‘something’ in what looks like English plus written some code – that’s quite sufficient for the DuKEs.

  53. #53 Bob
    March 20, 2013

    Myles Allen on the recent David Rose piece:

    Subheading: “The David Rose who wrote this piece is unrecognisable from the real man – and I have been grossly misrepresented too”

  54. #54 BBD
    March 20, 2013

    Excellent article about why the scepticoid reaction to Marcott et al. is entirely beside the point at Ourchangingclimate.

  55. #55 Wow
    March 20, 2013

    It really appears to be the Glenn Beck approach. “I was just askin’…”. Can’t be proven wrong, because NOTHING HAS BEEN CLAIMED. And is 100% a waste of time. Produced ENTIRELY to do so.

  56. #56 BBD
    March 20, 2013


    Please! Do not mention The Corbyn 😉

    The shame is too great to bear (we’ve already got Monckton, Montford, the GWPF and bloody Delingpole to live down). Bringing The Corbyn up is simply not cricket.

  57. #57 Vince Whirlwind
    March 21, 2013

    Now you’re just boasting, BBD – although we have the Plimer, our Carter, Bolt, Alan Jones, Nova & Evans are really second-rate cranks.

    I reckon even NZ beats all of our cranks put together with their fabulously cranky Ken Ring.

  58. #58 Vince Whirlwind
    March 21, 2013

    Bob, even better is the line:

    Who loses from this kind of thing? Well, there is no denying it makes me look a bit of an idiot. As one of my colleagues (who had best remain nameless) put it, “serves you right for talking to these ****s.”

    I recall that Graeme Lloyd’s most recent apology came after an article where he complained he was unable to get any Aussie scientist to talk to him.
    Good to know Aussie scientists are already wise to the necessity to not be “talking to these ****s”.

  59. #59 peterd
    March 21, 2013

    Marco,#38, thanks for the response. Perhaps I should not have used the term “decent response”, which is a little ill-defined. I guess I wrote too much in haste, occasioned again by stumbling across yet another denialist gossip point at Bolt the dolt’s site. I became peeved when I could not find any kind of treatment of the Marcott paper from a knowledgeable, non-McI. perspective. All Google links seemed to point back to the denialosphere, and McI.’s site. (These people are masters of copy-and-paste, as Bill has suggested.) It was only after doing another search yesterday, using different search terms, that I was able to find a link to discussion at Nick Stokes’s blog. And, launching off from there, an interesting guest post by Jos Hagelaars at Bart Verheggen’s blog. (Actually, this raises questions for me about Google’s rating system, but I don’t have time to pursue that issue myself.)

    However, I remain convinced that the timely (rapid) appearance of informed discussion acting as a counterweight to the likes of McI. and his hangers-on is of the utmost importance. You mentioned Briffa. I remember being blindsided by the Yamal issue when it came up- the first I knew of this was when a denialist acquaintance who was familiar with McI.’s site started to chortle and gloat and basically call Briffa a fraud. It was some time before I could achieve any kind of acquaintance with the issues, and even after several visits to Deep Climate’s site, I am not really in command of the arguments and relevant disputes. These people, from McI. down into the cesspools, are committing intellectual fraud and getting away with it. Then they just move on to something else.

    As G.K. Chesterton remarked, a lie gets half-way round the world before the truth has got its boot on. With the speed of the internet, it is getting several times around the world. It is surely our job to do our best to get our boots on quickly.

  60. #60 bill
    March 21, 2013

    Pollyannaish attitudes like Myles Allen’s are nearly as problematic as Denial itself. You wouldn’t think from such reactions that the stake in this game was the continuation of life as we’ve known it.

    He’d also best stick to the science. His comments about a carbon tax are equally naive – as Oreskes points out, it’s debatable whether the CFC cap-and-trade system is what actually solved the problem (or even that it’s as ‘solved’ as many apparently believe); we’re mostly lucky that we acted in time and there was a readily-available cheap substitute to hand.

    CO2 is a much bigger and scarier beast than CFCs. And we’ve already missed the ‘act in time’ window.

  61. #61 bill
    March 21, 2013

    Oh, and this is, what, day 3(?) of the Denier ‘What Did Nigel Say?’ challenge. Nobody wants to win glory, it seems…

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    March 21, 2013

    It really appears to be the Glenn Beck approach.

    A.k.a. the aptly named “JAQing Off” tactic.

  63. #63 bill
    March 21, 2013

    Ah, no – it’s day 5!

    JAQing off indeed…

  64. #64 Marco
    March 21, 2013

    peterd: fair enough. I should note there is more out there, like Any Revkin’s discussion with the authors, there’s a blogpost over at the Stoat’s, etc. Much of that in many ways pre-empts McIntyre’s complaints. Heck, the paper *itself* already pre-empts some of McIntyre’s complaints. The uptick is not robust, the paper says, amongst others due to the scarce proxies there. In comes McIntyre complaining about that uptick. As said pointedly several places: we don’t need the proxy data of the last 100-150 years. We’ve got the temperature record for that.

  65. #65 bill
    March 21, 2013

    Alright then, that’s 0 points for Nigel and his acolytes. Seems your only ‘substantial’ challenge to Marcott isn’t…

    And it appears poor old Piers has no defenders, either?

    So, tell us how Climategate 3.0 is going, then? That’s got to be booming along, surely?

    No? Not a peep?

    Surely you can’t all be snowed in at Duffers place?

  66. #66 joni
    March 21, 2013


    I’m just down the road from Duff in Bristol (keeping an eye on his weather reports)… and no snow here.

  67. #67 Sou
    March 21, 2013

    If anyone doubted Tom Fuller was a narcissistic nutter, he’s miffed that he didn’t rate a mention in Recursive Furies.

    This from Fuller in an article he posted on WUWT today:

    Lewandowsky deleted all of my comments. And his latest paper, which has a Data Supplement showing the ‘recursive fury’, which apparently means cherry picking a few of the comments he didn’t like, doesn’t mention my deleted comments for some reason.

    Last year Fuller trolled Shaping Tomorrow’s World with wild accusations and eventually got banned. I don’t know where he hangs out these days. He invaded Bart’s blog for a while last year. Haven’t seen him since.

  68. #68 Wow
    March 21, 2013

    “Lewandowsky deleted all of my comments.”

    Uhm, WTFUWT routinely delete all comments by someone who disses the AGW denial machine.

    Montford refuses to allow comments on his blog.

    So what is the problem here?

  69. #69 Sou
    March 21, 2013

    His problem is that Lewandowsky et al didn’t mention Tom and his conspiracy theories – or that’s how I read it. Tom doesn’t like being ignored for any reason, even as a conspiracy nutter.

  70. #70 BBD
    March 21, 2013


    Agreed. Tom Fuller is a PITA and a tool, not to mention a fine, if not definitive example of a crypto-denier.

    He spent a long time in 2012 (it felt like longer) displaying his peculiar non-talents at Collide-a-Scape. It was something of a relief when he finally buggered off. But he got a few seriously good kickings while he was there, so it wasn’t a wasted opportunity. Mind you, Willard’s evisceration of his bad faith and mendacity at Bart’s was something to see. Virtuoso gutting knife work 😉

  71. #71 Rednose
    March 21, 2013

    Montford refuses to allow comments on his blog.

    Seems to be several comments there on “Lewandowski and Cooke in spectacular carcrash”. The “outing” of Richard Betts of UK Met Office fame, for “espousing conspiracy theory” seems to be causing much mirth and merriment.
    Stil we need something to cheer us up what with all the global warming we are having recently. Minus 10C over the snowfields last night and more on the way.

  72. #72 Marco
    March 21, 2013

    Actually, Lewandowsky didn’t delete anyone’s comments. Lewandowsky wasn’t in control of the commenting system.

    Fuller truly is something. I don’t even remember how many times I asked him to show how Anderegg et al was a “blacklist”. Apparently claiming it is makes it so, in fullofit-world.

  73. #73 bill
    March 21, 2013

    Ah, we have a new contender who believes the weather at their place is global.

    Perhaps you’ll explain, in your own words, the substance of McIntyre’s ‘powerful criticisms’ of Marcott, because none of the local exponents of ‘See Local, Act as if Global (Whe Convenient)’ can manage it.

    Perhaps the global chill has slowed their brains?

    And here’s another the refrigerated neurons can’t handle – while doubtlessly Climategate3.0 is all the rage over at the Sticky Bishop’s, can you show any actual content that would impress a grown-up or demonstrate any impact in the real world?

    We’ll check for cut-and-paste.

  74. #74 bill
    March 22, 2013

    We really have hit on another unanswerable question for contrarians; rather like ‘what is the conservative position on conducting a radical experiment with the one atmosphere we possess?’ (Sum total of answers since 2010; 0)

    Anyway, Recursive Fury is now published (and at STW), and we can all now anticipate recursive recursive (recursion²!) fun-and-games…

  75. #75 BBD
    March 22, 2013

    bill & all

    Marcott discussion at Tamino. Incisive as ever. The contrast with Stevie Mac’s deliberately manufactured ‘controversy’ is unmissable 😉

  76. #76 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    Montford refuses to allow comments on his blog.

    He man now be allowing some, but most posts do not allow comment.

  77. #77 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    “He may now…”

  78. #78 rednose
    March 22, 2013

    Anyway, Recursive Fury is now published (and at STW),

    Comedy that good should reach as wide an audience as possible.

  79. #79 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    They could try publishing in Marvel, though I understand there are certain conditions to be met before they accept work for publication.

  80. #80 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    “Comedy that good should reach as wide an audience as possible.”

    Come on, you’re duffer, aren’t you.

    He thinks that the comedy of the deniers flailings should cheer everyone up who watches them flap about like frightened chickens too.

  81. #81 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    The “outing” of Richard Betts of UK Met Office fame, for “espousing conspiracy theory”

    You mean the “outing” by Lewandowski who says of this:

    One misrepresentation of Recursive Fury is that we accuse Professor Richard Betts of the Met Office of being a conspiracy theorist because one of his quotes appears in our raw data.


    To claim otherwise is to ignore what we say about the online supplement in the paper itself. The presence of the comment in the supplementary material just attests to the thoroughness of our daily Google search.

    (over at SkS)


  82. #82 bill
    March 22, 2013

    I’m going for Duffer. Hasn’t quite got used to the new handle; can’t decide if it’s a capital r or not yet.

    Same method of ignoring inconvenient questions, too…

  83. #83 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    The “outing” of Richard Betts of UK Met Office fame, for “espousing conspiracy theory

    Betts is not impressed with the explanation

    Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

  84. #84 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2013

    “Stil we need something to cheer us up what with all the global warming we are having recently. Minus 10C over the snowfields last night and more on the way”

    More kindergarten level musing. Clowns like Rednose conflate weather and climate and think that every year must be warmer than the last…

    Its this kind of scientific illiteracy which explains why climate change deniers have been able to recruit an army of idiots.

  85. #85 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    Perhaps you’ll explain, in your own words, the substance of McIntyre’s ‘powerful criticisms’ of Marcott,

    Well there seems to be a whole lot of splicing going on.
    Marcott to Shakum to Hadcrut4 to A1B projection to produce a nice tail which apparently is not robust but is good for effect.
    Hey why not splice on a cable attached to the QE2. No bloody use but think of the publicity shots.

    Just to update on the global warming situation here: 8-16 inches of it forecast for Friday

  86. #86 Lotharsson
    March 22, 2013

    BK is now trying the same shit on at the Frontiers page for the Recursive Fury paper. Not sure if he realises he begins his comment addressed to John Cooke with an insult – or perhaps he does but thinks that it’s an emotionally intelligent way to promote engagement with the other person. He certainly doesn’t seem to notice or care that his obsession is entirely off topic, regardless his awareness of forums where it is on topic.

    More raw data for Lewandowsky et. al.? 😉

  87. #87 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    Duffer says: Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!

    So you’re saying that Richard wasn’t outed then?

  88. #88 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    Duffer: Well there seems to be a whole lot of splicing going on.

    Yes, this is what happens when you have several graph lines to display: you put them on the graph. Are you saying that putting more than one temperature record on a graph is wrong somehow?

    Duffer: Marcott to Shakum to Hadcrut4 to A1B projection to produce a nice tail which apparently is not robust

    So you’re saying that saying some feature is not reliable is somehow wrong?

    Duffer: Hey why not splice on a cable attached to the QE2.

    Are you saying that the error is that they didn’t do this?

  89. #89 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    Duffer: Just to update on the global warming situation here: 8-16 inches of it forecast for Friday

    And what happened to all that “global cooling” you had last week?

    Oh, that’s right: it melted in the heat.

    So you had to change your name to avoid admitting this.

  90. #90 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    Hey, duffer, Bristol will not be getting snow.

    But it’s odd to see you using the MET OFFICE *forecast* to make your statement.

    You keep insisting that it can’t be done.

  91. #91 Rednose
    March 22, 2013


    Richard Betts tweated
    Lewandowsky et al clearly deluded!
    Keep up.
    Though perhaps Twitter hasnt arrived with you yet.
    The Met Office is pretty good with a nowcast. They explain very well whats happening at the moment or just happened.
    They are pretty useless for long term forecasts. Be better off flipping a coin.
    Duffer is one of the few worth reading on this blog.
    And I dont live in Bristol

  92. #92 BBD
    March 22, 2013

    # 86 Lotharsson

    BK provides material sufficient for an entire study.

  93. #93 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    And if its not reliable, what use is it and why include it apart from effect it has on the media. panic panic.

  94. #94 lord_sidcup
    March 22, 2013

    to produce a nice tail which apparently is not robust

    Yeah, Marcott et el say that in their paper. So what are McIntyre’s criticisms?

  95. #95 BBD
    March 22, 2013

    # 85 Rednose

    You are a clueless buffoon. Don’t spout rubbish about a paper you obviously have not read nor understood even in outline.

  96. #96 BBD
    March 22, 2013

    Marcott to Shakum [sic] to Hadcrut4 to A1B projection to produce a nice tail which apparently is not robust

    Before this goes any further, why are you talking about Hagelaars’ graph rather than the actual Holocene recon in M13?

  97. #97 joni
    March 22, 2013

    Wow – you’re correct. No snow here in Bristol, and certainly not the 8-16 inches that red-Duff suggests.

  98. #98 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    Rednose conflate weather and climate and think that every year must be warmer than the last…

    Problem is Jeff, using a 10 year running mean, it seems to have been getting colder in these parts for the last 10 years or so

  99. #99 Rednose
    March 22, 2013

    Make that 6

  100. #100 Wow
    March 22, 2013

    “And if its not reliable”

    Why did you say that?

    You said “not robust”. Not “not reliable”.

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