McIntyred

James Annan has been McIntyred and just for once I find the IPCC position indefensible.

Comments

  1. #1 Steve Bloom
    2007/05/29

    I have a feeling the unfortunate events of the last few years involving M&M, Barton, Inhofe, etc. may have led to this. Just out of curiosity, what happened with the equivalent TAR material?

  2. #2 Carl Christensen
    2007/05/29

    HA, a lot of handwringing over what at best is usual institutional red-tape, and at worst is them wanting to have some archival control over reviews. I mean, let’s face it, the likes of Steve Mc & John A would get their hands on the reviews, email it to every crackpot out there who would find every word “if” in a review and proclaim it a “smoking gun against AGW” etc.

  3. #3 fragment
    2007/05/29

    Transparency and public archiving are the only things I’ve read from McIntyre that I agree with. So what if some people try to manipulate some quotes? If it’s publicly accessible for everyone to see for themselves such things are easily debunked.

  4. #4 Carl Christensen
    2007/05/29

    agreed, but if they don’t have the system in place for doing this online, I can see why they don’t just want to email around stuff now just because McIntyre is stamping his feet again, even if it is a compendium of emails!

    [The point you are missing is that these comments were given to all the chapter editors, because they needed them. So they *are* available -W]

  5. #5 Steve Bloom,
    2007/05/29

    fragment, you need to have a look at Marc Morano’s blog and then see how his stuff gets transmitted through the Junk Science/Drudge/Limbaugh axis (not the only route for this stuff but probably the best example). Consider in particular the history of the extended attack on Mike Mann and the short one on Heidi Cullen. Underlying it all is an organized, consciously anti-scientific multi-front campaign that is mostly out of sight but does occasionally break the surface, as here.

  6. #6 fragment
    2007/05/29

    Underlying it all is an organized, consciously anti-scientific multi-front campaign…

    Indeed, but I don’t see how not having the info available online prevents this. On the other hand, it would allow people like myself to actually go and fact-check specious claims made by “skeptics”.

    For example, I was involved in a TGGWS discussion where we tried to check out Paul Reiter’s claims about what the IPCC said about malaria. We could track it as far as his source citation (an IPCC document from 1996), but couldn’t find an online version of it. It’s clearly out of date, but it would have been handy to look at the quote in context to see how accurately Reiter reported it.

    Given the likelihood we’ve already seen the claim that “IPCC reports rewrite science for political reasons”, having online access to the primary sources would be quite useful, I think. And then there’s the way that this situation is basically handing McIntyre exactly the sort of rhetorical stick he loves to wave around…

  7. #7 Munin
    2007/05/30

    Given the fuss, these comments are guaranteed to appear on the web at some time in the near future.

    To save time and deflect claims of conspiracy, perhaps some of the chapter authors have held on to their electronic copies of the review comments, and can make them available on-line?

  8. #8 Dano
    2007/05/30

    This sounds to me like a cock-up. I can picture the archivist being given the job and the responsibility but no addition to his budget, hence the snail mail due to no additional server space, and the fee because his folks are all doing other things.

    My 2¢

    [I think you are being too generous. Why would they not give the electronic versions? -W]

  9. #9 Carl Christensen
    2007/05/30

    because they probably want to have some control over who sees it — the electronic versions would be too easy to get sent around to all sorts of kooks as I already mentioned. Even James Annan (perhaps even with good intention ;-) would probably end up posting stuff without permission, we’d have 10 tedious articles from Pielke Jr saying this wasn’t an example of “good brokers,” McIntyre would claim one tiny point on page 45 of 756 invalidates all of the IPCC report, etc, etc. Anyway, this is probably a mountain out of a molehill as it’s probably just lack of money & staff to setup a controlled site for dissemination of the reviews. But I guess bloggers have to write about something! :-)

  10. #10 Hank Roberts
    2007/05/30

    Perhaps they understand rule one of database managemenet — one record, many pointers?

    Much of what I see taking up multiple discussions is people posting little bits of articles and then making wild claims about the rest, and tired patient teachers going and getting the full text and pointing out the omitted bits that completely change the meaning attributed.

    Giving access to everyone is smart.

    Giving a complete copy — before public access online is set up —- to people who cherrypick what they assert isn’t, if there’s limited time to understand this stuff. It’s even more dangerous to give a complete archive to people who may edit it to their own political stance.

    The real information isn’t just the comments — it’s the published science, and much of that is also still not easily available to the public, Elsevier etc. owns it and charges to read it.

    The Tobacco Papers archive is a good model. Put the whole thing online and index it, warts and all.
    If something’s covered up or misquoted or misattributed by anyone, the whole thing’s there to check.

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    2007/05/30

    Link:
    http://www.library.ucsf.edu/tobacco/tcacoll.html

    It’s worth considering how much _bigger_ the climate archive will be than the tobacco archive, assuming we have a good outcome. The link above includes the digital set as well as info on the many other archives, with info on how to get access. It’s outstanding.

  12. #12 Harold Brooks
    2007/05/30

    I have to agree with James and William. As a reviewer, the IPCC promised me I’d have access to the comments in the Principles Governing IPCC Work:

    “All written expert, and government review comments will be made available to reviewers on request during the review process and will be retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years.”

    I’m now tasked with reviewing follow-up documents for IPCC that depend on the assessment reprots and I can’t access the review comments made on them. Given that the reviews for WGI, at least, were required to be done on Excel spreadsheets, it’s annoying that I should have to go to Harvard or pay someone there a large sum of money for what the IPCC promised would be made available to reviewers upon request.

  13. #13 Hank Roberts
    2007/05/30

    > retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat
    > on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years

    What is the completion date of the Report? Or do they mean the Secretariat determines the location of the archive ‘sometime after’ completion of the Report? I know the Report is coming out in pieces, but not the whole schedule. Is the current repository that archive described, or something else before the final decision?

    I wondered if the national interest groups got upset that the scientists’ final draft was published or released along with the politically edited official summary. Is there likely to be a variety of people interested in making political use of parts of this material? What did happen to the prior three document sets –=- did the previous one go dark yet or will it go dark when the next one gets opened, on rolling five year intervals? They really should keep them all, obviously.

  14. #14 Harold Brooks
    2007/05/31

    > retained in an open archive in a location determined by the IPCC Secretariat on completion of the Report for a period of at least five years

    What is the completion date of the Report? Or do they mean the Secretariat determines the location of the archive ‘sometime after’ completion of the Report? I know the Report is coming out in pieces, but not the whole schedule. Is the current repository that archive described, or something else before the final decision?

    The WG1 report was adopted in February, WG2 in April, and the WG3 report in May. The synthesis report is in review now. Based on the response that James got to his request, Harvard is the final archive location.

    The decision to convert the Excel spreadsheet comments to paper and then send out the paper to requesting reviewers during the working group review process seems odd, at best. From what James was told, it now appears that if I want to look at the comments from, say, the WGI expert review to see how Chapter 3 was reviewed, as part of the synthesis report review I’m supposed to be doing, I’ll have to go to Boston or pay a significant chunk of money to have someone copy the paper copies for me. This procedure is in stark contrast to the US Climate Change Science Program, where all the comments are available online (example).

  15. #15 Hank Roberts
    2007/05/31

    Read as written, the text given above says reviewers on request get access before the Report is finished.

    “… made available to reviewers on request during the review process ….”

    The current reviewers are specific people on a list?

    There’d be no reason for the second provision, if anyone could choose to become a reviewer at any time:

    “… retained in an open archive … on completion of the Report… ”

    (I’m also assuming anyone who has access isn’t going to be talking about the material, if the confidentiality terms are the same as we’ve seen for earlier documents — right?)

  16. #16 Harold Brooks
    2007/05/31

    Read as written, the text given above says reviewers on request get access before the Report is finished.

    “… made available to reviewers on request during the review process ….”

    The current reviewers are specific people on a list?

    Yes. There are several tracks for nominations (via chapter authors, governments, non-governmental organizations.) From what James said, he got comments then, but because they had been printed out and snailed to him, it was a slower process than seemed necessary.

    (I’m also assuming anyone who has access isn’t going to be talking about the material, if the confidentiality terms are the same as we’ve seen for earlier documents — right?)

    That depends on the ethical standards of the “anyone”.:-)

  17. #17 James Annan
    2007/06/01

    While the current situation is obviously indefensible, I hope that people got as far as reading my comment appended to the blog…

  18. #18 SomeBeans
    2007/06/01

    This thread has confused me, since I assumed that being “McIntyred” was something that McIntyre did to you… rather than something that had also been done to McIntyre.

    The IPCC attitude to archiving does seem to be a bit contrary.

  19. #19 Hank Roberts
    2007/06/01

    >my comment appended …
    This one?
    “… I complained back to the IPCC address and got an email from Martin Manning saying that some of Harvard’s constraints were not anticipated and he would look into it. So it might be more cock-up than conspiracy …”
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2007/05/no-comments.html#6380917320901703856

    What fun is that?

  20. #20 Munin
    2007/06/26

    The IPCC WG1 AR4 review comments are now online.
    http://ipcc-wg1.ucar.edu/wg1/Comments/wg1-commentFrameset.html

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