Eventually I decided to tone down the headline; Curry is wrong about a great many things, I think, but let's be polite. So, all this is prompted by her Q+A for Keith Kloor. I fear I am going to have to read it. All of this segues into the "tribalist" stuff that I'm going to have to write sometime; but not now. Onwards.

So, Curry said the Oxburgh investigation has little credibility in my opinion.. When KK tasks her on this, she backs off a bit: what she means is, it doesn't cover the areas she is interested in. Well, tough. If she wants her own inquiry, with her own terms of reference, she should set one up. I don't see any ack from her that we've had two inquiries so far that have found nothing worth the effort. The septics have nailed their colours to the mast over this - as far as they are concerned, inquiries finding nothing necessarily implies black helicopters. Hopefully Curry isn't going to fall off that cliff, but she is teetering.

Some of the stuff she says here shows evidence of failure to think. For example: Criticisms of the Oxburgh report that have been made include: bias of some of the members including the Chair - ah - she means that as an ex-Chair of Shell he is obviously pro-industry? Oh no, funnily enough that wasn't what she meant (it is a shame that KK isn't alert enough to push her on that one).

The other whinge she has is shamelessly derived from the septics not examining the papers that are at the heart of the controversies. Well, that too is spiffy. Unfortunately the septics haven't said what papers they would have liked to have included, and so Curry doesn't know either. Hopefully they'll let her know in a while and she can pass the ideas on [Update: I missed a bit: they did let her know, and she has added one of her own. See the updates].

Corruptions to the IPCC process that I have seen discussed include. This seems to be the most deliberately provocative bit. What has she got to justify this? A repeat of the von S claim from 2005 that the IPCC folk writing the AR's need to be independent of the work. I commented on Von S's stuff a while ago... but that wasn't the commentary I wanted. Oh well, I'll repeat myself: I don't think it is realistic to find a pile of independent experts to review this stuff. Anyone who knows it is involved.

As for the rest: it is very thin, and noticeably free of actual examples. Again, I think KK should have pushed her on this. However, the septics won't care, because they get to use "IPCC is currupt says Curry" in their headlines and they don't care about the details. I care, because Curry is making vague brad-brush allegations and seems to feel no need to substantiate what she is saying.

There is then some ranting about how the CRU inquiries didn't cover Chapter 2.3 in the IPCC WG1 Third Assessment Report. Can Curry really have missed the NRC (and, less credibly, the Wegman) reports? Why does she want another one? The subtext here appears to be Curry-hates-Mann and wants people to keep having reports until one of them damm well convicts him of something, anything. She also doesn't know what an "elephant in the room" is - the phrase means, something large and important that people aren't prepared to talk about. And the MBH reconstruction is most certainly talked about.

What else? Well, a senior leader at one of the big climate modeling institutions told me that climate modelers seem to be spending 80% of their time on the IPCC production runs, and 20% of their time developing better climate models. As it happens, a small stoat I met on the footpath told me the direct opposite, and I believe it. So we're in stalemate. The only difference is I'm not spamming my scuttlebutt onto a blog. Oh, wait...

And there is a huge rush of journal article submissions just before the IPCC deadlines. Bloody hell, really? Who would have guessed it, eh? It is also a fact that a large fraction of the scientific literature is derivative twaddle, of interest mostly to the people that need to push up their publication count. Everyone knows that too. But it keeps journals in business, and no-one can afford to step off the treadmill, so it keeps going. Never mind, people know to avoid the 80% that is dross, so (for those on the inside) it does no great harm, even if to those on the outside it looks bad. Just like the IPCC deadlines, really.

some topics where I think the confidence levels in the IPCC are too high - this section is at least defensible. I think it is wrong, and I think it is again rather telling that she chooses to skip over the actual content too lightly, but fair enough: there is room for disagreement there. Were she actually to make a substantive arguement, there would be something to talk about. But she hasn't, so there isn't, yet.

On speaking out JC: At the beginning, I... was very leery of getting misquoted by the media. WMC: "Ah, but now you have cast fear aside and show not the slightest regret for saying things that are very easy to misquote". JC: "Gavin Schmidt and Richard Lindzen are saying, well, what you would expect them to say. I and a few others (e.g. Von Storch, Hulme) are trying to provoke reflection..." - ah, look at the casual careless lazy putting of people onto sides. GS is the opposite of RL. Meanwhile, thoughtful people like JC and von S are trying to think (mt picks up on this in the comments; it is an obvious point; again, I would have hoped that KK would have noticed).

Summary: I congratulate KK for getting the interview done, and note his comment #21 (in his comments) that back-and-forth is difficult (but I still think he should have tried). The major feelingI have from all this is that Curry won't go into detail, and it isn't clear if she hasn't really thought it through, or is lazy, or is too busy, or is afraid to commit herself, or what. If she actually cares about all this, and she says she does, then she really needs to write it down, carefully, with examples and documentation. Let me raise one obvious specific: she has attacked the Oxburgh report for looking at the wrong, or not enough, papers. Which important ones does she think were omitted?

But... I hear you say, that was nothing but criticism. Shirley there was *something* good in what she wrote, or her fundamental premise? Who, after all, could disagree with calls for Integrity. Well, this as I said segues into the Tribalism stuff. And while we're on Hidden Motives and other dark stuff, I do get the feeling that Curry is very Anti-Mann for reasons that she won't articulate clearly. I think I'll reserve any praise I might wish to offer Curry for later. At the moment I'm not that way inclined.

Addendum: I've just noticed At the heart of this issue is how climate researchers deal with skeptics. I have served my time in the "trenches of the climate war" in the context of the debate on hurricanes and global warming over at Romm's place. To take the last point first: has she? Where? [Update: Curry's answer to this is comment 31] Also, I've just noticed but not yet done more than skimmed it. I don't think it answers my desire for more detail. On the first point: if that really *is* the heart of the issue... then why is she spending so much time on the periphery?

[Updates: Curry doesn't quite say "I don't hate Mann" but she does assert (see comment #21, which may or may not be carefully phrased I'm not sure) that she has had little interaction with him.

Also, (see comment 3) my snark about not proposing papers isn't right: Curry *has* indeed parrotted the skeptics in proposing "Jones 1998 and Osborn and Briffa 2006". I now need to see if these are interesting. That will first involve identifying the papers concerned; scholar proposes several Jones et al. 1998, but no Jones 1998, so I don't know which one she means -W]

[Update: guesses seem to be correct, see comment 24. Curry confirms via email that the papers she means are:

1. Science 10 February 2006:â¨Vol. 311. no. 5762, pp. 841 - 844â¨DOI: 10.1126/science.1120514        Prev | Table of Contents | Next
The Spatial Extent of 20th-Century Warmth in the Context of the Past 1200 Years
Timothy J. Osborn* and Keith R. Briffa

2. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 30, NO. 15, 1820, doi:10.1029/2003GL017814, 2003
Global surface temperatures over the past two millennia
Michael E. Mann  and Philip D. Jones

3. Jones, P. D., K. R. Briffa, T. P. Barnett, and S. F. B. Tett, High-resolution palaeclimatic records for the last millennium: Interpretation, integration and camparison with General Circulation Model control-run tempera- tures, The Holocene, 8, 455-471, 1998.

I think #2 has been added now, and wasn't one of the two listed earlier, but that is OK.


More like this

1.) It is amazing how hostile people are and to use such loaded and connotation filled words is indicative of loss of perspective (or patience perhaps). I enjoy scientific discourse, but the setting of a scientific discourse should preclude such diction.

[You mean words like "corruption"? -W]

2.) I wonder if William actually read the interview considering just one of his statements "Which ones were omitted?" Well, two were mentioned in the interview and many blogs have stated them precisely with references.

[Yes I did read it but somehow I missed "Jones 1998 and Osborn and Briffa 2006" which is, I presume, what you mean. I'll have to have a look and see what I think. Thanks for pointing that out (I note that is Curry-quoting-Montford but no matter: we can assume she approves of those words) -W]

3.) And for a scientist to 'spin' the interview for your own blog seems agenda driven. Her reference to what was not included in the inquiry was a comment supporting her overall disappointment with the narrow scope of the inquiry but her direct and most pointed criticism was concerning exactly what they did inquiry on and how.
She cited two articles that seemed reasonable to include. She cited a lack of detail and analysis that one would expect when reviewing the actions of a scientific group. She indicated a lack of transparency (wrt selection of the papers).
She cited that the conclusion about CRU were not exactly flattering.

These points seem clear enough, although not explicitly stated by her, to be sufficient to remove credibility from the report.

The skeptics have so many issues that have not been answered that it is sad to see scientist play such games.

[I don't think so. Perhaps you could be more explicit about what the questions are, because Curry isn't -W]

Deletion of data, refusal to provide data, publishing with no intent of other scientist having the ability to replicate their examination, etc...

[If those are your questions, they aren't new, they are the same old stuff that has been answered countless times. No data has been deleted. Data was provided to people of good faith, and those who weren't could go back to the originals if they could be bothered. Publishing-with-no-replication is wrong again; these are just the tired old points -W]

And lastly, since the IPCC is being used to create policy that creates laws that creates taxes: complete and open exchange of data, methods, sources etc... seems to be a minimum requirement.

[Sounds spiffy. But nothing else is totally open. For example, you haven't even told us your identity. What have you got to hide, whilst calling for openness? -W]

Add-in the petty bickering, emotionally charged allegations, innuendo, and half truths, it is an embarrassment to the scientific community to show this behavior for persons like myself, a professor, having to explain to non-professional what the fuss is all about and the actions both sides are taking.

[Are you talking about Curry and Kloor there? Because "a single blog comment by Judith Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, outraged the proprietors and readers of" sounds like loaded language to me. This is the blogosphere. Debate is rough-and-ready, but the substance underneath, or lack of it, is clear enough. If you prefer reading the scientific literature, then please do: that too is clear -W]

Nicely done. We colonials just aren't up to this level of snark.

I think Judy's dislike of Mann comes by way of her having put all of her chips on McIntyre. Why she wanted to do that is less clear, but I suspect there's a secret libertarian handshake involved since I can't think of any other explanation for her being so naive as to take McI at his word regarding the nature of his motivations. All that time spent in Georgia may have warped her perspective. For example, a few years ago she went so far as to have McI down to GTech for a presentation, but despite her high expectations it seems to have fallen entirely flat with her colleagues.

On the science, she seems to be leaning mainly on the idea that natural ocean oscillations made temps and sensitivity appear higher than they really are, but as far as I can see has neglected to publish on the matter even though it's basically in her field. Given that, one can see how persuading her colleagues might be difficult.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

Timothy: "taxes." Sometimes the libertarian handshake is a bit more obvious.

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

From the main essay:

There is then some ranting about how the CRU inquiries didn't cover Chapter 2.3 in the IPCC WG1 Third Assessment Report. Can Curry really have missed the NRC (and, less credibly, the Wegman) reports?... She also doesn't know what an "elephant in the room" is - the phrase means, something large and important that people aren't prepared to talk about. And the MBH reconstruction is most certainly talked about.

I find it difficult to see how even someone who is honestly but terribly misguided could think MBH a burning issue at this point. The math was (presumably) wrong due to its use of de-centered principal component analysis -- but it has been replicated using centered principal component analysis, using mathematical analysis that does not even hinge on PCA, using different proxies, a wider set of proxies by a fair variety of investigators -- and the hockey stick just keeps showing up. From what I can see she is making it nearly impossible for those who would continue to charitably interpret her words and actions.

Steve Bloom, it is interesting that you speak of us libertarians pretty much the same way Joe McCarthy spoke of communists...

By Steve Reynolds (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

An analyzed libertarian is an unhappy libertarian indeed. A bit like scientologists, I think. Where oh where is the Galt-like stoicism of old?

By Steve Bloom (not verified) on 23 Apr 2010 #permalink

It's hard for us libertarian sympathizers. With friends like these....

This reminds me that I haven't seen anything from Tokyo Tom in a while.

Well Curry did note that she agreed with Oxburgh's exoneration of the CRU scientists with regard to charges of research misconduct, such as plagiarism and data falsification. If there's a follow up, perhaps KK should ask her about her thoughts on latest revelations on the Wegman report.…

Pretty much each of Curry's vague accusations against the IPCC can be traced back to Steve McIntyre. For example, take:

- tailoring graphics and not adequately describing uncertainties ostensibly to simplify and not to âdilute the messageâ that IPCC wanted to send;

That is very likely a reference to McIntyre's "IPCC and the trick" post and its attempt to prove that the climategate emails showed pressure by IPCC authors Chris Folland and Michael Mann on Keith Briffa to "hide the decline" and not give "fodder" to the skeptics.

Of course, I was able to show that this, um, creative interpretation rests on a very selective reading of the emails, and makes no sense at all when the sentences removed by McIntyre are put back in.

Anyway, shorter Curry:
Oxburgh didn't rebut the right ClimateAudit posts.

Never mind the CRU papers - perhaps she could just give us a list of her favourite CA moments. Then we'll know once and for all what the heck she's talking about.

Is she of any more than passing interest?

Curry's vague insinuations might give her 15 minutes of fame in the blogosphere, but she'll have to do more than rehash debunked CA and WUWT themes if she wants to stay in the limelight.

Despite her loose criticisms, she stated in that blog that she has no interest in working with the IPCC to improve its processes or help inform policy and public understanding. She finds it more amusing to be on the outside pissing in than rolling up her sleeves and getting to work.

William writes above (2):
"Because 'a single blog comment by Judith Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology, outraged the proprietors and readers of' sounds like loaded language to me."

Have you read the related thread on RC that I am referring to? It's roughly from 308-500.(Obviously not every comment is about Curry but that's the stretch where her comment seems most widely discussed.)

You go and have a scan and then tell me if you still think me characterizing the collective response to Curry's 'single blog comment' as one of outrage was "loaded language."

You go and have a scan and then tell me if you still think me characterizing the collective response to Curry's 'single blog comment' as one of outrage was "loaded language."

Gee, Keith, Curry makes a drive-by posting with unsupported accusations and when asked to back them up, doesn't return to do so, and people are upset by that, and you think this is what ...

The wrong response?

I'm sorry, if the woman is going to make outrageous claims, she needs to be prepared to back them up with extraordinary evidence, not just make her claims then disappear rather than engage in discussion.

I think she knows she can't back up her statements, and doesn't care to hang out in venues where that is made obvious.


I think it's fair to ask why Judy didn't further engage with RC on that thread. I noticed that as well. But she certainly is an active participant over at my place on the Q & A thread, as she was on the earlier post I wrote. So as long as you keep it civil, why not try again with her there?

kkloor, please check the link under your name in 14. I think you're missing a .com

By Turboblocke (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Some climate blogger (not I, I hasten to add) could get ahead of the game by starting a discussion of the attribution procedures set out for the Fifth AR.

Looking at the Fifth AR won't provide the sport and snark of flogging the dead past.

For those who agree there's a need to look into climate, it might help save the world.

(Those who believe the IPCC is trying to take over the world by making up a fake problem would differ.)

The attribution policies and other discussions are all available.

They're what's going to be done with the upcoming report.

Completion dates for the ar5
Working Group I: September 2013
Working Group II: March 2014
Working Group III: April 2014
synthesis report: September 2014

Either they already respond to the complaints made, or they should be discussed --- before they're used.

Why wait til it's over to kibitz?

Oh, and if Dr. Curry doesn't want to actually show the list of names of corrupt scientists at this point -- an alternative would be to participate in the AR5 attribution discussions.

Failing to do either would be odd.

Oh, wait, a bit more searching turns this up:

Dissent « The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE
Support Judith Curry As Head Of (Reformed) IPCC.....

Ok, Dr. Curry gave me an answer to what she means by "corruption" over there:
Judith Curry Says: April 24th, 2010 at 3:36 pm
Hank Roberts, see Lewis #75, he stated it very well.

That's:… which says in part

"... This is not to imply any particular âmalfeasanceâ on behalf of any particular person but a general âprocessâ problem. Perhaps, even a âculturalâ problem. No one, seriously, has implied lying or direct dishonesty on the part of any âclimate scientistâ ..."

So, I suggest again: the AR5 process is open, public, and inviting comment. Now's the time to get with it.

Hank Roberts directed me over here. I do want to clarify one thing. I have met Mike Mann exactly once, we both served on a little hurricane committee for an insurance company. My emails to and from Mann (with one exception, if my memory serves me correctly) have been few in number and have involved group discussions with a number of individuals being cc'ed. As far as I can tell, the only time that I have mentioned Mike Mann by name in the blogosphere or in an interview was a brief mention in the DIscover Magazine (if i have mentioned him in the blogosphere it was certainly pre climategate). WIth regards to McIntyre, I have met him twice i think (once when he visited georgia tech at my invitation), had one or two phone conversations, and we have exchanged several emails. Posing this whole issue in terms of Mann vs McIntyre and people siding with one or the other is just ludicrous, and it is particularly ludicrous with regards to myself. If I appear to be siding with McIntyre, please ask yourselves why this might be, and what I might possibly have to gain by doing this. Please try to break out of this mann vs mcintyre rut and think about the broader issues.

By Judith Curry (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

Ms. Curry,

I shouldn't have to ask myself: your points of agreement/ disagreement really out to be clear and spelled out in your own contributions to these discussions. Instead what I get from you resembles recycled claims from Climate Audit, but more vague, and comments like "Lindzen has gotten better recently". I have no idea what specific assertion I am supposed to be evaluating when you make these claims.

Plus, this stuff about not dividing people up into sides is a bit disingenuous after writing something like:

"Gavin Schmidt and Richard Lindzen are saying, well, what you would expect them to say. I and a few others (e.g. Von Storch, Hulme) are trying to provoke reflection..."

Broader issues are always anchored in specific issues. Can you please, please give me an actual bone to chew on. Otherwise it looks like you are issuing press releases.

William, I'm sorry but I fail to see much reason to be polite.

Judith, I fear greatly that in the blogsphere you are venturing where angels fear to tread.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

> broader issues

Good essay here, and a reminder that beyond "tribes" there's "the public" (some of whom vote):…

"... [Mann] noted, "Some people say that climate change became too closely associated with a partisan political figure and that polarized the debate.  We've had a cold winter.  We've got a bad economy.  It's a bad time to be talking about major changes in our energy economy that some argue could be costly."

Vacillating public opinion in matters of critical environmental threats presents a huge challenge for policy makers, scientists and those of us who want future generations to live peaceably in a healthy environment (and isn't that is all of us?). As was emphasized in several sessions at the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, the cultures of scientific researchers, economists, politicians and lobbyists operate with different expectations and values.  The three-legged stool of "Science, Politics, and the Public" is mighty unsteady if the public lacks scientific literacy, and adopts a debate mentality rather than informed and reasoned dialogue. Debate is intended to press one's own point of view, while dialogue in intended to increase common understanding. We could use much more of the latter."


Re your update

"Curry *has* indeed parrotted the skeptics in proposing "Jones 1998 and Osborn and Briffa 2006". I now need to see if these are interesting. That will first involve identifying the papers concerned; scholar proposes several Jones et al. 1998, but no Jones 1998, so I don't know which one she means -W

Most likely it's Jones et al 1998 - as discussed at ClimateAudit, natch.…

The ref is not there, but enough info to identify this paper:

Jones, P.D., K.R. Briffa, T.P. Barnett and S.F.B. Tett, High-resolution palaeoclimatic records for the last
millennium: Integration, interpretation and comparison with General Circulation Model control run
temperatures, Holocene, 8, 455-471, 1998.

I'm not sure if the above CA post best reflects Curry's "issues" with this paper or if some other one does. Perhaps this one:…

I agree it would all be a lot easier if Curry would just be more specific.… of Curry's comments deserves to be highlighted:
Gavin Schmidt and Richard Lindzen are saying,
well, what you would expect them to say
...[much omitted, click the link for the full post]...
To imply some kind of equivalency between Schmidt and Lindzen is perhaps not what Curry meant, but that's the way it comes off, and it does Schmidt a great disservice."

Will climate scientists Curry favor? Insurgent tribal leaders continue the attack on catastrophists. Rallying behind the slogan "Admit the uncertainty" previously respected scientists dangerously give comfort to the forces of evil. Crippled by the rhetorical excesses of Al Gore and Joe Romm et al, the now debunked climategate scandal, the exposure of silly IPCC mistakes and the failure of the political process, the ability of the catastrophists to dictate policy fades with each passing day.

"No one, seriously, has implied lying or direct dishonesty on the part of any âclimate scientistâ â despite what you might believe: you can serach both Steve Macntyres and Andy Watts site and, despite the comments ( which all bloggers must suffer! ), there is no article or statement that even implies as much."

Stated very well?

"And you wonder why we donât trust you? Hereâs a clue. Because a whole bunch of you are guilty of egregious and repeated scientific malfeasance, and the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence. Your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes.
The first step out of this is to stop trying to blame Steve and Anthony and me and all the rest of us for your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance."

I mean c'mon. Self-corrupting processes? Please.

Anothony Watts owes a public apology; check Tamino's blog for the reason. In country with decent libel laws what Watts wrote would be actionable.

McIntyre owes an even deeper apology, for having egged on a blizzed of FOI requests directed at CRU. What he did is on the edge of actionable.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 24 Apr 2010 #permalink

"Please try to break out of this mann vs mcintyre rut and think about the broader issues."

Judith, perhaps if you articulated your thoughts more clearly. Mostly you seem to be complaining about processes and cultures in the IPCC. What does that mean? Can you give specific examples?

"If I appear to be siding with McIntyre, please ask yourselves why this might be, and what I might possibly have to gain by doing this."
see, the polite thing to do would be to ask you why. Not contemplate and make up stories in our heads. That'd be the worst thing to do.

In the end, though, what material difference does it make to the quality of the IPCC reports if their culture or processes are bad (assuming for a moment they are). Can you quantify what difference it makes to our response to AGW? Are you implying the projections are all wrong and need to be changed? Is there any difference at all? becuase I thnink that there is no difference, that the process and culture problem you believe to exist make no difference whatsoever to the science, nor to the response we make to AGW.

Nathan, I've provided further examples over at Keith Kloor's site

Many of you object to my statement that included Schmidt and LIndzen in the same sentence. My sentence does not in any way imply that their views are equivalent; in fact they are the polar opposite. I was stating that they are both mainstream scientists that are speaking out on the issue.

[We know that you don't think you think they are equivalent. It was your assertion that they were opposite and equivalent that is wrong. They are both climate scientists; they are not both espousing mainstream views, but you know that very well. So I think calling them both "mainstream scientists" is a little thoughtless of you -W]

By Judith Curry (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Dr. Curry, you meant to say that

I don't see anyone reading you as thinking their (Lindzen and Schmidt) views are equivalent?

How did you get that idea?

Nor do I see anyone reading you as thinking their arguments, or places for doing argument, are equivalent.

But I sure don't see them as both in the mainstream these days.

Do you mean 'mainstream science' includes blogs and editorials and 'speaking out'?

Would you weigh blog posts and editorials as mainstream science?

I'd say blog posts and editorials are "speaking out" but that mainstream science is published.

Lindzen went emeritus TM Stoat quite a while ago and is arguing in blogs and editorials.

Is that your point, that mainstream science nowadays has moved out of its old channel?

Dr. Curry:
You may be familiar with the following and have factored it into your opinions, but if not, I'd beg you to read Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, specifically Section 5, pp.19-28, including:

1998.04 GCSCT meeting @ American Petroleum Institute. One tactic: "recruit new faces"

2001 William O'Keefe, 25-year veteran of API, joins George C. Marshall Institute
2001.10.11 McKitrick sponored to COngress by Myron Ebell of Competitive Enterprise Institute(CEI) and Cooler Heads Coalition
2002.06.23 de Freitas publishes CSPG paper with attack on hockey-stick, reviewed by Willie SOon & Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen
2002.11 Essex&McKitrick publish "taken by Storm", with attack on hockey-stick

2003.02.27 Cooler Heads(Ebell) sponsors Essex & McKtrick to Senate
2003.10 MM03 published in E&E
2003.11 McI & McK get introduced to Senator Inhofe
2003.11.18 McI & McK get introduced to George C Marshall Institute, who collects Soon, Baliunas, Singer, eMichaels, al to "coach." Inhofe lawyer Hogan shows deep interest in statistics of tree-rings.
2004.03.11 McI and McK listed as GMI "experts"

2005.02.10 In GMI Roundatable, Inhofe taLks of giving speeches attacking the "4 pillars on which alarmist view" are based, of which the hockey-stick is #2.
2005.02.14 Front-page article in Wall Street Journal on McI&McK
2005.02.18 Editorial by WSJ
2005.05.11 McI&McK present at GMI, including much discussion of peer review

2005.05-2006 The Wegman Report is "manufactured," including its attacks on peer review. The hidden behind-the scenes process, the 10 pages of "striking similarity" to other texts, including Ray Bradley's book, is unearthed late 2009/early 2010 by Deep Climate, although new problems keep coming.

Funding for CEI & GMI appears in Table A.6.1(a), but briefly, the known funding includes ExxonMobil, Richard Mellon Scaife (incl, Gulf Oil=>Chevron) and the Koch brothers. Both CEI & GMI participated in the 1998 meeting, altong with Fred Signer's wife, Randy randol (ExxonMobil), Myron Ebell, and others.

My conclusion: this was all part of a 20-year PR disinformation campaign run through Washington DC "think tanks" around "K-street" (lobbyist central). They identified new (Canadian) voices, brought them to Washington, got them experienced "coaches", introduced them to powerful politicians, and publicized them heavily. The tactics were all learned in the tobacco wars, and some of the same people were involved.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

No one, seriously, has implied lying or direct dishonesty on the part of any âclimate scientistâ ...

Holy living f*ck. Are those weasel words? Were they not serious? Were the accusations explicit? Do the scare quotes mean the accusations were against fake climate scientists?

But if we assume the person writing that statement meant it seriously... Wow. Apart from direct or indirect accusations of dishonesty, what have McIntyre or Watts ever contributed to the discussion? (Dembski, at least, contributed fart jokes.)

Many of you object to my statement that included Schmidt and LIndzen in the same sentence. My sentence does not in any way imply that their views are equivalent; in fact they are the polar opposite.

You imply they're of equivalent *value*, that in some sense one view is as likely to be correct as the other, and that climate science fails to acknowledge this "truth".

I was stating that they are both mainstream scientists that are speaking out on the issue.

They're both scientists, they're not both mainstream scientists. Lindzen is on the fringe, and not only on climatology (he's also on the fringe regarding the harmfulness of cigarette smoking).

As Hank Roberts points out, Lindzen freely attacks mainstream science in blog posts, the press, etc.

Being "on the fringe" does not mean he's a poor scientist without skill, etc. In fact, the climate community appears to have bent over backwards to give him a voice in the legitimate literature, and have taken his fringe views, such as the "iris hypothesis", seriously enough to do the necessary research to prove him wrong. This is a sign of respect among scientists, you know this.

Posing this whole issue in terms of Mann vs McIntyre and people siding with one or the other is just ludicrous, and it is particularly ludicrous with regards to myself. If I appear to be siding with McIntyre, please ask yourselves why this might be, and what I might possibly have to gain by doing this. Please try to break out of this mann vs mcintyre rut and think about the broader issues.

The issue isn't "mann vs. mcintyre", please take care, you're building up a track record of building and demolishing strawmen here.

The issue is that you chide the climate science community for not treating the likes of McIntyre and Watts as serious researchers into climate science who are only seeking truth, rather than the dishonest, politically-driven, hateful people they really are.

And if that makes me "tribal" so be it. I was raised from a young age to take sides against fundamentally dishonest, immoral people like McIntyre and Watts.

At least McIntyre has finally dropped nearly any pretense of being a serious researcher "in pursuit of the truth". His recent posts on CA have made clear that his goal is to destroy the careers of people like Jones and Mann. That's been blindingly obvious to reasonable people for some years now - he went after Lonnie Thompson what, five years ago??? - and the fact that you can't see it or refuse to acknowledge it speaks volumes.

I'm not sure what to make of the posting over at Keith's about the definition of 'plagiarism' -- though I'm hoping we hear from the journalists about how they frame it.

It seems it's OK for scholars to copy text out of Wikipedia--that's not plagiarism because it's all commonly available knowledge. Did I get that right?

This must change somewhere above the level of high school or undergrad college, where it's discouraged. But it's Ok for .... faculty? consultants to Congress?
Well, hey, who knew! Much time may be saved hereafter.

Perhaps an operational definition would be more useful for DeepClimate, pointing out how few words differ out of how many total, or how long the strings of identical text are vs. the length of the differences.

Or perhaps there's a difference between actionable plagiarism and just copying word for word.

I'm so confused.

I just reread William's original post, and noted

> "... bias of some of the members including the Chair"
> ... (it is a shame that KK isn't alert enough to push
> her on that one).

Patience, maybe he will yet.

> not examining the papers that are at the
> heart of the controversies.

D'oh! This is the old "founding father" notion, much beloved of the C*ists attacking D*win. Don't go there.

It's the weird notion that science is like some other human institutions we won't name--a towering oak with one great tap root that can be severed by discrediting the founder.

No, no, no. Science is like kudzu, spreading and rooting at the growing tip.

Or in Dr. Curry's metaphor: science has no heart. You can't kill it with one targeted thrust; science has a distributed circulatory system, working everywhere.

You might also say science has no brain -- science has a neural network, responding where appropriate. You can't hit it over the head to stop it or even slow it down.

The "founder" notion is so weird I'd just skipped over it the first time. But it's beloved of so many in the denial crowd that I had to come back to it.

[Yes, I think that is a good comment. There is indeed some idea out there that just the right bullet will kill the entire GW edefice; as though it were in some way separate from the rest of science and it could be brought down alone. Hence the frustration perhaps when so many bullets make no difference -W]

Intruiging. Judith Curry Says:
April 25th, 2010 at 10:45 am
"Wegman is very unpopular with the warmists"....
and at 12:01 pm she reposts Steve McIntyre's commect on a current ClimateAudit thread Apr 25, 2010 at 10:13 AM, complaining that the Wegman Report was not cited in AR4, "whereas Wahl and Ammann 2007 was (even though it had been severely criticized by Wegman, who stated that it had âno statistical integrityâ)."

So, she's backing Wegman and supporting McIntyre's attack on Wahl and Ammann 2007. No statistical integrity, eh?

[The idea that Wegman was a good piece of work is an odd one; as is the idea that it should have been cited by AR4 -W]

By dave souza (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

It's not just, or even mainly, Wikipedia. My post shows about 5 pages of material with "striking similarity" to three different sources.…

That's on top of the previously discovered questionable passages bearing a remarkable simililarity to Raymond Bradley's paleoclimatology text book, albeit with some interesting distortions and mistakes added.…

When I get a chance I'll update my latest post with a quote from GMU's code of conduct for their definition of plagiarism.

By the way, Curry's refernce to "both NRC reports" is also wrong. This is a common canard that needs to be debunked over and over, apparently. There was no official connection between the NRC/NAS and the Wegman panel; in fact, the NAS objected strongly to the Barton investigation.…

Hank: The "no statistical integrity" quote was from Wegman explaining in testimony before Congress why he continued to believe that Wahl & Ammann got it wrong, even after they reanalysed MBH99 -- hence many of the Google hits are to sites like CA and Climate Realists. I'm inclined to agree with you on the iffiness of Wegman, but these are the wrong bullets.

Like to walking in treacle, this thread is.

By David B. Benson (not verified) on 25 Apr 2010 #permalink

Kloor is being a bit mischievous IMO. He keeps making interjectory comments seeking comments from those Curry has accused. I doubt he'll be successful.

So far she has accused the Oxburgh panel and the Royal Society of carelessness at best and implied worse; the IPCC, Mann and others of deception or misconduct or corruption; DeepClimate of a reprehensible attack much worse than the climategate accusations; and more.

The sources she cites include the stolen emails, McIntyre, Montford and Wegman.

There's nothing new on Kloor's blog, except for the self-revelation by Curry herself. She has decided to move beyond her veiled accusations and has come out in the open repeating and taking ownership of the stuff going around the denier's blogs. She is even dignifying Watts.

It all seems a bit suss to me. Before this blog I though Curry was just being naive. Now I'm not so sure. Is this a continuation of the sequence discussed by John Mashey above? They are running out of puff, what with 2010 being so hot, the enquiries coming up clean etc.

It makes no difference but...

This is a common contrarian theme. But its often used by non-contrarians too:

The math was (presumably) wrong due to its use of de-centered principal component analysis -- but it has been replicated using centered principal component analysis,

If it is maths it is right to use the term proof. I have never seen a proof that the "math was wrong".

Who says that there is just one correct way of getting to an approximate answer. ?

Please see:…

Mann's method was better for the data he used because it converged faster.

By deconvoluter (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

Curry is hard at work shifting goalposts.

One minute she is aghast that a blogger is attacking Wegman. Well, he did, maybe she is right. However, she has no problem with McIntyres ongoing attacks against climate scientsts for years now. In fact, she praises them for it.

re: #48
She was quoted in Discussion in WIkipedia - Hockey Stick Controversy. Search for "Curry". Then see my detailed comments:

1) She didn't know the history. Barton rejectd NAS/NRC offer. NRC didn't ask Wegman and Wegman's approach would have violated most of the NRC policies. Boehlert *did* ask NRC, who asked Gerald North to do an official NRC study. Hwoever, certain people try to portray Wegman Report vaguely as some kind of NRC study. It wasn't.

2) She obviously hadn't checked out all the other "striking similarities" that DC had documented in gory detail, not just with Wikipedia, but with 3 separate textbooks.

3) This is all sad and somewhat inexplicable, for mroe than oen person.

By John Mashey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

"Sure, there have been all sorts of crazy allegations and attacks. But I havenât defended those scientists for the simple reason that their own behavior motivated this."

Why crazies attack?
Because their targets made them do it.

Sad and inexplicable, but oh so familiar.

Now Curry has set herself up as judge, jury and executioner.

Regarding the âsmearsâ of the scientists as a result of climategate. Sure, there have been all sorts of crazy allegations and attacks. But I havenât defended those scientists for the simple reason that their own behavior motivated this.

Yep, don't you just love playing 'blame the victims'! No need for panels and enquiries, we've now got a real scientist to lead the lynch mob (even if she's only a moderate warmist, not a fully fledged alarmist)!

Lol, Hank great minds and all that. (I've been discouraged from posting on that thread because I wasn't sufficiently respectful to Prof Curry. I hope W doesn't mind my increasing loss of respect for her.)


On the contrary. From comment 122 over there:


That is not my intent, to dissuade you from commenting. I would welcome you staying active in the thread. But since Judith is really being so responsive, I think the least we owe her is a respectful tone.

Iâm glad to hear you have found the post and ensuing exchange instructive.

William asked the existential question - is there enough climate science. Yes. Will anyone disagree that more than enough science exists to prove AGW and, since the known future is already so dark, additional studies would be unlikely to make it more so? Of course not.

What to do with the institutions and scientists and all the money (not as much as you'd like) flowing thereto? With a tip o' the hat to John Mashey, the varied climatology clusters are funded by varied government, NGO and private sources. Often there is oil company money. Horrors! Is it necessary work or an exercise in proving he same thing over and over again? These sources may decide their dollars are spent on innovation, deployment or advanced energy research.

Quite frankly, Judith Curry is literate enough as to perfectly know that she is not backing up *any* of her criticisms/praises and she's just giving us the run-around. She's just playing rethorics without any substantial comment. In other words, she's just scattering opinions without providing any evidence, i.e. just what denialists do: you first have an opinion, the evidence can (endlessly) wait. Her motivations are irrelevant to me, she has had plenty of opportunities to specify her citicisms and she hasn't, and that's reprehensible by itself. I've had enough of this Curry non-issue propaganda.

By Jesús Rosino (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

Keith, thanks for that, but my tone over there was as respectful as I could make it. And each of Curry's further posts increases the difficulty of maintaining my previous tone. She's doing very well without my help :D

re: #54
I disagree. There is plenty of evidence that there are big problems, but many $Bs ride on reducing uncertainty ranges for all sorts of things.

For example, in the US West, water matters, and we make many very expensive, long-term investments dealing with it, and better information improves decisions.

That's on the "we don't have enough water" side. Some places are obsessed with hydrology, for good reason.

On the "we have too much water" side, it makes a *huge* financial difference whether we see, for example, a 1m sea level rise by 2100 or 2m. This may not be obvious, unless you've been through local government planning exercises for the SF Bay Area (I have) or the Delta area. I suspect the Dutch care as well, as should New Orleans, Galveston, Miami, etc. People simply have to make very different choices given:
+1m for sure
+2m for sure
somewhere between +1m and +2m, but really don't know.

Finally, there is still way too much uncertainty around "tipping points".

By John Mashey (not verified) on 26 Apr 2010 #permalink

I'll pose a very general question here:

How much of climate contrarianism or the type of rhetoric Curry has recently been engaged in motivated by desire for public attention? Curry wrote in the interview blog comments:

"My take on what the public is interested in seems to be not too far from the target, since my posts have gotten some decent attention in blogosphere (and some attention in the MSM)."

Certainly, many (including Curry) appear ready and willing to give the public and media what it desires.

Curry's rhetoric is pretty revealing at this point. In defending Kloor's site:

Curry: "check out collide-a-scapeâs blogroll: this is a list of warmist sites, with skeptical sites like climateaudit and wuwt nowhere to be found. "

So WUWT and others are "skeptic" sites (you know, good honest skepticism)

while mainstream climate science sites are "warmists".

Some of the rhetoric is rather clever, similar to concern trolling, and she uses her apparent cred with the mainstream scientific community as a consistent rhetorical weapon. She often attempts to play both sides. In communications with Hank (a "warmist"), she acknowledges that WUWT level of discourse is typically fairly low, but then claims that Stoat is worse.

Curry: "Hank, I dropped by at Stoat. I am happy to wade into hostile waters and engage in a dialogue. But the level of discourse at Stoat on this was what I would expect from WUWT (at least at WUWT, there is some signal amidst the noise in terms of interesting critiques or questions). "

Such a strategy is evident in many comments: disarm the "warmist" by acknowledging that part of what they say is perhaps correct...

Curry: "Yes I am critical of Lindzenâs research related to water vapor and cloud feedback and climate sensitivity. Yes I am appalled at some of the public statements he has made, especially his presentation at last yearâs Heartland Conference. And yes, in my continuing efforts to force my mind to stay open"

...then follow it up with some entirely unsupportable claims that trumps what she just said:

Curry: "...and be fair, I have to admit that as of late (since last November) Lindzen has made some good points. He has toned down his rhetoric and has become much more effective. We should think about what he has to say, then respond to his critiques."

Then makes sure to confuse her own opinion with that of the public, although she's doing what she can to influence the public apparently...

Curry: "His credibility with the public is increasing, while the credibility of the climate establishment is decreasing. Like it or not."

There are many instances like this. I generally assume good faith, but this assumption is getting continually more difficult to make with Dr. Curry.

@MarkB, apparently Curry had an epiphany after her hurricane paper, became enamoured of CA, believed the denier blogs re their email interpretations and decided all scientists outside her particular field were rogues. At least that's a quick summation of her follow up Q&A.

It's all a bit too much for me, and a bit unreal. Not sure how much of what she says is true and how much is spin. Either way it's weird.

As far as attention goes, mine has waned and I think she's garnered enough. The Australian government has postponed its ETS legislation for three years, and the USA seems to be in trouble as well. So there are more important things to consider.

"warmist"?? that's as insulting as "environmentalist" (someone who never took an ecology class but knows what they want done because they know what they like).
-- I'm a read-the-damn-science-ist.

"The first question is, what's going on in the world today that we can see that is new, different, and really disturbing? The second question is, what will happen if we don't stop doing what we are doing?"…


There are prominent warmists who are stridently not enviros and enviros, lukewarmers on down, who think climate diverts resources from other more important problems.

By Paul Kelly (not verified) on 27 Apr 2010 #permalink

Sou, note the date on the Jeremy Jackson transcript and look up his videos of similar talks.

What astonishes me is that it took _years_ for science education like that to come to my attention. As he says, information is misinterpreted as advocacy -- and filtered out.

That's why I try to always look up the science, rather than relying on some guy on a blog to tell me what's what.

Pointers to original work help. Opinions usually vary.

> Steven Mosher Says:
> April 28th, 2010 at 1:25 pm
> Let me explain how utterly misguided my AGW tribe is.

William? How many feathers does Chief Mosher have in his tribal bonnet?

[Where does Mosher say that? -W]

Typo! (noticed in the copy at Joe Romm's): your last Update refers to resp. "24" -- should read 25. (It links correctly to DC's post on which papers mattered, in resp. 25.)

Yes, I thought Phil Clarke's takedown was spot on. He really should write that book.

And I thought your comment was original and telling. Titling your book 'ClimateGate' inevitably brings to mind comparisons with Watergate, Bernstein and Woodward. I have not read 'ClimateGate' nor am I likely to, but Mosher's online emissions (e.g.… ) show that his highly inventive accusations about corruption and credibility far over-reach the evidence he presents to support them (so a joke about a printer's error becomes a coverup, an innocuous question becomes a exhortation to lie - and so forth). The differences between this and Pulitzer prize journalism are many but key amongst them is that B&W would always contact the subjects of their articles to give them a chance to at least comment before going into print. Did Mosher ever contact Jones, Briffa et al, whom he accuses of scientific corruption? It might have saved a lot (and I mean a LOT, Mosh badly needs an editor, I thought E M Smith could ramble....) of inaccurate and embarrassing bloggage; then again it might have enviscerated the book ....

Oh and I can't see even the elderley Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman portraying Fuller and Mosher when the film comes to be made ;-)

By Phil Clarke (not verified) on 05 May 2010 #permalink

Just to nail down the timeline for the record.

May 23 2008 at Climate Audit a letter from stephen Schneider is quoted

With regard to Ammann and Wahl 2007, of course it was not received in 2000 and that was an unfortunate printerâs error on the part of the publisher, and indeed your presumption of August 2006 is correct for the date of receipt.

Jan 26 2010 Mosher posts at WUWT, referencing the CA article. So he must have read it - yes?

Feb 01 2010 Mosh writes in Big Government 'One scientist, Phil Jones, even suggested changing the dates on papers to hide the misdeed.

Those pesky two-faced lyin' cheatin' climate scientists! But in the mail he cites in evidence is only Jones making light of the error:

Ammann/Wahl - try and change the Received date! Don't give those skeptics something to amuse themselves with.

Hypothesis: Mosher is an unreliable and hostile witness.

I beg everyone reading - NEVER EVER make jokes in private email correspondence. Before you know it, your humour will end up on a Russian ftp server and Steve Mosher will be writing a book about your wilful and dark corruption of whatever business it is you happen to be in .....


By Phil Clarke (not verified) on 05 May 2010 #permalink

Phil Clarke: "Did Mosher ever contact Jones, Briffa et al, whom he accuses of scientific corruption?"

I've put that very question to him before (IIRC the Physics World discussion on the IoP submission to Parliament) and didn't get a response.

Who'd play them in the film? If they were alive, perhaps...

And right on cue....…

Open letter: Climate change and the integrity of science

Full text of an open letter from 255 members of the US National Academy of Sciences in defence of climate research


We also call for an end to McCarthy- like threats of criminal prosecution against our colleagues based on innuendo and guilt by association, the harassment of scientists by politicians seeking distractions to avoid taking action, and the outright lies being spread about them. Society has two choices: we can ignore the science and hide our heads in the sand and hope we are lucky, or we can act in the public interest to reduce the threat of global climate change quickly and substantively. The good news is that smart and effective actions are possible. But delay must not be an option."

[Interesting. I see that Curry's name isn't on the list -W]

I don't think Curry has ascended to the ranks of the Academy.

By Tony Sidaway (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink

National Academy -- paths to membership:…

"... most scientists are not familiar with the process by which members are elected. This lack of information is certainly not intentional; no one gains when the elections are shrouded in mystery. However, the electionâs successive ballots have become more complicated over time, in part reflecting the rapid expansion of scientific fields. The complexity reflects a consensus process designed to ensure that an individual, or small group of individuals, cannot have an undue influence on the election. In this editorial, we attempt to shed some light on this poorly understood process. In addition, we describe recent efforts to make it more welcoming, especially to women and to younger scientists.

Consideration of a candidate begins with his or her nomination. Although many names are suggested informally, a formal nomination can be submitted only by an Academy member....."

Interesting. I see that Curry's name isn't on the list -W

I guess that's some of that understated briish humor I keep hearing about ...

By (not verified) on 07 May 2010 #permalink


"... my statements on the RC thread were in the context of a summary of Montfordâs main points, that I drew from memory of having read the book two months ago because I donât have a copy of Montfordâs book with me. These were not my personal arguments.

I am avoiding involving myself in the technical details of this debate, and am leaving this to others who have dug deeper into it...."

Reminiscent of the tactical retreat over at KK's place:

"I rose to the bait provided, regarding plagiarism accusations of Wegman. This pushed one of my âbuttonsâ, which is the relentless attacks on persons that are in any way favorable to the skeptics, rather than on the arguments they are making. So I rose to Wegmanâs defense, without being anywhere near adequately informed to get involved in a discussion on this. It proved to be a big red herring in the discussion, I admitted my inadequate knowledge on this, and people eventually moved on."…

Hmmmm, was this really JC?…

That's why I try to always look up the science, but sometimes the scientist can be wrong too. To many books are written about the climate changes but no know for sure what is going to happen.