Skeptic-gate, Wegman-gate, Copy-gate, Everything-gate-gate-gate

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Late to the game as ever: John Mashey has followed up on DeepClimate’s work and reports on “strange scholarship in the Wegman report” (also see the Executive Summary).

Notably, he finds evidence of plagiarism and instances that suggest bias and undue influence by political operatives.

Now, let me first say that this is not really my cup of tea. I am perennially uninterested in the hockeystick debate, as I think that A) its significance is blown way out of proportion to its actual policy relevance; B) the skeptical outcry over the hockeystick reeks like an excuse for really talking politics (“I don’t want higher taxes, therefore the hockeystick must be broken”); and C) it’s a classic case of playing the man(n) rather than the ball.

This is not to say that there are no methodological issues with the original hockeystick papers (MBH 98/99). But what matters is: How much do they matter? (see e.g. Mashey’s comment at CaS on that issue)

As an aside: The clearest (and shortest) explanation yet of the beef that skeptics have with the hockeystick was kindly provided by Jeff Id in a comment on my recent open thread. I asked some follow-up questions to which Jeff replied. I wasn’t very active in that thread from then on due to time constraints, but I do plan to follow up on it, because I felt these short exchanges at least gave me a glimpse of what all the fuss about hockeysticks is about. And perhaps I’ll just have to face that fact that these hockeystick arguments are here to stay, so I may as well familiarize myself at least with the basic thrust of the argument on both sides of the fence.

Anyway. Back to Wegman. Plagiarism issues are serious. But they don’t necessarily detract from the argument that someone is making (though of course they detract from the credibility of the persons making the argument). Primarily, this seems to be targeting Wegman’s credibility. There is a risk that this degenerates into a food fight on the skeptics’ turf. Hordes of “skeptics” are being rallied up to go with a fine toothed comb through high profile AGW literature and file charges. This is their kind of game.

It’s a bit like attacking them with their own weapons. I’m just not convinced that this is where we can win the war (which would be a terrible metaphor anyway).

As Ray Ladbury commented at RC:

Wegman’s effort smells. Deep Climate and John Mashey have identified many troubling aspects to the report. (…) It bothers me that science is even having to play such silly games to defend itself.

There clearly are methodological issues with the Wegman report. The question is: How much do they matter for the overall argument? Could someone shed some light on the significance of this? I find the accusations of bias the most troublesome, yet they are also the most difficult to ‘prove’. The sloppy social network analysis definitely raises an eyebrow in that respect.

Fred Moolten perceives

the plagiarism charges to be relatively inconsequential, reflecting shoddy scholarship rather than deliberate dishonesty.

That’s an important distinction. The latter would be much more serious than the former IMO. Eric Steig responded later on:

Plagiarism is one thing. Changing the meaning of the plagiarised material so that it still sounds authoritative (…) but supports an opposite (false) point of view is another level.

It sure is.

Willard, the marvelous never ending auditor, found this gem:

Vintage 2006, Dr. Thomas J. Crowley, had many criticisms of the Wegman report.  An interesting bit:

“In my view the debate over the Mann et al paper is a tempest in a teapot. It is legitimate material for scientific discussion but the implications with respect to the operations of the IPCC are unproven and seemingly based, in my opinion, much more on repetition of innuendo than on any real facts. Although there is always a need for enhanced interaction with the statistics community, the lack of communication is seriously misrepresented in the Wegman Report. I believe that this report should not be used as either a legitimate assessment of the science or as a guide to policy modification. Finally, I believe it is time to stop using Michael Mann as a whipping post and to start directing attention to the more important matters of whether anything should be done about global warming, and if so, what?” (Source)

Amen, brother.

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140 Responses to “Skeptic-gate, Wegman-gate, Copy-gate, Everything-gate-gate-gate”

  1. Dana Says:

    Eric Steig nailed perhaps the most important point – Wegman plagiarized and changed the meaning of the plagiarized material from Bradley (among others) in order to make a case against a paper which Bradley co-authored. Reminds me of the kid who grabs his little brothers arm, hits him with it, then asks “why are you hitting yourself?”.

    Another reason this subject remains revelant is that Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli relied heavily on the Wegman Report in his continued harassment of the University of Virginia over Mann’s tenure there.

    Overall I agree with you, the ‘hockey stick’ is a very minor piece of supporting evidence for the anthropogenic warming theory, and its importance is blown way out of proportion. But unfortunately, the ‘skeptics’ are utterly obsessed with it.

  2. Layman Lurker Says:

    There is a risk that this degenerates into a food fight on the skeptics’ turf. Hordes of “skeptics” are being rallied up to go with a fine toothed comb through high profile AGW literature and file charges. This is their kind of game.

    I think most reasonable people would agree that the context of the WR rules out any notion of Wegman representing these passages as original work. Context needs to be considered again WRT to Eric’s comment. Bradley is both a source of background information and a subject of review for the WR and common sense dictates that there will be situations where these concepts are in conflict. I strongly agree however, that the author’s should have pointed out this distinction.

    If academic standards are to be applied then there is no doubt (IMO) that the document should have been written differently, respecting the protocols for citation and attribution of ideas or words. However, for those of us who do not want to see politically motivated fishing expeditions for dotted i’s and crossed t’s, then I would argue no one’s interest is being served with this matter.

  3. Bart Says:

    Layman Lurker,

    If the issue was only plagiarism, I would agree with your last sentence. However, as I wrote in my post, the more important issue in the grand scheme of things is the charge of bias, misrepresentation and political gameplaying.

  4. Layman Lurker Says:

    Fair enough Bart. However if the Bradley vs Wegman issue stands or falls on the proper use of quotation marks (among other style protocols), without considering the broader context of what the report was actually representing, then how can anyone argue that their own work shoud not be subject to the same scrutiny?

  5. John Mashey Says:

    1) The plagiarism thing is only the tip of the iceberg, it’s just it’s the easiest one for people to understand, especially if they don’t follow this in detail.

    2) It is, of course, utterly deadly in academe, if proven. Many novel theories of non-plagiarism have appeared in recent days. I consulted experts beforehand.

    3)On p.1, exactly 1 sentence talks of plagiarism.

    4) pn pp.3-4, the Executive Summary, WR plagiarism gets a few short paragraphs, the SNA plagiairism another, and the PhD plagiarism gets 2 more.

    5) Remember, this work was promoted to Congress as “expert” work by “eminent statisticians.”

    6) I would suggest to everyone that they actually *read* some of this.

    About 130 pages of this are in effect an annotated Wegman Report, and the errors, meaning changes are summarized on p.22. They are almost everywhere, not just in the plagiarized sections. They are most obvious in the last 50 pages, where one can see side-by-side comparisons with the antecedents, which makes the *changes* leap off the page.

    7) They get science wrong again and again, they try to write off post-Industrial warming as “Correlation is not causation.” They use a distorted version fo the 1990 FAR graph, which a) they didnt’ get from teh FAR, as Wegman admited he hadn’t read it. he didn’t say who gave it to him… But the version they use is distorted to heighten the MWP even more…

    Their Figure 5.8 shows non-independence of studies vs proxies … minor problem, they omitted the 50% of the data that would have arrgued against them.

    THEN, they didn’t even do an real, relevant statistical analysis. they talekd about it, they just didn’t do the equivalent of Wahl&Ammann.

    8)Etc, etc, etc.

  6. Jeff Id Says:

    Bart,

    The issues with the Mannian hockeysticks are more serious than you realize. When I started blogging on it, I was surprised that scientists didn’t understand the mathematical issues right away. When you write of using it as a rationale for partisan discussion, it is evidence that I was wrong about Climatology’s grasp of the problem. I do hope that you will review it and look closely at what is wrong, because in my humble opinion, the Mannian version of the hockey stick is absolutely a rationale for politics. The difference being that it is decidedly in the other direction.

    You can’t sort or regress proxies for best match and retain the historic signal amplitude. If Ljundqvist style analysis proves to be correct perfect version of history, it won’t change the fact that these other methods which produce wonderfully flat HS handles are horribly in error.

    BTW, I’ve predicted the ‘lack of interest’ for some time in the general community for other reasons. While it is genuine in your case, people are fitting models to the Mannian stuff as evidence of model accuracy. You might want to increase your interest level for a short time.

    Besides all that, nice post. Wegman vs Bradley is a non-issue because Bradley was cited. The Wiki entry is a little confusing for me because the ‘author’ from wiki policy is supposed to be cited, yet finding the ‘true author’ is near impossible.

  7. Paul Middents Says:

    JeffID writes:

    “people are fitting models to the Mannian stuff as evidence of model accuracy. ”

    References?

  8. Jeff Id Says:

    Paul,

    I’m sure our host could provide far more interesting examples than I. Keeping up with the mainstream literature is a challenge for even a paid professional, reading a half dozen papers a week is about all I can do.

  9. Layman Lurker Says:

    Paul, Science published a comment (Wahl, Ritson, Ammann, 2006) here responding to the variance issue as raised by VS04 (similar to what Jeff has demonstrated) in their critique of MBH.

    The opening couple of sentences read as follows:

    Retention of century-scale temperature variations in proxy-based climate reconstructions is important for understanding real-world natural climate variability and to estimate climate sensitivity. Both are fundamental benchmarks for climate model simulations used to examine human-induced climate change.

  10. Bart Says:

    John, Thanks for the list, that’s useful.It shows that the issue goes way beyond plagiarism indeed.

    Jeff, Besides the original highlighting of the hockeystick in the earlier IPCC report I don’t see how the hockeystick is a rationale for mitigation politics. Even in that case you’d have a hard time convincing me that it was used as such a rationale, as the IPCC reports are assessments of the science; not a predetermined rationale for specific policies.

    I highly doubt that MBH 98/98 is still used as evidence of model accuracy.

  11. Tim Curtin Says:

    You said “While serious issues have surfaced regarding the Wegman report, I think this could potentially backfire, since it seems the kind of game that “skeptics” usually play. Attacking them with their own weapons may not be how we’re gonna win the war”.

    Well said – but what is the war you’re gonna win?

    But then you said “The main problem as I see it is the bias and misrepresentation in the Wegman report rather than the plagiarism per se.”

    The Wegman Report was commissioned by the US Senate (rightly or wrongly, but that is a fact) to REVIEW the work of Mann Bradley & Hughes, in the light of the enrmous policy implications if they were right that current climate is hotter than ever known in the historical record.

    So the purpose of the Report was to review the work of Bradley et al.

    Wegman therefore had no interest to misrepresent the work of Bradley et al as his own, as he would then have broken the 2nd or whatever Amendment to the US Constitution, by wilfully seeking to incriminate himself if that work is false.

    Bart, if I begin my REVIEW of Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities by saying “It was the best of times…” does that make me guilty of plagiarism. I find it incredible how few of the defenders of Bradley, let alone himself, have a clue as to what plagiarism is. If I begin my next novel by writing “It was the best of times” and continuing word for word with Dickens’ text and submitting to my publisher, that is indeed plagiarism but Wegman cited Bradley ad nauseam (6 times in the first 3 pages of his S2.1), and had NO interest in plagiarising the very author he was invited to review because the Senate had doubts as to the veracity of that author.

    Sadly, however, I have no expectation that you any more than Mashey or Lambert has any grasp that plagiarism involves passing off another’s ideas as your own. Why would Wegman have wanted to claim Bradley’s rubbish as his own?

  12. Bart Says:

    Tim,

    Please read the exec summary as linked towards the top of my post, as well as John Mashey’s comment up in this thread.

  13. Jeff Id Says:

    Bart,

    “I don’t see how the hockeystick is a rationale for mitigation politics. ”

    Warmest in two thousand years, we must act now and stop using CO2!

    Never has the earth been warmer, Man is destroying the planet, we need a carbon tax.

    Greenpeace has stated that we must reduce economic output to cut emission.

    Chavez received a standing ovation for the elimination of capitalism based on the alarmism.

    I’m sure you don’t want me to reference too many quotes for this tread it’s a bit o/t but much of this alarmism to the public eye is based on a long flat temp curve and a sharp blade. Notice that none of the above ‘solutions’ can dent CO2 production?? It only empowers government and supports a political view.

    In your more educated mind, you weight models or other aspects of climate more strongly, but the public sees a hockeystick. Liberal public having anti-industrial views, like the curves and defend them no matter what the source. Climatology doesn’t want to chuck it out the window where appropriate and it looks to skeptics like scientists enjoying the political result of the message “so who cares if it is correct”.

    Sure some would attack good science for their political views as well, but in many cases (regression based reconstructions) this is simply bad science. If we must make decisions about the future of energy production, lets do it based on good information.

  14. Bart Says:

    Jeff,

    Throw out the entire milennium scale paleo temp reconstruction field and my view of the total package of the science nor my perceived need to reduce emissions would change even the slightest.

    Sure it’s a nice graphic an puts things in perspective (which is useful), but it’s not the crux of the problem.

    See e.g. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/08/the-co2-problem-in-6-easy-steps/ and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2005/01/what-if-the-hockey-stick-were-wrong/
    from the lion’s den so to speak…

  15. Jeff Id Says:

    “Throw out the entire milennium scale paleo temp reconstruction field and my view of the total package of the science nor my perceived need to reduce emissions would change even the slightest.”

    I agree with you. Actually climate science reads a lot stronger without it IMHO. I don’t read realclimate very often but if I must, I’ll take the time later today.

  16. dhogaza Says:

    “I don’t see how the hockeystick is a rationale for mitigation politics. ”

    Warmest in two thousand years, we must act now and stop using CO2!

    Never has the earth been warmer, Man is destroying the planet, we need a carbon tax.

    No, Jeff, the argument is one going forward … expected warming in the next century and beyond. If today is or is not the warmest in two thousand years is irrelevant, at some point in the next few decades we’ll have reached that point no matter how unrealistic a MWP folks like you and Watts pretend is historically accurate.

  17. MikeN Says:

    Bart, MBH 98 is not being used, but are other later hockey stick papers like Mann 08 used as a basis for models?

    This is the first I’ve heard of this.

  18. Jeff Id Says:

    “no matter how unrealistic a MWP folks like you and Watts pretend is historically accurate.”

    I have never advocated any MWP or stated one is more accurate than another. I simply don’t know.

  19. Jeff Id Says:

    Mike,

    Models are hindcast to paleo on occasion to verify accuracy. Of course the main forcing change in models is CO2 so you would expect a good match to a relatively flat handle.

  20. Bart Says:

    GCM’s are hindcast on all kinds of periods. Of particular interest for the question of e.g. climate sensitivity is the Last Glacial Maximum with relatively large and relatively well defined temp change and radiative forcing. I don’t know much about modeling of the last 2 milennia, but think it’s mostly used for topical studies (e.g. studying carbon cycle feedbacks, natural variability, causes of the LIA, etc); not so much for GCM ‘testing’ or climate sensitivity studies. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong! I’m not at all expert on the last milennium in case that wasn’t yet clear.

  21. TimG Says:

    [Edit. I'm open to dissenting opinions, but not to slandering climate scientists. BV]

  22. TimG Says:

    Bart,

    Your blog your rules. But you missed the entire point. The hockey stick is not some arcane technical point. It is about trust and what it shows about who can be trusted. The fact that AGW could still be true even if there was a warm MWP is irrelevant if one cannot trust the messenger.

    The fact that many climate scientists refuse to even acknowledge the trust aspect simply exacerbates the problem.

  23. AMac Says:

    On paleoclimate reconstructions of the past centuries/few millenia being used in hindcasting: this is a main goal of the CLIVAR (Climate Variability and Prediction) consortium.

    The presentation by Dr Anna Pirani at the CLIVAR SSG16 meeting in 2009 — the “PAGES (Past Global Changes)-CLIVAR Intersection” — provides more detail on the mutual interests of climate modelers and paleoreconstructionists (large PowerPoint file). It describes the goals:

    “To improve the understanding of decadal to centennial climate variability.”

    “Studying the association between changes in potential climate forcings and reconstructed climate variability, using a combination of empirical and simulation approaches, offers real prospects for an enhanced understanding of the mechanisms and likely course of climate change.”

    This is a boon for climate modelers — if they are properly cautious, because they are alert to the limitations of proxy-based reconstructions, in terms of the actual uncertainties regarding regional and global climate in the centuries prior to the pre-instrumental era.

    It is a bane, if people believe that the narrow error bars that accompany most reconstructions are truly reflective of current knowledge of past climate regimes.

    Evaluating and modifying models on the basis of goodness-of-fit to precise but inaccurate hindcasts offers the potential for generating mistaken confidence in the robustness of some models, while unduly dismissing others.

    I do not know whether these concerns are sufficiently appreciated by the organizers of such efforts.

    These activities show that there are connections between forward-looking modeling, and hockey-stick reconstructions. This vindicates the position of Prof. Mann and other prominent investigators of paleoclimate, who maintain that their work is important for understanding future climate change, and thus important for public policy.

  24. Eli Rabett Says:

    The absolute disqualifying thing about the Wegman report is how it wandered into areas where none of the authors had a clue and worse, into areas which had nothing at all to do with their charge. In particular the presence of the social network analysis sections were, to be nice about it, strange absent crude ax grinding. To be not nice about it the rampant plagiarism in those sections showed that Wegman and Said were not to be trusted (Scott played little role in that area).

    Another issue which is not much discussed is that silly claim that “bad math” invalidates good data. Tell it to Feynman. QED with its subtractions of infinities is on very shaky mathematical grounds. The Dirac delta function is another example of a mathematical trick introduced on practical grounds to solve a set of physical problems but with shaky formal underpinnings.

    We can find numerous examples of useful mathematics and statistics which were not bulletproof, but were useful for non-pathological data sets.

    Wegman was a partisan on a mission. Said appears to have been a willing henchgirl, and not a very clever one at that.

  25. Bart Says:

    Amac, thanks for the additional info. I remember Mann stating that milennium scale reconstructions are important to understand natural variability, but not that his work is important for understanding future climate change (besides putting current and future warming in a historical context). Nor that he would claim that his work is by itself important for public policy. Methinks he could find himself better in my description of its relevance than in the one you’re attributing to him.

    Eli, good point.

  26. TimG Says:

    Bart, Eli

    It is a rediculous point. There is no reason to believe that the data used by Mann was any good in the first place. In fact, all of his math was an attempt to show that the data was good. An attempt that failed once his choosen algorithm was done correctly.

    The real issue here is confirmation bias – Mann and other climate scientists believe that the “true” signal is something like what Mann came up with. So they dismiss problems with algorithms as long as they produce the “right” answer. It seems like no one wants to admit that we really do not have the data that would allow us to know what was really going on 1000 years ago.

  27. Bart Says:

    TimG,

    You (criticizing Mann) didn’t address any of what Eli wrote (criticizing Wegman), so your assertion that it is ridiculous is itself ridiculous.

  28. AMac Says:

    Bart and Eli,

    Was the partisanship of the body of the Wegman Report a prelude to its four pairs of conclusions and recommendations, which were prescriptions for bad science or bad policy, in whole or in part?

    Or was its partisanship confined to the middle of the report, so that its conclusions and recommendations contained good ideas — but ideas that were unsupported by the “meat” of the report?

    If the four pairs were indeed “good,” were they anodyne–i.e. already agreed-upon and implemented in the field of paleoclimatology, as of 2006? Or did they contain concepts that were controversial?

    Link to the PDF and summary of the four pairs on page 50 in the comments at Lucia’s.

    Bart,

    I recall Prof. Mann explaining the importance of his work to science and policy in this 45-minute interview with journalist-advocate Chris Mooney. It is that importance, says Prof. Mann, that explains the controversy around the hockey stick. It is the reason that the Fossil Fuel Conspiracy is singling him out for attack. These attacks are often performed via third parties, presumably a mix of Knaves and Fools. There is no scientific basis for any controversy.

    Unfortunately, there is no transcript of the interview, and I haven’t gone back to vet my recollections.

  29. MItch Says:

    TimG:
    One learns very quickly in science that bad data is removed from the system very quickly. There was an error in Mann et al.’s reconstruction–pointed out by Esper et al in 2002 (22 March issue of Science). By not compensating for changes in growth rate in trees Mann et al. had made the amplitude of the hockey stick smaller than it actually was.

    The normal way to test data reliability is to compare with independent data sets, like reconstruction of past temperature from boreholes (see Chapman and Davis in the Sept 14 Eos) and modeling glacier behavior (Oerlemanns in 29 April 2005 Science paper). The answer is very similar to the Mann et al reconstruction. All of this has been put out in a National Academy Report in 2006 which can be read on line here (http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=11676).

    You don’t get to assert things in science without some proof–there is no evidence that Mann’s statistics created the signal he reported. Next time, do your homework…

  30. Eli Rabett Says:

    AMac, the short answer to your question goes back to many things that Bart in particular has written, that at least in the scientific literature trust and consistency play vital roles. In this case, it really does not matter, having forfeited trust, there is no need to disentangle the threads of the Wegman Report, especially since we have the North committee NRC report. Some, of course, do so for entertainment.

    The NRC report pretty much agrees with what Eli has been saying, that useful math can be formally incorrect, or better put, not optimal, and can be improved on, but still remain useful. As the data (which contrary to TimG’s bald assertion) has grown and better methods of analysis have been applied, the results confirm the broad outlines of the 1998 and 1999 papers.

  31. JMurphy Says:

    More hockey-sticks statistics from Richard L Smith (Statistical and Applied Mathematical Sciences Institute, Research Triangle Park, N.C. and Department of Statistics and Operations Research, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) :

    In this discussion, we use principal components analysis, regression, and time series analysis, to reconstruct the temperature signal since 1400 based on tree rings data. Although the “hockey stick” shape is less clear cut than in the original analysis of Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998, 1999), there is still substantial evidence that recent decades are among the warmest of the past 600 years.

    The results support an overall conclusion that the temperatures in recent decades have been higher than at any previous time since 1400. On the other hand, none of the recent reconstructions shows as sharp a hockey stick shape as the widely reproduced Figure 3(a) of MBH 1999, so in that respect, critics of the hockey stick are also partially vindicated by these results.

    So, can we move on from the past obsessions and try to work out how we are going to mitigate the coming effects ?

  32. MikeN Says:

    Actually I think it was Answer Correct + Method Wrong = Bad Science

  33. John Mashey Says:

    re: answer correct…
    It';s from Section on Statistics and the Environment, article by Richard L. Smith, which I mentioned pp.63-64 of SSWR.

    The exact quote is:
    “In other words, the fact that the answer may have been
    Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science.”

    I should have included it, but it’s been added to my current working copy.

    This is a nice sound-bite, rapidly picked up …and of course is an utterly ludicrous thing for a good statistician to say. It sounds good, if you think statistical methods are binary (0 wrong, useless), 1 (right, truth). Tukey would have had words.

    This is a sound-bite designed for people unfamiliar with real-world statistics.

  34. Mitch2 Says:

    @Jeff Id:

    I am not expert enough on PCI and the other statistical issues to have an opinion directly. However, I did read the North et al report which directly addressed these issues. I would note that the authors of that report *did* include professional statisticians.

    Given their pretty categorical statements it seems odd that so many people keep harping on this. If someone wants to redo the analysis of MBH and show a different result, they are welcome to do so. McI and McK’s analysis is wrong, from what I understand, as it cherry-picks the number of PCIs to get the result they’re looking for.

    Moreover, there are so many totally independent datasets confirming the result that it is well-past time to move onto other things.

  35. Jeff Id Says:

    Mitch 2

    “McI and McK’s analysis is wrong, from what I understand, as it cherry-picks the number of PCIs to get the result they’re looking for.”

    I realize you are claiming no expertise so this isn’t directed to you but it is false criticism like this that gives some of the ‘experts’ a bad name. The North report was equally as valid as the Oxburgh one.

  36. AMac Says:

    Eli,

    Thanks for your response (Oct. 15 at 14:10). I’m still interested in what you, Bart, and other pro-AGW Consensus adherents think of the merits of the four Conclusion/Recommendation pairs in the Wegman Report.

    For this exercise, we can stipulate that the body of the report is fatally flawed. Perhaps the content of pages 50 and 51 was anonymously mailed to the Hadley Centre and Penn State, or posted as a blog comment.

    Are they good ideas, but trite, because they were already in near-universal practice in the field of paleoclimatology?

    Good ideas whose adoption would have been contentious, as their implementation would have forced changes to the practices current in 2006?

    Or would their adoption have obstructed scientific progress and hindered the development of sensible public policy?

  37. Eli Rabett Says:

    AMac,

    Increasingly climate disruption is being subject to a four corners offense, playing out the clock. This is a pretty old strategy perfected by Singer for delaying any action on the acid rain problem and it works, except, given the nature of climate disruption, procrastination penalties are very very high. Conclusion 4 is exactly that ploy.

    The rest of the conclusions were simply argumentative bleats based on an ignorance of paleoclimate but a sharp understanding of politics with the possible exception of the data and code sharing issue, which is not a slam dunk. There is, for example, a lot of weather forecasting code which is not disclosed for commercial and intellectual property reasons. For enough carotts, Eli will argue either side of that one.

    To quote from the North NAS panel

    “Despite these limitations, the committee finds that efforts to reconstruct temperature histories for broad geographic regions using multiproxy methods are an important contribution to climate research and that these large-scale surface temperature reconstructions contain meaningful climatic signals. The individual proxy series used to create these reconstructions generally exhibit strong correlations with local environmental conditions, and in most cases there is a physical, chemical, or physiological reason why the proxy reflects local temperature variations. Our confidence in the results of these reconstructions becomes stronger when multiple independent lines of evidence point to the same general result, as in the case of the Little Ice Age cooling and the 20th century warming.”

    Contrast this with the Wegman Report’s conclusions. The first conclusion that academic work has been politicized ranks right up there with patricide claiming mercy because she is an orphan. It goes downhill from there.

  38. Ron Broberg Says:

    Tim Curtin: The Wegman Report was commissioned by the US Senate (rightly or wrongly, but that is a fact)

    ummm … no, it is not a fact.

  39. Ron Broberg Says:

    Mitch2: Moreover, there are so many totally independent datasets confirming the result that it is well-past time to move onto other things

    A new entry in the field …

    http://rhinohide.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/smith-2010-elementary-reconstruction-of-the-hockey-stick-curve/

  40. AMac Says:

    Thanks, Eli. Helpful to hear your perspective.

  41. Richard L Smith: The role of statisticians in public policy debates over climate change « The Whiteboard Says:

    [...] of the Hockey Stick Curve is not a newcomer to the field. John Mashey, in a comment at Our Changing Climate, points out this article in the Spring 2007 issue of American Statistical Association Newsletter [...]

  42. Russell Says:

    GMU is too close to Richmond for me to believe that Attorney General Cuccinelli covered up the torso of Liberty on his state’s Great Seal because the Virginia Bar can only tolerate the sight of one boob at a time.

  43. Hans Erren Says:

    dhogaza writes:

    expected warming in the next century and beyond

    … if China and India will emit as much CO2 per capita as Europe and the US.

    Notice the Catch-22? China and India have absolutely no plans to reduce economic growth. There is nothing that WE can do NOW. Anyway your and mine personal emitted CO2 has already for 75% moved into permanent sinks in 2100, which makes it really peanuts to the projected emissions in 2100 of the now developing world. Reducing CO2 now is akin your old grandmother who saves a bit of her pension to give to her filthy rich grandson: cute but useless.

  44. cynicus Says:

    So Jeff Id claims that the North NAS panel report and the Oxburg report are both invalid while his own blog science version is the correct one? Well, there is quite a bit of a credibility gap somewhere in that comparison.

    MBH98/99 contains errors which is clear, those papers were innovative and explored/created a new section of climate science (global temperature reconstruction with paleoclimate proxies). No science has been established in history without getting some of it at least a bit wrong at first attempt. I found the book “The history of nearly everything” quite revealing in that respect. But science since then has moved on with errors made, lessons learned.

    That the WR seeks to destroy the credibility of the early papers (quite irrelevant already by 2007) and the Man(n) himself plus climate science as a whole (by means of a shoddy SNA) shows clearly a political bias. I have (with difficulty) read most of John Mashey’s work by now and the WR is clearly poison, certainly nowhere near the “impartial review by eminent statisticians” as is often claimed.

    I really don’t understand why people like Jeff Id and the other self-proclaimed skeptics hold on to it so tightly. It would be so much better for the skeptic moral grounds and credibility to call it a mea culpa, claim to be misled as well as was the Senate and drop it. Also Jeff Id’s characterisation of Mike Mann as someone “who stinks to high-heaven”, being “unconscionable”, “incompetent” and accusing him of fraud among other things while at the same time defending WR seems like pure hypocrisy to me, but I guess that combination works well when in denial?

    I wonder, Bart, why you even want to have a discussion with such people, you will never come to terms and you surely have much more meaningful ways of passing time?

  45. Jeff Id Says:

    Cynicus,

    I do have concerns about advocacy first as some of the climategate emials have demonstrated. If you want to pretend that Wegman was right but he’s wrong for whatever reason, go ahead and thread that needle North agreed with him though.

    As far as credibility gap, I posted everything, show me the error and I will agree. I’ve been proven wrong before and agreed, and will do it again. Gimme your best shot!

    “I really don’t understand why people like Jeff Id and the other self-proclaimed skeptics hold on to it so tightly.”

    The only points I’ve written about on the Wegman report have been in the recent weeks regarding copygate having only briefly read it before that time. I don’t think I’ve defended it much except that Bradley doesn’t seem to have a real claim. Wiki was copied un-cited so he has a problem there. It may have been Said who did the copying though. There are some questions as to who the wiki author was.

    The difference between yourself and I is most likely that I understand the implications of short centered PCA so already know the conclusions Wegman came to are correct.

    Finally, the reason I’m allowed to comment here but not at Tamino’s, is because Bart doesn’t fear anything from me. He knows the facts will determine reality not dogma or wild claims and you may be surprised at the conclusions if Bart does take the time to read some of the posts I made.

  46. Hans Erren Says:

    @cynicus
    Perhaps you still don’t realise that only complete transparancy can restore the credibility of climate science. The taxpayer has a right to it. Climate science isn’t astrophysics where nobody is watching the scientist in her ivory tower.

  47. bugs Says:

    The difference between yourself and I is most likely that I understand the implications of short centered PCA so already know the conclusions Wegman came to are correct.

    The conclusions that Wegman came to were incorrect. His finding that the PCA was done incorrectly was not his conclusion. The PCA problem was already known and acknowledged. His conclusion, and the use of his report, was that climate science was ‘political’. In what sense is not made very clear, but it seems to be some sort of paranoid conspiracy theory.

  48. crackpot Says:

    The usual GI’s of AGW have shown up.

    Welcome, Dhogaza, Eli Rabett.

    The mere fact that you are posting here indicates that this is a topic on which you are losing ground.

    You are functioning as indicators.

    Thanks for that. Go on please.

  49. crackpot Says:

    bugs,

    with the knowledge we have now, we can tell that Mann in 1998 did not have the required statistical expertise for his Mann 1998 piece. But maybe we can in retrospect find ways to find reasons why he did the things he did? I think the last Harry Potter film had a marvelous abouse of time. Mann should view this film.

    But maybe his magic stick (wand in French is : Baguette magique) is broken.

  50. bugs Says:

    Mann’s work was pioneering, he was on the right path, and he was substantially correct. If every piece of new science was treated in a similar manner, it would never advance.

    Wegman’s work, on the other hand, was an abuse of process and it’s conclusions were nothing to do with the science. You just have to see how it was used to realise that.

  51. bugs Says:


    Now, let me first say that this is not really my cup of tea. I am perennially uninterested in the hockeystick debate, as I think that A) its significance is blown way out of proportion to its actual policy relevance; B) the skeptical outcry over the hockeystick reeks like an excuse for really talking politics (“I don’t want higher taxes, therefore the hockeystick must be broken”); and C) it’s a classic case of playing the man(n) rather than the ball.

    Correct. However, the importance of this as an issue of science has been blown out of all proportion. McIntyre’s pride in being recognised as a person who matters is testament to that. He seems to miss the nuances of the recognition, however. His company includes a terrorist and pop star, so the reason for being included in the list is not necessarily for positive reasons

  52. Bart Says:

    Crackpot Harry,

    Your comments are merely accusatory and add nothing to the discussion. Further comments of that nature will be deleted. Say something substantive or don’t say anything at all. Thanks!

  53. livinginabox Says:

    Bart thank-you for this and of course a huge thank-you to Dr Mashey and DeepClimate for digging through the corpse of the Wegman report and finding-out where the smell was coming from.

    The fan is on, the brown stuff is about to enter the blades, let the brown stuff be distributed among the rightful recipients.

  54. luminous beauty Says:

    JeffId has made some assertions that, if I understand him correctly, do not stand up to scrutiny.

    If one uses ARIMA to remove ‘noise’ from a reconstruction, one is actually removing signal, not ‘noise’. There are physical causes of auto-correlation in both tree rings and instrumental temperature records. This undermines Jeff’s argument as well as the M&M/Wegman/Von Storch random + red noise pseudo-proxy criticism of MBH.

    Though he claims to understand the M&M/Wegman critique of MBH, what he doesn’t seem to be aware of is the the de-centering issue is dependent on the presence of spuriously correlated data. The case for the presence of spurious correlation in tree ring climatology has itself been shown to be spurious, and the reasonable criticism of low frequency variance loss from realistic causes, i.e., short segment curse, has been largely compensated for by improved methodology.

    The fact that Wegman misrepresented not only Bradley’s summary text, but 90 years of dendroclimatological research, to present a case for spurious correlation is disingenuous in the extreme.

    This is a case of ‘Poor Method → Wrong Result = Bad Science.

    This kind of confused and inappropriate application of mathematics is why tamino has lost patience with him. Not because he is afraid of Jeff’s superior analytical powers.

  55. Jeff Id Says:

    LB,

    If one uses ARIMA to match the S/N ratio of proxies and then adds an artificial signal to it, it is quite difficult to use Mannian methods to restore the signal, you have to have quite a high SNR to be successful. Remember Mann rejected over 60 percent of his own data in the 08 paper and that was after he pasted blades on all the individual proxies using RegEM.

    What if I were to fit an ARIMA model to the difference between proxies? Do you think it would give any difference in result? It will not and you can’t claim that it was signal then right?

    Mann has about 60 percent variance loss in his stick handle by my estimates. It could be a little less but I doubt it will be much different.

    This morning I’ve been looking at the Ljungqvist proxies, only 23 percent failed the 0.1 correlation threshold. A far better quality result. Signal loss is nearly zero no matter which proxies are chosen. It’s quite amazing, even if the Mannian style rejected proxies are averaged, there is an excellent match to the Ljungqvist result. I’m going to have to look into the papers that produced the input curves now, the result is so unchangable that it doesn’t matter which data you use.

    As to your accusation of math and Tamino’s reasons, you are wrong on both counts.

  56. Jeff Id Says:

    LB,

    I forgot about this:

    “Not because he is afraid of Jeff’s superior analytical powers.”

    I agree, it’s a concern that anything that detracts from his political motivation will reduce his chances of success.

  57. luminous beauty Says:

    Jeff,

    What jargonistic gobbledegook!

    The calculation of an equation is trivial. Understanding the limits of its applicability in a multi-variate geophysical system is another thing. Something for which you demonstrate little competence.

    I suspect you are indulging in psychological projection concerning your own political motivation. Along with the Dunning-Kruger style narcissism, it is symptomatic of psychological denial.

  58. Jeff Id Says:

    LB,

    Here’s one you will like better.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/10/16/robust/

  59. Eli Rabett Says:

    Fairly dishonest post by Jeff. Why is Eli not surprised. One of the problems with proxy reconstructions is choice of proxys. You have two choices. You can start with the largest possible set of records you can find and apply some screening mechanism to find those that are proxys for local temperature. You will find that there are many that fail. OR you can select a relatively small set of records that you believe will be proxys for local temperature. If you are experienced at selection you will find fewer that are not proxys. The failure rate is simply an result of how far the net is cast

    BTW, the records Mann used are not his.

  60. MapleLeaf Says:

    Cynicus @October 16, 2010 at 00:52, excellent summary.

    Eli and LB make some insightful comments too, of course. I see that “skeptics” continue to duck, weave and sucker punch in an attempt to direct attention away from the failed Wegman report. Oh well, at least in that regard they are consistent.

    Rather disturbing how Jeff and others clearly do not have the foggiest idea as to what constitutes plagiarism and/or fabrication– as John Mashey notes it is funny how the D-Ks are now all self-proclaimed “experts” in plagiarism et cetera. I and others (with connections with academia or in academia) will be dumbfounded if GMU, being the reputable university that some claim, finds in favour of Wegman and Said. Yet the self-proclaimed “honest brokers” keep trying to frame Wegman’s deeds as mere “copying”.

    And of course, Tamino being a professional statistician has nothing to fear from engaging the likes of Jeff, at least on a professional level. That said, some wisely and rightfully, choose not to engage in “debates” on the internet (or on stage) with disingenuous ideologues like Monckton and wanna-be auditors of all stripes and colours. Too much smoke and mirrors….

    Pity that AR5 won’t be able to cite Jeff’s intriguing work on the plaeo reconstructions– just how does one cite a blog? Are blogs even classified as gray literature? Well, it is a moot point anyway, because by their own insistence, grey literature should not be cited in AR4 and AR5.

    Anyhow, what I really want to know how much long McIntyre and McKitrick (and their fans) are going to defend the numerous issues/failings plaguing the Wegman report? And is the Wegman report really the sum of their argument, even now in 2010? Would they be lost without it? Me thinks yes.

    PS: Jeff how is that paper on Antarctic temperature trend coming long? Didn’t you submit that circa February 2010?

  61. Jeff Id Says:

    Maple,

    “PS: Jeff how is that paper on Antarctic temperature trend coming long? Didn’t you submit that circa February 2010?”

    Third resubmission. hehe. We’ve redone the calculations at least 7 different ways now all to the same answer. Are you a reviewer? Perhaps if it is delayed for another year, AR5 won’t contain it either.

    “Pity that AR5 won’t be able to cite Jeff’s intriguing work on the plaeo reconstructions”

    They won’t need to, plenty of climate scientists are on board now. It’s becoming the mainstream. However, AR5 still won’t contain one single word of it. Not a single mention of variance loss is my guess.

    Eli,

    Any chance you can explain why I’m wrong about variance loss or is it just rabbit instinct?

  62. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff,

    Jeez, third review, isn’t publishing fun? No, not a reviewer. Oh, I see, there is some alleged conspiracy to delay to keep your “damning” findings out of AR5. When you say “either”, you seem to be suggesting it should have been in AR4….Anyhow, hang in with the review process, but be warned, the ‘review’ does not end there. And Jeff, sometimes a aper is just not good enough to be published or requires much reworking before going to press….that really does happen you know without having to to invoke conspiracy theories.

    “plenty of climate scientists are on board now.”

    I have no idea what you are trying to say. Please elaborate, and provide examples. Does this group of scientists happen to include “Ljungqvist”? Well, if they include Ljungqvist they won’t have to refer to “variance loss” because you claim that it is not an issue for the Ljungqvist reconstruction. How can a reconstruction which allegedly has 60% variance loss be in excellent agreement with one that allegedly has virtually no variance loss?

    Hmmmm…

    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=1916#comment-174727

    I do not follow your blog, but have you checked to determine whether or not “variance loss” was an issue in MW2010?

    An earlier did you mean to say “look at the proxies used in Ljungqvist” rather than “look at the Ljungqvist proxies”?

    Anyhow, maybe you can talk some sense into Steve and encourage him to distance himself from Wegaman et al. He does claim to work in good faith, so being associated with Wegman would fly in the face of that.

  63. Jeff Id Says:

    “How can a reconstruction which allegedly has 60% variance loss be in excellent agreement with one that allegedly has virtually no variance loss?”

    It is a very good question. The reconstructions aren’t visually that different. I’ve explained before that it will come down to the sub-papers in this case but haven’t gotten very far in the examination. What you can know from my posts is that I’m not willing to write BS just because it supports one position or another.

    As to names, here’s a link to a list on a recent paper.

    http://www.clim-past-discuss.net/5/1645/2009/cpd-5-1645-2009-discussion.html

    Steve does his own thinking, I’ve got no more power than you to change his mind. How about we take this to the open thread if you need more.

  64. MapleLeaf Says:

    Interesting link, interesting too that that Ammann is the author. Looking at their Fig. 2, gosh golly look at that a) another HS, and b) current N. Hemi. SATs are warmer than during the MWP. Also, it seems the ACOLS reconstruction has even less variance/amplitude than in Ljungqvist. I also found the following interesting:

    “In the climate arena, re-evaluation of existing reconstructions using ACOLS will likely confirm recent supposition of enhanced amplitudes (Huang et al., 2000; Esper et al., 2002; Moberg et al., 2005; Hegerl et al., 2007; Mann et al., 2008) over the recent past compared to earlier estimates.”

    Apparently Moberg, Hegerl and Mann and Esper are amongst those scientists “on board” (referring to your post @October 16, 2010 at 23:33). So I’m not quite sure how this is meant to support your claim that you findings concerning the “variance loss” are novel or new, or that it is being covered up.

    “Steve does his own thinking”

    Uh huh, I’ll believe that when I’ve seen his emails.

    Anyhow, I don’t wish to clutter the thread and will be too busy next week to post here.

    Maybe Rapp would come here and spice things up a bit.

  65. Jeff Id Says:

    Did you see the replies? Christiansen, VonStorch etc….

  66. Jeff Id Says:

    “Also, it seems the ACOLS reconstruction has even less variance/amplitude than in Ljungqvist. ”

    Stepped on a landmine big dog, absolutely correct.

  67. Jeff Id Says:

    That is what’s funny Maple, climatology is recognizing what you just pointed out. Regression style paleo doesn’t really work. You saw it with your own eyes and didn’t read well enough to understand that you called yourself out.

    Will you now recognize what I’m saying is potentially correct?

    Do you agree with yourself?

  68. MapleLeaf Says:

    Oh dear, I do not understand what you are getting so excited about (climate scientists have long acknowledged the limitations of their methodologies), and I have agreed that some methods might have more amplitude loss than others, I even encouraged you to write it up and publish for goodness’ sakes, so please stop arguing strawmen. Actually, this exchange seems to be more about you than the science. I suspected that before but thanks for showing it.

    And please stop putting words in my mouth, arguing strawmen and moving the goal posts. You entirely missed the point of me posting that extract. You claimed that the variance loss issue was being avoided and ignored (especially by Mann it seems– you gotta get over your obsession with him), you then gave me a link to illustrate that climate scientists agree that variance loss can be an issue, in the quote I posted the authors note that Mann and Moberg are amongst those scientists who acknowledge that particular issue (going back to 2000 with Huang). In fact, it seems various papers have been written on the issue. So you are being less than honest by making allegations that the limitations are being pushed aside.

    What I care about is whether or not the issues affect the final outcome. I’ll say it for the umpteenth time…despite the alleged variance loss, the reconstructions agree closely with Ljungqvist. So you are making mountains out of molehills, and hell bent on manufacturing controversy.

    “climatology is recognizing what you just pointed out…”
    A climatologist and climate scientist are different.

    “Regression style paleo doesn’t really work”
    You really do need to elaborate, substantiate and quantify these sweeping comments. I’m beginning to see why your paper has gone through three resubmissions.

    Anyhow, to stay on topic, I see that you are happy to defend Wegman’s and Said’s misconduct. That is very revealing of the true motives of your blog…

  69. Jeff Id Says:

    Maple,

    Thanks for your honest representation of your permanent opinion.

  70. bugs Says:

    # Jeff Id Says:
    October 17, 2010 at 03:24

    That is what’s funny Maple, climatology is recognizing what you just pointed out. Regression style paleo doesn’t really work. You saw it with your own eyes and didn’t read well enough to understand that you called yourself out.

    Will you now recognize what I’m saying is potentially correct?

    Do you agree with yourself?

    Do you agree it is possible to question science without resorting to personal attacks and accusations of fraud, conspiracy and incompetence.
    At least you have demonstrated it is possible to question science without being abusive and personalising issues.

  71. AMac Says:

    luminous beauty,

    Your post of (October 16, 2010 at 18:13) contains statements worth exploring.

    If one uses ARIMA to remove ‘noise’ from a reconstruction, one is actually removing signal, not ‘noise’. There are physical causes of auto-correlation in both tree rings and instrumental temperature records. This undermines Jeff’s argument as well as the M&M/Wegman/Von Storch random + red noise pseudo-proxy criticism of MBH.

    I think you are presenting these points as established facts — rather than as possible explanations, or as issues of legitimate, current controversy. Is it the case that ARIMA-like methods remove signal not noise? More generally, I think, the claim would be that that the “red” autocorellation of proxy time series is part of the climate signal, rather than “red noise”, i.e. “signal” from some non-climate-related source.

    This seems to me to be a very difficult question to definitively settle, given that the challenge of paleoclimate is the absence of “ground truth” in the form of instrumental records of temperature, precipitation, etc.

    Similar thoughts arise on reading this —

    The case for the presence of spurious correlation in tree ring climatology has itself been shown to be spurious, and the reasonable criticism of low frequency variance loss from realistic causes, i.e., short segment curse, has been largely compensated for by improved methodology.

    Can you point to cites that back up these assertions? (I recognize that most AGW Consensus scientists likely believe as you do; I’d like to gauge the robustness of the arguments for myself.)

  72. AMac Says:

    Eli (October 16, 2010 at 22:08)

    You have two choices [for selecting proxies]. You can start with the largest possible set of records you can find and apply some screening mechanism to find those that are proxys for local temperature. You will find that there are many that fail. OR you can select a relatively small set of records that you believe will be proxys for local temperature. If you are experienced at selection you will find fewer that are not proxys. The failure rate is simply an result of how far the net is cast.

    This seems like a pretty good description of the state of the art in paleoclimate. I think it is naive to believe that such methods are up to the task, that they will produce reconstructions with high truth-value as to past temperatures, and that the calculated uncertainties of results derived in this way will be reflective of the likely accuracy of the hindcast (cf. false precision).

    The Tiljander affair is instructive in this regard.

    As far as the first choice Eli lays out: note that these three data series were mistaken for four data series by Mann08’s authors. Not a promising start.

    Of the “four” data series, three passed Mann08’s screening, and were thus identified as proxies for local temperature (they were not).

    As to Eli’s alternative procedure — selecting a small set of records that the investigator believes are high in climate/temperature signal and low in noise — challenges there, as well. The question was, is, and always will be “How trustworthy was the “art” used by the investigators to make their selection; how free of bias was the process?”

    This is very similar to the after-the-fact approach to clinical trial design that has been definitively abandoned in pivotal studies of drugs and medical devices. Decades ago, its deficiencies seemed modest. Experience has taught that studies designed and conducted in this way often produce incorrect or misleading findings. These days, “everybody knows” that post hoc selection of data (patients) and analytical methods are disallowed.

    The most instructive aspect of Tiljander is that, two years on, the paleoclimate field has not acknowledged the mistakes that led to its selection and use, by the highest profile scientist in one of the highest-impact journals. Thus, no failure analysis. Thus, no lessons have been learned.

  73. MItch Says:

    It seems that AMac missed my earlier point–if a result seems controversial, scientists repeat the analysis using independent tests. Obviously AMac thinks that the tree ring data is controversial, so why doesn’t he comment on why borehole temperature signals, used to derive climate change via diffusion of long term temperature into the earth, and decline of glaciers, which average T and precipitation, give the same result?

    I was taught that statistics “is like a lamppost to a drunk, it is for support not illumination…” Even with that, other good statisticians have shown that the temperature rise via tree ring analysis stands up. AMac is trying to turn this into an angels on the head of a pin discussion, which has no relevance.

  74. AMac Says:

    > Obviously AMac thinks that the tree ring data is controversial

    As stated, this is not a sentiment I have ever expressed, because it is not what I think. In what respect might tree ring data be controversial? Presumably the phrase “some analyses of” is missing.

    I agree that multiple independent lines of evidence pointing to the same general conclusion is supportive of that general conclusion. That includes borehole analyses. Of course, this method has its own limitations, among them being a very coarse resolution with respect to that claimed for interpretations of tree ring proxies.

    At any rate, the Tiljander data series are varved sediments from the bottom of a shallow Finnish lake, not tree rings.

  75. Eli Rabett Says:

    AMac, there is an important role for expert judgment and it is not to be belittled. An elaborate version is the Delphi method, but, for example, the tree ring series for MBH 98 and 99 were selected by Hughes who had vast experience with them. He purposely selected series that he thought would have a strong temperature response based on his experience with dendrology.

    The failure to recognize the value of experience is a sure sign of paranoid style, but very common in the everyone is Galileo school of science practiced by blog scientists. Notable examples include Wikipedia, where experts are regularly hammered by the clueless. Eli had something to say about this a few years ago and he regularly turns down invitations to say something on subjects where he is clueless

  76. luminous beauty Says:

    Amac,

    You’ve been schooled on these issues repeatedly on this forum and others, yet here you repeat the same tired and unaltered opinions. Do you really believe Wegman’s distorted summary of Bradley’s textbook provides an adequate understanding of how climate information is derived from tree rings, or that McIntyre’s ‘upsidedown’ blather is a concisive analysis of Tiljander? Don’t you think that more detailed study, on your part, might reveal the limitations of your understanding?

    This is a blog comment section, not a university lecture hall. Please make an effort to inform yourself. I can’t be held responsible for your willful ignorance of difficult, complex and detailed subjects.

  77. AMac Says:

    Eli,

    I haven’t addressed the points you raised at 18:30, nor in that comment did you directly address what I had to say at 14:58.

    I agree with your remark about the importance of expert judgement. I think that the example I chose to illustrate my concerns — clinical trial design and execution — depends on similar expert input. While necessary, expertise is not sufficient in that area. In general, what constructive roles, if any, can be played by “citizen-scientists” is a fair topic for discussion.

    I’ll pass on everyone-is-Galileo and on allusions to paranoid style, in the absence of evidence that either is relevant to what I wrote.

    Luminous,

    I don’t know what “you’ve been schooled on these issues repeatedly on this forum and others” means. As far as “this forum,” while I’ve often read Bart, I’ve rarely commented here. It would be paranoid to suppose that you keep tabs on my page visits.

    I cannot identify the sources behind your paraphrase of what I “really believe” re: Wegman, so I’ve little to say about those notions.

    As far as the Tiljander data series, I believe at this point that I understand their relevance to paleoreconstructions about as well as anyone (though I still have some major open questions). Please click through to my blog if you are curious about the conclusions I have drawn, or what the supporting evidence is. “More detailed study” is always good advice, but unlikely to change the overall picture.

    If you wish to assert that Mann08’s employment of these data series in that paper’s paleoreconstructions was sound practice, I’ll repeat an offer I’ve made at Lucia’s Blackboard. Write up your thoughts on the subject, and I’ll host it as a guest post. Or if you prefer, post it on your own blog and I will give it a prominent link.

  78. MapleLeaf Says:

    How on earth did the self-styled and self-proclaimed “Auditor”– the same “Auditor” who speaks of the Wegman report as some kind of holy grail– miss all the damning shortcomings of and problems with the Wegman report?

    Well, IMO, there are a couple of possibilities. The self-styled “Auditor” is partisan hack with an agenda and turned a blind eye. Either that, or they did not know enough about the paleo data and literature to identify the problems in the first place, (i.e., ignorance and/or incompetence).

    Also, it is disturbing that when blatant and damning errors are pointed out to the ‘Auditor’ they elect to try and direct attention away from the problems but also grasp at straws to try and defend the problems, instead of investigating the matter further and getting to the root of the problem. A rather bizarre situation, and very telling of the “Auditor’s” true motives and agenda.

    The “Auditor” has tied himself to the Wegman report, in fact the “Auditor'” likely played a role in the drafting of the report. It was a strategic error by the “Auditor” to put all their eggs in one basket and to become a one-trick pony (i.e., Wegman report). Because, by doing so, when the Wegman report goes down the “Auditor” will go down with it and lose whatever inkling of credibility that they may have ever had on this issue.

  79. Jeff Id Says:

    ML,

    All true, except that they were right.

  80. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff,

    My post was actually about McIntyre. Glad to hear though that you agree with me about his motives and agenda, his strategic error and about him being a one-trick pony…..and that the WR had serious issues/problems.

    “except that they were right”
    Again with the vague sweeping generalizations. Who? About what exactly, everything or just one or two aspects which are inconsequential in the bigger scheme of things, and which have since been addressed by the paleo community?

    Earth to Jeff and Steve, it is 2010…..take your personal vendetta somewhere else.

  81. Jeff Id Says:

    Well ML, the math problem is very difficult to correct for and the results are what they are. Steve M is on the left side of the political spectrum (nobody’s perfect) and as my tease was meant to show that you are flailing in every direction and completely incorrect. Of course you are free to declare victory, it is the internet and that wouldn’t be the weirdest thing to happen there after all.

    On another note, I’m sorry for trashing your thread with this stuff Bart. It is fun beating up on the RC/Tamino attack choir because these people know I am not allowed to defend myself there and they won’t dare venture to an open forum at tAV. They have spent literally two years trashing me at RC and Tamino without my having any opportunity to make any kind of reply. This won’t be a regular problem.

    Thanks tho for the fun.

  82. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff, regarding your post @October 17, 2010 at 22:35 and mine at October 17, 2010 at 20:11. Could you please clarify for the record which of the following falls under “All true”, or do you agree with both statements?

    1) The self-styled “Auditor” [i.e., McIntyre] is partisan hack with an agenda and turned a blind eye. Either that,

    2) Or they [i.e., McIntyre et al.] did not know enough about the paleo data and literature to identify the problems [in Wegman] in the first place, (i.e., ignorance and/or incompetence).

    Thanks.

  83. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff,

    We cross posted. I just saw this:

    “and they won’t dare venture to an open forum at tAV.”

    Sorry, I have no interest in going to your site to have my IP investigated or worse (and no, that is not paranoid, I have seen what WUWT and their ilk do to dissenting views). Regardless, you have posted at RC (as shown above as recently as May 2010, possibly later), but they probably got tired of you rehashing the same old stuff and not listening to reason. Also, you are welcome to defend yourself in journals (whether that be on the net or print)– heck, I’ve even encouraged you, but you just make excuses.

    And I do not care what McIntyre’s alleged political leanings are….and again, please stop this juvenile vendetta against Mann et al.

    Night, night, don’t let you conscience bug you too much.

  84. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff,

    “They have spent literally two years trashing me at RC and Tamino without my having any opportunity to make any kind of reply.”

    Oh dudums. I’m seriously beginning to think that you are delusional. How many years have you and your ilk been attacking Mann et al., not to mention that Mann et al. have received many death threats et cetera. Honestly, you need to get a grip on reality and stop trying to play the martyr card, and defending ethically bankrupt people like Wegman.

    Unlike you, I do not cater to any “choir”. I said that I would respect the findings of the various inquiries into the SwiftHack affair (and PSU inquiries) which implicated some of the people at RC, and I have done just that– so it seems have most reasonable people. The contrarian choir though could not bring themselves to accept the outcomes of the inquiries…..sad.

  85. Jeff Id Says:

    Maple,

    You aren’t sophisticated enough to understand what you critique. That is why it’s fun to stir you up. As a suggestion you won’t take, read more, write less.

  86. willard Says:

    > If you want to pretend that Wegman was right but he’s wrong for whatever reason, go ahead and thread that needle North agreed with him though.

    A relevant quote from North’s response on the record:

    > Dr. Wegman’s criticisms of the statistical methodology in the
    papers by Mann et al were consistent with our findings.

    Sentences that follow this quote:

    > Our committee did not consider any social network analyses and we
    did not have access to Dr. Wegman’s report during our
    deliberations so we did not have an opportunity to discuss his
    conclusions. Personally, I was not impressed by the social
    network analysis in the Wegman report, nor did I agree with most
    of the report’s conclusions on this subject.

    Source: http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=109_house_hearings&docid=f:31362.wais

  87. J Bowers Says:

    On North’s opinion of the report, Eli has more.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/10/gerald-north-dishes.html

    “I was also somewhat taken aback by the tone of the Wegman Report, which seems overly accusatory towards Dr. Mann and his colleagues, rather than being a neutral, impartial assessment of the techniques used in his research. In my opinion, while the techniques used in the original Mann et al papers may have been slightly flawed, the work was the first of its kind and deserves considerable credit for moving the field of paleoclimate research forward. It is also important to note that the main conclusions of the Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent research.”
    — Gerald North

    Spin it how you like,

  88. snide Says:

    # Jeff Id Says:
    October 18, 2010 at 01:50

    Maple,

    You aren’t sophisticated enough to understand what you critique. That is why it’s fun to stir you up.

    Trolling.

    I would however raise some doubts about your own self estimation. As for Wegman being ‘right’, being right about a minor point does not make you correct about the report as a whole. It is an exercise in expanding one point into a condemnation of AGW research in general.

    I will repeat a previous quote.

    “I was also somewhat taken aback by the tone of the Wegman Report, which seems overly accusatory towards Dr. Mann and his colleagues, rather than being a neutral, impartial assessment of the techniques used in his research. In my opinion, while the techniques used in the original Mann et al papers may have been slightly flawed, the work was the first of its kind and deserves considerable credit for moving the field of paleoclimate research forward. ”

    The job of an auditor is not just one of finding errors, but finding what is correct and proper. Wegman and McIntyre fail on that score. If they really wanted to provide something useful to science, that would be aware of that and act appropriately.

  89. Jeff Id Says:

    Snide,

    Trolling – You’re right, I apologize to Mapleleaf for that. He/she just keeps tripping over himself agreeing with me while trying to criticize me. Twice in the last 4 days the criticism directed to me was exactly my point. ML really doesn’t understand what he writes IMO but I don’t need to kick him for it.

    ML’s history on other blogs caused me to shove back a little.

    As far as what is right in the paper, it was mathematical garbage. No result. It amplified one series above the rest as was shown repeatedly. Take away a small subset of data and the whole result changes. This is quite different from Ljungqvists result which doesn’t seem to matter which series are used.

  90. willard Says:

    > The job of an auditor is not just one of finding errors, but finding what is correct and proper.

    For the life of me I would never be tempted to call that a truism.

    The concept of scientific audit surely merits due dilligence.

  91. willard Says:

    Here is an hypothetical statement:

    > Gerald agreed with Edward about his work.

    Here is another one:

    > Gerald never read Edward’s work beforehand.

    A question that is certainly not hypothetical:

    > How can someone agree with someone’s work without having read it beforehand?

    The concept of agreement surely merits due dilligence.

  92. willard Says:

    It might perhaps be better to consider a more specific instance first:

    > How can someone [say Gerald] agree with someone else [Edward]’s work without having read it beforehand?

  93. snide Says:

    JI, to repeat

    “I was also somewhat taken aback by the tone of the Wegman Report, which seems overly accusatory towards Dr. Mann and his colleagues, rather than being a neutral, impartial assessment of the techniques used in his research. In my opinion, while the techniques used in the original Mann et al papers may have been slightly flawed, the work was the first of its kind and deserves considerable credit for moving the field of paleoclimate research forward. ”

    Mann’s work is not ‘garbage’.

  94. willard Says:

    I need more coffee:

    > Gerald agreed with Edward about his work.

    and

    > Gerald never read Edward’s work beforehand.

    Could you please make the correction, Bart?

    [Done. BV]

  95. Jeff Id Says:

    I didn’t say Mann’s work was garbage, I said the result in that paper was garbage.

  96. MapleLeaf Says:

    Bart,

    This thread is about the problems with the Wegman report. Have Jeff and I both gone OT? Yes, and I’m very sorry for that, I give people a hard time for going OT, so I’m not particularly happy I fell for that trap (at times). But, when one’s very first post here starts with:

    “The issues with the Mannian hockeysticks are more serious than you realize. When I started blogging on it, I was surprised that scientists didn’t understand the mathematical issues right away. “ [JeffId]

    Followed shortly by:

    “I don’t see how the hockeystick is a rationale for mitigation politics. ”
    Warmest in two thousand years, we must act now and stop using CO2! Never has the earth been warmer, Man is destroying the planet, we need a carbon tax. Greenpeace has stated that we must reduce economic output to cut emission. Chavez received a standing ovation for the elimination of capitalism based on the alarmism.”
    [JeffId]

    Some might rightly accuse that person of trolling after reading those early posts because they are clearly trying to direct attention away from the issues in Wegman and perhaps try and derail the thread right from the outset. And one could also justifiably get the impression that the person is not here to discuss the issue at hand in good faith.

    Now to try and stay on topic, I am very curious whether or not the ‘skeptics’ and contrarians will accept the findings of the GMU investigation and subsequent investigations?

    It is going to be interesting to see how they deal with any bad news on the Wegman report. For example, if it gets pulled. So far they have not dealt with this episode very well at all.

  97. RickA Says:

    MapleLeaf Oct. 18th at 17:47:

    You asked:

    I am very curious whether or not the ‘skeptics’ and contrarians will accept the findings of the GMU investigation and subsequent investigations?

    I will answer your question – before GMU even reports.

    I suspect that most skeptics will not care if GMU finds plagiarism.

    I suspect that most skeptics will not care if GMU finds no plagiarism.

    From my point of view as a skeptic, what matters about the Wegman report is their opinion on Mann’s statistics.

    Whether he didn’t cite Bradley properly (I personally don’t see the Bradley issue as plagiarism), or block copied social networking material from Wikipedia (this seems more likely) doesn’t change his reports conclusions at all.

    The statistics Mann used were wrong, and using Mann’s techniques, noise would give rise to a hockey-stick.

  98. MapleLeaf Says:

    RickA,

    Thanks for confirming my suspicions. You should know that there is a heck lot more wrong with the Wegam report than “just” plagiarism. Regardless, I strongly suspect that you would not be OK if there was damning evidence of Mann plagiarizing 35 pages of someone’s text (especially when the person he plagiarised was the very person he was maligning). Your post just underscores just how low the bar is set for scientific standards and ethics for “skeptics”.

    Even Mann accepts that there were some issues with the techniques employed in his seminal paper. It was a seminal paper and thus bound to have some issues. Science is always advancing and improving and building on previous successes, and mistakes even. It is now 2010, and there are now more Hockey Sticks than you can shake a, well, Hockey Stick at. This reality is terribly irksome for the “skeptics’, so they desperately need to keep the MBH98 faux controversy in the forefront as long as possible.

    You and your friends are making the mistake of failing to place the impact of the errors in context, and applying something that happened way back to fail not only all subsequent paleo work, but all climate science it seems. You and your friends can not see the forest for the trees. Please look at this:

    What Wegman determined, about a paper written over 10 years ago, is now largely irrelevant, the science has long moved on. However, how Wegman went about making his case is very relevant and very revealing about the tactics, sub-par scientific standards and bankrupt ethics of so-called ‘skeptics’.

  99. Neven Says:

    I personally don’t see the Bradley issue as plagiarism

    Well, then either you didn’t look at it, or b) you’re blind.

    And if it isn’t plagiarism, then it’s fabrication, which is even worse academic misconduct.

  100. Bart Says:

    Maple or others,

    Does the GMU also investigate those other issues beside plagiarism?

  101. RickA Says:

    MapleLeaf October 18, 2010 at 20:10.

    I am not the one that brought it up.

    It was Bradley that brought it up.

    If the Wegman report doesn’t matter than why attack it?

    I think it says more about your side of the debate than mine.

    It is probably getting more read time since the allegation of plagiarism than it ever did when it was first released.

    If everybody agrees that the Wegman report was right on its criticism of the Mann paper, that great.

    I am glad Mann agrees there were problems with his techniques and has “moved on”.

    I am simply saying that this plagiarism meme is irrelevant to the criticism of the Mann paper.

  102. RickA Says:

    Neven October 18, 2010 at 20:58:

    I did look at it and I am not blind, and I disagree with you.

    Lets see what GMU says and then revisit the issue of who is right or wrong.

  103. RickA Says:

    Bart October 18, 2010 at 21:07.

    My guess, for what it is worth, is that GMU will only be looking at violations of its plagiarism policy – period.

  104. Eli Rabett Says:

    Gerald North reaffirmed his views in a letter to the Washington Post today.

    While we did find some of the methods used in Michael E. Mann’s original papers to be less cautious than some of our members might have used, we have not found any evidence that his results were incorrect or even out of line with other works published since his original papers.

    and, as he said in a reply to the House Committee

    while the techniques used in the original Mann et al papers may have been slightly flawed, the work was the first of its kind and deserves considerable credit for moving the field of paleoclimate research forward. It is also important to note that the main conclusions of the Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent research.

    Which pretty much shoves the peanut Jeff Id has been pushing back up his nose.

  105. Jeff Id Says:

    Eli,

    North forgot two words.

    It is also important to note that the main conclusions of the Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent equally flawed research.

  106. MapleLeaf Says:

    RickA,

    “If the Wegman report doesn’t matter than why attack it?”

    Because “skeptics” are addicted to it like crack cocaine ;) Apologies to McIntyre, but I could not resist.

    There is damning evidence of scientific misconduct by Wegman, that alone is good enough reason for GMU to investigate Wegman to enforce and uphold standard and ethics.

    Re Bart’s question, I am not sure what the scope of the current investigation is. DC and/or John Mashey will be the best people to ask. As I understand it, right now they are investigating base don a complaint from Bradley. But, the scope of the investigation may widen, and there may be further investigations/inquiries, not limited to GMU.

  107. RickA Says:

    So it would appear that everybody agrees that the original Mann paper was “slightly flawed”. That would include Wegman, North, Mann, McIntyre, Mckitrick, JeffId and a host of others.

    So what is the big deal about the plagiarism allegations?

    Lets leave that between Bradley and Wegman (and GMU).

  108. MapleLeaf Says:

    Jeff,

    “Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent equally flawed research”

    You are contradicting and tripping over yourself. Ljungqvist states that his work agrees well with that of Mann08 and Moberg05, and you have stated publicly that Ljungqvist is an “honest” reconstruction. In fact, you seem quite in awe of it. Now, in the quote above you are in effect stating/suggesting that Ljungqvist is equally flawed.

  109. MapleLeaf Says:

    Rick,

    “Lets leave that between Bradley and Wegman (and GMU).”

    Wouldn’t you like that? This issue extends way beyond Wegman and Bradley, and you know that, or you should had you actually read Mashey’s evidence. Other prominent (well, vociferous at least) players in the paleo debate and climate science debate are implicated in the Wegman report.

    You are not going to be able to wish this away or dismiss it.

  110. RickA Says:

    MapleLeaf 10/18/1010 at 22:47:

    You are funny.

    Do you get to decide whether Wegman committed plagiarism?

    No.

    GMU will decide.

    Do you or Mashey get to participate in GMU’s decision?

    No.

    Only Bradley and Wegman get to participate in GMU’s process.

    So I will leave it to Bradley, Wegman and GMU.

    But by all means, go ahead and see if you can get a giant kerfuffle started.

  111. MapleLeaf Says:

    Rick,

    Sigh…you are arguing strawmen. And you grossly overstate my role in this ;)

    Wegman laid the groundwork for a “giant kerfuffle” when he elected to conduct or participate in scientific misconduct. And yes, that is not for me to decide, it is in the hands of the authorities now and this is likely only the start…..we now know from recent revelations that at least one publisher is pursuing legal action for plagiarism.

    Mashey’s evidence will very likely be considered/reviewed by GMU, so will evidence submitted by Bradley…so they do have a role in determining the strength of the case against Wegman and Said and other implicated in this. This is ultimately also a test as to whether or not GMU is a reputable academic institution.

  112. RickA Says:

    Mapleleaf:

    Wegman was asked to produce a report for congress.

    No one has yet concluded Wegman “elected to conduct or participate in scientific misconduct”.

    As I indicated earlier, I will await the GMU decision, and then we can revisit this issue.

    As a IP attorney, I can assure you that whatever legal action, if any, is being pursued against Wegman, it is not for plagiarism.

    There is no such legal action.

    Perhaps you are referring to copyright infringement?

  113. MapleLeaf Says:

    Rick,

    “Perhaps you are referring to copyright infringement?”

    Thanks Rick, that is indeed what I meant to say.

    I was not suggesting that he elected to do the report. Wegman is an academic, he knows what is right and wrong when it comes to citing previous work, he also knows it is wrong to misrepresent and distort previous research. So b/c of his background, he knew very well what he was doing, that is why I said “elected”.

    That all said, I strongly suspect that he is going to try and let Said take the fall for this….but doing so raises other problems for him.

  114. MarkB Says:

    The GMU investigation will involve investigating academic misconduct. As Deep Climate and John Mashey show, it’s certainly not confined to plagiarism, and the plagiarism is probably the least of the problems.

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/10/08/wegman-under-investigation-by-george-mason-university/#more-2679

    RickA writes:

    “So it would appear that everybody agrees that the original Mann paper was “slightly flawed”. That would include Wegman, North, Mann, McIntyre, Mckitrick, JeffId and a host of others.”

    Actually, McItrick and others go much beyond “slightly flawed”. “Slightly flawed” doesn’t really generate controversy.

    McItrick calls it “badly flawed” and falsely claims the NAS report agrees with him. He also cites “two expert panels”…make that one (the Wegman Report is a joke). He goes on to claim some IPCC conspiracy.

    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/10/01/ross-mckitrick-defects-in-key-climate-data-are-uncovered.aspx

    Of course, “badly flawed”, however ridiculous, is tame compared to the “hockey stick fraud” idiocy that McIntyre followers spew.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22hockey+stick%22+fraud&hl=en&num=10&lr=&ft=i&cr=&safe=images

  115. MarkB Says:

    RickA writes:

    “Do you get to decide whether Wegman committed plagiarism?

    No.”

    That’s odd. I thought bloggers were allowed to decide anything, and investigation exonerating the targets are whitewashes.

  116. Neven Says:

    So what is the big deal about the plagiarism allegations?

    The report was specifically ordered by the denial machine to echo the conclusions of Mc and Mc. Wegman delivered it tailor-made and had it fluffed up with copypaste work done by his assistants, because neither he nor they had sufficient knowledge about (paleo)climate science and social network stuff. But they had to give the impression that they did.

    The report was then presented to Congress as independent, impartial and expert by a group of eminent statisticians. It wasn’t independent, it certainly wasn’t impartial, and how can it be expert when the only eminent statistician lets large parts of the report be copypasted and then mangled by his students?

    Congress was misled. That’s how the denial machine works. That’s the big deal. And it is so much in your face that I cannot for the life of me understand how you manage not to see it.

  117. MarkB Says:

    This is the kind of stuff that’s worse than plagiarism…

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/10/dummys-guide-to-strange-scholarship-in_17.html

  118. Deep Climate Says:

    My sense is that GMU’s investigation would not go beyond the scope of the actual allegations. They might look at distortions as “fabrication” or “falsification”, but the distortions would have to be intentional, not merely due to extreme incompetence. And they would probably have to be an explicit part of the allegations.

    As to the actual allegations given to GMU, all we know for sure is what Bradley told USA Today – the allegations involve both the Wegman report and Said et al 2008. That necessarily implies that the Social Networks section is also part of the complaint, as this is the element in common between both papers. It should also be noted that the alleged plagiarsim of Bradley is not just on tree-rings, but also on ice core and coral proxies. The latter section contained no attribution whatsoever.

    It should also be emphasized that the alleged plagiarism is only part of an apparent and pervasive pattern of incompetence and dishonesty with regard to the Wegman report and the Barton/Whitfield investigation.

  119. Eli Rabett Says:

    Rick misunderstands a couple of things about research misconduct investigations.

    Bradley has no standing beyond that as a witness if the GMU committee chooses to hear him.

    GMU will have to report to the NIH Office of Research Integrity, so they are not completely free agents.

    And sorry Jeff, given the choice between you and Gerald North, Eli will stand with North. See how polite the Bunny can be when confronted with obvious silliness.

  120. Hank Roberts Says:

    Chuckle. They can’t win for losing.
    “Mann et al. (2008) gets a Medieval Warm Period that is warmer …”
    tamino.wordpress.com/2010/09/28/vindication/

    http://bit.ly/8YIAIk

  121. Deep Climate Says:

    The idea that the NRC “agreed” with the Wegman report on the central issues, as stated by Joe Barton in his Washington Post letter, is a blatant, flat out lie. So is the repeated assertion that the the Wegman report was independent and peer-reviewed.

    And, yes, Eli Rabett is right about misconduct proceedings. Anyone can make a complaint and the complainant has no particular standing.

    The involvement of the NIH Office of Research Integrity is a key element in all of this. It’s not even clear that the GMU inquiry treated the allegation concerning the federally funded Said et al 2008 properly or at all. And GMU certainly did not act in a timely manner.

    The host institution (GMU in this case) is required to update ORI on the progress of misconduct allegations concerning federally funded work, including receiving copies of all inquiry and investigation reports.

    GMU itself may be in serious trouble with the ORI if it has failed to address the allegations properly.

  122. Jeff Id Says:

    “And sorry Jeff, given the choice between you and Gerald North, Eli will stand with North. See how polite the Bunny can be when confronted with obvious silliness.”

    North played politician and anyone serious about truth would realize it. Like oxburgh etc, you guys need to quit worrying about the minor crap. It is nothing but dishonest politics which doesn’t change the result. Here I am telling you that Ljungqvist is math-honest yet Mann has flaws. I criticize MW10 the favorite skeptic recon for the same reasons.

    Employing Roman M’s work we produced the singularly highest surface temperature trend on the market from the dataset used and it is more accurate than anything climate science has ever produced.

    I believe that the Antarctic trend work at tAV is superior to some of the published literature as well.

    I know that variance loss in Mannian temp reconstructions is far worse than you claim.

    I know that Ljungqvist’s work is more correct.

    Numbers are numbers, the rest is politics. All I see in my detractors is a bunch of politicians trying to claim that they are experts with numbers.

  123. Hank Roberts Says:

    Ljungqvist says: “… reconstructions by Michael E. Mann … actually show an even warmer Medieval Warm Period than I do. I don’t think it is fair to refer to an outdated work (from 1999) when we have newer and better….”

    So Mann’s recent work exaggerates the Medieval Warmer Period?
    Innocent mistake, or do you see some deeper intent behind this?

  124. AMac Says:

    One reason why Jeff Id and his detractors are talking past one another is because Jeff is focusing on the math used to process the proxy signals, whlle everybody else is thinking about whether they like the results that the methods produce.

    “Like the results” means praise the paper and the scientist. “Dislike the results,” find reasons to scorn them.

    Jeff Id has been mocked in this thread for praising Ljundqvist 2010, as if that’s a sign of weakness. Well, it is, if politics trumps all.

    I don’t agree with all of Jeff Id’s politics. I respect him for working through the numbers and calling things as he sees them. In the technical posts on the Air Vent, concerning the global anomaly trend, the Antarctic temperatures, and now with the signal-retention aspect of Ljundqvist’s reconstruction method. Bart himself probably gets this; most of his commenters, not so much.

  125. John Mashey Says:

    I have never seen so many weird ideas about plagiarism and its sibling fabrication or misstatement, but they are amusing. As I wrote in SSWR, p.3:

    “Obvious plagiarism needs so little explanation that fabrications are not generally enumerated, especially as some errors might be attributed to incompetence. Either issue is taken seriously in academe.”

    In some places, fabrications are hard to tell from massive incompetence, but in a report widely promoted as “expert” by “eminent statisticians”, *either* one is trouble. A big chunk of this report was written by Said (less than a year post-PhD) with some help from grad students years 2+ years before PhD. This does not qualify as a team of eminent statisticians.

    Before people get hung up on trying to avoid or minimize the plagiarism, I suggest looking at Section 4, pp.33-35, especially the table on p.34. Plagiarism is merely the start, with relatively minor consequences compared to some of the others.

    For the publicly-available info:
    1, 2 are known underway via, Rapp’s comments at WUWT, esp #1-#3.
    For some reason, Rapp seems to believe what Wegman says.

    6, 7, 10, 12 are under way, i.e., they have all been reported to GMU. That’s 3 reported books plagiarized and one copyright (7). Obviously, anyone can report plagiarism, but only the copyright holder can pursue that one, and Elsevier is clearly on #2 and #7.

    A few items were omitted or have come up since. Some might to ponder the following combination:
    GMU provost concerns about academic integrity problems there, around the time of last accreditation. The report there has some good advice, not well followed.

    this describes the next accreditation review, due next Spring.

    All this interacts with the next item, and with the *processes* by which GMU does inquiries/investigations.

    ====
    items 15 and 25.
    A few people here have some inkling about DHHS ORI. People might explore DHHS web pages and ask themselves what would happen if someone sent ORI the documentation on Said, et al(2008), which Ack’ed a NIAAA contract [note typo later on p.34, that's not NOIAA, but NIAAA].

    Note that this is both a plagiarism issue, and a potential mis-use of funding issue. In addition, there is an institutional issue: Handling Misconduct – ORI Oversight Review.

    “When ORI receives a report of an institutional inquiry or investigation into allegations of research misconduct, it reviews the report for timeliness, objectivity, thoroughness, and competence.”

    An interesting fact: DHHS is GMU’s largest external research funder.

    People way wish to offer opinions on what they think ORI’s reaction would be, and whether or not ORI matters. My opinion comes with the help of Lewis Carroll, slightly edited:

    “Beware the JabberwORI, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!”

  126. MapleLeaf Says:

    AMac,

    “Jeff Id has been mocked in this thread for praising Ljundqvist 2010, as if that’s a sign of weakness. Well, it is, if politics trumps all.”

    You have not been following this closely. Not that I blame you for missing my point, but this spat about Jeff and Ljundqvist 2010 and Mann and Loehle spans two threads here– so it is difficult to follow.

    Jeff’s ‘weakness’, it seems, is that (like McIntyre) he can’t separate the science from his obsession with Mann and his vendetta against the “team”. I personally have no problem with Ljundqvist 2010 or Jeff endorsing it. I do have a problem how some people are unjustifiably using Ljundqvist to try and “vindicate” Loehle’s flawed analysis while also claiming that “Mann et al studies have been supported by subsequent equally flawed research.” Note the use of plural there, and note the suggestion that any study following MBH98,99 that supports Mann et al is “flawed research”. Well, where does that place Ljundqvist then? How does one reconcile Ljundqvist stating that his research agrees with Mann08, with a) the aforementioned quote stating that anyresearch which supports Mann et al’s work is flawed, and b) Jeff’s endorsement of Ljundqvist?

    Me calling Jeff on that logic fail is not politics, it is calling somebody on tying themselves in knots when politicizing the science and spinning the science to fit their game plan/agenda. I do not think Ljundqvist would appreciate Jeff and
    Craig using his paper for those purposes.

    And yet again, if you read the Open Thread I have supported some of Jeff’s work and encouraged him to publish….that said, Jeff really undermines his credibility and greatly devalues his efforts by engaging in the rhetoric, floating conspiracy theories and trying to politicize the science etc. One only has to read his blog or his posts on the web to see that.

    Anyhow, I’m not sure what your post or my response has to do with the Wegman scandal, so I think that we should move on.

  127. Bart Says:

    Jeff,

    It seems to me that the main point of this discussion is that Wegman played politician and anyone serious about truth would realize it.

  128. Jeff Id Says:

    Bart,

    I really can’t read the whole Mashey thing. It’s meandering and very poorly assembled mash of conspiracy and conjecture and is highly political itself. I’m not planning to live long enough to decipher it.

    It is reasonable though from DC’s work that Wegman did not write a perfectly unbiased report on paleo. However, some of the ‘political’ wording changes and interpretations Wegman made from Bradley were more correct than the original. From memory, I would describe some of them as lucid nuanced corrections to the descriptions of the biased signal handling by the science itself.

    That said, I agree that some of the other wording did look like simple politics to me and were disappointing, so your point is well taken.

    To fairly interpret the reality of the situation tho, we only need to turn our eyes a little to the left as we get literally GT of politics from the paleo ‘scientists’ themselves. I’m sure everyone of reasoned thought here would agree that the balance of politics in AGW paleo science is highly evident and very much one sided. I notice few complaints about that though, only about some wording changes and plagiarism from Wegman who copied a guy who was cited who copied another who was not.

    I don’t know your own math background Bart, but if you understand short-centered PCA, you know Wegman was still correct about Mann’s work, and that is really the bottom line.

  129. snide Says:

    I don’t know your own math background Bart, but if you understand short-centered PCA, you know Wegman was still correct about Mann’s work, and that is really the bottom line.

    But that wasn’t what Wegman made of the matter, or how the Wegman report was used.

    # Jeff Id Says:
    October 18, 2010 at 16:21

    I didn’t say Mann’s work was garbage, I said the result in that paper was garbage.

    You should read a few Climateaudit or WUWT threads. “Upsidedownmann”. Good grief.

  130. snide Says:

    I don’t know your own math background Bart, but if you understand short-centered PCA, you know Wegman was still correct about Mann’s work, and that is really the bottom line.

    I also wonder why Republican Senators from congress had to commission a 91 page report with three authors to point out that Mann had made a mistake in centering his PCA. Do they do that with every published paper in which an error was made?

  131. Bart Says:

    Jeff,

    I didn’t read the whole report from Mashey either, but the exec summary is very doable in short time and informative.

    I’m not planning to live long enough to decipher the whole hockeystick controversy either. We all have to make choices as to what to do with our time. I’m more interested (and versed) in physical reasoning and contextual issues regarding the societal versus the scientific debate than in mathematical details.

  132. AMac Says:

    Maple Leaf,

    Thanks for the civil and focused response @6:57. Re: “Me calling Jeff on that logic fail is not politics…” — I’d suggest you check the quotes you marshalled in your comment. Read carefully, they support my position more than your own.

    You might prefer that Jeff restrain his political commentary so that his citizen-scientist work shines through more clearly. I might too. But it’s his blog and his choice–and to state the obvious, I can’t think of an A-List pro-AGW Consensus blog where the proprietor doesn’t shout his/her policy views to the rafters. Consistency check: does that bother you, too?

    I have witnessed technical posts where Jeff follows where the evidence takes him, even when the conclusions don’t jibe with his policy views. Would that that were a commonplace in the AGW Wars. It’s not.

  133. John Mashey Says:

    AMac
    Just out of curiosity, do you also subscribe to Jeff Id’s clear href=”http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/data-or-politics/”>views here, i.e. search for “socialist”:

    “No global warming again but that won’t stop the media onslought. The media won’t let the data slow them from continuing our march toward world-wide socialist governance. You may find that statement extreme, in which case my opinion is – you aren’t paying attention.”

  134. MapleLeaf Says:

    Hi AMac,

    “I can’t think of an A-List pro-AGW Consensus blog where the proprietor doesn’t shout his/her policy views to the rafters.”

    I cannot comment until you are more specific, and this should probably be on the Open thread.

  135. MapleLeaf Says:

    AMac, I’m taking this to OT 2.

  136. AMac Says:

    John Mashey @ 16:45,

    No.

    Maple Leaf @ 16:51,

    Thanks again for civility; I’ll put a quick comment on the OT.

  137. MarkB Says:

    Jeff Id writes:

    “It is reasonable though from DC’s work that Wegman did not write a perfectly unbiased report on paleo.”

    That’s the understatement of the day. Jeff Id might as well be Joe Barton.

  138. snide Says:

    “No global warming again but that won’t stop the media onslought. The media won’t let the data slow them from continuing our march toward world-wide socialist governance. You may find that statement extreme, in which case my opinion is – you aren’t paying attention.”

    In other words, just another wacko conspiracy theorist.

  139. Rattus Norvegicus Says:

    If Wegman had confined himself to the analysis of the effect of sort centered (for lack of a better term) PCA he would have been on solid ground. Nobody, including Mann, disagrees with this. The important thing is was there any impact on the concludions and the answer appears to be no.

    An interesting this is this GMU appears to be taking his very seriously as indicated in post from Wegman’s Facebook wall. See point two. He is shall we say, not happy.

  140. phil_style Says:

    “gaffe” is the new “gate” : http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/skeptic-gate-wegman-gate-copy-gate-everything-gate-gate-gate/

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