The Tree-Ring Circus

…may be the costliest show on earth.

A good review of the “investigations” that have “exonerated” climate scientists.

[Update a few minutes later]

Related thoughts from Mark Steyn on the projection of the True Believers, and devotees to “the cause.”

“A debate where none should exist”. Why shouldn’t it exist? And, if it’s “infected” the national legislature of the global superpower and leading media outlets, what makes it the view of “a fringe minority” other than that you label it as such? Why does Mann’s definition of “anti-science” now embrace not just know-nothing blowhards like yours truly but also scientists such as Judith Curry, Richard Muller, Richard Lindzen, etc? Garth Paltridge was Australia’s chief atmospheric research scientist but because he disagrees with Big Climate alarmism, a man who has devoted his life to science is suddenly “anti-science”? And to enforcers like Dr Mann this is all so obvious that no debate “should exist” – or be permitted to exist.

You should always listen carefully when someone is telling you to shut up – whether it’s the Organization for Islamic Co-Operation demanding an international law against “blasphemy”, or Michael Mann demanding that his own cult can likewise not be questioned.


111 thoughts on “The Tree-Ring Circus”

  1. A lot of books will be written about Mann and the team, and they’ll probably draw parallels to another group of scientists and acolytes.

    ‘How could Lysenko have obtained sufficient power and influence to subjugate his
    colleagues, win the support of the radio and the press, the approval of the Central Committee and of Stalin in person, to the extent that today Lysenko’s derisory truth is the official truth guaranteed by the state, that everything that deviates from it is “irrevocably outlawed” from Soviet science. . . . All this is senseless, monstrous, unbelievable. Yet it is true. What has happened?’

    That’s from page 21 of Marx to Mao about “proletarian” science, which also says:

    … no one could miss the seriousness of the injunction it unambiguously formulated: biologists were to support Lysenko’s conceptions, his theory of heredity, or else they would ipso facto be joining the camp of the heirs of Nazism, the side of what were denounced at Wroclaw as the ‘forces of darkness’. It was also clear that the summons was not addressed to biologists alone but to all scientists and intellectuals.

    Anyone who disputes Mann on any point is a “denialist” – and obviously a Fascist shill for big oil who wants all our children to die. Some of Mann’s supporters state that anyone who disputes any part of his theory should be rounded up and put in re-education camps.

    After a stinging criticism of the ‘supposedly scientific’ content of the article in Les Lettres françaises, denouncing notably its obvious falsification of the theses of classical genetics, Daumas concluded that this was not indeed a matter of a scientific debate proper, analogous for example to the memorable disputes between Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire or Newton and the Cartesians: ‘In fact, the recent Moscow debates take us back to the epoch of Galileo. With them come the same procedures of intimidation, the same arguments (almost literally) to smear theses and individuals, the same one-sidedness, the same absolutism. . . .

    The great sorrow of our epoch – it can no longer be a matter of indignation – is thus that such an undertaking should be possible today. But those who have launched it with such massive publicity should remember that despite the Congregation, Copernicus’ system triumphed over Ptolemy’s.

    The Earth will keep generating data, and it’s not going to match the theory shoved down everyone’s throats.

    1. Regarding my first quoted passage, I should have juxtaposed it with this one from Rand’s first link:

      Although science behind that hockey stick chart has now been thoroughly challenged, its creator, Dr. Michael Mann, is a harsh critic of skeptics who dare to question the existence of the crisis he has failed to prove. His January 15 New York Times Op/Ed column titled “If You See Something, Say Something” charges that despite an overwhelming consensus among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is happening, a “virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of a few leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.”

      Lysenko would nod in agreement. His theories are not to be questioned, and as questioning them amounts to acting as a crypto-Nazi, anyone who dares should be silenced – because science!

      Regarding my second quoted passage, there’s this in Rand’s link:

      Having already concluded not only that global warming is dangerous, but also that human emissions pose that threat, Mann then urges “mainstream scientists” (presumably all of those who agree with him) to get directly involved in remedial technology and policy activism. Such involvement includes determining whether to go “full-bore” on nuclear power, whether to invest in and deploy renewable wind, solar and geothermal energy on a huge scale, and whether to price carbon emissions through cap-and-trade legislation or by imposing a carbon tax.

      All scientific endeavors must be subsumed to support the truth of Global Warming, or heritable traits, or whatever it is that these idiot little Napoleons come up with! Working on flu transmission? Better link it to global warming and serve the cause. Working on laser spectroscopy? Comrade scientists, you must ask yourself how your research can advance the cause of climate knowledge by building better sensors! Working on automobiles or airplanes? Then show how to increase their performance to reduce global impacts, or be silenced. Performing research on diabetes? Then show how diabetes patterns will be affected by global warming, because why waste time on a few current patients when climate change may present us with a future where everyone is diabetic?!

      It’s the same thing. The same line of absolutist nonsense, corrupted cause, intolerance, paranoia, delusion, and overweening ego in a bunch of conspiratorial thugs who aren’t very bright, and certainly aren’t ethical or honest.

        1. Anyone who quotes Wikipedia on even less contentious subjects cannot be taken seriously. Anyone who quotes it on climate science should be considered brain dead.

          1. I’d add that I have (a small amount of) personal experience in editing Wikipedia climate pages. I recently decided to invest a few hours in seeing if I could fix an inaccuracy in several of the pages. Or at least to watch the policemen there stop me. You can read about my antics here
            (and a couple of other similar pages). Net result: all changes disappeared quickly, and a lot of familiar names show up on the Talk page to explain Why. Why is always reasonable-sounding reasons to do what they want, but what they want always points in the same direction. Unfortunately, the result is that important facts (in the case I noted, that 52% of AGU members in a survey don’t agree with the Consensus) are hidden. Someone reading the main page will never know that there was ever a survey that didn’t support the consensus. The same was true for all the surveys there: some consensus-y fact was picked out of the survey and judged appropriate; other facts that tend to dampen the enthusiasm were not.

            I had a similar experience with the set of pages there involving extreme weather attribution. The reader about Hurricane Sandy, Global Warming section ( will not know that the IPCC SREX special report had Low Confidence in attribution of current weather events, including this one. Instead he will read a full paragraph with theories of various (important) researchers who are _against_ the current consensus. The folks in charge of the page (same folks) just would not allow the SREX information in the page nohow. (In this case, even my contributions to the Talk page are now gone. All is peaceful there.)

          2. Probably because like almost all conservatives, he’s never heard of it until a liberal told him about it. Conservatives don’t need their own encyclopedia, they just wish that liberals would quit trying to rewrite the ones we have to conform to Marxist, feminist, Nazi, Fascist, wacko environmental, and racist thought.

          3. Well, it’s not just liberals. My son is trying to study Iranian and Afghani politics, and it seems to be impossible to use Wikipedia to get anything useful. People who like Al Qaeda and those who hate them and hate Jews too and plenty of others keep changing the pages to suit their personal insanities. Wikipedia works on non-controversial subjects. On controversial subjects you are guaranteed to get someone’s attempt at PR.

        2. Yes, and Connelly and his Wikipedia crew are notorious believers whose editing actions caused some of the biggest issues regarding fairness and accuracy in Wiki history.

          The things is, skeptics don’t want to silence climate scientists, global warmists, are anyone, because if we did we’d be deprived of a wealth of hilarious nonsense to debunk, involving horrible math, invalid or made-up statistics, a lack of understanding of either the basic or the particulars of any scientific field you can name, or the basic procedures science follows. It’s like throwing dodge balls at a bunch of kids in Romper Room who invariably get hit upside the head.

          In contrast, the warmists can’t tolerate any dissent, even from people who were on their own side. That type of behavior has been observed countless times in countless situations, along with their constant paranoia that any skeptic is a paid shill and their conviction that if they just commit enough identity fraud the schemes will be revealed.

          Well, there are schemes, but those came out in the UEA e-mail dumps, and the schemes were all from the warmists who were plotting to get people fired, take over scientific journals, and even rewrite what constitutes science. Their egos and ambitions know no bounds, just like Lysenko and his followers.

          The skeptics, meanwhile, intend to continue our day jobs, while keeping the corrupt band of incompetent boobs from completely derailing the practice and reputation of science as a worthwhile human endeavor.

          1. You are exactly right, George. I cannot believe the volume of shoddy analyses which are being passed off as “science” by the warmist brigades.

          2. Well said, George. I particularly like the comparison to Stalin-era “official truth”.

            I have to admit, I used to believe in Manmade Global Warming, including its predictions. The reasons I believed it were several; the “match” between CO2 rise and temps, the soaring temps in 1998, and also the “Consensus”, and the apparent (to me at the time) lack of detailed contrary arguments (remember, this was 1997-1998) . However, by 1999, I was starting to have nagging concerns, so I stated looking into it a bit, and then around 2000 I saw the finer-resolution data from the Vostock ice cores, which still showed a CO2-temp link, but, they showed a lag; the CO2 levels lagged temp by centuries. (so if temperatures go up, CO2 levels follow, and visa versa). This was earthshaking to me. I was still unsure, until I saw the massive disparities at the end of the last glacial era, where the lag is massively clear; temps started going up a lot, but it took hundreds of years for CO2 to follow the new trend and go up too. That, plus the surface station siting issue (so many are in areas that have become more urban over time; a fact I was aware of before the excellent work of Anthony Watts proved it had even more impact than I’d thought) but me in the skeptics camp by around the end of 2000. Then, of course, came the revelations of fraud and conspiracy with climate-gate (Hiding the decline, attempting to keep temp data records secret, etc).

            Now, we’re seeing downright fascist behavior from some warmists; the attempts to silence dissent.

            On another Stalin-related note, I have to admire the marketing savvy of the warmists; they’ve changed the name of their cause twice; from Manmade Global Warming to Global Warming, and then to Climate Change. This is taking a play right out of Stalin’s book when it comes to official sloganeering, and it’s also devilishly effective; it’s impossible to argue against climate change per se, because Earth’s climate is indeed changing, as it always has (for the last few hundred million years, at least).

            Exit question; why did those who profess to believe Anthropogenic Global Warming to be a fact feel the need to change its name twice? What was their motive?

          3. I think we’re all (except for Andrew) in the same boat as you, Bart. When the theory was advanced we all believed it because it seemed to make sense. But the combination of discrepancies with observations and the behavior of the warmist scientists threw up a lot of big red flags. What should have been an objective scientific endeavor was hijacked by radicals who were playing fast and loose with the data, and quite obviously so. Even many climatologists who were once believers, like Judith Curry, went through the same thing.

            We didn’t see some equivalent to the insights of relativity or the technical breakthroughs of the Manhattan Project, we got a bunch of unsupportable claims that sounded more like what we’d hear from a bizarre cult like Scientology, which also claims to be “science.”

            What’s troublesome to me as that Andrew will at some point see it for what it is and have a series of epiphanies, and then to keep these threads active and fun we’ll have to go out and find some new believer to come visit us so we can stay entertained. The situation wouldn’t exist if the warmists and honestly concerned climatologists hadn’t been seduced and misled by Mann and the Team, who grossly overplayed their hand to intentionally mislead the scientific community and all of mankind to satisfy their own vanity and sense of purpose. Without their overreach, there would be very few skeptics, because the antics of Mann and the Team did more to create skeptics than anything the entire industrial and financial establishment could possibly generate.

            In many ways, we should regard their mathematical and scientific ineptitude and complete lack of ethics or scientific standards as a blessing.

          4. Arizona CJ February 6, 2014 at 6:08 pm:

            That, plus the surface station siting issue (so many are in areas that have become more urban over time; a fact I was aware of before the excellent work of Anthony Watts proved it had even more impact than I’d thought) but me in the skeptics camp by around the end of 2000.

            You are joking aren’t you?


            As a co-author with climatologists (including John Christy and Roger A. Pielke, Sr.) on a paper with Souleymane Fall as lead author, Watts conducted further analyses of temperature trends reported by weather stations. Using data from 82.5% of the North American surface stations, they found,”Temperature trend estimates vary according to site classification, with poor siting leading to an overestimate of minimum temperature trends and an underestimate of maximum temperature trends, resulting in particular in a substantial difference in estimates of the diurnal temperature range trends.”[47] While, overall mean temperature trends were found to be nearly identical between poorly sited and well-sited stations, “The opposite-signed differences of maximum and minimum temperature trends are similar in magnitude, so that the overall mean temperature trends are nearly identical across site classifications.”[47]

          5. You realize that NOAA started dropping the stations Anthony Watts questioned like a rock, after quite a few years, don’t you? They do not average out, as WIki claims. Urban or developed locations are much warmer during the day, and even warmer than that at night. Cities create a nighttime heat bubble, because things like brick and asphalt retain heat better than grass or trees.

          6. You realize that NOAA started dropping the stations Anthony Watts questioned like a rock, after quite a few years, don’t you? They do not average out, as WIki claims.

            Urban or developed locations are much warmer during the day, and even warmer than that at night. Cities create a nighttime heat bubble, because things like brick and asphalt retain heat better than grass or trees.
            That’s what was alluded to by Watts in the wiki quote.

          7. The reference would be Scott Smullen, Deputy Director of NOAA who told his staff to take Watt’s criticisms seriously, and then last summer ordered the closure of 600 of the poorly sited weather stations.

            His number is at NOAA’s media page, but he’s probably out of the office till Monday.

          8. The problem is that the weather stations were never intended to monitor climate change. They were often placed at airports, to report…you know…local weather, which is sort of important for aviation. They didn’t have to be closed, but they certainly shouldn’t be and should never have been used for these kinds of studies. But those desperate to come up with evidence for their thesis were seizing at any kind of data they could find, be it tree rings or badly-placed weather stations, to support it, with insufficient concern for its validity.

          9. Your daily high – as scientifically recorded in the exhaust stream of a Pratt & Whitney PW4000-100 on the port side of an Airbus A330, then smoothed, averaged, filtered, and adjusted.

            BTW, I’m listening to an hour-long interview with Judith Curry by Russ Roberts at the Library of Economics and Liberty. It’s very good, and includes a full transcript.


      1. Thanks. I don’t know who came up with the unbelievable claim that not a single published paper in all of 2013 disputed the dire threat of global warming, but that one is ridiculously stupid. I was sure I spent 2013 reading new scientific papers which dispute catastrophic global warming, but apparently I just dreamed all that. It reminds me of hard shell Baptists from the hills who might assert that not a single mistake or contradiction has ever been found in the Bible. When people start going there in public, you know you’re not dealing with anything close to a rational or informed mind.

        I think the Lysenko comparisons in my first two comments might be worth working on. The parallels are extremely close, and Lysenko and his supporters viewed it as a moral issue in which dissent was obviously immoral, linking dissenters or doubters to “dark forces” and tying them to the Nazis, exactly as alarmists routinely do with “denialist”. They are blind and brainwashed, but they can’t see it, and Andrew would be a stellar example. He believes, and he believes it all, whatever this week’s story from the pulpit may be, because he’s a good and just person who understands how science must protect the proletariat and we’re obviously not, being shills for Island Creek Coal Corporation or whatever this week’s smear is.

        Like Lysenko, Mann and the team combine some strong convictions about “truth”, a lot of cherry picking, a bunch of invalid statistics, moral certainty that mankind’s survival is at stake, scientific incompetence, and a lack of ethics, and seized a bully pulpit to browbeat competent or skeptical scientists, decrying them from sun up to sun down as immoral capitalist shills. They try to control the debate and the funding, getting people who disagree fired or sent to the gulags unless they recant and toe the party line. The ardent believers try to take over scientific journals to control access (which was explicitly discussed by Mann in the UEA e-mails) and use their control to limit information and suppress dissenting views. If not for the Internet, Mann would have been as successful as Lysenko and just as much a detriment to science. Mann and Lysenko will be linked as object lessons in how science can be hijacked by incompetent bullies long after Jerry Sandusky fades to an obscure piece of local college lore.

      2. Oh, and I forgot to add that the reason Lysenko was able to take control of a major scientific establishment is that he and his team claimed that their results were profound and repeatable. Many other’s failed to replicate them, but Lysenko’s supporters claimed this was because they just weren’t as good at “science”. After that, contrary results were suppressed, fake results were lauded, and scientists learned not to cross him or the team, lest they be denounced and see their careers end, if they could even get published.

        Andrew is fully on board with this with his constant posting of hockey stick results which all come from the same little band of idiots, and which are contradicted by results from around the world where the scientists have an interest in understanding the history of their local climate instead of paying homage, just as non-communist geneticists interests in actual genetics had no interest in lying or fudging to support Lysenko’s results.

        1. contradicted by results from around the world
          So supply a link to the true and correct NH or global paleotemperature reconstruction, you know, the one that doesn’t show a hockey stick.

          1. Ah yes, the time honored fallback position of the crank. When in doubt, ignore the necessity to prove your own position, demand that your opponent prove a negative instead.

            All paleotemperature reconstructions are of questionable validity. It is an immature science which has produced only incomplete results of unknown quality, as has climate modeling. The idea that we should base multi-trillion dollar decisions on any results from such immature fields of study is at best highly questionable and at worst dangerous to the welfare of mankind. Anyone who extols the virtues of diminished scrutiny and debate of such results and plans which are utterly dependent on the finest details of such results is intellectually dishonest in the extreme and negligent of the well-being of human civilization.

          2. Ah yes, the time honored fallback position of the crank. Blah, blah, blah.
            Shorter: Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt, Cast doubt,

          3. Because about the long term future state of a chaotic system with poorly characterized local inputs and barely understood remote inputs (the sun) and feedback paths that aren’t even yet suspected, THERE CAN BE NO DOUBT!!!!

            You must believe, with all your heart and soul, and take into your heart repentance for mankind’s emissions, taking comfort in the knowledge that if you confess to your sins, you too can fly to climate conferences on your own private Boeing, confident that the atmosphere will know that the carbon atoms your jet emits are a force for good, fighting the effects of carbon atoms emitted by the vain, the greedy, the gluttonous, the lustful, the slothful, and those envious of the anointed ones who hold mankind’s fate in the balance and are willing to reduce the temperature in their gas-heated outdoor swimming pools to share the burden of our suffering.

        2. Even a few such graphs make it through Wikipedia’s editors, like this one.

          Note that the current temperature is shown to be lower than it was for most of the Holocene, and most the curves have us lower than the MWP until you get to a graph that uses Mann’s “Nature Trick” to hide the decline.

          1. most the curves have us lower than the MWP
            You what?
            They do not, the MWP was around 1000AD, none of those graphs show temperatures at that time to be warmer than the 2004 temperature indicated.

            No one has claimed todays temperatures are warmer than they were during the Holocene optimum.

          2. Oh, and according to Bart you’re brain dead.
            Anyone who quotes Wikipedia on even less contentious subjects cannot be taken seriously. Anyone who quotes it on climate science should be considered brain dead.
            Though the reality is that it’s Bart who’s the moron, Wiki has proven itself one of, if not the most reliable general reference sources, and does, after all, supply outstanding references, it’s way better than “Bart” is as a reliable source.

          3. “Wiki has proven itself one of, if not the most reliable general reference sources…”

            No further comment needed.

          4. They do not, the MWP was around 1000AD, none of those graphs show temperatures at that time to be warmer than the 2004 temperature indicated.

            Except for the light blue line, the light red line, the brown line, the purple line, etc. You need to make sure your laptop is horizontal when you look at them. It’s an important technique that engineers learn.

            No one has claimed todays temperatures are warmer than they were during the Holocene optimum.

            You haven’t been paying attention much. Try Googling “unprecedented temperatures” and the top hit claims temperatures in the arctic are the highest in 44,000 years. Here’s another story (calling it a study would be an insult to science) where Joe Romm says that current global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 20,000 years.

            Yes, the warmists do claim that current temperatures exceed any level in the Holocene.

          5. Except for the light blue line, the light red line, the brown line, the purple line, etc. You need to make sure your laptop is horizontal when you look at them. It’s an important technique that engineers learn.

            Maybe you forgot to look at the time period on the x axis or something, hint, 1000BP means a 1000 years before the present, that’s when the MWP was.


          6. Your reading comprehension is sadly lacking again, the Romm study is saying that the rate of warming is higher now than it has been for 20,000 years, not that the temperatures today are higher than they have been in 20,000 years, so you get another D- for that.

            The other study refers to the Arctic temperatures, the Arctic isn’t quite the same thing as the Earth or even the NH, maybe you’ll next find something about temperatures in Tierra Del Fuego 18,000 years ago to prove what the weather was like on Mars back then.

          7. So you ignore the Holocene wiki’s graph of various temperature reconstructions that weren’t all by “The Team” and substitute Wiki’s heavily edited MWP graph, in which almost all but one or two of the lines are by The Team? That’s like the Mythbusters phrase “I reject your reality and substitute my own!” ^_^

            Both graphs cover 1000 AD (or 1000 BP), but they show very different temperatures at that time. You keep claiming that no reconstructions show temperatures warmer during the MWP than present, yet I just provided a Wiki chart that’s somehow still eluded their censors which shows just that.

            The point is that almost all temperature reconstructions prior to Mann’s hockey stick showed that the MWP was warmer than present, and as Mann and the Team discussed in their e-mails, they regarded this as a big problem. If temperatures are still mild, how can they convince world leaders of the urgent need to cut emissions? So Mann came up with his “multi-proxy” study based on a bad proxy (tree rings, which have numerous problems I’ve already discussed), and then spliced and diced it with other proxies to hide the fact that even his own tree rings show declining late 20th century temperatures. He got called out on his statistical methods and the ensuing debate became famous and polarizing.

            Even Briffa, charter member of The Team, has since had to back away from the Hockey Stick, as his 2013 paper that reanalyzed his yamal reconstruction ended up looking exactly like McIntyre’s earlier “corrected” reconstructions of what their samples should have shown. Even prior to that, the IPCC had abandoned its devotion to the Hockey Stick, so Team Members aren’t the only ones running away from it.

            But it remains stuck in some people’s heads as some kind of religious icon and their burning faith won’t let them see anything else. No matter how many non-team reconstructions they see that show the MWP, all they can see is a hockey stick. Once its ominous spell gets broken, their analytical brains can return to normal functioning, but until then they’re like people caught in a nightmare.

          8. Regarding my Romm link, and your D- grade based on your claim that Romm only said the rate of warming was different, his article claimed multiple times that the current warming “is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause.

            What’s interesting is that when you look back longer into the Vostok and other ice core series, not only do you see much higher CO2 concentrations, you see much higher CO2 concentrations and rates of CO2 increase while the Earth was both cooler, and while its temperatures were plummeting. The CO2 and temperature graphs are out of phase (with temperature leading CO2), so you see temperature swings going the opposite direction from CO2 levels, and doing so while CO2 rates are moving strongly opposite the temperature rates. Romm and his the other acolytes have to ignore such historical data.

          9. When someone says that “every temperature reconstruction shows a clear Hockey Stick”, or the like, it’s clear that that person hasn’t been following the discussions in the field that have been raging for a decade or more. That can easily happen if one only reads one side, especially when that one side is taking care never to acknowledge when the other side makes a strong point.

            Anyhow, as far as I know, McIntyre’s claim remains true: There has never been a reconstruction that shows a Hockey Stick that wasn’t based on one of several bad proxies. Certain tree rings, but also some Tijander sediments which had to be included upside down, and a few others. There have been many studies, but as each one is published he has a few posts showing that the same proxies appear in them, and that the hockey stick goes away if you remove them.
            As I posted from Robert Way at Skeptical Science a little while back (, many scientists in the field try to stay away from the hockey stick stuff because they don’t trust it.

          10. Come on George, you are reading the articles and applying critical thinking skills. For Andrew, his commentary is simply a game, akin to “I know you are but what am I”

          11. George, we are talking about this graph, right??


            Now, if you look closely at it you’ll see a little arrow on the right hand side with 2004 next to it, that’s the temperature for the year 2004AD, OK, got that?

            Now if you look across the bottom of the graph you’ll see “Thousands of years BP”, this means thousands of years before present, simple enough?

            Next, if you go to the point 1 (thousand years BP) and trace upwards (you can use your finger for this if it helps), you’ll be able to see that none of the lines are as high as the arrow indicating the temperature for 2004, OK, not too complicated?

          12. the current warming “is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause.”

            Correct, note the word “warming”, “warming” is a process by which things get warmer, if Romm had said “the current temperature” “is unprecedented in magnitude” you’d know what you were talking about.

          13. George said: What’s interesting is that when you look back longer into the Vostok and other ice core series, not only do you see much higher CO2 concentrations,. . . .

            I’ll take a wild guess that you mean higher CO2 than the ~400ppm than today, if so, you’re wrong once again, ice cores do not show such high CO2 concentrations.

            I’m starting to think this is all just a wind-up, you can’t seriously be so wrong so consistently.

          14. Sorry George, I suddenly understand your confusion about that graph, there is no 1000 years BP indicated on the x-axis!
            What you need to understand is that 1000BP is halfway between zero years BP and 2000 years BP.

          15. Now, if you look closely at it you’ll see a little arrow on the right hand side with 2004 next to it, that’s the temperature for the year 2004AD, OK, got that?

            Now if you look across the bottom of the graph you’ll see “Thousands of years BP”, this means thousands of years before present, simple enough?

            You can’t do that in science. Each of the proxy curves in the graph continues to the present day, and as you can see by where they end up on the right side of the graph (in the present), almost all the curves are lower at the end than they were when they passed through the MWP. That means that those proxies had higher values during the MWP than they currently do. What you’ve done is the equivalent of Mann’s nature trick to hide the decline, by ignoring the whole run of the proxy and just substituting a thermometer record from some airport to hide the end of the series. Note that none of the proxy lines ends at the little arrow called “2004”. Someone just stuck that text in there to fool simpletons who can’t follow a curve.

            And again, Romm said ‘the current warming “is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause.’ Magnitude is not a synonym for speed.

          16. You can’t do that in science. Each of the proxy curves in the graph continues to the present day, and as you can see by where they end up on the right side of the graph (in the present), almost all the curves are lower at the end than they were when they passed through the MWP. That means that those proxies had higher values during the MWP than they currently do.

            If you hadn’t made this comment:


            I might believe that you weren’t just covering up your mistake by lying. Now you’re left denying that the rise in temperature recorded over the last century happened.
            Bye, bye Dishonest George.

          17. Um, I think you have your quote confused with my comment. I said:

            Except for the light blue line, the light red line, the brown line, the purple line, etc. You need to make sure your laptop is horizontal when you look at them. It’s an important technique that engineers learn.

            When you look at a proxy curve, say of North Atlantic water temperatures as measured by formanifera off the coast of Greenland, you cannot then directly compare that value with the global average surface station temperature, because the global average isn’tt a record of the North Atlantic water temperatures off Greenland, it’s a global average.

            You can do better by comparing temperature anomalies within the same proxy series, but you can’t disconnect from those series and just compare them to the temperature anomaly at the Miami airport, either.

            If all your proxies are indicating that current temperatures are lower than the MWP, because the proxy was showing higher temperatures then than the proxy shows now, you can’t claim that they show the opposite with a graphical trick, as Mann did.

            So you have to follow each of the lines in the curve, and see what each one shows for a particular type proxy at a particular site over time. This is basic science and math.

          18. They’re all low resolution proxies George, and all you’re doing is arguing that the graph you reference as proving that MWP temperatures are higher than now is of little use because it’s of too few localized proxies to give a global temperature record.

            And I’m not mixing your words with mine, I pointed out that the 2004 temperature indicated was higher than the temperatures indicated for the MWP, your response was to claim that sure “Except for the light blue line, the light red line, the brown line, the purple line, etc.”

            Your reference to the tree ring divergence problem isn’t relevant as the proxies aren’t the (high resolution) tree rings that had the divergence problem.

          19. Maybe you should again go looking for a graph to support your contention that the MWP is warmer than today.

          20. You still not getting it. Suppose you attach a variety of experimental, uncalibrated airspeed indicators to different points on an aircraft and hook each one to an old analog data logger, and then you take off and start flying around, generating multiple curves showing airspeed “estimates.”

            The plane speeds up and slows down throughout the flight, along with climbing and descending, and you watch the various curves being traced by each different airspeed instrument. After some time the pilot settles down and the plots all show that the plane is currently flying about 30 knots slower than when the aircraft made a run at its maximum allowed airspeed, 30 minutes earlier in the flight (according to all the little lines being traced on the chart paper).

            Then someone plugs in a different airspeed indicator and it says your current true airspeed is 10 knots higher than any points indicated by any of the plots on your analog chart recorder.

            Do you:

            A) Scream: “OMG! We’re exceeding our maximum allowed speed by 10 knots! This new instrument is showing 40 knots higher than the other ones! We’ve never gone this fast before!!!

            B) Say: “The new instrument is indicating 40 knots higher than all the others, all of which agree that we’re doing about 30 knots less than the maximum airspeed we hit half an hour ago. We need to calibrate them all when we get back to the hanger.

          21. Well one of us aint getting it, the reason that those low resolution proxies don’t show current temperatures on that graph is because . . . wait for it . . they’re low resolution, so if you need to calibrate those temperatures to current temperatures you need high resolution proxies or actual instrument temperature measurements that have a time overlap with those proxies.

            You’re the one who picked that graph, claiming “Even a few such graphs make it through Wikipedia’s editors, like this one.”

            If you don’t like the fact those proxies don’t can’t show current temperatures, find a graph that suits your ideology that does. claiming the termination point for those temperature lines equals current temperatures is either stupidity or dishonesty.

            Maybe you should read up on the limitations of ice cores as temperature proxies, hint: firn takes time to compress and trap air bubbles.

          22. You’re assuming they’re all low resolution proxies. Lake sediments, stalagmites, formimanifera, and many other proxies are also high resolution proxies, just like trees, because all they record is yearly growth. In the case of many carbonates, the delta O18 isn’t like firn, the oxygen is part of the carbonate, whether limestone or a shell.

            Mann of course wasn’t the first to investigate past temperatures, and what made him prominent was that his temperature graph grossly differed from all the previous proxy reconstructions which showed the clear MWP. It was politically useful, though scientifically unsound, and now even Briffa had to abandon it in his 2013 paper.

            The problem is that they knowingly did what you’ve tried to do, which is just splice on the modern instrument record and ignore the modern proxy record. Mann’s own tree ring data showed late 20th century temperatures declining, which is why they hid it. In my aircraft analogy, his tree ring data would be badly placed airspeed indicator that can indicate lower speeds as airspeed is increased, indicating that an unsteady or unclean flow is impinging on the sensor at some particular angle of attack. If that happens, you either have to move the sensor to a better location (switch to a better proxy) or figure out what’s going on. Mann did neither, he just hid the truth. As Richard Feynman emphasized, in science you have to show all your data, including data that’s in contradiction, or what you’re doing isn’t science.

            The real tragedy of what Mann and the team did with their sleight of hand and inept statistics and sampling is that if CO2 really is a problem, they tried to remove a few decades of breathing room so they could benefit from a sudden panic instead of letting scientists, the public, and politicians consider the long-term consequences and actions to be taken.

            It’s random chance that we’ve developed to the current state of scientific progress after the Little Ice Age instead of during it (or even after the last glaciation period). No matter where we are on a wildly swinging climate graph, the actions we take shouldn’t depend on the here and now or the very recent past, but where we’d prefer to be. But getting to where we’d prefer to be requires asking a question about the optimum climate, and we never asked that question. The Team just assumed that the climate of the disco era was the absolute optimum that the planet could attain without even considering that the odds are extremely high that John Travolta didn’t break through to stardom at the exact moment that the Earth’s climate reached perfection, and that we were somewhere on a slop of a habitability graph instead of at the peak, which is your position.

            Had you been around during the ice-age, you’d have fought tooth and nail to maintain the glaciation, screaming about sea-level rise and that to prevent it mankind must remain a hunter gatherer at extremely low population densities, and that life should be brutish, cold, and short. I don’t believe that.

            Based on scientific data from a huge variety of sources, what happens when the climate warms up is that the tropics warm very little, and they pump their warmth further toward the poles, moderating temperature extremes and increasing the planet’s easily habitable area by huge amounts. During cold periods the habitable area shrinks dramatically. During the Eemian Canada had palm trees and Greenland had monitor lizards, all while life in the tropics was thriving, too. During the Medieval Warm Period, Vikings were farming poorly cold-adapted wheat in Greenland, while England was a major wine producer. During the Roman Warm Period the climate was even better.

            That knowledge frightens the warmists because they’re totally invested in the idea that the climate was made perfect for the Bee Gee’s, and that any deviation spells the end of mankind and human civilization. Those people are nuts, but their religiously held beliefs drive them to ignore any and all evidence that would question their faith in God or Barry Gibb or whatever it is that drives them.

            So no matter how many graphs I give you that show the MWP temperatures are higher than present, your mind won’t allow you to see them. You’ve demonstrated that blind spot over and over in just this thread.

            There are some things a mind can’t see because it just shuts down. I know because my brain does that to me quite often (I mentioned I have pretty severe PTSD). There are quite a lot of things that I can’t actually know, but I can know that I knew them maybe two or three minutes prior and some internal censor blocks the information forever. Brains have all sorts of cool features they don’t tell you about, and one of them is screwing with your ability to see a graph with a particular shape.

            So what I think I’ll have to do is “trick” you into seeing that shape without realizing what you’re looking at, or framing the graph in a way that slips past your mental censor so that your mind can actually see it. The problem is that it’s as tricky as getting a newlywed to accept that their beloved just did either an entire football team or its cheer leading squad while they’re in the throws of thinking their spouse is perfect.

            The breakthrough is usually abrupt and painful, followed by an unstable chaotic period (several ex-Scientologists went on Youtube as they go through that, having new epiphanies right on camera), and then the world becomes much simpler and clearer. Mental entropy drops, calm is restored, and humor returns.

            A whole lot of people in this thread have been through that kind of thing, and the older ones mark it down as wisdom. Almost everyone in this thread was once a global warming believer, like you are now. When you subconscious hits that wall and you go through a short manic phase, we’ll be here for you, and then you’ll see the genius of likening sharing oxygen with Mann to waking up naked with Charles Nelson Riley, God rest his soul.

          23. I’m well aware that Humans are rationalizing rather than rational creatures, evolution has trained us to survive, and as social animals a big part of that survival is conforming with our “in” group, getting tossed out of your tribe has, for millions of years of human and primate evolution meant death. So conforming to our group belief – our groups ideology – has been so central to our survival we do it without thought, we look for excuses to believe what our in group believes.

            For this reason When a “liberal” espouses “liberal” minded policies I’m sceptical about just how much thought has gone into their view, and how much conformation, ditto for “conservatives” promoting “conservative” policies.

            I’ve told you that I don’t think my views on AGW aren’t based in ideology, I’m not on the CAGW bandwagon, I’m skeptical that a good case can be made for mitigation (remember that exercise on the cost of terraforming a planet? If there’s no return for many decades the final return on initial investment needs to be hundreds of times greater than that initial investment once interest is included (discounting)?
            Politically I’m probably not too far from Rand, pro free market, pro private space, anti big government etc etc.

            Where I’m different from Rand and many others on this site, and where I just don’t get them, is in the vitriol, even hate, they express for the left.

            The political diversity of humans I think can also be traced back to our mammal ancestors, altruism in social animals exists, different animals within a social group fulfill different roles, some of those roles are centered on producing wealth, others on supporting the weaker members of the group including the young. So to me there’s no good and bad between left and right, it’s just people following their ancient social survival instincts in an environment very different to that in which those instincts developed.
            Once you get rid of the need to run around looking to rationalize why you need to demonize this or that group within society you can start to see the forest for the trees.

            Does that make the “liberal” leaning climate scientists free from confirmation bias? Absolutely not, but the same can be said of the “skeptics”, it’s only when claims are tested by the scientific process can we say that much of the confirmation bias in a politically hot topic like AGW has been eliminated.
            Each side just doesn’t see their own bias, but when it comes down to where the scientific evidence is, to which scientific claims have been the most tested, the IPCC position holds up best, if it were as weak as skeptics claim they’d be able to produce, as an example, evidence that the MWP was warmer than today, not just sight cherry picked individual proxy studies.

            By the same token the CAGW position of “we need to do something now!” is also looking very weak, a point that’s starting to look pretty clear in the latest (still to be finalized) IPCC report.

            So where’s your evidence that the MWP?

            So no matter how many graphs I give you that show the MWP temperatures are higher than present, your mind won’t allow you to see them. You’ve demonstrated that blind spot over and over in just this thread.

            Um, you haven’t shown me even one so far, if you’re under the impression you have, you better post it again.

            If you go to CO2 science and check out their Medieval Warm Period Project

            You’ll find lots and lots of local studies that each, it is claimed, supports the assertion that the MWP was warmer than todays temperature, so all “skeptics” need to do to prove their case is to take all these local studies, combine them and voila out pops the paper of all papers on paleoclimate proving Mann wrong.

            You’d have thought they’d have done it by now wouldn’t you? In fact, given that M&M have supposedly discredited the “hockey stick” you’d think that they too would have produced proof that MBH99 was wrong with a paper of their own, showing the true climate history of the Earth over the last few thousand years.

            It hasn’t happened.

            What you need to ask yourself is why? Why can’t you find that proof that you seem convinced exists?

          24. Change In fact, given that M&M have supposedly discredited the “hockey stick” you’d think that they too would have produced proof that MBH99 was wrong with a paper of their own, showing the true climate history of the Earth over the last few thousand years.

            In fact, given that M&M have supposedly discredited the “hockey stick” you’d think that they too would have produced proof that MBH99 was wrong with a paper of their own, showing the true climate history of the Earth over the last few thousand years in which the MWP is warmer than the late twentieth century, and in which the LIA is more pronounced.

          25. given that M&M have supposedly discredited the “hockey stick” you’d think that they too would have produced proof that MBH99 was wrong with a paper of their own

            They have written plenty of “papers” of their own. Just because they haven’t been blessed by the gatekeepers doesn’t render them invalid. It is a logical fallacy to think that one has to offer an alternate theory or result to prove another one false. Science is not about proving things true — it is mostly about falsifying. Whatever hasn’t been falsified stands until it is falsified or something better comes along. It is sufficient to say that we don’t know the fuck what is going on with the climate in the future. That is the appropriate position at this point in time and with our current state of knowledge (and ability to model), in my opinion.

          26. Whatever hasn’t been falsified stands until it is falsified or something better comes along.

            So the most recently published paleoclimate reconstructions stand.

          27. Not if they have a hockey stick and disappear the MWP.

            So you have “something better comes along” that you can link to, maybe with the graph you describe?

          28. The latest reconstruction would probably be Briffa’s 2013 Yamal tree paper, which almost exactly matches the temperature graphs produced years earlier by McIntyre, and so the Hockey Stick is truly dead. 🙂

          29. Heck, it took him years to “admit” that his previous papers, based on the same data set, were wildly wrong. That’s progress!

            However, I’ll point out that some of those “low resolution” proxy studies you ignore or misread are actually high resolution proxy studies, some with dozens of authors (indeed, one has a dozen authors after you hit the last names that start with ‘W’). There are similar detailed studies from South America, China, and elsewhere which confirm that the MWP was global and significant (huge in some of the Chinese lakes that were sampled).

            Here is a high-resolution study of Norwegian speleothems from 2012, which I’m sure you’ll conclude doesn’t really exist.

          30. Eyeballing that the annual temperature is just under 0.5 degrees C warmer than the 1961 – 1990 average, global temperatures over the last 17 years are around 0.5C warmer than that baseline, and the MWP was more pronounced over the North Atlantic and Europe than it was globally, so again, that’s a local proxy that can’t be considered representative of global temperatures of that period, and even if it were, it doesn’t demonstrate those temperatures are higher than those of today.

          31. Well, it’s true that it’s just a local proxy, as are the studies from two lakes in South America and two in China, plus a couple spots in the Pacific, and a couple holes in the Antarctic, and 500 very local pollen sites in Europe. Such scientists just don’t have Mann’s skill at walking into a forest and picking the one tree that responds only to global temperatures.

            Yet another reason that climate science isn’t a branch of science.

          32. Did you look at that CO2 Science MWP link I put up earlier?

            The problem with those individual studies is that to be scientific you can’t cherry pick the ones that suit you, and if you use them all you find your MWP happens at around 800AD in some places and 12-1400AD in other places, so what happens when you combine them all to get a global temperature reconstruction?
            The MWP gets longer and the peak gets lower, you know, just like it does in all those global paleoclimate studies that have been published.

          33. But with that trick, you could have the case were every single square inch of planet Earth is currently cooler than its peak during the Medieval Warm Period, but by sufficient averaging and smoothing claim that every point on Earth is hotter than it was during the MWP.

            During the MWP, the Pacific was about 0.65C hotter than it is now. Maybe Trenberth’s missing heat is actually traveling back in time instead of into the deep oceans.

          34. This is quite a long sub-thread, but I’ll chime in and say that George is perfectly correct on this one point: If a proxy is higher in the Middle Ages than it is today, you are not allowed to chop off its most recent fifty years and replace them with current temperatures. That doesn’t mean that current temperatures haven’t gone up. It means that the proxies have bigger errors than you thought, or are calibrated wrong, or even aren’t really proxies. If there are confounding reasons why it’s low (=unreliable) today, there may be just as good reasons why it was low or high in the past.
            That is exactly “the Nature trick”, and it is why Richard Muller says that this is a group of scientists whose work he won’t read and cannot trust.

          35. So you have a proxy graph in front of you that shows no rise in temperature over the last century and you can’t be sure what the last date of the proxy graph is, do you conclude that the MWP was warmer than today because it’s warmer than the last data point the graph shows?

          36. Mann’s trees didn’t stop growing in 1960, they just stopped growing really quickly. His proxy data continued to the present, but he cleverly hid the proxy curve behind another curve so people would assume it went upwards at the end, and so nobody could actually do what we recommend, which is follow the proxy all the way to the end of the series.

            As you should well know by now, this was called a “divergence problem” in the UEA e-mails, and they were well aware of it. If tree rings don’t track temperatures after the big band era was supplanted by rock and roll, how can they be trusted as a proxy? Apparently Mann’s trees don’t like to grow much when it’s hot, and would conveniently not show the MWP for the same reason. Obviously some validation steps were skipped in the rush to print something alarming.

            Many proxies continue working right up to the present year, such as foraminifera, stalagmites, pollen samples, leaf stomata and pointedness.

            And of course, aside from the MWP, you have the larger Roman Warm Period, which was preceded by several warmer periods called Holocene Climate optimums.

          37. My question to Mike is if the proxies used in the wiki graph you link to appear to be valid in claiming that the MWP was warmer than today given that they don’t show the known recent warming. I interpret his reply as “no”

          38. If the proxies taken from remote sites like caves or lake bottoms disagrees with the temperatures recorded on top of a building or at the back end of a Pratt & Witney turbofan engine, what are we to make of it?

        3. “So supply a link to the true and correct NH or global paleotemperature reconstruction, you know, the one that doesn’t show a hockey stick.” George’s link is neat, but I’d add that a whole thrust of McIntyre’s posts for a decade has been that the whole paleotemperature enterprise is full of cherry-picking. He has dozens of examples of studies by top researchers in the field that were never published, the data still not available after literally decades. One may guess that they didn’t show a Hockey Stick and were therefore deemed unreliable; there is no way to know.
          Periodically people demand that McIntyre publish his own “alternate reconstruction” if he’s so smart. He always responds that it would be really nice if the field got its act together and established overall standards and benchmarks and critical comparison, and until then neither he nor anyone can really tell which proxies are any good.

        4. Well, we can almost rule out tree rings due to multiple issues with them, among which are:

          Even Mann’s own tree samples showed late 20th century temperatures decreasing, which is the decline that he had to hide. Treemometer FAIL.

          Many of the changes in climate, and specifically the changes predicted by AGW, occur at night, as nighttime temperatures don’t drop as low because of blocking of IR radiation to space. Nighttime temperatures don’t show up in the growth rings because plants aren’t doing a whole lot of photosynthesizing at night.

          Here’s a Google of images of photosynthesis rate versus temperature. Note that the shapes are similar to bell curves, and the idiots are trying to go from a proxy for photosynthesis rate (tree rings) of a plant that’s adapted to its local climate and trying to read temperatures to a fraction of a degree, while ignoring changes in rainfall patterns, average cloud cover (which can change dramatically with climate), and other factors.

          They’ve picked a proxy that changes over the life of the tree, because as a tree gets taller its productive top reaches into colder and colder air (on average 0.5F for 100 feet – outside of a forest). Inside a forest a 50 foot change in height can create a temperature difference of 5 degrees, depending on wind speeds, and yet in a forest wind speeds can vary by a factor of 10 from ground level to tree top. At night tree branch temperatures can even drop below air temperatures, and the temperature inside the tree can vary quite widely. Wind speed can have a very large effect on the measured temperature in a forest, so how can the long-term temperature data be extracted from long-term wind speed changes due to climate?

          Maple syrup producers study these effects quite carefully because it dramatically determines the tree’s productivity. “The Team” doesn’t get into such details because figuring out how their cherry picked proxies actually work is much less important than pancakes.

          And as I’ve mentioned, trees records are naturally biased because the oldest trees were the ones that grew slowest when they were young, which is why they’re still around to get sampled. Since this will be true for virtually all trees, the effect can’t be removed by any statistical methods, it can only be compensated for by careful measurements that nobody has bothered to take, and of course even such an attempt would have to use a large number of tree samples instead of a handful cherry picked from hundreds in the same area.

          These are some of the many reasons that the UAE was getting a series of e-mails from a prominent plant scientist who wanted to know how they could possibly be using trees as a temperature proxy when plant scientists couldn’t even provide such a curve. Those e-mails were pointedly ignored.

          1. Tree rings measure how much a tree grew in a given year. There are several factors that contribute to or limit a tree’s growth, including as you mentioned the unequal growth that part of a given species nature as it ages. Temperature may be one of the factors that impact how much a tree grows in a given year. Precipitation, soil quality, amount of sunlight/cloud cover and no doubt other factors as well may have significant impacts on how much a tree grows in a given timeframe. How can you look at the thickness of a tree ring and isolate temperature as the driving factor?

          2. I’m pretty sure you can’t unless you have a lot more controls, and I don’t think this would be much disputed at the Oxford journal of tree physiology.

            A 2010 paper there found that elevated temperatures tended to make the tree grow taller and leafier, not fatter, but there are many caveats and complications.

            But McIntyre doesn’t even need to get into such physiological issues since the Team’s work can’t even pass statistical muster. Amusingly, McIntyre could be in trouble for retro-actively pre-plagiarising Briffa’s 2013 Yamal reconstruction back in 2009 and 2012, when McIntyre handled their samples correctly. Briffa’s 2013 graph overlaps McIntyre’s earlier graphs, and both are now completely at odds with Briffa’s 2000 and 2008 Yamal hockeysticks.

            Amusing and unacknowledged walkback.

            Unasked is whether the graph is really showing rainfall, nutrient loading, cloud cover, wind speed, or pest density. The Team just assumes it shows temperature because temperature is the only answer that generates headlines, grants, and unbridled power and status.

        5. You’re not being too specific. Most likely it won’t matter what the last date is exactly; the implication is that the proxy doesn’t work well.
          And as I said above, there are a lot of proxy studies where the data was never published, and no one but the (non)-author knows what the results were. You just can’t do science this way. The right response of the rest of us is, we have no way to tell if any of your results are reliable or if they were cherry-picked, so they can’t be used.
          And paleoclimate studies are not peripheral confirmation in the field, they are the main indicator of high ECSs (around 3 or more), the long-term equilibrium climate sensitivity to CO2. If you don’t include them, most of what we have is from climate models, which aren’t working well at all. Most studies based on recent surface temperatures show transient climate sensitivity less than 2, in which case probably no mitigation is necessary. Which would, of course, be a great relief to us all.

  2. instead of evidence being evaluated critically, it is deliberately interpreted in such a way as to reaffirm a pre-existing belief, demanding impossibly stringent examination of unwelcome evidence while accepting uncritically even the flimsiest information that suits one’s needs.

    That from David Grimes in the Guardian. Three guesses as to who he’s describing (and the first two don’t count). I keep coming back to the idea of self-awareness. I mean, this guy is a physicist. How can he actually type that into a computer, supposedly read it over a few times to ensure he hasn’t said anything really stupid, and hit “submit” on it, without seeing the projection? “You need to get out more” just seems so inadequate as a reply.

    1. Well, looking at the bright side, at least we’ll have lots of cautionary material to throw back into the faces of the next generation of mountebanks to hijack a scientific endeavor when the whole thing comes crashing down.

  3. “Though the reality is that it’s Bart who’s the moron, Wiki has proven itself one of, if not the most reliable general reference sources,”

    Sure, that’s why, for example, the page on Bolsheviks bald-facedly claims they were a majority

    1. I’ve no idea if the Bolsheviks were the majority, if you are determined to argue that they weren’t you should provide evidence to support your claim.
      Even if Wiki is wrong, one error in 4,443,921 articles in the English Wikipedia isn’t so bad.

      1. Actually 100 errors in 4,443,921 articles isn’t that bad, so maybe you can find 101+ wiki errors if you think it’s so unreliable.

        1. No matter what Andrew does, his fate probably can’t be as bad as Rand’s.

          If the case goes forward, Rand will have to share oxygen with Michael Piltdown Mann in the courtroom, breathing the same air and drinking from the same coffee urn, looking at his smug little potato head, watching him torture innocent little data points and hide raw data where even John Wayne Gacy couldn’t find it. As someone who suffers from a lifetime of nightmares (PTSD, long story), I can’t really imagine how Rand will recover from that. The closest I can imagine is getting really drunk at an office party and waking up naked with Charles Nelson Riley. It’s just not something you can recover from. I shudder to even think about it.

        2. Funniest thing you wrote all day!

          Wikipedia is rife with errors, many of them purposely back-edited to support progressive points of view. I wouldn’t doubt there are some right-wing crank articles too, but your kind seems to thrive on altering history.

  4. “The closest I can imagine is getting really drunk at an office party and waking up naked with Charles Nelson Riley. It’s just not something you can recover from. I shudder to even think about it.”

    I can imagine since CNR has been dead for almost 7 years….shudder indeed.

  5. The latest from the Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of British Columbia ….
    Climate Change Position Paper Announcement

    Climate Change Position Paper

    Apparently they expect drastically climate changes to the point that we need to start compensating in our designs. Sadly their examples only mention increased temperatures and rainfall. Maybe I should stop including heaters in my remote instrumentation cabinets up in northern Canada?

    I guess it’s about what you might expect from a bunch of weed-smoking hippies, but from an engineering association? Pu-lease! Mind you they did throw in a lot of uncertainty weasel-words just to cover their backsides. The “leaders” still don’t seem to be listening to the rank & file, we’ve told them in no uncertain terms that our association has no business getting involved in such a contentious issue until there is some real solid data to work with, but they seem to want to get in on the parade.

  6. we’ve told them in no uncertain terms

    All I see is ‘you’. ‘You’ equals ‘we’ in your crank world.

    1. If British Columbia gets any warmer it will become uninhabitable and the current population will have to flee to Los Angeles or Phoenix where they can stay cool in the air conditioning.

    2. Coming from an anonymous login, your “crank world” insult is rather less than meaningful.

      “We” as written above means myself and all the other engineers that wrote letters to the association asking them to cease and desist from embarrassing us all. You do recognize the maxim that every letter sent is representative of at least ten others with a similar opinion? No, I suppose you don’t, in ‘your’ world.

  7. Let’s call a spade a spade. Michael Mann is a fraud. James Hansen is a fraud. And Al Gore is a billion dollar fraud. Bernie Madoff was a piker compared to the damage these men have caused, worldwide.

      1. Over $100 billion dollars in wasted federal money, for a start. If you include restrictions on fossil fuel production and the resultant higher prices and subsequent impact on employment and economic growth, you’re probably talking about trillions already lost from the world economy, with much more to come.

        1. George,

          As to the consequences of Climatic Cassandraism, how about the “Arab Spring” of 2011, as an unintended consequence of the diversion of corn into the production of ethanol? The sharp diminution of food aid to North Africa was one of the proximate causes of this ongoing debacle. Think of the loss of life and treasure in Lybia and Egypt… And what about the effects of food price inflation in the US and in Latin America? Pork, poultry and beef are approaching a doubling or tripling of price, with the restricted supply and unavailability of feedstock…

          As to your earlier point about Lysenkoism, I have come to believe that this is an inevitable byproduct of the formation of the governmental-academic complex, and that we are afflicted with Climate Lysenkos, Medical Lysenkos, Social Institutional Lysenkos, etc. ad nauseam. Thus, relatively small, narrow communities of scientists, elected officials, bureaucrats, and key press members drive specific issues in government and in the press. Bureaucrats and researchers unconsciously resist disconfirming evidence that would mean reductions in grants and agency budgets. Elected officials are uncomfortable with the risk of being shown up as fools. If you do a strict, operant behavior analysis of the system, you can accurately forecast which behaviors will continue and be encouraged, and which will be discouraged or punished.

          How do we find ourselves att this pass? In the belief that science needed to be liberated from the corrupting influence of lucre, and in the pursuit of national goals, government began aggressively funding university based research. This elicited a rational and economic response from the universities, which prioritized and protected federally funded research. The motive effect of federal funding of research was augmented when the universities successfully lobbied Congress for the inclusion of indirect costs (overhead, for those of you from the business world) granted directly to the university to cover the cost of administering the grant, office space, etc. Presently, the IDC level is a second grant to the administrators with a value of a little over 50% of the direct grant amount, which means that when Mann gets a million dollar grant from NOAA, or any agency, Penn State receives an additional $500,000 of unbudgeted and unallocated funds to spend on supporting Dr. Mann’s research. These funds are highly valued by University Presidents and their top staff, both because of the amounts and because they are granted with great discretionary authority over where and how to spend them. You can clearly see the alignment of economic interests at play here. Naturally, universities now routinely require most disciplines to include grant “productivity” as a principal criterion for tenure.

          The entire problem became aggravated with the introduction of third parties, like the Foundations, that funded seed research and published and promoted monographs announcing various and sundry crises like media-induced violence, climate change, hunger in America, you name it. Press releases were and are routinely used to drive attention and alarm among the public. Again, most people I have met that work on this segment are “true believers” and are completely focused on eliminating pollution, hunger, obesity, violence, etc., etc. The objective of these activities is to capture the attention of the press, and most importantly, our elected officials, in the hope of causing focused federal spending in research, and once the findings are in hand, programs to “solve” the problem.

          These efforts are also driven by the belief (honest, in my opinion) that these problems are real, and that university science would not fail to confirm the extent and severity of Le Problème du jour, and concomitantly, the need for greatly increased funding for more research and for immediate action. The press’ role is important, and their participation understandable. Great appealing stories with good visuals and villains make for great reader interest, with a minimum of effort, so…

          Congress, Presidents, agency heads, etc. could not fail to notice the electoral power inherent in identifying a problem, confirming (scientifically) its existence, and moving forcefully to solve it quickly, to great and unanimous huzzas from the press and the people. What a tonic for electoral prospects! As Ike predicted, a powerful conjunction of enlightened self-interest among these various participants (political officials, university administrators, university researchers, NGOs, and the press) sets in motion the great academic-governmental complex. Immensely larger and far more intrusive in our daily lives than the military-industrial complex.

          A successful ecosystem tries to preserve itself and I believe that this is what we observe in the current Governmental-Academic complex. It resembles Lysenkoism because it tries to prevent its own destruction by countervailing facts. …The research must be wrong. …You made a mistake in your (data collection, analysis, models, assumptions, etc.). You lack the expertise to be credible… And so on. A sticky wicket, with no easy way out, and with no guarantee that it won’t pop up its ugly head in some other crucial aspect of our lives. God help preserve us all from these meddlesome true believers. And I repeat: I don’t believe this is deliberate malfeasance in most cases, it’s simply a by-product of their work, social and intellectual milieu. After all, does a fish know it’s wet? That is not to say that there are no sociopaths involved!

          I have no solutions, but urge you to soldier on.

        2. Good points.

          Specifically regarding climatology, at around 43:17 in this Judith Curry interview (which I also linked way up above), she says:

          Q: But I wonder how you feel about how your particular field has changed as you’ve grown up in it and been out for 25 years. Do you think that the academic world as it’s currently constituted, the returns to publishing and the way that academics are successful–are they conducive to truth-seeking? Do you feel that we are making progress in the scientific world on this particular topic? Or are we in trouble?

          JCurry I think we’re in big trouble. When I left graduate school, nobody called themselves a climate scientist. They were an atmospheric dynamicist or a geochemist or a physical oceanographer or things like that. And we were all focused on increasing fundamental understanding. And that was the focus. It was the breakthrough in understanding, changing the way people think, was what mattered. And somebody who published too many papers was probably looked at with suspicion–they are doing the quick and easy stuff; they are not really digging in. It was potentially superficial.

          The other thing that was looked down upon, say in the 1980s, was doing something that was too applied, working to deal with regional problems or something like that. That was viewed as soft core; it was what the people did who couldn’t really make fundamental contributions to understanding, so they moved on to some of these applied topics, which were useful in some way to regional decision-makers.

          I would say in 2000–it was a gradual transition, but I think circa 2000 there was a switch to people finding it beneficial to self-label them as a climate scientist. There was a lot of money, research dollars in this area; there was a lot of influence to be had, in terms of sitting on panels and boards and committees and being interviewed by journalists and being invited to testify in front of Congress.

          And so the value and the influence of the scientist sort of switched into that dimension where your measure of influence was not so much how you increased our fundamental understanding of how the oceans worked, but it was really to what boards and committees you sat on, your press, and your influence in policy, being invited to testify in front of Congress, and whatever. So I’ve seen that switch.

          The problem is, the concern that I have for the health of our field, is that there’s still a lot of fundamental things that we don’t understand. The climate models aren’t good enough. We need to go back to basics, increase our understanding about the non-linear dynamics of all these ocean oscillations and complexity of the system and things like that.

          There are a lot of fundamental things that are getting short shrift, that the sex appeal in our field right now and a lot of funding is to do what I call mock[?] ‘climate model taxonomy’, where people are analyzing the output of climate models and finding something interesting, alarming, or using them to infer that we won’t be able to grow grapes in California in 2100 or something like this.

          This is the stuff that gets published in Nature and Science and PNAS (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). People get a press release.

          There’s much more said at the link (but without the paragraph breaks I inserted).

          It went from being a field so obscure that scientists didn’t even self-identify as “climatologists” to the flagship program in all of science, just by dangling enough money, fame, and power in front of some academics.

      2. dn-guy, you should read some Alexis de Tocqueville:

        “Thus, After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the supreme power then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence; it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

        The point is that all of the government money wasted on green crap prevents actual productive things from occurring, things only individuals in a free market can accomplish. Central planners cannot ever predict what is and isn’t productive on any interesting scale.

        So Al Gore and the rest of the gang advocate policies that prevent energy from being used. Energy that is not used is called “opportunity cost”. It’s what happens when you don’t do something because you had to pay for something else, such as higher energy costs because enough politicians were convinced by Al Gore and the team to raise taxes or make regulations which raise energy costs or whatever.

        $1 more spent on energy is a dollar less I can spend on making a product or buying a product or investing or whatever else. Which leads to unemployment or perhaps less hospital capacity because that hospital has to spend all of its money on higher energy prices, leading to more deaths.

  8. With all the record cold the US has experienced this winter, maybe the next desperate strategy from the climate establishment will be to claim the global cooling warnings from the 1970’s were true after all and we STILL need to tax carbon to save our planet.

    1. You can bank on it. But, they won’t switch gears in mid-stride. First, they will allow the current fracas to slowly ebb. Then, at the depth of the natural cooling cycle, somewhere in the 2030’s, they will pop up again like a malignant tumor, saying we’re all about to freeze, the culprit is human industrial activity, and the government needs to assume emergency powers to save us all.

      Oh, and that minor debate 20-30 years ago about warming, well, that was only the view of a minority of the science community, and people knew as long ago as the 1970’s that the globe was actually cooling.

      Save everything you can about today’s raging debate on hard, personal media, and pass it down to your children, because they may well need the ammo when the web archives start ‘disappearing’ the evidence from today.

    2. In the 2030’s there will be an additional aspect to the whole thing; the plateau for human global population will be much more visible, probably no more than 20 years ahead. When that arrives, everyone will need to bring “per-capita” into their mix. As in energy use per-capita. Or carbon emissions per-capita. And there’s no question those numbers will be in decline. The ongoing march of greater efficiency in all things cannot be stopped. So what will the doomsayers do? Human population growth of zero, combined with reductions in per-capita emissions? I’m sure they’ll come up with something. Just as I’m sure it will be hilarious.

    3. On the bright side, if not for the antics of Mann and his team the world may have actually done something horrifying to reduce carbon emissions, and then the morons would be pointing to the plummeting temperatures and crowing that their totalitarian energy and climate policies were working even better than they expected!

      1. Amazing how people can claim there’s no reliable way to predict future climate, and then express such certainty that they know what’s going to happen

          1. “Bart and his natural cooling cycle.”

            I have never claimed there is no way to predict future climate. I claim the people currently projecting ever rising temperatures on the basis of human emissions from fossil fuels are wrong. Trivially and stupidly wrong. These clowns are to science what the Kiwis are to football.

        1. Indeed. The solar scientists in Russia and at the Max Planck Institute aren’t really certain how low the temperatures are going to drop. They say that they have just been assuming that certain important solar features remain active even during an event like a Dalton or Maunder minimum, but they don’t have period observations that can back that up and admit that solar output could drop much lower than they expect.

          Aside from the solar aspects, Judith Curry’s stadium wave paper thinks there’s a good chance that we’ll see a major cooling cycle until about 2030, based on the patterns of the AO, NAO, PDO, ice extent, and other parameters.

          Interestingly, the less warming we have the more certain the IPCC will be that mankind is causing warming, due to the very odd and convoluted way their attribution and certainty works. As it turns out, with their method mankind can be responsible for far more than 100 percent of the observed warming, because they offset their model predictions (which are junk) with unknown negative natural forcings to make up any number they want.

          If the model predicts 2 degrees and the Earth only warmed by 1 degree, then it’s not that the model overstated things, it’s that we had two degrees of human caused warming offset by 1 degree of natural forcing, so humans caused 200 percent of the observed warming. If we had no observed warming then the two degrees of model warming is said to have been offset by two degrees of temporary natural cooling.

          Climate science: The only field were observations can’t possibly refute theory.

          1. We know global temperatures varies naturally, with El Nino, PDO etc, so any degree of temperature change will have both natural and anthropogenic inputs, you’re implying that the IPCC, or the “team” is going to skew the natural component to exaggerate the anthropogenic component.

          2. That’s how they did it in the IPCC report. Many climatologists were scratching their heads over how the IPCC’s attribution and certainty could go up as the data deviated further and further from their predictions. It took some digging, but someone finally figured out how they did that. In AR5 when they say

            It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

            But by “more than half” they don’t really mean more than half of one, they mean more than half a piece of a whole bunch of pies (taken from what was worded as “more than 50 percent”. Note that the first clause says humans caused half of the observed increase while the second clause says the human component is “similar” to the observed warming (100 percent). Looking at the pause, the same methods indicate that we could be responsible for 200 or 300 percent of no warming at all, or if we’d had less observed warming we’d be responsible for a greater share of it.

            What they’re doing is taking a model output and treating it as an observation, then blaming the discrepancy on “other forcings”. Then they take the amount of anthropogenic warming in the models and divide by observed (real) warming to get the percentage of real warming that was caused by humans, all without having to take a single measurement or validated formula.

  9. From the very beginning, I have never believed anything other than that Global Warming was a ruse to attack capitalism and promote socialism. Granted, that is not a scientific assessment, but it fits well with what I know of recent history. No matter what the problem: war, poverty, pollution, racism, or sexism; capitalism is the cause and socialism is the solution.

    Has there ever been a crisis where the proposed solution involves increasing individual liberty and curtailing the power of the state? Not that I know of.

    Environmentalism really is a secular religion. A “sinner” is an individual who consumes too much and enjoys a comfortable lifestyle. He is made to feel guilt for that. He must seek “penance” by “mortification of the flesh”: voluntarily lowering his standard of living and accepting hardship and discomfort. If he doesn’t do it voluntarily, the government will do it for him, through taxes, regulations, and artificial shortages which constrain his choices.

    None of this applies to the ruling class, of course. They still get to live like royalty while endlessly hectoring us peasants to make do with less. That way there’s more for them. Funny how that works.

    1. Joseph Tainter has made an interesting assessment that relates to your comment:
      According to Tainter’s Collapse of Complex Societies, societies become more complex as they try to solve problems. Social complexity can be recognized by numerous differentiated and specialised social and economic roles and many mechanisms through which they are coordinated, and by reliance on symbolic and abstract communication, and the existence of a class of information producers and analysts who are not involved in primary resource production. Such complexity requires a substantial “energy” subsidy (meaning the consumption of resources, or other forms of wealth).

      When a society confronts a “problem,” such as a shortage of energy, or difficulty in gaining access to it, it tends to create new layers of bureaucracy, infrastructure, or social class to address the challenge. Tainter, who first (ch. 1) identifies seventeen examples of rapid collapse of societies, applies his model to three case studies: The Western Roman Empire, the Maya civilization, and the Chaco culture.

      For example, as Roman agricultural output slowly declined and population increased, per-capita energy availability dropped. The Romans “solved” this problem by conquering their neighbours to appropriate their energy surpluses (in concrete forms, as metals, grain, slaves, etc.). However, as the Empire grew, the cost of maintaining communications, garrisons, civil government, etc. grew with it. Eventually, this cost grew so great that any new challenges such as invasions and crop failures could not be solved by the acquisition of more territory.

      1. And this is why individuals and companies in a free market unconnected to the government are so important. The modern incarnation of these “new layers of bureaucracy, infrastructure, or social class” are companies themselves. A problem is identified and someone forms a company to solve the problem.

        Part of it is also allowing these companies to fail when they reach an unprofitable point, which is the equivalent of “cost of maintaining communications, garrisons, civil government” increasing. The solution for the Romans was conquering. The free market solution is to let the “layers of bureaucracy, infrastructure, or social class” fall away, which can be done in a peaceful way only in a free market, through the action of a business failing. If it is a government organization, it is much harder to let it fall away, and in some cases leads to war, either conquest to maintain the bad organization or revolution because the organization will not willingly fall away.

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