On Wegman – Who will guard the guards themselves?

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?

IPCC 1990 on the left - Mann, Bradley, Hughes 1998 on the right.

Guest post by Thomas Fuller

Regular readers will remember that the fuss generated by Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick chart caused an investigation. A U.S. Congressional committee, led by Congressman Joe Barton, asked Edward Wegman to investigate the methods and findings of Michael Mann. (See the Wegman report titled “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION” here)

Now Wegman’s work is being investigated in much the same manner by people alleging that Wegman’s work contains plagiarized material.

The investigating institution, George Mason University, is responding to a formal complaint by Raymond Bradley, who was a co-author with Michael Mann of the work Wegman looked into.

One of the anonymous weblogs specializing in climate hysteria, Deep Climate, has been trumpeting charges about Wegman’s work for quite some time, alleging among other heinous crimes that some of the post grads working with Wegman had plagiarized work. Given the source, I had not paid much attention to it.

But if there is a formal complaint, we need to look at it seriously. Wegman’s criticism of Mann’s work is widely cited–his famous claim that ‘right answer, wrong method equals bad science’ is certainly and obviously correct–but it will have to apply to him, too.

I should also note that this is being handled better than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of the University of Virginia’s grants for Michael Mann–basically because it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be.

I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out. I understand what the report said and I agree with its conclusions. So I’m hoping this investigation is thorough, quick and that Wegman’s work stands.

But there’s no way we can ignore this and complain about a lack of vigor in finding out what went wrong with CRU, Climategate and the Hockey Stick. This is bad news (for me). But it is news.

Michael Mann’s Hockey Stick will not be resurrected–there is enough criticism of it from his own colleagues in the leaked emails of Climategate to insure that. But Wegman’s report may sink under the weight of plagiarized material and while that would be a pity, that’s sometimes the way things work.

Let’s watch this and see, and report on the results in a clear-eyed fashion. Just because we have policy preferences and have opinions doesn’t mean we can ignore the facts.

Thomas Fuller  http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

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208 Responses to On Wegman – Who will guard the guards themselves?

  1. Lionsden says:

    The end does not justify the means! These things cut both ways. Just like the 10-10 video, which some warmistas at least, have had the balls to recognize

  2. Eric Anderson says:

    Thanks, Mr. Fuller. I agree that this needs to be taken seriously, and the results should fall where they may.

    Are there any allegations that any of the substance or results are in question, or is this purely a question of failing to cite sources? Is it Bradley’s work that is in question?

  3. Starwatcher says:

    The graph to the left looks like a schematic. Are there no actual reconstructions that can be shown?

  4. Oakden Wolf says:

    WHY are you showing that schematic diagram from the 1990 IPCC report that had limited data basis? It was a sketch to guide discussion based on general concepts, including anecdotal evidence (primarily European, for that matter).

    If there is need to verify what I’m saying, here’s the entire IPCC WG 1 First Assessment: http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/far/wg_I/ipcc_far_wg_I_full_report.pdf (a 28 MB PDF, fair warning)

    The figure is one panel of Figure 7.1, on page 202. Here is what is said about it:

    “The period since the end of the last glaciation has been characterized by small changes in global average temperature with a range of probably less than 2°C (Figure
    7 1), though it is still not clear whether all the fluctuations indicated were truly global.”

    “The late tenth to early thirteenth centuries (about AD 950-1250) appear to have been exceptionally warm in western Europe, Iceland and Greenland (Alexandre 1987, Lamb, 1988). This period is known as the Medieval Climatic Optimum. China was,
    however, cold at this time (mainly in winter) but South Japan was warm (Yoshino, 1978) This period of widespread warmth is notable in that there is no evidence
    that it was accompanied by an increase of greenhouse gases.”

    So that’s it. Three references to support the schematic (discussion of the Little Ice Age follows). It isn’t a very good basis for comparison, and seeing it might support some preconceptions that should be better supported than by one sketchy curve.

  5. Steven Mosher says:

    Oakden Wolf.

    do you know the full story behind the graph? Did you read the mails. Its an interesting example of hiding corrections to save face

  6. tetris says:

    I agree with your underlying argument. However, allowing any given home university to investigate and be the ultimate adjudicator on alleged wrongdoings by its faculty is tantamount to giving the rabbits the responsibility to guard the lettuce.
    The “fox guarding the chicken coop” analogy somehow seems more appropriate, although it fails in its ability to reflect universities’ politically correct aversion to blood on the walls. And that it unfortunately exactly what it required.
    If Wegman et. al is tainted, let’s get to the bottom that ASAP and draw the appropriate conclusions. If that turns out not to be the case, those who made the allegations should be fed to the foxes in the most public manner possible.

  7. Steve Koch says:

    Yeah, if Wegman did not properly attribute where the material came from, it could be bad for him. My question is how bad? If one of his grad students made the mistake, who pays the price, both Wegman and the grad student, just Wegman, or just the grad student.

    Nobody is claiming the material is wrong, just that it has been copied without attribution, right?

  8. MikeA says:

    With the graphs I can’t understand why Michael Mann’s more recent work (2008?) that seems to support the concept of a Medieval Warming Period is never quoted. Is it not big enough or is there another reason?

  9. harry says:

    Having read DC’s and John Mashey’s assertions for quite some time, it is clear that they are on a witch-hunt. They have found a number of definitional descriptions which correspond closely to some text book definitions. What proportion do these inproperly attributed phrases comprise of the entire Wegman report? Vanishingly small. Does their exclusion in anyway damage the substance of the report? Not the least. Yet these two have decided that descending into a McCarthyist “outing” and attempting to destroy the career of someone who committed the “crime” of exposing the statistical errors of Michael Mann is their best avenue. I’m guessing they won’t be happy if the institution’s investigations are done in private, are explained in a 5 page report and none of the investigators read the Wegman report.

    In a sense their efforts in this area serve as an excellent example of what is wrong with Climate Science. Any sense of proportionality has been removed. Their objective is kill the messenger, since they have failed so comprehensively to damage the message.

    It is sad to see John Mashey has not listened to his own advice that he freely gave when touring on behalf of MIPS corporation, “your mileage may vary”, no such reservations are allowed if one is reviewing climate science.

    In a decade or two, when this hysteria is over and none of their predictions have not eventuated, history will judge them harshly.

  10. P.F. says:

    Bradley is raising a complaint on the notion that Wegman’s report contained bits that may have been plagiarized from another source (or simply not adequately referenced). If the allegations were true, would that then diminish the weight of Wegman’s conclusions, or simply give Wegman a black eye for improper referencing/crediting? If the complaint was that Wegman made up things out of whole cloth that went directly to strength of his conclusions, there should be major concerns about the entire matter, including the possible importance of MBH98. What is Bradley’s possible motivation? Plagiarism seems to be a different matter than falsified or corrupt data and flawed process.

  11. ZT says:

    The “criticism” of the Wegman report – plagiarism? Well – that is bad.

    But if this is the “criticism” then presumably the key conclusions (shoddy statistical ‘algorithms’ used by Mann et al and peer review cliques in the ‘hockey team’ publications) are accepted by the warmies.

  12. Huub Bakker says:
    it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be

    This is exactly the problem with PSU’s investigation into allegations against Mann. They wanted to shield him and so broke almost every rule that they, and the state government, had set up for such investigations. The same can be said for the investigation into Phil Jones’ colleague (cant remember his name offhand) and the wandering Chinese weather stations. Universities (and I say this as a member of faculty myself) have abrogated the right to make their own investigations. It will be interesting to see how they handle allegations against Wegman and whether the same ‘easy line’ is taken as has been seen in other investigations. I hope not.

  13. Doug in Seattle says:

    Let the facts guide the investigation. But while the investigation proceeds elsewhere, we should ponder why it is that Bradley is involved in this. Wegman is not a tree-ring specialist – he’s a statistic expert. He was given the Hockey Stick review based on his being the head of the NAS stats section.

  14. Al Tekhasski says:

    Legal definition for “plagiarize”: ” to copy and pass off (the expression of ideas or words of another) as one’s own ”

    Is not it true that an investigative report is not an “original work”? Isn’t the purpose of any report to use the language and framework of the work under question, to analyze it for flaws, and tear it apart? We are not talking about poetry of tree rings, don’t we?

    Was the Wegman report ever presented as “original work”? Did the committee claim the treemometer method as their own? In the particular Bradley case, the report simply describes their methodology. What could be possibly wrong with this? But I guess you never know in the world of lawyers…

  15. papertiger says:

    “In a decade or two, when this hysteria is over and none of their predictions have not eventuated, history will judge them harshly.”

    I can’t see any point in waiting.

  16. jose says:

    I’m sure Wegman could get a cushy job with Heartland, or CEI, or one of those other lobbying groups if the university deems the charges of plagiarism to be valid. ..

    And Tom, it is never “a pity” that shoddy science is discarded. Science is supposed to be objective, whereas the Wegman report and his Congressional testimony was clearly biased towards certain outcomes (discredit Mann, provide “skeptics” with blank ammunition to be repeated ad nauseum, and delay action on greenhouse gas emissions.)

    Congratulations to John Mashey and Deep Climate for exposing the shoddy scholarship of the Wegman Report.

  17. Oakden Wolf says:

    Steven Mosher asked me:

    do you know the full story behind the graph? Did you read the mails

    Probably not, since I’m not sure what the “mails” refers to. Feel free to enlighten me. Steve McIntyre has a discussion of where he thinks the graph came from (dated 2008): http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/09/where-did-ipcc-1990-figure-7c-come-from

  18. pat says:

    Let the data speak for itself. So much of this controversy is driven by altered data. Whenever one sees the emphasis on “norming” or “homogenizing” or even “averaging”, we all know now that the data has been falsified. NOAA started it, but it has now become a global phenomenon of greedy morons pretending to do science while in fact doing make believe.
    The real problem is that we have habitats and environments that need serious attention while these schemers suck up the energy.
    It appears that New Zealand has finally realized that NIWA was a criminal enterprise. Well so is NOAA, NASA, and Mann, Hansen, etc.

  19. kuhnkat says:

    Wegman, and/or his grad students may have plagiarized material.

    Let’s keep this in perspective. The material, wherever it came from, buried the Hockey Stick and we have to keep that to the forefront.

    What happens to Wegman and/or the grad students should be seaparate and appropriate to whatever they actually did.

    This is a totally different case than, say,

    http://www.informath.org/pubs/EnE07a.pdf

    where the DATA used in the paper was possibly fraudulent!! In this case there are no allegations of the methods or data used, whatever their source, as being incorrect and the Hockey Stick is still dead.

    If there was plagiarism I would bet on the grad students. I hope that Mr. Wegman is exonerated, but, if he actually did plagiarize he must pay. Let me stress one more time, that would in no way change the result of the Hockey Stick being found faulty!!

  20. Phil. says:

    Oakden Wolf says:
    October 8, 2010 at 10:27 pm
    WHY are you showing that schematic diagram from the 1990 IPCC report that had limited data basis? It was a sketch to guide discussion based on general concepts, including anecdotal evidence (primarily European, for that matter).

    Because it was used in the Wegman Report I guess.

  21. Phil. says:

    Doug in Seattle says:
    October 8, 2010 at 11:17 pm
    Let the facts guide the investigation. But while the investigation proceeds elsewhere, we should ponder why it is that Bradley is involved in this. Wegman is not a tree-ring specialist – he’s a statistic expert. He was given the Hockey Stick review based on his being the head of the NAS stats section.

    Bradley complained because sections of his work were copied in the Wegman Report without attribution.

  22. a jones says:

    So now the besieged make a desperate sally to try to disrupt the slowly gathering forces that encircle them. Well that is what a sally port is for and much good may it do them.

    The fortress is undermined, its walls crumbling beneath their feet, and they know it.

    What they do not understand is the firepower they are facing.

    The bow and arrow is old and a potent weapon but it was the English who turned it into the first modern mass firepower weapon: and devastated France with it. It was not that the idea was new it was the technology.

    The ancient Romans devised the first highly organised infantry army and they knew all about light and heavy cavalry and indeed pikes as well as bows and arrows. They also had excellent artillery and understood the idea of mass firepower but had no way to achieve it.

    They could have defeated any army until Crecy when the English showed what true mass firepower with the longbow could do. No Roman general would have had any answer to that nor at the time did anyone else for a hundred years.

    And it was the massed firepower of the longbow that emasculated the fortress. Up till then a great siege was needed to keep the enemy in his castle and prevent a breakout so the forces were about equal. But it only took a handful of longbowmen to confine the enemy behind his defences and so allow the army to roam free and take what they would.

    What you are now seeing is much the same thing.

    For over one hundred years the MSM in many forms, the press, the films, books, the TV and wireless have controlled information and the elites, especially politicians, have shrewdly used this to their advantage.

    What T’Internet and the WWW has done is put this information into the hands of us all: and the blogosphere has started to organise. It is a messy process and of course these elites are trying to control it. They understand the threat. But they have no answer as of yet.

    This little battle over AGW is merely a curtain raiser, like Crecy, a slight flexing of the muscles. Of the common man and woman who will not be put upon. The decisive battle, Agincourt is still some time away.

    Although I shall not live to see them there are very interesting times ahead.

    But this kind of counterattack so very late in the day tells you just how short of any effective ammunition the defenders of AGW, the politicians, the rent seekers, even the so called scientists are and how little they understand of the new battleground on which they must fight.

    Kindest Regards

  23. Jan Pompe says:

    Here is the analysis from Deep Climate

    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/wegman-bradley-tree-rings-v20.pdf

    Having looked at Bradley’s work the first time today and having learnt most of what I know of Dendroclimatology from other sources I can’t say that I would have used much different wording when writing a background section on it. One would hope that they were describing the same thing the description would not be too different. I think on this basis alone it’s difficult to make a case of outright plagiarism especially since Wegman includes information not in the Bradley paper e.g. that carbon dioxide availability can confound the temperature signal.

  24. papertiger says:

    I should also note that this is being handled better than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of the University of Virginia’s grants for Michael Mann–basically because it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be.

    Here’s the problem with Tom’s thinking.
    UCLA Cans Professor James Enstrom for Thought Crimes.

    Enstrom, an epidemiologist at UCLA’s School of Public Health, … says his studies show no causal link between diesel soot and death in California — findings that … set him far apart from the pack and put him in direct conflict with the California Air Resources Board [CARB], which says its new standards on diesel emissions will save 9,400 lives between 2011 and 2025 and will reduce health care costs by as much as $68 billion in the state.

    One month after coauthoring an op-ed for Forbes.com expressing his concerns with these obviously pernicious regulations, Enstrom got a letter stating that he was getting canned because his “research is not aligned with the academic mission of the Department.”

    That academic mission: to help the moonbats running California use faulty science and phony environmentalist posturing to destroy the state’s economy, with the rest of the country soon to follow it down the drain.

    And the results after a REAL investigation was conducted?

    BREAKING: SFO Chronicle says “Faulty science behind state’s landmark diesel law” – an error of 340%

  25. Jonde says:

    So why did it took Bradley years to notice this? Why the timing? There are always politics behind this kind of matters.

  26. antoon DV says:

    maybe Cuccineli should go after Wegman, instead of wasting everybody’s time and money chasing Michael E. Mann

  27. Dougmanxx says:

    So I guess, like most things political, when you cannot argue the facts, you attack the messenger. Like several previous posters, after looking at the allegations I see much smoke and mirrors and not too much substance. I would hope when giving definitions of things, they might be similar to something found in a text on the subject. Not giving a citiation, an oversight yes. But then for something that wasn’t meant as a “scholarly” publication but rather a report to Congress, who cares? Not me.

  28. Peter Miller says:

    I don’t see the problem.

    Whatever way you cut it, plagiarising reliable accurate sources is 1,000 times better that making up your own data and then manipulating/strangling it to support your own dubious hypotheses a la Mann and other climate ‘scientists’.

  29. Poptech says:

    The report posted on Deep Climate is an incoherent mess. Did anyone actually try to read through it?

    This is a joke right? The report cites Wikipedia and sourcewatch?

    Check out this statement,

    “The first sentence is plagiarized from Wikipedia”

    WTF? Really? If anyone knows how Wikipedia works they would realize how idiotic this statement is. The moron who wrote the report is citing current pages of Wikipedia to a report that was written in 2006!

  30. zzz says:

    Isn’t this just another version of an ad hominem attack? Just like it does not matter scientifically if Wegman took bad oil and coal company money (or even embezzled the pension funds of widows and orphans) to fund his research — as long as the research and data are correct — so also it doesn’t matter scientifically if portions of Wegman’s report are plagiarized as long as the research and data are correct. Hey, Wegman could be convicted of thousands of murders with felonious intent without it affecting the correctness of his research and data one iota.

  31. KenB says:

    Boy we have surfing trolls, must surely be the last gasp for some, guess they need something to crow about. they have been quiet lately. So lets wait and see.

    Might be the season for investigations, proper ones that is. where will it end!!

    My gosh!!

  32. Huth says:

    Well said, a jones. Your metaphor (if that’s what it is) is a good one and a good read. Reassuring in the midst of madness too. Thanks.

    Any university worth its salt will deal with ‘blood on the walls’ properly. Their reputations and academic status are at stake. Those insitutions that try to hide the blood will be dismissed as no good for serious study. It’ll take time but it’ll happen thanks to sites like this. How many of us here used to believe the warmies? The tide is turning.

  33. Jonde says:

    I just checked the Deep Climate pdf and only question that came to my mind was “Is that it?”. Few short paragraphs in introduction. Some word here and there. Not worth the hassle, unless you have too much time on your hands.

  34. anna v says:

    Well, one of the reasons for peer review is to catch oversights in attributions.
    I do not know where reports to political bodies fall in the spectrum of publications. I would certainly not expect them to offer original scientific work .
    Maybe reports should be peer reviewed.

    It would be interesting to know whether the accuser’s work was listed in the references and just the specific sentences not referenced, or …
    If the reference was there but the specific citation to sentences is not, it is a trivial accusation.

  35. Ben D. says:

    This just stinks of revenge … maybe technically some small error happened, but I stated before I was before getting someone on a technicallity just because we are mad about events…even if it is Michael Mann…If you take a magnifying glass to anyone’e life, you will find something illegal unless they are really good at burning evidence literally.

  36. Wayne Richards says:

    a jones @ 11:50 pm

    Hate to be picky, but a narrow approach by the French over a boggy quagmire massed their cavalry together and slowed them down fatally. Room to manoeuvre greatly reduced the effect of massed firepower.

    We must keep the opponent hemmed in. We do this by constantly reiterating the main focus of contention — shoddy science. True, we can pick up the plums our adversaries inadvertently give us, such as splattergate, but overall we must stay on theme. The science is everything. If we slip, or appear to, as occasionally we shall, the problems must be dealt with openly and promptly. In this way we set the standard for dealing with real or perceived mistakes, thereby drawing a sharp contrast between ourselves and our adversaries. We keep the argument confined to the matter of good science, openly done. We hem them in right there.

    But true, Crecy and Agincourt were damn fine battles.

  37. anna v says:

    Jan Pompe says:
    October 8, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks for the link.
    Both pages read like encyclopedia entries. When one is describing the same field it is hard to avoid similar sentence structures , and there is nothing original in the pages.
    Might as well call plagiarism using the same alphabet!

  38. Steven Mosher says:

    Makes perfect sense.

    Wegman copied Bradley. Bradley is a Mann Co Author. Wegman criticized Mann. Therefore, Wegman is wrong, err Bradley is wrong. And it’s clear from this that decentered PCA is correct. makes sense. Didnt even have to review the math. Climate science! the only field where this kind of logic holds

    In the end nothing turns on the Wegman affair. except the focus.

  39. Aynsley Kellow says:

    I posted the following over at BishopHill Earlier:

    I took the bother to follow Eli Rabbett’s bait, at the cost of adding another hit to his website (the reason he tosses cryptic contributions from beneath the bridge over which Billy Goats Gruff are crossing – anything for a hit on his blog).

    For those who don’t know him, he is apparently Joshua B. Halpern, a chemistry professor at Howard University, who does not appear to have any publications directly relevant to the science of climate change.

    The ‘lawyering up’ of Wegman is his logical stretch from a comment from Wegman that there is some ‘litigation’, because Mann-coauthor has lodged a plagiarism complaint against both Wegman and several of his graduate students. The basis for this complaint appears to be a the almost obsessive work by computer scientist (again, no climate change publications) John Mashey. Many of the graduate students accused by Mashey contributed to the Wegman Report.

    Curious, I looked briefly at some of Mashey’s ‘evidence’. I stress SOME. Much of the case seems weak: several claims of plagiarism amount to claims that paraphrasing does not differ sufficiently from the source, and (since the source is attributed) would not pass as plagiarism in a student essay. At best, it would draw a cautionary margin note. (In an age when we in universities are dealing with passages copied verbatim, this would not get past square one).

    Much of the material referred to is simply descriptive of basic science, with variations on passages like ‘carbohydrates are fermented to produce alcohol.’ Mashet seems to get very excited that paraphrasing of that yields text like’ carbohydrates are femented to make alcohol’, and it has a lot of words in common. (Try paraphrasing a basic statement in science and NOT use a lot of words in common!)

    I found no evidence produced of what would constitute serious plagiarism: wholesale lifting of results unattributed.

    But let’s assume that there is plagiarism of a serious kind in what is a essentially a lit review in the Wegman Report. I am open to that possibility: after a quick cost-benefit analysis, I did not think it worth reading further. (Life is too short!) Would it change the basis of the findings of the Wegman Report? Not at all.

    Much of Mashey’s critique centres on the use of social network analysis. If you want a laugh, look at Mashey’s own attempts to link Bjorn Lomborg to conservative think tanks on the basis that they like what he has written, which supposedly corrupted his writings. Cause usually precedes effect, John! Wegman’s SNA, in contrast, is an analysis of cooperation through authorship among the paleoclimate community.

  40. tonyb says:

    Phil said

    “Bradley complained because sections of his work were copied in the Wegman Report without attribution.”

    So its to do with lack of attribution rather than the Wegman report being wrong? Is that how you read it?

    tonyb

  41. Christopher Hanley says:

    “….One major fabrication does stand out. It is a distortion of an sketch [sic] already obsolete by 1992, but supported strongly and used repeatedly…” (Mashey page 3 pdf) presumably refers to the H. H. Lamb 1000 year reconstruction which appears at the top of this thread.

    OK, Lamb’s “sketch” is superseded by what? Presumably by Mann et al. — I think he’s headed into a circular argument.

    Again pursuing a jones’ metaphor, Mashey’s ‘Strange Scholarship’ (which uses the phrase “climate anti-science” whatever that means 10 times) will be picked up and promoted as something worth considering (like here), but is a merely clumsy feint in the on-going PR battle.

  42. Paul_K says:

    It seems like a storm in a tea-cup. The DeepClimate comparison of the two documents includes a clear reference to Bradley 1999, but without making it clear that elements of Bradley’s writing might have been paraphrased in the (foregoing) section. Given that the section challenges one of Bradley’s key conclusions, and one of his assumptions, Bradley might not have appreciated being credited with the full content!

    The authors basically had two choices:- (a) cite Bradley in full and then explain where and why they disagreed with him, or (b) state their own position and include a reference to Bradley’s 1999 paper. They opted for (b), but apparently made use of Bradley’s structure in presenting their own arguments, instead of drafting from a scratch position. It may represent a minor technical breach, but I can see no serious ethical question arising given that it does reference Bradley directly!

  43. Deep Climate says

    Cuccinnelli’s legal pursuit of Michael Mann relies heavily on the Wegman Report.

    That looks like the reason for the timing.

    I note that the warmists get to reply fast here, and those chanting “plagiarism! shocking!” without any actual cites of evidence, while those who prefer to see what the “plagiarism” charges are, are rather slower. But come they will. I remember examining the main source of criticism of Ian Plimer in depth, and finding that all the serious-sounding charges simply vaporized on exposure to the light of day. But the attack on Plimer had been a good diversion for those who never looked more closely, to simply tweet “Plimer has been discredited” when he had not.

    At the very least, a statistics report has to use the material of others; an audit doubly so; I’m instantly suspicious of claims of “plagiarism”.

    Tom Fuller says

    Let’s watch this and see, and report on the results in a clear-eyed fashion.

    Mashey’s report, linked from the article by Deep Climate, is the thing to watch, to see if there is any substance beneath the charges, and to see to what extent it is the oldest trick of the guilty: point the finger to someone else. Heh, the second sentence of Mashey’s report says

    It [the Wegman report] has been key prop of climate anti-science ever since.

  44. desmong says:

    Here is what Steven Mosher said recently (September 28, 2010 at 2:38 am) about the Wegman Report:

    err.

    the first sentence .. the wegman report is a key part of skepticism?

    hardly. The hockey stick, as gavin notes, is not very scientifically interesting. So, how is a report, read by so few skeptics, about a topic that doesn’t matter, form the basis of a movement so dangerous. It beggars the imagination.

    Here’s a brain buster for you. The Wegman report is a mess & Mann is wrong & AGW is a threat.

    Oh my god. the laws of logic actually allow one to hold all those views. The laws of climate science debate, do not. In fact if you try to hold those three logically consistent views you will be attacked from all sides. Interesting. Quite telling. something somewhere was siad about truth being the first victim.

    Source: http://judithcurry.com/2010/09/25/climate-book-shelf/#comment-2221

    Was the Wegman Report rubbish all time along?

  45. toby says:

    Most people seem to miss the point being made here. Mr Fuller is admitting “right answer, wrong method equals bad science”. Very true, but very few contributors on this blog think Mann got the “right answer”.

    Most people believe in the chart on top left from an early IPCC report that is based on non-quantitative work, probably done in the 1970s by Professor H. Lamb.

    As far as I know, all independent studies have confirmed the “hockey stick” shape, so the right answer is what Mann produced. In other words, your opinions on Mann as a scientist are irrelevant to the fact of global warming and the climate in the North Atlantic today being warmer than the MWP. Mann is not the “hockey stick” and the “hockey stick” is not Mann, though the continual harping on about it has seemed to make it so.

  46. Nick Stokes says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    “And it’s clear from this that decentered PCA is correct. makes sense.”

    No, I don’t believe anyone (even Mann) is seriously saying that decentred PCA is a good idea. It’s a suboptimal method that makes little difference to the result (as Wahl and Ammann showed). It was used once, almost certainly due to a programming error, in a paper in 1998. There are a large number of papers since that have produced similar hockeystick results; none used decentred PCA.

  47. I don’t know if Wegman (or Said) will be condemned, but if so, I doubt that it will be because of the work of John Massey.

    I have read his 20-page summary. 17 pages are simply his own opinion (where I can make a rebuttal of about the same length, but to no avail, I suppose), without any evidence. Page 18 is more interesting: two clear examples of plagiarism, according to JM.

    Well if you look at the original page 69 for the first example, the Wegman report clearly indicates that it is a summary of what MBH’98 has done. One can discuss the quality of the summary, if that reflects the original work “as is”, but there is a huge difference between plagiarism (which pretends to be own work) and the description of another’s work, even when parts are literally copied.

    The example of page 80 gives a lot of comment on MBH’s method and shows a copy of MM05 (clearly attributed), but some wording is made stronger, which again is not plagiarism, but may be said to be biased.

    Page 19 and 20 again are his own [JM's] opinion, for which we comment on one point, about the HS graph:

    “This whole fuss is about the difference between grey and red. Of course they differ slightly, for good reason. Does this matter?”

    This clearly shows his own bias. Two items:

    – With normal centering, the HS shape moves from PC1 to PC5. That means that the real influence of the HS shape is much less and not robust for inclusion or not of PC5. Without PC5, NO HS.

    In the original work only PC1-PC3 were retained. Now in an after the fact move they insist in including 5 PC’s (as done in the graph JM shows). The difference is clearly shown in Wegman’s report, page 32.

    – As repeatedly said, the fuss is NOT only about the difference between central and decentral PCA, but about the presence of abnormal growth spurt trees in the past century. Without the bristlecone pines and a few other (tree and non-tree) series: NO hockeystick, whatever method used.

    References:
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf
    and
    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf

    This was sent to the New Statesman “50 people who matter 2010″ as comment (now already 635 comments on Steve McI!), where some CAGW reactions try to undermine Steve via Wegman…

  48. geronimo says:

    I heard about this some months ago and checked it out, as far as I could see Wegman put a preamble in his report explaining paleoclimatology and dendrology, he appears to have used phrases very close to phrases in Bradley’s text book on the matter. I don’t think anyone in their right mind would have assumed that Wegman was trying to put this out as his own work as clearly he isn’t a paleoclimogologist or a dendrologist.

    Bradley appears to be a weak character whose been bullied by Mann in the past, so it’s not beyond the bounds of reason that he’s been bullied into making this claim, after all he can make the claim with no apparent downside, unless of course Wegman is (as is probable) found not guilty and complains to the NAS about this harassment.

  49. BenSix says:

    *ensure

    #analpedantry?Iprefertocallitcharitablecopywriting

  50. desmong says:

    Paul_K: It seems like a storm in a tea-cup. The DeepClimate comparison of the two documents includes a clear reference to Bradley 1999, but without making it clear that elements of Bradley’s writing might have been paraphrased in the (foregoing) section.

    45 pages out of the 90 pages of the Wegman Report are plagiarised. This is what Mashey’s evidence shows, and Fuller refuses to link in this blog post. The best that Fuller could do is provide just a link to the http://www.deepclimate.org blog.

    Did Wegman cite those sections he plagiarized? No, he did not. He made them appear as if they are his own work.

    The plagiarism is not the only problem with the Wegman Report. But it is the easiest for someone that can only afford to skim.

  51. Blade says:

    Thomas Fuller [top post] says

    “I should also note that this is being handled better than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of the University of Virginia’s grants for Michael Mann–basically because it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be.”

    Just wondering about this: if a rape or burglary occurs on campus, who the heck should investigate? Left to their own devices perhaps no-one would, or maybe a cursory inquiry followed by a whitewash. After all, that would keep the public and alumnus away from embarrasing details and maintain the flow of tax dollars, donations and bequeathments. Thomas Fuller must be a tacit fan of the ClimateGate whitewashes. Funny Note: I actually found myself typing [BLOCKHEAD] instead of [BLOCKQUOTE] in those HTML tags. I should have left them in. ;-)

    antoon DV [October 9, 2010 at 12:18 am] says:

    “maybe Cuccineli should go after Wegman, instead of wasting everybody’s time and money chasing Michael E. Mann”

    I’m sorry, did you mean to suggest that Virginia Taxpayers have had their money misused or squandered by Wegman? Have you anything to back that up? Try to focus on Cuccinelli as working for the Taxpayers instead of some political/scientific entity and it might make sense to you. But if you know something, by all means contact the AG. Let the chips fall where they may.

    This thread has illuminated one thing though: In order to discredit AGW Dogma all we need to do is find plagiarism, erratum, mis-attributions or low-level screw-ups in the writings/reports from the cabal, Hansen, Mann, IPCC, Gore, Princess Charles, etc, ad nauseum.

    On the other hand, Pandora’s Box comes to mind here. It seems to me that up until now most discussion and criticism has been on the merits and I can’t remember any that focused on the dotting of i’s and crossing of t’s (post grads, interns, attribution). I suspect that when the ‘skeptic’ community gets through with rectal exams of all the big mouth blogs pushing AGW propaganda, few if any will be left standing.

    We may have just crossed the Rubicon.

  52. I read John Mashey’s PDF a week or so ago. I came away with the sense that Mashey, who starts out atrociously, manages to become progressively more and more unhinged through his document. Whatever Mashey’s piece is pretending to be, it’s far from being convincing as a rational review of Wegman’s report.

    I agree that the matter needs investigation and I’m happy, for now, that this is happening at GMU. But if the investigation’s prosecution only has the splurgings of Mashey’s rant, I anticipate the end of the tale will carry more severe ramifications for Mashey than for Wegman.

  53. William von Baskerville says:

    I think discussing the climate of the last 1000 years is indeed a difficult thing to do.

    My personal opinion, as I told here before and can be read on my blog: http://mittelalterlichewarmperiode.blogspot.com is that if we accept a global “Little Ice Age” (differing in location and time), we also have to accept a “MWP” in this area.

    If we accept that the sun was one of the major factors of influence for a warmer “MWP” in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s quite logical to think about a global “MWP” (differing in place and time, modificated by intern osciallations). We can`t name this “MCA” – why anomalous, with reference to what?

    “MWP” only stands for a period in historical time. Within this period the mean temperatures were warmer than at least in the subsequent Little Ice Age and at least for the Northern Hemisphere – that’s all.

    Best
    W.v.B.

  54. anna v says:

    What a farce this hockey stick business is. With enough error bars on the proxies anything can be shoved to flat. In any case it makes no difference to the fact that the temperatures are not unprecedented. All one has to do is look at proxies before 1000AD,. Here is the nice reminder
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif that hockey stick or not, the 20th century is a blip on the long record, and not an unusual one.

    What is sad is that the link above clearly shows that we are on the downslide towards the next ice age. Instead of wasting money trying to thought control a bit of beneficial warming ( I believe it is hubris to think that we can control the weather by playing with CO2) the UN should be concerned of solutions for coming cold seasons, maybe in decades or even hundreds of years, but come they will.

    I think that mirrors in space should be seriously studied, not to reflect away the sun, but to increase insolation when it becomes necessary if the ice starts marching again following its clock.

  55. Just to be clear, Mashey is directly accusing Wegman of lies. Entirely distinct from and unrelated to accusations of plagiarism, this accusation stands in Mashey’s piece. I’m expecting that Mashey will have to defend this very serious, very grave accusation. And I really think he should be forced to do so. Ultimately, this may not be the “Scepticgate” some warmists are anticipating, especially if “Scepticgate” has its day in court, with Mashey as a defendant.

  56. tonyb says:

    Reading the comments above I suspect that people are trying to draw attention away from the investigation into Dr Mann. You can’t go far wrong if you listen to H.L.Mencken who wrote:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

    Tonyb

  57. Nick Stokes says:

    Ferdinand, October 9, 2010 at 3:05 am
    “As repeatedly said, the fuss is NOT only about the difference between central and decentral PCA, but about the presence of abnormal growth spurt trees in the past century.”
    Well, there certainly isn’t much eventual difference between centred and decentred PCA for MBH98, as Wahl and Amman showed. So if the fuss is about the presence of abnormal spurt trees, why is Wegman the authority? Is it anywhere in his report?

  58. D Bonson says:

    At least this is not as terrible as deleting/destroying/losing raw data. Or tampering with peer review processes. Or not allowing others to replicate your work. Or citing unfounded claims as scientific evidence.

    Lets investigate all the issues in chronological order starting with the earliest incidents and moving forward as see where we stand at the end of it all.

  59. kwik says:

    Nick Stokes says:
    October 9, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Nick, Wegman isnt the authority. The Warmistas are experts on derailing the argument.

    Look at the IPCC’s curves from 1990 and 1998. So the “authority” is the same in both cases.

    The IPCC.

    No wonder the word “fraud” comes to mind.

  60. bigcitylib says:

    “I’m expecting that Mashey will have to defend this very serious, very grave accusation. And I really think he should be forced to do so.”

    So far, none of the litigation Wegman mentions in the USA Today article has been directed towards Mr. Mashey. It MAY be from the publishers of some of the books Wegman is alleged to have pilfered from aand directed towards Wegman. Copyright issues, possiby.

  61. Thomas says:

    A discussion of the top left figure from IPCC can be found over at Climateaudit:
    http://climateaudit.org/2008/05/09/where-did-ipcc-1990-figure-7c-come-from-httpwwwclimateauditorgp3072previewtrue/
    It seems to be a graph of temperatures from England that just got smoothed and relabeled as global temperature. Maybe this is a hint why MBH was seen as a significant improvement of the state of the art in temperature reconstruction.

    The great mystery with the Wegman report is why Wegman was picked in the first place. Since he had no background in climate science it’s not surprising that he had to plagiarize to produce a reasonable sounding text.

  62. Nick Stokes says:
    October 9, 2010 at 3:58 am

    Well, there certainly isn’t much eventual difference between centred and decentred PCA for MBH98, as Wahl and Amman showed. So if the fuss is about the presence of abnormal spurt trees, why is Wegman the authority? Is it anywhere in his report?

    It is on page 32 of Wegman’s report: the effect of proper centering and decentered PCA on PC1, with the bristlecone pines. The proper centering moves the HS shape to PC5, which is included (by W&A?) to show a small difference with the original, but that is moving the goalposts after-the-facts.

    Wegman shows a clear example of what happens when one includes a
    HS shape as only one of many proxies: he used 69 pseudo-proxies generated from white noise and added the 1990 graph of the IPCC showing a warm(er) MWP and cold LIA as 70th. Then he used proper centered and Mann’s decentered PCA method The result shows that the latter distorts the whole reconstruction with the 1990 graph as the dominant form. See page 34-35 of the Wegman report.

  63. Phil. says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    October 9, 2010 at 2:21 am
    Deep Climate says
    Cuccinnelli’s legal pursuit of Michael Mann relies heavily on the Wegman Report.
    That looks like the reason for the timing.

    Bradley complained to GMU in April so no.

  64. Ric Werme says:

    Back when I worked in the mini-supercomputer arena, John Mashey was an extremely vocal, extremely well informed spokesman for his employers. He was also completely certain of his stand and anyone who tried to present a different view or introduce other data was sure to face an energetic response.

    I was really quite surprised when his name started showing up in the climate change debate, but with this report I think he’s exceeded his stand from before. At least now he’s not limited by having to represent his employer.

    I thumbed through his Strange Scholarship report, I’m going to have to take another look with a different version of acroread – the .pdf if full of font changes from the bulk (using a sans-serif font I think my acroread doesn’t recognize) to something like Times Roman, often in mid-word.

    My initial sense is his report is classic Mashey with all the trees, branches, and leaves, it will take some time to find the forest, but any disagreements will be beaten back with all those trees, branches, and leaves.

    One thing that bothers me is it just doesn’t have the same feel that Steve McIntyre’s work has – McIntyre writes with a strong focus toward understanding the meaning behind the data. Mashey seems to be writing to crush his focus of dislike, and has strayed from trying to learn about how the world works.

    Please accept my apologies for writing about the man, not the content. The latter is well covered above.

  65. Theo Goodwin says:

    You sound totally passive. You do not need to say that we want a good, fair investigation of Wegman. That goes without saying. That is who we are. No one benefits from Cairo speeches. They just make the speaker look misguided.

  66. BillD says:

    It’s not really allowed in undergraduate reports to lift sentences and paragraphs straight out of other people’s books and articles. It is more than ironic that Wegman lifted large amounts of material straight out of a book by Bradley, a scientist who he attacked. The right way of going about this is to read an article that you find useful and then to rewrite in your own words, citing the report. Wegman padded his list of citation with many articles not cited and then copied from at least one book that he did not cite.
    Evidently four of his previous Ph.D. students are being investigated as well. Plagiarism is strongly discouraged at Universities.

  67. Mike S. says:

    The plagiarism is not the only problem with the Wegman Report. But it is the easiest for someone that can only afford to skim

    It’s also – assuming there are, indeed, other problems – the most irrelevant. Assuming the charge of plagiarism is true, it damages Wegman personally, but says nothing about the accuracy of the report itself, and has no relevance to McIntyre and McKitrick’s demolition of the “Hockey Stick”.

  68. son of mulder says:

    Is there a list of what is meant to have been plagiarized so it can be put to one side for the lawyers to salivate over and so that we can continue to focus on whether there is a valid criticism of Wegman’s analysis of Mann’s methodology.

  69. berniel says:

    Starwatcher says:
    The graph to the left looks like a schematic. Are there no actual reconstructions that can be shown?

    Oakden Wolf says:
    WHY are you showing that schematic diagram from the 1990 IPCC report that had limited data basis? It was a sketch to guide discussion based on general concepts, including anecdotal evidence (primarily European, for that matter).

    Steve Mosher says:
    Oakden Wolf.
    Do you know the full story behind the graph? Did you read the mails. Its an interesting example of hiding corrections to save face

    Steve McIntyre says on his blog:
    In Figure 7, IPCC 1990 used the CET estimates as a “schematic” for the global temperature, even though, as shown above, it was an estimate for the CET [Central England], which is taken from only one location.

    The main point that Steve Mosher may have missed is this:
    This schematic graph from the first IPCC report has become itself something of a poster child for sceptics, but we should be careful to avoid any suggestion of approval for this graph on account of its dubious use of the sources.

    It is true that often the comparison of the schematic with the hockey stick is used only to point the finger and say: Look what you said in 1990 and now look what you say in 2001…my havent you changed your tune! But if it is our wont to do this, then it might help to point to the dubious science behind both graphs.

    The main problem with the 1990 graph is that the IPCC seems to have writ global Lamb’s sketch for Central England. Lamb’s graph is supported by a mass of perhaps dubious evidence, but for Central England only. While Lamb has some evidence to suggest generalisation across northern Europe, the IPCC provided meager supplimentary evidence to suggest global application.

    Find various versions of Lamb’s graphs from 1966 on, and a growing collection of historical global climate graphs here:
    http://enthusiasmscepticismscience.wordpress.com/global-temperature-graphs/
    (I have not seen McIntyre’s post, nor the Brit Antarctic graph, but thank Oakden Wolf for the link.)

  70. toho says:

    Browsing the Mashey report, I observe that it lacks references for most of its claims. Surely Mashey didn’t plagiarize other material. I suppose he just made things up then (I am surprised he didn’t write it all in CAPS, though).

  71. RockyRoad says:

    Maybe this statement from Mr. Tom Fuller is what has been the underlying skepticism I have of a lot of what he posts here on WUWT:

    “Just because we have policy preferences and have opinions doesn’t mean we can ignore the facts.”

    No, Mr. Fuller, I DON’T have particular “policy preferences”. I’m one of those straight-laced scientists that just want THE TRUTH! Especially when it comes to SCIENCE!

    So if that’s how you view everybody that doesn’t buy into the fraud and cult I see as “climate science”, then you’re wrong, at least in my case. I think you should consider that when making unsubstantiated blanket statements.

    I will not be shuddering and quaking in my boots over these charges of plagarism–no, I want to see it ALL, warts and everything–on both sides of the argument. I want to see ALL of the emails from Mann and his cohorts, from Hansen and his cohorts, an entire data dump from the CRU, NASA, etc., etc., as well as all critics of their work. Everything the government and does with respect to climate should be under a complete and total open book policy (and that applies to every scientist, engineer, advocacy group, or research body that receives one nickel of government funding, too!)

    That’s my only preference.

  72. Shub says:

    Deepclimate and Mashey are warmist nitpickers, insinuators, witchhunters and vague whisperers par excellence.

    It is DeepClimate’s style to be fully sure of his own position, at the same time be extremely twitchy and nervous enough to restrict argument about it. Another favorite past time is of course, is hunting for plagiarism in Wegman. He did that with Donald Rapp, got soundly whacked for it and had to withdraw significant chunks of text at his blog.

    “Wegman said that Mann was wrong, but he ‘plagiarized'”. This simple fact shows up the absolute poverty of ideas and pathetic quality of the warmist activist blogs.

  73. kramer says:

    It’ll be interesting to note how much US media attention this story gets compared to the coverage climategate received.

  74. PhilMB says:

    … “his famous claim that ‘right answer, wrong method equals bad science’ is certainly and obviously correct…

    Mann and Jones showed that it’s really ‘wrong answer, wrong method equals bad science’!

  75. MrPete says:

    Desmong said:

    45 pages out of the 90 pages of the Wegman Report are plagiarised. This is what Mashey’s evidence shows, and Fuller refuses to link in this blog post. The best that Fuller could do is provide just a link to the http://www.deepclimate.org blog.

    Did Wegman cite those sections he plagiarized? No, he did not. He made them appear as if they are his own work.

    Actually, you’ve overstated the problem by quite a large margin. The claim is that 10 pages contain unattributed copying (ie plagiarism). 35 pages contain cited summaries that Mashey and DC consider insufficiently different (not plagiarism yet still potentially a problem at least for a strict academic paper.)

    Even then, there’s no proof that their claims are correct. Example: they show a common link between WR and a Wikipedia article. Yet the Wikipedia article itself is, by definition, material drawn from other sources… which are also improperly unattributed. It is possible that both drew from a third source, which for all we know may have been Wegman himself.

    Yes, it’s a mess. But I’m content to sit back and allow all sides an opportunity to speak. We don’t really know what happened here.

  76. Pascvaks says:

    Win or not, Wegman will be flogged, then placed upon the rack and then drawn and quartered, and his body parts taken to the four corners of the World and his head put on a pike at the top of the Washington Monument. When a mob of any persuasion is after you, you can’t win. Little wonder that so few scientists dare to challange the march to Utopia and the New World Order.

  77. David L says:

    Anna v at 3:47
    “…What is sad is that the link above clearly shows that we are on the downslide towards the next ice age. Instead of wasting money trying to thought control a bit of beneficial warming ( I believe it is hubris to think that we can control the weather by playing with CO2) the UN should be concerned of solutions for coming cold seasons, maybe in decades or even hundreds of years, but come they will….”

    Don’t you think that’s what it’s all about? They know the cooling is coming. But right now there’s an uptick in temps and is correlated with CO2. Now is the time to spin the hysteria to amass power and wealth, before the cooling begins. Then when the cooling begins, they can say “see, we were right and thankfully we were able to put in all these controls of CO2 which got our climate to reverse the warming”. But in 50 years when this generation is gone, the future generation can start all over again but with claims of global cooling hysteria, allowing them to amass yet more power and money.

    When I was a young scientist I was naive. During my lifetime (and paying attention to history) I’ve learned that everything really is about the money. From Judas till now…follow the money.

  78. Mike Davis says:

    If Wegman was investigating Mann, BRADLEY, and Hughes it would have been necessary to use their own words as evidence. As dedro is a “Very Small” field the amount of written descriptions in 2005 would have been limited to text written by the perpetrators.
    We are talking about an investigation of original work and those who participated in that work. So even if they copied verbatim all that Bradley has ever written to be used in the Wegman report, Bradley was given credit for being investigated.

  79. slow to follow says:

    Phil. October 9, 2010 at 5:26 am,

    For info. – Cucinelli filed his original CIDs 23 April 2010. See page 5:

    http://www.virginia.edu/uvatoday/pdf/052710_petition.pdf

  80. Bernie says:

    The charges need to be looked at. My read of Wegman’s statement that litigation is underway is that he might be pursuing his own legal action. Mashey’s analysis is a incoherent jumble. The emergence of so many warmistas on this site at this time is passing strange and feels like a concerted counter-attack. Remember that the prime mover in this attack on Wegman comes from a PR firm.

  81. Alan F says:

    Lionsden,

    Put down the pipe and step away from the keyboard. Kudos for saying something mild about the Church of Climatology’s jihadi element putting out a video depicting children being graphically murdered for not joining the congregation? The be-headings put online by the other jihadi’s was less disturbing and that this was squarely aimed at children is beyond contempt.

    Throwing back at them their own verbiage is plagiarism when science fantasy is presented as science fact? Mann should have made the pitch for Pons and Fleischman. They’d have their own wing at MIT by now. Maybe even action figures!

  82. James Sexton says:

    I find this a bit amusing. Plagiarism, is a serious academic charge. It implies intellectual theft. What it doesn’t do, is address the validity of the statements. If this is the tactic for going after the Wegman report, then they are, by default, acquiescing to the content of the report. Personally, I don’t care who wrote what part of it. It doesn’t matter to me. If Wegman plagiarized some of the report, take his hall pass away, and let’s speak to the specifics of the report.

    What I find interesting, is the use of “plagiarism”. It’s a report! I don’t believe they asserted any original thought unique to the writer. So, they copied and pasted incorrectly. It is an easy fix. Add a couple of footnotes and done! That said, it still doesn’t change the content of the report. Trying to equate this with mis-use of public funds or deliberately circumventing federal laws is laughable. This is nothing more than a diversionary tactic in a slight-of-hand 3rd rate magic trick.

  83. bobdenton says:

    By coincidence, I lodged a complaint of plagiarism with Mason University on 25th April as Deep Climate seemed “willing to wound but afraid to strike”. The complaint was as follows:

    “Dear Dr Stough,
    You may be aware that allegations of plagiarism against Prof Edward Wegman and Yasmin Said are circulating on the internet, in particular by the host of a website called Deep Climate. The link below refers:
    http://deepclimate.org/2010/04/22/wegman-and-saids-social-network-sources-more-dubious-scholarship/#more-1552
    These allegations relate to a matter of his conduct when preparing a report (http://republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/108/home/07142006_Wegman_Report.pdf)
    for the United States House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee on a matter of great public importance. On pages 17 and 18 of the report, in some prefatory passages, it is alleged he borrowed heavily on material available on the internet and from a well known textbook without acknowledging the source.
    The whole affair seems inconsequential, but if an acknowledgement should have been give it is best given as soon as possible.
    Please treat my email as a complaint of research misconduct; being plagiarism as particularised at the above hyperlink.
    Refards,

    Bob Denton.”

    I’ve heard nothing further, I@d assumed it would be binned. Prof Bradley is lucky that Mason University is taking any action at all, no matter how dilatory.

    Given that Prof Bradley has complained formally himself it’s a little surprising that Prof Wegman hasn’t trawled through the report and published a list of acknowledgements which should’ve been made but which, for whatever reason, weren’t made at the time.

    The affair is relatively minor, amounting to nothing more than a failure to give due acknowledgement to text, whose substance was clearly derivative and which contained claim to originality. However, if an undergraduate would expect to be given advice to take care to comply fully with the professional responsibility to acknowledge the work and words of others then a professor must equally expect to receive such advice and an appropriate admonition.

  84. Carolina Skeptic says:

    Is there not some irony in the fact that this complaint against Wegman’s professionalism is now getting public attention in the same week Michael Mann wrote a political editorial decrying attacks on other academics because it would “stifle” the science and turn away new innovation?

  85. Alan F says:

    Also not being said? With the vast fortune available in the Church of Climatology’s coffers and portions of the fortunes of their largest contributors at stake, this is what they are grasping at. This is what they’ve come to in defence of their pitch. That sink in to anyone yet? If not head on over to your local jurisdictional night court and watch a better brand of misdirection being presented by your local streetwalkers and pimps. At the very least, that’ll be worth sitting through for the vivid imaginations at play. The Church of Climatology’s misdirections are always the same and as this does also, lacks any real mental investment at all.

    If you can’t win in the theatre of the original topic, change both the subject matter the venue. Anxiously awaiting the “meat is murder” shift in act 3.

  86. bigcitylib says:

    “Is there a list of what is meant to have been plagiarized…”

    Below are two examples:
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/wegman-social-networks-v-2.pdf
    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/wegman-bradley-tree-rings-v20.pdf

    REPLY:
    So BCL, when will you be carrying this item?

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/08/hal-lewis-my-resignation-from-the-american-physical-society/

    I’ll make it easy for you, you don’t even have to reference the blog you despise, just use the link to the GWPF inside.

    I figure it’s as least as important as your coverage of bigfoot and monster jellyfish which have graced your blog.

    -Anthony

  87. BillD says:

    Anyone who wants to see the side by side comparisons needs to go to deep climate.

  88. kim says:

    ‘SkepticGate’. Hah, poor fools. This budges no thermometer, no feedback of water vapor, no stat of Mann, no echo in chamber.
    =================

  89. Doug Badgero says:

    So the accusation is that Dr Wegman described the background information on the science without proper attribution. What does this have to do with the scientific basis of his criticisms of Mann, et al’s work? Criticisms that both “expert panels” agreed upon under oath.

    Desmong,
    The Wegman report has been out there for years, if there are “other problems” with it please do tell.

  90. Eli Rabett says:

    While Eli thinks that Tetris’ suggestion that of rabetts guarding the lettuce is a fine one, there are reasons why universities are charged with investigating complaints against their faculty and strong motives for doing it right. Reports on these investigations must be reported to the funding agencies which evaluate them. There are serious penalties, including global defunding, which threaten any school which obviously washes stuff under the rug, which is why no quarter is given.

    Here again, it is useful to understand the mechanism. Written complaints generate inquiries, usually at the administrative level. Inquiries determine if investigations are needed. Investigations determine if penalties are required. All of this is reported to and monitored by the granting agencies.

    A good website for getting an understanding about how all this works and inside stuff in general is Medical Writing, Editing and Gransmanship.

    Eli nominates Tetris for thread winner.

  91. Mike says:

    The plagiarism allegations as I recall from Deep C. where about background material from textbooks. A technical report is not quite the same as a journal or book publication but it is still best to include all the citations or a statement like “much of the background section is taken from …”

    I object to to composition of the panel. Wegman, although a respected statistician, was well known for his conservative views and ties to the defense industry. He was a vocal supporter of Reagan’s S.D.I. The panel was Wegman, a friend he invited and one of Wegman’s grad students. That’s just too narrow. If the House committee wanted an independent review they would have recruited a much boarder panel with several statisticians and climatologists. No one on the panel had any experience in climatology. The Nation Academy review was better in this regard and vindicated Mann’s work.

  92. david.gibson says:

    I believe that Tetris is right concerning your remark that
    “I should also note that this is being handled better than Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation of the University of Virginia’s grants for Michael Mann–basically because it’s being handled by the institution involved, as it should be.”

    He noted “The “fox guarding the chicken coop” analogy somehow seems more appropriate, although it fails in its ability to reflect universities’ politically correct aversion to blood on the walls.”

    I have been following the commentary here on Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s investigation. The Northern Virginia Jewish Center invited him back for a public forum last week. He has been there a number of times before since he used to represent many of their members in the legislature. He is a conservative and they are (mostly but not all) liberal. The questioning was very pointed and sometimes emotional due to the viewpoint differences but both the questions and the answers were very polite. The answers were detailed. He made the point several times that he is not investigating Mr. Mann’s science and that Mr. Mann is not a party to the investigation. He also pointed out that it is an internal Virginia Government investigation and that the documentation he is requesting is internal Virginia property and that as the state Attorney General he is assigned by law the responsibility of investigating these matters. The law that mandates this came up because of previous misbehavior with state funds by State University professors. There were four follow-up questions to the original question on the subject. Given the way he handled this issue in conjunction with the way he handled quite a number of other issues, I would rate the likelihood of his being on “witch hunt” quite low.

    I had the opportunity to talk with several members of the community after the meeting who had seen him there over a number of years. They have had active co-operation with him on areas where they agreed and polity agreement to disagree with him on other issues. They all had the highest respect for his integrity and intelligence. I cannot share the actual experience with you. However, I am now convinced based on his work over a number of years with a group that does not fully share his political views. This investigation will be done with complete integrity.

    Blade remarked rhetorically, “I’m sorry, did you mean to suggest that Virginia Taxpayers have had their money misused or squandered by Wegman?” I have read enough in the Washington area newspapers over university financial scandals to know that most major universities hide them as long as possible and prefer to hide behind academic freedom. However, financial scandals in research are frequent although I cannot judge their frequency compared to purely academic scandals based on newspaper reports. The way to discourage misbehavior in obtaining and running grants is to audit them whenever there is reason to suspect misbehavior in obtaining or running them. Professors are strongly incentivized by their employers to get grants.

    Does anyone know where on line the actual legal postings have been placed. It might be good to go to the original sources and read what the State and the University actually say in their pleadings and what the court has responded to date. I am still suspicious of letting the fox guard the chicken coop whether the chickens are pro or anti global warming, pro or anti vaccine, pro or anti anything else.

    David Gibson

  93. Alan F says:

    As I see it, John Mashey merely got what he’s been after for years now. Attention.

  94. sharper00 says:

    @James Sexton

    “I find this a bit amusing. Plagiarism, is a serious academic charge. It implies intellectual theft. What it doesn’t do, is address the validity of the statements. If this is the tactic for going after the Wegman report, then they are, by default, acquiescing to the content of the report. “

    Who is “they”? deepclimate? John Mashey? Why can the report not be both wrong and plagiarized? Or have elements which are right and wrong, and elements which are plagiarized? Why is there a need to take a position that the report is either correct in its entirety or plagiarized?

    We know that the National Academy of Sciences concluded Mann’s work had statistical flaws but that they didn’t affect the conclusions. We also know that subsequent publications from different authors using different methods have further affirmed those conclusions.

    “It’s a report! I don’t believe they asserted any original thought unique to the writer. So, they copied and pasted incorrectly. It is an easy fix. Add a couple of footnotes and done!”

    Well the issue must surely be why they did copy and paste so liberally in the first place. Furthermore why did they include so many unused references? Given that the IPCC reports see so much controversy over a single bad reference it seems curious you’re willing to apply a different standard where you agree with the conclusions.

    All that does is create impossible hurdles for information contrary to your expectations to overcome while fostering poor standards among publications which do support you.

  95. Theo Goodwin says:

    James Sexton says:
    October 9, 2010 at 7:30 am

    What James said. Game – Set – Match.

  96. TomRude says:

    Wegman’s work is a academia bureaucrat’s report not an original research published in a peer review paper that would steal someone’s idea. You can bet that many congressinal reports are probably having the same minor problems. But since it’s climate science politics, the witchhunt organized by Mashey and his friendly desmogblog Canadian crowd connection named DC and its handful of followers from Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Victoria is supposed to unearth a misattribution here, a lack of reference here and that’s supposed to discredit Wegman’s work?
    Poor Bradley!
    Reminds me Mann and Schmidt p….g in their own pocket recently.

  97. Pamela Gray says:

    In reference to the case being built against Mann, this could be a defendant’s (IE strategic advice from a lawyer) to force a judge to disallow evidence from a paper currently being investigated.

    Plagiarism lives in a grey area when centered around commonly understood phenomenon. When we define a commonly used English word, are we guilty of plagiarism when we fail to site a dictionary? When we define a commonly understood method of using tree rings as a proxy, are we guilty of plagiarism when we fail to site one of the many folks who first studied the use of tree rings for such purposes? Some things by their nature (IE tree rings), are defined by a finite set of words in the description, thus are ready cases of plagiarism but not easily made to stick in a court of law.

  98. sharper00 says:

    @Pamela Gray

    “Plagiarism lives in a grey area when centered around commonly understood phenomenon. When we define a commonly used English word, are we guilty of plagiarism when we fail to site a dictionary?”

    I can’t imagine any individual would consider this example a “grey area” with regards to plagiarism.

    If I reposted your comment elsewhere without reference to you at all you’d rightly accuse me of plagiarism. If I posted a comment 80% similar to yours just with some words changed or switched around you’d do the same.

    If I wrote a full post here on WUWT and it was later discovered large portions of it were cobbled together unreferenced copied and pasted comments from other people then you’d rightly expect both the original authors to cry foul and for that to reflect negatively on me and the quality of my work. It wouldn’t mean necessarily the point of the post was either right or wrong but it would mean that was not a good example of an argument supporting it.

  99. RobertM says:

    Huub Bakker (October 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm), your faculty-member viewpoint that universities have “abrogated the right to make their own investigations” is an interesting one, but I suspect it goes a bit too far. Surely the universities, societies, and journals should be the first line of defense. There are times when they are so badly broken that outside pressure and outside supervision are required. And even before it gets that bad, outside opinions should always be given serious consideration, and funders have some responsibilities, as well. But once the universities were halfway sound, would you not want them to be the first line of defense? Would you want them ignoring bad practice because they no longer have any responsibility to investigate it? Do the skeptic auditors like us have the time to dig into every little problem? I have to hold my breath and agree with Tom Fuller on this one. I say “hold my breath” because of course neither plan is going to prevent all risks. We have been seeing the problems that arise if the universities are the only enforcement in town.

    Or perhaps I should just say that proper oversight is situational. It depends on the particular problem. First the universities to fix what goes wrong with the professors and the departments, then the funders and the public to fix what goes wrong with the universities or the journals or the societies.

  100. anna v says:

    Please note that the link for the full report has problems downloading, damaged file was one message.
    Here is where I found it after googling
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/reprint/ad_hoc_report.pdf

  101. DCC says:

    desmong said October 9, 2010 at 3:24 am45 pages out of the 90 pages of the Wegman Report are plagiarised.That is outrageously unbelievable! Only a fool would believe it.The plagiarism is not the only problem with the Wegman Report. But it is the easiest for someone that can only afford to skim. Equally absurd. If there are real problems with the report, those should be addressed, or at least referenced! You have the gall to say Fuller did not link to climateaudit and then you make an outrageous claim about “real problems with the report” (as opposed to this phony plagiarism problem) without citing them because plagiarism is easier for them to understand?

    That line of reasoning stinks.

  102. DCC says:

    Oops, poor HTML. I’ll try again
    desmong said October 9, 2010 at 3:24 am

    45 pages out of the 90 pages of the Wegman Report are plagiarised.

    That is outrageously unbelievable! Only a fool would believe it.

    The plagiarism is not the only problem with the Wegman Report. But it is the easiest for someone that can only afford to skim.

    Equally absurd. If there are real problems with the report, those should be addressed, or at least referenced! You have the gall to say Fuller did not link to climateaudit and then you make an outrageous claim about “real problems with the report” (as opposed to this phony plagiarism problem) without citing them because plagiarism is easier for them to understand?

    That line of reasoning stinks.

  103. Theo Goodwin says:

    sharper00 says:
    October 9, 2010 at 8:21 am
    @James Sexton

    “Well the issue must surely be why they did copy and paste so liberally in the first place. Furthermore why did they include so many unused references? Given that the IPCC reports see so much controversy over a single bad reference it seems curious you’re willing to apply a different standard where you agree with the conclusions.”

    They were documenting the background of their findings. Not closely following published materials would have left them open to the charge that they did not fairly represent those background materials. Nothing that Wegman wrote about this background material was offered as original work. Plagiarism means offering another’s original work as your original work. The charge of plagiarism is facetious.

    As McIntyre has so eloquently explained at his website, again and again and again, the best that can be said about Mann’s statistical work is that it is idiosyncratic in a way that Mann cannot justify.

    Your comment about the IPCC report is jaw-dropping. If any serious scientist had done a final reading of that report with a critical eye, the number of simple deletions would have staggered the imagination. The errors were at a kindergarten level. If Pachauri is responsible for that report then he has no understanding of science whatsoever or he is a propagandist for AGW-AGCD in the manner of Al Gore. I don’t suppose you would care to defend Gore’s movie would you?

    If there is an important scientific error in Wegman’s report, what is it? Put up or shut up.

  104. Neil Craig says:

    It should be remembered that the political funders of science have long memories & good reason to wish to pillory anybody expressing any support of scepticism “pour encourager les autres”. This does not mean this story is false but it certainly means that innocent until proven guilty & in a clearly impartial court applies – particularly for somebody with the reputation he has.

    It seems to me there are 3 likely possibilities:

    1) It is a complete stitch up.

    2) He dunnit

    3) There are some irregularities which are open to an interpretation of plaigerism but not clear cut, perhaps not involving him directly &/or of little actual effect, which would never have been questioned if somebody had not been out to get him.

    This last appears to me to be what got Andrew Wakefield, of MMR fame, struck off – technical infractions which didn’t affect his findings. I do not say Wakefield was right – I am not qualified to judge but people I respect say he wasn’t. However it is a legalistic tactic which, we humans all being the falible creatures we are, are all vulnerable to. In a different field the tactic was used some years ago to smear the policman John Stalker who refused to cover up goings on in Northern Ireland. I would not wish Wegman to have the sort of supportive “investigation” Jones had but it should be no more thorough than any ordinary scientist would expect. We must also guard against “no smoke without fire” assumptions.

  105. Theo Goodwin says:

    RobertM says:
    October 9, 2010 at 8:51 am
    “Huub Bakker (October 8, 2010 at 11:10 pm), your faculty-member viewpoint that universities have “abrogated the right to make their own investigations” is an interesting one, but I suspect it goes a bit too far. Surely the universities, societies, and journals should be the first line of defense.”

    You do not understand the isolation from ordinary society that exists at American universities. They operate like planatations. Let me give you an example that might grab your attention. In most universities, if a student charges another student with rape then the university will handle the matter and not notify the police. Fortunately, through the efforts of many protestors, more universities are adopting the policy that reports of rape go to the police directly and immediately. Duh! That should have been the policy throughout our history. If universities do not report evidence of fraud to the local prosecutor then they are making exactly the same mistake as not reporting rapes. At best, they are short changing the victims.

  106. Smokey says:

    sharper00 says:

    “We know that the National Academy of Sciences concluded Mann’s work had statistical flaws but that they didn’t affect the conclusions.”

    Mann has since reversed his own conclusions. His M.O. [repeated examples are shown in The Hockey Stick Illusion] is to loudly squeal like a stuck pig when he’s been caught — then quietly back and fill later, as surreptitiously as possible. He has done the same thing with his Hokey Stick.

    The problem with Mann’s Hockey Stick chart isn’t with the blade, it is with the arrow-straight shaft, which showed an unchanging temperature for many centuries: no MWP, no Maunder, no Dalton, etc. Mann claimed that the planet’s temperature remained flat until the industrial revolution.

    But that was then and this is now; after loudly protesting like an Islamist with hurt feelings, Mann has quietly resurrected the MWP and LIA. That sleight of hand most certainly did affect his original conclusions. In fact, Mann has now altered his MWP position to the point where it directly contradicts his flat MBH99 Hokey Stick shaft. Quietly, of course, per his M.O.: no IPCC fanfare this time, no press conferences, no admission that his original hockey stick shaft was flat wrong.

    “We know that the National Academy of Sciences concluded Mann’s work had statistical flaws but that they didn’t affect the conclusions. We also know that subsequent publications from different authors using different methods have further affirmed those conclusions.”

    Another “fake but accurate” argument. Mann’s “statistical flaws” were a central issue in the Wegman Report, and form the basis for his apologists’ convenient excuse that Mann wasn’t being devious, he was simply incompetent.

    The repeatedly debunked Michael Mann claim that there was almost no change in temperature [the shaft] is the issue, not the recent natural warming cycle [the blade]. But Mann’s apologists focus only on the blade, which shows a routine, natural warming cycle juxtaposed with the natural rise in CO2 resulting from the MWP that occurred 800 years earlier.

    The Hockey Stick blade has always been a red herring/strawman argument. Mann’s attempted erasing of the MWP and the LIA was deliberate, as was shown by McIntyre & McKitrick’s publishing of Mann’s hidden data set labeled “censored“. Had that data been used, Mann would have falsified his own CAGW hypothesis. So he hid the data.

  107. Steven Mosher says:

    berneil:

    “The main point that Steve Mosher may have missed is this:
    This schematic graph from the first IPCC report has become itself something of a poster child for sceptics, but we should be careful to avoid any suggestion of approval for this graph on account of its dubious use of the sources.”

    And how exactly did I miss that point. There is a nuanced story behind that graph that has absolutely nothing to do with the science and everything to do with the sociology we discuss in the book. The point is not about the science at all. AT ALL. the point is in the climategate mails. If you read them all, you would know what the point is. For me it’s a test of people’s diligence and willingness to get to the truth on their own. The difference between lazy people who rely on secondary sources and those who know that the primary source is key. So, it’s obvious to me that you havent read the mails, or have a horrible memory. Either of which means that engagement with you is pointless.

  108. D. King says:

    TomRude says:
    October 9, 2010 at 8:25 am
    Wegman’s work is a academia bureaucrat’s report not an original research published in a peer review paper that would steal someone’s idea.
    Thank you !

    Engage Trans-Warp investigation in 5…4…3…2…1

  109. desmong says:

    DCC: If there are real problems with the report, those should be addressed, or at least referenced! You have the gall to say Fuller did not link to climateaudit [you actually mean 'deepclimate.org'] and then you make an outrageous claim about “real problems with the report” (as opposed to this phony plagiarism problem) without citing them because plagiarism is easier for them to understand?

    For the love of God, you can visit deepclimate.org and read the Mashey’s work. The full document is 250 pages with a six pages executive summary. You just exclaim ‘outrageous’, how shall I respond to that?
    Fuller did not provide a link to the report, and commenters above suggest not to visit deepclimate.org so as not give hits (absurd!). Are you going to deny yourself the chance to read the report?

    Here is the blog post with Mashey’s work: John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report.

    I get this impression from wuwt that it dumps so many new blog posts that there is no chance to get in depth in any single post. This issue about Wegman’s messed up report will probably be forgotten soon. I wonder if he will become expendable and dropped from the sceptic talk points. Mosher already kicked him up.

  110. Richard Sharpe says:

    Theo Goodwin says on October 9, 2010 at 9:44 am

    sharper00 says:
    October 9, 2010 at 8:21 am

    @James Sexton

    “Well the issue must surely be why they did copy and paste so liberally in the first place. Furthermore why did they include so many unused references? Given that the IPCC reports see so much controversy over a single bad reference it seems curious you’re willing to apply a different standard where you agree with the conclusions.”

    They were documenting the background of their findings. Not closely following published materials would have left them open to the charge that they did not fairly represent those background materials. Nothing that Wegman wrote about this background material was offered as original work. Plagiarism means offering another’s original work as your original work. The charge of plagiarism is facetious.

    Actually, the charge of plagiarism is tendentious and disingenuous.

    It is clearly made for political reasons.

  111. Paul Biggs says:

    Mike (October 9, 2010 at 8:17 am):

    Look at the NAS panel composition and you will objectively find it far from being biased. If the Wegman panel was biased against the hockey stick, the the NAS panel was biased in favour. However, Wegman and the NAS reached the similar conclusions, but no one explained how the NAS panel could criticise the use of bristlecone pines and Mann methodology in reconstructions, then use other hockey team studies that included bristlecone pines and similar methodology in order to support the hockey stick. This is why Steve McIntyre rightly described the NAS panel report as ‘schizophrenic.’

    Plagiarism won’t save the hockey stick – it’s dead because of the selected data and methodology used to create it is statistically insignificant. Read the verifiable and referenced account in ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion.’

  112. Paul Biggs says:

    Ooops! I meant “far from being unbiased.”

  113. Gil Grissom says:

    Nick Stokes says:

    No, I don’t believe anyone (even Mann) is seriously saying that decentred PCA is a good idea. It’s a suboptimal method that makes little difference to the result (as Wahl and Ammann showed). It was used once, almost certainly due to a programming error, in a paper in 1998. There are a large number of papers since that have produced similar hockeystick results; none used decentred PCA.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Nick,

    It has been shown many times and stated in many different blogs, papers, etc., that every one of the dozen or so papers that you refer to, used the same bad data, with the same bad methods as MBH98. Bristlecone pine data to be precise, that has even been stated by the NAS should not be used as a temperatire proxy, was the centerpoint of these papers. No bristecones, no hockey stick. Decentred PCAs was far from the only criticism M&M, Wegman, and others had of MBH98.
    These “papers” you like so much have been discredited just as much as MBH98. This has been known for years, by you and almost everyone close to the debate. McShane and Wyner are the latest ones to show just what junk MBH98 is. They even included bristlecone pine data and still showed that proper statistical techniques do not support the conclusions in MBH98. Without them the results would be even worse for the hockey stick.
    The fact that you continue to spout this bunk as vindication of MBH98 shows your intellectual dishonesty.

  114. andrew adams says:

    John Mashey does comprehensively demolish the actual substance of the Wegman Report, it’s on pages 114 – 142 if anyone is interested. For me that is more interesting and relevant than the argument about plagiarism, but I guess plagiarism may constitute actual academic misconduct which may merit investigation whereas sloppy and incompetent scolarship can just be down to, well, sloppiness and incompetence. Although there are also grounds to suspect that Wegman either had an agenda or was (consciously or otherwise) following the agenda of the committe that appointed him.

  115. DCC says:

    Desmong said

    For the love of God, you can visit deepclimate.org and read the Mashey’s work. The full document is 250 pages with a six pages executive summary. You just exclaim ‘outrageous’, how shall I respond to that?
    … Are you going to deny yourself the chance to read the report?

    Read 250 pages with claims that parts of the Wegman report were plagiarized? Absolutely not. It’s a meaningless claim. Wegman was not doing original scientific research like a PhD thesis. It’s a report for God’s sake! And the subject is statistical methods. No thanks, I’ll wait for the report on the report rather than waste my time on accusations that have no obvious relevance to the subject at hand.

  116. Ken Harvey says:

    This smells of diversionary tactics. It leads me to think that, unlike the broad opinion on WUWT, UVA is terrified of Attorney General Cuccineli.

  117. Dave says:

    Sharperoo>

    You’re conflating two meanings of plagiarism here. There is textual plagiarism, and conceptual plagiarism. The first is only serious when the text is the product – in a novel, for example. The latter is important in science, but not suggested to be an issue here. Even if Wegman is guilty as charged, it’s only a matter of bad manners. In fact, though, allegations of plagiarism here make as much sense as, say, a lawyer complaining that a formal letter of response uses wording from his original text.

  118. desmong says:

    DCC: Wegman was not doing original scientific research like a PhD thesis. It’s a report for God’s sake!

    You believe that Fuller is a fool for not picking this up in the post? Why do you think you are the first to mention this argument? Do we rewrite the academic rules?

    Plagiarism is something that everyone understands, so it is easy to comprehend. If you want to go for the core of Mashey’s work, read what “andrew adams” (October 9, 2010 at 11:41 am) said just above.

  119. JMurphy says:

    Unfortunately for Wegman, he claimed his report WAS peer-reviewed

    (109th Congress House Hearings)

    so it must be assumed that it wasn’t done very well or it was done by people who were a part of his social network.
    Who made a complaint about stuff like that, again ?

    Also, has anyone noticed the following reference Wegman uses :

    Valentine, Tom (1987) “Magnetics may hold key to ozone layer problems,” Magnets, 2 (1) 18-26.

    What’s that all about ? Did Wegman actually READ his own report because it looks like someone slipped in a humorous link for a joke !

  120. Russell Seitz says:

    Sometimes the best answer to _Quis custodes?_ is _ Res ipse dixit_.

    Here for those deeply shocked by the IPCC ‘s exclusivity is Wegman & Co.’s DIY review of their newly coined journal http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/wics.85/fullAbstract

    WIREs is a WINNER
    Edward J. Wegman1,*, Yasmin H. Said David W. Scott

    “A group of us met with the editorial management of John Wiley and Sons… our new journal was launched officially in July-August 2009 titled as Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Computational Statistics. … a hybrid review publication that is by invitation only, “

    One bound to be an object of skepticism now that the co-editors have morphed into codefendants in the GMU plagiarism scandal. The dumbing down of climate science as PR focus groups left and right power up new vanity presses to feed the mills of K-Street brings Auden to mind: “instead of an event requiring words to describe it, words had the power to create an event”.

    This website has long provided spectacular examples of how pop science can segue into self-parody when words take over and leave sense behind, and Watts Iron Sun & Cosmic Ray Railroad runs on such a predictable schedule that one can rest assured that its next crack-up will be confusing first and second derivatives in solar UV flux variability to exaggerate its relevance to the rate of anthropogenic radiative forcing.

    REPLY:Oh puhleeeze.

    Mr. Seitz, you can reword your response in an apology. I’ve never advocated an iron sun theory, in fact Oliver K. Manuel, the main proponent of such theory, has been banned from WUWT for constantly pushing it against my wishes.

    But given your “abortive pretension to fact checking” I can see how you might have missed it when I told him no more of this would be tolerated.

    Unless I get an apology for labeling me with something I have refuted, you’ll be joining him.

    – Anthony Watts

  121. andrew adams says:
    October 9, 2010 at 11:41 am
    John Mashey does comprehensively demolish the actual substance of the Wegman Report, it’s on pages 114 – 142 if anyone is interested.

    I have read, cursory, these pages. Lots of allegations, which could be commented and/or rebutted with the same length of arguments, to no avail, I suppose. But I was interested in particular for his comments on pages 34-36 as that are the pages where Wegman investigates the influence of Mann’s method on picking out the right (HS) shapes out of any amount of other (pseudo) proxies. Here Mashey’s lengthy comments (page 135) on these essential pages:

    WR p.34
    This is a long-obsolete, irrelevant and even distorted sketch, W.4.2. It is likely from MM05x, p.5.
    WR p.35-36 The WR offers two pages of noise superimposed on an irrelevant graph.

    Only two sentences? Or are the rest of the 250 pages used only to hide this lack of comment on the essence of Wegman’s report?

    Wegman used the old sketch of the 1990 IPCC report as fake “proxy” to show that only one bizarre proxy with a HS shape in the previous century would become the dominant proxy for the whole reconstruction with Mann’s method. Quite essential for Mann’s method and Mann’s PC1 used in many following proxies, all thanks to only a few HS shapes inbetween lots of “normal” proxies.

  122. JMurphy says:
    October 9, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    Unfortunately for Wegman, he claimed his report WAS peer-reviewed
    (109th Congress House Hearings)

    He didn’t claim that, Mr. Whitfield did claim that and Mr. Stupak rebutted it.

  123. Desmon G says:

    JMurphy: That Wegman Report reference,

    Tom Valentine, 1987. “Magnetics May Hold Key to Ozone Layer Problems: Going Back to Michael Faraday for Answers,”Magnets in Your Future (published quarterly by L.H. Publishing Agency, P.O. Box 580, Teme-cula, Calif. 92390.)

    is explained in detail at the Deltoid blog on The Wegman Scandal.

    L.H. Publishing Agency is connected to the LaRouche movement, which is a worldwide fringe group, with diverse links to both fascism and Marxism. Check the Wikipedia page; LaRouche also denies climate change.

    Why would Wegman have this item in his bibliography?

  124. Oakden Wolf says:

    Steven Mosher said:
    There is a nuanced story behind that graph that has absolutely nothing to do with the science and everything to do with the sociology we discuss in the book. The point is not about the science at all. AT ALL. the point is in the climategate mails. If you read them all, you would know what the point is.

    People with distinctly different POVs on any particular issue could read the same source text and interpret it in very different ways. If the graph story is so nuanced, then it’s entirely possible that people lacking the correctly-aligned POV would miss the point that those with the proper alignment discern.

    IN other words, why don’t you simply explain the point, instead of being so oblique? Even if I read all the climategate emails, I might very well miss the “nuanced story” you refer to. All I know at face value is that the figure in the 1990 IPCC report was likely based on Lamb’s Central England temperature series. How much more nuanced does it get?

  125. Nick Stokes says:

    Ferdinand Engelbeen says: October 9, 2010 at 5:24 am
    “It is on page 32…”

    No, Wegman shows that the bristlecones form the dominant PC, but not that there’s anything wrong with them.

    The white noise examples are totally artificial. The effect of decentring on PC1 relates to a mathematically derived subquantity. The basic issue is, does the HS curve follow from the data. W made math criticisms – W&A showed that a calculation with the criticisms complied with gave a similar result. As have the multiple other recomstructions since, none of which used decentred PC.

    I think Wegman knew this – he had read, but not discussed in the report, the W&A paper. So he tried to frame the criticism as one of incorrect method, not incorrect results.

    It’s pretty unusual to hold Congressional hearings into scientific papers. It may be justified if the actual results are wrong, although it is far more sensible to let the scientific process correct that by having other scientists publish the right results. But to hold congressional hearings into a paper which got the right results by allegedly wrong methods is absurd.

  126. Nick Stokes says:

    Gil Grissom says: October 9, 2010 at 11:37 am
    “It has been shown many times and stated in many different blogs, papers, etc., that every one of the dozen or so papers that you refer to, used the same bad data, with the same bad methods as MBH98. Bristlecone pine data to be precise, “

    Well, it’s an article of faith by many here that the data is faulty, but the Wegman report wasn’t about that. Wegman got his dendro info from Bradley’s book. As for the bad methods, Wegman mainly criticised the decentred PCA. None of the other papers used that. And they used a variety of different stat methods, but still got similar results.

    What “bad methods” do you think they had in common?

  127. DCC says:

    Nick Stokes said:

    It’s pretty unusual to hold Congressional hearings into scientific papers. It may be justified if the actual results are wrong, although it is far more sensible to let the scientific process correct that by having other scientists publish the right results. But to hold congressional hearings into a paper which got the right results by allegedly wrong methods is absurd.

    Got the right results using the wrong method? Sounds like the idiotic conclusion in the NAS report. It is impossible to get the right results using the wrong method. The results obtained must be discarded. Since no others have used a proper method and gotten identical results, we may assume that Mann was not lucky enough to get the same results by coincidence or perhaps by offsetting errors. Mind you Wegman did not do an analysis of the science behind Mann’s paper. Others have done that and shown that the handful of bristlecone pines are the principle component behind showing anything similar to Mann’s results.

    So stop the nonsense that Mann got the right answer. Wegman was not discussing science, he was discussing Mann’s statistical methods. He acted as a math professor. Mann flunked the exam. His results are meaningless.

  128. Donald Rapp says:

    I sent this email to Elsevier and Ray Bradley who wrote to my publisher implying that I committed plagiarism in my book Assessing Climate Change:

    Dear Mr. Fedor and Dr. Bradley:

    You recently wrote to Praxis/Springer Publishing, the following message:

    “Thanks to everyone for your prompt reply. I’ve copied author Ray Bradley and a couple of representatives from our Legal team on my reply. This is a bit of a complicated scenario. Dr. Edward Wegman (author of the Wegman Report) originally plagiarized from Bradley, and from what we can tell, some of that same content was then used by Rapp without attribution. The details can be found in the links below. Once you’ve had the opportunity to investigate this further, please let me know how best to proceed. We’ve yet to hear back from George Mason on the Wegman situation. I’ve had the misfortune of having to manage plagiarism throughout my career, but this is the first triangular instance. If Rapp did plagiarize, he did it from a report that isn’t ours, but some of the content in that report is ours. Bit of a head scratcher.”

    My book: Assessing Climate Change” published by Praxis/Springer contains 1,348 specific citations to references giving credit to authors for their work. It also includes 411 specific quotations by authors with their own words included in quote signs. In addition, my book provides the specific attributions to Dr. Wegman:

    “A team led by Professor Edward J. Wegman performed an independent examination of the hockey stick controversy (Wegman, Scott, and Said, 2006). They produced a lengthy report, full of details. According to Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006):”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) performed a calculation…”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) went on to say…:”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) performed a calculation…”

    “The findings of Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) are quite lengthy and only a very brief summary is given here.”

    “Adapted from Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006).”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) have suggested that the field…”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) also said…:”

    “According to Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006)…:”

    “A team led by Professor Edward J. Wegman performed an independent examination of the hockey stick controversy (Wegman, Scott, and Said, 2006). They produced a lengthy report, full of details. According to Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006):”

    “Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) have suggested that the field, temperature history of the Earth, is dominated by a cadre (cabal) that is vitally concerned about the potential impacts of global warming, and supports the hockey stick result, as well as the procedure used to derive it. Wegman, Scott, and Said (2006) said:”

    It is possible that in a few places, I may have slipped up and used words from a paper and forgot to give attribution. Let’s suppose I did this 10 times, or 20; that would be around 0.1% or 0.2%. That was not, is not and cannot be plagiarism.

    I am warning you now that if you persist in spreading the idea that I committed plagiarism, I will sue you for all you are worth. If I ever find out who the asshole is who put this on deepclimate.org, I will sue his ass for all it is worth.

    I also plan to contact Wegman in case he feels that he should sue Ray Bradley who is clearly at fault here.

    By the way, this is what Wegman had to say in a recent email: “It is my opinion that Dr. Rapp has not plagiarized anything and I hold him harmless” and claims that these are “wild conclusions that have nothing to do with reality”.

    Donald Rapp

    Evidently that jerk John Mashey has nothing better to do with his time than read books and reports line by line and pounce on instances when authors may have inadvertently forgotten to give attribution. The deepclimate.org website is full of malicious and probably illegal charges against me and they have refused to print my rebuttals. They are not a science organization but a bunch of donkeys braying to the great god CO2. In addition to claiming I committed plagiarism, they also accused me of using the “gray literature” implying my book is based on material not passing peer review . As it turns out, there are 400 references in my book, and 93% are from peer reviewed journals. By the way, with Jones, Mann, Schmidt, Santer, and the rest of the Junta controlling what gets published, some of the best articles are in the gray literature!

    This whole program is an attack on those who do not pray to the god CO2. I am happy to say that I subscribe fully to the Wegman Report which shows unequivocally that the “hockey stick” is fallacious. I note that those making wild claims of plagiarism have no rebuttal for the technical arguments in the Wegman Report.

  129. harry says:

    I’ve always been a fan of “unintended consequences”. The Hockey Team has seen fit to attempt to destroy yet another academic career, this time through a claim of “plagiarism” of a number of definitions in a congressional report. I wonder how long it will take for someone to run through all their publications and compare them to the vast repositories of digitised works? It seems it is their thesis that the use of unattributed similar material to other published works in definitions is enough to invalidate the entire substance of a document and to endanger one’s career. I wonder how many of these “scientists” who’s work already looks shoddy enough, will be happy to be judged by this same standard.

    You reap what you sow.

  130. TomRude says:

    D.King can’t you make the difference between a report and a peer reviewed paper or a PhD?

  131. JMurphy says:

    I wrote : “Unfortunately for Wegman, he claimed his report WAS peer-reviewed
    (109th Congress House Hearings)”

    Ferdinand Englebeen replied : “He didn’t claim that, Mr. Whitfield did claim that and Mr. Stupak rebutted it.”

    From the transcript :

    MR. STUPAK. Did anyone outside your social network peer
    review your report?
    DR. WEGMAN. Yes.

    MR. STUPAK. Did you ask these people to do your peer
    review?
    DR. WEGMAN. Yes.

    Read it for yourself – there is more in between those two comments above – but surely you can’t deny that he definitely claims that his report HAS been peer-reviewed.

  132. Nick Stokes says:
    October 9, 2010 at 2:32 pm
    Ferdinand Engelbeen says: October 9, 2010 at 5:24 am
    “It is on page 32…”

    No, Wegman shows that the bristlecones form the dominant PC, but not that there’s anything wrong with them.

    If you should have read the NAS report, they said to avoid “strip bark” trees for reconstructions. Why? Because these show a non-temperature dependent growth spurt during the calibration period, thus effectively suppressing the past variability. In addition, the method mines for HS shapes and reinforces the effect. That was clearly demonstrated by Wegman. Thus both the HS proxies and the method are important.

    The white noise examples are totally artificial. The effect of decentring on PC1 relates to a mathematically derived subquantity. The basic issue is, does the HS curve follow from the data. W made math criticisms – W&A showed that a calculation with the criticisms complied with gave a similar result. As have the multiple other recomstructions since, none of which used decentred PC.

    W&A included after-the-fact changes in method to include the HS shape in PC5, as in the original work only PC1-3 were included. Without PC5 no hockeystick. Without bristlecone pines nor Yamal dirty dozen, no HS. All construction include bristlecone pines or alikes, Mann’s PC1, Yamal or the upside down Tiljander sediments. Without these, no HS. See:
    http://climateaudit.org/2009/09/29/the-impact-of-yamal-on-the-spaghetti-graph/

  133. Nick Stokes says:

    DCC says: October 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    “It is impossible to get the right results using the wrong method.”

    As in many areas of math/stats, it isn’t as simple as that. Decentred PCA is not the best normalisation, and Wegman criticised it for that. But it is a normalisation, and produces very similar results, as Wahl and Ammann showed.

    Using 22/7 for pi isn’t right, but gives adequate results for many purposes. Using 3.14159265 is better, but isn’t “right” either. You could use 40-figure precision (very few do) and it still isn’t “right”.

  134. TomRude says:

    Let’s read Deep Climate so they too enjoy their own Hockey Stick…

  135. TomRude says:

    Seen on the DC comments:

    GMUGrad | October 9, 2010 at 2:01 am | Reply
    I’m really rooting for my Alma Mater here to get this out in the open.
    Good job Andrew and John Mashey

    We know John Mashey but who is Andrew?

  136. TomRude says:

    “MapleLeaf | September 27, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    This pretty much sums up the situation nicely:

    “It [the Wegman report] was promoted to Congress by Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.”

    I hope that copies have been sent to the relevant authorities and contacts at GMU and the US Congress. Hopefully someone has also sent a copy to the major players Wegman, Barton and Whitfield.

    And if McIntyre wishes to redeem whatever little credibility he has left, he should no longer link to or discuss the Wegman report. Because, if he does, he is endorsing plagiarism, poor scholarship and poor statistical methods.

    How did all these failures and blatant wrong-doings in the Wegman report go unnoticed by the so-called “Auditor” (i.e., McIntyre)? I have a hypothesis, but I’ll leave it there….”
    ===

    Back in Business? Nice way to thank Steve after he saved his bacon…

  137. Aynsley Kellow says:

    Desmon G,
    You ask ‘Why would Wegman have this item in his bibliography?’

    Perhaps because he, unlike your good self, would not wish to commit the genetic fallacy.

    I have no idea why here listed it, but let’s actually look at your attempt to poison the well by linking a source cited by Wegman to Lyndon LaRouche.

    The poster over at Deltoid states:
    ‘I note over at Deep Climate you mention the Valentine reference. The “full” details (well, extra bits of “useless” info) . . . [of] which I got from the refs listing on p. 150 of Maduro and Schauerhammer’s “The holes in the ozone scare: the scientific evidence that the sky isn’t falling” . . . . That book’s publisher, 21st Century Science Associates (Washington, DC) . . . .’

    So a poster on a blog finds the full bibliographical details of a source cited by Wegman in the bibliography of a book published by LaRouche’s publishing house. Therefore, we are expected to dismiss both the source cited by Wegman (and Wegman’s report) on the basis of this association? Logic is clearly not your long suit. I just hope LaRouche never cites Einstein, or we’ll have to look for a whole new basis for physics!

    But thank you for directing us to Deltoid, because the thread there contains some comedy gold from Mashey that gives great insight in to the strength of his claims.

    Take this: ‘Of the 80 references in the Bibliography, 40 aren’t even cited in the text. . . .’ Yes John – that would be why it is a bibliography, not headed ‘References’ or ‘References Cited’!

    Or this grand claim from Mashey:
    ‘Another 25 pages of Summarized Papers is mostly plagiarized from those papers. “mostly” means: ~50% of the total words are locally word-for-word identical in-order cut-and-paste. Another ~30% are trivial changes, simple text moves, minor rephrasings. If people think that isn’t plagiarism (since the original sources are known), they will want to read the various university policies quoted in my report.’

    If this is Mashey’s best shot, Wegman has little to worry about. Mashey acknowledges the sources are identified. He just doesn’t think the paraphrasing in a lit review is sufficiently different.

    Here’s a challenge for Mashey or anyone else: Write a paraphrasing of the above quotation that differs by more than 50% from the original.

  138. Ted Annonson says:

    Oakden Wolf, please look in
    http://www.co2science.org/data/mwp/mwpp.php
    you will find a good many studies, from all over the world, that confirm the validity of the 1990 IPPC chart.

  139. Glenn says:

    Aynsley Kellow says:
    October 9, 2010 at 1:56 am

    “Curious, I looked briefly at some of Mashey’s ‘evidence’. I stress SOME. Much of the case seems weak: several claims of plagiarism amount to claims that paraphrasing does not differ sufficiently from the source, and (since the source is attributed) would not pass as plagiarism in a student essay.”

    I looked at the first real “side by side example” after reading “Skeptical readers are welcome to check all 35 pages, but I suspect most will read no more than few before the repetitive style gets tiring.”
    Mashey claims “They also note the limited due diligence of paleoclimate journal peer review…” is plagiarism. Sheesh. “They” are “The authors of MM05…”. That identifies the authors, it isn’t plagiarism in any sense. He also made a lame claim about the paraphrasing being a “major Change of Meaning, plus Bias” which is not at all apparent. That’s as far as I needed to read. Mashey is a mad dog.

    http://deepclimate.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/strange-scholarship-v1-02.pdf
    (page 18)

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf

  140. DCC says:

    Nick Stokes says:

    DCC says: October 9, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    “It is impossible to get the right results using the wrong method.”

    As in many areas of math/stats, it isn’t as simple as that. Decentred PCA is not the best normalisation, and Wegman criticised it for that. But it is a normalisation, and produces very similar results, as Wahl and Ammann showed.

    Using 22/7 for pi isn’t right, but gives adequate results for many purposes. Using 3.14159265 is better, but isn’t “right” either. You could use 40-figure precision (very few do) and it still isn’t “right”.

    So your argument is that Mann should have gotten a D instead of an F? Why are you even bothering to defend a paper so lousy that even the author has distanced himself from it? Let’s move on to something important. The hockey stick paper doesn’t qualify. It’s so bad that it is no longer an issue. It’s the data!

  141. Steven mosher says:

    Oakden Wolf says:
    October 9, 2010 at 2:08 pm
    Steven Mosher said:
    There is a nuanced story behind that graph that has absolutely nothing to do with the science and everything to do with the sociology we discuss in the book. The point is not about the science at all. AT ALL. the point is in the climategate mails. If you read them all, you would know what the point is.

    People with distinctly different POVs on any particular issue could read the same source text and interpret it in very different ways. If the graph story is so nuanced, then it’s entirely possible that people lacking the correctly-aligned POV would miss the point that those with the proper alignment discern.

    IN other words, why don’t you simply explain the point, instead of being so oblique? Even if I read all the climategate emails, I might very well miss the “nuanced story” you refer to. All I know at face value is that the figure in the 1990 IPCC report was likely based on Lamb’s Central England temperature series. How much more nuanced does it get?

    #################

    1. who put the graph in the report.
    2. why did he do it.
    3. They all “knew” the graph was wrong.
    4. How and where was the graph corrected in the literature prior to the publication
    in the IPCC.
    5. why was the correction hidden in an obscure journal.
    6. why did they think the history of this should remain buried?

    You know how to read, start reading the mails. When you find the relavant mail you will see how the graph plays in the story. Its not what skeptics think and not what you think. Get all the facts and we can have an intelligent conversation. Expect me to do your work for you? why would I think I can reason with a lazy sod? A couple mails cover all it.

  142. Richard Sharpe says:

    Glenn says on October 9, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Mashey is a mad dog.

    Ummm, no. Jon “Mad Dog” Hall is more rational than that …

  143. Steven mosher says:

    desmog:

    “For the love of God, you can visit deepclimate.org and read the Mashey’s work. The full document is 250 pages with a six pages executive summary. You just exclaim ‘outrageous’, how shall I respond to that?
    Fuller did not provide a link to the report, and commenters above suggest not to visit deepclimate.org so as not give hits (absurd!). Are you going to deny yourself the chance to read the report?

    Here is the blog post with Mashey’s work: John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report.

    I get this impression from wuwt that it dumps so many new blog posts that there is no chance to get in depth in any single post. This issue about Wegman’s messed up report will probably be forgotten soon. I wonder if he will become expendable and dropped from the sceptic talk points. Mosher already kicked him up.”

    As a former instructor of English at UCLA who has spent more tha his fair share of time tracing influences from one work to another, I have to say that Mashey’s piece is a train wreck. This is NOT to say that there isnt a case to be made, but rather that he makes quite a mess of it. I’d certainly suggest that he rewrite it ( avoid obvious mistakes– like “finding” that works listed in the bibliography are not cited..DUH!) i would suggest he work with someone who has experience putting this type of case together, toss out the innuendo and other extraneous crap and just present the plaigarism case. then folks can argue it on the merits. The biggest hurdle is the standard of citation that obtained. There probably was no standard governing the production of the text. In assessing literature of any type one has to realize that the concept of plaigarism is relatively modern and context specific.

    I’m far more interested in Nick Stokes argument about PCA. Here, I would still not refer to wegman as an authority, but would defer to the actual math. I have no issue throwing EVERY “authority” under the bus. But its strange that some, like you, think that Wegman is somehow an “authority” for us. The criticism of the HS isnt advanced by wegman and its defense isnt advance by Mann. I learn more from jeffid, SteveMc, and Nick stokes than any of those guys. Not because they are “authorities” but simply because they explain things in a way that can be verified.

  144. D. King says:

    TomRude says:
    October 9, 2010 at 3:58 pm
    D.King can’t you make the difference between a report and a peer reviewed paper or a PhD?

    Yes Tom, I can. I agree with you. The video is
    a reference to where I think this is going….nowhere!

  145. Oakden Wolf says:

    Dear Steven Mosher:
    I might be a lazy sod, but I got lucky with a search phrase the first time off. January 5-6, 2007? It’s going to take a couple of days for me to sort out that first one, but your questions can guide me. Thx.

  146. Steven mosher says:

    Oakden:

    read more than those. up to the 9th

    The bottom line has to do with deference paid to Lamb. Sometimes science is about protecting somebody’s reputation. Like we said in the book, the mails dont undo the science. They give us a view into the sociology of science. Skeptics latch onto that figure and think the point is that the science is unsettled. The real point is that figure shows us how human emotions ( sometimes noble, sometimes less so) turn the science down wrong paths. Correcting these human frailties requires diligence and oversight. Just a small lesson.

  147. Donald Rapp says:

    There is a current campaign by those who practice the CO2 religion to discredit those who have published books and reports that disagree with the CO2 belief system. At the heart of this is a website populated by morons called deepclimate.org. Having no technical arguments whatever to defend the fallacious “hockey stick”, they have turned to character assassination instead of technical discussion. They spend their time reading reports and books line by line and seek to find an occasional place where the writer inadvertently used material and forgot to make a proper attribution. They have done this on my book “Assessing Climate Change” which they say plagiarized the so-called Wegman Report. However, anyone with any sense would note that my book contains 1,348 specific citations to references giving credit to authors for their work. It also includes 411 specific quotations by authors in quote signs with proper attribution to the authors. What in hell did I have to gain by plagiarizing Wegman? There was nothing in it for me. Furthermore, I did give proper attribution to Wegman in 12 separate places in my book:
    “According to Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) …”
    “Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) performed a calculation…”
    “Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) went on to say…”
    “The findings of Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) are quite lengthy and only a brief summary is given here…”
    “Adapted from Wegman, Scott and Said (2006)”
    “Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) have suggested…”
    “Wegman, Scott and Said (2006) also said…”
    etc. etc.
    Recently, Ray Bradley and his publisher Elsevier sent an email to my publisher accusing me of plagiarizing Wegman. I replied:
    “I am warning you now that if you persist in spreading the idea that I committed plagiarism, I will sue you for all you are worth.”
    I have not heard back from Mr. Bradley or Elsevier.
    By the way, this is what Wegman had to say in a recent email: “It is my opinion that Dr. Rapp has not plagiarized anything and I hold him harmless” and claims that these are “wild conclusions that have nothing to do with reality”.
    Meanwhile, deepclimate.org cast other aspersions on my book saying that I used the “gray literature” (not peer reviewed). I have about 400 references in my book of which 93% were peer reviewed. Some o[f the best references were indeed in the gray literature (e.g. the Wegman Report) because the climategate junta (Mann, Jones, et al.) prevents contrary articles from getting published.

  148. BillD says:

    The Wegman report is not a Ph.D study or journal article. It was touted as an authoritative report for the US Congress. Unfortunately there is now considerable evidence of plagiarism in the Ph.D. theses of 3 of Wegman’s students. One such case could be attributed to bad behavior by the student and a lack of adequate supervision. Several cases suggest a problem with the faculty mentor.

  149. TomRude says:

    D.King gotcha, agreed.

  150. Neil Craig says:

    Desmon G 2:06 you refer to it being “explored in detail”c on Deltoid but since Deltoid censor sceptical points they cannot, by definition, be exploring anything in impartial or full detail. That is the nature of censored “debate”.

  151. Scott Mandia says:

    Plagiarism is the result of academic laziness or incompetence. There is rampant plagiarism in the Wegman Report. So what you are really saying Tom Fuller is:

    I don’t like the weblog Deep Climate, and I very much respect the report Edward Wegman put out even though Wegman was lazy or incompetent. I understand what the report said and although Wegman was lazy or incompetent, I agree with its conclusions.

    Really?

  152. nano pope says:

    If the entire content that was claimed to be plagiarised was ommitted, it changes nothing about the paper. In fact, I don’t see anyone disagreeing with what was said, just how. I guess when they can’t discredit the substance of the paper they can still claim a victory over ancillary annotations. Only someone totally disinterested in science could see this as any sort of victory.

  153. TomRude says:

    A syllogism is a poor scientist’s reasoning, Mandia is that the best you can come up with?

  154. Dennis Wingo says:

    I read a great deal of Mashy’s long diatribe.

    I don’t think that he has much experience with academic writing. Saying things like “the end of the ice age” and comparing that to another paper that said the same thing is hardly actionable.

    Most of his criticism is of similar vein. Similar mispellings of words are also a pet peeve of his but for those who have grown up with a querty keyboard we understand that similar misspellings are often due to how the keystrokes work out when you miss a key. Now for someone who does hunting and pecking that does not apply, but most professional academics know how to type and learned on a querty keyboard.

  155. MarkR says:

    [SNIP - violation of site policy - wtf@fu.com is not a valid email address. the fu.com domain is in Arlington, VA and your comment originates at The University of Reading, UK., until you use a valid email address, all of your comments will be discarded - Anthony]

  156. TomRude says:

    MarkR, the MWP has since been identified around the globe.

  157. Eli Rabett says:

    Somewhere in one of these posts Eli remarked that the sections that were problematical in the Wegman Report were also unneeded. In reading the to and fro between Dr. Rapp and others it increasingly appears that everyone may have had this exactly backwards. Rapp may have given Wegman a draft of his book which Wegman copied. This would make Rapp the plagiarizer of Bradley (remember it ain’t just John Mashey and Deep Climate who think this is a valid claim, but also Elsevier), and Wegman the authorized copier of Rapp. As Deep Climate says, is your head spinning now?

    Then again, the issues associated with the social network analysis in the Wegman Report remain.

  158. barry says:

    I find this a bit amusing. Plagiarism, is a serious academic charge. It implies intellectual theft. What it doesn’t do, is address the validity of the statements. If this is the tactic for going after the Wegman report, then they are, by default, acquiescing to the content of the report.

    What Mashey is trying to show is that sentences and paragraphs have been lifted from other work (much of Bradley’s) and a word or phrase substituted here and there that changes the meaning of the original text. It looks very much like Wegman appropriated Bradley’s work and then distorted it. Plagiarism also suggests the author is either lazy or doesn’t truly understand the subject, or both more usually. In this case, if Mashey is correct, the offence is more scurrilous. Particularly as this was tabled for Congress, where I understand there are penalties for deceit.

    To those commenters above suggesting the validity of the Wegman report is being ignored for a (supposedly) minor infraction of plagiarism, you would do well to read Mashey’s work and others looking at how unattributed language was distorted. Some of the posts at Deep Climate point it out explicitly. For example.

    http://deepclimate.org/2009/12/22/wegman-and-rapp-on-tree-rings-a-divergence-problem-part-1/

  159. slow to follow says:

    Scott Mandia October 10, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    I guess the old chesnut could be modified to “right answer + wrong method = poor scholarship” and just chanted back?

  160. Donald Rapp says:

    I note that Eli Rabett doesn’t mind speculating on crimes of others when he has no information whatsoever to back it up (by the way I never read Bradley’s book nor do I have a copy of it). The real points are that the hockey stick is a pile of bunk, that Wegman showed why, and regardless of any claimed similarities between Wegman’s words and those of Bradley, Bradley as a founding father of the hockey stick has a great deal to lose from the message in the report. Thus, Bradley, Mashey and various nuts on the deepclimate.org website often hiding behind the cloak of anonymity, who defend turf not truth, are out to personally attack those who point out that the hockey stick is a pile of junk. My book supports the Wegman Report conclusions. But the Taliban of climate have resorted to personal attack rather than scientific argument. For example, they have written to my publisher and my employer in an attempt to besmirch me with nothing to gain for them except some hope that maybe they can save the hockey stick from its natural death; yet I referred to the Wegman report 12 times in my book, and Wegman himself is happy with what I wrote. They are also attacking Wegman, and Bradley now demands that Wegman remove his report from the Congressional Archives, as if that would make the hockey stick OK. For more details, go to http://www.spaceclimate.net

  161. Bernard J. says:

    “…the Taliban of climate…”?

    I think that Donald Rapp just forfeited the argument with a post-modern Godwin.

  162. Paul Birch says:

    Bernard J. says:
    October 12, 2010 at 3:22 am
    “I think that Donald Rapp just forfeited the argument with a post-modern Godwin.”

    Frankly, I consider Godwin’s Law itself to be “post-modern” rubbish. If an analogy is apt, use it. If people don’t want to be compared to the Nazis (or Taliban), they shouldn’t behave like them.
    Similarly with the prejudice against “conspiracy” theories, when, in simple fact, iniquitous conspiracies are ubiquitous!
    Ditto with the silly “never infer malice over incompetence” saw, when malice or deliberate dishonesty are often blatantly obvious. You don’t get to be influential or powerful by being stupid, but, more often than not, by being clever and evil.

  163. Ron Cram says:

    Even if Wegman (or one of his graduate students) was guilty of plagiarism, there is no indication Wegman got anything wrong. His results stand.

  164. Donald Rapp says:

    I am happy to see that at least one person (Ron Cram) is more interested in content than form. Many others are more interested in who said what or how they said it or whether they repeated what someone else said. The validity of the hockey stick or lack thereof is the issue of importance because there are basically only two foundations for the claim that rising CO2 was the sole cause of the warming of the 20th century: (1) the hockey stick implying that something unprecedented and dramatically new occurred in the 20th century, and (2) the global climate models. If you take away the hockey stick, and examine climate models critically, the structure topples. Many of the other people involved in these discussions don’t seem to be interested in these key points, but rather, seek to find sensation and scandal, even when it is phony.
    Plagiarism in science usually refers to one person taking credit for another’s new and startling research results, in an effort to enhance their reputation, fame and fortune. When one is writing a review article or a review book, such as my book Assessing Climate Change, there are no new and startling research results involved. The book has over 400 specific quotations by others with proper attribution to those authors and over 1,300 attributions to authors without quotations. Evidently my book is a collection of what the best people in the field had to say. If in the process of writing it, I inadvertently forgot to attribute a few passages to authors, my response is “so what?” – nobody is perfect. I had absolutely nothing to gain by using other people’s words because it was obvious that very little in my book was original – and that was whole context of my book. Similarly for the Wegman Report. He wrote a review of the hockey stick methodology which involved Bradley since Bradley was one of the original authors of the first hockey stick papers. If he used some language from Bradley’s book (I have no information on that) – who cares? I don’t. The point is that Wegman showed through detailed analysis and calculation that the methods used by Mann and Bradley are mathematically incorrect, and the hockey stick is misinformation perpetrated on an unsuspecting public by Al Gore, the U. N. and many other groups and people with an agenda of alarmism for their purposes.

  165. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    The point is not whether your book contains plagiarism, but whether the Wegman report does.

    A more valid question for your own work is whether your interpretations of others’ work are correct. For example, are you claiming that every ‘hockey stick’ ever produced by any team, whether associated with Mann or entirely independent of him, is “mathematically incorrect”?

  166. Donald Rapp says:

    Bernard J.:

    Who are you and what is your interest in this? I have divulged who I am. You should do so also.

    There *is* a point as to whether I plagiarized Wegman. The whole Internet is full of websites repeating the charges made by the morons on deepclimate.org claiming that I plagiarized Wegman.

    As to whether Wegman committed plagiarism – nonsense. How can you plagiarize someone’s work that you are reviewing negatively?

    If you read my book, Assessing Climate Change, you will see that I discuss a number of hockey sticks, those started by Mann, Bradley and Hughes, and those continued by others, mainly at CRU. They all disagree with one another, and they all make the same mistakes. Take a look at spaceclimate.net for more details. Better still, read the Wegman Report or visit climateaudit.org for a lot more details than I give.

  167. Lazar says:

    “the claim that rising CO2 was the sole cause”

    beware the phantom alarmist

    ipcc ar4 wgi fig. 2.20

  168. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    You seem to have misunderstood my question…

    Are you claiming that every ‘hockey stick’ ever produced by any team, whether associated with Mann or entirely independent of him, is “mathematically incorrect”?

    Note: this question refers to all scientifically-constructed ‘hockey sticks’, and not to the subset that you selected for inclusion in your book. If you believe that they “all disagree with one another, and that they all make the same mistakes”, then are you by default claiming that they are all “mathematically incorrect”?

  169. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Bernard J.:

    You still have not identified yourself. Who are you? What is your interest in this? You seem intent on somehow cornering me into making an unfair generalization. But you have made no specific inputs of any value. Are you a lawyer, a scientist or a brick layer?

    All hockey sticks depend on principal component analysis (PCE) in one form or another.

    McKitrick (2005) summarized PCA as follows:
    ‘‘Principal components analysis involves replacing a group of data series with a
    weighted average of those series, where the weights are chosen so that the new
    vector (called the principal component or PC) explains as much of the variance of
    the original series as possible. This leaves a matrix of unexplained residuals, but
    this matrix can be reduced to a PC as well. In that case the original PC is called the
    first PC (PC1), and the PC of the residuals is called the second PC, or PC2. And
    there will be residuals from it too, yielding PC3, PC4, etc. The higher the number
    of the PC, the less important is the pattern it explains in the original data. PC1 is
    the dominant pattern, PC2 is the secondary pattern, etc. In many cases a large
    number of data series can be summarized with relatively few PCs.’’

    PCA operates in terms of deviations from the mean—not the
    primary data. However, it is essential that the mean used in the PCA must be the
    mean for the entire data set. Unfortunately, Mann, Bradley, and Hughes (1998, 1999)
    did not do this.

    In a conventional PCA, if the data are in different units it is common to
    standardize them by subtracting the mean of each column and dividing by the
    standard deviation. This re-centers and re-scales all the data to a mean of 0 and a
    variance of 1. In the MBH program, a scaling was applied, but rather than subtract
    the mean of the entire series length, they subtracted the mean of the 20th-century
    portion used for calibration, and then divided by the standard error of the 20th century portion. The overwhelming majority of individual proxy series do not have
    the form of hockey sticks, but appear as random noise, and since they don’t change in
    the 20th century, this procedure did not make much difference for them. The mean of the calibration period is roughly the same as the mean of the whole series (as is the
    standard error) so either way of standardizing yields more or less the same result. But
    a few of the proxy series trend upward in the 20th century. For these, the MBH
    method has a huge effect. Since the mean of the 20th century portion is higher than
    the mean of the whole series, subtracting the 20th-century mean de-centers the series,
    shifting it off a zero mean. This, in turn, inflates the variance of these series with
    increases in the 20th century. PC algorithms inflate the weights of data series with the
    highest variance. If one series in the group has a relatively high variance, its weight in
    the PC1 gets inflated. The MBH algorithm did just this. The PCA procedure would,
    in effect, sift through a data set and identify series with a 20th-century up-trend, and
    then load almost all the weight on these series. In effect, it data-mines for hockey
    sticks. As it turns out, of 1,082 proxies used by MBH, only a handful exhibit the form
    of the hockey stick, and all of these suffer from the potential CO2
    fertilization problem in the 20th century. As McKitrick (2005) showed, if you take two tree-ring chronologies from the MBH data set: Sheep Mountain, CA and
    Mayberry Slough, AR. both series are the same length, but due to the 20th century
    trend in the Sheep Mountain data, the MBH algorithm gives it 390 times the weight of the Mayberry series in the PC1.

    Basically, if you start with 1,000 proxies and use incorrect math, you will heavily weight a few of them with hockey stick forms and ignore the others.

    Then, if you replace the model (which says the temperature should go down after 1980) by actual data after 1980 you can use the “trick” referred to by Jones to Mann.

    If you look at other hockey sticks, such as Jones, Osborn, and Briffa (2001), they do much the same thing.

  170. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    I am a scientist; specifically, a biologist. As I have indicated elsewhere this week (I seem to receive the request once a month or so), I have over the years worked my way through an undergraduate degree, a postgraduate diploma, a Master’s, and a PhD, whilst simultaneously working for almost a decade and a half in several different disciplines of biomedical research, and for the last dozen years in ecology.

    I am not a bricklayer or a lawyer (heavens forfend!), nor am I a “janitor…, trash collector… [or a] hash slinger…” I do not “subscribe to a belief system like a religion”, unless it is the parsimonious true scepticism of the scientific method.

    I do not require a monograph about PCA, nor did I request one. I simply asked if you are claiming that every ‘hockey stick’ ever produced by any professional scientific team, whether the team is associated with Mann or is entirely independent of him, is “mathematically incorrect”. There are many hockey sticks in the literature, whether they be statistically-derived composites of a number of discrete datasets, or whether they are directly derived from simple empirical data. I am curious to know if you have scrutinised each and every one of them, and if you have determined that the hundreds of authors and reviewers, who have collectively pored over this body work in their own turns, are all wrong?

    Your response was impressively long, but for the second time it did not actually address the point.

  171. Donald Rapp says:

    As Misogi said in “Karate Kid”:

    “Answer only important if ask right question”

  172. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    It’s one thing to write a book and call it “Assessing Climate Change”.

    It’s entirely another thing to write such a book, and to actually assess climate change correctly.

    I was attempting to establish the grounds on which you conducted your assessment, and especially your assessments not included in the book but to which are atttributed the same conclusions as those in the book. Apparently that is not a question for which you have an answer, because it is not the “right” question.

    I have my answer nevertheless, and at this point I have nothing further to say.

  173. Richard Sharpe says:

    Bernard J. says on October 15, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Donald Rapp.

    [Deletia]

    I do not require a monograph about PCA, nor did I request one. I simply asked if you are claiming that every ‘hockey stick’ ever produced by any professional scientific team, whether the team is associated with Mann or is entirely independent of him, is “mathematically incorrect”. There are many hockey sticks in the literature, whether they be statistically-derived composites of a number of discrete datasets, or whether they are directly derived from simple empirical data. I am curious to know if you have scrutinised each and every one of them, and if you have determined that the hundreds of authors and reviewers, who have collectively pored over this body work in their own turns, are all wrong?

    There are many creation stories. Have you examined every one of them to determine that they all fail to provide a superior alternative to the theory of evolution and that none of them are falsifiable?

  174. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Bernard J.:

    In my opinion, you not only have nothing further to say, but you had nothing to say in the first place. And having stated your background, you evidently do not have the skill to determine whether I assessed climate change correctly. The question you asked was idiotic. There are good questions to ask. Some of them follow:
    1. Was the earth’s climate constant and benign for thousands of years prior to large scale impacts of humans? Answer = We have only incomplete evidence but the preponderance of imperfect data suggest that the answer is no.
    2. Is it likely that human activity has affected the climate in the 20th century? Answer = yes.
    3. How have humans affected the climate? Answer: Large scale emissions of greenhouse gases, production of aerosols, and deposition of black carbon soot on north polar snow and ice.
    4. Do we understand quantitatively how these factors have influenced the climate in the past ~120 years? Answer = no.
    4a. Do we understand why there was a sharp rise in temperature from 1910 to 1940, prior to buildup of greenhouse gases? Answer = no, but deposition of black carbon soot on north polar snow and ice probably was involved.
    5. Has the climate been mainly controlled by greenhouse gases these past 35 years? Answer = no. The climate has mainly been controlled by the El Nino – La Nina sequence in the Pacific Ocean.
    5a. Has the Pacific Ocean undergone a major change since about 1976, in which the usual equality of El Nino and La Nina has been replaced by persistent and sometimes strong El Ninos? Answer = yes.
    5b. Do we understand why? Answer = no.
    6. Can climate models adequately predict the effect of say, doubling CO2 from the pre-industrial era? Answer = no, mainly because most of the projected temperature rise is not due to CO2, but rather due to secondary effects of water vapor and clouds, and these are not well understood.
    7. If you take a thousand temperature proxies over the past thousand years or so and plot them, what do you get? Answer: a spaghetti chart. It is like dropping a pot of cooked spaghetti onto a table top.
    8. If you add up the aforesaid thousand proxies what do you get? You get almost zero over a 1000 years, because all the pluses and minuses tend to cancel out.
    9. If you use principal component analysis to weight the various proxies in such an improper manner that those proxies with a rise in the 20th century are overwhelmingly weighted, and superimpose this on the zero for a thousand years, what do you get? Answer = a hockey stick.
    10. Are those few proxies with a rise in the 20th century tree ring proxies susceptible to CO2 fertilization? Answer = yes.
    11. Do the tree ring proxies continue to rise after 1980 as they should if greenhouse gases are driving the climate and tree rings are valid proxies? Answer = no.
    12. How did the hockeystickers deal with this difficulty? They did not show the proxies after 1980, and instead used the “trick” of Mann and Jones by substituting measured temperatures.
    13. Can paleoclimatology resolve small global temperature excursions in the past? Answer = no.
    13a. When McIntyre and McKitrick and Wegman pointed out that the hockeystickers had made mathematical mistakes that vitiated their results, how did the hockeystickers react? Answer = They didn’t react. They just ignored the criticism and never responded or rebutted.
    13b. How how adherents and devotees of the hockystickers dealt with the critics of the hockeystickers? Answer = with personal attacks. One hockeysticker is attempting to remove Wegman’s criticism from the Congressional Record – a kind of burning of the books.
    14. Is much of multi-proxy paleoclimatology bogus? Answer = yes.

  175. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Richard Sharpe:

    Again, I quote Misogi: Answer only important if ask right question.

    DR

  176. Adam R. says:

    Donald Rapp says:
    October 16, 2010 at 8:12 am
    Dear Bernard J.:
    In my opinion, you not only have nothing further to say, but you had nothing to say in the first place. And having stated your background, you evidently do not have the skill to determine whether I assessed climate change correctly. The question you asked was idiotic.

    Shameless evasion noted, Rapp.

  177. Bernard J. says:

    I’m really not sure why I am bothering any more.

    Donald Rapp.

    Unfortunately, despite your self-impression of being a Renaissance Man with a “rare talent” for assimilating whole scientific disciplines for breakfast, your opinion about my original question to you is irrelevant. That you could not in any objective way find a coherent answer to it is answer enough.

    And for the record, having stated my background, you evidently do not have the skill to determine whether I, as a scientist who has spent decades using complex statistics and reviewing the work of other scientists, might actually have the skills to determine whether you have assessed climate change correctly.

    Now, to the rest of your posting. Your self-addressed questions are a future-me indulgence of strawmen that you wish you could be asked. They fall apart at the simplest scrutiny however, by any examination other than the most credulous…

    1) The difference between contemporary climate, and the climate milieu operating when humans expanded from their evolutionary base, is that in recent geological time humanity has expanded to cover the entire planet during a period characterised by a relatively benign climatic regime, to the point where we now densely cover a large portion of the habitable planetary surface. In the past pre-modern humans would simply have moved with the changing climate to new, climatically-moderate regions. This is no longer possible for today’s population as there will be insufficient future ‘moderate’ areas, and it certainly is not possible for all of the agriculture and the non-human ecosystems threatened by climate change to move without significant negative impact.

    2 – 3) Trivial.

    4) Answer = no “rather better than you seem to think”, but that is probably just because you haven’t read as widely as you seem to think.

    5) El Niño and La Niña are themselves aspects of global climate/energy translocation, and do not exist outside of it, so your claim is specious.

    6) Can climate models adequately predict the effect of say, doubling CO2 from the pre-industrial era? Answer = “it depends on one’s definition of ‘adequately’ – sensitivity and feedings-back are better understood than you concede, and sufficient to infer the larger-scale consequences of increased emission.

    7) If you take a thousand growth curves and plot them, what do you get? Answer: a spaghetti chart. It is like dropping a pot of cooked spaghetti onto a table top. The thing is, the spaghetti will still trace an overall sigmoid growth curve, because of a thing called statistics, and which you believe to be “mathematically incorrect” in the hands of scientists of all disciplines, other than yourself. If such curves were not possible, then the charts in my childrens’ neonatal books would show that there was no human growth after birth.

    8) Please refer me to a specific “add[ing] up [of] the aforesaid thousand proxies where [y]ou get almost zero over a 1000 years, because all the pluses and minuses tend to cancel out”. I’m very interested to see the actual “mathematical correctness” of such graphs.

    9) If one uses principal component analysis to weight the various proxies in a proper manner, so that those proxies with a rise in the 20th century are appropriately weighted, and superimpose this on the zero for a thousand years, what do you get? Answer = a hockey stick.

    10) Are those few proxies with a rise in the 20th century that are susceptible to CO2 fertilization compensated for? Answer = yes.

    11 – 12) Widely-read dendroclimatologists have a more sophisticated understanding of divergence than do you.

    13) Can paleoclimatology resolve small global temperature excursions in the past? Answer = “how small, at what scale in time and space, and how long ago”. Oh, and to what end, exactly? There are “good” questions and there are “right” questions, and there is no demonstration that this one actually fulfils either criterion…

    14) If by “much” you are referring to the work of those not trained in, experienced in, or working in science, and specifically in climatology, then your answer is correct. Some would say that you are being rather too hard on yourself, but personally I think that you have finally hit the nail on the head.

    1 out of 14 ain’t that bad.

  178. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Bernard J.:

    Too bad you weren’t born 50 years earlier. You could have been a panelist on the radio show “It Pays to be Ignorant”. You could have debated questions like “Who was buried in Grant’s Tomb?” or “What was George Washington’s first name?”

    DR

  179. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    I see that you are not about to address questions of science anytime soon. I will return to this subject anon, but for now I’d like to revisit the matter of the Wegman report.

    As has been drawn to my attention, you are on record as saying:

    “By the way, this is what Wegman had to say in a recent email: “It is my opinion that Dr. Rapp has not plagiarized anything and I hold him harmless” and claims that these are “wild conclusions that have nothing to do with reality”.”

    A simple question: does Wegman not have any problem then at GMU?

    After you’ve answered that, you might like to think more on the matter of the hockey sticks, as I have a burning curiosity about the different assessments of such proxies, and I might pick at that scab for a while yet.

  180. Krusty says:

    The simplest question asked of Donald Rapp above is the one he puts to himself but he manages to get even that answer wrong not once but twice: there is no character named “Misogi” in his favorite movie “The Karate Kid”. The practice of misogi is, in reality, something dyspeptic Donald might benefit from. At the moment I pity readers of his textbooks.

  181. Tim Curtin says:

    Congrats to Bernard J. for venturing at last from the safe haven of Tim Lambert’s Deltoid where sooner or later anybody who dissents from his manic views gets banned , like myself repeatedly.

    As ever here as at Deltoid he is verbosity personified, and shows an IQ less than that of his infant twins.

    1. Wegman never plagiarised Bradley or anybody else, so he has no case to answer at GMU. His remit from the Senate was to “review” (geddit?) the work of Mann Bradley Hughes against that of McIntyre&McKitrick. Amazingly that involved summarizing those texts (Bernard thinks summarizing = plagiarizing, even when you disagree with what you are summarizing as in the case of MBH).

    2. In regard to your rhetorical question to Rapp above, “are you claiming that every ‘hockey stick’ ever produced by any team, whether associated with Mann or entirely independent of him, is ‘mathematically incorrect’ ”?, the issue is not mathematical but statistical. Sadly, MBH made a crucial error with their statistical analysis, as explained by Rapp and Wegman.

    3. That error led to the expunging of the MWP. Despite your impressive academic credentials, I note history is not amongst them, and it is obvious you know nothing of the MWP.

  182. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Bernard J (and other heel nippers):

    I published over 60 papers in refereed journals, including two “citation classics” that were widely referred to. I published seven books including quantum mechanics, statistical mechanics, solar energy, human missions to mars, assessing climate change, ice ages, and financial bubbles. I also wrote chapters in several other books. I wrote dozens of major reports for NASA including the NASA Technology Plan of 2003 at the invitation of the NASA Technology Director. I was the proposal manager on two winning proposals for multi-hundred million dollar NASA space missions. You can find all these on my personal website. I was a full professor at the University of Texas by the time I was 40, and I was a fellow of the APS soon thereafter. I have studied climate change these past five years by reading hundreds of papers and dozens of books and reports, and from this published my book on climate change which is now in its second edition. The internet is free. You can say what you want. What did you ever do in your life? Why should I answer your questions? Who are you?

  183. Krusty says:

    Yesterday Donald you were impersonating Miyagi-san, all zen and inscrutable, today it’s Ozymandias – “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Next “the Emperor with no clothes”?

    I’ve read none of your academic or professional work but I sincerely hope it’s as good as you believe it to be. But what I have read of you appears on this page and it is … underwhelming. I don’t care who you think you are and it’s irrelevant who I might be behind my pen-name. Claims to one’s own authority are always specious! In fact there comes a time in all our careers when our best work is behind us and younger people would do well to treat with skepticism our authoritative declarations and presumptions of superiority.

    You say Donald that you know better than the work that’s published in the specialist literature of climate science? – you might consider then deigning to correct their errors with your own work in journals of comparable scientific rank.

  184. Richard Sharpe says:

    Krusty says says October 20, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    Yesterday Donald you were impersonating Miyagi-san, all zen and inscrutable, today it’s Ozymandias – “Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
    Next “the Emperor with no clothes”?

    I’ve read none of your academic or professional work but I sincerely hope it’s as good as you believe it to be. But what I have read of you appears on this page and it is … underwhelming. I don’t care who you think you are and it’s irrelevant who I might be behind my pen-name. Claims to one’s own authority are always specious! In fact there comes a time in all our careers when our best work is behind us and younger people would do well to treat with skepticism our authoritative declarations and presumptions of superiority.

    Yours is clearly behind you and you didn’t even leave us your real name so we can nod knowingly when we pass you in the street. Coward.

  185. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    I did not ask you to give me your curriculum vitæ, nor did I ask what you thought of me. It matters not what I do with my life, nor does it matter what my name is.

    I asked you some simple questions about the nature of your ‘analyses’ of hockey sticks, and you have refused to answer them. You are making significant blanket statements about the work of hundreds of professionals, and disparaging this same corpus of work in the process, and I am simply asking for some evidence or other clear indication that you actually have a case.

    None has been forthcoming.

    That you distract from the salient point of the matter by targetting a person – myself – whose bona fides are irrelevant to the discussion, and which have been summarised nontheless for a hint at the the level of my understanding of science and its processes, speaks volumes.

    If you are confident in your dismissal of all hockey sticks, you should be able to offer a comprehensive answer to my questions.

    Tim Curtin. Most of your guff is simply that, and does not merit a response. One point though – intelligence quotients are age specific so your implication that my IQ is less than that of my children is meaningless. For what it’s worth mine consistently scores in the top 1%, but I won’t tell you what the number is, because it is as irrelevant to the discussion at hand as is any other personal fact about me.

    And yes, at least one of my twins is ‘gifted’.

    Now, can we answer the questions?

  186. Donald Rapp says:

    Dear Bernard J and Krusty (and other heel nippers):

    I don’t owe you any answers. You are masked people hiding behind your cloak of anonymity. I have stated my credentials. The rest of the bloggers can decide who is more credible – you or me.

    Tim Curtin is a distinguished climatologist. I have profited from his papers and reports from his website. What have you guys done in climatology that merits any attention at all?

    The beauty of the Internet is that it is the ultimate democracy. All bloggers are equal – even those who have done nothing and spend their time bugging serious scientists.

  187. Krusty says:

    Donald Rapp says “Tim Curtin is a distinguished climatologist. I have profited from his papers and reports from his website.”

    I’d thought that Tim identified himself as an economist and agronomist not “distinguished climatologist”.

  188. Bernard J. says:

    Tim Curtin is a distinguished climatologist… [snip] The beauty of the Internet is that it is the ultimate democracy.

    Yeah, so democratic that a scientifically-illiterate, retired economist to third-world countries can gain accolades as a “distinguished climatologist” by another emeritus who, gifted with a “rare talent” to read hundreds of papers and a few dozen books, can thereby become expert in the same discipline. Apparently.

    So, which of the papers of Curtin’s did you read that warranted you referring to him as a “distinguished climatologist”? Can you assure me now that you actually have read “hundreds” of papers, and have talentedly become expert in the field of climatology, if you do not recognise those who really are expert, and those who are not?

    And it’s not about to whom you “owe” answers. It’s simply about a straight-forward question in direct response to your claims, that merits an answer independently of those who ask it.

    I will say again though – the fact that you prevaricate and dodge and weave and bluster and harumph like a walrus on a rock tells me more about the veracity of your “expertise” than any answer that you might deign to bestow.

    “Distinguished climatologist[s]” indeed. Hehehe…

  189. Richard Sharpe says:

    There’s a lot of huffing and puffing by a blow hard or two above, but it now seems that Wegman has little to worry about with respect to Bradley.

    By the way blow hard Bernard J, I can claim to have an IQ of 199 (which would put me 6+ SDs above average), but since my real name is on my posts anyone can look me up to see whether there is any evidence that I have such a stratospheric IQ. Likewise, with Donald Rapp, we can check him out and see that he has done what he claims. I have come to respect people who have actually done a few things and to be able to tell them from people whose writing is “full of sound and fury and signifying little.”

    With you, all we can see is a blow hard who doesn’t know that IQ is age normed not age specific.

  190. Desmong says:

    Too bad you weren’t born 50 years earlier. You could have been a panelist on the radio show “It Pays to be Ignorant”. You could have debated questions like “Who was buried in Grant’s Tomb?” or “What was George Washington’s first name?”

    Is this the quality of an answer that we expect from a scientist?

    Donald, you completely lost it. Instead of providing any acceptable answer, you put your toys in your bag and refuse to participate.
    This conduct may indicate weaknesses in your scientific work. Are you hiding anything?

  191. Michelle Kuras says:

    Donald Rapp:

    Tim Curtin is a distinguished climatologist.

    Could you point out his papers in climatology and the journals they were published in?

  192. harvey says:

    Bernarnd:

    Donald Rapp has connections with the libertarian think tanks GMI, CATO, Heartland which probably explains his problem as being more of a belief system one.

    It is very hard to argue with someone who is entrenched in their belief system whether religious, environmental, econonmic etc. as they will rationalize away any facts that contradict their deeply held convictions.

    The continuing gathering of a preponderance of facts and research will hopefully convince people that maybe they should be worried a bit, and moderate their belief systems.

    http://resources.ofdan.ca/docs/2009-science-bypass-v3.pdf

  193. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    If you cannot or will not answer questions about your self-proclaimed comprehensive analyses of hockey sticks, are you able to explain why you believe that Tim Curtin is a “distinguished climatologist”?

  194. Gaz says:

    Tim Curtin is a distinguished expert in proportional rates of change.

  195. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    It seems that you are not above organising for the surreptitious editing of some of your comments on this blog.

    On October 13, 2010 at 7:51 am you posted a comment wherein you referred to me using the terms “janitor”, “trash collector” and “hash slinger”. You also said that I “subscribe to a belief system like a religion”.

    Now, I have myself once or twice asked for an editing of a blog post because I had inadvertently posted identifying or misattributed information. This, however, is an attempt to expunge your denigrating commentary about those who quite reasonably are requesting that you explain your “analyses”, and the claims that you make here and elsewhere, including in your book.

    The fact remains though that my post, immediately below yours, retains the evidence of your words with appropriate quotation marks. For posterity I have also been saving this thread every time I post, should exactly this contingency occur. I am now archiving it, for the same reason.

    Your original behaviour was not becoming of one who seeks to be held as a doyenne of science. Your attempt at cleaning up is not better.

    Your continued refusal to engage with me about the nature of your hockey stick analyses is fast eroding any credibility that you might believe you hold. Are you seriously not able to simply address my questions and provide the material I seek?

    Your refusal to engage with me on the matter of the Wegman scandal is also damaging to your cause. To this end, I will try a different tack and ask you for comment on the latest post from Deep Climate. Can you response with detail and evidence to the substance of the thread, and most especially can you refute the substance and defend your own stance on this entire matter?

  196. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    Perhaps, in your pondering emeritas, it is necessary to step back somewhat in order to discover exactly at what point it is that you and your professional colleagues diverge on the matter of atmospheric physics.

    To that end, could you indulge me and go back to first principles to answer several very simple questions:

    1) Does carbon dioxide absorb and re-emit infrared radiation?

    2) Is the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increasing?

    3) Now for the essay… assuming that you answered the first two questions in the affirmative, what ‘best’ estimate do you accept for the temperature sensitivity of the atmosphere to carbon dioxide? Upon what evidence and data do you base your answer?

    As it is Halloween, please feel free to play the wildcard and answer the previous questions which you have avoided until now. However, if they continue to pose the challenge for you that they have to this point, it may be that we can approach the whole matter from a different direction in order to elucidate which of the paradigms – ‘consensus’ physics or the ‘sceptical’ alternative theories – best fit the empirical data. The three questions (+ 1 supplementary) above could be a good first step along that path.

  197. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    Why are you avoiding this thread?

    If someone has Rapp’s ear, could they please ask him to revisit his reluctance to engage in the substanbtive questions I’ve posed?

  198. harvey says:

    Bernard
    Unfortunately you have run into the WUWFT modus operandi. This is to flood the blogosphere with tons of posts, thus reducing any real discussions in the threads. You will note that many posts are just kowtowing to the poster, rather than contributing to the real message at hand. This method was used in the past by many Libertarian think tanks to fight tobacco legislation, ozone hole legislation etc. So any thread older than say 2 or 3 days is just ignored by all the posters here as there are just so many articles to follow. An interesting strategy.

    [REPLY - Whereas the MO of nearly all ACW blogs is simply to delete the opposition. This method was used in the past by far worse than libertarian think tanks proposing far worse than opposing tobacco legislation. (Of course, allowing posts like this is more of a cruelty than a kindness.) ~ Evan]

  199. harvey says:

    Hmm this leads me to think of the stategy that could be created in a Blogowar. Recruit a large number of people with multiple accounts to visit and comment on a blog to make it seem more important than it is. Also recruit “monitors” to constantly view “enemy” blogs and to immediately post FUD and dissention on their blogs. HMMM..

  200. harvey says:

    Interesting, you turn my comment on *YOUR* strategy to one of attacking the strategy of your opponents. I’m sure there is a word for that….

    [REPLY - Whereas the MO of nearly all AGW blogs is simply to delete the opposition. This method was used in the past by far worse than libertarian think tanks proposing far worse than opposing tobacco legislation. (Of course, allowing posts like this is more of a cruelty than a kindness.) ~ Evan]

  201. Bernard J. says:

    All I want to do is to pursue with Donald Rapp the matter of his analysis of various hockey sticks, and how his analysis comapres with that of the profession’s range of analyses. There are many unanswered questions, and if the matter is one of incompetence and/or of fraud in the profession, and if there really is not modern temperature upswing/”warminig”, then why can we not pursue the subject and clarify the reality.

    Wegman would probably appreciate the assistance, if nothing else. If Rapp is correct, then Wegman is vindicated – at least in the substance of his claim if not in the matter of plagiarism – and climatology and thousands of professional scientists are forever discredited.

    Oh, and it would mean that there is quite possibly something wrong with the combination of historical and instrumental records, which is a story in itself…

  202. Bernard J. says:

    A second attempt…

    All I want to do is to pursue with Donald Rapp the matter of his analysis of various hockey sticks, and how his analysis compares with that of the climatology/atmospheric physics profession’s range of analyses. There are many unanswered questions with respect to Rapp’s claims, and if in the end the matter is one of incompetence and/or of fraud in the climatology profession, and if there really is not modern temperature upswing/”warminig”, then why can we not pursue the subject and clarify the reality?

    Wegman would probably appreciate the assistance, if nothing else. If Rapp is correct, then Wegman is in part vindicated – at least in the substance of his hockey stick claim, if not in the matter of plagiarism – and climatology and thousands of professional scientists are forever discredited.

    Oh, and it would mean that there is quite possibly something wrong with the combination of historical and instrumental records, which is a story in itself…

  203. Bernard J. says:

    Heh.

    My screen seems not to be reloading after posting.

    What’s up with that? :-)

  204. Kelly Manning says:

    Gee, that medieval warming period sure looks impressive when you use a chart which ends at 1975.

    It looks a lot less Impressive when charts showing recent record warm years are included.

    After all, even the most clue resistant skeptic “knows” that “global warming ended in 1998″.

    In fact 1998 is in a dead heat for 3rd place with 2002, 2003, 2006 and 2007.

    Before 2010 both 2005 and 2008 end up warmer than 1998.

    So much for the Global Warming ended in 1998 theory.

    http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20100121/

  205. Bernard J. says:

    Donald Rapp.

    Or, indeed, anyone who claims to have the statistical competence to critique Mann, Wegman, and all of their respective et als

    I am still keen on a response to my last link to Deep Climate, however perhaps this latest is worthy of attention first:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

    Rebut away.

    Please.

  206. Bernard J. says:

    Hello?

    Anyone?

  207. Kelly Manning says:

    No good news for Wegman in recent reviews by Plagiarism experts, is there?

    Will the Virginia AG open an investigation of Wegman?

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