NIPCC, Gleick, heads, sand, water bottles, and all that

I’m sure Bishop Hill won’t mind if I pinch this, it shows a rather head in the sand attitude that pervades the people who get money to study global warming, such as the Pacific Institute’s Dr. Peter Gleick. I agree with Bish though: “subterfuge” looks out of place in a scientific report, OTOH so does the use of a “trick”. He writes:

The Heartland Institute’s NIPCC interim report has just been published – see here. This is a summary of the new scientific literature since 2009.

I’ve taken a glance through the paleoclimate bits and it appears to have been put together in a very professional manner. I was blissfully unaware of just how much evidence has been emerging for the existence of a MWP in the world outside Europe.

If I had a criticism based on what I have read, I would say it’s over the authors’ tendency to slip into editorial mode – discussion of Mann being engaged in “subterfuge” looks out of place in a scientific report.

Lots of people are not going to like the report of course. Peter Gleick, the president of the Pacific Institute, tweets that the report makes him sick and refuses to link to it. Barry Woods and I have politely asked which bits in particular he is concerned with and he has told us that he doesn’t need to do this when someone is arguing that the Earth is flat.

Gleick’s head in the sand choices seem to be selective, for example, he’s written a book titled Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water. Gleick argues against bottled water on the grounds of it being environmentally unsound and just another profit grab by corporate interests selling to a gullible public.

NASA's Dr. James Hansen arrested at White House protest - note the water bottles strewn all over the ground - photo from tarsandsaction.org

Yet, in one of the most widely publicized environmental protests this year, what do we see? Yep, water bottles everywhere behind Gleick’s hero, Jim Hansen, seen going to the big house after his third arrest above.

I can just hear Gleick going “la la la la la la la la la” as he tries to reconcile climate protest with those protestors leaving water bottle rubbish all over the protest site. It’s a “Joe Romm head exploding moment”, which is why Gleick hasn’t said anything about it.

I suppose the message is “we should be concerned about the environment when those who lecture us on environmental concern actually do as they say”.

Speaking of protests…perhaps we should go Al Sharpton on Gleick, and stand outside his office and read him the NIPCC report through a bullhorn.

The Pacific Institute's office, located in a historic 1887 Victorian. From their website.

After all, such methods are widely accepted in Berkeley.

I have excerpted the passage from chapter 3 below, judge for yourself:

3.1.7. Northern Hemisphere

In the 27 November 2009 issue of Science, Michael Mann and eight coauthors (Mann et al., 2009) describe how they used a global climate proxy network consisting of data derived from ice core, coral, sediment, and various other records to reconstruct a Northern Hemispheric surface air temperature history covering the past 1,500 years for the purpose of determining the characteristics of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Warm Period. They used Mann’s “Nature trick” of Climategate fame, truncating the reconstructed temperature history near its end and replacing it with modern-day instrumental data, so the last part of the record cannot be validly compared with the earlier portion.

This subterfuge is unwarranted. And in its current application, it’s not just from 1981 or 1961 onwards that the ruse is applied; it’s applied all the way from 1850 to 1995, the period of overlap between the proxy and instrumental records that was used to calibrate the proxy data. Therefore, since the proxy data were available to 1995, the reconstructed near-surface air temperature history should also have been plotted to 1995, in order to be able to make valid quantitative comparisons between the degree of warmth of the Current and Medieval Warm Periods.

For those interested, Chapter 3 is available here NIPCC_chap03_PaleoTemperature (PDF)

The entire report is available here (PDF)

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83 Responses to NIPCC, Gleick, heads, sand, water bottles, and all that

  1. Nuke Nemesis says:

    I’m sure Gleick wouldn’t have tweeted “[the Heatland Institute] still deny climate change in recycled 430-page compilation of lies, bad science, misrepresentations” if it wasn’t true, would he?

    All we need to know is the “experts” reject and refuse to read the entire report.

    /sarc

    REPLY: his twitter feed is quite revealing, why, he can just recycle old stereotypical arguments without any need to read it at all:

    Maybe we should send Buzz Aldrin and Dr. Harrison Schmitt over to ‘splain it to him – Anthony

  2. Jeff Mitchell says:

    Heh, the use of the word “subterfuge” is quite accurate here. Gleik is nuts. If the data that was replaced because it was wrong, brings into question whether or not the data that supports the thesis of temp versus tree rings growth is merely coincidental and not predictive. Cutting out the data that shows no correlation is deceitful.

    He probably has an illegitimate relationship with Heidi de Klein.

  3. John B says:

    OT? There is an Enso meter on this home page. It has been stuck on dead center neutral for maybe 60 days. What is it telling us? The meter is not working? Or, if it is working, how can it be in one place for so long?

    REPLY: It tell us that the source of it, NOAA, is asleep at the switch. See here:

    http://www.noaawatch.gov/ (see left sidebar) – Anthony

  4. DirkH says:

    Gleick is head of the Pacific Institute; according to wikipedia, they have discovered “peak water”. While reading about it, I accidentally found a list of peak-somethings on this wikipedia page (near the end):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_water

    I like especially “peak soil”. I think it’s time to declare “peak BS”; the moment the production of BS cannot conceivably go any higher and future BS production will dwindle until mankind runs out of BS.

  5. Bob Kutz says:

    subterfuge — n; a stratagem employed to conceal something, evade an argument, etc

    What was done quite concisely fits the definition of subterfuge. In fact, I cannot think of a better word.

  6. CinbadtheSailor says:

    If he hasn’t read it, how can it make him sick? Oh yes because Gaia told him it was evil!

  7. I read the The Heartland Institute’s NIPCC interim report and didn’t think much of it.

    I think my comment was “I lost the will to read on” …. perhaps because I was looking at climate sensitivity and they weren’t making the point that the scaling up of the CO2 warming was based on no science at all. Indeed, the only rational to make it around 3x what the science permits, is to make it fit the temperature curve.

    But if the basis for scaling up is to “make it fit”, then when all the models predict warming and it palpably doesn’t occur, it clearly doesn’t fit and so the whole justification for scaling up CO2 warming fall flat.

    If a report like this can’t clearly explain the single biggest supporting argument for the sceptic cause, what it explain?

  8. jorgekafkazar says:

    DirkH says: “…I think it’s time to declare “peak BS”; the moment the production of BS cannot conceivably go any higher and future BS production will dwindle until mankind runs out of BS.”

    Excellent thought, Dirk. Unfortunately, BS will continue to rise until we surpass Peak-Chinese-willingness-to-let-Obama-borrow-money. Then we may have to get real. (Right after we kill the messenger, of course.)

  9. higley7 says:

    There’s nothing to explain to the arrogant faithful who know categorically that they are right no matter what the contrary evidence. They are unassailable as they will consistently refuse to even read the material of the other side and, thus, never have to even address it or come up with a cogent response. Dismissal of the opposition is what they consider an adequate rebuke.

  10. Mark Wilson says:

    Replacing the portion of the proxy record that doesn’t show what you want with another record that does, without explicitly pointing that out on your graph sounds like a pretty good definition of subterfuge to me.

  11. Eric Anderson says:

    “Subterfuge” is appropriate. Although perhaps a bit mild.

  12. Bob says:

    The 2009 report involved 39 people, incl lead authors, contributors and editors. The 2011 report involved 14 people.

    Why have their ranks been so badly depleted?

    REPLY: It’s a smaller, interim report. Think update. – Anthony

  13. Sam Hall says:

    DirkH says:
    September 1, 2011 at 11:38 am
    Gleick is head of the Pacific Institute; according to wikipedia, they have discovered “peak water”….

    Peak Water? Give me a break. 70% of this planet is covered with the stuff. True, it may not be where you want it to be nor in the condition you want, but those are engineering problems.
    Just think of how much water a gigawatt nuclear power plant could distill per day. Use the waste heat in the daytime and add in the electric power at night.

  14. Steven Mosher says:

    The words subterfuge and ruse and trick are all out of place in a report like this. Those words imply knowledge of motive. You can say the same thing without imputing motives to people. In fact in a scientific report you’re better off not using their approach. Their approach, I should remind everybody, is to assume that skeptics are all Oil shills.

    You might personally believe that you know their motives. you might think you can see into their souls, but that is exactly and precisely the mistake they made when denying data to McIntyre. That is the mistake they made when they read CA and thought the everybody there was the same kind of person.

  15. Steve Oregon says:

    If there is one thing there is a global consensus on it is that there cannot be peak BS.
    It is limitless.
    In mass, frequency and stench.

  16. Ken Harvey says:

    I can see the problem that the warmist scientists have. They have spent years, half of a working lifetime some of them, promulgating a sort of pseudo-theory. Whether they are there for the money, the prestige, simple belief, or all three, they are now painted into a corner. Their pseudo-theory is crumbling away, day by day. It must be difficult, to say the least, for a man who claims the appellation “scientist” (as it would be indeed for any of us) to acknowledge that he has spent much of his working life promoting a major intellectual error.

    That their thinking early on was in error is, of itself, no disgrace. The disgrace lies in the fact that they produced no hypothesis that could be falsified. They are painted into a corner because of not what they did, but because of what they failed to do. When is man to come to appreciate that a computer is no more than a super fast version of the Facit calculating machine which I used for currency conversions back at the beginning of the ‘fifties. Correct answers come automatically, but only if you put in the right numbers. What a pity it is that we don’t know all the “right numbers”, but in the meantime collectively we can spot numbers in there that give us pause.

  17. Bob says:

    The style is so weird for something that claims to be a science report. What’s with those huge chunks of quoted text? Looks like someone in high school padding their essay to reach a word limit.

  18. polistra says:

    Those water bottles have been in the presence of the High Priest, so they are Holy Water and cannot commit environmental sin.

  19. Bob says:

    REPLY: It’s a smaller, interim report. Think update. – Anthony

    Right, thanks.

    What is the author recruitment and peer review process for these reports? How do they incorporate feedback? Where are review comments published?

  20. Joe Crawford says:

    Regarding the tweets, It’s a pure and simple case of confirmation bias by a true believer. Would anyone expect more from Peter Gleick?

    As for as the report, the Heartland Institute need to get their act straight. I agree with Steve Mosher where he says:.

    The words subterfuge and ruse and trick are all out of place in a report like this.

  21. Bulldust says:

    DirkH says @ September 1, 2011 at 11:38 am:

    DirkH with all due respect, I think you seriously underestimate the amount of BS intellectuals are capable of producing. Given that the current younger generation is undergoing, what I shall charitably call PC-programming, I think we are on the threshhold of a whole new wave of BS. Certainly if the teachings available on the Australian (Government) Department of Climate Change web site are anything to go by:

    http://www.climatechange.gov.au/en/what-you-can-do/teachers-and-students.aspx

    Yes, I am sad to say that is my tax dollars hard at work…

  22. Owen says:

    Personally I think Einstein had it right:
    “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

    Much like BS, human stupidity is the only thing greater in quantity.

  23. Bob says:

    Anthony, thanks again for pointing out that this is an interim report. Looking more closely, the scope of the report is as follows: “Research published before 2009 is included if it did not appear in the 2009 report or provides context for the new research. Nearly all of the research summarized here appeared in peer-reviewed science journals.”

    Looking at section 3.3, “Recent Temperature Trends”, which I assume is of immediate interest to folks here, they are indeed relying mainly on the peer reviewed literature, which is good.

    But they only summarized 11 papers, if I’m counting correctly. Is that it? Were there no other relevant papers on recent temperature trends? How did they whittle it down to those 11? Where do they publicly describe how these decisions are made? The NIPCC is rather mysterious this way, no?

  24. Beesaman says:

    Cognitive dissonance can be a real problem……

  25. Ray says:

    Seeing the quality of water in most cities, at least bottled water gives you the assurance that you won’t poison yourself. If you do at least you will know who to sue. This is not the case with municipalities. Sure it is a simple idea but it costs to have quality water. It is not the water problem but a bottle problem. It is like the plastic bag problem. They cost much less and their production is much less polluting than the alternatives, and they usually get recycled many times either in alternative use or at the bottle depot. The real polluters are those leaving the bottles everywhere and not recycling them… see picture above.

    What about those companies that were selling ice in the old days… man, they were using a lot of straw and putting horse manure everywhere. /sarc

  26. Steven Mosher says:

    we should demand of them no less than we demand of the IPCC.

    1. no conflicted lead authors citing their own work as gospel
    2. an open review process with opponents giving it their best shot.
    3. Public posting of drafts and reviewer comments.

    You cannot simultaneously demand higher standards for others and practice lower ones.

    well you can, but we have a word for that

  27. papertiger says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 1, 2011 at 12:42 pm
    The words subterfuge and ruse and trick are all out of place in a report like this. Those words imply knowledge of motive. You can say the same thing without imputing motives to people.

    Subterfuge, ruses, and tricks were used. To record the thing accurately is a service to the reader. There were motives involved. This trying to absolve Michael Mann by hiding behind “scientist are devoid of motive” sort of magic thinking is the reason why Mann was promoted to professor and IPCC author in record time. He was telling the lies that the eco-lobbiests wanted to be told.

    To not use the words trick, ruse, or subterfuge, when describing government funded paleoclimatology in the 21st century would be to leave out the theme of the entire endeaver.

  28. Jeff Mitchell says:

    Steve Mosher said:

    “The words subterfuge and ruse and trick are all out of place in a report like this. Those words imply knowledge of motive. You can say the same thing without imputing motives to people. In fact in a scientific report you’re better off not using their approach. Their approach, I should remind everybody, is to assume that skeptics are all Oil shills.”

    I’m not sure one needs a motive to use subterfuge as an accurate description of what happened. The data they had that finished the series went down as temperatures went up. They could have left the contradictory data there, but they didn’t. Besides, the perps said stuff like “hide the decline” and “Mike’s nature trick”. And they didn’t just hide some of the data, but tried to hide all of it. Only with lots of persistence did we finally get it. But I think it safe to say in this situation that when all the data is available and they don’t show all of it, and the deleted data coincidentally contradicts the theory they were pushing about correlation, you don’t really need to know what their motive was, but we do.

    We’ve got alleged climate scientists who would be better named Procrustes who stretch and torture their data until it fits their theory. I remember before those fateful days on November 17-19, 2009, we had lots of theories we couldn’t prove except with circumstantial evidence that the AGW team was up to something. The anti science stance that wouldn’t allow people to see the data and methods looked awful suspicious, especially since they wanted to advance rather economically destructive policies. In hindsight, those theories pretty much hit the mark.

    I think the use of the word subterfuge was accurate and appropriate. It reminds the reader that a long standing fight over valid science was resolved by exposing the practices of the vested interests.

  29. Bob says:

    Steven Mosher @ 2:39

    Agreed! That’s basically what the IPCC is evolving towards, if however imperfectly given the size of the job, and the absence of any comparable process to use as an example.

    It’s bizarre at this point that the NIPCC hasn’t caught on to some of the basics.

  30. papertiger says:

    Mosh wants to bargain with the mugger. I think the mugger will just take your wallet, and maybe your shoes if they are a nice brand. But if you bargain with him it’s over your continued existence.

    So be sure and coo nice words in his ear.

  31. Bob says:

    Man, this thing is so weird! The Recent Temperature Trends section covers the poles and North America only.

    And I eyeball that about a quarter of that section is comprised of direct quotes! It’s good that they’re not plagiarizing, but come on! Didn’t we learn not to do that in high school?

    Hopefully all this will be sorted out in their public review process.

  32. Jeremy says:

    Pretending a report doesn’t exist because you don’t like it is….

    Denial.

  33. Smokey says:

    Bob,

    Quotes aren’t plagiarism.

  34. pat says:

    speaking of cognitive dissonance, protests, peak BS, and the rest brought up in the comments,
    here’s a Gleick soulmate in the Guardian today, our own aussie Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, an Australian Professorial Fellow and cognitive scientist in the School of Psychology at University of West Australia, whose “research focuses on the role of scepticism in memory updating and the distinction between scepticism and denial”.
    some non-aussies may not detect how much “spin and misinformation” Lewandowsky brings to this piece, but it’s considerable:

    1 Sept: Guardian: Stephan Lewandowsky: Australia’s climate scientists expose shock-jock distortion tactics
    Academics catalogue the deluge of spin and misinformation of climate science by various Murdoch-owned papers

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/sep/01/australia-climate-scientists

  35. Bob says:

    Yeah, Smokey, that’s what I said. Not plagiarizing, but rather the height of amateurish and lazy writing. Would you ever quote that much in a ‘science report’?

    Would you in any way describe this section as “good” or “useful”? Would anyone?

    Maybe they’ll do a better job on that, and rather than all the cut and paste, attempt some actual synthesis….of more than 11 papers for that section… for something resembling global coverage.

    Has anyone looked at other parts? Are they as bad?

  36. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bob:

    You have made six posts in this thread, and each of them is knitpicking and carping. If you find a fault in the NIPCC Report then state it so it can be addressed.

    But I promise you that you will have great difficulty finding severe errors in the NIPCC Report of the kinds published in the IPCC AR4.

    Richard

  37. peterhodges says:

    Talk about heads in the sand…I guess they can’t even use google.

    With a specific enough search, Google turns up literally thousands of papers on the global MWP.

  38. Gary Pearse says:

    Bob …where is the peer review?…feedback? These are the questions sceptics have been asking the side you root for. The term pal review was even coined for the shameful sham that it was named for. Bob, tell me you’re not okay with black-balling a journal that publishes work disagreeing with the in-crowd, or seeing that an editor is fired for such a transgression. Did you protest that? Hey, I actually disagree with use of subterfuge and trick in the report. Its ok to be disappointed in your own side.

  39. tib says:

    Funny how that “flat earth” phrase keeps coming up.
    Wasn’t “the earth is flat” the consensus position for thousands of years till some skeptics noticed evidence that didn’t fit the theory?

  40. Andrew30 says:

    Gleick argues against bottled water on the grounds of it being environmentally unsound and just another profit grab by corporate interests selling to a gullible public.

    He may be right with “corporate interests selling to a gullible public”.

    “a gullible public”, i.e. the people that are clapping in the photo. The ones that bought the bottled water (in bottles made from oil) to take to the protest against more oil for more bottles. “Gullible” may not actually be the complete description of these [people].

    Wisdom is the intersection of Experience, Judgment and Knowledge.
    Warmism is the intersection of Gullibility, Hypocrisy and Stupidity.

  41. Wucash says:

    I drink bottled water… by refilling an old bottle with tap water – tastes the same, costs ridiculously less and I don’t end up with so much waste.

    However some things you wrote made me lol, especially this;
    “with those protestors leaving water bottle rubbish all over the protest site”
    Are you saying they didn’t clean this up after themselves? I realise the hypocrisy prevelant in these ecomentalists, but this is clutching at straws.

    Stick only to the real issues, not “OMG Hansen used bottled water, and HE DIDN’T CLEAN IT UP AFTER BEING ARRESTED!”

  42. Luther Wu says:

    Is Gleick really Paul Ehrlich’s ‘secret lodge initiate’ brother?
    re: water- with so many of these guys (read: tripnuts) in NoCal, is something in the water?

  43. Bob says:

    Richard,

    Ok, here goes: chapter 3.3 on recent temperature trends, which I think people here would describe as “really important”, particularly given Anthony’s efforts in station evaluation, excludes 5 continents and most of the ocean.

    Is that problem enough?

    I mean, am I missing something here? Is the rest of their synthesis somewhere else in the report?

    Bob

  44. RoHa says:

    He’s right about the water bottles, though. It was a scam by bottling companies. They spread the silly rumour that tea or coffee would dehydrate you, and even managed to get councils to remove some of the water fountains. The craze is just beginning to die away (and a town in Australia has banned them) but at its peak people seemed to think that if they didn’t constantly swig expensive bottled water water from plastic bottles they would shrivel up and die in minutes.

    However did we survive before the bottlers came to our rescue?

    It shows (as I have said about many things) that being damned silly is not a minority sport.

    We’re doomed.

  45. Esteban says:

    Looks like Gillard is about to be sacked/replaced/resigned. However it does not look like any new Labor faces would remove the Carbon Tax! What has happened to Australians? See Bolt Herald sun

  46. u.k.(us) says:

    I don’t “get” Tweets, they have no context.
    Just sayin’, not looking for an explanation :)

  47. Jim says:

    Meanwhile, Algore is cloning mini-gores, some of which will be presenting in … wait for it … “The Climate REALITY Project!!!” I figure the WUWT denizens will have fun with this one :)

    “24 Hours of Reality will be broadcast live from our website. All you need to tune in is a computer (or mobile device) and an Internet connection. But that doesn’t mean you need to watch 24 Hours of Reality alone. Host a watch party!”

    http://climaterealityproject.org/blog/

  48. Jim says:

    Here’s a good one from “The Climate REALITY Project.” …
    “What climate change deniers and carbon dioxide have in common

    08/26/2011 // 5:32 pm // 13 Comments // Kristin Pene, Research Associate

    Source: NASA

    When I hear or read the phrase “the climate change debate,” I get all worked up. Because in the world of serious science, there’s really no “debate” that pollution from human activities is changing the climate. Discussing the science behind whether carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases cause warming is so 19th century .

    That’s why at The Climate Reality Project, we’re constantly on the lookout for stories that focus on the impacts of climate change and strategies on how to avoid or minimize those impacts. In our opinion, a good debate would center on what we should actually do about climate change.

    Unfortunately though, that’s not the debate being had on the public stage in some parts of the world. Climate change deniers are distracting us and preventing us from having more meaningful and productive conversations. Take the Galileo Movement in Australia, which recently put a page of “scientific facts” on its website. These facts (many of which are sound) look pretty straightforward at first. But actually, they’re used in misleading ways that raise doubts about the reality of climate change.”

    http://climaterealityproject.org/2011/08/26/what-climate-change-deniers-and-carbon-dioxide-have-in-common/

  49. Jim says:

    Also BTW , “The Climate REALITY Project.” allows comments ;)

  50. J. Felton says:

    ” Your paper is so bad, that I’m not going to read it to see how bad it is.”

    Wow, who gave this man tenure? This is like some old MTV ” Beavis and Butthead” sketch, it is so terrible.
    ” Umm, you suck…because….heh heh…you suck.”

    Yeah, that’s a rational argument. If this man is at the helm of the Pacific Institute, remind me to question everything this Institute publishes.

  51. Bob says:

    Gary Pearse,

    Yeah, the stuff about the journal editor does sound low-down. But know what? It happens all the time. There are sure to be lots of papers out there that got bullied through the peer review process, or that got bullied out. As long as people are involved, peer-review will be an imperfect, and at-times ugly process, but the best we have. This is, by the way, not all specific to the climate literature. Think things are better in the medicine? The whole process is one of stumbling, at times like a drunken frat-boy, towards a better understanding of things.

    The IPCC, also imperfect, has made huge strides in opening itself to outside scrutiny, and improving the review and feedback process. In no small part due to people like Steve McIntyre, of course. What are your thoughts on the NIPCC review process? Looking at the Preface, the lead authors criticize the IPCC process, but provide no description of their review process. Isn’t this important? As you say, the skeptics are demanding it, fairly, of the IPCC. What do you demand of the NIPCC? Something, perhaps, that would make for an improved section 3.3?

    Bob

     

  52. Greg Cavanagh says:

    I’m pretty sure few people have ever believed that the earth was flat. It’s always been a derogatory intellectual assault to insult the other party.

    It has perhaps become a meme in these modern times to insult the intelligence of early history, and probably to insult the church in the same swipe.

    From early mariners, they new the sails of the ship raised over the horizon before the body of the ship. Therefore the sea was curved over the horizon. Anybody in a crows nest and a monocular could see this for themselves. Do a Google search for historic world maps and see what you find.

    And for the truly adventurous; here is the book of JOB written by Moses; 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and… One could conclude that early Egypt also new the world was round, ie: “circle of the earth”.

  53. SteveSadlov says:

    I wonder if Hansen’s “Wonder Hat” will protect him from the inevitable future Earth-smacking GCR burst?

  54. Jeff Alberts says:

    u.k.(us) says:
    September 1, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    I don’t “get” Tweets, they have no context.
    Just sayin’, not looking for an explanation :)

    They’re not “tweets”, they’re “twits”. Anything coming from Twitter is a “twit”. I can’t imagine a more useless thing on the interwebtubez.

  55. Jeff Alberts says:

    And for the truly adventurous; here is the book of JOB written by Moses; 40:22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and… One could conclude that early Egypt also new the world was round, ie: “circle of the earth”.

    “Circle” doesn’t necessarily mean “sphere”. While many ancient civilizations considered the earth to be round, not all of them did.

  56. Jeff Alberts says:

    The IPCC, also imperfect, has made huge strides in opening itself to outside scrutiny, and improving the review and feedback process. In no small part due to people like Steve McIntyre, of course. What are your thoughts on the NIPCC review process? Looking at the Preface, the lead authors criticize the IPCC process, but provide no description of their review process. Isn’t this important? As you say, the skeptics are demanding it, fairly, of the IPCC. What do you demand of the NIPCC? Something, perhaps, that would make for an improved section 3.3?

    If I were forced to pay for the NIPCC I might be concerned.

  57. D Marshall says:

    Are all of you blind? All the bottles in that photo are upright, capped and contain at least some water. Even if those enviros meant to litter, don’t you think the cops would make them clean it up or arrest them all if they didn’t? (Cue the Arlo Guthrie jokes)

  58. Steven Mosher says:

    Gary Pearse

    It’s good to see a few of us have our integrity. I object to the words ruse, subterfuge and trick for two reasons, one they try to impute motives and motives are hard to prove. As I said they are not observable. So silly me I like to stick to what I can prove. When you do stick to what you can prove you typically end up with a better case. I also think that focusing on a non emotional description of the methods they used to understate uncertainities actually gives you better chance at convincing people who have never heard much about the case before. Since I live in Sf I get a chance to do this all the time. The discussions go something like this:

    It’s not a fraud, why would they cheat? you cant prove they cheated.
    Would you agree that this is a poor way to do the chart?
    well.. ya.
    Good, that’s all you need to accept at this point, because their motives are beside the greater point. The greater point is this. This is bad science. This is not the best science and we want the best science. So whether they did it by accident, or did it to save the planet, or did it because Mcintyre is a pest, or did it to fool some people, or to impose a world tyranny, or did it because they thought it was acceptable, we know this: it was bad science. That’s all we need to prove. When you try to stretch beyond this, well you’re doing your own tricks.. mind reading tricks

  59. Henry Galt says:

    He must have never spoken to his brother about the subject of one of (his best selling if I remember) books. No, not the one on Feynman, the one on CHAOS.

    Maybe they have a blood feud going. Hey, if he can throw random accusations….

  60. Henry Galt says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    Nice argument. Such a shame it fails over if the subjects are serial in their behaviour.

  61. Gary Mount says:

    Bob says:
    September 1, 2011 at 6:16 pm
    The IPCC, also imperfect, has made huge strides in opening itself to outside scrutiny, and improving the review and feedback process.

    Not according to Donna Laframboise:
    “It’s now quite clear that IPCC movers and shakers have no intention of complying with either the spirit or the letter of the IAC committee’s recommendations. That this is a thoroughly unaccountable organization could not be any plainer.”

    http://nofrakkingconsensus.com/2011/09/01/the-iac-report-one-year-later/

  62. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bob:

    Your post at September 1, 2011 at 4:04 pm sums up your ‘contributions’ to this thread.

    I asked you to stop knitpicking and to make a valid criticism of the NIPCC Report (which is much less flawed than the UN IPCC AR4 Report).

    Your reply says:
    “Richard,
    Ok, here goes: chapter 3.3 on recent temperature trends, which I think people here would describe as “really important”, particularly given Anthony’s efforts in station evaluation, excludes 5 continents and most of the ocean.
    Is that problem enough?”

    Either you cannot read or you are presenting a deliberate falsehood. The following are the pertinent Section Headings:

    3. Paleoclimate and Recent Temperatures
    Introduction
    3.1 Medieval Warm Period
    3.1.1 North America
    3.1.2 Europe
    3.1.3 Asia
    3.1.4 Africa
    3.1.5 South America
    3.1.6 Antarctica
    3.1.7 Northern Hemisphere
    3.1.8 Other Temperature Records
    3.2 The Little Medieval Warm Period
    3.3 Recent Temperature Trends
    3.4 Urban Heat Islands
    3.5 El Niño/Southern Oscillation

    Section 3.3 begins saying;

    “3.3. Recent Temperature Trends
    Has the global warming of the past century, and
    especially of the past few decades, been as dramatic
    as the IPCC claims it has been, leading to
    unprecedented high temperatures and unsurpassed
    temperature variability? In the prior two sections of
    this chapter we evaluated this claim as it pertained to
    the past thousand years, with specific focus on the
    Medieval Warm Period (approximately 800–1200
    AD) and the Little Medieval Warm Period
    (approximately 1400–1550 AD). Here, we evaluate it
    with respect to temperatures of the past few decades,
    once again limiting our discussion to papers published
    after the 2009 NIPCC report.”

    What part of “limiting our discussion to papers published
    after the 2009 NIPCC report” do you not understand?

    Richard

  63. Allan M says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    September 2, 2011 at 12:35 am

    I object to the words ruse, subterfuge and trick for two reasons, one they try to impute motives and motives are hard to prove.

    Perhaps you would prefer the Prof. Steve Jones version in his BBC report, where he refers to Briffa’s truncation as ‘tidying up a graphic.’

    The other extreme? Or hiding the subterfuge.

  64. Richard S Courtney says:

    Steven Mosher:

    At September 2, 2011 at 12:35 am you say;

    “I object to the words ruse, subterfuge and trick for two reasons, one they try to impute motives and motives are hard to prove.”

    I fail to understand your objection.

    The word “trick” is a direct quote from the ‘Team’ who produced and used the Mann, Bradley & Hughes ‘hockey stick’. There can be no rational objection to using the description (i.e. “trick”) when that is the description they use themselves.

    A “subterfuge” is a strategem used to hide or evade an argument. The ‘Team’ say they used “Mike’s Nature trick” to “hide the decline” in temperatures after ~1960 that was indicated by the Mann et al. proxy study. Simply, “subterfuge” is what the ‘Team’ say they did so, again. there can be no rational objection to saying they did it.

    And a subterfuge is a “ruse”.

    It seems to me that this argument about what is – or is not – appropriate language is another subterfuge that is intended to hide the contents of the NIPCC report behind a smokescreen of irrelevant sophistry concerning language.

    Richard

  65. Alan D McIntire says:

    The discussion about whether or not Michael Mann used “subterfuge” reminds me of an analogous comment by James Taranto at opinionjournal dot com. Taranto posted:

    “What’s the difference between a left wing nut and a right wing nut?
    A left wing nut thinks President Obama is a genius.
    A right wing nut thinks President Obama is an EVIL genius”.

    This somewhat off topic and tenuous comparison between Mann and Obama reminds me of another one liner: “People do stupid things for a reason.”

  66. Bob Tisdale says:

    John B says: “OT? There is an Enso meter on this home page. It has been stuck on dead center neutral for maybe 60 days. What is it telling us? The meter is not working? Or, if it is working, how can it be in one place for so long?”

    And Anthony replied: “It tell us that the source of it, NOAA, is asleep at the switch. See here:
    http://www.noaawatch.gov/ (see left sidebar) – Anthony”

    Gentlemen, I believe the ENSO meter uses the Oceanic NINO Idex (ONI) data:

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/analysis_monitoring/ensostuff/ensoyears.shtml

    The May-June-July 2011 reading is 0.0 deg C. It should update in a few days, and we’ll be able to confirm it,

  67. Bob says:

    Richard,

    That’s fine if their focus is on the MWP, and on literature since the 2009 report.

    Would you not expect that their section 3.3, “Recent Temperature Trends”, even if not as detailed, should in some way cover the same general area as their MWP section? A quick ISI search, for 2010 only, shows that there were “a few” other papers on the topic that could have helped them to not exclude 5 continents and most of the ocean. If I’m missing that part of their discussion, please let me know!

    Robert

  68. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bob:

    Your post at September 2, 2011 at 6:48 am continues your pretence that the NIPCC Report is flawed. It says;

    “That’s fine if their focus is on the MWP, and on literature since the 2009 report.

    Would you not expect that their section 3.3, “Recent Temperature Trends”, even if not as detailed, should in some way cover the same general area as their MWP section? A quick ISI search, for 2010 only, shows that there were “a few” other papers on the topic that could have helped them to not exclude 5 continents and most of the ocean. If I’m missing that part of their discussion, please let me know!”

    Say what!?
    YOU are claiming there are other pertinent papers that should have been assessed in the NIPCC Report.
    So,
    YOU need to justify your assertion by citing and stating relevant issues you think the NIPCC Report has failed to cover in its assessment of the literature.

    Until then, stop trying to pretend the NIPCC Report is flawed. Your case is being harmed by the failures of your desperate attempts to show any flaw in the NIPCC Report.

    Richard

  69. RichieP says:

    “tib says:
    September 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm
    Funny how that “flat earth” phrase keeps coming up.
    Wasn’t “the earth is flat” the consensus position for thousands of years till some skeptics noticed evidence that didn’t fit the theory?”

    No, Eratosthenes was first to calculate the circumference of the earth with relatively reasonable accuracy in the 3rd century BC, using trigonometry and direct observation. He was also the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth’s axis, again pretty well. Even the later erroneous Ptolemaic system (which wasn’t, I think, based on observation) doesn’t suggest the earth is flat. Also, some commenters here mention the ‘circle of the earth’ – I suspect this actually relates to the ancient view that the earth was a circle of land surrounded by Oceanus, not a view that the earth was necessarily flat. And any sailor who thought about it would know the earth was curved.

  70. NetDr says:

    I have to admit that bottled water is one of my pet peeves.

    I have seen people at the 50 Cent movie pay $3.00 for bottled water where there is by law a drinking fountain. The fountain water is excellent but that is just my judgement.

    To me it [bottled water] is the victory of advertising over good sense and the environmental impact is a delicious irony not to be ignored especially at an environmental rally.

    I was once a high school teacher and kidded one of my students about buying water when there was a fountain in the hall and she replied “You get what you pay for ” as if that settled the matter.

    I could understand “The fountain water tastes bad to me” but “You get what you pay for ” is silly !

  71. Bob says:

    Um, ok, here goes again. As best I can tell, their section 3.3 “Recent Temperature Trends” section leaves out, at minimum, the non-arctic regions of Europe and Asia, Africa, South America, Australia, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. I would describe this as “a lot of area to exclude when, in 2010 alone, there were plenty of papers covering those areas that could be informative, even if they just chose the most representative ones, because I understand that they can’t read everything and that their focus is on the MWP” and, therefore, “bad”.

    Sorry for the repetition! Not sure how else to explain it.

  72. CodeTech says:

    Re: bottled water:

    Bottled water is not just about marketing. I buy 36-packs from Costco for really cheap. I typically open one per day, and refill from the 5 gallon cooler if I need more. There are always a few in my car, and more than once someone has desperately needed some water and I had it.

    The alternative was stainless steel or plastic refillable containers that were always crusting up (we have really hard water here), and required constant cleaning. I’m fairly certain they weren’t very sanitary after a few days of use. I have a need to constantly have small amounts of water available. Primarily my allergies make it difficult to breathe through my nose much of the time, having water available means I don’t have to be constantly doped up with allergy meds.

    My point is that I have absolutely no issues with bottled water, or the need or desire to constantly have fresh water available. HOWEVER: when someone DOES have a problem with bottled water, then I will incessantly mock and judge them when they (and their supporters) go ahead and use bottled water.

    This pretty much sums up my attitude toward most of the ECO/AGW crowd. Personally, I don’t care if you want to be “passionate about the environment”, anyone who doesn’t care is an idiot anyway. But… practise what you preach. Take public transportation or walk or bike to your anti-oil protests. Don’t try whining about “warming” while shivering in -30C weather. Don’t deny scientific evidence that your scientific hypothesis is bunk, and don’t call people deniers while you deny their clear and obvious evidence.

    Remember, too: MOST people who are currently in the “skeptic” camp originally were at least passive “believers” in the AGW hypothesis. Then we learned some things and realized that it was more of a belief system than any kind of scientific finding. Science is not about belief, it’s about finding evidence to support an educated guess. Failure to find such evidence is no excuse for fabricating it or cherry picking some.

  73. ShrNfr says:

    Don’t those water bottles start off in life as oil? Most polyethylene sure does. Thought oil was evil.

  74. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bob:

    At September 2, 2011 at 8:37 am you conclude;
    “Sorry for the repetition! Not sure how else to explain it.”

    I fully understand your problem. You cannot “explain it” because you do not have a point to explain.

    Read my posts at September 2, 2011 at 1:17 am and especially September 2, 2011 at 7:21 am for explanation of why you do not have a point.

    You have failed to cite any flaw in the NIPCC Report because you have failed to find a flaw in it. Repetition that you would like to know of a flaw in the NIPCC Report does not mean such a flaw exists.

    Richard

  75. Bob says:

    Hey Richard,

    So you’re ok with the geographical coverage in section 3.3 then?

    Robert

  76. Gary Pearse says:

    Re bottled water: I worked for 3 years in the dry savanna country in Northern Nigeria (and subsequently in several other African countries) and was advised by a local geologist that ‘Europeans’ sap their energy by drinking too much water during the day and that I should acclimatize and would be more comfortable as I got used to it. I gradually withdrew from the larger amount of water that I used to consume during the day and whittled it down to one quart taking a mouthful at intervals. What happened was I lost weight becoming lean and trim and my stamina increased (I was mapping the regional geology over an area of 3000sq mi driving on dry stream beds by landrover and running 2 to 3 day traverse loops on foot by compass). I think bottled water has become one of the many adictions that we have these days. Few go out without one in their holster or rucksack. Too much of it results in depletion of electrolytes from your blood and cells which ironically reduces the effectiveness of your personal cooling system.

    Having said that, I did read that the availability of bottled water did cause people to cut back on all the sugar drinks that used to be the only alternative when traveling or otherwise away from home. So I guess it aint all bad. And hey, when has it become despicable for corporations to profit by selling people stuff?

  77. Brian H says:

    Gary;
    It all depends on how they do the selling. Selective and misrepresented “health science” has consequences.

  78. CodeTech says:

    Gary Pearse says:

    And hey, when has it become despicable for corporations to profit by selling people stuff?

    Just guessing… but… when Oil companies appeared?

  79. Richard S Courtney says:

    Bob:

    At September 2, 2011 at 3:01 pm you ask me:

    “So you’re ok with the geographical coverage in section 3.3 then?”

    I answer, of course I am! So should everybody be “ok” with it.
    Clearly you have failed (refused?) to read my above responses to your nonsense, so I will summarise and itemise the issue.

    (a)
    The 2009 NIPCC Report had assessed that recent temperatures are similar or less than the temperatures of the MWP.
    (b)
    The 2011 NIPCC Report provides an update from the earlier 2009 NIPCC Report.
    (c)
    The early Sections of Chapter 3 of the 2011 NIPCC Report assessed the temperatures of the MWP, and confirmed the finding of the 2009 NIPCC Report that recent temperatures are similar or less than the temperatures of the MWP.
    (d)
    Section 3.3 of the 2011 NIPCC Report says it assesses papers published after the 2009 Report to determine if they also agree the recent temperatures are similar or less than the temperatures of the MWP.
    (e)
    Section 3.3 of the 2011 NIPCC Report finds that none of the recent papers refutes the findings that recent temperatures are similar or less than the temperatures of the MWP.

    So, “geographical coverage” of the recent papers is irrelevant. At issue is whether any of the recent papers refutes the findings in the 2009 NIPCC Report and in Chapter 3 of the 2011 NIPCC Report that recent temperatures are similar or less than the temperatures of the MWP. And none of them – n.b. not any of them – refutes the findings.

    As such, the issue of “geographical coverage” is similar to every post you have made in this thread: i.e. it has no relevance.

    Richard

  80. otter17 says:

    Hmm, if the Heartland Institute can put together an NIPCC, maybe they should start up a peer-reviewed climate science journal. That would be swell.

    >> “I can just hear Gleick going “la la la la la la la la la” as he tries to reconcile climate protest with those protestors leaving water bottle rubbish all over the protest site.”

    You don’t know that. For all you know he disapproves of it, and maybe told them about it. This is just a cheap shot.

    >> “I suppose the message is “we should be concerned about the environment when those who lecture us on environmental concern actually do as they say”.”

    People do their best to remain consistent with the values; sometimes they screw up. In this case, you are trying to paint Gleick’s values as inconsistent by pointing at the actions of other people! When it comes to environmental concern, we can all come together to agree on what are the best actions… cheap shot articles don’t help.

  81. Rational Debate says:

    reply to: Ray says: September 1, 2011 at 2:36 pm

    Seeing the quality of water in most cities, at least bottled water gives you the assurance that you won’t poison yourself. If you do at least you will know who to sue. This is not the case with municipalities. Sure it is a simple idea but it costs to have quality water.

    Perhaps you should check out the studies showing that in many cases, bottled water is nothing but municipal tap water, or those that have found there are greater impurities or even microbial content in much of the available bottled water. As to ‘who to sue,’ I’m pretty sure that people sue municipalities too, just as they do police, etc. Wrt cost – I’ve no idea about current cost, but for a very long time bottled water actually cost more per gallon than gasoline here in the USA… which is a pretty mind blowing thing to consider when one compares relative abundance, costs of acquiring and preparing for public use, etc.

  82. Bruce Cobb says:

    The way to go for quality, cheap water is a Brita filter. Not counting the initial investment for the pitcher (around $20 or so), it works out to about 2 cents for the equivalent 16.9 oz. container of bottled water, which I’m guessing costs at least 25 or 30 times that, if bought in bulk. We wouldn’t know, because we never buy it. Must be the Scottish blood in me.
    The question is, will they be served bottled water in jail?

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