Journal Deliverance: The True Story of the Climate Hillbillies

Guest post by Les Johnson

(With apologies for lifting the Daily Bayonet tag line multiple times below).

“Interconnected” is the theme of this post. It starts of course, with the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, from the journal called Remote Sensing, over a paper that Mr. Wagner published. Wait, what?

The paper in question was by Spencer and Braswell 2011. This paper is about the clouds being a climate forcing, and using satellite data to show this. Whether this is true or not is immaterial to this discussion.

The Editor-in-Chief resigns, in protest of a paper he published? OK, that grabbed my attention. If he was the E-i-C, why did he did even publish the paper in the first place? Why not retract it?

Resigning seemed a bit over the top, especially considering what Wagner wrote when he took the post over, and what he wrote when he resigned.

Before, from the announcement he was taking over as E-i-C:

“Because it is an open access journal, papers published will receive very high publicity.”

After, from his resignation letter:

“ Unfortunately, their campaign apparently was very successful as witnessed by the over 56,000 downloads of the full paper within only one month after its publication.”

It appears that the reason he was resigning is because he did exactly what he said he would do. Wait, what?

Equally puzzling, is not that peer reviewed science had found SB2011 flawed, but discussion in internet fora. An editor resigned because blogs said his peer-reviewed publication was flawed? Again, from his resignation:

“Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.

After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper.”

(My emphasis).

Mr. Wagner then goes on to say that the review process was flawed. Or it wasn’t. Or maybe it was. Wait, what?

“The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. Their reviews had an apparently good technical standard and suggested one “major revision”, one “minor revision” and one “accept as is”. The authors revised their paper according to the comments made by the reviewers and, consequently, the editorial board member who handled this paper accepted the paper (and could in fact not have done otherwise). Therefore, from a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

For the record, using the standard 97% figure for consensus, the odds are about 1 in 37,000 that 3 sceptics would be unintentionally chosen together. This seems like long odds. But I digress.

Here comes the interconnected parts; I read Maurizio Morabito’s blog, and discovered that Mr. Wagner may have connections to Mr. Trenberth, to whom Mr. Wagner gives the only scientific reference in his letter. There are also suggestions that his apology is directed right at Trenberth, which seems odd, doesn’t it?

I went to Bishop Hill’s site, to link Maurizio’s site. While there, I noted similar work done by Robert Phelan, who mentions davidhoffer.

David Hoffer speculates that Wagner is upset that SB2011 will interfere with the modeling gravy train, of which Mr. Wagner is part of. This is pure speculation of course, but it is logical. Mr. Wagner hints at this, in his letter:

“ Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required in order to develop a joint understanding of where and why models deviate from satellite data.”

On this side of the story, that is the connection: myself, to Maurizio, to Bishop Hill, to Robert Phelan, and finally to davidhoffer, who apparently started the whole thing, then back to WUWT.

The connection on the other side? Trenberth and Wagner? Well, Wagner is apparently the director of a group that wants to start a Soil Moisture Network. For this, they have asked the help of the Global Energy and Water Cycle Experiment (GEWEX).

GEWEX in 2010 announced the appointment, by acclamation, of Kevin Trenberth, as its new Chairperson. (page 3 of this newsletter). On Page 4, is the announcement that the Soil Moisture Network (which is the department Wagner runs) is looking for help. Not, coincidentally, on Page 5 is an article on how cloud albedo is overestimated in models, thus it’s worse than we thought.

In the conclusion of this cloud albedo discussion, is some boot licking directed at the new Chairperson.

Thus, the circle of climate is complete.

Cue the banjo’s, and squeal like a pig….

Kudos to the good work done by Maurizio, davidhoffer, Robert Phelan, Bishop Hill and WUWT. I hope Spencer and Braswell’s work holds up, and that they get a chance to engage their critics.

If I missed mentioning someone, it’s only due to the sheer number of comments generated; over 500 on WUWT alone. If I did, my apologies.

About these ads

79 thoughts on “Journal Deliverance: The True Story of the Climate Hillbillies

  1. There are a lot of people depending on the research money coming in. He apologized personally to Trenberth. Wagner may be excused for his behaviour as “for the good of the group”, but on a personal level his is committing the sin of the collaborator. An unenviable position to be in; all those people saying, “Well, are you CERTAIN the IPCC et al are wrong? If you are not ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN, if you can’t say that THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY that the CAGW won’t happen, we should take the money. And back off on the nay-saying. We have responsibilities greater than ourselves here, Wagner.”

    I’ve been there. It’s ugly.

  2. I like the newsletter – two pieces before I had to stop and the check the newsletter date (Feb 2010)

    The United Nations Climate Change Conference held last December in Copenhagen (http://unfccc.int/meetings/cop_15/items/5257.php) was perceived by many as not successful and by some to have failed. I will not give my judgment on that, but I will note that the meeting coincided with very cold weather and was followed by unseasonably cold weather in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere for the rest of the winter. No doubt many of you involved in climate science were asked by neighbors, friends and family, “What happened to global warming?” Maybe it was even followed by a smirk, a comment or even the question “Tell me honestly, is this climate change really happening?”

    Even farmers, for example in the Murray Darling Basin in Australia, who are and have been severely impacted by more than 10 years of drought have a hard time accepting the fact that some of the changes in our climate are irreversible and that the ways of the past are not the ways of the future.

    I guess Texas can look to the Murray Darling Basin and say “Thank goodness we don’t have their problem!” :-)

  3. @Doug Proctor says:
    September 5, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Having some understanding of how academic life really functions, I couldn’t agree more Doug – that is by far the likeliest scenario.

  4. It seems obvious that there was internal resistance to retraction on grounds like the ones given in the letter of resignation. It means that the editorial board of the journal is not subverted. Or maybe they were aware of the private interests.

    We have a greek proverb for such situations as with Wagner and Trenberth : “one hand washes the other and both wash the face”.

  5. Ric Werme: Yes, I was struck by the predictive skill of that newsletter too. Such a target rich environment, so little time….

  6. Les: Thank you for the kind mention. It was David Hoffer’s comment that got me thinking and if I’d been a bit more diligent I might have beat Maurizio to the Trenberth connection with GEWEX. As it is, Maurizio deserves a lot of credit for following through. It seems to me that there is a reasonable suspicion here that Dr.Trenberth engaged in unethical behavior to get S&B11 retracted. Since NCAR is a US Government sponsored organizzation, I would suggest that an FOIA request for Dr. Trenberth’s e-mails and correspondence to Dr. Wagner or relating to the soil moisture project is in order.

  7. So, essentially, a climate communist cabal corrupts everything. As the story goes but in old STASI land and the Soviet union you could only get funding, money (cash), or even food, unless you scratched the hairiest scariest bottom around, the proper right way. And if you critiqued the managers of the corrupt system or the system itself, you apparently ended up in some less then nice gulag dungeon or any other kind of work camps. When the wall fell it was not just the honest folks who was free to roam around but also the nasties and their ideas themselves and where did they go, I wonder.

  8. Brian: For the most part, yes. To davidhoffer and Robert Phelan, though, the comment number will take you directly to the comments they made. (at least in the corrected links above).

  9. Robert E Phelan

    You make an excellent point that a FOIA request might unearth some very intereting and highly unethical shenanigans. Who’s up for it? Presumably needs to be a US citizen?

    tonyb

  10. If Wagner resigned over errors in Spencer & Braswell 2011, we should expect the resignation of Rajendra Pachauri for the same reasons?

    I’d say that using the same logic used by Wagner, we should be seeing the mass resignation and recusal of judges throughout the land….where the judge’s decisions have been overturned by higher courts because their rulings were improper, overturned, or remanded on appeal?

    This all presumes that S&B ’11 is in error, or contains substantive errors that other scientists will be “forced” to address. But I, for one, am pleased that Wagner has resigned due to his own admitted bias.

    Even if his bias is wrong, to have an editor of a scientific journal admit to bias and resign, that’s a good thing. Now, the other scientists can be assured that their work product can be published and be part of the normal scientific regimen of claim, counter claim, rebuttal, proof, and become the basis for the next level of study.

  11. Plumes of stupid continue to rise from this mudpot, hover briefly, sunlit before the public eye, and fall back into the black bowels of disgrace where new plumes of stupid await their sputtering moment of calumny. Climate science is the new Monty Python. Lovely plumage.

  12. One would think that Wagner would be overjoyed that 56,000 downloads in a month put the ink in the black for his business. Lots of scientists would like thier papers widely read instead of being behind a paywall.
    Wagner’s reaction to his own success is stupefying. Why should he care which side of the argument individual papers lie on? That’s like the founders of Google jumping out the window when thier Search Engine caught on.
    Poor dude lost his head and jelloe’d out.
    Splat.

  13. Additionally Professor Jonathan Jones (Quantum Physics, Oxford University made this new comment at Climate Etc (Prof Judith Curry’s blog)

    Jonathan Jones | September 5, 2011 at 10:32 am | Reply

    With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown.

    To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

    I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context.

    I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.”
    ——————–

    Strong words..

    I wonder when/if the majority of mainstream climate scientists are going to wake up and start to distance themselves from this type of behaviour, that reflects on them ALL, by their silence.

  14. This sounds like the long-awaited icing on the Climategate cake. (Pass me a cake server, please. And a big plate.)

  15. I don’t know for sure, but from what is written above, it looks to me like Wagner resigned due to a combination of not being able to scientifically refute the SB2011 paper and this causing a conflict of interest re: the Soil Moisture Network and GEWEX. After all it could be counter productive to have his own journal publish peer-reviewed papers which refute the underlying assumptions underpinning the work of GEWEX and the Soil Moisture Network.

    IF this is the case then it right that he should resign, but it is a shame that he was not open and honest about those reasons in the resignation letter, if those allegations are true.

  16. Les Johnson said,

    Thus, the circle of climate is complete.

    ———————–

    Les Johnson,

    Yet, I see the change in “the circle of climate”.

    The world climategate Team is changing, I feel it in the water, I feel it in the earth.
    [apologies to the Lord of the Rings]

    The current open exposure of the climategate team’s manipulation is quite different than their previous veiled manipulations. We should be pleased with the openness, even though it is not very pretty to look upon.

    John

  17. Les Johnson;
    Thanks for the summary (and the credits). I thought I might add the link from my original comment for easier reference here. On the Vienna U of Tech web site describing their research environment, there is a graphic clearly showing Wolfgang Wagner’s position at the cross roads of “Remote Sensing”, “Physical Modeling” and “Environmental Monitoring & 3D Virtual Worlds”. That graphic lays out the spot Wagner found himself in nicely. Remote sensing scientists and a journal dedicated to their work, which refused (evidently) to retract SB2011 on one side, and some very p***ed off environmental modelers on the other side. Unable to reconcile with either group, and his actual day job predicated on facilitating cross functional cooperation between them, he was between the proverbial rock and a hard spot.

    http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/index.php/research.html

    Even his resignation hints loudly that it is his job he is speaking of, not his role as Editor-in-chief of the Remote Sensing journal:

    “The use of satellite data to check the functionality of all sorts of geophysical models is therefore a very important part of our work. But it should not be done in isolation by the remote sensing scientists. Interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers is required…”

    Note the use of the words “our work”. That speaks NOT to his role as (past) Editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing, but his day to day job at Vienna University of Technology! He goes on to suggest that the discipline of remote sensing can’t even be done without interdisciplinary cooperation with modelers.

    Circumstancial evidence and speculation this may be… But what other conclusion can one come to that supports the evidence?

  18. Thanks Les (and Robert). (I am Maurizio Morabito for those not in-the-know).

    I have learned years ago that whenever there’s something inexplicable, it’s simply because we do not have enough information. Hence “strange behavior” is almost 100% predictive of “skeletons in the closet” and/or “hidden relationships”. A visit to Google and other search engines is de-rigueur in those circumstances.

    For the record, I do not believe that Dear Kev is at the head of a Spectre-like organization hell-bent on dominating the world (with whom? Dumb Gleick and Dumber Abraham? Oh please!!). What I do know is that climate science has always been an arena for larger-than-life characters, seldom capable to resist the corruption of almost-absolute power and self-belief.

    When there’s a planet to save, humans do look like disposable minions. And when there’s a planet to save from your arch-enemy Roy Spencer, it’s easy to dispose of minor humans like brown-nosed Wolfgang, a character from a Greek tragedy, the anti-hero who saved himself rather than his child (the Journal, I mean).

  19. davidmhoffer,

    You mention the need for interdisciplinary cooperation by quoting the resignation. This is precisely the roadblock Spencer & Braswell and Lindzen & Choi have been running into. The “CAGW captured” modelling groups do not appear to have the slightest intention of engaging with anyone from outside the approved inner circle. They go to extreme lengths to marginalise any sceptical scientist who dares to start snooping in on climate sensitivity issues.

    As a pessimistic sceptic I am expecting this state of affairs to continue. Any who contravene the “unwriten” rules will be disciplined.

  20. The short answer … he had to resign because of a conflict of interest. The only question being, from which position would he resign?

  21. Robert E. Phelan says:
    September 5, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Since NCAR is a US Government sponsored organizzation, I would suggest that an FOIA request for Dr. Trenberth’s e-mails and correspondence to Dr. Wagner or relating to the soil moisture project is in order.

    I second the motion! GK

  22. Oh my the three reviewers shared Mr Spencer and Mr Braswell skeptical views. Well, good grief what if I submitted a paper to a geography journal and it was reviewed by reviewers who believed that the world is almost round and sure isn’t flat. I guess that would be unfair to flat earth reviewers .

  23. I smell something like Club of Rome being outed by Wall of China.

    Sure, like Maurizio I was sure there was a missing bit of key info re Wagner. But I sense that there is yet more missing, whose discovery would better explain how it could be that all those corruptchiks, Mann, Karl, Ward, Trenberth, Jones, etc are still running free, with all the “enquiries” and media sidekicks simply adding to the corruption.

  24. climatereason says:
    September 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm
    Robert E Phelan

    You make an excellent point that a FOIA request might unearth some very intereting and highly unethical shenanigans. Who’s up for it? Presumably needs to be a US citizen?

    Not necessarily. Austria also has a kind of FOIA called Accountability Act (Auskunftspflichtgesetz, since 1987). I do not know however, if it applies to all entities spending public money or just inner governmental bodies. I do not know either if applicants should be Austrian citizens or any member state of the EU would suffice.

  25. Ex editor in chief explains: “But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

    “Probably”? Based on what evidence? That they don’t agree with what has been posted in the blogosphere? Talk about the tail wagging the dog.

    There is one other possibility that does not seem to have occurred to him: maybe the three academics with impeccable scientific credentials in the field found (after the revisions that quite properly came out of the review process) that the paper contained sound science.

    One thing is clear. Prof Wagner does not understand the first thing about the peer review process. He was quite right to resign.

  26. “Well, Wagner is apparently the director of a group that wants to start a Soil Moisture Network.”

    This is pretty old news – the newsletter is Feb 2010. TU is not now looking for help to set it up – it’s up and running. Announcement here. They were never looking fror funding from GEWEX – they are a coordinating body, The funding body was the European Space Agency (not run by Trenberth).

  27. remember the name…no doubt it will be warning us of eternal damnation in a few months….WOLFGANG WAGNER….what a jerk

  28. Lucy Skywalker says:
    September 5, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    —————

    Lucy,

    I haven’t seen you around to usual blogs much recently. Welcome back.

    John

  29. Since Herr Doktor Professeur Trenberth is employed by the U.S. Government we can only hope that in an effort to reduce government spending, his job is deemed non-essential.

  30. Nick Stokes says on September 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    “Well, Wagner is apparently the director of a group that wants to start a Soil Moisture Network.”

    This is pretty old news – …

    If it isn’t known by anybody, “It’s News”.

    .

  31. Lucy Skywalker says: “…I sense that there is yet more missing, whose discovery would better explain how it could be that all those corruptchiks, Mann, Karl, Ward, Trenberth, Jones, etc are still running free, with all the “enquiries” and media sidekicks simply adding to the corruption.”

    I suspect you’re right. Circles within circles. (♪One, Two, Three, la Conga! ♫One, Two, Three, la Conga…!♫)

  32. Great post and you mentioned two of my favourite blogstars; Daily Bayonet and davidhoffer. I see this whole episode as an exposed thread on a cheap suit—the slightest tug and it starts to unravel.

  33. Nick Stokes says:
    September 5, 2011 at 3:41 pm
    Keep talking maybe you will believe it someday Trenberth as director most likely has a large say in where the funds go after they get them so it still holds up, even if they are up and running they still need funds.

  34. I suspect the team has learned from their previous mistakes. I doubt an FOIA would find anything relevant.

  35. “The managing editor of Remote Sensing selected three senior scientists from renowned US universities, each of them having an impressive publication record. …. But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

    “For the record, using the standard 97% figure for consensus, the odds are about 1 in 37,000 that 3 sceptics would be unintentionally chosen together. This seems like long odds. But I digress.”

    Anthony, I burst out laughing when I red that ! Yup, those skeptic senior scientists from renowned universities, with impressive publication records must be getting pretty common to get 3/3 !

    Of course a warmist paper would definitely be sent to three reviewers that had an orthodox AGW viewpoint.

  36. My understanding from some comments on other threads (I have not checked for myself) is that RealClimate (going to that site just ticks me off, there isn’t anything “real” about it) has shut down comments on the whole sordid affair. I think Lucy Skywalker (welcome back!) is right; there is more, much more, we do not yet know… and may never know. As for those commenting about FOIA requests, prosecutions, and Nick Stokes ridiculous suggestion that there is no direct funding involved which somehow changes something…anything… I’m reposting something I said that is buried in the 500+ comments on the original breaking news thread. In brief, what I am saying is focus on the main issues. The cat is out of the bag Sir Stokes. ClimateGate gave us a glimpse into the CAGW Pandora’s box, but this is an “own goal” that throws the lid off. Silence at RC is not the sound of this debate being squelched. It is the sound of an immense number of sphincter valves slamming shut. From the breaking news thread:
    —————

    Early on in this thread I suggested that Wolfgang Wagner had likely scored a massive “own goal”. As events have unfolded since then, Kevin Trenberth has weighed in (see “The science is scuttled” thread at WUWT). This is no longer a massive “own goal”.

    Words may fail to describe what has happened. Wagner has, in fact, scored a massive “own goal”, establishing the legitimacy and importance of the SB paper, drawing world wide attention to it, and at the same time attempting to discredit it through what amounts to nothing more than a smear campaign. He has discredited and made a fool of himself, as well as the AGW “science” he purports to defend.

    Along comes Trenberth, who has fittingly poured gasoline on himself, lit himself afire, and runs screaming in circles shouting “I made him do it! I made him do it!”

    The Three Travesties of Trenberth

    1. The missing heat (ClimateGate emails)
    2. It escaped to space, the one place he refused to look for it (SB paper)
    3. In trying to cover it up, Trenberth has given it the kind of publicity money cannot buy, and pointed the finger directly at himself as the chief architect of the cover up.

    What shall we call these? WaterGate and ClimateGate were cover ups too. But neither Nixon nor “the Team” were insane enough to proudly proclaim themselves as the architects of the cover up. They attempted to spin the mess they created into something it wasn’t. Can you imagine Nixon going on national television and proudly proclaiming that he ordered the spying to try and protect democracy?

    This is a whole new level of cover up and “gate” just seems an inadequate term.

  37. “…But, as the case presents itself now, the editorial team unintentionally selected three reviewers who probably share some climate sceptic notions of the authors.”

    Is that a warning to future reviewers not to rock the climate boat so they will not be branded as skeptics and blackballed as heretics? Or is that a warning to editorial teams to be more careful in selecting reviewers? Apparently it is their duty to keep skeptics’ papers out of the peer reviewed journals somehow — even if they have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!

  38. The circle will not be truly complete until Wolfgang Wagner gets a new job, looking at how long that takes, and who gives it to him. Job at GEWEX, perhaps….?

  39. So when is Trenberth going to be asked – or demanded – or forced to resign his position in NCAR and anything else involved in climate science?

    Do I dare ask if it is appropriate to start that type of movement?

  40. davidmhoffer says: September 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Again, I think David is absolutely correct here. Climategate gave us but a glimpse of the possibilities for corruption. The Remote Sensing Affair, however, has the potential to bring the whole stinking mess into the light of day. I really did have better things to do with my day today, but I did this instead anyway. It’s a bit long, longer than most of my other posts, and readers will need to visit the sites I’ve listed to get the full import. The apologists that have turned up here scoff at the notion that an editor can be forced to do anything and deride skeptics as “conspiracy theorists”. As you read this, I ask you to think about ”inter-locking directorships” and the ways officials can use the power of their official positions to further agendas.

    Les Johnson has pulled together the basics here. Let’s look at the detail, starting with the World Climate Research Program statement on governance:

    Scientific guidance for the WCRP is provided by the Joint Scientific Committee, consisting of 18 scientists selected by mutual agreement between the three sponsoring organizations [Note: that would be the WMO, the International Council for Science (ICSU), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO] and representing climate-related disciplines in atmospheric, oceanic, hydrological and cryospheric sciences. Implementation of WCRP’s programme takes place through the Joint Planning Staff (JPS) in Geneva and Paris, in the International Project Offices (IPOs) and co-opted contributors from many agencies. Each project has a Scientific Steering Group.

    The WCRP Governance page is here: http://www.wcrp-climate.org/governance.shtml

    It lists the eighteen scientists who provide the “scientific guidance”, all with very impressive C.V.s – three of the eighteen are well-known to us: Tom Karl, David Karoly, and Julia Slingo.

    The WCRP / GEWEX Project Scientific Steering Group (headed by Dr. Trenberth) Membership page is located here:

    http://www.gewex.org/gewexssg.htm

    Again, a group with impressive credentials. Since taking up his position, Dr. Trenberth has been trying to put his stamp on the organization and has a rather grand vision for its future. In November of 2010 he penned a report that was printed in the GEWEX newsletter that is well worth the read. It paints in broad strokes his vision of the climate system, the challenges faced by researchers and his vision of the organizational and research structure needed to meet those challenges. The PDF is here:

    http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/GewexNewsNov2010.pdf

    The observant reader will note two things: the first is that S&B11 contradicts a lot of Dr. Trenberth’s view of the role of clouds; the second is that it makes no mention of the International Soil Moisture Network, but Dr. Trenberth’s essay makes an interesting point (emphasis mine):

    As a part of the organizational changes, GCSS will abandon its current working group structure and will instead operate through projects, which can be initiated by any member of the community. Members of a GCSS/GABLS Science Steering Committee (SSC) will provide oversight of the program, including the approval of proposals for new activities. GABLS activities will be fully integrated into this structure through specific projects as well as GABLS membership on the SSC.

    I believe the ISMN is one of those projects. Its home page is located here:

    http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/insitu/

    Again, anyone wishing to browse through the site will note that it is indeed quite integrated with GEWEX and has liaisons with both NASA and ESA. The Technical University of Vienna has gotten a seat at the table.

    I’ve often said that you don’t need a conspiracy when you have a social movement. The same names keep turning up on boards, as official advisors and lead authors. Browse the web sites I’ve listed here and get a sense of the influence and resources a very few people are able to command. Find the statements on funding and the annual reports. My research does not show that Dr. Trenberth and his other colleagues actually pressured Dr. Wagner, but they certainly had the motive and the means. And keep in mind that WCRP / GEWEX is just one small part of the climate establishment.

  41. “davidmhoffer says: September 5, 2011 at 8:12 pm “

    You’ve been pretty slapdash with facts here, as is the head post. Wagner was never looking for funds from GEWEX – he had funds from ESA. He isn’t trying to start an online database – he’s done it.

    But to cap it off, Trenberth isn’t even Chair of GEWEX. He’s chair of their Scientific Steering Group.

  42. Nick: you are the slapdash with facts.

    I did not suggest that Wagner was looking for cash. If one reads the newsletter, it distinctly says “volunteers”.

    However, that also means the success of the Soil Moisture network is tied to the generosity of the GEWEX, of which Trenberth is the chair of the scientific group.

    (for brevity’s sake, I just wished to indicate that Trenberth was high in the GEWEX network. In retrospect, I should have expanded that description, for the sake of those that did not go to the newsletter)

  43. @ Nick Stokes.
    Okay Nick, now explain to someone, like me, who is not “In the Know”, why an editor resigns due to comments on a blog and then sends apologies to Trenberth. Denmark and Rotten are words that jump into my mind!

  44. Nick Stokes;

    I have been slapdash with the facts? Let’s go through your response!

    NS:Wagner was never looking for funds from GEWEX

    REPLY: I didn’t say he was. I noted your comment that there was no direct funding and I did not dispute it. My comment in reply was this changes nothing. Trenberth has gone out of his way to denigrate SB11, Spencer and Christy, and brags that he has recieved an apology from Wagner. Why, exactly, would Wagner single out Trenberth for an apology if not to appease him?

    NS:Wagner was never looking for funds from GEWEX – he had funds from ESA. He isn’t trying to start an online database – he’s done it.

    REPLY: And so? If he has everything he needs, why the apology personally to Trenberth? Wasn’t his apology and multiple excuses to the modeling community in general contained in his resignation enough? If he had nothing to fear from Trenberth, then why, in addition to the general apology in his resignation, apologise specifically to Trenberth? Or perhaps you are suggesting that Trenberth is exagerating and no personal apology was made? Which would mean you are calling Trenberth a liar? Which is it Sir Stokes? Is Trenberth a liar, or does Wagner have something to fear from Trenberth? I challenge you to come up with an additional alternative which is a fraction as logical as the two I just gave you.

    NS:But to cap it off, Trenberth isn’t even Chair of GEWEX. He’s chair of their Scientific Steering Group.

    REPLY: No where in the comment that you reference did I say he was. The nuance is of no material importance, because the main point is that Wagner clearly feared retribution from Trenberth. Hence his resignation in “protest” over a paper he himself says was properly reviewed, finds no technical fault with, and his personal apology to Trenberth on an issue that Trenberth wasn’t even directly involved with….until this weekend’s smear campaign, and which Trenberth is bragging, even gloating, about.

    HOWEVER, Sir, the nuance speaks loudly about you. You claim of me things I never said, suggest I have been loose with the facts without identifying even a single fact that I claimed, let alone discrediting it, and then have the unmitigated gall to accuse me of playing “slapdash” with the facts?

    Do you know what the phrase “with all due respect” means?

    With all due respect Sir Stokes,
    good night.

  45. “Les Johnson says: September 5, 2011 at 10:52 pm
    I did not suggest that Wagner was looking for cash.”

    You said he was looking for help. That sounds like cash. GEWEX can’t offer volunteers.

    But he’s not even looking for those. He has started an online database. It’s a co-op thing and needs people to contribute data. No surprise there. GEWEX in their newsletter are simply putting the word around. Do you think that’s the sort of help that would motivate his apology?

    “davidmhoffer says: September 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm ”
    And so? If he has everything he needs, why the apology personally to Trenberth?

    This is classic “stopped beating your wife?” stuff. The post is heavy with innuendo that Wagner apologized because he needed help from GEWEX Chair Trenberth to set up his network. Oh, he’s done it already? Then why is he apologizing when he has everything he needs?

    The answer is of course because he thinks he ought to. I don’t know why. People can be different about those things.

  46. Nick Stokes;
    “davidmhoffer says: September 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm ”
    And so? If he has everything he needs, why the apology personally to Trenberth?>
    This is classic “stopped beating your wife?” stuff. The post is heavy with innuendo that Wagner apologized because he needed help from GEWEX Chair Trenberth to set up his network. Oh, he’s done it already? Then why is he apologizing when he has everything he needs?>>>

    That sir, is insulting. You ONCE AGAIN attribute to me that which I never said. Quote the words where the innuendo you accuse me of exist. Go ahead, it is just cut and paste, you are capable of cut and paste are you not? Is that too much trouble to ask of you? That you quote the exact words that you claim I said and impute the innudendo you claim I made? Where did I even refer to Trenberth and ANYTHING about GEWEX? WHERE? WHERE EXACTLY?

    Wagner singled out Trenberth for an apology, which Trenberth brags about. I challenged you to come up with a logical explanation. Instead you attacked me on points I never made, accused me of innuendo regarding issues I never even raised, and attribute to me the tactic of “have you stopped beating your wife?”

    Insulting Sir, and pathetic. Unable to counter a single point I actually made, you criticize me for things I never said. Challenged to come up with a logical alternative to my explanation, you instead throw about the “have you stopped beating your wife” line. Sir, I asked for alternatives and you gave me none, while accusing me of not allowing any (which is what the charge of “have you stopped beating your wife” is all about)

    With all due respct Sir,
    STFU.
    Your colleagues have for the most part listened carefully to the sounds of their sphincter valves snapping shut and closed their yaps as well. They have figured out that they can only make things worse at this point. You continue to bray on using the same tactics as Trenberth and his band of smearmen. Attack the person, attribute things to the person they never said and then attack those, but address the facts? Never. They, like you, are afraid of the facts. Will you address the facts instead of making claims about what I said that can be refuted simply by scrolling up to them?

    With all due respect Sir, you haven’t got what it takes.

  47. Nick: your

    You said he was looking for help. That sounds like cash. GEWEX can’t offer volunteers.

    I need help moving a chair. Am I looking for a volunteer, or cash?

    This is from the newsletter:

    The network is coordinated by GEWEX through the
    ISMWG and in cooperation with the Group of Earth Observations
    and the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites.
    The success of the International Soil Moisture Network will
    be based on the voluntary contributions of scientists and networks
    from around the world.

    My emphasis.

    What GEWEX could offer, is to withhold support. Also note the words “voluntary contributions”.

    your
    But he’s not even looking for those. He has started an online database. It’s a co-op thing and needs people to contribute data. No surprise there. ….Do you think that’s the sort of help that would motivate his apology?

    It certainly could motivate his apology. If, as Chair of the Scientific Steering Group, Trenberth withheld support, the Soil Moisture Network would wither and die.

    You also contradict yourself. You say GEWEX can’t offer volunteers, then say it is a co-op, and people need to contribute. Which is it? Especially as the newsletter says voluntary contributions. You need to stay away from these contradictions, Nick.

    your
    GEWEX in their newsletter are simply putting the word around.

    So, you never actually read that newsletter then?

    The network is coordinated by GEWEX</b

    That is considerably more than just “putting the word around”.

  48. I had been looking for this. According to Trenberth, Trenberth received a personal apology from Wagner. Earlier, I had said it was “suggested” that he had received an apology.

    http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2011/09/spencer-faulty-science

    Let me re-ask the question asked by others: Why did Trenberth receive an apology? He was not involved in any way with SB2011. So why did Wagner feel he had to personally apologize?

    The only logical way, is if Trenberth voiced his displeasure to Wagner, either in person or through a 3rd party.

  49. Les J and David H

    Please give Nick Stokes his correct title

    He is Professor Nick Stokes BSc, MSc, PhD of CSIRO (http://www.cmis.csiro.au/Nick.Stokes/) and not ‘Sir Nick Stokes’.

    It’s therefore not surprising that he bends over backwards to defend his employer (http://landshape.org/enm/csiro-and-bom-report/) and spends most o his time on various blogs defending the indefensible e.g. Mann’s Hockey Stick. Nick Stokes is an out and out ‘Team’ troll who has been assigned the job of hijacking threads that in any way criticise the CAGW consensus. One of his main tactics is to ‘put words in other peoples mouths’. In most cases rather than continue to discuss the subject of the thread, people then spend most of the time correcting his misrepresentations and mis-directions. Another of his classic troll tricks is to make statements that are not bourne out in the references he quotes to justify them. He is a classic troll and as with all trolls he has very little to add and so should be ignored.

    He is also a hypocritic and a hypocritic of the very worst kind IMO. A close examination of his academic career shows that he is happy on the one hand to accept funding from the fossil fuel/minerals industry while at the same time provide backup/support to those who carry out work which seeks to justify the imposition of taxes on that very same industry.

    KevinUK

  50. Geees….people actually still believe in global warming???????

    You gotta be kidding me! It’s a recycled kiddies story: Chicken Little.

    And no body is taking the challenge to sell me their soon to be underwater beach front property.

  51. For Nick Stokes to be an effective propagandist he has to realize that defending the indefensible destroys his credibility. Nick needs to pick his battles wisely (if he is not working on assignment).

    I agree with those who say that ignoring Nick is generally the best policy if you don’t want to facilitate Nick hijacking the thread.

  52. KevinUK says:
    September 6, 2011 at 9:55 am
    Les J and David H
    Please give Nick Stokes his correct title
    He is Professor Nick Stokes BSc, MSc, PhD of CSIRO (http://www.cmis.csiro.au/Nick.Stokes/) and not ‘Sir Nick Stokes’.>>>

    Kevin,
    I imagine that in the UK, the title “sir” may still be one of respect. Here in North America, it may or may not be, depending upon context.

    In this context, my use of the term “sir” carries the same implications as my use of the phrase “with all due respect”.

    Meaning: None.

    As for him being a troll, I find him to be a very usefull troll. Debunking his blather is easily done, and regardless of the number of letters and titles that follow his name, he looks like nothing more than a propogandist selling snake oil. The more claims he makes, the more foolish he looks. He’s a step up from R. Gates I suppose, but really, is this the best the Team has? A lone troll who attempts to hijack threads by attacking claims his opponents never made? A lone troll who can be taken to task and debunked simply by reading the very comments he attacks? Really? That’s all they’ve got?

    To Nick Stokes: “sir”, with “all due respect” I’m suggesting you withdraw. Wolfgang Wagner has made a total fool of himself, and his bowing and scraping in obediance to Trenberth isn’t just embarrasing to science, it is an embarrasment to what it means to be a “man”. No slight intented here to women, if Wagner was a woman, he’d be a prostitute. Trenberth has exposed himself as a total bully, willing to go to any lengths to discredit actual measurements and replace them with computer estimates. Dressler has joined in by using the lack of warming over the last ten years to suggest it discredits claims that Spencer and Braswell never even made, while ignoring the fact that the very lack of warming itself disproves the very computer models he purports to defend.

    Do you really Nick Stokes, sir, with all due respect, want to clutch tightly to this band of drowning men as they sink slowly to the bottom of the sea? Or shall you let go, and save yourself? Make no mistake about it SIR, the CAGW ship is sinking. Dressler, Trenberth, and Wagner are busy kicking holes in the hull, blaming one another, and demanding that the boat float because their computer models say it does.

    With ALL DUE RESPECT Nick Stokes, the captain of the ship goes down with the ship. Why you are lashing yourself to the captain is beyond me. Save yourself. Earn some of the respect that your prescious titles and letters supposedly demand. You can abandon ship, and tell the truth, or let your grandchildren study history and see their grandfather documented as a sycophant and fool who supported the greatest scientific fraud in human history.

  53. and its back awaiting moderation. odd. but tks in any event.

    [Much of that is a function of how things are automatically pushed into the Spam filter by the random-number-generator embedded in every publicly-available computer program, and heroically pulled back from the filter demons by the resourceful and ever-to-be-praised moderators. 8<) Robt] ….

  54. Well then, m[a]y I be the first to suggest a round of applause for the moderators. How you guys filter through so much material and yet keep the playing field fair and honest is beyond me. and you do it for free too. Anthony gets a lot of kudos for this blog, and deservedly so, but in my mind when the compliments come, they are meant for all of you.

  55. @ KevinUK: David Hoffer’s use of “sir” and “with all due respect” is to a American citizen’s ears a bit like a cynical teenagers retort to something that is nonsensical of: “yeah, right”. Usually enunciated with as much scorn in one’s voice as possible.

  56. ‘davidmhoffer says:
    September 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    Well then, m[a]y I be the first to suggest a round of applause for the moderators. ‘

    Hear, hear!

  57. GEWEX is financed exclusively by the United States taxpayer. According to the clivar.org website, Dr. Trenberth, Chair GEWEX SSG, oversees Director Peter Van Oevelan and his “research activities.” These activities include travel to workshops at various parts of the world to give talks. The talks presumably make the world a better and safer place. Here is a list of talks Mr. Van Oevelan gave in 2008:

    January 25–25 AMS Meeting New Orleans USA
    February 2–9 GEWEX SSG-22 Buenos Aires
    March 10–12 IGWCO Meeting Geneva Switzerland
    March 18–20 CRC Meeting/CCSP Boulder USA
    WCRP JSC Bordeaux France
    April 13–18 EGU Meeting Vienna Austria
    April 14 GEWEX-ESA Workshop Vienna Austria
    April 22–23 AMS Public-Private Washington DC USA
    May 4–9 IGBP Conference – iLEAPS SSC Cape Town South Africa
    May 21–23 Extremes Workshop Vancouver Canada
    May 27–30 AGU Joint Assembly Fort Lauderdale USA
    GLASS De Bilt The Netherlands
    July 7–11 BSRN Meeting De Bilt The Netherlands
    August 25–29 GEWEX Executive Meeting Silver Spring USA
    September 8–12 EUMETSAT Conference Darmstad Germany
    September 15–18 CEOP Meeting Geneva Switzerland
    September 23-25 ITC Executive Seminar Enschede Netherlands
    CPPA Pi Meeting Silver Spring USA
    October 14–17 GRP Meeting Seoul South Korea
    October 20–25 Workshop on Monsoons Beijing China
    October 29-31 Sicily Italy
    November 3-5 NASA NEWS Team Meeting Calverton MD
    November 3–7 WGNE/GMPP meeting Montreal Canada
    Irvine Conferen Irvine USA
    December 15–19 AGU Fall Meeting San Francisco USA

    In our day we used to call this kind of activity a junket. Presumably today this is called doing climate science. On YOUR dollar.

  58. Anyone who has spent a lifetime working in science and still retains a modicum of objectivity into their retirement/dotage will eventually admit (even if it needs quite a few glasses of red wine or whiskies) that much of science is just as riddled with a barnyard ‘pecking order’ as any other, supposedly more crass endeavour of the human race e.g. making war.

    Many scientists can spend an entire career making regular ritual genuflections both in person and in print to the self-appointed ‘gods’ of whatever fashionable ‘paradigm’ currently rules their chosen field. Go to any conference and watch quietly from the sidelines. The syncophancy can sometimes reach the heights of Shakespearean buffoonery.

    Add to that a very curious effect I discovered while working in Europe for 3 years in the 1990s and you have all the answers you need. I call that effect ‘The Burkenstock Effect’. Somewhere between about Genevea and Bern as you travel east through academia you will stumble over an invisible line from whence, henceforth, you will observe a remarkable enthusiasm amongst physical scientists to wear burkenstocks (with socks of course) to work, to the opera, to the nearest bar, and yes, with a high probability, even when in bed mit die Frau.

    The unfortunate downside of The Burkenstock Effect is of course chronic cold feet – especially in those long chill corridors where one is most likely to bump into Herr Doctor Profesor.

    Poor young Wolfgang Wagner comes from very deep in Burkenstock Effect territory.

    Alles klar!

Comments are closed.