That letter signed by 16 scientists saying there’s “No Need to Panic About Global Warming” to the Wall Street Journal has caused a great disturbance in the farce. At last count there were no less than 19 blog rebuttals plus one new WSJ op ed piece trying to convince the alliance that all is well. It didn’t work.
But, they know the AGW Alliance Death Star has been compromised before its mission can be completed, the Rebellion has seen the plans and the Alliance knows it is only a matter of time before “the consensus” blows apart. Reports are that “Michael Mann has been tweeting furiously“, but the reinforcements he’s bringing in may not be able to stop the Rebellion as its ranks swell with ordinary people.
Here at WUWT, we had our best day ever on January 31st with 229,000 views from ordinary people, exceeding the heady days just after Climategate 1 and Copenhagen. People are coming in out of the cold to embrace the warmth and declare it good, while laughing at the folly of the alliance.
Meanwhile, the Bad Astronomer (Phil Plait er, not Jim Hansen) has been spinning in low orbit trying tell alliance forces that the past 10-15 years of stalled temperature rise are just a statistical illusion.
William Briggs, Statistician to the Stars, schools Plait on what statistics really is and writes:
Remember when I said how you shouldn’t draw straight lines in time series and then speak of the line as if the line was the data itself? About how the starting point made a big difference in the slope of the line, and how not accounting for uncertainty in the starting date translates into over-certainty in the results?
If you can’t recall, refresh your memory: How To Cheat, Or Fool Yourself, With Time Series: Climate Example.
Well, not everybody read those warnings. As an example of somebody who didn’t do his homework, I give you Phil Plait, a fellow who prides himself on exposing bad astronomy and blogs at Discover magazine. Well, Phil, old boy, I am the Statistician to the Stars—get it? get it?1—and I’m here to set you right.
The Wall Street Journal on 27 January 2012 published a letter from sixteen scientists entitled, No Need to Panic About Global Warming, the punchline of which was:
Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.
Plait in response to these seemingly ho-hum words took the approach apoplectic, and fretted that “denialists” were reaching lower. Reaching where he never said. He never did say what a “denialist” was, either; but we can guess it is defined as “Whoever disagrees with Phil Plait.”
The WSJ‘s crew said, “Perhaps the most inconvenient fact is the lack of global warming for well over 10 years now.” This allowed Plait to break out the italics and respond, “What the what?” I would’ve guessed that the scientists’ statement was fairly clear and even true. But Plait said, “That statement, to put it bluntly, is dead wrong.” Was it?
Plait then slipped in a picture, one which he thought was a devastating touché. He was so exercised by his effort that he broke out into triumphal clichés like “crushed to dust” and “scraping the bottom of the barrel.” You know what they say about astronomers. Anyway, here’s the picture:
See that red line? It’s drawn on a time series—wait! No it isn’t. Those dots are not what Plait thinks they are. They are not—they most certainly are not—global temperatures.
Read the whole rebuttal here, well worth your time.