Real Climate response to McIntyre’s Marcott stick busting

Many people have been wondering what sort of response would be coming now that Steve has conclusively shown that the Marcott et al “hockey stick” is nothing more than an artifact of what appears to be the worst case of cherry picking ever.

His latest post reveals how to ‘Hide the Decline’, Marcott style:

By blanking out the three most recent values of their proxy #23, the earliest dated value was 10.93 BP (1939.07 AD). As a result, the MD01-2421+KNR02-06 alkenone series was excluded from the 1940 population. I am unable to locate any documented methodology that would lead to the blanking out of the last three values of this dataset. Nor am I presently aware of any rational basis for excluding the three most recent values.

Since this series was strongly negative in the 20th century, its removal (together with the related removal of OCE326-GGC30 and the importation of medieval data) led to the closing uptick.

Here’s the response from Real Climate Scientists™

(h/t to commenter Richard Mason on the Powerline blog)

From the YouTube description:

Stars in the background are artificial, as is the passing airplane.

Seems like a perfect response.

Read McIntyre’s latest here

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138 Responses to Real Climate response to McIntyre’s Marcott stick busting

  1. Kurt in Switzerland says:

    Get’s funnier & funnier…
    Or sadder & sadder, depending on your viewpoint.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  2. JohnWho says:

    Surprises me –

    I expected their response to sound more like crickets chirping.

    :)

  3. H.R. says:

    I’m betting that the eventual response will be.

    a) “McIntyre’s analysis has already been debunked.”
    2) “There have been 12 other studies which replicated Marcott’s results.”
    (h/t in advance to trafamodore)

    Anyone want to bet against me?

  4. Neville. says:

    Wolves howling, owls hooting plus crickets chirping, just about says it all. But when will this delusional nonsense be thrown in the rubbish bin?

  5. Wamron says:

    Neville, clinically it does not resemble a delusion so much as obsessionality. The entire CAGW line of action is truly isomorphic to the symptomatology of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Ideation fixated upon trying to guarrantee certaintainty of future events through ritualised preoccupation with current gestures irrespective of their disabling consequences.

  6. KnockJohn says:

    RC – we knew about this all along – our own checks found this error first and He Who Must Not Be Named didn’t find it at all – Honest!!! /sarc

  7. Ouluman says:

    @ H.R. 5.40 am My guess will be “It has been peer reviewed by 3 different IPCC leads”.

    How about tumbleweed and cricket noises ….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIIuR-HjFho

  8. RealOldOne2 says:

    Minor point, but I think ‘Response’ rather than ‘Responds’ would be more accurate in the title. Responds implies action, whereas total silence is an accurate description of their response, to date.

    REPLY: Sure, why not.- Anthony

  9. JohnD says:

    [snip - let's not go there, let it shake out first - Anthony]

  10. Lemon says:

    A while back we were trying to win an Olympic Games bid and there was considerably and noisy opposition from an organization called “Bread Not Circuses” which was a front for Socialists led by a dork named Jack Layton. His comment to the leader of the bid was “we are a very powerful political force and we will kill this bid.”
    And they did – Atlanta used this as propaganda to show how the population didn’t support the bid. And we didnt’ get a billion in construction and 5,000 low income homes and better transit.
    My point? The alarmists are a very power political organization – and they will win – and they don’t care if everyone else suffers. They will have their bank roll and their retirement homes etc.

  11. johnmarshall says:

    No real reply huh. Or the wolf howl was as close as they could get to crying into their beer.

  12. Robert says:

    H.R:

    I suspect their eventual response will be :

    The “blade” was described in the text as being unreliable and not a valid measurement. Its a bit absurd to focus on something the authors themselves don’t regard as significant.

    Mcintyre has implied very strongly that re-dating was performed in order to hide a decline in reconstructed temperatures (in the period which the authors say there is no valid measurement)

    The re-dating was made because of X, Y, Z where X,Y and Z are arguments the non-specialist can’t really judge, in the same way that they can’t judge the validity of Steve Mcintyre’s argument. Instead they make an appeal to authority – something which is apparently fine for Mcintyre (a clever man but not infallible) but which is not fine for someone on the other side.

    Its difficult to see that this is going anywhere.

    That said, a very serious charge (poor ethics) has been levelled against the authors. Those of us who don’t understand the fine details of proxy-dating ought really to shut up until an answer is forthcoming. If we’re lucky it will be very convincing or utterly unconvincing (even to the non-specialist).

  13. Admad says:

    My my, what an adult, rational, reasoned and mature response. Time for bed little ones.

  14. Peter Miller says:

    Willis has some fascinating charts towards the end of the March 16th comment section in Climate Audit.

    If I was Marcott et al, or the ‘Real Science’ ‘scientists’, I would run a mile at being exposed for this total abuse of data – the chart for the last 500 years would make a cheating schoolboy blush.

  15. DirkH says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am
    “Its difficult to see that this is going anywhere. ”

    Marcott, Shakun and the NYT are on the record trying to make hay out of the uptick. Oh, and Joe Romm.

    And BTW, if the uptick isn’t thoroughly refuted before IPCC AR5 it will become the worldwide icon of warmism no matter how flakey.

  16. MarkW says:

    Wamron says:
    March 18, 2013 at 5:52 am

    That explanation hurt my brain.

  17. MarkW says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

    If as you claim, the authors themselves don’t trust the blade portion of the graph, why are they making such a big deal of their claim that current temperatures are warmer than at any time in the last 4000 years, or that the rate of temperature increase is totally unprecedented?

  18. cui bono says:

    Holmes: “To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.”
    Gregory: “The dog did nothing in the night-time.”
    Holmes: “That was the curious incident.”

    Is the dog playing dead?

  19. Frank K. says:

    Their response fit in with the general level of professionalism exhibited by many of the mainstream CAGW “scientists”.

    BTW – it was 8 F here in New Hampshire this morning, and a big snow storm is headed our way tomorrow – in the middle of March. Happy Global Warming(tm) spring!

  20. NikFromNYC says:

    This is as good of a PR breakthrough for skeptics as was the nonsense article Sokal spoof of the postmodern journal “Social Text” since it exposed Mann himself on Facebook, the journal “Science” too, and the media like Rachel Maddow who celebrated it with Mann’s strong support, yet it’s a *full* debunking that can easily be bluntly comprehended by any layperson who views Willis’ plot of the input data.

    Their cult has been lead off a cliff.

  21. Paul Matthews says:

    Note this twitter exchange:

    Eileen Kinley ‏@EileenOttawa
    @MichaelEMann Is there a rebuttal to McIntyre’s innuendo re “dating service”?

    Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann
    @EileenOttawa For the time being, the disturbingly bad track record & documented past misbehavior should suffice: http://deepclimate.org/?s=McIntyre

    We can take that as a “no” then. Nor is there any rebuttal to McIntyre’s explanation of how the spurious Marcott upticks arise.

  22. elmer says:

    I posted McIntyre’s original article on this whole think on Mann’s Facebook page in a comment, less then one minute later It was deleted and I was blocked.

    https://www.facebook.com/MichaelMannScientist

    Just saying.

    P.S. Marcott Style? Or has that whole thing jumped the shark. Is Marcott a person? If so does he have a picture?

  23. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:

    I enjoy a good joke as much as anyone, but implying that the RealClimate scientists are howling mad undermines the exemplary work of Steve McIntyre on this topic, IMHO. It also somewhat poisons the atmosphere for what I anticipate will be an eventual response from Marcott, et. al., which is what I thought I was going to see when I followed this link.

    Anthony I love your site, but I think you gave into temptation here.

  24. ferd berple says:

    RC is a cult, with obedience to a godhead. Unquestioning belief in the perfection of the godhead is the organizing and controlling principle in all cults. The cult member is attracted to the cult because it fills a need. The cult fills the void left by the “father figure” of childhood — the unquestioned belief in the authority figure and the security it brings.

    By definition anything that questions the godhead must be false because the godhead is perfect. Thus, RC must censor any comments that question the godhead, less the cult be infected with doubt. New posts are screened by the cult itself to identify potential new members. Those that fit the profile are accepted; those that deviate are expelled.

    The danger of cults is that they promote imperfect individuals to the status of gods, incapable of error. No matter how crazy the leader’s ideas, they must be right. The leader believes this, as do the followers. By eliminating dissenting voices this belief is continually re-enforced, proving the perfection of the leader.

    As history shows, like lemmings, the cult ultimately leads its members to the cliff and over. At small scale we get Manson and Jones, on a larger scale Mein Fuhrer. In the end the result is the same. Unfortunately cults show a long history of collateral damage to non cult members. After the fact we can only gaze in wonder at the mass insanity of the cult members and vow “never again”. A message that is quickly lost as we teach the next generation unquestioned obedience.

  25. Latitude says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am
    ===================
    Robert, this is an embarrassment…….not just this unremarkable paper that should have been filed under “that’s nice dear”……….the hype
    Everyone should be embarrassed

    To hype some paper like this….only to read “not robust”

  26. ferd berple says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am
    Its a bit absurd to focus on something the authors themselves don’t regard as significant.
    =========
    Agreed, yet that is what the press release concentrated on. That today’s temperatures are warmer than X% of the past 10 thousand years. Nowhere did the press release say “this is not reliable”.

    What the hype around X% shows is that we are not dealing with a scientific study. What has of course been ignored is that even it X% was correct, that means that 100-X% percent of the past 10 thousand years were warmer than today – without any man made CO2. Thus, today’s temperatures are well within the range of natural variability.

    What climate science and the IPCC have claimed is that today’s temperatures are abnormal, outside the range of natural variability. What Marcott has show is the exact opposite. That today’s temperatures are well within the range seen over many hundreds and even thousands of year in the past 10 thousand.

    This to me is the significance of Marcott. That natural variability in the absence of CO2 has resulted in temperatures higher than today’s temperatures within the past 10 thousand years, without any human cause.

    Indeed, climate science and the IPCC cannot explain why temperatures were higher during the past 10 thousand years. This is impossible if CO2 is the major driver of climate. Thus, the higher temperatures falsify the claim that CO2 is the major driver of climate.

  27. ferd berple says:

    The mathematics of climate science:
    Real Climate = RC
    RC = Religious Cult
    coincidence? Or the subconscious mind in action?

  28. RockyRoad says:

    cui bono RE dogs: Dunno, but these old dogs don’t hunt. Too bad the rest of the media doesn’t know the difference between barking and hunting–they’re also no longer relevant, except for their influence on the brainwashed* crowd.

    The whole affair is similar to the situation in Texas, which is the number one state in the nation to do business primarily because of their implementation of conservative principles like low taxes and fair, predictable regulations. As a consequence, business people will expand through capital investment, hire more employees, and the whole state benefits.

    So why don’t other flailing states, like California, simply imitate Texas’ policies to get back on the path to prosperity? Perry says it comes down to a “simple but nonetheless true” psychological experiment.

    “When you give a monkey the choice between an addictive drug and food, it will starve to death,” the governor said. “These citizens are addicted to government largesse, to the point of seeing their states come apart.”

    Pointing to California as an example, Perry said the state’s residents were given the opportunity to stop out-of-control spending and taxation, but instead voted to raise taxes even higher on themselves in the November 2012 elections.

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/03/18/why-is-texas-the-number-one-place-in-the-nation-to-do-business-gov-rick-perry-tells-us/

    The same applies to the brainwashed CAGW crowd–they are so addicted to failed climate policy that they’d rather see the world go into a tailspin than recognize the errors of their ideology/theology.

    And they claim to be thinking people.

    NOT!

  29. From the YouTube description:
    “Stars in the background are artificial, as is the passing airplane.”

    Computer models?

  30. ferd berple says:

    The second question that climate science and the IPCC cannot answer is why the 100-X percent higher temperatures over the past 10 thousand years did not lead to catastrophic end to civilization. Instead, the past 10 thousand years is when human developed civilization.

    If CAGW is correct, we should not be here. Humans should have pretty much gone extinct during the 100-X percent of the past 10 thousand years when temperatures were higher than at present. Instead we appear to have expanded across the globe as temperatures warmed.

    Could this in fact be due to human physiology? We have no fur. We shed heat very efficiently though a combination of sweat glands and upright posture. Standing, we have very limited surface area exposed to the noon sun and maximal surface area exposed to the breeze.

    Could it be that humans are warm weather adapted? That of all the larger mammals humans have the greatest capacity for work over time because of our ability to shed heat. Thus, in hot climates we can outlast other animals. We can continue where other animals would overheat.

    The fatal temperature for humans is 28C/82F. Is it co-incidence this is the temperature of the tropical rain-forests worldwide? Below this temperature the unprotected human cannot generate enough internal energy to survive. Our 150 watts of internal heat is less than what we radiate to the environment and eventually we die of exposure. The average temperature of the earth is 14.5C – fatal to the unprotected human.

  31. BarryW says:

    There is no response necessary. McIntyre is not a Climate Scientisttm and is in the pay of “Big Oil” so he has no standing in the cult community. Any paper that supports our position is a priori correct. –RC

  32. TImothy Sorenson says:

    Based on the frequency of Snowy Tree Cricket pulse and time-interval analysis, re-dated for the 18th century, the pulse rate of 185 chirps per minute with an interval lapse of 1.4 times the pulse we can conclude from our SnowTreeCricketProxy that the ambient temp at the time of the moon siting was 29.4 degrees Celsuis. (T.J. Walker, Science, 1969 Vol 166 pgs: 891-894 http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/walker/s166p891.pdf )

  33. Robert says:

    DirkH and MarkW

    I’m just predicting what the response will be. They’ve written a get-out clause into the paper regardless of what might appear in the media. That said, in the statements from them I’ve read they also talk about other studies as well as their own.

    Like everyone else here I just don’t know what went on in this analysis. They certainly have questions to answer. Steve has done a good job. That doesn’t mean that people with little detailed understanding of the analysis ought to be condemning them in advance of a response. Its ironic that those who supposedly laud scientific method (i.e. look at all the facts and not just those supporting your case) are happy to do this .

    Its mostly spleen and rarely truth that comes out in blog comments..

  34. Robert says:

    FredBerple
    You wrote:
    “RC is a cult, with obedience to a godhead. Unquestioning belief in the perfection of the godhead is the organizing and controlling principle in all cults. The cult member is attracted to the cult because it fills a need. The cult fills the void left by the “father figure” of childhood — the unquestioned belief in the authority figure and the security it brings.”

    Take a look at climate audit discussions. There are certainly a few expert comments in there. However, quite a lot just want to clap Steve on the back and join in with the condemnation of whoever is being audited without having any understanding of the details at hand. Do you think your “cult argument” applies in this case ? If not, why not ?

  35. john robertson says:

    Just maybe, NASA has told Gavin to step away from the propaganda and start doing your job, during work hours.

  36. Scarface says:

    The Sound of Silence

    (…)
    No one dared
    Disturb the sound of silence
    (…)
    And the people bowed and prayed
    To the neon god they made
    And the sign flashed out its warning
    In the words that it was forming
    And the sign said “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
    And tenement halls
    And whispered in the sound of silence”

  37. Eliza says:

    This Marcott paper is the best thing that has happened yet (for Skeptics)

  38. Nick in Vancouver says:

    Mannis lupus

  39. Jon says:

    A political answer to a scientific critique?

  40. Eliza says:

    Old soldiers (AGW) never die they only fade away…..I always knew that nothing except the actual weather/climate (not changing), would bring them down (although the Marcott fiasco has speeded up the downfall 100 percent) LOL

  41. Bob Mount says:

    At Last! An honest, meaningful comment by Real Science.

  42. John Slayton says:

    My cat appeared to be initially alarmed at their response, but he calmed down once he identified the source. What is Kenji’s take?

  43. knr says:

    I don’ actual expect a response , beyond trying to kill the problem by using a wall of silence in the hope it will all die away.
    To get things ‘going ‘ Steve would have needed to drop it onto ‘the Teams’ door , then Mann’s massive ego would have done the rest for him.
    Still its round one and all to play for , when/if this pop’s up in AR5 we get round two .
    But given its already entered into AGW dogma , which can never be challenged nor changed , so it will never be fully dead .

  44. gymnosperm says:

    They must have known they would not get away with this. A cynical rear guard PR action and Marcott took one for the team.

  45. Athlete says:

    SM has done 6 posts on Marcotte et al beginning on March 13th. There has now been over 50 comments on RC’s March open thread and there is not one single peep about Marcotte. Nothing in the borehole either. Either the denizens at RC are in total denial or Gavin is heavy on the cough button again.

  46. phlogiston says:

    H.R. says:
    March 18, 2013 at 5:40 am
    I’m betting that the eventual response will be.

    a) “McIntyre’s analysis has already been debunked.”
    2) “There have been 12 other studies which replicated Marcott’s results.”
    (h/t in advance to trafamodore)

    Anyone want to bet against me?

    Trafamadore must be some cryptic anagram or something. It is an anagram of:
    Famed orator
    Doom fear art
    A farted room

  47. Terry says:

    I imagine a scene with McIntyre grinning and holding a rifle standing beside a barrel full of water and Marcott (a fish) laying at the bottom of the barrel while the real climate people stand around trembling with their hands over their eyes, ears and mouths. Josh? LOL.

    Thanks Steve for yet another great analysis. I swear you deserve a Nobel Prize for being the Great Protector of Science that you are. And Watt ought to share it for being the Great Communicator of Science. Great job.

  48. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 8:19 am

    You missed my comments at ClimateAudit. I will post more critical comments and some of them will be at WUWT and at the Bishop’s. Others have posted in support of my comments. As much as I admire McIntyre, there is no cult.

    The main reason that McIntyre gets a lot of pats on the back is that he does the statistical work for the rest of us. Also, he has a huge record of success in this activity. In matters of statistics, he is the authority for skeptics and Alarmists alike. Yes, Alarmists too. Not one of them has successfully challenged his statistical analyses.

    As wonderful as McIntyre is, he is half of what we need. We need a twin to McIntyre who can rip into the empirical side of the work as effectively as McIntyre rips into the statistical side. The temperature proxies used by Marcott are way too weak to bear the weight he puts on them. We need someone who can demonstrate that point for all the world to see. In the case of “hide the decline,” the emails gave us enough information that we ordinary folk could do that work and we did it extremely well. On Marcott’s proxies, we need help.

  49. Theo Goodwin says:

    phlogiston says:
    March 18, 2013 at 9:32 am

    :”A farted room.” You nailed it. Thanks.

  50. jorgekafkazar says:

    My response to Real Climate is very similar to the above, but my moon is smaller.

  51. polski says:

    So a nondescript PhD thesis gets massaged with the help of crayons and juice boxes and becomes the Cat’s Ass of CAGW with none of the bullies aware that the teacher would check. Once found out bullies say not a word and then start pointing fingers everywhere…

  52. Robert says:

    Theo

    I was careful in my wording. There is a large atta-boy contingent at CA which fits perfectly well the cult description given earlier about RC.

    I have no doubt that RC readers who rely on the authors of that site for their “authority” arguments would say the same thing about these scientists as many CA readers do about Mcintyre. I would also be very surprised if climatologists would agree with your statement that not one alarmist ” has successfully challenged his (Mcintyre’s) statistical analyses”.

    There is certainly more discussion at CA than RC. However, as mentioned earlier, my words were chosen carefully – they describe the large volume of posters who are simply applauding Mcintyre for reaching a conclusion they rather like despite these posters having little or no understanding of the issue.

    I have no idea if Mcintyre is right or wrong in this case. He has strongly implied that some young scientists are guilty of data manipulation – this is serious. He is certainly not without evidence. However, before I draw any conclusion I want to see what the scientists have to say (and its up to them to decide how and when to respond, within a reasonable time scale). It would have been far better had he contacted them before putting up his latest post – I would have done so in his situation. I don’t care if other scientists have behaved poorly towards Mcintyre, guilt by association never really did it for me as a useful concept.

    If you’re not troubled by a lot of people who simply read Mcintyre’s argument, decide he’s right (he’s Mcintyre) and then post accordingly then you should be.

  53. tckev says:

    Marcott-Shakun report was proof read, and then subject to “peer-review”.
    Given what had happened with Mann et al. and that whole mess that was, someone in this paper’s “peer-review” process should have realized that all the figures required checking.
    Surely now it is so obvious that the “peer-review” process is broken, and to any reasonable person the process is beyond repair. The whole process needs to be stripped away and a fully open system, with check and balances installed. Until then all parties involve in this paper’s “peer-review” process should be held to account pending dismissal.
    Replace it with a more open – dare I say it, a more challenging review process – a review where those in the field and out side the field are allowed to question methods and results. Where the reviewer’s reputation and income is affected by their actions.

    After-all on the basis of reports such as this on $Billion will be foolishly wasted.

  54. Theo Goodwin says:

    McIntyre gave us a rock solid basis for complaint against Marcott, NSF, and “Science.” He writes:

    “By blanking out the three most recent values of their proxy #23, the earliest dated value was 10.93 BP (1939.07 AD). As a result, the MD01-2421+KNR02-06 alkenone series was excluded from the 1940 population. I am unable to locate any documented methodology that would lead to the blanking out of the last three values of this dataset. Nor am I presently aware of any rational basis for excluding the three most recent values.
    Since this series was strongly negative in the 20th century, its removal (together with the related removal of OCE326-GGC30 and the importation of medieval data) led to the closing uptick.”

    The problem described goes way beyond confirmation bias. There is no rational basis for truncating the series. Truncating a series is far more than cherry picking. It is taking deliberate action that changes the series. Because there is no rational reason for the change, the action of truncating the series must be understood as deliberately giving a false impression of the series. Apart from making up data, I cannot imagine a more serious offense by an author.

  55. Robert says:

    Tckev

    Can you please explain what is wrong with Marcott paper ?

    I’ve seen some sensible complaints about the most recent period which they themselves describe in the paper as being unreliable. The paper’s focus, however, historical temperatures stretching back 10000 years. Are these measurements wrong ? If so, how.

    Can you please describe in detail the problems with the paper which imply that the results it describes as reliable are actually unreliable.

    BTW “Steve said so ” isn’t an acceptable answer here…

  56. _Jim says:

    Funny … LOL … you’re the greatest WUWT!

  57. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 10:08 am


    “I have no idea if Mcintyre is right or wrong in this case.”

    We have to get past this before we can engage in a broader discussion. Where is he mistaken?

  58. Theo Goodwin says:

    tckev says:
    March 18, 2013 at 10:10 am

    They need reviewers who have McIntyre’s skill level in statistics. No doubt they use only climate scientists.

  59. _Jim says:

    Athlete says March 18, 2013 at 9:26 am

    SM … 6 posts .. beginning on March 13th. … over 50 comments on RC’s March open thread … not one single peep about Marcotte. Nothing in the borehole either.

    Either the denizens at RC are in total denial or Gavin is heavy on the cough button again.

    One word description: “Stonewalling” (stonewall, stony silence) To engage in delaying tactics; stall, refuse to answer or cooperate; stall – a tactic used to mislead or delay.

    .

  60. Robert says:

    Theo

    I’m confused. You base the complaint on one person’s investigation and the fact that he disagrees with a given procedure and can’t find any documentation showing what was done was sensible.

    I’m not quite sure that this counts as a “rock solid” basis for complaint. I recall in that the CA discussion an expert in dating proxies writing he saw no problem with Marcott et al,’s actions. Steve responded that he was 99.99% sure that the expert was keeping quiet out of loyalty. I’m not quite sure what to make of that.

    A bit less hyperbole might be sensible. A serious person has asked a serious question to Marcott et al. . Hyperventilating before there has even a response from the authors is not sensible.

  61. Robert says:

    Theo

    You wrote:

    “I have no idea if Mcintyre is right or wrong in this case.”

    We have to get past this before we can engage in a broader discussion. Where is he mistaken?

    ———————————————————————————————————————

    Where do I have to show Steve is wrong ? I’m no expert on dating proxies, are you ? How can I possibly have an opinion worth having on this at this stage ?

    In this situation of one person making allegation I am doing what most sceptics and sensible people would do:

    (1) read to the allegations + discussion
    (2) read the responses + discussion

    If (1) and (2) are properly worded then I can probably at a fairly informed judgement (I’m a physical scientist). So far I’ve done step (1) . Not enough for me, and it shouldn’t be enough for you either.

  62. seanbrady says:

    I just went over to Real Climate and did a search on the word “Marcott”. There is not a single mention of his name in 2013! It can’t just be that they’re neglecting him; they must be blocking any mention of him. Pretty soon he will join McIntyre as “They Who Cannot Be Named”!

  63. Luther Wu says:

    “All that is now
    All that is gone
    All that’s to come
    and everything under the sun is in tune
    but the sun is eclipsed by the moon.”

    -from: Eclipse/Dark Side Of The Moon- Pink Floyd/Roger Waters

  64. Gary Hladik says:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says (March 18, 2013 at 7:06 am): “Anthony I love your site, but I think you gave into temptation here.”

    Yeah, he did. And it was soooooo funny!

    TImothy Sorenson says (March 18, 2013 at 8:14 am): “Based on the frequency of Snowy Tree Cricket pulse and time-interval analysis…”

    Thank you, Sheldon, but it’s really a common field cricket and its name is Toby:

  65. _Jim says:

    Robert says March 18, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Robert, do you have any idea why the experts at RC are so quiet on this subject?

    Are they in shock?

    Have they simply dismissed this whole issue (actively ignoring or denying it)?

    Or, are they busily attempting further replication of SM’s or Marcott’s work?

    Any comment on that?

    Are you aware that Nick Stokes is also actively looking at this subject?

    Are you aware of his findings to date?

    .

  66. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 10:53 am

    What I read on McIntyre’s site strikes me as similar to “1 + 1 = 2.” I think you just have to read carefully. Maybe do an outline. All he is doing is discussing how the series are used in Marcott’s thesis and paper and showing choices that Marcott made. You do not have to know statistics to follow that.

  67. Robert says:

    Jim

    I do love the “series of questions” style of post you made.

    Why would I care what RC is doing or isn’t doing ? Oh, I see, they are quiet because they can’t defend the indefensible. Well, having seen many of their posts in the past when they’ve done just that, I don’t take several days silence as being indicative of a problem in the analysis. Also, I seem to recall that it took them a few days in the past to respond to Steve’s posts.

    Are they in shock ? I’ve no idea. I certainly was when I saw your post and realised you were seriously trying to use RC’s silence as evidence to support Steve. No wonder they laugh at you.

    Am I aware what Nick Stokes is doing ? I’m vaguely aware of Nick Stokes. He’s that guy who argues that black is white. I therefore really don’t care what he’s doing and I probably wouldn’t trust his findings regardless of whether they were for or against Marcott et al. (Nick Stokes, I mean, seriously…..).

  68. Wamron says:

    Re MarkW. ;-)

  69. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert,

    McIntyre writes:

    “I am unable to locate any documented methodology that would lead to the blanking out of the last three values of this dataset. Nor am I presently aware of any rational basis for excluding the three most recent values.”

    McIntyre is being very polite. But surely you can see that when a series of proxies is identified by a name and the author removes the post-1939 values from that series yet continues to use the same name for the series and provides no description or explanation of what he has done then he is now misusing the name of the series and misrepresenting the series. Surely, you can see that. How is McIntyre wrong about that?

  70. Robert says:

    Theo

    Is this really your argument ? That a response from the authors isn’t really needed before one forms a judgement because its so incredibly straightforward and damning ? This is ridiculous. Its far from being trivial. If you think to liken it to 1+1=2 then you haven’t followed the discussion..

    I’ve been a scientist for the past 20 years – data analysis is what I do. In this case the key issue is not what was done, which to first order is clear, but why it was done. Fundamentally, this is an issue of proxy treatment. I’m far from an expert here, and nor are you !

    Do you really think not think it helpful to seek a response from the people who did the analysis prior to coming to a conclusion ?

    This is supposed to be a sceptics’ site. I guess scepticism is only good when its not directed at Steve Mcintyre. :).

  71. Robert says:

    Theo
    Please don’t give me “surely you can see” argument….

    Wait for a response. Its what a real sceptic would do.

    There are few arguments that don’t have counter arguments, regardless of how persuasive the first argument may appear to be.

  72. NikFromNYC says:

    No scientific expertise is required to fully comprehend the disaster of today’s green mania based on expert claims:

    There is no uptick in the data (Marcott’s hockey stick).
    There was no warming in the data of the Antarctic mainland (Steig’s map).
    A simple tide gauge average shows no trend change in 150 years (Church & White’s chart).
    Polar bears are thriving (Gore’s movie).
    The 1930s were clearly hotter than this decade (Hansen’s graph).
    Real single-site thermometer records in the US and Europe back to the 1700s and even 1600s shows no trend change (IPCC reports).
    AGW theory is the theory of massive water vapor enhancement of boring old greenhouse warming (Democratic smears).

    It’s a false alarm based on clear scientific fraud encouraged by massive federal funding of climatology that punishes critical thinking.

  73. TomR,Worc,MA says:

    Robert says:

    :”Take a look at Climate Audit discussions …..”

    Yes, please do. Are differing opinions (on the science, not just general trolling: wink), censored and deleted? Why? or Why not?

    Is that type of thing done at RC? Why or why not?

    Censoring and deleting differing opinions is a hallmark of “cultish” behavior.

    Run along troll, this is the only response you will get from me.

    TR

  74. _Jim says:

    Robert says March 18, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Thank you for your reply, Robert; sometimes it’s important to get the answer to certain questions/issues “in print”, whether the respondent was honest and sincere or misleading and deceitful, while showing disdain for the process/procedure (the discourse) overall …

    .

  75. NZ Willy says:

    Marcott’s snake oil in brief: 73 proxy records were combined into an aligned temperature record for 9400BC – 1950AD. Each individual data point has an uncertain age — the earlier the data point, the greater the age-uncertainty — but the age-uncertainty at 1950AD is zero. So the total proxy record was perturbed 1000x into 20-year bins, with each data point’s perturbation bounded by that data point’s age-uncertainty. Therefore the whole show was homogenized, except for the last 20-year bin (1950AD), which because of its age-uncertainty of zero, shared no data with its neighbors.

    Thus the perturbation method guaranteed an outcome in which natural variations were smoothed out everywhere *except* for the last 20-year bin of 1950AD. Then all that remained was to use data selection and re-dating to ensure that the 1950AD data was of the warm variety. Once you got that data, push the switch, VROOOM, the whole 11,400 years’ data is homogenized smooth except for the 1950AD record which the data grinder can’t reach — results guaranteed!

  76. stuartlynne says:

    All joking aside, I now have two very bewildered and slightly upset Bengal cats sitting on my desk trying to figure out what the heck is going on!

  77. Robert says:

    TomR,Worc,MA

    Apparently I’m a troll for pointing out that there a lot of atta-boys at Steve’s site who don’t understand his arguments ? Fair enough, if that’s your definition, I’m a troll.

    My other crime here is suggesting that a person who is accused be given a chance to respond to an accusation before judgement is made. That one also caused a lot of trouble. Strange, I thought it was a fundamental part of natural justice.

    The RC lot don’t hate the stereotypical WUWT poster – they actually laugh at you (with good cause). Then again that’s what you do to them (with good cause). You lot have more in common than you realise.

  78. rogerknights says:

    Here are questions that should be answered on their FAQ:

    1. Was this paper rejected by Nature, or did Nature ask for changes you guys didn’t want to make?

    2. Would those changes have mitigated the criticism of McIntyre and other contrarians?

    3. What changes were they?

  79. elmer says:

    Why can’t I find a photo of Shaun Marcott?

  80. Steve McIntyre says:

    I agree with many of Robert’s points.

    I try to write clearly enough so that an educated non-specialist can understand the issues, which often are fairly elementary points of data analysis. On some of the Marcott issues, I think that some people have arrived at “informed” agreement.

    However, there is also a considerable amount of piling on by readers who “like” the result. I delete many comments at CA for “piling on”.

    On the other hand, there was widespread endorsement of the Marcott results by reporters and specialists who did not have an informed understanding of the results in the paper – in the sense, that an informed understanding is emerging through ongoing analysis. Robert, I think that your criticisms on this issue would be more telling if you had equally criticized the promotion of the paper.

    On the truncation of data points: I report phenomena and try to avoid speculating on motives. It is possible that the truncation of negative recent values arose through the application of an undescribed algorithm rather than manual truncation (in the style of Briffa’s deletion of data after 1960, a procedure often and inaccurately referred to as Mike’s Nature trick.). As I stated in the article, I am unable to identify such an algorithm in the Methods and thus far am unable to think one up, but I do not exclude the possibility. While Marcott’s answer to my original inquiry was uninformative, I agree that he should be given an opportunity to comment on this point and I will contact him directly and give him that opportunity.

  81. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I have stated my position on Marcott. It is a challenge to anyone who wants to defend him. It seems that you do not have the expertise to defend him and you do not want to do the work to gain the necessary expertise. Yet you keep posting to me. That kind of behavior is why some people call you a troll.

    No one on this site acts as a judge. We develop reasoned positions on matters such as Marcot’s changes to a series and we wait for responses that intelligently address one or more points that we have made.

  82. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Robert,

    McIntyre has answered you. I hope that satisfies you. He has his position. I have mine. My position will not satisfy you. Let’s leave it at that.

  83. M.C. Kinville says:

    Robert,

    Are you proposing that those responding are holding Steve McIntyre up as a godhead or a replacement of a father figure?

  84. Snotrocket says:

    Ahhh, Robert, the original ‘Bob a job’. (Probably 30 pieces (shillings) now…) Oh dear.

  85. Robert says:

    Thanks for your comments Steve. I very much look forward to the response of Marcott et al. . They need to come up with a very good explanation and I hope they have one. Marcott is a young guy starting off in his career, it would be a shame for this to happen. If no decent response emerges then a complaint should certainly be lodged at their institutions and not just at the journal since the argument would be made that this has no material impact on the results themselves.

    Regarding my (lack of) criticism of the promotion of the paper, there were enough people doing this already on CA and WUWT. As someone who often talks to the media about their research, and is careful not to overhype, I have zero tolerance for this type of behaviour. But if 10 other people have made the same condemnation then mine is irrelevant. Your argument would carry weight if I had defended the paper hype. In contrast to the hype issue, however, very few people were willing to stick up for the basic principle of collating all the facts (which fundamentally includes a response) before judging.

    Theo – you wrote:
    “No one on this site acts as a judge. We develop reasoned positions on matters such as Marcot’s changes to a series and we wait for responses that intelligently address one or more points that we have made.”

    I’m sorry but that is just wrong. Please read the comments on the Marcott et al. paper at this site and CA. Are comments referring “Marcott’s snake oil” judgement-free ? Regarding your supposed “reasoned position while you wait for a response”, a reasoned position would include the possibility of there being an explanation (after all you’re apparently waiting for it). Using terms such as “rock solid” as you did to describe Steve’s case aren’t really consistent with that. Your response to my remark : “I have no idea if Mcintyre is right or wrong in this case.” was “We have to get past this before we can engage in a broader discussion. Where is he mistaken?”. Nothing you have written implies that you have an open mind in this. To pretend otherwise is daft.

    I don’t see anyone here speculating that the data truncation could be due to reason X or reason Y. Were RC to attack, eg, Anthony Watts and show evidence that he had apparently removed inconvenient data points from his work on UHI’s I don’t doubt there would be raft of possible explanations, as there should be.

    Scepticism means what it says on the packet – its to be applied both on results we like and those we don’t like.

  86. Don says:

    Hi Robert, I can’t say I disagree with all your comments, but what rankles me about them is the nagging suspicion that your pretensions to fairness and neutrality are fake, just as your rhetorical tone sounds like Hal 9000, the computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey (which would make you a bot, not a troll). Have you taken to task the publications and bloggers who prematurely yet triumphantly waved Marcott about, crowing that the Hockey Stick is alive and well? If you want to penalize someone for unsportsmanlike excessive celebration there’s a good place to start. If you have indeed done so, you have my respect. If not, what’s stopping you?

  87. David L. says:

    Frank K. says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:50 am
    Their response fit in with the general level of professionalism exhibited by many of the mainstream CAGW “scientists”.

    BTW – it was 8 F here in New Hampshire this morning, and a big snow storm is headed our way tomorrow – in the middle of March. Happy Global Warming(tm) spring!

    Snowed here in Philly all day saturday and I had to shovel the walk. Snowing right now (Monday) as I look out my window. They are predicting up to 6 inches. This Wed. is the first day of spring. And here I thought it arrived earlier and earlier each year: I’d be thankful for spring as early as Wed.

  88. Don says:

    Robert, we skeptics have been duking it out with a powerful opponent for a long time, and we are finally landing some telling blows, and now you are telling us to pull punches until the opponent catches his breath. But you have not cautioned our opponent, and you say that’s someone else’s job. That makes it hard for us to accept you as a fair referee.

  89. john robertson says:

    @Elmer, check out Andy Revkin,s interview with the lad, up on the side bar political climate.

    Sorry Robert, but you come across as phoney and a troll.
    Are you suggesting that in your, “Physical science” you will adjust your timescale at whim?
    That changing this part of your “evidence” is of no significance?
    Requiring no notation nor explanation?
    At 2:08 you blow your concerned sceptic cover, you wouldn’t be the Professor Brown that turned up on Judith Curries site recently?

  90. Robert says:

    Don

    Indeed. I might be ‘right’ (well you write that “can’t you disagree with all [my] comments” :) )”. However, I’m still not be given credit for this because I didn’t populate other blogs attacking the over-hyping. Indeed even though I’m ‘right’ , you suspect “my pretensions to fairness and neutrality are fake”. This is a strange point since this discussion has taken up several hours of my time (while I’m stuck at a research lab). Like most people here I work for a living and don’t spend my life on blogs taking people to task. Nor would I wish to do so. Like everyone else, a point strikes me and I argue it.

    I think a sensible interpretation of your nagging doubt is simply that I’ve been critical and gone against the consensus. That makes someone unpopular in any environment regardless of the context. Funnily enough, I think the only person who has said they agreed with much of what I wrote was Steve. Well, you said “you can’t disagree” but suspect me to be a hypocrite with “fake” “pretensions to fairness” so I’m not quite sure you count other than in a begrudging “right-but-insincere” kind of way

    Regardless of whether or not you suspect its all pretence, I’m afraid I am motivated by fairness and scepticism here. My trigger here was seeing lots of people leaping to condemn people on the basis of one side of the story and their pre-held views. I wish they wouldn’t – it is rarely helpful in getting to the truth. Its not as if the facts of the case were especially elucidated and debated. The bulk of the thread consisted of people saying lots of nasty things from their computers that they likely would never say should they be face to face with the authors.

  91. Robert says:

    John
    What is all this about covers being blow. What are you talking about ?

  92. Don says:

    Okay, Robert, I will give you the benefit of the doubt, motivation-wise. But are you really happy removing specks here when there are massive beams of error and corruption elsewhere that need moving, beams that may well be life-or-death arbiters for struggling people as Willis has recently pointed out? Those would surely be more worth interrupting your work for.

  93. NZ Willy says:

    To Robert, I did say “Marcott’s snake oil”, but that was after my own independent full analysis of the Marcott data and processing techniques. So it did convey my judgement, but it was a knowledgable first-hand judgement — no me-too-ism involved. You may say I wouldn’t use that term face-to-face with the authors, and you’d be right — but I am not face-to-face with the authors, capeesh? Sometimes the strong term is needed to be clear about one’s conclusion. cheers.

  94. Manfred says:

    Another question for FAQ:

    were the reviewers aware of the redating, particularly the removal of 20th century data and replacement with medieval data and its impact ?

  95. NZ Willy says:

    …and an important rider, I found via my own 3-day investigation that the Marcott paper is not science, it’s just a cheap mathematical stunt. They can generate their outcome with any random data, as long as they (1) select warm data for the final 1950 bin using the techniques which Steve McIntyre is identifying, and (2) use the perturbation algorithm that they use. And yes, I would tell them that face-to-face. How polite would you be if that was your finding as well?

  96. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert,

    McIntyre is a consummate professional. After years of reading him, I know that he will follow all the technical details until the last ‘t’ is crossed and ‘i’ dotted. In my experience, which might be too limited, he will stop there. He will not make moral claims or engage in moral argument. However, after all the technical dust has settled someone will have to make the moral argument. If no one does then the debate over CAGW is finished. Anthony and everyone can close up shop.

    Maybe I should have stated my moral argument as a hypothetical: “If Marcott truncated the series and did not explain that choice in his article then he committed moral error.” To me, that abbreviated argument stands regardless of what Marcott did or wrote elsewhere. If I am not correct then the non-specialist has no place in this debate and our democracy is lost.

  97. Robert says:

    NZ Willy – you’re clearly a far better scientist than me. I wouldn’t dream of making a judgement call and calling someone else’s work “snake oil” until I had sought an explanation for what I had apparently observed. This is the case regardless of whether or not I had spent days of “independent study” on it. I tend to regard myself as being fallible like that. The more I know about a topic the more I realise I don’t know.

    Theo – You ought to stop digging. You’ve contradicted yourself a lot during this discussion.

  98. Robert says:

    Don

    I really don’t care if you give me the benefit of the doubt or not. What is important is the argument and not the person.

    I don’t regard cautioning against drawing hasty conclusions as removing specks. This is a discussion on the Marcott et al. paper. Someone serious has levelled a serious accusation. This is not a community of experts (regardless of how some may think of themselves) dispassionately assessing the claim. To go further requires the authors to respond, not to hyperventilate about their apparent dishonesty, incompetence etc .

  99. provoter says:

    I’d like to take a stab at calming this row between Robert and several others, if I may.

    Robert,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it the case that you see yourself as thinking as a good skeptic who is simply interested first in getting the facts – from all relevant sides and to the extent possible – analyzing them calmly and then allowing the chips to fall where they may, driven only by said facts? Let us assume for argument’s sake this is 100% the case. Your next step, in order to carry much weight with your target audience – the other posters on this site – is to present your arguments in a way that helps establish the validity of your belief that you are indeed just trying to get to the facts, as opposed to hiding some unrevealed agenda. The most straightforward (and thoroughly simple) way of achieving this would simply be to state some areas where you are in general agreement with your target audience. That way people have a much better idea of where you’re actually coming from. For example, it doesn’t matter how many times others have stated that the media hype of Marcott is overdone; if you agree with that, just say you do and give a brief explanation of why. To further illustrate how easy this all is, let me give an example of something you could say:

    “Hello all. Let me begin by saying that I certainly do agree that media reports have done what they commonly do (and not just on the subject of climate change), which is to have reporters who understand little or nothing about the science behind a research paper mindlessly hype one portion or another of it, as if it were received wisdom from on high. I also agree that if this paper ends up being thoroughly shot down, the headlines and hype announcing such a crash and burn to the world will almost certainly be all but nonexistent – headlines go on top of Page A1, corrections at the bottom of page D22 (and then only grudgingly and sparsely, if at all).

    “Regarding the Marcott paper itself and SM’s critiques up to this point, absolutely it is the case that, on the face of it, the changing of dates, the disappearance of some portions of some proxies, etc do indeed demand an explanation from Marcott, et al. But let’s not get too terribly far ahead of ourselves just yet. Presumably a response is indeed in the works, and for all we know the paper may have excellent reasons for having done whatever it’s done, so it’s just good science to wait and see it before forming too hardened a picture of things. Granted, if no response ever came, this would be very damning, and one would have little choice but to assume Marcott, et al have determined that no scientifically defensible explantion exists. But surely a response is coming, and we really should not jump to conclusions before then.

    “What do you all think – does this make sense or not?”

    Something like the above is a really good way to get things started on a mutually respectful, and therefore constructive, footing. Constructive dialogue should be our chief goal here, should it not? Anyway, if you feel that your position basically mimics what I’ve laid out in my example, just say so and let’s everyone get on with a continued attempt at said constructive dialogue.

    FWIW.

  100. DayHay says:

    @Robert – so why would this paper be published WITHOUT the necessary info and code to replicate the work? Is that only required on the skeptics side of science? Why would warmistas let Marcotte be thrown overboard, as a trial balloon to see if any hockey stick can survive?
    Things are definitely weird in climate “science” these days. Since no one is going to die anytime soon over this stuff it is a free for all, if this were medicine or 787 batteries someone’s ass would be on the frying pan.

  101. Manfred says:

    Robert,

    you generalize without acknowleding the very special triviality of this case. This is about averaging a few numbers and a massive effect. Hard to imagine how 2 cold modern data points got lost unnoticed, almost impossible to imagine how warm medieval data points replaced them, leading to the blade moving wildly up from down.

    Though waiting for a reply is the proper next step, I can easily understand anybody already switched to hyperventilation mode.

  102. provoter says:

    Well, I suppose that in fairness I should also grant Robert his points, to try and establish my own objectivity. I couldn’t agree more that we can’t conclude much before Marcott, et al respond, and even that may raise as many or more questions as it answers. In fact I’ll be shocked if it turns out otherwise. It’s also undeniable (well, to me any way) that, as in any forum such as this or CA or wherever, some posters will understand little of the actual subject matter, will engage in cheerleading and/or piling on, and therefore produce far more heat than light. The relative degree to which this happens among various sites can be debated, but clearly it happens to some extent everywhere. I saw once where Robert was called a troll, and I think this is extremely unhelpful to a pursuit of truth EXCEPT when the alleged violator is transparently guilty of the charge. Such a charge should be saved for that sort; otherwise the word ceases to carry meaning. Robert’s posts have absolutely not merited the charge, IMO, and I think it is healthy in the extreme to have posts such as Robert’s. Not only do they force others to focus and clean up their arguments, but they may actually make some good, helpful points, especially those that get the cognitive dissonance meters to crank up.

    Having said all that, it would be bizarre and throughly anti-science – and I don’t think Robert is trying to go this far – to suggest that people cannot even BEGIN to assess a situation before all the facts are in. The discovery of truth is a process – a continuum – and speculation today drives the discovery process that will hopefully produce true understanding tomorrow. As long as people don’t treat speculation as fact, it’s the only choice they have in the beginning, before more facts are in. So by all means, let’s conclude things where the facts are clear and speculate where they are not (yet), and just make clear when we’re doing one and when we’re doing the other.

    I hope this all doesn’t come across as too touchy-feely, and apologies if it is, and rest assured I have zero intentions of going on in this vain. I’m not a touchy-feely guy and sure don’t want to appear as one. I just hate seeing people never getting beyond talking past each other, because it’s just a waste of time for everyone, IMHO.

  103. ZootCadillac says:

    @Elmer. I don’t understand why you are so keen for a photograph of Marcott. I doubt it’s germane to the debate.

    But if you must.

  104. Donald Mitchell says:

    I was amazed by the total effect of the response video. I will admit that I was not greatly impressed by it, but a dog which I had picked up from the pound a number of years ago was. This was the first time that I have ever seen him pay any attention to the computer or the noises that it makes.
    He came charging into the room and almost pushed me aside so that he could investigate. I was able to keep from laughing at him but his interest was very great and I did not want to spoil it for him.

  105. pottereaton says:

    Robert at 6:12 am says in paraphrasing what the authors of Marcott might say in their defense: “The “blade” was described in the text as being unreliable and not a valid measurement. Its a bit absurd to focus on something the authors themselves don’t regard as significant.”

    They were selling this thing as something even they admitted it was not. They were feeding the media frenzy. You must have missed this bit of Revkin’s interview with Shakun which I transcribed:

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/14/no-uptick-in-marcott-thesis/#comment-404659

    Are you new to this controversy? It seems to me you lack historical context. I’ve been reading and commenting on Steve’s blog (and this one) for seven years now. My training is in history and literature. I trust that blog and not only because of Steve, but because of others like Roman, Jean S., Mosher, UC, Jeff Norman, Brandon Schollenberger and Mr. Pete. Other excellent scientists/statisticians like Bender have passed through and contributed. It’s a wild and woolly affair, but it’s effective. While I agree that the piling on can get excessive, I believe it to be an entirely natural response to the less than professional behavior of several principals in the field climate science over the last two decades. Also complicit in this bad behavior have been many politicians who are acting on “authority” as you put it (Never mind that the science conveniently fits in with their world view). Have your read Andrew Montford’s The Hockey Stick Illusion? Have you read Donna LaFramboise”s The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert?

    There is a history behind all the acrimony. The stakes are very high, in the range of hundreds of billions of dollars if not more, if you want to put a monetary value on it. If people get a little emotional about it, can you blame them?

    You also don’t seem to understand the concept of circumstantial evidence, which although it is a legal and not a scientific term, applies here. Many people who lack the scientific skills are trying to come to a decision on these matters. The evidence, if I may use another legal term, is piling up against the principals in the field of climate science who have been, at great benefit to themselves, pushing the AGW hypothesis and–if you view the temperature record for the last decade and half– grossly overselling it, or so it seems. This is costing you, me and hundreds of millions of other people around the world a significant amount of money as governments react to the overselling with constrictive legislation and onerous regulations.

    As a student of history, I always try and look at the longer, broader view of things. I’ve looked at this controversy up close for several years now and while I’m not particularly conversant in the science, I recognize patterns of behavior that have occurred before in other controversial scientific discoveries and–dare I say it?– hoaxes that were likewise oversold.

    I too sympathize with both Marcott and Shakun, who have not been served well by their elders in this controversy and may have been victimized by overly strident instructors in the course of their education in the natural sciences. But the paper is what it is. And the way it was presented is what it is.

  106. ferd berple says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 8:19 am
    Do you think your “cult argument” applies in this case ? If not, why not ?
    ++++++++
    Your attempt to deflect the cult analogy to CA is evidence that you agree that RC is a cult, or that the evidence is too overpowering to refute successfully. Otherwise you would argue the point.

    No, CA does not qualify as a cult. Consider this analogy from religious history: At RC you can argue how many angels dance on the head of a pin, but you cannot argue that there are no angels. At CA you can argue the best way to determine if there are angels and if there are, how many are dancing on the pin and how certain you can be of the result.

    One site argues that angels exists beyond question. The other argues that we have the right to question if angels exist. One argues for belief based on authority, the other argues for the right to question authority as a basis for belief. History has already shown us time and time again the path that is most likely to lead the masses to their doom.

  107. Theo Goodwin says:

    provoter says:
    March 18, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    I like your work. Thanks.

  108. Theo Goodwin says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    “Theo – You ought to stop digging. You’ve contradicted yourself a lot during this discussion.”

    Show me one contradiction.

  109. pottereaton says:

    Donald Mitchell wrote: “I will admit that I was not greatly impressed by it, but a dog which I had picked up from the pound a number of years ago was.”

    McIntyre did describe the paper as “a real dog’s breakfast.” This confirms it. LOL

  110. Theo Goodwin says:

    pottereaton says:
    March 18, 2013 at 7:03 pm
    “Robert at 6:12 am says in paraphrasing what the authors of Marcott might say in their defense: “The “blade” was described in the text as being unreliable and not a valid measurement. Its a bit absurd to focus on something the authors themselves don’t regard as significant.”

    They were selling this thing as something even they admitted it was not. They were feeding the media frenzy. You must have missed this bit of Revkin’s interview with Shakun which I transcribed:

    http://climateaudit.org/2013/03/14/no-uptick-in-marcott-thesis/#comment-404659


    But the paper is what it is. And the way it was presented is what it is.”

    Spot on! Especially the last sentence. The paper was published in “Science,” for Goodness Sake, and is a completed, finished, finalized document that stands on its own. The authors are responsible for any error in that paper regardless of what they have done, said, or written elsewhere.

    At the time of Climategate1, Phil Jones and Michael Mann loudly proclaimed that their published work, including the hockey stick, was clear as a bell to scientists and that no one should be upset about Mike’s Nature Trick. We know what happened to that argument.

  111. RockyRoad says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 2:08 pm
    Thanks for your comments Steve. I very much look forward to the response of Marcott et al. . They need to come up with a very good explanation and I hope they have one. Marcott is a young guy starting off in his career, it would be a shame for this to happen.

    And that’s where I call “Horse Feathers” on your whole argument, Robert.

    You see, you indicated “et al” after Marcott, showing he was not one individual but the first of several–there were co-authors. Also, weren’t there several reviewers of this (I assume you think) “wonderful” paper? Why did they let Marcott, who is this “young guy starting off in his career”, take it on the nose for such a questionable job? Had they never heard of (the human, non-god but statician extraordinaire) Steven McIntyre?

    Was Marcott pre-selected to be Mann Junior? The MSM certainly seem to think so based on their cover for such sloppy work. Isn’t this just in time for IPCC inclusion?

    But like you, I shall wait and see what Marcott’s response is–too bad he got off to such a rocky start, don’t you think?

    And too bad his paper didn’t hit CAGW out of the ballpark for “The Team”, huh? And forgive me for assuming, but after each of your parries, I became less and less convinced you want Marcott to crater. But I’m not convinced he won’t, for shame.

  112. Phil says:

    Robert,

    I would suggest that you may be misreading the tone of comments at CA. There is a lot of history and what you are perceiving as cheerleading is more like deja vu. It would be informative but very time consuming, for example, to look at the history behind how many PCs were retained in Steig, et al., 2009. The number retained was just a little too convenient. This paper seems to have the same flavor. However, I have a little different take on the authors, especially Marcott and Shakun. It seems to me that these two have been used as cannon fodder, while the wiser elders keep their distance safely shielded. For this reason, I see very troubling ethical issues on part of the elders, while the young ones are going through a learning experience that they may not have been prepared for properly by their mentors.

  113. vigilantfish says:

    David L. says:
    March 18, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Frank K. says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:50 am
    Their response fit in with the general level of professionalism exhibited by many of the mainstream CAGW “scientists”.

    BTW – it was 8 F here in New Hampshire this morning, and a big snow storm is headed our way tomorrow – in the middle of March. Happy Global Warming(tm) spring!

    Snowed here in Philly all day saturday and I had to shovel the walk. Snowing right now (Monday) as I look out my window. They are predicting up to 6 inches. This Wed. is the first day of spring. And here I thought it arrived earlier and earlier each year: I’d be thankful for spring as early as Wed.
    ============

    Freezing here in Toronto, too, with the same weather system plaguing us. Those damned groundhogs got it wrong again! (Mind you, in fairness, there was no groundhog consensus on Groundhog day this year, but the local varmint definitely messed up.)

  114. guscost says:

    Robert, have you seen this comment from Paul Dennis? It might answer some of your questions:

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2013/3/16/omg.html?currentPage=3#comment19841741

    It is an unremarkable compilation of various palaeoclimate proxies that span the Holocene. Most of these are marine with limited temporal resolution, averaging 120 years, but some with 500 year resolution. Most of the proxy records have limited age control and as a result the age models are poorly constrained. The upshot is, that despite the use of standard and non-standard statistical techniques, the records are necessarily low pass filters that effectively restrict reconstruction to multi-centennial to millenial scale variations in average temperature. The cut off period is on the order of several hundred years. Below this there is considerable attenuation of any signal.

    Thus the paper is an unremarkable Holocene record that loses definition on time scales of less than three to five hundred years. As such it would not be considered by Nature or Science for publication.

  115. provoter says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    March 18, 2013 at 9:47 am:

    “We need a twin to McIntyre who can rip into the empirical side of the work as effectively as McIntyre rips into the statistical side.”

    Great point. In a similar vein, there need to be SM understudies. Firstly, he is only one man, and no one should be comfortable with all these eggs being in one single basket. Secondly, everyone retires eventually. I don’t know if it’s something he’s given much thought to, but it seems like he could do a ton of good by offering courses or even just seminars or workshops on what he actually does and how he does it. I’m of course talking primarily about talented math and stats people, graduate level or beyond, as it would make zero sense for him to provide entry- or mid-evel stuff. He could charge a tidy little fee and do well by doing good. Livestream.com (among others) is an ideal vehicle for conducting online teaching and seminars.

    In short, that kind of knowledge should be shared and propagated while the opportunity lasts. Thousands of people have the necessary skills and training to do more or less what McIntyre does, but he has that special combination of traits and skills that would most reliably and effectively be passed on straight from the original source. It would be a waste if they went extinct through his eventual retirement, lost to the “gene pool” for good.

  116. Laurie says:

    John Slayton says:
    March 18, 2013 at 9:09 am
    My cat appeared to be initially alarmed at their response, but he calmed down once he identified the source. What is Kenji’s take?

    My cat, Mr. Bugsy, was also alarmed by the wolf howling. First, I allowed my daughter’s little dog to visit and have the run of HIS house and now I have wolves behind the funny window on the desk! He’s not happy with me.

  117. Joe says:

    Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

    H.R:

    I suspect their eventual response will be :

    The “blade” was described in the text as being unreliable and not a valid measurement. Its a bit absurd to focus on something the authors themselves don’t regard as significant.

    ———————————————————————————————————————-

    Robert, I agree wholeheartedly with your points about the unthinking pack mentality from some posters on here but, as has been said elsewhere, that’s a natural feature of any open forum. To be fair to WUWT, at least here it’s not the moderators who ringlead that behaviour by editing / binning valid points (such as yours) that don’t agree with the mob. Posters here, on either side of the debate, are assumed to be adults unless they choose to prove otherwise!

    As for the part of your initial post I’ve copied above, allowing my scepticism to run (very slightly) into cynicism, I’d suggest there may be a very good reason that the authors “don’t regard it as significant”.

    Lets assume for a minute that Steve M’s analysis of the flaws is correct. I certainly can’t judge that, although I can understand what he’s saying and can see it APPEARS to be a problem. The authors and the team are smart cookies. If these “problems” are real then it’s hard to believe they weren’t aware. before publication – the apparent issues certainly seem pretty straightforward once highlighted.

    But the (scientifically) “unimportant” part is undoubtedly the headline-grabber (and, therefore, the most politically important part) of this paper – another hockey stick, and this one with a full 15 1/2 inch goalkeeper’s blade! Knowing that the flaws WILL be found, and also knowing that the headlines will already be published, of course you put a note in the paper itself saying that part really doesn’t matter!

    It’s an SOP of manipulators to have their cover story safely in place beforehand.

  118. Climate Daily says:

    Reblogged this on Climate Daily.

  119. Robert says:

    I realise that describing a problem of a lack of scepticism to a bunch people who pride themselves on that label is never going to win me friends. However, I’ve seen nothing written here that addressed my central points.

    At the risk of repetition, I’ll write them again:
    (1) A serious person has levelled a serious allegation and put forward evidence. If true, this implies a case of very poor scientific ethics which would merit disciplinary action.
    (2) This, along with the other points raised about the analysis, deserves a response within a sensible time scale.
    (3) Data analysis is complex. In spite of being a physical scientist for 20 years I don’t feel qualified to pass judgement until I’ve seen all the facts. I’m painfully aware how complex things are and that there are quite often innocent explanations for apparent wrong-doing.The response mentioned in (2) is a key missing fact.
    (4) Appeals to authority (eg Steve) don’t overcome (3). Appeals to your own analytical ability don’t do too much either I’m afraid.
    (5) Writing offensive things about me may make the poster feel better but it doesn’t do much to beat my arguments either.

    I could also add that, rather interestingly, the only person who said that they agree with much of what I write was Steve Mcintyre. I’m also pleased that he took my suggestion and contacted Marcott directly to ask for a response. Great. The author of the most unpopular posts on this thread has probably contributed the only concrete thing (the suggestion of contact with Marcott taken up by Steve) to emerge from this discussion. Incidentally, *any one* of you could have done the same thing. Instead it seems there is a preference for judgement after step (1). Sorry, but I can’t you join you in a judgement until steps (1) and (2) are followed. If you really want the sceptic label you should think hard about this. I doubt you will though.

  120. beng says:

    ****
    vigilantfish says:
    March 18, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Freezing here in Toronto, too, with the same weather system plaguing us. Those damned groundhogs got it wrong again! (Mind you, in fairness, there was no groundhog consensus on Groundhog day this year, but the local varmint definitely messed up.)
    ****

    Couple more inches of globull warming here in western MD — again.

    10 day model shows re-establishment of incessant northerly flow across east NA after a brief break. Cold all the way thru the rest of March…

  121. Jonas N says:

    Robert

    I’ve been following your comments here with some amusement. The best I can make out it is that in your opinion we should wait to see if the authors get back and reply here, at CA or elsewhere to the issues raised, and if so what they then do reply!? And I agree, it will be interesting to see how they handle this.

    But why are you arguing that meanwhile no criticism should be levelled at the paper, the authors, the reviewers, the editors and journal, and no speculation should be allowed before they clarify things? Why is that?

    Whatever reply there will be (even if it’s utter silence) will raise new questions and criticism. Should everybody then again hold their breath in anticipation of another possibly (not) forthcoming response? I don’t get that part at all! Neither do I get the part that others should be ‘troubled’ about comments you think are uninformed or just applauding in support. Why?

    I you want to wait for a reply, and if you expect that such a reply would be forthcoming and could be taken at face value (wrt to the quite severe criticism), you are of course free to do so. But your argument seems to be: Therefore also everybody else should keep quite meanwhile.

    You’ve gotten a fair number of (different) and sensible replies (and some snark, but hardly’ hyperbole’). But one of them I think is inaccurate: I don’t think you are new to the discussion pr the field and unaware of its history and previous instances of ‘remarkable’ treatment of proxy-data. On the contrary, you tell us you are quite familiar with how RealClimate works .. Neither should you then be unfamiliar with how concern, queries, questions and requests for background information about previous ‘reconstructions’ have panned out. But here you strongly argue the ‘Wait and see. Wait for their response. And hold back and do/say nothing before they had a chance to reply’, is that what you really are argueing?

    Are you arguing that none of them has had any (reasonable) chance to reply, that all of them should be assumed to be completely unprepared for the scrutiny and the resulting questions!? Really?

    You (from your stated layman’s perspective) seem to acknowledge that the queries are legitimate. You even point out that the ‘take away message’ of the paper and the main graph is not really science or a real ‘reconstruction’ but (inside the paper) hinted to be ‘questionable’ albeit being the basis for some very strong assertions about present and past temperatures?

    And you spend many carefully worded long comments for several days at several blogs arguing that all others should sit quiet? That this would be more helpful getting to the truth?

    Well, one problem, Robert, is that the various players of the climate industry have argued for decades that the sceptics should remain quiet, and not only that. They should be silenced and excluded, submissions rejected or buried and worse. And you can hardly argued that this, or skeptics complying with those wishes has furthered any truth, can you?

    So why are you so adamant about the tone of some commenters here? And that others should not attempt to form (enlightened) opinions about what this paper is about. After all, it is in its final form, and it is as such it is taking heat, or if you will ‘reviewed by peers’ thoroughly for (probably) the first time. You seem to have a problem with that … and I too wonder why!

  122. Robert says:

    Jonas N

    I’m pleased that you acknowledge that my posts (made on two threads btw) are carefully worded. This, however, makes your misunderstanding of them a little worrying. “And you spend many carefully worded long comments for several days at several blogs arguing that all others should sit quiet? That this would be more helpful getting to the truth?” . Come on. Please try not to put words into my mouth. If I want to write something, I’ll write it – I don’t need you to do it. Far from asking others to keep quiet I have actually complained that there hadn’t been a discussion. A discussion would consider the possibility of alternative explanations. A discussion would have focused on the details of Steve’s analysis and held them up for sceptical inquiry not cheering. A discussion does not consist of everyone essentially saying the same thing. The one decent contribution from this thread which may have led to more facts on the table and which would have been (in your words) “helpful getting to the truth” came from *me* – when Steve took up my suggestion to contact the authors directly for a response. If the response is lousy this strengthens Steve’s argument massively.

    Regarding me not being a newcomer, this is utterly irrelevent. If its of really any interest to you I’ve followed Steve’s blog since the early days of the Mann et al. hockey stick. I occasionally post at RC, CA , Judith Curry’s blog and WUWT. My views on the whole climate issue are actually very similar to Mcintyre’s btw. I find the general tone of comments at each of the blogs to be much the same, with CA being better than the rest but still rather full of atta-boys who can’t abide the slightest bit of criticism.

    BTW I have a PhD in particle physics and I’m a professor at a major European University. None of that gives the slightest authority in any argument – it should, however, explain why I choose my words carefully and why I argue as I do here. I’ve seen too many cases of people attacking others with arguments they thought were watertight and being left with egg on their faces. Science is complex. Steve may be right or wrong – he certainly has evidence. I prefer to collect the full body of evidence prior to making a judgement. The idea that this means I try to stop a discussion is ridiculous.

    Three things to think about – (1) If I haven’t written it, don’t assume I think it, I didn’t do this to you (2) Mcintyre was the only person who actually said he agreed with much of what I wrote (3) The only useful contribution to actually getting more facts on the table ultimately came from me (how’s that for forming “enlightened opinions”). It may not have been much but this was a lot better than posts comparing the analysis to snake oil.

  123. Walter Dnes says:

    > From the YouTube description:
    > “Stars in the background are artificial, as is the passing airplane.”

    Ahemmm… was that “passing airplane” a Harrier Jump-Jet flying backwards??? Airplanes have green navigation lights on the right wingtip, and red on the left wingtip. If it was flying forward (left to right relative to us) then we should have seen the righthand (green) light.

  124. Jonas N says:

    Robert

    I don’t think I have misread you, or put words in your mouth. Rather, I have been reading them and tried making some consistent sense out of them. And yes, the bulk of them suggest that you urge those you like to paint as sensible to shut up and wait for a reply ..

    Maybe that’s what you mean by ‘discussion’!? And if, or when that happens, there would be more to delve in, I agree, and possibly some new and interesting aspects. However, if you expect a reply to be conclusive or definite, or finally settling or clarifying things, I’d say you will disappointed. And I really don think you expect a full-disclosure reply about all the questionmarks. If there were dubious choices made, at best we can hope to hear some diversion and waffle ..

    And that was really my question to you: What indeed is it that you are arguing? The ‘If I didn’t write it … I didn’t mean it either’ is waffle. You mean quite a lot of things you aren’t writing. And that’s why I am asking. You say that a ‘discussion’ would focus on points raised by Steve, but I can’t see you doing that at all. Others have raised other points, legitimate or not. I can’t see that you have adressed those either. You comment on the use of the term ‘snake-oil’ but do not address any part of any substantive issues raised.

    And no, I don’t think you can stop a discussion. But apart from stating your view that ‘all the evidence is not in’ you’ve spent days urging others not to discuss … While not even participating in any discussion about what is already on the table (which n.b. is the entire paper!)

    BTW, your notion that people “can’t abide the slightest bit of criticism” is completely false. You are the perfect demonstration of this. You get a variety of different sensible replies of how and why people are not agreeing with you, asking you further questions (which you sometimes carefully avoid).

    And yes, people may be very convinced about their position. And wrong. Which results in eggs in faces. But as long as they were honest about their convictions, I don’t see a problem with that. The more difficult part is to admit and correct whan one has been wrong ..

    Regarding your points:

    1) I expect you to mean what you do write. (I don’t expect you to reveal every one of your motives). And when I think what you write doesn’t add up, I a) try to figure out what that could mean, and b) ask you what you did mean. Your lack of answer means: Goto pt 1 again.

    2) More than SteveMc granted you some points. And questioned others. I don’t think you’ve added much.

    3) I certainly don’t think you contributed to any understanding of what has been going on. You only said we should wait for the others to reply. Which of course we all do. Meanwhile they haven’t and that is where we are at present. You disaproving of the term ‘snake oil’ is comparable to you labeling CA as cult. Not entirely convincing wrt consistency …

  125. RockyRoad says:

    Well, Robert, you have more faith in these “climate scientists” than I do. For example, Mann’s hockey stick algorithm produces a hockey stick regardless of the data fed into it, and he’s never once acknowledged the problem (at least not publicly). I can’t predict the future 100%, but his behavior indicates he likely never will.

    And we’ll see whether Marcott ever comes up with explanations on the issues Mr. McIntyre has raised, but by and large I find Marcott’s approach isn’t as transparent as it should be. It may be unfair to lump Marcott in with “The Team”, but that’s the crowd he’s apparently most comfortable with, and I detect an agenda that trumps real science.

    We’ll see, yes, we’ll see. If nothing ever comes of this inquiry we’ll just apply the “snake oil” label whether you like it or not–it’s an accurate description of his behavior. But then, “snake oil” is also how I describe Mann’s self-serving algorithms, too, for had he owned up to the fictitious nature of such, CAGW would be a fad of the past. Instead, we’re stuck in a world where CO2 is considered a toxin and global energy policy bows to a falsehood. For most in the 1%, it matters little or less. For the rest of us, it is turning out to be rather devastating.

    Or should I just patiently wait 100 years for Mann to be more forthcoming? (Maybe you could ask Mr. McIntyre to ask Mr. Mann why the delay…)

  126. Lars P. says:

    Robert says:
    March 19, 2013 at 9:19 am
    At the risk of repetition, I’ll write them again:
    (1) A serious person has levelled a serious allegation and put forward evidence. If true, this implies a case of very poor scientific ethics which would merit disciplinary action.
    (2) This, along with the other points raised about the analysis, deserves a response within a sensible time scale.
    (3) Data analysis is complex. In spite of being a physical scientist for 20 years I don’t feel qualified to pass judgement until I’ve seen all the facts. I’m painfully aware how complex things are and that there are quite often innocent explanations for apparent wrong-doing.The response mentioned in (2) is a key missing fact.
    (4) Appeals to authority (eg Steve) don’t overcome (3). Appeals to your own analytical ability don’t do too much either I’m afraid.
    (5) Writing offensive things about me may make the poster feel better but it doesn’t do much to beat my arguments either.

    Robert, there have been other attempts at reading through the data.

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/hockey-stick-found-in-marcott-data/

    http://suyts.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/more-fishing-for-hockey-sticks-in-marcott-et-al-2013/

    even by a warmist:

    http://moyhu.blogspot.co.at/2013/03/my-limited-emulation-of-marcott-et-al.html

    which could not reproduce the stick starting from the initial data published, so it is clear that the result is obtained in some specific circumstances.
    There have been several weaknesses showed already: proxies not conform to their own criteria,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/13/marcotts-proxies/

    smoothing over 300 years but a stick “unsmoothen” and “not robust” at the end and so on and finally unclear new dating service which fits to a sudden stick,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/validity-of-a-reconstruction-of-regional-and-global-temperature-for-the-past-11300-years/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/13/validity-of-marcott-et-al-part-ii/

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/11/a-simple-test-of-marcott-et-al-2013/

    the disappearance of some records and the divergence to the own previous doctor thesis.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/14/marcotts-hockey-stick-uptick-mystery-it-didnt-used-to-be-there/

    the divergence to the previous stick by 50 years (the new one has the stick prior to 1950!

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/14/another-hockey-stick/

    It is no appeal to authority, it is simply debunked.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/10/it-has-come-down-to-this-climate-science-has-become-a-stick-fight/

  127. Robert says:

    Jonas N

    You certainly have put words into my mouth. As I was very careful in my wording (as you noted), and I simply don’t recognise thes nonsense you write.

    Regarding your points:
    “1) I expect you to mean what you do write. (I don’t expect you to reveal every one of your motives). And when I think what you write doesn’t add up, I a) try to figure out what that could mean, and b) ask you what you did mean. Your lack of answer means: Goto pt 1 again.”

    When I write that your talking nonsense about my motives (as I did), I’m writing what I mean. Therefore you don’t, as you write, expect me to write what I mean. If it doesn’t stack up to you then there is nothing much I can do about it. I can’t change my motives to fit your prejudice. Maybe you should change your prejudice to fit my motives ?

    2) More than SteveMc granted you some points. And questioned others. I don’t think you’ve added much.

    Yep – he granted me more than others here and questioned some points. I also grant him things questioned him on some of his points. This is a discussion. Regarding what I’ve added, I don’t think I’ve added much (indeed I wrote this – remember that bit about me writing what I mean and being careful with words) . I just think I’ve added more than others since Marcott et al. have now been directly contacted. A step closer to getting more facts. I’m at a loss to see how the other contributions. have made a similar contribution.

    3) I certainly don’t think you contributed to any understanding of what has been going on. You only said we should wait for the others to reply. Which of course we all do. Meanwhile they haven’t and that is where we are at present. You disaproving of the term ‘snake oil’ is comparable to you labeling CA as cult. Not entirely convincing wrt consistency …

    Please stop this tactic of telling me what I wrote. I talked about judgement – that bit where one pronounces guilt, shoddy practice etc. If an attempt at a discussion about accumulating facts isn’t constructive then I’m not sure what is. Did I really label CA a cult ? I must have missed this. I certainly responded to a post in which the poster accused RC of being a cult and drew a parallel with some CA posters. As ever, the full quote tells a different story to the one you portrary (and I stand by the quote 100% though it must be understood in the context of a reply to an earlier post and definition given therein – all sources available here).

    “Take a look at climate audit discussions. There are certainly a few expert comments in there. However, quite a lot just want to clap Steve on the back and join in with the condemnation of whoever is being audited without having any understanding of the details at hand. Do you think your “cult argument” applies in this case ? If not, why not ?”

    Attack me. But please be intellectually honest about it and don’t invent or twist things.

  128. Jonas N says:

    Robert

    Still no! Neither am I writing nonsense, nor am I putting words in your mouth. If I’ve misread some detail, feel free to correct me.

    I never claimed to know your motives, I claimed the opposite. You call that nonsense? Really? What I said is that you (your claimed assertions) don’t always add up, and also look peculiar. Because most certainly not all you write is ‘carefully worded’. To be sure, your comments to or about others haven’t been. But most obvious is that you have not engaged in any of the issues raised by quite a few, not only SteveMcI. Instead you have been very (?) adamant about this meta-topic, urging people to wait (which they do without your help) and even wait patiently (which they don’t, based on familiarity with similar instances).

    And wrt to ‘motives’, you can be certain that there are motives involved. For writing the paper, for omitting proxy data, for moving it around, for changing methodolgy, for publishing it and choice of reviewers etc. We will never find out all of them, particularly not the more dubious or questionable ones. And politley waiting for the authors answers will not improve their quality and earnestness. My guess is that they are pondering what they still may get away with claiming, mostly catering to the believers, the (benign) media, and all the activists (who most certainly are not in it for finding the truth, any truth)

    However, now that the final paper is out, everyone can have a dig at it, and poke and question away, scrutinize and criticize. And mind you, speculate about motives. And this is where you come in with that most peculiar meta-discussion about ‘let’s wait some more and see what they do next’ (after things like this having been goining on for decades).The IPCC has peddled shoddy science for more than a decade. And if you have a better speculation as to why, please shoot …

    But maybe, you think we should ask nicely … and wait some more!?

    You are right in people passing judgement, and sometimes prematurely. And that people speculate, not always nicely. How else could it be? And I think (while we are patiently waiting for devine enlightment, or just the truth to be shared with us from it’s present holders) that discussions about factual topics and speculations about what went on improves the assessment. And also weeds out erroneous ones ..

    Wrt to ‘cult’, you did indeed word it carefully in your quote, but equally carafully you omitted your next one:

    There is a large atta-boy contingent at CA which fits perfectly well the cult description given earlier about RC.

    I don’t agree with that assessment, but others have already answered well. However, my point was that you aren’t quite consistent in your attempted role as a neutral arbiter, or as you imply just wanting to ‘getting to the truth’. You most certainly criticize others for all kinds of (imagined) transgressions, while pracitcing similar ones (just sometimes more ‘carefully worded’)

    You might not approve of me summarizing your efforts, commenting on them, and even correct me if I was totally off mark (which I don’t think I’ve been). But I think you’ve been very evasive wrt to questions directed at you. Indeed, that was why I first addressed you:

    I fully accept you wanting to wait for more information, evidence before ‘passing judgement’ but this also sounds quite laywerly, and defensive. (Which is why people here are questioning your role.) But appart from that, what is it that you want to convey here? Especially since you (again ‘carefully’) avoid all contact with the actuall issues raised by many others than just SteveMcI. Your most on-topic remark seems to have been that they (in the paper) are ‘carefully wording’ some reservations about the blade’s robustness … Again, that comes across like what a defense would say, after having been caught.

    Why are you so (extremely) occupied with the tone of some commenters, incidentally those you think are the least informed? And why aren’t you answering fair questions directed at you? And why aren’t you pointing out logical fallacies with the arguments of others if you think they made such. Instead you are arguing semantics .. and pouting of having your views commented upon with words you wouldn’t have chosen yourelf (or think are a trifle misleading?)

    And sorry, I don’t think I have attacked you. I asked what it is you are arguing (apart from pointing out that they have not yet replied), what are you trying to accomplish beyond repeating the obvious? And why is this so important to you?

    As I’ve hinted before, your arguments don’t quite add up, what is it that we are missing?

  129. H.R. says:

    @Robert says:
    March 18, 2013 at 6:12 am

    “H.R:

    I suspect their eventual response will be :
    [...]“

    ==============================================================
    I’m sorry, Robert. I missed your comment and you missed the joke.

    If you’ve had a chance to follow trafamadore’s and tramafadore’s recent comments on the topic of Mann’s reconstruction and other erstwhile defenders of said hockeystick over the past several years, those two are the most common rejoinders that get trotted out.

    I don’t know what, if any response will be forthcoming from Marcott, but I am willing to bet that that in a relatively short period of time, “trolls” will use the two phrases I wrote down, regardless of the outcome.

  130. RockyRoad says:

    Robert says:
    March 19, 2013 at 11:06 pm


    Attack me. But please be intellectually honest about it and don’t invent or twist things.

    What’s with this “me” thing, Robert? It sounds like (since you claim to have a PhD) to be very thin-skinned regarding anything you disagree with. We’re here to discuss the problems with the Marcott paper and the ramifications of said problems. You are not the center of the discussion and you aren’t the sole arbiter of truth and morality. I’d say get over yourself–there are a number of points I’ve raised and you’ve conveniently ignored them all. And that’s your choice, of course, but we commenters call ‘em as we see ‘em and if that doesn’t meet your approval, well, too bad.

    I don’t expect a response from Marcott regarding the multiple problems with his paper, just as I don’t expect to ever see any justification from Mann regarding the problems with his hokey sticks (yes, I meant “hokey” so I spelled it “hokey”). By the time the critics get done with critiquing this paper from Marcott et al, he’ll probably wish he’d never submitted it. (Not putting words in his mouth; just basing it on my own response if I unfortunately happened to be Marcott.)

    So here is the crux of the whole CAGW issue–everything else is miniscule by comparison: Does CO2 cause positive forcing or negative forcing or no forcing at all? That’s the issue. And the ramifications are immense.

  131. Jonas N says:

    Well…

    I hade a brief look at Real Climate, and indeed: The only mentioning of some Marcott was a year old paper (with the same set of authors) by Shakun et al. (the one purporting to get rid of the CO2 lagging the temperature changes).

    Not one syllable about the recent and most formidable ‘Hockeystick’ ever devised in a paleo-reconstruction. Well, I guess they are just terribly busy with all other important stuff, like saving the world and insulting those too stupid to realize that .. Not even all-important Mike (Mann) who has applauded the paper like crazy on his own page, and according to his own account by now read the paper properly has found the time to summarize how important it is indeed, and why on RealClimate. But as we know, these are world class ‘climate scientists’ very very busy elsewhere ..

    And indeed, there has been an answer from the Marcott-camp. By his (former) advisor Peter Clark, who goes on to say:

    “After further discussion, we’ve decided that the best tack to take now is to prepare a FAQ document that will explain, in some detail but at a level that should be understandable by most, how we derived our conclusions. Once we complete this, we will let you know where it can be accessed, and you (and others) can refer to this in any further discussion. We appreciate your taking the time and interest to try to clarify what has happened in our correspondence with McIntyre”.

    Well, there we have it, the long awaited ‘reply’. And from it we learn that they intend to make a list of such questions they themself would like to respond to. Well good, at least we now know that, and can rest in anticipation of what exactly those questions might turn out be. And of course read the carefully worded answers too.

    The only questions remaining, is what should be do with and/or think about that Marcott-paper until then? And with our queries as to how it came about and why? Well maybe those questions too will bi in that list of FAQs. Better to sit still and wait, not passing any premature judgement while the ball is still safely in their cort. Maybe they even show it for a short while … (*)

    I am sorry Robert, I am being a little sarcastic here, in your general direction, without putting one single word in your mouth. All the above were my words, strictly mine … :-)

    (*) I suggest we do exactly as before: Treat this like a final and published paper in the prestigeous journal Science, and marvel at the fact that it says and happened as it did. And continue to speculate over how this came to be … And everybody else is of course totally free to have completely different opinions about what best serves the ‘truth’ …

  132. pkthinks says:

    I think Robert gives a balanced commentary which sounds like he is ussed to appraising climate literature, but where is the RC critical appraisal of this most interesting paper?

    I read an interesting paper recently for the first time (Humlum et al 2012) and thought, gosh thats quite interesting/controversial, I wonder what Gavin et al thought of that?
    Well it hadnt taken long for RC to post a fairly wicked commentary,

    “I think that the analysis presented in Humlum et al. (2012) is weak on four important accounts: the analysis, the physics, reviewing past literature, and logic. ”

    Not much encouragement there,

    I think Marcott et al got a much fairer critique at CA , and only the climate science community will determine the future of his career not some false start like this which clearly is the responsibility of senior colleagues and the reviewers

  133. john robertson says:

    Robert,
    Your entire bloviating here, appears to be cautioning readers and commentators to avoid premature conclusions?
    If as you claim, you are a long time reader at Climate Audit, why would you bother?
    Stephen McIntyre has earned the respect and trust of readers because of his caution, care to follow the evidence and personal integrity.
    He does not post premature speculation.
    Why would you be so adamant that readers should wait, when we know that is McIntyre’s MO?
    As the post video sarcastically states, waiting for the Team to respond is farcical, their past behaviour precedes you.
    I read your words as attempting to deflect attention from the subject.
    Threadjacking into minutia. The behaviour of a concern troll.

  134. rw says:

    One of the things people here have to realize about “Robert” is that as a European academic, he never never encounters a skeptical viewpoint within his own milieu. So for him there is a genuine difficulty in accepting that there is still a genuine basis for disagreement concerning AGW. You should also realize that at present warmists are walling themselves off from any arguments against AGW. I, therefore, give Robert credit for even venturing onto a site like WUWT and arguing with people here.

    What you’re seeing in this discussion is not just a difference of opinion over facts, but a kind of ontological difference (in the sense spelled out by Aileen Kraditor and Eric Voeglin); that’s why in such discussions there’s always a sense of people talking past each other – because they really aren’t on the same playing field. That’s one reason why I think it’s so valuable that such discussions are recorded in places like this and why it’s so important that moderators are willing to contenance commentary from ‘the other side of the fence’, which, in fact, is more like missives from another world.

  135. Jonas N says:

    rw – You seem to know much more about ‘Robert’, and ‘where he’s coming from’ than others. And maybe what you say explains some of the peculiar arguments we’ve seen. But for others, the whole thing still seem peculiar. Especially since he is not answering quite simple direct questions, not even those pertaining to issues he wants to bring up.

    Further, I would definitely not agree with you that the playing field (or fields) in Europe is/are so different that it allows someone remain shielded in the way you indicate. The political and NGO -climate-nuttery is in many instances worse here than in the US, yes. But thats a measure of the amount of politics and the numbers feeding of political handouts, not about the level of understanding among those with inquiring minds intact. Anyway, ‘Robert’ here claims to be familiar with the discussions ..

    And his most succint point to date has been: ‘We have not heard their formal response yet … ‘

    Which is true.

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