Wall Street Journal on McIntyre: Global warming's most dangerous apostate

The Wall Street Journal

Revenge of the Climate Laymen

 

Global warming’s most dangerous apostate speaks out about the state of climate change science.

File:Edward Armitage - Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarian - 1875.jpg

Julian the Apostate presiding at a conference of sectarian - by Edward Armitage - image from Wikimedia

By ANNE JOLIS

Barack Obama conceded over the weekend that no successor to the Kyoto Protocol would be signed in Copenhagen next month. With that out of the way, it may be too much to hope that the climate change movement take a moment to reflect on the state of the science that is supposedly driving us toward a carbon-neutral future.

But should a moment for self-reflection arise, campaigners against climate change could do worse than take a look at the work of Stephen McIntyre, who has emerged as one of the climate change gang’s Most Dangerous Apostates. The reason for this distinction? He checked the facts.

The retired Canadian businessman, whose self-described “auditing” a few years ago prompted a Congressional review of climate science, has once again thrown EnviroLand into a tailspin. In September, he revealed that a famous graph using tree rings to show unprecedented 20th century warming relies on thin data. Since its publication in 2000, University of East Anglia professor Keith Briffa’s much-celebrated image has made star appearances everywhere from U.N. policy papers to activists’ posters. Like other so-called “hockey stick” temperature graphs, it’s an easy sell—one look and it seems Gadzooks! We’re burning ourselves up!

“It was the belle of the ball,” Mr. McIntyre told me on a recent phone call from Ontario. “Its dance card was full.”

At least until Mr. McIntyre reported that the modern portion of that graph, which shows temperatures appearing to skyrocket in the last 100 years, relies on just 12 tree cores in Russia’s Yamal region. When Mr. McIntyre presented a second graph, adding data from 34 tree cores from a nearby site, the temperature spike disappears.

Mr. Briffa denounces Mr. McIntyre’s work as “demonstrably biased” because it uses “a narrower area and range of sample sites.” He says he and his colleagues have now built a new chronology using still more data. Here, as in similar graphs by other researchers, the spike soars once again. Mr. McIntyre’s “work has little implication for our published work or any other work that uses it,” Mr. Briffa concludes.

He and his colleagues may well ignore Mr. McIntyre, but the rest of us shouldn’t. While Mr. McIntyre’s image may use data from fewer sites, it still has nearly three times as many tree cores representing the modern era as Mr. Briffa’s original.

 

Yet Mr. McIntyre is first to admit his work is no bullet aimed at the heart of the theory of man-made climate change. Rather, his work—chronicled in papers co-written with environmental economist Ross McKitrick and more than 7,000 posts on his Climateaudit.org Weblog—does something much more important: It illustrates the uncertainty of a science presented as so infallible as to justify huge new taxes on rich countries along with bribes to poor ones in order to halt their fossil-fueled climbs to prosperity. Mr. McIntyre offers what many in the field do not: rigor.

It all started in 2002 when—as many might given the time and Mr. McIntyre’s mathematics background—he decided to verify for himself the case for action on climate change.

“It was like a big crossword puzzle,” he told me. “Business was a bit slow at the time, so I started reading up.”

 

Prior to the Briffa graph revelation, he had also caught a statistical error that undercut another exalted “hockey stick” graph prominently featured by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC, this one by Michael Mann, head of Pennsylvania State University’s Earth System Science Center. Alerts about review boards’ seemingly lax standards litter his blog, highlighting in particular the IPCC, which has used both the Mann and Briffa graphs in its reports. In 2007, Mr. McIntyre found a technical gaffe that forced NASA to correct itself and admit that 1934, not 1998, was the warmest year recorded in the continental U.S.

 

“At the beginning I innocently assumed there would be due diligence for all this stuff. … So often my mouth would drop, when I realized no one had really looked into it.”

Even more innocently, he assumed the billion-dollar climate change industry would welcome his untrained but painstaking work. Instead, Mr. McIntyre is subjected to every kind of venom—that he must be funded by Big Oil, by Big Business, by Some Texan Somewhere. For the record, the 62-year-old declares himself “past my best-by date, operating on my own nickel.”

Read the entire article here: Revenge of the Climate Laymen

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106 thoughts on “Wall Street Journal on McIntyre: Global warming's most dangerous apostate

  1. That seems like a fair treatment of the subject. Thank you Anne Jolis. Perhaps it will cause fence-sitters to look further and realize what this blog site has been revealing all along.

  2. Carbon-neutral Earth = sterilization from all life forms.
    There is no way to rid Earth of carbon. It’s too ingrained into the Solar System, a product of stellar evolution. And since oxygen is also here to stay, there will be C02.
    The biggest enemy of Life on Earth is therefore those who wish to rid the Earth of the building blocks of life.
    Will this insanity ever end?
    Enjoy episodes of the remake of “V”. At least that makes sense.
    None of this Climate Change cowpaddy on a sesame seed bun stuff is for human consumption.

  3. Errm
    Good grief. Well I never.
    That is a very uncompromising article.
    Gosh.
    The next developments should be interesting.

  4. It is great to see Steve getting some wider attention – the service he has been doing has been both pro bono and outstanding. That the “mainstream” climate science community not only fails to recognize this, but villifies Steve for it, tells you absolutely everything you need to know about their scientific integrity (or, to be precise, lack thereof) and their devotion to decision-based evidence making.
    Keep going, Steve McIntyre!!

  5. Speaking of apostates, here is a good article by Willie Soon and David R. Legates “Galileo silenced again” on American Geophysical Union’s efforts to silence scientific inquiry:
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/17003
    Willie and David’s article presents a solid counterpoint to this recent garbage piece by David Horton in the Huffington Post, “You’re no Galileo”:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-horton/youre-no-galileo_b_355799.html
    “The Galileo, or Copernicus, of our day was James Hansen.” What a joke, we’ll let the history books sort this one out…

  6. I believe these people are discussing whatever under a statue of Athena; note the shield.
    Perhaps the artist was making a point about reason.

  7. Math is power. The eco-fascists are right to fear Mr. McIntyre. We are all lucky that he does what he does.
    Tim F

  8. I think Steve always had more sense than to embrace the cause in the first place and I also think he is still open to persuasion.
    Like many of us, he’s still waiting for that train.

  9. Are the climatologists really demanding that Steve produce his own reconstruction? How bizarre. I’m trying to imagine a CFO telling the auditors they have no credibility to tell him his numbers are wrong until they produce their own annual report.
    It is rather a pity that this article didn’t focus on the data access issues. That’s an issue that should be easily understandable to even laymen –an understanding by the public of how successful these people have been in hiding the data the whole house of cards stands on would really move attitudes.

  10. Richard North at http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/ signs off his comments pages with the phrase “haec servari nequit nisi hereticus morti tradatur”. Being somewhat desirous of obtaining a translation from Latin, led me to this historical and curious reference.
    THE RUIN OF EDUCATION IN IRELAND AND THE IRISH FANAR
    ” The Catholic University College, Dublin, was handed
    over to the Jesuits in November, 1883. I am the Rector,
    and I have eight Jesuit colleagues.” Evidence of Rev. Dr.
    Delany, S.J., before the University Commission.
    ” The Catholic Church has the right and the duty to kill
    heretics, because it is by fire and sword that heresy can be
    extirpated. Mere Excommunication is derided by heretics.
    If they are imprisoned or exiled they corrupt others. The
    only resource is to put them to death. Repentance cannot be
    allowed to save them, just as Repentance is not allowed to
    save civil criminals ; for the highest good of the Church is
    the Unity of Faith, and this cannot be preserved unless
    heretics are put to death “haec servari nequit nisi hereticus
    morti tradatur.”
    Contemporary Jesuit Doctrine, approved by
    the Theologians of the Society, and actually taught to-day by
    their leading Canonist, Rev. Dr. Marianus de Luca, Professor
    of the Decretals in the Vatican University.
    “A war of this kind declared against heresy, in which
    not even repentance could save the victim from the stake,
    caused a deep dread of Roman fanaticism and Roman
    power, the effects of which have not entirely passed away
    to this hour.” On the Marian Heretic-Burnings, by Mr.
    Wilfrid Ward. B.A., Catholic Member of the University
    Commission.
    http://www.archive.org/stream/ruinofedu … t_djvu.txt
    That is a hell of a threat. Belief in some circles is that green philosophies are on a par with religious belief and as such, should by covered by UK redundancy law.
    http://www.healthandsafetypeople.com/directArticle/view/?articleID=19441323
    Shall we also see that the right and the duty to kill heretics and sceptics passed from the RC church to the watermelons. If so, please watch out Mr McIntyre, your work is invaluable in refuting AGW.

  11. Alvin W (16:25:34) :
    It is good to see that people are taking a ‘breath’.

    Like all stampedes, the herd has run far enough that it is winded and has decided to look over its shoulder and see if there really is a lion chasing them.
    When they do that, the impulse to run falters. The fight or flight instinct only lasts briefly unless it is reinforced periodically by additional input. If you are a wildebeest running with the herd, and you keep passing Impala who are calmly grazing, you begin to wonder what all the fuss is about.
    Larry

  12. Looks more Like Barbara Boxer, and her committee having a toga party if you ask me.
    I wonder when Wall Street is going to wake up, and discover that the way this ball bounces is going to have a big impact on some of their investment strategies.
    I’m sure they are all waiting for free green clean renewable energy to finally pay off; well there will be winners and there will be losers; and I think darn few of the former, and plenty of the latter.
    Well that is how The street works; fleecing the unwary.

  13. The funny thing is that Steve M. can’t really be classified as either a “denier” or a “skeptic”. He won’t talk politics, is excruciatingly polite to the people he audits (who, IMHO need to be very slowly strangled three or four times a day) and simply demands fairness and transparency. God in Heaven! Is it at all possible that he doesn’t have a political bone in his body and simply wants honesty in science? What a concept!

  14. “The Galileo, or Copernicus, of our day was James Hansen.”
    Galileo and Copernicus didn’t concoct one fish story after another as they went along, and they didn’t do it to rule the world or make a pile of money.
    And I don’t recall Galileo and Copernicus demanding to shut down all power to Washington DC or enact draconian taxation and de-population policies. They weren’t even politcally correct.
    When was the last time you saw the village idiot crying Heat Wave in the middle of a blinding snowstorm get favorable press?

  15. Wait we may have another supporter in the battle, and this is a big one indeed. Read the latest climate change “solution” proferred by the UN:
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/birth-control-role-in-cutting-greenhouse-gas-emissions/story-e6frg8gf-1225799613138
    I foresee in the not too distant future a celebrity deathmatch featuring in the red corner, Al “The Goracle” Gore versus, in the blue corner, His Holiness “Papa Benedict” the XVI.
    While The Goracle has stinging condom sling shot attacks he needs to watch out for Papa Benedict’s staff and whirlwind incense burner attacks… OK maybe waxing a tad lyrical… but yes, the UN may be making a powerful enemy here.

  16. “When the Roman Emperor Julian came to power, Christianity was less popular than paganism, but when the pagan Julian, known as The Apostate, was killed in battle, it was the end of Roman official acceptance of polytheism.” Unk.
    I might be a bit picky, but while Steve is likened to be the antithesis of global warming, well, upon Julians death, his religion died with him.
    So in McIntyre’s defense, I move we pronounce Steve, the ‘Martin Luther of Climate Change’. The leader of Global Warming Reformation.
    Too deep? …. sorry.

  17. What a great article. I drop in on CA from time to time, I actually started out over there, but found many of the posts went way too deep in the science weeds for me to follow. He and Anthony both have been doing yeoman’s duty for a very long time, and the world is, and certainly will be, a better place for it.
    JimB

  18. ” leftymartin (16:15:27) :
    That the “mainstream” climate science community not only fails to recognize this, but villifies Steve for it, tells you absolutely everything you need to know about their scientific integrity (or, to be precise, lack thereof) and their devotion to decision-based evidence making.”
    Ir is much worse; you should have left out the word “scientific”.

  19. Has anyone read the nasty comments on the WSJ article by Barrie Harrop?
    An amazing run of ad hominem attacks. I get the impression AGW’ers are really scared. The emperor is naked.

  20. The truth hurts, normally the truth talker is the one who gets hurt.
    People flim flammed will never fess up to it until they are bankrupt.
    M&M did good for science. A bit of luck they will escape a bonfire.

  21. I thought this song appropriate for the thread topic. The global warming religion seems to be falling off a cliff.
    R.E.M. Losing My Religion

  22. The funniest bit of that article is the comments & one Barrie Harrop who seems to think that S.M. doesn’t publish in ‘reputable’ publications.
    He was pointed to a few & still maintained this ridiculous claim.
    DaveE.

  23. Re: Robert E. Phelan (16:54:22)
    “Is it at all possible that he doesn’t have a political bone in his body and simply wants honesty in science? What a concept!”
    Steve Mc has hinted at his political leanings a few times and even ran a post and allowed comments regarding Obama’s election. Unlike most of us (presumably), he leans left politically. Here is his post on the election:
    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=4265
    In that post Steve stated:
    “I don’t often talk about my political views – though I’ve sometimes taken pains to point out that I do not share the political views of many readers. In American terms, Canada would be a blue state along the lines of Massachusetts; Toronto would be a liberal city in a blue state; and I live downtown in one of the most liberal constituencies in the city. None of this is unrelated to my political views. ”
    That is what makes his scientific intregrity all the more impressive. His honesty in science tends to anger those in his own political camp, yet he presses forward relentlessly with the auditing.

  24. He’s an Inspector Colombo clone.
    “Ma’am … I must apologize. I have just one more question … “

  25. Has anyone read the nasty comments on the WSJ article by Barrie Harrop?
    Yeah, quite funny. He’s got 10 years invested in a windmill company (in Australia, I believe) and doesn’t want anyone rocking his green boat.

  26. Robert Wood of Canada (16:20:47) : “I believe these people are discussing whatever under a statue of Athena; note the shield. Perhaps the artist was making a point about reason.”
    That staff the goddess of wisdom is holding is a spear. Wisdom is not optional; stupidity will be punished. Bad science –> Bad karma.

  27. “Has anyone read the nasty comments on the WSJ article by Barrie Harrop?
    An amazing run of ad hominem attacks. I get the impression AGW’ers are really scared. The emperor is naked.”
    I was just about to comment on that as well. I enjoyed when someone figured out he was the director of an environmental sustainability company and called him out on it. It seems a good number of people stand to make a lot of money with the AGW movement.

  28. I had to email the chief prairie bureau of the Canadian Press to let her know that so far since the Yamal affair, the Finnish TV and the Wall Street Journal Europe were faster than the Canadian Press to interview Steve McIntyre! LOL

  29. As mentioned above, the Climate Scientists want McIntyre to do his own reconstructions !! . Proof that they have lost the plot. They cannot see that it is not a case of two or more rival views being argued in a court but simply that they be completely open with the data, their sampling methods and their logic.
    Science depends on results being able to be replicated, and comments like “However, can the nuances of methodological developments be communicated to the laymen—and would they want to know? I do not think this would help.” , implies that there is a closed shop and thus closed minds.
    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof – not “Trust me”.

  30. Phelan’s and LeftyMartin’s comments seem about right.
    McIntyre isn’t dangerous to anyone. And the last time I heard he believes global warming (GW) is occurring, that man has some role (AGW) in that, and it is better to find out how much.
    He is a very astute man who has the skills and curiosity to review some climate science papers. I don’t know, or care, why he decided to do so. As long as he does it honestly.
    He called his activities auditing. So far he has caught a number of mistakes. Doing so does not settle the big question or shake the Universe. It just takes mistakes out of the science.
    He has also found that people don’t like their work being checked. So he is routinely labeled an agent of the Devil. Or of Big Oil. Usually both.
    He is especially capable in statistical analysis and had a long and successful technical career. Since Climate Science relies heavily, in some matters totally, on statistics he is on strong and familiar ground. Some of his detractors have learned that the hard way.

  31. One of things I have admired about Steve McIntyre is that he does not claim to be a skeptic of AGW. In fact he comes down on posters who try to use his site as a soap box for anything other than the paper or method he is auditing.
    He has on several occasions even stated that if he were a policy maker he would feel obliged to follow the consensus on matters of science.
    The thing that he has done and continues to do is to keep the pressure on climate scientists to produce science rather than opinion dressed as science. I don’t think he has been very successful in cleaning up climate science, but he has shed a great deal of light on just how shoddy and dishonest so many of the top people of that field are.

  32. Kim W hits nail on head:
    That the AGW promoters cannot or will not be open and forth coming with their data, methods and processes is prima facia proof of their lack of actual science.

  33. Michael (17:36:05) :
    I thought this song appropriate for the thread topic. The global warming religion seems to be falling off a cliff.
    That wouldn’t be a cliff at Sheep Mountain (http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=7779) now would it? It seems strangely appropriate that the sheeple would be basejumping off there lemming style.

  34. Bob Tisdale (18:17:40) : Please provide a link. Thanks.
    Bob, the link to the WSJ article is at the top of this post.
    The comments are below the WSJ article (2 pages, I think).

  35. Windmills and solar are very expensive to maintain. That’s the big hidden cost.
    The real cost of any energy system is the TOTAL cost over its lifecycle divided by its utlization rate as a % of its rated power. Solar and wind have very low utilization rates and hence much higher total costs than coal or nukes.
    Its a losers game. That is why they have to get the government involved – to prevent competition – and to bear the losing hand.

  36. I still think what we have is “scientists” making the facts fit the funding,as for the politicians well they all know the truth, otherwise they would be falling over themselves to beg us not to buy goods from “dirty” manufacturing countries like China, as they do not even hint at this they have to know the reality.

  37. This is a great article and Mr. McIntyre truly deserves this audience.
    The discussion has a Mr. Barrie Harrop and he is a posterchild of the arrogance and ignorance, which I have never seen nor expected between scientists. Well, he’s not a scientist but simply copying the Manns, Rahmstorfs, Schmidts and others. They all have been trapped with hiding data, manipulating facts, suppressing other opinions.
    This is exactly the strange behaviour that brought me and most likely many others to the sceptic camp, where you are encouraged to build your own picture.
    Before I did absorb some of the climate facts, my gut feeling already told me that people acting this way are dishonest, un-scientific and just not worth to listen to.
    Thank you, AGW guys. Keep doing your job as usual.

  38. Wow, that Barrie Harrop fellow over at WSJ is some piece of work. What always amazes me even more than than the trolls are those who are as bad as Barrie, but use their own name. His level of ignorance and bile is just plain embarrassing.

  39. the line I enjoyed the most:
    “Methods certainly need to be continually refined and improved. I doubt that anyone in the paleoclimate community would disagree with that,” says Rob Wilson of the University of St. Andrews’s School of Geography and Geosciences. “However, can the nuances of methodological developments be communicated to the laymen—and would they want to know? I do not think this would help.”
    Well Mr. Wilson, here is one “layman” who is helping to fund your research, and you better believe that I am interested in what you are doing!
    Arrogant beyond belief!

  40. …temperatures appearing to skyrocket in the last 100 years, relies on just 12 tree cores in Russia’s Yamal region. When Mr. McIntyre presented a second graph, adding data from 34 tree cores from a nearby site, the temperature spike disappears.
    I’m having trouble believing that Briffa, et al, didn’t know about the flawed methodology. But I’ll continue to try to.

  41. In 2007, Mr. McIntyre found a technical gaffe that forced NASA to correct itself and admit that 1934, not 1998, was the warmest year recorded in the continental U.S.
    Apparently changes have been made in the data at NASA since then so that 1934 is no longer warmer than 1998.

  42. “You mention his name (i.e. Stephen McIntyre) in my community, people just smile. It’s a one-liner to get a laugh out of a group of climate scientists,” affirms Stanford University’s Stephen Schneider.
    One must consider Stephen Schneider’s reputation when evaluating his viewpoint of Stephen McIntyre.

  43. Jeremy (17:28:01) :
    Has anyone read the nasty comments on the WSJ article by Barrie Harrop?
    An amazing run of ad hominem attacks. I get the impression AGW’ers are really scared. The emperor is naked.

    What’s most amazing is how the craven Mr. Harrop casually deflects all requests for any actual critique of Steve McIntyre’s arguments, or any evidence in favor of the AGW hypothesis. Instead he just keeps repeating the charge that Steve is “a quack,” and citing alarmist propaganda like that from Lord Stern.
    I suppose one can understand this kind of irrational response from a businessman who has, he says, invested ten years in R&D for some scheme hoping to capitalize on the tree of ‘climate change’, and now sees the ‘deniers’ and ‘quacks’ sawing away at the base.
    It’s enough to give one hope that the lumberjacks are coming.
    /Mr Lynn

  44. Inside the front cover of Al Gore’s latest climate fraud promotion book are these words: “I’m offering you the choice of life or death. You can choose either blessings or curses.” –Deuteronomy Chapter 30, Verse 19……..As the scientific basis for Warmism becomes vanishingly small, the religious nature of it comes to the fore.

  45. Barrie Harrop is an interesting fellow isn’t he, not a very nice person from the way he conducts himself online. It is pointed out to him that Steve was a reviewer within the IPCC process and he responds “in his dreams” .
    I suppose if you have the sort of money invested in AGW that he has you may be blind to reality. I’ve not seen such a dogmatic position defended even when proved to be wrong.
    Regards
    Michael

  46. Unfortunately one part of the article is wrong. Barack Obama gave a speech in china and said he and China would sign a deal in Copenhagen. This was at the start of the week and broadcast live in the UK (on BBC) at 5am

  47. Jeff C said: “That is what makes his scientific intregrity all the more impressive. His honesty in science tends to anger those in his own political camp, yet he presses forward relentlessly with the auditing.”
    ——–
    It’s being a squash player that does it. If you don’t call your own carries, double bounces, up balls, down balls and contacts, no-one will play with you and you will have to do single drills for the rest of your life.
    As for his being an apostate, I don’t know. Apostasy gets our religious brethren so exercised because they can’t stand the idea that someone would be shown the light, only to turn their back on it. Was he shown it? Was it the light? Did he turn his back on it?

  48. Thank you Anne Jolis for an excellent article and thank you Steve McIntyre for your outstanding work. Please keep it up and don’t let the warmers wear you down. You both bring truth to the world and the world needs that.

  49. David Alan (17:03:51) : Julian, The Apostate — too deep?
    The story is quite complex. Try this quote (Robt. Ingersoll)
    “Julian changed the religion of the Empire, and diverted the revenues of the church. Whoever steps between a priest and his salary, will find that he has committed every crime. No matter how often the slanders may be refuted, they will be repeated until the last priest has lost his body and found his wings. These falsehoods about Julian were invented some fifteen hundred years ago, and they are repeated to-day by just as honest and just as respectable people as these who told them at first. Whenever the church cannot answer the arguments of an opponent, she attacks his character. She resorts to falsehood, and in the domain of calumny she has stood for fifteen hundred years without a rival.
    The great Empire was crumbling to its fall. The literature of the world was being destroyed by priests. The gods and goddesses were driven from the earth and sky. The paintings were torn and defaced. The statues were broken. The walls were left desolate, and the niches empty. Art, like Rachel, wept for her children, and would not be comforted. The streams and forests were deserted by the children of the imagination, and the whole earth was barren, poor and mean.
    Christian ignorance, bigotry and hatred, in blind unreasoning zeal, had destroyed the treasures of our race. Art was abhorred, Knowledge was despised, Reason was an outcast. The sun was blotted from the intellectual heaven, every star extinguished, and there fell upon the world that shadow — that midnight, known as “The Dark Ages.” This night lasted for a thousand years … “
    Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899), Great Infidels, first published in 1881.
    Find at: http://plato2051.tripod.com/emperor_julian.htm

  50. It’s been my experience that the warmers, when confronted with facts that don’t fit their theories, respond not with facts, reason or logic but with name calling.
    Hansen says he doesn’t joust with jesters. Other warmers resort to the most vile venom-spitting hatred one could imagine.

  51. Andy,
    until you see the actual video, don’t believe anything you hear on the BBC as these guys are seriously in the pocket for global warming ™.
    Mailman

  52. It’s great that Steve M’s work finally gets some publicity in mainstream media. As a mathematician myself, with some experience with statistics, my main gripe with the AGW hypothesis isn’t that it’s necessarily wrong, but that the science is founded on what appears to be very bad math. In fact, to claim that there is no AGW whatsoever is IMHO just as foolish as believing that it’s possible to give as detailed grim future scenarios as those promoted these days. However, what Steve has basically done, is to show that the claim of “unprecedented warming” has no good foundation in science (and while not an expert on Principal Component Analysis, I think I understand what he’s doing).
    The main consequence of that is that we still have good reasons to assume that the world was about as warm in the MWP as it is now, and that was a good period for planet earth (the warm periods always were, it was the cold spells that brought drought and famine to humankind). The counter-argument to that may be that the current warming may have broken a long-term cooling trend brought on earth by the orbit eccentricity changes, so it’s still not natural. But – so what? Maybe the warming is just for the good then?
    I think we know far too little about how climate works to build computer models of it. I think we have far too uncertain knowledge about previous climate to know whether the current climate is “natural” or not. I think we know far too little about the consequences of a future climate with high atmospheric CO2 content to know whether it will be dangerous or beneficial to us.

  53. Gene Nemetz (20:29:39) :
    “You mention his name (i.e. Stephen McIntyre) in my community, people just smile. It’s a one-liner to get a laugh out of a group of climate scientists,” affirms Stanford University’s Stephen Schneider.
    Right, but nowhere near as funny as them now having to play hockey using a short stick without a blade – a quip which, btw, I don’t think Steve would even consider indulging at his blog.

  54. David Harrington (21:47:07) :
    Steve in the WSJ. Now *that* has made my day.

    Yes, it is great to see, but can you folks in the New World confrim it is in the USA edition (and print), as I read the whole thing in the midde of the night and seem to remember a comment soemwhere that it was only for European readers only?

  55. Unfortunately Barrie Harrop seems to have the ear of the Australian politicians. Maybe this is because he saved the South Australian Premier from a savage, magazine-wielding maniac:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/2925848/S-Australia-premier-bashed-at-dinner
    Clearly one should not mess with Harrop, because he is a man of action.
    He also has a lot vested in windmill-based desalination R&D. He, like the Goracle, is an eco entrpeneur:
    http://www.copenhagenclimatecouncil.com/user-profile/1248-barrie-harrop.html
    His rent-seeking snout is well in the UN trough:
    http://hughespublicrelations.blogspot.com/2009/05/wind-desalination-expert-to-represent.html
    Is it any wonder he rants and raves when people undermine the CC science his investments rely upon? Sadly the man fails to understand that he is his own worst enemy in the blogosphere.
    I wonder how many Australian birds it takes to make a litre of fresh desal water….
    BTW, Barrie… if you are reading… the lack of water at the South Australian end of the Murray River has a lot more to do with over allocation upstream and inappropriate land use than it does with climate change. Being a crow eater (nickname for those from SA) you should know this better than most… apparently not according to your blog comments.

  56. McIntyre: “At the beginning I innocently assumed there would be due diligence for all this stuff. … So often my mouth would drop, when I realized no one had really looked into it.”
    Likewise.
    McIntyre: “[…] operating on my own nickel.”
    Likewise.
    Many months ago I was “encouraged” to come up with something related to CO2 & catastrophes if I wanted to secure new funding, but in light of what the data show, one would have to abandon all moral principles to go down that road — there is absolutely nothing in the data that suggests to me that CO2 & catastrophes are linked – and yet there are tons of very interesting patterns in the data that are not even mentioned in mainstream publications.

  57. @Leo G.
    I think you’ll find that Rob Wilson is one of the good guys, for which he’s getting himself into trouble with the AGW Thought Police. He is an AGW advocate, but he’s quite willing to discuss the science and share his thoughts with sceptics. Keep in mind there will be a rainbow of different opinions in the AGW camp, what we’re seeing is the work of around 50-60 fanatics and then a cohort of breathless followers, many scientists who believe in AGW don’t necessarily see it as being catastrophic, and for sure there will be those who see GW as beneficial, which it most probably will be.

  58. Great to see that Steve is getting some of the recognition he deserves.
    Seems to be more and more anti-CAGW poping up in the press and other media.
    Politicians beware.

  59. Our Gaia, who art in hockey sticks,
    Hallowed by thy name.
    Global warming come, cap and tax be done,
    On Earth, and even in China.
    Give us this day our fat research grants,
    And distribute our press releases,
    As we suppress those we don’t like.
    And lead us not to the scientific method,
    But deliver us from Steve McIntyre.
    Amen.

  60. YAMAL peninsula
    Latest research into photosynthesis has shown that it is a chemical process with strong electrical undertones. It should not be unexpected that the process is affected by changes in the magnetic field to which it may be exposed.
    While the geomagnetic field was declining in the Southern and the western parts of the North hemispheres, Yamal peninsula as well as the wider region of central Siberia is exception in this respect; here the geomagnetic field was on strong rise since 1930s as shown in this graph:
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/YamalGmf.gif

  61. Mr Lynn (20:35:41) :
    “instead he just keeps repeating the charge that Steve is “a quack,” and citing alarmist propaganda like that from Lord Stern.”
    …note: Lord Stern is not a scientist, let alone a climate scientist. Although frequently called an economist, he isn’t, and he’s not even an environmentalist. He is actually a banker, and as such is up to his neck in the global warming industry and “green” investments.

  62. That was a superb article, quality worthy of “Caspar and the Jesus Paper” taking into account the readership for whom it was written. At CA, bender explains the seemingly-fair rationale climate scientists use to defend their statement that Steve needs to do a reconstruction himself before they can take him seriously, and Steve explains himself why he has not gone that road, in a statement that I think is a crucial and classic rebuttal to the dendro scientists’ request.

  63. Stupidity and Incompetence or Deliberate Fraud?
    For us non-scientists it seems we now have a simple test for any more new climate BS that comes out – Has Steve McIntyre been provided with the raw data? What does he say about it?
    If the answer is that the data is hidden or just passed around amongst the usual group of pals then we know we are not dealing with idiocy and incompetence but with a deliberate effort to deceive.

  64. Congratulations to Stephen. It can’t be long before wattsupwiththat gets its just desserts in the MSM, for the wonderful articles it finds and the way it reports them. Long live Barrie Harrop and people like him. Idiots like that do our work for us.

  65. Jeremy (17:28:01) :

    Has anyone read the nasty comments on the WSJ article by Barrie Harrop?
    An amazing run of ad hominem attacks. I get the impression AGW’ers are really scared. The emperor is naked.

    I just finished reading Barrie’s comments on the WSJ article.
    That is one of most disturbing personalities I have ever seen. He has this ego centric view of the universe assuming his views are correct because he consults with the ‘right’ people and is wired into the coming world order.
    His responses defy any logic or coherence at all.
    I couldn’t figure the source of his painful insecurity until it became clear he is heavily invested, financially, in the AGW world view. He was quite shy about revealing this, as others on this thread have already pointed out.
    There is this mantra he keeps repeating about “peer reviewed articles in leading scientific academic climate change journal” as if this represented the source of all truth. Well, that and the IPCC.
    I guess he’s off to Copenhagen. It would be wonderful for his business if billions are sent the way of green industries. However, its not going to happen, at least not in a worldwide fashion. Who knows, his business model might work in Australia where they seem intent on ruining their economy.
    But we’ll see the AGW put to the test in the real world. China and India will continue to put CO2 in the atmosphere, regardless of what the rest of the world does. It looks like the rest of the world will do the same. It will be business as usual.
    We’ll all get to watch the grand experiment unfold.

  66. Gene Nemetz (20:29:39) :

    “You mention his name (i.e. Stephen McIntyre) in my community, people just smile. It’s a one-liner to get a laugh out of a group of climate scientists,” affirms Stanford University’s Stephen Schneider.
    One must consider Stephen Schneider’s reputation when evaluating his viewpoint of Stephen McIntyre.

    What is Stephen Schneider’s reputation? I’m just wondering.

  67. Jack Simmons (03:12:55) :
    What is Stephen Schneider’s reputation? I’m just wondering.
    Wonder no more (note – I bolded the most important, often-quoted part of his statement).
    Detroit News Editorial, 22 November, 1989
    “Loads of Media Coverage”
    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. … On the other hand,
    we are not just scientists but human beings as well. … To avert the risk (of potentially disastrous
    climate change) we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public imagination. That of
    course means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make
    simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. …Each of us has to
    decide what the right balance is between being effective, and being honest.

    –Stephen H. Schneider, author of the book Global Warming (Sierra Club), in an interview in Discover
    Magazine, October 1989.”
    The ends justify the means to them. Lying is OK, as long as it gives you the desired result. It appears Berry Hairpup is a chip off the ol’ schneider block.

  68. IRT to the smirking of AGW promoters at the mere mention of McIntyre’s name:
    Con artists regularly laugh at those who question them and their con. They use the power of social pressure and humiliation in an attempt to silence those who may see through their scam.

  69. There used to be a great video clip on utube showing Professor Schneider, the link was originally was posted here it seems to have been shut down?

  70. Lucy Skywalker (02:20:51) :
    That was a superb article, quality worthy of “Caspar and the Jesus Paper” taking into account the readership for whom it was written. At CA, bender explains the seemingly-fair rationale climate scientists use to defend their statement that Steve needs to do a reconstruction himself before they can take him seriously, and Steve explains himself why he has not gone that road, in a statement that I think is a crucial and classic rebuttal to the dendro scientists’ request.
    Tsk tsk, now aren’t these Climate Scientists just the fine ones to be making up the rules about what is required to be “taken seriously”?
    Too bad they’re not more interested in their own scientific and personal credibility.

  71. John F. Hultquist (22:32:30) : Julian, The Apostate… The story is quite complex.
    363 AD. I think that at that time the Roman Warm Period was ending. This drove the Huns west, and the Huns drove the Goths, the Vandals, and all the rest towards Rome. They were after the food baskets. And of course, North Africa was a grain basket for Carthage and other cities there… until the climate changed.

  72. “Gene Nemetz (20:29:39) :
    One must consider Stephen Schneider’s reputation when evaluating his viewpoint of Stephen McIntyre.
    What is Stephen Schneider’s reputation? I’m just wondering.”
    …Reputation? What reputation? As Professor Flip-Flop, perhaps?
    Stanford University’s noted global warming alarmist, and Al Gore adviser, Stephen Schneider appeared in a 1978 television program warning Americans of “a coming Ice Age”.
    See the Time cover of “The Big Freeze” here
    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_orkXxp0bhEA/Ss0hzF9P1MI/AAAAAAAAWd4/IqRk_SCg0rM/s400/091007-freeze.jpg
    For those that have forgotten, “In Search of…” was a televised documentary series from 1976 to 1982 that was normally narrated by Leonard Nimoy.
    Global Warming Alarmist Appeared in 1978’s ‘The Coming Ice Age’
    In the May 1978 episode “The Coming Ice Age,” Nimoy presented to viewers facts about the previous Ice Age, and discussed how the bitterly cold winters of 1976 and 1977 might be a harbinger of a new one: “Climate experts believe the next one is on its way. According to recent evidence, it could come sooner than anyone had expected.”
    One climate expert cited was Stephen Schneider, a climatologist working for the National Center for Atmospheric Research at the time who was asked to address some of the possible solutions being discussed to stop the coming Ice Age such as using nuclear energy to loosen the polar icecaps.
    DR. STEPHEN SCHNEIDER: Can we do these things? Yes. But will they make things better? I’m not sure. We can’t predict with any certainty what’s happening to our own climatic future. How can we come along and intervene then in that ignorance? You could melt the icecaps. What would that do to the coastal cities? The cure could be worse than the disease. Would that be better or worse than the risk of an ice age?
    Imagine that. In 1978, one of today’s leading global warming alarmists not only appeared in a television program warning the world of a coming Ice Age, but he also said: “We can’t predict with any certainty what’s happening to our own climatic future. How can we come along and intervene then in that ignorance?”
    Now, thirty years later, Schneider is indeed predicting what’s happening to our climatic future by using models, and advocates government intervention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to prevent global warming.
    Yet, thirty years ago when he was concerned about a new Ice Age, he worried that the proposed cure could be worse than the disease.
    Such concerns have clearly abated, as Schneider is now a member of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well a close adviser to Gore.
    Now that Schneider’s appearance on “In Search of…” has been uncovered, will journalists always concerned about presenting all sides of the story report this video and its implications, or bury it for fear that it might impact pending legislation to cap and tax carbon dioxide emissions?
    Stay tuned.

  73. I rather liked this line from Harrop’s linkedin profile:
    “…Relationships built on trust and sound skills in communication, sensitivity and intellectual ability….”
    I must say that his WSJ comments were a virtuoso demonstration of sound communications skills, sensitivity and intellectual ability. Just gotta trust a man like that. And he’s so SUCCESSFUL!

  74. Oliver Ramsay (21:33:38) :
    “It’s being a squash player that does it. If you don’t call your own carries, double bounces, up balls, down balls and contacts, no-one will play with you and you will have to do single drills for the rest of your life.”
    Yanno, there’s something to that.
    I’m a formerly nationally ranked player (two decades ago), and we all knew the folks who refused to clear, ignored their double bounces and carries. Sometimes, I’d play with them, but, it was really to challenge myself, since I had to win about 2x as many points and keep a cool head to beat them. They thought they were “expert gamesmen”. We thought they were not to be taken seriously.
    Kind of like a number of our so-called “climate scientists”.
    I think we really owe Steve and Anthony (and a number of other good folks, I’m shamefully leaving out) a deep debt of gratitude. At the very least, we should find out when and where Steve’s playing in tournaments and show up to cheer. 🙂
    Mark

  75. Kate (02:10:11) :
    ” Lord Stern is not a scientist, let alone a climate scientist. Although frequently called an economist, he isn’t, and he’s not even an environmentalist. He is actually a banker, and as such is up to his neck in the global warming industry and “green” investments.”
    Banker?
    I’d be very tempted to substitute the capital letter, however we rise above it.
    Lord Stern is a player and I cannot fathom why.
    At least when I call the Met Office and the CRU, they have some semblance of quasi credibility. If they had at their collective heart, the pursuit of veritable/verifiable pure science as Mr. McIntyre undoubtedly has, I would give them more credence but the ugly face of politics and government grants/research funds colour their judgements/data.
    I congratulate Mr. McIntyre (and this lot here) for their doggedness and objectivity. If it were not for them and notable other sites, the battle for the scientific truth may already have been yielded to the Alarmists, ecofacists and worst of all ‘do gooder’ and sanctimonious self aggrandizing politicians.

  76. Lucy Skywalker (06:34:31) RWP ending 363 AD
    What a good pickup on this issue. I missed it.
    Just returned from reading over at CA where you pointed in your 2:20:51 comment. I think I’ve now caught up with the reading. Time for morning chores.

  77. Seems like most of you folks don’t read the WSJ online very often . Barrie Harrop posts comments on every climate related article they publish and spouts the same garbage repeatedly . All of your observations are spot on . While some commenters will cite WUWT in their posts , I doubt he ever comes here – he’d wind up leaving with his tail between his legs .

  78. One should not forget that a large number of the supporters of AGW are not scientists, but lawyers. The repugnant behavior they exhibit, while completely unacceptable in scientific circles, is part of the “game” when they go to trial. The law, as currently practiced, isn’t so much about justice, as about winning. They actually think science is the same way, that opinions have the same force as reality. His Goreness is a law school dropout, but he approaches science in the same way as his more “successful” bretheren.

  79. Bruce Cobb (05:07:10) :
    Bruce thank you. I had read that quote some time ago but did not get the name of the person speaking.
    You’re right, the man is an embarrassment.

  80. wsbriggs (08:53:59) :
    One should not forget that a large number of the supporters of AGW are not scientists, but lawyers.

    I think you’re analysis is correct. I work in a field where lawyers have convinced the courts that numerical modeling is more acurate than measured reality.
    The introduction of the AT (286) computer in the late 1980’s resulted in the proliferation of numerical models to solve groundwater problems. These models have been used by the environmental industry and their lawyers to redefine how the real world operates – more often than I like in opposition to measured data that shows otherwise.
    We have a long hard slog ahead of us to educate the courts that they have been snowed and I often suspect it might be a futile battle.

  81. Unfortunately for the AGW supporters the Truth has an annoying little habit.
    It simply will not go away. It doesn’t matter how loudly and for how long you may shout, the irritating Truth simply sits there; immobile and incontrovertible and unable to be ignored.
    Mr. McIntyre, Mr McKitrick and Mr Watts (plus many others) are to be applauded for providing that pebble in the shoe of the AGW movement which is well on the way to providing a crippling injury. The Truth simply will not be ignored!

  82. I used to think you have to give scientists a little leeway–almost all of them leaning progressive-liberal. Now, after seeing how all progressives have to filter their facts through their world-view, I wonder if progressive-liberal leanings are compatible at all with the scientific method???

  83. The CO2 level is now at 388 ppm. Sounds like a lot, but does anybody here know what happens when the atmosphere dips to 150 ppm?
    Nobody?
    Well, at 150 ppm, plants quit taking up CO2. That’s right….they suffocate.
    And they die.
    And what, then, is our lot?
    That’s right…. We eventually all die too. (No plants, no beef, no hamburgers… or fries!)
    So next time you see 388 ppm CO2, praise the Lord! That’s only a little more than twice the bare minimum we all need to stay alive.
    And I say: Let there be CO2!

  84. “At the beginning I innocently assumed there would be due diligence for all this stuff. … So often my mouth would drop, when I realized no one had really looked into it.”
    Exactly the experience I had. And when I specifically looked at the area where I had the most expertise I was the most appalled. The GIStemp code, for example, would not be accepted in my shop from even the most junior fresh from school programmer. They would be assigned to a ‘mentor’ who would show them how to fix their stuff and put decent comments and documentation together. Oh, and added code for robustness and resilience. And error checking. And I’d have sent them off to a structured design class and partnered them with a database guy until they learned decent data structures…
    For the record, the 62-year-old declares himself “past my best-by date, operating on my own nickel.”
    Golly. Can it really be that simple? “Not Quite Retired Guys, with a bit of time and a dime?”… On this hangs the fate of the planetary economy? I wonder just how much of the “skeptical counter analysis” is coming from such roots…
    We are at risk of doom and destruction, but not from the climate. From inbred “peers” with agenda’s only being countered by folks outside the tent with a bit of attitude.

  85. Andy (21:31:15) :
    Unfortunately one part of the article is wrong. Barack Obama gave a speech in china and said he and China would sign a deal in Copenhagen. This was at the start of the week and broadcast live in the UK (on BBC) at 5am

    Yeah, the “Deal” they will sign is that they can do whatever they want, burn all the coal they want, and we will pay them money to do so.
    With that kind of deal, why NOT sign?!
    The sheer idiocy of the “free pass with benefits” we are giving to THE major producer of CO2 on the planet (China has surpassed the USA…) is just astounding. But anything to be able to say “See, China Signed!” (Even if we did bribe them with payola…)

  86. Galen Haugh (16:00:17) : The CO2 level is now at 388 ppm. Sounds like a lot, but does anybody here know what happens when the atmosphere dips to 150 ppm?
    Me Me!! (waves raised hand!!) ME teacher meeeee!!!
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/of-trees-volcanos-and-pond-scum/
    Plants suck the CO2 level down to the point where they are starving and rate limited. They can do so quite quickly and the world suffers when it happens. 200 ppm is STARVATION level. Literally.
    The highly non-linear growth with added CO2 demonstrates it. The curve only really flattens up around 600 to 1200 ppm (and even then keeps rising, just at a slowing rate; indicating an approach to “normal” – as the majority of plants evolved their basic metabolism under much higher CO2 levels.)
    Nobody?
    Drat. Overlooked again… Maybe I need an apple… 😉

    So next time you see 388 ppm CO2, praise the Lord! That’s only a little more than twice the bare minimum we all need to stay alive.

    And significantly below the optimal level.

    And I say: Let there be CO2!

    As do I. IFF there is any AGW effect, I can only detect it in “higher lows” and that seems to be benefit everything alive. The highs hit about 20 C in the major averages and just whack into a wall and will not go up. I think it’s that 4th power thing…

  87. I forgot the link where Barrie Harrop is asked a question on the cost of Cap-and-Trade the average Joe will have to pay, and Harrop’s answer is: you can get rich by buying shares in green investments.
    Barrie Harrop has an amazing level of hypocrisy. Instead of answering the question with science, he is trying to buy (bribe) people opposing the Global Warming theory to join him and get rich on the backs of others.

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