Mashey Potatoes, Part 1

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Guest post by Thomas Fuller

In the past few months we have seen a number of amateurish attempts to counter skeptical arguments that gained traction in what public space there is for matters climatic and anti-climactic.  Today we get introduced to John Mashey’s attempt to smear Edward Wegman and reclaim the Hockey Stick for further usage. It’s definitely anti-climactic.

Climategate had a huge impact on public opinion regarding the probity of some of the scientists involved. The leaked emails clearly showed bad and bullying behaviour that left a stench in any honest reader’s nostrils. Andrew Montford, among others, chronicled Climategate and the events leading up to it in a clear, detailed narrative called The Hockey Stick Illusion. It has been praised by reviewers, including climate scientist Judith Curry. I have read it. It is good. It is accurate. I recommend it without reservation.

So, a few months ago a website called Scholars and Rogues published an incredibly lame attempt by Brian Angliss to show why nobody needed to read The Hockey Stick Illusion, citing the low number of emails that were leaked as evidence that we didn’t have enough evidence. When Steve Mosher pointed out that a crooked accountant probably had numerous accurate transactions to his credit, but that only one was needed to prove him criminal, Mr. Angliss and Scholars and Rogues sort of went away.

The late Stephen Schneider and an IT administrator named James Prall published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claiming to prove that scientists on their side of the fence were more credible than skeptical scientists, because they had more publications. Sadly, they only searched in English, they got the names, job titles and specializations of the scientists wrong, they used incorrect analysis techniques (as explained quite brilliantly by RomanM on a post at Real Climate), and used Google Scholar, a commercial database with no published quality control measures, as opposed to any one of several available academic databases. They didn’t get Stephen Schneider’s publications accurate. But that’s okay, they have the names and pictures of those they labeled (incorrectly, in many cases) as skeptics on Prall’s website.

Now comes John Mashey, intent on the destruction of Edward Wegman’s criticism of Michael Mann and Raymond Bradley’s carefully concocted Hockey Stick Chart. Wegman was asked by a congressional committee to investigate their work. His report, fully supported by the National Academy of Sciences, was devastating, citing quite correctly the fact that random noise fed into Mann’s analysis scheme could produce a hockey stick, that they used incorrect analysis of principal components in their study, and that the community of scientists involved was so closely interlinked as to be best described as incestuous, making claims of independent verification a mockery.

Before I go any further, I should note that Mashey makes another accusation that hasn’t been picked up by the media: He accuses Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick of being ‘recruited, coached and promoted’ by the George Marshall Institute.

 

Page 30 of John Mashey's full report

 

I don’t think that’s true. Mr. Mashey does not provide any documentation for this accusation and I’d like to see his evidence. I certainly hope it’s of better quality than the rest of what turns out to be drivel.

John Mashey’s first bone to pick with the Wegman report is that Congressman Barton’s staff provided source material to Wegman. It is the first item in Mashey’s report, (PDF – warning large download) a 250 page diatribe.

But it is entirely normal that Wegman would ask for and Barton’s staff would provide, any relevant material to speed up the investigation. I have done investigative work for several government bodies and it is in the interests of saving the public’s time and money that papers are provided. I literally cannot understand why Mashey would make this his first point.

Also on the first page of Mashey’s report is the ‘accusation’ that one of Wegman’s associates in the investigation was a post doctoral student with one year of experience, Yasmin Said. Perhaps Mr. Mashey should take a quick look at how much experience Michael Mann had when he created the Hockey Stick that became the iconic representation of climate change to the world…

John Mashey says that Wegman plagiarised material in his report to Congress.

This is odd. Wegman is not a climate scientist. He is a statistician. The material Mashey alleges Wegman stole comes from Raymond Bradley, who has since apparently filed an official complaint with George Mason University. Is Mashey accusing Wegman of falsely representing himself as an expert in climate science? Is his intent to use as intellectual property ideas generated by Bradley for his own profit?

This plagiarism claim is very strange. In Mashey’s report, he seems to go out of his way to discourage readers from actually looking at either Bradley’s text or Wegman’s. Mashey writes,

“Skeptical readers are welcome to check all 35 pages, but I suspect most will read no more than few before the repetitive style gets tiring. I had to do this to gather and summarize the data. Most people need not.”

Actually, Mr. Mashey, if you want people to believe you, most people indeed need to.

On page 19 of Mashey’s report (PDF – warning large download) is the first example of Wegman’s ‘plagiarism.’ Wegman writes on page 69,

“Overall the network includes 112 proxies, and each series has been formatted into annual mean anomalies relative to the reference period used for this data, 1902-1980.”

When compared to MBH98, page 779, it does indeed look similar:

“The long instrumental records have been formed into annual mean anomalies relative to the 1902–80 reference period, …”

Not identical, but similar. But wait a minute. What is the context for this? This is the second paragraph of a ‘Summary of Global-scale temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries’ by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes (1998).

The authors are credited. The intent is to  summarize what the authors wrote. The text is not identical, but to be an accurate summary would have to be similar. To say that Wegman plagiarised Bradley when he has Bradley’s name in the chapter title and is trying to summarize what Bradley said… well, I can see where this is going.

All of a sudden this 250 page, convoluted and poorly written report looks like a mountain to climb. It smells like a time-wasting replica of poorly written and un-thought out conspiracy theories.

I will be looking at this report more closely, but I will leave you with some quotes that I think show this to be the type of conspiracy theory nonsense that will have you looking for black helicopters or assorted nonsense. Here’s Mr. Mashey in full swing:

“During 2005-2006, Said was employed by Johns Hopkins University and that affiliation is the one listed on the WR. Did she do the WR work ―on her own time or was she in effect taking time from JHU teaching or research to work on the WR? If so, was this acceptable?”

(Let’s ask Gavin Schmidt, NASA employee and full time blogger at Real Climate…)

“The Federal government pays for many things. It is not obvious why {NIAA, ARL, ARO, NSWRC} seem to be paying statisticians and statistical physicists to attack climate science.”

(Maybe Mr. Mashey should take a good look again at what science is and how it works…)

“Other leadup to the WR is covered in [MAS2010], but it is worth knowing that Wegman, Said, Spencer, McIntyre, Singer, Kueter all attended a climate workshop November 14-16, 2005: www.climatescience.gov/workshop2005/participants.htm. Although I do not know if they met, it certainly seems likely.”

(And what did they have affixed in their lapel buttons?)

Thomas Fuller http://www.redbubble.com/people/hfuller

Mashey Potatoes, Part 1 

Thomas Fuller
In the past few months we have seen a number of amateurish attempts to counter skeptical arguments that gained traction in what public space there is for matters climatic and anti-climactic.  Today we get introduced to John Mashey’s attempt to smear Edward Wegman and reclaim the Hockey Stick for further usage. It’s definitely anti-climactic.
Climategate had a huge impact on public opinion regarding the probity of some of the scientists involved. The leaked emails clearly showed bad and bullying behaviour that left a stench in any honest reader’s nostrils. Anthony Montford, among others, chronicled Climategate and the events leading up to it in a clear, detailed narrative called The Hockey Stick Illusion. It has been praised by reviewers, including climate scientist Judith Curry. I have read it. It is good. It is accurate. I recommend it without reservation.
So, a few months ago a website called Scholars and Rogues published an incredibly lame attempt by Brian Angliss to show why nobody needed to read The Hockey Stick Illusion, citing the low number of emails that were leaked as evidence that we didn’t have enough evidence. When Steve Mosher pointed out that a crooked accountant probably had numerous accurate transactions to his credit, but that only one was needed to prove him criminal, Mr. Angliss and Scholars and Rogues sort of went away.
The late Stephen Schneider and an IT administrator named James Prall published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claiming to prove that scientists on their side of the fence were more credible than skeptical scientists, because they had more publications. Sadly, they only searched in English, they got the names, job titles and specializations of the scientists wrong, they used incorrect analysis techniques (as explained quite brilliantly by RomanM on a post at Real Climate), and used Google Scholar, a commercial database with no published quality control measures, as opposed to any one of several available academic databases. They didn’t get Stephen Schneider’s publications accurate. But that’s okay, they have the names and pictures of those they labeled (incorrectly, in many cases) as skeptics on Prall’s website.
Now comes John Mashey, intent on the destruction of Edward Wegman’s criticism of Michael Mann and Raymond Bradley’s carefully concocted Hockey Stick Chart. Wegman was asked by a congressional committee to investigate their work. His report, fully supported by the National Academy of Sciences, was devastating, citing quite correctly the fact that random noise fed into Mann’s analysis scheme could produce a hockey stick, that they used incorrect analysis of principal components in their study, and that the community of scientists involved was so closely interlinked as to be best described as incestuous, making claims of independent verification a mockery.
Before I go any further, I should note that Mashey makes another accusation that hasn’t been picked up by the media: He accuses Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick of being ‘recruited, coached and promoted’ by the George Marshall Institute.
I don’t think that’s true. Mr. Mashey does not provide any documentation for this accusation and I’d like to see his evidence. I certainly hope it’s of better quality than the rest of what turns out to be drivel.
John Mashey’s first bone to pick with the Wegman report is that Congressman Barton’s staff provided source material to Wegman. It is the first item in Mashey’s ‘report,’ a 250 page diatribe.
But it is entirely normal that Wegman would ask for and Barton’s staff would provide, any relevant material to speed up the investigation. I have done investigative work for several government bodies and it is in the interests of saving the public’s time and money that papers are provided. I literally cannot understand why Mashey would make this his first point.
Also on the first page of Mashey’s report is the ‘accusation’ that one of Wegman’s associates in the investigation was a post doctoral student with one year of experience, Yasmin Said. Perhaps Mr. Mashey should take a quick look at how much experience Michael Mann had when he created the Hockey Stick that became the iconic representation of climate change to the world…
John Mashey says that Wegman plagiarised material in his report to Congress.
This is odd. Wegman is not a climate scientist. He is a statistician. The material Mashey alleges Wegman stole comes from Raymond Bradley, who has since apparently filed an official complaint with George Mason University. Is Mashey accusing Wegman of falsely representing himself as an expert in climate science? Is his intent to use as intellectual property ideas generated by Bradley for his own profit?
This plagiarism claim is very strange. In Mashey’s report, he seems to go out of his way to discourage readers from actually looking at either Bradley’s text or Wegman’s. Mashey writes, “Skeptical readers are welcome to check all 35 pages, but I suspect
most will read no more than few before the repetitive style gets tiring. I had to do this to gather and summarize the data. Most people need not.”
Actually, Mr. Mashey, if you want people to believe you, most people indeed need to.
On page 19 of Mashey’s report is the first example of Wegman’s ‘plagiarism.’ Wegman writes on page 69, “Overall the network includes 112 proxies, and each series has been formatted into annual mean anomalies relative to the reference period used for this data, 1902-1980.” When compared to MBH98, page 779, it does indeed look similar: “The long instrumental records have been formed into annual mean anomalies relative to the 1902–80
reference period, …”
Not identical, but similar. But wait a minute. What is the context for this? This is the second paragraph of a ‘Summary of Global-scale temperature Patterns and Climate Forcing Over the Past Six Centuries’ by Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes (1998).
The authors are credited. The intent is to  summarize what the authors wrote. The text is not identical, but to be an accurate summary would have to be similar. To say that Wegman plagiarised Bradley when he has Bradley’s name in the chapter title and is trying to summarize what Bradley said… well, I can see where this is going.
All of a sudden this 250 page, convoluted and poorly written report looks like a mountain to climb. It smells like a time-wasting replica of poorly written and un-thought out conspiracy theories.
I will be looking at this report more closely, but I will leave you with some quotes that I think show this to be the type of conspiracy theory nonsense that will have you looking for black helicopters or assorted nonsense. Here’s Mr. Mashey in full swing:
“During 2005-2006, Said was employed by Johns Hopkins University and that affiliation is the one listed on the WR. Did she do the WR work ―on her own time or was she in effect taking time from JHU teaching or research to work on the WR? If so, was this acceptable?”
(Let’s ask Gavin Schmidt, NASA employee and full time blogger at Real Climate…)
“The Federal government pays for many things. It is not obvious why {NIAA, ARL, ARO, NSWRC} seem to be paying statisticians and statistical physicists to attack climate science.”
(Maybe Mr. Mashey should take a good look again at what science is and how it works…)
“Other leadup to the WR is covered in [MAS2010], but it is worth knowing that Wegman, Said, Spencer, McIntyre, Singer, Kueter all attended a climate workshop November 14-16, 2005: www.climatescience.gov/workshop2005/participants.htm. Although I do not know if they met, it certainly seems likely.”
(And what did they have affixed in their lapel buttons?)
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David A. Evans

Never quite understood the logic of climate psientists doing statistical analysis, then complaining about statisticians examining their work.
Seems to me that most of climate psience is statistical analysis anyway.
DaveE.

Schadow

Went to the link for “The Hockey Stick Illusion” which turns up an Amazon page for the Wegman book. I read the reviews then went immediately to the six “1 star” comments. The sputtering and foaming there reminded me of the recent past at CP before they went totally political.
My conclusion: All I need is another 482-page book, but I can tell it’s a must-have!

TomRude

OT: sorry but ridiculae video continues with this one:

Next breathing over a lifetime kills polar bears…

Dishman

It seems to me like bringing attention back to the Wegman Report is an own-goal.
Please, let’s talk about this more!

Stephan

This is probably very good news (The nature article). Its going to backfire in a huge way. BTW looks like Lucia has already found that because of dates 2005) a lot of the DC accusations could not be.true…. already LOL…

Actually, Tom, that argument doesn’t hold now, it didn’t hold then.
It’s an easy argument to counter, actually, and it can be countered two different ways. First, the email itself is not proof of anything – money disappearing in an illegal fashion from one account and appearing in another account proves fraud. The email itself is nothing more than a suggestion, an indicator that fraud might have occurred. To date five separate investigations have found that the CRU emails show no evidence of misconduct with the exception of responding to FOI requests. So my initial arguments about the insufficient context in the CRU emails have been borne out repeatedly.
Second, an email doesn’t necessarily have anything to say about motive. If the accountant committed fraud under duress, then that might not qualify as a crime at all or might be punished very lightly compared to fraud committed for greed.
Argument countered.
BTW, you never addressed your fundamental inconsistency regarding the CRU emails, namely claiming in one place that the emails didn’t change the science, yet claiming that some of the emails cast the science in doubt. You can’t have it both ways, Tom.

harry

I don’t think any of Bradley friends (you know the ones, they are the people that conduct his “independent” peer reviews), will be thanking him for this in a few months time.
The last thing this statistically challenged discipline needs is to go pick a fight with the statistics establishment, it might just cause a bunch of them to start taking a serious look at the “science” being “discovered” by Bradley and his cohorts.
As the modus operandi of the Hockey Team becomes more apparent to mainstream scientists, happy to use the most specious grounds to try to destroy a scientist’s career to defend their own shoddy practices, I expect more scientists will be willing to speak out against them.
Based on Mashey’s delusional work, I expect that this plagiarism charge will be thrown out with a giant smack for all those associated with it.

spangled drongo

Clangers and Mash anyone?

Eric Anderson

Break out the shovel. It’s getting Deep . . .

D. King

(And what did they have affixed in their lapel buttons?)
LOL!
No, no, it was more subtle than that.
They probably used a secret wink code.

Steven mosher

Did you know that Wegmans bibliography has some books listed that they never cited!
OMG. stop the presses. the hockey stick is saved.
Err, gosh, maybe Mashy never wrote a college paper. We require that All works consulted be in a bibliography… of course the works you actually cite is shorter than the works consulted.

Jonde

Could someone accuse IPCC for plagiarism? Lots of copy-paste in climate bible. Wegman did a survey and gave an expert opinion. IPCC do surveys and give expert, eh, opinions. Same? It is OK to criticize the content of this type of reports, but to try to make a weak claim of plagiarism is just lame.
Nether IPCC or Wegman did original research. They just summarize the topic and give their opinion. That’s it. There is no case for plagiarism.

Steven mosher

Ok:
Steve McIntyre shows you how to handle the Mashey pile.
:Steve McIntyre (Comment#53771) October 9th, 2010 at 10:21 pm
The Oxford Companion to Global Change, David Cuff and Andrew Goudie
Variations in tree-ring widths from one year to the next have long been recognized as an important source of chronological and climatic information. The mean width of a ring in any one tree is a function of many variables, including the tree species, its age, the availability of stored nutrients in the tree and surrounding soil, and a host of climatic factors, including temperature, precipitation and availability of sunlight.
Bradley textbook:
Variations in tree-ring widths from one year to the next have long been recognized as an important source of chronological and climatic information… The mean width of a ring in any one tree is a function of many variables, including the tree species, tree age, availability of stored food within the tree and of important nutrients in the soil, and a whole complex of climatic factors (sunshine, precipitation, temperature, wind speed, humidity, and their distribution throughout the year).
Wegman:
The average width of a tree ring is a function of many variables including the tree species, tree age, stored carbohydrates in the tree, nutrients in the soil, and climatic factors including sunlight, precipitation, temperature, wind speed, humidity, and even carbon dioxide availability in the atmosphere.
###################
time for somebody to get Bradley textbook. Apply some software and go full bore.
Wegman is a bit player in the HS. Bradley is on the core team. Target Bradley.

Bryan A

This would appear to be something akin to a political debate. If you can’t poke holes or uncover flaws in the message, disparage the messenger. This tactic is far to often utilized by the debater who is losing the argument.

This whole thing is too bizarre for my little mind. I’m off to read some Emanuel Kant, at least the logic is sound, even if the style Byzantine.

Ross

Lesson no.1 : Never ever pick a fight over fact or detail with Steve McIntyre.
As many others have said , Wegmans “manuscript” was a report , a review of what he considered the facts and his expert opinion on the statistical methods used. It was not an academic paper on original reasearch . If a couple of pieces of the report omitted so called proper attribution it does not change the conclusions of the report or the value of the work.
Mashey and co are just playing a childish game of attempted diversion.

Dagfinn

Brian Angliss says:
October 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm

BTW, you never addressed your fundamental inconsistency regarding the CRU emails, namely claiming in one place that the emails didn’t change the science, yet claiming that some of the emails cast the science in doubt. You can’t have it both ways, Tom.

Of course he can. It’s the logical equivalent of “the victim was injured but not killed”.

Doug in Seattle

I think Dishman might be right about the own goal of Mashey & Bradley’s ploy.
Does the hockey team really want the substance of the Wegman report brought back after having spend so long putting out all those spaghetti lines to support their faux stats?

Tom,
You might like to read the part of Mashey’s report starting p 119. It details lots of apparently copied text in the section on Social Networks Analysis. This is a new topic that they have introduced, with mathy talk about triads and graphs. They’re not describing climate science background – they are trying to give the impression that they know about SNA and so should we. And a substantial chunk is copied out of Wikipedia. There’s a 400 word para verbatim – no coincidence possible. And of course no reference or acknowledgement at all. Lots of other stuff in that section apparently from other sources.

Konrad

I am half way through the Bishop’s excellent work. On what I have read so far, I would also conclude that the Wegman report has some deficiencies. In light of the behavior of the hockey team, the report should have been written in language requiring an parental advisory notice. Someone needs to tell John Mashey that scam is over. The Rubenesque Diva is reaching into the props box for the hat with the horns and he comes out with this dross!

Peter P.

Hey Anthony, slightly off topic… I think 10 October from now on should be remembered as Climate Fools Day.
A hundred years from now, children will remember and celebrate this day!
Thank you 10:10. No Pressure!

Steven mosher

Started to read Masheys mash up. the color codes. the patterns. the lines criss crossing connecting everything.
i once had a friend with OCD who tried to do this with James Joyce. seriously disturbed.
i also flashed on this:

Steven mosher

‘there is no conspiracy john, it’s in your mind.

Pete

Brian Angliss says:
October 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm
On your first point: “To date five separate investigations have found that the CRU emails show no evidence of misconduct with the exception of responding to FOI requests.”
This is not entirely accurate, they did say they found no evidence, they did not say the emails show no evidence, how could they if they didn’t read them? Unless of course you can provide a copy of the evidence list of exactly what they did look at, containing all the released files in FOI.zip, which seems not to exist.
Your second point: “Second, an email doesn’t necessarily have anything to say about motive. If the accountant committed fraud under duress, then that might not qualify as a crime at all or might be punished very lightly compared to fraud committed for greed. ”
So it was OK for the accountant to commit fraud because his department needed funding? Because he needed prestige? Because he wanted to cover his past mistakes and shoddy work?
Are you really trying to insinuate Mann (might have) committed fraud under duress, and it’s therefore not as bad as doing it on purpose for financial gain? Are you saying he did what he did, whatever that may be, for the right reasons, therefore it might not be a crime at all?
Isn’t being a little bit guilty, a bit like being a little bit pregnant?
And this is your logic as to why we should ignore the HSI?
How bizarre!

stephen richards

Brian Angliss says:
October 9, 2010 at 10:32 pm
Na na na-na na.! Brian actually that is pathetic. Read your response again, please.

stephen richards

Eric Anderson says:
October 9, 2010 at 10:54 pm
Break out the shovel. It’s getting Deep . . .
It out and they digging for all they are worth. It’ll turn mechanical soon. Bradley, in his indignation and arrogance, has opened the biggest can of worms ever. None of the team will thank him for this. he he

FergalR

Good grief, are the other 249 pages filled with puerile drivel too? And Keith Kloor seriously expected people to react to it in a day. Right.
The hockey stick has been keeping a very low profile of late. It had to.
Is this really the best they had to deflect attention from that sceptic execution fantasy advert?

Fred

I really can’t see how plagiarism comes into this. Wegman wrote a report on the work of Mann and Bradley. He was not copying someone else’s original research and passing it off as his own. He was writing a report on some else’s research and coming to his own independent opinion on the quality of that research. If he was to copy and paste and amend slightly parts of works by M&B then that would be expected. This is not plagiarism, at least not in the academic sense. This smells of desperation.

David Davidovics

Its funny to see alarmists desperately “counter” arguments by trying to bait opponents in an effort to avoid answering questions. All the while accusing them of avoiding their own rhetorical questions. Both ways indeed….
None of this changes what happened with climategate, and what more context do you need when some one asks his colleagues to destroy evidence that is subject to a freedom of information act request (Oh right, you ignored that too, Brian). I don’t need an enquiry to know when daylight shines nor will I be told that black is white no matter how many experts you recruit and line up.

MH

OT, but can I be the first to wish you all a Happy 10:10:10 from Franny-land (UK). It’s blueberries on my muesli this morning.

Glenn

The story had to come out about now, or there would not be time enough for it to influence voters on Nov 2. The investigation has “been confirmed” since July 28 but George Mason is dragging their heels and likely will have no news in time that could sway voter opinion. As Revkin twits: “Mashey critique finding cut/paste & other problems in Wegman Report gets traction.”
Did USA Today just pick the non- story out of thin air? I say non-story because all we have from the article are the accusations of Bradley and Mashey. And Bradley has had years to publicize his complaint. So it seems that he asks for an investigation that was supposed to be over by now, but isn’t, and calls Dan at USA Today to get “some traction”.

Ian

Minor point — it’s p.18 not p.19 where Mashey talks discusses the “plagiarism”.
Mashey gave me the impression he believes that any documents passing through the hands of sceptics, or any information coming from sceptics, is/are inherently tainted and wrong, as if sceptics are part of some great conspiracy (he actually believes this, it seems). Any scepticism/denial of AGW is illegitimate, in his view, and it would seem that if he/they had more power they would physically prevent sceptics/deniers from having a voice. Mashey has even given people coloured markers to wear in his text, e.g. p.7, the red ones meaning that person is “a problem”. He has clearly been compiling a database of “scientists-we-don’t-like”, very likely with their home addresses. The similarities to a certain other event in history are striking, and are really not funny anymore.

I’d appreciate URL’s for the recent Nature comment re Wegman, and Steve Mosher’s ref to Steve McIntyre’s note (cannot follow your existing ref, Mosh).
Nature magazine, Mann at WaPo, and Mashey at Deep Climate, all together going for Wegman – WaPo in Mann’s usual style, without actually naming him but referencing “discredited”. Looks like a political strategy.
This could be an own-goal. Or it could simply attract politicians of both sides, on the principle that mud sticks, and if one throws more mud on old mud, even more mud might stick. The first thing that came across in early responses here at WUWT to Mashey was “plagiarism – ooh, sounds bad” – but there were no references of substance.
Plagiarism my foot! How else can Wegman lay the foundations of science needed to understand the issues of his investigation? And if Bradley words things so they are hard for non-specialists to understand, of course he has to rewrite. But cannot cite. But still provides references.
Nitpickgate. Pea-under-thimble-gate. Shoot-the-messenger-gate.

Ian

Minor point — it’s p.18 not p.19 where Mashey discusses the “plagiarism”.
Mashey gave me the impression he believes that any documents passing through the hands of sceptics, or any information coming from sceptics, is/are inherently tainted and wrong, as if sceptics are part of some great conspiracy (he actually believes this, it seems). Any scepticism/denial of AGW is illegitimate, in his view, and it would seem that if he/they had more power they would physically prevent sceptics/deniers from having a voice. Mashey has even given people coloured markers to wear in his text, e.g. p.7, the red ones meaning that person is “a problem”. He has clearly been compiling a database of “scientists-we-don’t-like”, very likely with their home addresses. The similarities to a certain other event in history are striking, and are really not funny anymore.

Steven mosher

Actually, Tom, that argument doesn’t hold now, it didn’t hold then.
“It’s an easy argument to counter, actually, and it can be countered two different ways. First, the email itself is not proof of anything – money disappearing in an illegal fashion from one account and appearing in another account proves fraud. The email itself is nothing more than a suggestion, an indicator that fraud might have occurred. To date five separate investigations have found that the CRU emails show no evidence of misconduct with the exception of responding to FOI requests. So my initial arguments about the insufficient context in the CRU emails have been borne out repeatedly.”
Since the entire focus of everything was the FOI violation is hardly a vindication.
As I explained to you in email the mails provided a storyline that investigators should have followed but they didnt. In fact some of them got it flat wrong.
1. Jones requested that mails be deleted. This was in connection with and FOIA request. One investigation got that wrong.
2. The question to ask Jones was why did he ask that they be deleted? never asked.
3. The mails indicate that the reason for the deletion request was to hide correspondence between Briffa and Wahl since that was the correspondence being requested and since briffa, whal, amman and mann were requested to delete.
So the mails tell us THAT a request was made. The mails indicate one reason for the deletion.
4. The deletion request has to do with Chapter 6 and the treatment of McIntyre’s paper.
In fact the whole story is connected at this one point and they failed to do a competent investigation
“Second, an email doesn’t necessarily have anything to say about motive. If the accountant committed fraud under duress, then that might not qualify as a crime at all or might be punished very lightly compared to fraud committed for greed.”
We never claimed fraud and we were careful to about discussing motives. I have repeatedly argued that the committes should have asked jones WHY he requested that these mails be deleted? why he changed his policy toward MCintyre. To clear up the motive case.
“Argument countered.”
Argument MISSED ENTIRELY.
“BTW, you never addressed your fundamental inconsistency regarding the CRU emails, namely claiming in one place that the emails didn’t change the science, yet claiming that some of the emails cast the science in doubt. You can’t have it both ways, Tom.”
Huh. The only thing that can change science is more science. The world doesnt get cooler because somebody writes a mail. the MWP doesnt get warmer because somebody writes a mail. BUT, if somebody in charge of the temperature science writes a mail that says “if I am asked for the data I will DESTROY IT” then we do have a rational basis to suspend judgement. IT DOESNT CHANGE THE ACTUAL FACTS, it changes our certainty in them. Duh. words dont change the facts of science, only more facts do that. But, if you trusted the scientists to give you the right facts before the mails, then after the mails yuo have plenty of reason to doubt THEM.

Peter Miller

Sounds to me like the warmist establishment need to remember one of the great truisms of life:
If you:
a) dig a deep hole,
b) fill the hole with sharpened stakes, and next
c) fill most of the hole with poo.
Do not then jump in the hole.
In this case, the analogy means: don’t continue to attack those who expose the errors, data manipulation, intrigue and fraud of the climate ‘science’ community. This kind of strategy will only highlight the actions of the purveyors of the original bad science and backfire on you, as it has in this instance.
Publicly trying to justify the unjustifiable usually only works in totalitarian societies.

Brian Angliss:
1. the request to delete the mails was tied to the FOIA denial and to chapter 6 of AR4 and to nearly all of the issues we raised in the book. The investigations vindicated our view.
2. we didnt discuss motives. We expected the investigations to ask Jones why he requested mails be deleted and why he broke FOIA laws.
3. The mails dont change the facts of science. They do change our ability to rely on the team. when the man in charge of temperature science says he will destroy the data before he would share it, that does not change the actual temperature. it does raise rational doubt.That is the point of the claim about the mails not changing the science. They cant. they can and do change our willingness to accept the work of the men involved. Thats why we called for an independent investigation of the science. get it

Alan Bates

Quoted in the top of the thread (Mr Mashey in full swing):

“Other leadup to the WR is covered in [MAS2010], but it is worth knowing that Wegman, Said, Spencer, McIntyre, Singer, Kueter all attended a climate workshop November 14-16, 2005: http://www.climatescience.gov/workshop2005/participants.htm. Although I do not know if they met, it certainly seems likely.”

Since I am not close to the background, I followed the link that was so kindly given. This was a US Government workshop (the dot gov gave a bit of a hint) with scores, possibly hundreds, of people there. I counted 32 attenders whose surmanes began with “A”. This was not a backroom meeting with people watching the doors to make sure no spies overheard the scurrilous machinations of a cabal of anti-science terrorists. It was held in Arlington Virginia at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. And the whole purpose was to get as many of the experts there as possible:
The first papagraph of the Background to the workshop reads:

The Climate Change Science Program—sponsored by 13 participating departments and agencies of the U.S. Government— coordinates and integrates scientific research on changes in climate and related systems.

It is hardly surprising that, amongst scores (hundreds?) of participants, the listed people should be there!
What kind of stupid is this guy? Why should I read his 250 pages when I can keep to the 35 of the Wegman Report?

From Jeff Id, here’s a comparison of texts – Wegman and Bradley
and here’s Science Fair interviewing Bradley:

“Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley, who is also one of the authors of the 1999 Nature study. In response to earlier concerns raised by the Deep Climate website, Bradley says he wrote a letter in April to GMU, noting the possibility of plagiarism and demanding an investigation of both the 2006 report and a subsequent, federally-funded study published by some of Wegman’s students. “Talk about irony. It just seems surreal (that) these authors could criticize my work when they are lifting my words.”

“It just seems surreal”… that Bradley could fail to distinguish between Wegman needing to explain Bradley’s definitions, and Wegman criticising Bradley’s conclusions.
Shoot-the-messenger-gate.

Jordan

I agree with Dishman. Another opportunity to discuss the Hockey Stick will keep open a festering wound, and will do nothing to help the catastrophe theory.
It’s like the indefatigable Black Night in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail”. Convinced of his own invincibility, he refuses to give up the fight, even after losing all four limbs. Left quirming on the ground, the Black Night still taunts King Arthur for running away.

John Silver

If you missed it, here is the Wegman report:
http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/WegmanReport.pdf

Michael

Tom seems to come up with his own, not very clearly explained, definition of palgiarism.
Something to do with having the same professional background as the person whose work you’ve copied, or not, or something.

Tom, another very helpful and incisive post.
It inspired this
http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/plagiarism_scr.jpg

LazyTeenager

I literally cannot understand why Mashey would make this his first point.
—————–
Simple really. By providing the seed information for a report into a politically sensitive issue it becomes likely that the outcome will be biassed.
Since it seems that Congressman Barton is being accused of having an agenda and that Wegman was chosen to produce a report that gave effect to that agenda the issue of whether the report is biassed or not assumes some importance.
Hope that’s clear now.

LazyTeenager

Is Mashey accusing Wegman of falsely representing himself as an expert in climate science?
———————-
No. It is being implied that Wegman or whoever actually wrote the report took short-cuts in producing the text for the report. This leads to significant concern that the analysis itself in the report was based on taking short-cuts and therefore the conclusions in the report may be flawed.
Personally I find it strange that when an expert is employed by the US Congress that they might delegate the work to someone else instead of putting in their own best effort.
Hope that’s clear now.

Downloaded, tried to read it. The first 200 pages are just — weird! No way I’m wasting time ploughing through that. Then we come to the devastating comparison. I looked at about six pages of that before I junked the whole thing. Example after example of two-column printout, Wegman on the left and other authors on the right (for example):
(left column) Wegman: Mann says that ~X.
(right column) Mann: X.
(Where ~X is a statement resembling statement X.) Sorry, that’s not plagiarism, and anyone who thinks it is hasn’t a clue about academic work whatever.
As usual, another utterly absurd beatup. Oh, and if there’s something valid I missed in the part after about page 205 where I gave up, then they should have skipped pages 1-205 and started with p206, obviously. There’s a limit to how much bilge people have to read before they rightly conclude you’re a dishonest incompetent.

S Basinger

The emails contain prima facie evidence of illegal activity in terms of conspiracy to destroy FOIA-able documents. If it weren’t for an overly short statute of limitations, some individuals would likely be in serious legal trouble.
Pretty sad, actually. It does say something about the honesty of the individuals involved. When confronted with the evidence of their own words, the only honest reponse would be to man-up, admit the error, apolgize sincerely and take this as a learning experience to better oneself.
I’m still hearing of pretty much the same rounding of the wagons, rhetoric and excuses that led to this mess in the first place. I’m thinking that not a lot has been learned and it’s pretty much back to business as usual for the hockey team.
This ridiculous attempt to silence a critic without addressing his points is yet another example. Keep digging.

LazyTeenager

Harry says
—————
The last thing this statistically challenged discipline needs is to go pick a fight with the statistics establishment
—————
Pure wishful thinking.
If memory serves:
1. Wegman is not the statistics establishment, he is just one practitioner and the attitude of other statisticians is unknown
2. Statisticians have already checked this research and say it’s ok, mostly
3. There are lots of people still doing paleoclimate and still producing hockey sticks from various proxies and statistical methods up to the present day

WAM

@LazyTeenager
You could just check in WIKI (but maybe you are LAZY, i do not presume other agenda)
“….. Edward Wegman is a statistician, a statistics professor at George Mason University, and past chair of the National Research Council’s Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. He holds a Ph.D. in mathematical statistics and is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a Senior Member of the IEEE. ….”
He specializes in statistics. You may or may not count him into an “establishment”. However, I would rather put some weight on his statistical analysis, not on analysis (was there any? in statistical journals?) practicioners of statistics from The Team.

LazyTeenager

Steve Mosher says
————-
time for somebody to get Bradley textbook. Apply some software and go full bore.
Wegman is a bit player in the HS. Bradley is on the core team. Target Bradley.
————-
talking of home goals
Are you actually saying that Bradley ripped off Cuff and Goudie and then Wegman ripped off Bradley or Cuff and Goudie.
This is getting weird because you are acknowledging that Wegman ripped off someone.