#Climategate continues – first look at the Mann-Hughes hockey stick emails

Evaluation of the Hughes emails

David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.

This is a lengthy article and covers several related topics. As previously reported, we have now received the Malcolm Hughes emails discussing issues related to the 1,000-year temperature reconstruction presented in the Mann, Bradley, Hughes 1998 & 1999 papers (MBH98 & MBH99). The collection contains 7,511 pages of emails and attachments and other records, of which 93% (6,999 pages) were withheld and subsequently ordered to be released. The 512 pages that were voluntarily released are in a file entitled:

Malcom_Hughes_email_production Non-Privileged

https://eelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Malcom_Hughes_email_production-Non-Privileged.pdf

can be downloaded from there and are paginated as “ABOR/MH/Non-Priv-001” through “ABOR/MH/Non-Priv-00512”.

The previously withheld documents are in a file entitled:

Malcolm Hughes Withheld Documents

https://eelegal.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Malcolm-Hughes-Withheld-Documents.pdf

can be downloaded from there and are paginated beginning with “ABOR/MH/Priv-000037” and ending with “ABORF/MH/Priv-007274”, but are not fully sequentially ordered.

The University was permitted to continue to withhold 275 pages. Those pages involve student records, ongoing research, and peer review evaluations. My comments below cite to the “Priv” pages and can be quickly found using the Adobe search function on the page numbers.

An Introductory Note

I do not know and have never spoken with Professor Malcolm Hughes. I once saw him in a courtroom but we were never introduced. I wish we had met. I think we would have found much in common and might have forged a friendship, being of the same generation and formal academic background. Based on a review of Dr. Hughes public records alone, I find he is a thoughtful man and genuinely honest as regarding his science. He is not the instigator of emotional arguments and in the 7,511 pages of his public records, I found not a single mean-spirited statement from him. Nor did I see him encouraging attempts to remove editors or even criticize them. Rather, he tends to be the adult in the room, entering the fray when Michael Mann attempts to push beyond the bounds of proper academic behavior (as established in the American Association of University Professors’ Ethical Guidelines), and otherwise leaving to Mann and others the braggadocio and crankiness that resulted in a handful of unhelpful criticisms and the resultant mea culpa’s necessary to maintain some level of working relationship amongst this small group of co-authoring academics.

Topics covered below include Dr. Hughes professionalism, how to protect confidentiality when needed, the failure of many to keep research logs, inconsistencies between the Hughes collection and the Mann collection recently made public, civility, the MBH versus the McIntyre & McKitrick papers, and a never-before seen (and failed) effort by Mann to explain away the divergence of tree ring data from actual temperatures. Because WUWT is best when presenting and discussing science, I begin with the divergence and borehole issues.

Divergence and the Need to Hide the Decline

ABOR/MH/Priv-005599 & ABOR/MH/Priv-005613 & ABOR/MH/Priv-005620

The “hide the decline” divergence issue is directly addressed here in a paper that was prepared for that purpose. It claims the MBH reconstruction does “predict” the 1990s temperatures. However, Hughes and Bradley were against submission of the note to Nature and it was never published.

Notably, this does not show the actual tree ring proxy data from after 1980 that Briffa and Osborne published that shows the divergence. The scientific question that remains 20 years after MBH98 is as to why the tree ring data diverges and what this means with regard to the pre-1900 reconstruction of MBH98 & MBH99.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005618 & 005624

Mann argues that, taking Bradley’s concerns into account, his reconstruction methods still work. Actually, he graphs this and it shows the adjustments do not work well. Of course, he doesn’t show uncertainty on the graph and provides no analysis of statistical association between recorded temperature and the proxy reconstruction.

The chart below is from email ABOR/MH/Priv-005618. Note, the dotted line (Mann’s tree-ring temperature reconstruction) is well below the actual temperature record after 1980 and does not show the clear divergence known to exist after 1992, something it seems he was unwilling to show for that reason.

clip_image002

ABOR/MH/Priv-005628

Notably, Mann admits only the high elevation bristlecone pine chronologies do “a good job in calibrating/cross-validating against the instrumental record . . .” Hence, Bradley’s comment that the note and its failure of the 1990’s reconstruction to track the actual temperature “well enough” condemns an effort to send a note to Nature as not worthwhile.

Hughes agrees with Bradley and is against publishing. See ABOR/MH/Priv-005632. This is a rare instance when Hughes chooses to hide data that would have moved the discussion forward within the scientific community. It would have encouraged others to take a harder look at the utility of proxy data and spur new work on a high-quality proxy data set that comes out nearer to present. He stated:

That this new version of your post-1980 calculations should be so sensitive to the omission of a single record is very worrying indeed. It should also be noted that nothing much happens in the ‘new’ reconstruction until the last three years. I fear this would give a wonderful opportunity to those who would discredit the approach we used in MBH 1998 and 1999. They would almost certainly seize it to attack the use of the MBH99 reconstruction in the IPCC. On reflection, I think it would be much wiser for us to keep our powder dry, and if challenged in a creditable forum point out that we are working on assembling a dense and high quality proxy data set that comes out nearer to present.

Mann’s response indicates why he agrees to not publish, “While I actually think it does disprove the assertion they often make, I’m inclined now to agree that there are enough weak points that it might just open up other holes for them to attack us on.” At ABOR/MH/Priv-005633 This is different from “negative findings” being unpublishable. It is a clear desire to hide negative results that would have otherwise moved the scientific discussion forward.

The Borehole Debate

Borehole data impeaches much of the tree-ring data used in MBH and a paper that challenged MBH98 also opens the door to what appears to be selection bias in the borehole data MBH used. I don’t follow this work closely so I don’t know if this is new information to WUWT readers or is a rehash of an old discussion. Nevertheless, it shows the extent to which Mann goes to try to protect MBH98.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005538

Esper and Mann disagreed on how and when to use borehole data. When a third party enters the discussion, providing data to support Esper over Mann, Mann’s reaction is to dun the Science Letters Editor. See ABOR/MH/Priv-005543. Yet, this is exactly how scientific discussions are supposed to be handled – through subsequent publication of confirming or impeaching observations. Mann claims the Pollack contribution has been “soundly discredited” in a Mann paper that Science rejected and was subsequently to be published in the “technical” literature. However, Science and J. Geophysical Research have two different audiences; Science has a responsibility to support a discussion of a paper it had already published and Science was giving Mann the opportunity to engage in that discussion by preparing a response letter to be published with the Pollack letter. Mann simply did not want the Pollack data to be seen and he succeeded. See ABOR/MH/Priv-005571

ABOR/MH/Priv-005542. Again, the Mann versions of the emails fail to include the related and relevant graphics.

Showing how different Mann, Esper and Pollack reconstructions are.

clip_image004

In another example (at ABOR/MH/Priv-000082), Tom Crowley argues “if we cannot make a case to our colleagues, why muddy the waters further”. It is one thing to recognize that you cannot demonstrate new knowledge. It is entirely another to begin from a presumption of knowledge and realize you do not have the observations necessary to convince others. The correct approach is to admit ignorance and highlight to your colleagues that this is an avenue worth of pursuit. Mann seems not to recognize this as how scientists should behave.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005686

Bradley arguing that borehole data that does not support their approach should not be used. The manuscript should indicate that kind of decision. It calls into question all use of borehole data, one would think.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005688

This is a good example of the (potential? Actual?) biases entered into their paper. They simply did not include anything that altered their prior planned outcome and did not explain why.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005811

When Nature did not accept the attack on Pollack, they sent it to Science. There is harsh criticism of both the Nature editor and the Pollack paper, neither appropriate, and Hughes calls Mann out on that. See, ABOR/MH/Priv-005813. Bradley calls him out as well, wanting the following taken out: “but are based on what many in the paleoclimate research community feel are deep flaws in methodology and data quality.” Obviously, Mann does not “speak” for the entire community and Bradley believes Mann is not in step with the “community” in that regard.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005941

Hughes demonstrate the position of a responsible scientist, writing “We should avoid all appearance (and reality) of pressuring any journal or organization.” This is a very strong indication of his integrity and commitment to good science and the proper means to engage the scientific community. But, Mann isn’t having any of it. See, ABOR/MH/Priv-005944. Bradly and Hughes cave on this. See, ABOR/MH/Priv-005950

Professional Demeanor

A good example of Dr. Hughes’ performance of good scholarship is found at ABOR/MH/Priv-000309 thru ABOR/MH/Priv-000315 (read from the bottom up). Therein he explained to his colleagues that for the paper on which this team was working, he was shifting the tree-ring part of the dataset they would use, explaining why and opting for the dataset containing only those that meet chosen a priori standards, apparently rather than choosing a dataset that would produce a desired outcome. Normally, this effort would not be a cause for meritorious celebration, but amongst this coterie, it was an unusual success for good science and Dr. Hughes should be recognized for that result.

In another example of laudable scholarship, Dr. Hughes realized Mann had not properly archived the data used in the MBH98 paper. In November, 2003, five years after publication of MBH98, Hughes makes it clear that the team needs to do what it should have done in 1998, make available a “well documented and thoroughly checked file containing the data we used in MBH98.” See, ABOR/MH/Priv-001385. As Dr. Hughes explains, “I think it is important that we dispose of the data problems completely, and, if any errors crept in during the original collation of the dataset, we document them. I fully understand and agree with your approach of not being drawn into a guerilla campaign with these guys. They are not my main concern. I am concerned, however, about how our scientific colleagues view our work in the future, and I believe we need to do this for this reason. This affects all three of us [Mann, Bradley and Hughes].”

During the litigation, when accused of asking for these public records for the exclusive purpose of harassing these academics and seeking to cherry-pick emails intended to embarrass them, I responded that we had no idea what was in the emails, but that their release would allow the public to see how they engaged in their scientific pursuits. Further, the emails of an honest scientist would exonerate them from any accusations of misbehavior. I believe Dr. Hughes’ emails do just that, and I commend him to you as an example of a good scientist. I leave to others evaluation of Hughes’ correspondents.

As I explained to the Court, release of these emails would do more than open to public view the processes by which academics produce important scientific papers. It would also explore core behaviors on which there has been argument amongst Constitutional lawyers regarding academic freedom and the need for a scholar’s privilege. I briefly address these below, citing to emails for that purpose.

Ability to have confidential discussions

The University argued that emails should not be released as they constitute the means by which confidential discussions took place, and their release would chill such discussions. Our expert testimony dispelled that argument, but these emails do so as well. Notably, Dr. Hughes resorts to the telephone when he finds a need to address interpersonally sensitive topics (see, e.g., ABOR/MH/Priv-000202). In his decision in the legal matter that resulted in release of these emails, Judge Marner specifically noted that where the need for confidentiality in communications arose, the telephone was available, indicating that emails are neither a complete nor necessary replacement for voice-to-voice communications, and thus release of the emails would not harm the ability of academics to cooperate or necessarily chill the research effort.

Lack of a Research Log

Scientists are taught to keep research logs that chronical their work and allow for two things, duplication of the work and full recollection of what is done. In 2011, I asked the University of Virginia for documents from 15 of their faculty scientists that evidence the keeping of a research log associated with each of those scientists’ most recent peer-reviewed papers. Not one of them kept any discernable research log. As a result, no one could duplicate their work and they had no basis by which to make authoritative statements as to what they did. Mike Mann was one of those 15.

The Hughes documents shows the problem with this kind of misbehavior. Apparently the MBH99 paper stated that they used 28 chronologies for the western U.S. Keith Briffa and Jan Esper, who were preparing their own reconstruction, wanted to know which were used. Dr. Hughes was able to identify only 27 that were used (see ABOR/MH/Priv-000292). Mann, without a research log, had to rely on Scott Rutherford (then at Roger Williams University, but one of Mann’s Post-Doctoral research assistants) to reconstruct what they had done, thus independently confirming Dr. Hughes research notes or files. While Mann kept no log, Dr. Hughes appears to have done so, or at least the practical equivalent.

Inconsistencies between the Hughes and Mann email collections

In an effort to blunt our release of the Hughes emails, Michael Mann released the emails he claimed were withheld in the Virginia litigation. Unlike the Hughes collection, the Mann collection does not include attachments. As mentioned below, some of these attachments are highly valuable historical presentations of how they achieved their results. One example of note is the repeated efforts by Mann to impeach the borehole data that significantly undermines the MBH99 temperature reconstruction. See, ABOR/MH/Priv-005542. In another, at ABOR/MH/Priv-005618, Mann does his best to revive the legitimacy of his hockey stick reconstruction by attempting to unhide the decline – that is, to find proxy data that did not suffer from the divergence between post-1980 the proxy-based temperature reconstruction and measured temperature. Mann’s repeated efforts to salvage something out of his approach was eventually cashiered by both Professor Hughes and Professor Bradley. The Mann collection does not include all this material. The Hughes collection does.

The Mann collection is also missing interesting emails that are in the Hughes collection. At ABOR/MH/Priv-000425, and nearby, is a continuation of the discussion on which tree-ring datasets to use. This is an October 2002 discussion that appears to be the underpinning of a 2002 AGU Fall Meeting presentation entitled “Proxy-Based Reconstruction of Surface Temperature Variations in Past Centuries”, where the U.S. team and the U.K. team try to find common ground on northern hemisphere hot and cold periods. This is missing from the Mann collection, as is a discussion on how Mann and Crowley disagree regarding a recalibration of the tree ring data used in MBH98 and MBH99 that undermines the hockey stick. See, ABOR/MH/Priv-000523.

ABOR/MH/Priv-006407. This is an example of an improper redaction (“Henry’s student” was redacted.). The Mann email release does not contain any redactions and should have (e.g., phone numbers and private email addresses).

Civility

In late 2000, efforts to replicate the MBH98 & MBH99 temperature reconstructions had already begun to invalidate the hockey stick output. Of particular concern by Mann was the efforts by Tom Crowley, Phil Jones and Keith Briffa. Dr. Hughes describes the contretemps as rising from a “mental block accepting the basic idea of your [Mann’s] methods.” In contrast, Mann describes this as

“Phil and Keith (and sadly, Tom) simply just don’t seem know what the hell they’re doing here or, if they do, they are being intentionally deceptive.” See, ABOR/MH/Priv-000523 – ABOR/MH/Priv-000529.

Michael Mann has demonstrated a lack of civility in the past and that behavior is on full display in the Hughes collection. In comparison, Dr. Hughes does not engage in such behavior.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005461

The Esper/Mann disagreement was not completely civil. Mann directly accuses a Science Journal editor of “bad judgment” for allowing publication of a paper with which Mann disagrees. The appropriate response is a letter in science pointing out weaknesses in the paper, which Mann and Trenberth attempt to get published (independently). Trenberth’s letter was not published. Mann’s was.

MBH versus MM

For those of you interested in the interactions among the MBH threesome as regards the critique of their work by McIntyre & McKitrick, you may wish to look at ABOR/MH/Priv-001717. Clearly, the MBH team was in need of a competent statistician and probably wished they had one to work with them in 1998. In addition, the emails contain the unpublished “REPLY TO ‘Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcings over the past six centuries: A comment.’ By S. McIntyre and R. McKitrick”. Nature published the M&M Comment but chose not to Nature did not publish the comment or the MBH reply. The M&M Comment is available at: http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/fallupdate04/MM.resub.pdf

An interesting side note that I have not seen mentioned previously was the response of Nature to the M&M critique. Nature wanted a correction to MBH98:

“Having carefully gone through your responses and after discussing the matter with my colleagues, we feel that we will need you to publish a correction to your initial paper (MBH98), stating the differences in the data sets used compared to those listed in the Supplementary Information of the original paper. The full data, as available on your ftp site, will be published as Supplementary Information to that correction.” See, ABOR/MH/Priv-001935.

Additional Notes

For those without the time to read the 7,511 pages of Hughes’ material, below are some call-outs that I believe help reveal the nature of work done by this small team of academics during this seminal period of time.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005436

An example of normal discussions between scientists. They were within the norms for civility, addressed specific scientific questions, challenged each other’s analysis, and recognized the strengths and weaknesses in the work. Clearly, each side was defensive, but no ad hominem.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005445

Concern about keeping funding agencies happy is made clear, but with regard to credibility, not outcomes.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005448

Interestingly, Hughes notes that reconstructions of 1000 years ago, “should be viewed as very preliminary” but this is not how the MBH99 is portrayed. Notably, Hughes also identifies what is needed to shore up the utility of these reconstructions.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005528

Hughes contributions to this dispute were small, even tempered and professional.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005641

Hughes rarely discloses his concern about defending his work, unlike Mann. He does, however, have such concerns about his work holding up. “It seems that you and Tom did a pretty good job, as, for readers without knowledge of what was going on, the effect on our work is probably no worse than neutral”. The previous emails in the chain indicate they had to defend their work against reviewers and beat back criticisms enough to get the paper accepted.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005642

Showing how Mann picks peer reviewers.

ABOR/MH/Priv-005669

Bradley showing problems with the proxies

ABOR/MH/Priv-006406

Reference to talks Hughes had in Japan makes clear why this kind of record is valuable. He identifies individuals who have new ideas, ones that would significantly caution the utility of Hughes own work.

ABOR/MH/Priv-006408

Example of a pay to publish behavior.

Finally, the Overpeck collection will become available in January. It is a much larger collection (~95,000 pages) and, in the main, addresses preparation of the IPCC Fourth report. That collection contains a large amount of formatting code which makes much of it unreadable. As soon as I have removed that coding and taken an initial look at the collection, I’ll make it available in the same manner as we did the Hughes collection.

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149 thoughts on “#Climategate continues – first look at the Mann-Hughes hockey stick emails

  1. As in all early sorting out periods of religions, the details are messy and revealing for those looking for the historical accounts and annoying for those true believers who don’t want to look.

  2. Please can somebody explain why these e-mails are available now but were not allowed to be seen when sought by AG Cuccinelli in Virginia.

    • Ken C. sought them under a legal theory that Mann had misused state funds through fraud. The court dodged dealing with the merits of the fraud claim by holding that Cuccinelli did not have authority to bring the claim against the University. We followed up on this by seeking the identical public records through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, but the Supreme Court held that these records were exempted under that Act. I continue to argue that most were not, but that is irrelevant as other Virginia universities have not followed UVA’s recalcitrance, knowing that another trial court judge would take a much harder look at the emails of theirs and come to another conclusion. The Arizona (Hughes/Overpeck) public records request followed the failure in Virginia. AND, then Mann caved when we won in Arizona.

  3. You say “Nature published the M&M Comment but chose not to publish the MBH reply.” This is incorrect. Nature did not publish our comment. We posted the submission online, together with reviews, so that people interested in the matter could have access.

    • Thank you for that clarification. I looked for the M&M paper on the web and it looked like it had been published, and that’s how Mann and Hughes addressed the issue. In any case, I provide a link to Steve’s paper and reference to MBH’s response, which was indeed rejected for publication.

    • ” We posted the submission online, together with reviews”

      David/Steve, I can find the summited M&M manuscripts (three of them), but not the reviews. Where are those?

  4. Mann … provides no analysis of statistical association between recorded temperature and the proxy reconstruction.

    The fatal criticism of the entire method is that there is no particular physical association between recorded temperature and the proxy reconstruction.

    Putting degrees C on the ordinate is scientific fraud.

    Bradley may be a temperate thoughtful guy, but he introduced a practice — proxy temperature reconstructions — that has no known basis in physics.

    There is no physical theory that converts tree ring metrics, or even an ice-core dO-18 reading, into Celsius.

    The entire field is a scientific crock.

    It’s people closing their eyes to the faults and problems in their methods so as to be able to say something.

    All the practice within AGW climatology is infested with that failure. The whole thing is a colossal monument to incompetent negligence.

    • The field is enabled by the fiction that any dissent isn’t valid, but is only due to oil company influence. Without that over-arching narrative consensus climate science cannot survive.
      It is not science.
      It is Lysenkoism.
      William Happer said it first.

      Don132

      • “The field is enabled by the fiction that any dissent isn’t valid, but is only due to oil company influence.”

        The one-way genetic fallacy: Big oil influence = malevolent; Big government influence = nothing to see here.

      • We call it “Lysenkoism”,
        future generations will know it as “Mannism”, unless he remains an unexposed enabler of a successful global socialist climate coupe.

    • Mann may have been using tree “rings”, but a more accurate description for the Bristlecone Pines on White Mountain would be barren trunks, adorned with scabs or islands or strips of bark. The trunks have large areas where there is no bark and no growth.

      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/09/14/study-reveals-that-manns-bristlecone-pine-trees-may-not-be-good-treemometers-after-all/

      It is a very harsh and challenging environment. The idea that the trees trunks grow in a circular fashion with uniform ring widths may be convenient for those who wish to believe in unicorns, but it has no bearing on the bristlecone. The variations in ring width are pronounced even for nominally circular tree trunks. We recently took down some Douglas Firs that were about 5′ in diameter. Looking at the stump, and imagining the variation in ring width based on the angle of the core, one could easily find changes that supported almost any shape to correspond to the researcher’s needs. Hockey sticks, camelbacks, steady increases, steady decreases … they are all there if you look hard enough.

      I’m not advocating that the bristlecones should be cut down. I’m just suggesting that it would take an awful lot of coring to capture any reasonably comprehensive understanding of its growth over the last thousand years. And then what would be know? Warmer, colder, more humid, more rain, less rain, more sheep grazing the competing grasses, no sheep, take your pick?

    • “There is no physical theory that converts tree ring metrics, or even an ice-core dO-18 reading, into Celsius …”.
      ================================
      That’s an insight that hadn’t occurred to me, although I’m not a scientist.
      Thanks.

    • Patrick ,
      Are you saying that all ice core information cannot be reliably converted to an actual temperature?

      • You can calculate a temperature from a proxy. It will have some kind of meaning.

        You can calculate a temperature from the instrumental or satellite record. It will have some different meaning.

        The math required to make the many and various proxy temperature calculations commensurate with the instrumental and satellite temperature calculations is beyond me. In many ways, they are apples and oranges.

        • None of the current temperature proxies used in climatology have any specific physical meaning. commieBob.

          • The point of a proxy is that there is a correlation and some kind of causality between the proxy and something else. An example would be using a bolometer to measure microwaves.

            The microwaves heat up the bolometer and that changes its electrical characteristics. Those are relatively easy to measure. So, you can measure microwave power even if you don’t have circuitry that will operate at microwave frequencies. So ohms become a proxy for watts.

            Similarly, the (defective) theory is that the width of tree rings depends on ambient temperature. In theory, tree rings will give you an indication of the ambient temperature when the rings grew.

            Tree ring temperature proxies have just as much physical meaning as calculated global temperatures. LOL

          • commieBob, thanks, I understand the meaning and utility of a proxy.

            The problem with tree rings is that the causal impact on width or density is multifarious. Different causes can produce the same observable. Parsing out which cause produced wider/thinner width or lesser/greater density is impossible in contemporaneous tree rings much less in rings reflecting past times.

            The field assumes that a tree producing rings correlated with temperature today, provides a correlation with temperature tens or hundreds of years into the past.

            There’s no known reason for that to be true. And there’s no physical theory predicting that to be generally true.

            Nor is there a valid theory that will extract a temperature cause from among any other causes for any given tree.

            Further, the judgment that the growth of any given tree is “temperature limited” is qualitative. It’s the subjective judgment of a professional, based on an estimate of the local ecology and local climate (e.g., a high altitude tree in a sparse ecology).

            They then convert qualitative judgments into quantitative estimates, all by way of statistics and assumptions. No physics.

            It’s impossible.

            The proxy paleo-temperature field is no more than pseudo-science.

          • Pat Frank,

            If tree rings provided no information about temperature data, they would not be used. Simple as that. Just because you don’t understand all that goes into the science of dendroclimatology doesn’t make it invalid.

          • Kristi, you presume that the people who are honest know what they’re doing, and the people who know what they’re doing are honest.

            Neither is true.

            I’ve assayed the paleo-temperature product on WUWT here, and published on its failures here.

            No one invested in the AGW narrative pays any attention to falsifications.

          • kristi silber December 10, 2018 at 9:53 pm

            Just because you don’t understand all that goes into the science of dendroclimatology doesn’t make it invalid.

            Dr. Michael Mann is a physicist. I would say he is insufficiently trained to understand the nuances of plant growth. Just because he doesn’t understand all that goes into the science of dendroclimatology doesn’t make it valid.

            What I see on both sides of the debate are folks who get the basic science wrong. There is an amusing thing in engineering. Someone who has obtained a PhD in engineering won’t qualify as a professional engineer without a BEng. or a BSci. in Engineering. Why? There’s no evidence they have mastered the basics in spite of obviously advanced skills in some areas.

            I’ve seen well respected people fill pages with math and analysis all based on a faulty understanding of something very basic. The sad thing is that they then fess up to their error but insist that their core conclusions are still correct. Sad really.

          • The problem with bio-indicators is that, frequently, too much value is assigned to the relationship between the indicator and the variable of interest. By their nature, bio-indicators are plagued by the uncertainty of numerous environmental factors (“multifarious”) which is difficult to limit as that may require the introduction of other proxies and their uncertainties. Then, taking a handful of sites and extrapolating to a global connection puts one on very thin ice. Maybe not pseudo-science, but quantitative can be come qualitative very quickly and the researcher misses the change, helped by a deceptive statistical analysis.

          • That’s interesting Kristi.
            You assume that scientists that you agree with, would never do anything underhanded. Like using tree rings as a temperature proxy when there was no evidence that tree rings actually are a temperature proxy.

            On the other hand, you assume that every scientist that you disagree with is in the pay of big oil and not to be believed.

            PS: I love the way you ignore the science that shows that tree rings are not good temperature proxies.

          • Pat Frank,

            “The non-science of published paleothermometry was proved by their non-defense of its tree-ring center; an indictment of discretionary silence.”

            What kind of reasoning is that? Someone doesn’t defend a science, and that “proves” it’s a “non-science”? That makes non-sense.

            Your link to your paper only provides an abstract; it’s impossible to evaluate your research from that.

            “For their part, consensus paleo-temperature reconstructions deploy an improper ‘correlation = causation’ logic,”

            You could also assert that a mercury thermometer employs a correlation=causation logic.

            “suborn physical theory” In what way does tree ring analysis suborn physical theory?

            “Finally, the published global averaged surface air temperature record completely neglects systematic instrumental error.” If it did, there would be no adjustment of temperature records to correct for of errors.

            “The entire consensus position fails critical examination and evidences pervasive analytical negligence.”

            It amazes me that so many people have the arrogance to assert something like this. They seem to believe their opinion is free of bias and error, while thousands of others around the world are guided by bias and ignorant of both their errors and those of others.

            It’s easy to SAY that thousands of people are either dishonest or don’t know what they are doing. Heck, I could say that about you! Why not? I know at least as much about you as you know about most of the researchers you condemn.

            I prefer to believe that everyone makes mistakes sometimes – some large, some small; some err more frequently than others. Everyone who has formed an opinion about AGW is also to some degree biased, but that doesn’t mean all biased scientists produce only biased science. If that were the case, there would be no reason to listen to anyone, and we would simply remain in perpetual, stagnant ignorance.

          • commieBob,

            “Dr. Michael Mann is a physicist. I would say he is insufficiently trained to understand the nuances of plant growth. ”

            I never said anything about Michael Mann, so this is irrelevant to my comment. The only thing I have to say about him is that his degrees are in Geology and Geophysics, and since graduate school he has concentrated on climate science, particularly paleoclimatology. If you want to judge ability in the field by credentials, his educational background and experience are much more suitable to the study of climate reconstruction than those of McKittrick and McIntyre. I’m not defending Mann, I’m just addressing your argument.

            One doesn’t need to be a plant physiologist to practice dendroclimatolgy – the biological aspects are really pretty basic. One does need to know about proper proxy selection, data collection, calibration and statistics.

            “Similarly, the (defective) theory is that the width of tree rings depends on ambient temperature. In theory, tree rings will give you an indication of the ambient temperature when the rings grew.”

            In what way is it a defective theory to say that the width of rings of some trees of some species is representative of the annual variation in environment under which the trees grew? If this theory were defective, how would it be possible to calibrate the rings with the instrumental record in the first place? If you are not aware of the causation that underlies the correlation, maybe it’s you who don’t know enough about tree growth to judge.

            In some habitats, temperature limits tree growth more than other annually variable factors. Site selection is important.

            It’s known that strip-barking can influence ring widths, but this happens when the trees are very old; the inner rings are not affected. In a 1000-yr-old tree, the rings from its first few hundred years may still be usable (after taking the precaution to cross-reference them with other trees). One also needs to take into account other factors, like disturbances (herbivore damage, wildfire, destructive storms) and environmental variables other than the one being reconstructed. That is part of the process. People have pointed out that depending on what side of the tree is cored, the rings can look very different. True, but the relevant data is the pattern of rings within a core; this pattern will stay generally the same even if the rings as a whole are twice as wide on one side as another.

            It’s not an exact science, and it must be done carefully to be done well, but I see no reason why the theory should be called defective. There are a limited number of tools available for climate reconstructions. Is it better to have reasonable estimates, or no estimates at all? Better to insist on precision, or remain ignorant? This is not engineering. A scientific study doesn’t have to have everything perfect to contribute to the whole. MBH98 was not perfect. It was the first of its kind, and led to more research. This is the process of science. The fact that it was so influential is not an outcome of the research, but of the way it was used and the controversy it created; if not for the efforts to discredit it and its authors, it’s unlikely that it would be the focus of so much discussion 20 years later.

            I’d like to see the emails of Jay Lehr, the science director of the Heartland institute. He, along with Keith Leiux, spent 6 months in prison for defrauding the EPA out of $200,000. That doesn’t speak well for his honesty and credibility, nor for the organization that chooses such a man to lead their scientific agenda.

          • kristi silber December 11, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            … If you want to judge ability in the field by credentials, his educational background and experience are much more suitable to the study of climate reconstruction than those of McKittrick and McIntyre.

            As far as I can tell, they were criticizing Mann’s use of statistics. They are eminently qualified for that.

            Many things affect tree ring growth. link I would say that anyone purporting to read temperature from tree rings has to answer a great many questions. Answering those questions would require someone to be an expert on all the things that affect tree ring growth.

          • Kristi, is it fair in your judgement to stitch the proxy record to the satellite era data in order to produce the “hockey stick” graph?

          • Pop Piasa,

            “Fair”? I think it’s legitimate to append the instrumental record to a reconstruction when the proxy data are know to produce fallacious results in recent decades, as long as it’s made clear that one is doing so. This wasn’t always made clear, and that was, indeed, a grave mistake. That was Jones’s doing, and it’s just one reason I don’t trust his judgment and believe he acted unprofessionally and unethically.

          • Kristi Silber: “The only thing I have to say about him is that his degrees are in Geology and Geophysics, and since graduate school he has concentrated on climate science, particularly paleoclimatology. If you want to judge ability in the field by credentials, his educational background and experience are much more suitable to the study of climate reconstruction than those of McKittrick and McIntyre. I’m not defending Mann, I’m just addressing your argument.”

            You need to have the whole picture, including his work and his work-related activities. In his lawsuit versus Steyn, he is making the ridiculous argument that he has been exonerated by various “investigations.” For example, the Court of Appeals in the Steyn case stated:

            “Dr. Mann also submitted extensive documentation from eight separate inquiries that either found no evidence supporting allegations that he engaged in fraud or misconduct or concluded that the methodology used to generate the data that resulted in the hockey stick graph is valid and that the data were not fabricated or wrongly manipulated.”

            This is partly legal sleight of hand because of the use of the word “or” following the word “misconduct.” However, the idea that 8 inquiries fairly and thoroughly examined Mann’s work is ridiculous. No honest person could even dream up such a deceitful argument. Also, Mann in the past claimed that he won the Nobel prize, which is ridiculous. Also, he commented one time that he was glad that Peter Gleick had been cleared. (This was also ridiculous because Gleick hired his own lawyer who claimed to have engaged in an investigation, but refused to release anything about the investigation.)

            So, we have someone with impressive looking degrees acting very deceptively and stupidly. He deserves to be ignored and defunded.

          • Hello, Kristi. I’ve read a number of your comments over the years and, many times, understand your reasoning underpinning such, although I might not always agree. For me, your statement that strikes me most is, “It’s not an exact science, and it must be done carefully to be done well, but I see no reason why the theory should be called defective.” That’s true, I think, but you also mention 10 different considerations that can affect data interpretation plus “environmental variables other than the one being reconstructed.” And, I believe that’s true, as well. I would add that the other environmental variables would add several more considerations to the list, including some aspect of solar insolation.

            But, while it may not be required to have a plant physiology background, a working knowledge of the physiology and ecology of the target species would be useful. Of course, a team may encompass that knowledge, as well as knowledge in the other important areas you mentioned (such as statistics).

            I note your thought that science is a process and, again, I agree. You have to start somewhere! But, as a general comment logic dictates that data become less certain with time in the past (perhaps even beyond the power of statistical analysis), particularly when considering hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of years or more.

            Not a particular criticism. Just a thought.

          • kristi silber@December 11, 2018 at 12:37 pm

            Point-by-point, Kristi.

            You wrote, “What kind of reasoning is that?, but somehow left out the context. The defenders of proxy paleo-T were dendrochronologists. but they centered their defense of proxy paleo-T in dO-18. Not a word about their own specialty in tree rings.

            I called them on their peculiar silence. You apparently missed the significant point that they were unwilling to come to the defense of their own field. Because there is no defense, Kristi.

            You apparently didn’t read down to “Part II: Pseudo-Science: Statistical Thermometry.” That is where I took on your fave, Kristi, tree ring proxy paleo-temperature reconstructions. Including tree rings.

            Summary conclusion: there is no science in any of it. It’s all statistical thingamajiggery.

            Next, you wrote: “mercury thermometer employs a correlation=causation logic.

            I’m disappointed in you Kristi. You’re supposed to be a science junkie. The change in density of Hg with temperature is well known and well-understood. Mercury thermometers operate purely in causal space.

            Next: ““suborn physical theory” In what way does tree ring analysis suborn physical theory?” Suborn means to induce into criminal activity. Tree ring proxy paleo-T dragoons a claim of physical meaning.

            Physical meaning requires a physical theory. But they have none. They are implicating physical theory, therefore, in falsely asserting a physical meaning.

            False assertion of physical meaning is criminality in science. Hence suborning physical theory into scientific criminality.

            Next, first quoting me: ““Finally, the published global averaged surface air temperature record completely neglects systematic instrumental error.” If it did, there would be no adjustment of temperature records to correct for of errors.

            They don’t know the systematic sensor measurement errors, Kristi. They can’t correct for them. Instead, they ignore them. Here is my paper on the subject, free of charge (1 mb pdf). See for yourself.

            Next, I wrote, “The entire consensus position fails critical examination and evidences pervasive analytical negligence.” to which you replied, “It amazes me that so many people have the arrogance to assert something like this. … (continuing rant snipped).”

            That statement is from my “Negligence…” paper. It doesn’t reflect arrogance, Kristi. It was a thoroughly documented conclusion.

            Read the paper yourself. I’m happy to send you a reprint. My email address is on the journal web page under “Article Information.”

            The article shows there’s no scientific validity to any of the three legs deployed to support AGW: the climate modeling, the air temperature record, and the proxy paleo-T reconstructions.

            The failure is universal. Never, ever, has there been such a confluence of incompetence and its prejudicial dishonest advocacy reportage. Never. Not ever. Couple that with the moral cowardice of the officers of our scientific institutions (or their pecuniary interests), and you have a perfect storm of abuse.

            I have done the work and have shown it, Kristi. Go ahead and try to falsify it. Others have tried and failed.

            You wrote, “It’s easy to SAY that thousands of people are either dishonest or don’t know what they are doing.

            I haven’t just said, Kristi. I’ve demonstrated.

            Heck, I could say that about you!” It wouldn’t be the same unless you could demonstrate it. Absent the demonstration (which I supplied), your say-so would be mere slander.

            Why not? I know at least as much about you as you know about most of the researchers you condemn.

            No you don’t. I’ve done the work. You haven’t.

            You wrote, “but that doesn’t mean all biased scientists produce only biased science. If that were the case, there would be no reason to listen to anyone, and we would simply remain in perpetual, stagnant ignorance.

            No, it doesn’t Kristi. It means you have to go out and check yourself. Do some of the work yourself. Find out where the truth lays for yourself. You’ll discover who has integrity, and who doesn’t.

            Apart from climate, for example, I’ve found that Christopher Hitchens has integrity toward his sources and Noam Chomsky does not. That allows me conditional trust for the other works of Hitchens, and an abiding distrust of everything Chomsky has written.

            You show intelligence, Kristi. Do the work it permits you. So far, all you’ve done is choose your canonical sources; your oracles. Like someone choosing a preacher. Faith has no place in science.

          • Pat, I read the “Here” paper and “Negligence”abstract and am certainly glad I did as they gave me a much better understanding of error in temperature measurements. I don’t wish to interfere with the flow between you and Kristi but I have a question or two. First, and I may have missed the answer somewhere in the paper, were the sensors studied auto-reporting or human-read? I’m guessing your analysis was just related to sensor noise/errors? Makes me wonder what the true error is from older thermometers over the last two to three centuries. And, then, what the true error is using bio-indicators covering thousands of years, particularly when they may require other proxies to determine any relationship to the target variable.

            Bio-indicators are certainly useful in a qualitative sense (I frequently saw changes in the periphytic algal community within the plume from an electrical generating station) but their quantitative usefulness is greatly diminished (generally) by the number of environmental variables active in their habitats and their ability to navigate growth within the niche defined by such.

          • JD in Ohio,

            There were 8 investigations. They found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. There was a lack of professionalism associated with the sharing of data.

            You will believe what you want, whatever the investigations said.

          • JRF in Pensacola@December 12, 2018 at 11:48 am

            Thanks for your interest JRF, and good questions.

            In the global average temperature paper, the sensors had digital outputs (auto-reporting). They were all platinum resistance thermometers.

            The experiment was to have them in different sorts of shelters (e.g., gill shield, Stevenson screen, etc.) and see how the error varied with the type of shield. See the reference to Hubbard and Lin, 2002.

            The error I assayed is systematic, not noise. It’s due to uncontrolled environmental variables that affect the sensor reading.

            These variables are chiefly solar loading and wind speed. Too much of one or not enough of the other, and the sensor reads too warm. On cold clear still nights, the sensor will read too cold.

            These systematic errors vary with the day, and are not normal (not Gaussian distributed). So, they do not average away. Increasing the number of measurements, or sensors, can even increase the total systematic error.

            Older liquid-in-glass thermometers had their own problems. Their resolution was no better than 0.25 C, which is ignored in all the published records. Over time, the internal capillary could warp or spall off glass particles so that the reading was no longer accurate.

            They were not often re-calibrated. Often, the minimum division was 2 C rather than 1 C, and sometimes 5 C. They were used for local weather, after all, and not for accurate climate determinations.

            One paper I read mentioned that windy nights could rattle down the inner indicator platen from the previous day’s high, producing a spuriously cool reading.

            You’re dead-on right about bio-indicators. They can produce the same observable change for a large number of mostly undetermined causes.

            If you’d like a re-print of the Negligence paper, you’ll find my email address on the journal page.

            If you’d like a more complete look at proxy-temperature reconstruction:
            https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/03/proxy-science-and-proxy-pseudo-science/

          • Pat Frank,

            Statistical thingamajiggery? Sorry, but that’s not a convincing argument.

            My point about correlation and causation is that there is just as much of a causal relationship between temperature and tree ring width/density as there is between temperature and the mercury in a thermometer. It’s not just physical, but also biological. Everything ultimately has a physical basis, but the biological has complexity that isn’t described by the field of physics alone. You might as well say people don’t think because it’s not based on physics. It’s not my problem if you don’t know plant biology.

            “They don’t know the systematic sensor measurement errors, Kristi.”

            You said “…completely neglects systematic instrumental error.” You didn’t specify what kind of error. Scientists adjust the record for satellite bias, the difference between ship-based and Argo float measurements…and they use statistics to look for errors in land-based measurements by comparing them with neighboring instruments. Do they find all errors? Probably not, especially minor ones. Are the errors likely to be all in one direction? Definitely not. Out of 1000s of sensors out there, though, backed up by satellite measurements, it seems pretty unlikely that the record is going to be dramatically altered. And it’s not a matter of “neglect,” it’s a matter of doing the best they can with the resources available to them.

            Hmmm, I thought I inserted a quote from you saying something like “climate scientists are all either dishonest or don’t know what they’re doing,” instead of the “entire consensus position…” one – that’s what I was responding to. But now I can’t find it. My apologies if you didn’t say that. If you did, my point was that you don’t know all the scientists out there, and can’t possibly be justified making such a statement, not knowing them…but again, maybe you didn’t say that after all!

            But still, “The entire consensus position fails critical examination and evidences pervasive analytical negligence” seems a bit heavy-handed! When one is bent on demonstrating something like that, one will somehow find rationale for convincing himself. There is so much contradictory “evidence” out there, that one can find some article to “prove” just about anything. The real challenge is not to demonstrate what one wants to believe, but to view a wide range of evidence and weigh it without prejudice or preconception. That’s very difficult.

            Your paper about temperature uncertainty appears to associate the 0.2C error with modern electronic sensors, is that right? But if I understand correctly, that error is in thermometer readings, and haven’t many/most of those thermometers been replaced by electronic sensors by now? They certainly don’t have an uncertainty as large as a thermometer reading! The whole present-day siting issue is apart from that, and has already been analyzed, as I’m sure you know. The “poor siting” problems of Watt and co. were simply descriptive when first published, and the later statistical analysis was much less “alarmist.”

            To document negligence you would have to show that people are not doing all they reasonably can to get good data, given the resources at their disposal. How have you documented that? I guess I have to get your paper to find out, eh?

            The article shows there’s no scientific validity to any of the three legs deployed to support AGW: the climate modeling, the air temperature record, and the proxy paleo-T reconstructions.

            …But if that’s what it says, I’m not interested. If your arguments were truly sound, original and enlightening, they would be well-publicized. Earth-shattering, almost! You would have single-handedly killed the whole AGW debate! It didn’t happen.

            “The failure is universal. Never, ever, has there been such a confluence of incompetence and its prejudicial dishonest advocacy reportage. Never. Not ever. Couple that with the moral cowardice of the officers of our scientific institutions (or their pecuniary interests), and you have a perfect storm of abuse.”

            OY VEY.

            “I have done the work and have shown it, Kristi. Go ahead and try to falsify it. Others have tried and failed.”

            Not interested.

            So you are the only one among thousands of researchers who is both honest and knows what he is doing? Because your work has demonstrated that they are all wrong? You really expect me to believe that, when you won’t even accept that temperature has a discernible effect on tree ring width/density?

            ” It means you have to go out and check yourself. Do some of the work yourself. Find out where the truth lays for yourself. You’ll discover who has integrity, and who doesn’t.”

            That’s what I’ve been doing for years. Looking for not just integrity, but reason, ability to see the big picture, and doing so without looking at the science through policy. I’ve been looking for those who can see bias and propaganda, and call it what it is. I’ve been looking for those who think for themselves, those who investigate beyond the blog posts and press releases, those who show curiosity, those who admit ignorance and error. That’s the person I try to be. It’s not easy! There are many who have some of these traits, and fewer have all to some extent. None of us can be wholly unbiased, and that’s the most important thing to keep in mind.

            You show intelligence, Kristi. Do the work it permits you. So far, all you’ve done is choose your canonical sources; your oracles. Like someone choosing a preacher. Faith has no place in science.

            That’s total BS. I have no oracles, no canonical sources, that’s just your own assumption, and the fact that you do assume that makes everything you say less credible. I don’t have “faith” in science. Faith means willingness to believe without needing evidence. I have trust in the scientific process and the scientific community in general, while recognizing that there is much variability and scientists are human and they err. But in general, I believe most have integrity and a desire to find the truth. It’s deeply disturbing to me that so many believe science is thoroughly corrupt…and it’s people like Schnare who help propagate that fallacy.

          • JRF in Pensacola,

            Maybe it’s because I have a very solid background in plant physiology and ecology, but it seems to me that the “working knowledge” one needs for dendroclimatology is not too hard to master. There’s been enough written about it that one could pick it up – it’s a pretty focused field, not like tree pathology or soil science or whatever. The samples are already available, collected by others and well-documented, one just has to know what one is looking for. Then one has to be able to accurately measure tree ring width and density. There may be a learning curve there. The statistical analysis is the hardest part, it seems to me. That’s why McKittrick and McIntyre didn’t need to know anything about plants to be able to critique Mann et al. research. – but even their work had errors= why is that ignored?

            Ach, what am I saying? I don’t want to debate this. I’m so tired of the hockey stick and the attacks, and climategate and picking apart private emails trying to find any possible intimation of wrongdoing! Seven years spent trying to get Mann’s emails! Is it really worth wasting court time for this? This is what taxpayers are forking over money for? It’s sickening. Especially after reading the emails and Schnare’s (mis)interpretations. Now we just need Tim Ball to get his spin in, and tell everyone how corrupt climate science is in general.

            Alarmists aren’t the only ones exposed to conditioning.

          • Pat, thanks for the additional thoughts and I will be in touch.

            Otherwise, I am invoking Elder Privilege as I near completion of my seventh decade on this Planet Earth. Kristi has mentioned placing trust in the scientific process, which is true and proper, and that trust encourages and requires that information and discovery are reported in the open with a willingness to accept critical analysis so that our chosen fields of study advance.

            As a young pup decades ago, a fledgling biologist but, luckily, learning at an institution that encouraged critical thinking, a knot was jerked in my and in all of my classmates’ tails. You see, I was in the first class to inhabit a new biology complex complete with the latest analytical equipment and we were all enthralled! We were on fire and started plans to generate all kinds of information and a professor, seeing our frothiness, came to us with the following: “All of these tools are great; but, the most important pieces of equipment are your Eyes and your Mind! These and your Common Sense should guide you in your endeavors to ask a question, design your experiments, analyze your data and reach your conclusions. Ask again: Do my plans make sense?” Over the years, when I have reviewed my own work or judged others’ work, my answer has been “yes, no or I don’t know.” Only “yes” is a green light to continue without re-evaluation.

            I leave you this night, hopefully in good health, in good spirits, in good company, eager for tomorrow and the quest for knowledge.
            JRF.

          • kristi silber @ December 12, 2018 at 5:30 pm

            Your text in italics: “My point about correlation and causation is that there is just as much of a causal relationship between temperature and tree ring width/density as there is between temperature and the mercury in a thermometer.

            You’re wrong.

            It’s not my problem if you don’t know plant biology.

            Present or reference the quantitative biological theory that establishes a causal and calculable connection between tree ring metrics and air temperature, Kristi. If you can’t do it, and you can’t, then you’re just talking nonsense.

            You said “…completely neglects systematic instrumental error.” You didn’t specify what kind of error.

            I have specified what kind of error. In detail. You haven’t read carefully, is all.

            Argo floats show about ±0.6 C systematic error. The workers in the field uncritically invoke the Central Limit Theorem, and then shrug the error off. Ship intake temperature records, when tested, have shown ±0.8 to ±1.5 C systematic errors. They’re ignored. The UKMet/CRU folks assume all the error is random, and constant for each ship. None of that has ever been tested. It’s all assumed.

            Modern MMTS thermistor sensors show about ±0.3 C errors due to uncontrolled environmental variables. So do platinum resistance thermometers. The errors are not normally distributed, but they’re all ignored in the field, and all assumed to average away.

            Satellite temperatures have about ±0.3 C systematic error. The error is assumed, not known, to subtract away in anomalies.

            The entire field compiling the temperature record lives on wishful thinking.

            When one is bent on demonstrating something like that, one will somehow find rationale for convincing himself.

            I started out wanting to know the story, Kristi. I came to those conclusions honestly, after considerable hard work. The hard work, Kristi, that you have not done. And given your words below, have no interest in doing.

            In your ignorance, you dismiss my conclusions. And you show no inclination to lift your ignorance. Candidly, I’m pretty weary of your insistent, ignorance-based rejectionism.

            Your paper about temperature uncertainty appears to associate the 0.2C error with modern electronic sensors, is that right?

            No, it’s not. The ±0.2 C is what the CRU folks judge to be the average reading uncertainty. Then they assume it’s random, they decide it averages away, and go on to ignore it. But the ±0.2 C is a qualitative judgment. Qualitative judgements do not average away.

            Look at Table 1, Kristi. You’ll find the systematic errors listed there.

            But if that’s what it says, I’m not interested.

            Well said for one who claims an affinity for science.

            If your arguments were truly sound, original and enlightening, they would be well-publicized.

            Don’t make me laugh. Falsifications are ignored. The AGW narrative is pushed no matter what, with the IPCC the global megaphone.

            Your job, Kristi, is to evaluate the paper and see for yourself and judge whether the analysis is sound. But, of course, “if that’s what it says, [you’re] not interested.

            I think I’m going to be sick.

            Earth-shattering, almost! You would have single-handedly killed the whole AGW debate! It didn’t happen.

            It did happen, Kristi. It’s just not politically convenient. So, it’s ignored. And then you come along and decide “if that’s what it says, I’m not interested.” See how it works?

            I wrote; “Go ahead and try to falsify it. Others have tried and failed.” and you: “Not interested.

            Then go away, Kristi. You’ve failed the science and embraced the politics.

            The rest of your post is just empty blah when seen in the light of your own stated disinterest in critical analysis. Critical analysis is hard work, Kristi. Is that why you avoid it?

          • From Kristi Silber

            “JD in Ohio,

            There were 8 investigations. They found no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. There was a lack of professionalism associated with the sharing of data.

            You will believe what you want, whatever the investigations said.”

            I spent about 100 hours researching the so-called exonerations of Mann. I did a blog post here: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/12/01/analysis-of-court-of-appeals-defamation-opinion-holding-that-climategate-inquiries-exonerated-michael-mann/?cn-reloaded=1#comment-2540411

            My conclusion was:

            “A true exoneration of someone accused of misconduct would involve transparent, thorough exchanges between the supporters and opponents of the accused. Then, at the conclusion of that process, there would be clear, verifiable proof that the charges were incorrect. That did not occur with respect to Mr. Mann.”

            You are welcome to specifically challenge my findings either here or at my blog post. So far, no one has. It takes a truly deceptive and dishonest person to make the claim that Mann has made.

            JD

      • Alan, yes, I’m saying that.

        The reason is that the monsoon tracks and the patterns of isotopic rain out are not known over the long times queried by the proxy. They’ve almost certainly all changed in unknown ways over the centuries. So, the pattern of O-18 deposition is not a measure of temperature alone.

        The physics of isotopic water thermodynamics is well-understood. It’s the variability of the climate that throws a monkey wrench into it.

        I wrote a long post about proxies on WUWT here, where many of the problems are discussed.

    • Steve McIntyre

      you worry about “selection bias in the borehole data MBH used”. MBH98-99 did not use borehole data/

      Do not Mann’s “boreholes” in question refer to the limited number of tree core samples (boreholes from the Yamal peninsula, etc.) and not the various Greenland/Antarctica ice field boreholes?

      • “Do not Mann’s “boreholes” in question refer to the limited number of tree core samples (boreholes from the Yamal peninsula, etc.) and not the various Greenland/Antarctica ice field boreholes?”

        Don’t believe so. Boreholes has a specific meaning in this case. Tree cores are not boreholes.

  5. David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.
    Our compliments on your dogged efforts to rigorously uphold the scientific method.
    Readers. For context see: Why I Want Michael Mann’s Emails By Dr. David Schnare, PhD

    Our law center seeks to defend good science and proper governmental behavior, and conversely to expose the converse. . . .
    Currently public emails show Mann was unable to provide even his close colleagues data he used in some of his papers and could not remember which data sets he used. . . . The emails ATI seeks are all that appears to be left of a history of what he did and how. Absent access to those emails, anyone seeking to duplicate his work, using the exact same data and methods, has no way to do so. . . .
    Dr. Schnare is the lead attorney in the UVA-Mann email case. He is an earth scientist and environmental attorney, and serves as Director of the Center for Environmental Stewardship at the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy.

    WUWT Posts by Schnare
    PS Useful policy perspective
    Climate Change and the Uncomfortable Middle Ground: The Geoengineering and “No Regrets” Policy Alternative March 2008

    • “Absent access to those emails, anyone seeking to duplicate his work, using the exact same data and methods, has no way to do so.”

      What’s the point in doing so? This is not what scientific replication is about. If there are errors in the original research, that would just be duplicating the errors. Scientific replication is intended to find out whether the results can be duplicated, using different data, and/or different methods, or conducting a whole experiment over again, which itself provides a new dataset.

      The only reason someone would want to see all the original data and methods is to scrutinize them to find errors. This is also a valid enterprise, but ONLY if one has reason to suspect that there is error to begin with. Doing so simply because one WANTS to find errors because he doesn’t like the results is necessarily a biased enterprise, and bias is not a scientific virtue. If someone is, on the other hand, trying to get a sense of the reliability of science in general – also a valid pursuit – he should pick a study at random.

      Likewise, if a group like the above law center really wants to evaluate and publicize the norms of scientific endeavor, they should select a sample of scientists randomly and ask for their emails.

      If a group wants to focus on select scientists, when they publicize their findings they should not only report what they deem suspect, but also what shows integrity among all scientists involved. Otherwise they are giving a lopsided image and undermining the public’s trust. It’s nice to praise Hughes, but the implication is that Hughes is the one good guy in a den of corruption. Mann is not here to defend himself. Incivility does not equal scientific misconduct. Someone can be a complete a$$hole and still produce good science.

      “Notably, this does not show the actual tree ring proxy data from after 1980 that Briffa and Osborne published that shows the divergence. The scientific question that remains 20 years after MBH98 is as to why the tree ring data diverges and what this means with regard to the pre-1900 reconstruction of MBH98 & MBH99”

      A comment like this is not appropriate to an unbiased expose. Simply asking the question is prejudicial through its implication.

      “ABOR/MH/Priv-005686

      Bradley arguing that borehole data that does not support their approach should not be used. The manuscript should indicate that kind of decision. It calls into question all use of borehole data, one would think.

      ABOR/MH/Priv-005688

      This is a good example of the (potential? Actual?) biases entered into their paper. They simply did not include anything that altered their prior planned outcome and did not explain why.”

      I took these comments randomly to compare with the emails.

      Unless I’m completely misunderstanding what Schnare is referring to, he apparently did not read the paper that the emails are referring to. In it these issues are discussed extensively, and play a role in the reasoning behind what analysis is chosen.

      The emails are about calibration and use of regression to look at trends (find the “signal” within the noise). If a regression indicates that the temperature trend is opposite that of the instrumental record, it may suggest something else is influencing the data for those boreholes, and that therefore they might not be good candidates for use in a reconstruction, or that the methods chosen for the reconstruction need to account for this. Not only is this done, but comparisons are made with and without using the boreholes.

      I’m not an expert in this subject and don’t really know what is best here. I’m playing devil’s advocate in order to demonstrate that implying misconduct based on very scant evidence and a lack of thorough understanding of the scientific basis and background discussion is not fair, just or ethical. It shows bias, and makes all the other email interpretations less credible to me. Before taking such comments at face value, a good skeptic does his (or her) own investigation.

      I would far rather decide I do not know whether someone is guilty than to condemn him based on prejudicial comments. Please note that I am not defending Mann or anyone else.

      • @Kristi

        Scientific replication is intended to find out whether the results can be duplicated, using different data, and/or different methods, or conducting a whole experiment over again, which itself provides a new dataset.

        You are exactly wrong here. Precise replication is only the first step. I’m in the middle of a discussion with another engineer regarding voltage drop calculations for a fire alarm system. The first thing I asked him for was the algorithm he used for his calculations. Without that, I can’t understand how he got the answers he did, nor examine what I perceive to be the errors therein. For God’s sake, Mann himself is unable to duplicate his work because the data has gone the way of the Dodo.

        • D.J. Hawkins.

          Your situation is one I addressed. If you have good reason to suspect there are errors, then it makes sense to look at the methods and data used. Besides that, you are talking about engineering and safety. Science is different. I think one reason a lot of engineers are skeptics is that they aren’t used to the uncertainty that is an INTEGRAL part of science. I don’t mean statistical error, I mean that science doesn’t ever claim to prove anything. Science is the pursuit of truth, while always leaving the door open to the idea that the current idea of “truth” might be improved or falsified. Galileo falsified the “truth.” Einstein built on Newton’s “truth” – a truth that is still good for most purposes, but fails in others.

          Science is full of estimates, ranges and probabilities that engineering would never accept. Engineering wants a firm answer, science works in steps. Sometimes they are the wrong ones, and lead and a direction away from truth, but they eventually get fixed. Replication doesn’t have to be exact; sometimes it’s more informative to do a slightly different experiment.

          Mann’s work has been replicated with different proxies, different methods, and it has held up. No, the results are not identical, nor are they expected to be – not with the wide error bars in MBH – but the general hockey stick shape has been repeated several times. It would be ridiculous to use his 20-year-old data. A waste of time and money.

          McKittrick and McIntyre used their time to discredit, rather than contribute. Science is a cooperative endeavor, and it relies on professionalism, which includes not publicly attacking one’s colleagues through media and blogs. There are differences of opinion, antipathies, egos, ambitions, just like in every other field. But there is a process through which correction and criticism takes place – published, peer-reviewed literature. It may not be completely “free speech,” but it must be this way for the good of the profession. I believe that when contrarians have been professionally censured, it is often because they have broken this ethical code. This is what happened to Peter Ridd. He deserved censure for saying on TV news that scientific institutions should not be trusted. Absolutely, he deserved it!

          But I’m on a rant, I’m afraid. Sorry! “…gone the way of the Dodo” – that’s a good metaphor!

          -Kristi

      • “What’s the point in doing so? This is not what scientific replication is about“

        That is exactly what scientific replication is about. Repeating your experiment multiple times using the same data and methods. Allowing others to check your work and attempt to replicate your results, and to show that it holds up under scrutiny. This is one of the pillars of the scientific method.

        If you were testing a new drug and one study’s results showed it did what it was intended to do, you wouldn’t then test a separate drug in an attempt to validate the results of the first drug. You would retest the first drug again and again.

        • Chino780,

          When you replicate an experiment you are getting new data.

          It doesn’t help anyone to use the same data and the same analytical methods (i.e statistics). That would mean skipping the experiment entirely and getting exactly the same results.

  6. Wow. Thanks! This will be part of history.
    Enterprising journalists could really make some follow-up stories here, as the Manmade Global Warming meme falls on hard times – Gilet Jaune may be a turning point.

    In many ways, Mann is the True Believer. I wonder whether Mann has, all along, been working with larger forces behind the scenes. I suspect Globalist forces somehow, in the 1990s, had come across climate modelers, and a zetgeist of man’s impact on climate was held by all. It is pretty clear that politically driven ecologists, including some with Communist ties, have had vast plans to change society in order to avoid climate catastrophe. All plans always of course call for lots of money and lots of control over people’s lives, accomplished via government policy.

    Was Mann’s dissertation adviser Saltzmann involved in any of this? Saltzmann was involved with climate modeling at the time the Kyoto Protocol was being promoted – 1992. This was driven by Ken Lay, at Enron – Lay wanted Enron to be the broker of all cap-and-trade / carbon market deals, which would have been a huge financial win for him and Enron. Lay had formerly been at US Dept of Energy. Also, Mann was a recipient of a “post-doctoral” fellowship from DOE – Hollaender post-doc – any tie-in there? [This post-doc fellowship helped him get his dissertation done – his diss was basis for MBH98/99; how do you get a post-doc fellowship if you don’t have your diss yet?]

    It is well noted by Mann that Mann was looking for a good diss idea, in physics, after supercollider fever was waning. He poked around and came across Saltzmann.

    So, Mann may have walked into a convergence of academia and globalist / green / marxist politics, and took up the mantel and wore it well. [This certainly was in existence pretty well since the 1970s with Earth Day and all.] If he is a bought-and-paid-for advocate, as we are familiar with more in politics than in science, maybe this explains Mann as this driving force behind his generally debunked warming research.

    If so, that would explain how Mann has a different tack on all of this than Hughes; my idea is that Hughes was not in on the game, but I suspect that Mann somehow was/is.

    Of course, being well-funded and having a very high profile is itself a great motivator for an academic.

    https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/climate-expert-dr-michael-mann-i-sort-was-forced-public-spotlight

    https://www.climaterealityproject.org/blog/climate-expert-dr-michael-mann-i-sort-was-forced-public-spotlight

  7. Perhaps Prof. Hughes comes off as “an adult in the room”, but his university did indeed selectively block the computer of Steve McIntyre from accessing archived data available to the rest of the world. A rather childish approach.

  8. David W. Schnare,

    Thank you very much for making these emails available to us. I looked at Mann’s email site, and it was clear that it would take a large effort to recover the text on a page by page basis. I hope you found a more efficient way to aggregate the data into your pdf files.

    The problem we are faced with is fundamentally a clash of two cultures. Policy making, and politics, is an adversarial process. The goal is persuade a decision maker, or the public at large, and everything is valued by its utility in achieving that goal. Science, on the other hand, deals with understanding nature. Scientists can disagree over some hypothesis about nature’s behavior, but they have a way of resolving those disagreements logically by conducting carefully designed experiments that test the hypothesis.

    The adversarial method is surely older than written history. The scientific method, and the assumption that there are fundamental laws of nature that can be articulated and understood, is less than a millennium old. We now live in an age of prosperity that is based on exploiting knowledge that has been created through the scientific method. This is widely understood, but the details and the rigor that was required to get us to this point are not. So it is inevitable that the recourse would be made to “science” in advancing a policy favored by a political faction. Drowning women to test whether they were witches is just one example of this sort of misuse of “science”. Marxist theory was also based on “science”. It predicted a spontaneous revolution of capitalism into a classless society. Lysenko is the sort of “scientist” who can prosper in societies based on Marxist ideologies. It seems to me that “science” has taken the place of the pantheon of gods worshipped by the Romans and Greeks. “Science” is the universal solvent for all social problems.

    The grand irony is that progressives believe this. Even those with some scientific training. They assume “science” will always provide support for their ideas and ambitions. And sure enough, if they are the “scientists”, it does.

    • I have long argued that Climate Change is nothing but a Trojan Horse for the socialist poison that it contains to those unwittingly fall for the ruse.

      And like any well-designed deception, the Climate warriors (the poseurs with PhDs in academic or government science positions intent on protecting their funding) take many truths (validated science truths) and weave them together with half-truths and outright lies so that to the outsider it is a hopeless morass. When someone with the training and credentials tries to unwind the morass (as M&M did), the poseurs circle the wagons and point continuously to the truths and half-truths embedded in their deception. Soon the layperson and public, unable to discern the deception without great effort, simply moves on.

      That this sordid saga of pseudoscience was laid bare in the mid-2000’s, and the faculty hiring committee at PSU still brought Mann on onboard says more about the state of university academics than it does about the poseurs.

      • I have long argued that Climate Change is nothing but a Trojan Horse for the socialist poison that it contains to those unwittingly fall for the ruse.

        Exactamundo. This is all that’s needed to understand CAGW.

    • Ding Ding Ding! Nailed it.
      Robert wrote: “It seems to me that “science” has taken the place of the pantheon of gods worshipped by the Romans and Greeks. “Science” is the universal solvent for all social problems.

      The grand irony is that progressives believe this. Even those with some scientific training. They assume “science” will always provide support for their ideas and ambitions. And sure enough, if they are the “scientists”, it does.”

    • Robert Stewart,

      I hate insipid, insidious generalizations like these. They are as bad as calling conservatives ignorant or “deplorable.” Why can’t people understand that individuals can’t be put in a box with a label on it identifying them with some group, and make all sorts of assumption based on that label? It is this kind of foolishness that is tearing the country apart, creating tribalism and animosity so that no one can discuss anything reasonably, no cooperation or compromise can be reached.

      ““Science” is the universal solvent for all social problems.” Some people believe this. Some people also believe that vaccinations are bad, and that Hilary Clinton led a pedophile ring.

      Lysenko! Why does he come up so often in these discussions? It’s disgusting and ignorant.

  9. So the anger over Pollack’s results contradicting Mann’s get covered in more detail.

    Interesting to see how that leads up to the suggested to co-author with him.

    • Are you and Joel actually looking to pick a fight?

      You seriously want to go there?

      In the middle of this important post on new mails, You and Joel want to divert everyones attention
      to me?

      FFS, it is guys like you that turned WUWT into an echo chamber. Long ago folks could come here and have a decent discussion. Ask Willis, Ask CTM who was here from 2007 on.

      But now, we have guys like you. I’m not the topic of this post. I’d like to hear what David has to say and Steve Mc.

      You want a food fight? why? it just kills the appeal of WUWT. Maybe you should take a time out.

      • As I mentioned late in the volcano thread, these knee-jerk attacks on Steve, or anyone else, (perhaps with an exception for Michael Mann) for that matter, will lead me to wholesale deletion of comments going forward.

        Since I’m not late here, consider it your last warning.
        This site needs to clean up its act.

        • Agree in part. Pre-emptively attacking Mosh is just baiting, by all means delete those when they occur. Responding to his numerous drive-bys on the other hand should be fair game. He bring those on himself through his bad behavior. Unless you are planning on deleting the drive-bys along with the response they generate, then fair enough.

        • Charles, that would be much appreciated!

          MarkW has for years been making insulting comments about me that add nothing to the discussion, and I’m very tired of it. (I’ve returned the insults at times, but wouldn’t stoop to his level if he would leave me alone.)

      • Steven, saw your interview (principally about China) on Fox Business and it was quite good! Now I have a face to go with the name and saw no alien features, devil’s horns or other features that would indicate you are anything but human.

      • To Mr. Mosher, I’ve been reading here for maybe 3 years, and this is one of the longest comments I’ve read of yours. Are you feigning innocence?
        I get that piling on and provoking doesn’t add to the discussion, but for you to pretend you don’t deserve it for your words on here is laughable. Also, that doesn’t invalidate your criticism, but don’t pretend to be without guilt, when you are a habitual line-stepper.

        • +42

          I’ve been here since the before climategate broke (mostly lurking back then) and it takes a large amount of Chutzpah for Mosh to complain about the level of discourse when instead of decent discussion, for the past several years, he has provided endless drive-bys. You seriously want to go there, Mosh? If you honestly want the level of discussion to raise around here, then the place to start is with your own discourse. Try getting your own house in order before you start telling others about theirs.

      • Well articulated Steven, totally on point. I don’t like the shoot-from-the-hip easy click bait crap (unless done in complete sarcasm and expressed so). “Playing with his Unicorns”…just stop already, it adds nothing! WUWT lived through the Trump Saga, emotions were/are a-flying high, we had some wins and still are.
        “It just kills the appeal of WUWT” [Mosh quote]….take that to the bank. There just might be some good advice in that logic to expand readership. Been here for 13 years, would like to see 13 more (educated years).

    • HS,

      There was absolutely no excuse to inject such a BS and interrupting comment into a serious and informative thread such as this.

      Mods, please consider removing the HS comment and associated sub-thread (including my response) as there is no place for it in this discussion/thread. It only serves to derail the discussion/thread.

      • I’m leaving this up to let people know what is unacceptable behavior. But snipping will be occurring in the very near future.

  10. Is this section:
    “That this new version of your post-1980 calculations should be so sensitive to the omission of a single record is very worrying indeed. It should also be noted that nothing much happens in the ‘new’ reconstruction until the last three years. I fear this would give a wonderful opportunity to those who would discredit the approach we used in MBH 1998 and 1999. They would almost certainly seize it to attack the use of the MBH99 reconstruction in the IPCC. On reflection, I think it would be much wiser for us to keep our powder dry, and if challenged in a creditable forum point out that we are working on assembling a dense and high quality proxy data set that comes out nearer to present.”

    a direct quote? If so, is should be in quotes.

  11. Dr. Schnare wrote: ‘That collection contains a large amount of formatting code which makes much of it unreadable.’

    This situation might be address by a pass through a text-code rendering engine. Do you have an example you can provide to determine what would be needed? There is some time between now and the release to at least take a look at the bulk of the clean-up.

  12. To continue:
    I have never seen any “correction” or “conversion factor” for ANY tree ring “tree ring width – to- temperature” conversion that credits the tremendous increase in growth found in all trees and plants caused by the steady CO2 increase between 1960 and 1998, the dates of the temperature spurt noted by Mann, and the “cause” of his subsequent graphs and plots.

    Assume everything else (temperature, sunlight, water, nutrition, fires, ground cover and cover erosion, growth or lack of growth in the surrounding trees) is exactly equal.

    Even if that scenario were possible, the steady increase in CO2 between 1970 and the most recent tree bores that he could have drilled would have caused a steadily faster growth in every tree ring between 1965 and the latest sample.

    A zealot looking to validate his tree ring research and looking for a reinforcement to his theory of increasing temperatures between 1975 and 1998 would interpret the increase in tree ring width as a steady increase in temperature, would he not?

    • Yes, he would, but (maybe someone confirm my sense of things) sample screening and calibrations to remove the LIA and MWP netted cooling for the late 20th century.

      The media were 100% onboard, as bad news sells. Ditto for third- world countries looking for first-world handouts. Finally, the navel gazing Left gladly piled on, as it confirmed their worst fears and guilt for the monumental achievements of Western Civilization.

  13. David W. Schnare, Esq. Ph.D.

    Thank you for this essay, and the work you put into reading the archive.

  14. Mann seems to share a trait with Obama. How often do you see photos where they are looking down their nose at people? A very well cultivated sense of self worth it seems, in words and actions.

  15. “The Annals of Applied Statistics” https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.aoas/1300715166#toc
    Volume 5, Number 1 (2011), 65-70. devoted most of that issue to discussing Mann’s Hockey Stick. Mann and Schmidts article was titled
    “DISCUSSION OF: A STATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF MULTIPLE
    TEMPERATURE PROXIES: ARE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF
    SURFACE TEMPERATURES OVER THE LAST
    1000 YEARS RELIABLE?”
    McIntyre and McKitrick’s response in that journal was titled
    “Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?”
    I think there was some 16 articles devoted to critiquing Mann’s Hockey Stick statistics.
    Here is the relevant portion of the Table of Contents

    Editorial
    Michael L. Stein; 1 – 4 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Blakeley B. McShane and Abraham J. Wyner; 5 – 44 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    L. Mark Berliner; 45 – 46 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Alexey Kaplan; 47 – 51 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Richard A. Davis and Jingchen Liu; 52 – 55 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick; 56 – 60 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Murali Haran and Nathan M. Urban; 61 – 64 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Gavin A. Schmidt, Michael E. Mann, and Scott D. Rutherford; 65 – 70 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Lasse Holmström; 71 – 75 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Jason E. Smerdon; 76 – 79 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Doug Nychka and Bo Li; 80 – 82 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Spurious predictions with random time series: The Lasso in the context of paleoclimatic reconstructions. Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Martin P. Tingley; 83 – 87 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Peter Craigmile and Bala Rajaratnam; 88 – 90 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Eugene R. Wahl and Caspar M. Ammann; 91 – 95 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Discussion of: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Jonathan Rougier; 96 – 98 Abstract Enhanced PDF

    Rejoinder: A statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable?
    Blakeley B. McShane and Abraham J. Wyner; 99 – 123

  16. Regarding tree ring reconstructions, has it been taken into account (and if so how) that besides temperature it’s water availability which governs the growth rate in any given year. We can have warm years with little rain which would result in narrow rings, we can have warm years with much rain resulting in wide rings, we can have cool years with much rain resulting in more variability etc etc. How can you separate the difference in a tree’s response to water as apposed to heat? If you cannot then the whole method is completely inaccurate and probably next to worthless in simple temp reconstruction.

    • Mike:

      If you read the background literature on “dendroclimatology”, the focus is on “tree line” samples (high altitude and/or high latitude) at the cold extreme for a particular species. The idea is that the key limiting factor to growth is the amount of summer warmth, and because of this, not very sensitive to other variables such as moisture. The idea has at least surface plausibility.

      Unfortunately, many of the published studies observe this limitation in the breach. One of the key sample sets for the MBH hockey sticks is the Gaspe cedars, which were nowhere near a treeline.

      Even the White Mountain bristlecone pines that form the heart of the “hockey stickedness” are problematic in this regard (as well as several other regards). While they may be near the modern treelines, the treelines in medieval times were 300-500m higher, so these old trees were not near the treelines then.

      Combine this factor with the known “megadrought” conditions in that period, and consider that the slow growth of these trees in those hot, dry times is considered evidence of cold conditions. Then throw in his crazy math, and that is considered evidence of global cold conditions, conveniently “get[ting] rid of the Medieval Warm Period”.

      • Ed Bo, your first paragraph amounts to a reasonable hypothesis. One that deserves a research program to examine and test.

        However, in proxy paleo-T, they’ve taken the hypothesis as axiomatic and run with it.

        They make qualitative judgments of recent T-limited growth for certain trees, assume the same T-limitation in those same trees across the centuries, and then make it all look quantitative by way of statistics.

        The whole current field is a pseudo-scientific crock.

        • Pat Frank,

          Well, yeah, it is quantitative through the use of statistics – what’s wrong with that? In the case of MBH, PCA was used specifically to separate the components influencing growth variability. So, first you choose trees that grow where temperature is most likely the main limiting factor. Then you run a PCA to find that component of the variation.

          Since temperature is not expected to correlate with other environmental variables, it’s pretty safe to assume that a PCA will be able to draw that component out. You’ve got the instrumental record for comparison, and it’s not likely that for hundreds of years the trees will all have the same precipitation response, then suddenly it will change to temperature.

          Maybe you want to believe it’s a crock so you can dismiss the evidence.

          • Pat Frank has frequently displayed his superficial understanding of statistics. I would take anything he has to say about statistics with a grain of salt.

          • Kristi, that still leaves one glaring flaw – the assumption that the behaviour in the calibration period is identical to that in other periods. And that is not tested or validated. For example, if both temperature AND moisture are limiting conditions and produce similar responses in the tree ring record, which affect was dominant at each point before the calibration period ? If it was cold and wet or hot and dry, what is the response ?

            And actually temperature does correlate to a reasonable extent with moisture in some places and in some cases moisture is used as a distance proxy for temperature. That is, warmer temperatures over the ocean produces more evaporation and hence greater rainfall at some stage.

            It’s also recommended that if you do use PCA you use it correctly and use the correct matrix. Then you need to properly justify the correct usage of components and not use some ad-hoc rule that you don’t use elsewhere.

          • Statistics is not a substitute for physics, Kristi. One can do all sorts of complex statistics with meaningless numbers and get meaningless results that nevertheless may impress the rubes.

            Likewise, principal components have no particular physical meaning. One can’t just apply PCA and expect the components to reflect individual physical processes, which is what you assume.

            The components are numerical constructs with no particular physical meaning. They are merely numerically orthogonal, not physically independent.

            The correlation between tree rings and recent temperature says nothing about the cause of the correlation. Maybe the tree is sensitive to temperature, and maybe it is just coincidentally tracking temperature. There’s no way to tell. Because there is no physical theory to parse out and separate all the causes of the response of the tree.

            Trees also have a very large suite of evolutionary responses to stress and growth conditions. All of them will affect ring width and/or density. There is no reason whatever to suppose a tree that happens to track air temperatures now also tracked them across the centuries of its past. There is no known physical causality attached to any of that.

            Just for you: spurious correlations. Shall we ban the eating of margarine in Maine so as to prevent couples divorcing? It’s 0.99 correlation, after all. Better than the correlation of tree rings to temperature.

            I believe it’s a crock, Kristi, because I’ve worked to understand what’s going on. Starting back in 2001.

            I’ve done the work on climate models, on the air temperature record, and on the proxy paleo-T reconstructions, Kristi. Crockness governs all of them. That’s a deeply considered view, and I can show my work. And have done.

  17. “Not one of them kept any discernable research log. As a result, no one could duplicate their work and they had no basis by which to make authoritative statements as to what they did. Mike Mann was one of those 15.”

    That is simply astounding.

    • … used to be standard practice in govt contracts, if there is a problem the govt will simply provide more (of your) money. This is the fundamental problem with all state-funded activity, in which other people’s money is spent, though the move to get govt scientists to chase private money has improved matters.

    • Its plausible to assume, (as trained Scientists) they did initially keep log books.

      Once the data-torturing started, there was no turning back and keeping a journal would be both cumbersome and demonstrate a propensity for selection bias to support what was termed “the cause”.

      As others noted, Mann is the worst of the lot, with the others straying off course in varying degrees. In Mann’s case, Science took a back seat to personal ambition and a desire to be famous.

      Extensive screening and calibration of samples successfully erased the MWP and LIA, but created a divergence from instrument records. “Mike’s Nature Trick” killed any remaining veneer of credibility.

  18. What is interesting that there is some very well rational and reasoned people across the background so how did the fringe element like Mann take the field captive?

    I am guessing the MSM and green NGO’s provide that answer and if so there is an interesting political story behind this.

    The deeper question is why those rational and reasoned voices are now silent?

    • LdB, moral cowardice seems to be the default position for most humans.

      It may be an evolutionary trait, so as to retain the protection of the tribe.

    • One element is that the major actors, in the e-mails of Climategate, revealed that they were working in support of a “cause” (their word).

      It can be argued whether or not Stephen Schneider REALLY intended that his acolytes consider trading off honesty (relative to uncertainty) vs only highlighting extreme results and disastrous consequences (in his infamous magazine quotes) in order to get the message across to the “uneducated” public.

      What CANNOT be denied, is that a whole generation of would be climate scientists got that message (intended or not). When those folks found themselves in positions of power (serendipitously via politics; the IPCC, the Green political movement, Progressivism, etc) they then closed the gates to anyone who didn’t toe the line (publishing, academic advancement etc.). All of this is well documented.

      It is NOT a coincidence that some of the the major skeptics are retired (Lindzen, Happer et al) or unfortunately had to leave academia (Dr. Curry because she dared push back on uncertainty; Dr Pielke jr because of unjustified harassment, including by Obama’s Science Advisor.) There are a few exceptions like Drs. Christy and Spencer, who have their Exceptional Scientific Achievement medals from NASA to fall back on.

      The question is; is there going to be a tipping point when the tide is turned.

  19. nc: you got it wrong: Trump should sic Mueller on Mann. Mueller works for Trump and Trump can legally tell him who to investigate.
    Yeah, right

        • Firing Mueller would look bad, under the circumstances. It would evoke the hissy-fit of all hissy-fits from the Left, and even many Republicans consider it impractical.

        • Yeah, terrible that someone is actually finding and indicting for corruption. It would be far better for the country to sweep it under the carpet. And as long as our nation’s president is enacting policy his supporters like, he should be able to get away with whatever illegal, unethical, unconstitutional and antidemocratic behavior he wants.

          I’m not against conservatism. I think America needs both conservatives and liberals to act as checks and balances. Nevermind from his policies, Trump is simply a despicable person. It worries and alarms me that conservatives don’t care (or don’t know because they don’t trust the media?), and that consequently Republicans in Congress won’t stand up to him for fear of losing elections.

          Sorry, I really don’t mean to offend anyone. It’s not personal. My best friend is a Trumpist.

          • But one of the key issues is that this zeal to find and prosecute should be handled in a non-partisan manner. So if Manafort is indicted, why are the Podesta’s who worked very closely with Manafort on the same and similar projects getting a free pass ? If it is so dreadful that Trump paid Daniels some hush money to remain quiet in a campaign, why wasn’t Obama attacked for doing exactly the same with Rev Wright ? Why aren’t the people who leaked the classified information about Flynn’s telephone conversation with the Russian Ambassador being pursued and indicted ?

            Justice is only that when it is “blind” and applied to all those who transgress, not when applied as a political tool to punish one’s opponents.

          • Ed Snack,

            That’s completely irrelevant to the character of Trump.

            Stormy Daniels has nothing to do with Mueller’s investigation.

            Only Tony Podesta was associated with Manafort, and he cooperated with Mueller’s investigation. The charges against him aren’t as serious as those against Manafort, and he wasn’t involved in Trump’s campaign, so fell outside the Mueller investigation. A separate investigation was started against him.

            I don’t know about the leak or if anyone is doing anything about it.

            But if you are going to talk about “equal justice,” why isn’t there a furor among conservatives over the fact that Ivanka Trump used her private email account to send official msgs? Why aren’t there calls for scrutiny into the Trump Foundation as there were for the Clinton Foundation, and calls for Trump’s indictment for obvious misuse? Why do so many conservatives believe Mueller’s investigation is a “witchhunt” when already 5 people close to Trump’s campaign have been indicted and it is known that Trump lied to Congress about his interactions with Russians during his campaign? The fact is, Trump won, and it is known that the Russians did things that may have helped him win. Trump has been trying to derail and discredit the investigation since its onset. If the situation had been reversed, and Clinton had won under the same circumstances and done the exact same things Trump has done, Republicans would never have been as willing to look the other way as they have in Trump’s case.

            Mueller is investigating election interference and collusion with a foreign state. The nature of the investigation means it is necessarily directed at those involved in the campaign. Any secondary matters that come up shouldn’t be ignored, but they can be handled by others; Mueller has to keep his work focused.

            I fully agree, justice should ideally be nonpartisan! But neither party has a monopoly on partisanship. Blaming the Other, ignoring evidence, alleging injustice, talking about pardons and his own immunity, and aligning oneself with the leader he is suspected of colluding with and against his own intelligence agencies do not speak well for Trump’s innocence. It’s still wrong to assume he’s guilty, but it’s just as wrong to suggest that the investigation is simply a matter of partisan desire to bring down the president – not that you did so, but that’s what many conservatives believe.

            (In my opinion, the American justice system itself needs a massive overhaul, but that’s a whole different topic.)

  20. “Clearly, the MBH team was in need of a competent statistician and probably wished they had one to work with them in 1998.”

    No, I’m sure Mann did NOT want a qualified statistician on the team. If they did, the paper probably would never have been published, Mann would not have gotten away with his shenanigans of grossly overweighting the bristlecones in order to get a hockey stick. If the intent was to perform science, then yes, they should have had one. Clearly science wasn’t the intent.

  21. For many who are struggling with the meaning of all this, may I quote from the penultimate Chapter of A.W.Montford’s “The Hockey Stick Illusion,”
    “…the chief importance of the Hockey Stick lies not in that it is central to the case for manmade global warming,but in the fact that the IPCC promoted it as if it were….
    The fact that the IPCC promoted a Hockey Stick that was not central to the scientific debate simply because it was a good sales tool,and then defended it in the face of all criticism shows us that it is not a disinterested participant in the debate.It has chosen to be an advocate rather than a judge.It has an agenda.How then,can those who are undecided on the global warming issue accept anything it says as an unbiased judgement on the facts rather than a statement of a political position?
    They can no longer be sure.”

  22. At 11:28 PM 3/16/2005, mhughes@ltrr.arizona.edu wrote:
    I hope tomorrow to check up on the
    JApanese tree-ring del C13 record. If it’s the one I think, it’s worthless as
    it’s based on only a single tree

    One can only wonder of Hughes’ disdain for a single tree study is why Briffa surrounded his “one tree” with a whole bunch more trees that wound up adding up to nothing so that the “one tree” dominated the final result.

    • A bit like YAD 061, up in the Yamal peninsular.
      That was also a single tree study.
      Looks like they have form on cherry-picking the data.
      Was the Japanese study on a cherry tree?

      R

      • It wasn’t a one-tree study. One tree ended up dominating that grouping, but there were many other trees in the study. It was still BS.

  23. I still don’t get how tree-rings can be used as a tamperature proxi. Tree ring growth is effected by moisture, canopy cover, pests, nutrients, and then perhaps by temperature. So tamperature is only one growth factor among many.

    In addition, tree rings are not even symmetric around the trunk. On the following tree trunk, a sample core taken in the 3-oclock position (yellow arrow) will show 15 years of very cold tamperatures (thin rings). But if you took the core in the 12 o’clock position (blue arrow), the rings would show warm tamperatures.

    So what was the real tamperature? And how can we use tree-rings as a tamperature proxi?

    Ralph

    P.S. These datasets have been amended so often, they are now called tamperature records, not temperature records.

    https://i.ibb.co/xDwypsb/treerings-3.jpg

    .

    • They cannot in reality like much in this area this is ‘better than nothing ‘ at work . A situation is itself which has come about because of a lack of information, issues with past measurements and poor coverage of the whole planet what measurements there are.
      Oddly despite this approach coming from a serious issues in the areas ability to offer basic scientific validity , this approach which has proved to offer a real benefit to climate ‘science ‘ for together with ‘models ‘ proxies have provided an endless source of ‘useful ‘ results to AGW proponents.

    • Another point is that CO2 is well known to enhance plant growth.
      At the same time these trees were allegedly showing enhanced growth due to warmer temperatures, CO2 levels were also going up.
      There was no attempt to correct for enhanced CO2, it was just assumed that all of the growth increase was from temperature and temperature alone.

    • ralfellls, if on a PC, putting:

      127.0.0.1 game7914.qteamff64.life

      as a line in your “hosts” file will stop that site, tho spammers will change the address often to get around such tactics. On a phone or such, I have no idea.

  24. David, thank you for an excellent article. I must disagree with your conclusion that Hughes was trying to adhere to the scientific method, no matter that I might agree that he was not as corrupt as Mann. The appropriate scientific response to Mann should have been, “YOU CANNOT DELETE OR IGNORE CONTRARY DATA, PERIOD!

    He should have delivered this message unequivocally, over and over, until Mann understood it, and complied. Short of that, he should have withdrawn his credibility from Mann’s papers. He should have informed the “hockey team” or “cause” or “community” (as Lewandowsky calls it) that Mann’s methods were innappropriate, and totally unacceptable. He should have shamed Briffa into standing up for himself, that his questions and uncertainties were the “Real” science waiting to be understood, and Mann’s bullying certainty was wrong and cult-like, and totally wrong for their given careers. Unless of course, Hughes career wasn’t really science, but careful and measured protection of a small sphere of power and wealth that comes from the academic community.

    Hughes was only slightly less condemnable than Mann for his lack of understanding of these issues, and for the milk-toast responses he managed to utter to corruption, bullying and wrong-doing.

    • Good comment Mickey. It seems to me that Hughes has watched the movie about the Nuremberg trials after WW2. When this whole ugly episode is over and if trials are held he will be able to claim that he tried to be fair and hope to be on the other side of the line that will be drawn as to who should be punished with jail time and who should be shamed.

  25. On Topic for those that may have veered Off Topic (defence of the Mosh maybe even)
    Harvested from MSN UK this morning:

    Dry January:
    The campaign Dry January, run by the charity Alcohol Concern, encourages drinkers to give up alcohol for the month of January. But is it really worth it?
    Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of Patient.co.uk, says her main concern is that many people use Dry January as an excuse to binge drink for the rest of the year.

    No matter:
    You’ll lose weight. Taking part in Dry January can help you kick-start any New Year’s weight-loss goals you may have.
    Alcohol plays havoc with your blood sugar levels, causing your body to crave salty, greasy sugary and starchy foods.

    the average Brit spends £50,000 on booze over their lifetime.
    (One and a half times the present annual average gross salary. Consider that easily 20% of UK folks are actually teetotal))

    While many use alcohol to help them fall asleep, their quality of sleep is often affected because it can disrupt the sleep cycle.
    Your sleep is often also affected by feeling dehydrated, requiring you to drink water through the night, but also by needing to get up to pass urine more as alcohol is a diuretic. These disruptions can leave you feeling unrested & tired the following day

    Alcohol has so many different effects on our mental health and cutting down is likely to improve it. Long-term, it increases your risk of anxiety and depression because it depletes your brain’s serotonin.

    University College London monitored more than 100 men and women in their 40s taking part in the Dry January campaign and found that abstaining from alcohol for a month reduced blood pressure and cholesterol – as well as the risk of developing liver disease and diabetes.
    Therefore, cutting out or cutting down on alcohol to below the recommended limit is likely to lower the risk of developing some of these conditions.

    One of the biggest benefits of Dry January is that it can reset your relationship with alcohol.
    ‘For many of us, drinking can turn into more of a habit than a pleasure, and Dry January can help you realise which parts of your drinking you don’t really enjoy and can cut out going forward.

    Coffee:
    You already know that too much caffeine can bring on the jitters. Sip a second espresso after dinner, and you’re bound to feel a bit on edge. But could that 3 p.m. soy latte actually be messing with your mental health?
    The natural effects of caffeine stimulate a host of sensations, such as your heart beating faster, your body heating up, your breathing rate increasing—all things that mimic anxiety.
    Psychologically, it’s difficult for your mind to recognize that this is not anxiety because it feels the same.” Restlessness, nervousness, headaches, sweating, insomnia, and ringing in the ears are other common signs of caffeine-triggered anxiety.

    My personal addendum:
    It seems that The Cure (caffeine) is actually worse than The Disease (Ethyl Alcohol)
    Do be clear that when doctors talk about ‘Recommended Daily Limits, they are talking about what will not trash your physical body.
    As far as your brain, mind, memory, thinking, problem-solving skill and (not least) personality go, the Recommended Limit is Zero.
    Trust me, I’m a T-shirt wearer of 15 years+ experience and exactly what I found from the very earliest days of Forums, Social Media & Groups, Message Boards and Comments Sections
    (How’s that for an Authority Appeal?)

    What is described above is, to my mind, where AGW came from and why ‘Science’ seems to have gone completely off the rails. Politics also – witness Macron and Brexit not least.

    Even before cooked starch & refined sugar are low potency mimics of Ethyl Alcohol but consumed in much greater quantity. Not least as there is nothing else to eat..
    What were you saying Prof Ehrlich………

    Then:
    3 cans of Soda-pop?
    Daily?
    For every single one of you?
    Jeez

    • fos, Esq. in the U.S. is shorthand for indicating the person is an attorney at law and licensed to practice law before courts of competent jurisdiction. I use it when before a group when I am speaking about the law so that they know I have qualifications on the subject. The same goes for the Ph.D. suffix, used to alert an audience who does not know me that I have academic qualifications. I take comments from others seriously, including yours, and hope this helps you understand why I use the suffix. I don’t expect you, or anyone, to take seriously any personal thoughts I have shared on the basis that I am an authority. Cheers, David.

      • I’ve learned something now, thank you.

        You might consider, though, that in informing (some of) the US visitors to WUWT that you are a lawyer through the US (mis)use of this historical rank, you are baffling all the other ignorant English speakers who come here. I suspect I am not the only one.

        Is all this labelling necessary?

        I have no idea what subject your PhD covers, so that too is meaningless to me. Michael Mann has a PhD and distinctions galore.

        Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not attacking you or your article personally – just suggesting that for a lot of readers ‘Esq’ doesn’t have the effect you think it has and the label ‘PhD’ without the subject is meaningless, unless you are writing on a narrowly focussed academic topic.

        Anyway, I have said my piece. David W. Schnare is a nice name, without need of decoration.

      • Some clarification of ‘Esq.’ – in the UK, this means an abbreviation for ‘esquire’, a title added to the name of a person regarded as a gentleman by birth, position, or education.
        The Concise Oxford Dictionary (1976 edition) also mentions that ‘esquire’ can be used as the title of a law officer.

  26. “The chart below is from email ABOR/MH/Priv-005618. Note, the dotted line (Mann’s tree-ring temperature reconstruction) is well below the actual temperature record after 1980 and does not show the clear divergence known to exist after 1992, something it seems he was unwilling to show for that reason.”

    What Dr. Schnare fails to note is that this graph is not the first draft. There is another, earlier graph that shows an increase during the 1980s that is more in line with the temperature record, but Mann was uncomfortable with this because it reflected an outlier proxy (a Red Sea coral) that had great influence on the results, mentioning the fact that this has happened in the past with tree rings. He believed this coral outlier was an effect that was anthropogenic but not climatic, and CHOSE an analysis in which the 1980s reconstruction was below the instrumental one.

    After 1992 there were very few proxies available (6, IIRC), and that is why the line did not extend past that date. This is clear from the emails, so why does Schnare assume some other reason?

    The more I look at this, the clearer it seems that at least some of the post is misleading. It may not be deliberate, and there may be much truth to it, but it can’t be taken as true overall.

  27. Pop Piasa,

    “Fair”? I think it’s legitimate to append the instrumental record to a reconstruction when the proxy data are know to produce fallacious results in recent decades, as long as it’s made clear that one is doing so. This wasn’t always made clear, and that was, indeed, a grave mistake. That was Jones’s doing, and it’s just one reason I don’t trust his judgment and believe he acted unprofessionally and unethically.

    • Ach! This comment got totally put in the wrong place! Sorry, I’m going to copy it and put it where I wanted it.

    • Kristi, logically if you have a modern divergence problem then how can you know that the trees ‘behaved’ properly in the other 950 yrs? This anomaly throws the entire record into doubt. This was one of the first problems that a lot of scientists and statisticians had with the work. Moreover, even keepers of these proxies have not long ago rejected stripbark pines because of unreliability and they are still being used.

    • “Fair”? I think it’s legitimate to append the instrumental record to a reconstruction when the proxy data are know to produce fallacious results in recent decades, as long as it’s made clear that one is doing so.

      Kristi, if the proxy is producing fallacious results in recent decades, then why trust that it isn’t doing the same in past ones as well?

      • Gary Pearce and John Endicott,

        The divergence is widespread, but confined to high latitudes. Lower latitudes don’t show this pattern. High and low latitude specimens show the same pattern prior to about 1960, going back to the Medieval.

        The last few decades have been affected by anthropogenic change, and it is not unreasonable to assume that this has resulted in oddities in tree growth. There are a number of hypotheses; I’m aware that the causal mechanism is still the subject of some debate; it could be a combination of factors.

        There seems no reason to doubt that the tree ring proxy record before 1960 is untrustworthy. It’s possible, but until there’s evidence, we might as well use what we have (a multi-proxy record), keeping in mind, of course, that there is always going to be some uncertainty associated with proxy records of the past.

  28. A huge ‘tell’ in one of Mann’s emails as to the integrity of his work is to agree with Hughes to leave out a single proxy that steers the latter part of the record into too good of a congruence with expectations BECAUSE critics would be attracted to pick holes in other parts of the construction! Now a good poker player would read this as there is a lot of bluff in the other ‘hands’ he has been holding.

    • Actually it would appear that climate science ‘findings’ are believed to trump history. If the proxies don’t reflect well known historical periods where climate was a major player.

      The Little Ice Age was real. George Washington had soldiers sneak cannons from a warehouse in Manhattan, which at the time was held by the British, and they rolled them out onto sea ice and all the way to New Jersey. Similarly the Bosphorus froze over, 1/3 of Finns died from cold and crop failure, etc. etc. Mike erased this with his reconstruction. Similarly the Medieval Warm Period which had Scots growing grapes for wine and Greenlanders growing barley and hay on farmsteads still buried under modern ice, and etc. etc. Were he to be real smart and not just tricky he would have had proxies verify those indelible periods and fooled us all til the end of days! The takehome here is if you want to fool people on a climate record a 1000yrs long, you’d better be an old fashioned Renaissance Mann.

    • Gary,

      You mean the Red Sea coral? My understanding is that it’s an outlier that has undue weight on the record because there are few proxies at that point. If a single proxy has a really huge effect on the results, while the others are in pretty good agreement, it’s legitimate to omit it.

      Of COURSE Mann is sensitive to other’s reasons for picking holes in the reconstruction! And of course a single proxy with undue influence would be attention-getting. He knows that their work is likely to be scrutinized, and wants to avoid giving people excuses for criticism. Geez, I’d be hypersensitive, too, if I were him! What scientist would ever want to be under the microscope like he has been? What scientist wants to be the mascot for skeptics’ distrust of science? I don’t much like Mann, but I feel bad for him even if he has brought some of it on himself.

      I can’t imagine having thousands of pages of my emails made public for people to cherry-pick and place the worst possible spin on, regardless of the context, with no attempt to get at the truth. People are utterly convinced of their interpretation no matter what alternative is presented, so badly do they want to condemn these guys. It’s reprehensible, and has done terrible damage to people’s trust in science. This is why I find Schnare’s justification so pathetic. Enough damage has been done, and he just wants more. Hughes is the good guy, he claims, which just throws into contrast his judgement about the others. It’s like he wants to show how unbiased he is by praising one of them. Makes me mad!

      He’s been trying since 2011 to get his hands on these emails. Think of all the money spent!

      Scientist can resort to the telephone for confidential communication??? You can’t pass figures and drafts over the telephone. You have no written record of the conversation without taking notes (and those, too, could be demanded). You can’t sit and mull over your questions and replies. It’s despicable. And look at the precedent set. Someone should someone will sue for Willie’s Soon’s emails, and Happer’s, and Ridd’s, and all the other contrarians out there working to undermine climate science.

      Schnare – After quitting the EPA in 2012, he’s evidently back there in some capacity, or at least was in 2017, after suing them over coal plant regulation. Another person working for the EPA who’s against the EPA. It’s like having Gandhi as the Secretary of Defense.

  29. David Schnare, I appreciate your efforts here and the other post, but you got a bit wordy in your introduction on this one. It could have been condensed to “IMO, Malcolm Hughes is a decent scientist and person”.

  30. “Lack of a Research Log”

    I recently cams across two of my old AT&T/Lucent log books and realized that when they changed the patent law from “first to invent” to “first to file”, the need for these log books evaporated in most of these organizations.

  31. In an earlier post, Kristi Silber stated that ‘Maybe it’s because I have a very solid background in plant physiology and ecology, but it seems to me that the “working knowledge” one needs for dendroclimatology is not too hard to master.’
    I have a question for her.
    How many factors influence tree ring thickness, with the question addressed from the viewpoint of genetic changes (DNA mutations, for example) and biochemistry (for example, enzymatic activity over a range of temperature variations)?
    Why didn’t Mann discuss such factors ?

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