Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 1: In the beginning

The well-timed release of the stolen CRU emails (a.k.a. Climategate) did much to enhance public awareness of self-appointed climate science auditor Steve McIntyre and his long-time co-author and promoter, economist Ross McKitrick. Indeed, the pair has finally recieved widespread coverage in their native Canada with a spate of mainstream profiles full of fawning admiration from  the CanWest newspaper chain, McLean’s magazine and the Toronto Star. That’s on top of new interest from the likes of Associated Press and CNN, along with coverage from the usual biased sources like Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

Those stories tell the tale of a humble retired mining executive (McIntyre), whose analysis of the “hockey stick” temperature reconstruction got the attention of economist Ross McKitrick,  and eventually shook all of climate science to its core.  Of course, the reporters seem blissfully unaware that McIntyre and McKitrick have published exactly one – that’s right, uno – peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal. (Besides the pair’s 2005 GRL article, Ross McKitrick’s misleading list of so-called “peer-reviewed science journal articles” also includes two pieces in the contrarian social science journal Energy and Environment, a comment letter to PNAS and a pair of replies to comments on the GRL article!)

Even worse, the writers appear to have relied on McIntyre himself to supply the context of his improbable rise (always a dodgy proposition where McIntyre is concerned). But McIntyre’s thin publication record suggests that his prominence has less to do with any compelling scientific analysis, and much more to do with astute promotion. And, indeed, the McIntyre-McKitrick saga turns out to have the usual supporting cast of anti-science propaganda: two notorious right-wing think tanks (the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the George Marshall Institute) and a deft fossil-fuel company funded PR veteran operating behind the scenes (none other than Tom Harris of APCO Worldwide).

According to the familiar story that McIntyre has told so often, his initial interest in Mann et al’s “hockey stick” graph was inspired by  its relentless invocation in late 2002 by the Canadian Liberal government as a justification for ratification of the Kyoto protocol. In the infamous “Ohio State” presentation, How do we “know” that 1998 was the warmest year of the millennium?, McIntyre averred:

I’m pretty sure that the first time I ever thought about climate change was in late 2002 when the Canadian Government was promoting acceptance of the Kyoto Protocol. The slogan for their campaign was that the 20th century was the warmest century, the 1990s the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year in the past millennium - a slogan that got repeated in speech after speech and presentation after presentation. [Emphasis added]

Leaving aside McIntyre’s slightly foggy recollection (“pretty sure”?), even the,  um, cherrypicked quotes about the 1990s from then  environment minister David Anderson do not support the claim, since they clearly refer to the instrumental record and don’t even compare those years to pre-20th century temperatures:

The 20th century was the warmest in the Northern Hemisphere in the past 1000 years. The 1990s was the warmest decade on record and 1998 was the warmest year – in Canada and internationally. – David Anderson, April 5, 2002. [Emphasis added]

As for “late 2002″, by then Anderson had long since dropped all reference to the “1000 year” context, as seen in this long speech in the House of Commons (in support of Kyoto ratification, no less), which only discussed twentieth century warming.

With the steady rise in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, we have witnessed average temperatures in Canada alone that went up by about one degree during the 20th century. The eighties were the hottest decade that we had ever recorded until the nineties came along.

Indeed, of the forty or so speeches archived for 2002, only those from the April  regional tour even invoked the “1000 years” refrence quoted above. (That’s a good thing, too, since the 2001 IPCC report had actually referred to the rapidity of warming in the 20th century; trust McIntyre to miss the actual error and focus on imagined support for his mistaken contention.)

In 2003, McIntyre set about emulating the Mann et al 1998 study (which presented a multi-proxy recontruction for 1400-1980), and began posting about his efforts at a climate “skeptic” internet group. That led to a connection  with Ross McKitrick, an economics professor at Guelph University, an hour’s drive from McIntyre’s Toronto home.

By all accounts, McKitrick was able to guide McIntyre in readying his analysis for publication. More importantly, McKitrick was already plugged in to the fossil-fuel funded PR network that eventually would bring the pair to prominence.

McKitrick had participated in a 2001 briefing attacking the IPCC and the Kyoto Protocol, sponsored by the  Cooler Heads Coalition (then run by the Comepetitive Enterprise Institite). As noted on his publications web page, McKitrick’s contribution focused on a “briefing” on cap-and-trade.

I wrote this paper for the Competitive Enterprise Institute (they paid me a thousand bucks) explaining why cap and trade and similar methods for controlling CO2 emissions are bad ideas.

2002 was a busy year for the climate “skeptic”:

  • He was on the availability list for the Kyoto’s Fatal Flaws Revealed event organized by Tom Harris of APCO Worldwide (and  sponsored by Talisman Oil and ExxonMobil subsidiary Imperial Oil).
  • He signed on as an inaugural “scientific contact” for the APCO linked “astroturf” group Friends of Science.
  • He began his long association with the Fraser Institute, penning his first article for the Fraser Forum magazine.
  • On top of all that, he published, along with mathematician Christopher Essex, the widely-derided Taken By Storm: The Troubled Science, Policy and Politics of Global Warming.

M&M go to Washington

Late in 2003, McIntyre and McKitrick published their first joint paper in the contrarians’ favourite journal, Energy and Environment. Corrections to the Mann et al (1998) Proxy Data Base and Northern Hemispheric Average Temperature Series caused a minor sensation in climate skeptic circles. Hard on the heels of the paper came an  invitation from the CEI-led Cooler Head Coalition and the George Marshall Institute to participate in the Washington Roundtable on Science and Public Policy series. McIntyre and McKitrick titled their presentation The IPCC, the “Hockey Stick” Curve, and the Illusion of Experience.

At the time, both CEI and the Marshall Institute enjoyed funding from ExxonMobil. And CEI head Myron Ebell and Marshall president (and American Petroleum Institute ex-COO) William O’Keefe were both implicated in Bush administration efforts to water down official reports on climate science, as outlined in this one page excerpt from the Government Accountability Project report Redacting the Science of ClimateChange [See full 1.5 MB PDF].

In some ways, the question period after the Roundtable presentation had the most interesting nuggets. David Appell questioned M&M closely about when the paper had been submitted, and the rigour of any peer-review it may have had under a short time frame, but met with stonewalling from McKitrick. Later, it turned out that E&E editor-in-chief Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen had rushed the paper into publication for “policy impact reasons, e.g. publication well before COP9″.

Appell’s questions about funding for “this project” earned a defensive response from McKitrick:

First of all, on the funding: we did not receive any money from anyone to do this. I have basically blown away my fall sabbatical doing this; it wasn’t what I planned to do and the sooner it’s over, the happier I will be.

That may have been true if the “project” is narrowly defined as limited to the E&E article itself. But, as usual in the contrarian universe, the actual paper was the least important part of the exercise; of course, McKitrick was paid $1000 and expenses for his appearance that day in Washington, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In attendance was a who’s who of Washington-area contrarian scientists, including Pat Michaels, Sallie Baliunas and Willie Soon. Fred Singer, head of SEPP, complained about the truncation of data past 1980 in the proxy reconstructions, and even referred to the “politically correct surface data” (p. 25), which he suspected was very much inferior to the satellite data. (We now know how that turned out; it was the satellite temperature series that required several corrections.)  Singer did thank McIntyre for sending him ” a whole bunch of data”, so even at this early date McIntyre was forging links with other contrarians.

Again according to the Wall Street Journal, the pair also met with Republican senator and uber-denier James Inhofe in 2003, although it was unclear if that meeting occurred on the same trip.

Nevertheless, McIntyre’s and McKitrick’s criticisms appeared to gain little traction in the wake of the trip, possibly because they had not even managed to publish in a reputable scientific journal. That deficiency became the focus of activity in 2004.

Tom Harris and APCO Worldwide come calling

Back in Canada, McKitrick returned to his regular teaching activities, while McIntyre continued updating the pair’s climate2003.com website. For much of 2004, that website documented efforts to publish a “hockey stick” critique in Nature. Although Mann did post a corrigendum in July 2004, McIntyre and McKitrick chafed under word limits and negative feedback by Nature and gave up on that course of action. Along the way, though, McIntyre pinpointed a crucial difference between his emulation and Mann’s methodology – namely, Mann’s use of so called “short-centred” PCA (principal component analysis), in the construction of the North American tree ring proxy network. That discovery was covered sympathetically by Richard Muller of the online Technology Review in October 2004.

Meanwhile, Tom Harris, then at notorious PR/lobbying firm APCO Worldwide, took on a new project – the Friends of Science film Climate Catatrophe Cancelled. As noted in a University of Calgary internal audit, this project was funded through a “climate change” research fund controlled by political science professor Barry Cooper and fed by donations from various oil companies and foundations.

Talisman’s CEO James Buckee was an early supporter of the project; given Imperial Oil’s support for previous initiatives by APCO Worldwide, it seems plausible that the ExxonMobil subsidiary may also have been involved. In all, APCO received more than $170,000 and in return “produced, promoted and distributed” the video,  according to the University of Calgary auditor’s report.

The project began in earnest in late 2004 and was eventually released in April 2005. Interviews with McIntyre and McKitrick were at the core of the film’s treatment of paleoclimatology.

A full analysis of the APCO Friends of Science film is beyond the scope of this post. However, it’s worth noting that APCO used the M&M analysis to  buttress the argument for a strong “medeival warm period” (MWP), even though M&M’s critique focused on the 15th century, normally considered part of the Little Ice Age! The film trotted Tim Ball to repeat the oft-cited canard that the IPCC had previously supported a strong MWP as warm or warmer than modern temperatures:

“And so that created a very familiar curve which appeared in the early IPCC reports … [MBH98] completely rejected that widely accepted temperature graph.”

William Connolley’s Wikipedia MWP-LIA entry tells a different tale. In fact, the first IPCC report referred to a “MWP around 1000 AD (which may not have been global)”. The second IPCC report (1995) stated: “Recent studies have re-evaluated the interval commonly known as the MWP… the available evidence is limited (geographically) and is equivocal.”

Tim Ball refers to a non-quantitative figure, apparently derived from a 1966 study of central England by H H Lamb, that appeared only in the first IPCC report, but was dropped in the 1992 supplement and in the 1995 report. So the graph was far from “widely accepted”: it only appeared in one IPCC report and had fallen into disuse by the time of the MBH98 study.

The APCO film continued with a description of the “hockey stick” with its shaft of the “first 900 years of the past millennium”, while displaying a version of the MBH98 graph (starting in 1400), overlaid with McIntyre’s “corrected” version.

We carried out an analysis of the results to see what happened when we recompiled the data and got quite different answers. Instead of having an extraordinarily high 20th century, we had a 15th century value that was just as high as the 20th century, so the hockey stick disappeared. It’s a computer programming error that yields these hockey sticks.

M&M finally hit the peer-reviewed jackpot

In the fall of 2004, McIntyre and McKitrick finally explored alternatives for publication, targetting the AGU publication Geophysical Research Letters.  Hockey sticks, principal components, and spurious significance was received by GRL in  October  2004, accepted on January 17, 2005, and published February 12, 2005.

As usual for such rare contrarian peer-reviewed scientific publications, the public relations campaign was ready to go. Indeed, the PR campaign preceded actual publication by a full two weeks!

On January 27, 2005, the National Post ran  a front page story headlined “Canadians find flaw in Kyoto ’hockey stick’”. To make sure the point of the PR exercise was was crystal clear, James Cowan’s article proclaimed:

A pivotal global warming study central to the Kyoto Protocol contains serious flaws caused by a computer programming glitch and other faulty methodology, according to new Canadian research.

The Financial Post section also contained a long article entitled “Breaking the Hockey Stick” by Marcel Crok, a Dutch science writer who, according to his linkedin profile, is also editor of the magazine Tennis and Coach, and has been writing about climate science, since, um, January 27, 2005.  As one might expect, then, Crok’s article more or less parrots McIntyre’s various contentions – shades of David Rose!

Although the National Post, as usual, failed to disclose the behind the scenes maneouvering leading up to the fulsome coverage, it seems plausible that the campaign may well have been instigated by APCO’s Tom Harris. As noted previously, Harris and Financial Post editor Terence Corcoran had been co-operating on the promulgation of contrarian climate science for a number of years (and would continue to do so).

In any event, no “skeptic” PR campaign would be complete without Corcoran’s pronouncements, and he did not disappoint in his commentary “Let the Science Debate Begin”. In that over-the-top screed, Corcoran called the “hockey stick” graph the “most important economic, scientific and business graphic in world history”.  He blathered on:

The hockey-stick image has appeared in countless documents and hundreds of speeches… It is also the core justification for the Kyoto Protocol, which comes into effect on Feb. 16.

It’s hard to say which of these assertions is the more patently absurd. But let’s move on to Corcoran’s main point.

Until now, criticisms of the hockey stick have been dismissed as fringe reports from marginal global warming skeptics…

Publication in Geophysical Research sets McIntyre and McKitrick’s analysis and conclusions in direct opposition to the Mann research. Their criticism can no longer be dismissed as if it were untested research posted on obscure Web sites by crank outsiders. Their work is now a full challenge to the dominant theme of the entire climate and global warming movement.

All that from a flawed article in a scientific letters journal. Still, you can’t blame Corcoran for pumping this for all it’s worth. After all, who could know when McIntyre and McKitrick would get another peer-reviewed article published in a scientific journal (it’s been five long years and counting).

After the National Post scoop, the PR campaign took off. A second article,  The M&M critique of the MBH98 northern hemisphere climate index, was released in Energy and Environment.  That article covered much of the same ground as GRL, including the PCA and data criticisms, but also contained a non-scientific critique, taking up the recurring themes of disclosure and “quality control”.

Finally, we comment on several policy issues arising from this controversy: the lack of consistent requirements for disclosure of data and methods in paleoclimate journals, and the need to recognize the limitations of journal peer review as a quality control standard when scientific studies are used for public policy.

McIntyre started his ClimateAudit blog on February 3 and pointed to Post coverage the same day. In the following days, the Post continued to give him impressive coverage. Columns touching on the “hockey stick” included:

  • “Science tells us Kyoto is pointless” by Friends of Science advisor Tim Patterson (“This study was a major prop for the Kyoto Protocol, now that prop is gone.”)  [Feb. 10, the same day that Patterson appeared before the House of Commons committee examining Kyoto implementation.]
  • “How bad economics fed climate ‘science'” by Peter Foster (claims M&M’s work was  “dramatically destructive” of IPCC “scientific allegations about the last thousand years.” [Feb. 11]
  • “Bre-X Climate” by Terence Corcoran (wherein Corcoran compares Mann et al to mining fraudsters).  [Feb. 15]

Then, in a major coup, the Wall Street Journal featured McIntyre on its front page. Reporter Antonio Regalado portrayed the scientific debate as more or less a standoff and emphasized the doubts concerning the “hockey stick” of (mostly unnamed) scientists.

In a devastating critique for Environmental Science and Technology, Paul D. Thacker noted:

Decades of research have created a massive body of scientific literature on climate change, and thousands of new studies on the subject appear every year in different science journals. Yet, within weeks of publishing his first peer-reviewed study, McIntyre was profiled on the front page of the Wall Street Journal…

Four days later, the Wall Street Journal editorial page praised Regalado’s reporting and launched an attack on the hockey stick, the IPCC, and the science of global warming.

Actually, that’s not quite true – it only took two days from official publication (and three weeks after acceptance). Thacker goes on to give a detailed critique of the Journal’s biased coverage of climate science issues. One telling detail – the only scientist to have been accorded a WSJ op-ed piece in recent years was uber-denier Fred Singer.

Like the National Post before it, the Journal touted a narrow critique of dubious significance as a massive reversal of all paleoclimatology, and indeed all of climate science. And, like the National Post, the Journal has yet to reveal the story’s provenance, or the PR operatives behind it. Indeed to this day, the Journal has refused to answer a list of 19 questions concerning its climate science coverage, submitted by ES&T.

In April 2005, APCO Worldwide released the Climate Catastrophe Cancelled film to the general public. From the APCO press release:

Today, researchers at the University of Calgary, in cooperation with the Friends of Science Society, released a video entitled:

Climate Catastrophe Cancelled: What you’re not being told about the science of climate change

At a news conference held in Ottawa, some of North America’s foremost climate experts provided evidence demonstrating that the science underlying the Kyoto Protocol is seriously flawed; a problem that continues to be ignored by the Canadian government. Scientists called on the Canadian government to delay implementation of the Kyoto Protocol until a thorough, public review of the current state of climate science has been conducted by climate experts. Such an analysis has never been organized in Canada despite repeated requests from independent, non-governmental climate scientists.

Once again, we have the familiar APCO theme that all of climate science, and thus the justification for the Kyoto Protocol, had been invalidated. It is also noteworthy that APCO misrepresented the film as being released by “researchers at the University of Calgary”. Later, the University was to demand that Friends of Science and APCO remove all references to the University and its logo from the film’s introduction.  These are only two of several instances of Friends of Science/APCO misrepresentation of the organization’s relationship with the University of Calgary.

As 2005 wore on, McIntyre and McKitrick were clearly rising stars in the contrarian firmament, thanks in no small part to the diverse efforts of their think tank and PR supporters, not to mention complaisant media outlets like the National Post and the Wall Street Journal. McIntyre and McKitrick’s inexcusable and enthusiastic co-operation with APCO’s sordid propaganda efforts, not to mention those of CEI and the Marshall Institute,  continued to be ignored.

The time was approaching for ratcheting up the politically motivated attacks on climate science, in the form of  an abusive investigation instigated by Republican congressmen Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield. That will be the subject of part 2 early next week, including some eye-opening new revelations about the origins and development of the Wegman report.

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· . However, the first IPCC report referred to a “MWP around 1000 AD (which may not have been global)”. The second IPCC report (1995) stated: “Recent studies have re-evaluated the interval commonly known as the MWP… the available evidence is limited (geographically) and is equivocal.”

Tim Ball is referring to a non-quantitative figure, apparently derived from a 1966 study of central England by H H Lamb, that appeared only in the first IPCC report, but was dropped in the 1992 supplement and in the 1995 report. So the graph was far from “widely accepted”: it only appeared in one IPCC report and had fallen into disuse by the time of the MBH98 study.

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90 responses to “Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 1: In the beginning

  1. Nice work! M&M are the kind of bugs that prefer to stay under their rocks except under the most carefully arranged circumstances.

  2. A timely post given that Mann has now been exonerated of falsifying data.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=2518632

    [DC: That story by Mike De Souza was carried across the CanWest chain. See e.g. the Montreal Gazette.

    I’m glad to see the Post run De Souza’s article though. In the past, they’ve ignored some of his finest investigative work. ]

  3. Good indepth detailed analysis, you must be really passionate about this topic. In the whole thing I didn’t find anything really incriminating except for the negative in which the article is written.

    At worst the Oil companies hould be thanked for putting a little money behind science to promote discussion amongst a one sided topic. At Best Mckitrick and Mccyntyre should be hailed as Canadian Heroes for Going up against the Big IPCC machine and winning.

    Truly, these boys represent the best Canada has to offer, it really makes you feel patriotic. When the Hockey Stick was exposed we we’re all deniers that day. O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

    [DC: So in your opinion there’s nothing wrong with:

    – McIntyre’s misrepresentation of the environment minister’s statements regarding justification for Kyoto
    – McIntyre and McKitrick’s co-operation with unethical PR firms and think tanks
    – Oil companies’ surreptitious, unethical and possibly illegal support of those unethical organizations
    – Use of university research funds to fund anti-science propaganda
    – Friends of Science and APCO’s constant misrepresentations and falsehoods about climate science and organizational affiliations.
    – Co-operation and participation of biased news outlets in surreptitious fossil-fuel funded PR campaigns, and cover-up of same.

    Fine. Let’s hear what others have to say. Count me as one of many Canadians who are ashamed of M&M and all they stand for.]

    • So, you really think that this pair of jokers deserve the same status as those who formed possibly the best Empire troops of WWI, did much of the work of destroying the U boat menace in WWII, and built an enviable 1st world country in the teeth of epic distances and an unforgiving climate?

      Canadian Heros? Get real. Black Fly’s done more..

    • This link:
      Makes one wonder why ExxonMobil would be interested in who chairs the IPCC.
      Does it look like the deniers were trying to blow a smokescreen? There are those who say that a lot money is at stake. Totally correct, for both sides. The problem is, for the deniers, it’s all about the money, no matter which way they twist it. For the climate change experts, who are in agreement to the tune of 98% +, it’s all about our species. Sure, we’ll survive…perhaps. I know I’ll be dead before the sh*t really starts to hit the fan, so there IS a great temptation to “party like its 1998″…or something like that. But what about our children and their children? What legacy shall we leave them?

      [DC: Which link?]

  4. Cam is an obvious troll and I really shouldn’t respond, but …
    ‘ashamed’ does not even BEGIN to describe my reaction to M&M et al and all they stand for.

  5. I would say that overall you are somewhat unfair on McI, and too kind to McK.

    To take the sceond first: although when it first appeared this looked like joint work, subsequent events, and McI’s continuing contributions, have made it quite clear that the primary driver behind all this is McI. McK may or may not have been linked to the P-R, but in terms of the work on the actual content, he looks negligible.

    As to the first: although McI is deeply irritating, he hasn’t kept CA going this long just by nit-picking: some of it is solid work (admittedly I haven’t visited for a while since the atmosphere there is so poisonous, but never mind). McI undoubtedly has enough material to publish a few minor papers, or questions on commentaries on other papers. I suspect, though, he can’t bring himself to submit to the disciline of publication, and/or realies that when written down that way it would look all a bit trivial.

    [DC: McIntyre is more than merely irritating. He misrepresents and distorts the facts (there’s a small example above concerning Canadian environment minister David Anderson), and constantly makes unfounded insinuations of misconduct against legitimate scientists. I’ve done so many posts on that latter tendency, I hardly know where to start.

    Occasionally he makes a valid point (e.g. criticism of short-centred PCA), but then stretches its significance beyond any credible bounds. I find the signal-to-noise ratio depressing, even in the more technical posts, of which there are very few right now as far as I can see.

    One of the dangers of letting McKitrick be his representative in the media is that McKitrick makes explicit what McIntyre would prefer to merely imply. And sometimes, McKitrick even introduces a clear falsehood, as when he claimed that dendrocgronologist Fritz Schweingruber was a co-author of Briffa et al 2008. And did McIntyre bother to correct him? Of course not. ]

  6. More on the early McI:

    http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com/2007/08/who-heck-is-steve-mcintyre-portait-of.html

    [DC: I was aware of the Noranda and CGX connection (I recall reading that CGX bought out Nortwest Exploration, which was McIntyre’s personal company). The Timmins Nickel/Dumont Nickel debacle is new to me, as is the possible provenance of government “advisor” entry.

    Your sum up seems reasonable:

    So, while none of this information is earth-shattering, it does help slot Mr. McIntyre rather neatly on the ideological spectrum as a small business Conservative with interests in the petroleum industry.

    For the rest, I’ll let folks read for themselves. Thanks for the info.]

  7. This is definitely worth a read. And whose name should be involved in the CRU hack investigation? None other than Steve McI. Sounds like at the very least he may have had a mole /sympathizer close to CRU.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/climate-change-email-hacking-leak

  8. Oh, and please add my name to the list of people who are hopelessly embarrassed by M&M being Canucks.

  9. Link doesn’t work, MapleLeaf – is the following what you were thinking of?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/climate-change-email-hacker-police-investigation

  10. This material you’ve uncovered is coming out at a rather interesting point in time. As you well know, Mann has been exonerated of any wrong-dong related to an incoherent set of charges coming out of the “Climategate” — that is, the political attempt to dig-up material that might be twisted into looking incriminating by thieves that broke in to retrieve that material.

    Mann exonerated, McIntyre and McKitrick exposed. Might make for a seriously good newspaper article. Beyond that, at the very least this deserves to become part of the written history when the subject of either the hockey stick or Climategate gets written about in the future.

  11. I was also thinking — there is that bit of circumstantial evidence relating McIntyre’s blog to Climategate — where someone had succeeded in uploading the file containing the stolen emails and linked to it from McIntyre’s blog in a comment that stated “A miracle has happened!” — three days before Climategate was made public. Later — a regular of McIntyre’s blog — claimed responsibility for distributing the file. Someone had “given it to him” and he realized immediately just how “important it was.” Not sure what to make of the bit having to do with Mosher, but it does add a dash of seasoning for what is already a really good story.

    [DC: As I recall, a WUWT moderator gave a CD of the FOIA zip file to Steven Mosher to evaluate, while holding the comment in moderation. Meanwhile, whoever was trying to disseminate the zip file also posted on ClimateAudit and AirVent. Paul Dennis was in email contact with all three bloggers – hence police interest in him.]

  12. Mapleleaf left off an “s” in the link. He was linking to:

    Dennis denies leaking the material. But it is understood that his links with climate change sceptic bloggers in North America drew him to the attention of the investigating team, and have exposed rifts within the university’s environmental science faculty.

    Dennis refused to sign a petition in support of Jones when the scandal broke. He told friends he was one of several staff unwilling to put their names to the Met Office-inspired statement in support of the global warming camp, because “science isn’t done by consensus”.

    Detectives question climate change scientist over email leaks
    University of East Anglia scientist Paul Dennis denies leaking material, but links to climate change sceptics in US drew him to attention of the investigators
    David Leigh, Charles Arthur and Rob Evans, guardian.co.uk, Thursday 4 February 2010 20.51 GMT

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/04/climate-change-email-hacking-leaks

    Several interesting stories linked to on the side of that story, including the recent:

    How the ‘climategate’ scandal is bogus and based on climate sceptics’ lies
    Claims based on email soundbites are demonstrably false – there is manifestly no evidence of clandestine data manipulation
    Fred Pearce, guardian.co.uk, Monday 1 February 2010 18.04 GMT

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/01/climate-emails-sceptics

  13. Timothy Chase

    Deep Climate wrote:

    And, indeed, the McIntyre-McKitrick saga turns out to have the usual supporting cast of anti-science propaganda: two notorious right-wing think tanks (the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the George Marshall Institute) and a deft fossil-fuel company funded PR veteran operating behind the scenes (none other than Tom Harris of APCO Worldwide).

    Regarding the George C. Marshall Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute…

    George C. Marshall Institute

    http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/organization/George_C_Marshall_Institute/funders

    Major funders: Carthage Foundation (part of the Scaife aggregate — much of Richard Mellon Scaife’s money came from oil he played a major role in creating the Religious Right in the United States), Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (part of the Koch aggregate – both Koch brothers have strong ties to the Libertarian movement, and their dad was a charter member of the John Birch Society, see SourceWatch: Koch Family Foundations), Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (ties to the far Rightwing and Religious Right) and Exxon.

    Competitive Enterprise Institute

    http://mediamattersaction.org/transparency/organization/Competitive_Enterprise_Institute/funders

    Major funders include the Carthage Foundation (Scaife), Castle Rock Foundation (Coors Family, far Rightwing, Religious Right), Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (Koch), Charles R. Lambe Charitable Foundation (Koch), David H. Koch Charitable Foundation (Koch), Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation (Bradley), Sarah Scaife Foundation (Scaife), Scaife Family Foundation (Scaife until the early 2000s — then gradually fell away from the family).

  14. Perhaps let’s work the other way: make a list of McIntyre’s actual contributions to the field. I can think of at most two or three, and he grossly exaggerated the importance of all of them. His followers then think he’s actually accomplished something significant, when he has not.

    Note to DC: The WUWT moderator you list above prefers to remain anonymous (unless something has changed). Given that you also operate anonymously, I suggest it’s in good taste to redact the name.

    [DC: I didn’t realize that, since he was already named in several accounts of the incident. However, under the circumstances, I have edited my comment – thanks.]

  15. Timothy (and others): make sure to rad Donald Gutstein’s book, “Not a Conspiracy Theory”, which has a Canadian view on this, but also discusses those funders, whose influence went North of the border as well, including Fraser.

  16. Has anyone thought to FOI Paul Dennis’ emails to McIntyre (re guardian article linked to above) since he is also UEA? Seems only fair in the circumstances.

    [DC: My take on this is a little different.

    We have two university investigations under way (Mann at Penn State and Jones at UEA) generated by bogus accusations of misconduct. Yet the much more compelling case case for abuse of research funds at the University of Calgary has yet to be properly investigated. This will be the subject of future posts, as I am very familiar with that case. ]

  17. DC, as well as the misuse of funds by the University of Calgary related to FOS, there is the bigger question of the abuse of taxable deductions offered to those who gave money.

    I hope that the CRA is investigating this aspect.

    [DC: I believe a complaint to CRA (Canadian Revenue Agency) may have been lodged some time ago. To see if any action was taken, you have to search Canada Gazette, apparently. As far as I know, no action has been taken against the Calgary Foundation with respect to the Science Education Fund, even though it was clearly used for illegitimate purposes (funding FoS projects through the back door). ]

  18. It’s ironic that the McIntyre choir frequently refers to consensus scientists as “the team” or “cabal”, when this sort of shady political alliance-forming is precisely what McIntyre and crew engage in.

    I’m considering a career change to “Global Warming Denier”. They are in high demand, and few qualifications or competence is needed. Communication skills a plus though.

  19. Generally I quit reading a blog post if, in the first three paragraphs, the thesis isn’t clear. This is typically the case when reading this blog. Perhaps you should take a writing course. It may help you tighten up your thinking.

  20. While thinking about this in the shower, I think my earlier comment may come across as unfair. So let me clarify.

    What are you arguing here?

    That McIntyre has received media attention since the CRU release?

    That the media wrote typically uninformed articles? This time about McIntyre.

    That right wing anti-science propaganda and fossil fuel interests back McIntyre?

    That McIntyre has a thin scientific publishing history?

    All these were mentioned in your first three paragraphs, but they are not tied together in a coherent way with an overall theme/idea/thesis.

    Remember the old rule.

    Tell them what your gonna tell them.
    Tell them.
    Then tell them what you told them.

  21. Sustainable2050

    Mr. Cam Mackay runs a website of his own: cammackay.com, featuring a video labelled as “funniest and true” equating Al Gore to Adolf Hitler.

  22. Pingback: DeSmogBlog » Blog Archive » McIntyre and McKitrick Unmasked

  23. “Stolen CRU e-mails”? Police in Britain are investigating whether it was a whistleblower inside the climate department who released the e-mails.

    [DC: It’s possible an insider may have been involved (although this particular one has vehemently denied any involvement). But that still would not mean release of the emails was legitimate. To the contrary, it appears that whoever did this accessed all of CRU’s email archive, which is wholly illegitimate, insider or not. We also know, by the way, that even if an insider were involved, he did not act alone. And embezzlers aren’t whistleblowers either.

    The “whistleblower” theory was predicated on McIntyre’s absurd theory that an FOIA archive was assembled, but withdrawn at the last minute. That was and is poppycock.

    And even if the CRU email archive was open to outside access because of lax security, it was still illegitimate to take them and disseminate them. Or do you think that if someone leaves a car unlocked, you have the right to rummage through it and take what you want?

    The emails were stolen. Please get over it.]

  24. Excellent research, thanks, and a nice addition to the RealClimate thrashing of McIntyre as well as the vindication of Mann. I hope MSM is paying attention. I knew about the Marshall connection, but not CEI or the PR firm.

    Something you should know about CGX, McIntyre’s old company: they were looking to extract heavy oil from the Orinoco region of South America, which is a twofer: pristine, and containing heavy oil. Environmental consequences are likely to be horrific.

  25. Slightly off-topic (but still connected to McIntyre):

    Good article about what Phil Jones have been going through: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017905.ece

    Excerpts:

    The leak was bad. Then came the death threats.

    “He now accepts that he did not treat the FoI requests as seriously as he should have done. “I regret that I did not deal with them in the right way,” he told The Sunday Times.”

    “But he pleads provocation. Last year in July alone the unit received 60 FoI requests from across the world. With a staff of only 13 to cope with them, the demands were accumulating faster than they could be dealt with. “According to the rules,” says Jones, “you have to do 18 hours’ work on each one before you’re allowed to turn it down.””

    “A further irritation was that most of the data was available online, making the FoI requests, in Jones’s view, needless and a vexatious waste of his time. In the circumstances, he says, he thought it reasonable to refer the applicants to the website of the Historical Climatology Network in the US.”

    “He also suspected that the CRU was the target of a co-ordinated attempt to interfere with its work — a suspicion that hardened into certainty when, over a matter of days, it received 40 similar FoI requests. Each applicant asked for data from five different countries, 200 in all, which would have been a daunting task even for someone with nothing else to do. It was clear to Jones that the attack originated from an old adversary, the sceptical website Climate Audit, run by Steve McIntyre, a former minerals prospector and arch climate sceptic.”

    “If the leak itself was bad, the aftermath was the stuff of nightmares. Even now, weeks later, Jones seems rigid with shock. “There were death threats,” he says. “People said I should go and kill myself. They said they knew where I lived.” Two more death threats came last week after the deputy information commissioner delivered his verdict, making more work for Norfolk police, who are already investigating the theft of the emails.”

    [DC: Well I did mention the stolen emails, and others have already commented on that, so it’s fair game. ]

  26. Or do you think that if someone leaves a car unlocked, you have the right to rummage through it and take what you want?

    Just in case anyone thinks you *do* have that right, when someone tried it in my unlocked car in my unlocked garage which had its door swung up and open …

    Burglary II, Theft III, 28 days jail + 3 years probation was the result.

    The stolen paperback book had cost me $15, and I got it back :)

  27. I am a social scientist, and a young one, at that. And I’m here to say that McIntyre & Co. have left their mark on me, and that this post is most welcomed.

    I love sustainability science, and work on social vulnerabilities to environmental change around the world. My work is highly interdisciplinary, which gives me good perspective but leaves me in the shallows at times, especially when it comes to hardcore physical science. I rely on peer review and broad scientific agreement on current and projected environmental trends, because I don’t collect that raw data and I don’t analyze it. I rely on these agreements in order to understand impact scenarios and weigh policy options.

    Mcintyre & Co. chuck their little wrenches here and there that confuse the hell out of people like me. How I explain it to myself:

    (1) I’m a pretty trusting person–always have been.

    (2) My modeling and stats skills are a little shaky, especially in the context of climate science, since my training does not lie in that realm.

    (3) In the heart of every social scientist working on climate change issues is that dreadful little voice saying, “What if the impact scenarios are overblown or, worse, outright wrong?”

    In other words, some of those wrenches make sense, superficially–to the extent that the arguments are well articulated and complex-looking, and I trust that people aren’t out to hustle me :).

    Despite my better judgment–built on the integrity of physical scientists that I know, personally–the confusing discussions about statistical beefs and access to certain types of proxy data leave me like my pet dog: looking at mom, then dad, waiting to hear a word that I recognize, so that I can then act in confidence and conviction.

    This isn’t just mudslinging. This stuff is important. Wander the blogs, even as a semi-insider like me, and the fierce, articulate positions taken by both sides makes you pause for clarification. But things keep getting muddier as McIntyre’s PR campaign continues to succeed. And so we suffer because we can’t govern a damn thing related to climate at the domestic or international levels.

    Doubt is a mean thing to the creative scientific spirit, let me tell you! And maybe it’s time for me to be a little more discriminating in my trust. Thanks for the post.

  28. Congratulations on a great job exposing the disingenuous doings of this pair of phonies.

  29. The CRU e-mails may have been leaked by a CRU scientist because of FOI obstructions. If they were leaked, it may not be a crime if charges result to scientists at the center of the controversy.

    If you are concerned with illegitmate acts, you might do a post on the law regarding FOI requests. The law isn’t optional simply because a climate scientist decides they are.

    On this side of the Atlantic, the discussion on current climate controversies is still rather muted. Of all newspapers, the British Guardian has been doing some probing reporting on the lapses and possible misconduct of climate scientists and the IPCC.

    [DC: I’m more concerned about the death threats than CRU’s response to the flood of vexatious FOI requests.]

  30. [DC: Way off topic. Sorry.]

  31. So besides your concern about the odious death threats, you have no comment about the transgressions that occurred within the CRU? Or at the IPCC?

    [DC: If you have suggestions for topics, try the suggestions page. And if you do, try to be a little more specific. Thanks!]

    And are you upset by death threats made to skeptics or are those ones ok?

    [DC: If you have specific cases in mind, that’s something else you could raise at the suggestions page. Meanwhile, try and stay on topic.]

  32. There are plenty of legitimate cases for FOI laws, but this shows that people can pick a few scientists and basically stop them from getting work done.
    Is this a good use of our tax money?

    If the tobacco companies had had the Internet and these techniques in the 1950s, I hate to think of where we’d be. they could have ,and would have, stopped research cold…

  33. Global warming is supported by every corporation on earth. Linking sceptics to big business is desperation.

    Enron and BP created carbon trading with help from Occidental Oil front man Al Gore. The implanted it into the Kyoto Protocol. That was the end of honest science.

    International Emissions Trading Association (IETA)

    The biggest lobbying group at Copenhagen was the International Emissions Trading Association which was created to promote carbon trading more than ten years ago.

    Its members include :-

    BP, Conoco Philips, Shell, E.ON AG (coal power stations owner, EDF (one of the largest participants in the global coal market), Gazprom (Russian oil and gas), Goldman Sachs, Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley..

    http://www.ieta.org/ieta/www/pages/index.php?IdSiteTree=1249

    Their aim

    the objectives of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and ultimately climate protection;

    the establishment of effective market-based trading systems for greenhouse gas emissions by businesses that are demonstrably fair, open, efficient, accountable and consistent across national boundaries; and maintaining societal equity and environmental integrity while establishing these systems.

    http://www.ieta.org/ieta/www/pages/index.php?IdSiteTree=1248

    This is an excellent article on how big business carried out their usual trick of creating a left/right split.

    Opposing Views on Global Warming: The Corporate Climate Coup

    by Prof. David F. Noble – York University, Toronto, Canada

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=5568


  34. [DC: I’m more concerned about the death threats than CRU’s response to the flood of vexatious FOI requests.]

    Amoeba and Hank Roberts over at Rabett’s place have been doing a bit of digging. Here are the nuggets they’ve turned up:

    This was the exact text:
    I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involving the following countries:
    CAROLINE ISLANDS
    SOLOMON ISLANDS
    WALLIS ISLANDS
    COOK ISLANDS
    NIUE ISLAND
    1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;
    2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;
    3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”.
    4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,
    I am requesting this information for the purposes of academic research.

    The point of his argument seems somewhat blunted by three observations:

    An apparently identical template was posted on ClimateFraudit.

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=6623

    The fact that this FOI was submitted at the same time with the ClimateFraudit initiated FOI storm. What a coincidence?

    If he were genuinely an academic, why would he issue the CRU with an FOI request about confidentiality agreements restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involving the listed countries?

    I’m sure there are other things that do not add-up about Alan Wilkinson’s claim.

    #####################

    t is most revealing to google

    ‘Alan Wilkinson’ site:climateaudit.org

    It reveals that Alan Wilkinson was not an honest broker, but a porolific poster at ClimateFraudit and part of the FOI campaign.

    Read this:
    ‘Steve McIntyre
    Posted Jul 24, 2009 at 10:59 AM | Permalink | Reply
    I suggest that interested readers can participate by choosing 5 countries and sending the following FOI request to david.palmer at uea.ac.uk:

    Dear Mr Palmer,

    I hereby make a EIR/FOI request in respect to any confidentiality agreements)restricting transmission of CRUTEM data to non-academics involing the following countries: [insert 5 or so countries that are different from ones already requested]

    1. the date of any applicable confidentiality agreements;
    2. the parties to such confidentiality agreement, including the full name of any organization;
    3. a copy of the section of the confidentiality agreement that “prevents further transmission to non-academics”.
    4. a copy of the entire confidentiality agreement,

    I am requesting this information for the purposes of academic research.

    Thank you for your attention.

    Yours truly,

  35. Oops — not Hank Roberts; just Amoeba.

  36. Nice demolition job man, it sure helps science. Would just hope all these “scientists” just do science rather than politics and lobying. Call me a skeptic if you may, you are just adding fuel to the fire.

    [DC: You are confused. It’s M&M who are being used for politics and lobbying. It’s time to let the real scientists get back to science, instead of having to deal with bogus investigations.]

  37. So, stripping it down to the science (which is what I am interested in), you are agreeing that McIntyre showed that the Hockey Stick was wrong.

    [DC: No. I do agree one step in the particular MBH methodology was flawed, but ultimately made little difference to the final result. ]

    OK. I remember several years of the BBC constantly quoting the Hockey Stick as scientific evidence that late twentieth century warming was unprecedented, and must, therefore, be man-made.

    [DC: The evidence goes well beyond one particular reconstruction, or even the general outlines of paleoclimatology. It is also the case that 20th century warming can not be explained without anthropogenic warming.]

    So, without the Hockey Stick, is there any other scientific reason for thinking this warming was anything other than entirely natural ?

    [DC: There is every reason to believe “this warming” is in the main anthropogenic.]

    • [DC: There is every reason to believe “this warming” is in the main anthropogenic.]

      “Every reason?”

      Great science.

      [DC: I have pointed to summaries of the science above. If you want to discuss the broad and compelling science behind AGW, this is not the right venue for you. Here we discuss specific issues of interest, so please try and keep on topic. Thanks!]

  38. I think it is legit to gig McI for not publishing…and I have done so incessantly (despite being a fellow denialist). I think he occasioonaly finds minor things…and they are actually interesting from an intellectual standpoint. But he refuses to fully characterize them. Instead he runs his blog and gets a lot of “you go, girl”s from the hoi polloi. And conveys a false impression of more substantial problems. This is why I, Burger, Huybers, Zorita have all criticized Steve.

    He also hangs out with a lot of hacks. Anthony Watts and the like. Tries to have it both ways, by being super chummy with them, not taking responsibility for their completely stupid science…but not calling it ot either.

    I know you love the money investigation and the like…but there is nothing new here, DC. It is just a patch together.

    Who cares about 1000 bucks for a meeting. It is chicken shit, DC. I’ve been in a lab (not climate or anything the like, getting millions of dollars of money and the head professor flew around like a king).

    The evasion by McK in response to the question on the EnE peer review, to me, is more damning than the lack of the peer review! I have seen this Clintonian behavior from these guys in the past. McI misled Paul Dennis (he knew about CRU and gave an evasive answer when PD asked about it). McI refused to answer whether he had reviewed McK’s recent editorial. McI evaded questions from me on how he calculated revised RE and the nature of the (probably way over-modelled) red noise. I just HATE, HATE, HATE evasion and dishonesty (and giving Clintonian/Edwardsian style responses is morally lying and would get one kicked out of a school with an honor code…because the intention is to mislead.

    [DC: You’ll notice that I don’t claim that McI is getting lots of cash for this, although presumably he got paid at Heartland, Erice etc. McK makes more of course. But the actual amount made by an individual at an individual session is not the point. In a way, I’m making a similar point to you. If someone claims to make no money while at a session they are getting paid for, they should be called on it.

    I do think the sums of money spent on this stuff by some companies (not all I hasten to add) is horrendous – for instance Encana and ex-CEO Gwyn Morgan gave about $2 million and counting to Fraser Institute. That’s one company and one think tank. But anyway, getting back to McK and McI …

    I do agree that evasiveness is a big problem here. We see that over and over.

    You said: “McI refused to answer whether he had reviewed McK’s recent editorial.” If you’re referring to McK’s National Post piece on Briffa and Yamal, that makes it even worse than I realized. Do you have the post or comment reference for that particular evasion?

    Ya know, I wouldn’t mind getting back to amateur analysis some time. I think your comments on red noise and RE calculation are pertinent. I also wonder whether allowing both rightside up and upside down hockeysticks in the “red noise” simulation really emulates an equivalent process to MBH.

    Also, to change back to an old interest, people going bananas over the UAH anomaly in Jan. should remember that the annual cycle is alive and well. I fearlessly predict that we will see record or near-record temps throught the first half of the year in surface data sets and RSS. But UAH will show cooler than the rest by May or June, just like it has every year for the past while, unless there’s a fix.

    Back to regularly scheduled programming.

    P.S. You got fished out of the spam filter – that’s why this comment appeared late.]

  39. Greetings Mr. Deep

    [DC: name redacted in this public forum – you can use my real name in private correspondence, as we have done in the past.]

    I thought your piece was a bit disappointing. Every time you sound like you’re getting close to revealing something really scandalous, it just descends into a guilt-by-association snipe, or some other rehash of the deniers-are-bad-people line. From a stylistic point of view you should drop the over-used cliche terms “notorious” and “infamous”. If whatever you are referring to really is notorious or infamous you don’t need to point it out, and if you need to point it out then the terms don’t apply, so it just comes across as an empty insinuation.

    From what you have written your readers will learn, perhaps to their horror, that Steve McIntyre and I published some papers, and made some presentations about them at conservative think tanks (we’d have spoken at lefty think tanks too, but they didn’t invite us), and then we got media coverage, some of it supportive and some not. And it all seemed to have a huge impact. Your more alert readers will be wondering how we had so much impact if we published so little, said such dumb things and mostly wrote in irrelevant journals.


    [DC: You had impact because your message was relentlessly pushed by clever PR professionals, and an unscrupulous right-wing press. Your impact on actual science has been minimal, despite why your fans in the business press say.

    The mainstream media have done a great disservice in failing to point out the yawning gap between your scientific achievements and your lionization by certain elements of the business and political elite. I also have seldom if ever read of your associations with CEI, Marshall Institute and APCO Worldwide. These facts should be more widely known.]

    The answer has to do with the bits you left out: the substance of the arguments, viz, the math. Somehow you got through the story from 2003 to 2005 without actually telling people what the technical points of debate were. Maybe you’ll get around to explaining all that in Part XXIV of your expose. Incidentally the responses to comments in GRL definitely were peer-reviewed. There were four comments submitted, and our responses to 2 of them were so convincing that the editor decided not to publish those comments or our replies. The other two exchanges were subject to peer review.


    [DC: As I understand it, Von Storch (no fan of MBH) stated that your GRL paper made a valid point concerning “short-centred” PCA, but that point was of little material significance. I agree with that assessment. Perhaps I may take up this point, but it has been discussed elsewhere at length.

    I stated that you and McIntyre had exactly one “peer-reviewed article in a scientific journal”. I wouldn’t count comments on that same article, so I stand by that statement. ]

    Even concerning the political background there are lots more juicy bits than you have covered here. If your readers want a more detailed and thorough version they should read Andrew Montford’s book, now available from Amazon US: http://tinyurl.com/yz7xu3e.

    [DC: Yes there are, but I have left some for part 2.]

  40. Michael Smith

    At this point in time, after everything that has come out over the last 90 days or so, when I read an article that starts right out with a reference to the “stolen CRU emails” — a statement which assumes facts not in evidence — I know I am dealing with someone who wants to establish CRU as being the victim in the whole story — usually with the objective of deflecting attention away from what the content of the e-mails reveals.

    This tells me right away I’m dealing with a CRU-apologist.

    Then, when the very first criticism of McIntyre and McKitrick is the old saw about a lack of peer-reviewed papers, I realize I am dealing with someone whose opinion of my intelligence is so low he expects me to ignore one of the very things revealed by those allegedly stolen e-mails: namely, the extent to which the fix was in to rig the peer-review process against the publication of papers critical of AGW.

    This tells me I am dealing with someone who thinks the arguments that had some quasi-credible basis prior to ClimateGate will still fly.

    As I read a little further, it becomes obvious that this article is merely a collection of cheap shots, smears, ad hominem and innuendo — for instance, referring to information that disputes AGW as “anti-science propaganda” — attempting to discredit a professional journal by calling it “contrarian social science journal”– references to “notorious right wing think tanks” — referring to McIntyre as “dodgy” — invoking the boogeyman of “a deft fossil-fuel company funded PR veteran” –this is all garbage, the cheapest of tactics typically followed by those without any actual, valid, scientific arguments to offer in support of their opinions.

    And having reached the point where it is obvious that I am reading an article by someone who has not grasped that ad hominem is a logical fallacy — or, at a minimum, someone who is desperately hoping that his audience hasn’t grasped it — I quit reading.

    But I encourage you, by all means, to continue pushing this tired, lame, stale garbage. Keep it up — you’ve no idea the extent of the effect this sort of “analysis” is having on the public.

  41. Getting back on topic, the post above is simply an example of the McCarthyist-style of ad-homs used against anyone who deviates from the concensus.

    A large portion of the general public has questions about AGW; I’d suggest reducing the number of ad-homs and start answering the FOI’s.

  42. I guess in the end I view fossil fuel companies in a much more favorable light than you. Fossil energy is essentially life to us all in modern free market democracies. Should they wish to fund scientists or PR groups in order to provide balance to a onsided debate that must be commended, not attacked.

    In a democracy the electorate is served best by being provided with information from all points of view. The accuracy of much of the PR firms to date has been very accurate to date as we have seen by the recent IPCC grey literature meltdown and the corruption revealed in climategate. PR firms that work for tobacco or oil companies are simply providing a public service to the electorate. You can view their information with suspiscion but in the end it is the factual information you must deal with.

    In the end it is incumbent on the public to research this issue on their own and come to their own conclusions. Ethically Oil companies and scientists examining the AGW doctrine have held themselves to a much higher standard than the field of climate science. I don’t think anyone can count on unbiased scientific research to emerge from the IPCC or climate science in general. They have revealed themselves to be too politically motivated to perform such a service. When you earn 100% of you income off of perpetuating a scare, history shows us that bias will eventually occur. We really need some good scientists like Tim Ball and Fred singer who have differing points of view to examine the IPCC findings in totality and provide a critique. Until them any finding must be viewed with great suspicion.

    I know many of your regular readers like Maple leaf and Ian forster will agree with me. For the rest of you I suggest you contact them personally as they will never admitt to this in a public forum.

    [DC: Oh I see – it’s the climate scientists who are biased. Except for the fossil-fuel funded ones like Tim Ball and Fred Singer, who don’t even publish at all in climate science journals, and have no credibility whatsoever. That’s pretty ludicrous. We’ll have to agree to disagree. I’ve been very patient, but I’ve had enough. Thanks!]

  43. Hank and Deech knew about it too

    Eli has a post up about amoeba. How do you do link backs on wordpress?

    [DC: I suspect linkbacks (or “pingbacks”) may only happen between WordPress blogs, although maybe I need to look at my settings. But anyway here’s FOI Amoeba post. Great stuff too.]

  44. Interesting opinions. I enjoy a good critique, but IMO you unjustly throw judgements around. This weakens your argument.

  45. Just posted this over at RabettRun. Amoeba’s findigs are most intriguing, and disturbing:

    “”Eli wonders if one of the Brit readers might bring this to the attention of the Information Commissioner’s Office asking if they would care to revisit their drive by on Phil Jones.”

    Why do they have to be Brits? This is an international investigation is it not? Is there anything stopping Eli or Amoeba sending off a friendly letter to the ICO with the pertinent and incriminating information?
    IMO this is pretty damning evidence against McI, and is certainly good reaosn for NDET to investigate the role of McI further (i.e., having access to McI’s email accounts); maybe CSIS can be encouraged to cooperate with NDET. Add to that that McI was in frequent contact with Paul Dennis…

    Come on people, we have to coordinate and step up to the plate here and help the authorities. Musing and making suggestions is great, but M&M are counting on us not having the guts to take action and following through. NDET may, of course, already know this and more, but it is better to be safe and make sure that they have all the information that they need. “

  46. I await eagerly your evidence that McIntyre is in the pay of Big Oil.

  47. Pingback: Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, part 2: The full story behind the Barton-Whitfield investigation and the Wegman Panel « Deep Climate

  48. steven mosher

    DC:

    “DC: As I recall, a WUWT moderator gave a CD of the FOIA zip file to Steven Mosher to evaluate, while holding the comment in moderation. Meanwhile, whoever was trying to disseminate the zip file also posted on ClimateAudit and AirVent. Paul Dennis was in email contact with all three bloggers – hence police interest in him.”

    This is false. Dennis was not in email contact with all three bloggers. He had ben in contact with jeffID about a peper Id was writing and on Nv19 contacted Mc.

    You’ve got so much of this wrong its stupi. Just link people to the moshertimeline where we tell everything.

    [DC: So you’re saying that Dennis had only been in email contact with two of the bloggers, but not Watts. Fine. I stand corrected on that point.

    But the point is police interest was raised by Dennis’s email contact with the bloggers, both the one contact with McI in the aftermath and whatever contact there had been before.

    For what it’s worth, I doubt that Dennis had much to do with this, but perhaps you have a different poiint of view.]

  49. steven mosher

    The death threats are troublesome for two reasons.

    1. Jones caregivers should be reading his mails if he is in such a state of mind.

    2. I know his supporters are mad at him, but why are they writing death threats

    [DC: You are a real piece of work. Please don’t bother to comment here again. But thanks for revealing your true colours.]

    • DC, I know that you don’t like personal attacks here, but:-

      Mosher, you posted a truly disgusting message. Can you really be like that? Aren’t you ashamed? Can you go any lower?

      [DC: I agree. That’s why he is banned forever. Not that he cares, I’m sure. ]

  50. ” …
    So, stripping it down to the science (which is what I am interested in), you are agreeing that McIntyre showed that the Hockey Stick was wrong.

    [DC: No. I do agree one step in the particular MBH methodology was flawed, but ultimately made little difference to the final result. ]
    …”

    Hmmm. The reason I said that was that, of all the links you provided above, the link to Technology Review was the only one I noticed that commented on the substance of McIntyre’s work. It clearly agreed with McIntyre.

    I should probably mention that I am a maths graduate, so I do not need to rely on other people’s opinions of the maths here. I have read McIntyre’s criticism, and he is correct; I have read lots of people trying to disagree wtih McIntyre and they are all wrong. The flaw in MBH is entirely fatal, and renders the paper null and void, in terms of advancing our understanding of how the world works. (Which is what interests me.)

    So, in the absence of MBH, my understanding has reverted to what it was before 1998, which is what I learned at school, and was the universal consensus for far longer than my lifetime : that climate warms and cools in long slow cycles, of decades and centuries in length. I am genuinely looking for any evidence to cause me to change that view.

    You say :
    “[DC: The evidence goes well beyond one particular reconstruction, or even the general outlines of paleoclimatology. It is also the case that 20th century warming can not be explained without anthropogenic warming.]”

    I don’t think this last is valid. It presumes that we have a complete understanding of how climate and weather works, which is patently false.

    You say :
    “[DC: There is every reason to believe “this warming” is in the main anthropogenic.]”

    OK. What are these reasons ?

    [DC: The scope of this article is the to give the full context of M&M’s analysis and its promotion, something the mainstream media has failed to do so far.

    I don’t want to get sidetracked into a technical discussion of the “hockey stick” (there are plenty of venues for that) or a general discussion of AGW. But in a nutshell, there is no natural explanation that can account for the majority of recent warming. That doesn’t mean we can attribute exactly the importance of the constituent forcings, but a “complete” understanding is not necessary to assign a high degree of probability to this statement.

    I would recommend the links on this page:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2007/05/start-here/

    I’m afraid we will have to leave it there. Thanks!]

    • Freddy,

      Write a paper and get it published. The demand for this is huge. E&E would be easy.

      But why do you appear to be so ignorant of all of climate science (other than what you read in “sceptic” blogs)?

  51. Unfortunately this article has as much credibility as the hockey stick itself.
    The best form of defence is said to be attack.
    This is sometimes good advice, but in this case it is not, as you have nothing left with which to mount an attack.
    The world is becoming all too well acquainted with the way in which the AGW movement relies upon threats, spin and data falsification to create an illusion of consensus.
    Your acolytes may pay you lip service and faun to your musings, but in the real world this biased diatribe will be rightly ignored.
    Keep up the good work. Your credibility is draining away faster than from the IPCC.

  52. One of the dangers of letting McKitrick be his representative in the media is that McKitrick makes explicit what McIntyre would prefer to merely imply.

    I have always thought these two got together for a reason and I suspect that reason is that they share a common ethos and understanding of the whole project.

    Two peas in a pod. McK’s clear ties to the right-wing Fraser Institute allow him to speak out loud what remains unspoken, with McI hiding behind his coattails. But who is the organ grinder and who is the monkey?

  53. And McI’s acolytes crawl out of the wood work. …not very pleasant to be placed under close scrutiny and held to account is it? The jig is up for you guys. Not only that, but Mosher and McK and McI have all been shown to be implicated in conspiring to harass scientists in the UK by flooding them with illegitimate FOI requests (see posts from ClimateFraudit over at Eli Rabett’s blog) .

    SheWonk, re your question. I used to think that McK was the “monkey”. Now, not so sure. It seems that “The Monkey” might be higher up the chain yet. Harris, or Inhofe? Goodness only knows.

    Oh ,and John Carter, that is a pretty poor attempt to try and turn the tables. In fact, the mantra “the best form of defense is attack” is most often employed by the neocons and big business. The “attacking” has been done by your clan– as evidenced by DC and Rabett and others. DC, is also pointing out some very troubling and inconvenient truths going way back in time. You seem somewhat deluded as to what is going on here…whatever morsel credibility M&M may have had in the distant past, that has now drifted off into the ether of space.

    M&M will be lucky to emerge from this without having charges laid against them by ICO. And if this is beyond ICO’s jurisdiction, then I am sure they can convince someone is Canada to take up the legal fight in this international investigation.

  54. Deep, your articles seem to have attracted a lot of attention, but this line truly stands out: “PR firms that work for tobacco or oil companies are simply providing a public service to the electorate.”

    Freddy, you claim that MBH98 has fatal flaws, but how do you square your opinion with that of von Storch, who claimed that the type of analysis made no difference to the final results, or the Mann, et al. 2008 paper, in which no PCA was done?

  55. “Mosher and McK and McI have all been shown to be implicated in conspiring to harass scientists in the UK by flooding them with illegitimate FOI requests (see posts from ClimateFraudit over at Eli Rabett’s blog) .” – Maple Leaf

    LOL. Now just the filing of an FOI request is illegitimate. You people are insufferable.

    “M&M will be lucky to emerge from this without having charges laid against them by ICO. ”

    And there it is again. Advocating the criminalization of dissent. Why not just jail M&M whether they engaged in legal acts of not?

    [DC: There is a strong case that the organized round of FOI requests rises to “vexatious requests” and therefore not legitimate as defined by ICO. However, I don’t know that it is a formally laid out as a prosecutable offence. (Even if it were, I doubt jail time would be involved.) Anybody know?]

    • Darryl B,

      You are truly ignorant. Flooding an individual or organisation with FOI requests to the degree that that they are vexatious and harrowing is, and never was, acceptable under FOI law. This is what McI & co have been up to. There was never any genuine intent to obtain data (which was freely available anyway). It was all about harrassment all along.

  56. When I read the UK FOI legislation, I thought CRU FOI officials might have a case to reject some of the request because they were clearly nuisance requests. We know from his blog that McI urged his followers to submit FOIs and even provided them with the wording. That’s nuisance in my books.

  57. Darryl, I would not be ‘LOL’ if I were you. And stop distorting, I never suggested that filing a FOI is illegitimate. I was, of course, referring to them conspiring to overwhelm UEA and the Met Office with bogus FOIs. This is about M&M&M abusing the system by making “vexatious requests”.

    This is pretty serious and you are laughing it off. Well, not so fast. These “vexatious” FOI requests are more than enough reason to peruse M&M&M’s emails.

    There are rules for making FOIs and M&M are in violation of those rules. This is probably just the beginning of M&M’s trials.

    Your master, McI, claims to be an “honest broker”, claims to be transparent and to not have harassed scientists (well, he was careful enough to say that he is not harassing US scientists, which may or may not be true; honestly I do not believe I word he says anymore). Well, this work by DC and the digging by others over at Eli Rabett’s blog have AGAIN shown this to be a blatant lie. This also shows that M&M have no honest interest in advancing climate science, rather they are conspiring to harass and obstruct. Ironically, the very things that they accuse Jones et al. of. And just when did M&M last post some detailed data analysis on their little blog? ClimateFraudit reads more like WTFUWT nowadays.

    M&M would very unlikely face jail time for their actions, but their “reputation” or whatever inkling of a reputation they ever thought they may have had in the real world is gone.

    So keeping laughing this off Darryl, if that is what you need to do to try and get everyone to move on, so be it, but it is rather lame and transparent attempt.

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  59. I see Bart’s weighed in on this with some pretty scathing language.

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  61. I found this most insightful and revealing about the antics of the M&M and WUWT crowd.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/09/hacked-emails-police-investigation

    That said, Pearce et al. seem to be fawning over the “skeptics” again.

    Any ideas why Mosher won’t disclose his source of the hacked emails that were given to him on a CD?
    DC, did you know that in 2009 McI had taken data from the CRU server that he was not entitled to? Sounds like he tried to cover it up, without success. Maybe his role in that needs to be documented here for all to read.

    [DC: Mosher’s source was WUWT moderator and roommate mentioned in the article (I’m not sure why carrot eater thinks he wishes to remain anonymous since he allowed himself to be named and quoted by Pearce – but I digress).

    I happen to think it’s probable none of them really know the true source or the identity of the whoever assembled and disseminated the archive (which appears to have been done in a location on the North American east coast time zone). Time will tell I suppose.

    Pearce et al are severely confused. For example, they say:

    “Finally there was the distribution. We know a CD of the files existed prior to its widespread release. But also that it was loaded remotely onto websites.”

    The original dissemination was on the tomcity.ru server. That was eventually removed, but not before it was downloaded, probably dozens if not hundreds of times. Yes, Mosher had an early copy on a CD (while the skeptic bloggers were figuring out what to do about publicizing and pointing out the tomcity.ru link), but that’s of no apparent relevance to the distribution.

    For another thing, the only computer expert quoted is the WUWT moderator. And he repeats that McIntyre FOI assemby canard – what a crock.

    For a good analysis from an IT perspective of what likely happened, including the multiple access to CRU over a period of weeks and assembly in the U.S./Canada eastern time zone, see this post from DeSmogBlog’s Mitchell Anderson.

    Yes I did know that McIntyre had obtained station data from an unsecured server, although I didn’t know all the details. ]

  62. Hmmm … it seems the Guardian already has some of this information as seen in this article by Charles Arthur.


    In fact, that’s the same article that DesmogBlog’s Anderson cites (although he didn’t link to the Guardian).

    The forensics are completely at odds with WUWT and McIntyre’s nutty allegations of an assembled FOI file.

    So why are Pearce et al repeating irrelevant blather from WUWT? Doesn’t he read his own newspaper?

    Someone might want to comment at the Guardian and point Pearce to the Guardian’s own reporting on this – it makes a whole lot more sense than Pearce’s confused, contradictory and rambling account.

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  67. Eric Jones who’s you trying to BS?

    You give us one link where the power companies present themselves as angels :)

    The other goes to ‘Global Research ‘ who thinks it all is a, apparently mostly Canadian, conspiracy from Global warming alarmists :)

    Do you need to sh* on your own doorstep man, Showing me that kind of bias, trying to camouflage it as ? ? Awh ::))

    Grow up.

  68. DC, two points.

    1. re your above statement that “the only scientist to have been accorded a WSJ op-ed piece in recent years was uber-denier Fred Singer.”

    [DC: I’ll look at that again, but I was referring to the report in E&ST that covered the runup to the WSJ article and M&M (i.e. the statement concerned 2004). I’m sure there has been a small parade of contrarian scientists (and no others) before and since. ]

    And now also Patrick Michaels (Dec. 17 2009)

    (more indications of bad faith at the WSJ: to my knowledge they never did run (even an edited version of ) Von Storch & Goodess’s letter to the editor refuting Michaels’ insinuation as to why they had resigned from editing Climate Research; and Michaels did not respond to my emails asking if, when he wrote this piece, he’d been aware of why they’d resigned.)
    (It’s hard to believe that he hadn’t.)

    [DC: Good catch! ]

    And 2nd, a request for more clarity (nut grafs please!) and less snark – I’m adding these 2 posts to McIntyre’s Sourcewatch page, for which purpose a less gratuitous tone would be more suitable.
    (and I’m probably dense, but I could use more “tell em what you’re gonna tell em” & “tell em what you told em”, in here)

    [DC: I could do better – and I hope the posts since this one show that. (I did add a summary paragraph to part2, also. ]

    • Anna and DC, you should read Dr. Santer’s article over at RealClimate, if you have not already done so. He has some pretty damning revelations (to me at least) regarding McI and CA behaving badly, yet again.

      [DC: The link is here. It’s pretty outrageous, all right, although I was aware of the McIntyre FOIA story. ]

  69. This link:

    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/environment/crisis-of-climatechange-confidence-20100212-nxmb.html

    -sTv

    [DC: No comment about it? Anyway, I don’t see too much new here, but I do wonder where we would be if Bob Watson were still charge of the IPCC. ]

  70. My comment was about 12 days or so ago; that’s what I get for l-i-v-i-n’. I, too, wonder “what if” in regards to Bob Watson. However, more to the point, is the question of the influence (and interest) of ExxonMobil, the Saudi Royal Family, the Bush Administration in the occupancy of the chair of the IPCC. Since they got what they apparently wanted, and it supremely backfired on them, I suppose they had to find something to complain about…thus the attacks on the trivialities…IPCC errors blown waaaay out of proportion, climategate.Geez, this is getting deep.

  71. I was pointed here from Tamino’s blog, where it was suggested that I post this link:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html

    I’d never heard of this guy (A.W. Montford) before, but he’s been described as “McIntyre’s bulldog”.

    [DC: He’s better known as “Bishop Hill”. The Wahl and Amman paper he talks about here is a the only peer-reviewed paper to discuss M&M as far as I know. It also happens to be a paper that was studiously ignored by the Wegman report, even though it was highly relevant to any evaluation of M&M’s findings. Essentially W&A demonstrated that M&M had failed to implement a key step of Mann’s methodology correctly, invalidating their “correction” of Mann’s reconstruction.

    The publication history is mainly a red herring, and a way to avoid the substantive arguments. ]

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  73. As usual, a much-delayed reading of an interesting thread :)…

    Wow, DC… you’re pretty good at laying out one-sided accusations. (Fits my personal theory that people generally assume others have similar ethics to their own…)

    Your accusations:
    – SM misrepresents others’ statements
    – SM cooperates with anti-AGW PR firms and think tanks
    – Oil companies support those PR firms
    – University research money supports anti-AGW work
    – anti-AGW PR/agit groups misrepresent and lie about the facts
    – Biased reporters cooperate in all this

    [DC: These are not just “accusations”. All are backed with clear documentary evidence. I would add that the record clearly shows that the university “research” fund in question was not used for legitimate research, and was closed by the University of Calgary *for this express reason*.

    I would also dispute your reference to “reporters”. Most of the “co-operation” is from unqualified opinion columnists. In some media outlets, such as the National Post, climate science reporting by legitimate science journalists is suppressed, while ignorant and biased columnists run rampant, spreading distortions and falsehoods. ]

    What’s so funny:
    – You and many others misrepresent SM’s statements
    – pro-AGW workers cooperate with biased PR firms and think tanks (cf “Warm Words” and much more)
    – The same oil companies heavily fund pro-AGW research
    – University research money supports pro-AGW work
    – pro-AGW PR/agit groups misrepresent and lie about the facts
    – Biased reporters cooperate in all this
    – (And the pro-AGW side involves 10-100x more resources, order of magnitude guesstimate.)

    [DC: If you have specific instances of misrepresentation of McIntyre in this or another post, you’re free to bring those forward at the appropriate thread (so please stop with the unsubstantiated generalizations).

    “Pro-AGW workers”, otherwise known as climate scientists spend the vast majority of their time in teaching and research. You appear to be confused about the distinction between legitimate research and PR disinformation.

    I have ascertained that Encana and their ex-CEO Gwyn Morgan have contributed about $2 million to the Fraser Institute. They also have donated small amounts to the Suzuki Foundation ($3000 in one recent year). Of course, Suzuki reveals all large donations by default, whereas the Fraser Institute hides their funding sources. This lack of transparency and accountability is one of the hall mark of anti-science PR disinformation. ]

    Compare the two lists and what do I see?

    The politicization and policy-ization of science.

    By definition, the pro-AGW side has more funding, because that’s the current majority. And as with any political movement, the minority is the “opposition.”

    Your rant is essentially a political rant.

    [DC: You see what you want to see., although the actual evidence does not support any of your assertions.]

    And what’s REALLY funny is this: Steve’s liberal, not conservative :)

    [DC: Steve McIntyre’s political views are irrelevant.

    In future, please restrain your tendency to over-generalization and try to address the actual specific issues. Thanks!]

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  75. Peter Campbell

    Read this whole thing. All I see is two sides bickering. I had thought before coming here that 2007 McKitrick/McIntyre made some valid criticisms, all I see is denial. Can someone point me to the answer about whether or not the algorithm computing the hockey stick in the IPCC third report actually does produce that shape with random red-noise, as claimed by McKitrick/McIntyre – ie something that makes the case on that without resorting to character assasination?

    • I have discussed numerous problems with the M&M analysis and the Wegman report’s treatment of the supposed computing of the “hockey stick” from “red noise”, here and here.

      The MBH “short-centered” PCA was used only in the data reduction pre-processing step to reduce the size and influence of certain large proxy networks. Even with this step, principal components that rose above the “red noise” spectrum were retained for further analysis and combination with other proxies. A set of “red noise” proxies could not itself pass this test, no matter whether “short-centred” (as in MBH) or “full-centred” PCA was used.

      Also see the Wahl and Ammann rejoinder to McShane and Wyner on this issue:

      In AW (Supplement, Section 2; http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/ccr/ammann/millennium/AW supplement.html) we evaluate the impact these two methods of data treatment have on the extraction of PCs. In the MBH “common centered” method, the first PC contains a noticeable “hockey stick”-like shape, whereas in the “full centered” method this shape is spread across the first two PCs. When a vector sum of the first two PCs from both methods is calculated, the plots of the resultant time series have essentially identical shapes, with a larger amplitude in the case of the “common centered” method.

      In Wahl and Ammann (2007) (WA), we systematically examined the difference the use of the first two PCs from each method actually has in the MBH reconstruction
      for this time period, and note that the reconstructed time series’ structures are nearly identical, with a slight average warming of 0.05 deg. C when “common centered” PCs are used (WA, Figure 3, blue range; cf. page 51).

      WA refers to Wahl and Ammann 2007.

    • Deep Climate did an extensive analysis of McIntyre’s methods and code a while back. He found for example that going off artificial data, McIntyre generated 10,000 trends that he then sorted according to a hockey stick index (HSI) and took the 100 most extreme examples to perform his analysis on.

      I quote:

      The first line sorts the set of PC1s by descending HSI and then copies the first 100 to another array. That array is then sorted by PC1 index so that each PC1 selected for the archive can be retrieved from the appropriate temporary file and saved in ASCII format.

      Replication and due diligence, Wegman style
      Deep Climate, November 16, 2010

      http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

      Given this, it was no surprise that:

      “The simulations nearly always yielded PC1s with a hockey stick shape, some of which bore a quite remarkable similarity to the actual MBH98 temperature reconstruction – as shown by the example in Figure 1.”

      Wegman et al 4.1 (ibid)

      As I put it when I first read those lines, that’s one heck of a cherry pick! The top 100 most extreme instances out of 10,000. And even then such “hockey sticks” are just as likely to have the blade point down as up. Meanwhile a great many papers written by different investigators based on different lines of evidence using centered principal component analysis or methods that don’t even involve principal component analysis keep coming up with the same shape.

      For a few examples, please see:

      Arctic Sea Ice Hockey Stick: Melt Unprecedented in Last 1,450 years
      by Rob Painting, 24 November 2011

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Arctic-sea-ice-hockey-stick-melt-unprecedented-in-last-1450-years.html

  76. Peter Campbell

    Thanks for the response. I had seen in the M&M articles his claim that something like 99% of 10,000 red-data runs produced the hockey stick, which is in great conflict with what you’ve now told me.

    You refer to “McIntyres method and code” – What I thought he had done was test Mann’s code with red data, not his own code. That’s what I’m interested to discover, was Mann’s code inherently biased in the third report hockey stick as M&M claims, or is M&M’s claim simply false?

    I’m in that investigative stage where the more I read, the more confused I get. Hoping this will setlle out for me soon.

    I’ll examine the links you provided…thanks for your help!

    • You have to be careful with claims like “99% of 10,000 red-data runs produced the hockey stick”.

      Keep in mind:
      (a) The reported bias was identified in a data pre-processing step applied to part of the proxy data, not in the reconstruction itself.
      (b) Both the magnitude and importance of the bias were greatly exaggerated and depended on using highly autocorrelated noise *and* considering only the first principal component in the intermediate sub-data.
      (c) The effect of changing from “short-centred” to fully centred PCA (thus “correcting” the MBH procedure) in the data reduction step had a negligible effect on the final reconstruction.

      As I’ve said before, in my opinion short-centred PCA was at best a poor methodologiocal choice. But it had a demonstrably negligible effect on the final MBH reconstruction. The errors in the MM and Wegman et al analysis were far more egregious.

    • Peter, if you click on my first link it will take you to Deep Climate’s article giving the analysis of McIntyre and McKitrick’s approach of using artificial data then sorting it by their Hockey Stick Index so that they aree copying only the top 1% (the most extreme cases) in order to “prove” their point that Mann’s approach “biased”, generating hockey sticks that aren’t actually in the data. Cherry picking written right into their code. Deep Climate quotes the lines of code that perform this feat. He links to the archived R script in the article I link to. At the very top of the R script the code has the lines:

      THIS IS SCRIPT TO PRODUCE SIMULATIONS, FIGURES AND STATISTICS FOR
      # 2004GL021750
      # Hockey Sticks, Principal Components and Spurious Significance
      # Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick

      “Hockey Sticks, Principal Components and Spurious Significance” is the title of McIntyre and McKitrick’s article.

      Mann’s code slightly accentuated a hockey stick that was already there in the data. Using centered principal component analysis with the same data you arrive at virtually the same hockey stick. Or as other investigators have found since, using different data and different methods you arrive at similar hockey sticks. The reason is that the temperature trend itself is hockey stick shaped.

      However, the temperature records are just one piece of evidence in the case for global warming. They get focused on because certain people perceive them as the weak link in the case for global warming. They get hilighted because doing so makes it appear that the only reason why we think that increased concentrations of carbon dioxide will result in global warming isn’t well-established physics like the physical principles at work in your microwave oven but mere correlation. And people keep on focusing on the two original studies by Mann because by focusing on just those studies this creates the impression that the whole case for global warming lies in studies of that sort, and that the science never moved beyond those two studies.

    • Obviously I consider the cherrypicking now evident in M&M Fig. 1 and in Wegman et al Fig 4.4 (a figure originally produced by M&M but not included in the GRL paper for some reason) to be highly problematic. But it’s not the only problem.

      “Mann’s code slightly accentuated a hockey stick that was already there in the data.”

      The MBH pre-processing of dense proxy networks tends to “promote” the “hockey stick” shape into the first principal component of that subset. But as long as an appropriate PC retention criterion is used (as was the case in MBH and not in MM) there is no effect, accentuation or otherwise, on the final reconstruction.

    • Deep Climate, I stand corrected. Thank you.