Possible topics for discussion:
- The upcoming Heartland Conference at the end of June
- Climate politics in Canada in the wake of the Harper majority
… or anything else not on topic for recent threads.
Possible topics for discussion:
… or anything else not on topic for recent threads.
Judging from the list of speakers signed up so far, with Tim Ball given headliner status, Heartland is on the way down. (That impression is only reinforced by the underwhelming list of sponsors). Besides Ball, some other interesting first-timers (as far as I know) are Roy Spencer and Willie Soon.
It’s a bit hard to tell whether Heartland’s trying to reach out to the public at large, or is merely trying to preach to the Tea Party types (Heartland openly supports the Tea Party movement). I’m leaning more towards the latter — which’ll mean that the calls for “restoring the scientific method” are some bizarre sort of coded messages that have some weird meaning in the right-wing lingo.
Love the pic of Watts on the Heartland speaker page. How old is it? His 1980s head shot? Sheesh.
re: Spencer & Soon & Heartland conferences.
Actually, neither are first-timers, see CCC p.97.
Soon: Heart#1, Heart#2, Heart#4
Spencer: Heart#1, Heart#2, Heart#3, Heart#4
The “return of” then … I stand corrected.
Heartland doesn’t have a clue about its Russian sources. This article they posted is cited incorrectly.
Contrary to what Heartland writes, the English-language article they have posted was written by RIA Novosti (the Russian government’s official press agency), not Kommersant. The RIA Novosti article is based on a Russian-language Kommersant article, but it is not a translation. There are differences, but Heartland’s “experts” never went to the Russian version to see that.
Kommersant is a Kremlin-friendly business daily owned by Alisher Usmanov, a very questionable Gazprom operative.
These denialist think tanks are unritically citing official Russian sources without explaining this to their readers. Heartland criticises the US government but they spread Russian government/Gazprom propaganda.
The article information reads:
Written By: Kommersant
Publication date: 12/16/2009
Publisher: RIA Novosti
So they do acknowledge the right source in a way. I would say no actual author could be identified. Maybe they put Kommersant because the RIA version showed that as the source? What are the differences between the two versions?
Anyway, Heartland does get a lot wrong. They said Steve McIntyre was affiliated with University of Toronto!
Kommersant and RIA Novosti simply cite ‘a report issued by Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA)’. This ‘institute’ is actually a tiny Russian think-tank, founded and headed by Andrey Illarionov, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, and well-known AGW denier. This is not an official Russian position. Just the usual denialist’s echo chamber.
Illiaronov is no friend of the Russian establishment, although there may be certain elements that are happy to appropriate his material on climate change.
“A majority Conservative government will move ahead with regulations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada but a cap-and-trade system won’t happen anytime soon, says Environment Minister Peter Kent. ”
Toronto Star, 2011-05-20
Why am I a bit skeptical about any real action being taken? Given the Harper Government’s (tm?) actions so far I would have to classify the PM as a true AGW denier. Certainly the way he left Rona Ambrose hanging out to dry when she was Minister of Environment does not encourage me.
Of course, the Liberal government wasn’t much better.
I found it very strange that none of the major parties even seemed to mention climate change as an issue in the last election. I suppose it may have been a left-over from Dion’s fiasco in the last election.
I tried to respond to your question, but it won’t post.
When Sinon was trying to convince the Trojans to bring the horse into Troy, he bad-mouthed Ulysses.
I know that Illarionov claims to have had a falling out with Putin. I am not sure that I believe that. He has a think tank in Moscow and his IEA report was instantly picked up by the propaganda apparatus. Kommersant is close to Putin, and the fact that Illarionov is a former Putin adviser is noted by Kommersant. That is one thing missing in the English RIA Novosti report about the Kommersant article.
Slave Lake shows the increasing risk of serious forest fires, experts warn
[Globe and Mail, May 20]
Two excerpts below:
According to Solshenitsyn’s “In the First Circle,” the revolutionary Stalin also worked for the Czarist Okhrana, the political police. They would throw him in jail periodically. Stalin went to great lengths to suppress his Okhrana file.
Here is my response to the question of how RIA Novosti and Kommersant differ.
Heartland’s citation is very misleading–wrong. The RIA Novosti link is an English-language news roundup of what various Russian newspapers say. It’s a summary, and it is aimed at at a foreign, English-speaking audience. It is Russian government propaganda disseminated by the Russian government’s official press agency.
It’s revealing that all these ignorant denialists, who don’t read the Russian literature on the subject of climate change, would all quote this government mouthpiece.
RIA Novosti is reporting ABOUT a much longer Kommersant article. The RIA Novosti piece is not a translation into English. The Novosti article also has a disclaimer at the bottom.
The two authors of the Kommersant article are identified— Oleg Sapozhkov (Олег Сапожков) and Dmitri Butrin (Дмитрий Бутрин).
It’s difficult for me to explain all the differences in the articles because the technical subject matter is not something I really understand even in English. I will say some things, but may miss important points.
One big difference is that RIA Novosti only mentions Moscow’s Institute for Economic Analysis (IEA). They never mention Andrei Illarionov or N. Pivovarova.
Kommersant gives the names Andrei Illarionov and N. Pivovarova in connection with the IEA and notes that Illarionov is a former Putin adviser. N.A. Pivovarova is not identified. She is probably an assistant professor at Astrakhan State Technical University (S. Russia) who is an expert on the gas industry. She seems to be in the Department of Chemical Technology of Oil and Gas.
…experts from the Institute of Economic Analysis (founded by former presidential adviser Andrei Illarionov of the Russian Federation) released a report edited by the head of the IEA Natalya Pivovarova, which examines the nature and completeness of use included in this database of meteorological data from the Russian Federation.
I thought Illarionov started the IEA, but this article claims Pivovarova is the head.
I would be very interested if a climate scientist could look at the google translation of the Kommersant article and compare it to the English-language summary in RIA Novosti. I can usually tell the words, but not really what it means scientifically, if anything.
The Kommersant talks about HaCRUT data in connection with land stations, but “HadCRUT is the dataset of monthly temperature records formed by combining the sea surface temperature records compiled by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the land surface temperature records compiled by the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia.”
Kommersant discusses the Russian agency RosGidromet (the Russian hydrometeroloical Agency–sort of like NOAA), but RIA Novosti never mentions them.
The English-Language RIA Novosti spells Hadley Centre as Hadley Center–they use American spelling. This surprised me because Russians usually use British English. Maybe that’s changing.
The meaning of an attack on the British climate scientists in Kommersant should be understood. This paper is close to the Kremlin and the owner Alisher Usmanov is a powerful Gazprom operative. Kommersant was able to attack Russia’s foreign intelligence service. That could only happen with the permission of the highest levels of the Russian government. The fact that Kommersant attacked the climate scientists was a signal that this is what the Kremlin wants everyone to do.
The fact that this article was replayed in the English-language RIA Novosti makes the importance of the Kommersant attack clear.
It makes me so sad and scared that American politicians are not rallying to the defense of the poor climate scientists. It is disgusting.
Russia’s top climate scientist Bedritskiy has distanced Russian scientists from Illarionov’s much cited report , has noted that Illarionov is not a scientist, and pointed out that he works for the Cato Insititute. Bedritskiy left out the fact that Illarionov is a former Putin adviser and of course did not note the official nature of the attack in the powerful Kommersant. Basically, Bedtritskiy blamed Illarionov on the CATO.
Bedritskiy’s rebuttal was in the NYT. He sent them an email. Here is the NYT quoting the Russian scientist Alexander Bedritskiy about the IEA report:
Alexander Bedritskiy, president of the World Meteorological Organization and the top climate change adviser to President Dmitri Medvedev of Russia, said that the Russian report was thoroughly discredited by top scientists in his country more than a year ago.
“Any scientific discussion on the results, pretending to be science-based, does not make sense,” Dr. Bedritskiy said in an e-mail.
He also noted that the author of that report, Andrei Illarionov, is not a climate scientist but an economist with the Cato Institute, a conservative research group in the United States.
Bedritskiy didn’t say too much, but he said this report was not science and that Illarionov worked for the CATO.
In any case, Russian scientists and the Russian government are studying climate change and trying to figure out how to protect their cities from flooding and their gas infrastructure, which is situated on thawing permafrost, from being destroyed.
My point has been that Cuccinelli even goes so far as to mischaracterize , in his suit to the EPA, what RIA Novosti actually wrote. Cuccinelli substituted CRU for Hadley Centre. I wonder if may be an attempt at “correcting” the Russian article because CRU gathers the land temperatures. Maybe the RIA Novosti article got the science mixed up because they blame Hadley Centre for not using land data.
Here is where I explain what seems confusing to me.
[DC: I don’t know why, but this and a couple of similar comments were caught in the spam filter. Sorry about that.]
The Pope just called the space station and talked to Congreswoman Gabby Gifford’s husband, the astronaut.
“I know that Mark Kelly’s wife was a victim of an attack and I hope her health continues to improve,” [the Pope] said. “When you are contemplating the Earth from up there, do you ever wonder about the way nations and people live together down here and about how science can contribute to the cause of peace?”
“Thank you the kind words, your holiness, and thank you for mentioning my wife Gabby,” Kelly replied. “It’s a very good question. We fly over most of the world and you don’t see borders. But at the same time, we realize that people fight with each other and there’s a lot of violence in this world and it is really an unfortunate thing.”
“On Earth, often people fight for energy. In space, we use solar power and we have fuel cells on the space shuttle, but on the space station, it’s the science and technology that we put in to the space station to develop a solar power capability [that] gives us pretty much unlimited amount of energy. And if those technologies could be adapted more on Earth, we could possibly reduce some of that violence,” Kelly said.
The Pope also asked the astronauts if they saw “signs of phenomena” that we need to be more attentive to protecting the Earth’s environment.
“On the one hand, we can see how indescribably beautiful the planet that we have been is, but on the other hand, we can really, clearly see how fragile it is,” replied Ron Garan, a NASA astronaut serving as a flight engineer on the space station. [Amazing space photos by astronaut Ron Garan]
“The atmosphere for instance,” he continued. “The atmosphere when viewed from space is paper thin, and to think that this paper thin layer is all that separates every living thing from the vacuum of space and all that protects us is really a sobering thought.”
Harper won’t do anything about climate change except to make it worse. He’s too busy turning Canada into a petro-state and a client-state of the US, all so the Kochs can make more money and the US can waste more resources on stupid unnecessary wars:
Harper will do what he said he will do. Nothing until the US passes cap and trade… in other words nothing. So at least he is honest.
The Liberals and the NDP may have promised more but I doubt they would have done much.
Hopefully Elizabeth May will make enough noise to get noticed and make a difference
Somewhat off topic but has anybody seen Jonathon Kay’s new book?
Kay, Jonathan. (2011). Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America’s Growing Conspiracist Underground. HarperCollins
While it does not seem to directly address AGW deniers but I wonder if some of them share some of the same ways of thinking?. Or perhaps more likely some denialists are appealing to the apparently fairly large number of Americans who are likely to believe in conspiricies.
Interesting interview with Kay at http://www.tvo.org/TVO/WebObjects/TVO.woa?videoid?943170022001
There also is a tab at the top of the window that takes one to a further interview with Kay and three prominent Truthers.
As a managing editor of the National Post, he has plenty of exposure to the denialists writing for that newspaper, but to his credit he has argued conservatives should not be denialists. (Most of what I have read of his other opinions is quite repugnant.)
And DC blogged about that column:
James Corbett is a conspiracist with a site on the Internet. He is a 9-11 Truther. Truthers argue amongst themselves, but typically claim that 9-11 was masterminded by President George W. Bush and/or an inside job orchestrated by the U.S. government and not the work of Osama bin Laden. James Corbett claims that man-made global warming is a hoax. He claims that President Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, worked for the CIA.
James Corbett recently appeared on Russia Today (RT, the Kremlin-financed, English-language, propaganda satellite T.V. channel) the day after bin Laden was killed and claimed that bin Laden had deep ties to U.S. intelligence.
Russia Today is an uncritical purveyor of conspiracy theories and frequently interviews American and British conspiracists who claim that global warming is a “hoax,” too. RT doesn’t interview the famous scientists–Russian or Western—who understand global warming. The anti-scientific claim that global warming is a “hoax” has been a staple of Russian propaganda.
President Medvedev claimed in early 2010 that global warming was a “tricky campaign.” After the 2010 forest fires, President Medvedev reversed himself and claimed that man was causing global warming. (Andrei Areshev, a lunatic attached to a Foreign Ministry drunk tank, even claimed right in RIA Novosti that those sneaky U.S. climate scientists were causing global arming by beaming secret climate weapons at Russia!)
Fossil fuel companies such as Gazprom have a lot of power and own much of the media in Russia. The Russian gas company Gazprom is majority-owned by the Russian government and pays taxes that support the government.
I write about the Truthers on my blog.
Another example of a “Truther” publication is the “Rock Creek Free Press,” which titled an article on Climategate “Science Scandal of the Century: The World’s Most Influential Climate Scientists Get Caught ‘Fudging’ the Data.” The author and editor is Matt Sullivan.
Pravda published an article that claimed an ice age was coming. http://english.pravda.ru/science/earth/11-01-2009/106922-earth_ice_age-0/
US denialists reprinted this dopey article. The author was not a Russian scientist. He was an American 9-11 Truther named Gregory Fegel. He publishes Truther nonsense in Pravda, too.
Gregory F. Fegel’s Pravda article was even praised by writer Noel Sheppard in the “conservative” publication Newsbusters (1-11-09).
It’s funny that these “anti-communist” writers/bloggers toe the Russian line.
It’s not so funny that people like Inhofe and Cuccinelli spread this propaganda.
When Noel Sheppard was told that the Russian scientist was really an Amerian 9-11 Truther he opined:
“How delicious that an America-hating Truther who contributes to Pravda has a firmer grasp of climatology than Nobel Laureate Al Gore, James Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, and most of the folks at the IPCC.”
Can you believe that?
I wrote about Fegel here.
James Corbett’s conspiracist claim that bin Laden is a CIA asset is the top myth about bin Laden, according to the reporter Peter Bergen’s article “Five Myths about Osama Bin Laden” (5-6-11).
Kay’s observation about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion being the prototype of all conspiracy theories is exactly right.
[DC: Portions edited. While your background on other disinformation and conspiracy theories peddled by the Russian government (or by Stalin) is quite interesting, I’m afraid it is overly long and getting way off topic. Same for discussions of WMD propaganda from the Bush administration. ]
Sometimes, I think that Russian leaders believe many of the lies that trickle up to them. Medvedev claimed that global warming was a “trick,” but after the fires changed his mind. He seems to have been very disgusted that the conspiracist Andrei Areshev blamed US scientists for CAUSING global warming by beaming secret climate weapons at some countries.
[DC: Edited – see above.]
Some people think that Medvedev has now separated from Putin. Both of them may run for President. I think the leaders don’t want to scare Russians with the truth about global warming because they don’t have good solutions. The way they make money is by selling gas. They are studying climate change but in order to adapt–not to roll it back.
One funny thing that happened was that they did correct the propaganda that an ice age may be coming. I think that is because Russian people got scared about that.
In case anyone’s still interested in SwiftHack weirdness: apparently the Climate Audit goons discovered two variants of the FOI2009.zip archive that was circulating around the Internet. One of them seems to have been taken down, but the other’s still around.
Frank–I read what you wrote, but I didn’t understand it. Can you dumb it down?
Argh… I really should be doing that. 😐
An attempt at an Executive Summary:
You know the FOI2009.zip SwiftHack data dump that’s been floating around on the web? Turns out that there’s another file FOIA.zip on megaupload.com, with almost the same contents as FOI2009.zip, but with some (potentially) interesting differences — for example, two files in the .zip were renamed.
This variant FOIA.zip was discovered by Climate Audit goons in Feb 2010; they also mentioned the existence of yet another FOIA.zip, apparently created on a Mac OS X machine, but it’s now gone.
… OK, that was the Executive Summary, which is starting to get as long as the original blog post itself. 🙂
Live analysis of Deep’s look at Wegman’s use of statistics at CA. I hadn’t any acknowledgement from anyone until now
Look through comments for oneuniverse, nick stokes, romanm, pete, mcintyre, fred
Denier Climate Science Greatest Quote
This is completely off topic even for an open thread but it is ‘funny’ and so breathtakingly stupid I really wanted to share it.
I was following a link from Tamino’s site (in a comment by rab) to a National Post article by Lorne Gunter and in the comments I found someone explaining why recent temperatures have been going up.
“Second, the earth has an elliptical orbit. The current point in the orbit is close to the sun. So the proximity effect of being closer to the heat source enters in.”
Has the sun been slowing down and no one told me?
You may be interested in my discussion of that article (specifically the downward pointing sixth-order polynomial fit that was its centrepiece).
I’ve read that first part of Moser’s take on the boilerplate twice and I’m still laughing.
I’m from a behavioural science background and maybe I just don’t understand the stats or math conventions but is it customary to use boilerplate for the intro and lit reveiw? Gee I know a number of people in Pysch and the Cognitive Sciences who would have graduated much sooner if that was the way to to do things
But more seriously, in Sharbatti’s thesis there is that statement on pg 31 where he explicitly states that the rest of the paper is his alone. Is this a normal way to do it in Stats?
I am used to seeing an explicit Author’s Declaration at the beginning of the
dissertation. In fact, in scanning the first few pages of Sharbatti’s thesis I was surprised not to see one.
The sort-of reasonable use of “boilerplate”, I’ve noticed is pages42-45 of Said’s thesis which consist of descriptions of various software technologies: CSS, DOM, ASP, DLL, Java,… cut-and-pasted from around the web. Given the thesis topic there is no need for her to use her own words describing these things (which is no excuse for her making no attribution and pretending these 3 pages are own words). But equally you’d ask why those pages are needed at all.
But if you are presenting research revolving around “preferential attachment” or a congressional report focusing on tree rings, and you need to use someone else’s words to describe it – clearly there is a problem beyond the plagiarism – Andrew Gelman explains this well.
And if a statistical team needs someone else’s words to describe “red noise” and “long memory” processes, that is not reassuring.
One pattern I have found in all of this is that the plagiarism is used to make the plagiarist(s) seem to have more expertise than they actually have. This was certainly the case with the WR report itself, both in the SNA and the paleo intro material, modulo (deliberate?) distortions which showed that they did not understand the material at all! This also seemed to be the case in the WIRES paper, why not get a co-author who actually understood color theory, or skip the intro material altogether if the point was to discuss effective use of color in graphical presentations?
Good observation, ratty one. It’s the tawdryness and low brainyness of my side when they fuck up that pisses me off the most. And now McI is backing him up. SUCKS! BTW, where is McI’s opening of discussion on his error band fuckup. If you are really a man, you take on of your side and feed him to the sharks. Just watch the mother fucker die, while preserving right. Which is more important? Truth? Or side.
I know a guy who literally died from jumping on a hand grenade to save his platoon. All these little cherry cheese fuckers piss me off. Want to grind them into the dirt. Break them down. HARD.
DC kindly posted my expanded , SSWR W.5.7, which covers the plagiarism flows through Sharabati’s PhD into the later Said, Wegman, Sharabati(2010).
This integrates finds by andrewt, and of course, the same 3 Federal agencies are Ack’d.
should have ~ not _,, but it’s right later in the more specific URL.
For problems beyond plagiarism, here’s Strange Falsifications in the Wegman Report.
that’s a 12-pager that tries to summarize the most easy-to-understand problems that might well rise to falsification, at least en masse.
part starts with DC’s original analysis of the text from Bradley, and tries another graphics treatment. near-verbatim plagiarism, once found, is pretty easy to see, although it takes painstaking work to display.
The “F”s in FFP are harder.
On SwiftHack again:
I’m now trying to broaden my search for information beyond just the CRU hack, so here’s a plea for any information or leads on any cyber-attack on climate scientists or climate activists.
Deep Climate, John Mashey, and others, please spread the word!
Check out Nick Stoke’s Moyhu Blog – he runs McIntyres code with truly random data… Guess what he gets for the final shape???
Sam had some comments on falsification, over in Mining New Depths.
I suggested keeping that thread on the plagiarism of the specific pieces, as usual done from laziness or to establish unmerited credibility, albeit overlaid with the sorts of mistakes seen elsewhere.
As Sam noted, FALSIFICATION is different. I suggest people read Strange Falsifications in WR, only 12 pages, where I try to show the most-easily-displayed problems that aren’t plagiarism, but individually or en masse, may rise to being fairly called falsification (or sometimes fabrication, as the line can be ambiguous, sometimes). I am interested in getting comments, especially from people with relevant experience.
With near-verbatim plagiarism, the hard part is finding it, but showing it is then easy.
For falsification, sometimes it is obvious that something is wrong, but the questions are:
a) Was it on purpose or just incompetence?
b) How does one show this, especially for a non-expert audience?
c) Which cases might be individual falsification, and which might be arguable individually, but en masse, seem like it?
It does help when someone does near-verbatim plagiarism and then methodically weakens, contradicts or even directly inverts conclusions.
Of course, I ran this by a bunch of academics, but most people had seen lots of plagiarism, but falsification was usually of lab data, not of something like this.
Description for open thread #10 includes description … or anything else not on topic for recent threads.
Has anyone been exploring climate change simulation strategy game “Fate of The World” ?
I have recently installed this computer game based supposedly on real science.
Can anyone verify the climate change science behind this computer strategy game?
I am currently watching the John Mashey lecture
The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science video recorded at http://www.pics.uvic.ca/webstream.php#mashey
Interesting enough John I had the good fortune of being a partner of Silicon Graphics S.A.V.E. Program in 1995 and would like to learn how I can follow your activities and promote your efforts.
Paul G. Hugel
John Mashey asks about Wegman’s falsifications:
a) Was it on purpose?
IMHO Wegman purposefully weakened Bradley’s Paleo work. Evidence:
Barton chose Wegman for the report. It was not a random selection. Wegman believed a lot of nonsense about AGW: he testified that CO2 is heavy and thus concentrates near the ground, and that a 2 degree global temp increase would not be significant because the temperature changes that much every day! (He recanted that groaner in the following day’s testimony).
To prove this in court you would want to depose Wegman, Barton, and the others and subpoena their emails from the time. Of course, no reasonable person would possibly want to go to all the expense and risk of court over the details of some bad science, would they? Oh, wait . . . Ken Cuccinelli is investigating Mann and UVA, and he is citing the Wegman report as evidence against Mann.
If the investigation wasn’t such a sick witch hunt, it would be interesting to see Wegman in court trying to defend his work.
It depends. I would say, if there’s probable cause, then it can hardly be called a witch hunt. I understand that that’s in effect John’s question: is there probable cause?
Note also a big difference between Mann’s writings and the Wegman report: Wegman was asked to testify before, and report to, Congress. While lying through your teeth is generally constitutionally protected, this is one of those special circumstances in which it isn’t. I say, throw the book at him.
…but first, probable cause.
I think Mark S was referring to Cuccinelli’s case as a “witch hunt”, not some hypothetical future case against Barton, Spencer and so on.
DC, upon re-reading you’re right, I’m wrong… sorry. To my (weak) defence, the notion of seeing Mike Mann on trial (for what?) is so ludicrous that I didn’t even consider it, whereas Wegman on trial seems not at all a crazy idea.
John- just read the Science interview. I thought the writer played a little bit too much “both sides” in that there was no analysis or asking “which of these sides seems to have more credibility”, so I wanted to chime in and say that it is clear that all of your methods are entirely above board, and that Wegman is a total embarrassment.
1) Congress: misleading Congress is a felony, 18USC1001, u[p to 5 years.
2) Conspiracy to commit a felony, 18USC371, up to 5 years.
3) Misprision of felony, 18USC4, up to 3 years.
SeeCCC, p.184, which has links to the legal code. And yes, I talked to Washington-savvy lawyers before I wrote that, and they didn’t think it was fantasy, although nobody expected it to be quick or easy.
Oh deary me,
Climate sceptics flirt with intelligent design and Islamophobic group
Kloor posted on this and has found himself in an entertaining discussion with a creationist who’s parroting the usual “punk eek proves Gould was not a Darwinist” stuff.
That was a pleasant exercise in how showing denialists the 990s from their favourite nonprofit thicko-tanks makes them go all quiet, especially after they’ve been banging on about the climate science “gravy train”.
990 Finder. Try it, it’s fun.
On “balance” in Eli Kintisch’s article (and actually, in Dan Vergano’s articles), without giving away the store, trust me: these are *very* savvy reporters and I rather doubt their choice of quotes is accidental. Read the Science article carefully. Now, simulate a Princeton professor and think how pleased they’ll be to see a Princeton colleague quoted this way. Likewise, simulate GMU professor and read this, or Vergano, or the Nature editorial’s quotes of Wegman or his lawyer or the GMU officials. I *love* the quotes in these pieces, now part of the historical record.
John, I see what you mean on that level for sure. I think it is difficult for those not as versed in the nature of the evidence against Wegman legitimizing both your concerns while simultaneously destroying the idea that you are a career killer, or whatever the term is. I am glad that both Science and Nature are kind of getting into this. Even though it shows their tabloid side, this is an important platform.
1) Consider the primary audiences for both Science and Nature and how they would interpret all this.
2) Also consider that people at both journals have read DC’s posts and (at least) SSWR, have assessed the credibility of the issues raised, and probably have a better idea of likely future consequences than most … and the editors chose to print these pieces.
Academe as a whole has a brand for honesty, integrity and searching for truth … and it can be ferocious in defending that brand when people break the rules. This is not tabloid side, it is serious … and people haven’t yet gotten to the potential funds mis-uses. Recall that the CSDA article Ack’d 3 separate government agencies. it is hard to understand why an attack on climate scientists via incompetent SNA and faulty reasoning should be paid for by the NIAAA, or the Army.
I recently read an FBI white paper about how universities are targeted by foreign intelligence services. The FBI cited a defector named Sergei Tretyakov who claimed that the KGB made up the theory of nuclear winter in order to keep Pershing missiles from being deployed in Europe.
I posted about it here.
Tretyakov’s claim that nuclear winter was made up by the KGB seems like total c**p to me. You have to take the KGB with a grain of salt because they are prone to boasting.
I looked at the book the FBI cited, “Comrade J,” and the whole story seems very simplistic. Also, they give the impression that Paul Crutzen was fooled by the KGB.
Actually, people who know their fields are not fooled by KGB propaganda. Those guys who make up propaganda are not all that expert, so real experts see through the falsehoods.
My impression, from the little I know, is that both Russian scientists and Western scientists were worried about nuclear winter. It is possible that the KGB played up the science for political reasons, but that doesn’t make nuclear winter a hoax.
These days, the Russians promote the view that fracking contaminates the water. This is because they want to sell us their liquified natural gas. The Russians sometimes mock climate change by spreading fake science for the same reason: they want to sell their gas.
Could someone look at this FBI report who knows about nuclear winter? The questionable passage is on page 6. The discussion of the nuclear winter “hoax” begins in the book “Comrade J” on page 169. Seems to me that Tretyakov is talking about stuff he knows nothing about first-hand.
You can read the passage in the book on Amazon.
The Crutzen and Birk paper is: “The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon”. Ambio Vol. 11, No. 2/3, Nuclear War: The Aftermath (1982), pp. 114-125., here:
The paper is readable here:
…see if you think Paul Crutzen was, or could be, “fooled”…
> It is possible that the KGB played up the science for political reasons,
It is also the case that a defector needs to “sell” himself to the other side, and many a Hollywood-capable fictional narrative was born that way…
The FBI white paper doesn’t even seem to say what the book it is citing, “Comrade J,” says.
The FBI white paper gives a big quote from the book about what some Soviet scientists allegedly fabricated according to Tretyakov and then says,
“The KGB had the report published in a Swedish journal.”
The journal mentioned in the book is Ambio, and the authors were P.Crutzen and J. Birks. The article was called “The Atmosphere After a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon.”
The book says that Ambio, Crutzen, and Birks did not know that the KGB was “cirulating fraudulant data.”
It is not clear from the FBI white paper or from “Comrade J” what actually happened. The facts are very vague.
Ambio does not seem to have published this Russian report, as the FBI white paper claims. They published the Crutzen and Birks paper. Did these authors incorporate information from Russian researchers who supposedly fabricated a study? This really isn’t clear.
The FBI cites the book and the book doesn’t have footnotes.
If it doesn’t have footnotes for claims like this, I don’t believe it.
I saw that the Princeton professor Dr. Happer didn’t have footnotes. for testimony he gave in the Senate. Later, the footnotes were added by the SPPI. Some of “Happer’s” footnotes cited Monckton.
The FBI report, citing Comrade J, claims that the Soviet report on nuclear winter was published in a Swedish journal. This suggests they mean Ambio, which published Crutzen and Birk’s paper.
However, Comrade J says something a bit different. The book only says that the Soviet report on nuclear winter was released by the Soviet news agency, picked up by the BBC, and widely accepted as a scientific fact.
The book does not claim that the Soviet report was published in a Swedish journal.
Maybe someone else could look at the FBI report and pages 169-177 of “Comrade J.”
The book claims that Ambio was targeted with the aim of getting them to write about nuclear winter. The description of how this happened is very vague.
In any case, the FBI seems to be mischaracterizing what is already a questionable opinion. Even if the KGB tried to exploit research on nuclear winter, this does not make nuclear winter a hoax.
Well, if you’re right, it won’t be the first time an agency tasked with national security tries to puff up a supposed “threat” to make themselves seem more important, and to persuade other people to give them rights, power, and money…
The FBI white paper claims:
“The KGB had the report published in a Swedish journal. In the intelligence world, this is called disinformation.”
Actually, the book they claim to be citing, “Comrade J,” explicitly states that the Soviet report was NOT published in a scientific journal (171). The book claims that “instead of publishing it in a scientific journal, the KGB began using…covert active measures…to disseminate the doomsday findings” (171).
Chapter 21 of Comrade J closes with Tretyakov’s rather terrifying claim that “no one in Moscow ever believed [nuclear winter] was true” (177).
If you believe “Comrade J,” the KGB disseminated fabrications via the Soviet news service about “the anti-hothouse effect” that were “widely accepted as scientific fact,” but “no one in Moscow ever believed [nuclear winter] was true.”
you may also be interested in this document:
Click to access DOC_0000284025.pdf
Those were excellent articles, unlike what the FBI wrote. Thanks very much!
I will link them on my post.
I do recognize the names Dr. Chazov and Dr. Vartanyan from the first link. They were in the hotseat when the Soviets were jailing dissidents for a fake mental illness called “sluggish schizophrenia. ” The World Psychiatric Association confronted the Soviets about that.
Frank–the problem is that a casual reader of the FBI report who goes to the book for more information may believe that the scientists named there were duped/used. Actually the Russians seem to have been following the US research. No doubt they spread some propaganda, but is was a very good thing for Russian leaders to be learning about nuclear winter. The FBI paper mostly discredits the FBI. The paper was supposed to educate scientists to be a little careful of their contacts with foreigners at universities, but anyone who knows anything will know this paper is really ignorant, so they won’t listen to the FBI. The paper is patronizing to really smart scientists.
The FBI should withdraw this paper and fix it.
One of the scientists mentioned- in the book and hinted at in the FBI report, Paul Crutzen, has a Nobel Prize and recently hosted a conference on melting glaciers at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences. The FBI puts this white paper out right when Dr. Crutzen is doing that important work.
Russian scientists may have to do some propaganda, but they also educate and perhaps influence the leadership.
The FBI paper was very crude, and people should complain about it. It’s one thing for Tretyakov to say his conspiracy theory in a journalist’s book, but this nonsense shouldn’t be coming out of an official government agency.
It’s right up there with that Russian scholar in a Foreign Ministry think tank who accused Western climate scientists of causing global warming by beaming secret climate weapons at Russia during the fires.
We need to spread the word about nuclear winter again because even more countries have the bomb, and they may be a lot more trigger-happy than the Russians.
The Russians try to use all those “peace” movements in a one-sided way, but they don’t really succeed; and a lot of people get educated about the dangers of nuclear war.
Not sure if this has made the rounds yet, but it provides an interesting comparison with the Wegman case on how institutions should handle plagiarism (in this case it was a graduation speech, but still…)
Any news from GMU?
Joe, obviously the action was necessary because after all, it was just a speech, not a journal piece or congressional testimony …
The pediatrician Yelena Bonner, a great Russian human rights activist and the wife of physicist and 1975 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Andrei Sakharov, died in Boston on Saturday, June 18, 2011. She was 88 years old.
Bonner’s second husband, Andrei Sakharov (d. 12-14-89), was the father of the Soviet hydrogen bomb and a hero of the Soviet Union. When he became a dissident, the regime appealed to anti-Semitic sentiments in the public and claimed that Sakharov had been led astray by “the Jewess Bonner.”
The KGB and Soviet politicians constantly hounded and persecuted this great scientist and humanitarian. They defamed him in the press and drugged him in order to steal his memoirs while he was exiled in Gorky .
In America, the climate scientist Michael Mann is being vilified on the Internet and persecuted by Virginia’s Attorney General Cuccinelli, and criminals stole the private emails of British and American climate scientists.
In his suit against the EPA, Attorney General Cuccinelli even cited an article from the official Russian government media in order to malign climate scientists.
It’s not so different, if you ask me.
Your reply box is acting jittery.
I have more information about the persecution of Sakharov and Bonner on this post. All the smears in the Soviet media about them remind me of what the denialists say about Dr. Mann, Dr. Jones and other climate scientists.
Now, for some strange reason, the FBI has written a white paper that denies nuclear winter. It was climate scientists such as the Nobel prize winner Paul Crutzen who researched nuclear winter, and it is not a KGB hoax.
For a Federal security agency to spread this misinformation is really scary.
How does something like this happen?
I’d like to invite John [Mashey] to apply the methodology that uncovered Wegman’s recycling to determine if two other texts,:
Michael Crichton’s Cal Tech presentation, _’ Do Aliens Cause Global Warming?_ , and chapter 2 of Oreskes and Conway’s
_Merchants of Doubt_
to determine if they derive from a common source, the lead article in
The National Interest, Number 5, Fall 1986
[DC:This comment has been redirected from the John Mashey Strange Scholarship thread. ]
I’m sure John Mashey will stop by to comment on your post.
Meanwhile, to clarify for other readers, you refer obliquely to your 1986 National Interest article “In from the cold: ‘Nuclear Winter’ Melts Down”. Oreskes and Conway discuss this article at p. 59-63 of Merchants of Doubt, with appropriate citations and quotations. So I presume that this can not be the basis of your veiled allegation of Wegman-style “recycling”.
The original Sagan popular articles, the TTAPS paper and subsequent work in the 1980s is discussed by Oreskes and Conway in the immediately preceding section. That commentary differs from your 1986 article (a version of which appears at your 2006 blog post on the subject ).
For example, Oreskes and Conway refer to the quantitative 10-20 degree C drop found by NCAR team’s model, and characterized by Stephen Schneider as “nuclear autumn”. Your exposition of the Schneider team’s work was somewhat different: “The depths of Nuclear Winter could no longer easily be distinguished from the coolest days of summer.” So the 1986 article is clearly not the source, “common” or otherwise, for this section in Oreskes and Conway.
Re: Russell Seitz post.
This is very a strange post, as Russell is a smart guy whose opinions were always direct and often interesting. My first reaction was that this wasn’t him, as the double-innuendo descends near the level of Watts or McIntyre.
If he has something real, he’s quite capable and documenting it the way DC or I do, and posting it on his blog, which still seems there, if not active for years. Really, Naomi&Erik are pretty careful scholars (MoD has with 60 pages of footnotes) who don’t go in for Wegman&co wholesale appropriation, and Crichton is dead.
Anyway, I hope this is really someone else or a temporary aberration.
Thanks for your post and links.
Here is a debunking of the Earley book.
I usually have a lot of respect for the FBI, but this passage they wrote seems based on ignorant media accounts instead of careful research, I have complained.
That FBI report is not helping our national security.
There is a good book about this topic called A Nuclear Winter’s Tale.
Says Steve McIntyre, commenting on the new sea level reconstruction paper by Kemp et al at PNAS, “Climate Related sea-level variations over the past two millennia:
Only problem is, Andrew Kemp received his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania, not Penn State, and his PhD advisors included Ben Horton and three others, but not Michael Mann.
It makes one wonder what else McIntyre got wrong.
Well, both UPenn and Penn State are good schools, but confusing them tends to irk both.
The same confusion happened at WUWT when McShane (UPenn grad) and Wyner (UPenn prof) came out.
McIntyre also got the Conflict of Interest rules wrong:
So McIntyre’s claim about a COI violation because of editor Anny Cazenave’s collaboration with Stefan Rahmstorf in Science in 2007 is also wrong.
Discussion of Kemp et al at RC:
CM summarizes the auditors’ objections (and answers some of them, including the two mentioned above):
Co-author Vermeer answers CM and adds additional clarifications:
We should also take a look at the basic premise McIntyre’s post.
There’s no need to go over again, the erroneous made up stuff about the “4 years” or the Penn State graduate student stuff, but let’s look that meat. In the submission process, author’s can request a “pre-arranged” editor. It is not just given to them based on being on any “team”. Here are the guidelines.
Richard Lindzen is a member, so he likely submitted using these guidelines.
But as we know, it had nothing to do with how long ago that Chou had co-authored with Lindzen. In fact, McIntyre posted the reason right on his blog earlier.
So, on every point, the post fails on basic facts, let alone the specious logic it rests on, while impugning several people, including Kemp, Cazenave, and the entire PNAS. All for committing the sin of going anywhere near Micheal Mann. Now let’s all remember how important this “team” and “pal review” stuff is to the Climate Audit narrative. It’s been going on since the name “Kyoto Flames” was used, even before CA changed it’s name. This was magically picked up by Wegman. We can thank John Mashey and DC for exposing that “analysis” for what it was, and engaging real experts to comment, as opposed to plagiarized internet content. But it makes a nice opinion piece.
h/t’s to CM, Nick Stokes, Chris Colose
gryposaurus, “counterfactual technicalities” is the name of the game being played here.
And if anyone is wondering where Inspector Gadget got his prohibitive “4-year” window information from, it is here. A letter sent to PNAS members in 2008. Based on the reporting of Master Resource, A free-market energy blog.
Actually according to this document, the 4 year window only applies to reviewers; editors (Anny Cazenave’s role) are not mentioned. And if the four years are taken as a time span (rather than the difference in year numbers), even the joint authorship of Cazenave and Rahmstorf falls outside this window as it happened in February of 2007.
I conclude that according to McI, the paper must be pretty much OK on the science, or he wouldn’t be engaging in pettifoggery like this…
I think a four-year window might have applied in this case, since Kemp et al was submitted in October 2010 if I recall correctly. That’s less than four years after the Science paper was accepted and published. But it appears to be a moot point.
[Correction and update: Actually, the Science paper was submitted more than 4 years (barely) before Kemp et al was submitted to PNAS. So, on reflection, GP is right – it would have passed the four year test. And McIntyre’s point appears to be doubly wrong. Sorry about my error.]
I think McIntyre is relishing his anointment as a guardian of scientific integrity by Mark Lynas and the Economist. Still waiting for journalists to give McIntyre’s claims proper scrutiny, instead of the gullible fawning from the likes of Fred Pearce.
For example, a while back McIntyre quietly withdrew his accusation that as lead author for the TAR section on millenial reconstructions Michael Mann had deleted data from Briffa’s tree-ring paleo reconstruction during the preparation of the First Order Draft. But now it’s on to the latest fake scandal.
As of Saturday, June 25, the following statements were still in McIntyre’s PNAS post (the first partially corrected, the others not so much).
So McIntyre is still describing Kemp as a “Penn State graduate student”, when in fact he received his PhD two years ago at the University of Pennsylvania.
You’re being unreasonable. When someone is been busy making wild accusations based on zero information it’s obviously going to be tough for them to keep track of exactly what they’ve said at any one time.
Maybe that commenter is Russell Seitz, and he is reacting to my questions about Pete Early’s claim that nuclear winter is a hoax. Russell Seitz is one of the sources Pete Early used in his book “Comrade J. ” This is commented on here.
Seitz is quoted in Earley’s book on page 176 saying that the theory of nuclear winter is notorious for its lack of scientific integrity. http://www.amazon.com/Comrade-J-Pete-Earley/dp/B002BWQ5PY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1308052480&sr=1-1#reader_B002BWQ5PY
Pete Earley incorrectly spells the name of the Russian scientist Kirill Kondratyev as Kondreyev. This shows he hasn’t read much on this issue. I really wonder why the FBI would publish a white paper that seems to claim that nuclear winter is a hoax. The paper seems to be hinting that Paul Crutzen and John Birks were duped. They don’t mention their names, but they mention a paper published in a Swedish journal. That seems to be an allusion to Crutzen’s article in Ambio.
The FBI white paper is dated April 2011. That is right when Crutzen is trying to teach people about melting glaciers at a meeting of the Pontifical Academy. It seems that the FBI paper is an attempt to discredit Crutzen.
The FBI claims, “The KGB had the report published in a Swedish journal.” Exactly what report published in a Swedish journal is the FBI alluding to?
If the KGB had a report published in a Swedish journal, the FBI should name this report. They shouldn’t make an innuendo. They should put up or shut up. They are hinting they have some secret information but are too polite or security conscious to say what they know.
Unlike the FBI, the book “Comrade J” does not claim that this allegedly fabricated Russian scientific report was published in a Swedish journal; on the contrary, the book explicitly states that the Soviet report was not published in a scientific journal (171).
It looks to me like the Russians were following the Western science.
I feel like this is a really dishonest FBI paper. How did this happen?
I complained to the FBI and DOJ, but did not get any response.
The FBI relied on the National Academies to check its science on the Anthrax case, but they cite some dumb popular book for their information on nuclear winter.
Usually I believe the FBI is trying to get to the truth. They are part of the Department of Justice, but they are not being just to Dr. Crutzen and Dr. Birks.
I would like to know how this FBI white paper happened to be written and who wrote it. I think this paper should be evaluated by the National Academies.
This phoney-baloney FBI white paper seems to be some sort of pathetic FBI intimidation of climate scientists.
The link to the FBI report and my documentation is here.
The KGB often does participate in scientific hoaxes, but this time I think the
FBI participated in a scientific hoax. I think we should know who wrote this part on the “hoax” of nuclear winter.
The Soviet/Russian regimes eventually denounce their scientific hoaxes:
In his famous 1956 “Secret Speech” to the 20th Party Conference, Nikita Khrushchev stated:
Let us…recall the “affair of the doctor-plotters [who were falsely accused of taking money from the U.S. government to poison Soviet leaders].”
(Animation in the hall.)
Actually there was no “affair” outside of the declaration of the woman doctor [Lidiya] Timashuk [more here], who was probably influenced or ordered by someone (after all, she was an unofficial collaborator of the organs of state security) to write Stalin a letter in which she declared that doctors were applying supposedly improper methods of medical treatment.
Izvestiya (3-19-92) reported:
“[Russian intelligence chief Yevgeni Primakov] mentioned the well known articles printed a few years ago in our central newspapers about AIDS supposedly originating from secret Pentagon laboratories. According to Yevgeni Primakov, the articles exposing US scientists’ ‘crafty’ plots were fabricated in KGB offices.”
Russia’s President Medvedev used to claim that global warming was a “tricky campaign.” During last summer’s forest fires, Russia’s President Medvedev stated that global warming is happening.
RIA Novosti (7-31-10) reports that President Medvedev stated:
“What is happening to our planet’s climate should motivate all of us, I mean, states and heads of non-governmental organizations, to take more active steps to resist global warming.”
So far the FBI doesn’t respond to my questions, just like Cuccinelli’s office doesn’t respond to my questions. That’s the worst thing. They think they can just smear scientists with bogus scholarship without having to answer to the public.
I can’t find the article in “The National Interest” that Russell Seitz wrote called “In from the cold: ‘Nuclear Winter’ Melts Down.”
A version seems to be here.
In the article linked above, Dr. John Birks is mistakenly called Steven Birks.
I wondered how that happened.
However, Dr. John Birks is called Steven Birks.
Perhaps Dr. Russell Seitz could tell us if he called John Birks Steven Birks.
I have questions for Russell Seitz because his views seem to be copied without credit in the book omrade J.
In the book Comrade J, Pete Earley quotes some scientists who claim that nuclear winter is not true. Some of these same scientists are reportedly quoted by Russell Seitz in his article..
Brian Martin writes:
“Russell Seitz in his article in The National Interest quoted a number of prominent scientists as expressing critical comments about nuclear winter models and results. The use of some of these comments has been disputed by proponents of nuclear winter. In an attempt to clarify the status of the quotes, I wrote to the individuals quoted by Seitz, referred to the specific quote and asked ‘Is this quote correct? Does Seitz’s use of the quote give an accurate reflection of your past and present views?'”…..
See the link for the exact details and compare this to what the scientists who “dispute” nuclear winter reportedly said in Comrade J on page 176.
Pete Earley’s information about nuclear winter seems to make a lot of the same allegations as Russell Seitz’s article, although Seitz is only mentioned once in the book: Seitz is quoted saying that the theory of nuclear winter is based on a “notorious lack of scientific integrity.” (Earley 176).
It seems to me that these pages in Earley’s book may be ideas from Seitz’s writings. They are mixed in with Tretyakov’s allegations to give them greater credibility.
Perhaps someone –such as Dr. Seitz–has access to Dr. Seitz’s articles and could compare them to Comrade J.
Perhaps Dr. Russell Seitz would read pages 169-177 of Comrade J and tell us if these pages seem a lot like his views.
Maybe Pete Earley should have given Dr. Russell Seitz more credit for the information in this section of his book.
In Comrade J some of the quotes are said to come from National Review and National Journal, though Brian Martin attributes them to the National Interest. There are no dates or titles, so it is hard to verify sources and what was actually said.
Comrade J is not a source I would rely on for an FBI white paper that cautions scholars to be more careful. Pete Earley does not document his sources very well.
I think Pete Earley got a lot of his ideas from Russell Seitz but for some reason didn’t give him credit.
Brian Martin’s discussion of Seitz’s quotes is here, in the appendix of the Martin article (all of which is well worth reading, by the way):
That appendix contains all of the controversial quotes, along with Martin’s follow up with the various scientists quoted by Seitz (Dyson, Feynman etc.)
It seems strange that Dr. Russell Seitz and Pete Earley quote what some scientists reportedly said orally about nuclear winter. If these people Dr. Seitz quotes are authoritative experts, they should have published peer-reviewed articles about nuclear winter.
We shouldn’t have to ask authoritative sources if they really said something. We should be able to read what they said in their own words in a peer-reviewed journal.
If that was really Dr. Seitz who commented above, maybe he could tell us if the information on nuclear winter presented in Comrade J seems to be lifted from his article/s.
Dr. Seitz would know best if his article was sort of copied without giving proper credit. This is kind of a big deal because the FBI is citing this book and making it seem like this is something the FBI really knows something about. Maybe Dr. Seitz should contact the FBI and tell them if Pete Earley didn’t give Seitz credit for the information in Earley’s book.
Elsevier has officially listed Said et al.’s article in CSDA as “Retracted” (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167947307002861):
The retraction adheres strictly to Ed Wegman’s explanation for the copying and makes no reference to the criticisms of the article’s content or reviewing process. It appears the editorial staff decided to do the bare minimum they could get away with, given the high profile of the case.
The retraction also doesn’t seem to fulfill the complete requirements for Elsevier’s retraction policy. The policy requires a retraction notice in a current issue’s table of contents but I haven’t seen such a notice in any issue since the retraction was announced.
More on CSDA:
Oddly, the cited withdrawal policy gives (right now) “page not found.
Fortunately, the Wayback machine has one from 2009, and it was certainly there in 2010. It says:
The retraction of an article by its authors or the editor under the advice of members of the scholarly community has long been an occasional feature of the learned world. Standards for dealing with retractions have been developed by a number of library and scholarly bodies, and this best practice is adopted for article retraction by Elsevier:
A retraction note titled “Retraction: [article title]” signed by the authors and/or the editor is published in the paginated part of a subsequent issue of the journal and listed in the contents list.
In the electronic version, a link is made to the original article.
The online article is preceded by a screen containing the retraction note. It is to this screen that the link resolves; the reader can then proceed to the article itself.
The original article is retained unchanged save for a watermark on the .pdf indicating on each page that it is “retracted.”
The HTML version of the document is removed.”
Presumably the action starting “A retraction note…” will occur in next issue, as it has not yet.
Neither the reviewing process nor criticisms of the article’s content are relevant to the retraction here. Nobody filed an official complaint with the journal on those issues.
“Nobody filed an official complaint with the journal on those issues [i.e review process and content].”
Actually, I would be surprised if that were the case. In particular, the review process was identified as clearly problematic from the very beginning.
Since you seem to think you know what *wasn’t* in the complaint(s), presumably you are privy to the complete contents of all complaint(s) filed if there were more than one, so you can tell us when any were filed and describe the contents.
OR maybe you might want to rethink your statement.
For what it’s worth, papers don’t get retracted because they are junk or because the review process was broken. As an expert said, p.7 of STaE:
‘”Too bad you can only retract papers when it turns out they were plagiarized, when they should be retracted for not having any coherent or sensible argument!”
This is sad, but has much truth. I wish I‘d written it myself.’
When a paper is dead/retracted for any of the FFP trio of academic frauds, it is dead, and the journal doesn’t waste time shooting at it.. If there turn out to be consequences of the peer review breach, that is not a retraction issue, but an issue for Elsevier, EiC Azen and the International Association for Statistical Computing.
DC, John, I simply do not *think* anyone filed such a complaint, as anyone with a little bit of knowledge of the publishing world knows that no paper will be retracted because of bad reviewing practices (*). It’s possible Azen has had a complaint, but this is unrelated to the retraction (and will likely be dismissed anyway).
Similarly, I don’t see how the content (excluding the plagiarism) would suffice for a retraction. It’s a simple analysis (AFAIK mathematically correct), followed by a personal opinion (even indicated as being conjecture). A critical reviewer would have made some strong remarks about that, but that’s not what happened. As it is, the conjecture is not necessarily wrong (which does not make it right either).
(*) Funnily enough, retractionwatch recently covered a case of a “Intelligent Design” paper being accepted and then retracted by the Editor. In essence their excuse was “poor review” (“Unfortunately, this may sometimes lead to hastiness, as was the case in this instance”). That cost Elsevier 10,000 dollar…
Marco, my complaint explicitly described likely problems with the reviewing process. Making that case required discussing problems with the content as well. So the publisher was formally notified of both.
Upon reflection, I agree with John’s comments about retractions. Once a publisher has decided to retract, they see no point in enumerating its problems. Not so satisfying for those of us wanting to point out flaws in the article’s content, but there we are.
Marco: on your original comment, you made two statements. The second one is simply 100% wrong, and that is not very useful. Please don’t make statements like that unless you know,
As it happens, there were (at least) two separate complaints (there may be more I don’t know about, that has happened). You see Ted’s comments, and I know the other one raised the same 3 issues (plagiarism, bad content with injustified conclusions, breach of peer review).
Elsevier wouldn’t worry about content (except in this case, there might well have been a potential libel issue had they not retracted it), but they would investigate the breach of peer review, although that has yet to play out, I think, unsurprising given the awkwardness.
Fair enough, it was in the complaint. In my opinion a useless part of the complaint.
It is odd that it didn’t appear in ToC, since most readers would thus never know. Maybe next month?
However, it is worth perusing Retraction Watch for other examples. In general, if an article is dead and retracted, hardly anyone wants to spend the time arguing about other issues in the paper. Hence, the notice, while in some sense incomplete, is probably good enough. But a I would hope that a notice in ToC is scheduled for next month, else I think further questions to EiC Azen, Elsevier, and the sponsoring society will be raised….
I want Dr. Curry to defend every Heartland flat earth perpetual motion creationist presentation like she did the last time. That did wonders for her reputation.
That article is almost a year old!
well, of course it is. it’s a yearly event for Heartland. I want another, new, defense of pseudoscience, unambiguous, to further tarnish her reputation.
The Washington Examiner has published an article that claims two statisticians have demolished Dr. Mann’s hockey stick graph in a “soon to be published article in Annals of Applied Statistics.
I looked at a completely confusing “humorous” article the Examiner linked about this paper and it even quotes Wegman. The authors reportedly claim that their article “[undermines] paleoclimatology as a statistical enterprise.”
I wondered if this article might turn out to be a send-up because that is a pretty big claim.
What is going on here?
I discussed McShane and Wyner when it was first released online almost a year ago:
And, yes, the paper was published in the Annals of Applied Statistics earlier this year, accompanied by 13 commentaries that tore it to shreds.
Tom Fuller seems to have sold his soul to a nylon sock.
Actually, I think it’s great when people cite Wegman or McShane-Wyner.
Rather than arguing with them, just ask them politely that if they are willing to cite these, are they willing to put their personal credibility behind the credibility of these sources?
I look forward to hearing everyone’s take on this:
re: Willie Soon: well, one part there might lead to 18USC1001.
If they can indict Roger Clemens for steroids….
Eh? Seems that AG Holder is currently only interested in investigating crimes when there’s bipartisan agreement as to their criminality.
Dr. Soon can just use the John Kyl defense that “it was not intended to be a factual statement.”
That defence won’t work very well for Willie Soon, since he was testifying under oath.
But no worries, I’m sure he’ll find some other silly excuse which Obama and Holder will accept in a jiffy. These are post-truth times in the US, where cases are decided by political considerations rather than by facts and legal arguments.
Oh dear…Dr. Soon called in sick yesterday – too sick to return the NYT’s phone calls. http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/01/exxon-is-financing-fewer-climate-skeptics-group-says/?smid=tw-nytimesscience&seid=auto
So did James Inhofe (missed the Heartland keynote).
I have to run out, but an amusing story appeared yesterday in CHE blog, Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism.
Apparently Peter Wood, who runs this ~2-person office for National Association of Scholars (NAS*, since not the same as another NAS) (in Princeton) was displeased with a recent article in Science. [Recall that Will Happer is at Princeton, perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not.]
I mean, really, P.T. Barnum is bad enough, but Bruno Latour?
[What’s a poor down-to-earth farmboy/engineer/scientist/business executive to do when likened to Latour? I’ve been donwgraded from “a destructive force”.]
More later, but certainly, NAS* has gotten money from some of the foundations you’d expect, although not (visibly) Kochs, and having looked at 990 forms, Wood makes out OK.
See Sorucewatch, and at the NAS* website, see Sustainabiltiy Tyranny or Theft?
Well, give credit for an interesting title to the series.
And all that because you dare, dare I say, to question authority? Properly in this case because the man (Wegman) is clearly no authority.
I have to say it’s impressive the way Wood dismisses you without ever actually explaining what you have been doing, and without mentioning Wegman at all.
It could be summarized as “Flyspecking? Tsk, Tsk, Tsetse.” http://www.pattonpest.com/PestFun/morsitans.html
Note: there turn out to be a few more people in the office, but not too many.
Obviously, this wasn’t intended as a serious analysis, and he may well have thought a techie computer scientist wouldn’t recognize Latour. (I read about him years ago.) Of course, it is clever to take comments from a paywalled article many people wouldn’t read.
it will be interesting to see what happens.
And science is winning over antiscience by 5 to 1. But few comments – the antiscience zealots don’t seem interested.
Stewart (and anyone else)
Feel free to go over to the CHE site and politely engage Wood.
Ask him more about Latour and if he has any substantial arguments with my work.
He’s labeled an anthropologist … but has been paid $160K/year (plus apparently fine benefits & big travel allowance) for doing whatever he does now. But maybe he has some non-obvious physics/climate science training [after all, some people have non-obvious backgrounds.]
I’m off sailing & tied up next few days, but hopefully Wood can be engaged.
So far, all attempts to respectfully engage Mr. Wood with careful, well-supported arguments by Ted Kirkpatrick, Scott Mandia, and Tenney Naumer have been met with willfully ignorant talking points and repetitious untruths, such as one would expect from an uninformed reader of Anthony Watts and Steve McI. The same goes for his three-part bloviation, Sustainability, Tyranny or Theft?, of which I bothered to read Part III in its entirety. He shows little evidence of being someone who can be reasoned with. The National Association of Scholars should be deeply embarrassed to be represented by someone who is so obviously ideologically biased and ignorant of his chosen editorial subject as Mr. Wood.
If there are any climate scientists, in addition to MIT’s Kerry Emanuel, who are members of this organization, I’d suggest that they collaborate to write Mr. Wood a letter of protest requesting his apology for his libelous attacks on their integrity, and demand his resignation if he refuses. A full apology or resignation of Mr. Wood is probably the only way to avoid further damage to that group’s collective reputation.
I should have read the Sourcewatch article before assuming that NAS members could be embarrassed by their president’s willingness to write such nonsense about climate science, a subject of which he is so willfully ignorant and misinformed. Based on their history and funding sources, it’s apparent that advancing a conservative ideological viewpoint is their raison d’être. Ironically, the Sourcewatch article describes a 1996 survey by NAS that “asserts that the decrease in core requirements at the top 50 universities and colleges since 1914 threatens ‘the common frame of reference that…has sustained our liberal, democratic society.’ ” And I thought a liberal, democratic society was anathema to the Olins, Scaifes, and Coors. I see I have much to learn about these beneficent oligarchs and their efforts to “improve” and democratize higher education.
I imagine Kerry Emanuel would be none too pleased, judging from his 2010 essay on Climategate.
I suppose NAS has failed this test miserably (not that I support their position on these other so-called “horrors”, all greatly exaggerated as far as I can tell).
I’m with Alcock as quoted in the NYT piece, there is no problem in principle with Soon accepting research funding from corporations such as Exxon – as long as this is funding is fully disclosed. Its also wise to be cautious about accepting the results of research funded in this manner where it overlaps the corporation’s interests, and researchers may avoid such funding for this reason.
But the WSJ byline “Mr. Soon, a natural scientist at Harvard, is an expert on mercury and public health issues” is highly misleading and borders on academic misconduct – if Soon supplied it. And of course Soon writing such advocacy pieces on topics removed from his expertise and coincident with his funder’s interests leaves him with no credibility.
Andrewt: Yes, for example, Exxon is one of the funders of the GCEP program administered via Stanford. I cannot say anything of Exxon’s motivations, but I know many of the people involved, attend their symposium most years, and have seen nothing that would give me qualms, just a lot of very good research.
That is a very different operation than Willie Soon.
I would ay a good rule about industrial funding is: yes (in some cases it can be terrifically productive), but always be careful.
More serial plagiarism of plagiarists, but with consequences in this instance: Stolen Code Is Linked to Program for Chess
In this case, Dr. Rajlich had acknowledged in a website forum for his code that he used “various low-level snippets” of code from the public domain. Nevertheless, he ran afoul of the rules of the Computer Gaming Association.
This reminds me that Wegman’s “analysis” of M&M’s code–which apparently consisted of re-running the code on his own computer–could itself be considered another form of plagiarism. He claimed the “analysis” was his original work, although he didn’t appear to understand the code, much less perform any analysis of it.
Opportunity at the Chronicle! We have an opportunity to enlighten their readers on sundry matters including but not limited to laxity at GMU.
It is easy if one focuses on all Chronicle readers except PW as I will today. I made one small comment there last night directed to PW. I was drawn by the registration system into using a user name instead of my proper name. Should I change that for future comments if any? (But note, I will not focus on GMU. Others here can do that much better and I hope someone will.)
Well, Peter Wood has raised the ante, a few hours ago. See comments.
He is *sure*, given his use of The Google.
Pete: you managed to be polite…but minor nit:
you may wish to read Wikipedia on defamation
Slander is usually considered spoken, *libel* is written, both are included under defamation. US law is messy; too bad this isn’t in Canada.
Peter W. Wood has been writing for the National Review Online for years. Maybe he believes their bilge. http://www.nationalreview.com/
Wood also wrote an article about Mann last year, and the Cuccinelli “investigation”:
And there was a later note about that article:
And he has writen about “Climategate” (interesting comments there too):
There may be more, I haven’t looked that hard.
Note, in his own venue, safer perhaps than CHE, Peter Wood has more history:
Climategate Deniers, March 16, 2010
“To Serve Mann: Virginia’s AG Puts Climate-Researcher on the Menu” May 12, 2010
Comments are mixed … Wood already had a clear viewpoint.
Kerry Emmanuel’s piece was July 19, 2010
I haven’t tracked down much of the funding, but it looks like:
a) Scaife (& others) put seed money in early, back when NAS* was called Campus Coalition for Democracy:
https://www.pfaw.org/sites/default/files/buyingamovement.pdf (2001) mentions substantial Scaife funding of NAS* in early 1990s,
b) Scaife hasn’t given any visible funding in the last decade, which fits the pattern where sometimes they give seed money, then some of the funders drop off and put their attention elsewhere.
No surprize, Dr. Wood is also an apologist for intelligent design.
Look at the NAS Mission page… “Is it Dangerous to Join?” These poor, beleaguered conservatives, beset on all sides by scorn, derision and discrimination. At least they can join the bold underground… the NAS.
By the way, Alykhan Velshi (sleasy Conservative hack) has a blog about “ethical oil” vs “conflict oil”; he ias asking for donations to make Access to Information requests about lobbying by “anti-ethical oil special interests”.
Familiar tactics, eh?
I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you’re saying … I’ll imply that you mean making information off-limits to those who ask about lobbying by “anti-ethical oil special interests”.
If so, it sucks, but do try to make things clear!
No, Access to Information in Canada is like FOI in the US. The creep Velshi is making a fuss because environmental groups have met with an Environment Canada employee, who no doubt was simply doing his job.
Velshi wants to imply some big conspiracy about environmentalists talking to government, when, as Canadians, they have every damned right to talk to their government. What he calls “anti-ethical oil special interests” are people who want the tar sands cleaned up and who oppose polluters, etc.
Oh, thanks …
Velshi was communications director for Conservative Immigration Minister Jason Kenney until late March of this year. As Holly notes, his tenure there was marked by controversy, In fact, he (and minister Kenney) have been served with a lawsuit alleging defamation and asking for $1.5 million in damagess. The statement of claim is dated April 8 2011, but notice was served on March 14, 2011, according to court documents.
Velshi is now a blogger at EthicalOil.org, a website set up to flog Ezra Levant’s book of the same name, which has apparently been adopted as official Conservative policy under
tar sandsenvironment minister Peter Kent.
Velshi’s bio includes this tidbit:
Well, there’s plenty of evidence of his handiwork at Immigration. But Environment? Not so much. Still, one can’t help wonder if he wasn’t part of the mysterious departmental “briefings” that Kent referred to earlier this year.
EthicalOil.org is hosted on a server that also has several other right-wing websites and blogs, many linked to Conservative activists or causes, with a name server cloaked in secrecy. Among the websites there is JasonKenney.com, which was switched over while Velshi was still Kenney’s communications director.
Alison at Creekside has more about Velshi; he was an intern at the American Enterprise Institute, and other interesting things: http://creekside1.blogspot.com/2009/03/jason-kenney-spokesthingey-alykhan.html
And more about his American neocon connections:
More about Velshi asking for help to pay for ATIP (Access to Info) request, pointing out that it shouldn’t cost that much.
Oh that’s precious! He says he has now received enough for his request and will use the surplus to improve the website:
Speaking of Barnum and a sucker being born every minute…
Meanwhile, Velshi plans to make ATIP requests that CBC provide all sorts of information about its use of the terms oil sands and tar sands, conections with environmental organizations, etc.
This is also part of a general attack upon CBC by rightwingers like Brian Lilley, Ezra Levant and the like. Again, familiar tactics, trying to drown an organization in ATIP requests.
I wonder if this is our Mr. Watts… how come he gets money from the government?
WILLARD ANTHONY WATTS $275,000 Loan Small Business Administration 10/22/2009
The location of Butte County does appear to correspond with Watt’s longtime residence (and small business) in California:
No question about it, since he has a small business in Chico, CA. Chico is in Butte County.
As to why he got a SBA loan … well, that’s why the SBA exists. Watts is clueless when it comes to science, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know how to run a business, or to put together rational business plans that qualify for SBA loans.
(technically he “gets money from the government” in the same sense that one “gets money from a bank to buy a house” – i.e., you have to pay it back, following contract terms.)
CTV has a piece today about how Kent was briefed; they ATIP’ed one of his briefing documents:
“…The analysis paints a picture of a Canadian public that cares deeply about the environment and wants Ottawa to hold environmental offenders accountable for their actions.
“Canadians generally feel that their governments do not go far enough in enforcing environmental laws and they tend to support sharply limiting industrial greenhouse gas emissions,” the analysis says….”
washington.examiner.com, as well as the other xxx.examiner.coms, including environment.examiner.com which is Tom Fuller’s Drudge mockup, are all projects in right-wing advocacy and propaganda astroturfed as some sort of internet media alternative. They’re all run by Philip Anschluss, who is trying to muscle away some of Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing empire.
Australia gets a carbon tax, HOORAY!!
An interesting bit on plagiarism here:
(h/t to Dean Dad)
What the h*ll is going on at CA? They are deranged.
You’ve just noticed that?
At least it is getting more and more clear that Steve McIntyre is feeding the conspirational nature of his readers on purpose. Craigh Loehle & Ross McKitrick also show their colours.
Has anyone over there pointed out that Murdoch and his businesses have an iffy record on climate change? http://www.newscorpse.com/ncWP/?p=4300
Joe Romm speculates in a different direction on the NotW fooferaw:
Loehle is claiming that
“The EU gives money to green groups which then do media campaigns on issues like climate change–which if the gov did directly would be called propaganda. The EPA gives grants specifically to allow orgs to sue them to force them to do what they wanted to do anyway.”
What!?!?!! Crazy talk.
Nathan, did you notice that one commenter there, a self-confessed, long-time, approving regular at Steve’n’Tony’s konspirasy klubs, “wanders the web about 12 hours a day”.
If that’s endemic, it’s little wonder they’re such self-acknowledged experts on …. well, everything.
Loehle is certainly a piece of work!
What’s rather fascinating in the light of his recent late “career” as a blog “auditor” is that he once felt sufficiently strongly about the unpleasant practice of “fraud hunting” and “auditing” (of which he’s now one of the prime practitioners) that he felt motivated to write a letter to Nature:
some excerpts [see Nature (1989) 338, p. 370]:
“There is a danger in the controversy over fraud in science of merging the concepts of fraud and error. The call for an audit of scientific papers for error is a symptom of this trend. Fraud such as fabricating data or publishing the work of other’s as one’s own is of course serious, particularly when it involves assessment of drugs and other medical treatments where lives are at stake. But error is an inevitable part of science. The fundamental point is being missed in the current debate….”
and towards the end:
“Who will review the error hunters? Who is qualified to punish whom?”
Very nice Chris,
Did that make it through “moderation” at CA 😉
Karl Rove’s 3 Rules:
1) Attack your opponent’s strength from your weakness.
2) Accuse your opponent of doing what you’re doing.
2a) Do it first and do it loud.
3) Be worse than anyone can imagine.
Here’s an article about some of the ‘secret’ briefing notes Peter Kent received in January, about the need to protect Canada’s biodiversity:
Mike De Souza’s twitter feed is also worth checking from time to time, as he talks about his efforts to get answers from government on environmental matters including oilsands monitoring, and he is an excellent reporter.
An article from yesterday about wastewater treatment, also based on briefing notes for Kent:
Also in Post Media (this time Amy Minsky), the Harper government is preparing drastic cuts to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency next year.
Bruce Carson and the National Energy Strategy (no, no, not a Program!):
More about Peter Kent’s briefing last January:
“…“This briefing note reads like a plea from Environment Canada’s officials to their new minister (to) make global warming a priority,” said Demerse. “Unfortunately, the Harper government’s track record since January, when these notes were written, gives us no evidence that the message got through.”…”
Since the Soviets under Stalin didn’t evaluate Lysenko for plagiarism, shouldn’t Wegman get a voucher for a free pass, since he’s on the capitalist side?
Also, as I said to my wife/2nd cousin/aunt-in-law at the weekly strategy meeting of Wegman’s mentees, isn’t this beside the point that Wegman proved brilliantly in his textbook entry (which was also the PhD thesis for one of us and a Master’s thesis for another, and part of my own collaborative review article) that the climate science community has such a small social network that its results are almost meaningless?
Here is the full binder of Kent’s briefing notes, obtained through ATIP by Mike De Souza:
De Souza has put some other documents online over time:
Finally, a real and good journalist.
Yes, De Souza doesn’t tweet as much as some, but is well worth following on environmental issues.
Antonia Zerbisias is another good journalist who tweets a lot about many issues, including environmental, water, etc.
And now the cuts are a reality… where is the rallying behind ENV Canada from Canadian Scientists!
I don’t know Robert, there have been some rumblings and many people, not just EC employees, are upset. But if this is to go anywhere it needs to maintain traction and gain momentum.
Con supporters are trying to push the meme that everyone is tightening their belts, so EC must as well. Sounds reasonable right? No, what they are not telling people is that since the huge cuts in the 90s the unit has never quite recovered, and has in the interim also had to contend with program review after program review (i.e., more mergers and downsizing). They were cut down to the bone and have been doing more with less for a very long time now…the “belt tightening” began 15 plus years ago.
These new cuts will render EC pretty much useless. Scientists working there now, even though their jobs are not in peril are looking to moving to academia– they just cannot do what they need to do anymore.
Dr. Romm has criticized Scotland Yard and also speculated on TV that that Murdoch’s spies stole the CRU emails. Now I am going to speculate.
I recently explained that an FBI white paper is basically calling Nobel-winning climate scientist Paul Crutzen a dupe of the KGB, based on what a poorly-sourced book about a KGB bullshit artist says about nuclear winter.
I know that Ken Cuccinelli’s younger brother Kris does national security work that sometimes goes to the FBI. I am TOTALLY speculating, but I began to wonder if the Cuccinelli clan might have had something to do with this white paper which appeared just when Dr. Crutzen was leading a Vatican conference on melting glaciers.
I began to wonder about that possibility because the FBI didn’t answer me, just like Cuccinelli’s office doesn’t answer me. I write to W. Russell, his deputy.
I would like to know how this poorly-researched white paper happened to be written and if the Cuccinelli clan had a hand in it. This FBI white paper does not seem up to the FBI’s normal standards on science. It seems like political propaganda against climate science out of the mouth of a KGB defector.
The FBI seem like they were unwitting dupes, not Dr. Crutzen.
Usually I have a lot of respect for the FBI, but this FBI white paper even mischaracterized what the book it was based on said . I was reminded of the fact that Cuccinelli’s suit against the EPA also mischaracterized the official Russian source it cited.
Mischaracterizing your source is a typical propaganda tactic. It’s not scholarly research.
See the two mischaracterizations here.
Climate change is an important national security issue, but this FBI white paper can only damage our national security by undermining public confidence in climate science. Why should scholars credit the cautionary tales of FBI counterintelligence “experts” who mischaracterize their sources and uncritically recycle a KGB defector’s garbled and contradictory conspiracy theory about how the KGB manipulated western scientists with fabricated research about nuclear winter?
The FBI should not rely on some Russian defector or on apocryphal, uncorroborated KGB rumors for reliable scientific information about nuclear winter. The FBI has access to the resources of the U.S. government’s scientific agencies, the National Academies, and our university researchers.
I hope that Dr. Mashey can look at my post and the links. He would be able to explain this all better than I can.
I also found a CIA report about this that has been declassified and added it to the top of my post. It is much better than the FBI report. The CIA report identifies and cites the articles and papers it discusses—unlike the FBI white paper.
I am not anti-government. I just think this FBI white paper is really ignorant propaganda. the person who wrote it relied on some journalist’s book instead of historical research. The FBI has published the defamatory claims of some KGB defector. He might have been deliberately trying to discredit our scientists. Or he might have been a braggart who tried to make himself out to be an expert on something he knew little about. Or he might have been a typical example of an ignorant Soviet KGB operative. Those guys aren’t scientists.
According to the fantastic account of this covert operation detailed in the book “Comrade J,” the mighty KGB disseminated a scientific hoax via the Soviet news service (170) about “the anti-hothouse effect” (170) that was “widely accepted as scientific fact” (170), but “no one in Moscow ever believed [nuclear winter] was true” (177).
In fact, in 2000 Gorbachev said:
“Models made by Russian and American scientists showed that a nuclear war would result in a nuclear winter that would be extremely destructive to all life on Earth; the knowledge of that was a great stimulus to us, to people of honour and morality, to act.”
Usually I like the FBI, but this FBI white paper is so terrible that I thought it might have been produced by some security company contractor and it just slipped through.
For example the security contractor CACI says that they counter disinformation:
“We offer the capability to assist in the development of strategic communication plans to convey intent and objectives and to counter disinformation…”
The FBI white paper uncritically quotes a KGB defector and gives the impression that nuclear winter was a KGB disinformation operation. I don’t doubt that the KGB would opportunistically exploit science to prevent the introduction of missiles into Europe, but that does not make nuclear winter a KGB plot.
The FBI white paper was not real research. It was uncritically based on a biography of a KGB defector named Sergei Tretyakov who did not really give any hard facts. The section on nuclear winter also seems taken from the writings of Russell Seitz.
I wonder if the FBI even realizes that it has published a back-door attack on Paul Crutzen and other climate scientists.
The white paper was published at the time that Crutzen was leading a Pontifical Academy of Sciences conference on melting glaciers. That seems like quite a coincidence.
I wonder if Cuccinelli’s people might have something to do with this, but I am only speculating unless the FBI tells more about how this white paper was written.
This FBI paper is a threat to our national security. It is disinformation, and the FBI should investigate itself and figure out how it came to be written.
Cuccinelli’s younger brother works for CACI and reportedly does work for the FBI, according to Internet sites.
I wonder if some of the “security experts” in these companies really are trying to help our country. They may be using government agencies to push their agendas. The FBI is warning professors about KGB disinformation, but I think that really smart professors are aware that Russian scientists are not free.
I don’t think that these security contractors need to be giving our best scientists patronizing advice about KGB propaganda.
For one thing, even in Russia, KGB disinformation about scientific subjects is ultimately debunked.
It seems to me that this FBI white paper has disinformation about climate science. This is attributed to the dead KGB defector Tretyakov. Perhaps the ideas in the book are his, but perhaps he was used by others to discredit climate science.
In 1985, a Russian physicist and computer expert on nuclear winter named Vladimir Alexandrov disappeared in Spain during a conference on nuclear winter.
Sometimes it may not be safe to be a climate scientist. The FBI should be protecting them, not trashing them in white papers.
I am reading a book called A Nuclear Winter’s Tale by Lawrence Badash.
I am also reading Nuclear War: The Aftermath, edited by Peterson and hinrichsen for the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Sorry, here is the cite for CACI’s confirmation that they counter disinformation.
In order to solve the Anthrax murders, the FBI consulted government and academic scientists. They had their work checked by the National Academy of Sciences. So how does it happen that the FBI suddenly smears a Nobel-winning climate scientist based on the apocryphal claims of a KGB defector as told to a journalist?
Instead of doing research, denialists steal emails and exploit freedom of information laws in order to persecute scientists; but I don’t think freedom of information extends to FBI white papers. Still, the FBI didn’t say they did their own research, they just quoted—and in one instance mischaraterized —the apocryphal book “Comrade J.”
It is embarrassing that the FBI is smearing internationally famous climate scientists based on what this KGB defector supposedly claimed in his vague, unsourced allegations. The defector didn’t give dates. He didn’t name sources or the titles and dates of articles he referred to. The FBI look as stupid as the KGB. It seems like they just believed that some supposed secrets some KGB creep gleaned about nuclear winter must be true.
KGB people are full of a lot of ridiculous, ignorant ideas. They tell lies all the time. This Tretyakov was living pretty openly in Florida for a defector. He had a nice house and very expensive cars. Some Russian “reporter” even went to his house and interviewed him. Tretyakov claims he got his big bucks from the FBI, but we don’t really know if that is true. Tretyakov got defensive and secretive when asked about his own money, but he supposedly knew all about this KGB secret that nuclear winter was a hoax.
Author Pete Early quotes Russell Seitz on page 176. Seitz claims that
“nuclear winter was a theory based on a ‘notorious lack of scientific integrity.'” I don’t believe that.
If the FBI believes that nuclear winter is nothing but a KGB hoax, they should show us their science, not this KGB creep with the expensive cars . I lost a lot of respect for the FBI when I saw this white paper.
They should withdraw this ignorant paper and apologize to the scientists they smeared. They should investigate and report to the DOJ how this paper came to be published. Maybe this paper was cooked up by some outside contractor with an agenda. Certainly the FBI is not on the same page as the CIA or our scientific agencies.
The FBI may think they can publish lies and hide behind national security, but I don’t think they are protecting our national security when they smear Novel scientists. In this instance, they are like the KGB which smears Nobel-winners and doesn’t protect the Russian people from real dangers very well at all. They protect the political and financial power of the rulers.
I notice that most climate scientists support President Obama, but this is his Justice Department, and I don’t think this white paper shows justice for the scientists.
Here is what I posted about the white paper published by the Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Unit of the FBI . Whoever their partners are, maybe they should get some new ones.
DC, have you seen this?
Unbelievable, “Friends” of Science and Rex Murphy…
Well, that’s a satire site and I think Murphy has Art Garfunkel’s hair; but there is an announcement at the FoS website:
More about it on Facebook:
Speaking of astroturf that Facebook page links to a denialist website called Climate Change 101: http://www.climatechange101.ca/index.php?id=7
They may have intended to cause confusion, as the phrase “Climate Change 101” is used by various climate scientists such as here:
Right – that’s an outreach site that FoS put together, since the FoS site itself was supposedly just too scientific and abstruse for the average lay person. I kid you not.
The website does not forthrightly show the affiliation on its “about” page, or anywhere else – except on the donation page.
And here is a prank by the Canadian Youth Climate Coalition (the pranksters):
Not really a climate thing per se, but the scandal of Johann Hari is interesting in seeing a combination of sock puppetry, plagiarism, and (starting to find) fabrication. See the Wiki entry or just Google it.
DC, please tell me that someone is going to refute this load of BS.
Click to access delinquentteenager_sample.pdf
the refutation is already in: Judith Curry is recommending this book.
I haven’t the time or inclination to spend much time on this, unless and until it hits the mainstream press (always a possibility, but hasn’t happened yet). But I will note that, right off the bat, LaFramboise refers to a single “IPCC report” and claims that it is informally known as the “climate bible”.
Throughout LaFramboise conflates the WG1, WG2 and WG3 reports as if they were one. And the characterization of this mythical single report as the “climate bible” is one found only within the contrarian echo chamber, presumably started by Laframboise herself.
That makes the advance blurbs for this distasteful and misleading piece of propaganda all the more shocking, especially Richard Tol’s ridiculous assertion that LaFramboise is a “good journalist” who “shines a hard light on the rotten heart of the IPCC”. (The other four advance reviewers are Matt Ridley, Bob Carter, Ross McKitrick and Tom Fuller. Enough said.)
Well, her assertion that there is something rotten in the IPCC has some prima facie credibility, if they manage to pick someone as disastrously lacking in judgment (to be charitable) as Tol as a convening lead author 😉
You’d think she’d have learned her lesson after recommending Montford’s conspiracy novel.
Wow, could the title and book cover be any sillier?
Apparently lots of good reviews on Amazon, since she asked her blog readers to do reviews.:
“…Please consider taking a few moments to leave a review on Amazon. It need not be long. A few sentences and a rating are all that’s required. These reviews really do matter…”
Apparently Peter Gleick gave it a very bad review; the idiots at Curry’s blog are attacking him (he’s posted there some).
National Post is publishing excerpts:
If the Russians think that nuclear winter is a KGB hoax, as a 2011 FBI white paper’s cited source “Comrade J” alleges, then why do the leaders of this Russian conference on climate change seem to be considering geoengineering (“climate stabilization using new technologies”) to cool the planet? The Russians are considering putting aerosols in the atmosphere in order to reflect the sun. Evidently, the Russians are considering creating a “controlled” nuclear winter.
They don’t say one word about developing renewable energy. http://www.pacc2011.ru/en/about-conference.htm
Of course, a couple of years ago, President Medvedev said that global warming was a trick.
Here is more background and links about the Russian Academy of Sciences’ November conference. http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/10/russian-academy-of-sciences-hosts.html
DC, David Rose is at it again, joining the frantic skeptic BEST-bashing. He posts a graph from GWPF that looked a bit fishy to me (where’s the 2008 La Niña drop?).
Coincidentally I reread one of your posts from last year where you asked what could be origin of the fake HideTheDecline(TM) graph in David Rose’s article. I believe I see some similarities between the two graphs, especially the fonts used.
So does this mean that David Rose takes his cues from GWPF? I’m outraged. And so surprised. 😉
I had a quick look at the BEST monthly data and the DM graph may well be accurate. For instance there is much bigger drop in April 2010 than January 2008 (although the 2010 data is incomplete and so didn’t make it into the published summaries – not sure why BEST is so far behind).
It appears that the BEST term trends over last 30-40 years are somewhere between NASA GISTemp (land) and CRUTEM. But I wonder how the detailed monthly and annual anomalies compare against the other data sets.
I just might check this out …
Tamino has a post up.
Ah, and La Curry implies that Rose has run off with her quotes and made a nice juicy story (that I’m sure receives the GWPF stamp of approval) out of it.
Curry should fear her new friends more than her enemies.
She complained about one “indirect” quote (about the “climategate” comparison) and the “hiding the truth” headline, but acknowledged the accuracy of the direct quotes. The indirect quote about increased credibility of climate skeptics also appears to be one she didn’t object to, and fits with the direct quotes.
Here are the excerpts from Rose’s piece with those quotes:
David Rose (apparently) has commented on Curry’s blog:
Twitter posters are reporting that the court has granted the motion for climate scientist Michael Mann to intervene in the UVA email case.
I don’t know if the twitter is true, but the hearing was today, so look for this in the news and on reliable blogs. http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/11/dr-michael-mann-confronts-attorney.html
Maybe they will say something at UVA. http://www.virginia.edu/foia/
Probably Anita Kumar will have it in the Washington Post soon.
She always has the facts strait.
“Judge rules against ATI and in our and UVa’s favor. We may intervene in case. UVa allowed to renegotiate protective order. details to come..”
To expand to slightly more than 140 characters:
This case was brought by the American Traditions Institute against University of Virginia to force disclosure of thousands of Michael Mann’s emails, from when Mann taught there earlier this decade.
1) Michael Mann has won the right to intervene in the ATI vs U Va case and will have standing as a respondent with ATI. This ensures better protection of his interests (not to mention general interests of privacy and scientific freedom).
2) U Va will be allowed to renegotiate the previously agreed court order, to ensure that emails normally exempt from FOI will remain confidential. As I understand it, the previous agreement appeared to provide for supervised preview of such emails by ATI, an obvious breach of confidentiality even if those emails were eventually not permitted to be released to the general public.
Thank you for explaining all of that.
The brief filed by UVa clearly stated that they didn’t believe that ATI could be trusted to *not* release the e-mail contents to the public. They didn’t cite specific evidence in support of that, but apparently the judge bought the argument to the extent of allowing for the renegotiation of the previous court order. Possibly ATI did something in the interim I’m not aware of but that the judge, as well, as UVa is that, shall we say, “raised doubts”. Or perhaps the judge is giving the benefit of the doubt to UVa (because, after all, breaching confidentiality is something that can’t be undone) and UVa will be expected to give evidence that supports their lack of faith when the renegotiation happens.
Oh, the smoking gun is here.
Top of the second page, section #3. Yeah, the doubts regarding the plaintiffs keeping the e-mail contents confidential was based on them issuing a PR stating that they’d won the right to share the contents with the world.
That would give da judge cause for pause …
And needless to say the dissembling by Schnare on his employment status with the EPA (outright lying about it to both UVa and the EPA) might also give pause.
Hopefully Inspector General Eric is catching the first plane from Alaska so he can catch easier prey than a wildlife biologist who was just doing his job …
Michael Mann has tweeted links to various articles about it. This one has very interesting information about one of the lawyers:
Deep Climate – this was in one of your recent comments at Stoat:
Is that one of the other links you left, or is it a broken link?
It’s a second link. But for some reason at Stoat it lacks the “http://” prefix so it’s not clickable.
Try this (or pasting the other URL in your browser).
DC – thanks. Hope you had fun. On to BEST land and ocean.
A lot of people lead back to Cuccinelli. Wegman’s lawyer is Milton Johns, the former law partner of Ken Cuccinelli.
This article discusses David Schnare’s career. It says worked as a lawyer for the DOJ and for the Virginia Attorney General’s. Was this before Cuccinelli? Does anyone know the details about that?
The Russian Academy of Sciences is having a conference about geoengineering. You can read some details here:
The program is now posted in English, so you can read it.
This David Schnare has also written about geoengineering—but it’s not peer-reviewed.
Click to access Schnare_speech.pdf
The Russians are going to describe their experiments with aerosols at the conference. Basically, the idea is to create a little “nuclear winter” to cool the planet.
Alan Robock, an early expert on nuclear winter is presenting a paper called “Smoke and Mirrors.” A similarly-titled paper is on his site.
Meanwhile, an FBI white paper is praising a book about a KGB defector (Sergei Tretyakov) who claimed that nuclear winter is a “KGB hoax.” If the Russians believed nuclear winter was a hoax, would they be discussing putting aerosols in the air to dim the sun and cool the planet?
I am having a spat with an FBI guy who defends this really ignorant FBI white paper. The white paper is supposed to warn scholars not to fall into KGB disinformation traps, but what academic would listen to a white paper that gives credibility to a defector who claims that nuclear winter is a “KGB hoax.” It is the FBI who has fallen into a propaganda trap, but so far they are too arrogant to correct their mistake.
The FBI guy said probably only one person in a million would notice what I noticed and whined that I should criticize the KGB instead of the FBI.
The white paper supposedly is dedicated to protecting our scientific secrets, but really they are discrediting our science. They sound like the KGB trashing Nobel-scientists, and they don’t even seem to realize it.
The white paper was written by someone who didn’t research nuclear winter at all. It doesn’t have any specific documentation. It is all vague allegations about undated, untitled papers/articles. It subtly smears people like Paul Crutzen by suggesting they were fooled by the KGB. It seems based on a book by a journalist who cites the views of Russell Seitz. The KGB guy just gives the defamation of climate scientists credibility.
I know a few things about Russian propaganda. For one thing, it can be documented in newspaper articles that have titles and dates. For example, Monckton, John O’Sullivan, and Pat Michaels appear on the Kremlin-financed, English-language TV satellite channel Russia Today.
The other thing is that the Russians often denounce their own propaganda when they finally have to deal with real problems.
I keep asking this FBI guy to tell the FBI to get some expert advice about this ignorant white paper. Probably they could ask the National Academy of Science or FEMA if nuclear winter is a “KGB hoax.”
They are smearing American scientists as KGB dupes. Usually it is the KGB who smears scientists. The FBI should take their own advice about being duped by scientific propaganda. I wasn’t very polite, but I was never polite to the KGB, either. A KGB moron just screamed at me when he didn’t have any facts.
It’s a free country and any moron with a computer can write a book and “quote” a KGB defector, but to put this trash in an FBI white paper and give it official credibility is really stupid. The FBI is part of the Justice Department, and they should get rid of this propaganda and find out what is behind this white paper. Hopefully, it is just stupidity.
Doesn’t President Obama have scientists who advise him and who know that nuclear winter is not a “KGB hoax”? Can they please point out to the FBI that the Russians appear to be doing experiments on “controlled” nuclear winters, so probably it’s not a KGB hoax.
If you want to add your two cents to the FBI, here is a newsletter that praises the FBI white paper.
Click to access FBI_Tampa_CI_Strategic_Partnership_0711.pdf
The FBI guy’s email and phone is on the left near the bottom. He makes a lot of excuses for the paper, but he did say he was sending my complaints to his bosses. He did answer my complaints. He says he did not write the paper.
I just want the FBI to correct their mistakes and figure out how this happened.
This white paper was written by something called the FBI Strategic Partnership Unit. Probably the FBI should not be consulting detectives and journalistic accounts but scientists on this topic. The detectives aren’t scholars and they never studied the history of the nuclear winter research.
The FBI guy writes:
Recently, the Counterintelligence Strategic Partnership Unit of the FBI drafted
and published an excellent white paper captioned as above. This paper is
unclassified in its entirety, and may be viewed in its entirety at:
I am not against the FBI; I just think they made a mistake. I am embarrassed for them.
Perhaps you could invite the FBI official to defend this white paper here.
Maybe he will have thought more about this problem since he defended the white paper in his emails to me. Maybe he will say what the FBI is going to do about this paper.
During the Anthrax investigation, the FBI consulted many famous scientific organizations.
If the FBI think the western scientists were duped, what exactly was the false information in the scientific paper allegedly published in the unidentified Swedish journal that Comrade J identifies as Ambio.
If the FBI know some claims were disinformation, then they should be able to say exactly what was false. That’s the whole point of uncovering disinformation—to correct the false information.
The FBI never says what was false information. If you look at their source, Comrade J, it is claimed that nuclear winter is a KGB hoax.
I am not sure all this baloney came from the KGB defector. Some Americans such as Russell Seitz are cited as experts.
Here you can find links to the FBI white paper and the book they cited.
When you go to Comrade J, search Crutzen.
I am not a scientist, but I can see when someone is not giving the specific facts to defend his arguments.
The book Comrade J quotes the “physicist” Russell Seitz who claims that nuclear winter research is based on “a notorious lack of scientific integrity” (176). If nuclear winter research is not scientific, then why are the Russians having a conference about geoengineering?
If the Russians think that nuclear winter is a KGB hoax, as the FBI white paper’s cited source Comrade J alleges, then why do the leaders of this Russian conference on climate change seem to be considering geoengineering (“climate stabilization using new technologies”) to cool the planet? The Russians are considering putting aerosols in the atmosphere in order to reflect the sun. Evidently, the Russians are considering creating a “controlled” nuclear winter.
What do Russell Seitz and the FBI authors of the white paper have to say about the “hoax” of nuclear winter and the “notorious lack of scientific integrity” of our climate scientists now?
This is a purported copy of the article by Russell Seitz called “The Melting of Nuclear Winter.” http://mirror.bagelwood.com/textfiles/survival/nkwrmelt.txt
This article is a lot like the claims made in “Comrade J,” the source for the terrible FBI white paper.
I ask this Seitz and the FBI this question. If nuclear winter “melted” and if nuclear winter is a hoax, why are the Russians experimenting with aerosols so they can dim the sun and cool the planet?
The FBI is (supposed to be) part of the National Intelligence Council (NIC), but they don’t seem to know about climate science at the FBI; instead they write what the KGB defector Tretyakov reportedly told a former journalist who wrote Comrade J, a popular biography about Tretyakov.
The NIC studies long-range national security problems. They have posted many reports about climate change/global warming on their site. A former official of the NIC, Dr. Thomas Fingar, said in a speech that the NIC accept the IPCC 4th assessment. http://legendofpineridge.blogspot.com/2011/09/national-intelligence-council-impact-of.html
They wrote about global warming, but there is also the possibility of nuclear winter from a war. Climate scientists study nuclear winter, too.
Cuccinelli is persecuting Dr. Mann, who wrote a book that explains the IPCC 4th assessment so that ordinary people can understand climate change.
I told Cuccinelli’s toady W. Russell that the NIC (16 intelligence organizations) supports the IPCC. W. Russell didn’t say anything. He never responds to my emails.
One thing I notice, is that Cuccinelli’s brief against the EPA, where he quotes the Kremlin press agency RIA Novosti (who are selectively citing an article in Kremlin-friendly Kommersant) trashing the British climate scientists has been removed from the Internet. Maybe he doesn’t want his Tea Party to see that he quoted the Kremlin press agency instead of our scientists. They might become real revolutionaries and overthrow him at the polls.
Click to access Joint%20Motion%20to%20Remand%20VA%20filed%20with%20clerk%204_15_10.pdf
There are good scientists in Russia who try to do their jobs, but Kommersant quoted Andrei Illarionov, who is an economist. He worked for Chernomyrdin (Soviet Gas Ministry/Gazprom) and was an adviser to Putin. Later he became an adviser for the CATO Institute, which gets money from KOCH.
The Koch brothers claim to be free-market advocates, but their daddy made his fortune building Stalin’s oil refineries. Kochs claim to be against government interference, but they use have their agents-of-influence in the Congress, the government, the think tanks, and academia. They have hijacked the Virginia Attorney General’s office and use it to persecute climate scientists. They have used their money to build the “sword and shield” of the fossil fuel industry—a network of operatives who are no different than a secret political police who smear scientists in the media and persecute them by abusing their high office unjustly. It’s the fossil-fuel interests who are hijacking our freedoms, and they are using their outposts in government to achieve their dominion.
The NIC also studies transnational organized crime. They said:
“Transnational criminal networks are actively targeting U.S. … government programs.” In my opinion, Climategate is an example of a transnational organized crime that is targeting U.S. government programs. Hopefully someday, FBI white papers will write about the criminal agents who orchestrated Climategate instead of trashing climate scientists based on vague, unsubstantiated allegations supposedly from a KGB defector.
Cuccinelli often talks about how Americans revolted against tyranny, but I think he is a tyrant who has unleashed his secret political police on the scientists and the people who depend on their research for our very survival.
I find this very hard to believe:
Sounds more like spin to me.
The Star version seems less optimistic:
Perhaps time to pay some attention to the errors, distortion and misinformation of a certain spoiled brat?
She is a “feminist libertarian” with the usual connections…
She is going to do a presentation at an EIKE conference this month:
She is going to do a presentation at an EIKE conference this month:
Holly, how do you deduce that from that comment?
Neven, the last paragraph of that comment by federico that I linked to says:
“…You may attend the forthcoming conference about climate and energy sponsored by Eike (in November 25 -26, 2011 in Munich); among the presenters are people you may know and like: Svensmark, Shaviv, Veizer, Montford, Horner and D. Laframboise (not yet included in the program below, which is outdated)…”
It’s Laframboise that Maple Leaf and harvey were talking about in their comments just above here.
Ah, ok. For a minute I thought it was about Curry.
That clears it up …
Here is the Eike conference program (still preliminary).
Here is the announcement of addition of Donna Laframboise to the roster, slightly mangled by Google translation.
If someone is considering a blog post about her, be sure to keep an eye on the Amazon reviews of her book. There were the original flurry of reviews, many 5-star, some 1-star which were attacked in the comments by a bunch of deniers. Then after a lull there are more negative reviews, probably connected to the grad student’s letter quoted in Maple Leaf’s link.
Most of the votes on reviews and on comments on the reviews were cast by deniers probably, then a few the other way around the time of the new reviews, and now a few deniers are still posting comments and voting for each other.
I’m not signed in so I can’t vote there, and I don’t know if one can vote more than once. But since Laframboise appealed to a bunch of bloggers for help with research for her book, she probably has a largish loyal voting base, and she did ask them to post reviews of her book.
[DC: Link added from another stray comment. ]
Looking at the programme, that’s the end of Henrik Svensmark as someone to take somewhat seriously. Sad.
There are some interesting posters on that site, including our famous wuwt writer Willis Eschenbach
DC, your “friend” Rapp is now becoming quite popular. First a recent post at Curry’s and now one at Pielke Senior’s place. Rapp:
“There seems to be a fundamental unstated postulate underpinning the alarmist view of climate that is:
The climate of the earth is deterministic. Like Newton’s first law of motion, the earth’s climate will persist in its present state unless acted upon by external forces. Any significant change in climate must be attributable to external forces.
This is why it is so important for the alarmists to minimize the magnitude and extent of the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age (ala Mann, Jones, et al.). With a relatively constant climate persisting for thousands of years, a sudden change to a persistent warming would be a strong indicator of human influence, and what else could that be but rising greenhouse gases?”