Tag Archives: John Mashey

John Mashey lecture tour: The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science

[Update, April 9-12: John Mashey’s presentation, entitled The Machinery of Climate Anti-Science, is now available at the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions (PICS) website. The recorded video of Mashey’s presentation is also now available from PICS.

PICS is a multidiscplinary institute headed up by Executive Director Tom Pedersen, and is well worth checking out. You can start with the PICS Home Page and PICS at a glance. ]

As some of you know, computer scientist and tireless climate contrarian debunker John Mashey has been on a short lecture tour of B.C. (on the west coast of Canada). The tour culminates with a lecture tonight (Thursday, April 7) for the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions at the University of Victoria.

Best of all (and the reason I wanted to post this), I’ve just found out the lecture will be streamed on the internet.The lecture starts at 7:30 PDT   (10:30 EDT). Go to:

http://www.pics.uvic.ca/broadcast.php

I’ll also post a link to John’s presentation when it’s available.  Here are the event details (which contain  a nod to yours truly).

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John Mashey on Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report

Guest post by John Mashey

Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report (SSWR)
A Facade for the Climate Anti-Science PR Campaign

This report offers a detailed study of the “Wegman Report”: Edward J. Wegman, David W. Scott, Yasmin H. Said, “AD HOC COMMITTEE REPORT ON THE ‘HOCKEY STICK’ GLOBAL CLIMATE RECONSTRUCTION”(2006).

It has been key prop of climate anti-science ever since. It was promoted to Congress by Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield as “independent, impartial, expert” work by a team of “eminent statisticians.” It was none of those.

A Barton staffer provided much of the source material to the Wegman team. The report itself contains numerous cases of obvious bias, as do process, testimony and follow-on actions. Of 91 pages, 35 are mostly plagiarized text, but often injected with errors, bias and changes of meaning. Its Bibliography is mostly padding, 50% of the references uncited in the text.  Many references are irrelevant or dubious.  The team relied heavily on a long-obsolete sketch and very likely on various uncredited sources. Much of the work was done by Said (then less than 1 year post-PhD) and by students several years pre-PhD. The (distinguished) 2nd author Scott wrote only a 3-page standard mathematical Appendix.  Some commenters were surprised to be later named as serious “reviewers.”  Comments were often ignored anyway.  People were misused.

The Wegman Report claimed two missions: #1 evaluate statistical issues of the “hockey stick” temperature graph,  and #2 assess potential peer review issues in climate science.  For #1, the team might have been able to do a peer-review-grade statistical analysis, but in 91 pages managed not to do so.  For  #2, a credible assessment needed a senior, multidisciplinary panel, not a statistics professor and his students, demonstrably unfamiliar with the science and as a team, unqualified for that task.   Instead, they made an odd excursion into “social network analysis,” a discipline  in which they lacked experience, but used poorly to make baseless claims of potential wrongdoing.

In retrospect, the real missions were: #1 claim the “hockey stick” broken and #2 discredit climate science as a whole. All this was a facade for a PR campaign well-honed by Washington, DC “think tanks” and allies, underway for years.

Most people can just read the 25-page main discussion, but 200+ pages of backup text are included to provide the necessary documentation, as some issues are potentially quite serious.

For a quick download, read the Executive Summary (first six pages). Then, here is the complete report, including the main discussion and 200+ pages of appendices.