Take a Deep Breath

Because I have important news to share. It’s huge. Are you sitting down? Calm yourself. I’m just spreading the word. Ok, here goes:

This is an important moment in science history.

Drum roll please. Just how important, Anthony?

I would describe it as a letter on the scale of Martin Luther, nailing his 95 theses to the Wittenburg church door.

Wow. That is big. And very religious sounding, too.

Seriously, can any of the faithful explain to me why this is a big deal? As in right up there with Martin Luther?

107 Responses to “Take a Deep Breath”

  1. NewYorkJ says:

    I wonder if contrarians declare Lewis to be “world-renowned” as they did Wegman.

    Some general notes:

    – Lewis is a known hardcore contrarian (although I suspect most casual observers hadn’t heard of him), co-signer of the APS skeptic petition that sought to rewrite their statement.  His declared opinions are no great revelation, although it’s always spun that way.  I suspect the Watts headline is meant to create a diversion from one of their icons Wegman in hot water.

    – APS has about 50,000 members.  They won’t miss one fanatic, who has no particular expertise in climate science, but declares global warming to be a great scam with nearly every climate researcher corrupted by it (except those who agree with him of course).  How does anyone take a person like that seriously?  And the irony is that he’s whining about others being intolerant.  Good riddance.

  2. Peter Wilson says:

    Keith
    Given the appalling bloodshed that followed Luther s 95 theses, it is to be hoped that his is somewhat less earth moving: Although it appears 10/10 may not share this view:)
    Nevertheless it seems churlish in the extreme to question whether the resignation, and the condemnation accompanying it,of such an eminent physicist from a learned society he has been a prominent member of for longer than most of us have been alive, is noteworthy news. It is clearly far more worthy of attention than, for instance, petty claims of “plagiarism” in a congressional report, or Dr Mann’s most recent little “poor me” tirade in WaPo.
    Or did I miss your sarcastic remarks about these earth shattering developments?

  3. Tom Fuller says:

    That’s a pretty prestigious resume to tack onto the skeptics’ list, don’t you think? Of course, we will hear the cries of ’emerititus’ shortly, but at some point, if not already, there’s going to be a pretty long list of some pretty impressive people questioning what’s going on.
     
    Are they all fogie-cranks?

  4. David44 says:

    Clearly, Anthony exaggerates, but I do think this is a big deal.  Prof. Lewis is a mainstream physicist, former chair of the UCSB physics department and an advisor to government for at least 40 years, not some peripheral crackpot.  He has a long history of standing up for what he believes in, e.g., he refused to sign the loyalty oath at UCBerkeley mandated during the anticommunist paranoia in the early 60s.  Here is the transcript of  a tape-recorded interview deposited at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics:
    http://www.aip.org/history/ohilist/4742.html
    He is also an expert in statistics, complex systems, and decision making theory.

  5. grypo says:

    Fuller:
    That’s a pretty prestigious resume to tack onto the skeptics’ list, don’t you think?
    Names on a list are irrelevant.  It’s only important when the names have real evidence attached to support claims made. ClimateGate is not that.  This is classic phony skepticism.

  6. Barry Woods says:

    Scientist with principles…

    Worked in a time with serious physics was important..

    I get the impression, if they had followed the procedures and NOT had secret commitees he would never felt the need to resign on ‘prinicpal’..

    Principal…..

    Something the Royal Society had forgotten all about as well.

    Maybe Watts is over dramatic…

    Sales of  ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ have shot up in America, probably on the back of his resignation, as he mentions ‘Montofords book.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/10/11/hsi-hits-big-time.html

    Hal Lewis:  “Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) “

    Maybe some other scientists are taking up Judith Curry’s challenge to read it.

  7. NewYorkJ says:

    Rabett debunked this guy about a year ago.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2009/12/darth-data-destroyer-as-all-good.html

    One statement I thought was particularly loony:

    “There are indeed trillions of dollars involved, to say nothing of the fame and glory (and frequent trips to exotic islands) that go with being a member of the club.”

    Good lord.  He thinks it’s a scam in part because some climate researchers travel as part of their job.  It never occurs to him that most climate scientists would still be doing these things no matter what the cause of climate change.  They provide a valuable service to science.  If the rapid warming that’s been observed over the last century was all natural, we’d still want to determine the impacts and the causes. 

    How about we trash all scientific disciplines in such a manner?  If any research jobs are interesting or pay a reasonable salary, let’s assert they are all corrupt.
     
    As for “trillions of dollars”, he’s off by many orders of magnitude.  Contrary to popular belief among deniers, typical salaries of climate scientists are rather modest, not unlike other scientific disciplines.

  8. Alex Harvey says:

    hi Keith,
    What I’d like to see is the accompanying list of world renowned *skeptics* who, after studying the matter of climate change science, are on record as then having been converted by the evidence.
    A problem seems to be that all conversions go in a single direction, don’t you think?
    Best, Alex

  9. David44 says:

    “Rabett debunked this guy about a year ago.”
     
    Now there’s an impartial judge.

  10. BenSix says:

    Grypo wrote to Tom Fuller
    Names on a list are irrelevant.  It’s only important when the names have real evidence attached to support claims made.
    Yup. Thousands of experts and educated folk think the Twin Towers were brought in a controlled demolition but – presumably – you’d think they were obliged to bring some fairly hefty evidence along with their credentials.

  11. NewYorkJ says:

    Alex Harvey (#8),

    Most “conversions” (going with the religious them of the wuwt post) are in one direction.

    http://www.eecg.utoronto.ca/~prall/climate/climate_authors_table_by_clim.html

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    But there are a few who turn contrarian.  I’m not sure if Lewis has really changed his mind, though.  Most contrarians have been that way for awhile.  You have to be pretty hard-headed to still ignore the preponderance of evidence at this point.

  12. Lazar says:

    From the Rabett courtesy NYJ #7…

    Lewis has taken on the challenge of being sillier about climate change then Sarah Palin

    I think it behooves us to be careful about how we state the science. I know of nobody who denies that the Earth has been warming for thousands of years without our help (and specifically since the Little Ice Age a few hundred years ago), and is most likely to continue to do so in its own sweet time.

    Well, actually most people who have a clue think that without our contributions the surface would be cooling a bit right now due to the Milankovitch cycles which have reached and passed the warm peak.”
     
    Indeed.
     
    I came down harshly on the ‘climategate’ affair. But it didn’t change *any* published scientific conclusions, on which the APS statement rests.
     
    Hal Lewis…
     
    “In the interim the ClimateGate scandal broke into the news […] It was a fraud on a scale I have never seen, and I lack the words to describe its enormity. Effect on the APS position: none. None at all. This is not science; other forces are at work”
     
    Lewis is a fool… only Watts and Fuller are taking him seriously.

  13. Dave H says:

    @Tom Fuller
    > That’s a pretty prestigious resume to tack onto the skeptics’ list, don’t you think?
    This, of course, is the point of trumpeting this sort of thing loudly, and frequently, as if it were a conversion story (and how religious does that sound?): to give the impression that there is some sort of growing tide or grassroots movement whose ranks are swelling to an unstoppable level.
    Of course, if you look closely, you see that Lewis is a die-hard contrarian. His resume is hardly “tacked on” to a growing list – he’s pretty much a founder member.
    I mentioned over at Judith’s – a Venn diagram would be extremely handy to show how all these different petitions are actually formed around the same core group, all running around from one end of the battlements to the other pretending they are an army.
     

  14. Shub says:

    “…a Venn diagram would be extremely handy to show how all these different petitions are actually formed around the same core group, all running around from one end of the battlements to the other pretending they are an army”
     
    Isn’t that what Wegman showed about the paleoclimate community?

  15. Eli Rabett says:

    Considering that Lewis, his department and his school have dipped deeply into the flood of corrupting money which he rails so strongly against, excuse Eli while he goes and coughs up a couple of carotts.
     

  16. Peter Wilson says:

    NewYorkJ
    Good lord.  He thinks it’s a scam in part because some climate researchers travel as part of their job.  It never occurs to him that most climate scientists would still be doing these things no matter what the cause of climate change.


    You can’t seriously believe this. Since the start of the AGW scare in the late 1980’s, the funds to this kind of research have exploded exponentially. Very clearly were it not for the alarm generated by the AGW hypothesis, the vast majority of these researchers would be either out of a job, or doing something much less rewarding.

    Of course this of itself does not make it impossible that they are correct. But to claim that the suggestion they might be just a little biased, having rather a lot of  skin in the game, is ridiculous is…. well….. ridiculous.

  17. NewYorkJ says:

    Peter Wilson,

    Well I guess all those researching smoking’s link to lung cancer are probably all biased frauds too, especially if they like their job.

    That reminds me.  The only name ahead of Lewis on the APS petition is none other than Fred Singer.

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=S._Fred_Singer#Tobacco_Industry_Contractor

    There’s loads of money (and even more fame) in science denial, but being a contrarian doesn’t deny anyone a job.  For example, Richard Lindzen still has a well-paid job at a major university, despite his outspoken nutty views.  It’s not the same as the $2,000 per day he received as a contractor for Exxon, but it’s a steady living.

  18. Steven Sullivan says:

    Peter Wilson writes:
    “You can’t seriously believe this. Since the start of the AGW scare in the late 1980’s, the funds to this kind of research have exploded exponentially. Very clearly were it not for the alarm generated by the AGW hypothesis, the vast majority of these researchers would be either out of a job, or doing something much less rewarding.”
    First of all, if Dr. Lewis thinks that globetrotting to attend meetings and such is some sort of glamour perk peculiar to climate scientists, he must have been a very cloistered , if not utterly unsuccessful, physicist.
    Which of course he was not.  He’s just *gone emeritus* and he thinks, apparently with some justification, that he can bamboozle the angry non-scientists reading along who haven’t a clue how science as a career actually works..
    Second, academic basic research isn’t where you go to get rich, if that’s your goal.   Have you a clue what climate scientists actually make?  Any idea how their funding pies get sliced, how much goes to their salary versus paying for equipment, personnel, and yes, travel….?
     
    Third of all, yeah, right,  highly educated people well-versed in modeling complex systems wouldn’t have had ANY other lucrative option all these years, if not for the climate research funding cornucopia.  Can’t think of a single one.  And the ones who weren’t modelers,  well, clearly a scientist can never find more than one field rewarding, so they would have been doomed too.  Well argued, sir, well argued.
     
     
     
     

  19. Ian says:

    Lewis = Luther…hyperbolic nonsence.
    Wegman = scandalous…overblown hype.

    Ok, Bex is obviously a little on the weak side. Perhaps some people should take a coupla benzos and lie on a sunny beach for a while.

  20. Peter Wilson says:

    NewYorkJ Says: 

    Peter Wilson,
    Well I guess all those researching smoking’s link to lung cancer are probably all biased frauds too, especially if they like their job.


    Are you guys ever going to give this pathetic notion a rest? The actual number of scientists who produced that ind of research was tiny, and their influence was less than minimal. All these guys ever succeeded in doing was making a laughing stock out of themselves. To suggest they ever got the kind of traction either side of the global warming debate has is displays a very short memory (or relative youth of course).
     
    I clearly recall that in the early 1970’s smoking was universally recognized as deadly, which has never been widely questioned since. All the highly funded well organised Tobacco lobbyists had almost zero effect on public perceptions, and were widely regarded as a sick joke. Which is what happens when you try to make a case which just doesn’t make sense. The public did not need to be physicians to spot the bulls***, just like they don’t need to be climate scientists now.
     
    And I understand Fred Singer is a life long non smoker

  21. David44 says:

    #18.  Steven Sullivan Says:
    “…he [Lewis] thinks, apparently with some justification, that he can bamboozle the angry non-scientists reading along who haven’t a clue how science as a career actually works.”
     
    And what do you think the motive of Lewis, a highly respected and successful scientist, well up in years, would be in attempting to “bamboozle” people?
     
    I think it much more likely that he strongly believes what he says and, being retired, well off, and well respected, isn’t afraid to say so.  Vincent Gray, Ivar Giaever, Freeman Dyson,  and Don Easterbrook are other examples of heroic scientists, highly respected in their fields, who do not have to worry about their careers being impeded by the academic “climate police” and are thus unafraid to speak out.  Do you really believe that these people would risk of their hard-won and well-earned reputations for baskets of petrodollars?  They didn’t get to the pinnacles of their respective fields by being crazy cranks, either.

  22. Brian Angliss says:

    I wrote two analyses of the financial aspects of climate disruption denial that touch on Lewis’ claims of “trillions of dollars” and his accusation that PSU found in Mann’s behavior because of the money.

    In the first, I followed the money to determine who profits from climate disruption, scientists vs. the fossil fuel industry.  The total amount of money spent globally on climate science in 2008 was about $3.8 billion.  The total revenues from the production, transportation, refining, and consumption of raw fossil fuels was $9 trillion, or nearly 3000 times greater.  Furthermore, fossil fuel industries have a profit motive to delay clean energy and climate legislation so long as the delaying tactics cost less than about $70 billion per year, which is the estimated amount of profit they would have lost in 2008 had they been forced to foot the entire bill for climate disruption mitigation.

    Put another way, the fossil fuel industries could spend 10x the total amount of money spent globally on climate science and still make profits of nearly what they spent delaying legislation and denying climate disruption.

    In the second, I analyzed just how much money Mann brought into PSU compared to how much total research money PSU earned in grants over the period since Mann’s been at PSU.  Mann brought in $1.8 million between 2006 and 2009 (the last year data is available), but during that same period, PSU reports that they were given $2.8 billion in research grants.  In other words, Mann was responsible for a grand total of 0.06% of all PSU’s research dollars.

    Put another way, if Mann had been guilty of misconduct, he is such a small fish that he would have been fired without a nanosecond’s hesitation.

    The money portions of Lewis’ resignation show a marked but unfortunately common disconnect with economic reality.  That is made all the more unfortunate given that he should remember how serious top research universities take accusations of misconduct.

    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2010/05/05/industry-scientists-climate-profits/
    http://www.scholarsandrogues.com/2010/02/15/psu-cover-up-extremely-unlikely/

  23. NewYorkJ says:

    Peter Wilson: And I understand Fred Singer is a life long non smoker

    …which makes him worse than a denier of the science on tobacco and lung cancer.  He probably knew it was harmful, but chose to become an industry shill.  He’s been one of the most prominent climate skeptics as well, enough to place him one slot ahead of Lewis on the APS skeptic petition.

  24. Peter Wilson says:

    NewYorkJ
     
    I’m interested. Just what evidence to you have that Fred Singer has ever been involved in “shilling” for the tobacco industry.
     
    In other words, put up or shut up!

  25. Peter Wilson, #23:  Significant portions of the book “Merchants of Doubt” is a good starting point.  Singer’s name in the Tobacco documents as having been paid by the Tobacco Institute is even better, however.  Go to the Tobacco documents libraries and search for his name – it’ll pop up all over the place.

  26. Peter Wilson says:

    willard
     
    Major fail there dude. That page , while scurrilous in the extreme, simply does not say what you imply. It cites no evidence of Singers direct involvement with anything, relying totally on innuendo and association. You should be embarrassed to link to such a vile little rag.

    And Brian, quoting Oreskes is hardly any better. I know some of you guys think this is scholarship, but that is why no real scientists will take you seriously.

  27. willard says:

    Peter Wilson,
     
    Could you state clearly what am I implying?   I am not sure myself.  To help you out, here is the relevant passage under question, for memory’s sake:
     
    <blockquote>
    In 1993, Singer collaborated with Tom Hockaday of Apco Associates to draft an article on “junk science” intended for publication. Apco Associates was the PR firm hired to organize and direct The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition for Philip Morris. Hockaday reported on his work with Singer to Ellen Merlo, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Philip Morris.

    In 1994, Singer was Chief Reviewer of the report Science, economics, and environmental policy: a critical examination published by the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI). This was all part of an attack on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funded by the Tobacco Institute over a risk assessment on environmental tobacco smoke.  At that time, Mr. Singer was a Senior Fellow with AdTI.

    “The report’s principal reviewer, Dr. Fred Singer, was involved with the International Center for a Scientific Ecology, a group that was considered important in Philip Morris’ plans to create a group in Europe similar to The Advancement for Sound Science Coalition (TASSC), as discussed by Ong and Glantz. He was also on a tobacco industry list of people who could write op-ed pieces on “junk science,” defending the industry’s views.”

    In 1995, as President of the Science and Environmental Policy Project (a think tank based in Fairfax, Virginia) S. Fred Singer was involved in launching a publicity campaign about “The Top Five Environmental Myths of 1995,” a list that included the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s conclusion that secondhand tobacco smoke is a human carcinogen. Shandwick, a public relations agency working for British American Tobacco, pitched the “Top Five Myths” list idea to Singer to minimize the appearance of tobacco industry involvement in orchestrating criticism of the EPA. The “Top Five Environmental Myths” list packaged EPA’s secondhand smoke ruling with other topics like global warming and radon gas, to help minimize the appearance of tobacco industry involvement in the effort. According to a 1996 BAT memo describing the arrangement, Singer agreed to an “aggressive media interview schedule” organized by Shandwick to help publicize his criticism of EPA’s conclusions.
    </blockquote>
     
    Saying that this page is “scurrilous” and constitute a “vile little rag” does not entail that anything there is false.  Do you think that you can show us that what is under there is false?
     
    Put up, err, please help provide accurate free information!

  28. Brian Angliss says:

    Peter, here’s a couple of the 405 mentions of Singer’s name in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library:

    Singer of SEPP pushes CRS report that is critical of EPA actions on secondhand smoke: http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/tid/mfe24a99/pdf

    Executive Director of the Alexis de Toqueville Institute recommends that Singer be considered to write a secondhand smoke research paper (recall Singer is a physicist, not a biologist or MD) on behalf of the Tobacco Institute, to whom this memo is addressed:

    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page?tid=gvr49b00

    Others have gone into much greater detail than I will or can here.  That you are so quick to reject Oreskes’ and Conway’s book suggests that you have not bothered to check up on their citations.  I have, and while there are some areas of minor concern, with regard to Singer and Seitz, their research is impeccable.

  29. Peter Wilson says:

    Willard
     
    Could you please point me to the part of the tripe above which even tries to establish that Singer actually did anything (rather than being on a list,  or involved in a publicity launch, or being mentioned in a memo.
     
    Can you not even come up with one quote or publication? Or anything other than innuendo and implied gilt by association.
     
    Actually I can help you. I suppose you  are aware of this paper
    Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys, The EPA and the Science of Environmental Tobacco Smoke, Alexis De Tocqueville Institution, University of Virginia, 1994, Bates Number: TICT0002555, Legacy Tobacco Documents Library.
    http://www.legacy.library.ucsf.edu
    Its  concerned with the EPA’s pronouncements on the health effects of second hand smoke, not the effects of smoking. And it happens to be right, second hand smoke is not the major health risk the EPA (300,000 death per year) had stated.
     
    I still hate people smoking around me. I just don’t need to pretend it’s going to kill me.
     
     
     

  30. TerryMN says:

    Keith, did you think or intend for Collide-a-scape to become a depot for meaningless talking points (so quickly)?  My guess, early on, would have been no, but C-a-s seems to have quickly turned into “all food-fights, all the time” with so many of the usual crowd unable to withhold their wisdom and scorn from the (unwashed, unknowing, and unthinking) reading public.  Just an observation – best of luck with the blog (and no, I’m not being sarcastic).

  31. Eli Rabett says:

    Fred Singer was deeply involved in putting up a smoke screen to protect tobacco.
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2006/03/its-really-thin-bench-over-there-at.html
    A FAX to Bill Orzechowski, Chief Economist of the Tobacco Institute from the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) with S. Fred Singer’s resume. Notation in the margin is a note to Sam, probably Samuel D. Chilcote, Jr, President of the Tobacco Institute, from W. Woodson probably Walter Woodson, Vice President-Public Affairs of the Tobacco Institute. It says (about Singer)

    Here is the man who will handle the EPA/ETS (illegible) work Brennon wants for us on the “social costs”. Very impressive resume. I think the project is worth the 20K we discussed. Agree?.

    Brennon is probably Brennon Dawson (Moran?), assistant to the president of the Tobacco Institute.
    The $20K is handed over and acknowledged in a letter from Ceasar Conda, Executive Director of the AdTI to Walter Woodson

    On behalf of the directors of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution, I would like to thank the Tobacco Institute for its grant of $20,000 to support our research and education projects. IRS regulations require us to inform you in writing that we received your tax deductible $20,000.00 donation (check # 016214) today.

    This was not the only source of tobacco funding for AdTI so we are not talking about a mere $20K
    Pg 83: “TI’s chief economist works closely with leading figures at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI). Some member companies support the organization. Opinions expressed and promoted by AdTI frequently support industry arguments on economic and other matters.”
    The product was a report from AdTI

    DRAFT ONLY The EPA and the Science of Environmental Tobacco Smoke Introduction by S. Fred Singer and Kent Jeffreys

     
    Found in Walter Woodson’s files – Executive Committee Mailings & Meetings 5/94– 12/94, which, if you think that the Alexis de Tocquville Institution was an independent think tank, was an odd place to find it, but as we have seen, it is much more likely that this report was a bought and paid for piece of astroturf.

    And, of course, the public announcement of the AdTI “independent” scientific study by two members of the US Congress, John Mica (R) and Peter Geren (D). Singer has gone
    from Author in the draft to Principal Reviewer in the final document. This has mislead a number of people on both sides of the divide as to how central Singer was to the project. The disinfopedia gets it more or less right
     
    Links at Rabett Run

  32. Tom Fuller says:

    Brian Angliss, regarding your $9 trillion for fossil fuels, the DOE estimates that all spending on energy (including renewables) was $5 trillion last year…
     
    Guess that leaves a little left over for the billions they paid me…

  33. What’s your point, Tom?

  34. Keith Kloor says:

    TerryMN (31),

    I’m not sure what you mean. Have you been reading the blog for a while?  The discussions here ebb and flow with the topic. Climate change is often the one thing that people debate with the most passion, and sometimes, yes, that includes the two sides squaring off with their own point/counterpoints. Not much I can do about that, so long as it remains civil. I’m not into moderating content with a heavy hand, or much hand at all.

  35. Peter Wilson says:

    Eli
     
    So that really is all you have, a fax of a CV that someone sent to someone else, and a perfectly factual review of the EPA’s ludicrous claims on second hand smoke. Devastating.
     
    Dr Singer is a climate scientist with credentials to dwarf yours. You could try attacking his scientific claims, but clearly you prefer not to, concentrating on this truly pathetic attack on his imagined views. That you would even consider this to be a productive activity speaks volumes as to your credibility.
     
    Can you show any reference to show that Dr Singer has ever suggested that tobacco smoking is harmless?
     
    I’ve heard Dr Singer believes in UFO’s as well.

  36. Huge Difference says:

    Is there much of anything besides ad hominem in this thread?

  37. Tom Fuller says:

    Umm, Brian, unless you’re counting stuff the DOE isn’t counting (perfectly possible, I suppose…) you’re off by about $4 trillion.  But if you’re counting stuff they don’t count as energy expenditures, the question then becomes, well, why?

  38. Neven says:

    “Brian Angliss, regarding your $9 trillion for fossil fuels, the DOE estimates that all spending on energy (including renewables) was $5 trillion last year”¦”
     
    Tom, as you are not linking (surprise), is the DoE estimate for the globe or the US only?

  39. Shub says:

    Peter W,
    You are trying to talk to guys who have drunk the Stanton Glantz mantra. They say “link between tobacco and cancer”, but what is meant is exposure to second-hand smoke and cancer.

  40. Barry Woods says:

    Well ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ A W Montford
    is now a permanent link on the front page of Watts Up (a little bit of lobbying by someone ;)).  So many more people will be able to take up Judith Curry’s chalenge.. 

    How many hits does Watts Up get these days?
    vs RealClimate?

  41. Pascvaks says:

    “Seriously, can any of the faithful explain to me why this is a big deal? As in right up there with Martin Luther?”

    Before Luther was a footnote in history he was someone who spoke his mind, who took exception to the “settled” nonsense of the day, who went against the grain and started (with the help of many others) a revolution.  Today he’d be a blogger no doubt.  Or an old man who thinks the world is going crazy, and wants to say so by doing something out of the ordinary.  Luther was just an average shmuck who was sick of all the crap he saw in his chosen profession and felt he had to “say” something.

  42. willard says:

    Peter Wilson in #24:
     

    > I’m interested. Just what evidence to you have that Fred Singer has ever been involved in “shilling” for the tobacco industry. In other words, put up or shut up!
     
    Peter Wilson in #36:
     
    > Can you show any reference to show that Dr Singer has ever suggested that tobacco smoking is harmless?
     
    It seems to suggest that “shilling” means “suggesting that smoking is harmless”.
     
    I believe that the word “harmless” has not yet appeared.  Could Peter Wilson tell us where this claim was made?
     
    Asking about suggesting that smoking is harmless implies that to create FUD, you would need to exactly suggest that.  Whence what you need to do is to look at Dr. Fred Singer’s op:
     
    > In light of the evident self-interest of she EPA and activist groups, we must learn to separate facts and reasonable beliefs from half-truths and misleading constructions. Resolution of all scientific uncertainty is an unattainable goal, but we can come to recognize hype and hoax, and demand a better return on our environmental dollars.
     
    Interestingly, this op-ed can be found here:
     
    http://tobaccodocuments.org/all/documents.php?pattern=%22fred+singer%22
     
    Now, we can see that questioning EPA’s interests seems relevant to the tobacco industry.  Has Dr. Fred Singer mentioned the word “tobacco”?
     
    There are 149 pages.  Shall we look at more examples?   It is quite possible that we might not find that Dr. Fred Singer mentions that smoking tobacco is harmless.  It would be interesting to know what that would prove.

  43. Peter Wilson says:

    It seems to suggest that “shilling” means “suggesting that smoking is harmless”


    In the context of shilling for the tobacco companies, yes, what on earth else could it mean? That certainly is what has been insinuated.


    It is quite possible that we might not find that Dr. Fred Singer mentions that smoking tobacco is harmless.  It would be interesting to know what that would prove.


    It would provide strong evidence that he does not hold that view, and that he has never expressed that view. Regardless of the trivial matter of where the think-tanks which have employed Dr Singer have obtained their funding, you can find no suggestion he has actually made any statements , or done any research, of use to Big Tobacco.

    If they did pay him, they should be asking fr their money back! Such a low profile shill is of little use.

    Now, we can see that questioning EPA’s interests seems relevant to the tobacco industry


    Seems relevant? So anyone questioning the EPA  in any way is shilling for Big Tobacco? The black helicopters are coming!

    .

  44. Pascvaks says:

    According to Vanilia Ice – ‘yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery’

  45. willard says:

    Peter Wilson,
     
    I am not sure that “Dr. Fred Singer was shilling for the tobacco companies” means or insinuates that “Dr. Fred Singer thinks smoking tobacco is harmless”.   That is seems so obvious to you might mean that I am missing something important from the theory of the PR strategies of corporations.  I would be obliged to you if you could tell me what I am missing.
     
    As far as I am concerned, the op-ed I quoted contains important ingredients for a successful campain: it questions EPA’s interests, it underlines uncertainties, and it condemns catastrophism.  Now, where did I see these three strategies lately…
     
    > Regardless of the trivial matter of where the think-tanks which have employed Dr Singer have obtained their funding, you can find no suggestion he has actually made any statements , or done any research, of use to Big Tobacco.
     
    That’s an interesting statement.  I am not sure about the framing, for instance the notion that a statement can be “of use” to the tobacco would merit due dilligence.  Instead of embarking into semantical nuances, let’s consider a specific instance:
     
    http://legacy.library.ucsf.edu/action/document/page;jsessionid=D9B503B78367DD905F92FF5BEC2BE82C.tobacco01?tid=rtu14a99
     
    It seems that Dr. Fred Singer was a bit busy touring radio and television stations.  It also seems that there was an idea to create a list of myths.  Could that count as two activities “of use” to the tobacco industry?

  46. That’s what I figured you probably meant, Tom, but I wanted to be sure rather than assuming what you meant.  However, your point shows that you didn’t bother to read the piece in question, because I explained my methodology in detail and have the speadsheet from which my numbers were generated available for anyone to download and look at themselves.
    I am, in fact, counting a great deal that isn’t included in the DOE numbers.  DOE counts production only.  It doesn’t include refining, transportation, or direct consumption of energy.  As an example, the DOE number would not include the revenues of ExxonMobil, because ExxonMobil isn’t an oil producer – it’s an oil refiner and shipper.  But any accounting of the size of the global fossil fuel economy that didn’t include companies like ExxonMobil, Duke Energy, BP, etc. would be dramatically underestimating the size of that section of the global economy.
    $9 trillion is based on the DOE production numbers for 2008 plus the members of the Fortune 1000 largest publicly traded global companies involved in refining, energy consumption, and transportation, but with the oil producers removed (as they’re already included in the DOE number and shouldn’t be double-counted).
    Keep in mind that this method means that  $9 trillion is the bottom end of the fossil fuel economy because $9 trillion doesn’t include any of the following: small publicly traded companies, municipal electricity producers, utility co-ops, private refiners (such as Koch Industries), and so on.  Also keep in mind that $9 trillion was 15% of the entire global economy in 2008 – the actual size of the fossil fuel economy is probably closer to 20-25% of the entire global economy.

  47. Tom Fuller says:

    And I think you forgot to include the manufacturers of the black helicopters your scenarios rely upon–what does that take the total to?
     
    Seriously Brian, do you actually think the DOE does not include revenues from the sale of, exploration of, treatment of energy? Really?
     
    I guess Koch brothers bought them off to hide their revenue. Do you think the IRS was fooled by the scam? Or are they in on it, too?
     
    Maybe another paper is in order, Brian.

  48. Prove to me they do by providing me the link to the DOE analysis you got that $5 trillion number from, Tom.  I can’t seem to find it on the EIA website, although that may be because the EIA website isn’t exactly user-friendly.  There’s nothing in the big statistical block at EIA that has total international economic value: http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/IEDIndex3.cfm
    If you think my number is wrong, I’ve provided you all the tools you need to prove me wrong – a spreadsheet with the sources for all my numbers linked that you can play with to your heart’s content.
    Of course, even if I am wrong and $5 trillion is the correct number, that doesn’t change the overall conclusion one whit – climate scientists have no real financial motivation to manipulate their conclusions while fossil fuel-related industries have a multi-trillion dollar motivation to deny climate disruption is occurring.
    BTW, I mispoke earlier – It was the Fortune 500 for 2008, not the Fortune 1000.

  49. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom, I see in some of your comments and recent posts over at WUWT that you’ve made repeated reference to black helicopters. Perhaps Brian egged you on again with his most reference reference to Koch Industries.

    But in any case, it seems to me that you’re more interested in belittling than actually debating the arguments.

  50. I apologize if my reference to Koch Industries was interpreted as “egging on,” Keith.  That was not my intent.  I was attempting to use a private fossil fuel refiner that is well known as a reference point and that I’d used as an example in the original analysis as well.

  51. Aargh.  I was just looking through my spreadsheet and I again misspoke – it’s the Forbes Global 500.

  52. Jon P says:

    Well IHMO another blog goes the way of you are either with us (Warmer) or against us (Denier).

    Keith, you must be humming Pink Floyd with the direction your blog and commentors are heading.

    The lunatics are in my hall.
    The paper holds their folded faces to the floor
    And every day the paper boy brings more.

    You complain about Tom’s Black Helicopters and let pass all these “Big” <industry name> guilt by association BS.

    One less blog to read, which saves me some time.

  53. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, the level of scholarship evident in three recent attacks on skeptics is absolutely ridiculous and black helicopter allusions are at best charitable.
     
    Starting with Mr. Angliss’ attacks on analysis of Climategate emails, proceeding to Prall, Schneider et al and concluding with Copygate, what is getting published is invective cloaked as science. It’s as if Prall, Angliss and Mashey thought that they could become anti-McIntyres all of a sudden and turn public (or blogosphere) opinion around.
     
    But they didn’t do what McIntyre did. They didn’t do what Montford did. I personally don’t think they even did what Mosher and I did.
     
    And so their attacks fail, and they just keep blustering. I have nothing against any of the principals personally, but I’m not going to pretend to take this stuff seriously. I spent four hours wading through Mashey. It’s garbage. I spent a similar amount of time wading through Angliss. It’s marginally better in that it doesn’t insult my intelligence, but it’s wrong. Really wrong. And Prall et al is nothing more than an attack of the same type you think I am making by talking about black helicopters. It’s worse than wrong–it’s libelous crap.
     
    It’s a waste of electrons.

  54. Tom Fuller says:

    And, in case it isn’t obvious, all three banzai attacks have the same theme, attacking those who have affronted the climate establishment–Wegman, Montford and scientists not sufficiently complaisant.
     
    Same tripe, same M.O.

  55. Tom, if Mashey’s analysis was totally without merit, then GMU wouldn’t have moved from the inquiry phase to the investigation phase.  You yourself have pointed out that some of what Mashey says is worthy of investigation (the social networking stuff, IIRC).  That doesn’t sound like “garbage” to me.
    As for my analyses, if I’m “really wrong,” I invite you to prove it.  Thus far you’ve had ample opportunity and have failed to do so.  Look through my spreadsheet and prove that I got my math wrong in a manner that disproves the logical conclusion that must be reached as a result of the data.
    Look through my analysis of the statistics of the CRU emails (not my criticisms of you, Mosher, and McIntyre – the two are entirely separate) and logically prove that my analysis is fatally flawed – many people tried, including you at S&R, and have thus far failed to do so.
    Until you do so, however, I would appreciate it if you didn’t claim that my arguments have been shown to be incorrect when they have not been.
    It’s very easy to write that an argument has been rebutted, Tom.  It’s a lot harder to actually rebut that argument.

  56. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom, I guess what I’m saying is that you just saying something is crap and not worth your electrons doesn’t necessarily make it so. And in this rhetorical boxing match (at least the Wegman rounds I’ve been following), that’s been what you’ve been leading with: it’s conspiracy, black helicopter rubbish.

    Well, that’s not an argument. That’s just a put down. Why are Mashey and Deep Climate’s critiques not worth your time? Evidently, there’s enough on the surface for a university to open an investigation, and enough for folks like Von Storch and Curry to back away. Are you sure you’re not letting your personal biases get the best of you on this one?

  57. BenSix says:

    And, in case it isn’t obvious, all three banzai attacks have the same theme, attacking those who have affronted the climate establishment”“Wegman, Montford and scientists not sufficiently complaisant.
    Tom – Every contrarian view has its detractors. On the internet there’s plenty of detractors to be found. Angliss – no offence to him! – is an engineer who writes for a mid-level blog. Jim Prall is a systems administrator whose site has 4 followers. Their chances of “turning public…opinion around” are, well — not great. We’re not talking COINTELPRO here.

  58. Tom Fuller says:

    Angliss wrote an extensive polemic explaining and trying to illustrate why the world did not, should not, must not read Anthony Montford’s book The Hockey Stick Illusion, nor the Climategate emails that inspired it.
     
    He followed his own advice.
     
    Don’t expect me to take him seriously. I don’t care how many spreadsheets he has. He didn’t read the emails. He didn’t read the book he criticized.
     
    Keith, I spent four hours looking at Mashey’s paper. When you have done the same I will be happy to have a discussion with you about its merits here in the comments section. Let me know.

  59. Shub says:

    “But they didn’t do what McIntyre did. They didn’t do what Montford did. I personally don’t think they even did what Mosher and I did.”

    Amen to that.

    Dear Mr/Dr Angliss,
    Your statistical treatment of the climategate emails is unconvincing and weak, and therefore discredits “your side”. It is not ‘wrong’ – there is nothing in there, in such analyses as yours to be ‘wrong’.

    And by the way, could you please point out an inquiry or investigation that actually all emails relevant to the Climategate period to piece together the “whole story”, as you claim in your analysis, that proves that the scientists did no wrong?

  60. bigcitylib says:

    Another 87 year old (Lewis) joins the denialists.  So what?  Those guys look like what you might see back-stage these days at a Rolling Stones concert.

  61. BenSix – no offense taken.  S&R is never going to be a top dog blog, and that’s not our goal.  We aim to attract intelligent readers, not hundreds of thousands of clicks every day.  And as you pointed out, I’m an engineer in my day job – I just commit journalism as a hobby/obsession.
    Not that I wouldn’t love to get paid to write, just that I’ll never be able to support my family and pay off my student loans and mortgage on a journalist’s salary (alas).

  62. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom, I’ll be honest: I don’t have four hours anytime soon to read the Mashey paper. I’m not passing judgment on it one way or the other. Maybe you’re right and it’s garbage. You’re just not going to persuade anyone on the fence that it’s garbage, just because you say it is. Those in Watts corner are going to take your word for it, no questions asked. Those in Romm’s corner will take Mashey’s word, no questions asked.

    So far, you seem content to merely reaffirm the biases of the Watts corner. Fine. But I bet there are plenty of people out there who are confused by all this–maybe people who aren’t hardcore loyalists of either tribe, and who would appreciate some sort of deep dive that is done in good faith. I know I would.

  63. Actually, Tom, I had no targets in mind when I did my analysis.  I was making an argument that emails cannot contain the complete context because of their nature as emails.  That analysis has been confirmed by five separate inquiries/investigations.
    Shub, all the relevant emails have not been read by anyone.  However, one point of the analysis is that no email chain alone, however large, contains all the context necessary to understand what really happened.  And we have five investigations that, collectively, found that the emails pointed to only two issues that were confirmed – the FOI problems and Jones’ WMO graph.
    No need to use Mr. Angliss – “Brian” or “Angliss” is fine.  And I’m not a PhD or MD, so “Dr.” doesn’t apply.

  64. As far as I know the annual US budget for climate science research (as opposed to data collection or impacts studies) through 2009 remains comparable to the budget for a Pixar movie.
    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2007/04/science-budget-talking-point.html

  65. BenSix says:

    We aim to attract intelligent readers, not hundreds of thousands of clicks every day.
    Well, you’ve got one more. (If not necessarily an intelligent one.) Any friend of Harvey Pekar is a friend of mine!

  66. John Mashey says:

    ON GOOD JOURNALISM
    I’m not a journo, but KK is.
    I think everyone should actually *read* the Hockey Stick Illusion, or at least a few samples.
    but they also ought to read:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:The_Hockey_Stick_Illusion&oldid=380146816#HSI_pp.23-30.2C_421_…_dog_astrology
    In which I observe that a key chunk of Montford’s book not only confuses history, but relies on quotes from the Journal of Scientific Exploration … which really does include dog astrology, ESP, UFOs, etc.
    Then Montford *fabricates* a claim that Lindzen confimred Overpeck as a sender of email, which is trivially refutable by actually reading the Lindzen cite.  400 pages later, he quotes Overpeck saying he didn’t write the email, but that seems to be evidence he did.  All this was a fairly key part of the argument, but I think KK can tell people about fabrication, if Montford were an academic…  Defamation is complicated, but Overpeck may well have a case.
    The odd URL is because certain people  didn’t like  this post, tried to delete it (from a *talk* page, generally a no-no, and finally discouraged people from commenting, so it finally got archived.  Nobody ever *answered* the comment,l preferring to argue over whether or no some business reporter writing in a local newspaper was a reliable source or not.
     

  67. Shub says:

    But Brian, you are only drawing an eminently reasonable conclusion from your analysis – that it is necessary to examine the complete context and all communications back  and forth, between the involved parties, for each of the major threads running through the emails, to come to any conclusions about them.

    In your conclusion, you then state: ” It takes full inquiries and investigations where the investigators talk with the involved parties to truly understand the details and the context surrounding claims like those made against the climate scientists mentioned in the published CRU emails. To date, three such inquires have been completed, …”

    But, this is wrong. The reality is:  No such inquiries or investigations have been completed.

    The type of analysis you performed works best in certain situations. Almost all involved parties are roaming the face of the earth in the present case – a sit-down and look at all emails and talk to all concerned will be a better option.

  68. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, if I thought for one minute that anybody reading this did not have their opinions all well-formed and set in stone, I might be tempted.
     
    But the fact that even you, someone who tries to maintain objectivity in the face of all temptation, are unwilling to spend the time needed to discuss an attack on Edward Wegman on its merits, really says it all.
     
    The mud has been flung. Anyone who criticizes the mudslinger is being partisan.
     
    Maybe someone can explain the logic of that to me.
     
    Brian, I gotta admit, you are head and shoulders above Mashey and Prall. But you are still very, very wrong. Think about the incidence of criminal and anti-social behaviour before setting parameters for your investigation next time.

  69. Keith, you don’t need four hours reading Mashey’s piece to get a sense of the conspiratorial nature of the thing. A journalist, with a keen nose for BS like yourself surely must need no more than 15 minutes reading the summary. I’d be floored if, after one cup of coffee with Mashey, you weren’t able to draw a very firm conclusion about the nature of the beast, specifically in connecting the dots directly to Tom’s “black helicopter” references.
     
    Brian, #64: With all due respect, over and over you keep referring to the enquiries as if their findings are conclusive, of high integrity and not in any way questionable in substance. You are, of course, welcome to your unquestioning belief. But if you perhaps think that it is somehow convincing to the onlooker, I urge you to think again. It’s difficult to take you seriously when you embrace the enquiries as you appear to do.

  70. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom, I only have so much time in the day and I don’t get paid to write this blog. Meanwhile, I think it’s quite possible to discuss the nature of the debate without having read all the original source material. I’ve been upfront about not taking a stand one way or the other. (I really don’t have a dog in this fight.) I’ve confined my comments here and elsewhere to the larger issue of plagiarism, which is what people seem to be arguing about. I’ve been pointing people to other blogs which have had interesting, related threads.

    I’ve also tried challenging people to make an argument based on substance, not ad homs. I’m sorry you equate that with flinging mud.

  71. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, did you read what I wrote at WUWT? From what base are we starting?

  72. Keith Kloor says:

    Alight, Simon, fair enough. That’s a good challenge and I’ll take you up on it. But I gotta turn my attention to other matters for the next 24 hours. I’ll put up a post on the Mashey paper tomorrow night, and for good measure I’ll go back and read Tom’s posts at WUWT and in that same post, will address Tom’s criticism of the paper.

    So everyone hold your fire till then…

  73. Shub – You have an unusually and unrealistically high bar you’ve set for what qualifies as a full inquiry. Let’s look at the PSU inquiry/investigation pair and the ICCER as examples.

    According to the PSU investigation final report (http://live.psu.edu/fullimg/userpics/10026/Final_Investigation_Report.pdf), the inquiry panel read all 376 emails from the CRU archive that contained Mann’s name and found that 47 of them were “deemed relevant.”  The inquiry panel also read “journal articles, OP-ED columns, newspaper and magazine articles, the National Academy of Sciences report entitled “Surface Temperature Reconstructions for the Last 2,000 Years,” ISBN: 0-309-66144-7 and various blogs on the internet.”  The inquiry committee then recommended an investigation, and on May 5, 2010, the investigating committee interviewed Dr. Lindzen, a well known critic of Mann’s.  From the summary of the investigating committee’s interview with Mann, it’s clear that the committee had been in discussion with McIntyre, because they asked Mann at least one question specifically in reference to an accusation by McIntyre.  I’ll grant that I’d rather have a transcript of the interviews and know exactly what the inquiry and investigating committees looked at, but I don’t see any reason to believe that McIntyre and others were not given an opportunity to have their say in the process, given that there is evidence in the report that they did so

    The ICCER went much further and generated 161 different pieces of evidence, a large number of which are submissions from critics.  The ICCER then went through that evidence and found that the vast majority of the criticisms were not supported by the emails once the emails had been placed in context.  I find it remarkable that you don’t feel that the ICCER was sufficient given the fact that they lay out multiple sources for each addressed criticism and then lay out the reasons, in detail, why those criticisms don’t stand up to scrutiny.  If that’s not sufficient, what, in your view, would be?

    I don’t claim that any of the investigations were perfect, only that they’re the closest thing we have to the truth to date.  Until a better accounting is available, we should work with the best available information.  However, as with the science of climate disruption, when multiple different lines of evidence come to the same conclusion, that conclusion is strengthened significantly.  I’d love it if someone went back and did an update to the ICCER with all the emails from the server once the police release it (it’s still considered evidence and even the ICCER couldn’t get access to it in a usable way), but that may never happen.

    You’ve set the bar so high, Shub, that if we applied it to criminal law it could well require that a jury understand everything about a defendant’s life in order to draw any conclusions about the defendant’s guilt or innocence of a crime.  I don’t think that’s what you really want, and may not be what you intend either.  But that seems like what you’ve done here.

  74. Tom Fuller says:

    In case you want backup reading material, you might have a look at John Mashey’s report on Climategate. Titled, “Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, Behind the 2006 Wegman Report and Two Decades of Climate Anti-Science”, it can be found here:
    http://www.desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/crescendo%20climategate%20cacophony%20v1%200.pdf
     
    The 185 page report claims to show in detail:
    “A tight network of organizations and individuals funded and executed the long campaign. They used
    well-honed tactics pioneered by tobacco companies, but to obscure the dangers of second-hand smoke, acid rain, chlorofluorocarbons and greenhouse gas emissions.
    From 2001 to 2005, several of these, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, George C. Marshall Institute, Senator James Inhofe and allies found “•new voices in Canadians Ross McKitrick & Steven McIntyre, encouraged them and introduced them to Washington, DC. Using the old tactics, they tried to discredit specific scientists and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
    In 2005, Representatives Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield unusually demanded information from climate scientists Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcom Hughes, originators of a 1999 “•hockey stick graph later used in the IPCC 2001 reports. The scientific community pushed back. Barton and Whitfield bypassed the National Academy of Sciences, preferring an odd route to reach Edward Wegman to form an “•independent, impartial, expert panel to evaluate hockey stick statistics.
    In July 2006 the “•Wegman Report and House hearings combined into a major pillar of widespread and continuing attacks on Mann, the IPCC, and climate science, still employed since then. For example, Climategate testimony to the UK Parliament 03/01/10 still cited Wegman.
    ï‚· The Panel had none of the attributes claimed. In no sense were its members independent. It far exceeded its charter. It relied heavily on information via Barton staffer Peter Spencer. It worked.
    with critic McIntyre, but never contacted Mann. Key material even seems plagiarized from Bradley”˜s
    classic Paleoclimatology text, sometimes modified to weaken or even invert its meaning.
    Unlike the time of the tobacco wars, the media and Internet now amplify anti-science attacks by:
    (a) enabling a few determined people to divert chosen scientists”˜ research time entirely into responding to FOIA requests and personal attacks and (b) inciting harassment of scientists via public outcry, hate mail or threats of violence.”
    As with his current report, Mashey writes, “The reader should be undaunted by the length of this report, whose design tries to work both on paper and online. It should be useful to several different kinds of audiences. For readability on paper, some redundancy was unavoidable. The first 35 pages should suffice for most readers.”
     
    ‘Tis a pity Mashey didn’t reread his own definition of agnotology and ‘Science Bypass Tactics’, which so brilliantly characterize his work.
     
    Perhaps a quote from page 9 gives the true flavor:
     
    “Figure. 2.1 is a top-level view, with details expanded in Figures. 2.2-2.6. It shows flows of money and memes (ideas, information, especially disinformation, and sometimes personal attacks). It is the architecture of an efficient anti-science PR machine used to confuse people about science. . Money (black) flows from funders at the top (O1, O2), of which the most important examples are described in A.2.
    The $$$-filled cloud it intended to show financial obscurity . Money flows through several layers of foundations or from corporations into trade associations (O5). Sometimes it goes through PR agencies(O3). Then it flows to fronts (O5) or think tanks (O6) and eventually to individuals.
    Individuals can correctly say “•I don”˜t take money from fossil fue l companies”– but the money may have originated there, 2-4 steps back. The (O?) categories are explained in Figure 2.4.”
     
    But we may have to have a word with Mr. Mashey about self-plagiarism…
     

  75. Shub says:

    Brian
    A lot of emails will make sense if (a ) context (b) all emails relating to what came out in FOIA.zip.

    The ICCER had an opportunity to get both (a) and (b) together. They did not, as you note above. Everyone has time pressures and other considerations, the Russel panel had theirs – who’s to judge them. But by that count, they fail your litmus test too.

    The investigations are not the “closest to truth” available, either. Enough context, where available within the Climategate emails, or other sources – see Dave Holland’s submission, for example – does not reflect well at all, on the CRU.

    You admit that the FOI problem handling by the CRU was a mess. But the CRU fumbled – they showed ClimateAudit threads to the information officer and tried to convince him. To date, there is no answer to the question of why they wanted to delete emails rather than comply to FOI.

    Scientists are right to conclude that the backstage activities are messy and probably best kept out of public view. But, if they do find their way out into public view – the only way out then is to come clean and speak the whole truth. It shouldn’t take inquiries.

  76. Allow me to make a suggestion regarding Mashey’s large paper as well: read more than just the first 30 pages.  Skip around some in the various appendices.  The devil is in the details, and those details are exhaustively illustrated in the appendices.

  77. Tom Fuller says:

    Brian, Mashey accuses Steve McIntyre of being recruited, coached and funded by the George Marshall Institute. He shows no evidence, not in the first 30 pages or anywhere else.
     
    How do you think responsible journalists like Keith should deal with this?

  78. Journalists should call it like they see it, as they should with anything.  If they feel that Mashey is overreaching in one area, then write that and explain why.  If they feel that Mashey’s evidence is solid on another area, then write that too along with an explanation of why.
    If something isn’t clear, however, a journalist should ask Mashey directly for clarification.  It’s possible that the answer is there but buried, or that it’s something Mashey has backup for that’s not in the 250 pages but could be provided when asked for.  And in this case, asking McIntyre directly if he’s ever been funded, coached, and/or recruited by the GMI would also be called for, if for no other reason than to get McIntyre on the record.

  79. Tom Fuller says:

    Keith, you also might want to check Climat Audit as part of this process.

  80. cial says:

    Brian,
    So what is your view on Mashey accusing Steve McIntyre of being recruited, coached and funded by the George Marshall Institute without supplying any evidence whatsoever?  (Some of us will judge your integrity based on your response).
     

  81. John Mashey says:

    Since Brian asks:
    SSWR:p.13:
    “Anti-science strategies for bypassing science and causing confusion are well-known [MAS2010]. The newly published book by Oreskes and Conway [ORE2010] details the 20-year history of climate anti-science, especially from the George C. Marshall Institute (GMI), also a key organization that helped recruit, coach and promote MM well before Wegman was involved.”
    Note [MAS2010] cite, which has the detail, especially pp.19-25, with the  various meetings, links to  PDFs of meetings sponsored by GMI/CEI/CHC.
    See  also p,84-85 of [MAS2010]on activities GMI2003, GMI2005, GMI2005a, including the quotes showing involvement with various people and for the 2003 one, mention that GMI paid for at least that trip, see: p.6 of:
    http://www.marshall.org/pdf/materials/188.pdf
    “McIntyre: Thank you very much for coming. My name is Steve McIntyre. I’d like to express my appreciation to Marshall Institute and CEI for paying my expenses down here.”
    they were introducd to Inhofe.
    By 2004, both M&M were GMI “experts.”
    Later they manged to get front page in the WSJ.
    I don’t know if somebody paid McI’s way to November 2005 meeting.
    The “coaching” was via the Q&A after the 2003 and 2005a meetings.  I have been in hundreds of meetings where one helps someone tune up a talk.
     
    Then back to SSWR:
    pp.27-32 in effect summarizes all that in a few pages, since I wasn’t going to replicate it.  Activities 02, 04, 05, 06, 08, 15 involve McI or McK or both in Washington through 2005.
    CEI/GMI paid for one of the trips for McK, known because he happened to mention it.   Did McK & McI travel to Washington the other times on their own nickel?  I don’t know.
     

  82. Tom Fuller says:

    Mashey, if that is the extent of evidence you have, then you have libeled Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.

  83. Keith Kloor says:

    Holy cow, let me manage some expectations here. I only intend to look at how the Wegman portion of this is presented and characterized by Mashey. Remember, that’s what started this latest ruckus.

    Let me also make clear: If I was to do a thorough job for an actual story, I would look at the actual evidence myself and not rely on anyone’s report.

    So the point here for me is just to assess the black helicopter/conspiracy framing that Tom Fuller says taints the Mashey paper. That’s all I have time to look at right now.

  84. Jon P says:

    The lunatic is in my head…

  85. NewYorkJ says:

    Tom Fuller: “Mashey, if that is the extent of evidence you have, then you have libeled Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick.”

    Tom Fuller’s apparent definition of libel would lock he and McIntyre away for several life sentences.  Not to plug Fuller’s propaganda book, but it essentially makes various innuendo based on selective reading of stolen emails.  All of the examples he’s posted here and at Deltoid regarding alleged “ClimateGate” wrongdoings have been shown to be bunk.

    John Mashey actually appears to back up his conclusions.  Try it sometime, Tom.

  86. Cial – I have no opinion on the issue at this time.
    I was looking back over the past thread to see if I’d failed to address anything you said, Tom, and I realized something – you still haven’t backed up your claim that the DOE has estimated $5 trillion for the energy sector in 2009 with a link or the name of the publication.  Would you care to do so, or would you care to retract your insinuation that my own analysis is inherently inferior to theirs?
    I don’t expect you to take me seriously, Tom.  But do you expect me or anyone else to take you seriously when you attribute motives to me that I didn’t have vis a vis Montford’s book?  Or when you confuse my post on the insufficient context in the CRU emails (that you erroneously think I did to debunk Montford) vs. my spreadsheet analysis of the economics of fossil fuels compared to climate science?  Or when you refer to “Anthony” Montford instead of “Andrew” Montford and don’t notice it?
    If I’d wanted to debunk Montford’s book, I would have bought it and gone through it with a fine toothed comb, multiple colors of highlighter, and a red pen.  And I’d have broadcast that was what I had done when I posted the series.  I’m not shy about things like that, as you’d notice if you spent any time reading my work at Scholars & Rogues.

  87. cial says:

    John Mashey,
    Are you seriously equating a Q&A after a presentation with being “coached”?  Are you equating paying someone’s expenses to make a single presentation as “funding” that person?  This is just dishonorable and you owe an apology.
     
    Brian Angliss, you do yourself no favors by ducking the question and not calling out Mr. Mashey on his irresponsible accusations.
     
     

  88. Eli Rabett says:

    Pink helicopters damn it
    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2007/03/more-pink-helicopters.html
    However, to get back to Keith’s post, why do you think this nonsense about Hal Lewis is being pushed to the top.  Maybe to distract from something else (see comments 1-88).
     
    To get back to the subject at hand, did the modern scientist general Rapp (see his web page http://home.earthlink.net/~drdrapp/) copy from the prince of statistics Wegman or did Wegman copy from Rapp.  Who plagiarized Bradley.  Where did that social network analysis come from.  Are their little elves running about?  Stay tuned and pass the popcorn.
     

  89. Cial – I’m glad you have read enough about the coaching issue to form an opinion.  I have not, and so I have no opinion on it.

  90. John Mashey says:

    Cial: it really is a good idea to consult the primary source before making claims about it.
    Kindly cite the sentence of SSWR that says GMI/CEI, etc “funded” MM.
    I did say they paid for a trip, cited the source, but that’s all.  Now, I would guess they paid for others, but I didn’t write that because I couldn’t prove it.
    I stand behind coaching 100%, because the 2 known meetings were just examples of a multi-year pattern.  Go look at CCC + SSWR, use Acrobat full search.   When I write about something complex, sometimes the evidence is spread around, and people can read it if they want.  Singer was in email contact with McI before the 2003 meeting.  There is a long history of the older folks in this network recruiting and coaching newer ones.
    I’ve done ~1000 sales pitches and ~500 public talks, and I’ve often acted as a coach for others’ talks.  Quite often, you give a talk to a relatively small, friendly audience, to help see what works and make suggestions, and for them to see if you have some good ideas to use.  Sometimes you invite people with different views, to learn to anticipate hard questions.
    Maybe you don’t have this experience, but I do, and caoch is a nice simple word that covers what people do, even if it’s just one meeting.  But in the MM case, it was certainly more.

  91. PolyisTCOandbanned says:

    I dropped out of ACS, since CNE news has been pretty liberal lately.  And when they asked me why, I told them.  But I didn’t think too much else of it. 

    Professional societies are interesting.  they can get captured by the people running them (agency effects like CEOs versus shareholders in companies).  They can fragment.  They can get into revenue creation and publishing and lose sight of what the membership want most.  But big deal. You can still get the journals… so who cares if you belong to the society.  And who cares about having a subscrition.

    So, if your not having it paid for by work, why bother belonging?  It’s just puffery anyhow.  And pretty shallow puffery.  What matters is your publications.  That shows how long your dick is.  Not memberships in societies.

  92. PolyisTCOandbanned says:

    IOW, I don’t think some dude sending a nasty letter dropping out of APS compares to the Reformation (damn herecy of Luther).

  93. Pascvaks says:

    Ref  – PolyisTCOandbanned Says:
    October 13th, 2010 at 1:33 am

    Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.  Like they did back in the Good Ol’ Days.

  94. Eli Rabett says:

    Shall we engage in another 30 years war?  After which the Arctic shall be ice free in the summer, Texas will bake at 115 F and other fun  stuff.

  95. “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions, if in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”

    Nobel Laureate Sherwood Rowland (referring then to ozone depletion)

  96. NewYorkJ says:

    APS responds to the Hal Lewis letter, with the reason, accuracy, and even temperament Lewis sadly lacks.

    http://www.aps.org/about/pressreleases/haroldlewis.cfm

  97. Bob Koss says:

    APS Members Dr. Roger Cohen, Dr. Will Happer, and of course Dr. Hal Lewis have responded in kind.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/10/13/aps-responds-deconstructing-the-aps-response-to-dr-hal-lewis-resignation/
     

  98. NewYorkJ says:

    It’s notable that contrarians never seem to support their assertions, nor care to.

    We know that the existing 2007 APS Statement on Climate Change was developed literally over lunch by a few people, after the duly constituted Committee had signed off on a more moderate Statement.

    I look for some citations supporting this, and found none.

    We have yet to receive a response to our Petition

    Huh?

    http://physicsfrontline.aps.org/2009/11/10/aps-council-overwhelmingly-rejects-proposal-to-replace-societys-current-climate-change-statement/

    delivered last spring and signed by 260+ members and former members

    or in other words, about 0.5% of their membership.

    The rest amounts to unsupported conspiratorial rhetoric and some serious libel.  Even John Holdren’s in on the conspiracy!

    I hope all those jerks resign.  The scientific community is much better off without them.

  99. I especially like the claim that the phrase “climate disruption” is a new invention.  I started using it in October, 2008, and a quick search for the phrase “climate disruption” at Sciencedirect.com turned up a paper in 1982 that used the phrase.
    From the number of results, it looks like it started being used semi-regularly in the late 1990s/early 2000s.

  100. NewYorkJ says:

    Yup. 

    Google results for “climate disruption”, 1970 through 2005.

    over 1000 results

    http://www.google.com/search?q=%22climate+disruption%22&hl=en&tbs=cdr:1,cd_min:1/1/1970,cd_max:12/31/2005&prmd=n&ei=DRy2TKuvNMrCnAeX_YXsDw&start=80&sa=N

    Note that some of the hits may be to more recent usage of the phrase, but the examples are more than sufficient.

  101. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #56 Brian Angliss, you said, “Tom, if Mashey’s analysis was totally without merit, then GMU wouldn’t have moved from the inquiry phase to the investigation phase.”
     
    GMU began looking into this issue because DeepClimate posted about Wegman (allegedly) plagiarizing Raymond Bradley’s book.  John Mashey’s report never covers the text supposedly plagiarized from that book.  The most he does is make reference to where DeepClimate discusses the issue.
     
    Everything in Mashey’s report could be complete garbage even if Wegman was guilty of plagiarizing Bradley’s book.
     
    #71 Keith Kloor, I’d recommend you look at my comments #191 and #304/307 in the “Skepticgate?” thread.  I looked at two claims Mashey highlighted from his report and found both to be completely erroneous.  Seeing as these were points Mashey brought to attention himself, them being wrong seems quite worrying.  If what he draws focus to is wrong, what can you expect from the rest of it?

  102. Eli Rabett says:

    Brandon, GMU started the inquiry phase because it received a formal, written complaint from Ray Bradley.  In the meantime, reading the Rapp sheets, complaints appear to have come from Springer and perhaps other publishers as well.
    We can also take it from the way that Rapp is bleating that some complaints have been received by USC, the place at which he is emeritus.  The status of that inquiry (when you receive a complaint you have to open an inquiry) is not known at this time.  Moreover Rapp appear to think that Wegman can give him a get out of jail card.  Folly.

  103. John Mashey says:

    re: #105
    To be clear, the complaint went FROM Elsevier TO Springer.
     
    As far as I know, Rapp is not emeritus  at USC.  I’m told that JPL employees often take adjunct or equivalent positions there.
    Rapp’s (and Wegman’s) belief  that all will be  well seems mysterious.

  104. John Mashey says:

    Indeed, Rapp was *not* emeritus at USC. Apparently the VP research/Provost found the complaint against Rapp compelling enough not to renew his part-time appointment without an inquiry.  For those still following this, the latest is:
    http://deepclimate.org/2011/01/06/wegman-on-deep-climate/

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