“A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.”
Most of you will be familiar with the title of this post, and of the paragraph taken from Orwell’s 1984.
I’m struck, after reading around the denialosphere, at the vitriol levelled at Eric Steig and his 2009 paper. Dumbstruck.
Here’s a sampling from Steve McIntye’s latest Chumming Expedition.
Six Ten posts so far on the Steig – O’Donnell dispute.
Note the highlighted words: Chum chum chum. Guaranteed.
Steve McIntyre (Feb 13, 2011, 3:18 pm)
Over the past few days, Eric Steig aka Reviewer A has made a series of increasingly puzzling and strident outbursts, as the inconsistency between his RC post of Feb 1 as Eric Steig and his conduct as Reviewer A has been exposed…
Steig’s post contained a trick (TM- climate science). It omitted any quotations from or consideration of his Second Review or the responses to the Second Review, which, after all, had been what provoked Ryan in the first place. Andrew Revkin noted up Steig’s response, but didn’t notice Steig’s trick…
In Steig’s First Review (as Reviewer A), Steig made one unsubstantiated statement after another, all of which were biased towards coercing our results towards higher trends in West Antarctica. Steig characterized our optimized values of k_gnd as “suspect” and alleged:
Yesterday, Steig placed his latest and wildest diatribe online at two blogs …
Going back now and parsing Steig’s recent statements, one sees one untrue statement after another. Consider first his Feb 8 email:…
Here’s the two minutes of hate in response in the comments:
In the purported words of T.E. Lawrence, “Take no prisoners! No prisoners!”
they say never bring a knife to a gunfight, but perhaps Steig should not have brought mere petulance to a contest with people with photographic memory and a WRITTEN RECORD of what happened. Unbelievable.
I don’t think it matters to them what the witten record shows. What matters to them is the story they put out to their followers and their media contacts.
It’s difficult for Steig to maintain credibility with his pants around his ankles.
Exposed and coming unglued before our eyes.
Perhaps Professor Jones could form some kind of support group for Climate Scientists at the end of their ropes ?
Maybe a shoulder ? “Sush, I know dear, me too”
DominicPosted Feb 13, 2011 at 5:04 PM | Permalink
So if I look at what he said I see him criticise iridge publicly and say that it was worse than TTLS because it understates long-term trends. He never mentioned this in his comments. Indeed your results, which he had already seen, clearly showed the opposite (which I would guess is one of the reasons which made him encourage you to use it). On that basis I find him guilty of dodgy scientific behaviour.
My thoughts exactly – Steig has (from the tone of his collective comments on this matter) become manic and, again, I hope he receives some help for his problems.
He also seems fond of the punctuating remark “GET IT?”. Sounds somewhat threatening, actually…
ENTERTAINING! Steig must be a quite the sloppy record-keeper to get that tangled up.
Steig’s usage of statistical techniques reminds me of the quote my 6th form Maths teacher used at the beginning of our Stats lectures…”An unsophisticated forecaster uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts – for support rather than for illumination.” Originally from Andrew Lang I think.
Ideally, he would have to apply different methods and show that his original results were conformable. Instead he seems to have done his best to obfuscate and obstruct the publication of the paper, and then to minimize the apparent differences and their significance to his interpretations. And now, rather than address the issue as science, he is arguing the “record” of the review process, which, again, he should not have been party to.
I agree Steig was a logical choice as a reviewer – but why as an anonymous reviewer. I believe knowing that Steig was definitely Reviewer A would have led to a different response to his review from O’Donnell et al. I am sure a fourth reviewer would have been more forcefully requested at an earlier point in the proceedings.
I remain puzzled why Steig chose to act as an anonymous reviewer.
Steig as clearly made statements on hand they denied them on the other.
His acted in a way that is not fitting for a person reviewing a paper for publication. He may have broken the ethics involved if he involved the ‘team’ in this review without telling the editor. And in the end wither through arrogance or foolishness had made more trouble for himself. Steig09 got all the press , the front cover of Nature the BBC etc, in contrast O’Donnell’s paper was going to get none of that and reality would have despaired into the academic wilderness if it were not for his current actions.
Others have pointed it out but I think it is worth repeating that there are (at least) two issues here:
1. Duplicity by Steig which this excellent post makes crystal clear.
2. That the results of S09 are random noise, not anything linked to reality, which O10 made abundantly clear.
Just because he didn’t show it to someone doesn’t mean someone didn’t see it. It also doesn’t mean he didn’t show his review comments to someone before he sent them. I agree he was likely hiding / delaying his impending embarrassment, and he doesn’t seem sophisticated enough to use one of the sly deniability maneuvers.
Steig on the other hand appears to have been deliberately obstructing the publication of O’Donnells paper…most likely as a direct result of previous actions by the hockey team in stopping other papers from being published.
another point to keep in mind – Broccoli had already blown off our request that Reviewer A be treated as a conflicted reviewer or that his review, at least, be sent to unconflicted reviewers for consideration before requiring us to make more major revisions. We had no reason not to believe that the editor wasn’t hand-in-glove with Steig (this had happened in other cases and is evidenced in Climategate correspondence). That the editor had required another “major revision” after the Second Version certainly suggested that he was hand-in-glove with Steig and would use any pretext to reject.
“Reviewer A” delayed the publication with 88 pages of criticism. In the end “Reviewer A” turns out to be the guy who published the paper that is practically rebutted by O’Donnell et.al. That’s not a molehill; that’s a reason to abandon the compromised process of peer review in climate science completely as it does not *add* scientific value but is -obviously!- intentionally used to *destroy* science.
There’s much much more but you get the flavour.
Lucia has her own chum post: seven posts now on the subject of the Steig O’Donnell dispute. Here’s one with a few examples of the hungry guppies.
Reviewer A = Rod Blagojevich of Science?
Reading Steig’s recent article at RC, the thought that came to mind was “Steig and Blago! Some men have some real testicular fortitude!” It really takes something to try to spin a paper that shows yours up so badly as supporting your results. But.. more later.
The post contains many technical details, but I also noticed this:
I mentioned at the beginning that I was planning to save the best for last.
I have known that Eric was, indeed, Reviewer A since early December. I knew this because I asked him. When I asked, I promised that I would keep the information in confidence, as I was merely curious if my guess that I had originally posted on tAV had been correct.
I thought… wait a minute. If Eric was reviewer A, he sure as heck did his best to give the impression he was not. Read this comment by Eric Steig which appeared at The Air Vent in December.
yan, if you don’t mind sending me a preprint, and a link to your reconstructed data, I’d appreciate it.
I will presumably have more to say after I get a chance to read the paper, but it’ll be a month or more as I’m simply too busy with current projects.
If Eric Steig was reviewer A and he wrote that deceptive mealy mouth comment he is truly the Rod Blagojevich of climate science.Written by lucia.
jeff id (Comment#68298) February 7th, 2011 at 4:06 pm
We all suspected it already because the wording of Reviewer A was very close to some RC comments. Ryan didn’t tell me he had confirmation at any time before this. It actually was a team review IMO with Mannian commentary interspersed throughout. I recall on reading the first reviews that it seemed like several personalities and writing styles. Now that they are posted, people can see for themselves.
We basically had a group of reviewers so hostile that we were forced to not use the originally submitted methods. The whole paper was re-written to avoid certain unfair criticisms.
No doubt in my mind that Reviewer A wouldn’t have let S09 through.
Zer0th (Comment#68319) February 7th, 2011 at 6:14 pm
At first blush this seems more damning than the pal/hostile review shenanigans hinted at in the ClimateGate emails.
I remain staggered by the extreme hubris displayed by the masters of the universe over at RC.
MikeC (Comment#68323) February 7th, 2011 at 6:37 pm
Steig wasn’t doing the Blago, He’s from Seattle… land of the superrior shroomies
Hoi Polloi (Comment#68325) February 7th, 2011 at 6:54 pm
So Steig told RyanO that he was reviewer A. How the heck does he think he was getting away with this scam? Are them guys at Unreal Climate living on a different planet, or wat? Fercrissakes this is the 21st century, we have Intarnet! Or was he counting on RyanO’s decency? I mean, this is mindboggling. May be Bugsy can explain this.
Paging Mr.Bugs! Mr.Bugs, you have a telephone call at the front desk!
jeff Id (Comment#68326) February 7th, 2011 at 7:01 pm
“Eric said that Review A was entirely his, and, in retrospect, I have no reason to disbelieve him.”
I believe he submitted the review 100%, if Cuccinelli subpoenaed Steig’s emails, I would bet some big cash that there were copy-pastes from Mann. Admittedly it is just a guess though, there was too much Mannian style hostility and phraseology.
Maybe that’s my next blog–phraseology, this climate stuff is too anti-science.
Carrick (Comment#68329) February 7th, 2011 at 7:37 pm
I think it’s worse that even that: Eric forces the removal of the TLS method in favor of REGEM iridge method, then has the cahones lack of ethical standards to attack the method he himself pushed for in the reviews.
This is totally shameless.
Derek H (Comment#68348) February 8th, 2011 at 12:55 am
I would just point out that just because someone is an arrogant and defensive pus-filled boil on the hind end of humanity doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong. (I still think Steig and Schmidt ARE wrong but there’s no causal link between their behavior and their scientific validity — or lack thereof — of their beliefs).
I’m also amazed that RC doesn’t see their arrogant hand-waving, so reminiscent of the Wizard of Oz, loses them support rather than wins converts.
There’s plenty more where that came from. It’s clear that this is more than just analysis — it’s chum. And the two minutes of hate that takes place in the comments? Blatant smear.
Pure and simple.