Of Inquiries, Wizards and What’s Behind the Curtain

I happened to see a clip about the Wizard of Oz and remembered the whole wizard hiding behind a curtain scene where the viewer realizes that in reality, the Great and Powerful Oz is nothing more than a rather ordinary older man, harmless really, who just creates this scary facade to make himself appear more powerful than he really is. The threat is all just a lot of smoke and fire and levers and pulleys.

Which got me to thinking about analogies and the like.

Over at CA, McI has an interesting post up. Clearly unsatisfied with the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into the CRU Emails, and of course, 3 of the 4 aspects of the Mann inquiry, McI is doing his own inquiry, rehashing some of the issues he feels were inadequately addressed in the UK Inquiry.

What struck me about his post is that it’s clear he spent a great deal of time mining the emails looking for evidence to support his views. What has he come up with?

That Phil Jones and colleagues tried to stymie skeptics’ attempts to get data that was already publicly available or was not subject to release because of confidentiality agreements? He alleges that Jones forced subordinates to make untrue claims (about IPCC procedures and availability of reviewer comments etc. — same ol same ol) and asked subordinates to delete emails relating to AR4. He ponders why the inquiry did not question Jones about his state of mind when he asked underlings to tell untruths and delete documents.

The post is quite long and detailed and rather boring when it comes right down to it — nothing that we haven’t already read at CA. Yes, there’s some questionable behavior going on — but McI’s post reminds me of dear Lady Macbeth protesting too much.

In the end, does it really matter?

Is the temperature increasing due to burning of fossil fuels or not?  That’s what matters.

That is precisely not what McI focuses on.

So far, no one has found in McI’s favor. There’s still a couple of inquiries to come but the skeptics have not come out on top in the inquiries to date. Mann is exonerated on 3 of 4 counts reviewed in the inquiry about his conduct. Jones has his reputation restored and the finger is pointed at UEA instead of CRU according to the UK Parliamentary Inquiry. Other than on contrarian blogs, and the denialosphere, and among Repubs and the right wing, no one really cares about the CRU emails.

What people do — or should — care about is whether there really is global warming and how serious it is, and from what I understand, McI has done nothing to contribute to that.

All he and the others have done is raise murky concerns about a few bits of data and a few emails that suggest there was a turf war and tribalism in climate science — concerns that have shed no light about the issue at hand — the real issue — global warming.

Had he and his kind been interested in the real issue, they could have done something of value.  The data was available in other sources and locations even if they couldn’t get it from CRU. If McI and any skeptic wanted to replicate the temperature record, they could have done so but it would have taken time and effort and cost some money.

But we all know that this group of so-called auditors and self-proclaimed skeptics weren’t really interested in replicating the results the way a bona fide climate scientist might. They were looking for holes in order to cast doubt. They have done nothing scientific with the data they have obtained. The whole project appears to be to raise doubt in the best tradition of tobacco denial. The skeptic papers have traction only on denialist blogs and in the right-wing media and all been soundly trashed.

So what does all the Sturm und Drang add up to?

Nada. Nilch. Nichts.

He’s had the data now for a while but what exactly has he been spending his time on?  Attacking various climate scientists. Writing blog posts that make sly innuendo and outright claims about their motives and which question their veracity and suggest fraud. It seems to me that he doesn’t care one whit about the science except to prove it wrong and show the scientists to be frauds or worse, criminals.

Why does anyone give this man the time of day?  Why is he included on a CNN news report?

Tip of the ear to Eli Rabett for this link to the CNN news videos of McI and McCracken. It’s clear that the Inquiry pretty much wrote off the concerns of skeptics and found that focus on Jones was misplaced. It even found that Dr. Jones’ reputation was not harmed and yet, McI claims the opposite.  He tries to spin the Inquiry’s findings 180 degrees from what it did find.

Each week more evidence comes out that indicts the burning of fossil fuels on the increase in GHGs and global temperature increases. Each week more evidence comes out that global warming is real and a threat and yet what do contrarians and denialists focus on?  What do the self-appointed auditors focus on? The overblown comments of a few climate scientists who felt hounded by denialists and felt threatened, personally and their careers.  A few minor errors in data or in literature.

It’s not about science. It’s about politics and ideology and money.

The latest CA post whinges about what the Inquiry didn’t do — it didn’t focus on three elements McI feels should have been addressed. Issues he’s bashed on about before several times.

All right all ready. We got the point. I’m sure we all understand that he doesn’t accept the findings of the Inquiry.

McI has always cast himself as the simple auditor, interested in checking the numbers, solving puzzles, acting in complete good faith, horrified by the evils he’d uncovered in the dark halls of climate science.

I’d like to see all his emails with various players among the skeptics. One gets this sense that he’s doing a very good job of holding in his real views in public forums. I’d like a peek behind the curtain.

In the Wizard of Oz, The Great And Powerful Oz, in between bursts of fire and smoke, demands that Dorothy and her companions “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.”

Interesting analogy, no?

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38 Responses to “Of Inquiries, Wizards and What’s Behind the Curtain”

  1. An audit clarifying Jones’ state of mind and knowledge might help him eradicate his reactive mind and reach the state of Operating Thetan.

  2. It’s ridiculous that McI wants to talk about a scientist’s state of mind instead of the current warming. But that is the primary tactic in this strategy to deny, deny, deny. Create a false controversy and bang on that drum as hard and often as you can. Get your spokespeople in front of the media. Baffle with BS — the majority of the public can’t tell the difference between pseudoscientific dreck and real science so the fact you’re telling lies won’t matter. Hype emotion by talking about individual motives and interests rather than cold hard science, which is boring and less persuasive. When emotion and reason battle, emotion wins out every time. Money talks. Remember the golden rule — he who has gold rules.

  3. “The data was available in other sources and locations even if they couldn’t get it from CRU”

    Really? From what other source can one get the list of stations which Jones used, so Jones’ work can be checked? Or if the list of stations doesn’t matter, then what needs to be checked is the careful selection process which Jones did. Because either the selection is important or the study has an error in the claim that selection was necessary. Either way, the list of stations is needed in order to review the work.

    • Really? From what other source can one get the list of stations which Jones used, so Jones’ work can be checked?

      From what I can tell, Jones did send McI the list of stations he used. And from McI’s own website he admits to having the list of stations and temperature data from the CRU website obtained through a breach of security.

      Here ya go:

      More news on the Met Office/CRU molehunt.

      Late yesterday (Eastern time), I learned that the Met Office/CRU had identified the mole. They are now aware that there has in fact been a breach of security. They have confirmed that I am in fact in possession of CRU temperature data, data so sensitive that, according to the UK Met Office, my being in possession of this data would, “damage the trust that scientists have in those scientists who happen to be employed in the public sector”, interfere with the “effective conduct of international relations”, “hamper the ability to protect and promote United Kingdom interests through international relations” and “seriously affect the relationship between the United Kingdom and other Countries and Institutions.”

      Although they have confirmed the breach of security, neither the Met Office nor CRU have issued a statement warning the public of the newCRU_tar leak. Nor, it seems, have they notified the various parties to the alleged confidentiality agreements that there has been a breach in those confidentiality agreements, so that the opposite parties can take appropriate counter-measures to cope with the breach of security by UK institutions. Thus far, the only actions by either the Met Office or CRU appear to have been a concerted and prompt effort to cover up the breach of security by attempting to eradicate all traces of the mole’s activities. My guess is that they will not make the slightest effort to discipline the mole.

      Nor have either the Met Office or CRU have contacted me asking me not to further disseminate the sensitive data or to destroy the data that I have in my possession.

      By not doing so, they are surely opening themselves up to further charges of negligence for the following reasons. Their stated position is that, as a “non-academic”, my possession of the data would be wrongful (a position with which I do not agree, by the way). Now that they are aware that I am in possession of the data (and they are aware, don’t kid yourselves), any prudent lawyer would advise them to immediately to notify me that I am not entitled to be in possession of the data and to ask/instruct me to destroy the data that I have in my possession and not to further disseminate the sensitive data. You send out that sort of letter even if you think that the letter is going to fall on deaf ears.

      Since I am always eager to help climate scientists with these conundrums, I’ll help them out a little here. If, prior to midnight Eastern time on Thursday July 30, 2009, a senior executive of the Met Office or the University of East Anglia notifies me that I am in wrongful possession of the data and directly requests me to destroy my copies of the CRU station data in question and thereby do my part in the avoidance of newCRU_tar proliferation, I will do so.
      I will, of course, continue my FOI requests since I do not believe, for a minute, that their excuses have any validity nor am I convinced that the alleged confidentiality agreements actually exist nor, if they exist, am I convinced that they prohibit the provision of the data to me.

      [my emphasis]

      So McI went to the CRU ftp site and got data without permission — data he wasn’t entitled to — and despite the fact he has it, he still wanted to follow through with the FOI requests. Because he didn’t believe there were any confidentiality agreements. Which we know there were.

  4. Yes, there’s some questionable behavior going on — but…

    Quit reading right there. Thanks for playing.

  5. Yes Jones refused to release the list of stations that he had used. So it would be quite impossible for anyone to get the station data from public sources.

  6. Is the temperature increasing due to burning of fossil fuels or not? That’s what matters.

    If I am 5 poubds overweight, my dodcotr will not be concerned. If I am 100 pounds overweight my doctor will be very concerned and advise me strongly to change my habits.

    So if the warming is small, there is no concern. If the warming is quite large then there can be very serious concern. Hence the need for stringent rigor in the analysis of climate data especially the data that is going to be used for policy making. Climategate demonstrated tht SMc’s concern over the very poor state of climate science was quite justified

    • Actually your doctor, if he or she were good, would want to know more than how much you weigh: he or she would want to know how much weight you gained and why you were gaining weight. Getting heavy from say, normal growth during adolescence is one thing – but adult weight gain due to excess fluid buildup caused by kidney or heart failure is a whole other kettle of fish. So a few pounds of weight gain could be far more significant if it is the latter and far less significant if the former. Your analogy is simplistic and incorrect.

      Why not discuss the actual science instead of inadequate analogies?

      Is it warming? Is the warming due to CO2 increase from burning of fossil fuels? Is climate sensitivity low, medium or high? What do we do in response?

      The best science — which is all we ever have to go on — says yes to the first and second. A few emails with ill-advised language does not and has not invalidated the science.

      As to the third, the prudent person says that given the risks of higher sensitivity, we had better act to address the issue. If you know a risk exists, and the potential exists for severe consequences if no action is taken, the rational person says be prepared.

      As to the fourth question, well, that’s the rub.

      I agree the science should be sound. No one has shown that it isn’t sound. Lots of claims have been made and lots of allegations made, but when scientists have examined the evidence, they have concluded that the emails and the few errors that have been identified in the IPCC reports do not undermine the science.

  7. AnonyMoose :
    “The data was available in other sources and locations even if they couldn’t get it from CRU”
    Really? From what other source can one get the list of stations which Jones used, so Jones’ work can be checked?

    Are these any help?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8511670.stm

    The locations of the 80% of stations are shown on the next link in red. The stations we have yet to get agreement to release are shown in grey.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5968/934/DC1

    Q: One of the real challenges is going from the raw data that’s available to anyone to the final temperature sets that you release. Do you feel that you have released enough information so that someone could repeat that exercise?

    P.J.: Yes, I feel we have. [Our papers] have been peer-reviewed; we’ve been doing this work for almost 30 years now. [NOAA] has something called the Global Historical Climatology Network (GHCN), and people can download the station data–it’s essentially the same data [although] it may not be exactly the same. They could go and take that data, make their own choices about what stations to use. … They could reproduce their own gridded temperature data. A lot of the people at the moment criticize what we do but [are not doing] anything constructive and new.

    GHCN on Wiki with a link to the GHCN Database, just in case you never heard of it:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Historical_Climatology_Network

    Or are you just being a Climategate Troofer?

    • No no no, J — sure 80% of the data is out there for their use — if they really wanted to use it to replicate the temperature record. But you’re missing the point. They don’t want to replicate the findings — they want to audit the data to look for errors and evidence of fraud. Why? Because they’re either ideologically, politically or financially opposed to legislated restrictions on CO2 and GHG emissions.

      It’s not about science. It’s about preventing or delaying action on climate change. It’s about creating a false controversy — “The evol climate scientists don’t want to share their toys data so they must be hiding something OMG!” — and suggesting that they are lying or deceiving or defrauding.

      Don’t confuse them with the facts!

      It’s like Watts — when all his “best” stations are used to construct a temperature record and compared with his ‘poor’ stations, no diff! In fact, the good stations are slightly warmer than the poor! You note he hasn’t changed his mind about the issue of the validity of the temperature record. Because it’s not about evidence or facts.

      Come on — get with the program.

  8. Oh, as if by magic, guess what? CRU hands the troofers their asses in a sling with a 78 page document detailing responses to all of the “controversies”.

    http://www.cce-review.org/evidence/Climatic_Research_Unit.pdf

    Issue 1. The allegation of ignoring potential problems in deducing palaeotemperatures from tree ring data that might undermine the validity of the so-called “hockey stick” curve.

    Issue 2. The allegation that CRU has colluded in attempting to diminish the significance of data that might appear to conflict with the 20th century global warming hypothesis.

    Issue 3. It is alleged that proxy temperature deductions and instrumental temperature data have been improperly combined to conceal mismatch between the two data series.

    Issue 4. It is alleged that there has been an improper bias in selecting and adjusting data so as to favour the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis and details of sites and the data adjustments have not been made adequately available.

    Issue 5. It is alleged that there have been improper attempts to influence the peer review system and a violation of IPCC procedures in attempting to prevent the publication of opposing ideas.

    Issue 6. The scrutiny and re-analysis of data by other scientists is a vital process if hypotheses are to be rigorously tested and improved. It is alleged that there has been a failure to make important data available or the procedures used to adjust and analyse that data, thereby subverting a crucial scientific process.

    Issue 7. The keeping of accurate records of datasets, algorithms and software used in the analysis of climate data.

    Issue 8. Response to Freedom of Information requests.

    Watch the conspiracy theorists run around like headless chickens trying to deny everything in that document. Grownup time.

  9. The question I’m left with is how influential are the CA and WUWT blogs in reality. Sure they may attract their own seemingly enormous audiences, but what have they done to cultivate credibility with key audiences in the mainstream media, in executive government, among educators, among industrial interests, among conservative thinkers? Credibility and trust are pre-requisites for influence, not long-winded blog posts written in obstruse technical language, followed by streams of repetitive overheated and just plain loopy comments. As the PL notes, what the heck does the CRU email hacking incident and subsequent public inquiries have to do with the actual challenges inherent to climate/weather monitoring and science? ZERO. So why is there such endless blogging about it?

    The CRU email hack and the IPCC report corrections have run through their respective issue attention cycles in the mainstream media. These ‘events’ generated a lot of heat and press copy, but what insights have they generated about the science and the communities that produce and use it? Now, several months after the hacking incident, perceptions of these issue are starting to boomerang back on the doubt creationists. Whatever credibility they may have had may now be eroding quickly, even in audiences favorably disposed to their ideologies. What could be done to speed that credibility erosion along?

    Seond, what are the best steps to take now for those who wish to seriously address the climate crisis? Sure, continuing to counter doubt creation initiatives is necessary; but what positive steps/strategies should be taken as well with regard to informing public and political opinion?

    I’m tired of reading ad nauseum about the fradulence (flatulence?) of the managers of the CA and WUWT blogs, and am increasingly ‘skeptical’ as to their actual impact on policy making and public perceptions (They have to try to inflate impressions of how impactful they are.). In reality, they’re not even on the radar in key climate policy and science discussions that I’m aware of (in water resources). They’ve never had much credibility to start with and arguably they have even less now.

    I understand why the doubt creationists inspire such vehemence in the science and environmental communities. It is important therefore to keep one’s head about this and think ahead through the next steps. Revenge is best served cold.

    Nevertheless, I’m not so much interested in revenge as understanding better on where we go from here in a positive pro-active manner in policy and science education.

  10. Here’s another way that the Wiz of Oz anology applies to McI. He carefully constructs his public persona as calm, experienced, wise, and mature while his private persona, behind an electronic curtain, is likely meglomaniacal and deeply angry. Similarly, I speculate that he suffers from a major case of messiah complex, while portraying himself publicly as a “Brian” (as in “The Life of Brian”).

  11. I love the analogy SheWonk. I think TerryMN probably did read the whole story 😉

    The CRU’s submission to the CCE review is exhaustive. They demonstrate that using 80% of the station data still provides pretty much the same answer. They also demonstrate the CRU temps over land in the 21st century are probably underestimating the warming. In fact, they convincingly and soundly demonstrate many things.

    I was surprised at the lack of eloquence and conviction evident in McI’s CNN interview. He clearly looked deflated and defeated. But I realise that could be just how he is. Does he typically talk and look that way?

    McI is clearly obsessed, and if anyone’s state of mind should be being questioned here it is his.

    McI’s beloved Yamal argument has been thoroughly debunked. BUT, even if he had a superior method or means of selecting proxies (which he doesn’t but let us entertain the idea)– in the end the traces of the various temperature reconstructions are practically on top of each other. No?

    Regardless, the MWP has nothing whatsoever to do with the theory of AGW. The planet has been much warmer than it was during the MWP in the not so past (relative to geological time). Dr. Alley can entertain that fact, while simultaneously entertaining the fact that we are now a major driver of the the climate system by dramatically increasing GHGs. The obsession of the deniers with the MWP is a red herring, designed to confuse lay people or people who cannot be bothered to do some research or look at the big picture.

    My vote is to send McI to testify in person before the CCE review and Oxburgh committee, and while he is there slap him with a libel suit.

    What is incredibly sad, is that with incredibly very little effort, the media could unmask CA, WUWT etc. and show them for the mendacious frauds they are. Monbiot, Revkin and Pearce, and other journalists, should all be hanging their heads in shame for missing the real story here.

  12. What is incredibly sad, is that with incredibly very little effort, the media could unmask CA, WUWT etc. and show them for the mendacious frauds they are. Monbiot, Revkin and Pearce, and other journalists, should all be hanging their heads in shame for missing the real story here

    The answer to this is a resounding “So What?’. What do you think that all of this animosity and all of this rancor accomplishes? is it going to change anyone’s mind. Is it going to bring clarity to the issues confronting policy makers? The real answer here is to listen to the advice of Judith Curry and other climate scientists and to admit the uncertainties tht dog this entire field. With that, there is a possibility that you will be able to communicate and find some commonality with people who are not so convinced of climate change as you are. How do you think you are going to convince them by yelling liar and fraud at the top of your lungs? How do you think that you are going to convince them by announcing every doubtful result as if it were unquestionable truth? Remember the great loss of ice in the arctic of 2007. The situation with arctic ice know has revealed quite another cause that AGW for it. The overarched commentary on the 2007 occurrence has harmed the discussion about climate change.

    The self-styled climate skeptics have minds of their own. They are people just like you who have their values and their biases, just like you. As Mike Hulme points out, these people are not going to be intimidated into believing something because of grand assertions that are shouted very loudly. RealClimate tried that and now RealClimate is part of the discredited climate science establishment. This is the poisoned Tylenol moment for climate science. Like Johnson & Johnson, climate science can take responsibility for what happened and come out of it stronger. Yelling at people, and calling them “flat earthers”, “deniers”, “idiots”, “liars”, “frauds etc. is not going to convince them. Why would it? They are here and they are going to stay here so you had better get used to it.

  13. Here’s another way that the Wiz of Oz anology applies to McI. He carefully constructs his public persona as calm, experienced, wise, and mature while his private persona, behind an electronic curtain, is likely meglomaniacal and deeply angry

    Would you care to cite some evidece for this?

  14. TAG :

    Here’s another way that the Wiz of Oz anology applies to McI. He carefully constructs his public persona as calm, experienced, wise, and mature while his private persona, behind an electronic curtain, is likely meglomaniacal and deeply angry

    Would you care to cite some evidece for this?

    The only ‘evidence’ I have is what everyone else can see by paying attention to CA and his various media appearances:

    – Continual references to himself and his epic struggles; eg: ‘o how terrible the dendrologists ‘dis-invited’ me to their conference’
    – Sanctimonious and falsely intimate tones in his writing;
    – Endless efforts to sell his points of view; efforts which are fueled probably by a combination of anger at all the invective that has been thrown his way over the year;
    – a fanatical adherence to the notion that he is completely right and all who oppose him are completely wrong.
    – Complete absence of evenhanded or balanced analysis;
    – A clear desire to foment and lead a crusade against all that is wrong out there in the science world
    – A tendency to interpret the actions of others as conspiratorial
    – A tendency to discuss in mild, impartial sounding terms about the science and then to engage in very ignoble behaviors when trying to extract information from or otherwise communicate directly scientists.

    No, I don’t know him personally; but it isn’t hard to come up with some pretty good working theories just reading some of his material combined with a decent effort to understand the science.

    Furthermore, the scientific community hasn’t been “shouting grand assertions”. They’ve made an extraordinarily convincing case based upon decades of field research and patient, determined analysis. Within the fields of environmental and geosciences, climate change is one of the clearest, most comprehensively assessed and understood anthropogenic perturbations to the planet and its biosphere. I think the credibility of the science is growing in the mind of the world’s public.

    Jeez, now I’m being drawn into these inane debates.

  15. tag, I and others are not calling McI, Watts et al liars and frauds, they are liars and frauds. That is not a claim or an opinion or an assertion, it is a very real fact, and they have demonstrated that by their own actions, again and again in the public forum.

    And you spinning your wheels here claiming ‘so what” is rather funny, or rather lame attempt to detract from the very inconvenient truths presented here by SheWonk and elsewhere by others. McI are going to go down in flames, in fact that descent has already started and will accelerate.

    “The situation with arctic ice know has revealed quite another cause that AGW for it”

    There were several factors which contributed to the record low ice extent, and the weakening/pre-conditioning of the ice as a result of warming was one of them. Shame on you, b/c you know that, and insists on distorting. Maybe that was you whole point, to try and drag us off topic by making stupid statements. How is the MY Arctic ice doing TAG? Answer, not well at all.

  16. We should not go a bridge too far regarding others’ minds. The easiness to work out some theories of contrarians’ innards argues not for, but against theorizing about their intentions. That does not mean one can’t theorize for his own enlightenment. That only means, as TAG reminds us, that it will never convince them and that it might not help your cause.

    Venting from time to time might still be justified, or at least understandable. But it might help to stay tongue-in-cheek, like the Wizard of Oz analogy. Why shout when one can dismiss arguments with style and levity?

  17. willard :
    We should not go a bridge too far regarding others’ minds. The easiness to work out some theories of contrarians’ innards argues not for, but against theorizing about their intentions. That does not mean one can’t theorize for his own enlightenment. That only means, as TAG reminds us, that it will never convince them and that it might not help your cause.
    Venting from time to time might still be justified, or at least understandable. But it might help to stay tongue-in-cheek, like the Wizard of Oz analogy. Why shout when one can dismiss arguments with style and levity?

    This is sage advice. I was served a cupcake so I slammed it back over the net, perhaps not with a shout, but certainly with some cold fury. And I provoked the question in the first place.

    I encounter denialism in political spheres I work in and must control my reactions to it in order to survive another day. So when writing on a blog under a nom de plume it’s tempting to indulge in some harshness towards that pitiful man behind the curtain (Where’s that ballon he can float back to Kansas in?).

  18. Sloop, I’ve visited CA once or twice and seen the chap on a tv clip, and he doesn’t come across to me as “calm, experienced, wise, and mature” at all.

    He strikes me as being a weasely character who is obsessive (maybe a case of asperger’s syndrome). He has tunnel vision and believes he is superior to everyone else, despite his lack of learning. If anything goes wrong it’s always someone else’s fault. Sometimes these types are attracted to engineering and auditing because they don’t relate well to people. They may be quite smart within a narrow spectrum. The problem is they box themselves in and can’t see outside. (My totally non-professional diagnosis – lol!)

    I mean he’s still drumming on about FOI for heaven’s sake. He’s just another crank. There are a one or two influential people who find him useful for the moment, and allow him to still keep in touch. He’s had his day, but will probably hang around the fringes for a while longer, making a ruckus now and again.

  19. My point was that is how he seeks to portray himself, not that he succeeds in doing so. Interesting idea that asperger syndrome may be involved here, which implies his sanctimoniousness is somewhat unintentional.

    While not wishing to stoop to nasty personal invectives (per wise willard’s advice), pyschological profiling may have some value for understanding how to respond more effectively to his forays into the mainstream media, and his apparently continuing efforts to stir up trouble for the management and science communities

  20. Everyone has motives and interests in becoming involved in any matter, such as the climate change debates/wars. Some motives and interests are informed by economics or politics or ideological commitments — or just plain concern for the future. It is always good when trying to analyze a matter like the climate wars to try to identify those motives and interests so your analysis of the players and their actions is informed. If you were to bet on a horse, it would be a good idea to know as much about the horse, its rider, the track, etc. So I am all about trying to understand the interests and motives of the players in this war. B

    At the same time, it’s probably ill-advised to diagnose people over the internet. 🙂

    In the end, uncovering interests and motives only help understand the battle as a battle. It doesn’t say anything about the actual science.

  21. Sou writes:

    Sloop, I’ve visited CA once or twice and seen the chap on a tv clip, and he doesn’t come across to me as “calm, experienced, wise, and mature” at all.

    You’ve visited CA oncce or twice and so can make a medical diagnosis on someone you have never met. All I can say is that your skill as a medical practitioner is amazing.

  22. TAG :
    You’ve visited CA oncce or twice and so can make a medical diagnosis on someone you have never met. All I can say is that your skill as a medical practitioner is amazing.

    I take it then, TAG, that you know McI personally?

  23. There are very good reasons to refrain from diagnozing the autism spectrum over the Internet. The simplest one is that the diagnosis does not rest on written communication only. Another very good one is that autists usually lack the ability to understand, let alone use wayward communication tricks like analogy, insinuation, irony, sarcasm, and even slang.

    An alternative to analyze inclinations by way of a psychological diagnostic might simply be to analyze the network of the citations. Noting who gets the carrot and who gets the stick might be quite revealing. Interestingly, it might even be more acute than relying on testimony.

    • An alternative to analyze inclinations by way of a psychological diagnostic might simply be to analyze the network of the citations. Noting who gets the carrot and who gets the stick might be quite revealing. Interestingly, it might even be more acute than relying on testimony.

      Excellent point and suggestion. Testimony is always suspicious because, let’s face it, people lie. On the other hand, the people they cite, the people who are in their good books, and the people who are attacked are very revealing of how they really feel and think about an issue.

  24. If I were to diagonize, I would say that the author of **How-to-Publish-a-Scientific-Comment-in-1-2-3-Easy-Steps** has more chances to partake some of the characteristics of an autistic behavior:

    Everybody should read it. I sincerely think this story should be adapted for an Hollywood movie. Or at least a Broadway musical. Maybe only a mandatory reading in a “Science and Ethics” class. Ok, a suggested reading, perhaps.

    PS: I acknowledge that the reference to autism was a lame excuse to handwave this excellent reference just taken from Eli Rabbett.

  25. Steve is not the only one who has found the Parliamentary inquiry and the Penn State inquiry to be less than satisfying. According to FOX News the OIG of NSF is looking into the Penn State inquiry to make certain it was “adequate.” Since Penn State did not talk to any hostile witnesses, it is hard to see how it could be. See http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/04/06/climate-gate-michael-mann/

  26. TAG@25, didn’t stop Mosher and other contrarians making public insinuations about Phil’s mental health.

    When did Stephen McIntyre last conduct an audit if a ‘warmer’s’ paper? Then again, when did Stephen audit a contrarian paper? Not as if he has not had opportunities of late (e.g., McLean). And right there CA acolytes is where your credibility keeps falling flat on its face. That and the fact that going to CA nowadays is like picking up a copy of the National Enquirer.

    Re #30, FOX news smearing a climate scientist. What a surprise (sarc).

    In the meantime, in the real world, the planet continues to accumulate heat.

  27. Tenaciously clinging to a particular belief or set of beliefs in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary–all humans do it, Why? And why some much more than others?

    Relatedly, how may we cultivate the practice of critical thinking about CC in very large numbers of citizens rapidly so that they may distinguish better between the rhetoric of those who heavily filter perception based upon belief and the rhetoric of those who recognize how the filters of their own conditioning work in assessing information, evidence, data, who can explore with some skill how they know what they know. And who therefore are able to more honestly, impartially assess the evidence and explore its what it says about our future.

    The tilt of doubt creationist networks, their utter lack of evenhandedness, is apparent to many educated folks. Such segments of society are not their targets. Their targets are the much larger segment of human societies that lack critical thinking skills, skills which require endless practice. Our electronic information networks offer the liberty of access to knowledge and greater opportunities for powerful interests to manipulate the views of those who cannot take advantage of the knowledge available with a couple of keystrokes. This exemplifies how our collective dilemma fundamentally has no technical or scientific solution; we will have to grow into the solution, . . . somehow.

    Buddha’s last words: ‘be a light unto yourself’

  28. Ron Cram, continuing his serial fail behavior, sez:

    Steve is not the only one who has found the Parliamentary inquiry and the Penn State inquiry to be less than satisfying. According to FOX News the OIG of NSF is looking into the Penn State inquiry to make certain it was “adequate.”

    Not realizing that the conclusion that the NSF finds the Penn State Inquiry “less than satisfying” doesn’t follow from the fact that the OIG of NSF is reviewing the inquiry.

    Of course, they might, as a result of this inquiry, in the *future* decide that it was “less than satisfying”. Indeed, they might find out it didn’t exonerate Mann in strong enough terms …

    But Ron wants us to believe that the NSF has decided that Mann has done something wrong *before* reviewing the inquiry, and regardless of the inquiry. That’s nothing short of a claim that NSF is as incompetently dishonest as McIntyre or Ron Cram, which I rather doubt …

  29. Ron Cram :
    According to FOX News the OIG of NSF is looking into the Penn State inquiry to make certain it was “adequate.”

    Oh cool.

    Firstly: It’s Faux News.
    Secondly: It looks like another potential Crash & Burn Day for the Denialati, who seem to be so blind to, and unaccepting of, facts and objective investigations that they really are beginning to present themselves as a bunch of desperate morons who live in a fantasy world.

    Looking forward to the findings, and I mean I’m really looking forward to them.

    API petition: Fail
    Oregon Petition: Fail
    House of Commons CRU inquiry: Fail
    Penn State Uni inquiry: Fail
    Peer review: Fail and fail and fail…

    Dummies.

  30. RE: OIG of NSF ‘investigation’.

    Often executive agencies are requested by a congress person to investigate a matter, conduct a report, etc. The motivations of the congress person can of course be purely political; but the agency has little choice but to go ahead with the exercise; an exercise that could backfire on the requester.

  31. SheWonk, I was reading some poetry and other quirky stuff to our youngest tonight and we came across one called ‘The ambiguous dog’. It too reminded me of McI and other contrarians who like to pretend to be friendly, while also having a mean and mendacious side.

    Anyhow, google it some time– it is by Arthur Guiterman 🙂

  32. After reading the McI piece again, does anyone else notice that it has this air about it, as if the one, the only, the overriding thing that concerned Jones et al, as if nothing else matters or exists, is the FOI requests and the requesters, as if they had nothing else to do?

    It really is a telling piece.

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