Open Thread #3

The comments on previous posts are getting quite unweildy although I think there are some fruitful avenues to continue exploring. I encourage people to still post where your comment is most appropriate, but there are a number of interesting developments on related issues that I want to point out and open for discussion if you are so inclined.

(Mr. Spock, using 1,102 spools of thread by Devora Sperber)

Around the Denialosphere for your delectation:

Gavingate — it’s going strong — I think it reveals the bankruptcy of Ravetz and crew’s approach to “reconciliation” in the climate sciences, at least as it applies to the Lisbon conference. I couldn’t believe that the organizers would parade his private email around for discussion. Highly unprofessional. But also, DC’s Post Normal Meltdown in Lisbon timeline is very illuminating, especially the comments by Ravetz over at WUWT on climate science and the CRU Hack and controversy.

Here’s a Ravetz tidbit from the DC article — go over and read more:

But it was totally implausible to me that the leading UK scientists were either gullible or complicit in a serious fraud at the core of the enterprise.  Even when I heard about M&M and the hockey stick scandal, I didn’t connect that dot with the others.  There’s a confession for you!  Jerry Ravetz, arch-critical-scientist, suckered by the A(C)GW con for years on end.  That really shows the power of plausibility.  Even now I’m not all the way with my critics; the distinction between incompetence and blundering self-protection on the one hand (plus agenda-driven hype) and self-conscious scientific conspiracy on the other, may still be dividing us.

Fred Pearce’s article has been updated:

Avowed non-sceptics included Hans von Storch, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and James Risbey of CSIRO. But the leaders of mainstream climate science turned down the gig, including NASA’s Gavin Schmidtwho said the science was settled so there was nothing to discuss[Gavin Schmidt has asked us to clarify his reasons for not attending: see the bottom of this post.]

The Sky Dragon is still being discussed over at Climate etc. — it seems proof that we should keep some “extended peers” with their “extended data” out of the policy process!

WUWT has been nominated for Best Science Weblog of the Year and Judith Curry for Climate Scientist of the Year — I think this speaks to the end of the world as we know it nomination processes and how awards are given rather than any objective competence or merit, but that’s just MNSHO…

And of course, since this is an open thread, please discuss whatever your little heart desires relating to climate science, climate change, global warming and the climate wars — have at it!

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About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

81 Responses to “Open Thread #3”

  1. I commented on DC that New Scientist left out the text of the invitation that Gavin replied to, making his post impossible to interpret.

    It’s most likely that if it was New Scientist that made the change it was thoughtless/incompetent but not deliberate. If it was Pearce, then it was his backhanded way of refusing to apologise to Gavin while trying to appear to readers as being conciliatory.

  2. Sou,

    “If it was Pearce, then it was his backhanded way of refusing to apologise to Gavin while trying to appear to readers as being conciliatory.”

    I predicted that something like this might happen at Deltoid. And, sadly, Pearce obliged.

  3. I like this comment from Chris Colose over at Climate etc. which pretty much nails it, containing my own view on the demands placed on climate science and climate scientists by skeptics / contrarians:

    What is clear to me is that climate scientists are now being held to standards which are not typical of any scientific discipline, or for that matter, held to standards which skeptics do not want to put upon themselves.

    On the first point, it is now apparently perceived as “bad” when scientists come to a conclusion that is robust enough to be well accepted by the majority. I have never seen claims of the sort that “gravity people” are engaging in indoctrination, or the indoctrination of cell theory, the indoctrination of soil science, or the dogma of electrons. Strangely, this only applies to conclusions about climate change, or maybe evolution (and especially in America).

    In most fields, consensus is thought of as a consequence of a convergence of evidence over time in a particular subject-matter, and one goes to authorities (doctors for medical diagnosis, lawyers for legal advice, etc) for insight. Most people seek the explanation with the most support, which is then echoed by the experts in the field. Some, on the other hand, will leave 100 doctors that give them a certain diagnosis, and then approve of the one that tells them to meditate, take secret forest herbs, and pray five times a day to cure their illness. People go to calculus textbooks to learn calculus, and yet no one goes to an sociologist to learn by the segments of the heart and brain. However, in climate science, apparently ‘authority’ is a logical fallacy, and textbooks and classrooms can be replaced by random opinions on a blog.

    What’s even more startling, is that the personal communiation of scientists through e-mails can actually change the laws of physics!

    What all of this shows is that many people simply cannot think rationally about climate change, nor do they have the capacity to diagnose proper information from nonsense. And once they pursue nonsense, it is very difficult to convince them that they are wrong. You cannot convince such people that Pat Michaels, Singer, Marano, etc don’t actually have anything to say, or that WUWT is a disinformation source. It’s not that the information to show they are nonsense is unavailable, it’s that the information MUST be wrong.

    It is also clear to me that climate scientists must now become babysitters to every half-baked idea out there, otherwise they are being dogmatic. They must write detailed responses to people who think the greenhouse effect isn’t real.

    It is also clear to me that the so-called ‘skeptics’ are allowed to make up whatever they want at will without consequence, and create a large but ill-thought out laundry list, and that we must play this game or else we’re being ‘dogmatic.’ If a climate scientist make one mistake, or a date gets screwed up in the middle of a 1000 page document about glaciers, it will receive international attention. However, if ‘skeptics’ toss out 8 conspiracy theories, 10 logical fallacies, and 17 arguments with ZERO thought put into them, then it is a good thing that we get to hear all sides. Then, when one item on the bucket list is knocked down, they can just jump tot he next item. In the meantime, they are just as valid as everyone else’s idea, since the criteria for acceptance is 101% certaintly in everything.

  4. On the lighter side of things, our favorite commenter:

    > It is trivially easy to show that no prime number can be even, hence all must be odd.

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/06/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-part-v-the-science-is-not-settled/#comment-39419

    To which Gene Zeien responds:

    > We’ll just skip over that inconvenient prime number, “2″.

    His comment made me look for a mathematical proof of the claim that every prime number is odd. It seems that the proof depends on the job you do:

    http://everything2.com/title/Proof+that+all+odd+numbers+are+prime

    Here is my favorite example:

    > Economist: Assume 9 is prime…

  5. Open thread eh? Can I plop this here….

    Our forecast for an exceptionally cold and also snowy January in Britain & West Europe stands and despite its unlikely occurrence according to standard views we expect with 80% confidence that much of Britain (eg Central England) to be in the three coldest Januaries in the last 100 years. It also follows that the winter of 2010-11 will probably be one of the two or three coldest in 100 years as suggested in our

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=290&c=5

    We had a whole run of days topping out at 12 and 13C here in London in January, 16C being that all time record for a January. Very warm for a January top 20 or even top 10 of all time.

    Hmmm…….

    Its easy being good when people only point to when you are right.

    • We had a week’s worth of +6 to +11 here in central Scotland. They don’t mention that though. Apart from the cold first 2 weeks, the rest of the month was quite normal, apart from the double digit temperature week.

    • Yes, Corbyn’s forecast was spectacularly wrong. It is very likely going to turn colder during the second half of February though, with snow likely. The UK Met Office has more about what is in the pipeline.

      I’m really looking forward to when the stats for February come in (DJF being the meteorological winter)……

  6. Where I live we went from -49C with the wind chill to two days later, rain and 2C and then two days later, -25C. Crazy weather…

  7. So what’s the deal with O’Donnell and Steig? I’m reading CA’s Coffin, meet nail and the previous post by O’Donnell. Quite the froth worked up there, no?

    So, from what I understand, Steig et. al. publishes a paper showing overall warming across the Antarctic with more warming in the West Antarctic. Later, O’Donnell submits a paper and a copy of it is sent to Steig for review, which is claimed to be a common practice, since it was Steig’s methodology that was being critiqued. I don’t know as I have not been involved in peer review other than that one gets as a graduate student submitting paper to a committee overseeing your work.

    Steig suggested O’Donnell use a specific method, causing the authors to change their paper, which was accepted for publication. After publication, Steig criticized him for using the methodology he suggested should be used. This is the claim of duplicity. O’Donnell’s paper argues that Steig’s methodology was wrong and that when the proper methodology is used, the generalized warming is removed and the only warming is in the West Antarctic. There is still warming, but it is not generalized.

    Here is Steig’s response:

    In summary, even if their results are taken at face value, O’Donnell et al. 2010 doesn’t change any of the conclusions reached in Steig et al. In West Antarctica where there is disagreement, Steig et al, 2009 is in better agreement with independent data, and O’Donnell et al.’s results appear to be adversely affected by using procedures known to underestimate trends. Thus while their results may represent an improved estimate for the trends in data rich regions — East Antarctica and the Peninsula — it is virtually certain that they are an underestimate for West Antarctica. This probably means going back to the drawing board to write up another paper, taking into account those suggestions of O’Donnell et al. that are valid, but hopefully avoiding their mistakes.

    Here is O’Donnell’s concluding remarks:

    My final comment is that this is not the first time.
    At the end of his post, Eric suggests that the interested Reader see his post “On Overfitting”. I suggest the interested Reader do exactly that. In fact, I suggest the interested Reader spend a good deal of time on the “On Overfitting” post to fully absorb what Eric was saying about PC retention. Following this, I suggest that the interested Reader examine my posts in that thread.
    Once this is completed, the interested Reader may find Review A rather . . . well . . . interesting when the Reader comes to the part where Eric talks about PC retention.
    Fool me once, shame on you. But twice isn’t going to happen, bud.

    So, what’s your view on this — I admit that I am not up to speed on the science, but it seems like more of the same battle over methodology and claims of broken peer review and duplicity.

    • RE: O’Donnell – Stieg, that sounds similar to the things that happened in the early IPCC processes that caused the exponential (or logistic/sigmoidal) scenarios describing natural world (esp. carbon cycle) to be partly/mostly exluded. I’m not familiar with the methodology either, but it’s commonly known fits involving exponentials (in statistics) are much harder to control (for error) than linear, if that is what this is about.

    • I don’t even want to know the science — I probably could if I bothered. But I find this routine assumption of bad faith getting really really old.

      It’s a pity O’Donnell falls for this — he seemed like a reasonable bloke.

    • I held my nose and visited WUWT and saw a post by Ryan O’Donnell, where he ended up pointing to a link to James Delingpole (he who doesn’t read scientific papers and interprets the interpreters). I decided then and there that there is nothing to this but a spitting of the dummy by O’Donnell. What credible scientist would try to take such an argument to CA, let alone WUWT, let alone look to Delingpole for support?

      I then plugged Ryan O’Donnell’s name into google because I haven’t heard of him before. There are a lot of Ryan O’Donnells, so I added Antarctica to the search and the first link in google was to an article in ezine of all places. The headline read:

      Climate Skeptic Refutes Self, Confirms Antarctica Warming

      http://ezinearticles.com/?Climate-Skeptic-Refutes-Self,-Confirms-Antarctica-Warming&id=5883419

    • The point of this is to try to demolish Steig’s reputation and credibility as a scientist. The history goes back to blogscientists reacting to Steig’s paper by not only claiming to refute it, but by claiming that the paper was clearly fraudulent in the same sense that Michael Mann’s work is “fraudulent”.

      Steig became a target because his paper not only made Nature, but also was the source for the cover illustration of that issue.

      Therefore, the usual fraud accusations.

      In this case, some people started working up their own reconstructions, something Steig encouraged by essentially saying, hey, ya got sumthin’, write it up and publish.

      And they did. Since it was a direct response to Steig’s paper, it certainly seems reasonable that he’d be asked to review it, since after all he’s the most expert person on that person. There were other reviewers too, of course.

      The courses the two parties are following is interesting. O’Donnell et al are focused on their paper as being the end-all and be-all of the relevant science, and blaming Steig for whatever weaknesses might be contained within, doing whatever they can to destroy his reputation and credibility in the process.

      Steig’s group is working on new papers extending their own methodology, and given that he generally approves of O’Donnell et al’s work though he has some complaints about bits of it, doing so informed by those good things that exist in the paper. While gathering in more data – proxies, probably? – to help increase the resolution and shrink the error bounds of their reconstructions.

      In other words, what I think of as normal science … you work and work, get to a point where you have enough to publish something good that advances the science, then get back to work, push forward, and later publish a paper that pushes things forward (probably making some of the stuff in the earlier paper look a bit silly or premature or primitive in the process), then repeat, lather and rinse until you retire.

      You don’t publish one paper, and then try to destroy the reputation of one reviewer just because you don’t like some of the stuff he later said about your paper in a blog post.

  8. Another related issue from the Guardian:

    WikiLeaks Cable: Saudi Arabia cannot pump enough oil to keep a lid on prices

    Followers of Peak Oil will be aware that stocks of oil have likely been overstated. The WikiLeaks cable suggests by 40%.

    Husseini said that at that point Aramco would not be able to stop the rise of global oil prices because the Saudi energy industry had overstated its recoverable reserves to spur foreign investment. He argued that Aramco had badly underestimated the time needed to bring new oil on tap.

    One cable said: “According to al-Husseini, the crux of the issue is twofold. First, it is possible that Saudi reserves are not as bountiful as sometimes described, and the timeline for their production not as unrestrained as Aramco and energy optimists would like to portray.”

    It went on: “In a presentation, Abdallah al-Saif, current Aramco senior vice-president for exploration, reported that Aramco has 716bn barrels of total reserves, of which 51% are recoverable, and that in 20 years Aramco will have 900bn barrels of reserves.

    “Al-Husseini disagrees with this analysis, believing Aramco’s reserves are overstated by as much as 300bn barrels. In his view once 50% of original proven reserves has been reached … a steady output in decline will ensue and no amount of effort will be able to stop it. He believes that what will result is a plateau in total output that will last approximately 15 years followed by decreasing output.”

    Canada, of course, has our filthy shale oil that people are counting on to keep the oil flowing and the petrodollars in our pockets.

    • Saw that, too. Try to find verified, independently audited P90 reserve figures (which fluctuate like BP’s share prices already) for a single OPEC country (hint; you can’t, none of the OPEC states will allow it). Add to the mix Royal Dutch|Shell’s audit revealing they were ~40% below their declared proven reserves, your guess is as good as mine concerning what could be in store.

      Perhaps of interest:
      An Armchair Audit of World Oil Reserves (PDF)

    • On this one I am a bit mixed, I have spoken to a couple of people who have worked in Saudi and think they have more reserves than just extrapolating from the pre80s bumps in reserves but perhaps not as much as they are saying.

      @JBowers, P50 is also an important measure here as they are not declaring reserves to book against a share price, so the P50 is the 50% likelyhood recoverable. The rock structure their, especially the famed Arab D rock strata in Ghawar is liable to produce much\ most of the oil in place (perhaps the same kind of recovery levels we seen in the North Sea basin) since the report was written Haradh III has come online and that is bound to be a huge chunk of spare capcity.

      Id also not be suprised to see Iraq pull 1-2 million barrels a day extra out of its hat in the next couple of years but otherwise things are looking very tight indeed in terms of supply growth.

      But as I have said the Baltic Dry Index seems to have taken a dive so there may be another recession already starting to happen, or perhaps bad NH winter meant fewer orders to Shenzhen, I had been using the CO2 levels as a proxy for global industrial activity and assumed the developing world was roaring along but the Amazon drought story puts a bit of a question mark over that.

      Interesting times though.

  9. shewonk :
    So what’s the deal with O’Donnell and Steig?

    Steig posts his opinion on O’Donnell et al, still compliments O’Donnell et al and says it has value, O’Donnell spits his dummy out the pram (wouldn’t be surprised if he was egg’d on to do so in the background), the usual cry babies make much web hits from it. Even if O’Donnell’s criticisms of Steig’s points are good, and even if he justifiably feels there’s a lack of good faith, it’s too interjected with moral outrage and boo-f******-hoo to do him any credit, which is a shame as they were both having a really interesting discussion which led me to hope they’d end up collaborating (which Eric Steig also suggested a desire for in a response to me at RC).

    This is where “extended peer review” shows it flaws, IMHO. The extended and extensive wannabe peers aren’t capable of putting their emotions in their back pockets and maintain a calm and rational discussion, which they’d have but no other choice to do if they were holding a dialogue via the normal peer review system. In the meantime, Planet Denial is up in arms and the likes of Comical Tony get to smoke a cigar as their web counters keep on “dinging” away.

    O’Donnell’s blown an opportunity as far as I’m concerned. He needs to step away from his own buddz and get a grip.

  10. shewonk :
    Canada, of course, has our filthy shale oil

    Which can only provide ~10% of the world’s daily oil needs, with the added non-bonus of costing X times more to extract and refine. A 10 billion barrel oil field will provide the world with less than 120 days of oil at current consumption rates, and that’ll be going down and down as the years roll by according to Exxon and BP’s own projections of increasing oil demand.

  11. It seems that the central component of O’Donnell’s beef is that Steig was “Reviewer A”. He claims that Steig has confirmed to him this is the case but other than that I haven’t seen anything definitive.

    From my vantage point I’m not able to evaluate the situation because I don’t know enough about the normal peer review practises or the statistical methods being employed. I do see it as a bit odd that nobody has yet made a case to defend Steig on either count, it may just take some time to prepare or it may be there is no defence.

    It’s interesting though that it’s again the skeptics ratcheting up the rhetoric whilst also claiming the high ground. There seems to be a general lack of concern for what’s actually happening in the Antarctic and indeed one of the criticisms levelled against Steig is that he was focussed on comparing results to other data to see which reflected reality better rather than the strict robustness of the approach.

    • But was Steig Reviewer A for all of the revisions?

      • No idea. The basis of the whole thing is this

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/wrong-is-wrong-a-reply-to-the-real-noise-at-real-climate/

        “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.

        Throughout all of the questioning on Climate Audit, tAV, and Andy Revkin’s blog, I kept my mouth shut. When Dr. Thomas Crowley became interested in this, I kept my mouth shut. When Eric asked for a copy of our paper (which, of course, he already had) I kept my mouth shut. I had every intention of keeping my promise . . . and were it not for Eric’s latest post on RC, I would have continued to keep my mouth shut.”

        So far nobody in a position to know for sure has said anything or revealed any actual evidence.

        As is usual with blogosphere driven stories it’s dominated by people prepared to make snap judgements based on assumption and prejudice. I’d like more information before forming opinion but of course silence also says something the longer it goes on.

        • ““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…”

          For certain uncommon definitions of “in confidence”, apparently …

    • Actually, it seems to me that the gist of Steig’s critique is the methodology they used to generate the cross validation statistics, not that they used TTLS, the method he used in the original paper.

      • And the main gist of O’Donnell’s complaint is that Steig apparently conspired to make them make a fool of themselves, or to have a stick to beat them with and reject the paper. Having seen the reviewer comments from reviewer A, reviewer A (yes, likely Steig) did not need this stick to reject the paper, he already recommend it without having that stick. And that Steig conspired to make them make a fool of themselves…that’s just ridiculous.

        Anyway, Eric apparently is preparing a reply.

        • I’m happy to hear he’s preparing a reply even if it’s a rumour.

          “reviewer A (yes, likely Steig) did not need this stick to reject the paper, he already recommend it without having that stick.”

          Still if he recommended the method anonymously and then later criticised them for it then it needs some explanation.

          If nothing else it provides a soft target for attack and allows the issue (i.e. the Antarctic!) to be ignored and make the debate yet again about personalities.

          I don’t have a particular problem with Steig being a reviewer but he probably should have outed himself rather than treat it like a secret identity.

          I also don’t have any problem with Steig being wrong. The debate has been cheapened to the point where climate scientists can’t even be incorrect or be correct but get there the wrong way without the usual charged of corruption flying thick and fast.

          Despite the claims of untold riches and power for climate scientists I find it hard to believe anyone would choose to be one in the current environment.

          • “I’m happy to hear he’s preparing a reply even if it’s a rumour.”

            It’s not a rumo[u]r (trying to be bi-dialectal here), he’s stated so at RC.

  12. Gryposaurus has a good analysis of Steig and O’Donnell posted at Bart V’s.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/open-thread-feb-2011/#comment-10750

    • If this had been a set up by the RC people then the CA crowd played into their hands beautifully by their reaction, it was so over the top. It was the blogging equivalent of reconnaissance by gunfire, shout first and check the bodies for who you’ve killed afterwards and some of the bloggers were pretty damned beltfed on this one.

      (blimey 10 efforts to spell reconnaissance before giving up and googling it)

  13. Sigh.
    From that thread, quoted from somewhere else:

    “Steven mosher | February 8, 2011 at 1:07 pm …
    Steig seems to have recommended a method he believes to be flawed.”

    All methods are flawed. Some methods are useful.

  14. Arthur Smith adds his opinion on Steig and O’Donnell at Bart’s.

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/open-thread-feb-2011/#comment-10783

  15. US Republicans to cut funding for EPA
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/feb/09/republican-environment-protection-agency-cut

    Ties them to the ‘its a hoax’ brand tighter than they needed to be.Even though it motivates their base I think it ties too much political capital into uncontrollable variables (like weather)

    • Just the henchmen for a new pollutocracy. Even the American public want the EPA to kick the asses of big polluters and the EPA was born from a Republican administration. Hopefully the committee members are feeding themselves enough rope.

  16. More chum posted at Climate etc. this time on a thread titled “On Being a Scientist”. Basically, it’s an opportunity for Curry’s guppies to slap themselves, Judy, Pielke, McIntyre and other skeptics on the back for being great scientists and to smear and continue attacking climate science and climate scientists, regurgitating “climategate” references and mentions of Feynman…

    • Feynman – I’m required to take a drink, but it’s getting late.

      Guessing at the C& thread posts and their corresponding drink penalties:
      Iron Sun – another swig while listening to “Inna-gadda-da-vida”
      Some hoary old professor story from the days before DNA structure was determined – a double (helix)
      A sudden conversational diversion into engineering standards – a shot delivered by some Rube Goldberg apparatus that abruptly falls apart
      Bringing up some other discredited scientific field that the “experts” are all against – a tiny drop diluted about 100,000 times
      Blog mistress looking the other way at the most preposterous comments – a slug of wood alcohol
      Sumpin’ about the eevill ICPP – uh oh, gotta run

  17. Arthur Smith gives his reasons why Steig’s review could not have been an attempt to delay publication:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/02/08/open-thread-feb-2011/#comment-10851

    If Steig wanted to delay the publication here’s what he would have done (editors have to watch out for referees using these tricks of course):

    (1) Taken 6 months to respond, while letting the editor know he was working on it (so the editor doesn’t assign to somebody else or go with the other reviews)

    (2) Finally send in a very brief review recommending rejection, with one claim the authors got something wrong that appears to completely invalidate their work (like choosing the wrong kgnd, some quantitative error in analysis, etc.)

    (3) Upon getting a revised paper that fixes the first problem, repeat 1 and 2 with a second problem. This can be repeated ad infinitum (or at least until the editor catches on)

    But less work for a referee is an even easier choice: put no effort into it at all, quickly respond with a blanket rejection recommendation (“this paper is crap”), wait till it gets published (if it does) and then pile on the authors and editors for the inevitable stupid mistakes that the referees didn’t put any effort into helping to catch.

    That’s what a negligent referee would do.

    Steig was a diligent scientist, his work here is exemplary. That O’Donnell and friends blew it up is a sign of how desperately far removed they are from the practices of real science.

  18. Just in case it get’s edited, here’s ODonnel’s full apology…of sorts.
    http://climateaudit.org/2011/02/11/ryan-odonnell-responds/

    “Subsequent to my post on Feb 7, 2010 here, Steig informed me by email that he had not seen our Response to his Third Review, as I had previously assumed. I apologize for my misunderstanding on this point, which was, however, incidental to the major concerns expressed in my post. A more detailed response on matters raised in Steig’s most recent RC post and other issues will be forthcoming.

    My misunderstanding over whether Steig received the Response to the Third Review does not alter the fact that Steig acting as Reviewer A, in his Second Review, had asked the editor to “insist” that we present the “most likely” West Antarctica trends, specifically proposing iridge, although, in an email yesterday, Steig expressed “total surprise” that we had complied with his iridge proposal and, in his Feb 1 RC post, even criticized us for complying his proposal. We will have more to say on this near the future, as his explanations remain insufficient.

    Nor do I agree that the criticisms in his RC posts of the methodology have any merit. In his Third Review, Steig had raised similar points against iridge, notwithstanding his Second Review proposal of the approach and his Third Review comment that “use of the ‘iridge’ procedure makes sense to me, and I suspect it really does give the best results”. We responded fully to these concerns in our Response to his Third Review, although we were unaware until Feb 8, 2011 that Steig had not received a copy of our Response.

    In any event, Steig knew or ought to have known that our response must have satisfied the editor of Journal of Climate and should have familiarized himself with our response before condemning the method that he had previously encouraged. Had Steig informed me that he had not seen a copy of our Response to his Third Review, I would have been delighted to send it to him. Instead, he chose to publicly disparage our paper using arguments that were both irrelevant and satisfactorily addressed – which was, unfortunately, no different than the tactic he used during review.

    Steig’s recent outbursts are merely his most recent effort to obfuscate the underlying point of our critique: that whatever was original in Steig et al 2009 was based on faulty mathematics; and that whatever was correct in Steig et al 2009 was already known.”

    Yes! This ship is still sailing!

    • Doesn’t seem like much of an apology to me.

      • Yes, the same post as before, shortened, less nasty language, with a small correction. Still all Steigs fault and still not realizing that it ok to criticize a method, even if you think it is better than the other choice.

        This is very unfortunate as it appears ODonnell has published something that actually matters. Had he just responded to Steig’s Feb 1st RC post with the science part, this could have been settled through future literature. Let’s hope this crap doesn’t distract from that, although that seems impossible now.

  19. Notpology:

    “An apology that doesnt ACTUALLY apologise, but is simply given to make the evil person LOOK/feel better”

  20. So which scientist is next for the long knives?

    The level of desperation is getting higher and higher. And as my lovely daughter would say, that was one lame-ass apology (oops – sorry m’Lass).

  21. > whatever was original …; and that whatever was correct …

    Hm, does this reveal what he thinks of the editors of the journal?

  22. So which scientist is next for the long knives?

    Whoever publishes something unacceptable next, right?

    • And who, ideally, can be linked to the Team and/or the IPCC.

    • Very possible, but the last two (Schmidt, Steig) were smeared on the basis of not attending a meeting and reviewing a paper, respectively. The recent conflicts seem to have come at the interface of “skeptic” – scientist and were caused by releasing and “interpreting” what had been private information. It’s as if some people want to relive the glory days of “Climategate”.

      Based on the poll results posted by jbowers below, there’s sure to be more pushback. Since they can’t push back on the science (O’D’s results don’t mean we have nothing to worry about in Antarctica) they’ll have to go after the scientists.

      The message that scientists are getting is to be as cautious of communication with the “skeptic”/lukewarmer side as one would be of e-mails promising a cut of a Nigerian fortune or a pretty overseas woman who would love to meet you.

      • As a note, the usual riposte to the polls is to cite earlier polls, for instance as reported by the BBC in February 2010. It’s always a good idea to check the dates of such things.

  23. Even after a couple of harsh-ish winters and Climategate…

    Jan. 31, 2011 – Public belief in climate change weathers storm, poll shows

    Events of past 18 months have little effect on Britons’ opinion, as 83% view climate change as a current or imminent threat
    […]
    A large majority of people think that humanity is causing climate change, with 68% agreeing and 24% choosing to blame non-man-made factors,

    Sep. 8, 2010 – Large Majority of Americans Support Government Solutions to Address Global Warming

    Large majorities of the residents of Florida, Maine and Massachusetts believe the Earth has been getting warmer gradually over the last 100 years (81 percent, 78 percent and 84 percent, respectively), and large majorities favor government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions…
    […]
    Majority believe warming due to human activity

    Mirroring the national survey, the statewide research conducted in July shows that very large majorities think that if the world has been warming, it has been due primarily or at least partly to “things people do” – 72 percent in Florida, 76 percent in Maine and 80 percent in Massachusetts compared to 75 percent nationally.

    Jan. 5, 2011 – Scientific American –“Bulge” in Atmospheric Pressure Responsible for Cold Winter Amid Global Warming

    But Jon Krosnick, a professor at Stanford University, said the only group affected by cold weather in terms of belief about climate change is the 30 percent of the population who distrust scientists. And then they only consider how the most recent season compares to the previous three years in terms of worldwide temperatures, he said.

    If this winter is unusually cold, he said, you would expect to see a “small drop” in the percentage of people who think global warming is happening.

    “People don’t use their local temperatures as a benchmark,” he said. “They are not dodos.”

    No wonder the denialati lash out so much.

  24. Well I am chastised. These ‘luke warmers’ have shown over played their hand.

  25. Eli has a nice post on the topic of the latest smear attempt from the denialati, updated with a comment and cartoon from Eric:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2011/02/some-useful-comments-from-elsewhere.html

  26. Ok, to be excessively thorough:
    Cartoons generally, usually the first item in the weekly update found behind the link on MT’s page:
    http://bit.ly/climatenews
    the code for it is:

    That one’s http://www.marcrobertscartoons.com/cartoons_display/cartoon2131.jpg

  27. Tried several times; check the bit bucket?

  28. Worth pointing out Prof. Mandia’s latest post with an exchange between Forbes Mag and Ben Santer. Singer’s still sticking the knife in where no knife is warranted.

    ‘Forbes Magazine: Wrong is Right’
    http://profmandia.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/forbes-magazine-wrong-is-right/

    And the UK’s Spectator sticks the knife into Eric Steig. Will grab a copy this weekend to check the actual article, but as it’s a part GWPF piece I don’t hold out much hope for it being fair and balanced. A co-author is Nick Lewis of O’D10 co-authorship. In fact, the fact that Lewis would be writing such an article with a GWPF “advisory member” and author of ‘The Rational Optimist’ is quite revealing to me.

    ‘Debunking the Antarctica myths’
    http://www.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/6706648/debunking-the-antarctica-myths.thtml

    A previous Monbiot article on Ridley’s book, which resulted in a to-and-fro between them both.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jun/18/matt-ridley-rational-optimist-errors

    More:
    http://www.monbiot.com/2007/10/23/libertarians-are-the-true-social-parasites/
    http://www.monbiot.com/2010/06/01/the-man-who-wants-to-northern-rock-the-planet/

    Worth a reminder of the ethereal sideshow to the Ecosphere, Biosphere, Cryosphere, Hydrosphere, and Atmosphere: the Noosphere 😉
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere

    So, no surprises that we have yet another leading libertarian/neoliberal at the centre of yet another attack on climate science.

  29. michael kors clutches
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