Silly Kids, Tricks are for Rabbit

October 7, 2009

In response to the 9YQ — the nine-year question: about why it took so damned long for McIntyre and others to get the data — some have protested that the publication policies of Science are such that Briffa et al were obligated to offer up their data immediately upon publication.

In the original Hockey Stick Redux comments section, I replied at several points that there may be other plausible mitigating reasons why Briffa, or his proxies, would be released from fulfilling this alleged requirement.  I also confessed that if it were true that one condition of publication was that all data were categorically open for evaluation, and if it were true that this was a binding rule, then it would also be true that Briffa et al would be obligated to release the data.  I added, however, that it would not necessarily be true that there would not be other conventions that override the prima facie obligation on Briffa et al’s part.  I did not add, but wish I had added, that such a conclusion seems to me incomprehensibly strong, that it would be counterproductive in the extreme.  Scientists and researchers would likely never offer up their findings for publication, and thus, practically speaking, such a rule would be self-defeating.

Those are a lot of conditionals.  Such was my abstract little contribution to this otherwise scintillating debate.


Fortunately, we have a tireless bunny to ferret out the goods for us.  (How’s that for mixing metaphors?)  Eli’s post is a must read on the 9YQ, so far as I’m concerned.  Since philosophers tend to be stuck in formal abstract-land, it’s nice to have someone do real-world legwork and dig up the actual effing guidelines.  As Eli points out, when making charges of the sort that are popping up, it is particularly important to read the actual effing guidelines.

I think there are important little lessons in this exchange.  Consider, for instance, that one can arrive at similar conclusions without necessarily going on a fact-finding wild goose chase.  (Damn those metaphors!)  It wasn’t terribly difficult for me to conjure up counter-instances to the insistence of some that there was somehow scholarly foul play or a cover-up.  I just assessed the claim on its face.

Such is the power of reasoning.  That’s basically all I ever do.  It’s an annoying personality quirk of mine, and I will be the first to admit that I am sometimes a very flawed reasoner, so if you find something irksome about my line of reasoning, please do challenge my reasoning.  Philosophers love that sort of thing.  (Oh, and we disagree, a lot, so I invite you to disagree with me.)

Having made my little plug for critical reasoning, it is definitely also important to dig into the facts.  In this case, the facts really will matter quite a bit.  If there are stringent publication rules, if the accused was caught philandering with a Russian dendro-spy, if the alleged super-statistician has been slipped a mickey… these are all important.  But what is also important is how those facts are glued together.  That glue is assessed and evaluated by using our judgment.  We all do it, some better than others.

One thing I do want to disagree with Eli on, however, is this quote.  The inquiring bunny writes:

However first, he will point out that the silence [from Real Climate, in response to an inquiry from Mr. Pete] is insightful.

If I read this correctly, which I may not be, I disagree that the silence from the concerned party (Real Climate, in this case, I think) is insightful.  There are many reasons for silence, some of which include simply wishing that a perceived annoyance will go away.  I must assume, no offense to Mr. McIntyre, that somewhere along the way, his contribution has been deemed an annoyance by Schmidt, Briffa, and companions.  There’s no reason to infer from the silence that the concerns of a complainant are legitimate.

Far more interesting is what Bunny digs up later in his post, corroborating a proposition that I made a few days ago, that there may be other reasons for data not to be forthcoming, even on a published research study in a journal with requiring relatively open access to data. More later on this developing and interesting story.


  1. Have you seen the latest rabbett Steve’s pulled out of the hat? I warned you.

  2. I warned you, now I’ll show you, Ben. Read Steve McIntyre’s response to Michael Ashley, comment #79 on the Climate Audit ‘Yamal and IPCC AR4 Review Comments’ thread. Also read Bender’s comment today at 7:56 AM on the original Redux thread here on your blog. You are badly not getting it. Tighten up.

  3. Bender spun his web of deceit and in fluttered Ben. What to do? What to do?

  4. Oh Kim. I’m just a lowly theorist. I only assess the coherence of claims. The facts of the case I leave to others. No need to raise the warning flag. I’ll check it out.

  5. Over on the other thread someone — Bender, Kim, Cap’n Crunch? — mentions that maybe some data was released somewhere and that Briffa had access to it the whole time. Maybe that’s true. Maybe not. Don’t know. I’m reading a blog, after all. Hard to judge the veracity of the claims without direct substantiating evidence, and even then, these are still blog comments. Plus, I plead ignorance.

    None of those facts, whether true or not, undermine the claims I make above, that whoever it was — Bender, Kim, Cap’n Crunch? — who said that the standards of the journal “require the release of all data,” was both factually wrong about the actual standards of the journal, and conceptually wrong about what such journal standards would morally require.

    • Wasn’t me. I don’t have time to look up crap like that. I’m reading papers.

  6. You are missing the point. The point is that there is inadequate scientific basis for Briffa’s hockey stick and all the subsequent studies dependent upon, and Briffa knew or should have known that the basis was inadequate. That he actively deceived many about the inadequacy of his work is just frosting on the cake.

  7. That’s just one point. There are other points too, like about who has the burden and/or obligation to release data, and why.

    My droning will grow tiresome, I fear, but I must point out again that I’m not qualified to assess the shape of hockey sticks.

    • Writing based on careful thought is never tiring to read.
      kim is complaining about a failure of process, not of individual behavior. “How can this be, that the fate of the globe, and the global economy, shall be determined on the basis of data that no one can access? This is insane!”
      What Briffa did as a scientist is one thing. What IPCC did as a bureaucracy in another. Was due process followed? Perhaps. Is the process flawed? Perhaps. Are both sides right? Perhaps.
      What wrinkles the story is the fact that the *process* for deciding which data gets fed into the IPCC process was overseen by … the *individual* whose data was being fed into the process! Never a good formula, due to the risk of conflict-of-interest. But you go with the experts, right?
      So the alarmist defenders of Briffa are pointing at the individual, saying “nothing’s been done wrong”. The skeptics point at the process, saying “something’s been done wrong, we’re just not sure what”.
      Each side tries to phrase the argument in a way that suits their purpose.

  8. Sure it’s one point, only the single most important point. And by any criteria, scientific, ethical, practical, intellectual, et ceteral, it is Briffa’s duty, nay joy, to release the data, and doubly important in a matter of such weighty policy implications. There is no justification for his chicanery, nor any for the Rabbett’s deceit. Not this side of the Looking Glass.

  9. Ben,
    You’re missing an important point. Eli’s recitation of policies helps us see that his interpretation is hardly compatible with the stated purpose of those who made those policies.

    They clearly are wanting authors to ensure data is made available.

    Briffa clearly reneg’d on this duty. He neither disclosed the data, nor did he provide sufficient information for others to obtain the data, nor did he assist McIntyre or others (e.g. D’Arrigo et al) in obtaining the data.

    We can argue fine points of data policy compliance till the cows come home.

    But as with any policy or contract, a contract is only worth the commitment to comply. If nobody cares, the requirements/suggestions/imperatives get ignored. Until now, that’s what’s been happening with Briffa’s data.

  10. BTW, others have dredged up the guidelines in the past on these kinds of issues. No surprise that this has been an enduring topic at CA.

    It’s very clear that there’s an underlying difference of perspective. I do trust that as scientists are beginning to look in, and are horrified by the lack of transparency in this subarea of climate science, that things will change.

  11. As we know now McIntyre acquired the measurement data in 2004. The initial attack on Briffa had several parts, but the first was that he had not provided the measurement data to McIntyre.

    It is worth quoting the first sentence in McIntyre’s original post on the subject:

    “A few days ago, I became aware that the long-sought Yamal measurement data url had materialized at Briffa’s website – after many years of effort on my part and nearly 10 years after its original use in Briffa (2000).”

    Moreover, we also know from the same paragraph that Briffa, when asked by the Phil Trans Roy Soc editors to archive the data from the paper on which one of the Russians was a coauthor, did so, asking for a bit of time to prepare it for archiving. As I said on the other thread, preparing data for archiving is not a straight forward process, and given a shark on the street like Steve McIntyre, anyone with any sense would take care and time in doing so.

    We now know that he had the data since 2004 (which is roughly when he started climate blogging). He is now trying to argue that he did not know that the data he had was the same as the data that Briffa had in 2000 and 2004. This, as they say is very thin gruel.

    In summary, the system worked pretty much as it should. The data belonged to the Russians. Briffa respected their ownership. The Russians provided the data to McIntyre pretty much when he asked. The journal editors recognized the difference between measurement data and the fruits of intellectual creation (the reconstructions).

    Eli has taken a fair amount of abuse here, Briffa has taken abuse everywhere. Apologies are both owed and not expected. Steve McIntyre has forfeit any consideration thru his behavior.

    • I may not have been direct enough. For a couple of days the Steves were arguing that since dendrologists had not been out there defending Briffa Steve must be right.

      The Steve hisself put this at the top of a post

      “First, let’s observe the continued silence of field dendros on the dispute. None have stepped forward so far to support Briffa’s use of 10 cores in 1990 (and 5 in 1995). As others have observed, their silence is rapidly becoming loud.”

      Steve and the Steves were not pleased when a dendrologist, Jim Bouldin, surfaced tearing McIntyre to shreds. The pivot was instantaneous, that the dendrologists were just defending their turf against truth, justice, etc. And, oh yes, he was not polite enough to them. Poor dears.

      A nice example of this is

      • And *still* none have stepped forward to defend the use of such a small sample. Jim Bouldin did not defend the use of such small samples and, more importantly, has not the authority to make such a proclamation. So McIntyre’s point stands and Rabett’s caught making pretenses again. Moreover, there is no sign that McIntyre was displeased by any of Bouldin’s remarks. Another fabrication.
        The use of such a small sample – especially given its non-representativeness – is statistically indefensible.

      • The reason McIntyre is correct that “the silence is telling” is because in this case there is a solid pre-existing consensus – and Briffa’s own professional opinion (!) – that 12 samples is too few when using RCS methodology. (1) The opinion of one blogospheric character does not overturn a consensus. (2) If Briffa had used, say, 200 samples and McIntyre had critized the output, then that would be the focal talking point on every alarmist blog out there. It would even make the specialist discussion forums.
        So some silences ARE telling.

      • I will no longer post direct replies to Rabett. This silence should be taken as “telling”. It tells of my lack of interest in chasing down quotes in a “gotcha” game of “he said – she said”.
        Nothing could be more boring and fruitless than trying to disprove someone’s credibility on the basis of trivial divergences in quotes extracted from different times and different contexts.
        There are fabulous puzzles out there worth solving.

    • Eli, you imply that Steve had access to this data in 2004. Do you know that for sure?

      Frankly, it doesn’t matter. The reality is that even if Steve did have a copy of the data, based on reactions that Steve has had in the past with the “team”, is it not unreasonable to expect that Biffra et al would simply state that the results of Steve’s analysis aren’t correct because he didn’t use the correct data or correct data set? (See Mann’s assertion that Steve’s MBH analysis was incorrect because he reportedly used the “wrong” dataset… the one that was actually from Mann’s censored directory).

      So, yes, “official” release of the data was actually required for verification.

      Now that verification process has begun, it appears to be “non-robust”. No dendro (including Biffra) has responded to the actual issues with Biffra’s methods. Biffra submitted a response, but he did not address the actual issues that Steve raised.


      • McIntyre wrote:

        “In response to your point that I wasn’t “diligent enough” in pursuing the matter with the Russians, in fact, I already had a version of the data from the Russians, one that I’d had since 2004. What I didn’t know until a couple of weeks ago was that this was the actual version that Briffa had used.

        This is not a small point. In climate science, there can be different versions of an unarchived data set in circulation. For example, there have been a number of different versions of Thompson’s Dunde ice core data in circulation, not all of which can be reconciled. ”


        He had the data. He was probably told it was the same data as was shared with Briffa (Eli’s speculation)

      • Eli speculates; Steve clarifies.

        Eli, you are simply WRONG. There is zero evidence for your perspective, and much evidence in opposition.

        Steve had SOME data in 2004. He had no way to know it was the same as Briffa’s data. He even gives examples of where supposedly “correct” data sets were incorrect. Without any justification, you claim he “should have known”.

        Why did he keep pursuing the question, if he knew?
        Why didn’t anyone shut him down by saying “you already have the data”?

        There is LOTS of evidence that as soon as he obtained access to the right data, he made use of it.

        You are dreaming if you think Steve would knowingly sit on the data for five years. Show us one shred of evidence, from any of Steve’s other audits, that he would ignore available data for a current “puzzle” for five years.

        Eli, not once have you admitted to your lies and obfuscations. How can you expect any of your listeners, let alone students, to respect you as an ethical communicator? Time and time again, your statements have been proven false. And these are not complicated matters subject to interpretation.

      • So if McIntyre had known about this for two weeks, it took him so long to mention it because…?

        Perhaps more significantly, why did he suspect for all that time that it might be the correct data and not mention that to anyone?

      • McIntyre himself says that he had the data. Mr. Pete parses and dices to try and say he only had a part of the data.

        McIntyre said he had the SAME data as Briffa in 2004. You are not only being unreasonable you are destroying your credibility.

      • ‘Same data as Briffa’, but he didn’t know what part of the data he had was what Briffa used. That was only made evident a month ago. Your transparent sophistry is just an unhappy deceit, Eli.

        Still unexplained is Briffa’s senseless use of a too small sample for his methodology. Your lies don’t cover that critical matter, foolish rabbett.

      • Quite so, kim. I was not going to bother to take the time to explain this, as it would no doubt trigger more “he said, she said” decontextualization and spinning of people’s quotes.
        You CAN’T know data you’ve got on your computer until you’ve got the metadata. But non-experts like Rabett, who have never studied “dendrology”, might not know the difference between data and metadata.
        Briffa did not disclose ANY of the metadata until a few weeks ago. And still we have no map, no plot descriptions, no sampling recipe. So it’s not like he has disclosed even those things that a graudate student would be asked to disclose to his supervisor. All we know is that he published a chronology based on inadequate sample size and this chronology is the single most important ingredient propping up the IPCC AR4 chapter on paleoclimate. It is performing the exact role that the California bristlecone pines did for Mann.

      • Shall we ask Ben to check out Lenah Ababneh’s work at Climate Audit, the dendrochronologist who functionally replicated the Bristlecones and disconfirmed the hockey stick? Shall we wonder about one of her advisers, a co-author with Michael Piltdown Mann? You need a little background, Ben, on how the institutions of science failed in this matter.

      • To understand why Briffa’s sample is suspicious, it helps to know the backstory how McIntyre rooted out a similar suspicious sample used by Mann in the original “hockey stick paper” MBH98, published in Nature, at the height of the El Nino of the century. The suspicious sample was the now infamous California strip-bark bristlecone pines. NAS ruled against their use, vindicating McIntyre’s claim. An independent sample of those same trees, by Linah Ababneh, produced a different, divergent, result – much like that of Schweingruber’s in the case of Yamal larch. The results have never been published. The biological/physical reasons for the divergence have never been explained. But it is now known to occur around the globe.
        Thus there is a pattern established. There is a *precedent*. The backstory is not trivial. We have the discovery of yet another suspicious sample performing the same function in yet another IPCC report, plus the failure to disclose the small size of the suspicious sample, and, as before, “the fox is watching the henhouse”.
        It is not unfair to characterize the situation as “disquieting”. The silence itself is now somewhat disquieting. It could mean many things. But one thing for sure: no one is rushing to defend the (a) use, and (b) non-disclsoure of use, of such a very small sample.

      • McIntyre did not KNOW in 2004 that he had the same data.

        All he knew was he had some data from the Russians.

        It was Briffa’s responsibility to provide confirmed data provenance.

        Remember the MBH kerfuffle? Where Steve got what he thought was the right data but only later was told it was wrong?

        In this case, he was more careful.

        You can’t have it both ways: either people need to work with confirmed-correct data, or not. Either it matters, or it doesn’t matter.

        You guys are just wanting to “win” in a political sense.

        This is science. Facts need to be asserted and confirmed. Verification and Validation, as Dan Hughes and other professionals like to emphasize.

        It isn’t science to just take some data and run with it, on the assumption that it just might be the “right” data.

        Or maybe unvalidated info is what you use at your university, Mr Rabbett? And at your non-profit, Mr Bloom?

      • Rabbet’s just lying about the meaning of it. Steve has explained it all quite plainly on his blog.

        This is a disgraceful performance, Eli, by a man in your position.

  12. I am seriously baffled.

    Eli Rabett has been digging himself into ever deepening holes since I had the pleasure to “meet” him in the Hockey Stick Redux thread.

    I have shown already how Rabett’s logic points unmistakably to an accusation of unethical behavior against Briffa, and could be used to dismiss a great bunch of AGW papers.

    Now we have Ben Hale..hailing Rabett’s big discovery in the “effing guidelines”. A discovery that can be summarized by the words “if practicable”.

    Who could share any data when it’s not practicable, one wonders? It’s like saying “as soon as possible, but not sooner”: a pleonasm, since it is impossible to do something before it is possible to do it.

    And it’s a pleonasm needed just as like most of the legalese texts are.

    Ben: what baffles me is how much faith and credibility you are putting into an anonymous blogger who as far as I am concerned has serious difficulties in grasping elementary logic, and no difficulty at all in making stuff up (“speculations”). Worse: you are smoochie-smoochie with him.

    Are you suggesting that you have known Eli Rabett for some time already, and/or know his real name, or even that you are Eli Rabett?

    Finally…so what if “there may be other reasons for data not to be forthcoming”? The data have been published. This is a fact. Then, if there were reasons for the data not to be forthcoming, and now the data have been published, the question becomes what has changed those reasons.

    And so the “9YQ” problem remains as open as ever.

    • My read of Ben’s comment is entirely different. But why speculate. I can wait until he finishes the story. For he clearly has another card to play.

      • Referring, of course, to the parting line about something “far more interesting”.

    • Your opinion. You’re wrong but entitled to your opinion. Eli is entitled to giggle.

      • Seems I may well have been wrong. Has anyone ever told you it’s creepy the way you refer to yourself in 3rd person?

  13. My objective wasn’t to put faith in a random blogger, but rather just to look at what he unearthed, which were the guidelines. I wanted to use those guidelines to support my earlier claims that there are clear countervailing normative pressures that may excuse Briffa et al from releasing the data right away. I’m not interested in hanging my hat on Eli’s commentary. He can speak for himself, and apparently does.

    What Eli did do, though, which I think was valuable, was to post the guidelines. Those, I think, speak for themselves. They’re assessable as meaningful requirements and normatively binding agreements between willing parties, independently of the facts.

    • now I understand. thanks for clarifying.

    • Again, the *substantive* issue here is not data disclosure. It is failure to document sampling methods and report sample sizes. This is not something the journal decides; it is something the editorial process decides, presumably on the basis of the accepted standards of the field.
      If you want to deal in depth with non-substantive issues – such as journalistic requirements – then please let us know. You can then expect to have a blog full of comments from no one but Dr. Rabett.
      Why did it take so many years to find out that the *sample size* was so small? There were as many years delay as there were in the sample! Roger has pointed you in the right direction, has steered you once when you were going off-course, and here you are still going off course.
      There is a conflict of interest here – and THAT is one possible reason for the delay and THAT possibility is what is “far more interesting”.

      • Gaak, Bender are you really that dense?

        Briffa really could not document sampling methods since Hantemriov and Shiyatov did the sampling. My guess is that a previous paper by Hantemirov (I think 1996, I haven’t read it yet), probably described this, certainly much of it was described in their 2002 paper.

      • Gaak, so Briffa published a peer reviewed paper without a satisfactory description of the methods? What is this? Climate Science?

      • unbelievable: “I can’t report the methods because I don’t know them and can’t ask. And if I did get that information I couldn’t disclose it because it’s a trade secret.” (Is this an IP right that is “unique to dendroclimatology”.)
        Rattus, Eli, LB, Hank: you just keep on preaching to the choir. You cearly have no idea how silly you sound. The rest of us will try to speak facts to the undecided. And that discussion is not going to be stripped of facts relating to imprecision, error, bias, and uncertainty.
        I’m all for precaution. But against what, exactly? And I’m all for carbon taxation – if the price is tied to the strength of the evidence.

  14. Unfortunately, Ben, the facts ruin the assessability of those guidelines ‘as meaningful requirements and normatively binding agreements’. I like ‘meaning ful’ and ‘normative’. The fact is these agreements were ignored deliberately by both parties, so how was the requirement ‘meaningful’, and how were the agreements ‘normatively binding’?

    You are getting on the trail. Here’s a hint, the Royal Society finally decided the requirement should be meaningful and bound Briffa to his agreement. Nullis in verbia, indeed. And look what we see when we no longer take his word? Here’s another clue, Ben; run his sample and his methodology by a few scientists you know. They don’t have to be sophisticated statisticians to tell you what’s what.

  15. Look, Ben, this paradigm, that CO2=AGW, is collapsing. Philosophers are going to be called upon to explain how this hoax happened. You need to understand how the edifice of science failed the people in this matter. Listening to the likes of Eli Rabbet is going to make you fail the chemistry exam.

    • I am compelled to respond that this conclusion is premature at best.
      What might be interesting to the Cruel Mistress is to consider how belief systems operate. Proponent X is an expert in domain x. He’s aware of the limitations of his science, but places some faith in Y, an expert on y. X has his doubts about his own domain x but there is no cost to him (indeed, there is a benefit!) putting his faith in Y and the precision of science y. And so Y with Z. And so on.
      x=climatology; modern instrumental records
      y=paleoclimatology; historical climate
      z=radiation physics, fluid dynamics, etc. = AOGCM
      The small cost to individuals of placing their faith in their neighbor’s work plus the propagation of correlative biases among (x,y), (x,z), (y,z) lead to a fairly robust ring structure that may not bend until it breaks.
      To avoid the emergence of a faith-based conjecture it is important to continually minimize the biases within x, y, z and amongst the comparisons that happen when experts work among discplines. Recall: there are financial and other incentives to let these small biases go as “trivial”. They “don’t matter” – a phrase we see a whole lot at realclimate.
      The problem is not the one tiny bias. It’s the way they propagate and amplify, turning individual uncertainty into collective certainty.
      I hope there is something here for a philosopher to think about.

      • I bow to your better understanding of this paradigm in its entirety, bender. My conclusions are premature, but less so with each passing day. For once in my life I haven’t been trop tarde.

  16. How do I know the guidelines were ‘deliberately’ ignored? By listening to the litany of complaints from Steve McIntyre, and many others, who’ve tried for years to get the institutional journals to abide by their own guidelines. The emails are extant; the history of this catastrophe is waiting to be written.

  17. Ben, I’ve had several comments on Eli’s site clarifying that he has the story wrong.
    There are at least 4 journals whose policies need to be analyzed, and he has only done 2, QSR where Briffa originally published his chronology in 2000, and Science, where Briffa published in 2006 using that chronology.

    However in 2008 Briffa published in Phil Trans R Soc B, using the chronology, and this journal made him reveal data. Eli and others just declare that Hantemirov was an author and that’s why he was able to reveal data. However, that is not the case. Briffa also revealed data from Helama et al, in response to Phil Trans’s request, and that paper had no coauthors. Phil Trans just enforced their data policy stricter than Science. I think if the first Briffa 2000 paper in QSR had gone to Science, they would have made him publish his raw data. The authorship made it easier to get one set of data, but it is not relevant to the data policies at hand. Why did Phil Trans make him publish the data, when Science did not?

    The fourth journal of relevance is Nature which made Moberg publish data in a similar situation in 2005. He had to add a coauthor to do so, but that was the data owner’s requirement, not Nature’s.

    • You know, this is getting silly. First of all, we now know that McIntyre had no call on Briffa for the data Briffa used because he already had it. If you look at the policies they don’t say that the data has to be put on the net, only that it be made available when inquired after. It was.

      Second, Boris was right when said over at my place “I predict multiple hernias as CA denizens begin a mass migration of goalposts.”

      Oh yes, and lots of backslapping in the Dunning Krugar playpen. Seen that.

      • He didn’t “make it available” to McIntyre, he told him about other people who might make it available to him; if the russians had refused to give him the data, what then? Would you agree that Briffa’s article would then need to be withdrawn because he would make the data available as required?

        You still seem to be ignoring the fact McIntyre did have a legitimate reason to try and verify that the data he received was actually the data that Briffa used. Do you think that he should have published an article using the data he got from the Russians without checking with Briffa first?

        Finally, what about D’Arrigo et. al.? They were not able to get the data from anywhere… data was certainly not “made available” to them.

      • Last sentence in 1st paragraph should read: “Would you agree that Briffa’s article would then need to be withdrawn because he wouldn’t have made the data available as required?”

  18. Oh, “Briffa” is so last week in denial.
    The talking point this week is “Hanno.”
    Please catch up.

    • Hanno was actually three weeks ago.
      Briffa’s non-disclosure was two weeks ago.
      IPCC conflict of interest is this week.
      Aren’t you on the mailing list?

      • Get enough spam as it is

      • Reap what you sow.

  19. Say, didn’t McIntyre publish somewhere on his own bristlecone research trip? I recall the blogging postings and pictures and maps and that they got the samples and sent them off to the lab.

    But I missed the publication. Anyone recall?

    • All the details were published at McIntyre’s website. Turns out Mann was wrong and the “Starbucks hypothesis” was correct. When they made it to the top of the mountain with their incredible load of gear, a truly arduous trek, the latté was still steaming hot. But Mann was right on one count: those things do cost a small fortune.
      A curious thing, though, is how Linah Ababneh’s sampling of the very same area has led to no publicaitons either. And yet her results are consistent with McIntyre’s findings: the stripbark California bristlecone pines that Mann relied on are, as NAS ruled, not to be trusted. Turns out that when you sample normal trees you don’t get a hockey stick 20th century uptick in growth rate.
      Unfortuantely, she never did say if her latté stayed warm.
      Hopefully Briffa learned something from the whole exercise. He’s a wonderful man.

      • Turns out that when you sample normal trees you don’t get a hockey stick 20th century uptick in growth rate.

        Strip bark is a normal part of bcp growth. It is strip bark trees that diverge negatively from 20th century instrumental records. You must be referring to the normalized to a 20 year low pass filter Z-scores (hockey stick removed) graphs McIntyre posted from the part of Ababneh’s thesis that dealt, not with divergence, but with sub-decadal changes in moisture and their relation with changes in the spacio-temporal extent of archeological sites.

        If you’d actually read the part of her paper that dealt with the divergence issue and understood it, and were acquainted with the seventy odd years of supporting literature, you’d know that the divergence between strip bark and whole bark trees does not show up in analysis anywhere in the 8000 year chronologies except post 1850. That means that strip bark trees, but not whole bark trees, which are not divergent, are not reliable for reconstructions since 1850, but perfectly useful for reconstructions prior to 1850.

      • correction: ‘diverge negatively’ should be ‘diverge positively’

      • I’m pretty sure Ben Hale is NOT interested in a tat-for-tat dendroclimatological war of “spot the false premise” (which I would likely win). But if luminous beauty is suggesting that bcps can not be used in the calibration step of a reconstruction I wholeheartedly agree. It is what NAS concluded. The fact that the strip bark form is “normal” makes it all the more relevant to the resent case. “Divergence” is “normal” too. So how does one justify the use of a tiny sample specifically selected to be *ab*normal? Does luminous beauty defend Briffa’s small sample, the failure to disclose the size of the small sample, and the failure to plot meaningful confidence intervals?
        And why comment here and now? Why not comment on the things Ben cares about most?

  20. bender,

    My point is that McIntyre misrepresents Ababneh by insinuating with a misrepresentation of a graph that purports to show no ’20th century uptick in growth rate’.

    MBH were also aware of the divergence issue, which is the why and wherefore of the so-called ‘censored file’, which compensated for and thus nullified any weighting bias in the calibration step.

  21. Being about 60 miles from the nearest Starbucks’ in Bishop to Patriarch Grove, the last dozen or so of which are some pretty steep and nasty unpaved switchbacks, I think we can surmise one’s latte would have grown cold.

    When do you expect to have a dedicated chronology from your Amalgre expedition? It’s been, what, three years? guys

    • These are fair questions for McIntyre. Why don’t you ask him? Why waste Ben’s bandwidth?

  22. “Divergence” is “normal” too.

    As far as can be discerned from empirical evidence, divergence is its numerous forms is unique to the modern era.

    • This is devolving into the sort of technical exchange that Ben implied he’s not interested in.
      I meant “normal” in the spatial sense; it’s ubiquitous. That should have been clear from context. California, Yamal. They’re places.
      Re: earlier divergence: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. What is the ration of modern samples to 1000-year old samples? (You have a habit, it seems, of ignoring issues related to sample size. Why dodge my other questions?)
      When will Ababneh publish?
      What role does faith play in your position on AGW?

      • Eli has faith that Bender is wrong.

      • How can one be wrong asking questions?

  23. The overriding principle in science is a religious adherence to the Scientific Method. Perverting the Scientific Method results in Briffa-type shenanigans, where the same individual hand-waves his own work through the peer review and IPCC process.

    Ei incumbit probatio, qui dicit, non qui negat; cum per rerum naturam factum negantis probatio nulla sit: “The proof lies upon him who affirms, not upon him who denies.”

    Briffa was forced, after ten years of deliberate obstruction, to finally cough up his data. It is disingenuous for anyone to claim that he provided it. Instead, Briffa flouted the Scientific Method, which obligates the purveyor of a hypothesis to 1) freely provide all raw and adjusted data and all methodologies used, so that others can try to falsify the experiment, and 2) that the proposer of a hypothesis must try as hard as anyone else to falsify his own hypothesis.

    Briffa did neither. He stonewalled. And if bunnyboi can speculate, so can I: the data was not provided, because Briffa knew it would be immediately falsified. Which it promptly was. Briffa knew he was trying to sell a pig in a poke, and apologists for Briffa’s ignoring the Scientific Method are simply enablers for his mendacity.

    Richard Feynman explains the Scientific Method:

    “It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you
    think might make it invalid – not only what you think is right about it: but other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.”

    In other words, full and complete cooperation and disclosure is required. By stonewalling all requests for ten years — until he was literally forced to divulge the information — Briffa perverted and corrupted the Scientific Method, which requires complete cooperation and total honesty.

    And make no mistake: the Scientific Method is the reason hospitals don’t employ witch doctors.

    Here’s a good timeline of events:


    Face it, what Briffa was trying to hide for ten years was his exceedingly sloppy work. Dropping ONE (1) tree would have eliminated the hockey stick. But the hockey stick was the reason for the paper. That’s why Briffa stonewalled any request for information.

    Briffa’s non-cooperation with others tells us all we need to know about his lack of scientific ethics. And that also applies to his enablers and apologists.

  24. Steve McIntyre’s latest post ‘Core Counts and Reverse Engineering’ at Climate Audit explains in detail why the Rabbet’s cries that Steve already had the data are the dying screams of an animal in mortal peril.

    Ben, I know it’s Wedding Day, but you gotta read Steve.

    • I’m on it. Thanks for the tip… but the wedding is a serious priority. Not much commentary for a bit.

      • Fair enough. Good luck to all concerned.

  25. >I meant “normal” in the spatial sense; it’s ubiquitous. That should have been clear from context. California, Yamal. They’re places.

    In different places there are different divergent characteristics. Strip bark bcps show excessive growth. Whole bark bcps are not divergent at all. Other alpine timberline species show lower or higher growth in some places and in other places show no divergence. Much the same for boreal species. What they have in common is plausible explanations, often particular to that locale, related to human activity, whether CO2 fertilization, non-linear effects from global warming, land use, pollution, etc.

    >Re: earlier divergence: absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Absence of evidence is absence of evidence. If tree ring series diverged from temperature sensitivity in past, they would not correlate nearly so well with other proxies or pre-20th century temperature records. It should be obvious, but one cannot be certain just on the basis of empirical evidence. The empirical evidence for alchemy a was pretty good explanation for known metallurgical processes for a long time. Basically that is why
    dendroclimatologists tend to be conservative and discard whole divergent series rather than just the divergent parts.

    >What is the ration of modern samples to 1000-year old samples? (You have a habit, it seems, of ignoring issues related to sample size. Why dodge my other questions?)

    Sample size is important, but it is in this case only related to living trees and late 20th century correlations. There are lots of earlier long lived cores for the region and it is the paleoclimate that is of interest here. We have other ways to measure modern times, such as thermometers. One strength of RCS is one needs fewer cores than with polynomial standardizations to give significant results as long as they come from the same locale. Especially when one has additional information like cell size, cell count, early and late wood density, radiological data, etc. I believe Briffa and others have provided statistical verification along with their standardizations, but you’re welcome to do the math yourself and submit a letter to the Royal Society if their results don’t satisfy.

    >When will Ababneh publish?

    Her thesis? It’s on public file at ASU. And available on the internet.

    >What role does faith play in your position on AGW?

    About the same role that believing my eyes give me a roughly accurate picture of my surroundings.

    Why do you have such faith in McIntyre after so many gross misrepresentations, exaggerations and false alarms, not to mention the invidious serial habit of slanderous insinuation?

    • McIntyre’s thesis is published too. I think you know where to find it.
      If there are any problems with McIntyre’s claims he will happily give you a space to refute him. You need not trust the man to trust the open process that he uses to audit various claims. I do trust he will let you present your case against him.
      Are you up to the challenge?

      • What thesis? Do you mean his blog post where he misrepresents Ababneh?

        I have expressed my concerns to McIntyre at Open Mind. He was sly and evasive, just like you. I wouldn’t give him the time of day.

        Why don’t you respond to my argument?

        Why defer to McIntyre? Can you not think for yourself?

      • 1. You asked where his publication was. I told you: the same place as Lina Abaneh’s: online.

        2. I will never comment at Open Mind because of its editorial policies. But I would be pleased to correspond on technical matters via Climate Audit, where we can trust that nothing we say will be snipped.

        3. Why won’t you respond to my argument?

        4. Defer?

      • 1. I didn’t ask the whereabouts of his thesis, I asked what thesis? Some people (not me) might say your reading comprehension isn’t so good. Linah Ababneh’s Doctoral Thesis has been published by her matriculating University.


        What University is publishing McIntyre’s Thesis?

        2. I don’t trust McIntyre, much less his process. Contrary to your unquestioning faith, he does snip. He even snips himself. Ask Eli.

        3. What argument?

        4. defer to.

      • luminous,

        I question your honesty. Despite your spin, I have never seen McIntyre snip an on topic technical comment. I have seen off-topic rants pruned and I have also seen off-topic comments with technical merit rerouted to other places. I have also seen McIntyre offer to give full editorial room to opposing views which is something I can’t even begin to imagine with OpenMind or Real Climate.

        To somehow suggest that this is the equivalent of the complete censorship that takes place on both Open Mind and Real Climate is dishonest in the extreme. Both routinely censor and distort without any opposing viewpoint being allowed. Make a valid technical point that casts their assertions in a poor light and there is no chance that the question will ever see the light of day.

        There is a major difference between snipping drive by snark and an honest technical question.

        This leads to a very interesting question. Why is the only place that open discussion of technical AGW issues takes place on skeptic or luke-warmer sites ? I am not sure what this says about the AGW community, but I certainly don’t think it is very positive.

      • Artifex, luminous beauty’s stonewalling is obvious. If McIntyre were to snip technical comments the simple recourse is to post whatever he snipped anywhere else in the blogosphere. It’s a pretty strong incentive against censorship.
        That’s why I say I trust the process. It’s more trustworthy than ony other process I’ve ever seen.
        LB tries to draw a distinction between Ababneh’s Thesis and McItnyre’s thesis. My point is that Ababneh’s chronology makes whatever McIntyre might have to report redundant: there is no hockeystick in the updated bcp chronology. So why hasn’t Ababneh published in the peer-reviewed literature?

      • Atrifex,

        I question your honesty.

        Fair enough.

        I, on the other hand, question your understanding of what is a valid technical question.

        For example; on a thread at CA recently a naif asked a question about the limiting factor for tree temperature sensitivity. Bender answered that the limiting factor was the number of frost-free days. Though not technically wrong, it is misleading as the limiting factor that makes trees useful for temperature studies is really the lack of frost-free days, trees don’t grow above tree-line because it is too cold.

        It is the concatenation of hundreds of such misleading and poorly understood technical points that is the toxic soup of sophistry that makes CA a cess-pool of foolishness. The very idea that a glorified accountant, no matter how bright he is, can black box and back engineer in his spare time a subject that takes years of dedicated study and application, involving intense collaboration by a large number of expert specialists who are professionally engaged in actual research is ludicrous on its face.

        Yes, Steve will sometimes allow opposing views, but they are drowned in the chorus of dozens of howling yahoos like kim and smoky which he also allows, indeed, it seems, cultivates. It is very frustrating for those who do have real expertise or genuine insight. Just ask Judith Lean. Sam Clemen’s adage about wrestling with pigs comes to mind.

        I think you will find, if you ask a fair question at tamino’s or RC, you will get a fair and reasoned answer. If one’s question is along the lines of “Steve McIntyre has proved the Hockey Stick is a fraud, why don’t you admit you’re a bunch of lying communists?”, no matter how well you disguise it in technical sounding bafflegab, you won’t get far. The very language you use; i.e., ‘…casts their assertions in a poor light’ implies your questions are not really questions, but are assertions themselves, revealing your predetermined bias and lack of reasoned and balanced skepticism.

        There is plenty of argument in the comment threads at Open Mind, but it is dedicated to increasing understanding and insight in the subject at hand. If you’re intoxicated by your own opinion, thinking you’ve got something to prove, and repeatedly assert what has already been shown to be nonsense, with no sign of comprehending the quality of the rebuttal, you will be shown the door.

        As the saying goes, “‘Tough titty’, said the kitty, ‘but the milk is good!'”

      • I will not argue technical details on a philosophy blog. I think it’s rude.

      • Argue at Climate Audit and doublepost the exchange at Open Mind.

      • So, LB, you think the hockey stick is real? What happened to all that CO2 effect for the last few years?

      • Since luminous beauty thinks I lack reading comprehension skills, I invite him to debate me on the topic: “BIRT dendroclimatological evidence proves that earth surface temperatures are unprecedented in 2000 years.” If McIntyre snips a single word, let the snipping by double posted at a site of LB’s choosing.
        I think that would be a lot more interesting to readers than debating someone’s reading comprehension skills.

      • My point is that Ababneh’s chronology makes whatever McIntyre might have to report redundant: there is no hockeystick in the updated bcp chronology.

        In the words of Wolfgang Pauli, your point is not even wrong. It is a misleading distracting bit of nonsense; a red herring. Look at fig. 3, p. 92 of Ababneh. Hockeystick! Global temperature reconstructions are not dependent on non-significant short term time series of bcps in the White Mountains nor larix sibirica on the Yamal Peninsula. Not in MBH98 nor in any subsequent research. Repeating this ad infinitum will not make it so.

      • Since luminous beauty thinks I lack reading comprehension skills…

        I said some people (not me) might think so. You are forcing me to reconsider.

        kim, it grieves me to have to point this out, but if you were any more of an idiot your pulmonary functions would cease. Please, take care of yourself.

      • “BIRT dendroclimatological evidence proves that earth surface temperatures are unprecedented in 2000 years.”

        Allow me to cut you off at the pass here, sport.

        It isn’t proof. It is one line of evidence among several corroborating orthogonal lines of evidence that even in the absence of dendrological evidence strongly suggest such. This in itself is inductive reasoning, which defies proof in the axiomatic sense. This is a philosophical question that might be suitable for one’s consideration in this format.

        Don’t you think?

      • In goes the good air, out go the nasty questions. So do you think the hockey stick is real and what happened to the CO2 effect on temperature for the last few years? Snarling is rarely persuasive; let’s hear what you really think.

      • LB, phrase the resolution any way you like. The question is: are you prepared to debate it?
        I am going to compile a list of questions being dodged by Eli & LB. It’s over a half-dozen already.

      • BIRT dendroclimatology is “just one line of evidence” suggesting current temperatures may (or may not) be unprecedented in 1000 years.
        If that’s the resolution, then there isn’t going to be much of a debate. It’s “just one line of evidence” that happens to be pretty flimsy, as far as evidence goes.

      • bender,

        Does it ever cross your mind it may be your lack of specialized skill and experience in developing, processing and judging the evidence that might just be a wee bit flimsy?

        Please, don’t get me wrong. I think you are one of the brighter bulbs over on CA. I think it is telling, though, that ST. Steven is just discovering that there is no hard and fast algorithm for RCS. More surprises in store.

        No debate. Pig wrestling is a sport in which I am very happy to be just a spectator.


        Is there some secret law of nature you are keeping from the world that says CO2 eliminates natural variability? Right now CO2 forcing is ~+0.2C/decade. Natural variability has been for a very long time ~±0.2C/decade. Is that too much math for your wee little brain to process? I could probably demonstrate with stuffed animals if that would help.

      • Sorry lb, no way is twelve, ten, or five trees enough for RCS methodology.

        lucia at her Blackboard has long since taken apart the IPCC projection of 0.2 degrees Centigrade temperature rise per decade. Your numbers are from models which have mistaken assumptions about water vapor feedback and poorly parameterize clouds and convection.

        See Tsonis et al for the role of natural variability in climate. He finds a fine correlation between temperature rise last century and the coupling and uncoupling of several natural cycles such as the grand ocean oscillations. The CO2 concentration curve, on the other hand, has a poor correlation with the temperature curve, except during the last quarter of the last century, when the Pacific Decadal Oscillation was in its warming phase.

        In other words, the attribution to CO2 as causal in the warming at the end of the 20th Century was simply the grandest example yet of the ‘Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc’ logical fallacy. Causation is implied from a mere quarter century of correlation, when correlation is not there for the rest of the time? How did you all make such an elementary mistake?

        Let me count the ways…..

      • I give up. I ran out of fingers and toes.

      • If my skills are so flimsy, then debate me at Climate Audit. You should win handily. I’m not here to impress you. I’m here to rip the funding out from under you and/or the folks you defend because it’s a sham the precision that is guys proclaim. Your back-pedalling admits as much. So debate me.

      • It’s time to resurrect an old metaphor from climateaudit.org

        Those who claim to have caught the greased pig of climate prediction ought to at least show us the porker in the poke. Instead, what have they got? Greased palms.

        lucia shows that the IPCC projections of 0.2 degrees C. temperature rise per decade have been disconfirmed at the 95% confidence level already. Those projections are derived from the computer models, which have failed spectacularly. They have the wrong value for water vapor feedback, and inadequately parameterize clouds and convection. Despite their massive computing power, they fail because they are pitiful digital simulacrum of the gigantic analog computer that is the earth’s climate regulating system.

        It’s going to take much improved assumptions and orders of magnitude stronger computing power before the models will have the ability that so many have already claimed for them, and about which Hansen has been lying for two decades. In 1988 he claimed regional skill for them, something which has still not happened.

      • Audit the GCMs!

      • kim,

        Oooh! Such a delicious word salad of pseudo-technical jibber-jabber. Where do I start!

        No GCMs necessary. It is an empirical estimate from at least 250 years of reliable data of known and knowable radiative forcings and estimable response times of oceanic heat sinks and latitudinal distribution, not just the last 30 years when the temperature signal has risen above the noise. It’s something called hindsight. You should check it out. It’s really the best method for developing foresight. Something for which you are in desperate need.

        Until you or Tsonis can show me where the source of the energy that is heating the oceans over that longer period than any of those oscillations is coming from, I think I’ll continue to believe that oscillations are, well, oscillations.

        There is no evidence I am aware of that relative humidity has not held roughly constant as one would expect from the Clausius-Claperyon equation and its demonstrated utility in meteorology. In fact the evidence is overwhelming that it has, though water vapor’s non-homogeneous distribution does seem to have gone a bit whack of late.

        One really has to watch out for those non-linear emergent possibilities. They can sneak up and whack you upside the head when you least expect it. You should talk to farmers in the Murray-Darling Drainage, Eastern Africa and the Irriwaddy Delta, or water managers in California and Arizona.

        Lastly, Lucia hasn’t done any such thing, as she herself will admit if you nail her down on it.


        Go look for another victim to ply with your pending Gish Gallop. If you have any pertinent questions, I’d be happy to try and answer them. I’m no expert, though. Just someone with a lot of broad experience with those who are, and a willingness to learn I hope hasn’t diminished too badly with age.

      • I see you are still dodging the question about your belief in the hockey stick.

        Your hindsight, and the minimizing of natural variation and solar effect and the maximizing of CO2 effect from a mistaken water feedback value has made foresight by the models ineffective. And they are way, way off, like around 95% disconfirmed by the temperature story of the last eight years since their ‘projection’ was made.

        I believe the sun drives the oceanic oscillations in some indetermined way. It was by only looking at the minimal variation in TSI that got the modelers barking up the wrong tree about solar influence. I’ll admit, the mechanism is not yet known, but it probably involves varying albedo.

        My point about the C-C equations was that using them Arrhenius halved his original estimation of the greenhouse effect of CO2. I agree with your point that the humidity data has gone out of whack lately, but only from the point of view of believers in an overly simple conception of the net effect of CO2.

        Climate changes and some regions are going to get the whip cracked on them. You’ve not established causation between CO2 rise and temperature increase, or really climate change in either direction.

        All you have is a house of cards, built upon too little timber in a morass.

      • Also I dare you to ask those questions of Steve on his blog. There is enough audience there that you’ll get a fair hearing. There have been others recently who’ve not feared posting there.

        There is not a single alarmist blog that is not corrupted with censorship, except perhaps Andy Revkin’s DotEarth at the NYT.

      • Causality. Replicable in your kitchen.

      • You make my point for me; our great climate regulating system is hardly a controlled experiment in my kitchen. Your concept of CO2 regulating the climate is mercilessly simple and mercifully free of explanatory power.

      • It’s real and it works.

        Your theory, on the other hand, is a house made of … nothing.

      • It’s real and it works, but what is its net effect in the real world. You don’t know, nor does anyone else.

      • Sorry lb, no way is twelve, ten, or five trees enough for RCS methodology.

        Sorry Kim, Steve has misinterpreted what Briffa says about this. He says that 62 samples in a chronology are enough to establish a decent RCS curve. The Yamal series has over 200 samples of all age classes, more than enough to generate a reliable curve.

        Come back and play again…

      • Heh, so now Briffa wants to be forthcoming? What does he say about how he picked the few for his sample, especially 8 sigma YAD06?

        Can you explain Briffa’s stonewalling over the years, and the multiple interactions Steve had in an attempt to get transparency for the data?

        It’s funny how you only want to play when you get to interpret the rules. The Dendroclimatologists’ naivete about statistics demonstrates that they don’t even know how to read the rulebook.

  26. LB: If it weren’t for your ad hominem attacks against one of the most open and professional people around, you wouldn’t have anything to say.

    bender is right. You won’t be censored at Climate Audit [which won last year’s “Best Science” award]. But skeptics [which include all honest scientists, whether you know it or not] are routinely censored at the Soros funded Closed Mind.

    Why do the alarmist sites, particularly those funded by Soros, insist on constantly censoring polite but uncomfortable posts? Answer that, instead of spewing your desperate ad homs. If you can.

    • Is this guy a Poe or what?

    • Soros funded? If you’re not joking, then I missed something interesting along the way. Could you elaborate?

      • George Soros funds MovOn.org and Fenton Communications, which funds the two main climate alarmist websites, RealClimate and climateprogress.

      • Smokey,
        Fenton doesn’t FUND RealClimate. Their EMS shill only owns the RC domain name, helped set it up, and independently encourages journalists to view it in a positive light. (That’s EMS’ purpose.)

        The smoking gun isn’t money, because money isn’t needed. RC’s folks are paid by our taxes. They don’t need funding.

  27. Hitler explains Yamal… click

    • God bless you, you poor dear.

      • LB says:

        Yes, Steve will sometimes allow opposing views, but they are drowned in the chorus of dozens of howling yahoos like kim and smoky which he also allows, indeed, it seems, cultivates.

        When the alarmist crowd has nothing of substance, they always fall back on ad homs.

        But of course we’re straying from the topic. Trickster Michael Mann’s most excellent Hokey Stick was the absolute icon of the UN/IPCC. They doted on it; worshipped it. It was much superior in alarmist shock value than any of its subsequent imitations. They would never have given it up if they were not forced to.

        And forced to abandon Mann’s Hokey Stick they were. Forced, by McIntyre, McKitrick and Wegman. FORCED!

        What forced the IPCC to abandon Mann’s Hokey Stick? The simple truth: the Hokey Stick was as fabricated as a Dan Rather report. But as we can see here, the alarmist contingent still can’t let go. It’s really all they’ve got.

  28. Smokey,

    You really should take those pills the nice Doctor gave you.

    • As usual, ad hom with no factual refutation. Show us a current UN/IPCC publication with Mann’s Hokey Stick. If you can.

      • Um, here and, uh, here.

        Thanks for playing.

  29. Mr Pete,

    Yes, RealClimate is funded [in a typical Soros roundabout way] by Fenton:

    Domain ID:D105219760-LROR
    Created On:19-Nov-2004 16:39:03 UTC
    Last Updated On:30-Oct-2005 21:10:46 UTC
    Expiration Date:19-Nov-2007 16:39:03 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
    Registrant ID:B133AE74B8066012
    Registrant Name:Betsy Ensley
    Registrant Organization:Environmental Media Services
    Registrant Street1:1320 18th St, NW
    Registrant Street2:5th Floor
    Registrant Street3:
    Registrant City:Washington
    Registrant State/Province:DC
    Registrant Postal Code:20036
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.2024636670

    About Environmental Media Services: click

    Fenton is a subsidiary of EMS.

    • Correction: EMS is a Fenton subsidiary.

      • Correction, EMS doesn’t exist anymore:


  30. LB,
    LB, it’s quite revealing that you consider high level statistics to be “glorified accounting.”

    No wonder your favorite group of “expert specialists” have such little clue about the statistics that form one of the core arenas of specialised knowledge for climate science.

    No wonder they get the stats wrong so often. After all, who cares about getting your checkbook wrong when the bank has all the right numbers.

    Very revealing perspective there, LB.

    Also revealing that you think bender’s “number of frost-free days” is misleading, while your “lack of frost-free days” is not.

    And, you think it NOT misleading to claim treeline is defined solely by a lack of frost-free days?

    Quick example from a warm part of the world, the Australian Alps. On 2200+m Mt Kosciuszko, “Even snow gums drop out past the treeline, which is from 1,600 m to 1,800 m…” and “On average, there are only 10 frost-free days per year on Mt. Kosciuszko…above 1,800 m snow lies on the ground for over 4 months (Slattery 1998).” So, here’s a mountain with treeline 400-600m below the summit, with non-zero frost-free days and snow less than half of the year.

    Seems to me LB’s description is more misleading than bender’s. And the reality is probably more complex than that.

    • “On average, there are only 10 frost-free days per year on Mt. Kosciuszko…above 1,800 m snow lies on the ground for over 4 months (Slattery 1998).”

      Only ten? You’re kidding me, right?

      How’s that Almagre chronology coming along?

      • kim,

        I believe Mackie’s upped the count to seventeen, now, though Hantemirov apparently has at least another hundred or so that preliminary analysis indicates reveal the same result.

        Try and keep up.

      • LB:

        Your two links above that purport to be Mann’s Hokey Stick are not. I knew you couldn’t find Mann’s chart in any current IPCC publication. It’s been completely discredited.

        As I stated, the UN/IPCC was FORCED to delete Michael Mann’s Hokey Stick from its assessment reports. They loved that hokey stick chart. It was much better than any of its pale imitations, like the ones you linked. But they had to throw Mann’s under the bus because it was debunked: the data and methodology behind it was falsified by McIntyre, McKitrick and Wegman, et al.

        I expect the same outcome for Briffa’s Yamal shenanigans.

    • Hi LB,
      I was just quoting the reference. What’s your criteria for accepting your statement vs deriding benders? Let’s not discuss the tech details here, although I *am* interested.

      Almagre — last I heard, the only remaining data to be put together is dO18 data, presently being analyzed at a lab on the west coast. The rest of the data has been available online from the start. Open science, you know.

      Oh — got somewhere we can put the original digital scans online? Those are also available. It’s a lot of BIG files; we don’t have a lot of affordable space/bandwidth for such huge resources.

      As for chronology, perhaps you forgot? That was never our goal. Everything beyond the Starbucks Hypothesis demo was gravy.

      Time to rejoin the real world for a week or three. It’s been fun!

      • Hmm-mm,

        That’s some tasty gravy.

      • My concern is that tree line is, paribus ceteris, limited by the cold. Bender’s explanation left the impression that it was, perhaps, the amount of warmth that was the important thing.

        You’re right that it is more complex. E.g., sudden increases in temperature (on geological time scales) might induce things like melting permafrost, insect and disease infestation, early flooding and late season drought that could plausibly result in non-linear divergence.

        Just saying.

      • Twelve trees? Or ten? Or five?

        Just sayin’; again and again and again.

      • Oops! Replied to the wrong thread. Don’t want to get kim even more lost and confused.


        I believe Mackie’s upped the count to seventeen, now, though Hantemirov apparently has at least another hundred or so that preliminary analysis indicates reveal the same result.

        Try and keep up.

  31. ben
    this from you –

    Such is the power of reasoning. That’s basically all I ever do. It’s an annoying personality quirk of mine, and I will be the first to admit that I am sometimes a very flawed reasoner, so if you find something irksome about my line of reasoning, please do challenge my reasoning. Philosophers love that sort of thing. (Oh, and we disagree, a lot, so I invite you to disagree with me.)

    i think you have the wrong vocation. Philosophers? love that sort of thing – give an example, or are you waffiling?

    maybe now you will start to release that a blog is not so easy?

  32. Hi

    “I think you will find, if you ask a fair question at tamino’s or RC, you will get a fair and reasoned answer. If one’s question is along the lines of “Steve McIntyre has proved the Hockey Stick is a fraud, why don’t you admit you’re a bunch of lying communists?”, no matter how well you disguise it in technical sounding bafflegab, you won’t get far. The very language you use; i.e., ‘…casts their assertions in a poor light’ implies your questions are not really questions, but are assertions themselves, revealing your predetermined bias and lack of reasoned and balanced skepticism.”

    I’m sorry I have asked many fair questions over at Tamino’s and at RC and have been blocked. Not flame throwing questions either. I know how to do those. Usually it’s the flame throwing question that DOES get thru because it is used to demonstrate that the “other side” is somehow wacked out.

    The best example I have of this comes from the Free the Code effort. For a long time I ended every post at RC with “free the code” and I argued to free the GISSTEMP code, as did SteveMc. When the code was finally freed, the very first thing I did was post this:


    then I proceeded over to RC and posted a thank you.

    The thank you I posted never seemed to make it through. Imagine that.


    Now get this. I believe in AGW. I just have this thing about code and data being freely available.

    So luminous come on over to CA. I’ve been snipped there, I’ve had steveMc block my posts. In all cases, upon reflection I agreed with his decision. If I didnt I’d just go someplace else and post to that fact. Oh, and I’ve asked him zamboni whole threads where emotions got out of hand.

    • Come on, everybody knows very well that the meaning of “fair” changes in some particular blogs, from “Consistent with rules, logic, or ethics” to “Consistent with our prejudices”

      • I think the worst form of banning happened at Open Mind when Lucia was banned for asking Tamino questions about his two box model. Even Tammy’s defenders could not defend his action. Truth be told Lucia ( a sweet lady who even sent me brownies for winning a guessing competition) got a very good technical discussion of two box models out of banning. As a fellow Lukewarmer she and I agree: free the data; free the code; free the debate. The only people who want to close down debate are those who somehow fear that the masses will be duped. basically elitists, who trust in their powers of reason but not in the powers of others to reason.

  33. Luminous beauty, the disconnect between the level of vitriol you hurl at Steve, his blog, the commenters, etc — versus the rather trivial difference between “lack of frost-free days” versus “number of frost free days” — that gap, to say the least, is quite revealing.

    In fact, I don’t believe you at all. I don’t believe the intensity of your dislike for Steve can possibly be explained by something so minor.

    • This “difference” is made all the more trivial by the fact that my “explanation” of the dendroclimatic mechanism was necessarily overly-simplistic because it was in response to a dendroclimatology denier – a case when subtlety is not called for. But luminous beauty only seems to care about context when it suits his purpose.

  34. So luminous. here is test of your fairness and open mindedness.

    1. Do you think that my thank you note to RC should have been blocked?
    2. why would they block it?
    3. Do you think my question to gavin was unfair? he said that Gisstemp could be emulated in 2 pages of matlab ( maybe 120 LOC ) whereas the actual code was 10K LOC
    4. Do you think Tamino was correct in banning Lucia?

    I think fair people can read your responses and come to their own conclusion about you from them. And if you agree with me that these bannings and blockings were UNFAIR will you recant your position about people getting a fair shake at RC and Openmind? or will you try to wriggle out of it.

  35. Another point more on the topic of data disclosure. As you note there may be cases or conditions where data cannot be released. Rather than argue such cases, which I doubtless could, I take a principled approach to this. I am under no rational compulsion to consent to propositions where the data and method is not released to me. That is, I can rationally withhold my judgement. So for example, I have requested the hadcru data files and code for calculating the global temperature index. I’ve requested the same of Noaa. Neither has released their raw data files or code to process these files into an index. Gisstemp does release code, but they rely on others for processed data. So, when Hadcru tells me that it has warmed .63 C or whatever, my view is that this is not a statement that I am required to assent to or dissent from. Simply, I suspend judgement. Could be warmer; could be colder. I’d need to look at the data and the code. More bluntly: if you dont cough up the data and the code, it aint science. And I am not compelled to modify my behavior accordingly.

  36. guy the publicity ( dont speak his name)
    7. you read it, got it, disagree with it, but can’t say why
    8. you read it, got it, agree with it, and hope that people will move on.
    9 you read it, and it’s self defeating on its face.

    any others?

  37. Ben, if you are going to quote Eli, you should definitely read the comments on his thread as well. He seems to ignore his own comments when he provides updates.

  38. luminous beauty –

    “..several corroborating orthogonal lines of evidence”

    What would those be? Remember, the questions is whether the current warmth is unprecented, not whether it has been warming lately.

    • And remember: “orthogonal” means “independent”, “non-overlapping”, “distinct”, “unique”.
      For example, you can’t have bristlecone pines in every recosntruction and still call them “orthogonal”.

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