Sunday, May 11, 2014

Conrad Black Sees Michael Mann Winning

Mark Steyn is already making excuses for losing his self-labeled "Trial of the Century" (sounds like a book title, doesn't it, win or lose, maybe already sold), quoting this Conrad Black article in another "opinion journal":


Of course, Black's (and Steyn's) whole case rests on their claim that they can say anything -- anything at all -- about anyone, anywhere, anytime, without regard to its truth or veracity or impact or meaning -- because they somehow think the US Constitution gives them that right -- purposely and conveniently ignoring the time-honored and necessary restrictions on speech that have been ruled upon for good reason -- like, you can't call someone a pig-fucker if they're not actually fucking pigs.

A writer who thinks he can say anything he wants is a writer who has admitted his readers do not expect accuracy and truth from him, but something else entirely.

Unable to counter Mann's results in the realm of science, they are left scrapping around in other realms, with comparisons to (te he, aren't we clever!) pig fuckers and pedophiles.

50 comments:

William R Nicholson said...

David, I admire the reasoning and your efforts to bring the important points to the fore ! This effort is sadly too often ignored by many in any form of media. Please stay in the fight for freedom as we patriots truly know the cost of freedom is one paid for in blood when fools reign over the masses.

jackbourassa said...

I love how David still can't see that Mann will never win this case and Steyn is milking it for publicity and martyrdom.

Mann himself will never let it go to court. This was just a gambit that he won't win.

David Appell said...

All along people like you have said Mann won't go to trial. And all along people like you have been wrong.

JustAnotherWesterner said...

I dunno. Every day I read another article blaspheming the Hockey Stick. So many scientists (including Mann's co-author) have said it is "truncated", "amputated" and "manipulated" it is hard to see Mann's defense. How many expert witnesses does Steyn have to bring to court before the judge agrees it is a fraud?

David Appell said...

Mann et al's "hockey stick" work is now established science -- it's been replicated by many different groups, some using completely independent mathematical techniques:
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/mann2008/mann2008.html

“A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years,” Marcott et al, Science v339 n6124 pp 1198-1201, March 8, 2013
http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

"Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia," PAGES 2k Consortium, Nature Geosciences, April 21, 2013
http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/abs/ngeo1797.html

A confirmation using a different statistical technique was Tingley and Huybers, reported on here:

"Novel Analysis Confirms Climate "Hockey Stick" Graph," Scientific American, November 2009, pp 21-22.
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=still-hotter-than-ever

JustAnotherWesterner said...

And I could post a dozen links claiming the opposite. I guess the science is not very settled.

David Appell said...

Go ahead, post them. Scientific papers, not blog posts. (Blog posts aren't science.)

TheTracker said...

. . . and a great silence of the blowhards descends.

fcarraldo said...

https://science.house.gov/sites/republicans.science.house.gov/files/documents/hearings/ChristyJR_written_110331_all.pdf

Whether other studies agree with Mann's result, or claims, is irrelevant.

How he arrived at his hockey stick is the point.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

"Of course, Black's (and Steyn's) whole case rests on their claim that they can say anything -- anything at all -- about anyone, anywhere, anytime, without regard to its truth or veracity or impact or meaning.."

Ironically that's what you have done about Mark steyn. Five stars for baseless bundled leftist logical fallacy.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

"(Blog posts aren't science.)"
So your blog posts are unscientific logical fallacy then. Agreed. How about blogs by scientists? Are they scientific? How about University and museum blogs?

Colonel Robert Neville said...

"All along people like you have said Mann won't go to trial. And all along people like you have been wrong." Logical fallacy. Mand HASN'T gone to court yet so where is the "all along" part?

Colonel Robert Neville said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Colonel Robert Neville said...

"A writer who thinks he can say anything he wants is a writer who has admitted his readers do not expect accuracy and truth from him, but something else entirely."

Er, that would be you.

"Unable to counter Mann's results in the realm of science, they are left scrapping around in other realms, with comparisons to (te he, aren't we clever!) pig fuckers and pedophiles."

Er, change 'Mann' to 'Steyn'...and it's YOU again. Outstanding logical fallacy dissoance and zero self-awareness. Bravo, Leftist Hero!

Colonel Robert Neville said...

"Dr John Christy, the fellow who created the satellite temperature record, which is a more useful contribution to science than anything Mann has come up with. This is from Dr Christy's damning evidence to Congress:

Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another's result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.

The "IPCC Lead Author" John Christy is talking about is Michael Mann (Dr Christy himself contributed to the 2001 IPCC report)".

http://www.steynonline.com/6333/michael-e-mann-liar-cheat-falsifier-and-fraud

Colonel Robert Neville said...

My dear logical fallacy prone fellow, I do honestly feel that Mark Steyn is going to, how shall I say, er, fuck up Michael Mann, the mega phony and his ilk- and rightly so... http://www.steynonline.com/6333/michael-e-mann-liar-cheat-falsifier-and-fraud

agnostic said...

To fcarraldo at 4.19 AM:
Bravo, I was going to make the same point, but you've made it much more succinctly than I would have.
With the kind of sophistic gymnastic exhibited by David, it always bothers me that ultimately I am nearly never sure:
Is it possible they actually believe it themselves, or do they merely try, consciously and purposely, to make others believe it?

David Appell said...

How about University and museum blogs?

No. None of your examples are science; they are blog posts.

Science is published in the peer reviewed literature. It is much more thorough and involved and careful.

I'm getting the impression you've never actually read a real scientific paper.

David Appell said...

Whether other studies agree with Mann's result, or claims, is irrelevant.

Nope, it's vital. It shows the result is true, and can be arrived at in many different ways.

I notice John Christy didn't counter Mann et al's result in the peer reviewed, scientific litertature. That's what scientists do when they believe a result it wrong -- they write a paper about it.

daniel565 said...

" you can't call someone a pig-fucker if they're not actually fucking pigs."

If that were true the Democrat party would not be able to campaign.

David Appell said...

If that were true the Democrat party would not be able to campaign.

As if the Republican party doesn't say the same, or worse.

At least be honest with yourself.

David Appell said...

With the kind of sophistic gymnastic exhibited by David

Peer-reviewed work -- in the world's best science journals to boot -- that replicates and supports prior work is the fundamental essence of science. It's what helps makes science such a powerful way of acquiring knowledge (whether you find that knowledge inconvenient or not).

j said...

Ah, confirmation of Mann...right.

"Q: What do paleotemperature reconstructions show about the temperature of the last 100 years?

A: Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions. link

David Appell said...

Yeah, so what? We already know the temperature of the 20th century; Marcott et al included that information on their graph.

I know deniers were desperate to shoot this paper down no matter what, but this objection has never held water (and, accordingly, the paper itself never had to be corrected or retracted, in the least.)

Colonel Robert Neville said...

"No. None of your examples are science; they are blog posts."

Hey, I love logical fallacy!...but not in the same way and as much as you and Mann. So Jim, if I scientist blogs, he is no longer a scientist but a liar and a fraud then? That would be you and Mann. Agreed.

"Science is published in the peer reviewed literature. It is much more thorough and involved and careful."

Ah, appeal to authority. Gee, so it's impossible for the peer review process to be corrupted by scientists who are just flawed human beings with all the drives, desires and as the rest of us.

"I'm getting the impression you've never actually read a real scientific paper.."
Hey, a straw man and ad hominem in one! How er, scientific! Bravo!

So you admit that you're a liar, a fraud and an incompetent just like Mann then. Got it.

Colonel Robert Neville said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colonel Robert Neville said...

Ah, so you're removing comments you are uncomfortable with and can't answer with facts - just like most ecolefty academic variant sites and gee, like the Climategate email delete scandals eh. You have misrepresented and lied about people here and continue to do so, just like Mann.

Mark Steyn will be taking Mann down completely. That Mann does not realise this, shows what an ecofascist elite echo bubble he prefers to dwell in.

David Appell said...

"Colonel":

Is Denying Climate Change a Threat to National Security?

http://davidappell.blogspot.com/2014/05/is-denying-climate-change-threat-to.html

Colonel Robert Neville said...

David Appell: "Is Denying Climate Change a Threat to National Security?"

OUTSTANDING bundled logical fallacy, champ! One vile Holocaust ad hominem aimed at a Zionist, one laughable strawman, one embarrassing false dichotomy and all ineffective, incoherent, baseless, ecofascist left elite gibberish.

Bravo for scientific argument! Er, no.

Chris_Winter said...

Colonel Robert Neville, you seem to have a strong emotional involvement in disbelieving a single sixteen-year-old scientific paper (MBH98). I find this rather curious. Surely, as a self-described admirer of science, you should be giving credence to the numerous studies that support the 1998 work of Mann et al.

David Appell said...

Col.: It's a serious question -- if military researchers are warning of the threat of climate change, are Republican candidates for President -- as a potential Commander in Chief -- derelict, by denying climate change, in their duty to protect the country, should they be elected?

It seems to me they certainly are.

Joe Goodacre said...

David,

I'm a long time Mark Steyn reader, but don't agree with everything he says and prefer to make up my own mind regarding these issues.

Mark Steyn has argued that Michael Mann deleted adverse Briffa data which was available for a period which would indicate whether proxy measures correlated with the temperature record. If that is correct and knowingly done, I would consider a scientist to be withholding unfavourable results as dishonest. Are you able to indicate whether there is truth to that charge (that Mann withheld adverse data) or if there is a legitimate reason as to why that conduct could occur?

David Appell said...

Joe Goodacre: What Briffa data?

RalphB said...

So their "whole case rests on their claim that they can say anything -- anything at all -- about anyone, anywhere, anytime, without regard to its truth or veracity or impact or meaning -- because they somehow think the US Constitution gives them that right..."

Actually, of course, the Constitution confers or give no rights, rather it recognizes rights humans possess by reason of their humanity. Secondly, the First Amendment prohibits any restrictions on what anyone can say. You can read it yourself and confirm that. When it says "no law" it means "no law".

Therefore, whatever any judge or lawyer or jury or blogger would like to think, free speech in the USA is absolute and no amount of free-speech denial can alter that.

David Appell said...

False, Ralph -- courts have ruled that there are several restrictions on free speech in the United States.

Defamation, for one -- as Steyn is finding out.

Joe Goodacre said...

The Briffa data referred to is Keith Briffa's data from February 1998 which indicated that his proxy data diverged from the temperature record around the 1960's.

When Mann was a lead author for IPC 2001, the graph summarising the proxy reconstuctions to date appeared to delete Briffa's data which diverged downwards; a contrast to the measured increase in the modern temperature record.

When reconciliation of this issue was under discussion in preparation of the graphic that would become a feature of the 2001 IPCC report, Briffa's email from the 22nd of September 1999 indicated... "I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards 'apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data' but in reality the situation is not quite so simple… [There are] some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter." (Briffa, Sep 22, 1999, 0938031546.txt)

The resulting graph presented to the public of which Mann was the Lead Author, deleted Briffa's data post 1961 and a small upturn was left which gave the impression that there was no conflict between the modern temperature record and the proxy data.

If this is correct - what happened would be a clear case of misleading the public (who don't have the time or often the capability to discern whether such a graph was a true reflection of the literature) and academic dishonesty (honesty being the impartial search for the truth - even if this means recognising the inconvenience of our current knowledge being incomplete).

These are strong claims made by Steyn - I'm interested in what the counter to these are (i.e. is that understanding incorrect, or if it is incorrect, could such behaviour be reasonable and on what grounds would that be the case).

David Appell said...

Where is the link to this Briffa data? What data is it for -- what kind of proxies, from what part of the world?

All you have described is the divergence problem -- "the tendency for tree growth at some
previously temperature-limited northern sites to demonstrate
a weakening in mean temperature response in recent decades, with the divergence being expressed as a loss in climate sensitivity and/or a divergence in trend."

“On the ‘Divergence Problem’ in Northern Forests: A review of the
tree-ring evidence and possible causes,” Rosanne D'Arrigo et al, Global and Planetary Change 60 (2008) 289–305.
http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~liepert/pdf/DArrigo_etal.pdf

Why would someone, including MBH, use data that wasn't a good proxy for temperature?

David Appell said...

Joe: Here is the hockey stick from the TAR SPM:

http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/

(Figure b)

It clearly labels what is what -- blue is historical records, red is thermometers.

Notice the blue line obviously doesn't go beyond about 1960. Because the proxies weren't good then.

I see no problem whatsoever with this figure.

You, and people like you, are trying very, very hard to create a controversy, and there simply isn't anything there.

Nik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nik said...

OMG David reveals that he is *not* a sincere player, by invoking the Marcott 2013 “super hockey stick” that he knows damn well has no blade in any of the plotted input data, and so the paper falsifies itself quite cleanly:

http://s6.postimg.org/jb6qe15rl/Marcott_2013_Eye_Candy.jpg

I wonder if it's really a cult mindset at work, or some sociopathic power play such as pure damage control he doesn't realize is helping attract attention to otherwise obscure proof of climate “science” corruption. It's delightful to watch though, to have ever more examples of AGW enthusiasts being willful little scammers.

David makes the truly bizarre claim that utterly bladeless proxy data that extends well into the claimed AGW era has not been debunked, since the paper logically debunks itself in a way any child or layperson can immediately and fully understand:

“I know deniers were desperate to shoot this paper down no matter what, but this objection has never held water (and, accordingly, the paper itself never had to be corrected or retracted, in the least.)”

David is quite simply insanely *denying* what simple plots of the input data shows and more importantly *doesn't* show.

Is he crazy? Is he a simple liar, hopping nobody will call his bluff? Is he a jester, just seeing how gullible his avid followers are? His output is already being used to advantage by Steyn. The very *need* to invoke such a terribly obvious scam blade to support Mann, has David really no clue how this very much hurts instead of supports Mann's claim to be anti instead of pro fraud? This is all making skepticism so *easy* online, for not only do we have an indeed unretracted fraud as clear visual proof of corruption in climatology but we have growing examples of you activists *invoking* that undeniable fraud. It's a PR dream come true, handing us nuclear level ammo to quickly discredit you and all AGW activists in the process. It is with but morbid curiosity that I bring it up here. Is it just another crappy activist job, I wonder? Does it get David any writing gigs? It doesn't sound like it does, or he wouldn't be waiting his time on Curry's blog. I imagine its just psychological attention grubbing really, as the big boys fight it out in court, David ironically helping Steyn win by being so quotably nasty in public. That he actually has a degree in science makes it much more interesting to witness his Pythonesque posturing that the parrot is not dead and that the UFOs will arrive next year instead.

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in carbon chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

RalphB said...

David Appell wrote:
"False, Ralph -- courts have ruled that there are several restrictions on free speech in the United States."

You are under the mistaken impression that a court may change the plain meaning of the First Amendment. However, the Constitution is the highest law, not some judge, and even higher than the highest law is the natural right to be free in thought and speech. So if you are going to use the argument from authority, pick a real authority: (1) The Constitution or (2) Nature, i.e. the requirements for the survival and flourishing of a rational animal.

Being free in thought and speech requires that everyone tolerate what everyone else thinks and says, whether they think it is true or not. If they disagree they are free to say so and to say something nasty about the previous speaker if they like. That's perfect equality of rights.

The alternative is violence: the violence of physically depriving a person of freedom or wealth because of the symbolic sounds or marks they made.

Free speech or violence. Pick one.

Of course none of this political philosophy helps Steyn in the short term. But win or lose, he retains the natural right to say anything he wants free from the intimidation of court-ordered violence, like everyone else.

David Appell said...

Nik: The deniers spin about Marcott et al has always stunk of desperation.

It's perfectly legit to plot two different sources of information on the same graph. (And legit to expect people to read and understand the paper in order to understand its graphs.)

It's ploys like this that keep deniers from making any headway.

David Appell said...

Nik: Re "insane"

Stop the ad homs, or your comments will be deleted.

You say you have a PhD. Act like it.

David Appell said...

Ralph: Courts interpret the law, and they have consistently ruled there are restrictions on free speech.

Or are you in favor of the publication of child pornography?

RalphB said...

David Appell writes:

"Courts interpret the law, and they have consistently ruled there are restrictions on free speech."

Everyone with a mind and an interest in the law interprets the law. The courts differ only in their power to impose their interpretations on others by force. This is often a good thing of course, but not invariably, and legislators often rewrite laws because their constituents dislike a court's ruling and demand it be altered. That is not invariably a good thing, either, and what is good or bad is for each of us to determine to the best of our abilities. There is no shortcut to the good: no authority is more qualified than yourself to tell you what it is, neither in the law nor anywhere else.

As for your other comment, it's a bit sloppy so let me rephrase it for you: Are you in favor of recognizing the right of a human being to publish child pornography?

Of course, and child pornography is not prohibited in the form of abstract representation. For example, and this may shock you, people may write and create visual representations (drawings, digital art, etc) of sexuality involving children without legal penalty (at least in many, perhaps most, places in the US and also elsewhere). What you may not do is publish photographic records of sexual crimes against children, which prohibition is essentially designed to remove the possibility of any monetary reward from the crime, in the same way that one may not profit from the publication of anything one has no right to, such as a stolen manuscript.

Since, properly, one may not make such pornographic representations in the first place, no one may transfer them either nor receive such criminal property nor hold it. This is just as in the case of copyright, where no one's right to freedom of speech or the press is abridged by the recognition of others' intellectual property.

I don't have space or time to show in detail why and how intellectual property (and "moral property" in the case of children's -- really anyone's -- bodies and minds) is a prerequisite to freedom of speech. But such self-ownership is another bedrock right underlying freedom of speech, and another reason I am a free-speech absolutist.

But to answer your exact question: No, I am not in favor of the publication of child pornography, legal or not, as it is unspeakably degrading to human dignity. Even more destructive of human dignity, however, is the paternalism that takes control of what ideas humans may communicate "for their own good".

David Appell said...

Ralph: So, despite what you wrote earlier, you do recognize there are legitimate restrictions on speech under the U.S. Constitution.

That was my original point.

Another restriction courts have consistently upheld is the defamation restriction.

RalphB said...

David wrote:
"So, despite what you wrote earlier, you do recognize there are legitimate restrictions on speech under the U.S. Constitution."

No. Only if you incorrectly define actions that are distinct from the communication of ideas (e.g. sexual assault, copyright infringement -- a form of fraud) as speech, can you declare restrictions on speech to be legitimate. However, such actions are distinct and separable from the ideas communicated and it is those actions that are properly restricted.

So while I am a free speech absolutist, I am not a free action absolutist: I favor restrictions on the initiation of force and fraud -- actions that physically deprive persons of things that are rightfully theirs, such as their bodily integrity and their property. If you want to conflate speech and the wrongful actions that may be associated with speech, I have to suspect that it is not the wrongful action that you wish to forbid, but the ideas communicated. Next you claim that since speech was restricted in case A, it may be restricted case B -- where no wrongful action is involved. That is very dangerous to liberty and human flourishing.

But there is no wrongful action associated with communicating defamatory ideas. That is why defamation is pure speech and cannot properly be restricted: defamation is only the communication of ideas and involves no deprivation of things that are rightfully the property of the defamed. One's good name or reputation may be worth a lot but they are not one's own property: they are ideas in other peoples minds. Your reputation is not what you think of yourself, it is what everyone else thinks of you. So your reputation belongs to everyone except yourself.

Still, it's understandable that people value their good reputations and wish to preserve them, so it is fortunate that there is a non-violent remedy to defamation -- a remedy that does not require initiating force against people because their speech offends you: you speak up for yourself, you denounce and correct the falsehoods spoken of you, and you attack the veracity -- the reputation -- of the defamer. This is very effective in protecting good reputations because if you already have a good reputation, you will be believed rather than the defamer.

This may not work if you already have a bad reputation, of course, but then your reputation would not be very valuable and worth protecting in the first place. If so, your best strategy would be to go forth and do good work and rebuild your reputation. Peace.

Joe Goodacre said...

David,

Correct - this is known as the divergence problem.

You have justified the ommission of the data on the basis that the proxy data that conflicted with the temperature record wasn't good data.

That is an assertion - it may be correct. My concern is whether that assertion was correct as at September 1999 when various authors of the chapter 2 met in Tanzania and the decision shortly after to not publish Briffa's data in chapter 2. At that date, there appeared to be uncertainty within the proxy data as a result of Briffa et al 1998 which called into question the confidence we could have in a statement that this decade was the warmest it was for 1,000 years. As mentioned earlier, the released emails indicated that Briffa himself had substantial concerns with over-playing the confidence we should have in that same conclusion.

The question is not whether subsequent information or hypotheses explain the divergence problem - the question is why did the divergence problem not make it into the graph or discussion of Chapter 2 of working group one, particularly when Briffa's results conflicted with those of the Lead Author (Mann).

My understanding is that at the time (emphasis on at the time) - the divergence problem had not been explained meaning that omitting any reference to it was an overstatement of the confidence held within the literature as to the claim that the 1990's were the warmest decade in the last 1,000 years.

Unknown said...

The limits of what one can reasonably claim about matters of science are defined by the set of peer-reviewed papers which haven't yet been refuted. That's it. Everything else is bullshit.

If you have some kind of theory you first have to create a formal, detailed argument which can pass the basic sanity check of peer-review. That's the same, fair test everyone has to go through. If you have important, original ideas and can back them up they will get published.

Publication isn't a guarantee of correctness. It just means here is a new idea which appears to be supported by reasonable arguments and thus deserves to be taken seriously.

So if you want to criticise existing theories, or suggest new ones, you can't just post on a blog. You have to do the same thing everyone else is required to do: publish a scientific paper.

Attacking the peer-review process itself is a desperate, shameless act of anti-scientific propaganda from people who cannot make any impact in the real scientific debate because they do not have any arguments which stand up to scrutiny.

Peter Gleick said...

David, boy are you patient.