Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Mark Steyn Says He Quoted the Phil Jones Email Correctly

Mark Steyn says he didn't doctor an email to Mann in his vanity publication.

Fair enough. I'll believe him. My bad. My apologies.

Tony Heller Exposed, you seem to have botched this. My fault for believing you without checking.

I wonder then, how Judith Curry got the idea Steyn did doctor the email, because she definitely doctored it in her post.

I've written to her to ask.

Steyn thinks I should buy a copy of his book. Really, he does, for $15.46. Me, a poor freelancer scratching the floor for grains of wheat.

I'm happy to read a complimentary copy, and attempt to place a review -- here, if no one is interested -- but no, this isn't a book I'm going to buy from him. Or from Amazon -- I cancelled my account there last weekend, after the NY Times expose on their abysmal working conditions.

PS: I wonder if Steyn has examined any of the other evidence for the hockey stick, some derived with independent mathematical techniques. Like Marcott et al Science 2013, PAGES 2k, or Tingley and Huybers.

I expect he hasn't. If not, why not?


John said...

For the irreversible brain-rot that would ensue from reading an entire book of Steyn's, I'd suggest a much better bang for the buck would be investing the $15.46 in, and sniffing the hell out of, one's preferred solvent.

John Puma

tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath said...

I botched nothing, Mr Appell. You did not read my blog post very carefully. Back on August 16th I documented Steyn's claim that he he used the full passage at the top and bottom of my post. I refer you back to my post.

However, as I also pointed out, that makes Curry look all the worse because she definitely did not use the full passage on her blog.

Steyn is a third-rate showman peddling his garbage to stoke sales and make a name for himself. Who cares what he does? Curry, however, is a supposed scientist who has (perhaps) literally gotten into bed with slime like Steyn. Now that she's in the gutter with him, no one should be surprised if there's a little blow back waiting for her.

If Curry lays with the dogs she can expect to get fleas.

alfanerd said...

But, if he wants to find fault with my book and can't afford it even with the steep Amazon discounts, he can always write and ask for a review copy.

Your comments about Marcott et al is completely irrelevant.

1. Steyn is not being sued by Marcott but by Mann.
2. Steyn called Mann's hockey stick fraudulent, not Marcott's.
3. Mann's hockey stick is fraudulent because it is computed using a flawed method and cherry picked data. Whether or not it has a correct result or is confirmed by other papers is irrelevant.
4. As it happnes, Marcott's "hockey stick" is also pure crap. Even Marcott admits that some of its own analysis is not reliable.

Jack Savage said...

"PS: I wonder if Steyn has examined any of the other evidence for the hockey stick, some derived with independent mathematical techniques. Like Marcott et al Science 2013, PAGES 2k, or Tingley and Huybers."

Wonder away. It would however be an exercise that was completely irrelevant to the matters in hand.

If I concocted some unreproduceable fraudulent method to prove that the Earth went round the Sun and built a lucrative career on would still make me a fraud. Perhaps more importantly, people like Steyn should be allowed to call me a fraud if they thought I was one. That is what the court case is about.
What I cannot understand is why other proper scientists do not come out and call him a fraud too. Oh, wait a minute, isn't there a new book out?

Jack Savage said...

Sorry. Forgot to say I was impressed by your apology/correction. It is refreshing to see it.

Unknown said...

As pointed out in a comment to the prior post, Curry explicitly said she was quoting only snippets, so it's unfair to ding her for posting a snippet.

The heading of this post, "Mark Steyn says' turns what should be a question of fact into a "he said-he said" uncertainty. What does David Appell say? I think he should look at the book and find out what the truth is.

Bradoplata said...

You believed the Steyn quote without checking, and you believe the Times article without checking.

You, sir, are a trusting person.

Toby Joyce said...

Jack Savage,

"Proper scientists" did review Michael Mann's Hockey Stick in the form of the report by Professor Douglas North, which found the contested principal component analysis methodology had a small tendency to bias results so was not recommended, but it had little influence on the final reconstructions, and other methods produced similar results.

A report at around the same time, the so-called Wegman Report, was subsequently discredited and retracted by the journal that published it.

Mann and his co-authors also subsequently published further papers correcting and strengthening their methodology. It is astonishing that still controversy rages over a paper published over a decade-and-a-half-ago.

Further, the Mann paper was supposed to be "crucial" in establishing that the later 20th century and early 21st were warmer than any previous period in this interglacial. The whole point of the attacks on Mann were to undermine that finding. Now we must note that you accept that, bolstered by the conclusions the Marcott paper, which also came under fierce criticism from "skeptics" when published.

In fact we now have Hockey Sticks galore from several sources, e.g. this one recently:

So the whole question boils down to a single individual and a single paper - but is that not really trivial if the wide scientific point that Mann established is conceded? Newtonian gravitational theory got the orbit of Mercury wrong because it did not include relativistic corrections for the Sun's gravity field - but Isaac Newton is not held to be a fraud on that account.

HMS Defiant said...

You are a sad and pathetic journalist that believes everything you read and yet you never question and you never check the facts for yourself but blame others when you are caught parroting fabrications and lies. If you can't afford a book, go to the library and if they don't carry it, suggest that they buy it and put it into circulation.
Authors are not charged to quote their sources in full. It is enough to quote them for the sake of advancing an argument. What morality play of a journalism misinformation pattern are you? Steyn ate your lunch and yet you still couldn't bring yourself to apologize forthrightly like a man but chose to weasel it and claim that Steyn "says" he quoted .... When even the facts and the evidence don't dent your journalistic powers of observation it might be time to hang up the press hat and retire.

Andrew Jones said...

Mr Appell,

I give you very deserved credit for your apology. Although I have little truck with this entire matter and the likes of Mann, Hanson, Gore etc who are peddlers of snake-oil (and history is going to judge them accordingly) I am not so bitter n twisted to derive a sadistic pleasure from what would seem to be simple error on your part.

I am quite sure you will have learned from it.

Again. thank you for the apology. Very creditworthy and it shows (I will confess unexpectedly) a strength of character.


PS This is a genuine offer David, I am happy to have sent to you a brand new copy of "A Disgrace To The Profession, The Worlds Scientists, in their own words, On Michael Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage To Science".

The above is a genuine offer.

The proceeds will of course be going towards the case against Mann but since your task will be to try to expose any frailties in this first volume it may be a cost-effective decision on your part?

Please let me know where I can send it to. I'll have to provide the Steyn-online Store those details but I really don't get any sense that Mr Steyn will stalk you.

Provide an address and you'll have your copy to enjoy.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

Dear Mr Appalling: er, why do you so eagerly and relentlessly swallow Michael Mann's entire stick whole? Ah, of course. Got it. Here's a wild and crazy idea - instead of making logical fallacy book reviews of a book you haven't read and apparently laughably refuse to read, perhaps READ the 'effing book, then QUOTE where the 'effing book is allegedly wrong and then counter with sourced, empirical 'effing evidence. Could this somehow 'effing work? Just wonderin'.

Colonel Robert Neville said...

And here you are again, Davo, relentlessly presenting yourself as you are and gee, just like your strange chum Michael Mann - a dreary, hilariously incompetent, glaringly jealous nitwit phony.

Steve said...

Hi David, well done.
This thread again proves what I have thought all along.
The dishonesty, violence and aggression shown to Mann just demonstrates the strength of the hockey stick, which powerfully and graphically gives the lie to the claims of those who think our current trajectory is safe.
As their claims crash and burn with the development of the science and the evolution of the climate system, the climate "Skeptics" double down on the nonsense!

hazym said...

PS: I wonder if Steyn has examined any of the other evidence for the hockey stick, some derived with independent mathematical techniques. Like Marcott et al Science 2013, PAGES 2k, or Tingley and Huybers.

Uh-oh. Indeed Steyn has examined the other 'evidence' for the HS, including Marcott's effort. Again its in the book that you apparently don't need to read to know its all wrong.

Normally I'd advise that when you're in a hole, stop digging. But in your case, please keep going.....just for the comedic value.

harkin said...

If the original blog post was a 5th grade book report it would have failed. How an adult can think anything good could come of it just seems to suggest a bulb that is not very bright.

Even worse, the original Quark Soup article claiming doctored words has no correction (as of Aug 20, 9:15pm PDT) nor update admitting such so it can continue to be linked by other dim bulbs to smear Steyn and Curry. Just wow.

harkin said...

Make the above time 8:15pm - puter clock is on MDT.

Jack Savage said...

"Steyn thinks I should buy a copy of his book. Really, he does, for $15.46. Me, a poor freelancer scratching the floor for grains of wheat."

Judging by the complete twerp you are making of yourself (see hazym's comment above which is indeed the case, it turns out!) commenting on it without having read the book , I would suggest it would have been the best $15.46 you ever spent!

This is all rather delicious.

Toby Joyce said...

I am with Steve above.

A pity to see the usual denier "chorus of disapproval" citing old, discredited myths.

I was most amused, though, at hazym's trust in the Steyn ability to undersatnd science. I recall Steyn's writings on the Iraq War, including his regret that the US did not start off with a nuclear bomb and take it from there. This from a man who wept copious tears over poor, brain-dead Terry Schiavo's right to life.

I would not trust an amoral and unsavoury character like Steyn from here to the door. I would not touch him with a forty-foot pole, even if I had never heard of Michael Mann,

tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath said...

The saga continues. Steyn just published a piece containing a homophobic attack Michael Mann and science journalist, Greg Laden.

More here: Judith Curry’s Endorsement of Mark Steyn’s Ugly Homophobic Attack on Michael Mann and Greg Laden

Tom C said...

You are using Marcott 2013 to corroborate Mann's HS papers? Are you crazy? Are you unaware of the history of this one?

David Appell said...

Tom: I'm well aware of the history of Marcott et al. I've seen nothing to call their findings into doubt. Can you point to any comments or rebuttals that have been published in the scientific litertature?

harkin said...

Well at least you posted a 'correction' link on the smear post, yet you left the original otherwise exactly as-is.

SUGGESTION: You should at least add this to the original:

"CORRECTION - I wrote this post relying on bad info from a suspect source without checking any of the (what I felt were) "shocking" and "obvious" facts used to accuse Steyn and Curry of being "dishonest". I also never read the book or blog posts I was attempting to quote and critique and this is inexcusable.

I offer a heartfelt apology to both Steyn and Curry. I would certainly not blame anyone reading my posts in the future to apply a grain of doubt to my statements until I build a future record of diligence and competence, something a writer who advocates that "you can never ask too many questions" should apply to himself first and foremost.

David Appell said...

Harkin: I put up a correction. Curry's misquote on her blog is clear, and it's still there. Why aren't you complaining about that?

David Appell said...

Jack Savage said...
"This is all rather delicious."

That says a great deal -- that you think the hockey stick is about rhetoric and who gets the upper hand in a rhetorical debate -- when it about science.

This isn't the Iraq War or Islamic terror we're talking. If it was, Steyn and you and me would get an opinion.

But this is about science. Steyn or you or I can insult anyone as much as we want, and that doesn't change the science one iota. And the science on the hockey stick is in and basically settled -- it's true.

Tom C said...

OK Appell -

Marcott himself said this:

"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."

And you are using this in defense of MBH 1998?

Steyn is a music critic who gets his science details right. You are a supposed science journalist floundering and foundering badly at this point.

David Appell said...

Tom C: So what? 20th century temperatures are known from thermometer records.

Andrew Jones said...

Do you want a free copy of "A Disgrace To The Profession, The Worlds Scientists, in their own words, On Michael Mann, His Hockey Stick, and Their Damage To Science" David?

You were lamenting poor finances as reason for not having one.

I will send you a free copy.

Autographed if you desire?

This is a genuine offer.


Et quoi encore ? said...

«Steyn thinks I should buy a copy of his book. »

Well, he thinks you should do so before again critizing the book (without having read it).

David Appell said...


Thanks, but on second thought, no. I'm not interested in spending more time discussing the hockey stick, which is now established thru the scientific literature. Or debunking the near-infinite number of things bloggers have written about it.

The hockey stick is an old subject, the science has moved on, and I'd rather focus on the science than on history.

Thanks anyway.

Andrew Jones said...


You are welcome.

Thank you for the reply. If it's any consolation I was a rapidly pro-anthropogenic global warming as you remain currently and I am truly not judging you with that remark.

I still feel you showed a strength of character with your apology. I know the incident will have hurt. As the doubts creep in about this entire state of affairs you will experience those feelings again and again but eventually the transition will occur and you will feel comfortable with it. Honest.

The offer will remain open if you change your mind.



David Appell said...

Andrew, I don't appreciate your condescending attitude. There are no "doubts" creeping in around me; on the contrary, the science behind AGW has never looked stronger. If you don't see that, you're not much of a judge of the evidence.

Andrew Jones said...

Apologies David,

I do understand how it might appear and feel so to you.

Wasn't meant that way.


Andrew Jones said...

As an aside, you will note that I didn't actually say you DID have doubts. Your current position seems very clear.

Just that you will in the future.

The book offer will continue to stand. It really is quite good given the quality of the detractors that Dr Mann has within its pages.


David Appell said...


Why will I have doubts in the future?

Have any of the "detractors" published their criticisms in the scientific literature? I wrote to one Steyn quoted recently, and the guy had all kinds of hand waving arguments, but when I asked if he's every published in field he stopped writing back.

Stephan Burton said...

Mr Appell: why is this so hard for you?

The really big issue here isn't who's right or wrong on the science. The really big issue is this: who's allowed to speak, freely & frankly, without being slapped down by the powers that be?

On that issue, you side with the big-money guys, every effing time.

Michael Jankowski said...

Oh my goodness, Steyn called someone a "pansy."

How awful. Burn him at the stake, or better yet, stone him.

Bunch of effing crybabies. Oh, wait...that's insulting to effing crybabies.

Andrew Jones said...

Hi David,

Ok, time will tell I guess.

Would you mind revealing which of the scientists you contacted that Steyn quotes in his book? Why only one of them? There were many.

In any event, why would a critique be necessarily a published scientific article?

Just to get the entire context right.


Tom C said...

Appell @ 11:39

No, you can't splice the thermometer record onto the reconstruction. That is fraud and that is what Mann did.

David Appell said...

Tom C: why not?

It's the overlap between proxy data and thermometer data that sets the relationships for the proxy data before thermometers.

David Appell said...


Time has alreadyh told.

I'm not going to share the name of the scientist I contacted here.

Why shouldn't I contact just one?

>> In any event, why would a critique be necessarily a published scientific article? <<

Because otherwise you get hand-waving arguments exactly like the response I received -- people think they can explain over a decade and a half of careful paleoclimate reconstructions with a paragraph of three sentences. Peer reviewed papers are where methodologies get hammered out. Choosing not to participate there, while dismissing the entire field with a wave of the hand, is cowardly.

David Appell said...


Of course anyone can speak out. But libel and defamation are legally actionable.

Layzej said...

"The really big issue here isn't who's right or wrong on the science. The really big issue is this: who's allowed to speak, freely & frankly, without being slapped down by the powers that be?"

Truth and Science are irrelevant? All that matters is our right to spread lies? Steyn is free to tell the truth. Only deliberate lies are actionable.

David Appell said...

Layzej: Scientists have been busy telling the truth, with their science. And it's a lot more convincing than anything I've seen that Steyn Simberg has ever written.

Layzej said...

I agree. Stephan Burton (above) seems to think that "who's right or wrong on the science" is less important than whether people are free to spread libel. I'm not sure why we should hold the right to libel higher than the truth.

Layzej said...

The thing is, we do have freedom of speech. if you tell the truth, you are find. You are also free to say things that are wrong, as long as you believe they are true. You are also able to say things that are wrong that you know are wrong. The only thing you are not allowed to do is say things that are wrong, that you know are wrong, and that you are saying in order to destroy a reputation. Is the right of a persons to lie in order to hurt someone more important than the truth?

David Appell said...

Great reply, Toby.