Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Steyn Outsources His Defense to the Blogosphere

Since he has no lawyers, Mark Steyn has to rely on bloggers (yikes).

Who are dutifully compiling a "case," if you want to call it that, against Mann.

Has any other defendant ever come up with the genius idea of crowdsourcing his defense, letting his opponent watch the entire time?

I can't think of any. {Brilliant! It's got all of one comment, itself useless.} 

And like Mann can't immediately smack down amateurish complaints like these, about data adjustments, which are a competely legitimate and necessary part of science (or else you don't get the right answers).

Or that the denial crowd thinks this case is about Mann's "screw-ups." My impression is that the new judge will see right through that, and fast.

Let's hope Mark continues to rely on fake people like "Steve Goddard," someone too ashamed to blog under his/her real name, and whose only real publication was immediately shot down in flames (be sure to see the Editor's Note).

There may not be a sporting chance here after all.


Patrick said...

"Rule #1: You can never ask too many questions."

Except about global warming.

autohitter said...

It's worth asking why someone would use a fake name—and it apparently hasn't occurred to you that it's likely the result of the sort of intimidation Mann is practicing in his lawsuit.

It's a trip to see the "left" enforcing groupthink and persecuting dissenters.

Lars said...

A lot more than one comment there now, David. But the ones I've read betray an absolutely breathtaking ignorance of the way that science is done. Plus constituting a rather comprehensive list of the last half-decade's McIntyresque talking points. Not only are they too dumb and blinkered to know what they don't know, they're incapable of originality or insight. Steyn is well-served.

It's a trip to see the "left" enforcing groupthink and persecuting dissenters...

Case in point, even though it's here rather than offered as "assistance" to Steyn. I guess "left" really is a synonym for "empirical realists" these days.

Unknown said...

I do not myself do much blogging against modern day "Lysenkoism" (where the political class decides what science is "settled", and then silences criticism by court "gulags"). The "political elite" just censors the comments.

So instead, I bought a $2000 "gift certificate" over at Steyn's web page to support his defense.

National Review's legal strategy seems to be governed whomever underwrites their libel insurance. Steyn seems to understand why "government endorsed 'science'" is a bad idea. And will fight for science and its values (even as many "scientists" will not).

$2000 is well invested to hear Mann testify, under penalty of perjury, why he discarded the data that he did, kept the data that he did, chose statistical methods that found a "hockey stick" over those that (applied to the same data) did not, failed to mention divergence, and so on.

Unknown said...

And while I am logged in, I went to the link that you cited. I found three of the points that I disagreed with, but all of the rest were valid criticisms of Mann.
Would you care to actually RESPOND to the list, one by one? Rather than snark? My students would love to see you take your best shot.
BTW. I love your Captcha this time.

David Appell said...

Would you care to actually RESPOND to the list, one by one?

No. Charges that Mann might have once picked his nose in high school are a sheer waste of time, not written by competent sources, and not at all what the lawsuit is about.

P.S. I don't believe you have any "students." I don't believe you're a scientist.

David Appell said...

"Rule #1: You can never ask too many questions."
Except about global warming.

Actually it's Stein and his acolytes that aren't asking questions here. They don't know the science and don't want to know it -- all they think they need is that McIntyre wrote a paper questioning some of Mann's methods and data -- a completely common occurrence in science that happens every single day. That hardly proves fraud -- and, in fact, McIntyre has said as much:


Unknown said...

1. You won't respond to substantive criticisms of Mann.
2. You think that instead, you can persuade by making ad hominems attacks about "nose picking".
3. You will continue to use rhetorical tricks in your graphs, splicing different kinds of data and calling "roller coasters" "hockey sticks".
4. You see nothing wrong with scientists doing data adjustments to get "the right answers".

The last point is, of course, exactly what the lawsuit is about. No doubt about it; Mann got "the right answer", as determined by the political folks. He got it only because he picked certain tree rings, certain statistical methods, and so on, all that gave him the "right answer". At the same time, he disregarded data/analytical methods that would have given him "the wrong answer". The article you linked to pointed to many of these (most of which I agree with).

So we now have a (partial) list of the "adjustments" by which Mann got his hockey stick. We have a list of alternative data and analytical methods, all known to Mann, that did not give him a hockey stick, that Mann could have used in 1998.

The question for trial is whether he "adjusted" data to get "the right answer" consciously and with the intention to defraud.

Let us see what the jury says about this.

But what I find worthy of remark here is that you are so tone deaf about what science is and how science is actually done that you would actually blog points 1-4, apparently unaware that you are discrediting yourself.

BTW. Come enroll in my class. It is in Gainesville FL, a bit far from Oregon, but the weather is better.

Unknown said...

And as my absolute final comment before going back to work, you are correct about the error in Goddard's analysis. He should have weighted the pixels. The result would have been, if my calculation is correct, 10% increase in arctic ice, not 30% increase.

David Appell said...

You keep ignoring this question: where is your evidence the MCA was global??

Unknown said...

Kellerhals et al. have data from ice cores from the Bolivian Andes that show both the MPW and the LIA as global phenomena.

JGR 115 (2010)

Unknown said...

And as my final final final comment before going back to work

(this is the problem with the internet; one can always find on it something more entertaining on the internet than what you are supposed to be doing)

I have never understood why you "destroyers of climate science" are interested in shifting the burden of proof in this way.

With the extraordinarily strong record supporting the MWP in the northern hemisphere

(something known in detail long before Mann98 got rid of the MWP, something that the "political class" accepted as "the correct answer" despite overwhelming evidence that the "hockey stick" simply could not be correct)

the burden of proof would seem to be on those who wished to argue that the MWP was NOT a global phenomenon.

I never like BOP arguments, but I still don't get where you are combing from.

With the data from both the northern and southern hemispheres confirming the MWP and LIa as global phenomena, and, of course, data from both hemispheres confirming the roller coaster temperature of entire Pleistocene, the much warmer Pliocene, and the much much warmer Eocene (the data from Bolivia are supplemented by the Vostok, not to mention fossil data from Antarctica)

why do you still try to deny the fact that global temperature is a roller coaster? Why do you deny what is thoroughly documented in the record, which shows that NATURAL climate change can be extraordinarily rapid, on the century time scale? That NATURAL climate has produced current temperatures without humankind.

Of course, the question remains: Human-generated CO2 can still be a problem.

But absolutely nothing in the historical record suggests that modern temperatures are particularly warm, or are changing particularly rapidly, or presage a climate runaway with methane outgassing, or anything.

We scientists still do not understand why people like you continue to embarrass yourselves by fighting well-established science, splicing different kinds of data as a rhetorical "trick" to "hide the decline", call things "hockey sticks" when they are "roller coasters", apologize for people like Mann who (if we wish to be charitable) made such a hash of the field, and defend SLAPP lawsuits whose sole purpose is to suppress people who display the one trait (skepticism) that distinguishes science from other kinds of intellectual activitiy.

From time to time, you try to make a living explaining science (which, I suppose, includes "space elevators") to the public. Why do you insist on destroying your public reputation by being so anti-science?

We don't get it.

Unknown said...

BTW. I forgot to mention the very recent stuff that uses a pollen proxy (which appeals to my general interest) that finds the MWP and LIA in Ecuador:

Ledru, M.-P., Jomelli, V., Samaniego, P., Vuille, M., Hidalgo, S., Herrera, M., and Ceron, C. (2013) The Medieval Climate Anomaly and the Little Ice Age in the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. Clim. Past, 9, 307-321,

And you probably already know of the Fletcher-Moreno review that covers the large amount of data from South America.

Fletcher, M-S.; Moreno, P.I. (2012). "Vegetation, climate and fire regime changes in the Andean region of southern Chile (38 °S) covaried with centennial-scale climate anomalies in the tropical Pacific over the last 1500 years". Quaternary Science Reviews 46: 46–56.

Give it up, David. I know that the lay public attempting to defend modern climate Lysenkoism tries to claim that the MWP occurred only in the northern hemisphere, but it did not. This paart of the science is settled, at least to the same extent that we can say that God did NOT create the earth 6000 years ago.

David, you need to stop being a "climate creationist". You need to admit that nothing in the historical record says that either the extent or rate of change in temperature over the past century is in any way extraordinary in the historical record. You need to admit that current temperatures COULD be due entirely to natural causes. You also need to admit that the models that are used to argue otherwise have failed to be predictive over the last decade or so.

With this all set aside, then maybe we can get to the actual question on the table: Is human generation of CO2 going to do something that it has never done in the past, to change the natural order of climate change?

tonylearns said...


David. well you have finally met your match.
and it seem like Mr. Anonymous (I wonder if that is his real name?) has ALL to answers that prove the hoax of ACC.
BUT, unlike all the other cowardly deniers, It sounds like he is on the verge of publishing these proofs and blowing the whole game sky high.
It is clearly shown that Mann tried everything he could to eliminate the MWP and artificially enhance the current temperatures to create an illusion of warming.
And he actually cites peer reviewed science that shows temps the same or higher in different parts of the world during the MWP.
One is finally presented with the real shame of what Mann has done, and once Mr. anonymous gets on the stand ( I assume that after his great Largesse on Steyn's behalf he will have the honor of testifying in his behalf. Certainly something Steyn should encourage in his fund raising efforts for donations of $2,000 or more) the judge and the world will see this discredited man for the huckster he is.
now David, is there ANY chance that Mr. Anonymous has left out any information? Are there ANY peer reviewed studies that can reconfirm Mann's research? HAs there ben any effort to really examine his work and see if his mistakes were major or minor? Are there ANY studies that don't show the MWP as warm as current temps? Is there ANY physics which supports the current "alleged" increase in temps? Is there any support for the silly idea that CO2 in the past has ever had any impact on the planet? Is there ANY evidence in, say that arctic, that this alleged "warming" is in any way unusual? Is there ANY reason to think that adding another minuscule 100-300ppm more to the atmosphere is going to do anything other than enrich the world and lead us to a free market technological paradise?
David, are you willing to look at THESE questions??????

David Appell said...

Kellerhals et al. have data from ice cores from the Bolivian Andes that show both the MPW and the LIA as global phenomena.

Ice cores from one location show something was global.

How does that work exactly?

David Appell said...

Kellerhals et al don't seem to think their data provides evidence of anything global, writing in their abstract:

"That given, the reconstruction reveals that Medieval Warm Period– and Little Ice Age–type episodes
are distinguishable in tropical South America, a region for which until now only very limited temperature proxy data have been available."


Also note their Figure 7, which shows late 20th century South American temperatures at least 0.4 C above their peak in the Middle Ages.

David Appell said...

something known in detail long before Mann98 got rid of the MWP

Mann et al did not "get rid" of the MWP -- they found no evidence to support it. And you haven't presented evidence of a MWP.

PAGES 2k found none either:

Abstract: "...There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century...."

"Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia," PAGES 2k Consortium, Nature Geosciences, April 21, 2013

David Appell said...

Unknown: Your last comment is your last ad hominem allowed. Any more and your comments will be deleted. Stick to science or don't comment at all.

Got it?

David Appell said...

What MWP-proponents don't seem to understand is that the existence of a global MWP would make our current situation *worse*, not better.

Because it mean the possibility of a natural global warming is larger than if it wasn't there, meaning we'd have to worry more about such natural upward fluctuations adding to the greenhouse warming we're creating.

So if the MWP were global -- which the data does not show -- the need for cutting emissions is even GREATER.

David Appell said...

PAGES 2k does include the Bolivian ice cores (see their Figure S12 in their Supplementary Material), but only back to 1500 A.D., because it does not offer annual resolution before that.

Kellerhals et al write, "Interpolation to yearly values was applied where the resolution dropped to 2–3 years (from ∼1100 to 350 AD)"

Note that even then, PAGES 2k does find some evidence for a SH MWP (their figures S2 and S3a), of about the same magnitude as Kellehals et al., who find only about 0.3 C of MWP warming.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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Unknown said...
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David Appell said...

Unknown (=Fred Douglass): I warned you about ad hominen comments.

You wouldn't listen, so your comment was removed.

Unknown said...
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