Carterist “science”: Bob’s self-plagiarism, misrepresentation and misquotations

homer.jpgThe crank web is all atwitter with the news that Bob Carter’s been censored by Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC. But an exclusive Hot Topicinvestigation reveals that the supposed “censorship” looks a lot more like prudent quality control. Carter’s submission plagiarises his own writings, misquotes and misrepresents James Hansen, and joins the recent baseless attacks on the NZ temperature record.

When the ABC’s Unleashed site turned down Carter’s offering — supposedly a reply or counterbalance to their recent five part series on climate denial by Clive Hamilton — it was quickly picked up by his frequent publisher, Aussie website QuadrantOnline. Titled Lysenkoism and James Hansen – Is Hansenism more dangerous than Lysenkoism?, it’s a crude attack on Hansen, currently visiting Australia. But it’s not only crude, it’s unoriginal.

 

Carter opens his ABC/Quadrant piece with an account of Hansen’s 1988 testimony to Congress:

On June 23, 1988, a young and previously unknown NASA computer modeller, James Hansen, appeared before a United States Congressional hearing on climate change. On that occasion, Dr. Hansen used a graph to convince his listeners that late 20th century warming was taking place at an accelerated rate, which, it being a scorching summer’s day in Washington, a glance out of the window appeared to confirm.

But back in 2005, in a talk to the Melbourne Rotary Club titled Global Warming Hysteria and the Deadly Disease of Hansenism (and in a paper available on his web site since), he had this to say about Hansen’s testimony:

Why Hansenism? Because James Hansen was the NASA-employed scientist who started the climate alarmism hare running on June 23, 1988, when he appeared before a United States Congressional hearing on climate change. On that occasion, Dr Hansen used a misleading graph to convince his listeners that [words cut here] warming was taking place at an accelerated rate (which, it being a scorching summer’s day in Washington, a glance out of the window appeared to confirm). [My emboldening of identical words.]

Strikingly similar, I think you’ll agree. The next two paragraphs share strong similarities with his 2005 paper, although he attributes a quote from Hansen somewhat differently: Here’s the Quadrant/ABC piece:

Fifteen years later, in the Scientific American in March, 2004, Hansen came to write that “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic”.

This conversion to honesty came too late, however, for in the intervening years thousands of other climate scientists had meanwhile climbed onto the Hansenist funding gravy-train.

Once again, here’s Carter’s original version:

Much later (20032), Hansen came to write “Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate …. scenarios consistent with what is realistic”. But this astonishing conversion to honesty came too late, for in the intervening years thousands of other climate scientists had meanwhile climbed onto the Hansenist funding gravy-train.

Carter’s use of this quote is intended to show that Hansen had been dishonest. What else can a “conversion to honesty” be taken to mean? But the dishonesty is entirely Carter’s, and the many other climate deniers (Patrick Michaels prominent among them) who have ripped Hansen’s words from their context. Firstly, the quote is not accurate, the relevant sentences as published are:

Emphasis on extreme scenarios may have been appropriate at one time, when the public and decision-makers were relatively unaware of the global warming issue, and energy sources such as “synfuels,” shale oil and tar sands were receiving strong consideration. Now, however, the need is for demonstrably objective climate forcing scenarios consistent with what is realistic under current conditions. Scenarios that accurately fit recent and near-future observations have the best chance of bringing all of the important players into the discussion, and they also are what is needed for the purpose of providing policy-makers the most effective and efficient options to stop global warming. [Missing words emboldened]

Secondly, as in so many things, context is all important. Hansen is discussing the details of the forcing scenarios put together by the IPCC for use in climate model runs. The standard scenarios assume no actions to reduce emissions. Hansen is arguing that to be useful for policy makers, scenarios that include emissions reductions need to be developed, to provide an idea of what might happen if action were taken. No change of mind, no admission of dishonesty — just a call for policy-relevant emissions trajectories and forcing scenarios. Misquotation and misrepresentation in the same breath — nice one, Bob. [Interesting too to note that the AR5 modelling will be based on new, more realistic scenarios that will include emissions reductions]

Let’s move on to the next par in the Bob’s samizdat article:

Currently, global warming alarmism is fuelled by an estimated worldwide expenditure on related research and greenhouse bureaucracy of more than US$10 billion annually. Scientists and bureaucrats being only too human, the power of such sums of money to corrupt not only the politics of greenhouse, but even the scientific process itself, should not be underestimated.

That’s a lot of money. What did he tell the Rotarians five years ago?

Currently, global warming alarmism is fuelled by an estimated worldwide expenditure on related research and greenhouse bureaucracy of US$3-4 billion annually. Scientists and bureaucrats being only too human, the power of such sums of money to corrupt not only the politics of greenhouse, but even the scientific process itself, must not be underestimated.

Crikey Moses, that’s some climate inflation! Not a Hansenist gravy train, but a Carterist scary ghost train.

The sections on “Lysenkoism” in the two pieces are also more or less identical, but in the more recent article, Bob moves on to deliver his wisdom on the state of climate science and policy advice in Australia, and can’t resist a dig at the NZ temperature record:

And, across the Tasman, NIWAgate is developing apace, as the N.Z. National Institute of Water & Atmosphere battles to provide a parliamentary accounting for its historic temperature archive, which may yet prove to include the “dog ate my homework” excuse for the apparent absence of some records.

Bob’s clearly channelling Treadgold and Wishart, and just as clearly out of touch (or perhaps that should be unwilling to be in touch) with reality.
So what are the basic tenets of Carterist science, as revealed by the writings of the great communicator himself? Bob describes them perfectly in his Rotary Club talk:

HansenistCarterist climate hysteria is driven by relentless, ideological, pseudo-scientific drivel, most of which issues from greenright wing political activists and their supporters, and is then promulgated by compliant media commentators who are innocent of knowledge of true scientific method. Opportunistically, and sadly, some scientists, too, contribute to the HansenistCarterist alarmism.

Quite right Bob. I share your sorrow, if not your shame.

41 thoughts on “Carterist “science”: Bob’s self-plagiarism, misrepresentation and misquotations”

  1. Sorry for my ignorance Gareth, but what is wrong with plagiarising your own work?

    And the obvious explanation for the change in the amount of money spent on climate change over the last five years is that the money spent on climate change has increased. I thought you would have been happy with this.

    1. Bob can revisit his thoughts on Hansen as often as he likes, but simply cutting and pasting from old articles is generally considered bad form by the media. In this case, I imagine the ABC thought Carter would try to answer some of the points made by Hamilton. Instead, he chose to tilt at a different target, and to do so in an unoriginal manner that Bryan (below) rightly characterises as malicious.

      The question of costs is marginally interesting. I suspect both of his numbers are grossly inflated, but he provides no references to allow me to check. You will forgive me if I consider it likely that he simply made them up.

      1. He rehashed his comments but i’m not sure you can say he simply cut and pasted them. Why is this regarded as bad form in the media anyway?

        I have read and heard many people who basically bang on anout the same stuff year after year. It is a popular technique used by Politicians to get a message across.

        1. I think it’s absolutely clear he cut and pasted from the original because the sentences are in many cases absolutely identical. It’s bad form, because if you are asked to contribute an article you are expected to produce something original. If Carter had rewritten his thoughts on Hansen, changed the sentences, that would have been acceptable — but I think the ABC rejected this piece because it was rubbish anyway.

          1. He could very well have really liked what he wrote the first time and decided to post it again from memory rather than copying and pasting it as you suggest.

            Where is this rule set down that if you are asked to submit an article you can’t reuse previous ideas or concepts you have written about in the past?

            Personally I think you should focus on whether or not his ideas had supporting evidence rather than this silly attack line on him having the temerity to reuse ideas and phrases from his past work. It comes across as being excessively fussy and nit-picking.

            1. If Carter has perfect recall of stuff he wrote five years ago, he has an amazing talent. However, everyone with a computer can cut and paste.

              Of course you can reuse ideas and concepts — no laws against that.

              So are you supporting his misuse of quotations, misrepresentation of Hansen’s views, and apparent plucking of figures out of thin air?

          2. I don’t see the problem, why change sentences for the sake of it if they are still applicable?? I think you are just trying to find something to attack.

            As The Talking Heads say; “Say something once, why say it again?”

            1. “So why don’t you just post the same comment over and over…?”
              Because, as like C3 et al, he hasn’t anything original to say?

  2. Hansenism? Hansen is an eminent scientist well-regarded by his peers, but he is one among a great many. He didn’t start anything in 1988 – merely put into the public arena what was emerging in the science. As mentioned in the previous post, Fighting Back, George Woodwell also testified in 1988 before a Senate committee on the seriousness of the global warming that was becoming apparent. Carter says that the power of money has corrupted the scientific process in the matter of climate change. A dreadful accusation to make against a large body of scientists. And stupid as well – are we supposed to believe that all these scientists are spending their time producing results they know to be false because their salaries (mostly relatively modest I imagine) depend on it? That there is no intellectual or moral integrity to be found among them? That the substantial and growing body of scientific literature they have produced is just a way of filling the time for which they are paid? The ABC was right to turn down his malicious article.

    1. Yes, agreed

      Block his right to free speech.
      Drown him in data

      (to paraphrase your previous blog posting)

      BTW, we don’t dispute that most climate scientists are honest. It’s just The Team of Jones, Mann, Briffa et al that have brought the game into disrepute

      Like virginity, credibility, once lost, can’t be regained

      You may wish to believe all is well in the Garden of Eden
      but Joe Public is well tired of this

      Sorry

  3. Carter deserves an appropriate paraphrase of this story about a famous conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked if he had listened to any of Stockhausen’s music recently. Sir T. replied (quote may not be 100% accurate) “No, but I stepped in some the other day”.
    The composer may not have deserved the comment, but Carter’s contemptible drivel does.

  4. Given it was remarkably kind to even the likes of ‘Lord’ Monckton on his recent tour (wasn’t Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s meeting him a virtuoso display of dog -whistling?), and has given ample time to Ian Plimer to, well, really, promote his book (did you see his Lateline debate with Monbiot? how many times did he hold the book up?) I think the ABC is rather more ‘balanced’ re climate denialism than anyone might reasonably expect it to be regarding, say, smoking=cancer denialism or HIV=AIDS denialism.

    I really must suspect that they didn’t publish Carter because it’s hard to see what an attack on Hansen – who happens to be in this country – has to do with what Clive Hamilton was saying in his series of pieces for ‘The Drum.’ Other than confirming it, of course!

    And, even if balance was to be accorded to denialism overall rather than addressing Hamilton’s specific issues, if the quotation out of context issue re the central charge against Hansen has been clarified before why give it another platform to be rebutted again?

    Do I really have to hear what you say even if it’s been proved wrong 15 times already?

    And comparing Hansen to Lysenko in Quadrant, of all places – are these guys missing the Cold War or what?

  5. ‘On the subject of plagiarism.’ How is a link to this paper on the subject? Well, it isn’t, but it’s an excuse to direct attention to a long ramble about the hockey stick and the supposed conspiracy to foist it on us all.

    Unless, perhaps, the reference is to some plagiarism involved in writing the piece?

    I ask because I wonder; are we to take Mr. Hill’s ‘there is a heavy mathematics burden for the casual reader, which, with a bit of research I think I can now just about follow‘ at face value? This ‘dissentient afflicted with the malady of thought’ doesn’t tell us much beyond his being an Englishman living in rural Scotland (+ he has his own Bill of Rights! ) but let’s assume this statement is an admission to being something of a layman himself . This makes me suspect that the convoluted statistical argument that follows isn’t, well, let’s say it’s a little hard to credit that he hasn’t indulged in some liberal cutting-and-pasting himself !

    Just as I’m sure I could cut-and-paste a response to all of his arguments from RealClimate if I could be bothered. I flatter myself that I wouldn’t then attempt to claim it was all my own work.

    Perhaps I’m wrong, of course, but in a world swamped with a little good and a lot of bad information we all have to have simple rules of discrimination. A quick trawl of the site produces the gem ‘If we can’t forecast next month’s weather, what hope for predicting climate 100 years from now?’ So Mr. Hill is merely yet another passionate anti-Green ‘Liberty’ obsessive who cannot distinguish climate from weather. If that’s the best you’ve got then in any rational world you’d be doomed – so aren’t you lucky it’s not a rational world?

    1. “Climate is not weather”

      Global Climate Models are only that, a model. The climate is a highly complex multi-variate stochastic system. To think that we are anywhere close to being able to predict climate years or decades from now, however many TeraFlops our supercomputer has, is a hopelessly flawed assertion.

      Many folks who have modelled complex systems seem to agree.
      Anyway, what do I know. I am a worthless troll recirculating in the toilet bowl of public opinion.
      A contemptible denier of no intellectual value, a stain on humanity.

      I am dangerous, and should be “drowned in data”

      Is that waterboarding, or “climateboarding”?

  6. Regardless of your views on The Hockey Stick, it has 21 5 star reviews on Amazon UK, and is in the top 100.

    The book goes into some detail as to the statistical flaws of the Hockey Stick argument, and the dealings behind the scenes.

    Of course, it runs counter to the “consensus” on climate change, therefore is a valueless piece of garbage that it poisoning the minds of the public.

    Even though the story is well told, and contains valid scientific arguments, it is dangerous. Books like this need to be burnt by the Green Police.

    Perhaps you’d like to leave a comment on the Bishop Hill blog? He loves to hear from the AGW crowd.

    They are usually works of art.

    I hope you all have a jolly good weekend.

  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1S1Hjo7Uhd8

    Agitprop trailer for “requiem for a species”

    In this movie, it states that “the Arctic Sea Ice will disappear in the next decade or two”. Does anyone have any evidence to support that?

    By the way, I would be quite happy to have all the anti-capitalist statements stated in that movie. But I’d like it to be a tax on goods.
    So if you believe this stuff, lobby government to make petrol and fuel unaffordable for 90% of the population.
    Lobby them to make food a luxury item
    Lobby to impose huge taxes on electronic goods.

    I can live without these items. I lead a simple life, in my little troll house.

  8. Just checking up on Clive Hamilton.
    If you like this guy, then I can see why I am not welcome on this blog

    “Hamilton is a supporter of internet censorship in Australia.[8][9]

    Hamilton faced heavy criticism following his advocacy of propaganda to instruct children to trust the state above their parents in matters of ecology. [10]”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clive_Hamilton

    Clive Hamilton is professor of public ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics.

    Absolutely stereotype of the hard-left capitalist-hating eco-propoganda censorship nazi.

    Best Regards

    Worthless Troll

    1. golly, you went from an “open mind” to a frothing troll in the space of two comments threads. That’s a new record I think.

      Although actually I think you started frothing on the first. True achievement!

  9. Professor nommopilot

    What a pleasure it is to meet again!

    I have enjoyed our little discourses recently.

    You correctly outed me as a Troll, not worth talking to. And I have accepted that. I am a useless turd in in the intellectually vacant cesspool of New Zealand Society. A washed up used condom on the diseased beach of a far away poisoned beach.
    A rotting carcass of festering maggot ridden meat lying by the side of a six lane highway of thundering SUVs

    Gosh, I feel so free! I am loving this new found truth.

    Well I am going to buy this fantastic book by Clive Hamilton.
    Because, I, like you, realise that we cannot go on with this selfish materialistic society any more. We need, as Clive corectly says, to censor the internet. To stop the “deniers” getting their way.
    We need to close the churches and rid them of their evil shamen, and replace them with “climate change awareness sessions”.
    We need to take children away from their parents, and forcibly tell them that they are evil scum and need to reject the capitalist ethos.

    Oh Joy!!

    I can hardly wait to meet the great man, and I really thank you, Professor M, for showing me this true path to enlightenment.

    I am going to the Earth Hour, and to show my solidarity to the world, I will set light to myself just as the Buddist monks did against Vietnam!!!

    Joy joy, thanks nommopilot for showing me the way. Your path is the correct one..

    I am worthless.

  10. Checkzor, is your PR handler paying you by the word, or the epithet?

    Rather a come-down for an intellect such as yours with 3 degrees, I would have thought. Then again, I’ve only got 2, so what do I know?

    BTW, what field, exactly, did you do your “Math PhD.” in?

  11. “Dr C aka Worthless Troll aka Organic Spambot”
    Thanks Professor DappledWater, I already knew that

    @Rob Taylor “BTW, what field, exactly, did you do your “Math PhD.” in?”

    Rob, I used a combination of cherry picking data and dubious statistics to prove that all toasted cheese sandwiches bear the image of the Virgin Mary.

    I believe Mann, Jones and Briffa may have been inspired by my work in their paleoclimate reconstructions using Bristlecone pines to get their hockey sticks

  12. So, Checkzor, you admit to having lied as to your academic credentials, you admit to knowing nothing about climate science, and you admit to being a denialist troll.

    I, for one, will not be wasting any more time or bandwidth on you, idiot child.

  13. Rob Taylor March 14, 2010 at 9:20 am

    So, Checkzor, you admit to having lied as to your academic credentials, you admit to knowing nothing about climate science, and you admit to being a denialist troll.

    Rob, My post was an a attempt at irony.
    It’s a sad day when no one gets any of this.

    Enjoy your propaganda
    PS Check out my comment on the Mann thread.

    SCM: I did stop taking the meds. I guess I should take the red pill and become a “believer” like the rest of you 🙂

    And when did I admit to being a “denialist troll”?
    And what exactly am I supposed to be denying?

    @nommopilot March 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

    ” one of the more bizarre trolls I’ve encountered but pretty boring in the end.”

    I am sorry to have bored you Prof Nommpilot. And I thank you for you infinite wisdom and sagacity Your comments on me have been a true inspiration and I am truly grateful to the joy that you have brought me.

    I hope that we can all share in some more of your sagely advise.

  14. 41 (approx).
    That’s the answer.
    Really worth it?
    Points to Dr C I’d say.
    You really need to take the sport away from it because it’s lose:lose.

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