People Talkin’ #2

by Gareth on March 22, 2011

Another open thread. You can discuss anything climate-related here — plus I will move off-topic comments here from other threads.

{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiwiiano March 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Has anyone figured out the algorithms used by Google News to determine whether articles from around the world will be included? In particular in the Global Warming section where an alarming number dredged from the bottom of the bucket make the FlatEarthers look like Nobel Prize material.
It makes me wonder if the rest of the subjects they cover are as equally biased and ill-researched.
It would be interesting to find out if it was possible to challenge their choices, I couldn’t find anything by searching the site. Presumably it needs a big-name journalist or scientist to go to head office for an explanation.

Mr February March 23, 2011 at 8:42 pm

The main reason to immediately bring agriculture into the NZ ETS is fairness.

We (NZ) have signed the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol some years ago now and we are legally and morally obliged to take measures to reduce GHGs. Nick Smith says ‘thats why there is an ETS’.
After the end of the Kyoto Protocol period (2012) there will be a real cost to NZ for every tonne of additional GHGs NZ is above its 1990 target. The later a sector enters the NZ ETS (and starts having obligations) the more of that cost is shifted to other sectors who were already in the NZ ETS.

I don’t think its fair that my 89-year old near-blind mother is and will be paying her share of this through her electricity bills when agriculture has no obligation until 2015. Possibly never, if Smith and David Carter act on their past hints of keeping agriculture out. In the present NZ ETS, agriculture’s obligation in 2015 will only be 3%, due to 97% free allocation of units. And the free allocation will only completely phase out after 90-odd years as the phase-out of free units is 1.3% p.a. I struggle to see how a 90-year transition to a full carbon price can be justified as fair.

Another reason is effectiveness. An ETS, or a carbon tax for that matter, are unlikely to drive the necessary GHG reductions when 48% of the NZ GHGs are not included.

More economic reasons: At 31 December 2010, NZ’s net overseas debt was $248 billion – 1.3 times greater than GDP. Govt debt was $32 billion. The Govt will borrow more money to cover the earth quake bill NZ will need all the revenue it can get to service the debt let alone repay it. The sale of units or a carbon tax could really help buffer Government finances.

(1) ‘NZ is the only country proposing a carbon price on agriculture’. Yeah, but, agriculture is not even in the NZ ETS until 2015 – that still 4 years away. So NZ is not way out ahead. And anyway, so what if NZ is the only country proposing to include agriculture? Who knows that other countries will be doing by 2015? The Europeans are just going for an 80-20 approach. Their biggest GHG emitting sector is CO2 so of course it is in their ETS. Agriculture is covered by the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, as signed by the other developed countries (except USA) so it should be in the NZ ETS.

(2) ‘This would harm the competitiveness of NZ against the rest of the world’. I just don’t think that is correct. Actually, as I was reading that, I had another web page open on the NZ Herald site. Funnily enough, it was a very good argument that agriculture will have no problem being competitive; Fonterra confirms it is on track for record payout. I have a lot of confidence in the resourcefulness of NZ agriculture to handle a carbon price.

(3) “Methane levels, globally, are not increasing, at least according to IPCC AR4″. That is an example of the IPCC, in hindsight, being optimistic.
According to National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration, the methane concentration in the atmosphere resumed its increasing trend in 2007 and reached 1800 pp billion in 2010. NIWA also say that methane concentrations are increasing again

kind regards

John D March 23, 2011 at 10:00 pm

So,mostly compliance reasons then?
I see no practical reasons for bringing agriculture into the ETS. Just fluff around Kyoto

There is no way in the world that we will bring agricultural emissions down without actually going out and shooting cattle.

How the hell would anyone think that adding a fixed cost to production would improve competitiveness?

The fact, is “Mr February”, when people in Christchurch are dealing with the biggest environmental catastrophe this country has ever faced, looking down the line into billions of dollars of losses of property and business, the last thing they need is someone telling them they need to kneecap the economy with the ETS because it “is fair”

Kyoto is dead. There will be no replacement.
This is the game changer “Mr February”.
We have seen angry businessmen running cordons whilst government employees ransack their properties, looting their goods, and demolishing their property without permission.

Meanwhile, the government spends billions of NZ consumer money on mitigating, according to my calculations, 0.0005degC per decade.

You may wonder what the hell the ChCh earthquake has to do with climate change policy, but what it has to do is that the ETS is a totally irrelevant piece of fluff that has everything to do with getting NZ ministers seats on UN climate change talks, and nothing whatsoever to do with representing the people.

What the ChCh earthquake has awakened in people is that democracy, in NZ, doesn’t actually exist.

Get used to it.

Thomas March 23, 2011 at 10:19 pm

There is this story about the boy who pissed into the public swimming pool. The father was told to make him stop but argued that his son’s little bit of pee would not matter given the size of the pool…..
Somehow you John D, would seem to fit the role of that father.

Your arguments constantly and erroneously state that NZ should not bother reducing CO2 emissions as we are a small country and do not matter. The truth is quite different. Everybody matters as GW is everybody’s problem. And if NZ is a shirker and not pulling its weight, we will be punished for it in international trade arrangements.

Further you are constantly in deep denial over the actual mechanism that will make the ETS work. But factoring at least some of the true cost of AGW into the polluters budget books the advance of alternatives is fostered and especially the advance of energy saving technology is fostered.

Your comments against the ETS are distorting the facts just like pretty much everything else you say.

Mr February March 23, 2011 at 10:40 pm

John D,
the deterioration in the tone of your comments and your lack of substantive arguments suggests these sort of exchanges make you angry and frustrated. Thats your issue. I won’t be further contributing.

John D March 24, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Mr February.

If you read “The Climate Fix” by Roger Pielke Jnr, he explains quite well why the ETS will not work.

He has this thing called the “Iron Law” of climate policy, which states that the economy always wins when economy goes up against environment.

Maybe I can express that better, but the fact that no one here will even consider that argument indicates that I am wasting bandwidth.

Thomas March 24, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Ah yes, I finally get it JD:

The Economy always wins. I forgot that.

The Economy, we should note, is this divine superior being that will really thrive and celebrate its winning streak long after humanity has crumbled under the multi-edged sword of resource depletion, climate change and environmental degradation. So yes, lets celebrate and give humble offerings to the great one, the chosen one, the Economy, that always wins and that survives everybody.

Because who needs humanity, the survival of the world’s ecosystems and sustainable living conditions – all those fantasies of the green liberal left? All we need is to make sure that the Economy survives!

John D March 25, 2011 at 9:00 am

Thomas – RP Jnr is basing his Iron Law on empirical observation of human economic behavior.

If you think that the human race will willingly chose poverty over prosperity then you have your work cut out.

Thomas March 27, 2011 at 10:26 am

John D said “If you think that the human race will willingly chose poverty over prosperity then you have your work cut out.

I say: I’d choose a simpler lifestyle over extinction any day!

Reducing and eventually eliminating fossil fuel use is simply a mathematical necessity, especially if you want to retain any hope for a prosperous future, even if you are in total denial over the mess it does with our climate.

bill March 24, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Oh, for God’s sake!…

John D March 27, 2011 at 9:26 pm

From the NIWA site you linked above

“The atmospheric methane measured at Baring Head near Wellington since August 1989. The graph shows the methane mixing ratio in parts per billion (molecules of methane for every billion molecules of dried air). Methane concentrations grew strongly in the 1990s then tailed off. There was even a hint of declining concentrations (negative growth) for 2003-06. Growth resumed in 2007 and appears to be persisting.”

So, why was methane decreasing between 2003 and 2006?
If we don’t understand that, then how can we formulate public policy based on the almost impossible assertion that we can decrease methane emissions from ruminants on a per unit basis?

Tom Bennion March 25, 2011 at 1:14 pm


You are going to post something on Gillard’s fantastic speech of 16 March? An amazing piece of communication. Political rhetoric at its finest. Sample:

“Friends, three weeks ago, I began a process that will equip our nation with a clean energy economy for the future: a price on carbon. It is a big call. One of the biggest in the modern era. A call that will shape the destiny of our nation as greatly as floating the dollar, cutting tariffs or introducing the GST.

This nation-changing reform has been met with a campaign of fear just as Dunstan’s groundbreaking reforms were met with fear and misunderstanding, reforms now taken for granted as part of everyday life. Like those purveyors of fear in the 60s and 70s, Australians of the future will look back on Mr Abbott’s campaign with pity and shame. The pity and shame posterity reserves for leaders who miss the wave of history and misjudge the big calls.”

John D March 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm

What a load of cobblers from Gillard.
How exactly is Australia going to transition away from its 80% odd coal based economy without going nuclear, in any time soon?

It is just pure fantasy.
She has disenfranchised the voters of Aussie, who will boot her out once they realise they are getting totally screwed on the price of everything.

Fact is, she will be out of office in no time at all.

adelady March 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

Of course we’re going nuclear – we’ve got the best access to a free nuclear reactor of any developed country in the world.

Solar roof paint and windows for your (grand)children’s houses, anyone?

Thomas March 27, 2011 at 12:39 pm


bill March 27, 2011 at 1:42 pm

In case you hadn’t noticed, Mr Epistemic Closure, despite the scary scary ‘won’t someone think of the children!’ tax as of the last Newspoll Labor are back ahead in the 2 party preferred vote and Gillard has surged even further ahead of Abbott as preferred PM. Small groups of squawky ranters notwithstanding; in fact, his abysmal performance as Nutter-in-Chief at that anti-carbon tax rally will only have damaged him further.

John D March 27, 2011 at 9:00 pm

Hi “bill”

Opinion polls are one thing. The NSW results tell a different story

bill March 28, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Pathetic. 16 year old Labor government – that’s been clearly destined to lose, and lose badly, since the hapless Kenneally took over (and before) – voted out, and you try to claim this supports your pet scare campaign!

You have little-enough knowledge of NZ politics, and your knowledge of the UK appears to be confined to regurgitating the worst of the Telegraph and Daily Mail. Do yourself a favour; don’t try to pass yourself off as knowing anything about Australian politics.

John D March 28, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Since you know absolutely nothing about the EU, I think your assertions about my state of knowledge are somewhat unfounded.

John D March 28, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I think there are similarities between the Gillard government and the NZ National govt.

In the former case, the government back-tracked on its promising not to introduce a carbon tax in order to keep in with the Greens

In National’s case, they did a deal with the Maori party and introduced the unpopular and racially divisive marine and coastal bill.

It is interesting to observe the violence in London (again) as a UK government cuts public spending (yet increases spending overall in real terms).

It is especially interesting to see, in this latter case, that the UK has increased its funding to developing nations to “adapt to climate change” As the police gets attacked and shops in central London get ransacked, one watches in a state of bemused amusement at the perverse priorities of the ruling elite and the stupidity of the electorate who put them there in the first place.

Thomas March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm

John, I am German and I can tell you that Bills comments on the choice of your literature you cite from are just as Bill put it so aptly.

John D March 28, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Thomas March 28, 2011 at 5:36 pm

John, I am German and I can tell you that Bills comments on the choice of your literature you cite from are just as Bill put it so aptly.

What has your nationality got to do with the literature I quote from?

tom March 28, 2011 at 9:12 pm

hi bill,

And, german politics has a very recent development – Merkel’s Conservatives going under a rampant Green Party in one of the state elections there. Greenies making big gains on the back of the public perceptions of the Fukushima-Daiichi disaster…

bill March 28, 2011 at 9:51 pm

I suspect, dear John – sorry “John” (to reciprocate, except I really am using my real name) – that Thomas is implying that all your ‘knowledge’ of the EU is apparently sourced similarly to your ‘knowledge’ of the UK. I know context is hard, and then there’s that comprehension problem you’ve talked about…

But, hey, don’t mind me; since you’re an expert on the EU as well as all manner of policy , maybe you and Wrathall – another geopolitical whizz-kid – could start up a think-tank; say ‘International, National and European Political Thematics’ (INEPT), or the ‘Centre for Restraining the Excesses of the European Parliament’ (CREEP)?

bill March 28, 2011 at 10:16 pm

@ tom – my cat just smiles smugly at me on that one!

John D March 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

Bill, I get my knowledge of the EU straight from the horses mouth.

Here is the text of the Lisbon Treaty

I assume that you and Thomas are intimately familiar with this treaty and its implications? Of especial interest to the German, of course, since his country is now bailing out Portugal.

Thomas March 29, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Hey Bill! What a masterpiece of Acronymity you just created! This one is for the “to keep book” ;-)

John D March 29, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hey “bill”.
Here’s a little bit of information from “An Official Channel” on Siim Kallas, the man behind the move to ban petrol cars in EU cities by 2050:

Membership in political parties and voluntary organizations

* 1999-2004: President of the Estonian Cyclists Union
* 1994-2004: Chairman of the Reform Party
* 1991-1995: President of the Estonian Cyclists Union
* 1972-1990: Member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

bill March 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm

Wow, “John”, you appear to be vying for a permanent place in The Twilight Zone…

bill March 29, 2011 at 11:14 pm

Thanks Thomas – how about the Centre for Ramping-up Unsustainable Development, the Committee to Reinstate Antediluvian Policy, the Directorate Resisting Internationalism’s Venal Educational Liberties, Targetting Objective and Sound Science, or Developing Only Real Knowledge Systems?

Thomas March 29, 2011 at 11:25 pm

Awesome Bill! You should go into business as an Aconymist!
(Person gifted with an inexplicable ability to impromptu acronymization of complex political or social taxonomies….) ….!

Thomas March 29, 2011 at 11:31 pm

And for John and Siim Kallas: Being a member of the Communist Party in Russia between 1970 and 1990 is a bit like being denounced for voting Democrat or Republican in the US… there was no alternative really behind the Iron Curtain. And being part of the party was essential if you wanted a decent job.

As of Cycling: I guess then the man actually does what he preaches. Better than most…

John D March 30, 2011 at 12:04 pm

You comments on Siim Kallas’ membership of the communist party is a valid one.

It was necessary to be a member of the communist party in the Soviet Union in order to advance in certain careers.
This had similar parallels to the Nazi party in Germany in the era leading up to WW2.

However, my point is that the “directives” coming down from unelected Commissars in Brussels do bear a striking resemblance to the top-down authoritarianism that was prevalent in the USSR.

We know that communism failed for the Soviets, and my experience of talking to those who lived under these regimes is that they feel robbed of the opportunities that they missed.

Why should we think that the EU, as an authoritarian and unelected bureaucracy, should fare any better than the USSR, and provide appropriate policy responses to countries where cultural and economic needs vary so much?

bill March 30, 2011 at 12:42 pm

‘See, he’s a Communist!’ ‘OK, you’re right, former Soviet Union, yeah, everyone was, it doesn’t mean anything, but, what you need to realise is, see, he’s a Communist!’

Perhaps you should clearly explain your precise points in advance, John – sorry, “John” – given the phenomenon of the interesting flexibilty of the points you claim to be making.

And given your constant, baby bird-like demands for the regurgitated nourishment of clarity re John Mashey (the unkind might suggest this was simply ‘neural outsourcing’ on your part, but no matter) I’m sure you’ll agree that that’s only fair.

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 1:05 pm

John, the EU is not an authoritarian unelected bureaucracy. Obviously on matter of the EU you are either completely uniformed or regurgitate the opinion of the old guard of the UK right which is still crying foul about loosing colonies and empire…. and the participation in EU parliamentary elections is higher than that in US elections. So there, the EU parliament is probably a better representation for its constituents than the congress and senate of the financial oligarchy in the US.

As far as leadership: We elect our national or European parliaments not to lead. And in the times we are going into, leadership is needed.

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

OOps… I hit the submit button before completing the post. Here is what I wanted to say:

John, the EU is not an authoritarian unelected bureaucracy. Obviously on matter of the EU you are either completely uniformed or regurgitate the opinion of the old guard of the UK right which is still crying foul about loosing colonies and empire…. and the participation in EU parliamentary elections is higher than that in US elections. So there, the EU parliament is probably a better representation for its constituents than the congress and senate, which is “bought” by the financial oligarchy in the US.

As far as leadership: We elect our national or European parliaments to lead. And in the times we are going into, leadership is needed.

John D March 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm

John, the EU is not an authoritarian unelected bureaucracy. Obviously on matter of the EU you are either completely uniformed

Did you vote for Herman von Rompuy?

Who did?

John D March 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Obviously on matter of the EU you are either completely uniformed or regurgitate the opinion of the old guard of the UK right

By the way Thomas, if you have been paying attention you will see that I posted a link to the Lisbon Treaty.
Not some “Daily Mail” version. Not some ill-informed hack in the Daily Failygraph, not a Guardianista’s world view.
No, the actual treaty.

I presume that you have read and understood this Thomas? After all, if you consider me to be ill-informed on matters EU, then I presume that you are at least on top of this and all the intimate details?

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 7:24 pm

We understand that you think the EU is undemocratic. You are entitled to your opinion.
However calling an institution undemocratic because it supports an outcome or policy with which YOU do not agree is kindergarten stuff.

John D March 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm

by seriously taking in hand the task of drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but while we continue to refuse this we at least owe them a measure of compensatory assistance.

So the Aussies will be happy then. Now that they have a tax on CO2, and they have no realistic way of reducing emissions in the short term, they will be able to send bucket loads of money to Bangladesh.

It’s not like they need the money to sort out their own environmental problems is it?

I am sure the people of Queensland will be absolutely delighted at an outcome like this.

Thomas March 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm

John D, you are never failing to loose sight of the bigger picture:

Civilization has no option but to achieve sustainability if it wants to exist past the end of this century and the depletion of our accessible fossil fuel reserves and the climate wreck coming our way.

A do nothing attitude will not achieve this. Subsidizing fossil fuel use with massive tax subsidies (USA, others) or by allowing the emission of climate change gases cost free to the emitters is not going to be helpful. Taxing fossil fuel emissions is a market solution which allows companies to respond intelligently. A large number of industry leaders welcome such legislation as currently those who voluntarily reduce CO2 emissions at a cost to their business face a competitive disadvantage to those who run a high pollution / low cost regime.

Richard Branson on a global carbon tax:

John D March 27, 2011 at 9:22 pm

Richard Branson on a global carbon tax:

Funny, isn’t it, how it’s the rich guys who are telling us that we need to cut back?

Richard Branson
Ted Turner
Al Gore
Prince Charles…
etc. etc.

Are there any poor people who are lobbying government to make themselves poorer?

Thomas March 28, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I guess John, they have the benefit of an education plus a sharp mind. Perhaps that sets them apart just a little in their ability to put one and one together and see where we are heading.

I challenge you to watch this and then tell me where on the presenters grid you stand:

Oh end have you taken a poll of the food victims in Pakistan or elsewhere to see if these poor people would like to have things carry on as they were?

John D March 28, 2011 at 6:20 pm

Prince Charles, “has the benefit of an education and a sharp mind”?


Thomas March 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Why did you put him on Your list then?

John D March 30, 2011 at 8:12 am

Here’s a great Dilbert cartoon on Green technology

One for you Thomas

Shaquita March 26, 2011 at 12:26 am

May I quote Terry McCrann. Herald Sun. Mar 08, 2011.
” There are two great lies told about the need to “put a price on carbon”. Lies which I can’t recall a single member of the gallery ever confronting the liars with – far less the prime liar herself……..The first is that “climate change policies” are aimed at “carbon pollution”. No they are not; they are aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide……For if carbon dioxide can be called “carbon pollution”,in this or in any other universe, in this or in any other reality, well then rain has to be called “hydrogen pollution”. The reason the term is used by Gillard is an exercise of quite
deliberate, despicable dishonesty. It is the modern political form of those subliminal advertisements that are banned………..
The second great lie is that so-called “de-carbonising our economy” as a consequence of “putting a price on carbon” is the 21st century equivalent of the tariff reforms of the 1980′s. Infact it is the exact opposite: it is the equivalent of imposing tariffs on the Australian economy. This is true whether or not the rest of the world follows. It’s just that much worse if we do it solo. This lie has been peddled not just by the government but also by Treasury. Be afraid,be really afraid that we have a Treasury which is that incompetent. Cutting tariffs and other forms of protection removed artificial costs that were imposed on both producers and consumers. It enabled them to buy especially goods but also services at the lowest competitive price.
The carbon tax or an ETS, does the exact opposite. It imposes a totally artificial additional cost, in this case, on everything consumers and business buy………Tariff cuts reduced the price of things. The carbon tax/ETS will increase the prices……..All to utterly no point……….And our pain will make zero difference to any climate outcome.”[End of quote]
This article expresses my own view. Those who worked so hard to remove tariffs and help our unsubsidised agriculture become more competitive are remarkably silent. Lets not hear from the whiners that city people are subsidising rich farmers. The truth is, that no New Zealander should pay any tax at all because AGW is a scam and a fraud.

RW March 26, 2011 at 8:48 am

Your last sentence is the only one anyone needs to read. You are an AGW-denier, ergo a crank. You are not worth another second of anybody’s time.

bill March 26, 2011 at 11:29 am

Um, which country are you claiming to be referring to here? The ‘prime liar herself’ – phew, for a moment I thought this was a characteristically abusive, histrionic screed written by some notable Free Marketâ„¢ crank! Yes, God forbid anyone should ever have to pay for their own externalities…

And then you capped it all with that last sentence. Oh, sorry, we couldn’t have capping, could we?

Your whole movement is beginning to ominously resemble some reactionary Tea Party rabble – witness Tony Abbott dog-whistling away in front of those banners* the other day. That’s what’s truly scary…

(*And notice, yet again, that abusive ignoramuses simply can’t punctuate!)

John Mashey March 26, 2011 at 5:50 pm

CTG: to be precise:
Deep Climate found many of the plagiarisms, I found many more and we both found other kinds of problems, but if DC hadn’t found the first ones, I’d never have gone back and reexamined the Wegman Report. When I started, I had no idea how many problems would surface, and there are more to come.

John Mashey March 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Gareth & CTG:
Just FYI and amusement, with page #s from SSWR by default.
p.184 #79 McK05 describes the talk McKitrick gave in Australia for economists, April 4, 2005. See pp.4-5, in which they quote David Deming, as a geoscientist, writing in JSE (the “dog astrology journal”) praising Michael Crichton’s “State of Fear” as good science, and claiming to quote some (unidentified) climate scientist about getting rid of the MWP.
Now, JSE is hardly a credible journal, and Deming’s credibility on such topics is worth calibrating. He is an Oklahoma geophysicist, among other things being an associate editor for Petroleum Geoscience, and involved with conservative thinktanks, such as NCPA, which gets lots of money from Richard Mellon Scaife and the Kochs, i.e., money from Gulf Oil and Koch Industries.
p.185-186 MM05X was a written-up adaptation of a later version of the April 4 talk, given May 11 in Washington DC for the George C. Marshall Institute (GMI). I have the PPT M&M spoke from, which is what Wegman&co actually used as a guide. For instance, Wegman later admitted they couldn’t get a copy of the 1990 IPCC, so it is quite likely they got it from here (then distorted it to make MWP bigger).
The write-up of May 11 talk is here, at GMI. p.9 ascribes the chart (correctly) to 1990 IPCC.
That fixed a problem in the original PPT, in which p.5 showed the graph, ascribed to 1995 IPCC, whereas it was already long gone. FALSIFICATION #1 BY M&M, or else serious incompetence.
Then (p.10 of the PDF, p.12 of the PPT), they quote Deming from JSE, but somehow the attribution got changed from JSE to Science, i.e., from a journal of dog astrology to one o the two most prestigious science journals. FALSIFICATION #2 BY M&M. JSE might get by an Australian Econ conference, but Science is likely to fly better for an American audience in Washington.
(time to go, but this are part of the edifice of falsifications that Montford starts with, although he adds more, described in the amusing Wikipedia Wikipedia talk page on HIS.
As noted there, Montford either was unable to read English, or did not actually read Lindzen’s paper (which told an untruth about Deming’s JSE paper), but in any case:
~“Lindzen confirmed Deming” was a fabrication/falsification (in academic terms; in normal terms, an untruth, and if one views it as deliberate, a lie.) No evidence was never presented that Jon Overpeck ever wrote this (and even if he did, we all know about out of context emails. This is equivalent to a medical researcher saying we have to get rid of the wrong idea that secondhand smoke is perfectly safe.) That old C.England temperature sketch was years gone by 1995. In HSI, 400 pages later, Montford quotes Jon Overpeck saying he didn’t recall this. I’ve talked to Jon in person, and he still wonders where this whole idea came from.
The most amusing part of the Wikipedia dog astrology story was its treatment. People were trying gather every favorable review possible for HSI, including local business reporters, who may well have not even read it, or at least, didn’t bother to check out any sources, and if at all possible, keep out unfavorable reviews. The talk page was getting about 20 edits/day. I posted HSI & dog astrology, and there was stunned silence for a day and a half.
No one ever addressed the substance of what, in academe, would lead to academic misconduct complaints, since Montford clearly did his best to manufacture an attack on Overpeck, which might well be considered libelous. I suppose this could be just total scholarly incompetence, but that section of HIS was rather important, and if he didn’t check that out carefully, why would one believe anything?
However, there were concerted effort to *remove* this discussion, with one fanciful reason after another. In general, “talk” pages are for discussion, and they aren’t supposed to be edited to remove what people say. The Stoat valiantly kept putting It back. I watched with amusement.
This clearly established that there was zero interest in actually discussing factual problems with the book (and this problem is the simplest: Montford started with a false assertion by Lindzen and then falsified it to be a confirmation of a low-credibility quote for which real evidence was never offered. Verifying this only needs someone to actually consult the referenced sources and read a few quoted sentences. Apparently, none of the HSI advocates was willing to do that. It was far more important to debate the inclusion of comments by a local business writer in Hawaii.)
Eventually, since no one would actually answer this, it got auto-archived. In the long term, I believe the HSI talk history will be an excellent example of abuse of Wikipedia and may lead to some changes, I hope. Of course, HSI’s account of the Wegman Report and its background is not so good either, but that can be addressed at some later time.

tom March 28, 2011 at 5:35 pm

CTG March 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

“McIntyre fudged his results.”

I wouldn’t normally bother looking again at something which time would serve to reduce relevance of, but the issue of trust – trust in science – has surfaced again.

Today, looking over R.Piekle Jnr I was struck with like language – fudged – a use he supports in relation to Der Spiegel’s supposed original use for Mann’s HS work.

“Red noise” — real red noise— could you tell what you mean by the term.. thanks..

CTG March 29, 2011 at 7:43 am

tom, this is all explained by Deep Climate, much better than I would be able to. However, here is what I understand.

In time series analysis, “red noise” is used by analogy to red noise in the engineering sense, to indicate random data with an autoregressive function of order 1 (known as AR1).

Let’s say you want to generate some random time series data, with a mean of zero and a range of -1 to 1 (arbitrary units). If the data were “white noise”, then the values at any time t and t+1 would be unrelated. So if t had a value of 1, then t+1 would have an equal probability of being any value between 1 and -1.

With red noise, t and t+1 are related to some degree. So if t = 1, then t+1 has a much higher probability of being closer to 1 than to -1. How close it will be is determined by the “lag-one correlation coefficient”, a number between 0 and 1. A low coefficient means that t and t+1 will only be slightly related, a high coefficient means they will be very closely related, so the choice of this coefficient determines how “wiggly” your generated data will be. The coefficient used to generate random data in testing climate proxies is generally between 0.2 and 0.4 (the value is not arbitrary, it is estimated from the data).

Now, rather than actually generating random AR1(0.2) data directly, McIntyre used a function called ARFIMA to extract residuals from the proxy data, and called this “persistent red noise”. Now this term is used nowhere else in the literature, so I guess it means whatever McIntyre wants it to mean. However, the key here is that McIntyre’s random data actually used the autocorrelation structure of the proxy data, which changes through the time series – data at the end of the series (the hockey stick blade) are more autocorrelated than data at the start of the series (the handle). In other words, McIntyre used “random” data that was in fact hockey stick shaped, so it’s not surprising that he was able to produce hockey sticks from it.

Wegman then claimed that McIntyre had in fact produced hockey sticks from real AR1(0.2) red noise. McIntyre subsequently used this false claim from Wegman to answer criticism of his ARFIMA residuals, although Wegman did not independently reproduce McIntyre’s results, he just used McIntyre’s actual results. Circular reasoning, much?

In fact, the only way to get McIntyre’s results with real random data is to use AR1(0.9), i.e. red noise with a very high autocorrelative function, which is not representative of real climate data.

So yes, I would call this “fudging”, but only because I’m feeling charitable :-)

RW March 29, 2011 at 8:06 am

Looks like a pretty good explanation attempt to me CTG. The conclusion seems clear: either McIntyre is incompetent, or he was trying to mislead (to be charitable). Quelle surprise!

tom March 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm

John D March 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

“nothing that comes from the denier/crank/numpty-sphere has any value”

In aide delineating you and/from Pielke Jnr I point out that “values” is about the only thing TO define this group, according to him.

Care to repeat what appears an unfounded description of them – in R.P’s terms that is?

tom March 29, 2011 at 10:28 pm

CTG March 29, 2011 at 7:43 am

Thanks for that and link, CTG. Another you might like on the topic is the rather long tho rewarding DC of October last year.

Sticking with your charitable tone, also Prof Ritson most clearly sets down a readable to most folks “red noise”. For real. Interesting how the color red finds use in regard to relation/s

In the interests clarity, do I sense your use of “function” ARFIMA is a little awry?

As used by M it looks to be an actual model. The term stands for auto regressive + fractional integration + moving average. And to cut the story short the M&M method could assume that proxies are all noise. Ie a noise model with, as commenters above point out, more “persistence” aka “long memory.

In using it there are several important matters M appears to have avoided. viz whether the time series was stationary or not. Wrongly mis-applied ARFIMA under-estimates coefficients, thus over-differencing. Perhaps source of his high ACF zero point nine, as you tell above. Did he know this at the time (05)?

Or, does this matter, do you have it better—the algorithm to extract residuals.?

If he did not know then how come he could claim a scientific purpose let alone accurate well-grounded audit..??

And if he did know where was the reproduceability component of his ‘study’. The essential scientific intent..

Takes more than rhetoric for me to attempt answer such questions. So IMHO that M&M’s goal was to challenge the MBH98. Yes, their presentation to the Marshall Inst/Business R/T(Washington) in 03 rings very true (coincidental perhaps at the time tho much stronger by 05) with the enterprise drivers backing them, one such CEO speaker declaring their presentation prior to delivery thusly, “I think we are just at the beginning of what I think will be a major controversy.”

Didn’t matter that this fellow and others didn’t know what stats had taken place—controversy and challenge was the real name of the game.

Time for shuteye. Thanks for your assist.

CTG March 30, 2011 at 2:03 am

It is clear that McIntyre & co went after the hockey stick primarily because of the simplicity of its message. Debunk the hockey stick, and you provide an easy way for credulous fools like John D to be “skeptics”.

The fact is, it takes some expert stats such as provided by DC to be able to counter McI’s nonsense, and the explanations are not easy for the general public to follow.

I think it is time to stop being charitable to McI, and to start making it plain that he is guilty of crimes against humanity.

John D March 30, 2011 at 9:07 am

Thanks for the charming sideswipe at me in your previous comment

Of course, you take everything that “John” Mashey says at face value without checking with McIntyre’s version first.

When I visit Climate Audit, I see data, graphs, and code. When I see “John” Mashey’s writings, I see leftist drivel about anti-science and star wars programmes.

Go figure.

Gareth March 30, 2011 at 9:21 am

Still haven’t read the Mashey document then, I see.

As for McIntyre, you clearly haven’t been to his blog for a long time. He’s spent all of his time since the CRU email theft desperately trying to promote his version of “Climategate”. No “science” being done there — not that there ever was.

John D March 30, 2011 at 10:08 am

So, I was looking at CA about 30 mins ago. Maybe that is a “long time” in your books.

Science? Well, I guess it is “subjective”, just like Al Gore’s statements on the Vostok ice cores in that great science movie he made.

Fact is, I can’t be bothered reading Mashey’s stuff if you can’t be bothered reading HSI.

We”l just have to lob rocks at each other until one of us gets tired.

Gareth March 30, 2011 at 10:11 am

Nope. Your comments will simply fail to pass moderation if you refuse to read or attempt to understand the evidence you are provided with.

bill March 30, 2011 at 12:17 pm

just like Al Gore’s statements on the Vostok ice cores

“My argument isn’t doing well. Shit. Just have to go to stand-by; must drag in some irrelevance re Al Gore.”

AGDS* at work

*Al Gore Derangement Syndrome. It’s amazingly common.

CTG March 30, 2011 at 9:31 am

I think you just proved my point rather neatly.

John D March 30, 2011 at 10:22 am

Nope. Your comments will simply fail to pass moderation if you refuse to read or attempt to understand the evidence you are provided with.

Yes, but no one has managed to explain to me the essence of Mashey’s document.

What are the main points?

Gareth March 30, 2011 at 10:25 am

Why should I waste time doing a precis for you? Read it, ask questions. Also check out John M’s comments.

Macro March 31, 2011 at 11:04 pm

Really JD if you can’t understand the point of John Mashey’s debunking of McI et al you have no hope.
Take some time – unblinker your prejudices – and read it.

John D March 30, 2011 at 12:45 pm

bill – My argument isn’t doing well. Shit. Just have to go to stand-by; must drag in some irrelevance re Al Gore.”

AGDS* at work

“bill”, your acronym game is most amusing
I was actually referring to a comment that Gareth made viz the ice cores data shown in An Inconvenient Truth.

My old school objectivist upbringing observes the conclusions to be wrong (because of the time lag between CO2 and temperature of around 700 years)

However, Gareth describes the conclusions as “subjective”.
If I have to deal with that kind of reasoning in Mashey’s tome, which is quite possible, then the prospect of chewing my arm off looks more appealing.

Moreover, since there seem to be a lot of ad hominem arguments put forward against McIntyre on political grounds, I find these a bit hard to swallow as McIntyre is a bit of a lefty anyway. If he is in the pay of “Big Oil” then he is certainly hiding it well.

Gareth March 30, 2011 at 1:17 pm

Any “lag” does not disprove a CO2/temperature link. That’s objective truth.

John Mashey March 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Tom: minor nit:
“one such CEO speaker” is typo, I’m sure you meant the (correct) CEI = Competitive Enterprise Institute fellow named Myron Ebell.
See CCC, top of p.57. That describes the 2003 meeting in which McIntyre was introduced to GMI (they paid for trip) and to James Inhofe, Inhofe’s lawyer Hogan expressed surprising interest in tree-rings statistics. I’m impressed that lawyers are suddenly fascinated by statistics. Of course, elsewhere we have Ebell tightly integrated with Joe Barton’s folks and the Bush White House.

p.65 Table A.3.GMI.2 shows the Board and employees of GMI, including political donations. Republican:Democrat: about 30:1, what a surprise. William O’keefe, CEO of GMI: 25-year veteran executive at the American Petroleum Institute. Top-level funding profile is show: ExxonMobil is noticable.

p.93 Table A.6.1(a) Funding matrix:
Much money from Richard Mellon Scaife (Carthage+Scaife), very rightwing, Fortune included Gulf Oil => Texaco => Chevron originally, but foundation money is much more in ExxonMobil & cigarette companies.

McI+McK must have passed the test: in 2004 they were named as GMI “experts.”

By the way, Competitive Enterprise Institute is nothing of the sort. it is a tax-free nonprofit, also funded big-time by Exxon & Scaife, with help from the Kochs. They’ve long been big helpers for the cigarette folks see Tobacco Archives

People might not have thought that it was a legitimate conservative value to help cigarette companies defend their right to addict children, but CEI obviously thinks so. For most people, the only way to really set the addiction is to start between age 12-18, which tobacco companies have long known. See Importance of Younger Adults, ~1984.

These guys are not about *business*, they are about doing PR/lobbying for a narrow segment of American business. they certainly don’t represent *me*. Their employees have rarely done anything in real businesses that create products, services and jobs in the competitive marketplace. (Oops, well, they do compete for funding from the tobacco guys and fossil companies.)

But they have been fond of McI+McK…

CTG March 30, 2011 at 9:29 am

Shock news – maybe John D is right about wind power after all…


bill March 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Yeah, that’s a beauty!

John D March 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm

I am right about wind. I have already explained the ROC system which is incontrovertible.

I noticed that our Big Wind shiill kept pretty quiet on that one.

Beaker March 31, 2011 at 2:38 am

Dear John D
Sorry to have let you down but I had not noticed any post from you on Renewable Obligation Certificates. If like all your other wind power posts I have seen from you, it is a load of cobblers cribbed from the UK Mail and Telegraph then please repeat and I will be glad to evicerate your claims for you. As you worked out, pointing and laughing at uninformed comments to a blog from the other side of the world is my job description.
Till then, those of you with a New Scientist subscription may be interested in this ––it-cuts-your-electricity-bills.html?full=true
For the have nots it is summarised quite nicely here
Regards, your friendly Big Wind Shil

bill March 31, 2011 at 12:22 pm

Yeah, I didn’t remember it either…

John (“John”), you probably best beware the Wind Shill Factor!

John D March 31, 2011 at 12:39 pm

I originally mentioned ROC in this comment

I did make some remarks on whether ROC was a “subsidy”.


John D March 31, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Renewables Obligation Certificates

In this document NOWAP explains the Renewable Obligation Certificate and Climate Change Levy system of indirect subsidy and why it makes onshore windpower stations so profitable. The information is drawn from authoritative and publicly accessible sources, for which references are given as appropriate

For every 1,000 units (1MWh) of green electricity an energy company generates they receive one ROC. A company that generates more than its renewable obligation can sell ROCs to energy suppliers who have failed to meet their RE obligation. In this way power companies are financially motivated to invest in renewable energy generation projects.

I expect this is all a load of cobblers and our Big Wind Shill will tell us that there is no subsidy for wind in the UK, and it is all a Big Conspiracy financed by the Koch Brothers and Big Oil.

Beaker March 31, 2011 at 10:38 pm

John D
The ROC system exists. It promotes investment in renewable electricity generation, and is a penalty for energy firms that choose not to. benefits and penalties are modest, as is demonstrated by some generators opting for the penalty rather than investing in renewable power. When you mention subsidy for wind in the UK – technically wrong. ROC is not a subsidy, it is a market instrument, and it applies to all renewables not just wind.
Power consumers pay for it, and can see it on their bill payment. (Please note, the telegraph article you previously referenced – and thank you for pointing me to this – starts with the words “The hidden levy…” yes, hidden as a specific identified ammount on every electricity bill.) This small fraction covers landfill gas, biomass cofiring etc as well as wind. consumers do of course pay for all investment in new generating plant. Santa does not hand them out at Xmas unfortunately.
If you read the link I gave you, you will see evidence that investment in new wind plant helps keep consumer costs down because it lowers the overall cost of generation.
some generators are miffed at this as sweating an old fossil fuel plant at high marginal cost is rather profitable.
Now, for the record, do you have a problem with the ROC system and if so what is it?

John D March 31, 2011 at 10:58 pm

If you read the link I gave you, you will see evidence that investment in new wind plant helps keep consumer costs down because it lowers the overall cost of generation.

So why are UK electricity prices sky-rocketing and set to be the highest in the world?

Beaker April 1, 2011 at 1:47 am

John D “So why are UK electricity prices sky-rocketing …”
The UK has a lot of gas powered generation on the grid, quite a bit more than of wind, and the price of gas has gone up a lot. Therefore consumer electricity prices have risen.
If you needed this to be pointed out to you, are you not now beginning to doubt the sense and objectivity of the other anti wind arguments you grasp at and post up here?

John D April 1, 2011 at 8:07 am

The UK has a lot of gas powered generation on the grid, quite a bit more than of wind, and the price of gas has gone up a lot. Therefore consumer electricity prices have risen.
If you needed this to be pointed out to you…

The wholesale price of gas is dropping, yet British Gas are putting up the retail price of gas. Perhaps this is to meet ROC obligations?

Beaker April 1, 2011 at 10:22 pm

John D
“The wholesale price of gas is dropping, yet British Gas are putting up the retail price of gas.” You may want to look at the period of time BG bill over, and the period of time over which your wholesale price of gas is dropping claim is based. Mind you, we are talking about trends here so I fear that any reaction may be similar to the ‘global warming stopped in 1998′ razor sharp insight that has gained so much traction with your prefered UK news sources.
“Perhaps this is to meet ROC obligations?” Well as ROC is administered by Ofgem, is for renewable electricity not gas, and associated costs appear on customer electricity bills, there is no perhaps, just a definate no.
Thank goodness that this is an open thread because you fly off with such tangential spurious claims in response to any rebuttal that you could never hope to stay on topic.

bill April 2, 2011 at 12:20 am

Ah, but Beaker, what you have failed to grasp is the almost Post-modern disdain for the quotidian notion of ‘fact’ that is inherent in crankdom. To primitives such as you or I the idea of a ‘definite no’ might be idly predicated upon the mere impossibility of something being so – but, sad beings that we are, we cannot grasp the pristine Quantum* beauty of the true truth that transcends even itself – John and his ilk are right, even when they’re not. In fact, more so!

(Though it certainly doesn’t hurt to change the topic sometimes. Squirrel!)

*As Terry Pratchett points out, it’s always Quantum.

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 12:55 pm

You are wrong about wind John. And it seems that whenever I present to you the amount of Coal saved say in Germany in a single year due to wind you simply keep quiet.

To repeat what I said at another place: Germany makes about 7% of its electricity demand with wind by now (2009 figures I think) and that relates to a coal train of well over 2000Km length with 100 Ton coal carriages end to end.

John D March 31, 2011 at 1:03 pm

You are wrong about wind John

Thomas – do you deny the existence of the ROC system and the large amount of money to be made about it?

I’d prefer to stick to this topic than discuss the “amount of coal saved”. After all, this is what bill and Big Wind guy wanted evidence of.

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 2:28 pm

I know you prefer not to mention or look at the vast amount of non-renewable resources saved each year by wind.

The ROC is a UK specific law that requires all electricity providers to generate a specific percentage of their generation from renewable sources. If all UK generators would invest in sustainable energy generation from renewable sources no ROC certificates would need to come into play.

However if electricity generators do not want to generate power from renewable sources and trade their short term gain (lower investment cost) for long term pain (high fuel cost, environmental cost) – in other words if they decide on the back of the future of our children and the energy security of the UK to invest for short term greed – then they get penalized as they should. They need to buy ROC certificates from those generators who have an excess percentage of renewable energy generation.

This makes it easier for companies who want to invest into renewable technology to see this pay off for them AND for society.

For example wind generation requires a larger up-front investment than a coal fired power plant. The cost of the wind farm is mostly up-front, the wind is free. The cost of the coal plant is to a high degree the fuel cost over its lifetime. And as the so called “market economy” has been let off the hook for the last century to a large degree to pay for the cost of pollution, finally, with the help of also the ROC some justice might come their way.

Of cause you, as a right winger that you seem to be, hate social obligations and much rather see private investors reap short term benefit from actions that are bound to hurt us all….

John D March 31, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Of cause you, as a right winger that you seem to be, hate social obligations and much rather see private investors reap short term benefit from actions that are bound to hurt us all….

I was actually looking for some acknowledgment from the assembled that I had actually commented on ROC previously (HINT: Google advanced search works wonders for me), and secondly, that ROC is a form of subsidy.

I wasn’t specifically looking for any kind of justfication, any mention of the children or personal observations of my political affiliations or inclinations.

Nevertheless, your abuse is welcomed, thanks.

Thomas March 31, 2011 at 9:31 pm

ROC is not a subsidy.

ROC is a market driven mechanism like ETS or others to entice producers to switch to renewable resources even though in the short term increasing the dependence on non-renewable polluting resources would perhaps be financially better for them.

ROC is a way to allow the UK market to respond with market driven mechanisms to a problem that we have to tackle as a society – not just as individuals or individual businesses.

Switching form a non-sustainable way to doing things to a sustainable future is an immense task. Setting the political framework to allow market forces to do accomplish this is the best way forward.

Calling ROC a subsidy is just as insane as calling taxes on tobacco consumption a subsidy for the health system.

Do you favor taxes on Tobacco John?

John Mashey March 30, 2011 at 5:37 pm

Let me summarize, although CTG did pretty well here.

1) McIntyre used bad statistics that did not fit the real world, and guaranteed to generate hockey-sticks, although both up and down.
2) Then, he sorted them and showed an example from the top 1% of most positive hockey-sticks.
3) Then, Wegman&co showed 12 examples selected from that same 1%.

Item 1) is called bad statistics, items 2) and 3) are called cherry-picking,
Wegman&co reran McIntyre’s code, claiming it was independent verification.

But, in any case, people should see the latest. Wegman plagiarized much material for a GMU course, then he and Said turned it into an article for a journal, of which they are also Editors-in-Chief. That’s an easy way to run up the pubs count, until someone catches you.

Meanwhile, while I’m here:
Have people formed opinions yet whether Montford was a deliberate falsifier or merely an incompetent researcher in the Deming/Overpeck business in HSI? (A crucial piece of the proposition of the book.)

Recall HSI:
Montford: Deming’s paper did not identify Overpeck. (correct)
Lindzen: Deming;s paper did identify Overpeck. (clear untruth)
Montford: Lindzen confirmed that it was Overpeck. (clear untruth, but was it on purpose, or perhaps having read what someone else said Lindzen said? In either case, of the academic sins of FFP, that’s falsification.)

adelady March 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

My post was a UDF – Unilateral Declaration of Fed-up-ness. jd had been given plenty of opportunity to read (some if not all of Strange Scholarship, ditto for DC). I eventually decided to pull the ladder out from under his declarations that all of that was too much work. After all, his main interest is in the not-so-secret perfidy of slapdash scientists versus the dispassionate attention to accurate analysis of neutral data by McIntyre.

There’s little point in getting jd to look at the Wegman stuff if he’s still clinging to the coattails of the saintly slayer of scientific dragons myth. As I very much doubt that the DC excerpt will be convincing, the Wegman stuff will, for that reason alone, be near incomprehensible to jd. Better to get the focus narrowed down and see if there’s any lightbulb moment before moving on.

As for Monckton. He’s a fantasist, a smart aleck, a persuader. He does tell lies and he’s cynical about exploiting the biases of his audiences.

My feeling is that he is deeply shallow (one of my favourite expressions). If dishonesty is needed for him to get or keep the admiration or friendship of certain people and to keep the cash coming in, dishonesty it will be. When the public mood changes, so will he.

John D March 30, 2011 at 6:42 pm

My feeling is that he is deeply shallow

“adelady”, I was reading books on the philosophy of science while I was still at High School.
Please do not call me shallow.

John D, as I read it Adelady was referring to Monckton, not you. Some consequently snipped. Bryan

John D March 31, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Bryan, yes you are right. I made my comment in haste after a rather long day. Apologies.

bill March 31, 2011 at 12:09 pm

John – sorry ‘John’ – since as you have stated you clearly do have a comprehension problem, why are you consistently so cavalier in your (over)reactions? It’s genuinely intriguing. It’s clear to any reader that adelady is referring to Monckton (though I rather suspect its Montford* John M wants to discuss)

And can your misinterpretation be genuine, I wonder? Or perhaps somewhat conveniently deployed? (Shades of Watts’ deafness?)

Anyway, the story you claim you’re actually interested in understanding – as explained to you repeatedly – so far; McIntyre generates a whole bunch of what are most likely to be hockey-sticks, selects the hundred most hockey-stick like of them, then Wegman culls the 12 most-hockey-sticky-of-the-already-most-hockey-sticky of these, and presents this as evidence of the ‘randomness’ of the original, orders-of-magnitude notwithstanding. What’s not to get?

(*For my money I first travelled to Montford’s blog following a link from John’s – sorry “John’s” – predecessor Checkzor/Scrace. The post, IIRC, involved him stating that while he was not trained in these matters he understood that… blah blah blah, highly esoteric statistical spiel that I strongly-suspected could only have been cut-and-pasted rather than ‘understood’. The comments were pretty-consistently dreadful across the blog, and, again, IIRC ‘A Sentient Afflicted with the Malady of Thought’ – puh-lease!

Upshot, I put him straight into my ‘life’s too short’ list.

And just why is it that the graphic design of Rightists is so consistently awful?)

tom April 1, 2011 at 9:02 pm

John Mashey March 31, 2011 at 5:21 pm

Sorry for delay.. these ‘people talking’ commentariats can be long and somewhat disordered to my way of thinking.. at least my excuse for having overlooked your response to my earlier comment (with CTG)..

I’m relaxed on the nitpick CEO/CEI, though point out how I left CEO there because the fellow Ebell evident in the doco I had of the 03 meet looked multi-CEO and determined establish himself front and center of matters arising both therein and therefrom.

Consider if you will his put-down of Kueter, naming names – Jastrow and O’Keefe(mentioned by your goodself above — BTW wasn’t the latter aboard the American Chamber of Commerce for a good many years?) – to the guy. Your mention of Inhofe’s presence could/would have the garrulous Myron more than willing talk himself up.

Yet even without that presence I have long pondered his double “I think” in the sentence I quoted above. The second use being a deliberate tautology to establish material for “major controversy” in everyone’s minds. And that he would be the guy to render push into shove..

Supporting this contention was his (elsewhere) assertion to have the Hockey Stick and/or Mann et al before a “Court”. Not a science ‘court’ or conference. Oh no, a legal and lawyerly court. But you know of this.

Later in the Q&A discussion of that meet ME came on very strong against a questioner putting the case of (10 other hockey stick scientific confirmations of MBH, I seem to recall) to effect that none of them in any way countered or related to M&M’s presentation. Viz THIS was DIFFERENT! But tone: shut up! to the hapless inquirer. It worked, there being no further recorded like-questioning. Single-minded, and in Nixon’s oft-used word, focused, said it about ME to me.

So yes, it’s interesting to know of his other influences and connections. Other being like Chair The Cooler Heads Coalition, a media ‘influencer’ ie Wapo with George Will, and sub-group to the National Consumers Coalition (worth a look for viral activity potential, mebbe?)

Unknown I suspect, however, is the extent to which M&M were willing tools for the political opponents to climate science. And, perhaps importantly, when either or both became so involved.

One clue I’ll bring to mind, more confirmatory than anything else, is how one of their later presentations revealed a distinct shift in what they – M&M – were all about. “… better policy in the public interest.”

So.. thanks for your links, John. I’ll take a look as time allows. The ‘due diligence’ on DC impressed.( incl. yr reply to adelady ) Though I’m still asking myself whether the 1% (higher HS samples) had been figured by good detective DC from his own workup of available material or disclosed actuals by M&M.

I realise this latter would be a big ask of them but better policy in the public interest would surely result from their forthright engagement. Else, more likely private interest than public interest is what they have in mind.

cyclone April 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Did anyone else see Close-up tonight on TV1 (NZ) – David Karoly and Geoff Austin were on discussing climate change and the recnet spate of extreme weather events. My main thought was “What the hell is in the water at the University of Auckland, it seems to be a real rats nest of denialism.

Mr February April 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm

Yes, I saw “Close-up”. It’s very disappointing that TV One is still clinging to this idea of false balance over climate change science. None-the-less, .David Karoly clearly and simply put the case within the few soundbites he had.
Geoff Austin interestingly also played the Pielke “honest broker” card as well as emphasizing uncertainty.
I was also disappointed to Peter Gluckman on Nat Radio last weekend saying he saw his role as PM’s science advisor as being a Pielke-style “honest broker”

Gareth April 1, 2011 at 11:32 pm

I have to say, Mr F, that the Pielke mention was about the only part of the PG interview at which I raised an eyebrow. I put it down to his lack of intimate familiarity with what passes for debate in Pielke Jr circles. It’s a superficially attractive position for PG, but he should perhaps take a little time to look at the underpinnings of RPJr’s position.

Dappledwater April 2, 2011 at 5:11 pm

Did anyone else see Close-up tonight on TV1

Watched it online.

Geoff Austin – “extreme weather happened before”

Wow, good to see almost 50 years of study wasn’t wasted. Auckland University students must be thrilled.

I’ve seen David Karoly do far better in these situations in the past. I think he fumbled this opportunity.

Gareth April 2, 2011 at 6:20 pm

In fairness to David, he thought he was in the studio for a solo interview, and was told of Austin’s presence only a few seconds before he went live. Rather discourteous of Close Up, I would have thought.

It was a prime example of the sort of false balance we spent a good deal of the conference complaining about!

Dappledwater April 2, 2011 at 7:16 pm

Ah, makes sense now, he normally comes across very well. Thought he looked a bit pissed off.

Carol Cowan April 2, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Yes, I was *&%^ annoyed that once again we had to put up with immediate denial. I would have liked to have seen 96 climate scientists (or representations thereof) standing behind David Karoly and 2 behind Geoff Austin, just to impress upon the public mind the weight of scientific opinion behind each position. What was the point of iniviting DK to speak if his comments were going to be immediately refuted? Would they do that if Joe Bloggs was showing off his performing pony?

As an aside, regarding science literacy in NZ, one of the reasons I decided to homeschool my kids was when I found out their primary school budgeted one dollar per year per child ($210 total for the school) for science education.

tom April 2, 2011 at 5:14 pm

This to Gareth @ April 1: —

“It’s a superficially attractive position for PG, but he should perhaps take a little time to look at the underpinnings of RPJr’s position.”

Having taken a further* look myself over recent times, I’d say that was an excellent piece of advice. Can’t have PG spending any of his monthly(ChCh quake excepted) 2-3 hours with the PM on “superficial” business.

Tho, Gareth, I do have some uncertainty as to your use of “underpinnings”. Underpinnings of honest or underpinnings of broker?

* Probably too kind to admit this of him but earlier – say 90s/noughties – he appeared to strive for an on-the-fence position. Later my impression has been that he would willingly-for-a-fee facilitate opposition to climate science. The fee-master with a rather obvious bias of its own, yet perhaps engineered to give effect to his apparent arm’s length etc..

_R2D2 April 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I have not read this entire thread… however, Mr February, in your first comment you state that agriculture will recieve 97% allocation and that this will be phased out over 89 years. I would like to inform other readers who may believe this statement that it is incorrect.

Under the current legislation agricultural gases will recieve a 90% allocation per unit of production. This allocation will be decreased at 1.3% per year to allow for efficiency gains (not to phase out allocations). Allocations for all activities will be reviewed every 5 years and decreased if mitigation technolagies have advanced or most trade competitors have emissions pricing.

Allocations are not made to allow businesses time to “transition to a full carbon price”, they are made to mimic market conditions in a world where trade competitors also face a price on emissions.

Methane and nitrous oxide emissions from biological processes will not enter the emissions trading scheme until 2015 under current legislation. ‘Agriculture’ emissions however include fuel use, electricity use, energy use etc. Farmers do not recieve allocation for this and as a result these emissions already cost the average dairy farmer $3300 compared to the average household cost of $133 – hardly a free ride for dairy farmer households! These costs will double and perhaps double again if the 2-for-1 and price cap are removed.

Mr February April 22, 2011 at 11:49 am

Well done in your fact checking. I apologise for my error – stating 97% free allocation of NZ units to agriculture from 2015, instead of the correct figure of 90% free allocation.
Have you seen this video on the NZETS?
Coming Clean – New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme Explained.

John D March 22, 2011 at 8:49 pm

So, “Mr February”, if you are dissatisfied with the ETS, how would you like to see it implemented?

What do you think is a good price for a tonne of CO2?

How much would you be be prepared to pay extra for you weekly outgoings?

(I of course would argue that the second question is a direct consequence of the first)
These are the questions you need to ask yourself.

And before I get chastised for wandering off-topic, let us remember that Mashey did a drive-by ad-hom on the three Ms (McIntyre, McKitrick and Montford)

Never to be seen again?

Gareth March 22, 2011 at 9:08 pm

John Mashey replied to me by email. You might want consider this section of a WIkipedia talk page, which Montford has never adequately addressed.

You may then wish to take on John M’s dissection of Wegman, but I’d hurry up if I were you, because there’s a lot more brewing on that front…

Mr February March 22, 2011 at 11:20 pm

How would I like to see the NZ ETS implemented?

My first preference would be scrap it and implement a no-exceptions-all-sectors carbon tax.

My second preference would be these changes to the NZ ETS.

* bring in agriculture ASAP.
* enforce a real cap on total annual emissions so it really is “cap-and-trade”
* scrap the NZ emissions unit and just use the existing AAUs that represent NZ’s 1990 GHG emissions
* end all free allocation of emission units to emitters and auction all units
* ring-fence the allocation of forestry carbon removal units to within the forestry sector

A good initial carbon price, assuming all sectors paid it, no exceptions, would be roughly the current international price of a certified emission reduction unit. According to the various carbon trading newsletters I subscribe to, thats been between $NZ18 and $NZ20 per tonne in the last six months.

How much would you I be prepared to pay extra for my weekly outgoings? Under a no-exceptions carbon tax or a 100%-auction ETS, I would be perfectly happy to pay whatever is the proportionate cost of my carbon footprint at the international carbon price.
Remember, under the free-giveaway uncapped NZETS, I am already paying the extra carbon price at retail level for my electricity bill and my petrol.

John D March 22, 2011 at 9:22 pm

I’m not surprised that Bishop Hill hasn’t addressed the issues in the Wikipedia talk page. What an incoherent mess.
I am not surprised that the page is on article probation, Is is almost unintelligible

If someone can explain to me what John Mashey’s substantive points are, I might be interested in addressing them – I have read HSI – but I really can’t be bothered untangling this mess.

Gareth March 22, 2011 at 10:52 pm

You might try upping your reading comprehension. Montford bases a claim on unsubstantiated assertions made by a third party. Sound familiar?

John D March 23, 2011 at 11:33 am

Why do you want to include agriculture asap?

Here are some assertions for you:

(1) NZ is the only country in the world that is proposing to do this.
(2) This would harm the competitiveness of NZ against the rest of the world
(3) Methane levels, globally, are not increasing, at least according to IPCC AR4

My conclusion is that parts of the NZ population want to deliberately harm our primary industry, for no economic or environmental benefit.


John D March 23, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Are you referring to the “we need to get rid of the medieval warm period” email?

I am struggling to see through the fog here. Someone makes a smear against M&M on the Ken Ring thread, this gets moved over to here, and I am still no wiser as to the actual issue.

This of course is a standard tactic. If we were to document the exact nature of the issue we might well find it to be a completely trivial point, yet it has had the effect in the reader’s mind of rubbishing the authors by associating them with a “crank” journal.

If you have a more cogent point of view I’d be happy to hear it.

Gareth March 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

Given that a) virtually the whole modus operandi of those promoting “climategate” as a scandal and attacking the hockey stick is little more than a prolonged smear campaign against Mann and his co-workers, and b) that Mashey provides documented evidence of those involved in the campaign just making stuff up, I find your attempt to paint Mashey’s comment as a smear simply pathetic.

John D March 24, 2011 at 4:11 pm

You still haven’t actually provided any further detail on what this “making stuff up” is.

There, of course, is a reason for this.

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 4:15 pm

And you seem to have conspicuously failed to either read or attempt to understand the reference you were given. There is of course a reason for this.

John D March 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

OK, I admit it. I have a reading comprehension problem. I don’t understand the reference you gave me.

Can you please explain it in simple terms?

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 5:26 pm

Nope. Life’s too short to waste on futility.

John D March 24, 2011 at 5:28 pm

Yes, I agree.
And for that reason I’ll be treating anything that Mashey says here or anywhere else with the contempt it deserves.

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Before you do that, I suggest you go an read John’s magnum opus on the Wegman Report: it’s a dense read so perhaps something of a challenge for you, but it is fully referenced. You’ll find it good preparation for when the Wegman scandal next hits the fan — which will probably be soon…

bill March 24, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Ah, I see – you don’t get it, by your own admission, but you know it’s contemptible. And now you never have to think about it again. This is fully consistent with someone who quotes misleadingly and indulges in persistent and ridiculous histrionic fantasies about Big Wind and entire economies collapsing due to it, ETSs, carbon taxes, photovoltaics (rambles on ad nauseam)

Why don’t you just go and hang out at WUWT? Your standards and theirs are entirely consistent.

And they don’t really get it, either. Please note that like the surfacestations fiasco the latest denier attempt to ‘audit’ the temperature record just utterly blew-up in your faces.

You guys have lost the argument intellectually, but as the old Australian expression referring to the implacably stupid goes, you’re all ‘dead but won’t lie down’. It’s only rabble-rousing hysteria you’ve got left… On that you may make some progress, but, frankly, it’s what’s truly contemptible.

John D March 24, 2011 at 6:38 pm

That’s fine, I’ll read the magnum opus. Maybe you can read “The Hockey Stick Illusion”?

Isn’t that the litmus test of open-mindedness that Judith Curry alluded to?

John D March 24, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Well, I am going to read it, and as I have also read ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion” I will be in a better position than you, Gareth, to have an objective view on the topic.

I am somewhat put off by the use of the term “anti-science” in the first paragraph, since I perceive the work of McIntyre to be the essence of science.

Splicing datasets to hide declines is what I call “anti-science”.

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 6:53 pm

I have no intention of reading Montford’s book. There are far more interesting and relevant things to read and write about than a Scottish blogger’s hagiography of a bit player on the climate denial team.

John D March 24, 2011 at 7:23 pm

No I don’t get it “Bill”,

Do you? Perhaps you could actually tell me exactly what the hell you are talking about.

RW March 24, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Amazing stuff in that link. It’s impossible to have a low enough opinion of Watts and his mates. And a collection of ACT clowns and smart-aleck libertarians revere this individual – when will the public fully wake up?

John D March 24, 2011 at 7:26 pm

He is not Scottish.

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm

Sorry. “He is an Englishman who lives in rural Scotland.” Still not going to waste time on his book.

Gareth March 24, 2011 at 10:02 pm

My, you have drunk the denialist Kool-Aid, haven’t you? Pity you haven’t read any of the real science.

CTG March 25, 2011 at 8:45 am

McIntyre fudged his results. He wrote a program to try and show that Mann’s original algorithm would create hockey sticks out of “red noise”. Unfortunately, he did not use real red noise, he used a residual from the proxy which retained a bit of the hockey stick shape, so there’s no real surprise that his program found hockey sticks in hockey stick shaped data.

But even that wasn’t good enough for him. Most of the time, the algorithm did not produce hockey sticks, so he wrote another program to go an weed out the most hockey stick shaped runs. He took only the top 100 runs out of 10,000, and then used those to claim that the algorithm always produces hockey stick shapes from random data.

If that is what you consider to be the essence of science, you are a fool.

I consider it to be the essence of fraud.

John D March 25, 2011 at 8:55 am

Wow that’s amazing CTG, I never knew that.
I guess you’ll be able to provide me a fully referenced document to back up your claims?

You’ll also be able to provide a “debunking” of the McShane and Wyner paper too I guess.

As we know, nothing that comes from the denier/crank/numpty-sphere has any value, and you guys are always right about everything.

That’s why the public trusts you so much.

Gareth March 25, 2011 at 9:09 am
CTG March 25, 2011 at 11:10 am

Gareth already gave you the link to the John Mashey report above. You know, the one you are afraid to read because you don’t want to find out the awful truth about your heroes McIntyre & Wegman.

So yes, I have backed up my claims, unlike you.

John D March 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm

CTG, I am not afraid to read it, but it is 250 pages long and I actually do have a day job believe it or not.

So some hint as to the substance would be useful.

Looking at the comments on Deep Climate, I’d be very surprised if anyone there has given it more than a cursory glance. All I see is a bunch of high fives.

John Mashey March 25, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Yes, that covers many of the straightforward statistics problems.

SSWR Appendix A.12 discussed some of the other problems, i.e., the plagiarism + fabrication or falsification issues, although I was in a hurry, and there are more.

At least the article is finally published at AOAS.

CTG March 26, 2011 at 11:56 am

What more exactly do you need, John?

McIntyre manufactured his claim that the PCA algorithm always generates hockey sticks, therefore he is guilty of scientific fraud.

Wegman repeated McIntyre’s bogus claim in his report to Congress, thus making him guilty of misleading Congress, not to mention all the plagiarism and other problems that John Mashey has uncovered.

This is prima facie evidence of some serious wrongdoing by both McIntyre and Wegman, which warrants an investigation – nay, an audit – of their misdeeds.

Or perhaps you are quite happy with bogus science as long as it supports your view and means you don’t have to pay any nasty carbon taxes, eh?

adelady March 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

johnd ” All I see is a bunch of high fives.”

Maybe in the comments. The meat is in the post itself. DC is often intimidatingly technical for me, so I scan through a few times to be sure I can extract the explanatory argument. A bit of a challenge when the bulk of a post is a combination of “alphabet soup” referring to things I know nothing of and discussion of statistical or computing minutiae I’ve decided I will leave to the experts.

Here’s my study guide after a few re-readings.

1. Go to

2. Scroll down past the first graphic and the first block of shaded text quoting code. Just below you’ll find a paragraph starting “However, the more interesting question …… ”

3. Read all the way to para starting “That’s “some” PC1, all right …..”
It’s perfectly OK to ignore the graphs and the cited code if all you want is to understand how DC makes the important points and how they link together.

4. This is the core criticism of M&M.
Reading the rest of the post gets into analysis of how this affects Wegman’s use of MM05 in his presentation and various followup things. If you don’t care so much about Wegman, you can limit reading/thinking/ analysing time to those few paragraphs of strictly McIntyre related hockey stick index / archive material.

I find this core criticism to be devastating. I realise that you may not. But it is worth the brief effort required to see clearly what DC and John M are getting at.

(It would take a =lot= of time and effort to come up with a detailed analysis or criticism or rebuttal of their work. But that’s OK. They’ve obviously put in massive time and effort so any response should be equivalent.)

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