Salinger upsets cranks: Treadgold’s toys exit cot

by Gareth on January 27, 2014

Jim Salinger’s analysis of the climate crank campaign to cast doubt on New Zealand’s long term temperature record, published last week at The Conversation, has drawn an astonishing response1 from Richard Treadgold (left), the man who kicked off the whole sorry process over four years ago. In an intemperate and libellous comment at his web site, Treadgold accuses Salinger of deception, stupidity and questions his mental stability:

Painting our efforts as some kind of attack on science is stupid. Salinger is either mentally unstable or he’s trying to hide his deceptive treatment of the national temperature records. We asked for details. You’re obviously hiding something if you call that anti-science.

The truth, of course, is that Treadgold and his friends at the Climate “Science” Coalition have spent the last four years quite deliberately attacking Salinger and the science team at NIWA by alleging they acted to deliberately overstate warming in New Zealand. They’ve taken their case to the High Court, and lost. Now they’re running away from facing the legal consequences, by refusing to pay court-ordered legal costs and leaving the NZ taxpayer to foot the bill2.

This has never been about science. It has always been a political campaign, as Treadgold himself acknowledged when he admitted to the “essentially political objectives of our paper”. Having the lost the argument, he’s now behaving like a spoilt child, throwing a hissy fit at Salinger for telling an uncomfortable truth. His pettiness even extends to posting articles suggesting that Salinger’s affiliations with the Universities of Auckland and Tasmania may be false3.

The last line of his typically prolix comment is interesting.

Finally, it’s insufficient that you merely repeat Salinger’s empty allegation of ‘errors’ in our audit. If you want us to respond to the allegation, specify the errors.

The hypocrisy evident here is breathtaking. The “audit” refers to a reconstruction of the NZ temperature record produced by Treadgold’s Coalition pals4 that was submitted as evidence in their High Court case. Treadgold and the CSC know perfectly well that NIWA found significant errors in that reconstruction, because a detailed description of those errors formed an important part of NIWA’s evidence produced in court.

If Treadgold and the CSC are so sure that their “audit” is faultless, why do they not submit it for peer review at an academic journal? I’m sure that Chris de Freitas, never averse to lending his academic weight to the climate crank cause, would be willing to act as lead author and help to usher it past peer review, as he has done for so many papers over the years. I hear that Pattern Recognition in Physics could have a new publisher who might be interested. In the meantime, if Treadgold has any sense of decency he will apologise to Salinger for so maligning an honest man. Past history would suggest that I should not hold my breath.

  1. Web cited so that he can’t “disappear” the evidence. []
  2. I will have a great deal more to say on this issue, unless and until Barry Brill, Terry Dunleavy, Bryan Leyland and Doug Edmeades pay the costs awarded against their shonky trust []
  3. They aren’t. []
  4. Statistical Audit of the NIWA 7-Station Review, NZCSC, July 2011, available here. []

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Beaker January 28, 2014 at 6:17 am

They can not admit to themselves that they are in a hole so just keep digging. It would be funny if it was not such a waste of time of those who clearly have something lots more important to do.

nigelj January 28, 2014 at 9:39 am

Treadgold claims there is no “detail”. But I have certainly seen something from niwa going into at least a few of the adjustments in agonising detail. How is this not detail? Where is Treadgolds response? These CSC people are the ones mentally detached from reality.

John Mashey January 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

Google: pseudoskeptic
and the delightful
Morton’s Demon. whose force is strong in this one.

cindy January 28, 2014 at 12:49 pm

NIWA’s put everything on this page.

What’s missing? There’s spreadsheets, analysis of adjustments – it’s even added a schedule of adjustments it made on that page, for transparency.

Rob Taylor January 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

What’s missing, Cindy, are “the details” that will prove the climate cranks right, and that the High Court and NIWA are mere pawns of our reptilian / Illuminati overlords….

The less sense these denier conspiracy theories make, the more tightly their adherents cling to them.

CTG January 28, 2014 at 11:57 pm

I am seriously pissed off with these anti-science dickheads. Anti-GW, anti-fluoride, anti-vaccers, they are all shades of grey in the war on science. Well, enough. Science is pissed off, and it is going to kick some butt.

Kiwipoet January 29, 2014 at 6:53 am

Thanks John for the Morton’s Demon link. I feel like CTG, except I’m as much frightened by this retreat from empirical thinking into superstition and wilful ignorance as pissed-off. People would rather believe that we are in telepathic communication with star beings from the Pleiades than take responsibility for what we have brought about on the planet by burning fossil fuels.
I think what we are witnessing is panic, panic on cultural level, resulting in varieties of denial. In this state of panic, the mind runs like a rat a maze seeking escape and finding none, hence retreating into La-la land.
This reaction is dangerous because it is inherently violent. It takes a lot of anger and denial to keep the illusion going.

Rob Taylor January 29, 2014 at 10:15 am

On the other hand, KP, the direct experience of reality has already converted many a “grassroots” AGW denier:

A vast majority of red-state Americans believe climate change is real and at least two-thirds of those want the government to cut greenhouse gas emissions…

The research… confounds the conventional wisdom of climate denial as a central pillar of Republican politics, and practically an article of faith for Tea Party conservatives.

Instead, the findings suggest far-reaching acceptance that climate change is indeed occurring and is caused by human activities, even in such reliably red states as Texas and Oklahoma…

Texas and Oklahoma are among the reddest of red states and are represented in Congress by Republicans who regularly dismiss the existence of climate change or its attendant risks…

However, the research found 87% of Oklahomans and 84% of Texans accepted that climate change was occurring.

Seventy-six percent of Americans in both states also believed the government should step in to limit greenhouse gas emissions produced by industry.

The acceptance of climate change was not a result of outreach efforts by scientists, however, or by the experience of extreme events, such as hurricane Sandy… research found no connection between Sandy and belief in climate change or support for climate action.

Instead, the findings suggest personal experiences of hot weather – especially in warm states in the south-west – persuaded Texans and others that the climate was indeed changing within their own lifetimes.

http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/nov/13/climate-change-red-state-opinion-america-study

Kiwipoet January 31, 2014 at 6:20 am

Thanks for this, Rob. This suggests that denialist politicians don’t have the constituency they claim to have on this issue. It must make them nervous.

Yet, on the other hand, I have read that the number of Republicans denying evolution has risen, not because more people are in denial, but because all the nutters are gravitating to the Republicans…

Rob Taylor February 2, 2014 at 10:40 pm

Oh, the humanity! More injured, public-spirited innocence, over at Treadgold’s Swamp, from failed politician and climate change litigant Barry Brill:

Totally frustrated, the Coalition turned to the Courts to hold NIWA accountable. But the Judge was not prepared to adjudicate what he saw as a scientific dispute.

Link

Gareth February 3, 2014 at 10:27 am

An amazing alternate history from the Brill Building: an amalgam of self-delusion and piss-poor propagandising.

Only one question needs be asked of Brill: when are you planning to pay the court costs ordered against you?

Pay up or shut up.

Rob Taylor February 4, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Here’s a great response to Brill’s declaration of victory on Treadgold’s blog:

Indeed a summation that a trained legal mind would be proud of. A shame Venning J. could not get his head around it.

Who knows, they may actually be serious…

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