the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Motivated Rejection of …..

Posted by Jeff Id on August 31, 2014

You can make a whole blog (a boring one) simply for the purposes of showing false claims by political activist climate scientists.  The claim below is quoted from a Daily Mail article I ran into surfing the internet.

Dr Hawkins said: ‘There is undoubtedly some natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming. This variability has probably contributed somewhat to the post-2000 steep declining trend, although the human-caused component still dominates

The error in his statement is that the human-caused component still dominates.

Anyone with any background in climate change science knows full well (or should) that the human component of observed warming is completely 100% unknown.   Currently, it is statistically and mathematically inseparable from natural warming.  The only thing we can do to separate human and natural warming is model the contributions mathematically and subtract.  Today, climate models have failed by over-predicting warming.   Since models have over-predicted warming by so much, all modeled differences between CO2 and natural warming effects are now nonsensical.  We don’t have a value.

Dr. Hawkins, who I have no immediate knowledge of, isn’t changing his scientific opinion based on facts though.  Unfortunately for science, the non-factual opinion is hardly unique.   Bart Verheggan, who’s blog is linked on the right, did a study which I found interesting in that it is similar to John Cook’s recent 97% debacle in that it polled climate scientists to ask their opinion on various global warming questions.

One question was:

What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
– More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosolcooling)
– Between 76% and 100%
– Between 51% and 76%
– Between 26% and 50%
– Between 0 and 25%
– Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
– There has been no warming
– Unknown due to lack of knowledge
– I do not know
– Other (please specify)

From Bart’s post:

Consistent with other research, we found that the consensus is strongest for scientists with more relevant expertise and for scientists with more peer-reviewed publications. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), agreed that anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) are the dominant driver of recent global warming.

This seems to agree with what we would expect, however there is a problem.  The conclusion that human created GHG is THE dominant factor in global warming has absolutely no numerical foundation in the science.  One wonders just what makes these scientists so certain!   Yes there are papers on the matter of attribution, but those I have read are  universally model based.   There is nothing wrong with the concept of climate models, except that the ones relied on are now known to be non-functional.    They have failed by overestimating global warming….dramatically.

As the models are known to have failed, the scientists in the survey who still claim humans are the primary cause for the very minimal warming we have observed, are acting as activists rather than scientists.  The real answer is that we just don’t know. It is possible that these people have committed themselves in the past so strongly to the cause that a change in position is personally something they cannot handle.  Being wrong isn’t much fun after all.  Being publicly wrong on your field of expertise is worse I suppose.   However, I believe that their political activism is more to blame than personal embarrassment over the failure of a climate model likely created by someone else.

Basically, because the question asked here can only be based on subjective opinion and not scientific fact, the questions of this survey are more interesting as a social study of the people involved.  I see it as a referendum on the objectivity of the scientists in the field.

In addition, Bart reports that those more published in the field are more likely to claim that warming is primarily human induced.   Were it simply a matter of personal embarrassment, wouldn’t a person with 10 publications have as much invested as one with 40?   Perhaps not, but we also have knowledge that the field prefers those who advocate for political change and those are the scientists who receive the funding and cushy jobs with lots of research assistants to allow them the time to publish lots of papers.   Claims sometimes made that are contrary to this fact are nonsense.

My reading of this aspect of his paper is therefore different.  Bart Verheggen shows that the more popular individuals, that he claims have “more relevant expertise”, are more likely to make the claim that humans contribute more than 50% of warming is caused by GHG.  A claim that is objectively unscientific.

We have a very big problem in our science when such a large fraction of the group is willing to claim an unscientific position in their field of study for unexplained reasons.

Since their belief is decidedly not evidence based, or they would certainly publish the proof, we can only conclude that it must be a faith.   In this case, the group has expressed a non-factual faith that somehow humans must be the primary cause of warming.  What drives this faith is not discussed in faith terms, and therefore must be a personal matter for each of them, driven by a wide variety of unseen truths believed but not discussed.  Perhaps a group of fuzzy math papers or perhaps some other un-vetted statement they have heard from colleagues has seeded the thought.  It is a faith, an unbreakable truth under which physical laws of reality must bend to comply.  It is the only explanation for the fact that we regularly see climate observations fly in the face of the conclusions, yet the conclusions stand unaffected.

Off topic

It is interesting to me that these same people don’t understand capitalism.   My wild guess estimate is that 95% of climate scientist experts believe in evolution, yet generally don’t support free market capitalism, when they are actually the same thing.   Each one representing a system reacting to conditions of the environment for maximum benefit.  There is no such thing as truly free market and the value being optimized in both cases is different.  Capitalism optimizing money and evolution optimizes survival but I don’t really understand how people hold polar opposite views on both matters.  It seems to me that socialists shouldn’t believe in evolution, and capitalists should.  The matter isn’t black and white and people are funny things so the evidence on which people make decisions regarding their core beliefs is beyond my understanding.  I’m off topic a bit bit it leaves me wondering.

A link between politics and faith

Still, IPCC scientists in general regularly express the most powerful central government solutions imaginable.  Discussions of limitations on environmental property rights, energy generation, transportation, speech of skeptics and even limiting reproduction are common themes in their world.  The horrific outcomes of history do not seem to moderate the general beliefs of the community that more central government control of the population,  is somehow a solution to human climate problems.

The belief in extraordinarily powerful governmental solutions to environmental concerns is also a faith they hold.   It flies in the face of any rational observation of the performance of government, but for some reason it goes hand-in-hand with the same individuals who promote the faith-based form of climate science.  It is clear from climategate emails and observations of universities across the country that socialists are the preferred employee for government organizations.  The reinforcing effects of the governmental money source on political beliefs in these institutions creates a significant political imbalance in the population of scientists.

This self-sorting of people (climate scientists in this case) who hold generally extreme views of economics and government may lead to a general tendency for faith-based science.  A claim could reasonably be made against what are often derogatorily termed religious conservatives, which in general, the climate science group openly despises. There is no governmental incentivized mechanism which funds religious conservatives into a multi-billion dollar global climate change sized industry speaking on a single topic.  We could imagine a similar conservative faith-based science being forced upon us in that case as well, but that problem isn’t government funded and therefore is not a serious threat.

Other demonstrably false faith-based claims regularly made by main stream climate scientists:

Skeptics are oil funded;Hurricanes and storms increasing;Polar bears dying out;Economic disaster;Food supply shortages;Drought or excess rain;various green energy solutions;sea ice vanishing; — the list is quite a bit longer than this but you get the idea.  These claims are all false.

The problem extends beyond that though.   It pervades the field with false papers on historic temperatures taken from proxies, Antarctic warming, sea ice futures, shrinking fish, drought and hurricanes on and on and on…  Literally false papers.

The evidence of their unstated faith is extensive.  What is also in evidence is that you cannot argue a faith on a rational level.  Like a religious argument, you are slamming into their personal defense mechanism which places walls between rational consideration and belief.

The petri dish

While it may seem unreasonable or even derrogatory for me to write the words above, this is not some ad-hominem attack on climate science but is rather my objective view of their bulk behaviors as an outsider. We have discussed before the fact that engineers and scientists in other fields get reasonably quick feedback when their ideas don’t live up to expectations.   In climate science, the feedback is over decades of time, and often well exceeds the skyrocketing careers of the individuals making their projections.   There is no feedback to the individuals for their product, so the product which looks the best for its purpose, is the product deemed best.  It is only after decades that we realize that favored climate models who’s output predicted extreme warming, failed to match observation.   Climate scientists aren’t used to being wrong.   They don’t have a history of strong negative feedback on which to alter their understanding.    Their reaction to this major failure of models has been a combination reticent correction and confused belief in future observations magically (unscientifically) coming into line.

Our reality

The combination of pressures seems to have bred a generally narcissistic and overconfident group of people who fail to observe that the rest of the technical world is not buying into their global warming doom scenarios.  Our failure to buy in is not due to lack of explanation, or technical expertise, or the implied fact that everyone but them has a self-organized but opposite political belief, but is rather due to the lack of scientific foundation these governmental organizations present in their argument.    There is simply no evidence that global warming is severe, dangerous or anything but beneficial.

Despite the wide consensus on global warming disaster in climate science, I believe a polling of the technically literate world would result in discovery that the vast majority of the scientifically literate public are highly skeptical of global warming doom.



Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

José Duarte on Cook

Posted by Jeff Id on August 30, 2014

José  Duarte has a post up that Carrick called my attention to at the Blackboard.   The article is basically a chastisement of the false externally motivated science in the context of Cook’s recent publication on the 97% consensus.  I call it externally motivated as a way to describe the numerous papers across so many fields of science that have pre-ordained conclusions designed into their methodology, such that they support the authors undisclosed personal interests in some manner.  Climate science is the current poster child for today’s particularly grotesque post-modern form of motivated science, it is hardly unique in either this century or by field.  We have seen much of the same in medicine, drug testing, economics, political science and psychology across history.   It is a sad fact that publications across many fields are rife with the nonsense.

The following quote is probably a little unfair to Jose’s article because his content is well considered, and this paragraph is a bit off from the central point, but since the Lewandowsky incident I’ve come to believe this same thing about certain people.

I honestly think at least part of the issue here is intelligence and knowledge. It think this is a pervasive issue in the climate debate, but is rarely called out, and it’s easy for it to be lazy ad hominem. Intelligence can be a real, functional constraint. For example, I think some climate science skeptics simply aren’t smart enough — they’re not smart enough to understand climate science or its methods. They’ll never understand what these “computer models” are doing, or why calling something a computer model doesn’t invalidate it. I think if the Higgs boson had political implications of the sort that AGW is presumed to have, some of those same people would express similar arguments against the existence of the Higgs or the validity of its detection, saying that it’s all “computer models”, or that we can’t really “see” it. In such a case, I think it would come down to them not being smart enough to understand the methods, or the nature of that particular reality. Reality isn’t structured such that any scientific field will be understandable to any outsider with an IQ of 100 or better — it would be arbitrary to assume that it was. The people who conducted the Cook study don’t understand rudimentary epistemology, or what counts as evidence of anthropogenic climate change. Cook’s e-mailed response to my call for retraction also struck me as that of someone who just isn’t equipped to deal with these sorts of issues. Nuccitelli’s comments in the forum about the white males study is more evidence that these people aren’t equipped for this.

In an only peripherally related incident, I was truly shocked when Eric Eich, the then editor of Psychological Science, told me the following in reference to one of Lewandowsky’s published misrepresentations of my opinion:

Dr. Lewandowsky has agreed to remove your citation not because it was misleading–he does not believe it was–but because I think it is best replaced by a source other than a blog post.

So in order to protect a clear political piece disguised as science, Lewandowsky took the position that my opinion was not what I thought it was (silly me), in fact my opinion was what THEY thought it was and therefore the otherwise fraudulent accusations were accurate.   BUT!!! the problem was that I had represented my position on a blog.  For his purpose in this single specific case, scholarly articles on psychology could only use data from non-blog sources.  Talking, interviews, tape, newspaper, journals, songs, musings, etc… etc.. and so on ….. as long as it isn’t blogs.

Teasing aside, the political or personal pressures that Lewandowsky and Eric Eich felt must have exceeded the restrictions of publishing rationally defensible statements.   This does not prove a lack of intelligence, as inaccurate thoughts are often motivated by unspoken factors. Lewandowsky, on the other hand, seemed unable (also perhaps unwilling, I’m not a mind reader) to grasp that my position on temperature data was based on reason, and is basically mainstream in the climate science field.   Although I did write it in my normal excitable fashion, rational readers had no trouble working out the truth.  It has been since that time that my general opinion of his scientific ability has formed, and it is separate from any personal feelings based on his actions.   I have read several of Lewandowsky’s papers on other topics as well and I truly believe Lewandowsky is incapable of understanding the nuances of a more serious science than he pretends to practice.

He is far from alone as I also believe Phil Jones suffers from the same numeric limitations.  It’s not his fault, it is just what I believe from his work and what I have read from the CG emails, particularly on curve fits.

From the evidence, Nuccitelli is a good candidate for the low-grok club but I’m even less familiar with any other work he may have done.   There certainly is a lot of illogical nonsense in his writing which is a poor sign for him.   The Cook paper being eviscerated in the link above by Jose can stand alone though as it is such a horribly incompetent example of “work” that it isn’t hard to imagine the Cook et cetera team had any skill, background (or moderate weekend training) in the methodology they employed.   It’s unfortunate really, because I think the general conclusion that there is a belief of anthropogenic climate change amongst climate scientists, is hardly controversial.  Were the paper correctly done, they would have likely discovered a different and somewhat lower number that would hold the same sort of political weight.  In other words, the flawed methodology was unnecessarily biased for the political messaging purposes they conceived.  Basically Low-grok all around.

Unfortunately, and it is unfortunate, these thoughts I hold lead to an easy dismissal anything these people come up with.   I find myself laughing at their work when I run across it rather than taking it seriously.  It’s also unfortunate, because the press is non-believably poor at differentiating the relentless advocacy papers from actual science, and has an even worse time differentiating blatantly flawed science such as Mann’s proxy-sorting algorithms.  The public has no chance to understand reality with that sort of motivated filter between them and the articles being published.  Dismissive thinking is a trap nobody should fall into, but the battle against it is hard to win when the subject of the dismissal is such a willing volunteer as Cook.

Anyway, Jose’s article is much better written and conceived than these musings and is worth the time.   His article gives me hope that some form of self-reflection of motivated authors can be brought about which would limit some of the nonsensical political papers disguised as “science”.   Just a little hope though as the laws of incentivization will likely always pressure some people to report scientific truths outside of the boundaries of the rationally observed universe.




Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

Time for a little healthy skepticism

Posted by Jeff Id on August 27, 2014

I have finally completed a huge and mathematically difficult design project that has been on my plate for the last couple of months and have a little time for blogging.   I’m thoroughly excited about the project and like so many things I do, I dug in hard and worked until I was fully burned out on it.  Seems to be my style.

Anyway, the multi-billion dollar international global warming industry is continuing on despite the major shots the science has taken in recent years.  The denial of reality by the activist scientists has already reached astounding proportions and seems to be growing with the realization that their predictions of the future are no more valid than Mrs Cleo’s prediction of bankruptcy.  Predicting the future seems a rough business.

There have been a few notable posts on the matter, Anthony Watts carried one which featured climate change advocate Richard Betts quoted as writing “Bish, as always I am slightly bemused over why you think GCMs are so central to climate policy.”.   I’m literally gobsmacked by the insanity of a claimed scientific position that climate models might not be THE central evidence for a position of climate policy.  It leaves one wondering what a lead author of the IPCC might consider in lieu of a model for prediction of future climate.

In short, the industry’s failure is in full view and nobody, scientist, advocate or homeless person can claim that the earth is warming to disaster, because there is now quite literally zero evidence to support the position.  There are plenty of scientists holding on for the “big warmup” that will somehow save the models.  There are even a couple of “scientific” publications digging very deep into the data mash to tweak parameters in line.   I won’t reference them, particularly the one by Gavin Schmidt, because they are trash and tripe and not worth reading.   What they do represent though is yet another symptom of government funded research gone awry with advocacy, a sick industry with little hope for salvation from the wrath of the god of physics.

Climate science meets engineering reality, finally.

And it is the climate models that failed.   They overpredicted warming by CO2 so dramatically that we were able to statistically detect the failure decades before anyone really expected to.   Despite Betts ridiculous and untenable position on climate models, there is no other mechanism by which we can predict climate than models.   Now before people jump on the concept that climate models can’t work, that is a flatly false position to hold.  They absolutely can work. They can even work reasonably well for predicting global temperature trends at their current sophistication level.  Unfortunately, the sensitivity to CO2 warming is incorrect and even when it is corrected we won’t know how far current models will accurately predict into the future.  Like local weather models which predict rain reasonably well two days out, observation and comparison is the only way to know if it worked.

And that comparison of observed temperature to today’s models — failed.  All dead.

I’ve got bad news for you though folks.  You cannot kill an industry that easily.   There is simply too much money at stake for these people to lose their jobs – as they well should.  There is a politically ironic comparison which seems to me fits the context.  The tobacco industry, in its heyday, tried to publish “science” showing that tobacco didn’t cause cancer.  It took years to beat the truth out of that little issue, and in the end the truth did come out.   Yet the industry still lives on.   There is simply too much money and too many people relying on that money to shut down an industry like that overnight.

It will be interesting to see how far it goes, but the quotes rolling out of climate science are consistent with a socialist left wing political agenda based on top-down control and completely inconsistent with the science.  A duck is a duck in my world.

One wonders just how far they can go with this broken message before the unthinking public recognizes that there aren’t any climate disasters to talk about.   The feedback between government funded fake science, and reality is tremendously slow.   We may actually achieve all of the expense and government regulatory control with literally zero societal benefit.   In fact, a new book has been released which highlights the clear fact that CO2 is a highly beneficial gas and its warming effects do nothing but good for life on Earth.   A position I have grown to hold over the years.  If my reasonable and previously mainstream scientific view is correct, these energy regulations and costs will create negative impacts both on the economy and the biosphere when compared to a world without them.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wind, solar and biofuel energy, when unsubsidized by government, the subsidized form is a story for another day.  However it seems clear that the highly scrubbed CO2 and water emissions from an old fashion coal plant are quite likely a net positive for life on this planet.  The mild warming and additional building blocks CO2 provides for plant life both appear to be very positive developments from everything I have studied.  The extremist left-wing political resistance to healthy economic growth and individual wealth and power stand starkly unsupported at this time.

Of course I could be wrong and climate models are actually not needed to see the climate future, and tobacco doesn’t cause cancer.

Cathartic as always!



Posted in Uncategorized | 28 Comments »

In the Real World, Accuracy Counts

Posted by Jeff Id on July 20, 2014

I received a notice of new publications today, and along with it a graphic linking to yet another Antarctic doom paper.   In it, the link uses the flawed Steig 09 temperature plot of the Antarctic taken from the cover of Nature.    A particularly interesting choice considering that GRL published the corrected version (our paper), and Nature carried the flawed version proudly displayed right on its cover.

GRL Geophysical Research Letters Antarctic Glaciers Climate Change


For those of us who care about little things like accuracy in science, this is a realistic appearance of Antarctic temperature trends over that same timeframe.  Of course the actual measured temperatures in the West Antarctic (lower left in particular) don’t appear quite as doom-worthy.


Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments »

Another Use for R

Posted by Jeff Id on July 2, 2014

So how about something different.   I learned R programming here for climate software.   Plotting, fitting curves, calculating stats and all kinds of linear algebra.   Prior to that I had programmed in various forms of C, Basic, a few other arcane languages, assembly/machine, etc…  I had written my own matrix multipliers and inverters multiple times. It was all low level engineering style languages for equipment integration, calculation and a literal ton of other applications.   R turns out to be very flexible for most of what I had done in other languages, and could have handled a large portion of the problems with a much reduced development time.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve expanded my use of R to some unique applications.   I have used the R algorithms to calculate some fairly sophisticated lenses, but interestingly have adopted the software to perform material requirement planning to a level difficult to find in commercial software.   The ability to work with large matrices makes R well suited to the task.   Lean manufacturing requires just in time delivery of components.  Inventory is a significant cost to a company and is paid for in after-tax dollars so it must be controlled to a high degree for a company to succeed.    In a mid-sized company as ours has become, we have over two thousand part numbers which turn into about 600 finished goods of various types.   In our business case, these finished goods need to be stocked at appropriate levels to service our customers within a fixed range of part numbers.

So what we have is:

Forecast usage based on history and customer provided expectations

Target inventory levels for components

Manufacturing time for various processes

Shipment time for components

From those basic numbers and a variety of other information including bills of material (list of subcomponents in an assembly), lead times and manufacturing location, we use R software to calculate our manufacturing schedule, component ordering, required delivery dates and note any problems in the delivery time.  Just in case you think this might be simple, our supply chain is quite long, sometimes as much as 13 weeks with various steps happening at planned points along the process.

A common example for us is where electronic components are ordered in the US, shipped overseas in 1 week, 1 week allowed for assembly to circuit boards, ship back to US by air 1 week, final assembly in us 1 week.  In the meantime, other components for the same finished product, might be built to arrive at the same time as the circuit boards from another facility with a longer 3 week production time and those might be intended to ship by sea over 5 weeks to arrive simultaneously with the stock requirement of the circuit boards such that a production build happens on the correct date.   Now even that isn’t terribly complicated but we utilize the same components in multiple part numbers. Each one forecast and stocked on independent schedules such that economic quantities of components must be delivered in time for the first of what sometimes is multiple builds.  Expand that problem over two thousand active part numbers and that is our situation.

The software calculates its recommended orders and writes a huge 20,000 plus line file into excel, highlighting orders to be placed and even writes live equations into the cells such that if the buyer decides that the order needs to be altered, projected inventory is recalculated on the fly.   Warning symbols are also generated by live equations in excel such that inventory overstock or under stock situations are highlighted.

It’s pretty interesting to me and a commercial version, which we have purchased but not yet implemented, is surprisingly expensive.   While many people will tell you that their software can handle it, there are only a few on the market which perform these calculations to the level that our company has been able to implement and operate with for two years now.

And it was done in R.

The ability to program and plan like this gives us the ability to take our projected stock level as a matrix, multiplied by a vector of the true component costs to achieve our projected inventory value for the next 3.5 months with two lines like this:

totalinventorycost =  sweep(projectedinventory,2,cost,”*”)


Slide that information into your cash flow planning and you have closed the loop between future inventory levels and expected cash needs for the next 3 months.

We have R software that calculates sales commissions for outside reps, checks delivery status and manufacturing status, recommends orders, designs lenses, calculates component usage, and a few tax related routines as well.   In addition to that, I use it for all kinds of math driven electrical and mechanical engineering related tasks.

I’m pretty certain that the creators of R didn’t expect their statistical software to be abused in such a capitalistic manner.  However, I do consider it a positive impact of the climate change nonsense the boys at Real Climate exposed all of us to.   I also must give credit to Mr. McIntyre as it was his continued promotion of the language that got me started down this path.









Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments »

Antarctic sea ice area anomaly – record high

Posted by Jeff Id on June 29, 2014

From Cryosphere Today:

Antarctic sea ice established a pretty dramatic spike in ice area anomaly apparently continuing its recent upward trend in rather pointed fashion.



Global sea ice continues above average for the year:[1]

Arctic ice is still holding in its lower level since 2007:



Please refrain from asserting nefarious intent for posting the data.   It is interesting to all of us after all.


Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Antarctic sea ice – 2nd highest (Anomaly) in satellite records

Posted by Jeff Id on June 26, 2014


Antarctic sea ice extent- posted 6-26-14

Antarctic sea ice posting 2nd highest anomaly since satellite records began.  In the Antarctic continent on the bottom of the planet where apparently hot is cold and cold is hot.   :D

Is anyone else surprised at the nearly monotonic increase in the past several years.   Don’t worry alarmists, the trend will change someday.





Posted in Uncategorized | 47 Comments »

Nothing New Under the Sun

Posted by Jeff Id on June 18, 2014

I still regularly read climate blogs and occasionally drop a comment but a surprising thing has happened to me lately.   I am almost completely disengaged from climate science.   The mystery is gone for me.   I don’t care much which model said what, the latest Antarctic doom nonsense barely raises an eyebrow, sea ice melting not a drip of interest.   Stats are still fun at CA when they come up and I did mine a bunch of data from the government website.   Did you know we spent nearly 200 million dollars on climate education for minorities  – which means anyone not white male.  Well funded skeptics — Bah!! The political nonsense drives me crazy but when people cannot parse what is happening to Iraq, taxes or windmills, how can we truly be serious about climate discussions.   Even Steve McIntyre’s latest expose on yet another hockey Schtick paper isn’t enough to give me blog energy.  So the Air Vent languishes nearly unused.

Climate wars continue on but where is the fun in discovering yet another exaggerated conclusion in the latest, soon to be forgotten, climate publication.   I hope readers recognize that this era will go down in history as a dark time for climate science, rather than the progressive awakening that the populist text-messaging public perceives.  Bunch of morons IMHO.   A dark and ugly anti-scientific time, not that dissimilar from our ancestors whom we mock for believing in a flat Earth.    The vocal skeptics will not be seen in high regard either, for those who look deep enough in history to even find us.   Not because we aren’t already proven right but rather because we don’t have a big enough footprint on history to make an impact.   Mabye we could make a dent with a few billion $$ though.

I just wonder how people see the world sometimes.  Blank minds with full shopping carts is a terrible way to travel life.  In the end, the lack of understanding makes no difference to the climate.  Fortunately the populist masses, so intent on painted faux-images of a perfect green world, won’t be overheating their neurons to make decisions that actually change the weather and can rather waste their time burning their brains on the latest fads politicians and media dream up like corn powered cars, sex scandals and diet pills.


Posted in Uncategorized | 32 Comments »

Just in — Fletch outed as anonymous reviewer in Environmental Research Letters

Posted by Jeff Id on May 16, 2014

Steve McIntyre highlighted a response from the Institute of Physics (Publsihers of Environmental Research Letters) to a UK Times article reporting the suppression of a global warming paper submitted by Dr. Bengtsson.  A paper which again attempted to document the less than supportive evidence observed temperatures provide for climate models.  The paper was written by a well known climate scientist who chose the unfortunate path of publishing TRUTH rather than Real Climate dogma necessary for success in today’s Climate Science™ field.

The article caught my attention because the reasons given for rejection are wholly unscientific and truly indefensible yet they are expressed as boldly as can be.   No really!  The author of the reply, Dr. Nicola Gulley, literally used the actual bold herself:

Summarising, the simplistic comparison of ranges from AR4, AR5, and Otto et al, combined with the statement they are inconsistent is less then helpful, actually it is harmful as it opens the door for oversimplified claims of “errors” and worse from the climate sceptics media side.

I am literally gobsmacked by the comment.

The reason Nicola Gully highlights for rejection is unique.  Even though numerous papers showing the like have been suppressed,  apparently everyone is already aware by now of the massive failures of climate models to represent observed temperatures, so observing said failure in a journal is NOT innovative enough.

“As the referees report states, ‘The overall innovation of the manuscript is very low.’ This means that the study does not meet ERL’s requirement for papers to significantly advance knowledge of the field.”

Since models have obviously failed, someone should phone Gavin Schmidt.

If you live in a climate cave, here is an example of models vs temperature (failure) — exhibit # 1,134,207.   McIntyre et blog: observed temp trend is shown as the red line.



We are promised the potential for more enlightening reviews in the coming days but in the meantime, this quoted section from a rejection review gives much for consideration:

One cannot and should not simply interpret the IPCCs ranges for AR4 or 5 as confidence intervals or pdfs and hence they are not directly comparable to observation based intervals (as e.g. in Otto et al).

In the same way that one cannot expect a nice fit between observational studies and the CMIP5 models

So models and observations are not to be compared.   Got that folks!! STOP EXPECTING CLIMATE MODELS TO MATCH ACTUAL OBSERVATIONS YOU IDIOTS!  Clearly the gufuflesmirts, pdfs and johnson rods are not congruent with the michleson factor!!!  Any MORON knows that!

What a riot.

Apparently the lead editor is unable to parse that kind of high tech review himself so, well, um….

We will stay tuned in the coming days for the continuing saga as yet another climate scientist experiences public flogging for noting that modeled temperature trends are not consistent and way over observations.

The whole episode remided me of Chevy Chase in Fletch:

Willy: What the hell you need ball bearings for?
Fletch: Awww, come on guys, it’s so simple. Maybe you need a refresher course.
[leans arm on hot engine part]
Fletch: Hey! It’s all ball bearings nowadays. Now you prepare that Fetzer valve with some 3-in-1 oil and some gauze pads. And I’m gonna need ’bout ten quarts of anti-freeze, preferably Prestone. No, no make that Quaker State.



For those who think this comparison is over the top.  Noted Climate modeler and mathematician Gavin Shmidt this year authored a truly silly paper where he compared observations to climate models.  Unlike Bengtsson, his paper was published even though it included the following opposite and scientifically unsupportable claim:

We see no indication, however, that transient climate response is systematically overestimated in the CMIP5 climate models as has been speculated, or that decadal variability across the ensemble of models is systematically underestimated, although at least some individual models probably fall short in this respect.

Compare that to our quote highlighted above:

In the same way that one cannot expect a nice fit between observational studies and the CMIP5 models






Posted in Uncategorized | 37 Comments »

Interpretations of Propaganda

Posted by Jeff Id on May 15, 2014

A Gallup poll reported recently the percentage of people who believe in global warming and the impact on their lives.



It’s interesting that the lowest point for the dark green line occurs in early 2010, right after climategate.   People seem smart enough to recognize the basic physics of global warming, and some appear blindly susceptible to the fear mongering when it involves people hurting the environment.  Considering that we have seen no global warming since 1998, it is impressive that 11% more people are afraid of serious effects to their lives than in 1998 when the first poll was recorded.

They must think that the thermometer records are a an evil Koch brother plot or something.   I don’t know, it is impossible to make any sense out of what people think sometimes.

The good news is it only cost approximately a half trillion dollars to change those opinions.  By that estimate, we can pass 50 percent fear-for-life for only another 637 billion and a supermajority of 66% for only 1.36 trillion dollars!

Money well spent I say!






Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

What is it with “journalism” these days?

Posted by Jeff Id on May 11, 2014

Fabius Maximus wrote a post about the tea party which disparaged the Air Vent crowd.   Apparently we are tribal and all you guys must belong to the tea party.

Comments frequently remind me of this. I posted a comment the skeptics at Jeff Condon’s The Air Vent about the benefits of properly citing the source of graphics. Amazingly, the folks there disagreed. ““I don’t think references add much credibility.” After all, “climate scientists make plenty of errors on blogs just like the rest of us.” Worth a read of their tribal reactions.”

He literally took the sentence: “I don’t think references add much credibility to correlation sorted paleoclimatology.” to “I don’t think references add much credibility”.   And called it amazing that I disagreed with the need to cite.  It looks like Fabius will be interviewing for MSNBC this week.

This is the same individual who stopped by critiquing my copy-pasted reference to a chart I borrowed from WUWT, made several odd claims on a variety of subjects both politics and science, and several obscure claims about climate scientists — all without references.


It’s somewhat similar to the incidence of fake quotes so often found on conservative’s websites.

This is not often found in the work of climate scientists, who tend to be careful about selecting and citing sources.

Anyway, I left a rough comment for him at his obviously superior “journalism” blog, perhaps he deserves a few friends.


More interestingly, I had fun this weekend at the folks house.   This is my son driving the lawn tractor (blades off of course) for the first time.  We were returning from dumping about our 10th load of leaves.  He was pretty serious about it!





Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments »

Hot News for Temperatures

Posted by Jeff Id on May 7, 2014

Anthony Watts made a rather extraordinary announcement on his blog WUWT (AKA the center of the internet).   It has the potential to initiate a necessary change to climate science at its foundation, because if he is correct in his assertion, measured warming trends in the US and ostensibly globally have been overstated.  I see his claims as revolutionary, which is a pretty strong word, because they have the potential to change much of our understanding about global warming science.  To make my case, lets start first with what climate science doesn’t disagree with:

Adjustments to trends:


Click for graph source – Source Data: NOAA USHCN V2.5 data


WARNING –  While climate science created these well-known corrections, these are the same adjustments that Lewandowsky labeled me a conspiracy theorist in a published psychology paper for acknowledging their existence. Be careful in discussing this NOAA generated data as it might get you diagnosed with a personality disorder in a “highly regarded” international psychology journal…… or maybe even a tax audit…


An accurate plot of adjustments from Nick Stokes from comments below:


The Y axis is actually Deg C rather than F

A link to Nick’s post and code to generate the graph is here:



More seriously, these are known adjustments to the thermometers deemed necessary by climate science in order to accurately depict US temperatures.  They are right from the US thermometer data, right from the USHCN website.  The adjustments may be accurate and necessary and after the thermometers are corrected, they are held out by climate science as an excellent representation of actual temperature trends.  Until the last few years, we had no true knowledge as to how accurate the corrected trends are.  Before we go too far though, the corrections often seem quite reasonable, yet there is some conflict with satellite and radiosonde (balloon measurements).   I’ve always been uncertain of their veracity.

On other matters, we also know with certainty that climate models run too hot when compared to these adjusted observations.  That said, some of the deeply ensconced climate alarmist types in the mainstream of the climate field have still failed to admit what is painfully obvious at this point, while other main stream types have moved off message to make corrections to the models.  Basically my own really obvious “certainty” is still being argued with in ridiculous fashion in some die-hard corners of the climate science field.


This graph above is from Dr. Roy Spencer’s blog and it shows the trends of ground temps vs modeled temps.   In fairness, some of the more vocal climate scientists didn’t like this plot because of the start point Dr. Spencer chose, but the argument they made is complete nonsense as the SLOPE of the observations is the key and it is statistically much lower than the slope of the modeled data.  Quite a few papers are published now stating this well-known fact in more statistically complete fashion, so this graph is not by any means a stand alone article to be critiqued out of existence by an inconvenient starting point.  I often say that stats usually just tell you what you can already see in the data and normal people see models running ahead of observations.

I used this version for my argument today because Roy’s plot includes both surface temperatures (HadCRUT4) and satellite lower troposphere temperatures UAH.  It is important because the satellite temperatures are lagging behind the ground thermometer observations (slightly) and the land-based portion of the surface thermometers are the point of Anthony Watts research.   The following statement and graph really caught my attention and are what prompted this post.  If you are reading this blog, it will probably catch yours. In particular, note the following statement and the 3 subtitles in the plot below:

Our findings show that trend is indeed affected, not only by siting, but also by adjustments:




Biasing the record

Why is that a big deal?    Because it is extraordinary to find a statistically differentiable signal difference in a large group of temperature stations.  Now I need to preface that statement with – stations that are not pre-selected for items which would knowingly bias their record.   What Anthony Watts et. al. have done is rank temperature stations by pre-defined criteria, for the singular purpose of comparing data having different levels of human or environmental influence over their record.   Anthony Watts biased the record by separating high and low quality stations!

So lets consider for a moment what this says…. Stations with minimal influence (Class 1 & 2) show a much lower trend than stations with known influences.   The difference is extreme — they show half of the trend of the temperature corrected result.  That claim alone is frankly — huge.

Nick Stokes, a known skeptic abuser and technically adept blogger, wrote what I found to be a very compelling post that showed historic temperatures for the entire globe can be estimated reliably by as few as 60 temperature stations.  Although the post and math were very cool, the result isn’t technically that surprising.   What it shows quite clearly though, is that no matter which 60 stations you choose, you end up with very similar results.

Except apparently when Anthony Watts chooses the stations.

Not possible!

From Nick’s entertaining demonstration, and from the mainstream climate science claims that homogenized corrected temperatures are accurate, it should be nearly impossible to choose less influenced stations by objective criteria and come to a significantly different trend than the homogenized result.   But what Anthony Watts has demonstrated before and restated in a blog about coming work is that he has done exactly that.    Data from the least influenced, and therefore the best possible thermometers, is dramatically lower than the homogenized land temperature trends that nearly everyone in climate science use in their publications.

What is more, in Anthony’s previous work, he and his coauthors demonstrated a significant correlation between station quality and trend.   The better the station sighting, the lower the trend.   This is actually common sense in the weather industry as nearly every human influence to a local environment creates local warming effects.  From adding blacktop, air conditioner outlets, blocking airflow with buildings, concrete runways on and on, progress almost always creates local increases in temperature which influences reading of individual thermometers.  Other changes can shift temperatures cooler or warmer, such as station movement or changing the time of observation.   None of the local warming/cooling effects are controversial from my reading, but all of these sorts of problems are what homogenization of temperature stations is supposed to correct for.

Now Anthony’s previous work was roundly critiqued by people for certain shortcomings.   Climate science is highly politicized so many of the critiques were unfounded and even truly wrongfooted attacks based on result rather than true scientific problems but Anthony took them seriously and has apparently come back with an improved version having again similar results which directly address previous issues.  Instead of reducing the differences or limiting the difference between mainstream temperature publications and his result, the corrections have reinforced the previous results.

Future critics of Anthony’s work can make the claim that he has made some error, or somehow his choice of station quality is biased in some unknown way, and they in fact have done those things in the past. However, these stations are classified by outside influence and it is extremely unlikely that an “error” would result in a continuous (or nearly continuous) reduction of trend from class 5 to class 1 stations.   How could an error in the work produce such controlled results?  It doesn’t seem to be a reasonable claim.   To top it all off, Anthony’s result just seems like common sense.  Stations not influenced by buildings or air conditioners, or movements, or time of observation, produce lower trends.

To be clear again, I am not advocating for Anthony’s result, I haven’t read it.  I don’t know it.   What I do know, and what I am saying is that there should be NO significant differences if the station quality was properly corrected for in mainstream ground temperature series.  Either a gross error was made which is very unlikely as critiques have already been flown and addressed, or we have identified a big problem in land based temperature measurement.

The early reaction

Thus far we have only a bit of commentary on the results from the BEST Berkeley data group, and it isn’t at all encouraging.   I am hoping, and expecting, to see a group of more open minds look deeply into this in the future because Anthony Watt’s surface station project is the most thorough look anyone has ever taken at the quality of the temperature data being recorded.   The results are dramatically different from our current understanding of temperature trends and that is what non-political science is about, understanding.

If these truly revolutionary claims are correct, and scientifically in a multi-billion dollar field they are revolutionary claims, the global temperature trends (observations) are likely higher lower than shown in Figure 2 HadCRUT4 above and climate model projections are trending warmer than observations by even more than we already know.  A proper, coldly scientific review is necessary and it will mean a full audit of global temperature stations if we ever hope to make truly predictive climate models.

There is much more to write, I just hope that not just normal scientists, but mainstream global warming science takes a hard look at what this study is claiming in the near future.  The good news for Anthony Watts is that if he is correct, ignoring the result will only delay the inevitable outcome as the cold science of temperature measurement will certainly prove stronger than a multi-billion dollar political movement.





Posted in Uncategorized | 82 Comments »

Climate Today

Posted by Jeff Id on April 21, 2014

Time, time, we can’t get more time.   The climate grinds though on with or without our opinions.   Rather thoughtless of it to ignore what we think, at least in my opinion, but I suppose that is the point, or perhaps that it should be the point.   Still, people feel the need to insert their opinions in the face of climate, even when it is in conflict with climate itself.  It is as though the self-absorbed belief in the reality of their opinions trumps the reality of climate.   Climate change is real… it has always been real.  The earth warms, cools and was even a ball of lava at one time.   If we look far enough into the future, we can even see a time when the Earth becomes a superheated ball of solar plasma.

Still, our vaunted science has made the decision for us that today’s global temperature is perfect for us.   Those who made this decision are climate scientists.  Global citizens who hold themselves out to be experts in many fields, climate science, economics, government policy, energy generation, food production, ocean chemistry, computer programming, statistics, are among the most common.   These powerful individuals have established certain facts of science, which are indisputable, and utilized them to both predict disaster and recommend a future path to salvation for the entire human race.

As both Goliaths and Galileo’s of science, they see themselves as the brightest points of light, the Gaian Illuminati, those who fight against corrupted human forces for the greater environmental good.   Humanity slowly is bending to their will, following the growing outcry step by step.   The soft words of hope against the harsh reality of basic science hypnotizing them into belief that we must change as a species, and we must do it now.  But there is a disease in the movement, a not-so-subtle disease which is corrupting the message to the people, and the science.   The disease is the same disease the Gaian Illuminati seek to eradicate, yet have contracted themselves.

Money and power

And governments are more than happy to provide them both.

It has become a symbiotic relationship, like plants which require animals to create CO2 and animals which require plants to split the CO2 and release the O2, climate scientists cannot survive without government, and government needs climate science to promote its own growth.  It started in a not so subtle way, with research, then committees, then whole governmental divisions who’s whole purpose is to study climate.  First those groups made recommendations for more study, and the formation of additional subgroups.  Eventually, minor rule making was added to address the groups findings.   This pressed into whole rule-making bodies who’s sole existence was to make recommendations for regulations on industry with the premise that it would somehow help climate change.  Simultaneously, these groups continued to make more recommendations for expanded research and funding. Today, the rule making has expanded until centralized global governmental control of energy production is in sight, and we would have to willfully ignore the history to believe that stopping with energy production is a reasonable conclusion.

The corruption of the system has progressed beyond the merely palpable.  It has bent to the point where conflicting opinions are actively suppressed and misrepresentation of observed data has literally become commonplace amongst the most famous but only where it promotes the cause.   The computer climate models which started with the best intentions, have fallen wildly short of expectations, or rather observed warming has fallen well short of the models, yet our vaunted, world-powerful climate scientists have become unwilling to admit even that painfully obvious discrepancy.

Then there are those who have the gall to write against this powerful climate industry.   Because that is what climate science is.  A smog-belching, economy-sucking, rule-making, profit-taking industry.


Opening ceremony of the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.

The sheer size of the thing should be enough to give pause, yet growth is the continued agenda, and nothing, including reality, will get in the way of this steamroller’s industrial goals.   Imagine the money to fly these people in, to pay the hotels, food, hall rental, the fuel, annual salaries, education, phone bills. Worse, these people make no product.   No net output of value comes from this group of near-universally overpriced individuals.  No output which can be trusted, believed or even parsed by a normal human is generated from the science or government organizations you see in that picture.   That statement is generally true, no matter which argument they are making. It is too corrupted with nonsense and unrelated agendas, and it is therefore very, very expensive, not because of the plane tickets, but because of the rules they demand from their subjects.   Rules as a genuflection to their beliefs, not their science, but a mash of pro-governmental and anti-industrial climate goals.

Because at the root, taxation is their food, nutrients, power, and hope for the future of their industry.  The best colleges, the most influence, the best jobs.  They need your fear to get your taxes, and whether the root-level minions know it, or admit to it, the leaders are certainly very clear on this.


Belief is the core of the cause.   Belief that any observed change of the Earth is not only caused by human activity, but is absolutely a bad thing.   Many of us wonder about the magnitude of change caused by CO2 emission, and many wonder whether the changes will create floods or hurricanes, but there is little help for understanding these or other potential consequences from the field of climate science.  Though there is plenty of scientific ‘opinion’ in the literature, the fluff and exaggeration is literally impossible to parse.

I sometimes wonder just how do they know our current global temperature is perfect?  I have seen no study which reasonably demonstrates that our current climate is truly ideal.   It seems extraordinarily unlikely to me that we were born into a perfect climate which could never change for the better in either direction.  Still, from ice ages we know with certainty, that colder is very, VERY bad for people in general.  If 6 degrees colder is so bad, how can it be so certain that only two degrees warmer is going to result in destruction.    As a general concept, it seems extremely unlikely that we have achieved the perfect balance of temperature, and an extraordinary claim such as that, should require extraordinary proof.   Yet we have none but opinion of experts to guide us in this matter.   Not science, just opinion.  And that opinion flies in the face of common sense observation of colder vs warmer climates right here on our planet.

The change is too fast they say – belief not science.

The change is crossing thresholds they claim – belief not science.

We must use green energy – belief not science

We must avoid fossil fuels – belief not science

Climate models match observation – belief not science

I will stop there because the examples are truly endless and the evidence that belief trumps all in the climate industry stares us in the face.   From anti-nuclear rhetoric to authoritarian government promotion, all the symptoms of the disease of tobacco industry style industrial corruption are exhibited.   Politics and nonsense have trumped common sense and reality.  Science has taken a necessary back seat to results, and those who wish to be most successful in the field provide the most sensationalist claims.

All for the cause.

It was a proud day when I told mom that a group of psychologists on another continent had intentionally misrepresented my opinions in order to discredit me.   It is just another very clear symptom of a greater disease that such activities are considered reasonable and allowed through a review process.

Where will it end

In short, I don’t know, but I do have a tiny piece of understanding which I learned from industry that I like to tell people in paraphrase.   Businesses in general are very tough things to break.     They can be bent, twisted and redirected, but will fight very hard when survival is the requirement.   Climategate, as big and obvious as it was, barely touched the climate industry.   Not because it wasn’t horribly embarrassing, and not because it didn’t expose corruption, but rather because it did not affect funding of the scientists involved.     Even the specific individuals involved, continued on their previous paths as though nothing had happened.  The media capitulated to pressure from the climate industry and failed to report the real issues.  But most importantly, the willing governments continued and even expanded the money flow.

Yet observations continue to defy prediction and lag ever farther behind models, some in the field are making corrections for the problem while simultaneously denying the problem even exists.  The very existence of the problem represents a condition that is impossible to rectify in the context of science yet again makes perfect sense in politics.

Perhaps it is for wiser minds than myself to visualize the future of this industry, but in general it looks pretty bleak and unstoppable to me.

Addendum – because it happened

I made the mistake of turning on Bill Maher (for the first time in my life) while writing this and just learned from a man on the panel that we need 6 garbage cans in our houses to save the planet.   He literally said 6 and the audience loudly applauded.   None of them apparently know about the industrial sorting of garbage in developed countries with only one garbage can

But they do know what they believe.





Posted in Uncategorized | 57 Comments »

Clarification of Understanding

Posted by Jeff Id on April 11, 2014

From WUWT and Frontiers of Psychology – a further clarification of the retraction.    I made it clear in my complaint that it didn’t seem ethical to identify and attack people in a scientific journal – after reading their code of ethics documents – and it seems others did the same.   Besides the basic ethics rationalization for retraction, I note that Frontiers left this in the middle of the paper below:

because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization.

So they have identified themselves as sympathetic believers in a field now more akin to religion than science.   It was clearly done to let everyone know they are still on the send-us-checks and don’t-boycott-us team.  As to the rest of the content, I’m less impressed now with their reaction than I was previously.   The journal clearly doesn’t recognize just how dysfunctional they have become when the reason for retraction of a hack and slash blogpost disguised as a paper, is because names were used and nothing to do with its otherwise unscientific nature.

Anyway – here it is in full:

Rights of Human Subjects in Scientific Papers

The retracted Recursive Fury paper has created quite a blogger and twitter storm. A sensational storm indeed, with hints to conspiracy theories, claims of legal threats and perceived contradictions. It has been fury – one of the strongest human emotions – that has (perhaps understandably at first sight) guided the discussion around this retraction. Not surprisingly though, the truth is not as sensational and much simpler.

The studied subjects were explicitly identified in the paper without their consent. It is well acknowledged and accepted that in order to protect a subject’s rights and avoid a potentially defamatory outcome, one must obtain the subject’s consent if they can be identified in a scientific paper. The mistake was detected after publication, and the authors and Frontiers worked hard together for several months to try to find a solution. In the end, those efforts were not successful. The identity of the subjects could not be protected and the paper had to be retracted. Frontiers then worked closely with the authors on a mutually agreed and measured retraction statement to avoid the retraction itself being misused. From the storm this has created, it would seem we did not succeed.

For Frontiers, publishing the identities of human subjects without consent cannot be justified in a scientific paper. Some have argued that the subjects and their statements were in the public domain and hence it was acceptable to identify them in a scientific paper, but accepting this will set a dangerous precedent. With so much information of each of us in the public domain, think of a situation where scientists use, for example, machine learning to cluster your public statements and attribute to you personality characteristics, and then name you on the cluster and publish it as a scientific fact in a reputable journal. While the subjects and their statements were public, they did not give their consent to a public psychological diagnosis in a scientific study. Science cannot be abused to specifically label and point out individuals in the public domain.

It is most unfortunate that this particular incident was around climate change, because climate change is a very serious threat for human civilization. But the importance of the subject matter does not justify abandoning our principles.

Frontiers’ core mission is to improve peer review. One principle that we follow is that scientific publishing should sit in the hands of scientists. Frontiers implements this principle by supporting scientists to operate the peer-review process from the beginning to the end. Frontiers remains faithful to this mission, despite the risks that comes with it. We will stay the course because we fundamentally believe that authors should bear the full responsibility of submitting papers with the highest standards and that scientists should bear the full responsibility of deciding what science is published. After publication, the community is engaged and a post-publication review naturally follows. Post-publication review is facilitated by the Frontiers’ commenting and social networking platforms. This process may reveal fundamental errors or issues that go against principles of scholarly publishing. Like all other journals, Frontiers seriously investigates any well-founded complaints or allegations, and retraction only happens in cases of absolute necessity and only after extensive analysis. For the paper in question, the issue was clear, the analysis was exhaustive, all efforts were made to work with the authors to find a solution and we even worked on the retraction statement with the authors. But there was no moral dilemma from the start – we do not support scientific publications where human subjects can be identified without their consent.
Henry Markram
Editor-in-Chief, Frontiers

Posted in Uncategorized | 36 Comments »

Adults in the room?

Posted by Jeff Id on April 6, 2014

Several blogs are already carrying the comment by the journal Frontiers of Science, which appears to be in response to Lewandowsky et ilk’s even-wilder-than-the-paper claims of having their rights suppressed.

(Lausanne, Switzerland) – There has been a series of media reports concerning the recent retraction of the paper Recursive Fury:Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to research on conspiracist ideation, originally published on 18 March 2013 in Frontiers in Psychology. Until now, our policy has been to handle this matter with discretion out of consideration for all those concerned. But given the extent of the media coverage – largely based on misunderstanding – Frontiers would now like to better clarify the context behind the retraction.

As we published in our retraction statement, a small number of complaints were received during the weeks following publication. Some of those complaints were well argued and cogent and, as a responsible publisher, our policy is to take such issues seriously. Frontiers conducted a careful and objective investigation of these complaints. Frontiers did not “cave in to threats”; in fact, Frontiers received no threats. The many months between publication and retraction should highlight the thoroughness and seriousness of the entire process.

As a result of its investigation, which was carried out in respect of academic, ethical and legal factors, Frontiers came to the conclusion that it could not continue to carry the paper, which does not sufficiently protect the rights of the studied subjects. Specifically, the article categorizes the behaviour of identifiable individuals within the context of psychopathological characteristics. Frontiers informed the authors of the conclusions of our investigation and worked with the authors in good faith, providing them with the opportunity of submitting a new paper for peer review that would address the issues identified and that could be published simultaneously with the retraction notice.

The authors agreed and subsequently proposed a new paper that was substantially similar to the original paper and, crucially, did not deal adequately with the issues raised by Frontiers.

We remind the community that the retracted paper does not claim to be about climate science, but about psychology. The actions taken by Frontiers sought to ensure the right balance of respect for the rights of all.

One of Frontiers’ founding principles is that of authors’ rights. We take this opportunity to reassure our editors, authors and supporters that Frontiers will continue to publish – and stand by – valid research. But we also must uphold the rights and privacy of the subjects included in a study or paper.

Frontiers is happy to speak to anyone who wishes to have an objective and informed conversation about this. In such a case, please contact the Editorial Office at

This statement is in stark contrast to some other Lewandowsky’s claims (rants) which are now known to be complete fabrications:

The strategies employed in those attacks follow a common playbook, regardless of which scientific proposition is being denied and regardless of who the targeted scientists are: There is cyber-bullying and public abuse by “trolling” (which recent research has linked to sadism); there is harassment by vexatious freedom-of-information (FOI) requests; there are the complaints to academic institutions; legal threats; and perhaps most troubling, there is the intimidation of journal editors and publishers who are acting on manuscripts that are considered inconvenient.

Lewandowsky seems posses a singular ability to ignore evidence which does not support his worldview.  I’m no psycho-ologist but it seems clear that his simplified reality is a shelter for him, where he can exist as a white-hat good guy and throw rocks at those who don’t fit his model.

It seems to me that Lewandowsky is dangerously deep in his own imaginations of conspiracy.  How far will a man go who has written several articles to the point with no visible evidence to back his claims up.  In his recent rant, he made the even more ridiculous point that nobody has made a “scholarly” critique of his articles.  The same articles Lewandowsky, and his journal,  recently and consistently have refused to give others any access to the data he alleges created the paper.

UWA Vice Chancellor Johnson Refuses Data Again Again

They even called Steve McIntyre unbalanced in their refusal.  Even one with Lewandowsky’s limitations must recognize that he cannot be addressed in science, if he refuses access to his secret data.  Data which allegedly was used to conclude that many of my favorite scientists, engineers and climate professionals are conspiracy theorists. 

I mean really, this scientist is claiming that his paper is un-critiqued, while simultaneously refusing data to the people who would critique it.

I have to be careful here, or he will assume that I am saying he illegitimately adjusted the data to produce a trend and publish another whacko paper referencing me, in the last continent which will have him.   I wouldn’t put it past him one bit to tweak the data himself illegitimately, but his methodology is so skewed that the data doesn’t require tweaking to achieve his result.   It only needs a few crazy answers created by “internet people” –having fun.  Take it from a blogger, internet people are crazy!!  :D

Not as crazy as Lewandowsky though.

Still, Anthony Watts had the right title for his article: Journal takes Lewandowsky and his supporters to task on ‘threats’ over retracted ‘Recursive Fury’ paper.

It seems to me that the Journal, seeing the continuing ridiculous comments by Lewandowsky and many of his internet advocates, was compelled by the extreme inaccuracy and childish behavior of the authors, to set the record straight. I unreservedly applaud them for taking that step, it restores a modicum of their own credibility in my eyes, yet I am still left with questions:

How did that kind of blatant character attack paper get published in a “scientific” journal in the first place? 

Does the journal recognize this as an obvious symptom of internal problems?

Will the journal take the necessary self-examination steps required to correct the problem for the long term?









Posted in Uncategorized | 47 Comments »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 140 other followers