the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

How a Scientific Integrity Act Could Shift the Global Warming Debate

Posted by Jeff Id on November 23, 2010

This is the first guest post I received.  It looks like several others have volunteered over the next few days.  My thanks to everyone planning to help out.

Jeff

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By Sean M O’Brien

Up until now, peer review has been held up as the gold standard in scientific discourse. Recent developments in the climate science arena, such as Climategate, have led many to conclude that peer review is not all that it is cracked up to be. Having said that, peer review may well be perfectly adequate as a scientific standard when the issues in debate are the mating habits of squirrels. However, if the issue in debate is whether or not trillions of dollars should be spent combating global warming, perhaps a new more rigorous standard should be applied.

I propose that henceforth, five levels of scientific rigour be defined. In brief, they are Level zero which is grey literature from advocacy organisations such as the WWF. Level one, which is the current peer review process. Level two, which I will call replicatable, is the current peer review process but with mandatory archiving of data and software code within six months of publication. Level three, which I will call audited, is where an authoritative body of some sort holds a competition on the internet to “find something wrong” with the calculations in the paper with a prize for any independent researcher who can find incorrect calculations. Level four is what I will call Cross Examined and is where the paper in question is deemed so important that, a full scale “internet trial” is conducted. You can think of it as a Scopes Monkey Trial of the researchers and their paper by competent legal personnel advised by scientists. It would mainly consist of oral testimony but with anyone on the internet free to comment and interject in any forum they wish. Naturally these comments can inform the questions put to the researchers.

The main effect of this idea would be to shift the public debate to a new level. Instead of the phrase “the science is peer reviewed” being used to silence sceptics, the phrase “the science is only at level 1” would be used to prompt debate.

What is needed to give this idea teeth is a law. Let us call it the Scientific Integrity Act. Let me focus the discussion from here forward on the United States as most people from around the world will be familiar with how the process of government operates there. The key thing about the Scientific Integrity act is that it should place a limit of the amount of government spending and / or related industry and consumer costs, that can be legislated for based on the level at which the science is at. To take an example. Level 1 science, would not be allowed to justify any government spending or imposed costs. Level two science might perhaps justify $10 million dollars of government spend and $50 million of imposed costs and so on. Needless to say, any proposal with trillion dollar price tags would need level four science to justify it.

Another facet of the law would be that researchers in receipt of a federal grant have to designate their research paper as being at a particular level. In order to encourage realistic assessments of papers by their authors, a penalty system would be included that would operate like this. If a researcher designates their paper as a level three, then should an independent researcher find something wrong with the maths, the funding agency who funded the study would pay a fee to the independent researcher. The fee would be the equivalent of the cost of producing the paper. Naturally a funding agency that got hit as a result of the sloppy mathematics of a researcher would be less likely to fund more bad science by the researcher.

So the big question is of course how would level four scientific papers be selected. I see it working like this. Any government agencies, or legislators, that wish to propose laws based on science, have to nominate ten scientific papers to be assessed at level 4. One would hope they would pick the ten best papers, but just in case, there would be a provision for a minority of legislators in the relevant legislature to substitute five of them. IE if the majority in a 100 seat legislature propose some legislation and nominate 10 papers, then a grouping of 20 legislators would have the right to substitute five of them for other papers.

I would not see anyone sitting in judgment on level four papers. Remember in order to get to Level four, they will already have been audited at Level three so the math will be correct or at least defensible. Rather I would see questioning both orally and via written submissions of researchers as to why they made particular decisions and interpretations. This information would then be available on the web to anyone and the preponderance of scientific opinion and comment would influence legislators to vote for or against the legislation.

Let us consider a hypothetical example. Supposing a researcher decided to use a non-standard mathematical technique that had the effect of producing a particular shape for plotted data even if random number were fed into it. Then, if the researcher tried to defend this notion on the stand, one would expect that the legal teams questioning him would expose this and that the legislators would spot this for what it was. (Then again, one would hope that the paper in question would not have made it past level three in any case.)

Some people, especially AGW believers, may view this proposal as being expensive, both in terms of cost and in that it would delay much needed action. I would maintain the opposite. Currently billions are being spent to persuade an increasingly sceptical public that the world is about to fry and despite the billions, legislative attempts to curb carbon emissions have stalled in most countries across the world. The cheapest and fastest way to get action would be to simply put the top ten research papers that prove the AGW hypothesis through a level four Scopes Monkey type trial.

If the science emerges unscathed from this process, then I for one can see myself persuaded. I suspect that many other sceptics, as opposed to contrarians, would similarly be persuaded. So let us issue the challenge to the AGW community. Name your top ten papers and let’s put them on trial.

With regard to how to progress this idea, I would suggest three things.

Firstly, someone or somebody should do an audit of all the scientific papers referenced in the IPCC reports to see if they are at level one or two. Level two remember is where the data and code is released within six months of the publication of the paper. Perhaps a project similar to Surfacestations.org might be the way to go. Given what I read on the various sceptic climate blogs, I suspect that little enough of the science would make it to level two. As an aside, Donna LaFramboise already did a similar audit looking for grey literature references across one of the IPCC reports and found that 35% of the references were level zero. Imagine the change in discourse if one could confidently say that most of the science in IPCC 4 is level zero or one.

Secondly shift the debate. When discussing the issue with friends or in the media, explain the levels and ask them would they think it reasonable that the science behind a measure that will cost billions should be subject to a certain amount of scrutiny.

And finally, all those Republican controlled state legislatures across America should put forward a Scientific Integrity act in their state. Given the power balance federally there would be no point in introducing the act federally at this time. However, a couple of state legislatures enacting a Scientific Integrity bill would put huge pressure on the AGW community to nominate the top ten papers and put them on trial.


142 Responses to “How a Scientific Integrity Act Could Shift the Global Warming Debate”

  1. Thank you, Sean, for trying to address the root problem.

    I am personally aware of manipulation and distortion of experimental data and publications ever since Eisenhower’s 1961 warning about the dangers of a government-funded “scientific-technological elite”

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  2. Greg. Cavanagh said

    This sounds like a feasible and excellent beginning for a great idea. Science the world over really needs a kick in the pants to bring forth the science into the public domain.

    It doesn’t need laws behind it though. A law is only relevant to a specific country, whereas AGW is prominently English and US centric. It needs the science magazines and societies to come together to form a science library global in scope.

    I will put forth the Australian Standards Association as a pre-eminent example of how it could work at no public funds cost, but accessible to everybody who wants access to the documents from anywhere. http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/

    Instead of levels as you propose, it could operate more as a progression of acceptance and importance. A new paper submitted would come in on the ground floor and be filed as per any library entry. People purchasing the document and reading it for themselves would feed back questions to the author. Answers could be submitted where appropriate, or redactions/alterations made where mistakes are uncovered.

    Depending on the importance of the document, it could be advanced in status within the library to form a core science set. Likely this would be a math and physics heavy set as it is the fundamental basis for other research on top of previous understanding.

    I’m not comfortable with the idea of documentaries and grey literature being part of the library. These are basically opinion pieces, which while interesting, I don’t believe belong in such a library. There are plenty of blogs and magazines which can fill this role.

  3. greg2213 said

    A tiered “peer review” would certainly get rid of all those “it’s worse than we thought!” papers.

  4. Mike Jowsey said

    I like the concept. Well thought out, Sean. It certainly merits further discussion. I have forwarded excerpts of and a link to this article to one of the sceptical politicians here in New Zealand. May I suggest other readers do something similar?

  5. Dr. J. Marvin Herndon also has good suggestions for fixing the system [American Science Decline: The Cause and Cure]

    http://nuclearplanet.com/Anerican%20Science%20Decline.html

  6. Brian H said

    Oh, I like this very much. As for laws, I think having any major government pass law requiring this would be enough. Its rankings would swiftly become the de facto world gold standard.

  7. anna v said

    Well, I think the malaise is deeper than the peer review system and the link by Oliver K Manuel above has a larger analysis, including the whole scientific process, but the cures suggested there seem to me not to address the problems.

    I believe the basic problem arouse with the centralized funding that took away the power from institutions and universities and gave it to the elected by government bureaucracy officials under the anonymous peer review mechanism. Bureaucrats need peer review. Scientists in a field are the peers and need no peer review to understand a paper.

    Before this centralization of funding, research was funded by universities and maybe by some industry or magnanimous contributors. This had some drawbacks but it did allow for competition in science because no one viewpoint could be imposed the world over. Before the internet, even centralized funding had the opportunity of creating competition among countries. Now with communications being what they are and administrative courses common, the bureaucrats are in step and in power. Most of them are scientists manque with probably a chip on their shoulders for all those in the academy after all.

    Centralized funding has destroyed scientific hierarchy and has subverted institution decisions by the overhead money they get. Thus the Mann phenomenon.

    I think governments should stop funding individuals and go back to funding institutions. Institutions should distribute the funds according to internal peer review systems, which cannot be anonymous because of small numbers. Mistakes will be made,as they were always made, but the scope will be limited and there will be no fear of everybody going off like lemmings on a wrong track as AGW has done. BTW, the most quoted example, that of Lysenko, came about in an extremely centralized funding system.

  8. I agree with Anna V. The malaise is deep and poses a threat to our basic freedoms.

    Governments have been using science as a tool of propaganda. Now nobody knows how deep the problem goes nor when government scientists are telling the truth.

    It is amazing that Dwight Eisenhower recognized and tried to warn us of this danger in his farewell address on 17 Jan 1961.

    We seem to have been on a 50-year path to Climategate since then:

    1. Data on the origin of the Sun from the Allende and many other meteorites have been ignored: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1975Data.htm

    2. Data on the composition of the Sun from Apollo lunar soils were manipulated or ignored: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1983Data.htm

    3. Data from the Galileo Mission to Jupiter that confirmed solar mass fractionation were hidden: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1998Data.htm

    4. Data from the Chart of the Nuclides that revealed the source of solar luminosity, solar neutrinos, and solar-wind H are still ignored: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/2000Data.htm

    5. Climatologists avoided the historical record of the Sun’s influence on Earth’s climate.

    6. Even neutron capture cross-sections from 1957 revealed solar mass fractionation: http://www.omatumr.com/Data/2005Data.htm

    Climategate exposed a frightening international alliance behind this deception.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  9. Mark T said

    We already have laws that should keep scientific submissions, particularly those made to the US government, “honest.” Generally speaking, fraud is a crime almost everywhere. Why not simply enforce the laws already on the books? It really gets old hearing yet another cry for “there ought to be a law…” We have enough, let’s focus on using the ones we have.

    I agree with Anna V, however, that centralized (read: government) funding of “science” is the root of the problem, though I have my doubts about any government funding of science as it tends to breed results that benefit the government, not the public at large (or even science.) Maybe Anna is correct that directing funds towards institutions rather than individuals will be better, but I will always have my doubts.

    Mark

  10. Duster said

    It would be nice if this tiered process could yield acceptable results. But, if you look back to the real problems with the IPCC reports, the guidelines that were supposed to govern both editors and authors SHOULD HAVE BEEN AT LEAST AS EFFECTIVE as what Sean proposes. The basic fact is that WWF pamphlets and unreviewed research WERE NOT to be used, yet we have all found them in too many all too revealing lists of references. The rules were ignored, flouted and disregarded. When you glance back at the CRU emails, it is quite clear in the discussions archived in them, that the authors have set aside any thought of review as an error trap, or that they themselves might possibly be in error. The REAL travesty in Trenberth’s post is not his revealing complaint about missing heat; it is his assertion that the data itself must be in error – that is an assertion that should never, ever be the first thought out of scientist’s mouth. Nothing short of a empirical boot to the physical head is likely to register with such a mind set, and I have grave doubts that even that could really get through.

    My own suggestion is that if hard evidence is found that a scientist using public funds has subverted peer review, violated explicit source rules, pushed a political agenda at the expense of both the public and the integrity of the scientific process, that scientist should be required to return ALL publicly-sourced money that was not expended collecting basic data. Basic data is always useful and as such will always be a contribution to science and to public welfare. Any money spent on analysis, data “adjustment,” publication preparations and trips to meetings should be repaid to the funding sources. Requiring the return of money already spent for perks and junkets might work even better than a boot to the head. No academic institution would tolerate threats to its stability and funding.

  11. Mark T said

    I hope you realize that the IPCC is a poor example of the problem we face. Not because they failed to abide by their own rules and uphold even the loosest sense of scientific integrity; we know this to be true as has been evidenced time and again by supporters and leadership alike. No, the IPCC is a poor example purely because its true intent was never to abide by its own rules and uphold even the loosest sense of scientific integrity. Its purpose was to prove that which it needed to be true in order to aid in the march towards global economic control by the UN. The IPCC was, and is, a whitewash to hide another agenda. The IPCC is nothing more than the face of the environmentalist movement, founded by the same people no less,* which is nothing more than a means to a very simple end: control.

    The Internet and its ability to disseminate vast quantities of information to the majority of the globe with the click of a button is likely the reason the IPCC has been stalled on this task, hopefully derailed completely, but I fear we have not heard the last of it (perhaps with another name, though the IPCC and what it stands for will never truly “go away.”)

    Mark

    * the very same people that openly state their goals for world government and socialist economic policies yet, somehow, I’m the conspiracy theorist. Amazing these folks can argue as such with a straight face (er, keyboard.)

  12. Sean M O'Brien said

    Thanks for all your comments.

    I agree with many of them, particularly those with regard to the underlying problem of state funding of science. However, the world is as it is and what I am proposing are some ideas as to how it can be made to work better.

    To my mind, the key idea behind this is summarised here…

    Instead of the phrase “the science is peer reviewed” being used to silence sceptics, the phrase “the science is only at level 1” would be used to prompt debate.

    In a debate, the follow on from this is to ask anyone who is proposing expensive government action on the back of science, to “name the top five papers” that justify the spend. Once they are named, then the idea of taking say four months to rigourously examine the papers in question prior to spending the billions seems completely reasonable – especially to the non scientific public.

    Another key element to what I am proposing is that a certain number of legislators can slow down Science driven legislation by demanding a “Scopes Monkey Trial” of the science. They would not have the power to block the legistlation if the majority wished to push it through, but they would have the ability to shine a very bright light on it.

    The hope is that there will be a sufficient number of sceptical and / or scientifically literate legislators to make this possible. Having said that, if the British Parliament is anything to go by where only one MP voted against the plan to reduce Carbon Emissions by 80%, we may be out of luck.

    I would also point out that I do not underestimate the technical task of drafting a law to implement a Scientific Integrity Act. The eventual shape or a law could be very different to what is proposed here.

    Sean

  13. B.Kindseth said

    Thank you for addressing the basic issues of Climategate. The “whistleblower” who released the e-mails understood the issue when he titled the file “FOI2009.zip”. Most of the panels reviewing the climategate affair acknowledge that there was(is) a problem with the scientists involved not sharing data, methods and code. This would bring a paper up to level 2 by your criteria. I have compared journal’s criteria for documentation and proposed a strawman at: http://socratesparadox.com/?p=168

    The NSF has some ethics standards for scientific reasearch, which I address in my web stite, http://socratesparadox.com/?p=178#more-178
    Unfortunately, there are two huge loopholes that the likes of Mann were able to escape through. The first is that the institution (Penn State) does the investigation, and the second is:

    “689.2 (c) A finding of research misconduct requires that—

    (1) There be a significant departure from accepted practices of the relevant research community….”

    This is a joke.

    There is a definite need for strong standards for scientific research. With the new congress more receptive there should be a strong push for tightening the standards.

  14. Bad Andrew said

    I agree with Mark. You can make whatever law, but you need to have good people in positions of authority. If a criminal gets in a position of authority, they will use the law to hide criminal activities. We now have criminals in power. What we need are fewer laws and more honest people to enforce them.

    Andrew

  15. Jeff Id said

    When you have a mechanism designed to enforce power, it will be abused. If not by the ‘honest’ person this time than by the dishonest person next time.

    America needs more rights written into the constitution. Simple stuff like the right to eat whatever we want or the right to own and keep what we make. The more they dig in, the less we have. Small government with limited power is a pipe dream of the past, but it was better than today. I can’t believe we’re sending billions to black farmers who didn’t even have farms. I have to tell you, I sure don’t suffer from any guilt towards their plight and paying them money ain’t gonna stop em from asking for more. Just another brick in the wall. These bastard vote buying liars in congress have got to stop spending.

  16. Neil Craig said

    As somebody who gas long writtten in facopur of prizes as a far more effective method of funding technological progress I am very impressed with this. I had not previously seen how prizes could be applied to pure research.

    Step 3 here seems to be a very effective & inherently impartial way of testing by X-prize.

    I suspect CAGW & the Linear No Threshold theory would be pushing it to reach stage 1 classification.

  17. Bad Andrew said

    “When you have a mechanism designed to enforce power, it will be abused. If not by the ‘honest’ person this time than by the dishonest person next time.”

    Jeff,

    That’s why the old saying “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” Even our founding fathers felt the need for some kind of governmental power. They set up a perpetual stuggle. It was unavoidable. As citizens, it’s our responsibility to keep our government in check. It a never-ending job, yes. We have a duty to forever undertake it.

    Andrew

  18. jazznick said

    Hi, were have a little difficulty with Inquiry integrity over here.

    http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2010/11/24/holland-what-was-redacted.html

    Submissions to the Russell Inquiry appear to have been tampered with.

  19. Sean M O'Brien said

    Jeff and others,

    One of the key features of a Scientific Integrity Act would be that it would build in an additional “Check and Balance” into the legislative framework.

    As I view it, a minority of legislators would have the right to demand a “Scopes Monkey Trial” prior to legislation being enacted. Okay, the majority could force it through, but if the likes of Michael Mann could be forced to justify non standard mathematics on video, it would have the effect of shining a light and hopefully giving pause to the majority.

    It may be even that at Scientific Integrity Act could could become a Scientific Integrity Amendment and act as a long term brake on government intervention.

  20. Mark T said

    14.Jeff Id said
    November 24, 2010 at 9:41 am

    America needs more rights written into the constitution. Simple stuff like the right to eat whatever we want or the right to own and keep what we make.

    Uh, there’s actually a problem with doing this and it would be worse than what we have. The people did not need any rights written into the US Constitution in the first place. It was initially implied that everything was a right of the people unless explicitly given to the government. Yeah, if you think about it, that means the Bill of Rights, in a way, actually took away our rights. Why? Because then the people only had the rights that were explicitly outlined in the Bill of Rights and the government went about saying “well, this is not a right given to the people therefore we are not violating anything.”

    The reverse should be true, there should have been fewer rights given to the government, and those that were should have been more explicit. Interestate commerce and general welfare clauses are the first to go, IMO.

    Mark

  21. Neil Craig said

    The 10th Amendment – that anything not specificly listed as within the remit of the Federal authority isn’t – does cover that Mark.

    It is just that it is “interpreted” otherwise. No document will protect a society that doesn’t want it.

  22. Jeff Id said

    Mark and Neil,
    I have to agree with both of you. My comment was poorly worded, I was pissed off about the SF all toys left behind act.

  23. Anna V (#7) makes several important points:

    1. The malaise is deeper than the peer review system: It includes the whole scientific process.

    2. Centralized funding took away the power from institutions and universities and gave it to the elected by government bureaucracy officials under the anonymous peer review mechanism.

    3. Previously research was funded by universities and maybe by some industry or magnanimous contributors. This allowed for competition in science because no one viewpoint could be imposed the world over.

    4. Centralized funding has subverted institution decisions with overhead money.

    Perhaps governments should stop funding individuals and go back to funding institutions. I think it would be more practical to demand that the names and comments of reviewers be revealed to the authors and published with each paper.

    That would quickly bring accountability to a system that is out of control.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  24. Patrick Collins said

    Exellent proposal.
    It fits with another idea – that, in the age of the Internet, PhD candidates should record a formal Oath on video, to be stored in a public Web-based repository, as a condition of recognition of their Doctorate, which is a valuable, official recognition of scientific achievement.
    The wording would include something like: “I swear, on my honour and that of my teachers . . (named) . . and . . (name of PhD giving institution) . . to uphold the public trust of science and the scientific profession, by dedicating myself to work honestly to discover valuable truths and teach them to the world to the best of my ability . .”
    It’s only one step, but with the power of the Internet I think this could help to prevent fraud . .
    Normal human beings have a very strong sense of fair play and disapproval of cheating (as demonstrated eg in the “ultimatum game” experiments), and so requiring PhDs to make a public promise like this would be good: wrong-doing would be far more publicly humiliating.

  25. Gary said

    Conceptually this is a good idea. Passing peer-review is essentially as meaningless has holding a college diploma. It tells us nothing about the objective quality of the standard. Levels of review and verification are what is happening in higher education. Assessment of skills attained in addition to courses passed is becoming more important to accrediting bodies. Employers want to know what graduates can do, not just what they supposedly studied. So why shouldn’t the same trend happen with scientific research? Certification of all parts of an experiment/analysis should become the standard.

  26. David JP said

    Sean,

    This is an excellent proposal in my opinion. It moves the ball forward in a meaningful way, increasing the quality of publicly funded scientific research. Which is what I think we need.

    I had previously suggested here and at Curry’s that two things should be required before a new/second grant was awarded to any scientist:

    1) The study is replicated by non-affiliated independent scientists (which would be easy to do if the data/descriptions were archived properly and of high quality).

    2) The scientist replicates an external study from an unaffiliated scientist/group.

    I was trying to find a different procedure of awarding public funds that would be more likely to prevent our present calamity. I also wanted to keep this process inside the scientific community.

    Your proposal is certainly more detailed and allows for contrasting views to be publicly aired. Debate is necessary and required to advance our knowledge.

    The one thing I would caution us to consider is the value of making mistakes. Edison took a few tries to get things right, and we should not expect perfection on the first attempt. So punitive judgments are not necessarily helpful to conducting good science.

    The hockey stick isn’t bad because someone had the idea of using tree rings to measure past temperatures, rather it’s bad because it was not vetted in a scientific way.

    Thanks for the post.

  27. Mark T said

    20.Neil Craig said
    November 25, 2010 at 6:17 am

    The 10th Amendment – that anything not specificly listed as within the remit of the Federal authority isn’t – does cover that Mark.

    It is just that it is “interpreted” otherwise. No document will protect a society that doesn’t want it.

    I realize that and yes, interpretation has been poor over the decades. IMO, of course, the 10th Amendment is redundant since its scope was implied by the Constution itself to begin with. Sad that even after the submission to the department of redundancy department the concept still goes unheeded.

    Mark

  28. You are right. Constitutional government itself is threatened when governments purposely deceive the public.

    A new book, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ (Amazon, etc.), debunks the basic theory of man-made global warming and exposes some of the filth that world leaders, Al Gore, science journals, research organizations, UEA, NASA, NAS, FRS, NOAA, etc. are still trying to hide.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    One of many coauthors
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  29. […] Integrity Act Could Shift the Global Warming Debate Posted by Jeff Id on November 23, 2010 http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/how-a-scientific-integrity-act-could-shift-the-global-wa… By Sean M […]

  30. Perhaps world leaders and leaders of the scientific community felt that they had only noble motives (?) for violating basic scientific principles.

    In order to eliminate national boundaries and the threat of mutual nuclear destruction after the Cold War ended (When stockpiles of nuclear weapons could kill every person in the “Free West” and in the “Communist East” many times over), perhaps world leaders felt that this was their opportunity to ask for help from leaders of the scientific community:

    a.) To block other countries from getting nuclear weapons;
    b.) To identify a common enemy (AGW) of all nations; and
    c.) To simultaneously level the standard of living worldwide . . .

    I would appreciate comments from others on this possible motive. Although I oppose government deception, I do not necessarily oppose these goals if done “with the consent of the governed”.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  31. Neil Craig said

    If government is lying to the people then, by definition, there is no informed consent for their duplicity.

    (A) would not work because the rulers there would know it was a con
    (B) CAGW is a fraud “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”Henry Louis Mencken
    (C) I do not regard impoverishing everybody as desirable. Instead nations should be competing to make wealth.

  32. Neil, I agree with you.

    But during the Cold War, nuclear warfare threatened the lives of everyone on this planet . . . including the lives of the politicians themselves.

    Is there any way to eliminate that danger without eliminating nationalism and a sense of national sovereignty?

    Is it a coincidence that immigration problems, the threat of AGW, and economic collapse occurred at the same time?

    I don’t know. Al Gore and other major players in these events may know.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo

  33. Mark_In_St_Pete said

    I think it is a good idea, but I also think there has to be punishment for falsifying, altering, and omitting data. If these are found to have happened then I think the scientist and the organization need to be punished severely.

  34. Ed Darrell said

    What’ll you do when it shuts down “skeptics?”

    Seems to me Al Gore’s film would survive through level four at least. The explanations of problems in the leaked e-mails wouldn’t make it to level one.

    What is it you have against warming skeptics?

  35. Ed Darrell said

    It may be even that at Scientific Integrity Act could could become a Scientific Integrity Amendment and act as a long term brake on government intervention.

    It would have shut down development of the polio vaccines, it seems to me. Cancer treatments, such as those using taxol, probably would be delayed a couple of decades.

    But what’s a generation when we know for sure, right?

  36. graham said

    Sean,
    There is certainly the foundation for a very workable international scientific evaluation process.
    we are termed sceptics which i personaly object to. There are enforcable media laws, applying in many counteries, that dictate scientific reporting must be balanced. But try getting any aposing opinions into you the media. Check your own legislation out, that is what i am currently doing. This is certainly the starting point for many to concider.

  37. Neil Craig said

    Ed why would it have shut down polio vaccination etc? What mathematical errors existed existed or could have existed in the proposal to create a vaccine (level 3)? When did Salk hide his results (level 2)?

    It would shut down homeopathy & probably have prevented the assertion that AIDs is purely an infection caused by the HIV virus.

  38. John Nicol said

    I think this is an excellent idea. Commenting on Greg Cavanagh’s suggestons, I believe that a numbering system of some sort to distinguish between levels of acceptability would be necessary and the four or five suggested would be about right as there will always be some blurring at the edges which would not warrant a finer structure. As for the law, we did, or used to have some regulations at least which governed things such as University standards, PhDs etc and this would also benefit from a containing law in order to allow contentious issues to be tested in court if required. It would probably never be required, but the law being in place would help keep the process as robust as possible.
    The claims of priority for “peer review” is in fact a comparatively new front in the scientific world and has been made a fuss of by climate authors to try to make a case for some very dodgy papers. Peer review was only useful to give some small amount of prestige to a publication in order to obtain research funding, to get a promotion or to seek an appointment. I don’t recall, many years ago, any real weight being placed on publications simply because it was or was not peer reviewed. Once upon a time, scientists who knew what they were doing and understood the subject, would be just as happy to give weight to an internal report, if it carried the meat – in other words everyone in the field was a peer reviewer! It often strikes me that the climate authors seem not to understand their subject sufficiently to be able to tell a good publication from a bad one from their own reading of the article and this is the main problem with the Global Warming advocates. They don’t actually seem to know any science, which is the reason that, while they can never produce any article which shows evidence of AGW, they still claim it is happening and “We believe that most…”
    John Nicol

  39. […] How A Scientific Integrity Act Could Shift The Global Warming Debate […]

  40. Ed Darrell said

    Neal Craig said:

    Ed why would it have shut down polio vaccination etc?

    Someone who didn’t understand the research would have given a negative review. Still today there are those who argue polio was not a real disease, but an invented syndroem — why no reports of the disease before 1900? Huh? Can you tell us that?

    Of course, such claims are specious. But there is no protection against specious claims in this proposal, if it does what you think it does.

    What mathematical errors existed existed or could have existed in the proposal to create a vaccine (level 3)? When did Salk hide his results (level 2)?

    The same number of mathematical errors that existed in the IPCC proposal. Salk hid his results exactly as often as Michael Mann did.

    See? Now you’re targeting polio research!

  41. Ed Darrell said

    s for the law, we did, or used to have some regulations at least which governed things such as University standards, PhDs etc and this would also benefit from a containing law in order to allow contentious issues to be tested in court if required. It would probably never be required, but the law being in place would help keep the process as robust as possible.

    That law, requiring accuracy and no lies in federally-funded research, is still there.

    Of course, to catch somebody with it, they have to do something wrong. You’re not asking for catching the wrongdoers — you’re demanding that climate researchers be punished. There’s a difference between science and politics that, it seems to me, has escaped the proposers here.

    One must have evidence of wrongdoing to make the accusation. Got any evidence? Why are you holding it back from the U.S. attorney?

  42. Neil Craig said

    Ed your rematk about “negative review”s shows you don’t understand peer review – where were the negative reviews of the CRU among the people chosen by their friends as “peers”?

    If you have some evidence of Salk faking his results the way Mann did you would have produced it.

    I accept that calumny as representing the very highest standard of honesty used by the eco brigade, entirely unsubstantiated ad hominem vitirol & challenge you to produce actual evidence within the hour.

    Incidentally Ed demonstrates exactly why this Act would work – if he had had such evidence he would have had a financial incentive to bring it forward.

  43. Ed Darrell said

    If you have some evidence of Mann faking his results you would have produced it. (No, I don’t trust you more than the official groups with subpoena power who have already checked it, and found Mann did nothing wrong.)

    Neil, I challenge you to produce actual evidence within the hour.

    Incidentally Neil demonstrates exactly why this Act would not work any better than the current law – if he had had such evidence he would have had a financial incentive to bring it forward. Neil does have a duty to bring such evidence forward, but he fails to do it. What should we conclude?

  44. Neil Craig said

    I note Ed Darrell that you have made no atempt to support you lie about Salk faking, presumably because you know ir is a lie that could never be put forward by anybody who is not wholly corrupt. I accept it as representing the very highest standard of honesty to which you or anybody on the econazi side, who has not dissociated themselves from such liars, is capable.

    As regards your atempt to react with an of topic query about Mann here if is:

    “The report stated that the MBH method creates a hockey-stick shape even when supplied with random input data”
    That is fraud & it is what the scientist called by Congress to examine Mann’s claims found.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hockey_stick_controversy#Committee_on_Energy_and_Commerce_Report_.28Wegman_report.29

    Ed I await your apology, the apologies of everybody in the econazi movement who has not dissociated themselves from you & your & their proof that, at some specified time in the future they will attwempt to be honest. I don’t expect to get it because I think the chances of such people being in any way honest is effectively zero.

  45. Ed Darrell said

    I note Ed Darrell that you have made no atempt to support you lie about Salk faking, presumably because you know ir is a lie that could never be put forward by anybody who is not wholly corrupt. I accept it as representing the very highest standard of honesty to which you or anybody on the econazi side, who has not dissociated themselves from such liars, is capable.

    The point, Neil, is that Mann faked nothing. I didn’t accuse Salk of faking anything.

    Your inability to understand analogy, juxtaposition, paroday and science, appears chronic.

    I note you offer nothing of any import against Mann, except the discredited political report from Wegman — which itself was found inaccurate and plagiarized.

    You are failing to distinguish fact from fiction. No new law will help you.

  46. Ed Darrell said

    Try again:

    Neil said:

    “I note Ed Darrell that you have made no atempt to support you lie about Salk faking, presumably because you know ir is a lie that could never be put forward by anybody who is not wholly corrupt. I accept it as representing the very highest standard of honesty to which you or anybody on the econazi side, who has not dissociated themselves from such liars, is capable.”

    The point, Neil, is that Mann faked nothing. I didn’t accuse Salk of faking anything.

    Your inability to understand analogy, juxtaposition, parody and science, appears chronic.

    I note you offer nothing of any import against Mann, except the discredited political report from Wegman — which itself was found inaccurate and plagiarized.

    You are failing to distinguish fact from fiction. No new law will help you.

  47. Jeff Id said

    “The point, Neil, is that Mann faked nothing.”

    You seem to have some certainty on this matter, so perhaps you can explain when it is ok to delete data and when it is not. If the rule is clear maybe someone will agree. I mean it wouldn’t be ok if it were a tobacco company cancer study right so there must be some rule where it is ok to delete and replace data. Also, perhaps some discussion that it actually happened would be important right? Or is it just ok to do it arbitrarily without telling the reader?

    We could call it Ed’s rule of replacement.

  48. Mark T said

    Not only did Mann fake results, he lied to congress.

    Mark

  49. Ed Darrell said

    I said: “The point, Neil, is that Mann faked nothing.”

    Jeff said:

    You seem to have some certainty on this matter, so perhaps you can explain when it is ok to delete data and when it is not.

    Great bait and switch, there, Jeff! When is it okay to call data substitution “faking?”

    I thought you were talking about faking data. Are you?

    If the rule is clear maybe someone will agree. I mean it wouldn’t be ok if it were a tobacco company cancer study right so there must be some rule where it is ok to delete and replace data. Also, perhaps some discussion that it actually happened would be important right? Or is it just ok to do it arbitrarily without telling the reader?

    Your side’s being financed by the tobacco groups makes that question smell pretty bizarre, you know?

    I asked where Mann faked data. No response yet, but you’re now claiming something else. Either way, the official inquiries have backed Mann, reporting his work as ethical and upfront.

    I’m not sure what sort of misbehavior you’re claiming — and it appears to me that you’re not sure, either — but why don’t you lay it out, give some specifics, and take it to the U.S. attorney if you’re convinced it’s criminal? If you won’t, or can’t do that, no new law will change the fact that there must be some wrongdoing to trigger sanctions against wrongdoing.

    There’s no law against using proxy data. Especially when the proxy data are actual measurements, instead of projections, there is no scientific or academic principle of wrongdoing to complain about — and the law sides with Mann on that.

    So, just what are you on about? Why not make the case?

    We could call it Ed’s rule of replacement.

    The Scout Law works better. If we just stick to the facts, we don’t have to invent new rules, Soviet style.

    Mark T said:

    Not only did Mann fake results, he lied to congress.

    Bullfeathers. He told them the facts, every time he testified. Your dislike of the facts does not make them false, nor does it make the relater of them a liar.

    Nor was he under oath at any time, I suspect. No harm, no foul. But you’ve not shown the harm.

    Can you show the harm? Quote the lie from the transcript — it’s probably available online.

  50. Ed Darrell said

    We don’t all get the same ads, I know, but I thought it entertaining that here at Air Vent I go this ad on this visit:

    Ads by Google
    Michael Mann…
    Defamed or defined by ‘Hide the Decline’?
    http://www.greenhellblog.com

    Green Hell Blog, the blog done by Steven Milloy, the tobacco wars veteran who cut his Washington teeth “sowing doubt” about the health effects of tobacco smoking. Lie down with dogs . . .

  51. Mark T said

    Excuse me, Ed? Go back and re-read his testimony… he plainly told Congress he did not calculate r2 in spite of his paper claiming the results were robust in r2. Then Amman’s paper came out with the calculated r2 values from the original work.

    Are you seriously claiming he did not say this? Or that it really wasn’t a lie?

    Methinks you don’t really know what happened. And, btw, when you calculate the full results, put them in a directory labelled “CENSORED,” then publish different results selecting only data that supports your hypothesis, you’ve faked data (results, in particular.)

    Mark

  52. curious said

    50 Ed – aren’t the ads generated based on your own personal browsing activity?

  53. Mark T said

    Yes, curious, but let Ed have his mindless fantasy.

    Mark

  54. Jeff Id said

    Ed,

    If you want specifics, you’ve come to the correct blog. See figure 1– Mann 2008

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/mxd-tree-removal-service-choppin-wood-off-a-hockey-stick/

    Also,

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/hockey-stick-posts/

    If you need more, then you are not paying attention. Of course reasoned questions are ok but now you have been confronted with evolutionary fact, what will you do?

  55. Mark T said

    He’ll tell you that you’ve basically confirmed his assertion in the first place… oh, wait, that was the other guy.

    Mark

  56. Ed Darrell said

    I imagine the cross examination going something like this:

    “So, Mr. Id, you claim that Dr. Mann used inaccurate data, is that right?”

    Id: “Yes.”

    “Why do you claim this is fraud?”

    Id: “Well, it’s not tree ring data. It’s not the same data that many of us didn’t expect.”

    “How did you find that the data had been substituted?”

    Id: “Mann said so.”

    “He said so? Is this in some hidden, private conversation found on wiretaps?”

    Id: “No, it came out in the paper’s methodology, and Mann talked freely about it at conferences and other discussions.”

    “So it was not secret in any way?”

    Id: “Well, no, not really.”

    “I see. Can you tell me the source of the data that was substituted in?”

    Id: “Yes. Mann said he used actual temperature readings, and several people tried to replicate it, and found that he had, indeed, used data that came much closer to the accurate data than the proxy records.”

    “And this caused problems how?”

    Id: “Well, it made the hockey stick graph go up more than it would have had he left the inaccurate data in.”

    “So, your charge of fraud is that the chart was too close to reality, more accurate than it should have been, and this has caused you grief?”

    Id: “Yes. You see — may I paraphrase a famous courtroom scene from a movie? — you see, we in the denial group can’t handle the truth!”

    I see more clearly now why none of you guys wants to go on record with a report to any U.S. attorney. One has to tell the truth when making charges about fraud.

  57. Ed Darrell said

    50 Ed – aren’t the ads generated based on your own personal browsing activity?

    Right. I had done a search recently for “Mann” and “decline.” That’s your argument.

    The connection to worry about is this one: The paid liar is making the same claims you are. I browse your site, Milloy’s ads designed to drive his traffic pop up. So my browsing activity doesn’t have anything to do with your making the same claims as the paid shill. Nothing I can fix there.

  58. Ed Darrell said

    Excuse me, Ed? Go back and re-read his testimony… he plainly told Congress he did not calculate r2 in spite of his paper claiming the results were robust in r2. Then Amman’s paper came out with the calculated r2 values from the original work.

    Happy to read it. Can you quote it? Do you have a link? I’m not accepting third- and fourth-hand hearsay on what Mann may or may not have said. The claim on the table here is a libelous one if inaccurate, that Mann has violated federal law.

    Where is your evidence? Hearsay doesn’t cut it (though it attaches liability for libel — if you guys are as sloppy in science as you are in argument, no wonder you’re not getting traction).

  59. Jeff Id said

    Ed,

    Counselor, I imagine the cross examination going something like this:

    “So, Mr. Id, you claim that Dr. Mann used inaccurate data, is that right?”

    Id: “Yes. but it wasn’t Mann directly although he was aware of it.”

    “Why do you claim this is fraud?”

    Id: “They substituted MXD latewood density data which showed a decline with temperature data that showed an increase. These data were then described as global temperature in degrees C. The substitution was not disclosed in IPCC AR4”

    “How did you find that the data had been substituted?”

    Id: “Mann published the data.”

    “He published it?

    Id: “Yes”

    “So it was not secret in any way?”

    Id: “At first it was, then through multiple emails and questioning it was published”

    “I see. Can you tell me the source of the data that was substituted in?”

    Id: “Yes. The emails said they used actual temperature readings.”

    “And this caused problems how?”

    Id: “Well, the proxy data showed little relationship with temperature in the known period yet was used to inform politicians that historic temperatures didn’t vary. The implication being that temperature change is humanity’s fault.”

    “So, your charge of fraud is that the chart was too close to reality, more accurate than it should have been, and this has caused you grief?”

    Id: “No, my charge of fraud actually is with respect to the representation of bad data as proper historic temperature record. The present record which was substituted is well known.”

    ————-
    I see more clearly now why none of you guys wants to go on record with a report to any U.S. attorney. One has to tell the truth when making charges about fraud.

    Ed, if you were my attorney there would be a very short conversation between us which ended with – you’re fired. You are unqualified if you don’t know the answer to your questions before you ask them.

  60. Ed Darrell said

    Id: “They substituted MXD latewood density data which showed a decline with temperature data that showed an increase. These data were then described as global temperature in degrees C. The substitution was not disclosed in IPCC AR4”

    Objection! Hearsay. There is no evidence to this effect.

    Judge: “Objection sustained.”

    Id: “Well, the proxy data showed little relationship with temperature in the known period yet was used to inform politicians that historic temperatures didn’t vary. The implication being that temperature change is humanity’s fault.”

    Object. The witness again refers to documents and conclusions not in evidence.

    Judge: “Sustained.”

    Id: “No, my charge of fraud actually is with respect to the representation of bad data as proper historic temperature record. The present record which was substituted is well known.”

    Objection. Daubert rule. The witness has no expertise to offer an opinion on this matter.

    Judge: “Sustained.”

    Jeff, you couldn’t get to be my client. Plus, the issue here is one that you allege, without evidence, with hearsay. You’re claiming criminal action where there is instead a difference of opinion, and in an area where few others have the experience to qualify to challenge Mann.

    In short, you’re making false charges. That’s a serious criminal action all by itself, and expertise and mathematical and statistical flummoxry can’t get you off.

    The proposal for a new law to get science accuracy can’t work any better than the current law for federally-funded research. You claim Mann committed errors, but in the crunch no one has the guts or the data to make a case. Instead, there is resort to calumny in blogs. A new law won’t end that, either.

  61. Jeff Id said

    Id: “They substituted MXD latewood density data which showed a decline with temperature data that showed an increase. These data were then described as global temperature in degrees C. The substitution was not disclosed in IPCC AR4”

    Objection! Hearsay. There is no evidence to this effect.

    Id: Um, yes there is.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2008/10/05/mxd-tree-removal-service-choppin-wood-off-a-hockey-stick/

    Ed do you honestly believe that thousands of people stop here every day for no reason. These people know what is going on and they know the detail.

    “In short, you’re making false charges. ”

    You are the one making charges in case you didn’t notice and this was not my proposed law.

  62. Jeff Id said

    And Ed, if you take the time to read, you’ll note that the date is well prior to ‘hide the decline’.

  63. Jeff Id said

    “Daubert rule. The witness has no expertise to offer an opinion on this matter.”

    I bet you $4 that I could be admitted as an expert on climate, and I additonally bet you $5 that I should be. :D

  64. Carrick said

    Shorter Ed Darrell: “I’m the only one who is smart and everybody else is stupid. And anybody who points to voids in my knowledge you could fix a galaxy into is a shill for the oil companies.”

  65. Mark T said

    Half, or more, of the people that post here would easily qualify as experts in at least some aspect of climate science. In particular, there are lot of statistics folks running around.

    Mark

  66. Ed Darrell said

    Shorter Ed Darrell (which is difficult):

    We already have a law. No one’s been able to make a case, most likely because, as the official inquiries found, Mann didn’t do anything criminally wrong, if anything at all in error.

    I know you think you have Mann dead to rights. But on simple inquiry as to where there was fraud, no one here can point to any statement (or will, which is equally ineffective to your cause); as evidence of intentional distortion of data for the purposes of deceiving others, you point to a fog of statistical claims, and say you’re all experts.

    If you had the evidence, one of you would have taken it to a U.S. attorney by now. That hasn’t happened, which necessitates the Richmond witch hunt (with hopes for a witch trial), and produces proposals for bizarre bureaucracies to make one’s opponents jump through hoops, like the proposed law at the head of this column.

    “Hide the decline?” Seriously? Think of how that would play to a jury. You claim you want the chart that shows temperatures dropping dramatically after 1990. We contrast that with the chart of actual temperatures, and the closing argument is a simply question, “Who’s lying now?”

  67. Neil Craig said

    This seem,s to have been drawn off topic.

    Ed’s is a good example of common eco tactics – “I say black is white & government controlled media say so so there. Prove to my satisfaction that white is white. You cant’ so yah boo sucks.”

  68. Ed Darrell said

    . . . government controlled media . . .

    I was under the impression this blog is based in North America. Where are you from?

  69. Jeff Id said

    . But on simple inquiry as to where there was fraud, no one here can point to any statement (or will, which is equally ineffective to your cause); as evidence of intentional distortion of data for the purposes of deceiving others

    Mann’s nature trick to hide the decline..

    You have to be an idiot, liar or a lawyer to say that those inquiry’s had anything to do with inquiring. I’ve had it with your distortions counselor and unless you can explain that statement according to my questions above in a positive light, we’ve heard enough of your stupidity to last a lifetime.

    The judge…

  70. Ed Darrell said

    You have to be an idiot, liar or a lawyer to say that those inquiry’s had anything to do with inquiring.

    Generally, the House of Commons deserves more respect than that, even if they screw it up. In this case, there is no indication they got anything in error.

    We have a law in the U.S. that makes it illegal to fake data in federal research, or in seeking money for federally-funded research. Despite a lot of noise that climate scientists somehow made gross errors, or worse, intentionally distorted data, no one has been able to make such a case to any authority where evidence rules apply.

    Truth wins in a fair fight, Ben Franklin is said to have observed. That is why we have evidence rules in federal courts.

    Losing in all other venues, the author of the lead post here now asks for an entirely new game.

  71. curious said

    70 Ed – what is your legally qualified view on the redaction of David Holland’s submission to the Russell Review?

  72. jeff id said

    “Generally, the House of Commons deserves more respect than that,”

    Bull, they are politicians first, honest a distant fourth.

    “Truth wins in a fair fight, Ben Franklin is said to have observed. That is why we have evidence rules in federal courts. ”

    The rules are all stacked in favor of the government as any honest lawyer will tell you. Criminals are stifled for the outcomes of speaking out, police word is god, yet you want to call it a fair fight? More BS sir. That seems to be all you are capable of tho.

  73. Ed Darrell said

    Curious at 71: I’m unfamiliar with that incident and all of its particulars.

  74. curious said

    73 Ed – A reasonable starting place is here:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/11/22/the-holland-redaction.html

    It’ll take you a bit of research to get up to speed if you are coming at it cold. There are many other posts at Bishop Hill worth reading and it has been discussed at Climate Audit and here at tAV. I suggest you suspend your confidence in the Inquiries until you have covered the back stories. Once you have done some research you’ll be in a better position to judge the validity of your comments at 70.

  75. Mark T said

    Do you honestly think he’ll review those documents with an open mind?
    Mark

  76. Ed Darrell said

    Curious, no, my statements at 70 stand. You fail to recognize the bias in you that you claim in others.

    My research can’t cure your bias.

  77. Ed Darrell said

    73 Ed – A reasonable starting place is here:

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2010/11/22/the-holland-redaction.html

    It’ll take you a bit of research to get up to speed if you are coming at it cold. There are many other posts at Bishop Hill worth reading and it has been discussed at Climate Audit and here at tAV. I suggest you suspend your confidence in the Inquiries until you have covered the back stories. Once you have done some research you’ll be in a better position to judge the validity of your comments at 70.

    You’re right, it will take some time. That post offers no contradiction of warming generally. It offers a lot of complaints about the human processes of publication, but that’s not science, and it doesn’t make a case against warming.

    Meanwhile, here in Texas our insurance rates continue to rise for warming-caused damages, the plant zones continue to change (warmer, generally), and various animal species continue to alter their ranges consistent with global warming.

    If you’re right, that there is no warming, then we need to elevate Mann, Jones and Gore to the status of prophet, simply for their having convinced millions of plants and millions of animals to go along with them. Since none of those creatures read the science papers, your job convincing them they are in error is even more difficult.

    I’ll continue to read, but it appears to me that whatever the status of Bishop Hill’s complaint about referring in the science journals, the Earth, she still warms.

  78. Ed Darrell said

    Should have been “complaint about refereeing.” Regrets.

  79. curious said

    76, 77 Ed – sorry, I must have misunderstood. Do you have a legal qualification? Are you a practicing lawyer?

  80. Ed Darrell said

    I no longer practice. Legislative and big development law, mostly.

  81. curious said

    80 Ed – ok thanks, please can you clarify what qualification you hold?

  82. Ed Darrell said

    so perhaps you can explain when it is ok to delete data and when it is not. If the rule is clear maybe someone will agree.

    In using proxy data, where the proxy data tend to look less reliable, as when they depart from the trends they have supported in the past for no discernible reason, one may question whether to include them.

    When the real data are available instead, it is never a problem to substitute the real data.

    Mann “faked” nothing, and the claim that by substituting actual temperature measurements, he faked something, is a statement that would spin the heads of the folks at DoubleSpeak HQ.

    Can you explain, Jeff, why actual temperature measurements that show global warming are not to be used in making projections?

    When is it okay to ignore reality in making charts? What are your criteria that make Mann a villain for using real data whose accuracy you do not question?

  83. curious said

    Ed – please can you let us know on your legal qualification? Thanks

  84. Carrick said

    Ed Darrell:

    Mann “faked” nothing, and the claim that by substituting actual temperature measurements, he faked something, is a statement that would spin the heads of the folks at DoubleSpeak HQ.

    Yep, of course! Bait and switch should be considered an ethical practice both in science and in business.

    And of course there’s nothing faked about switching the sign of the trend of proxies by truncating them and replacing them with a instrument temperature record… when the purpose of the proxy reconstruction was to compare current high temperatures to those of the MWP.

    Nope, can’t see why anybody would have any issues with that. Just can’t.

    /snark

  85. Jeff Id said

    Ed,

    Now that was a slow reply.

    Lessee,

    I don’t know your stats background but it has to do with whether the data is stationary. Proxies are not temperature, they are suspected to represent temperature based on what I call handwaiving conjecture. There are a number of reasons to believe the data may be temperature, and a number of reasons to say the data is not temperature. What is often done is the suspected data is correlated to measured temp. Now correlation is a mathematical process which prefers data with slopes or matching high frequency variance. In cases of heavily autocorrelated proxies, the target is measured temps which basically are slopes with a small hiccup in around 1935-1950. Proxies that correlate are assumed to be temp, the rest of the proxies are deweighted (regression) or thrown out (correlation sorting)!! This is BOGUS math. I’ve outlined all this in the hockey stick posts linked above.

    Now what they had here was a series of proxies put through some unknown process that got very poor correlation to temp yet it had been through similar processes to other proxies. The implication is clear, these proxies are not temp. With no a-priori explanation for why these trees are temp and these arent, the point is that these studies are completely unreliable. They knew that completely. Instead of admitting their work was flawed, the problem was hidden with a trick to hide the decline of the unruly data. They threw it out, hid it from view, and presented the graph with data they liked spliced on.

    “Mann “faked” nothing, ” Well, Mann has faked plenty of things in my opinion, but in this case others used his trick with his knowledge. Substituting of temperature measurements was done to give confidence that the proxy studies and methods were repeatable. They were not. Thus the fake, in this case.

    Ask yourself what you would call a cancer study on tobacco where cancer rates were found to rise per smoker but instead a declining curve created was pasted on representing more usage of cancer stopping anti-oxidants from the whole population, just to make it look better. Both curves could be valid but would the resulting curve be honest, or faked?

    Now if Ed, you cannot admit that this is a bogus fraudulent process at this point then you are dishonest, ignorant (more valid understanding problems), or advocate. Your choice.

    I await your response.

  86. Jeff Id said

    Oh,

    “Can you explain, Jeff, why actual temperature measurements that show global warming are not to be used in making projections? ”

    I have no clue what you are asking.

  87. Ed Darrell said

    What I’m asking, Jeff — not a statistical error rundown — but why, in the grand scheme of things, substituting the actual temperature measurements for the 1990s, is “faking information,” instead of relying on proxy data suspected to be in error for the same period?

    Isn’t that what Mann did?

    It’s ugly, statistically — but it’s more accurate in the grand scheme of things, isn’t it?

  88. Jeff Id said

    Ed, I don’t know if you are being deliberately obtuse or not – I apologize but am being honest not mean. Really it is quite simple and fully explained above.
    “Isn’t that what Mann did?”

    Yes

    It’s ugly, statistically — Yes and fraudulent.

    “— but it’s more accurate in the grand scheme of things, isn’t it? — ”

    how do you know? Certainly the temperature portion is a more accurate representation of temperature, but what tells you that the pre-temp signal has any relationship at all with temperature? It’s just a flat line which makes history seem to have low variance (low variance means low up and down extremes or small change). The result is to fraudulently presents the historic signal as first KNOWN and second having low variability such that today’s temp signal can be presented as extreme.

    Get it?

  89. Ed Darrell said

    More accurate, as in, in the commentary above, Mann is accused of “hiding the decline.” As we know, there was no decline, but instead, a rise in temperatures — much as Mann’s chart showed.

    I’m confused why y’all think a more nearly accurate chart is a bad thing. Had the chart showed a decline in temperatures, Mann would have been criticized for missing the forecast by a mile. You’re angry because he nearly got it right.

    I mean, Armstrong and Aldrin missed their targeted landing site, too. By the standards applied to Mann, shouldn’t you be accusing them of missing the Moon altogether?

  90. Ed Darrell said

    Did temperatures decline between, say, 1981 and 2010?

  91. Ed Darrell said

    how do you know? Certainly the temperature portion is a more accurate representation of temperature, but what tells you that the pre-temp signal has any relationship at all with temperature? It’s just a flat line which makes history seem to have low variance (low variance means low up and down extremes or small change). The result is to fraudulently presents the historic signal as first KNOWN and second having low variability such that today’s temp signal can be presented as extreme.

    Get it?

    I thought the idea was to get some idea of which way temperatures will go in the future. How old is the hockey stick? When it was made, according to you, to be statistically elegant and beautiful, it should have showed a decline in temperatures.

    Instead, it showed an increase.

    In the decade or so since the chart was published, temperatures have not declined. They have risen.

    So, you’re asking an expert to render the wrong opinion, because you don’t understand his methods, or you don’t like his methods, or some really, really good reason — but something wholly unrelated to accuracy. The hockey stick is more accurate than what you wanted it to show.

    Surely you realize that changing the shape of the graph cannot change history, don’t you?

  92. Layman Lurker said

    The point is Ed (Jeff correct me if I’m wrong), that proxies with discarded data and pasted/infilled thermometer data were correlation screened against thermometer data to establish the reliability of the proxy for use in a reconstruction. No surprise that thermometers are correlated with thermometers is there Ed?

  93. Bad Andrew said

    Ed,

    You are cracking me up. How old are you, really? :wink:

    Andrew

  94. RomanM said

    Ed, I will try to state this in terms a lawyer without a scientific understanding might actually comprehend (no slight intended).

    Proxies are NOT temperature measurements. They measure physical features (ring width, wood density, etc.). Scientists try to find mathematical relationships between the physical measurements and temperature. These mathematical relationships are then turned into guesses of what the temperature might have been at a particular time. The relationships can be VERY tenuous and always not very exact.

    One of the scientific principles which is ASSUMED is that these relationships remain consistent throughout the entire lifetime of the proxy. If they do not, you can not place ANY trust in the accuracy of the results produced from them. In fact, quite often, scientist have found “proxies” that match temperature by accident for some periods, but not for others. These are deemed not reliable for use in reconstructions for this reason

    In the case in question, the results clearly show that in the most recent time period, the particular proxies we are discussing were claiming that temperatures were decreasing when we know that they were not. Rather than admit that this invalidated the earlier part of the reconstruction, they made the claim that something had “changed” the relationship between the proxies and the temperatures. What could that have been? Who knows? Beyond “it could be this” or “it might be that”, to this day, they have offered NO (ZERO) scientific evidence that this actually was the case.

    The graph is NOT a graph of ACTUAL temperatures. It represents what the temperatures were guessed to be from the proxies. However, rather than show that the proxies were claiming that the temperatures were DECLINING (when we knew from the thermometers that they were not), they decided to HIDE that decline by chopping off the offending portion and replaced that by the actual measured temperatures.

    So what was the end result. Exactly what they intended it to be. Anyone who understood what the graph was supposed to represent (the reconstructed temperatures) would look at it and say “Wow! The match is perfect for the time period where we know both. These must be great proxies.” This would lead them to believe that the rest of the reconstruction is also pretty accurate – a reconstruction, which I may add, fit the picture they wanted you to believe.

    On the other hand, if the decline was visible, anyone who understood the process would immediatley question the validity of the entire graph. Hiding the decline in what the proxies said the temperatures were (when they actually were not) was crucial to keeping their story alive.

  95. curious said

    80, 83 – Also Ed, please can you tell us why and when you stopped practicing?

  96. Jeff Id said

    “I thought the idea was to get some idea of which way temperatures will go in the future.”

    Wow, really? We are starting from the beginning. Well a wise man would start with questions rather than critique. Look up paleoclimate, because I thought it was about understanding how climate reacted in history.

    “In the decade or so since the chart was published, temperatures have not declined. They have risen.”

    Actually, if you view the surface temperature documentation link above, it was created by Roman (statistician) and myself (engineer) and it is guaranteed to create a higher trend from the same data (with the same gridding method) than any other method around. This happens for statistical reasons which I see we shouldn’t describe. So why would someone who wants temperatures to decline post (and promote) a trend which is more accurate for the existing data and yet higher than mainstream climate science?

    Higher than RSS — yup.
    Higher than UAH — yup.
    Higher than CRU — yup.
    Higher than GISS — yup.

    I’ll answer for you, data is data, math is math, we only get to choose what it means and what to do with it. I’ll also warn you, Anthony Watts is correct, there are plenty of problems due to UHI.

    You don’t have even the basics down yet Ed. Really, you don’t.

    “Surely you realize that changing the shape of the graph cannot change history, don’t you?”

    Oh, yes sir I do. All of us here do. What it will change though is our understanding of history of climate, and that is the definition of paleoclimate.

  97. Mark T said

    RomanM,
    The principal of uniformity is what is employed by climate scientists but clearly tthey either have misinterpreted it or don’t care to get it right. Uniformity says nothing about linearity or stationarity yyet that is how they employ it.
    Mark

  98. kim said

    Ed Darrell? Why, lest old acquaintance be forgot. Go reread what I told you to bookmark in the bathtub, fella. This Ed and I went round and round about Jim Hansen’s manipulated testimony in 1988 and about his temperature predictions back then on his blog several months ago. Ed is a Boy Scout, but he completely missed the point of the good turns I was doing him.
    ===================

  99. Ed Darrell said

    The graph is NOT a graph of ACTUAL temperatures. It represents what the temperatures were guessed to be from the proxies. However, rather than show that the proxies were claiming that the temperatures were DECLINING (when we knew from the thermometers that they were not), they decided to HIDE that decline by chopping off the offending portion and replaced that by the actual measured temperatures.

    Anybody got a .pdf of Mann’s article on the chart? I’d appreciate a copy.

  100. kim said

    The irony here is that Ed purports to try to correct historical records and he is a fount of mistaken information on the climate wars. I’ve read about half of your input here, now, Ed, and I beseech you, in the Guts of Gaia, to consider that you might be wrong.
    ===========================

  101. Jeff Id said

    Ed, it was Keith Briffa (not Mann) who originally published the data, well the curve but not the data. They wouldn’t let the actual data out for a long time. You wouldn’t like the article anyway, it’s full of numbers and stats talk.

  102. Ed Darrell said

    Probably wouldn’t like the article, but find it curious that you do your best to hide it.

  103. RomanM said

    #102 EdD

    Are you trying to tell us that you have not seen any of the materials we are discussing and have merely been arguing from a position of complete ignorance? And now, you expect us to waste our time doing your homework for you when you can’t even specifically state what exactly it is that you expect us to locate… and then accuse us of hiding things if we don’t?

    Frankly, spoonfeeding uninformed trolls is a gross misuse of my time which I for one refuse to participate in. I will give you a starting point: Try searching the phrase “hide the decline” on ClimateAudit (or in Google) and be prepared to learn that this trick has been used on more than one occasion for exactly the same propagandistic purpose.

  104. boballab said

    Psst Ed Psst here is the post that Jeff is hiding. I used the secret technique of going to Climate Audit and typing in the search Box “Hide the Decline”. I then went back to the beginning and here is the super secret start:

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike%E2%80%99s-nature-trick/

  105. Jeff Id said

    #103 Ditto.

  106. Mark T said

    Bob… awwwww… you told! What were you thinking? How are we supposed to maintain this vast skeptic conspiracy if people like you keep letting people like Ed in on the tricks we use?

    Mark

  107. Jeff Id said

    Someone should tell Wikileaks that putting everything on line is hiding. It seems they haven’t heard that one yet, if they find out it will make a mess of their business model.

  108. Howard said

    Jimminy Cheeseballs. WTF are you guys doing. This Ed Lawyer dude is just in this for winding you up and wasting your time. Why rise to the bait?

  109. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: Howard (Dec 15 15:10),

    Indeed. For anyone that’s interested, the greasemonkey (Firefox) script killfile works here. With one click, you can make it so you don’t have to read a particular person’s comments even by accident. Greasemonkey is also required to run CA Assistant, which has lots of nice features.

  110. curious said

    108 Howard – “This Ed Lawyer dude is just in this for winding you up and wasting your time.”

    No, there is more than that, assuming it is his real name, he’s also trashing any career he had, or wanted to have, in legal work. Let alone teaching…

    “Ed Darrell

    A teacher of law, economics, history, AP government, psychology and science. Former speechwriter, press guy and legislative aide in U.S. Senate. Former Department of Education. My blog, Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub, is a continuing experiment to test how to use blogs to improve and speed up learning processes for students, perhaps by making some of the courses actually interesting. It is a blog for teachers, to see if we can use blogs. It is for people interested in social studies and social studies education, to see if we can learn to get it right. It’s a blog for science fans, to promote good science and good science policy. It’s a blog for people interested in good government and how to achieve it.”

    I still didn’t spot the exact legal qualification.

    http://en.gravatar.com/edarrell

  111. Mark T said

    Howard, at this point it’s pretty obvious people are just making fun of the guy. There’s something to be said for someone without any technical background (admitted, apparently) attempting to argue science with those who have such a background. Somehow, we’re the arrogant ones.

    I should have just gotten a history degree and pretended. It would have been a whole lot easier than a freaking dissertation.

    Mark

  112. Ed Darrell said

    I still didn’t spot the exact legal qualification.

    Lay your cards on the table, Curious. What’s your real name? You can check my bona fides in any number of ways. Why would you bother, if you find my questions unmeritorious?

    I’ve never suggested that I’m a statistical whiz — but then, this may not be a statistical issue. When I ask what Mann’s sins were, instead of getting a serious list of problems, I get attacked as not knowing statistics. I granted that. The personal attacks suggest to me that you may not know any more than I do. I ask for enlightenment, and I get a smoke job. It ain’t the same thing.

    But I know science, maybe much better than you think, probably for much longer than you think. The case you’re assuming against Mann simply is not here. Whether there is one isn’t in evidence here. Not much more I can say or do, apparently without a lot more searching on my part.

    We’ve got Jeff’s very guarded admission above that Mann’s accuracy bugs y’all — and in a fair contest, I think you’d be scrambling more than you are here to justify the calumny heaped on Mann for his being right, and your insisting that he should have been wrong instead, and that being wrong would somehow have been more honest. Mann could, as Galileo sorta did, simply retreat from the field, muttering “but still she warms.”

    I got into this issue a few decades ago looking at how the plant zones in the U.S. were changing. They still are, and they are still changing toward warm, not cold. Most of the climate changes I’m familiar with involved warming — the weeds in Yellowstone, the bark beetle problems across the U.S., the increasing desertification in Arizona, Utah and other parts of the Mountain West, the increasing drought-proneness of Texas, to name a few. None of these issues is a statistical manipulation — and complaints about bad statistics don’t touch the problems, don’t come close to explaining any of them. Each of them remains a problem. Mann’s work suggests the direction we need to work in to fix the problems. I don’t get the impression many commenters here worry about these troubles at all.

    In the end, it doesn’t matter how ugly are the statistical works of scientists who warn us of warming. If they’re right, they’re right. Statistical complaints, even if accurate and justified, haven’t stopped the warming.

    We all lose.

    I repeat my challenge: If you have evidence that Mann did something wrong on federal dollars, take it to a U.S. attorney. A new witch hunting law as proposed here won’t affect science to the good, and can’t catch anyone the present law can’t catch.

  113. Ed Darrell said

    Are you trying to tell us that you have not seen any of the materials we are discussing and have merely been arguing from a position of complete ignorance? And now, you expect us to waste our time doing your homework for you when you can’t even specifically state what exactly it is that you expect us to locate… and then accuse us of hiding things if we don’t?

    I had hoped that somebody had thought through what the case should look like to convince someone of a problem, and I had hoped (stupidly, it appears) that somebody here could state it in English.

    I asked for a citation, to be sure I know what you’re talking about. I gather you don’t know.

    Mann got the direction of the hockey stick right, and you want to crucify him for that. I’m reminded of Jules Feiffer’s cartoon about the establishment guy complaining in 1975 about the anti-war protesters, whose views he had by then adopted. But he still hated them because they were “prematurely right.”

    Jeff asks me to entertain the idea that I may be in error, something I’ve not doubted after having been wrong so often before. It’s good advice. You should take it.

  114. Ed Darrell said

    Psst Ed Psst here is the post that Jeff is hiding. I used the secret technique of going to Climate Audit and typing in the search Box “Hide the Decline”. I then went back to the beginning and here is the super secret start:

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike%E2%80%99s-nature-trick/

    Thanks, Boballab. I was under the impression there was a complaint about an actual publication, though. One might use the e-mail as an admission against Mann’s interest (I’ve not considered whether this stuff could be admissible in court; it might not be). But we can’t seriously complain about a claim made in an e-mail not backed with the real data, or we shouldn’t, if we have better data.

    I appreciate the link. Still looking.

  115. Mark T said

    Uh, hate to burst your bubble,Ed, but several people have pointed out several serious “sins” committed by Mann. Maybe your lack of statistical knowledge prevents you from understanding this, but it is true. And, as for legal issues, he has lied to congress (Steve M has a whole article on the potential conversion of tort you should investigate.)

    This is why people are making fun of you. Your questions are getting answered and either you lack the requisite knowledge to understand, or you are willfully ignoring the answers. Either case is testament to your arrogance.

    Mark

  116. RomanM said

    #114 EdD:

    I had hoped that somebody had thought through what the case should look like to convince someone of a problem, and I had hoped (stupidly, it appears) that somebody here could state it in English

    I explained the issues to you in simple terms in comment #94. My professional career of more than 40 years has been in mathematics and statistics. I have presented such concepts to somewhere between 6000 and 8000 students from diverse backgrounds over the years and most of them seem to have understood what I said.

    However, you come into these discussions with no understanding of the salient features of the discussion and make pronouncements which clearly show that you have not done your homework. I gave you a link to chase down which would give you enough information to understand that this goes deeper than just a single paper – the results of this “trick” appear in reports and other AGW propaganda presentations. The effect of this misrepresentation of poor research results is widespread. If you don’t bring any cogent arguments to the table, I certainly don’t intend to waste any more time dealing with your uninformed opinions.

    Mann got the direction of the hockey stick right, and you want to crucify him for that. I’m reminded of Jules Feiffer’s cartoon about the establishment guy complaining in 1975 about the anti-war protesters, whose views he had by then adopted. But he still hated them because they were “prematurely right.”

    Yet another opinion which you parrot as gospel truth. I am willing to bet that again you have NO idea of what the issues may be. However, this ignorance does not prevent you with making further arrogant proclamations not only about the issues, but about the mindset of those who might actually understand what is scientifically wrong with it. It must be very comforting for you not to have to think for yourself.

  117. Jeff Id said

    “Thanks, Boballab. I was under the impression there was a complaint about an actual publication, though.”

    Ed, read the link you were given. Multiple publications are discussed and presented in clear fashion that even a sophist should recognize. Don’t come here and pretend the publications don’t exist!, we don’t play those games here. Climatesight, climate progress or tamino are the places for dishonesty.

  118. kim said

    I think Ed gets most of his stuff from Joe Romm, the paid propagandist. Wake up, Ed; come into the light. You’ve been lied to, by experts, for big bucks and much power. You’ve nothing to lose but your fear of prosperity.
    =========

  119. kim said

    Hey, I got an idea, Ed. Link to the threads at your bathtub where you made a compleat fool of your sophistical self discussing climate with me. I dare ya’.
    ================

  120. Ed Darrell said

    Kim, I don’t know which climate threads you refer to. If you wish to link, feel free. I’m curious about what you’re going on about. I’m sorry, but I don’t recall the incident you claim.

  121. Ed Darrell said

    I am willing to bet that again you have NO idea of what the issues may be. However, this ignorance does not prevent you with making further arrogant proclamations not only about the issues, but about the mindset of those who might actually understand what is scientifically wrong with it. It must be very comforting for you not to have to think for yourself.

    You’re right. I don’t know what you consider issues. You complained that Mann falsified data, but can’t or won’t show where in a clear fashion. So far as I can tell, your complaint is that he didn’t show temperatures dropping after the year 2000, but you agree that the temperatures didn’t drop . . . and so I wonder what is the issue?

    A simple question one would suppose. You tell me the issue can’t be understood unless one reads all the publications, but I have to go fish to find them.

    You’re right. I don’t understand your complaint. I suspect few others do, either. That’s part of the problem.

    It’s also why the proposal to play gotcha with scientists is a bad one.

  122. kim said

    Well, I can understand why you’d want to forget the threads, Ed. It was just a few months ago, about the time of the National Jamboree.
    =================

  123. Ed Darrell said

    Don’t come here and pretend the publications don’t exist!

    No problem. Don’t pretend you give clear answers either, though. I thought it a simple question. Insults aren’t data, and don’t make a case.

    One can get a good education reading here. It’s probably not the education you intend, or should be giving.

  124. kim said

    ‘Hide the Decline’, Ed, primarily refers to the attempt by the CRUw @ CRU to torture, draw and quarter the principal of ‘uniformitarity’. One for your bathtub would be the geologist who brought the poor thing out of disrepute, just to have it trashed by these modern scientific sophists.

    If you note the repetitive theme of ‘sophism’ here, perhaps you can observe the desperate tactic in action by holding your writing up to the mirror. Birds of a feather, Hon. Just my good deed for the day.
    =============

  125. kim said

    Do you understand, Ed, why it is the shaft, not the blade, that is so insidiously wrong in the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’d Hockey Stick? A simple question, yes, or no, and why. Please.

    For your own sake.
    =======

  126. kim said

    Aw, Ed, and after I told you back then to bookmark the threads and reread ‘em in about six months, about now. Hey, go read ‘em, and link ‘em back, I dare ya’.

    Show me you can learn.
    ===============

  127. Jeff Id said

    “can’t or won’t show where in a clear fashion”

    Again Ed, the email is from Briffa and Jones about Briffa and happened to use a method first employed by Mann. We have very very clearly stated what happened, so clearly in fact that most high school kids would figure it out. If you can’t ask coherent questions about your confusion, I assume at this point it is FAKE confusion.

    “It’s also why the proposal to play gotcha with scientists is a bad one.”

    Bovine scatology sir pure and simple..

  128. kim said

    Ed, @ 11:18 Au contraire, my fine feathered friend. ClimateGate and the associated revelations of manipulated data and findings are very accessible to the standard scientist and engineer, whose work is effectively peer reviewed constantly. They can readily understand the perversion of the scientific process which happened here in climate science.

    Now why don’t you recognize it? Are you sophistically obscuring the issues for yourself?
    ==============

  129. kim said

    ‘Principle of Uniformitarity’. Sorry, Ma.
    ============

  130. kim said

    Ed needs a session with the Bish.
    ==========

  131. RomanM said

    #121 ED:

    You’re right. I don’t know what you consider issues. You complained that Mann falsified data, but can’t or won’t show where in a clear fashion. So far as I can tell, your complaint is that he didn’t show temperatures dropping after the year 2000, but you agree that the temperatures didn’t drop . . . and so I wonder what is the issue?

    We agree on the first sentence!

    However, then you start inventing things that I supposedly said. I did NOT complain that Mann falsified data. Even though I was careful with the nuances of my language (the details are important), you obviously did not even come close to the meaning of the words in my original comment:

    The graph is NOT a graph of ACTUAL temperatures. It represents what the temperatures were guessed to be from the proxies. However, rather than show that the proxies were claiming that the temperatures were DECLINING (when we knew from the thermometers that they were not), they decided to HIDE that decline by chopping off the offending portion and replaced that by the actual measured temperatures.

    What I said was that they falsified the presentation of the results of the calculations made from the data (see bold above). The graph is not a graph of ACTUAL temperature measurements. It is supposed to be a presentation of the ESTIMATED temperatures calculated from the proxies.

    By removing a portion of the calculated results and replacing them with measured temperatures, they create the false impression that the proxies have tracked the temperatures perfectly in the recent past, so they must be just as good in the distant past (when thermometers were not available). Go learn something about the concept of validation procedures to understand why this omission is important when evaluating the quality of a paleo reconstruction.

    This was not accidental. The emails corroborated the fact (which we already aware of in advance) that they intended to achieve this effect. so that the graph could then be used in other publications as a propaganda vehicle in support of the hockey stick meme.

    Enough is enough …

  132. Jeff Id said

    Ed,

    It isn’t like mike mann himself approves of the process:

    “No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstrution. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.”

  133. Ed Darrell said

    It is supposed to be a presentation of the ESTIMATED temperatures calculated from the proxies.

    By removing a portion of the calculated results and replacing them with measured temperatures, they create the false impression that the proxies have tracked the temperatures perfectly in the recent past, so they must be just as good in the distant past (when thermometers were not available). Go learn something about the concept of validation procedures to understand why this omission is important when evaluating the quality of a paleo reconstruction.

    Much more clear. Thank you.

  134. curious said

    112 Ed – my cards are on the table – you turn up on a thread going on about a legal background and make comments along those lines. I point out a situation that it would be interesting to have a legally qualified opinion on and, instead of bottoming out the evidence, you come back with a comment that shows you haven’t investigated in the slightest or, that even if you had, it wouldn’t make any difference. This makes me wonder if you actually have a legal background or if you are posting in your own name. So I ask for details and here we are several comments later with nothing forthcoming. Maybe you are a lawyer but from my point of view I’ll steer clear of anything with the name Ed Darrell on it.

    I’m checking out so you will have the last word but before you do – please read the “reader background” thread (permanent link on the top bar of the site)and see some of the skills and knowledge that visit this site. If you really are interested in education the first thing you should recognise is the value of quality material and thought. Up ’till 133 you were showing every sign of just being here for trolling and controversy instead of learning – So which is it? How about you put your cards on the table?

  135. kim said

    Cards on the table?
    Ed’s very busy stuffing
    Marbles in his mouth.
    ============

  136. Neil Craig said

    Regretably most people on the alarmist side are either religious fanatics & this immune to debate or paid by government & this immuse to reason.

    Ed’s line has repeatedly descended to ad hominum questions about people’s age, identity & continent.

    More importantly he hes made no attempt to discuss the topic – which was the viability of a method of checking involving an X-Prize for finding errors in scientific papers. I think that is a very beneficial reform & that it should be supported by anybody, on any side of a debate, who actually wants evidence based action. Does anybody have anything to contribute on that?

  137. Ed Darrell said

    Interesting comment from Neil Craig:

    Ed’s line has repeatedly descended to ad hominum questions about people’s age, identity & continent.

    Ad hominem directed at me, questioning my age, identity, education, IQ, etc. I agree such arguments are generally out of place. Interesting that I receive blame for the comments against me. Telling.

  138. Ed Darrell said

    . . . which was the viability of a method of checking involving an X-Prize for finding errors in scientific papers

    I wondered how this proposal could possibly improve on the current criminal penalties we have for those who falsify data. I also was curious why no one else took that one up. Can you explain, Neil?

  139. kim said

    I can explain, Ed; everything’s wild, and wow, you got a great hand there.
    ===================

  140. curious said

    Kim – you’ve made me smile on many an occassion, assuming you are a “lass kim” – internet hugs… oh what the hell, internet hugs anyway :-) Happy festive season to you!

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