Reply to a Believer
Posted by Jeff Condon on April 23, 2011
Kim Oyhus commented on a YouTube video on line which Steve McIntyre highlighted a why climategate wasn’t a scandal repeating the excuses of the scientists involved which makes it somewhat interesting. The video quoted them claiming that using certain techniques was the problem in the data. Of course she completely fails to realize the purpose of the temperature data in a paleo-reconstruction is in fact to verify the data is actually temperature. It seemed like several commenters on the YouTube thread were accurate in pointing it out to her, but as often happens, the stupidity of the thing and the false claims forced a comment from my bad side. While this fact is completely unambiguous and uncomplicated, like many ideologues, she accepted the explanation completely uncritically – and with near zero understanding.
Of course Steve McIntyre had me wound up about the Briffa Schweingruber series all the way back in 2008 when he finally got them to release the data – it was completely unavailable to the non-certified believer community prior to that time. I wrote this post back then well before cliamtegate. Now the scientists are looking straight faced into the public eye and saying it is acceptable to replace the proxy data with temperature data even though a key part of most every paleo-reconstruction is verification stats and correlation to temperature. This verifies the result of the paper allegedly, of course the maths used are as bogus as hide the decline in my opinion because the red noise present in proxies will always correlate. Regression magic is another issue though which we’ve also beaten to death here.
In my post linked in the previous paragraph, the data was chopped off at 1960 and replaced with other proxy data that had a more acceptable signal — hockeystickier. I rightfully threw a fit when I discovered that anyone claiming to be a scientist would so boldly alter data they didn’t like. We know the AGW system is corrupted, but on seeing how flagrant the science had become in its abuse threw me over the edge. And because Kim will read this — I and most readers here do NOT disagree with global warming yet most disagree with magnitudes, maths, consequences, solutions, interpretations and to that end individual papers are often discussed.
I would like to just put my quote and Kim’s reply here, because there is no possibility for links or proper unmoderated discussion in a YouTube thread.
Nice Job Kim- I’m thrilled to see such an in depth and detailed explanation of the problem.
Jeff Id — Climategate blogger.
I left the title climategate blogger to make sure she knew I was the bad guy. Interestingly, she took the time to reply.
Jeff, you are clearly sarcastic.
I am not.
A short proof is better than an in depth and detailed explanation,
because it is a proof, and proofs are certain, while depth and detailed explanations are not,
and because it is short, so there are less place for errors.
If you do not even accept proofs, then you are not sane.
You might however be normal.
If you watch the video for ‘proof’, you will be seriously dissapointed. I will however attempt to explain for Kim why she is completely wrong in very short words so that even an over-the-top believer can follow. I wonder if others can do a better job of this.
Climategate was a scandal for multiple reasons. One of several subtopics was ‘hide the decline’ where data which was claimed to be temperature, didn’t match temperature. The scientific conclusion is that this data and potentially tree ring data in general, is not a reliable measure of temperature. Instead of reporting the poor quality of the tree ring data, the offensive bit was chopped off and replaced with temperature data – without disclosure.
There you go Kim, let’s see if your own sanity is intact.
Now for the more complicated versions which have been repeatedly explained at Climate Audit and here whereby the non-linear response to temperature(as described by Dr. Loehle), or the regularization methods of tree ring data and noise have all contaminated the data to the point of non-usability. Here I discovered that the data has an incredibly low signal to noise ratio. Of course this has little meaning to most of the public, however, it is key to understanding why the hockey stick paleo graphs are bogus in general. Some are honest in their math but still contain bad data, others by some of the more famous paleoclimatologists, I do believe have a great deal of malicious intent.