the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Banned Again Life is Hard

Posted by Jeff Id on January 1, 2009

Well Grant tamino blocked me again, not letting me discuss the issues I was being attacked for. Apparently I was trying to confuse the issue.

I sent him a little goodbye post with a few words that would earn my son a time out. He did what he could to make me seem like a denier so his current readers questions go unanswered. If anyone wants an answer to the questions discussed over there feel free to continue it here where it is almost impossible to get snipped.

27 Responses to “Banned Again Life is Hard”

  1. The Diatribe Guy said

    I had also gone to “Open Mind” and posted a comment last night. I felt it was composed very respectfully, though in not agreement with his point. Among the points I made were:

    1) The argument about the long-term warming and associated “denialist” response was a straw man. Skeptics don’t question an increasing warming trend. There are legitimate questions on the GISS data, but even if appropriate adjustments were made, we accept that warming has occurred.

    2) the argument is not one of whether or not warming has occurred, but attribution, and extent of response. Most skeptics won’t even deny some greenhouse effect for AGW, just that it isn’t remotely close to being catastrophic.

    3) Models, including the IPCC results, failed to generally predict the cooling we are seeing.

    4) The insistence on calling short-term cooling trend lines a factual reality of cooling is perplexing. I granted him the point that such a trend line could well occur during continued warming, but that this is an argument of explanation for the trend and not a reason to dismiss the actual trend as nonexistent. I simply am astounded that a stats guy can’t make this differentiation (or won’t). Even his rebuttal to you about the “logical conclusion” being that the last 3 data points showing a trend is silly. In point of fact, the same argument applies. A three point trend line can factually be stated as being a three point trend line. It is in the explanation of that trend line where you present your caveats and hypotheses as to why the trend line exists as it does. It is in explanations of credibility and standard deviations and error terms and r-squareds that you point out the reasons why it isn’t reliable. But the line itself is what it is. You don’t make it disappear because there are reasonable questions about it.

    Plus, any stats guy worth his weight in salt will not reasonably compare the credibility of 3 months versus 12 months versus 60 months versus 120 months. The trend line is what it is, and from there you provide the potential alternate explanations of what might be going on. This could be anything from an actual trend as shown, to a snapshot representation of the current trendline as it moves about other cyclic measures, to random variation. But it’s just perplexing to believe that you have “disproved a trend line” because there is some hypothetical explanation that shows it could still be consistent with warming.

    Anyway, all that went into the ether, because apparently I’m banned as well. I’m not sure why I would be on the banned list. I don’t comment all that often and have never been contentious. I guess he just didn’t want any “closed minds” getting in the way of his enlightened discussion.

  2. Jeff Id said

    Diatribe Guy,

    The first time I was banned I thought my post was reasonable and on topic. This time he banned me for attempting to tell his readers that I couldn’t discuss the matter openly with them as I was concerned I would be banned. I tried to make a couple of other minor points as well (in a very short post) which probably didn’t help. The comment never went through so it looks like I was right.

    This time though I burned the bridge on the way out the door and colorfully implied that he didn’t have an open mind.

    Your point seems perfectly correct to me. I don’t know why anyone would get so pissed off about that. It’s a good way to examine data and it’s very clear. I guess it’s like real climate he doesn’t want any disagreement.

    He reads here once in a while so maybe he associates my opinions with yours because of the link to your blog. That would be a shame because you’re much more reasonable than me. 🙂

  3. Layman Lurker said

    Jeff I was going to ask you to respond to BPL, George, and Ray but Joe has likely covered much of the issues in point 4 above. Feel free to chip in though. What about Lazar’s rebuttal of your “circular logic” point. Could you respond to that?

    It seems like lurkers are speaking up from time to time lately at Tamino’s site to speak out about the rants and the weird responses to legitimate questions from commentators. I guess it is a blog and it is Tamino’s turf but I don’t think that the AGW cause is served well by this kind of stuff. I can’t really think of a lot of good, respectful, open discussions at Tamino (like you would at “Niche Modelling” for example) between pro AGW and skeptics.

  4. Jeff Id said

    Here’s Lazar’s response it was the best argument against my point:

    “the logic of the whole premise was circular”

    Disagree. In trend-analysis you are looking for a change in the mean level of a process, the process may include random physical variation. If the residuals are stationary, the rest is noise, given the available data. The trend from 1975:2008 is a linear response to forcings plus a random component. There is nothing in the last ten years of data to suggest that process has halted, i.e. they are consistent.

    My reply
    There are several problems with tammies analysis. In his analysis of GISS data he fit a linear slope to giss data for a short period of time. There were only a few of degrees of freedom for ten year trends which means very limited data. Also, tamino’s assumed ‘noise’ level was larger than actual, something I confirmed myself in R.

    The main point though is that if you make the assumption that any data which is non linear is noise and you fit an ARMA model to it, your arma model will reproduce the “noise” including ten year trends as though they were noise. If you have basically 6 ten year slopes after autocorrelation and one of them is the one your looking for, it is highly unlikely that fitting an ARMA model will recreate the 95% confidence of all ARMA slopes inside one of your 6 ten year trends. The assumption guarantees the result.

    If I fit a sliding filter such as a gauss function to the data and use the residual for ARMA modeling, the slopes with sufficient length are assigned then assigned to the “signal” portion of the data while the residuals become more stochastic IID(lower autocorrelation) meaning I have recovered a better signal. If you smooth beyond this trend, you are just eliminating data (something useful for visualization but not for statistical analysis).

    Barton Paul Levenson // January 1, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Jeff Id writes:

    It really bugs you that temperature trend for the last decade is flat doesn’t it.

    The flatness of the last decade isn’t a “trend,” because a trend has to be statistically significant. The World Meteorological Organization defines climate as mean regional or global weather over a period of 30 years or more, and they did so long before global warming was a public issue. See here for a quick mathematical check:

    My reply
    The flatness of the last decade is a trend because it is measurable to a high degree of statistical significance. The instruments can detect it quite clearly. I think you mean it isn’t statistically significant compared to the global Climate signal, and I think your right that it isn’t statistically unusual however it is a flattening of the trend, it is measured and it is well known.


    george said this:
    Jeff Id said “The recent ten year trend is flat to a least square fit as any honest man would admit. ”

    The least squares line is only one of the many possible trends that fall within the uncertainty range (which can only be determined with statistics)

    People often forget (or perhaps just do not know) that every scientific result has an uncertainty or error bar attached to it which defines a probable range of values (not just one). The least squares line is no exception.

    Unfortunately, the error bar (or range) is all too often NOT stated/shown, but that does not mean it is not there.


    The error bar in this case has to do with the uncertainty of measurement. George makes the discussion aobut this rather than the climate signal. I agree the fit as compared to the climate variation is not unusual for an upslope, this is entirely different from the claim that we don’t know it’s there due to variation in measurment. On another post I found that we know the temp trends to a few thousandths of a degree based on variation. I didn’t correct for autocorrelation.

    The statement
    The least squares line is only one of the many possible trends that fall within the uncertainty range (which can only be determined with statistics)
    is correct, but this uncertainty is the instrument uncertainty rather than climate uncertainty and it is incredibly small.


    One more, this is fun. Ray’s kind of in his own world though.

    Ray Ladbury said

    Jeff Id, What statistical tests have you applied to determine the statistical significance of your “trend”.
    my reply
    I have done a couple analysis one which included a more reasonable ARMA model to a linear trend and one which used a non-linear temperature curve. I found similar results to tamino, but have correctly interpreted them rather than make the conclusion ‘we don’t know trend’. I disagree with tamino’s analysis because it leaves a great deal of autocorrelated signal in the ‘noise’ and is based on circular reasoning aimed to a pre-determined conclusion.

    Ray then added
    However, there is another problem with your approach. If you claim that warming has stopped, then you have to ask why. There’s no mechanism in climate science as we currently understand it to turn off greenhouse forcing. Reject greenhouse forcing, and all of climate science collapses.
    In effect, you are looking at a “trend” of extremely dubious (ok, risible) significance and saying that it negates the trend of the previous 30 years, which is highly significant, all of paleoclimate and much more.

    My reply is:
    The current trend has demonstrated a not unusual pause the global increase in temperature, we don’t know if it will continue. You then make a weird assumption that I don’t understand greenhouse forcing, really man I’ve no idea what are you talking about?? I never made the claim that the previous 30 year trend is negated, all of this is your assumption.

    Ray says
    I refer to your particular brand of denialist as the weatherwatcher. Of course, we’ll have to see whether you deserve this label or whether you move on to some other lame argument the next time we have a record temperature.

    Again my reply has to be, what are you saying man??? A weatherwatcher, we shouldn’t watch the weather or something. There are no clues there. Sure it ain’t a trend but we watch hurricane production don’t we. We watch PDO, LaNina and the rest. don’t we? Tamino failed to recognize the ten year trend is real accusing Bjorn Lomborg of being deceptive. He then made several childish remarks about how stupid people are for noticing them. This is what prompted my comments here.

    How’s that.

  5. Layman Lurker said

    Thanks Jeff. This is the type of discussion which should have ensued at Tamino’s. Hopefully, there are some commentators or lurkers from Open Mind here which take note or choose to discuss further.

  6. Jeff Id said


    You’re right. But I wouldn’t even be allowed to get part of that out. I have had a large number of hits today with few comments.

    I’m afraid it looks to some like I went looking to fight with tamino after he found my mistake in the sea ice post. It was really because he called Watts up stupid insinuating that I was also to be included in that category. I found out pretty quickly that my suspicion was correct and the post was referenced to me.

    I’m going to be watching him after this attack for sure. Bashing tammy is somewhat entertaining anyway.

  7. Tom B. said

    I am not a climate guy, but have spent a huge amount of time in the past year or two trying to understand the arguments. I find Climate Audit to be fascinating, but usually over my head (my statistics courses are many decades old). Doesn’t mean I don’t find value there.. Both your site and “Whats Up With That” are chock full of information that seems reasonable and straight forward. Am leaning heavily to the skeptical side, finding the foundation of the AGW arguments to be suspect, not to mention the incredible difference between the AGW sites and the skeptical sites. The AGW sites, like Real Climate, Tamino, desmogblog, all seem to spend most of their time insulting and denigrating the skeptic people and arguments without actually providing answers to the points. Just the tenor of the two sides blog sites alone is enough for an average person to understand which side has the ‘jerks’ (sorry really wanted to use an anatomical reference for them) and which side is trying to be reasonable…

    Absolutely scary that the new administration in the US is going to be populated with people that seem more interested in killing the messenger than actually debating the issue.

  8. Joseph said

    Talk about stupid! For tamino to ban anyone from his site is really stupid. His readership is nearly nonexistent now. I wonder if tamino understands the statistics of a blog that few care about?

  9. CoRev said

    Jeff, sorry to hear you were banned. Tammie is just one of the growing number of believes that need reinforcement of their views to feel vindicated. I think Joe Romm, and Tim Lambert are certainly as bad.

    My impression in reading through the comments and especially Tammy’s response was he was torturing the data until he got the answer he wanted in his “art” comment of the use of the filtering.

    Anyway enjoy your short respite in the saner world.

  10. Phillip Bratby said


    The following is pure surmise. I guess the guys running “open mind”!! and “real climate” are government scientists (labs or universities). None of them have probably had a job in the real world where what people do has to have genuine value to survive. All these guys are funded by taxpayers at the patronage of politicians. Government science by its nature is political and therefore they have to tow the party line or their jobs and careers are gone. Thus no matter what they really believe, they have no choice but to reject any evidence counter to the party line. They state in various places that one of the aims of these blogs is educating people. What this really means is propaganda, because that’s what most government-funded education seems to consist of these days. It is thus not their aim to enter into debate with anyone who disagrees with the political consensus (hate that word), because debate distracts from education. From their point of view it is therefore better to dismiss anyone who disagrees as stupid and to ban them from the site, since that curtails any debate. They don’t like the real world to intrude into their belief system.

    As Tom B so rightly says above, any honest citizen interested in the truth quickly realises that sites that are not prepared to enter into debate, resort to insulting people and then banning them are not worth visiting. Far better to go to sites like this, WUWT, CA, DD etc, where people’s views will all be accepted, and honest debate can and does ensue.

    Best wishes for 2009 (and beyond).


  11. Eric Adler said

    I don’t like name calling. It doesn’t add to people’s ability to make sense of an argument, but I can understand that Tamino would be frustrated.

    There is no doubt that the slope for the past 10 years is close to zero, compared to the straight line average trend over the last 30 years. That is a true statement.

    What Tamino is questioning is whether the slope of the trend, of the last 10 years, can be shown to represent a significant departure from the data we have seen over the past 30+ years.

    Could you take the data and plot the running straight line trend for the past 30 years, and see what the statistical distribution of slopes is. Does the slope for the past 10 years represent something that we haven’t seen in the last 30-35 years, i.e. a real outlier?

    If you can show that, you have a valid argument that the slope of the past 10 years, whatever number you find, is unusual and could be a break in the trend. Is that fair?

    I believe you can find this kind of analysis on RealClimate or Tamino’s web site, but I don’t have a link.

  12. Eric Adler said


    I should have said,
    Could you take the data and plot the running 10 year straight line trend for the past 30 years, and see what the statistical distribution of slopes is. Does the slope for the past 10 years represent something that we haven’t seen in the last 30-35 years, i.e. a real outlier?

  13. Jeff Id said


    I like having intelligent questions. It’s refreshing.

    I have repeatedly pointed out to tamino and in my comments above and on other posts that the 10 year trend is not inconsistent with the uptrend. I did a post here on the math behind it, fitting an arma model, comparing tamino’s results with my own.

    I actually agree that the flat slope is inside a 95% confidence interval (not by that much), where I disagree is when people claim it doesn’t exist or it has no meaning or it can’t be measured. I also disagree with the math which assumes ten year trends are stationary, as used by tamino.

    Of course a ten year trend has meaning, we can no more say it will turn around than we can say it will go down in the future. The ten year trend is not in the predicted direction and has pushed the limits of statistical significance for stationarity of the residual (sorry I don’t know if you are a math guy) in tamino’s analysis.

    It is well beyond the limits of statistical significance for the measurement which is a different topic entirely.

    What’s more, it looks to me like if cooling continues much longer, even tamino will be forced to admit the trend is not going as planned. (fat chance!)

  14. Eric Adler said

    Thanks for your analysis.

    I am not an expert on statistics, but based on what you said, you would agree that the slope of the straight line fit for the last 10 years does not disprove that the warming trend of the last 30 years or so is over. I am glad that you made that clear.

    In my opinion, that should take you out of the “stupid” category that Tamino has created. Maybe we can go on to discuss something more real and significant.

  15. Eric Adler said

    Oops again, I need an edit box.
    I should have said,
    I am not an expert on statistics, but based on what you said, you would agree that the slope of the straight line fit for the last 10 years does not prove that the warming trend of the last 30 years or so is over.

  16. Jeff Id said

    Better the second time. The wording is important. We can measure that it hasn’t warmed much in the last 10 years, the measurement doesn’t prove that warming due to CO2 has changed at all. Tamino practically screams that it is dishonest, stupid, lying and immoral to admit that the trend is basically flat. It is!

    The other thing wrong is that if the trend did exceed 95% significance (nearly impossible by his math), it still wouldn’t mean CO2 warming has stopped.

  17. Jeff Id said

    You know Eric, tamino has tried to lump me in the denialist category from the beginning. It felt like every comment I made was pushed to the most extreme sense. I learned long ago to let the data take me where it will. It doesn’t mean I’m perfect but it does have a way of keeping you humble and undecided until something is proven.

  18. soil said

    Excuse me one question, and I know any answer would be just a bet. Suppose following years temps continue the same trend as lasts decade’s, certainly close to a flat trend from my layman’s point of view. How many more years do you think a professional statistician could keep tamino’s gymnastics without serious damage?

    Just trying to guess a end to all this, providing climate helps.

  19. Jeff Id said


    I am guessing 10 years. If the trend continued when the curve doesn’t fit any statistical analysis, temporary natural phenomena will be used as explanations.

    A hard downslope would change things faster.

    Either way it’s long enough to put massive regulation in place.

  20. John F. Pittman said

    Jeff #13, I also disagee with the claim that it is noise. Unexplained phenomena are not noise, necessarily. I run and model (tune) complex systems. Often times where the signal to noise is not good. Jeff, I assume you are familiar with some of the automatic current control systems can do? I have a system that in auto it will give me at one point a gain of 1 and reset of 600, and then tune again it will give a gain of 4 and reset of 75. Of course, there is a reason the auto does not work. The auto search depends on the signal (conditions staying the same). In this case, they do not. The system is a wood boiler. The fuel BTUs will change, the density will change, the water content will change, etc. But burning wood to make steam is a straightforward process, and well known.

    Consider the climate, if you call local events weather, where the temperature across the globe can vary by over 100C in a day, and your claim is to detect 1C in about 30 years, just how much of the phenomenological disturbances do you need to explain in order for such a claim to withstand scrutiny? I don’t know if you have seen the work that was done with AMO, PDO that has an R^2 of about 0.8 or not. If you have not seen it; I can’t remember if I saw it at WUWT or Jennifer’s site. is one very similar to another I am more familiar with.

    I find it humorous that the models are not able to explain the phenomena that have shown the best correlation. Even though correlation is not causation, a physical explanation as to why or why NOT is required. The number of pirates in the carribbean is easy to expalin, not so with PDO. Don’t know if this interests you or not. But Gavin of RC, Gerald, and I beleive, Willis went at it one time. It was great reading. I coudn’t find the one at RC.

  21. Carlo said

    Tamino (Grant Foster),i find his name also in the CRU FOI emails

  22. Lady in Red said


    I went to Tamino, asked him. …sigh… Reproduceable science, or no? Data, methods, computer code, assumptions… (I do not understand how anything is peer-reviewed without this…. why it is not easily available, to all, including students, but…)


    This is pending, below. Temporarily….. smile….

    Lady in Red // January 1, 2010 at 1:24 am | Reply

    Oh dear! ….smile

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Lady in Red // January 1, 2010 at 1:30 am | Reply

    A question:

    Is it hard to fill your blogs with comments like “It is interesting, once again” thoughtless,

    Does it bother you, who you are, what you are hiding…?

    Just a question.

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  23. Jim said

    For sites like Tamino’s where skeptical posts get cut, I just leave my real opinion of them. I know he or someone will at least read it and I get to have my say on their sorry behavior. I think it helps to reinforce the fact that there are a lot of people who don’t drink the Kool-aid and it’s good that they know we are out here and they know what we really think of them even if they cut our posts.

  24. Paul said

    @Tom B.

    You got that right. My head goes blank trying to figure some of the topics. OMG, last summer I emailed a bean counter friend of mine back in the USA about the CA Hu McCulloch August 23rd, 2009 – Spline Smoothing post. “A cubic spline is simply a piecewise cubic function, with discontinuities in its third derivative at selected “knot points,” but continuous lower order derivatives. This curve happens to approximate the shapes taken by a mechanical spline, a flexible drafting tool, and minimizes the energy required to force the mechanical spline through selected values at the knot points. The “5-year” spline used by Macias Fauria et al presumably has knot points spaced 5 years apart.”

    Not for nothin’ but I am not willing to read or reread statistical functions at that level at this point in my life. Thank goodness for the comments that break the topics down so I can most of the time get the gist of what is going on.

    I do get hot under the collar at many of these Alarmist sites but I know I am not being singled out. Anyone that does not drunkenly moan the mantra of the CO2 AGW church is swiftly dispatched. The posts of both Pielkes and even Christy are so carefully worded at times I think they are standing on egg shells while typing at the keyboard and still they are treated with malice and marginalized by the high priests of the church of CO2 AGW.

  25. Lady in Red said

    Oh. pshaw! I am history. I never was. I posted, commented, asked, respectfully.

    They/he/it trashed. I am done.

    This is interesting. …Lady (in Red)

  26. Jeff Id said

    #25, If you try it again under a different name, give a similar message yet say something bashing WUWT deniers, it will probably go right through.

  27. TerryMN said

    #25, why on earth do you care? That little echo chamber is such an unimportant, obscure web cul de sac anymore that it is completely irrelevant, save as a tiny CAGW support group. My advice is to borrow a tactic from The Team and “move on.” 🙂

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