the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Dr. Steig’s Thoughts

Posted by Jeff Id on December 1, 2009

Apparently our recent conversations where we tried to make nice have ended and Jeff Id is back in the doghouse with Dr. Steig.  The comment at surreal climate was with respect to some ridiculous idea that government will solve the honesty problems it has created by creating more regulations.

Guess where the crazies link goes to.  It’s plural though so maybe it’s you guys he’s referring too.

Comment by George Ortega — 29 November 2009 @ 11:28 AM

[Response: I can’t support this, I’m afraid, and neither would any of my colleagues. The way to get rational honest discussion to happen is to make your voice heard — write letters to congress; write letters to the mainstream media; talk to you friends and neighbours. But ‘laws’ about truth always backfire. Your intentions are good, but you are proposing an Orwellian system that is quite frightening. This is exactly the kind of thing that the crazies out there would like to believe that mainstream scientists and environmentalists (not the same thing, by the way) want. Please don’t help stoke their deluded fantasies!–eric]

38 Responses to “Dr. Steig’s Thoughts”

  1. debreuil said

    I noticed that too… With people like George Ortega there (aka “put people in jail if they are skeptical of climate change”), not sure why they needed an external link to define ‘crazies’.

  2. David Jay said

    Oh, no!

    Monsters from the ID!
    (Forbidden Planet, 1959)

    [Jeff: – I thought of that when picking the moniker. 🙂 ]

  3. gamail said

    Jeff, this is more indicative of Mr Steig’s problem with reality than it is a reflection on your capabilities (no news to you I presume). Your blog and contributions to CA have been a pleasure to read and think about. You are now on the winning side of the debate – before the whistleblower documentation of events you were just on the right side of the debate.

  4. Jeff Id said

    #3 I wonder if you’re right. Is it possible that this has enough effect that the science finally opens up it’s discussion again? There is now a serious weight against the climate community when they say consensus, peer review or IPCC. In blogland people aren’t likely to forget soon but the press is working hard to cover the depth of the problems.

  5. NormD said

    Well I for one thoroughly enjoy your postings.

    Dr. Steig and his crowd are overly self-important and lack the humility of good scientists.

  6. gamail said

    You are right of course the interests of the governments (the sponsors) – the MSM media (the publicists who get their daily fodder by copying dispatches from Greenpeace or WWF or other) and the misanthropists (green lobby) align with corrupt science. However people if given a glimpse of reality will understand. What is missing to keep the people informed and interested is legal action – this is not yet corrupt I think. I for one would be willing to contribute to a fund that would initiate specific lawsuits against corrupt individuals – there has to be strategy about it. The money involved will always work out against science unless institutions are targeted and donors to that institution are kept informed. This is the only way I can help protect my kids against a corrupt worldview. This issue will not be faced by Chinese, Indians or other developing economies for the next generation.I am hoping that when they achieve prosperity they will have learned of our mistakes

  7. Bill Jamison said

    To paraphrase an old saying in Hollywood…Any link is a good link!

  8. Ryan O said

    <–crazy. 😀

  9. TerryMN said

    I think Steig is still a bit bitter about his increasingly humorous “maybe you should take my matlab class” snipe. It doesn’t justify his being a complete ass, but it’s the first thing that springs to my mind every time I read something of his, or look at a new set of figures from your guys Antarctic recon.

  10. Pat Frank said

    Hi Jeff — maybe Steig is thinking of your political commentary to justify his “crazies” comment. Your science analyses are excellent, and if he’s thinking of those he’s way off base.

    But any political opinions will be used to make rhetorical capital in the lurid political light of today’s climatology. Steve McIntyre has been very careful to avoid any political color in his posts. So no one can attack and discredit his views on science by referencing his politics.

    Your science is too good to allow extremists to disparage your work by referencing your political opinions. So, maybe it would help to avoid airing ‘left wing/right wing’ political views in writing your posts. It would deny these folks a convenient polemical target, since they clearly can’t target your science.

  11. Ryan O said

    #10 I understand what you’re saying, but I like the Id. Stifling the Id would, in my opinion, be a disservice.

    So what if others don’t agree with Jeff’s politics? I say it doesn’t matter. 😉

  12. Layman Lurker said


    It is the Id that drives the science as well as the politics. 😉

  13. Jeff Id said

    Gawd that’s funny. I’m just a grumpy engineer, with no intent to maximize effectiveness in the debate other than there still is one and science is fun.

    This blog was a gateway in this instance, at first when the emails hit it was like- why here? Put the link somewhere else. Now I’m glad that the people who did this got it done here and realize that it probably makes sense considering the almost complete lack of quality moderation haha. Both I and the guest posts have a lot of effort into this collection – data, code, links and transparency keep this group together. Some of those who guest post flatly (and IMHO incorrectly) disagree politically and think I’m crazy too. Doc Steig has some good company here on that point.

    In the meantime, climate has our attention for a bit so who cares if some people have figured out that Obama’s an over his head communist hehe. Say what you think, hide it and you do a disservice to those who read.

  14. Jeff Id said

    Doc Steig is probably in a real hot spot right now. He’s surrounded by people who are in big trouble and doing anything they can to salvage some credibility. If tossing tAV under the bus is what’s required that’s fine.

    In the meantime there is an Antarctic submission coming up. It will probably be one of the next skeptic papers to get reviewed. It will be interesting to see how the reviews play out this time won’t it…


  15. stan said

    Steig decided to use Mikey Mann as a co-author even after there was a complete library of sound criticism showing that Mann was statistically in way over his head. And he got stung. Seems to me that Steig was pretty reckless and foolish with his professional reputation. And now that Mikey has been exposed to the whole world as a real nasty piece of work, Steig looks even worse.

    Maybe he’s just a wild and crazy guy. 😉

  16. wattsupwiththat said

    Norm D said: “Dr. Steig and his crowd are overly self-important and lack the humility of good scientists.”

    As I understand it, some of the egos are so large that the Department of transportation has to put out orange cones ahead of them when they travel the roads.

  17. Pat Frank said

    #11 and #13 — I enjoy the political barbs at tAV as well, even if sometimes only for the sharp flavor they add. 🙂 So long as you’re just in it for the fun, and don’t care about the fallout, then with Ryan I also say go for it.

    I’m looking forward to reading your Antarctica paper. I expect it’ll show that certain results are really ‘worse than we thought.’ Maybe even “unprecedented!”

  18. Layman Lurker said

    #16 Anthony

    There we have it. It is the “ego” vs. the “Id”.

  19. timetochooseagain said

    No doubt they will start calling you an arch denier now.

    Wow Jeff! You really know how to become influential. Who was it who said if you’ve never made any enemies you’ve never done anything worth doing?

  20. Ryan O said

    #19 Though, in truth, the corollary: “if you have made enemies, you must have done something worth doing” is not necessarily true.

    In this case, however, the corollary holds. 😀

  21. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said

    They, (the team) are twitching like worms in the poison that they laid onto them selves!!!

    Oh, man, did that feel goooood…..

    I wonder if it was TCO that put out the info…????

    A.W. LOL!!!! “the egos are so large that the Department of transportation has to put out orange cones ahead of them when they travel”

  22. Jeremy said

    I wanted more context as I never go to RC… so I went to find the original post that Steig was responding do, and I made it this far…

    —>”In the United States and other countries, climate change misinformation legislation is clearly necessary to finally put, and keep, the seriousness of global warming at center stage. An ingenious dynamic of this legislation is that it would not even need to pass and be signed into law to have much of its intended effect.”

    And my mouth dropped open in awe at the servile mindset that we seem to be dealing with. Imagine! A free thinking citizen is proposing legislation to silence other free thinkers! And to their mind it’s all justified because of the “seriousness of global warming”… just f-ing wow. They say history repeats itself, and I can only hope that somehow the free nations of the world manage to salvage what sanity they have left. The last time large segments of a nations population believed the lies and promises of a few, we had a world war.

  23. Jeff Id said

    #22, I wish that the moment were unique.

  24. Carrick said

    He’s just mad at you cause you didn’t squelch

  25. TerryMN said

    Ya gotta admit, Jeff – best deer hunting trip ever! 😀

  26. Kev of Oz said


    Jeremy @ #22 has nailed the natural evolution of the eco-authoritarians following on Climategate.

    This is especially pertinent to yourself at ‘Ground Zero’ and the other lead bloggers who carried the story forward.

    As is clearly evidenced – the mainstream media was completely out-to-lunch or onboard with the programme. I gather Andy Revkin’s comments at the NYT indicate that had the CRU document folder arrived on his desk in hard copy – he would have promptly recycled it, because of the NYT’s ethical concerns regarding the origin of the documents. Apparently they sat on a ‘too hard’ pile at the BBC for the same reason ?

    Good thing Woodward and Bernstein weren’t quite so squeamish about source material on the Watergate break-in, eh ? Or those nasty Pentagon Papers leaks published by the NYT back when it was a journal, not a political advocacy forum ??

    It is now abundantly clear to the Climate Elite that this thing only survived because of the bloggosphere.

    And you can bet your boots that the issue of the bloggosphere and its management will be a big off-agenda topic at Copenhagen.

    Clearly they do not want to throw out friendly echo chambers like RC, CP, Dot Earth etc.

    And my original thinking would be government attempts to target the ‘Resistance’ by using existing human rights legislation and going after any sort of inappropriate comments that might be trawled up on the sites of yourself, Mr Watts, Andrew Bolt, Bishop Hill etc.

    However, the suggestion that the New Class would not even be that subtle, and will seek to introduce direct legislation that out-right suppresses heretical ( skeptical ) commentary is pretty much where the bold inheritors of the fine control traditions of 20th century totalitarianism would soon wind up !

    eg this story on the Guardian is getting a bit of blog coverage, because – surprisingly for the Guardian – the author is actually getting comments that take his content to task:

    But I would argue the real smoking gun is in his leader, which opens with:

    “If Australia does not silence its sceptics……”

    Good one Fred – and how do you propose in a liberal democracy dissent be silenced ?

    Given that the Australian federal government thought they had the opposition sown up right until the last minute, when a leadership challenge unseated the totally onboard former Liberal leader – the Feds haven’t had time to build concentration camps before Copenhagen. And with the clock running – what is your short-term expedient, summary execution in the streets for the sceptics ?

    Could The Guardian possibly be any more obvious in its illiberal and authoritarian elitism ??

    Brace yourself.

  27. Fluffy Clouds (Tim L) said


    wow! look at your blog mentioned here.

    you wanted an unbiased place to talk to here is one!!!!

    187K in traffic ranking? is that correct? that is all sites in the WWW?

  28. rafa said

    Mr. Steig’s response is bad-mannered. Not only that, if Dr. Steig did not warn you in advance of such a comment (or immediately after writing it) he is also a coward.

  29. Geoff Sherrington said

    Re 26 Kev of Oz

    ““If Australia does not silence its sceptics……”

    I’m a proud Australian, but I’m not so much interested in appendages like “denialist” or “skeptic” because I don’t have to be. That’s play acting. I can swith off an errant PM when he makes mistakes on the telly, but it’s harder for him to switch me off. No button.

    If you analyse some data and find an error, you should be rewarded, not chastised.

    It’s the education of our children that makes me sad. So many generations of teachers becoming intellectually inbred, so few excellent ones.

  30. Will said

    Google who owns YouTube has shutdown the most linked video “Hide The Decline”
    If you click on it you will get an error message.
    SHAME on you Google !
    Whilst there are other copies, most web sites link to this one.
    The counter on it has stopped at about 300,000

  31. Raven said


    Link works fine for me, however, there is notice that JibJab disclaims all association with the video. I wonder if access has been blocked only in the US.

  32. AndyL said

    This text from MG4W in the comments probably explains what has happened – posted an hour ago:

  33. AndyL said

    OK so I’ve no idea how blockquote works – here’s the text:

    I used the JibJab eCard generator to put Michael Mann’s head into these animations. JibJab wanted the disclaimer put on here because people were contacting them thinking this whole thing was their creation.

  34. KevinM said

    There is so much randomness in the temperature charts. The team must be staring at the data right now hoping the next move breaks the right way, like a 55 year old who’s underfunded his IRA.

    Goldman Sachs: lets get some temperature derivative ETFs out there! I want to go short on tropospheric heat.

  35. mikef said

    Hello all,
    This is a bit OT but I think relevant to the idea of government/MSM collusion.

    We recently had a bit of a ding dong in good old Blighty about MPs expenses. A blogger decided to spill the beans about it, and then the brit msm had to pile on.
    But the thing is, the Brit msm knew all about this expenses scandal for years, but chose not to report it because, as they later admitted, it would have cut off their supply of other news stories. For example the BBC upset Alex Fergusan on Man U once so he will not talk to the BBC anymore. Scared of losing thier ‘insider’ connections all the political journalists avoided upsetting thier politician friends about the expenses story, until it was reported on the web first.
    The implication here is that the ‘news’ is only what is allowed to be seen in a ‘you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours’ way. This is no different than when a celebrity gets a publicist and that publicist plays off damaging stories with less damaging but ‘interesting stories’.
    Hence Revkin etc are sitting on an uncomefortable crossroads of toadyism or integrity.

    Without wanting to go political on this, you can see evidence of the same problem in the BBC and others ME reporting, if they say it how it is, thier reporters get kicked out of certain areas, so they are less than candid, having to put in ‘good words’ for the regime in which they operate. If they don’t, they get kicked out, can’t broadcast anything, which in the end means they can’t do there job (heh!) and get fired.

    Human nature…lets hope that now the Climategate story has broken that the journo’s are given the opportunity to print what they see, not whats told. However…I do not have much hope.

  36. Kenneth Fritsch said

    When it comes to the AGW mitigation debate, I do not think one can separate politics entirely and particularly with regards to how people come down on it and how hard. As a libertarian I have reasons to doubt the efficacy of government in these matters as I would almost all government enterprises. At the same time I know that many participants in this debate, who believe strongly in bigger government, are more easily persuaded that the barrier (uncertainty in the level of future AGW and the detrimental effects thereof) to getting started with mitigation is small or nonexistent. I truly think that nearly all those in the consensus on AGW are there because they do not see any harm coming from government mitigation of just about ant proportion even if they are completely wrong about the predictions and uncertainties. It is easy to raise your hand for high probability of AGW and its bad effects when you feel there are no bad consequences for the mitigation.

    Having said that, I do not want to waste time with people’s motivations or political views when it comes to analyzing the details of climate science. The straight science and statistics utilized are too much fun to allow distractions. I see a certain charm from Jeff ID’s venting about political issues and mainly because he does not take himself all that seriously when he is spouting. I can see why Steve M does not want to mix policy and politics (or religion) into his blog because it can derail any serious analysis and/or auditing effort. Plus he and his blog have a different persona than Jeff ID and his blog.

    So my advice is: keep the politics and science separate, and above all (this is my main beef with Jeff ID’s and Steve M’s blogs) do not waste band width on what an RC or Steig might say in the way of advocacy or advocacy snarking. They are very predictable and, by the way, those snarks will come whether you express a political opinion or not. You can in no way reply to a generalized comment by Steig. Let us concentrate on the details of climate science and forget about the generalizations.

    PS: A past master at generalizations is Judith Curry. Watch closely how she operates and then tell me this is a good and reasonable approach for discussing the climate science issues – or even the advocacy ones that she is so wont to include.

  37. stan said

    Judith Curry seems to me to be someone whose basic approach comes off like this —

    it’s very important that we who believe in AGW be perceived by the public to be doing good, quality science. Being seen as doing good, quality science is the best opening for us to convince the public that the mean, nasty, industry-funded nut jobs are a bunch of liars. So let’s all be sure to clean up our methods in order to stop giving them these free shots.

    Anyway, that’s what I read between the lines.

  38. The Diatribe Guy said

    #26 – A few years ago, I would have chalked up suggestions that blogs such as this were at risk of any kind of censorship or interference from the government. I think it speaks a lot about the times we’re in when I read comments such as yours and I don’t consider it over-the-top rhetoric. I have a blog myself (which pales in comparison to The Air Vent) and have often enough wondered what kind of trouble I may be in for some day for simply presenting some charts or data that don’t seem to be in compliance with the accepted dogma.

    It’s a crazy world out there, and the most worrisome aspect of the AGW debate to me has been the willingness of the proponents to suggest far-reaching attacks against the liberty of dissent as a means to an end. With compliant governments seeking those same ends, who knows what we’re in for? This Climategate scandal can go in a couple different directions. One is to have it break open with consistent headlines and keep the fight alive so that enough people openly question things and take a second, honest look at the science. The other is to embolden the warmer crowd to acts of utter desperation, while we see the clamps really come down hard on the dissetners, in one way or another.

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