the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Steve McIntyre Breaks Radio Silence

Posted by Jeff Id on December 10, 2009

Ok, my current responsibilities are delayed again. THIS is CLIMATEGATE folks. There is only one outsider with the experience in climatology to put everything into context. I’ve been at this for just over a year, however, Steve McIntyre just LIT THE FIRE of Climategate in a way that hasn’t been done before.


hehehe BOOM!

I’m back to work again, but in the meantime, everyone with any interest in climate science better read this.

20 Responses to “Steve McIntyre Breaks Radio Silence”

  1. Kenneth Fritsch said

    From the IPCC related discussion we have:

    Keith’s series… differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series. (Mann, Sep 22, 1999, 0938018124.txt)

    Which appears to confirm what I said here:

    I find it difficult to believe that other climate scientists and probably most have had to have the same doubts as Briffa about regressed proxy validity. Briffa had doubts that he was willing to share in private emails but not go public with. Others evidently did not want to go that far with their doubts. What was or could be constraining them. I truly think it has been all about keeping the consensus in place and not allowing the dissenters an opportunity to question it.

    The tree ring and other proxy girls and boys understand their doubts about their field of specialty and the modelers have the same doubts about theirs, but they imagine that the other guy knows what he is doing and therefore the conclusion of AGW remains in effect and they thus do not mind suppressing the uncertainties. The IPCC is the piece de resistance where one sees the effects of the consensus thinking and where all but the true believers must wonder at the lack uncertainty expressed in the conclusions.

  2. Jeff Id said

    The comments at CA haven’t figured it out yet. I may have to do a translation post.

    Update: it’s starting to make sense now. A bad day for paleoclimatology.

  3. stan said

    I’m amazed at the people who want to appear reasonable by quickly dismissing any claims of a possible conspiracy. There WAS a conspiracy. Mikey Mann and Phil Jones and the rest of the hockey team and Real Climate bunch have actively conspired together. It was clearly apparent long before the CRU leak.

    The Pielkes have long pointed out how the IPCC and other assessments deliberately slanted the science. Anyone paying attention over the years at CA has seen the evidence pile higher and higher. A variety of climate scientists have resigned from the IPCC and described how rigged the system is. How much evidence does it take?

    And now we have the e-mails. It isn’t possible for an honest person to read those e-mails and fail to conclude that the people involved were conspiring together. No possible way. It’s as obvious as anything can be.

    That doesn’t mean that thousands or even hundreds of scientists were involved. Most of them were simply ideological fellow travelers and useful idiots. But a small hardcore group of insiders were very clearly active in an ongoing collusion to slant the science. That’s undeniable.

  4. Quantum said

    “DEAR UNITED NATIONS: I am a journalist.
    “Some of the little people say there is no Global Warming.
    “Scientists say, ‘If you see it in the IPCC it’s so.’
    “Please tell me the truth; is there Global Warming?


    CAMPBELL, the little people are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they can see and measure. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Campbell, whether they be climate skeptic’s or journalist’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world of consensus about him, as measured by Al Gore’s intelligence to grasp the whole of truth and knowledge.

    Yes, CAMPBELL, there is Global Warming. It exists as certainly as raw data manipulation, computer modeling, and hubris exist, and you know that saving the world gives your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Global Warming. It would be as dreary as if there were no CNN. There would be no childlike faith in computer models, no media panic, no hiding the decline to make tolerable this existence. We should have no climate funding, except in observing and measuring. The eternal tax revenues with which government funds the world would be extinguished.

    Not believe in Global Warming! You might as well not believe in hockey sticks! You might get your boss to hire experts to audit all the code and data on CRU’s computers to catch Global Warming, but even if they did not see Global Warming, what would that prove? Nobody can prove Global Warming, but that is no sign that there is no Global Warming. The most real data in the world are those that neither skeptics nor FOIA requests can see. Did you ever see missing temperature records? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the weather data there are unseen and un-reproducible in the world.

    You may tear apart the tree trunks and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering real understanding of the climate which not the strongest skeptic, nor even the united strength of all the FOIA requests, could tear apart. Only faith in authority, fancy statistics, peer review, love of modeling, no chance for dissent, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the epicyclical beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, CAMPBELL, in all this world there is nothing else as real and settled.

    No Global Warming! Thank Gore! it lives, and it lives forever. A thousand years from now, Campbell, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will continue to make glad the heart of world governance.

  5. Tom C said

    Quantum –


  6. Chuck said

    Now that the ‘context’ of the emails is now understood. Has anyone suspected Briffa to be the source of the leaks? Maybe after all these years he has had enough.
    After all he did release the yamal data not so long ago and he did seem somewhat upset about the deletion of part of the series for the IPCC report

  7. Greg F said

    I was thinking the same as Chuck. Seems odd, with all the trouble the team went through to keep the data hid away, that Briffa would use Yamal in a journal that would force him to release it.

  8. Matt Pearson said

    There is a sense of momentum shift happening, and I believe that Steve McIntyre’s latest post may, ironically, prove to be the “tipping” point. Bit by bit, the collective individuals who have worked so hard to make sense and, dare I say it, context, out of the released code and emails have succeeded in making clear a fundamental point. Science matters. The Scientific Method matters. Subversion of science never, ever, succeeds in the long run. I am so proud of Mr. McIntyre and his relentless pursuit for the truth. I look at the work of the Pielke’s, father and son, and admire how they have conducted themselves in the face of often time withering criticism. How Richard Lindzen, Anthony Watts and others have always stood for science, and for truth. For weeks I have been so very, very angry over what has transpired. And then today, after I read Mr. McIntyre’s piece, I felt clarity and pride. To all the people who proudly claim to be skeptics, including you Jeff, my heartfelt thanks. I am not a scientist per se. Regardless of the outcome of all of this, I feel much better about the state of science than I have in a very long time.

    A very heartfelt thank you.

    Matt Pearson

  9. DaveJR said

    In the words of the Foo Fighters 🙂

    “I thought i knew
    All it took to bother you
    Every word i said was true
    And that you’ll see

    How could it be
    I’m the only one who sees
    Your rehearsed insanity Yeah

    I still refused
    All the methods you abused
    It’s alright if you’re confused
    Let me be

    I’ve been around
    All the pawns you’ve gagged and bound
    They’ll come back and knock you down
    And I’ll be free

    I’ve taken all and i’ve endured
    One day this all will fade im sure

    I don’t owe you anything (*4)

    I had no hand
    In your ever desperate plan
    It returns and when it lands
    Words are due

    I should have known
    We were better off alone
    I looked in and I was shown
    You were too

    Ive taken all and I’ve endured
    One day this all will fade i’m sure

    I don’t owe you anything (*8)”

  10. Joe NS said

    I concluded two weeks ago – and posted here – that “NOTHING in the zip file is irrelevant.” All those emails that announced no more than the dates and locations of Team meetings were included, we now see, by “Whistleblower” in his “random selection of documents” for good and sufficient reasons, namely, to provide the real “context” to the maladroit comments of Mann, Jones, Briffa et al. The cited meetings should be used to filter and contextualize all the emails, not just those dating from September, 1999.

  11. John Wright said

    Carrying on from what Chuck and Greg F suggest, I was just saying to myself on reading the mail extracts that Briffa came out of all this rather better than the others. Hmmm…

  12. Hoi Polloi said

    On Lucia’s blackboard I did put my money on Briffa 10 days ago (or so), let’s see….

  13. Frank K. said

    Hoi Polloi said
    December 11, 2009 at 11:15 am

    “On Lucias blackboard I did put my money on Briffa 10 days ago (or so), lets see.”

    If that were true, it would rock the dendro (and climate science) community to it’s core!

  14. There is no need to claim conspiracy or argue over the motives. The fact that the data was updated (as Steve is elaborating) in order to be accepted into the review process in 1999 is sufficient to show that the process is biased. Intention or not is not important – history will re-write that in 50 years time anyway. What is important is to identify the biases, and determine how significant they are in total. Each individual bias on it’s own may not amount for much, but together they could easily hide something important.

  15. crosspatch said

    The entire chain of events is sadly disturbing. It looks like Briffa was interested in showing modern temperatures in their proper context WRT warm periods in the past and was interested showing natural climate variation outside of those possibly caused by orbital dynamics. Now, we can’t know what other communications ensued (e.g. telephone calls) but the change in tone within 24hrs from Briffa is interesting.

    It seems as though it was very important for him to remain in the good graces of Jones and the others in the IPCC circle and in order to do so, had to accept that his work would be “filtered” to show only what they (Jones et al) wanted it to show. He allowed his work to be “cherry picked” where the information was “on message” and allowed any data counter to the message to be clipped without formal protest.

    I suppose the pressure can be great. Particularly when it comes to being associated with those who collect all of the research grants.

    It is sad because it appears that he obviously felt pressured to sacrifice his personal integrity in order to remain “in” and protested initially but obviously relented in the end. What if he had dug his heels in? My guess is that he risked having his input dropped completely in order to maintain the “consensus” of the larger group and then possibly being ostracized in the future. That might have a serious negative impact on his ability to obtain research grants (or at least a sacrifice of the positive impact that being cited by the IPCC might have) and could impact review results of any future research.

    I feel a little sorry for Briffa at this point in the same way I feel sorry for a “good” kid who falls in with a bad crowd and allows himself to be influenced by them to do things he knows is wrong.

  16. KDK said

    Okay, USA, and the world… ANYTHING coming from the UN is to now be suspect. IF, and I mean IF, our gov is to make policies based on the UN docs/recommendations, IT SHOULD BE LAW THAT THE CITIZENS SEE IT FIRST… ALL THE DATA.

    Let the people tell congress how they want them to vote based on our interpretations and debate from all sides.

    This is how it should be and we should demand it… DEMAND it. The UN is definitely a tool that has been outed–well, many of us already knew, but this BS should set it clear in many minds. The UN is NOT the US and should NOT be telling us what to do.

    Busted… keep busting.. 🙂

  17. dribble said

    Crosspatch on Briffa: “My guess is that he risked having his input dropped completely in order to maintain the “consensus” of the larger group and then possibly being ostracized in the future. That might have a serious negative impact on his ability to obtain research grants ”

    Don’t beat about the bush, old son. You mean to say: “That WOULD have a serious negative impact on his ability to obtain research grants.”

  18. SteveGinIL said

    Stan –

    Reading the emails, the first impression I got (and I think what is giving them a pass when others read them) is that, “well, of course, they have to settle on how the data are to be presented, so these kinds of discussions make sense.”

    However, as I just posted over at Steve’s post about Briffa being leaned on and the context of the ‘tricks’ email, Briffa cannot be the only one whose data was “suggested” to be left out or presented another way, so as to not cloud the message. HOW MANY HAVE BEEN LEANED ON AND THEN SHUT THEIR MOUTHS?

    And what kind of ill will did any of that produce? So many have resigned from the IPCC for being forced to take positions they were uncomfortable with or seeing things going on they did not like.

    The Russians are clearly telling everyone it wasn’t them that hacked the emails. They say they were “uploaded.” When I first read that, my thoughts went to Briffa, but also to Jones. Did Briffa or Jones finally have enough conscience? Did he/they decide to get out and do something good as they cut the cord (ala Daniel Ellsberg)?

    Clearly the most obvious explanation for the “hacking” is that it wasn’t a hack at all, but a leak. If so, you heard it here first.

    My money is on Jones. He seems to have far too readily “stepped down” temporarily. It is almost as if he wanted to step down.

    Mann seems to be the Big Bad Wolf, huffing and puffing at everyone else, to keep them frightened. Perhaps one of the little pigs said, finally, “Go ahead, I didn’t like that straw house anyway.”

    Time will tell…

  19. SteveGinIL said

    Ha ha ha! I hadn’t read far enough down the comments here before posting my suspicions about a leak. Excellent!

  20. SteveGinIL said

    Crosspatch: “I suppose the pressure can be great. Particularly when it comes to being associated with those who collect all of the research grants.”

    Up on their pedestals, the academics point at others who work with industrial/corporate funders and pretend like that is being whores, while their own entire careers are wrapped around whoring for grants. They see one as squeaky clean and the other as being, well… whores – and all the while they are bent over forward, asking those who control the grants if there are any other positions they prefer.

    It is an unfortunate comparison, but. . .

    When for any reason the scientist has to follow only one line of research, the science in Science is already gone.

    When pre-conceived conclusions drive evidence, evidence no longer is evidence, but spin. This is true no matter how much one believes the conclusions are true. Science is about “Prove it!” and being open to that proof failing.

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