the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Report Card – by McKitrick

Posted by Jeff Id on August 10, 2010

In the recent weeks Ross McKitrick has been tearing through climate science™ like a wrecking ball.  He and others have been pointing out one flaw after another in ground temperatures, models, and now the alleged reviews of climategate.  Reader Don B left a link to Bishop Hill’s blog which then links to Ross’s latest report that describes the nature of the reviews.

[snip]

The papers reported the committee report conclusions far more vigorously than they reported the scandal itself, there were over 3000 articles the first day on exoneration of wrongdoing, wheras climategate itself didn’t get that kind of coverage for weeks.  To my eyes, it is a frightening proof of the breadth of the government’s control over the media, and even worse the international control of information. A propagandist might claim that it’s only the media going to the ‘right’ sources, IMO the lies are just too big and transparent for that claim to be reasonable.

While this document covers all the reports the Penn State University report was the most pathetic.

They were not falsifying data;they were trying to construct an understandable graph for those who were not experts in the field. The so-called “trick” was nothing more than a statistical method used to bring two or more different kinds of data sets together in a legitimate fashion by a technique that has been reviewed by a broad array of peers in the field.

To which Ross makes this comment:

It is obviously ludicrous to claim that deleting data and making an undisclosed splice of different data in order to conceal an inconvenient pattern in the original data set is legitimate and widely accepted. It was not supported by any evidence disclosed by the committee. Even the Muir Russell report concluded that Jones’ actions in this case were “misleading.”

It’s not like you can tone the comment down any more than that.  How do you make a criticism of a patently false and ridiculous statement form Penn State “investigation” sound reasonable.

PSU:  It seems you assert 2 + 2 = 5

Mann: In most cases within the bounds of error.

PSU: I see, it seems scientists used known, legitamate techniques reviewed and accepted by a broad array of peers to trick you into not knowing about the decline

Jones: Yes , legitimate.  Everyone knew about it, afterward.

PSU: Thank you for your time gentlemen, I’ll phone you later to write up our report.

Ross:  Ludicrous

BBC:  We would like to apologize for reporting the Climategate exaggeration, all the facts weren’t in.

ABC: Today scientists are exonerated from the scandal we didn’t report.

MSNBC: Ditto

CBS: So we’re back on message right guys?

ABC: Pass the coolaid, it’s getting hot out again.

Id:  WTF?

Anyway, in case you were still guessing what my thoughts were, there you go.  Check out the report, Ross did an amazing job and as the Bishop Hill blog points out, I cannot believe how much work that guy is doing.  I was going to do another writeup on the recent Ross paper on models – because that result is far more important, but this took precedence.  Read the article, you sure as hell aren’t going to get the news anywhere else.

PSU undergrad: Can I do that too?

PSU: Don’t be a smartass, you’ll be expelled.

31 Responses to “Report Card – by McKitrick”

  1. YFNWG said

    Yes, M&M are very industrious Canadians.🙂

  2. stan said

    PSU undergrad: Can I do that too?

    PSU: Only if you have millions in grants lined up.

  3. Gary said

    PSU undergrad: Can I do that too?

    PSU: As long as you pay your term bill.

  4. PhilJourdan said

    Stan #2 – You hit the nail on the head. Money talks and in climate science, it is shouting down facts and the truth.

  5. Brian H said

    Money talks, and won’t brook any interruptions.

  6. omanuel said

    Thank you, Jeff, for Ross McKitrick’s report, “. . . frightening proof of the breadth of the government’s control over the media, and even worse the international control of information.”

    http://rossmckitrick.weebly.com/uploads/4/8/0/8/4808045/inquiries_response.pdf

    Thanks to the diligence of people like you and Steve McIntyre and Bishop Hill and Ross McKitrick the Climategate scandal has exposed the IAC (Inter-Academy Council) as a hidden but deep tap-root of the problem.

    According to: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/CMS/3239.aspx

    “In May 2000 all of the world’s science academies created the IAC to mobilize the best scientists and engineers worldwide to provide high quality advice to international bodies – such as the United Nations and the World Bank – as well as to other institutions.”

    According to: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/CMS/3239/5933.aspx

    “The IAC Board Members for 2009-2013 are:

    Robbert Dijkgraaf, Co-Chair
    President, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences

    LU Yongxiang, Co-Chair
    President, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    Howard Alper, Ex Officio Member
    Co-Chair, IAP: the global network of science academies

    Eduardo Charreau, Member
    President, Argentina National Academy of Exact, Physical and Natural Sciences

    Ralph Cicerone, Member
    President, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

    Robin Crewe, Member
    President, Academy of Science of South Africa

    Mohamed H.A. Hassan, Member
    President, African Academy of Sciences

    Ichiro Kanazawa, Member
    President, Science Council of Japan

    Yücel Kanpolat, Member
    President, Turkish Academy of Sciences

    Eduardo Moacyr Krieger, Member
    Former President, Brazilian Academy of Sciences

    Kurt Lambeck, Member
    President, Australian Academy of Science

    Sangkot Marzuki, Member
    President, Indonesian Academy of Sciences

    Volker ter Meulen, Member
    Former President, German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

    Jacob Palis, Member
    President, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS)

    Martin Rees, Member
    President, The Royal Society, United Kingdom

    Jean Salençon, Member
    President, Académie des Sciences, France

    Guy de Thé, Ex Officio Member
    Co-Chair, InterAcademy Medical Panel

    Achiel Van Cauwenberghe, Ex Officio Member
    Former President, International Council of Academies of Engineering and
    Technological Sciences(CAETS)

    M. Vijayan, Member
    President, Indian National Science Academy

    Goverdhan Mehta, Observer
    Former President, International Council for Science (ICSU)

    Ed Noort, Observer
    Foreign Secretary, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)

    IAC Secretariat

    John P. CAMPBELL
    Executive Director
    InterAcademy Council (IAC)
    Kloveniersburgwal 29
    1011 JV Amsterdam
    THE NETHERLANDS
    Email: j.campbell@iac.knaw.nl

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

  7. David S said

    Ross has said all that needs to be said about the various whitewashes. I am not quite as paranoid as you so far as the BBC and the UK media are concerned – I just think they are full of idealistic young arts grads with little or no experience of the real world who have bought the whole story, love the ickle poley bears, and have neither the attention span nor the numeracy to follow the arguments and understand what has gone wrong.

  8. omanuel said

    Thanks to diligent efforts by all, the Ross McKitrick report may have finally exposed the powerful tap-root of the Climategate scandal: The InterAcademy Council (IAC).

    According to: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/CMS/3239.aspx

    “In May 2000 all of the world’s science academies created the IAC to mobilize the best scientists and engineers worldwide to provide high quality advice to international bodies – such as the United Nations and the World Bank – as well as to other institutions.”

    According to: http://www.interacademycouncil.net/CMS/3239/5933.aspx

    The 22 IAC Board Members for 2009-2013 include Presidents of the:

    Académie des Sciences (France), Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS), Academy of Science of South Africa, African Academy of Sciences, Argentina National Academy of . . . Sciences, Australian Academy of Science, Brazilian Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina), Indian National Science Academy, Indonesian Academy of Sciences, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Science Council of Japan, U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Turkish Academy of Sciences, etc.

    Our opponents have a great deal of political power. Fortunately, they cannot change what is – and that includes the Sun and the Earth’s climate.

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

  9. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Ross has said all that needs to be said about the various whitewashes. I am not quite as paranoid as you so far as the BBC and the UK media are concerned – I just think they are full of idealistic young arts grads with little or no experience of the real world who have bought the whole story, love the ickle poley bears, and have neither the attention span nor the numeracy to follow the arguments and understand what has gone wrong.

    I would agree that ignorance and incompetence and brainlessly following a given POV can usually be more explanative than “bad motivations”. While I sometimes think that Jeff ID would do himself a favor by sparing us the emotions, I freely admit that when I am in front of my TV, I am the first to scream at media people who apparently accept that it is ok for politicians to lie and mislead. I think that when other parts of our society get politicized that we too often then start to accept the same lies and attempts to mislead.

    By the way, Ross McKitrick, is second to no one at the put down. He just does it at another level.

  10. Brian H said

    Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there isn’t a real conspiracy. First clues: trillion$$ at stake, politicians and “chief scientists” with fingers in the till, and artificial “urgency” where no postulated actions or trends actually have short-term consequences.

    Plus, there is a century of very explicit planning and positioning by One World ideologues to leverage some crisis or other into abolition of national boundaries in favour of global bureaucratic rule. The present circumstance suits these people to a “T”, and they are prominent in the CAGW elite.

    This is not at core a science problem; this is made evident by the pattern of resistance to and suppression of dissent, which goes far beyond the kind of reactionary insider maneuvering which is rife in the history of academe. Heavyweights who wouldn’t know a Gaussian distribution from a handsaw are pushing hard for drastic political action on the basis of model-hyped scare stories. While buying up beachfront property at depressed prices.

  11. Brian H said

    David S;
    1) The Beeb’s pension plans are deeply invested in greenwash firms of all stripes. They NEED the CAGW program to succeed.
    2) An insider’s account of the culture and mindset of the executives on down: Confessions of a BBC Liberal.

    It’s systemic.

  12. Jeff Id said

    #8 As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become less emotional in my response to crazy situations. However, they are still crazy. I really don’t want to spend the time deconstructing the ‘reviews’ it’s a waste of my time and apparently yours. Ross and Steve (and Roman) are all far more patient and meticulous about these things, it makes them more effective at it too, however, I didn’t intend start tAV to maximize my effect. Maybe I should have, but many of you are better than I at this sort of thing.

    Once I figure something out, the puzzle is over. The last M07 post which has to be done is drudgery now, two months ago I practially begged SteveM to tell me the answer but he didn’t know at the time. Now that I’ve figured it out, who cares.

    It’s a shortcoming, I know. BTW, I’m truly spoiled with the readership here. I prefer this group to most any blog. Which regular isn’t afraid to criticize?

    I’ll try and tone it down again, but my god this world is crazy.

  13. Jeff Id said

    #9, I’m certain that there is an unspoken conspiracy. They have the same government goals so you don’t need to discuss it. The politicians set it up, the scientists follow. It’s a very simple structure which requires no communication. I think the politicians in this case have outsmarted the scientists.

    According to the politicians preferred structure, funding is released by politicians on the advice of scientists. The worse the problem the more the funding and the more the required control by the politicians. It’s a mobius circle of self feeding prophecy – with at least a seed of truth at the center.

    CO2 does cause some warming.

    Even if you say no conspiracy and the structure was created by accident you get the same result.

  14. Sean said

    You mention the climate scientists, the media and the government as working together to reinforce a consistent message. I think you left out the corporate and finacial folks that stand to benefit as well. The people certainly know how to pull strings through lobbying the government but with the precarious state of most main stream media outlets the financial folks can also keep loans flowing to cash strapped organizations. In fact its these folks I suspect the most as any mentiong of a simple “carbon tax” is quickly talked down as unworkable in favor of trading schemes that benefit the finacial industry even though many are being found to be corrupt.

  15. Jeff Id said

    #13, From my perspective – referred to as conspiracy and therefore invalid – the biggest corporations pay the politicians in order to mitigate damage from stupid policy. They do work with the politicians in that they get promises of support in exchange for development of non-economical, and non-working technologies i.e. high speed rail in the US, solar, biofuel, green appliances etc..

    The biggest corporations are absolutely required to maintain our lifestyle. They know it, so do the politicians, but to the politicians only the message is critical. The feedbacks $$ incent people in the wrong direction, so that’s where they go. GE wouldn’t make FAKE, FALSE, BS, green appliances without the pressure from congress and especially without the support $$ expected in return. I wish only one party was interested in the money from this adventure. Since both have their hands in the cookie jar, both have become corrupted.

  16. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Posts #14 and 15:

    I agree that the large corporations can benefit by cooperating with the politicians, but in the end it is the government control over these corporations that is the corrupting factor. The government has the ultimate power and it is that power that is controlling. I sometimes think that the corruption that flows from too much government control is seen as corruption originating from the corporations and that the government must exert more control. This works for the politicians as a positive feedback loop with ever accelerating control by the government. It does not work for me and my libertarian friends.

  17. Brian H said

    #15;
    the difference between mutual-back-scratching and conspiracy is planning. What part of suspecting “planning” is necessarily “invalid”?

  18. Brian H said

    An excellent write-up of the paper’s background and effects here: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/the-models-are-wrong-but-only-by-400/ including Ross’ frustration at trying to pry Santers’ data loose: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/08/the-models-are-wrong-but-only-by-400/ . More of the “you’ll only try to pick holes in my lovely work” stuff.

  19. Brian H said

    Oops. Sorry for the double link. I blame hypoglycemia. Time for a snack.

  20. John F. Pittman said

    THe correct word and condition is confederacy, not conspiracy. You do not have to have an active conspiracy to hove a common output. Simply, like minded people doing like minded things. The most appropriate confederacy for this blog is the confederacy of liberals and enviromental activists who see government control as “the answer.” For the liberals, a means to distribute wealth and win votes. For the activists a way to control polluters. What makes it look like a conspiracy is that several to many members are in both groups at the same time. But remember that they see this as a win-win situation in their discussions and not the formation of lines of conspiracy. And they are correct.

  21. Jeff Id said

    #20, I believe the structure has been set up with intent by the politicians who found the IPCC, that’s the conspiracy part. If any of the 3 working groups failed in their mission to answer their own questions in the affirmative, the whole thing falls apart and the people involved loose their money. Therefore it should be no surprise that all three groups directing dozens of subgroups answer in ever more extreme ways. It’s an obvious structure with an obvious outcome that required no more planning than that, the lack of current planning doesn’t negate the initial.

    Of course then when a problem is found (Climategate), people conspire to cover it up. This was also a conspiracy, and plan by the media, government and UEA to make the situation as paletable as possible for the IPCC.

    And in my opinion they are wrong.

  22. Chris Zwarg said

    “To my eyes, it is a frightening proof of the breadth of the government’s control over the media, and even worse the international control of information. A propagandist might claim that it’s only the media going to the ‘right’ sources, IMO the lies are just too big and transparent for that claim to be reasonable.”

    I don’t think the governments have so much to do with this – so-called “investigative” leftist journalism, always trying to upset and overthrow the rule of the law and the peaceful industriousness of the people in the name of “freedom” has gobbled up the Greenie lies hook, line and sinker all by itself. If it is bad for “big oil” and other industry, and if it seeds mistrust of established non-greenie science among the readers (like the ubiquitous claims of this or that “causing cancer” and the tiresome tirades against science-based medicine), it’s good enough for them. They shout for MORE regulation and MORE restrictions of anything and everything useful and profitable all the time (and hoodwink voters to feel very “progressive” and righteous about it too) – that is, unless when it hits themselves in form of press censorship to stop their foul mouths, at which point they suddenly rediscover freedom! The press couldn’t care less if AGW is true or not, but they do care a lot that nobody dares doing business or science, or otherwise increase their own – and thus the world’s – wealth unrestrictedly.

  23. Bernie said

    #11
    Brian:
    Thanks for the link. It is nice to see that Jay has not lost his touch. I hope I can communicate that clearly when I am 80!!

  24. Bernie said

    I am not sure that there is a conspiracy. I think it is always smart to try first to understand a phenomena by examining the most relevant data that you trust. It may not be sufficient, but you need to ensure that you can explain the familair before trying to explain that with which you have less familiarity.
    Until I retired, I worked with a bunch of very smart, Harvard educated Cambridge liberal types. They are very good at what they do. They are all multi-talented. They work with senior executives of big companies and are very good consultants. They are by and large well read. They are smart, interesting, nice people. They are invariably polite and honest. I trust them professionally and personally. Without being super rich, they are definitely part of the liberal elite. They actively support and fundraise for our current Governor and President. They have a benign view of human nature. They believe unquestioningly in CAGW. They are, without being pejorative, “patellar” jerk liberals (thanks to Antony Jay for that one).
    It is a puzzle.
    What I can say is they are largely innumerate. They do not fact check things outside their immediate area of expertise. They are financially naive. They are largely ahistorical, i.e., they tend to pay little attention to what has happened in the past when similar policies have been pursued. They are largely blind to the inconsistencies in what they do and what they say. They talk largely to people from their own social status and with their own viewpoints (except me). They are, I think, utopians, by which I mean, they believe that a grand master scheme exists where everything will be better. Which tends to result in their belief in the promises of a politician rather than thinking about what has to happen in order for that promise to be achieved. For example, they actually believe that Obamacare will save money.

  25. John F. Pittman said

    #21.Jeff, it was setup with intent. But this does not make it a conspiracy. A counter example is that Bush setup regulations and contracts that benefited oil industry. They improved their profit lines. But it was not a conspiracy. He did not have to conspire with big oil for them to realize where their advantge lay and how to play for that advantage. The same is true for the UN and IPCC. The part of the media and governments also follows their mindset, not that they actually conspired. That is what makes the IPCC/politicians/media and Bush/oil examples, confederacies.

  26. stan said

    Global Warming is the biggest political issue on the planet and has been for years. And like most politics, we see an unholy alliance between insiders and activists for big government and big business. Given that science is involved, we can easily see that a significant group of already left-leaning academics joined the corrupt bargain.

    One doesn’t have to show that every activist, political lefty, politician, business exec, and scientist pushing the global warming meme has been part of a coordinated conspiracy before we can call it a conspiracy. Just as the Soviets had their fellow travelers and useful idiots, global warming has all kinds of “true believers” who need no instructions from “Moscow” to do the Party’s bidding.

    All we have to show is the mountain of evidence that the same coordination, PR techniques, campaigns, corruption, etc. that we typically see in left-wing politics has been used in the global warming campaign. And the evidence is indeed mountainous. We see lies, exaggerations, slander, cover-ups, and corruption as far as the eye can see. That ain’t science. We see so-called ‘journalists’ acting as cheerleaders for the cause and coordinating their messages with the team. We can follow the money — and the cash flow has become a flood. We see the abandonment of the scientific method and bizarre media campaigns which accompany the release of ‘studies’ which are supposed to be groundbreaking proof, yet prove to be incompetent hack jobs.

    And finally, we see a climate of intimidation and fear which runs rampant through the sciences. Roger, jr’s anecdote of how so many climate scientists tried to strong arm him with threats conveyed by his superiors should send a chill through all of us. That the matter was purely partisan politics and unrelated to science should be even more frightening. Talk about a conspiracy!

  27. Brian H said

    Jeff;
    I still disagree that the conspiracy is “unspoken”. That there are many “fellow travellers” whose innumeracy or other ignorances carry them along, and that there are strange bedfellows attracted to the big bux being thrown around, does not change the choice:
    Believe either that:
    1) the correspondence of developments to the explicit plans and priorities and tactics pushed and published world-wide by progressives from 1900 on is coincidence;
    OR
    2) the political class and academe and media have been systemically taken over and occupied and co-ordinated by those who said that’s exactly what they intended to do.

    Accepting (1) is giving far more benefit of the doubt to the one-world movement than it deserves, though not as much as it piously demands. A typical failing of the civilized and polite when dealing with the Machiavellian and ruthless.

  28. Brian H said

    P.S.
    My willingness to attribute goals and actions to “misplaced idealism” stops when those have the implicit or explicit condition and requirement that the idealizing ones and their friends be given carte blanche with the power of the state(s) to make it all happen. Occam’s Razor advises me that power-hunger be adopted as the (far) more parsimonious explanation.

  29. omanuel said

    Regretfully, I agree.

    The Climategate scandal caught them off-guard.

    Now is the time to push for reform by asking editors of journals to follow their own Mission Statements.

    Oliver K. Manuel

  30. Geoff Sherrington said

    Brian H mentioned “While buying up beachfront property at depressed prices.”

    The Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (Australia) recently refused to permit a private development proposed on private land because of the threat to nearby supporting infrastructure posed by rising sea levels. We seem but a step away from sterilisation of new coastal developments.

  31. Brian H said

    #30;
    I wonder that no one challenged them to prove there is a rise.

    IAC, I was referring to the Goracle’s purchase of a luxy beachhouse with his ill-gotten gains.

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