the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion


Posted by Jeff Id on October 8, 2010

I’m not sure what this has to do with climate, but I believe deep climate was the original discoverer of the problem.  Now it appears that Bradly is demanding an investigation.  From Eli Rabbit’s post regarding the Wegman report:

“Clearly, text was just lifted verbatim from my book and placed in the (Wegman) report,” says Bradley, who is also one of the authors of the 1999 Nature study. In response to earlier concerns raised by the Deep Climate website, Bradley says he wrote a letter in April to GMU, noting the possibility of plagiarism and demanding an investigation of both the 2006 report and a subsequent, federally-funded study published by some of Wegman’s students. “Talk about irony. It just seems surreal (that) these authors could criticize my work when they are lifting my words.”

I suppose that if they find problems in the origin of a portion of the Wegman report (not the correctness), we can go over all the reasons why short centered PCA makes no sense again. Naw, that’s old news.

Anyway, check out Eli’s celebratory post.

18 Responses to “Copygate”

  1. As the ship of consensus science sinks, . . .

    More and more strange events will unfold.

    Beneath the visible tip of the Climategate iceberg is the template of tactics used in astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, etc. to mislead the general public about the formation of the solar system, the Sun’s origin, chemical composition, source of energy, and influence on changes in Earth’s climate.

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

  2. kim said

    Ironies abound. Light, more light.

  3. curious said

    Didn’t G North’s team confirm Wegman’s findings?

  4. Messenger said

    It took them four years to notice possible plagiarism?

  5. Mike S. said

    OK, I admit to being a bit confused by “copygate”.

    Based on what I’ve seen posted on various alarmist blogs, a primary accusation seems to be that Wegman’s report copies chunks from Bradley’s Paleoclimatology: Reconstructing Climates of the Quaternary, but changes them to mean (or at least imply) something different than the original.

    Now, Wegman’s report clearly cites Paleoclimatology in the bibliography, but does not attribute specific passages to it (at least I don’t remember seeing any specific attributions, but then I only skimmed it). However, if Wegman wanted to use a chunk of text from Paleoclimatology as a base and adjust a few words to better convey what he was trying to say, how is he supposed to cite that? He’s not exactly quoting, but he’s not ‘not’ quoting either. I don’t remember anything about that kind of scenario in my old college writing classes.

    I didn’t note what other works Wegman is alleged to have plagiarized from, but it would not surprise me if they are all listed in his bibliography. So, is it plagiarism? Poor referencing? Something else? Does it even matter?

  6. curious said

    5 – Mike S – Thanks for flagging up the bibligraphy.

    Re: “Does it even matter?” From this quote at DeepClimate I think it is all tied in to legal positioning:

    “The Washington Post has also covered this development, noting that Virginia attorney general Ken Cuccinnelli’s legal pursuit of Michael Mann relies heavily on the Wegman Report. That report concludes:

    We’ve asked Cuccinelli’s office for reaction to news of the GMU investigation and we’ll bring you any response we receive.”

    Example of DC’s concerns here:

    Washington Post article here:

  7. Andrew said


  8. John F. Pittman said

    We do live in intersting times.

    As MikeS states, the work was referenced. IIRC, Wegman stated that he was looking at the statiscal use. So, he could very well quote from a work and write conclusions not just different, but opposite of the author, and be correct.

    I think the political part of Cuccinnelli’s use of Wegman is an intersting tie.

    Something to consider, it is not unusual that when persons use the legal system for other purposes, these purposes and persons are exposed.

  9. Lucia said

    Your coinage of “copygate” has been noted at collide-a-scape. I’m going to have to use it. If this catches on, you’ll have created a word!

  10. […] first use, see Jeff post announcing the Wegman investigation at WMU. I learned of the coinage at […]

  11. curious said

    8 – John, BigCityLib left a comment at WUWT speculating that the legal action could be publisher instigated wrt copyright issues.

  12. kim said

    This was literature review of basic science, Bradley’s work is mentioned in the bibliography, Wegman’s points about social networks and Mann’s statistics are not assailed and will be re-examined in greater detail by many more than read them the first time. I’m torn between ‘own goal’ and ‘own petard hoisted’. But we don’t want to point out the exploding people amongst us.

    H/t Aynsley Kellow.

  13. […] search shows Copygate to be in greater use already. Here’s the thread on Jeff Id’s […]

  14. John F. Pittman said


    It is possible. I wonder that with fair use rules, the source was acknowledged, and Wegman was asked by a committee/person of Congress which, IIRC, exempts copywrite, a publishing house would be a bit reluctant. But then as I stated, often, persons and purposes may become clearer.

  15. Richard Sharpe said

    Messenger said on October 8, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    It took them four years to notice possible plagiarism?

    No, it took them four years to manufacture a charge of plagiarism.

    They need some mud that will stick because it is all unravelling.

  16. ad said

    Steve McI points out over at Lucia’s blog that Bradley himself may be guilty of plagiarizing the quotes he accuses Wegman of plagiarizing off him. Seems he may have shot himself in the foot…

  17. Stephen Parrish said

    BigCityLib of Shagged Sheep fame? Wherever that guy goes you’ll find internet gold!!!

  18. 16 Ad
    No. Steve cites three items – Bradley 1999, Wegman 2006 and Cuff&Goodie 2008. Bradley isn’t copying anyone.

    What he doesn’t say is whether the C&G quote was properly referenced. It may well have been.

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