the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Archive for October, 2010

Continuing Copygate Discussions

Posted by Jeff Id on October 14, 2010

Climate Audit reader Geoff left this in the comments at the excellent CA copygate thread.  Not sure if this is Geoff Sherrington or not.


Posted Oct 13, 2010 at 8:45 AM | Permalink | Reply

I note the comment from the Office of Research Integrity of the US Department of Health & Human Services:

ORI’s definition of plagiarism provides the following caveat:
“ORI generally does not pursue the limited use of identical or nearly identical phrases which describe a commonly-used methodology or
previous research because ORI does not consider such use as
substantially misleading to the reader or of great significance.”

It seems a reasonable policy for basic information, especially considering how often the basics need to be repeated.  All of the unreferenced stuff in the Wegman report would easily fit into this category.The link is worth a minute to follow.

Carrick made this point at the CA thread also which fits well with the above policy.

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Incrementally Dumber

Posted by Jeff Id on October 13, 2010

Stupidity like this is what happens when you let greens take over your economy.  Lessee, high unemployment, costs rising everywhere, and we’re going to add cost to food and gas production – for no reason.

EPA to allow 15% ethanol in gasoline, up from 10% now



Posted in Uncategorized | 41 Comments »


Posted by Jeff Id on October 11, 2010

The great thing about the Air Vent is that the readers here value reality above the argument itself.  Drewski left a little gem for us “‘ignorant bloggers”.

Loud and wrong are two traits one should endeavor to disassociate with the greatest vigor.  In the spirit of possible incorrectness by myself, I’ve replicated his comment as a head post such that he might defend his words.

drewski said

October 11, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Ignorant bloggers continue to believe that the ‘hockey stick’ was somehow incorrect. The McIntyre study focused on computer code and others say Mann didn’t include the Medieval Warm Period. The facts are that when the original hockey stick was shown, there wasn’t much solid info on the MWP so it wasn’t included as it wasn’t reliable (damn scientists trying to reliable). Since then over 10 — repeat MORE THAN 10 — independent studies compiled by unrelated teams of scientists using different methodologies and different computer code with the latest MWP information have attempted to recreate the last 1 to 2 thousand years of temperature and guess what? THE HOCKEY STICK LIVES — and sometimes the graphs are even MORE DRAMATIC.

Kind of blows all your arguments out of the water doesn’t it? Do us all a favor and get educated or, at least, show us some PROPER study somewhere by some qualified person that CO2 is not a Green House Gas or that or that the planet’s climate systems are immune to its heating properties. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE “My Kingdom for a Sceptic’s study.”

SCEPTICS = So Called Experts Perpetually Talking In Circles

Whatever the ladies tell you, blogging is cool!


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When the TRUTH hurts

Posted by Jeff Id on October 11, 2010

This is a little reply to Michael Mann’s recent op-ed.  Since our government friendly papers wouldn’t consider carrying honest writing on the topic, I’ll post it here, on my free blog in the middle of nowhere.

Get the anti-science bent out of politics By Michael E. Mann

Friday, October 8, 2010

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Posted in Uncategorized | 24 Comments »

As Copygate turns

Posted by Jeff Id on October 9, 2010

I’ve spent the last several hours looking at references and such from the alleged plagiarism included in the Wegman report.  Deep climate has been ranting on about it for a long time now, I’ve found the discussion both tedious and uninteresting but primarily the lack of organization of the story combined with discussions of Wegmans differences of opinion (Bias in Deep’s view) at his blog makes the issue difficult to penetrate.

Several sections of the Wegman report are very believable rewordings of the literature, and I find it impossible to conclude that pre-dated sources were not correctly identified by Deep.

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Backlash Continues

Posted by Jeff Id on October 8, 2010

We do indeed live in interesting times.  As sent to me by email bu a reader and as usual already covered at WUWT, yet another scientist has expressed his contempt for the obvious biases which pervade government funded sciences. Hal Lewis, resigned from the American Physical Society over the blatant exaggerations and corruption exposed by paper after paper in government science.

It is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist. Anyone who has the faintest doubt that this is so should force himself to read the ClimateGate documents, which lay it bare. (Montford’s book organizes the facts very well.) I don’t believe that any real physicist, nay scientist, can read that stuff without revulsion. I would almost make that revulsion a definition of the word scientist.

There has been a wave of backlash since climategate which continues to build momentum.  As papers critical of the consensus shove relentlessly against biased peer review, negative feedbacks to warming are discovered, and models overpredict trends the momentum has built this year.  My own prediction was that we would be back to business as usual by now but not so.   There was too much corruption in the attempted coverups of cliamategate such that only the most devoted can write about the reviews in a positive light.  It turns out that most people really don’t like blatant corruption.

Eisenhower’s farewell address is referenced in the letter, it’s worth taking a moment to read.  It was one of the most visionary speeches you will ever find with these two paragraphs explaining much of the problem in climate science.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.

In reading the letter below, note his description the blatant corruption of the APS in ignoring its own constitution in order to prevent the AGW issues from coming to light.   Note how he accuses them of going around their own rules to maintain the status quo.   It’s not a small thing IMO and shows the breadth to which the money of AGW has corrupted the discussion.

His complete letter of resignation is reproduced below from the GWPF:


From: Hal Lewis, University of California, Santa Barbara

To: Curtis G. Callan, Jr., Princeton University, President of the American Physical Society

6 October 2010

Dear Curt:

When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

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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.

Posted in Uncategorized | 18 Comments »

Another Mathematically Honest Reconstruction

Posted by Jeff Id on October 7, 2010

I learned a little more today.  Behind the scenes, Steve McIntyre had a polite conversation with Dr. Ljungqvist who has recently performed a temperature reconstruction from proxies with remarkably similar results to Craig Loehle and Hu McCulloch’s work. Dr. Ljundqvist was kind enough to share the data with Steve. The internet made a bit of a stink about the fact that it visually matched Dr. Loehle’s much maligned work quite well.  Climate science has learned to hate reconstructions with a medieval warm period so Tamino even took the time to try and trick (not the apparently good definition) people into thinking the match was dishonest.

Dr. Ljungqvist’s paper uses CPS method which Mann08 used and is known amongst tAV readers to create variance loss.  Carrick and others were generous enough to provide a copy of the paper to me which has a description of the methods quoted below.

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Yet another study I don’t believe without even reading it.

Posted by Jeff Id on October 7, 2010

Click the link at your own risk.

A little climate change goes a long way in the tropics

In hot places, even minor warming could rev up metabolism in animals that don’t generate their own heat

Posted in Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

Out of this world vs Hard Science.

Posted by Jeff Id on October 5, 2010

They haven’t stopped demanding “action” and they never will.  We’ll hear it well past the point when the general public realizes that dangers of AGW and certainty of understanding have been systematically  exaggerated.   I mean we just had a lengthy discussion (on a skeptic blog) of how it is possible to know model means from the inputs and responses as presented when the models are all over the place for trend!  The climatologists are arguing that we don’t know, the skeptics are arguing that from climatologist choices — we do.

This is a crazy friggin world when the climatologists are arguing that we don’t know anything, the skeptics are arguing that we know what you have presented, and the result is the climatologists demainding ‘action’ to prevent what we ‘know’ from happening.  Complex sophistry full of nuance and unprovable possibilities.

That is exactly what the conversation with a climatologist thread is about, what statistical knowledge we have gained from models.

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SPPI report on Illinois Climate Change

Posted by Jeff Id on October 5, 2010

Bob Fergusen has forwarded me a report on climate change in Illinois ,which is of course, where I live.

Full report is here – illinois_state_report[1]

Now Illinois is a liberal state, which means that we have a large number of people who spend a great deal of time thinking of ways to commit industrial suicide by government.  This report prepared by SPPI, lays out some of the truth of the weather in Illinois and the benefit of cutting emissions completely state wide.


In this report, we provide a review of Illinois’ climate history and show that there is little observational evidence of unusual long-term climate changes taking place that could be linked to anthropogenic “global warming”—despite the frequent prognostications to the contrary, often accompanied by doom and gloom scenarios.

Instead of rising temperatures, the trend in the state’s annual average temperature history has been near zero for more than a century. Instead of an increasing frequency of drought, the state’s moisture conditions have improved over the long run. Instead of failing crops, the state’s agricultural yields have been increasing. Instead of worsening impacts from heat waves, the state’s population has become less sensitive to extreme high temperature events. Air pollution from ozone is declining. The trend towards greater tornado occurrences is explained by improvements in storm detection rather than in real changes in the number of storms. Vector-borne disease outbreaks are more a matter of extant climate and social conditions than climate change. And the change in the water levels of the Great Lakes is more strongly tied into natural variability than anthropogenic climate change.

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Science Blogging

Posted by Jeff Id on October 4, 2010

Steve Fitzpatick left this comment on the Conversation with a climatologist thread.

Well, there have been a lot of comments, a lot of detail, a lot of information exchanged back and forth…. and no snark.

Has to be a skeptic blog.

The discussion Steve refers to was not an overly warm discussion, it was not an easy discussion, it was definitely a nuanced discussion which I know helped at least me clarify statistical details of climate models that are important.  From it, I know more than I did two days ago, I know more than I did two years ago.

Blogs are thinking peoples playground now and predictably will be in the future.  Words are far too permanent when written, it forces more care than normal.  Distance from the individual you are in conflict with, allows a more complete honesty (or sometimes dishonesty) of thought.  Slowness of conversation allows greater consideration and suppression of emotion to some extent.  The weight of being proven wrong in a hasty opinion forces honesty and care — on average.

Could you have that kind of discussion verbally?

Not a chance.

Could people learn from a discussion like that verbally?

Not to the same level.

Do the heavily moderated blogs work — not a bit.  They kill discussion if the moderation isn’t let through quickly.

This new form of science is not a minor phenomenon.  It is healthy, it is powerful because it seeks truth or the crowd will destroy your argument.  That is no sophistry, exaggeration or dogma in any possible sense.   I’m just glad to be a part of it.  I’m quickly becoming a fan of Bart Verheggen’s blog for that reason.  He doesn’t fear disagreement any more than I.

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Climate Crazy

Posted by Jeff Id on October 2, 2010

[self snip the whole thing]

Genetically altered plants to save you from AGW.

Posted in Uncategorized | 30 Comments »

Conversation with a climatologist

Posted by Jeff Id on October 1, 2010

I’ve moved this older post to the top for a while.  The issues are complicated and interesting and still being discussed.  New posts are still here but will appear down below.

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Two Civil Conversations on Other Blogs

Posted by Jeff Id on October 1, 2010

I’ve been enjoying a couple of conversations away from tAV.  One where I’m discussing with James Annon the McKitrick McIntyre and Herman paper which shows models far exceeding trends.  His blog is moderated so the pace is very slow.  The link is here. James has made (and published) the claim that model means produce a non-physical result and is therefore not worth examining closely.  I replied that while model mean may be non-physical the magnitude of the difference is the issue.   It has been a fun conversation to date.

The second conversation is more entertaining and has been over at Bart Verheggens open thread.  We’ve been discussing the usual hockey sticks with unusual civility.  Scott Mandia asked for the simplest explanation of why some critique the hockey sticks – so I took a crack at it below.

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