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Quote-mining is never a good idea


5:59 pm - February 9th 2010

by Unity    


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One of the more common, and thoroughly, dislikeable practices associated with climate change ‘skepticism’, creationism/intelligent design and with the peddling of pseudoscience, is that of quote-mining.

Quote-mining is the practice of scouring scientific papers and reports for quotes that can be readily presented out of context in support of the quote-miners preferred position or argument irrespective of whether those quotes provide a fair reflection of the actual contents of the paper. It’s actually a practice that recognised as a logic fallacy, not to mention a form of false attribution and it’s neither a clever nor a particularly honest practice for anyone to engage in.

Sadly, there’s currently a perfect illustration of the fallacious use of quote mining to be found at Devil’s Kitchen; one that relates – unsurprisingly – to one of the key chapters in the IPCC’s AR4 report on Climate Change.

The story here is that DKs been sold a major pup by Bishop Hill, who’s been rooting through the many review comments on the IPCC’s Working Group 1 (WG1)  report, which deals with the scientific evidence for climate change, and turned up this seemingly damning comment made by NASA’s Andrew Lacis:

There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary. The presentation sounds like something put together by Greenpeace activists and their legal department. The points being made are made arbitrarily with legal sounding caveats without having established any foundation or basis in fact. The Executive Summary seems to be a political statement that is only designed to annoy greenhouse skeptics. Wasn’t the IPCC Assessment Report intended to be a scientific document that would merit solid backing from the climate science community—instead of forcing many climate scientists into having to agree with greenhouse skeptic criticisms that this is indeed a report with a clear and obvious political agenda. Attribution can not happen until understanding has been clearly demonstrated. Once the facts of climate change have been established and understood, attribution will become self-evident to all. The Executive Summary as it stands is beyond redemption and should simply be deleted.

I’ve left the emphasis that DK added in situ so you can clearly see exactly what DK is reading into this comment, which relates to Executive Summary that begins Chapter 9 of the WG1 report, the chapter that most directly deals with, and presents the evidence for, anthropogenic (i.e. man-made) climate change.

To make matters seem even worse, for a ‘skeptics’ point of view, the report that sets out the review comments note that Lacis’ comments were apparently rejected on the grounds the reports coordinating authors considered that the Executive Summary, which Lacis laid into in no uncertain terms, merely summarised the content of the chapter, all of which was based on peer-reviewed literature.

Lacis is not only a physicist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies but he’s also a colleague of James Hansen who’s work on climatology and climate modelling is a key facet of the evidence for anthropogenic climate change.

A comprehensive takedown of Chapter 9 is the ultimate prize that climate change deniers have been seeking since the publication of AR4, which explains why Bishop Hill describes Lacis’s comments as ‘breathtaking’ while suggesting, in his own post’s title, that Lacis has somehow eviscerated the entire chapter.

In following Bishop Hill’s lead, DK takes things a stage further by trying to link Lacis’s comment to recent discovery of errors arising from the use of ‘grey literature’ that have found in the wholly separate Working Group 2 (WG2), which deals with the impacts of climate change before tossing in the conspiracy card:

This is how the “consensus” has been constructed—by posting sceptical comments down the memory-hole; by disappearing all but the most alarmist of opinions.

Sadly for both out intrepid ‘sceptics’ nothing could be further from the truth.

One of the screamingly obvious problems with the interpretation that’s being placed Lacis’s comment is not only staring them in the face, DK actually went to the time and trouble of highlighting in bold text so everyone can see it.

“There is no scientific merit to be found in the Executive Summary

Lacis is referring specifically to the contents of the chapter’s Executive Summary and only to the Executive Summary, not the contents of rest of the chapter.

Lacis is sticking his neck out and arguing, in very strong terms, that the report’s authors should stick firmly and unequivocally to presenting the scientific evidence and leave the politicking to the politicians, and if you take the time to read the Executive Summary that he was commenting on then its impossible not to agree with his opinion.

IPCC WG1 AR4 report, Chapter 9 – Executive Summary (First Order Draft) [PDF]

Lacis is essentially correct is his assessment of this Executive Summary, which contains a number of paragraphs that sound much more like a political manifesto than a serious scientific report. Although the essential scientific elements of the full chapter are in there, far too much space is given over, in this version, to statements of opinion rather than statements about the science, which is what actually matters.

What you will also notice, if you read the summary – or even if just pay attention to the link given above – are the words ‘First Order Draft’.

What Lacis is commenting on is the first draft of the chapter, and of its Executive Summary and what neither Bishop Hill or DK point out is that there is also a Second Order Draft of the same chapter that was, itself, subjected to review.

IPCC WG1 AR4 report, Chapter 9 – Executive Summary (Second Order Draft) [PDF]

The first thing you’ll notice is that the Executive Summary in the Second Order Draft is, at two pages, significantly shorter that the First Order Draft, which came in at three and half.

Look more closely and you also see that the revised Executive Summary is much tighter and sticks almost exclusively to presenting short summaries of the relevant scientific information and evidence contained the full chapter. Pretty much all of the politicised language and expressions of opinion that were in the first draft, and clearly offended Lacis’s sensibilities, have been discarded from the second draft.

The authors may have rejected Lacis’s comments on the first draft of the Executive Summary but they clear did address the main thrust of his criticism and produced a second draft that was much more in keeping with his expectations of what a summary of a scientific report should look like.

By the time we get to the finished report [PDF] then although a number of additions have been made to text of the Executive Summary, most of which express qualified opinions on the strength of the evidence contained in the full chaper, the substantive scientific content of the summary is pretty much as it was in the Second Order Draft.

As for Lacis…

Well we know that he certainly reviewed the Second Order Draft of chapter 9 thank to the comment (9-707) you’ll see here [PDF], in which he suggests that full report should incorporate a reference to a 2005 paper by his GISS colleague, James Hansen. On the subject of the revised Executive Summary, Lacis had nothing whatsoever to say, wsecond time around, hich rather suggests that he was entirely happy with its content.

In fact, most of the comments directed at the Executive Summary on this occasion appear to have been submitted by a known climate change denier, Vincent Grey, and all were rejected because Grey provided no supporting reasoning for his suggested amendments, all of which were intended only to sabotage the chapter as a whole.

So, the only thing that Lacis actually eviscerated was a badly written Executive Summary of which none of the offending content made it to the final report. Its all very well complaining about things falling down the memory hole, but let’s not forget that some thing fall down for very good reasons, and the page and half of opinion that disappeared between the First and Second Order Drafts of chapter 9 as just such a case in point.

As someone who is now a published author, you might think that Bishop Hill would think twice before indulging in such a easily debunked piece of quote-mining, until you note that his book…

also covers the recent leak of the email archives of the Climatic Research Unit which has led to the resignation of its Director, Professor Phil Jones.

More quote-mining, then…

Oh, and he might want to mention to his publisher that Phil Jones hasn’t resigned.

He’s only temporarily stepped down as CRU director and may yet resume his post once Sir Muir Russell concludes his inquiry.

Sunny adds: You can also point and laugh at the ignorant windbag James Delingpole for going along with this crap.

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About the author
'Unity' is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He also blogs at Ministry of Truth.
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Reader comments


Still the exec summary must be rather important since even people such as Prof Rob Watson haven’t read the full thing…!

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/daily-politics.html

Has anyone?

cjcjc:

Wrong IPCC report – that the WG2.

One of the problems is that scientists recognise that knowledge is provisional or incomplete (which is actually what makes it exciting) but they are expected to pronounce on a subject as if it has been proven beyond any doubt whatsoever – so that if they are asked about climate change or intelligent design and they are honest enough to say they are 99% certain of something this is interpreted as if they don’t know anything and the ‘debate’ was equally ballanced.

It’s different on science sites. Posters can pose questions without some idiot coming along and saying ‘Yaah! Ya don’t know, do you?’ On non-science blogs like this those who *do* understand the science are often forced into defending dogmatic positions because otherwise they are labelled ‘flat-Earthers’ or ‘deniers’.

I think it’s insulting to assume the general public aren’t capable of distinguishing between different degrees of doubt.

4. the a&e charge nurse

“Lacis is essentially correct is his assessment of this Executive Summary, which contains a number of paragraphs that sound much more like a political manifesto than a serious scientific report” – more like a political manifesto than a serious scientific report, eh, now what sort of motives contributed to the first draft?

Sounds like AGM hyperbole might be more widespread than we first thought?

@4: Clearly it would be improper for political motivation it to leak into summaries of published scientific work, but then the review process (as detailed above) already caught the offending paragraphs. More generally, why shouldn’t they be motivated?

My parents follow a fairly strict version of a religion, which holds that for those of us (like me) who don’t follow the religion in question, the afterlife is.. well, not pretty. They sincerely believe this to be the truth, and so have concerns about my spiritual health. They’re not sneaking holy water into my coffee, but take every opportunity to encourage me back to what (for them) is the obvious choice. In fact, if they truly believed that my current course was sending me to an eternity in Hell, yet they did nothing to encourage me otherwise, one might wonder about their parental affection.

If I was a climatologist, and decades of my research (and that of my respected colleagues) were telling me “hey, there’s a good chance we’re doing irreparable and possibly catastrophic damage to the only world we can currently inhabit”, I figure I’d be fairly motivated. In fact, if someone’s research came to that conclusion and yet they displayed absolutely no motivation to change the situation, we might well consider them lacking in some fairly basic human emotions, possibly to the point of mental illness. I’m not expecting every climatologist to throw themselves under racehorses to make their point, but a degree of motivation seems entirely sensible.

Naturally, the usual caveats about the aims of science remain, and I’m making no particular judgement about the viability of climate change (or religion). However, scientists are (wildly enough) still human, and it seems we’re holding them to an unfairly high standard.

First draft of Hamlet sucked pretty bad too, I hear.

Good article. I don’t know why you’re referring to them as ‘sceptics’. People who behave like this are deniers – it’s that simple. They act like conspiracy nutjobs and this article illustrates that clearly.

@Unity

Sorry to be so far OT, but is there any imminent prospect of a concluding episode to the series on immigration?

The story seems to be rather truncated as it stands.

Unity,

Deltoid had this to say:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/andrew_bolt_doesnt_know_or_car.php

A quote from Lacis:

The revised chapter was much improved,” he said. “That’s different than saying everything in there is nailed down, but I think it’s a big improvement.”

Overall, he said, “I commend the authors for doing as good a job as they did. That’s the way the science process ought to work. You get inputs from everybody, find any bugs, crank through and the science moves forward.

10. the a&e charge nurse

[7] Personally I prefer the phrase AGM ‘believer’ since it captures nicely, the quasi-religious fervour surrounding the pro global warming lobby.

Additionally, ‘believer’ underscores the key motive for such strident views, which, of course, is socio-political change rather than scientific discourse.

Now some commentators may have useful insights when it comes to the former, but their lack of knowledge when it comes to the later presents a virtually insurmountable obstacle when it comes to rational debate on this topic.

Having said hat I am very grateful to this post from Unity since it aptly illustrates how the propaganda war can muddy the water, time and time again.

“I think it’s insulting to assume the general public aren’t capable of distinguishing between different degrees of doubt.”

I’d say it was a fair assumption given that tabloid newspapers outsell broadsheets, and in elections sensational simplicity always triumphs over nuance.

Personally I prefer the phrase AGM ‘believer’ since it captures nicely, the quasi-religious fervour surrounding the pro global warming lobby

How about disciples?

Then Sunny could call us heathens.

Then we could call them proselytes and Sunny could respond with infidels.

I prefer cultists.

“I don’t know why you’re referring to them as ’sceptics’. People who behave like this are deniers – it’s that simple.”

Sunny, Unity is using the word skeptics because many skeptics (and others) find the word denier offensive (by association with the term “holocaust denier”). Also, because some skeptics take the position that ACC may well exist but has not been proven, which is substantially different from outright denial.

Pagar makes some very good suggestions for alternative names but as you seem to want everything to be simple, Sunny, why not just quote George Bush (II) and call skeptics “bad people”?

To go back to the article, I personally would be careful about throwing around accusations of “peddling … pseudo-science” – unless of course you’re also prepared to throw them at the IPCC.

Unity,

Fair enough: I should have looked into it a little more closely—I’ll post a link here asap.

As a matter of interest, I assume that none of the “issues” around the AR4 bother you at all…?

Sunny,

“I don’t know why you’re referring to them as ’sceptics’. People who behave like this are deniers – it’s that simple.”

I don’t mind taking lessons in accuracy or science from Unity, who has a pretty good track record, and knowledge, on both—as well as a willingness to engage on the substantive issues.

You, on the other hand, know less than stuff all about science, so I do recommend that you stop your quasi-religious wibblings—or, at the very least, look around you and understand that maybe, just maybe, things are not quite as black and white as you would like them to be.

What I really, really dislike about you is that you are utterly divisive: you are one of those that seems determined to split the blogosphere into the nasty, party-political, constant bitching that characterises modern politics.

For you, people are either with you or against you, to paraphrase a certain US President. Your obsession with identity politics—plus the Tory bloggers’ mindless idiocy—has poisoned what I used to feel was quite an idealistic community.

It’s rather sad.

DK

P.S. If nothing else, you might like to look at the predictions of climate models, from Hansen’s speech to Congress onwards, and see how many of them have actually been accurate.

The religious zeal of the believers is quite funny.

I think the warmists “bull market” (pun intended) peaked with Hopenhagen last year. Analogous to the stock bull market peak of 2000 and real estate of 2007, these are all symptoms of herd mentality.

DK:

Actually, this particular post nicely illustrates why there are issues with some elements of AR4.

What we’re dealing with here is the WG1 report on Physical Sciences, which based on peer reviewed material and was very closely scrutinised by the scientific community, hence Lacis’s stiff criticism of the first draft of C9 summary.

The rather embarrassing mistakes regarding glacial retreat in the Himalayas and the stuff with the Amazon comes from WG2, which covers the impacts of climate change.

That part of AR4 seems to:

a) include a fair bit of grey literature that hasn’t been through peer review

b) be couched in much more political terms, and

c) have not been subjected to the kind of stiff critical reviews that were directed at WG1

The most direct outcome of the recently discovered textual errors, so far, has been some pretty strong calls for the output of WG2 to be much more closely supervised and scrutinised by the scientific community as it works on AR5.

That’s science doing what it should – self correcting errors once their identified.

As a result I’d expect WG2 in AR5 to be much more cautious in its arguments and to give a much better reflection of the uncertainties within its work.

What should happen, however, is that the faulty elements of WG2 should be formally retracted.

you are one of those that seems determined to split the blogosphere into the nasty, party-political, constant bitching that characterises modern politics.

It’s funny to get lessons in being partisan and divisive from you DK! Hilarious. Coming from the guy who’s mindlessly ranted about lefties for years I find that breathtakingly idiotic.

Unity,

Whilst there are two working groups in IPCC, it was packaged as a single piece – the science and its implications if you will (which, since the implications are social science in effect, perhaps was always a dangerous move). So the artificial distinction does not work.

You can say IPCC WG1 is more accurate, but this ignores the fact it used the modified Hockey Stick, GISS-temp and rejected certain criticisms about say the degree to which it stated temperature change was definetly man made rather than natural variation, so this is possibly rather a dangerous assumption. All you can say for certain is that (so far, and probably in general) any problems about WG1 will be to do with the peer-review literature, not the use of (often inappropriate) grey literature.

Man that’s embarassing from Bishop Hill (who I notice hasn’t responded properly) and your mate James Delingpole.

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100025592/ipcc-fourth-assessment-report-is-rubbish-says-yet-another-expert/

You can say IPCC WG1 is more accurate, but this ignores the fact it used the modified Hockey Stick, GISS-temp and rejected certain criticisms about say the degree to which it stated temperature change was definetly man made rather than natural variation, so this is possibly rather a dangerous assumption.

Why shouldn’t it have used the modified hockey stick and GISS-temp? And I don’t see why it is under any obligation to accept the kind of criticisms you mention – they presumably thought these criticisms were mistaken.

24. So Much For Subtlety

Actually the phrase you want is not really quote mining – although we have seen a lot of that this week as people have taken phrases out of context and claimed bigger meanings for them than can be safely justified.

But let’s look at what was done. The Author’s response was to insist that their First Draft was based on peer reviewed science. That is it. One sentence. Does anyone really think this is a valid response to the criticism? It was also a lie. We now know that it was not based on peer reviewed science but things like boot-cleaning guides on the web.

However Unity seems to be admitting that the criticism was valid – after all they made changes! We don’t know whether those changes were in response to this criticism or not, but if they were, then it shows that their response was a lie. It was not all based on science, as Unity seems to admit by calling what was cut political. The criticism of the First Draft, we all seem agreed, was valid. It was crap. Which makes the fact that much of it was put back in, as Unity seems to admit, odd. Was any criticism offered of the Final Draft? Or did they deal with this criticism of the First Draft by editing it for the Second, getting approval and then re-editing the Final Draft to put all the politics back in?

But the biggest issue remains the process. By what process does this group of people get to work and produce an Executive Summary that requires almost half of it to be cut because of non-scientific political basis? That speaks volumes for the competence and credibility of the Team. I am sorry that no one else can see it. That some of it survived was nice. But almost half of it didn’t? Who put that crap in and for what reasons? How did it survive the Drafting process in the first place? Bishop Hill is right, this should be a stake in the heart of the IPCC.

25. So Much For Subtlety

23. andrew adams – “Why shouldn’t it have used the modified hockey stick and GISS-temp? And I don’t see why it is under any obligation to accept the kind of criticisms you mention – they presumably thought these criticisms were mistaken.”

Because James Hansen is editing the GISS data sets in an odd way. That makes them diverge from everyone else’s. Even the CRU’s. The Hockey Stick cannot be modified. It is just bad science – and IPCC used it knowing it was bad science.

If they want to assume that the variability we have seen lately is man-made they have to provide a reason. What they did was all agree to pretend that we would all pretend it was man-made. The IPCC should not be doing science, it ought to be faithfully reflecting the science. There is no scientific reason to think that what we have seen can be put down to humans and humans alone. But then they invented a lot of things like CO2 staying in the atmosphere for 100 years as well. When they do their own thing, they need to say they are doing it. Not hide behind some false consensus.

I agree with Sunny that these people don’t deserve to be called sceptics. They have a position – reached by whatever means – and the only evidence they’re interested in is things that confirm that opinion.

Some scientists – any scientists whatsoever – comes out against AGW? That proves it’s false! They’re scientists, they must be right! Hundreds of scientists agree with the AGW consensus? That proves nothing, it’s not about the numbers, science doesn’t proceed by consensus!

They’re so eager to ‘prove’ that global warming is a conspiracy that they don’t express ANY scepticism when they’re presented – as here, as with the CRU emails – with an apparently helpful quote. They don’t check the context, or the source, or anything; they just leap on it as the smoking gun. There’s a list of quotes that does the round on blogs and blog comments, from scientists supposedly against the AGW consensus, several of which are taken completely out of context. I don’t see how these people can possibly describe themselves as sceptics with a straight face.

There *are*, however, genuine climate change sceptics out there. There are some high-level scientists – not many, but some – who disagree with the consensus in major ways, and there are many more who accept that the earth is warming, and that humans probably have some part to play in that, but that it’s less of a role than others think. Or that it’s not warming as fast. Or that it’s not going to be as destructive as feared. Personally, if I were one of those genuine sceptics, I’d be sorely pissed off at conspiracy-theorists and deniers associating themselves with scepticism.

SMFS:

Let me clarify how I see the drafting process for the Exec Summary.

First Draft includes a page of pure fluff that reads like a political manifesto and add nothing of scientific value, and this detracts from the scientific information that is in that draft.

Second draft rips out all the fluff and tightens the language so that most of the statements relating to the contents of the chapter are given is style consistent with what you’d expect from an abstract of a peer reviewed paper.

That’s a style that works for scientists, who’ll also read the rest of the chapter, but not for policy makers who won’t.

Final version retains much of the style of the second draft but add assessments of the strength of the evidence given in lay terms suitable for a non-scientific audience. So it talks about things being ‘very likely’, ‘highly likely’ or ‘unlikely’, etc.

Although it looks as if there are a couple of points at which the strength of the evidence is overstated, on the whole this is a reasonable compromise between the demands of pleasing a technical audiences requirement for rigour and the need to communicate with a non-technical audience.

As for comments on the hockey stick and GISS – the hockey stick isn’t bad science, its an emerging field of science that still very much subject to review and revision.

As such, its importance was significantly overstated in AR3, but given a much more carefully qualified write-up in AR4, which is as things should be.

The fact that there have been…

a) at least half a dozen reconstructions since MBH98 only one of which was not particularly consistent with the hockey stick (although it more consistent than most self-styled sceptics think) including a new reconstruction by Mann which shows much the same pattern with or without the Yamai data, and

b) that ‘sceptics’ are still banging on about MBH98, when its ten years of date.

…should alert you to the fact that there’s more to this than meets the eye.

As for Hansen, there are methodological differences between his analyses and those produced by HADCRUT, which are fully explained in the relevant literature but relates primarily to the use of interpolations and extrapolations to fill in the gaps caused by incomplete station coverage.

28. So Much For Subtlety

27. Unity – “First Draft includes a page of pure fluff that reads like a political manifesto and add nothing of scientific value, and this detracts from the scientific information that is in that draft.”

Indeed. And at this point the IPCC is shown to be a political body and not a scientific one and so anything they have to say about anything needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Scientists, even if there were 4000, do not do this sort of thing.

“Final version retains much of the style of the second draft but add assessments of the strength of the evidence given in lay terms suitable for a non-scientific audience. So it talks about things being ‘very likely’, ‘highly likely’ or ‘unlikely’, etc.”

So you think they sexed it up? Surely the likelys are the scientists’ work and not for the policy makers?

“Although it looks as if there are a couple of points at which the strength of the evidence is overstated, on the whole this is a reasonable compromise between the demands of pleasing a technical audiences requirement for rigour and the need to communicate with a non-technical audience.”

Sorry? A couple? And they are simply making claims up wholesale. Their claim that CO2 survives for 100 years for instance. This is not a trivial issue and given the consensus is about 10 it matters.

“As for comments on the hockey stick and GISS – the hockey stick isn’t bad science, its an emerging field of science that still very much subject to review and revision.”

Even Mann has had to accept the MWP exists. The two reports into his work came down unambiguously on the side of the MWP. The Hockey Stick is dead. It is not a question of emerging science, it is a question of science. Either you support the science and reject the Hockey Stick or you don’t. No amount of review will change this.

“a) at least half a dozen reconstructions since MBH98 only one of which was not particularly consistent with the hockey stick (although it more consistent than most self-styled sceptics think) including a new reconstruction by Mann which shows much the same pattern with or without the Yamai data, and”

Mann’s work is irrelevant. It is not even worth discussing. But name for me any independent reconstructions that show the Hockey Stick. There are one or two data sets that show the Hockey Stick – the bristle cones in particular. If you remove those from Mann’s own data the Stick disappears. There is no Hockey Stick in the wider Yamal data nor is there one using all the available Siberian data. It is not that there is one or two that don’t show it, it is that none of the data (with the minor exception of the bristle cones) show it.

“b) that ’sceptics’ are still banging on about MBH98, when its ten years of date.…should alert you to the fact that there’s more to this than meets the eye.”

Because people will not accept it is dead when it is. And I am not banging on about MBH98. You raised it. But still, if you think your “move on” strategy will work all power to you. People who make mistakes like this should not be making decisions about the world’s economy.

“As for Hansen, there are methodological differences between his analyses and those produced by HADCRUT, which are fully explained in the relevant literature but relates primarily to the use of interpolations and extrapolations to fill in the gaps caused by incomplete station coverage.”

No they are not. Hansen is unilaterally changing his data and he is not explaining why. As with all “adjustments” that the Warmists make on the data, justifications are never given. We are told to trust them. That there are good reasons for it but they never get around to telling us what they are and, by the way, the dog ate their original data and working so we will never know. It is not merely a question of interpolations to fill in gaps. It is a question of adjusting the data for a variety of reasons – if the reporting site is moved for instance as in New Zealand recently. If their instruments were deemed not to be reporting proper temperatures. It just so happens that these adjustments always make the pre-1970 data cooler and so create something like a Hockey Stick. And it is never justified or explained. I would be delighted to hear someone justify, say, Darwin’s or New Zealand’s data adjustments. I know of none.

First – SMFS – thank you for the clear statement. It is appreciated.

Second – Unity – I had to smile at your suggestion that some should be pi88ed. Ohhh, they’re out there!

I’ve been reading non-stop since October, before the emails emerged. I keep waiting for a scientist to give a good solid response, with data, not computer models, that I can use to counter this skepticism. There hasn’t been one.

But the blogs have plenty of pi88ed people. When Mann used the WaPo to defend himself he got creamed by the commentors. “E-mail furor doesn’t alter evidence for climate change,” by Michael Mann. 18 Dec 2009.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/17/AR2009121703682.html

When the Met defended their work they got ripped.“Top scientists rally to the defence of the Met Office,” by Ben Webster. 10 Dec 2009.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6951029.ece

When Jones spoke last weekend a torrent of anger was piled on his head. “I thought of killing myself, says climate scandal professor Phil Jones,” by Richard Girling. 7 Feb 2010.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

I have no personal involvement in this controversy. But I do believe that the common man has a remarkably good idea of what’s going on here for two reasons:

One; the believers can only resort to lamenting on the stupidity of the masses.

Two; those who still believe have begun to stress the importance of stepping up efforts to “educate” the masses regarding the suicidal results of reproduction.

Which “side” in this controversy do you think literate readers will come down on?

No they are not. Hansen is unilaterally changing his data and he is not explaining why. As with all “adjustments” that the Warmists make on the data, justifications are never given. We are told to trust them. That there are good reasons for it but they never get around to telling us what they are and, by the way, the dog ate their original data and working so we will never know.

Bollocks.

This is Hansen’s recent review of the 2009 global temperature record, which you’ll note not only discusses the differences between his methods and those used by HADCRUT but also includes references to the FIVE published papers in which Hansen documents his methods.

http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2010/20100127_TemperatureFinal.pdf

From memory, there are AT LEAST FOUR separate review papers that set out the methodology used by NOAA to homogenise the station data used in the US surface temperature record, all of which can downloaded from NOAA’s website.

Try reading the literature instead of Anthony Watts’ website, you might actually learn something of value for a change.

If they want to assume that the variability we have seen lately is man-made they have to provide a reason. What they did was all agree to pretend that we would all pretend it was man-made.

This is total conspiracy nonsense for which you don’t have a shred of evidence. Of course they provide a reason – they give a detailed explanation of the science which underlies AGW. And it was predicted that human GHG emissions would cause the earth to warm well before the IPCC was founded.

The IPCC should not be doing science, it ought to be faithfully reflecting the science. There is no scientific reason to think that what we have seen can be put down to humans and humans alone.

The claim is that human activity is the primary cause, not the sole cause, of global warming. And there are very good scientific reasons to believe this – it’s very simple –

CO2 is a greenhouse gas
CO2 (and other GHG) levels in the atmosphere have risen sharply since pre-industrial times
This is due to human activity, primarily the burning of fossil fuels.
Increasing the level of GHGs in the atmosphere traps more IR radiation and so increases the amount of energy in the climate system and causes warming.

What part of that do you have a problem with?


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  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Quote-mining is never a good idea http://bit.ly/bRE3Yo

  2. Tim Ireland

    RT @leftoutside: RT @libcon Quote-mining is never a good idea http://bit.ly/bExcaG

  3. sunny hundal

    .Unity_Mot shows how conspiracy nuts like @devilskitchen twist quotes to suit climate denial http://bit.ly/bExcaG

  4. sunny hundal

    .@Unity_Mot shows how conspiracy nuts like @devilskitchen twist quotes to suit climate denial http://bit.ly/bExcaG

  5. Left Outside

    RT @libcon Quote-mining is never a good idea http://bit.ly/bExcaG

  6. Unity

    RT @libcon: Quote-mining is never a good idea http://bit.ly/bRE3Yo – More climate change bunkum debunked via the magic of reading…

  7. topsy_top20k_en

    Quote-mining is never a good idea http://bit.ly/bRE3Yo

  8. andrew

    Liberal Conspiracy » Quote-mining is never a good idea: … comment to recent discovery of errors arising from the… http://bit.ly/cXEyfy

  9. Temperatures still rising, 2010 may be hottest yet, Met Office says - Page 137 - Political Forum

    […] comments of Andrew Lacis. Once again you've been duped by the spinners and professional deniers. Quote-mining is never a good idea by Unity February 9, 2010 at 5:59 pm One of the more common, and thoroughly, dislikeable […]

  10. devilskitchen

    @pickledpolitics bathes in the glory of better writers, as @Unity_MoT takes me to task for "quote-mining": http://bit.ly/bExcaG

  11. sunny hundal

    More reasons why you shouldn't trust nutjob deniers like James Delingpole et al on climate-change: http://bit.ly/bExcaG





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