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A common exercise in any intro statistic class is to split the students into two groups, one group flips a coin 100 times and records the results, another just makes 100 entries up off the top of their heads. The teacher then comes back, looks at the two lists, and usually identifies which is which with hardly a glance. How? The trick is the teacher knows that on the real list, there will be several sequences of four or five in a row of all heads or all tails, whereas on the other list students will tend to stick with a more heads-tails-heads-tails alternating approach.

Now, everyone knew what I meant just now when I wrote trick, right? Nothing deceitful, simply the method used to get an answer to a math problem. With that in mind, let's look at this 1999 email purporting to be evidence of fraud among some climate scientists:

"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e., from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."

The email is one of thousands sent over a period of ten years by climate researchers and other scientists, journalists, lobbyists, and the occasional flake, stolen from a university network a few days ago. DeSmogBlog has more on the theft. Obviously, emails don't change the observed reality of human assisted climate change in the cryosphere and elsewhere. Nevertheless, climate change denialists have combed through them looking for anything they can pull out of context and pass off as evidence of a global conspiracy. They're getting some media mileage out of it. Even though, so far, the best they've been able to come up with is examples like the above.

The "Mike" is Michael Mann, "hide" means to account for (See also this comment), and the trick referred to is how to resolve a question involving two sets of data. One set is the "real" actual temperature readings, the other is by proxy, tree-rings, corals, ice cores and the like. When reconstructing the temperature record going back a thousand years or more, proxies are all you get -- there were no super accurate thermometers handily placed around the globe during medieval times! But proxies only give an approximation, hence the large variance in the now familiar reconstruction graph affectionately known as the Hockey Stick represented below as shading around the blue and red lines.

But as time rolls by, and proxy data become more plentiful, the error bars (i.e. the variable shading) shrink. Eventually, thanks to the invention of modern thermometers and ships to carry them, precise temperature readings from all over the world become more widely available and increasingly reliable, and there is a relatively short interval where both the proxy reconstruction (blue) and the instrumental record (red) are used. The proxy record ends (1980), but the instrumental record continues through 1999. That was the issue being discussed in the emails: why end the plot in 1980 when there's instrumental data through the 90s? In the original 1998 paper published in Nature, Mann et al showed the instrumental data through the 1990s to complete the plot. The emailer was following suit in his own work. That's "Mike's Nature trick". It really is that simple.

Moreover, both instrumental and proxy records were clearly labeled and delineated in the original papers and many since, so there was no opportunity for any ambiguity as to what was being shown. It makes sense that "Mike" Mann would be mentioned, he has worked extensively with both kinds of data, actual and proxy, and was one of the original paleo-climatologist who developed the Hockey Stick using them. The email is just a tiny snippet of several colleagues in the midst of discussing these points and others.

How hard was it to figure this out? Anyone could have done it, assuming they wanted to. Just like any competent reporter, I asked the people involved, including Prof. Mann:

SA: What was the Mike's "trick"?
MM: All he (apparently) meant by "Mike's Nature trick" was us, in our original '98 Nature article, showing the instrumental record after the proxy record ends (1980). ... Full Text

But consider; it's taken me several grafs, and you a few minutes of reading, just to get a glimmer of what that one email was all about. The same effort would be required to untangle other stolen, out of context emails now brandished by skeptics as evidence of some kind of shadowy conspiracy. That's how easy it is to pluck something out of context and make it sounds ominous, if your goal is to misinform, prostitute yourself to the energy industry, and -- pardon the pun -- trick your readers.  

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 07:59 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  You might want to add this graph from Joe Romm (10+ / 0-)

      and others to your post. This graph shows what the real problem is.

      Heating of the planet.

      Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
      By FishOutofWater

      look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

      by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:11:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mind explaining a bit more? (7+ / 0-)

      "hide" means to account for

      A mathematical trick does not imply anything nefarious.  But "hide" seems much less innocuous.

      Can you give any other examples in context in which "hide" is used to man "account for"?  

      Looking at the e-mails that have been released, I think the best possible interpretation is that a bunch of people with a siege mentality who firmly believe that they are under attack by their opponents have gone beyond normal scientific norms in defending themselves and their data.

      The worst interpretations... well, we know what they are - they are all over the media.

      •  See my comment (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FishOutofWater

        "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:41:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good comment. Here's the deniers' take (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth, yaque

          From a denier' s "Climate Audit" web site.

          They misinterpret the figure in Darksyde's post to make it go down. Obviously, we have temperature records so the proxy records are irrelevant.

          Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
          By FishOutofWater

          The only legitimate question they have is whether the proxies are good for the period to which they are applied. The recent part of the graph on the right side doesn't need proxies.

          look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 12:04:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  At this point, I think two things are obvious (0+ / 0-)

            First, all data and all intermediate results need to be released publicly.  No sending them off to third parties to audit - put them all on the Internet where anyone and everyone can pick at them.

            If the numbers do not add up at every step in the analysis, from verifying raw data to final graphs then the original authors need to explain.

            This needs to apply to all climate research - both pro AGW and denialist.

            Secondly, there needs to be a professional investigation.  

            It appears that there was a concerted effort by supporters of AGW to freeze people who they disagreed with out of the scientific literature, to remove them from editorial boards, etc.  It's the kind of thing I normally dismiss as inane conspiracy mongering, except the e-mails make it look quite real.  (I'm personally annoyed at that, by the way - I can no longer dismiss such theories as obvious nonsense.)

            We are considering revamping the entire world's economy because of AGW.  This is an exercise that will cost hundreds of billions or even trillions of dollars.

            People will die.  That is very real.  In poor countries, especially, decreases in economic growth mean less food, less medicine, more dead babies.  Understand the price we are talking about paying here.

            If one group of people has been attempting to bias the debate under the table by choosing the referees that is something that needs to be exposed and stopped.

    •  It's tricky! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FishOutofWater

      I wasn't gonna post this, but since you've got an 80s vid in your tip jar...

  •  Graf(t)(s) or Graphs (sp)? (3+ / 0-)

    Just another reason why everyone should become more scientifically literate and read both:
    How to lie with Statistics,
    How to lie with Maps

    I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person - Pogo

    by annieli on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:08:12 AM PST

  •  Usual behavior - misreprentation (6+ / 0-)

    All you have to do is to listen to the creationists to have a lot of experience with it.  To a scientist, a theory means something very specific - the best available explanation for a range of data.  To the layperson, a theory is "a guess," an "opinion," or what scientists call a hypothesis.  Then throw in a debate about the mechanisms and rate of evolution among scientists (as happened with the punctuated equilibria debate) and you get "scientists doubt evolution".  

    I think that I have had enough of you telling me how things will be. Today I choose a new way to go ... and it goes through you!

    by Norbrook on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:08:41 AM PST

    •  A regretable exception: "string theories" (5+ / 0-)

      of which there seem to be a multitude — and not one experimental datum in support of any of them, AFAIK. They may be elegant mathematical constructs but as "natural science" they are simply conjectures, in much the same sense as "legal theories." Sorry if this is a little OT, but I wish physicists would resist elevating string conjectures to the level of theories. It undercuts the distinction we like to make about what scientific theories are supposed to imply.

      •  I Concur (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norbrook

        It undermines scientific credibility.

      •  "Theory" is a little more nuanced (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quotemstr, yaque
        I don't think that the various string theories are really an exception here.  Parent has it right that "theory" and "hypothesis" are often confused, but I disagree that the word "theory" should be thought of as "the best available explanation for the data."  I'd like to suggest that to in math and science (including the so-called soft sciences) a theory is more like a story:  a good theory is a compelling, well-knit story.  I admit I'm stretching the usual meaning of "story" here, but trust me for a moment.

        We all know that Newton's laws of motion, including F=ma, are a compelling description of how masses move, but we also know that they aren't infallible.  For example, Newton's laws show signs of weakness accounting for the orbit of Mercury.  The point is that the Newtonian mechanics is beautiful example of a successful theory:  it tells a compelling story about how objects move; we meet the characters of mass and force.  Once you know this story you'll start seeing it embodied all around you -- when you push-start a car down a hill, when you hit a tennis ball, etc.  Is it the best available explanation for the data?  No, although that depends what you mean by "best."  We have to turn elsewhere to explain what we see in Mercury's orbit, and Einstein provided an explanation.  Einstein's theory doesn't mean that Newtonian mechanics is no longer a theory; they are both theories, because they are both stories that explain and interpret the world.  It gets a bit perilous to argue about truth, but I think we're willing to sidestep that mare's nest.

        You could likewise argue that the Rutherford "planetary" model of the atom is a theory, certainly not a great theory, but it's a very simple story that explains where the nucleus comes from, and that there are electrons around it.  It's a story -- a story riddled with holes, as we now know -- but at the time it was quite revolutionary, and offered a lot of explanatory power.  We met the characters of "nucleus" and "orbit," and we are now quite used to thinking about them.  It's difficult to argue that this story is by any means the "best" at explaining data.  It could be best in a subjective sense, as a theory that elementary school or junior high kids can handle.

        Likewise, Freudian theory is a story about minds, various feminist theories are stories about how societies treat women.  Mendel's theory explains genetic inheritance, and Darwin's theory explains the origin of species and descent of man.  Are these theories true?  Again, let's dodge that bullet.

        Anyway, my point is that "string theory" is no misnomer.  Each string theory is a theory all right:  it's a compelling story about the cosmos, it tries to explain why things act like they do.  You can say it isn't a very good theory, since it's not very falsifiable.  But it's no exception.

        •  So Religion Is A Scientific Theory W/Your Def (0+ / 0-)

          Each string theory is a theory all right:  it's a compelling story about the cosmos, it tries to explain why things act like they do.  You can say it isn't a very good theory, since it's not very falsifiable.  But it's no exception.

          Giving a story of the universe without having to be falsifiable sounds like you could just as well be talking about religion. There are many parts of religion that aren't falsifiable by definition, so those parts should be treated as scientific theories?

          •  "Falsifiable" is a virtue (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            raines, yaque
            What I was trying to express was that "falsifiability" is a good thing.  A good scientific theory is falsifiable.  A theory explaining the cosmos that can't be falsified is a crummy theory.  String theory isn't a great theory, therefore, although I'm unwilling to declare that it isn't even a theory at all.

            You probably know that the great Karl Popper argued that a scientific theory must be falsifiable.  I can't agree 100% with Popper, because he also argued that Darwinian evolution was not a testable scientific theory, but rather a "metaphysical research program."  Popper had high standards for what constitutes a good scientific theory, but I like Darwin too much to pitch him.  I'd rather draw the circle a little more widely and grant natural selection the status of scientific theory.

            By the way, I'm not trying to come up with a new definition of "theory," I'm just trying to express my view of how researchers actually use the word, based on many years in academe.  If you like I could try to dig up some references; none of these thoughts are original.

            Speaking of definitions, "religion" is a very difficult word to define:  it usually includes ritual, praxis, literature, and (yes) explanatory stories.  Many adherents, for their part, will even claim that (a few of) their theories are empirically verifiable ("O taste and see that the Lord is good," etc.), if not falsifiable.  I wouldn't call those theories scientific though.  I suppose a scientific theory should be one that describes nature, not the supernatural -- sort of a cheat answer to your question, but maybe it will do.

  •  Denialists - postdocs plot to take over the world (27+ / 0-)

    Yep, they all know that postdocs making 26K a year and driving used Toyota Corollas are the point of the spear for a vast international conspiracy. Blame the little guy, not the corporations making money off the status quo.

    Just like little brown people took your jobs - not the companies that offshored the work.

    And the credit crisis had nothing to do with the banks - it was a couple shifty negroes getting crappy loans with the assistance of that gaywad Barney Frank.

    Christ on a cracker, these wingnuts will promote up any corprate spin, no matter how ridiculous or against their self interest.

  •  The real issue is the data are proAGW (8+ / 0-)

    so the deniers are resorting to ad hominem attacks, theft, and a continuation of the Republican war on science.

    Here's the one of the most clear graphs on the planetary heating problem that has been published.

    Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
    By FishOutofWater

    look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

    by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:09:57 AM PST

    •  Part of the issue (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi9, quotemstr, vincent vega

      is the lack of access to some raw data sets so they can be independently reconstructed.

      I have had problems reconciling the IPCC reports technical section caution with the political summary's conclusions, and now the sheer volume of the leaked emails, the reaction at realclimate.org...

      There is a fog of war descending here that may never clear.

    •  Something Seems Wrong With That Graph (0+ / 0-)

      That graph makes it look like there was a major ice age with the world being a place without any heat...and the negative heat looks particularly odd.

    •  This graph doesn't tell me anything (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi9, DaveVentura

      It does not indicate the capacity of the oceans to absorb heat.

      Nor does it tell me the cause of the heat build up.

      Its just an attempt to show a scary chart without any scientific implications, context or causality.

      •  Read the articles starting with Joe Romm's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yaque

        Climate Progress post.

        Joe Romm's post gives links to multiple scientific articles behind the figure.

        As you can see from the comments here, the heat capacity of the upper ocean is a known quantity. The figure shows that earth is retaining heat.

        The solar minimum over the past 2 years has been the deepest in 100 years. Thus, the claims made that an active sun is causing global warming can be rejected.

        Radiation physics has shown that increases in CO2 levels cause increases in heat retention by both greenhouses and planets.

        look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

        by FishOutofWater on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:55:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why Not Look At Solar Radiation? (0+ / 0-)

          Looking at the solar minimum doesn't seem to be the most informative data source if you want to compare how much warming is caused by the sun you'd look to changes in solar radiation instead. Also you speak of a timeframe of 100 years, why not over a period of a 1000 years?

  •  Weird Al Yankovic investigates (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Naniboujou, Norbrook, yaque

    the shocking truth of what's in Al Capone's Glove box

    ROADMAPS!!!!

    Afghanistan:Graveyard to empires-It's not just a bumpersticker

    by JML9999 on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:10:32 AM PST

  •  email among scientists..... (7+ / 0-)

    is full of opinions, personal pettiness and jargon.  Hello....This is a shock?  

    How many of those e-mails are really going to be exposed- just the one or two they can twist out of context or all of them in all their boring density.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

    by murrayewv on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:11:35 AM PST

  •  What a Terrific and Efficient Essay (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, raboof, mogmaar, chparadise

    It also addresses intuition and bias (in a subtle way). As a recent chart and graph freak, it took me a while to figure this out. Then, it took about five minutes longer to realize that I, too, could skew any data I wanted to.

    Is there a moral to the story?

  •  The trick will be how to get the truth (9+ / 0-)

    out when the lie has already got a PR agent and a foundation (I'm guessing). This will be one of those debunked lies that gets repeated as truth for ever and ever, I'm afraid.

  •  To be honest ... (8+ / 0-)

    I saw much of the same interpretation on the left when the Diebold internal developer correspondence leaked. A lot of in-house talk and tech jargon was seen as conspiracy plotting.

    (Their real problems were that, IMO as a developer, the code was lousy, they didn't test, and morale stank. And electronic voting is a bad idea anyway.)

  •  nature's trick on us (5+ / 0-)

    the statistically surprising number of doofuses in the republican party who persist in believing that science is done this way: issue a conclusion, then reveal whatever data you have that supports it.

    •  Lol, i hear that one (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, bushondrugs, yaque

      I'm involved in a project now where the only thing we've come to expect is every time we think we have the system figured out, it gives us another data point that causes an entire rework. Quite aggravating, but then again, that's real science.

      We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley Shacklebolt

      by chparadise on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:38:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  To those that reject (7+ / 0-)

    the science of global warming: Do you like to drink dirty water? Do you like to breathe filthy smelling air? Is the contamination of your food acceptable? The answers to these questions, even from the staunch skeptics of global warming, are NO. So global warming aside, lets clean up our globe regardless of whether or not carbon has anything to do with climate. Be skeptical, be weary, be non-believing of scientific claims, but be honest about your surroundings. You may not like Al Gore, but you surely love your environment. It is the only thing keeping you alive. Its pureness, cleanness, naturalness cannot be a bad thing.

  •  The AP is running with this, (9+ / 0-)

    it is in my Sunday paper. They give very little explanation, two sentences at the very end of the story. Unfortunately, the AP story will get more readers than this diary.

    •  One (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, chparadise, Azazello

      does what one can with what resources one has. In the end, it's difficult to convince someone using facts if their initial premise is that facts don't count. But we can and should provide accurate info for those honestly trying to understand this issue or any other.

    •  Bat Boy Marries Bigfoot, Adopts Alien Elvis Clone (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      Where's the Weekly World News when you need it?

    •  Scientists should learn from Yucca Mountain (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, DaveVentura

      in addition to the example in this diary:

      Never write anything in email that could be misconstrued as making up the data.  

      This is especially true for scientists who are involved in modeling, where proxy data and educated assumptions are often used to supplement the measurement data. Words like trick, made up, guess, fake, etc., can be easily taken out of context in email.

      A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

      by bushondrugs on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:15:05 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Hide the decline"? Thanksgiving is near (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkSyde, yaque, chparadise

    I have a brother-in-law to debate. I can see this one coming a mile away. What specifically does "hide the decline" mean. Obviously the mouth breathers think it means "hide the decline of global temperatures" in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Does it really mean "hide the decline" of the need for proxy reconstruction due to the fact that we have thermometers and weather satellites? I need to shut these guys down.

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."- Arthur Carlson

    by bobinson on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:17:32 AM PST

    •  It's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobinson, captainlaser, yaque, chparadise

      a slightly related subtopic. Some proxies in another study did not show as much warming as the instrumental data. Obviously the instrumental data is real time and trumps a handful of lagging proxies, that's part of what was being referred to by "hide". If you get in an argument, simply point out that they were talking about using instrumental data as opposed to some proxie data, and the instrumental data was used which is as it should be if the goal is the most accurate measurements.

      •  Problem is the implication of an objective (0+ / 0-)

        A scientist analyzing data should go into it with the attitude that he is going to find out the information that is hiding in the data.

        If, instead, he goes in with the objective of "hiding" what he believes is a misleading result he is no longer practicing science.

        •  your spin sucks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          If, instead, he goes in with the objective of "hiding" what he believes is a misleading result he is no longer practicing science. you

          they were talking about using instrumental data as opposed to some proxie data, and the instrumental data was used which is as it should be if the goal is the most accurate measurements. Darksyde

  •  DARKSYDE, (5+ / 0-)

    This is how the story is playing out on my local newspaper blog, the Rochester Post Bulletin. It's the main newspaper for MN-01, Dem. Tim Walz's district, with a R+1 voter registration. Walz voted for the house cap'n'trade bill. The Republican congressional candidate in 2008, a nuclear engineer and physician, said he didn't believe in global warming because glaciers weren't melting. You see a lot of extremism in the district.

    See the comments to the story:

    http://www.postbulletin.com/...

  •  I was thinking the other day (4+ / 0-)

    as this was going on about different uses of words. Another thing is the Brits use words differently--even though they look and sound the same to us.

    Every time I read British news I have to adjust for the use of the word "scheme".  It has nefarious connotations in the US.  But in the UK it mean something more like a plan or a program--such as a "pension scheme".  

    But it's going to be useless to explain this to the tru-beeleevers.

    Earns no money here for blogging, commenting, or driving traffic to any web site.

    by mem from somerville on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:20:58 AM PST

  •  The UK police investigate this criminal act (6+ / 0-)

    This is the real story:

    A spokesperson for the University of East Anglia said: "We are aware that information from a server used for research information in one area of the university has been made available on public websites. Because of the volume of this information we cannot currently confirm that all this material is genuine. This information has been obtained and published without our permission and we took immediate action to remove the server in question from operation. We are undertaking a thorough internal investigation and have involved the police in this inquiry."

    And this should be the follow-up:

    Partially funded by fossil fuel dollars, the denialists of global warming have acknowledged they  lack any peer-reviewed scientific arguments.  With no credible refutation of the science behind global warming, they desperately resort to criminal access of private communications and publish them out of context to maximize publicity.

    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:21:31 AM PST

    •  Avoiding the words "theft" and "steal" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque
      I for one am pleased to see that the university's spokesperson avoided using words that link this crime to any kind of larceny.  Invading others' private communications is certainly a crime, but it isn't theft, and it isn't stealing.  Call it prying, call it spying, call it peeping, but let's not call it theft.

      The reason I care about this is that unauthorized copying is more often a complaint of the RIAA and MPAA, and they always claim that their entertainment goods are being "stolen" by thieves.  Since they don't actually lose the items being "stolen," they aren't really stolen, are they?  (And when the "stolen" items are legitimately worth $0.99 but the "thief" is fined 80,000 times more than that, it's manifest injustice.  Hence I fuss about this issue.)

  •  Very true statement. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Karl Rover, bushondrugs, chparadise

    That's how easy it is to pluck something out of context and make it sounds ominous, if your goal is to misinform, prostitute yourself to the energy industry, and -- pardon the pun -- trick your readers.

    In fact, it's just as true if you take out the qualification. It's also true if you change it to say "..make it sound benign."

    At all times, in all venues, reader beware.

    Moderation in most things. Except Reactors. IFR forever!

    by billmosby on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:28:18 AM PST

  •  I work in the software development business (4+ / 0-)

    and of course we "fake" things all the time to test bugs. I recall a recent email I sent in which i said something like, "I faked the whole year from scratch and it worked!"

    I guess my customers should fire us now. I will run right over to the unemployment office just to be prepared.

    I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

    by decembersue on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:28:28 AM PST

  •  Read more, pillage eMails less (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LeftyAce, Snowy Owl, yaque, chparadise

    Critical realism is a philosophical view of knowledge. On the one hand it holds that it is possible to acquire knowledge about the external world as it really is, independently of the human mind or subjectivity. That is why it is called realism. On the other hand it rejects the view of naïve realism that the external world is as it is perceived. Recognizing that perception is a function of, and thus fundamentally marked by, the human mind, it holds that one can only acquire knowledge of the external world by critical reflection on perception and its world. That is why it is called critical.

    critical realism

    I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person - Pogo

    by annieli on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:28:37 AM PST

  •  Terrific debunking, DS. A question ... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I have: will all that shaded proxy material, which now spreads out like a deluge on flood plain, eventually become less spread out as the way of measuring proxy evidence improves (and perhaps additional proxies are found)?

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:28:53 AM PST

    •  I should (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades, yaque, chparadise

      probably let an actual climatologist respond to that one. My crude understanding is that the more recent the time, the more and better preserved proxies there for a variety of reasons not the least of which is they're easier to recover and properly date & ID, and the easier they can be correlated to other proxies, written records, and the first crude modern thermometers.

      •  Understood. I guess my real question ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DarkSyde, Snowy Owl, yaque

        ...is whether tree-ring science and ice-core science and all the other proxies - which are quite new in the overall scheme of things - are likely to improve over time and give us a much narrower determination of temperatures in periods where there not only aren't thermometers but no written records because nobody was writing anything.

        Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:43:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          that's a reasonable inference, yes. In any statistics based work, more proxies means more data which means a larger sample, and, if probably handled, that tends to reduce uncertainty just like in a political poll. I'll ask someone and email you about it.

        •  My guess, MB, is that the proxy variability (3+ / 0-)

          is real, but like the IPCC climate models, some proxies are better than others.  Mann threw them all in a pot and mixed them up hoping the Central Limit Theorem would get the right answer.

          As we know from the Climate Models themselves, some just don't have the right Physics (not enough computing power, too many simplifications, etc.)  It is probably better to discard some outliers than just to average them in.  Same with the proxy data.

          I doubt that instrumental improvements will change the delta O18 record since that technology is pretty damned good.  But if they got the wrong proxy from the wrong place and it wasn't representative of the continent or region (and some places had no proxy data), your mean will be just wrong.

          As an experimentalist, I tend to believe measurements more than models so the red curve in the hockey stick is the one I pay attention to.  Proxy measurements are essentially a model (a relationship of temperature to another now measurable variable).

          "In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly." ---- Coleridge

          by captainlaser on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:09:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  IMHO it is not only the Central Limit Theorem (0+ / 0-)

            This event in its core from my point of view is a leap in Philosophical Science, it is a Transcendance.

            Why? Because it shows and it is being acknowledge by Couragous Scientist that ''Peer Reviews, Rxperts, etc.. is a Network with a roadmap.

            I give time to Public Health since six years, what the manifest reality transmit by presume CRU emails, but as far all aknowlege as True, is the fact that we are in a more manifest pandemic, and experts backed by peer review behaves quite the same.

            Once is an event,
            Twice is a Pattern
            Thrice is a RoadMap

            I made an effort here
            http://www.dailykos.com/...

            Snowy Owl

            Life improves slowly and goes wrong fast, and only catastrophe is clearly visible. Edward Teller

            by Snowy Owl on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 03:52:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I've been reading the actual studies when I can (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          find them, not just the press releases.  Much of it goes way over my fuzzy little brain but the one from UCLA using Antarctic ice cores was supposed to be extremely accurate.  (That was the one noting the last time the earth was this warm, sea levels were up 75-120 feet....)

  •  Sorry - (4+ / 0-)

    But these e-mails should also be understood within their context. You are bending over backwards to find some justification for the language used.

    In fact, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, and Keith Briffa have long opposed release of raw data that is the basis for research conclusions. Given that well-documented position - it is exceedingly difficult to interpret the statements in the manner which you suggest.

    Hadley would not be the only workplace where employees transition between personal and professional in their e-mail communications, but anything that they did say on Hadley addresses is professional communication - subject to agency review and oversight - not personal.

    I was an AGW supporter until I saw signs of scientific and inter-profession abuse two years ago. Even though I do not agree with the preponderance of sceptic policy positions, I can no longer support some of the major players in the AGW debate.

  •  Mean While Back in Nature (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, quotemstr, tr GW, yaque, chparadise

    Oct 09 ' was the wettest Oct. ever recorded in the south central U.S. , that's 115 years of records. This was achieved without the benefit of a hurricane striking the coast.

    Southeast Australia is booking the hottest Nov. ever recorded.

    " NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO....THERE YOU ARE "--- GEORGE SOCO

    by colorado bob 1 on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:29:40 AM PST

  •  Media Aren't In the Business of Informing Readers (5+ / 0-)

    They're in the business of promoting their interests, in which they are Constitutionally protected.

    Our biggest informers are global corporations but they hold the identical archaic, near-total freedom from obligation written into the 1st Amendment with only family sized local media businesses in mind.

    The global corporate interest at present is to accelerate the destruction of the environment. Accordingly our dominant media have worked to disinform the people.

    And they've succeeded in convincing a majority of the electorate that human-caused climate change is not happening.

    It actually would've taken almost none of the diary's content for a reporter to learn the truth. The phone call or email to the speaker would've been an obvious move for a journalist right at the beginning.

    As you, functioning as a journalist, did, which was possible because you're an amateur working for an economically inconsequential outlet.

    Take this issue to the major information marketplace and you won't reach mainstream eyes.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:30:29 AM PST

  •  Thank you for the explanation (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, wader, happymisanthropy, yaque

    I've known since the beginning that, as far as actual fact is concerned, this was much ado about nothing.

    Unfortunately, good luck convincing the skeptics. They're great at picking out the pieces that support their own pre-existing conclusion.

    We're all human, aren't we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving. - Kingsley Shacklebolt

    by chparadise on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:32:27 AM PST

  •  They Can't Have It Both Ways (8+ / 0-)

    If the deniers point to one email and say 'Look!  It's all a trick' then they have to accept that all of the other emails were correct as well.  In those other emails, the scientists refer to the deniers as 'Idiots'.  Thus the only conclusion that I can draw is that Climate Change Deniers are Idiots.  I know this because scientists have said so in newly uncovered email conversations!!

    In one e-mail exchange, a scientist writes of using a statistical “trick” in a chart illustrating a recent sharp warming trend. In another, a scientist refers to climate skeptics as "idiots."

    God gave you free will to define God, use it to make the best God that you can.

    by Dotty Gale on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:35:17 AM PST

  •  Another meaning for "trick" (6+ / 0-)

    ...is a slick, often admirable, cool even, stunt, or exploit, or other cleverness...a nice hack in other words, but that probably wouldn't help if you don't know what "hack" in that context really means.

    Anyway, that's a clear and understood meaning of the word trick and the one intended for context.  Therefore this provides a great opportunity to put wingnuts on the defensive over their self-righteous frothing.  Let 'em crawl out on a limb, and cut it off behind 'em.  Try not to laugh too much when you do.

    When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it's a wonder I can think at all.

    by Dan E in Blue Hampshire on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:35:19 AM PST

  •  I'd quibble with your interpretation of "hide" (13+ / 0-)

    What "accounts for" the decline is that there's a spurious slope to the very end of that proxy data set, so if one just interpolates one gets a "decline" which is cmpletely inconsistent with the instrument record (which extends beyond the end of the proxy data set.)

    To me, "hide" literally means "make it go away."  But there's nothing nefarious in that - it should be made to go away because it's demonstrably wrong (i.e. inconsistent with the instrument record.)  The point is what they were hiding was a spurious interpolation of data, not any real data.

    "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:36:51 AM PST

    •  Good (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, jrooth, bushondrugs

      point, your comment is linked.

    •  "proxy inconsistent with instrument data" (4+ / 0-)

      But doesn't that imply the very real possibility that the proxy data prior to any instrument data also does not reflect reality?

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:29:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You left out "interpolation" (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, pontechango, quotemstr, skohayes, yaque

        The point is most proxy sets don't come all the way up to the present.  A standard practice, therefore, has been to interpolate the data.  But if you do that with the proxy set in question, the interpolation diverges radically from the instrument record.

        Hence "Mike's Nature trick" which was to use the instrument record to extend the proxy data instead of interpolating from the last few years.

        Now of course there is considerable uncertainty associated with the use of proxy data.  That's why the error bars you see in plots of the temperature record get so big as one goes back in time.  But that's not the issue being addressed by the "trick."

        "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:40:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Aren't you getting the sense from reading this (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Snowy Owl

          that they are choosing the statistical technique that gets the "right" result instead of choosing statistical techniques in advance based on the principles of statistics and then reporting on whatever results show up?

          •  No ... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yaque

            Because there's no particular reason to think that interpolating the smoothed slope of the last few years is a valid method.  Even more so given that there were known issues with the ring thickness correction being applied at the end of that proxy series.

            Perhaps a better option might have been to simply omit that proxy, but I can understand the reluctance to do that since it would increase the error bars for the whole reconstruction.  And the fact is that for recent years, the instrument record is by far the best measure we have, so it's not like using this "trick" introduces less reliable (pseudo)data than interpolating the smoothed slope of the proxy would have.

            "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

            by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 05:26:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  But don't you get the impression (0+ / 0-)

              that they are choosing the data to remove or massage based on its impact on the results?

              •  I don't know how to say it more clearly (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                BYw, yaque

                than I already have.

                No.  Replacing an interpolation of less reliable data with known more reliable data is going to result in a more reliably accurate reconstruction.

                Or, come to think of it ... if by "based on its impact on the results" you mean "based on getting a more reliably accurate reconstruction" then the answer to your question would be yes.  But I certainly wouldn't call seeking the most reliably accurate reconstruction a bad thing, would you?

                "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

                by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 07:08:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I mean that they are looking at the results, (0+ / 0-)

                  saying "There's this dip that doesn't look good.  How can we get rid of it?"

                  Then they are looking for particular parts of the data that can be removed or reweighted to eliminate the dip and then looking for justifications to do that.

                  In other words, they appear to be starting from the desired results rather than reviewing the data and looking for anything that is not justifiable, removing it, and then seeing the impact on the results and accepting them whether they show AGW or not.

                  •  No (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    trillian, BYw

                    They're looking at the data and saying "There's a dip which is clearly wrong since it contradicts the instrument record, which we know to be quite accurate.  What can we do to make our results as accurate as possible?  I know ... we'll just use the instrument record for that time period."

                    And another thing that seems to be ignored in this whole discussion is that this wasn't done in secret.  The method used to create this reconstruction was published - and I don't recall any denialist outcry over the method at the time.

                    "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

                    by jrooth on Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 04:38:10 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Isn't the proxy record important to conclusion? (0+ / 0-)

              Solid instrument measurements, being for a shorter time period, are more subject to criticism that changes just reflect normal climate variances rather than to long term trends. Isn't the proxy data needed to dismiss this notion? If the proxy data isn't needed to reach the conclusion, then it shouldn't be included. If it is needed to reach the conclusion, it seems critical to expose and explain, any differences between the two.

              (Why, at least in tree ring data, not just gather new data - trees are still around and they maintain history. Why rely on a series that ends too early?)

    •  So If The Data Is Bad (4+ / 0-)

      Shouldn't they be excluding it entirely then? If you've choosen a data source to use, it looks bad to only selectively use it. If it is good data for analysis, then use it and if it is unreliable data that shouldn't be used analysis then dump it - if you have it both ways, then it does look bad.

      •  Using a trick to hide a statistical fluke is good (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BYw, yaque

        The problem is that the proxy data set has huge error bars. Let's say the actual temperatures look like this:

        1. 20
        1. 22
        1. 24
        1. 26
        1. 28

        (And let's define an instrumental record from 1980 onward that reflects these actual temperatures to any degree of precision you'd like.)

        Suppose the proxy data set's 95% confidence interval is +/- 10. That means that these proxy records are perfectly consistent with the "true" data above:

        1. 24
        1. 21
        1. 34
        1. 32
        1. 20

        Over the long term, these proxy data will still show big trends. However, if you want to extend your data set into the future, you'll project a big cooling trend. But that cooling trend isn't real, but just an artifact of the imprecise data you've collected.

        The "trick" here is using the proxy data for the times when you don't have an instrumental record, and using the instrumental record for the times that you do. It's not wrong or deceptive.

        •  Using a trick to EXPLAIN (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          WillR

          a statistical fluke is good.

          To HIDE it?  Not good.

          I think biggest concern with these e-mails is the attitude revealed.

          The authors are no longer trying to find and verify answers.  They are trying to defend their conclusions and their political prescriptions for solutions.

        •  You're cherry picking the data to analyze (0+ / 0-)

          In your example, you are discarding a chunk of proxy data not because it is in some way suspect but because it leads to an "incorrect" result - that there is a cooling trend.

          I can make any data set say anything if I get to pick and choose which parts of it to discard.

          •  No (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            BYw, yaque

            It's not cherry-picking to use the better data for the periods when the better data apply, and to use the poor data when you have no other choice.

            That is, it's okay to disregard the proxy data when you have better data (say, measured with a thermometer) for the same period, and using that better data to extrapolate into the future.

            •  Actually, I think normal practice (0+ / 0-)

              is to use all data unless particular data is particularly suspect.

              For example, if you can show that your proxy data is no longer valid in the modern period but was valid previously then it could be reasonable to discard the modern proxy data.

              In this case, the normal practice should be to leave it in.

              Then you need to consider its weighting - it is presumably less reliably than modern temperature readings so you need to reduce its weighting.

              Same of course applies to the old proxy data - it is also less reliable than the (non existent) temperature readings taken using modern methods at that time.

              This, of course, greatly reduces the reliability of your results.  Ouch.

              But that's science - accepting the results that you get.

              •  Of course (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WillR, BYw, yaque

                And that's why any honest graph includes error bars. If you look at an honest rendition of the "Hockey Stick" graph, you'll see that the error bars are huge on the left. But because the time scale involved so huge, the signal drowns out the noise.

                The problem with using that same data for extrapolation is that our industrial tenure on this planet hasn't been long enough for the proxy record to give us reliably results, so when we consider proxy data over our brief civilized period, all we get is noise, not signal. By chance, that noise slopes downward.

                But we can make up for that by using our measured results which are far more reliably over the short term. It's a perfectly reasonable approach.

                •  Based on the discussions, (0+ / 0-)

                  do you get the impression that they would have removed the proxy data (or even reconsidered its validity) if it had shown the upward slope they expected?

                  That's the key point... they are working from desired results, not from the data to find the results.

                  •  asdf (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    BYw, yaque

                    If the proxy data had slanted upward, it would have matched the observed (thermometer) data and removing it wouldn't have been necessary.

                    •  YEEARGH! (0+ / 0-)

                      READ THAT AGAIN!

                      Did you understand what you just said?

                      You said they are removing data from one observation because it does not agree with another observation.  Not because of any independent evidence that it is incorrect!!!!!

                      Think about that!  That's not science.  I can use that method to prove anything.

                      Want to prove ESP exists?  Do the Rhine institute experiments again and throw out the null results because the testees were obviously having bad days.  You'll end up with obvious statistically significant proof of ESP.

                      That is exactly what the AGW deniers are claiming the AGW proponents do - that they remove data whenever it doesn't match what they think it should say, not when there is an independent reason to doubt its validity.

                      If the current proxy data is wrong and should be deleted what about the old proxy data?

                      But if you delete the old proxy data you no longer have any result at all!

                      If they have really done what you say it's another example of the old adage - there are lies, there are damned lies, and there is statistics.

                      •  Let me talk slowly (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        BYw, yaque

                        The proxy data have a lot of noise in the signal. Because they have so much noise, they are only valid for long time intervals. However, the time since the industrial revolution is a short time interval. When you look at the proxy data over that short interval, they do not tell you very much because they contain so much noise.

                        However, if we want to extrapolate into the future, we have to use data since the industrial revolution. Fortunately, we have direct measurements we can use instead of the proxy data. These measurements have a lot less noise. If we had measurements going back to the dawn of time, we would ignore the proxy data completely. But we do not, so we can only use measured data that actually exist.

                        Now, because we have measured data for the time since the industrial revolution, we know what the temperatures actually were. Where the proxy data disagree with those real temperatures, we can dismiss the discrepancy as noise. Recall that the proxy data are not valid in the short term because they are so noisy.

                        Now, if the proxy data noise had agreed with the thermometer readings, it would not have been necessarily to remove them because in that case, the final outcome would not have changed. But because the noise pointed the other way, we had to ignore the proxy data where they did not match our better observations. They really should be ignored either way, of course, but the question is moot. Because we have real temperatures we measured with thermometers, we can extrapolate using much better data.

                        This process is not cherry-picking. It is using data where they make sense, and using other data where they make sense. The choice is not arbitrary. It is not politically motivated. Instead, the choice is based on using the more accurate data first, then relying on the less accurate data where we don't have other data. That is not wrong.

                        •  And there's your problem... (0+ / 0-)

                          Where the proxy data disagree with those real temperatures, we can dismiss the discrepancy as noise. Recall that the proxy data are not valid in the short term because they are so noisy.

                          Now, if the proxy data noise had agreed with the thermometer readings, it would not have been necessarily to remove them because in that case, the final outcome would not have changed.

                          You can't decide what data to remove retrospectively based on its impact on your answer.

                          •  An example of cherry-picking (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            trillian, quotemstr, BYw

                            quotemstr said:

                            Now, if the proxy data noise had agreed with the thermometer readings, it would not have been necessarily to remove them because in that case, the final outcome would not have changed.

                            You replied:

                            You can't decide what data to remove retrospectively based on its impact on your answer.

                            But quotemstr already said:

                            But because the noise pointed the other way, we had to ignore the proxy data where they did not match our better observations. They really should be ignored either way, of course, but the question is MOOT.

                            Because we have real temperatures we measured with thermometers, we can extrapolate using much better data.

                            Which completely refutes your reply.
                            Before you replied.

                            This is an example of quote mining.
                            Only dumber,
                            because people can read the original right next door.
                            Don't try to misrepresent somebody where people can easily find the original quote.
                            It's makes you look stupid.

                          •  Yaque, you really don't get it (0+ / 0-)

                            If they did a prospective review of the data and said "Let's drop these values because we have newer better data" it might be defensible.  (I think it's iffy, but it's defensible.)

                            When they do a retrospective review - "If we include these results we get a result we disagree with.  We can justify removing them because we have better newer data." then that is indefensible.

                            You can make the data say anything if you go looking for new / better data for all parts of your data set that disagree with your desired conclusion.

    •  There is another obvious interpretation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WillR

      What "accounts for" the decline is that there's a spurious slope to the very end of that proxy data set, so if one just interpolates one gets a "decline" which is cmpletely inconsistent with the instrument record (which extends beyond the end of the proxy data set.)

      To me, "hide" literally means "make it go away."  But there's nothing nefarious in that - it should be made to go away because it's demonstrably wrong (i.e. inconsistent with the instrument record.)  The point is what they were hiding was a spurious interpolation of data, not any real data.

      If the proxy does not match the instrument data then it calls into question the validity of the proxy.

      There is a sense here of people who are trying to make the data match the curve rather than making the curve match the data.

      •  Depends what you mean by "validity" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quotemstr, BYw, yaque

        There's no question that in the modern era, by far the most "valid" data we have is the instrument record.  But that doesn't mean proxies are useless, especially as we go further back in time where the instrument record is sparser and less reliable (and going far enough back, nonexistent.)  At that point, proxies are the best data we've got and it would be silly to throw them away.

        "I agree with you, I want to do it, now make me do it." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

        by jrooth on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 05:33:42 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But, if the proxies are not good... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Zobo the Clown

          ...wouldn't it would potentially be correct to throw them out?

          If, during the period of the most precise instrument records, the proxies yield results inconsistent with instrument records, this seems like a problem as it would, at best, suggest the proxy data just isn't very accurate - and perhaps should be ignored. This issue should be something to be addressed openly and included shamelessly - indeed the fact it doesn't match as well as might be expected would be more important than almost any other factor.

          Hopefully the release of these emails will at least get the debate back to where it should have been for the last ten years -- open release of raw data, methods, and honest debate (from both sides) and less claims of "settled science". (Fortunately, Copernicus and Barry James Marshall didn't rely on "settled" science").

          •  Accuracy versus precision (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            trillian, BYw, yaque

            The proxy data are very noisy, but if you average a lot of them over a long period, you can get a good indication for the temperature during that period. The mathematical principle is called the law of large numbers.

            However, the time since the industrial revolution has been very short geologically speaking. Therefore there are far fewer proxy data to average, and the result is noisier than it would be for a longer period. Thus, we use instrumental records.

            One way of looking at the situation is to think of proxy records as being accurate, in that they reflect the real temperature and not some biased value, but imprecise because they only give you a rough approximation of reality.

  •  Before I would blow this off (5+ / 0-)

    I think this does deserve a serious look before we start to blow this off.  Imagine if this had been a series of emails from Wyeth and they used the words "trick" and "hide" to support a new drug...do you think they would be ignored?  Should they be ignored?

    This data has to be beyond reproach if it is going to withstand denialist lies.  I do worry that some climate scientists have started to worry more about being right than being accurate.  

    I have some friends who work at the NOAA and what they tell me about how money is spent and how they decide what is good data makes me believe that alot of what we hear about climate changes has a lot more to do about politics than science.

    •  Nobody's (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, JayDean, jrooth, yaque

      blowing it off. Climatologists and writers are working diligently to explain it. But in terms of context, I guarantee that if someone had my climate related emails over the last ten years, they'd be able to find a lot more stuff to misconstrue than this. I've called climate change skeptics, along with creationists and others, lots of infantile names, made jokes at their expense, and probably said sarcastic stuff like "I guess this melting Arctic will keep the hoax alive another day" and so forth. I'm amazed more stuff like that hasn't turned up.

    •  Hide data source (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tarminian, wader, yaque

      People are reading to much into this hide thing.

      Look at this page from NIST.gov that is a html help file for doing Wagner plots. It actually has a menu item for 'Hide Data Source'

      Some data sources contain more than one data set. This menu item allows simultaneous selection of all data sets from a bibliographic source.

      They are not talking about hiding data from the public, they are talking about making a graph for God's sake.

      Four out five sock puppets agree

      by se portland on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:44:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It already has been looked at (0+ / 0-)

      "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

      by superHappyInDC on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:44:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem is (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, tr GW, LeftyAce, yaque

    even when presented with reality, such as quoting page 118 section C of the Senate healthcare reform bill, to a rabid tea partier, and telling s/he where to find it, you are still met with a refusal to believe or even an intellectual curiosity.  I've been accused of lying to people because I quoted directly from the bill.  They don't care if the evidence is slapping them in the face.  They want to believe Jesus rode dinosaurs and they're going to believe it come hell or high water.

  •  Thanks for this, DarkSyde. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, Karl Rover, LeftyAce, yaque

    I have not seen any particular alarm expressed about the theft and breach of privacy.  I am upset for the principals and also for the rest of us, considering the vast amount of personal and supposedly private data stored on servers.  Scientists especially, who are trying to find out what is actually going on in the world and discuss it candidly with colleagues, just don't deserve this.

    •  It is not clear whether the info (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DaveVentura

      is private. Much of it was probably subject to FOIA requests because of the government money involved.

      Scientists who suggest to one another to delete emails in response to a FOIA request certainly deserve this.

      •  Yes, but deleting emails prior to a request (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        yaque

        is legal, and McIntyre was burying them in frivolous requests.  

        Deleting emails in cooperation with FOIA officials, once the pertinent data is identified, is actually required under British law.  

        So the readings of the emails to establish a FOIA conspiracy are about as stupid, it would appear, as they are about a scientific conspiracy.
        .

  •  DS, the egregious part of the email is not the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, wader, colorado bob 1, tr GW

    "trick" but the intent "to hide the decline".  Sorry, but this stuff goes on all the time.   I have students with a regression with an r^2 of 0.3 and they claim it is significant.

    The main fault of Mann's work and the E.Anglia work of Wigley with him is that they used a technique (principal component analysis) which is designed to look at data which has equal weighting to all points.  I'm sorry but a thermometer reading from 1990 means a heck of a lot more to me than and extrapolation of temperature from 1340 from pollen grains.  The first is a measurement and the second is a model.

    Mann mixed measurements and models in that graph.

    I don't know who the email was from (and the naysayers are saying "Mike" as in Mann but there are lots of Mike's in CRU) but there was no need to "hide the decline" (if such a decline ever existed... we don't really know from the variability in all the proxies).

    What we do know is that the stuff in red is real.  It has been measured with thermometers.  And it is going up.  It is now higher than 80% of the proxy data since 1000. End of story.

    "In politics, what begins in fear usually ends in folly." ---- Coleridge

    by captainlaser on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 08:55:31 AM PST

    •  I appreciated this explanation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grand Moff Texan, captainlaser, yaque

      Also quoted in a different reply I made, below:

      The CRU hack
      By group

      It’s obvious that the noise-generating components of the blogosphere will generate a lot of noise about this. but it’s important to remember that science doesn’t work because people are polite at all times. Gravity isn’t a useful theory because Newton was a nice person. QED isn’t powerful because Feynman was respectful of other people around him. Science works because different groups go about trying to find the best approximations of the truth, and are generally very competitive about that. That the same scientists can still all agree on the wording of an IPCC chapter for instance is thus even more remarkable.

      No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded "gotcha" phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline." The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term "trick" to refer to a "a good way to deal with a problem", rather than something that is "secret", and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the "divergence problem"–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

      The timing of this particular episode is probably not coincidental. But if cherry-picked out-of-context phrases from stolen personal emails is the only response to the weight of the scientific evidence for the human influence on climate change, then there probably isn’t much to it.

      The comments section has some responses from RC authors which further expand upon this particular point.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:42:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That Looks Like Bad Science (0+ / 0-)

        As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the "divergence problem"–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

        That would seem to invalidate their tree ring data as being reliable a reliable, but instead they pick and choose what parts to use. The Scientific Method would shows that actual results don't match this proxy data, so that would undermine using their data to for instance look at 1160.

        •  I don't believe so (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth, yaque

          This area has been looked at by many, but the general notion of interpretative issues might be reasonably summarized by this example:

          An interesting characteristic of the western bristlecone pines is that their recent growth has markedly increased—ring widths have been higher than in previous decades. Previous studies have debated to what extent this "fact" is real, or just an artifact of the way tree-ring data are analyzed. Because the growth of trees is radial, as trees get older and the diameter of a tree increases, annual ring widths decline in thickness. This is the normal "growth function" that is commonly removed from measurements before further analysis is carried out. The trick is to do this carefully so that as much climate information is retained while the growth function is discarded, and dendroclimatologists know how to do this quite well. However, sometimes the "standardization" procedure can introduce spurious results. This led some to regard the apparent growth increase in bristlecone pines to be a meaningless result of the data processing. In a new article in the Proceedings of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Matthew Salzer (Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona) and colleagues examine this issue head on. They studied hundreds of trees from treeline sites in the Great Basin, aligned all the samples according to date, and simply averaged the results (Figure 1). Given that these trees are all long-lived, the complicating factor of growth function (which is strongest for the early growth of a tree) was not significant for assessing the most recent growth. Their results show that mean ring width in the last 50 years has been greater than in any previous 50 year period over the last 3700 years. You have to go all the way back to ~1900-1300 B.C. to find mean ring widths approaching recent values.

          "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

          by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:30:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Whoops (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            yaque

            link.

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:31:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So Then This Is A Reason To Keep The Data (0+ / 0-)

            So if they have a valid formula to use on this proxy data, they should keep it and if they don't have a valid formula on the proxy data they should dump it. This seems too much like cherry-picking by simultaneously praising the accuracy of the proxy data while saying it is inaccurate at the same time. If the formulas have been shown to kick out bad data (as they apparently have), that sounds like the formulas have been invalidated per the scientific method. If real world results aren't meshing with the forumulas, I don't know what else it would take for the scientific method to show the formulas are bad, but instead the faulty formulas are selectively used, which doesn't sound very scientific to me.

            •  I didn't read anything about a "smart" formula (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              yaque

              which "kicks out" the data based upon specific criteria which look for out-of-boundaries conditions with some sort of bent towards providing a measure of quasi-magical context in doing so.

              This is about interpretation of the data in context of its application to modern analyses, with regards to its past interpretation vs. current day knowledge - even the data authors acknowledge that it should be taken in the context with which it is currently being worked (around).

              "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

              by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 02:55:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Nope. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          yaque

          The tree ring data is out of line with everything else.  

          Again, this debate is eleven years old and their work was already independently confirmed by the NAC three years ago.
          .

    •  Maybe this is discipline specific (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, yaque

      But from a purely statistical point of view there is no reason an r^2 of 0.3 couldn't be statistically significant in the standard sense (i.e. p<0.05) if your sample size is large enough.</p>

      In many ecological studies if an independent variable 'explained' 30% of the variance in the dependent variable you'd think that was pretty darn good.

      "One road is paved with gold. One road is just a road." - Patti Smith

      by matching mole on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:43:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Do you perchance have a thermometer from 1340? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jrooth, yaque

      I appreciate how critical it is to hang your hat on something solid.  But that's why there are huge error bars on the data that gradually increase the further and further you get from the present.

      Unless you have actual thermometer readings from 1340, you've got to chose something.

    •  No, "hiding the decline" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      has to do with a divergence of data since about 1960.  The authors published they solution to mixing instrumental data, so this is not evidence of a conspiracy.  

      Once again, casual familiarity with the issue would avoid suspicions of conspiracies.  
      .

  •  climateaudit.org (3+ / 0-)

    which is probably the leading site that questioned the initial MBH studies and went on from there, has been overwhelmed.  There is a mirror site here. It's always bothered me that when it comes to Steve McIntyre the realclimate.org response is not to work through his positions to vet them or correct mistakes, but mostly to dismiss him personally as an oil company shill.

    I readily admit a lot of the technical analysis of climate data is over my head.  It's just an observation.

    •  That wasn't their reaction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque, RLMiller

      and I think your own reaction sounds odd, frankly.  

      Why do you appear to be casting doubt over the simple intentions of others?

      The CRU hack
      By group

      Since emails are normally intended to be private, people writing them are, shall we say, somewhat freer in expressing themselves than they would in a public statement. For instance, we are sure it comes as no shock to know that many scientists do not hold Steve McIntyre in high regard. Nor that a large group of them thought that the Soon and Baliunas (2003), Douglass et al (2008) or McClean et al (2009) papers were not very good (to say the least) and should not have been published. These sentiments have been made abundantly clear in the literature (though possibly less bluntly).

      This mention is a summary of what they view as prevailing themes in the emails among peer scientists and has little to do with the positions of scientists who regularly write for RealClimate.

      Further, I'm not sure why you are "bothered" by scientists minimizing McIntyre's science or even his implied positions.

      RealClimate had a take on this entire issue which fully parallels this diary:

      More interesting is what is not contained in the emails. There is no evidence of any worldwide conspiracy, no mention of George Soros nefariously funding climate research, no grand plan to ‘get rid of the MWP’, no admission that global warming is a hoax, no evidence of the falsifying of data, and no ‘marching orders’ from our socialist/communist/vegetarian overlords. The truly paranoid will put this down to the hackers also being in on the plot though.

      Instead, there is a peek into how scientists actually interact and the conflicts show that the community is a far cry from the monolith that is sometimes imagined. . . Scientists expressing frustration at the misrepresentation of their work in politicized arenas and complaining when media reports get it wrong; Scientists resenting the time they have to take out of their research to deal with over-hyped nonsense. None of this should be shocking.

      . . .

      No doubt, instances of cherry-picked and poorly-worded "gotcha" phrases will be pulled out of context. One example is worth mentioning quickly. Phil Jones in discussing the presentation of temperature reconstructions stated that "I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline." The paper in question is the Mann, Bradley and Hughes (1998) Nature paper on the original multiproxy temperature reconstruction, and the ‘trick’ is just to plot the instrumental records along with reconstruction so that the context of the recent warming is clear. Scientists often use the term "trick" to refer to a "a good way to deal with a problem", rather than something that is "secret", and so there is nothing problematic in this at all. As for the ‘decline’, it is well known that Keith Briffa’s maximum latewood tree ring density proxy diverges from the temperature records after 1960 (this is more commonly known as the "divergence problem"–see e.g. the recent discussion in this paper) and has been discussed in the literature since Briffa et al in Nature in 1998 (Nature, 391, 678-682). Those authors have always recommend not using the post 1960 part of their reconstruction, and so while ‘hiding’ is probably a poor choice of words (since it is ‘hidden’ in plain sight), not using the data in the plot is completely appropriate, as is further research to understand why this happens.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:34:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Steve McIntyre and realclimate.org (5+ / 0-)

      seem to me to be serious about questioning climate data.. and that is not to say being deniers.. but merely being skeptical.  and that is as it should be.  I think we have too few scientists critically assessing all aspects of climate science, especially modeling where minute changes in assumptions can impact results out 10, 50 or 100 years.

      That Steve McIntyre is mentioned by name in some of those emails as a person they are trying to keep data from, I think, speaks volumes.

      "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - G. Marx

      by Skeptical Bastard on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:38:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's because McIntyre is a hack (0+ / 0-)

      .

  •  Willful Ignorance (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    88kathy, wader, yaque

    When you have people who are willfully ignorant, people who don't just condone stupidity but celebrate it, then no amount of reason will work to convince them otherwise.

    I would think that we would have learned this lesson by now, but apparently not.

    •  DarkSyde is so patient (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, pontechango, yaque

      My daughter's in-laws get their climate change news by listening to the weather on TV and doing averages in their head.

      The matriarch spit "global warming" as an expletive when her son told her that the Farmers' Almanac said this was going to be a cold winter.

      If I say anything, it seems to make them more resistant.

      Fox Crapture from Farmageddon

      by 88kathy on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 09:27:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The best science is arrived at (5+ / 0-)

    by open access to the data, the tests, the results and by inviting and encouraging others to disprove results. That is not at all what comes through in looking at these memos and emails.

    What they show is an attempt to fix results, hide data, restrict analysis and deny alternative or null hypotheses.

    An honest scientist would never fear being proved wrong, but what these emails show is a cringe inducing careerism, with research and publishing driven by the need to earn grants, secure resources and maintain a certain standard of living.

    The constant hysteria of the response to any questioning of the global warming agenda tells us that this is not real science.  Its more like religion.

    The key role of the warmist scientific establishment in data manipulation, deceit and dishonesty is shaming, and reminds one of the Soviet Union and Chinese state abuse of science for political ends. The notion of global warming was already losing support even before these memos. Climategate as its beginning to be called will push the debate even more against the global warming point of view.

    The truth always out in an open and free society. For those expecting some kind of action on cap and trade, this is probably the final nail in the coffin.

    •  I have never heard the term (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quotemstr, yaque

      "warmist scientific establishment" used in a serious manner at this site before.

      Plus, your possible interpretation of what "hide" actually meant in the context-free quotes thus far offered sounds entirely off-base.  It as a graphing exercise, not a personal or political agenda to remove historical data from view.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:39:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  been there done that, there has already been (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quotemstr, yaque

      a congressional inquiry into the the data that these scientists were talking about.

      As it turns out, this stuff is merely the background behind the "Mann hockey stick" data that was criticized...and yes found to have problems.

      Both sets of numbers were sent off to 3rd party audit firm in Germany, which concluded that Mann's hockey stick data did indeed contatin glitches, but not the whole-sale sham that the deniers would like.

      Besides Mann's hockey stick is only a fraction of the climate data being used.

      If this tainted data can be tossed out and there would still be enough evidence for AGW.

      "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

      by superHappyInDC on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:43:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  the Denier data has problems as well (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mimi9, quotemstr

      and I'm not sure I trust the biggest polluters to tell me what level of pollution is appropriate.

      "the government is full of vampires!" - Glenn Beck

      by superHappyInDC on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 11:53:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hide the decline (4+ / 0-)

    paired with efforts to delete emails in response to a UK FOIA request seems to be deceptive.

    If the requested emails were deemed confidential and therefore not subject to release under the FOIA request then there would be no need to delete them. Deleting them in response to such a request was illegal.

    •  Not if you know what "hide the decline" means (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quotemstr, yaque

      Those painting this as a conspiracy are hoping you don't.  

      As for the FOIA requests, deleting emails prior to YET ANOTHER ONE OF MCINTYRE'S MANY FRIVOLOUS requests, OR deleting emails determined by FOIA staff not to be relevant, are perfectly legal.  

      Those painting this as a conspiracy are hoping you don't know that, either.
      .

  •  Well done. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader

    ,

  •  So when someone hacks Sarah Palin's email... (4+ / 0-)

    The yahoo account she was using illegally to conduct state business, the perpetrator should be strung from the highest tree. This is okay though. Nice.

    The cult of IOKIYAR strikes again.

  •  Looking for ammunition (4+ / 0-)

    not looking for truth. It's human nature to try and distort evidence in support of one's dearly held beliefs. Social scientists refer to this as "dissonance reducing behavior"

    People are not passive receptacles for the deposition of information. The manner in which they view and interpret information depends upon how deeply they are committed to a particular belief or course of action. Individuals will distort the objective world in order to reduce dissonance. The manner in which they will distort and intensity of their distortion are highly predictable...

    (Eliot Aronson  The Social Animal)

    That's why the process of data collection is so crucial and must be as objective as possible. The idea is to keep the human element out of it and find out what is really going on.

    Deniers exhibit classic dissonance reducing behavior.

    But everyone, including scientists, does have those tendencies. It's easier to see it in others - especially others with whom one disagrees - than in oneself.

    Muddy water can best be cleared by leaving it alone.

    by veritas curat on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 10:43:12 AM PST

  •  It takes more time to untangle a lie (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, defluxion10, FishOutofWater, yaque

    to tell one, unfortunately.  The folks who most need to hear DarkSyde's explanation aren't going to bother.

    People with short attention spans, such as conspiracy theorists and hard-right conservatives, love the short, damning factoid.  They have no interest in sticking around for the anti-climactic details that make up truth.  (Thus we saw Sen. John Kerry mocked for using the word "nuance" in his answer to a complex question.)

    I'm expecting a conservative chain letter on the "climate scientist conspiracy" any day now.

    •  Dang it! Please add an editing feature to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      Comments.  It never fails: even after previewing my remarks, there's always one grammatical error that doesn't show up until I hit "Post."

      Should read:  "It takes more time to untangle a lie than to tell one..."

  •  This is why the Right and Republicans want people (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    VirginiaJeff, yaque

    to be Ignorant and Unlearned it's the only way they can Rule.They must Hate the History Channel and other Science Channels.

  •  The Deniers like to point out how safe CO2 is (0+ / 0-)

    but here's something that is just plain facts The Air has 21% Oxygen in it and with every burning of some Hydrocarbon the O2 decreases and the CO2 and Water increases right now the amount of CO2 is 383ppm by Volume or around .038% of the Air but should it increase to 10,000ppm(1%)humans start to feel bad and at higher level around 7% to 10% you start to die and also at one time the Air had no O2 in it it came from the vast amounts of CO2 in the Atmosphere and the only reason we have O2 now is because O2 producing life put Carbon and Hydrogen into Chemical forms that kept those Chemicals from reacting with O2 but that took millions and billions of years but now humans are reacting those chemicals and setting the stage for massive releases of stored Methane that will also react with the O2 to reduce the percentage of O2 in the Air even more so on top of Global Warming were burning up the Oxygen we need to live and it don't take much of a drop in Atmospheric O2 percentage to make human life impossible.Came across the while I was trying to make sense of what I was writing http://ehstoday.com/...

    •  P.S. sorry if this doesn't make sense I was (0+ / 0-)

      trying to point out how deadly CO2 is to Animals,Insects and even Plants in amounts that are lower than the Percentage of O2 in the air is and also as the Carbon that's been locked up by millions of years of Plant life is released in a time period of only at most 200 years somethings got to give and that something is a huge decrease of Atmospheric O2 and with that a massive reduction upper level Ozone.OK I give up somehow I have a feeling what I'm trying to say isn't making sense but I'll post hoping someone can make out what I'm trying to say.

  •  Glenn Beck: We need to start thinking (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, yaque

    like the Chinese. OMG, doesn't he know the Chinese are COMMUNISTS!? PATHETIC!

  •  Having read your daffynitions, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jon Says

    I now know that Nixon was only trying to "account for" the info on the tapes.

  •  not only is there no global warming... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    Not only is there supposedly no such thing as global warming, there is also no such thing as evolution.

    If we can't have evolution, then it would be a good thing not to have global warming.  If we have both global warming and evolution, then we at least know that the earth's life forms will immediately evolve to deal with the changes in climate.  We have some confidence that the Earth will survive global warming (although it might kill the human race off in the process.) If we have global warming without evolution, we have a very dangerous situation facing us: we have to wait for the Creator to specially create new species. In the meantime the old species might go extinct.

  •  Pilkey's prediction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    I'm reading noted Coastal Geologists Orrin Pilkey ( Duke U.) latest book "The Rising Sea" and he makes a frightening prediction in it about a possible sea rise for the 21st century of 20+ ft. ! He bases this prediction on the increasingly rapid melting of the Greenland & West Antarctica ice sheets. Orrin says that the IPCC prediction for 2007 was misintrepted by most commentators and Gov'ts. That report seemed to have actually lowered the IPCC prediction for sea rise made in 2001's report, but Orrin says that's not true. That what happened between 2001s report and 2007 is the IPCC removed the Greenland and West Antarctic melt predictions as part of that report and ONLY presented the Thermal expansion and the land based glacier melt statistics and models in its report. They said that they excluded Greenland and Ant. because they didn't have models that they could all agree on, regarding the amount of melting. In other words they left out these two MAJOR contributors to sea rise and everyone missed this in the report and took the figs. to mean they'd actualy lowered their predictions for sea rise.
     
                      20 Feet!!

    Pilkey uses his own figs. for probable melting of these two areas and he says that these two alone will account for an incredible 16 feet of sea rise by 2100!! Add the 3 ft. rise in the IPCC report and you have a 20 foot rise possible according to Pilkey! Nobody out here is planning for anything this drastic. Such a sea rise will flood every major city on the US east coast drown southern Fla. totally and most of the world's barrier islands and beaches will be gone by 2100.

    "It's better to die on your feet then live on your knees" E. Zapata

    by Blutodog on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 02:49:23 PM PST

  •  Excellent work, Darksyde, already using it (0+ / 0-)

    ...to rebut the "skeptics."

  •  The word "trick" is all the denialists care about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him.
    -- Cardinal de Richelieu

    Same strategy is applied daily by Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, et al.

    All these explanations are good and useful for people who actually want to understand the data.

    Dittoheads don't care. Ridicule is the right response to them.

    "Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all." --Hypatia of Alexandria, c.400

    by jayskew on Sun Nov 22, 2009 at 06:29:43 PM PST

  •  This is a really important diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque
  •  the real problematic email (0+ / 0-)

    was the one saying they should destroy this or that email to avoid having to release it due to FOI (the UK's version of the FOIA).
    The principals involved in that email should speak out and explain themselves.

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