Balkinization  

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is UVa committed to academic freedom?

Sandy Levinson

A new Levinson has joined the blogosphere. My daughter Rachel, who is the Senior Counsel at the American Association of University Professors, has written an excellent comment at the American Constitution Society site about the scandalous attempt by the Virginia Attorney General to engage in a witch-hunt regarding a former UVa climate scientist who actually believes in the reality of global climate change (unlike, apparently, Ken Cuccinelli, the AG). Since he is aptly described as a publicity-seeking yahoo (who, of course, was elected by the voters of Virginia), perhaps one shouldn't be all that shocked that he indeed behaves like a yahoo. What is more shocking, frankly, is the so-far submissive response of the University of Virginia.

Not only, as Rachel points out, does Sweezy v. New Hampshire suggest a winning argument against such yahooism, but the cravenness of the University, should it continue, threatens not only the good name of a great University and the willingness of UVa faculty to engage in cutting-edge research, but also the willingness, I should think, of non-Virginians to collaborate with anyone at UVa. After all, the yahoo-Attorney General is asking for all emails, etc., relating to the research of Prof. Mann when he was at UVa, which means that a large number of scholars elsewhere presumably have some interest in their own privacy (not to mention not being subpeoned themselves by the yahoo-AG, especially if they're so unfortunate as still to live in Virginia and subject to process). The analogy that comes to mind is a reporter being asked to burn a source. Sometimes a reporter will (and should) be required to do so, but only after the reporter engages in a good-faith attempt to resist the request and forces the state to prove a genuine need, etc. So far, the University seems to be the equivalent of the publisher who refuses to back up a reporter at all (including, of course, providing necessary legal counsel to resist the illegitimate demand and save the reporter from personal bankruptcy).

The University of Virginia is reputed to have a very fine law school. Surely there is someone there who might advise the Administration about the extent to which the Constitution protects academic freedom from stunts like those engaged in by the yahoo-AG. (Indeed, ironically enough, Rust v. Sullivan, written by Chief Justice Rehnquist, got five votes for the proposition that universities (unlike pre-natal clinics) are special places and therefore entitled to judicial solicitude against invasive legislation by Congress or, presumably, by yahoo-AGs.)

Should this case get to the Supreme Court, it will be good to have as a Justice a former Law School Dean--and distinguished scholar--who can be counted on to appreciate the importance of academic freedom.

Comments:

The climatologist is the rather infamous Michael Mann of the discredited hockey stick graph and climategate fame.

As the recipient of multiple grants of taxpayer money, Mann would appear to fall under the strictures of the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act (FATA).

Virginia's civil investigative demand (CID) made pursuant to FATA can be found here. It appears to request all materials related to the state grants made to Mann.

Is there something legally deficient about the CID?

Ms. Levinson does not appear to claim that it is beyond the scope of the authority granted by FATA.

There does not appear to be a special provision in FATA granting immunity to discovery requests based upon "academic freedom."

The citation to Sweezy v. New Hampshire is remarkably strained and appears to be intended more to inject McCarthy into the discussion rather than for legal authority.

In Sweezy, NH enacted a resolution permitting the state AG to conduct investigations of government employees to determine whether they violated a law prohibiting subversive persons to work for the state government. During one of these investigations, a professor refused to answer questions concerning his associations with other suspected subversives and a lecture where he allegedly told students that socialism was inevitable. The professor was held in contempt.

In this case, VA is not investigating Mann because of a subversive belief in the hypothesis of manmade global warming (MGW), Mann's very well publicized claims concerning MGW or his well known associates who believe in MGW. Rather, the AG's theory appears to be that Mann used the state grant money to produce fraudulent study results and thus the claim for state grant money is itself fraudulent.

I am uncertain whether Mann used any of the listed grants to work on his discredited hockey stick graph purporting to prove that there was no major variance in temperature prior to a late 20th Century temperature spike purportedly caused by MGW. However, this would appear to be ample grounds to begin an investigation.

One can legitimately question whether the VA AG's office is the proper body to conduct an investigation into academic charlatanism. However, this is only the first of a series of subpoenas Mann can expect. Several suits have been filed challenging the scientific basis of EPA's CO2 endangerment finding which is partially based upon Mann's work. I am confident that the plaintiffs will want a very close look at Mann's emails and computer models unless the EPA settles to avoid airing this dirty laundry.
 

"...being subpeoned themselves..."
Fehlleistung of the year.
 

Lets assume that this case involved an energetic crusading state Attorney General (who bears an uncanny resemblance to a young Bobby Kennedy) with progressive inclinations and impeccable ethics. This AG wants to subpoena the records of a state college professor who has produced a study purporting to debunk the myth of global warming. Lets assume that the AG has some, but far from overwhelming, evidence to suggest that the professor committed fraud in the preparation of this study. The AG argues that this study is being widely cited by opponents of climate change legislation and contends that taxpayers have a right to know whether they are subsidizing “junk science” that is being used to harm the environment and threaten the lives of themselves and their children.

Do you agree that this is the same case, legally speaking, as the one in your post?

It seems to me that neither the actual nor the hypothetical case is a particularly easy one. There is certainly a risk of abuse and chilling of academic/scientific inquiry from enforcement of the subpoenas. But the First Amendment doesn’t establish a deliberative process privilege for research performed at academic institutions (and if it did, there might be an exception for taxpayer funded research). It doesn’t seem unreasonable to suggest that the public has a right to know if its funds are being used to perform bogus or fraudulent studies.

Finally, if the professor (either the real or hypothetical one) seeks to quash the subpoena, it is inevitable that political allies of the AG will claim that he has something to hide. So even if there is a colorable First Amendment argument to quash the subpoena, there may be good reason to comply nonetheless.
 

Once again mls tries to stand on his head to look at the feet of the situation presented, perhaps a dizzying feat even for him.
 

Quite literally the last person who should be cited as a paragon of civil liberties is Robert Kennedy (who was, after all, not averse to working with Joe McCarthy early in his career).

Mr. DePalma literally has no understanding of how the academy (or science) works if he belivees that to have one's ideas "discredited" is proof of mendacity and fraud. There have, I believe, been at least two full-scale investigations of Mr. Mann by his scientific peers who have found no evidence of unseemly conduct. To believe that the yahoo-Attorney General and his no doubt ideologically zealous assistants have a greater capacity to ferret out such conduct is, to put it bluntly, idiotic.
 

One can legitimately question whether the VA AG's office is the proper body to conduct an investigation into academic charlatanism. However, this is only the first of a series of subpoenas Mann can expect. Several suits have been filed challenging the scientific basis of EPA's CO2 endangerment finding which is partially based upon Mann's work. I am confident that the plaintiffs will want a very close look at Mann's emails and computer models unless the EPA settles to avoid airing this dirty laundry.

It takes talent to write a paragraph like this without noting that one of the plaintiffs suing the EPA is, drum roll please, none other than AG Ken Cuccinelli. I don't see why he should be able to use his office to obtain far broader discovery than a civil plaintiff would be able to get through a third-party subpoena - and it is virtually a given that a federal judge overseeing a civil case would never permit a non-party scientist to be harassed with such a broad-based fishing expedition.

mls' argument is interesting, but at the end of the day I think scientific fraud has to be policed through the scientific process (which is quite robust when it comes to exposing misconduct) and not by agenda-driven politicians. If a scientist commits overbilling fraud, or uses his grant money to vacation in Tahiti instead of conducting a study, that's a different issue.

There's just too much potential for a chilling effect if prosecutors get to use anti-fraud statutes as a vehicle to investigate whether a given study is scientifically valid. Do we want to send a message to red-state research universities that if they engage in climate change research, they're liable to spend their entire budget fending off investigatory demands from a Republican AG? We can't afford to put those sorts of governmental restraints on the scientific process.
 

"Quite literally the last person who should be cited as a paragon of civil liberties is Robert Kennedy (who was, after all, not averse to working with Joe McCarthy early in his career)"

I figured someone would bring that up. But who was I going to use, Elliot Spitzer?

Also, you might be overusing that "quite literally" thing. I am sure you can think of people who are even less deserving than Kennedy in that regard. Say Hitler, Stalin . . . Cheney.
 

UVA's loss is MIT/Harvard/Johns Hopkins' gain. Let the red state yahoos wallow in ignorance.
 

This comment has been removed by the author.
 

Sandy:

Mr. DePalma literally has no understanding of how the academy (or science) works if he belivees that to have one's ideas "discredited" is proof of mendacity and fraud.

Having one's good faith work later found to be in error most certainly is not fraud. However, the evidence indicates that Mann either intentionally omitted or attempted to statistically eliminate data which conflicted with his desired outcome. See the disappearance of the Medieval Warming Period and the Little Ice Age in his Hockey Stick Graph of world temperatures from 1000 AD to the present. Also, Mann attempted to hide his data and computer modeling for years until Congress started requesting them in their investigation of the scandal.

Meteorologist Steve McIntyre and his blog Climate Audit broke the scandal and along with economist Ross McKitrick authored a series of papers on the subject.

Perhaps the most comprehensive single source indictment of Mann is offered in the recently published book The Hockey Stick Illusion. The best lay summary of McIntyre/McKitrick's dense indictment was offered by Marc Sheppard here.

As you may be aware, several hundred emails, computer programs and data sets were leaked/hacked from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the British University of East Anglia while it was declining to comply with FOIA requests from McIntyre and others in what became known as the Climategate scandal. I published several annotated and linked posts at my blog which describe the entire mess. However, for this thread, let's concentrate on Mann.

Perhaps the most scandalous leaked email was written by CRU's Phil Jones discussing how he was successful in hiding the recent decade long decline in temperatures by using "Mike's Nature trick" discussed in the above linked Sheppard essay.

That led to this bit of youtube musical satire, against which Mann threatened suit until the producers said bring it on so that they could conduct discovery into Mann's still hidden materials. Mann scurried away.

There have, I believe, been at least two full-scale investigations of Mr. Mann by his scientific peers who have found no evidence of unseemly conduct.

This is the second and perhaps worse scandal. The Penn State "investigation" can only be charitably called a white wash.

To believe that the yahoo-Attorney General and his no doubt ideologically zealous assistants have a greater capacity to ferret out such conduct is, to put it bluntly, idiotic.

If PSU will not police their own professors to maintain a modicum of academic credibility, maybe having a politically ambitious VA AG perform an investigation is the only real alternative to shed some much needed sunshine on this alchemy posing as science. I personally am looking forward to discovery in the EPA lawsuits.
 

Bart, you might want to find somebody other than McKitrick to cast aspersions at Mann, given that his "series of papers" has been shown to be riddled with serious errors, as serious and ridiculous as mistaking radians and degrees.

Stick to legal arguments, where you merely come off biased and only minimally competent, rather than exposing your abysmal scientific ignorance and pathetic lack of analytical ability.
 

C2H50H:

Your linked blogger Tim Lambert also thinks that the authors of Freakonomics and contributors to this blog put out complete rubbish on the subject.

If you wish to challenge one of McIntyre/McKitrick's indictments of Mann's work, offer an argument and a link.
 

Bart,

I only wished to give you good advice, Bart. I don't regard it as necessary to demolish your pretenses of possessing any understanding of science yet again.

FWIW, though, here's one thing you might keep in mind. Science moves fairly fast, especially in an area of active investigation, so you expose yourself as a complete nitwit, scientifically speaking, when you cite, as you did above, a cite 6 years old.

Note that the reference I cite was recent. It contains the links, if you really cared to learn the truth, rather than simply accepting the first citation that agrees with your wishes, to begin the process of educating yourself.

Note also that reverence for the authors of Freakonomics is not, so far as I can ascertain, a litmus test for whether someone is credible.
 

"Should this case get to the Supreme Court, it will be good to have as a Justice a former Law School Dean--and distinguished scholar--who can be counted on to appreciate the importance of academic freedom."

This would be the same law school/university that ran their president out of office for merely wondering whether there is a gender basis for intellectual proficiency in math and science and recently had a soviet-style public berating including show-trialesq apology from the offending student for daring to discuss the possibility of racial genetic basis for IQ (not even advocating its correctness, merely the possibility). Whether these ideas are right or wrong, clearly you will pay a high price as an academic for even broaching the subject.

The idea of today's universities as paragons and defenders of free thought is just laughable. Anyone who wants to grab the golden ring of tenure knows there are things you are allowed to say and not allowed to say; ideological positions that will get you ahead and leave you behind. It's why you end up with an ideological conformity in universities that would make Castro blush. It's also why, outside the sciences for the most part, no one takes academics seriously.
 

It's why you end up with an ideological conformity in universities that would make Castro blush.

How dare you speak in such a derogatory manner about our beloved leader? Have you no shame?

Seriously, though, do you have any other axes to grind? My experience around the water cooler in colleges and universities seems to vary wildly from the "lockstep liberal" environment that you describe.
 

Bart DePalma, that "hide the decline" canard has been thoroughly debunked. The "trick" was exhaustively discussed years prior to the theft of emails from CRU. There was nothing secretive about it.

The issue was that one (ONE) of the method used to construct past temperatures was tree-ring growth. It was found that tree-ring growth in recent decades was not as robust as expected from other sources indicating temperatures were rising. The researchers decided not to include that set of data, which is ROUTINE in statistical analysis when there is an unexplained spike or dip.

It was not within the scope of their work to determine why, exactly, the tree ring data did not conform to rising temperatures which, by every other measure, were indubitably increasing. (You know, anthropomorphic global warming).

Happily, I am not a scientist and am not bound by the reticence of that discipline, which requires all sorts of evidence and proof of hypotheses to make even the meekest assertion. Therefore, just for you, I will explain WHY the tree rings weren't growing as rapidly as rising temperatures would lead one to expect.

The trees have slowed their growth, and indeed by now are actually shrinking (dying off) because the levels of background tropospheric ozone are inexorably rising as we (humans) continue to burn fossil and biofuels. In addition to the eighty million tons of CO2 per day that we add to the atmosphere, volatile organic compounds such as nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide, and acetaldehyde interact with UV radiation resulting in an invisible but poisonous brew that is toxic to both humans and vegetation.

Cancer, emphysema and asthma (all epidemics) are caused by ozone exposure. The stomata of foliage and needles is damaged, impeding the the ability to photosynthesize and produce chlorophyll. Crop losses and forest decline are rapidly accelerating. At stake is our ecosystem, and food supply.

Now can somebody please sue me?

Gail Zawacki
Oldwick, NJ
www.witsendnj.blogspot.com
 

Gail:

The researchers decided not to include that set of data, which is ROUTINE in statistical analysis when there is an unexplained spike or dip.

Actually, the leaked/hacked CRU datasets indicate that the only data AGW partisans decided not to use were those indicating cooling or no warming and the scale of such discarding was massive. See here, here and here.

It appears that the raw temperature data for most of the world shows little or no warming over the past century. It was only after AGW partisans created an arbitrary "adjusted data set," whose parameters their own people could not recreate, did a sharp warming trend suddenly appear.
 

It appears that the raw temperature data for most of the world shows little or no warming over the past century. It was only after AGW partisans created an arbitrary "adjusted data set," whose parameters their own people could not recreate, did a sharp warming trend suddenly appear.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 9:49 AM


Baghdad, glaciers all over the planet are melting away. That does not happen without a planet-wide warming trend. You are simply grasping a straws.
 

Bart is quite correct that Mann's work has been discredited to the extent that calling it "fraud" is not out of the question, tho I don't know that it is justified either, since it can be hard to know when rigging your results by massaging the data actually rises to the level of fraud.

The second commenter, tho, started what might be a good discussion: when should the attorney-general step in to investigate grant fraud? Surely he should in some cases, e.g. if the researcher has used the grant money to buy a sailboat. What if the researcher used the money to hire assistants to invent false data? Yes, I think. What if the researcher hired assistants to reprocess true data to intentionally produce a false impression? That gets tougher. If it was proved, it would be reasonable to prosecute, but should the AG be able to impose the cost on the university of producing the scientist's emails which might prove bad intent? I don't know.
 

Mr. Rassmussen,

No. There was no falsification of data nor invention of data in Mann's case, hence no "fraud". Bart is completely wrong in this case.

You can disagree with Mann's statistical methodology and you can disagree with his choice of what data to use (McKitrick did, for example -- but then proceeded to use his own carefully-chosen data subset and a lot of very suspect methodology to try to confirm his own hypothesis!)

These are valid criticisms. It's not as if there is universal agreement on either the proper dataset or the statistical methods to apply. Even a few climatologists disagree with Mann in these areas, although, you should note, the vast majority agree with the general conclusions he reached.

While it may be amusing for lawyers to invent, by arcane circumlocutions as MLS does above, hypothetical situations in which a scientific fraud may be of legal import, that is not the case in Mann's situation.

By the time global warming has either become so obvious that even the closed-minded like Bart admit it (probably when it burns the tires off his beloved SUV), science may have largely settled whether Mann's science was correct or not. Leave it to the scientific community -- their tolerance of fraud is far lower than the legal system allows (see: Goldman Sachs, et al).
 

Oops, carried away by a run-on sentence.

By the time ... or we transition into a new ice age and the question becomes moot ...
 

C2H50H:

Does this sound like a discussion of a methodological dispute between scientists?

I’ve just completed Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline [in atmospheric temperatures over the past decade].

Or a conspiracy to commit fraud?

A Parliament relying upon CRU's data to justify its environmental legislation might claim that this is innocent chit chat between scientists, but a jury without a dog in the fight would very likely think otherwise. If Justice had similar emails against Goldman Saks, their case of fraud would be far stronger.
 

C2H50H's comment points out that lawyers can be "guilty" of law office science in the manner that they are "guilty" of law office history on originalism.
 

Bart,

The papers are public, the methodologies and data are clearly explained -- to the extent that McKitrick was able, finally, to replicate the results (this took a few years, because there were some things that were unclear and also because McKitrick is a bit "challenged" in analysis skills).

So there's no fraud, no evidence of fraud, either in the science or how the money was spent. This has been the conclusion of not one, but two panels.

One of the things you don't understand is that science is largely concerned with the methodology by which people, with all their faults, their imprecision, and their other failings, are separated from their scientific claims. It's called "peer review" and it has been taking place on Mann's work from the beginning -- with the result that, although it is not accepted as conclusive, it is not rejected utterly -- which McKitrick's work has largely been.

Any mountains you make of this molehill are in your own mind.
 

Does this sound like a discussion of a methodological dispute between scientists?

I’ve just completed Mike’s [Mann] Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline [in atmospheric temperatures over the past decade].

Or a conspiracy to commit fraud?


Well, since the email in question was written in 1999 when atmospheric temperatures were at their highest--that is, BEFORE any change "in atmospheric temperatures over the past decade," I'm going to go with scientific collaboration rather than conspiracy to commit fraud. The decline in question is that caused by including recent tree-ring data, which has been abnormally correlated with direct temperature readings over the past few decades.
 

PMS:

I should have made my parenthetical statement clearer. The temperature decline to which Jones appears to be referring is the cooling period before 1980 punctuated by the snow we received in Ft Lauderdale in 1978.
 

C2H50H said...

It's called "peer review" and it has been taking place on Mann's work from the beginning...

Like the "peer review" conducted by the "consensus of scientists" of the claims which were made in the IPCC reports?

See...

Richard Black, “Climate body admits ‘mistake’ on Himalayan glaciers,” BBC News (January 19, 2010). http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8468358.stm

David Rose, “Glacier scientist: I knew data hadn’t been verified,” The UK Daily Mail (January 24, 2010). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1245636/Glacier-scientists-says-knew-data-verified.html#

Jonathan Leake, “UN wrongly linked global warming to natural disasters,” The UK Sunday Times (January 24, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7000063.ece

Jonathan Leake, “UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim,” The UK Sunday Times (January 31, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7009705.ece

Jonathan Leake, “Africagate: top British scientist sasy UN panel is losing credibility,” The UK Sunday Times (February 7, 2010). http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017907.ece

“The IPCC’s questionable citations list,” ClimateQuotes.com blog for a representative sample of non-peer-reviewed citations from the IPCC 2007 assessment report. http://climatequotes.com/scientists/the-ipccs-questionable-citations/

I would love to know precisely what was involved in the "peer reviews" if Michael Mann's work.
 

Bart,

1. Peer review may take a long time before the vast majority of scientists regard all these issues as settled. If you expect timely, authoritative answers to incredibly complex questions, try the delphic oracle instead. Science doesn't work that way (for example, Darwin came up with the basic theory of how evolution works a while ago, but some of the details are still being worked out). In particular, peer review doesn't instantly eliminate all errors. Nothing does.

2. So you think a small number of mistakes in a huge document invalidates the entire document? Perhaps you should check out the errata list for the latest Intel processor. Now, if the mistakes were on the level of McKitrick's errors, which invalidated his entire conclusions, it would be an issue. Of course, in order to evaluate how serious a mistake is, you'd have to understand the subject, which you do not.

2. The IPCC scientists admitted and corrected their errors, which is more than Leake ever does. It's amusing that you'd quote him, because he's a quote-mining publicity hound, always on the lookout for something that will generate a headline, regardless of the facts.

4. All you've proven in this thread is that your pretensions of knowledge of anything related to the current state of climatological research is itself fraudulent.
 

C2H50H said...

1. Peer review may take a long time before the vast majority of scientists regard all these issues as settled.

You didn't read the articles I posted, did you? The IPCC did not run out of time, they were knowingly promoting complete fiction. Indeed, the scientist in charge of issuing the prediction about the Himalayan glaciers melting admitted he knew there was no science behind the prediction, but issued it in an effort to panic the Indian population into supporting the IPCC.

2. So you think a small number of mistakes in a huge document invalidates the entire document?

Actually, the complete inability of the twenty some IPCC computer models to predict future or explain past temperatures completely discredited the underlying thesis of the report. The articles I posted discredit the veracity of the authors.
 

Bart,

There's no point in reading science stories in non-scientific publications when the science is available. The only publication in the list you gave (which, by the way, has no links -- have you forgotten again how to construct a link?) which could be remotely be considered reputable for science reporting is the BBC -- and I did read that one, which simply reported the error.

There's never enough time to produce a science report, as you would know if you even knew anybody who had to write them. In my experience, it was the rule that our portions always went in at the last minute.

Computer modeling of chaotic systems cannot be expected to be very accurate. The best you can generally hope for is to predict roughly the values of a few critical variables to fairly dramatic changes in the parameters, which the current models have done successfully for years.

Those who claim that the inaccuracy of the models discredits AGW are either ignorant or dishonest.
 

C2- with regard to inability to construct a link, you may be thinking of me. I also am happy to claim no expertise on the subject of climate change.

I take it that the distinction that you see between my hypothetical and the UVA case is that you believe the UVA scientist has not acted fraudulently and that his conclusions are, generally speaking, correct. However, strange as it may seem, courts do not take judicial notice of your opinions. Therefore, if the cases are to be treated differently, the courts would have to determine the validity of the subpoenas based on the evidence of fraud each AG could produce, as opposed to simply quashing the subpoenas based on academic freedom and the alleged chilling effect.
 

"The articles I posted discredit the veracity of the authors."

Why do you have such complete faith in one side and so little in the other? If you're inclined to respond it's because of the evidence, that's plainly not the reason, as you can verify for yourself by applying the same skeptical questioning to both sides.
 

God, I hate that gravity conspiracy. It's been so discredited by people I admire and cite.
 

Via TPM today (5/14/10), I caught Lewis Black's feature on The Daily Show: "Glenn Beck Has Nazi Tourette's" in the course of which Black referenced global warming and I thought of you know whom who has added junk science to his law office history on originalism.
 

MLS,

Since you seem to have trouble with this, let me say again: I object to accusing Mann of "fraud" (scientific or otherwise) because he published the method by which he selected his data and the methodology he used to analyze the data.

As a result, his conclusions remain replicable -- which is a key component of the scientific method.

Now, I'm not an expert on the law, but I vaguely recall something about fraud containing an element of deceit, of keeping some facts hidden from the victim.

Hence, properly done, science cannot be fraudulent. Whether I, or anyone else, "agree" with the conclusions doesn't enter into the question.

As to your earlier hypothetical, a "progressive" AG would surely be sufficiently educated so as to understand how science works. Unless there is evidence of improper spending, or other non-scientific criminality, this mythical AG would then know that scientific fraud (falsification of data or methodology) would be found out by the scientific community and the scientist's career would be finished, all their work cast into suspicion or discredited, and there would be no need for legal action which would cost the taxpayers.

Pretense that both sides of the AGW dispute are somehow on par is false. Just take a look at the arguments put forth in the current thread. Those claiming that AGW is a hoax engage, frequently without a clue as to the actual science, in cherry-picking, quote-mining, insist on unreasonable standards for evidence, and now bogus legal harassment. Are those the actions of people engaged in honest effort at finding the truth?
 

Sanpete said...Why do you have such complete faith in one side and so little in the other?

There is no other side.

There is a hypothesis that manmade emissions of CO2 and other so called GHGs are the proximate cause of most of the atmospheric warming over the past century.

The burden to prove the hypothesis with actual evidence is entirely upon its proponents.

Under the scientific method, the climatologist must test his climate model against the real climate to determine if it successfully predicts future and explains past temperatures. If it does not, then some number of the assumptions programmed into the model and/or the adjustments to the temperature databases against which the models are tested are in error. Once the scientist claims his or her model can successfully predict the climate, the model and its temperature data should be made public so other scientists can duplicate the results.

The scientific method does not involve accepting the MGW hypothesis on faith, compelling skeptics to disprove it and then attempting to discredit the skeptics.

The current system is tailor made to encourage fraud. Governments who have publicly concluded that MGW is real shower a relatively obscure corner of science with tens of billions of dollars in research grants, a media which has already concluded that MGW is real makes these scientists who advance the MGW hypothesis rock stars and all of their work is done in secret with no third party testing. If you question nevertheless deny the MGW hypothesis, governments and the media condemn you as a denier along the lines of a holocaust denier.

This is not a proper environment to perform critical science. Big tobacco provided a more objective environment for its cancer studies.
 

Bart,

Actually, since you can't take the temperature of a planet, you take on proving or disproving the AGW hypothesis is nothing but an attempt to frame the question in a manner that will be advantageous for the denialists.

Because measuring changes to climate is a very long-term and noise-ridden affair (due to various chaotic phenomena in the South Pacific, for example), it is necessary to track temperatures for about 20 years to establish a trend in global temperatures.

For this reason, scientists looking for evidence supporting or discrediting the AGW hypothesis also look at other effects which might be due to AGW, such as an increase in the uncertainty of seasonal onset, increased storm severity or occurrence, changes in precipitation patterns, warming in the troposphere, and so on.

But then, if you knew anything about science you'd know that.
 

C2H50H said...

Actually, since you can't take the temperature of a planet, you take on proving or disproving the AGW hypothesis is nothing but an attempt to frame the question in a manner that will be advantageous for the denialists.

Or you could say that, because it is impossible to calculate a statistically valid average temperature for the Earth, it is likewise impossible for MGW hypothesists to even demonstrate atmospheric warming, nevertheless explain what might be causing it.

The inadequacy of the temperature record is one of the least discussed problems with the MGW proof, such as it is.

Here is a brief summary of the challenges in taking the world's temperature over the past century:

1) Stations are spread unevenly across the world and only cover a small part of it while computer models divide up the world evenly into several thousand cells and assign a temperature to each one of them.

2) The stations come on and off line at random times and in enormous numbers. The Russians added around 14,000 stations over the middle of the century and then took them off line after the fall of the USSR.

3) Temperatures are taken at different times of the day at different stations.

4) The standards for maintenance of such stations vary widely, if they are maintained at all.

5) Stations which were in the countryside during the beginning of the century are now enclosed in urban and suburban heat sinks.

In an email released last year in a long delayed FOIA request, NASA admitted to a inquiring climatologist that the statistical noise in the relatively comprehensive and well maintained US weather station system was so high that they could not discern any temperature trends over the past century. This was when NASA MGW proponent James Hansen was offering a graph showing a sharp spike in world temperatures. And you wonder why I charge fraud and demand further disclosures of MGW proponent emails, models and data.

The worst part of the Climategate scandal was not the emails which made the news, but rather the leaked raw temperature data which CRU later destroyed and CRU's adjusted data for the same regions. The raw data for much of the world shows no or very slight warming over the past century. In contrast, CRU, NZ and AUS "adjusted temperature" record for the same regions show sharp warming trends. None of the adjusted data shows a sharper cooling trend.

These scientists claim they are using well recognized statistical methods to smooth out anomalous results and can thus generate a statistically valid adjusted temperature record out of the hash of the raw temperature data. The facial problem with this claim is that the leaked CRU adjusted data creates larger changes in the record rather than reducing them.

The leaked data instead suggests that CRU, NZ and AUS are creating their adjusted temperature results my eliminating stations which do not show a warming trend, duplicating stations which do show a warming trend and creating fictional stations which never existed. CRU eliminated nearly all of the stations in SW Australia and 40% of the Russian stations.

Tellingly, after it cleared the CRU scientists of fraud, The University at East Anglia proposed to rework the CRU adjusted temperature record under international supervision. This implies that the university either white washed the investigation to protect itself from fraud charges or believes their scientists are incompetent.

This entire enterprise stinks from top to bottom.
 

Or you could say that, because it is impossible to calculate a statistically valid average temperature for the Earth, it is likewise impossible for MGW hypothesists to even demonstrate atmospheric warming, nevertheless explain what might be causing it.

# posted by Bart DePalma : 10:34 AM


You could say that, but people would laugh in your face.

Baghdad, glaciers all over the planet are melting. That can only be explained by global warming. The evidence for global warming is overwhelming. Whether or not we can produce computer models which can perfectly predict the end results of that warming does not change the fact that the warming is taking place.
 

Bart,

It's not like the world has a particular place you can stick a thermometer and get a reading.

There are, in fact, multiple, statistically justifiable methodologies for calculating an "average temperature" for the Earth. Expecting every scientist to agree on which one is correct is, of course, a denialist talking point.

While there is no universal agreement -- each method can be quite justifiably criticized, and, due to human activity, there are problems with the data -- the accepted methodologies all show evidence, to varying degrees, of AGW.

I notice that you don't link to any actual evidence for what you say. Perhaps this is why? It completely demolishes your talking-points.

But we were talking about fraud, not disagreement among scientists on how to measure mean global temperature.
 

Our former backpacker's junk science characterizations that close with:

"This entire enterprise stinks from top to bottom."

reveal the results of an anal thermometer reading of himself.
 

Bart, the two sides in question are those who assert AGW and those who claim there's no good reason to believe in it. Your response to my question only further demonstrates the problem I asked you about; it doesn't get at the answer. It's quite obvious that your response and the climate skeptics you cite make controversial claims about the science and the scientific process. You accept those controversial claims uncritically, while showing no such faith in the claims they oppose.

The question remains why you accept the claims of only one side uncritically. It's plainly not because AGW skeptics have discovered some more objective method than peer-reviewed science. The controversial claims of the skeptics are clearly also open to question, and since they generally lack peer review, even more open to certain kinds of problems.

To give a hint as to a likely answer, dealing rationally with AGW would require costs to business, which conservatives are generally loath to require. That may cause them to dangerously skew their understanding of the science and the mechanisms of science. Is that the case with you?

I should add that some of your quasi-conspiratorial view of the science makes very little sense, particularly when it comes to where the money comes from and why those with money would want to support a potentially very costly finding.
 

C2H50H:

I did not base my list of variables on calculating an average world temperature on Prof. McKitrick's work, although he seems to share some of my concerns and adds others of his own.

Lambert's critique of McKitrick does not address my points. Indeed, Lambert appears to be ignorant of the extent of the weather stations added and removed by government action and arbitrarily from the adjusted temperature records by folks like CRU.
 

In regards to the "conspiracy" to commit fraud, allow Jones to explain it himself:

This remark has nothing to do with any "decline" in observed instrumental temperatures. The remark referred to a well-known observation, in a particular set of tree-ring data, that I had used in a figure to represent large-scale summer temperature changes over the last 600 years. The phrase 'hide the decline' was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were. This "divergence" is well known in the tree-ring literature and "trick" did not refer to any intention to deceive - but rather "a convenient way of achieving something", in this case joining the earlier valid part of the tree-ring record with the recent, more reliable instrumental record. I was justified in curtailing the tree-ring reconstruction in the mid-20th Century because these particular data were not valid after that time - an issue which was later directly discussed in the 2007 IPCC AR4 Report. The misinterpretation of the remark stems from its being quoted out of context. The 1999 WMO report wanted just the three curves, without the split between the proxy part of the reconstruction and the last few years of instrumental data that brought the series up to the end of 1999. Only one of the three curves was based solely on tree-ring data. The e-mail was sent to a few colleagues pointing out their data was being used in the WMO Annual Statement in 1999. I was pointing out to them how the lines were physically drawn. This e-mail was not written for a general audience. If it had been I would have explained what I had done in much more detail.
 

In short, I find it ironic that so-called skeptics are pouncing upon a scientist's insistence on using instrumental data to correct a curve when they spend so very much time insisting that scientists use instrumental data to correct a curve.
 

Since this is a law related Blog, perhaps Daubert standards should apply. Now what does our backpacker's CV inform us as to his expertise in climate sciences other than his being occasionally high in the hills of Colorado yodeling, or whatever ...?
 

[Jones:]The phrase 'hide the decline' was shorthand for providing a composite representation of long-term temperature changes made up of recent instrumental data and earlier tree-ring based evidence, where it was absolutely necessary to remove the incorrect impression given by the tree rings that temperatures between about 1960 and 1999 (when the email was written) were not rising, as our instrumental data clearly showed they were.

PMS, do you honestly believe this lame excuse?

Who on Earth substitutes the word "hide" for "correct?"

"Hide" is is the word you use when trying conceal an inconvenient fact like the tree ring evidence of temperature decline which contradicts your hypothesis of dramatic temperature rise.

Jones' game of hide and seek gives new meaning to the saying there are lies, damn lies and statistics.
 

Baghdad, since you obviously feel there is some sort of climate science conspiracy here, could you explain to me why they decided that temps are going up instead of down?
 

Bart,

Interpreting words in the most negative fashion possible, taking quotes out of context, do you really expect this to provide anything substantive to the discussion?

The person who understands the concepts focuses on the analysis, weighing the various arguments. The person who merely wants to score cheap shots focuses on the presentation, looking for words and phrases which can be misinterpreted.

As for your earlier talking points, I believe that following the science as it unfolds, like this, rather than simply reading something that confirms your bias and stopping might help.

At least you could try and keep up, rather than simply recycling discredited talking points.

But who am I kidding? In a year, if the opportunity arises, you'll be back with the same stale BS. It's laughable now, it will be laughable then.
 

C2H50H said...

As for your earlier talking points, I believe that following the science as it unfolds, like this, rather than simply reading something that confirms your bias and stopping might help.

Unless your favorite blogger can read Russian, he is speculating as to what one of several graphs in the IEA report means. The google translator he used does not translate the passage discussing the graph he is cherry picking.

Moreover, the blogger does not address any of the preceding translated parts of the report noting that CRU left off weather stations in 40% of the cells into which Russia is divided and the omitted weather stations did not show any appreciable warming, but retained multiple weather stations in cells which did warm.

Sorry, if I do not see blogger cherry picking as science.
 

Sorry, if I do not see blogger cherry picking as science.
# posted by Bart DePalma : 3:36 PM


Actually, it's quite clear that you do. Cherry picking is your raison d'être. On the many liberal blogs that you frequent, "cherry picking" is also known as "Barting".
 

Just out of curiousity, is there anyone in this discussion who considers themselves to be objective about this subject? By that I mean that you have no emotional or other attachment to the position you hold, and are able to open mindedly consider any new information without regard to whether it supports or undermines the global warming thesis.
 

MLS, of course we all have emotional factors to consider. Being aware of what they are and trying to work around them can help. I join some others who find Mann's behavior suspicious, and I don't doubt that there's some herd instinct and other problems at work in the science. However, what I know of the science is still pretty persuasive, and in any case it seems clear that the EPA would be irresponsible not to rely on the scientific consensus in deciding how to treat CO2. I think that's their job.
 

Regarding mls' curiousity on objectivity, I'm curious whether he thinks he fits the description he provides.
 

mls, it depends on the source of the information. If the scientific consensus changes, I won't have much choice but to change my views. If Baghdad Bart digs up another denial nutcase, I'm not going to listen to him.
 

MLS,

What is your evidence for a lack of objectivity in my posts? The only thing I'm truly outraged about is people posing as knowledgeable about things they clearly know nothing about.

I'm quite capable of being objective in the face of the loss of perhaps 40 percent of the species on this planet and consequent loss of biodiversity, of the loss of a variety of island nations, much of Florida and the Gulf coast, famine, flood, and disease due to climate change. Not to mention, according to various think-tanks, starvation, massive refugee problems, and war as a result.

No reason to get worked up, no sir.

On the other side, you probably don't remember the thread when Bart got nearly hysterical about someday having to give up his SUV. And of course, anything which might ameliorate AGW would upend the entire energy economy, and that would be devastating to such good corporate citizens as Massey Energy, BP, and Exxon.
 

mls said...

Just out of curiousity, is there anyone in this discussion who considers themselves to be objective about this subject?

I am enormously cynical about all claims of "scientific fact." I have dealt with too many hired gun doctors, scientists and experts to accept anything at face value.

This attorney is from Missouri - Show me the damn evidence.
 

That goes double for governments wanting my money or my property.
 

Bart DePalma said...
That goes double for governments wanting my money or my property.

5:07 PM


But governments invading other countries for imaginary WMD doesn't appear to be a problem for you?
 

Bart,

Your standard of suspicion seems curiously suspended in the case of the evident-less "fraud" that started this whole thread. A trifle inconsistent, but let it go.

Statements like your last two comments are what have caused me to nominate you as the poster child for "the paranoid style in American politics".

So, because you can't understand something, it's unbelievable? And you believe that, because Google translator doesn't work for you, that means a guy at a major university couldn't possibly translate the Russian?

Paranoia and projection. A pretty combination.
 

"This attorney is from Missouri - Show me the damn evidence."

That's a standard you don't apply to science skepticism in the same way as to science, not even close, so you ought to be able to see it doesn't explain your beliefs at all. This is an elementary point that conspiracy theorists always have trouble wrapping their minds around. They think they're skeptics, when in fact they're quite credulous.
 

Apparently our backpacker doesn't accept SCOTUS' Daubert standards (which have yet to be fully extended to certain forensic evidence). I guess those damn breathalyzers make it tough defending yahoos driving high in Colorado. I wonder how effective are his arguments of "Show me, I'm from Missouri" he yodels in Colorado courts in trying to establish reasonable doubt for his yahoos. And speaking of yahoos, where were our yodeler's Ozark standards during the Bush/Cheney 8 years? "Show me the WMD!"
 

Might I mention, that it struck me as peculiar to ask if a particular band of ultraviolet radiation was committed to anything?

Seriously, though, the problem with the tree ring data, and it's treatment, is that you have to either use tree ring data as a proxy for temperature for the whole period, or not us it as a proxy for temperature for the whole period, or explain what caused it to stop being a valid proxy just right then, that you know wasn't present during any of the period you DID use it as a proxy.

If something at some point caused tree rings to stop being a valid proxy for temperature, you must be able to identify it, and establish that it didn't occur before, or else you just flat out can't use tree rings as a proxy for temperature. You can't just say, "I've got this substitute 'thermometer' here, which agrees with my calibrated thermometer except when it doesn't, and I'm going to use it for these earlier periods where I don't know whether it was accurate or not, and then stop using it where I have proof it wasn't accurate."

That's not good practice. That's why it was a trick, not a technique.
 

Now we have Brett jumping on board our former backpacker's junk science faculties - or lack thereof. I wonder what his CV reveals that might satisfy Daubert on scientific evidence, besides his "amusement" with whether "a particular band of ultraviolet radiation was committed to anything?"

I'll be working on a Joyce Kilmer-style "Tree Rings" poem to adapt Brett's take on tree ring data in the form of a "tree ring circus." Guess who the clowns are?
 

Shag:

You must first offer actual evidence to support your scientific hypotheses before you can argue that they meet Daubert standards. Name calling does not constitute evidence outside of progressive blogs. Indeed, Sandy's post is dedicated to the proposition of continued suppression of evidence based strangely enough on the concept of academic freedom.

It would be a fine day in court indeed if one of my cases with the DA or another counsel in a civil case were as one sided on the evidence as this thread as been.
 

Suppression of what evidence? Sneering at stale talking points is not "suppression". Correcting your errors of misinterpretation is not "suppression". Pointing out that you have no concept of what science or statistics are all about is not "suppression".

The AG of Va is engaged in nothing more than a witch hunt, and you are one of the crowd of benighted followers behind him, waving your pitchfork.

Failure to convince the ignorant and one-way skeptics is not a failure of science. Giving a comprehensive explanation for every phenomenon is not a requirement. Not every situation is explicable by a priori reasoning from first principles. Physics is nowhere near a "theory of everything", yet I doubt even Brett and Bart will deny that physics has had its successes.
 

Daubert standards place the trial judge in the role of gatekeeper regarding scientific evidence, by evaluating expert witnesses and their proposed testimony to make sure such is both relevant and reliable. In Daubert, various observations were listed (that were not intended to be exclusive), including empirical testing, peer review and publication, known or potential error rate, general acceptance of theory and techniques by a relevant scientific community.

Our former backpacker is not a gatekeeper - other than for the Tea Party - and neither am I. Let's see what happens with the efforts of the VA AG. I offer no scientific evidence as that is not an area of my expertise, unlike our yodeler who is prepared to opine on matters for which he lacks qualifications relying upon ideology on just about every matter he opines on.

In addition to Daubert standards regarding climate science, there is the matter of the First Amendment issues involved with the VA AG's course of action. Sandy is not proposing the suppression of evidence on climate science.
 

Those who would like to get a flavor of the sentiments of the Levinson clan might want to check out "Wrestling with Diversity," which has three contributing.
 

Shag from Brookline said...

Our former backpacker is not a gatekeeper - other than for the Tea Party - and neither am I... I offer no scientific evidence as that is not an area of my expertise, unlike our yodeler who is prepared to opine on matters for which he lacks qualifications relying upon ideology on just about every matter he opines on.

One of my pet peeves is progressive worship of credentialed authority and the flip side of that religion - the appeal to authority logical fallacy. I do not want to ever again hear the Wizard of Oz argument - trust the expert, you are too stupid to understand what he is talking about.

Everyone here is perfectly capable of understanding science. As you well know, attorneys offer scientific evidence and argument every single day in court. Attorneys are the ones who make the Daubert arguments to the gatekeeping courts.

Proof of the MGW hypothesis would require (1) a statistically reliable temperature record, (2) a computer model with GHG forcing assumptions which accurately explains past and predict future temperatures, and (3) recreations of the model outcome by other scientists based upon publicly available data and coding.

You do not have to accomplish this yourself, but you are more than capable of recognizing such scientific proof if you see it and then linking to it here. The reason why no one had done so is that there is no statistically accurate temperature record, there is no computer model with GHG forcing assumptions which accurately explains past and predict future temperatures, and there are no recreations of the model outcome by other scientists based upon publicly available data and coding.
 

Yes, Bart, and chimpanzees and other apes use tools. That doesn't mean they understand the lever principle.

You just made it abundantly clear that you do not understand science. Science does not proceed by waiting for unequivocal proof of a theory (that may take centuries). There may be many theories which explain a particular phenomena, and all may gain some acceptance. In the end, those theories which explain the observed phenomena the best are the ones accepted.

Earth surface temperatures are but one phenomena. There are many others (tree ring widths, for example), and the vast majority of them are best explained by AGW due to greenhouse gases emitted by humans.
 

Our former backpacker challenges the Wizard of Oz argument; but no one here is making such an argument. Daubert and its progeny provide standards to guide judges on scientific evidence in legal proceedings. Rather, our yodeler qualifies for the role of the Straw Man in the Wizard of Oz when it comes to science. He makes this statement:

"Everyone here is perfectly capable of understanding science."

Surely he isn't. And many of us have limited backgrounds in science. We know from prior statements that our yodeler minored in economics. Perhaps he also minored in junk science or learned on the job defending yahoo alleged drunks.

Daubert decided in 1993 was unanimous in one regard and in another regard only CJ Rehnquist and Justice Stevens pulled back. This was not a progressive/liberal Court. Science is not like pornography. Attorneys present witnesses who hopefully will qualify as experts on certain scientific matters to satisfy the gatekeeper judge that Daubert Standards have been met. This is not a matter of progressive worship of experts or authority. Rather, Daubert sets the rules to govern lower court judges and attorneys. Daubert was not a 5-4 SCOTUS decision reflective of politics.
 

"One of my pet peeves is progressive worship of credentialed authority and the flip side of that religion - the appeal to authority logical fallacy."

It isn't a fallacy to appeal to legitimate authority. And you're still avoiding the fact that you place great faith in some authority, when it supports your proclivities.
 

Who on Earth substitutes the word "hide" for "correct?"


Statisticians, especially when dealing with noisy data sets. (I know, I know, "who says data sets are 'noisy'? Data don't make noise!")

Statistics programs often have "Hide Outliers" buttons or functions incorporated into their interface. Jumping on the verb here is akin to accusing someone who mentioned "mail merge" of conspiracy.
 

PMS_CC,

And don't forget the Great Paint Conspiracy, which began in the middle ages and continues today, sponsored by PPG, Sherwin-Williams, Rustoleum, Valspar, and several other major corporations.

The situation is ripe for fraud, when corporations try to steer the science and cover up the unvarnished truth.
 

PMS_CC said...

Who on Earth substitutes the word "hide" for "correct?"

Statisticians, especially when dealing with noisy data sets. (I know, I know, "who says data sets are 'noisy'? Data don't make noise!")

Statistics programs often have "Hide Outliers" buttons or functions incorporated into their interface...


The term you are looking for in the MGW scientists' own literature is either "harmonization" or "adjustment." They do not use the term "hide" for their temperature manipulations.

Moreover, Jones was attempting to hide the results of an entire dataset - tree rings - not to harmonize a few outliers in his raw temperature data, so "hide" as you would use it is not applicable to this email.
 

Are you folks finished spinning for Big Warming yet?
 

Bart,

It's hard to escape the conclusion that you are simply being dishonest when you conflate "the literature" and "private emails".
 

Are you folks finished spinning for Big Warming yet?
# posted by Bart DePalma : 12:56 PM


Baghdad, do you think "Big Warming" is bribing the glaciers to disappear?
 

Brett, there IS a reason the tree rings are not increasing as warming temperatures would predict:

http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/2010/05/eureka.html
 

Paul Krugman's Blog at the NYTimes today (5/16/10) "How Will They Spin This?" on the recent NASA-GISS data graphs the "12-month average temperature anomoly" with a specific reference in the narrative to a 1998 peak that might cause some pique for those claiming cooling by getting them hot under the collar.
 

Shag, NASA satellites are obviously in the pocket of "Big Warming".
 

Bartbuster's comment (facetious, of course) that "NASA satellites are obviously in the pocket of 'Big Warming'" reminds me of the burlesque comedian's punchline "Who's got pockets?" as I ponder our former backpacker's cropped comment photo like an iceberg, wondering about his expertise on "Big Warming." (Bring back the backpack, please!)
 

Moreover, Jones was attempting to hide the results of an entire dataset - tree rings - not to harmonize a few outliers in his raw temperature data, so "hide" as you would use it is not applicable to this email.

Again, you are so insistent upon your position that you are talking past yourself.

1) You claim models should only use direct measurements.

2) Tree-ring data is excluded in favor of direct measurements when the tree-ring data is obviously wrong.

3) Rather than celebrating, you claim there's a conspiracy because they should be using indicators rather than direct measurements.

In a similar vein, there are problems with radiocarbon dating that are caused by this odd tendency for humans to introduce large amounts of atmospheric C-14 into the reservoir, occasionally via nuclear explosions. The base date for C14 is effectively 1950 as a result, even though we are clearly not living in 1950.

We have ways of dealing with those changes which involve redundant curves--including tree-rings and deep ocean sediment cores--taken from many of the same data sets that are used as a basis for climate change studies. These non-c14 data sets allow us to calibrate the curve we use for C14 studies.

Since we are still able to effectively use radiocarbon as a dating technique--it is a matter of routine to get a range of dates that matches quite well with historical sources for a given site--I don't lose sleep at night worrying about the variations in atmospheric C14 that likely occurred over the past 100,000 years. Someone has done excellent statistical modeling of an extremely complex data set to the point that our techniques are spot on despite a set of extreme outliers that lasts 50 years.

If we just used C14 amounts, our dates would be unreliable, as the amount of C14 doesn't always match the time that has passed (or if you prefer to use Brett's phrase: "it matches fine except when it doesn't"). Do we throw out the technique altogether because of inconsistency in one data set? No, we use that data set when appropriate by context, and then rely on other data sets when we are looking at a period where the relationship cannot be trusted.

In short, this is how science must be done when a relationship between several variables is regular, but subject to periodic variation and anthropogenic distortion.

So, back to the original point: yes, "hide" is absolutely fine in this context. Again, if you had these values in a chart where tree ring temp increases match fine with direct temp readings for a hundred years and then suddenly don't, you'd remove the outliers. You might even have to hit the "hide outliers" button to do so.

Tune in next week for a discussion of "mail merge" and the paper recycling conspiracy.
 

A reminder that Brown v. Board of Education was decided, unanimously, 56 years ago today. Back then, I was finishing up my final semester at law school and taking a bar exam preparatory course (passing the exam that July), a great start to a career in the law. Justice, finally, although its due deliberate speed had to face Republican resistance and the latter's development of its Southern Strategy to slow it down even more. At some point the climate will be addressed despite the Chilling Strategy of the deniers.
 

With all respect, Balkinization is almost literally the last place I'd turn to for truly informed discussion about the intricacies of the global warming debate. The initial posting was not about the merits, but, rather, about the ability of a politically opportunistic attorney general to harass a former employee of the University of Virginia, who has gone through, I believe, two full scale reviews of his professional scholarship, because he (the AG) doesn't like the political position taken by Prof. Mann.

Perhaps Prof. Mann is in fact wrong. Lots of academics make mistakes in their arguments. That's the nature of the enterprise, which is to encourage people to call them as they see them and then to have procedures in place that, at least some of the time, serve to correct errors that are made.

I don't expect this to bring the substantive debate about global warming to an end, but I can't imagine why any of the people participating in it believe that anyone really cares what their views are (unless, of course, they are themselves professional scientists).
 

What informed persons know: there is no substantive debate on global warming and has not been for years. There isscientific consensus on the basic facts.

One may assert that the consensus is wrong, mistaken, will be disproven, etc.

One may not characterize the current scientific view as debate, controversy, etc. That's simply not the case. Any more than there's a "debate" on whether HIV causes AIDS.
 

Today's WaPo (5/19/10) features an editorial that recommends action on the Kerry/Lieberman bill in the Senate even though the bill does not go far enough. Let's see if WaPo columnist George Will responds with the chilling anti-global warming view that adds heat with its non-science (aka NONSENSE!) objections.
 

corrected URL
 

The comments have gone far afield from the post, which is not about global warming but about the proper evidence on which to launch a fraud investigation.

I think, though, that the comments show that it would be useful to see Prof. Mann's emails, in case they contain a "smoking gun" such as "I hope nobody finds out that I rigged the methodology to eliminate the medieval warm period". Remember, the question isn't whether Mann is guilty given available evidence, but whether suspicion is reasonable enough for the attorney-general to ask for relevant evidence that could prove--- or disprove--- culpability.
 

HD kaliteli porno izle ve boşal.
Bayan porno izleme sitesi.
Bedava ve ücretsiz porno izle size gelsin.
Liseli kızların ve Türbanlı ateşli hatunların sikiş filmlerini izle.
Siyah karanlık odada porno yapan evli çift.
harika Duvar Kağıtları bunlar
tamamen ithal duvar kağıdı olanlar var
 

Post a Comment

Older Posts
Newer Posts
Home