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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hockey by email ~ more vexatious lawsuits by political science deniers

Sou | 5:26 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

It's pretty obvious that the vexatious lawsuits by ATI are not to explore science, I'd say they are to try to flag the spirits of the dispirited science deniers like blogger Anthony Watts and his ragtag band of followers.

Anthony has a new post titled: ATI Files Suit to Compel the University of Arizona to Produce Records Related to So-Called “Hockey Stick” Global Warming Research

Why the ATI files a law suit instead of just reading the published research is obvious.  Scientific research holds no interest for them.  They want to trawl through personal emails looking for something, anything, the smallest phrase that they think they might have some chance of misrepresenting as "dirt".

According to WUWT (archived here), ATI has filed yet another frivolous lawsuit, this time trying to get emails from the University of Arizona, where meso-climatologist Professor Malcolm Hughes is Professor of Dendrochronology.  Professor Hughes was a co-author of the 1998 temperature reconstructions published in Nature and related work - for example:

If you can't tell what sort of lobby group the American Tradition Institute is by its name (it's nothing to do with what I understand as proud American tradition), it's an extremist lobby group aka "think tank".  You can tell why they target high profile distinguished scientists such as Professors Hughes and Mann.  They figure they might be able to isolate and discredit them for the "crime" of doing solid scientific research and making an enormously valued contribution to the understanding of the world around us.

Needless to say ATI is anti-science and one of the grubbier organisations in the USA.  The fact that it thinks science is done by email says it all.  It's looking for any snippet in any email that it can distort the meaning of to try to "prove" climate science is a giant hoax.  It doesn't have a good reputation in the courts either.

Too late, deniers - that horse has bolted

Guess what, Anthony Watts (his rationalwiki entry where someone - not me - has kindly listed yours truly!) and Christopher Booker (more on him here and he's King of Hearts in Monbiots list of top 10 deniers) and Chris Horner (who is the muck-raker in chief at ATI and unsurprisingly failed to dig up any dirt on Professor Mann after gaining access to documents) - you're too late.

I know you aren't aware of the fact because you don't keep up with science and even if you tried you wouldn't understand it.  Not only are there too many hockey sticks around - beat up on one and there are many more waiting in line behind - but there are much longer temperature reconstructions now.  This is what Chris Horner and his denier backers are chasing, not from the upcoming IPCC report, nor from the 2007 IPCC report but from way back in TAR - from twelve years ago (the first paper was published fifteen years ago):

Source: IPCC TAR

Too many and too hot to handle!

But it's no longer just 1,000 years of northern hemisphere reconstructions, or 2,000 years of northern hemisphere and global reconstructions, and lots of them, plus long term regional reconstructions - now there is a reconstruction of the entire Holocene, from 11,300 to the present.  Not only that but there is a reconstruction of the last deglaciation from 22,000 years ago to 11,300 years ago.

This is what ATI and other deniers will be faced with after they've tried and failed to smash all the other hockey sticks - the wheelchair!

Adapted from: Jos Hagelaars on Our Changing Climate

What is Chris Horner to do?  How can he keep the ATI donor degenerates happy enough to keep him employed? A weak attempt at getting some mileage on the biggest anti-science blog in the blogosphere, maintained by a chap who still, after years of protesting climate science, fails at simple arithmetic and can't grasp the concept of temperature anomalies.   Will it suffice or will Chris Horner eventually be told he's spent enough of ATI's funds on pointless lawsuits?

Even if ATI does get access to some emails, just like their attempt at the University of Virginia, they won't find anything worth shouting to the world. (Whatever happened to the 200,000 plus stolen emails that deniers couldn't wait to chomp? Nothing, nada, zilch!)

It looks to me that what ATI wants to do is shut down research. To tie researchers and universities up in knots responding to lawsuits.  To shut down houses of learning because they don't like the lesson. Or maybe they hope to "prove" to the 8% dismissives that the all levels of government across the USA and the world, including the judiciary is corrupt and part of the secret climate cult, together with all scientific bodies and most of the general public.  Everyone, that is, except for the 8% dismissives that flock to the echo chambers of science denying blogs like WUWT.

Good luck with that - not!

Some of the idiotic comments at WUWT

The comments are archived here with the main WUWT article.

Gerry Dorrian is deluded and still looking for straws:
September 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm
Hopefully this will be one of the last straws on the hockey-stick’s back!

dp is calling for someone to hack university computers again and steal personal emails says:
September 9, 2013 at 10:55 pm
Mr. FOIA – time to act (again).

Go Home wonders why nothing of consequence was found in the 200,000 plus emails that were already stolen and says:
September 9, 2013 at 11:02 pm
So what happen to climategate 3 email dump? Was it a hoax or was it real?

Steven Mosher, who tried to make money from the stolen emails replies:
September 9, 2013 at 11:07 pm
its real

Richard111 can't believe no-one uncovered the non-existent mischief in the stolen emails and decides that it's all a conspiracy - he says:
September 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm
So why was it stomped on and by who?

And that's about it - only nine comments (not all shown above) after three or more hours.  It looks as if the most of the deniers at WUWT have lost interest - or maybe they are fast asleep.  It's night time in the USA.


  1. > The fact that it thinks science is done by email says it all

    Actually much science is indeed done by email -- collaborative authoring is common. This is part of how graduate students grow up into the research tradition. The published papers are typically too polished to tell the whole story; the correspondence lets you look into the kitchen, where researchers candidly share their thoughts, also the silly ones, without the self-censorship that comes from the awareness of public scrutiny.

    Even today, old correspondence (paper letters) of Einstein, Bohr, and the other usual suspects are still being pored over, and books written on what they mean for the history of science, the act of human creation, etc. etc. We're lucky that those letters still exist. Future climatology history writers will not be so lucky, thanks to the valuable efforts of ATI and friends :-(

    1. Yeah, Martin. You are right of course. I thought about that bit when I wrote it and decided it would get too complicated if I went there.

      Anyway, they aren't the sort of emails that Chris Horner and ATI are after. They are looking for three word snippets to take out of context and "prove" all of climate science is a hoax!

    2. Agreed. We clearly saw that pattern during "Climategate 1.0". Horner and friends are not really interested in what the scientists actually think. They want to make stuff up, based on three word snippets.

    3. Of course. But keeping those three-word snippets out of circulation will leave also the golden stuff sitting on scientists' hard drives, or inside scientists' heads, to die with them. And some of that gold won't even be generated as author teams are chilled out of communicating uninhibitedly. That's the tragedy, in my view.

    4. And it has a real effect in stifling communication and hindering science.

      American scientists that are friendly and talkative when you talk to them personally, write back short and formal answers by email. Not a word too much.

      I am so happy that Germany has freedom of research in the constitution. Consequently this kind of harassment is illegal here.

    5. Yep, and more carbon is released as scientists fly to talk off the record.


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