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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vicious attacks on Michael Mann: More smears from Mark Steyn and Anthony Watts' lynch mob

Sou | 6:27 PM Go to the first of 167 comments. Add a comment

Today Anthony Watts is promoting Mark Steyn's last ditch attempt to discredit one of the world's leading climate scientists. Professor Michael Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director, Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. Mark Steyn is an ex-smut columnist turned smut blogger, who arguably viciously defamed Professor Michael Mann (any others?) and is now being sued by Professor Mann. Anthony Watts is a blogger who promotes climate conspiracy theories of the ugly kind, and falsely accuses scientists of fraud and more.

Note: I've added an addendum about the contents of the book below. [Sou 7:52 pm 13 August 2015]


The Hockey Stick


In 1998 a paper by Professors Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes was published in Nature - hereafter called MBH98. The paper had the title: "Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries".  In that paper was a figure that was to become a symbol of global warming, even getting a name - the hockey stick. Below is Figure 5b, the Hockey Stick, from MBH98:

Figure 5 Time reconstructions (solid lines) along with raw data (dashed lines). ... b, for Northern Hemisphere mean temperature (NH) in 8C. In both cases, the zero line corresponds to the 1902–80 calibration mean of the quantity. For b raw data are shown up to 1995 and positive and negative 2j uncertainty limits are shown by the light dotted lines surrounding the solid reconstruction, calculated as described in the Methods section. Source: MBH98.

This was one of the early attempts to reconstruct temperatures of the recent past at the global level. The above chart was only for the northern hemisphere. The chart below shows the distribution of the annually resolved data used by the scientists. It included dendroclimatic, ice core/ice melt and coral proxies:

Figure 1 Data used in this study. a, Distribution of annual-resolution proxy indicators used in this study. Dendroclimatic reconstructions are indicated by ‘tree’symbols, ice core/ice melt proxies by ‘star’symbols and coral records by ‘C’ symbols. Long historical records and instrumental ‘grid-points’ series are shown by squares (temperature) or diamonds (precipitation). Groups of ‘þ’ symbols indicate principal components of dense tree-ring sub-networks, with the number of such symbols indicating the number of retained principal components. Sites are shown dating back to at least 1820 (red),1800 (blue-green),1750 (green),1600 (blue) and 1400 (black). Certain sites (for example, the Quelccaya ice core) consist of multiple proxy indicators (for example, multiple cores, and both d18O isotope and accumulation measurements). Source: MBH98

This work was rightly seen as important because it helped to put what is happening now in the context of past climate. (Google Scholar shows MBH98 has been cited 1,804 times.) While it wasn't the first reconstruction of past temperatures, it was arguably the first very detailed global temperature reconstruction of the recent past. Since then there have been many more studies by these researchers and others, building on many more proxy indicators of surface temperature around the world, which extended and refined this work. Below is a compilation of reconstructions from the latest IPCC report, AR5, which shows hemispheric and global surface temperature reconstructions going back over the past 2,000 years. While the reconstructions have been refined since 1998, they still show a similar hockey stick shape to that early paper from seventeen years ago, MBH98. Click to enlarge as always:

Figure 5.7: Reconstructed (a) Northern Hemisphere and (b) Southern Hemisphere, and (c) global annual temperatures during the last 2000 years. Individual reconstructions (see Appendix 5.A.1 for further information about each one) are shown as indicated in the legends, grouped by colour according to their spatial representation (red: land-only all latitudes; orange: land-only extra-tropical latitudes; light blue: land and sea extra-tropical latitudes; dark blue: land and sea all latitudes) and instrumental temperatures shown in black (HadCRUT4 land and sea, and CRUTEM4 land-only; Morice et al., 2012). All series represent anomalies (°C) from the 1881–1980 mean (horizontal dashed line) and have been smoothed with a filter that reduces variations on timescales less than ~50 years. Source: IPCC

The first hockey stick was, probably correctly, viewed in some quarters as a real threat to the anti-science, anti-mitigation movement. These are immoral people. People who want the world to continue with unfettered burning of fossil fuels, endangering society. People who are willing to sacrifice the well-being of their fellow human beings, their children and their grandchildren and all future generations. Their motives were various - some did it for ideological reasons. Anthony Watts did it because he didn't want to pay tax. Others dispute climate science arguably because that's what they are employed to do. There are dedicated denier organisations who pay people (and get freebies from more) to cast doubt on established science that they see as contrary to their aims. The backers of deniers probably also have mixed motives - pure profit for fossil fuel companies and ideology for others (rampant capitalism/libertarian anarchy gone wild). For some it seemed to be more personal - perhaps professional jealousy mixed with ideology.


A two-fold immoral tactic: reject science and falsely defame scientists


The tactic is two-fold. One tactic has been to try to disprove the science. MBH98 and subsequent papers on temperature reconstructions were endlessly scrutinised, pulled apart and every tiny calculation was nitpicked. If a flaw or error was discovered it was magnified out of all proportion. The authors themselves did a lot more work. They published minor corrections and published uncertainties. They examined many more proxies from many more locations around the world.

The papers from these and other scientists kept coming. The efforts of deniers to find fault were swamped and obliterated by science itself.  All the following research showed the same big picture. In recent years global surface temperature has been rising faster than at any time in the past two thousand years. As reconstructions went back further in time, it became more and more obvious that global surface temperatures are approaching or exceeding those of any time since civilisation began, more than 10,000 years ago.

The other part of the tactic is much simpler and rewarding. It has been to demonise the scientists themselves. Rather than diffuse the effort, deniers tend to focus on just a handful of scientists, one by one. In particular the lead author of MBH98, Professor Michael Mann. Michael Mann calls this the Serengeti Strategy. Now that it's been named and recognised, it has lost some of its power.

Everyone from conspiracy bloggers to contrarian scientists piled on smear attacks. Professor Mann has documented some of these efforts in a book:

 .
Similar tactics had been used on other climate scientists in the past, such as Dr Ben Santer and Dr James Hansen and many others. There were a couple of years when the focus shifted to smearing Professor Phil Jones, following the theft of emails from his university. As bad as all those smear campaigns were, it's arguable that there has not been such a long-lived, sustained and concerted attack on any single climate scientist as there has been against Professor Michael Mann.


People rally to thwart the evil attacks


Climate scientists rallied with concerned citizens. People who recognise the dangers of climate change. People who recognise the evil behind the attacks on science and scientists. A fund was established to help scientists defend themselves against defamation and attacks on their integrity: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.  At least one lawsuit has been successful. Dr Andrew Weaver sued the National Post and Financial Post and won: in a "serious case of defamation". Blogger Anthony Watts, who until that time had been posting smear articles frequently, laid low for a bit.

Professor Michael Mann is no pussy cat. The attacks did not have the desired effect of getting him to quit his science.  (Deniers sometimes count on the fact that scientists are professionals from prestigious universities and research institutes.  Unlike deniers, they tend not to engage in gutter warfare. Deniers thought they had free rein to make up lies about scientists and misrepresent their work.) The incessant attacks on prominent scientists have probably stopped some scientists from speaking out. Some of them even extend olive branches to their defamers. However many other people have rallied, despite the personal cost to them and their families. Professor Mann did not set out to become a hero of climate science. It was deniers and defamers who forced him into that role. And he has become a star.

When he was compared with a child molester, and accused of fraud, Professor Mann sued. The case is against The National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI is a libertarian lobby group), Rand Simberg of CEI, and Mark Steyn an author formerly from the National Review (last published December 2013). The case is at an appeal stage, and will probably take a while to make its way through the courts, so the personal cost to Professor Mann is great. He is undeterred. He knows that he is not just standing up for himself, he has become a symbol of climate scientists and science everywhere. A true hero.



Anthony Watts' smear campaign resurrected


The reason I'm writing this article now is, you guessed it, denier blogger Anthony Watts is touting a vanity-published book by Mark Steyn (archived here). Mark Steyn is one of the villains. Unlike the other defendents, Mark Steyn seems intent on adding to his own destruction. He is undoubtedly adding ammunition for Michael Mann's lawyers to fire. Even the title of his book shrieks of unfettered malice toward Professor Mann and could be viewed as explicitly libelous: "A Disgrace to the Profession: the world's scientists in their own words on Michael Mann, his hockey stick, and their damage to science." Here is a quote from Mark Steyn's latest article on the subject (archived here):
This first volume in the series looks at Mann, the hockey stick's dramatic rise, its trashing of history, mishandling of data and risible statistical processes, and the bigger issues that arose in its wake: the politicization and then corruption of science, and the thuggish retaliation meted out to scientists brave enough to question it. But I wanted to be fair to Mann, so at the end I do find a couple of people willing to put in a good word for him, even if one of them is former IPCC honcho and disgraced sex fiend Dr Rajendra Pantsdowni.

It does look as if Mark Steyn is thumbing his nose at the court, though he is more circumspect than he was in his article that prompted the defamation suit.

Anthony Watts himself was also careful not to write anything that would be likely to get him sued. He stuck to promoting the book and posting quotes from the book itself. He has been pretty careful in recent months, more cautious than he used to be. He probably doesn't want to lose his house or worse.

As shown above, there are now dozens of hockey sticks from multiple scientists. There are numerous  independent studies, using a lot of different types of temperature proxies (indicators of temperature), from many scientists. Yet Mark Steyn and his immoral supporters are focused on defaming just one of these scientists - Professor Michael Mann. Greg Laden has already demolished the "selling point" quotes that Mark Steyn put forward. If they are any guide then the book is an example of quote-mining climate scientists, quotes from other defamers and deniers, and a blatant attempt to further defame one of the world's leading climate scientists.

What would be great would be to see some of the other defamers sued. Now that Josh has involved himself formally, will he also be sued? Anthony Watts has highlighted a section in Mark Steyn's book where he quotes Judith Curry - who appears to have a personal grudge against Professor Mann. Is she happy to open up the possibility of her being sued? She is a supporter of Mark Steyn so probably yes. I doubt she'd get the support of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. She'd be on her own. (She might get lucky, like Anthony Watts - in that lawyers might advise against suing someone of little means.)


Michael Mann on Michael Mann and his work


Below is a video from Denial101 MOOC, in which Michael Mann talks about his work and more. It's a rare chance to see a long interview with a leading climate scientist, talking about the science, and what is wrong with denier arguments:




Help scientists stand up against attacks from deniers


If you haven't already, and even if you have - how about a donation to the Climate Science Defense Fund.


Addendum - what does the book contain?


In the comments, Jack Savage asked if anyone had bothered to read Mark Steyn's "book" yet. This is my reply, with a couple of minor edits. If the following is anything to go by, most of the quotes are probably unrelated to the Michael Mann and his work, and most of them are probably from deniers:

Jack, I don't know for sure if anyone's bothered to read it, although I expect Michael Mann's lawyers will do so. Some people at WUWT claim to have been reading it, but haven't said much about the contents.

Anthony claimed to have spent a day with it, but didn't have anything to show for it except a couple of images. So I can't say whether he got to read it or whether he just took a couple of snapshots then spent the rest of the day walking around gripping it tightly to his heart.

Of the quotes Anthony posted in his article:

One was from an article by denier/lobbyist James Taylor on the website of the denier lobby group, the Heartland Institute, in which he attributed a quote about Professor Jones (not Michael Mann) to William Sprigg. The quote was based on a misunderstanding of an email snippet from the emails stolen from CRU.

Another was from a known climate science denier, Petr Chylek, which he probably got from the website of another denier lobby group, the GWPF. That quote had nothing to do with Michael Mann either. The article was about the stolen emails.

Another was from another known science denier, Vincent Courtillot. It had the word "Mann" in it, but I couldn't find the quote using Google, so I don't know where it came from.

There was some stuff from Judith Curry, who seems to have been harbouring a personal grudge against Michael Mann (since at least 2010) - for unknown reasons.

If you want more, without having to fork out any money, there's a link to an article by Greg Laden in the "further reading" section, where he checked out some quotes as well, and found them wanting.

I can't imagine there is anything in it that would damage Michael Mann, but I do expect it will have a lot of material that will damage Mark Steyn.


From the WUWT comments


The comments are much as you'd expect, though the mods took their eye off the ball and let one or two comments from more rational people through.

starzmom points out the likely motivation for the book, with no regard by Mark Steyn for the fact that its publication will probably help prove the case against him.
August 11, 2015 at 1:35 pm
Buying the book will help Mark pay his large and growing legal bills, too.

Bob Diaz indulges in conspiracist ideation, wrongly imagining that Professor Mann must have something to hide. This is the "something must be wrong" and possible "nefarious intent" criteria for conspiracist thinking, described in Recurrent Fury:
August 11, 2015 at 3:34 pm
This raises an interesting problem, Michael Mann can sue, BUT doing so means that he can be forced to testify under oath. In a civil case, you can be forced to testify. This could bring up some rather embarrassing things he has to answer. 

PiperPaul echoes Bob's overly vivid imagination:
August 11, 2015 at 4:00 pm
I think that’s what everyone’s waiting for!

Tony Rohl is a denier of the nasty kind, wishing ill on one of the world's leading climate scientists:
August 11, 2015 at 1:39 pm
I hope Steyn bankrupts the mighty Mann

It's interesting to see deniers in their true colours. Tony Brown aka climatereason is another nasty denier, who wants to spread Mark Steyn's smear to politicians and non-government organisations. He usually likes to pretend he's a nice bloke. One of the decent deniers who is just after facts. He's clearly not. He's a lover of false gossip of the worst kind - a spreader of lying muck:
August 11, 2015 at 2:23 pm
It would be useful to reissue the cartoons with relevant quotes as postcards that could be sent to MP’s, Senators, NGO’s etc.
Tonyb 

This is how smear attacks work. Pile lie upon lie. jim wrongly claims that science and scientists are silent. They aren't. jim is promoting a version of the Serengeti Strategy, where deniers want to isolate one scientist from the many. It doesn't work so well these days. Scientists defend their own now. Heck, this was one of the main motivations behind the establishment of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund.
August 11, 2015 at 3:04 pm
Even worse, the silence of the whole climate community puts the whole community in the position of supporting Man’s fraud by their silence. That silence shows that the entire climate alarm research industry if thoroughly corrupt.

cnxtim is one of the stalwarts of Anthony Watts' lynch mob.
August 11, 2015 at 3:51 pm
I don’t need a book to see how corrupt this fellow is.
It is quite wrong to allow Mann and the rest of the CAGW brigade to be described as belonging to a profession.
Given they ignore the accepted scientific method and language, they have no place in the company of scientists who do adhere, OR doctors who ignore their Hippocratic Oath, Lawyers, who defraud or engineers who scam with phoney designs or work.
The entire ratbag army and the politicians and journalists who support and promote them should “tarred and feathered” then run out of town…

PaulH quotes from Mark Steyn's blog. If it's all like this he won't just be adding to the swag of evidence collated by Michael Mann's lawyers, he's also setting out to make himself an enemy of the court and the entire US judicial system, calling it a "septic tank". Perhaps Mark Steyn is wanting to lose - I don't know what he could hope to achieve by seeking to lose his case.
August 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm
Mark Steyn’s blog posting about his book:
https://archive.is/7wzRa [replaced direct link with archived verson - Sou]
“A guy can’t sit around waiting for litigious fake Nobel Laureates to agree to discovery and deposition. So, with the Mann vs Steyn Trial of the Century currently stalled in the choked septic tank of the DC court system, I figured I might as well put some of the mountain of case research clogging up the office into a brand new book – all about the most famous “science” graph of the 21st century and the man who invented it.”
It’s on my reading list. :-)

warrenlb got a lot of flack from WUWT readers for this comment. He was accused of being Russell Seitz - I'd say that's wrong. His writing style is very different. (See Greg Laden's unmasking of the quotes Warren mentioned.)
August 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm
Steyn chose three quotes as promo material to represent the book’s contents. One of the scientists has recently co-authored a paper confirming Mann’s hockey stick graph, and notes that his quote only appears damning because it lacks all context. A second has worked on a major paper that also confirmed Mann’s hockey stick graph, and has stated that the attacks on Mann “have no justification.” The third quote is from a physicist who doesn’t work on climate change, so he can’t accurately be described as one of Mann’s scientific peers.
For all his quote mining, it seems like the best Steyn could do when it came to finding criticisms from Mann’s peers is write up two quotes from scientists who agree with Mann’s findings and one from someone who’s not a climate scientist at all. Looks like Steyn’s efforts here fall as flat as the handle on Mann’s hockey stick. 

fobdangerclose is one sick little puppy:
August 11, 2015 at 2:16 pm
Mark Steyn is not just up against Mike Mann and his Climate Change/Global Warming/CO2 kills lie, he is up against the whole of the Media/Tax and Spend Two Party Evil Money Cult in Washington D.C..
All of it lie based, thus they can not allow any of the foundation of their lies to fail or the whole of all the walls will come tumbling down.

Adam from Kansas is pretty disgusted. (Where are the WUWT mods? Oh, that's right - Smokey/dbstealey has been dropped.) Again, the comment was attacked by the regular lynch mob.
August 11, 2015 at 2:36 pm
Seriously, an entire book devoted to attacking a person, does civility in science exist anymore?
Would the people on this blog sing the same tune if such a book was about a skeptic? This blog was better back in 2008 when there was a lot of general science discussion on the proper measurement of temperatures and the how the climate really worked.

Dahlquist's mind is so perversely twisted, he thinks that a scientist standing up to defamatory attacks is somehow "destroying careers".
August 11, 2015 at 3:13 pm
When Mr. Mann destroys peoples careers and urges government wasting of taxpayers dollars, etc, etc…It is a well deserved counter attack and a peek at the truth.

wickedwenchfan reckons that the next book is going to "out" all the lukewarmers as well! Presumably Anthony Watts too. wickedwenchfan is a greenhouse effect denier, in case you missed it.
August 11, 2015 at 3:24 pm
Sooner or later a second book is going to come out and it’s going to include you Mr Watts and Judith Curry and all the other Luke Warmers as well as the alarmists who doggedly hold to the notion that there is a “Greenhouse Effect”. Michael Mann has got what’s coming to him, but I advise you not to be so smug about it as the total extent of scientific incompetence is yet to be revealed.

Wayne Delbeke is spreading the love:
August 11, 2015 at 5:19 pm
I am buying one for our Alberta Premier and one for our Alberta Environment Minister aka Minister of “Climate Change” aka Minister of Truth. (and one for me.)

Lemon thinks that "vexacious" (sic) litigation laws can be used by defamers to protect their right to tell whatever lies they want about anyone they want. They are wrong:
August 11, 2015 at 6:55 pm
Doesnt the USA have the category of “vexacious litigator” to protect again such as Mann?

References and further reading


Mann, Michael E., Raymond S. Bradley, and Malcolm K. Hughes. "Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries." Nature 392, no. 6678 (1998): 779-787. doi:10.1038/33859 (pdf here - and corrigendum here)

Mann, M.E., Bradley, R.S. and Hughes, M.K., "Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium: Inferences, Uncertainties, and Limitations", Geophysical Research Letters, 26, 759-762, 1999. DOI: 10.1029/1999GL900070 (open access)

Mann, Michael E., Zhihua Zhang, Malcolm K. Hughes, Raymond S. Bradley, Sonya K. Miller, Scott Rutherford, and Fenbiao Ni. "Proxy-based reconstructions of hemispheric and global surface temperature variations over the past two millennia." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 105, no. 36 (2008): 13252-13257. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805721105 (open access)

List of publications by Professor Michael Mann

Complaint by Professor Michael Mann with exhibits (October 2012)

Serengeti Strategy - described by Gillian King on Thisness of a that

Mark Steyn’s Newest Attack On Michael Mann And The Hockey Stick - by Greg Laden

Why This Climate Scientist’s Libel Case Matters - Article about the lawsuit by the Union of Concerned Scientists

Myth vs. Fact Regarding the "Hockey Stick" - 2004 article by Michael Mann at RealClimate.org

Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind - 2010 article by Ben Santer at realclimate.org, about the nasty and false vilification he has endured from science attackers

Swift Boating, Stealth Budgeting, Unitary Executives - a 2006 article by James Hansen on attacks on himself and climate science

Debunking Misinformation About Stolen Climate Emails in the "Climategate" Manufactured Controversy - from the Union of Concerned Scientists

167 comments :

  1. I agree, we need to stop the bullying in our climate debates. I write about that here: https://tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/settled-science-climate-change-bullying-on-the-rise/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath

      Fine that you promote your amusing blog here. But as you do this fairly regularly, PLEASE spend 2 minutes learning how to post a link correctly.

      Delete
  2. Let's not forget that The Wuwters paid for Anthony Watts to schlep all the way over to England to confront Mann at a talk he gave in Bristol, and what did he do? Nothing. Not a word. He's only capable of sneering from behind his keyboard. An incompetent cowardly bully.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes I remember, the Tamsin, Richard and Anthony giggle fest at Nic's joint. We need more of that stuff.

      Delete
    2. I wouldn't go visit Watts, you know, that is one of the creepiest parts of the country. It gives me the jeebers every time I've been there. But I'm rather a bit psychic. He lives next door to old Hangtown, California. It's almost never talked about but supposedly they hired a crew of Chinese railroad builders to build a spur line from the Pacific Railroad and with a bonus. The Chinese finished the railroad tracks ahead of schedule and when it came time to collect the bonus the town hung them up by the neck.

      Anyway, you know that Gold King mine waste spill the Wuwt'rs made so much noise about? Dr Paul Craig Roberts has a write up about that. How EPA might be cover for a corporatocracy. But everybody missed the fact that there are 22,000 abandoned mines just like it in that state and the EPA allows (allowed) them to dump.
      MAY 3, 2002
      New EPA rules allow mining operations to dump waste in waterways
      left over from Dubya.

      This whole thing smells to high heaven, if I ever get some more time I'm going to do some investigation.

      Ed Martin

      Delete
    3. What a ridiculous criticism. Where someone lives means nothing at all.

      Plus your geography is way off. Watts lives in Chico, CA in the Sacramento Valley, about 100 miles from the place you mention, Placerville.

      Your tale of Chinese railway workers is almost certainly bogus. The Pacific Railway didn't go to either Chico or Placerville.

      Comments like this don't help the climate debate.

      Delete
    4. It was not being critical, it was just an observation. This country is more than 3,400 miles across. Been practically everywhere, those towns are not that far apart. I used to have to pull equipment out to that Hangtown motocross event. The old timer locals told me the story, maybe I don't relate everything quite like they said but more than one group told me that.

      I was smitten with you folks, but as you all just get snippier with me. Since you cannot be yourself around here... C-ya, Mr Perfect, out...

      Delete
    5. "I wouldn't go visit Watts, you know, that is one of the creepiest parts of the country."

      Watts lives in Chico and it's beautiful up here. I live in Chico too (born here) and I've never heard this crazy story you relate.

      Delete
  3. Sou

    You really need to differentiate between slightly tongue in cheek satirical comments-(cartoon postcards, what politician would read them?) and serious and unpleasant personal attacks on Dr Mann.

    Can I remind you that I have defended Mann several times on WUWT and was eviscerated by Willis, amongst others, for my troubles. I have read many of his papers and looked thoroughly at the Hockey Stick and the spaghetti derivatives and respectfully compared them with Hubert Lambs work.

    I do not think Dr Mann is by any means a great scientist but he is also not a bad one either

    tonyb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't see anything in your comment to indicate satire, so I'm wondering how Sou is supposed to differentiate it from all the redneck stuff.

      Delete
    2. Call me disgusted, Tony, while I call BS. It's you who needs to think long and hard about lending support to the repugnant Mark Steyn, Anthony Watts and Josh - and about you thinking that decades of defamation of respected climate scientists is a joking matter.

      I treat this latest comment of yours as akin to "I'm not really a bigot, some of my best friends are [insert your favourite bigotry here]".

      I don't imagine for one nano-second that Professor Mann or anyone else gives tuppence for what you think. (I doubt that anyone on denier blogs cares what you think either.)

      Denialists and the conspiracy nuts you hang with aren't worth the time of day. You all deserve each other.

      Delete
    3. Tony b

      Own your (hockey)shtick.

      Or, if it makes you feel uncomfortable then stop doing it. Like I did.

      Delete
    4. Sou

      "Denialists and the conspiracy nuts you hang with aren't worth the time of day. "

      Then why create this post?

      Delete
    5. Joe.

      I think this blog is aimed at the 'joe public' that might be swayed by the misinformation and chicanery that the denialists and conspiracy nuts get up to.

      Delete
  4. Perhaps what got Watts so hot under the collar was the fact that Michael Mann appeared on Bill Maher's popular HBO talk show a few days ago and got a chance to promote the second edition of a book he co-authored titled "Dire Predictions." (Although in typical Maher style the book was barely mentioned, but the talk was largely substantive on the science.)
    -- Dennis

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    Replies
    1. "A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad." William Bernbach (sp)

      Delete
  5. The tools of 'debate' which have arisen around this issue are rather fascinating.

    For example: Do people genuinely think there is a deliberate 'Serengeti Strategy'? (Got a lovely ring to it, eh?)

    That organised groups sit around, planning, "Hey, so and so's science looks a bit weak, and I note his hide is scruffy and he is limping on that offside fore-leg, let's draft him out of the herd and eviscerate him"... ?

    Or is there a more likely scenario?
    That an individual scientist's work became the poster child of a point of view, and that one scientist happened to have a rather self important style of presentation, and so some people found him easy to dislike as well as an ideal target for their feelings and opinions.

    Serengeti strategy indeed. That certainly matches any conspiracy theories from the other side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No i don't think most deniers are that smart. But that's what they do, isn't it, whether deliberately or not. It's typical behaviour of cowards and smear merchants - dumb ones as well as cunning ones.

      Also, why am I not surprised that you would reject science because a particular scientist's appearance is not to your taste. That you think it's fine to compare a respected scientist to a child molester and accuse him of fraud because his talking style doesn't appeal to you.

      Is that how you treat everyone you come across? You don't like the colour of their socks or the style of their watchband, so you think it's fine defame them?

      Deniers really are contemptible beings.

      Delete
    2. "... so some people found him easy to dislike as well as an ideal target for their feelings and opinions."

      Roundly condemned by your own words marke. The lack of understanding deniers have about their actions and the consequences is just breathtaking. Do you really think this is some sort of justification for denier behaviour?

      Look up the word "empathy" and contemplate its meaning.

      Delete
    3. A deliberate strategy? For the most part, no, although I wouldn't discount deliberate methodologies for professional lobbyists like Michaels and Morano.

      However, a simple ad hominem fallacy is one of the first fallbacks for people who have nothing else to say, and a series of ad hominem attacks that are (incorrectly) viewed in the denial echo chambers as actually evidential regarding climate change become the 'Serengeti Strategy' quite quickly - observed abuse leads to a perception of vulnerability which leads to more abuse which leads to...

      Absolutely none of which has any relevance whatsoever to the science, as that argument is based on logical fallacies. But it seems to provide a perception with which denialists are quite comfortable.

      Delete
    4. Of course it is a deliberate strategy, and has been (in climate) for at least two decades,. but it's created by bloggers or anonymous nonperson commenters. See Figure 2.1 on p.10 of Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony (2010).

      1) A few people in O5 (Front Groups) and O6 (think tanks), and in the red box (B1b, B2, B3, B4) select people to attack, and that gets fed to people in O7 (like James Inhofe, Jim Barton, Ken Cuccinelli)., and certain media help, such as the Wall Street Journal.

      2) While it may have started even earlier, this was quite visible in 1996, with the singling out of Ben Santer for attack by Frederick Seitz (cofounder of George Marshall Institute, earlier well-paid by Big Tobacco for his help), with help from Fred Singer, a close ally.
      See p.16 of CCC above.
      (I know him: a fine scientist, and naturally rather quiet, but forced to become more outspoken given a decade of attacks.)

      Ben was the Serengeti attackee for IPCC SAR.

      For IPCC TAR, it was Mann.
      a) MBH98 and MBH99 had 3 authors, Mann, Bradley and Hughes. Two of them were already senior, long-tenured professors ... who had been publishing on this topic for years. SO, of course, the attack focused on Mann (who was a postdoc when these were written, i.e., the most junior of the trio).

      b) All this attack totally ignores the fact that there were other reconstructions ... that looked like hockey sticks. MBH98/99 had more proxies and included error bars, so it got especially used by IPCC. Had MBH98/99 not been published, the featured reconstruction likely would have been High-resolution palaeoclimatic records for the last millennium: interpretation, integration and comparison with General Circulation Model control-run temperatures(1998) Fig 7, p.11.
      Actually, they were starting to look this way by Bradley and Jones(1993), as used in IPCC SAR.

      See Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report pp.28-32 for the orchestration (by a few key fossil funded Washington think tanks) of the fraudulent Wegman Report;

      Those include the "coaching sessions" for McIntyre+McKitrick, fortunately preserved by GMI.

      I think the Serengeti attackee for AR4 was supposed to be Jon Overpeck, but they weren't particularly successful, although McIntyre certainly tried with the David Deming quote.

      Delete
    5. An early target of the strategy was Rachel Carson, chosen victim from the environmentalist herd. Her gender no doubt played a part in the selection, as Mann's apparent nerdiness and inexperience no doubt did in his case. It's amusing that marke cites Mann's speaking style as a factor since it was the attacks on Mann which brought him to prominence in the first place. One might describe him as a monster of their own making. So glad he's our monster :)

      Delete
    6. Marke.

      Give up the concern trolling and victim blaming.

      It is getting old.

      Delete
    7. Thanks for that effort, Harry.

      As I said, "The tools of 'debate' which have arisen around this issue are rather fascinating."

      Delete
    8. Hi Sou,

      Re "...you would reject science because a particular scientist's appearance is not to your taste..."

      I was not stating my own opinion on anyone's appearance. I was simply stating a possible scenario which may not need a conspiracy to develop.

      But, I am sure you knew that.

      So .... I hereby conclude this is an adhom statement directed at me.
      (after consulting my huge and recently assembled encyclopedia of troll classification and obfuscating debating techniques).

      Delete
    9. John Mashey,

      I appreciate all the work you have put in (above and below, and on your linked articles). I will read your links further.

      You are saying there is a conspiracy, and I find the detail interesting, as I come here to see both sides of the argument.

      That I occasionally may highlight some detail is the old issue of; "....And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?... ".

      My punishment for doing so is that I am relentlessly classified, but I can tolerate that.

      Delete
    10. That's a rare moment of insight on your part, marke. You should try it more often.

      Let's build on the moment. Multiply that a thousand-fold, or a hundred thousand fold, and toss in allegations of fraud and fakery and comparisons to child molesters,, and imagine this has been happening to you with no let up for seventeen years or more. Then maybe, just maybe, you'll get some feeling for what scientists like Michael Mann and Ben Santer and others have to deal with daily. You might even get an awareness of how much strength of character these people have (though I won't count on it).

      Maybe then you'll stop blaming the victim (as Harry pointed out) and look at things from a normal perspective rather than as a science denier. You might even get a glimpse of what Cugel was on about. That might never have heard of Michael Mann except for the fact that he's been singled out for attacks by deniers (aka the Serengeti Strategy). (I'll bet there are a lot of prominent climate scientists you've never heard of.)

      Delete
    11. I think it was Al Gore who pushed Mann up front and center by prominently placing a hockey stick in his presentations and book. The scant proxies of the 1400s and 1600s were always going to attract critics.

      Attacks on Rachel Carson are absolutely astonishing and unreasonable. Her spotlighting of a rapidly developing 'poisoning of the environment' was very necessary, and very timely.

      If there was a subsequent overreaction in some areas, and valuable advantages and opportunities were perhaps lost, that is simply the fault of grandstanding politicians and pedantic bureaucrats, not Rachel Carson.

      Delete
    12. OMG - now it's "algore is fat" and it's all his fault. How clichéd.

      Marke - do you mean to say you really and truly can't see the attacks by disinformers and deniers on science (and scientists) for what they are? I find that very hard to believe. (I don't have expertise in cognitive science.)

      You think wrong. You just can't help yourself, can you. Deniers like Pat Michaels, Richard Lindzen and Fred Singer were attacking MBH98 from the time it was published (in Michaels' case) and shortly after in the case of the other two, even weaving conspiratorial theories about it.

      Al Gore didn't get active on the climate front in a big way for quite some time later AFAIK. An Inconvenient Truth was in 2006 I believe. (Are you from the USA that you give him so much sway?)

      Delete
    13. Ha ha! I had not noticed, but you are correct, Al has put on weight. That probably came with his rapidly developing affluence. (Though I am not sure that knowledge in any way is of value to this or any other debate).

      And true, I am not fully up to speed on the time sequences of events associated with Mann's climb to fame, but I have no time to be researching it right now. I will have a look instead at the conspiracies highlighted by John Mashey.

      By the way, I gather that you, too, see "...the attacks by disinformers and deniers on science (and scientists)..." as a conspiracy?

      Delete
    14. Of course there'd be people talking behind the scenes about what tack to take to stop government policy and slow the shift to renewables.

      Mostly what you and I see, though, isn't planned or coordinated in the sense that someone like Anthony Watts would be involved. Oh, he gets his weekly missives from SEPP and the GWPF but he's not involved in writing them. Just posting them.

      Bloggers like Anthony don't need to be involved in strategic planning. They'd be a hindrance, not a help. In any case, it would be much too risky to have dolts like Anthony or HockeySchtick involved. They are too unpredictable, and not very bright.

      And it's not necessary. Once one denier posts something catchy, they all pick up on it. (One reason for this blog.)

      The deniosphere is self-sustaining. Deniers and conspiracy nutters don't have too many places they can turn to, unlike normal people. So they congregate on a handful of conspiracy blogs and pat each other on the back that they've found people like them who reject science. No conspiracy needed. Most deniers are willing idiots, being swayed by denier memes because they fit their mental model.

      There would be discussion in the "think tanks". That's why lobby groups call themselves "think tanks". They employ people to develop strategy. People are paid to lobby governments and they are expected to do this strategically. This includes swaying public opinion, not just swaying politicians.

      As far as the idiots in cyberspace are concerned, all that's needed is for the occasional seed to be sown. Mostly denier blogs have a life of their own. They aren't controlled by anyone, they are useful disseminators though.

      I mean who in their right mind (from a professional lobby group) would argue that global warming is caused by Russian steampipes, or insects? There's no conspiracy there - just normal denier idiocy.

      Delete
    15. As an example of a person primed to accept whatever denier meme is put in front of them, think about this.

      Someone is told that Michael Mann has been subjected to vicious attacks since an early and important paper of his was published back in 1998.

      His first reaction is that it's all Mann's fault because of the way he speaks (see video above). No evidence is proffered that people judge scientific evidence on the basis of the personal attributes of the scientist. Nor that there is a general view that Mike Mann's speaking style is unattractive. Neither evidence nor logic is necessary when it comes to blaming the victim.

      His second reaction is that it's all Al Gore's fault because he promoted Mann's research. This leaves aside the fact that Al Gore promoted much more research than global surface temperatures. Again no fact-checking required before disseminating this unfounded view. No logic either. But it has to be the fault of someone other than the people doing the attacking.

      He then gets distracted by the denier cliche "algore is fat therefore climate science is a hoax" and decides that

      a) Al Gore has become more wealthy recently (has he?);

      b) therefore he has got fatter.

      Proferring no evidence for either a or b, and making an assumption that there is a high correlation between weight gain and excess wealth. This once again signifies that neither evidence or logic is a necessary prerequisite for some people to jump to a conclusion.

      I'd say that the person described above is a prime sucker for denier memes, wouldn't you?

      Delete
    16. Again, the structure of all this, and the key players, were laid out in CCC and SSWR. I usually divide dismissive pseudoskpetics into 3 groups:
      Pro's like Singer, Soon, Michaels, Balling, the Idso family, Rob Ferguson, etc. Doing this is their job.

      Amateurs - most bloggers and commenters, who would be thrilled to be asked to speak at a Heartland conference.

      Pro-Ams - may even get to speak, but don't really get paid much, if at all. They might aspire to be pro's, or not.

      The conspiracies are amongst the pro's, a relatively small number, although one needs to add in some lobbyists whose names are often less visible. p.97- of the Crescendo document lists some key people,
      One also needs to add key politicians, although they sometimes have staffers as cut-outs.

      In "Strange Scholarship" look up Joe Barton, his staffer Peter Spencer, Jerry Coffey.

      When Joe Barton and Ed Whitfield sent intimidating letters to M, B, and H, CEI's Myron Ebell (who'd brought Essex, McKitrick and McIntyre to Washington) ... had copies of the letters *before* they got to all the recipients and sent them (CCC p.166) over to William Perhach in the Bush White House. No conspiracy there.

      Of course, some of this is only hinted at by documents that get leaked or occasional FOIAs that hit something ... but the behavior patterns are quite similar to that seen in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, where we *know* a lot more because we have 90M pages of internal documents.


      Delete
    17. Thanks, John. I know you've been tracking all this and it fits with what I know of advocacy organisations (not just denier lobby groups, but any group that plays an advocacy role of one sort or another. You can replace the word "conspiracy" with "strategy" if you like. Whatever, it's plans that don't get into the public arena for one reason or another.).

      I view the speaker invitations to people like Anthony Watts and Willis Eschenbach as rewards. A cheap way to give them an incentive to keep up their good (?) work. It's probably seen as mildly important to stroke the egos of the drones, particularly if there are signs that their enthusiasm is flagging as I think has been happening these past few months. The solution? Give Anthony a meaningless award at the Heartland denier fest. If he gave up on WUWT it probably wouldn't be a great loss. Someone else would probably step up to fill the gap, if it was considered important. Probably it wouldn't matter too much. WUWT doesn't get mentioned in mainstream media these days, and Anthony only very rarely. And there are always "real" scientists like Judith Curry or, at a pinch, John Christy. The WUWT fans would spread out onto other blogs if no-one else took over WUWT.

      I have a sense that the world is shifting though. (eg Shell leaving ALEC.) The game plan will need to shift as well, if deniers want to have any continuing influence. About Shell:

      http://www.ucsusa.org/news/press_release/shell-leaves-ALEC-climate-0519

      Delete
    18. Why am I finding marke's statements disingenuous? He implies he has not heard the "Al Gore is fat" meme, he does not appear to be aware that Al Gore has always been wealthy and that he did not know the timeline of Michael Mann's hockey stick.

      I think his innocence is either feigned and/or he is being willfully careless with his statements.

      Delete
    19. As an example of a person diverting a discussion, see Sou's reply:

      My initial comment was about whether there is a deliberate 'Serengeti Strategy'. I presented an alternative scenario, which I consider more likely.

      Then I followed up with the observation that if someone's work is widely publicized and held up as proof, he will of course become the focus of the dissenting debate. Whether it was entirely or partially due to Al Gore, whatever the state of his girth, is largely beside the point.

      The state of Al Gore's waistline was brought up by you, and I responded in a light hearted and non judgmental way.

      Has Al Gore recently become wealthier? Yes, Google "report-al-gores-net-worth-at-200-million".

      Is obesity related to affluence? Yes, at least to a certain degree. (And to being a Pacific Islander). Google "Indexmundi obesity adult prevalence" for a country ranking.

      At no stage did I state my personal feelings about Mann, or Al Gore.

      I am somewhat concerned*, but not surprised, at the tone* of this debate.
      (* Hat tip to Harry Twinotter).

      Delete
    20. So, Marke, you don't see that a person who took a path similar to yours is prone to being conned by deniers. Most other readers will have, I'm sure. (Perhaps another characteristic of denial is a lack of self-awareness.)

      BTW - the fact that wealthy countries have an obesity problem isn't the point. You were talking about excessive wealth. You'd need to tie personal income (or assets if you like) to a measure of "fat". In particular, people who have had a recent increase in net worth similar to that of Al Gore, and compare them to the population at large. That is, shifting from rather well off to distinctly wealthy. (I'm not sure that BMI is the best measure, but it would do.)

      He is looking fairly fit in this picture:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-05-06/gore-is-romney-rich-with-200-million-after-bush-defeat

      PS I didn't discuss your personal feelings about Michael Mann, or Al Gore, did I? Your comments spoke volumes about the way your mind works.

      Delete
    21. Marke's done this trolling in the past, if memory serves correctly.

      It's all moot though because the hockey stick is demonstrable fact, the warming of the planet is demonstrable fact, and the causation of this warming by human carbon emissions is demonstrable fact accepted by the overwhelming majority of world's best professional scientists.

      Whatever Marke think's he's saying, it's irrelevant to the facts.

      Delete
    22. "... he will of course become the focus of the dissenting debate.."

      Oh? Maybe you have back-pedalled a bit on your outrageous comment. Perhaps my earlier comment did register with you? Your lack of self-awareness gives you away. Let me remind you what you actually said:

      "... so some people found him easy to dislike as well as an ideal target for their feelings and opinions."

      Not quite so genteel as "dissenting debate" is it?

      Delete
    23. What's outrageous about that, Jammy?

      It is self evident some have decided they dislike him, and I imagine that was not difficult for them.

      And it is very, very obvious he became a focus for some venting their feelings and opinions.

      You may be too sensitive for a discussion such as this, sir, if you cannot tolerate statements of fact.

      Delete
    24. That goes to the heart of your first error, marke. You've come full circle.

      As someone said earlier, you'd probably never have heard of Michael Mann if deniers and disinformers hadn't attacked him and his work with such gusto. And they only did that because it's important science. It can't be ignored.

      Some bad people want to hide or diminish the findings of climate science, because they regard them as a threat not just to their world view, but to their way of life.

      The irony being that the longer we delay, as disinformers and deniers want, the bigger the threat to their way of life. Delays will mean higher costs of mitigation, adaptation, recovery from severe weather events, civil unrest, and mass migration (within and between countries) - because climate change will be worse the longer we delay.

      Delete
    25. Something you should realize about 'tone trolling' or 'concern trolling', marke, is that it stops working the instant any intended targets suspect its presence.

      Not that it ever really works in the first place... it simply becomes twice as annoying. As far as I can tell the only people who think it's an effective tactic are the ones trying to use it.

      Delete
    26. marke

      Keep your faux concern and faux rationalism and faux objectivity to yourself marke.

      If you cannot see what is wrong with you using that statement to justify attacks on scientists you have a serious empathy problem. Statements like you are making are lapped up by the gullible and easily influenced to act as a mob, forgetting there is a human being is at the end of the vitriolic campaign. You can try and put on airs to pretend you are somehow detached from it but you are being part of it.

      Delete
    27. "....The irony being that the longer we delay, as disinformers and deniers want, the bigger the threat ..."

      The irony being, that developments towards renewable energy are ongoing as we speak, and the delays on moving towards carbon taxes and carbon trading give some slight improvement in the chances we may get it right.

      The "Do something! Do Anything! But do it now!" approach may not be ideal.

      I am not sure if any others here were involved with Kyoto Protocol projects, but my experience with a project was one of endless bureaucracy and huge costs and seeing massive financial losses for no purpose whatsoever.

      Delete
    28. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete

    29. MagmaAugust 13, 2015 at 10:09 PM

      Something you should realize about 'tone trolling' or 'concern trolling', marke, is that it stops working the instant any intended targets suspect its presence.


      Thanks, Magma. Very useful. This information has been added to the debate classification database I am developing.

      Delete
    30. "The "Do something! Do Anything! But do it now!" approach may not be ideal."

      of course it's not. ideally we would have started back when we first realised it was going to be a problem: we could have gradually eased in the necessary changes, taking the time to figure out what is most effective.

      instead we've wasted 3 decades screaming about how it just can't possibly be true. now realisation is slowly dawning that we can't in fact keep ignoring reality forever, and that there's a huge amount that we needed to have done a long time.

      so yeah, it's likely to be needlessly painful, and it's likely to be needlessly expensive, and we've got no-one but ourselves to blame.

      Delete
    31. "The "Do something! Do Anything! But do it now!"

      And it is still slightly better than the "Do nothing Don't do anything. Never do anything" approach.

      Delete
    32. 'a point of view'? Go away, climate revisionist.

      Delete
    33. Hi Kampen.
      re 'point of view':

      You don't think others have one?
      Or do you think they are not entitled to one?

      Which is it?

      Delete
    34. @marke. What you said (about Mann) was "That an individual scientist's work became the poster child of a point of view, and that one scientist happened to have a rather self important style of presentation,..."

      Modern warming rate and current temperature relative to the past is not a "point of view", it's a fact, confirmed many times over since MBH-98. You don't like Mann's style: fine. But his science is not a "point of view".

      Delete
    35. "That an individual scientist's work became the poster child of a point of view..."

      This is what you said marke. CRR Kampen is quite clearly pointing out that scientific work is not a "point of view". And attacking a scientist on that basis is despicable. Your attempts to re-frame a scientific paper as something other than what it is is dishonest.

      So your forced choice question, typical of deniers, is just fatuous and irrelevant.

      Delete
    36. Oh, thanks, all.

      If it's a simple fact, then there is no need to discuss further.

      I wonder why that was not obvious to me earlier?

      We had better tell all those climate scientists to find new jobs, then.

      Oh, what's that you say?

      They still need to do a bit of work on the degree of warming? And the extent? And the other unexpected effects? And the likely effects physical changes will have on economies? And the timing? And the geographic variations? And the best methods of mitigation? And possibilities of adaptation?

      ..... And much, much, more?

      Oh, I see.

      Goodness me, some people do think they live in a lovely, well defined world.

      Delete
    37. Depends on what "it" is. No real scientific work is going on to establish whether evolution occurs and the point of whether evolution is occurring really does not merit "discussion". Rather a lot of research is going on that directly concerns evolution and does in fact merit "discussion".

      The difference is that one discussion is a crank/denier discussion and the other discussion is a scientific one. What is "well defined" is whether there is a crank discussion or a scientific one.

      Delete
    38. marke

      And what did any of that have to do with anything else people were saying to you?

      You are right that there is no point discussing with you further. You do not discuss, you just throw out random statements with no thought and no purpose.

      I do not know why you think it is necessary to justify the campaign against Micheal Mann. You do not discuss it. You just give obscure hints of what you are thinking but do not quite close the deal so you can keep wriggling. That is not honest discussion.

      What a plonker.

      Delete
    39. Hi Anon,
      It's barely worth the trouble, but here is the discussion outlined.

      1. I queried whether there was really a 'Serengeti Strategy' (implying there is a conspiracy) and put up some thought as to why this may not be the case.

      2. Some chose to interpret that as a personal attack on Michael Mann, some chose to start applying some cleverly contrived labels to me, some preferred to bring up (for some reason) Al Gore's waistline, some agreed there was not such a deliberate strategy, and John Mashey put up a pretty plausible explanation of how interested parties may develop strategic approaches behind the scenes and feed them into the media and public arena. (Hey, would the UN, World Bank, and potential carbon traders and beneficiaries of such have similar strategy meetings and ... etc etc? ..but ... let's not get sidetracked.)
      3. Someone picked up on the phrase 'point of view' and explained it was not needed, as there is only one fact, which is already proven.
      4. I then explained it is not quite so simple as that, there are myriad facets to the this issue and points of view must exist.
      5. You then find the need to report confusion, insist we should really be talking about the campaign against Mann, and finally resort to name calling.

      Delete
    40. "It's barely worth the trouble"

      I agree. But presumably you can stop any time you wish.

      Delete
    41. "It's barely worth the trouble ..."

      I agree. So I will just cut to the important bit.

      What a plonker.

      Delete
  6. Sou

    I know nothing of Steyn and wait to see how the law suit works out.

    I am surprised that you can't see the difference between a light hearted comment right at the start of the comments threat and the unpleasant ones that followed much later on . The 'satire' was that Josh's cartoons are exactly what Hubert Lambs Graphic was called that was used in the IPCC report prior to the Hockey stick, which is why I referenced him. I thought you might have got that one.

    I met both Josh and Anthony Watts immediately prior to the Mann lecture in Bristol. Neither are the devils you believe, its just that they don't buy into the CAGW meme. Neither do I . In my case as I live in a country where our detailed records can demonstrate that, in our case at least, the Hockey stick can be put into context with earlier times.

    Even the Met Office has now retreated from their earlier belief that the climate was virtually static until humanity interfered and Phil Jones is also more aware of natural variability than when he was carrying out his research in the 1990's.

    I have never 'defamed' Dr Mann and there is no point in believing that all sceptics routinely belittle him or other climate scientists.

    tonyb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tony, you don't need to keep providing evidence that you are nothing more than a denier who thinks defamation is fun and climate science is a hoax. So you think that a lowlife bully like Anthony Watts is a nice chap, just because you met him? That exonerates him from his accusing scientists of fraud and other appalling behaviour, and supporting a character as unsavoury as Mark Steyn? They are two of a kind, except Mark Steyn was more successful. That you admire a person like that no longer surprises me.

      Don't give yourself airs as if you understand science - the evidence shows otherwise. (I very much doubt that the UK Met Office scientists thought that climate was ever static. The fact that some scientists pretend to tolerate hangers on like yourself is nothing to feel good about. They play nice to worse (and more important) people.)

      Your original comment was contemptible. Your follow up comments only make me, and I expect others, think worse of you, not better.

      Delete
    2. The “natural variability” meme by the denier crowd is especially specious…as if natural variability can somehow explain the warming we have seen. Natural variability may be hard to predict, but it is not magic and the drivers of that variability are well understood and no, it cannot explain the current warming trend represented by Mann et al.

      Delete
    3. I love the way your buddies Anthony and Josh challenged Dr. Mann's science when they had an opportunity to interact with him in person. They sure showed him.

      Tell them to keep up the good work!

      Delete
    4. I am sure they did the best they were able.

      Delete
    5. Apparently, they spoke not a word. If that's their best, well....

      Delete
    6. "...Hubert Lambs Graphic was called that was used in the IPCC report prior to the Hockey stick*


      This claim (a common false meme promoted by John Daly and resurrected by McIntyre & McKitrick and Singer&Avery, and then copied elsewhere)
      is clear evidence of:
      a) committed ignorance of the history OR
      b) deliberate deceit

      Maybe tonyb will tell us which?

      Delete
    7. @ John Mashey:

      I'm not sure precisely what Tony Brown was trying to say in that comment about the 25-year-old schematic diagram in question. But to be fair, he has put thought and work into the matter.

      The long slow thaw? December 11, 2011

      Delete
    8. PART 1 of 2
      Magma: "But to be fair, he has put thought and work into the matter."
      Yes ... he did a lot of work, but somehow, he kept missing rather key items that disagreed with his narrative, or else he didn't actually read some of the things he cited.

      Again, the false meme is that MBH98/99 was created to hide 1995 consensus that Lamb(1965) was global Truth ...

      Lamb(1965) graph appeared in IPCC FAR (1990) Fig. 7.1(c), on p.202, surrounded by caveats, not in the SAR (1995).

      See MedievalDeception 2015: Inhofe Drags Senate Back To Dark Ages, and FAR pp.199-203, annotated.

      In tonyb's 2011 URL, he cited the right page, almost correctly, i.e., it's really Figure 7.1(c). Assume that's a typo.
      "The 1965 version was substantially re-interpreted by the IPCC for their 1990 assessment and used on page 202 Figure7c as the basis for a global record. Figure 2 below shows the (unattributed) version of the graph used by the IPCC."

      However, he then showed an image that was *not* the image from the FAR, see the Inhofe post for comparison.
      The curve is the same, but somebody changed fonts, deleted (c),k and changed the (incorrect) "Years before Present" to "Year".
      In academe, this sort of thing is called false citation, a form of falsification/fabrication.

      With the wrong image, and no hint of the caveats, either tonyb
      a) Did not have the FAR
      b) Had the FAR, but ignored the surrounding text *on the same page*.
      People should read that page and the others in 199-203 and see if they think the IPCC was claiming this was global and more than a schematic.

      tonyb used an image identical to:

      -John Daly, Western Fuels Association "science advisor" (2001), the first case I know that ascribed an edited version of the graph to the SAR. Then it was forgotten.

      - Steve McIntyre 03/16/05, which also ascribed it to the SAR.

      - Ross McKitrick, 04/04/05 (APEC), pp.4-5, which also ascribed it to SAR, although by July, got fixed.

      - McIntyre & McKitrick 05/11/05, presentation for GMI, and the "blueprint" for Wegman Report, p.10. Gave IPCC 1995.
      Amusingly, they also cited the (unsupported) Deming quote as being from Science 1995, rather than Journal of Scientific Exploration(2005), my favorite dog astrology journal.

      - Wall St Journal, 06/21/05, Kyoto by Degrees (see Inhofe post), although by this time someone had *actually checked* and found that the curve had come from the FAR. Until then, it is quite obvious that none of the people had actually looked at the FAR or SAR, and even the WSJ didn't have the exact image, although they (falsely) claimed to.

      I'll stop there with the history, although there are more...
      Note that if Lamb(1965) was caveated in 1990, and long gone by 1995, the false narrative of "needed MBH to erase MWP" evaporates.

      Delete
    9. PART 2 of 2
      Now, back to tonyb's post:
      a) He cited the right page, but not the right image, see FAR pp.199-203, annotated.

      b) tonyb wrote:
      " It would be useful to clarify what CET is and isn’t, as it is a fundamental measure being used in this current reconstruction. The instrumental record itself dates from 1659. ... The period prior to 1538 is outside the scope of this present paper."
      That means that the Lamb MWP gets shown with no critical examination.

      The actual CET record starts around 1659, Lamb *estimated* everything before that from rainfall and botanical records.
      Lamb(1965) p.26 quite explicitly distinguishes between observed values and "analyst's opinion".
      The Inhofe post includes a copy of Jones et al(2009) Fig 7.

      tonyb wrote:
      " In his graph (used within Figure 6) Lamb records considerable temperature variation with a decline from 1400, then a rise after 1500, with a further decline to the early 1600’s but with the coldest point in the late 1600’s."

      Earlier, tonyb had admitted the instrumental record had started at 1659 ... and said pre-1538 was outside the scope ...
      But that's all the putative MWP.

      Tonyb wrote:
      "Clearly this period of some 250 years, commencing 1500, is critical in understanding the influences on our climate, being centuries before the impact of man-made co2 become a serious issue. Referenced here is the official Cdiac data to 1750 showing the trivial emissions at the start date."

      Here's CO2 from Law Dome.
      LIA, such as it was: CO2 drop (Americas die-off into 1600AD + volcanoes + Maunder, etc) = a few centuries of cool, then the Industrial Revolution.
      Humans had already diddled CO2 somewhat, since without us, we'd have been down around 250ppm pre-I-R.

      Of course, Central England is not the world, and ice/snow-albedo feedback matter and work in both directions.
      One would expect N Europe to have stronger swings than the NH or the Earth as a whole. People get confused by spaghetti graphs because they don't bother to read the papers and understand the geographies. Central England is pretty small, but 30-90degN is only 25% of the Earth, and that's what some reconstructions cover.

      tonyb wrote:
      " The importance of CET as a broader temperature proxy is further enhanced by its longevity and the scrutiny it has subsequently received by academics because of this."
      And once again shows the variant of Fig 7.1(c) ... but that graph is NOT CET, it is CET from 1659-onward, and "analyst's opinions" before that.

      Tonyb wrote:
      "4) The nature of the proxies used in MBH98 and 99 have inherent problems and have proved very controversial. ..."
      After all, much of the "controversial" nature of the proxies came from someone (McIntyre) who wrote clear falsehoods regarding the graph and its origin.

      5) Lamb gathered together a variety of forms of evidence in his reconstruction. The schematic of composite graphs seen in figure 16 and 17 -when compared to the reconstruction to 1538- seems to confirm with other research that Lamb’s view of climate history was broadly correct. ...
      6) ...The sharp uptick in temperatures from the start of the 20Th Century is a likely artifact of computer modeling through over complex statistical interpretation of inadequate proxies."

      The last I heard, the modern temperature record dates from ~1880, not computed from proxies.

      All this might be summarized as Stoat's Adoration of the Lamb.

      Delete
    10. @magma, putting a lot of time and effort into surface temperatures in England should have given Tony some insight into climate science. The fact that after all these years he's still an apologist for bullies in the deniosphere - and is a science denier himself (and a nasty one once you scrape away the "sweet" veneer), puts him in the same category as other obsessive deniers. I have a very low tolerance for such people.

      Delete
    11. Tonyb challenged "there is no point in believing that all sceptics routinely belittle him or other climate scientists."

      A google search of WUWT yields:

      Michael Mann - About 8,070 results
      Trenberth - About 7,760 results
      John Cook - About 6,400 results
      Gavin Schmidt - About 6,290 results
      Lewandowsky = About 5,860 results
      Santer - About 1,300 results

      Don't imagine that most of those thousands of articles were singing the praises of those scientists.

      (Where there were two words I put them between quote marks.)

      Delete
    12. For comparison, here are some more names, mostly from the other side of the spectrum:

      Judith Curry - About 6,140 results
      Tisdale - About 4,300 results
      Eschenbach – About 4,250 results
      Monckton - About 3,270 results
      Lindzen - About 2,990 results
      Michaels - About 1,630 results
      Singer - About 1,410 results
      Richard Muller - About 355 results

      Delete
  7. I thought briefly about commenting on WUWT, but the prospect was as appealing as having a swim in a sewage lagoon on a hot day.

    Steyn's book may be mildly useful in a backhanded sort of way. If Mann wins his libel suit, as he should, it will demonstrate a pattern of ongoing malice and, one hopes, significantly increase damages assigned specifically against Steyn. In contrast CEI, the National Review and Rand Simberg have all been quiet for many months, likely on the advice of council.

    And it may demonstrate just how much out of context quoting and cherry-picking is needed to fill a book, even with Mann being a prominent target for 17 years now. And it may add new names to the list of the scientists and engineers willing to speak out boldly and confidently about research areas they never worked in, like Nobel physics laureate (1973, quantum tunnelling) Ivar Giaever who decided climate science was bunk after spending half a day researching it on the Internet.

    But I'll leave it to others to fund Steyn's legal costs by buying the book.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I understand it Steyn is also acting on advice of counsel - he's representing himself.

      Delete
    2. He has lawyers again. But Steyn likely freed up years of time for the independent study of law by the simple act of dropping out of high school and not wasting a day at university.

      I understand he's seen as an intellectual in certain circles a little to the right of the political center and a little to the left on the bell curve.

      Delete
    3. 'I understand he's seen as an intellectual in certain circles a little to the right of the political center and a little to the left on the bell curve.'

      A formula Dunning and Kruger might appreciate; thanks for brightening my afternoon!

      Delete
  8. 'They are two of a kind, except Mark Steyn was more successful. That you admire a person like that no longer surprises me.'

    When did I ever say I admire Steyn? I said I knew nothing about him. The court case will decide who has right on their side. I have no idea what the outcome will be as I don't know the ins and outs of the reasons for the case nor Steyns defence.

    Yes, the Met Office did think the climate was generally static until humanity greatly impacted it. The reference to that paragraph was dropped around 4 or 5 years ago.

    tonyb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. The reference to that paragraph was dropped around 4 or 5 years ago.

      Don't tell me tonyb. Let me guess. You cannot, therefore, provide a reference? Why do I get the overwhelming feeling that even if you provided a reference it would be yet another denier quote mine?

      Delete
    2. Stop digging, Tony. You're just making things worse for yourself. It was perfectly clear from Anthony's article that his article was just another cheap shot at defaming a scientist. As is usual for Anthony Watts. And claim you thought it was funny so you chimed in. It says all we need to know about you.

      But now we know more. You think Anthony's a nice chap despite his bullying, defamatory articles, and his general nastiness - because he managed to refrain from behaving too badly when you met him. Don't pretend innocence.

      And there's more. Only a committed denier, defamer or someone who is prone to conspiracy ideation would entertain the notion that the work of Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes is fraudulent. Similar results have been produced so many times by so many different people using many different proxies. But you knew that already didn't you.

      As for the Met Office and static climate - do you really believe that scientists at the Met Office didn't know there were glacials and interglacials? You've an extreme case of science delusion, Tony.

      You've hogged this thread enough and there's enough unpleasantness at WUWT without you carting your garbage over here. Take a break from HW for a few days or preferably longer. I will tolerate deniers to a point, but we don't need your kind.

      Delete
    3. By the way, in case there are any lurkers new to climate blogs who think I'm being too hard on Tony Brown. I'm not. He's a denier from way back who favours conspiracy and denier blogs, and who writes silly blog articles trying to prove that scientists "don't know nuffin'". So his pretence that he's an innocent is a sham. He knows the ropes. (See here and here and here.)

      Delete
    4. Tony -

      I don't really agree with Sou's take on you, but IMO you don't do yourself a favor with this kind of response:

      ==> "I said I knew nothing about him...."

      I'ts simply implausible that with as much time as you spend in the climate-o-sphere," you aren't well-acquainted with Steyn's attacks on Mann and the broad-scale support for Steyn's attacks on Mann in the "skept-o-sphere."

      Again, you do yourself no favors when you make highly implausible arguments while lending your voice to an onslaught of tribalism in the Steyn vs. Mann tribalism.

      Similarly, here:

      ==> "I don't know the ins and outs of the reasons for the case nor Steyns defence."

      I have little doubt that you know the broad stroke outlines of what is taking place and how it plays out in the climate-o-sphere. Downplaying that knowledge by saying that you don't know all the details looks like a disingenuous attempt to distance yourself from the ugliness that fills that thread that Sou's talking about.

      Delete
    5. joshua - Similar to my posting about marke being disingenuous about what he knows. Perhaps tonyb and marke are the same person?

      I wonder what they think they gain by pretending they are not au fait with these topics?

      Delete
    6. Dodger -

      In my experiences exchanging views with Tony - he does take a different approach than the vast majority of "skeptics" that I encounter.

      For the most part, he leaves out the personal attacks. To a lesser but still notable extent, he leaves out the identity-aggression that I typically encounter. (It's reasonable, IMO, to question just how important those distinctions are...but I do think that they are meaningful to some extent.)

      So in a sense I think that he has grounds to differentiate his approach from that of the more typical WUWT (or Climate Etc.) commenter - although still, I find his comments re the WUWT thread about the Steyn book to have a disingenuous feel about them.

      That isn't to say that I think that he always shows accountability for the arguments that he makes, or never makes bad arguments.

      Delete
  9. I don't think lots more lawsuits is likely to be a productive or successful strategy, at least in the US. Mann's suit has a chance because CEI made fairly specific allegations of fraud in petitions to the EPA and the subsequent "Coalition for Responsible Regulation v. EPA" lawsuit. That makes it a lot harder for the defendants to argue the accusations were strictly "heat of the moment" protected political opinion, not factual claims. Most of the defendants (initially all of them) are trying anyway, but not with much success so far.

    OTOH, invoking truth as an absolute defense (as Steyn seems to want) runs into the problem that the US Circuit Court of Appeals for DC has already rejected the allegations of fraud as unsubstantiated. As have the EPA, NSF, DOC, Penn, etc., which gives Mann a pretty strong argument for actual malice, if that is needed.

    Without those specific facts, I doubt Mann would have even filed (his lawyers aren't idiots).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Dan. I agree with you - pretty well all the way, but particularly the bit where you don't think there's much point in suing petty bloggers. I nearly left out that para, but figured I chose hyperbole in other parts, so why not leave that bit of over the top snark in there.

      I have noticed that Anthony Watts is more cautious than he used to be (most of the time, with some exceptions). At least as far as Michael Mann goes. I think he is worried if he goes too far he might get sued. (He has even taking to deleting some of what are presumably extremely outrageous comments, which he would never have done a couple of years ago.)

      Delete
  10. The amount of time that Mann has had to waste due to continued harassment must be very annoying.
    It is deplorable that our society has come to a situation where all scientists are being painted as somehow not believable.
    I would expect the case to be found in favour of Mann no other finding stands the truth test..

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    2. Ahhh...the old "forced to admit" ploy over making sure precise legal language details are 100% unambiguous!!! Something tells me you haven't drafted many important legal papers!

      Delete
    3. Good grief Anonymous. Does your pettiness have no limit?

      I have no idea how the court case will go, given the tortuous workings of the legal system and especially in the USA. But I suspect it will be in favour of Michael Mann.

      If it does, will you reflect on your mean mindedness? Will you re-assess your outlook and perhaps become aware that you were just being led as part of a baying mob? Not a pretty sight.

      Delete
  11. "He's just quoting other scientists ..."

    You mean "He's just misquoting other scientists" via quote mining or by not providing context.

    One of the scientists Dr Simon Tett actually co-authors articles with Professor Mann. :-)

    Another is paleoclimatologist Eduardo Zorita, a co-author of the PAGES 2K study which confirmed the hockey stick.

    The third, Jonathan Jones is not a climate scientist.

    Steyn is a scientifically clueless far right ideologue who once again falls flat on his face because his attack on Mann is based on repeating largely malicious gossip from the climate crank blogs.

    A lot like you.

    Details here.
    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/06/22/mark-steyns-newest-attack-on-michael-mann-and-the-hockey-stick/

    ReplyDelete
  12. (Sorry for formatting, just copied from elsewhere.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonathan_A._Jones
    http://users.ox.ac.uk/~jajones; http://nmr.physics.ox.ac.uk/

    http://www.webcitation.org/6QzcwmYAx
    ‘People have asked why mainstream scientists are keeping silent on these issues. As a scientist who has largely kept silent, at least in public, I have more sympathy for silence than most people here. It's not for the obvious reason, that speaking out leads to immediate attacks, not just from Gavin and friends, but also from some of the more excitable commentators here. Far more importantly most scientists are reluctant to speak out on topics which are not their field. We tend to trust our colleagues, perhaps unreasonably so, and are also well aware that most scientific questions are considerably more complex than outsiders think, and that it is entirely possible that we have missed some subtle but critical point.

    However, "hide the decline" is an entirely different matter. This is not a complicated technical matter on which reasonable people can disagree: it is a straightforward and blatant breach of the fundamental principles of honesty and self-criticism that lie at the heart of all true science. The significance of the divergence problem is immediately obvious, and seeking to hide it is quite simply wrong. The recent public statements by supposed leaders of UK science, declaring that hiding the decline is standard scientific practice are on a par with declarations that black is white and up is down. I don't know who they think they are speaking for, but they certainly aren't speaking for me.

    I have watched Judy Curry with considerable interest since she first went public on her doubts about some aspects of climate science, an area where she is far more qualified than I am to have an opinion. Her latest post has clearly kicked up a remarkable furore, but she was right to make it. The decision to hide the decline, and the dogged refusal to admit that this was an error, has endangered the credibility of the whole of climate science. If the rot is not stopped then the credibility of the whole of science will eventually come into question.
    Judy's decision to try to call a halt to this mess before it's too late is brave and good. So please cut her some slack; she has more than enough problems to deal with at the moment.
    If you're wondering who I am, then you can find me at the Physics Department at Oxford University.’

    http://www.webcitation.org/6QzdAi5pv
    ‘This is truly bizarre, and just shows how profoundly warped the climate science community has become. I make no judgement here on the correctness of the paper, but editors just don't resign because of things like this. …
    Sure, my two controversies above never hit the popular press, but the arsenic stuff was discussed all over the place, far more than Spencer and Braswell.
    What sort of weird warped world to climate scientists inhabit? How have they allowed themselves to move so far from comon sense? What is wrong with these guys?’

    http://www.webcitation.org/6QzdJ6cs1
    ‘I did sign off on the copy after a couple of minor modifications which I requested. As I am saying on twitter I am definitely a sceptic of the "policy usefulness" of climate models, so I was happy for them to use the phrase in that context, rather than my usual "climate agnostic" self-description.’

    My bio (which they haven't yet used) makes very clear that I am a scientist with wide ranging expertise, but no special expertise in climate science. A central part of my claim is that professional climate scientists are over confident about the quality of their work, but this is largely because all scientists are over confident about the quality of their own work. Outsiders, without the emotional commitment that working in a field inevitably brings, can take a much more objective view of things.’

    ReplyDelete
  13. Could I just say that projection leads to delusion! Bert

    ReplyDelete
  14. Er....so has anyone actually read Steyn's new book?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good God no. Are you being serious?

      Reading his book would contribute to his defence fund. It would be a boring repetition of worn out themes we have seen a hundred times before. And enough has been leaked to confirm that assessment is accurate.

      Please do not come back with crazy ideas about balance and hearing the other person's side.

      Delete
    2. Jack, I don't know for sure if anyone's bothered to read it, although I expect Michael Mann's lawyers will do so. Some people at WUWT claim to have been reading it, but haven't said much about the contents.

      Anthony claimed to have spent a day with it, but didn't have anything to show for it except a couple of images. So I can't say whether he got to read it or whether he just took a couple of snapshots then spent the rest of the day walking around gripping it tightly to his heart.

      Of the quotes Anthony posted in his article:

      One was from an article by James Taylor on the website of the denier lobby group, the Heartland Institute, in which he attributed a quote about Professor Jones (not Michael Mann) to William Sprigg.

      Another was from a known climate science denier, Petr Chylek, which he probably got from the website of another denier lobby group, the GWPF. That quote had nothing to do with Michael Mann either. The article was about the stolen emails.

      Another was from another known science denier, Vincent Courtillot. It had the word "Mann" in it, but I couldn't find the quote using Google, so I don't know where it came from.

      There was some stuff from Judith Curry, who has harboured a personal grudge against Michael Mann (since at least 2010) - for unknown reasons.

      If you want more, without having to fork out any money, there's a link to an article by Greg Laden in the "further reading" section, where he checked out some quotes as well, and found them wanting.

      I can't imagine there is anything in it that would damage Michael Mann, but I do expect it will have a lot of material that will damage Mark Steyn.

      Delete
    3. top tip: save the cost and embarrassment of buying Steyn's book by instead reading creationist screeds online, and mentally substituting "Mann" for "Darwin".

      Delete
    4. Hah, I remember Jack Savage from the numpty crap he posted on the Guardian website.

      My fondest recollection was when he told us all that absolutely no birds in his garden had ever died because of his use of slug pellets. He was asked if he conducted the autopsies himself or left it to experts, but sadly at that moment he found he had urgent business to attend to, so we never found out.

      Oh, and on every topic associated with the fossil fuel industry, he took the fossil fuel industry position.

      Delete
    5. Alas, I do not remember you Millicent. Forgettable is as forgettable does.
      However, I cannot imagine myself being drawn into an argument about slug pellets...having never used such a thing. I fear you may be mistaken on that "fond" recollection. My comment history there is still available if you wish to check.
      I did indeed comment freely at the Grun until such time as I was banned from posting there after daring to suggest that the famous "2 degrees of warming means we are all fubar" was a figure that had no basis in science whatsoever.
      I am amused but not surprised at the tide of vitriol unleashed upon the book here, despite the fact that no one has actually read it. It does rather take the sting and credibility out of any criticism, don't you think?
      It is as though you all feared contamination or something.

      Delete
    6. "It does rather take the sting and credibility out of any criticism, don't you think?"

      No, not in the least. You seem to have lost touch with how weak, predictable and repetitious denier cant is.

      Delete
    7. Another denier rears his head.

      Jack's "Tide of vitriol" is on par with Anthony Watt's use of the words "hate" and "anger", whenever he comes across anyone writing about science. It's denier-speak for "climate science is a hoax". Given it's on this thread, I'd say that Jack is just another denier who thinks "free speech" means he has the right to defame anyone he feels like whenever he feels like it. He's wrong.

      Delete
  15. Sou said
    The efforts of deniers to find fault were swamped and obliterated by science itself .

    Science Itself a perfectly elegant name for a scientific publication, blog or biography.
    You should register it today Sou

    ReplyDelete
  16. "the anti-science, anti-mitigation movement. These are immoral people. People who want the world to continue with unfettered burning of fossil fuels, endangering society. People who are willing to sacrifice the well-being of their fellow human beings, their children and their grandchildren and all future generations. Their motives were various - some did it for ideological reasons. Anthony Watts did it because he didn't want to pay tax. Others dispute climate science arguably because that's what they are employed to do. There are dedicated denier organisations who pay people (and get freebies from more) to cast doubt on established science that they see as contrary to their aims. The backers of deniers probably also have mixed motives - pure profit for fossil fuel companies and ideology for others (rampant capitalism/libertarian anarchy gone wild). For some it seemed to be more personal - perhaps professional jealousy mixed with ideology."

    Hah, talking about conspiracy theories. Great argument, all that oppose you are evil, don't be this silly. You don't have the monopoly of being moral, don't be this arrogant.

    I, as being opposed to radical changing our economic and energy policies, have lost any faith in your article from that paragraph onwards, because I know I am not evil, nor immoral, nor get paid for my opinions, and do wish my fellow human beings, my children and eventually grand children the best possible world,. Consequently I must conclude that your analysis is the product of the muddled thinking that fantasizes a good vs evil world that simply doesn't exist and is thus incomplete.
    This climate change brings out the absolute worst in people, and that's true for both sides of the aisle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wouldn't know if you are part of a concerted effort to stop mitigation, Vic. You imply you're not and I'm happy to take you at your word. There are a lot of gullible people around. The wilfully ignorant, who probably aren't immoral as such. And the plain ignorant. These groups have been the subject of various cognitive, behavioural and public opinion studies. They strike some of us as weird, but in reality they are just normal human beings. (Humans have some irrational qualities. We aren't all rational all the time.)

      Then there are a lot of people who don't get involved one way or another. Their concerns lie elsewhere.

      The evil that I'm talking about are the people who know full well that what they are saying and doing is wrong and will cause harm, but do it regardless. That's immoral in anyone's book. No matter what you, as an individual "believe".

      Delete
    2. "The evil that I'm talking about are the people who know full well that what they are saying and doing is wrong and will cause harm, but do it regardless. That's immoral in anyone's book. No matter what you, as an individual "believe"."
      You've watched too much television. The majority of people that oppose harsh actions on climate change are not willfully doing wrong. Marginalizing anyone with a different opinion to such caricatures as evil is unhelpful in this debate.

      Delete
    3. I agree that the majority of people who oppose action to mitigate global warming aren't wilfully doing wrong. As I said above.

      There are also people who are wilfully doing wrong, and they are leading those unwilful people around by the nose. That's what is immoral.

      I don't know what you regard as a debate.

      People who feel marginalised after reading HW have other choices. They could try Curry's place or WUWT for example. Most of the people there are unwilfully doing the wrong thing, and they are able to rub shoulders with people who are wilfully doing wrong. Nice and cosy group hugs and all that..

      Delete
    4. Vic.

      I don't agree with your straw man arguments. Not to mention the ad hominems.

      Opinions are fine, but irrelevant. It is the science that is relevant.

      Conspiracy Theory? No, just a plain conspiracy. If anyone thinks organising and funding lobby groups to dishonestly oppose consensus science in the public arena is not a conspiracy, I am happy to hear counter-arguments.

      Delete
    5. Yeah, Harry. There are times, like when countering Vic's argument that deniers aren't doing anything *wilfully* wrong, that a person is sorely tempted to invoke Godwin's Law.

      With some justification.

      Delete
    6. Sou.

      The (pejorative) term "useful idiot" does spring to mind.

      Delete
    7. @Harry
      What is my straw man argument? You don't know what you're talking about. Ad hominem, hardly.
      If lobbying is legal and funding is publicly disclosed, it's not a conspiracy.

      Delete
    8. "... and funding is publicly disclosed,"

      Is funding publicly disclosed? All of it? And transparently?

      Delete
    9. Two words: Donors + Trust

      Delete
    10. Vic,

      I will treat it as a serious question, although I suspect you know exactly what I am talking about.

      "all that oppose you are evil" Straw man. Sou did not say "all", she qualified her statements to make it clear whom she was talking about.

      "don't be this silly" Ad hominem, you are implying that Sou is silly.
      "don't be this arrogant" Ad hominem, you are implying that Sou is arrogant.
      "product of the muddled thinking" Ad hominem, you are implying that Sou's thinking is muddled.
      "You've watched too much television" Ad hominem.
      "Marginalizing anyone with a different opinion" Straw man. "Anyone" implies "all" which I commented on above.

      Delete
    11. Vic

      If lobbying is legal and funding is publicly disclosed, it's not a conspiracy.

      There is a denial industry and it is covertly funded by vested interest (see Sou, immediately above).

      Wake up.

      Delete
    12. Vic.

      "If lobbying is legal and funding is publicly disclosed, it's not a conspiracy."

      The lobbying being legal with funding publicly disclosed (really?) does not in itself mean a conspiracy was not involved. The fact that lobby groups and some individual deniers avoid disclosing their source of funding is secrecy.

      Delete
    13. Harry Twinotter: "Conspiracy Theory? No, just a plain conspiracy. If anyone thinks organising and funding lobby groups to dishonestly oppose consensus science in the public arena is not a conspiracy, I am happy to hear counter-arguments."

      Hmm, "conspiracy" has connotations of criminality, and secrecy to keep the crime from being discovered. In the USA though, short of actionable libel it's legal to deliberately manufacture and spread disinformation about climate science, and to fund same. And prior to a couple of recent court decisions, much of the funding was a matter of public record. Secrecy may help the professional disinformers and their benefactors avoid embarrassment, but they need not fear prosecution. In any case, they know they can rely on useful idiots like Vic here to carry their water and deflect attention from the man behind the curtain.

      Delete
    14. Mal Adapted

      Hmm, "conspiracy" has connotations of criminality, and secrecy to keep the crime from being discovered.

      Everything of course hinges on the definition of 'crime'. No laws are being broken, as you say. But as I imagine you suspect, posterity is likely to lean towards a moral rather than a legal interpretation of what we are doing.

      Which of course includes our failure to tear down the curtain woven about itself by vested interest in time, despite our best efforts.







      Delete
    15. Mal Adapted.

      I never mentioned criminality. Conspiracies are not necessarily criminal.

      My point is the lobby groups and some pundits are engaged in a conspiracy because they try to keep their patrons secret.

      Delete
  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. I have to agree with Vic to an extent (the part about "radical changing our economic and energy policies" looks like a fairly often found, and poorly reasoned argument I see often being made by "skeptics"). The kind of motive-impugning, identity protective generalizing he points to is best left for "skeptics," IMO.

    I don't think that your analyses are in any way served well by that kind of rhetoric. IMO, it's just a bad line of argumentation, Sou.


    ReplyDelete

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why? Because the auto denialism expressed by Vic has worth?
      Specify Joshua.

      Delete
    2. Joshua taking an academically respectful back seat in this debate has helped to relegate mitigation to the back seat. The Sous of this world have now grabbed the wheel. They are our best hope. Your constant calls for civility in the face of lies from Tol, Vic et al are bullshit. Respect is earned. Show us the rigour.

      Delete
    3. PG -

      I am not calling for civility. That is a misreading. I don't particularly care about civility, nor about academic respectfulness.

      I'm talking about what I consider to be fundamentally flawed arguments - where reasoning is biased by identity-protective mechanisms. I'm not taking issue with Sou's technical arguments, but with her broad-scale generalizations related to "morality." It's similar as with Judith, where I don't take issue with her technical arguments (I'm not in a position to do so), but with her broad-scale generalizations related to "integrity," and such.

      Delete
    4. Anthony Watts has a problem with the Pope declaring a day of prayer.

      https://archive.is/D9SOv

      The letter Anthony posted was full of religious-speak, but when you break it down, it was urging people to reflect on their obligation to care for the environment, as well as plan to act responsibly in that regard.

      Anthony objected strongly and, given his approach to the environment (and ethics), one can understand why.

      I think this is the same issue. Science is okay but step into the moral or ethical issues associated with decisions to cause harm or to minimise harm to people, societies and the planet as a whole, then it starts to make some people very uncomfortable. Whatever psycho-speak it's dressed up as - world view, mental models, "identity protection" and the like.

      HW is not always the best place for people who want to feel comfortable, nor for the faint of heart.

      Delete
    5. Sou -

      I'll say it once again - since you seem to have repeated PG's mistaken impressions about what I'm saying.

      In case it's what you were suggesting, I'm not "faint of heart," nor looking to HW as a place to "feel comfortable."

      I also have no objection to "step[ing] into the moral or ethical issues" - and don't feel "uncomfortable" when someone does that. I am taking issue with the arguments that you're making about those moral and ethical issues: Your dismissal of the role of identity-protective mechanisms in arguments about moral and ethical issues would be a case in point.

      To repeat - reverse engineering from perspective on climate change to judging morals and motivations is a very common, and flawed line of argumentation that is ubiquitous in the "skept-o-sphere." IMO, it is better left there.

      Delete
    6. I'm a bit slow sometimes. In this case, if my recent related comments (to you and Vic) are off base, then I haven't a clue what you're talking about Joshua.

      Delete
    7. "reverse engineering from perspective on climate change to judging morals and motivations is a very common, and flawed line of argumentation that is ubiquitous in the "skept-o-sphere." IMO, it is better left there."

      Are you a mind reader Josh - how do you 'know' things like our objections to - say - a scientist being compared to a child molester is based on 'reverse engineering' from our preference for peer reviewed science?

      Are you unable to make that kind of moral judgment yourself without determining first whether the scientists work is something you admire?

      Delete
    8. I believe joshua is referring to the overly-broad reference to "anti-science, anti-mitigation movement" as "immoral people".

      Some undoubtedly are - personally I would classify some of the scientists-for-hire in that class (it would be a very short list) and more of the paid political and PR types. But they are certainly outnumbered by the misguided, the misinformed and the clueless.

      My take on this from earlier this year: Different types of climate change deniers

      Delete
    9. It appears I misformatted the intended link. Here's the text version.

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/02/confessions-of-deniers-at-judith-currys.html?showComment=1424111093705#c4938266090617294628

      Delete
    10. Thanks, Magma. I think I've already covered that in my comments to Vic above. If you're right, then maybe Joshua missed my comments. If not, then I guess we're both in the dark.

      I don't think there's much value in trying to work out whether a particular denier is incapable, irresponsible, unethical, immoral or screwed up. One can generalise about the immorality of people who knowingly spread disinformation for a living (or other personal benefit) however.

      Delete
    11. @Magma
      So what do you consider reasonable arguments against firm policies to combat global warming?
      Can you think of none? And is that why you marginalize people that oppose you as " the misguided, the misinformed and the clueless."

      Delete
    12. I am a member of a generation that is collectively committing a crime of unimaginable proportions. Future generations will look back on us all with loathing.

      Delete
    13. @Millicent
      Future generations will very likely be incredibly better off than we are, just like we have been. Last couple of decades saw the biggest improvements to mankind's lot ever. Don't be all dramatic hyperbole. Global warming isn't the first threat to progress we've had and won't be the last.

      Delete
    14. Vic.

      A bit disingenuous using dramatic hyperbole to criticise a person's use of dramatic hyperbole.

      Delete
    15. "Last couple of decades saw the biggest improvements to mankind's lot ever. Don't be all dramatic hyperbole.

      Its hard to give any weight to your idea of the future when your view of the recent past is so utterly ignorant. Mankind saw a period of improvement to its lot that lasted for decades following WW2. That came to an end in a period coinciding - not altogether coincidentally - with the Dubya presidency. We have altogether too many drowned bodies floating in the world's oceans for anyone to say what you just said. The ignorance - or inhumanity - in your statement is profound.

      The collapse of the planetary environment that we depend upon utterly is an unprecedented threat. And that is already underway. The only argument left is how far it will progress, and at the moment there is no sign at all it will be slowed down let alone halted.

      The emergence of an incredibly powerful lobby, with trillions of dollars of fossil fuels to protect, and a willingness to encompass the deaths of billions to protect them is unprecedented, and its willingness to corrupt and eventually destroy our democracies to protect them is unprecedented.

      Delete
    16. Vic: "Future generations will very likely be incredibly better off than we are, just like we have been."

      All care no responsibility.

      Exactly why are people better off today? Is it more to do with sweat shops or clean air regs? Is it more because of public investment in education and family planning and immunisation, or is it the repeal of Glass–Steagall provisions? Which is better - scientific efforts and broad policies that will allow us to survive for generations to come, without detriment to the only home we have, Earth - or unfettered exploitation of limited resources?

      This reminds me of something I read recently:

      "The ecomodernists replace choices with an unyielding historical progression: their worldview demands that there can have been no past times in which people might have lived as well or better in their own terms than we live today."

      http://dark-mountain.net/blog/dark-thoughts-on-ecomodernism-2/

      Delete
    17. Vic's a cornutopian who doesn't understand physics or palaeoclimate. Hence the nonsense.

      Delete
    18. Joshua: "I am taking issue with the arguments that you're making about those moral and ethical issues: Your dismissal of the role of identity-protective mechanisms in arguments about moral and ethical issues would be a case in point... reverse engineering from perspective on climate change to judging morals and motivations is a very common, and flawed line of argumentation that is ubiquitous in the "skept-o-sphere."

      Joshua, I agree that ditto-heads who deny AGW because their friends and neighbors do aren't immoral in the way that cynical, self-interested AGW-deniers like Joe Bast or James Inhofe are. But in a democracy, every voter has the responsibility to put aside their identity-protective mechanisms and even their dreams of an ideal world, in favor of clear-eyed reasoning. That includes those who voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 as much as it does those who keep returning Inhofe to the Senate.

      When comparing the lopsided consensus of working climate scientists with the "perspective" that it's all a conspiracy to advance world socialism, there's really no moral quandary. AGW isn't a perspective, it's a reality, and anyone who denies the urgency of curtailing Tyndall gas emissions on the argument from consequences has abdicated his obligation to "my fellow human beings, my children and eventually grand children", his express wishes for "the best possible world" not withstanding. Scientific illiteracy doesn't excuse him either, even if he's well-meaning but feels he's supposed to be "skeptical". Failure to distinguish between scientific rigor and self-interested obfuscation isn't skeptical, it's just lazy.

      Joshua, I consider you a genuine skeptic, but your reluctance to judge morals and motivations is puzzling. Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. It's not immoral to fool yourself, as long as the consequences of your self-deception fall only on you. But when the security of millions of people is at stake, self-deception is immoral whatever its motivation. I support Sou's refusal to give it the benefit of your doubts.

      Delete
  19. I'm not sure I understand your question, PG. Are you asking why I think that motive-impugning, identity protective generalizing is best left for "skeptics?"

    ReplyDelete
  20. In related news, Judith Curry stated yesterday that she has read Steyn's book and will be writing a post about it.

    Given Curry's ongoing record of statements with respect to Mann and her kid-globe treatment of Steyn, it is easy to predict which way her bias will lie.

    I wonder if she's quoted in the book?

    "...Mann continues to fight the hockey wars not just by hucksterism but by attacking his opponents. This kind of behavior does not help keep the dangerous human caused climate change narrative alive, and at some point simply becomes pathological." Judith Curry, August 12, 2015

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Curry's post is up. No idea why she is keen on piling on. She does present quite a lot of quotes. One has to wonder how many are taken completely out of context or do not accurately reflect the views of the person quoted.

      No doubt someone will spend time tracking down the sources and annotating them.

      It's a sorry state, really...

      Delete
    2. It reminds me of what deniers got up to with the stolen emails - quote-mining gone riot.

      The quote from Wallace Broecker was from an article by Fred Pearce, (who lost a lot of credibility from the stance he took with the CRU theft). The article that Stein copied the quote from wasn't too bad for the time. It had these words at the end:

      ""The label was always a caricature and it became a stick to beat us with," Mann said later. Was it flawed research? Yes. Was it hyped by the IPCC? Yes. Has it been disproved? Despite all the efforts, no. So far, it has survived the ultimate scientific test of repeated replication."

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/09/hockey-stick-michael-mann-steve-mcintyre

      The quotes attributed to SkS were from the hacked forum (ie also stolen from a private forum). Robert Way was recently a co-author with Michael Mann so he can't think that badly of him.

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/07/surface-temperature-is-not-so-different.html

      I doubt Judith knows what she's talking about when she thinks the book will be good for Stein. Wishful thinking on her part I'd say.

      Delete
    3. I'll speculate as to Curry's motives, without, I think, going too far out on a limb: personal animosity, professional jealousy, and a desire to burnish her faux "voice of moderation" credentials.

      As for the quotes Curry cites, they appear to be the usual mix of comments from the unqualified or those working in other fields, critical snippets taken out of context, or critical comments about methodology and personalities taken from public or hacked private forums (SKS) and emails (CRU).

      Much of this seems petty or dated. What is the acid test, the thing that matters? It is how well the first millennial-scale temperature reconstruction from MBH (1999) has held up over time. Comparison to more recent versions such as the PAGES 2k Consortium shows it has done quite well indeed.

      As for Curry, having largely given up on climate science she is copying Steyn and dabbling in self-taught law:

      "In light of these quotes by Ph.D scientists, does Mark Steyn have a strong defense against the charge of defamation for stating ‘fraudulent hockey stick’? This certainly looks to me like the basis of a strong defense. With regards to Steyn’s countersuit, if he makes a lot of money off this book, that would rather argue against large damages from his countersuit. JC message to AGW alarmists and Mann’s supporters: buy Steyn’s book, this will help diminish Steyn’s case against Mann for large damages."

      Delete
    4. Magma:

      "I'll speculate as to Curry's motives, without, I think, going too far out on a limb: personal animosity, professional jealousy, and a desire to burnish her faux "voice of moderation" credentials."

      All this became clear in her first "coming out" party at RealClimate. I think we're all familiar with that event? Anyway, she got into it with Gavin and others who took apart her Bishop Hill-inspired understanding of the true meaning of the contents of the ClimateGate theft. She made clear that it was Bishop Hill who opened her eyes to reality. Of course, this is about the time she was making a record of herself dissing Mann in ways that seemed as much envy of his accomplishments and awards as anything, awards lacking in her own career despite it being much longer.

      Anyway, her blog efforts haven't really revealed any new information that wasn't revealed in that startling and revelatory thread at RC.



      Delete
    5. That Dr Curry article is terrible! It looks like she has rushed something out without thinking about it too much.

      Another of her personal attacks on Michael Mann which she will be taken to task for.

      Delete
    6. dhogaza, I was aware of the basic story but hadn't previously read through the original exchanges from 2010. I notice that Sou was one of the very first to correctly predict Curry's future path, even while many were still scratching their heads in puzzlement or giving her the benefit of the doubt.

      Delete
  21. Magma, Dr Judith Curry is now linking to the The Daily Caller because it caught her eye. This woman allows no depths to remain unfathomed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not Breitbart News though. Or not yet.

      Delete
  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well I guess all these old quotes explain why MBH 98 was refuted by all those later studies. Oh, wait! What's that you say? It hasn't been refuted? It's been confirmed? Huh.

      Delete
    2. Oh, for God's sake, more disingenuous quote-mining! Dear Clown, your Climategate 4.0 will sink just as the last 2 have. Let's face it, you peaked in 2009, and are now well on the way down the slope to the dumpster of history.

      And, yep, MBH 98 was quite the miracle, apparently - entirely wrong in every single conceivable way, and yet reinforced by every single attempt at replication. And, again , in case you haven't noticed, it's 2015...

      Delete
  23. Supposed MBH98/99 had never been written.
    Anyone who understands how the IPCC works and can read would know.
    (I got paper copies of TAR WG I-III when it came out, but everything is online these days.)


    So, here's a quiz;
    1) Which 1000-year reconstruction would have been featured?
    2) What's he paper it came from?
    3) Did it show a higher MWP or lower one than MBH99?
    4) Compared to MBH99 was it generally higher (thus, a less striking difference between 1000-1900 and 1900-present) or lower (and even more striking difference)?

    People who've actually studied this know offhand, but a hint is Fig 2.21.
    Extra bonus:
    4) Why is the comment about "extra-tropical" important?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. John Mashey

      Your quiz looks interesting and instructive. But a little bit cryptic. It might become clearer what you mean if I go and look at TAR WG1-III(?). I guess they may be a bit long.

      In case I do not manage the time. I hope you provide the answers for me and others.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for that, John. (I guessed right, but did need to check to confirm it. I came across it somewhere else in the last few days, prob when researching this article.)

      Next time I write about medieval warming I'll include that chart.

      Delete
  24. MBH98 (Mann, Bradley and Hughes) was published in April and went back to 1400AD.

    1. 2) Jones et al(1998) "High-resolution palaeoclimatic records for the last millennium: interpretation, integration and comparison with General Circulation Model control-run temperatures.

    That was published in May 1998, and went back to 1000AD.
    That, plus some new data on CO2 issues convinced MBH to think they might be able to push their reconstruction further back, and they did:
    MBH99 was in March 1999, and also went back to 1000AD.

    3) Here's IPCC TAR WG I, Section 2, and here is Fig 2.21. The Jones line is ~purple. Click to expand.

    During 1000-1400, you can see Jones was typically a bit lower than MBH99, hence there was even less of a warm MWP.

    4) Later, Jones tended to dip deeper than MBH99 , so had it been featured, the rise from 1800s would have been even more striking.

    4) MBH99 had more proxies, error bars, and included modern temperature measurements at the end ... as had been done in the SAR WG I PDF Fig 3.20, PDF p.189. Sorry, that's a huge file.
    Jones was a Key Contributor, and Bradley was a Contributor.

    Fig 3.20 was from Bradley and Jones(1993b), Fig 6, but in 1995 SAR they added a line for modern measurements, 3 years before MBH. Mann didn't invent that idea.

    The extratropic comment in Fig 2.21 is important because people get confused with spaghetti graphs. They may differ by methodology, from specific proxy choices ... but for sure NH extratropic (usually 30+ degN) is only half of the NH, and one expects it to look jaggier than the full NH. I.e., one would expect MBH99, which was trying to cover the NH, to be smoother.
    The Mann et al(1999) 30-70degN deleted the proxies nearer Equator, which made it more like extratropical studies.

    The IPCC does assessment reports based on the latest and best literature they can find up to some date. Had MBH98/99 not existed, it's pretty obvious Jones etal(1998) would have still been there (and Briffa (2000), and they would have grafted modern measurements in, just as they did in 1995.

    If one actually has the IPCC reports and tracks through chronologically, all this is just normal science getting better approximations to reality, arguing over details at the edges, comparing methods, etc, etc

    All this stuff about fraud is of course *total nonsense*, mostly from people who:
    a) Have total allegiance to the curve of Lamb(1965) with little understanding of what it means.
    b) Have not studied the relevant papers.
    c) Have not studied the relevant parts of IPCC reports.
    d) Don't seem to understand the meaning of error bars on graphs.
    e) Don't really understand the fact that MBH98/99s PCA method was one of the perfectly fine ways to do it. See Mann's HSCW book for explanation.
    All this centering/decentering argument is for confusing people.
    f) Don't understand the McIntyre+McKitrick(2005) flaws and then the 1:100 cherrypick by to produce selected graphs, which is all that most people would understand.

    There's a lot of Dunning-Kruger around :-) combined with intense belief ... but that's good, as it shows people actually believed Steyn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. g) and who live in a fishbowl and only hear the same old, same old misinformation and myths

      Delete
    2. f) should be more widely known.

      As far as I know, that critical observation was confined to Deep Climate's very insightful November 16, 2010 blog post and never made it into the literature.

      And its title 'Replication and due diligence, Wegman style' isn't one that immediately suggests either McIntyre and McKintrick, MBH, or the famous hockey stick.

      http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

      Delete
    3. f) Yes, plus good followups by Nick Stokes, especially the first:
      Google: site:moyhu.blogspot.com wegman

      That ought to be understandable to most people.

      Delete
  25. Steyn's book now sales rank #939 and tanking fast, the dream seems to be over ....

    Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One of the commenters at Amazon.co.uk nailed it:

      "The Greatest Gathering of Scientific Authorities Since Marie Antoinette Dined Alone"

      Delete
    2. Perhaps Heartland and/or the Koch brothers need to buy more copies of the book soon.. ;)

      0^0

      Delete
  26. Steyn is going to kick Mann's ass in court.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Going to discuss why you think this, or are you just trolling?

      Delete
    2. Let sleeping trolls lie, Harry. (Double meaning intended.)

      Delete
  27. "It does look as if Mark Steyn is thumbing his nose at the court, though he is more circumspect than he was in his article that prompted the defamation suit."

    Seeing as us lucky people down under are going to get a visit from Mark Steyn. He will be speaking at the IPA I believe.

    Mark Steyn is practically begging the US courts to give him a hard time. I just watched his speech at the Heartland Institute in 2015. He also reconfirms he knows nothing about climate science.

    I have to wonder, is he up to something? Or is his ego just out of control?

    ReplyDelete

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