“New Dogs; Old Tricks“. Like the croaking raven, Steve McIntyre spends his days rasping out “the trick!” Steven Mosher assures us that this somnambulistic accusation is “largely misunderstood by nearly everyone discussing it, except Steve and a few of his readers.” Such brilliant minds that can, like the Emperor of fable, discern something so invisible to everyone else! I presume Mosher includes himself in that select few.
Mosher wants us to know that Steve McIntyre has begun a series of curmudgeonly posts about his critics, focussing strangely on desmogblog.com‘s summary of Brian Angliss’ exposure of McIntyre’s false accusations about dendrochronology climate evidence.
Here’s a short version of the years-old puffed up controversy: “northern” tree rings correlate with interpreted climate trends up until about 1960 when they suddenly began showing an opposite trend. This means that “northern” tree rings are a useful climate indicator in older times because they match other measured trends. But after 1960 they don’t respond the same way as other indicators, so they shouldn’t be used in the most modern era. Why the change? I don’t think it’s understood yet. Why use the older data? Because it’s a good indicator and the data can be accurately collected. Seems kind of straight-forward to me. But Steven McIntyre claims that if tree rings stopped correlating to climate then they shouldn’t be used even for the time periods where they work. This is kind of like drinking from a bottle of milk every day and when later the milk starts to turn sour declaring that it must always have been sour.
Here’s a trick, Steven (and Steve): spend all your time implying malicious motivations by your critics and make vague insinuations about their arguments while talking as little as possible about the actual subject. You guys are good at that one.
As Steven Mosher grandly declares, we can indeed “watch the things [a slippery denialist] chooses to discuss and which things get ignored.” [my revision] Like the fact that so little of the scientific evidence of Global Warming is legitimately challenged by the denialists and how much time they spend talking about personalities and punctuation…