Reports from the Guardian Climategate Debate

Reports from the Guardian Climategate Debate: Surprise, surprise. In Anthony Watts’ report of the debate on the Climategate false controversy hosted by the Guardian newspaper, climate scientists are “devious” and “appallingly bad” but denialist Steven McIntyre, who spoke from behind a lectern to give him more ‘authority’, gets “the largest applause”.

Here’s a different view of the panel’s performance:

  • Prof. Davies said the CRU has learned about the need for public engagement in the scientific discussion.
  • Steve McIntyre sidestepped the challenge that “any competent individual could reproduce a temperature series from publicly accessible data”. Slippery as always, but an embarrassing exposure of his grandiose claims.
  • Bob Watson said the reviews had high integrity and robust conclusions, accused the media of getting carried away with “skeptic” allegations.
  • Doug Keenan claimed that “bogus fraudulent research is rife throughout science.” and “AGW is a fraud.” Clinging to his paranoid denialist views I guess.
  • Fred Pearce, looking for a way to climb back down from his gullible reporting, called the  saga is more a tragedy than a conspiracy and said that the CRU inquiries were well conducted.

Nothing like getting the spin in as fast as possible… Three inquiries (four if you count the tangential Penn State inquiry) completely clear the CRU climate scientists of any deception and yet the volume and fervor of the denialist accusations of “whitewash” and conspiracy simply rises.

The louder you say it the righter you are Anthony?

Condensed Monckton

Condensed Monckton: Anthony Watts takes a break from managing Steven McIntyre’s Climate Audit blog to help fellow denialists support “Lord” Monckton’s call for e-mail harassment of Prof. John Abraham of St. Thomas University (which Monckton calls a “half-assed Catholic Bible college”). Condensed in the sense of “no need to think, just click on the handy e-mail links and start ranting!”

So what’s triggered this? Prof. Abraham released a devastating analysis of Monckton’s intentionally misleading arguments against Global Warming. Monckton’s wounded ego has led to a two-pronged response:

  1. A call for denialists to pester St. Thomas University to remove Prof. Abraham’s analysis. So ironic! I thought denialists were in a state of constant lividity over perceived suppression of their arguments and ‘ground-breaking research’…
  2. Releasing a ‘response’ that consists of 84 pages and 466 idiotic questions (5 mb PDF) on that scientific clearinghouse the denialist Science and Public Policy Institute. Yes, 466 of them. Monckton’s massive rant is getting plenty of hilarious dissection. Here are a few:

The University of St. Thomas’ final response to Monckton, after a short e-mail exchange?

We received your email response to our June 25, 2010 letter. The University of St Thomas respects your right to disagree with Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham’s right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease, and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham, Father Dease and The University of St Thomas.

Please be advised that neither we nor the University of St Thomas will communicate with you any further about your decision to sully the University of St. Thomas, Professor Abraham, and others rather than to focus on the scholarly differences between you and Professor Abraham.

Signed: Phyllis Karasov, Moore Costellow and Hart, P.L.L.P.

Denialists are actually casting this as proof that Monckton’s “rebuttal” has won the day!

Anthony; you’re out of your scientific depth (think playground splash pad) and you’re tying yourself to a boat anchor…

Website News

Yes, I’ve been a bad boy lately, focusing on my own activities and generally letting the WUWT howlers fade into the background. There have certainly been a few doosies though!

I’ve made use of the break to do some jigging of the intertubes and now wotsupwiththat.com and wottsupwiththat.com both redirect to this WordPress site. That’s something, isn’t it?

Here are a few recent entertaining links.

New Dogs; Old Tricks

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…

A note about boundaries

A note about boundaries“. I said I’d start covering Anthony Watts posts on WUWT again tomorrow, but this post by Anthony was too ironic to pass over. Anthony is complaining that a critic intruded into his personal life! Oh, the hypocrisy.

I certainly support the principle that people’s personal lives are private. I am without question a very small fish in a large pond, but already in the short life of this website I’ve experienced intrusive activity by denialists that could be characterized as attempts to intimidate or discredit me (OMG, I have a facebook account! With friends!). Unless the topic is religion, for example, a person’s religious convictions are irrelevant. Does it really matter how big Al Gore’s house is?

If Anthony’s description of this particular person’s behavior is accurate (a big if) then they’ve definitely crossed the line. Challenging a denialist in a public forum, whether online or at a relevant public event, is legitimate (that if fact is the purpose of this website) but accosting them outside of that context is not.

Unfortunately Anthony Watts has made a habit of prying into the lives of his opponents and “researching” people making critical comments on his blog. He’s also been quick to publish e-mail and postal addresses of scientists or journalists he doesn’t like to enable his followers to harass them. It seems to me that Anthony’s own comfort with skipping over the line when it suits him diminishes the legitimacy of his protestations about privacy.

Royal Ash: Royal society jumps on magma driven worry express

Royal Ash: Royal society jumps on magma driven worry express“. Anthony Watts posts more idiocy from Steven Goddard, this time referencing dumb Hollywood disaster flicks to mischaracterize a collection of papers about geological responses (mainly seismic) to climate change. Steven seems to suggest that, over the weekend, the Royal Society whipped up a series of papers from the 2009 conference on Climate forcing of geological and geomorphological hazards (read the preface here) to capitalize on concern over the Icelandic eruptions. However it’s the denialists who specialize in insta-bunk.

Here’s one of the ‘outrageous’ statements in the Daily Telegraph (ugh) article that he links to:

And he warned: ”The rise you may need may be much smaller than we expect. Looking ahead at climate change, we may not need massive changes.

”One of the worries is that tiny environmental changes could have these effects.”

Earth (so to speak) to Steve and Anthony: the planet is in many ways quite delicately balanced. Some small changes can trigger large geologic events. That’s the gist of the Royal Society’s papers. Please don’t substitute your arrogance for rational thought processes.