Posted by: Barry Bickmore | June 20, 2011

Minnesota Contrarian Pads His Résumé

Moncktonophiles will recognize a recurring theme, here.  There aren’t very many credentialed climate scientists who reject the consensus that humans are causing significant climate change, so what is a contrarian Minnesota state senator to do if he wants to verbally beat down the opposition?  Answer:  inflate his own credentials.

That’s what has happened with Sen. Michael Jungbauer (East Bethel).  A guy who doesn’t even have a college degree now has “a major in biochemistry,” has taken a class in “tropospheric chemistry” (even though it doesn’t show up on any of his transcripts), and he’s working on a Master’s degree in Environmental Policy (from a university that doesn’t have a Master’s program in Environmental Policy).

Read the whole story at




    This is why you should post statistical parameters before performing a survey of a population instead of post-hoc data mining that Doran/Zimmerman did in their study. The fact that every warmist I read lists the Doran study FIRST means they put the most credence into it. It should be highly embarrasing to anyone involved in the warmist movement, but I’m starting to realize that warmists live in the “Twilight Zone”. But what do I know? I’m just a stupid, ignorant medical doctor with no idea how to analyze statistical parameters of a study to see if it’s worthless crap so I can keep my patient from dying TODAY, or an engineer who has to keep people from dying TODAY whilst on planes, auto, bridges, you name it– not eight decades from now when we look back on warmists with all the sentimentality of the Eugenics movement (look it up).

    • Wow…. Most TV weathercasters don’t agree with most of the climatologists about global warming, and most of those weathercasters were even “certified”. That’s really convincing, because everyone knows taking a couple meteorology classes to get a certificate is just as good as getting a PhD in Climatology or Atmospheric Science when it comes to forming an opinion about global warming.

      • Man, you just don’t get it. Well, good luck with those GCM’s.

      • Scott,

        I do get it. You think Doran and Zimmerman should have given some error margins. And well, maybe you’re right, in which case it’s hard to say how significant the results are. But then Anderegg got almost identical results in a subsequent study, and literature studies show that very few contrarian papers get published in the peer-reviewed literature. So the obvious fact is that the contrarians are a tiny minority in the climate science community, whether that means they comprise 1%, 3%, 5%, or 10% (I’m being very generous with the last one). Do you dispute this?

      • I tell myself I don’t have time to spend with my global warming “hobby” because I really don’t. However, I need to get this very important point across. I agree that a large majority of “practicing climate scientists” agree with the warmist orthodoxy. My point is NOT to dispute it. My point is that if you’re going to do a study, you need to do it correctly. Wegeman made this point in his report to congress on Mann’s hockey stick. It may very well be true, but you’re not showing that it is true. Statistics and how they are used can make or break the validity of a theory. I used my link as an example. All Doran can say is “78 out of 79 active climate scientists interviewed for our project agree with AGW”. The CAN NOT EXTRAPOLATE to the general climate scientist population. If the warmists can’t understand this, then I have nothing else to say. I also need to make the point that there is an extreme amount of haughtiness displayed by warmists. This is because their theory can’t be disproved for years (even though their is ample evidence to disprove it now), whereas those in applied science and technology exhibit more humility because of learning about failures right now and fixing the problem for tomorrow. In reality, I would love to have a public debate regarding AGW but am far too busy to do so. I would assume two things about you: a. you’ve invested $$ in some renewable energy company or on their board, and/or 2. you’ve been invited to be on Gavin’s “rapid response team” in some way, maybe with the duty of taking out Spencer. Am I wrong? Well, I’ve got work to do.

      • Hi Scott,

        I understand your point about statistics, and I agree with it. However, MY POINT is that if someone botches their statistics in something they publish (which is EXTREMELY common), the important thing is to do it right and figure out how much difference the mistake makes. In the case of Doran and Zimmerman’s study, you seem to agree with me that improving their statistical methods would not alter their conclusions greatly, because it’s perfectly obvious that the contrarians are a small minority among climate scientists. That was their point, and putting error bars on their survey numbers wouldn’t change it. In the case of Wegman’s critique of the “Hockey Stick,” Mann et al. have acknowledged that they made some mistakes in their statistical methods and data selection, but then they (and others!) have gone back and done the work again with better methods and data… and it turns out not to have made any difference in their main conclusions.

        When someone like you keeps harping on these kinds of mistakes–i.e., mistakes that don’t end up making much difference–it’s clear that all you are doing is trying to make your opponents look stupid without going to all the work of trying to consider whether there is any merit to what they have to say.

        As for your assumptions about me, you know what they say about assuming. 1) I haven’t invested in, and don’t have any other kind of affiliation with, any renewable energy companies. 2) Gavin Schmidt doesn’t run the “Rapid Response Team”–that’s John Abraham, Ray Weymann, and Scott Mandia. 3) They did ask me if I wanted to join the team, but I said I didn’t have time. 4) They didn’t ask me to do a critique of Roy Spencer, and neither did anyone else. I did it because I got his book for Christmas, and because he ticked me off when he came to Utah in 2009. (Full Disclosure. After I did the first critique, someone at Skeptical Science did ask me if I wanted to do something on Roy’s ocean heat content piece, which was no sweat because it was more of the same kind of model.)

        And by the way… I went to a great deal of effort to show that Spencer’s statistical shenanigans DID greatly affect his main conclusions.

      • I know since this is your blog you get the last word… but No I don’t agree with the Doran study. I would say somewhere around 80% if you look WORLDWIDE. Studies in Japan and Eastern rim show far less support for the dogma amongst climate scientists. The US is around 80% and Europe probably in the mid 90’s. Mann’s “error bars” are larger than the amplitude of his smoothed graph. It’s like you guessing my age (40) but you can be wrong by up to 50 years (within the error bars). So you can guess my age is 75 or 15 and still be within the “error bars”. Would you call that good science? Good data? Am I nitpicking with this example? The fact that historical records record copiously about vikings in Greenland, other N. Europe warm conditions, etc. and the dearth of data to suggest that the MWP was “local geographic only”. There are NO DATA to suggest a local effect, in fact there are data to suggest warming in the Easter rim countries. Wow, now we don’t have a hockey stick that looks like a hockey stick. Also given the fact that sea level rises are DECELERATING if you include the ENTIRE WORLD outside of N. Carolina (talk about cherry picking here sir!!) suggest that yes, indeed, warmists have problems when it comes to factual data being presented via statistical analyses.

        For sea level changes:

        Or is this a crappy journal too? Fascinating how quickly PNAS picked up Mann’s study focusing on N. Carolina coast which rejects the entire Pacific and using the discredited Tiljander series all the while rejecting Lindzen’s paper outright. Hmmmmmmmmm.

      • Sorry, I meant a range to 65 (not 75) for my example. I think Wegeman sums up my point well when he said, ” Method Wrong + Answer Correct = Bad Science, “in other words, the fact that the answer may have been correct does not justify the use of an incorrect method in the first place.” (Oral testimony, Joint statistical meeting 2006)

      • Hi Scott,

        I read the paper you linked, and I don’t have a problem with it. Seems like a very difficult statistical problem, coupled with the problem of modeling heat transfer into the ocean (which nobody is sure has been totally worked out, yet.)

        I don’t see what the big deal about the North Carolina study is. Just eyeballing the graphs, it looks like the 20th century rate isn’t vastly different than the global trend from that paper you cited. You seem to be comparing apples with oranges, since the NC study compares the rate over the 20th century with the last 2 millennia. Trying to find acceleration/deceleration over the 20th century seems like a very different (and more difficult) problem.

        Some of the “hockey stick” reconstructions do have a prominent MWP in them, so I don’t see what the problem is there, either. Maybe you don’t like how big the error bars were, but all Mann and co. did with them was to say the last 50 years is likely the warmest in the last millennium or two. That’s all they claimed, because that’s all they could statistically justify.

        So the question is, were their claims justifiable, given the data they had? Answer: Yes.

        Anyway, I’d be interested to see the studies where you got your data on opinions of climate scientists. If you could pass the refs along, I’d appreciate it.

      • Kendall/Zimmerman:

        Comment: The 82% figure is far more accurate because that comes from the population that they actually were trying to ascertain, instead of the “97%” they went digging for (post hoc analysis, a big no-no) when they didn’t like the 82%. In other words, if you only want the opinion of actively publishing climate scientists, then set up your survey to ONLY ask them!

        George Mason Univ:

        Comment: I especially like the statement: “74% agree that ‘currently available scientific evidence’ substantiates its occurrence.” The 84% figure comes from “personal belief”. At least this was done by Harris.

        Bray/Von Storch 2003:

        Comment: Yes, this comes off heartland (I can only imagine what you think about them), but it’s the only place I could find the original. This is actually very scientific, look at the difference between them and Doran. Look on page 4, the question re: climate change is antrhopogenic–on a scale of 1-7 USA is 3.84 Germany is 3.07 not exactly “resounding”.

        VonStorch 2008:

        Comment: Look at page 46, 83.5% of responses greater than the median of 4.

        So there you have it: 82%, 84%, somewhere over 50%, and 83.5%

        And for extra credit, a completely non scientific poll of Japanese Geophysical Union members:

        Comment: When this question was raised at a Japan Geoscience Union symposium last year, he said, “the result showed 90 per cent of the participants do not believe the IPCC report”.

        Substantiated? Nope. But worth a look.

      • Hi Scott,

        Thanks for the info. I’ll look into them as I have time.

        I read the article you linked about the GMU study, and one thing that strikes me is that they randomly sampled members of the American Meteorological Society and the American Geophysical Union. The problem is that the majority of AMS members are likely to be meteorologists, not climatologists, and the AGU membership is largely… geophysicists. You say the 82% figure from the Doran study is likely more accurate, but that was for all Earth scientists, not climate specialists. Given their sampling, I’d say you are right that the two polls are in basic agreement, but the GMU study is not that useful for looking at the opinions of climate specialists.

  2. The FDA would NEVER approve a drug based on post hoc data mining. The fact that the warmists can’t even identify this one problem before splashing it all over their blogs is incredibly revealing. They have painted themselved into a corner–they can’t be wrong or admit to being wrong. Doctors have to admit being wrong all the time if their worth anything because we know pretty quick if Mrs. Jones heart surgery went as planned or not. With warmists, we have to wait decades and put up with their “can’t be wrong” attitude. Don’t ever say I didn’t at least try to give you some advice 🙂

  3. This pattern in general is, IMHO, contributing to the general distrust of science that is ongoing and increasing.

    I reject science as a means of making important decisions with the fate of the economy in the balance. No audits as standard practice, all that published junk… Such poor QA is horrid to use as a basis for calling for sweeping changes to how everyone lives their lives.

    • Yep. That’s why I say we should base our decisions on either 1) fortune tellers, or 2) nothing.

  4. What an gotesque bunch of denier nonsense! The fact is that solar energy based on levelized cost has reached grid parity (or is serving non-grid regions) in a significant fraction of the world. The current trajectory of costs suggests that it will be to lowest cost source of energy everywhere in eight years or less. This will blow away any economic reason for you or others to lie about the science of global warming.

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